Who is Dawn?

When I post on the Big Blue Mess I assume a certain level of geekery from my handful of readers and I completely forget that there are those of you who haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about. While I try to remember to include links, a few things get through the cracks and that brings me to this follow-up post.

Charla asked, “Who is Dawn?” And I’m going to have to say that I don’t actually know. Sure, I know she’s a comic book character and I happen to know that Joseph Michael Linsner is her creator. There’s usually a big display in one of the dealer rooms at Dragon*Con featuring her image, so I can say for certain that she’s buxom with an impossibly small waist and equally narrow hips. I’d imagine she’s prone to falling over… a LOT. I don’t know who publishes the series or if the series is still being written regularly. All I know is that there’s a look-alike contest and a lot of red heads (or wigged heads) come out wearing interesting outfits as they show-off their impressions of the character.

Another confession – I don’t know a lot about comics in general (well, maybe a lot more than the average person poking along down the street). I can talk to you a little about X-Men (the origins of the new team and by new, I mean Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler – not Jubilee, Marrow or Blink, but we can talk about them, too), I know the first two major story arcs of ElfQuest, the first Kabuki TPB (trade paperback), Quantum & Woody, and a little about Rising Stars (the last TPB is waiting for me). I tend to buy TPB’s (Gaiman’s The Sandman and Stardust, for example) and then I shove them away on a shelf never to be seen again. In the back of my head I still think of them as “funny pages” and associate them with Archie and Jughead, even though I actually know they’re considerably more sophisticated. I guess after about 5th grade I lost my dependency on pictures to help drive a story and there’s that defiant 5th grader saying, “I’m a big girl now. I don’t need illustrations.” I’m not slamming comics, mind you; it’s just my own personal barriers that make it hard for me to read them.

Plus, I have to confess it’s hard to get me excited about a character like Dawn (again, just judging by the art and not the story). What I see when I look at her display is a scantily clad, big bosomed gal wielding weapons – a 14 year old boy’s wet dream – and the same can be said about the artists who draw females for Marvel, Dark Horse, Top Cow and DC – so no matter how pro female they may be, they don’t speak to me. It’s the same argument surrounding strip clubs – are they about empowerment or exploitation? If it’s empowerment when it comes to comics, why is she always running around in thigh high boots and a thong while wielding a sword/gun/staff/what have you? Why does she look like she burst forth from a Boris Vallejo print? You can create a strong, powerful and still beautiful character without all the extra bimbo-iness, but the answer is obviously that their target demographic wouldn’t buy it and I am not their target demographic.

Anyway, in a nutshell since this accidentally turned into a pseudo rant, that’s all I know about Dawn and it will probably be the extent of my knowledge about that character.

Ask me about Kabuki.

Box Dawn

Come to think of it, I do have a story from the convention.

I conned everyone into attending the Dawn Look-Alike contest, which I had remembered as being highly entertaining from two years before when Anthony Daniels (C3PO) hosted. When we got there, we’d just come from a lovely dinner, which originally was just going to be drinks and the next thing we knew we were eating lobster grits and calamari. (Who knew calamari could be so tender and not so rubbery?) All thanks to a waiter who sold us by merely describing the food.

The room was dark and we ended up somewhere towards the back as each contestant strode across the stage to moody goth music. Sure Voltaire (give that a moment to load), the emcee for the evening was entertaining enough, but it was missing something special – like drunken Denise Crosby standing up to give the crowd the finger – cute girl. So, by around contestant 50, I had reached my limit and was moments from beating my head on the chair in front of me while trying to apologize to April for making everyone attend.

Out shuffle three cloaked figures to more moody music with overly done descriptions about how they’re representing some aspect of Dawn and I pulled the chair in front of me back a bit so I could lay my head down. I was waiting for the big reveal – something with red hair, possibly wings or big armor judging by the capes. A white-cloaked figure shuffled out – obviously the main Dawn, and more waiting as the description carried on. All I could thing was, “God, I hate interpretive performance art. Just toss off the capes and drive on already.”

Finally, they threw off their cloaks and revealed themselves as BOX STORMTROOPERS and BOX DAWN! Mind you, the boxes were my absolute favorite costumes this year. People who had taken square boxes and created Star Wars characters. Box Dawn had red streamers for hair and red balloon boobs and she and her Stormtroopers scampered from side to side on the stage. Everyone cheered! It was hands-down the funniest thing I’d seen all night. What made it even better, is she won Most Outrageous – again, that made the crowd go wild.

… and I found a video!

To put yourselves in the mood, pretend it’s late at night and you’ve just seen 50+ very serious red-haired gals strut across the stage – each providing a lengthy detailed description about her costume and how she best represents Dawn. By 50 you’re a bit loopy and this was perfect!

Another quick plug for Voltaire – if you get a chance, go to iTunes and look up his pod cast. He’s got some great Star Trek parodies and you can listen to them in their entirety. He really wasn’t what I expected from someone who calls himself a Goth musician – great voice – entertaining lyrics – solid emcee.
That’s my story.

So Say We All!

I don’t have a lot of “stories” from Dragon Con. Sure, there was the gal that made it her personal mission to scream at all 70,000 attendees as they made their way up the stairs at the Marriott. She was delightful – had a great set of lungs – and when I say “lungs”, I mean that literally – those two little sacs that you draw air into – hers were abnormally large. Thanks to her tremendous volume and projection abilities, everyone on that level got to enjoy her over any of the scheduled performers. “Do you want to listen to …?” “Nah, I can’t hear them over the angry screaming midget.” Thankfully, the hotel staff directed traffic by Sunday and they managed to keep everyone moving by virtue of being polite and without having to shout any demands. Oh, novel idea!

We later found her in the “Walk of Fame” area screaming “I CAN’T SEE YOUR BADGES PEOPLE. YOU PAID ENOUGH FOR THEM. LET ME SEE THEM. NOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I’m sure her face was scarlet red as her head was spinning off.

Delightful.

My two major fan girl moments occurred during/after a couple of the panels. The first one was for Battlestar Galactica when Chief (Aaron Douglas) made a grand entrance from the back of the room in his BSG uniform and walked past Jay. The crowd drowned out the speakers as everyone went crazy. Personally, I got a little misty, because I love that character. Then, towards the end of a great panel with Helo, Tigh, Adama and Chief Tyrol, Michael Hogan (Tigh) told the story of “So say we all” – that it was a line Edward James Olmos had improvised, which had left the cast a little stunned as they filmed the sequence and he repeated it over and over until the cast was repeating the lines along with him. Edward James Olmos then followed with, “I think it would be great to hear that from a room this size” (or something to that affect). Then he delivered the line over and over as he did in the show as the crowd stood up and shouted back “So say we all!” I thought about how much I love that show and how I’ll miss it, and got misty all over again – it’s not simply great Sci Fi, it’s great television – which is why it’s been nominated and received several awards including an Emmy. The acting and writing are top notch.

Of course, I get out of there and want to go shopping for every single BSG shirt and toy I can find. Jay, being the supportive soul that he is, mocked me for being high on Battlestar. Ok, so he was right. The shops were closing by that time, which left me with about 10 minutes of shopping and an evening’s worth of pouting. I did make it out of there with the Firefly ornament (the ship – Firefly class – thank you – her name is Serenity, named after the final battle in Serenity Valley where the Browncoats lost the war – thank you, again – it’s not SERENDIPITY, stop saying that – it makes me twitch).

The next day we hit the Firefly panel and I walked out feeling that same shopping euphoria. I think they pump something into the rooms, because by the time Jewel Staite (Kayleigh), Nathan Fillion (Mal), Morena Baccarin (Inarra) and Alan Tudyk (Wash) finish, I wanted all things Firefly. I loved that show – all 13 episodes (thank you, Fox – seriously, is everyone there challenged? A little special? It’s ok, but please stop. In fact, disband if you don’t mind. From your news to your programming decisions; I can’t stand you. Oops – side tracked. ANYWAY.)

My only other souvenir post-Firefly was a Punisher t-shirt, which looks a little more realistic skull-y than most. Well, you see I was a little mad when I bought it. The t-shirt people weren’t helpful and were pushing rude. I’m sure three days of thousands of geeky customers all unfolding their shirts had made them reach their limits. So, I had a big “fine” moment and grabbed something that reflected my mood. Of course now that I’m calm, I’m not quite sure where I’m going to be able to wear this shirt. All I wanted was a Serenity t-shirt (without the cast) and again, it’s SERENITY (for Serenity Valley) not SERENDIPITY (which is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident).

I didn’t pick-up any autographs this go-around. The two I most wanted were Adam Baldwin and Katee Sackhoff – sure, it would have made sense to get the two biggest names in the room: Beau Bridges and Edward James Olmos, but I wasn’t “feeling” it and for $30 a pop and one angry little troll guarding Mr. Olmos, I wasn’t in the mood.

Just some random notes: James Hong (see link from post below) is an AMAZING eater. He can put away some buffet food. Jay said that no one at his table were actually hitting the buffet, so he could have been picking up food for everyone. Whatever. James Hong was a big buffet eater who had never seen food before and that’s the story I’m taking away.

There was a guy in the James Randi panel (James Randi is a skeptic who offers $1 million to the person who can definitively prove psychic abilities) who completely flipped out after they had a dousing demonstration. He was an angry little question asker and wanted to know why Randi hadn’t answered some specific psychic’s challenge. The answer: “I don’t have to” along with an invitation for the guy to try to win the $1 million. This went back and forth for some time and they had to end there, but I’d say hands down it was the most “exciting” line of questioning during the entire convention. It completely beat out “What’s your favorite episode?” “What can you tell us about your character that we don’t know and won’t be a spoiler?” (Aside: That question made Aaron Douglas laugh and ask, “are you kidding?” “If you could be another character on the show, who would you be and why?” I shouldn’t mock, because no way in hell would I ask a question, mine would come out as “what’s it like to have thousands of people interested in your pocket lint and the names of your pets?”

Lots of great costumes! It made us think about what we’d choose if we could come back with costumes – singly, mine are: a Jaffa, Jay’s was a Steam Punk Cowboy (lots of good Steam Punk costumes this year) and the group: Iron Chef Dawn Ninja Zombie Pirates (I’d be Morimoto, Kendra would be Sakai, Jay would be Bobby Flay and April would be the Chairman). Barring that, we’ll be the people in the black t-shirts and jeans. Hey, it’s fun to dream.

Oh, and watching live battle bots is a great way to spend a Sunday morning!
That’s about it… I’ve posted photos and should have more up from Jay who went nuts at the Dragon Con Parade.

Thanks to everyone who was able to go. We had a great time.

So say we all!

Kendra vs. The Angry Little Troll


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Originally uploaded by thekie

Here’s Kendra’s shot where she upset the angry little troll that guarded Edward James Olmos. What you miss by just the picture is the woman hollering at Kendra to knock it off; it was priceless.

On a side note – the other celebrities who didn’t want to have their photos taken had a little sign in their area showing a camera crossed through – not the BSG table – I guess you’re supposed to glean that from the sky. It has always been up to the stars to make the rules (obviously, they have a right to control their image). I guess in this case, they couldn’t afford a sign so they went with the angry troll instead.

I did try to convince Kendra to go up and ask the woman for a shot of just her, but my bribes were apparently not big enough. I thought a nice shot of Kendra & the troll hugging would look great on my desk.

April’s A-Twitter About Dragon Con

We got back from DragonCon today – for a quick glimpse at a few of the happenings, check out April’s Twitter.

Just a quick “who we ran into”:

  • Chatted up Jerry Doyle who was lamenting the Hilton’s bar not being open at 11:30am.
  • Stood next to James Hong at our hotel’s buffet; all I could think was “it’s LO PAN!”
  • Took April’s picture with James Randi (the Amazing Randi)
  • Sat a few feet away from James Callis; we all stared like fan girls and made up dialog between him and his assistant… ok, that may have just been me.
  • Almost run over by Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk (who knew that was the celebrity entrance?)
  • Snickered as Kendra seriously pissed off Edward James Olmos’ handler (pictures to come)
  • … and walked past Peter Mayhew (Chewbaca) as he got trapped by adoring Star Wars fans.

Tomorrow there may be stories and pictures, but first on the agenda is liberating Sam.

Dragon Con 2008

This is just a post on the fly as I run around the house and do all the things you need to do before leaving on vacation and prepare for Dragon Con. I may be ruining the surprise you all had planned, but I still plan to pretend I didn’t know that you all had secretly planned on coming. You guys! You’re too much! Let’s meet for dinner.

For a trip to a science fiction convention, it isn’t enough that you have a change of clothes, good walking shoes and your toothbrush on hand. You need to pack some “extras” – and no, that’s not: camera, iPod and cell phone. You need your best SciFi convention gear – for me, that means running down a list my friend Lynn (most prepared guerrilla convention goer that I know) once made. So, here’s what I’m packing:

  • One black Sharpie marker
  • One grey Sharpie marker (you need both for autographs – you never know what the background is going to be on the picture they’re hocking – be prepared)
  • One sketch book (artists will sketch in them for $5-$10 – plus, they keep the autographs (signed in either black or grey Sharpie) flat as you lug your stuff around the convention.
  • Good walking shoes for all the standing as you wait to see Edward James Olmos
  • One Happy Bunny badge cord (the ones provided by the convention are cheap and fall apart – plus, they don’t make a statement and it’s truly the only time I get to wear it – somehow, Happy Bunny just isn’t very appropriate for work.)
  • One overly large hot pink bag (you can get yours in whatever color you like – it just needs to hold all of the above comfortably along with water and snacks- no one likes a line fainter while they’re waiting for Cmdr. Adama – makes the herd nervous)
  • Several black t-shirts with SciFi logos – this is your UNIFORM if you don’t have a cleverly crafted costume, you must then dress in SciFi Nerd Casual. Wear it proudly. Make a statement. Pick up a few more in the merchant area. Hey, who knows you already saw you in the shirt you’re currently wearing LAST YEAR – how embarrassing for you!

Well, off I go to charge some electronics and throw things in bags. Hopefully, there will be pictures soon and stories.

Update for Charla

Since my step-mom uses this blog as an update on what’s going on (or what I’m thinking about) and I’ve been really bad about posting lately, I thought I’d update her. My apologies to the rest of you who probably are a couple of seconds from yawning if you go much past this sentence.

Sam – A few weeks ago she had a set-back. The right side of her face became paralyzed (previously it was her left side). Fortunately, since we’d been through this on her left side with visits to the neorologist, cat scans, spinal taps – all that kind of fun, we got her to the vet immediately and the recovery has gone a lot faster. Sam still can’t blink with either eye. So poor Sam, four times a day we try to convince her that sitting patiently while we smear goop in her eyes is fun. Of course, the peanut butter covered pills help. Although, she’d prefer those to the eye full of goop. Sam’s left eye now blinks more regularly, but it’s not consistent. Despite all of this and the added trouble of the cats popping her every time she looks at them wrong, Sam is one of the happiest and goofiest little dogs around.

Bowling – April is the last month of bowling and I plan on ending as the worst bowler of the year. WOO HOOO! You see, we get a ranking list once a week and there’s my name right there towards the bottom. “Suckiest Bowler in the History of Our League: Beth”. The handout used to include a “Least Improved” listing, but someone thought that was a little mean and they removed it. Still, I know in my heart that my name is there in the software.

Work Stuffs – I’m in the process of working towards a CAPM certification and should have it by the middle of the summer. This is the first step to me eventually getting a PMP certification (I just need the hours). Basically, I’ll be an authority on acronyms and will have a lovely piece of heavy paper with my legal name on it (yippee). I’m hopeful it will also include one of those little gold embossed thingies to make it look all official like.

OtherStuffs

  • Anna lost a bet and will be treating me to a fun-filled vacation day in the next couple of months. YAY!
  • It’s still not too late to get your Dragon Con tickets (Aug. 28-Sep. 1) for my 40 1/2 birthday. Guests are signing up and so far it looks like a decent BSG turn-out. I’ll be the one cheering madly in the front.
  • Lance’s Band the Killer Crocs of Uganda is performing at Momo’s on April 5, 11pm
  • Colt, April & Jonathan celebrate their birthdays in April. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (Now I don’t owe you cards.)
  • I still need people to come help me design a garden and give me lawn advice!!! HELP ME PLEASE! (I’m not kidding.)
  • …and I’m plum out of updates