Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beautiful day for throwing some flags!

Last weekend the weather was perfect, so we spent a lot of time outside. Courtney hadn't had much of an opportunity to use her colorguard flags and rifle this summer since she broke her leg, but she's all healed so she got them out!

Here is Deb and Courtney twirling and throwing the flags.

Christopher thought it looked like fun so he threw the small one in the air. He caught it once or twice, but usually hit himself on the head.

Deb giving me a dirty look since I'm taking pictures of her. I promised not to upload any of her getting hit in the head!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Dragon*Con 2012

This could be one of those 'Sometimes a Dad has to do what a Dad has to do' stories, but I think I had more fun than Meghan did!

On Friday my oldest daughter, Meghan, who will be 17 next month asked me to take her to Dragon*Con. I was thinking about looking into going this weekend, but we had a bunch of other things to do. That was before Jonas started talking to Meghan. Jonas is Christopher's ABA therapist. Or will be until Tuesday (another story for another day). Jonas is a big fan, and last year told us a lot about Dragon*Con and why Meghan and I should go. This year he was again going down right after Christopher's therapy and kept encouraging Meghan to go (I was out running errands (Machine shop!) so didn't hear it all.)

So at 6 pm on Friday we decided to go to Dragon*Con on Saturday. We did some quick research, figured out the first few things to do and set the alarm.

We were up and out the door by 7 am on our way to the Sandy Springs MARTA station (oh, there was also a concert in downtown, the UGA football game and some literary event I can't find the name of) expecting a ton of people. Buying our tickets we saw the first cosplay character: Dr. Horrible. I didn't say anything to Meghan, but since I had my Battlestar Galactica t-shirt on he started talking to us. Another woman was standing near us and started talking as well. Turns out each of them have a different view on the merits of Star Trek original, vs. DS9 vs Voyager. It was nice disagreement, and Meghan got her first taste of geek conflict.

On the ride down more and more people dressed up, in geek t-shirts or just with badges on got on the train. A few made me realize I didn't warn Meghan about the interesting Cosplay we might she. She of course said she knew all about it and had seen video and pictures from Comic*Con. Though a few of the Gimp pairs made her give me a strange look, which I ignored ;)

Waiting on line for tickets went pretty smooth, even if there were several THOUSAND people on line with us. I ran into a couple of coworker on line, so I think I got some geek-cred for the shirt and even being there! Once we had our tickets we headed up to the parade route to get a good place to stand. We ended up standing next to a guy with his teenage daughter and her friend. And man those girls were giving the dad a hard time. He had a nice camera rig and was taking pictures of everyone interesting, especially the women. Every woman who came by with even the slightest cleavage or leg/ass showing the girls gave him a hard time. Of course then the gladiators, Spartans from 300 and man zombies came by he gave it as good as they did. Meghan was great during all of this, sometimes teasing me, sometimes making comments about outfits and taking it in stride when I told her to cover her eyes because the Spartans were coming ;)

No I didn't take any pictures. That's a little too creepy for me. Though there were people stopping cosplay people and asking for pictures all the time.

The parade was really interesting. Cool, different, strange, bizarre and odd all the same time. About 50 minutes in we left our spot and started working our way to the first session we wanted to see. The sidewalks were packed! She held on to my shirt as I pushed my way through. (I had a few flashbacks to bars in college.)

The first session we saw was about the show 'V'. It was actually pretty bad. Robert Englund and the priest from the reboot where the only ones there. And man does Robert like to talk. I was pretty turned off by him. I was worried they'd all be like this, but the next one definitely made up for it!

We went to panel with several stars from Eureka! and Pete from Warehouse 13. This was the main session Meghan wanted to go when we did a quick look at the schedule the night before. It was excellent! Both funny stories, lots of jokes and some very strange back and forth between the Eureka! actors. I'm pretty sure Jordan Hinson (who played Zoe) didn't pick her outfit out. Even Meghan commented that her top kept sliding off and she was continually adjusting. On 2 huge 30+ foot screens it was pretty obvious. I also think she was drunk or really hung over. Lots of little comments, cracks. Oh and someone tweeted that they thought she was drunk and she went off on him.

Funniest part was when Eddie McClintock (who plays Pete on Warehouse 13) answered a fan question about what products he'd like to endorse on the show. The Eureka! guys made fun of how much they did product placements, especially the Subarus. He commented that the major TV sponsor is Levitra and how he'd like to include that. To quote: "Look out Mrs. Fredricks. You scare the crap out of me, now its my turn!'. Then he made dick jokes the rest of time. And Jordan kept trying to throw in a 'that's what she said', but bombed most of the time.

We then went to a Dr.Who panel with Mark Shepard and Garth David-Lloyd. These guys were great. Meghan has become a big Dr. Who fan lately and had a great time listening to them tell stories and answer questions. Lots of cool information including how Mark Shepard almost didn't do Dr. Who because of a schedule conflict. Everyone told him he was crazy to give up and the producers of the other show changed their schedule for him.

We then went to dinner (at Hooters, since it was the only place with a small line. Heck the waitresses looked like nuns compared to some of the costumes ;) and got on line to see an early release of the latest Dr. Who episode. We waited for an hour and a half then got jammed into a ball room with 1400 other people. Oh and 1400 others who stood on line in the Atlanta heat all day. Or who hadn't showered or who were just really large. It was VERY tight and very loud. But we saw the episode early.

The one picture I wish I had taken was the woman in front of us with a formal/prom gown made into a Tardis. It was really good.

Then we headed back to home on MARTA. Met another group and talked about Warehouse 13, Dr. Who and Eureka. And Nightmare On Elm Street since one of the ladies was dressed as a female Freddie Kruger (a very nice costume too. Not too revealing but enough to fit in.)

As always we had to have some drama on anything we do, so we got off at the wrong MARTA station. Oops. Had to pay for a taxi to drive us < 1 mile from the Dunwoody station to Sandy Springs.

I have a feeling we'll be doing multiple days next year ...