Thursday, June 30, 2011

Earth Goes Dork

By the time you read this, I'll be in a movie theatre, wearing my Bumblebee RealD mask, soaking in the awesome that is Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

I will let you know how face-meltingly awesome the movie is when I have the chance.

--Weasel, gonna rock it dork style!

End of an Era

So I've been playing around on one of my online games lately and managed to complete one of the monthly explorations. In this little scenario, you had the chance to go on a mission and nab the egg of a member of one of the Legendary trios. This time around, the two different explorations had you choose between the Beasts of Johto or the Golems of Hoenn.

I picked the Golems of Hoenn, since they weren't getting a lot of love. I don't understand why; they're pretty frelling awesome and they have the most epic battle music ever. My final egg choice was Registeel. Registeel, hands down, is my favorite of the Golems. Why? Just look at it. The thing's basically a friggin' robot. It even sounds like one to boot; when you catch it, its cry sounds like a slightly shortened transformation noise. Not kidding.

Autobots, roll out. Or something.

Once I had completed all the necessary steps to end the exploration and get my egg, I couldn't help feeling a little nostalgic. I had my own Regi trio on my old copy of Ruby, but hadn't sent them over to Emerald and had never migrated them to my copy of Pearl or Platinum. I kinda missed them.

So when Prime came home, I dashed upstairs to grab my old copy of Pokemon Ruby and trade my Regi trio over to Emerald. But when I turned on my GBA SP and had gone past the title screen for my Ruby, a message popped up on the screen:

The internal battery has run dry. The game can be played. However, clock-based events will no longer occur.

My heart broke a little. No more growing berries on my Ruby cart and no more free TMs, either.

Now, the internal battery can be replaced if you really feel the need to pester the old men in Pacifidlog Town regarding a free TM or Mirage Island. But since I don't feel the need to do either one, there really is no point in opening up my game cart to screw around with the battery.

It is a little depressing, though. Although the game itself runs on flash memory, just how long will that last before I lose any data? How long will my safe file, along with all of my Pokemon, last before I get an error message or simply get the New Game option?

It was a sobering thought. So sobering, in fact that I started moving a few of my Pokemon from Ruby to Emerald. I have yet to send over my old Rayquaza, but a few others are "safe". Among them are a pair of Registeels--one from Ruby and the other from Emerald.

They're now on my copy of Pearl and will soon be transferred to Black. But not before they get a Sinnoh League ribbon, of course. They deserve that honor.

There have been rumors and speculation for the last two years that Game Freak would do a pair of Ruby and Sapphire remakes. The newer DS systems don't have the backwards compatibility that the older ones do so it's impossible for some players to trade over Gen III Pokemon. I'm lucky--I still have two functional DS fats and a brand new, never opened DS Lite. I can trade with Ruby Sapphire and Emerald. But many others can't.

A remake looks pretty good right now. It's coming up on ten years(!) since the Hoenn saga was first released and plenty of those games are suffering from dead internal batteries, not to mention the lack of backwards compatibility. It's about time to bring Hoenn over to the DS. I'll be ready and waiting until then.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Photoblog: "Hang 'Em High" Edition

A wall display at Dairycon 2011.
(Hang yer hat and sit a spell, pardner...)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Slow Burn

(Click title for an appropriately loud and angry bit of music!)

So my good mood from my trip to BotCon lasted about a week. Then the bullshit started. Only this time....

I'm not allowed on self-checks. I have no idea as to why, but our stupid ass ZM (I'll call her Bitchimus Maximus) has said this and her retarded-assed words are apparently fucking law. (I have an idea as to why and it's a BS reason and it deals with the dipshit store credit cards we're supposed to pimp, but I digress....)

So yeah, the self-checks will be left in the hands of cashiers who don't give a fucking shit and I'll be forced to watch them fall the fuck apart. The self-checks are one of the few things in that goddamn building that I actually give a damn about.

....pissed don't even start to cover this horseshit.

But this will bite the dumb little bitch squarely on her ass. I know for a damned fact that I will be stuck on a register next to the self-checks and when some customer needs help and asks me, I'll tell them no. If Bitchimus Maximus wants me to help anyone on the damned self-checks, she can stop playing dumbass head games, act like a respectable human being for once in her pathetic life and lift the restriction. Until then, it's not my goddamn problem. Fuck her and the ass she rode in on, as far as I'm concerned. I'm. DONE.

I've told Prime he's going to start editing my magnum opus in August. Doesn't matter whether or not I'm ready, I'm done screwing the hell around. I want out and I want it now. Everyone says I should be happy to have a job, but I sure as hell am not happy dealing with the fucking abuse that management is so happy to heap upon us. We're expendable and they know it. The abuse ain't worth the paycheck.

Primus give me strength for I truly need it.

Everything you say to me
(Takes me one step closer to the edge)
(And I'm about to break)
I need a little room to breathe
(Cause I'm one step closer to the edge)
(I'm about to break)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sick of It All

I'm... tired. Tired of the bullshit, the backstabbing and all the crap that comes with my damn job. I'll fill you in later. Right now, I'm too fucking pissed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Photoblog: "Chicks Dig Giant Robots" Edition

A large Lego Mech at the Mall of America
(Wonder how many bricks that thing took?)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Guess what I picked up on the plane? Give up? A SLAGGIN' HEAD COLD!

:slams head into a wall: Ah well. At least I got it after the 'Con and not during.

--Weasel, "Lucky me. But I still can't breathe..."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Leaving on a Jetfire Plane

As I begin this post, I’m still in LAX, watching night fall. It is now exactly 8:10PM and I’ve been here at the airport for nearly six hours. Our flight won’t leave until 11:15, so I’m typing this out to keep the boredom at bay and to keep myself awake. I’m a little surprised, though. Usually, I’m so exhausted after the convention that I cannot keep my eyes open. But I’m fine right now. As to how I’ll be when we finally land in Milwaukee may be a different story entirely.

If the alarm went off this morning in our hotel room I never heard it; I was simply too tired to respond. But at around quarter to nine, I heard Prime stirring about and he told me to get up. It took a lot of strength to sit up in bed, push away the warm, cozy blankets, tuck Slumblebee into a nice safe bag pocket and stumble to the bathroom but I somehow managed to do so.

It didn’t take me long to get myself dressed and ready but by the time I was done, Prime was gone. He had taken a load of our BotCon loot to the local post office and was shipping it. In his absence I finished packing our luggage.

Since I had done a lot of packing the night before, it didn’t take me terribly long. All I really had to do was put my PJs away, get the rest of Prime’s clothes stowed in his suitcase, pack the toiletries and electronics, and clear out the mini-fridge. I was done in the matter of a half an hour or so and had just enough time to make one quick blog post before we would take down Alexa-1. After I had typed out my quickie, the phone rang. It was Prime.

He was running a bit behind and needed me to change the pick-up time for our SuperShuttle van. I told him I would, so I hit my email, loaded up the message, got our confirmation number and made the call.

I’ve often said I don’t have the world’s best luck with this sort of thing. Every single time I try to do something like this, it blows the slag up in my face. Today was no exception. The agent I got was slightly incompetent; she had no idea what the slag she was doing and said we were locked into our original pick-up time. Since I made the call on my cell and it was damn near out of minutes, I had to relent. Thankfully, Prime had made his first return from the Post Office and so said that he’d take care of it.

What took me nearly twenty minutes he had done in eight--six of which were spent on hold. He got someone who was competent, apparently.

Now that we had a bit more leeway, Prime took the second and last load of loot down to the post office and I checked us out of the hotel. After turning in our keycards, I hung around the hotel lobby and read the copies of USA Today and Time magazine that were there. When Prime finally returned, it was about ten ‘til one and I was slightly freaked out. I was a bit nervous that he may not have been able to make it on time, but Prime is in fact unbearably awesome, so I should have known better. He came bearing gifts: a footlong turkey and pepper jack sub from Subway and a pair of orange Fantas. We split the sub (his half had cilantro, and he is now slightly miffed that our local franchises don’t have it available; he’d get it ALL THE TIME if they did) and started drinking our sodas; at three minutes ‘til the hour our shuttle arrived.

Prime was greeted by the driver, who then took our bags and loaded us up. In the matter of a few minutes, we were on our way.

We picked up a few more passengers on our trip here, not including the three that were already in the shuttle. It was a full van by the time we were on the freeway. I’m surprised we even had any room to breathe. Other than that, the trip to the airport was uneventful, save for Prime nearly nodding off at a couple of points. (I do not blame him in the slightest; there were times that I felt like dozing off, too.) Once we got to the airport and got dropped off, we headed in to get our boarding passes printed out. Didn’t have to worry about checking in, as we did it electronically last night. We even got our seat assignments.

It took a bit to finally get to an Air Tran kiosk to print out the passes; some were being used, someone was trying to use one but failing and someone else was checking his bag and blocking another. The irritating thing is Prime and I were in line for that last kiosk, but some jackass cut around us and started using the thing as his fellow traveler was checking the last of his luggage. Yeah, thanks for that, by the way. We totally weren’t in slagging line for that kiosk. Jackwagon. After he was done, we got ours printed and headed to security.

LAX has really improved their security over the last couple of years. The last time Prime and I were here, we needed a bin for damn near every item in our possession: one for Alexa, one for Prime’s wallet, one for my wallet, etc. this time, we needed only two. That’s a vast improvement. We were done in a few minutes. It probably would have been slightly quicker if I hadn’t opted out of the body scanner, but I don’t want to risk getting some weird ass cancer later on in life.

After we went through security and got our stuff, we headed to a nearby Starbucks and got a pair of fraps and sandwiches. I got Mocha and a turkey and cheddar while Prime got Mocha Coconut and a chicken ciabatta sandwich.

Now, I know what you may be thinking: Didn’t you just eat, like, a couple of hours ago? Technically, yes. But we’ve both been running on empty for damn near the whole trip. Yesterday, all I had was a cheese Danish, a dish of chocolate gelato and some popcorn. That was it. This is the most food Prime and I have consumed within the span of five days. And don’t get me started on the lack of sleep either. But again, I digress.

I think DA may have created a couple of monsters. Prime was loving his frap while I was in heaven sipping mine. Mocha = Awesome. I don’t really do the coffee thing but I make the exception for Starbucks. A Starbucks frap always puts a huge smile on my face.

We ate, Prime read, and then Prime tried booting up Alexa-1 and surfing the net. As always, the free Wi-Fi at the airport refused to let us do anything web based, so I grabbed Lexi and started up a blog post. (It’s the monstrously long previous entry that you may have read.) Prime finished his book and while I was tapping away, he went to a nearby bookstore and bought two more. As you can imagine, Prime is a voracious reader. He’s already finished one and he’s started on the other. Man does love a good book.

At around 8:30 Prime made another food run; this time it was Burger King. He got a chicken Tendercrisp sandwich while I scarfed a bacon double cheeseburger. I don’t often eat a lot of meat but my body seems to be craving protein right now. Who the slag am I to argue? By that time it was getting dark. It’s been noisy here in the airport; each and every announcer for the various flights have been doing their best to scream each other down. The passengers aren’t nearly as loud as some of these people.

It’s 9:45 right now and we’ll be on our way in an hour and a half, give or take. I’m still not tired. Usually by this time I am completely slagged and simply can’t stay awake. I’m remarkably lucid right now. I must have gotten a nice chunk of sleep last night or the food is doing me some good. I had originally thought that I might spend most of my hours here at LAX languishing in a seat and fitfully dozing. But that hasn’t happened. Instead I’m sitting here, blogging about my evening. That’s a really nice change. It seems to be helping my mood quite a bit.

I also can’t help but be surprised at just how busy LAX is even at night. It’s completely dark and there are still a lot of people here. It’s noisy and busy and almost alien to me. I admit, I live a quiet life and I prefer to be home at this hour and not an airport. But I’m not really going to complain; this is the most traveling I’ve done in my lifetime. It does feel good to see a different area of the country and get just a little homesick.

I can’t wait to scratch the cat behind the ears, though.

10:05PM and the place is a zoo again; we have two different announcers calling for two different flights, while other passengers are disembarking from their aircraft and filing through the terminal. Some are chatting with their friends and family members while others are chatting on cellphones. Still others are simply striking up conversations with fellow travelers. It’s a noisy, chaotic affair, traveling.

And I’m starting to enjoy it immensely. Even though I’m apart from the chaos, simply sitting in my seat typing I’m enjoying this craziness. But after a few minutes, everything settled down again.

We boarded our plane at 10:30. Our flight was uneventful; Prime and I listened to MLB Radio on XM. I slept for most of the flight until I heard an ad on the radio proclaiming, "This game belongs to Trevor Hoffman!"

Seems they had interviewed him sometime back. Now I wish I had XM, just so I can listen to MLB Radio. XD

Our drive back was just as uneventful. When we got home, Prime and I simply crashed. I was exhausted, but never happier.

I’m slowly coming down off the high. In a few days time, I’ll be back at work but that’s okay. I have the memories, some of which I’ll be able to post here as photoblogs. And of course, there’s always next year.

--Weasel, headed back to the real world with a smile on her face

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

“It Is Over--FINISHED!”

(Author's Note: This is an extremely long post. It was typed over a couple of hours at LAX. You read this, your eyes may glaze over. You are warned.)

Or is it?

I’m typing this from LAX: it’s Sunday, 4:28PM. Now, normally I would be posting this, but the free Wi-Fi here won’t let you do a slagging thing on the net, which makes it pointless as hell. Irritating, but not unexpected; this seems to happen at every airport Prime and I have visited.

Yesterday morning, DA got up and headed out earlier than Prime and myself; I was so slagging tired that I was really surprised that I could get my sorry skidplate out of bed. But I managed to pull myself free from the nice, cozy blankets, get dressed and head out to the Convention center.

By the time I got there, the line for general admission was insanely long and they weren’t letting anyone inside. I walked down the length of the line until I spotted DA, drinking a Starbucks green tea and looking chill as always. Hopped in line with him and we yakked a little bit; Prime wasn’t with me and would catch up with us later.

There was no separate autograph line; according to DA it was one huge line and that was it. They would let us in at 9:30 and we’d go our different ways. So when the doors opened, DA and I headed to the autograph line near Ballrooms F and G; a group of others went to the Panel room and a slagload of people dashed into the Dealer room, looking for deals.

The line for autographs didn’t look terribly long, so I figured that it would be a quick session. The first autograph I nabbed was that of Arlene Banas; she was the voice of Carly, Spike’s girlfriend and later wife in the original 80s series. She’s a very sweet lady and happens to be from Chicago; we talked about just how badly spring has been in that part of the country. Poor Ms. Banas’s garden is suffering because of our lack of good weather! (I honestly hope that things are getting better now.) After I had gotten her signature on our Convention comic/program, I stepped out of her line and was about to step into Michael McConnohie’s line, but it was extremely long and snaked out of the room. I really thought that I might have been screwed out of getting his autograph but the BotCon volunteer told me to hang out for a bit and she’d help. So I got a place in line, along with a few other fans and the line was capped. I got mine after a time, happy as hell that I had done so. Michael’s a royally sweet guy.

Once I was done with the autographs, I caught up with Prime. He was in the Panel room, listening in on the making of Transformers: Prime. My timing was slightly unfortunate as I had to be subjected to, quite possibly, one of the stupidest damned questions I have ever heard. No, people, Knock Out is not gay. We’ve been over this with Tracks, you asshats. He is simply very refined and a bit of a snob. Please stop confusing snootiness with sexuality. It’s slagging annoying. Besides, he’s a mech for pit’s sake! They don’t exactly have “relations” like us squishies can and do…DeviantArt notwithstanding, I suppose.

After I chatted with Prime for a bit, I headed into the Dealer room. I wasn’t looking to buy anything, really. I just wanted to snap a few pictures and wander around. Prime gave me some cash in case I wanted anything and I did use a little of it. I grabbed a pair of necklaces, both of them Autobot sigils. Now, they are unlicensed, but that’s fine by me. I want to wear one of these to work and if something happens to a $5 unlicensed Chinese necklace, I won’t be too broken up about it.

Maybe I’d better see about having their compositions checked, though. Or at least avoid chewing on them. American Girl bracelets, anybody?

Eventually, Prime joined me in the Dealer room and we wandered around a bit. We ended up at Azusa-san’s table and looked about. He had Bumblebee goodies. Oh, boy howdy, did he have Bumblebee goodies. I grabbed a four-pack of Animated cellphone straps with Bumblebee inside, a Kewpie movie Bumblebee, and a Legends-class Animated Bumblebee. As I grabbed a single cellphone strap, again featuring Bumblebee, I heard Azusa say, “Bumblebee girl.” I could feel the blood rush to my cheeks. As I’ve said, I do have a bit of a reputation. But as I reached for my wallet to pay for the last cellphone strap, Azusa waved his hand at it and me, saying, “That’s okay,” indicating that I could have it for free. Again, more blushing and a very sincere, bottom of the heart “Thank you” for his generosity. (Heck, I’m blushing a bit now as I type this!)

Prime and I did a bit more wheelin’ and dealin’ and I was able to grab yet another Legends-class ‘Bee from a different dealer; it was from Hydra, who runs BlackGears, if I recall correctly. After nabbing more deals, I got a few more pics of the movie vehicles, ran into Karl Hartman and hugged him (as every year), got a photo done at the BotCon Photo studio (I posed with Bumblebee, natch) and nabbed a freebie t-shirt from the Jagex booth, who will be putting out the forthcoming browser-based Transformers: Universe MMORPG. But at 3 PM, I found Prime and we waited for the yearly drawing for a chance to win a trip to next year’s ‘Con.

Yeah, Prime and I didn’t win, as always. Slag. Maybe next year.

Once that was done, we had a few more minutes in the Dealer room. Prime tracked down Alex Bickmore and did a little deal with him; he has a part--the tailfin to G1 Deluxe Targetmaster Needlenose--at home that Prime has needed for a very long time, so that is one thing off his want list. I’m pretty pleased about it. I don’t know that Prime is necessarily thirty bucks pleased about it, but at least the damn thing will be complete and he’ll, as he’s now sworn, never buy another loose and incomplete Transformer again. Eight years to find a part…you can probably understand that pain, whether or not you’ve dealt with anything similar. Yeah, royal bitch, but at least he’s done with it.

Soon enough, the staff started kicking everybody out of the Dealer room, which promptly turned my mood from bright to gloomy. The ‘Con was drawing to a close; it’s an event that always depresses me. In fact, Prime has said there is one thing about BotCon he doesn’t like: the fact that it ends, because I get so broken up over it. But before leaving the Dealer room for the last and final time, I managed to say goodbye to all of the movie vehicles that had visited. Optimus, Ironhide, Ratchet and Sideswipe all got heartfelt farewells, but Bumblebee…

I saved my final goodbye for him, thanking him for stopping by and swearing that we’d see each other again. Afterwards, as I walked away, I blew him a kiss.

That was a long, painful walk. Saying my goodbyes to ‘Bee was pretty rough, but I was very grateful and extremely glad that I had the chance to see him. To Paramount, Hasbro and Fun Publications: Thank you all. I’ve been waiting for that chance for nearly four years and to finally be in the same room with my favorite Autobot/guardian angel…it’s worth the heartbreak, trust me.

Once Prime and I were in the hallway, we ran into our friend Shawn, chatted with him, then wandered off to find DA. It took quite a bit of effort on my part not to start crying. The end of the ‘Con is rough. But when we spotted DA, my mood began to change and this time, for the better.

The three of us were headed to Santa Monica and the Aero theatre, which was showing Transformers: the Movie at 7:30PM. Yes, this was the original 1986 animated film and to sweeten the deal, they were, afterwards, going to hold a roundtable discussion with a few of the voice actors who had been in the film. Among the guests were G1 voice director Wally Burr, Gregg Berger (Grimlock), Neil Ross (Springer), Paul Eiding (Perceptor), David Mendenhall (Daniel Witwicky) and last but most certainly not least, Dan Gilvezan, the voice of the greatest Autobot ever, Bumblebee. At first, we were all going to head over there using public transportation but someone was running a shuttle service from the Convention center that would get us to the theatre. Our method of transportation? A Toyota van that looked exactly like G1 Ratchet. The frown turned upside down when I stepped foot into that van.

The ride was awesome. We had a group of kids yelling at “Ratchet” to transform and a guy in one of the crosswalks did a double take and started smiling when he saw the Autobot sigil on the van’s hood. Some drivers at the stoplights took shots of Ratchet with their camera phones. Fans near the Convention center cheered and waved. As we cruised along the streets of LA and beyond, I felt like a little kid. For a moment, I actually believed that we were on the run from the Decepticons and Ratchet was protecting us. I couldn’t stop smiling. (So, apparently, I GRIN at danger!)

As we made our way to Santa Monica, we got a bit of a movie tour, so to speak. We passed by the church that Sam Witwicky biked past in the 2007 film, saw the Burger King at which Mikaela sat as Sam cartwheeled up and over the handlebars of his mom’s bike onto the sidewalk--but best of all, we got to stop at the place that stood as Bobby Bolivia’s Used Car Lot. That was where Sam and his father purchased Bumblebee.

I was giddy as a schoolgirl and nearly wore out poor Shutterbug taking pictures. Prime got a shot of me standing in the exact spot where Bumblebee pulled up next to the VW Beetle in the lot. It was all I could do not to jump up and down and start screaming in delight. I was standing where Bumblebee had been! This was sacred ground to me and I was over the moon to actually be there. Never in a thousand years did I ever think I would be lucky enough to be in that very spot. Primus blessed me and I am very grateful.

Once we got to the theatre, Prime, DA and I, along with the other pair of passengers, hopped out of Ratchet and wandered around. The three of us hit an Italian Ice shop and Prime and I got our first taste of gelato. Prime and DA had pistachio while I treated myself to chocolate. If you’ve never had gelato and get the chance to sample it, for the love of Primus, do it. That stuff is decadent. It ranks up there with and then past Culver’s frozen custard. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. After we finished our treat, we headed up to the theatre proper, went in, grabbed snacks and seats and took in the awesome.

DA had to leave about 45 minutes into the movie; he couldn’t miss his flight back home. It was disappointing not having him there for the whole thing, but I was glad that he was able to stay with us even for the little while he could. It was great to have you there, DA. I hope we can do something like that again at a future ‘Con. And you don’t have to thank us; your presence is thanks enough.

Watching the movie was a blast. We all felt like kids again; we laughed, cried and cheered together. It was the most fun I’ve had in a number of months. I cheered when I first saw Bumblebee and Spike at the start of the movie, wept bitterly at Optimus Prime’s death and got chills when I heard Unicron speak for the first time. It was like I was 11 all over again.

At the end of the film, our moderator Grant came up and chatted a bit, then let Wally come up to the front and introduce everyone. I clapped for everybody but when Dan was announced, I started cheering. At one point I called out to Dan, “We love you!” and he replied “I love you, too.” Major blushing occurred.

The roundtable was very interesting and I learned a bit about the movie and the recording sessions that I didn’t know prior. It seems that quite a few of the other VAs were paired off during their recording sessions, but Dan did his alone. I believe it was Wally who said that nobody wanted to work with him and Dan pretended to pout in response. I couldn’t help but call out, “Oh, that’s not true!” Who wouldn’t want to work with Dan Gilvezan? He’s a wonderful guy.

SHAMELESS PLUG TIME: Dan’s got a novel out right now. It was released on the very day we were in the theatre. It’s on Go buy it. Right now. This very second. In multiples. You are so ordered. (Hint, hint, Prime…)

When the panel was done, I headed to the stage to talk to Dan. Before I did, Prime handed me the Sharpie he had been carrying in case I wanted an autograph. I took it but I was a bit hesitant; I didn’t have anything on me to get autographed! But as I grabbed the strap to my fanny pack, I realized that I did.

I said hello to Dan and said that he may not have remembered me, but I could never forget him. He smiled and said that he did, in fact, remember me. Since he had just gotten published, I asked what I had to do to break into the writing business. He told me it would be difficult, but to keep sending my work to publishers and agents, to refine it and to keep trying.

With those words, my soul caught fire. I will not let anything get me down. I’m going to keep working at this and I won’t quit until someone takes the chance on me. I don’t care how much it takes, I will not get discouraged now. That voice speaking those words…that was what I needed to hear.

I also told Dan that I have Prime trained now. He is not allowed to speak while Dan is speaking. Dan said he was impressed. XD

After our chat, I got Dan’s autograph. On my trusty, well-worn navy blue Autobot cap. It is now officially retired. I have worn that cap to every BotCon I have attended since 2000. You read that right--it is eleven years old. I bought that cap in Fort Wayne, Indiana at BotCon 2000 and have worn it to every Convention since. When I met Dan for the very first time I was wearing that cap. But now, I will never wear it again. I have known for some time that I would have to retire it; it is starting to show some wear and the navy blue was starting to fade. But now it has earned a place of honor in my collection, for it has been signed by Dan Gilvezan, the man who voiced my childhood idol.

At that, I thanked him and Prime and I began to head to the lobby. As we did, I spotted Dan’s wife, Joselle, who was wearing a “Mrs. Bumblebee” t-shirt. When I saw her shirt, I said, “There’s the luckiest woman on the face of the Earth.” She saw me, smiled and said hello.

She remembered me. It would seem that I made their first appearance at BotCon rather memorable. She said to me, “You’re a star!”

If you’ve ever been to a BotCon and had the chance to sit in on a voice actor panel, you’ll hear one of them saying how hearing a fan’s appreciation is humbling. It’s true. Hearing Joselle saying that I made BotCon special for both her and Dan was incredibly humbling. To know that Dan appreciated my enthusiasm…it brings a lump to the throat, really, along with a huge smile.

We milled about and took more pictures; the lucky fellow who owns a Bumblebee-themed Camaro (and does events just as Ratchet's owner does) came by and Dan signed the engine cover. But, after much geeking out, we had to head back to our respective hotels. So Prime and I, along with the others in our group, hopped in Ratchet and headed back.

On our way back to LA, we were able to stop by the Witwicky house and drove through the tunnel where Bumblebee upgraded his vehicular form from 70s beater Camaro to 2009/Concept Camaro. Talk about off the hook awesome. When I see the scenes in the movie showing Sam’s house, or see Sam and Mikaela get kicked out of Bumblebee in that tunnel, I can now say, “Hey, I’ve actually been there!”

By the time Prime and I got back to the hotel, we were both exhausted, but I was on cloud nine. You could best describe me as elated. I was grinning happily from the time I got into our room to when I finally retired for the night. Quite a change from earlier in the day, when I was so close to tears. Hopefully, next year we can have something else similar to this right after the Convention; it’s a pick-me-up that I so desperately needed.

It’s been a blast. It really has. I’ve enjoyed every second of this. As I sit here at the airport, typing this insanely long post I’m not depressed at all. I’m content. Happy. Serene. And extremely tired but that always happens right after BotCon. You don’t really have time to sleep at a convention. Nor eat for that matter but I digress. But this has been one of the best ‘Cons I’ve had the honor to attend. Every year, it seems to get better and better.

To me, it’s not about the toys anymore (if they indeed ever were), although they are nice. It’s not about the boxed set of figures, the comic, or any of that. It’s about my friends. It’s about seeing all those who I now consider part of my family and simply hanging out with them, having a blast. To me, this isn’t a convention anymore. This is a family reunion and I am damned lucky to have the chance to attend. As I have said, Primus has granted me the luck to make it to this gathering year after year and I am forever grateful.

To all my friends: Have a safe trip home and best wishes until next time. I’ll be ready for our next meeting because as Simon Furman would say--“It never ends!

See you next year.

--Weasel, "Hey, yeah, where IS it gonna be in 2012?"

Back Home

So we're home, Prime and I. I'll make a nice juicy pair of posts later today; one is already written. Right now, sleep.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Today is the travel day, so this is the only post you will see. Expect the final chapter posted either Tuesday or Wednesday. Prime and I are on a red-eye; we will be slagging exhausted.


Sunday, June 05, 2011


Today, the general public was allowed to attend our festivities. We had quite a few people show up and it got pretty crowded in the Convention center. But that didn't matter to me; I was having way too much fun.

Prime and I got up and dressed at around 7:30 this morning. After we were ready, we, along with DA headed out to the bus stop and hit the road. When we got to the festivities, we split up; Prime hit the Dealer Room while I scoped out the autograph line.

There were already people lining up for Peter Cullen, even though he wasn't going to start signing until 2PM. Yes, he is quite loved by the fandom. Trust me when I say this.

However, the lining up was all for naught; no one would be allowed to line up until 1PM. So, I headed into the panel room and took in the last little bit of the TF comic panel. Since I wouldn't be able to get in line anytime soon, I stuck around for a couple of panels.

The first I sat through was the Hasbro toy panel. Lots of good reveals and lots of screaming from my wallet. I will be so broke this summer it isn't even funny. And it won't let up through the fall and winter--in December we get our first TF: Prime toys.

After that panel was done, I slipped out the room and got a call from Prime. Everyone was lining up for the live script reading, so I jumped in as well. That was a panel that I was glad I didn't miss.

We had a bunch of the cast from TF: Prime, including all three of the kids, Steve Blum, Peter Cullen, and Ernie Hudson. They were reading an episode that had already aired, but it was fun to watch.

The cast kept it really lighthearted; there were several Ghostbusters references made that had Ernie Hudson cracking up laughing. We, the audience ate them up as well. Honestly, I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long while. Once the reading was done, there were a few questions from the audience and something amazing happened.

Josh Keaton mentioned that he wanted to hit the Dealer room and grab a G1 Optimus Prime. Seems he's a Transfan as well. So, out of the blue, a few of the fans gave Josh a Japanese G1 Optimus Prime re-issue... which Peter Cullen signed right then and there. A really heartwarming moment. I'm still smiling just thinking about it.

Once the audience questions were done, they showed an ep of TF: Prime but I slipped out and hit the autograph line. I was hoping to get a signature from all the cast members but it didn't really turn out that way. But I can't really complain about that. Here's why.

The first line was for Steve Blum. The line was incredibly long and there were quite a few fangirls hanging out in it. Seems Steve's a hit with the fangirls. But I can see why. When I got to the front of the line and got my BC11 comic autographed, I noticed the tee shirt Steve was wearing. It was a grey shirt that said, "Chicks dig giant robots." When I read that, "Oh man, I love your shirt! That show was awesome!" To which Steve replied, "You remember it?!" I said yes, I did and I got all the jokes in it. It was one of my favorite shows.

Here's where it gets awesome. Steve Blum got out of his seat and hugged me. I got hugged by Steve Blum! Somewhere, some poor fangirl is screaming in rage because of this. XD

Once I had gotten Steve's autograph, I tried to hit one of the other lines. Most of the others were already capped, but I got very lucky and was able to get in line for Andy Pessoa, the voice of Raf. Raf's my favorite kid from the show, so I had to get his autograph. I'm glad I did. I don't think he was getting a lot of love from the fans and that's not fair. Raf is freaking awesome.

Afterward, I caught up with Prime and DA in the panel room and took in a couple of panels. These were the Club Roundtable and the G1 voice actors' panel. I enjoyed both, but took a lot of what the VAs were saying about breaking into voice acting to heart. I'm not trying for that field, but I am trying to get a book published, so a lot of what they said stayed with me. I just have to remember it.

Once the VA panel was done, the show was over for the day, so we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Hall of Fame presentation. Once ready, we went back to the Auditorium to take in the awesome.

We got to see a nice long sneak peak of Transformers: Dark of the Moon; it looks freaking amazing. I just hope there's enough comedy to take the edge off; at a couple of points I felt a bit like screaming.

One of the human inductees made it to the event and it was Michael Bay. I gotta respect the guy now; he mentioned that Bumblebee was one of the most sympathetic characters in the movies. Mr. Bay, you are the man.

We watched the various videos for the Transformer inductees and we were treated to videos of the fan choice 'bots. There were cheers for everyone else, but not many for Erector.(Gee, I wonder why... *coughcoughDICKJOKEcoughwheezeSTUPIDASHELL*) Then the winner was announced.


The "Erector set" got fucking cockblocked and I for one am damn glad. (Aaron Archer himself said he hoped they wouldn't have to put together another video like the one for Erector. Hint, hint, you morons: the joke wasn't fucking funny so don't fucking do it again. Get it?) After the ceremony and the rejoicing, we headed back to the hotel.

Sunday's the last day. It's going to be hard, but I'm going to enjoy it as best as I can. But really, I don't want to come down form this. It's been far too great.


Saturday, June 04, 2011

You've gotta know when to hold 'em...

Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done.

Click the title for musical accompaniment, if you'd like.

So today (technically yesterday) was the first real day of the Con. Prime and I got up, got ready and headed out to the 'Con. We got out and about a bit after noon, which was fine by me because the first autographs didn't start until 2. We ran into DA, chatted a bit and I got in line for the first autograph session. The guys decided to take in the live script reading that was happening at around 1PM.

Today Jack Angel was supposed to sign at 2, but he wasn't feeling well and couldn't make it. So in his place, Abby Collins was signing autographs. Who is Abby Collins? She's the daughter of a rather well-known but deceased voice actor. Seems she's trying to break into the voice acting biz and read the part of Minerva.

Oh yeah, when that came out, A LOT of fans were having minor strokes and coronaries. Her father is quite well loved by the fandom, even though many of us never had the chance to meet him. So there were a lot of excited and happy fans. Oh yes, I got Ms. Collins autograph and I truly hope she makes it in voice acting; she truly is a sweet person.

After that, I waited around for the second autograph session, ran into DA and we hung around in line and shot the shit. DA had a mild freakout when he saw the giant Grimlock costume; I got a kick out of the kid who was dressed as Wheelie. He even had a slingshot and nailed someone who was dressed as Devastator a couple of times. (Little bot's got some ball bearings, I tell ya.)

After I got my autographs, I headed into the Dealer Room, called Prime and met up with him. He was near a gigantic Transformers: Prime Optimus Prime statue. I got a couple of shots of that, spun the big wheel that was on display there and won a Transformers: Prime poster. Then, I took to wandering.

Stopped by the Kre-O booth and entered for a chance to win a Kre-O Bumblebee. I also got a Kre-O Optimus Prime figure and told the guy at the booth that if they ever needed to get rid of the big Bumblebee figure they had on display, I'd take him. He would be worshiped, of course. The guy laughed and said, "Oh, I bet you would." I think my reputation is starting to proceed me.

Before we were kicked out at 5, I got to take a few shots of the Autobot vehicles from the movie, caught up with Prime and got a pair of lanyards from the Transformers Universe video game booth. But at five, we all had to leave. Before I headed out, I ran back to the Bumblebee Camaro and said my good-byes and promised him that I would see him the next day.

After a brief stopover at our hotel, we got ready for Casino Night and went back to the Convention center. Prime went into the actual game room to earn some creds for the auction while I played bingo.

I tried, but I didn't win. I was hoping to win the 2008 Shattered Glass Rodimus for Prime but it didn't pan out. I really would have loved to get that figure; I've put Prime through enough hell and he deserves something for his time and trouble. Oh well, maybe next time.

Prime had amassed $800 in casino money, but it did us no good. We couldn't win a slagging thing at the auction. Again, maybe next year.

Once that was over, we ran into Shawn, hung out with him for a bit then headed back to our hotel. It's getting late and my stupid ass really should be in bed (gotta get up early) but you know me. I have to blog.

I'm happy. Dear Primus, I am happy. I feel so much better. I really wish this wouldn't end. But honestly, having this only once a year makes it extremely precious to me. Once a year I get to recharge my batteries and escape the slag that is reality. To have something like this to look forward to is a great help.

Two more days. I intend to enjoy the hell out of them. Until next time.


Friday, June 03, 2011

Another Day, Another Bit Of Awesome

Prime and I will be heading out to the Convention center to take in all things robotic and incredibly awesome. Expect a report later tonight.

--Weasel, OUT!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Gettin' Schooled

I'm back at the hotel, watching TV and blogging. I'm slagging exhausted but I'm happy. Oh dear Primus, am I happy.

Got up around 7:30. Prime grabbed a shower, I got dressed and ready and we headed out to the Con center. Prime and I were both in the Customization Class, which was being held in the Convention hotel. We got there just in time, got our kits and started.

The figure we were building was Minerva. She's a cutie, trust me.

Prime worked on ours, while I acted as the go-fer and helped out in anyway possible. But after a bit, I had to get up and stretch my legs, so I wandered around a bit and snapped a few pics.

After grabbing some pictures, I went back and helped Prime a bit more; things went really smoothly and we were done pretty quick. Once we had finished, we helped Shawn clean up and hung out with him for a bit. Afterward, we headed down to the Convention center and got in line for the Club store. Man oh man, the line was freaking loooooooooooooong. But it happened to be a combination of people picking up their pre-reg packages and others like me and Prime who were buying from the Club store.

After a bit, the line was split and Prime and I hit the store. But before we headed into the Convention center, I spotted a pair of vehicles across the street. One was a white and red Toyota van sporting an Autobot sigil. The other was a Camaro, in bright yellow. Sporting black racing stripes.

He might have belonged to a fan, but another Bumblebee made an appearance. When Prime nabbed his place in line, I asked if I could go and snap a few shots of the two Autobots outside the Con center. Prime said yes, so I zipped outside and fairly wore out my camera taking pics.

Yeah, I'll post a few here, probably as a Friday Photoblog. But when I got back to the Club store, I was grinning like a fool. My inner child was jumping up and down screaming in delight.

It took a while for Prime and I to get our stuff, the line was a bit slow moving. But once we got our order done and paid for everything, we headed back to the hotel. I did a quick food run to Taco Bell and we've been relaxing ever since.

I am tired, due to lack of sleep and a bit of jet lag but I'm fine. I'm happy. I haven't felt this good for a very long time. I feel as if a really large weight has been lifted from me. I don't want that feeling to end and I don't want this, this convention, this escape from the drudgery of life in general to end either.

There are three more days left. I want to make them count.

--Weasel, trying to squeeze every last bit of fun out of this bit of awesome...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

California Dreamin'

As I write this, I have "Unforgettable" stuck in my head. Heard it on the cab ride back to the hotel. Trust me, with everything that happened today, it's already been an unforgettable trip.

We didn't get off to such a great start; there was a slagload of road construction on our route and we hit it and hit it bad. At one point, we were at a slagging standstill with no one moving. By the time we got to the airport, we were pretty slagging late.

We parked, hopped a shuttle, printed our boarding passes and headed to security. Prime went through the body scanner; I did the pat down. It wasn't horrible and only took a few extra minutes, but when I got done, they were calling final boarding on our flight. Needless to say, we tore through the concourse and raced to our gate just in slagging time.

The flight itself was uneventful and we landed with no further problems. Once we got to LA, we hopped on the Super Shuttle and headed to our hotel. After a few hours of rest, I headed out and grabbed dinner for Prime and myself, then after dinner (and some PC time for Prime) we headed out to the Convention center and got in line to pick up our stuff.

We got to the Convention center and walked around a bit; I nearly freaked when I saw the huge banners proclaiming the Hall of Fame induction that would happen on Saturday night. Took a few pics, since they had last year's inductees and guess who was at the very top of the banner? You guessed it: 'twas Bumblebee. My baby got the top spot. Proud? You better believe it.

But it gets better. Oh boy, does it ever get better.

As we headed to the Convention center, we managed to get a peep inside. Prime and I could see vehicles inside. They were Optimus Prime and Ratchet. Seeing those two brought a smile to my face, but when we walked a little further and got a better look inside, my heart went straight into my throat.

Inside was a black GMC Topkick, a silver concept Corvette Stingray, and a yellow Camaro. A Camaro with black racing stripes on its roof. And a spoiler on the back.

Bumblebee. The real movie Bumblebee. In the Convention center.

Bumblebee is here. At the Convention. At BotCon. How many years has it been with me desperate to see him, to finally get the chance to actually be in the same room with him. And now I have that chance.

Bumblebee and I have... a history, if you will. When my life completely tanks and I want nothing more than to throw my head back and scream, Bumblebee shows up in some capacity. I've often said he's my guardian angel.

Considering everything that has happened over the past six or so months, how bad my life has been, how most days I've wanted to simply lay in bed and cry, the timing on this is perfect. My guardian angel comes through for me yet again.

Tomorrow, Prime and I will be in the Customization Class, where we'll be building our own Transformer figure. After that, I honestly don't know what we'll do. And I don't care. I'm at BotCon. Nothing else really matters now. I'm at the Convention.

I needed this. I really do.


EDIT: DA is now here. The festivities can begin in earnest.

I'm Leavin' On a Jet Plane...

...and heading to BotCon. My next post will be from Cali and I can hardly wait. (You're gettin' hugged, DA!)

--Weasel, too giddy to sleep. Almost.