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It was a bleary-eyed afternoon, the Monday after the weekend before, and I was sharing a shopping mall food court table with [ profile] moonwolf and crew when the question came up: "So how was your DragonCon?"

Exhausted smiles flickered around the table like gaslamps. We'd all had rampant good times, but for me, this was truly a weekend of unexpected gifts.

The short version: Many, many thanks to [ profile] lost_in_avebury and [ profile] brute_force for an object of beauty, [ profile] puppetmaker40 and family for a lovely party, [ profile] laughingmagpie and the crew of HM Airship Vertigo for letting me play, [ profile] badmagic for the banter, [ profile] moonwolf for being a Lady of Misrule, and [ profile] nanashi_jones purely for being your fine self. And, of course, to [ profile] speedlime for not killing your roommate. Kudos!

[ profile] speedlime and I arrived Thursday evening and did all the unpacking and registration stuff, so we were ready to hit the maelstrom Friday morning. And what a maelstrom it was: Klingons and fairies and stormtroopers and Elves and Hogwarts alumni and Doctors Who and and and. On Friday we saw Firefly stars Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk happily make idiots of themselves for an hour. Petra had never been to a panel like this before; midway through she leaned over to me and whispered "Are these things just an exercise in ritual humiliation, or what?"
Questions from the audience included:

"Nathan, in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, your character is called Captain Hammer-- yet he never appears with a hammer in his hand. Could you please clarify what the hammer is and where it is located?"

"Alan, in the play Wonder of the World, your character liked to swallow Barbie doll heads and pass them to achieve sexual pleasure. How did you prepare for this role, and are you in fact a Method actor?"

"For all the ladies-- and the men who are so inclined-- could you please tell us that we're pretty?"

Whereupon Fillion earnestly leaned forward into the mike and intoned in a husky whisper "You are so fuckin' pretty." [ profile] speedlime and I are now approximately 0.0000001% prettier than before hearing this.

Thus armoured in ?beauty, we proceeded to ambush [ profile] moonwolf, [ profile] nanashi_jones and their merry band in the Mariott bar. Hugs and "eeeeee" noises were exchanged-- I see Liana occasionally on her travels, but it had been two years since I'd seen Mattie in person, which was altogether too long. We joined forces to cruise the dealers' room and say hello to the debonair [ profile] lost_in_avebury and the supercharged [ profile] brute_force. They were looking radiant, both in their work clothes and in their finery later on at that evening's steampunk meetup. By then I had rigged up my cathode ray [ profile] laughingmagpie locator, and lo and behold, there she was, along with the rest of the crew of HM Airship Vertigo. They were kind enough to grant me a temporary commission, so I hovered along with them to the Abney Park concert, where I ran into the Party Hard Corps and enjoyed a dance with [ profile] badmagic. (Abney Park want to come and play Whitby; I think they'd do well there.) [ profile] speedlime stayed to hear Peelander-Z, who apparently broke everyone's brain.

Saturday, an astonishingly lovely thing happened: [ profile] lost_in_avebury gave me one of her beautiful pieces of steampunk jewelery. (Here's her flickr page; go and acquire the shiny.) Afterwards I sought out the blood drive, prepared to spill a pint of AB in the name of good karma-- but it turns out that Americans are too terrified of CJD to accept British blood, even when I assured them I didn't feel the least bit mad. (Stop laughing.)

That evening was dinner with the enigmatic and Mephistophelian [ profile] badmagic, followed by the Battlestar Galactica party (terribly serious), followed by the Firefly shindig (much more fun) and the Crüüüüxshadows (because how can you not love a band fronted by a skinny big-haired gothboy from Texas who calls himself Rogue and sings songs about living your dream?) I enjoyed the excellent company of [ profile] laughingmagpie, her husband, sister and lovely friend Bill who was dressed as Dr McNinja.

Sunday, [ profile] speedlime and I were invited to a barbecue party by excellent author Peter David, his wife [ profile] puppetmaker40 and his glamourous and self-possessed daughter Ariel, at which Speedy got to discuss politics with two members of the original Star Trek cast while I stuck my hand up a house-elf's butt. Don't ask.

Afterwards, I was happy to encounter Liana and Mattie's posse once more. They and their friends Emily and Sable had adopted the costume theme of Alice in Underpants, with Mattie resplendent as Alice and Liana as an exquisitely painted Cheshire Cat. Alas, we didn't get more than a cursory glance at the singing Tesla coils, but staggered on to the pirate party at which I found myself dancing the Virginia Reel with a lightfooted, crinolined Mattie, in a lineup that included a stormtrooper made of cardboard boxes, some Starfleet officers and many, many pirates. [ profile] speedlime took some time out from grooving to the Hellblinki Sextet to come cheer us on. The rest of the evening consisted of conversation, indescribable moments and dancing till my feet fell off.

By Monday we were all sleep-deprived and stumbling; rambling conversations and murmured farewells filled the day as we put another DragonCon to bed. I really hope it's not another whole year before I get to catch up with you elusive types again-- but after all, that's what cyberspace is for. So: Mad cyberlove to all you crazy kids, and may we soon meet again.


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August 2014

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