Up at 3:30a, off to Dulles; when we got there, the United counter was totally unoccupied by staff, but there was a sizeable line of people wanting to check their bags. I overheard somebody mention that there was curbside check-in so I slipped out to take advantage of it. The curb check-in guy put some stuff on top of my driver’s license, then proceeds to tell me that he’d given it back to me. It took emptying all of my pockets and my wallet to convince him that I didn’t have it. Oy.
The Dulles-to-Denver leg of my flight was packed to capacity, and to make things worse the guy in front of me leans his seat back, effectively reclining into my lap ... which made it very difficult to do things like open my tray, read a book, resist bashing him over the head... There was no snack on flight, not even peanuts, but they would SELL YOU A BAGEL FOR $7. WTF? You had your choice of ham and cheese bagel for $7, or plain bagel for $7.
Did I mention it was $7?
Not willing to pay $7 for a bagel, even with ham and cheese, I was very hungry when I got to Denver. Unfortunately, Denver is apparently the only airport in the U.S. (including illicit West Virginia airstrips used by drug smugglers) that doesn’t have a Starbucks. What it had instead was some French pastry place with a very long line and cold croissants wrapped in plastic. I waited in line for 20 minutes, but then my flight started boarding so I got on. So now in addition to not having a bagel, I didn’t have a croissant either.
In Oakland, I was picked up by mammallamadevil who whisked me up north to the Snoopy Museum after a quick (but badly needed) lunch at Chevy's. A very enthusiastic barista concurs with my opinion re: creme de menthe.
The Snoopy Museum was very cool ... friendly and knowledgeable volunteers who all love talking about Mr. Schulz & his work. I impressed them with my Peanuts trivia (re: the character named 5, Joe Schlabotnik, etc.), but they impressed me even more by pointing out my mistakes. ;)
We were lucky to meet Yoshi, the Japanese artist who created many of the museum's current exhibits. I expressed my admiration for his work, and he said a very fluent-sounding "thank you," considering he doesn't speak any English. Then it was a root-beer float at the skating rink and back to San Jose.
Met up with jadedfox and got the room: #666, can you believe it? I spent the con telling people I had "The Room of the Beast." I then found cody_frost and we had dinner at the fancy hotel restaurant, as opposed to the "here's some food, okay?" restaurant. It was nice, in a really pricey kind of way ... suspect we were the only congoers there. I'm not sure it was $60 nice, but ya never know 'til ya try.
I got registered and hung with Vince a while, then off to dreamland finally around 11 - 11:30 local time ... aka 2 a.m. my time. Oof.
Up at 7:00 local and off to Starbucks!
Breakfast at SBX, Jaded gave me a sip of their new "Chantico" ... basically like a microwaved bottle of Hershey's syrup. So this is what Gustav tasted when he fell in the river.
Got to Dealer Room to start setup; Bruce was setting up the Plan 9 table, but didn't want to get too into it until kevinjdog arrived. I puttered around with setup stuff, mostly putting together my sketchbooking space. The table was wedged between Plan 9 and susandeer ... or as Bubs would say, "This is a great location!" Bennie, a.k.a. bigtig, informed me that he had for the past week been waging a war of words with me in his LiveJournal, without my knowledge. (I have since added him to my friends list to keep an eye on that dude.) It's nice to know that I managed to win without firing a shot ... or even being aware that I was fighting. ;P
Before we knew what was what, the room was open and a mob came rushing in. Kerry deployed a virtual army of assistants and friends, including Cyberhorn, Kris, Kyrin, and Makovette (who came out just to help with the room party) who played gofer, watched the table when Kerry or I weren't around, and generally made life twenty times easier. Once again I found myself dazzled by the mammallamadevil moxie ... this is a gal who can get things DONE!
Unfortunately, I screwed up bigtime; after having had a panic attack earlier that it was 4:30 and therefore almost time for my 5:00 panel (because it was 4:30 EASTERN time, d'oh), I then found out at 4:30 Pacific time that it was a 4:00 panel.
Sue, who was already doing me a big ol' favor by helping with the panel, did me an even bigger favor by joining me in the sprint across the hotel to the room where the panel was being held, where I then apologized profusely to a handful of rather disgusted-looking would-be attendees. For the panel, I did most of the talking, getting corrections and input from Sue as appropriate, but she was particularly helpful when it came to discussions of color. I'd only rarely ever seen any of Sue's color pencil work, and it's amazing.
After the Dealer Room closed for the day I grabbed some dinner with tchall, then it was off to the room party, woohoo! The party was a big, big success. I was surprised at how many of the people there were artists or other furry notables compared to the number of fans. Alas, there was no sign of hbar98, which is a shame because we had pineapples-a-plenty. babsbunny, bigtig, pholph, and Sue kept everybody entertained with stories, and at 9:30, the door prizes went out. My personal favorite item on the list was a fuzzy pillow with the "Dover: Kiss the Geek" image on it, but there were also some shirts and I offered up a commission.
The party wound down to a smaller event a bit later, and Tyrnn and I started doing prop gags with the various inflatable pineapples that had been supplied. All in all, I'd call the party a big success.
Bed, is a wonderful thing.