As usual, we got on the road a good hour after we originally planned. And then we realized we forgot things when we got to the end of the street and had to do the obligatory road trip back-track.
The drive to Newark from Pittsburgh was plain, uneventful. Chooch slept for a lot of it and I dozed off and on a lot too because I think my mania is finally catching up with me and I am so goddamn tired.
I had one weird Sheetz restroom encounter with an older woman, an ahjumma if you will, who was standing in line in front of me and she said, “You know, I travel A LOT for work and rarely see lines in the Sheetz restrooms” which is weird because I was thinking the same thing! Only, I didn’t feel it was necessary to initiate small talk over it.
Then she let a woman with her small (BAREFOOT) son go ahead of her and turned to me and said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that–as I get older, the more I leak!” And then she started throwing her body around, like her laughter was a poltergeist pummeling her in the gut, and hit her head off the hand dryer.
IT WAS SO WEIRD.
And then I realized I didn’t even really have to pee but I had already stood in line for 5 minutes and was locked in.
We ate lunch in Danville, PA at a Friendly’s we ate at once with the Handa’s after an event at Knoebel’s Amusement Park. I didn’t want to eat lunch at all because it was encroaching on our ETA – I needed to get to the Prudential Center before 5pm so we could pre-register for KCON. I watched a lot of YouTubers bitch about past KCONs and the discord that went along with the registering process and if there is one thing I don’t need right now it’s MORE STRESS.
But we needed to eat, so we stopped at Friendly’s and I got all Token Nutritionist at our table because the menu had the calorie count of every single item and I was like WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT?!?! Turns out the grilled cheese and tomato sauce was actually the best option which worked out perfectly considering I’m a vegetarian and calorie-count aside, my options were slim, people.
I also spent a lot of time bitching about how I didn’t like the looks of those Friendly’s guys on the wall (see above photo) and went as far as labeling them as SHARKS which is weird because there was some seasonal drink on the menu that had gummy sharks in it. Fuck you and your unnecessary calories, Friendly’s.
Meanwhile, Chooch and I played some trivia on the game thingie that every table comes with. Henry was all, “THAT COSTS MONEY” and we were all, “NO IT DOESNT, TIGHTWAD.”
And then when we got our bill, Henry was like, “LOOK AT THIS LAST ITEM” and it was a whole whopping $1.99 for those priceless 5 minutes that chooch and I were harmoniously working together to win at trivia.
Get over it, Henry!
We made it to Newark around 4:15 and got our wristbands and scratch offs to see if we were able to get any fan engagements. (The higher-tiered tickets came with a guarantee for one high-touch experience with one of the idol groups, and one guarentee to be in the audience for a fan engagement with one of the groups. The rest of us peions just got a “chance” for a fan engagement.)
Up10tion is one of the only groups there this weekend that I know pretty much nothing about BUT I WILL TAKE IT. Their fan engagement is Saturday at 11 and I’m excited to witness the awkwardness of it all!
Chooch and I immediately put our wristbands on even though they’re not needed until tomorrow but Henry was too cool for that. Of course Chooch put his on too tight and has been complaining about it ever since.
We got to see a bunch of the booths being set up and I got this giant surge of giddiness. I am going to do ALL THE KOREAN THINGS this weekend.
On the way to the hotel, Chooch’s neighbor friend Markie called him to see if he could come out and play. Chooch kept telling him he was in NJ and it just wasn’t clicking. When Chooch needs to be firm with him, he calls him Mark.
“Mark, listen to me. We’re not playing today. We’re not playing tomorrow. Or Saturday either. BECAUSE IM IN NJ! I keep telling you that!” He was so mad and frustrated!
The he hung up and said “he’ll be knocking on our door in an hour.”
Chooch also talked to two of his other friends after that – he’s like a teenage girl in the 90s. Just sits in the backseat with his leg crossed, talking on the phone and looking out the window.
My favorite was when he was explaining to one of them why he was in NJ: “I don’t know, some convention for my mom” he mumbled.
We checked into our hotel around 5:30 and Chooch and I went swimming while Henry supervised and by that I mean he sat on a lawn chair and looked at his phone/nodded off.
Henry splurged and got us a hotel that didn’t have cigarette burns in the shower curtains and questionable stains on the sheets. Chooch and I were acting out our own episode of Rags to Riches and Henry was like, “That’s enough.”
Then we went to Killer Vegan for dinner! I had the Gunslinger – a homemade veggie burger with BBQ seitan on top. It was good but not $11.50 worth of good. And my side of Brussels sprouts was just OK.
Chooch had a pizza burger with vegan mozzarella and Henry had vegan gumbo.
Now you know what we ate for dinner because that’s the kind of blogger I am. ALL MINUTIA ALL THE TIME.
MY BURGER ALSO HAD ONIONS!
(On the real tho: Chooch got fries and they were the mystical kinds that I have gone through life talking about but rarely eating. They were The Good Kinds. The kinds that are perfectly crisp without being dry or hard, and they just melt into a beautiful pile of greasy potato ash on your tongue. God help me.)
Came home and pissed around in the fitness center for some amount of time and then Chooch and I “explored” the hotel (some Wyndham business hotel) because they was always my favorite thing to do as a kid and it’s even better when you have a partner. We ran up and down so many stairwells and did the whole “look at the ceiling and whistle” every time we passed some asshole in a suit. My favorite part was when we turned a corner on the third floor and saw some tall man slowly vacuuming the floor with his back toward us.
“What if he’s dead?” Chooch tersely whispered.
“OMG I hope he is!” I whispered back.
He wasn’t. :(
Then we walked around outside in the dark and eventually came back to our fourth floor room, banged on the door, and got yelled at by Henry because “people are trying to sleep.”