Though we are still in San Diego, we are done with our events and will be on our way home in the next few hours. The Lycon is fast asleep while I type this, watching tennis and drinking coffee, naturally. She deserves to sleep for the next year, having had to do all the heavy lifting this week. Navigating the dangers of the con floor, the not-so handicapped friendly streets, buildings, people. We have called this our Comic-Con practice run. We have learned many lessons we hope not to repeat next year. But all-in-all we’ve had a fabulous time. Here’s a recap.
Day 1, Monday – As predicted we headed straight from LAX to a mall to eat food and then go shopping for food. With our week’s provisions purchased we headed home and watched Jurassic Park and The Lost World. Having remedied the situation (me having not seen a single Jurassic movie) she passed out on her uncomfortable pull-out bed, which she would actually miss by the end of this journey. When I climbed into my bed I wish I had the foresight to revel in its comfort and warmth, because I seriously have missed it in a big bad way. Highlight of the day: Dinosaur puns.
Day 2, Tuesday – Riverside. We were lucky enough to make it to our first destination with very little traffic. First order of business was lunch, followed by our 2nd visit to a mall in as many days. We checked into our first hotel by the evening. As Expedia ignored my request for an accessible room, the hotel was kind enough to upgrade us to a 2-room suite which was great. We got ready to head up the street to see Rob Thomas in concert. He was amazing, despite being sick. I always feel lucky when I am in the audience for his shows. He is one of the only musicians I will make an effort to see whenever they are in the area, even if the area is an hour and a half away, but this one will be special. I had a really hard time seeing the show. The handicapped seats were in an area where the moment anyone stood up, my view was of the backs of people’s, backs. As this week unfolded Rob shared the news that his wife has a cyst on the base of her brain. So while I was annoyed with the situation of my inability to see, I am thankful I was able to be there, that he was able to continue the show, and that the news on his end is mostly positive. Despite having to have surgery her prognosis is good. Highlight of the day: Any day you get to see Rob Thomas sing and shake his skinny white butt is a good day. Addendum: Totally forgot to shout out to Plain White T’s who opened for Rob, and put on an amazing show. Also, selfies have taken over the nation and it’s terrifying. The three girls in front of us missed the entire show because they kept posing for selfies.
Day 3, Wednesday – San Diego bound. Because we’ve been able to get out of my house and our hotel(s) before noon, which is a rarity with us most of the time, we had a lot of time-wasting to do, so naturally we went straight to another mall and another eating establishment as soon as we were in the city. We checked into our second and final hotel in the evening and geared up for our first Con day. In this hotel we also had a 2-room suite, with a full kitchen. I mean full, kitchen. Refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, pots, pans, dishes, you get it. This was the night I had to make peace with the fact that I would never be warm again. And that my bed is the best bed ever. Highlight of the day: Ordering in Italian food and playing Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit.
Day 4, Thursday – Comic-Con! Day 1! We got up butt early and headed to Downtown San Diego. Despite having not been to the con in 5 years, and not having had to park anywhere even then, I knew this would be challenging. We ended up choosing to park in the mall a few blocks away from the convention center. A decision we would later learn would cost a lot of money. Badges in hand we headed in to the convention center with the other excited people and tried not to be overwhelmed by the epic-ness of it all. I wish that I was better at documenting my experiences, both in words and in pictures, but most of the time the excitement of it all makes me forget that I can. We decided on skipping all the Hall H panels this day, but did end up going to the Teen Wolf one, which was a good decision. The fans were more courteous than we’re used to, allowing the people to speak, keeping the screaming to a minimum and appropriate level. Highlight of this panel for sure was Dylan O’Brien smiling giddily at the fact that Tyler Hoechlin and Tyler Posey were having a phone conversation on speaker for all of us to hear, from different sides of the world. (Hoechlin left the show last season and the fans asked when/if he’d be back, Posey said ‘let’s call and find out’ and this happened). Having made our way around the whole floor and seen a panel, we headed back to our hotel. Highlights of the day: We got into Comic-Con. I bought a cool Harley Quinn statue. Teen Wolf. Lord Mesa art. God pushing heckler to us: “Are you good people?” Us: “NO.”
Day 5, Friday – Comic-Con Day 2. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. What we should have done was park in the ridiculously expensive mall parking (which we did) and head straight to the Hall H line (which we did not do). Instead we walked the aisles of the con floor, with the thousands of other geeks. But first, we had a seriously surreal moment with a random Nathan Fillion who was out greeting fans by the crosswalks near the convention center. He was handing out fake tattoos for his new Web series “Con Man” and was impressed by my Deadpool tattoo, and Lorraine’s. As I mentioned before, terrible about documenting these things, so despite the fact that I was carrying 3 cameras on me, and Lorraine had her own, we have no pictures of this. When it came time to go see what we could do about getting into Hall H for the panels we did want to see (Game of Thrones, Star Wars) we were pretty much out of luck. What we wanted to do was go back to our hotel and cry, but we had Chris Hardwick tickets so we went to see Minions and laughed instead. Then we laughed more at the comedy show and our day 2 came to a conclusion. Highlight of the day: Nathan Fillion touched my tattoo. We gave Lord Mesa one of our free bags with The Flash on it and he was very excited. Chris Hardwick is very funny. “I’m a 43-year-old man and I can walk down a hill by myself, mom!”
Day 6, Saturday – We did not have con tickets so we stayed away from the area for the morning. By the afternoon we were hungry and antsy so we headed in to downtown San Diego, and parked in the damn expensive lot again. We had lunch at the Hard Rock again and passed time at the mall before taking in 2 Nerdist Podcast Live shows. I have been listening to the podcast for a couple years now and as I’ve mentioned (in my previous entry) I am stalking Chris Hardwick this year. The first show had Sir Ben Kingsley, who was very insightful and fun, and Peter Capaldi who was equally insightful and fun. The second show had Tom Hiddleston and Guillermo del Toro followed by Maisie Williams. Hiddleston and del Toro were very entertaining. Maisie Williams is wise beyond her years and extremely funny. Highlights of the day: Boston Batman, “awww,” Hiddleston imitating del Toro’s heavy Columbian accent, Hiddleston just being there, Maisie Williams being nothing like Arya Stark.
Day 7, Sunday – So here we are back at the now. Today will most likely consist of driving home, possibly hitting another mall (Lorraine needs hand luggage to take home the stuff she bought) and maybe probably Jurassic World. Addendum: It took us 4 hours to get home. Traffic is stupid. Our plan to see Jurassic World turned in to playing The Lego Movie Lego game and watching Teen Wolf.
Lessons learned this week. I will begin with the bad, just to get it out of the way. There are real reasons I tend to stay at home most days. People, streets, buildings, all not made for people like me. Starting with the set-up at the Rob Thomas concert, where I was unable to see the show I paid for. They have disabled seating, and that’s enough for them. There is no thought about whether or not it is equally good for people sitting in the section to see, but that’s not their problem. Parking is always a thorn in my side. Anyone can get a handicapped parking sticker and everyone has one, leaving the people who actually need it to be fucked over by the laziness that has overcome this country (parking and elevators were a major indicator of this. Your feet work, take the damn stairs, or, the escalator). The streets were filled with bumps and holes and places we could not go, the buildings were not set up to accommodate my needs, the people were less than courteous about paying attention and staying out of the way. The mall we spent a lot of time in was confusing. The elevators worked sporadically, the floors were numbered weird. The convention center tried to be friendly, but the Hall H situation is bullshit, and that’s putting it mildly. There were people in the ADA line that had no business being there. If you can sit in a seat without struggle you do not need to be in a line for wheelchair folks. I have no choice but to sit here. We will definitely be paying the money to stay in a downtown area hotel rather than outside the city, to get around at least the parking and walking the streets aspect, and we’ll for sure plan ahead for Hall H in future.
The good. There are some people who pay attention better than others. We got in to Comic-Con and met cool people and saw good shows. The really good. I have people in my life who help me navigate these things, who fly thousands of miles just to push my ass around and help me deal with this life, and a family that helps me pay for it. I understand the bad paragraph is much longer than the good, but that’s just sort of how my life is. I had a great time this week and am thankful for the experience and the fact that I have people in my life who helped make it happen.