Once the (I think) fairly successful video game panel wrapped up I had a few hours to kill before the Beetlejuice panel at 7 o’clock. I met up with Rich to get some lunch. I swear by the burgers on the Hyatt patio. They didn’t do them last year (which really interfered with my food plans), but they were back this year. I can’t stress enough how much I love the staff at the Hyatt. I’ve never had any issues at any of the host hotels, but the folks at the Hyatt are so friendly and into the con that it makes it hard to go elsewhere. If I can land a room next year I’m going to try for the Hyatt. Barring that I’ll look at the Westin just because it’s a block away from the main action, and always seems to be quieter. I’m getting ahead of myself though. First I need to save up the million dollars it takes to get a hotel room anywhere in downtown Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. I’m just not willing to sleep on the floor in a room with ten strangers. It’s weird. Oops, I’ve digressed again.
So after food it was about time for the Ian Ziering panel. I was a little curious about his thoughts on the Sharknado franchise. Did he hate it, love it, think Tara Reid was a train-wreck like I think she is? Turns out he was as surprised as anyone when it turned out to be a hit. He was to the point of calling his agent and trying to get out of the movie altogether or at least get his name taken off of it. For the good of the world he confirmed that there won’t be anymore Sharknado movies, but he is producing a movie for SyFy called Zombie Tsunami. I’m sure I’ll watch it despite my increasing apathy towards everything SyFy does. I couldn’t take all the 90210 talk that came after though so I dragged Rich away for, well anything besides talking about 90210. Sometimes it’s okay to sit in on a panel you’re only half interested in so that you can just have a nice cool place to sit down for awhile.
A large group was meeting for dinner at Hsu’s, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make that happen without a time turner. It was a bummer too since they were doing the “Wade Boggs Challenge” this year (again, look it up, but no one reading this is too young to remember this episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). While everyone ran off to enjoy their sit down drunken dinner I had another burger before going up to the Westin. I know that sounds like a lot of eating in a short amount of time, but I had to go immediately from the Beetlejuice panel to the preparations for The Big Damn Game Show. It was eat at 6 or not eat again until midnight. I believe it was the first year of the game show that I didn’t get to eat dinner. Things did not end well. I enjoy having cocktails (or just shots of whatever) with my friends during and after the game show, and I need a full belly to make that happen.
So I split off from the group to go to the Westin. It was more chill than the main three hotels as usual, and I love that I don’t need to navigate the same kind of crowds to get where I’m going. The panel itself was pretty good. It felt odd being on a panel where I didn’t know anyone, but they were all nice. It was an odd panel for me though. After we did our introductions, and talked a little bit about why we liked Beetlejuice so much the moderator opened it up to Q&A pretty quickly. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t care for pure Q&A panels with famous people on them. I certainly didn’t know how to act when none of us had nothing to do with the movie. The only “behind the scenes” stuff I know is the same shit you can read on IMDB or wikipedia yourself. Listening to the other women on the panel talk about how they identified with Lydia Deetz did bring me to the sudden realization that I’ve grown to appreciate the character of Delia Deetz more over the years. I was a misunderstood teenage semi-goth girl (because all teenage girls are to some extent), but those sculptures Delia made were insane in a very dark way.
So running off from the Westin to the Hyatt I actually beat most of the game show gang to the ballroom. Set up was easier this year since Oz’s props were smaller than in the past. I’m sure Dave will go into more detail about the game show itself, but this new show was great. Not that The Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show wasn’t great, but this new show was well paced and hilarious. Since it wasn’t dirty we got to go on earlier too. That was good news for me since I had to be on a Big Lebowski panel at 10am. So after the show I wandered for a bit with the gang as I slowly made my way towards the train station. Yet another reason I’ll be getting a room next year. I wouldn’t have had to leave so quickly or get up so early Sunday morning if I’d had a room.
For once, the trains didn’t run me too far behind Sunday morning. It was a low turnout for a fun panel. I’ll go on record as saying that The Dude would not approve of a panel at 10 o’clock in the morning. It was recorded for a podcast on the ESO network, and I believe it’s already posted if you want to give it a listen. I thought it really tied the con together. After the panel and some breakfast/lunch I had some more time to kill until Gnoll and I met up for dressing up later in the afternoon. I wandered again, and then went to check out the Nick Frost panel. He’s hysterical. I’m looking forward to the new movie he’s working on with Simon Pegg too. It’s called Slaughterhouse Rulez and sounds pretty damn funny. He’s also doing a movie with The Rock, and I’ll probably end up seeing it. I seem to end up seeing most of his movies eventually. What can I say, I can still smell what he’s cooking. I had stashed a bag with my costume in Noel’s room earlier so once he was done with his G.I. Joe photo shoot I got changed so we could go be silly. We talked about dressing up as Team Rocket from Pokemon for years. We finally did it for Halloween 2 years ago, and have done it at Dragon Con the last 2 years as well. For and easy thrift store outfit we’ve gotten a lot of use out of them.
We strolled through the main 3 hotels, and found ourselves at “the spot” (near the Pulse bar at the Marriott. It’s where our friends always seem to end up at one point or another so it’s a good meet up location). Sure enough a whole bunch of people showed up there while we were standing around. We were right next to the guy who does the Ollivander’s cart every year. I feel like a dope because I had no idea he actually gave away wands until Oz walked up to get in line for one. I seriously just thought he was doing an extremely elaborate cosplay. Once I found out I could get a wand it was handy that we were standing right there. See, you can still learn new things after all these years. Maybe next year I’ll actually make it to the wily and elusive con suite.
After a few hours in boots that weren’t made for walking it was time to change and head to dinner with Dave and company. They were all at a panel before dinner so I went up to Meehan’s to put in for a table. Sadly, there was an hour or more wait. In past years we must have eaten during off peak times because we never had that much trouble getting a table before. We ended up at the Metro Diner scarfing down food so that we could run to our last panel of the weekend. Dave, Nicole, and I were on the Dawn of the Dead panel. It might get me in trouble with purists, but if I’m going strictly on entertainment value I’m more likely to pick up the remake rather than the original. I don’t like to speak I’ll of the undead, but George Romero had pacing problems. But then he also had a character say “we got this by the ass” which is the best line ever so it kind of balances out. I don’t think Dave recorded this one, but if you’ve been listening to the podcasts you have probably heard Dave and I talk about zombies a million times already anyway.
By the time we wrapped up it was 11pm, and I had been on the go since 7am. I was beat, and decided to put myself out to pasture. It was a long, but amazing weekend. Hopefully I didn’t sound too crazy on any of my panels, and will get invited back for more next year. I promise to record them next time too. See you crazy people at the next convention. Well, maybe not the next one. I’ll be out of town for a wedding during Monsterama, and I no longer care enough about The Walking Dead to go to Walker Stalker Con. Okay, I’ll see you guys at Days of the Dead then.