Trudy Petree's Funeral
I learned a lot of amazing things about John's grandmother. I knew, for instance, that she was a day lily hybridizer, but I did not know that she was a world renowned hybridizer who sold day lilies even to places in California and Disney World. They acknowledged her flowers with her name on them.
We drove home for the funeral, spent time there and at the graveside with the Petree family, then ate a sweet and leisurely lunch at Chili's before going home, changing, ironing some things, and driving back up to Atlanta. John was stressed over Saturday. He knew his grandparents even better than I know mine.
We got back to Dragon*Con about 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. In spite of that, we managed to see some pretty spectacular costumes.
There were a lot of people in suited armor - I love these - so much fun! I saw a great Willy Wonka and a perfect umpa lumpa from the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - the old one, mind - not the terrible recent recreation. When I was a kid, I must have watched that movie non-stop over and over about a hundred times one summer.
We saw a space marine from the Warhammer 40k tabletop game! I also saw a group of soldiers - they were dressed up like real army troops. Dragon*Con also supports military history and costumes. There were three of them, they looked great and were getting a lot of attention. I wish I had gotten a picture.
We looped through the dealers again but they closed five minutes after we got there, so we couldn't see much. I did note a glass blower booth I hadn't seen before that was really cool. I haven't been able to find it since.
Looking at the Armory
While waiting for a panel to start that we wanted to see, we ran across the Armory. It's a collection of weapons from ancient to modern times on display. It was kind of entertaining to look at - particularly the Samarui swords. They had inscriptions about how they were made, along with interesting pieces of armor.
However, when we got to the modern room, it kind of hit me like a punch to the gut: stuffed full of wall-to-wall rows and stacks of guns of all kinds, including the center of the room - machine guns, huge cannons and all kinds of stuff that I have no idea what it was. Looking at so many guns in one place was kind of startling and ... sickening. It made me nervous. As much as I enjoy fantasy, SF and a good action scene in books, I just don't like weapons in real life. In fact ... I hate them and I hate war. I hate it for how it destroys and ruins people's lives. I hate how our troops have to go overseas and die for the rest of us. It's necessary, but it's still terrible. It makes me feel slightly like I pansy - I haven't even really seen war - but, I can't help it. I'm not sure how anyone could read about it or have friends in the military and NOT hate everything about it. I'm not a pacificist or anti-military whatsoever. I just really don't like death and suffering. Who does?
So I didn't put any pictures up here of the guns, because I don't want wall-to-wall pictures of guns on my blog. Just seeing them looks repulsive. I did put up a picture of some old chemical grenades though. They looked funny to me, like bottles of magic potions, which they certainly are not! But that's what I thought of when I saw them.
Panel: Science Fiction Track, Human Wave SF
John and I went to a panel on the Science Fiction track called, "Human Wave SF," which was discussing the dystopic trend in modern science fiction and why more optimistic SF was not being written. It was unfortunately not as interesting as we thought it would be - though they did bring out some good points. SF has always appeared pessimistic to me, even the stories some would call 'hopeful.'
One of the panelists did not even consider Game of Thrones to be pessimistic. (???) I thought this should have automatically disqualified her from the subject. But that's just my opinion. I tried to read Martin's Game of Thrones series. It was far too brutal for me. I could get past about chapter 10 of the first book.
He's a brilliant writer known for unbelievably awesome world building, but also very vicious and graphic writing, in which literally any character can die at any time. Since he builds a cast of hundreds, he kills them off quite regularly and sadistically. I'm told one of his chapters ends with a wedding, at the end of which everyone is brutally murdered for no reason. Almost all the characters are selfish, out for their own gain, ends justify the means with few redeeming qualities. There are lots of explicit sex scenes, intrigue and back stabbing. None of this appeals to me. I'm pleased, by the way, that Brandon Sanderson says that he cannot read Martin either, for this reason. Yay for Sanderson, and just another reason for me to like him.
Despite the fact that I did not find the panel interesting, it did remind me of a few key points that I want to emphasize in things I write, so I'm glad we went. While we were waiting for it, a nearby room about spoilers for Jon Snow (Game of Thrones character) was literally packed out to max capacity, which we found amusing.
Observations While Eating
While getting dinner in the food court, we observed a steampunk Iron Man - absolutely amazing!! He also reminds me just a little of C3PO, if you squint. John said, after I stopped him to take a picture and left - see what you did? You murdered him! He's going to die of starvation! When he stopped for me, so I could take a picture, he got immediately surrounded by a stampede of other people with cameras.
There were also a lot of Tony Starks we saw not in the suit, but with the glowy circle thing under their shirt, with black hair and glasses. One of them looked *extremely* convincing, just like Tony Stark in the movies.
I also found Nemo again!! Not Verne's Capt. Nemo, but General Nemo, a caster in Warmachine from Cygnar, the faction I play. I started out playing pNemo when John introduced me to the game. I saw this guy dressed up as Nemo in the last Con was like ... AHHHH!!! THERE'S NEMO, MY FAVORITE CASTER!! It was hilarious. I was really happy he was back again and took another picture.
Favorite Costumes of Day 2
It was hard to decide on what costumes we liked best on Saturday. John's favorite for the day was probably the Warmhammer 40k space marine guy. I really loved the steam punk iron man and also, the space marine guy. Between the different things we were doing, John was also looking up a lot of stuff about Mandalorian armor, so he didn't notice the other costumes much. He did say he was seeing a lot of poison ivy's and harlequins from Batman, and we discussed that.
Possible Costume for John
Going back to Dragon*Con has rekindled John's interest in building his own costume. Last year, he just couldn't decide on what he'd like to do. This year, he considered storm trooper, Vader (I was like - what?? Vader?? But he's evil! John said - but he gets redeemed in the end! - Vaders are *amazingly* popular with kids, for some reason, it's true) and Mandalorians. So far, he's leaning on doing a Mandalorian armor suit. I fully support this notion! We'd have to save up, but we could do it. It's not quite as expensive as Vader. The most expensive costumes are 1) Boba Fett and 2) Vader. But he's getting overwhelmed with how involved it is at the moment. Looking into it from scratch is pretty scary. It would be awesome though.
I considered doing a suit with him at some point ... but thinking more about it, the Mandalorians just don't appeal to me. I really like fully armored suits, but they aren't the style I like - not quite as fully armored as I'd like to be - though some are. I don't know. I'm still not sure yet. If I did a full up armored suit, it would be something really serious. Not all Mandalorians have a complete set of plates, like an iron man, for example. Many have cloth leggings of the same colors as their plates. That's just not realistic enough for me.