Not too long ago my friends and I went on an odyssey to see Leonard Nimoy at the Comic Expo in Calgary. Nayd, Nagem, and I were all super excited. All of our advisers thought we were a bit crazed. Particularly Nagem as she scheduled her Comprehensive exams early as to not interfere with our weekend of awesome.
When be began planning for the trip we realized that renting a car and driving is the best option. Edmonton is a big city with good public transit (train and bus) so non of us have cars. Well I have a car, but it lives with my family in Wisconsin. Nagem can't drive and at the time Nayd was 24. Why does that matter you say? Good question. That means she isn't old enough to rent a car. So, I get to drive the 3 1/2 hours both ways. Not too bad as the highway is mostly straight. We rend the car and set out on my first driving adventure in Canada.
First, let me mention that the rental car is Canadian. Therefore the main part of the speedometer is in km/hr . . . it took me a bit to get used to driving 80 in the city and like 120 on the highway. It was just number shock. Luckily I lived in Michigan for quite some time and realized that I was going slower then I usually did there. So, I loosened up.
Google maps gave us a nice surprise by providing completely strange and bogus directions to the Stampede Grounds (that's the name of the expo area . . . Alberta is the Texas of Canada if you were wondering). We magically worked out the proper way based on the idea that Google was confused rather than out and out lying to us. When we approached the parking lot we realized we were in the right place (that many people in costume is a dead give away).
Having arrived we got to wait in the longest line ever. Not really, but we waited may be an hour to get in and we already had tickets. The line was entertaining though, remember the costumes. The staff for the event was dressed as Star Wars characters and there is a certain amount of fun to be had when being directed by Storm troopers. Eventually we managed to get in and wonder around. We wondered through and looked at vendors for a while.
Lots of cute stuff to be bought! I like cute stuff a lot but managed to control myself mostly. Nagem forced me to get my picture taken with awesome costumed people.
|Its good even though he's a smelly stormtrooper|
We also took free pictures of famous people! No lines, but crappy pictures. This is Billy D. William's arm.
|His arm is by the water bottles, if you want to know what he looked like 20 years ago there is a poster above his head.|
This is not that bad of a picture of Brent Spiner.
|Fun for all ages!|
And then blurry Malcolm McDowell.
|I'm not sure what the lady is holding up but she did it all day long|
After a bit of wondering we realized we should start our search for Spock. That is unfortunately easier said than done. I had a lot of fun at the expo but it was ridiculously poorly managed. Most of the workers had no idea what was going on. We eventually found the line . . .
Its no wonder we had trouble finding it as we were like outside of the venue. The line wasn't too bad either. Though while in line we discovered we needed to exchange the Leonard Nimoy photo passes we'd been sent in the mail for tickets . . . No one thought to mention this until we had been in line about 45 minutes. Nagem went in search of answers while we waited in line. Where we heard you had to pay in cash for additional photos. So, as Nayd had been gurading Nagem's purse I went in search of Nagem with money for two extra prints. This trip was success full, so we got to get back in line and wait for another hour or so.
|I'm happy in line|
The getting you photo taken part actually went quite well. It was a truly weird experience with a guy yelling next constantly. It was the photo factory. In this line we noticed the workers just throwing the cards with how many prints we paid for on the ground. Which seemed odd to us . . .
So we briefly meet Leonard Nimoy who is wonderfully nice and thanked each and every person for coming. :) Wonderful! We got out of the way to let the next people in and discovered that it would be 3 hours before our pictures were printed. We had expected to leave before that so I'd be less tired driving, but alas it was not meant to be.
|Ikkin and LEONARD NIMOY!|
Back to the expo. So, we did another circuit of the vendors and tried to take more pictures of famous people without waiting in line or paying for it. Then we realized we needed to get a birthday present for a friend and reexamined out options at the expo, it was a safe bet she was less geeky then us.
|Star Wars booth|
Nayd remembered a cute print that she'd seen with a gnome/imp (there was an argument about this from the artist and his manager? the lady who managed his sexual harassment lawsuits?) and a mushroom done in ink. That sounded good. We walk up the the booth and start looking through the print book. The artist is noticeably chatty. We are kind of just stare as we are thinking not of if we like it but if our friend would like it. At this point I'm wearing the cat hat I bought (Kawaii). And then it gets weird as the artist starts going on about how he likes my hat and freaky girls . . . awkward . . . but I worked through it as to get a delightful print for our friends birthday. Then we go and buy a beautiful ceramic bowl we noticed at a different vendor. (Interestingly, the present was a huge hit. Apparently our friend is obsessed who gnomes/imps and has been searching for blue ceramics in the style we had bought her. Go team!)
Being very tired at this point we went to sit down and occasionally take pictures of awesome costumes.
|I'm laughing because the predator mauled me a little|
In fact, there was many awesome costumes and a fantastic R2D2 that moved and talked! We had to push the kids out of the way for a picture (most of the kids).
|The kid is working on his Jedi mind tricks|
They we were off the check on our prints guess what no prints. So, wait a bit more. No prints.
|I'm over this joint|
Nagem as the tallest of us was in charge of this and finally pined down a worker who exclaimed "We have to be out of hear in 10 minutes, so please come back tomorrow for your prints." What no! Can't do it buddy. "If you can't come back tomorrow email this person your address and what you were wearing today on a photo so that we can send you your picture." Yes, that is how bad the planning was. They had no way to link us to our own photos. Let alone figure out how many prints we should have! Angry and bitter as they should of known 3 1/2 hours ago that this wasn't going to work, we started for home . . . in the snow. This was April . . .
|Its chili in the snow|
I'm from Wisconsin I can drive in the snow, but angry and annoyed I didn't want to. Plus, I didn't know the area that well. Plus, Calgary is at a high altitude due to it's closeness to the Rockies so it was a true snow storm. I made the executive decision that we were eating in a nice restaurant in a Calgary suburb. So, I had a nice meal and remembered that I had had a good time before getting back in the car and driving back to Edmonton. About a 1/2 hour later we were out of the snow and home free.
Nagem picked up two of our Leonard Nimoy pictures in Calgary the following Monday while at a conference and we are still trying waiting for someone to get back to us about the third! In the end I will remember the trip fondly as I did have a good time. An I got to watch the season finally of Fringe while viewing myself with Leonard Nimoy! Awesome!
|I better get my own darn picture soon!|