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» Monday, September 06, 2010DragonCon, Day 4
Today was a little more laid back. We rose at nine, rather than eight, took a little more time at breakfast. James stopped by Chik-Fil-A for his breakfast, we made a stop at my ATM, and then were off downtown. We managed open windows again, but it was much warmer this morning.
James went right as we exited the garage, to an Electronic Frontiers Forum panel about not using a virus scanner on your computer. I went left to the Sheraton, bought next year's membership (the line was about 20 minutes, and people were complaining about it—::snort::), then went to the remainder of the Star Trek panel up in the Grand Ballroom. Marina Sirtis, Michelle Forbes, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Beltran, Garrett Wang, and John Delancie were the partners in crime in this outing. (I wondered wryly if Denise Crosby and Claudia Christian had taken the same plane home.) Props Snitching 101 was detailed by Marina. They were all asked what they thought of the reboot film (most liked it), and Garrett Wang talked about seeing it nine times, including in Europe. Each time people wondered why a Star Trek actor would want to see a Star Trek film. Wang also told a funny story about why he never watched Next Generation: because every time he tried to watch it, it was "Code of Honor," the episode the cast thought equivalent to the original series episode "Spock's Brain." (Marina said it's been pulled from the episode rotation because it's considered racist now!) All praised Jonathan as director. Mostly the it was the usual banter. Glad I came to both the panels, despite not thinking about attending a Trek panel in several years.
Headed for the Hilton hoping to catch up with James and found him just about to step on the bridge to the Marriott; that's where I was going as well. But first we made a turn around the "Walk of Fame" where the guests give out autographs at $$ a pop. I used to love to walk through the Walk of Fame taking candids of the actors reacting to something a fan said to them. I used to get some nice shots. Now they have forbidden photography unless you pay to have your picture taken with the actor or actress. That's not what I wanted. I liked seeing them react naturally to what a fan said: it might be a laugh or surprise or delight.
Not sure if "filthy lucre" just crept in or the actors are afraid that someone will take a picture of them doing something stupid or embarrassing and then post it online. But I miss taking those candids in the Walk of Fame.
Anyway, we wandered around the two exhibitors' rooms at the Marriott for a bit. Looked at a Utilikilt with the aim of perhaps getting James one; these are kilts made with all sorts of pockets. They are very expensive, but handsomely made. Unfortunately they had every size but his.
Naturally I gravitated back to the McFarland booth, and found a volume about Nancy Drew and other girl detectives, including Trixie Belden. James bought John Kenneth Muir's Space: 1999 book. I also picked up that book of steampunk short stories that I couldn't buy yesterday. It was on sale today—yay!
I'd intended to meet James at another panel at the Marriott after he finished his shopping, but as I mused as I took a break I realized what I wanted for my burgeoning post-con depression was a good Doctor Who panel. So I called James and told him I was heading for the Sheraton. This was originally supposed to be a Kai Owen/Fraser Hines panel, but since neither were there now, we were back in the Brittrack room. The Brittrack population grows each year. First we outgrew the teeny Baker room at the Hyatt and now we are outgrowing this new one after only two (or is it three?) years. The room was full except for the seat I saved for James. Good practice for coach travel.
After laughing—and rolling our eyes—at several of Rob Levy's "top ten" lists ribbing Caro McCully, we settled down to Whoversation. Much more discussion about River Song's timeline. And the Dalek timelines. Egad, that would take years to figure out. Also bouncing theories—again—about the break in next year's season. Speculation if it's going to be so Torchwood being broadcast in the interval.
They also mentioned something that sounds neat: it's a box that attaches to your television. You pay $40 year and get all British programming: the BBC channels, ITV, perhaps even Channel 4!
Most of the crowd wandered off then, but we stuck around, as always, for "So Long and Thanks for the Fish," otherwise the Brittrack "Dead Dog" panel, where they ask for suggestions and want to know what people like. The suggestion box was only partially helpful. :-) We did discuss a get-together, maybe a tea party, something of that sort.
And then the sound guys came in to collect the equipment, and it was five o'clock, and midnight had rung, and the party was over. We drove home via Longhorn, where we had a nice steak dinner with an appetizer, and the free dessert James got for his birthday. (We got the Chocolate Stampede, which is two huge slices of a chocolate mousse cake served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. We ate the ice cream and took the cake home; it will make two desserts for both of us!) Also stopped at Borders, only to find they didn't have the book James wanted. He got something else instead.
Thursday night in line, there was a guy behind us from Florida who was complaining about the line. A very justified complaint. And he said he didn't want to come next year if that's how he was treated. Given the 3 1/2 hour wait, the interminable other lines this weekend, and sometimes the general attitude of the con staff, probably the best way to get better treatment is to do just that, not show up at all.
But as much as we complain, the problem is, we're hooked. I remember as a kid always feeling like the odd man out. I didn't like the same things my classmates did, always felt a little off-kilter in what was supposed to be my own world. Then in 1978 I talked Mom into taking me to my first science fiction convention. I looked at the fans, listened to what they talked about, saw the things they collected and the books that they read.
And I said, "I'm home." And that's what it boils down to: despite the long wait, the damn sun, the hikes between hotels, the maddening crowd...one always wants to go home.
And that's...all there is.