Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Holy crap, John DiMaggio and Grey DeLisle joined the panel! I've gone from 'incredibly intrigued' to 'super intrigued'.


Awesome panel. I say it a lot, but I can't help it. May as well check Twitter:

artbyangieg: 'Last day of #SDCC. Hoping to score some good deals.'

Okay. There's only one place she can be.


Okay, one ginormous place she can be. Like finding a needle in a mountain of haystacks. I wander around. Still so much to see.


"Hey, stranger."

I turn around. "Hey." I stare at her for a bit. She just looks at me. She's really not gonna say anything about this morning?

"Well, what are you waiting for? Next year's Comic-Con? Let's go!"

I rush after her.


Angie and I sit at a table admiring our haul. The card is depleted, but the booty is awesome.

Her take? Two shirts, an old Starship Troopers poster and a lot of manga.

Mine? A "Regular Show" shirt and the titles "Mind the Gap", "Too Cool to Be Forgotten", "We Can Fix It" and "Box Office Poison".

The stuff is nice, but we really need to talk about this.


"Oh, man, the 'Disney Afternoon' panel's about to start. Come with me?"

"Okay, but we need to talk about this mor--" She drags me along.


I can't believe how much I didn't know about these shows...and I generally look stuff like this up out of boredom.

Angie seems to be enjoying herself. Why is she avoiding this? Is this a game to her?

Am I making too much of this?


Just want to get a last look at the place until next year. Angie's at something called "Turning Your Left Brain Power into Drawing Skills".

God, I'm gonna miss this place.


"The Battle for Multicultural Heroes". May as well, what with being Black and all.


Informative panel. I head back for the hotel room. First, I get a shot of people leaving the convention center.


Okay. Stuff's all packed, including clothes and swag. From the look of the room, Angie's already packed her stuff and left. I can't help but wonder if she'll ever tell me what this morning was about.


I head down for the lobby to check out. I glance toward the exit. The airport shuttle pulls up in front. Cool. Saves me the trouble of calling a cab.

I go out and load my stuff into the trunk. I see that someone has already packed.

I go to the back seat, unprepared for my fellow passenger.

"Hey, stranger."


"All right, Angie, talk. What was this morning about?"

"You didn't like having a girl in bed with you?"

"I'm serious."

"Okay. Remember how you lied to your job to cover your ass to enjoy this little trip?"


"Well, they're gonna figure it out, eventually. I just figured you deserved some comfort before losing your job."

"Thanks...I guess. Any chance we could've gone, you know, further?"

"What do you take me for, a slut?"


"So, when's your flight leaving?"

"I got a flight to LAX at 7:30, then a stop in Cleveland, then I'm home. You?"

"My flight to O'Hare leaves at 9:00, so I'll be here a while."

"I had a great time...with you. I mean, sure, in general, but..."

Angie hugs me. "Take care."

"Thanks. You, too."

We each go out separate ways. Different airlines, you know?

I promise, I'm gonna be worthy of her yet.


Monday, July 29, 2013

12:46am, Sunday

Damnit, it happened again. I feel around. My arm is pinned under something. I try to move my other arm. I feel the smoothness of the sheets beneath me. I'm in a bed. Is it mine?

I try to glance over. I can see the convention center. I guess it is mine.

I allow my hand to try to lift what's trapping me. Okay, this feels very much like flesh. Soft flesh.

A woman on top of me. I've dreamed of this moment for so long. That's not to say I'd be prepared. I mean, I came prepared. I just didn't know what I'd do if it really happened.

The woman moans as she shifts a little.

My free hand seems to move of its own accord. It runs its hands through her long hair.

The woman rolls over. She almost slips off the bed. I grab her before she falls and pull her back onto the bed.

"Thanks", she murmurs.

Okay, even though its slurred from the effects of sleep, I know that voice.

It can't be.

I reach for the pocket flashlight on my key chain. I shine the light on the backboard.

As the French might say, 'Holy merde!'


I'm not going to lie. I've wanted this ever since I first saw her, but I was kind of hoping that we were know, drunk.

I inch away from her, but she slips her arms around me, like I was some stuffed animal.

Okay, what the hell.


The sun peeks in through the curtains. Angie's draped around me like before. Not having much of an affinity for drinking, I wouldn't know how long the effects of alcohol last, but I assumed that they'd have worn off by now.

I glance down. As ever, I'm a bit of an early riser, myself.

The last thing I want to do is give her a poke.

I roll over, giving myself a mild sprain. I fall off, not having judged how much free space I had.

At least, I landed on my back. I crawl back into the other bed: mine.


I wake back up. I glance over to Angie. She seems to be sleeping soundly.

Now, I've done some things I'm not proud of, said a lot of things I'm not proud of, thought a great many things I'm not proud of.

More often than not, I feel like I could never deserve a girl like this in my life, even though I'd really like to have one.

I really hate being so lonely.


"Last day of the Con!"

I see Angie standing over me, fully dressed.

"Better get dressed. Breakfast'll be here soon."

I stretch out and yawn, dragging myself out of bed.

Last day of the Con. Shit.


I finish my breakfast. Angie's long gone. Is she avoiding what happened?

Can't say I blame her too much.


Stalking the convention floor. Trying not to buy anything without Angie. Why does there have to be so much cool stuff for sale?!


The Hub display, where you can talk about your favorite pony. May as well step right up.

I get in the booth.

"My favorite pony is Fluttershy. She's sweet, kind to animals and in spite of her timid nature, believes in doing what's right."

All right.


artbyangieg: 'Holy shit! Can't believe what I just saw at Breaking Bad panel #SDCC'

Okay, that explains what happened to Angie.

As for me, I'm going to the 'Cartoon Voices 2' panel. I just know it's going to be fun.


Friday, July 26, 2013


When I walked in, I had to submit my name. "Name That Movie", the panel is called. There's a chance I could be called to participate.


I am having so much fun here. I'm so excited at how many movies I was able to identify (I was able to name at least 40% of them based on reputation and reviews I've read). This one guy dressed like the 8th Doctor (or is it 9th?) is nipping at my heels, but I think I can best him.


Got a lot of cool prizes from that panel...and I'd like to say some adulation. I know one thing: this stuff's gonna be a bitch to check in at San Diego International.


'Spotlight on Leonard Maltin'. Some interesting tidbits here, though a small part of me wishes that there will be a part where the audience can ask questions.


Ask and ye shall receive. I rush to the line, twenty people deep.


Crapballs. Someone asked my question, and with three people left. "Is there a negative review you wished you could take back?" Maltin's answer: Blade Runner.

I have my own list of negative reviews I wish he'd take back. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Cats Don't Dance are at the top.


I'd really like to hit La Puerta, but it wouldn't be right without Angie. I wonder what she's up to?

artbyangieg: 'Lion Forge Comic panel. Amazed at their titles. #SDCC'

Okay, that's...Room 26AB. Better get to it.


"Hey, stranger."


"La Puerta?"

"La Puerta."


Okay, it's one thing to face a long line for a panel, but a long line for a restaurant...that's just dirty pool.

Fifteen people stand between us and dinner.

"Any chance we can get out of here?"

"But I want to eat."

"Dude, there are plenty of places to eat around here."

"But I really like this one."

"Maybe we could hit up a party."

"Fine, but no alcohol."

"Why, you driving somewhere?"

"No alcohol!"

"Okay. Good grief."


Had dinner at some seafood place. Not really my thing, but not bad.

"Hey. There's a party."

Angie drags me over toward a building with lights and pounding music.

"It sounds like fun."

"It sounds like deafness."

"Don't be such a stick in the mud."

I try not to be, for my sake as much as hers. Still, I've got a weird feeling here.


Thursday, July 25, 2013


Crap, crap, crap! This line is ridiculous, but there's no volunteer planting a flag, so I'm safe.

Shit! Speak of the devil, he shall appear. I close my eyes again.

He stops four people behind me. So close.

What's this? The line's moving? Marvelous!


Turns out the "Once Upon a Time" panel ran long. The "Futurama" panel is just getting started. Awesome how that worked out.


The newest episode, "Saturday Morning Fun Pit" gets shouted down by the crowd. Screw the lemmings. I stand up.

"It was hilarious!"

Now, it's my turn to get shouted down by the crowd. Goddamn lemmings.


That one bit of unpleasantness aside, what a fantastic panel. Good Lord, I'm gonna miss this show.


The "Cartoon Voices" panel gears up. I'm just so giddy at the familiar names (and voices).


I will never get tired of witnessing a voice actor jam session. I figure I could try back at Ballroom 20 for the "American Dad" panel or I could hit up the convention floor.


Ah, the convention floor. So very much to do and see and buy. Good God, that woman dressed as Hello Nurse...whoa! Must get a shot.


I stop by booth 2000 (the right one) and chat up "Love and Capes" creator Thom Zahler.

I've got the nerve. I've got the money. As such, I'm gonna ask for a picture I've long wanted to see: Abby's sister Charlotte as a superheroine. I get the sense she'd love it a little too much, but it must be done.


Awesome picture. I'm gonna cherish this. Off to the Paul Dini panel. If he's as witty in real life as his writing, I'm in for a treat.


What a great panel. I could listen to Dini talk for hours. Now, I'm on my way to the Sails Pavilion.


I prepare my DVD sleeve of Better Off Dead (though, sweet Jesus, do I wish they used some less ludicrous cover art) for a signature from none other than Monique herself, Diane Franklin.

Oh, man, it's my turn.

"Hello", Miss Franklin says. Wow. She doesn't seem to have aged much over the years.

"Hi." I present the Better Off Dead sleeve. "I love this movie."

"Thanks. I love it, too."

"I just wish they used a better cover for the DVD."

She laughs a little. "Yeah." She signs John Cusack's forehead. "Well, thanks for coming."

"Thank you. Have a nice day."

I walk away, almost on air. I mean, it's not like I had a crush on her or anything, but she was very nice.


The cosplay here is nuts. Powdered Toast Man. A dachshund dressed as a Jedi. Tetris pieces. Sexy Puss in Boots.

Thankfully, I capture them all on Kind of.

There has to be something to do soon. Better check the schedule.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Saturday, 12:12am

It's amazing how lovely the Gaslamp Quarter looks at night. The lights, the sights, the people. Probably a cliche, but it's...magical.

Following dinner at La Puerta, Angie and I walked around, giving the food a chance to digest.

"Man, you were right about that place."

"I know."

"We gotta go there again."

"Well, tomorrow is another day...wait." I check my watch. It's already tomorrow. "Today's another day."

"Oh, before I forget..." Angie pulls out the card and sticks it in my hand. "$314 left. Don't spend it all in one place."

"I'll try not to."


Being the gentleman I am, I open the door of our hotel room. Angie falls into her bed, laughing. She has such a nice laugh. Sucks that I don't get to see her that often.

I smile as I watch her pull the covers over herself.

I get into my own bed. This was a pretty nice night. Can't wait for the morning.


Oh, crap. I overslept. Angie's already dressed. Better jump in the shower.


"My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic". I missed last year's panel, but I guess I owe it to myself and Angie to make it this year. Got my "Iron Will's Rules of Assertiveness" shirt on.

My, but there are a lot of people in here. Nearly all of them in some kind of shirt or cosplay. Amid the bustle and chaos of Comic-Con, the sense of community and belonging can't be beat.

The moderator starts to speak. What she's saying doesn't matter much. The roar of the crowd builds up. Everyone cheers. Ah, what the hell?


"Awesome panel."

"I know." I rifle through my bag.

"What'd you lose?"

"My schedule", which I pluck out. "So, where're you going?"

"'Breaking Into Comics with IDW'. You?"

"'Gravity Falls'."

"Crap. I like that show."

"No law that says you can't come."

"Okay, I'm coming with."



The 'Gravity Falls' panel lets out. Hilarious footage, and I got a cool group cosplay shot. I noticed Angie getting in on this action, then she skipped out. Probably had some place to be to get a good seat.

I check the schedule. Sweet. The 'Futurama' panel! Whoa. A 'How I Met Your Mother' panel. I guess CBS figured that they got an audience for "The Big Bang Theory", so...

Screw it. I'm going to the 'Futurama' panel...if I can get in, that is.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dennis Farina (1944-2013)

First James Gandolfini and now him.

I find it interesting when someone goes from a consultant on a movie to playing the part, then parlaying that into a movie career (cf. R. Lee Ermey). Apparently, Farina was a cop in Chicago and consulting on Michael Mann's projects jump-started his acting career.

Perhaps my favorite of his performances (at least, I suppose, until I get around to seeing Midnight Run) is in Big Trouble. As hitman Henry DeSalvo, Farina underplays nicely, showing us a man who just wants to perform a job and, through the ridiculous frustrations that complicate that end, stays calm. (I wish I could upload the 'Joe's Stone Crab' scene, but YouTube let me down. Oh, well.)

He will be missed.

Monday, July 22, 2013


I had a really great time at the Roger Rabbit panel. So much about that movie I didn't know.

Well, I certainly know where I'm going next.


Much like lush orchestral scoring and eye-catching title design, fully illustrated movie posters seems to be a dead (or dying) art. The recently retired Drew Struzan is the subject of this panel. Apparently, there's a film coming out that takes a look at his career. Should be neat seeing clips from that.


Neat panel. It's so tempting to head over to Jerry Beck's "Worst Cartoons Ever" panel, mainly to ask Beck why his own creation "Hornswiggle" isn't in the program (I caught it once as part of Nicktoon Network's "Random Cartoons" and - take my word, folks - it is fucking ghastly).

However, since I already took in the panel three years ago, I decided to take these Struzan posters up to my room. Really glad I brought my poster tube now.


Okay, I'm starving, but where to go for dinner? I pass by the Indigo Ballroom. Better check the schedule..."Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards".

Hmmm. Never been to an awards ceremony...well, an entertainment-themed one, anyway. Could be fun.

Oh, my God. Maurice LaMarche walked on stage. I'm definitely staying for this.


That was engaging. I caught myself nodding off a few times, but mainly because I was tired. Still, I'm a little hungry.

"Hey, stranger."

I turn around. "Hey, yourself."

"What you been up to?"

We spent the next half-hour catching each other up on our days. She reached into her bag and pulled something out.

"No way. The 'Fanboys vs. Zombies' trade paperback."

"I was curious."

"You didn't spend too much, did you?"

"No, Mom."

"I wonder what else you bought."

"Yes, you will. I'm hungry. I wonder if there's an open restaurant around here."

"I know a place on 4th..."


Sunday, July 21, 2013


Yep. The line for Ballroom 20 is too long. Damn. Well, I may as well do what the 'How-to' guides tell me to in situations like this.

I turn to what looks to be a human version of Lady Rainicorn.

"Nice costume."

"Thank you."

Okay, that's all I got. I check my phone. Half-steam. Gotta deal with it.

I take a look around. Lot of Avengers cosplay. That stands to reason.


More people seem to be gathering at the back of the line. Sad that some of them are to be disappointed.

Huh. Speak of the devil...

One of the volunteers carries a sign along the length of the line. Anyone who's waited in line for Ballroom 20 knows what this means. My breath catches in my throat. Where will he stop?

He's getting closer to me. Come on. I'm not even here. Don't stop yet.

I close my eyes.

He sets the sign down...about 30 people behind me. The people behind the sign groan loudly. Sorry, but this is how it must be.


The line starts to move. The crowd gathers into the room. So awesome. If only Angie were here to see this.


That was some panel. "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is going to be so awesome. From the roar of the crowd, I'm not the only one.

Must keep the comic book merriment going. Off to Room 5AB for the "Spotlight on Bruce Timm". He truly has a way with character design.


Okay, now what?

Don't know if I should try to buy anything. I only brought so much loose cash to blow.

I check the schedule. "Bob's Burgers" panel in the Indigo Ballroom at 4. I've grown to love this show (despite the insufferability of Louise and especially Gene). Okay, boredom over.


From one beloved animated series panel to another. Room 25ABC. "China, IL". Surprised but elated it's getting another season.


To the surprise of many, I bolt up from my seat the moment the panel ends. Much as I enjoyed it, there was someplace I needed to be...


Smashing. There's still seating available for the 25th Anniversary panel for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I sneak in and take a seat at the back. Looks like they're midway through an animation test reel.

Amazing how the footage looked before its integration with the live material.

It's almost enough to make me wish I could draw. Oh, well.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Friday, 2:53am

I glance around. Looks like I made it to my room after all. Angelica sleeps soundly in the other bed. Good that she made it back, too.

Hmmm. Nothing on television at 3 in the morning and even if there were, I don't think I'd want to dig the hole deeper.

I take a peek out of the window. San Diego looks lovely at this time of night. The lights. The sights. The people. I got to get a shot of this.

I turn my phone on and smother it with my pillow. Like I said, Angelica's asleep.

I go to the 'camera' function and tiptoe to the window. Good thing I turned off the flash.

Two shots. Both lovely.

I hop back into my bed and I close my eyes again.


I'm awake...again. I take a glance over. Angelica's gone. Probably off getting breakfast. My ears fully adjust to the world. I hear the shower on. Okay. No breakfast yet.

The water stops.

"Shower's free." Angie, wearing nothing but a towel, gives me the once-over. "Looks like you could use it."

I take a look at myself. Indeed, I did fall asleep in yesterday's clothes. Huh. I didn't think I was that tired.


Pancakes, eggs, bacon...another delicious room service breakfast. This time, Angie was awake for it.

I check to see if I have everything ready. Guess I do.



"$490 that you promised me."

"Oh, right." I pull out the gift card, but before I part with it... "I would like there to be something on it for tomorrow."

"What do you take me for?" Angie takes the card from me.

"So, shall we off?"



"A lot of people at Indigo Ballroom. Regular Show panel about to start! #SDCC"

I find a seat a few rows from the front. It would've been really embarrassing if I couldn't get in. After all, I'm just a few floors up.

"Excuse me."

I glance to my left. A little girl, can't be more than 12, dressed up like Eileen. I'm getting a picture, period.

So adorable. I get up to let her through the row.

I fish out my phone. Not a lot of juice left on it. I forgot to turn it off this morning.

I dig through my backpack. My charger's back in my room. This is all I need.


The "Regular Show" panel draws to a close.  Very entertaining. I hurry toward "Eileen" and ask to snap a picture. She obliges. Awesome.

I hurry out of the Ballroom. I need that freakin' charger. A lot of people seem to be staying for the "Adventure Time" panel. I don't know. That show seems to have gotten too odd for its own good. That's just me, though.


Got the charger and now, I rush for the elevator. Thankfully, I make it before it closes.

There's one other person on the car. Looks like they've hit the 'G' button.

As the car moves down, I start noticing things about the guy. For one, he's not in costume. Second, he seems to be about my age, if not younger. Most importantly, he's wearing a badge. I take a peek at the name on it:

"Douglas Neff."

"Oh, hello."

"Hi. I meant to go to your panel yesterday."

"Too bad you weren't there. I had some useful tips."

"Any chance I could get the Cliffs Notes version?"

He thinks it over. "Okay. You seem like a decent guy. What are you interested in?"

"Making movies."

"Have you shot anything?"


"Well, that's a good start. Write something, shoot it with your friends--"

"I don't have any friends."

"Well, do you have siblings?"


"Maybe they can help you. The important thing is to see where you want to be, then work backwards to achieve that."


The car makes it to the ground floor. My, was that a slow ride.

Neff waves goodbye.

Well, that was fun. I check my schedule. What the hell do I do now?


Ah, walking the convention floor. Checking out the merchandise. Snapping pictures of cosplayers...

Things I would love to be doing if I didn't have to charge my !#@*^& phone. I look around. Good to know I'm not the only one.


I grab a burger and fries while my phone charges. I'm keeping it in my sight. Much as this place is paradise, you can't be too careful.


Oh, thank the Gods my phone is still here. I whip out my schedule. I flip ahead. That sounds really interesting. Not sure if my phone is fully charged yet. It's a moot point. For what I want to do, I don't have time to second-guess anything.

I just hope the line isn't too long.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


"Behind the Music with CW3PR". Okay, most of it is just talking about songs, but they do have composers on the panel. Just a matter of waiting...


Well, that was a fine little panel. Not as good as the one from this morning, but not bad.

Been passing a lot of cosplayers on my way to Room 26AB. At least six of them were dressed as SheZow. One of them was actually a least, I think it was a girl. Her boobs were real. In any event, she was cute.

"Hey, stranger."

I turn around. It's Angelica. She doesn't look as upset as she was this morning. That's a good sign.

"Hey, there."

"Make it good. I ducked out of the "Hannibal" panel for this."

I whip out the gift card.

"There's still $490 on this thing."

"You only spent ten dollars?"

"Guy's gotta eat. I'm gonna let you have it."

"For the rest of the Con?"

"When do I get to use it?"

"You had all day."

"I forgot I even had the card."

"How do you forget a giant wad like that in your pocket?"

"It's surprisingly easy."

"Well, I should get to use it."

"Okay. How about you get it for one day and I get it for one day, then, on Sunday, we go on a shopping spree together and take advantage of the discounts?"

"Sounds good, but I call Friday!"

"All right. I suppose that Saturday will be fine."

"Cool. By the way, why'd you want to meet at 26AB?"

"Tournament of Nerds is about to start. Join me?"

"Nah. I'm gonna hit up "Law in a Zombie Apocalypse"."

"Okay. Catch you later."



Good panel, but I'm feeling a little tired. Damn good thing I don't have too far to go.

I stumble down the escalator toward the first floor and out the door.

The Hilton isn't too far. Damn this inner clock of mine.

Still, it'll be nice to get into my comfy bed. A little sad to go to be so early, but I can't help it.

Besides, it'll be good to get rested for tomorrow.

Night, all.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Got some interesting tips from that screenwriting panel. My mind is still rolling around the stuff I learned. I just hope I have the confidence to act on them. One day, I'll be sitting on a panel talking about my movie. I just know it.

For now..."We Still Love the '80s: 1983". I was but a small lad at that time, but, you know, living vicariously and all. If only I was born a few years earlier...


That was a funny-ass panel. Can't wait to see what they have in store for the 1984 panel next year.

I flip through my schedule to see what's next. I'm a few pages from where I want to be and that's when I notice it:

From Fan to Creator: Goal-Setting for Creative Types:

Which side of the convention table do you want to be on: professional or fan? And what's keeping you from getting there? If you're having trouble bringing your creative ideas into reality, you need to attend this fun and informative workshop, designed specifically for the Comic-Con crowd and back for its seventh straight year. Douglas Neff, the "Tony Robbins of Geeks," will give you simple and proven techniques for bringing your most important goals to life. Whether you want to write your first novel, draw your own comic, or shoot your independent film, you'll walk away from this workshop with practical tools for helping you reach your dream.

This panel was at 10 in the morning. I can't begin to tell you how much I could've used this.

Well, I can stew over this, or I can continue to enjoy myself at the happiest place on Earth (suck it, Disney World!).


I love cartoons, perhaps more than I should given that I'm over 30. I couldn't not be at the "I Know That Voice" panel.


Okay, I'm seriously laughed out. What an awesome panel that was. John DiMaggio is something else.

Checking my Twitter feed. Maybe, there's a party here in San Diego...

artbyangieg: So much cool swag I wanted to by. Only source of money is just walking around. #SDCC

I rifle through my pockets and pull out the $500 gift card. Almost forgot I had this. Well, I guess we can work it out back at the room...or better yet...

Twitter DM: Meet me outside 26AB at 7:30

Every man has to have an olive branch when dealing with a woman.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Man, I thought the weather in my hometown was punishing. Still, it's a nice day out. Every couple feet on 1st Avenue, there's someone advertising a screening or a party of some kind.

I whip out my phone. I check my Twitter feed:

artbyangieg: "At Bill Plympton panel. Good way to recover from crappy morning. #SDCC"

Okay, I think she's still upset.

God, what a nice city. Almost makes me wonder what the place looks like the other 361 days of the year.


Crossed over from G Street to 5th Avenue. I whip out this guide of San Diego my mom got me a few years ago (hey, you never know). I stop in front of the Llewelyn Building.

"Over the years, it has been home to hotels of various names with unsavory reputations. Today, the Llewelyn houses a colorful hostel."

I have to get a shot.


Lot of neat architecture in San Diego. The Yuma Building. The Keating Building. Old City Hall.

Maybe, I ought to plan another trip here.

For now, though, I'm starving.


So many choices. Seafood? Nah. Burgers? I don't know. Mexican? Well, I am near Mexico. Certainly, the food should be marvelous.


So many restaurants to choose from. I chose La Puerta. Not sure what that could mean. Maybe, I should've paid more attention in Spanish.

Still waiting on my food. Very nice atmosphere.


My Southern Cal Burrito is here. I have to get a shot of this before it disappears. It looks tantalizing.

I take a bite. Even more tantalizing than it looks.

Note to self: Angie's coming here before we leave, even if I have to drag her here, caveman-style.


A little late for "Breaking into Hollywood and Comic Scriptwriting" but I hope that-- holy crap, is that Max from "Living Single" on the panel?! When did she become a writer?

In any case, I hope to pick up some good tips here. Lord knows I need all the help I can get.


Monday, July 15, 2013

July 18th, 9:14am

God, what a relaxing sleep. Something about hotel beds feels strange and comfortable at the same time.

My eyes open. Angelica stands right over me, fully dressed and ready to go. That Fluttershy 'yay' shirt looks good on her.

"Wakey, wakey, hands off snakey."

I yawn a little. "What time is it?"

"Time for school. What time do you think it is?"

I glance over to the clock.


"Yeah. Oh."

"Better get up."

"A sound theory."

"Better get dressed."

"Two for two."

"I don't know."

"I beg your pardon?"

"This bed is so comfortable. Can't I stay here a while?"

"No. I'm not gonna let you lose your job for nothing." She stalks over to the window. "You see that? You see those people? About to have the most fun they'll have all year? Don't you want to join them?"

"Can't I think about it?"

Her face scrunches into a scowl.

"You're getting out of bed right now!" She throws the covers off of me. Her eyes goggle.

I'm fully dressed. "So, we leaving or what?"

"I'm gonna remember this if you pound on the door claiming that someone's chasing you."

"And I'll remember to order room service for the both of us next time, though, to be fair, I didn't know what you wanted."

"You already ate?"

"Around 6:30. I was adamant that the guy not disturb you. You looked so peaceful."

She stares daggers at me. Not so peaceful, now.


I finger the strap for my badge as I walk the floor.

Wow. The convention center is huge. It's like it gets bigger every year. The Lone Ranger ambles by. I guess some people liked that movie after all...myself included.

Angie didn't speak to me the whole walk to the Center. I hope she feels better later on.


"The Anatomy of Superhero Film Music". Loving the samples of Beltrami's The Wolverine and Margeson's Kick-Ass 2.


Panel's over. The room's clearing out. I check the schedule. "Dreamworks Animation Focus". That they'll be talking about Turbo is enough to chase me away. Talk about a non-starter.

There's a collection of animated short films in Hall H. Knowing my luck, it's already full or on the verge of becoming so, so that's out.

No other interesting panels, no interesting autograph subjects...well, shit. Okay, worst case scenario, I'm in San Diego. May as well see what it looks like.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Well, it's the second weekend of July and that can only mean one thing...Comic-Con is around the corner!

Okay, two things.

The other, more pertinent thing is that the Taste of Buffalo is halfway over.

Wanting to have some kind of a game plan, I whipped up something of a menu of items I wanted to eat. For whatever reason, I decided not to eat some of them. However, I did have my share of fine cuisine:

- The Papaya Restaurant's Fried Wonton was just as crunchy and delicious as ever. The sauce was also good.

- Then it was off to Joe's Crab Shack. The plan was to sample their Crazy-Good Crab Dip, which lived up to its title, but I also had to try their Great Balls of Fire, a fragile but tasty mixture of seafood, crab, jalapenos and cream cheese. The ranch dressing was a nice addition.

- Along my route was Carmine's Restaurant and, as with last year, I had to try their Potato Cheddar Casserole, a fantastic mix of cheese, potatoes and spices, topped with corn flakes. Just splendid.

- The Black Market Food Truck had something called Buffalo Chicken Arancini. Even though it was Buffalo chicken and hot sauce (which I didn't register at the time), I was willing to give it a shot. Sadly, after taking one bite, my hand slipped, sacrificing the meal to the sidewalk Gods. Still, that one bite was pretty decent.

- Trying to recover from that loss, I stopped at Eddie Ryan's for half a Reuben Sandwich. Not really something I'd eat all the time (nor should I; the combination of corned beef and sauerkraut is a little rich), but quite tasty.

- Looking to top off the meal, I go to Zebb's for a delicious Brownie. I love it.

- Still on a dessert high, I go to Danny's Restaurant for a slice of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cream Pie. Still smashing.

- Though I'm starting to feel logy, I press on, going to Miller's Steak and Crab House for a Crab Cake with dipping sauce. Not bad.

- On the way back, I remember that May Jen Restaurant offers Crab Rangoon. I tried it for the first time earlier this year. There were ten pieces in that order that I labored to finish. As I took a seat and enjoyed the two pieces in this offering, I thought, 'maybe, this is how I was meant to enjoy this dish'.

Taking a break from walking around, I surfed the internet and was quite happy with the woman who offered to throw away my dish after some of her refuse blew my way.

- The Riverstone Grill offered the Bleu Heron Burger. Though the patty was a bit small, the toppings (including onion strings and hunks of blue cheese) were welcome.

- The last dish of the day was Banana Pudding, courtesy of Nette's Fried Chicken. The day I get tired of the stuff is the day I die.

Whenever I get the opportunity, I like to go both days. Sunday's exploits included:

- A trip to BW's Barbecue to try their Chicken Cacciatore Soup. Though a bit thin, it's still tasty.

- Next up is Jack Astor's Bar and Grill to enjoy their Garlic Pan Bread and Lobster and Crab Dip with Chips. Very delicious.

- Anderson's Frozen Custard makes a pretty good Cake Batter Ice Cream. I decided on that instead of their Salty Bacon Sundae. Dear whoever decided to mix bacon with are a dirty fucking Communist. Signed, everybody with taste.

- The Seafood Bisque at The Original Soupman, even in its sample size, is quite appealing.

- Back to Zebb's for another brownie. Saving this for later.

- Then, it's off to Caribbean Experience for a Beef Patty. It's good, if a little smaller than I expected.

- Try as I may, I can't get enough of the Potato Cheddar Casserole from Carmine's.

- At this point, I hit the wall and become ever more desperate to get rid of my tickets, so I return to Nette's for some Banana Pudding.

- Clarence Center Coffee Co. & Cafe offered Gluten Free Cake Pops. I chose the chocolate ones and, once I got past the cutesy exterior, I gobbled it up.

- I need to get some Fried Wontons from Papaya. Again, can't get enough.

- Six tickets left. I stumble toward Go Veggies Cafe, in search of their Mango Pudding. A little too congealed, but decent on the level of fruit cocktail.

All in all, an enjoyable experience. Can't wait to do it again next year.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

7:54pm, Pacific Time

Some flight. Took a hour to get off the ground. No internet access. Food of questionable origin. The in-flight movie...Identity Thief.

I swear, if it wasn't for the ultimate destination, I'd have been perfectly comfortable with the plane crashing into a field.

For some reason, I couldn't get a direct flight, so I transferred at LAX to San Diego.

Still, I'm here. At long last, I'm here. Hopefully, so is my friend who shall be sharing the fruits of my quote-unquote "labor".

I lug my suitcase down the hall. Hopefully, something is still open. I'm starving.

I make my way to the luggage carousel to get my suitcase, amongst about thirty others.

I glance around the airport. There's a girl standing in the crowd with the same last name as me. Well, she's holding a card with my name on it, in any event.

She walks up to me.

"Hey, Angie."


"Glad you could make it out here."

"Wasn't easy. I had to move my schedule around so much. How about you?"

"How about me what?"

"Surely you had to work pretty hard to make it out here."

I shrug my shoulders. "I guess it's gonna come out, sooner or later. I pulled a Bueller."

"Do you just not want to have a job to go back to?"

"Probably not."

"Well, at least you get to have some fun for now."

"Damn right."

I turn back to the carousel. Here comes my bag. I snatch it up.

"So, did you rent a car?"


"Did you rent a limo?"


I point at the sign.

"Oh. I just thought it'd make a cute touch. If you beat me here, you'd have done the same thing, right?"

"Absolutely not."

Angelica folds her arms. "Well, you're no fun."

"It won't really matter tomorrow, will it?"

"I guess. Comic-Con!"

Oh, what the hell? "Comic-Con!"

"Comic-Con!" A chorus of about twenty takes up the call. I won't lie: that shit's awesome.


The cab stops outside the Hilton San Diego Bayfront...a mere stone's throw away from the Convention Center.

I grab my luggage and I try to reach for Angie's--

"Don't worry, I can get it."

"You sure?"

"I've lugged this suitcase in and out of hotels and airports for five years. I think I can handle it."

"Okay. Just trying to be a gentleman."

"I've got it."



We head for the entrance.

"Thanks, though."


Room 432. Damn, this room looks nice.

I set my luggage down.

"I call the bed by the window!"

"Come on! What are you, 10?"

"Hey, don't get mad 'cause you weren't fast enough."

"Psshh! Whatever."

I flip through the television channels.

"Nothing's on." I set the remote down.

"Come on. There can't be nothing on." Angie gives it a shot. "Yeah, there's nothing on."

"Told ya. We didn't come here to watch television, anyway."




"Comic-Con!" Through the walls of the room. It's infectious. The good kind.


Tuesday, July 09, 2013

[This end up.]


All right. I'm showered, dressed and breakfasted. Now, to check to make sure everything is where it needs to be.

- Socks and underwear

- T-shirts (including my Topless Robot one; someone is noticing it this time, dammit!)

- Two pairs of shorts

- CD player with soundtracks to be autographed

- Poster tube

- Confirmation of flight

- Cell phone and my charger

- Double 'A' batteries

- Autograph book

- Toiletries

- Credit cards

- Condoms

- The schedule (of course; got to get that last-minute planning in)

- Confirmation for my badge

Okay, everything seems to be in order. My knapsack on my back, I head out the door, eager to return to my Comic-Con...whoa!

- Proof that I'm the Hub's winner

Without that, why am I even leaving the house?


Sunday, July 07, 2013

[What title?]

July 17th, 8:33am

It hasn't been easy these last couple weeks, keeping my happiness on the inside as opposed to shouting from the rooftops.

The plane ride is comped. The hotel...comped.

Now, all I need is a way out of my responsibilities.

I dial on my phone. I work up my best phlegmmy voice.

"Yes, how may I help you?"

"It's me. I caught something. I don't think I'm gonna be able to come in the next few days."

"We really need you around the store."

"Yeah, but I'm coughing up all kinds of crap." I gulp and mime a bit of the ol' cookie toss. I top it off with a couple of coughs.

"Ugh. Well, okay. Hope you feel better."

"Me too. Goodbye."

I hang up. Will I get caught? Probably, but why should that matter? I'm practically tenured, anyway.

Oh, God, I cannot wait.


Saturday, July 06, 2013

[Just ignore this.]

June 30th, 6:33pm

God, what a long day of work. Man was not meant to work on Sundays.

I check my e-mail. Spam, spam, spam, eggs, sausage and spam.

My eyes glaze over. Can't anything...

There's an e-mail here from the Hub. You don't think...

I click on it.

'Congratulations. Your entry was chosen.'

I sent in a good thousand of them. Looks like I'm going to-- wait. My work schedule. I wasn't planning on going anywhere, least of all Comic-Con.

Work or Comic-Con? I need to think about this.


Fuck it. I'm going.


Friday, July 05, 2013

[Not a title.]

June 2nd, 7:44pm

Okay, I just saw the most amazing ad on the Hub. I'm scrambling like crazy to get to their website. Somebody could go to Comic-Con...for free!!

I enter my name, address and e-mail and hit 'send'. I'm ready to hit TV Tropes when I notice this near the bottom of the page:

'Enter as many times as you want.'

To quote a cheesy-yet-beloved theme song, "We've got some work to do now."


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

[Ignore this. The pillowbiters at Blogger wouldn't let me post this without a title.]

February 16th, 9:23am

'Tickets for #SDCC go on sale this morning. I'm going this year, bitches!'

A little crude for most of my followers, but I don't care. The work schedule's free, the money is available, the stars align. Things are going smashingly for me...shit. My parents beckon. What could they want?


Well, that was a soul-crushing morning. Mowing the lawn, followed by helping them move some stuff upstairs. No doubt about it: there's too much crap in this house. I regularly suggest selling it or burning it, but nothing ever happens. I think if someone else made these suggestions, they'd get done. It's the same thing at work; if I say that something ought to be done, it won't, but if another person does, they can't get done fast enough.

What's the point of having an opinion if no one will listen? Free will. What a con.

Oh, fuck.

I fire up my phone and hope to every God that ever was I haven't missed anything (my computer has become e'er so unreliable this last year).

I punch the 'Internet' button. I enter 'San Diego Comic-Con' into the search engine.

I touch on the link to I rush toward the waiting room...

'Sorry, but all tickets to Comic-Con are sold out'.

Son of a bastard.