What I have to say first and foremost is that the drive absolutely sucks. If you listened to my voicepost made while on the trip, you know that already. For some reason I always suffer from situational amnesia when it comes to these sort of long drives to and from cons. I know they're long and unpleasant but I seem to forget just how crappy the entire experience is until I'm right in the middle of it again. Interminable doesn't even begin to describe it. Not to mention that I left that Tuesday morning with a headache/dizziness/nausea induced by lack of sleep.
THe less said about the drive itself the better, though I guess I should mention I got yelled at for peeing behind someone's dumpster at an Exxon station somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I had tried to use the restroom like a normal person but the key was missing, either having gone the way of Jimmy Hoffa or was already in use. I tried to hold it in but I felt certain that my bladder was going to explode at any moment. At that point I figure a man's got to do what a man's got to do, and in this case it involved moseying my way behind the gas station's dumpster and making my bladder gladder. During this transcendental peeing experience, someone starting yelling at me from the window of the building next door. I dunno what he was saying at first but I think it ended with a threat to call the cops. At that point, I was just so happy that my bladder wasn't going to explode that I wouldn't have fucking cared if he had called the cops. Nothing ended up coming of it and I got back into my car and kept on driving.
I reached by destination, a Holiday Inn express north of Columbus, around 6:30 pm. I collapsed on the bed after hauling in some of my crap and attempted to put down roots. Eventually, I gave Chelle a ring and told her I would meet her and Todd at the convention center after I picked up my badge and event tickets.
I took this picture for the sole reason of being able to say something snarky and add 'but I stayed at a holiday inn express last night'. I never did get around to using it.
The drive to the convention center was pretty painless and so was the line to get my badge. If you recall, I wasn't sure if they were going to screw up my event tickets since I had received neither confirmation nor billing. It turns out that I only got half of what I had wanted but on the plus side, didn't have to pay for anything. I found out later this was a common theme for some reason. Many people were never charged for their event tickets and even when they wrote in to Origins to let them know and offering to pay, there was no response.
While in line to pick up some generics, I bumped into a few people, the first of whom being Randy. He usually ends up whoring for some company or another at the con but had decided to actually pay his own way for the first time in some ridiculous amount of time. That meant he had a lot of free time which, if I remember correctly, he had chosen to waste listening to seminars about the geopolitical stability of Pakistan and whatnot. It takes all kinds.
Here's Randy in all of his glory. I swear every time I see him lately I'm reminded of that old SNL skit, Who's More Grizzled. You can click the video below if you don't recall the skit. I can totally see Randy as a contestant based on looks alone.
Who's More Grizzled
Here's a picture of me with Randy. I'm not sure if that's a look of puppydog adoration or something more disturbing. Anyway, we spent some time chatting about nothing while the line slowly inched forward. I had hoped to perhaps catch up with him at some other point during the con but our schedules never intersected.
While in line for generics or soon after, I ran into Marc. He's a fellow True Dungeon fanatic who I've only started to get to know over the past couple of TD events. He's friends with Linda (Jammies) who apparently chose not to make the trip out to Origins.
I don't even remember now what we were yakking about though we were both pretty impressed with the battletech pods. They weren't actually running people through at the time but I've never seen so many set up in one place. Sadly, this is another event that I never got around to trying. I didn't want to go through by myself and kept delaying hoping to put a group together. Unfortunately, that never materialized. It's just as well I guess. I don't remember exactly how much they were charging but it seemed like a pretty good amount of dough.
After that I met up with Chelle and Todd at one of the tables at Java City in the convention center. We played a couple games of Dominion, of which I won one, and one game of....damn, I don't remember the name now. Hell Rails? Demonic Trains? Infernal Public Transportation System? It was basically all about transporting sinners to the right circle of Hell on your choo-choo without having it flip over. I really sort of liked it and wouldn't mind picking up a copy if I can only find out what it was called. Jenn showed up near the end of the night having driven in with a friend from Indy. By then, it was too late to get anything else started and I was pretty damn exhausted. We decided to call it a night and I went back to my hotel room for beddybye.