Last Friday morning started with a 5 past midnight showing of Goblet of Fire which was a lot of fun. I do like Harry Potter but I wouldn’t class myself as a fan – I didn’t actually see the third film until Thursday afternoon – so it was really sweet to see it with a bunch of fans. They were so… enthusiastic! I know I was probably exactly the same at the Serenity EIFF premiere but being an observer this time was fun!
Anyways, went back to smileawhile’s flat and crashed on the couch for a few hours only to be woken up by the psycho ninja kitten known as Saffy. The thing had managed to squirm under the pretty tightly closed door and was eating my toes. When I reached down to stop her she decided my hands were going to be her next target. That cat is psycho!
After a few hours of alternately being pounced on and mauled by a small grey kitten, I got up and helped smileawhile pack for the weekend. Bussed it to the airport where we met engelsteorra and then sat around for an hour or so waiting for the flight. In the meantime I developed a severe allergic reaction to something – I’m assuming it was Saffy the Psycho Ninja Kitten – and couldn’t stop my left eye streaming with water. Realised I was not going to make a good impression on airport security with my hands and arms (and feet but they were hidden by my boots!) shredded and tears streaming down my face and blindly found my way into the chemists to buy some antihistamines (of which I have four packets in the house – whodda thought I’d need hay fever pills in November?!)
Flight was pretty good – uneventful really, except I was knackered from the late night cinema thing. Really not a good idea for future reference! (Either that or I’m just getting too old for this!) and when we got to Heathrow we watched at least two of every bus go past before one of ours showed up – of course it was full and I’m starting to realise it’s a sign of being a geek when you recognise pretty much everyone going to the hotel from previous conventions… Luckily there was another bus right behind it and we got on with about four or five other conventioneers and an American who was on some kind of business trip. The hotel the convention was at was first on the bus route (Radisson Edwardian) and the other conventioneers got off leaving just the three of us and the business man left. We’d decided against staying at the Rad because of the price and were staying at the Sheraton which was pretty much next door and about half the price. Damn that was a nice hotel!
Anyways, smileawhile and I decided to go hunt down a local shop to get some bottled water and snackage and left engelsteorra to straighten her hair. Randomly as we came out of the lift in the hotel lobby acrazywench and thedothatgirl were just checking in. We (smileawhile and I) found a shop after walking forever (well, actually only about half a mile, it just felt like forever) and headed back to meet up with everyone and go register for the event.
Got registered and told that the con books would be given out after the opening ceremony which any seasoned Starfury attendee knows means one thing – surprise guestage! We hung around a little and picked up some freebies – including some very cool key rings made from frames of Serenity. I’m talking actual film strip here – mine is Mal in the Maidenhead just as he gets his gun out of the holder thing – ‘tis very cool.
Got a look at the layout of the Radisson – gotta say, not that impressed, nice hotel and would be good for a wedding reception but not for a convention, huge amount of wasted space so they could have a pond on the third floor with plastic carp. Wandered back to the Sheraton and got ready for the night’s festivities.
Have I mentioned yet that smileawhile, acrazywench, engelsteorra and I had meet ‘n’ greet tickets? (The result of acrazywench and mine’s insomnia at the Serenity convention in May – we queued from 6am to get those tickets… *g*) Well, if I haven’t, consider it mentioned…
Opening ceremony – got our first look at the hall the talks would be in – long and narrow, not ideal – and we ended up pretty far back. Sean Harry comes on and introduces Neil Roberts who I adore, he’s nothing to do with Firefly/Serenity but he’s a bit of a mainstay at Starfury cons and was MCing this one. He’s a genuinely funny guy who is really good at working a crowd. I’ve kinda forgotten the order people were introduced in – sorry! Anyway, Neil takes over the mike and starts announcing the guests who all come out and say hello. Not one but two surprise guests (although the first wasn’t all that much of a surprise since we knew he was in the country at the time!) Jonathon Woodward was surprise number one, he came on, shouted his catchphrase Bukkakke! and was met with a lukewarm response. Yeah, we’ve all figured out what it means now, Jonathon… *g* He got a good reception, I figure a lot of people had seen him at Prime and White Room or the Irish con he’d been at the week before – he’s a good guest to have, always funny!
Christina Hendricks (YoSaffBridg) came out looking really nervous, said hi and ran away again – the next day she told us that the others had said that’s all she was expected to do and then it turns out they all had speeches… *g*
Surprise guest number two – Morena Baccarin. Neil got into trouble for calling her a Space Whore – “No one gets to call me a whore. Except Nathan.”
Jewel Staite comes out next, tells us she’s here without her husband Matty (which the extremely drunk and annoying people sitting behind us were really disappointed by – heh!) so she could do whatever she wanted! She’s sickeningly thin. I’d hate her if she wasn’t so nice!
Sean Maher comes out (after Neil Roberts spent a long time comparing him to an 80s animated character – Bod) and I was expecting him to be really shy but he so wasn’t! He does this whole crazy dance type thing to show how excited he was and then signals us all to quieten down. He holds the mike to his chest and asks us if we can hear how fast his heart is beating. Very cute. He already had a lot of fans in the audience but I think he won over a lot more in that moment! He talked a little about how happy he was to finally be invited to one of our parties and how excited he was to get to meet us all.
Then Summer gets introduced and I gotta say she’s getting better at the dealing with crowds thing – normally she looks completely overwhelmed and as if she’s about to burst into tears, this time she looked completely overwhelmed but insanely happy. There’s something about that girl that just brings out the protector in everyone I think, everyone I’ve spoken to about her says the same thing – they just want to go up and give her a hug and let her know the world isn’t always the big bad scary place she sees it as.
Nathan comes out last of all and is his usual charming, funny and above all sweet-as-all-get-out self.
After the individual intros, they all come on stage together for one last photo opportunity and then head off into the distance.
At which point the four of us with meet ‘n’ greet tickets went looking for the room it was going to be held in and thedothatgirl went to buy her tickets for the photo sessions the next day. We got into the room and headed straight for the bar – the guests were already in there and were kinda mingling around, talking to people, but most folks were congregating around the hastily set up decorating tables… err, sorry that should be ‘bar’. Not to play to the stereotype tight-fisted Scot here, but my God those prices were high! Resulting in me not drinking alcohol at first, resulting in me not making with the talking thing for quite a while…
We hung about for a little while, watching the guests go from group to group but never quite having the courage to join those groups. I even caught Sean’s eye once and he smiled – what did I do? I looked away. What kind of idiot am I? (No need to answer that one….)
Anyways, after a while Nathan ended up talking to a group of people just behind us and acrazywench and I turned round and did the hangers-on thing for a while. They were talking about contact lenses and how they can roll round and get behind your eye – not the most pleasant of conversations but hey, it was Nathan! *g* Eventually he sees us standing beside him and says “And who’s this?” We introduced ourselves, got handshakes and got drawn into the conversation. Nathan remembered acrazywench from having met her before.
After a couple of minutes he moves off to another group and Becks and I turn round to see engelsteorra crouching under the table – it was a high table, but still, she was crouching under it. And she asked me not to mention the fact that she spent a lot of the weekend under tables, but hey, I’m giving the full experience here and that was definitely part of it! *g*
Buoyed a little by our actually talking to Nathan, Becks and I ‘took a drink’ and got braver. Course by that time most of the others had left the room and there was only really Nathan, Jewel and Neil left in there. Still, we did talk some more to them.
Next time we got to chat to Nathan he again remembered Becks and I said that a girl’s feelings could get hurt knowing that she doesn’t make a lasting impression. I asked him for tips. *g* He showed me how to go about meeting someone and we did this whole elaborate handshake thing (which he spilled my drink whilst showing me…) and then a couple of girls came over and stole him away for a second. This really sweet guy had been standing with us, obviously wanting to join in the conversation but not sure quite how to, so I started chatting to him for a while – I wish I’d gotten his name, I saw him on the Sunday as well when we were getting our photos done for the Browncoats Book (which, yes, I will be in). And then Nathan comes back over near us and suddenly there’s Jewel with a copy of SFX in her hand showing him that he’d won ‘Sexiest Man in Sci-Fi’ in the reader polls (Serenity won pretty much everything it was entered for in that magazine) and he got all excited. The party was pretty much winding down by that point and a little while later Jewel grabbed Neil’s hand and led him out. We followed not long after and I’m not sure if Nathan was still in the room at that point or not.
We got back to the main bar area and found thedothatgirl waiting for us there and we went in to the main party. Neil Roberts ended up on the dance floor for a while, and I think Jonathon was there for a short time as well, but by that point we were just having a good time. About 2am I think it was we headed back to the Sheraton and as we were leaving the Radisson we could still hear the party going on three floors up – I’m kinda glad we decided against staying there!
That, dear reader, (always wanted to throw that in somewhere!) was Friday. Saturday coming soon! (I’ll leave it to smileawhile to tell you what happened to her – unless you want me to mention it Denise? *g*)