It’s been long enough between posts that I thought I had written three of these posts when in fact I had only written two. So that’s great. In fairness, it’s been a busy couple weeks. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some down time, but most of that down time has found me in a state of physical and mental exhaustion.
First came Comic-Con. I mentioned that going to SDCC has been a bucket list item for a while, and it was definitely an experience and a half. I spent most of the time working the Dark Horse booth, which meant a lot of walking around the floor — we basically built a store in the middle of the convention on the first day, then tore it down on the last — and asking people if they needed help as well as working registers. As a person who has done a lot of work in gas stations and convenience stores working behind a counter, it felt like my whole life was leading to those moments. I also acted as “security” for a couple signings — including one for Nathan Fillion, so if you’re a fan, you’re welcome and tips are appreciated — which meant I stood at one of the entrances to the booth and stopped people from using it.
I subsisted almost exclusively on the fruit snacks, Cheez-Its, and Red Bull supplied by my employers. I’m a college student, so I’m not the healthiest person in the world, but it was definitely a new low for me. The alternatives were to either eat convention food — and if you’ve never been to a convention, convention food is the most disgusting thing you will ever put in your body; at Star Wars Celebration, they may as well have given me a raw potato and told me it was french fries for how little preparation went into it — or to try to escape the throngs of people inside the convention center, then the throngs of people outside the convention center in the hopes of finding a cheap restaurant, which basically meant ending up at a Ralph’s where I’d settle for reheated popcorn chicken. In other words, it was convention food with a walk involved.
I’d get a break that I could use to walk the convention floor, but considering I was already on my feet for nine hours a day, five days straight, I usually crashed in a back room, which was strangely the only place in a one mile radius that I could get cell reception, despite the fact that I was in the middle of the largest crowd of nerds ever assembled all trying to upload their take on the Aquaman trailer at the exact same time (it’s iffy, but I trust James Wan; Shazam! on the other hand looks incredible). Still I managed a decent haul on my day off including:
- a con-exclusive Star Wars poster signed by the artist (the OT portion of this one here)
- a con-exclusive Princess Leia T-shirt for my sister, because getting her into Star Wars is my crowning achievement as a brother
- a con-exclusive copy of the new Star Wars book, signed by the author, Timothy Zahn (I’m including his name just in case it causes a handful of you to nerd out)
- a handful of Hellboy omnibuses
- a model of the Normandy SR-1 from the Mass Effect trilogy
If the volume of stuff I got sounds weird considering the financial woes I recounted in my last blog post, the AirBnb wound up being a lot cheaper than I thought it would be, and my paycheck for SDCC wound up being a lot more than I thought it would be.
There were also goats at the AirBnb. This doesn’t factor into any story I want to tell, but it was still something I wanted to mention.
I came back from Comic-Con on a Sunday, and on the Friday after that I left for Michigan to spend the weekend at home for a friend’s wedding and my mom’s birthday. This trip so far has been the longest I’ve been away from Michigan in my entire life. Heck, if you take all the time I’ve spent out of state before this trip from the time I was born, it’s probably not that much longer than this summer.
But I digress. I flew out of LAX via Spirit Airlines, and I’m so happy that I can finally be one of those people that complains non-stop about their travel arrangements. Dreams really do come true. First off, LAX is the fifth most trafficked airport in the world, but there is nothing to eat there unless you feel like shelling out twenty dollars for a full meal in a sit-down restaurant. I know LA is a health conscious city, but I shouldn’t have to slug my way across multiple terminals on the off-chance there’s a Carl’s Jr. at the end of the rainbow. O’Hare is smaller and has like thirteen McDonalds. A Wendy’s isn’t too much to ask.
Then I got on the plane. The joke I’ve heard is that some people don’t fly because once you strip away the physics behind it, air travel is basically being thrown into the air in a metal tube. Despite being so afraid of heights I get scared at the top of any given step ladder, I’ve always been a fairly comfortable flyer, but I’ve never been more aware of how “thrown into the air in a metal tube” I was until this flight (and the return flight). Not only is there so little leg room I’m basically reduced to assuming the lotus position in my seat, not only are all the lights off so the plane looks like the inside of a haunted house, and not only is there no food unless you want to shell out $10 for a Cheeto, but the plane had turbulence from the time we took off until the time we landed. I felt like I was on Oceanic Flight 815; it was mortifying.
I also lost my sleep mask on my flight, so that’s great. Why, yes, I am a seventy-year-old woman on the inside, thanks for noticing.
Everything at home was great. Seeing friends at the wedding was great, the wedding itself was great, spending time with family was great, walking my dog was great; even the movie I saw with friends, Mission Impossible – Fallout, was friggin’ phenomenal. I don’t even have a caveat here or a funny story; it was just great.