I don't really know where to begin, so I guess I'll just start from the beginning of the trip and work my way through. Ish.
In case you have no idea what Dragon*Con is, the official website is here. According to that site, it's "the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe*." Basically my Vegas. I've never been to a convention before but have sort of been dying to go since I finally came to terms with my nerdery several years ago and better yet, finally found friends with similar interests. The original plan was to attend San Diego Comic-Con, but registration for that was a complete schmozzle, and to make a long story short, Dragon*Con came to the rescue.
|Taken in the Centennial Olympic Park|
I set out for Atlanta very early in the morning on August 30 with my friends Cat and Dave, arriving there in the late afternoon following a very uneventful flight. We planned to spend a little bit of time doing general tourist stuff in Atlanta, and then attend the non-stop nerd party for the remainder of our time there. Without getting into too much detail about the pre-con days, I'll say that we achieved pretty much exactly what we wanted to. I actually really liked the parts of Atlanta that I saw, despite all the naysayers.
|Also I had this delicious ice cream|
"Normals" won't understand this, but when you've been a nerd for a long time, you do a sort of natural self-censoring that involves never bringing up your interests around strangers. So on registration day, being around an enormous room full of other geeks for the first time in my life, I was pretty much completely overwhelmed. All of their t-shirts were hilarious. All of their jokes were jokes I would make. I guess that sense of belonging must be what the normals feel all the time, and it's a very good feeling. It's especially nice to know that you're not the weirdest one in the room, which is how I often feel at work. (To be fair to the other con-goers, I only saw one girl with one of those creepy Asian ball-jointed dolls, and only encountered one woman who seemed to think that she was actually a witch, so the weirdness level wasn't really that high.)
Registration Day was September 1, and that night Cat, Dave, and I partook in some partying. There were some things happening in one of the other hotels, so we walked over and...
|HOLY SHIT THIS IS A HOTEL|
(I basically feel like a country bumpkin every time I leave the province, but this was especially severe. In Montreal the crowdedness was too oppressive, but in Atlanta things were all enormous and impressive instead. I should also add that this trip was the first time I've been to the US of A since 1989, when my parents brought 2.5 year-old me to Disneyland shortly before my sister was born.)
But even with all the awesome that preceded it, I think the con really started for me when we were mobbed by a group of the Sesame Street Martians/Yip-Yip Aliens. Good Lord.
|HOLY SHIT THIS IS ALSO A HOTEL AND IT IS ACTUALLY MORE IMPRESSIVE JUST HARDER TO PHOTOGRAPH|
|Jellyfish are pretty but also terrifying|
I'm not posting any pictures of people in costume right now because there are a million of them elsewhere online that you can find if you know how to do a Google search. I'm also not posting any pictures of my friends and I because I don't have their permission and I don't think there are any pictures of just me, at least not that I have yet, and also lol I'm trying to protect my anonymity, fools!
In short, I very highly recommend attending a convention if you have the time and/or resources. I'll probably try to make it to a smaller one next summer, and I may even consider returning to Dragon*Con at some point in the future, if it doesn't become as hard to get to as Comic-Con currently is. I'm sure I left out a lot of stuff, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
|And here are some Tribbles. I'm pleased to report that they didn't detect any Klingons in the vicinity, and will now be guarding my apartment.|
* I'd say this last bit is debatable.