They come by plane, and by bus. They come by car, and truck, and train. By day they shamble along the streets; some wearing the same ragged clothes day after day. At night they sleep in clusters; three, five, or even more in a single tiny room. Some don’t even have rooms, but spend nights sprawled on the unforgiving ground; subsisting soley on free samples of Popchips. No, they aren’t zombies (as much as some of them might want to be). They are the hordes of people who descend on America’s finest city once a year for the phenomenon known as Comic Con. http://www.comic-con.org/
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this earth-shaking event, it is a multi-genre convention showcasing comic books, science fiction,fantasy, horror, anime, video games, and more which draws over 100,000 attendees every year. Comic Con is widely regarded to be the largest convention of its kind in the world, though to my untrained eye the entire thing appeared to consist of dressing up in an elaborate costume and standing in line for six hours to buy a toy lightsaber.
Many of San Diego’s residents were still reeling from the city’s last major event: the previous weekend’s Pride Festival. http://www.sdpride.org/. While we did not attend the parade and other festivities, we did walk through Hillcrest a couple of hours afterwards. It must have been pretty wild, or so I judged from the large number of people puking on the sidewalk. Good for them; they certainly have plenty of reasons to celebrate in 2013.
Now, in the wake of this glorious celebration, Comic Con was at hand. On Friday, while the convention was in full swing, the Bear Team ventured into the fray. We rode the bus downtown, and spent several hours walking around the Convention Center, where the event is held. It was quite the scene, with teeming masses of people standing on every available inch of real estate. It was like a nerdy Mardi Gras, where the only thing anyone flashes is his or her four day (with preview night!) all access badge!
The next day we headed to Chula Vista (official nickname: Almost Mexico!) to pick up our newly repaired Saturn. For those of you who don’t know, the family truckster was seriously injured by a young punk driving a BMW. It spent nearly three weeks in critical condition before being resuscitated and nursed back to health by Liisa Thomas and her awesome team at BodyWorks Collisions. http://bodyworkscollisioninc.com/. If any of you here in SoCal ever need auto repair I would strongly recommend giving them a call.
That night we again ventured into the downtown area, this time to attend a performance by one of my favorite comedians, Patton Oswalt. The show was INCREDIBLE! He is one of the funniest people on Earth! For those of you who haven’t discovered Oswalt’s genius, click here to achieve enlightenment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snLKCx2ghDQ.
After the show, we entered the sordid world of the San Diego mass transit system, where you can ride in comfort while simultaneously experiencing an argument between three teenaged black girls and a nerdy white guy. The highlight of this exchange came when one of the girls repeatedly used the “N word” in reference to the white guy. I don’t even want to get into the dynamics of such a conversation.
As long as we’re on the subject of odd occurences, I witnessed two things that I’d never seen during this past week. While having lunch in Hillcrest, I saw a man with no shirt and a backpack, riding a bike with a huge bag of garbage thrown over his shoulder. It seemed pretty crazy until the moment a day later when I saw a woman in a wheelchair pushing herself along backward with her feet while walking two dogs. I can’t help but wonder why, if you can use your legs and feet, you’d be in a wheelchair. But then again, what do I know?
On the night following the Oswalt show, Dena and I arrived home at around midnight to find a man sleeping in a chair on our patio. Since we didn’t recognize the guy as one of our neighbors, some sort of action on our part was obviously required.
Upon further inspection the man was obviously homeless. He seemed harmless enough, and if I’d been true to my liberal ideals, I would have gone over to him and said “Sir, you are welcome to spend the night in my patio chair. Would you like something to eat, or is there anything else I can get you?” But my charity and goodwill toward man on this night was limited to calling the non-emergency police phone number instead of 911. Oh well, at least Stumpy the skunk didn’t show up and welcome the guy in his own special way.
As the weekend wound down, we headed to El Sol http://www.yelp.com/biz/el-sol-mexican-restaurant-san-diego, a restaurant we’d passed many times but had never visited. As I’m sure those of you who regularly follow this blog know, I love Mexican food. I’ve had so many great experiences with my favorite cuisine since moving to San Diego, and El Sol was no exception. Nothing like a California burrito to put the finishing touches on a wild weekend.
That about does it for now. A new week is upon us, which I’m sure will bring many more unusual experiences. Actually the new set of experiences began last night, when we moved a dresser that someone had left on the street into our apartment at one in the morning. But that, as they say, is another story for another day. As always, thanks for reading. In keeping with the spirit of Comic Con week, I’ll say goodbye (with slight alterations) as J.R.R. Tolkien famously did in “Return of the King:”
“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in the world of the Bear Team. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”