Posts tagged Atlanta

The Drive to Dragon

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The Thursday early morning drive to Atlanta each year is an odd and wonderful tradition in our world. The back seats are removed from the the Element and it’s sturdy and voluminous steel walls are packed all Tetris like with more than a dozen costumes and the weekend’s supporting “normal” clothes. If a Utilikilt can be considered normal. But normal or not it all gets packed. Along with some roast beef, a pair of gallon jugs filled with water and a wide mouth V8 Fusion bottle. More on that later.

The caravan compatriots start arriving at the house late Wednesday and we kick off the road trip with a DVR clip party. We watch bits and pieces of Tosh, The Soup, two year old Metalacolypse episodes and some of whatever is fresh and awesome. This year it was the “Whywolves” ep of Adventure Time. We are creatures obsessed with the spirit of inquiry and blood lust so it seemed apropos. We watch, double and triple check the packing list and then hit the road a bit before midnight.

An all night road trip can get weird. Surreal. As you drive through the fugue of night oh so many things you’ll see. Or think you see. The sketchy writing on the gas station bathroom wall advertising the phone number of the best BJ artist in Ocala. Yes, artist. A good bj is like art in that it should challenge your perceptions and leave you feeling perhaps different than you thought you would. But the phone number, that’s real, you see that and the Circus Peanuts you bought and the fifty Waffle Houses along the way. All real. The faces you end up seeing on the backs of semi trucks or off in the woods are not real. At least I hope they’re not. Being tired makes you see a lot of things that just aren’t there. Maybe it’s the body’s defense mechanism against falling asleep because just about the time you start nodding off that giant devil/donkey face wakes you right the fuck up! Add to this the fact I’m on a low carb diet and drinking three gallons of water every twenty four hours and you have all the ingredients for six to seven hours of 100% pure wacky. What’s the empty V8 for…um…all that water and we only stop for gas…do the math.

Somehow we manage though and just before dawn, when according to legend it is darkest, we stop just shy of the 475 around Macon for breakfast. For the last two years it’s been the Shoney’s breakfast bar that meets and greets us weary travelers. We eat up, and I carb up, and we roll out for the final push into Atlanta. Which through the mist of early morning and oh so tired eyes appears like a jovial juggernaut in the wilds of Northernish Georgia welcoming us with scaly open arms as it has for so many, many years.

We arrive with fumes in our tank. Not the vehicles but ours. After we check in and smuggle a great deal of alcohol past the fortified gates of the Marriott comes what may be some of the best sleep of our lives each year. The last few quiet hours before the storm. We shower and sleep and then wake with mind, body and soul ready for the wonder to come. Thursday night, Friday, Saturday and Sunday await. And I’ll tell you all about those times in a bit.

Wasn’t I just here?

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Yup. Atlanta. For the second time in as many weeks. Not like that’s a bad thing especially when you’re at a con.

More on that in a minute. But first I’ve quickly come to figure out that when I started this blog and started thinking about what I wanted my “voice” to sound like out here in cyberspace that really it was going to change with nearly every post. This isn’t formal writing. I’m not putting together a book (well I am but it’s not this) or crafting some essay for college credit so really the feeling and verve you’re gonna get from here each day is largely dependent on, well, that day. Or night. Or if I’ve done yoga or what Ang is doing or how much vodka I’ve had. I’ll tilt at windmills each day running off after this or that but every moment is gonna sound slightly different than the last. And I’m okay with that.

Well I’m coming to grips with that.

I’m a wordsmith and I can use my tongue to cut or cure right up there with the best so to just sit down and kind of go off all stream of consciousness is difficult at times. Not hard to do but hard to accept what’s ending up on the screen. It’s out of the comfort zone. But a lot of what I’m doing lately is just that. In fact my new mantra is “No Somedays”. In Latin that’s haud cras according to two different translation sites I found online. I guess it’s literally “no tomorrow” but close enough. Know what I mean? Good, I don’t think I do!

See people always say I’ll do this or that or visit here or there or get up or go down someday. The more gray hair that shows up every time I skip shaving for too long reminds me of that fact. “Someday” should be a four letter word. Smdy…there it’s a four letter word and all I had to do was go all Hebrew on it! But smdy sucks because you can wait your whole life for it and it may never show up. It’s like it’s screwing you from the future.

Well I say screw it first. I’ve actually taken to wearing a screw themed necklace to remind me of that fact. Of my mantra. Of the way I want to be from this point forward. I got said necklace in all it’s shiny gold and silver glory at Anime Weekend Atlanta last weekend. It’s from Gurren Lagann, the one the kid wears I think though I’ve only seen a few eps and that was a while ago. The anime’s not important. Why I wanted it and why I wear it is. So I picked it up on Saturday for $12.72. Yeah, I paid tax which I usually loathe in a dealer’s room but it was still the cheapest booth even with 5% tacked on so I let it slide.

Goofy taxation aside I had a swell time at AWA. Wasabi Anime was there to keep things interesting at night and to talk Transformers and enjoy a viewing of Sailor Moon S. Was it S? It had ice ladies and Luna turning human and making out with some tranny looking guy. No shit. I don’t know, I had the perfect amount of American Honey coursing through my system that night. Perfect because I can’t remember the title but I know Tom and I got constant laughs. So I was funny drunk not throw up in the panel drunk.

I could have stood to be a bit more inebriated earlier in the night when a few of us took the time to walk to the ass end of AWA to check out the “Anime Cabaret”. If only we had shown up like 3 minutes earlier we’d have caught Lime Barb’s entire routine which from the tail end we did see, literally and figuratively, was top notch. She’s cute, in shape and a damn fine perfomer. The final three acts we saw after LB were pretty much the antithesis of that. I stood in the back somewhat flabbergasted for the last quarter hour of the event and even rolled out early when the closing number took to the floor. I mean laid down on the stage which is great in a small intimate club but not so much for a packed main events room. You take away the ability to see the burlesque show and you remove the incentive to stay and watch.

Ugh. Wish the Mint Chocolate Chippies had been there. Yeah, I’m biased but I’ve seen them do their shit and seen the crowds go nuts so it’s not just me enjoying the show. Maybe next year huh?

Whatever faults the early part of the evening entailed the MST3King of Serena and pals followed by the not rave helped me to forget any missteps. One of the highlights of the night was when I stepped away from the not rave to pee.

No, that’s not the highlight. After I peed I popped in to see the end of Lensman. Ever heard of it? Probably not ’cause it isn’t spelled A-K-I-R-A. It’s one of the old timers of anime based on an even older series of books and it’s one of the first big screen animes I ever saw. My mom took me in middle school and I still have the shirt I bought that day with Worsel on it. Worsel! Ah it was a bittersweet moment fueled by long ago memories, whiskey, lack of sleep and the fact that there were only 3 other people in the room to catch this classic. And they were all older than me. Damn kids. No respect for your elders.

Well I’ll show them. I’ll go back to the dance and take my shirt off and sing “I’m on a Boat” thanks again to the Croom. And that’s what I did. And that necklace looked good on my svelt sweating body. Hey everything comes and goes man but like a wave you gotta ride it or it’ll just wash you out to sea. Better to get smashed on the rocks riding the big one than to float away and just disappear because you were too scared. It took only 5 minutes for me to span almost the entirety of my anime existence. From something way back in my childhood to an energized room full of folks many who were just a bit older that I was the first time I ever saw Kimball Kinnison. What a feeling.

The whole weekend felt good. Eating Chipotle in Hooters felt good. Running up a wooded embankment ticks and snakes and hobos be damned felt good. Sitting with friends watching free-per-view clip shows while the Lords of Acid played felt good. Finding a Revoltech Buzz Lightyear for Angie felt good. Putting on that screw necklace for the first time felt good.

Now before I go I promised a shout out to Special K. So there…aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I shouted. And to those two girls…you know who you are…talking all Transformers, dancing your glowsticks off and generally making the weekend that much brighter thanks a ton!

If providence shines on me again next year I will go back to AWA. I’ll probably see something that makes me feel old. And then I’ll take a sip of whiskey and go dance.

It’s not Strep

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At least I don’t think it is. We’ll see. I made it back from Dragon without the con crud and it’d be a shame to give into it now.

It would also be a shame to not tell you about the toilet paper dispenser in our upstairs guest bathroom. One slight but firm pull sends the roll spinning for what seems like an eternity. It’s perfectly balanced. I daresay with a hearty yank the entire roll might undo itself because of whatever heavenly mechanics went into this most seemingly mundane of contraptions. It’s quite possibly the closet we’ll ever get as a human race to a perpetual motion machine. If the damn thing could reload itself it might go on forever.

That said, I am working on my reflections from Dragon. The trip to Atlanta, the wonderful times there and the return home. You will all be privy to it soon enough. Till then folks.

TC

Roar!

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What other time of year could you get away with saying you’re swimming in pink satin, old leather, sparkly craft foam, gorilla glue and olive drab BDU pants? Why DragonCon crunch time of course! All the while operating on a few calories, restricted carbs and disturbed sleep each and every day.

It all starts to shake like a shuttle during re-entry at this point and lapses in focus and judgement abound…as in I typed and then looked back at my first sentence which read in part “old laethr and sparkly cfart foam”!

Cfart foam!

Man, I remember it being worth it all once Dragon gets here and it truly is every year but every year it’s a real test. A hellish, hulkish test that you know is coming but hits you with a sucker punch all the same.

Here’s to the seamstresses, tailors, fabricators and each and every person grinding it out these last days on their way to glory in Atlanta.

If this made no sense I blame the turkey sausage and protein shakes.

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