Looking back at DragonCon 2006, I can’t deny that I attended interesting panels, learned things, laughed a lot, and
enjoyed spending time with my friends and staying at a cushy hotel. But there’s a part of me that’s standing over
there tearing at her hair, gnashing her teeth and crying about how everything’s ruined. And maybe I’m a na´ve
Pollyanna but I just don’t get how or why things turned out like this.
Pretty much anyone who pays any attention to The Tribe fandom knows that there’s been all sorts of drama and politics
this year. I’m kind of on the outside of all this so I don’t know details. I do know that this did cause problems
with us being able to do our interviews this year. It seems that there are people out there who really don’t like us.
Dreago says that I get dragged into it because of my association with her – which, I don’t know but I do admit
that almost everyone knows who she is and very few know who I am. Whatever the case, I don’t know who’s telling
the truth or who can be trusted. And honestly, I HATE confrontation, so I’m certainly not going looking for trouble.
The only reason I say anything is because it affected everyone – from the people involved in putting the track together
to the people involved in bring the cast to DragonCon to the cast themselves right down to the people who were just there
to attend panels at the Tribe track and enjoy themselves. And that’s a damn shame. So if my write-up sounds less cheerful
this year, that’s one reason why.
Pre-Con - I have decided this year that dressing in costume is too stressful and I’m just going to focus
on trying to look cute (not an easy task). Shoes proved to be the big problem as my new flats were not as comfortable as they
looked and then I bought those last minute red suede wedges. Naturally over the course of the weekend I seem to have totally
fucked up my feet as my one toe is still so painful that if I didn’t know better I’d think I had broken it. My
packing also got waylaid by the time I wasted taking the quiz on the website for the new Vera Wang perfume Princess to see
what kind of princess I am (Rock’n’Roll Princess duh!). And then I was up too late watching Project Runway.
Nonetheless, I made it to the airport in plenty of time with one bag to check and one liquid-free carry-on. I have to say
I expected security to be a much bigger deal but I zipped through with no problems. I spent the flight reading fact sheets
and reviewing our interviews from previous years so I could start brainstorming questions. Also, I read the latest issue of
I always seem to forget that the Atlanta airport isn’t intuitively organized so I was unable to go meet Dreago at her
gate as there were no monitors to help me figure out what gate that would be. So I head down to bag claim only to discover
that my bag… is missing. The fact that I am not the only one does not stop me from freaking out a bit. Eventually the
guy at the office calls down and finds out that there are two bags still at the gate that just didn’t make it to bag
claim and they’re trying to find someone to bring them up. Umm, I know Airtran is a budget airline but “just didn’t
make it” seems a little careless. I cross my fingers and jeebus is on my side because the bags show up and one of them
is mine. Meanwhile, I’ve received a text from Dreago saying that her plane will be late. And kudos to me for being able
to figure out how to get the text and reply as I have only had a cell phone for approximately a month and I’m still
pretty mystified by it.
Eventually we meet up and after admiring one another’s fashion-forward choices (trendy cropped jacket for me and trendy
knickers for her) we head off to take the MARTA to our hotel. After my bags come unhooked on the escalator nearly causing
Dreago to topple over them, I realize that one of the banes of my existence this weekend is going to be the construction going
on at the Marriott. It makes getting around difficult (don’t even get me started on how they forced everyone to walk
in a clockwise circle leaving and entering the hotel) and it means far too many things are over in the not-so-convenient Hilton.
On the other hand, our room winds up being on one of the floors that were under renovation last year and I give it a big thumbs
up. My only complaints were that the full-length mirror could have been in a better spot and those rainfall showerheads don’t
offer a lot of pressure.
After unpacking and changing, we decide to repeat a delicious meal from last year and head down to Champions… which
is not where it was before. Yes, construction truly has fucked everything up and the new location is less cozy, there’s
no karaoke, and the food kinda sucks. *sigh* We head upstairs to prep for tomorrow’s interviews at the press panel
and the bad food on top of exhaustion leads to the first meltdown as we try to reconcile Dreago’s casual listen and
wing-it style with my more rigid, write everything down style. After a good sleep, we do manage to work it all out.
Thursday- Saturn Returns
When I was a child, I had a cassette of scary Halloween stories. One of them involved a train conductor who kept seeing a
ghost at the mouth of the train tunnel, yelling, "Hello down there! Look out! Look out!" The train conductor had a nasty shock
when he realized the ghost looked just like him. Somehow or other, he had caught a glimpse of his eventual death, hit by a
train at the mouth of the train tunnel.
What does this have to do with DragonCon? Well, imagine your fabulous girl heroine. She gingerly pulls her suitcase on to
the escalator, desperately trying to make sure the bag takes up only one step behind her. Picture your heroine having traumatic
flashbacks to the time she fell down a flight of stairs as a 12 year-old. To her horror, the bag did not quite make it on
to the step and half of the valise tips forward into our heroine's back. Several steps in front of her, near the bottom of
the stairs, Kellygirl's suitcases explode and the luggage blocks the escape. Dreago sees her life flash before her eyes, propelled
forward to her death by machinery and luggage; she will face certain doom if she is forced to trample Kellygirl's stuff. Can
Dreago make the jump over the two bags? Surely, but what of everyone else on the steep escalator behind her? I scream, voice
rising shrilly, "look out! look out! look ouuuuuuuttttt!"
Both of us escape with out lives, hoping that train wrecks are behind us. Our room is great and possibly nicer than the concierge
room we failed to acquire. No terrycloth bathrobe, but the comforter is thick and fluffy, the shower rod curves outward and
the bath products are from Crabtree & Evelynn.
Oh dear readers, we wish we could say the rest of our trip was so comfortable and nice. But let's face it. Change is scary.
And often times bad. The Marriott was being remodeled and nothing was where we had left it. Kellygirl and I head to Champions,
hoping for our annual Spinach Artichoke Dip Toast to Fabulousity only to find the dip watery, the karaoke gone, the menu significantly
downsized and the bar, oh sweet baby jeebus, the whole of the bar had been crammed into a corner- the hard liquor looking
like it had been shoved into a bookcase. Not good.
Kel and I return to our room to hammer out our interview. It was quite a challenge. The Fabulous Girls pride ourselves on
asking original, teasing, sometimes hard hitting questions. We throw out the inane, we ask the hypothetical and we make the
pointed comment. We are sarcastic, flirty and fierce. Occasionally we are also dorky, tactless and full of ourselves. But
how to do all of this with people we had already interviewed? In what was to be the first of many heated discussions between
BFFs at this Con, not including our own, Kel and I hammer it out and go to bed.
Alas, no amount of beauty sleep can defend against fluorescent lighting and humidity induced hair-poof. Also, my color coded
personal schedule mysteriously disappeared and I had to do with a black and white back-up copy. The horror, the horror! Otherwise
known as DragonCon Friday. Stay Tuned!