Brendon's E3 journal: #1, the journey

E3PixAh, E3. The magical time of the year when LA (or Santa Monica, this year) is almost as pale as Anchorage. Tonight the Microsoft press conference kicks off GamerNode’s on-site E3 reporting. Along with updates, hands-on impressions, and interviews, I’ll also be providing a few journal entries (or diary, whatever) on my E3 voyage.

Right now, it’s roughly 5 PM and I’m sitting in a hotel room with a wonderful view of the Los Angeles area I grew up near, and a tiny swimming pool which some birds have been calling home for a few minutes now. This comes after hours of time spent at PDX, then LAX, then the car rental agency (Advantage! We cost less because our shuttles at the airport only pick you up if we decide to!).

I’ve flown out of Portland many times now, so the journey there is nothing new; it’s nice and quick to get through security when 1/3 of the travelers wear sandals and have no jewelry. The flight left around 9:30 AM, which meant I had to wake up at 6-the earliest I’ve woken up since my last journey to Cali as a guest of 1C’s "One Night in Moscow" press event.

The flight out was the typical flight; I spent time playing PSP and reading this new Superman book I got the other day. (So far, nothing has happened-then again, I’m on page 12.) The guy next to me made things difficult by constantly falling asleep, then asking me what time it was. For starters, I don’t wear a watch and you can’t turn phones on in-flight. Even after three times he didn’t pick up on that, though. Maybe he thought I journeyed onto the wing, parachuted down into whatever city we were over, bought a watch, and by combination of rope, helicopter, and sheer willpower, climbed my way back to the plane. After seeing that the pilot was really a bear in disguise, I fought the pilot, won, saved the passengers from a grizzly death, then resumed playing Loco Roco just in time to provide him an accurate description of the sun’s relative position to earth.

Landing at LAX was as hellish as I remembered it, bear pilot or not. The baggage claim took about 20 minutes to start up, and another 15 for my case to fall down, bash against the side, and land directly on top of someone’s laptop bag (why didn’t they carry it on?). Afterwards, I made it to Rental Car Island just in time to see the Advantage bus arrive, and hop in line. Directly behind me, a group of 3 teenage girls lined up. When it came time for me and the two guys in front of me to get on, the driver motioned us aside, said there were only three seats left, and let the girls get on so they could stay together as we weren’t in a group. "Don’t worry," he reassured us. "The next one come by in five minute!" One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six… Nearly thirty minutes later, the next Advantage shuttle came by; it almost passed us up, as the driver didn’t see us waving. We hopped on at a red light, and were told "You get on the bus back there," to which we replied, "We wanted to."

On the bright side, they were out of the cheapest car class, so I got upgraded to a nice mini SUV. Combined with a code I got to use for the rental, it was a pretty good deal. Not worth the wait in the hot under-freeway-but-in-the-sun weather, though.

Getting to the hotel was easy, I thought. I made it there, then found out it was the OTHER hotel in the city with the exact same name, then made it there first try. Checked in, walked down the street to Carls Jr. to grab a late lunch, got some frozen dinners and breakfast foods at Ralphs, and locked myself up. In about 10 minutes I’m going to cook something to eat and watch whatever’s on TV, then at 7ish I head off for the big Microsoft conference. Tomorrow is a very packed day, so expect a lot of updates (although they may or may not come regularly-depends on how many PCs they have for journalists this year). I will get a lot of hands-on time with some games, some info at a few conferences, and then a big chunk of time (5 hours!) playing Age of Conan (sorry, Bethesda-I couldn’t make both parties, and they offer Conan while you offer possibly hot waitresses).

In the meantime, stay tuned to GN for more E3 coverage, including updates and whatever Frank and the writers can get their hands on. If you’ll excuse me, I need to heat up my chicken tenders and mashed potatoes.


Venture, dear reader, to Entry #2, "The Microsoft Conference!" >

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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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