Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday 2010

A great Black Friday and I never left the house.
The Post Man came and left 2 (count them 2!) packages.
The first was a small mailer and I didn’t recognize the return address. This made the suspense all the better.
I opened it and it contained a signed trade version of The Last Unicorn.  Then I knew the details.
At the 2010 ComicCon, my wife and I found Berkeley Breathed signing copies of his new Bloom County books. Since we read Bloom County daily while in college we excitedly got in line.
The line wrapped around the booth and as we got near the last turn, a man was standing with a few books in front of him. He looked familiar and I felt I should have known him. I tried to cheat and get a glimpse of his name tag but of course he wasn’t wearing it.  The guy next to him saw me try to sneak a peek and asked if I knew who the guy was. I admitted I thought I knew the face but not the who. He said Peter Beagle.  Now I felt stupid as the book was right there staring at me and could have put two and two together.
I turned and shook hands with Peter Beagle. I said I didn’t know he was going to be at ComicCon this year; otherwise I would have brought a copy for him to sign. They admitted it wasn’t real publicized. They said if I wanted a signed copy I could give my address details and they would send me a signed copy. Okay, I’m good with that.
Meanwhile my wife is inching closer and closer to Berkeley and I’m being left behind.
I wrote down my info and handed over some money.  I thanked Peter Beagle. And we chit chatted.
While I’ve never read The Last Unicorn, it has an interesting back story. Peter has struggled financially and the movie studios apparently made lots of money. Only recently has Peter tried to get his share.
Meanwhile the line for Bloom County had been shut down. Berkeley is finishing up. I’m slightly disappointed as it means I need to try again and I know how busy I’ll be over the next few days.  It’s not likely I’ll get a booked signed at this convention.
As I joined my wife and was told by Berkeley’s handler that the signing is over, the guy with Peter Beagle comes over and says something to Berkeley. It must have been about me as Berkeley immediately turns back to us asks if I want a book. No fuss, no muss. He happily sat down again and signed a book for us.
This was pretty cool on everybody’s part. So I got the Bloom County and I got to meet Peter Beagle.
The other box was a care package from a fellow sci fi geek friend. My friend, DeeVee, recently attended the National Sports Card show in Baltimore. This was the first big card show he ever attended. We emailed and chatted on the phone before the show as DeeVee tried to set some expectations.
I could tell from his questions, he was as excited as the proverbial kid in the candy store.  I knew he wanted to do it all. This is a very daunting task for an experienced National attendee let alone a rookie.  There are close to a 1000 dealers selling their wares and 40 or 50 people doing signings throughout the weekend.
After hearing his reports, I think he did do it all. Quite impressive. He had an exhausting but wonderful time. He even squeezed in side trips to the Ball Park and local museums.
He even picked up a few extra signatures which I got on this Black Friday.  The package had way more than I ever could expect as a Thank You. It was filled with baseballs and cards and included a program from the show.
So my Christmas has started very early.

PS - I didn't include a link to The Last Unicorn. If you are interested in getting a copy, see the link in the 'back story'.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nicholas Brendon – Buffy’s Xander – the beat down

Well maybe Nicholas Brendon wasn’t TOTALLY beaten down by me.
I bet you know what I mean by ‘beat down’. Not quite a tongue lashing but a situation where someone is going over tiresome dialogue for the Nth-teenth time and in the end it makes no difference.
We all have a coworker that says the same thing at every meeting.  The room will collectively (albeit silently) groan. Eyes will roll and then glaze as everyone tunes out. Whether they say the same tired pun or corny bon mot, it just beats you down every time.
It drains your life force. You look for any escape.  Sometimes it’s so bad the 3rd story window seems like a viable option. The eye glazing is self-defense and its reflexive - the body is trying to protect the brain from the onslaught. Like getting hit with a phaser in Star Trek – you freeze – time stops. You hope when you awaken the beating is done or there’s an opening to escape.
I hate when people do that to me. I’m sure you hate it when it happens to you.
I have seen it at autograph signings. It seems to happen after a long frustrating day for everyone. There’s always a line behind the person delivering the beating. I’m empathic as the celebrity is stuck like a bug in a killing jar and the beater just blithely goes on and on and on. I can feel his pain and wince as the lashing continues; unable to render help.
The beater doesn’t mean to be to mean. The exchange can be as silly as confusing the actor with someone else or asking them what else they have been in or just droning on about the inane.
That is my crime. I’m guilty of ‘the inane’.
And to make matters worse it was premeditated. I planned on doing it.  I even told my wife about it in advance.
I plead guilty and will take my punishment – I know karma will come back with a vengeance.
I recently watched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series for the first time. Yes, I know it’s been off the air for 7 years.  But I watched it anyway.
Then I started playing poker. As I played I would watch the episodes on line. I would open three tables. That would cover ¾ of my screen.  Buffy fit so snuggly in the open bottom left corner of the screen.  
I played a lot of poker. I watched a lot of Buffy.
I watched the 7 seasons in about 3 months. That includes the 5 seasons of Angel.
And as I watched, I saw the characters flesh out and mature. I liked Xander. Even though he was comic relief, he seemed more sensible, more adult like. After high school, he didn’t go to college like the rest. He worked. He had a hard time finding a fit. He tried and failed at a slew of jobs. He didn’t give up. He had a goal. He wanted out of his parent’s basement and he worked at it.
While the rest of the Scooby gang cut class, Xander would work.  He was a good role model. He was an example of the American Way – work hard and you will succeed. He did succeed. He finally found the one job that he meshed with. He worked his way up to foreman at the construction company.
Then Buffy died. Yeah, what’s new there? Willow and Tara move into Buffy’s house to keep Buffy’s sister safe. Okay, not a bad thing. That all makes sense.
Buffy comes back from the dead and they tell Little Miss Buff that she is broke and they spent all of her mom’s insurance money.  Willow and Tara leave and move back to the dorm. Like pigeons (or consultants) – they made a mess and then left.  Did they offer to help financially?  No, they did not. Obviously they had money as they paid for their dorm room.  That was money that could have used to help Buffy.  But they didn’t. They left and said ‘poor Buffy’.
Xander’s my guy. He’s the unsung hero of the series. He’s a hard worker. He’s someone that took responsibility for his own actions. He’s a man of the people. Where would we be without people like Xander?  He worked hard. He kept going regardless of the difficulties. He’s the backbone of society.
Xander…Xander…Xander… (visualize a fist pumping in the air).
That was what I told Nicholas. Well – I didn’t do the chant or the fist pump. I do have some self-respect.
It was Friday at Wizard World and there was no line. I walked up and told him I was going to deliver a beat down. He didn’t even flinch. I checked behind me to see if anyone was waiting and then I launched into my inane dialogue. Something that no longer matters as the show is off the air. It no longer matters as he’s working on another show. It doesn’t matter as it’s just a stupid TV show. It was silly but I felt SOOOOO good delivering it. I wanted to be mean but I was so caught up in his character I had to unload.
I took a breath and I saw a couple was behind me. I knew it was time to go. I apologized and made to leave. He stopped me. He asked if I was any good at poker. I paused.  I said I had my good days and I had my bad. He nodded. I asked if he played. He said no but his brother plays all of the time. 
I smiled. Not because we had a nice little exchange. I smiled because I hadn’t beaten him down too badly. 
He shook my hand and said he really appreciated my comments. 
I’ll admit it, I was a little giddy.


Monday, November 22, 2010

ComicCon tickets on sale today?

Well, there were issues with ticket sales on November 1st.
Now on November 22nd, they again are having issues.
I’ll let you know if I ever get tickets.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wizard World’s Austin ComicCon 2010

Since I never attended a Wizard World Convention, I had no idea about the crowds or organization; I figured I’d make this a 2 day trip. Originally, I thought I’d go down Saturday and stay the night. Part of that reasoning was that I saw that they were going to have a poker tourney on Saturday. When I went back to the website to confirm, I couldn’t find it. So, they either cancelled the poker or I was delusional.
With no good reason to stay Saturday night I drove down to Austin on Friday morning instead. Friday works better. Typically with any event over a weekend, the crowds are smaller on Friday as people are working. Which means I could get more done in less time. BUT because of those smaller crowds, some of the guests decide to show up on Saturday. My plan was if I missed anyone on Friday I could pick them up on Saturday.
I got the show about 2PM. I won’t say it was dead or deserted but the crowds were very manageable.
I walked around to get my bearings and watched the people and celebrities.
The fans were friendly and outgoing. I chatted with several people ‘just because’.
At 2 PM, a lot of the guests hadn’t showed up yet. Many of the tables where they were scheduled to sit had little signs stating when they would return. I liked that.
The first autograph I got was Ernie Hudson. He let me take a photo and he was dressed in his Ghostbusters jump suit. I’m assuming he wore that because the Dallas and Houston Ghostbuster fan clubs were in attendance. They were in jumpsuits and proton packs all weekend. I hope he doesn’t wear his jumpsuit like a doctor wears his scrubs…
A little later I picked up Gil Gerard’s and Erin Gray’s autographs. I tell more about that later.
I got Nicholas Brendon’s signature. I beat him down (verbally) and he was so nice about it. Again, more later.
Lee Majors was never at his table. I think he was doing photo ops. I did finally get the photo signed and he was very nice. I was hoping for some interaction but nothing happened. Wouldn't you love to ask him about Farrah?
There was a lot of fanfare when Burt Ward and Adam West entered the convention center floor.  A nice line had formed in front of their tables. I wasn’t in the mood to wait so I wondered off to take a few photos. 
This was NOT a photo friendly place. There were a few signs up stating that this was a ‘no photo zone’. Or one of the handles would mention no photos were allowed as a fan raised their camera.
I picked up Billy Dee Williams autograph and I shook his hand but I don’t recall him saying a word.  I really wanted to hear that iconic voice say something. He just politely nodded. After me, a guy carried over a 5 foot model of the Millennium Falcon and asked him to sign it. The model had signatures all over it from other actors. I’m sure Billy Dee gets requests like that all day long.
After some more wandering, I went back and got Batman and Robin’s autographs as the line had disappeared. Both were the friendliest guys to meet. Again more later.
I left for the day and on Saturday I picked up Peter Mayhew’s John Hancock. He always looks so shy but as I see him in shows all over but he always engages with the fans.  I got a nice photo of him holding Chewie’s head piece. So you see the actor and the character in one shot.
The last bit of work was Doug Jones. No matter how many people were in line he was animated and outgoing and hugging fans. Some people got their faces mushed as he clasped his hands on their cheeks and he told them thank you.  He was a character. I told him he was the modern day Lon Chaney Jr and I got a big hug.
If I hadn’t seen him do that to others I would have been nervous. It was a good hug and not a ‘man’ hug. He was full of infectious energy. I don’t think anyone left his table without a big smile on their face.  He is a big loveable nut. Think Sheldon from Big Bang Theory but happier and better social skills.
While there were a few others I wanted, at this time they still hadn’t showed up and I wasn’t going to wait for them. I spent enough money and I had my booty to take home.
One regret was Emily Hagins. She is Zombie Girl.  When she was she made her first movie on her own video camera. It was a zombie movie. Hence the nickname. Not a masterpiece but an incredible achievement for a 14 year.  I haven’t seen the movie but I did see a documentary on her and the making of the movie. She was scheduled for Sunday and that didn’t work with my plans. I thought I saw her walking with her mom on Saturday but couldn’t work up the nerve to approach her.
I very nice convention and one I would attend again in the future.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sarah Palin – Going Rogue

Since Sarah Palin is on another book signing tour; this is a good time talk about my previous encounter.
Last December, I bought my copy of Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue. I got it a week in advance of the autographing. This gave me a ticket to stand in line for the event. People did camp out the night before but I wasn’t interested in doing that since I had a ticket in my grubby little hands.  I know the ticket didn’t guarantee a signature but I was fairly certain I would get my book signed.
I got there about 3 hours early.  The bookstore already had a line wrapped around the insides of the building and 500 more people were queued up outside in the chilly air. I was with the group outside freezing my bottom off standing in the shade and the breeze. 
The bookstore was a 2 story independent building in an upscale shopping mall. Across the street from our line was a 5 story parking garage. In front of us were a few vacant stores.  If you looked closely you saw a lot of maintenance men standing in the windows of the empty stores. They weren’t doing anything. Just watching – for the whole time I was there. Were they security?
When the bus carrying Sarah Palin and her entourage arrived, every level of the parking garage had a motorcycle police officer looking down onto the crowd.  Sarah got off the bus and walked past the crowd in a bright red suit. The crowd went wild.
It didn’t take too long to get inside and close to the signing table.  Before you rounded the last corner of the bookstore, you needed to check your bags. Again, no cameras or phones were allowed.
Security was everywhere but so were a few reporters and the official photographer. You handed your books to an employee and you got a chance to say a few words to Sarah and then you had your photo taken (not posed). Then you walked to the side and were handed your books back.
The process was quick and painless.
She really is very pretty in person and has a great smile. I need to remember to suck my gut and smile when the pictures are taken. I always seem to be so grim and intense in photos.
I did decide I wanted another copy of the book and went to stand in line again outside.  Unfortunately they closed the line just as I was about to get back into the store. 
Before I left, I checked out the tour bus she was using to travel.  On the dashboard, in front of the driver were some moose antlers. I took a few photos and then went back to the parking garage to get my car.
I paused and took a few photos from the 3rd level of the garage. I saw where a herd of police officers were massing by the bus. I figured that signaled it was close her departure time. I paused and took a few photos. 
Out of nowhere a middle aged man came up to me and asked if I had a cigarette.  Such an odd occurrence.  I turned back to the bus and I took another photo and just waited to see if Sarah was coming out. The oddness of the cigarette encounter stayed with me and I looked around for the guy. He wasn’t anywhere.  I think he was part of the security detail and was checking on me. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Sarah Pain left the building and posed with the Police officers. A great photo op.
But I was laughing. There was a lot of hoopla with security when she came in, motor cycle cops in the parking garage, bags being checked, and a police escort.  When she left  - the parking garage was empty; the maintenance men in the empty stores were gone.
I’m not sure what to make of it but it was as odd as the man asking me for a cigarette.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Iron Man prototype

This is something my dad sent me. Not autograph related but very geeky and I wanted to share.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Behind the scenes – Bush and Dunham

It’s weird how things work. This is like ‘If you give a Mouse a Cookie but for the autograph hound.
If I hadn’t been laid off, I would not have joined the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis).
If I hadn’t joined the IIBA, I would not have won a 3 day pass to the No Magic World Conference.
If I hadn’t won the 3 day pass, I would not have heard about the Bush signing.
I was up earlier than normal on Monday (the day before the Bush signing) as I drove to the conference. I was listening to my favorite radio station and they mentioned that President Bush was kicking off his book tour in Dallas the next day.
I may not be totally plugged into everything that happens in Dallas but I’m usually aware of a big signing like this. This did not show up on the websites I usually browse for upcoming events.  In fact, just a day before I was mentioning to a friend that I was surprised Bush wasn’t signing in Dallas.
Of course the radio station didn’t give the details or maybe something distracted me in traffic when they did give the details but I knew the signing was going to be at one of two bookstores in town.
Since the subject of the conference went way over my head, I left early that Monday. I dropped by the first possible bookstore that could host the signing.  As I walked in I quickly realized it wasn’t them as they had Pat Summerall scheduled for the next day.
They also had Jeff Dunham scheduled later this very night. I would love to get that autograph but that’s 2 singings in 2 days and only a couple of weeks ago I was in Austin for the Texas Book Festival and in a few more days I would be in Austin again for Wizard World’s ComicCon.  That’s a little more money than I should be spending without official spousal approval.
Now I know how much the wife likes Dunham so my crafty little mind figured if I invited her to the signing there was no way she could say ‘no’. And it worked.
So, if I wasn’t laid off…repeat the ‘Ifs’ above, I wouldn’t have gotten Jeff Dunham’s autograph; another signings that was flying under my radar.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jeff Dunham – All By My Selves

I asked Kae, the wife, if she wanted to go to a signing with me. I told her it was a surprise and I would pick her up about 5PM. Kae is a notorious surprise spoiler. I have learned not to buy a Christmas present too early as she’ll see the Visa bill and know what I got her. Remarkably, she didn’t search the internet trying to figure out who we were going to see. That was a lot of restraint on her part.
We got to the bookstore and I picked up a copy of All By My Selves and asked if she would like to see Jeff Dunham tonight.  It’s always great to see her face light up like a kid. She didn’t quite jump for joy but she did bob up and down a little with excitement. She loves him. We have seen Jeff Dunham twice in concert and she will often quote a line or two from his act.
We purchased our copy and got wrist bands and that had the letter ‘C’ written on them. Barnes & Nobles has started a wrist band system that I really like. They hand out wrist bands with letters on them. They start at ‘A’ and go to ‘Z’. There are 25 wristbands for each letter of the alphabet. 
I found this system rewards me for coming in early and getting a good letter. I instantly know about how many people are in line in front of me. I don’t need to stand in line for several unproductive hours. I have the freedom to leave and come back.  I can search the store for a book or magazine to read. Granted other people with the same letter will be in front of me but only 24 other people could be in front of me with that letter.  It’s a good risk/reward deal.
We took advantage of this and went to eat.
We came back about 45 minutes later and the store was crowded. We found the line for ‘C’ and not many people were in it. We still had another 30 minutes before the official start time so we each took a few minutes to browse and find something to read.
Jeff Dunham arrived and the crowd applauded. Jeff spoke for a few minutes and then brought out Walter.  Walter, as always, was cantankerous.  People would yell out: “We love you!” and Walter without a pause would heckle the audience with: “Keep drinking” or something fittingly curmudgeon.
After Jeff put away Walter he talked about his book and his budding career in the DFW area. In researching his book, he found some vintage footage from a local news station where a young Bill O’Reilly interviewed him. He spoke for another 10 minutes where he mentioned he was introducing two new characters to the act. One was a drunk divorcée and the other was Achmed’s son called AJ (Achmed Junior). Then the signing began.
Even though we were ‘C’ and maybe 60 people were in front of us, it took an hour for us to reach the front of the line. Sometimes the line is slow because the people in front have a dozen books to get signed. Sometimes the line is slow because of small glitches in the book signing process. Sometimes the line is slow because the guest has a lot of interaction with the crowd.
I got to the front of the line and got the official okay-dokey to approach him, he held out his hand for me to shake.
He had his parents sitting behind him and I asked him if that was to make sure he didn’t get in any trouble. He politely laughed and said yes. It was neat to see them too. He was including them in his life and he was proud to have them there.
We brought a camera and while I got the book signed a B&N employed tried to take a photo. No luck.
I hate bringing cameras to events like this. You have your hands full with the book(s) and holding a camera just adds some minor stress. Then you have these little adventures where the camera doesn’t work.
Jeff was a trooper. He told the employee to try again. No luck.  I’m ready to bolt out of there as I’m the guy that is holding up the line.  I’m apologizing and telling everyone I’ll just leave.  Kae got the camera and fussed with it for a moment and tried again. I can barely smile as I’m so embarrassed. 
Every instinct of mine said run. I’m the chaos that is making the line move so slowly. I’m the guy that will cause Jeff Dunham to start rushing when he realizes this event won’t finish until after midnight. I envisioned pitch forks and torches chasing after me through the midnight darkened streets.
Jeff noticed my blank face and told me to smile.  He’s still willing to get this photo done. I’d say ‘git er done’ but that’s the wrong comedian. He’s looking out for me.  Very cool of him. The camera failed a third time. I thank him so much for trying to get the photo done.  As I was walking away he asked if I wanted to try again. Very very cool of him.
Kae saw my frustration and she joined me outside of the line. We futzed with the camera for a moment and I saw that the low battery icon is on. The batteries are dying.
I know the batteries aren’t that old. But I instantly know why the light is on.  The 5 million cat photos that my dear sweet wife had taken of the cats over the last few months. A day cannot pass without the cats doing something cute that needs to be captured for posterity. Thinking about it, I’m surprised there was room on the memory card for a photo.
I did step back toward the table and took a photo.  I held as still as I could to let the slow shutter speed work.  Jeff never looked up. I could now leave knowing I was a few steps ahead of the angry mob with a signed book and a photo and a happy wife.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

President Bush – Decision Points

President Bush’s signing for Decision Points was set for 8AM.  My alarm was set for 3AM.
Ringo woke me at 2:40AM.  Being an orange tabby he figured he could get away with that. Since he is still among the living, I guess he did.
I knew if I tried to get that last 20 minutes of sleep I would feel worse than I did; so I rolled out of bed, took a shower, and then dressed.
By 3:30AM I had driven the empty streets and parked outside of the Borders Book Store. A lot of people had parked close to where they were standing in line. I figured I wanted to a short walk after I was done, knowing how tired I would be.
The night before (only a few hours earlier) I packed my backpack. I dragged it from the front seat and went in search of the line.
The line started at the front doors of the store which made it easy to find.  I walked toward the end and looked over the people that had camped out. A lot of sleeping bags littered the strip mall’s concourse.  No one was asleep. Everyone was sitting in chairs they brought or sitting in their sleeping bags.  They were bundled up but the night wasn’t that cold. 
My timing was fairly good. I was about 250 people back and I knew another 75 or so would be filtering in as the start time approached.  There is always a dad saving a space for the sleeping kids or a boyfriend saving a space for his girl.  It happens. No biggie.
A big guy (yeah, bigger than me) dragged a huge fold up recliner just in front of me. A lady and 2 kids lined up just behind me. Looking over the crowd I figured I’d get a lot of reading done. I was out of the wind and had plenty of light. As soon as I sat down and reached for my book, the kids started talking to me.
My timing was very good. If I was 15 minutes earlier, I would have been on the side of the building and exposed to a more wind and the muzak blaring from the mall’s speakers. If I was 15 minutes later, I would have been standing next to the dumpsters for several hours.
The conversations ended not too long after we got our books signed.  At least the conversation was good and most of the time it was very amusing. The younger of the 2 kids actually wrote President Bush a letter about 4 years ago and got a response. So now that the kid was older (he was maybe 10 years old) he wanted to meet the President.
At lot of excitement was generated at 5AM when McDonald’s opened. I heard the lines for the bathrooms were 50 people deep. Not too surprising as people had camped out and nothing was open.
About 5:30AM a few of us got some food.  That was the same time the dogs started sniffing our cars for explosives.
About 6AM the new vans were ready and the prep crews were working. The ‘talent’ didn’t arrive until 7AM or so.
About 7AM we were asked to stand and the line shrank greatly. It’s always good to move around and the anticipation builds even though you know you still have an hour or more to wait.  
At this time a lot of people in suits walked up and down the line. Some were Borders’ employees trying to answer questions. Others are Secret Service agents. Everyone stared at the agents hoping to spot the microphone up the sleeve.
Once the signing began the line moved quickly.
To get into the store, you needed to empty your pockets.  And walk through a metal detector. No cell phones or cameras or bulky jackets were allowed.  So once again, no photos. Sorry.  My line buddies saved my spot in the line when I went to my car to drop off everything.
When I got to the table, a Secret Service agent took my book and added it to a pile of books on a table near the President. Someone else was moving those books to the table where the President sat and signed.
Bush offered me a big smile and his hand. I took his hand but I didn’t grip very hard as I shook because he still held his Sharpie.
He thanked me for showing up and I told him I was honored to meet him.  He signed my book and I said “How about those Rangers?”  He stopped and looked at me again and said ‘we’ almost won the whole thing. I mumbled something about next year and he agreed and I was led to another table. 
The books he was signing were being stacked at his table. Then another agent was collecting several signed books and taking them to the table I was waiting at that was about 20 feet away.  There someone else was handing them back to the people as we left the signing area.
Dozens of agents were in the store and standing at points along the line.
I said goodbye to my line buddies and walked to my car. The line was still wrapped round the building.
It was 9:15AM.
I drove past the corner where the protesters were. I was cranky at this point and their signs actually got me mad. I really thought about going over there and ‘talking’ to them. The corner held 10 people. I know 3 of those people were reporters/photographers that I had seen earlier working the crowd.
I decided to just leave and drove home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

G4 is Lost

What happened to G4TV?
Yes, I’m sure most of you have a question mark over your head regarding that last statement. You are probably thinking this must be a subset of the G12 summit. 
G4 is a small TV channel that appears on 310 when you have DirecTV.  There are no longer there.
DirecTV dropped the channel.
And if you surf the net, it appears not to have had a huge impact.
There are some comments about saving the channel and calling DirecTV but not a lot.
I found one number to call – I have not yet called –
Is the Pop Culture Icon dead?
No more ComicCon reports?
No more videos of Olivia jumping into a giant pie dressed as a maid?
No more Ninja Warrior?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wizard World’s Austin ComicCon

Just looking over the guest list and getting excited:
Richard Anderson, Lindsay Wagner, and Lee Majors from the Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man shows
Gil Gerard and Erin Gray from Buck Rogers
Burt Ward and Adam West from Batman
I hope to come back with some good stories.
I’m thinking about staying overnight as they have a  poker tourney Saturday night.  That might be a lot of fun.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ooooh, jewelry…

A few years back I went to a Dallas Stars season ticket holder event. Sounds prestigious, huh?  In reality, 6 of us share 4 seats. The seats are 4 rows from the top of the upper bowl. Nose bleed. The climb up the stairs is a good cardio workout.  If you get a few beers and use the bathroom a few times, you have done your heart well. Aside from the health aspect of the seats, the view is good.  It’s a neat way to see some games and not spend too much money.
I took a friend, CeeEll, to this event. CeeEll brought his 4 year old daughter.  The event was photo ops with the various players. It was fun but very crowded.  We did a lot of walking and got our photos taken with different players.
After a while we ended with the cheerleaders. They aren’t called cheerleaders here; they are called Stars Ice Girls. The squad is split into 2 groups. One group uses pom poms and dances and entertains the crowd. The other group actually skates and cleans the ice shaving from around the goal during time outs.
They are young.  I would imagine anywhere from 18 to 25 years old. And 25 might be pushing the upper limit of the age envelope.  They are pretty and stylish. They are very glamorous with big hair and big make-up. They get free tanning from a local tanning bed company.  They don’t have tattoos. Or if they do, they are hidden behind their uniforms. Well, logic dictates they don’t have tattoos as they don’t have much of an outfit that can hide a tattoo. For us guys, they are also pleasantly distracting.
We stood in line to get our photos taken with some of the Ice Girls. Yes, it was nothing but an excuse to stand next to pretty girls and put our arms around them as we posed. We’re guys. Don’t expect much more out of us.
CeeEll’s had just mentioned how his little one had recently discovered jewelry. She had become fascinated with the glitter and the shine. She would sneak into mom’s pieces and try on the rings and bracelets and necklaces.  So as she stood between two Ice Girls, the glistening belly rings caught her eye.  The photographer caught her glance.  It was not hard to catch her eye since the belly rings were at her eye level.
The daughter said, “Ooooh, jewelry…” and the dad and the two Ice Girls laughed and in unison, like they had practiced, said, “That’s for when you get older.”
A few people around us laughed. Then we took a few steps over to the table and got autographs from some of the other Ice Girls. 
Everyone had heard the exchange.  It started a conversation among various girls about when they had gotten their belly rings.  One girl mentioned that she and her mom went and got their belly buttons pieced together when she turned 16.  It was a wonderful mom/daughter bonding experience for her.
So for you moms out there that aren’t pieced; you now know you can look forward to the day that you and your daughter bond in this wonderful ritual.  And is their 16th birthday that far away?