I’m still wrapped up in preparations for Dragon Con. Fortunately, I’m already mostly packed and ready to go. That’s going to make me feel a lot better when I try to go to sleep tomorrow night. See, I’m a bit crazy and start the long drive down to Atlanta at what I affectionately refer to as “the ass crack of dawn.” At 4 a.m. on Thursday morning, I intend to be on the road from the DC area and on my way to the Deep South. According to Google, I’m looking at a 10-hour drive plus pit stops. It’ll be fun. It always is. I’m looking forward to this year’s adventure. Here’s a short list of things that have me super excited. I’m sorry for the lack of pictures. I will make up for the lack with sharing my pictures from the convention itself.

8. The Swag

I’m a big fan of wandering through the merchants and seeing their wares at the convention. Since I was flying that first year, I got into the habit of picking up art pieces since they were lightweight and I didn’t have to worry about paying extra baggage fees. I’ve kept that habit though the years. The unfortunate thing is, of course, that I lack the wall space for all of the prints I’ve snagged. My dream is to one day have a big house where I can put all of my art pieces on display. Someday.

7. The Late Night Puppet Slam

I remember the first year they got started. I thought it was an awesome idea and I really wanted to see it. Who doesn’t love the idea of naughty puppets, right? After the popularity Avenue Q, raunchy puppet humor became A Thing. This year, I’m going to try hard to actually make it out there to see it live. I expect side-splitting laughter and I doubt I’ll be disappointed.

6. Of Dice and Men

Friends of mine have been working on this great movie called Of Dice and Men. I was one of its crowdsourcing backers. At the con, I’m going to join their street team to pass out fliers and otherwise advertise the movie. It’s about a group of gamers and how things change when one of them goes off to war.

5. The Music

There are so many musical acts at the convention. I’ve picked up a few albums over the years. I remember the year I got to see Abney Park perform. Oh man, that was cool. I’ve seen Voltaire a couple of times. I love just sitting on the Concourse sometimes, just hanging out and listening to all kinds of music that I might not have been exposed to otherwise. Between Filk and other acts, there’s bound to be something to suit all of my eclectic musical interests.

4. The Panels

I was tempted to just fill this list with my panels. That would be cheating, of course. That being said, I’m looking forward to speaking on all of my panels. As you can tell, I’m a big fan of sharing my thoughts about all things nerdy and I love having a platform to do that. I also love sharing that platform with my fellow nerds. I’ve gotten to educate and be educated while sitting up on the stage. I also have a blast just sitting in the audience. I remember one year seeing Laurell K. Hamilton get a bit snippy with one of her fellow panelists. It was a glorious thing.

3. Seeing Dragon Con Through My Friends’ Eyes

The last time I went to the convention, my brother, sister-in-law, her sister, her sister’s now-husband, their friend, and my buddy, Mac, ¬†went down there for the first time. This year, my friends Micah and Tihana will be attending the con for the first time. I love taking Dragon Con newbies around and seeing their reactions to the crowds, craziness, and fun of the annual event. I love hearing about their experiences and just seeing everything fresh. I hope to one day bring more of my friends down to Dragon Con.

2. Cary flippin’ Elwes

Guys. I’m going to be talking to Cary Elwes. Seriously, guys, Cary Elwes! I’m so excited! SO VERY EXCITED!

1. The People

One of the best things about Dragon Con is the people watching. There are just so very many people down there. There are tons of costumes and people running around to do their own things. Sometimes, I am content to just sit back in one of the hotels to just watch all of the people wandering around. It can be occasionally surreal, but it’s always fun.