Due to bad weather in Atlanta, my flight was delayed arriving here, delayed leaving here, then, about 100 miles from Atlanta, forced to circle until a storm cleared. I'd complain, but giving some of the horror stories as of late regarding the airlines it wasn't that bad. The one thing that did suck was I had to miss dinner with greycoupon, especially since I couldn't make her birthday dinner the following night.
I Soon learned that danceswithwords and I just missed each other at the airport and she was gathering her luggage as I was on the train heading towards the hotel. When I arrived at the Marriott, I found the hotel significantly altered by construction. The temporary registration desk was right by the entrance and the little cafe was gone to make room for (surprise!) a Starbucks and some rather fancy, upscale bars had been put in.
I got settled in the room and DWW arrived a short time later. Food was our immediate concern followed by registration. Greycoupon had called me and tipped me off that registration was taking at least an hour. This was the first sign of a) how over-sold DC was this year and b) that lines would be a running theme for the weekend. On our way to the food court, while riding the escalator, I heard the words, "There's Kevin Sorbo." I turned around to look and, sure enough, the first celebrity I see is Sorbo. For those not in the know I have Kevin Sorbo issues. So I immediately shout out, "It had to be Kevin Sorbo!" and then proceeded to rant about him. He may or may not have heard me. Do I care?
After a quick bite to eat, we headed to registration and the line was outside the building. The DC staff tried to separate everyone in to two groups - preregistered and those purchasing on site. Those purchasing on site were directed to go in the building and more than a few of these people were quite cocky in that they got to go ahead of us. Well, we got the last laugh. The DC staff pointed out to us that our wait would be about an hour, their wait would be three to four hours. The hour turned out to be fairly accurate...for danceswithwords whose last name apparently starts with a less common letter than mine. It took me closer to an hour and a half to get through.
By this time it was around 11:00 and we headed back to the hotel to veg a bit in front of the TV, talk TV (she got to here about Oz and how the writers blew the last season), and, finally, sleep.
Jamie Bamber took up a lot of Friday for me. ;) I did manage to meet up with wisteria_ and meet indigo419 and elly427 for the first time. My friend carrielee managed to track me down and she, along with her youngest, her friend P, and her little girl joined us for the panel. Right before the panel started, I received a call from thomasina who, along with her friend, C, had just arrived. I had promised to hold them seats, but, when I hadn't heard from them sooner, thought they were delayed in getting to Atlanta. We had no seats left in our row, so I turned and noticed two singles behind me, asked the guys if they were holding them and when they said no, asked them to move. They hesitated for a moment, but I was ready to ream them out if they didn't scoot over.
sdwolfpup and brynnmck arrived *right* before I was due to go back to the Walk of Fame and meet up again with Jamie. I got in a quick hug and hello and then excused myself and hoped they understood me not spending more time with them right then. They understood. ;)
They registered while I interviewed and then it was about time to head out for sdwolfpup's birthday dinner. Oh, jarrow popped by our room and I finally got to meet someone I had heard so much about. He talked a bit about his own Jamie encounter and coveted my drawing (which I'll post a pic of later).
It's a bit of a blur now, but along the way to the restaurant we met up with molly_may, pellucid, sugargroupie, and kernezelda. We ate at a very nice Pan Asian cuisine place. I had a strawberry lemon drop martini (yum!), scallops in a pepper sauce (good, but a bit rich), and creme brulee (shockingly, I passed on the chocolate desserts). The service was a bit spotty. The poor birthday girl didn't get her drink until the end of the meal and utensils were in short supply. The conversation was great though and we silenced the house in our rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.
After dinner the plan was to meet up with 50mm who, like many, encountered flight delays, and attend the Buffy Horror Picture Show. The good news is Bheerfan finally found us in the bowels of the Hyatt, the bad news is the Buffy Horror Picture show was filled to capacity. There were rumors of a third show being added, but we gave up waiting after twenty minutes or so. carrielee informed me later that the show was not as good this year. It was decided to head back to the hotel and watch vids...for which I proceeded to doze during. My apologies for my relative silence that evening.
After the Claudia Black panel of awesomeness (which I will recap along with the SG1 panels), we decided to head to the Walk of Fame to see about getting her autograph. This is where we discovered DC had changed in another way (though the photo ops being pushed everywhere you turned should have been an earlier warning sign). Julie Caitlin Brown, who I like to affectionately refer to as the Queen Bitch of the Universe, decided that her people (Claudia along with the rest of the SG1 headliners) you couldn't just walk up to/wait in line to get an autograph. No, you had to get in line to buy a ticket in order to get in another line to get an autograph. By some miracle or perhaps by our pushiness we were able to buy tickets just before they stopped selling them for some undetermined period of time. See, Julie decided that the autograph line was too long so she wouldn't allow tickets to be sold again until it was short. Whatever. Given the length of the auto line, needing to eat, and desiring a decent spot for the SG1 panel at 4, we ended up heading out and deciding to try our luck with Claudia Sunday morning. (Yeah, another great thing about buying a ticket for an autograph? You aren't guaranteed an autograph. :/)
Following the SG1 panel, the plan was to get dinner, then head to the Colonial Day party. Our dinner plans were thwarted at the mediocre Mexican place, so we headed to an Italian place down the street with suenix leading the charge. Also in attendance were pellucid, sugargroupie, 50mm, molly_may, SDW, Bryn, and DWW. There were some great conversations regarding BSG, Stargate, and Farscape and the show's respective actors. And we had plenty of time for those conversations because we had the slowest service EVA. I ended up going outside to make a quick call while the rest of my group settled their checks and I ended up on the phone for almost fifteen minutes as I waited. I also discovered Elisabeth Rohm had been in the restaurant and wearing a very nice green printed dress and matching pumps.
suenix had departed earlier to get changed for the Colonial Day party. The rest of us headed back to our hotel room for some Dante's Cove (I almost typed Dante's Creek - but that would be an insult to Dawson and the gang) and I bailed after about fifteen minutes to go to the party. What a disaster! The Hyatt, as it would be many times over the weekend, was shut down. After about ten minutes they finally relented and let people in. I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, ended up at the wrong room, then discovered a long line when I found the right one. greycoupon recounted what a mess the party organization was and I just read xwacky's con reports and she reiterates everything Grey told me. Suffice it to say, I didn't get in, caught a glimpse of Jamie and Mark Sheppard as they were heading out, and was bit crabby at that point so I head back to the hotel. Given the illness that befell me upon my return home I now wonder if I was actually getting sick during the con and thus not my usual perky self. ;)
Dante's Cove was *still* playing upon my return to the room. I don't recall much after that and I was the one who was sober. DWW, Bryn, SDW and I briefly hung out at the Hyatt and the Shindig, but nothing really interested/excited us. The Marriott bar inexplicably shut down at 1am and so we ended up going back to the room and going to bed.
We ended up getting up reasonably early and heading down to get in line for Claudia's autograph. I could go on and on about how ill conceived this was. I mean, hell, Julie was pissing off Klingons! But it makes no sense that everyone has to get in the same line and wait when you are only there to get the autograph of one person. *And* the line had to wait for Chris Judge to roll out of bed and show up. When we finally got into the Walk of Fame, after waiting over an hour, the line began moving relatively quickly.
As we got to the first bend in the line, we got to see Claudia. Even though Julie was running the line as if we were prisoners in a cafeteria, Claudia noticed a young girl in a wheelchair with a cast on her leg just kind of looking at her. Claudia made some funny faces at her (I was afraid to take picture lest Julie confiscate my camera and memory card) and, finally, she waved the girl over. She talked to the girl for a couple minutes and volunteered to sign her cast. Awwwwww. After the girl left and Claudia was all by her lonesome, the woman in front of me told one of the handlers that she was just there for Claudia's autograph, at which point, the handler told her she could go right on up. I barely had my head turned around when brynnmck asked if I was going to say something to the handler and I informed her I was already on it. As soon as I got the handler's attention I told her that the four of us were just there for Claudia an she said we could go right on up. Woo!
No offense to Claudia, but the way the Stargate autographs were being run, I didn't feel you had time to really chat. She asked how I was, I said good, and asked her the same. I then managed to say how thrilled I was she could attend and she thanked me. And that was that. We all had are thirty seconds with Claudia (which was amazing for dancewithwords who swore she would never get an autograph or speak to a celebrity at one of these things) and then marched out with our matching B&W photos - the popular choice among Claudia fans.
I almost ran into Elisabeth Rohm, this time in a fabulous black suit, and we all stared at the Star Trek actors a bit. molly_may met back up with us and while she and the DWW, SDW, and Bryn wandered about the Walk of Fame for a few minutes, I had my last conversation with Jamie.
Following a lot more lines and a jam packed afternoon of paneling (have I mentioned how much I love thomasina and her awesomeness for standing in line for us? ;-), brynnmck and I headed over to the viding panel that sdwolfpup and Jarrow were participating in (Molly May was already there). I don't know much about viding, but it was an informative and entertaining panel and I'll never look at HP fandom in the same way again. ;)
We were pretty much starving after SDW's panel and, as luck would have it, thomasina and her friend, C, were in the dealers room downstairs from us so we met them and headed over to the food court to pick up some pizza and Dairy Queen to take back to the room and watch the Masquerade. There was almost an incident between me and the guy at the pizza place, but, as you can see, no jail time.
I think we got as close as we could to a room party. In addition to everyone listed above, pellucid, 50mm, sugergroupie, carrielee, and her eldest eventually joined us in the room. The Masquerade this year I thought was the best yet. Kari and Grant from Myth Busters were the hosts and did an incredible job of keeping the proceedings entertaining. Grant, in particular, was having a blast and kept referring to being among his people. As usual, the participants in the contest were a mix of bad, spectacular, and what the hell are you smoking? costume/act choices. I'm still at a loss for the people who decided to do entire musical numbers. At least the girls who sang to 'Lady Marmelade' looked like they put in a lot of practice. I think I may have been most horrified by a participant in the juvenile competition who, rather than looking like an anime character, looked like a call girl paid to play dress up. The little girl who won, dressed as Queen Amidala, was so cute! Great costume and she did this little wave and wink thing for the judges.
As people began to disband and I worked to convince Thomasina's friend that she *had* to watch The Duchess and the Devil, greycoupon gave me a call and we caught each other up and what the other may have missed that day (I think we pretty much did that every day :). Then SDW, Bryn, and I headed down to the bar level to people watch. The past two years, the Marriott lobby has been fairly quiet on Sunday night - not this year. It was pretty packed and we got to see a fair number of great costumes.
A few random thoughts:
* molly_may was fabulous listening to us ramble on and on about Jamie and Claudia and their respective series - none of which she watches.
* Sadly, I couldn't whip out my camera fast enough to snap a picture of Pac Man chasing after two, whatever it was he chased after, as they stopped traffic and ran across the street. I can still picture the guy in the truck who couldn't stop laughing.
* Here's as close as I got to James Marsters.
* The lines! You can see here how the line for the Star Trek panel (which we were in) ran into the line for the James Marsters panel.
* A picture of a great Kaylee because Bryn wanted to make sure her hubby could see her. :)
* I'm impressed enough by replicas (sadly, I didn't get a shot of R2 D2), but watching this little guy being controlled by his builder, a teenager, with the controls behind his back?
* Don't know if you can spot him, but here's Aaron Douglas hanging with the masses.
* And the very deserving winners of the Masquerade.