Guest Post: Dragon*Con Day 3

Another Dragon*Con installment from Stephanie Burke. Sorry for the delay. I got caught up in edits. My comments are interspersed throughout in red.

Tales of Dragon*Con… Day 3

Dragon Con Tales, Dragon Con Tales! Lets all hear some dragon Con tales el el el ellllllllssss! Trilling that time! LOL

Sorry for the delay. Real life and all its issues! Now where was I?

Oh! Ever get stepped on my a 300 pound man? Well I have. But later for that!

Dawn cracked and it couldn’t do it quietly. It woke me up at an enchanting 5AM this time. Grumble. So I commented on Facebook, answered a few emails, and did my best to remain quiet and not wake TACKA Liz and Renee.

But when five thirty came round, I quietly crept out of bed and made my way to the bathroom, makeup box in tow.

Yes, it was Saturday, Avatar day, and this time I was going it alone.

Well, going in costume alone. TACKA Liz was like “HELL NO!” and Renee was “I’ll put on ears” and wear black, black, or black? She went cleverly disguised as D. Renee Bagby! LOL

But my first choice of costume never came to fruition, I was going as the Borg Queen but didn’t have enough time to make my costume. Dragon*Con was our 3rd con in less than 4 weeks and I was surprised I was still sane let alone ready to go in full body paint.

That’s right people, full body paint.

But first I had to dress in what costume there was. There was the bucket bra… Hmm, this thing was fitting a bit odd.

One thing about being one of James Cameron’s Na’Vi is that they are incredibly tall, skinny, and flat chested, kind of like me if you leave out the incredibly tall. But suddenly the flat-chested aspects were giving me issues. Somehow, I had more cleavage than when the last time I put on the blasted thing.

Let me explain. A bucket bra is a bra of my own creation. Instead of metal to make the cups, I cut pieces of a rounded bucket to shape and then smoothed the ends with heat. Straps are added, in this case blue ribbon for the neck strap and connection between cups, and jack chain for the back. They can be coated, colored, or in this case, painted to resemble anything. I painted over the cups and would paint them several shades of blue again to match the body paint, giving the illusion of nudity. Only this time the nudity had a bit more pop going for it.

I marveled at this, I lost my D cups when I got preggers and nursed the kids, something about not being able to hold onto body fat, but I have been stuck between a B and C cup since. And this was full on C.

And then I somehow lost my original leggings. WAAA! I swear I packed them first! But they were not to be found. So a true artist or costumer doesn’t complain, they improvise. So my black tub top became a nifty skirt! LOL

Around that time Renee poked her head up, squinted at me, and said, “You are not blue.” Then went back to sleep. Not enough excitement with me mumbling curses and hissing my anger at missing costume props.

(Funny I don’t think I remember saying that. Or maybe I do and it’s a bit hazy. Eh well. I probably did. That sounds like the random thing I would say when I’m half sleep.)

So I puttered back to the bathroom and began blue-ifacation.

Face was easy. Using a French technique called tromp-r’oiel, latterly fool the eye, I painted my face giving it the distinctive cat like nose and wide forehead. Took about three different shades of blue, white, and silver. And then I went from there adding, shading, layering, thickness and depth, and stippling, and structure until I had the face I wanted. Not to mention I started with my yellow cat’s eye contacts. So I was not looking like myself at all when I started the body work. Loss of leggings meant that I would be using more paint that I thought.

I was going over my chest and body with basic blue when Renee popped up. She blinked and I thrust a paintbrush at her. She didn’t bat an eyelash. I think she is used to me by now! LOL She grabbed the wide brush the paint pallet and went to work.

True friendship is when you have a friend who is willing to paint your ass blue without complaint! LOL She saw the differences in the body paint that I used, really pro stuff, when I got total tattoo coverage on one pass. So we quietly joked and painted until TACKA Liz woke up and reminded us of the time. I had some work to go, some striping on the body too. So…we thrust a brush upon TACKA Liz. Hey, she is an artist! So all three of us were painting me and apparently the bathroom, blue. Then there was Renee Revenge as she sprayed me with fixer. It was cold as hell and made up for all the times I sprayed her with cold glitter and laughed. Revenge indeed is best served cold. Stupid Fixer! LOL

Then I grabbed the ears I made for Dev and not my own! ARGH. Worked on that, added tail, costume accessories, wig, jewelry and soon at least I thought, I resembled something from the James Cameron’s masterpiece.

But we were soon parade ready and TACKA Liz was going to shower and meet us at the parade after a stop at Starbucks. I love that woman!!!

So we made our way to the parade, got good standing position, and shocked the hell out of a lot of mundanes who were standing by and wanted photos. It was also where the stupidity and shoving began. I mean if there is a two inch gap why are you going to try and force your 40 inch body through it?! I had words with one or two people, glad that the fixer worked. Otherwise there would have been a lot of plye stained people shoving by.

Then the parade stared, heralded by the tiniest elderly woman blowing the hell out of a huge bag pipe! Kudo’s to that woman! She carried the tone of the whole parade.

I won’t get into it all here, you can look it up on youtube, but the steampunk X-men were awesome, as were the he men from 300, and the Netherworld people, and the parade of Ghost Busters (Including the Decetpicon ones) and the Klingon Storm Trouper, and…. I could go on and on. Renee says it was not as grand as last years, but we learned about a cut off and not everyone knowing about parade sign up and a lot of stuff. Too bad because this was their 25th anniversary. But it was a hoot and TACKA Liz caught up with us. I got a couple sips of tea before the photos started, and then it was not as bad as I thought.

We made our way inside and then it was stare in awe at the people! The steampunk Professor X in his steampunk wheelchair was outstanding!

(Seems he’s there every year. If you’ve got a great costume, why change it, right? The guy who plays He-Man does the same thing.)

But we found seats, found food, much to the amusement of the staff of Café Momo, the by-the-pound place, and consumed massive amounts with people sneaking pictures. A few rude ones asked if they could get pictures while I was eating, and because there were kids involved I said yes, until Renee became my handler and shooed people away.

We lost Liz to the panels and Renee and I hunted down her brothers at the Hero Movie panel. It was sweet! I dated myself by bringing up one of my favorite feel good cheese fest of a hero movie, Flash Gordon! LOL

And then someone pulled the fire alarm. Great. And there was the announcements that the fire alarm had been pulled.  And then the stand by message because the fire alarm had been pulled. And then another fire alarm. And then another message about it being pulled. And the apology because it had been pulled but we were not going to burn or anything cause it was a false alarm. And then the apology about interrupting us because it was a false alarm. Sheesh!  And I am not exaggerating!

(She’s not. It was so bad, the panelists started joking the interruption apology for interrupting to announce that the fire alarm was a false alarm and they were sorry about that.)

I got both the twins this time! WOOT! I got the twin effect and realized that they both looked like their daddy!  But they were big brothering it up until Marcus had to take his two adorable boys home. He would be back. So we got muscular Mike as a bodyguard and we were off.

Oh wait! I forgot the 300 pound man! This asshole stepped on my foot, my flip flop shod foot, and pressed down harder as if he wanted to crush what was underfoot, my foot! And I was squealing and screaming, and pushing at him, and he was getting an attitude and grousing and stepping harder. I swear it happened so fast that I fell backwards! Renee caught me and prevented me from fully falling and breaking my foot, but I had to shove the dude off. And then he was all, “Why you pushing me?” And in harmony Renee and I and some woman behind us screamed, “You are standing on my (her) foot!”

Then he was like, “you didn’t have to push me!”

So Renee was winching, I was limping and trying to keep my eyes from watering down my paint job when some woman wondered over and said, “That looked so painful. Can I take a picture?”

Yeah, such concern! LOL So I pulled it together for her to take a photo, I suspect she was the second voice screaming at the idiot, and then we found the Hero’s panels and my new adopted brothers.

But trust me no one pulled that with Mike around! LOL He is built like a pit bull, all arms and upper body! Yeah Military! LOL He big-brothered us as we roamed the dealers room, the art rooms, the weapons’ armory, and outside the art auction where we ran into a huge bunch of Sky people! Okay, they were the space Marines from Alien, but close enough. One of the guys was dressed like the mad sergeant for Avatar the previous day, still in the red hat, but not with the facial scars. He still looked like the dude! And of course that meant a James Cameron creation photo shoot! LOL

We wandered further and Renee found some Aliens just as people asked for a photo. I heard Renee shout something but I was hugging some dude when he moved back and the crowd of people grew. That was odd. It was only me…until I felt the cold press of a body behind mine. I turned around and HOLY SHIT! LOL THERE WAS THE ALIEN! ROTFLMAO Renee called in the Aliens from the movie, Alien on me! LOL He was looming over me and it was a photo fest! Soon we were joined by another Alien and then it was photo ops with James Cameron’s aliens. LOL They were movie quality! Then people wanted in the photos with us and hundreds of pictures got taken before the Alien’s handlers came for them. They told us to stick around for the show.

I am so glad we did. We got face hugger action which became chest burster action, and a full scale surprise Alien attack that took out many of the Marines! It was awesome! And it was the only show of the day. I guess gushing blood and viscera was a bit too much to clean up twice in one day!

So we headed back to the dealers room and then roamed a bit until it was time for my panel, How to Choose a Publisher.

Mariane LaCroix and Sascha Illyvich, and Karen were all in attendance, along with some man I had never heard of before but will be referred to for the moment as The Asshole.

The Asshole wanted to talk over everyone else and say how great self-publishing was. Self Publishing…for a group of people who didn’t know what the job of an editor was, let alone anything about book covers and promotions.

And he went on and on, overriding anything that the rest of us Small Press and New York authors had to say. Again and again he was calling publishing houses evil and the like…

Until I finally snapped. I will not lie. I should not have done it, but the evil imbued unto me by my many publishing houses made me! Cackle! It was a no holds verbal brawl! I did everything but call him an ignorant ass who was no greater than Publish America!

Self-publishing is great, if you understand what you are getting into and can find the editors, book covers, line editors and the like that you need. He was just pushing his own company. I stopped him dead! And then when he shut up for the moment, “How dare that blue painted woman say anything against me,” the other panelists got their points in too. The poor moderator! LOL But then he changed his tune and said that maybe you should try small press to begin with to get an understanding of the business. Yeah right, Asshole. He just got showed up. And he had the nerve to shake my hand afterwards, saying something condescending like he enjoyed my passion. I wanted to passion his ass and not in the good way!

I apologized to the other panelists and they thought it was amusing.

And Renee, yeah. She was giving me the NO NO NO NO!!!! Headshakes from the audience! LOL She was also giving me the look of calm the fuck down. And finally when he opened his moth one too many times, the go for it, look! LOL It was almost like the panel she was on in Balticon with the Assholes counterpart. Shudder. I thought she was going to smack him! LOL She understood.

Then it was off for food, to calm the nerves, and more people watching. Oh I loved the people watching! Even the crew from NCIS showed up! LOL

After a few hours of this and missing everyone we were supposed to be hooking up with, we made our way back to the hotel to remove the blue and get some jacuzzi time.

But… Our key would not let us in the room. “Where you going? To the Holiday Inn!” remember that song? Ha! It’s full of crap! We got our key recharged, and Renee discovered that the remote was corroded. Yeah. I showered the blue off, the pro stuff comes off really easy with water even with a fixer on, and then it was spa time!!!

Of course they fixed it. The spa the first day was a bit cool. Today it was like making soup. It was too hot for me and that was saying something!

We talked until some people joined us and Renee and I stopped some kid from leaping into the spa and removing his chance of ever having kids of his own.

It kind of irked me cause the mother was letting this little boy run wild! First into the too cold swimming pool and then splashing everyone like mad, and then running around the deck and almost breaking his fool neck. He got the tinniest of admonishments that didn’t do anything.

And then TACKA Liz showed up! Yeah! She ran to the room and her key didn’t work. She had to get her key recharged and then she joined us pool side

Soon the people left, taking their spawn with then, Liz had to correct the brat too, and it was only us. And then it was time to go.

But as we were leaving, some huge dude bumbled over and was slobbering all over TACKA Liz! He was all but shoving us out the door and drooling over our resident artist. Cackle! “I don’t mean to dis your friends,” he said after giving us the cut direct. Yes you did, man! LOL So Renee and I made an obvious exit stage right, and went back to the room…to discover our key’s didn’t work.

Back downstairs again, three new keys, clam up, a wine cooler, and then sleep. Sounded like a plan only we missed the beginning of True Blood! WAAA! TACKA Liz came back and told us that she got invited to a party… and oh yeah, her ugly friends could come too! ROTFLMAO

(I went to that front desk like four times in less than an hour. First the keys didn’t work, and then I had to call down about the remote not working, and then the pool had no towels, and then the keys didn’t work again. Totally did NOT enjoy my stay in that hotel and will never, ever stay there again.)

We talked and yapped until It was sleepy time.

Tomorrow was day four, my last panel day, and time for more fun at the con and we answer intriguing questions like,

Does Renee’s brother know what Hentai is? Will he like it?

How many people can you squeeze into a con room and still maintain oxygen levels that you depend on for life?

What the hell is that and why is it hanging on the art show auction wall?

Are there versions of My Little Pony that I can stomach?

Will Renee and Flash ever get to go to a party with TACKA Liz and the cool kids?

Turn up for the next installment and find out!

Have You Been Flashed?

Stephanie Burke

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