One Week Away! (Or; “The REAL Comic Con”)

Like the title says: We are one week away from the 2014 Wizard World Chicago Comic Con

And you’re coming with me!

How? A ticket contest?

Uh…No. What do I look like? A morning radio zookeeper?

If I was, I would make you do a wacky stunt for the tickets, just like this:

ME: YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH! GOOOOOD MORNIN’! It’s eight fifteeeeeen right here on Uncle Paul’s Mad Mornin’ Zoo! I’m caffeined up! AND SO SHOULD YOU…Because…IT’S CONTEST TIME! (a sample sound of crowd cheering) I have Friday and Saturday general admission tix to the Comic Con! I will take the fifth…Of Jack…HAHAHAHAH (sample sound of crowd laughter)! Just kidding! Let’s take the fifth caller (answering calls)…Nope…Ah ah…Sorry…Get lost…YOU’RE THE FIFTH CALLER! What’s your name?

CALLER: Duh…Rob?

ME: O.K. Rob, where are you from?

CALLER: Uh…Duh…Lindenhurst?

ME: O.k., what are you doing right now?

CALLER: Duh…Walking to work?

ME: O.K., you will get these Comic Con tickets if you go up to a police officer sitting in his squad car, and crop dust him!

CALLER: Duh…What’s crop dusting?

ME: That’s where you walk by and fart in someone’s face as they are sitting down.

CALLER: Uh…Duh…O.k.

"Duh…All I wanted was Comic Con tickets." (It won’t end well! Instead of someone attending the con, he will be a con!)

How about this? I will “live” blog it.*

Savvy?

Stay tooned!

*Not like the live blog that Marvel did during San Diego. Note the quotation marks. Just posting pictures and text commentary when feasible. Just be glad I didn’t have poor Rob douse himself with Aqua Velva and set himself on fire in the middle of route 45! O.k.? O.k.!

Seeing Things In Black and White (Or; “Alumni Association Blues”)

I am what a wealthy person would call a “white socker”.

I guess it is because white athletic tube socks are cheaper than designer black or argyle/patterned socks (and they are). We workin’ stiffs probably at most have 2 or 3 pairs of dress [black or patterned] socks, while the rest are Hanes or Fruit of the Loom white tube/crew sweat socks…meant to be worn with athletic shoes.

(Yes, there are black athletic socks but let’s save that for another post.)

The other day, I got an invite from my alumni association to a black and white ball to raise money for scholarships to attend this fine institution. 

(Scholarship to a community college? There must be more aspiring paralegals than aspiring lawyers out there!)

I have never been invited to anything formal in my life, other than my sister’s wedding! All my married friends either got married at city hall and honeymooned in Vegas or a small service with a red cup kegger afterward.

I can sport a suit no problem. In fact, I have 5 of them getting eaten up by moths in the closet.  

I know how to tie a necktie, and I own two pairs of dress shoes: 1 pair Oxford (leather), 1 pair slip-on (rubber/plastic like stuff). That’s it!

And to bring in more insight on how “poor” I am, I just now at the age of 43 1/2, found out what a black and white ball is: I need a tux!

Not just any tux, one that has a white jacket and black pants (hence the black and white part in the ball)…and I have to wear bow tie…and maybe a cumberbund.

Question: Do I own a tux?

Answer: No!

I guess I’ll have to rent one like the [cheap polyester] one I wore at my sister’s wedding…17 years ago!

image

Captain Clipon and The Rayon Avengers! (Stop laughing! It wasn’t THAT bad!)

I don’t remember if the bowtie was a clip-on, a “cravat” style (velcro loop to make it look like a real bow tie), or if someone pre-tied it for me. The cumberbund? If it is velcro, no problem. Otherwise, I would probably have to study how those pro-wrestlers on TV strap on their championship belts.

Another issue is the venue at which this black and white ball is to take place: The Palmer House Hilton in beautiful downtown Chicago!

What’s the problem, you ask?

I live 80 miles away! Driving in downtown Chicago is more frustrating than trying to saw a piece of iron in half with a butter knife! Taking the train is way out of the question! You try taking public transportation while wearing a tuxedo or an evening gown! You might as well wear a sign that says “Rob me”! I could spend a night there, but you forget; it’s at the Palmer Hou$e Hilton: Where “white sockers” like me are not really welcome!

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Garcon! Find out where that foul smell of…Ugh!..Aqua Velva Musk and freshly pressed rayon is permeating from and isolate it…In the dumpster!

Why couldn’t they hold it at the school’s atrium? It’s nice, clean, and spacious enough. There’s even a nice courtyard on campus!

Finally, the main issue: It starts at $325 per person! On top of renting the tux, transportation to and from, and staying overnight at the Palmer House or even a different hotel that is near by, it’s like…

image

Cut! We’re over budget on this picture!

While it’s a good idea to get some “class” into my [uncouth] soul and being a good cause, it is just not logistically and financially feasible.

Therefore, to show I’m not such a cheap ass, I will donate an undisclosed amount to the scholarship fund as soon as I stop rambling.

Oh! Did I ever tell you about the time I subdued an armed robber with nothing but a paper clip and a rubber band?

It was the summer of 1989, I walking up the alley…

Oh, alright! jeeze!

(BTW: It didn’t really happen, but it would have made a good story! ;) )

UPDATE: Can’t just donate! You have to buy tickets to the ball even if you cannot attend! Dammit!

nevver:

Check yourself

 This reblog saves me some time. I was going to post something about the news media using ebola to scare everybody. Remember the first time the news media tried to scare us with ebola back in the 90s? E coli? SARS? Bird Flu? Swine flu (after a 33 year absence)? These horrific (another popular news term used repeatedly) “outbreaks” and “pandemics” did not wipe out humanity! Sorry to disappoint you, CNN, Fox News, CNBC and MSNBC!

nevver:

Check yourself

 This reblog saves me some time. I was going to post something about the news media using ebola to scare everybody. Remember the first time the news media tried to scare us with ebola back in the 90s? E coli? SARS? Bird Flu? Swine flu (after a 33 year absence)? These horrific (another popular news term used repeatedly) “outbreaks” and “pandemics” did not wipe out humanity! Sorry to disappoint you, CNN, Fox News, CNBC and MSNBC!

(via blrout)

Phase Two Complete (Or; Guardians Of The Galaxy Review)

I have to say that in all honesty, Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 was good…But, not as good as phase 1.

In my opinion, phase 2 was a little more darker and grittier. Phase 1 was just fun.

The final film for the MCU phase 2, Guardians Of The Galaxy was entertaining, but not as good as as Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

There were quite a few heart-wrenching moments: The beginning which explains how Peter Quill ended up in space (after a very traumatic event in his pre-teen years…which also explains the Walkman and the Awesome Mixtape in 2014), Rocket’s origin (slightly deviates from the comics, but still there are massive feels), and how Peter got the title of Star Lord (more or less adopted it rather than earned it. Explained more toward the end…Once again, heart-wrenching).

O.k., I’ll be very honest with you; This movie depressed the shit out of me!

Yes, there were some great quips and funny situations, but a lot of buzzkills!

It does, however set up Phase 3. How?

Thanos and the Infinity Stones…Possibly the basis for the third Avengers movie: The Infinity Gauntlet (?)!

The easter eggs are not very subtle. What are they? I don’t want to spoil it.

The middle and end credits scenes are there. What are they? You have to see for yourself, but I can tell you that a forgotten Marvel comics character with a shitty film makes an appearance (Clue: It wasn’t Ghost Rider).

On a [cliched] scale of 1-10, this one gets 8.5. It wasn’t horrible and it wasn’t awesome either. It was a good film and worth the budget, but don’t waste the 3 extra bucks on the 3D.

Wonder how Birdman and Kingsman: The Secret Service are going to do?

georgetakei:

Apparently it is illegal to be homeless in some U.S. cities. I would love to hear more thoughts on this: http://ohmyyy.gt/jZ0qev

georgetakei:

Apparently it is illegal to be homeless in some U.S. cities. I would love to hear more thoughts on this: http://ohmyyy.gt/jZ0qev

Who Needs San Diego, When You Have…Elk Grove Village? (Or; How I Spent My Saturday)

SDCC weekend…

Instead of eating my heart out, I decided to do something that I enjoy very much: Go to Top Golf and hit about 3 buckets.

I had a shitload of credits on my TG card. So instead of the normal two buckets, I went with three! Three! That is about 60 balls! Enough to fill at least an hour or so.

One of my previous posts said that the place looked run down and the artificial turf looked very worn. But, it seems that since that post, the worn turf has been replaced:

Sort of…But, it looks better than last time. (That’s funny. I don’t remember those [faux turf] sand traps?)

Today was hot and kind of sticky, but somewhat cloudy which means that it may rain later on. 

I tried something I never had done before, I had two clubs: An oversized driver and an 8 sand wedge. For the first 5 balls, I used the 8:

Also, oversize…Not overcompensating too much, am I? ;)

By switching off, I could train my arms to automatically adjust to the different weight of the clubs…

Even though the driver was bigger, it was lighter than the wedge and a little longer. Which is good, so to reduce strain on the elbows. The right tool for the right job!

Speaking of tools…

No! Not me!

The cigar! It is an Aristo E Cigar. So, that way I don’t make anyone sick or violate any of Illinois’ already draconian anti-smoking laws, which classifies vaping as smoking, thanks to the tools in Chicago and Springfield; the state capital (spelled wrong on purpose. Always trying to shake down the peasants with fines and fees). This is a nice thing to have while enjoying that beverage between buckets. I use a Smoktek automatic eGo while I am at home. I use the Aristo when out in public. That way, a cop doesn’t think I am smoking crack or hash oil! There are batteries that can vaporize those illicit substances (3000-3500+ mAh), but I have the 1100mAh battery (eGo), way too small! But, they look very similar! And I have no intention of smoking crack or hash oil! It took me long enough to quit regular cigarettes!

So, today wasn’t a total loss. I kept my 36 handicap and almost beat my highest score of 78 (set in 2012…that long ago). I scored 67. But, if this were regular golf, that would be very impressive! However, this is just seeing how far you can hit the ball and making it land in a certain part of the target.

I got plenty of fresh air and some sun…Some. If I had gone to San Diego for the con, I would be standing in line after line after line and being crowded in some stuffy auditorium/hall with a very obstructed view.

Oops! Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go to marvel.com for the Marvel Studios Live blog!

FORE!

That is how all of us feel when the SDCC ticket website crashes or sells out.

Is It Really Worth It? (Or; The Comic Con 2014)

The SDCC is happening this week, and once again without me…

But don’t cry for me, Argentina!

If you haven’t known by now, there are many drawbacks to the San Diego Comic Con. Here’s one from their website:

"All event and program rooms have limited capacity as set by the Fire Marshal. Even though your badge is needed to get into all events, it does not guarantee you access to any event if it has reached its capacity. We do not clear rooms between events. Most autograph signings are of a limited nature. Your badge does not guarantee autographs at any event.”

I currently work in the security biz. Concern for the safety of the attendees is understandable. Also, talent schedules/commitments tend to also get in the way. That is understandable too. If I have to be at work at a certain agreed-on time, I have to be there at that time! No ifs, ands, or buts! But, here is where it is not worth it: If you are lucky enough to get your badges to attend the con…I mean very lucky! You spend a shitload of money to book the hotel (As of 7/21/2014, there will not be any rooms available in that area [for a reasonable price] until September…Sep-fucking-tember!), and travel 2500+ miles (based out of Milwaukee), then get turned away at every presentation you want to see.

You could be just spending the entire con weekend standing in line, getting turned away, and eating your heart out while your buds brag about what they got to see, but you couldn’t. Then ask yourself if you actually had the intention to travel all those miles and spend all of that money to not really see anything except a bunch of others in costumes [who also got turned away], the crowded hallways, and/or the bottom of a never-ending pint, glass or bottle of whatever at a hotel bar.

Then, there is this:

"Please keep in mind…

• Seating in all event rooms at Comic-Con is on a first-come, first-served basis…”

If you are lucky to get in, you may be stuck waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy in the back or what is commonly known as section BFE or section CSS (“Butt Fuck Egypt” or “Can’t See Shit”) where the only view you get is the back of many heads. If you are under 6 feet like I am, it is just not worth it!

And then:

"• In the primary programming room area (Rooms 2 through 9 on the top level of the Convention Center), the four hallways leading into these rooms have been designated as either entrance only or exit only.

Loooooooooooooooooooooooong ass lines! Each passing minute pretty much increases the chances of getting turned away if you are not there very early. If you are in the back of the line, turn around and go get a tall glass of your favorite heavy fuel from the bar. You ain’t getting in!

And…Hall H:

"• There are restrooms in Hall H. When you are facing the stage, the restrooms are to your right. If you leave the hall—for any reason—you may not be allowed back in or you may have to get in line to get back in. Again, because of Fire Marshal rules, this policy will be strictly enforced, with no exceptions.”

Better have a catheter, colostomy bag, and/or diapers! I’m sure the cast of The Simpsons, The Walking Dead, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Gotham, Arrow, Bob’s Burgers, Agents Of SHIELD, and the persons next to you do not want to see or smell some guy soiling/wetting himself. We’re pretty much certain the cleaning crew does not get any joy out of cleaning excrement/urine from the seats. Don’t even mention the delay this will cause because of the clean up! If you gotta go-you gotta go! Hold it, you say? Not worth the damaged kidneys or impacted intestinal matter by “holding it”!

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The SDCC is such a major success, they utilize their own cleaning crew. (Pictured above)

Now, I am not discouraging anyone from attending the San Diego Comic Con. If you were lucky enough to have gotten your badges through that [shitty] website they set up every March, and plunked down the thousands of dollars for airfare/lodging, I just want you to know what you are up against. But, question whether or not this should be an annual tradition for you or not: Will it be more stressful than fun? How often will you laugh and applaud? How often will you say “this is bullshit” or “awe come on”? Are you doing this because you have been going to these things for years? Are you doing this because it is the “in-thing”?

I have probably stated in earlier posts that I have been trying to get badges for almost 20 years now. They were difficult to get way back when. Now, it is impossible! Am I a glutton for punishment? Why do I keep doing this and failing year after year? I don’t see it as “failing”. I see it as accepting a challenge! I play the lottery. It is not that much different. For much longer than 20 years, I have been going to the Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago (Rosemont, Illinois actually). There were a few years (late 90’s to mid 2000’s) where I would make the annual trek to the Creation Xena convention in L.A. and even before that, the Star Trek conventions when they came to town. I’ll admit, I missed a few of each of those due to unforeseen circumstances (illness, unemployment, moving, work schedule, etc.). But, when the tickets went on sale, I always got them! So, you really can’t say I fail every year.

Personally, I find the “smaller” conventions like Wizard World to be just about the same thing as San Diego, but a little more fan friendly, intimate and logistically organized. Did I mention there is a good chance of a major surprise guest showing up? It has happened! At the SDCC, the chance of surprise guests are very slim and rare.

Also, like I stated in an earlier post, you shouldn’t expect to see the likes of CNN, TMZ, E! News/red carpet, or Access Hollywood; At the very most, the local T.V. stations and the newspapers will do the reporting.

At Creation or Wizard, there are a good amount celebrity guests who tend to walk around freely, if schedule permits, and mingle with the fans without incident! At San Diego, they may hop on a private plane, sit on the panel for an hour, answer a few questions, and hop back on the private plane. Back to work. Nothing wrong with that! At the “smaller” cons, if a guest cannot make it-they cannot make it! We understand! Nobody is holding a gun to their heads!

What I am saying is this: San Diego has turned into a press, publicity and plug event rather than a comic book and fan convention. It has become exclusive and elitist like the Oscars or Emmy’s with people dressed as Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Doctor Who, Etc. instead of tuxes and gowns. The [real] fans have become lowest priority. I am sure there are those who had been attending the SDCC for a long time up until a few years ago because of what it has turned into and what they now have to go through to just get into the door! It’s just sad!

'nuff said, as Stan Lee would say.

See you in Chicago in August!

georgetakei:

RethinkHomelessness asked our #homeless friends to write down a fact about themselves that other people wouldn’t know just by walking past them. Their answers may surprise you.

Want to see buildings and other places you haven’t seen in years…or even decades?

I chose to post the file from soundcloud only, because the websites that are reporting this as a news story, seem to be sympathetic toward Comcast. Here is the description from the poster himself:

Please note: this conversation starts about 10 minutes in — by this point my wife and I are both completely flustered by the oppressiveness of the rep.

So! Last week my wife called to disconnect our service with Comcast after we switched to another provider (Astound). We were transferred to cancellations (aka “customer retention”).

The representative (name redacted) continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone. Overhearing the conversation, I knew this would not be very fun.

What I did not know is how oppressive this conversation would be. Within just a few minutes the representative had gotten so condescending and unhelpful I felt compelled to record the speakerphone conversation on my other phone.

This recording picks up roughly 10 minutes into the call, whereby she and I have already played along and given a myriad of reasons and explanations as to why we are canceling (which is why I simply stopped answering the rep’s repeated question — it was clear the only sufficient answer was “Okay, please don’t disconnect our service after all.”).

Please forgive the echoing and ratcheting sound, I was screwing together some speaker wires in an empty living room!