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Dreago's DragonCon 2004 Report - Part Seven

The Long Goodbye, The End of the Buzz

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It's been weeks and weeks, but like my pal L. says, I suck at termination. Here's the last of my con reports.

Monday was an odd day. Some of the staff, including me, were staying on until Tuesday. Which meant that everyone was saying goodbye and yet some of us weren't going anywhere. It's a very odd feeling. Like the end of summer camp, when all the campers leave but the counselors hang around and you might be a little sad, even though y'all know you'll see the same kids and counselors at winter camp. But this time you'll be dating one of them and there is tons of gossip already- not to mention that you had deliberately tried to land him because you had noticed him a year earlier when you were a chubby camper and he was a counselor but now you are a (thin! with breasts!) counselor too- but you are keeping it on the D.L. so you have to pretend you totally did NOT spend some time in the hot tub together (and then sometime in the cabin) but someone did see you and then he got kicked out for that, so really, best to wear your poker face and give everyone a stiff and uncomfortable goodbye.
But enough about Bible Camp, this is DragonCon we're talking about.

I woke up early and packed up because I was moving my luggage over to the Marriott since my room at the Amerisuites was up. I said goodbye to my lovely roommates and got LJ handles so we could "stay sweet and stay in touch" and all that yearbook nonsense. *waves at LJ F-list*. I thanked the gods I decided to wear normal clothes on the last day and not my goth baby doll outfit because damn, my suitcases (plural!) were heavy. Of course, I missed the cancelled staff meeting but I did get a chance to see the premiere episode of season 5 Tribe. Yay!

After the viewing there was a small lull. I think the Cast was doing a last signing in the vendors room. I wanted to go get some signatures but I figured we'd get our own at the Dead Dog Party. So, as I waited for the Charity Auction to start, closer2myself and I ooh'd and ahhh'd the Mozzie mask that was to go on sale. It was awesome. Strangely light and one size fits all. I wanted it, but Scapebabe wanted it more. We bounced some numbers back and forth and tried to set a base price on where the bidding should begin. We also had a signed copy of a script.

The auction began and wow! Some people have a lot of extra spending money. I believe both items went up for more than $100. Dare I say that the Mozzie Mask came close to $200? Trips to the ATM where planned as we were only accepting cash. I hope next year there will be more items of varying value cause damn, that's some moolah being spent. But I did come away with a little something. Emily dropped by our table and left each staff member a little bag filled with postcards and buttons. Neat-o.

What is not Neat-o however is rubbing it in. The rest of the Tribe Staff said I was being too bitchy, but I didn't care. You see, Scape was kinda sad she didn't win the mask. However, she wasn't making a big deal of it. She just sat quietly in the back. Suddenly one girl who was "holding" the mask for the winner walks back to the staff table and says, "would you like to touch it one last time before it is gone forever?" She thrust it out with one hand and waved it in front of our faces. It's all about tone, people. That could have been a nice offer had it not been made with complete snot-itude. Honestly, I don't remember what Scape's response was because I was too busy seeing red. I replied with, "okay, you're done here, off you go" and made a little shoo'ing motion with my hand. I'm sure none of you are surprised. Dreago = Drama.

Then it was off to the last cast signing and Q+A. You could tell that this was goodbye day because people were hesitant to get this last event going. I had no idea where the moderator was. After checking with priderocs, I jumped up and got the ball rolling. I may hate termination, but I hate waiting around even more. I got to ask a few more questions that I had wanted to ask during the interview and the audience got get there last minute flirting in. Let's face it, by Monday, most people are questioned out. Everything that could be asked has been asked so mainly they got a lot of questions like, "do you like older women?" and such. This question perked the audience up and the cast laughed and then we all relaxed a bit. I like that this year we had a smaller room for this goodbye because last year all the goodbye people were overwhelmed by the Buffyites who had come early to see Buffy Q+A which was to take part in that huge room. I should know as I was sitting in the front row doing that exact same thing.

The last 30 minutes were devoted to pictures. I volunteered as photographer. I love that job. All I have to do is stand around and push buttons. And I get to share in people's enjoyment. The Cast was obviously tired and hungry; in particular Tori was busy doing the pee-pee dance. And yet, like the professionals they are, EVERYONE got a picture before the track ended. Everyone except me that is because I figured I'd get pics at the Dead Dog Party so I should let all the guests go first. See what happens when I'm kind to others? I get squat.

I got one picture with one cast member because our s'lebs did not show up for the party. I must say it was a very big dissapointment. Not only did the people who put tons of work into making their stay a pleasant one NOT get to say goodbye, but we weren't even warned about the no-show so we were reduced to eating and not-talking, because we were all staring hopefully at the entrance and holding our breaths whenever it looked like someone was coming. We're so pathetic. Once it was clear that we would not be joined for dinner, the staff talked about the past couple of days. We chuckled over what went well and threw out some ideas about what could have gone better. I made sure to give Scape her props. A leader is often the one giving out the praise and sometimes people forget to give the Director some reciprocated love, you know? Scape did do an awesome job and dissapointments aside, the track ran pretty smoothly.

Afterwards, calzephyr and I wandered about trying to figure out how we were going to give the Cast the gifts meant for Raymond Thompson? We debated the professionalism of leaving the box on their doorstep with a note. What if someone ran off with it? We had called and left a message, asking the cast to meet us in the concierge room, but they never materialized. So, CalZeph and I said goodbye to the people who had to go and we decided to drop the box off at the concierge. So there was no staff goodbye. I was tired and had not treated myself to a girly drink all weekend long. I told CalZ that eventually we'd probably bump into a Tribe kid. We could at least say goodbye then. Hell, since we were all adults we could hang like regular people at the bar and not be mobbed by fangirls asking inappropriate questions. Either way, I was getting my drink on *now* and Cal had to join me. I'm persuasive like that.

Not one minute after I said that, we stepped onto the elevators and greeted Matt and Danny. I tried to not shoot CalZ an "I told you so" look. I promptly handed over the box of loot and let them know that the staff would love to say goodbye. If they had time, could they please wait five seconds and we'd get the rest of our crew? I didn't want to pressure them so I inquired about their plans and let them know we were all pretty flexible timewise, so if they wanted to hang and say goodbye later, we'd be around.
Danny and Matt agreed to wait for us. I ran back and got the remaining staff. But I was bummed when we got downstairs and found out that the mob had already joined us. Now we were in a tough spot. Emily, the Tribe Handler, looked pissed at the crowd that had arrived and I feared she'd think it was the Tribe staff's doing. CalZ tried to suggest that the staff be given a moment to say goodbye, but the fanmob ignored us. Shoot, I was about two seconds away from hollering it but I was trying to hang back and not be oppressive. But then I thought, "you know what? Fuck this." And that is why I am who I am. On the elevator CalZ and I had made plans for hitting the bar and then possible the hotel swimming pool, so I was done worrying about fandom politics and staff professionalism. I interrupted each fangirl myself, said my goodbyes and announced that I was going to Champions and possibly swimming in my underwear. And then I spun around and dragged CalZ off with me. I was done.

It's funny but my pure not-caring seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered. Matt had said he would like to join us, but whatever, I had a Cape Cod and a new best pal in CalZ. When he came to the bar and asked us to join, I wanted to spend more time gossiping about good old days in L.A. Plus we had $20 bucks. And a small tab because I used my people skills to charm the bartender. And whatever CalZ says, ignore her. I was not flirting. I was being friendly. Everyone knows the bartender is supposed to flirt, you are supposed to flirt back and because you know that they know that you know that is all one big game and a part of bar culture; everyone is happy and drinks our cheaper. The $20 bucks was because some random woman stepped up and asked CalZ and I to sing Happy Birthday to her boyfriends because "you're the prettiest girls here". Awww. That's not exactly a compliment if you think about it. Now, granted I had sucked down my drink and was on my second when approached, but honestly, I would have done it anyways. All I need is one person to join in and I'm pretty good to go along with about anything. And that is where hapless CalZ came in. As I dragged her to the back of the bar where the boyfriend was I could hear her mutter, "why do I always get dragged into things" I replied, "because you are my friend and my friends are always dragged into my schemes." Don't believe me? Ask rocknrollgidget who didn't even want to come to DragonCon last year untill I persuaded her. We sang a rousing round of Birthday Felicitations and took Matt up on his offer to join him.

I had a moment of twinge about the joining because he was with a girl who had no idea he had extended an invitation to us in the lift. So, I mostly chatted with CalZ and two other girls on staff who joined us late. Still, the girl didn't seem to be too thrilled with us when Matt started asking CalZ and I questions. Which is totally not my fault cause hey, I tried to ignore the twosome. I even resorted to chatting with the waiter who came by our table. He gave me tequila. Which you should never mix with a screwdriver. Ugh. I don't remember any funny drunken antics to share, sorry readers. I drink and it only brings out MORE of the strident political talk. CalZ swears I gave Matt the stinkeye at one point. He was asking me if I had a "healthy attitude" towards men because I was a feminist. Dude, if you ask a stupid question you are going to get the "that's a stupid question" look. Poor kid, he tried to cover by waxing nostalgic about his strong mother and his father's love for her but whatever, tequila and vodka is nasty together. That's about as funny as it gets.

The bar was closing, my bladder was bursting and I really wanted to go swimming. I hadn't brought my suit, but I figured I could run upstairs, change into my boycut undies and a tank top and that would be decent enough for CalZ to handle my bootyliciousness. I was a little worried the pool would close and that I would end up being kicked out and left wet and naked in the hotel lobby, but alcohol makes all the worries seem silly. However, before the illegal activities, I asked for a picture from Matt. I felt kinda bad asking 'cause he was on his "off" time and the whole point of the grown up hanging out was not to be a fangirl but dammit, I had not one picture of the cast. Not one pic, not one autograph. I swore it would take five seconds, we would be outta his hair and he could go back to his girl. I promised CalZ. and I would not cramp his style. He was really kind to take us up on our request. He even protested like a gentlmen; claimed that he had a girlfriend and was only talking- he would never mind having his picture taken, it wasn't work.

So CalZ and I got our picture. Her's is really great. Mine and Matt's?... well, let's just say it is what happens when two famewhores collide. We could not look more posed if we had been asked to stage it ourselves. Personally, I think the pic is hillarious. He's trying to be the center of the picture and I am standing as straight and as still has possible so I am not pushed out of the center. His bicep is perfectly displayed across my middle and my hair is cascading down my shoulder. I don't know what he was thinking but I was thinking, "don't look drunk, this is going online." Check the pic out for yourselves. CalZ and I chortle over it often. Whatever it looks like, it's a pic with a pretty boy so I can't complain. At least I wasn't charge for it, which is more than I can say for the other pretty celebs at DC hawking photos with Con guests. *still can not get over JM meeting from last year*
The girl escorts Matt to the elevator and CalZ and I sit on the couch. We let our buzz wear off a bit before we hit the pool. After we changed, I swear we spent half an hour hunting for the pool. Of course, it is locked up. As we skulk around the basement I muse that this is exactly what gets the teen girls killed in the horror movies - drunken swimming in our underwear in the off limits hotel pool. We freak each other out and start running back to our hotel room, giggling like 12 year olds. It was raining so the outdoor pool was out too. Oh well. We fell asleep almost instantly.

That's it. CalZ missed her flight the next day, but I did not. I did find out that the extra day at DragonCon made me miss the first day of classes at school. Oops. Guess I should have been reading about counter-transference in the subjectivity school of psychology while I was running around and tripping over my towel in the health club of the hotel gym. Except, I wouldn't have traded my trip for an extra day of classes ever. I met really great people, bonded with cool fans from various fandoms and got a chance to see what the Con experience was like from a staffer's point of view.

Can't wait for next year. I'll remember to bring my swimsuit.