When worlds collide…

by Natalie P.

May 11, 2008 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 3 Comments

I’ve been AWOL of late due to pressures of work, life, and some other outside activities that have been consuming my spare time.  Fortunately, I managed to take a break a couple of weekends ago, and the bf and I took off to NYC for Comic Con New York.  I almost didn’t make it there. I realized the night before my flight was due to leave, that my passport had expired.  A round of utter panic and despair took over, but then the bf pointed out that they can sometimes do up a passport in 24 hours and I might miss one day if we could get the new one expedited.  Our flight was at 7pm the next day (Thursday).  Would I be able to get a passport in less than 24 hours? We wouldn’t know until I actually went into the passport office.

I filled in the form online and I must say that of all the government processes I had to go through, this one was the most efficient and seamless.  I filled the forms online, printed them, and took them into the passport office in the morning.  There is a small cleaner that also does passport photos in the mall below the passport office, and they opened at 7am. The bf got in line at the passport office for me.  In the past, the lineup for the passport office has been obscene, so we got there as early as humanly possible. He was 3rd in line.  He was also my guarantor.  I put two other friend’s names as references and when the office opened at 7:30 I was one of the first to get served. 

With both my application in hand, and a printout of my e-ticket to prove my imminent departure, and, of course, an obscenely high “expedited passport” fee, I was able to secure a passport by 2pm that same day. (It helps to live in the city where they actually print the suckers).  Of course, the look of desperation on my face, and my beseeching probably helped too.  It was also critical that my references and guarantor actually answer the phone when the passport office called, which, (thank god), they did (though M threatened to besmirch my fine character at one point, just to push my buttons).

So… we finally made it to Comic Con.  I’ve never been to one before but it looked like fun, and Instigatrix lives in New York so it also gave me an excuse to visit her. She was THRILLED that we were coming to visit, and it gave her an excuse to go to the Con as well, since she’d already been considering it.  She calls the bf “UFB”  – short for Undercover Freak Boy (due to the fact that his totally straight-laced appearance hides a penchant for quirky films, alternative music, and a host of other surprising tastes and interests) and was planning all kinds of fun for his FIRST trip to NYC.  She kept speculating on how much it would take to get him drunk enough to get a tattoo.  I accurately predicted that if he DID get one, he’d want a bar-code.  Unfortunately, for her, tattoos were not on the menu, though we DID go to Lucky Chengs for dinner Saturday night, had a RAUCOUS time, and I bought the bf a “lap dance”. My sides hurt from laughing so much.  Instigatrix was practically rolling in the aisles as well. He was a VERY good sport about it all, though he HID the camera from me afterwards, and has subsequently downloaded and hidden the photos, indicating that I will be allowed to view them “under strict supervision” only.  

One of my male co-workers said, “You bought your boyfriend a lap dance from a transvestite?  Remind me NEVER to go out with you anywhere.”

When people fear me, it is not usually for the reasons you might think. *chuckle*.

The comic con itself was a blast too, and I spent far too much on some hilarious “sushi” prints, a lunch box, some “Lenore” figurines (including one of “Mr Gosh” (the quintessential “nice guy”), a great print of Death losing at “The Game of Life” with a little boy, the first 20 volumes of The Sandman, and a signed  book (by Gavin Blair, one of the co-creators), “The Art of Reboot”.  I also picked up a bunch of T-shirts, for myself and others, including one that states:

You don’t need to look at this chest.
These are not the breasts you are looking for.
Move along
.

Instgatrix got a great “Militant Librarians” T, and at my insistence the bf got one with a small worm on it that says, “I am the kiwzats haderach” – He’s read every one of the 14 billion books in the Dune series.

I also couldn’t resist the shirt that has what looks like a red and white “Hello, my name is:” sticker on it, which has hand-written on the white portion, “Inego Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”

After wearing that last one to work, I have decided that any potential new employees must be given a pop culture quiz to ensure they are the right “fit” for my group.  I will think up things like, “Finish the following sentences:”

“Hello, my name is Inego Montoya…”
“ROUSes?….”
“Soylent Green is…”
“Get Your hands off me you…”
“Oh, Benson… Dear Benson, you are so mercifully free of…”
“The ships hung in the sky, in much the same way that…”
“Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the      first place was…”

But I digress…. Why I REALLY wanted to go to Comicon wasn’t to melt my visa card, but to sit in on a reading by Neil Gaiman, and to go to a session where Gavin Blair and Dan Didio (of Reboot fame) were speaking about the days of making Reboot.  In case you aren’t familiar with it, Reboot was the first fully computer animated TV series, and it was BRILLIANT.  It was rife with computer “in” jokes, jabs and riffs of movies, jabs at BS&P and twisted humor.  For example, in the episode “Trust No One”, they riffed the X-Files, and even had Gillian Anderson doing the voice of Data Nully.  My cube at work has almost a full collection of Reboot 5.5″ figures, and I have Bob and Andrai in box in 12″ figures, with Matrix and Megabyte on the way from a recent purchase.  It’s probably accurate to say I’m a huge fan, though I’m not ready for a segment on “It Came From The Basement” .  Sadly, Broadcast Standards and Practices (BS&P – the US TV Censorship arm) intervened in waaaaay too many episodes back when the show was running so my American friends didn’t get to see the funniest bits – Like Dot Matrix stepping out of the change room dressed in  battle gear with a mondo BFG – she turns to Mouse and says, “Do you think it makes me look too Butch?” – one of many bits that were totally cut from the US version.   Blair said that they got so fed up they actually had “Fuck You Broadcast Standards” in binary ASCII in the background cityscape lights of one episode.

Unfortunately, due to battles between various controlling interests, the full series has yet to come out on DVD box set, though it ended its run years ago. There is some talk about a “revival” by the current rights holders (whose name I deliberately forget), but the guy speaking at comicon was the worst kind of corporate shill. When he spoke it put ALL our teeth on edge. I noticed that Didio and Blair LEFT the podium before the shill took the stage. It was clear they did NOT want to be associated with him or his company.  I had high hopes for the Reboot revival… until the Shill started speaking.  I am now convinced it will be a disaster. Though the animation was truly world-class leading edge, what MADE that show, was the writing.  That being said, Dido and Blair’s session was undoubtedly the most hilarious, entertaining and insightful session I went to.  The stories of the shenanigans that went on – of the arguments, and the script changes, and the battles with BS&P had us roaring with laughter.   Though I am generally NOT an autograph hound, I DID have to go by the booth the next day to get a copy of “The Art of Reboot” and get it signed by Gavin Blair.

Though the BF isn’t a huge fan, he thoroughly enjoyed himself at the Reboot session and even enjoyed the Gaiman reading, which was also highly entertaining. Neil reads REMARKABLY well – and I wondered if he was always able to do that or if it is because he has a daughter, and if you read a lot to your kids, you tend to develop a skill in making it entertaining. At any rate, the Gaiman reading was a ticketed benefit event for the Comic Book Legal Defense fund, of which he is a well-known contributor, and he made sure the audience got their money’s worth.  He read a few short stories AND three chapters from his as yet unreleased “The Graveyard Book”.

The bf was amused by the costumes – he’d never been to a non-computer “con” before, so this was new to him.  When he saw the girl in line for the Gaiman reading dressed oddly, he thought it was just her personal style. I had to explain that she was dressed as “Delirium“, a character from The Sandman, Neil Gaiman’s Graphic Novel series that garnered him so much fame.  Ironically, during the reading, Gaiman answered pre-written questions from the audience, and one was, “The girl dressed as Delirium in the third row is really cute. Will you get her phone number for me?”  Gaiman had the guy who wrote it stand up, and then asked the girl if she’d give him her phone number.  She looked the guy up and down carefully, and then wrote her number on a piece of paper and handed it across to him. Cracked us all up.

So I had to buy a few volumes of “Sandman” since the bf’s only exposure to Gaiman is the movie Stardust.  I’ve read American Gods, Neverwhere, Stardust, the Anansi Boys, and Good Omens, plus the whole Sandman series – though this last one I had borrowed from a friend years ago and didn’t actually own my own copy.  One of the stores at the con had a promotion on with 20% off so I figured I’d get the first 20 volumes in a bound set, to start him off.  He’s got me reading the Dune series, so I WILL bring him over to MY dark side too…

I got him to a comic con, AND bought him a lap-dance from a transgendered waitress.  And he seemed to enjoy both… It’s only a matter of time…

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3 comments so far
  1. iatreia May 12, 2008 3:22 am

    Neil Gaiman is really awesome ^_^ I missed the opportunity to hear him here in the Philippines this year (but I do have some of his audiobooks). Oh, and he has 2 daughters and a son. His son works in Google, the very son who wanted to swap him with 2 goldfishes :P

    wtg on the transgendered lapdance!

  2. "gunner" May 12, 2008 3:23 am

    pleased to hear you had a good time in new york, now if the u.s. side could solve passport problems as quickly as your canadian people i might consider some of my old canadian friends in st. catherines and oshawa ontario whom i haven’t seen in too many years.
    “gunner”

  3. Michellegray May 12, 2008 9:09 am

    “Hello, my name is:” sticker on it, which has hand-written on the white portion, “Inego Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”

    That’s just the best movie ever, I wonder how many people will get that when you wear the shirt?


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