Superstition and trying to avoid bad stuff happening

June 9, 2012

I just got back from a Browncoats Shindig at the Yonge street Elephant and Castle pub in Toronto – had a great time, met a few new people, had a great steak sandwich. :)

But something was on my mind the whole time, especially getting from the Union Station bus terminal to the pub and back again – not hurting my knee again.

As I might have mentioned, I managed to fall and hurt my knee twice during April – both times in Toronto. This was the first time I’ve been back to Toronto since the Avengers, and I was going to a pub in the Yonge and Dundas area – which was exactly what I was doing when I fell the last time, on my way to a Doctor Who Society of Canada pub night.

So I was being very careful of where I was stepping and my balance and and sign of weakness in my legs and if there was anything damp on the ground – which is all pretty good stuff to be aware of if you don’t want to fall down. But I also felt superstitiously that I needed to make some other change in my routine if I wanted to avoid another painful tumble.

On my way there, I took the underground PATH again, (because I’d left my shades in the car, in Hamilton, and it was bright and sunny outside,) but I especially didn’t want to go anywhere near the part of the PATH where I’d slipped on a wet floor, so I ended up taking the West route up and crossing over from the Sheraton to the Bay, instead of walking the most direct route. (I also had more than three quarters of an hour from the time I arrived at the bus station before the Shindig was supposed to start, so I was killing time a little.) And on the way back, the sun wasn’t so much a problem so I walked on the sidewalk, all the way down Yonge street.

It seems odd, to get this superstitious about something like hurting my knee, but then, I had thought I was taking reasonable precautions the last time, and then my attention slipped for a moment and I hurt myself anyway. Superstition, might be, on some level, a bit like an allergic reaction in the brain, when you want to avoid a bad circumstance or get a good outcome but you can’t be sure what patterns are important to pay attention to, so you start following all kinds of patterns even though on a different intuitive level you feel that they won’t make a difference.

At least my knee is doing fairly well tonight.


Fan Expo day three update

August 27, 2011

Well, it was all about Eliza Dushku and Lost Girl, it turns out. Not that either has anything to do with the other beyond sharing my time today.

I was in line by 8:45 to get in, and so I arrived at the autograph booths close enough to ten AM to get the number 67 ticket. They’re using a new system of number tickets in addition to the lines for autographs this year, it seems – once the space allocated for the line is full, anyone else has to get a ticket, and they call a certain block of numbers that can come and join the line when there’s room. So once the easel said ‘up to 75′ next to Eliza’s line, I rushed forward to take my place. If you miss the call for your block, you can use your ticket to join the line later.

Got plenty of good stuff, both for myself and for a friend who’s also a big Eliza fan. Then it was up to the Lost Girl panel, which was really cool, because there was so much positive energy in the room – you could tell that the cast loved working on the series, and had a lot of fun together, and there was a huge turnout and everybody in the audience was excited, and the cast was thrilled to see that they had so many fans. After the screening, the cast had a special limited-time signing, so I got a bunch of signed mini-cards. Then it was time to quickly grab a pizza and head up to get my picture taken with Eliza at the ‘photo op.’

After I’d left the photo op room, things kinda got less eventful. The convention center was very crowded by that point in the afternoon; I went to one panel that I thought looked cool, but I was late and it was standing room only, so I didn’t stay. Then another event got cancelled, and I ended up sitting for about an hour and a half in the waiting line for Eliza’s question and answer session, which was pretty cool – I got a good seat and recorded some of it on my camera. And then a dinner shindig with the Toronto Firefly group to round out the day.

So it was a fun time, despite a lot of waiting around. But even the waiting time I put to good use – reading on the iPhone! I finished reading “Prisoner of Azkaban”, read Terry Pratchett’s “The Light Fantastic” through from beginning to end, and started on “The Rock Rats.” The battery went down more than halfway just from all of that reading!

PS: Since I see that somebody was searching for it, the autograph fee for Eliza Dushku was a bit on the pricey side – forty dollars a signature, and fifty for the photo op ticket.


Can’t stop the Serenity 2011

June 17, 2011

The Toronto CSTS screening event is tomorrow afternoon. I’m so excited that it’s almost here!

Background: Can’t stop the Serenity is a charity fundraiser put on by fans of the ‘Firefly’ franchise, benefiting Equality Now, an organization that fights for the human rights of women around the world. (It’s a favorite charity of Joss Whedon, the creator of Firefly.) They run events in many US cities and other countries around the world, though I’ve only ever been to the Torotno screenings. Check http://www.cantstoptheserenity.com/ to see if there’s one near you!

The 2005 feature film ‘Serenity’ is screened, some of the attendees dress up in character, there’s an auction of some cool geeky souvenirs, (some of which have been signed by celebrities,) and then some of the fans move to a local restaurant for the ‘shindig’ party.

This will be my third screening. I actually found out about the first one, in 2008, more or less by accident, from another member of the Hamilton Nanowrimo writer’s group, who was saying that she wouldn’t be available to meet at a coffee hous that Saturday. I decided it was too cool not to go into Toronto for it. That was really the start of my participation in the Toronto fandom scene, though it took me a little while to actually go back in for another Shindig.

I didn’t actually make it to the screening in 2009, though I prepaid my ticket and my t-shirt, so I still contributed to the fundraising that year. (And I love the shirt.) I had some health issues that summer, and if I recall correctly I was out of the hospital by that weekend, but not feeling up to much more than sitting around the apartment and going out for my clinic appointments. I did have a little Firefly DVD marathon to console myself for what I was missing.

And last year, I went in costume for the first time, having put together a thrift-store outfit that looked recognizably like one of Simon Tam’s suits. Picked up a great needlepoint at the auction that I still have sitting on my desk – and that’s the day that I had a bit of unexpected excitement getting home on account of the G20 riots.

This year, I’ve got my eye on a Serenity mousepad as well as some other goodies at the auction. And I’d like to actually put myself out there socially and talk to more new people than I have before.


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