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Awesome Con 2017- Day 2

Saturday, Day 2:
I spent the night driving around dead bodies in the streets and saving my town and my daughter from tiny glowing balls that were trying to invade our bodies. So I woke up exhausted and shaken from my nightmare. But David Tennant was speaking at 10:30, so I got my butt out of bed. I hauled myself to the Metro and arrived at 8am. However, I just missed a train by 3 minutes and had to wait 17 minutes for the next one. Even worse, there was an issue with the trains when I tried to transfer and it was 40 minutes until the next Yellow train I needed arrived. So I didn’t get to the convention center until 9:35, which was when the doors were supposed to open for seating. As I arrived in the registration hall, I heard one of the best quotes of the con from one of the volunteers “David Tennant is by the garage door!” It was only to indicate that’s where the end of the line to see him currently was.

I hurried over to the pretty sizable line that was weaving from one side of the room to the other. I heard my name called and turned to see a friend from grad school I hadn’t seen in over 10 years! It’s great running into people at cons, but I was still in my one track mind of “must get to end of line!” During the next hour, nearly the entire room filled up with the line and, as far as I saw, every one of the 5,000 seats ended up being filled. The line volunteers were amazing, though, packing us all in there and keeping order. They would say things like “Welcome to the line! This is all part of the experience!” and “You’re doing great! You’re almost there!” VIPS got in first. Not including them, I think I was about a third of the way from the front. There was a WHOLE LOT of line behind me; I cannot imagine much of that portion got in.

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Awesome Con 2017- Day 1

Friday, Day 1:
I woke up about an hour later than usual and had a leisurely but efficient breakfast before heading off to the Metro. I began reading Pack Animals (Torchwood #7) by Peter Anghelides on the long ride to the Library of Congress. While walking from the metro station to the LOC building, I passed two women around my age taking photos of a group of people walking across the street, escorted by the police. I have been watching news nonstop for the past two weeks, but I didn’t recognize anyone in the group (and I’ve been watching a lot of news). Looked like it might have been a representative and her congressional aides, but I’ve no clue. Anyway, I got to the Thomas Jefferson Library of Congress Building a little before 11.

LOC1The Library of Congress put together a really neat pop-up exhibit only available for a few days, called Library of Awesome. It was filled with parts of the LOC collection, grouped by themes. It was a great reminder that the LOC preserves these parts of culture that are important to fans. The people behind me as we went through the different exhibit rooms were in the most AMAZING Wonder Woman and Black Panther outfits ever. There was also a brave young man in an amazing Fantastic Four outfit. There were so many great comics on display, I couldn’t begin to list them all. But I did take photos of some of my favorites. In one room they had clips from TV shows playing and I walked in just as Buffy was sacrificing herself (feels!), following by a clip of Doctor Who with the Tenth Doctor. It was a surreal to be standing in the largest library in the entire world, watching Buffy and Doctor Who and looking at first appearances of comic book characters in print! There was also a neat letter from Gene Roddenbery to Carl Sagan.

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The Muggle Ball

The Friends of the Arlington Public Library hosted a Muggle Ball last night, and more than a dozen DADA members were in attendance. There was trivia, a costume contest, hors d’oeuvres and desert, themed drinks, a jazz band, and raffle baskets.

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12 Days of Fandom Ornaments: #11

My Christmas tree is a mix of ornaments from my childhood and ones from later on in my life. Many of them are related to my favorite fandoms, naturally. I thought I would showcase one every other day in December in a 12 Days of Fandom Ornaments series.

Day 11: Hedwig

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Letter for you? Here’s a lovely owl who reminds me of Hedwig from Harry Potter, of course!

12 Days of Fandom Ornaments: #7

My Christmas tree is a mix of ornaments from my childhood and ones from later on in my life. Many of them are related to my favorite fandoms, naturally. I thought I would showcase one every other day in December in a 12 Days of Fandom Ornaments series.

Day 7: Expecto Patronum!

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I got this as a present when my family went hunting for ornaments because this silver stag reminds me of Harry’s Patronus.

12 Days of Fandom Ornaments: #3

My Christmas tree is a mix of ornaments from my childhood and ones from later on in my life. Many of them are related to my favorite fandoms, naturally. I thought I would showcase one every other day in December in a 12 Days of Fandom Ornaments series.

Day 3: Snowman!Harry

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This is one of several handmade Harry Potter ornaments I bought from Justin Finch Fletchley a few years back at a Yule Ball in Washington, D.C. (and I realize that if you don’t know anything about WRock, that sentence must be confusing, but it’s the truth). All the ornaments feature fun Harry Potter-related drawings; this one is a snowman decorated to look like Harry… or perhaps Harry has been magically transformed into a snowman?

Wildcard Wednesday: WRock vs. Filk

wizard-rockAt the Shore Leave convention I attended a particularly disappointing panel on the last day which went a little off topic and then became people sitting around complaining about the fandom community and their creations in general.

In specific, one young woman complained about Wizard Rock, and how WRockers think they’re so clever and unique but don’t realize filk has been around for decades upon decades.

And that got be a bit riled up, not that anyone was in the mood to listen to me rather than continue complaining. So I’m going to complain about the complaining here. Because I can. And because, in my book, WRock is NOT filk. They are extremely similar in a whole lot of ways, but anyone who’s spent time around both knows that they’re also pretty different.

The Music: Filk songs mostly (but definitely not exclusively) are parodies of existing songs with the lyrics changed. That takes some clever rewriting and often results in hilarity. WRock songs mostly (but definitely not exclusively) are original creations of music and lyrics. That takes a whole different kind of skill and creativity.

Subject Matter: While there are definitely filk groups that sing about only one fandom, many of the groups are non-fandom specific and jump around in subject matter as their muses dictate. WRock is Harry Potter. Sure, some of the groups sing the occasional song about another fandom, but it’s pretty rare on actual albums or at concerts during the “golden age” of Wizard Rock.

Groups & Perspectives: Filk singers and groups usually have amazing names and personas, but not many of them go to the extent that WRockers do. Wrockers not only name themselves based on the fandom but often write and perform songs specifically from that perspective. Listen to a Draco and the Malfoys song and you know you’re getting the wizarding world from Draco’s perspective in almost every song, for example. That’s one of the things I find most appealing about WRock. It’s a deeper investigation of the canon.

Culture & Community: This is the big one. Filk has its own culture and community. Filk concerts and circles are amazingly fun and unique to the genre. But Wizard Rock concerts have a different, unique feel to them. Though both are all about sharing the music and love of fandom, the cultures are different and the communities separate. While filk is supported in the Wizard Rock world and probably Wizard Rock supported in the filk one, they seem to consistently choose to be separate entities. Which, to me, makes them DIFFERENT THINGS. Both are places where one can be creative without judgement, but the communities are still separate.

I just did a quick search and found this interesting article that says much the same thing: Identity and authenticity in the filk community by Melissa L. Tatum

So, yes, they’re very similar in nature but they are different. Which anyone would know if they’d been to as many WRock concerts as I have.

Top Ten: Fandom Creations at Brickfair (part 1)

I have more than enough to do two lists… possibly even three :-) Here are some of the fandom-related LEGO creations that caught my eye this year at my local LEGO convention, Brickfair VA. Clickity-click the photos for larger versions.

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Quote Friday: J.K. Rowling

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“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
~J.K. Rowling

Thing Thursday: Harry Potter Pops

I had some Hot Topic “Hot Cash” to spend, and these new POP figures were too adorable to resist. I mean, seriously, Snape doesn’t get much cuter than this.

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