Posted by: wildflowerz | September 7, 2010

Dragon*Con Recap

Friday:

  • Friday morning, Chris and I took Emily to school and got to see her do the Pledge of Allegiance on the school’s tv station.  She was a STAR student, whatever that means.  They didn’t tell us how she was picked or why.  It was sweet though.  She was so cute.  We went back home and grabbed a quick breakfast and then headed down to Dragon*Con.
  • 10am:  Interview with the True Blood Actors – This one had Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), Kristin Bauer von Stratten (Pam de Beaufort), and Nelsan Ellis (Layette Reynolds) in Centennial II-III of the Hyatt.  These are 3 of my favorites!  They were all really funny and seemed really nice.  Nelsan (pronounced “Nel SAN”) was terribly shy.  He seemed just a bit defensive about the gay thing.  Just a bit though…not extremely so.  Anyway, Kristin was a bit ditzy.  It seemed like it might be an act, but I’m not sure why she would bother, so yeah.  The panel was great, but it bugged me when people kept called Kristin “Pam.”  People.  Fiction is not reality!
  • 11:30am:  BSG – In the Atrium Ballroom of the Marriott, starring Aaron Douglas (Chief Galen Tyrol), Mark Sheppard (Romo Lampkin), Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama), and Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek and the original Apollo).  It’s no secret that I lurve Aaron Douglas.  It’s so my type and he’s freakin’ hilarious.  Of course, I wanted to see him.  He talked a bit about his wife dying just before he started one of the seasons of BSG and then had to deal with death a lot on the show and how it actually was cathartic.  He’s talked about it before, but it was very touching.  There was one thing that I didn’t get from this exchange.  He talked about it and it’s obviously a downer.  And I don’t mean that with any kind of criticism.  But at the end, he recognized that and said, “It’s okay, she’s in a better place.”  However, Aaron has said on multiple occasions that he’s an atheist.  So, what did he mean by that?  I was a bit confused.  Anyway, other than that, I was disappointed that Mark Sheppard (who is made of awesome) didn’t get much talk time.  Richard Hatch will never not come to Dragon*Con.  You couldn’t pay him to not come.  I don’t care for him.  He never says anything new and he’s boring.  He drones on and on and I just really don’t care.  And there’s Edward James Olmos.  I love him.  However.  He also drones on and on.  What he has to say is usually awesome, but I feel like he monopolizes the entire panel and we don’t get to hear as much from everything else.  /shrug  Just my opinion.  Also, Kevin Grazier canceled.  I wasn’t too disappointed for the BSG panels, but I was disappointed not to get to see him on the Eureka panel later on.
  • Dragon*Con TV:  I FREAKIN’ LOOOVE Bob and Carl!  They were too stinkin’ cute!
  • Lunch:  I ran to the mall to grab food from somewhere that wasn’t sushi and didn’t have much of a line.  The ABC was gone and another sandwich shop was put in it’s place.  I went there.  The sandwich was okay, but nothing special and they didn’t leave the tomatoes off like I’d asked.  Normally I don’t even ask.  It’s usually a lot easier to just take that stuff off myself.  However, I was taking my food to stand in line at the blood drive and standing in line, trying to each a sandwich while taking off tomatoes and then holding them in a bag while eating?  NOT fun.
  • Blood Drive:  I originally went to the blood drive first to see how long the line was.  It was pretty long and not moving.  So, I came back after I’d gotten lunch.  I snarfed it down in line before I even got to the registration desk.  It didn’t SEEM like I was there all that long, but it was 2:45 when I’d finished.  I read my book a little.  My temp was high again the first time she took it.  She took it again and it dropped a point, but was a then of a degree too high.  She looked it up to make sure of the cutoff point.  Then she took it again and it’d dropped down to acceptable.  I’m 99% sure she’s not supposed to do that, but I knew I wasn’t sick at all and that the same thing happened last year, so I didn’t complain.  Giving was relatively easy.  I got a super snazzy new tee shirt and a little red tag for my badge. 🙂
  • Shopping:  First, I picked up a super cute kid’s tee for Emily from the Con and the official tee for Chris and I.  I also picked up a new Fruity Oaty Bars tee and an “I ❤ ❤ The Doctor” tee shirt.  I also got a game called Zombie Dice (which I think might be a dud) and a bunch of these super cute character drawings from RAK.  I met up with a friend after that and we just chilled and talked in her hotel room.
  • 5:30:  The Guild Q & A with Vork and Zaboo:  Obviously this one had Sandeep Parikh and Jeff Lewis from The Guild.  This was along with their director.  It was in the Grand Ballroom in the Sheraton.  It was a fun panel and, as expected, they were both hilarious.  We got to see the Game On video in the beginning and then an excerpt from The Legend of Neil and one of the new Jeff Lewis 5 Minute Comedy Hour (which was HILARIOUS).
  • Sear:  Chris and I met 5 other friends and ate at Sear, the steakhouse in the Marriott.  Most everyone’s food was yum.  All of us except the vegetarian got steak.  The veg meal, she said, wasn’t great.  One person got the wrong type of steak the first time.  The second time, it was overcooked.  However, everyone else’s food was pretty good.  I got the filet and Chris got prime rib.  Mine came with these fried to death potato strings that weren’t good.  But it came with string beans also and they were very yum.
  • Open Gaming:  All but one of us went to open gaming in the Hilton and played Ninja Burger.  We had one quick game and one long game.  I won the long game. XD  After that, Chris and I headed home for sleep.

Saturday:

  • Saturday morning was the parade.  For the first time in a few years, we skipped this.  However, Chris wanted to avoid getting stuck in parade traffic, so we planned on getting there around 9:30, even though we didn’t have anything until 11:30.  So, we got there and headed up a few levels at the Marriott to just stand around and wait.  While we were standing there, we saw Tia Carerre, Nelsan Ellis, Saul Rubinek, and Jeff Lewis walk by!  So cool.  At 10, we went to the Dealer’s room.  I found a Coexist bumper sticker and got that with a magnet to go with it.  Chris got a tee with the friendship algorithm from The Big Bang Theory.  After shopping, we went to pick up food.  It was mobbed.  We stood in line for a while, not moving, at Chic Fil A.  Chris stayed in line while I went to get seats and brought food for us.
  • 11:30am:  True & A:  Once again, we were in Centennial II-III in the Hyatt with Sam Trammell, Kristin Bauer von Stratten, Nelsan Ellis, and also Michelle Forbes (Maryanne Forrester).  It was another fun panel.  We met two other friends in this one.
  • 1pm:  WoW Q & A:  This was a look at the new Catacalysm expansion pack for World of Warcraft.  I didn’t have anything better going on, so I went with Chris.  It wasn’t horrible.  They did some flyovers from someone who’s beta testing and it was pretty!  I’m looking forward to it.  This panel was in the Sheraton’s Capitol Ballroom.
  • 2:30pm:  TNG:  Adventures in the 24th Century:  This one was in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton, so I didn’t have far to go.  The line was INSANE and wrapped around 2 sides of the building.  But the weather was very nice outside, so it wasn’t bad.  I wasn’t in the line long before it started moving.  One of my friends joined me.  This panel had Armin Shimerman, Mirina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, and Denise Crosby.  This was a really fun panel, but they didn’t answer a whole lot of questions.  They kept ragging on Denise and she ended up walking out at the very end.  Not sure if she was being funny or what.  She didn’t come back, but it was already at the very end of the panel.  Burton said they were doing a relaunch of Reading Rainbow online.  He even favored us with singing the theme song.  Then Mirina started in the the TNG music.  XD
  • 4pm:  Book Club Discussion:  The Hunger Games:  I went with a friend to the Firefly panel in the Hyatt.  We got to the end of the line and they’d just cut it off 5 people before us.  So, I went back to the Marriott to the Young Adult Lit track and attended the book discussion.  I’d never attended anything but a guest panel for this track.  I always have something on my schedule, but it ends up getting pushed to the bottom of my list.  I enjoyed this panel.  I’ve read the first two books in this series.  I’ve picked up the third, but haven’t gotten to it yet.  However, this was just for the first book, so I wasn’t spoiled.  Yay!  Also, they were doing a drawing at the end of the YA panels and I won a tee shirt from an HP convention on San Fran called Azkatraz.
  • 5:30pm:  Spotlight on Adam Savage:  Chris was going out with friends to dinner to a place we went last year and I HATED.  It’s Pacific Rim and it’s 99% seafood.  I’m allergic to seafood, so I got the one chicken dish I could find and it was incredibly tasteless.  Ug.  So, while Chris got in line for Adam Savage, I popped over to the mall and picked up a burrito from Moe’s.  I ran back and got in line with Chris.  We got in to the very end and I think it ended up filling up.  It started super late, however.  So, then it went late.  I ended up leaving it early.  It’s lucky I did.
  • 7pm:  Freaks and Geeks in the Potterverse:  This was back in the Marriott.  I’d never gone to the YALit track and here I am at 2 panels in 1 day!  A friend of mine that I hadn’t seen at the Con at all was supposed to be going to this one.  But she lost her nephew and couldn’t get there very early and the panel was full.  They did let new people in when people left, but not many people left.  It was a decent panel.  It was more of the type where you mostly all listen to people who style themselves experts instead of the kind where it’s a controlled discussion between everyone.  However, unlike all the crap I’m been to on the AMSF track, most of the people on the panel had some credentials, so reason to be “experts” AND they didn’t belittle the people in the audience…again like the AMSF track.  So, it was better.  I thought it was going to be bad in the beginning, though, when one of the panelists, who was supposed to be an author, was having trouble stating the name of her book.  Um, really?  Anyway, it was pretty good.  I even teared up a few times in there!  I’m such a dork.
  • 8:30pm:  Chris still wasn’t out of dinner, so I headed to the Sheraton for a Sherlock Holmes panel.  The same friend that was going to the 7:30 was supposed to be there too, but she grabbed dinner instead, so I was on my own again.  However, before the panel started, a friend texted and said they were done with dinner, so I headed back to open gaming in the Hilton.  They got there a bit after that and we played a few games of Apples to Apples.  We didn’t do quite as late a night this time.  Chris and I headed home.

Sunday:

  • We splurged on breakfast and stopped at McD’s.  I got a chicken biscuit.  Last year, we went there EVERY morning and I’d not only get the chicken biscuit, but a cinnamon roll thingy too.  So, yay for me.
  • 10am:  HowStuffWorks:  Chris and I walked to the Hyatt.  I was going to the Interview with Jim Butcher, but the line was effing insane and it wasn’t even in the largest Hyatt room.  So, I went back to the Hilton and did my first panel on the podcasting track.  I’ve been listening to a ton of Stuff You Should Know.  I recently downloaded all the rest of the HowStuffWorks podcasts, but haven’t gotten to them.  This panel had Chris Pollette and Jonathan Strickland from Tech Stuff and Sarah Dowdey and Katie Lambert from Stuff You Missed in History Class.  I’ll be honest:  Sarah and Katie’s voices annoy me.  One or both of them used to do Stuff You Should Know and/or some of the ads on that podcast and I hated hearing them.  But honestly, I’m looking forward to listening to their’s.  The panel was pretty cool and I enjoyed it.  I made me want to just learn, in general.
  • 11:30am:  After my HowStuffWorks panel, I rushed to the mall to meet Chris for a quick lunch.  He was half finished before I even got there!  I picked up a salad at My Friend’s Place for multiple reasons, not the least being that there was NO line and they had the salads already made.  I went for a small salad because that McDonald’s was pretty recent and still sitting in my belly.  After I finished that, I headed back over to the Hyatt and got in line for the 1pm.  Normally I’m a NO LINE girl, but if it’s not terribly hot outside and I don’t have anything else going on, it’s a good chance to sit and talk with a friend or just sit and read.  I was meeting a friend in line and the people behind us were pretty funny, even though they were trying to prematurely line up for the panel AFTER the one we were lining up for.  Those crazy Stargate people.  XD  The panel we were waiting for was with a bunch of authors and while we were waiting, one of them, AJ Hartley, came to see how the line was going.  He was so cute with an adorable British accent.  He talked about his book a bit and those crazy Stargate ladies behind us got him to bring back books for us to buy and him to sign!  He evidently mostly has done thriller-type books, but has his first fantasy out.  That’s what I got.  Of course, I came home and checked and my library has none of his books, so I’ll look at the used bookstore next.  If I love the one I bought, I’ll certainly get more.  My friend got another of his books, so hopefully we’ll trade later, so I can read her’s.
  • 1pm:  NY Times Best Sellers Tell All:  This one was back in Centennial II-III in the Hyatt and it had Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jonathan Maberry, Laurell K Hamilton, Jim Butcher, AJ Hartley, Nancy Knight (moderating), and Kevin J Anderson.  For those unfamiliar, here is what these guys do:  Anderson is known for Star Wars and X Files books.  Nancy Knight, evidently, writes contemporary Southern fiction.  I’d never heard of her and, of course, my library has none of her stuff.  No idea if she’s a best seller or if she was JUST moderating because she only asked questions and didn’t talk about her books.  She runs the writer’s track and has for several years.  AJ Hartley, I’ve mentioned.  Jim Butcher is known for his series The Dresden Files and Codex Alera series.  Dresden is urban supernatural fiction.  Codex is a fantasy series.  Laurell K is known for her Anita Blake series about a vampire hunter who basically fucks to survive.  And her other series is about a fairy who’s trying to get pregnant.  So, to say they’re both filled with nonstop sex is an understatement.  Jonathan Maberry is primarily a nonfiction writer, but he also did the book adaptation of the Wolfman movie.  He has a young adult book out too, called Rot and Ruin.  And finally Sherrilyn Kenyon writes the Dark Hunter series about the supernatural where every book is exactly the same as the last with few exceptions.  Of course, that’s my opinion.  She also writes an urban series that’s aptly named B. A. D.  She writes also as Kinley MacGregor and does some Highland romance stuff that’s not too bad.  This was a pretty good panel.  It was fun.  Of the panelists, I’d seen 3 of them before.  And for one of them, the first time I saw them, prompted me to fall out of love with her books.  She annoyed the hell out of me.  However, Kenyon wasn’t bad in this panel.  Maybe she was awed by being up there with such good company?  Anyway, it was fun.
  • 2:30pm:  Raising Skeptical Geeks:  This panel had Adam Savage, Daniel Loxton, Desiree Schell, Heidi Anderson, and Barbara Drescher and was in the Hilton Crystal Ballroom.  This panel was supposed to be about how the panels are raising their kids to be better, more rational thinkers.  I was looking for tips.  It turned out to mostly just be stories about the asshattery they’ve come in contact with in raising their kids.  One of these ladies was the one who’s son made national news when he decided, on his own, that he didn’t want to say the Pledge of Allegiance and was badgered by his teacher for it.  His mom later took him out of school and homeschooled him when he was going to be out of school for a week and wasn’t able to make up the work he missed because he was “just going to be out for that gay stuff.”  His family are what they label themselves “Straight Allies”:  people who are advocates for glbt issues.  Missing this work would made this A+ student fail the grade.  The people were all very engaging.  They were a good mix too.  There was a Catholic mom who was very much a theist.  Most were atheist (including, I’m sure you know, Adam Savage).  Daniel Loxton writes the kid’s pullout for the Skeptic magazine.  One lady is a teacher.  Barbara Drescher is a scientist and lecturer at California State University.  I enjoyed this panel a LOT.
  • 4pm:  Eureka:  The Power Behind the Town:  Back, once again, in Centennial II-III in the Hyatt with Erica Cerra, Colin Ferguson, and Neil Grayston.  I love this show!  It’s so quirky and cute.  After this panel Colin Ferguson has jumped up on my Top 5 list.  I need to ammend it soon.  These three were SO freakin’ funny.  They were hilarious!  I had a hard time getting to this panel though.  I rushed from the Sheraton to get there.  When I got there, they still hadn’t started loading, so I went to where I knew the line started.  I followed it and it wrapped all the way back to the entrance to the hotel.  I get there and there’s a staffer standing there.  I walk up and say “You’re gonna tell me this line’s closed, aren’t you?”  He says, “Yes, no more in the Futurama line.”  Um, what?  I tell him I’m looking for Eureka and he tells me they’re loading that one, so I go BACK inside through the front and just wait for the line to load.  No problem getting in, but I was still irritated.  Somehow it split somewhere and I missed it.  Oh well.  I still got in with no problem and it was lovely.
  • After Eureka, I went to the Exhibit Hall and found a new Star Trek tee.  I didn’t have anything else I wanted to shop for and nothing I wanted to see, so I found a chair in the Marriott on the Atrium level.  I finished up my book and then listened to podcasts until it was time for dinner.
  • I met some friends at Durango, across from the Hard Rock.  The food was super yum.  Afterwards, Chris wanted to do some weird panel and another friend had another panel on the writing track.  I went with her and listened to more podcasts because I could care less about the topic.  I LOVE to read.  As evidenced here, I can’t write proficiently.  Not only that, but I have no desire to.  And that’s fine.  I’m the audience.  🙂  After that, we headed back to the Hilton for more open gaming, but we were all tired, so we just bailed and went home.

Monday, we skipped it.  So, I ended up not getting to see Avery Brooks or Rene Auberjonois, but that’s okay.  I didn’t get to see Ben Browder either because I didn’t schedule well.  I also missed James and Oliver Phelps.  I missed John de Lancie too.  And the Firefly people too.  Oh well.  Can’t see everything, right?  Overall, I had a good time.  I did more hanging out with friends than other years and I’d wanted to do that.  I visited the Young Adult, Podcasting, and Skeptics track for the first time for non-big name guests, so I tried new stuff.  I feel like I was a bit more open to just chatting with strangers too without any real anxiety about it, so that’s also a plus.

I always come back from Dragon*Con wanting to read more and wanting to just learn more.  I like that feeling.  🙂

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