Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

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» Saturday, September 03, 2016
Dragoncon and a New Day With No Mistakes in It

The edge of the clouds from Hurricane Hermine touched us yesterday; no rain, but clouds and humidity. But as always after a storm, the humidity whisked away in the wind, the skies cleared and came back blue as a jay's wing.

I guess that's what happened during the night. When we woke up the air was cool and clear and it seemed as if it had wiped away all the bad feelings from yesterday. While we weren't cockeyed optimistic—James pretty much decided he would stay in the Hyatt today—the remainder of the weekend suddenly felt do-able. Traffic was light and, like yesterday, we had no trouble using our Parking Panda QR code. (We had no trouble with parking all weekend. I'm really happy with Parking Panda.)

Neither of us had a ten o'clock panel today, either, so we were able to take our time over breakfast, and then I could walk James over to the Hyatt via the Marriott for his first panel. I would be leaving him alone all day, but he seemed serene about it today and ready to take on his schedule. It definitely made me feel better when I finally left to cut back through Peachtree Center for my first panel at the Sheraton.

It seems awkward to say you enjoyed a memorial panel, but it was nice sharing movie memories about Alan Rickman. Sounds like there are some Rickman movies I need to check out (but, sorry, I still am not going to watch Die Hard). I wish they'd discussed Galaxy Quest more. I've seen Love, Actually and enjoyed it, but still don't get what the fuss is about. Was I the only one who sat watching what Alan Rickman was going to do and kept warning him not to? :-{

It was only a short block's walk to my next panel, about Sherlock, in the Hilton Crystal Ballroom, interrupted by that usual line in the ladies' room. Sad to say, this is where my lack of sleep, probably caused by last night's emotional crisis, took its toll. It was a great chat about the Christmas episode—when did folks realize this was not reality, what about the portrayal of women in it, the appearance of Mycroft in his classic form—and the minimal hints we have been given about the fourth set of three episodes, with the usual three clue words (this year Thatcher, Smith, and Sherrinford). Those familiar with canon know that Sherlock was almost called "Sherrinford Holmes," and there has always been a rumor of a third Holmes brother with that name. A character named "Culverton Smith" also appears in canon, and apparently Thatcher refers to something on the "blog" kept by Watson in the new series (I confess I have not kept up with John's blog). But during the panel I did close my eyes and listen, and of course caught myself falling asleep right in front of the panel. Not your fault, guys!

Next I had to make a big decision, but it turned out to be not so big after all. Before the Sherlock panel I chatted with James via text. He seemed very chilled out and said he was just going to stay in the Hyatt chatting with people and having his lunch. So I hopped from the Hilton to the garage elevator, cut through the crazy lunch crowd at Peachtree Center, and tramped the rest of the way down the street (only a block) to the Westin to see Jim Butcher's panel. Jim always does great panels, and this one was no exception. He talked about possibly doing a young adult about Maggie Dresden going to a school for children of wizards/archangels/etc, not because they have special powers but because they live in households that are "different" and they would be able to talk freely to classmates. He also said he thought about doing a short story about Harry written from Mouse's [his dog] point of view, which would be cool because Mouse is a temple dog and has his own kind of magic. Of course the next Harry Dresden book came up: where is it? Apparently the Butchers are having a house built, and by Jim's account, they need Mike Holmes to come in and mediate because the builders are so bad. He said he and his wife were going to do "good cop, bad cop" on them and it ended up being "bad cop, angry cop." Anyway, he is having trouble writing until he has his own "nest."

They always empty out the panel rooms, and I had to use the bathroom anyway, so I did my thing and went back to the same room for the Sleepy Hollow panel (I really regret neither of them showing up yesterday because I am now missing the Call the Midwife/period dramas panel; there have even been some people here dressed as the midwives). I ended up sitting next to a nice couple who were horrified along with me when I reached into my backpack and couldn't find my camera. To cut to the chase, I went crazy for about five minutes and probably had the two room people thinking I was nuts looking for my camera when all I had done was put it into the wrong pocket of my backpack—there are three delegated for specific use and I had put the camera into the food pocket rather than into the camera pocket in front. So all was well and the nice couple even held my seat for me.

So, Tom Mison and Janina Gavankar—like everyone else, I was aghast when SH killed off Abbie Mills. The entire series for three years has been the bond between Abbie and her time-traveling-via-spell partner Ichabod Crane. I was never an Ichabbie (someone who wanted them to be romantically involved), but the entire story revolved around them and now she's gone, with a lot of controversy online about an actress of color being booted off a major series. According to the stories, Nicole Beharie was just tired of the night shoots and the long shooting schedule, and Tom Mison admitted at this panel that it was very hard, which is why they expanded the cast in third season, to give both of the leads a rest. Now all the old cast members seem to be gone; wish Jenny and Sophie weren't gone, but Betsy Ross is a welcome boot—she was a really stupid character. Anyway, Janina is very funny and outspoken, and I do like her. I just don't like the idea of the series being sent in Washington, DC (like we need another series set in DC) and that there is an evil billionaire character (like we need another one of these).

Most of the fun talk was more about the filming than the series: they used to film in North Carolina and now they film in Conyers, GA, and they got into a big discussion about discovering the different types of barbecue sauces. When there were series stories, humor usually got the first dibs; for instance, they were asked if there were a mythical creature the series has not done that they would like to see and Tom Mison said "centaurs." Janina commented that centaurs would have two ribcages, and the next thing you know, someone asked, "What would you do with all those ribs?" and an audience member shouted "Barbecue!" Tom also told a story about the trained crow that was supposed to drop a message in his hand. Tom would have a piece of food in his hand, and the trainer would send the crow to Tom, and it would drop the message to get the food. Except the bird kept dropping the message, gulping the food, and then picking the message up again! Finally he quit dropping the message at all and the trainer bellowed, "Dammit, quit messing up!"

James had been messaging me all afternoon, so upbeat that I did do what I wanted initially and made the long trek down to the America Mart where the dealers are, as three of the tracks were on the fourth floor this year: Trek Track, Alternate History, and Military SF Media. I crossed from the Westin through the bridge to the Mart, had to thread through noisy gamers in Building 1, and cross several habitrails to Building 2.

Having a few minutes, I stopped on the third floor where they have "Artist's Alley" this year, instead of next to the art show, and said hi to Andy Runton, who does the Owly books. No new book yet... Supposedly there is a full-size Toothless the Dragon from How to Train Your Dragon here, but I didn't have time to find it.

My first thought when I got to the fourth floor was "Who did Trek Track piss off to get stuck in here?" It was a nice big room, though, with a large model of the Enterprise set up in the rear, and nice and cool! Alice Spivey was here, too, huddled up in a sweater; to me it was "Baby Bear"—juuuuuust right. The panel was about the animated series, which usually gets short shrift. Sure the animation was terrible—it was Filmation after all—but the scripts were intelligent and at times very adult, about things like loneliness, the practicality of time travel, alienation (pun not intended, but thinking of "Yesteryear," about young Spock, one of the best stories). The animated series also contributed several firsts: Uhura in command ("Lorelei Signal"), Kirk's middle name revealed as "Tiberius," the first captain of the Enterprise, Robert April, being portrayed, first crossover with a literary universe ("The Slaver Weapon" featuring Larry Niven's Kzin), first alien crewmembers, M'Ress and Arex, and others. Great discussion!

I was done for the day, but James wanted to go to one more panel, the Ace/ROC book preview (he had attended his favorite, the Baen Book two-hour "roadshow," earlier; this is always his favorite panel because Baen publishes his favorite SF books and authors), so I met him at the Hyatt. He told me he had tried to play "SF Jeopardy" at 5:30 but got defeated after they asked three Barsoom questions in a row. The presentation was okay, and reminded me that I needed to get a copy of Jim Butcher's The Aeronaut's Windlass now that it was in paperback. Still a lot of dystopian stuff coming out, but it was interesting checking out the new releases.

This time we had no elevator troubles, and James was relaxed on the way home and told me he was feeling much better. We had a little no-salt chicken broth with alphabet noodles when we got home and it chased off the rest of the lingering madness from yesterday. I think we were so afraid of what might happen at Dragoncon after the heart attack that yesterday we went there scared to death expecting something bad would happen and we just couldn't relax and at night it just exploded.

WUPA-TV, channel 69, broadcast the Dragoncon Parade, and we watched the DVR of it while we ate. Most of it was given over to stupid Six Flags commercials for their Netherworld thing they do at Hallowe'en, and then Moe's the restaurant had a "taco cam" half the time with a stupid stuffed burrito in the way. They showed more of the parade than we'd ever seen, but it was sure suck-ass coverage. Someone on WSB-TV posted what looks like almost all the parade (except the Netherworld junk), so we'll watch that.

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