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queen's ears

Lessons of DragonCon 2016

Posted on Sep 8, 2016 at 10:21 am
Location: work
Mood: 4
Tags: , , , , ,
Short version:

Dragoncon was kinda meh this year. But not due to illness or injury or meltdown, so not *that* meh. I tried some new things and ended up not liking them, which in the long run is still a good thing full of nerdy personal growth rather than suffering. Tho I got to see the fruition of a costume 8 years in the making, and now that is DONE. It also offered some insight into what I want/need from a convention geekend.

Overall, I need time to chat with people (and start that modern-calling-card thing so I can see them online laters), but also to absorb the stories of many, many creator-type persons to get my own creative engines revved for the next few months. Doesn't really matter what kind of creator- writers, filmmakers, musicians, fine artists, crafters, whatevs. And I didn't get much of that being told "you have to sit in this room for two hours to make sure you get to the costume contest on time."

I also need lots of dancing and music. I really fought my way towards the later and got what I needed, but the former was somewhat hampered by recent leg pain issues. Tho overall, a month of PT really helped with my resilience, so it wasn't as bad as I expected.

I still suck at finding friends at con, and making new ones, but if I were watching all-the-panels instead of sitting bored in a room full of strangers that wouldn't bother me so much.

Longer version:

Hauled myself and much costuming to con on Thursday. Checked in, and the only two-bed rooms Marriot had left were on high floors, so there was an additional $40/nite + tax for "the view." Ugh, never again Marriot. Eventually our banged-up fridge arrived. I was so tired from the trip and check-in that I ordered roomservice for the first time, but at least they had gf options.

My roommates all came in at different times and ate immediately after arrival, and then my pizza friends were late due to traffic, and all other friends forgot to call me for dinner, so I ended up going to Mellow Mushroom alone to just pick up some gf pizzas to eat in my hotel room. Then, after lugging them all back to the room, I noticed that one was the wrong (and unfortunately unedible) pizza. Called them about it, and they were very apologetic and took said wrong-pizza off the bill. So Thursday night wasn't that much fun, but at least my roommates and I made it to con with all luggage intact. Still sucks to have to apply my usual daily mantra of "Time for bed, try again tomorrow, maybe things will be better" to DragonCon as well :-/

After 8 years of trying and failing, and then 2 years of designing, when I heard the Mechanical Masquerade was fairy tale themed I kinda had to finish it. So finally my Steampunk'd Lady of Shalott costume was constructed and completed this summer. With such a big, ridic costume, I felt the need to show it off, and decided to try the "Friday Night Costume Contest" which is more skill-based than the Masquerade, and also the "Vintage Vogue Fashion Show" run by the steampunks.

Here's an album for the Shalott costume. There's a lot of it. Skirt made from three tapestries, and many of the bits on the backpack/box were going to be mounted directly on the costume, until I remembered steampunk-backpacks were a thing. Yay for me: https://www.flickr.com/photos/qotcpcf/albums/72157672325233855

So Friday was slung between the two costuming events. I talked to a lot of nice ppl, and failed to get their contact info, as I would continue to do all weekend. And it was a lot of sitting around, some chatting, but not as much as I would have liked. But it was also nice to get costume-fix suggestions from other costumers that *didn't* sound mean or snarky, yay. Didn't win FNCC's novice category, but the judges were really nice and very much liked my costume documentation, so my librarian-self was satisfied. I call it a personal win that I made it through the contest without my costume falling apart. Well, mostly. Luckily I had a gluegun in the backpack.

All MC's mispronounced the character name as the name of a type of onion, rather than rhyming with "Camelot", and the fashion show guy completely stumbled over everything I'd written. So that was kindof a bummer. Most ppl really liked my costume overall, even if only a tiny majority knew or recognized the poem. *shrugs*

I made it to one fun puppets panel before the costume stuff, and then after FNCC I was suddenly possessed of a great need for Filk. Luckily, Tom Smith and S00j were both playing that night, so I fought my bustled way thru the crowds and was only a bit late for the first set. Also, I figured there would be Tennyson/McKennit fans in the Filk room, where my costume was also well received.

Saturday I wore the much comfier costume - Jedi Lilo & Stitch. Will absolutely wear that one again next year, b/c its sooooo comfy!!! Made Luke's flightsuit from Dagobah out of bright red linen and stenciled on Hawaiian flowers. Got to reuse a bunch of extra stuff (belt, lightsaber, etc) from my NY Jedi days.

Didn't have the emotional energy to stab my Stitch doll in the back with a seam ripper and turn him into a puppet, but maybe for next year, or Arisia? Tho I might leave the blade out of the lightsaber hilt, and pick up a new pommel with a ring attachment so it can just hang off the belt easier. The whole lightsaber was an actual drag, and definitely put my left hip back into angry-pain mode after the LoS costume didn't exacerbate it at all.

Some pics of Jedi Lilo & Stitch at the end of this album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/qotcpcf/albums/72157655087112563

Went to the Disney photoshoot on the back steps of the Hilton, which again was nice but kinda boring for me. Managed to get to a Labyrinth panel, and then a Cruxshadows panel, but the dealer's room distracted me with the BPAL booth and I missed most other things that day. Whups. Did manage to see the Brobdinagian Bards, but felt bad b/c I was eating dinner during their show. Whups. From there I went back to the CVS and picked up a pint of ice cream, and eventually settled into the hootenany/wheedonverse dance party to eat ice cream and watch other ppl have fun dancing. By then I'd started using my lightsaber as a cane b/c my hip really hated me.

Went back to my room early on Saturday to soak in a hot epsom bath and watch youtube from my tablet. I'm pretty sure that helped the hip problem (and I really need to clean my own bathtub this weekend for more soaking).

Even after that it took me a while to unwind for sleeps. And unfortunately I learned that a mix of clonopin and alleve will not knock me out, but it *will* leave me partially paralyzed when my roommates come in a half hour after I go to bed and start loudly gabbing. And I was apparently unintelligible when trying to ask them to keep it down.

Note to self, don't mix those two meds again unless its an emergency. Well, the kind I don't have to move or speak for. Yikes.

I hadn't even noticed they turned on all the lights until I managed to pry off my sleep mask. Because a $5 sleep mask is more effective than $200 custom earplugs. -_-' Medical science you have failed me again.

Sunday I was mostly in nerd-civilian clothes, going back to the dealers room, seeing an iZombie panel, and watching a very crappy improv show. Eventually I got to a panel called "Can we put puppets in this film?" on the film track, and listening to the tales of indie film makers helped me realize *this* was the kind of media I should have been looking for all con. There's always next year, I guess.

In the evening I put my LoS costume back on, went to see Tom & S00j again, and then I was off to the Mech Masquerade to get photographed a lot, but dance not so much. Still, hips very not angry in the super heavy tapestry dress, possibly b/c the weight was balanced better? Idk.

Didn't see that many friends there. In fact, didn't get to hang out with established friends for most of the weekend, b/c I suck at looking-for-group and I have no idea how to fix it :-/ At least if I were going to tons of panels, I'd be too busy watching panels to miss my friends?

After the Steampunk party I moved on to the Qiet show, which was very awesome! I like cabaret-rock when its not a clone of all the other cabaret-rock-bands. Glad I noticed the post on DCon's fb about their stuff before con. Now I have both of their cds, signed by the present band members, and that's another aspect of DCon I often forget about. The lead singer seemed kinda snooty, but I chatted with the trombonist/accordianist and the sometimes-shoeless bass player and they were very nice :-) Once again, didn't get contact info. B/c I suck. But the band is interested in coming up to NYC to play sometime soon, so I can watch their fb page for news on that.

The snoot was rather dismissive when I said I was off to the Cruxshadows show, but I'm under no obligation to justify my inner(?) rainbow goth to anyone ;-) And the Cruxshadows were wonderful as always, as Rogue climbed over and through the audience and danced with various audience members during his set. Many golden oldies to sing along to, yaaaay! And then I danced so hard that one of the bones in my bustle fell out. Still not sure how that happened, tho.

Stumbled back to my room, fell out of my giant costume, and eventually got to sleep. I would have been out for 7 hours except my plantar faciitis woke up again and decided I should wake up early from pain, ugh.

Left the room Monday morning and checked my bags, went to see Marc Gunn's pub songs show which was nice and relaxing. Then a puppets-101 class, which I just watched b/c OW LEGS OW, but it gave me some fun ideas and much nostalgia for my own short lived puppeteering days. Then off to the dealer's room to buy more BPAL b/c I'm stupid with money. I'd actually gone to look at art and posters b/c I want to replace one at home, but realized I could just reorganize the art I already have for that. And then bought more BPAL. Meh.

Ended up back at the Marriot, where the final congoers were huddled around the Cruxshadows booth to preserve the last of the nerd-warmth, and to watch a guy dressed as Orko make balloon animals for kids. Chatted with more folks who I failed to get contact info for. And as the CXS finally turned off their techno music, it was time for me to get my bags and head to the airport for my late flight home. *sigh*

On the upside, I didn't need the folding-cane I brought with me at any point over the weekend, so con didn't mess me up nearly as badly as I expected. Yay? Maybe by next year I'll be able to have fun without any pain problems at all?

Next year I could probably just bring some boxes of Luna Bars again, plus bags of Cris-safe granola, go to the CVS for some form of milk, and I could just do con on one food-court meal per day. Freeing up more money for BPAL. *sigh* I did accidentally gluten myself on ... Friday morning? With non-gf granola from CVS, but I didn't feel any worse for wear later in the day, so yay for that bullet dodged. It might have contributed to my inability to fall asleep Saturday nite tho.

Ironcially, while the Westin rate has gone up for next year, it's still going to cost less than the Marriot did this year with all its stupid extra fees. And all the Westin rooms already have fridges :-P Got next year's membership at this year's con, so I'm set for DragonCon again next year. I might try to save extra cash in case I can't find roommates again, just so that's a bit less stressful, but it would have to be a ridiculously fun con to be worth that much cash, eek.

And this month, Arisia memberships and room blocks go on sale, yaaaaay! Not sure if I want to enter LoS into their costume contests tho, having learned my lesson at DCon. But I think more people will *get* the LoS costume at Arisia? Mebbe?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, http://chrysilla.dreamwidth.org/

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