Saturday, July 14, 2012

Comic-Con Day 2 (July 13th)

July 13, 2012
So, this day ended up pretty much blowing. I got up fairly early, my legs aching (but at least I had been able to sleep, which was something I was a bit afraid of, whilst typing my “I am old” post), and made my way down to the Convention Center. I ended up getting a better parking spot than the day before, which was still a mile away, but that was the only thing that went well during the day. Wait, I take that back. I discovered a cafĂ© only two or three blocks from the Center that had really good, really affordable Mexican food. I wish I had known about it ages ago, as I’d eat there every day.

The doors opened at 9:30, officially, but they ended up opening ten minutes early, and I went immediately to the line to Ballroom 20. As I approached the Convention Center, I saw two lines snaking off into the horizon (instead of the normal one). The first was, obviously, to Hall H. The second, though, was a mystery. It turned out to be the Ballroom 20 line. Somehow, even though the doors didn’t open until 9:20, there had been people lined up there all night, stringing out of the Convention Center and down the road toward the Mexican border.
I stood in line for only a few minutes, knowing that I probably wouldn’t get into the “Community” panel, but hoping against hope to get into the “Firefly” 10th anniversary reunion--the panel I most wanted to see this year. Suddenly, the line started to move. That made me optimistic, but that was soon squelched when organizers came through the line and said, “If you didn’t get in this line before seven this morning, you’re not getting in.” Somebody asked him about the people who leave after the “Community” panel, and he said, “Where you are in the line, everybody in Ballroom 20 could die, and you still wouldn’t get in.”

Hence, the line was moving as hundreds (of the thousands lined up) fled for balmier climes.
Well, I was bummed about this. I had exactly two panels I really wanted to see that day, and I was out of luck. I had gone to the Hasbro ticket line to get a chance to buy stuff at their booth, and was told that, even though the convention had only just officially opened, the tickets were long gone.
This too vexed me. I considered just leaving, since there was nothing else I wanted to try for (there was a “Game of Thrones” panel in five or six hours, but the thought of competing with the hoardes that actually watched the show was just depressing.
I wandered around for a while, spending money, trying for freebies, fighting with the crowds (I know I say this every year, but the thing I hate most about Comic-Con is when there’s a huge clot of people, all trying to slowly move through the main hall, and the person in front of you stops to look around or check their phone or scratch their glutes. I could minor in Poetry and still not have the words to express how much I hate that.

It just occurred to me that it was Friday the 13th, so maybe that’s why my luck was so great. Of course, I was born on a Friday the 13th, so the world was the unlucky one for that one.

I originally ended the post like that (and worse, I included it with the last post by mistake), but now that I have a bit of distance on it, hey, I was in California, and Lucasfilm had built a glass case to promote the Indiana Jones films (on Blu-Ray) that had the Ark of the Covenant and a bunch of real snakes in it, and I was in a place where people where costumes like this one:

So, it's a bit hard to see why I'd feel so sorry for myself.  Except I've had so much practice that it really comes easily to me.

Ultimately, I'm not going to remember this birthday as opposite-of-fondly as the time I got together at an L.A. bar with all my buddies for my birthday and none of them showed up.  The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing off the ocean, and Comic-Con had decorated Petco Park next door in honor of "The Walking Dead."  You could pay eighteen dollars to walk around in there and watch actors dressed as zombies duke it out with actors dressed as humans.  Or, you could pay eighty dollars to be one of the survivors, in a kind of Live Action Role Play scenario.  Had Big or my Cousin Ryan gone down with me (both briefly considered it, I believe), that might have been worth checking out.

Display outside Petco Park promoting "Walking Dead."
I probably won't always be able to drive down to San Diego every year like I have these past few years (one year, I even flew home so as not to miss work on Monday), and it was a heck of a lot easier to get a ticket this year than it was in 2011. Also, my mother had freaked me out about driving down to San Diego alone in my car, insisting I get the oil and air filter changed, check the fluids and air pressure, have the tires rotated and pack a gallon of water in case I broke down (and a pointed stick to fight off the dingos), but I had arrived without a problem, even making the drive in shorter time than the computerized map predicted. 

So, I was unhappy at the time, but I'm already over it.

That's me, sharing the drink they call loneliness with a zombie.
Oh, and somebody recorded the whole "Firefly" panel and posted it on YouTube, so there's that.  I saw it, and virtually nobody in Ballroom 20 had to die.

Rish "Grass Half Full" Outfield

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