Sunday, July 25, 2010

Comic-Con Day 4

So, this whole shebang is over. Sunday is always the "Get out of here you diseased pizzles!" day, when people are anxious to go home and the vendors are eager to get rid of their stuff (and customers) as easily as possible. Last year one of those guys was trying to unload these cheap kiddie lightsabers, and I bought a couple to do battle with my one year old nephew with. Believe me, those were worth every penny.

At one point, I saw my old one-time-roommate Erik for a moment wandering the main hall. I was blown away by how old he looked. I guess we were only roommates for a short while a decade ago, but to look at him, I suspect it may be closer to twenty years.

Life is weird.
I'm readying to go home right now, but I might swing by L.A. before I do (even though it's technically out of my way). My nephew loves turtles, as you know, and we're down to only two, so maybe I'll scoop up a couple more and say that one is his.

I haven't been able to take as many pictures this year as last, mostly because they all came out like this:

Plus, the batteries drain very quickly, and when Joss Whedon had his Avengers stand next to each other for the very first photo op, the "Battery Low" warning came on and the camera went dead.

But ah well.

The only major panel I went to today was the one for ABC's "Castle." It was really great and lots of laughs. Nathan Fillion is a rock star. That show certainly seems like a fun one to work on,* with everybody getting along and making fun of each other.

For some reason, Nathan was really into saying "double rainbow" about everything. He'd say "That's so double rainbow," or "Wow, full on double rainbow," or he'd shout "Double rainbow!" and the crowd would call back "All the way!" I have to admit I was completely lost, and I hate that, so I finally asked one of the "All the way" shouters to explain. When I got home, I looked up the YouTube video in question, and it all makes more sense now.
At one point, some guy in the audience asked if Nathan and Stana would read from "Heat Wave," the fake(ish) book spunoff from the show. I don't know if being at Comic-Con is a drag for some of these guests (Harrison Ford excepted), but it's difficult for me to understand how these guys can't love sitting there and hear the adulation of a crowd. It's like what rock stars must experience, but you don't have to perform or break a sweat.
Someday, Jennifer, someday.

As I mentioned earlier, I also went to a "Quantum Leap" retrospective, with Scott Bakula. He talked about how they thought they would get a fourth season, and one episode they were planning where he leapt into a baby, and I realized--about two decades late--that I want to write for that show.

Somehow I get the feeling that's about as realistic as the rest of my writing dreams.

Even so, one must forge on. Not everybody gets to do what they love with their lives, and it's a whole lot easier to do nothing.

I meant to stay a while and look for good toy deals, but for some reason, after seeing Erik, I just had to go. I sat for a minute, trying to type in this blog, but I kept losing the connection again, and that frustrated me into just shutting it down and heading back to the car. I'd parked in the same place three out of four of the days, and that'll be my go-to spot from now on (if I can remember how to get there, which, considering this is me we're talking about, is doubtful).

There was quite a drive ahead of me, partly because I was fool enough to go to Los Angeles first, and got stuck amongst all the traffic returning to that fair city. Yeah, I just referred to L.A. as "fair." That tacked a couple hours onto my drive, but I had made my bed.

In Baker (home of the world's tallest thermometer), it was 106. That's Raquel Welch circa 1966 hot to you Celsius users. I'm glad I didn't have to suffer through that in San Diego.

Driving at night can be difficult, especially on less that a full night's sleep. I don't know how many times I stopped, stopped in little oven-temperature towns in the California and Nevada deserts. I would pull the car over and attempt to take a short nap, but a few minutes later I'd be awakened by my own sweat and difficulty getting comfortable. So I'd hit the road again, air conditioner full blast, radio blaring, trying to find a song I could sing along with to keep me awake.

But my eyes would slowly close, and I'd find a new song playing that I wasn't aware had even started, and no matter what I did, I couldn't concentrate on the road. And that's probably the worst part of driving at night, wouldn't you say?

Finally, at about five in the morning, I found a shady, cool rest stop off the freeway, and parked the car there and did go to sleep. I woke after a few hours with no idea where I was or how I'd gotten there. I knew the freeway was nearby, but not how to get to it. So I drove north alongside the road, until, four miles later, I realized there was no onramp here, and it must've been in the other direction. I drove south a while further, eventually passing the exit from the freeway, but there was absolutely no entrance anywhere in sight. I drove another three or four miles beyond that, still without a freeway entrance, and at one point I passed a man in a black suit beside the road. I realized as I drove by that it was Rod Serling, telling the audience that I had just taken a short detour, into the Outer Limits.

Yes, Rod Serling making an "Outer Limits" reference. THAT'S how lost I was.

Either I had gone completely blind and driven past the freeway onramp TWICE, or that rest area was very poorly designed. Or all part of some twisted plan I wasn't privy to.

I came to a little town along this country road, an old fashioned one straight out of Mayberry R.F.D., and considered stopping and asking for directions. But I stubbornly kept driving, and ended up discovering a freeway entrance at the other side of town. I did see a couple hungry villagers shaking their heads in dismay when I got to the road, disappointed they wouldn't be able to make BLTs out of me.

Once I was back on my way, I made it home without any trouble. I didn't even go to bed right away, but unloaded the car and took a shower first.

I'm struggling to find a point to end this on. It was originally going to be the BACK TO THE FUTURE reference, and then the bit about no one getting to do what they want. Now I sort of wish I'd finished on the BLT line (which was going to be steak tar-tar until I realized I didn't know what that is).

Let me instead end with this: I am lucky to be able to go on little road trips, to have the means to drive somewhere remote and stay in a motel and attend presentations on things that aren't really all that important. It's possible that one day soon, this kind of freedom will stop, and I'll look back and think, "Boy, wouldn't it be great to be able to drive down to San Diego on spend all day surrounded by fat nerds like me, debating whether Batman could beat Punisher in a mud-wrestling contest? Those were the days."

Weren't they?

Rish "The Wanderer" Outfield

*But it also seems to me that working on any show with comedy in it would be fun. I know it's work, but being in a creative environment, trying to make entertainment . . . if that's not a little bit fun, somebody's doing something wrong somewhere.

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