ComicCon Friday: “Zac! Did You Bring Cigarettes?”

See Day 1 and Day 2 to understand the PURE UNMITIGATED HELL OF DAY THREE. But I got better.

I did not really sleep very much Thursday night, or should I say Friday morning? I ached like a mofo from Thursday’s approximate marathon of walking, and I don’t sleep well in hotels anyhow. When I “woke up” Friday morning, I was fairly sure I would have preferred death to nearly anything, including a front seat to the Joss panel. Why?

I have fibromyalgia. Without going into an unholy whingefest, I will explain what it is, briefly. Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a neuromuscular disorder. You normal folks go about your day, spend a lot of time walking, and feel tired & hurt. You’re familiar with the achy feeling that tends to go away by next day. For those with FMS, the central nervous system completely wigs out over normal wear and tear, so the peripheral nervous system says, “Dude, there was this thing, and she did all this walking, and it was like BOGUS, man!” and the central nervous system has something like a pain seizure and says “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!” Basically, the nervous system in a fibromyalgia sufferer is a drama queen. Our cerebral spinal fluid has more pain transmitters than normal people, and this cascade of ow occurs, stiffening the muscles and making us a giant walking cramp. It’s like having the flu plus being hit with a bat a lot. If you’ve lived through both, you know of what I speak.

I thought a hot shower and breakfast might help. It didn’t. Poor Sara (@radi8n) had had fricken’ knee surgery just weeks before and she was faster than me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything else that weekend, as I was going to go into a massive bodywide flare (including neurological symptoms like extreme fatigue and being really stupid), so I told the girls I was gonna sit Friday out and try to sleep. I obtained an uber pain pill from the gods, broke it in half, and took it. I actually managed to sleep 3 hours. When I woke up, I felt less like dying and more like eating. So I ordered the most amazing carnitas I’d had in a long while up to that point:

Lumpen unappetizing wads of delicious fat.


After the sleep and eating this, I was feeling kinda like people. I rubbed my legs for a long time, did some relaxation exercises, and called the boy I had been talking to incessantly on Twitter and the phone, @jamezsmith. He made me feel even more scrumdiddlybetter.

It was very important I GET better, because that night was the one and only Chuck Tweet Up at Bar Ninety. It was, in essence, against the law to miss this if you were a Chuck fan at SDCC on Twitter. I took my obligation to be happy and festive very, very seriously, and there was no panel important enough to interfere with meeting some folks I had been tweeting for an awfully long time. Chuck & Chuck fandom was the whole reason I was even at ComicCon, after all.

Once I was as pain-free as I was gonna get (knowing full well there would be gin where I was headed) and an emergency touch up of my nails, I was about ready to go. See, there’s this thing I always do when I pack. I remember everything. EVERYTHING. Except one very important stupid thing that ruins another major thing. This time, it was the pins for my curlers. I had trekked to the CVS with Sara, Jen (@hokie98jj) and Bailey (@littlechuckfan) before, and gotten something I thought might work. I was vehemently mistaken. I basically stood there holding curlers in my hair to no avail. So I had to go to the Chuck Tweet Up with broken ass hair. Lame.

I walked to the venue behind three Portuguese guys smoking what smelled like a combination of a candy store and a weenie roast. Thankfully I had already gorged myself. By the time I got to Bar Ninety, Wendy Farrington (@serendipityWAF) was already there, handing out We Heart Chuck hand sanitizer (desperately needed to fend off ConCrud!) and name tags. I got my VIP taggy tag and hooked up with roomies Sara, Bailey, and Jen.

Bailey had a big jar with a happy Ken Mar puppy sticker on it. Her intent was to collect donations from Chucksters for Yvonne Strahovski‘s  favourite charity. Intent met! Sara suggested she go around the bar with me as an escort. As I had enjoyed the whole “money in jar from strangers” concept so much the night before, I was more than game. I put my donation in the jar, and then I was basically the voice over the music so Bailey could get her cash on. “ExcusememynameisKellieJaneandthisisLittleChuckFanandwearecollecting


liketodonate?” The very next question was usually “Yvonne’s favourite charity, huh?” followed by “Sure!” and then, to Bailey, “Are you THE @LittleChuckFan? May we get a photo with you?”

Bailey’s inimitable response was always “Sure, but you have to make a donation to save dogs!” Bailz RULEZ.

So we make a pass and then I bring her back to her mother to assure her I haven’t sold her to the highest well meaning bidder. In the meantime I got to meet roller derby diva @fearbee, my darling and amazing friend Megan (@memo07), the indisputable queen of Chi-town drinking, Sam (@tisisam) and Queen of Charger Fandom herself, Ivy (@yoitzivy). I also saw the wonderful Larry (@EVERY1TALKS) again, himself a We Heart Chucker. I met Philippa (@xenaclone) properly; you might know her as the English chick from the Chuck You Tuesday podcasts. Yes, she was dressed as Xena. I think I met several other people, including a guy called Devon (I remember because I called him Captain Awesome), but at that point I think Jessica (@jessicasisk) had already bought me two gin & tonics, and Michael (@prezofbuymoria) had arrived and got me one, too. This is me with my third gin and tonic, as captured by Rosie (@rosesyjuco):

Busted hair, flustered face, but damn, that drink looks GOOD!

A little unsteady, I retired to the safety of the VIP Harem Tent (this is how I remember it) which was filled with Sara, Jen, Bailey, Jessica, the amazingly suave Tess (@punkatess), cupcake-wielding Amanda (@amandammason…who actually took time on the way to SDCC to BAKE FREAKING CUPCAKES), the warm and beautiful Shar (@lightstarangel), and of course Wendy. We were joined by Prez Michael and his sister. Jess made sure we had a Bollywood dance party moment, Amanda made sure we had goodies, and Tess made sure the drinks kept coming by flirting with our waitress, Britney. Oh lord. Was it Britney? It was a B name. Anyhow, I think in a different time and place, Tess would have a cigar and a scotch and be draped with bitches. Instead, she had beers and us Chuck buddies. You get whatcha get.

Favourite quote of the part of the night where I remember quotes comes from Sara: “Check me out, Mother of the Year. Bailey, is that Mommy’s beer over there?”

We were then informed that Zac Levi might be stopping by. I knew Adam & Yvonne couldn’t make it, as they were still shooting (woo hoo Fraturday!), but Zac has been known to make appearances to fans if it’s even remotely possible. I went outside with adorable Megan, hunting cigarettes (gawd it’s such a bad habit!) and then, I saw him across the street.

Casually, I say, “Huh, it’s Zac.”

Wow, that was dumb of me. Cos people kinda went a little squeeriffic. Which is totally understandable. So what do I yell across the street before it gets totes out of hand? “Hey ZAC! Did you bring cigarettes?!” Zac is a known chain smoker.

Somebody elbowed me in the ribs and laughed. I think Megan then noticed a shorter figure at his side…Gomez! She said, “Oh my gaaahhhhd,” [Megan is from The South], “Girl, I would so have Josh Gomez’ chahld!”

So of course I yell, “Hey Gomez!” I point at Megan’s head. “Willing baby mama! Right here!” I think Megan hid behind me after that.

Then we noticed the uplifting, generous, and wonderful Mark Christopher Lawrence, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Scott Krinsky and Vic Sahay. Everyone was kind of wondering what to do so I whispered to Megan “Dude, it’s ZAC. He’s gonna go straight for a mic. Hit the DJ booth.” She ran inside. I went inside also, but to the VIP booth to stay away from the craziness. You know me and crowds. Also? My drink and purse were in there.

At one point I remember looking up to see Bailey pulling a Superman. I poked Sara. “Uh, don’t look now, but your child is airborne.” “Oh my Lord,” Sara muttered, standing up to see what was going on. Tess had been taking Bailey around for a second, more effectual pass at the Ken Mar fundraising, so they were right about up front when the Chuck cast arrived. Zac had apparently grabbed Bailey and held her aloft, “Circle of Life” style, for all to see.  Of course Bailey was in her adorable Orange Orange outfit, so it was like Chuck was holding up baby Sarah Walker in some sort of odd time travel episode of Star Trek.

Almost as soon as they showed up, the cast had to reluctantly leave to go do some industry stuffs. Michael hadn’t met anyone, so I had him and Megan follow me out as I can usually guess where folks will pop out backstage. I was wrong the first time. We came around the building and I actually ducked to avoid running into Zac. Mark saw me. “Miss KellieJane!” He gave me a big MCL® hug and we talked about his comedy show Sunday night. I then totally failed to introduce him to Megan or Michael as I am what is fondly referred to as a Clueless Asshat of a Drunk. The cast had to get to bookin’ anyhow.

Now that all was calm, it was time for some dancing and group hugging with the aforementioned girls and Carter (@wondroushippo). At some point it was just us girls and I snapped this picture of Megan. This is, oddly, the only photo I took all night:

This is all I took a photo of, people. You're welcome.

Finally, my dear friend Christi (@christikassity) was able to come. Now it was a party, except I was already really drunk, on my 7th G&T, I believe, and we were dancing. They played Bel Biv DeVoe. They played Rob Base. They played errthang. Myself, Jess, Wendy, Shar, Megan, and Christi were all getting down as only girls with drinks and 80s jams can, unsupervised by tut-tutting male types.

Eventually it was time to trudge drunkenly back home. Megan and I had taken off in search of cigarettes, and I think at some point earlier in the night, we bummed one from a super gay man and his friend. I recall zebra stripes. Now, she, Christi and I stumbled toward downtown amongst many other more drunk people asking random folks if they had smokes. We bumped into Tess and Amanda, who had left at some point to have fabulous photos taken of themselves.

And then we met the world’s nicest homeless man. “You ladies want cigarettes? I got several cigarettes for some lovely ladies.” He then dug around in his fanny pack for loose smokes. In retrospect, this was not even remotely sensible. I even remarked at the time that they may in fact be laced with PCP. Christi recently reminded me that I said to Megan, “Take a drag off it. If you don’t want to eat my intestines afterward, we’re good.” WOW. I am the walking picture of class.

After we realized we were not inhaling PCP, we felt it safe to go to our respective hotel rooms with our friends and families. Christi helped Megan and I negotiate with a wisp of a Russian man to PediCab our arses to our hotels. Megan and I got in back and enjoyed the soft and gentle breeze of pedicabbery whilst downtown San Diego drunkeness swarmed by. Megan got this amazing photo of our happiness:

Bitches be PediCabbing, yo!

It turns out, however, that even if you give the guy a ridiculous tip before hand, his scrawny legs won’t take you up 7th. Well, crap. I walked half the way back to the hotel anyhow. Megan texted me when I got there that she made it home safely. My roommies were actually waiting for me as they were still up, counting the moolah Bailey raised for Yvonne’s favourite charity. Chucksters donated nearly $300 that night! We were excited, and I was drunk, but it was time to go to bed, as we had the Chuck panel first thing in the morning. Like anybody was going to sleep.

Before I leave you with too precious of a sleepy scene, you have to know something I keep forgetting to mention. On the route to the convention center from the hotel, there is a Hustler store. The window has mannequins in lingerie and a display featuring handcuffs. It is a clearly a kinky adult store, and even Bailey could discern that when we were walking by the first time.

What I never understood is why Bailz insisted on stating, “That’s YOUR store, KellieJane!” in her darling Virginia accent each time we walked by. Hmmmm. Is it something I tweeted??

Thursday At ComicCon 2010: The Day the 3G Died

See Day One here.

I forgot to tell you that Preview Night was ended with Pinkberry. I had the watermelon with a ton of fruit…OMG. SO good. Bailey got vanilla and Sara said “Now don’t load it up with junk; get some fruit” so Bailey got brownies, chocolate chips, something fudgey, and a couple of strawberries. It was bigger than her head. She still slept better than any of us.

Day Two at ComicCon for me was Day One for those who did not have preview night passes. It’s also a blur. Much of the first part of my day was defined by the vagueness of texts (“I’m next to the thing!”) or the utter inability to send and receive them. But I get ahead of myself.

The magic of ComicCon Thursday begins, as it should, with bacon.

Bacon is gluten free. All hail meat!

This little meal got me through the entirety of Thursday. That is correct; this is all I ate the whole day save one Lara Bar. I understand this is normal for ComicCon, &, having celiac, I was prepared for the bleak possibility that there would be no gluten-free noms around the floor. Bruce Campbell throwing money at random people and one little cashew cookie Lara Bar took me through the next day. But I get ahead of myself.

This meal is also when Bailey (@littlechuckfan) discovered the banana phone. She had a riveting conversation. We were also playing a game, guessing the likelihood that various other hotel patrons were going to ComicCon. This started yesterday before the bags & tags were distributed at Preview Night, but continued easily as we saw no lack of pasted down hair, eyebrows from Hades, bad glasses and ironic t-shirts.  ComicCon is indeed stereotype city on steroids, my friends.

Next we hiked on down to the convention center. It was now three times crazier than the night before, and there were scantily clad chicks on the corner beforehand giving out flyers to things people were already going to see anyhow. Do the folks behind this flaccid marketing scheme not realize that everybody there has already grabbed and highlighted a program, even if they’ve also got the app on their iPhone? It was a greenie’s nightmare of tossed cards. I saved mine because they make great bookmarks. You know, the times when I didn’t successfully pretend to not have arms.

So we get there and Sara (@radi8n), Bailey, & Jen (@hokie98jj) want to do the White Collar panel. The White Collar panel is hours from our time of arrival, but the line is LONG. I take them to the front of the line, which is approximately 1.2 miles away from wherever I was supposed to meet Christi (@christikassity). I also have no idea what I’m doing that day. I had planned to explore the exhibition floor and get into whatever I could get into, not having a clue that you wait in line for a room and then stay there until you see the thing you want.

This is where Twitter comes in handy. I sent something to the effect of:  “Hi, I am at ComicCon. I don’t know what to do or why I am doing it. Please DM me your cell so we can text & you can make me have fun.” Larry (@EVERY1TALKS) is my first taker. “I’m in line,” he says. I then get a DM from Mal (@chuckmemondays). He tells me Michael (@PrezOfBuymoria) is also at ComicCon and to say hi. I DM him my cell number and receive a text saying “I am in line.” At this point I have not gotten in touch with Christi, so I head to the Browncoats booth, as is my want. During this trek, which is something like 7/8th of a mile, I get more texts from Larry and Michael updating me as to their status in line.

I think this is when I met up with Lynn and Jen (@jenskijen).  Jen is from Australia. She is the infamous Browncoat who traveled the United States via the kindness of numerous American Browncoats. She was able to stay over with peeps from all over the country, and not one of them a creeper. Those are some big damn heroes. Lynn wanted to obtain something bacon related to cheer up Dwight (@nodgarb) because his ComicCon had started out not so ComicConny. Somehow this plan fell through and we ended up waiting with Lynn to get books signed instead, which was delightful as that line was quieter and cooler and there were no crazy people. Lynn, Jen & I had a nice chat, and then I got a text from Katy (@ktbeeper) saying she is with Annie (@anniemcbeth) asking me if I wanted Starbucks.

HELLS YES I wanted Starbucks! I never turn down iced tea.

I’d already had the pleasure of Katy’s company several times, as she lives in my Mum’s current town and is a freakin’ super doll. I was excited to meet Annie and had heard so much about her sunny personality. As I parted ways with Lyn & Jen to find Katy, Annie, and the iced Earl Grey, I actually bumped into Katy who happened to be heading in the opposite direction as me. I heard Annie say “There she is!” and then there I was, nearly killing them both at my usual breakneck speed. I gave hugs to both, gratefully accepted the tea, and then we stepped outside so I could go charm a cigarette from either a poor unsuspecting nerd or a hipster douche press guy. This time it was someone that I thought might be a charming nerd, but oozed a bit of hipster douchery.

We all went over to the Death Star window area so I could calm my frazzled nerves with nicotine and caffeine. Yes, Lyn & Jen were calming, but ComicCon for people like me is like Fruity Oaty tots whispering “Miranda” in my ear all day long. MUST. NOT. KILL EVERYBODY. ARGH! So I was calmer, but I could always be calmer. I made sure to blow smoke away from the innocents. Annie has an unbelievably delightful laugh that I just wanted to hear more and more of, so I probably was a little more “on” than usual.

Those of you who smoked at ComicCon know what the Death Star window is. I am loathe to share its location with everyone else, as it is precious to me, and I buy it with a great pain. No, actually, it’s just very popular and I like popping my fat hiney on there to have a break from all the noise and nerd-air. It’s also a great place to watch cosplayers tame their nicobeasts and get back into character before strutting about the place.

Meanwhile I was getting texts from people telling me that they were still in line.

I also got a text from Christi. “I am getting my handicap pass for my ankle. I will meet you by Ballroom 20.” So the next 20 minutes are me missing Christi near Ballroom 20. I haven’t quite mastered the “stay in one place and keep a look out” rule of being found, so I tend to just cover a lot of territory, which I call the “pointless hamster method of searching”. Eventually, through a series of texts with hints like “Near the Mrs Fields thing, but not”, we found each other.

Handicapped persons are supposed to have attendees, and I’ve been doing that since my brother was born, so I was totally on board with being Christi’s helper. Unlike my brother, she would never need to be on a leash. We got me all official and then Christi said she was working Ballroom 20 pretty much all day for Buddy TV, so I ended up in Ballroom 20 anyway, which was fine. I learned a cool thing about ComicCon that day; almost all panels are entertaining. Also, they are air-conditioned. And quieter than the convention center.

I spent most of my time in the back so people who were uber fans of shows could get up front, and also so I could charge my phone. It was dying rapidly whilst looking for WiFi and, when I gave up on that, 3G. Apparently AT&T had some agreement with ComicCon that they were boosting the signal, but my signal (and many others) died repeatedly that day. I was getting texts 30 minutes or more after they were sent, and vice versa. I learned that several of my friends were still in line. Some were in the same ballroom as me, but God knew where. “I’m in the back” means nothing when there are four thousand people and four areas that are potential “backs”. So there was a lot of prairie dogging…standing up briefly, looking around rapidly to see if you recognized anyone from their tiny Twitter photo, and then sitting back down again. “Dude, WHERE in the back?” was sent many times from my phone that day. Also “I’m on the floor, next to an outlet.”

To my recollection, which granted is flawed due to not eating much, the first panel we saw was for Burn Notice. It was extremely funny, most notably because Bruce Campbell was handing out money to random persons in the audience and capering about. We learned that Miami is hot and everybody in the show sweats profusely except the star. I had to text my ex-boyfriend to let him know I was in a room with Bruce Campbell, as he pretty much worships the man for his work in Evil Dead. I mean, we had a two foot tall statue of the guy with a chain saw arm in our living room. So. Yeah.

Next I think was White Collar. I did get the text stating that Sara, Jen, & Bailey made it to that one. Phew! The intro film was a scheme to break into ComicCon dressed as various popular geek characters. When it was suggested Matt Bomer do something from Chuck, of course the crowd went wild. They then did their panel, which was wildly entertaining, and during which I really had to pee (hey, I had an iced tea!) and desperately wanted another cigarette. I texted Christi.

It didn’t go through.

At some point, I got another text from Larry me telling me he was in the back. I got another from Michael telling me he was still in line.

I went to the bathroom anyway, making sure to get my little return pass. At some point, I must have walked past an area that had 3G, because my phone dinged and Christi said “I’m out front having a cigarette!” I ran downstairs, but out front is huge. “Where out front?” “I’m near stairs.” “Which stairs?” “D.” I went to the stairs near D. I did not find her. I went back into the panel, where I got to hear Matt Bomer sing “The best part of waking up is motherfuckin’ Folgers in your cup.”

The next panel, I think, was Psych. That was hilarious and also featured amazing tap dancing at the end. Anybody who knows me knows I am entranced by tap, and this was a phenomenal performance. After this, I believe Christi and I did manage to find each other again because we did have a cigarette somewhere near the Ballroom 20 line outside and she told me about this evil woman full of horror. We then went into the Showtime panel together and got a seat up front. Christi had been working her way up all day.

I once might have waxed rhapsodic about this panel, not just because I was up front, but because David Duchovny was on it, and when his gaze meets yours…let’s just say this. I became so uncomfortable I actually left my seat and went and stood against the wall. Yes, me. How can I explain this…you know how there’s, like, the sun? And if you spend too long in it, you eventually burst into a cloud of smoke? Yeah.

I consider this good publicity for Duchovny. The man is intense. Hire him for all your intensity needs; he is effectual X infinity.

He actually got asked an X-Files question, and I was thinking, “Dude, I was the biggest Xphile on the planet, but it’s another decade for God’s sake.” He was also asked why he took the role of Dennis/Denise on Twin Peaks, which he answered exactly as I expected. “I was a young actor and I needed the money.”

After Christi was like, “Dude, what happened to you?” and I was ashamed. “Dude, I choked on the Duchovnyism!” and she said “Oh my GOD, I know! What the hell?!” It’s probably that he’s near sighted like me and he’s just trying to take in all the faces, but dude.

At that point, we needed a cigarette. I showed Christi the Death Star window. Then we went to the room for Dr. Horrible. I had been warned that the line would be awful, but getting into the panel before was a snap. It was pretty cool, too, because it was for Vertigo. I used to know a guy who worked for DC back in the day, so I have some of their titles in my comic book collection. Christi had to leave so she could actually do her job, as she intended to come to Can’t Stop the Serenity with me later. I hung out for the Vertigo panel and was touched by the girl who nervously took the microphone and told the artists and writers on the stage, “You guys are awesome. This is my Hall H!”

Then, it was time for Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. The Browncoats had put together a lyric book and paper goggles for everyone in attendance; it was an excellent program. The version we watched was subtitled and had call-backs. I was seated in front of people who clearly had no idea why they were there, but even they got into it by the second song. It was a total blast. David and Dwight were in their Dr. Horrible costumes, as were a good portion of the audience, and everybody got into it as much as even the craziest Rocky Horror I’ve seen. I will definitely do this again, and be closer up front with the crazier people.

Next, I headed to the Gaslamp Theatre to volunteer with the California Browncoats for Can’t Stop the Serenity. I had never seen Serenity in the theatre (I know, right?) so I was freakin’ stoked. I hiked up with Beth From Australia in her full Dr. Horrible regalia and we met up with James (@danregal), Beth Not From Australia (@trekkiebeth), and I bumped into Todd (@wetodded). who was leaving for Tron for some reason. James paired me up with the awesome & very friendly Michelle (@mizbehavin1) to sell raffle tickets to the persons waiting in line. The raffle was to raise money for Equality Now (along with the movie ticket sales) and to win fabulous Firefly/Serenity/Joss related prizes.

Thankfully, Michelle understood the directions and math better than me. I learned something very important that day, however. If I go up to people with a smile and a bucket and explain to them that something is for charity, they almost immediately hand me money. I want to do this more, which is weird, because I hate talking to people. But I love getting buckets of money for charity. While working the line, I found that several of the people I’d ask to come actually did! Larry & his friend Jason came, and so did Katy and Annie, even though they’d never seen Firefly or Serenity before. Christi had purchased a ticket but couldn’t make it, as she was still writing her pieces.

We filled our bucket and ran out of tickets, so we came back inside. I was aching so I volunteered to watch the bags we had left in the theatre while everyone else entered. Michelle was still out there working her hiney off, so I made sure she got an excellent seat smack dab in the middle of the theatre where the sweet spot is. Then, it was time. James had Bix (@theonetruebix), the founder of this movement, do a bit of speaking. We then saw a little film explaining the purpose of Can’t Stop the Serenity (keep Serenity in theatres across the world for all time whilst raising money for charity), and then, finally, it came.

As previously mentioned, I’d never seen Serenity in the theatre before. The closest I’ve gotten to the experience was Blu Ray on my 42″ TV. This blew that the hell away. Seeing it loud and huge in the theatre is an unbelievable treat. Do it every chance you get. The people around me were cheering and clapping in all the places I do like a total dork by myself at home, so I felt right at, well, home, but bigger LOUDER BETTER! WHEEEEE!!!! It was pure pleasure to see with hundreds of fans, the way it was meant to be seen. It was over far too soon.

Afterwards, James held the raffle and some amazingly cool stuff was given to loads of people. I was happy to see that some of the folks Michelle & I sold tickets to won. I then got to meet Barb (@wyobar) for the first time and see Norm (@9tiercel) again. I also met their son, Chris. That was absolutely lovely. They also happened to be staying in the same hotel as me, so we all trudged up the hill together, thrilled to know we were so close by for any future shenanigans.

I then entered our quiet sleepy hotel room and, aching from the top of my head to my heels, crashed the hell out.

Next: Friday. Or “Oh Right, KellieJane, You DO Have Fibromyalgia!” Alternate title: “Errbody in tha Chuck Gettin’ Tipsy”.