Thursday, February 22, 2007

Freaking Duck.....Indeed

Spotted this cute little hiccup in nature in the papers recently. Born on a farm in the New Forest, Hampshire, the duckling was born with 'stablisers' aka an extra set of legs. The harbingers of doom, global warming, genetic modification and other such delights of modern life will obviously suggest it is another example of our world going to pot....The duckling I think would disagree as, normally, the male ducklings aren't kept alive due to them not being worth anything. So things worked out well for the new family pet 'Stumpy.' (well, seriously, what else)

Wolf Pegasus 2 Day 1 - Extra Guest 1

Okay...this is now officially a long time ago, but I'm determined to get the whole weekend up here.....since everyone round here is either a.) bored with my stories, b.) won't let me tell my stories or c.) doesn't know who or what the heck I'm talking about anyway!

Anyhoo, there was a couple of extra guests at the con and I can't really remember when they put in an appearance at the talks so I'm putting one here. Aaron Douglas, isn't actually on SGA, though he's been in a couple of SG1's, and stars in the new version of Battlestar Galactica. (personally I'm still a little bah humbug about the new imagining of BSG - mainly because the Cylons don't look anywhere near as cool - I also don't get to watch it because I don't have sky for most of the year)

He was called up by either Bryan - the organiser- or Dan who asked what Aaron was up to for the weekend and did he fancy doing a convention. He agreed and a flight was organised for him, he told us that it had been a choice between an early morning or a red eye and he'd gone for the early morning. Aaron claimed to be a very punctual fella, but for some reason only woke up after the taxi had been honking his horn outside his place for quite sometime. He missed his original flight, but being a trooper organised another and came along to the con....kudos to Aaron.

He is a very funny and entertaining guy and spent a lot of time with the fans and having fun with the other guest, invading the stage on more than one occasion to join in the ad-libbing, prank playing and frat style stories. Plus he was wearing a very cool Batman T-shirt (McKay's favourite superhero fact fans) which was later auctioned off.

One story which I particularly remember was one about his young son. He has ,apparently, been very unimpressed at his fathers' career choice as he was growing up, his friends father earning more cool points by driving a coca-cola truck....go figure. Recently, however, he'd been watching BSG and was impressed enough to ask his dad if he could visit the set.

Aaron, pleased that his son was taking an interest, obliged and took great pleasure showing him the set which contained the Viper Hanger. The kid was amazed but didn't quite understand the pretence of television. He asked his father if they could go up and fly in one. Aaron tried to persuade the kid that what he sees on TV isn't real (it isn't?) and his son wouldn't believe him (because let's face it parent's track record with the truth is questionable....exhibit a.) Father Christmas!) His son was getting quite angry shouting, as another member of the cast walked by, 'I know they fly, she flies them' Poor Katee Sackoff (who plays Starbuck) reacted as if to say 'what'd I do'.

Aaron's son, on closer inspection, discovered the reality of the Vipers is plastic dials, stuck on digital displays and an apparent dumping ground for coffee cups....He once again decided that the coca-cola guy was did Aaron.

Another story he told was about the day that he was walking down the street in LA and walked past, non other than, Robin Williams. Not wanting to disturb his own acting hero he carried on walking in the opposite direction. Soon after he felt a tap on his shoulder to discover that Robin had chased after him and was a big fan of BSG. He spent a while chatting and Robin was commenting on how good he was in the show...all Aaron could think was that the people walking by were probably thinking 'Oh cool, it's Robin Williams, but who the heck is the guy he's patting on the back!'.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How not to Decorate Your Car in Alabama

Those wonderful and yet ever-so-slightly mad fellas from Top Gear ventured into Hick Town USA with some greatly ironic slogans painted on their cars.....They forgot, however, that humour based around irony is completely lost on our counterparts across the pond and this video is the result:

More Interesting than a Box of Chocolates!

Play, have fun, try to beat my score of 350ft (combined)

Bah Humbug!

Hmmm, Valantines day again huh? At least I'm safe in the knowledge that no-one has wasted their hard earned cash on a bit of card with a sick bucket sloppy message or savaged a rose bush in the name of sentiment on my behalf. Here's to yet another year as a singleton....woo-bloody-hoo!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Wolf Pegasus 2 Experience: Day 1, Part 1

People who know me realise that I am indeed a geek of all things of the fantasy/sci-fi persuasion, personally I blame the parents...a combination of being read Roald Dahl and other such outlandish themed novels and a father who insisted that smarties left in the woods were done so by a clan of hidden faeries one autumn has lead to an overactive imagination on my part, therefore I tend to embrace the weird and wonderful world which sci-fi has to offer.

I haven't, in the past, however completely been involved with the fandom involved in such shows....keeping the geek side of my, otherwise intellectual and professional, persona firmly in the closet. That was until a certain show based in a galaxy far far away and the online community which is dgeek. And so on February 2-4 this year I tested the waters of the sci-fi convention, dragging my father...aka, the taxi driver....along for the ride.

How to explain a sci-fi convention to those outside the realms of fandom is a tough thing to do, since the majority of stars which I am about to mention will be about as useful as a fart in a sleeping bag for those not in the know....I, however don't care. I met people who I have much respect for and have followed their journey for the last three years...and it's not often a person gets the chance to meet and chat with such people in their lifetime.

So day 1....

I had heard on the grapevine that to gain good seats in the main hall for the talks it is essential that you get into a queue for virtual tickets (they let you in, in batches of 50) at stupid o'clock in the morning. now I am not, repeat NOT, a morning person and so kind, dear father (aka schmuck) made the walk in the freezing temps to the hotel to get in the queue for the virtual tickets. The plan nearly went the way of the pear however when, as the holders of the virtual tickets turned up they told dad that both parties had to be present. While I was blissfully in the land of nod, dad worked his silver tongue and blagged the extra ticket for me since it was our first con and we didn't know any better.

The first talk was from Dan Payne, a huge hunk of a man who plays mainly monsters on the show (both in SG1 and Atlantis) and is referred to as the 'do it' guy by the rest of the cast and crew because there's basically nothing he won't try out.

He told very funny stories of his time on the set of SG1 and a scene which meant he was buried under a pile of 'stage' dirt. He had a mask which was meant to enable him to breath which didn't do it's job properly and the poor guy ended up holding his breath for a stupid amount of time before someone yelled cut.

Equally as hazardous was a scene in a recent SGA episode which was to have his Wraith character pulled through the air and crash into a wall. (fun job, huh) It was the first time which Dan was to do such a stunt and he watch the stunt team attempt it with a weighted bag three or four times before he was called away (the bag hit a bridge and exploded when it hit a bunch of barrels before he left) He was attached to the harness without seeing a successful attempt and was no doubt s**ting bricks when they called action. He said that the flying through the air part of the stunt was kinda cool, the crashing through barrels and smashing into a wall....not so much.

Next up was Ryan Robbins, aka Ladon Radeem in SGA. What a very cool individual...he came with presents, always a good idea, T-Shirts for a new and online sci-fi series starring many of the recurring cast of the Stargates' called Sanctuary. He asked a few trivia questions about Stargate, lobbing the t-shirts into the crowd which was great fun. He talked about some of his other acting roles in some lower budget films, one of which involved him getting punched in the nose. The fake punch accidentally made contact and actually broke the poor guys nose, ever the professional he carried on knowing that the team had no money to re-shoot and thus the whole thing is in the movie....sheesh who knew that acting was so hazardous!

It was Ryan's first experience at a convention also and he seemed to be at ease very quickly....maybe too quickly. He shared a lot with us fans....maybe too, but he was certainly fun.

If I'm running through the guest talks quickly it's because all this happened over a week ago and my memories are fading fast. Next time....and there will be a next time.....I'm writing everything down!

The adorable Erin Chambers was on stage next. Looking gorgeous and completely different from Sora, one of the Genii in SGA. She was excited to be going to see Avenue Q later that evening with her hubby Carson McKay (!!!) who was sitting in the sidelines. I believe Avenue Q is much like the muppets, but they act like they're on acid and have potty's supposed to be very funny. Erin answered many questions surrounding working with Robert Davi and going shopping with someone from costume to buy a knife for 'Sora'.
My favourite part was the discussion surrounding a fight scene she had with Rachel Lutrell....aka Teyla.....The scene in question involves her character to punch out Carson Beckett and have a brilliantly choreographed knife fight. Someone asked whether Erin preferred punching Teyla or Carson, the poor girl seemed a little perplexed mulling over the questions and stating that she only hits Carson when he deserved it. At which point her husband commented 'er I think she meant Carson on the show honey'. Poor Erin was very embarrassed at her 'blonde moment' while the crowd roared with laughter.

Carson joined her on the stage for a while as they discussed how the couple first met. I can't remember all the details but they had been friends with each others friends for some time thoughout college until finally at a party Carson walked up to Erin with his name written on the palm of his hand, shoved his hand into her face and walked romantic!? Guess it worked though.

There was also some discussion on where her character, Sora, had ended up on the show, since she was taken into custody in the episode 'the eye'. Erin recited a theory about her character becoming feral and twitchy in a cell on Atlantis somewhere and a mad conversation she has with Weir when she finally comes to let her out.

This takes us up to lunch time on day one, and since I've waffled on far to long and Josh has invariably lost the will to live right now I'll continue the update another day.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My A Dog's Breakfast Experience

Now that Josh has his surprise.....and it only took him three days to notice....I can finally start making posts about my most amazing weekend.

Well, where do I start....I guess with the special screening of A Dog's Breakfast, a phrase which regulars to my blog should be well familiar with by now. My father and I made it to the cinema with plenty of time to spare, going from Bognor to London via Southampton to hand in my final essay from last semester. I wasn't to sure where to go and spotted a small crowd at the front doors with teddies, ID tags and ADB t-shirts and hazard a guess that the line started with them.

While I got chatting with some of the folk which I had conversed with on cyberspace for the last few months, it was nice to put some faces with the names, although I have since forgotten who was who. Father, finding the whole experience slightly 'odd', did what all good British men do when surrounded by hyperactive women and went for a cup of coffee.

Good job he did as he soon returned to inform me that David Hewlett, the man which I have been babbling on about incessantly since mid-summer, was in fact sitting in the coffee shop. Doing the 'fan' thing I wandered in, and under the guise of 'innocent patrons' we sat ourselves at the table opposite.
I was a little worried about losing my place at the front of the queue and so delegated the job of 'queue line holder' to my father, who obediently went outside to stand in the cold. (note to self....give dad a big hug). I decided that sitting at the table staring at the poor bloke for the next hour was going to be little too 'fangirl' weird even for me, so in a moment of pure genius I decided to pull out the daily paper and engross myself in the sudku on the puzzle page.

This, I summised, would obviously make me look all intelligent and as if I had no idea that the star of the best sci-fi show on television and first time director was sat just feet away with his fiancee, Jane Loughman and friend and producer, John Lenic.

It would have worked much better if I hadn't screwed up the puzzle within the first three numbers and scribbled all over the page. This didn't happen because I was listening to the group talk about costume changes and gossip for season four of Stargate:, not at all.

Anyhoo, Jane and John ventured into the previous screening to see where the film was at and I decided it was now or never and when David next glanced in my direction I asked my question.

We had a nice little chat about British television comedies and he seem genuinely interested that I wished to write an essay on the film. It was a surreal moment and Jane and John also joined the conversation upon their return. I even had to send the bloke on his way when Jane announce that they were needed for the Q & A and David continued to chat about Basil Fawlty and the Two Ronnies. With my confidence adequately buffed I rejoined the queue and about a half an hour later we entered the cinema for the screening.

Now, I won't go into detail on the content of the film, but the basic story is about a 'Mr. Bean' type eccentric who takes umbrage to the fiancee of his sister and decides that the actor, on a cheesy daytime sci-fi soap, needs to die.

David Hewlett seems to have developed an interesting and unique directorial style, making the most of the budget and location restrictions and the film has some especially funny visual sequences which were both scripted and opportunistic. But enough of the technobabble...It was a funny film, with interesting characters, a good story and a cute dog...what more could you want!

After the film there was time for a Q & A and after my previous tet-a-tet with David I re-asked my question, gaining a PHD comment from the man himself.....from now on I'd like to make it clear that my name is indeed Emma Kidd PHD, because McKay said so!

Other questions included the, obvious, 'what was it like to work with your brother?' for Kate and a gratuitous McKay & Mrs Miller reference by asking the pair to say 'sorry' all a highly entertaining evening.

That was Thurs 1st Feb 2007....stay tuned for more of the best weekend I've had for years

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Where To Begin?

Okay, so I'm home from probably one of the funniest, wildest, weirdest and amazing weekends, like, ever!

I was up at 5.20am this morning, which for anyone who knows me is a tad unusual, to stand in a queue....this I had repeated the day before (not quite as early, but still well within the boundaries of stupid o'clock!) and, in fact, a good proportion of my weekend involved a queue of some sort...there was a queue, a 'virtual' queue, a 'virtual' queue to join a queue for a 'virtual' queue, which would get you a ticket for the actual queue and an area of queueing so that we, apparently, would not have to queue.....confused? (so were the organisers of the queues)

All will be revealed over the next few days...I really don't know where to begin and I have a few pics to sort out.

Back to Uni tomorrow, but before that I have to unpack everything at the flat....and before that I have to pack everything here at home which is to go to the flat.....and before that I have to unpack everything from the weekend, some of which is to be repacked to go to the flat......but before that, I pretty much need to sleep.....

So for now, Goodnight and watch this space!