The Great American Road Trip - 18 - Bricks Cascade
BRICKS CASCADE EDITION
Today, we got up early and headed down to the Oregon Convention Center for the first public day of Bricks Cascade.
It was awesome.
I got my BZP Staff shirt (which is awesome and I never ever want to take it off) as well as a BZP Staff brick for my brick badge, which is still in a drawer somewhere in North Carolina. I met Kakaru and Swert for the first time as well. (The former's awesomeness is recounted in the entry immediately prior to this one.) I got a purple Zamor Sphere prototype after bugging Black Six for a bit, as well as one of those free little Mata Nui stones that were being handed out for free to all BZP members. (I think Kakaru also made them ... ? I'm not sure at this point, really; the entire day is kind of melding together.)
Just as a note, I'm not entirely sure of the order that these things happened in, so while they might be out of order, at least they're all be here. Hopefully.
Xccj got out his Quest for Makuta board game, and we played it on the ground in the middle section of the BIONICLE area, an area that was surrounded by tables. While xccj was very cordial in repeatedly explaining the rules to Kakaru, his brother, Velox, Swert, and me, we all still forgot parts of the rules. (Velox kept leaning back and texting people and only got like one thing during the game.) Kakaru got on a tear at one point and declared himself the Slaughterer of Rahi.
This game never got finished, because one thing after another happened. Swert thought his phone was missing, until he realized that xccj had moved it to one of his coat pockets. Also, Binkmeister showed up.
Yeah. Binky. The guy who basically helped BZPower get started. He's a really awesome guy, and we all sort of randomly chatted with him for a few minutes before he had to leave. (I was relieved to know that I wasn't the only one who got a bunch of free stuff from Kakaru - if Bink had stuck around longer he might have walked off with Kakaru's entire collection.)
Around this time, we had the bright idea to arrange the chairs like the interior of a car and imitate the famous "What is Love?" GIF. Swert played the driver, I was the guy next to him banging his jaw open, and Kakaru was in the middle of the backseat area, his jaw unhooked into a trollface and sliding back and forth. Velox filmed this, and after reviewing the video he took, I can safely say that we're all pretty crazy people to even think about doing that, not to mention actually going through with it. If a GIF of three people at a convention doing this gets circulated around the BZP blogs, the few people left on this site with the impression that we have anything in our heads that even remotely resembles sanity would realize their horrible mistake.
By then, we were all getting pretty hungry, so the six of us decided to go to a nearby mall's food court. This was well past afternoon, and the only thing I had to consume all day up until that point was a large bottle of water. However, xccj had to go back to the con for something that he had inadvertently left behind, so Velox, Kakaru and I screwed around on top of large stone spheres that were placed in a nearby courtyard area. The other BZP staff were just walking back from getting lunch at a donut shop and waved to us. (Later, Black Six told us that "we saw a bunch of people in light blue shirts doing stupid stuff on these balls, and I thought 'is that our staff?' Then we got closer and I was like 'yep, that's our staff.'") We then hid before xccj came back - all save for Swert, who looked like a stalker in a bush.
We went into the mall and traveled up the stairs to the third floor, where we ate. Kakaru and Velox noticed a dental office located inside the mall, and suggested a few things that we could do to prank them - eating cinnamon rolls in their office, or going inside and asking for a burger with a side of fries. Eventually, Kakaru decided on going in and asking them if they would sell him a toothbrush. While they wouldn't sell him a toothbrush or toothpaste, they gave him a one-time-only use brush for free. Velox and I were doing all that we could to contain our laughter.
Thinking that the toothbrush incident would be the only hilarity the mall would provide to us, the offices for a dental school were beside us as we walked out. I pointed these out to Kakaru and dared him to go inside and ask for toothbrushes. They gave him both toothbrushes and toothpaste completely for free.
We went back to the convention center and got there right before the public hours were about to end. Since I had only paid the eight dollars necessary to enter the con for that day only, I thought it would be akin to BrickFair and they'd have to go just short of sweeping people out with a broom to get the public out. Amazingly, I was able to walk around the place freely without a badge, and no one said a thing to me about it.
At one end of the convention center, they had set up a big ramp, one which small car MOCs could be set up on. They had a contest going on to see how far various MOCs would go. While I was initially a spectator to this madness, Kakaru convinced me to run over to the free-play Duplo section, rapidly build a MOC, then set it off. I put Winnie the Pooh on it, but despite this, it spun out of control nearly immediately after getting off the ramp. They later curved the ramp and set it up on the table. It took Winnie a couple of times to make it over, but after it did, I pronounced Winnie dead and reminded people that it was a lesson in always wearing your seatbelts.
After this was over, we went on over to another room, where I planked on a table for a while until other people came in. Kakaru was one of the finalists in the figure-out-which-collectible-minifig-is-in-the-bag-while-you're-blindfolded contest, and Velox and I made up the sparse cheering section for him.
We went back to the main convention center, where we made commentary on various MOCs, badly mispronounced both BIONICLE names and BZPower member names, and generally goofed off until everyone in the main center was made to sit in a smaller room so they could announce the prizes - but not before Kevin Hinkle had a Q&A session, where I learned that Ninjago would be ending though it was the second-most-profitable line (though we were promised that its successor would make the Ninjago fans ask why they didn't end it sooner). The Collectible Minifigs are also going to have at least six more waves, and Friends is doing very well. Black Six asked the obligatory "when is BIONICLE coming back?" question, and he might also have asked when the Monorail line was returning. All you had to do, from that point onward, to get the entire room to laugh was to mention "monorail." They then gave out the prizes - Kakaru won two or three while xccj racked up four or so.
However, it was time to leave, so handshakes went all around - save for Kakaru, who gave me a hug. I wish I could have stayed around for the fancy dinner - and tomorrow's day as well - but alas, that is not to be. We got back to the hotel in time to see folks in elaborate costume and makeup, portraying zombies, skeletons, vampires, Henry VIII, Cleopatra, grim-reaper-meets-Slender-Man-in-skeleton-bling-people, ghostbusters, Charles Dickens impersonators ... the list really does go on and on. (Apparently there's some sort of convention in the hotel where all of these people are attending.) The funniest thing about it are the voices - one monster would approach another and say "hey man, what's up?" in a jovial tone completely the opposite of what their outward looks would dictate their voices sound like.
Tomorrow, recovery from a severe awesomeness overdose as we begin the long drive back home.