Friday, September 7, 2012

Dragon*Con 2012 Recap - Day 2

Go read yesterday’s post if you haven’t.
To sum up, I’ve never gone down on Thursday. I usually go down on Friday morning and follow a very specific game plan:
  • Get badge
  • Possibly attend panel
  • Check into hotel room
  • Go to Artists’ Alley
  • Go to Dealer’s Room
  • Go to Exhibitor Halls
  • Go to the Walk of Fame
  • Start drinking a lot of beer
  • Go to wrestling
This is a good schedule of events and it works for me. I get those first items knocked out during the initial sober hours of Con so I don’t have to worry about them while I’m hung over or drunk or anything else. I call it my Sober Time. I can efficiently browse through all of the rooms that suck up all of my money and then stumble through them the rest of the weekend at my leisure. But the initial inspection is done.
I woke up Friday morning hung over as a motherfucker. 
            I felt like absolute shit. It was about 9:30 when consciousness came flaming back into my brain and I couldn’t even move at first. I must have laid there for about two hours just being miserable. It was extremely unusual because my normal hangover comes just a couple of hours after I go to sleep. This time I managed to get around six hours in. I didn’t understand what was happening.
Finally I realized I absolutely had to get up because I had a panel at 1 PM and was going to need to eat first. My mouth tasted like somebody had stuck pastrami in it and then put out a cigar on top of that. I went into the bathroom and started brushing my teeth. The second I got to my tongue I threw my toothbrush in the sink and turned around to the toilet, vomiting violently. You might think there’s no other way to vomit, but Evil pulls off casual vomiting amazingly well.
I knelt there on the cold bathroom floor for several minutes expunging Sketchy Little Pizza, dried fruit, and the worst Deluxe Mixed Nuts I have ever had.
Side Note: Do not ever purchase Kroger’s “Deluxe” Mixed Nuts. They claim their mix is “Less Than 50% Peanuts” and that is a fucking lie. Also they don’t taste very good.
Granted, I felt much better after the puking, but I could have done without it.
Eventually I got myself back up, rinsed my mouth out as best I could, and started the tooth brushing all over again. It went better the second time. A shower made me feel almost human. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about eating anything, and I certainly wasn’t sure how I felt about going somewhere to talk to and in front of a bunch of strangers. But damn it – just like the night before with the creepy Disco Droids, I had to confront my… well, not fear really. Discomfort.
I got to the room where the panel was going on – Confessions of B-Movie Fanatics in the Marriot A703 – and thankfully Director Faber was there. He introduced me to the guy running the thing – Gary – and I also met Shaun, a fellow podcaster.
The panel went great. That sounds like awful grammar. But it did. I think we had a good chemistry and all got to make the points we wanted to make. It was really awesome being able to sit up there at one of my favorite events ever and be a part of things like that. I got to do my bit about VHS box art and I even got to mention 
But the very best part – the part that even as I type this threatens to bring a little bit of moisture to the ol’ eyeballs – is that so many of the Hooligans showed up. Seeing my friends in that room and knowing they were at that panel to support me was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. I thought I had experienced some high points in the past year – and I have – but that one really blew all the others away.
After the panel I thanked Gary and Shaun and the others for having me and told them how much I enjoyed it and was looking forward to Saturday’s panel (it was with most of the same folks). They told me they liked working with me and had had a great time. That was a pretty awesome moment too.
You can hear the whole panel here.
There was a panel for The Guild at 4, which meant we needed to get in line by 3, maybe 3:30 if we wanted to chance it. I think Evil and Lady Evil were planning on going to that one. I don’t remember exactly what we did after my panel, but everybody split up for one reason or another. I realized I hadn’t eaten yet – a common problem at Con – and went to the Sheraton café to get a sandwich.
An absolutely fantastic Penguin was very courteous and directed me to said café. The service at the Sheraton café was mind-bogglingly poor. All I wanted was a pre-made turkey sandwich and a water. There were only two people in front of me. Sixteen minutes passed between the time I arrived at the counter and when I sat down to eat. Part of the problem was that the Sheraton café served Asshole Coffee.
Allow me to explain.
Asshole Coffee is any coffee that requires more preparation than picking up a pot, pouring liquid into a cup, and handing it to the customer. I don’t think Asshole Coffee should be served anywhere but Asshole Coffee establishments such as Starbucks. That way you don’t have to be around the assholes that drink Asshole Coffee and you don’t have the time-intensive processes required to make a cup of Asshole Coffee interfering with normal food service tasks like, say, pulling a sandwich and a bottle of water out of a fucking cooler. The asshole in front of me ordered an Asshole Coffee and it seriously took about ten minutes for the dipshits behind the counter to make it. The really awesome part was that I got the classic situation where I walked up right as they shut down the second register.
I will say this, though – that sandwich was damned good.
After that nonsense I went and got in line for the panel. It was a long line. I texted Evil to see where they were. After about ten minutes with no response I decided I didn’t want to see this thing alone and also that I really didn’t have time to be messing around. I had things to do.
One of which was to make sure Lori Muffinface had her Limited Edition DCW Hooligans t-shirt. I needed to get to Artists’ Alley which was, of course, in the Hyatt. The furthest point possible from the Sheraton. After walking 743 miles across Downtown Atlanta I walked into Artists’ Alley, immediately followed – much to my surprise – by Monkey. We meandered over to Third Half Studios’ booth, musing on the way how we didn’t need any more prints and of course buying more prints. I also bought the excellent Long Way Home by local artist Chris Hamer, which I mentioned the other day. I gave Lori her shirt so she could fancy it up and we headed back to the rooms to get ready.
But first we ran into a couple of familiar faces. Bo Newsom and Jacob Ashworth were hanging around the Hyatt, waiting for wrestling to start. They had seen my mask and walked over to see what was up. I am always slightly amazed when the boys approach me or know the blog or whatever. To me, there is very little difference between the guys that work the indie circuit and the guys on television (though Ashworth was on WrestleMania XXVII). They all do the same amazing things and put their bodies on the line to entertain schmucks like you and me.
Actually, that’s not true. The guys on TV are getting paid a lot more and have international exposure. The indie guys; well – they’re doing it because they love it. And that’s kind of cooler. I’d rather watch Brodie Chase than the Rock any day of the week. So it’s pretty cool when these guys know me and say hi.
Anyway, we shot the shit with those guys for a while and I did my best to explain what a bunch of loud assholes we were. They kind of already knew. We Hooligans apparently have a bit of a reputation. After Friday, August 31st I’m pretty sure it grew even more.
It was getting to be time to get back to the rooms, so we did.
Skinny jeans #2 were awesome. To go with them I had a plaid jacket with a bunch of pyramid studs on it, a brand new mask by Ironman Mike, and my Limited Edition DCW Hooligans t-shirt. Only nineteen exist (and that’s ka) and one of them belongs to Chip Motherfucking Day now. But we’ll get to that.
Decked out in my DCW Rockstar gear, I headed over to the magical Hyatt Centennial Ballroom to wait. It was imperative that the Hooligans secure that elusive front row this year. If I had to sit for an hour and a half then so be it. Evil had been the one doing it for years. It was my turn. When I got to the doors of the Ballroom, I asked the Dragon*Con staffer there about where the line was. He said there was no line and that there were barely any people there waiting for wrestling anyway. He was very dismissive. The guy said to just hang around because the line wouldn’t form until 6:15.
I texted Evil to see where he was, then hung out for a while. Ashworth came out again and we chatted with some zombies for a bit. I was getting pretty antsy and wondering why none of the other Hooligans had shown up yet. I texted Evil again and he said he was in line. I asked what line and he said for wrestling. What the fuck? He said he was over by the bathrooms where they always have the line for Ballroom stuff. And that he had been over there for about twenty minutes. I had been hanging around that place for at least half an hour, wondering where the line started. If I had ever seen that asshat Dragon*Con staffer again I would have given him what-for. I was pissed.
Eventually everybody else showed up, including Rescue John and Mrs. Troublemaker. There wasn’t enough room for all of us in the little hallway where the line was and apparently the line was stretching around the building at that point. So me and Monkey and Lady Evil and Lady Monkey manned (and womanned) the line spot while everybody else stood out in the lobby. Evil was enjoying a well-deserved run around. That guy has been in the DCW line super-early for years now. Like I said – it was somebody else’s turn.
While in line we learned that the DCW Hooligans’ notoriety extended beyond the locker room. Several people in line were not only familiar with our antics, they were claiming to be part of them. One fella even told Evil that he was one of “that loud group that yells names at all the wrestlers” and “gets extra security every year”. “We’re fucking crazy, man” he said to Evil - the guy that started our group. It was pretty funny.
I was actually a little concerned about the number of people in front of us. If enough of them headed to our spot, we would not get our front row. Again. But at some point I found out that Inara – the DCW Hooligans MVP of 2012 – had managed to finagle her way into the room and save our seats. You can do that kind of stuff when you’re a pretty lady. And a D*C Volunteer. Either way, she gets a complimentary 2013 Hooligans shirt.
Finally, the time came and the gates of the Hyatt Centennial Ballroom were flung wide to admit the faithful. Excitement was thick in the air. You could have stabbed it with one of Abdullah the Butcher’s forks. We streamed into the room and saw a certain lady with some kitty cat ears on her head proudly sitting in… the wrong section. But this was a brave, new section. A section closer to the action. A section that, by the end of the night, would require three additional security guards.
Tune in Monday – same Phantom-Time, same Phantom-Channel – to find out how that shit went down.