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Comic Con International 2006

Another year, another Comic Con, and this meant that no matter what, and no matter how well planned we might have been, we would end up leaving from the SF Bay Area in the middle of the night (usually around the ripe hour of 3 am), only to have to stop at a hotel somewhere in the midst of the desert in California. That’s all fine at night, but having to drive the rest of the way in the amazing heat wave that we had to deal with was something else. Good God, it was over past the 100 degree mark for a week in most parts of California, while we looked forward to getting to the coastal haven of San Diego.

By around midnight, we had finally secured our bags and goodies and, basically, crap in the back of the truck, ready for the long haul. Having no room in the front of the truck for four people, sidekick photographer Perlito decided to forgo the upright comfort of a padded seat for the breezy luxury of laying in the back of the truck. Legal? Hell no. But a group of conventioneers has to do what a group of conventioneers has to do to get to their final destination. With Perly tried tightly down in the back, with camouflage stuff all around him, off to the trip we went.

By around 3 am, our usual witching hour, we stopped at a remote truck stop on Highway 5. We got some snacks and stood around the truck, pondering our next day’s adventure. From out of the distance, with nary a rustle nor sound, a jackrabbit appeared. He watched us from a distance for a bit before inching his way closer to us - humans with food. Potential. We tossed him some crackers and banana pieces, which he readily nibbled on, while bravely coming closer. He wouldn’t let us touch him, but he seemed friendly enough. Also, I use the term he without having actually checked his gender.

Just as suddenly as he appeared, in mid-nibble, he looked up at us and scampered off. I thought allowed, “Well that was interesting. We were approved by a cute little jackrabbit. That has to be a good omen.” Perlito mused, “But what it if was an evil jackrabbit?” “Nah. Too small.” I thought. “It couldn’t be evil. Not of any value.”

All snacked up, we sauntered back into the truck, not before securing our prized Perlito package in the back, and off we went. By around 5 am, we stopped at a usual resting ground, the Motel 6 in Lost Hills, CA. Mind you, not the fanciest of bedding choices, but basically the only one around. We got ourselves a room to try to get at least six hours of sleep. If we were lucky

Three guys and one girl in a hotel room in the middle of the night (or early morning, more correctly), so you can imagine what happened. Arguing over beds, gas to annoy each other, and fighting over the TV remote, before finally laying down to sleep amidst a cacophony of “Shut up, I’m trying to sleep.” “No, you shut up.” “All of you shut up.” Aah, friendship.

WED. JULY 19 -
We got up to the warm sounds of the maid banging on the door, inquiring about maid service in Spanish, while obviously ignoring the “Do Not Disturb” sign written in English on the door knob. It was noon, and we should be going anyway. We step outside, to a veritable oven heat of air blasting us backwards into the room. OK, so this is how it’s going to be today. We look down at a very cool-looking, inviting pool and ponder if a few moments of splash time in the blazing sun would be more of a cruel tease than a relief. We then look at our surroundings. What the hell did we just miss? The grounds and desert fields around the motel are charred black. Apparently we missed the fire that burned out the shrubs, sand, and dirt the previous day. A good time to leave indeed.

Along the way, towards the evening, we stop to chow down. Apparently this town closes up shop early. Plenty of restaurants, but few are open. It’s a choice between Jack In The Box, or a Don Jose’s Restaurant. In the entry way were two Love Birds sitting on a branch. They seemed unfazed as we approached to take photos and attempt to pet them. Yes on the photos, but no touching. Typing Southern California rules. Must have been celebrity birds. We continued on our way to visit some friends before getting to our hotel - Embassy Suites! Our favorite hotel anywhere, by far. Two room suites, kitchenette with fridge and microwave, clean bathrooms. But the best part is the cooked-to-order breakfasts and free all-you-can-drink Happy Hour (alcohol included) at the downstairs bar. Yay! This is the only place I could imagine lazy journalists or tourists staying at, who want the comforts of home.

Written by Philip Anderson
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Comic Con 2006

Philip Anderson is a writer/musician/photographer. His works have appeared in a variety of publications, TV, and radio.

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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