In which our hero chats with a Swede and an Irishman.
About this creation
As always, captions refer to the pictures above them.
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It begins, as all great things do, before sunrise. A 4 a.m. flight out of Oakland; my attitude is best described as "surly".
On the first flight, I sit between an old timer who looked like Richard Dreyfuss and a guy who looked like he'd kill me if I fell asleep. Then a quick layover in Denver, which I hear is lovely.
Another flight between a gay guy who was clearly afraid of flying and a woman named "Eileeny" and I arrive at O'Hare, which is one of the nicest airports I've set foot in.
One of the first things I do at the hotel is meet up with some old and new faces.
A nice little group shot of Ley Ward, Sir Nadroj, Nannan Z. and Tyler "Legohaulic" Clites. Calm, serene. You know what this picture needs? Action. And Kyle Vrieze doing a Captain Morgan pose. AndÖ go:
Folks arrive throughout the day; folks like Lee Jones, seen above in Clandestine Picture #1. He's got a very interesting way of saying goodbye and I'll never wash this cheek again.
Lee's minifig army has grown from vast to immense, totaling a sexy 6,200. For the whole convention, I'm tempted to sweep them all off the table with one swing of the arm.
Nannan Z. and Legohaulic setting up a project so incredible it makes me want to kiss the end of a shotgun, which I tell them, and they laugh knowingly.
Clandestine picture #2 of Dave Sterling, setting up the ToT-LUG layout, which became unofficial home base and I'm sure he and Stacy just BARELY tolerated it.
Above, the finished product.
Hey, look, I did those. The fallen WarholBot kept getting set upright, but I think it's cuter if one fell down, especially if you imagine him squeaking, "I fell."
Eventually I just put the green one on top of him, to keep him down.
...and Phipson's Phree-phor-all. Side-by-side, just like in my dreams.
Brian Williams' Indiana Jones scenes were some of my favorites at the con.
WIP of the award-winning Jurassic Park display. Goldblum quotes spring to mind for the next five minutes.
The Monster Chess layout.
I figured it was Kevin Kline, but I like Kevin Kline. I see him in tortillas.
Some of Arthur Gugick's great microscale landmarks.
Close-up of the Jimi Hendrix mosaic. Also Gugick's.
Arnie and Reese.
The Xandegar's corner, in all it's glory.
Matt De Lanoy's Futurama layout. Excellent work.
George Kemper's Matrix collaboration featuring the talents of Chris Phipson, Mark Kelso, the Xandegars, Heath Flor, Heather LEGOgirl, and himself (forgive me if I'm forgetting anyone).
The Vic Viper fly-in, honoring the fallen Nnenn.
I can and WILL quote that movie until you beg me to stop.
Dave Kaleta's awe-inspiring Wayne Manor/Batcave, which won Best Mega Creation, as opposed to Best Meta Creation, which was just a LEGO brick on the carpet. Kaleta's piece another thing I'm tempted to push onto the floor, just to see what kind of SMASH it would make. But I refrained. Kaleta, if you ever dispose of this via gravity, film it and post it.
David Tennant rules.
During opening ceremonies, I take a seat in the back with a few other stragglers.
I also take a picture of the nice sunset outside, because I was bored.
Clandestine Picture #3 of Sir Nadroj (right) and his ever-suffering twin Sir Xela. At first glance, Nadroj may be all smiles and cardigans, but be warned, he has a dark side. And that dark side begins with the letter "C".
While waiting to head out to the LEGO store for cheap swag, I snap a picture of the lobby ceiling. Fascinating. It's these profound details that make me famous.
And then we're there.
For the FIRST time since I've been going to these conventions, I don't get shafted, and I find myself near the front of the line. Life is beautiful. The haul: a Grand Emporium for half off.
Clandestine Picture #4 of Ley Ward, the LEGO community's Yoda with the best beard outside ZZ Top.
Clandestine Picture #5 of Keith Goldman, THE Keith Goldman, carrying Goldman's sacks. Totally cool, totally not full of himself. Look, I was in a room with Keith Goldman.
Clandestine Picture #6 of Abner Finley (left), Dennis Price (on floor), Mark Kelso (center, from behind), and Stacy Sterling (right). Look at all the fame and talent in this convention. What am I doing here?
Back at the hotel; here's a working roller coaster, yet another thing I want to destroy for the joy of it.
Closing time; everybody goes to bed.
Everyone goes to sleep except a few choice characters and we have the room to ourselves. And we totally donít sit around and drink beer. Totally. What a silly thought.
The next day: public day. Between 5,000 and 10,000 people turn up.
The wild west/cowboys and aliens layout.
Lee Jones' public-enemy-number-one-banned-in-the-USA-black-Christmas MOC, which, like Cuban cigars and Brazilian fart porn, you just can't get in the States.
Lee's Matrix dio; look at all the Smiths and suit torsos. Beauty.
A new, big honking Imperial Shuttle next to a Googol-Emporium.
Clandestine Picture #7 of me holding down the fort at the Tot-LUG layout. I got a surprising amount of flak for going shoeless and sometimes barefoot during the convention. Itís comfy; try it and youíll see. Go Badgers!
Legohaulic's LEGO tie, which is a running theme throughout Brickworlds.
Beautiful micro hedge maze.
Not only was there an amazing AirBus on display...
...but it's also a neat cross-section.
Ryan Rubino's "Predator and Prey" is one of my all-time favorite MOCs. That display at the Natural History Museum, though, is one of my only true fears. Giant squid creep me out. Really creep me out.
In a break from the action, I take a quick picture of sunset over the parking lot. Pretty pretty.
Then, an auction.
The last lot was an old Forestmen set that went for something like $650, which is just obscene.
Next, the rooms go dark for the World of Lights display. Toes are stepped on; Alexs are scared to death by sudden appearances of Nadrojs.
Nannan Z. and Legohaulic's "Containment," at night.
Dave Kaleta's Wayne Manor/Batcave at night.
The next day, the last day. The maid's trash bags are filled with empty LEGO boxes.
Clandestine Picture #8 of Heather LEGOgirl, who is just barely allowing me to post a picture of her. Camera shy as Nessie, that one.
Then: tear down. Some people (like George Kemper and myself) take the destructive route; others (like everyone else) carefully pack their projects away. Where's the fun in that?
See? All that remains of Boo's Door, the Rock'em Sock'em Robots, and the ArtBots. They will be missed.
Dave Sterling packing away the Tot-LUG layout.
Clandestine Picture #9 of Dave Kaleta, carefully putting away Wayne Manor, one level at a time. He looks like someone else I know; I couldn't figure it out for the whole con.
The boxed-up "Containment".
And then there's this. Since BrickCon I've made a habit of going around asking for autographs, but with a twist: I ask people to sign as somebody else. Another builder, another LEGO associate. Forge their signature. Pretty much everyone was a good sport about it, and now I have a great souvenir to hang on my wall.
The key (forged names on the left, the true signers on the right):
"Shannon Young" = Lee Jones
"Tormud Askildsen" = Keith Goldman
"Ryan Rubino" = Sir Nadroj
"Sean Kenney" = Dave Xandegar
"Alex Eylar" = Mark Kelso
"Dennis Price" = Dave Kaleta
"Tyler Clites" = Nannan Z.
"Steve Hassenplug" = Joe Meno
"Dave Kaleta" = Anthony Dunne
"Steve Witt" = Dave Sterling
"Chris Phipson" = Stacy Sterling
"Keith Goldman" = Chris Edwards
"Heather LEGOgirl" = Dennis Price
"Josh Morris" = CopMike
"Nannan" = Tyler "Legohaulic" Clites
"Lee Jones" = Chris Phipson
"Jordan Schwartz" = Heather LEGOgirl
"Mark Kelso" = George Kemper
"David Sterling" = Bill Toenjes
"Mark Stafford" = Ley Ward
There are a few notable exceptions here of people I wanted to get to sign but didn't manage to. But: there's always next year.
Until then: thanks for the memories, and peace out.
WOW! Great pictures, thanks. I'm especially happy to see the Matrix scenes I had wanted to see....
I like it
June 25, 2010
Glad you could make it out here for the madness once again. It just wouldn't be Brickworld without some good West Coast representation. I also have to give you an IMMENSE THANK YOU for helping me get the ToT-LUG layout setup while Stacy went off to organize her female LEGO militia. Without you...I honestly don't think we would have ever got the layout completely set up. I totally owe you when we come out to Seattle for BrickCon.
By the way, thank you and Ms. Heather for all the time you spent helping us with the layout. Not only did you save us pulling a few all-nighters, but you also added some excellent scenes with the minifigs that kept me giggling each time I looked at the layout. I'm so glad that you put up with us and our shenanigans.
P.S. You are now officially a member of ToT-LUG (whether you want to be or not, muwahahah).
You're like the butler in Mr. Deeds...sneaky, sneaky! Outstanding pics, my friend. Getting there from the West coast can't be cheap or easy (unlike Dr. Jones), but I'm so glad you were able to join the madness once again.
Finally! All the great coverage and only YOU managed to capture Mark's best side. I am 100% with you on Rubino's 'Predator and Prey' MOC being an all-time favorite. Oh, is it true that if you look Goldman directly in the eyes he steals your will to build? It was a rumor I heard...Great pics and write up.~H
Nice report Alex. Excellent use of the candid shots to give the home viewer the fly on the wall perspective. Sorry now I didn't seek you out and chat. There were so many attendees I must have missed quite a few.
I like it
June 24, 2010
Ooooh... that looks like a heck of a lot funner to smash it... Hmmm... I think I'll go smash my new LEGO Polizia (Built into convertable) now. Thanks for the idea.
Nice coverage Alex! It's great to see all the different perspectives of the people who post the after action reports. Really gives a great sense of all the goings on. But for those that didn't make it let me tell you... there's NOTHING like being there! See you all next year! ~ Chris.
If I ever plan to knock it down, you're invited to take the first push! I actually woke up in the middle of the first night afraid that it had fallen down and couldn't get back to sleep. I called Chris first thing in the morning to see if it was still together. It was great to meet you and see your stuff in person, especially the Mondrian-bot and Magritte-bot.