Nicole, Ryan, and I secured a room at the Indigo thanks to their quick thinking last year, and booking a year in advance. I arrived first again this year, and was able to get Indigo to hang on to my stuff until the room holding Cadavers arrived. I was a few minutes early for press badge pickup to open, but decided to head that way anyway. The lines for the Blood Drive were huge, and there was even a small line for press badge pickup. I did happen to run into a friend who was finishing up giving blood right about when I was done getting my badge, so he and I went to meet Schweck and Chad at the Marriott pool. As I was wearing all black I wasn’t really feeling the unshaded sunshine so decided to have a bit of a wander while looking for some food. This was a big test for me over the weekend. I stopped eating sugar, bread, rice, pasta, and pretty much everything good and enjoyable at the end of 2021. I’ve lost 25 pounds and kept it off, but boy am I tough to eat out with. I brought plenty of snacks, but sometimes protein bar just won’t cut it. The best I could do was an overpriced Cobb salad in the food court. Better than nothing I guess. Everyone else started trickling in so I went to help Dave carry game show stuff up to his room before going to get checked into the hotel and freshened up. We just generally hung out and walked around with no real purpose other than finding all of the people we wanted to find. One huge improvement this year was the additional dance parties. We had trouble finding them and/or getting into them last year. This year we walked right in to the 8-Bit Bash, and had a blast. I decided to behave myself though, and left around 1am so that I would be able to speak on a 10am panel on Friday morning. Friday was going to be a busy day!
I planned my day pretty well. So even though I knew I wouldn’t get as much sleep as I would want being in bed by 2am, and getting up at 8am isn’t terrible. I didn’t drink that much Thursday night (not like the year we had noon Thursday), and was feeling pretty good for our Star Wars New Canon panel on the Star Wars track. It was being moderated by Alex, who runs the YouTube channel Star Wars Explained and has won the Star Wars trivia contest more than once. We know a lot about Star Wars, and we didn’t even make it past the qualifying test. The point of all of that is that we were on a panel with someone who knows more about Star Wars than all three of us combined. But it was a panel about books and comics. That’s pretty much our whole podcast so I don’t know how we could have screwed it up too badly. And we didn’t; at least I don’t think we did. I guess we won’t find out until we see if we get invited back next year. Not only did we have a good time doing that panel, but author John Jackson Miller stopped by to mention that his book A New Dawn was the start of the new canon. That was pretty cool since I had an interview with him the very next day! After that panel it was time for a good breakfast of another Cobb salad since it would be my last time in the food court for the weekend, and then time for a good sized nap so that I could be ready to talk about Star Wars again at 7pm.The one at 7pm was once again Chad, Ryan, and myself, but this time being moderated by Gary Mitchel as we talked about the 1997 special editions of the original trilogy. Ryan Schweck must be pretty popular because there were several friends of ours that have never ever been to a single panel I’ve done before ever that showed up for this. I don’t know if we’ll get to do another one like this for awhile because Joe and Gary told us that they only had clearance to discuss the original trilogy. So I guess we just have to wait for anniversary years to make a pitch.
After all the Star Wars I had to run straight to the Hilton to get ready for the Big Damn Game Show. Huge note to self: do not schedule anything after 4pm on Fridays ever again. I had thrown a peanut butter sandwich (sugar-free peanut butter, and “carbmaster” bread), and protein bar, and a handful of plant based crackers in my bag, and I ate those as I ran. God my food choices are annoying and make me sound like a jerk. Anyway, the game show went really really well. There are always things we think we could have done better, and there always will be, but we’ll never be perfect. Sometimes our mistakes end up being funnier than what we had planned too. After the game show we cleared the floor for a dance party. It was pretty much just 20 people dancing or standing around chatting, but it was a nice low key way to wrap up the game show. Usually we run right out to hotel wander or go to a big party, and it was nice to do something more chill for a change. Plus Noel played what amounted to the playlist from the Masquerade’s 80’s night we all used to go to every Thursday night in the late 90’s. And because they’d been talking smack for months we had to go find the arcade so that Ryan and Dave could have their Mortal Kombat rematch. It did not go well for Ryan, but the five of us are going to dress up as Mortal Komat characters one night next year so some good came of it after all.
And I should probably break this up before it goes way “too long, didn’t read”. Stay tunes for part two of my recap – The Recappening.