Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones


For the full multimedia experience, hit Storify #1 (general adventures) and/or Storify #2 (only Hannibal-related happenings plus the Fan Expo in Canada the same weekend). Also, I'm on the latest, Hannibal series retrospective episode of A Matter of Taste, and they give me the first half hour to tell Dragon Con stories. (I was also surprisingly emotional about Hannigram. "He just wants to be with his mongoose!!") Emily and I also--after a great deal of technical trouble--have posted a fully Dragon Con-themed Made of Fail with our collected adventures, including the un-Hannibal-related ones. The AMOT stories were recorded second and so are a bit more practiced, but MOF has Emily's side of the experience as well. (Also, me shouting "FUCK A FUCKING DUCK!") So I've listed time codes throughout for your convenience, and you can actually hear me tell these stories aloud if you so desire.


We had an inauspicious start with Delta losing Emily's suitcase and my train taking six hours instead of four, due to a freight train ahead of us doing something for some reason, I don't even know. (MOF 00:34:20.) Texts I sent to my friend Lily Rose:

I know exactly which passenger we're eating first

Pushy annoying as fuck lady who asked them to change the train station TV to tennis and then sat across from me.

The moment they closed the cafe car, she thought that meant we were arriving and she packed up and hustled up to the very front so she can get off first. Also she talked very loudly on her phone half the time.

I'm getting mad in a very amused, detached way now

@cleolinda: Day six: still on train

@cleolinda: Last year it took like 45 minutes for Amtrak to bring up the luggage, so I cheerfully look forward to the continuation of this clusterfuck.

@cleolinda: I mean that. As Chesterton said, "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."

@cleolinda: Please don't make me regret saying that.

I was most worried about getting a cab at the train station--something I've never done by myself before--but oddly enough, that was the easiest thing I did the whole day. (Atlanta Checker Cab phone app; driver called my phone and found me in the Amtrak station before my suitcase was even unloaded.) By the time I got to the Hilton sometime after--I don't know, 10 pm?--my dazzle was completely chagrined, however, and Emily (still suitcaseless) had to coax me down to the lobby restaurant for foods. Her luggage finally came in after 3 am, so that was a late night for us, to say the least.

Before we continue, let's take a look at the map that's on the Dragon Con app:

This is the convention campus, if you will--three central hotels connected by skybridges (built for Dragon Con years ago, IIRC), with the Westin and the Sheraton on either side, pressed into service in more recent years as the convention continued to grow. Counter-clockwise: You pick up your badge in the Sheraton; I was staying in the Hilton; the Marriott there in the center is where cosplayers tend to promenade, with the autograph tables of the Walk of Fame on a lower floor; the art shows (and bar scene, apparently) are in the Hyatt; and the horror track, where panels I'm either on or want to see usually are, is in the Westin. On that end, the America's Mart is where the vendors are laid out; the Peachtree Center has a food court with a ton of options, although it's difficult to squeeze in during the convention. (There's also a CVS there that is extremely useful if you need or have forgotten some key item.) So these are your stomping grounds for the long Labor Day weekend. (I finally understood my love for this convention once I realized how much it reminded me of my small-liberal-arts-college experience: seminars in closely-set buildings, a "student center" food court, all-night dorm life, and everything in ten minutes' walking distance.) I won't lie, I pulled up Google Maps to get from the Hilton to the Sheraton, just to make sure I was walking in the right direction; the area is full of tall, closely-packed buildings, so it's not like you can see straight across the square to where you're going. The Dragon Con app is also indispensable because it has maps of the hotel floors, and the Marriott, which DOES NOT NUMBER ITS GODFORSAKEN FLOORS, is where always, always I get lost.


@cleolinda: Do you like my murder tie #dragoncon

With my trusty paisley black ribbon lanyard and camera pendant from last year as well.

(For some reason, my skin sometimes photographs LITERALLY WHITE in natural light, I swear to God that I am not that pale in person.)

@cleolinda: It's so funny to me that I'm a hermit 360 days of the year, and then Con Weekend I'm like AYYYYY HIT ME UP

@cleolinda: I'm there in a fandom capacity so I am genuinely like "HAY STRANGERS I DON'T BITE MEET ME HERE."

@merveille: It's surprising how much of the media you cover requires that disclaimer.

@cleolinda: Seriously, PLEASE come hit me up, I'm carrying about fifteen pounds of buttons/stickers/eyeshadow samples to give away.



(The Name of the Eyeshadow I Gave Out Is 666.)

Line #1

10:45 AM:

@cleolinda: WHO WILL BE HERE FOR THE 1 PM PANEL? #Hannibal #dragoncon

@cleolinda: Holy shit there's already a line to get in

@DragonConHorror: @cleolinda I knew crowds would be large, but... seriously everyone, show up early if you absolutely have to see something.

I discussed Dragon Con lines--or at least, the ones I've experienced--right after I came back at greater length, but here's the major takeaway:

I’ve only ever been to Hannibal events, since either tattle-crime sent me to "cover" those or I was on them (I feel pompous saying that, but there it is), so I can’t speak for the crowdedness of other tracks or fandoms. Like, I couldn’t go to other panels; a typical day was 1) get from my room in the Hilton through the Marriott to the Hyatt via sky bridges (the “habitrails”) and then outside a couple of blocks to the Westin, which can take 10-15 minutes or A FUCKING HOUR depending on the crowds and time of day; 2) find the room the panel would be in and wait around until a line was allowed to start; 3) hang out with a bottle of water and some crackers in line, usually sitting on the carpeted floor (they’ll tell you when to stand up and get ready to go in); 4) sit in proper chairs for about half an hour; 5) enjoy the panel, itself generally an hour long. Here’s a picture someone took of the line for the Friday afternoon Q&A (there are even more people in the back corner outside the frame); my understanding is that it was one of two rooms they set aside for that one panel’s line, since the Q&As were in ballrooms rather than the usual Peachtree Room.

So you might set aside three hours for a single hour-long event. I would schedule one thing to do in the morning, see where I would be between that and the next thing I wanted to do in the afternoon/evening, and then find something nearby that I could do–hit the Walk of Fame (autograph tables in the Marriott) or the vendors (America’s Mart on the Westin side of the “campus”) or Artist Alley (in the Hyatt), or maybe get lunch with someone (there’s also a mall food court across from the Hyatt), or get on Twitter and find out if anyone who wanted to meet up and say hi was in the area.
So that's the pattern you're going to see here. As a system, it actually works pretty well.


@noizangel: YOU HAVE TURNED INTO @BryanFuller

@cleolinda: @noizangel @BryanFuller I HAVE TO CAPSLOCK SO THEY CAN HEAR ME

@cleolinda: I SHOULD PROBABLY JUST YELL OUT "WHO WANTS BUTTONS" BUT omg there's a girl in a kimono and stocking mask

@cleolinda: There's nothing quite like looking over and seeing a Francis Dolarhyde in the corner.

Texts to Lily Rose:

Yeah. I got in line for this panel an hour ago. I'm at the halfway point now.

>> Oh my god I would die.

It's one of those police tape maze lines, they set aside a whole room for it.

>> Which panel is it?!

People really need to not underestimate how many people just want to see Scott Thompson.

>> Oh, that panel. Heh. Well, he's been around for a LONG time. And he's pretty cool.

Actually--as mentioned--they set aside two rooms for the line. Seriously, do not underestimate Scott Thompson; I talked to tons of people who were excited specifically to see him.

Q&A #1

@cleolinda: I didn't take notes because I wanted to actually pay attention; I saw other people recording. However, I will tell you that they were asked

@cleolinda: "What kind of tableau would #Hannibal put you in?" Aaron replied, "He'd just drop us in the 69 position."

@Tattle_Crime: Crying about Asparagus Foam as @cleolinda recounts stories from @ScottThompson_ and @MrAaronAbrams at @DragonConHorror

Wherever Scott had dinner the night before, something had "asparagus foam" on it, and he just could not handle the sheer pretentiousness of it. He's probably not over it even now (nor should he be).

@karykeion: please, please recount the foam/buttcrack thing if you can. i hope someone gif'd that bc it must be seen to be believed.

To Lily Rose: I have to tell you the Lithuanian buttcrack story from yesterday, I can't believe I am typing this out because I am a lady goddammit

(THE STRUGGLE IS REAL: 00:19:00+.)

What happened was, there were several running jokes throughout the panel:

1) Scott's indignation at culinary foam;

2) Aaron's trembly Will impression ("Gimme a line." "THIS IS MY DESIGN!!" "Okay..." *DEEP SHAKY BREATH INTO MIC*);

3) Scott, admitting that he can't do Mads' Danish accent ("No one can do it! He says his own brother can't do it!"), only a German one that just got worse (by his own admission) as the weekend wore on,

4) periodically intoning "This is what I have always wanted... for both of us" from the finale;

5) Aaron telling multiple stories about directors telling him, during lab/investigation scenes, to put his face into corpses' (who were sometimes played by live actors, not just mannequins) "pubes and buttcracks";

6) an offhand remark about cheerfully shooting "killdren" in 1x04, "Oeuf";

and then all of them came together at the very end, when--and I forget exactly what led up to this--Scott urged huskily, "Put your face into my Lithuanian buttcrack, Will. Put the foam in my buttcrack. This is what I have always wanted. For both of us."

@karykeion: @cleolinda " my design..." "I know, will...I not be afraid...of my lithuanian buttcrack" i FELL out of my CHAIR

@karykeion: @cleolinda what made it was aaron's contribution, which i have to assume was supposed to be will, of this hushed, awed "...butt...crack?"

And then Aaron went into Will's encephalitis eyeroll. The moderator concluded this, and the panel itself, with "Think of the killdren!"

Texts to Lily Rose:

This is after Scott went on about masturbating to young Laurence Fishburne, and TELLING Laurence so. It was A Wild Ride From Start To Finish.

Scott also said something genuinely deep about there not being a kiss in the finale--"It's fascinating, it's this statement that we're more comfortable watching men kill each other than watching men fuck."

>> That is amazing. All of that.

They were just totally delightful, happy to be there, tons of fun. After the buttcrack finale they promised to write us an "erotic musical" for tomorrow. I am fucking terrified.
I should add that there were lots of fun costumes at the panel--one of my favorite pictures was just casually taken between a pair of antlers. The first audience member to get in line for questions was a Kitchen Fight Hannibal with a "bloody" apron, which got an appreciative laugh; there was also a brave soul in a plastic murder suit. As everyone was leaving, a crowd gathered around a fantastic Wendigo--this was as close as I was able to get, but the pictures-of-pictures aesthetic seems to work for the occasion:


(Here's an in-depth look at the Wendigo cosplay, which was a big hit on the Walk of Fame.)

A cool and quiet afternoon

@cleolinda: Quiet time in a far-flung lobby area of the Westin 6th floor. Going to put together grab bags.

[x / x]

I didn't spend much time in the Westin last year because I was always flailing around to get from one hotel to the other and then back again (due a more complicated schedule than I had this year), and I think it actually ended up being my favorite hotel to just hang out in. Lots of armchairs and places to just rest, a Starbucks and a cafe/bar that had really good quesadillas (my late lunch/early dinner), and really good air conditioning.

However, I mention this because I noticed a pattern as I was writing all this up: I was a little weirded out when a middle-aged man (in his fifties, maybe?) came and sat down opposite to me a few seconds after I settled down to put together grab bags. All he did was exchange a few pleasantries and play on his phone, and I obviously have no right to take over a table with four armchairs. But there were plenty of other quiet, isolated places to sit in that area, and he got up to leave half an hour later--the moment I started packing my bag. The timing was just... strange. And there were plenty of other times when people sat down in chairs even closer to me and it didn't feel weird at all, and there were plenty of people I started conversations with. Every now and then, though, things would get... weird.

(I honestly didn't think much of it until a couple of weeks after the con, when a lot of minor, varied creepiness kind of piled up on me and I sort of had a delayed-reaction life-withdrawal for a few days. It was the Doomsday Prepper that threw everything into sharp, creepy relief, really.)

On the other hand:

@cleolinda: Someone just walked up to me and said "I LOVE YOUR WORK" and I only JUST NOW got why that was funny.

Hannibal Fannibal Pannibal Fan Panel

@cleolinda: Gift bags fluffed, panel currently seating, sound check in progress.


We were giving away two full sample sets of the This Is My Design colors, an Evil Supply Co. grab bag (I thought it would be fitting), needlepoint from @MelissaTink, Tux's art prints, and three signed scripts via Loretta Ramos, Hannibal producer/superstar/saint on earth. As with last year, getting the Stuff given out fairly and efficiently in what little time we would have was my biggest concern.

@Tattle_Crime: VERY excited to be on the panel via skype tonight, nervous about questions! Usually I ASK the questions! @cleolinda @Wolven @DragonConHorror

I managed to be at the panel on time--mostly because I stayed on the premises all day long--and Freddie had a good Skype connection this year, and that was basically all I wanted. I mean, I do think the panel went really smoothly--eight panelists, and we didn't talk over each other!--and was plenty entertaining, room filled to capacity, good questions, I strung words into coherent patterns, etc.; I'm just saying that prioritizing one or two goals can simplify your anxieties a lot.

@cleolinda: FLAWLESS PANEL VICTORY #Hannibal #dragoncon

@cleolinda: Also, @Tattle_Crime has a real talent for working a crowd, and she wasn't even physically there.

(AMOT discussion of the fan panel starts at 00:02:57 and then again at 00:30:20; throughout the finale conversation, I keep remembering that I said this or that on the panel as well. Emily and I start discussing at MOF 00:28:40.)

And then Emily, Erica (my 2014 roommate), and a longtime forum friend I'd never met in person (remind me, Liz, are you on LJ too?) grabbed a late dinner at the Metro Diner. There were waffles and ambient karaoke.


@MrAaronAbrams: "I don't know who you are but I can tell from your facial hair that you think I'm supposed to" -girl who just came up to me, amazing person

@MrAaronAbrams: .@ScottThompson_ on signing things: "Ask me to desecrate something and I am THERE." #DragonConWithScott

Line #2

@cleolinda: I'll be in the Hyatt this morning for the #Hannibal Q&A (and its attendant line), then Marriott this afternoon?

This was during (after?) the parade, and I think we were supposed to have lined up outside, but crowds made that impossible; they eventually just let us sit down in the actual ballroom on actual chairs rather than a line party on the carpet.

Q&A #2

Which you can watch! Part one! Part two! And here is Wolven--who invited me to do panels in the first place--looking smooth in his capacity as moderator. Panel pictures:

@MitigatedText: @cleolinda pannibal part one

@MitigatedText: @cleolinda pannibal part 2

@kilgorene: #FannibalsArentDone the best panels @DragonCon are about #Hannibal

@kilgorene: Will Graham impression by @MrAaronAbrams at the #Hannibal panel @DragonCon. @ScottThompson_ does a German Mads. ;)

Q&A #2 was the Mads Appreciation Hour in particular. Scott was talking about how most of the "Price and Zeller process Hannibal" scene at the beginning of 3x08 was cut, but when Scott had to swab Mads' cheek: "I got to put my fingers in his mouth. And he knew I was taking a long time." (Coy, come-hither Mads impression from Aaron. "He also knew what was happening.") "He knew what was happening, he liked it. He doesn't care if you fantasize about him, he doesn't care if you're animal, vegetable or mineral, he enjoys it." If this is true, then it suddenly explains a lot about several naked plot developments Mads himself requested.

("He loves it when vegetables fantasize about him.")

And then--I think the question was, which murder tableaux did they like? And Scott picked Hannibal's "crucifixion" in "Mukozuke." (AMOT 00:25:20.) Because "I've always fantasized about sex with Jesus." No, I don't know how he wasn't struck by lightning, either. I think this was before they started discussing a Jimmy Price twin porno, initially to be called Priceless, but then The Price Is Right ("No," said Scott, "the Price is wrong"), and finally, per an audience member's suggestion, Two for the Price of One. (MOF 00:14:18; AMOT 00:26:20.) But, again, you can actually watch all of this. What you really don't want to miss is Scott's Charlie's Angels/Christie Love shooting stance (you may remember it from this Post Mortem interview clip as well). Keep it in your mind's eye, because in the second half:

@cleolinda: I'm not sure why a line of Stormtroopers invaded the #Hannibal panel

@cleolinda: but Scott and Aaron chased them off, finger guns drawn

@cleolinda: "FREEZE, SUCKER!!" shouted Scott, in hot pursuit. Aaron kicked in a curtain as backup. I am not making this up.

(AMOT 00:04:30.)

Ayyyyy, it made CNN.

The Walk of Fame

I was going to the autograph tables to get signed pictures for Freddie, but low blood sugar, dehydration, heat, and overcrowding are not an ideal combination:

I've got the shakes so bad. I'm trapped in the Marriott, not realizing there would be nowhere to sit but the carpet on the edges of the cosplay crowd.

@cleolinda: @Tattle_Crime has talked me into going to see them at their autograph thing. I don't know how to talk to people who live in my TV

@Tattle_Crime: you talk to me just fine!

@cleolinda: it's true. And I have you as the icebreaker.

@cleolinda: So is there anything, Twitter, you would like me to tell @MrAaronAbrams and @ScottThompson_?

@MrAaronAbrams: @cleolinda @ScottThompson_ ask Scott how is it possible that Aaron is such a darling, darling boy.


@Tattle_Crime: Crying as @cleolinda tells me how she accidentally said something in a much more seductive tone than she meant to use to @MrAaronAbrams

@cleolinda: I did manage to find @MrAaronAbrams and @ScottThompson_ , & they were lovely and charming, go see them if you're there.

@cleolinda: And I did in fact introduce myself to Aaron with "I can't ask Scott yet" (he was w/someone) "why you are such a darling, darling boy."

(AMOT 00:09:10; MOF 00:16:20.)

Y'all, his eyes got so big for like two seconds before he remembered. Fortunately, he burst out laughing at that point.

(I make a bit of a confession on AMOT. 00:10:40.)

I did, in fact, introduce myself as Freddie's representative for the convention--Aaron had done an interview with her, so that was some way to start. And I was bringing a set of the swag I'd been handing out, because why not, so that was another icebreaker.

@cleolinda: @thetuxedos btw, did Freddie tell you what Scott said when I gave him the Dolarhyde back tattoo print? "Well, she knows what I like"

@thetuxedos: OH MY GO S H

@cleolinda: Your stuff was like a smoke bomb for my awkwardness. "NO DON'T LOOK AT ME HAVE SOME COOL ART" "oooooh"

(I need to frame it next to her 2014 Dragon Con art, which I am still not over.)

Texts to Lily Rose, re: my accidental sultriness (sent much later that night):

>> I would totally flirt with Aaron. Or burst into hysterical giggles. One or the other.

Considering that I was a literal hot mess on the verge of a panic attack--not because of meeting them, because of the seven circles of hell that are the Marriott--bright-eyed and sincere was the best I could manage.

So [in the notecards I included with the swag] I thanked Scott for saving us [from stormtroopers] and Aaron for all the livetweeting, bringing so much joy to fandom, etc. [I wrote them while] I had low blood sugar shakes and couldn't write straight. I had two Aleve and a martini afterwards.

>> Aww. That's very sweet. Did you actually get to talk to them or was it just a quick meeting?

I did, a couple of minutes. I showed [Aaron] my "press badge" just because I get a huge kick out of it; I can't remember if he said Cleolinda is a lovely name or a pretty name, so of course I blurted out that my real name is Lauren, thereby obviously giving him fairy tale power over me

>> Lol

[Scott and I] discussed the attractiveness of Richard [Armitage]

I said something similarly sincere about thank you for coming down to see us

Other people showed up then, and I made my exit.

And I was a literal hot ruddy mess because it was actual hell in the Marriott, hell in a sardine can, worse than last year. So that was great.

And then I found my way across the Marriott to the Hyatt skybridge, only to step two feet onto it and remember that my room wasn't in the Hyatt.

Texts to Freddie:

The Marriott broke me. Again. I need to go sit in a cool shower before I have an actual panic attack

Everyone I've talked to--strangers in elevators, even--agrees that this year is exceptionally crazypants. People got started partying on WEDNESDAY.

I am trying to convince myself to go to dinner. I want to never move from this bed ever again. Except for losing my will to live, though, today has gone really well

Occasionally you lose your will to con, is what I'm saying. This year I rescued myself, at least?

MEANWHILE, IN CANADA: mysticowl ended up at a Mads Mikkelsen Q&A at Fan Expo by sheer chance (much more on this in the Storify) (update: and her own!), and apparently he spent the weekend being completely adorable.


@g4tisss: The #Hannibal meetup was a [murderous] success ♡ @BryanFuller @neoprod @DeLaurentiisCo @MrAaronAbrams @lorettaramos

@g4tisss: The Abigail babies at the #hannibal meet up yesterday @BryanFuller @KaceyKadoodles @neoprod @DeLaurentiisCo

@KaceyKadoodles: look at all these fierce babies! yes! i love it!

I wasn't able to go to this or 5 Truths and a Lie, which Scott and Aaron also did, because Emily had wrangled reservations at Nikolai's Roof for us. (MOF 00:43:00.) I ended up with a gin berry martini (cranberry, lime, and Chambord, I think?), seared beef tenderloin in a sherry reduction with sweet corn and pancetta, then a Grand Marnier soufflé with almond crème fraiche. I nearly got the ricotta/sweet corn/blueberry ravioli with Iberian ham. Someone else we were with ordered the roasted poussin rouge--chicken, essentially, but the chef felt like making it with duck breast that night. Oh, we'll just substitute something even richer, nbd. This place was nowhere near the region of fucking around--by leaps and bounds, the most expensive meal I've ever eaten. And apparently I'm not allowed to feel financially guilty about it, because I was telling my mom that I was exhausted and might not go, and she freaked out--she'd eaten there years and years ago (I believe she had the red beet and beef borscht consommé?)--and insisted that I go. Unsurprisingly it was the best meal I had all weekend, but also strangely, satisfyingly light.


@MrAaronAbrams: Day 3 of #DragonCon and I have yet to go 4 minutes without blurting out a "holy shit".

@hankscnn: Fannibal alert! I'm talking #Hannibal with @MrAaronAbrams @ScottThompson_ at 11:30 today! #DragonCon

Line #3

@cleolinda: In huge line for the last #Hannibal Q&A

@cleolinda: Oh my God this isn't even the #Hannibal line. There's a line for the Hannibal line.

Yeah... turns out I was in the Defiance (?) line.

@cleolinda: I asked a volunteer if I was at the right line; I knew I wasn't because there were no antlers OR flower crowns.

I am completely serious about that, by the way: that is exactly how I knew I could not be in the right place. You will know a gathering of fannibals (what's the collective noun there? a tableau of fannibals? "a murder of fannibals" seems too easy) when you see one.

Once I was finally in the right line, someone from a Hannibal's Kitchen Facebook group--I think?--was very quickly going through handing out swag; I wish I'd gotten a chance to talk to her. At my panel, I'm pretty sure she was also the one who gave each of the panelists an envelope, which, in my hurry to clean up the panel table, I didn't remember to open until the next day:


(I've promised to take front-and-back pictures of the individual recipe cards at some point--they're real, functional recipes.)

(I had the Facebook link and now I can't find it again. Odd thing I discovered while trying to google it: there is at least one restaurant by that name.)

@kilgorene: Waiting for the #Hannibal panel with @cleolinda and got these amazing buttons! Thank you!

A delightful thing that happened a few times: talking to someone for like 15-20 minutes, and then I'd say something about "yeah, I'm going to all the Hannibal panels for a fansite" (I get such a kick out of the Tattle Crime badge)

or "yeah, the fan panel last night, I was on it" and some kind of penny would drop and the person I was talking to would be like "WAIT ARE YOU CLEO?" (And then I would give them stuff.) I didn't expect anyone to ~know me; it was just super fun when they did.

Q&A #3

@foresthouse: The super-happy crowd for the last #Hannibal panel, w/ @MrAaronAbrams & scottthompson_. @DragonCon

@foresthouse: .scottthompson_'s play-by-play trip to the distant water pitcher at the last #Hannibal panel


Q&A 3 was in a cold ballroom (which, honestly, I appreciated at that point in the Atlanta heat). Aaron in his t-shirt was freezing, so early on, he ran off backstage and came back wrapped in a black stage curtain. (Maybe it was a table cloth?) Several minutes later: "Wait, this is WET!" Then he realized it left exactly one wet spot on his clothes. (MOF 00:09:30.)

[x / x]

@MrAaronAbrams: Our panels were weird.

@sunnyallison: Is that @cleolinda's flower crown photobombing at the bottom?

@cleolinda: *facepalm*

I vaguely remember a discussion of shipping (Scott had apparently always thought that was short for worshipping. "Wait, RELATIONSHIPS?!"), and Aaron joked about shipping us all with each other in his head. At one point, someone asked--what was the question, if Scott and Aaron had their very own flower crowns, maybe? I was sitting in the second row--the front row was all but empty, so basically I was in the front, and when they were like flower crowns what?, Emily turns and points to me, meaning You're wearing one! It's possible Aaron saw that, because now he points down to me and says, "Was it you [who came up with them]?" And I fucking FREEZE. Mostly because I wasn't sure if he was talking to someone else in a flower crown behind me and you know how stupid you feel when you realize someone wasn't talking to you? So I'm just all "NO WHAT IT WASN'T ME?" Yeah. I had already used up all my smoove for the weekend, apparently. So I tried to explain it on Twitter--and then later, in person, at which point I was made to promise to never again say which fandom it started in. Heh. (MOF 00:24:15.)

("I'm still shipping you with that guy in the back," he added.)

At some point Emily gave Aaron her crown-- she'd interviewed Scott and Aaron before at an SDCC roundtable, I think?


Also, he and Scott were joking back and forth about being terrible actors, and at one point Scott decided to play sad. "That one... that one actually hurt. That stung." So Aaron turned to us and broke into an impassioned outburst about how "SCOTT THOMPSON IS AN AMAZING HUMAN BEING WHO CHANGES LIVES"

@MrAaronAbrams: We are all underestimating how important it was for people to see Kids In The Hall portray gay people without making fun of gay people.

@MrAaronAbrams: Sitting next to @ScottThompson_, an endless steam of lives he's effected, then they look at me & say "I like your shirt" #DragonConWithScott

The running jokes continued; someone who went to the first panel asked Aaron to do the Will impression again. "And Scott has to be Hannibal." "Okay," says Aaron, "but it's gotta be something totally banal."

He thinks for a minute. Then he leans into the mic and starts doing the heavy empath breathing again. Keeps doing it. Shivers, trembles. Husky whisper: "... ... ... We're out of chips."

Scott, bad German accent, suggestively: "I haf a Cheeto..."

I think this was also the day when, after all these years, I met sepiamagpie in person (after giving him the wrong phone number twice as I struggled with low blood sugar), then spent the afternoon with annejumps. After lunch with some of Anne's friends--I think at least some of them were in Inception fandom?--Anne and I went on a quick mission to Sock Dreams and BPAL, because while the vendors were in a new, theoretically better layout in America's Mart, the crowds were still really bad. I had wandered through All the Vendors last year (on the very last day, when there was plenty of room), so I was pretty confident that if I could hit BPAL and drop in on Beth, I'd be content. Here's the list of peach- and dragon-themed exclusives they had this year. Peach is my favorite BPAL note, in fact, so I can't wait to test out Peach IX, Peach X, and Ill-Mannered Dragon once my nose works again.

Meanwhile, Emily was kind of my social director this year; she likes organizing actual gatherings, so Sunday night was dinner at Trader Vic's. (Imperial beef with jasmine rice and a caipirinha.) Afterwards, we played Cards Against Humanity in the Hilton lounge, although at one point, yet another middle-aged dude started lurking over me:

@cleolinda: Like standing right over my shoulder, a little to the side, within arm's length. I forget what he initially said

@cleolinda: but then he grinned and said, "There's nothing you can't win with"--I forget what the card was, but it was something sexual.

@cleolinda: Three of us were just staring at him, and finally Emily just said, "Do you need something?" "Oh no, I'm just watching."

@cleolinda: Emily just s t a r e d at him. I turned my back; she tells me that three beats later, he walked off.

Again, disclaimer: you CAN talk to people at cons, I'm not saying you can't--I struck up conversations with all kinds of people, men included. And I was painfully shy as a child/teenager; it's something I had to learn how to do, I guess, so I listed a few of my conversational tactics in the Storify. (MOF 1:17:55.)

Later that night, @dragonsinparis sent pictures of her Penny Dreadful cosplay (the second picture here is AMAZING). Later-later, I was trying to sleep, but then I was awakened by joyful nerd howls on another floor--around 3 am, mind you--so I got something to drink and checked Twitter:

@dragonsinparis: @cleolinda IM GOING TO A RAVE IN MY FINAL FANTASY 8 PAJAMAS

@cleolinda: I'm... in bed drinking ginger ale? Maybe I can flip the light switch on and off a little

@cleolinda: doo doo do doo doo

@cleolinda: doo doo do doo doo

@cleolinda: \o\ ~*~ ~*~ /o/ \o\ ~*~ ~*~ /o/ \o\ ~*~ ~*~ /o/

@cleolinda: #thesystemisdown


@cleolinda: Have agreed to return to my eternal nemesis, the Marriott, because Monday is a different world at #dragoncon

@cleolinda: In some ways Monday is kind of my favorite #dragoncon day because I don't have to "do" anything but see friends, window shop, and eat.

@cleolinda: Oh my God, I am so sorry about the pocket tweeting, a fist fight broke out in our elevator

(MOF 1:13:10.)

@cleolinda: No punches were actually thrown, but two dudes threatened to throw down over the one dude who was GOING to get on with his luggage

@cleolinda: even though there was no room. "I WILL PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE, JACKASS!!" "COME OUT HERE AND BRING IT!!"

@cleolinda: Emily is literally holding her hand out between them, "WHOA WHOA WHOA ELEVATORS ARE FOR EVERYBODY"

@cleolinda: Another girl on the elevator hit "close doors" to keep them from ACTUALLY THROWING DOWN while Luggage Guy tried to fight his way on.

@cleolinda: Two dudes in their 50s-60s. I have never seen anything like it in my life and I am terrified we will see Luggage Guy again.

@sparkletone: @cleolinda At the end of their bloody fight, the two men will share a tender embrace before one pulls the both of them into the open shaft…

@cleolinda: "Monday at #dragoncon is chill," she said

Baby boomers, y'all.

So then I spent Monday with Emily and Ashley--@mitigatedtext, who rescued me from Artist Alley last year, and look what she brought me!

We went to lunch at Tin Lizzy's after another wander around the rapidly emptying Walk of Fame--Emily and I did swing by Scott and Aaron's tables again ("Oh! You two actually know each other!") and wished them a safe trip home, then stopped by Rob Paulsen's and Bill Farmer's tables, since Emily's a big voice acting fan (MOF 00:38:50), and I got to meet them (they were both very sweet). I can't remember what we did after lunch--I think Artist Alley was already closing down, so we ended up gossiping in the abandoned Pulse bar loft in the Marriott. Since we had such a late lunch, Emily and I ended up splitting a Mason jar of caramel smores in the Hilton lobby restaurant. I can't remember what drink Emily was having, but mine was an alcohol-free (since I was getting up ass-early in the morning to get to the train station) "Georgia Tea"--white peach syrup, lemon juice, cranberry juice, club soda. The cranberry and soda give it a bit of a bite; I might try making it at home sometime.

Speaking of the train, the one home ran like clockwork--I think we left one (1) minute after the scheduled departure time. I was still about to jump out of my skin to get off it, though. The thing about staying at Dragon Con through Monday is that you get a definite sense of closure as you watch the circus pack up to go home, as it were. If you leave Monday or Tuesday, you are pretty ready to go by that point, and I had been there since Thursday night.

@cleolinda: #dragoncon recovery: great mental/emotional energy. Throat, legs and feet are like "fuck you, why did you do this to us"

Someone on Tumblr asked for a summary of the whole experience, so let me paste that in:

Dragon Con is kind of unique in that it’s way more of a fan-centered cosplay/drinking/partying hotel convention spread over a tight cluster of 5 hotels with a costume parade each year (it’s been called Nerdi Gras, even). The official numbers last year were 65,000 attendees, but I’ve heard that it was actually higher, and this year there may have been as many as 10,000-15,000 more–we’re talking up around 90,000-100,000 people if both those facts are true.

There are lots of fan discussion panels, and the celebrity panels are way more about being there for the fans than, like, Marvel announcing the cast for the next MCU movie at SDCC. Like, Scott and Aaron’s Q&As were just them telling stories and fucking around for an hour while we sobbed with laughter. The big Comic Cons really are more official promotion and advertising-based; a lot of other fan-centered conventions are either smaller, or they are big, but they’re held at convention centers that don’t lend themselves to hotel bar hopping until 4 am. (That said, you can just as easily not drink. I had one drink with dinner a couple of times; you can hang out in lounges and bars and still have fun with a Coke or a mocktail, which I also did a few times.)

Dragon Con is the only con I’ve ever been to, actually–this year and last year. So that’s my only con experience. (People heard last year that it was my first Any Con Ever and were like “HOLY SHIT, YOU JUST DOVE RIGHT IN, HUH?”) And I really, really enjoyed both times, although of course there were some rough spots, but I just view those as fun stories in the making. I’m also willing to make light conversation with total strangers, and Atlanta is a super friendly town. There’s a lot of ambient camaraderie in general at Dragon Con, and if it sounds like the kind of atmosphere you’d be interested in, I would definitely recommend it.

And hey, this year I got through the con crud in two weeks rather than six. I'm calling it a win.
Tags: aromaleigh, dragon con, hannibal, travels, tribulations



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