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day 3 - Dragon*con Friday

 

So even tho I had gone to bed after 4am, I was up and pretty perky by 8:45 or so.

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A pretty great Supergirl cosplay we passed on the way out of the Hyatt to eat.

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I checked my phone and saw Marce and Lisa (Kayli's mom) texting about wanting to have breakfast.

Con really doesn't start until 10am, that's when the 1st panels are., and tho the Dealer's room used to not open until 1pm? This year it was opening up at 10 too.

 

but it was still early, and i was craving pancakes, so I told them I'd meet them at the Hyatt and we could try eating the breakfast buffet there at Sway. We ran upstairs to concierge to get coffee (Marce's room was on that floor anyways, so Lisa and i met her there). and then headed down to the Hyatt lobby to check out the breakfast buffet at Sway.

 

here we are in the lobby in front of Sway restaurant with our Concierge coffee: Lisa, Marce, and me.

 

Sad face tho, they didn't have any pancakes on the buffet :( No waffles either! (they told us they change it out and likely Saturday would have Pancakes).

 

I was really wanting Pancakes, so even tho con had officially started, I reasoned that we could head to Metro Diner (of the giant cakes) and it would not be crowded this early. Everyone was either lining up for panels, or lining up to get in dealer's room, or just not arrived at the Con yet. Turned out to be a great call, since we were seated almost immediately, and I was able to get my overpriced - as they had already bumped up the prices for Con - pancakes and some really good coffee. We had a nice breakfast sitting and visiting, and then I believe Marce and Lisa went off to go to attempt a panel.

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for *many* years, it was tradition to attend one of the 1st panels of the 1st day. That way you can honestly tell your spouse, "no, I DIDN'T just drink all weekend with friends! I went to some panels and stuff!"

 

but this year there simply wasn't anything that was striking my fancy, so when Cynthia pinged our group chat and said she was wanting to go to the Dealer's room and did anyone want to go? it was just about 10am when everything was to open, so I told her I'd meet up with her and go.

 

We met in the mall by the MARTA station, and headed across the street to the Convention Center for the dealer's room.. . and was confronted with a line that went all the way down the block, and around the back of the convention center.

 

This was new this year - only one entrance in. All the other entrances (including the 'shortcuts' skybridges from the Merchandise Mart (where all the gaming is located), were blocked by Security guards who were allowing exit only.

 

I TOTALLY get it, I really do. It was for Security (and secondary, if you have everyone going in thru one entrance, they can get an accurate count for the FireMarshall). But yeah, it sucked having to stand in such a long line just to get into the dealer's room to try to spend $$.

 

to be fair tho, the line *did* continuously move. it was long, but it never stopped moving. and after about 25 minutes, we were in thru the front doors and up the 1st set of escalators into the Convention Center, where the Dealer's room is housed.

 

so here's me and Cynthia in the long giant line to get into Dealer's Room.

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the Dealer's room was HUGE this year.

 

taking up all *four* floors of the Convention Center, with the 4th floor being Comics & Artist's alley - this year they had moved Artist's Alley from next to the Art Show in the lower level of the Hyatt, over to the top floor of the Convention Center . . which makes total sense, because that level is where all the comic book talent tends to be grouped. So it's perfect to have artist's alley next to the comic creators.

 

what DIDN'T make sense, was putting some panel rooms here. I actually didn't attend any of the panels that were held here, mainly because to get in? on had to wait in the long line outside. even if you just wanted to go to a panel (I found this out when I hung out with a friend on Saturday who was wanting to go to a panel here, and we had to wait in the long line. I stayed with him while in line - which on Sat was actually in the street, which they had blocked off and set up queues up and down the pavement).

 

I didn't mind going to the Dealer's room since I knew I wouldn't spend a lot (ha!!), having been so many times, most things I may have wanted, I've bought already. But I forgot I have to be vigilant to avoid *new* sellers, who have all kinds of cool things.

 

the main reason I want to go to browse, is because I have multiple friends who are vendors here at Dragon*con, and it's a chance to visit with them during the day. Of course, the Dealer's room was SO huge this year, after browsing for FOUR hours, I had finished and still hadn't spotted some friends, so I had to text them to find out where the heck their booth was! LOL I had walked right by it and missed them.

 

anywho.. here I am at the wonderful mural painted on the side of the 4th floor entrance at the top of the Escalators - which is where Cynthia and I headed 1st (start at the top, and work our way down)

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tho one of the first booths I spotted was Chandra Free - an incredible artist aquantance. . so of course, I stopped and said hello and got a pic with her :)

 

sitting near her was Yanick Paquette - an artist who has done a lot of covers for DC comics, and whom I have known online for many years (since Gail Simone's message board back in the mid 2000's). He was sketching a commission (as many of the artists in Artist's Alley do) so didn't want to interrupt him, but said a quick hello before continuing on.

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and whom did we bump into? Travis and Larry (my roomies). .and as we were saying hello, David happened by and we grabbed him.

 

only at Dragon*con, can there be 85,000 people, and you keep bumping into your friends! LOL

 

so as a group, we roamed the 4th floor of the Convention center for the next 20 minutes. .

 

LtR: me, David, Travis, Cynthia

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stopping to chat with Mike Grell (most well known for Warlord, and Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics).

 

he is a super interesting, and very funny guy, and both Larry and David are big fans. . so he posed for a pic with all of us:

 

LtR: Me, David, Travis, Mike Grell, Larry, Cynthia

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by this point, Cynthia was getting hungry, and she headed off with Travis and Larry to grab some lunch.

 

I continued thru the 4th floor, and bumped into my friend Jean-Paul, so JP and we decided to hang together for a bit.

 

the next creator we stopped to chat with is the Fabulous Jill Thompson (who has done a lot of work on the "Invisibles" comics, and the "Sandman" comics (Neil Gaiman's universe). . but is likely best known for her own creation: "Scary Godmother" - who has been in multiple comics series, animated television specials and prints.

 

I'm a huge fan, and was thrilled to get to chat with her. She was selling at her table, excess "Scary Godmother" dolls - that she had financed thru a kickstarter a few years ago. . and they were just GORGEOUS.

 

I was so tempted, but said to her "I have no way to carry it around!" since I hadn't brought my shoulder bag with me. . to which she pulled out a Scary Godmother canvas bag, and smiled.

 

so . . yep, I'm the proud owner of a Scary Godmother doll now (which is already sitting underneath my Alex Ross painted print that I have on the wall of the comic room).

 

Jill was also cool enough to step out from behind her booth to pose for a pic with JP and I (JPs a big Jill Thompson fanboy too) :)

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yeah. . some of the art for sale up in Artist's Alley is "Klassy". . . still wasn't as eye opening as the "Sexy-thug" versions of comic characters that I saw the next day in the Art Show. Those were borderline offensive, and that artist was placed right at the front entrance doors! what a way to make a 1st impression. .LOL

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Well done Hela and Loki that I stopped to snap a pic of on the 3rd floor of the Dealer's Room

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This is my friend Cody.

 

Cody left Digisuite *way* after I did last night, and ended up having an "interesting" overnight experience. . .but he was vertical, and doing a great job selling his books (he's an Author" and this pic is at his booth, which I took and sent to the Digi folks to prove he was standing up, LOL).

 

I tease him with love, as he's a sweetheart. I'm glad everything worked out and he was able to get back his belongings that got misplaced during overnight shenanigans!

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I guess because the Atlanta site was celebrating an anniversary of some sort, but "Ripley's Believe it or Not" had a booth set up in the Dealer's Room/Exhibitor's Hall. . .and was showing off some cool stuff (and some gross stuff like a giant hairball) from the Atlanta location.

 

they were also handing out lots of free swag, such as stickers and postcards, and comics.

 

These are the self-lacing Nike's from the "Back to the Future" film

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and Michael J. Fox's hoverboard (one of the film used ones)

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being as it's a Pop Culture / Sci-Fi con?

 

they also brought some cool Star Wars props: Luke's Lightsaber

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and Han's blaster

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they even brought along some "real" space stuff, such as a true Astronaut's glove, and a meteorite.

 

as noted, it was a bit odd they had a display up, but weren't really selling anything. I guess just getting the name out there and letting attendees know there was an Atlanta location.

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just a random Monkey God roaming the Dealer's Room.

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my friend Alan Strange, who works with the UtiliKilt booth - that booth is always super popular.

 

loved his shirt today.

 

you can see some of the "ribbons" I have on my badge - this was after I had clipped off a good 20 of em, tho by end of day, I had more on the badge again.

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ok.. Alan and I acting like we normally do.

 

in addition to being one of the coolest folks I've met thru Digitribe? He's a member (Bass player) of several fantastic Metal bands in Atlanta area: Prime Mover and also Valkyrie (whom I hope tour to Austin area so I can see them live - color coded drag Valkyries playing metal music? sign me up for that show!)

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on the 2nd floor, I bumped into my 2nd "uh-oh, I'm spending $$" booth. . as this is a gentleman who does sculpture & prints, and all kinds of cool art. Not just Disney, there was some Harry Potter and Superhero work avail. too.

 

but these Magic Kingdom prints stopped me in my tracks, and got me in to talk to him.

Turned out I had never seen him at Dragon*con before, because last year was his first time attending as a seller (and I had skipped last year). .so he was "new to me" and that certainly explained why he caught my eye.

 

I explained to him that I had PROMISED I would not buy any more art, but would talk to my spouse and if he approved that I'd be back before con was over. Turned out that I was able to get hold of Nick via text and told him I had seen these amazing Disney prints that I really, really wanted. . and would it be OK to purchase? Nick got back quickly and told me that a) it's Disney, and b) he trusts my taste, so if I like them? go ahead and get them.

 

so I immediately went back to this guy's booth and ordered 3 of the 4 he had on display (I didn't pick up the "map of Neverland" as it wasn't park-specific enough for me. Tho looking on his site after, I saw a fantastic Space Mountain one that I loved, and also ordered.

 

here' the Haunted Mansion one I got (large size, of course)

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and the Jungle Cruise one. .

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and this absolutely incredible Magic Kingdom

 

his work was absolutely stunning.

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again, a more "normal" pic of us, once I got behind the table to really say "hello"

 

Michelle, me, Karen

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Heaven and myself (Casey was off talking to some folks while attempting a "vape break". . but he kept getting stopped.

 

These folks all hang out together during Con.. working together all day, and going out to dinner most nights after dealer's room closes.

 

they invited me along to go with them to Bennihanna the next night - a tradition for them - but the one by the Con Hotels had closed last year, so they were going to one further away and I couldn't go since the Spectrum Party was Saturday night and I didn't want to leave the con area.

 

So Heaven said (or maybe it was Eddie), "how about Vortex tonight? meet in Hyatt Lobby at 8?"

 

you know from my prior post how much I love Vortex. .and it was Friday night, I had nothing really "planned". .so sure, I was in!!

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Karen & Michelle were participating in another Dragon*con thing (similar to the ribbons, I had not much idea about this one either) called "Swag N Seek". . where folks bring little gifts to trade with others participating when you meet up with someone else participating.

 

this bag was a sign in their booth that they were participating. I saw a lot of interest from folks, just in the time I was visiting with them, so seems like a fun way to interact with others and share your wares.

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After going thru Dealer's room floors twice, I finally gave in and texted the friends I hadn't seen:

 

Karen from "Broken Bottle Designs" (recycled glass jewelery)

&

Casey & Heaven from "Snacks from Japan" (flavors of P-ocky, PeeJoy, drinks, all kinds of cool Japanese import snacks)

 

with their booth signs made by quilting master Michelle -- and asked them where the hell their booth was!

 

once they told me, I was able to track them down and hang for a bit visiting.

 

Karen on left, Michelle (who was helping Karen sell) on right.

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going back to the room to drop off my Scary Godmother doll, I passed this awesome "the Dark Crystal" cosplay out in front of the Hyatt.

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and Indiana Jones cosplay! LOL. they were great.

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no idea, but I liked their outfits.. from an Anime ? :p

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and probably my favorite of the Con:

 

what do you get when you cross a happy Painter with the creator of the Daleks?

 

BOB DAV-ROSS

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Bwaaaaa Haaaa Haaaaaa

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Since I was in the Hyatt anyways, I detoured up to the DigiSuite just to see who was about, and among the folks hanging out there was Carling !

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apparently she was not cosplaying from MidSommer (which is what I thought she was doing, and several folks thought). . but regardless, Carling looked fantastic

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here's Sarah in her Friday afternoon outfit.

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and celebrating her win in the game. . LOL

(I was on the losing team. .thanks Josh!)

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heading back to the Marriott to drop off the doll, since now it was getting close to when I had to meet folks for dinner. . found these folks: Buzz and Jessie!

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and some Tusken Raiders just hanging about near the Marriott restaurants.

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I've now gone back to the room, dropped off my stuff, and headed back down towards the Hyatt to meet Casey/Karen/Michelle, etc. .

 

this is the view walking from the Marriott towards the Hyatt skybridge. it was about 7:45 pm on Friday. . so the crowds were just starting to pick up.

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in the Hyatt lobby while waiting to meet up, saw this wonderful outfit - which I bet she's glad she wore on Friday, as it's so bulky it would have been a real bear to get thru the busier crowds on Sat or Sunday.

 

LOVED it.

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it was a bit bright in the Hyatt still, but you can kinda see the LED lights woven into the dress. it was beautiful.

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yep. . .LOL

 

(that's Rick and Casey behind me watching me post with the shrine, and Casey's Mom Toni-Ann with her back to us).

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once we all met up, Casey and Heaven each called an Uber (or Lyft), since there were 9 or so of us. Some folks had gone ahead to get on the waiting list, so we didn't end up waiting too long for a table even for a Friday night, when they were packed.

 

but back at Vortex.. again.

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Heaven & Karen while waiting to be seated.

 

Heaven and Casey got married last year at Con, and I missed it because I skipped a year :(. . the invite was beautiful and gothy tho!

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Casey in the booth (and apologies, I don't really know the gentleman behind Casey . I've met him, but can't recall his name :( )

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Karen, not thrilled she's in another pic. . but I wanted to get the atmosphere of the place on a Friday night.

 

and I get it - she'd been selling all day in the dealer's room and was wiped out.

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Group shot of Friday Vortex gang, by the waiter.

 

Clockwise from lower left: Heaven, Me, Eddie, Wendy (Eddie's fiancee), Toni-Ann (Casey's Mom), ? , Rick, Casey (Heaven's hubby), Michelle, and Karen (refusing to turn around for the picture) :p

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looking up above our tables at the Vortex chandeliers.

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this time I took a pic of my burger! tonight I got:

 

KA’MANA WA’NA LEI’YA

A scoop of chipotle cream cheese, 3 slices of bacon and spicy pineapple jalapeño jelly on Texas toast.

 

it was soooo, sooo good.

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Rick got a Bypass Burger. . not the quadruple one that was in the pic from our 1st trip, but still it's a freaking HUGE burger. He wanted to prove to me that he'd be able to eat it without a knife and fork. . .

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and. . .

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he managed. . holy crap, right???

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a couple of hours later, and several Acid Trips at Vortex. . and we were back at Con.

 

my seller friends, I think may have called it an early night and went to bed to get ready for the craziness of Dealer's room on Saturday. .while I went back up to Digisuite. . and hung out with the folks there.

 

LtR: me, Carling, Jason, Rich (in back)

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view of the Marriott from the Digisuite balcony (I had stepped outside to call home to say goodnight to Nick)

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and captured Lisa making eyes at "Sexy Skeletor" thru the balcony sliding glass doors. . .

 

LOL

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when I got back into the DigiSuite from the balcony, I was thrilled to find that Anna Strange (Alan's wife) had made it to con, and so got my annual pic with her too!

 

yeah, I'm buzzed. . yeah, I think you can tell. . .LOL

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see?

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Not sure how late this was, I think it was approaching 1am? I was ready to call it a night, since I had not gotten a whole lot of sleep the night before.

 

but there were still folks hanging in Digi.

 

on the right, that's John (Brianna's hubby) standing, and Marcella sitting.

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on the way back to the Marriott room, I heard someone shouting my name, and looked over to Sarah, who had tweaked her pink bodypaint from earlier to be a Star Wars character.

 

I didn't recognize her, and if she hadn't called out my name would have walked right by.

 

of course, since it's Sarah, and she looked amazing - as usual - I snapped a pic :)

 

Josh had run back to the apartment to grab some batteries for the Lightsabers, but I was pretty exhausted, so after a quick chat, headed up to the room and conked out.

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close up of the personalizing to me that she did when signing it.

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and here's the doll. . . a steal at only $75 from the creator herself.

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it was during this stop in Digisuite - where I hung out for about an hour - where I got to play a couple of rounds of "Two Rooms & a Boom" since Jason said we had enough folks in there to organize the game.

 

that's Jason up front explaining the game, and Josh painted blue on the left, and Brianna with blue hair on the right

 

it was a really fun game, and the best part was Josh losing because he refused to listen to us that his Wife Sarah (the other team lead) was getting really good advice and was going to double-cross him. . which is exactly what happened. So Sarah's team, deservedly, won :)

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You have a great memory bert. The con is always a blur to me and I only remember bits. I'm loving your tr and it's making me more excited for next year. You got some pictures of cosplayers I didn't see and I enjoyed those. The Aztec guy is one of my friends and that was one of his secret costumes. He likes to make secret costumes for C2E2 and Dragon Con. I forgot to ask what his secret costume was for this year and found out about his Aztec costume when I saw pictures at dinner. I didn't notice before that he didn't have shoes on and I'm surprised. I think he had the costume on for less than an hour, but that's long enough to get filthy feet. I think this was one of 15 costumes he brought. This year he wanted to win Bryan Humphrey's contest for having the most costumes. It's just a silly thing. He always brings more than 10 because he likes being in a lot of photo shoots. Chances are that you saw him various costumes. Thankfully he didn't have a big costume this year so we avoided having to rent a uhaul trailer for the drive down. Anyway I'm looking forward to the rest of your tr.

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^ thanks.

 

LOL. yeah, even drunk, my memory is pretty good (always has been).

 

going thru the pics when deciding what to post triggers what order things happen in too.

 

here's the Dragon*con shirt I got this year - not a 2019 shirt tho, as I didn't care for any of the new designs. Think this is last year's tie-dye

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What an awesome and fun report Bert! Thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us.

 

thanks, I appreciate it

 

lots of pics of me and my friends, but some Costume stuff too.

 

hang in there, SFOG is coming at the end, LOL

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Day 4: Dragon*Con Sat

 

For some reason, I didn't take a lot of pics in the morning.

 

likely because i ended up hanging out with JP most of the morning, and was taking it easy, since tonight was the big Spectrum and Heroes & Villains Ball parties (I never made it to H&V this year. . Spectrum was just too much fun).

 

anyways, on to today's pictures!

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I got out out of bed, starting to look a little worse for wear - hey, 3 days of drinking + 2 visits to Vortex will do that to a person :p.

 

Checking out the app, even tho I had a ton of stuff tagged as interested in? I decided that there was nothing catching my eye this morning and would go check out the Art Show in the lower level of the Hyatt.

 

today felt like a day I wanted to wear my chain-mail, so I popped that on with a pair of jean shorts and headed over to the Hyatt.

 

along the way, passed these guys in the Marriott lobby. . .great Hawkman/Hawkgirl.

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This was my favorite piece of art in the art show. I know this, because I took a picture of it!

 

yes, this year they were encouraging folks to take pics and share on social media, the artwork. That's a massive change from prior years where no pics were allowed in the art show.

 

I didn't really care for the set up, where each artist had a small space in aisles in the center of the room to put their 10 or so best works, and then they had booths all around the outer perimeter where you could go talk to them, or buy prints, etc.

 

it was an odd set up, because it felt like the artist was leaning over your shoulder while you were were looking at the work. I guess they had a lot more space to try this out this year, since they had moved Artist's Alley over to the 4th floor of the Dealer's room. So they were trying something new.

 

It could work very well, with a few tweaks.

 

anyways, I liked this painting.

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I was looking at some of the art, when I got a text from JP asking what I was up to this morning.

 

I told him I was in art show, and he said he was as well (again, Dragon*con - 85K people, but you'll keep finding your friends). I sent him this pic to show him what I was wearing, and within moments, we had found each other and proceeded to walk the art show together.

 

funnily, the "hearts" that I have on my badge - which were a gift from my friend Chip (who works at Dragon*con registration, and gave it to me when I picked up my badge) are actually a Magnet.

 

and when wearing the chain mail? it was causing my badge to stick to my chest.

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there was a guy selling "original gangsta" stickers. .and JP and I were both impressed by his art work. JP debated buying something, but he couldn't get anything big or a print. But the artist did have stickers of each of his designs, so JP decided to get one.

 

And despite my urging to get Easy-e? he ended up with the only non-rapper: Deadpool.

 

so yeah, I gave him a LOT of crap about not buying Easy-e, the original (much to the artist's amusement). . . and then to rub it in I pulled out some $$ and bought an Easy myself.

 

where to put it tho? the Artist had some tape, so rather than peeling the sticker, Easy-e ended up taped over my right nipple. And since the magnet on my badge was holding the badge "stuck" anyways? it ended up over my left nipple.

 

yeah. . I did walk around like this. . LOL

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this was another piece of art that was impressive as hell. . woodcut "mechanical oddities"

 

thought it was a *little* bit pricey ($2500), but for a hand done thing? it was really cool.

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JP decided he wanted to go to one of the Comics Panels, that was in the dealer's room. The panel wasn't for about an hour and 1/2, but he knew he had to wait in line to get into Dealer's room to go to the panel. I had nothing really planned, and I like hanging out with JP. . so I went with him to keep him company in the GIGANTIC line.

 

I had not planned - AT ALL -- to go back into the dealer's room, let alone wait in the line again. Today was the day they had the street blocked off with the queues running back and forth up the street, and I believe it took us almost 50 minutes to get in the doors.

 

i really didn't mind, as the time flew, and I was enjoying hanging out with JP (he keeps flasks of many choices in his coat of many colors. . LOL. . .so the time flew).

 

once in tho, he went to the panel, and I just wandered around, visiting my friends who were selling.

 

here's Alan at the Utilikilt booth again. both of us looking like we hadn't gotten enough sleep. . .LOL

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Posed for this to post on my FB.

 

i noted for my friends, that I'm "Georgia legal".. nipples covered.

 

heh.

 

oh, and I had my spurs on today too. .which helped getting thru the crowds (no, really). It's funny tho, it's like I thought to myself - the chainmail doesn't make enough noise, let's put on some spurs and jingle-jangle some more.

 

i hadn't thought that to myself, but I noticed how noisy I was while walking around.

 

after visiting with folks until ~4pm, I headed back to the room intending to lay down and take a nap. . and then realized that I had forgotten to eat anything today, and was starting to get a little light headed.

 

i threw on a T-shirt, and headed over to the Hilton (Southern Elements - the restaurant just off the lobby, that no one ever realizes is there, since it's behind the bar. And that's also where the Hilton sets up the DJ, so many just don't even realize there's a table service restaurant in there).

 

I was seated immediately - and moved to a spot behind a support wall, so the DJ music wasn't so overwhelming, and texted a few friends to see what they were up to. Most were in panels, but it turned out Jesse & Christina were in a waiting line just downstairs at Trader Vics' (David, whom I had texted asked if I wanted to join them).

 

I told them screw a waiting list, and that I was already at a table (for 4) and they should come up a level and just join me. So they did, and within 20 minutes we were eating.

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the food was good - it always is - and filling. and the Blueberry Lemonade (alcoholic, remember the restaurant is attached to a bar) fantastic.

 

but after eating, Jesse ordered this: the Hilton's Dragon*con signature desert.

 

that's a chocolate shell (filled with raspberies and chocolate mousse) with chocolate wings, Tie Fighter, sitting on a caramel sauce.

 

it was reasonable price wise too..

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I was so impressed that I took two pictures of it.

 

Entirely edible .

 

think it was a big seller for them at con this year. At least for those who know the restaurant is back there :)

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after a wonderful late lunch/early dinner, I told them I simply must take a nap, before getting ready for the Spectrum party (and the Queerios meetup before). . so I said my goodbyes, and as I was walking out past the bar? I notice someone who looks like Dax Exclamation ! (from RuPaul's Drag Race a couple of seasons ago. . who's Drag look is heavily cosplay influenced). I made my way over, and peeked at her badge, which said "Dax"

 

so I asked her if she was the Dax ! that had been on RuPaul, and she confirmed and was pleased I recognized her. I told her, of course I do, I love RPDR.

 

so I got to meet a TV personality, and she kindly posed for a picture with me.

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then it was time to hightail it across the street back to our room in the Marriott for a nap.

 

i knew the skybriges would be nuts on Late Sat afternoon, so headed out the main entrance of the Hilton where I saw this great group Cosplay) and crossed the street outside to get to the Marriott - where I easily caught an elevator from a lower floor and was able to get a 45 minute nap.

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after napping, and showering, I was up and getting dressed for the 8pm Queerios Meetup, and the Spectrum Party after.

 

this is what I wore.

 

the "theme" of the Spectrum Party was "Alice's Twisted Adventures in Wonderland" - but they dont' enforce any kind of theme costume to get in. . as you'll see from the party pics.

 

but I basically went to my closet, and pulled out a bunch of my stuff and just threw it together.

 

technically, I was calling myself "the fairly kink" (a play on the fairy king). .but it's not like I spent any money putting this together.

 

LOL

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and both wands light up and change color. .

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see?

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I headed to the Queerios meetup in the Hilton, which was a meet and greet just to hang out and drink for a bit before everyone headed over to the Spectrum party at 10.

 

I thought that was WAY too early to go. . what kind of folks show up to a party on time????

 

but I really enjoyed meeting some of these folks, most of whom I did not know, and some of whom I had only talked to online.

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she had just come from a "Succubus Photo Shoot"

 

not really sure WHAT that is? but based on her outfit? gonna try to find out when it is, so I can go take pics of the participants.

 

she was really cool tho.

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as were these two - sHe-Ra, and He-man.

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We're ready to fight for justice. . . or something. . . .

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as I Implied, I wasn't gonna go with the Queerios group to Spectrum (it was simply too early), so instead I headed over to Digi to hang out for a while.

 

on the way thru the Hyatt lobby to get to the elevators, there was this fantastic Trixie Mattel (another RuPaul's drag race personality) cosplay - who stayed in character the whole time, insisting she was the real Trixie, after I told her I had met Dax ! earlier in the day.

 

it's not Trixie. .too short. . but still, great cosplay.

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and as usual, bumped into another friend that I've known for years and years.

 

this is Meg, she also works for Dragon*con, and is the Daughter of my dear friend Chris (who apparently had been at con and I had missed her.. but would get to see Chris on Sunday (yay) when she and her hubby, and Meg's brother Finn came out to con rocking some amazing Princess Bride cosplay.

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speaking of amazing cosplay - the Neverending Story !!!!

 

OMG. .she was SO adorable!

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eventually I made it up to Digi, where drinks were flowing and the gang was having a great time visiting.

 

Carling made a great Trek person. I even let her hold my Wand.

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and Nate. .who was happy to see me for the 1st time Con.

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everybody wanted to pay with my wand. . hehehe.

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Alan Strange. . I *think* was doing Avengers Endgame Thor?

 

or he could have been doing Big lebowski. . I dunno. .LOL

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Lisa's hubby (and Kayli's Dad), Mike. . finally was able to get a pic with him this year.

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and then . . . into the dark bathroom where some spoooky pictures with the light up wand.

 

LOL. .I don't remember taking these, but there were probably 20 of them on my phone, with all the different color combos.

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I'm just sharing a few, since they did come out kinda neat.

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and after one more drink refill?

 

I headed off to Westin up the street to go to the Spectrum party!

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holy. . . it's busy, and the party had been going on for an hour or so at this point.

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lots of dancing, lots of fun.

 

the music was GREAT, and the bars were packed (luckily I had gotten my drink on before heading over, so no need to stand in those lines).

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I look like i'm standing still posing. .but was dancing. and sweating off the alcohol.

 

I'm not wearing a lot of clothes, but what I am wearing? is HOT.. especially the "dead muppet" arm covers. . . LOL. .I was sweating like a piggo.

 

thank goodness for sealer, to keep the makeup on!

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Leloo Dallas Multipass !!!

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one of the Queerios organizers whom I met the 1st night of con at a meet and greet.

 

she was really fun to hang with, and hang on (apparently). . LOL

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the DJ for the party.

 

"DJ NEON: the GloGoBear"

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as noted, he was spinning some GREAT music, and kept the place hopping until lights on after 2am.

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It's ThemeParkReview. .so here's some Minnie Mouse cosplay at the Spectrum Party

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Getting later, crowd is only getting bigger.

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showing off my horns. . and managed, despite the frankenboot platforms, and the alcohol consumed, to not pop anyone in the head with them. at least that I remember.

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a really good Falcon cos-play.

 

I think he may have wandered in from the heroes & Villains ball next door. . LOL

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not sure if she was doing a Aunty Entity (from Beyond Thunderdome) or not. . but regardless, she looked incredible!

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Glowing Chuthulu Brassiere for the win for one of my favorite looks at Con.

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ohhhhhh. . her's has LED in them too.

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and so does his "flasher" trenchcoat.

 

this cycled thru a lot of different colors, and was very interesting to watch. I think it might have even reacted to the pulsing beat of the music.

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Needed an air break so stepped out front, and bumped into some Frank N Furter cosplay (she may have been coming over from the Rocky Horror Show which had just wrapped up in the Hyatt).

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End of night, and spotted this guy (and yes, I asked if I could take a picture, as this outfit even shocked me a little bit).

 

he was confident enough to wear this (what little of it there is), but also wore a full face mask. .so maybe not that confident?

 

here's the front.

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and here's the back.

 

HOW DOES IT STAY ON???

 

magic.

 

 

and with this, I put the camera away, and danced until the music stopped, the lights came up, and I headed back to the room to go to sleep.

 

I still had not done a single panel yet, but was having a blast at Dragon*con 2019

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Day 5: Dragon*con Sunday

 

so on Sunday, I woke up fairly early (considering what time I had gone to bed), I think it was around 9:45.

 

I had taken a shower to wash off all the makeup and sweat from dancing, so I was laying there thinking I was hungry.

 

I don't recall if Travis or Larry were in the room, and come to think of it? them leaving/door closing might be what woke me up.

 

I pulled up the Dragon*con app, just to see what was going on, and saw that starting momentarily was the Sunday Black Lightning Panel - a show I love. It was in a Hilton Ballroom starting shortly.

 

I figured most of my friends would be asleep, so I got up planning to grab some food at Southern Elements in the Hilton, as their Breakfast/Brunch Buffet is one of my favorites. I'd peek into the Black Lightning panel, and if I was able to get in? I'd finally go to a panel. if wasn't able to get in? then I'd just go eat.

 

figured it was win-win either way, so I threw on some clothes and headed out.

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I got to the panel about 8 minutes after the start time, and shockingly? Not only was there no crush to get in, but the large ballroom was 4/5th empty! With a good chunk of the cast there.

 

i was able to walk right in and go all the way up to the 3rd row! (star Cress Williams even waved to me as I came in and sat down).

 

the panel was a lot of fun, and they really enjoyed talking about stuff, which I'm sure they had also talked about in the Friday and Saturday panels. Nafessa Williams who plays Thunder wasn't with them, but the other attending cast was.

 

Turns out they film in Atlanta (so they are local), which is interesting, since the other WB "DC-Heroes" shows all film in Vancouver.

 

LtR: Moderator, Cress Williams (Black Lightning), China Anne McClain (Lightning), James Remar (Gambi), & Jordan Calloway (Painkiller).

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it was a super interesting panel. .I really enjoyed it. .and tho it took me FOUR days to go to a panel? hey, at least I did. . LOL

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While sitting listening, I realized why the turnout was so light.

At the end of the panel, I was close enough that I was able to go up to Cress Williams and James Remar and shake their hands, and say to them: "I'm sorry the turnout is so light this morning, and thank you for all coming as I love the show. The turnout is light because y'all are doing a 10am panel the morning after the Spectrum Party and the Heroes and Villains ball - both of which ended well after 2am, and THOSE are your audience"

 

(If you don't watch the show, BL has several LGBTQ characters (Spectrum party attendees), and it's a Superhero show (Heroes and Villains ball attendees).

 

Mr. Williams said "ahhhhh".. then laughed and thanked me for coming out this morning.

 

don't recall if I mentioned it was my only panel of Con that I had gone to, but I likely did :)

 

then I headed out and while checking the FB group messenger saw that Travis and Larry had asked if anyone wanted to go to Southern Elements for lunch. I responded I was headed that way and would meet them.

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but on the way saw this great Cosplay from 5th Element, just hanging out in the Hilton lobby area.

 

That's how you do it, I suppose. Stake out a spot and let folks come to you while you pose.

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really well done tho, right?

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I took this pic of my plate from the buffet, to try to get a few others to join us. But turned out I didn't really need to , as Mike, Lisa, and Kayli had already planned to meet with Travis & Larry for Brunch.

 

which it turned out they never really stopped serving, even tho it had said it was an 11:30 cut off, all they did was put out a few more "lunch" options, and raise the price a few bucks.

 

we were all grandfathered in, so got the breakfast price tho.

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after we finished eating, we went out front to say our farewells for the afternoon. . here's me, Lisa, Kayli, and Mike. But while chatting it turned out I had nothing really I wanted to do.

 

Kayli wanted to go to the arcade in the Gaming section in the Merchandise Mart (since as well as lots of LARPing, miniatures, tabletop, and card gaming, they also had set up a full free-play arcade), and Lisa wanted to go to dealer's room.

 

So I said, "Sure, I'll join y'all.. . let's go wander"

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but not before taking this "lovely" pic. . .

 

heh

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I thought this Poison Ivy was pretty well done too, she hand made/hand dyed that cape.

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Punk rock Storm. YEAH!

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and it took until Sunday, but I finally got my yearly, "Pic with a furry"

 

I asked him (her?) if he was just a Dragon? or if he was a furry? and tho I couldn't figure out the response, we decided it's close enough to a furry, that it counts as my yearly pic :)

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an awesomely well done Red Lantern.

 

we got outside the Hyatt, and saw a huge line going down the street near Apparel Mart (where the dealer's room is). . it was longer than the line that had been the day before, when I waited with JP for almost an hour.

 

Lisa took a look at it and said hell no.. . so instead, we cut thru the long line to walk right into Merchandise Mart, and up to the gaming.

 

where Lisa and I played some Pinball, while Kayli and Mike played something like Galaga, or Dig Dug . . . but eventually Kayli wanted to go over to some of the "Japanese" gaming they had set up.

 

NONE of the directions were in English, but folks seemed to know what they were doing.

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like this drumming game, that seemed to involve following the drumbeat to dancing food.

 

i had no idea, but I loved watching them play it.

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there were a whole line of games that looked like versions of "Dance Dance Revolution". .and these instructions *were* in English. . LOL. .but I still had absolutely no idea what one really is supposed to do, other than just try to hit the flashing steps as indicated on the screen/floorpads. there were quite a bit of people working up a hell of a sweat, and taking full advantage of that bar in the back to lean on to stomp away at the steps in the order the machine wanted you to.

 

Kayli liked it.

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Mike did it with her. . . LOL.. the faces he makes while concentrating!

 

Lisa did it too, but I promised I wouldn't post those pics. . LOL

 

It was an interesting experience, and I guess like being inside one of the many Japanese arcades in Tokyo. Real Sensory Overload. . but it was very cool to see.

 

we hung out here for about 45 minutes, and then checked the line for Dealer's room and it was still insanely long. . . so the Allen family wandered off to find the end of the line, and I headed back to the Marriott to maybe relax a bit in the room. The evening before was catching up with me.

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I was in the room for maybe about 10 minutes. .when one of my Queerios Dragon*con friends texted me and said - are you interested in going to Vortex for lunch?

 

yep, here was my response.

 

My phone was running low on battery, so I left it plugged in and met my friends in the lobby, and we headed via MARTA to Vortex for my 3rd trip there in 4 days!

 

no pics, since didn't have my phone, but since I was so full from breakfast still (it was only 3 pm or so, I think), that I ended up just getting "Mom's Grilled Cheese". . which the staff made fun of me for ordering, instead of the MOFO. . LOL

 

I was expecting it tho, as here's what the menu says about the MOFO

 

GRILLED CHEESY MOFO

Pepper jack, provolone, cheddar and BACON on buttergriddled, parmesan encrusted sourdough. If you can’t handle this Mofo, then order “Mom’s Grilled Cheese” instead – it’s totally normal.

 

it was enough, considering how full I was. .but I did drink water with it - and then ruined it completely by getting funnel cake fries before we headed back to Con.

 

The atmosphere was really "off" since we were there on a Sunday afternoon (too bright, too empty), but at the end of the day it was Vortex, so I enjoyed myself.

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Getting back to the Marriott, I was still thinking I needed a nap, and headed to the room. But upon getting to room and grabbing my phone, I checked the Dragon*con app and saw that William Shatner had a panel that was just about to start. I like listening to him - he rambles on, and likes to tell the same stories over and over..it's like listening to my Dad - so I figured I could go to that, and just sit in the back and relax.

 

his panel was in a Marriott ballroom, so I was in my hotel anyways.

 

So back down the elevator I went.

 

I found the room and it was pretty full, and sat down in the back. . and *then* noticed i had gone into a ballroom on the wrong level when someone OTHER than Shatner was introduced. Shatner was a level below. . .so who had I wandered into?

 

why Catherine Tate - a British Comedienne, who's likely best known at a Pop Culture Con, for being Dr. Who's companion "Donna" (aka: the runaway bride).

 

she was funny, within a minute of me sitting down. . so I stayed.

 

yep, I went to TWO panels this Dragon*con, even tho the 2nd one was by accident.

 

here's the view of the room from towards the back where I sat down.

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but the sound in these rooms is great, so easy to hear her stories and interactions, and as you can see, they have video screens that let even those towards the back see what's going on.

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can see pretty well via the screens if you don't wanna strain to look at the people on the stage up front.

 

anyways, she was greatly amusing, and I listened to her while I was texting/chatting with friends at Con, and keeping myself busy clearing emails and just scrolling thru FB.

 

I got a message from my friend Chris (Meg's Mom, whom I had missed the prior day, and whom I've known for well over 20 years, from back on Comic Book Resources boards, where she was a Mod). She told me she and Troy, and their Son Finn had arrived at the con and were making their way thru the Marriott and would love to see me.

 

So I grabbed my stuff and headed out into the main atrium to meet up with them (I only missed maybe the last 15 minutes of the panel)

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came across this GREAT "Gentleman Ghost" (a Batman Villain) while making my way across to the Pulse Bar, where I was gonna meet them.

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While waiting, I noticed I was behind this Deadpool, getting a drink at the bar.

 

I read his thought balloon sign, it made me laugh, and so I took a picture.

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and next thing I knew, my long-time friend showed up, cosplaying as Inigo Montoya with her son as Dread Pirate Roberts! (and Troy as a steampunk musician)

 

OMG. .she looked SO incredible.

 

and I was happy that Meg had shown me a picture of Finn the night before, as last time I had seen him, he was a baby, and here he was over 21. . holy crap!

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really, really great cosplay.

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and I was so happy to see my friends!

 

we hung out and visited for a bit, then Chris needed a smoke break (Troy too), so we all headed down to the back dock/lower level of Marriott (over where the Dealers room used to be many Cons ago), so she could puff away.

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this guy was amazing!

 

I only wish i had gotten a pic in any other hotel, as that awful "Skidmark" Marriott carpet really doesn't make the costume pop at all. It was impressive as hell in person.

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Chris and Finn looked so good (Troy too, but mainly Chris/Finn, since they were so identifiable), that I convinced them that if we stopped on the main level and just stood for a bit, folks would come ask them for pictures.

 

and they did.

 

really nice Blade Runner cosplay

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now one with the Replicant!

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after making sure Finn is 21, and with his Mom's hysterical laughing approval. . go this pic of Finn with "Slave Leo" ?

 

LOL

 

(Finn really had no problem posing with this guy. .it was great)

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Not sure what they were cosplaying as. . maybe Zombie Tramp? (From the comic of the same name). .but they both looked good.

 

about this time it was getting close to 7:30 and I still had to change so I could get over to Digisuite, where it's tradition to watch Masquerade as a group. . and basically MST3K the crap out of it

(NO MAKING FUN OF CHILDREN THO..that's a rule).

 

So I said my goodbye's to Clan Solaris (what I call my friends, since her mod name on CBR was Solaris), and rushed upstairs to change. . while fielding texts saying "where are you? Masquerades about to start!"

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wasn't even gonna chance going thru the pedestrian bridges/habitrails on a Dragon*con evening, so I went out the front door of the Marriott to cross the street to get into the Hyatt.

 

which I'm glad I did, as the Back to the Future Delorean pulled up as I was walking out.

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wasn't able to get a pic before the tail lights flared out (thanks large, inconsiderate woman who blocked my picture). .but once she moved was at least able to get the famous "OUTATIME" plates.

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magic woosh, and I'm in Digisuite ready for Masquerade to start. Our side of the Peanut Gallery sofa:

 

Ltr: John (Brianna's hubby, me, Neal, and in back Josh.. and a lady who's name I can't recall).

 

Yes, Neal is wearing a "sculpted chest" Tshirt. . LOL

 

 

oh. . you're wondering why we have swords on our heads?

 

well. . I don't have time to go into the full legend of "Sword Guy". . so the cliffs' notes version is:

 

for many, many years, a guy entered the masquerade (he also marched in the Parade), and every year, his "costume" and "skit" was basically the same - he came out and balanced swords, on his head, on his feet, on his arms. It was cool the first time, and interesting the 2nd year. . but then it got really repetitive, even when he started adding "Alien" ladies to the skit. . and eventually he even started "Rick-Rolling" the Masquerade audience, as it would start out as a Star Trek or Babylon 5 cosplay, and next think you knew, Sword Guy would be on his back with swords on his feet and head. . LOL Whispers are that the Masquerade team gave him a prize one year so he would stop entering (and he hasn't been in since, or maybe rarely. .tho he has shown up in the Parade occasionally).

I think the guy is actually a local Belly Dancer/Shamen of some sort.. but, yeah..that's the "legend of Sword Guy"

 

anyways. .this year? Josh (in the back there) decided he was going to cosplay as Sword Guy - a BRILLIANT cosplay. . LOL..and many of us in Digi got in on the act and got to wear some of his extra swords.

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ta-daaaaaa

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Do we look amused? we were very amused.

 

and drinking too.

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John, myself, and Swords!

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quick view back at the room, those behind us watching masquerade from beyond the couch.

 

on couch in this pic is: Cynthia, Lisa, Marce.

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Kayli, Lisa, Marce, Kevin (with sword), V, and John (with Sword)..with folks behind looking at the TV.

 

Jason (black Tshirt) seems particularly interested in what's going on in the Masquerade at the moment.

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Sarah (Josh's wife) came in with her outfit for the evening. . something with scorpion/crab claws? she'll be angry I don't remember, but it was cool looking.

 

(and I was getting buzzed. .the punch for the room was strong tonight)

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Later a group went down to lobby so Josh could lay on the ground with his swords (didn't get a pic of that). .but I did get a pic of Sarah (and Lily) with her full costume on.

 

Cool, right? and see? something with crab claws and scorpion tail.

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I (still with Sword) was buzzed, and getting munchies, when Carling (with sword) and her hubby John, along with his Brother, decided to grab something to eat from the connected mall. .which was still open close to Midnight.

 

So I tagged along and had end of night mall pizza. . which was not great, but OK. hey, I'm not complaining, it was something to eat, LOL

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but before we could go eat, need to take some "tilting arty pics"

 

tho honestly, think we were tilting so we didn't smack each other in the head with the swords. . .something I kept doing !

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see. . full tilt to not stab Sarah

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Mallet and Sword. . .

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After eating, it was WAY too early to go to bed. .it was only like 12:45, and I wanted to see Cruxshadows - who weren't even supposed to go on until ~1:30am (which really meant closer to 2am).

 

But I was determined to at least catch some of them, even tho was still planning to go to Six Flags Over Georgia in the morning. Was supposed to go with a few folks, but had a feeling hangovers would win out over rollercoasters. .but at least at the moment, I was determined to go.

 

So I wandered around on the Mezzanine level of the Hyatt and found a Harley Quinn. I absolutely adore her confidence and thought she looked great.

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oh.and apparently I made it back up to Digi again, since I have these pics of someone else being Sword Guy.. LOL.

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I LOVE this pic. . .it's so, so great!

 

and very, very "Sword Guy"

 

Oh, now I remember, I went back up to Digi to see if anyone wanted to go see Cruxshdows, and a couple of folks did go down with me.

 

We got there around 1:30 and, of course, the 1st band was still on, since Masquerade ALWAYS runs late, and makes the bands using the stage late too.

 

but while wandering thru the crowd during the 1st band (no idea who they were) looking for my friends Karen (from Dealers Room) and Don (whom I hadn't seen all con). . . but I knew they were there, since they both love Cruxshadows, and wouldn't miss it. . . I bumped into Ben.

 

another friend from CBR, who also used to be a Mod there (Watcher). . but who it turned out is a good friend of my Ex. . so I met him in person thru my ex before I knew who he was from CBR. Anyways, it was great to see Ben.

 

he knows both Karen and Don, since most years we do a "CBR meet up" tho I missed it this year, and he told me he hadn't seen them.

 

So I gave in and texted Don - which I HATE doing after 1am, but I figured he was in the concert.. and he responded and told me Karen wanted to sit down so they were towards the back of the gigantic room.

 

So I headed back to find them.

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Success! Last night of Con, but I finally ran into Don (who let me crash with him at the Sheraton a couple of years ago, when I decided last minute to NOT take a year off).

 

and yep, I still had a sword on my head.

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a shot of how crowded the show is. Cruxshadows are one of the best Darkwave bands on the planet, and they don't play in the USA all that often.

 

but they are a tradition at Dragon*con and come every year to close out the last night. Such a fantastic band, and a fantastic tradition!

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this is Rogue, the lead singer, main songwriter.

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Look at ALL THOSE PEOPLE up and enjoying the hell out of themselves at 2:30 am.

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I stayed thru about 1/2 way thru the set. .it was getting late, and I was tired, and knew I had to get up in the morning.

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but first I moved up closer for a few songs, before heading back to the Marriott to climb into bed for the night.

 

stopping to give my Sword to someone heading into the Rave at the Marriott as I passed by the ballroom hosting that.

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looking down the Couch:

 

Kevin (with sword), V (with tongue). .and way in the back Nate (with hat), Alan (holding up wall :p), John (with Sword) and Russell (with messenger bag).

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Day 6, Monday. Blowing off con to go to SFOG

 

Monday's at Dragon*con for my friends and I has become a "recovery" day. . we don't really go to panels, but typically just wander the Dealer's room. or visit friends. and we always do a leisurely "fancy" dinner with any friends whom are still around (or are locals) on Monday night.

 

So this year I was determined that I wanted to go to SFOG on Monday, even tho I was expecting it to be packed as it was Labor Day Holiday. I had made plans to go with Lisa and Kayli, tho Lisa had warned me the prior evening that she wasn't sure she'd be up for it.

 

Even tho I went to bed insanely late, I was up pretty early (hungover and puffy. . but up), and I checked with Lisa and she confirmed that they were gonna bail - and wanted to make sure I wasn't mad about it.

 

Travis and Larry were going to a Baseball game and the other folks I had asked to go all begged off as being too hungover (I was too!! but I was determined to ride things I missed on my one prior visit to the park: Joker's Funhouse Coaster, the Train, and Acrophobia).

 

So I wandered to the Hyatt and used one of my contacts at the bell stand to see if they could get a Taxi to match the Uber or Lyft rate that we had looked up (I don't have the apps on my phone, and can't download any without my spouse's permission. . long story, and not worth relaying. . LOL).

 

anyways, it turned out that the cabs were starving for any business, and my bell stand contact not only found a driver that would take me with a flat rate - for the same cost as Uber, but also would give me his card to give me a ride back later as I had dinner plans with my friends that evening. Turned out I was his first ride since 6am, and I thin it was ~9:30 at that point. . So for $30 (including tip), we left from Hyatt and ~20 minutes later, he was dropping me off at the front gate of SFOG - and getting yelled out for letting me out in a "no dropping" zone.

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I'm here.

 

not feeling great, but here! wOOt wOOt

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um. . so is everyone else.

 

s'ok, I knew it would be crowded, and had planned to likely pick up Flash Pass.

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Standing in the line to get in tho, I had plenty of time to watch Twisted Cyclone and Goliath cycling. . so it was a nice distraction.

 

and before I knew it, I was in the park.

 

hmmm. . didn't seem all that crowded here? Everyone was going left for some reason, towards Scorcher and the Log Flume (which ended up having long lines all day, so I skipped both), but going right? was kinda dead.

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I peeked into Flash Pass, wen walking by. And saw they were charging something like $139 for it that day, so walked out and instead figured I'd take a ride on Twisted Cyclone standby, and see how it goes.

 

the downstairs queue area was only about a 3rd full, and the employee at the entrance told me that meant it was about a 20 minute wait (which proved to be only about 5 minutes longer than it was).

 

so I got in line

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Pics from the queue line. They were running 2 trains, tho stacking.

 

which meant the line wasn't consistently moving. .but it WAS moving, which was fine with me.

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and you can get some fantastic pics of the coaster form the stairs going up into the station.

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Already pretty far up in the line, after only a couple of minutes in.

 

the line looks longer than it is, because the queue lines are so wide. . it really wasn't much of a wait at all.

 

Especially when I got to the top of the stairs and realized there's a single rider line in the station, that's before the front car. I wasn't sure it was open, since no one was in it, but the operator told me it was, and they immediately put me in an open seat a couple of rows back.

 

From the time I hit the station at the top of the stairs until my butt sat in a train? about 20 seconds.

 

all in all, it was only ~20 minutes in line. Fantastic ride too.

 

short, but wonderfully intense, and that wave turn. whee!

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Acrophobia was cycling, and since that was my main objective? I headed just up that way, planning to go back to get the Flash Pass if I needed it.

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I had wanted to ride this for years, and had been hugely disappointed it was down on my prior visit.

 

but it was running today, and it almost did live up to the hype I had built up in my head for it.

 

if I hadn't ridden Falcon's Fury, I would have absolutely raved about it. . instead, I just really liked it (the tilt wasn't as extreme as I had been expecting). . but it was really good.

 

and it was almost walk on, since it's a people eater. Really, I think maybe I waited 5 minutes for it?

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some nice pics of TC and that amazing wave turn from the Acrophobia line, but in this case I was trying to get a picture of the train as it was pulling around.

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Train! toot toot!

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wheeeeeeee

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It was so good, that I rode it twice in a row.

 

but I really needed to pee, so headed to the bathrooms across the way - which turned out to be at the Train Station.

 

and the train was still there and hadn't pulled out yet.

 

so yep. . instead of peeing?

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I rode the train!

 

hadn't even been in the park an hour yet, and already knocked out two of the 3 things I had wanted to come to SFOG for (and Acrophobia twice!).

 

I was so thrilled to get on the train, and it seemed to be the 1st run of the day as all the seats were still wet from being hosed off before it went into service.

 

as I told the people behind me: "It's magic water, it disappears when you sit down on it"

 

I had been so disappointed I missed the train last time here (and it had been running a funky Engine & 2 passenger car combo too). .so was excited to take a spin around the park.

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NOTED!

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This park is absolutely lovely in places (more towards the front end, and by Carousel Hill). This is the Dahlonga (sp?) Mine train.

 

I had ridden it last year, in a wheel seat, I think. .and hadn't cared for it. . but since it seemed to have no line I would give it another try today.

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Like the one at SFOT, it's mostly "Lift Hill: the Ride". .but it's in a nice setting.

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even if the old Powersurge is still sitting there next door rotting.

 

looked exactly the same as it had a year ago. . tho maybe a little more rusty :p

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Superman, with a train actually on it as we passed.. yay.

 

See? sometimes my coaster pics Do have a train in them.

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Not this time with Blue Hawk tho.

 

(and didn't get a pic of GASM, as the view from the train just wasn't good enough)

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Carousel hill. As I said, the park is really lovely in places.

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the "Screampunk" area entrance, and the Pandemonium sign.

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the SFOG version of Thunder River is really nicely set too. . tho didn't ride it this time.

 

when we rode it last year, we made the mistake of getting loaded in a raft with a pretty blonde wearing a white t-shirt. Yeah, the teenage boys working the water cannons made that ride the wettest I've ever gotten on a Raft Ride. So think I was having flashbacks, and just avoided it today.

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Daredevil Dive from the train.

 

another one I hadn't really cared for on my one prior ride. . but it's very photogenic.

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Mindbender's Loop thru the trees.

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and the other loop!

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Coming around the other side of DareDevil Dive.

 

the train ride is actually fairly long, I was impressed with the cycle.

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as I mentioned earlier. . everyone in the park apparently had gone left at the entrance.

 

Scorcher's line was out to the sign!

 

the new paint looks great, even tho you can't really see it in this pic - there's some of the blood red Scorcher track in here tho (that's Goliath with the yellow track)

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I got off the train, and headed back in line for Acrophobia and got a 3rd ride on it.

 

as noted, I really liked this ride :)

 

and this time got pics of Twisted Cyclone with the train on the drop.

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after my ride on Acrophobia, I went back down to Twisted Cyclone, and this time waited 10 minutes to get up to the station, and once again was seated almost immediately from the Single Rider Line once I got to the station. .this time towards the back of the train.

 

yeah, I had pretty much decided to blow off Flash Pass.. the park simply wasn't that crowded, and I was having a great time already.

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so I went towards Joker's Funhouse Coaster, stopping along the way to ride the Mine Train again. with maybe a 5 minute line.

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this time making sure I wasn't in a wheel seat, and I enjoyed it much more. Especially since I knew to prepare for that big jolt coming out of the tunnel at the very end.

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and here was #3 on my list of what I wanted to hit today.

 

it had a bit of a longer line than I had seen thus far, but the queue was by no means "full"

 

it's a Rollerskater, but it looked like it had a custom design (and a fun one at that). and I loved the theming of the queue and the coaster itself.

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look at those happy people!

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Acrophobia doing it's thing from across the park.

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I mentioned the trains. . I really loved the design work put into these. what fun.

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and as noted, a unique layout that goes over and around the buildings. .including thru the bottom area of one.

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Wheee!

 

you can kinda see here how dead this part of the park was.

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I had tried a few times by this point to get a drink, as I knew I was dehydrated (not only from the sun, but from all the drinking), but both restaurants I had tried to stop in for a cup of water told me they "don't do that here", I saw no water fountains anywhere, and the stand I had tried to go to across from Monster Mansion that ONLY sold Ice Cream and water, had a couple walk up to the empty booth (as I was walking up) and 5 minutes later were still discussing with the operator what flavors they should get..so I blew it off, and instead went across the walk way into the short line for:

 

Monster Mansion!

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Yay. . I love this ride. .it's so WTF, and so entertaining.

 

not quite a walk on, but not much of a wait.

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ooo. .spooky Monster wooden cut-outs!

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.

 

.

 

Picnic today??? Oh no, wonder if I can attend?

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.

 

 

YAY!!!

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Smootchy bootches.. . now FREE

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all the animatronics were in great working order too.

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Even the "flasher" Monster-Owl. . tho I just missed him being open in his full glory :)

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the mist projection in the swamp was working great too.

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we are saved! yay. . . it's a Monster Picnic Party.

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I still hadn't gotten a drink yet (stopped at Macho Nacho, and again failed to get water). . but saw Goliath was pumping out trains. .so headed over there and found a very short line - only down the stairs to the station!

 

so yeah, it was only about a 10 minute line.

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and the moment I got to the station, I noticed that Goliath ALSO has a single rider line at the front of the station, so went and got into it.

 

and almost immediately? a group of 3 with Flash Pass came up the exit, and (much to the annoyance of the folks in the queue for front row), they Beelined for that row.

 

and the Attendant put me in the open 4th seat. So I basically got a front row ride on Goliath the moment I hit the station.

 

wOOt wOOt

 

I also finally stopped in Goliath Gifts, while getting the pic from the ride, and picked up a PowerAde and a water (2 for $10, which is something my home park, SFFT, stopped offering (they are 2 for $13 *but* they give free cups of water, so no one buys the bottles)).

 

I chugged them, and made my way towards Gotham.

 

but stopped on the way down because I noticed something about DareDevilDive.

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the queue wasn't even past the 2 rows of back and forth in the station!

 

so even tho I hadn't cared for it on my one prior ride, I got in line, and made sure to wait for front row.

theorizing that if I could SEE where I was going? maybe I'd like it better)

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and yes, I really did like it better.

 

Oh, I still only rode it once, and that was it. .but it wasn't terrible. and I'd ride it again if in the park in the future.

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then it was time for Gotham. . as I wanted to ride Mindbender!

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Gotham looked busy. .but those people are all in line for the food/drink stands.

 

the ride lines were mostly short.

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Like Mindbender..which was almost a walk on!

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this is the station. I waited 1 train for back row.

 

and was shocked when a camera flashed a picture! when did they put cameras on Mindbender (the answer is "this season"). So after loading the pic to my card, and with awareness there is now a camera, I headed back in line, waited 2 trains for front row, and rode again!

 

and my timing ended up being perfect, as we were coming back into the station we saw the other train had gotten stopped on the lift hill.

 

Stuck. . LOL

 

I stopped to get my picture, and headed to Batman after (tho due to slow photo service, I saw the entire line for Mindbender - maybe only 40 or 50 people - leave the entrance and head directly to Batman. . oh well).

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Harley was disassembled (the "hoods" from the Tilt a Whirl" cars were there, but not the cars themselves.

 

it was . . . "odd"

 

but I liked they had a sign out advertising the new rides for 2020 in Gotham at the queue entrance, and noted that Harley is coming back.

 

wonder if it's gonna be the next gen version that SFFT has (called Spinsanity there too, tho not Harley themed)

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see? "odd"

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the line for Batman was humid and icky, and was among the longer ones I waited in today. . maybe 25 minutes? but I saved a ton of time once I got to the station, as they had trash cans blocking the back two rows. . .but the rows on the train were open?

 

so by waiting in the row for 3rd to the back? 12 people got on each train, since they funneled into all 3 back rows.

 

it's a Batman, so of course I wanted to ride towards the back.

 

just as intense and fun as I remembered it. what a fun ride.

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the heat (and lack of hydration) were getting to me, so I wanted something "gentle"..and Gotham Crime Wave was the perfect next stop.

 

even if it was running a stupidly short cycle. Still fun, and looks great.

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Joker had a decent line, and I really didn't want to go upside-down at the moment, so i passed on it this trip.

 

still think this one looks great with that Joker pic in the middle tho.

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after my ride, I noticed that from the entrance walkway to Crime Wave, you can get some good pics:

 

Selfie with Crime Wave

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or the other direction, Batman doing the Loop-de-Loop, from down the street of Gotham.

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it's a nice setting, even tho there's not a lot of shade.

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after a ride on Crime Wave, I wandered back over to Goliath Gifts, expecting to get more drinks. . but instead saw the line for Goliath was still just on the stairs!

 

so yep, I hopped in line (under 5 minutes) and got a mid-train ride. the pic came out bad, since I was sitting on the end, and I noticed in the middle of the train it had a bit of a rattle - that I hadn't noticed in the front row earlier. Still a wonderful coaster tho.

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They were building this during my visit a year ago, so I peeked into it. . nothing going on (I've since found out it's a Haunt, and they only use it for FrightFest. .which is suprising they built such a permanent building/queue right there next to Goliath for a once a year thing). . but it looked nice.

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then I decided to brave what I expected to be the biggest line of the day, and try out Pandemonium.

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the area looks great

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even tho a bunch of stuff just seems to be "sitting around". . looks like filler until they eventually put something more into that area.. maybe a restaurant or something?

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the line wasn't too bad, because it had been down. .but it DID take a long time.

 

This was do to a combination of Line Jumpers. TONS of them. . worse on this ride than anywhere else I had seen in the park -- they were going up the Flash Pass entrance, and then just jumping over the fence into the regular queue, cutting in. No one really said anything, tho one big guy DID call out a group of teens - who immediately got in his face and threatened him. it was uncool, but staff did nothing, so I kept my mouth shut.

 

the ride also went down twice while I was in line. . not because of "Protein Spill", but because *despite* repeated announcements not to pull down on the restraints? people kept doing it, meaning they had to get everyone off the ride back into the holding pen, and cycle it to reset the restraints.

 

that happened TWICE.

 

sheesh.

 

it's pretty photogenic tho.

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I think I prefer Joker:Carnival of Chaos at SFFT - not that you can really tell that Joker is slightly taller.

 

but it IS noticeably faster in the swing.

 

I think Pandemonium might rotate a bit faster, but I prefer the speed of the swing on Joker.

 

regardless, this is a fun ride, and it did have quite the line.

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by the time I got off my ride, it was about 5:40, and my driver had told me that he gets off work at 6, but if I called him to give him time to get there, he would stay online for me, as long as I left ~6pm (something I had told him while he was driving me).

 

so I got off, and immediately called him, and he seemed genuinely surprised to hear from me. Guess he didn't expect I'd actually call him back to get me, but I told him I would, and I keep my word.

 

he said he was close, and would be at gate at 6.

 

i was a little disappointed that I hadn't even made it back to GASM or Superman. .but I wasn't about to leave SFOG without a stop at. . .

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yep :)

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Carousels make me smile. .I can't help it.

 

love em, and SFOG has a really, really beautiful one.

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and it's wonderfully maintained.

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and it runs a really long cycle too. Like really long (4-5 minutes). .so I was just so. damn. happy.

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and yep. .still got the bewbs on it.

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and as I was finishing my ride, I got a call from the driver saying he was out front and where was I?

 

well, I was on Carousel Hill, and so I powerwalked to the front gate, working up a hell of a sweat, but got there ~6:15.

 

turned out he was so close (and told me he gets off work at 6) because his wife works kinda 1/2 way between the Hyatt and SFOG, and he was outside her work waiting for her to get off at 6, when I called him.

 

So he asked if I minded terribly if he stops and picks her up, so he wouldn't have to come back to get her.

 

of course I said no problem! and we had a wonderful chat as he drove me long way thru the Convention area, and had me back at the hotel by 6:40 (and only charged me $20 for the ride, including tip, since I had been so cool with him picking up his wife on the way).

 

with that I headed to the Marriott and up to the room. Larry and Travis were also back from their game (the team they were rooting for lost, but they had a great time, and the pictures of the Stadium were cool.. something I'll have to consider doing next year in Atlanta.

 

we headed down to the now empty lobby (it was close to 7, and Con officially ended at 5. . so really it's the sadness of them cleaning up and starting to put furniture back after they clean the carpets) and we worked out how to credit my card, so Larry could pay me his portion for the room on his card .. . the Marriott bills the whole room on whoever books the room way before Con. . . so they had to credit me 1st before they could charge him.

 

after that, we went up to the room to shower, and start to get ready for dinner, which was at 8pm at SEAR (high end steak house in the Marriott), with about 10 of us.

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whoops. . forgot to add the onride photos I got

 

(didn't get to pick up the "photog" pics, as the taxi driver was waiting for me. . so couldn't stand in that line).

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Mindbender front row (once I knew camera was there)

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Mindbender back row. . no idea the camera was there.

 

the lady in front of me looks like she was posing, but her friends (in the row in front of her) said she didn't and that's just how she rides rollercoasters. . .LOL

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I still need to go to SFOG and it looks like a nice park. My group drives to Dragon Con and every year I try to get them to go to the park on Wednesday. They always say they want to go and they end up backing out. Someday I'll go to the park....

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I still need to go to SFOG and it looks like a nice park. My group drives to Dragon Con and every year I try to get them to go to the park on Wednesday. They always say they want to go and they end up backing out. Someday I'll go to the park....

 

Post season. So parks not open! Otherwise I’d have gone in prior years

 

It’s only open Sat/Sun. And Mon because it’s Labor Day

 

So you’ll have to do what I did and blow off Monday at con

 

But so worth it

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I guess it would have helped if I bothered to look at the schedule . I just assumed daily operations were longer since the park is in the south where it's warmer longer. My group always drives home on Monday so it looks like I'll have to plan a separate trip for the park.

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...Even tho I went to bed insanely late, I was up pretty early (hungover and puffy. . but up)...

 

How in the hell did you survive riding roller coasters while hungover?!?! I would have thrown up every where, and been miserably uncomfortable!!

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Cos-play has always been fascinating to me. But I have never been a part of it, due to other interests.

 

Thanks Bert, for being a cool conduit through this amazing lifestyle of choice and interest.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Final wrap up

 

but then I can focus on (maybe) my SFFT visit before my other vacation, or (more likely) Japan, in October, with TPR report

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dinner at Sear was fantastic, and expensive. . but mostly fantastic.

 

for some reason, I didn't take any pics of the food (LOL). . but I had a 1/2 dozen oysters on half shell for app, then a Tbone Steak with scallops for the main.

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here's the group shot of my friends that hang around for Monday evening "goodbye" dinner.

 

clockwise from lower left: Sarah, Josh, John, V, Kevin, Travis, Me, Larry, Marcella, Neal, and Brianna.

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final view out of the hotel room window on Monday night :(

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and here I am at the airport, sad that it's over :(

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the Brownie Base was a little dry (you can tell that it had been pre-made to have it ready for Con). but I ate most of it anyways.

 

the cheesecake was amazing, and the chocolate cake was smooth and wonderful.

 

sugar bomb, just before bed, after a long day out in the sun, and a full meal of steak and seafood. . . LOL

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YUM. .

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but then I decided, that I really, really, wanted another piece of giant cake before I left Atlanta.

 

So I headed over to the 24 hour Metro Diner. . which after Con was basically a walk in, even tho they had blasting loud Karaoke going on in the bar area for like, six people.

 

this is the Volcano Cake:

 

Brownie Base, Cheesecake, chocolate cake, separated by Caramel Butter Cream, with a chocolate Icing.

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and my Disney Print swag showed up just before I left for Japan, so pics of those in my home flattening them out.

 

how cool are these?

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Love, Love, LOVE this one

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tho Magic Kingdom remains my favorite.

 

plan is to get them all matted and framed before the end of the year

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...Even tho I went to bed insanely late, I was up pretty early (hungover and puffy. . but up)...

 

How in the hell did you survive riding roller coasters while hungover?!?! I would have thrown up every where, and been miserably uncomfortable!!

 

it was an opportunity to hit SFOG for only my 2nd time, so I was gonna take advantage!

 

LOL

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