Retropalooza is next weekend: Thoughts, hopes and expectations!

Alright friends I am excited to say that next weekend I will be heading to Arlington Event Center to attend my first ever convention. I am looking forward to attending Retropalooza. I am not sure what to expect because this is my first convention but I wanted to outline my hopes ahead of time to compare this to how the actual experience turns out. This way I can see if I had realistic expectations or not.

1. Food

I am expecting this to be like any other flea market or festival I have attended which means there should be food vendors selling home made stuff right out of the food truck. I am not sure if this is a realistic expectation as I have never been to one but I am hopeful this is the case. I would love to get some street tacos made fresh on the spot.

2. Toys and games

Specifically I am thinking the vendors or sellers. I am fairly certain there will be some video game sellers. I am hopeful there will also be retro toy sellers. Specifically I am looking to dig through a big bucket or tote of random Transformers, TMNT, and GI Joe action figures, all reasonably priced I would imagine.

I am not sure what to expect but I would think there would be a sufficient variety of sellers to choose from. As for video games I have my hope list narrow down to what I will buy from a convention. Since it is a retro gaming expo I am not going to buy anything new. The newest device I would consider is a PSP because I have an overwhelming desire to get one eventually and now is as good of a time as any.

I would contemplate a Dreamcast, 3DO. 32X or Virtual Boy as those are harder to find in the wild. I thought about a Sega Saturn but that’s a pipe dream so I will lower my expectations.

3. Autographs?

I am not sure I want to buy an autograph of anyone who is attending but I might try to grab a selfie with Boogie or Wood if I can. But the real reason I am going is to have fun, meet people and maybe do some networking. I am also planning on filming some footage for a video and naturally a podcast.

4. Cosplay!

I am not sure if this is the type of convention that people normally cosplay to but if so I already have a costume purchased and ready to go. It will be my first public outing in drag as Stephanie so I am really looking forward to that. If I arrive and nobody is cosplaying then I will either feel like a fool or suck it up and stand out. Either way I am looking forward to dressing up even if nobody gets to see the costume live on scene.

5. Road trip

No matter how the day turns out it will at the very least be a nice little road trip and those are always fun. I can always use a good excuse to eat some jerky. I am not looking forward to fighting the city traffic but it’s a small price to pay for a day of fun.

That’s about all I have for now. I am hoping this experience is memorable and I can’t wait to share how it turns out. Stay Cool.

My recent trip to Six Flags

This weekend marks the first time for me to visit a Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. 

The day began with the first ride, El Sombrero, reminding me why I stay off these rides, I didn’t exactly get sick, but I came close. 

Under normal circumstances, I don’t function well in large crowds. It didn’t seam to really bother me that much.

I guess partly I just stayed out of the really long lines, so it was open enough that I never really felt too crowded.

I noticed some photographers around the park offering to take pictures people. My first thought was to wonder how they get the pictures so the people. I didn’t spend too much time on it. My next question was if they were doing it just as an easy summer job, or if they were trying to gain experience as a photographer for a possible future career in the media business. I was reminded of a girl I met at the first TV station I worked at. She was from California and told me how she worked at Disney Land hoping to land a job at ABC, her goal was to eventually work for NPR. It worked because I met her at an ABC station, and she now works for NPR.

Now it wasn’t the first amusment park I have ever been to, but it was by far the most impressive.

When I was a kid we went to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, and when I was a teenager I went to Lagoon in Utah twice. I wasn’t really that into either of those too much. I get motion sick pretty bad so I tend to avoid most of the rides. I will occassionally venture into one here and there, but I try to avoid them as much as I can for the most part.

I sat on a bench for 30 minutes watching them wait in line to get on a ride that was over in under 2 minutes. I remebered how much I didn’t care for that all the other parks I had gone to. I do get waiting in line, building up the anticipation is part of it so I guess it’s all part of the experience.

My second ride was the one I regret. I went on the New Texas Giant rollercoaster, I was pretty sick for a while afterwards. This wasn’t my first time trying a rollercoaster, but it was the largest one I have ever gone on.

After a lunch break I decided to try my third ride. This time it was an hour-and-a-half wait for a ride that was over leas than 2 minutes and everyone got soaking wet in the process.

The next few rides I just sat on the side lines, waiting at the exits. The overall experience was slightly better than my previous amusement park outings. At the very least it felt more like a true theme park and not just an over grown county fair.

My total enjoyment of fairs, carnivals, and amusement parks is typically pretty limited. I can find myself having fun, but usually in small doses. Rarely do I find enough to keep me interested for the entire day. Unfortunately that is the problem. They are too expensive for just half a day and you woulf barely have enough time to do enough to justify the cost. But it takes too much time to get that moneys worth, which by the end is a long, hot sweaty day that leaves me feet sore.

In the end, yes it was a fun and worthwhile experience. It might be more enjoyable for someone who doesn’t have a bad foot or weak stomache barring him from enoying the most attractive qualities of the park, the thrilling rides. At least the food was good, what little I could afford anyways.