So, I have a bit of a confession to make. Despite my ultra-cool exterior, deep down, I’m kind of…a geek. “But, you’re Asian!” you protest, and “You love to make crafts!” I know, it’s hard to believe, but, alas, it’s true. I’ve waited in line at midnight to get a Harry Potter book, I sit up at night sometimes planning my defense strategy for the zombie apocalypse, and Christmas for me is synonymous with a Doctor Who special. Which is why I’m so excited for August 31 to roll around. To some, it’s just the start of Labor Day weekend, but to me and about 50,000 other geeks, it means DragonCon.
My friend Christy had been trying to get me to DragonCon for a few years, and I was reluctant to go. While I’ve admitted here that I’m a geek, it’s not something that I like to broadcast to the world. I indulge in my geekery like an adolescent watching porn–guiltily, with the door closed and my senses on the defense worried that someone will walk in on my contemptible enjoyment. Growing up, I wasn’t just a geek, I was a nerd. And not the cool, “geek chic”-type nerd. I had zero social skills, wore big, ugly glasses, always had my hair in a messy pony tail, had horrible acne, and no fashion sense. I was a bookworm and liked to read classic novels, comic books, and mythology. The only people who actually liked me were teachers, and of course, being a teacher’s pet only makes things worse. Middle school was bad, and high school was even worse. I spent a lot of time getting teased and publicly humiliated by other kids and looking for bathrooms to hide in. Luckily for me, right before college my skin started clearing up, I got contact lenses, picked up a few fashion magazines, and my breasts finally grew in. The social skills? Well, I’m still working on them. But I’ve been running away from the girl I once was since then, so it’s hard for me to admit that even a part of her might still exist.
So, the idea of going to DragonCon, basically a convention dedicated to all things geeky, made me feel about as comfortable as I would be stripping down and walking through the middle of town. Last year, though, I finally caved in and agreed to go, telling myself that I wouldn’t have to reveal to anyone why I was going to Atlanta and that I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew there. Besides, I heard people wear costumes to these things, and I’d been looking for an excuse to don a costume since I’d grown too old for the wearing of them to be socially acceptable. I whipped up a few basic costumes for me and my husband (Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog for him and Lady Deathstrike and Boomer from Battlestar Galactica for me). A couple of days before the event, our babysitter fell through, so we had to take our nine-month-old with us. Even with a baby in tow, though, DragonCon was AWESOME.
It was just so great to be in a place where I could just relax and be as geeky as I wanted to be. There were a lot of interesting panel discussions to attend, and it was kind of surreal to be yards away from the stars of movies and shows I loved. I even got to take my picture with The Chief from BSG and got a little tongue-tied talking to him. My favorite part, though, was the people-watching. I’d heard there would be costumes there, but they were far beyond anything I was expecting. Everywhere I looked, there were people who looked like they had walked off the set of a big budget sci-fi movie. There were costumes made with hydraulics, robotics, moving parts, lights, sounds, stilts. The attention to detail was meticulous, and the craftsmanship was amazing.
Christy sent me a link to a video montage of some of those costumes recently:
Needless to say, Christy, my husband, and I are going back this year (sans kids), and I need to start working on costumes!