Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Sunday and Monday

DragonCon 2009 Posts:
DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Thrusday and Friday
DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Saturday
DragonCon 2009 - After Action Summary, Sunday and Monday
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: Super Heroes
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: Star Wars
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: misc.
DragonCon 2009 Costumes: SteamPunk
DragonCon 2009 Gun Babes
DragonCon 2009 - The Ladies of DragonCon

A Note On Picture Size -- Photobucket doesn't make it as convenient to make the pictures links as they used to. It can still be done, but I don't feel like going back through and making all these pics links. That said, the images as posted are full resolution, the size is just reduced in the HTML. What that means to you is, if you want the pic full-size just Right-Click and Save or View Image. Either way, you'll get it full-size.

I'm not even going to try and blog every single picture I took, so here's a link to the big photobucket with all my DragonCon 2009 photos.


Sunday morning came and went, and eventually we got up and rejoined the con. I was pretty excited about the whole getting dressed thing this day, because I had a really fun gun to play with:

I made it from a Nerf Vulcan, and I'll have better beauty shots of it to put up later. Anyway, to support this gun I came up with a bizzarro military outfit, complete with ficticiously altered military patches and flags.

I got to wear my head phones, too!

After getting dressed I finally got a cup of half-decent coffee (curse and spit on that crap they keep in hotel rooms) and found a few folks I knew. I ran into Taylor pretty early, and he took this shot:

Matter of fact, here I am with his darling wife!

There must have been something about that gun, because I sure was Mr. Popular on Sunday! I'd noticed flashbulbs going off in my direction the day or two before, but on Sunday people actually wanted to get their picture taken with me. OK, with my gun. But still!

Cool arm, dude.

Mrs. Utini, on the other hand, had pretty much had her fill of playing dress up by this point. She was still all snappy looking, dressed out more than dressed up.

And she did pause from her final rounds of shopping and trolling the art gallery for a photo with the singer for Cruxshanks -- er, Cruxshadows.

Now I'd been keeping my eye out for him all weekend, but it wasn't until Sunday that I finally found Jerry, probably because he didn't actually show up until then. Despite his obvious scheduling and priorities handicap, Jerry's a great gun, fun to hang out with and down for whatever, including dropping his undead ass off a ferris wheel.

Jerry's such a nice guy, he had me tag along while he hooked up with his old college and Army buddy, John Ringo. We met him by the buffet in the Hyatt, and he bought us both dinner. Classy, eh? Sat down with John and his wife and chewed the fat over some tender ribs. One detail of the conversation that really impressed me came from his wife, an architect in Atlanta with a firm contracted by the hotels to do their renovation work. I don't know the legalease, and wouldn't reprint it here if I did, but suffice to say that the official requirements for the hotel renovations specifically name DragonCon when discussing capacity. Fuckin' A. Anyway, good times, then John had a panel to get to get to. Jerry had something he wanted to do after dinner, so we parted ways and bounced off each other several more times through the afternoon and evening.

Meanwhile, I was back to my wanderings. Along the way, I met a handful of folks who were also carrying modded Vulcans, and we all wanted pictures together:

Mid way through my wanderings, I was confronted with what at first seemed to be a beautiful spectacle...

But as I watched something seemed to inexplicably enrage the metal beast, driving its logic circuits beyond the pale of polite company:

Drawing its attention away from the terrified onlookers, I made ready to do battle with this mechanical mockery of man and industry.

Almost overcome by its inhumane strength, I was forced to use every ounce of my wits -- not to mention every caliber of my cannon -- just to survive!

And then, as quickly as it had begun, it was over. Whatever stuck spring or caught cog had set the monster off its tracks must have become jogged in our struggle, and the once-maniacal robot returned to its natural, subservient state, much to the pleasure of the assembled onlookers. Another rogue automaton -- managed!

At some point on Sunday, I ran into Jeremy Dylan Lanni. He's started up a series of web videos about "Things That Suck," and I made him laugh by going off on a rant about hot glue. Seems I made the cut (my comments peppered throughout video one.).

So, who else did I run into on Sunday....
I found Malloy and her boy again, this time dressed as a nerd and General MacArthur :

She is pretty damned adorable.

And I found some more Mallet kids, who assure me this specatacle has something to do with some '80s movie:

Hi, Becky!

Hay, you reading this! Stop starring at her boobs, she's smarter than you are.

Now, as things get late on Sunday I have a hard time remembering what order they happened in. Hell, I'm doing good to remember them at all. Sunday is a strange time at Dragon, maybe my favorite night of the con. I mean, Friday night everyone is full of spit and polish, excited to be there but shocked from the registration and other logistics. Saturday night is just a breaks-off, wheels-up, full-tilt, look-ma-no-hands throw down. Sunday is just... strange. By Sunday night, all the freaks who were howling at the moon on Friday night and ripping down the temple walls on Saturday are really just running on auto-pilot by now, so high on their own vapors they can ignore the trim controls without fear of hitting anything and just cruise, man. Its everyone else who's trying as hard as they can to come off the rails by Sunday night -- the guy who didn't make a costume, so he's cobbled something together from the hotel cleaning lady's cart; the girl who wanted her picture taken and ego stroked, and is now clad only in duck tape; that couple who bought their first collar and leash yesterday, and just want to try it; anyone who didn't get laid last night; everyone has the con's throat clenched in both fists, gripping it tight against the wall and working it over for the last bit of fun it has hidden in its pockets. These people are going to party or by Christ go down drinking, and I want nothing but to be in the thick of them.

That's when Luke found me, and he had that look in his eye, the one he usually gets before he tries out some new way to punch me in the face. Due to the potentailly litigeous nature of the anecdote I'm about to relate, I'm not going to link anywhere, identify anything, or even give you any details. All I'm gonna say is, my boy's been reading up on urban exploration lately, and he asked me to join him in establishing our own Personal Responsibility Zone...

Have I mentioned that I'm afraid of heights?

After we'd rejoined the People of the Earth, I wanted to take in a show. I ran into Jacob and Luke who both pretty well gushed about One Eyed Doll. They had seen them open for Arc Attack, and thought it was right up my alley. As they told me this I was making my way as fast as I could to catch the end of the Arc Attack set. I hit the room in time to hear their last song of the night, but I did at least get that long to soak up their peculiar radiation.

After the show ended I went over to the schwag table and got to talking with kimberly, Old Eyed Doll's singer. Suffice to say, I was hooked pretty damned quick and bought a CD without hearing a single note -- she's that bubbly. In an I-draw-on-myself-with-Sharpie kind of way, which is cute. And what do ya know, I'm actually pretty fond of the music, kind of an old school thrash metal sound, with a cute girl singing sweetly about bulimia and serial killers. Definitely a good fit with my general policy of giving a new band a real try at every con.

The other act I had a chance to check out Sunday night was Faith and the Muse, who would also have been a nice fit for that, and I need to give them a bit more of a listen. Stage full of cellos and mohawks, what's not to like?

I'm no good at all at writing about music, and if I tried it would turn into a bunch of crap anyway, so I'm not going to. But at least live the sound like they are half way between Rasputina and Apocalyptica.

Faith and the Muse played in the same room where the rave was held each night, so it blurred over nicely into another round of amateur go-go dancers, but I'm not really sure which girls did it which nights, so stuff is just jumbled up for that.

I wandered in and out of the rave room, pretty much all night. At some point, I caught this adorable moment with the lead singer from Cruxshadows, carry a faeirie who'd danced enough.

As nutty as Sunday night is, it does come with a down side or two. One of those is that the ladies are often starting to get bored with having cameras shoved in their faces all weekend. I try to mitigate that by taking a lot of candid shots and piggy-backing onto other people's photo ops, but still, no one wants to get the stink eye for snapping a pic. At some point, you either have to give it up, or get a gimick.

Did I mention I was still carrying around that big, popular machine gun?

Girls. Guns. Its a winning combination, and one that I made use of to good effect. Such good effect that I had to do a whole other post just for all the babes with my gun! I'll link to it, when I'm damn good and ready.

Speaking of gimicks, I couldn't tell you what it is that he does, specifically, but if anyone has cornered the market on taking pics of hot chicks at comic convention, its Photognome. The guy is like the friggin' Terminator of con photographers -- you can't stop him, that what he does! That's all he does!

Anyway, the last several con's I've been to I ended up hanging out with him and a few ladies for somewhat extended impromptu photo shoots. Gnome's work makes mine look like, well, amateur snap shots, but I do get some nice ones when he's around. There will, of course, be more of these when I make it to the Ladies of DragonCon post, but here's one for now...

Folks often stop thinking rationally Sunday night, because really, after 72 consecutive brain churning hours, who really gives a fuck? Not the Incredible Hulk, I can tell you that much! There's this guy who's come as Hulk the last few years. He's not the best hulk you ever laid eyes on, but he has also mastered the need for a gimick. This boy carries around a Styrofoam tank all weekend! I didn't get a good shot of him this year, so here he is in 2008:

So, how long does a big hunk of foam last at DragonCon? Pretty damn long, all things considered, but not all the way to Monday!

That thing was surprisingly solid. I couldn't get my boot heel to sink more than an inch or two into it, and I know what I'm doing a hell of a lot better than some stupid ass emo kid, jumping in the air and trying to spike the thing.

He ended up on his ass. Actually, most of the people who tried to take a piece of it ended up on the floor, surrounded by thousands of foam particles.

The debris was spread over three counties.

I didn't last too much past the tank destruction. At some point, you've just got to say the hell with it. For me, that point was about 6:30 am.


Jesus fuckin' Christ, Mondays suck at DragonCon. You wanna talk zombies? The kids dressed up for the Thriller world record Saturday night got nothing on the the dieing live who just wanna check out and go home. Even with Luke and Jacob's help (thanks, y'all!) it took over an hour to get our shit down from the room to the hotel lobby. We ran into some interesting side walk art on the way to the parking deck:

Oh, sure, there are still folks around and a few things to do, but Monday is for packing up, drinking coffee, groaning about your hang over, and going home.

So, final thoughts? Actually, you've been reading them in between the pics all along, so there's not much left to say, but I do have one nit to pick with DragonCon itself.

What's with the fucking lines, y'all? I've been doing this for years, so I know to expect a crowd. I'm never one to hit a whole lot of panels and stuff, but this year I couldn't hit any. At all. Every single event that I gave even the slightest shit about had a line down the hall and out the god damned door. Its getting kind of fucking ridiculous, because despite being worn the hell out, I didn't feel at all like I actually did anything this year. I have no idea what the solution for this is, but its about out of fucking hand when the wait to get into an event takes longer than the actual freakin' event.

I wonder what would happen if the con stopped selling single day passes? We'd get rid of most of the tourists, but I wonder if there

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.