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» Sunday, September 02, 2018DragonCon, Day 3 or "I Flip Out...Again, But Then It Gets Better"
I'm a maniac who thinks too much.
James made his own decision to go to DragonCon today. He made himself a lunch and everything. So why was I awake at five in the morning, afraid I'd talked him into it and something horrible was going to happen because I did? And I had to tell him this when he woke up, didn't I, in case I had been too overambitious?
So we were a little strained this morning having breakfast and all. But we went.
Got the same parking lot as yesterday, but this time on the A level, which proved to be providential later. However, we couldn't go the same route out as I did yesterday because in the middle of my route had been two stairways, one down, then back up again. So we had to take the elevator, and came right out in front of the building, where the line for the dealer's room was building, and building. (N.B. There was a line for the dealer's room all weekend and the stories about waiting to get in were horrendous.) Then we had to hike all the way to the Hilton. Since it was downhill all the way, we just walked outside.
Luckily the Hilton was not yet crowded. We were early and stopped to take a pic of me with the Jurassic World critters they had all over the Hilton lobby, then get a muffin (too sweet) to share and a cold drink for James at the café. Then it was relatively simple, since it was only about eleven, to get him upstairs in the elevator. He was going to the Apollo 11 panel, which I would have loved to have seen myself, but I was going to the Anne of Green Gables panel, because it was one of the two things I wanted to do today. (Apparently they did have one last year, but I did not see it in the schedule.)
Well, this was totally delightful. Although the audience was comprised mostly of women, there was a nice assortment of men, and at least one man and one woman who came up to ask questions who said their parents had bonded due to Anne and taken their honeymoon on Prince Edward Island. Megan Follows as always was gracious and fun. She still crinkles up her eyes in that lovely way when she smiles. She stated that her two favorite scenes in the original story were walking the ridgepole and she and "Diana" scaring each other walking through the "haunted wood." She said she did not grow up reading the Anne books, but liked fantasy the best and had read all the Oz books. She was asked if she was still friends with Schuyler Grant, and she said they do keep in touch, but that Schuyler was now in California running a yoga studio. Asked if she had a particular memory of a role she played other than Anne, she mentioned being in a movie where she played a young woman who was kidnapped (Cry in the Wild). David Morse, who was her kidnapper, accidentally shot her near her eye with a blank. Thankfully it did not hurt her as badly as Jon-Erik Hexum! Morse was appalled at what had happened and kept apologizing to her. Asked if she had a funny memory of any of the Anne movies, she said that Schuyler Grant did so many takes on the raspberry cordial scene and drank so enthusiastically that she really did throw up afterward. And everyone sighed and aww'd when she said her most precious memory of Jonathan Crombie was that he made her laugh.
I met James after the panel (he really enjoyed his, too; wish I had a Time Turner for these panel conflicts!) and walked (well, I trudged and he wheeled) back to the Hyatt with him. He would be here the rest of the day watching science fiction literature panels. There was no panel in the SFLit room when we got there, so we went in to talk to Bill Ritch and Phyllis Boros and another lady who taught Latin to middle schoolers. (She said her students get to rate her. That's appalling!) They were telling teaching stories and science stories, and it was quite entertaining.
About two I left James to his panel ("The Military Mind in SF") and went a'wandering. I thought about going to the art show, but instead went to the Marriott because they had a stuffed baby dragon for this year's con and I wanted to buy one for James. They hadn't had any in the Sheraton this morning when we checked, so I went to the DragonCon store at the Marriott and got one there, and a car magnet for Butch. (He did "put me back on the horse," so to speak, since I'd been afraid to go downtown yesterday without Twilight.) Then I got in line to go in the Walk of Fame. I used to like doing this way back when the WOF was downstairs in the Marriott. I would walk around and get candid photos of the actors signing autographs and interacting with their fans, but they won't let you do this anymore. But I did want to talk to Megan Follows about something she'd said; she said the character she found the most interesting in Anne was Marilla. I wondered if, being so busy as actors always are, she had seen there was a book coming out about Marilla.
So I waited in this long, sinuous, hideously stuffy and hot line to get in; the WOF is like a freaking zoo. Finally when I got in it was crowded, full of more lines, especially for Jennifer Morrison (who used to be on House but who was now the lead in Once Upon a Time), but at least it was cool. Megan Follows was at the back and was eating a salad when I came up, so I didn't keep her long. She had heard about the book coming out and wondered where I heard about it. Actually, Amazon suggested it to me.
Since I was in the room I just walked around looking at who I could look at. William Davis (the "Cigarette-Smoking Man" on The X-Files) seems ageless. Christian Kane, who just finished up four seasons of The Librarians (TNT canceled it, the snots), was nearly unrecognizable in long hair, beard and moustache; he looked like Grizzly Adams. Saw Brent Spiner and some other Trek folks signing and spied Jennifer Morrison when she stood up.)
Then I got the heck out of there by taking the escalators to the bottom floor of the Marriott and fled for the Hilton and their blessed cool. Went downstairs early for the Star Trek panel I was going to and met both Alice Spivey and Juanita Gibson down there, and we had a nice little chat before the panel along with Joe Campbell.
Well, the panel was fab. I had misunderstood. I saw "Star Trek Fandom Herstory" and thought the panel was going to be about women characters in the Trek universe. Instead it was about women in Trek fandom! The two panelists were young and had not experienced the beginnings of Trek fandom, but there was Alice in the front seat who had pretty much been in almost at the beginning and me who'd joined later. So both of us had contributions as the panelists talked about fanfiction and the early conventions, the Welcommittee and Lincoln Enterprises, and communications before the internet. I sure wish Mary Bloemker could have been here for it, since she was at the very first August Party!
(Even got a lead on a fanfic book I'd never heard of, about Trekfic. I ordered it the next day!)
I called James when we got done and he sounded quite chipper. He'd even used the basement of the Hyatt to get to a panel in the Regency room, and he asked if I wanted to stay to see the ARTC performance tonight! I was thrilled. I told him I was going to see Catherine Tate and then I would meet him near the elevators at the Hyatt International Tower afterwards, and if he still felt okay to go we would brave the elevators to get to Regency again.
I didn't have to go far for Catherine Tate; she was just in a ballroom upstairs. I found a place at the end of a very long disability line and just waited, and pretty soon they started to load the room. Since I am "end of row" I can end up anywhere, even way down, but it doesn't matter. I'd rather be in the back than be in the sun waiting. If I am out in the sun too long it makes my heart pound very hard, so that I can hear it boom in my ears and pulse in my neck. It can be frightening.
What can I say about Catherine Tate other than she is very, very funny, and the whole hour was a delight. She saw a costume she loved in the audience—the Muppet character Beaker dressed as a "Meeping Angel" accompanied by Dr. Bunsenburner as the Doctor—and came out to meet them. Alas, too far away and quick for my camera lens. The other thing she does is that you come up on stage to ask her a question. I have never seen so many gingers in my life. One little boy of about ten with a vocabulary far beyond his years seriously asked her about acting; he was already appearing in plays at school. And of course there were the usual "favorite episodes," "favorite Doctor," questions. One person asked her if she read science fiction as a child and she said she hadn't, so what were her favorite children's books? Since I have been following the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women blog and discussions, I was delighted that she said one of her favorite books was Little Women and Good Wives, as parts one and two of the book were published in England, and that she greatly loved Jo March!
Once this panel was over I made my way posthaste to the Hyatt to find James waiting for me near the elevators, and to our delight, we had no trouble getting down the one level to the Regency VII ballroom. There was a Hyatt employee named Peter Miller in the elevator who was making sure all the disability people and people with strollers got to their proper floors, and while he couldn't take us on his first run, he came back to get us. I was so impressed I posted this on the DragonCon Disability Facebook page and on the DragonCon page, and I sent the Hyatt a PM about it.
Sadly, we'd missed the original productions on Friday night, but tonight's Atlanta Radio Theatre Company performance was Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which we've heard before and is really good. I think this is my favorite adaptation. The story has been updated a little so that Conseil (Professor Arronax's nephew) is now his niece, and the navigator is also a woman, but they are in there as real people, not as spokespeople for women's equal rights. They just fit in as if the parts had always been written for a woman, and it works so well.
Even though Peter Miller had gone off duty, we had only a short wait for an elevator; a crowd basically let James in and I ran upstairs and met him, and we walked back down to the parking lot. To our surprise there was no one manning the gates, and someone sitting on the steps waved toward the Atlanta's Mart and said, "Go over there and they'll let you in." We didn't find any "they" to let us in and I basically had to trudge next to the power chair as we circled the A Level of the garage until we found the truck. Huh. Not really fond of that little business deal. But the rest of the day was swell, we stopped at Wendy's for a burger on the way home, and James wants to go again tomorrow. Hurrah!