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.

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People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven’t what they want that they really don’t want it. — Ogden Nash