Sunday, August 29, 2010

Stargate Convention 2010

     Friday morning I found out David Hewlett was going to be in Chicago Saturday. I didn't even know the convention was this weekend because I'd decided not to attend any more of them - unless David Hewlett or Richard Dean Anderson showed up.

     (Creation Cons are just too much about the money. I am spoiled by Doctor Who Conventions of old - $30 bucks gets you in, you sit where you want (pretty much), you get three signatures free for each actor/writer/producer... and can wait in line again if you want. You get pictures with them for free. And the actors stay and talked for the three days. Now THOSE were Conventions you could be proud to attend.)

     But there goes David Hewlett so I cleared my schedule and dutifully went to the hotel. He is one of my two all-time favorite actors. I'm inspired by his acting, envious of his attitude and love the way he treats his fans.

     I got to 'meet' him. He was so funny and genuine and humble and goofy and entertaining. (I didn't meet him in the sense of any real conversation but I did get to hug him so I'm going to say that counts!)

     Around 11:30, Hewlett & Flanigan walked on stage and Flanigan started talking about the chairs they sat in (director's chairs) and wondered why they're made that way. The chairs are tall and uncomfortable and he can't think of any other industry in which they're used. He asked Hewlett if it's for the make up and hair artists because they couldn't possibly bend down long enough to work their magic.

     Hewlett just stared at him. He spoke in the microphone, adopting an aloof tone. "So I went to Chicago to see Joe and David talk about the history of chairs."

     Flanigan looked embarrassed and shut his mouth - such a funny start!

     The questions started and a group presented Flanigan with the 'Twitter Actor of the Month Award' and Hewlett got the runner-up Award.

     I have been following David Hewlett's Twitter for years now, from the beginning. (I learned about Twitter through him, in fact.) I didn't even know Flanigan Tweeted. (Of course, as I said, Hewlett is one of my two all-time favorite actors.)

     Hewlett was beside himself. Again, he picked up the microphone, this time doing an impression of Flanigan. "So David, what's this Twitter thing?"

     Flanigan said, "It's true. I didn't even know what Twitter was. I just signed up three weeks ago." He turned to Hewlett, smugly. "Now I'm the 'Twitter Actor of the Month'."

     Hewlett shook his head. "Always Joe's sidekick." Then he looked at us and blurted, "I've been Tweeting and writing and typing for years!"

     He's so funny and I really do adore the way in which he treats his fans. He includes them. Talks to them. Answers them. Never once takes them for granted.

     If I'm blessed enough to develop a fan base of my own when I publish my mysteries, I'm prepared to model my attitude after this inspiring writer/actor/producer talented man.

     Later, he craned his neck to see someone at the microphone on one side and fell out of his chair. The funny thing was, it looked like he gracefully slid off of it. (At least from my angle in the nosebleed section!) I thought nothing of it until he said, "That was a rock star move right there. I totally meant to do that."

     He talked about family and what he's up to now (some movie with evil snow monkeys as his Twitter's been mentioning - come on! I want to see him in a cool, weekly program again!!) and a little about Atlantis. He said they should make the next show in the franchise Stargate McKay: SGM.

     There was lots of applause.

     I would totally watch that.

     I never would have known how short Hewlett & Flanigan are! I thought I was short but these guys barely stood over the top of my head. (Well, I guess Flanigan is a bit tall...) I remember when I saw Jason Momoa - he was gargantuan!

     It took four hours to get Hewlett's autograph. Michael Shanks was done long before - but he wouldn't do personalizations. Hewlett did.

     I didn't feel bad for Hewlett or his writing hand because this is part of his job and he chooses to do it. He's getting paid for it - he's at work. I do stuff in my job that isn't fun. But then, I don't know, around 9:30 or 10:00 I did start to feel for the poor man and his poor right hand/wrist!

     As a writer myself, I know how a bout of muse can cramp a hand fast. By the time I got up to him, a dozen or so people in front of me, Hewlett looked at this woman and said, "If I'd known I'd get up to 500 I'd have brought a balloon to give away."

     She was autograph number 500! How awesome for him. I only hope I could be as graceful, humble, humorous and in good spirits after four hours, 500 signatures and eleven o'clock at night if I ever got the chance...

     (His Twitter this morning is: "Chicago you owe me one signing arm! Thanks so much for the long and happy lines...See you soon!")

     I had him sign the DVD cover of his movie, A Dog's Breakfast. He said, "I see McGillion signed over my name. How about I sign my forehead?"

     "Wherever you want is perfect." It's past 11PM. I don't care where he signs! He then signed a picture for me. "Jenny. I have a Jenny." His sister's name is Jenny. Then he made a mark over the picture of Mars, his dog. "And there's Mars' signature for you."

     "Oh, how cool!" He signed for his dog - that's awesome! Who does that? (I love fun. Thank god I didn't have to pay extra :) )

     Oh, that's another thing. This guy adopted Mars from a shelter. The shelter thought Mars was sick or injured or something but it turned out he just had a slight deformity and is a perfectly healthy dog. Hewlett put him in his movie. Someone asked him about writing for the dog and Hewlett said he literally wrote the movie around the dog and the dog's facial expressions.

     As usual, the convention became more about the people I met then the actors I came to see. I met a funny woman who, it turns out, was in the group that gave the Twitter Awards away that morning. I met another lovely lady from Texas, also quite funny and enjoyable to talk to. I met up with an old friend, Matt. Met a new gal who is a photographer. Then I met a writer - published! In fact, she lives off her writing. (That's my dream that I work toward every day.)

     She's published over 20 books - historical romances. I'm going to check her out and you can too here. Her name is Teresa Medeiros.
     Do you know what she and her friend did? (Forgive me, Sir, I don't remember your name despite our having talked nearly four hours!!! And I'm not sure if you are her husband or friend or family...yikes! I'm so bad - my excuse is that I'm simply not my best (i.e. smartest) at night...)

     They walked me to my car. I parked a block away. I had to walk under a bridge and in a neighbornhood I'm not too familar with - certainly not at night. They both walked me to my car about 11:30 PM. I mean that is something I will forever be grateful for.

     I have met some of the nicest people on this earth in the audience at Conventions. It's amazing how, not only do writers/actors/artists keep me going through the darkest times in life, giving hope where there was only darkness and pushing people to be better than they think they are, but our love of the art brings us together.

     There are a lot of quotes about life and moments  such as "Life is not about how many breaths you take but about how many moments in life that take your breath away" and it's times like these that prove it so true.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simba Follow Up

A couple of you inquired as to why I hadn't seen Simba in 9 months.

You can see why at my Post entitled Bye-Bye

and laugh at this Post called Radioactive Poop.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday 56 - Murder of Roger Ackroyd

This is a cool weekly meme from Story Time With Tonya.

1. Grab the book nearest you right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
5. Post a link with your post to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.

And remember - no spoilers. We want to share books and suggest books - not spoil books!

"No suspicious strangers been hanging about anywhere?"
"Oh!" I said suddenly.
"What is it doctor?"
"I met a man this evening - just as I was turning out the gate."

Cool, huh? Right in the middle of an interview to collect evidence?
Perfect 56!!

Jennifer Oberth's Overview:

     Agatha Christie's done it again! She's brilliant. I love her books. I prefer character-heavy, character-driven books and Agatha Christie provides neither but her plots are so well written I don't miss anything.

     This particular entry is the first Hercule Poirot. The way he is introduced to us is priceless. (You'll have to read the book, or reread if you don't remember, `cause I'm not telling you!)

     Clues are there as you go along and you see some, not others. The minute you form an opinion, something knocks you in another direction.

     The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is suspenseful, driven and brilliant.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Transformers 3

These are more pictures (courtesy of E. Oberth) of the Transformers 3 filming. It's some incredible stuff these people are doing. These pics were taken in July in Downtown Chicago.

I hope you enjoy them!

This is a car hanging off the open Michigan Ave. Bridge
Upside down Chicago Bus!
On Wacker Drive
Billowing smoke on Wacker Drive
Cars on fire on Wacker Drive
Part of the Unitron Sign - reduced to rubble!
Look close at the middle left of the pic. That's a stuntman doing an amazing jump over the open Wabash Ave. Bridge
Stuntman walking back to jump over the Bridge again
Stuntman doing a roll after jumping over the open Bridge
Look again for the stuntman jumping his little heart out. Could you imaging this being your workday?
Stop drop and roll!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday 56 - The Fugitive

This is a cool weekly meme from Story Time With Tonya.

1. Grab the book nearest you right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
5. Post a link with your post to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.

And remember - no spoilers. We want to share books and suggest books - not spoil books!

I'm just grabbing paperbacks from my shelf now since I'm pretty organized and not having books littering every surface space.

"The old man averted his eyes, unable to meet Gerard's uncomprising stare. He pored over the photographs again, then timidly pointed at the one labeled "Dr. Richard Kimble." "He mighta got out."

-The Fugitive Novel by J.M. Dillard based on the screenplay by Jeb Stuart and David Twohy from a story by David Twohy based on characters created by Roy Huggins

This scene is where Gerard finds out Kimble may have escaped the deadly train wreck...No, wait, bus-wreck. Well, in the movie a train hit a bus so...whatever!

I haven't read this book in years. Years and years and even though I've got tons of others to read for the first time, I almost want to just bump this up to right now. I LOVED the original series the movie was based on and then this book was based on the movie. I think this is one of those rare times when they got it right and actually captured the tone and purpose of the original story, in the remake. And the series itself was based on a true story...

Just a few lines down the same page (P. 56) is this line, made famous by Tommy Lee Jones:

"I want a hard-target search of any residence, gas station, farmhouse, henhouse, doghouse, and outhouse in that area."

I just couldn't resist - I mean it's on the same page!

So, who else thinks Harrison Ford did an amazing job as Richard Kimble? I believe he captured every nuance, and stayed true to the character Roy Huggins created and David Janssen portrayed. The tortured, tragic, dog-tired, persistant hero that simply never gave up.

Stephen King said, "The Fugitive was at the time (and still is, when you see the reruns) absolutely the best series done on American television. There was nothing better than The Fugitive--it just turned everything on its head."

What do you think?

Oh, and did anyone else read the biography written by David Janssen's ex-wife that indicated his wife killed him?

Just weird...

I love the title.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday 56 - Movie Cat by Garrison Allen

This is a cool weekly meme from Story Time With Tonya.

1. Grab the book nearest you right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like).
5. Post a link with your post to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.

And remember - no spoilers. We want to share books and suggest books - not spoil books!

Movie Cat by Garrison Allen

The back of the book:

"A Hollywood film crew has descended on Empty Creek to shoot a big-budget western. But the sleepy Arizona town soon becomes the backlot for a shocking murder, leaving the locals asking, who in his right mind would murder flamboyant director C.D. Masterly, the one man destined to put Empty Creek on the big screen?"

Page 56:
"They were interrupted by the principals filing in. They were led by a scowling police chief and they took places at the long, horseshoe-shaped table where the city council members and staff usually sat during what passed as representitive government in Empty Creek."

I haven't read the book yet so I don't know what the line is about but I love the name, Empty Creek in a book about a Hollywood film crew!

 I lived and worked in Hollywood for a time and I really enjoyed it and 95% or more of the films, crews, and projects I worked were great, professional and fun. But it was a bit of a crazy time and I can just see pushing the envelope and teasing the stereotypical vices that are associated with Hollywood.

 Movie Cat is not the first in the series which explains why it's been on my shelf for so long - I like to read series books in order.

I've got to get my hands on the first one (Desert Cat) - I really think I'll like these books!

Monday, August 2, 2010

CHA Convention

CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) Convention 2010 at the Stephen's Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois - okay, Rosemont, Illinois. Chicago-ish.

Anyway, my Mom and I had lots of fun! We had our picture taken at the Jessica Sprague booth and they printed a gorgeous 12x12, card stock scrapbook page. Wow. It turned out great!

While we were waiting for the page to print, we checked out the paints at another booth. The poor lady must have been dealing with amateur 'painters' like us all day long! She was great, though. You had your choice of a picture frame or letter to paint. The letters were pretty sparse (they had no 'j' or 'o' so I wasn't interested). I chose the picture frame. She had people paint with a base paint of green or blue, then you blow dry that and cover it with the glitter paint of either green or blue. Then you blow dry that and put in polka dots of the other color (blue or green).

I decided to be different (though some might argue this isn't a decision so much as something I was born to be) and wrote freehand. I assumed my letters would come out terribly - let's face it, I can barely read my own handwriting. Here I'm writing with a paintbrush, not something I have much practice with. I'm thinking I'll have to throw this frame away before I even get home.

But no! It actually looked pretty cool! I mean, it's legible! Who'd have thunk it? (The one on the right is Mom's.)

I didn't know what to expect at this craft show but it was pretty cool. One thing I wanted to get, no one had. (A particular kind of scrapbook paper I can't mention here just in case a certain sibling should read this Blog - oh, and I'm going to call a certain Aunt to see if she can obtain this paper-with-particular-design.)

I guess they brought samples of their wares. I was thinking the booths would be stocked with everything under the sun and it was a good mix of supplies and equipment, but alas, no certain-kind-of-paper-design for Jenny...