First, let me implore you to register as soon as possible for next year's convention. With it being same bat time, same bat place next year now is the perfect time to lock down that weekend on the calendar. While you notice I'll talk a lot about the mass quantities of booze I consumed this weekend, there was much more to do than that. There were a lot of night time activities I blew off because personally they're not my thing, like karaoke and masquerade balls. But ultimately I made a lot of great new friends that I can't wait till next year to see. Speaking of which, if you went to the con find me on Facebook.
Day two found me sipping overpriced water and muffins in the lobby at 8am sporting my plaid sleep pants and an apparently useless breathe right strip on my nose. Between excitement, the inability to get comfy, and the idiot who had the room before us setting the alarm for 5am I got maybe an hour of quality sleep. My time in the Methlab allowed me to wander downstairs to get my badge and program so we could start our plan of convention conquest. I can't tell if it's one I folded or not, sadly. The convention was jam packed with such nougatty goodness that you really needed to plan things out to hit as much as you wanted. Also I had tickets for the Kings game that night so I knew right off the bat that Friday would be screwed for me in the autograph department for the most part.
Tim and I wandered down to the dealer's room and I spotted the guy I had met the day before, Dale, along with John who had hooked up with us. Dale spotted us and let us come in early to take a look at his wares. By far Dale had the best table in the room. Mainly focusing on the Classic Series his table had a lot of goodies that the other tables didn't. Plenty of New Adventure and Missing Adventure books, awesome prints, hordes of DWM's and toys aplenty. The three of us wiped the drool off our faces until some other dealer not so subtlety hinted we should leave by whining about the need to guards on the doors. I think they were just jealous of Dale's supercool table.
I decided to make an attempt at sleeping since I didn't really want to hit anything until 2pm when McCoy and Aldred were signing autographs. Sadly this did not come to pass as housekeeping decided to clean the room and I was gonna be damned if I told her to come back. So I ended up wandering back down the now officially opened dealer's room and went back to Dale's table. John was purchasing the Ghostlight print, having pledged to beat Tim and I to it. I bought a Dapol white dalek toy that looked a tad like Special Weapons Dalek, The Return of the Living Dad by Kate Orman, and Burning Heart by Dave Stone. I also picked up the coffee table book about the first 50 audios and some of the other stuff done by Big Finish.
2pm rolled around and we got in line for autographs. I handed Sylv the cover for The Final Amendment and had to explain that he was indeed in that audio. Sophie got to sign my copy of Ace! and listen to me remember her appearing on a NJN pledge drive and singing. Tim took my photo as I talked to Rob Shearman, thanking his to taking a look at this blog and joining Nitro-9. Tim told Rob how he's one of his favorite writers as I handed Gary Russell The Final Amendment cd cover and had to have the same conversation with him that I had with Sylv regarding it.
I quick dumped the autographed items on my bed and headed downstairs for the 3pm interview with Lisa Bowerman. Remember where I put my stuff because this will become important later. Tim, John, and I managed to get front row seats to watch her be interviewed by Jason Haigh-Ellery, the grand poobah of Big Finish. This also means that they had front row seats to watch our reaction as after having successfully avoided spoiling how The End of The World ends, the first guy in the Q&A portion blows it. Jaws dropped, eyes popped, Lisa pointed out the guy had just blown the ending, and I didn't manage to cover Tim's ears in time. He says he'll probably forget by the time we officially hit that audio.
We kept our seats for Sophie and Sylv who were being interviewed by Gary Russell. He took a different tact in that he wrote down fifteen questions, would ask the audience to pick a number and then he'd ask the question associated with that number. This lead to a question being asked regarding favorite toys from childhood and whether they still had them. Sylv immediately looked down at his lap and the room burst into laughter as Sophie turned as red as her top.
5pm rolled around and it was time for me to hit the Kings game and for Tim and Angelie to head down to Anaheim. Remember this as it will become important later. I made it to Staples Center and I must say I have a new respect for Kings fans. As in I never had any to begin with. I just kind of figured the odds of legitimate hockey fans in LA was pretty damn small. But the fans were numerous, knowledgeable, and rowdy as they heckled the Calgary Flames fans who had traveled en masse to see the game. Sadly, for them, they watched the Kings make the Flames their bitches. I've never seen Dion Phanuef manhandled the way he was that night.
I made it back to the room around 11pm and dropped off my new t-shirt and hat on the bed to mingle with the other goodies. Again, remember the placement of said items later on. I wandered out into the lobby and ran into Dan, a friend of Simon's. Convention war stories were told and much beer was consumed. Eventually a bunch of us made our way to The League of Evil Geniuses party where I earned my Lab Rat ribbon. You see, various things/events had ribbons you could earn by participating and then hang them from your badge. To be Lab Ratted I had to drink whatever has offered. I went with the chili vodka which was given to me in a thimble with the proviso that I shouldn't drink it one shot or I'd blow out the back of my head. God was he right. I've never sipped a thimble of vodka before, but I had to this time. I finished that and followed it up with some Kahlua type drink which cut the burning sensation of chilis. This was topped off with some sips of champagne and absinthe. See? I told you I earned my badge.
Apparently Evil Geniuses need their sleep too and around 2am we were told that we didn't have to go back to our rooms but we couldn't stay in their suite. As a lovely parting gift, and as a way to erase the image of Zygon porn, we were given champagne to take with us. So Dan, myself a couple of others found ourselves in need of a party and place to finish the booze. Now, for some reason I had had it in my head that Tim and Angelie were gonna spend the night in Anaheim so I go, "Hey, my roommates are gone. My room is free and it's on the lobby." Off we go traipsing down the hallway like Withnail and I, hands full of plastic cups of champagne and Dan swigging from the bottle. While trying not to spill champagne from laughing so hard we reach my room and I hold up a silencing finger as I slip the keycard into the door.
Now, this is where I hope you remember at least the bit about Tim and Angelie. I crack open the door to find the lights off. This of course means they're back and asleep. So I quietly close the door, turn back around and incoherently mumble how the room is no longer empty. Off it's back to the lobby proper where we find people are still up.
Sidenote: much thanks to the Marriott. I don't know many hotels that would stand for large quantities of people to get pissed in the lobby at all hours of the night and breaking at least a glass a night.
We join the group and start to partake of the veritable liquor cabinet that the coffee table has become. Seriously, two bottles of Jim Beam, two bottles of Seagram's gin and lord knows what else because I can't remember. But I do remember that I discovered that Pabst makes Pabst Geniune Draft. I kid you not. It comes in a yellow can and everything.
4am rolls around I realize I've now been up for close to 48 hours with no real sleep. I start to head off to bed after stating my current time awake and Dan tells me that I should make it an even 50. I give it a go for another 30 minutes, but by 4:30 I've all but passed out on the lobby floor and I won't be that fan so I stumble back to the room. This is where I hope you remember the placement of my stuff. It's all on the bed and the lights are now off. In an effort to be courteous I decide that instead of trying to move stuff around on the bed in the dark I would just sleep on the floor. So I grabbed a pillow and huddled as close to my bed as I could.
Now playing: Radiohead - Up on the Ladder