Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scott breaks everything in Los Angeles (Including Himself)

After the epicness that was Dragon*Con... I got slightly dejectedly onto a plane and flew to Los Angeles to begin the next phase of my excursion to the United States of Amazing. It's also a pretty good deal when you arrive at the airport and meet a model (shoutout to Juelles ;))!

Well I certainly enjoyed rocking out with Juelles in LA, but apparently the universe did not. For the full brunt of bad luck descended from the cosmos and struck us down with a series of unfortunate events, that would persist the entire 6 days. So, allow me to take you on a our through Scott and Juelles' trip to LA; the cursed catalogue of calamity!

The first day began as we collectively decided that we NEEDED to have the achievement "Been to Denny's on two separate continents together" on our CVs. I am the sort of guy who when given the choice between expensive fine dining with portions the size of a pea and good old Denny's, I choose Denny's EVERY SINGLE TIME. In fact, if they charged Denny's prices for fine dining food and fine dining prices for Denny's food, I'd still pick Denny's. Apparently I had found a kindred spirit in Juelles who shares this opinion! We then went to Target (TARGET!! SO AMERICAN!! Unfortunately I didn't make it to Wal Mart on this trip) to look for some swim trunks, which I had neglected to bring. Target didn't have any. That's right, TARGET, the biggest store this side of the Atlantic Ocean, were out of the thing I needed. (Scott broke Target. Things Scott broke tally: One.)

The next day, we decided to check out the Hollywood sign. So we drove up there that night... and discovered that somehow, nobody thought that putting some DAMN LIGHTS on the sign so people could SEE THEM AT NIGHT was a good idea!! So we drove up the windy ass road to the apex of the Hollywood Hills, and bore witness to a blurry H and some darkness. It was pretty much excitement personified. Now, I do not know if there are no lights on the sign or if I short circuited them with my presence, but looking back now, the latter seems far more reasonable. (Scott broke the Hollywood sign. Things Scott broke tally: Two.)

Okay people, the next day was when the action really kicked in in terms of the curse. We went to Universal Studios, parking in the lot known as 'Jurassic Parking' (OMG LOL). After a back and forth debate (which largely consisted of both of us trying to get the other one to decide) we decided to spend the little extra on the Front of Line passes for the park. Juelles also thought it was a good idea to switch to the new line that opened up only to realise we had added about 15 more minutes to the wait. (Juelles broke the line. Things Juelles broke tally: One.) We cruised over to the Studio Tour and saw there was a gigantic line that we were about to bypass. Right now we were feeling quite good about those Front of Line passes. BUT FIRST, we ducked over to the concession stand to discover that apparently I had broken the drinks machine and had to settle for water. (Scott broke the drinks machine. Things Scott broke tally: Three.)

Halfway through the otherwise awesome studio tour, wouldn't you believe it? THE TRAM BROKE DOWN!! So I sat on my hands for 20 minutes whilst Juelles amused herself by staring at all the Asian babies on board. (Scott broke the tram. Things Scott broke tally: Four.) They got us another tram eventually and we finished the tour (King Kong 3D is epic). THEN, at the end of the tour they told us as compensation for the breakdown they would now be giving everyone on board FREE FRONT OF THE LINE PASSES. WHICH WE HAD ALREADY PAID FOR. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!! At this time, we were coming to realise that there was some serious bad juju circling us. Obviously the universe will NOT tolerate an average looking bum writer hanging around with a model. Oh well, so we wasted a bunch of money paying for tickets we were going to get for free. Not that big a deal. As long as that's all that happened. Well it wasn't. We went on the Mummy rollercoaster. When we came out, the guy told us that out of the hundreds and hundreds of photos they had taken that day the camera had malfunctioned on OUR CAR ONLY. Wow. (Scott broke the Mummy camera: Things Scott broke tally: Five.) Then we went and stowed Juelles' bag in a locker before going on another ride. When we got out, we went to open the locker and it malfunctioned, wouldn't recognise her fingerprints and trapped her bag forevermore. (Juelles broke the locker. Things Juelles broke tally: Two.) Well, not quite forevermore. The attendant hacked the mainframe and got it out.

After getting back to the hotel, I went out for dinner only to find the McDonalds had closed 2 minutes before I got there, ahead of schedule. (Scott broke McDonalds. Things Scott broke tally: Six.) Oh, and now I remember something else. The night we went to the Hollywood sign, the GPS directed us to a Sizzler's that was out of business. (Scott broke the GPS. Things Scott broke tally: Seven. Scott broke Sizzler's. Things Scott broke tally: Eight.)

Finally, one night before the epic concert (Katatonia!! Paradise Lost!! Devin Townsend!! You dont know any of them!!) I decided that I'd eaten too much junk on the trip so far. I went to the supermarket and bought some carrots, beans and some bread and munched on something with actual nutritional value for dinner that night. Then I woke up 4 hours later with FOOD POISONING. THAT'S RIGHT I WAS POISONED BY HEALTHY FOOD. (Scott broke logical sense. Things Scott broke tally: Nine.) I puked all night, all the next day and went to the concert feeling like I'd been struck in the face with Thor's hammer. (Scott broke his digestive system. Things Scott broke tally: Ten. ) I had to tap out after Paradise Lost and Katatonia and didnt get to see Devin Townsend. Lameness. And then, after more puking, I got up the next day and somehow managed to avoid breaking anything else until I got on my plane for London, having not eaten in 36 hours.

Apart from the curse, LA was awesome and so was America as a whole. Looking forward to seeing more of it after next year's Dragon*Con. Now please, just dont break my Loki costume!!

Final tally of things Scott and Juelles broke in LA: Twelve.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Scott finds the Promised Land (Trip Update One: Atlanta, Georgia)

Yes, welcome back to my mind. The cavernous alternate dimension of intense fluctuating, phantasmagorical swirling clouds of stupidity with ever so occasional lightning bolts of genius.

Okay let's hit the fast forward button on this post.

Backstory: I decided to go on a trip to visit family in London and then tour Europe a bit. I then discovered an unfathomably epic concert happening in Los Angeles (Katatonia!! Paradise Lost!! Devin Townsend!! You dont know any of them!!) and decided to stop over for it. THEN, the gorgeous super heroine Super Muffin Girl appeared from her Muffin Cave to inform me that the dates I'd be travelling were quite close to Dragon*Con in Atlanta and I should go. Me, being an uneducated, unconverted moron, didn't quite know what this was, but I was informed it was the greatest thing on the face of the Earth. Since to my pitiful knowledge, the greatest thing on the face of the Earth was sitting on a beach watching the sunset with a portable DVD player beside you displaying the Jerry Springer show, I was somewhat skeptical. However, it was a good chance to meet a superheroine, the superheroine's husband, and their gregarious partner in crime Joe in Cincinatti, so I agreed. What followed... was legendary.

DRAGON*CON, DAY ONE: My first mistake was missing Thursday, the opening day of dragon*Con through flights that arrived at 11:30pm Thursday night. This would prove to be one of the only 'Con Cons' so to speak in a series of 'Con Pros', because missing time at Con I later discovered to be the equivalent of sawing off one of your own legs because you want to run faster: it makes no rational sense in any possible universe. But anyway, I must take this opportunity to give a shoutout to Shanon, Patrick and Joe who were amazing people and made my time at DC amazing. :) Boring gushy stuff aside, in a quote from the Matrix "One cannot be told what the Con is. You have to see it for yourself". So look it up on the internet or something :P

There were costumes everywhere. Hours and hours of the most useful human labour I've ever been exposed to had gone into transforming your mundane garden variety nerds (and slightly exotic, international nerds like myself) into works of geeky art. There were Thors, Captain Americas, Doctor Whos, Daleks, Super Saiyans and most importantly... JESSICA RABBITS AND RAINBOW BRIGHTS. Con-gasm. After vowing to myself to get a photo of myself with the most scantily clad women possible, my new best friend Patrick ushers me behind a curtain in the dealers rooms to a gallery full of girls in costume... without costumes. If you know what I mean. Though it is slightly awkward when the girl standing next to you points out a picture of her naked and then states "That's me!!", this awkwardness was a price we were willing to pay. Because we're MEN. And we're BRAVE. We make SACRIFICES.

In the second of the 'Con Cons' we sat in line for a solid 30 minutes to be told that the panel we were going to was full. But ah well, naked girls!! That night I got dressed up as a zombie thanks to the makeup artistry of Super Muffin Girl and went to the D*C Minion Party (shout out to all the Minions!!) where I was chainsawed by SMG in her Lollipop Chainsaw costume. I also got heartily drunk. It was awesome. Perhaps the second most noteworthy occurence of the night came when the party closed down and we made our way to the Marriott bar, where in my drunken state I gave advice to some American football fans on how to pick up girls in costume at D*C.

Although in my inebriated state I believed I had all the answers, here's the truth. I have not picked up a single girl in costume in my entire life. I do remember everything I said to them though, and now that I'm sober, I will now RATE MY DRUNKEN ADVICE. So, did the American football fans get anywhere based on my advice?? We shall soon see.

First, I told them they needed a costume of their own. I informed them of the dealer rooms as the best place to purchase said costume.

VERDICT: Decidedly flawed. To even enter the dealer rooms, you need a Dragon*Con badge, which you can only get upon registration for the Con and payment. However, maybe they could have filled in the blanks and either got costumes elsewhere or somehow stumbled upon Membership at the Sheraton, which I did not tell them about.

Second, I told them to cruise around the hotel until they found a party and enter with these costumes.

VERDICT: Somewhat shaky. With their lack of knowledge of anything geeky, they would likely stand out like a sore thumb. Us nerds have a gigantic 'normal radar' when any person only pretending to be a nerd is immediately obvious to us. They might not have even got in, and if they did, they'd be relying on huge amounts of female drunkenness to get anywhere.

Third, I informed them that it was easy to get talking to girls in costume at Dragon*Con because its a thing where if you get asked for photos, its validation of your costume and so on and so forth.

VERDICT: Remarkably accurate. Apparently drunk me does have some ability to insert pearls of wisdom.

Fourth, in my lowest moment of Drunk Scott; nerdy pickup artist, I informed them that Americans find New Zealanders fascinating and for them to fake an international accent.

VERDICT: I'm typing this with my head buried behind my hands, so that should tell you all you need to know.

OVERALL VERDICT: This is not in anyway anything I should be attempting to do ever again. It was akin to an accountant thinking his number crunching qualified him to give advice on climbing Mount Everest. Ahh alcohol.

DRAGON*CON DAY TWO: Saturday began about midday when I woke up with a massive headache. The rest of the day was somewhat quiet compared to Friday, with a John Barrowman panel (where he felt the need to remove his pants but made up for it by telling awesome stories; so basically Joe loved the whole thing) a meal of Tex Mex and then at night, a congregation of the Minions where Dragon*Con would introduce me to yet another life changing experience: CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY.

CAH is the greatest card game ever invented, unless of course, you are offended, BY ANYTHING. If you are not however, then prepare for hilarity. Pacman uncontrollably guzzling cum? Poorly timed Holocaust jokes? Firing a rifle into the air whilst balls deep in a squealling hog? This game has it. I played it until 2:30am and was one point away from winning a game. Rats!! Only got mildly drunk that night in preparation for the final night's festivities Sunday night.

On the way back to the hotel we had to go down the elevator. When it opened, we found about ten drunk revellers on board. No problem yet. A few of us got on and the elevator wouldn't move. No real surprise. What came next however was slightly awesome. A rather large muscular guy stooped down underneath the legs of another guy and hoisted him on his shoulders. Apparently this was his way of lowering the weight in the elevator. Ahhh... I love drunken logic.

DRAGON*CON DAY THREE: Sunday was the final full day of D*C (it goes on Monday as well, but I was scheduled to leave Monday afternoon) and we made the most of it by attending a photo with several girls in Lollipop Chainsaw outfits, getting nude pictures of cosplay girls signed and accompanying Joe as he bought a Japanese anime movie described as "The Sound of Music meets Dawn of the Dead". Only at Con :D

That night was the final night and we got drunk. I made all my nerdy dreams come true as I got photos with BOTH Rainbow Bright and Jessica Rabbit and we played an AWESOME drinking game as we rated the costumes at the Dragon*Con costume contest, hosted by the Asian dude from Mythbusters. Then we went downstairs, where I met another guy in the same 'Rock, Paper, Scissors Lizard, Spock' t shirt. We immediately engaged in a DUEL of R,P,S,L,Sp where the winner of each round got to drink some of Patrick's 1L bottle of Ale that he needed to get rid of. It lasted 5 minutes. Luckily for my own state, I SUCKED and lost 3/4 of the rounds leaving my poor opponent to get paralytic whilst I only got hammered. (I play Spock too much apparently)

And so, after reuniting with Joe, taking in a tad of the Doucheshadows (Cruxshadows) and a few more pictures with Lollipop Chainsaws and a giant Totoro, my Dragon*Con experience came to a hazy yet awesome end, with a vow that I will do it again next year, and EVERY year following, as long as it exists.

Thank you SMG, Patrick, Joe and MINIONS for opening my eyes to the awesomeness of the greatest thing on Earth, and see y'all next year!!