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One man returns to GDC early. Details meaningless existence.

Jim McGinley, Blogger

March 9, 2010

5 Min Read

Memories of GDC 2010

Monday   Tuesday 1.1   Tuesday 1.2


Flight
Saturday evening in Toronto, Em packing madly.
Flight departs Sunday 7am, means airport 5am (the terrorists won).
Taxi arrives 4am, sleeping pointless.
Driver assures meter will beat flat fare.

Driver correct. Extra tip offsets savings.
It's an Air Canada flight, operated by United Air.
Which line? We lug gage to Air Canada,
who explain we want United Air.

While portaging, collide with old friend.
His baby is 5 years old.
Unable to account for last 3 years.

Is that Sid Meier?
Certainly looks like the GDC 2010 photo.
Already has boarding pass, but luggage forces him to wait with us chumps.
For the first time, regret not playing Civilization.

"It's $25 per checked suitcase. That one is so small, just carry it on for free!"
We're concerned it won't fit in the overhead.
She glances left and right, then checks our pittance at no cost.
Happy, I pay $25 in cash for the remaining bag...
forgetting that until today, 2 checked bags were always included.

Sid Meier was born in Sarnia (my hometown), so that might be him.
Recent appearence in local Observer put GDC on my parent's map.
Possibly indebted to this yellow collared shirt, blue jean & sneakers wearing man.

Enroute to U.S. customs, pass a family madly downing bottles of juice (curse you Osama).
Another man is smashing and jamming his bag into a tiny wireframe,
eventually proving the carry-on naysayers wrong.

"It's a pen."
With that, we clear U.S. customs.
Fall asleep. Shaken awake to board flight.
Wife unimpressed with last minute washroom deke.

Watched perfect plane movie "Up in the Air".
Discomforted when attendant opened washroom door for me.
Spotted different passenger wearing yellow collared shirt and blue jeans.
Thankful screaming child 2 rows ahead.

Arrive 9am SanFran time.
Sid & I wait for BART together.
Me: "Excuse me, are you going to the GDC?"
Sid: "No... I'm going to another conference... what's the GDC?"
Me: "The Game Developer's Conference."
Man formerly known as Sid: "That sounds like fun!"



Food
Starving, we leave suitcases at hotel and devour lunch at The King of Thai.
Same GDC 2009 location, same GDC 2009 food, but new name (can't remember).
BBQ duck + tomato + shallots mixed with rice, wonton soup + bonus flat noodles,
deep fried tofu stuffed with pork. So... very... full.

Returning to hotel, spot Cold Stone Creamery.
Not hungry, I order chocolate strawberry mixed with nestle crunch and blueberries.
I simply can't eat another bite. It tastes heavenly.
Pass out on hotel bed.

Wake groggily at 6pm. Head hot and racing, body turgid.
Friends invite us to dinner. Not hungry whatsoever, body still eating. Accept.
Tropisueno. Crispy chips, corn tortillas and "Albondigas Guisadas" worth ability to walk.
Pass on dessert.

We head out for drinks.
Homeless man follows us while singing a song.
After awhile, someone gives him some change.
Encouraged, he launches a second single (accompanied by chest thumping).
Ackward. Scary. Undeniable rhythm.

Underneath hanging meat, enjoy cranberry juice at Kuleto's.
Someone orders Fat Tire beer and claims to enjoy it.
Offered a piece of Big Red gum.
Long forgotten jingle instantly returns, lodging deep within cranium.
Homeless singer spots us leaving "Hey, it's you guys!"

Walk by elderly women begging. Her face is lopsided.
She is completely silent, and has a hand puppet.

Rumours of a Torontonian outpost at Uncle Vito's prove true.
Conversation devolves into talk of an infamous Toronto "Ten Dollar Steak and Face Dance".
What's left for GDC to teach?
My Orangina arrives in a can.

Die-hards leave for Jillian's. Despite "You SUCK!" and "I HATE YOU!", Em & I opt for sleep.
Purchase $20.00 of emergency junk food from Wal Green's including "popchips" -
never fried, never baked. America is a wonderous place.



A Few Showers
It's monday morning and we finally board the famous cable car.
The car ahead of us breaks down causing a 20 minute delay.
5 minutes later, it breaks down again.
It got cloudy, then cold and finally began raining.
It was fucking amazing.

I could tell you about the miles of idyllic parks leading to the Golden Gate Bridge,
great food at Siam Lotus,
Rob Sato's demented artwork at Giant Robot,
amazing hats at Kid Robot,
and the fantastic transit system that made it all possible,
but that might diminish the cable car ride.

Incredibly strong magnet pegs at the Container Store?
Mega quick & utterly painless GDC 2010 pre-registration?
Eating and laughing with old friends at Mel's Drive-In?
All completely hollow and meaningless.

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