Yet Another Journal

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» Sunday, September 06, 2009
DragonCon, Day 3
Wow. No dog barking, and I slept until five minutes before the alarm. What gives?

I keep getting sick during DragonCon, so ate my usual breakfast at home today (oatmeal and yogurt) to keep certain parts of my body on an even keel, then we drove downtown. We thought about eating at the cafe at the Hilton, but they had only starchy breakfast things like croissants and bagels. Then we thought we might hit the buffet. $21.95!!!! Are they kidding????

So James had some eggs and sausage at Dairy Queen and I ate most of his biscuit, then he went off to his panel. I really had nothing to do this morning, so mentally tossed a coin and then went to the Babylon 5 panel over at the Hyatt. For a ten o'clock panel on a Sunday morning, attendance was pretty good: only Bruce Boxleitner didn't show up—Peter Jurasik called him on his cell and had us all "Booooooooooooo" loudly to wake him up—and he was ably replaced by Julie Caitlin Brown for most of the panel. Yet another sequence of amusing anecdotes, including talking about craft services feeding them so well that they needed two uniforms, one for "fat" days and one for normal days. (Claudia commented that of course the women needed them for certain days as well.) Peter Jurasik and Stephen Furst talked about their joking with each other, and of course someone asked the former to do Londo Mollari's classic "What is it, you moon-faced assassin of joy?" They also talked about how serious Walter Koenig was about his role of Bester (Furst told a hilarious story about being stranded in Pittsburgh and having to share a room with him) and about not really knowing the future of their characters and how plot revelations surprised them. One little girl asked "What would you do if a Shadow was in front of you right now?" Claudia and Tracy both screamed. LOL. Tracy also had a good story about driving Jerry Doyle to a medical procedure and having him see her untidy car and ask when the last time it was she cleaned it. (They kept saying "Jerry was here last year? We're sorry.")

At the end of the panel they talked for a few minutes about Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, and Tim Choate, although the funniest stories were about Andreas, including the story about him naked and smoking outside his hotel room.

Stephen Furst telling the "soap" story about his audition:


Claudia Christian (I think telling a Jerry Doyle story):


A smiling Peter Jurasik:


Tracy Scoggins looks on as someone talks:


(If Tracy's eyes look at all weird, it's my fault...still don't know how to work the red-eye reducer well...)

Next I trucked over to the Sheraton for the Classic Doctor Who panel. It was still relatively cool out, so this wasn't so bad. The panel was downstairs in the  Registration Hell  Capitol Ballroom and boy, was it chilly down there. Even I was cold. All my photos of the panel came very dark in that cavernous room, but Alan Siler, Rob Bowen, Rob Levy, and Louis Robinson were some of the  guilty  participants. They chatted about their favorite doctors, companions, episodes, fielded questions from the audience, and spent the first five minutes of the panel, as always, goofing off, especially about the mythical "French track" that Rob joked about and someone believed. Rob Levy says there is a "City of Death" tour in Paris! Yes, you can see all the landmarks shown in that episode. Rob Bowen of course talked about Lalla Ward. :-)

At one o'clock I wanted to see Patrick Stewart, but didn't think I had a snowball's chance in hell in getting in the room. (I was right. I even tried going up there fifteen minutes after it started, in hope I could sneak in and stand along the wall. Nope, it was full.) So I took my time coming back from the Sheraton, went into the Hilton, and strolled around the Walk of Fame. I used to like to take candids of the actors signing autographs and talking to the fans, but the arthritis has made my camera aim while walking very iffy these days. I did say hi to Alan Ruck (best known as Ferris Bueller's buddy Cameron) to tell him how much I enjoyed him in Twister ("Rabbit is good! Rabbit is wise!") and in "Spider" in From the Earth to the Moon.

From there I went across to the Marriott and finally strolled the rest of the second exhibition hall. As I thought, not much there that I wanted, although the stuffed animal dealer had the cutest tricolor corgi and a great Australian cattle dog. (I thought of Spiffy, Jen!) It's a good thing I got the Gremlins and Sylvia Anderson books yesterday, as they were gone today.

From there reconnected with James in the Hyatt at the panel about historical re-enactors. Here's the entire panel—gentleman on very left is a Revolutionary War re-enactor:


These two folks are in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) medieval re-enactors:


The gentleman on the left here ("Trip") is a Civil War participant and of course the fellow on the right, if you couldn't tell from the uniform, does World War II (he even owns some WWII-era armored cars).


Very enjoyable chat, especially about the stupid questions that they get (is that real? are you in a play? etc) and how the "normal" world reacts to them. (In Vermont a paintball/re-enactor group was considered part of the state militia due to vagaries of state law and got recruited to help out during a blizzard.) They also mentioned reactions to their hobby: both Confederate and Union soldiers have been spat upon, or people ask how they can recreate such terrible things/people, like being a prison guard at Andersonville or being Waffen SS. They mentioned that there are now Vietnam re-enactment groups, which upsets some people, but they want to let the vets know that they were appreciated and their hardships were understood, even if no one showed it when they returned from active duty.

James left the room when this was over, off to another panel, but I stayed on for the discussion of the upcoming "reboot" of Sherlock Holmes into an action hero with Robert Downey Jr in the title role and Jude Law as Doctor Watson. This was part of the alternative history track and a great deal of the audience were "steampunk" fans. They are great fun to talk to and I must admit I love the idea of the genre: Jules Verne/H.G. Wells/The Wild Wild West/"Space 1889" all rolled into one, but I wouldn't want to wear those heavy costumes! One of the program participants was Carole Nelson Douglas, author of the Irene Adler novels:


So we talked if the characterization will stay true to the character or not, if this isn't just Holmes for the video-game attention span era, if Holmes hasn't survived other permutations (after all, in the 1940s, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce were hunting Nazis and jewel thieves—not to mention that House is just Sherlock in a hospital setting!).

While James was at the Military Science Fiction panel next door, I attended the Time Travel panel (here, with Jana Oliver [dark hair] and S.M. Stirling [right]):


The talk was about keeping your timestreams straight, character reactions to the time, the mechanism of the time travel, etc. but the consensus was that if it is well written and the time travel mechanism is consistent, it works. Several stories were discussed, including Slaughterhouse Five and "Bid Time Return," which became the movie Somewhere in Time.

James and I hooked back up outside the meeting rooms and went back up to Regency for tonight's ARTC performance. Matt Ceccato sat with us (his wife Kelley was performing) and we had a grand time. The first event was a surprise: the Thomas Fuller Award went to Ron Butler...


...who was totally gobsmacked. His wife and sons already knew and had managed to keep it secret from him for two days!

Here are Sara Goodell and Clair Kiernan in a super ensemble adaptation of H. Beam Piper's "Omnilingual" (also featuring Ron, Alton Leonard, Trudy Leonard, Brian Torxell, and Hal Widerman) in which an exploratory Earth expedition finds the last remains of Martian civilization and attempts to decipher the documents and the other media left behind.


And below are David Benedict as Rory Rammer, space marshal, and his faithful sidekick "Skip" Sagan, about to endure a shakeup at space command when a man who hates Rammer is appointed his new superior.


Skip is promoted while Rory is demoted to crap jobs like playing Raddy the Radiation-Exposure Raccoon for schoolchildren. Then Skip persuades the big boss to assault a crime stronghold... Rated R for ROFL ending!

Congratulated Ron on his award and chatted a bit with Lin and another gentleman about Doctor Who, then returned to house and hearth after a brief stop at Wendys for a small burger. I was tired of those silly roll-ups we've been eating by the time Friday was over. Either need to waste money at the food court and miss panels next year, or figure out something else. I don't mind carrying the snacks and the fruit juice boxes, but the roll-ups have to go...

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