Friday, July 30, 2010

Comic Con: The Best Moments of 2010

Well, I didn't blog as much as I thought I would. Most of the problem was that the keyboard on the iPad is virtual, and I kept making error after error in trying to type like QWERTY. Frustrating. And the other problem was that I was living in the moment. That was good.

But here are the Best Moments of Comic Con from my perspective. Also, remember that I'm only reporting what I saw, what I experienced.

1. Ryan Reynolds reciting the Green Lantern Oath.

Simply awesome. The guy is serious. We love that. GL has always been one of my favorite superheroes.

2. The Big Bang Theory songs. This is not just one thing during the panel, but two: The Barenaked Ladies came out and sang the theme song - wow!! And we all sang along because they gave us these song lyric pages. There are three stanzas (is that what they call them?). Ooh. And THEN, Sheldon, oops, I mean Jim Parsons, sang "Soft Kitty" to us. You had to smile.

3. A surprise Quantum Leap panel. I ended up sitting through the Aqua Teen Hunger Force panel by myself while waiting for Ricky and Debbie to join me. Film clips of the best "Oh, Boy!" moments, Scott Bakula reminiscing. It was just wonderful.

4. An 8-minute clip from the new movie, COWBOYS & ALIENS, which actually has cowboys and aliens in it! Jon Favreau was there to talk about it, and brought onstage stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in their first Comic Con appearances.

5. Tom Felton - Draco Malfoy - was there to introduce a small clip from the latest Harry Potter movie. Tom seemed like a nice guy. I know, unfathomable. And he picked a raffle ticket -- we all had them -- for someone to win a prize. Sadly, he didn't answer any questions about the movie.

6. Spartacus. Say no more. I was expecting Lucy Lawless to produce her "special guest star," the merkin, but alas, she saved it for an interview later. The cast was bawdy, really in the moment, everything you expected and more. I had hoped to see a trailer about the prequel, but no dice. Nice to see, though, that Andy Whitfield looks healthy after having undergone treatment for melanoma.

7. Guillermo del Toro, wedged into the Hall H schedule, introduced his new film verbally (without any footage) by saying he is remaking The Haunted Mansion. And that he's not taking Eddie Murphy's phone calls. He says this one will be scary, not a comedy. And then he said if you get to a certain room upstairs within the next hour, you'll get a special prize. I did. It was a long poster of the ghost that was expelled from the original ride so many years ago (too scary for kids?). And the artist was there that hour to sign it.

8. Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber were there for Salt (a film I caught yesterday when I returned home). Jolie was very gracious, answering every stupid question from the fanboys, the same question over and over. And Liev, while getting few questions, was very witty when he did.

9. A glimpse into the Thor and Captain America films. The Avengers may very well happen.

10. The Exhibitor's Hall, or the dealers' room, didn't seem as crowded as last year. Maybe it's because they spread out programming alll over the place, including two other hotels.

Bad things at the con:
Picking up your swag at another hotel (sheesh).
Long lines, again, for anything.
Very little AT&T access -- with 120,000 people using it, trying to solve riddles, scavenger hunts, blog, post to eBay, etc., this was a major letdown, even after they promised they'd have the capacity. They didn't.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Comic Con, Day 4

"Can I see your iPad?"


"Can I hold it?"


Teenage boys think they should be able to do anything, even if it isn't theirs. Even right now, he's leaning against my chair, with an arm along the side.

At 8 in the morning on the last day, we're in line for Sideshow Collectibles. The panel starts in 2 hours.

Stupid boy, who said he was 15 and waiting for the Halo panel after Sideshow. But stupid mature adult - me - who saw the door open and an opportunity to charge her phone. I left the room when Debbie pointed out that a line was forming. They locked the doors and I could't get back in. Thankfully Debbie proactively found a staffer who wasn't a volunteer, and went in and retrieved my phone. Whew.

After this, there's the Merlin panel, and then we're free to roam the dealer's room one last time.

Highest bid on eBay item: $81 so far on the Hatbox Ghost litho from the new Haunted Mansion movie. (It later went to $152.50.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comic Con 2010 - Day 3 continued...

Looks like a group of people were just escorted out for some bad behavior. That's what security should be doing rather than trying to force us to move into the center to free up the prized aisle seats for newcomers. Newcomers who didn't get here at 6 in the morning to get in line.

Nice seeing Milla Jovovich, here to promote her fourth Resident Evil film. Alice is by now rather American iconic. The footage has women kick-ass fight scenes, but a plot you could stuff in a paper bag.

Debbie went off to find the Dark Shadows. I hope she make it in. The only people who remember that vampire soap opera are approaching 60.

Oops, had to stop typing to take a freebie on the aisle: a pair of sunglasses promoting Paul, a new movie starring Simon Pegg and Sigourney Weaver. We'll learn more in about 5 minutes.

Comic Con Day 3

We were in line this morning four solid hours for Hall H, and it's already been worth it: a preview of the new Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds, followed by a preview of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

It was a full panel for Green Lantern, including Peter Saarsgard and Mark Strong. Ryan gave away a prop ring to the person who found a special piece of paper under their seat. The footage we saw didn't show GL in costume, but did show him using the ring to form a giant green fist, just like he used to in the comic. To much applause.

A big surprise! Draco Malfoy in the form of actor Tom Felton introduced footage to the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He actually seems, er, nice. And footage looks intense.

We were also shown a.clip from Zach Snyder's latest film, Sucker Punch. Most in the audience were not impressed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Comic Con Day Two

We're sitting in line -- inside this time - for all the TV programming in Ballroom 20, which holds about half the amount of Hall H. Our ultimate goal will be seeing The Big Bang Theory panel this afternoon. But in the meantime we'll see panels for Stargate, and Caprica. After that, we will try to get into 6BCF for Lucy Lawless and the Spartacus panel. That one is less sure.

One surprise was seeing Johnny Depp on video, telling us about the new Pirates of the Caribbean. He wa dressed as Cap'n Jack Sparrow. It was a nice, witty speech about nothing and booze and it was a lot of fun.

I did enjoy seeing Angelina Jolie yesterday. She and Liev Schreiber were here promoting Salt. I really appreciate the fact that she got the same question at least 4 times but didn't make fun of them. Why did you pick this part - she tried to answer each time earnestly. And Liev Schreiber was very funny. I really admire his work.

But during that presentation, Debbie and I left, hoping to turn in our tickets for Haunted Mansion swag. When we got to the little room upstairs, we found a 30's-looking guy sitting there. As we got to the top of the queue, we found he was signing a 3-ft long poster in silver ink.

The poster is a beautiful green-on-black rendition of the HatBox Ghost, a scary apparition that was removed from the Haunted Mansion ride. The artist is Ragnar. I know 'cause I asked.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

SDCC: Okay, It's Still Day One

I forgot to mention that a guy ripped off his clothes during the MegaMind panel. Stupid.

I had to leave the Angelina Jolie and Liev Schrdiber panel to pick up the free gift, which turned out to be an exquisite poster of the HatBox ghost, signed by the artist. I hate posters. Can't get 'em home. Shipping is too expensive. They wrinkle if you breathe..

SDCC, day 1 continued

Our first movie promotion today was a little late, but then they showed a 3D preview of Master Mind, an animated film starring the voices of Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and Brad Pitt. Will Ferrell came out blue, dressed A's his character. Tina Fey came out dressed as Tina Fey. Jonah Hill came out, wise-cracking all the way. Just when we thought Brad Pitt would come out, Will Ferrell brought out a life-size, cardboard stand- up, and we were reminded that, if Angelina Jolie had to be here today, somebody's gotta take care of the kids.

Uh oh - we just got word that the 999 cards they gave out while we were in the long line to get in will get us something related to the new Guillermo del Toro film, The Haunted Mansion. Del Toro assured us that it's not going to be funny, it will be scary. "And we're not returning Eddie murphy's phone calls."

More later.

Comic Con 2010, Day 1

Actually, it's really Day 2 for us. Debbie and I visited the San Diego Zoo yesterday, and when we got back at 2:30pm, Ricky was already waiting for us in the Worldmark lobby.

We checked him in and chatted awhile, and then headed over via the trolley to the huge convention center. We went right in, upstairs, and then stood in line to register for not even5 minutes. We got our badges and our humongous Warner Bros bags. I lucked out and got a Big Bang Theory bag. The next line, however, was much longer, an hour or so, and that was to sign up for 2011. I see they raised my senior ticket $2 to $52. A steal.

We trolled the voluminous dealer's room -- about the length of 3 or more football fields -- looking for items I'd read about that would be available for free. We either didn't get to places like CBS in time, or they offer things on a random basis.

We spent about an hour in the big room, and then limped back to the timeshare. We were very tired. Ricky finally made up his mind what time we would meet early Thursday: 6:15.

What with the ache in my knee and my feet, I didn't sleep well but was eager to get started in the morning. Debbie reported that the people above us kept her up until 3am. Even with those distractions, we were ready to go at 6am.

We got to the end of Hall H after we climbed off the trolley in the drizzling rain, found our place on the grass, and sat for 2.5 hours. A long wait. I sat. I stood. And finally we moved into the big Hall H, picked up our (lame) freebies on the way end, and then scrambled quickly for 3 seats on an aisle. We guess there wee at least a thousand people in front of us in line, and thus in front of us in the hall.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Build It and They Will Sleep

European Sleep Works has been a dream during this whole bed process. Not a bad comment when you consider the process has taken about 10 weeks.

Today was the delivery day, the window 11am to 1pm. They showed at 11:30am, much to my surprise. My past "experiments" with delivery have not gone so well. When I look at the patio furniture, I see blood.

But there they were. I showed them the side entrance, after closing doors that would keep the dogs out of the area, which meant they had to bring the bed and mattress through two gates, up a flight of stairs to the deck, and through the French doors. They didn't argue. When I saw they had to put the thing together, I was astonished. 9 weeks to build the wood. 1 week to ship from the east coast. Half an hour to put it together.

But put it together they did! It's a beautiful sleigh model, king size (European king). I am now washing sheets to put on it, as the cotton sheets will shrink to fit. Supposedly. We'll see how that goes.

But I'm sleeping on a new bed tonight! I just have to figure out to get Princess up on this high bed...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tumble Forward

I bumped up against a speed bump at the Desert Inn & Suites in Anaheim on Monday night. And fell right on my face. And, as it turns out, my left knee.

I was walking around, went back to my room, and called Dawn to help. I was bleeding profusely from the mouth, and immediately felt inside, even before lifting myself up off the concrete, to feel to see if my teeth were still there. They were, but one felt different.

This photo of the leg is three-and-a-half days later, Thursday. I would've taken a photo when it was the worst on Monday night around midnight, but (1) I couldn't reach the camera, and (2) I had other things to think of. Now that I know nothing is broken -- thanks to the doctor I saw on Tuesday -- I will just let everything heal.

I have to replace my glasses. I have to replace that tooth. But otherwise, I should be good. Walking is a little easier every day.