Wednesday, July 11, 2012

San Diego Comic Con 2012: Preview Night

Tonight was the big "Preview Night" of San Diego Comic Con - the night when people stand in crazy lines in the hopes of buying as many exclusive items as possible so they can turn around, mark them up, and sell them to someone else.

Sorry - did that sound a little jaded? Maybe it's because trying to nab a few exclusives myself (not for resale, but either for friends or to keep) netted me approximately 2 1/2 hours of time spent waiting in line at A SINGLE VENDOR to get a must-have item for a friend. Do you know that moment when you want to give up, but you stick with it because "hey, I've already invested this much time into it"? Yeah. That. Except for me, add in TWO helpings of "declined for unusual activity" attempts to purchase said items after spending 2 1/2 hours in line, two frantic calls to two companies assuring them the activity wasn't unusual at all, and then more time spend in the line I thought I'd finally left behind.

Maybe it's the exhaustion talking. Maybe it's the fact that this morning I accidentally erased ALL of the images on my camera (including ones from my possibly once-in-a-lifetime Van Halen concert (the real band - aka The David Lee Roth band). Maybe it's the exhaustion of spending the day at an amusement park. Or maybe I'm just feeling really old and tired. (Get off my lawn, you little scamps!) But today was a tough one. Good overall, but definitely tough.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Hopefully tomorrow I won't stand in a handicapped line that didn't move until enough of us started questioning why the heck another register for the disabled hadn't been opened. (Hint: The disabled are in a separate line for a reason - namely, that those of us with issues such as mobility can't handle standing for 2 1/2 hours. Hello, that's why we're IN the special line - to try to avoid that added pain. (And no, we aren't "lucky" to be in a shorter line. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd LOVE to be able-bodied and have to handle the long lines. Feeling pain 24/7 is NOT in any way "lucky".)

I'm just hoping tomorrow is a little smoother, a little less painful, and more conducive to being able to enjoy my surroundings.

Were you at SDCC Preview Night? What goodies were you hoping to score? Were you successful?

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Two weeks prior to the convention, Comic-Con International releases the schedules each day of the con. If you're a person who likes structure and feels the need to plan and make lists, this is the time when you excitement/panic/frustration starts kicking into high gear. Why? Because there is a LOT of things you desperately want to do, and they will inevitably be scheduled at the same time as other things you also desperately want to do! And that's just taking into account the SDCC official schedule. There's also a myriad of things going on at the same time but at different locations near the convention center. 

The best advice I can give you - for what it's worth - is this: Don't panic. Ultimately, things are going to crop up that interfere with those best laid plans. You'll oversleep and get in line too late to gain access to the panel you really wanted to see. You'll have some sort of wardrobe malfunction with your superhero costume. Someone you wanted to meet will cancel at the last minute due to illness or scheduling conflicts. Basically, the best thing to do is to plan to your heart's content, but with the knowledge that you're going to need to be very flexible about changing your plans.

In regards to packing, I am a sort of an "always be prepared" packer. I tend to put a pair of undies and a fresh shirt into my carry-on in case my checked luggage gets lost, for example. An important note: make sure every bag has your name and contact info inside (yes, in addition to the outer luggage tag). Sometimes the baggage handlers can get rough enough that your tag gets separated from your bag. Here's my standard packing list for whenever I'm traveling to attend a convention:


  • wallet 
  • travel itinerary including phone number and address of my hotel
  • any pre-purchased tickets to events, including of course the printed out badge confirmation
  • medications
  • reading material
  • toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, and deodorant
  • any electronics I'm bringing (phone, computer, camera, MP3 player, etc.) along with the necessary cords and chargers
  • contact case and solution, glasses with case
  • a spare pair of undies and a fresh shirt
  • the BACKPACK with it's supplies
  • comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes (seriously can't stress comfort enough, people!)
  • a "nice" outfit or two for going out to dinner or to someplace dressy outside the convention center walls
  • a swimsuit for the hotel pool
  • sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razor, and any other related thing that would hold up the line at the airport if I put it in my carry on (put these in Ziploc bags, squeeze most of the air out of the bag before sealing - you don't want to open your suitcase and find all of your clothes covered in shampoo)
  • an extra duffle bag with secure luggage tag (in case I can't fit all of my con swag into my luggage)
You may decide that this list is just right for you, or you may need to add or remove some of the items I've listed. 

I'd love to hear from you. What sort of preparations do you make prior to a big trip and/or a big convention?