Dragoncon, Day I

It's time for the Ginormous Con Wrap-Up of Doooooom, and even then it won't be as long as the registration line for DragonCon.

THURSDAY

Traveling to and from Dragoncon this year was easier than it ever has been. Perhaps this is because I flew with Jason Gish this year. I fly alone 99 percent of the time, so it was a pleasant change of pace to fly with someone and keep me company through the crazy. We flew and MARTAed without incident, checked into the room without problems... how strange!

Thursday was very laid-back. Jason kept me company as I stood in a 45-minute line for VIP badges. I decline to complain about it, because the non-guest registration line was wrapped around the hotel every day. I look at that line every year and know that I just couldn't do it. Standing that long, in that muggy Georgia heat, I'm always amazed no one faints or God-forbid dies. I understand the wait was half as long as last year, for which I am grateful. Those poor people.

This year the Dragon Ladies had two pet boys to replace our missing fourth Lady. The Shanes are two big, tough ex-military fellows. Shane Moore is the author of the Abyss Walker series, and his flunky's name also was Shane (Nettleton). We had some fun trying to decide which was Shane I and which was Shane II. I said the one I met first should be Shane I, but Shane 2 didn't like that, even when I offered to call him Deuce. When he appears in fiction, he will definitely be called Deuce. I tried calling them the Dragon Ladies' Auxiliary, but for some reason they didn't like that.

Anne Freitas (the real one) and I had our customary first-night dinner at Gibney's Pub. As always, tasty and affordable. We hadn't seen each other in two years, as Anne skipped DC last year, so we had some catching up to do. The only flaw was the absence of Dana Franks and Kelly Parker Cobb, completing the original Dragon Ladies.

Then poor Anne went to stand in the Line of Doom and I went to the VIP suite to chat with folks and have some wine. I did some aimless wandering, remembering why the Marriott is one of my favorite hotels ever. The evening ended with the four of us back in the room, drinking and getting silly. Not that it takes Shane I drunk - we just waved the whiskey under his nose and he about fell over. Anne brought whiskey (with a strange peat flavor) in her hand-etched BSG bottles, so we were drinking in style. Shane II and I about killed the bourbon bottle, which boded ill for the rest of the convention.

In retrospect, I think this evening was the best of the show. Friendly, quiet, getting to know each other. Even so, three or four bourbons didn't do to me what one shot of Anne's whiskey did, and I was quickly schnockered. We all passed out around 3:30 a.m. One of the Shanes snored. I was determined to find out which.

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