Asta 2

I'm Still Here!

Yeah, I know, it's been weeks since I posted. I still owe everyone a Dragon Con post (or two). Hopefully, I still remember what happened! And I have thoughts on the disappointing fall TV season. Thus far, only Terriers has excited me. However, shockingly, I am finding The Defenders entertaining. Lone Star, the first casualty of the season, I had complicated feelings about. I want to do a post just about that.

The Race for a Marriott Room took place on Friday and I stumbled just past the start line.:p The Passkey website (used for online reservations) went down at 7:59am. The site was supposed to go live at 8:00am. I then hopped on the phone and tried the 800 number. After hearing an automated message for 36 minutes I gave up. As I was on hold and feverishly hitting refresh, I monitored the DC LJ comms to see what was going on and EVERYONE was having issues. But since the hotel sold out in under two hours, people were obviously able too get through. Some easily, while others were on two computers and two phones for two hours before managing to get their online reservation to go through or were able to speak top a live person. Turns out the operators were using the same Passkey site as the public. Brilliant. Ultimately, the two problem seem to have been the servers couldn't handle the traffic and credit card information couldn't be processed. Several times I got through the process only to have an error pop up or session time out once I hit confirm.

I was so pissed off by the whole experience (I continued to try and book online at work, which I showed up for an hour late), I didn't even want to stay at the damn hotel. Honestly, I was getting increasingly leery of the crowds there this year. And the elevator waits. And crappy bar were getting old. After talks about a Plan B with danceswithwords and conflicting reports of ALL the host hotels (accept the Hyatt which doesn't take reservations until the 15th) being booked up, I decided to try the Sheraton yesterday at 5:15 and two minutes later had the room I wanted, for the days I wanted, at the con rate. WOO.

I wish I could report there has been exciting things happening in my life to keep me away from LJ, Work continues to be soul sucking and often I get home and just don't have the energy to do the 101 things I want to do. And when I do have time/feel motivated, I'm working on stuff for jamiebambernews. Jamie's been busy lately! And for those who don't follow my Twitter spam or the comm, Law & Order: UK FINALLY debuts tonight on BBC America at 10:30est, before moving to it's regular time slot on Friday, October 8th at 9:00pm. The first episode up is "Care", the Series 1 premiere. Yeah, we're only a year and a half behind in the U.S.

OK, I really need to do some cleaning, so adios for now my online friends.
This year's crop was really disappointing, wasn't it? Even the ones I'm sticking with I'm lukewarm about at best. The only exception could be Running Wilde, but I also think that they need to get it right and it could so easily go wrong. But with Hurwitz at the helm, a positive outcome is more likely than with your average show runner. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that one.
It was! It's not that I've seen a truly terrible show, it's just they are all so underwhelming. I know networks have to tone down content more than cable does, but they don't have to tone down originality at the same time. Or if you are going to do yet another lawyer/cop/doctor show, at least make the characters interesting and have some snappy dialogue.
I think a lot of people were late on Friday because of this insanity. I had the "brilliant" idea of calling at 7:50 since I know I'd be on hold and certainly wouldn't get a live person before 8. A brilliant plan indeed, got a live person at 8:06 and there system was down and I was told to call back in 10 minutes. Called right back and listened to the delightful hold music for 61 minutes before I gave up.

I spent that hour hitting the site as well. I did figure out at least some of the time you got a a database error when one of the nights was supposedly sold out. Besides the normal "a night of stay is no longer available" error.

SOMEHOW, I managed to get a Friday - Monday King res through. I figure I should be able to pick up Thursday and Monday night at some point but that was just ridiculous.

I'm really wondering how the Hyatt will go on the 15th. I need another room. The Hilton may or may not be sold out but they require a deposit.

Getting a room didn't used to be this absurd. I think it was three years ago I booked in JANUARY.

I turned on BBC America to watch L&O LAST night. Well, at least I didn't miss it.
The Hilton wasn't sold out late Friday afternoon, but by the time we checked again on Saturday it was. It's possible they'll open more rooms (they apparently did last year), but I don't know how much more effort I want to put into possibly getting a room there. I'm exhausted by it all right now.

For a variety of reasons, we don't have interest in staying at the Hyatt so I'll just be watching the disaster from the sidelines on the 15th. ;p

Five years ago, I seem to recall sdwolfpup getting us a room in MAY. Granted, we didn't get the con rate, but the regular room rate was a hell of a lot less than what they are charging now. It's clear they are jacking up the rates for desperate con attendees. :(
Poop about it debuting tonight! I was planning to record it, but I already have two programs recording at the same time. So, I'll miss the first, but I'll get the rest at least. I have yet to see ANY L & O: UK despite looking for it on iPlayer after hearing the new season started.

Missed you!
Tonight's episode gets repeated. I'm not sure about all the times, but I do know that it will repeat at 10pm next Friday after the 'new' episode at 9pm.

And thanks! :)
I'm rather surprised that the hotels haven't put a more robust booking system in place for Dragon*con 2011, given that it's the 25th and can therefore reasonably be expected to be amazingly busy. I heard people talking at D*C about alternatives like renting a house in Atlanta for the weekend, but with so many other events going on over the weekend this year, the group I was chatting with before one of the panels who were driving in each day indicated that they were spending an hour getting out of the car parks and onto the main roads.

I'm very relieved that you're going next year, though. After all, I'm going to need people to live through vicariously ;)

I still haven't posted any D*C stuff post Friday lunchtime yet. I was looking at my notes from the Sean Astin panel and realised I couldn't remember phrasing and context for a lot of them, so I may already have left it too late. If I go again some year, I'll have to make sure I take the rest of the week off to recover and write.
I was getting to the point of seeing if there were apartments to rent! But then the problem is getting to the venues. MARTA is great going from the airport to the hotels, but that's about it. And I don't want to deal with the cost/hassle of taxis.

D*C has exploded in size in the past few years. And did you see the TRON trailer? That is the first time they have ever shown studio advertising like that. They really need to decide what kind of con they want to be and, if they want to rival Comic Con, then they have to start looking at the hotel/venue situation.
Wow, that is crazy unprofessional of the hotel. They must know how much demand there's gonna be - it's not like this is their first time hosting this thing and it seems the other hotels (or at least the one you managed to book into) were handling things just fine. I would hope that they take a real hit on reservations - unfortunately since they usually book up so quickly it's unlikely to make any longterm difference, but I think you made the right call in just quitting and going somewhere else. :(
The Marriott and Hyatt are using the Passkey website for online bookings; the other two hotels are not. If I like the Sheraton (and don't try to see if anything opens up at the Hilton), I may just stick with it in the future. I hate to sound old, but the crowds and noise and people acting like asses at the Marriott was starting to get to me. Not to mention, the bars aren't that great. ;p
And I have thoughts on the disappointing fall TV season.

Have you tried Vampire Diaries? It started last year, but I really recommend it. TV shows rarely surprise me, but this one does it consistently. The eye candy is nice too. :)

In terms of new shows I recommend Nikita

and Lost Girl.
I still have the 'Nikita' pilot sitting on my laptop. ;)

I've tried 'The Vampire Diaries' and wasn't able to get into it. I think I'm in any anti-vampire phase. They've become too mainstream!

I've seen 'Lost Girl' mentioned in numerous places, but had no idea what it was about. I may give it a try. I've been shedding network series at a rapid pace. :/