This is going to be a brief entry, but I had a great time at Dragon*con! I got to meet & get autographs from Peter S. Beagle (author, The Last Unicorn), Terry Moore (author, Strangers in Paradise), and Lloyd Kaufman (President of Troma Entertainment, The Toxic Avenger), and Voltaire (singer, author, and 'Gothic Clown'). I got to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show done by the stellar Lips Down on Dixie cast, and I got to see so many great costumes.
I also got sick and tired of taking photographs of people whose costumes made mine look very amateurish, and I got more attention wearing a paper hat I made in an Origami panel than for anything else I was wearing this weekend, and I embarrassed myself when I met Mr. Beagle in a tale that I will save for later [because that one deserves to have pictures included]. I even got to see Superman II the way that the first movie's director wanted to make it, and the premier of Poultrygeist, a very hilarious Troma film.
This weekend was great and was almost completely ruined by what happened once we flew back into Cleveland.
We made excellent time in our flight [It only took 1h17min of actual flight time to get back from Atlanta, which meant that our drive back to Columbus was actually 1 hour and 13 minutes longer than the flight] and got back before our scheduled arrival. We were waiting for our luggage like everyone else and what we received was four pieces of mangled baggage; our largest suitcase was open with the contents trying to fall out of the case, and it also had a sizable gash at the bottom. There was fraying on the front of another suitcase and grease stains on that one as well as another. All of the wheel casings were heavily scratched, and it looked like someone roughly handled everything. Why this all stood out is because three of the bags were from a brand-new set of luggage that managed to get to Atlanta without a scratch. Contents were moved around in all four bags, a pirate hat was mangled because it was moved to the bottom of its suitcase, and my bag of costume jewelery [which I accidentally packed in the checked-in luggage] was opened and hidden in a suitcase, but it appears that nothing was stolen...it had no value other than sentimental, so it held no appeal to the thief. We reported our findings to Delta's baggage department & they have offered to fix the hole in the largest bag. It's almost as if we were rewarded for getting to the Atlanta airport early with someone trying to steal from us [The reason why we believe that it was not TSA is because, as the Delta personnel explained to us, the TSA would leave a notice in our suitcase explaining that they chose our bags for inspection].
To top it all off, as we were driving back, I was so upset about the luggage situation that I was speeding in a 60mph part of the highway and got picked up by the cops. I now have to go back to Brook Park to contest the traffic ticket, which is more than two hours away from here, and will require that I leave at 6am [yuck!] to get to court by 8:30 on a Wednesday morning.
I don't know what is missing of my purchases, so I'm still very upset about the whole thing. I do know one thing, however: the next time we go to Atlanta, I'm going to pay to ship all of our purchases instead of taking them on the plane.
Hopefully, more stories from Dragon*con will be forthcoming by the end of the week (with pictures, hopefully!).
[UPDATE: 4:40pm]...and did I mention that my bottle of Luster's Pink Hair Lotion exploded in one of the suitcases? This wasn't as bad as it sounds; it was in a plastic Ziploc bag in a toiletry bag in the suitcase, and it didn't even leak onto the rest of the contents in the toiletry bag. All that happened is that the travel toothpaste, my hair oil, and the travel Listerine has been covered in pink lotion. It's more humorous than upsetting, so I can at least laugh at that one.