August 30th, 2005

Toronto

(no subject)

I'm on my lunch now, so no real time to try to update.
I'm home from Toronto. I had another insane stretch of no sleep. Woke up at 8:00am (7:00am MN time) in Toronto on Sunday. Did the CN Tower & a last wander through the convention, freed the car from the parking garage & hit the road. For some reason the drive back took substantially longer and we can't figure out why because the only real stop was about 15 minutes at the border.

Speaking of the border...
THE CUSTOMS GUY DIDN'T LOOK AT OUR ID!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not, "oh, that was kind of a quick glance" or anything like that. He never even physically touched our driver's licenses and birth certificates!!! Y'all are lucky I'm not a terrorist!

So anyway the drive back took so long that I got to my house at 6:00am, took a 5 minute shower, hugged Hellbob, grabbed my stuff and ran out the door to work, with lucky13charm still in tow because she lives just south of work. I stopped at Byerly's to grab paper plates & plastic utinsels for the work potluck (I was smart enough to grab the non-food option when the signup went around!) and headed to work. We figured I would be late to work if I took lucky13charm home, so she dropped me off at work & took my car for the day. Then she came back at 4:30 so I could have it back. Yup, I worked my 9 hr shift (plus .5 hr for lunch) with exactly ZERO hours of sleep!! Went to bed about 10 or so after falling asleep while typing.

I have school tonight! Yay! Just one class one night a week, but it's advanced Photoshop!!

I haven't even caught up on my reading, let alone my Con report. Soon. Really. But until then, here is another picture from the weekend...

Me & Moose with James Marsters
Toronto

Toronto SFX, Part the First: The Drive

I know some bits of my weekend have already been babbled & squeed about, but I'm going to attempt a coherent beginning to end narrative of all the Toronto goodness.


Thursday left work at 5:30 and picked up lucky13charm and headed home. Luckily the drive down 494 from her house to mine was about the worst traffic other than right when we got to Toronto.

At my house we loaded up the rest of my crap, got frozendragon's stuff loaded up, and hit the road. frozendragon did all of the driving because she gets carsick when she is a passenger. I only managed to get a little bit of sleep, maybe an hour or so.

We dropped frozendragon off at her mom’s house at about 4 am and I took over the driving while lucky13charm read the directions to get us back on route through Michigan. The interstate in Michigan SUCKS! The entire thing is bumpy! Also, as soon as we crossed the border there was a Road Construction Next 25 Miles sign. And for the next 25 miles…nothing! Not an orange cone or a lane closed or even a dude standing there looking like he might do some road work, someday. Then a few miles later, another road construction sign. 25 miles later… no construction. I’d say at least half of our drive though Michgan was through “Construction” but we didn’t see ANY! And it’s obvious from the shape of the roads that it’s not that the construction just finished!
OK. That’s enough about Michigan. Crappy state, crappy roads.

We’re at the border. We’ve got drivers licenses, we’ve got gotten punchy as the sun’s come up. We pull up to customs & I hand over our Ids. We get the usual “Where are you going, where are you from, etc.” Then he asks the purpose of our visit and I say we’re going to a Science Fiction convention and he gives me the Look. You know the one. The one where he’s thinking that I dress up like a Klingon and speak strange languages, and all the other stereotypes. Whatever. Then he asks if we have anything to declare besides our clothes. I’m not sure what all we have to declare so I’m saying, “Well we’ve got some snacks for the trip, and my camera, and my laptop…” He then asks “What do you need a laptop for?” And since you can’t lie to the customs dude and I didn’t even think to say that it was to watch DVDs on the drive, I just blurted out “Because I’m addicted to the internet.” And I got another Look. I quickly added “I’ll need to check my email this weekend.” Then he told us to have a good trip and let us into Canada, and, more importantly, out of Michigan!

As we drove away, we started giggling and commenting on how he had no sense of humor. Then lucky13charm says “It’s a good thing we didn’t say the purpose of our visit was to go molest James Marsters” Which led to us coming up with all the things that it was a good thing we didn’t say. One of the best and most disturbed was “To have sex with a 14 year old boy… consensual of course.” This one stemmed from the fact that the Toronto guide book I had actually mentioned that the age of consent for both gay and straight sex was 14, unless the older person was in a position of authority over the younger one, then it is 18. We were also coming up with “better” answers to “Why do you need a laptop?” “Because you need a computer to cruise for internet porn!”

But, we were in Canada now, and trying to adapt to the KPH system rather than the MPH. It wasn’t too tough, but I couldn’t figure out at first how much you could speed in Canada. In the US I knew that 5 MPH pretty much doesn’t count, 10 MPH on an interstate will usually be fine, and 15 MPH will get you there a bit faster but it isn’t so fast as to guarantee a ticket. I wasn’t sure how that would translate in KPH though, or even how strict the Canadian Police were, or if it was just a moot point altogether because the Mounties horses couldn’t really catch up to you at 100 KPH, let alone faster!
Ended up settling in at about (aboot?) 130 KPH which is 80 MPH. We made pretty good time overall, but this would come back to kick us in the butt later.

We were getting close to Toronto, just on the outskirts, when traffic stopped. Grr! We knew it couldn’t be rush hour because it was only 12:00 their time. Turns out that a semi had broken down…In the middle frickin’ lane!! We got past that and on into the downtown area where we would be staying. We found our hotel. There was no “park here while you check in” parking spot, so I pretty much just parked and put the hazards on. We went in and our room wasn’t ready. Also, they had us booked for a room w/a single bed rather than two beds. We ended up hauling in some of our bags to check and then went in search of lunch. The few food places we were seeing didn’t have any parking and we eventually gave up and decided to find the parking the hotel had recommended and park the car and trek back to the hotel with the rest of our stuff because our room should be ready. It was, and we promptly decided that we both needed to shower and change before getting food.
Sexy

Toronto SFX, Part the Second: The Hallway Encounter

At this point we had each been awake for over 24 hours, other than short naps in the car. The shower made a world of difference in both our energy and our attitude. All showered & ready to go, we now needed to find food. When walking from the parking back to the hotel we had seen an Italian restaurant and decided that was what we needed. I threw my camera & stuff in my backpack and we were off. Since it was just the tail end of the lunch hour the restaurant was pretty empty, but they had a patio area so we opted to sit outside. The weather was GORGEOUS! It wasn’t too hot or muggy, but it was a little warm. There was a wonderful cool breeze though. Our good-looking waiter came on over and asked if he could bring us anything. My response was “I need wine!” So I got a nice glass of Chardonnay, and we each got some really yummy pasta.

We were just a block from the convention center at that point so we got our registration forms filled out, and went to stand in that line. It moved pretty quickly though. We gave them our pretty colorful Canadian money and they gave us a badge that would get us up to the upper level where most of the autograph tables and the dealers were. We instead opted to find the room that Adam Baldwin was in doing a Q & A, which had started about 1/2 hour before. The room was too small for someone as popular as him so there was also a crowd outside in the hall trying to listen.

This was one of the most fortuitous things to happen this weekend because while we were standing there we heard one girl come tell her friend that she’d seen James going from the PR room (right next door to the one Adam was in) to some other room. So of course this caught our attention. There was another girl there who was also frustrated at the not being able to hear Adam and we ended up just kind of standing in the hallway with her going “I can’t believe James was right over there and we didn’t see him!” So we kind of each decided in our fangirl way to hang out in the hallway in case he came back to the PR room.

While just hanging out we were chatting with this other girl. We said we had just driven 16 hours to get there, she said she had driven 10 minutes… This girl we were talking to turned out to be the lovely blond_bear, and we were hanging out with her for most of the rest of the weekend.

It was at this point that I heard one of the convention guys telling another one to “Go get James, he’s in the press room. Bring him down this hallway to the door at the end” This is the part of the story y’all have already heard, but really, you can’t hear it too often! We were standing there when James came by with his guitar. There were two or three guys with him. I’m sure one was Steve, his manager. I couldn’t tell you which one because as soon as I saw him, James was all I saw. After the encounter blond_bear & lucky13charm were just amazed at how calm and coherent I was, but I really wasn’t, it apparently just looked that way. Anyway, the way it’s fixed in my mind is kind of surreal. I didn’t see him walk up. I just glanced to my left and he was right there. He was wearing his black “pimp shirt” and carrying his guitar case. As he was walking past my brain was going “OMG! That’s him! He’s right there! OMG! OMG! Etc…” I had been thinking earlier in the weekend that I had to remember to say happy birthday when I got to meet him, but I hadn’t planned it or anything. I think I was as surprised as blond_bear & lucky13charm when I said in a calm normal voice “Happy Birthday, James.” At this point he had walked just a bit past me and he stopped and turned and smiled. It was one of those real smiles too, where the eyes crinkle. Then he said “Why, thank you love.” And he smiled again, and then turned to continue down the hallway to the room where the concert was gonna be. A couple seconds later we heard the yelling as he entered the room. It’s weird the way memory works. I didn’t realize until the photo shoot that his hair was longer now and brown. Of course I was looking at his face, looking him right in those beautiful eyes. *grin* So my brain just filled in the hair I knew he had (even if it was wrong). Also, that was the only time all weekend that we were standing on the same level, and I realized that we are about the same height. I checked online and he’s officially 5’11” tall. So, he’s just a smidge taller than my 5’ 9.5”.
This encounter was immediately followed by much squeeing and OMGing and “I can’t believe it!” blond_bear declared me to now be her hero!!
Since there was nothing else going on in the hallway, (and girls? Why didn’t we think of returning to that hallway at the end of the concert? How dumb are we?) we went to exchange our TicketBastard tickets for the convention’s Gold pass tickets for our Day of James! lucky13charm had left hers in her purse in the room, so as not to worry about losing it, but BB & I got ours traded in.
Then it was upstairs to check out the autograph area.

Oh so sleepy... am falling asleep. I'll update again later