Okay, in the earlier post, I discussed some basic things about Dragon. Now I am going to get deeper into the story. Rather than driving down there (since I have no friends which is a horrible, horrible way to live your life). I choose to fly--which brought me into direct contact with the TSA. If you read my earlier post about how to make a visit with the TSA more memorable then you know what I wrote. When I walked to one of the checkpoints where you have to show your ID, the agent stared at it for what I consider to be too long of a time. He asked if I was the same person who wrote that blog about the TSA.
I was faced with a choice. I could take credit for my work and stand by every single idea I put in there or I could weasel out and say I never heard of it. I choose the path of least resistance and said I don’t write a blog, that is must be a different Al they are looking for. All the agents that had mysteriously appeared out of nowhere brandishing bats suddenly stepped back, my lie having mollified them. Just to clarify, they did not really have bats. You are not going to turn me into one of those stories you see posted on the internet about how badly people were treated by the TSA. Nope, not a word.
I have been to the Atlanta airport before and it is the only one I have been to that required an underground subway to get around in. The airport is really that big. I made the mistake of walking the distance the first time I arrived there. Never again.
Upon arriving at the convention I looked for the registration line. I asked where it was and I was pointed toward a line.
“That’s the pre-registered line” they told me pointing at a specific line.
“But the line is moving!” I commented in disbelief (You’ll understand if you have been to a convention of this type. It has been two weeks and I am still in shock like it was a dream of some sort; a glorious, beautiful dream. I weep at the memory of it.) “That cannot be the line!” Others heard my statement and began chiming in (yes, I know this makes me an instigator) that pre registration lines are never that short and never move. Throwing fuel onto the fire I began a chant “We want to wait! We want to wait!” Others quickly joined in. The mob swelled. Soon the hotel was filled with a thousand voices until the administrator yelled “Security!” At this point I ducked away and quietly slid into the fast moving line. Before I came here a supervisor told me not to get arrested. Okay, more like he begged and pleaded knowing who I am (mainly his advice was not to put my plan for getting free autographs from the celebrities in action but it applies to many, many other behaviors I have demonstrated). Before I left for my trip he kept muttering (in my presence) “Don’t get arrested, don’t get arrested, don’t get arrested,” as if I am going to fall into a subliminal trance. I did not get arrested so maybe it worked. Huh, who would have thought it? Plus, I think getting pulled out by security on the evening before the con even starts would set a bad precedent for the weekend.
After this getting my badge, the phone calls began.
“I’m here. Are you here yet?”
“I cannot believe you made it.”
“I can’t believe I am actually here.”
I had always thought that the sound squueee was just a made up sound in comics to indicate extreme pleasure upon seeing a friend. I am now disabused of that concept since I found myself making that very noise upon seeing Sherri Lyn again and getting to meet her sister, Mae Fairchild. We met at a photo shoot where Sherri was wearing a very slinky dress with a long slit up her outfit revealing her legs and I had to resist the urge to say “Hello, girls” (this was not in reference to the two ladies I was with).
This was my introduction to photo shoots at Dragon*Con. When I did this shoot (and got to see 2 Zatannas there-squueee) I was told about several other shoots going on over the weekend. After this weekend I realized going to shoots was addictive and got me hooked. She was my enabler. To be fair pretty much everyone at the shoots kept me craving more. By the end I was a complete mess, all high on photographing as many people as I could. They had to pull me away as I pleaded with them “Please, you gotta let me get one more shot. I can quit photographing anytime I want. I just need to take pictures of one more Zatanna and then I will quit. I promise…”
Day 1 (Thursday) came to an end when I finished shooting all the lovely ladies by the poolside. The ride back to my hotel was mostly silent except for when I stood up on the bus and said “Driver, turn the bus around. I need to go back.” I grabbed his arm and made doe eyes. I blinked them rapidly in the hopes he would cave and do what I wanted.
Without missing a beat (as though he had heard it all before) he said “Nope.”
I sat back down.
To be continued with Day 2 or how I learned not to buy bottle water inside the hotels.
Thanks to Kim Bookless for her assistance.