AKA DragonCon Blog, Part Two
My Packing List
Stargate SG-1 BDUs – check
Lwaxana Troi gown – check
Steampunk character outfit – almost check (must finish hat pieces!)
Shoes/boots – check
Faux weaponry (ray gun, dagger, Berretta) – check
Hair supplies/jewelry – check
Glue gun, glue sticks, sewing kit, tape – check
Print-outs of receipts for photo ops/autographs- check
Hotel confirmation print-out – check
Book for JB’s autograph – check
Photo for GDL’s autograph – check
Extra permanent markers – check
“Know Ianto” t-shirt – almost check (iron on the pieces!)
Camera with extra battery and charger – check
Laptop + cord – sorta using that right now
Phone + charger – ditto
Kindle + charger – again, ditto
USB for GPS – check
iPod + charger – check
PowerPoint for workshop – check
Jump drives (2) with extra copies of PowerPoint – check
Surge protector with extra outlets for hotel room full of other people with just as much electronic equipment – check
Caffeinated drinks for the road – check
High protein/fiber bars for all the times I’m too busy to eat – check
Bottles of water – check
Too many to name, but especially deodorant – check
Packing for DragonCon is not exactly like packing for your usual family vacation. Sure, clean underwear is a must, but doing that last load of laundry is not at all as panic-stricken an activity as making sure all of your costumes fit and are included in your luggage! Don’t even ask me about the time my cosplaying friend forgot her P90 for the parade!! Horrors!
But, no matter how organized I am, no matter how many lists I make or check-marks I happily strike at the end of the line, chances are I’m going to forget something. It’s inevitable. And there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
And then I’ll do what any Sci-Fi nerd expert does – I’ll improvise!
Coincidentally, improvising – coming up with Plans B through F, figuring out stuff on the fly and running with it – that’s exactly what happens in the middle of most stories.
Middles are for the complications. The unexpected twists and turns. The sudden setbacks or failed assumptions. The realization that things are much, much worse than you originally thought. It’s when you meet the powerful aliens that are hiding behind the moon waiting to pounce. It’s when your girlfriend turns out to be a Cylon. It’s when that one little cute dinosaur calls his mommy. It’s when the unbelievably technically advanced allies who want to give you everything you’ve ever wanted turn out to be Nazis. (Pfft – Daniel knew it all along.)
Or, as the wise and powerful Rolling Stones taught us: “… but if you try sometimes, you might find …”
Try and try and try again – that’s what happens in the middle. Cue the Stargate SG-1 episode Window of Opportunity. The one where Jack and Teal’c have to relive the same 10 hours over and over and over for months. Imagine Daniel teaching them the Ancient form of Latin so they can get out of the time loop. (Then imagine Jack hitting golf balls through the wormhole and learning how to throw pottery!)
After many trials and errors, Jack’s line says it all: “ Well, General, you know what they say: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again.’”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
So, as much as I try to prepare ahead of time, I’m expecting some twists and turns. I’ll try not to be too disappointed if my favorite stars have to cancel at the last minute. (But there might be tantrums.) I’ll work on saving my pennies so that I can afford the wonderful, amazing thing I find in the Dealers’ Room on Monday morning. (Fat chance. I’m hoping to have gas/toll money left by then.) I’ll even forgive Jamie if I don’t win at Stargate Pub Trivia during the Party and Charity Event on Friday night. (Eventually.)
Luckily, my circle of friends is just as brainy and insightful and quick-witted as Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson on their best day. Let’s face it; none of us are going to get out of the middles of our particular stories without a kick-ass team to rely on. SG-1 had Jack’s know-how, Teal’c’s muscle, Sam’s brain, Daniel’s wisdom, and Hammond’s solid support. I’ve got Amy’s loving acceptance, Sallye’s solid loyalty, Carlyn’s smart insight, Jenn’s expert experience, and Jamie’s good-humored hilariosity. (And, from afar, Char’s love and positive energy!)
We may be stuck behind enemy lines, or out of touch with base, or lost in a nebula, or out of gas, or dealing with a wardrobe malfunction, but, if we try sometimes and rely on our team, we’ll make it to the end!
Next stop – DragonCon. If you’re coming along, remember to try out our writing panel on Sunday at 10 AM at the Stargate Multiverse Track in the Westin Hotel. I’ll be the one trying to get the PowerPoint to work.
Stay tuned – you wouldn’t want to miss out on the “Ends.”