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Ok, either the post is too long or there are issue with having lj tags behind the cut. Here we go again....

All I can say is WOW.... Just got back from Dragon*con and what an experience that was!! :)  First off, a big thanks to wheezinggirl and oneandonlymatt for both inviting me down and letting me stay in their hotel room. Thanks guys!!! I had a blast!  And a big hi to all of wheezinggirl's friends that I finally got to meet: dancingwriter, kingofthewho, thunder24, reikimaster, and lurg! Hi!!

Ok, I'm going to jump around a little bit because I want to talk about my James Callis stories first.

For those who are unfamiliar with Dragon*con there is a ballroom known as the Walk of Fame. It is full of tables with various celebrities where you can go to meet & greet them and get their autographs. At the onset of this experience my plan was to skip the walk of fame because I didn't see the need for any autographs. Yeah, that plan worked well.

Prior to visiting the Walk of Fame the first time, wheezinggirl and I head to the bar to have a few drinks while oneandonlymatt takes a nap. We then pick him up and head into the ballroom. We walk in and the first thing we see are the Battestar Galactica cast members. I think I literally said something like "OHMYGODTHERE'SJAMESCALLISIMUSTGOMEETHIM!" and immediately got in his line. Wheezinggirl and Oneandonlymatt laugh at me and head off towards Peter S. Beagle (the whole reason for going to the Walk of Fame in the first place). I get in line (only about 5 people long) and get up to the table to James Callis. By this time my adrenaline is pumping (accelerated by the red bull & vodkas I had just drank) and I started behaving like a total babbling fan girl. I'm not even sure what I said to him and I may have been talking to fast for him to understand me. He was incredibly gracious though, signed a picture for me and posed with me - see:
Oh yeah, that's me as Xena. You can also see Michael Hogan's ear off to the right.

So that was my James Callis story on Saturday. On Sunday, a group of us (wheezinggirl, oneandonlymatt, thunder24, lurg and myself) are all at the bar drinking for quite some time. Thunder24 and lurg wanted to see the Walk of Fame, which was one story above where we were, so we decided to go. Now here I am, having had more glasses of wine then I should have, still dressed as Xena, going back to the Walk of Fame.

And yes, James Callis was there again. Almost against better judgement, I went back to his table. He looked at me and said "Hello again." I said I had an odd question for him of a picture that I wanted to take. I am, as everyone knows, a big Wilco fan. They are having a contest right now looking for fan picts involving their name. So I asked James Callis if he knew who they were. He said no. I said, ok, can you just hold up these letters then? He said sure, so here he is looking rather confused:
So yeah, 2 days in a row, I see James Callis with several drinks in my system. But wait, there's more!

So this morning, I head to the Atlanta airport to head home. I'm sitting at the terminal waiting for my flight and who do I see walking in the aisle in front of me? Yep! James Callis! He walked back and forth and then sat down across the aisle from me. I had to call wheezinggirl and tell her. At this point I’m pretty sure the gods think this is really funny and decided to throw us together one more time. Normally I would respect a celebrity’s right to privacy, but he looked open to communication. By that I mean he had sunglasses on when I first saw him, but he took them off when he sat down and was looking around smiling at people. So I decide to go up to him.

He was sitting near a trash can, so I got up to throw something away and said “Hi James Callis!” He said hello. I asked if he minded me talking to him because I would go away if he didn’t want to be bothered. He asked what I had in mind and when I said I just wanted to say hi he said that was no bother. He then went on to say something about how he caught a guy taking his picture in the airport earlier and thought it was strange that a guy would want his picture in the airport. I said we don’t see many celebrities every day. He rather modestly said he didn’t think of himself as a celebrity and I said that he is to us. I then said I saw him a couple of times over the weekend and that I was the one dressed as Xena. He said “yes, I recognize you.” I thought holy crap! But what I said was “I swear I’m not stalking you, I’m on that plane to Detroit.” He sort of smiled and said he was on the same flight. I asked what he was doing in Detroit and he said getting a connecting plane to London. He then said “Do you mind if I ask how long the flight is?” I thought, you can ask me anything you want and I wouldn’t mind. What I said was “around 2 hours.” And yes, that accent he has on the show. It’s genuine. So imagine all this with him speaking with the lovely British accent. We then went on to talk about Dragon*con. He said how much fun he had with it and was trying to convince his family to come with him. I agreed that it’s a blast, although somewhat silly, but all good fun. He said one of the fun parts for him was going to the hotel lobby at 7pm and watching all the people, and disagreed that any of it was silly. I asked if this was his first d*c and he said no, he was there last year. I then said I hoped to see him again next year, wished him a good flight and left him alone.

By this point adrenaline is pumping through me so hard that I am shaking like a leaf. I was hoping I was going to be seated next to him on the plane (as I’m sure he was hoping I was not). No such luck though. He was, however, 2 rows in front of me, so I had the pleasure of staring at the top of his head. Lol…

Ok, on to the rest of the con experience.

Friday, I met oneandonlymatt and thunder24 at one of the bars of the Mariott. We had a drink and waited for wheezinggirl. Once we all arrived, we went up to the hotel room to drop off our stuff and have more drinks. Then we went to the sports bar in the hotel for dinner. After that we went to “The evening with Brie” event – a Tolkien-themed party featuring Emerald Rose (kingofthewho’s band). It was great music and fun. The highlights were watching Gandalf do the Macarena and seeing Richard Hatch stop in for a song. After that we went to a screening of the Buffy musical “Once More With Feeling.” I was hoping it would be like the one I saw last year which was similar to a Rocky Horror Picture Show audience prop & participation. Instead it was a bunch of fans acting out the whole episode next to the screen. Not so exciting.

On Saturday we got up, got into costume, and watched the parade. The parade itself was larger then I expected and full of all kinds of fabulous costumes. After that we went to the dealers hall, got some lunch, the headed to the exhibitor’s hall. It was there that I got to meet my favorite fantasy illustrator, Larry Elmore. Here’s the pict of us:
I told him I wanted his job when I was growing up. He said it’s full of very long hours locked away in a studio with little contact with the outside world and the occasional event like dragon*con where you get to meet fans that say they want to be like you. He was very neat to talk to.

After that was the whole wheezinggirl and I drinking that led to the first trip to the Walk of Fame and the first James Callis experience. After I met him, I saw that Kevin Sorbo was there. Now, I’m dressed as Xena and I designed all the Hercules dvd box sets, so I had to go see him. When he saw me he said something like “Yeah, you seem familiar… now wait.. where have I seen that… oh yeah, from that lesbian spin-off show from mine.” I then went on to tell him I designed the dvds. He shook my hand and told me what a great job I did on them. We then went on to trade stories about the company that owns the license for Hercules and what a challenge they are to deal with. I got my picture with him here:

Either right before that or right after I bought a copy of “The Last Unicorn” and had Peter S. Beagle sign it.

After that we went to the Battlestar Galactica panel featuring Edward James Olmos, James Callis, Michael Hogan, Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas and a technical writer. At the start of it, Aaron Douglas was missing and the moderator said he was lost in the con somewhere, probably at a bar, and hopefully he’d join us soon. A few questions into the panel, the audience starts cheering. From the back of the room Aaron Douglas walked up the middle aisle (amidst all the fans) in full BSG costume and took his place on the panel. Everyone cheered. Towards the end of the panel, a fan asked the cast for some of their favorite BSG moments. Michael Hogan said his was during the pilot and it was a moment that made him realize how fantastic the show was. It was during the funeral scene when Adama ends with “So Say We All” and people half-heartedly respond. So Olmos improves by saying it again, more fiercely, and repeating it until everyone shouts it back to him. Michael Hogan said he’d like to hear what 2400 people (the capacity of the room) would sound like saying that. So Olmos jumps into the Adama character and says “SO SAY WE ALL!” And we all yell it back. Then he says it again, more demanding. And we all yell it back louder. It all happens a third time, and we yell even louder. It was a lot of fun.

After that, wheezinggirl, oneandonlymatt, thunder24 and I take a cab to a completely different section of Atlanta (no where near d*c) to meet Reikimaster (thunder24’s wife) for dinner. And yes, we're all in costume. We got a lot of funny looks, but everyone was good-natured about it and we had a good dinner. Afterwards, we headed back to the con to stand in line for the Colonial Fleet Party. We waited for quite some time and got into it. We didn't stay long though because it sort of felt like a high school dance with a dj and no alcohol. I guess it was supposed to have been a lot cooler, but the hotel vetoed the original plans. We left shortly to find drinks. We then stopped by the Shindig party, but again only briefly in favor of returning to the bar in the Marriott lobby to people watch. It was there that we were going up an escalator and I hear wheezinggirl say "Hi Aaron Douglas!" who was on the elevator going down. He looked up and pointed at her in acknowledgement.

On Sunday, wheezinggirl and I got up early to go to dancingwriter's reading of some of the fiction she was working on. It turned out to be a very fun & cool hour+ with her. After which, we went back to the room to put on our costumes and collect oneandonelymatt. We got some lunch, poked around in the exhibitor's halls, and then stood in line for the Firefly panel. That panel featured Nathan Fillion, Jewel Strait, Alan Tudyk, and Morena Baccarin. Nathan Fillion was a complete stitch and you could tell that they all got along very well and had fun together. It was a very entertaining panel. After that, we met up with lurg and that's when we started our drinking adventure that led to the 2nd trip to the Walk of Fame.

After the James Callis #2 experience, I had a lengthy chat with a very nice guy who was working security for the room who said he was NCIS in San Diego. He was herding people out of the room so they could close it up. We walked out with him and were standing outside of the room for a while, chatting. As we're doing so, I all of a sudden see Edward James Olmos and this is about what happened:

Me, drunk and excited: "HI!" a little loudly and boisterously
Edward James Olmost walking by me, sees me, gives me the head to toe once-over, grins and says: "Hi!" in an amused, sort of sexy voice.
As he walks by, Michael Hogan is right behind him. I give him the same sort of fan-crazed "HI!" He sees me, gives me a similar head to toe once-over, gives me a similar amused smile and says "Hi!" And they keep walking.
I burst into full fan-geek mode and have to contact a few people to tell them Edward James Olmost and Michael Hogan just said hi to me. And yes, I'm still dressed as Xena.

After that we proceed to keep drinking, eat dinner at the sports bar and be silly the rest of the night. Copius amounts of wine and a Xena costume are quite the amusing combo with me. I dubbed all the guys in our group (there were 4 at that point) my minions and told them we all had to leave the bar and walk around the lobby for a while so people could admire me. It was fun.

As for the Xena costume itself, I was really nervous & silly about it when I first put it on. It did not take long for people's to start taking my pictures. Everywhere we went I heard "Xena!" "Look, it's Xena!" or "I knew Xena had to be here somewhere!" I got a lot of compliments on the costume ranging from admiring the costume, to saying Lucy Lawless will be out of a job once they see me, to what I thought was the best one -- one of the vendors looked at me and said I was the best use of physical resemblance he'd seen (something like that). It was very cool.

And yes, I will be posting pictures on flickr and will add the link here when I do if you're interested.

All in all... quite the blast!!! Yay Dragon*con!!!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Sorry I didn't get to meet you. I was on call this weekend and, of course, I got called in.

Next time you're down, hopefully, I'll get to meet you.

What's your Flickr page's address? I'm http://www.flickr.com/photos/aflennik.
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Sorry you missed D*C! As you can tell, it was fun. I'm hoping to be back next year so maybe I can meet you then. :) I am still setting up my flickr account. Once that's done I will sent you a friend link as well as post it here.
Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
Great to meet you, and I too, had a blast.
Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
glad to finally meet you in person!
Sep. 2nd, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I was so sad not to finally meet you -- it didn't occur to me until the last minute that I'd be in Italy during D*C.

I am so glad that you had a good time though -- I loved reading your account of things, especially the James Callis stories! :)
Sep. 2nd, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
Same here! Although going to Italy definitely is a good excuse for not being at D*C. I hope you had a great time on your trip. :)
Sep. 2nd, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
I loled at your new icon!
Sep. 2nd, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
:D Thanks! It's one of the perks of being a graphic designer.
Sep. 2nd, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
I am still in such a great mood from the weekend. Best.Weekend.Ever!

I didn't get your message until this morning because I was on the train when it came in and I must not have heard it. I didn't notice until I plugged my phone in this morning on my way to work. I am glad that James Callis didn't peg you as crazy stalker girl! Yay for your new friend!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )