Wednesday evening: Shortly after I arrived, Bryson headed out to a barbecue. I had plans to return the rental car, bus back, and get it all out of the way, but I decided I was too tired and just got dinner instead. I walked to a restaurant called Brians' and had a gigantic 'everything' omelet and a slice of cheesecake, both of which I ate half of and had the rest for breakfast the next morning. I overtipped because the cute waiter was attentive and flirtatious and I am a sucker.
On to Thursday!
Got going earlyish and drove to the airport to return the rental car. Managed to get there even though there was a very alarming detour on my route! Then I took the bus to El Convention Center del Grande Mucho, whereupon I called Kevin to announce that I was present and on the edge of a vast sea of humanity, a teeming throng of moving bodies, and what should I do? The answer was "meet me at entrance B" so he could give me a badge. (And let me just say, I'm so glad I got the cellphone for this trip. I used up about 80 minutes on calls and text messages, and it was totally worth it.) Badge and accessories acquired (Magic cards? Does anyone still play?), I went off to a panel on "Comic-con for Newbies", where I learned that the Con is mostly about waiting in lines for a long time, so bring snacks. And water. And your DS.
This is a good thing to know.
Spent the rest of Thursday wandering about and meeting up with people whom I've only otherwise met online. Which was awesome. First it was Dave Cobb/e_ticket, who was wandering about with a small crew of FOAF-y bearses looking for his lost badge. After retracing their steps, the others went off to panels, but I tagged along with Dave because, well, other than the Spaced stuff, hanging out with online buddies doing whatever they were interested in was pretty much my whole plan, so why not? Got bounced from person to person and eventually a very nice lady took pity on Dave, told him to just play along, and wrote him a note saying "This guy is on a panel and NEEDS a badge! Call me on radio channel 4 if you have questions". Which got him a replacement badge, hooray! Behold the Power of Nice, which was one of the themes for the weekend.
While we were waiting in line, Dave White/djmrswhite wandered by and said hello and joined us in hanging out for a while. As Dave C. said, Dave White is both exactly like you expect from his writing, and not at all like what you expect. Dude also has a seriously deep voice.
I can't really remember precisely what came next, so I assume it was the default, which is "more wandering ensued". At some point, I switched off from those guys and met up with Nicole and Robb (thirtyhelens and TheDeadWait from the Peggster.net boards). Nic is a hoot and sounds just like Schmooze's wife Jen, for those of you who know her. (It took me about a day to figure out why Nicole seemed so familiar...) Robb is a sweetheart, just like Dave, and we got along really well. Spent the rest of the afternoon gallivanting around on the exhibition floor with them collecting signatures and pictures and just looking at stuff. Robb and I touched Lego Batman inappropriately and Nicole took pictures.
(Okay, I should explain that last bit. In 2006, when Nick Frost & Edgar Wright were at Comic-Con promoting Hot Fuzz, the panel moderator asked Nick how he was enjoying his first Comic-Con. His response was: "I'm having a great time. I touched Lego Batman's cock yesterday." So of course we had to do it, too. Touching Lego Batman inappropriately at Comic-Con has happened three times now, which makes it a tradition, should any of you find yourselves there in the future. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.)
Twisted Bryson's arm until he let me buy dinner for him that evening at a nice Italian restaurant in gratitude for hosting me. Because dang, was that a good setup. (Probably better than my original plans, honestly.) Watched two episodes of Project Runway and one of Kathy Griffin's My Life On The D-List. And then I went to bed, because after all that I was tired, and Friday was The Big Day.