1) Waking up on a vacation day. Even though I was still waking up relatively early, there was only pleasant things ahead and no thought whatsoever of all the problems and concerns of work.
2) Since I wasn't sure if I had registered in time for the classes that were being held in the morning and they weren't too exciting I decided to just skip them entirely and go to IKEA to get some new furniture. I've been meaning to get a coffee table for several months now and I also knew exactly the one I wanted. I also picked up a new set of shelves, a small desk lamp Renee had asked me to pick up to replace the one her dog broke and a cool decorative globe/lamp for myself. Here's a shot of it loaded into the PT Cruiser.
3) Then, since she worked just around the corner from the Brickworld hotel I went and picked up Stephanie and took her out to lunch. We went to the Chipotle just down the road. We sat at a high table with stools and talked and munched. I told her of my exploits at IKEA and she talked about how glad she was that she was leaving her job and explained the weirdness around her hiring for the new one. Then I dropped her back off at her building and went over to the Brickworld hotel.
4) Even though I had registered in time to officially attend it, I snuck into the back of the "Introduction to Brick Filming" class about half an hour after it started. I didn't learn anything new per se, but it's always nice to have a refresher and there were cool short little animations to accompany everything. The class was taught by David Pagano, who made one of the most incredible brick films ever : Little Guys. At the end he showed what we both consider the greatest brickfilm ever - Robota.
5) Then I drove a couple minutes down the road to the Potawatomi Woods and took a nice walk in the woods. I miss the woods, back in Pennsylvania, I had a little forest in my back yard, another one in the park across the street and who knows how many dotting the surrounding area. Here in Chicago there are trees, but they are planted. It's nowhere near the same thing. While I was walking I realized something that I missed that I had never noticed before. In a forest or near a forest, you can hear the wind before and after you feel it. The rustle of leaves is unmistakable. And yeah, you get that a little with individual trees planted every 20 feet down the street, but not nearly in the same way. It's not as wooshy.
6) After my walk I was feeling sleepy so I rolled down the windows on my PT Cruiser and took a nap in the woods. There was a nice breeze and it was cool in the shade and the seat was comfortable enough.
7) Then I went back to the hotel and signed in. I got the awesome name badge that you can see a picture of above and a bag with schedules, coupons, raffle tickets and free lego stuff! Two minifigs, some custom weapons by Brickarms, custom armor by Brickforge, a keychain by the BrickEngraver.
8) At that time is when the exhibition hall opened for everyone to start bringing in their lego. In the parking lot there were people with trailers full of lego. They wheeled it in on huge racks. Just seeing so much lego and seeing all the set-up slowly happen was cool.
9) Meeting AFOLs. I mean I knew that there were lots of other people out there as crazy as me, but it was nice to meet them and talk about lego (and other things too) and have them show me their creations.
10) The Lego company also had some stuff to set-up. They had brought a whole bunch of their newest sets to display, but they were all still unbuilt and in the boxes. So they recruited people to put them together. Needless to say hey didn't have any trouble finding volunteers. I put together this Agents set. Mostly because I wanted to inspect the new sharks. They are pretty cool. You can fit an entire minifig inside and close the mouth. Of course, they'll never take the place of the classic shark in my heart of hearts (with legs).
11) Then I participated in Dirty Buildster. I got two incredibly crappy bags. I had a few pieces that could not connect to any of the other pieces I had in anyway what-so-ever (e.g. a shutter but no window). I also had pieces in practically every color imaginable. I played around for a little bit before coming up with the idea for my model and decided to finish working on it the next day since we were given until Saturday.
12) I drove home in a bit of a delirium. It was only once I got on the expressway that I realized I hadn't eaten anything since lunch with Stephanie. I just got caught up in all the lego excitement and meeting other AFOLs and forgot about eating. However I knew I had saltine chicken and asparagus waiting for me back home, so I focused my thoughts on lego and ignored my rumbling stomach. And oh how delicious that food was when I got home, I didn't bother to heat it up or use a fork. I just grabbed it cold and scarfed it down. It was wonderful.
13) I talked briefly with Adam and found out he would be returning to the states very soon and that he would be in Chicago in September. Of course, a few days later I found out he was coming to Chicago that week, but that's a story for another post.
14) Deanna sent this to me. If I was in the area I might consider it.
15) My bricklink order arrived. So I was able to finish Purva:
And to make Tiffany Salone:
And Krista Christophe:
16) Then I played Mario Kart online with Alex and one of his roommates. In order to coordinate and to properly taunt each other we kept our cell phones on the whole time since Nintendo did not include any way to communicate in the online portion. It was a lot of fun. I won handily for a while while I was using the wiimote+nunchuck control scheme, but then I switched over to teh Wii Wheel, which is what Alex was using and got my ass handed to me.