Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wondercon Day 2 - Saturday

Day 2 of Wondercon starts.. up at 8am, showered and attempting to put on my halflings ears. My friend Chris offered to help me out. Now I've put on these ears many times the past two years and you'd think it would be easier every time but it's not. Once again we struggled to get them on just right and make the as seamless as possible. We did do it in the end but it was tough.

The next battle was the wig. My wigs have always been my trouble spot, I have never really been happy with the way they look. Last year I spent about $150 on a nicer wig and it seemed to work okay, but still wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. Today was the same, I struggled and struggled with it until finally I said screw it and admitted defeat. I had been working on it for an hour and it wasn't getting any better and I was holding up my friends who were kind enough to be waiting for me. Chris wanted to order room service for Breakfast. It was a good idea as we were all hungry and with my issues with my cos-play going out to breakfast would have delayed us even more. I don't order room service very often as it's rather expensive but Chris offered to pay so we gave it a go and it was extremely tasty. The food was hot and very yummy. Chris made a good call with that.

I finished getting ready and we headed down the to con around 10:30am. It was Chris, Robert, Aaron and I. We were soon joined by Brett. We walked around the con checking out booths and such. I would get requests for photos here and there but no where near as many as I did at SDCC.

We were joined by friends as the day went on. Dallas, Rupert, Daniella, Steve, Luis, Scott, Matt, Jennifer, Leslie, Brian K, Brian F, Anne, and Nicki. Some would stay with us for a while, some just a few moments.

There were lots of cool cos player, I actually did see another Hobbit as well as a Gandalf.

The con has become a mini San Diego Comic Con, this is only the second year it's been down here in LA, it's normally in SF but it sold out this year and if you wanted to get in panels last year you just walked right in.. this year you had to get there a few hours early to get a seat.

I decided to not do any panels this year. Today was all about cos-playing. I was the only one cos-playing from our group (well Chris was cos-play but it looked like regular street clothes). We spent all day going from one end of the con to the other and back again.

Around 7pm the con closed and we headed back up to the room so I could change. We were heading out to a local buffet place to have a little celebration dinner for Chris. We expected about 20 or so friends to join us. It was a bit crazy at the beginning but soon enough we had the entire back half corner of the restaurant to ourselves.

The food is what you would expected from a $10 family buffet restaurant but the company was the best. Joining us from the con we had Nicki, Anne, Scott, Dallas, Brett, Rupert, Aaron, Luis, Brian K, Brian F, Leslie, Robert, Jennifer, Matt, Daniella, and Steve. Those who just came in for dinner were Josh, Troy, Anthony and Michele. It was a good time. I know Chris was really happy to see everyone and that's all that really matters to me. That was the whole point of having this dinner. It wasn't about the food, it was about seeing my best friend happy.. so mission accomplished.

Afterwards some folks went back to our hotel for an after party. I was not one of them. My feet were killing me and I needed to rest. Most of our after parties are pretty crazy and I just wasn't in the mood for crazy. So Robert and I headed back up to the hotel to go to sleep while Aaron and Chris went to the after party.

All in all it was another fun day at Wondercon. Tomorrow is the last day of con. I'm still debating on weather or not I'll be dressing up.. guess I'll decided tomorrow when I get up... stay tuned.

You can see more con pictures HERE 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wondercon Day 1 - Friday

So I was up around 8am, showered and started to pack. I was hoping to get everything in one suitcase but my Hobbit clothes are so bulky (the cloak takes up most of one suitcase alone) that I had to pack everything in two suitcases. So even though I was only staying a few nights in a hotel it looked like I would be there for a few weeks.

I left my place around 9:30am, traffic was hit and miss, took me about two hours to get to Anaheim and the convention center. I was staying at the Hilton which is literally right next to the convention center so I found the self parking for the hotel and parked. I couldn't check into the hotel until 4pm. So I just grabbed my backpack and headed over to the con.

 I made my way to room E where I was to pick up my badge. As expected it was a mad house. There were people everywhere. As I made my way into room E I went to  the left side of the room for the professional badges. They had four lines, A - F, G - L, M - S, T - Z ( or something similar). The lines were super long but when I got midway down the line my friend Jarad called out my name so I joyed him. It was very confusing at first as there were four lines at the front but some how only three towards the end. Jarad and I looked around and he said to me.. I think you're suppose to be in that line.. with the guy with orange backpack. And sure enough my M - S line (which is normally the longest) was the shortest with only 10 or so people. I immediately walked passed everyone and got in that line and with in 10 minutes I had my badges for Wondercon. My buddy Jarad took almost an hour to get his badges... I got lucky.
After obtaining my badge I had to get into this crazy long line that went up an escalator, out the side door, wrapped around the back of the con and then folded in on itself two times before going back into the building and into the main hall. It looked pretty crazy but it actually didn't take too long to get inside.

I had gotten to the con around 11:30am and was finally actually in the main hall by 12:30pm. So all in all it wasn't that bad.

First thing I did was hook up with my buddy Brett, who got in about a half hour earlier. We walked the vendors room from beginning to end. Ran into a few friends, including Andrew, Brian K, Brian F, Jennifer, and Felicia Day.

Around 3:30 he and I headed back to my hotel to check in. I went to the parking structure and got my bags and then checked it. It was pretty painless and really quick. Brett and I went up to my room, dropped off my stuff and rested for a few minutes.

When then headed back down to the main convention hall and we ran into my friends America Young and Andrew Seely. They were with several of their friends. We joined them and took them over to the gaming area. We sat with them and chatted for about an hour or so when another friend of mine Amy Radcliffe joined us. It was so much fun seeing all these friends. Amy and I caught up for bit before Brett and I parted ways with the group and headed out to find my buddy Robert who had just arrived. We found Robert and continued to walk around the floor for a bit.

My buddy Chris was arriving from Montana tonight at 9:15pm, I got a text from him informing me that he caught an earlier flight, so he was now getting in around 8pm but his baggage was still on his original flight and wouldn't be in until 9:15pm.

He was flying into Santa Ana airport which is about 30 minutes away from the con so we (Robert, Brett and I) left around 7:15pm for the airport. Got there around 7:45pm and parked (that was an adventure all into itself). We waited for his plane to land and shortly after he was walking up to us. It was awesome seeing him. I haven't seen him since my visit to Montana last December. So it's been about three months and I miss him so much.

Of course we still had an hour to wait for his luggage so we went to a local El Torito for some dinner. It was a fun dinner, service was kind of slow and everyone was starving but the company was fantastic. We got back to the airport around 9:30pm, picked up his bag and then headed back to the hotel/con. When we got there we said our goodbyes to Brett and our hellos Aaron, Rachelle, Anne, Nicki, Brian K, Brian F, Rachel, Jen and Kim who were all there to welcome Chris to the con. We got some drinks down in the hotel bar and found a place to sit and chat.

Around 12:30am I called it a night since I had to be up early in the morning to Hobbit-fy myself. Shortly after Robert, then Chris and Aaron showed up. The four of us were sharing a hotel room. We got into our Pj's and went to bed.

Overall day one of Wondercon was a blast. I got to hang with good friends, see the return of my best friend, and be surround by a ton of nerds and geeks.. it doesn't get much better then that. Tomorrow it's HOBBIT TIME!!!!

You can see more con pictures HERE

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's a Hobbit Kind of Day

This morning I edited another episode of my MASH 4077 podcast. We have recorded about seven episodes already and for once I'm trying to get ahead of the game. Normally I wanted a few days before a podcast is due to be released (which is stupid). Since I have the time off I'm really trying to do better and get as many as we have recorded done.. it will make my life easier in the long run. So today I edited and finished the podcast that won't be out until April 15th. 

I got The Hobbit blu-ray yesterday, I won a Oscar poll on a scifi forum that I frequent. So today I watched the extras with my roommate Michele. There is over 2 hours of awesome behind the scenes extra.. only issue I had is that they were the 10 production blogs that they released over the past year on the internet. Plus side is that the stuff is so incredible cool I didn't mind watching it all again. But that was all that was part of the special features. I'm sure they are saving the new stuff for the extended version of the movie blu ray release that will be coming out soon. And yes I'll be buying that as well.

After Michele and I watched the extras we popped in the movie. Now I have a screener of the movie so I've seen it four or five times but it's still not the same seeing in beautiful HD.  While the movie was playing Michele helped me out with my Hobbit wig and curled it for me. She previously did this a few days ago but now she was putting the final touches on it while I wore it. (Warning to future roommates, you will be required to help with my crazy cos-play ideas ). I really appreciate her help.

Speaking of Hobbit I got an additional accessory for my Hobbit outfit. I already have a "one" ring, but since I don't like gold it's actually black titanium with the words in silver. Well that doesn't quest match the movie so I purchased a gold version that looks more like the ring from the movie. I also purchased a silver chain to hang the ring from.. also like the movie. I got the ring a few days ago and today I go the chain. Looks great and I think it's a cool addition to my co-splay.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gaming Overload??

Today I played some LOTRO, but to be honest I was kind of bored with it. It's not the actual game I'm bored with.. the problem is I'm playing four different characters. Each one at a different level. My Hobbit is my main character that I play with Chris but when he's not around I play with my Human, Dwarf and Elf alt characters. Well Chris has been extremely busy with work and hasn't really played since mid February so I've been playing my alt characters alot and all three are close in level so the quests that I do are all the same. So I do one quest with my human, then a day or so later I'm doing that same quest with my Dwarf and then a day later I'm doing the same quest for a third time with my Elf... it gets kind of monotonous.

I'm thinking I should just play one alt character so it doesn't feel repetitive. I mean I'm playing the same quests with my Hobbit but that's part of a fellowship and that really gives it an entirely different feel. Now my only problem is which alt character do I continue with. I love my human female Kiwyn, she's strong and pretty powerful, she also has a companion so she has someone to fight along her side.. it's almost like being in a fellowship and playing with another person., My Dwarf Arikk is pretty bad ass and is actually stronger then my human female. He's the closest thing to being like my Hobbit, who I just adore. My Elf is probably my least favorite even though he's a magic user. He's more of supporting character and is the weakest of all my characters. Anyways I hope Chris is able to play soon, as I not only missing my Hobbit Drialdo I miss the companionship of my best friend.

Speaking of Chris he did have some free time tonight so we wrote some more of our new webseries. While I was finishing up the first draft of episode 105, Chris was starting to write episode 106. What's great is Chris and I have gone over the outlines for the first six episodes so it makes it a bit easier when we write for all we are really doing is writing the dialogue. But by the end of the night we officially have episodes 101 - 105 first drafts written and in the can... woohoo

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Disneyland III

Today I went to Disneyland for the third time this year. This time I went with my buddy Brett. I got there around 10am and from the moment I pulled up to the parking structure I knew it was going to be a busy day. There were lines of cars outside the structure. In the past few years when I have gone to Disneyland there has never been cars this far out.

Surprisingly it didn't take that long to park. I was on the fifth level, I've parked on the sixth (top) level many times. I got to and on the tram fairly easy and was soon walking up to Brett who was waiting for me out front. Once again the lines to get through security were longer then I've ever seen, but as with parking they didn't take too long to get through.

Once inside Brett and I decided to go to Disney California Adventures first as we figured it would be
less crowded and then we'd go over to Disneyland later in the day assuming folks with kids would go home by then.

Yeah we were wrong. I have never seen DCA so crowded. Now this is great for DCA as it's struggled to find people but with the new Carsland it's really become quite a popular place. Every ride was an hour to two hour wait. Some like the Radiator Springs Racers were 3 1/2 hours wait.

Since both Brett and I are season pass holder we decided that we were not going to wait in the very long lines. we were going to just enjoy each others company and walk around and enjoy the parks. But the first ride we actually got on was The Little Mermaid ride as the wait was only 10 minutes. Afterwards we headed over to Goofy's Sky School, the wait was over an hour. Brett was so surprised by these wait time but for this ride I was not surprised as it's always busy and very popular. I convinced him to get a fast pass for this one. So we got our fast pass and then went next door to get a corn dog (kind of a tradition). We then walked around to the Mickey's Fun Wheel. As we were walking by Brett said he's only been in the stationary cars but never on the swinging ones.. so of course we had to get in line. The wait time said 60 minutes but it actually took us about 45 minutes to get on. It was a lot of fun.

Next we went over to Screaming and once again the line was incredibly long, I've never seen it this long before so we opted to skip it. At this time we were able to use our fast pass on Goofy's Sky School. So we made our way back over there and rode that ride. Brett hadn't been on it since it was re-label Goofy's Sky School.. it's actually one of my favorite rides at DCA.

We then went to Tower of Terror, which was a 70 minute wait so we grabbed a fast pass but it was good for 8:25pm... that was six hours away.

We opted to leave DCA and head over to Disneyland. Now we thought DCA was bad.. Disneyland was even worse. Our first stop was Star Tours... the wait was an hour but this was one ride we though was worth it. It actually took us about and an hour to get on the ride, but was well worth it as I got two of my favorite worlds.

Afterward we went and grabbed some spaghetti at the pizza place. We then kind of just walked around. We checked out the new section of Fantasy land, which was pretty cool. I can't wait to see the new Beauty and the Beast show. I was looking for a soft serve ice cream place but come to find out that Disneyland doesn't have any so we headed back to DCA for ice cream.

We got into the single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers. The wait was about an hour but compared to the 3 hour wait for the regular line we were cool with that. What was great is that Brett and I were in separate cars but we actually raced each other... my car won of course :)

We finished our day waiting in line for Toy Story Mania. I love this ride but the wait is always so long but this time around the wait was about and hour and I didn't think that was too bad. It did feel like forever in that line but we finally rode it, Brett won with points but I was more accurate.

We finished our visit with a churro on our way out of the parks. Instead of taking the tram back to the parking structure Brett suggested we walk. It was a nice night and it allowed us to hang out just a bit longer.

Even thought the place was packed and we rode about six rides it was another awesome trip to Disneyland. Best part was getting to hang out with my good friend Brett.. can't wait to do it again.

Monday, March 25, 2013

As I Get Older

Today while talking to a friend online I responded to one of his questions with this answer.

"As I get older I'm realizing that money is not a big thing for me. If I just make enough to survive but do something I love.. then that's a life worth living"

I've said it before but I don't think it hit me as hard as it did today. I feel like all I ever do is work and I'm missing out on so much of living life. The past few years I've been slowly changing that. I haven't worked as much, only 9 out of the last 24 months (that was not by choice). I mean it killed me financially, using up all my savings, but for my social life it's never been better. I was having big movie marathon parties every month, I met some of the most amazing friends the past few years. I've even traveled a little bit.

Of course money is important to living life. With a mortgage to worry about I have to at least try and find work as much as I can. Once this house is sold and I don't have it hanging over my head.. who know what will happen. I've been wanting to move to England for a year. Just to experience something different.

But one thing is for sure, as I get older I'm realizing what is important to me and how I want to live out the other 40 years of my life. And it's not working a ton of hours and making a ton of money so I can have a ton of things. I want to experience living, loving and laughing. I want to help others, I want to make a difference if not to the world then to one person. I want my life to mean something.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Paypal, Dragons & Webseries

Woke up this morning to several emails from PayPal thanking me for using their services. I even set up a recurring payment plan. Only problem is I don't have a clue what these are for. My PayPal account had been hacked. This is the first time this has happen to my PayPal account. I quickly changed my password. I then went and canceled the reoccurring payment and then informed PayPal of the fraud.

It was to difficult, there is a little bit of information you have to fill out but for the most part it was pretty painless. There were only fraudulent charges on there one for $50 for some online stock place and the other was $11.64 (it also had the reoccurring payment plan set up). Wasn't sure what that was for.

About 3 hours later PayPal contacted me and said that they found in my favor and that the money would be returned to me ASAP. This was for the $50 charge. I have no doubt that they will favor me with my next one as well.. but I'm still waiting to hear back.

It wasn't a very productive today, I spent some time playing Lord of the Rings Online but only a few hours.

The bulk of my day was taken up watching recorded stuff off my DVR. It's getting pretty full so I decided to take the day and try and watched as much as I could. I'm a huge Fantasy lover, as many of you know. Back in December Syfy aired two D&D made for TV movies. The original Dungeons and Dragons opened in the theaters and bombed. I actually really enjoyed it (surprise, surprise). So I was really looking forward to seeing these two TV movies. They weren't true sequels of the first but they were set in the same world and the bad guy from the first is actually in the second movie. I watched Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God last week and really enjoyed it so today I watched the other one, Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness. It had a very different story from the other D&D movies and the effects were much better then the previous Wrath of the Dragon God. It was very entertaining and I do hope they continue making these made for TV movies sent in the Dungeons and Dragon world.

After the D&D movie I started watching Faceoff. This is Season three and I've enjoyed the previous seasons. I have about eight or nine of the episode recorded. Today I watched the first five episodes. I knew once I started I would have a hard time stopping.. it's a very addictive show.

To finish off my day I chatted via Vent with my buddy and co-writer of our new Webseries Chris. We finished off the script for episode 104. Both he and I are very happy with it. We moved some things around, but I think it's all for the better. I did a bit of work on 105 but Chris had to get to bed around 8pm my time as he gets up in the early am (3am). I worked on 105 for another hour or so but then got stuck on some dialogue and called it a night.

I'm very happy with the progress that we are making. The script for episode 5 is more then half done and Chris started working on the script for episode 6. I think the goal of getting at least the first draft of the season one written by SDCC is an obtainable one.