At CONvergence 2012, a few friends of mine hatched a strange plan: they wanted to create tiny little theatrical productions, which would be enacted outside elevator doors of the convention hotel. The plays would last from when the elevator doors opened to when they would close.
This process, of course, would include alcohol consumption.
Sometime around 2 AM on one of the convention nights, I received a call to action via a text message. I was to bring my camera to one of the middle floors of the hotel’s 22-floor tower. Sauced though I was, I managed to get a couple minutes of documentary footage.
As a completely unexpected byproduct of my road trip to Dragon*Con this year, I somehow managed to wind up at Space Camp for a day. WHOA!
By “Space Camp”, I mean that I actually wound up at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. The facility is a massive museum of space travel history, and is the home of Space Camp, which is like Disneyland for science-y kids.
On Labor Day this year, the facility hosted Rocket Fest, a fundraiser that gives kids scholarships to Space Camp. As part of the activities that day, the Center scheduled several people to speak and/or perform: Marian Call, Molly Lewis, Joseph Scrimshaw, Ken Plume, and Phil Plait. I wound up there with them because, two days prior, Mr. Scrimshaw said to me between drinks of alcohol, “You should join us!” Since a cursory look at a map revealed that Huntsville, AL was actually somewhat on my way home from Dragon*Con, I said, “YEAH!”
Thus, I drove to Huntsville, slung my camera upon my shoulder, and documented the event for the Twitterati.
Oh, and did I mention that the stage was right under a Saturn V rocket?
If I get just five shots like this per year, I’m a happy photobug.
The show was a ton of fun, and I’m thrilled that I got to see and document it. If you want to see the show, too, and get a Marian-and-Molly tour of the museum afterward, you can see all that it right here on YouTube:
I am sad to report that I did not meet any overly friendly robots, and thus I did not actually get launched into space. However, I did get free pizza. (Space Camp pizza is the best pizza.)
During most years, Dragon*Con is something of a relaxing endeavor. I do not work at the convention; I’m rarely placed on panels; I generally don’t keep a regular schedule; I don’t even lug my camera everywhere. My usual plan is to a) hang out with the Skeptic track folks, b) eat, c) drink. This year, I added d) smoke, because my friend Ted showed me where the cigar bar was.
I don’t have many concrete tales of the weekend, as most of it just blurs together. Various highlights:
Playing Cards Against Humanity with various Twitterati… and James Urbaniak. I kept hearing Venture Brothers episodes in my head.
Hanging out at epic Scott Sigler parties
Hanging out a bar that also contained both half the cast of Firefly and half the cast of Battlestar Galactica. (I desperately hoped for a Sharks vs. Jets musical number.)
Drinking beer with Jeff Wagg, and randomly meeting a lady who helped isolate the new Heartland virus
Drinking martinis with Donna Mugavero
Hanging around with the Mad Art Lab peeps
Being Boba Fett for a gender-swapped Star Wars group costume endeavor. (Naturally, I was completely overshadowed by Brian Thompson as Princess Leia.)
Smoking cigars and drinking scotch and recording podcasts with Ted Meissner and Matt Lowry
Watching James Randi and Alice Cooper talk about the Billion Dollar Babies tour WAS TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME.
Everyone loves a stegosaurus.
Steampunk Totoro? Why not!
Matt’s shoes were the most FABULOUS thing I saw at Dragon*Con.