Comic Con 2011: Preview Night

Comic Con 2011 began this year for my mom and I with a quick tea from Katy’s Cafe in Imperial Beach. With a some-what quick drive through Coronado and over the Coronado Bridge, I ended up taking the wrong exit since I hadn’t driven over that bridge, in that direction, in two years. Once I got off the freeway, my mom grabbed the map and navigated me through the Gaslamp District to the parking lot we wanted. The pedestrian bridge is now finished and you can walk over the train tracks rather than wait for the trains and the trolly to go by. It makes it easier to get to the Convention Center.

We headed up the escalators to get our badge and my mom had no problem getting her badge, but mine would not print because the lady said that mine was listed as an exhibitor. We couldn’t get tickets for this year when they went on sale because the servers kept crashing. Lucky for us, we know the owner of the local art supply store, who is a vendor at Comic Con, and he got us tickets. We think because Ron couldn’t spell Yahoo when ordering the ticket and he put it under his email address that it caused mine to be placed under an exhibitor. It took us a while to find where to pick up that badge but once I got mine, off we went.

You could tell that attendance was down just slightly, but that didn’t affect the attitude of the people around us. Some of the costumes were absolutely incredible. There weren’t too many people dressed up on Preview Night but the ones we saw were amazing.

My mom and I had dinner at SyFy’s Cafe Diem at the Hard Rock Hotel. I love going in there and look forward to it every year. The prices went up but that is to be expected with the economy right now and you get a lot of food for the price. You have to go into Comic Con with the mind-frame that everything is going to be expensive. Really expensive. There are ways to avoid that as well. We didn’t eat every meal at one of the restaurants around the San Diego Convention Center. Instead we brough our own snacks and lunches with us. It works out great.

After dinner, we decided to walk around the Gaslamp District for a bit because I wanted to know where the Nerd Headquarters was that Zac Levi was putting on. We found the place with ease and weren’t allowed to go in because they were still setting up but I did see Zac walking around in there checking on things. We chatted with the security guy there for a few minutes.

We went back to our hotel and got an early sleep so we could be ready for Thursday and the Nerd Quest.

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Getting Ready for Comic Con 2011

I don’t remember if I mentioned that my mom and I ended up getting tickets for Comic Con this year. Thanks to our local art shop that also sells comic books and is a vendor at the big event managed to get us some tickets. My mom and I leave Wednesday morning and get to enjoy all of the wonderful things that preview night has to offer.

If you’ve never been to Comic Con then you cannot understand how big this event is. One a busy day (i.e. Friday or Saturday) you are looking at around 500,000 people (if not more) crammed into the San Diego Convention Center. Even with that many geeks, nerd, freaks, actors, producers, writers, artists and a few absolutely normal people, there is SO much to see and enjoy. I’ve written about my last two experiences and I am glad that I get to experience it again for the third time.

Between the two years that I have been to Comic Con, I have met nine actors and gotten pictures with; three of who I would marry in a heartbeat. In order they are: Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds), Josh Gates (Destination Truth), Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13), Allison Scagliotti (Warehouse 13), Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13), Amy Bruni (Ghost Hunters International), Kris Williams (Ghost Hunters International), Neil Grayston (Eureka) and Zachary Levi (Chuck). Josh Gates and Allison Scagliotti I met in both 2009 and 2010. I’ve met with and talked to more actors but never got pictures with them. One I do regret from last year, Mindy Sterling. Best known for yelling, “SCOTT!!” from the Austin Powers movies. My mom got to talking with her and she was very nice. I just didn’t think to ask her if I could get a picture with her. My first Comic Con in 2009, I regret not actually meeting with Kathy Najimy from the Sister Act movies.

This year I’m taking my good camera since last year my smaller one acted up and I got a lot of fuzzy pictures. The only problem with my good camera is that I don’t have a way to download the pictures from the memory card onto my laptop. I can’t find the disk from when I bought the camera so I can’t download the software. I tried getting something from the internet off of Canon’s website that might work but it didn’t. So I bought a portable memory card reader. The only problem is that my laptop will not read the smaller disks, only the standard size. I’m going to try something tomorrow but if that doesn’t work then I just won’t be able to share pictures with all of you until we get back home and I’ll be limited to the amount of pictures that I can take. Sucks. I know.

My mom and I are coming up with a few ways to save money this year since I had my car serviced today and we had to put off some of the work until we get back because none of us have the $1200 it’s going to cost. My mom’s boss gave her a bag that is insulated and on rollers so we have more than enough room to take food with us. I got to thinking about that and I’m going to put my purse, laptop, camera, cords and what-not into my smallest luggage bag that has rollers. That way I won’t have a heavy backpack that bumps into everyone and I don’t have to kill myself lugging a backpack everywhere.

Who know’s who I might end up meeting this year. All I know is that my mom and I are so excited. I cannot believe that Comic Con is upon us already. It seems like we were just there last year. Seriously, where has the year gone? It seems like time is flying by at an alarming rate and I cannot keep up. It’s crazy. anyway, pictures or no pictures I will try to keep everyone who comes across this blog informed on the coming days. So excited!!!!!

Oops

So I completely forgot to write last night but I’m actually not that mad at myself. I’m up to, I think, six days missed this year. I’ve been focusing on getting this insomnia under control because it’s affecting work now and I can’t have that happening. I’m not out-of-balance or anything like that but I either get to work on time or a few minutes late. Yesterday I was fifteen minutes late to work because I over-slept my alarm. I can’t keep doing this and last night I started taking melatonin to see if that helps.

I’ve noticed that since I started the Post-a-Day Challenge, my blog about my Celiac Disease has been forgotten about. I really wanted to start that to help spread the word that it isn’t as hard as people think to live a gluten-free life. I’ve done it for almost nine years now. I haven’t blogged on there since February I think. I don’t know because I haven’t gotten on there myself.

For the past few months I’ve also noticed that I have blogged about random things because it’s 11:30pm and I haven’t posted. That’s not what I wanted when I started this challenge. This was meant to be a way to get me to write more and I have. I’ve used this challenge to open up to people, be more comfortable with who I am as a person and not be afraid to show the world who I am. Six months into the challenge, I think, or at least I hope, I’ve achieved that goal. I’ve written about things I would have never shared with the world. Ever.

But lately I feel like I’ve become overwhelmed with everything that is going on in my life right now. I’m trying desperately to get things to sell on my Etsy shop. I knew it was going to be difficult but I’m starting to wonder if it was a good thing. I wont give up on the shop just yet. I still have hope because I know it takes time. I just need that one person to discover my shop and off I go.

The biggest thing that I need right now is to focus on some things that have been left behind this year. I still am focusing on me this year and I will still blog as much as I can, but if I don’t blog every day, please don’t think that I have stopped. I might just need a little bit of a break. My mom and I are trying to find a place to stay now that we get to go to Comic Con and I’m trying to pay down my credit card debt (which is going nowhere by the way). So I promise to keep blogging but I might just need a few days to gather my thoughts for a really good post. One that I want to write, not just because I need to for a challenge. I might just take a few days to catch up on my Celiac blog.

Comic Con 2011… Maybe

When tickets went on sale for this year’s Comic Con, my brother and mom sat in front of their computers for hours hitting the refresh button trying to get tickets for Comic Con. My mom quite after about an hour because she had to go to work so Bryan kept at it. He never got past one page and finally he got word that all of the four-day passes were sold out. We came to terms with the fact that the ticket processing for this year sucked big time and we weren’t going to go.

A few months passed and people kept asking me if I was going. I sadly told them no. Until one day I got to talking to our local art supply store owner, who also sells comics, and he said he could see if he might be able to get tickets because they sometimes reserve a few extras for the vendors. Friday, Ron told me that he might be able to. Bryan unfortunately has already changed his plans, but my change of plans can easily be altered and my mom has a week off regardless. I’m not getting my hopes up because there is that possibility that Ron will not be able to get the tickets.

Comic Con is a blast and I would LOVE to go every year. If my mom and I do get to go, she has volunteered to sit in line to buy our tickets for next year so we don’t run into this situation again. I have met a lot of great people and it’s fun to be around a lot of other geeks and not be left feeling awkward. I have seen and met so many actors that it has become surreal to watch these shows and be able to say, “He was a great guy.” I can. My first Comic Con experience in 2009 was overwhelming, but the next year I got to show my mom and brother around. Bryan ended up ditching us but that was okay. Bryan reads comics whereas my mom and I were there for the shows.

Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock, me and Allison Scagliotti

I still have a few actors that I would love to meet. Amanda Tapping and Nathan Fillion are at the top of my list. Over two years I have met nine people that I never would have thought I’d get the opportunity to talk to. The best memory that I have was being able to talk to Saul Rubinek of Warehouse 13 and we didn’t really talk about the show. Instead we talked about the whole Comic Con experience. Afterward I got to harass Eddie McClintock when he was messing with Allison Scagliotti outside after we all were being kicked out of the building.

I have watched interviews with the actors and producers and whatnot that go to Comic Con and other conventions and every single one of them comment on how well the fans are around them. Yes we freak out a bit. I did with Zachery Levi last year, but for the most part they are there as fans themselves. Going to the conventions are a great way to meet these people that you watch every week on TV and/or buy the DVDs and I think that, in a way, hearing the reactions from the fans that keep the shows on the air beat any award they could ever win. I hate watching award shows where the winner thanks everyone and their brother, but never mention the fans. If it weren’t for us fans, they wouldn’t have a job.

Neil Grayston (Eureka), Allison Scagliotti (Warehouse 13) and me.

Someone from a panel that I watched in 2009 posted a picture somewhere of his view from the stage. It was incredible to see that many people shoved into a room. When I sit in the seats, I look behind me and around me. Even from the viewpoint of the audience, it’s amazing to see that many people.

One thing that I would love to do one year at Comic Con, and I have thought about this quite a bit, is have a quilt that I could raffle off to support one of the charities of my favorite actors. The main three that stand out in my mind are Sanctuary for Kids (Amanda Tapping’s charity), Kids Need to Read (supported by Nathan Fillion) and Donate Life (supported by Alex O’Loughlin). These are three that I would donate to if I could afford it. Maybe one of these days I would be able to do that.

Until then, here’s to hoping that my mom and I get the opportunity to go this year. Keep your fingers crossed.

My Favorite Moment of Comic Con 2010

Today at work I started getting a headache at about three o’clock and it has turned into a migraine. I usually only get them when I have come in contact with gluten but I cannot think of any time that I did except for handling a pizza box, but I know I didn’t touch my face after that. If you have never had a migraine, pray that you never do. It sucks. It feels like someone is slowly drilling into my skull in between my eyes. Light and sound are excruciating. So I will make this quick since sleep is the only thing that cures my migraines.

I finally got my laptop up and running last night which I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am about that. Shortly after Comic Con last year I got hit with a virus, the day after my anti-virus software expired. Go figure. So I never got to write about what happened at Comic Con.

First of all I’m a nerd. I went to Comic Con for the first time in 2009 and loved every minute of it. I got to meet people that I never thought I would meet in my wildest dreams. Two of them I have massive crushes on. They’re hot. I can’t help it. This last year I got to take my mom and brother for their first time. If you have never been to Comic Con, it is very hard to describe all of it in detail. Imagine about a quarter of a million people all crammed into a small space for that amount of people. How San Diego does it is beyond me but I’m glad that they do.

Between the two years that I have gone, I have met nine actors. But the last person I met at Comic Con was the best moment of my life. I am not kidding you. People have criticized me for being a fan of Chuck. I love the show. Words cannot describe how much I love watching Chuck. Just before the 2009 Comic Con, my car broke down and I was forced to miss the Chuck panel. I was so angry with my car that weekend. So this year I told my mom and brother I was not going to miss this panel. No way in hell. I am not afraid or embarrassed to admit that Zachary Levi is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Yes I know I’m being a dork right now and I don’t care. I have the biggest freaking crush on him. Anyway…

Me with Zachary Levi at Comic Con 2010

On that Sunday, my mom, brother and I were headed up the back escalator to the Marriot to get some free stuff at the Fulfillment Room. As we rounded the corner there was a guy getting a picture with Zach. OMG!! I did not hesitate in asking Zach if I could have a picture too. I was dressed like an idiot but I was comfortable in the San Diego humidity. Zach said sure and as I was getting my camera out, my mom said something about having to deal with my camera (her and digital cameras do not get along) and Zach’s friend Eric Blackman said that he would take it. Eric is a photographer so I didn’t have any problem with handing him my camera. I was at the point of speak now, think later. I told Eric that I recognize him from the Europe photos and he kind of laughed. Zach and Eric went on this trip through Europe and share over 1500 pictures on Facebook. It was incredible. Zach wasn’t feeling too well and his voice was going, but he still took the time to take pictures with a few fans. I would have respected his wishes if he had said no, but was thankful that he did.

Just like with some of the others that I have gotten photos with, he basically hugged me. It wasn’t like okay just stand here next to me and get the picture over with. No. Not with him. Zach is very nice and I’m glad that he put up with me geeking out over meeting him. I blurted out that I love Chuck before my brain could stop my mouth. I have kept my cool with some of the others that I have met, but with Zach it was different.

I do my best not to get star struck. At Comic Con, you never know who you will run into or who will run into you. My brother got bumped into by Morgan Freeman! Most of the time the actors that go to Comic Con are fans just like us and most of the time they are the biggest geeks around. I don’t read comic books or graphic novels, but I like the stories that they have to tell. I actually cannot read them. Maybe it’s a dyslexic thing. I don’t know. I find them hard to read. I like going to Comic Con for the sci-fi, fantasy and whatever shows that I watch. It’s great to see the actor that you watch each week and entertain you, on a panel before you talking about the show that they work so hard on. I’ve seen Stan Lee. I never thought that would happen. I never thought that I would meet Zachary Levi either.

Zach if you ever read this, thank you doesn’t seem like enough to thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet you. I’m sorry you weren’t feeling well that day. Thank you so much for everything you have done on Chuck and I hope the show goes on for a long time. I know you guys, as well as us fans, have had our battles to keep the show on the air, but all of your guys’ hard work gives us a reason to fight for the show. You are an extremely talented actor and a wonderful guy. Thank you so much.

Comic Con – Day 3 for Me… The Best Day of My Life.

 
Stargate: Universe

Stargate: Universe

So it’s been two weeks since I left San Diego and the 2009 Comic Con. Looking back on everything that happened that weekend, Friday, July 24th was by far the best day of my life. I got into the line for Stargate Universe at 7:15am and had a blast talking with a few people while all of us were losing feeling in our extremities by standing or sitting for so long. They started to let people into Ballroom 20 at around 9:45am and I managed to grab one of the last seats in the second row. Brad Wright and Robert Cooper came out and introduced the new cast for Stargate Universe and showed us the extended trailer. The show looks amazing and the trailer made it look more like a movie rather than a television show. So far I’m loving where the Stargate franchise is headed. Universe is already looking like it will live up to the success of the Atlantis and SG1. The cast was amazing and I don’t know if they could have ever been fully prepared for the fan following they have even though the show doesn’t premiere until October. The room was packed.

After the panel was over, I headed back into the Exhibit Hall to look around more. There were so many people that you could barely walk around without being shoved left and right. I received a large Stargate poster from their booth by mentioning that I had just come from the panel and I read Joe Mallozzi’s blog every night. The girl was amazed and said I deserved the poster because obviously I’m a huge fan. I turned around ready to trudge through the crowds one more time and there was my friend Jett. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the opportunity to meet up with him with all the craziness that is Comic Con. I met his girlfriend, who I kind of already knew, and she is a sweetheart. We hung about for a bit before I headed for the Eureka panel.

Me with Matthew Gray Gubler

Me with Matthew Gray Gubler

I got up there and there was a line for two panels before and I didn’t want to sit through two panels I didn’t want to see. So I found a spot against a wall and pulled up the internet on my laptop while I relaxed. Then I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. When I looked up I saw a guy in a wheelchair headed my way. I didn’t put two-and-two together until he was turning a corner into a room – Matthew Gray Gubler, Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds. I didn’t know he was in injured. Thank God Comic Con had free WiFi because I found out he had knee surgery. About 45 minutes or so he came out and I asked if I could get a picture with him and he agreed. I will admit that I was in both shock and awe. He was incredibly nice and it was nice to see him outside the character of Spencer Reid. He even complemented me on my shirt and laughed when I told him that it glows in the dark. I let him get on his way since he was showing his new movie How to be a Serial Killer at one of the theatres in the Gaslamp District. I would have gone if the Eureka panel wasn’t starting.

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Me with Josh Gates of Destination Truth

I managed to get third row (first row for fans behind the Eureka VIPs) and right in front of Josh Gates. Like Matthew, so freakin’ hot!! The Eureka panel was fun even though Colin Ferguson couldn’t be there, but then Mark Sterns, the Sr. VP of the SyFy channel told Josh to call him. Colin was in Bulgaria where it was 2am. When Josh got him on the phone, Josh told Colin that he was with the Bulgarian Police Department. After a lot of screaming by the thousands of fans in the room, Colin asked Mark Sterns if there would be a fourth season of Eureka. Mark said that he didn’t want to announce it this way (i.e. at Comic Con) but that they had just signed the paperwork for another 22 episodes of Eureka under one condition – they have to do at least one musical episode (Colin and Erica asked for a small part). Mark, what better way to announce something like that than in front of thousands of fans who came from around the world to show support for a show we love. Before letting Colin go Josh had all of us sing Happy Birthday to Colin, whose birthday was just a few days earlier. It was so much fun. Josh then asked Mark how another season for Destination Truth was looking and Mark replied with a “no comment.” Once the panel was over, I got Josh’s attention and asked him for a picture as well. He finished what he was doing and took a picture with me. It’s nice to know that they are willing to take a minute of their time to meet their fans.

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Me with Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock and Allison Scgaliotti of Warehouse 13.

It was time for the SyFy screening for Eureka and Warehouse 13. We’re all sitting their waiting for it to start and in walks Eddie McClintock, Saul Rubinek and Allison Scagliotti of Warehouse 13. It took the fans a minute to realize who they were and the screaming and applauding commenced. The two episodes were so much fun to watch on the big screen. The actors hung back after the episode were done to mingle with the fans. I got to talk with Saul for a little with another fan. He asked us how we liked the show so far and I put in my two cents and noticed that Mark Sterns and one other big wig for the show were standing right behind me listening in. I managed to get the last picture with them before they were ushered from the room. They went one way and I went the other. When I got to the bottom of the escalator heading out of the Convention Center, there was Eddie, Saul and Allison heading out as well. We happened to be heading in the same direction and Eddie was harassing Allison and I couldn’t help but chuckle. I don’t know why I said it but I got up behind them and said, “Now, now children play nice.” Eddie turned to me and said, “But I don’t want to.” and continued until Allison got away from him. Heading to the street I asked them “What no stretch limo? They make you walk?” We got to talk a little more, but not about the show. It was so much fun and a good ending to a stressful week with my car breaking down on me. I got to give Eddie directions to Café Diem, the Hard Rock’s café that SyFy redecorated to look like the Café Diem in Eureka. I gave them somewhat wrong directions but they would have gotten there anyway, just through the wrong door. I had dinner there the night before. Good food and a lot for the price. Kind of expensive, but it’s Comic Con – everything was expensive.

For all of the stress that happened with my car, I know I will never forget that day. If any of the actors I got to meet ever get on here to read this, I don’t think I could ever thank you enough for the time you set aside for all of us fans during an event like Comic Con. I know that you always say that it’s because of us that you get to do what you do, but it’s you that give us a reason to watch and to support you. You get the opportunity to entertain us night after night, week after week, and it’s nice to know that you are willing to spend time with us, meeting us, and taking pictures that will last us a lifetime. You give us the opportunity entertain all of our friends and families with our stories of meeting you. Thank you so much for everything you do for us fans and giving us a reason to attend Comic Con year after year. It may have been two weeks since Comic Con but I am still in awe that I got to experience something like that.

I leave all of you with pictures from Friday of Comic Con. Enjoy.

Jett and Me by the New Moon booth.

Jett and Me by the New Moon booth.

Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, creators of Stargate: Universe.

Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, creators of Stargate: Universe.