DragonCon Hiatus

DragonCon didn’t go as intended this year. Again. We may skip it in 2018. I’m in school and the start of the Fall semester is always the same week as D*C. That means I might have to put off getting there until Friday evening depending on how my classes fall, which I wouldn’t know until long after I’d already booked the room. Planning classes around the convention isn’t really doable either as the college I’m going to only offers certain classes once per year and in one time slot. Not a lot of flexibility. Then there’s the issue of losing several days of study time during the convention. That part probably wouldn’t be that bad since it’s the first week of classes but I’m paranoid about getting behind.

To add extra anxiety, we also had a cat (Lynx) in kidney failure that had to be boarded at the vet’s while we were gone so she could get her medicine and fluids. I called every morning to check on her and on day two the vet told me she probably wouldn’t last until we got home. Leaving her to die alone and scared in a cage while I was at a convention felt like a really shitty thing to do, so we packed up and left Friday night. We picked her up first thing Saturday morning hoping she’d rally once she was back home. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. She got to spend a few more hours getting lots of pets and lying on her heating pad in her favorite room, the kitchen, before quietly slipping away that evening.

Another cat, Luna, was also acting off when we left. I took her to the vet soon after we got back and found out she had hyperthyroidism. She was on meds for that for a while but she didn’t improve. I took her back to the vet where they took an X-ray that revealed a large tumor. They did surgery to remove it but discovered that it’d grown into her stomach where it was inoperable. She had to be put to sleep. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a sick cat around convention time. I think they pick up on all the chaos/anxiety and it ends up stressing them out. Stress is bad for cats, especially elderly cats which most of mine are. It can trigger health issues that are already lying in wait. I don’t know how to prevent them from getting stressed when we travel. I know they would’ve had these issues anyway and I can’t just stay home indefinitely because of it but I can’t help but feel guilty. I don’t know where I’m going with this.

I knew it.

I got an email from the Marriott early this morning informing me that they’d just noticed that my cc didn’t get charged for the remaining balance on March 1st like it should have. I guess they tried but since the card had expired between making the reservation and paying the remainder it didn’t go through. For some reason my reservation didn’t get booted when the charge couldn’t be completed and it got overlooked. I updated my cc expiration date with them months ago, long before March but the system still tried to charge the old card. I hate years when my cc is about to expire, there is always something that goes wrong. The lady who contacted me was very nice though and she got it sorted out so all’s well that ends well.

I’ve been struggling with my Luke pants for days now switching between bouts of fevered alterations and apathetic inaction when my efforts have failed. I may have to start over on them and I’m not sure I have enough fabric to do that and the shirt. Also, the fabric is now sold out. Things are not progressing as planned. This is what I get for assuming the problems with my mock up would be solved by the stretch of the wool fabric.

D*C Hotel Woes and Young Skywalker

I had an atypical experience booking the Marriott last October. Usually I just sit there trembling like a chihuahua for about half an hour waiting for the rooms to drop then I get one with no trouble. This time was different. The site was being sluggish, as usual, but then it froze on me. When it came back up a few seconds later all the rooms were gone. I went numb with panic (I know, first world problems) and started hitting refresh as though my life depended on it. Finally, I accepted defeat and reserved myself to scrounging through the virtual dumpster for cast-off rooms in the coming months. It was almost an hour later when I decided to try again just for giggles. Holy crap, it went through! I got a confirmation number and everything…but did I really? I kept going back and checking it to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. I still log in and check that the reservation is there every few weeks. I’ve read accounts of people having their reservations dropped without notice so my paranoia isn’t unfounded in this case. Also, they were supposed to take the rest of the balance in March but the charge never showed up. I learned via FB D*C Hotel groups that other people had been charged so that just adds fuel to my paranoia fire, yay!

Now for some more up-to-date notes so that I don’t forget details.

I’m working on a female version of Luke Skywalker’s “death star duel” costume from Return of the Jedi. The only real changes I’m making are hairstyle and fitting the costume to a lady. The hair won’t be anything fancy as she’d be a farmgirl and not inclined toward Padmé levels of ridiculousness. Something along the lines of Qui Gon Ginn’s hair, maybe. Through my research I found that the fabric was likely a wool gabardine so I found a stretch wool gabardine from Mood Fabrics. The stretch should help the pants fit better as they are pretty form-fitting even on Mark Hamill. For the bib (the gray/white flap that folds down), I got a linen hopsack fabric in pale gray from Jo-Ann Fabrics- Item # 15468820 for the curious. 

Progress has been slow due, in part, to being back in school- I’m working on a second Bachelor’s. I’ve done 4 classes so far counting the one summer course I’m currently enrolled in. The going is slow because I already have nearly all the gen. ed. classes I need and my core curriculum (Computer Science) is only offered at certain times of the year. I’ll get there.

More updates coming soon. Unless I’m tired or I forget or just don’t want to do it.

 

Marriott

Got our room booked for the Marriott! I’m still shaking, I think I’m good on adrenaline for the entire week. They released the rooms about two minutes early so I jumped on it and had the booking done in less than a minute. Bless you, auto fill. It was surprisingly easy. Maybe too easy. It’s now about 10 minutes after booking opened and people on the D*C Rooms FB page are reporting that the hotel is sold out. Some are saying it sold out in 3 minutes and others are saying they were told by Marriott reps the rooms sold out in 30 seconds. I don’t know if we’ve just been lucky every year or if the difficulty in booking is just overblown. *shrug*

Now I just have to remember to cancel our room at the Ellis.

Dragon Con No Go

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend Dragon Con this year. One of my elderly kitties, Blaze, got sick and was hospitalized and I couldn’t handle the guilt of leaving him. He’s a delicate little lotus blossom who only shows himself to me and my husband. If anyone else is in the house he visits Narnia via the kitchen cabinets until a couple hours after our company has left when he’s sure the coast is clear. I was afraid the stress of being picked up and cared for over the long weekend by someone other than myself or my husband might worsen his condition. There was also the possibility of having to give him meds once he was discharged so we opted to stay home this year to tend to my little mama’s boy.

Blaze got better and he sat in my lap contentedly as I pouted and pored over the deluge of posts on Dragon Con’s FaceBook page. Since I was following the page so diligently I was able to buy our tickets for next year as soon as they became available. I also made a reservation at the Ellis based on intel saying they were working on a convention rate for 2016. According to what I’ve read since, it seems negotiations either fell through or it was a ruse from the start. Fortunately, they allow you to cancel your reservation without penalty. Guess I’ll be competing in the 2016 D*C Host Hotel Hunger Games after all. Yay?

Even though I didn’t get to go this year I prepared and packed like a pro. I used this list as a starting point and customized it to my specifics resulting in a glorious packing manifesto. When I realized I wouldn’t be going after all I got to work making a fancy schmancy version on the ‘puter. List-making can be quite therapeutic. I haven’t stopped revising it since I made it that weekend but the bulk of it is satisfactory now. No specific costume items are listed here, only general undergarments and such that I use for most things so that I can use the list every year. I have a separate list for the specific costumes I’ll bring which includes any special repair items I might need.

DCPack

The cooler was always a pain to haul to and from the hotel room so this year I got a rolling cooler to alleviate some of our travel woes. To the same end, I also purchased a Versacart to house any odd-shaped costume items or other what nots that wouldn’t travel well in a suitcase. I’m a huge proponent of putting wheels on everything, it just makes life easier. Before next D*C I think I’ll upgrade our luggage to hardside spinners as seen here to prevent any unfortunate costume squishing.