Category Georgia

Atlanta: Popsicles, pupsicles, and Sir Walter of Old 4th Ward

In July, I went to Atlanta to visit Carrie. Of course I was most excited to have hang time with her, but I was second most excited to meet and have hang time with Walter, her french bulldog puppy (@sirwalterofold4thward on insta). This little wrinkled sweet potato stole my heart immediately, along with the hearts of everyone we met, everywhere we went. Walter’s first thought is about whether or not he can eat whatever happens to be in front of him, his second thought is about whipping off into the forbidden bushes where dogs rule and humans’ stubby arms lack the power to stop playtime, but his third thought is pure loveback to food, probably. But among his other interests, he’s willing to accept love from anyone. Although he would probably prefer if you give your love in the form of an edible gift. 

We immediately popped Walter in his skulls & roses shirt (because he was due to outgrow it in about five minutes) and walked to Barcelona to get drinks and tapas. I didn’t take any photos at lunch, but the plate of chorizo with sweet & sour figs and balsamic vinegar was outstanding. Each fig was a bomb of rich, sweet, spicy, salty, tangy flavor. This is the sort of small plate that I really love with a crisp cocktail, and Barcelona didn’t disappoint there, either. 

On our walk back, we stopped at King of Pops to make an agonizing choice between their extensive flavor selection, and to buy a ‘lil King of Pups for Walter, made with bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, and honey. From the way he scarfed it, it was clear that he was in no way ambivalent about the flavor: Walter was all in. I got the raspberry rosewater flavor and it was super refreshing in the hot dishwasher air that is Atlanta in July. 

Northern White, by David Landis 2012

Carrie’s place was just a short walk back up the beltline, and I took the opportunity to check out what had been sprayed on and around the pillars nearby. 

One of many tiny doors sprinkled throughout Atlanta.

BBQ Becky strikes again!

Later we met a few of Carrie’s friends at Bantam Pub. The night was still sweltering somehow and the air conditioning in the pub was broken, so most people chose to sprawl out into the extensive cement and grass patio area, drinking beer from cans dripping with condensation, making the vibe very “chill lawn party”.  From there we hired a ride to The Euclid Avenue Yacht Club, which is exactly the level of permadim it takes to order the fried-to-order bbq seasoned pork rork rinds without having to make eye contact with anyone. They are served still crackling from the fryer and they are leagues beyond any grocery store pork rind experience I’d ever had. Plus, they have built-in portion control: after two, your teeth are so full of them that they automatically lock together. 

OMG TEH DRAGONS ARE EVERYWHERE OMG

Even though I’ve been talking about it for months, when my plane finally landed in Atlanta, I had a hard time believing I was actually there. The absolute newness of it all was exhilarating, and when the booze wasn’t present, meeting my friends in person for the first time was intoxicating. It became all too real, however, when I called BOTH Hilton hotels in Atlanta, and neither one of them claimed to have a reservation in demonlet‘s name. If some undue stress and worry doesn’t occur, obviously it’s a trip happening to some person other than me. A subway ride and a few phone calls later, I found myself at the check-in counter of the correct Hilton, at which the smiling employee claimed to be perfectly happy to check me in, for the sum of (raises pinky)…one MILLION DOLLARS. I could almost FEEL Paris hovering over a rack of diamond-studded panties as said smiling employee eagerly reached out for my card. Not having a limit of anywhere NEAR what they wanted from me, I decided to wait until demonlet arrived until I checked in. Paris was mildly disappointed until she remembered that she doesn’t wear underwear, anyway.

While I waited for demonlet to arrive, I hung out with stationary_jew, and helped him, benma and a bunch of other Memphibians to set up their Dark Con table, a larp game that they played for pretty much the entire length of the con. Shortly thereafter, mastergode arrived, with his friends keebler138 and cagexxx. I’ve been talking to mastergode for some three-odd years now, starting with a few chance games of Gunbound. He’s actually the person who convinced me to start a livejournal, so for anyone who’s ever gotten any entertainment whatsoever from my blogging here, he’s the one you should thank. After we’d made our introductions, demonlet called to say she was there, more introductions were made, and thus began the saga of the best_roommates_ever. I couldn’t have asked for more fun people to share a room with.

On Friday morning, the con began in earnest, and we began wandering around, attending various panels, taking pictures of horrendous costumes, and weathering the muggy Atlanta air as best we could. First note: Out of the approximately 23487 people who insisted “COME TO DRAGON*CON, MELLZAH!!!!1one~”, not one of them bothered to elaborate with “You should bring a costume to the convention, because, frankly, you will be the one who looks out of place for dressing NORMALLY.”

Austin surprised me by having a freak magnet that nearly paralleled my own, as I soon discovered when he attracted this girl who believes herself to be a cat, and therefore pierced her face so the world could see her ‘whiskers’.

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That day, Austin and Jordan filled me in on some of their in-jokes, one of which is after the end of a bad joke, or a drama-filled situation, or pretty much any time, really, they insert a bit from the “Duel of Fates” — the “Dun dun dununun!” bit. This was something that I latched onto immediately, and soon most things we said were punctuated with ‘DUN dun dununun!’ It continued throughout the weekend, and at the end, Annie went to Ray Park’s signing table and had him autograph a photo for Jordan with…well…just take a look.

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When we showed it to Austin, he nearly died laughing. Austin naturally has a boisterous laugh, and this autographed photo took it to the next level. We were all shouting and crying with laughter…right outside some poor nerd’s door with a ‘do not disturb’ sign on it. That’s what he gets for playing D&D all night long. At five on Friday, we went to see Voltaire’s first show. He played for about half an hour, and it was apparently during this time that dslartoo spotted me, though he didn’t introduce himself because I was surrounded by other people, and he didn’t want to be rude. Note to Phil: Next time, introduce yourself. I don’t consider it to be rude at all. 🙂 After Voltaire, I took a picture of what I consider to be one of the best costumes at the con–namely because I found out afterwards that this kid INSISTED on being Ash.

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The mini chainsaw worked. If I could have an awesome child like miniature Ash, here, I’d actually consider having one. Friday night, we were invited to a party with an open bar sponsored by Van Gogh vodka. Hello free premium booze! And lo, we drank. And lo, we became drunk. And lo, I did my first shot out of a woman’s cleavage. Shortly thereafter, Austin followed suit.

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We ended up leaving the party to go to Voltaire’s midnight show, and who did we run smack into in the hallway but Kevin Sorbo? Trashed, I demanded (and received) a photograph with him.

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I ended up bumping into him so many times at the con, I lost count, and I’m sure he must have thought I was stalking him. Only once did I have the presence of mind to clap and jump, ala the Nutty Professor, and proclaim loudly “HERCULES!HERCULES!HERCULES!”. I think, at that moment, Kevin Sorbo died a little inside. I was surprised, but I wasn’t passing up the chance. All that matters is that I was satisfied.

Voltaire put on a great show, and afterwards, when he came out to chat with Austin, he calmly walked over to me and licked my eyebrows. Yes. Licked my eyebrows. I think Laris said it best when she wrote (I’m paraphrasing, here) that I seem to be a lightning rod for insanity. Oh, but the craziness was just beginning, friends.

On Saturday night, we went to a Klingon party. Now, there is really only one reason to go to a Klingon party, and that is to make fun of Klingons. Well, that, and Free Booze. So…two reasons. The first thing we noticed when we walked in was that it was, once again, a party with an open bar. The second thing was that no one besides us was under the age of 40, and that was being kind. Being the refined sort of smartass that I am, I walked in, got a drink, and immediately asked loudly if anyone there spoke Klingon. A guy shuffled over, and began talking to me, stuttering so badly, I thought perhaps he was having a stroke. My first thought: Why would anyone who has so much trouble with their native language decide “Hey, I think I’d like to learn a second language, perhaps one that people will find even more socially debilitating?” My second thought: “Holy shit, he doesn’t stutter when he speaks Klingon!”. Well, apparently, one of the great warrior Klingons perceived that I was not overall as interested in learning about Klingon as I claimed to be, and pronounced me to be what I can only presume to be a ‘dirty bitch’ in Klingon. They turned the tables on me! How could this have happened? Meanwhile, the stuttery Klingon was still going on and on about how he learned the language, and the various trek figures he’d spoken it with and I just kept smiling and nodding and making various interested noises. Jordan later said that I have my “I’m interested in what it is you’re saying” face mask so well composed that he had a difficult time telling whether I was enjoying myself, or hoping for someone to step in and make an excuse to get us out of there. I should really take the advice of my Animal Crossing bretheren more seriously: “Next time you find you’re stuck talking to someone, yell “Leave me alone!” and take out your net.” Luckily, Jordan guessed right, and we disappeared off into the night… Only to run into my ‘friend’ Satyr. I’d gone through the art room earlier that day, and paused at his table for a few seconds. He looked up and greeted me, and then I felt like I had to look a while longer or risk being considered rude. He mentioned that he had recently done artwork for Blizzard, and I mentioned that I had a serious bone to pick with Blizzard. He then said that if I bought some of his art, he’d be my boyfriend. HAR HAR. I am not yet so desperate I need to purchase human affection, mmkay? I backed away from the table slowly and had forgotten all about it until he ran down the hallway of the Marriott towards me shouting “MELISSA!!!” OK. I will admit I was a little flattered that he remembered me. Then he started laying on the compliments so thickly that I knew something was wrong. Annnnnnnnd there it was. “Yeah, so I’m married with a kid, but it’s an open relationship, and you’re so cute…” OH THRILLING. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SOME RANDY ART DUDE’S LEFTOVERS, YES PLEASE, BECAUSE CTHULHU OBVIOUSLY THINKS I DIDN’T LEARN MY LESSON THE FIRST TIME, you know, the time I dated the guy who penciled for Marvel and neglected to mention that he had another girlfriend the entire time and then tried to blackmail me. This is not happening for a number of reasons, dude. But he WAS supposed to be having a good party, and Jordan, Annie, and I were having a hard time finding a decent party to go to, so I decided to withstand his attentions in the hopes of future Absinthe. Do not count your sugar before it is burned, friends. We didn’t end up going to this party, and now some dude who calls himself Satyr has my phone number. Why, oh why? It is sort of like if one of the Hilton sisters was to almost choke on some thousand-dollar-an-ounce caviar–it’s potentially tragic…but not really.

One morning I woke up, and the Batmobile was outside my window. I called for Batman to carry me away, but I suppose shouts don’t carry well from the 19th floor. 000ekhc1

That same day, I met the man I am destined to marry.

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Who dares to say that it isn’t meant to be? In the dealer’s hall, I paid fifty cents to see…..THE STRANGE THING. I have an awesome camera that easily allows me to take photographs from waist level, so without further ado, I present to you…THE STRANGE THING.

000ezy5c Right next to the booth with THE STRANGE THING, there was a booth with the world’s sweetest drag queen, who happened to be dressed as Ed Wood from ‘Glen or Glenda’. He said I was the only person who recognized what he was supposed to be, we ‘squeed’ a bit about the inspired genius of Ed Wood, Annie took my picture with him, and that was that. One of the big highlights of my weekend was meeting Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn. Although I don’t write as often or as well as I should, and I even more rarely write fiction, he has been a huge inspiration for me, and one of my lifelong heroes. To say I almost proposed to him on the spot would be only the barest of exaggerations.

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Thoroughout the course of the con, I hung out with a lot of people I know from Livejournal, everyone I’ve noted above, in addition to storm_dancer, dayoff, and drspooky–plus quite a few people who said they had livejournals and I should add them but I was in too much of a drunken haze to remember their names. Perhaps they will find me. Everyone was beyond awesome, much more than I ever could’ve hoped for. I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend as much time with some of you as I would have liked, and hopefully that can be remedied at some future time. As of Sunday morning, I was having so much fun that I thought about and actually attempted to change my flight to Monday, but the exponential rise in costs killed it; not to mention that another night of drinking heavily would’ve probably killed me, as my drunk stomach loudly proclaimed. Drunk stomach or no, Annie and I managed to charm Kavan Smith of Stargate/Battlestar Galactica fame so much that he forgot to press an elevator button and subsequently missed his floor. Would I have minded bringing him home? Absolutely not. So, in preparation for leaving, and in anger that once again, Homeland Security had been rooting through my bag and had broken something (this time, a gift for a friend), I wrote the TSA a note. Dear TSA: You have physically inspected my bag on my last 7/7 flights. I have had items broken, filed a claim, and received no response. I have had items stolen, filed a claim, and received no response. Frankly, my faith in the system is not high, nor do I feel any safer on airplanes as a result of your presence. Please stop breaking and/or stealing my shit. STOP BREAKING AND STEALING MY SHIT. I MEAN IT. Have a little courtesy, for fuck’s sake. Well, I opened my bag when I got home, and I saw that I’d riled some Homeland Security monkey up so much that he/she couldn’t help but leave a response (indicating that once again, they’d found purpose to root through my bag and fondle my undergarments. I should really stop buying Hanes for Terrorists.) But I digress. This is the response I received: Response: Have a little respect. For our sakes! Not everyone is a thief nor an idiot! I’ll give you some respect when you start acting like you deserve it. I do love that they couldn’t resist writing me a note back. I feel like an internet troll only 300 times more awesome. Also, the incorrect grammar used when claiming to NOT be an idiot absolutely slays me. It is so delicious I could eat it with a spoon. Dun dun dununun!