May the Fourth be with you.

May 4, 2012

Happy Star Wars day, everybody!

I’d like to ramble just a bit tonight about my completed Script Frenzy screenplay draft, ‘Geek at Heart’. It’s a romantic comedy set in the world of fandom, and my main character and a lot of his friends identify as Star Wars fans and dress up as the core cast of ‘A New Hope.’

That was a last-minute decision, because I was planning everything about Script Frenzy at the last minute this year. Sometime well into the last week of March I was still thinking I was going to be writing about a dating agency with all of the set-ups happening on trains – still a romantic comedy, but that movie would have been very different in the details. And I’m not a big Star Wars fan myself, but I guess I’ve absorbed a lot about it, because all kinds of cool Star Wars stuff kept coming out as soon as I got familiar with those characters. šŸ™‚

My favorite line, which is hopefully going to be in a Script Frenzy official video, is from a montage where all of Harry’s friends are working the various fan groups that have come to the big convention, trying to find dates for him – and mostly striking out. Amanda, who plays the role of Princess Leia in their group, talks to an older Klingon couple about the possibility of setting Harry up with a Klingon girl:

“We have heard of your Jedi Knights, princess, with their light sabers and mind tricks. That is not the path of a true warrior, and there is no honor in it. Do not ask again!”

Nanowrimo day 24: Pie is squared.

November 25, 2010

Well, today I had my ‘pie time’ with Chris Baty and Lindsey Grant, and it was awesome. (One week to the day since I first got the coupon and started freaking out that they wouldn’t be able to fit me in, by the by.) Rode the BART up to Ashby station in south Berkeley, and all the while I kept thinking of one of those Simpsons episodes with Sideshow Bob – the one where they had a montage of all of his ‘Hello, Bart’ moments, and one of them was actually Bob on a subway platform as the train pulls into the station – and Bart Simpson nowhere in sight. šŸ˜€

So, I got there a few minutes early, actually took a picture of the Office and Letters and Light storefront, before going into the Sweet Adeline Bakeshop and finding a free table that looks like it could fit the three of us. As I was getting settled, in comes Chris Baty, tells me, “Hi Chris, I’ll be back in a few minutes,” and continues on to the washrooms in the back.

I get up to take a look at the treats that are available, along comes Lindsey, and she mentions that she’s not sure where Chris went. “He just left the office a minute or two ago.”

“He just came through, I think he’s using the facilities,” I mention, and she looks a bit relieved.

So – I had two little almond tea cakes that were delicious – reminding me of the almondette cookies that we used to get in plastic tray packages when I was young – and a bottle of organic apple cider. Chris Baty had a slice of the lemon tart pie, which he didn’t finish, and tea, green tea I think. Lindsey had some kind of weird cake with pudding in the center or something like that. We took everything back to the Office of Letters and Light building, with Lindsey promising to bring the plates back to the bakeshop later.

I was introduced to a few people in the tech department on the way through, then we arranged ourselves around the conference table and started to chat. It was a great talk, ranging from topics like the wild parrots of telegraph hill and the marriage that they ruined, to how to get more Nanowrimo participants to donate to the Office of Letters and Light, and discussing programs to encourage people to work towards getting their Nanowrimo novels published or their Frenzy scripts produced. Also the snowflake method.

After about an hour, Chris started to very nicely get me up and moving out, explaining that he had another commitment in fifteen minutes, and gave me the full tour of the premises, letting me take a few pictures, and handling a few more introductions. That was pretty much it.

I got to keep my pie coupon, with a scrawl on the back that it is ‘Redeemed’, the date, and Chris Baty’s signature.

Oh, and on my way back to the BART, I saw a sign for ‘The other hobbit’ fantasy and science fiction books, and couldn’t resist going in and looking around. Picked up a Buffy season 7 collection. Also, on my way back to the BART, I got somewhat lost and had to ask someone for the way to the station – only to realize I was maybe fifteen feet away from the edge of the station parking lot. D’oh!!

Nearly pointless Thanksgiving day update from Lindsey: “I think the “pie” I had was called buckle cake…it was very much like a flat round muffin. Yum yum :)”

Fan Expo diary – part One

August 30, 2010

First off, I’ve missed a blog post from my usual schedule, on account of preparations for Fan Expo keeping me busy, but I figured I’d do a big series to start off the week with some of my experiences. This was written Saturday morning, about my first day at Fan Expo, the afternoon and evening of August 27th:

Got into town around three on Friday – immediately headed off to my hotel to check in and drop off my bags. They had automated check in, which was nice, and I hung around in the room for a few minutes to catch my breath, and kept a lookout for any place to grab some food fast when heading down to Front street.

And then I saw the lines of people waiting to get in.

Immediately hurried over to join the line, and then realized that this was the line of people who hadn’t reserved tickets online, so I hurried down to find the end of the other line. Bought a burger and a bottle of water at a hamburger car sitting out just past the start of the ‘reserved tickets’ line. It was just after four when I got my order, the line started to move – slowly, and I continued along ALL the way down Front street and down the side street to the end of the line. Ended up behind a family group – mother, three daughters from teen-age to pre-teen and a little boy. Ate my burger, drank my water, and moved with the line.

Now, I’d really been excited about the Serenity RPG-ing, and there was a session listed for Friday at 5pm, so I was constantly trying to convince myself that I’d be in the building by five. I wasn’t, quite, and there was more of a lineup inside the building. By the time I’d handed in my reservation printout and gotten my orange wristband, it was probably five twenty-five, and I lost more time trying to go down the wrong stairs before I found the right way to the RPG room.

“No, sorry, that session is full up, and even if it weren’t, they’ve started play.”

So I reserved a spot in the Sunday Serenity session, and also a D&D session for Saturday, thanked the people outside the RPG room, and headed back up to the main floor. Met someone from the Shindigs group in passing, got all the way over to the celebrity signing lines, hesitated over who to wait for at this point, ended up going through Michael Dorn’s line and getting a signed action shot of Worf.

By this time, I’d figured out that the Saturday D&D session conflicted with Felica Day’s Q&A, and some other things that I wanted to be available for, so I went back down to RPGs to cancel on that one, back up to the floor, wandered around some of the vendor stalls. I think I visited Chris M from the Buffy and Shindigs groups, who was working at the Pixel Barrel stall, and bought a hardcover volume of the Ninth Doctor Shooting Scripts, then to a photo stall and picked up two more unsigned pictures of Summer Glau, and then finally hit the jackpot at a comics stall.

“All trades for half off the US cover price” – and they had all the Buffy comics omnibi from two through six, which I’ve been meaning to pick up since I loved reading the first one, but thought the price came a little steep on Amazon.

So I paid them off, and found a way to stick all the books into my laptop bag along with the doctor who and what I’d brought with me. Wandered over towards the signing area, Felicia Day had shown up and I actually got into her line, then realized just how heavy my bag was now, and decided to go out through the exits, drop the heavy stuff back at the hotel. It was just getting towards seven by this point, and I didn’t have any firm ‘gotta be there’s until the James concert at nine.

So I headed down and out the marked exits – there was a sign saying ‘no re-entry without hand stamps,’ but that apparently doesn’t apply to weekend ticket-holders with orange wristbands. Got a soft-serve ice cream cone from another truck on front street, got back up to my room on the tenth floor, unpacked the bag, drank one of my powder drink mixes with the hotel tap water, headed back down, grabbed a donut from the Tim Horton’s on the corner, and back to the convention center. Went back to the signing area, took a look at the Felicia Day line again but didn’t actually get in, wandered around the vendors for a while, and then headed down to level one for Stockwell Day’s Q&A.

That was a fun session – he was very matter-of-fact about what it had been like for him to be a working actor for so many decades, and even though I got spoiled for some Battlestar Galactica stuff I didn’t mind. I asked a question about funny moments from shooting Quantum Leap, and just got a reply of “I can’t think of one moment, but there was something funny happening every day on that set between Scott and I,” which was alright.

I showed up ten minutes early for the James concert, and nobody got let in until at least twenty after nine, but it was really fun once it started. He obviously loves to write songs and to perform them, which I hadn’t really realized even when I bought the ticket. He sprinkled in a few fun stories between numbers, and I took an awful lot of pictures – I hope the people ahead of me weren’t too annoyed at the flash going off.

And that was pretty much it for day one of fan expo, for me – chatted with a Shindig friend a little on the way out of the James concert, (most of them were in the VIP line waiting I think,) and came back to my hotel tired and just about ready to fall into bed.

Off in Summertown…

August 6, 2010

I’m taking my summer vacation at the moment, at a resort hotel near Huntsville, Ontario. Coming back home to the Golden Horseshoe next Tuesday.

Today was fairly exciting and eventful – finished backing and left early, taking the city buses up to the Burlington GO transit station, GO train into Toronto Union station, and getting my tickets for the Northlander train to Huntsville.

The plan from there was to hang around Huntsville for most of the afternoon, walking around, grabbing lunch and an early dinner, and maybe picking up some snacks at a grocery store, before finding a taxi to take me out to the resort, since I wasn’t sure if I’d want to pay for a taxi to take me into town once I was out here, until it was time to check out and take the train home, and there didn’t seem to be much else around the hotel aside from its own restaurant and sports facilities, as far as I could tell.

That plan worked out well enough, actually, despite the train station being in a different place than I’d found searching the company name on google maps. (Didn’t realize that there was also an Ontario Northland bus depot.) Took some good pictures around Huntsville.

Taxi driver dropped me off at the resort reception area, I went up to the front desk, with my smallish wheeled suitcase, my smaller laptop bag, and my snacks, and told them my name. This was the last point in the process at which I expected a problem.

At first, they couldn’t seem to find me, and then, checking the expedia records, the girl said that my reservation was for July 5th – which at first she thought was yesterday, and then clued in that it was a month ago. “Do you have a printout of your reservation?’

No, I didn’t. Sometimes I print it out, but not always, because I never seem to need it, hehe.

“Well, we can book you in for two nights, but that’s it. We’re full up on Saturday night.”

I didn’t really like this, but I agreed, partly because I wanted to have a room where I could unwind, get online, figure out what had happened, and especially if I’d managed to book the hotel online for the wrong month and NOT NOTICE. I do have a little history of absent-minded mistakesĀ of that sort, but this would take the cake for stupidity, or at least be a contender with mistakes that were not date-based at all.

So, the girl ran my credit card, handed me key-cards and told me where to find my room, and I booted up my netbook computer, checked my google mail, reset my expedia password so I could log in, because I didn’t have the expedia password saved on the netbook.

The reservation was definitely for August 5th-10th. I even had a reminder that was sent on August 1st.

Called the expedia toll-free number, waited on hold for over half an hour without getting anyone live, and then gave up in frustration. Sigh. Called the front desk and mentioned that I’d found the confirmations in my email, and I could take the netbook to them and show it to them if that would help sort things out.

“Actually, I’ll give you the hotel’s email address, if you can forward the emails to us.”

So I did, and she said that she’d call me when there was any news. So I chatted online with some friends, blowing off a little frustrated steam, and worked on writing some new words for the day. Still anxious about what was going to happen, and what I would do if I couldn’t stay past Saturday, especially since the Northlander train doesn’t run on Saturday, so I couldn’t just go home at that point – at least, not using the other half of my open-ended round trip ticket.

Finally, I anxiously called the expedia toll-free again, and to my surprise got through to somebody in under five minutes.Ā I gave my itinerary number and explained the situation, and I have to say, this guy was the man you’d want in your corner when you have a misunderstanding with a hotel. “Alright, I’ve emailed and faxed our copy of the reservation to the resort, and if it’s okay, I’d like to put you on hold for just a little while and call the front desk myself, and I’ll be back with you once we’ve had that little chat.”

So I waited on hold with a bit more hope and less anxiety, and Expedia guy comes back a little more than five minutes later. “Yeah, it’s all set up. You’ll have to switch to another room, but you can stay for the full reservation. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

“Not really, you’ve been great.”

So, at this point, I figured I would be moving presently to my new room until Tuesday morning, so I ran around for a little while repacking and getting ready for that. After that was done, I called the front desk, to ask if there was any update on sorting out my missing reservation. (I didn’t mention talking to Expedia guy.)

“Yes, we’ve got a plan, but the room you’re in now is booked for starting Saturday night. So you’ll have to pack your things and come to the front desk Saturday morning, I’ve had a cancellation, so we can move you into another room then.”

Well, that wasn’t what I’d expected, but I’ll take it happily. (Assuming of course, that it isn’t just a clever ruse to get me out of the room on Saturday so that security can throw me off their property more conveniently, which is probably a pretty paranoid thought.)

I’ll make sure to include a resort reservation update on Sunday. And one more minor thought.

The word ‘prerogative’ does not look right to me that way, nor sound right pronounced as it is spelled. Up until today, I seriously thought that the word was spelled and said as ‘perogative’, and I’m not quite willing to let go of that. Who else, (besides Britney Spears,) is with me??

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