michael rocco

My Walker Stalker Con NYNJ Experience 2015

So everything started at 2 am! I get on my bus in MA and get to Port Authority around 6:30am. I make it just in time for my bus to the Meadowlands Expo Center (Port Authority workers are not very helpful except for like one the guided me). I met a BUNCH of volunteers on the bus who were so awesome and happy. Then I get there and I freak out cause I’m in line and I get my badge only to be told to wait outside. While outside I saw Lew Temple (Axel), and Cudlitz.

Once I’m in a make a beeline and power walk (in 3″ chunky heeled booties) to Norman’s table. I want to say I got to his Table at like 9:05. So I’m waiting and waiting and he gets there by like 10:30. From there the line started moving. Then it was my turn and I first see Sean. He was pretty cool. I gave him my auto voucher and asked him how much for one of the pictures and he told me they were free. At this point I was dying and telling myself that I am a 24 year old woman who needs to keep her composure. Then I picked my picture and gave my name to the woman. As I was about to walk up to Norman he starts throwing candy to kids so I hung back and watched, so I didn’t get hit but also so I could just watch him interact with children because that is the most incredible thing on the planet. Then I finally get there I’m just super smiley and temporally brain dead. So Norman’s like “Hi cutie!” while grabbing on to my hands, and I’m like “HI!” (all squeaky and giggly). So he’s like “what’s up cutie”, to which I giggled out “nothing” and lowered my head all shy like. And he was all “you are so so cute and adorable, like really cute.” Then brain function came back and I was like “Thanks! So I need to show you something, give you something, and ask you some things.” So he’s all “Show me! Show me! Give me! Give me! Ask me! Ask me!” So I showed him my bethyl tattoo. He grabbed onto my arm and was like “Whoaaa! That’s sweet!” So then I was like “this is for you.” And I placed his gift on the table and he was like “What??” So he starts taking out the tissue paper and pulls out the stuffed Chewy and is like “what is this??” Then he realizes it’s chewy and is like “this is so cool!” Then he pulls out the Chewy picture I got him, and before he can ask, cause he’s Norman and I predicted he was going to ask, I was like “I didn’t paint it, I have no artistic ability, I bought it.” So he looks at it, points to a white circle on the picture and was like that looks like the Woo Tang Clan’s symbol.” So he tilts it toward me and I look at it and was like “Huh it does!” He then puts the other two things back in the back (I wanted to see him react to the starbuck gift card but oh well). and puts them in the back of his area. Then he goes “come here you get a hug.” So I have to go on my tip toes to reach and he pulls me in and we hug and it was a real hug too not a quick thing and he’s legit squeezing me in this hug and he smells HELLA AMAZING fyi and we pull apart. So then I grab the picture I chose for him to sign and was about to give it to him but then I was like “Wow you did that already!” He was like “Yep!” and so I was like “okay” and he looks and grabs my hands, and I was like “are you going to be in season 6 more?” and he was like “Yes I am!” So I go, “Thank god because I was having withdrawals.” and Norman goes “I was having withdrawals too.” So then I look at him all serious like and said “so I need to ask you this and I need you to tell me true or false.” So he’s like “Uh oh” and straightens his posture. So I say, “True or False, even if Daryl didn’t realize it, was he in love with Beth or at least starting to fall for her?” So he goes, “He definitely wasn’t aware of it. But it would of probably headed in that direction, yeah.” I just smiled and I was like one last one “I’m celiac and I’m trying to find somewhere to eat after in NY any suggestions?” and he said Lu blah blah on some avenue, it’s my favorite I always go there.” (to clear up he actually said the name of the place and the address, I don’t remember it). So then I said “thanks and see you at your photo ops” and walked away squealing.

Then I decided to pay Sean Patrick Flanery a visit. He was like “hi sweetheart!” I was like “hi!” I gave him the cover of the Boondock Saints 1 to sign and he does. While he’s doing that I asked him “if there is Dexter reboot like it’s rumored would you go back cause I really liked you on there.” He was like “thank you sweetheart. If that did happen I would totally go back I loved it. But Boondock’s 3 is happening and I’m definitely going to be in that.” Then I pointed to Normans area with my thumb and said “is he?” and Flanery said “of course he is.” Then he sees the picture Norman signed (I hadn’t gotten protection for the thing yet and I wasn’t going to let it bend in my bag) and he takes it and was like “do you know what this is from?” I’m like “yeah! Norman did a photo shoot for GQ Japan.” Flanery looked kind of impressed for a second then was like “no like the story behind the doughnut?” I was like ohhh that story the doughnut story, yeah I totally know it.” Flanery was like “yeah and after he shot that photo Reedus calls me and was like I just ate a doughnut.” I just laughed. So then we take our selfies and my camera on my phone is like super bright for some reason so Flanery and I are trying to figure it out and somehow, lord knows how, we did and then he shot a couple more in the correct light. He hugged me and I thanked him and said goodbye.

While waiting in Norman’s line Flanery came over to him, Scott Wilson came over to him. In the back on the main floor, Chandler Riggs walked by, Katelyn Nancon walked by the woman who played Patricia walked by, the woman who voices Clementine in the video game walked, Kyla Kennedy walked by, and Tovah Fledshuh walked by.

Then I went to buy sleeve cases for my photo ops and Norman’s auto and an extra in case. And I met Ian Somerhalder’s brother. I was like no way and he showed me the picture of them on some table. He was a chill dude.

Then I decided to kill time and either go to Rooker or Bernthal. Whoever had the shortest line. It was Bernthal so I go up to him and say “Hi.” He said “hi” He’s not very talkative but he’s not mean or anything either. if you talk to him he answers and disposition is pleasant enough. So while he’s signing my season 1 bluray sleeve I asked him “if Shane was still alive would he kind of go along with Rick or like try to reign him in?” So he answers “I have know idea to be honest.” So I asked him if I could have a hug and he was like yeah so he walked out from the table gives me a quick hug and then I say thank you he says no problem, by sweetheart.

I then noticed the time so I went downstairs, where it was packed, so I could be early for my Ian Somerhalder photo op, but they weren’t letting us near that area so I figured let’s go to Emily so I can give her my gift. But she wasn’t there because she was doing single and father daughter (with Scott Wilson) photo ops. So then I decided to visit Steven Yeun and that line was huge but I got really lucky and got to go in cause some ticket they gave me matched or was higher than some number that was on a white board. So right away Steven hugged me and was like “hey!” So I’m like “hi, and by the way you gave my mother and I both heart attacks when you supposedly died.” He was like awww.” Then we got in front of a walker stalker back drop and some man took our picture. And then he signed my season 4 bluray cover and then I was like “you are my mom’s absolute favorite.” Steven was like “tell her thanks and thank you to both of you for the support.” Then I left and said thank you.

It was then time to wait in line for Ian’s photo op, that I did for my mom, even though I love Damon Salvatore too my mom is IN LOVE with him. So I wait in a huge line that was an absolute disaster. Once we started moving it went by fast. So it’s my turn with Ian and he was like “hello.” And I go “hi!” Then he grabs me and and we hug the crap out of each other for the photo. When it’s done they don’t like you to talk but in case I didn’t get to go to his auto line (I didn’t) I told him “my mom absolutely LOVES you.” He was like “well tell her I give all my love, to you both.” Then I said “thanks, bye!”

I then picked up my pic and high tailed it back to the photo op area for my Dixon Brother op. That line was way less disastrous and very fast moving. Though they did start late because Rooker was slightly late for his single photos. So when I get there Rooker is all “hi sweetheart!” Norman smiled in recognition of who I was, which shocked me considering how many people he sees. I was like “hi guys!” I was about to ask them to lift me up but I was too slow so we did the standard pose. However Rooker squeezed my ass (I died), and Norman did his smile/smirk (which personally I barely see in pics so I feel special) and put arm around me his hand landing on my shoulder and near my hair (even if my hair was in a braid). Then I got my stuff and left.

Only to run to get my photo and go to my Boondock Saints op. That line was amazing. I get there and Flanery says hey honey, Rocco says hi, and Norman’s like hey with a smile. I learned my lesson about posing from the Dixon brothers one so I was like “Do what ever the hell you want, I just want to be near him!” as I pointed to Norman. So Norman and Flanery make room for me. And I go in. As I go in Norman turns toward me and he puts his hands on my neck (fyi for the people who say that’s awful that he does that yadda yadda yadda he barely has a grip around your neck when he does that, he seems, from my pic, to just flex to make it look real). which I didn’t expect but rolled with because I was in heaven. So I wrapped my arms around him and pretend to scream. Meanwhile I have no clue what Flanery and Rocco are doing (I learned that Flanery did a gun pose with a crazy face and Rocco just smiled when I picked up my pic). So we all said bye, and I left.

Then I picked up my pic and booked it to the Bethyl photo op which was the one I was most looking forward to to be honest, because Bethyl. While in line I met @2heartsandroses. She’s an awesome woman and is a fellow TDer (legit the only TDer I found). So we quickly made friends and totally made the wait for everything go by faster. So then it was my turn and they both say hi with a smile. I say hi and then I say “so if it’s okay with both of you can her and I kiss you?” Norman was game for it. Emily on the other hand hesitated and said very apologetically I don’t want to kiss him (PS any hate that reaction of hers gets on here and reblogs will be either deleted or reported because I understand why she said no, I mean all those two have to do is stand together and dating rumors start, we’re lucky they allowed us to have a Bethyl op). So I was like “okay, well then can I still kiss you?” So Normans like “Yeah!” so he bends down slightly so my midget butt can reach and leans toward me. And so I go for it. I kiss Norman Reedus smack on the cheek. And his hair tickled my nose and he was stubbly and perfect and he smiled/smirked in it AGAIN, which is extra special. So I waited for my new friend and then we went to pick up our pictures. Emily looked happy and relieved that I understood and smiled. I discovered that Norman was closer to me than I realized and that I also forgot to raise my hand to his chest but it still looked really cute! Then come to find out, my friend told me he really smiled, because I was looking at Emily at the time and missed it, when I asked if I could still kiss him so yay!

Then we both head over to the jam packed area and push our way through for our single Norman ops (finally). While we were waiting my friend created a new ship that the internet is not ready for (lol ;P). And sat on our butts cause our healed feet were pounding. We also managed to convert a girl to TD so there’s that! Then the line is finally moving (we had to wait for the full cast op to be done) and it actually went well speed wise. So I get there and we both say hi then I ask if he can hug me from behind for it and he was like yeah. So I proceed to step on his toe (I was so SO embarrassed) and was like I’m sorry I’m a klutz, and he was like it’s fine. So then he wraps an arm around me putting his hand on my shoulder and puts his free hand on one of my arms and squeezes. Meanwhile both my hands go up to hold his very muscly arm. Then it’s done and I’m dead because I have literally spent all day with Norman Reedus, but as I leave the area I say “thanks for everything.” my friend was going toward him but he acknowledged me with a head nod (right? or did he say something?).

So then we pic up our pictures and I realize he was smiling/smirking again (so I got him to smile/smirk 3 out of 4 times and I have no clue why he chose to with me but I’ll take it). Also upon further research I discovered that he doesn’t too often put his free hand to use unless it’s two people in the op with him so idk but again so not going to complain cause I love him a lot like A LOT. (again that’s just my observation.). So my friend and I went to go see Emily so I could give her starbucks and so she could get a selfie but Emily was already gone which was really disappointing because I wanted to verbally tell her that I understood, only if she brought it up.

After that we split ways and then I scouted out Ian Somerhalder, but his line was PACKED, so I went to go see Rooker because why wouldn’t you go see Rooker. He was like “hey sweetheart! Come here!” And he hugged the crap out of me and squeezed my side as he pulled away. Then he signed my thing and was about to send me off but I told him I got a selfie and he was like alright selfie! So he waits for me to take it and I’m like “I have short little arms you can do it if you want.” So he does and we get in real close and it’s done and he hugs me one more time, I thank him, and we say bye.

Then I figure I’m near the area and so I may as well go say hi to Rocco. So I say “Hi” and he’s all “Hi!” Then I ask him to tell me a joke even if he thinks he’s bad at it I don’t and so he does. and then he starts signing my cover on the front, then on the back in gold sharpie, then he switches sharpie to silver and opens my Boondock Saints cover and starts writing in it. While he does that I ask him “even though his character is dead he was resurrected for the 2nd movie will he be in the 3rd.” He was like “I’m sure they’ll find something.” So then he starts drawing a long haired stick figure that’s bearded. Because I still have Norman on my brain I totally miss that Rocco has a beard (yes I’m an idiot) and ask him if he’s drawing Norman and and he’s all “No it’s me.” so I was like “oh yeah you have the beard thing going on too.” Then I put my Norman badge near the drawing and say “but see how I could think it was Norman?” So then he says “I’m going to write me so you’ll remember.” And with his next breath he’s all “so you love Norman huh?” I laugh and say “Yes I do, a lot.” So then he goes “Don’t worry I won’t tell him.” Then I say “I don’t care you can tell him!” So Rocco says “okay” So then the volunteer takes are picture and Rocco bear hugs me in it. Then we hug and say goodbye.

So then I go to check out Ian’s line and it’s still mega long so I didn’t get to have him auto our photo op. Then I go to Tovah Fledshuh because I love her a bunch and I’m still depressed about Deanna (spoiler alert), but she was gone and I was sad. (but she did wave at me earlier that day while she was at walker stalker live and I was in a photo op line so yay! So then I make my way to Cudlitz cause I figure why not. So he was like “so Rachel with no second ‘a’“ and I was like “yeah I don’t spell it with the Michael ending.” So he was like “my wife does.” I was like “uh that’s cool” and he goes “you almost got yourself in some deep shit there.” and I go “yeah kind of like Abraham.” And he was like “yeah kind of.” and so he takes my phone and does a shit tone of selfies. Then I hug him (at this point I don’t even ask anymore cause this cast likes to hug or they just do it without even needing to be asked). And I thank him and we say bye.

And then I try to see about Scott Wilson cause I loved Hershel and his line was almost as bad as Ian Somerhalders. So I left the con and went to B-Dubs with my bestie and my mom.

What I learned:

  1. Do not wear heals next time no matter how chunky.
  2. Use a thick cardigan as a coat instead of a coat because photo op area is HOT
  3. Stay all 3/2 days because there is a lot and you get a lot done in one day but not everything.

So all and all I had an amazing experience. The convention is so much fun and they really are all so helpful. I cannot wait to go back next year, the only complaint I have is that the event is not gluten free friendly when it comes to adult beverages (gluten free beer or hard cider) and food (I didn’t eat all day). And although everyone I met and briefly met was kind I have to say Norman Reedus made that day for me in full and completely. He is an amazing man and is so kind and thoughtful. He doesn’t make you feel rushed at all. Takes his complete time with you at his auto table and makes you feel super comfortable even if he does know that you’re freaking out a bit. He’s not distracted in the least and all his focus is on you and you alone. In his photo ops even though the people who take the picture are in a rush (which is understandable) he pays attention to you and is pretty game for whatever poses (I probably wouldn’t ask him to do something extreme though). He even bent the supposed “no kissing” rule for me. I came all the way for MA specifically for him and it was worth it for him. Literally made everything 100% worth it and I really cannot thank him enough for making my year for me, because that’s what Norman did make my year complete. I really don’t think anything will top this until next year when I do it all over again. I cannot thank him enough for what he does for us fans and what he did for me while I was there, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot it was a ton.

But yeah this was my experience until next year!


Swiss photographer Michael Roggo has lensed about 20 rivers for his Freshwater Project, with the goal of making beautiful pictures and educating the public about the importance of protecting freshwater—also the goal of World Water Day (and National Geographic and partners’ Change the Course campaign), held annually on March 22.

Roggo told National Geographic News that he has specialized in freshwater photography for about 25 years. He does not do any diving, and instead makes most of his photos via remote-controlled cameras, while standing on the shore. “I try to work fast to catch the spirit of different freshwater locations,” said Roggo.

Roggo said freshwater habitats face many threats around the world, although there is still much to discover. “Every time I go out I spot something completely different,” he said.