Friday, June 10, 2016

No sleep for us!

Outside in the hall after the autographs I sent a direct message to Naz, "Naz!!!!" Hoping she was online still since we are 7 hours apart in time zones. She replied quickly and I said, "He said, you are amazing and to give you his best!!!! I said Naz from Turkey says and right away he says she's amazing" 
I did say Naz from Turkey says "Hi" but I didn't get that into the message to her because I was so excited! Naz, starting screaming(Typing in all caps) and swearing in English (But mostly gibberish) and thanking me over again and over again.  Regina wanted to take a picture of me holding up my signed shirt and I had no idea what she meant at first and she had to tell me to stop tweeting so I could hold up the shirt! Since I was talking to Naz over the direct message and tweeting what Peter had said and tagging her in the tweets. On the way home Naz and I talked about how nice Peter is and I talked about how I thought he must be tired because of the convention schedule but he was so nice with everyone and it was so breathtaking that he knew who I meant without thinking.  

Back home I had some dinner(Actually a lot of dinner, since I hadn't gotten a chance to eat since a dry waffle at breakfast 13 hours before) and fell into bed, dead tired but unable to sleep. Having food and liquids again, my brain started working and I thought, 'Peter said 3 things about Naz, "Shes amazing...something and to give her his best..." then it came back to me "so talented" so I messaged that to Naz and tweeted about it and she started tweeting how much she thought HE was talented, of course. 

I couldn't even concentrate on the new episode of Game of Thrones because my mind was just on the whole experience of the day. "Of course you can" when I asked for a hug echoed in my brain and gave me butterflies in my stomach every time it would come into my head, which was often.  I slept about 3 hours and poor Naz did too. I finally gave up trying.  I had tons of energy though and used it working in the yard.  I realized it was so fun to share the experience with Naz and I was so glad I was able to say hello from her and that it wasn't an awkward experience like if he didn't know who I meant without an explanation and I didn't stumble over my words.  It would have been one thing if Peter had just been polite and said, "Tell her hi back" but he actually had an opinion of her, knew her, I was so glad I was able to pass on the message because Peter had made me so happy and now I was able to pass on the happiness to another.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The fan girls of The Doctor

Awesome Con in many ways was a great experience. However, that was more to do with the guests of the con than the actual management of the con itself. I won't focus on that so much except when it needs to be explained to help the narrative. I also won't go into details about travel, the hotel I stayed at, transport, etc. That isn't very interesting.

I went to Awesome Con with my sister in law, Regina who is married to the middle of my oldest brothers, Ben. We went together for the the whole weekend. Friday, as we were walking to the convention center, we met up with a young woman who was also heading towards the con and had been there before and assured us we were going the right way. On the way, we quickly fell into nerd talk about Doctor Who and she admitted to crying at the end of The Husbands of River Song and I knew she was like me. Arriving at the con we were immediately greeted by volunteers who directed us to registration where we'd pick up our, basically goody bags, for having the "ViP" badges which had been mailed to us. Our plan for Friday was to look around the dealers/art/exhibit hall until we could check into our hotel room then come back for our photo op with John Barrowman in the evening. We stuck with the woman we had met (until we left to go check in) and the first cosplayers we saw were two playing River and the (11th) Doctor they were really cute and happy to pose, saying that "thats what we are here for" I would learn the next day that they were a real life couple as well. 

The convention had a strict policy of not taking pictures without people's permission and had signs stated to this effect in many places. I took it seriously so I missed a lot of cosplayers I would have liked photos of because I didn't just whip out my camera and take a picture when I saw someone cool. I saw a lot of 11th Doctor cosplay, both males and females(But I'd say majority female) and a couple of 4th Doctors. A great 7th Doctor! I took a picture of a 4th Doctor and he gave me a jelly baby and I told him that four year old me was dying.  I didn't see a 12th Doctor until Saturday but a few more on Sunday. Couple of other Doctor Who characters and plenty from other fandoms. But a lot of people just wore t-shirts showing their fandom. I didn't find that too surprising given just the way adults are in the D.C. area. 

When it was time for us to go to the photo op with John Barrowman we went to the area where photo ops were but there was no signs or directions on where the lines were for ViPs or any other ticket holders or signs for lines for the guest.  We saw a line and had to ask the people in it who they were waiting for. When the con volunteers finally announced the formation of lines, they would just stand at the top of the line and shout, cupping their hands, to who went where. This was ineffective as usually we couldn't hear them if we were more than 3 people away. And the volunteers wouldn't move down the lines repeating the information.  Regina and I hoped this was just newbie mistakes for it being the first day. (We were wrong) People were annoyed but we had lines. Then John Barrowman (We all screamed, as he encouraged us to do) walked up between the lines and made an announcement(He knows how to project his voice) about what he would and would not do in photos. Wouldn't do: Kiss. Would do: Anything else! He even pulled two people out of the lines to show examples of the poses he generally did, which were bear hugs or a funny hug from behind. But first, he had to use the bathroom. Which, at first he mistakenly went into a ladies room and came out saying, "There was a whole family in there!" Later I heard he posted about the gender neutral bathroom that was near photo ops and asked what republicans were so afraid of about it.  At the photo op they lead you back into a curtained area and are given the chance to leave your bag(And thankfully, the ugly badges) while your picture is taken(They let in about five people at a time) Ahead of us was a couple in great cosplay. The man was dressed as a great 10th Doctor in the Doctor's brown suit and the woman was dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast with a big dress. Belle asked Barrowman if he could lay on the floor, she would stand over him and he'd pop his head out from under her dress.  I cannot express how eager Barrowman was to do that! I later saw that he posted a video of it on his Facebook page, calling her "his kind of Disney Princess"  We all clapped. Regina and I just had him put his arms around us, he was so nice and friendly, and of course, very gorgeous! In my picture there was a bad reflection over my glasses so much that one of my eyes was washed out. Since I considered my photo ops before Peter a practice run I decided to test out get the reflection out in my next picture. 

After our photo op we went around the art tables.  We found one lady who was doing Jagua and henna temp tattoos.  Regina decided to get one as she already has some real tattoos on her hands and liked some designs she saw. She got one done in the Jagua ink which is like henna but dyes blue instead of brown. The artist advertised doing some Gallifreyan language symbols, mostly catchphrases of previous Doctors but one was not identified, so I asked and she said, "That means Doctor Who" so I opted to get that done on my fore arm. I had gotten henna tattoos a few summer ago and had loved them but I really loved the blue ink since its my favorite color.  

The last thing we did was I saw that a Star Wars author named Timothy Zahn had a table set up, selling books, and chatting with people. I knew he was giving a panel there at the convention but I didn't know he would have a booth.  I spun around when I saw him. I had brought some of my Star Wars books to sign but left them at the hotel since I wasn't expecting to see him until Saturday.  I can not express what his books meant to me.  I was about 12 or 13 when I read Star Wars: Heir to the Empire for the first time.  It would start a life long love for the main villain Grand Admiral Thrawn.  In high school I was given the name, "Wife of Thrawn" and when eventually the internet became a thing for common people I took my nick name from Thrawn's whole name, Mittth'raw'nuruodo to Mitt, or I'd go by Sarah Thrawn. I was active in Star Wars fandom and Star Wars message boards, and met my ex-finace through this, plus other friends.  So I had to go tell him I was a very big fan.  I went up to him and said that I just wanted to say what a big fan I was and that Grand Admiral Thrawn was my favorite character since I was 13 and I could just gush about how much I loved him and what he meant to me.  At this point the author was nodding knowingly and smiling and I know how Star Wars fans are and knew he had heard this probably from other fans as well. He reached out to shake my hand as a thank you. So I stopped my fan girling and asked if I could ask a question which he agreed. So I asked where he got the name Thrawn.  I had read Fellowship of the Rings and in it there were "thrawn trees" mentioned and I wondered if Thrawn had been a Tolkien word or what.  As it turned out it was a Scottish word for twisted. (No, it wasn't lost at me that I was finding out Thrawn was Scottish and the connections of the 12th Doctor and Peter and being Scottish!)  Originally Thrawn was suppose to be crazy, 'twisted' but that trait was given to C'boath, but the Thrawn name stayed.    
During the night/early morning as I couldn't sleep so I'd check into twitter and saw updates from my fan girl Whovian friends about Peter's convention appearance in Dallas(He was going to be there Friday, Saturday and then Sunday with us in D.C., what a trooper!) The best thing that came out was a video of Peter doing Dalek voices and quoting a classic Doctor Who scene (More or less) 
The video for this is here:

Saturday came and we did our photo op with Karl Urban, who was very nice.  I tried a different side of the camera and making sure my glasses were right on my face. But once again there was a glare on my glasses, the photographer even had us retake the pic and asked me to tilt my chin down, which is not how I naturally pose in pics and felt awkward, and I still got a glare. Later people would point out how tall Karl Urban was or how he had a beard now. I didn't notice that, I only remember thinking he was more handsome in person than I had even found him to be on screen.   

Saturday was John Barrowman's panel and anyone who follows him or even just hears about him, knows he is quite the character to put it mildly and had teased a "special outfit" he was going to debut. He came out on stage in a Darth Vader dress, mask, and lightsaber while also wearing a long hair wig and high heels.  Eventually he changed into a t-shirt and jeans as he took questions. He said he liked to play off their questions which he did. Someone asked how Jack Harkness became the giant head of Boe and he said he couldn't answer that BECAUSE his sister and him were writing Torchwood comics that would come out later in the year.  At questions asking when he was coming back to Doctor Who he suggested that the BBC was public company and you could find producers email addresses because they were public and not to settle for the auto-generated reply. He said, if you want something, you gotta be proactive. 
Someone also asked if he would leave Arrow to do Torchwood or Doctor Who
and he said, he wouldn't have to. It was in his contract to be allowed to go do those shows if they came up!
A young girl asked Barrowman a question about a pregnant character in Torchwood whose husband had thought Barrowman's character might be the father. Barrowman asked the kid how old they were, the kid answered that she was 11 and Barrowman asked where are your parents? She pointed to her parents nearby and Barrowman said, "And you talk about pregnancy in your household? Must not be republican!" Which got a big laugh and then Barrowman said, "Save Planned Parenthood, guys" which if I hadn't already loved him I would have with that statement. Like many woman I had to use Planned Parenthood, not for an abortion, but for other health care and find the attacks on Planned Parenthood incredibly narrow minded.
Later a young boy asked if there was anyone Barrowman's character on TW/DW wouldn't flirt with and again Barrowman asked the kid's age and when he got the reply that the kid was 12, Barrowman said, "Not you!" I can only hope the kid understood it was about his age and not reflected on him. 
Then a man(dressed in a Roman legion outfit, Rory cosplay I suspect) came up and told Barrowman that his character of Jack Harkness had made it easier for him to come out as gay. Barrowman asked how old he was and the guy admitted to being 33. Barrowman said seductively, "We'll see you later" and then pointed out that his husband was peaking around the curtain to get a look at the guy, who was very good looking. 
A woman who worked for the gay men's chorus of D.C. asked Barrowman if he'd join them for a concert and he said that he would love to and to send him a formal request and if the schedule allowed, he would.
When the convention staff told Barrowman he had 10 minutes left, he said no, he had 20 because they started late, he GOT an hour. (Most panels these days are not long, I've seen an average of 45 minutes for most and Peter's the next day was only scheduled a half and hour.)
 As if I didn't already think he loved his fans he then sang a song to us and wanted to be clear how much he appreciated meeting the fans. So he sang, "You're too good to be true".

The day I'd meet Peter Capaldi! 

First I have to give some background. After The husbands of River Song(THoRS episode aired I desperately wanted to talk about it because I loved it so. I loved seeing 12 being romantic, funny and it was great having River back being River. I never thought the Doctor should be with anyone else but River so it quickly became my favorite episode.  So I used twitter hashtags and found one fan girl who I really liked what she was saying about(THoRS) so I followed her. She lead me to others and soon I found I wasn't alone in loving this 12th Doctor and crushing on Peter Capaldi himself in a fun non-creepy way that good fans can do, for example, this first fan girl I found is openly gay but she still finds Peter to be gorgeous. So I got this good core of fan girls I'll talk Doctor Who with and I simply refer to them, as the fan girls.   One of these fan girls named Naz made a video in 2015 gathering videos from a bunch of other fans from around the world to wish Peter a happy birthday. Then Peter replied to it by wishing each person by name in the video a happy birthday and in their own language. Naz was wished a happy birthday in Turkish, others in Italian, English, and even sign language! Even though I wasn't part of it, I was so impressed he did that I shared about it on my own social media and when I met people who were Doctor Who fans, I'd say, "Did you hear what Peter Capaldi did for these fans?" Of course Naz and some more fans did another video for Peter for his birthday this year and Naz quickly got a nice reply back from Peter via an email and we once again were so in love with him. 
As the convention got closer lots of the fan girls were asking me to say "Hi to Peter" for them and I couldn't think how that was going to work. Naz said it too, and while I thought, well at least he'll probably know her name when I mention the birthday videos,  I wasn't confident I could speak in front of him.  Now only was he The Doctor, a character I knew since I was a very small child, but he was a man who made me feel happy and love again. One of the fan girls named Gina who was also in the 2nd birthday video was coming to the convention so I suggested she would should be the one to say hi from Naz but she didn't think she could speak either.    
Gina and I got to say hi before we had to go in our separate autograph lines. She had the "guest specific ViP badge" so I was in a separate line. The lines were huge. I told Regina she didn't need to stay with me since I knew I was going to be there awhile and she really hadn't had breakfast.   I got on twitter and talked to Naz while I waited and told her I'd tell her when I saw Peter. Since the line I was in was "snaked" up to the front of the autograph tables and Gina's line went straight back, I was pretty close to Peter's autograph table. When Peter came out we cheered and clapped and suddenly I had a great view of him! I couldn't hear what he was saying as fans came up for autographs, but I could watch. I messaged Naz all the details I knew the fan girls would want to know. What he was wearing, and how his interactions were. It was almost surreal to me. I had watched many videos the fan girls had shared showing Peter and now there he was in front of me! I got to see Gina get her autograph and when she walked away she had the hugest grin on her face! I called over to her and we talked for a minute, she said, "He talks to you!" and I asked if she had said "Hi from Naz" and she said no, sadly so I said "Okay, I'll try."

The cell service was clogged with so many users so I couldn't tweet anymore. The same thing had happen the day before in this part of the convention center so I knew I'd have to wait till I could get away from the main hall before getting back to the fan girls.

Then, the thing happen that makes me never want to go back to an Awesome Con. Peter left the autograph table and at first I assumed he was talking a break, but a very mean looking convention volunteer started yelling that the autographs were over and they would finish in the afternoon and we had to leave this area right away.  Peter had to go do photo ops. So I walked away and tried to text Regina but texts weren't working well either. I waited at the spot we had talked about meeting at and noticed people had gone back to the autograph area and a mother passed by me with her kids, and pointed ahead and said, "Look there is The Doctor!" I was about to tell her that she was seeing a cosplayer when I realized he was really there and I realized people were back in line. So I went up to my previous point but more people were in front of me, ones who hadn't paid extra to be ahead of in the lines. So some fans complained about losing their place in line and were told by the staff that they were out of luck.  So I waited in line again with some nice fans where we all agreed that Peter was a wonderful person and as one of them said, "What did we do as a fandom to deserve him?" She meant that positively. Not long later Peter went back to the photo ops for good and we were told we would be given numbers so we wouldn't lose our place in line. The convention staff still messed this up by not announcing this till people had been told to leave again and then saying they were going to line up people to give them the tickets but sending the person with the tickets 20 feet away from the staff member who was saying this. So, fed up, I went to the staffer with the tickets, held up my ViP badge and was given a ticket. 

I eventually reunited with Gina and Regina again and then we were separated into lines again for the photo ops. 
As we went back behind the curtains I took my glasses off and couldn't see clearly anymore.  I knew where Peter was because he was all in black and I could make out his fluffy hair.  Regina had been allowed to come along with me and as Peter said hello to me, Regina was told to go in front of the camera to the exit on the other side. Peter said hello to her as well! As Peter put his arm around me I automatically asked if I could have a hug. I had been encouraged to do that by the fan girls who had met him before. So it was the one thing on my mind. Peter replied, "Of course you can!" and hugged me. There are no words to describe that.  "Of course you can" will echo in my mind forever!
Then it was time to look at the camera and all I could feel was shock that it was happening. I reminded myself to smile. Then it was time to leave.  I took another look at him while I was still close and could see and noticed how tan he was and it made me remember a nick name the fan girls called him. Cinnamon roll.   
I met up with Regina again and when we got my picture she said I looked terrified. I had to agree but the more I would look on it, the more it would grow on me. Regina and I left the exhibit hall and soon my phone worked again and I saw I had over 20 notifications on twitter alone. I posted in all capital letters, "The Cinnamon roll hugged me!" 
After we went outside so Regina could smoke, and I got my digital copy of the print, we went to find the next line for the autographs. We sat in an unofficial line for awhile and I met a young woman who knew of Naz through tumblr. (I was explaining why I was on my phone so much, I had shared my photo with Peter to Naz privately and she encouraged me to share it and pointed out how Peter was doing one of our favorite smiles. 
After more bad communication from the Awesome Con staff, we were in another line for autographs. Then, Peter came in and the autographs started again. This time I was in the first line because I had a ViP badge and the ticket that was handed out first. Later, I understood, they were handing out other items as a place in line, like cards or a rubber wrist band. I didn't have time to get nervous, I was almost too annoyed but I was happy when I got to see Peter again.  I was getting a support junior doctor's t-shirt signed. (Since I could not find River/12 art or pics sold at the convention!!!) Peter saw it and said, "Oh one of these. Where did you get this, then?" I said I ordered it, and then, "My dad lives in England" and Peter said, "Ah, I understand." Since my brain couldn't think of anything else I was meant to say, I said, "I wanted to tell you that Naz from Turkey says hi" and he said right away, "She's amazing, so talented, give her my best." I was shocked again that I didn't have to say, "from your birthday video." So I said that I would, he commented that it was tough to sign on the shirts and I said it was okay, thanked him again and again and then stuck my hand out to shook since I saw him shaking everyone else hands in the autograph line.   His hand was so soft! Then I was out of the room and I started to fan girl and messaged Naz...who, thankfully was online and told her that he said she was amazing. She started screaming in all caps....

To be continued.............

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Being happy again.

Me going on about Doctor Who, not my usual stuff, probably only interesting to a very few.


I remember where I was when Peter Capaldi was announced as the new Doctor Who. I was at my Ex's parents house. My ex and I were in the process of breaking up and not hanging out. His parents still had invited me over for Sunday dinner though as I was living near them and thousands of miles away from my own family. I was hanging out in a spare bedroom, being left alone before dinner, I can't remember if my ex came over that night, I wanna say no. My ex and I had been friends, dated, engaged, within a week of our wedding, called it off, broken up, and reunited over the course of 15 years.  This time, things were really ending badly and the final argument ended with me telling him not to speak to me again which I hadn't done before.  I moved back across the country to be with my family again and move on.

But back to being alone in the spare bedroom. I had my lap top and was watching Twitter and the official Doctor Who account for the announcement.  I set the twitter trends to London and had imdb open, ready to find the actor's page since I knew there was a good chance I wouldn't know the actor. I was right about that. Later the televised announcement was put on You Tube and I was able to watch that and see a bit of this new Doctor. I remember being glad he was older and immediately loved his humor,(The story about not being able to tell his daughter) the way he engaged with the audience, and what I loved most of all was the letter to the Radio Times showing he had been a fan as a teen. (I would later learn, as we all did, about how passionate he was about Doctor Who...)

Somehow I had missed the Fires of Pompeii so I was able to watch that episode later that night, so that was fun.  But things would not remain fun in my life as break ups tend to do.
As expected, the break up left me not caring about dating and certainly didn't feel strings of non-familial love for much.

I was able to enjoy the 50th special of Doctor Who so much. At this point I no longer had cable tv and anyway Doctor Who had moved from a cheaper cable channel to a higher tier one. I had to buy the 50th special on iTunes. I was thrilled to see Tom Baker had been in it because he had been my first Doctor and, as they do, left a special place in my heart.  But I also thought it was pretty cool that the new Doctor was in it, however briefly.

I knew I was depressed and was just letting it happen and figured since I was doing well enough to get out of bed, I was doing okay. Season 8 of modern Doctor Who started and I didn't have the money to buy it on iTunes and I don't illegally download content.  I read Doctor Who memes online and got myself spoiled for the season but I didn't mind.  After many months I knew I should get back into things I loved, to help cheer myself up. I decided to watch modern Doctor Who from the beginning on Netflix. Soon after I started that rewatch, season 8 of Doctor Who arrived on Netflix.  By now, my depression was something I was use to.
Things were getting better in my life but I didn't feel motivated to be happy.  I decided to skip ahead in my Doctor Who rewatch to watch season 8. I was tired of meeting a fellow Whovian and saying I hadn't seen the new Doctor yet. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the new Doctor. I had seen meme's about his eyebrows but I hadn't known that he actually called them attack eyebrows.  By a few episodes in I was writing to a sister in law about how much I loved this new Doctor. Then I started to look for interview clips on you tube with him. Thats when I found the Graham Norton episode where its revealed how much of a Doctor Who fan he really was. I ran through season 8 quickly, trying to stretch out the time I had with it but at the same time wanting to see more. Then I found out that season 9 was coming out on Saturday. So I finished s8 on Netflix and preordered s9 on iTunes as now I had the money to do so.

Saturday I was feeling so Twitterpated, my adrenaline was pumping, I was happy and a smile came easily to my face at the thought of seeing more Doctor that night. As I walked into work, a car almost ran into me, the shock and surprise only added to my rapid heart beat. Around 4:30am I woke up(As thats about the time I knew it would be available on iTunes), downloaded the new episode on to my iPad and was so in love with the beginning. Later I'd show people who hadn't seen 12 at all s9 to begin with and introduce 12 to them that way, because it was way more awesome then Deep Breath allowed. I loved season 9 so much. Suddenly I was happy again. Looking forward to the days again. I let myself be happy.

The Christmas Special happen. The Husbands of River Song. I loved River and my favorite 11th Doctor episode was when she revealed herself as Amy's & Rory's daughter.  Before I watched it I reminded myself of all of River catchphrases. But I quickly stopped looking for them as I got involved in the episode, which was so fun. Then the "Hello, Sweetie" came and my heart melted. I've never felt that way from a Doctor Who episode before. I loved the episode. Once I had watched it I had to rush to work and work a long shift and I remember thinking while at work when things were tough, I'll be able to go home and watch THoRS again. And I did. I loved it so much.  I needed someone to talk to about it.  One of my sister in laws had seen it but was working a lot. Another, would not see it till I could show it to her in a few weeks. I went to Twitter and started looking at hash tags for people talking about it. Thats when I found the fan girls and a new era in my fandom life began. Just two months later one of them would retweet a link that Peter Capaldi would be coming to Washington D.C. for a convention in June. My home.

Monday, December 2, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness

Day 1 of ThankfulnessDay 2 of Thankfulness  Thankful for auction fun!Day 3 of ThankfulnessDay 4 of ThankfulnessDay 5 Of ThankfulnessDay 6 of Thankfulness
Day 7 of thankfulnessDay 8 of ThankfulnessDay 9 of ThankfulnessDay 10 of ThankfulnessDay 11 of ThankfulnessDay 12 of thankfulness
Day 13 of ThankfulnessDay 14 of ThankfulnessDay 15 of ThankfulnessDay 16 of ThankfulnessDay 17 of ThankfulnessDay 18 of Thankfulness
Day 19 of ThankfulnessDay 20 if ThankfulnessDay 21 of ThankfulnessDay 22 of ThankfulnessDay 23 of ThankfulnessDay 24 of Thankfulness

30 Days of Thankfulness, a set on Flickr.

Flickr stop letting me post my pictures directly here everyday so here is the link to see the completed 30 days of thankfulness.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013