DragonCon 2011

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are 80 this year — EIGHTY — and I decided I better fulfill a lifelong wish of mine to see them in person. The big Star Trek convention in Las Vegas was coming up, but the timing was really awkward with some things going on in our family, and I wasn’t yet sold. A friend of Jared’s told him about another convention, Dragoncon. Dragon Con is not just for Star Trek, but for fantasy and science fiction of all kinds. We talked about it for some time and decided to do it.

Wow!!!

We got back yesterday, and stick-in-the-mud Jared is already talking about how to get back there next year. :) We stayed mostly with the Star Trek Track. Here’s the notable things we did:

Trek Trak Opening Exercises — we were early, but staff member, Cecil Davis, and his wife, Michelle, made us feel right at home. They answered all our questions, and let us get right up front for a great seat with the staff. We tried to help out with some problems they were having with posters, but I’m afraid we weren’t too helpful. Garrrett Wang, Ensign Kim from Voyager, was the Track director, but it became clear immediately that Robert (RJ) Lehnen was doing all the dirty work. Wang was fantastic on stage, and I was actually tempted to buy one of the tshirts he kept hawking at every opportunity.

Voyager panel – boring. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeil) is like a nasty frat boy. He was terribly dull on panel. Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) was better, but still not very exciting. Garrett Wang tried to save it, but the people just weren’t very interesting. The panel felt just like the show did — a little awkward.

Deep Space Nine – I had just seen Nana Visitor’s first TV performance (on Macgyver) on our Roku, so it was fun to see her live. She seems like a likable person, too. They also had Worf’s brother and the trill from the last season (not Jadzia Dax). It was good.

ST:TNG panel – I enjoyed this. Dr Crusher (Gates McFadden) is a really classy person, and I appreciated the sacrifices she’s made professionally to be with her children. Data (Brent Spiner) was funny, too.

Klingon Karaoke – This was lots of fun. The klingon in charge wanted it to go until late, but we were done by 9:30. The best way to handle that kind of thing is to cut it off while it’s still hot so people will want to do it again, imo. Hope they bring it back.

William Shatner – After being turned away for the full morning show, we understood how to line up and saw him twice after that. He was really fun in person. He’s a performer, truly, and you don’t really get to know the real Bill, but he was entertaining. I confess, I actually swooned a little when I saw him. :-) I can’t believe he’s 80! So glad I got to see him. We were on the second row for the Sunday performance, and Jared got me the little card that was on the desk when he was answering questions.

And the icing on the cake was the 2011 Star Trek Miss Universe contest. That may very well be the best two hours of my Star Trek life. What a hoot!!! I’ve been watching YouTube, hoping someone will post video. It was awesome! Competing for the title were T’Pol, Deanna Troi, a tribble, Lal (Data’s daughter), and a salt vampire among others. It was hilarious. When a klingon randomly ran up on stage and grabbed the tribble after her song about tribbles and klingons living in peace (based on “Imagine” by the Beatles), we knew she was going to win. But Lal was definitely a crowd favorite. She was so in character! When she played the theme songs on her oboe, I just about died! The crowd gave her a standing ovation. The salt vampire opened the Q&A portion with an accidental double entendre. It was PG-13 rated, I suppose, so I won’t put it here, but I laughed so hard I almost fell over. Mwahahahaha!

Edit — found some videos online:

Tribble – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r5jpTTjo1s&feature=colike
Lal – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eIZJjiW4bw&feature=colike
Salt Vampire – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0vq3ru75tI&feature=colike

One other funny thing was when we met Jared’s work associates for dinner at Montana Grill. We were dressed in Star Trek uniforms, and one of the guys was carrying a big gun as long as my leg. The restaurant was filled with Georgia Tech fans, who gave us some funny looks. Jocks, all in red shirts — the IRONY!!!!!

I suppose the wackiest thing I heard someone say was during the costume panel. The Klingon beauty pageant winner was showing off her costume, which was, ahem, a little revealing in the upper portions. Really, it looked great and was tasteful, or as tasteful as a Klingon costume can be. So one man, also all out as a Klingon, said, “As a Klingon myself, I find that outfit really great” or something like that. And he said it over and over and over again. As a Klingon myself? Okay. Taking it a little too seriously.

The one disappointment was that Nimoy cancelled. :( So I never got to meet my hero, but overall, it was a great con. We might even go next year. I know Dragoncon has a party, almost orgy, atmosphere at night, but we didn’t have any problems avoiding all that. Everything during the day was family friendly and it would have been great to bring the kids. I’m going to watch the site, and if the price is right we may go ahead and book for next year.