Photos from my first ever Dragon*Con event, August 2003.
Click on the images to see the full-sized photo.

DRAGON*CON

10am Friday, August 29. I was told last night to come back at 9am for registration. Thank goodness I only needed 3 hours of sleep and decided to go early, as I just needed to pick up my badge and banquet ticket (I'd already registered or pre registered or something). Anyway, still long lines, and I'm glad to be back in my room. However, something very noisy is happening next door. Sounds like someone is drilling thru concrete and it's got my walls and floor literally vibrating. So much for catching a quick nap before seeing James. *sigh*

Wow, I have to say that people at this convention kinda fit the old stereotype of convention goers. Lots of geekiness, pointy ears and full tilt costumes. Oh, and I met someone from a new James worshipping group, "James' Lollipops" or something like that. I'm continuing to hope to meet more JM/BtVS/Ats fans and such.

James isn't slated to come on stage until 1:00, which is apparently when all the various events of the day starts. I'm going to head down there around 11:00 and see if I can go ahead and get in. I want to sit in the front row...this event is strictly first come, first serve. The Sock Sister Quilt is in a plain paper bag (damn the gift shop for not having a nice gift bag for sale) and ready to go. I'm getting pretty excited, I must say. You'd think I would be a little jaded by now, but nope. He still gives me a happy.

Oh, in case you're all wondering about DragonCon, the guests, the schedule, etc., check out their website at http://www.dragoncon.com for all the details.

Well, I'm gonna at least lie down and prop up my feet until 11, so I'll shut up for now. I'll try to log back on later with updates. Oh, and I have a little mini tape recorder with me this time, so hopefully I'll remember to record James and give an accurate transcript of his time on stage.

6pm Friday, August 29. Oh damn. Leave it to me to, you know, speak out loud and around other people. I'm still too embarrassed from the experience to play the audio tape and get a direct quote, but suffice it to say that saying out loud during James' Q & A session something like "How does it feel when women are coming all over you?" has marked me as a distinct weirdo. Of course, on the other hand, such a remark (which James did NOT let go but, in fact, repeated for the ENTIRE audience to hear) probably just earned me bonus points with my Sock Sisters. LOL

My feet are killing me and I'm starving. Got pics/signatures from James Marsters, Iyari Limon and said a quick hi to James Leary. No chance yet to say hey to Danny Strong or Andy Hallett. Also got autographed pix of Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Patrick Kilpatrick, and Marc Singer (Beastmaster). Patrick pointedly asked for a hug, and Marc wanted a hug plus called me beautiful (twice). Color me happy! Oh, and JG Hertzler is here and I got lots of hugs and kisses from him. Did some heavy duty flirting with JG, Patrick, Marc and James Marsters. OH, and I only had enough for two autographs from JM, and I also didn't want to give him his quilt yet, so I showed him the picture and said I'd try to come back through with more money because I wanted the quilt pic signed. AS HE SIGNED IT he said "Sorry, it's against policy for me to sign anything without getting money first." Wasn't that the SWEETEST? Gave me a free autograph essentially. I thought that was nice.

I'm wearing my sexy pink cleavage enhancing top, so I'm easy to spot and (if I do say so myself) not so bad on the eyes...at least according to a few of the guests and the attendees, too. Gotta say it does wonders for my ego.

OMJ, there are some WILD costumes here. Swear I'm not kidding...saw one chick with a totally see-thru top and one black strip of tape over each nipple. There is also apparently a guy walking around in a black duster and a jock strap, but damned if I don't seem to miss him every time! *snort*

Learned that JM is going to be at the banquet tomorrow night, so I'm extra happy I went ahead and got the ticket for that. It was cheap, too. keep your fingers crossed that I get to sit with him or at least have some semblance of a real conversation with him. Oh, I can't wait to sit and listen to the tape again...the questions weren't always the greatest, but his answers were out of this world.

MUST EAT before I keel over completely. I will keep trying to post, and PRAY that this thread doesn't get closed this week. I'm not checking out until Tuesday, and it'd be great if this thread stayed at least that long.

Having a blast, dying from sweltering heat in the event areas, wish you were here to have fun with me!

5 am Saturday August 31, 2003 Good grief, it's after 5 am here. Do I even bother going to sleep, or do I start looking for breakfast?

Okay, so my day was divided up with a nice long nap in between. Sadly, I slept through the GotR Q & A session. Color me bummed.

My day starts out with me running around like crazy trying to find out where in the heck the photo ops are being held. The information desk was, amazingly, information free. Joy. Anyhoo, I finally find someone who knows what's what and it turns out that the photo ops are right there in the exact same area as the autographs. Not sure if I mentioned this in my earlier reports, but the autographs are in the same big room in what is essentially the basement of the hotel. There are no windows. This is Atlanta. In August. Think heat, folks. Yes, this is Dante's seventh level of hell. That's just keen, I love having my makeup melting before my photo op. *snort* So, the photo op is slated to begin at 10am, which is the same time the dealer room opens. The power mad security volunteers won't let us even go down the escalator until 10:10. WhatEVER. I was the second person in line for James Leary's photo op. I tickled him right at the count of three, so I just wonder what sort of grin he'll have in the photo. LOL

After the photo op I grabbed mocha, but I was just too tired so I came to the room and took a big nap. Guess I needed it. When I woke up I went down and got the second Jim Butcher book on CDs (James' voice....ahhhhh), and got him to sign his fifth book that I'd brought with me.

All the talent is down there in the same area, right? So I go say hi to Patrick Kilpatrick. Today I'm wearing a sky blue cleavage top. Patrick says to me, "Tonya, every time I see you I want to get out some mountain climbing gear. I need grappling hooks!" I thrust out my chest and said "grapple away, baby!" LOL Too funny. He asked for my room number to call me later, but naturally that didn't happen (or if it did he didn't leave a return call number/room number).

The banquet was okay because there were a lot of older people there, and it was cool to hear about all the strides that has been made in sci-fi/fantasy, etc. Anne Caffery (is that how you spell it?) was one of the presenters. J.G. Hertzler came in late and I waved him over to our table. Dinner was actually pretty decent (that is rare at these things in my experience). We talked to J.G. about coming to the GotR show later, but if he ever showed up I never saw him.

OMJ, the line for the concert was out of this world. Luckily I saw someone I knew near the front of the line (who was with a group who'd said they'd try to save me a seat anyway). They were supposed to go on at 10pm, but there was some sort of Dawn (not the Buffy one, something else) look-alike contest that went on forfreakingever. I actually gave up and went back to my hotel at 11:15 or so, when it didn't look like the line would EVER move. So I'm coming back from changing in my room when I get in the elevator with a guy wearing an Alice Cooper t-shirt. I told him I LOVE Alice, and he said he'd been a roadie with him for two years. Cool! Then he says that he's been with James and had to go back over to check on things...he's in security. He gets me into the room via the "back stage" area! I am SO thankful because the line literally goes down the hall, down the stairs, and out to the corner of the block! Another score...Chicago Sock Sisters, do you remember the guy that gave us some Spike trading cards? Well THEY were there, and had empty seats with them!

The show starts and there are fire marshals there making us stay in our spot. The second they are gone, James says "the parents are gone, come on up here! F*** em!" So, naturally, I rush the stage and luck out in that I'm only about three deep from the stage. Oh, and here's something I don't know what to think about...Steve is wearing this cool t-shirt with a naked woman drawn on it. He "tweaks" the image's nipples!!! and the women in front of me look back at me. I said, was he looking at me?! They all agreed that Steve had very pointedly made eye contact with me. Think he remembers me from Chicago, ladies? Hmmmm.

OMJ, could James get any f-ing hotter?!?! Got some eye contact with him, too. Yay! I hate to say it, but you could really tell he hasn't had a lot of practice time with the band lately...either that, or the music was so loud he couldn't hear it properly. He was getting lyrics messed up and during one song even got behind the music by a few noticeable beats. Still, it was a GREAT concert, HUGE turnout, lots of wonderful energy. He said onstage that this was one of the biggest and best concerts they'd ever done, and that they'd remember it forever! Please forgive me, but I don't remember the order in which they did the songs. They did do one encore, though.

James Leary came onstage directly following GotR to introduce his stunning work "Stunt C*cks". Wow, there are a lot of "names" in the flick...Lou Diamond Phillips has a sort of slumber party with them, and it's rather disturbing. I bought the DVD and will get it signed tomorrow AM.

The rest of the night has been spent talking to a guy who had the name Mike Oxlong (say it out loud until you get the joke). It's so cool to be able to quote various TV and movie lines and not be looked at as a wierdo. The funny thing is that yesterday he said "Hi Tonya, how have you been?" to me and I just said the standard "Hi, fine, and you" stuff back. Well, when I saw him today I kept wondering how I was supposed to know him and vice versa. Tonight I finally broke down and asked him and he said "I don't know you, I read your badge. I wanted to meet you, and hey, it worked!" We just sat down in some comfy couches on the Garden Lobby level and lost all track of time.

Now I think I will go ahead, take a shower, find some food and much caffeine, then come back briefly to do my contacts and makeup before the photo op this morning with James Marsters. I'm getting in line ASAP for that, as it's another 10am situation.

If I'm boring you guys, just let me know. I'm having a blast and really wish I could share this even more with you...but words are all I have at the moment. Hugs to all!

Will report tomorrow later...I'm giving him the Quilt and will do my best to get someone to take photos of the exchange. Cross your fingers that I get a hug or even a peck on the cheek.

Sunday, August 31, 3:30pm EST. I got about 30 minutes of sleep this morning and I'm amazingly alert. I have a feeling the crash will be swift and deadly.

I feel really horribly because during the photo op with James I kinda wiggled my fingers as they were around him which I guess felt like a tickle to him. He pulled away from me and said, very seriously, "Don't do that. Don't." I apologized profusely, and I'm sure that with the hundreds upon hundreds of faces he's seen it won't be something that he'll hold against me forever, but I feel just horrible about it. I've tried not to think of it, as it truly makes me feel like crying when I think that I have in any way at all offended James. This was the first thing this morning...I've had no sleep and I find it hard to believe that he's had much rest, either, so I'm hoping that I'll feel better about it with a little rest and time. *sigh*

On to happier things. After the photo op I went across the way and hung out with J.G. for a while. Apparently he's slated to judge a Klingon beauty contest in about thirty minutes. Yeah, he's got a tough life. LOL

I went and got some lunch with a buddy and skipped getting autographs from GotR, because I was just too damn sick of lines. However, I've since learned that they are leaving today so I won't get a chance to talk to Steve. Darn!

I went into the room for James' Q & A early and listened to Anne Caffery (I know I'm probably totally not spelling her name right, my apologies). They have some FANTASTIC dragon eggs that apparently artists had 24 hours to complete. I'll have to try and take some pix of them, because they are just phenomenal.

I got in the front row on the far left for James' session. I forgot to turn on the tape recorder in the beginning, so I missed the first few questions. But what I did get on tape is going to be amazing. OH, and this is amazing. Poor James feels like such a piece of meat...at one point today he actually said he often feels like a whore (his word). Anyway, in a lull at the beginning, someone in the audience yells "take off your shirt". He said hell no or something to that effect, then asked who said it. A woman raised her hand. He told her to come up there with him. He said "why don't you take YOUR shirt off" and she did! You could tell he was kinda p.o.ed about having that yelled at him, so he pushed her on "you're not finished, take off your shirt (her bra was still on)". So she DID! His jaw dropped, he couldn't believe she actually did it! He basically told her she was pretty ballsy and hugged her (while she was completely topless). You just know SOMEONE has photos of this, and you WILL be hearing about it from people that were there!

Today's Q & A went a lot better because they had ONE line of people, who were gracious enough to be on their knees in line so as not to block the view of the people behind them, AND they had someone that was "screening" the questions. As a result, there were some VERY excellent questions asked and answered. Again, I can't wait to sit down and listen to these tapes.

I did get to show him the bag that the quilt was in, but I didn't get to actually physically present him with the quilt. Of course this means I don't have a photo of him with it, etc. I will TRY to get back in the autograph line and see if he's had a chance to see it yet. *sigh*

Right now I'm going to head down to get in the photo op line for Andy Hallett, and to get my copy of Stunt C*cks signed. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 1, 2003 I guess I really was kinda drunk after 3 large Lynchburg Lemonades last night, because I could have sworn I posted here after my night at the bar!

Before I forget, I must say this: Magista, I asked JM today if he'd had a chance to see the Sock Sister Quilt yet, to which he replied that he didn't know if he'd ever see it LOL. I assured him it was raunch-free and told him that the "Analysis, Mr. Spike" card had been blown up and was one of the quilt squares. He told me "I have that! I have that in my bathroom. It's one of the single best bits of comedy I've ever seen. I love it!" (Everyone stand clear and cover the floor with pillows, cuz mags is about to hit it. LOL)

Previously, on "zoni's Dragon*Con Report"... nudity, hilarity, stunt c*cks, seriousness, playfulness, and flirting I got my copy of Stunt C*ck signed, and I saw it again last night...after seeing "Chance". YIPPEE! I ordered my copy and got the photo and the poster (which were both signed by Amber...her aunt and uncle were there selling them). The movie will actually be shipped to all of us in the next couple of weeks. Color me excited. The movie is really, really very good. I'd say this even if I didn't "know" anyone in the film.

So, after that I got drinks for James Leary, his Stunt C*ck costar and his director, and Danny Strong. There were a few other really cool ladies at the table too, although I truly and deeply suck at names. We discussed everything from the convention to our "first times". LOL We had a royal blast.

Today I slept late...I must have been too impaired to properly set the alarm. Basically, got showered and dressed as rapidly as possible, ran over to the other hotel after stopping and finally finding an ATM with cash in it, bought the "Chance" movie to be shipped, and got the photo and the poster. I ran back over to the Marriott dealer room/Walk of Fame in time to say a quick goodbye to J.G., and then it was up and over again to see the Buffy panel. For the first time this weekend I had pretty crappy seats so I didn't bother to take more than a few photos. I did audiotape much of the panel, so I'll be able to transcribe that. Apparently Dragon*Con will be having DVDs/videos of various things from this convention available at some point, so that's pretty cool.

I ran back over to the Marriott again for the autograph line, where I got Andy Hallett and James Marsters to sign my "Chance" poster, and is where I talked to JM about the quilt. I talked to Andy for a bit as well, he was very sweet and gave me one of his own photos with a personalized siggy, and I told him how I'd have bought him drinks last night if we could have found him. He's leaving sometime today, but if I see him I promised to buy him a drink.

Patrick Kilpatrick is heading out today as well...he says he'll email me, but we'll see. That's what they all say, right? LOL I asked if we were still going to get together and he said "I don't know, maybe it's not such a good idea." I said "I thought we were going to talk about website stuff. What did YOU think we were going to do?" and he just grinned. Hmmmm...interesting.

Right now I'm just wiped out. I'm torn between hanging out downstairs and maybe making a few more connections, or just waiting until the maid service is gone and crashing. Hmmmm, yeah, okay. Mingling it is.

the photos
coming soon...

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