Dinos Takeover Los Angeles!

We planned a simple trip to Los Angeles, CA. Our plan was to visit the E3 expo and do some sightseeing. What I hadn’t planned on was Los Angeles BEING TAKEN OVER BY DINOSAURS. I should have known. The marketing was everywhere: The dinos have left the park. They just didn’t mention that the dinos went to LA.

My first dinosaur sighting was in Downtown LA. We were at the convention center, innocently perusing the aisles of the show floor at E3.

Raptors at E3

Raptor!!! It was behind a fence. I can’t be sure if the fence was electrified, but it did look damaged. People were lining up for an experience nearby so it must have been safe… maybe the raptor was tranquilized…? Paralyzed? lol

The following day, walking down past the Walt Disney Concert Hall… another tranq’ed dino was found, in a cage. It seemed like it was baking in the hot sun! (Is this inhumane??)

Triceratops tranquilized for travel?

We decided to inspect the situation further, by waiting on a ridiculous line for what was called the Jurassic World Fan Fest event. We were told there would be VR games, giveaways, and free movie tickets maybe??

Entering Jurassic World

After the long wait, we made it to the entrance. And what did we find? FREE T-SHIRTS!!! YASSS! So that was a good start. Once we made it inside the giant JW doors…

AHHHH!!

A friendly T-Rex was waiting just inside the entrance!! Yikes! Luckily it must have been trained to only do photo-ops instead of eating people, so there was no carnage. And he was super IG-friendly, of course. I mean, this is LA after all.

Resting in the shade…

It was hot af that day. I’m pretty sure I got sunburned at this event. Some dinos were lounging in a more shaded photo-op area. The dino above was just laying there looking pretty spent. I tried to take a selfie with another dino that was popping out of the vegetation. (Blue?)

Dino Selfie

We wanted to check out the VR game thing but the line was insanely long and they were having technical difficulties even getting it started up. So no. We also got raffle tickets that were supposedly eligible for a free movie screening but the booth to trade in the tickets wasn’t set up yet either. What kind of half-assed event was this? Dinos are baking in the sun in questionable conditions, humans baking in the sun on line for the event, and then some of the attractions weren’t even doable?

At least I got that free t-shirt!

Later in the day, we went to Santa Monica Pier. There weren’t any dinosaurs. Plenty of old people, if you count them.

Santa Monica Panorama

Santa Monica Pier Panorama (featuring Carney)

Santa Monica from the top of the Pacific Wheel

Ugh. I loved Santa Monica. Next time I go to LA I might just stay in this part of town. The boardwalk is really fun. I bought a conch shell for my niece to hear the ocean. There were rides and we ate delicious tacos and drank various margaritas. We even saw some fancy plane thing that I barely got a photo of, but apparently it’s a cool rare thing! (Carney, help me out here in the comments please! lol)

Cool airplane thing!

We also saw a police van with surfboards rigged up on top, tourists struggling with selfie-sticks, a cute baby, and the Bubba Gump Shrimp mascot. Important things!!

The next day, we spent a majority of our time in Hollywood. I won’t clog up my blog with all of the celebrity homes that I took photos of, but you can peruse the full album on my Flickr page. Here’s a nice panorama I took from the Hollywood Hills:

Hollywood Hills

We took a bus tour to see the sights of Hollywood, which was a lot of fun. In addition to the Hollywood sign and the celebrity homes, we were driven through Beverly Hills and around Rodeo Drive.

Dinosaur of a tree in Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive

All the palm trees!

After our tour we stayed in Hollywood to hang out. We checked out the Walk of Fame and other popular sites, but we wanted some more authentic experiences. And alcohol. So we stopped at a couple of bars in Hollywood!

The Roosevelt Hotel

We started at the Roosevelt Hotel, to experience how rich movie stars of the 1950’s might have enjoyed their cocktails. It was fancy. I mean, check out that indoor fountain! But the prices were fancy too, so decided to check out a speakeasy on Sunset Blvd. called Adults Only. The fake store front was a pretend porn video store, but when you walk in there was only slight amounts of porn and large amounts of old VHS tapes from the 1990s, from Sleeping Beauty to Indiana Jones. All fake placeholders put up in the vestibule, because only a few steps brings you into the actual bar, which was GORGEOUS.

Dimly lit, classic vibe speakeasy Adults Only.

On the big screen they had some old black and white movie that we couldn’t name. The menu consisted of movie titles that described the flavor and theme of the cocktail. It’s kind of dark but I took a picture to give you an idea. (I was drinking Clueless!)

The menu was in a VHS cassette case!

OK, so there were no dinosaurs here, but we were enjoying some delicious alcohol in some very old bars! (Well, old by California standards, anyway.)

At this point, you may be thinking that I had exaggerated about the dinosaurs. I DIDN’T. We encountered many more dinosaurs the next day – at Universal Studios Hollywood!!

Hogwarts Castle

We stopped at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first. There was a scary dragon on the Harry Potter 4D Experience ride, but that’s not exactly a dinosaur. I get it. But don’t forget… Universal also has a Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park – THE RIDE

Sadly, I didn’t take any photos of the dinosaurs that I saw within Jurassic Park – The Ride. It was a water ride (not a log flume by definition, as we were in yellow raft style vehicles) that took us through Jurassic Park. But then we realize that the dinosaurs had broken out of the park! They were roaming through the ride area! We got sprayed and splashed as we went through, but nobody on our raft was prepared for the big drop. Tensions rose as we climbed to the highest part of the ride, readying ourselves for the final, sharp angle drop and then… A GIANT T-REX HEAD DESCENDS DOWN ON YOU. Adding just that extra amount of terror and adrenaline as you begin to drop straight down into the water below! AHHHH!! And then as you land the entire raft is hit by a giant WAVE of water and literally everyone comes out drenched. There’s no ‘oh if I sit on the edge I’ll be dry.’ Nope. Everyone. Gets. Drenched. And then they direct you into the gift shop, stocked full with clean, dry, brand new Jurassic World t-shirts celebrating the new movie. I see right through your marketing tactics, Universal!!

Then we saw Blue.

Blue

Unlike all the other dinos we had seen, Blue was not in a cage. Blue was not behind a fence. Blue was not tranquilized. Blue was THERE. Being FIERCE. People lined up to take photos with Blue, but the danger was reallll!!

Blue getting angry.

Blue was very realistic. She moved and blinked and roared and screeched. She chopped her teeth at the young babies being offered for ‘photo ops’ (aka lunch?!?!) and scared the bejeezus out of some little boy that was watching on the sidelines. He almost cried. That’s how real Blue was. It was no joke. I should have taken a video instead of photos. Oh well!

I bet you won’t ever see as many dinosaurs in Los Angeles as I did!! Anyway, if you enjoyed the pics from my trip, there’s many, many more on my Flickr Album. Check it out below! Hit the side arrows to move to the next photo. Let me know what you like!

LOS ANGELES

 

Oh yeah and don’t forget to see see Jurassic World in theaters now!!

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E3 2018: A Brief Recap

This year, my awesome friend Carney and I decided to take a trip to Los Angeles and attend E3 2018! I just got back and while I intend to write a blog about the ENTIRE trip, I wanted to do a quickie overview of E3 first.

LOS ANGELES

Things that were great about E3:

  • Game Demos. Obvi. If you can manage to get into a line, playing some of the latest games is one of the best parts of E3. I played Super Smash Bros. for Switch, as well as the new Monster Hunter. However, those were the only demos I managed to play. More on that later.
  • Swag. While not QUITE as impressive an offering as I remembered in 2013, there is still a decent amount of free stuff to get at E3. Tote bags, Vault Boy masks, and free Drakes snack cakes were some of the most prevalent finds at the convention center.
  • Decor. For some reason, the booth setups at E3 are always the coolest. I’ve gone to NYCC, PAX East and PAX West and none of it compares to E3 when it comes to life-size dioramas and game world immersion.

Things that were pretty shitty about E3:

  • Lines. LINES!!! I quickly realized that E3 actually stands for Everything has 3 Hour Lines. Because that’s how it is. We got there at 9am and by the time I was scanned in and at the Nintendo booth at 9:24, the line for Let’s Go Pikachu was 3 hours long. It was very disheartening. The only reason I was able to play the Smash demo was because they forced us to book time slots in advance. But now I’m actually grateful they made me do the extra work because that at least ensured that I got to play SOMETHING. Jeez.
  • Lack of Panels. There were not many ‘events’ planned for E3. Not that it would have mattered, because you’d probably have to commit an entire day to waiting on the line to get in. But one of the best parts of conventions are celebrity panels. Why aren’t there any at E3?
  • The Cool Nintendo Events Weren’t Actually At E3. The Splatoon 2 Tournament was held at a theater offsite and you had to line up at a specific time on June 11th (BEFORE E3 EVEN STARTS) to get wristbands. Guess what? My flight was only arriving at that time. Same deal with the Smash Bros. Tournament – that day they were giving out tickets at the same time as my Smash Bros. demo time slot. Soooo wait in a line in hopes of getting tickets to watch the Smash Invitational, or actually go to E3 and play the demo I had registered for in advance. Naturally we went with the sure thing. But why was Nintendo forcing us to pick which thing was a priority? It felt very unfair. I caught a few glimpses of the tournaments on live feeds they had on TV screens. Whoop.
  • You Can’t Even Go to the Major Press Conferences. Yeah yeah I don’t have a press pass. But in the game company livestream videos, it always looks like a huge auditorium filled with fans in attendance. In reality, those are all paid professional press badge holders at those events. They are getting PAID to cheer. Actual die-hard fans don’t even get to go to the press conferences. Hmph. Plus they hold the press conferences early in the morning when the rest of us plebs have to wait in lines to get in. We don’t even get to watch unless we wanna burn mobile data.

You might sense my disappointment in E3 by now. You would be very correct. I quickly realized that the lines are likely to be much more manageable when I go to the Nintendo NYC store and play in the E3 Demo Area in the convenience of my home state. Honestly, my time spent away from E3 was much more fun. I did lots of cool touristy things and had a blast in LA. I’ll blog about the rest of my trip in a day or two. But for now, check out my Flickr album and enjoy the VISUALS of E3…. at least it’s a very IG-friendly event.

No PAX East for Glux

I am sad to report that I had to make a last minute decision to not attend PAX East 2018 this year. I had intended to go as a panelist for the StreetPass Game Show, which has now been running for a couple of years! But I suffered an injury last month and don’t feel up for traveling the distance or getting bumped around on the crowded show floor. So I decided to sit it out this year.

ANYWAY… I’m really proud of how the game show has progressed since it’s inception at Eternal Con back in 2016. Let’s see how it has evolved!

The original StreetPass Game Show was 100% manual. My awesome friend Sean built a game board out of PVC pipe and we switched out the answers between rounds, just like on old school Family Feud in the 1970’s. We performed in front of a crowd of 30ish and the room was packed. Everyone left smiling!

Here I am as Host Princess Peach laughing maniacally in front of the hand made PVC pipe StreetPass Game Show board in 2016!

Once the word got out about the StreetPass Game show, another awesome friend Miz Sylver helped us bring the game show to the modern age by converting the game board into a PowerPoint presentation which we could project onto a large screen. This made the game show something that we could take easily on the road. Scaling the game board onto a big projector screen made the game show that much more EPIC at PAX East, which had an actual theater for us to host the panel in. Check out the difference!

The StreetPass Game Show game board looking very captivating at PAX East 2017!

But what really makes me proud is that the game show can go on without me! We have the formula figured out and I know that the panelists doing the game show will do an amazing job this year, with Miz Sylver AND Sean both leading the way at PAX East 2018. I’m sad that I won’t be there, but hopefully another opportunity will arise for the StreetPass Game Show to be hosted at a future con that I can attend. (Maybe even NYCC? Don’t hold your breath but it would be cool to host a game show there!)

If you’re going to PAX East 2018 on Saturday night, don’t miss the StreetPass Game Show! Check it out and tell me all about it! I wish I was there….

Pikachu at MAGfest 2016

Whoops I should have posted this a while ago… like right after MAGfest. Oh well!

Those who follow me on social media already know that I ended up switching my cosplay at the last minute. I’ll probably do Link next month at PAX East instead. (More on that coming in a future blog post…!) I opted to bring my Pikachu cosplay to MAGfest instead, since it’s easier to transport. Plus I brought extra Pikachu ears so my little sister could join me in the cosplay fun, even tho her version was a little more casual lol!

The event itself was a lot of fun. I tend to enjoy smaller cons more because they aren’t as intensely crowded and you don’t feel so lost. But I was disappointed that the amazing musical group Triforce Quartet had not been invited to perform this year. But my friend introduced me to a funny metal group called Psycho Stick, so that kind of made up for it. I recommend that everyone look up both of these acts because they’re both great for their own reasons!

Here are some photos of my Pikachu cosplay from MAGfest! Enjoy!

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MAGFEST 2016!!

Last year I didn’t get to attend MAGFest, which was super sad. This year… BACK ON TRACK! Since my sister and brother in law have never been to a geeky convention before, I’ll be bringing them along for their first con experience! I’m super excited! Only sad news for me is that the Triforce Quartet isn’t playing at MAGFest 2016. (How can this be??? *sadface*)

Of course this means I had to decide on a cosplay to lug down to Maryland for the con. I decided to go with Link from Legend of Zelda. I figured this was a good winter season cosplay since I get to wear pants and a hat lol! Now that I have a Master Sword and Hylian Shield, I was kind of panicking about how I was going to carry¬†my props on public transportation. The sword was too big for any duffel bag! After a stroke of genius, I realized I could fit everything into a guitar case. ūüôā

I also picked up the Legend of Zelda Adventurer’s Pouch Kit from GameStop to complete my cosplay look. After I pieced all the parts of the cosplay together, I decided to take some teaser shots and put myself in Hyrule. I had a lot of fun with it! Check out my Photoshop comps for Link.

Hopefully I’ll have more photos next weekend so I can make even MORE Photoshop comps! This is my favorite way to nerd out lol! I’ll try to blog again when I’m back in NY. For those who are staying local this weekend, be sure to check out the grand re-opening of the newly renamed “Nintendo NYC” store on the 19th. (I find this new name very intriguing… makes me think more Nintendo stores might pop up in different regions in the future…!!)

Side ¬†Note: Who’s collecting Animal Crossing Amiibo Cards: Series 2?? I will post soon with my spares and which cards I’m still missing. I am willing to send cards by mail if needed. Check back soon for updates!