I was busy at work last night, so I didn’t get as much written as I wanted. I’m going the cheap route and cutting my recap up into slightly more pieces than it otherwise would have been. This might be to your benefit, because the damned thing is getting really wordy (that never happens, right?) and if I can write thirteen pages about a single day at the Mayhem Festival, Lord knows how many I can churn out about a three-and-a-half day nerdfest.
Another Dragon*Con has come and gone, but come with me if you will on a short journey. A journey into the past; a journey into just a few days ago when superheroes roamed Atlanta and the beer flowed like water. Come with me to a time and place outside of reality; where Cylons mingled with Furries and Starfleet officers screamed profanities at Mickey Rourke. Let’s take just a moment to examine the world where man’s will is tested against scantily clad females of indescribable sexual desir… uh… never mind. Let’s just talk about
So I’m going to start with two things that I will never do again:
I am not pre-registering for Dragon*Con 2011.
I am not going directly from work to the downtown area on a Thursday. Or on any day.
I had to work Thursday during the day, but I thought it would be no big deal to drive straight to the Sheraton from Alpharetta after I got off. I had it in my head that there would be less people going towards downtown than away. I was absolutely fucking wrong. I left work just before 5:00 and got to the Sheraton at around 6:45. It was later than I had expected to arrive, but I felt pretty sure the line wouldn’t be too horrible on Thursday night; especially considering registration had started at 10 AM (this is another piece of information that would have been nice to have a little sooner than five days out, but we’ll get to that gripe later).
As wrong as I had been about the traffic going downtown, I was even more wrong about the number of pre-registered people that would show up Thursday night. The line was wrapped entirely around the Sheraton. Remembering how long it took once we got inside last year, I settled in for at least a three hour wait. This was about 6:42.
I went a good long time without saying a word to anybody around me. I spent several years of my life pretty much on my own and I am comfortable hanging out with me because I am so awesome. Eventually, though, I had to engage in conversation with somebody. I may be a loner, Dottie; a rebel, but I am somewhat social. I ended up talking to the couple behind me who had never been to Dragon*Con before. This was fortunate because it allowed me to just go on and on – something I am very good at. They actually seemed pleased and grateful for the nuggets of advice I gave them. They were not convinced, however, that I was right about how long it was going to take to get through the pre-registration line. The young lady decided she was going to scout ahead and see what the situation was.
I continued bending the young fellow’s ear about the various tracks and naturally guided him to my blog for further reference. He got a text about thirty minutes after his young lady had left saying that she had discovered that the line was another two hours or so once you got inside the building and that was fucking bullshit. She had gone to on-site registration, paid for all-new badges and was on her way back. On-site registration had taken her about fifteen minutes.
Sure enough, she came sashaying up about five minutes later, handed her man a badge, thanked me for the info and they took off; never to be seen by me again.
I debated doing the same thing, but 120 bucks would pay for a sketch or something. I just couldn’t justify it. So I continued to wait.
Eventually I got inside the building, then the giant corral inside the registration ballroom. This was around 9:00, about two-and-a-quarter hours since my arrival. I took a picture of the corral and posted it, to which Darth Pete almost immediately commented that I had about two hours left. Dammit.
I moseyed through the line with everybody else, then did something that is not the sort of thing I ever do. I left the queue and walked straight up front to the “WXYZ” line, which had two people in it. Five minutes later I was done. I’ve got to say that I didn’t feel one little bit of guilt. I was so thoroughly irritated by Dragon*Con procedure that my normal sense of propriety had all but vanished. Granted, I found out later that the Dragon*Con trolls were actually requesting people to do the same thing I had when lines for last name letters were getting light, but it makes my act no less rebellious. To me, anyway.
Thusly registered, I headed home to finish packing, cut my hair and tie up any unfinished real world business before immersing myself in the Nerdiverse for three straight days.
Until next time, stay creepy