50 Baht

I got up at 5 am Friday morning to head to Comic-Con before traffic got horrendous. My plan was to get to San Diego, find parking, grab breakfast and have time to prowl the exhibit hall for most of the day. And it worked. The drive was relatively painless, and I only had to wait in line for half an hour to get a breakfast sandwich at Subway.

I should interject here that I am one of those people who thinks Comic-Con has completely outgrown its fishbowl, and continuing to have it in San Diego is a disservice to the fans it claims to cater to. Of course, having to wait 45 minutes to pay $19 for a cheeseburger will do that to you… but that’s a blog for another day.

The fact is, I’m not a very good geek. I don’t care about meeting comic book writers or artists. I’m unconcerned with how the LGBT community is portrayed in genre fiction. I don’t want to know how to cosplay any Buffy characters. During a normal SDCC trip, I spend the majority of my time prowling the exhibit hall anyway. I just don’t have the patience to wait for hours to get into the ballroom or hall H to see 5 minutes of a film that isn’t coming out for a year, or listen to Shane Black answering questions only a fan would ask (i.e., retarded ones). Watching all this going on around me, I decided Comic-Con is just Burning Man for people who read books.

I would have skipped it completely, but this year I had two reasons for going. The first was to make face-to-face contact with as many steampunk craftspeople as possible to source props and costumes for the short I keep mentioning, and in that regard, I was very successful. The second was to attend the screening of Natural 20, a short made by my friends John & Brusta, which was screening in the SDCC Film Festival. That went very well, and they won best humor short.

Not the worst Black Widow at Comic-Con. By far.

As it happened, this was my first time being at SDCC by myself, and it was a fairly lonely experience. I would see something cool or interesting, and had no one to discuss it. Two years ago, Comic-Con was all unfortunate mother/daughter Silk Spectre teams, which Mischief & I mocked mercilessly. Last year, it was bad Baronesses. This year was a plethora of embarrassing Black Widows and Harley Quinns, and I couldn’t share the pain. Tweeting “Huh. Batman is 5’2″ and fat. Who knew?” just isn’t the same thing as getting to say it in the moment.

Since I had a spare professional guest badge, I had originally planned for D to come down with me for the day, but our mutual poor communication skills fucked it up. Then, when she realized I was there alone, Vega began threatening to come down and join me which wasn’t going to happen. Again, too high-maintenance for Comic-Con, and I wasn’t about to add that stress. So we text-fought over that for a few hours while I walked the halls.

Alice & 50 Baht arrived that night. I met them for dinner after the Natural 20 screening, gave them my badges so they could spend Saturday & Sunday at the con, and headed home.

I spent most of the weekend editing a piece I shot for a pay-per-view channel, although I did get talked into going to Vega’s house Sunday night… See this conversation to figure out how that happened. We didn’t end up making a screening of Savages, so Vega got to sit through Prometheus, which she hadn’t seen, with a butt plug about the size of a coke can stuffed in her. Scary movies get her excited anyway; as a result, I don’t think she could even tell you what happened in the movie.

When I got up to leave around 3 am, she kept her promise and didn’t say a word about me staying. Tonight, I turned down a cooked meal to work, and I don’t know when I have a free night to see her again. I have plans Wednesday, I’m doing the Dark Knight marathon Thursday, seeing Blue Friday, and covering the Urban X Awards Saturday.

In the meantime, I had several ideas for Cowboys & Engines on the drive to SD. The more progress we make, the more excited I get about this thing.

Yesterday morning, I got up, made tea, went through my normal routine; News, Email, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr… and I found a post that really upset me. Just knotted my gut. It was completely irrational; nothing I had any business reacting to, but telling myself to be rational wasn’t working. I was utterly distracted, and felt the MCWBT looming, so I decided to get out of the house.

I’ve lost over 30 pounds in the last few months, and I needed a pair of shorts that don’t look like I stole them off a homeless corpse, so I hit the 5 south (I’ve been in the Valley a lot lately, so south seemed “new”) figuring I’d run into a mall or a Target or something… and I got completely lost. Not on the freeway; outside the labyrinthine snottihood of the Westside, I rarely get lost in L.A. I just let my mind wander, and the fucker went right off the reservation. By the time I reigned it it, I saw a sign saying “Disneyland Blvd. 1 Mile.”

I have a year pass I bought with Alice that hardly ever gets used, a year pass with free parking and no blackout dates, and I hadn’t seen any of the new stuff in DCA, so I figured, what the hell? 

I wasn’t a huge fan of Cars, or Cars 2. The latter is absolutely Pixar’s weakest film, and the former is just a lift of Doc Hollywood. But the new Cars Land at DCA is kinda friggin’ awesome. They built the entire town of Radiator Springs with Ornament Valley standing in the background, and the “characters” — life-size versions of Mater and Lightning McQueen — actually drive. I wandered and got on the new Radiator Springs Racers ride pretty quickly (Disney has a new “single rider” line at most attractions that makes going to Disneyland by yourself pretty sweet) and couldn’t help thinking how much my grandfather would have loved the whole thing.

After an hour or so, my head was clear. I stayed until about 7, had a churro, rode some rides (including the monorail; I’m kind of a WED Engineering Imagineering geek, and I hadn’t been on the Mark VII yet), and felt great by the time I headed home.

I had plans to see TQO, but she’s going through some stuff of her own, and was feeling kind of down, so, against my better judgement, I accepted an invite to Vega’s place, apparently just to irritate her. She was mildly irritated I didn’t take her to Disneyland (I can’t really imagine; she’s too high maintenance for theme parks… yes, you are). She was genuinely irritated that I’m not taking her to ComicCon on my spare badge (I’m going for the day tomorrow, then giving my badges to 50 Baht & Alice for the weekend). She was seriously irritated that my gut-wrench in the morning wasn’t over her, and that I refused to tell her who or what had caused it.

No, I’m not telling you, either.

When the irritation slowed from a downpour to a light sprinkle, we had some amazing sex, followed by a hurricane-force torrent of irritation when I didn’t sleep over and went back to my own bed.

Today is all work and catching up and editing for x3sixty. Tomorrow is ComicCon, and I’m sure there will be a tale from that.

Tonight was the first production meeting for Cowboys & Engines, a short you’ll be hearing a lot more about over the coming weeks. This is a mainstream piece produced by my friend Charles Mead and another fellow who shall remain anonymous for the moment; written & directed by me, and worked on by most of my close friends in some capacity. I’m incredibly excited. I think this will be something we can all be extremely proud of when it’s finished; something we can show at festivals and around town; something that might open doors for all of us.

I was supposed to get together with TQO after the meeting (her idea, much to my surprise) but she had a scene today and was exhausted. Instead, I went to Alcove with LL and got red velvet cake. And no, that isn’t a euphemism for anything.

I’m also excited that my place is really coming together, and beginning to look like a living space. I’ve been busting ass for the last couple weeks, and it’s paying off. Every time the MCWBT tries to take me down, I just go pick a spot to work on and by the time I’m done, it’s gone. Now, if only my mother would stop calling to tell me about friends she’s just discovered are dead. It’s like she just now figured out we’re all mortal… jeez…

All in all, I needed this night. I had lunch with Alice Saturday, which was great. Ink had to cancel at the last minute the night before, and I was a little cranky, so it was good to see a friend and just shoot the shit. Then, Saturday night, all hell broke loose.

I’ve been shutting Vega down over the past week because I feel (yes, I know you’re reading this… everyone say “hi” to Vega) that she’s gotten too hooked on me too quickly. After the experiences I had post-Alabama, I’m trying to be  extremely careful of the emotional states of women I’m banging. Vega is 30, so she should know better, but the fact is, she has fallen right into a domestic pattern I find really uncomfortable. She wants to cook for me… wants me to stay over… wants me to bring my laundry

To me, we went from “casual” to “serious” at a speed that raises some questions about Einstein’s theory of general relativity. And while I’ve bitched — at length, I know, so fuck off — in this blog about tiring of being alone, this is just the wrong thing at the wrong time. Vega is great; she’s smart, experienced, funny, and making every effort to be incredibly dirty… but that’s the problem. I can tell she’s making an effort. I don’t want a woman to ask me to piss in her mouth to make me happy, I want her to ask me to piss in her mouth because it makes her clit hard.

So, Saturday night I canceled my Sunday date with Vega. And I was honest about the reasons.

Note to self: Never do that again.

To say she went ballistic is an understatement. Hell, “understatement” is an understatement. She refused to take “no” for an answer. From around 7 pm Saturday night until 1 am Monday morning, we fought. We fought over who could claim the disinterested high ground; over who is more emotionally damaged; over who has greater fear of intimacy; over who is less stable; even over who is the bigger pervert (c’mon. Really?)

If you’re imagining we were calling each other these things, you’re reading it backwards. It was a completely retarded, emotional bigger dick contest. If I claimed to be a psychological wreck, she would try to top me. If she identified as a sociopath, I would be right there to take the hill. It was one of the strangest, stupidest, most exhausting arguments I’ve ever been a party to, and it went on for hours. To make matters worse, the conflict was a cross-platform, multimedia event on an epic scale. We covered texting, phone calls, e-mail, IM chats, Facebook & Twitter.

After a Sunday afternoon lull during which I thought we’d agreed to disagree and let it go, Vega decided to come over. I told her no fucking way, and she was at my door 40 minutes later anyway. Not raging or crazy or out of control, just wanting to get dinner and make nice. So we did, and, naturally (Guys? Right?) it was a trap. A few not-so-subtle rejoinders, and we were off to the races once again. Finally, at 1 am, as a kind of peace accord (a la détente) I gave in and we fucked for two hours.

And, yes, it was awesome. We did several things she’d never done before (see the earlier paragraph for a hint), and she didn’t try to stay. Still, I know she wanted me to ask her to stay. I haven’t heard from her at all today. We’ll see where this goes.

The worst part in all of it was the realization — a real eureka moment, complete with lighting bolt — that I have been Vega. Not long ago, I was in a similar situation, in reverse; I was the one wanting, but not wanted. As I sat through Vega talking and pleading and reasoning… vacillating between conciliatory and angry and jealous and cold… I understood that I had done the exact same things, over the space of months rather than hours, to the girl that wouldn’t have me and I was suddenly viciously, mercilessly ashamed.

I was such a tool. Such an annoying, needy, wheedling dick. I’m moving on, so I think the worst of it is over, but just typing this now and thinking about it, I’m cringing and my stomach is in knots. Why — how — she still talks to me is a wonder. Women are simply more tolerant of egregious behavior in men. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be a species.

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