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Time to Catch up

Guess this is what happens when I miss a few days. I don't have a Facebook or Twitter account for good reason. That said, please no cross-posting...as if anything I say is really THAT interesting. :P

I'm also going friends only.

Sending Happy Dragon*Con Wishes

I hope everyone who is making the trip to Dragon*Con has a bloody good time! I'll live vicariously when you all return.

Unscheduled Vacation

Ugh...still home with whatever bug it is that I caught. It seems that something is going around work and in fact, two other people in my department are coming down with it.

The doctor gave me an antibiotic and a steriod nosespray since I have recently developed an intolerence of anything with ephederine. No Sudafed for me. I do feel somewhat better except for the head congestion and dizziness. I guess I just have to deal with that.

I did get through more of my Star Wars photos last night. I still have the last day to go through.

I've already made plans for my next fan convention. It seems that Dr. Carlisle Cullen himself has been confirmed for the December Twilight Con in Orlando so I went ahead and got a ticket. That man is hilarious. I'm still hoping they might add a couple more wolves to the list, but we'll see as it gets closer.

Yes, George, Germs Do Exist in Space

So I managed to come away from Star Wars Celebration V with a souvenir I didn't expect or want...a nasty bug (from a galaxy far, far away). I have missed a day and a half of work because of it.

Honestly, I believe it started sometime between Friday and Saturday night because I remember sitting in Gary Kurtz' panel with chills so bad that my teeth were chattering.

Eh, it was still a good time. I am still working on my list of lessons learned. I'll have to remember to fit this lesson in somewhere.
Pardon the tardiness, but the last three days of Star Wars Celebration V made me completely speechless....Not really, it was just very late by the time I returned home that I couldn't put coherent thoughts to journal.

Friday was Mark Hamill Day. We waited three hours in line for the chance to see his panel, but it was worth every minute. Poor Jay Laga'aia was the host and couldn't get much of a word in and very few questions. Mark shared some incredible stories. Of course, as he said, he would never be able to beat any member of the audience at trivia because he can't remember the Star Wars details (ie. sand crawler = jawamobile). I also got the chance to meet Sound Designer Ben Burt, who autographed my Wall-E DVD. Earlier in the day, when my writing friend Harry, wicked_swann and I were at the Sounds of Star Wars panel, I had the chance to ask him about creating the sound of the tie-fighters.

Prior to SWCV, wicked_swann and I had decided to bypass The Main Event (aka George Lucas' interview with Jon Stewart) and its simulcasts. We wandered the Exhibit Hall until the start of the Charlie Ross and the One-Man Star Wars Trilogy. If you ever get to see this performance at any Con, I highly recommend it. He does all of the sounds and voices while telling the original trilogy story - with a few footnotes gleened from the prequels. (Who knew Luke and Anakin harnessed the whiny side of the force?) We then split up. I went to hear Producer Gary Kurtz and she went off to The Clone Wars panel.

I hated to see Celebration end today but we went out in style. To start the day, we had a private conversation with voice actor Dee Bradley Baker from The Clone Wars. Then Carrie Fisher cancelled her panel but they opted to re-air Lucas' interview with her introducing it. I am so happy I hopped out of the Ray Park line because Jay pulled 15 minutes out of her, including a monologue of the hologram speech. Ray Park was entertaining as always. I swear that he and Jay should take their act on the road. The day ended with an autograph and photo with Matt Lanter (aka Anakin in The Clone Wars and "Edward Sullen" in Vampires Suck) and a sneak peek of season 3 of the animated series with commentary from Joel Aron and Dave Feloni. The latter should really look into a career in politics because he knows how to skirt a question.

Once I have the chance to process everything I'll post some photos and my own list of things life lessons learned at Star Wars Celebration V. Until then, may the force be with you.

Survived Day One

Freshly removed from my first day of Star Wars Celebration with wicked_swann, but will it be downhill from here? We were able to meet Carrie Fisher within the first three hours of arrival. She looks nothing like Princess Leia but I no longer idolize her as the character as I did more than 30 years ago. Rather her writing is what I look to her for now. It is the reason why I had her sign a copy of her memoir Wishful Drinking instead of a glossy of Leia.

We were only able to attend two panels. The first was an hour with Robert Watts, who was a producer on the original trilogy and for Indiana Jones. He relayed some wonderful anecdotes about the filming of Empire, including one about the number of union rules he broke to get Harrison Ford to their location in Norway in order to film in a real blizzard for Hoth. (He plied him with a bottle of whiskey.)

This was his first trip to the US in nearly a year as he has been receiving treatment for cancer. His advice was to keep a positive attitude because he believed that it helped him through the rigorous chemo and radiation regimen.

He also explained that he wouldn't be able to go to his house in LA this trip because he was going to work in Santa Fe. Then related the story about how the house that his kids grew up in was now owned by a family that went by the name of Pattinson and that the son was an actor in some movie called Twilight. LOL

The second panel was related to The Clone Wars with Director Dave Filoni and CG Supervisor Joel Aron. They certainly know how to whip the fanboys into a frenzy with clips of the new season, but I found the whole CG process fascinating - ie. how different and difficult it is to create CG water, rain, etc. in an animated series versus a live action film. Joel had worked at ILM previously on movies like PotC.

On to Day 2 tomorrow, my friend Harry will be joining us at least for one panel and Mark Hamill is doing a program on the mainstage.

The Force Is Here

On my lunch today, I wandered over to the Convention Center - heretonow referred to as a galaxy far, far away. The awesomeness that is Boba Fett is much larger than life at the main entrance and there is a massive Death Star hanging from the ceiling. Obi-Wan and Yoda are guarding the entrance to the Autograph Hall.

I am going to take a longer lunch tomorrow to get a better lay of the land. Thursday the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire will be in full "Force". LOL. Can't wait.

Now I'll have to stop at Wal-Mart on the way home to purchase the shirt I was looking at last week. I have to look the part at least one day even if I won't be in costume.

Finally!

After years of waiting - thanks to not having a life outside of work, I finally saw Aerosmith live last night. They played with Blue Oyster Cult in Tampa and rocked the house. I can scratch one more thing off my bucket list. And yes, they performed "Sweet Emotion". I would have been utterly disappointed if they hadn't. The set list was decidedly all over the place - classics mixed with new. And I managed not to lose my dinner during "Don't Want to Miss a Thing".

The set list and a few select photos are behind the cut behind the cut. Read moreCollapse )

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Seriously, What a Trip!

Last night, I met my friend Whitney to see Inception. We both bow to the creative genius that is Christopher Nolan and he certainly didn't disappoint. No spoilers, I promise. The story is seriously twisted and the effects are seriously on point. I love that he consistently brings good actors - some like Cillian Murphy, Ken Wantanabe and Michael Caine more than once - into his films and the way he weaves his stories.

Today, I saw Eclipse for the fourth time. The only thing different than previous viewings was the lack of catcalls when Taylor Lautner appeared on screen.

Eclipse - My Take

First of all, I do consider myself a writer and many think that being a fan of the Twilight series and being a writer are mutually exclusive things. Can you be one and the other? I do agree that the books could use some tweaking, but I also admit that the characters and story are very addictive.

I was first introduced to the series at my previous workplace where the books were being passed around the office like they were the latest gossip. I said that Twilight would be the only one I'd read, but that I would try it. Dammit if I wasn't hooked when I returned from my trip to Costa Rica.

So here I am a few years later and I have seen Eclipse, by far my favorite book of the series, twice in its first week. The midnight showing was an experience in itself as always, but unlike my previous experiences with the PotC trilogy or The Dark Knight, this audience was 95% female. I have never seen so many Team Edward shirts in the same place, at the same time. One woman even had the wolfpack tattoo on her arm - that's dedication.

Eclipse is so much better than the other two movies. There are some laugh-out-loud moments. Jackson Rathbone ("Jasper") steals every scene in which he appears. Taylor Lautner shows off his comedic timing and has the best line of the series thus far ("Let's face it, I am hotter than you"). There are still some cringe-worthy moments and some little details from the book that I believe to be important are missing. Overall, I really enjoyed it. So much so that I went again tonight with wicked_swann.

Still, I don't pretend to know how (or even if) I will sit through the next two parts of Breaking Dawn. That plot is so awful. I don't think anyone can rescue it. Who knows? I might be pleasantly surprised.