RTX, Day 1
It wasn’t so much that I felt dirty, as it was I probably was dirty. I’m was hoping that the soap runoff from my hair was able to clean at least part of my body before I wiped it off with a damp cloth. After getting dressed and preparing myself for another day in Austin, I texted my host about the amenities. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that she was already aware a burst pipe, and taking the necessary measures to insure my next shower would be… well, a shower.
After my brief conversation with my host, I made my way back to the convention center with the hopes that I would have enough time to edit a video or two on my laptop before the doors opened to the public.
Many people think the devil is red, the color of terror and pain, but I have another theory. I believe the devil is blue, because there is nothing in this world the invokes more terror then receiving a blue screen of death. Don't know what the blue screen of death is? It’s the end all be all to PCs. It's the moment of dread that overtake you when your screen suddenly flashes to the royal blue glow of death. Now I say it's the end all be all to PCs, because up until now I've never heard of it happening to an Apple product, specially an iPhone. Needless to say, I got the blue screen of death on the one device I depended on for this trip, my iPhone 5s
It was 9:45, the halls opened at 12, and I was fucked. My only saving grace is that my father let my borrow his mobile hotspot and I was able to download the Uber app onto my iPad. To make matters worse, I had been trying to get ahold of my wife all morning because last night I had received news that my dog had an allergic reaction to what we assume was the wraith of a thousand angry ants. My last update was at 10 pm the previous evening, when I found out that her entire head was swollen, most noticeably around her eyes.
I was in panic mode. My only method of receiving payment at the Con was my phone, my only way of communicating with my wife was my phone, my only way of navigating Austin was my phone, my only way of staying informed with the outside world was on my motherfucking phone, and it was dead; and to make matters worse I didn’t even get to say goodbye. Using Uber, I rushed to the mall in hopes that the Apple Geniuses could resurrect my phone and alleviate at least one of my sudden crisis.
The driver wished me luck, and I entered the mall not realizing that the stores inside had yet to open. I quickly located the Apple store, only to round the corner and discover that it was the only store in the mall to already have a crowd of people outside it. I had two hours to get back to the convention, and I couldn't leave the mall without a working phone. Luckily for me, most of the people in line were just there to buy something, which makes no since to me. Why would you wake up early to wait outside a store to buy something that is sure to be there all day. There was no launch today, there was no reveal, just a crowd eagerly awaiting the opportunity to throw their money at the legacy of dead man in a turtleneck.
Here’s where things get really interesting. I’m sitting at a table with a very nice lady who is doing everything in her power to make my phone work, but this is all in the back of my mind because in the forefront is how my wife nor her sister were answering my calls or texts about my Beloved Darth Maully.
Yes, I named my dog after a Sith Lord, what of it?
I was listening to Ms. Apple feed me a list of options for my phone in the same way a vet would give me a list of options for my terminally ill dog. This was not helping my anxiety over my own dogs health, so I couldn't focus on the phone because at this point I was paranoid that no one was answered the phone because Maully had passed away due to an allergic reaction.
We, and by we I mean she, ultimately got the phone to boot up after giving me the worst case scenarios, and it came down to three options:
A) I take the phone with no guarantee that it will work through the rest of the weekend. Ms. Apple did not seem confident in this, and felt that the hardware issue plaguing my phone was surely to resurface during my stay, most likely at a pivotal time with earth shattering consequences.
B) Because I am not an Applecare subscriber, it would be $260 (plus tax) to replace the phone, just so I could give it back to AT&T because I was on there Next Scheme… er I mean program. This did not sound like fun to me. Not only that, but if I did this they would take the broken phone, so it wasn’t a scenario where I could purchase the replacement and return it if I didn’t need it.
C) Per Ms. Apple and Ms. Apple’s colleague: I take my phone, while it’s corrupted heart still beats, and take it to the AT&T store next door and trade it in for an iPone 6 as soon as humanly possible. This would save me the $194 buyout AT&T would charge me if I did not return a “working” 5s to them. In addition, I'd have a new iPhone 6.
Option C sounded phenomenal.
I rushed out of the Apple store and into the AT&T store. Before the doormen could even ask me what I wanted I requested to trade in my 5s. This is the point where immediate suspicion should have been arisen, but Mr. AT&T didn’t care that I looked guilty of murder. AT&T welcomed me in with open arms and took my phone, even as I constantly focused with a clear concern that the phone would last through the transaction. At one point Mr. AT&T even complimented me on the great condition of my phone… sucker.
After discussing a possible Graphic Design gig for one of the AT&T employees, I bailed. I ran to Auntie Anne's for solace in two of her mouthwatering pretzel dogs. They gave me the physical and emotional courage to carry on. Not only was I reenergized, but I was finally able to get ahold of both my wife and her sister, and learned the Maully would be fine. A steroid shot and a hell of a lot of Benadryl now coursed through her veins, but she’d be ok.
After a quick Uber ride back to the convention center, I enter the hall at 11:50 with just enough time to compose myself and prepare for the onslaught of fans crowded outside the doors. There was that little moment of joy I got when I skip all those people in line and walk right into the convention hall without any holdup or delay.
The rest of Day One was a blur. I burned through a bunch of stickers, met some cool people, and sold some art. It wasn’t until later at the Exhibitor Mixer that I would add to my already staggering list of blunders. Not paying attention to my surroundings, I walked into a large carpeted space, double fisting whiskey-sours, and asked “Is this where the mixer is?”
“No, not really... this is the memorial to Monty.”
To my defense, there was a large cluster of people in there, it was after the hall had closed to the public, it was right next to the only open bar and it had been a pretty long day. I was insanely embarrassed, and knew there was no redemption for my carelessness. Instead, I apologized and partook in the memorial, reminasing on the amazing legacy Monty Oum left us. It was very humbling being in the shadow a giant and the monument is family, friends and fans dedicated to him. He was, and still is loved by so many.
After that, the rest of the night bounced back. It involved making new friends and drinking heavily, two things I’ve become particularly good at over the years. Day One was over, and I now had Day Two to look forward… or dread, with my current luck.