Yes, I’m back from Dragon*Con. What can I say, except it’s changed my conventioning life. Creation, you suck. Dragon*Con, you are king. I wish my flights had been direct and the pool had been open more at the motel, but hey, you can’t have everything. Suffice to say, the convention was bloody fantastic, and I can’t wait until next year! All I have to do is find a costume this time… So here we go:
(and a reminder for next year):
Take only 2 t-shirts. You will buy more there.
Do not take toiletries. The hotel leaves you sixteen million refills EVERY MORNING.
Pick up your pre-registration convention passes before 11am Thursday. Everyone else will wait in line for 4 hours. No, I’m not joking.
Buy a Breeze card for the Marta lines.
Take as many photos of people’s costumes as you can - by Saturday you’ll have forgotten who you saw on Thursday.
Do not attempt to remember which hotel is which. Just ask the concierge. That’s what they’re there for.
Get in the unofficial line for the next event 90 mins before the official line starts.
Do not use highlighter pens to mark on your schedule what you want to see. It doesn’t show up under bar lighting.
Energy drinks are not for being tired through being up all night, they’re for bolstering queueing stamina.
Just because there’s a bar on every level of every event hotel does not mean you need to test the vodka. Vodka is the same everywhere. But now I know this for a fact, and I will sleep better for having tested it.
If you’re buying alcohol in a bar or convenience store, take your passport or government-issued photo ID. Seriously. Being refused a beer when you’re over 30 is Not Funny.
When getting autographs or photos with The Stars, if you can’t do owt but squeee, opt to keep your mouth shut. You’ll be so glad you did later.
If you’re hunting for a particular costume, realising that Trekkies are in the Sheraton and Whovians are not in the Marriott is really really useful. Make use of those schedules they give out - hotel awareness is your friend.
Do not be afraid to stop people to get snaps of their costumes - calling their character name and taking photos is The Done Thing. It’s why they dress up, after all.
Keep your phone on ‘airplane’ (that’s ‘aeroplane’ for folks that can spell) mode if you’ve come from outside the USA - and disable MMS if you’re in from HK and don’t want sixteen thousand promotional 3 MMS arriving all hours of the day and night (which you will be charged for). Likewise, keep data roaming turned off unless you’re actively using the net or your mail (NOT ADVISED).
If you have a connecting flight that is a domestic flight within the US, make sure you have at least THREE HOURS between flights or you won't make it. It took me over 90 mins to get through Immigration in Detroit, and another 45 mins to get my luggage and myself through to the next flight. Luckily for me (or is it due to the amount of people who don’t make flights because of this farce?) Delta fly domestic about a million times a day, so I only had to wait another hour for the next available flight. Still made me want to burn down Zuji's offices for selling me a ticket for a connecting flight there was no way in or out of Hell that I could make.
Americans. They look like us, but they’re not us. Don’t be embarrassed if you have to ask them to repeat what they’re saying to you. Three times. Just concentrate and you will get it.
I’ve got to say, I loved Atlanta much more than LA. Peaceful, relaxed, friendly - FRIENDLY - amazingly helpful, smiley, welcoming, nice, sunny, and just so GODDAMNED NICE. Such a change from HK. Maybe I’ve been in HK too long - I wouldn’t want to live in the US (yet), but perhaps HK is starting to get to me.
That will conclude my first Dragon*Con post. It will not be the last. I’ll be back. Just as soon as the clock is the right way up again and I’ve realised which end is morning and which end is night.
Peach and lube, people. Peach and frelling lube.