So, Dragon*Con.

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
(By the way, if you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I was basically gushing ecstatically the entire time, and you probably won't even need to read this post.)

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
We had peaches from a fruit and vegetable stand, and visited the World of Coca-Cola, and ate delicious food. And then we registered for the con and the whirlwind began.

"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...

(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.

Beer? Beer-beer-beer?
 Anyway I'm starting to get into mundane details.

The con was spectacular, basically. I got to see my hero, Wil Wheaton, in the flesh, at the first Guild Q&A panel, although I didn't manage to make time to meet him during any of the ensuing days. Unfortunately I'm pretty typical and he's pretty much the King of the Geeks, so the line to see him was always very long.  I also went to a few other panels (Terry Pratchett fan panel, Narnia vs Middle Earth film adaptations fan panel, The Big Bang Theory - Are We the Joke? fan panel, and, most terrifyingly, the Conservatives in Space discussion panel), at least one of which I'd like to address in more detail here in the coming weeks. The level of discourse was almost always really good, whether it was coming from the panelists or the audience.

Jellyfish are pretty but also terrifying
I'm a wimp so I didn't do much partying, but I did drag my friends all the way around the Georgia Aquarium on the con's aquarium night. Oh, and the three of us were in costume the first day, too, which was a lot of fun. People even asked to take pictures of us, despite the fact that we weren't super hardcore cosplayers and also that I was cross dressing.

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.


  1. Great post! I didn't remember the names of the Yip-Yip aliens when I got back home, so I had a really hard time explaining them to my family, but that was definitely The Start of It All.

    Also, the mental picture of those adorable little mechanic tribbles guarding your apartment is lovely.

  2. @catherine anne: Thanks! I enjoyed your post about the con as well! Alas, the Tribbles can only protect me from Klingons, but at least this way I'll have warning in the event of a Klingon Challenge-type scenario. (Which I guess only makes sense if you assume that my apartment is a galaxy-class starship.)