Friday morning I woke up and watched John Barrowman and Kai Owen‘s panel while dressing in my Blind Mag costume. John Barrowman was so unbelievably charming, guys. I want to be his best friend. I love DC*TV (when it works) because it lets you maximize all your Con time. Sure, I was in the hotel room, but I was watching the panel, laughing along with the panel, and being jealous of the beefy Spartan that John Barrowman ran his hands all over. Siiiiigh. All the good ones, right?
Anyways, as soon as I was dressed I headed out…and ran immediately into this amazing Nicholas D. Wolfwood from Trigun (above). I spent much of the first part of Friday ducking into a panel or two (notably the Battlestar Galactica panel with Katee Sackoff love me some Starbuck!), grabbing some lunch, and taking tons of pictures:
This was a big latex reptile suit thing that I only saw out once–the rest of the weekend it was in a little wooden box/cage. This thing was amazing.
I went into a little ball-jointed doll meet-up, on behalf of my mother, where I saw lots of lovely ball-jointed dolls in lovely clothes, including this little sleeping beauty.
These were just a few of the many My Little Pony costumes I saw throughout the weekend.
And then I saw Dani (you’ll see a lot more of her in the photos from Game of Thrones shoot I participated in on Sunday) in this FANTASTIC Illyria (from Angel) costume.
Seriously, look at how great she looks!!!
I just loved this Green Lantern Jedi. How cool is he?
After a bit of wandering around I ducked into the Exhibitor’s Hall. While strolling the booths, this gentleman chased me down for a photograph. His name is Larry Elmore, and he has made a successful career and life for himself creating fantasy art for book covers, playing cards, and tabletop games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Larry paints “witchy women,” and he wanted me to pose for him, as I fit the bill. I was so flattered! He shot a few pictures of me, and then we took the picture below together. Larry had a huge booth with a lot of merchandise–I told him that he’s so lucky that he gets to do what he loves for a living, and that he is so successful at it! He just grinned and said, “I know.” What a lovely, lovely man!
1 DAY GUYS. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! Time for a miscellaneous post of miscellany.
1) The Melisandre dress is ALMOST DONE. The neckline just needs to be hand-stitched, but I was able to get a shot of it almost completed today. It is SO BEAUTIFUL , I cannot WAIT to show it off at Con, and I cannot wait to put it on with the wig and the necklace and the belt. Seriously, so beautiful.
Yeah look at those sleeves, amazing right?!
2) If you want to be my Friend via the Dragon*Con app (and I love friends!!!) just let me know, and I’ll PM you a Friend Code, and we’ll all be friends, and it will be great. You can also follow me on Twitter, @Dilettantista, if you are social media-ish like that.
3) And now a series of video clips that make me happy. Many of these were included in the 2010 Dragon*Con Countdown but I don’t care, these re classics for a reason. And yes, many of these have a Star Trektinge, so what?
4) Last night I had a dream that I was eating lunch at Dragon*Con and Stan Lee sat with me, and he had a little fat dachshund mix named Alex with him, and in the corner someone was doing a Captain American — Melisandre multi-fandom costume, and it was all very perplexing and amazing and clearly my brain is very one track right now.
I live in a locavore foodie area and I love great food and restaurant experiences, but this is not what Dragon*Con is about. While I am not normally of the “food is just fuel” mentality, I go into that mode during Dragon*Con. The weekend is an endurance test, and I want not-too-unhealthy things that will keep me up and running from panel to panel and into the night. Additionally, if I don’t eat breakfast and if I don’t eat every few hours I turn into a raging hosebeast, so I need to make sure I have these things on hand. Here are some of my tips and tricks for eating to feel like a human being at Dragon*Con.
1) EAT BREAKFAST. Preferably, eat it in your hotel room if you can–it saves time and money. It doesn’t have to be fancy and shouldn’t need to be refrigerated. I bring a loaf of whole wheat or multi-grain bread with me along with a jar of low-fat peanut butter, and I throw together a peanut butter sandwich in the morning when I wake up (just don’t forget to bring some disposable knives with you). Easy, cheap, healthy, and protein-packed–just what I need to start the day. If I need an extra pick-me-up I grab an orange juice from one of the hotel convenience stores.
2) BRING SNACKS. We usually have a little cooler that we can fill with ice, so I throw some greek yogurt in there that I can grab as a snack when I’m in the hotel room to fix my makeup. I also never go anywhere without a granola bar on me–you never know when hunger could strike, it might be in line at a panel or while you are at a party, and you don’t want to have to drop everything and shuffle off to the food court to get some food. Trail mix and beef jerky are also great options.
3) Speaking of the food court, it is your friend, and there are ways to eat healthily at the food court. And also I generally love walking through the food court and seeing people in costumes. I am a big fan of Moe’s, that sushi place (Yami Yami I think it is called?), and that prepared food place across from the evil Chick Fil-A (I think it is called Cafe Momo). At Moe’s I usually get a rice bowl or a salad, fill it up with chicken, veggies, and black beans, top it with lots of salsa and dig in. Yami Yami I typically only hit up once or twice, because it is a little pricey and the line can be long, but they have pretty decent sushi and lots of vegetable options to ensure that you get some green things in you. And I love Cafe Momo–affordable, lots of healthy protein and vegetable options, and it is usually pretty quick and easy to load up at the prepared foods bar and to be on your way. There is also a Middle Eastern-ish place somewhere in the food court that offers pita sandwiches and hummus platters, and that’s a solid bet as well, if a bit messy. All of these places make it very easy to carry your food back to your hotel room so you can eat while watching Dragon*Con TV. Multi-tasking!
4) That being said, you are on vacation, and it is okay to treat yourself. I always get at least one Dairy Queen Blizzard, because it is the perfect food, and I sometimes let myself get one fried-food meal although I usually feel pretty gross after, ha, so maybe not this year. And definitely no evil Chick Fil-A this year. I love their chicken nuggets, but I prefer my fried chicken to come without a side of hate and intolerance, thank you. Avoid the pizza place with all your might because it is terrible (unless it has changed ownership). I’ve also been wanting to try that little noodle place tucked in the corner because it looks yummy, but it always has long lines oi vey.
5) There is no need to go to a sit down meal, unless this is a thing you like to do at Con? I have plenty of sit-down meals in my normal life, I’d rather eat and run at Con–there is so much to do, and there is no need to wait for a table at the Hard Rock Cafe, or Fires of Brazil, or Durango. I know lots of people who have annual dinners with their Con friends, which is cool, but I’d much rather be in the thick of things than going and having dinner elsewhere. We had lunch at a sit-down restaurant my first year at Con, and my whole experience consisted of me thinking about all the time we were wasting, and how badly I wanted to get back to Con stuff.
6) Um, I know this is blasphemous, but I don’t really drink much at Con. Actually, I don’t really drink much period, and I am such a lightweight that one or two drinks do me in, and I get sleepy so quickly when I drink, and I don’t really have fun or like the way alcohol makes me feel, and I’d rather be aware of my surroundings so I can process all the awesome costumes and remember every detail, so in general I don’t have more than one or two drinks a day. I KNOW THIS MAKES ME WEIRD, sorry. Don’t listen to my drinking tips–except for this one. Buy booze before you go to Atlanta and make your own drinks in the room, and maybe also make a “party bottle” to carry around with you, because the alcohol in the hotels is EXPENSIVE. Additionally re: booze, do whatever works for you, be safe, and remember to…
7) HYDRATE. OMG guys hydrate so much. I drink a lot of water in my daily life and I probably double that at Con. All the meeting rooms in all the hotels have water dispensers so make sure to bring a refillable bottle and STOCK UP SERIOUSLY. Water is your friend.
I have lived by these eating rules and I have yet to get sick at Con (this is likely because I use a lot of hand sanitizer, wash my hands a lot, and generally have a very strong immune system). Supposedly there are some other secret tips I might be missing, like another food court hidden in the Marriott (although that is only open on Friday), and maybe there are some tucked-away convenience stores I might be missing? Did I forget anything? Do you disagree with my tips? Do you have some tips of your own? Let me know in the comments! We’re all in this together!
Does anyone not know who Voltaire is? I mean, anyone reading this Dragon*Con countdown? I feel like Voltaire is one of those Dragon*Con staples, like the Crüxshadows, or Emerald Rose. He’s sort of a folksy-macabre-storyteller singer (and he also does movies and comics and TV and toys, he’s pretty busy). I guess, to me, he’s sort of like Marc Gunn in that I can see his appeal, but I don’t really get it? I went to Voltaire’s show in 2010 and it was certainly entertaining enough, he’s very charismatic and puts on a great live show, but I wasn’t inspired to go out and buy a CD afterward. But props to him for having a great stage name (shout out to 10th grade English!), and great website image (on a flaming unicorn!) and also for being Cuban American. Diversity in the house, right? I feel like most of the previous bands I’ve profiled have been extremely white. Also, why is there no Dragon*Con hip hop group? This is Atlanta, how has no one crossed into sci-fi hip hop yet? That’d be amazing.
So this song is called “Riding a Black Unicorn,” which is a wonderful song title, truly. Actually, I sort of love this song. Voltaire has just risen in my esteem a bit.
So that’s another one of his classics. Y’all get the idea.
I’d like to point out here that one of my friends declared “I can’t stand that guy,” when I told him that I was profiling Voltaire. So that makes me feel a bit better about not being head over heels regarding Voltaire–although that “Riding a Black Unicorn” song is still phenomenal and I love it.
–Macabre-folksy singer-songwriter in a top hat
–Brains!!! (Aka Dragon*Con staple)
–RIDING A BLACK UNICORN.
One thumb up. For the black unicorn song.
I saw the Extraordinary Contraptions at my first Dragon*Con, when they serenaded those of us who were waiting in line to get into the Time Traveler’s Ball on Friday night.
SO STEAMPUNK am I right? The lead singer (WHOSE NAME IS SEPHORA, LIKE THE MAKEUP STORE, AMAZING/RIDICULOUS) is playing some sort of like combination of a piano and a recorder. Check out their Dragon*Con profile, they use phrases like “Dimension-spanning stories of steam and strife” and “aural anachronisms.” You probably know them from their “I’m on a Blimp” music video that, once, played four times in a row on Dragon*Con TV. FOUR TIMES IN A ROW:
So, The Extraordinary Contraptions are Atlanta-based, so props to Dragon*Con for supporting the local talent. Here is some more of their Steampunky music:
Is it just me, or are there a ton of Steampunk bands this year?