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bert425 last won the day on September 15

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About bert425

  • Birthday 04/25/1967


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  1. oh, and they gave me some of my favorite Swag at the event too.. love it:
  2. ThemePark Review got invited to SeaWorld San Antonio's kick-off event for Howl-O-Scream last night (the event starts in full tonight at the park), and i was able to attend to report back on the scares and fun they are offering up this year! This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Howl-O-Scream and SeaWorld San Antonio has gone all out for this year - making it the biggest Halloween event in Texas - and also the scariest. This year the Event features 5 Houses (1 new), 7 Terror-Tories (3 new), and 5 bars (that serve along with lots of options, some specialty drinks for Howl-O-Scream). The event is certainly geared towards those who are older, and the bars do offer non-alcoholic versions of the frozen drinks. . but as it doesn't take place until the evenings, there's still plenty for families to do at the park thruout the day! The area that hosts Howl-O-Scream proper is just beyond Sesame Street Bay of Play - you pass thru the Howl-O-Scream pillars, and you can follow the path all around the lagoon - with the houses, Terror-Tories (scarezones), and Bars spread along the way. Making this a really large, and pretty immersive event. Before you get to the main Howl-O-Scream entrance tho, there are some fun kid-friendly options to enjoy in the Sesame Street area, including some "not so scary" displays: and this *amazing* Cornfield Hay Maze SWSA has created just for the Howl-O-Scream event. Perfect for the kiddos: But once you pass thru the "gates" into the main Howl-O-scream area? the frights get a bit more extreme: the New Terror-Tories scare zones include Prey-Ground & SINdustry District, as well as the Swamp at Blackwater Bayou. -- but for this kickoff event, SWSA was shining the spotlight only on the new for this year Swamp at Blackwater Bayou Terror-Tory that features the brand new House: the Swamp at Blackwater Bayou, as well as a large bar/entertainment option, and Steel Eel. let's pass thru the gates and have some fun: they rolled out the "Black Carpet" for us: Trying to put on an "Imma not gonna be skared" face. . . . but yes, some of the things in this section just terrified me. the least of which was the Live Snake (on the tree) you could touch and take pictures with (part of Seaworld's Conservation and Teaching policies). . but nope. . I just took the picture They had some really great Cajun food options out for us (and the humidity made it a perfect match for the Swamp theme) - I was really impressed by this stunning Ice Sculpture: and I got to meet/say hello to Ray from SeaWorld San Antonio (who is also a member here at TPR) who filled me in on the event happenings and how excited he was for Howl-O-Scream to be kicking off today: The scare actors were out in full force, and staying in character. As the sun began to set, it got creepier and they got me to jump a few times as they snuck up on me here and there during the event: The Lone Star Lakeside Bar has been remade into: Liquid Voodoo Bar: and here's a sampling of the Howl-O-Scream special menu (note: both frozen drinks can be served without the alcohol for those under 21 if they wish to partake) The new house didn't open until 8pm: but this really fun option opened right at 7: Yes, during Howl-O-Scream, you get to ride the Coaster (s) with Monsters! this sounded amazing, so headed there to try it out (after sampling the special drinks and a nibble or two of the Cajun snacks) it really makes for some great pictures! (in the full event, I believe every coaster will have the option to ride with monsters) it was nice and dark by this point, so after an announcement, some voodoo curses, and fireworks? the Swamp at Blackwater Bayou opened for us: Not gonna post any pics from inside the House, because you should experience it yourself, but I must say that it's very well done: not only are there trees/swamp, and voodoo witchdoctors inside, but there's also a decaying/decrepit mansion that houses all kinds of ghouls and monsters - who may (or may not) jump out at you from (well) hidden spaces. It's a great effort and a fine addition to the Howl-O-Scream houses. and it's incredible that the houses are all free with admission (although there is an option that one could purchase a "skip the line" pass for the houses if one so chooses, I was told). back out into the main walkway, and more of the Monsters had come out and about as it got darker: this young lady was an attendee who was there with her uncle and was having a great time! All in All, this is a great event, and I plan on going back to enjoy the full Howl-O-Scream event in the next couple of weeks - it runs Fri/Sat/Sun (with one Mon tossed in) from 9/17-10/31 So Scary, So Freaky, and So Much Fun. SeaWorld San Antonio has really knocked it out of the park with this event. Recommended.
  3. Rode it last night for the 1st time. . . LOVED it. SO much airtime, especially in the back car. tho I think it would be even better if those seats had a little cushion (overheard from the row in front of me on one of the airtime hills "this is gonna hurt when we land"). . .LOL
  4. this puts the Landry's Downtown Houston Aquarium to Shame! (yes, even with the Houston one having White Tigers). I so want to go to this one now too.. . . and why doesn't Kemah Boardwalk have an Aquarium???? (maybe too close to the Houston one or the competition from Moody Gardens one in Galveston. . . but still. . the Boardwalk should have an aquarium). great report!
  5. oh, and I guess I really should explain "FedEx Jon" and the "Cult of Jon". . . basically, FedEx put up a lifesize standee of a driver named Jon near a drop box (no longer there) just before Dragon*con 2019 well. . the congoers found ways to "fix" the standee thruout the con. starting at first with just adding Googly eyes. As con is over a holiday weekend, who knows what FedEx thought of these improvements. but then on Sunday of Dragon*con 2019, Jon suddenly disappeared! Folks thought the Con or the Company had pulled Jon. . but it turned out he was STOLEN! (and started appearing in places around the country in pics). but that's when the memorial started popping up.. that Sun/Mon. since Con 2020 was cancelled. . folks had 2 years to get the Cult of Jon in full swing. here's the story in pictures from Bored Panda https://www.boredpanda.com/adventures-of-fedex-guy-dragon-con/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic
  6. Sunday. . so. .this is really the "big" day at Con. .it's the last night one can "party" really late, and still have Monday (Labor Day) to recover. . so this is where the majority of the costume pics ended up, even tho I didn't really take ALL that many this year. (but hey, it worked out, as noted earlier. . negative PCR test): Marce and Neal had to get up really early to go get their Covid test - since they were flying back to Canada on Tues, they had to show a negative test prior to being allowed to board. so they went off for their test, and were back by 9am. I woke up when they got back and we discussed what to do for this day. . . it's the day of Masquerade, which by tradition we watch with the group in Digi. . but was there anything we wanted to actually do today? Looking at the Schedule, Neal headed off to try and catch a Batttlestar Galactica Panel, and Marce and I headed . . somewhere (can't really remember, but I have no pics of it, so I think it was maybe another ribbon exchange?). After that was done tho, she suggested we try to go into the "started 20 minutes ago" Christopher Eccleston panel. I figured it would be completely full - it was his first time ever at Dragon*con - but to my surprise, the badge checker told us there were still a few seats in the very back. Marce wasn't being as uber-cautious since she'd now been tested (so wasn't worried about getting back home now). .so we went into the back of a PACKED ballroom: he was quite interesting, and funny, and although most of the questions were about him starring in the 2005 revival of Dr. Who as the 9th Doctor (of course. .I mean it's a con)..he actually lit up when a question came about his performances of McBeth in England. but hey, TWO panels this year. as mentioned, since Marce had now gotten her test done, she was finally ready for the Dealer's hall. I'd been a couple of times already, but really had nothing on my agenda as "must do", so decided to go with her to roam the dealers rooms again. . but first? yup. .we hadn't had our coffee yet. we were able to walk right into the dealers hall today - tho we only stayed for an hour or so, and the line to get in *had* formed by the time we left. .but it was still great to spend more time with Marce (since I only get to see her & Neal in Atlanta every year and last year had been cancelled. . LOL. . so yes, even tho rooming with them? wanted to spend more time). and picked up this great pin from the folks behind the Axanar Star Trek fan film: (I ordered it here, since he was sold out, but it arrived yesterday): we didn't spend too long in Dealers room tho, and decided we really needed to eat. And we hadn't yet eaten at one of her fave (my 1st time tho) - Aviva by Kameel. Kameel is a well known Chef (Mediterranean food) in Atlanta, and is so well known partially because of how much he gives back to the community thru food banks - not to mention the quality of the food. we got in the decently long line, and while waiting met up with several of my friends (passing by) whom I hadn't seen this year yet - makes sense as I was in Digi so much instead of out and about - and got to say hello to at least 3 friends and chat briefly while in line. oh, and Kameel was actually in the kitchen in the restaurant boisterously yelling out to everyone "HELLO! SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU ALL BACK! LOVE YOU BRO!". . LOL not sure why I didn't take a pic of the food (which we brought back up to the room to eat, instead of eating in the crowded food court), but I did take a pic while in line in front of some of the awards the restaurant has won. The food was really good too. after eating, I think Marce wanted to take a nap (they had gotten up so early), so i decided I'd head downstairs to one of the smaller ballrooms in the Hyatt to check out a panel featuring Omid Abtahi (who plays Salim/Cab Driver) on "American Gods" - a show I love, as well as in many other shows (including Mandalorian). But honestly, wouldnt' have bothered with the panel if it hadn't been just downstairs in the hotel I was already in. the room wasn't super full, so easily got in - but then got a surprise in that the panel had morphed into an "Ameican Gods" panel, also featuring the other AG guest - Ricky Whittle (ShadowMoon - the main character). . who is funny as hell. So yeah, the room did start to fill up a bit, tho where i was sitting was fairly close. so THREE panels this year. .go figure: best part of the whole thing was when Omid got asked about the famous sex scene in season 1 (which was absolutely groundbreaking LGBTQ television so of course it got asked about). . . Ricky slyly facetimed with Mousa Kraish (who played the Djinn) so while Omid was talking about the specifics of the sex scene with the Djinn. . . the actor was sitting there watching him on facetime. LOL it really was funny, and great. Pleased with myself that I actually saw THREE panels this year, just kinda wandered a bit people watching until it was time for Today's Queerios meet up in the Marriott (which is where I finally got to meet up and say hello to IntaminLove, and we talked about my plan to go to SFOG the next day). no pics from that, but here are some pics from walking around: the false idol worship from those trying to perpetuate the Cult of Jon (the hotels kept cleaning up the memorial each night, so a more interesting one would pop up the next day) and then it was getting close to time for Masquerade in Digisuite. . so I went back up the room to change for the evening, and then headed over to Digi to watch/do running commentary with the group - during Masquerade (which they broadcast thru the host hotels on Dragon*con TV) yes.. I am a little lit at this point. . . LOL (pics I sent to spouse to show him the crowd I was hanging with - same folks been around most of con) Alan had his son with him tonight: and I showed off to them that I had run into Cult of Jon on the way to Digisuite: so hung out and visited (and drank) and had a wonderful time, and eventually Masquerade started, so here's the gathering of infamy at the cantina in this pic: clockwise on sofa LtR: Kayli (Mike/Lisa's daughter), Mike, Marce, Josh, John, Bri, Neal, Sarah, me, Lily (Josh/Sara's daughter). .then behind the lamp is John, Cynthia, Nate, and Jason Masquerade was fun - as usual. . but then it was time to roam and try to finally get some costume pics. So taking Cynthia and her hubby Gary with, we headed to the Marriott: Ummm ..nice tan line. but I'm not a "stalker". .I ASK to take pics. . and the funniest thing. .their wives (who were dressed as Han Solo, I think), stepped in and took their masks off so it would be a better picture. yeah. . look at those smirks. they know exactly why I wanted this pic.. LOL what's this? a dance party in the middle of the Marriott mid level? Yup! (and darn it. . got some Loki in my photo!) the Weasel! More Loki photbomb . . . Daft Troopers Sunday's Klinger: Jason, just calmly stalking the Crowd in the Marriott NOT the same guy from last night. Another Gender-flipped "White Queen" Sarah and Josh had put Lily to bed, and had found their way down to the Marriott Pulse bar area too. yeah..I'm a mess. . LOL. . but it's Dragon*con! Cynthia with an Anime cosplayer. . no idea who, but she looked great! another Loki. . sheesh! I think he told me he's something from My Little Pony? no idea, but he encouraged me to write something filthy on him. (perhaps was flirting? but if so, I completely missed it). Think I wrote something about Horsey-Horny. . . Anime? From "Good Omens". .they looked great! Yeah, I gave in and INTENTIONALLY took a Loki pic: Loki Thor. . the LED lights in the outfit were great. . so took a pic or two. BWAAA-HAAA-HAAAA. .they were cleaning/disinfecting products! very well done Jaffar. Gary & Cynthia at the Jo memorial. on my way back to the room to go pass out (since I was getting up early to go to Six Flags Over Georgia). . met these two Vendors. . .stopped to talk to them because I admired the skirt (turned out she had made it). to be concluded in the next few days with a full day at SFOG!
  7. Saturday - this was gonna be the big question mark at the con - they were NOT going to be selling one day passes this year, to help control the crowd (set at ~50% capacity, around 42K people). Saturday is usually THE most packed day of the con, as its the day of the Parade (this year only badge members were allowed to observe it, but it was being broadcast on local television so the folks in Atlanta who typically would head to Con could still watch it). we got up and grabbed a light breakfast (and Caribou coffee) and went back to the room to eat, and watch the parade from our balcony. Honestly, not something I ever spend much time doing, and I dont seem to have taken any pictures of it. my friend JP had pinged me and asked what I was up to, and told him I was thinking about going to the Art Show (since it's held in the lower levels of the Hyatt, away from the main convention center). . so I headed down there and he met me there. we wandered the art show, which was MUCH smaller than usual. . a lot of the regular artisans who set up there, but really none of the "amateur" art, that makes the art show so fun to wander thru. I guess with the skip year last year, they simply hadn't put out a call for submissions? Hope it's back to full amateurs/Pros next year, as the Art Show really is one of the fun things to wander thru (usually lots of pics of dragons and cats doing cutesy things from the Amateur artists) tho I did like this piece: the area was so dead without the Saturday sales (I figured most had gone to the Dealer's room, or were still out at the parade) I decided that I wanted to check out the Dragon*con store that's in the Marriott (as I hadn't seen them in the dealer's room the prior day) so we headed thru the habitrails to the Marriott. . but first. .anyone who knows me knows I can't pass a photo op: in the Marriott, we saw one of the Spiritual Leaders of the Cult of Jon - who was blessing folks with the Googly Eyes so of course: a quick stop at the Dragon*con store, showed that they were already almost completely sold out of most things (I guess they had ordered light). . but I was able to pick up a Dragon*con 2021 shirt with very short wait. No reason to register for 2022 actually AT con, since it's all done thru GrowTix now, and the price was the same until 9/20 (so I waited until I got home to buy for 2022). . but I was curious about some of the other shirts they had already sold out of in adult sizes. . so I suggested to JP that we head to the Sheraton where there's a big Dragon*con store at Registration. (and I could say hello to my friend at Registration, since I'd seen him so briefly at Badge retrieval, and if was slow could actually visit). but since we were right here at the lower level of Marriott - which happens to be where the "Walk of Fame" is. . curiosity got the better of us, and we wandered thru to see just how they were handling the Covid restrictions for autographs/pics, since many of the guests had shown up. I must say, well done. . even if it looked like the celebrities were behind glass at the meat counter (note: my pics are of booths were the celebs currently weren't there, so I wouldn't get in trouble for taking a picture without permission.. since most of them make $$ this way, selling autographs and selfies to fans): saw some good costumes in here while walking thru tho, and stopped to snag a couple of pics: this was clever: Beloved old Marriott Carpet pattern Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen we walked thru, headed over to the Sheraton, where I visited my friend and JP rested from the walk over. He got a text wanting to meet for lunch, and since I wasn't hungry, he headed off and I walked up the street to the Westin - a hotel I hadn't been in yet this year, but typically one I spend some time in since the Horror Track tends to have it's conference rooms there. I also wanted to try to catch the tail end of a swag & seek meet up, that some of the queerios folks were attending and they had made some "minecraft" heart magnets similar to the one on my badge (and I got lucky and they were still there, so I now have a Leather Hearts, and a Bear Hearts magnet to wear next year) but while I was over here, I figured I'd check out the rooms and see what was going on, and it turned out the Walking Dead cast panel had just started about 10 minutes prior, so peeked my head in to see if there was space. to my surprise, the room was 3/4ths empty. . so feeling REALLY safe, I sat down and went to my first panel at Con. that's LtR the actors who play: Father Gabriel, Aaron, Magna, and Jerry! not a huge turnout for a pretty big draw panel like this one on a Sat. . so yeah, the no Sat. sales really kept the crowd down. view of the seats behind me in the room. . I was in maybe row 8? since I was right there, I wandered into Merchandise Mart to see how they were handling the Gaming this year at con (something I NEVER do - the tabletop gaming). . looked like they did a pretty good job spacing out all the tables, even tho it was petty busy in here: I was so close to the dealer's room, i went back in (no wait this time) and headed to a booth I had seen the day before. . where I ordered these 3 prints that should be here this week (shhhhh. .don't tell my spouse. . .LOL) I was starting to poop out, and it was close to 2pm, so I decided I'd head to digi for a little bit (nice to see folks again in the daytime), and then back to our room for a nap. The Queerios meetup was in the Hilton tonite, and that was at 5, with the big Spectrum party starting at 10pm - this year in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom. So I figured the perfect time to grab a 2 hour nap. . . alas, was not to be, as when I got back to my room, there were 3 people in there hanging out (friend and some kids), shortly joined by another friend and another kid.. . so not much nap going on, since by the time I shooed them out? spouse was calling me, as I had told him 2 hours earlier I was going to lay down for a nap. oh well.. . con. what ya gonna do? eventually I showered and changed, and headed to the Queerios meetup (they really are a lot of fun, and it's different folks showing up each meetup, so that's why it tried to go to multiple): and it was fun hanging with these folks talking and drinking. . but eventually it broke up and it was way too early to line up for Spectrum party at 9pm. . so what to do, what to do? Digi to drink and visit, of course: on the way to Digi, I ended up in front of Gypsy in the Habitrails. You're NOT supposed to take pictures in the habitrails.. can really mess up the flow of traffic. But I was walking and didn't stop, so technically didn't break any DCon rules: Hanging out, killing time, until time to go down to the Spectrum Party. Cynthia (sitting next to me with the Red Hair) came with me to wait in line to get in and go to the party for a bit. . really one of the most fun parties at Dragon*con leaving Digi to head down..what happens when Drunk Bert meets Drunk Alan on his way INTO Digi? why: and then we were in line to get in. Yeah. . because of reduced capacity, once they hit the 2/3rds (or whatever they were doing) it became 1 out- 1 in. . so we had to wait: but while waiting in line (with my strong drink in hand, of course), I got called out by Beefsquatch. . . which was my friend JP in costume for the night. . LOL he had mask under his mask, and I was buzzed. . so my mask came off for the pic Eventually, Cynthia and i made it into the party. for the most part, mask compliance was really good: the "theme" was Toga.. but most came wearing whatever they wanted. Some costumes from the party: DJ Neon the Glo-Go-Bear (yes, that's what he goes by professionally) and one of my favorites - if you look close? his mask has the beard/mouth printed on it.. so it looks amazing! Comics accurate Hercules I actually shut this party down (it was fun and I danced). . staying until ~2:15 when they turned on the lights and made us leave: Rocky Horror was going on in the Centennial Ballrooms across the lobby, so I wandered over and stuck my head in - the film was at the point that Riff had just poked Rocky with the candles and had forced him to break his chains and run. BUT. . the ballroom was packed to the gills. (because Lips Down On Dixie, the local RHPS troupe was performing in front of the screen as they usually do). I really, really wanted to stay, but I felt really, really unsafe.. . full room, with people shouting at the screen? yeah, so 1st time ever, I didnt' sit thru RHPS at Dragon*con and instead headed up to the room, showered, and passed out. all in all? a successful Saturday. .and I even went to a pretty fun panel. to be continued.
  8. that was a great trip report. really makes me want to go to Indiana Beach at some point, as there were several moments when I thought "I wanna ride that"
  9. ^ yeah, saw her. . but at the end of the day? it's just another Loki don't get me wrong. . it's good cosplay (and somewhat clever - tho I saw multiple "Delta Variants" this year) - but I tend not to take pics of non-unique cosplays. by non-unique, I mean: Harley, Deadpool, FedEx Jo, Loki (new to list this year), and maybe one or two more I'm not thinking of right now - so it's rare for me to have any pics of those characters (tho they often DO appear in a background, since you can't get away from them. . . LOL). at a larger con? there will be LOTs of these characters. Tho this year, I only saw one or two "fat Thor" - that there were DOZENS of last Dragon*con (2019)
  10. Interrupting this Trip Report to show that the science works. . .as does Masking up and taking the damn Vaccine. around 42K people for ~6 days, and negative PCR result. yay science!
  11. so.. Friday. Really short update (tho I DO promise some more costume pics coming!) Marce woke me up fairly early to see if I would go with her to a Ribbon Exchange (like I mentioned above, some are very into it) and since it was in the Hilton, decided to go with her as there was a panel on DC Animated universe - and I try to go to at least 1 panel every year (mainly to prove that I didn't spend the WHOLE con just drinking and partying). She had success getting lots of ribbons, and I interacted a little bit - tho the only ribbons I handed out are ones that Marce gave me and I handed out for her. then we peeked our head into the Animated Universe panel, and it seemed to be a very bored moderator just reading (flatly) off the back of the DVD packages, while they flashed the cover art on the projection screen. Marce and I took a look at each other, and decided.. nope. Not worth the risk to go sit in a room full of people (even tho it was only 1/2 full) for that. . so we explored a bit on the lower level of the Hilton and found a deserted seating area with back entrance into Trader Vics (noted for next year). Tho the Hilton was decorated for Stranger Things? Trader Vics seemed to still have some of the Jurrasic Park stuff up from 2019 back here: we decided it was time for some coffee, so we headed to Caribou to get our morning cuppa, and then Marce went to go meet some friends and I decided to take a look at the dealers room / rooms. yeah. . this was the line to get in - the convention center houses the Dragon*con dealers rooms on 4 full floors (tho the top floor tends to be Comic specific/artists alley guests rather than all vendors). Despite the line, it only took ~25 minutes to get in - and close to the entrance I saw Eddie coming the other way to the end of the line, and grabbed him to cut in with me. we didn't hang together long, but long enough to confirm a trip to Vortex later meeting at 5:30 at Hyatt lobby. the Dealer's room was crowded, even with the restrictions on capacity, and how spread out it was - and I ended up spending ~4 hours total in there on this day. I really regretted it too, as I felt a bit unsafe being inside for THAT long. . and really what I should have done is 1st floor, step outside for 20 minutes, 2nd floor, step outside, 3rd floor, etc. But I didn't do that, and beat myself up about it quite a bit for the rest of the day. (as I said, the con felt "weird" for the 1st few days). I had promised my spouse: No T-shirts (Dcon shirt being the exception) and no Wall Art - and I managed to stick to that. . tho I did buy a few things - mainly gifts for people - and a bunch of hardcover Trade Paperbacks for myself since there were a LOT of comic dealers this year with a lot of great deals. by then it was close to 4pm, and I wanted to go to the Queerios meetup at the Hyatt bar, hoping to bump into my friend Jennifer who helps run the group (no luck meeting up with her, she was being super covid safe all con mainly staying in her room watching panels on Dragon*con TV, but I did see her long enough on Sunday for a quick hug hello). one of the Queerios members had decided to Cosplay as Klinger all weekend - with a different outfit for each day! I thought this was brilliant, but only thought to get pics of him on 2 days, tho I saw him a few times. (he was handing out Klinger dog-tags too, if you took his pic). I visited with the Queerios until ~5, then popped back up to the room to drop off what I had bought and to say hello to Lisa (who was gonna crash with us for this one night). She didn't have any plans, so I invited her along with us to Vortex, and then realized I should invite David along and he also agreed to come. I learned them the way of MARTA (every year when I go with the dealer's group that includes Eddie and Rick, we Uber it, but I told them with only 3 of us (before I had invited David and Lisa) it was way cheaper just to take MARTA at $2.50 each way). I think I created a monster for next year tho, as now they know how to easily get to Vortex from the con. but it's not Vortex unless you rub the phallus. --> and the best part of this pic is the judgement on the guy behind me (the one who looks like Frasier). .which I didn't notice until looking at the pic later and zoomed in on him. Hysterical. info on the shrine - tho I didn't get a pic of the sign on the other side that tells you to rub it: even my very straight friend David got in on the fun (and he'd be THRILLED that I posted this. . bwaaa-haaa-haaaaa) I seriously LOVE the Vortex. .the decor: and the burgers: this one is the Four Horsemen: A blackened patty topped with horseradish sauce, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms & jack cheese. with loaded potato salad as my side. (and of course, an Acid Trip cocktail) (tho Hell's Fury is better in my opinion) my friends this evening: LtR: David, Lisa, Eddie, Rick, me after eating way too much, we made it back and I headed up to digi to visit and hang with folks for a few hours, until deciding to go take a stroll to see if I can get some costume pics ~midnight. I walked over to the Hilton 1st, to get some pics of the Atrium cosplaing as Starcourt mall from "Stranger Things" - with one of the creatures on the lower level: On the way back thru the marriott, I saw Oogie and Sally and this guy. . who I know is Anime (rule of thumb at con. . if you don't recognize a costume? it's from Anime). a Digi friend told me later its from an anime done by the husband of the lady that made Sailor Moon. regardless, his balancing skills are impressive and a WHOLE lot of Loki, Harley Quinn, Deadpool, and FedEx Jo. .that I didnt' bother taking pics with. I had a good buzz and went up to Digi just in time for Jason to say that a band that had been playing over the speakers earlier (and I liked) was gonna be playing shortly, so a group of us headed down to the Hyatt Centennial Ballroom to catch Mayhayley's Grave unfortunately, the band playing before them - Raspberry Sorbet or something, was running way way over. . . and they were pretty terrible (they sounded like a Wedding Band on a Carnival Cruise ship). they played additional songs, including an 8 minute plus song they announced they were playing after saying that MG were backstage and waiting for them to get off. . sheesh. anyways, the crowd was pretty non-existant: but the band I wanted to see DID eventually come on ~2am: they're really good too, and I recommend them. . it's like a New Orleans Funeral band crossed with Oingo Boingo: I made it thru about 5 songs.. but by ~2:35 we pretty much called it and those I was with called it and headed back to rooms to crash. it still felt very weird. . but was starting to feel a bit more normal. . even with everyone wearing masks. to be continued.
  12. really well done design work in several locations. very impressed with what they've done this year!
  13. Thursday - Day 2. The first full day of Con. we got up fairly early, since we had all gone to bed by 11pm (Marce and Neal were already back in the room by the time I got there at 10:30 the prior night) and headed down to Caribou Coffee for the morning pick me up. My go-to is the Turtle Milk Chocolate Mocha hot. Badge pickup started at 10am, but we heard that they had opened a bit early, so we headed over to the Sheraton - along the way bumping into my friend JeanPaul in the Hyatt Lobby, and then my friend Eddie in the mall (where we made tentative plans to go to Vortex on Friday evening - since I usually go with Eddie and Rick and a bunch of dealer friends after the Dealer's room closes (hi Haven, Toni, Casey, Michelle, and Karen) - but none of those dealer friends were here this year so he asked if I still wanted to go). We also bumped into a couple of Marce & Neal's friends too - like I said.. Dragon*con is a HUGE con, but we always seem to bump into our friends. tho funnily enough, never saw a local friend from Austin - whom I almost never see at Dragon*con and didn't see him this year either. . . LOL Oh well, I see him often when I go out dancing in Austin anyways. cutting out the getting the badge info. . but soon enough we saw posted in the Digitribe Discord that Jason had arrived and the suite was open. So we headed back to the Hyatt, and headed into the suite (meeting up with Mike to help bring mixers and alcohol down to the suite - which would be used to make more communal punches this year instead of a "mix your drink at the bar" to help control how much/how many touched the bottles. worked out really well and the punches I sampled thruout the weekend were all pretty good (well. . after the first one, they all tasted pretty good. . LOL). On the way back up to our room to grab the bottles we had bought at the Liquor store for the Digisuite. . and a look at the Dragon*con Badge for this year: (the hearts are a magnet I bring every year to stick on the badge over the name/location info, and the two ribbons are one Neal gave me (Rebel Scum) and one I had made last year (DGAF). . more on the ribbons shortly) the sign on the outside door of the suite. . . which pretty much stays open all day/all night - unless someone has to sleep or go do something the Edicts that invitees to the Dorm of Doom must follow if they wish to remain an invitee into the Digisuite each year (and at the top, the "Wall of Awesome" for those who have donated to help fund the suite each year. . typically a drink is named after each, but again, this year was punches) Gimp Bambi. .I love this shirt, and it's the first time I got to wear it since I got it during Pandemic. Early on Thursday - Digi now set up, and relaxing at the table area in the suite (which had 3 balconies, a large sectional sofa, and bar area) LtR: Neal, Jason, Mike, Marce, Me - and the 1st punch mixed, which I think was a version of Sex on the Beach. LOL. . I actually posted this to my FB saying 1st Morning of official DragonCon successful - got badge, already drinking Pic sent to Nick to show him how spacious the Digisuite is and how safe I'd be in here, as not out among the masses for most of the Con: Jason had brought copies of the Digitribe Book that several folks had put together for them back in 2019 showing the Digisuite at Dragon*con thru the years.. I ended up in some of the pictures: Jason and Mike. . .Babies!! Yup- tis me! cosplaying as Courtney Love in the early 2000's (and yes, I drank the whole bottle of vodka I was carrying as a prop - which I was trying to hide in the pic.. LOL. . not sure why) here I am again. . lower right, in my Super-Hero outfit "the Helping Hand" - that's actually the 1st year I ever met the folks in Digi: I participated in the Masquerade as a lark in this homemade costume - it had a giant hand attached to my crotch that was motion activated and lit up (Anthony Daniels was the host that year (and read what the contestants wrote on the cards while was "modeled for the crowd") and he couldn't even get thru my Masquerade spiel - the moment the "eyeball hand" stated to move and blink? he started Guffawing and couldn't continue reading. . . LOL I believe the text went something like "Evil falls to it's knees, mouth agape, at the sight of the HELPING HAND". . . .but it was a long time ago, so don't really remember I didn't even place, but the audience loved it and blew the doors off the ballroom with laughs and applause. anyways, a Digi tradition is to watch Masquerade as a group on the TV in the room, and Marce happened to have met them earlier that day and was in the room and said "hey, that's my friend Bert". . so they made me a prize in the Scavenger Hunt that year - to find me and bring me to the room. And that's how I met the members of Digitribe. relaxing in Digi at points in 2017 we hung out for a few hours, and when Carling & John showed up with their stuff for the Suite - and a luggage cart, we took the advantage to have Mike recrate an infamous episode from years earlier (if you zoom in, we had him hold the book open to that page. . .LOL) Carling and I on one of the Digisuite Patios John, Rich (who made Digi Facemasks!), and I on the patio we were deciding what to do for lunch/dinner and planned to head down to Sway (in the lobby of the Hyatt). . but due to Covid, many places either weren't open or had opened with only Buffet or limited service for Con-goers (another bonus to leave the con area for Vortex). But Sway was buffet only, and didn't even have the Mac and Cheese that Neal was craving, so we ended up here: SO good. being in the lower level of the mall attached to the hotels, it was busy, but hidden enough that we only waited ~20 minutes. They wanted to put us at a table right in the front, near the entrance, and I resisted that - asking for a table I saw open way in the back corner (seemed a bit safer to remove masks away from a high traffic area) full, fat and happy. . we headed back up to the room to relax for a little bit - it was starting to get too crowded for me to be comfortable even with mask on. the Cult of Jon had started slapping googly eyes on everything in sight, and the memorials had popped up in the habitrail walkway. . so yeah, Con was truly on. Tonight was the biggest kick off party - the Bunny Hutch, and tho we knew it would be crowded, our friend Sarah was going to be one of the go-go dancers at the party, so we had to go back to the room to change for Thursday night anyways. but on the way off the elevator bumped into someone doing droid repair work in the 22nd floor elevator lobby - yay. . .sorta a Costume pic! ok. . about those "ribbons". . a few years ago, Ribbons to attach to your badge became a huge thing. It's not really something I get into, but many folks like to get as many ribbons as they can, and there are "ribbon exchanges" and "Swag & Seek" exchanges that happen all over thruout the con. as noted, some folks really like collecting the ribbons and some have hundreds attached to their badges, and they wrap them around their neck like the 4th Doctor's scarf. I tend to NOT like that, and limit pretty severely what I put on my badge - tho I really do support the ones my friends make (because, of course, they are gonna have similar interests as me, so I'm gonna like em). So here's what my Badge looked like by the time we got back up to the room after Digi & Dinner: ^ and hey! special cameo by TPR luggage handle wrap in this pic so what can I do to stop folks from giving me ribbons? I "made" my own ribbon to stick to the bottom of my "comfortable length" ribbon string. yup, it's a band-aid. and yup, it worked. . .LOL.. no more ribbons offered to me (tho I really should have used a sharpie to put a blood spot on it). ok, showered, changed, and dressed for the Bunny Hutch: but first? it's way too early to go to a party (which is gonna have folks lined up for hours to get in). . so we headed to Digi: where by then, John had shown up! and I got to show off where I put my Cult of Jon Googly Eyes that had been given to me earlier ("hey, my eyes are down here!" is a line that got used a few times - more once I got buzzed) and his wife Bri. who was comfy as a Bat: hanging out for an hour or so, and enjoying the company and the drinks. . I then headed to the Bunny Hutch with my friend David who met me in the Hyatt lobby, and we started the long walk over to the Hilton. Pic from Hyatt Lobby while waiting for David: (that's Elongated Man and Plastic Man. . look! a true costume pic!!!) to get to the Hilton, you have to go thru the Marriott (tho I guess we could have walked outside down the street), which was already getting pretty crowded (way too crowded for my comfort zone) Mask compliance was good, but this was a lot of people - tho WAY less than a regular year Thurs. night would be. It would get more crowded as Con progressed. That giant "sail" is the Pulse Bar. . so eventually mask compliance over here got pretty bad, since everyone was drinking, so you need the mask down. but snapped some pics as we walked thru: and dammit.. got asked if I was "Loki" at least 4 times (and no, that's not "coke" in my bottle.. i was well lit by this point, but didn't stumble once in my boots - which I kept getting stopped and complimented on, and asked where I got them. Prolly shouldn't have even brought them, since they took up a whole suitcase by themselves practically) so we get to the Hilton, and it's close to 11 - the party has been going on for an hour already, and the line for Bunny Hutch goes outside the hotel, down the courtyard, down to the street and all the way back to Courtland street. we totally *could* have waited in line, but with the reduced capacity? I just really didn't want to, since it would take a while to get in the room (which once they cap the room becomes "1 out - 1 in" so instead, David and I wandered the Hilton and back to the Hyatt (where I went back to Digi for a bit). but did take some more pics on the way back: but by ~12:30 I was pooped, and there were no bands playing that I wanted to stay up for - for the most part, very few of the "big" guests cancelled. . but many of the bigger bands did (couldn't get into country, or covid exposure, or some other reason). . so tho very A-Typical for me to go to bed before 4am, I had done so much visiting already in Digi, and no bands I wanted to see? I headed back to the room (Marce and Neal already asleep too. . .yeah, it was a weird ass vibe at the con for the first couple of days) took a shower, and hopped into bed. to be continued. . I even went to panels this year! Bonus pic I forgot to post from the prior night when I passed the Hyatt bar on the way back to the room and spotted Marce/Mike/Neal & Kendra having a nightcap. Kendra had actually tried the Bar's Dragon*con special: "the Unicorn Burger, with Tots that are Magically Delicious" From what several friends who had it said, the burger itself (on a rainbow bun) was quite good. . but the Magically Delicious tots? yeah. .they were tater tots sprinkled with Lucky Charms Marshmallows. as disgusting as it sounds (as you can see the pile of marshmallows remaining on Kendra's plate - and I saw that every time someone ordered it. . . . ewwwww. . WHO thought that was a good idea??)
  14. I can't believe didn't even think to grab a pic. . . sheesh. . sorry! there were way less costumes this year - I think because really no international attendees came (and they capped the attendance to a little less than 1/2 of usual). why are there so few costume pics I have this year? (tho I do have a bunch coming up). . two reasons: 1) I spent so much time in Digisuite I really only went out in the "general" areas for a swing thru in the evening (which is where I got most of my costumed pictures) & 2) as I told a friend who asked me why I hadn't really taken any pics on Wed/Thurs: "I don't need 40 Freaking pics of "Loki" (it seemed a lot of folks were at their 1st Dragon*con, and had an idea to dress up. . and didn't realize that "Loki" isn't all that unique at a larger con. . so there were a LOT of them. More Loki this year than Deadpool, Harley Quinn, and Jon the FedEx guy combined. . .and there were a LOT of those three as well.. . . LOL
  15. they actually have two locations in Atlanta (fairly close to each other). . .the one that always makes it on Food Network/Travel Channel is the "main" one, that's at Little Five Points MARTA stop (2 stops before the Con location) - and is famous for it's giant skull entryway. the location we always go to is the Peachtree location, 3 MARTA stops past the Con location (the Midtown stop), and that is the more *adult* one - even tho both locations ARE adult only, and you must be 21+ to enter, and yes they check IDs. The Peachtree location is more adult because of the Phallus shrine at the entrance, but also because it's more of a "bar" set up at the entrance, and is attached to the Vortex Comedy Club. Typically I eat there at least 3 times during con, tho this year only made it twice. you can certainly tell they have been impacted by Covid - we only waited ~10 minutes for a table on a Friday night during Con (typically it would be an hour + wait), and the stop above was "seat yourself walk in". . . .but they have not down-adjusted the menu at all. And I still say the only burger I've ever had there that was disgusting (but is still on the menu, so SOMEONE likes it) is Fat Elvis. . . I'm sorry, Peanut Butter just doesn't go on a burger! just wait until you see the pic from Friday. . . . it was just a standard pic, until I noticed "the judgment" coming from a gentleman behind me in the pic (who happens to look like Frazier). . I laugh hysterically every time I see it now. come one year to Dragon*con. . you'd prolly love it! and we can all go to Vortex. @IntaminLove. . next year, come with us to Vortex as well. It was nice to meet you. .and for sure a group of us from Queerios (you met some of them on Saturday when you swung by to say hello) are already planning on going to SFOG on Labor Day next year. They were all iffy this year, until they saw my pictures of how dead the park was. Then spent the day texting me how sad they were they hadn't come with
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