Upon arrival at DragonCon Friday evening, I was met by a frantic Jeff at the Hyatt hotel. It would seem that the hotel doesn’t actually guarantee two beds in reserved rooms. A curious approach, as we had booked the room for quad occupancy. To make matters worse, the room presented to Jeff had a window between the main room and the bathroom. Even if this room were used for an individual, It can’t justify a large window into the bathroom. So Jeff put the manager to task on finding us an alternative…and another bed. The hotel was out of beds, so after some time we made do with what they provided. It was actually a nice enough deal, though the time it took to straighten everything out took several hours. They did finally find another bed, but it was a single (small) roll-out bed and not incredibly useful to us. The ladies, arriving later than Jeff and I, picked up an air mattress on their way and saved the day.
Having spent the next couple of hours working around impetuous security personnel at the Hyatt hotel (you’d think it would be a little easier for actual guests to check-in), Jeff and I had fully unloaded three cars worth of supplies and costumes. It was a grueling effort even though we were parked only two blocks from the hotel. Finishing that, we had time enough to grab a quick dinner before the wife and I hit the DragonCon drum circle scene. I usually enjoy this very much and this was my inaugural jam to start the weekend off. As such, it was a little lame. The circle was in full force, but diametrically opposed. There was a small niche on one side that seemed to be taking it upon themselves to run the group. This is all well and good, except that they had formed a sub circle of their own – one that was not large enough to accommodate any dancers. That, and the other side of the room was cut-off and unable to hear their rhythm through the throng of dancers in the room. So they attempted to follow along only to create a contrast to the rhythm. It was also proving difficult running the circle on the star drummers that had taken the lead. Burn-out drummers, I can say. The type that crank up a really great sound up front, but drive everyone else to play faster. It just creates a chaos in the end that is destined to burn out. The larger the circle, the more definition needed to highlight the rhythm distinctions. The group that puts this on is in discussions on the subject for next year.
DragonCon in general proved to be more than the three hotels could manage under heightened security measures. Security was tighter than in years past and the con suffered for it. Despite there efforts however, some people did manage to slip through and attend the panels they had paid to see. We didn’t manage to see many panels ourselves, but only because we were busy doing other things. We did catch the Star Trek Reunion panel in which the audience asked some questions that the celebrities didn’t answer. Some of the questions were kind of lame, but the three cast members of Star Trek attending the con this year should have made more of an effort to answer the questions. Humor the geeks, mkay. If they do something like this in the future, the coordinators should really work up some questions before the panel and present them to the talent beforehand. That way proper answers can be prepared, and good questions often lead to more.
Masquerade this year was really good. Grant and Kari hosted the annual costume ball this year. They did a good job together. Grant was showing off his over-the-top nerd trivia. The guy knows his Sci-Fi! Spazz and Fox were also in the masquerade this year. A first for any of us! They dressed as the Duct Tape Pirates – also a first at DragonCon as far as any of us know. Their costumes were perfect! When they first entered the stage, the crowd gave them complimentary “oooohhhh’s” to the detailed description of their ornate costumes. Feathers, ornaments, lace, etc. At the end – we planned the description just right – they dropped the duct tape bomb on the crowd. It was smooooooth. They went wild. It was one of those roars of excitement that can only build from thousands of people. The girls got kudos everywhere we went that night and they deserved it. If not for the fantastic effort they put into their costumes, then for walking around in uncomfortable duct tape costumes while smiling for their adoring audience.
There’s too much for me to get my mind around, so I’ll just close this up with a link to the pictures. This year, Flickr really exploded after the event with DragonCon photos. If you want to see thousands more, check the tag dragoncon2007.
Flickr: Olaf’s Dragon*Con Set (Multiple Years)