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Monday, August 20, 2012

How to Survive a Stargate Con

How to Survive a Stargate Con

Subtitle: Yes this is different. Especially if he is taking you 13-14  hours away to hug another man.  There’s some prep work involved. 

A diary of my first convention, bear with me, I’m a dork. But I don’t live with my parents. So that’s a plus, right?

Step 1: Find your event.  For this I strongly suggest Twitter.  We all know my goal was to meet Mr. Canadian Hot Pants so I just twitter stalked the hell out of him. But not obsessively, I mean I do have a lot of other stuff to do with my insane students and dealing with Adorable Nerd child and Fashionista-In-Training. But, I do follow people with whom I have a shared interest and the day he tweeted “I’m going to ChiCon” I literally went screaming through my house. Like a maniac. I have witnesses.  

Step 2: Make it tie into an already existing event.  For me, it was just so convenient that it was our 9th wedding anniversary the same week as the convention, so I simply asked for it to be my anniversary present.  Yeah, I know right.  Can you just imagine that conversation...

Me: Jack, I know what I want for our anniversary. 

Jack: Good, because you are so damn difficult. What? Another tattoo? 

Me: I want to meet Michael Shanks. 

Jack: We don’t have a passport and you are not going to stalk the Saving Hope set. 

Me: It’s a Stargate convention in Chicago. No passport. No stalking. 

Jack: (silence) (I mean, what can he say.  Game. Set. Match) 

Step 3: Start planning.  Now, since conventions have certain rules and things, and my work already started, I really needed to get everything down just right.  First, I booked at room at the hotel the DAY he announced. Second, I called my friend Bryce, in tears, to figure out what to buy.  (And he helped me without mocking me, imagine that). Third, get to hustling. Remember those mad crazy extra skills I told you earlier that you need.  Now is time to play your hand.  I whored myself out for tutoring like a mad woman. Ok, so trip, PAID. 

Step 4: The travel. To quote Mr. Canadian Hot Pants: “You seriously drove 14 hours.  Straight? Wow.” Ok, before you act like this is insane, please remember whose blog you are reading, you people know how Hot Roommate and I like to travel.  Now, as I mentioned, it is going to take quite a bit of convincing to get your significant other to drive you to hug your celeb crush, so you need to make the drive as painless as possible. Ya gotta give in. Let him buy junk food. Let him listen to his odd combo of 1980’s music and whiney white boy.  Talk about anything you can OTHER than Michael Shanks. Kiss his ass. You are in the car together for 14 hours..... 14.  Yeah, straight.  

Step 5: Don’t panic.  Now, if you are like me, you will arrive, early, with the nerds.  Not that I’m not a nerd, but come on, this was like a Howard Walawitz family reunion (yeah, I prob spelled the name wrong, so sue me? I am NOT that kind of nerd when it comes to detail).  I am telling you not to panic because the cool people just like to arrive late. Sometimes looking like a different person that they did on Twitter. And sometimes they don’t show up until Sunday, right beside your seats from Saturday ;) 

Step 6: Be yourself. After having my awesome twitter girls calm me down all week long, I finally took their advice. Bri = crazy. Good crazy. Fun crazy. And, as much as I try to hide it, I’m Southern, from my head to my feet.  I have an accent. So I just decided that  I was gonna give each and every one of the stars me, unfiltered, uncensored.  And guess what? It worked. Here’s how it went down.....

Step 7: Grow BALLS OF STEEL. (Special wink to Sarah here) There they are, Tony Amendola and Cliff Simon, two of your favorites from the series.  You want to ask a follow up question to another fan question. Do it.  March right up there, take a deep breath and when you open your mouth and “Y’all” is the first word that comes tumbling out of it, no matter how much you coached yourself not to talk like that, just keep going.  Because after they chuckle and answer your question, you’re going to run into Cliff Simon at the cafe.  You will discuss martial arts. Then he will ask you for your name and where you are from.  And THEN he will tell you your accent is cute, that he loves it and will shake your hand.  And you won’t faint.  In fact, your balls will just get steelier. You will march up to Steve Bacic and ask for directions to the club he was talking about. And he’ll stop, give you exact directions and tell you to have fun.  See how helpful those balls are.  

Step 8: Wake up Sunday. Rinse. Repeat.  March right up to that mic again to ask David Nykles a question, but have a funnier comment pop into your head and go with that. Here’s how it will go down. 

David: (finishes answering yet ANOTHER question about his outbursts in Chech on the series). Yes. 

Me: Well, I had a serious question, but now I really just want you to teach me how to speak Chech.  

David: Laughs and says something about it being hard. 

Me: Serious question.

David: Serious answer. 

Me: Thanks and can you teach me just thing in Chech, please.  

David: (smiles). Ok, (and then says something in Chech). 

Me: Repeats said phrase

David: (still smiling) Yes, that’s it.  

Me: Thanks (turns to leave)

Woman Behind me: Do you know what he said? 

Me: No idea

Woman: He said you are beautiful. 


David: (Still on stage apparently watching). Yes, I said you are beautiful.  (Into mic. In front of the crowd.  The full room. OMA)

Me: Somehow managed not to hit the floor.  

Step 8: Make new friends.  Not only did I get to meet one of my awesome twitter gals in person, but I met a hysterical chica from ChiTown with a hilarious laugh.  You will need these new friends to help enhance your insanity.  They need to be right there with you when Michael dear Athena he is more beautiful in person if that is even possible Shanks enters the room.  Include them in your madness, because you are about to become a fan girl story.  That goes a little something like this.  

Kelli (my new squeaky friend): I have a question for him (she is writing on her hand) what are you going to ask?  

Me: I have a serious question, mostly because I am obsessed with True Blood, but I was going to open with “Will you marry me?”

Kelli: Really? 

Me: Yep.

Kelli: Let’s do it together. 


In line at the mic Mr. Canadian Hot Pants (Dionysus he is RIGHT THERE) makes a joke.  You and friend laugh.  Friend has an insane laugh that is a squeaky hiccup. Friend looks at you in horror, face red, because he heard.  He is laughing and looking at you both.  Now we are all laughing. No one else gets it yet.  He starts to pick on friend and then says he loves the laugh.  Friend laughs more. Finally, three of us are able to compose ourselves and he returns to answering question. Now it’s our turn. 

Kelli: Ok, I’m not going to laugh, I have a serious question. I wrote it on my hand so I wouldn’t forget (Shanks says something about her not laughing, I am too lost in his voice to really listen). Did you study any archaeology before playing your role as Daniel Jackson.  

Shanks: Nope. (laughs, more squeak, puts mic in lap and we all laugh. Looks at me) Did you write your question on her hand too?

Me: (laughs) No, it’s short, easy to remember. Would you ever play/ want to play/be interested in playing a vampire?

Shanks: A vampire? 

Me: Yes, pretty please. 

Shanks: (laughs for a sec, stops and thinks). Yea, I’d do that. It might be cool. 

Kelli: (pulls me back up to the mic) Ok, and we wanted to ask you if you will marry us.  

Shanks: (mic in lap again, laughing) Aright, (lifts hand) I now pronounce you wife and wife.  

Crowd roars. Kelli begins to squeak. I am laughing so hard I hurt.  Kelli dashes off. I run back to mic.  

Me: Thanks! Oh, and I love you! 

Now, things will proceed as normal.  As normal as it can. But Shanks is going to be funny again (Dear ZEUS this man is such a smart ass. We would get along delightfully!!) and Kelli will squeak.  He will bust out laughing again.  You will point to Kelli in crowd to embarrass her.  He will inform you that he knows where she is, where we both are.  Holy shit!! He watched us sit down. This is awesome.  Girl will come to mic.  She will vow to fight us.  I will inform her of my Black Belt.  Kelli will inform her about being a bad ass midget.  Shanks will inform us in a Stewie voice that he can make a four way marriage work and assign us all tasks.  You my friend have made a fan girl story. Congrats. 

Step 9: You only live once. It’s photo time.  Remember those balls from yesterday.  Did ya bring your polish? Time to shine.  Fix your make-up, kinda dress up like your original fan fic Mary Sue. Here’s your photo op. And here’s your script.  

Shanks: Hi there. (smiling, he must remember the proposal) 

Me: (prancing right up to him) I drove 14 hours to meet you, hug you and thank you. (Leap into his arms and hug him. He WILL hug you back.  Then kiss his cheek. Do it.  He didn’t flinch, and I was wearing lip gloss ;) ) 

Shanks: 14 hours? Really? To thank me?

Me: Yeah, I wrote a letter, but I will give it to you at the autograph session.  Ok? 

Shanks: Yeah, that would be great. I’ll read it.  Alright (starts to put his arm around you) let’s do this.  

Me: No, no, it has to be back to back. It just does (Anyone know why??? Are you good readers??).

Shanks: Ok, we can do whatever you want. (Pauses and then laughs and starts to turn). Well, maybe I shouldn’t have said that, anything you want...

Me: (now leaning back to back with Michael SHANKS!! looking into camera) Yeah honey, that is a pretty dangerous thing to say to me, trust me.  

Shanks (is now laughing, I FEEL him convulsing at my back and is still laughing and trying NOT laugh to while our picture is taken)


Shanks: (turns back around to face me and saying something about the card/letter, but I am still so freakin’ enchanted that all I can do is hug him again) 

Me: Thank you, just thank you. The card will explain everything. I just adore you. (Hug him tighter) 

Shanks: You are so sweet, I’ll see you at the autograph session.  

Try to leave without doing a cartwheel in the hall. Because even for you, that’s over the top.  

Calmly tweet, text and call every person you know.  Walk laps around the hotel to calm your nerves and get fresh air.  Go pick up your picture and note you can tell he is trying not to laugh. Makes it that much more awesome. You made Michael Shanks laugh by just being yourself. And you look great.  Because you changed your stars.  

Head on into autograph session. Nerves are gone.  Now you’re excited, you just want to see him again.  Get in line, chat it up with the people near you. And then....there he is again...

Shanks: Your laptop?

Me: Yeah, it’s my laptop. 

Shanks: No, that’s cool. Where do you want me to sign it?

Me: (Points and explains)

Shanks: (As he is writing) So, you really drove fourteen hours? 

Me: Yeah. 

Shanks: Straight?

Me: Yeah. 

Shanks: I hope you stopped to pee (laughs)

Me: (laughing too, again, this seems to be how this goes down every time). Yea, I am a girl.  

Shanks: (laughs and makes sure autograph is alright) 

Me: It was worth it, I had to give you this. (Reaches to set card in front of him while he looks over autograph before handing computer back)

Shanks: Oh, that’s right, the card.  (takes it and places it by his water bottle on the floor) I will read it, I will.  

Me: Oh and thanks for the tweet of good luck for my first 10K race. That meant a lot. 

Shanks: That was you? I remember that! 

Me: Yeah, and you’re right, I am a masochist (both of us laugh again and he looks up and I start to tear up) 

Me: Just, please read the card and thank you again (I reach out to hug him and he stands right up and hugs me back, so, I kissed his cheek again and he sits back down as handler places Jan’s puck in front of him) 

Shanks: Bye sweetheart

And then it was over. I’m trying to NOT cry as I write this. I hope he reads the letter.  I hope he understands and doesn’t think I’m crazy.  I meant every word of it.  EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. I just needed him to know. 

Step 10: Spanish wine, right? Not this time my friend.  You have to drive back 14 more hours home.  Be safe, drive careful and rest when needed.  Because this is not the end. It’s just the beginning.  Back to twitter stalking.