9.08.2008

Day Two: Swag Fever hits!

So the next day - I was rested and ready. Annie and I had decided to volunteer early, so we got down to the convention center at a rather early hour.

My assignment this time was to man the professional suite, which provided a much needed quiet space for the guests who were presenting programming at the convention. The lady who ran this room plus the con suite (being held at a local hotel) had been doing so for over a decade. My job was to make sure things were tidy and that folks who had the wrong kinda badges didn't come in and bother folks (ie press and fans). Sharing my duties were a couple of guys from Jersey - I suggested they check out In and Out Burger before they left the coast.

Annie managed to make it to the Joss Whedon panels.
She is totally stoked about DollHouse, his latest TV series

I had wanted to see Joss Whedon talk about his past and upcoming project, but by the time I got out, the room was totally filled. I later learned that the staff did not clear out the rooms between panels. Hence, even if you had been waiting in line for hours to see Josh, you may not make it in the door unless the folks camped out inside the room left.

So I said screw it and went to the dealers hall. I have a feeling lots of other people said that too. It was then that I developed Swag Fever. (What is Swag you ask? Swag is all the cool free stuff that is being passed out by the various vendors. Mostly it is promotional items pimping out upcoming movies or tv shows, comic books or artists. The main rule is that you didn't have to pay for it!) I had picked up a few posters the previous day, but they had become damaged on the way back to the hotel.

The Fox booth was passing out these poster tubes with a carrying strap. But wait! The tubes were going like hot cakes. The next time they were getting passed out was a 1pm. So I got in the (at present) very short line at 12:30. It was here that I met Byron. (If you wonder why I remember his name, it because he was the only guy to give me a business card!) Byron runs a small website called Row M. He was there on a press pass - which I immediately began to covet. (Press passes let you bypass all the long lines!) Byron and I passed the time talking about stuff - Star Wars, collectibles, you know - geek stuff. Then the crowd started to build. The Fox staff has a guy come up about 5 minutes before the tubes were going to be passed out and started pushing people around to form a line. (You will find this is a reoccurring theme with some booths: lack of planning when it comes to crowd management.) The guy pushed me out of line and Byron yelled at him and pulled me back onto the right side of the rope. Thanks Byron!!

We were watching the beleaguered Fox staff getting the tubes ready for distribution when a lady on the outskirts of the crowd starts yelling at Byron, "I got the last one!!". The last what? Turns out Intel had hooked up with the new Star Trek movie and was having a contest. There were scratch off cards with different "staff positions" from the Enterprise printed on them. If you collected all eight positions, you got a cool laptop bag. The catch? To turn them in, you had to have eight people, one to hold each card. Byron had been working with two other people since earlier in the convention and now had all eight cards. Byron generously offered to let me partake of his swag bounty by giving me a card. I was to meet him at the Star Trek/Intel booth after we got our tubes.

The Fox staff started passing out the tubes and the crowd surged forward. If you have never been part of a huge mass of bodies before, it can be frightening the way you are just swept along by the pressure. I am a large gal so can hold my own, but a smaller person - there is always the chance you would be overwhelmed and lose your footing. We spewed out of the end of the line and swirled away from the main press of human bodies. I lost Byron in the crowd.

I started towards the Intel booth - the flow of bodies was against me. I only had to go over two rows, but it must have taken me 5 minutes to get there. And when I did arrive, there was Byron and his two compatriots, waiting. We still needed four more people, so we grabbed folks out of the passing press of bodies - a kid, some other geek who had a hand full of cards, and two gals who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. We turned in our cards and received our swag. I thanked Byron again, and promised to get him the Hasbro ticket that Annie had left in the room. (To even get into the line for the Hasbro collectibles shop, you had to have a ticket, which they passed out at random intervals. Annie had scored one, but not Byron. And he really had to get his toys.)

My Swag Bag!!

I then wandered around the dealer hall for a little while longer, then went back to the hotel with Annie and Tate. We had wanted to see the Robot Chicken and Venture Brothers panels, but just couldn't get in. The whole wait in line for hours thing was kinda getting us down. I suggested we try this restaurant, Doa Son, I had seen suggested online. It specialized in Asian noodle dishes.

Now normally I would not be so bold in a strange city, but we had rented a GPS unit along with the rental car. (It was affectionately known as "The Bitch" - as in "Shut the F*** Up, Bitch!" because of it's constant talking.) So we follow the Bitch's instructions to the restaurant only to find - there is no parking. This is one of the problems we encountered a lot. We would want to hit these small out of the way restaurants and could not park. So we kinda said screw it. I popped in and ordered take out while Tony drove around the block again and again and again. Tony was greatly amused.



Sorry there are no pictures of the food. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were all so hungry we fell on the food like a pack of wolves. The noodles were really good. The broth was clearly homemade loaded with lots of veggies, meat and noodles. Tate got so much food that he couldn't finish it all, so he said "Screw the noodles! It the broth that make a good noodle soup." and downed the rest of the liquid nectar.

We then passed out to get ready for Saturday - the big day!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

If you like In and Out Burger, you should definitely check out Five Guys Burgers and Fries. There's actually one opening on Thursday, May 14 at 1403 N. High Street near the OSU campus. I hope you'll give them a try, if you've never had one. Their burgers and fries are amazing (I personally LOVE the Cajun fries!), made fresh to order, never frozen. In fact, they don't even have freezers in the restaurants at all!

I hope you love them as much as I do! If you do, spread the word about the opening!!!