Hey gang. Writing this from a hotel room in Dallas right now, where I'm staying thanks to THQ. They flew me and Chris Morris (AKA Azereki, or "Ass Ricky") out here for reasons that we might now be allowed to talk about yet, but I figured I'd fill you all in on the wacky antics that have led up to this current situation:
Someday, all this will be yours. Except for the pizza, I am eating that, you can't have it.
Last time I wrote in here, it was like five in the morning and I was telling you about how I played Zelda in high school. Cool story bro. That was Friday morning. See, I had orientation for my new job as a barista at 7:00 AM, and I went to bed at about 10:30 the night before. Unfortunately, I woke up at 1 AM and couldn't get back to sleep.
I'm not telling you this because I'm trying to put you to sleep, but to establish the fact that for the past couple days, my sleep schedule has been like that of a narcoleptic methhead Dracula.
After the coffee shop thing, I went home and slept for a few hours. Waking up at one in the afternoon to a text from Hamza asking when I was coming over to the house. I said I was on my way, even though I was actually browsing Reddit in my underwear.
I got a few changes of clothes and my camera and computer gear, and headed over to the Dtoid house. If you're unfamiliar with our base of operations, it's ridiculous. It's like a cross between the Lost Boys' hideout in Hook and Hey Arnold!'s bedroom. Speaking candidly, one of the reasons I like working with Dtoid is that they (we) haven't forgotten how awesome it is that we get to write about video games.
When we're not battling Captain Hook, we have food fights.
Mountain Dew sent Hamza a box of official Halo Reach Mountain Dew and Doritos. He was so excited, he put up a video about it on YouTube, and then proceeded to eat all the Doritos for breakfast. If I ever meet someone who is blasť about getting a box of free video game-themed chips and soda in the mail, I will make a point of stepping on their neck until they are dead, because breathing the same oxygen as me is a privilege, not a right, and they were probably a Replicant anyway.
Anyway, I got to the house and spent four or five hours editing that Comic Jumper video I posted. When it was finished, Hamza said he was about to go over to Faithcon 2010. I'd gotten a Facebook invite to this, and initially thought it was some kind of Evangelical Christian Mega-Church kind of thing, but it was actually a party being thrown for Faith from the Frag Dolls.
According to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, "The Frag Dolls are a group of girl gamers recruited and employed by Ubisoft with the aim of promoting women in gaming as well as Ubisoft's games." Wikipedia doesn't state the obvious fact that they're also attractive. Having read that description, I rolled my eyes and figured Faithcon would be some kind of publicity fan-service thing. Figured I'd go anyway, because I like going places.
Jonathan Holmes decided he'd come with us. I just met him earlier this week, and at this point I can safely say that he is the nicest human being I've ever met in my entire, and pretty much everyone I've talked to shares this sentiment. When you're talking to him, it's just like you're being given good news. He's so likable it's just fucking baffling. He's like Goku.
Since Hamza can't ever give a straight answer to a question, I spent the entire walk over to Faithcon trying to figure out where it was being held, and what to expect.
"Hey Hamza, where is this place?" "Ehhh... Ten blocks that way?" "What kind of establishment is it?" "A bunch of Dtoid friends are there." "Yeah, but is it like an office or a warehouse or what?" "It's a house."
At this point we turned the corner, and I realized we were right outside Ben Perlee's house, which I've been to before. Ten blocks of me asking stupid questions, when the answer to the first question was "Ben's house." I swear to God, Hamza only does this shit to mess with me.
What followed was not some kind of publicity fan-service thing; it was a good old-fashioned house party, except most of the people there worked with the gaming industry somehow. It's fun to be at a party where you can stand there and talk about Star Trek for twenty minutes and not care, because everyone there is also a nerd. A beer pong tournament was starting, so Jonathan and I made a team named "A Link To The Pabst." Hamza partnered up with Sam Houston, and formed the less-clever "Team Samza."
We all played beer pong, and this happened:
I think I might send this photo out as a Christmas card this year.
Jon and I beat Hamza and Sam, but got our asses kicked by Faith and her partner. Their victory was obviously won with feminine wiles and trickery, since our team definitely had the edge. (Read: I totally suck at beer pong and am amazed I won the first game.) Faith is pretty cool. I know a lot of people will write off pretty girls who get attention for being nerdy AND pretty, but she's legit. Haters gonna hate.
I forgot to mention that I was supposed to be on a flight to Texas at 7:15 the next morning. Hamza said he'd give me a ride to the airport, with plenty of time to meet up with Chris at our terminal and get a Cinnabon or something. I'd sleep on the flight. This was the plan.
At about 2:30 in the morning, Hamza said "Hey, what time you wanna leave tomorrow? Er. Today?" and I said "5:45?" and then he said, "So, we should probably wake up in like three hours, huh?"
We went home and went to bed. I set my alarm and plugged my phone in. After curling up on the couch, I was out like a light. I slept for what seemed like thirty seconds, and the next thing I knew, there was a blinding flash and Hamza was bursting in the door shouting "WE BOTH SUCK!"
It was 6:15. Hamza had set his alarm wrong, and my phone -- though plugged in -- had mysteriously died in the night. We jumped in the car and Hamza did eighty the whole way to the airport. We got there in like ten minutes, which is completely insane. It doesn't even matter how far we were from the airport, we got there in ten minutes. No one ever gets to any airport, ever, in ten minutes. It's physically impossible. Airports are built more than ten minutes away from everything.
I went through security, got to the plane while the last handful of people were still boarding. I saw Chris in his seat, and stammered something to the effect of "I've never seen anyone drive a Toyota Corolla that fast."
Neither Chris nor myself had been to Texas. I saw the inside of the airport once during a layover, but the actual place? It's a mystery. When we landed, our heads were full of wacky ideas. Insane stereotypes and expectations we'd compiled from thirteen seasons of King Of The Hill, two Bush dynasties, and our California liberal xenophobia.
Of course, most of my expectations and interest in going to Texas have stemmed from Preacher.
Yeah, I know. The cover art turned me off too. The actual comics look way better.
...Which, if you haven't read it, I highly recommend. It's like if Tarantino had directed Dogma. It's one of the most politically incorrect and offensive comics ever. Definitely check it out if you like swearing and America.
So, Texas. We got off the plane and met our driver. He was a little guy, but friendly as hell, with a cool Texan accent. He answered all of our dumb questions, including "Is it true you guys don't recycle?" and "Which side of the state is Dallas on?" The guy reminded me of a gross between Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2 and the truck driver from Die Hard With A Vengeance.
California is an awesome place, and I love it to death, but in a lot of other parts of the country, I'm hesitant to say that's where I'm from. In certain states, depending on who you're talking to, saying "I'm from California" is like saying "I'm a vegan Prius-driving socialist. Let's listen to NPR." I feel like a lot of Californians don't realize this.
We got to the hotel, and realized that we weren't even conscious. Between lack of sleep, beer pong, and a three hour flight, I wasn't feeling too hot. Nobody enjoys sitting on a packed airplane, really, but I'm 6'6". It really sucks for me.
In my hotel room, I spent about half an hour trying to figure out what time zone I was in. Then, I read the clock wrong, realized I only had time for a twenty minute nap, fell asleep, and woke up thinking I was late for a meeting. After that, I concluded that since it was only three-thirty, I had actually learned to travel back in time, and in fact had plenty of time for a nap.
Chris and I went and did some press stuff that you'll hear about soon enough. Afterwards, though, we went and drank beer with a bunch of other gaming journalists and some of THQ's developers. While out for a cigarette, we met a bunch of WWE roadies.
I don't use the word "crusty" a lot, but it comes to mind. I'm talking about dudes with mullets and names like "Lurleen" tattooed on their arms, which you can see because none of their shirts have sleeves.
We talked about cigarette prices and work, and one guy talked about how stupid his wife was for wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey in Indiana. Another guy didn't talk about anything, but after a while he started throwing up into his bandanna. I realized that being a roadie for the WWE is about the most manly American job possible. Think about it: It's driving around a giant-ass truck full of professional wrestlers.
WWE's Hell In A Cell is tonight, and I'm gonna be there. I never got into wrestling as a kid; I guess it kinda goes with the territory of being an artsy sensitive type raised by a liberal single mom. If you told me ten years ago I was gonna be watching a WWE pay-per-view event live in Texas, or that I wore cowboy boots every day and played beer pong, I'd probably make this face:
Of course, back then, I also thought Attack Of The Clones was gonna be awesome (There were rumors that Jet Li was gonna be cast as Boba Fett.)
What can I tell ya? Things change.
Also, sorry for writing such a ridiculously long blog post. I'll try and make them more fun-size in the future, but if I stop typing this, I'll either go back to sleep or eat the rest of this pizza.