Slept pretty well for awhile, then woke up and got going. Finished packing, etc. Ate. Then got the stuff in the car and drove to the airport. Not a bad trip, really - that early in the morning, there wasn't much traffic until I got right by the airport. Then, I discovered the road construction happening at the airport. Had to take a different route than I usually do, and park in a different part of the lot, but no big deal. Managed to find a spot pretty close to one of the shelter stops... And a bus pulled up right as I got there.
Rode into the airport, walked in and saw the line... But the self-service thingies were clear, so I chose to check in with one of them. Got my passes and hit security. No big deal, went through and sat to wait for my plane. Got on the plane, slept most of the way, got off and found my next one.
Called RedneckNinja to give them an update, let them know what flight, etc so they could meet me at the gate. Was just sitting, waiting, when one of the agents came up and asked me to go through security first and therefore let me board earlier. No big deal there, everyone was friendly.
Another flight *yawn* so I slept a bit, browsed the catalog, etc... Got off the plane, and RedneckNinja was waiting for me. We decided that food would be the best option... ok well, after finding the restroom.
I was all for the Chili's I had eaten in before, but they wanted a smoking section, so we went elsewhere. We sat and waited... and waited.. and waited... finally, the person came to take our order, and we ordered everything - figuring that it'd be forever until they got back. We weren't in a hurry, really. Sat, drank a few beers, ate, chatted... This old couple talked to us for a bit, they were interesting.
We left there to go find the hotel shuttle.. It was raining. Quick drive to the hotel, and there we were. We checked in, and the desk decided to split the room cost between us at their end, instead of the normal one charge and we handle the split amongst ourselves. Got to the room, collapsed. I took a nap, RedneckNinja went exploring.
They wandered back in, and we went to the hotel bar for a drink... then back up to the room for a bit. We were about to leave for dinner when Hayama and Scudder showed up. Introductions were made, and all that. Hayama had a wonderful new toy, one of those digicams that records directly to the mini-cdr's....
We decided to go out for dinner, and Scudder took a shower, changed, and called a friend to join us. We waited until they showed, then left for the Vortex, a place Scudder swore had the best burgers... Found the place, walked in...
It's an interesting place, that's for sure. Has skeletons on motorcycles and toilets... Plus a bunch of other interesting crap all over everywhere. The menus are amusing, and have attitude. Scudder bought the first two rounds, and we sat and drank and ate and talked and had a great time. Scudder's friend was really amusing, and RedneckNinja fit right in as well. The food was good, I had wings and a burger - both rocked. The beer list was impressive, as was the scotch list... The 3 beers I had were all good, even if they were out of my first choice selection. We eventually wandered out of there.
Headed back to the hotel, decided to stop for beer. Went to the same place as last year and picked up 2 cases of Honey Brown, a 6 of Mike's, and a 1.75 of the Captain. Stopped by a gas station for 2 2-liters of coke and cigs for RedneckNinja, then headed back.
Walked in to the hotel and discovered that Goofy and Miki had made it. Stored our stuff, then went to hang with them. Goofy mentioned that the theme was going to be "Destroy Surat," but they hadn't had time to make the materials. Capt Dave wandered by to ask Goofy about the vendetta against Surat, which we all found hilarious. Took a few pics, chatted, wandered, and then pretty much called it an early night.
Friday, September 27
Slept in a bit, showered, and then wandered out. Went to Reg with Hayama to get our comp badges, wandered a bit, then hooked up with Goofy and headed to the Lame Anime panel. NN had created a DVD with clips, which was neat (and I need a copy of)... And everything shown was unbelievably bad. Capt Dave chimed in with some awful stuff as well, as did M.
Sometime during the panel, RedneckNinja wandered down and needed a badge. Goofy had comped someone who didn't show, so we had them go get that badge. Then they wandered in to suffer with the rest of us. Surat showed up, and was actually in rare form - they had some good lines.
Then, of course, we hit the dealer's room... Timed it just after they opened, unfortunately. Still, wandered around there for a bit, then generally wandered the con.
Decided to get food sometime midafternoon, since the Cocoa Puff Milk & Cereal bar I had for breakfast wasn't doing it for me. Walked over to Ruby's with Hayama, RedneckNinja, Scudder, and A. Had another good time talking with everyone and eating. Had more wings and another burger. Noticed that Goofy, Miki, K, and J also came to Ruby's, but sat elsewhere... so after we were done, we found them and chatted for a bit. Wandered back towards the con, and Hayama stopped by their car - which was full of ants.
Back at the con, we wandered and such for awhile, then noticed it was getting to be dinner time. We had a beer or two and tried to figure out how to get someone with a car to take us out to dinner, with no luck. We walked over to Ruby's and got cups/dr pepper, packed RedneckNinja's backpack with the Captain, Coke, and ice bucket, and were ready for hell.
We got to hell way early, scoped out a spot in front of the media booth, and waited. Goofy came by to say Capt Dave wanted a reserved seating section next to the booth, so we created that and staked out our spots. Somewhere in there, Scudder and A showed up. RedneckNinja, Scudder, and I were all drinking "con drink" - i.e. the rum with coke for flavor. Hell started, we enjoyed.
During the show, RedneckNinja had a few refills... each of which had progressively more rum and less coke/ice. At one point, they were babbling incoherently, then they were shouting incoherently... and eventually they were doing this weird sort of movement that I can't quite describe. Eventually, they announced their intention to go to the restroom. They got up, made it past Scudder and A, and then promptly fell to the ground. I put my head in my hands and sighed. Scudder picked them up and took them back, presumably to the restroom. Goofy's supporting line was "they're yours, not mine." So I sat and stewed a bit, then went to follow. They weren't in the restroom in the hall hell was in. And I noticed a awful lot of uniformed policemen standing near the doors. I went past them, down towards the other bathroom I knew was open - no luck. Walking back towards the hall, I saw them outside smoking. I walked out, stepped in the puke, and asked what was going on. Scudder kind of stepped back as I confronted RedneckNinja. I was furious, enraged, and completely pissed off. I ended up with my hand around their neck, pushing them against the wall, telling them they were going to go to bed. They were in full drunk child mode. Eventually, I got them to follow me to the elevators, then back to the room. They wanted an explanation, but I pointed out the cops and the fact they didn't remember falling, and they finally agreed to stay in the room. I took their key and we exchanged "fuck you"s. I went back to hell to get the backpack and toss the cups. Hell was pretty much over. By the time I dropped the backpack off in the room, RedneckNinja was sawing logs. I wandered back out to meet up with the others.
We wandered for a bit, chatting and such, and then hooked up with Capt Dave. We went to Capt Dave's room, which was conveniently hooked up to CH's party. CH was serving this tasty blue stuff, which we all had a bit of. I know I went back for several refills. There was a projector running, with interesting sequences I was briefly fascinated by.
We helped clean up a little, then left... Chatted a bit more, got kicked out of the lobby, and headed to bed by about 3.
Saturday, September 28
Got up, showered, and hit the dealer's room... Wandered a bit, then got in touch with Goofy to head out for food. Tried to call RedneckNinja, but they didn't answer.
Goofy, Hayama, Scudder, and I went out to find food and a store. We passed a Popeye's that had a Popeye standing out waving to cars. Went to a Kroger's to get bug spray for Hayama's car. Also picked up some bread and peanut butter as a snack option. Went to check out, but there was no good option - there were lines... We tried to go through the self-checkout, but there were lines on that as well. Switched lines a few times, finally Goofy and I got through, but Hayama was stuck behind someone buying cigs. Evidently, to buy cigs, you get the rest of your stuff through, then tell the cashier to go get your brand.... And then they slowly wander back to find them, and bring them to you... bleh.
Shopping done, it was food time. We went to Wendy's, stood in line a bit, and ate. Then Goofy went to get food for friends and dealers. Mission complete, we went back to the con. Happily, we were able to deliver most of our goods immediately upon arrival. Then more wandering. Hooked up with Capt Dave for our party badges.
Ended up behind one of the dealer's tables and helped them shut down for the day, so we could stick with them on the way to dinner. We took the long way around, but avoided most of the crowds. We got to the car and realized we were trying to fit Goofy, Hayama, B, L, W, and myself into a single car. Goofy went back inside to get keys, the rest of us just waited. Somehow, we wedged ourselves in and went to a chinese buffet. L paid for us all. Was a good time.
Crammed back in the car and went back, dropped the dealer crew off at their hotel. Headed back to the room, hung around a bit, then went to the party - Desslocktoberfest. Hayama and I walked into the room, flashed our party badges, and were then ordered to pay homage to the Desslock doll. I got on my knees and bowed.. I think Hayama saluted. It was amusing. We got there early enough that I was able to grab a spot on the couch. Snacked, chatted, watched... Goofy and Miki passed their drink over because it was too strong for them... Met the guy who would prove to be a complete asshole later. Saw the B Movie card game.
Then Goofy grabs me and says "come on, we're going with Gavv." So we leave, following Gavv to their room. Then we watch all the new CPF stuff, with MM and some of the other CPF ppl. It was pretty nifty, especially hearing MM's comments about stuff. The one pun really hurt, though.. eesh it was bad. Then someone turned the History Channel on for background while ppl chatted. I sat listening to MM and CH discussing various things, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Eventually, too many people whose room it was were crashing, so we all left.
Headed back to Desslocktober fest, which surprisingly hadn't been shut down. Hung out for a bit, then decided to get some fresh air... Wandered around for a bit, chatted with Surat on the stairs, etc... Miki and Foamhead had a little confrontation... Then all the ppl from the party came wandering by, so we joined them for a bit... Then we split off for awhile...
And then Goofy and the complete asshole nearly came to punches. Asshole thought they were all that because they "weight 117 lbs" and it was their "3rd AWA" and they've "been to 41 cons"... No one was impressed. Then the posse came back by, and we headed up to the party room, where we had some interesting conversations going on with the few that were left. It turns out no one liked the asshole after all, heh.
We finally got kicked out by Capt Dave sometime after 5, and wandered briefly before heading to bed. I got back to the room to find no RedneckNinja, and I just crashed.
Sunday, September 29
I kept waking up thinking the door had just closed about every 1/2 hr to 45 mins. I finally drifted off deeply, and was woken up by Scudder and Hayama having a rather loud discussion. It was early. Still no RedneckNinja.
As I was awake anyway, I went ahead and showered and such. RedneckNinja wanders in with their purchase - the Urotsukidoji box set. They hadn't been to sleep yet, but had found some interesting people to hang out with. They wander off again, as do I. Elevators are packed with ppl leaving, and I manage to find one of the stairways that has the emergency exit door open.
I head to the dealer's room, figuring it's time to spend. I get the Nadesico box set, Ogenki Clinic, and 4 of the Mahou Tsukai Tai discs. I'm pretty much out of cash, so I take all that back up to the room.
Heading back downstairs, I find a couch in the hallway with space, so I sit and take pics as people walk by. At various times, I was joined by Hayama, Scudder, Goofy, Miki, Gavv, Capt Dave, and I think a few others. It was fun, actually... Nice and relaxing. We hit a panel with Gavv, Capt Dave, Goofy, and Scudder, which was more interesting than I thought it would be.
Wandered a bit more, Hayama alerted me to the fact that the Maou discs had dropped in price again, but I didn't have the cash... and both they and Goofy had used theirs. I finally get the last of RedneckNinja's cash, and get the last 3 discs. I take those to the room.
Wander back down, and finally decide to just go ahead and help L's team pack. We have them down and out before most have moved. W gives me some cash for helping, which I decline, but they insist. Then we hang for a bit more...
Wander up to the room to wait for dinner. Goofy calls to say they want me to come down and give directions to Steak & Ale to some other people, who heard our idea and thought it was a good one. So I head down, and tell them what I know from when we had passed it a few days earlier. One person was really bitchy about it, saying "you think? you're not sure? well *I* don't do things that way!" and proceeds to dial information and get directions... I was irritated.
We hang for a bit, then realize Goofy has promised to help a dealer who takes FOREVER to get their stuff done... So we jet out without them. Get to S&A from memory (Hah!), get a table big enough for all of us, and order drinks & appetizers. The big group who left before us shows up after, and sits elsewhere in the place. The rest of our group shows before our appetizers arrive. We eat and have a grand old time. Good stuff, we're all full.
We get back to the hotel, and the plan is to hit the hot tub... we change and wander down... and the hot tub is positively frigid... but the pool is nice and warm. So we get in and chat with P and a few others who were there for quite awhile, head to the outdoor part for awhile, then back in... and finally get out and change.
Then it's the Dead Dog party... We hang out and chat, see the Weed card game, etc... And then I'm beat... I head out with RedneckNinja, who needs a smoke break... so we head outside and chat for awhile...
Then pre-pack for the morning, set the alarm, and crash.
Monday, Sept 30
Wake up entirely too early. Figure I might as well get moving, so I shower, pack, and have a sandwich for breakfast. Head out and catch the shuttle - M and P are on the same one, which is amusing.
Shuttle driver wants me to get off at the first stop, so I do and walk to the other side to get my boarding pass. Pass security no problem. I'm early, so I wait at the gate for quite awhile, then board.. uneventful. The plane is empty, so I stretch out across 3 seats and nap.
The plane stops in StL, and I'm the only one to stay on. I have company in the seats on the next leg, which isn't too bad. Finally get to the home airport, catch the shuttle, get to my car, and...
The remote isn't working. Interesting. So I use my keys, open the door.. no alarm. Hmm. Put my luggage in the trunk, try to start it - dead. Everything's dead. Argh. Nothing seems to be on, so I dunno why. So I call Saturn Roadside Assistance. After quite awhile of stupid menus, I get a human. They ask for VIN, Plate, Make, Model, Color, Name, Address, Phone... and then they ask the big one...
"What's the street address?"
"Um. I'm in the middle of the satellite/long term parking at the international airport"
"We can't send someone out without the street address"
"I'm in the middle of a sea of cars, no one else is in sight"
"Without the street address, we can't send someone out, if you find it, call us back"
So then I head to the shuttle stop shelter, pick up the phone, and dial the code for the service station - they ask the stop and row number, and the make and color of car, and send someone out. I call RNN to bitch, they're already at home... Then the service person shows up - 5 minutes and $25 later, the car is jumped and running. Call RNN back to say I'm running, then head home.
As I'm driving out, I realize my reading light is on. Evidently, I turned it on to write down my stop and row info, and didn't turn it off. Doh. Pay my parking fee, and head home. I think about stopping for food, but decide not to.
And then, at long last, I walk into my place with no real further excitement.