You didn’t expect all my adventures to fit in a single post, did you?
The best part of Blizzcon, of course, is the people. Initially, it was the only reason I wanted to go anyway. Just to put faces and bodies to the names and voices I’ve spent so many happy evenings with.
Borrowed the picture from Matt since I didn't get one with everybody on it. Nevermind how terrible I look. IT WAS LATE AT NIGHT.
I’ve met guildies before, but this was the largest meetup I’ve attended. If I counted it right, a total of 14 guildies from past and present made an appearance. Murmurs of WoW Insider and the official forums fame stayed with us as well and became an honorary guildie (even if we didn’t see him much, popular guy that he is. PS. he’s super cute).
To those who’ve never met guildies, I wish I could explain what it’s like. The closest I can come is by saying that it’s exactly like being on vent together, except that we can see each other’s faces. The conversations we had were just like those we have online, but we could still understand each other if more than one person spoke at once (unlike vent).
I had been really worried about being the only girl from the gang, but it was a non-issue. It felt just like hanging out with my brothers. They even tried to make me feel like one of the gang by trying to pair me up with random guys at the WoW Insider meetup. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling so hot (less than 3 hours of sleep and more than 12 hours of travelling in the past 36 hours), so it was pretty disastrous:
Guildie (to random guy): Hey, have you met Tina?
(They had this system where all the guys were nicknamed Ted and I was Tina)
Random guy (to me): Hey Tina.
Me: Hey, how’s it going?
Random guy: *points to my drink* What am I drinking?
Me: *thinking he’s asking about my drink* Um…*trying to remember what my drink was* Jack and Coke.
Random guy: Nope, I’m not drinking anything. See? My hands are empty. You’re wrong.
I rudely waved him away and turned around. By then the room was spinning and I felt like I was about to throw up (and no, I wasn’t drunk, the Jack and Coke was almost full), so I finished up my drink, ran back to my hotel and burst into tears.
So, guy in this story, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry! I’m not usually that rude, I just really, really don’t travel well!
I didn’t get iced, although I told them I’d be up for it. I was partly grateful, partly disappointed. I’d like to see if I could do it and feel like part of the team. At the same time, my stomach was bothering me the entire trip and I was desperately trying to avoid being sick. There’s no way I could have kept a sweet drink down!
On a side note, I have to wonder about those people on TLC shows who eat almost exclusively junk food. I only had a couple of junk food meals and yet felt quite horribly ill from all the fat and salt.
My guildies also came up with what ended up being somewhat of a rally call. Whenever Matt was around, Bruherd, especially, kept yelling, WE’VE GOT THEE MATTICUS! FROM WORLD OF MATTICUS DOT COM! WE’RE RECRUTING FOR CATACLYSM!
Most of the time I wanted to crawl under the sidewalk, but it did come in handy. Whenever I had trouble finding my group, I’d just stop and listen for the THEE MATTICUS call. And it was apparently contagious: even Ghostcrawler exclaimed “It’s THEE MATTICUS!” at one point.
Meeting Non Guildies
The magical thing about Blizzcon is that you’re surrounded by all sorts of people. Grandparents, small children, prom-queen types, individuals who haven’t left their bedroom since Blizzcon last year… All sorts of people. Yet, not matter how different we are, we all have that one thing in common: we love gaming enough to be here.
I met so many people last week, old friends and new friends. It was amazing. There’s no way I can tell all the stories, or do justice to all those who crossed my path, so here are some select (mostly embarrassing) highlights.
One of the events I was most looking forward to was the TNB meetup. TNB played a huge role in getting me to start blogging in the first place, so I’d been counting down the days until the meetup.
I spend some time with the lovely ladies Beruthiel (whom I wasn’t expecting to see at all! Such a pleasant suprise!) and Anafielle. I have to say, it was wonderful to hear about other topics than booze and sex! I completely fell in love with both of them and the evening was just too short!
I also got a picture with the Righteous Defense duo Rhidach and Anafielle. Back when I was tanking full time, I studied Righteous Defense religiously. When I saw both of their names on the TNB list, I was thrilled! I was even more thrilled when I saw that they both made it to the meetup. Rhidach was pretty quiet and only came out for a few minutes, but I was so fangirly and giddy that it was probably a good thing. Wouldn’t want to embarrass myself any more!
Speaking of being fangirly and giddy, there was one point where I was right next to Turpster. Right next to him. And I was so shy and intimidated that I couldn’t say anything. I ended up mumbling something like “take my raffle ticket”. Without making eye contact, I clumsily shoved my raffle ticket at him and ran off. I’m really smooth like that…
I hope he at least won something with it.
Exploring the Area
One Friday, I had the day to myself as my guildies were all at the convention. I love walking and exploring, so I leisurely strolled down Katella Ave. Then I leisurely strolled down Main St. About two hours later, my legs sort of hurt and I found myself in downtown Santa Ana.
It was like stepping into a different world. I turned off my iPod, but kept the earphones on. I didn’t want strangers pointing out the giant “TOURIST!” sign hanging above my head. I listened to the conversations around me. My Spanish is decent, considering my last Spanish lesson was over 10 years ago, but I couldn’t understand everything that was being said. I also didn’t want to take the risk of pulling out my camera.
I drifted by all the discount jewellery and bridal shops. I went to the grocery store and practiced my Spanish a little. Olà! Gracias! Ok, maybe I didn’t practice it very much.
I walked a little further and found the Artists Village. I stopped for lunch at a gorgeous place called The Gypsy Den. I then made my way back up Main to the Bowers Museum. I’m a huge nerd who loves museums, especially cultural anthropology museums, so I was served. I floated from exhibit to exhibit, learning about arts and craftsmanship in Oceania and China.
By the time they kicked me out so they could close up, I was exhausted so I decided to take part in the joyous experience of Orange County public transit. (As a general note, to those who want to become backpackers, I highly encourage sampling public transit wherever you go. Nothing will give you a feel and a taste of a place the way sitting on a crowded, or deserted, city bus will.)
My guildies were supposed to meet me at the hotel at 6 for supper. Well, 6 came and went. 6:30 came and went. No sign of guildies. My phone doesn’t work in the US, so I had no idea how long they planned on making me wait. I also wanted to be at the TNB meetup at 9, so I was furious. Furious. The jerks.
(Matt, who was doing his big-shot blogging stuff that afternoon and wasn’t supposed to meet up with us until later at night, ended up saving the day by making an appearance and texting the guys for me.)
Saturday night, I skipped on the Hilton party to get a feel of the reputed LA nightlife. Unfortunately, by then I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. A guildie and I ended up going to a small place nearby in Fullerton. In the end, it was a great idea. The music was fantastic and the crowd was friendly and unpretentious. I danced for hours.
My poor foot (the same one as the huge blister!) got stabbed by a stiletto. I think I made a very high pitched sound and the stiletto wearer found herself flying into the crowd. We kind of stared at each other for a moment. Neither of us apologized, but I guess it wasn’t necessary. We were even: her stiletto was very sharp and I don’t know my own strength.
I had another adventure on Sunday. Most of the gang had gone home, but our raid leader, Evan, had stuck around to drive Matt and I to LAX. Matt wanted to be at the airport early and I wanted to go to Hollywood. By then, my brain-mouth filter had broken down and for those few hours I was quite possibly the most annoying person on the planet. Kudos to Evan for humouring me. I actually lost my voice from talking so much.
No one had a map, so after dropping off Matt, Evan and I randomly drove around until we found Hollywood and the walk of fame.
We did eventually make it. And we probably would have made it earlier had I not been wrong with every guess of direction I made. On the bright side, the drive was very educational: we unintentially toured a ghetto where all the houses had barred windows, a red light district and a number of freeways.
On the way back, we stopped off for food and in my exhaustion, I forgot how to act in a restaurant. I talked really loud (why Evan didn’t shut me up, I don’t know). Then I couldn’t figure out how to put the tip on my receipt. I forgot that I hadn’t paid yet and that I would get a paper with a tip line after my credit card was returned. After paying, I just sat there, forgetting that I could leave now.
I didn’t drink much during Blizzcon. I don’t have to drink to be stupid.
And now I’m home
My flight to Toronto was packed with Blizzcon enthusiasts, but I was so tired that I just sat on the ground (there aren’t enough seats at LAX) and stared blankly at them. The stares they gave me in return were just as blank. No social mana left at all. Shame. The three semi-passed out across from me were hawt.
I did get some exercise in the Toronto airport. 15 minutes to go through customs and security… Yeah, I didn’t make my connection. Well, I did, but only because they held the flight for me. My carry-on only challenge paid off: the only reason I made the flight was because I had no checked luggage.
I made it to my 1pm class on Monday. My flight landed at 11:30am, so I even had time to go home and take a shower!
I still haven’t completely recovered, but my voice is slowly coming back, the sore throat is almost gone and I’ve been awake for at least 4 consecutive hours.
Now to catch up on all the schoolwork I missed…