Today was "Armageddon" Day, and if you weren't there, you were the five people in Auckland who weren't. Well, okay - I exaggerate but there sure where a lot of people there. The queue stretched from the doors of the Aotea Centre, out to Queen Street then down to Wellesley Street threatening to curl around the corner and up that street. It moved relatively smartly considering the inefficiency at the ticket tils and the inability for one person to buy a bunch of tickets so if you wanted a ticket you had to buy it yourself not get a mate to stand in line while you ate sweet and sour pork with Mike in the Atrium food hall hoping they'e txt you when they'd purchased the tickets. ahem. anyway (the noodles were good).

I expected more people dressed in Star Trek and LOTRs outfits etc. I only saw one guy who looked like he might've been dressed up but unfortunately he was only in his ordinary, everyday, shiny black vinyl pants. [btw.. this guy seemed to be everywhere I looked all day.. stalker goth? or 50 of them planted throughout the area?] So, it's packed. Not just crowded but PACKED. Trickles of people single filing one way or the other. You get into the stream you move slowly and you slip out of the stream at a booth you want to see. Getting back into the stream is a lot like joining jump rope.. its all timing. I bashed into *so* many people today. [at one point while in the queue I stepped forward a tad too much and suddenly looked up to see I was with a different group of people AND standing on some guy's foot. I apologised and took a big step back to my own group]

So, what was great about Armageddon? [With all that I saw I also missed *so* much stuff]. Absolute highlight for me was the 30 minute presentation by two of the original designers from Weta Workshop. Their presentation followed the development of the Uruk Kai, or the boss orcs for Lord of the Rings: Fellowship and Two Towers (so far) .. they showed the development from early sketches, to sculptures, to the prosthetics and makeup artists. The New Zealand actor who was the scary boss-orc dude was there,[I can't remember his name, sorry] he talked us through a video made of his makeup session prior to any day of filming. The only part of his body that wasn't glued was his tongue - 11 hours and three people glued and painted him into his orc body/face. The presentation was casual and unrehearsed with the two designers and the actor sitting on two couches on stage telling about their work, their processes, stories as if they were sitting in my lounge talking to me, in fact, I wanted to be closer and interrupt them every five minutes to get more information. They're back again tomorrow and Monday 2pm. I wish I'd known about these presentation thingies before I went, I would have loved to sit in on some of the Anime ones too. Ah well, that's why they put up the website, Michelle, so you know what's going on.

I found two beautiful books that I was aching to purchase but they were just *too* expensive. They included artwork, sketches and notes for the game Final Fantasy, and the movie Spirited Away. A third book was coveted - a comic book called Z! and written by the same guy who did Invader Zim - the pictures were zimish and wonderfully quirky.

There were no *real* lowpoints, to be honest. With Stormtroopers and Darleks, how could there be. Food and drinks were outragiously expensive, there was no EFTPOS available from buying tickets to purchasing goods - cash only. Which is OK but there are no ATMs in the complex either and very few at that end of town. Kinda annoying not to know that prior. The other thing was more odd than anything - that the visiting celebs charged for autographs - and not that so much but the price they charged. How can Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers) claim his autograph is worth my $35? This is NZ. Why would we pay for that? BTW, he looks as you'd expect - older, heavier. But Erin Grey looks EXACTLY the same. Exactly. (cept she wasn't wearing lycra, she was dressed as a normal woman)

I took photos, but they're on *real* film (take the digital next time m) when i get them developed (still have half a film) I'll put them up and prompt you to see.

OH OH .. gosh i *almost* forgot.. the Apple stand. do I *really* need to say anymore? I mostly took photos of Quicksilver. *sighs* I'm in love forever now I've touched it.

On my way home, tired and amazed at how long I was at Armageddon, I stopped at the Flower place on the highway and bought myself the most amazing bunch of roses - softest cream with delicate pink centres - reminds me of coconut ice. These roses have the most beautiful scent. I might paint them tomorrow.