Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jason Vs. Poor Planning

Written Saturday Night/Sunday Morning

New day, new problem. I’m making myself run late because I got in the mood to stay in bed while my cell phone’s alarm kept going off. I figure that I’d go into the business center for online time . . . but now they’re open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. How is that convenient for guests? So I wait a few minutes, get online for as short a time as I can (especially because the guy at the desk is now charging me), troop down to Union Station, wait several minutes on line to satisfy a muffin craving (where I could’ve just gone under the hotel for a quick trip to Tim Horton’s), and then I head off to the con. One of my biggest flaws is my ability to do stuff that goes against me, where I have the ability to use common sense.

I’m still trying to have fun, going with the flow when I can. I get shut out of the panel for DC Comics’ 52-book relaunch? Well, the panel for Dragonball Z voice actors has some open seats. I haven’t seen the series since Dragonball GT wrapped up in the States. The abbreviated version of DBZ -- Dragonball Z Kai doesn’t interest me, but I am a fan of “Dragonball Z Abridged.” This is a group of YouTube folks who squeeze several episodes of the series in neat packages at or around ten minutes. Also, it’s funny as all hell. Naturally, I’m not the only fan of that series, because the talent – Chris Sabat, Colin Clinkenbeard and Mike McFarland – is inundated with “Abridged” questions. They do try to play along as much as possible . . . I’d go into it, but it requires lots of context, so stuff like “Are you a Yoshi?” and “Naaaaaaaaiiiilll!!!” should be researched by going to or

Aside from the “Abridged” stuff, the fan questions can get wacky. One person asked what male characters the actors would involve in yaoi . . . guy-on-guy romance. MacFarlane suggests two characters – Vegeta and Piccolo – for some sweet Sabat-on-Sabat action. A few of the actos have met their counterparts in Japan, and it turns out the character of Chi Chi was renamed “Milk” in Mexico, because “Chi Chi” means “Boob” in Spanish. It was a good panel, and I wasn’t that bummed I missed the DC panel.

I continue wandering the aisles aimlessly, acquiring sketches whenever I can. I wind up getting my “ROM at ROM” sketch from Greg Hyaland. I wound up paying $3 for an issue of Power Man & Iron Fist with ROM in it. I probably could’ve gotten a cheaper issue of ROM’s title, but it’s an issue where ROM blows away a bunch of Dire Wraiths (his enemy) posing as New Yorkers, including one resembling a prostitute. Hilarity follows. I mean it . . . it’s from 1981, and the vengeful pimp looks like a total stereotype of a pimp.

Anyway, I started running out of money, so I sought out an ATM and a place to eat. I’m desperate enough to actually think of getting overpriced food. But the lines for food and money are long no matter where I go. I wind up going to Simcoe Place – a mall of sorts that I’ve hit both other times I’ve been in Toronto – to get filled up.

Really, I can’t think of a standout moment from today. I wound up acquiring five sketches, running my total to twelve after three days. I don’t think I’ll reach my four-day record of 20 (Comic-Con International, 2009), but it won’t be for lack of trying. I also had to leave again, this time to head back to the hotel to squeeze in some computer time. Yes, I am an addict, but at least it’s cheaper than drugs. Happily, I manage to catch the latest episode of DBZA, and it was some fun stuff as usual.

After a long day of walking, I had another box from the Scott Pilgrim books to check off: Sneaky Dee’s, a Tex-Mex restaurant, that’s frequently visited in the fourth book (Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together). In my morning online session, I loaded the relevant info into Google Maps, and I wrote down directions. Turns out I could have done a better job. I got off the train around Carlton Street, and I was assured that it was the same as College Street. So I walked. And walked. And walked. I had gotten a transfer at the train station, thinking I could use it on the streetcar. It turned out that I couldn’t. Eventually, I got lost. And lost. And even more lost. In one stretch of time, I passed by a cemetery as the light dimmed; in other, I was walking in almost total darkness through a residential neighborhood. I kept thinking that I was going to pull the plug, but then I would figure that I was on the right track. If I had infinite endurance, I would have wound up either at the US/Canada border, or in the Arctic Circle. Eventually, I gave up and plopped myself down at a random restaurant. Conceding total defeat, I followed that up by taking a cab back to the hotel. Expensive option, I know, but I wanted to get back before dawn, and I was damn tired. I will not be surprised if I wake up to find my feet missing with a crudely scrawled note reading “FUCK YOU!!!!!”

I would’ve gone back to my room and lapsed into a mild coma, but there was one more event I wanted to see. Turns out the Fairmont Royal York was playing host to “Ultimate Fan Expo Canada Party.” Basically, it had a DJ dressed as a Highlander, a cash bar, and enough people dancing and having a good ol time. I’m serious . . . off the top of my head, I can’t remember the last time I saw so many geeks – many of whom were still cosplaying – getting down so hard and funky. I didn’t really interact much, and I don’t dance, since I’m still a little too neurotic for my own damn good. I’m more into taking pictures, especially if the costumes are interesting (“Holy shit, is he dressed as Captain N the Game Master?!?”) I kept mostly to myself, save for when I convinced myself to play a few hands of a card game that involved trying to trade cards to other players to get a hand of all of the same kind. I wound up lucking into winning once, and I got a set of Star Wars action figures. I mentioned that a. I haven’t collected that stuff since around the time Return Of The Jedi was in theaters, and b. I actually saw the Ewok Village playset on sale at one booth, which was something I had as a kid. Before I knew it, one guy at the table was telling me that he had that as a kid as well, and I showed him the picture I took with my digital camera. I wish that it was easier for me to interact with people like that on a regular basis.

What am I forgetting? Oh, right . . . fucking Irene. My mother told me that it’s on the way, hitting the area on Sunday. Before hitting the party, I called the front desk. Turns out staying one more night here at the relatively cheaper convention rate wouldn’t be out of the question. Where I hate the idea of paying for an extra night, I’d rather not comparison shop with places near the airport. Plus, if my feet haven’t revolted, I can try and make up places I didn’t have time to see. The main problem is that I tend to suffer letdowns once a convention ends, and I try to get the heck out of town the following day. But with a cosmopolitan city at my disposal, maybe it won’t be such a bad thing.

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