Back up the truck!

24 07 2008

Ok, so it’s day two in San Diego, and I’m feeling a little more rested.

For those of you concerned about my need for a nap yesterday after sleeping on the plane…

I was awake until 2am yesterday morning getting ready for the trip, and then awake at 5am to get to the airport.  My sleep on the plane was about 45 minutes in duration.
Believe me…  The nap was well warranted.  Especially when you take into account, I’m a non-comic person being dragged to four days of comic immersion amongst the swags of the “great unwashed” at Comic-Con.

ComicBookGuy1 To be fair, not everyone at the convention conforms to what I imagined most attendants of the convention would look like.  Think “Comic Book Guy” from the Simpson’s…  That may be an unfair assumption, but I can promise you, enough people in attendance fit the stereotype to justify my assumption.

Speaking of stereotype.  I saw a t-shirt there yesterday which I liked:  “I don’t like stereotyping, but it does save time”.  Pretty applicable in this case.

I’ll also say this, and keep in mind, I’m still losing weight myself, and I totally understand that it’s not the easiest task in the world.  But at the Comic-con, I felt emaciated.  I’m by far one of the skinniest attendees.

So, there is a positive! 😉

Mark has our entire stay itinerised, so you can imagine his dismay when we left to collect our badges to attend the event and Preview Night when he saw the queue.  Which, I kid you not, was easily over a kilometre long.  I now know how Salmon feel when the swim upstream.

We could see where we needed to go, but were ushered left of our destination into a massive crowd.  Not just a crowd though, it was a queue.  A super, massive, queue that switched back on itself several times.

Now I”d be lying if I said I felt bad about what occurred next, but since it saved what could possibly have been up to two hours of standing in line, I’ll confess, I followed the pack, but at a faster pace, dragging Mark behind me, cut queue, befriended another group (Mark was only to happy to speak with others of "his own kind") and placed ourselves a lot closer to the end destination than we’d otherwise have been.

Actually I should probably be ashamed of myself for racing to get inside faster!  Ha!  But as I mentioned, a lot of the other attendants, are what I’ll refer to as "unique", and by that I mean strange.  Not all, but certainly enough.

We finally made it inside though, got our badges, bag of free goodies.  I have no idea what’s in the bag, I’ve not looked.  Wandered around a bit, and there really is lots to look at, the event itself is kind of cool, there’s quite a lot to see, but I’m really not a "fan boy’ in general.  There are things I like, but I’ve never understood the compulsion to collect, pay homage too, or worship people or items.  Primarily, I’m not a fan of crowds, specifically crowds of devoted fans who push, squeeze, crush, and will trample you to the ground given half a chance.

In this respect, Mark’s probably lucky that I was with him.  Firstly, I’m bigger than he is, thanks somewhat to genetics, a previously bad diet (remember, I’m still getting fit ;)), I work out, and I also don’t tolerate being pushed or crushed.

Sounds fun doesn’t it.  I guess you could say, and I’d be hard pressed to argue, I can be impatient and assertive in my own requirements for personal space.  That’s the polite explanation. *grin*

Anyway, Mark’s goal for the evening was to purchase some limited edition Batman and Joker figurines, which apparently there were only 5000 of each available.  He knew roughly where they were, but of course, like a Geek Moth to a Comic Flame, immediately wandered off towards all the sparkly, glittery offerings.  (I have to point out now, I’m really NOT looking forward to seeing exactly what he ends up bringing home with us – the guy is a hoarder of epic proportions!).  Me being the pragmatist however, asked what he wanted, where it was, and on hearing the aisle number, started making my way through the crowds with him in tow towards our destination, and as it happens, our next queue.

This one wasn’t quite as long as the previous one, but long enough that it warranted him asking what the people waiting in line, were actually waiting for.  Fortunately, they were all in line for the items he was lusting after.
So in line we popped, and waited.  I joked, "Wouldn’t it be funny if the people in front of us got the last ones just before we got to the counter".  Mark wasn’t too impressed!  He he!

Short story, although judging by what I’ve typed so far, I fear it’s too late for that.  They had stock available, and we managed to get 4 of each of the limited items.  Mark got some for himself, I got some for eBay.  You can’t say I’m not enterprising.  😉

While we’d been wandering Mark had noticed many people with large Warner Brothers bags on their shoulders, bags which apparently were complimentary.  Also as I discovered, in very high demand.
Let’s just say, the crowd was immense, everyone was crushing, grasping hands and reaching arms everywhere and people screaming.  Not fun!

Remember though, I’m "assertive", I got to the front without injuring myself or anyone around me, got two bags, and backed out quickly, fending off grasping hands trying to liberate me of my valiantly won item.  Back off sunshine, or I’ll tear your face off!  Is what I was thinking as I fought my way out… 😉

I prefer to think of my efforts as time saving, the faster I move, the less time I’m stuck somewhere I don’t want to be.  It all works out.

Of course as with most Comic Conventions there are gazillions (technical term 😉 ) of people dressed up as various characters, and most of them aren’t actually working the event, they’re just attending.  They’re enthusiastic these comic people!

Anyway, we survived Preview Night, and will be heading back again soon this morning.  Sigh!  Oh well, one night down, four days to go.  Perhaps I can consider my efforts a workout…

Comic-Con aside, we’re staying at the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, a very posh and swank hotel.  It’s five star, and not our first choice, but despite booking accommodation back in January it was all that was available.  It’s very nice, but we were a little horrified to discover that our room appeared smaller than we were led to believe it would be, and suited more to one person than two.
This was a theory proven later on when we returned to our room to find the bed had been turned down and prepared for one person.

Mark contacted Guest Services who confirmed the room had been listed for a sole occupant.  Amazing really, when there were two adults present at Check In, and two room keys organised.  Duh!

It took several calls both to Expedia who confirmed our booking was for two people, and Guest Services who advised it wasn’t.  Our main concern was that we get what we paid for, and believe me, the prices here…  Nice as the hotel is, we want value for our money.  It’s NOT cheap!

After much phone discussion, and Mark going off with the Night Manager to investigate another room, we were moved from our little box on the Seventh floor, to a sprawling room on the Third floor, on the corner of the hotel looking out on two sides over San Diego.  Much better!  I can now change my mind without having to leave the room to do it. 😉

So there you have it, that’s yesterday in a rather large nutshell.  Mark is wandering around the room behind me having a not so mild panic attack that I’m typing a blog entry, and Comic-Con is opening in a few minutes, AND we’ve not had breakfast yet, AND we need to get in the queue, AND….  you get the drift.

Today will be a little more interesting for me, there’ll be Dr Who and Torchwood panels. 

Overall though, I’m in San Diego, and it’s a beautiful location.

Ok, before I go, belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY’S to the lovely LARN!  Hope you had a great day!

I’m outta here!  Hooroo!