Main_Entry_small.jpgThe great journey began with an annoying buzz from my alarm clock dark and early this morning at 5AM. In what some might call a sober drunken stupor, I stumbled out of bed and did my best to get to the bathroom without collapsing in a still drowsy heap. I blindly reached around the door frame and bingo, light a la mode! Ow my eyes, I look away and see multicolored dots flashing in and out of existence, almost like Fantavision playing directly on my retina. “Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those days,” I think to myself as my vision slowly returns to semi-normal.

A few minutes later and I realize that, due to hentai games, a dinner fiasco and my own perpetual lethargic attitude, I am woefully unprepared for the upcoming trip. I flop open a suitcase and resort to the grab and stuff technique handed down from slacker to slacker for countless generations. Cool, that takes care of my clothes, now for the laptop and accessories. I basically just shove everything into my small carrying case, just hoping I haven’t missed anything. Let’s see…business cards? Check. Power supply? Check. Wingard’s digital camera? Check. Ok, ok, looking good so far. Now what time is it? Oops 5:20, no time for breakfast, my bro is coming to take me to the airport and he should be here any time.

Just then the annoying guy with a motorcycle starts up his hog…he does this everyday around 5AM and yes, it is loud as all hell. I finally figured out why he lets the engine run so long every morning, I peek out the window and see that he turns the bike on and then smokes a cig while revving the engine. Huh, well that explains a few things while simultaneously calling into question his general disposition towards life.

I call my brother and he’s at 7-11 not too far from my place, so I decide to run some old bananas out to the dumpster. Zing, mission complete! As I get back into my apartment I see my brother’s car pulling in, I’m just about to run out when BAM! I see my sister’s birthday card sitting on the countertop. Ah crap, it’s Monday morning and her birthday is tomorrow; there’s no way it’s getting there on time. Oh well, I snatch it up and bring it out to the car. My brother will know what to do with that.

After an exciting twenty or thirty minute drive I’m hopping out of the car at the airport about an hour before take off. I zip through the baggage check line and think I’m well on my way. Then I round the corner and see a mass of people…the security checkpoint. I go to the end of the line and nervously keep checking my phone for the time. I’m just being paranoid, twenty minutes later I’m through the metal detectors and on a shuttle to the gates. I arrive just in time for boarding and this being my first time flying Delta Airlines; I’m pretty impressed by the comfortable seats and ample leg room. What I am not impressed by is the myth of the hot flight attendant. Have all those anime and movies just been lies? I’ve flown quite a bit now and can’t really recall a single hot flight attendant. Mythbusters, I’ll save you the trouble, the myth of the hot flight attendant is busted.

A nice woman is seated next to me and we chat about this and that for awhile. Then the plane takes off and it’s time for me to get to work. I slave tirelessly over several articles foregoing food and drink in the name of labor. It’s a five hour flight, which isn’t too bad by some standards, but is horrible by bladder standards. So here I am, still groggy, hungry and I’ve got to urinate like you wouldn’t believe. I get out of my seat and make way to the back of the plane with a certain bravado and take my place in the line for the restroom. Holy Moses, is that lady giving birth to a sea manatee in there? What seems like hours later, the lady emerges from the shallow depths of the aircraft restroom and the lady in front of the lady in front of me enters.

She comes out in a timely fashion and the lady in front of me goes in. I turn to see another restroom which has been closed the entire time, one of the non hot flight attendants informs me that it is currently out of order. Ok, no biggie, I’ve waited this long. Suddenly the plane shakes and I wet my pants…gotcha! Ha, no, that’s not what actually happened, what happened is the lady came out of the restroom and after an embarrassing attempt at joining the mile high club I find myself in the restroom all alone.

After the restroom adventure, I return to my seat and to my work. It is worth noting that it is at this point in time that the idea for this article pops into my mind, but I know I need to wait until the time is just right to write it. The time is obviously right, since I’m writing it now.

The plane lands and it’s off to fight for a cab. I step outside, take a deep breath and gag….aaaahh Los Angeles. Why the hell do so many people live here? Just then a blonde 10 gets my spidey sense tingling; *sigh* I do wish they all could be California girls. Ok, so that’s why all the guys are here; ladies, what’s your story? If I were a hot chick, the last place in the world I would live would be California. The competition is fierce when everybody looks like Tara Reid. Why not move to Iowa where there’s relatively no competition and you can pretty much have your pick o’ the litter?

Sorry, where was I? Oh! Right, the cab; a nice green one pulls up and I head on over. The driver gets out, pops the trunk and all of a sudden, “hey, hey, hey, no, pull up buddy!” Some dude in an official looking hat is waving at us. We pull up and I get a stern talkin’ to about waiting in line. Well here’s the funny thing about that…I did. A van taxi had pulled up and the guy in front of me looked as though he was interested, so I hit the green one. Well, it just so happens that the guy didn’t want a van, so he was going to take the green one for himself. Meanwhile, the van had already taken off. Thanks, dude, I owe you for that one. No matter, a few minutes later I find myself in a yellow taxi and on my way to the Ritz Milner hotel in downtown LA.

The fee from the taxi puts a serious dent in my wallet the way a freight train might put a dent in a soggy napkin. Awesome. Keep in mind that with the three hour time difference, it’s only just after nine in the morning here in LA at this point. Feels like noon to me, and noon means lunch. But first…I figure I’ll at least check the hotel out and drop off my bags. I walk up to the counter and my spirits sink faster than the Titanic: “Check In: 2:00,” reads the sign on the counter. Oh well, I kind of anticipated that one; I’ve never heard of a hotel allowing you to check in at nine. I give my name and all that to the dude at the desk, the same dude I see if I look to my left right at this very moment, and he’s pretty cool about the bags, I’m able to leave them behind the desk. So I leave one and keep my laptop bag. Now I’m sitting here in the lobby typing this up. It feels like I’ve been up for days when it’s actually only been a few hours. The end of the journey is just a few blocks away now though: the LA Convention Center. I’m exhausted, constipated, slightly stressed, a bit smelly and loving every second of it.

This is the E3 experience.

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By Ryan Schaefer – 05/10/06

Screenshots for E3: The Saga Begins