You think the Director's report was long? Get ready for this, which has very little to do with the party or the show. It's just my way of venting.
"Things I Learned at ECVS"
Our plane leaves at 12:55 PM. A quick hour's flight, an hour and a half drive (OK, it sounds silly, but it was *real* cheap), and we'll be there. It's OK that we didn't register because they'll have on-site registration.
-Thing learned #1:
Always check on your flight right before you leave the house.
We get to the airport an hour before the flight and the baggage checker tells us that we "might want to speak to the people inside".
Our flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems. I figure I'd rather be late than finding out first hand what JFK Jr. went through, so not too much of a problem.
We get on the next flight out (four hours later), and rebook our return flight to give us back the four hours we lost on the cancellation.
-Thing learned #2:
Trust the Car Agency to get you there no matter what.
We land and go to the Hertz desk. "Oh, your reservation was cancelled" (Spacewoman had called and told them we'd be late). We showed them our confirmation number and the nice lady upgraded us from an early 90's Honda to a '99 Grand Marquis (here I'll put in the plug for the good people at Mercury; the Grand Marquis is a *sweet* ride (hint, hint, Santa <g>).
We asked which was the best way, even though I had brought directions from mapquest.com. The Hertz lady told us a route that was nothing like the ones I had printed up. Do I listen to a local, or to a well respected internet map provider? Spacewoman and I decided to follow the Hertz lady's directions, and 20 minutes later I'm screaming about how we were lost, going 15 mph through downtown inner city Trenton, and here it is 25 minutes before 7:00.
After stressing for a little bit, and some reassurances from a truck stop attendant, the road finally became more rural, we had plenty of room between cars to "relax" :-), and it became apparent we were going in the right direction. We pulled into the Showboat at 8:30.
After giving the car to the valet, Spacewoman and I strolled up to the front desk.
-Thing learned #3:
Call and make sure *all* reservations are held for you if your flight's cancelled.
"Oh, your reservation's been cancelled".
Going through the rigamarole again, we straightened out the latest fuck-up. Then, a happy surprise:
"OK, you're all set. The room's been comped."
WooHoo! Free room! Finally we're having some luck.
"Oops, my mistake, you still have to pay."
Well, at least thanks to the good folks at the Showboat and the kind people in RAME, we got a good rate, and the room turned out to be really great (Thanks again to Mr. Ashbrook, his assistant (whom I spoke to...Mr. Ashbrook was out when I called), N. Smith, and Luc Wylder!).
As I passed the slot machines on our way to the room, I put a quarter in one that looked promising. It paid back 2 quarters. A slow start, but I was already showing a profit :-)
We got up to our room around 9:00 or so, got cleaned up and changed, "relaxed" a little more, and headed over to Suite 929 around 9:30.
We found the room (kinda hard to miss what with all the singing and carrying on <g>), waited for everyone to finish singing "Happy Birthday" to N. Smith, and rang the bell.
A pretty girl (Niki Lae) opened the door and let us in. We didn't get three feet in when Spacewoman yelled to me "Shayla's here!" (Shayla did a signing at my store last year and we've been friends with her and her husband ever since). Spacewoman made a bee-line to fondle Shayla, and I said hi to her husband and then found Mike South. I introduced myself, talked to him for a minute or two and grabbed a soda.
-Thing learned #4:
The ninth floor means the NINTH floor.
Spacewoman and I went outside to the patio so she could smoke a butt and check out the view. A beautiful view, from my vantage point anyways...I'm terrified of heights, and stayed flat up against the wall. I got to introduce myself to the Director, which was cool to put a face on one of the men in control of my free speech <BG>. The only problem was, I had to reach over the wall and back around to shake his hand, and got a nice view straight down. I spent the rest of the party shaking. (Yeah, I'm a pussy....fuck you <g>)
We went back in and said our goodbyes to Shayla and her husband, and made a date to go to lunch with them during ECVS the next day. Mike South told us he could get us badges, so we didn't even have to pay to get in the next day. A rough day was turning into a fairly pleasant evening.
We didn't stick around too much longer, as the party was already winding down when we got there. BTW, Spacewoman has the distinction of being the only person to eat one of the rice cakes. According to her,it was pretty good <g>. We were sad to have missed Hedgehog and Taylor Hayes, but we were tired. On our way out, I got to meet Peter Van Aarle, who I thought looked like the lead singer from Men at Work, but that's just me.
We went and grabbed a bite to eat and play the slots some more, then went to bed, tired from a busy day and ready for a good day Wednesday.
-Thing learned #5:
You gamble, you lose.
After breakfast, Spacewoman and I figured it would be nice to take one of the rickshaw rides on the Boardwalk to the Convention Center. $10.00 later, the man who spoke no known language dropped us off. At the *Old* Convention Center. We hadn't realized there are two Convention Centers in Atlantic City, and went to the wrong one. There were shuttles from the casino next door, however, so we made it there by 10:00.
We waited outside the convention room for Mike South, and by 10:30 we started to worry that he was already inside. Spacewoman found a couple of sluttily dressed women and asked them if they could find him for us. They looked a bit confused, so we decided to find more "adult section attendees" and send them on a "South-Hunt".
Just then, a large pair of breasts walked by. Three minutes later, Sana Fey followed. :-) I asked her if she could locate Mike for us, and she said she would. The next person I saw and recognized was Den, from cavr.com. I had seen him at the party the night before, and hit him up to join in on the South Hunt once he got inside.
While we were talking to Den, a large posse came up the escalator. We recognized Ginger Lynn, Stacy Valentine, Alex Taylor, Raylene, and a couple others that I can't remember. What I do remember is that Ginger Lynn looked fantastic for a 26 year old, never mind a 36 year old.
At 11:00, the opened the doors for the attendees, and we had our hunters inside. Who should come up the escalator right then but the hunted himself, Mike South. He had one extra pass on him, and I followed him in to find one for Spacewoman.
Mike and I approached a table and he talked with a guy named Dom Vaccaro. When Mike asked to borrow his badge, the guy said "Sure, just make sure I get it back" (Those of you who see the ending coming, please don't ruin it for the rest <g>).
I thanked Mr. Vaccaro, and ran out to get Spacewoman. On the way, I ran into Shayla and Nina Hartley walking in, and said a quick hello. I got to the lobby, gave Spacewoman the badge, told her she didn't look like a "Dom", and we headed in.
The men at the entrance to the adult section hadn't given me a second look on the way in the first time, so I expected no trouble this time around either. Apparently, the security guys didn't think Spacewoman looked like a "Dom" either, and stopped her cold on the way in.
"What's your name?"
"Nice try, come with us." The guy didn't even give her a chance. He grabbed her arm, took the badge off her neck for her, and escorted her back to the lobby. I followed her out and we decided to register and pay, mainly so I could get autographs for my store, but also to get to stare at Shayla over a nice looong lunch :-).
Spacewoman filled out the necessary forms, we brought them up to the cashier, and were promptly turned away. Seems you need to have a business card to get in, and we neglected to bring one. Never mind the fact that the sweatshirt I was wearing had my store's logo on it, I had four or five membership cards in my wallet, and I also had a pay stub. They wanted a business card, and weren't budging.
I left Spacewoman out in the lobby and went to tell Shayla the bad news. While waiting in line for her, I got Rebecca Lords' autograph for the store. She looked fabulous, and you haven't lived until you've heard a gorgeous French woman, in the thickest of accents say, "To Conquest Video?" Go ahead...say it yourself like a French woman would. I melted :-) I also ogled Bunny Luv , who was dressed in a Catholic School Girls uniform, for quite a bit. She was busy posing for some magazine, so I didn't get an autograph from her :-(
I told Shayla the news, and she volunteered to give Spacewoman her badge. Nina Hartley did as well (as did Gigi Appleton from General Video Mid-America...thanks ladies!). The security goons had it out for Spacewoman, however, and I didn't want to risk anyone else's badge.
Shayla told me to give her a couple more minutes and she'd come out and say goodbye to both of us. I used the extra time to find Mike South and thank him for all he did for us, and give him a shirt from my store. I waited in a line for Houston, but it was waaay too long, and she was chatting it up and I had very little time. I also tried to get Jade Marcela's signature, but she was only selling videos, no slicks or photos (way to market yourself, baby....thanks a lot).
While waiting for Shayla to finish up with her fans, Sabrina Johnson walked by, looking much like a porcelain doll. Jade Marcela walked by me as well, along with her very, very, very large boyfriend. This guy should be a tackle in the NFL. Ona Zee showed up at the General Video booth, and looked about 25, as did Nina Hartley. Either these women were in great light the whole time I saw them, or there's something good in the water in Atlantic City.
Shayla came out to the lobby to chat with us for a bit, we said our goodbyes, hugged and kissed, promised phone calls, and we hopped a cab back to the hotel.
-Thing learned #6:
No matter how much the vacation sucked or how short it was, it sure beats workin'!
We had a little time to kill before hitting the road, so we each got $10 in quarters for the slots. In about 5 minutes, I was down to my last 50 cents. I made a comment about how much I hate gambling, put the 2 quarters in and pulled the handle.
Then Spacewoman won.
Then I won again.
In the past 18 hours, we had collectively lost almost $100 in the casino. After we counted our winnings from this slot session, we had lost a total of $10 the whole trip. Not bad.
We had an uneventful ride back to the airport, and had a great flight home which ended with the beautiful lights of Boston's skyline welcoming us home, exactly 26 1/2 hours after we had left.
Once more, thanks to all those who made our first ECVS fun and educational.
Mike South (for going *way* above and beyond the call...much appreciated,
And finally, big thanks to Spacewoman for not slapping me when I ogled outside the show, and for putting up with my little "stress-outs".
See everyone next year!!