Nerd Confessions (pt. 1)

During the school year, it’s all about the kids. This summer past week, has been all about me.  I have finally checked of a major item on my bucket list: Attend an International Comic Con Convention in San Diego California.

So without further ado: I present to you, my summer Nerd confessions Part 1.

What in the World Have We Gotten Ourselves Into Wednesday:

What is Comic Con?  I like to refer to it as the Pop Culture Mecca! Over 130,000 people from all over the world, converge in one spot to let their Nerd Flags Flow Freely! Fans of comic books, super heroes, science fiction, fantasy, the super natural, gaming, movies, television, collectables…

I do teach 8th grade for a living, but writing has always been my passion and, as an aspiring screenwriter and lover of television and film, Comic Con has been on my radar for a while.  All that was missing was someone awesome enough to go with me.  Enter K. Johnson, aka my roommate.

Having never been to The Con, we weren’t really sure what we would be walking into, so K Jo and I made a list of expectations:

  • Double-digit celebrity sightings.  Our wish list consisted of: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy is my favorite super hero), David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel (BONES!), our friend- Jason Momoa (we call him our “friend” because we had met him a few weeks prior at a wedding), Nathon Fillion (Castle), Zachary Levi and Adam Baldwin (Chuck).
  • Attend a panel show.  Our wish list: The Ringer, Game of Thrones, & Glee. (There were several other panels we wanted to see, but they were on Saturday, and we didn’t have tickets for Saturday. We would use Saturday to take a break from the chaos and go to Sea World instead) *Spoiler alert- WE NEVER MADE IT TO SEA WORLD BECAUSE BY SATURDAY WE WERE DROWNING IN AWESOME!!!
  • Check out the Gas Lamp District (Where we ended up spending most of our time)
  • Visit Balboa Park (Balboa what? Never made it there)
  • Take a ferry – did I mention we’re from Iowa? (Never did this either…)

    Hotel Del Coronado

Wednesday night, we arrived at Hotel Del Coronado (Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Johnson! Parental time shares are lifesavers.)

High Adventure Thursday:

I knew going into this thing that the crowds were going to be ridiculous, but I think I need to come up with a new word.  We arrived at the convention center and were introduced to a word we would be hearing a lot. LINES.  The process ran pretty smoothly, but the sheer masses of people was completely overwhelming.

After we spent a little over an hour getting acclimated to the exhibit hall where we picked up our true treasures: Mockingjay pins.  To be honest, an hour in the exhibit hall was about all I could take.  There was so much going on, my ADD was pushed to the limits.  At one point I told my roommate, “I don’t even know where to look.”

The Incredible Hulk

Her response, “Ummmm  Oh my God.  You can look behind you.  That’s Lou Ferrigno.

Judah Friedlander of 30 Rock

We then decided we should head out to see if we could get into a line for a panel. On our way out, we went through the “signing room,” where we ran into this fella.

Next, we were off to Ballroom 20. We could see the ballroom, several of the doors to the ballroom were open and we could see inside, when we asked a worker, “where do you go in,” he replied, “Just through those glass doors.”  What that translated to was: “Go through those glass doors, down a flight of stairs, across a walk way, and you will find a group of people.  Walk past that group of about 100 people, go down 2 more flights of stairs, and you will find the tail end of the line.  The time was 11:00AM. Our goal- get into the Panel for The Ringer with Sarah Michelle Gellar- which would start at 1:45, and then stay for the Game of Thrones panel where we could see our friend Jason.

Only 2,500 people in front of us...

Some things you should know before committing to the line for Ballroom 20.

  1. The ballroom holds approximately 2,500 people.
  2. Each panel lasts a little over an hour.
  3. They do not require people to leave the room after a panel is finished.

Standing in line for so long, you make friends whether you want to or not.  We stood in line with two guys who kept us well entertained with their tales of Comic Cons gone by.  They are the ones who gave us a realistic perspective of how things were going to go down over the next few days.

We told jokes, got pissed because our cameras were never at the ready when celebs walked by, (including Dexter’s C.S. Lee.  He walked by twice. I missed his photo twice.) and brainstormed ways to make the Con take a turn towards our favor.  Some suggestions included: Start a twitter feed that certain celebs were hanging out at various locations signing autographs and giving away free stuff, spread rumors that certain celebs had been no shows and it would be best to pack up and leave now, food poisoning- this plan wasn’t well though out, but it did come up several times. My favorite line quote: “It’s times like these I wish I had gone to Hogwarts. Oh to use Harry Potter magics.”

Four hours later, we were still in line, had missed the Psych panel, The Ringer panel, and the cut off to the Game of Thrones panel by 20 people. (They were kind enough to leave the ballroom doors open so we could be mocked by the outrageous cheering from those who were fortunate enough to make it inside. Having waited so long, we refused to give up. We consulted our program, and discovered, the next panel was “TV Guide Favorites.” We saw the name Kevin Williamson, and being huge fans of Dawson’s Creek, the Scream Franchise, and The Vampire Diaries we decided we might as well stay.  While waiting for the Game of Thrones panel to end, a woman walked by and asked, “What’s this line for?” One of our line friends responded, “A lot of pain and suffering.”

As we sat on the floor waiting, waiting, waiting… I tweeted.  That’s when I saw a tweet that had been sent a couple of hours prior from @JuliePlec (co-creator /co-producer of The Vampire Diaries). “Starting my descent into San Diego. Come see me & Kev at the TV Guide Fan Favorites Panel today. I hear Chuck will be there. He seems fun.” WHAT? Zachary Levi was in the house?  I had already reigned to the fact that we would not be able to attend the Chuck panel on Saturday (we didn’t have tickets for Saturday) but this was a nice curve in our plans. It also officially became the moment when our Comic Con experience took a sharp turn towards the AWESOME!

Zachary Levi is Chuck

*Something you should know before you continue reading*  I love me some Zachary Levi, and not just because he can act, sing, and has a smile that can melt your Popsicle, but he is genuinely a nice, decent, sweet person.  How do I know all of this? A LOT of cyber stalking via Facebook and Twitter (@ZacharyLevi).  Oh shut up.  That’s what they’re for.

Lost's Nestor Carbonell & Jorge Garcia and Zac

So… we stayed for the Zachary Levi TV Guide Fan Favorites panel.  The panel featured Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Nestor Carbonell, Jorge Garcia (Lost), Zachary Levi, Johnny Galecki (Big Bang Theory), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Kristin Bauer & Nelson Ellis (True Blood), and Leslie Hope (The River).


Here’s a funny moment from the TV Guide Fan Favorites panel. When the audio refuses to play on the Chuck clip, Zac steps up.

When all was said and done, we enjoyed the panel, and it was fun to see some of my favorite television stars interacting with fan.  More importantly, seeing Zac, reminded me of some other events that were being held in the Gaslamp District during the convention.

As a result of my cyber stalking internet research (does that make me sound less crazy?) I discovered a little project called The Nerd Machine. An organization that allows people to openly celebrate their lifestyle choice to live openly as a Nerd.On the way back to the hotel, I told my roommate about Zac’s NerdMachine HQ which was located off site in the Gas Lamp district.  I had read a bit about it, wasn’t really sure where or what it was, but I knew there were conversation panels scheduled, and that was going to be a Nerd Party open to the public on Friday night.  When we got back to our room, we did some research and decided to stop at the Nerd HQ Friday morning to get our day started off right.  Best. Decision. Ever.

To be continued…


>I was thankful for…

>I’ve completed my first day back, after a very short Thanksgiving holiday, and I already have a list of things I miss. Here are some of them in no particular order:

1. Using the bathroom whenever the need arises.

2. Talking in complete sentences without being interrupted.

3. Talking without intentionally putting context clues into my sentences so that my “big old lady vocabulary words” can be understood.

4. Breathing through my nose without throwing up a little in my mouth.

5. Eating off of plates that don’t contain food compartments.

6. Using real silverware. I know sporks prevent “accidental shankings” but come on.

7. Being referred to by my name, instead of “hey Miss teacher lady.”

8. Talking to people’s faces, instead of the backs of heads.

9. Not having everything I say, go off on some random tangent. Example:

Me: “That’s exactly right. Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates an actual sound. If a poet were to write a poem about a fantastic fireworks display, what are some sound words they might use?”

Students: “Kaboom, bang, pop, boom, pow…” followed by a musical interlude of “Gotta get-get, gotta g-g-g-get-get boom boom boom, gotta get-get boom boom boom…” And I thought we were making progress. (My favorite part was when the students were writing down their examples, and one of them asked me how to spell “boom”… oh boy.)

10. Not having to say, “It’s already 10:00? What in the world am I still doing up?”