Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Overview Of The First Annual Breaking Bad Fest Weekend


Getting Familiar Again With Albuquerque

At the car rental place, I got a tip regarding a BrBa site I hadn't nailed down yet. Yay! So, I tried driving by and surreptitiously taking a photo, but the home owner came out just as I passed, and there is just no way to be surreptitious while driving a bright-red 2014 Dodge Challenger, especially with a homeowner staring right at you, so I bailed out without taking a photo.

Visited the well-known WalMart on Carlisle, where foolish violence often ends up on local TV.

At my Astronomy class's urging, saw "Interstellar" Friday night. Liked it! (Also, apparently lost my ATM card at the Asian Noodle Bar.)

Didn't sleep well.

Friday Organizational Misgivings

Uncertain about when or how people were getting ready for the show, I headed down to the Albuquerque Convention Center. It's important for vendors to set up early, and although I was also a VIP guest, with my desire to sell my book, I was also a kind of quasi-vendor, so I wanted to check on arrangements.

At the Convention Center, no one was ready. A health convention was in full swing and no one from the Fest was to be found. There was no apparent central organization or informational table. Exploring the distant rooms of the behemoth convention center I stumbled across Debby Ball, the Candy Lady herself, Albuquerque's most-important Breaking-Bad vendor, along with two other vendor associates. They were trying to set up, but it was too early. We were all alarmed because the vendor rooms seemed so distant from the Kiva Auditorium (especially seemed so since I traveled the long way around and didn't know about the shorter path). These vendors hadn't received instructions and were frustrated. We tried to move the location closer, maybe in the hallway outside the Kiva Auditorium, but convention center staff said the Fire Marshall had tied their hands in that respect.

Turned out, platform was important. Instructions had been E-Mailed Wednesday night, which I didn't receive because I instead had a privileged table in the Kiva Auditorium and therefore didn't need, and which they did receive but hadn't read, because the Candy Lady rarely reads E-Mails: she's a telephone person and confessed to not reading E-Mails in three months. So, there was a critical lack of communication here.

So, in a fatigued funk, I was gloomy on Friday. My organizational instincts, honed from years of doing community theater, told me there was trouble. Could the vendors succeed with sales when their rooms were so far away from the Kiva Auditorium?

Breaking Bad RV Tour

Frank and Jackie Sandoval and their precious Bounder RV.

Travis Bell and his chrome axe.

BrBa RV broke down at the Car Wash. Thought we needed to build a battery, a la Breaking Bad, but turned out to need a starter solenoid replacement (third replacement that week, so real problem likely lay elsewhere.)

Met Bonny Holder and Fran Padilla at the White House.

Toured the Industrial Laundry and posed next to large washing machines.

(Missed the Go-Karting event and the Trivia Contest at Tractor Wells)

Friday Party 1 - At The Library Bar and Grille

Harrison Janik and the Weiss family, Rodney Rush, Jeremiah Bitsui, Max Arciniega, The One Who Mocks, many others.

Friday Party 2 - Dinner At Gardunos

Miguel Jaramillo and Jennie Rexer, Alex Giannopoulos, Jeremiah Bitsui, many others.

Friday Party 3 - At Marq and Ed's

Marq Smith and Ed Candelaria, Donna McGregor, Relinda Anderson, Kirika Yashida, many others.

Setting Up At The Kiva Auditorium On Saturday

Met Jeremiah Bitsui last night, and cut myself in a nasty way on the neck while shaving this morning.... ‪#‎thingsthatseemlikecoincidencesbutarent

Moncada Brothers walked by, but they were looking away, no doubt because my stare is just too strong.

Afternoon Panel And Costume Contest

Kelly Tow of Breaking Bad Fun Facts poses a question about the reasons Walter White started wearing a hat to the afternoon panel discussion at the First Annual Breaking Bad Fest.

I asked Assistant Locations Manager Alex Giannopoulos about how Breaking Bad obtained rights to film at Santa Ana and received the most-amusing response of the day.

Lisa Masters and her awesome third place winning costume of Albuquerque Breaking Bad filming locations!

Kelly Tow and her first-place costume.

Debby Ball, the Candy Lady, stopped by. I asked apprehensively how sales were going. "We're doing OK," she said. SUCCESS!!!! Turns out, the 200-or-so participants were able to locate the vendors with no problem (convention center actually provided signage) and people were more-than-ready to support the merchants with sales. Our previous apprehensions had been overblown.

Crickets, But Then Moncada Brothers Bring Action to the Southwest Corner

Pretty damn quiet over where I was with the Heisenhoneys until the Moncada Brothers came over to sign autographs.

Tour 1 With Dan and Michael

Casa Tranquila. Passed by Mike's House and The Grove.

Evening Panel

Fun times.

Casa Escencia Party

Upscale hacienda makes for a nice party location: a traditional Mexican upscale ultra-lounge (if that's even a concept) at the Hotel Albuquerque where the Breaking Bad wrap party had been held.

Tour 2 With Dan and Michael

At the Breaking Bad Fest, it was a pleasure to show off Albuquerque to fans Daniel Crocker (from the UK) and Michael van Voorst (from the Netherlands) - in particular, BrBa sites like Vamanos Pest, the Hospital, and Gus Fring's house. Because we didn't have much spare time during the Fest, this activity was late at night.

One unforgettable moment was driving west on Indian School, just west of Carlisle, about 2 a.m. We spotted a canine loping down the street. It wasn't until we drew closer that we realized it was a Coyote - a wild dog smack in the middle of town! All we needed was a Roadrunner!

Sunday Lunch With Marra And Ken

Marra and Ken were pleased. They handed me a book to read, written by one of their teenage nieces. Horse-oriented. Looking forward to that!

Netflix Interviews

Netflix flew into town and hastily lined up interviews for a locations documentary they are doing. They said something about the series of shows being available via streaming, and covers other cities and TV series too (e.g., Atlanta for Walking Dead, Albuquerque for Breaking Bad, etc.)

Joanne Quintana and Fran Padilla Interview

Travis Bell and fiancée Netflix interview

Maine couple interview

Marc Valdez interview

Traffic Tie-up

I received the wrong bundle of candy from the Candy Lady, so I had to return before heading to the airport for the flight home.

Along with many, many others trapped in the world's worst traffic jam when they closed Interstate 40, I thought uncharitable thoughts. Schedule got totally jeopardized.


Flight To Phoenix and Sacramento

Got the last seat to Sacramento, next to an active baby.

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