Friday, August 29, 2014

Adventures In Toronto 2014: Day Three

Had a bit of a mixed day, truth be told. The bad news was that my phone died on me, so I wound up going back to the hotel room earlier than expected. Actually, I kinda/sorta ran out of stuff to do anyway.

As a Doctor Who fan, I was sad to miss out on Q&A sessions with Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams). Both would have taken way more commitment to lining up than I had. Getting autographs was also out of the question . . . lining up and paying gobs of money? No, thanks . . . the most I pay for that is $20. As for photo ops . . . it costs a small fortune to get your picture professionally taken. You know how much you have to pay for a threesome with Smith, Darvill and Karen Gillan (Amy Pond; late of Guardians of the Galaxy)? C$185. Way beyond my budget.

(BTW, I might as well talk about how funky the money is Up North. I can deal with how the paper money starts at $5 instead of $1 like in the States. But the stuff is made of a weird plastic polymer that you can see through in a few places. Also, if you scratch a dollar bill, it smells vaguely of maple syrup. It's like Canada wants to be the stereotype Americans portray them as, you know?)

Anyway, I did go to a funky panel. . . . from the Doctor Who Society of Canada, I learned about the intricacies of building a Dalek. Apparently, you can go online and get plans on how to create the Doctor's worst enemy. These people don't mess around . . . they got the eyestalks, the outer bubbles, even the voice modulators. It costs $1,500 (I'm assuming Canadian) to build one, give or take a few hundred bucks. That's dedication . . . and the architects even give their Daleks proper names. Very nice.

I wound up spending a lot on sketches, to the point where I had to get money at an ATM, which I didn't think wound work since I don't go to a Canadian bank. I got to surprise Jamal Igle, whom I had met on several occasions. He wound up sketching the Twelfth Doctor for me, once I ascertained that he was a Doctor Who fan. I finally got to meet two artists I never knew about going in. When I found out Kurt Lehner was a designer on Gargoyles (the critically-acclaimed series from Disney from the Nineties), I had to get a sketch of Goliath from him. Finally, I met Danica Brine, who did a top-notch Rocket Raccoon for me on a blank cover of the Guardians of the Galaxy star's solo comic.

I didn't do much else, to be honest. I wound up attending another "sketch duel," where two artists draw the same character. It used to be that a winner would be decided by how many raffle tickets an artist would get. These days, they just raffle off the sketches without much fanfare, and the possibility of free sketches is worth the trip for me. But after a while, my phone started dying on me. I tried calling my mother, but I couldn't get through. I tried calling collect from pay phones (which still exist in Toronto), but that went sideways on me. Soon, I was worried that my mother would be worried about me, so I figured out a way to get back to the hotel via a map I found in the lobby. You know how I got to the Convention Centre to begin with? I followed three people from the hotel, one of whom was cosplaying as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. They could have gotten lost, and I would've followed them anyway.

My mother wound up having a good time on a tour bus, which saved her legs some wear and tear. She went to Dundas Square, which is like Times Square back home, and she visited the Royal Ontario Museum, which I checked out back in 2011. She's having a good time at her own pace, which I'm happy about.

We wound up reuniting at the room, and we rested up before going out to eat dinner. Turns out our waiter originally hailed from Long Island, and he's going to Fan Expo tomorrow. He even has a bunch of X-Men tattooed on his left arm. That takes dedication . . . as much as going DIY for a Dalek.

I have two more days left before I depart for home. As long as I pace myself, spend wisely and stay away from belligerent visiting Yankees fans, I should be golden this weekend.

PS: I logged in 15,063 steps . . . not bad, since I didn't take the train either way. Oh, and Mookie Betts wound up hitting his first grand slam tonight. Good for him. Looks like he just needed to get away from the boobird Blue Jays fans.

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