Tuesday, August 30, 2011

¡TJ está enfermo! A Lesson for Foreign Service Families

I woke up this morning to the sound of something we all dread: the alarm clock. The next thing I heard was even worse. "Aaron...please help me..."

It was coming from the bathroom.

"What?" I asked.
"Hell-ooo?" I retorted, not wanting to deal with this (whatever it was) so early in the morning.
"Oh, crap," I thought.

I opened the door to our master bathroom to find TJ lying flat on his back in a pool of his own sweat.

He had begun to feel nauseated just before dinner yesterday evening. The trend had continued throughout the night.

Frequent trips to the loo, a couple of cold showers to beat the sweats, unintelligible thoughts, and chattering teeth. This seemed fairly normal to me. If there's one thing TJ does not do well, it's be sick. He's had food poisoning before, so this was nothing knew. Heck, I've even found him sprawled out on a bathroom floor before.

The new part was having all of this happen in Mexico. We've both been lucky so far. I've had nothing more than the occasionally irritated digestive process and TJ himself was able to beat back a much less severe case of food poisoning early in our stay here thanks to some probiotics donated by a neighbor.

But today looked like a trip to the hospital was in order.

Apparently, the doctor thought so too. Three and a half hours, three intravenous infusions, three abdominal x-rays, two prescription medications, and $500 dollars later we were on our way home with only one thought on my mind:

"Geez, I am SO glad that my Spanish is improving."

I had expected to be nothing more than the chauffeur for today's excursion...yet I often found myself in the role of interpreter.

When a family makes the decision to join the Foreign Service, the only person that is required to learn the language spoken at their onward assignment is the officer him/herself. Even family members that work at the Embassy/Consulate like myself rarely need much skill in the host language.

That's how we justified my continuing my prior employment while TJ attended his six month language training last year.

But what do you do when your beloved officer is incapacitated and you find yourself in a hospital encountering what feels like the first person in eight months that doesn't speak English?

You find out (hopefully) that your own skills have been improving after all, that's what.

TJ was awake, yet slightly incoherent. His 3/3 Spanish language ability meant nothing today.

"Usted tiene dolor cuando esta caminando?" the doctor would ask.
"Um. Otra vez."
"Usted tiene dolor cuando esta caminando?" the doctor would repeat.

"He wants to know if it hurts when you walk," I would say, to my own surprise.

This would continue as TJ was asked when he last ate, and if he had any allergies.

When TJ was taken away for x-rays, the doctor asked me additional questions.

To my complete shock and awe, I was able to effectively (if not accurately on a grammatical level) have this important medical conversation in Spanish.

But what if I hadn't been able to? And what if something worse had happened and TJ wasn't able to communicate at all?

That's the take-away today folks. If your family is joining the Foreign Service, it is everybody's responsibility to learn how to effectively communicate.

Today we were lucky. Next time, a life might depend on it.

As for TJ, he's recuperating nicely and looking forward to getting back to work.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tesoro Resort

On Friday, August 19 TJ and I bailed out of work at 3pm, swung by the nearest Starbucks to pick up our friends Sergio and Gabriel (actual people, not nicknames for our favorite frappés), and set out for a weekend of fun and relaxation at Manzanillo's Tesoro Resort.

Located in the Mexican state of Colima, Manzanillo is a tourist destination frequented by the Guadalajara consular set. This would be our first visit.

Arriving just before sunset Friday evening, TJ and I rushed to our room where we promptly showered and changed clothes then ran to the boys' room to see who had the better view. They totally did. The jerks. The gorgeous Pacific Ocean panoramic that greeted us from their balcony was a stark contrast to the white concrete wall staring in from ours. Sigh.

Disappointed but not discouraged, we headed up to the 7th floor in hopes of catching the dinner show...only to find out that all the tables were full. It was suggested that we eat quickly down by the pool and come back up for the show, which would start in 15 minutes. Great idea, except there was a ginormous line outside full of ginormous people ready to get their grub on. So we settled for standing in the back of the theater to watch the show while filling our bellies with cheap resort booze.

I can't quite recall what the theme of that evening's performance was, but I think it was "Hussies." No, wait. It was "Decades." They performed hits from various decades. Get it? Clever. But yeah, I like my theme better. I present to you Exhibit A:

I swear by all that I hold holy, they are dressed in this hooker garb singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Seems slightly inappropriate. Or at least incorrectly themed, no? Not what I expect to see at the USO...

That was followed by what can only be called "The Future Trollop Parade," in which two adult women were brought out on stage to show three prepubescent girls how to strut on the catwalk. The girls then got their turn to show off, after which the audience voted by a round of applause on which was most likely to eventually get pregnant in the back of a Pontiac Sunfire on prom night...

Or something. My Spanish isn't the best and I was drinking, after all.

Next up were these fellas. They didn't look nearly as trashy as the last two acts, but they were certainly more exciting for the four of us. I'll give you one guess as to what they were singing.

After the admittedly horrible show was over, we all came to the conclusion that it had not been worth delaying dinner for. Then we went down to the pool restaurant to finally eat, ultimately deciding that dinner itself had not been worth the up-and-down the stairs routine from the previous hour.

We then headed to one of the restaurant bars, by which point we were all adequately absent of good judgement to allow Gabriel to talk us into entering a Hot Legs competition. I'm slightly mortified and will therefore not be sharing any photos...of me or TJ. Here are Gabriel and Sergio. Ha!

Saturday came and went with what can only be described as a huge improvement over the previous evening. The food was great, and so was the dinner show, which we managed to get into with plenty of seating to spare.

Saturday's theme was "Mexico," and it was chock full of spry young men dancing around in old man masks, ladies singing songs about Jaliscan pride (odd, given that we were in Colima), jump ropers, and Mexican hat dances. Nothing too negative (and therefore, nothing too funny, either) to say about that particular show, so instead I'll just share some photos.

But it was the daylight hours that made Saturday so amazing. Throughout my entire life I have found myself living within easy driving distance of one beach or another. And yet, I never went. Or at least never went willingly. Even our numerous trips to Key West came and went without toe touching sand.

And why is this?

Well, I suppose one answer could be that I don't like walking around with sand in my shorts. This much is certainly true. But with a shower and a change of clothes waiting in the room upstairs, that wouldn't have been a concern this time.

Another possibility could be that I worry about losing my contact lenses. Certainly true here, as I happened to be wearing my last pair. I've gone to get more since then, but that wouldn't have helped over the course of this particular weekend. Yet I dove right in, no fear.

I guess the true answer is that I've always been super self-conscious about my weight. That's something that I've touched on here in the past, and something that we'll touch on again in the very near future. I've always been too embarrassed to go to the beach. To go to the local pool. To go to a water park. That's the real reason, and I own it now. I'm getting older. No sense not doing things that might be fun due to some stupid mental block. So, I overcame it. And I had a blast.

And I can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Aurelio Atayde Presento: El Circo!

I cannot believe how many circuses blow through this town. It seems like you can't turn around without almost getting run down by a clown car. In fact, I think there are no less than two circuses in town right now, at least having the decency to play different parts of town.

Long-time readers may know of the calamity that was our last attempt at going to the circus, when we found out that Circo do Portugal was feeding stray dogs to their lions. Actually, I think the whole Internet knows of our calamity. For some reason, that post always trends as one of my most viewed. Bizarre...Hah. Notice how I linked to it, to generate more traffic? Yeah, I'm shameless like that.

Anyway, our friend Sergio invited us to accompany him to the Atayde Circus last night, and I am happy to report that I did see stray dogs roaming the area, including the circus grounds, so I'm assuming that instead of dogs these lions eat baby seals or something as equally undomesticated. But I don't know. Sergio seemed to know when the show was gonna start, and I wasn't about to try and Google this place for more info. I learned my lesson the last time.

Now, having not been to the circus since, what, 1987 or so, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. A cursory glance at the circus grounds revealed a Big Top, several animal cages filled with moderately cheerful (or at least complacent) critters, and a bathroom that cost 10 pesos to use. I would have thought a number two might cost more, but it didn't. Anyway, the place looked okay, but not great.

And I'm not saying that we walked across the street to the liquor store and bought a six pack of Skyy Blue then snuck back into the car and guzzled it down before the show started...but it would certainly make for a more enjoyable circus.

And, oh my, did we enjoy the circus. Not that that's a confession. But between us we did have to spend about 70 pesos in that damned bathroom before the night was over.

Prior to the show we walked around and oogled the caged animals. TJ even got to pet a bear. This wasn't exactly sanctioned by the staff, but hey, Yogi had shoved himself against the corner of the cage, and his head was facing the other direction, so what else was one to do?

"Smell my bear!" TJ proudly proclaimed, shoving his hand towards my face. Wrinkling my nose, I declined in a tone that indicated judgement for his foolish actions, while silently I was wishing that I, too, had gotten to pet the bear. I'm sorry to report that there is no photo of the petting in action. We're stupid, but not stupid enough to stick a hand in a bear cage and keep it their long enough to adjust the focus.

At the start of the show, using my best gringo Spanish, I asked an attendant "Puedo tomar fotos?" She said no, and repeated this unfortunate response when I asked "Y sin flash?"

Whatever. I took 'em anyway. Cuz that's how I roll.

The photos aren't great, but I guess we can't expect much when the flash can't be used (Something about distracting people and having them fall to their deaths, or maybe startling animals and having them eat somebody. Pssh. Like that's ever happened.) and the shots have to be taken on the down low.

The one thing I respectfully chose not to photograph was the five tigers squaring off against their trainer. They already looked like they wanted to eat him, and I didn't want to give them any more reason to do so. That, and the crew had erected a cage to protect the customers. Very considerate, as we were sitting in the front row (VIP, baby!) but it totally jacked with my camera angles.

I have some great memories from the evening though. The opening act was a beautiful aerial piece on the flying silks. And the aerialist was nice to look at, too. Same for the guy that did the balancing act. He totally shot a balloon with an arrow using just his feet. Though it took two attempts. I'm guessing that was to add to the suspense and is no real reflection on his mastery of said skill. The one thing that I'm not quite sure of is what all the animals in the cages outside were for. None of them appeared in the show...

..but Mickey and Minnie Mouse roamed around during intermission. I'm not entirely sure what they're doing down here in Mexico, but based on their disheveled appearance, I'm going to go out on a limb and say they've been having too much fun on vacation.

Or, we could take moment to discuss how normal it is in Mexico to find random Disney characters wandering around. It happened here and is common just about anywhere children are found en masse. Mexico knows where the money's at.

The three clowns were great, and unlike their painted faced brethren in the United States, these fellas talk. A lot. They were really funny, and their mannerisms would lead one to believe that perhaps they might bat for "the other team" in their day-to-day lives. You know. MY team. And one of them looked like he might have been just a tiny bit on the completely buff side underneath that ridiculous pants/suspenders combo. Whee! This isn't him. He's actually sitting under the box waiting to pull a prank on an audience member (The standard one-guy-can-lift-the-weight-but-another-can't gag.), but this is the best I've got. Sigh.

And, yep, as suspected, he was totally buff, as we found out when the other two got into a tug-o-war with him and ripped his clothes off, revealing a very flattering two-piece polkadot bikini. No photo of this, though. You see, I had just gotten busted five minutes before when I took the amazing camel photo you see to your left. I mean, what was I supposed to do? The damn things walked right up to us. The lights were on. The shot was clear. I knew I was gonna get busted, but so what?

And then I missed the beefcake. Damn.

Worse than that, I missed the elephant that came out for the grand finale. I LOVE elephants. And because I got camel happy , I missed it.

But Sergio didn't. I leaned over and said "Get your camera out and take a photo. Now!" And he did. I'm much too respectful to deliberately break the house rules twice. But I'm not above calling someone else to action.

What? Don't judge me. Fight the power!

Which reminds me. Where is Sergio with my elephant photo? Oh well, I guess this one will have to do...

Hey, if we can pretend that that's really
Mickey and Minnie, we can pretend
this is an elephant.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Disneyland, or "THAT Could Have Been Better"

Before Monday, July 25th, I had never been to Disneyland.

My parents had been, once, many years ago. They had moved to California seeking adventure and a change of pace shortly after my mom graduated high school. It's possible that I could have been born in Cali, if not for MiMi, my maternal grandmother, getting very sick a couple of years before I was born, resulting in my parents making an immediate move back to Texas.

I've talked in the past of my parents' reluctance to travel, so I need not spend time describing my many unsuccessful attempts at getting a trip to Disneyland or Disney World out of them. I eventually moved to Orlando and had countless wonderful adventures at Disney World, yet Disneyland still eluded me.

Shortly after arriving in Mexico, TJ and I decided that we would spend our November 2012 home leave traveling the west coast. These travels would include a stop in Anaheim so that we could experience my first time at Disneyland together. TJ's been before, but we both knew that I was totally going to be in kid-in-a-candyshop mode.

Once my plans for San Diego Comic Con had solidified, I teased the notion of going to Disneyland for a little sneak peak. TJ was at first reluctant, but later came around. Or at least pretended to.

Jarrett, my travel companion, was super excited.

Evan, our gracious host, was up for it, too.

Then I decided I didn't want to go to Disneyland because I'd rather save it for TJ. Plus, I wanted to maximize my time at Comic Con. Jarrett was disappointed, but seemed to understand. Or at least pretended to.

Evan, however, had latched onto the idea. I didn't want to disappoint my host, who was kind enough to let me crash on his couch for an entire week, so it was decided that Jarrett and I would spend our four days at the con as originally planned, and then Evan and I would go to Disney on Monday, the day before my return to Guadalajara.

A friend of Evan's met us at the entrance Monday morning, helped us score some discounted tickets, smuggled six or seven Fast Passes into our pockets, and proceeded to buy us corn dogs and apples using his company discount. Because nothing says "breakfast" like a Main Street corn dog. No, really, It was freakin' awesome.

Evan's friend (who shall remain nameless because I know how pshycho-crazy Disney can be about discounts, fast passes, etc.) hung out with us for several hours throughout the course of the day. He was incredibly friendly and thanks to his help we were able to ride everything that we wanted...except the Matterhorn, which was undergoing maintenance. Boooo!

We had a great time until around 3PM, when Evan's friend had to leave to prepare for his evening shift. At this point, Evan became quiet and less talkative. By 4PM, Evan had told me that he did not feel well, and had asked if he would be a bad friend if he did not drive me to the airport the next day. I suggested that, yes, he would be a bad friend, as I had asked him several times over the course of the week if he could take me, seeing as how it was across the US/Mexico border. Each time, it had been a resounding yes. Feeling that my response to his inquiry hadn't gained much traction, I asked if I needed to call Lisa to come get me in the morning. I was shocked that his response was in the affirmative.

Lisa did not seem very happy to get a call at 4pm asking for a 9:30am pickup on the opposite side of the border, but to her credit she picked me up and dropped me off with a smile on her face that in no way betrayed what had to be the nagging thought that maybe she should kill me and throw me in a ditch somewhere.

Now, to his credit, Evan had been saying that he felt he may be coming down with something for the last several days. Which I took into consideration by telling him that I thought it would behoove us to leave Disney and go home so that he could rest. The tickets were expensive, but I would understand; sick is sick, after all. Apparently, though, Disney is the best medicine...because he ended up wanting to stay at the park for six...more...hours.

Despite the enjoyment I had experienced earlier in the day, I can not possibly tell you how stressful the latter part of that day was...I was so freaked out about making my flight that I couldn't enjoy anything else.

Lisa...Your help was much appreciated, both coming and going! I can never repay your graciousness.

Evan's Friend...Thank you so much for the kindness you showed to a complete stranger. You definitely helped make the parts of the day that were enjoyable even more so than they otherwise could have been.

Jarrett...I am so sorry that you didn't get to go to Disneyland. Certainly if we had skipped the convention one day, we could still have seen most everything that we wanted to and enjoyed a Mickey Mouse day without worrying about travel arrangements back home.

Evan...Thanks for the couch and the trip to the zoo...but I have zero idea what the hell you were thinking at Disneyland.

TJ...Sorry that I just couldn't wait to see Disney with you. I'm gonna do my best to block this out so we can enjoy it together.

As so many prom queens have surly said, maybe it would have been better had I waited.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

San Diego Comic Con 2011

Tijuana was cool. The San Diego Zoo was fun. Disneyland (my next blog post) was better than I imagined. But this is where the meat and potatoes is, folks. THIS is why I made the trip in the first place: San Diego Comic Con International (July 21-24, 2011).

I have wanted to do this since I was 12 years old. But that just wasn't in the cards. My parents hate comics even more than they hate traveling. When I was in college, I was broke. When I was a young adult, I simply couldn't justify the cost. But this year? The time was finally right.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your outlook *cough*TJ*cough*), the right time came at a juncture in my life in which I no longer care all that much about comic books.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your outlook *cough*TJ*cough*), the right time came at a juncture in my life where He-Man and She-Ra have decided to make a massive comeback. And I'm all about enjoying me some of that. So's Jarrett, and our primary reason for attending the con was to see what sort of He-Man stuff Mattel had up their sleeves (For anyone that cares, there is a killer toyline available here).

Jarrett and I have been friends since Freshmen year at Texas A&M. Our love of comics and toys and all-things-adults-should-have-grown-out-of-by-now bonded us. Although we have lost touch off and on since our college days, for a number of unimportant reasons, we have really reconnected in the last couple of year thanks to this nerdy little hobby. Yet this was only the third time we have seen each other in the past eight years, and the first time that the reunion has lasted longer than three hours. It could have been awkward. But fortunately there was enough "shop talk" to keep us occupied. Even more fortunately, we found that we're still able to talk about normal things. But this is a Comic Con blog, so other than saying it was great to see him, it's time to get back to the business at hand.

I should be completely mortified discussing this with you. But I'm not, for three reasons: The first reason is that, since giving up comics, He-Man is my only vice. And one vice, no matter how nerdy, never hurt anyone, right? The second reason is that TJ thinks it is HILARIOUS to grab every visitor to our home, run upstairs, and show them my collection of He-Man and She-Ra figures. So, you see, I've become somewhat desensitized to the whole thing. The third reason is that I very seldom blog about anything completely nerdy, so I think you probably view me as fairly mainstream and can forgive this minor indulgence.

That said, I still don't plan on going overboard and giving you a play-by-play of He-Man toy reveals (which included a contest in which fans get the chance to create a new character, and an announcement that Mattel can finally, after 30 years, make toys of all the characters from the old cartoon). Instead, I invite you to take a look at a small sampling of the toy goodness one could have seen from a variety of companies at this year's convention. Pay special attention to the elephant, whose inclusion I teased in my previous blog post. Yes, I know. It was a very loose connection at best, but I was starving for a transitional statement...

The night of the He-Man reveals, Jarrett and I found ourselves at a local bar, where we met and had a drink with the Overlord of Evil himself, Skeletor. Needing a break from his quest for the secrets of Castle Grayskull, Skeletor has apparently decided to take a tour of Earth. His first stop was San Diego...

You can follow his exploits here. I'm only slightly mortified to admit that I signed up to have him come stay with me sometime soon...I'm much more mortified by the fact that I did, and Jarrett did not. His geek factor has skewed much higher than mine these past few years. But I may have just passed him with this.

Beyond our primary mission at the con, we saw and experienced lots of awesome things throughout the weekend.

I wish the next two pictures weren't so boring...because what they represent is actually quite amazing. The first photo is a Q&A with the cast of NBC's new drama, "Grimm," which followed a special viewing of the pilot episode. Not the best, but it has definite potential. The panel was hosted by Anthony Head, who played Giles on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." It is but one example of the many celebrity appearances that accompanied movie/tv previews at the con. Sadly, it's the only one we saw...

The second picture is from the "Gays in Comics" panel, in which several gay and straight comic book professionals discussed the importance of homosexual characters in modern comic books. Of particular interest here are Robert Kirkman, creator of "The Walking Dead," and Dan Parent, creator of Riverdale's first ever gay character, Kevin Keller. I was so impressed with this presentation that I did something I haven't done in over two years: I bought a comic book. Not just one, but four. And at the Archie booth, of all places. But you know what? I want to support this. Archie comics are some of the earliest comics I remember reading. And I can't help but wonder what having a normal gay kid interacting with all of those other normal kids would have meant to me way back when. I want this to succeed.

Stepping off of the soap box...

Does this awesomeness even need an explanation?

And this! Not only is this just all sorts of geektastic...

...but the simple taking of this picture helped a great cause. The DeLorean seen here is one of the actual cars used in the filming of "Back to the Future III." A $20 donation to Team Fox, Michael J. Fox's Foundation supporting Parkinson's research, made this possible. They were really great about it, too. They took one photo, which they e-mailed to me, and then allowed me to take several pics with my own camera. The booth, hosted by Profiles in History, also featured several props from the films, including hover boards, Marty's cowboy hat, Grays Sports Almanac, and a Frisbie's Pie pan.

Voltron's apparently making a comeback. To advertise/commemorate/pimp the event, a scavenger hunt was held. If you could find all five cardboard cutouts of the Voltron lions and scan them with your QR-Code Reader (able to be downloaded from your smart phone's App Store) you would not only be entered into a sweepstakes of some sort, but you'd receive one complimentary button that corresponds with whatever lion you scanned. Apparently, everyone and their mother was trying to download the application. Standing at the Mattel booth (makers of Voltron toys), Jarrett explained that he had waited 10 minutes for the app to dowload with zero results, while I explained that I currently live in Mexico and my smart phone is nothing more than an overpriced iPod at the moment, and that I frankly didn't even know that a QR doohickey was available or how to use it because I am so pathetically out of touch and that it is sooo unfair to persecute an American citizen like this when he clearly can't help his current circumstances. And that is how we both received our Blue Lion buttons.

Cleverly deducing the location of the second lion (by asking the Mattel guy where we should go next) we proceeded to obtain the Red Lion button by utilizing the same old sob story. This tactic failed miserably with lions three, four, and five...which were all displayed in a noncreative manner side by side in front of the Hard Rock Hotel. Like, can we get a little effort here? As was to be expected, those that cared not about the challenge of a scavenger hunt also cared not for the plights of the those-unable-to-download. Not to be deterred, Jarrett hiked up his pants and pitched the mother of all hissy fits, which resulted in both of us walking away with a complete set of buttons, leaving three irritated volunteers in our wake. Boo-ya, rhymes-with-witches! And we still haven't entered your contest!

But if you don't care about Voltron, here's your "Ooh, I'm jealous" moment of the day...

Yeah, that's Chris Evans. So what If I could barely see him? I mean, how close did YOU get? Chris was on-site promoting this summer's second Marvel blockbuster, "Captain America." It was an unannounced appearance, and as such I was unable to plot and execute a proper kidnapping. Oh well. I'll always have my memories of the poorly planned event, which consisted of him standing on the Marvel stage in the middle of the freakin' sales floor, creating a cluster mug of a traffic jam which could only be handled by threats of being thrown to the curb by convention staff if we didn't put our cameras down and keep walking. Hey, here's an idea: How about holding celebrity appearances in convention halls so that you can control the flow of traffic without resorting to idle threats directed at your customers? Nah. That probably makes too much sense.
Well, it's almost time to leave the convention behind, but I think that I've saved the best for last. Anyone who knew I was going to SDCC asked if I was dressing up. I always crinkled my nose and said "Oh, God, no." And yet, having seen all of the costumed characters in person, I think that maybe one day it would be fun to dress up. Maybe for a day. Not the whole time. Those that do cannot possibly enjoy themselves, having to stop constantly to take pictures for a-holes like myself. If/when my costume day comes, I fully encourage you all to make fun of me. For now, just make fun of these crazy cats. I've been kind enough to provide Wikipedia links to all of them, in case you have no clue who they are supposed to be.

Voltron Force's Pidge & Keith

Emperial Soldiers having a clearance sale on Slave Leia's;
Link poses with somebody even I don't know...

Two Teela's, one Orko, and...
some other rare Eternian creature.

Green Lanterns can be male or female. Not so sure about Aquamen.
Thundercats, Hooooo!

Me and Marty McFly at the Mattel Booth;
Drag Queen Galactus and 1602's Captain America

And with that we must unfortunately end our magical journey through the land of the geeks. I'm as sad to stop writing about it as I was to leave the real-life experience. Just as there aren't enough words to express how overwhelmingly stressful or how overwhelmingly enjoyable the convention was, there wasn't enough time in the day to experience all of the convention goings-on. I hope to return one day. I also hope to convince TJ to come along. I truly think he would have fun. Time will tell.

But before we go, here's one final photo that, taken during my final hour at the convention on Sunday, perfectly captures how I would feel exactly 24 hours later at Disneyland. Jarrett, who had left earlier in the day to return to Texas, was kind enough to share his final entry ticket with our host, Evan. Evan and I spent a couple of hours at the con on Sunday, in which I showed him the highlights...inadvertently posing the precognitive question...

Has Evan given in to the power of...the Dark Side?