Of liquor, 14 pound balls, and geek boy stench.

Our weekend started off well enough. degopiccolo, siobhan_genie and myself went out for dinner at “El Cholo’s”. Ain’t nothing better than Mexican food on a Friday night! Carne Asada and Margaritas… what a fine way to begin the weekend. And lord knows we were all looking forward to it!

After dinner, the three of us headed down to Balboa Island to hang with Colleen’s boss and a few others at a small dive bar called the “Village Inn”. This bar is actually fairly nice in decor and location; it is only a dive by the way it is run. There was seemingly only one waitress and one bartender from the looks of things, which I consider odd based on the fact that it was a Friday night in the middle of summer on Balboa Island In Newport Beach, California. I’d expect the place to be packed, but it wasn’t. I think they just need better entertainment than the hack blues band that was playing and better management to actually swing that place into gear. It has a lot of potential.

But the company was fabulous. Colleen’s boss (D.) is a hoot and a half. Apparently drunk (and relatively buzzed) women find me amusing. In fact at one point, D’s friend wondered aloud if she and D should trade places so she could sit next to me because, and I quote: “You make me laugh”. I was flattered. D’s nephew was also there. He was quiet, but a fun guy none-the-less.

We packed it up kind of early since Colleen had to get up early to bake a cake for her consort who was fighting in the Lyondomere Anniversary tournament on Saturday… You can read all about the travesty that was Colleen’s day in her own journal: degopiccolo
Needless to say, Jean and I were perfectly fine leaving when we did, since we were doggin it already. My work hours have made us into complete losers when it comes to staying up late. We have to “prepare” for it by napping during the day and drinking a Redbull or two. Sad and pathetic, really.

Saturday was a little slice of heaven.
For the entire day, we did NOTHING. I think I woke up around 9.30am (which is sleeping in by 5 hours for me) and I commenced to root my ass into my corner seat on the sofa in front of the TV for the rest of the day. Sometimes you just have to sit around in your pajamas and turn off for a bit. We -could- have gone to the Lyondomere Anniversary, but we simply didn’t feel like exerting any energy at all.

Finally, around 5pm, we began to get ready for Saturday night. It was my friend Roni’s birthday. (I’ve known Roni since 5th grade. Her, Jennifer, Stephanie and Gina were inseparable from then, until after high school…) Well, Roni decided that it would be fun to go to Lucky Strike Lanes for a little bowling fun. And I’ll be damned if she wasn’t right. We had a blast! So, while John and llmarycatll were dealing with drunkard sister issues, Jean and I were drinking it up at a trendy and hip bowling lounge with some old friends. (Turns out I suck at bowling at the beginning and end. In the middle, I was on fire.) Lucky Strike is probably the coolest bowling alley I have been to. It is like the typically alley’s “Rock-n-Bowl, but with better music, a more hip atmosphere, and it is that way all the time, not just 9 to midnight on Saturdays. In fact, my recent statement calling it a bowling LOUNGE is right on. That’s the total feel you get from the place. It is NOT an alley by any stretch.

Unfortunately, we again made it an early night, and packed it in around 11.30pm because we had to get up early Sunday to get on the road to San Diego. Roni was still going strong though, and had a small group going out dancing. I am sure they had a good time, even if they had to make it themselves.

Sunday morning, as all mornings, came way too early. Having barely shaken off the lingering 6th scotch from the night before, we checked on tdhartist and overclocked_lmn‘s children and grabbed breakfast. The drive down to San Diego went fairly quickly as traffic was consistently above 75. Which my car loves and lives for. What my car doesn’t live for, however, is cruising downtown San Diego for an hour and 15 minutes trying to find parking which was open and under $25 per car. I had told Jean at one point that if we didn’t find parking in 15 more minutes, then we were heading back home. (For those of you playing along at home, that was 45 minutes into the search, or halfway to the end.) I kept going only because of the fear of the fallout that would occur if I really DID turn it around and go home. (I was really in no mood to fight for a space for that long, nor did I have any vested interest in days plans ahead of me.) After an hour and 15 minutes and another 100 miles on my car (ok I may be exaggerating there, but it felt like it) we found a space within a reasonable distance to the convention center and charging -only- $10. Which in reality was a steal for a space at that point.

Let me back up for one moment here, in the event that my lovely readers are a tad confused. Yes, I, Jason/Seamus/Bad Mouther of all that is Sci-Fi or Comic book related/AKA: Elitist Pricktm, went to the fabled San Diego ComiCon.

Ok… get up off the floor. I’ll explain:
You see, I happen to be friends with an amazing up-and-comer in the comic book and animation world; Tom Hodges. Who, by the way, just started working with Lucas Film on a Start Wars web-strip. And he asked Jean and I to come down. If I hadn’t gone, I would have felt like a -complete- prick for not supporting a friend, which is only a bit more that the prick I already felt like for not being able to keep my mouth shut about how I didn’t belong there and didn’t want to be there. (Yes, I know, I have my issues and I’m trying to work them out…)
As Tom’s officially un-official web-update-guy (I can not rightfully take the moniker of Webmaster or web-designer since Tom does all the artsy, good looking design work), I feel like I needed to go to get an idea of the true type of people that frequent these conventions and get a first hand look at the entire industry. At the very least I had hoped it would help me understand what Tom wants and needs in his website so I am better skilled and prepared to help him achieve all of his web-based goals. Not to mention I was curious to see why there is such a huge to-do over this event, cause I honestly just don’t get the “madness”.

I can say, now, that I still don’t get it. Terri, Jean, and I walked the floor a few times, sat with Tom for a bit in artist’s alley, and even sat in to watch Joss Whedon’s panel where he unveiled the “Serenity” trailer for the movie coming out in spring ’05. It appeared to be well produced, but not something I’d spend any money or time on.

I people watched quite a bit, since all the booths just confused me. Of course, the people confused me too, so I’m not sure my reasoning really pans out in this case. The Happy Tree Friends had a booth, which was the only one I actually enjoyed and would have spent money at. Pity that the t-shirts and DVDs were more than I really wanted to spend. I was/am feeling wicked cheap and left the booth empty handed. Oh well, I can get it all at their website when I am feeling rich again, as nothing at the booth appeared to be a “Con exclusive”.

I -did- walk away from Con with a feeling of accomplishment though. I not only met the (in)Famous Bonnie Burton of Grrl.com fame, but was even flattered to have her tell me she liked me. Now don’t go all freaky on me; she only said it because I was a smart ass right back to her. I guess some grrls enjoy Smart-Ass-Elitist-Prickstm. Lord knows I enjoyed the brief banter. I almost felt bad that when Terri had noted to Bonnie that it was our (Jean and I’s) first con, I wasn’t more excited or interested. In fact it seemed that I really just killed that bit of conversation dead. But no fear, it seems she got past it. Besides, any friend of Tom and Terri’s is a friend of mine. Guess I’m gonna have to start keeping up with her blog now. As an aside: Bonnie, you’ve been blogged. Now you REALLY need to get those t-shirts moving… see I DO remember key points to conversations.

So, moving the day right along… We sat with Tom for a bit more once we returned from Joss’ panel, and waited around for him to wrap things up. Sitting in Artist’s Alley is the best place for people watching. It was here where we could just sit back and take it all in, while remaining fairly protected from the geek-boy stench and pushy crowds. Thank gods for a safe haven. Sitting there gave me enough pause to regenerate for the walk down to the car, then across the street to the Old Spaghetti factory for dinner, which was as good as it ever is. Yummy and inexpensive Italian food. What a great way to end the day: laughing our asses off, yet again, with good food and great friends.

Unfortunately, the day took a turn for the worse on our drive home. Not really much to tell about it other than the fact that we only exceeded 20 miles per hour for approximately a 10 mile stretch. In that stretch, it was up to 60, then straight back down to 20 again. Which might seem ok, until you realize that it was only 10 miles out of 85. Yuck.

Next year, if I even go to ComiCon, I think we’ll be taking the train….

So that pretty much wraps up the weekend into a nice little package for easy digestion. Suffice to say it was a fun time which has left me just as tired today, as I was when I started out on Friday evening. Of course, that -could- be construed as the sign of a good weekend. In fact, I think that’s how I’ll take it.

6 thoughts on “Of liquor, 14 pound balls, and geek boy stench.

  1. Oh no…

    You went to the Nerd Prom. I’ve been reading Warren Ellis bitch and moan about it for years; he never recovered from the one he went to in 96 or 97. It sounds like a…social experiment. Good on you for supporting your friend though.

    And thank god you made it back alive, sans geek boy stench. The mind reels at the sort of people you encountered down there.

    Happy Monday.

    1. Re: Oh no…

      Oh yes… though without a Led Zeppelin closer, it was pretty much everything I expected it to be. There was, however, one startling exception:

      There were some drop dead hot and I mean H@WT women there. Many, if not all, apparently were attached to some overweight and sweaty or scrawny and pimply geeky fan-boy. It boggled the mind.

      Just from the people watching, I was reminded as to part of why I don’t play with the SCA as much… too many geeks who take themselves too seriously.

      1. Re: Oh no…

        Seriousness is the geek aphrodisiac and primary mead my friend. They (we?) indulge in the details of their (our?) chosen esoterica, and indulge deeply they (we?) do.

        That’s an awkward sentence if there ever was one.

        The SCA enthusiasts I see in the park have always warmed my heart. Grown men and women in armor with big clubs whacking each other around; it is an honest way to spend a Sunday. If not altogether offbeat and/or weird. Zealotry is a tedious thing no matter what the discipline, so you’re probably better off taking them in small doses.

        Which is why I make my trips to the comic shop short and sweet. The guy with long hair behind the counter, I’m sure, is bored with the fact that I buy so little and so narrowmindedly.

        And the SDCC is ground zero for all that behavior. When the professionals who stand to gain the most from such a thing are so shy and abrupt about their involvement, you know something’s rotten in Nerdville.

        But if it’s fun, it’s fun, and clearly the attendees enjoy themselves. I say let them play. If for no other reason but that someday I may wind up there shilling for some of my own work.


        1. Re: Oh no…

          Ah, how refreshingly and subtly conspiratorial of you… and biting at the same. Damn the mirror which reflects our inner selves!

          If you don’t mind me asking in such an open, though minimally read forum: What is it which may actually bring you to a ComiCon? From what I have read, I do not get the feeling that your in-progress novel is of the graphic sort. You come off as a more literary minded author whom I’d expect to pen similar tomes to Joyce’s “Dubliners” rather than “Volume 4, episode 26” of a new super-hero comic or graphic novel. But I could have read you entirely wrong.

          Rest assured, I will let them play… I have no desire to take on the world’s biggest convergence of geeks. Gods only know the combined IQ will more likely than not exceed mine. Ok, it most definitely would. And then I’d be in big trouble.

          Lastly, you are indeed correct: the SCA is best in smaller doses. I was caught in it for too long and burned out quickly. It is a cart-load of fun, but you have to know how to manage the fun and stay away from the politics, and at times that ain’t easy.

          1. Re: Oh no…

            Well, you’re right in that I’m not writing comic scripts for superheroes in tights, but I am writing a book with many fairie-based creatures running amuck in a Victorian mansion on a New England hill. A far cry from The Dubliners. But I do love the subject matter so, and also recognize the fact that small creatures of high personality and constant antics have a draw within the comic crowd.

            Meaning, that IF I find an agent for it, and IF it sells, and IF it were to sell well, and IF, someday, some maniac of a film mutant decides that’d want to buy the rights and see if they couldn’t do something with it (Take note Peter Jackson, I’m talkin’boutchu.), it is not outside the realm of reason that I might find myself pandering to the gathering nerdsplosion in San Diego someday.

            While monkeys fly from a variety of orifices I shant list here.

            But these are fantasies that I’m suddenly airing in said minimally read forum…best that I shut up now.

            1. Re: Oh no…

              Ah, yes, I guess I did mis-read you a bit. I did not realize you were writing a book with such super-natural elements. That would indeed explain the potential of a cross over to the con-geek fan base. Thanks for the clarification! This is not to say That fairies are any less dramatic or worthy of prose in their honour, just that it isn’t the genre I had though you were writing in.

              Now: I’d like to see you replace those if’s with when’s. Confidence is sexy, and we all know sex sells (even with monkeys flying out of random orifices).

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