The flight into Phoenix was smoother than I’d anticipated. Los Angeles was having Apocalypse Weather, with snow and hail and a tornado, so I was expecting a pretty bumpy trip through the friendly skies, but once we left Burbank, it wasn’t bad at all.
This isn’t to imply that the flight was entirely comfortable, mind you. The dude next to me was a leaner, and I spent most of the flight getting to know the bulkhead. Thanks to noise canceling headphones and Hammered, though, I spent much of the trip alone with Jenny Casey, who makes for a nice traveling companion, though I suspect she’d deny that if you asked her.
I was met at the airport by a very friendly volunteer, who spent the next forty minutes helping me find my luggage, which the awesome ground crew at the airport had sent to two different — and wrong — carousels. Whoops.
A short drive later, I arrived at the con hotel, which I would soon learn was also hosting the Midlife Crisis Mullet Convention. Well, that’s not what it was called, but that’s who was attending. Seriously.
Friday night was a low-key preview night, so I figured I’d take my books and stuff over to the convention center, which was helpfully located just 100 yards from the hotel, get set up for the weekend, and check out the other vendors.
While I was stacking some books on the table and excitedly looking at a comics booth down the aisle, a couple of people came over to my table. They wanted to buy The Collected Works of Me, Wil Wheaton.
"Really?" I said, "That’s cool!"
We traded shiny gold rocks for dead trees, and I continued to unpack. I placed some photos on the table: River and me in Stand by Me, right after I shot the gun behind the Blue Point Diner, Gray Spacesuit Wesley, Elvis Stamp Wesley, and Just A Geek Cover me.
"Awesome," I thought. "I’m all set up for tomorrow."
I grabbed my backpack and prepared to go shopping. Then I stopped, because more people had arrived.
We talked for a few minutes about geek things, and a little line formed behind them. Then the line got a little longer, and before I knew it, I’d been signing pictures and books for three hours. I never got to go check out the rest of the vendor’s area, because security kicked me out when they closed the room down for the night, just a few minutes after I signed my last autograph.
"Well, that was pretty cool and unexpected," I thought as I headed back to my room. "I think this is going to be a great weekend."