….and yes, I still have money in my pocket. Also? I know it’s been a while since I posted and that this happened like five weeks ago. What, I’m busy. Sue me. It’s the end of the school year and teachers are needy as hell. *grins*
Recently (sort of), I drove up to Las Vegas for the Wizard World Comicon to work with Juliette Terzieff and wrangle Michael Rooker again for a weekend, which I do not do often enough. Seriously. Working with them is always a blast of fun and craziness. Like the time Rooker tried to pimp out four of us in Cincinnati to the Kinko’s guys so we could get his photos printed faster (all in jest, of course). Or when he displayed how much room he had in the front seat of Juliette’s 4Runner and proceeded to take a photo of Noah Hathaway, Jimmy Duvall, Jack, and myself squished in the backseat. Or the time in Phoenix when the fire alarm went off during the convention and he had to literally pull me up the last few steps of the three flights of stairs so we could get topside. This was when I discovered just how out-of-shape I was and have been making changes ever since. Or like the time when, after walking a mile around the convention center after the fire alarm, he said he wanted to go back to the hotel and get a long island. Josh, his security detail, and I were totally down with that one. Three waters and three Long Island Iced Teas, please!
Vegas wasn’t much different with its own special brand of insanity.
I drove up there Thursday afternoon. I’d been told it would take four hours to get there. Four hours, my ass. Maybe if you live on the west side of Phoenix, but certainly not if you live on the east side. Hell, it takes 45-60 minutes just to get to that side of town!
Five and a half hours later, I arrived in Vegas. It’s still better than the six or so it used to take.
Whenever I’m going to be working with Rooker, I always pack my Skechers because 1) I know I’ll be walking miles and miles, and 2) I’ll be walking them at Rooker speed, which is equivalent to that of a freight train. Seriously, the man can move, and if you don’t move at his speed, you’ll get lost in the shuffle.
I did not, however, expect to walk the circumference of TWO malls while in Vegas. Holy shit. I’m surprised my legs didn’t fall off. Let’s just say that driving from Vegas to Phoenix when cramps are settling in your legs and your leg cramp pills are completely out of reach and you don’t want to pull over to look for them because it’s the middle of the night and you’re a woman driving down the highway by herself is not fun.
What I did NOT do while in Vegas was gamble much. Really. J and I hit the Riviera Thursday night and that was pretty much it. I actually don’t care for that casino; too smoky. Didn’t matter; I came home with more money than I’d arrived with, which was just fine by me. I also bought Umi a Las Vegas shirt. Pink. I didn’t want to get yelled at again for not bringing her anything from Vegas.
What, Mom? I’m not broke! That should mean something.
For the first time, I got to be the one to escort the Rooker to his media spots just before the convention began, so I was up bright and early, called him to make sure he was awake and to give him his 15-minute warning, and then I ran downstairs to the hotel Starbucks that does not have Venti frappuccinos to grab us some coffee before the car arrived. I also needed to eat breakfast, which is not easy when you’re allergic to the world.
We drove to the radio station (KOMP) where he hit two morning shows (video on his website), and then we called another station in the car from my phone as we headed to the TV station (KNLV). I always do a selfie with him. Sometimes, they don’t turn out so great, like this one…
I have no idea what I’m looking at in this photo and Rooker’s eyes are missing, which he got a kick out of and did on purpose. After the TV station, we headed to the gun range, but first we had to find an Apple store. Guess what’s not open before 10am in Vegas? That’s right, fucking Apple. Why in the hell would you open so late on a Friday? I don’t care if it’s Vegas. The people who live there need their shit too, and sometimes before 10am.
I’m placing blame on you for the mall trek I had to later endure that day because your stupid store was closed.
Thanks not so much,
Since no one was open, we headed off to the gun range down the street.
The Range 702
I couldn’t remember the name of the place at first. That’s bad, isn’t it? Everything is like a whirlwind when I’m running with Rooker. I need to start writing all of this shit down, or at least doing voice notes. Thankfully, Juliette sent me an email with their address. Hello, Google, my old friend! Their VIP area was damn nice. It even had its own range. Now, this was an indoor range, so eye and ear protection were necessary because safety first and hell, we’re indoors. That shit is going to be LOUD.
The SRO there was pretty awesome!
I will say that damn, you need to wear a mask too if you’re shooting indoors because once they started firing, I couldn’t breathe, and I believe it was the precursor to what happened later with my throat.
After the gun range, we hit In-n-Out Burger because we were all hungry. Not one person noticed Rooker until we were walking out the front door and one of the cooks yelled “Merle!” Rooker paused, waved and yelled back, and we left. Prior to that happening, while we waited for our food, we overheard someone talking about the Comicon and they said Rooker’s name. We both turned around, but no one was looking at him or walking up to him for a handshake or photo. They were talking about him right next to him and never even saw him.
*laughs* Oh, people. You funny.
We headed back to the hotel, found an Apple store (inside a mall), and went there where I proceeded to walk a bah-jillion miles back and forth through this blasted place. We got him a new phone, the Ryans were awesome, as we geeked out together over everything from The Walking Dead to Star Trek to Star Wars to Marvel, and we went back to the hotel again. I spent the rest of the day/evening with Juliette and we went on a shopping spree from Target to Sprouts to the Skechers outlet store. Knowing myself all too well, I stayed out of the Skechers store.
A storm blew through during all of this and we both ended up with raspy voices the next day, and so did half the convention staff, it seemed.
At the Convention–Saturday
Bright and early Saturday morning was spent getting Rooker’s table ready for the long line of rabid fans, who are always so awesome. Seriously, we love you guys. But before all of that even started, one of my nails popped off and I’d hoped it wasn’t the precursor to the kind of day we might have. Luckily, it wasn’t, and since I couldn’t go through a convention with a missing nail, I wrapped a pirate Band-Aid around it!
Because my nail glue was at home and I didn’t have time to search for some.
Merle Dixon is a pretty popular character played by Rooker, but after this show, I think Yondu might have him beat. Star Lord and Drax stopped by to visit. Well, miniature versions of them, anyway. In fact, there were several little Star Lords coming by to visit their old buddy Yondu.
I don’t know how well y’all know Rooker and his crazy antics, but on the way back from his photo op he decided he wanted to crash David Morrissey’s panel. We tip-toed backstage, where Rooker grabbed a ladder and just walked up onstage, in front of Morrissey, and proceeded to set up, climb, and pretend to change a lightbulb. Morrissey played right along, saying, “He’ll be done in just a minute.” They had a good laugh, he brought the ladder backstage again, and then we were off and running back to his booth, where a long line of fans awaited his return.
We had Jaze Cosplay come through both days…
Those fine folks are from Scottsdale, AZ!
I didn’t get the chance to find them at Phoenix Comicon over the weekend, but check out their Instagram because it is full of all kinds of awesomely goodness!
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!
Rooker’s panel was this day, and he decided that he’d jump off the stage and walk through the crowd to answer questions. His security detail seemed shocked and said, “Is he really going to do this?”
ME: Yes he is.
HIM and the OTHER GUY: Shit.
ME: *laughs* Rooker does what Rooker wants.
And then he met with this lovely young lady from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Before dinner, this was pretty much me….
I was basically exhausted. Also before dinner, I had him sign a couple of things for me that should keep me in “Cool Aunt” status for years. *grins*
This weekend I hunted down Khal Drogo, the Governor, Judge Dredd, Starbuck, and Hellboy for autographs at Phoenix Comicon. After 16K steps over the two days, I’m exhausted yet again. Post forthcoming….