Jen Ramirez 8/15/11
If I were to describe Comic-Con in a word, it would be insanity. Now before I continue, I need to elaborate on that. By definition, insanity means craziness or madness. In that respect, the complete adoration and overall fanaticism of the thousands of individuals who attended (including me) would define the weekend perfectly. Insane, in terms of cerebral overload, completely defines the amount of things to see and do both in and around the convention center. San Diego Comic-Con is insane.
This year was my very first Comic-Con. Initially, I was supposed to be only going on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd. The weekend right before Comic-Con changed things up faster than I could comprehend. I reached out to an acquaintance of mine who works for Knights of the Guild productions (The Guild web series) to see if their booth would need any help on the days that I would be attending. Well, turns out they did need some help and my simple inquiry quickly turned into receiving a 4-day Professional pass. Wow.
With a 4-day pass lined up for me, I could now go a day ahead of schedule and stay for Sunday as well. At that point, the only bumps in the road to Comic-Con were finding a place to stay, find out where to park overnight and juggling my work schedule to fit into a shortened week. I was determined to get my shit together and get to San Diego to begin my "nerdcation".
I was already going to be spending Saturday night in a hotel with my friends Anne and Rachelle, however now that I would be going a day earlier, I needed to secure a place or two to stay. I quickly spread the word on Google+ and got some responses. Within a day and a half I was able to work out where I was going to stay and as an added bonus, was able to figure out how to handle the parking situation. Two bumps down, one ominous one to go; work.
My job schedule is predictable most of the time. However, there are times where my boss and I have to make several schedule changes to fit all that is going on around us. Of course, when I went to work the Monday before Comic-Con, this was one of the times where our schedule needed to change completely. Luckily, the schedule changes worked out in my favor for the most part. My plan was to drive down after work on Wednesday to pick up the passes ahead of time to eliminate rushing either Thursday evening or Friday morning. To my surprise, the plan actually worked out pretty well. I was even able to catch an improv show that I had really wanted to attend and met up with several friends and acquaintances. So far, everything leading up to Comic-Con was working out better than I could have imagined.
Thursday had finally come. I left work an hour earlier so I could get a jump on traffic; however it still took me 3 hours to get there. Once I finally arrived I hurried to my first offsite panel, A conversation with Felicia Day, at Nerd HQ. Having never been to Downtown San Diego, of course I got turned around walking from the parking garage and walked around in a circle and the opposite way. Finally, I was able to get myself back on track thanks to my phone and Google Maps and power walked to 4th street. Ten minutes late when I got there, but was able to quietly find a seat in the back and enjoyed the panel. The panel was fantastic! It was 8PM once the panel ended and I was incredibly hungry at that point. I walked around for a few blocks to find a place to eat and decided on "Café Diem".
The cable channel Syfy had completely taken over the Hard Rock Hotel and converted the restaurant into Café Diem, a café from the Syfy series Eureka. Being the giant Eureka fan that I am, I just HAD to eat there. I went in and noticed that it was quite busy, so I hoped I would at the very least get a seat at the bar since I was only a party of one (loner). Luckily for me, there were counter seats open and I was seated in a matter a minutes. Just as the décor had been converted into the Syfy theme, so was the menu. After geeking out over the menu items for a few minutes, I made my selection and within 20 minutes was eating my dinner. so I decided to walk over to the Convention Center to enjoy the showing of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
Friday and Saturday both were a blur because both days were so jam packed with things to do. I worked The Guild booth, went to a kickass BBQ, partied at Nerd HQ, and went to as many panels I could fit into a day (which was actually only 4.5). I felt like I could not possibly get all that I would have like to have done accomplished. It was difficult to pick and choose between all the awesome panels and all the other activities in and around the convention center. A reoccurring question I continued to ask was: "How the hell do people do this?" I guess I have much to learn.
Sunday was much less hectic, however a bit sad because it was the last day of Comic-Con. That day I had time to give blood and finally had a chance to walk around the vendor floor. It was refreshing to simply walk around without a schedule to follow and worrying about what time it was and where I needed to be. I was able to enjoy the end of the Con at my own pace. At 4PM Comic-Con was officially over. Group photos were taken and goodbyes were said. Before leaving home, I was able to hang out one last time with some friends as we sat and ate an early dinner. After eating, I rode with a friend to pick up my car and was on my way home.
A four-day insane mental overload and all I can think now is, I cannot wait until next year!
The Anticipation is Killer – The New Palm Pre
Jen R. 2/1/09
With this year’s CES came a lot of cool new toys that enticed and mesmerized. However, one device in particular created quite the stir – The Palm Pre. Palm’s newest addition to the smart phone market surprised a lot of people (including myself) with its new Palm® webOS™ operating system, intuitive design, and sleek features. The release date for the device has yet to be announced, but the buzz and drama have already begun.
Within hours of its unveiling at CES, tech sites and bloggers all around were reviewing and sizing up the Pre with the little bit of information Palm had released. What is known about the device are the key factors that set it apart from other phones. Palm’s website highlights these new features and offers several action shots in the galleries. Here are some of the features that I am personally excited about:
Combined Messaging – For those of you who are not familiar with Palm’s current messaging style, text messages are viewed in a “chat-style” type view. Although the current messaging feature is very cool and much easier to follow a conversation, Palm is taking it even further. The Pre will bring all conversations with a person together all into one area. This means if I start an AIM conversation with one of my friends and they eventually go offline, I can just as easily continue the conversation by texting them from the same screen I have up and not have to navigate to a different application on the phone. Switching between AIM and texts is something that I do often, so this feature will only make things easier for me.
Multiple Activities – It may be my application ADD or the simple fact that I am far too used to multitasking, but I seem to always want to do more than just one thing on my phone. In either case, the new “Activity Card” feature of the Pre is sure to please. The activity cards act a lot like how applications are opened on a computer, allowing as many applications to be opened as one would like with the ease to switch between each one.
Notifications – Have you ever been right in the middle of a text or email and you get a phone call, text, IM, reminder, etc.? Getting interrupted is frustrating no matter what. The Pre handles interruptions very nicely so that you don’t get so frustrated you want throw your phone. Instead of a notification popping up into the entire screen, they appear at the bottom leaving your current application still visible and giving you the option to take a look or ignore.
Since the phone release date is still possibly months away from now, I can only sit here and wait patiently. While I sit here and allow anticipation to eat away at me, you can check out the presentation Palm gave announcing the Pre at CES 2009: Palm Pre CES 2009 Presentation