Nerd Confessions (pt. 3)

Missed Nerd Confessions (pt. 2)? No worries.

Saturday- The day things got AWESOME. Literally. 

Seth Green

When K Jo and I originally made our Comic Con plans, we were bummed because we couldn’t get tickets for Saturday. Our plan was to go to Sea World where we would be completely distracted from our heartache. Instead we woke up Saturday morning eager to face the day. I believe our mantra for the day became, “Screw Shamu. We’re goin’ to the Nerd HQ.”  With our Seth Green tickets in hand, we headed down to the Nerd HQ.

In this conversation, Seth Green and Robot Chicken partner Matthew Senreich were joined with their Stoop!d Monkey cohorts.  They talked about how they got started, what they were working on, showed us clips, answered questions from the audience, and then signed autographs.  Yep.  I talked to Seth Green. And shook his hand.  And got his autograph.

  

After the conversation with Seth Green & friends, K Jo and I headed down stairs to grab some lunch.  We met a couple of girls who waiting for the conversation with Nathan Fillion (Castle) to start. We talked about what a good time we were having and K Jo and I kicked ourselves for not investigating the Nerd HQ sooner. K Jo would have given her right kidney, and her left, to be in the same room with Nathan Fillion. Luckily, she didn’t have to.

We decided to hang around to see if there was any way we could get in. We headed outside and joined about 10 people who were watching those with tickets file in.  After a couple of minutes, we saw the donation bucket approaching. And just like that, we were in!  We headed back upstairs, grinning from ear to ear.  What an unexpected turn of events.  When we entered the room Zachary Levi was welcoming people, and talking about Operation Smile. K Jo settled into our seats in the back still in disbelief that in a few minutes, we would be within pouncing distance of Nathan Fillion.

I quickly glanced behind us and told K Jo:

Me: “There’s nobody behind us.  We can stand up to take pictures if we want.”

K Jo: “Um. Nobody except for Josh Gomez.”

Josh Gomez

What?!? I turned around and saw Josh Gomez (Morgan Grimes from NBC’s Chuck) sitting right behind us. I quickly waved at him to get his attention and he smiled and waved back.  I quietly asked him if it was alright if I came back there for a picture.  He waved me back and I shoved my camera to K Jo and  headed his way.  When I got back there, a bodyguard stopped me. I told him Josh had said it was okay and he let me through.  Just as I was about to pose, I heard Zac calling to the back.

Zac: “Um yes.  It looks like we already have a question in the back? Josh Gomez?”

I’m not sure what the question was because I was too busy trying to decide what I should do. Everyone was now facing us, but I still wanted my picture.  I stood out of the way while Josh answered the question and people took pictures.  When he sat down, I decided to make my move. This time, as I moved in, some guy suddenly came crashing through the curtain and sat next to Josh. (K Jo later told me: “From my perspective, he came barreling through the curtain and pushed you out of the way. Then the security guard was all ‘Grrrrr’ and I was like , ‘I don’t know what’s going on’ while trying to take pictures.”) Great. Now I would never get my picture.  I looked to K Jo for advice, but she was trying to tell me something.

Photobomb that was almost awesome (had it been in focus)

K Jo:  “Awesome.”

Me: “What?”

K Jo: “That’s Captain Awesome.”

What? People don't like total strangers in their pictures? (Yep- that's my hand... wrapped around Captain Awesome! Good times.)

I leaned forward to see his face and sure enough, it was Ryan McPartlin (Chuck’s Devin Woodcomb/ “Captain Awesome”).  I couldn’t believe it.  I’m not 100% sure what happened next because… well… I was standing right next to Captain Awesome!  I went for it.  I wrapped my arm around him as K Jo began snapping pictures. Unfortunately, at that same point, all 200 people turned around and began taking pictures as well. This time it didn’t even occur to me to get out of the way. IT WAS CAPTAIN AWESOME!!! (I guess the blurry photo is Karma’s doing for ruining everyone else’s pictures.)  I did find a clear one online, but I had been cropped out.

Ryan McPartlin & Josh Gomez @ the Nerd HQ

Here’s a better picture of my boys. (That’s what I call them now. My boys. We had a bonding moment. It counts.)

*Update: After stopping by my blog, Megan, who happened to have the cropped photo bomb picture on her blog, sent me this picture this morning.  Thanks Megan.

My AWESOME photobomb with Josh Gomez (Morgan Grimes) and Ryan McPartlin (Captain Awesome) @ the NerdHQ

All this craziness and the panel hadn’t even started yet. I made my way back to my seat and the conversation was under way. Not only were we blessed by the presence of Nathan Fillion, but he brought friends. Firefly costars, Jewel Staite and Adam Baldwin, joined him for the conversation. My favorite- they brought with them a “bag of shit”-  random stuff they had sitting around home, that they gave out to people who asked questions.  (I have a bag of crap in my desk drawer that I sometimes use for bingo prizes. Most of the crap in my bag consists of toys and trinkets I have confiscated from students: bouncy balls, mini decks of cards, slightly used erasers… Their crap was of a much higher caliber.) They gave out signed copies of Serenity (which they all starred in), autographed beer mugs from various vacations… it was great!

  

I do have to admit that I’m not sure what was going on during most of this conversation.  It was really hard to focus with this guy standing right next to me… not that I’m complaining.   

After another successful day at Nerd HQ, our Sunday plans were beginning to shape up. Sunday would be the Conversation with Zachary Levi; another sold out panel, but we were determined. After all, it was the Nerd HQ-  the place where miracles happened.

To be continued…

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Nerd Confessions (pt. 2)

Missed Nerd Confessions (pt.1)?  No worries…

Fantastic Friday:

The Nerd HQ. The place where miracles happen.

After that first day of waiting line after line after line at the convention center, K Jo and I decided to head to Jolt’n Joe’s, aka the Nerd Machine Head Quarters, to check it out.  The Nerd Machine had taken over the bar, and was hosting its own panels or “Conversations for a Cause.”  Tickets were being sold for each conversation to raise money for Operation Smile.  We found out there were still tickets available for Seth Green and Stoop!d Monkey. (We didn’t know what Stoop!d Monkey was either, but we do love some Seth Green.) The best part, each conversation had seating for about 200 people and tickets were sold for specific seats which meant, NO LINES!  SOLD!!!

Leia: "I love you." Hon: "I know."

We bought tickets to Saturday’s Seth Green’s then headed to the exhibit hall to people watch and buy things like ice-cube trays that made ice cubes in the shape of tiny Hon Solos frozen in carbonate.  You know.  The necessities. After a couple of hours, my ADD had hit its threshold and we needed to get out of there.  We decided to head back to the hotel for dinner and naps before heading back to the Nerd HQ for the Nerd party.

  

When we arrived back at Nerd HQ, we got in line where we met Collin (a key player later on in the game) and his wife Michelle (she had been walking in the exhibit hall earlier that day and turned around to see Ryan McPartlin, aka Captain Awesome, and had gotten her picture taken with him. I was jealous- but not for long…)  They were pretty cool.  While we were in line Mark Christopher Lawrence and Adam Baldwin came strolling by. There were also a few Zachary Levi sightings, but being 5’2″ I had to take everyone’s word for it.

Roommate & I gettin' our Nerd on

The Nerd Party itself consisted of a bunch of us sitting around, eating, drinking, photo boothing it up, while waiting for Zachary Levi to come grace us with his presence.  To entertain us, we looked up to see the pictures being displayed from the photo booth.  And then the pictures from the upstairs photo booth began to play.  Apparently the really cool Nerds were partying upstairs.

Chevy Chase & Adam Baldwin @Nerd HQ

Dominic Monaghan & Elijah Wood @Nerd HQ

 

 

As the midnight hour drew near, Nerds on the lower level began to fade, but K Jo and I stood our ground. Our line friends, Collin and Michelle roamed the bar bringing us back updates like:

Michelle:  “There are these girls in shorty dresses with big hair are trying to sweet talk their way up stairs, but it’s not happening.”

Collin:  “The body guards are trying to strategize a way to get Zac into the room without him getting mobbed.”

K Jo rolled her eyes. I tweeted. And then, the magic happened.  Collin gave us the nod and we were off.  Zac was coming down the stairs. We made our way to the base of the stairs to see Zac walking right towards us. Then, just like that, he was whisked out the side door and around the building.  He would be entering the bar on the side we were just at.  This is where all those years of navigating through crowded middle school hallways paid off. I yelled, “Move it K Jo. Throw elbows!” and made my way to the front of the room just in time.

And just like that… he was gone.  *Now at this point some of you mightthink I’m crazy, or obsessed, or… whatever. Did you SEE him?  I darted out the door after him, but was stopped by an iron gate and a couple of bodyguards. Plan B- I once again used my middle school hallway navigation skills to make my way back through the bar to the other door.  When I came out the other side, I found myself face to face (or face to chest- as I am 5’2″ and he is 6’4″.) And then we spoke:

Zachary Levi

Me: “Hi Zac.  Do you think I could get a picture?”

Zac: “I’m sorry. Not right now. I don’t want to get mobbed.  If you come back to Nerd HQ over the next couple of days, I’ll definitely be around and we can get one then.”

I couldn’t believe it.  I was being denied a photo by Zachary Levi.  In person. It was fantastic.  (It reminded me of the time my dad took me to see the New Kids on the Block when I was in the 6th grade.  I was in the front row of the balcony just to the right of the stage. At one point in the show, Joey Joe McIntyre took off his shirt, looked up into the balcony and let it fly. I leaned over the railing as far as I could. To this day, I can still feel the sweaty fabric of his shirt as it brushed the edge of my finger tips before plummeting to the girls below.) I was that close.

Nathan Fillion aka Castle

The next thing I know, he was being swept back upstairs by security.  A few second’s later, K Jo was punching me in the arm. She was trying to say something, but couldn’t find the words. Finally she said, “Turn around.”  I did and right behind me was this guy.

Finally K Jo and I pulled ourselves together and decided to catch a cab back to the hotel.  Both of us were giddy with excitement.  When we got back to the hotel, we checked the Nerd HQ website. It turned out, there was a Conversation with Nathan Fillion the next day.  It was sold out, but like I said, Nerd HQ is the place where miracles happened so we decided to take our chances anyway. And that’s when things got awesome.  Literally.

To be continued…