Dragon Con 2007

Saturday.  Second day of the actual Con.  We got up fairly early for today as we needed to be downstairs to line up for the parade at quarter till eight in the morning.  We all got up and took showers and immediately “kitted up” for the parade.  I was amazed at how quick we’ve learned to get into our costumes.  By this morning, most of us have become almost 90% self sufficient by having to be forced to be that way.  We formed up downstairs for the parade and met all of the Mandalorian Mercs down there.  We took a really awesome picture of all our helmets lined up together, which can be seen here:

We got ourselves ready and then headed for the beginning of the parade route.  Once we got there, we saw the last part of the 501st group picture and then took a group picture of our own, which you can see here:

We marched in the parade as our own unit behind the 501st and I have to say that not only was it an awesome parade, but the parade was cool too, since we were all surrounded by custom Mandalorians.  I was empowered to be surrounded by such fine individuals in this parade.  I had a small personal problem because halfway through this parade, my fans stopped and I have to say it got pretty hot and muggy under the bucket.  By the end of the parade, I almost couldn’t see and I was glad that I could take my helmet off and get into some air conditioning once it was all said and done.  When we finished with the parade, it was announced that we would be getting together at the tenth level for a group picture that would be not only for the group, but to get sent to Karen Traviss for her own personal collection.  So, Charles, Jeff, Karen, and myself decided to head up to the room, get something to eat a little and then try and do some more costuming on the floor of the hotel.  We ended up getting split up somehow in amongst all of this time, so I ended up on my own for a while.  I decided to take a trip over to the Hilton on my own and back again.  I had some fun with this, posing for individual pictures and then posing for pictures while holding the chains of two slave Leia’s (who were pretty good lookers by the way).  I was having so much fun, till the staff at the Hilton kept bugging me to leave because I was becoming a “fire hazard” to their hotel because so many people were stopping to take pictures of me in my costume.  So, after fighting with them for a while, I decided to head back over to the Mariott and meet up with the crew for our group photo.  I got back and headed for our room and got a drink of water and met up with Charles and Jeff and we then headed to the picture taking area together.  Shortly after arriving on the tenth level, other members of the Mando Mercs started showing up.  We took some really awesome pictures of the group, both with buckets on and buckets off.  Here is a copy of the pic with buckets on:

We had some fun together as a group, but once the pictures were done, we all went our separate directions.  We decided to head down to the room and “un-kit” and get back into our civilian clothes.  We decided to head over to the dealer rooms again, because Jeff discovered that we missed half the dealer rooms since we only went downstairs and didn’t go upstairs.  So, we went to the upstairs dealer rooms and found all sorts of cool stuff.  Jeff found some awesome swords to go with his Mando costume and they were dirt cheap!!  Karen also found blades for her costume.  I managed to find a shirt with Boba Fett on it.  We did quite a bit of shopping around and then went back to the room.  We decided that we would go out for dinner tonight and then head down to the local grocery store to get some supplies.  According to the hotel workers at the desk, it was within walking distance from the hotel.  Charles went to the front desk and asked which direction we needed to head in while I went to the ATM to find out how much money I could get access to.  Well, my money situation hadn’t changed any today.  As a matter of fact, according to the ATM, the situation got worse!  Somehow I now had access to less money than I did before.  To make matters worse, it’s Saturday and I have no way to change the scenario until Tuesday because of the holiday weekend.  This sucks!!  Once I finished at the ATM, Charles got directions to the grocery store and we started walking.  The further we walked along, the more we realized that we were walking into a part of Atlanta that wasn’t looking so good.  Yeah, three white males, around thirty years of age with a white female, walking into the black slums of Atlanta.  I put this into the list of “bad ideas”.  So, we decided to ask a local where the local grocery store was and they said there wasn’t one for at least ten blocks or so.  So, we decided to head back to the hotel and ask more questions.  A worker at the Hyatt was nice enough to explain to us where the grocery store was and told us the best way to get there was via car.  So we headed back up to our room.

We got the keys to the truck and the ticket for the valet to go get Jeff’s truck.  We walked with the Valet to the truck and managed to get it out of the garage and left the hotel.  We managed to find the grocery store after going in circles a few times over.  We thought we would find a restaurant to eat at while we were at it, but we then had realized it was around six to seven o’clock at night and we didn’t have time to sit down and eat as we had the Cantina Ball tonight at ten o’clock and we needed to get ready for that.  So, we decided to try and find something to eat at the grocery store.  Well, the store didn’t have much.  We thought there may be pizza or something we could take with us and we found very little.  We were lucky enough to find some energy drinks (which I have discovered make me act like Salacious Crumb when I drink them) and some other small things we were looking for.  On our way out of the store, however, Charles and Jeff discovered that the local grocery store was actually selling Dry Ice.  I was hoping to avoid the container, but they saw it before we left and it was too late.  Soon, Charles formulated a plan to make his grenades on his costume look like they were smoking.  At first I was hesitant to do this, but then I thought about it and I said to myself, “what’s it going to hurt.  It will just make luke warm water cold”.  So, Charles and Jeff went back and purchased some Dry Ice for tonight’s Cantina Ball.  We then went to Walgreens next door to get some small things like a tape I needed for my video camera.  On our way in, we managed to find some more parts for my costume.  We found a cheap radio that I could put on my arm or my leg and we also managed to find an orange, blinky object that runners use at night to let cars know where they are.  My plan was to come back and work on this and get it added to my costume before tonight’s Cantina Ball.  We got back in the truck and came back to the room and ate dinner.  We managed to find an entire chicken that was cooked and some mac and potato salads at the grocery store for us to have as dinner.

After we finished dinner, we all started to get ready for the Cantina Ball.  I managed to file off the writing on my cheap radio and add batteries and get it operating.  We also managed to get Charles and Jeff hooked up with grenades that had Dry Ice and water in them.  The idea is that they will take off the tops of the grenades and then it will look like the grenades are “smoking” while they walk into the Cantina Ball.  We also had non-explosive poppers that we had bought at the fireworks store the other night that we were going to use.  The plan was to walk into the Cantina Ball and yell, “Falco Clan rules@!!!!” and then pop the poppers to get everyone’s attention.  That was the plan.  We had to make it happen.  The rest of Charles’ grenades were filled with some alcohol so we could drink and chill out a little while we were at the Ball.  The next step was figuring out where the Cantina Ball was occurring.  We asked several people and most said it was happening at the Hyatt, but there sure seemed to be confusion as to where this particular event was taking place.  Honestly, this was an example of how uncoordinated the Dragon Con staff was.  We headed over to the Hyatt and tried to find the Ball and asked all the staff where it was going on.  Finally, we found out from a Stormtrooper in the lobby that it was on the first level.  We found a bank of elevators and managed to get down tot the first level and followed the signs.  When we got there, many of the costumers told us not to bother to go in.  When we asked why, they told us that the 501st members in the room were insisting that if you went into the Ball, then you had to sit down.

Now, when you picture a Ball, what do you picture?  I picture people listening to loud music and dancing and having a grand old time!  Well, not this “Cantina Ball”.  No, this Ball had everyone sitting down watching skits at the front of the room.  It was depressing!!  Especially considering all we had gone through to get ready for the Cantina Ball.  So, since we couldn’t sit down in our costumes, we decided not even to go into the room.  Instead, we decided to go upstairs to the bar in the Hyatt and hang out for a while and see if we could find out where a party may be occurring.  When we got into the bar, you could barely move.  Not only that, but we had these costumes on that didn’t allow for a lot of space on either side AND we had people asking us to take pictures with them.  We all agreed that we needed to find a small corner to hang out in to de-bucket and relax for a little bit.  We managed to share a table with a couple that were totally plastered at this point in the evening.  While we were standing there, a pretty young lady managed to walk over to me and asked if she could just hang out with us while we were at the table.  We said “sure”, because we all knew who it was.  It was Gigi Edgley from “Farscape”!!  She asked if she could hang out with us because a bunch of drunk guys were trying to grope her and take pictures with her and we looked domineering enough with our Mando costumes on to scare them away.  We agreed and had a blast talking with Gigi for about thirty minutes while she had a screwdriver (the drink, you sick perverts!) and looked at our costumes, which she was most impressed with.  She told us she was looking for the “Ghost Hunter” cast because she wanted to talk to one of the guys on the cast.  We managed to find the cast for her and she took off with them.  We were all in our glory now that we had a chance to spend a half an hour with Gigi.  So, we decided that since the “Cantina Ball” wasn’t even a ball, that we would head back to our rooms and “de-kit” and enjoy the rest of the evening.  On our way back, we had a minor incident and somehow, Jeff’s knees ended up down the elevator shaft and they ended up shattering.  CRAP!!  We were going to let them be, but Charles decided we needed to go downstairs and see if we could find and salvage said armor parts.  Well, we found the parts, but really didn’t think it was salvageable.  We’ll have to see later.

Once we got back to the room, we were exhausted.  I kept complaining about my feet and how much they hurt, so Charles suggested we go to the pool and dip our feet in the sauna.  I agreed, so Charles took us that way.  By this point in the evening, Karen was so tired, she checked in for the night.  For Charles, Jeff, and myself, the evening seemed to be just beginning.  We headed down to the sauna and the doors to the main part of the pool were locked and chained.  I took that as a sign, but as we walked back, Charles noticed the locker room door was open.  So, we figured they just locked the other door for safety reasons.  We went out on the deck and put our feet in the sauna, but didn’t turn it on.  It felt like heaven and we must have sat/laid there for about twenty minutes.  After about twenty minutes, security for the hotel showed up and asked us how we managed to get out to the pool area.  We explained that the locker room was open, and he apologized, but politely asked us to leave (he was pretty cool about it too).  The guy could have been a jerk, but he was pretty nice about the situation and we left within five minutes of his arrival.  After regenerating help for our feet, we decided to go back to the room and refill Charles’ grenade/water bottles with some wine and head out onto the lobby lounge.  While we were in the lounge, we took some really blurry pictures, but also managed to take some really nice video of the Con at one in the morning.  It was still insanity and the Con was still going strong at one in the morning.  We continued to socialize and drink until Charles had decided that he wanted to “find the party”.  So, the next thing I knew I was following along.  I was feeling okay until Charles decided he wanted to go up to the top floor (forty-six in this hotel).  I would have been okay with this, except he wanted to take the express elevator and I wasn’t sure my stomach was going to handle that.  So, I decided to head back to the room on my own.  I got in at three in the morning and didn’t fall asleep until three-thirty.  Tomorrow was going to be rough considering I had to run “The Dented Helmet” table starting at nine in the morning tomorrow morning.  I was going to have to operate on about five hours of sleep and I haven’t gotten much sleep over this weekend as it is anyway.
Okay, so no chapter review tonight, just a report from Dragon Con.  I will continue with “Star Wars:  Outbound Flight” by Timothy Zahn tomorrow.


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