THE GHUL GOES WEST pt.3(SDCC day3 FRIDAY THE 13th)
Again sleep seemed to last forever, but when i woke up it was just 7am! the time was just right to get the day started. it would be my last day at this hotel, so rising up this early would give me plenty of time for necessary preparation. check out time was of course at noon but i still had to check into the other hotel. first, i made a call to the front desk to see if i could get an additional day(since i really didn't want to transfer from hotel to hotel). i had considered this upon arrival and asked the front desk clerk if it would be possible. but with all the attendees checking in and all the comic-con madness approaching the horizon, the hotel was completely booked and my only option was to check back daily(for cancellations so that i could get another nights stay). so what better time to call on my last day, huh? and to my surprise, there was! alright, now just to call the other hotel and cancel my reservation. so, i call them up, and for a nights stay plus tax i could cancel my reservation... yeah, riiiiight! well i didn't really have a choice or the cash(i mean would you? ulness you're a bruce wayne or tony stark)besides, the next hotel i would be staying at was just a few bucks more, by the bayside, closer to the convention and in the end worth it. with this set in my mind, i gathered and packed up my belongings so that when it was check out time i would just zip out the door. i made those hours leading up to check out time count, first i had to set up a seperate bag for what would contain the transformation to e.spanto(the huge duffle bag that was included with the purchase of my luggage cart was perfect!). annnd since i really hadn't purchased much from the convention, everything else i needed to pack wasn't really much of a bother( aside from trying to keep my dc universe classics big barda figure/package from being crushed). all done with that, i eyed the leftover pizza from last night and pryed the box open just a bit. but i just couldn't dip my fangs into a cold slice(and i love cold pizza!)of the mess i tried to eat a few hours ago. even cold this pizza didn't seem appetizing! screw it, i didn't really want to eat much knowing the transformation of e.spanto was near! what i was really in need of was lots and lots of fluids(ice cold hydration!)as i was in denial of being hungover just a bit(ok, maybe i was). i knew just the place to get it too, after a quick shower i head over to the fitness room. and for a few minutes i was glued to the water dispenser, the water wasn't too cold but it hit the spot. i worked up a good sweat(feeling all those toxins leave my body), utilizing what i could (the same as the day before)for my work out. i head back to my room, shower, get dressed and kill the rest of my hotel time listening to music(mostly queen and oingo boingo)loudly on youtube. check out time! i do a thorough double check making sure i left nothing behind(just a few flyers from various promoters/companies and some subway frankenweenie inserts with a half eaten sugar cookie that i picked up off last nights shuttle which were left behind by a mother and her son). all was set, i was ready(this time)to head out the door and out the mother f***ing door i went! i turn in my room keys to the front desk office, walk out the door taking in a quick view of the mountains that surrounded the hotel(one last time) and join the line of attendees at the shuttle stop. the shuttle arrives and the driver is very friendly by offering to have my luggage stowed underneath the shuttles carriage(what a relief! the duffle bag began to weigh down my shoulder as i waited in line). the ride back to the convention was quick, still feeling out of it i knew just where to go. the django booth was in distance and i quickly made my way to it, so that i could score myself a free red bull zero. it did what it could, enough to get me over the bridge and onward to the convention. but, i wasn't going there just yet i had to check in to the other hotel and drop off my luggage. along my way to the shuttle stop(for the other hotel), i couldn't help to avoid and want to receive flyers and freebies. i got what i could and stuffed it in my back pocket, a few got my attention(a free xxl t-shirt from an RP gaming company,a flyer invite from a girl clad in black spandex, a silver wig(and boots!) for a space command session, and some KROQ sunglasses(which are very cool!). i kept the space command invite in mind for later believing it to be some kinda live-action play and in hopes of seeing more spandex clad space-girls! anyhow, i pulled back my hair with my other sunglasses and put on the KROQ's(yeah, i looked odd but did i care? did anyone else???)continuing down the front entrance of the convention to my shuttle stop. costumes and cosplayers were in full swing! from all the expected and the unexpected, which leads me to the(only)freddie mercury costume i saw. man, this guy nailed it!(except, for the shoes but ya gotta give him credit! those adidas worn by freddie are either no longer available or just impossible to find! believe me, i have looked!)ive always imagined mr. mercury maaaybe about my height and size(in person)but on tv,video etc this guy looked like he jumped right outta the screen! i was waiting for this guy to start belting out "one vision" or just maybe(just maybe!) it could be heard somewhere in the background. well, i guess it's like that with every celebrity they always look larger than life on the big screen but in person... anyway, i had my camera and everything else tucked away so i didn't get a pic(but judge for yourself there are lots of pics out there of this guy!)and could only hope he would be around when id return. soon, my shuttle arrives and iam given the same kinda helpful service as before(my bulky luggage stowed away underneath the carriage)giving me a welcoming sense of comfort and ease. on the way to the hotel, my eyes start to drift after taking in the views of the bayside. first the mountains on the other side(at the other hotel)now the endless blue waves of the bayside. now, here i could really imagine seeing jack,janet and crissy(yeah even mr. furley!)riding around in their ten speeds! haha! each hotel stop we came to, i anticipated my hotel being near in hopes that it too would have a nice running trail out front(near the bay). turns out it did! and thats what i had my sights set in for first thing the next morning. i arrive at the hotel, check in(no rooms available just yet, so i had to do as planned)and have my luggage secured at the front desk. i just had to see the wax(rubber?)piano player that was curiously depicted on the hotels website. you would think it(he) was almost real or just some strangely deformed human being but it had to be seen to be believed(and i kept him in mind for later). so, with my huge duffle bag i carry on and await the next shuttle. my room wouldn't be available until 4pm, so i plan on having e.spanto make his appearance for a few hours then return to the hotel and settle in(for awhile). it was probably a bit after 1pm around this time and by the time i got to the convention close to 2pm. since it was pay day for me, i decided to take out a few bucks just in case i would find anything else that would catch my attention(and for food, of course). i head on over to a down town convience store that is a few blocks away from the convention(and near a chinese restaurant that i eyed for later)for a pack of gum and an atm machine. the atm machine had an eye gouging price of 5 bucks for cash withdrawals. no thanks! i'll just head over to my awesome new bank and use their atm at about half the price. it was somewhere around the corner but eventually i found it and caddy corner to a down town supermarket(ralphs was it?)that i just had to explore. and with all the welcoming comic-con banners displayed outside it was a must! actually, i was in search of something and after finding it i found something more! a HUGE carton of zico coconut water! just what i needed! it was reasonably priced too at about the price of 2 zico regular sized drinks you got more than 3!!!(maybe 4!) yes, it was that big! i left ralphs supermarket happy and ready to take on the convention(with e.spanto!). i stroll on down the streets back to the convention chugging away on my zico water like a drunken alley cat let loose from a bar. a big smile on my face(with my SDCC badge proudly displayed) leaving enough room for my eyes to detect and detect they do! i noticed a car pulling up near me as i passed some parking spaces along the sidewalk. i could sense the occupant of the car having their eyes fixed on me as i walked by them. then, i could feel them approaching nearer and nearer... "do you uh speak-uh spanish??" said the gruff male voice. i turn to see my follower, a short middle-aged man of obvious mexican origin. "si, un poquito!", i say in my best baritoned voice(ala rex reason). from what i gathered as he struggled to explain, was a chance at purchasing a comic-con badge(and with my badge dangling around my neck, i could see it in the crosshairs of his eyes). i tried to explain as best i could, that the badges were sold out and no longer available. thats about the time i noticed he held something in his left hand, a boxed object that he presented to me eagerly. it was a collection of the original buster crabbe flash gordon serials on vhs! in all of his eagerness, he was wanting to try and sell this vhs collection at the con(but first he needed a badge, my badge perhaps? uh-huh! sure.). i told him maybe he could stand outside the convention and see if anyone would be interested in purchasing them(after i had turned down his offer to buy them). i mean it was vhs, and i do love vhs! but just not those flash gordon serials. and in recent years i have seen an interest amongst collectors in vhs movies, this i brought to his attention and as an uplift to goad his confidence. but it seems collectors are more interested in those with the original shell casing intact, and these flash gordon serials were just boxed together. so id imagine it would be a tough sell(and since were on the subject, iam looking for a copy of THE VINDICATOR 1986 or METALSTORM 1983, anyone???). anyhow, from a distance one would probably think we were arguing or in some kinda fracas. i walked a bit too fast and calmly, he did his best to keep up and watch his step. then from out of the somewhat silent down town street, a soft-accented voice penetrated the atmosphere. "need a ride??" huh? what? we both turned. oh no... there she was(unless she had a twin!)the pedi-cabbie from last night! out of nowhere, she stood there(by her bike)in a super-heroic pose with one hand on her hip and the other on one of the bikes handle bars. we briefly look at one another(me and my follower),"are you gonna go with her?" he says. and with her toned/sexy body, she wasn't going anywhere until one(ahem!)of us said yes! well, she wasn't asking you chum!(heh!heh!)so i took her up on the offer, wished luck to my follower and off we went. i took notice to her accent immediately and began to speak to her in spanish once i realized she understood it(a bit). well, she said. "only when it is spoken slowly". iam sorry, i said. "where are you from?"i asked, as i tried to make myself comfortable in the backseat. brazil, she said. wow! is all i could try to say if anything even came outta my voice box. i couldn't help but feel/look silly in that backseat(i have never done this or would even consider to do this especially in SA!), but this was san diego and with a brazillian goddess toting me around i pity the first snickering fool! anyway, the distance to the convention was just a few blocks away and this beat walking(even though i had no problem with doing so, but this was fun!)not to mention the duffle bag starting to weigh down my shoulder. the ride was smooth, and with each pedal she stroked upward or downward id occasionally glance at her uhhh... bike seat!(oh c'mon! like you wouldn't? and with those tight jean shorts, it was unavoidable!). it wasn't like she didn't notice either(a few times she would look over her shoulder and smile). anywaaay, before long i thought myself to be close enough to the convention(about less than a half block away from the railroad crossing)and decided it was time to part ways with my brazillian heroine. heroine? yes! 'cos for all i know buster crabbe coulda conked me over the head with his vhs tapes and made off with my comic-con badge! man,oh man! wouldn't this make the perfect scene for a comic-con geek experience movie??? now all that was next was to have e.spanto return the favour and rescue her from goons plotting to.... oh never mind! dream on buddy boy! dream on! anyhow, i tell her this stop(corner)would be fine. oh no, she said(surrendering her services to me)."i can get you closer". i told her i didn't think they allowed bikes within the convention center area(i had thought to have seen a sign stating this). but she insisted and i don't think she quite understood(or maybe i didn't). whichever the miscommunication, i had to take the rest of my trip on foot. i offered up payment asking how much i owed her, "whatever you want to give me" she said and smiled.(ayi-yi-yi!) i gave her whatever bills i had left from my purchase at the supermarket(for less than four minutes of a ride it was more than enough and worth every second of my time). maybe i'll see you again later tonight, i told her before she thanked me and sped off into the down town streets. and like everyone else i would have the privilege of meeting or talking to at comic-con, i would never see her again(but in this case i did). alright, so now iam headed back to the con and once inside i head directly to one of the rest rooms i scoped out the day before. damn, too crowded all the stalls were taken. ok, lets try another one.. yep, all taken up. let me try and get away from the crowd to a more secluded rest room around the back of the con... bingo! perfect all the stalls were empty here, but a few minutes after i step into to begin the transformation i get a "crappy" neighbour. oh man, so i try and speed up the transformation as quick as i can. it takes a bit longer than i had planned having to dig through the duffle bag in search of what was needed. eventually all came into place and in a few moments e.spanto makes his appearance out of a rest room stall(not out of a cave or a phone booth sorry)yaaaay!!! e.spanto gives himself a quick look in the mirror to make sure his cape is in place and out the door he goes. the hallway leading to and out of the restroom wasn't well lit, so when e.spanto made his way out it was picture perfect(as though he was looming out of some darkened tunnel). first few glances(by attendees)of e.spanto were jaw-dropping and"what the fuck are you?"expressions were in abundance. e.spanto makes his way down to the first floor and with everything seperated and organized, he drops off his excess luggage at one of comic-cons convient baggage holding areas. with a compact bag(containing a camera and tripod) slung over his shoulder, the phantom hero of horror begins his first comic-con adventure! first things first besides making his presence known, the eerie neighbourhood skullman had to find a taping location and he knew just the place. unfortunately, this area(the balcony overlooking petco park) was guarded by security who would not allow the phantom skullman entry. thus, finding a great taping location with little distraction would be his quest throughout the day. coming around the second floor again, (after being stopped a couple of times for photos) e.spanto finds a possible taping location. so, he sets up his tripod and camera readying himself for the shoot. with taping assistance from nearby attendees, the camera is rolling and the skullman breezes through his presentation for tomb of dracula(parts 1 and 2). all seemed to have gone well(despite the sun shining through the cons dome windows),now it was time to head down to the exhibit. but first, e.spanto checks the footage shot for any flaws and there is quite a few besides the sun. of most importance, was the sound! the phantom skullman sounded very muffled, amidst all the passing traffic and could hardly be heard. now what? and where to now? scouring through the second floor once again, a perfect taping location seemed non-existent. until, the skullman spied a stairway leading up above and outside the second floor. quickly he makes his way towards it, pausing only briefly to observe the medieval role play(re-enactments)being depicted along his path. soon up above this secluded stairway, e.spanto targets his taping location(alongside the outer walls of the con). on his way there, he begins to smell what he believed to be barbacoa(or boiling cow heads, whichever is your preference). this can't be! he wondered. "for iam here at SDCC(up above the second/third floors) and there is no tortilleria... molino... or a taqueria within distance!" just then he noticed the sun beating down on his gloves and skull(mask), it was the smell of burning rubber/latex(which oddly did smell like barbacoa)! but how??!! my gloves(and cape) are resistant to the fires of hell! and my skull... indestructable! the phantom hero questioned his powers and abilities. could the evil mortuus be behind this?? wasting no time, the creepy crusader sets up for taping and begins recording. if the evil mortuus was behind this, he had to ensure that bloodshot theatre would be presented to SA viewers no matter what the cost! after a few minor disruptions from employees taking cigarette breaks, e.spanto wraps up recording for bloodshot theatres san diego comic-con super special. the footage was good but the sound was just like before(especially due to the vents nearby, which was both a good and a bad thing as it also made e.spanto's cape flow into the wind), so now it was up to some good editing magic over at bathound productions. once again the skullman travels up and down flights of stairs,escalators, and through the convention halls, finally ending up at the exhibit. those few hours set for e.spanto's appearance doubled, as quite a few photos were taken once inside the exhibit. e.spanto seemed confused as attendees addressed him as the skeleton man,skeletor and scareglow. what? who are these people they refer to me as? who is this... skeletor?!? the phantom hero wondered. through the midst of the crowd, e.spanto is approached by an attendee with a michael jackson thriller doll. the attendee asked if the skullman could hold the doll while he took a picture, and kindly obliged. awesome! this pic is gonna be soooo cool! the attendee said, leaving e.spanto to wonder"what the hell was that all about?". sludging through the exhibit for awhile, e.spanto makes his way up to the second floor again for another walk around. this time, the skullman is asked to pose for a pic with zatanna as he approached a section in the signing area. the phantom hero of horror seemed to garner quite a bit of attention this time around, but it was time he made his exit. after seeing that the evil mortuus and his cala-mortes were nowhere to be found, the phantom skullman made for preparations to leave the convention and complete the transformation. again, the location of a vacant secluded rest room proved to be a problem. through the darkened lower level hallways, e.spanto scared up a fright amongst few children passing by. still, the ideal rest room was nowhere to be found and only one option remained. e.spanto had to return to the hotel(via shuttle bus), to complete the transformation! so, to the front entrance of the convention the skullman approaches, but is faced with a cameraman from mtv tumblr's(for a few vid shots). soon, e.spanto makes his way out in front of the convention, he didn't have to wait long as a shuttle bus was just pulling up(service for the teal route seemed much better than the red route for some reason). e.spanto posed for a few pics prior to boarding the shuttle bus, again being confused with this so-called skeletor. moments later at the bayside marina, the room is ready and the transformation is complete. so, iam laying there on one of the beds(i got a double and paid for a single, cool!)feeling like david banner would probably feel after his transformation from the hulk. tired and very hungry! ok, i'll just relax a bit until sun down and head into down town for a bite to eat. some good indian food or a hot bowl of pho had been calling to me allll day. i decided to try and find the pho restaurant listed on the comic-con eatery directory, but i was really craving some indian food as well. i was just hungry... very hungry! and with all the seafood restaurants passed along the way in the shuttle, i craved that too! but i had to go down town, my relaxation and recuperation didn't last too long as dusk quickly approached. i should have showered, but i didnt and just made myself fresh faced(teeth and body) as best i could, put on my clothes,sneakers,clipped on those awesome looking KROQ'S and out the door i went. on the way into down town/convention the day just faded quicker and quicker getting darker and darker. yes i wore my sunglasses through the night(you would too!), and if ya got a pair of these you might agree too(they're pretty awesome, cheap looking but dark and awesome!). i guess i was the only(idiot, haha!)with sunglasses at night, and the night seemed alot darker than the night before. anyway, soon iam back in front of the convention making my across the railroad crossing(attendees are in abundance). finally breaking through the crowd, i get in the direction i need to be headed. this pho restaurant was somewhere along one of the th's streets, so thats where i head. i wasn't just walking no, i was speed walking! all the while a song by missing persons(walking in L.A.) pumped through my head, i don't know why even though it was san diego! haha! well, it is california. anyhow, in a few short moments iam waaay passed the convention and traffic seemed to be less in this area. oh shit, where did i wander? did i wander too far? i could see a passing bus with it's destination sign reading TIJUANA. nah, i can't be! could i? so another block up i eventually find this pho restaurant and from the look of things they were bombarded with business(not to mention the place was kinda small, no more than twelve tables if you counted the ones outside). so, i find the cleanest table i could and have a seat. man, this place has to be good(i thought)! but unfortunately, id never know since i was told i could only be offered to go service. what the hell??? ok, no problem theres alot more restaurants in down town san diego that i could dive into. alright, so down the th's streets i go and with each block downward, the down town streets seemed to become more livelier on this friday(the 13th)night. so many food options to choose from and i couldn't find that indian restaurant i saw the other night! i finally settle in(momentarily)to a thai restaurant near hennesys(yeah, here we go again!). iam offered service indolently, and was told the only available seating was outdoors(by the sidewalk, with all the passing traffic). screw it! i didn't care i was just hungry and hopeful they might have a dish of pad kee mow. but the menu wasn't quite appealing to me and i probably would have settled on a dish of their curry(if i had been given the opportunity to place my order!). to the hell with this place! i wasn't gonna waste another five minutes of the twenty i had already wasted, i get up and leave. no bother, besides i didn't like my seat and there just had to be somewhere else i could eat. up ahead i could see that the he-man.org party had been in full swing(or was, since there was no band present blasting out the speakers)and i stopped for a moment when i noticed scott neitlich(toy guru from matty collector)outside hennesys. he was smoking a cigarette(hard),pepped up and being interviewed by a tall woman who seemed to have an accent. i tried to make out the interview but couldn't(i guess my hunger was dulling all the rest of my senses)and thought i should wait a bit and maybe get some footage. well, what was i gonna ask him?(i thought)the only thing that could put a lightbulb in my head was food and somewhere in the back of my mind a question about MOTUC. but i couldn't think of it at the moment and my stomach was telling me to leave already! so i did and probably the only thing i could think of(even now)is whether or not there will be a new masters of the universe movie and if matty collector will release dolph lundgren and frank langella styled masters of the universe movie figures. anyway, iam sure he would know(c'mon, hes the toy guru!)but whether or not it would be a definite answer is anyones guess. alright, so i make my way around the corner of hennesys stumbling upon an indian restaurant(finally)! i was greeted welcomingly, as i kinda peeked inside a bit(it was somewhat of an outdoor/indoor eatery). although,i have never been to new york, but this place kinda looked fit for a gordon gekko or patrick bateman. and i usually don't get intimidated that easily by restaurants(especially when iam hungry!), but i was just now looking for a place i could just eat,sit,and go! and should that place have been red pearl inn? well almost. i was greeted by a server(manager perhaps?)who seemed to be high on cocaine, and offered a table by the bar. service was good, and i felt at ease with some attendees around. if i could have mustered the ability to order an alcoholic beverage, my visit here might have been worthwhile(and it woulda masked the taste of the food from being not too great). but when you're hungry everything can taste really good and so it did, my vegetable springroll appetizers were good and the hot/sour sauce made them better(i thought i was never gonna finish them, the bowl they were served in seemed bottomless!). the eggplant stir-fry i ordered up was also good up until after a few bites(upon realization of how oily it was). my personal guess from this place?(if you have to know) maybe it was trying to be coyote ugly/chinese eatery? i don't know. i could only imagine what this place would look like had it been well-lit(the velvety seat beside me was soaking wet from a ceiling leak above). anyway, i finish up my meal,tip my waitress(great service!)and head up the stairs and out the door. i was in denial in just how exhausted i was as i strolled on back to the convention towards my shuttle stop. i didn't really tape much this time around, just a shot of a haunted house venue that i considered attending(but after the lackluster speculation i didn't). there were attendees still in costume as i waited for my shuttle(it must have been near 11pm)and so i thought to consider a nightly appearance of e.spanto! but first, i was gonna head back to my room, shower and recharge my body. it didn't happen, first thing i did when i got back to my room was lay in bed. my mind kept telling me just a few minutes.. just a few minutes... just a few---- BAM! i hit a brick wall and didn't get up until the next day. e.spanto's nightly appearance was cancelled until further notice(just cancelled period!).
ok, so here are a few things i learned this day:
1. ALWAYS book an extra day(if ya got the money and plan/know to extend your stay)at the same hotel. but in my case i had already booked these days and when i wanted to book another day(after receiving my professional badge)they were already booked(ironically). whatever the scenario, this could be handy! and since you're already at the hotel there should be no problem should you decide to leave early and cancel a day(unless deposits are non-refundable).
2. stay hydrated! not that i wasn't(only 'cos i was hungover, alright! there i admit it!), but it's important that you do.
3. ALWAYS have your camera handy for pics!
4. NEVER wear your comic-con badge far away from the convention. and if you do, be sure you're with a group of friends.
5. if you're gonna go to a convention in costume, just GO in costume! NEVER change in a rest room stall!(but under my circumstances i hadn't much of a choice).it is much easier and you will be alot more prepared(trust me!).
6. if you plan to tape(with voice, especially for interviews,intros/outros duh!)be sure to have a microphone handy! i didn't.
7. always, always get plenty of rest and if a tall brazillian super-heroine asks you for a ride... accept it!
alright ya creeps, day 4(my last day boo hoo!) is next! until then, stay post-dead!!!!