|Burbank 2003 Staff Reports: BritAngie|
Angie's walkthrough of her visit to LA...
Just a few things.. firstly this account is the vague and addled recollections of a jetlagged and confused brain-so any errors on my apart you will have to forgive me for or at least allow me creative licence! <g> Secondly for the ultimate panel transcripts please check out Thinkum’s transcripts on Farscapeworld and on the Snurchers guide.
LA trip diary…(Names have not been changed to protect the innocent cause there’s no such thing as an completely innocent Scaper ;) )
Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Where on earth do I start? It’s easy to say start at the beginning but it means I have to remember all that came after… and that’s no mean feat I’ll tell you! <g> Okay…
“We hope you enjoy your flight with British Airways….”
Well we should have been warned that Scapers are jinxed when it comes to travel-but especially air travel. I get to the hotel in London (the Thistle for any Starfury veterans out there!) only to find that Linda who is flying down to Heathrow from Aberdeen has had her flight delayed. At this point I begin to be glad that we decided to stay at the hotel over night and catch the flight the next day. Hours pass, mooch about and watch terrible tv.. At last a knock at the door and it’s LINDA!! Woohooo Now all we need is is Ellie Jane who is supposed to be driving down after work.. another hour passes.. and Linda and I decided that we need food.. so do the time honoured Starfury pilgrimage to Mac Donalds… Come back and still no Ellie.Hours pass, tea is drunk, Macdonalds eaten… still no Ellie.. Okay starting to worry now.. then a knock!! Wooohooo much celebration as she’s arrived and the triumvirate of Brit Scaper madness is complete… Spend the rest of the evening talking and being in total denial about the trip.
Next day get to Heathrow early to make sure we can get seats together. Set up camp at a nearby coffee shop and continue to work on our denial. Suddenly our flight is listed and we queue (we do this *a lot* this trip..) Brit’s queue well.. infact if there was an olympic sport of queuing we’d get gold medals. If people don’t queue properly we get upset. We don’t approve of throngs. In fact at the con we had a mini spur of the moment queue because we hadn’t queued for at least an hour.. So we queue at the check in desk and it was great-even had a queue coordinator and everything.. <g> Get our boarding passes and seat and then are accosted by a security peep who wants to check our cases. He assures us it’s just a random thing.. but we start to worry if it’s illegal to smuggle chocolate into the USA and has someone grassed on us? Get taken to a separate area and have cases searched.. The security guy looks at us before he’s even opened them and says “I bet there’s loads of chocolate in these” Damn someone grassed-we’re doomed! LOL laugh with relief when we find it’s okay and start to worry that we must look like chocoholics or something? Next step x-ray machines.. My watch sets it off and I get patted down.. Start also to worry if I look suspicious or something..
Eventually we make it onto the plane (hurrah). Still work on denial about the trip but as we are sat on a boeing 747, or whatever it was, it’s getting hard work..Plane takes off and we spend a delightful(!?!?) 11 hours on the plane and suddenly notice on the map that shows where the plane is that we are not heading in the direction of LA but back the way we came..Get worried that someone was warned about the impending UK chocolate influx.. Then “rather sweet and overly helpful” captain who must have a degree in being perpetually cheerful or something, tells us that there is a huge electrical storm (which we find out later has added hail goodness!) over LAX and we (well the plane) have been advised to circle to see if it clears.. Circle twice, then notice that a new place has appeared on the map.. San Diego… hang on…. Captain Too Cheerful comes on mike and says that as we are running low on fuel and still can’t land at LAX we have to be redirected to San Diego and that he has no idea what will happen after that..
So land on USA soil! Woohoo..and sit and look at San Diego airport. In the dark. It’s not entertaining. They refuel the plane and we wait for the next Captain Cheery update.. At this point we are too damn tired to work on denial. Two hours later we hear that the storm has moved and that all the planes now backed up all over California can now land at LAX. So off we go again.. land at LAX in the middle of the airport miles from any building because that was the only place they could get us down and are ferried to the terminal..
Then we hit immigration… and we queue… for hours.. and hours.. and hours.. and it wasn’t a happy queue because there was some thronging going on and us Brit’s get very upset when we have throngs. Where’s a queue coordinator when you need one? We queue for so long that our luggage is already legally in the US and on holiday before we are! I envy our luggage at this point.. When you stoop to luggage envy you know you’ve hit rock bottom.. Get through emigration and panic for a while looking for holidaying luggage.. then make our way out front.. Now Angie Dean from BenBrowder.net is a lovely lady.. can I upgrade that ‘lovely’ to ‘bloody fantastic’ and “a saint”? We were supposed to arrive around 6pm.. We escaped from immigration about 12.30am… We did not expect Angie to be waiting for us… but I walked (read staggered unsteadily) around the front of the airport just to make sure she wasn’t waiting… couldn’t see her. So stumbled back to the other two gals and then was accosted by a familiar face.. Lot’s of OMG’s and squeals later and we find Angie’s car. We just are soo astonished that she waited for us.. (She was a bit worried.. at one point our flight disappeared off the flight listings…)
Girl we *sooooooooooooooooooo * owe you and we *will* repay you somehow ;)
Spend five minutes trying to jigsaw puzzle our luggage into Angie’s car boot and then Angie tells me to get in the passenger seat.. and you guessed it.. I got in the side in the UK where the passenger side was.. oops.. Not in Portsmouth any more Toto.. Angie ask’s if I wanna drive.. in the state I’m in.. not a good idea.. even if I knew where I was going! <g> So we get to the hotel.. wait for some problem with the room.. was waiting for.. “we have no room listed.. but we have a spacious car park..” but it was fine.. we had a room..!! Hugged goodbye to Angie and felt really,really guilty about the long drive she had home at such a late hour.. Got to our suite.. lots’ of ooohs and ahhs as we explored all the tv’s (yes plaural) and stuff we had… Got to bed at 2am eventually… Set the alarm for 7am.. oh joy…
Thursday –Warner Bros
“Scapers, like dust bunnies and odd socks, are everywhere..”
We drag our very tried bodies out of bed and somehow get washed and dressed. We have to meet everyone for our Warner brothers tour at about 8 am so no time for makeup and the such..though to be honest at this point I couldn’t really care less! Lol Knock at the door and it’s Angie!! More hugs and hand over the cadbury’s flakes we had smuggled into the country for her and all make our way downstairs. Dani and Mary finds us.. many more hugs and much relief from Dani because we were supposed to meet him in reception the night before and as we didn’t arrived till very late he was worried we hadn’t made it. We then need our final peeps for the trip-Mesascaper.. I have no idea what she looks like.. so I go up to a group that look scaperish(if there is such a thing!?!) and ask if anyone one of them was Mesa-hit the jackpot!! Many hugs later and we head out for the cars to go to Warner Brothers. (At this point can I say how glad there is no “hug” tax in California because we’d all be blinking broke by now and have a bill the size of the national debt! <g>)
All 10(!) of us somehow pile in two cars and arrive at Warner Brothers to get our tour passes and proceed to go on a tour of the rather fascinating production facilities and studios at Warners. We get shown round the lot and are told that Keanu Reeves is currently around the lot filming his new movie Constantine. Suddenly we all make an effort to keep our eyes peeled. Dani though is already on cloud nine because Friends (which Dani is a HUGE fan of) is filmed at Warners and he’s already seen Lisa Kudrow in a car behind us! I guess he can go home happy now then.. :P lol We are taken into the The Drew Carey show studios and showed the sets and the set up. This is lost on us Brit’s because we haven’t seen the show.. infact a lot of the stuff they make at WB we haven’t seen and it becomes a running joke with our tour guide! <g> It is though great to see how tv shows that are filmed in front of a live audience are filmed/made. We also get to go round the Gilmore girls set (another “we haven’t seen that one either..” lol) which is rather impressive and get to wonder around all over the place..
We then get taken to the museum which has an incredible array of costumes and props from movies spanning from The Matrix, Badlands (which I’d spookily just watched on the plane trip over) and many other classics. Most of the exhibits were not in cases and they were well preserved. On the second floor it was devoted to a movie series you all might be familiar with-Harry Potter! That was great fun to wonder around and had stuff like the Pheonix (which is HUGE!), the wands,the golden snitch, one of those awful huge spiders and even the cupboard under the stairs! Some of our group got sorted under the sorting hat but us three Brit’s avoided that cause we’re damn boring! Lol (Plus I secretly didn’t want to end up in Slithering!) I think you can guess though which houses that those of our group, who did do the sorting hat ,did end up in..heheheh *cough massive influx in the house of Slithering imminent lol cough*
We were then taken to lots of outside sets-many backlots including the ambulance bay for E.R. which looks really convincing but the actual buildings are made of hardboard or Perspex or something- they were definitely hollow and not solid! Lol We also got to go to the jungle set which was being prepared by the E.R. set guys which I understand is a current story line where some of the doctors are out in the jungle somewhere? Sort of E.R. meets M.A.S.H.? We also saw a massive town square that was being sprayed with snow for the Gilmore girls. There was heaps more but my brain can’t recall it….
Then we were taken back to the gift shop(woohoo-retail opportunity ahoy!) and then kinda shopped.. Then suddenly one of the WB staff came in and asked if the 9.30 tour group was there because someone at the museum was looking for us. We were told to stay put and wait. We were then told we were to be taken back over to the Museum because we were to meet up with a lady called Arlo. WB peep goes off to hurriedly arrange for us to have guest visitor passes so we can stay on the lot and then we are off to the museum again. Get introduced to Arlo who’s on the staff and a huge scaper and also the gentleman who runs the museum who is a friend of a friend. Upon finding out we are Farscape fans he tells us that Farscape was good but we should convert to Babylon 5 lol!
We then get taken to the staff canteen, well actually more of a restaurant, and are allowed to have lunch. So we mingle with the WB staff and get ourselves some fab food! Though Ellie nearly didn’t due to translator microbes not being widely available.. “Can I have pasta with Tomato and Basil please?”. Cue puzzled look from chef, “erm tomato and Basil?” Ellie repeats hopefully-thinking perhaps she hadn’t said it loud enough.. Still a blank look. In vain she turns the menu round and points to what she wants. “Ahh Tomayto and Baysil” Mr Chef replies..
Oh boy I think we are going to starve this trip from being unable to communicate or may have to resort to flash cards. Lol
We sit outside in the glorious sunshine and eat and chat and avoid the one persistant wasp (called yellow jackets by some in the US we learned) which was intent on dive bombing the only person in our group allergic to them. :-( Food was scrummy and the company extremely pleasant. Scapers are sooo cool! Anyway we eventually finish and then are allowed to walk through the lot on foot back to the car park. Make one last ditch effort to see someone famous but fail miserably.
We head back to the hotel with plans to do Univeral studios in the afternoon. Ellie, Linda and I head back to our room for a breather and try out the tv internet which is nigh unusable and spot all the hoohar about a Henson press conference.. eeeep what the frell is going on and typical it all happens when we are away! Lol We then give up on the tv and decide each to take a lie down.. This is fatal as we don’t get up till 7am the next morning… <g>
“Mr Roarke ,It’s de con, it’s de con…!”
This morning get up a little more refreshed than we were and actually manage to try the delights of breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Suddenly we start spotting Scaper shirts and badges.. Woohooo that’s a good thing. Means we are staying at the right hotel! Lol We then head back to our room to pick up all our stuff for the day ahead, but I spot a familiar face when passing the reception desk on the way up, then immediately double back when I realise it’s my old mate Lins aka Truebluezhaanfan! Much hugging and helloing ensues! Damn this weekend is going to be sooooooo cool! So pleased to start seeing more familiar faces at last. :-) Anyhow we eventually get back to our room. and then get a phone call to come down to breakfast again as the Kansas breakfast is on.. so we troop down again and are beckoned over to a breakaway Kansas table because the two up on the other side are full. :-( Register for a nano second that Jonathan Hardy is sat with them and carry on..<g> Find Dani,Cyn,Mary and the rest of the usual suspects and join the breakfast insanity! Suddenly get ambushed and hugged to within an inch of my life by a dear Scaper friend Nora who not only hugs for America but also proceeds to give me all these beautiful gifts like a gorgeous Farscape watch…(thank you ((((Nora))) ) I’m totally floored at this point and I continue to be floored by Scapers throughout the con by their generosity and love. I know I shouldn’t be surprised because they are Scapers but it’s when you come face to face with it, it’s wonderfully and incredibly overwhelming. :-) We spend the rest of the morning yacking and then decide that maybe we ought to go register for the con. <g>
We then make our way to the convention centre which is sat next to the hotel and line up to get our wrist bands and various tickets and passes which we didn’t have sent to us because Creation don’t send them out overseas. I then get grabbed by Nora again who has another present from another scaper called Lynn, in the form of an absolutely stunning Ben Browder mini quilt. Once again I’m completely gobsmacked and people start coming over to look at it, asking me where on earth I got it from because it is sooo damn cool! Thank you so much Lynn it’s beautiful and you are incredibly talented and very generous. I’m now in a *very* dazed state and I haven’t even started to remember I have to do a Farscape panel in front of people..eek. Anyhow we find our seats and wait for the fun to start….
Adam or was it Gary-(sorry I’m going to mix you two guys up in perpetuity.. so to be safe I will rename you to an entity called GaryAdam <g>) comes on stage, tells us a little about Creation and then introduces Ricky who he says has an announcement to make. Ricky comes on in suit to rapturous applause. He’s wearing a suit….Okay I’m scared now! LOL Ricky then announces.. “Will the person who left the lights on a Ford Taurus in the car park please report to the front desk?” Lots of laughter.. then he gets serious and says.”The announcement is that I have nothing to announce. That Henon’s still don’t have anything they can tell us at this time.” I feel relieved. At least it gets the whole “will they won’t they announce” out the way so we can all get on with enjoying the con. Ricky then strips (don’t get too excited he only took off his jacket and tie and changes to his more normal Froonuim attire of the mambo shirt.. ahh I feel happier now.. Ricky in a suit is not natural, unsettling at best!.. suit bad, mambo good. Don’t get me wrong he looks good in a suit but it’s just unnerving!<g> Soo unnerving that I can’t for the life of me remember what the frell Ricky talked about…but whatever it was it was entertaining! <g>
Virginia and Paul
Next up, came Paul Goddard and Virginia Hey. These two display what is common to all Farscape actors and crew. They are completely bonkers! There was heaps of flirting going on and playing around and some spanking at one point! LOL (This becomes a recurring theme throughout the con! LOL ) Virginia talks about the make up, making John Quixote, about trying to find work in the US and how hard it is and about her seminars. Paul talked about why he went for the role of Stark and that he didn’t think Stark was mad. Paul and Virginia even shared unity for us on stage at one point. <g> He spoke about loving the ep Gem and his scenes with Rygel in that. I was then, midway through this talk, nabbed by Dani to go backstage as we were up next on the Save Farscape panel. Eeeek!!
Save Farscape Panel
I had a plan.. I had this plan to bring along all these notes and stuff to prepare for the con. I was going to be soooo chilled and rested.. It turned out to be a Farscape kinda plan…<g> In my rush to leave at home I ran out of paper to print anything and as such had to forget that. Also it didn’t help that Dani and I hadn’t met Nina (Red from SaveFarscape.com) before and we hadn’t discussed what we were going to talk about! LOL Also our fourth panellist Voy from Chicagoscapers is missing and we aren’t even sure if he’s made it to the con-so really going well so far! LOL Red shows us the notes she’s made about what we can start to talk about…. Eek it involves some thinking and I don’t do thinking very well when I’m terrified.. or thinking and talking at the same time.. and if I was asked to think, talk and walk.. well that would be really asking for trouble! (I couldn’t be an actor! Lol) Voy turns up! Wooohoooo we have four of us being fed to the lions! <g> Why does that not make me feel better? LOL Then we get shuffled back behind the stage where we hear some of the rest of Paul and Virginia’s talk. I suddenly remember that my photo op with Virginia clashes with the panel and Ryan (Xothas) arranges for something else to be organised afterwards for me to get my pic.
For those of you who don’t know-Ryan is a member of SaveFarscape.com and along with Ricky Manning(who also spent 4 months liaising /working with Creation), they worked their eemas off behind the scenes to help Creation create the most incredible Farscape con *ever*. J Thank you guys!
I get quieter and quieter.. I do this when I’m frightened.. and I realise how scared I actually am! Nina says that I don’t have to do it if I don’t want to –but I made a promise and I like to keep my promises and I don’t want to let the other three down. So I try my best to relax but it doesn’t help! lol Anyhow the previous talk ends and Paul and Virginia come off stage and GaryAdam announces our talk next after another excellent fan video. We are then announced on stage one by one and somehow by a miracle I manage to get to my chair without falling over once.. I pray to the microphone gods that the one I have works.. or I will have to quickly learn to shout very loudly.... lol Red says a few words of introduction for us all and tells the audience how terrified I am.. I wonder how long that will hold off the rotten vegetable throwing.. She then goes onto the first subject about how we all found out about the cancellation and how if affected us and what we did.. Voy goes first and opens up a nice neatly typed long statement. Dani and I look at each other in terror! OMG we are soooo going down in flames.. lol Voy then goes on to read out an articulate and well written account of what he and the fab Chicago Scapers had done. Dani then recounted at how he was at the infamous cancellation chat and how he was determined to help using his website.. then me..I was so tempted to say..”erm what Dani said!” Lol But I think I stumbled through how I found out through the cancellation chat and how I also joined boards and used my website to help the cause.. then I added that never in a million years did I ever imagine that of all the mad things I’d end up doing as a result of the ensuing campaign –that sending my bra to the sci fi channel would be one of them. I also said that it was gratifying to know that I wasn’t the only sane Farscape fan on the planet.. the others questioned “sane” but I said I was being polite! <g> After all there was the possibility still of rotten fruit throwage and it’s not good practice to insult your audience! <g> I think we talked about a few other things but it’s a blur and then we had questions.. And Ricky came up to the mike first.. Oh frell! Lol Now his first question was “So can you tell me how long do you think it will take to save Lexx?” Which drew heaps of laughter.. then his second question was.. “Can I have a spank?” To which we replied.. who did he want to spank him?
It was downhill from then on in! lol
We then had many more questions that for the life of me I can’t remember but I know that TrueBlueZhaanfhaan asked Dani for a hug I think and then gave us all smoochies on our name badges (little stick on hearts :-( ) (Lin’s did you have a question for us cause I’m blanking on it!) Ooh also Red asked us all who we were sending our therapy bills to. I thought of sci fi at first but then decided Ricky Manning for the mental anguish endured through a lot of his Farscape eps. (I noted that Ricky was motioning that I was not going to get a dime! LOL) Anyhow the time came and went and mercifully we survived unscathed.. though I thought I did terribly.. :-(
I then go to walk backstage I realise that Linda and Ellie who were sat in the audience to support me and help deflect rotten fruit if needed ( ((guys)) ) had also missed their photo op as a result .So I beckon them back with me and we then go back to the now empty photo room and wait for Virginia to come in for our mini photo op. Ginny comes in and Ellie goes first but trips over and ends up in Ginny’s arms! Lol They end up sort of waltzing all dancing like to the chair and have their photo done. Linda goes next then someone tells Ginny that I’m the reason we are late and that I’ve been out on stage. I mutter at how terrifying it all was.. She takes my hand and tells me that she used to be really terrified but after the first 20 times she was okay..Woohoo only another 19 times to go then I’ll be fine I reply! <g> (Note to self.. no way in hezmana!)
We then stagger back out to find another web panel that I wasn’t aware of for Farscape webmasters had started. It featured Angie from BenBrowder.net, Kernil Crash from Kansas,Thinkum from Snurchers guide, Amy from Karlsweb and Un4scene from the Ultimate .. Ricky was moderating, asking questions and bringing up food for thought. It was a very entertaining and very articulate panel and I was very impressed at how cool calm and collected and how rational they came across which is a testament to the Scaper community as a whole that, as mad as everything gets, there is a sense of maturity and respect and responsibility that underlines Scaperdom. J Topics ranged from about how Scapers seemed to be self policing, about fan fic and the legal and moral issues, about intellectual property and the amount of respect fans have for the cast and crew and each other. After a very enjoyable and thought provoking 45 minutes we then moved onto…
Lani came on wearing cool sunglasses and sporting very, very short hair! The trademark Lani ponytail is no more folks! He told us that he had recently cut it for a recent part he played and the ponytail was just not appropriate so it had to go. He talked about playing Crais and about how he was such a complex character. He mentioned the prosthetics he had to wear in John Quixote and said that he now had the utmost respect for those who had to wear the stuff on a daily basis. He gave us a sample of Pilots voice and also talked about that infamous love scene from GEM. Eeek there was soo sooo much more but it’s all been sucked out the airlock called my memory…
Autos-Bianca/Paul, David, Jonathan, Lani
After a fantastic talk from Lani..yes it honestly was even if I can’t recall all of it! <g> We queued up for our autos from Bianca, Paul Goddard, David Franklin and Lani. Bianca spotted my English accent straight away and asked me where I was from in the UK. She told Linda, Ellie and I, that she had spent a fair bit of time in London and she gave us a demonstration of an English accent which was spot on! She also said she’d give us a list of places for us to visit in L.A. that she recommended. Then onto Paul which went smoothly..( little did I know the lunatic under that smoothness.. but more on that later<g>),the David who was just a face full of smile!! Heheh he is soo impish looking! Then next Jonathan who bless him recognised my name from someone getting me an auto at Milton Keynes a few weeks back! He said it was lovely to meet me at last and I said the feeling was mutual.. He was very well behaved considering what I’ve heard of Mr Hardy’s brand of mischief! Lol We then queued for Lani’s auto and then went back to our room..
Now this was supposed to be an evening thing with Lani and Virginia but as we were a) tuckered out again, b) had no idea what Jeopardy was.. and c) had to be up early the next morning.. We elected to have dinner via room service then flake out for the evening. I expect we missed oodles of fun and judging by the spanking pics I’d say we did!
“Denial is a river in Egypt…”
Erk the alarm goes off and it’s like some ungodly hour.. *looks* eep it’s 6am.. gah.. We all congregate in the bedroom and look at each other half dozed. Today is the day we potentially meet Ben (unless he decides to run away.. Run Forrest run! ! Lol) We decide to employ what is called the denial manoeuvre. Very much like the Kirk manoeuvre but with less Space ships. You may recall we’d been working on denial for this trip since we started out but this was the day to test our denial properly. We got dressed, showered and got ourselves ready.. though not in that order..<g> We went for breakfast and then I saw a familiar face walk by and get some food from the buffet. Raelee Hill then went and sat down and I’m pleased to say that when we were sat having our breaky, she was left in peace. :-) We then left and Dani told us later that Jonathan joined her and Dani couldn’t resist going up to say hi and she recognised her British boy once more!! (Cue romatic music!! Lol) Just to explain Raelee nicknamed Dani “CuteBritishboy” at the con last year and I don’t think he has ever lived it down! Lol So you can imagine the ribbing he got this year! Lol Dani you are swwooooo cwuuute! <g>
Meanwhile back at the con.. we find some rather novel chair queuing going on for Claudia’s photo ops which gets a bit confused as people start to outnumber chairs. I bump into Elle from BenBrowder-online.com at last :-) and we chat about how nervous we are and compare denial notes. <g> Also I have the infamous con book with me as I’ve been advised to have it with me on Saturday as I should have an opportunity to give it to Ben..”..make sure you have it at all times and don’t leave it in the loos..” Well at this point that was quite likely as I’d been very unwell before I’d flown out to LA and early on at the con . :-( (U.S. loos are scary btw.. they flush on their own.. you don’t know how disconcerting that is to us Brit’s who don’t have this sort of thing! And did I mention our loo in our hotel room when it flushed sounded like Moya Starbursting? Strange but true.. <g> )
GaryAdam then announces that they have now sorted something out for gift giving and that any gifts we have for Ben and Claudia we are allowed to hand them over during the photo op. Phew! We then get called in for Claudia’s photo op. The flash doesn’t go off on mine..so it has to be lined up again.. Claudia turns to me and asks “anyone know any good jokes?” lol Flash works the second time..(woohoo..!) and I say thank you and it’s off to chair queue for Ben’s photo op which is even more confused!
Ben photo op
Somehow I find myself pushed to the front of our little group of Brits (Dani, Ellie, Linda and me) and we wait in the queue. We check each other to see if denial is still working and I’m quite chilled. This is going to be okay. I’ve done the hard bit which was the panel the day before.. We then get to queuing outside the photoop door..and start to see the rather ashen faced and very gobsmacked Scapers coming out of Ben’s photo op room muttering anything from “OMG” to “eek..” to just straight forward dribbling.. I start to wait for someone to be wheeled out on a stretcher!! Okay this is not doing my nerves any good and my denial falters.. (“she’s running out of powerrr captin… she’s gonna lose it!”) Nora comes out and says he’s lovely and OMG sooo gorgeous and I swear she bounces down the corridor… Oh boy I am soo stuffed..(Though can I point out, Mr Moure, that I was *no where* near fainting, thank you! I may have been gone but not that far gone! :P LOL ) I try desperately to pull myself together and not be so bloody silly. I peep round the door to see what to expect.. yup there’s a Browder in there.. See more Scapers bounce all tigger like by and I’m sure I saw a few float, then a few very dazed looking Scapers come out! Then I go in and (this is a vague recollection because I have some more of those memory outages here!) I think I shook his hand and introduced myself and gave him the con book. Which he looked to be pleased to get. :-) Linda told me later that he exclaimed “ooooh baaaby “ to getting the book but he could have been singing Oklahoma at this point and I’d not have noticed. I was busy concentrating on sitting down on the chair and trying not to trip up and end up on the floor, or worse in his lap! ("okay Angie, now walk to the chair and sit on it.. you can do it..come on.. just a few inches more..please don't end up on the floor or in Ben's lap..and don't trip over..or I will *never* speak to our feet again.") Thankfully I managed it okay and waited for Ben to put the bag with the con book down and then get the pic over and done with. Now I didn’t realise this but in each photo Ben takes each Scapers hands in his own.. now that in itself is disconcerting enough.. he then turns to look at you and the eye contact at that distance when you are already half away with the fairies kinda make’s your eyes spin then finally settle on “TILT”. (This phenomena KernilCrash and I later call being “Ben Boggled”)This now explained the rather dazed looks of a lot of Scapers coming out of the photo room.. lol So anyhow at this point I took it upon myself to start shaking.. “Ooh nooo don’t do that.. stop it at ONCE!” I was telling myself inside.., and when we turned for the photo I looked down in my embarrassment. So the photographer (who was fab by the way and always tried his best to retake photos that didn’t look flattering) said we needed to do another one.. At this point I was muttering “I’m soo, soo sorry” to Ben who to was saying it was okay.. but I was completely mortified! Lol So Ben puts his arm around me in an effort to stop me shaking but this just makes me much worse.. I start to wonder if these pictures will actually come out with motion blur because I’m shaking so much! Lol The picture is done and I say thank you and leave as quickly as I can, my dignity now pretty much in shreds! Ben then calls out, whilst clasping the hands now of a captive Ellie who seems to be rapidly adopting that same glazed Ben Boggled look, to ask if I will be out front later.. I answer yes and I think nothing of it.. Actually thinking was just off the menu at this point.. I leave the room shaking and soo mad at myself for being so daft, and just soo embarrassed.. Look for shovel nearby to dig a large hole and bury myself in it. Fail to find one so head to my seat after waiting for Ellie and Linda to stagger back with me.
Now on with the show and Rockne comes on stage.. but he’s sporting a rather large piece of red tape stuck across his mouth.. Hehee this is a symbolic reference if ever I saw one and when he pulls it off.. well let’s just say.. “that’s gotta hurt!” Ouchies.. So Rockne basically says he can’t say anything but that DK can’t be with us because he’s in Oz working on something that we’ll be really happy about! Lot’s of cheers. He mentions that he should be at his office today writing hour three of some project.. heheh.. lots and lots of hinting about something they can’t talk about… He admits to us that he’s addicted to chapstick which I think he really really needs at this point after the tape. He talks about Seaquest DSV, Alien nation and writing for other shows. He does mention Farscape honest, but that’s as much as I can actually remember cause I’m still in Cloudcookooland at this point.<g>
Then Claudia comes on and tells us about all sorts.. again lots of hints and says “wait till you hear what I gave up to do something else you’d be interested in”. She mentioned about being in lurrrvve and how her boyfriend was addicted to the Simpsons and computer games. She told us she had just got off a 14 hour flight..( eeep I know *that* feeling!) and she mentioned that this year she’d tried to find work in LA but they didn’t seem to know what to do with her. That they found her “adoooooorable” but just didn’t seem to offer her any parts that weren’t Aeryn clones. She said that she’d done alot of voice work this year including the new Everquest RPG game. She seemed to be very very relaxed and happy and that in itself was lovely to see. She mentioned about loving Ab fab and how she did the classic thing of getting in the wrong side of the car in the US when she first got here.. (oops see it’s not just me! Lol) She talked about how she had got into a particular type of yoga and meditation big time this year. She said that in regards to Farscape that Aeryn always loved John but it took her a while to work out how to deal with it. She said she got into acting as a child and she was in her first play at the age of 4(aww!) There was more… gosh soo sooo much more..
Ben and Claudia
Claudia eventually stopped and said she wanted to introduce someone. She then introduced Ben to rapturous applause and he came on carrying a guitar case which he handed to Claudia. They hugged and kissed and then Ben set about undoing the guitar case and handing the guitar, with rather evil relish, to Claudia! At this point there was much sorting out of sounds leads and wotnot. She was taking so long that I think Ben quipped something and Claudia made to hand the guitar to Ben with the clear implication of "well if you are going to complain then why don't *you* play it!?" <g> Ben then soon after sat down in a spare seat down the front. (This turned out to be Crash from Kansas’s seat who was rather shocked to come back and find who had pinched it! <g>) Eventually Claudia told us that she hadn’t sang in 10 years in front of an audience even though she regularly sang with Ben on set, and that at that time she’d been given a guitar to learn. She said that last week she’d had her first guitar lesson and that she wanted to play something for us as a thank you. She then asked for no photos or recording and the room went quiet. She then played and sang the most amazing song. The lady has the most *incredible* voice and I’m soo sad she hasn’t had the confidence to share this gift with many people over the years. I have to say that we were honoured to have her perform as she did and understandably she got a standing ovation. I hope one day Claudia you will be confident and generous enough to share your voice again because it’s stunning. Thank you!
Ben then helped Claudia pack up and helped her off stage with everything..
Then back he came.. this time laden with bits and bobs.. Firstly he said that he’d had an email from Hensons saying what he could and couldn’t say.. but he said “frell that.. these are the reasons they can’t announce anything yet and proceeded to read out reason from cards and throw them into the audience! <g> Reasons like.. they were waiting to get Brad Pitt to play Crichton, that they were working on getting Kermit to play Crichton ,and that an announcement would destabilise the world latex market.. lol
He then mentioned that over the years he got given a lot of cool stuff from Scapers but he wanted a chance to give something back for a change.. He then asked if Angie Dean was in the audience-Angie from BenBrowder.net (uh oh…I start to think…), then asked where BritAngie was.. I rather stupidly stick my hand up but it’s not till my friends prod me that I realise I’m supposed to go up to the stage.. lol He then asks for Elle from BenBrowder-online.. We all troop up to the stage.. Oh frell! Ben says a fair bit.. but you know I can’t remember for the life of it what it was…Let’s look on the bright side. At least I’m not shaking. Anyhow he unrolls something from a show he’s recently just finished filming and it’s a picture of Lee Majors as the 6 million dollar man.. hangon no.. It’s Ben!!!!!! Good grief!!!! He then sweeps his hair over and does the whole Lee Majors eyebrow quirk and frell me dead he is Lee Majors.. lol Now that’s scary! He then goes onto explain that’s it’s a tv special about how Charlie’s Angels first came about and Ben plays Lee Majors in the show. So the posters are from the set. He then hands each of us a poster and asks us to come back stage later on. I remember saying thank you and then get back to my seat!
Ben then goes on to talk lots and lots of stuff like season 4 being the season of John’s butt <g>,about 9/11 and New York city and how the US had become a different place since.. Talk about *those* stockings and them being duct taped to his legs! (ouch!) Also talked about what sort of music he liked-mentioned funk.Hmm what else.. oh yes talked about his family’s Nascar racing and how one of his brothers wanted him to go back to it. Mentioned how he’s been happily married 17 years and it’s not long enough! (Cue lots of awwwws from all of the females in the audience! <g>) Talked about his family in North Carolina and how he missed them and that he had travelled the world and lived in London, NYC, LA and Sydney.His final question was from a guy asking advice as he was about to marry a Brit! LOL The look on Ben’s face and the ooooooooooooh hooo hooo hooo response from Ben was priceless! Lol He mentioned about the cultural differences and the misunderstandings he was in for.. and quipped that on the 4th July he could kick her out! LOL That then concluded a very funny and entertaining session with Ben. :-) It’s then after this that Angie comes over to me to say she’s going to find a creation person to see about getting us backstage as Ben had asked.. we then find Elle and go back stage…
Going backstage to meet Ben
Eeeeeeeep! All I will say is that we were allowed back in the green room backstage and Ben was very sweet to us. Thank you *sooooo* much Ben -though “thank you” doesn’t even begin to cover it adequately enough! :-)
I was kinda perversely reassured that Angie and Elle and I were *all* very gobsmacked and a bit dazed by it all, so it doesn’t make me feel half as bad now looking back! Lol
Anyhow after we were walked out front by Ben and went back to our seats….
Raelee photo op
…I found that I’d missed my photo op with Raelee…. So I troop back down to the photo op room to see if I can salvage the situation.. See Ben deep in conversation with someone in the corridor and scoot by as quickly and as surreptitiously as I can without disturbing him. Enter the photo op room to only find the photographer and another creation staffer. I explain my situation and the lady goes off to see if she can get Raelee to come back. Hurrah they can and she will be back in a mo.. Raelee comes in and I apologise for her having to come back just for me. We have the pic done and I say thank you then scoot back to my seat.. It’s at this point that I realise that every single photo op I’ve had done has not gone smoothly. Lol
Next up we had Ben, Ricky, Gigi, Paul Goddard and Jonathan Hardy all up on stage for a live commentary of Ben’s ep John Quixote. We spend the 45 minutes completely enthralled by the ep and the guys great commentary.. :-) *sighs* aww I love Farscape.. :-)
Raelee, David and Jonathan
Next we settle down to watch Raelee, David and Jonathan! Heheh oh boy these three are sooo funny! Raelee talks about Rugby, David talks about playing Elvis in a stage play and the proceeds to sing like Elvis (and he’s bloody good!) Jonathan talks about all sorts and also sings an aria (he’s bloody good too! Lol) Strewth -this weekend is turning into “Farscape con: The musical!” They said lots and lots of stuff.. no really they did but my swiss cheese memory is just signalling me to move on at this point cause there’s nothing to see here! lol
Getting ready for the cocktail party and the party itself
After the talks with the three above us gals retired to our room and got ready for the cocktail party that evening. We then trundle down to the party and get ambushed and hugged by Ricky at last! :-) Hand over pressies and get piccies taken by the lovely Froonium Cheryl. (Who strikes me as being the perfect match for Ricky! <g>) Chat a bit then kinda wonder round the room in the only way Brit’s who want to avoid any actors and the ensuing rugby scrum for photos can.. <g> So there we are-Ellie, Linda, Jeanie and me all chatting in a group minding our own business and standing up in a small huddle in between tables when our little party is gatecrashed.. Ey up it’s Paul Goddard. (This is the general gist of the convo and not the convo verbatim!) We say hello, he says hello and then asks if we would like a photo with him. We say “oh that’s very kind of you but we are okay thanks, we’re just loitering around.” “Are you sure?” he says. “Yes, thanks, we don’t want to impose.” “Oh, but you wouldn’t be imposing-go on have a pic.” “No it’s fine really-us being Brit’s we just don’t like to make a fuss .” “but it’s no fuss really”, ”Honestly we are okay-we didn’t come down to bother you guys-only to chat and mingle” “But I insist you have a pic”..”no really it’s fine..” “I’m not taking no for an answer-you lot *ARE* having a picture, or else!!!” At which point we acquiesce and find a camera from the four of us (Jeanie’s I believe-thank goodness she had one or it could have really got ugly! lol) Picture taken, we thank him and he bids his leave of us… I have to say..in all my years I’ve never been verbally arm twisted into having a photo op with an actor! Lol Anyhow after that rather surreal encounter we continue to chat then are joined by TrueblueZhaanfan aka Lins and the four of us hit the empty dance floor to show them how it’s done.. or not! <g> Much jiggling, boogeying and chatting later we adjourn to our room to eat and then pass out.
“Can I get a “hell yeah” ?”
We wake up (always a good thing to do before getting out of bed) early again cause it’s the charity breakfast! I’m not feeling overly special in the tummy department this morning so not really looking too forward to food at this early hour.. Get dressed after having a minor problem in finding that both pairs of jeans I brought with me are suddenly too big.. (they weren’t before I left!) Wear the lesser problematic of the two and spend the entire day doing the Picard manoeuvre in reverse, to avoid them ending up round my ankles.. ..(next year I’m going to be unusually practical and bring belts!) It’s a good job the breakfast involved a lot of sitting down! <g>
We find a table and end up sitting with Mary, Dani, Thinkum, Anne Brillwhite and her hubby and a couple of other folk who have since vacated my brain..! We also find that the table next to ours is where all the guests are sitting to have a spot to eat. Anyhow everyone tucks in but I decide I just can’t face it (plus the danger or my jeans suddenly turning into hipsters was a worry <g>) Notice all the items on display for the silent auction including another six million dollar man poster signed by Ben. A lady from the charity stands up and explains what it is all in aid of. A lovely BritScaper called Gill also then stands up and explains about how such an important cause it is and that she can understand as she was a cancer survivor too. I am starting to sniffle at this point as her story is very inspirational and touching. Gosh I hope they make a good amount of money.
Breakfast continues and then creation informs us of how the breakfast will work with the cast going round. Basically everyone is to stay seated at their table and that if we see anyone making to move away and follow an actor to another table then we grass them up and make them sit back down! <g> (Can we sit on em, I wonder for an evil split second.. ? <g>) Anyhow Ricky and Cheryl come to our table first and we get to hug again and chat.. Ben arrives and heads over to our table but Ricky tells him to go away as he has our table covered! LOL after Ricky, Raelee comes to our table.. I get up and let her have my seat as she’s probably far more tired than I am and she then chats and poses and is real happy to see Dani again! Next up Ben is back and he sits down in Dani’s seat which is vacant. Mary mentions to him about Dani I think and Ben asks where Dani from Farscapeworld is (who is now stood behind him! Lol) we motion that he’s just pinched his seat and Ben gets up and Dani insults Ben for nicking his seat! (in jest I may add! Lol) Ben then crouches and chills with us a bit, posing for pics. Next up is his lovely wife Francesca who poses for pictures. I beckon her around and hand over a carrier bag containing Belgium chocolates for her and a Shakespeare tie for Ben and some other bits for them both which is from Ellie, Linda and myself as pressies. She gives me a huge hug and remarks that she will be enjoying the choccies in front of the tv whilst Ben is away. <g> Finally Gigi bounces over! Now for those who aren’t aware it was also Gigi’s birthday that day and as such she was sung happy birthday and was showered with pressies and cards.. Linda, Ellie and I were already prepared and handed over a birthday card we’d brought along with a little gift which we got hugged and kissed half to death for! J Also I had another card and a present I’d been asked to pass along from a friend. The gift was a top with a rather cool print of Gigi with fairy wings in a wood! When she saw it she insisted on putting it on there and then! <g> I asked if it was okay if I took a photo of it for my friend and she said sure.. then insisted that all four of us pose for pics with her too! J Then suddenly it was almost all but over. The charity auctions results of who won what were announced and thankfully we raised a very healthy amount of dosh! J
Ben on stage
Finally we are back to the last days worth of panels and Ben is due to fly out to Dallas this morning to start work on “A killer within.” So the panels have been shuffled around to enable him to still do his talk and then rush off. Ben comes on and starts to talk about America and the fear since the 911 attacks… as I listen and take photos I get a tap on my shoulder and it’s Jeanie! Now at the cocktail party the night before she had suggested we swap places for today’s talk (as she is in row B) so I could get some decent photos. I’m completely stunned by her generosity (as our seats are not cheap!) but she insists! Now I’d kinda half forgotten about it on purpose but she hadn’t and had come over to swap!! So completely gobsmacked and very, very grateful we swap seats and tickets and I as unobtrusively as I can make my way round to Jeanie’s seat up front then plonk myself down.. I’m in luck-the seat Jeanie had was very near the stage and the two seats diagonally from me were just wide enough apart that I had a clear view of Ben.
Ben initially ponders about why on earth Farscape attracts such smart people..and continues to talk about many other things that I just can’t remember at this point.. <g> Then for the questions from the audience part, Ben decides to turn the tables on Scapers and when they come up to ask questions he asks them a question first! <g> Each response then receives a very dramatic “and *THAT* is the correct answer” and Ben pointing at them <g> At one point the person at the microphone is completely stumped and a guy off to the far,far right answers Ben’s question.. but instead of pointing at him Ben points right at me and says “and *THAT* is the correct answer” giving me a really gratuitous photo opportunity! LOL (thanks Ben! <g>) The questions continue, I start to feel really guilty at how bad the flash must be from my camera at this short range and take the flash gun off to see if the on camera flash would be enough to use and less harsh at the nearer distance.. It’s not L So put the “directed energy weapon” back on and try to take fewer pics to lessen the effect on Ben.. L Anyhow Ben talks about oodles of stuff again which I can’t remember (sorry this is turning into possibly the worst panel con report ever! Lol “They turned up, they all said some stuff then went home! “ ) Anyhow suddenly the panel is over and Ben has to rush off to catch a plane. He tells us to be nice to his wife and I’m pleased to say he needn’t have worried! J
Fran on stage
I swap back to my original seat thanking Jeanie for her generosity and then we settle down for our next guest Francesca! J She bounces on stage and spends the next hour telling us about how much she loves to watch John Crichton and his leather pants and that he’s soo not Ben Browder. <g> She tells us how she fell in love with Ben within 24 hours and moved in with him within a week. (awwww J ) She talked about all the characters she played over the four seasons and about how much fun it was to do them all. She mentioned about the prosthetics and the costumes and how much fun it was to work with Ben and how well he knew the character of JC. She talked about how she has put her career on the back burner so that Ben can pursue his and also she mentioned how much she missed Australia and that going back would be a great Christmas present.. (if they were going back ;) ) Again there was sooo sooo much more but I can’t recall it all! She was incredibly candid and honest, warm and entertaining and we were sad to see her finish. L
Next up was Bianca who played Jenavia in the Look At the Princess trilogy. She talked about how she got into acting, how she started as a ballet dancer, then also got into modelling but acting was the thing she wanted to do. She talked about how green she was on Farscape and how Ben taught her about the technical stuff whilst they were doing scenes. She mentioned about the lake love scene and the fact that the lake they were in was a breeding ground for sharks (who tend to feed at night-and you know when it was filmed!) She said they had crew members in the water with them to make sure they were okay but it was kinda scary! She said lots lots more but you know the drill by now! <g>
Next up it’s Gigi!! She bounces on stage and proceeds to talk about Farscape, about “the secret life of us” which in the course of talking about, says that her character does a rap and proceeds to demonstrate it to us! <g> She er..uh.. she pois! Ah yes one lady asked if she would poi again for her (where she normally swings fire on chains but in this case it was balls with streamers on rope) So Gigi proceeds to do her stuff and swings those poi.. And erm.. er massive memory overload alert.. beep beep beep *thud* Er she said more stuff, in English, and coherently and went. (Did I say anywhere this was going to be a *good* con report? )
Photo and autos
Then we had our photo ops with Francesca and then after that time to get the last set of autos from Gigi and Francesca. Whilst this was going on I think there was at some point a meet and greet with Paul Goddard and David Franklin where they both came out and sat down on the stage and Scapers were allowed to come up and chat to them unhindered in a relaxed fashion. As usual us Brits just sat and watched and marvelled at how cool and relaxed it all was.. Anyhow for Francesca I had brought along two copies of the programme for Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice-the production that she and Ben were in. (One, was for her to sign and the other as an extra present just incase on the off chance she didn’t have a copy of her own.) I handed it over and she remarked that she had recommended a restaurant in it! LOL I gave her the extra copy which she thanked me for and she signed and wrote a note on my copy. J Then waited for Linda and Ellie then we queued up and got our last auto from Gigi.
As we were sat waiting for Gigi’s auto line I motion to the girls that we really ought to go over and say goodbye to Ricky and Cheryl just incase we don’t get another chance later so we trundle over and say our goodbyes L and more hugging ensues. Going back to our seats for the final leg of the con it suddenly strikes me that the official con part is all over.. L
Sad but happy all at the same time.. (not sure how that works, but it’s true <g>) we endeavour to spend at least one evening up late! <g> So we decide to be sociable and have dinner in the hotel restaurant. We end up being seated by Dani, Cyn and Mary’s table and much noisiness ensues! We order food but I can’t decide on pasta or something from the dessert menu.. which we can’t find anyhow. We ask the waiter for the dessert menu which he says he will get and he’s gone for *ages*.. he then suddenly comes back with a huge tray full of all the desserts saying that he thought it would be easier to show us the desserts rather than give us the menu! LOL-the staff are nuts-sweet but nuts! I decided on the pasta in the end and we eat and chat and by the end of it all of us are flagging and I’m starting to feel like the door mouse from Alice in wonderland because any minute I’m going to fall asleep on the restaurant table.. thank goodness we don’t have a teapot is all I can say.. We get our check and bid everyone good night and crawl up stairs to bed.. On the way up I’m stopped by Red and I think some of the other Save Farscape crew who tell me that Tiriel is looking for me and that she’s in room blah de blah.. Okay thank you! Will call in.. In the space of the 5 seconds it takes me to walk into the lift the room number has gone from my head.. oh frell.. nuts.. and other swearwords of various origins.. *sighs* Well I just haven’t got the energy to go staggering back downstairs to find Red and co, let alone running so we all go to bed.. we sleep.. until..
The phone rings.. Linda is the least comatose and answers “ugh..ergh.. uhuh..eh..oh okay..” Ellie and I blearily ask what the frell and Linda explains that was the hotel reception and that the waiter had overcharged us by $30.00 and that he had to come back up with the correct bill for us to sign.. Great..
There’s a knock at the door.. but it’s not the waiter… it’s Dani and Sorlk Lewis.. though Dani has run off cause he knows he’s going to be in trouble cause he’s already woken us up accidentally this holiday! Lol (Dani :-“Hi it’s Dani.. oh er.. have I woken you up?” Linda: --” Uhhurrrr,,.” <g>) she explains that Tiriel is downstairs and wants to see me.. Linda explains that we are all in bed and it’s kinda awkward not to mention embarrassing! Okay says SL and they leave.. Linda gets back in bed to wait for waiter guy.. Second knock..but it’s still not the waiter.. It’s SL and Dani this time with Tiriel whom they decided to bring up anyway cause she may never get a chance to see us again! <g> Poor Tiriel is then “treated” to seeing three very tired, dishevelled Britscapers in their night clothes. Again being the expert in making really lasting first impressions I think I excelled myself here and I soooo owe Tiriel an apology cause I wasn’t at my best! Lol I mean if you are going to meet someone the least you can do is be dressed! Lol Anyhow we exchanged hugs and bleary(on my part!) greetings and for the life of me I can’t remember what else.. Anyhow we said goodbye and we all crawled back into bed.. but the door knocked again.. (arrrghh-it still wasn’t the frelling waiter!) It was someone asking if Kazbaby was in our room.. Nooo we seem to have had everyone else but not Kazbaby! <g>
We then get back into bed again.. and 20 minutes later the waiter(at bloody last!) we had been expecting did turn up and then we were left to sleep at last! ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
“What kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you running here, bud?”
We get up early cause we have to go to Disneyland! Woohooo! Get dressed and go downstairs. Find Mesascaper and get her to join us for breakfast as she’s coming with us today. Also after breaky find Dani, Mary and Cyn. We have a quick photo session in the hotel lobby and then say goodbye to Cyn who is flying home today! L Then Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to Disney we go! (Sorry, had to get a really bad Disney joke in there *somewhere* <g>)
Arrive safely and proceed to work our way round the various lands bumping periodically into Voy and another lot of Scapers also enjoying the delights of Walt Disney! <g> Have to say my favourite ride was the Indiana Jones one (which we ended up doing twice…) the worst being the Pirates of the Carribbean which was like.. “er, is that it?” We wondered around, shopped, queued (orderly-no throngs –sooo happy! <g>) ate and I found a poster of Raiders of the lost ark in a sturdy tube which I could use to bring back my Ben poster into the UK. Lusted over some fake pirate gems..(I used to collect gemstones.. so it’s a weakness..lol) Spent five minutes convincing myself that they were plastic and was a waste of money… then went on to buy a light sabre keyring instead.. lol (Wonders now how that was a more sane purchase than the fake plastic gems..?) Also debated buying a Winnie the pooh dressed up as Indiana Jones.. who I christened Indy Pooh.. They also had Indy Eyore but he wasn’t as cool.. Decided not too… but Dani did succumb to Indy Pooh’s charms and later went back and bought one! <g> Mary bought a tasteful keyring of a head who’s eyes popped out..lol Go into another shop and see some fluffy deeley boppers. Ellie takes to a pink pair and proceeds to put them on Dani’s head in an effort to gauge the look.. (many,many<g>) photos later.. she decides they are for her and takes them…I walk over to some name bracelets and the first one I see is ANGEL! LOL-it’s a sign!! I tell Linda and Ellie and within 30 seconds we all buy one and spend the rest of the week wearing them!(GO, GO, powweeeerrr angels! <g>) Lol We shop more,,do more rides (including it’s a small world just for the hell of it and because our feet hurt.. plus I will never forget the monster ducks in Regents Park! Lol) .Finally we wonder back down mainstreet back to pick up the coach back-making one stop into what I can only describe as a sweet shop with every kind of sugar concoction you can think of, and then some…I walk in.. take one lungful of supercharged sweet air, feel very ill and walk out! Now I like sugar as much as the next sugar junkie but this is far too rich for me so Mesa and I (who is of a similar mind.. er nostril? !) wait outside whilst the others buy goodness knows what. Finally after a sole of the feet agonising wait our bus arrives and we are eventually delivered back to the hotel.. and I use the word “delivered” loosely because as the driver couldn’t quite figure out how to get into the front of the hotel he dropped us out round the back.. Great, abandon the tourists who have even *less* idea of where the frell they are than the driver! Lol Ponder on which way to go for a few minutes and settle for “thataway…” Get a once in a life time tour of the hotel bins and eventually find the convention centre.. woohoo we know where we are now..
“Los Angeles, the city of Angels.. (well Crichton’s Angels..<g>)”
Today in our whirlwind aim to cram in more sightseeing than is humanely possible, Linda, Ellie and I have a day long tour of LA and the stars homes..(yes, we know it’s tacky and crass but it *has* to be done! <g>) First up bump into another Scaper who’s going on another day trip..( and so the Farscape connections begin…<g>)
First up we get taken to the Hollywood Bowl.. Now for those of you Hollywood junkies out there you will be familiar with this venue. (I’m a sucker for old style 1920’s Hollywood onwards stuff myself) However when we arrived we were told it was being made larger..and we climbed a hill to find.. erm a building site. Okay. Not a promising start..<g>
Next up was Mann’s Chinese Theatre.. now this is more like it!! First of all make a detour into a delightfully(?) tacky tourist shop and window shop.. It’s at this point I crack.. You see I don’t normally do sunglasses (or glasses) cause my brain can’t cope with that extra bit of glass sat on the end of my nose and it does all sorts of wiggy things to my sense of distance..(I’m the only person I know who’s more accident prone *wearing* glasses to correct their vision! lol ) But in LA the sun sits really really low on the horizon.. and after a while you just can’t squint or hide behind your arm, bag, nearest tall person, any longer! So I bought some sunglasses and was indicted into the cool dude sunglasses wearing fraternity.. (heheh well I can delude myself can’t I?!) So there you go-in LA they don’t just wear sunglasses to look cool-they really are an essential out there. Anyhow I digress as per usual.. We get to the Hollywood walk of Fame(stars on the pavement thingy) and Mann’s Chinese theatre and the *FIRST* star on the floor we see.. is LEE MAJORS! ROTFLMAO.. cue ridiculous inside joke girly squealing and photography.. lol (It’s a sign of what is to come..) Next up I find Basil Rathbone.. *sighs* my trip is complete..! Go over to the theatre.. dodge scary Frankenstein bloke intent on annoying all those trying to look at the footprints and handprints in the cement outside the old movie theatre. Dodge even more annoying tourist who is intent on photographing every single square centimetre of the floor! Look for Bas’s signature and footprints which I know are here somewhere but fail to find them.. L Ah well.. Then us three gals pose for pics by the Chinese lions (?) outside the theatre (whilst asking annoying “photograph the floor guy” if he would move out the way for just a moment…”the floor will still be in there 30 seconds time, honestly, it will..” <g>)
Next up we are into the Beverly Hill’s area of town and I catch a street name and suddenly a little light inside my head goes *bing!* cause the name rings bells… “Girls” I mutter, “I think, we are on the street where Ben’s agency is..” (yes I know I’m sad… but my brain retains these stupid things.. remember my own phone number, no chance.. Ben’s agents addy.. of course!) so we keep an eye out and sure enough my saddo memory is correct! Nice looking place, and another Farscape connection to add to the collection!
Then we are onto Rodeo drive… woohooo retail opportunity!! Race up look in the shops and splash out on.. a bottle of water! <g> Hey’s it’s upmarket water, don’t sniff at it and I was thirsty. It’s as we are looking in some designer glasses shop window that Linda suddenly goes “OMG.. you’ve got D&G sunglasses” “I’ve got a warrra wah??” “D&G- Dolce and Gebana ” “I have?” (taking them off to look and seeing a D&G logo on the side…) “Yup and perhaps it’s not the best idea to hang around outside a shop that sells the real thing.. lol” Cue swift exit to next row of shops.. lol Feeling now all hip and albeit fakely trendy wonder round the rest of the area and pose for piccies on the picturesque Spanish steps. We all take pics of the Rodeo drive sign and then wonder back to the bus all the while counting how many posh cars we can spot in the space of 5 minutes.. (which is rather a lot!)
Spend more time watching LA as we make our way to the Farmers market for lunch. Spot shops by Paula Zahn, Quimper’s , Gigi’s Brasserie, Johny Rocket’s , Angels printing. :D
Get to the farmer’s market which has no sheep you may be relieved to learn but has every foodstuff imaginable! We settle on some pasta from an Italian stall (when I say “some” I mean enough pasta to feed a small third world country!) <g> As we sit and eat someone’s mobile goes off… it’s playing the 1812 overture.. at this point we lose it completely! Lol
Also it’s here that we notice how many Bird of Paradise plants there are in LA and start to suspect that Scarrans have already invaded LA and are living among us.. There’s trillions of them around the farmers market-which kinda figures as we’ve been told that you can find any food you want and I guess that also includes Scarran nutritional tastes.. though they didn’t say it out loud but we *knew it*.. <g> Start to spot them out and about and start to take notes as to how bad the scarran invasion is.. (there’s none round the Burbank hotel so looks like Scarrans avoid Farscape conventions.. ) The Uk has no birds of paradise so looks like we are scarran free for the moment.. ;)
We also visited the Le Brea tar pits which is a huge lake in the middle of LA which just looks so odd to be there! <g> It is a lake full of tar bubbling up from below the surface of the ground and when excavated in years past lots of ancient bones and wotnot were dug up. There was a museum also behind the lake and a huge bit of parkland.. Me-I recognise this place because it features in the movie starring Tommy Lee Jones called Volcano..
Finally we go to see the oldest house in the LA area which is a very Mexican style area.. Toddle along the open market which is filled with the most toy guitars I have ever seen outside of Spain and then go hunting for ice cream.. which is soo nice that we collectively inspire a poor unsuspecting bystander to see ours and be taken with the sudden urge to get some too.. lol Eat ice cream in world record timing as we have to get back on the bus..
Anyhow after all this we then go back to swap buses for the second part of the tour of Beverly Hill’s and the stars homes. We get to see homes of Toby Maguire, Halle Berry, Winona Ryder (and her car woohoo!) , Courtney Cox and her hubby’s place and many more. We also got to see where Keanu Reeves goes to have breakfast and we even saw Mickey Rourke wondering around.. well the back of him anyhow.. <g> We got to see all the Hollywood night spots and other landmarks including a car park that Hugh Grant is particularly familiar with.. ;) Beverly Hill’s and the surrounding area’s are gorgeous.. and leave the trip feeling suitably poverty stricken in comparison!
Finally we swap buses and we are taken home buy a female bus driver who is *completely* shot away and the hour or so back to the hotel flies by in much lunacy!
Finally back at the hotel we get a call from Dani and Mary to ask if we want to come up to their room to hang and veg out.. I suggest they come up to our suite as there’s more room. We then do the only thing you *have* to do when at the Hilton Hotel. You order out for Pizza!! LOL And of course to continue one of our traditions.. it’s a Pizza Hut pizza!! <g> Mary is quite disgusted at the price…$21.00 for two large pizza’s.. but we chime in that that’s a bargain!! We’d pay the equivalent of about $44.00 in the UK! We settle down and chat and scoff and watch the Gilmore Girls at last! It’s at this point you really appreciate how well that the studios fool an audience cause it’s amazing to see the outdoor(but indoor) sets *really* look like outside! Anyhow the evening flies by and we eventually all give Dani and Mary goodbye hugs just incase we don’t see them the next morning and we all hit the sack..
“Daaaaaa.. duh… daaahhhhh duh.. dahduhdahduhdahduh.. ”
Get up *rather reluctantly* and we all pack.. God there is nothing more depressing than packing to go home. L We pack away all our stuff from every nook and cranny of the room and when we are done look sadly at our home for the last week.. Do one more check to make sure we’ve got everything and trundle downstairs for our last lot of breakfast and to get our cases put in storage for our flight home at 8.45pm. Eat brekky and then hit WH Smith’s (Yes, five thousand miles away from home and find that the hotel shop is a blinking WH Smiths! Lol) Buy some bits and bobs and then we decide to do a visit to Universal Studios.. speed tourism we call it! <g> We arrange with Javier (the fantastically brilliant concierge at the Hilton who was sooo helpful to us the whole week) for a taxi to take us to universal and we spend our last hours doing what we know best.. enjoying ourselves! :D
We arrive at the rather impressive frontage of universal and wonder in wondering what to do first. We all decide to do the tour.. and all those who’ve seen stuff about Universal know what tour we are referring too! Yes we know what’s coming but you have to do it! Lol So we cut through the lines (cause we had these fab front of line tickets) and sat on the tour bus at the front.. The tour guide starts to look at my chest. with a puzzled look on his face.. He then says “ahhh *that’s* where it comes from..” I am confused at this point then realise that my t shirt says “Eazy Peazey lemon Squeezy, product of the UK.” Apparently Austin Powers says that in the movie a lot and he didn’t realise it was a real uk saying and not something that was made up! LOL Oooookay.. I can see how this day’s gonna go.. lol Anyhow we do the tour which involves us going on a collapsing bridge, in a set where we are on a train station and there’s an earthquake and all sorts of fire and things start falling from all directions (which was bloody impressive!) ,we hit the Jaw’s pond and get the run up by everyone’s favourite great white shark..(it was worth doing Universal for that! Lol) We saw a lot of movie sets including the town square where they did Back to the Future (yes that clock tower!) and also sets from Jurassic park and many other movies old and new. Anyhow it was really cool and when it was over we decided to have some lunch (on what was a blisteringly hot day!) Then we did two rides..We did the back to the future ride which was pretty good… and the rather hilarious Shrek 3d which was completely hysterical from the moment you stepped inside!! Finally we did some shopping.. and in the large shop out front we found some Angel t shirts and even Angel Academy!! Lol After some photos we then bought one each.. and then went for a quick wonder up the Universal walk where we found our first Farscape item(trading cards) we’d seen for sale in a large toy store! Suddenly it was time to go back to the hotel and wait for Angie to drive us back to LAX.. We get back to find a phone call waiting for us-seems there’s a crisis on at work and she can’t make it so she’s booked us three places on the LAX shuttle!! We are completely gobsmacked by her for the second time this trip and resolve to work out a way to thank her when we get home. ((thank you sooo much Angie!!))
Anyhow we retrieve our luggage and find that we have a bagful of chocolate that we can’t be bothered to carry back with us so we ask the hotel reception staff if they would like it..”oh YES PLEASE” was the rather understated reply and as Linda handed it over the lady said “ooh you’re angels” “ Cue much stupid grinning and subconscious muttering of “yes that’s us.. lol”
Then it’s time to go as the shuttle turns up and we take the long plane journey home which is mercifully much better than the one out (apart from me accidentally poking , prodding and bopping everyone with my poster tube.. <g> and that the Pirates of the Caribbean tape was broken.. so no swashbuckling on the plane..L ) and arrive back in cold and wet England.. Linda and I book ourselves into the Thistle again and hug Ellie goodbye as her dad has arrived to pick her up! Find our room only to find it’s a double bed! Ooops.. just what we need! So we go back and get it sorted and stagger to the second one.. Sit down.. relax.. decide we need food and take a long cold trek to Mc Donalds again..(hey how could we not?! <g>) then settle down and watch Pirates of the Caribbean in the room (Woohooo we buckle our swashes at last! <g>)
The next morning at some ridiculously early hour housekeeping tries to wake us up.. fails and we carry on sleeping.. then eventually we get up and trundle out to catch the bus back to Heathrow for Linda to catch her flight and me to get my coach.. Hug our goodbyes and mention over and over that we want to go back to LA and don’t want it to be over..!
And that’s it.. looong trip home on the coach. In the rain…
God I hate sad and unhappy endings….
Which is just aswell cause this one has a happy ending… J
We’re going back NEXT YEAR! So LA..look out. You have 12 months to look for somewhere good to hide! <g> The Angels are flying out to invade again! :D
Firstly a mention for all those people and events I’ve forgotten in this mammoth rambling… Like Bob (((thank you sooooooooo soooo much for your help and thank goodness you found your card!), Gill (sorry for being such an idiot and not twigging who you were at first!), the lovely lady (who’s name escapes me at the moment) who sat in front of us at the con, who queued with us and who let me take pictures by moving to the side every now and then, for me to get a clear shot , getting to hold the award that Crash had for Ben, getting hugged and hi’d by soo many people like Dorothy Gail, LVShewolf, Njak, JMax, Fialka, Maayan, Scrubschick, Selena,Catlucky (damn, you are talented girl!) and everyone who I’ve criminally omitted from this report or names I didn’t quite catch! (sorry you can trout me next year! <g>)
Notes to self for next year:
Either arrive alot earlier(preferably not after detouring to 8 different airports previously, whilst avoiding a freak rain storm at LAX consisting of trout,crackers and peas.).
Have caffeine intravenously injected.
Move to LA.
Break into the BBC and pinch the T.A.R.D.I.S. or ( probably easier) invent time travel suitcase.(So you can time travel *and* have your travel hairdryer and that clean change of underwear with you too!)
Make legible convention notes
Take a pen that actually writes.
Employ a secretarial team.
Steal a laptop, then kidnap someone who *can* type. <g>
Ask the cast, crew and Scapers to come back with me to the UK so they can tell me again what they said over a cup of tea and some scones.
Try to remember more and have less blanks.
Buy a book on how to make you memory better and try not to forget to read it.
Employ a film crew to follow me around the entire weekend.(Coming soon to a cinema near you..“Burbank :The Movie” :D)
Ask for a brain implant (was gonna say transplant but that implies having one to start with :D)
Avoid Ben Browder’s hypnotic eyes. <g> (Ben if you ever give up acting, you know you have another talent and are the natural successor to Paul McKenna’s crown! )
More con tips from beyond the edge of sanity next year!