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A long weekend

The husband and I got to take a long weekend, and it was a blast.

Friday night, we went to the first annual Champaign-Urbana Pride, which had a HUGE turnout. I'll admit I was surprised, if only because the GLBTQ community here has rarely been...communal. At rough estimate, there were upward of 1000 attendees. It was also fun for me to run into people I've been waiting on for years at one job or another, and always sort of wondered about but been too polite to ask. That, I think, is some of what the community needs here--to know who each other are. To know that we're out there, and that none of us are alone. I hope that the turnout was enough to convince the good folks running the show that this should happen again next year, and that when it does, we'll be able to attend for the full weekend.

Sadly, we had to leave early so that we could get to the next stage of our adventure, the WizardWorld Chicago Comic Convention! Hubby's aunt was meeting us here at 5:45, which meant we got up at 4:45 in the morning (hence the early night leaving Pride, dash it all) to be ready when she got here.

I hate driving in Chicago traffic, can I just say that? Can I say it again? I hate driving in Chicago traffic. However, it was worth the trip, and the money to get in. I didn't get a great many pictures, but what I did take, I'll share with you here (click on any pic to see it full-size):

The Delorean from Back to the Future

The Batmobile (and we'll get to who was here...)

One of the best Rogue costumes I've ever seen

My cousin-in-law-in-law (follow me?) as a Japanese maid

In addition to all of this fun, however, there were a number of celebrities attending this. We attended the panel sessions all afternoon and got to hear Avery Brooks (Capt. Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space 9), Brent Spiner (Cdr. Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation), Adam West and Burt Ward (Batman and Robin from the original Batman TV series), John DeLancie (Q from ST:TNG), William Shatner (yep...him), four of the Final Five Cylons from Battlestar Galactica (still haven't watched it, but now I know who they are...) and Walter Koenig (Chekhov from Star Trek: the Original Series).

All in all, it was a packed house. However, for me, the greatest excitement came from....
seeing Claudia Christian in person. I was too chicken to actually approach her and say hello, as I knew it would come out entirely in garbled geek-speak, if I got out anything resembling a word at all. Had everyone not been charging $30 per photo (photo standing with them, that is) and $50+ per signature (or had I the kind of disposable income to support it) I'd have had a lot of autographed pictures. I would also have needed a change of shorts.

Also there, Linda Hamilton and Julie Newmar! The lines to even see them were far too long to get more than a glimpse, but it was still pretty cool.

So that was ComicCon, in a nutshell. Lots of booths, lots of costumes, and all a little too overwhelming for me to process it.

After the Con came dinner with Aunt J and hubby at the Cheesecake Factory, and a hotel stay to get ready for *drumroll* The Bristol Renaissance Faire. (Coincidentally, apparently this was Gay Pride weekend at the RenFaire, too...go us!)

For the Faire, there's not much to be said other than it's a giant medieval shopping mall, and always makes me wish I had about $3000 to take with me to buy new garb, jewelry, books, and whatever else tickles my fancy. This is the downside to being a person out of your own time...the clothes you think are cool are also maddeningly expensive. I spent most of the day just snapping shots of people in cool outfits, or of the buildings at the faire, which amounted to a whopping 76 photos. I'll just share some of the highlights with you, here.

The juxtaposition of modern and ancient here amused me. Apparently, they were attending the Faire together.

This one actually noticed me taking the picture, and I think I embarrassed us both...

You can't see it super well, but that's a Star Trek two worlds collide...

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I (a fixture at many a Ren Faire)

The Rag Lady

Her Majesty's Desk

Now this fellow just had a sense of style. :-)

And even the Green Man makes an appearance at the Ren Faire!

We got to watch a guy do a show with a fire whip, were verbally accosted by gay pirates (he told hubby he was going to take me away, as he liked "ginger beards"), and just generally had a lot of fun. It's a lot of walking, of course, and we forgot to pack sunscreen, so my neck is about as red as my hair right now, but in the long run, I think it was worth it.

So that was my weekend. How was yours?

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