Sooo… I am on week 3 of being sick with bronchitis and/or walking pneumonia, so forgive me for my ramblings and for taking so long to post. Here’s my report from the front lines. (I’m without my laptop so this will be a challenge.) You might want to grab a beverage because I’m going to put this all in one post.
THAT HORRIBLE FEELING WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU MIGHT NOT MAKE IT TO THE CON IN TIME: I came down with a stomach bug on Wednesday night (on top of the bronchitis) and was too sick to fly on Thursday morning. Though the airline was able to rebook me on an afternoon flight, delays meant I would miss my connection. After an hour standing at the JFK ticket counter during which options slipped away, I was finally able to secure an alternative flight… but had to endure a coach window seat for 6 hours despite having paid for a first class seat. Thank god for the copious amount of drugs in my system that I was able to remain calm and get a little nap before running through LAX, rebooking yet again when I discovered a better connecting flight, and finally arriving at SeaTac after 1:00 am - 12 hours after I was originally supposed to land. The silver lining was that I was too distracted by the drama to be nervous about what I would say to Cait and Sam.
WAIT, WE’RE QUEUING UP HOW EARLY? Luckily @chrismosstree and @myguiltyolpleasure scoped out the situation on Thursday afternoon and figured out exactly when and where we needed to be. I awoke around 5 am after a couple hours of sleep to bid them farewell as they headed for the convention center, taking advantage of their generous offer to hold a place for me in line. Despite being dizzy and queasy I made my way down the street to our “holding pen” outside the main hall to wait for the panel discussion with Sam and Cait. We were able to meet up with the lovely @supertam87, @sileas84, and @side-eyeing-you and chatted with a lot of other fans while we waited… and waited… and waited. Seriously, you guys, attending a comic con is all about standing around and monitoring your fluid intake to make sure you don’t have to go to the bathroom at the wrong time. Luckily I was dehydrated from the decongestants so I didn’t have to worry too much.
OH, MY GOD, IT’S STARTING! Being in line so early paid off as we got 5th row center seats in the auditorium. The hall was huge and completely filled up in a matter of minutes. I feel like you miss so much in the room because you’re trying to switch from watching them on stage, to seeing them blown up on the screens to the side of the stage, to snapping pics, to trying to anticipate whether they are about to do something cute so your camera is at the ready. Initial impression was that the panel was merely okay, but I’m jaded by having attended the NYC Apple Store event last year where it was a much more intimate setting and they were less guarded. I’ll have to watch the video to see what I missed because I’ve seen a lot of cute gifs on tumblr.
GOOD LORD, HAVE THESE PEOPLE NEVER MANAGED LINES BEFORE? The convention organizers came across as very disorganized. Rather than routing us toward the hall through a series of roped off rows like an airport security checkpoint, we were crammed together in a pen behind some gates like cattle in a feed yard about to go to slaughter. That set the tone for the day as staff struggled to figure out what to do with us as we queued for photo ops and autograph sessions. All sense of time was lost as we stood packed cheek to jowl in very stuffy conditions. By the time we approached our solo pics with Sam I was a sweaty mess - some combination of nerves, the cramped quarters, and the Robitussin.
A TOTAL OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE: I turned into a blithering idiot during the photo ops. For those of you who haven’t done this before, the process is similar to school picture day but with more yelling. There is a tiny mirror hanging outside this curtained off area. I seriously thought I was going to hyperventilate as we got close to the front of the line. You have only a second to realize you are a sweaty mess before you give your ticket to someone and are waved into the booth. You see Sam smiling with a fan plastered to his side while a photographer screams, “READY!” *click* “NEXT!” Then you are thrust toward Sam and he says hello while clasping you tightly. You are too tongue-tied to say anything and too blinded by his beauty to look him in the eye. "READY!“ *click* "NEXT!” It’s over. You can’t believe it happened, but you assume it did. Emotions were running high and we skipped away, giggling uncontrollably. Then got back in line for the joint photo op and the solo Cait session…. which took all afternoon. Observations: I’m shorter than I thought I was after seeing myself next to them. Sam’s jacket is unbelievably soft and I’m surprised I didn’t pet him (or maybe I did - who can remember). He smells really good (not that @chrismosstree would know…). He’s also thinner than I expected. Not skinny, but not beefy like in S1. (He’s the same height as my brother but seems so much taller.) Cait’s legs are ridiculously long and her waist is in line with my bust. She glows. It was all a blur. I pride myself on being unflapable, but I was - well - flapped. I was shy and embarrassed and nervous and excited and couldn’t put a sentence together, all at the same time.
“THAT IS SO COOL!” On to the autograph session and a two hour wait to deliver the Doll Frasers to Cait. They had been packed in their little trunk and carried around all day while I mentally rehearsed what I would say. A few people asked what was in the box (I carried it in a giant clear zip lock bag to guard again rain.) As I explained that our friend makes costumes for a set of Jamie and Claire dolls and poses them in scenes from the show, one woman asked if @outlanderedandoverhere had a booth at the con where she could buy her own set! (There’s an idea for a revenue stream, Fiona…) There were handlers taking each item to be autographed and passing them to Cait and Sam so that by the time you were in front of them the item was signed and you could be on your way. I was a little worried that they might not allow gifts because I didn’t see anyone in front of me doing it and I had visions of carrying the trunk around for the next week only to have to ship it back to the U.K. I knew I had to be quick and concise, so I removed the trunk from the bag and unlatched the lid. I flipped it open and set the thr trunk down in front of Cait, telling her that we saw the Doll Fraser calendar on the wall in their makeup trailer and thought the cast and crew might like their own set of dolls to play with. She said, “Yeah, yeah!” and lit up like a Christmas tree. Seriously, smiling ear to ear and digging through the trunk. I pointed out the charity t-shirts and she said, “That is so cool!” She just could not stop staring at them while I babbled on about how the Doll Frasers have been adopted by our community. Finally the handler tried to move on to the next fan and Cait sighed and reluctantly closed the trunk before tucking it under the table. She even made a little sqeeing noise. Sam was sitting too far away and occupied with signing to notice, and they were running waaay behind, so there was noopportunity to alert him to the transaction. However, the Doll Frasers were clearly a hit. No telling where they go from here (I assume all gifts were sent to production offices in Scotland) but hopefully we’ll see or hear about them again at some point.
After that we were FINALLY finished for the day and headed out to meet up with other fans for dinner. And, honestly, that was the best part of this event: meeting up with so many of you. I have laughed (and coughed) so much in the last week that my abs might actually form a “six pack.” 😂 And I love how willing everyone is to share their experience and that so many are interested.
Some of you have asked about the cock blocking story. It’s not that interesting and requires props and facial expressions to convey properly so it’s best done in person. For some reason (ahem, @c2bend and @rainmanjdog) it’s taken on a life of its own. Truly, I’m not trying to be a tease so I’ll see if I can figure out a way to tell it with @chrismosstree’s help. We’re off to dinner now but will be back online later.
tl:dr Overall impressions are that Sam seemed very tired and a little guarded, Cait could not have been more lovely nor down to earth, and that we are an amazing, funny, smart, and lovely group of women. Mwah!
You’ll also know it is me cause I am the owner of the only active Yawgmoth dragon (Like actually being fed and all) along with a Jace and Urabrask dragon. I am also in the works of making a Ral Zarek dragon, just need the right combination of colors paired with genes. I know it’ll be a Skydancer
“Have you ever watched two Tundras settle a disagreement?”
“No, why? They’re so relaxed.”
“Well, they have these teeth. Big teeth, sharp. They use them when they’re angry, or afraid, but usually, those teeth are kept hidden under their lips. You’d never know they were there.
If discussion doesn’t end their argument, Tundras begin with a snarl. They throw their tails above their heads, open their wings, make themselves as big as possible. Then they move closer; they snarl and snap, showing those teeth, until they’re nose-to-nose, staring the entire time. If it continues after that, well, the altercation gets physical. As far as I know they try to avoid that because they can cause real damage, but my point is: beware of the teeth.”