I am home from Australia, and only mostly dead exhausted. Go me!
I'm too tired for a proper post about the entire trip, but I'll offer a few memories and highlights:
I did not meet a single unkind person the entire time I was in Australia. I realize that my sample size was quite small, but it was still remarkable to me. Even the cranky old bus driver we encountered one day was more amusing than anything else.
I snuggled a Koala. I have pictures that I'll share in the near future.
The show we did in Melbourne with the MSO was fantastic, and I'm very proud of the show we put on. Standing on the stage next to the orchestra while they played the theme to HALO is a memory I'll not soon forget.
Supanova was spectacular in both cities. Everyone involved in the show was kind and easygoing, and so were all the fans I met while I was there. If they invite me back for other shows in the future, I'm almost certainly going to say yes.
I spent a fair amount of time with Chandler Riggs (he plays Carl on Walking Dead) and his dad. We made a video together that makes me laugh so hard, I pee a little. I'll edit and upload it soon. He's a great kid, and I felt a certain kinship with him, on account of us both being kids on a popular TV show. He has a great sense of humour about staying in the house, too.
You know who are awesome? James and Oliver Phelps, who played the Weasley Twins in Harry Potter. Those guys are like the freaking Beatles at conventions, but they never act like it. I like them so much, I wish I was a bigger Potter fanboy.
If you ever go to Brisbane, make the effort to get out to Moreton Island. It's really worth it.
Okay, that's all for now. I have to get ready to go to Calgary this weekend.
Greetings from Australia! I've been here for something like four days (I say "something like" because the time travel thing that happens when you cross the International Date Line is still confusing me), and I just love it.
Anne and I are in Melbourne, which I've found to be an absoulutely wonderful city. My sample size is very small, but every Australian I've encountered since I've been here has been friendly, kind, and generally awesome. The food is fantastic, and the city itself is beautiful.
When I'm not rehearsing for Thursday's performance at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Anne and I have been exploring the city. Yesterday, we made music by dancing around in front of a giant theremin, walked up and down about a dozen alleys (I think they call them "laneways" or something like that, here) that were covered with all sorts of gorgeous street art, and ate a pizza that was covered with nutella, strawberries, and slivered almonds. If you'd told me three days ago that I would eat that on purpose, I would have told you that you were crazy. If you'd bet me a million dollars that I'd actually enjoy it, I'd now be in your debt for the rest of my life.
So, yanno, build the time machine, meet me in Melbourne last Sunday, and start planning to make enough money from me to fund the construction of your time machine.
Hey, did I ever tell you about the time I helped build that time machine?
Restaurants I've fallen in love with: Cookie in the central business district, and The Local Taphouse in St. Kilda. Food I've fallen in love with: all of it, especially baked beans on toast for breakfast. And even though Anne wants to kill Vegemite with fire, I'm starting to like a thin smear of it on toast with honey or marmalade.
In case you're here in Melbourne: come to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on Thursday for Video Games Unplugged: Symphony of Legends. It's going to be amazing. Then, come to Supanova this weekend!
The weather has been nasty and cold, but it's supposed to start turning around today, just in time for us to go to Brisbane on Monday. I'm super excited to have a few days to myself on the Gold Coast before Supanova happens there, a week from Saturday.
... I just realized that I haven't yet listened to Men At Work or INXS in the original Australian, so I think I should go do that before I go to rehearsal.
Question for Locals (in Melbourne and Gold Coast): Can you suggest a "must see", "must do" and warn me off of "not worth your time" activities? Anne and I like to get away from touristy things and find places that locals enjoy.
This Friday, I'm heading to Melbourne to present Video Games Unplugged with Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub. The show is going to be amazing: the MSO will play music from games like Bioshock 2, Heavy Rain, and Final Fantasy. As the music plays, they'll show the games on a huge screen. And did I mention that it's presented by Scott, Kris, and me? Yeah, that too.
I'm also going to be at Supanova in Melbourne April 13-15, and at Supanova Gold Cost April 20-22.
I've never been to Australia before, and though I'm a little unsettled by the idea of a 16 hour flight, I'm currently about 55% excited, 45% teetering-on-an-anxiety-attack-about-the-whole-thing.
Because of the International Date Line, I leave on Friday, but I don't arrive until Sunday. Then, on the way back, I actually land in Los Angeles four hours before I take off. I'm considering wearing a bowtie and a fez for the trip.
I left my Kindle on an airplane this weekend (post-convention exhaustion will do that to you), and someone found it.
I know that someone found it, because they've been using my account to buy games and books. Based on the purchases, I'm fairly sure the person who found my Kindle (which is named Wheatley) is young, possibly a teenager or a college student. He or she likes Scrabble, Battleship, Spelling Star, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and something called Telesa. He or she also hopes to learn Samoan, French, and Spanish. He or she has spent a fair amount of my money on these things.
I used Amazon's Personal Document thing to send a note to my Kindle, thanking the person for finding it, and telling them that I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange its return.
I'm hopeful that this person will do the right thing and get in touch.
I called Amazon, reported it stolen, and they deactivated it after refunding me the fradulent purchases.
This isn't the end of the world; I can afford a new Kindle (thank Steve the Fruitbat), and in the grand scheme of things, it isn't the biggest of deals... but I sincerely hoped that whoever has my Kindle now would have read the note I sent to it, which is titled TO THE PERSON WHO FOUND MY KINDLE, and gotten in touch to return it to me. I want to believe in the basic goodness of people.
I really hope that it wasn't just taken by some kid who decided to keep something because, you know, Finders Keepers. I really hope that it was taken by some dirtbag who turned around and sold it to a kid who is too young to know that "this Kindle comes with whatever you want and you never have to pay for it, just give me fifty bucks for meth!" or whatever is a pretty clear flag that something isn't totally honest with this thing.
Anyway, it looks like I'm not getting it back, and all someone has for their trouble is a useless piece of plastic and wires.
I had a fantastic time at Emerald City Comicon. Until I have time to get my thoughts together and share some of the more awesome things that happened, I want to share the following pictures that I took while I was there:
A girl made me this T-shirt. I'm so geeked out about it, I'm going to make some of my own.
These girls were totes adorbs in their Bazinga T-shirts. This Soft Kitty sings the song when you squeeze its little paw!
This is the first Sparks McGee Cosplay I've ever seen. I love it. She made the entire thing herself!
...and this is the tattoo Sparks McGee has.
This girl was cosplaying as a classic Gameboy! She made it herself. It is awesome.
The world doesn't have nearly enough superhero-themed nail art.
Probably my favorite cosplay, ever: a couple who cosplayed as Nyan Cat!
I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted, because my line was pretty long the whole weekend. I figured that if I was stopping to take lots of pictures, it would probably result in at least a few people not being able to make it through the line (which some people told me took three hours, in spite of my efforts to move it along as quickly as I could. Holy crap, that's a long line. I would never wait three hours to meet me. Hell, I wouldn't even wait one hour.)
I used the Vignette app on my Android (HTC Inc. CM7) to take these pictures. I think you can clicky-click them if you want to see them in all their epic huge glory.