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» Monday, September 02, 2019DragonCon, Day 4 (Or "A Day With the BritTrack--Stick Around, There are Crisps Later")
So after looking at all the DragonCon literature online, I could still not find out what time the DragonCon Store opened. I wanted to buy a streaming membership, only sold at the Store this year and not at registration as last year, and see if they had any stuffed baby dragons or T-shirts left for James. Finally poked around the website, which said the Store at the Marriott opened at eight, so I headed downtown early. A call of nature sent me rushing from the garage to the Marriott, and the first ladies' room was closed for cleaning. Took the escalator up to the next floor. Same here!!! Argh! Trotted past the DragonCon Store, which was not open at well after eight (so much for the website; bad webmaster!) and found that the much-discussed gender-neutral bathrooms were thankfully not being cleaned. A guy started to walk in next to me, saw me, started to turn away, and I said cheerfully, "It's gender-neutral! Come on in!"
(These bathrooms are not the usual awful type of American toilet stalls that have wide gaps on either side of the door, so that by careful posing you could be a creepy peeping tom and see people "doing their business," but are individual little stalls with walls between them and good solid wooden doors with louvers for air. I had no problem using them with guys wandering around. I really appreciate the European-style toilet stall, which they have at Lidl, which are quite gap-free, although rather coffin-like. I did hear one objection to them, from a guy using the other gender-neutral bathroom which was originally a men's room; he didn't want women staring at him using the urinal! Dude, women aren't interested in your dangly bits as much as you seem to think they are. However, a screen there would probably be nice.)
So the store wasn't open, so I trudged over to the Sheraton, picked up two memberships for next year, and stopped at the info booth to see what time the Store did open. Ten. Sigh. So I went back to the Marriott and got in line. They opened pretty promptly and during the wait I chatted with people in line. Alas, the cute sleeping baby dragons were sold out, as well as the T-shirts with the dragon looking remarkably like the Batman logo. I got the streaming membership, and picked up a DragonCon magnet for James' truck, then beat feet to the Hilton so I could at least see the rest of the Elementary vs. Sherlock panel.
This was very egalitarian; at most of these I've been to everyone loves Sherlock and if Elementary isn't sneered at, it's at least given short shrift and a shrug (unless Louis Robinson is on the panel, and then you get a run for your money). This panel had a couple of people who loved both series equally and talked about the pros and cons of each, so when it ended and they proposed to take a vote, I said, "Why? They both stand on their own merits." And so we didn't vote—hurrah!
So this is what I did on my final day at DragonCon: spent all of it at BritTrack, in the basement of the Hilton, with my "peeps." Now, I'd thought about going to the final Orville panel, but only J. Lee and Mark Jackson were left, and I would have had to hike to the Hyatt. Not today. I stayed instead for "Doctor Who: Mind the Gaps," about all the gap years there have been in the series (the one during Colin Baker, the long long gap after the classic series was cancelled and when the new series appeared, etc.). Alan Siler and the two Robs were on this panel, and we chatted about how we survived during the gaps, including during the big one when Virgin Books "New Adventures" and "Missing Adventures" books kept the series alive. Ah, I remember those days, perusing the new ones at the Science Fiction and Mystery Bookstore (otherwise known to old Atlanta fandom as "Mark's store), and at the late and so lamented Oxford Books.
The third panel of the day was a history geek's (me! me!) dream: "Just Another Monarch Monday." They had a slide presentation of English kings and queens by era (Angevin, Plantagenet, Stuart, etc.) and what movies or television series you might find them in (for instance, in the Plantagenet era you would range from Robin Hood films like Prince of Thieves (and Men in Tights) and Robin and Marian, to Braveheart (Edward Longshanks), the Tudors everything from Charles Laughton's Henry VIII to things like Shakespeare in Love, with the Georges you get into everything from the comic prince in Blackadder III to Queen Victoria, and thus to modern day and The Crown. Really informative and fun panel. Didn't know there was a new movie out about Queen Anne's court.
And then finally, inevitably, what's always traditionally been my last DragonCon panel: the wrap-up, "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish." The trackrunners and volunteers are dead tired, they don't want to take things home, so there are snacks for all while everyone talks about what worked and what didn't. Some of the night stuff sounds like a blast, but we simply can't afford to stay at the con hotels (even the overflow hotels) and take a rest before the nightly revelry. (We stayed at the hotel twice for Timegate/WHOlanta so we could participate in the late-night programming, only to wearily climb up to our room both times after the cabaret/masquerade was over and go to sleep instead, and that was over five years ago!) I snacked on ranch Doritos and plain Fritos, brought crunchy Cheetos and a Coke Zero home for James, tried ham and mustard flavored British "crisps," chatted with folks, and simply enjoyed one more hour with friends until it was time for Butch and I to make tracks for home.
So, no visit to the Dealer's Room for me this year at all. Couldn't really afford it, but regret that I didn't get to go to Artist's Alley (also in the same building; liked it better when they were near the art show) and say hi to Andy Runton and see if there was a new "Owly" book or print out. Heck, never even made it to the art show. As my retirement has proved, even with what seems like all the time in the world, you can't do everything.
Maybe next year...