Let’s Talk About Kim Rhodes #SPNNJ

For the few people who may not have heard, we attended the Supernatural NJ Con this past weekend. Because I have learned a “few” things over the years; specifically that I would not hear about anything else for months ahead of time if DC knew that Kim Rhodes was scheduled to be there – I did not mention it to him. But DC being DC somehow figured it out (I still do not know how) and trust me, I have heard about “Zack and Cody’s Mom” daily since July.

You can read about it here: Zack and Cody’s Mom!

and here:

and here:

 

Believe me, these….just the tip of the iceberg!

We stayed in New Jersey within walking distance of the convention center. We spent Friday in New York City (DC’s favorite place) and Saturday was spent at the convention center (Sunday, back to NYC – It was HOT…just sayin’!)

Not wanting to make the day uncontrollably long for DC, we arrived at the convention center somewhere around 12/1230. Knowing that DC expects regularly scheduled meals and remembering NY ComicCon where we sat on the floor with pretzels because we could not get near anything else – I started the lunch explanations early; we would stop somewhere on the way to the convention center and have “second breakfast” and we should be able to get some snacks in the convention center here and there during the day. Oddly enough, I only had to go over that 4 or 5 times before he stopped stressing out about not having a regulation lunch.

Our scheduled autograph session with Kim Rhodes was not until 3pm so we looked around a bit.

We stopped at the RandomActs.org table and made a donation. DC, being his charming self had trouble deciding between a button or a temporary tattoo all the while eyeing the teddy bear that was sitting on the table. He asked me for the bear. I told him that it was just for decoration (as I believe that it was). After almost finally deciding on the tattoo, one of the women whispered “Does he want a bear?” I told her that he would love to have one and asked how much they wanted for it.

She said that he had made her day and she wanted him to have one. They even put a little pin on the bear for him. He carried that bear around with him all. day. long.

Not very long after that, Ruth Connell came out to her autograph table. I am not sure that DC knew who she was but the red hair had him intrigued. She had it all pulled up so there was no need for my “Do Not Touch Her Hair” speech/warnings.

Finally it was time to get in line for Kim Rhodes. I had purchased a ticket for the autograph session and the photo op months before because I was not taking any chances of him not getting to see her. Because I never had to purchase a ticket for an autograph session before, (there are just usually photos on the table, you pick one, pay cash and they sign) I did not realize that we had to have something for her to sign already. We were second in line so I yelled for “poor” Doug and told him he had to hurry up and go to the table out in the vendor area and buy a picture. She was not at the table yet and Doug having no idea who any of these people at the convention were went up an octave or so and screeched:  “How can I buy a picture if I don’t know what she looks like?” I hadn’t thought of that and I just started laughing. Doug is a pretty mellow guy but when he does get exasperated with me (very seldom) and moves into this weird high-pitched voice, I just cannot help but laugh – a lot. The woman behind us (getting a kick out of the whole exchange) showed Doug the picture she had and off he went. Before he reached the vendor area, he turned around and started coming back…. I turned to the woman and said “Watch. He is going to give me that schedule in his hand and tell me to use that.”

She laughed.

He did.

She laughed harder.

But finally he did go back out to buy a proper pic. We just let one person at a time go ahead of us until he came back.

Finally, photo in hand – the big moment.

DC was beyond excited! There are times when he gets so overly excited about something that by the time he gets there he flames right out, but he didn’t. I asked him who this was and he answered “Zack and Cody’s mother!” with that little screech that he does when he gets that excited.

They talked about his bear. She signed his picture. She said “I am not supposed to do this but I will” and wrote “You are awesome!” On his picture. I am guessing that in order to keep the lines moving the coordinators do not want the guests to spend too much time writing anything other than their signature?

We told her that we’d see her in an hour for a photo. DC was even more excited when she said that she is allowed to give hugs at the photo ops. DC misunderstood and thought he was getting a hug right there. When I told him that she was not allowed to hug at the table he would get one at the photo op, she decided to give him a big hug at the table anyway. A practice hug, they called it.

You CANNOT IMAGINE and I can not put into words just how over the top thrilled he was! That made his day.

The photo op came up quickly and as soon as he saw her (from the line) the squealing began. He made it to the front and she greeted him as if she was so excited to see him. Now, I know that they are supposed to to that, but that little extra attention she gave him just made the whole day worth it. I do not know if she really remembered him or not (he still had the bear, so I am guessing she really may have). It did not matter, DC believed that she did and that is all that mattered.

 

You will never find a happier guy!

I did not purchase tickets for Sunday because they were too expensive (Sam, Dean and John, their “father” were appearing on Sunday only) but I decided to buy tickets to the concert on Saturday night, thinking that if they were flying in for Sunday appearances, maybe just maybe one or all of them would fly in on Saturday night and make an appearance at the concert.

Had I known when I bought the tickets that the doors would not even open until 10Pm, I would have never done it. I was worried that DC was not going to make it that long.

As it turned out, I am glad that I did not know and glad that I got the tickets.

In an effort to get DC in to the spirit of the thing, I told him that “sometimes” Zack and Cody’s mother, who DC now refers to as  “Kim”,  sang at these concerts. I knew that to be usually true, but I also knew that I was taking a big risk in telling him so.

We thought we were already losing him while waiting in line but we got him to hold on until we made it inside and sat down. By just a few songs in, he was showing signs of being “done” and no longer paying any attention. He did not notice that she had just come out to the stage.

“DC, look who it is!”

He jumped up out of his seat when he realized. He kept pointing at her as if I did not know she was there.

He danced and clapped for the rest of the concert.

At one point, she jumped off the stage and ran through the audience, DC was in the aisle and no, I was not ready with my camera. She ran right by him. (He was thrilled just to see her up close again). But then she stopped, turned around and started back toward him waving. He LOVED IT! She couldn’t come all of the way back to him, but he knew that she noticed him and the wave was for him and him only!

Just that little bit of extra attention made all the difference to DC.

Kim Rhodes has been added to my list of heroes (or as DC would say “Here- eee- Ohs”)

*****

As for the rest…. DC and I had a good time (Doug not so much)

I have only ever gotten to sit in on two panels/Q&A’s before – Once Upon a Time at NYComiccon where DC fell asleep on me (and when I say “on” me, I mean that literally) and the “Revamping of Fairy Tales for TV Trend” discussion at Shore Leave, where DC not only fell asleep on me but did it in the front row.

We actually got to see the Costume Contest (I apologize for the photo quality; I did not think to bring my real camera)

The Mark Sheppard Q&A:

 

 

and The Misha Collins Q&A:

DC did not fall asleep during any of them (I cannot say the same for Doug)

The rest of the concert was fun (even Doug liked it). I was correct. One of the Sunday only guests, Jensen Ackles made an appearance at the Saturday Night Special.

(A very short clip)

 

Another favorite part of the day happened while standing in line for DC to have his picture taken with Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins. The woman in front of me, carrying a binder; obviously much more organized about this than I was, turned to me and said, “I am 47 years old and I have saved up for 12 years to do this.” – She bought the whole weekend Gold package (Knowing how expensive our single day was, I can see how one would have to save for 12 years.), but if she was going to get to do this, she was going to do it right! We chatted a bit while in line and it seemed as if she was having a great time and it was all worth it! I am glad. Sometimes when you look forward to something for such a long time, you end up being disappointed by the reality of it.

This did not seem to be the case for her and it certainly was not the case for DC.

It made me smile.

****

Update: Just when you think she could not be any more wonderful:

 

 

 

***

For those who know how much I loathe “Inspiration Porn”, let me explain the difference  one. more. time.

“I” posted the story because “I” always try to thank anyone that goes out of their way for my child, as I would assume most people would do for their children. I just happen to have a medium to do so. There are some people in this world that deserve to be thanked and Kim is one of them.

For further explanation regarding “Inspiration Porn” – please read a past post: Let’s Talk About Inspiration Porn  

(and yes, I just now realized that I gave this post almost the same title – Seriously… All of my posts are not Titled “Let’s Talk About…” 🙂 )

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Star Trek Missions NY (and a little bit Reading Rainbow)

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In honor of Star Trek (The Original Series) 50th anniversary I present Our Trip to Star Trek Missions New York….

I just happened to actually read my email one day in mid-August and I saw the announcement for Star Trek Mission NY on Labor Day weekend. I bought the tickets almost immediately. I have been a fan of Star Trek from the time the very first episode aired back in 1966 – <sarcasm font> I was just an infant, not even born, yet really <end sarcasm font>, so needless to say, I was excited.

The first obstacle for DC would be going to New York City (his favorite place) without visiting “DC’s New York City”; meaning the big Barnes and Noble, the Disney Store, the Eloise Store in the Plaza, Hershey Store, Hard Rock Café and ‘Citral’ Park (Central Park). I began explaining this to him weeks beforehand. We also promised him that we would go back another day very soon to spend the day doing his favorite things. As much as he seems to understand when I am prepping him for something, I never really know if he does until I get his reaction when it happens. I have to say that I did expect some kind of reaction to not going out into the city when we arrived, but the promise of going back another day seemed to be good enough. – Progress!

DC knows Star Trek TOS because he has me for a mother, of course. One of his first “signs” before he could speak was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. Of course he did not know it meant LLAP, it was just his sign for Star Trek in general.

I have seen all of the incarnations of Star Trek over the years with the exception of Enterprise so I knew most of the guests that would be in attendance. DC? Not so much. We have been watching the original series on Netflix in the mornings before work  and about a month ago we began alternating between that and Deep Space 9, so I was hopeful he would recognize a few others.

img_6449We got there not very long after the doors opened and I was amazed that it was not very crowded at all. I don’t know if it was because it was the very first one, the holiday weekend or if this was just the crowd they were expecting; in any case it worked out perfectly for us.

The first thing DC came upon was a Tribble and he had to have it. When he found that it made “Tribble” noises, he had to have it even more.

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He got it……..

His normal “Arrival Anxiety” did not rear it’s head as it usually does when we first arrive anywhere. I was a bit surprised but relieved. We walked the show floor and came upon an Enterprise set where one could sit in the Captain’s chair. It was a long line, but he was all for it.

There was also a man off to the side of the set who looked so much like “Scotty” that I had to do a double take. It unnerved me for a second.

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(While in line we were told that there is a replica of the Enterprise in Ticonderoga, NY so hmmmm…. I smell a road trip in the near future.)

By the time we finished taking photos of “Captain DC”,  the autograph sessions were starting. DC recognizes Robert

Picardo from the Baltimore Con a few years ago so we headed there first.

For some reason, this is where his anxiety set in. The line was short, very short and as I said the hall was not crowded at all but this was where it hit. He started flapping angrily and making a horrendous noise. He used to make a clucking noise but it has evolved into something unrecognizable lately. In-between the flapping and the extremely loud noises he would stop only to say he was sorry and then start again. I could see that the woman in front of us getting a little bit nervous, but I just kept telling him to do what he had to do to calm down and as long as there was no one around for him to hit with his flapping arms, it was okay. She seemed to relax, I suppose because she saw I wasn’t treating it as a big deal. He did finally relax too. To keep him relaxed, I joked that he should not do that when he got to the table because he would scare Robert Picardo. He laughed. Still trying to keep his mind off of his anxiety, I asked him who we were going to look for next.

“Reading Rainbow. I have to find him. I will find him somewhere.”

The anticipation of meeting “Reading Rainbow Man”  (DC-speak) took his mind off of whatever was making him anxious and he was back to his perfectly happy self when he got to the front of the line. He got Robert Picardo’s autograph and we set out on our hunt for Reading Rainbow Man.

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We found “Reading Rainbow Man” (LeVar Burton to the rest of you) rather quickly. In true DC – delayed reaction and pronoun reversing fashion, the very first thing he said to him was “You scared me!”. LeVar, not knowing what was going on said “How did I scare you?”

“Noises”

I then had to explain that in the previous line I told him if he made that much noise he would scare people.  LeVar understood and told him that no, DC had not frightened him. He asked “How are you?”

DC: “Twenty-Five”

Me: He asked how are you, not how old are you.

DC: “Great!”

The conversation continued pretty much like that, with me jumping in to translate when necessary.

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DC had been looking so forward to meeting him and was so very excited when he did that I was kicking myself for not thinking about  saving this meeting until later. I was worried that after meeting LeVar he would not be interested in staying any longer, but he surprised me once again and wanted to move on to the next meeting.

We got to see and meet quite a few people…….

img_6459The only Original Series cast member there that day was Walter Koenig. William Shatner was scheduled to appear on Sunday. DC met him at NY Comic-Con a few years earlier so we weren’t disappointed that we would be missing him this time. Of course, if he happened to have been there we surely would have been in his line too.

There were a good number of TNG cast there as well. We did not get to see all of them, but we saw Levar and Gates McFadden.

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I asked him who he wanted to see next. He looked around toward the Deep Space 9 section and answered “Jake”. I was a little bit impressed with that since he has only been watching for a few weeks and I was not sure how much he was actually paying attention. Of course by the time we got to the front he did not ‘renember’ his name but that was all just a matter of him not understanding the question or that the question was not asked in a way he understood. He will typically give a lot of random answers until he is asked properly – unfortunately one never knows what “properly asking” might be on any given day. There are times when he can answer a question correctly the very first time the question is asked and other days, the question has to be asked in many different ways.

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He saw Quark over in the next line. Quark, not in costume is only the principal from Buffy to DC. His line was a little bit longer than the others so we skipped over to Nana Visitor. DC was his charming self but when she told him her name he really got excited. He was clutching his chest and squealing with the biggest smile on his face. I was not expecting that reaction.

I don’t know about any of you, but most of the time when I take DC to a play, event or something of the sort, I spend more time watching him get excited than I do watching the play or show or whatever is going on. Then I get teary-eyed. That is just what happened here. He just was so thrilled to be talking to her and she was just so cheerful and upbeat with him that I not only got teary-eyed, but I thought I was going to burst out into an all out ugly face cry right there. It was tough trying to keep my composure. When we finished and headed back over to where Doug was holding up the pole he thought something had happened as it was pretty apparent that I was trying to contain myself. When I tried to explain it to him I got all choked up again. Sometimes I just fall apart when I see him so happy – I know, I know, get a grip, woman….

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We walked around a little bit more waiting for the rest of our photo-ops when we came upon an attendee all dressed up in a long flowing gown. DC could hardly control himself. She was talking to people and not paying attention while DC was yelling “Excuse me! Excuse me!”. I had to keep telling him not to touch her dress but he wanted her attention so he tapped her on the shoulder before I could stop him. When she turned around the first thing he said was “Sorry to touch”. She smiled and told him it was all right and he said “Dress Beautiful” (and another squeal). That was all he needed to do; get her attention to tell her that her dress was beautiful. She thanked him and we were off to look at everything else there was to see.

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It is a given that he will always find somewhere to buy a book………

 

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He got to see his beloved Nana again at his DS9 cast photo-op (and Buffy’s ‘teacher’ who we never made it back to in the autograph lines).  I think she may just have earned herself a place on DC’s favorite women list alongside of Felicia Day and Amy Adams.

What a perfect day! Everything went exactly as planned. The whole event was very well organized and of course it helped that it was not very crowded.

We all had a great time!

Well……

Except for this guy….

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Except for this guy Grease photo

Except for this guy Shore Leave Photo

In case anyone might be wondering; the Reading Rainbow theme remains trapped in my head, still.

And, Oh – there were M&M’s

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aaaaaaannnnnnnnd

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“What’s the matter with Ren?” …. Not a thing!

Here we have the final installment of our visit to RI Comic-Con – I did say that I had a lot to say about it, didn’t I?

Again, we are going  back to Friday night – the best night of the Con, in my opinion….

We arrived in Providence on Friday afternoon. We had plans to meet with Wendy,  an old friend of mine from the old neighborhood and also of Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake fame. Although we are in contact via Facebook, I do not believe that I have laid eyes on her since high school.

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*Wendy Darling, as she has now come to be known, looked exactly the same and I was more than a bit jealous that she hadn’t aged a day. She brought us to The Duck and Bunny, which was only a few blocks away from her house. It was such an adorable place. The chocolate and peanut butter cupcake was exceptional and the fries served in a flower pot….. so cute! *Wendy Darling asked him a question at one point and he answered with a “yes”. He then continued to repeat the “yes” over and over again. He has done this quite often since and I am sure he has done it before this, but when you are used to someone repeating things over and over again, it doesn’t always click that it is different from the normal repeating of words or phrases. It was more obvious to me that he was stuck. Since then, I have noticed it more. He seems to get stuck on a word and can not make his way out of it.  I often wonder if it is the meds, but of course that is one of those questions that can not or will not ever be answered. It only took me saying “I think you are a little bit stuck on ‘yes’ there.”, to which he answered “yes” to get him unstuck.

The convention center was very close to *Wendy Darling’s house so we said our good-bye’s and headed out.

A month or so before, a RI Comic-Con status came up on my Facebook page announcing the addition of Christy Carlson Romano to the list of Comic-Con guests. Without thinking and because DC was right there, I told him about it. This was all I heard about for the following month. I was kicking myself for even mentioning it to him because other than the announcement and her photo on the site, I could not find her listed in the photo ops, the panels, or autograph sessions. There was just no indication of where she would be.

DC was and still is a huge fan of Even Stevens, particularly “Even Stevens Influenza – The Musical” which for some reason has never been released on Video, DVD or Blue Ray. Still, he knows every word to every song and has been able to find most of the clips on YouTube. Because of Christy, he is also a big fan of Cadet Kelly and Kim Possible.

Again, I will say that I am so happy we went on Friday night! I was on a mission to find her or at least where she would be when we came back on Saturday. I knew that we could not leave RI without finding her. I would never have heard the end of it – never!

While we were waiting in the Supernatural room on Friday night, we happened upon the only helpful volunteer that we came across over the entire weekend. We asked him (very quietly) where we could find Christy Carlson Romano. Luckily, he knew who she was and he directed us to the “Animation Room”. The Animation Room was over a bridge in a different building. We headed over there not expecting to see her,  but hoping to find her table so we would know right where to go on Saturday. Personally, I would have loved to have spent more time in that room – there were so many other people I would have liked to see, but we were on a mission.

We came around the corner and there she was at her table with only one person in line! I did not know whether DC would be able to control himself or not when he saw her. We got in line and DC jumped up and down and squealed while she was trying to talk to the people in front of us. Me? I was so relieved to have found her that I didn’t think to give DC my usual instructions – don’t touch her hair, don’t pick her up. The moment the people in front of us left the table, DC charged behind the table before I could stop him and gave her a back-crushing hug. I was worried that we were going to have another Snow White incident (see: Rules I thought I would never have to make), but he was able to restrain himself, or he remembered the rule without being reminded. In either case, he did not pick her up. But, “Don’t rush the table” is now officially added to THE LIST.

DC is a big boy man and I would not blame anyone for being frightened seeing him bounding towards them. I have to hand it to her, she was not and if she was she hid it well. She was so fabulous with him. She spoke to him in a happy excited voice, which just excited him more. She held his hands, possibly in self defense, but it didn’t matter – he loved it.  She asked him questions. She sang part of the Kim Possible song. She asked him his favorite song and he went right into a partial rendition of “We Went to the Moon in 1969”

He must have really wanted to talk to her because normally if he knows the words to a song, he will not stop singing midway – he has to sing it to the very end and he did not this time. He wasn’t going to waste his precious time with Christy singing.

Meeting her was the highlight of the weekend. Yes, he was over the moon when he met Alex Kingston (see: Hello Sweetie), but this was even better. This was right up there with meeting Cinderella for the first time.

Normally no matter how much he loves something or someone when we go to an event, he will always just give me the last thing he did as a reply to “what was your favorite part?”. Four months later when asked what his favorite part of Comic-Con was, he will still tell me that it was Christy Carlson Romano, which was not even close to the last thing he did at Comic-Con.

She must have really made an impression……

DC and Christy Carlson Romano

 

********

*Wendy Darling – for those of you that do not live Disney 24/7 – Wendy Darling is from Peter Pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The ‘boy’ who waited” …. and waited and waited

(Part 3 of our trip to Rhode Island Comic-Con)

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After a fantastic time on Friday night, we ventured back on Saturday, knowing full well that it would be much more crowded and we would not be able to do much more than the photo ops we still had scheduled. Before heading to the photo-op room, we took one more swing by the Supernatural and Walking Dead rooms, just to see if there was anyone there that hadn’t been there on Friday night. Sure enough – there was “Merle”! We got in line. Again, DC does not know who he is and again, he would be acting as my stand in. There were two women in front of us that asked me to take their photo with Merle (Michael Rooker) and of course I obliged. Knowing as we do how DC can not resist a camera, especially one in his mother’s hands; he jumped in the photo with the two women. The more I tried to explain to him that he was next and he needed to move out of the ladies’ picture the more he held his ground and the bigger the smile became. I finally had to go over and take him by the arm away from the picture. Unfortunately it was not my camera or I would have certainly taken a picture of DC photo bombing Michael Rooker, but alas… I only have the one that we took when it was DC’s turn.

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We were lucky that we were able to get one of our Saturday ops done on Friday night (Alex Kingston). That was helpful but we still had the scheduling conflict with Jim Beaver and Karen Gillian to contend with.

Jim Beaver was scheduled for 12:45 – 1:15 and the other was scheduled for 12:45 – 1:30. We decided to get Jim Beaver done first. Explaining the conflict to a volunteer in order to find out how early we could get in line for Jim Beaver, I took out my printed, bar coded ticket that clearly stated: “You must present this ticket with the Bar Code and e-mail address visible” to double-check the time I had written on the ticket. She looked at it and told us we could probably get in line at about 12:30. We walked around a bit and went back to get in line at the time she had given us. I gave the same volunteer my ticket and she said “Oh no, we can’t take those paper tickets. You have to get in that line over there and trade them in for cards.”

We had used the paper ticket the night before for Alex Kingston with no problem and there was nothing posted or announced to inform people about trading in their paper tickets. We went and exchanged our paper tickets and got through the Jim Beaver photo-op (a longer story; already covered in Part 1) and moved right on to the Karen Gillian line.

The “line” outside the corralled line went all the way through the arena and through all of the vendor booths. We had to keep checking that we were actually still in the line and not just stuck behind people at the vendor tables. I’m sure the vendors were just thrilled that the line was blocking their tables and customers from getting at their tables.

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There were no volunteers around checking to see that people were in the right line or to be sure that people waiting in line were aware of this paper ticket exchange. No one was overseeing any of this at all.

When one is in a line for such a long time, one begins to bond with the people in close proximity. There was a boy in front of us that looked to be about 15 years old. He was with a friend about the same age. We discussed The Walking Dead for quite some time. We discussed our “Glen’ theories (this was during the “Is Glen dead” or “Is Glen under the dumpster” weeks of limbo). I told him that I thought that because they were carrying it on so long that we would find out finally that yes, Glen is alive and because we would all be so happy about that, they would kill him (or Maggie) off very shortly afterwards (that’s my theory and I am sticking to it).  Eventually he asked me about how much I paid for the photo-op ticket. I told him I really didn’t remember because I bought it so long ago on-line. He said, “I have 50.00 on me, that should be enough, right?”. This would be the first time my heart broke in this line. I looked at him and said “Please don’t tell me you don’t have a ticket yet.”

He didn’t. He thought he would be able to buy one when he got to the front. He didn’t know that they had to be purchased before getting in the line. He had been in line with us at that point a good 45 minutes. I told him not to get out of line until we could find out for sure. We got the attention of a volunteer to see if he could buy a ticket at the front of the line. He couldn’t. I felt so bad for them! But again, there was no guidance at all. There were no signs, there was no one checking for tickets, there was no one to tell anyone exactly what they were supposed to do.

Somewhere around the hour mark, we made it to the corral and the actual line. This is where the confusion really began. We just stopped moving. The photo-op was way over it’s 45 minute scheduled time. People were now really confused because no one was explaining why we stopped – were we now in line for the next person? Is Karen Gillian gone? While we were all standing there wondering why we stopped moving, we noticed that there was a good number of people sitting up in the bleachers and they were now being directed down to the line. Those 50 or more people were actually ahead of us but there were so many people at the entrance to the corral, it was considered a fire hazard so they had to move them out.

Seriously, what did they expect when they sold probably triple (maybe more) the photo ops that can be taken in a 45 minute session? There were too many people in line. There were people getting in line for whoever was supposed to have that room after Karen Gillian- no one is telling any one what to do. This had to cause scheduling conflicts not only for the attendees but for the celebrities that may have had to be at a panel, or at their tables, or for the people coming to the op rooms next.

We stood in this same spot for another 30 minutes. People were beginning to worry that she would leave before everyone in line made it inside. In front of us was a woman and her two daughters – the second group of people that we bonded with in this line. We talked for a long while and when DC started yelling “I’m out of here!” over and over again, the girls went out of their way to talk him down. We saw pictures of them in their Halloween costumes – all Dr. Who themed. DC enjoyed that. They were wonderful and I believe they were almost solely responsible for keeping him in line.

We finally started to move and made it into the corral.  The corral moved quickly and it was the mother and the two little girls’ turn to go in. The mother showed the volunteer her electronic tickets on her phone which earlier in the day she was told would be fine. But in true RI Comic-Con form was told that THEY WERE NOT GOOD. THEY’D HAVE TO GO AND EXCHANGE THEIR TICKETS TOO!!!! An hour and a half in line and no one saw fit to announce this or check with the people in line about this change with the paper and apparently now the electronic tickets?

At this point, the little girl who was so excited to show me her Amy Pond – complete with suitcase and boots (she already had the red hair) – Halloween picture, burst into tears and they left the line. I just stood there in shock! We were next and of course, me being me, could not keep my mouth shut. I screamed at the volunteer collecting tickets. “That girl just stood in this line for an hour and a half and you just made her cry! You can’t just change the ticket procedure and not tell people!” Then…. I noticed him holding a bunch of tickets cards (like we had to exchange our paper tickets for) AND he also had a handful of paper tickets!!!

“And WHY are you holding paper tickets? We were told they were not good and had to exchange them! Why are you taking paper tickets? Why wouldn’t you take the electronic tickets if you are taking the paper tickets that you aren’t supposed to be taking?!”

His reply……

Say it with me….. “I don’t know, I’m only a volunteer.”

There may or may not have been a few choice ‘words’ thrown in his general direction.

We went inside. DC was DONE with this, but even though she was an hour and a half, I believe, over her scheduled time, Karen really did make an effort to chat quickly with him. He really was just too distracted and over it by this time and once again they made him take his glasses off, so that was fun.  I was distracted too about little Amy Pond crying and did not intervene as much as I would normally have to redirect him to get him back on track.

We took the picture and left the room but we had to wait for the photo to come out. While Doug waited for the picture, I went on a hunt to find this woman and if she wasn’t going to yell at people to get them back in that line in front of everyone, I was going to yell at people for her.  I could not get over the sight of that poor kid bursting into tears.

I could not find them anywhere so DC and I went back to where we had left Doug waiting for the picture. It finally came out and DC seemed happy to see it even though he was not thrilled when he was having it taken. We decided that we had been there quite long enough for that day.

amy

 

We did have one more op scheduled with Scott Wilson but we already had a photo of him that we took at his table the night before so I had Doug just give it away. I know this was a colossal waste of money but I just couldn’t put DC though that again. He was done and so was I.

We did run into the woman and her girls on the way out and I was happy to hear that they were able to get back in line – IN the FRONT of the line and have their picture taken. I was glad to see her daughter smiling again.

DC ran into a few more princesses on the way out which put him in a much better mood.

And me?

I really still just wanted to find people to yell at.

*****

I do understand that waiting and lines are the norm. We have been to NY Comic-Con which is much larger and of course we waited – of course it was crowded and of course there were lines, but it was just so much more organized. There was no comparison.

****

Next (and last) – on a happier note, his favorite person of the Con.

 

 

 

 

“Hello Sweetie”

Part 2 of our recent trip to the Rhode Island Comic-Con….

IMG_2792

 

(from Part 1 – “Don’t You Cry No More” #Supernatural)

(I have a lot to say about our visit to the Rhode Island Comic-Con. Some good; some not so much. Everyone we met was very nice. Now I understand that they are supposed to be, but we all know that it isn’t always the case. There were a few people who were just extraordinarily wonderful to DC, so I want to be sure I mention all of them. Because I have so much to say about the entire event; Autism-related and not,  I have decided to split the story up into a few parts, by category rather than in order by the day) 

I will say again that I am so glad we went on Friday night just to get the lay of the land for Saturday. It was not crowded at all. We saw and did more that I ever imagined we would get to do – of course this also means that I spent so much more money than I had intended. But how could one pass up all of these people just standing around waiting for the crowds that didn’t come until Saturday?

After leaving the “Supernatural (or the “Don’t You Cry No More”) room, thinking we would not be so lucky as to happen upon another room with people just standing around waiting – we happened upon Scott Wilson.

We had a photo op scheduled with him on Saturday, but I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity. Now, DC has no idea who he is but he was going to be my stand-in for the scheduled photo op as I am just too fat to have my picture taken, so he was delegated as my stand-in here as well.

DC really took a shine to him even though he didn’t know who he was. He was a nice man with grey hair and a beard and that was good enough for him. I took his picture with DC and then he insisted that I get in a shot (a photo that will never see the light of day).  Also in the Walking Dead room was Seth Gilliam – DC does not know him either, but he was happy to have his picture taken (still standing in for Mom) – he is always happy to have his picture taken.

IMG_2784IMG_2785

 

Technically we were there to figure out where everything was in anticipation of the crowds on Saturday and we could already see that there was no information readily available. It was very important to DC that we find one particular person before the weekend was done.  We asked THE only Volunteer that would prove to be helpful during this entire weekend.  He gave us directions to another area that we never would have found on our own (more about his favorite person in another installment). While walking around this area we came upon Alex Kingston’s table. This was the one and only table where we found a line that entire night. We did have a photo op scheduled for the following day, but we got in line anyway. This was one of the very few times that our VIP tickets came in handy and they whisked us to the front. At this point DC was so excited he began squealing and stimming. She and most of the people in line seemed to be getting a kick out of just how excited he was. Fortunately there was a table between her and him because if there hadn’t been, he would have headed straight for all of that hair. She signed his photo with “Hello, Sweetie”, which just sent him further over-the-top with his squealing. We left the table with DC yelling and waving “Good-bye” to her and then of course a big “Good-bye everybody” complete with a bow, to the rest of the people in line.

We walked around a little bit more. DC stopped quite a few random people in costume and insisted on having his picture taken with them. Most of the people he stopped were dressed as princesses and they all obliged.

I decided that we should try to find the photo op area so we would not spend Saturday searching. We did eventually find it. They were holding the photo ops in the arena – it was large enough but it was also full of vendors. We looked around at some of the vendor tables and noticed that the schedule on the wall (the only information available about anything was the current photo op schedule and the panel schedules) was showing that Alex Kingston was in one of the photo op rooms right then. We had a ticket for the following day, but due to the many conflicts on Saturday, I thought it would make my life so much easier to be able to get at least one out of the way on Friday. It never hurts to ask, right? There was NO ONE in line, no one – really – that was just how dead it was there on Friday night. While DC was checking out an Anna (Frozen) doll at one of the vendor booths, Doug went over to ask. He came back with a “yes”.

As we walked over to the “booth”, I reminded DC not to touch her hair.

DC: “No touch the hair”

Me: What is the other rule?

DC: “Don’t pick up the people”

They took the paper ticket with no problem.

When he got inside the curtained area, he immediately began squealing.

Alex: Well, Hello Again!” (who would not remember this boy squealing at your table earlier that evening?)

DC: “Hello There!” (another bow)

Since there was no one else in line, there was time for a little bit of small talk between them. She also commented on his shirt, which made him extremely happy!

He was able to control himself enough to give her a hug without breaking her back, grabbing her hair or (Phew) picking her up!

IMG_2786

Needless to say, he was quite the happy guy when we left the venue on Friday night! He had such a great night all around there on Friday. It could not have been more perfect for him.

No crowds, no lines and River Song twice in one night. What could be better?

*****

There was one person that could and did make his night even more awesome….. More about that in another installment….

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t you cry no more” #Supernatural

Autograph

Earlier this month we attended Rhode Island Comic-Con in Providence. It was an experience to say the least.

(I have a lot to say about our visit to the Rhode Island Comic-Con. Some good; some not so much. Everyone we met was very nice. Now I understand that they are supposed to be, but we all know that it isn’t always the case. There were a few people who were just extraordinarily wonderful to DC, so I want to be sure I mention all of them. Because I have so much to say about the entire event; Autism-related and not,  I have decided to split the story up into a few parts, by category rather than in order by the day) 

Let me first say that I am a huge fan of  Jim Beaver. I have been since his time on Deadwood.  Jim Beaver was one of the reasons I became a fan of Supernatural – yes, Sam was Dean on The Gilmore Girls so I may have been leaning in that direction anyway, but Jim Beaver gave me the push I needed.  DC is also very aware of the show, but other than Sam and Dean (who were not there), Jim Beaver (aka Bobby) is really the only other cast member that I knew for sure he would recognize. Why is DC familiar with Supernatural (or the “Don’t you cry no more” show) you ask?

Well DC loves music, but his musical choices do not usually come from what he hears on the radio unless it is a Disney song or a song from a movie he has seen. There are only a handful of songs that I can think of that he knows specifically from the radio – Carry On Wayward Son, just happens to be one of them. He zoned right in on the “Don’t you cry no more” line and it has been a favorite of his since.

For those of you who may not be fans of the show, Carry On Wayward Son opens the last episode of almost every season. DC picked up on that right away and as everything is related, he began watching the show.

We didn’t have a lot pre-scheduled for Friday night at Comic-Con. One op I had scheduled was Brent Spiner who had cancelled his appearance a few weeks earlier (“From this moment on, you are my mortal enemy!”) so I thought we would use Friday night to just go and get the lay of the land before Saturday when I was sure it would just be mobbed. We really did not expect to see many people or do very much that night, I just really wanted to figure out where everything and everybody was going to be. As it turned out, Friday was the best day of the event for us. It was not crowded at all and we got to do and see an awful lot.

As we were walking and looking around I noticed that there were no lines at many of the autograph tables. Then we came upon the “Don’t you cry no more” room. The first table belonged to none other than Jim Beaver (be still my heart) – he was not there but the tablecloth was not turned up covering the photos for sale as others were so I assumed that he would be right back. We did have a photo op scheduled with him on Saturday, but photo ops are usually very hurried, so I thought this would be a good opportunity for DC to see him and not feel so overwhelmed and rushed. When we went over to stand at his table and wait, a boy who looked to be about 12 came over to us and asked us if we were in line. DC, who seldom initiates a conversation or a greeting, took one look at this boy, who looked just like a younger version of his friend *Ron from Camp and excitedly in his high-pitched squeaky DC voice squealed  “Hello there! My name is DC Last Name. How are you? It is nice to meet you!”. He grabbed his hand and shook it so hard the boy’s entire body was shaking.  The boy was so very nice.  He was not taken aback by DC’s squealing  and excitement. The smile never left his face. He answered him, let him shake his hand again and told him his name (which unfortunately I do not remember). He then went back to stand with his mother just outside the room.

While we were standing there, I noticed Samantha Ferris at the next table. I asked DC if he wanted to go over there while we were waiting. He said No – he didn’t want to get out of line – even though we were the only ones in said line;  we were in line and in DC’s mind, that was all there was to it. I told him that we would not miss Jim if we went to the next table for a minute. Samantha is a pretty woman with long hair so I knew he wanted to go over there if not for anything else but the long hair  but…. he was in line. I finally convinced him that we could go and come back to Jim’s line afterward. He finally agreed.

Once there, he did get very excited. He told her his name and told her where he lived. Again, he was more conversational than usual. She was wonderful with him. She asked me questions but she also directed some questions to DC (which we know does not always happen). She asked how he became a fan and I explained the song connection. She sang a few bars of ‘Carry On’ for him – which just thrilled him to death. She asked him if the show ever frightened him. He said “No”. I began to explain to her how we talk about the fact that the show is only…. – DC piped in with – “Make-believe”. We talked about one of the loves of his life, Felicia Day (a recurring character) who he had the opportunity to meet a few years ago at NY Comic-Con. Samantha certainly added a new fan to her list that night!

 

DC and Samantha Ferris

DC and Samantha Ferris

 

As soon as we were finished there, DC immediately wanted to go “back to the line” (there was still no line) and Jim had not returned. Samantha told us he would be right back, so back to the “line” we went. DC started getting a little bit anxious while waiting but fortunately not too over the top. Someone ran by us and said “We’ll let him know someone is waiting” and before I had the chance to finish telling them that it was not necessary to rush him, they were gone.

Eventually when he did come out, he looked a bit out of sorts; not the “I don’t want to be here”  out of sorts – he looked as if something was wrong or something had happened. I felt bad and hoped that the powers that be did not make him come out just for us. He apologized and said there had been a slight emergency, which I absolutely believe due to the almost shaken look on his face. Now I felt even worse. Of course the first thing out of DC’s mouth was “I have been looking all everywhere for you”.  Then for some reason, probably because he was zoning out a bit at this point , he called him “Jake” instead of Jim or Bobby. He got his “DC picture” as he called it, so he was happy.

We turned to leave and there was the boy from earlier. DC again very excitedly , shook his hand, gave him a hug and told him he loved him (the asking permission before hugging anyone rule went completely out the window that weekend) – the boy, as before, went along with all of it thankfully.  What an extraordinary child! I wish I could send him many gifts!

During the course of the weekend we ventured back in to the Supernatural room many times.

On Saturday he met Curtis Armstrong (Metatron – aka “The worst angel ever”), Mitch Pileggi (Samuel)

DC and Curtis Armstrong

DC and Curtis Armstrong

 

Mitch Pileggi and DC

DC and Mitch Pileggi

and Alona Tal (Jo).  There was no explanation of character necessary for DC here – she is a pretty blonde and that was all he needed to know!

Dc and Alona Tal

Dc and Alona Tal

 

Supernatural room = Success!

Saturday was even more crowded than I expected.

We had three photo ops scheduled on Saturday. I purchased Jim Beaver way back in July and the others at later dates. The only information listed when purchasing a photo op on-line was the day; Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  When they did finally post the scheduled times I discovered that Jim Beaver and another were listed at the same time. I have to imagine that this happened to many other people as well.

On our way to the most unorganized photo op room I have ever seen, DC announced that he needed to “Flap his Wings”. It was just too crowded for him to flap where we were at the time but we did manage to find a corner almost under the bleachers for him to flap. I had him jump up and down a bit too while we had the space,  just to try to get it all out. Then we headed to the area where the photos were to be taken. Jim Beaver was scheduled for 12:45 – 1:15 and the other was scheduled for 12:45 – 1:30. We we decided to get Jim Beaver done first. Explaining the conflict to a volunteer in order to find out how early we could get in line for Jim Beaver, I took out my printed ticket with bar code that clearly stated: You must present this ticket with the Bar Code and your e-mail address to double check the time I had written on the ticket. She looked at it and told us we could probably get in line at about 12:30. We walked around a bit and revisited the “jump and flap” area for one final go. Then we went back to get in line at the time she had given us. I gave the same volunteer my ticket and she said “Oh no, we can’t take those paper tickets. You have to get in that line over there and trade them in for cards.”

What?!?

I followed the direction of her pointing finger to the mob scene, she referred to as a line, and questioned the ticketing process. This was supposed to be our ticket. “I don’t know, I’m just a volunteer, but don’t worry; he’s not here yet”. Firstly, I can not tell you how many times I heard “I don’t know, I am just a volunteer” that day and secondly, the issue was not whether he was there or not, it was about trying to get closer to the front due to our time conflict. We went over and got at the end of  the “card” line. While waiting and out of the blue, DC decided to hug the man dressed as Mr. Spock who was in front of us in the card line. Fortunately again, Spock had no problem with this random hug from a stranger. He explained that he has three children on the spectrum, so he was not fazed by it at all. We talked special needs programs for a bit until it was our turn to trade in our tickets. We finally made it out of that line with our “cards” but by the time we got back to the photo line the entire fenced in area was full and our place in line was outside of the roped in area. The volunteer saw us and yelled. “Don’t worry, he’s not in there yet” – again, not the point!

(I will revisit these paper tickets and photo op lines again in another post)

Doug, who unlike me can usually put up with just about anything, went ahead and spoke to a volunteer at the head of the line. Shortly thereafter a different volunteer came and moved us to the front of the line. I have written before that I do not generally look for accommodations for DC and I did not here. I always want him to try. I did purchase VIP tickets because of DC but this is not Comic-Con or the convention center making accommodations for my son, that is me paying more money to accommodate my child on my own. We did what we were supposed to do. We discovered the scheduling conflict. We planned ahead to get in line early, not earlier than anyone else would be allowed to, but as early as was allowed. We had the proper tickets, only to be told that we didn’t.  So for anyone that might be wondering or is waiting to pounce; we were not moved to the front due to DC’s autism – we were moved to the front due to the total unorganized way that this event was run (there is more, trust me).

After all of this, it was finally our turn to see Jim Beaver. DC did attend one photo op on Friday night (paper tickets were accepted then and there was no mention of a card ticket). Because of the Friday op, DC was expecting Jim Beaver to be standing on the same side of the room as the person was the night before. He wasn’t – he was on the side of the room closest to the curtain where we entered. DC walked into the room, and headed straight to the other side never noticing Jim Beaver standing right there. DC was looking around very confused so  I turned him around and brought him back to Jim, who was looking rather confused himself and probably wondering what was going on.

The photographer took one picture and asked if he would take off his glasses for another. DC, who does not like to part with his glasses immediately said “No”, but he did give in and give them to me. Now he was wearing his crabby face. As soon as they pointed that camera at him, DC being DC,  immediately put on his big photo smile. One of the assistants commented about just how quickly he was able to turn on that smile. Yes, sir. That’s my boy – always the ham. One can not point a camera at or around him and not get that smile.  As soon as the picture was taken DC’s only concern was getting his glasses back. He started walking out without even saying good-bye or thank you, he just wanted the glasses. He did remember his manners after being reminded. I do not usually have to remind him but I know that all that he was thinking at this point was getting out of there before anyone tried to take his glasses again.

DC and Jim Beaver

 

DC (always the actor – wiping his forehead) “Phew, I did it!” 

He had his picture, he had his autograph, both of which will be added to his wall of fame at home and he got his glasses back. Even with the all of the confusion and chaos (there was more), my boy really did a great job of it. We will put the Supernatural portion of our weekend in the win column!

****

Coming soon: The Walking Dead, Dr. Who and his most favorite experience of the Con…

(Our internet has been sporadic this entire week. This post was written partially on my phone and partially on my tablet – typing is difficult enough for me on either of these devices but editing is next to impossible  – my apologies for any and everything I may have missed or made worse by trying to edit on my phone)

 

 

 

 

 

“To Boldly Go……”

To Boldy Go....

To Bodly Go….

I confess…

I admit it…

I am just a big old Sci-fi geek from way back. I watched the first episode of Star Trek back in 1966/1967 (?) and I was hooked – for life.

The first “sign” that DC learned when he was very young (for those of you that may not know, DC was non-verbal until he was 7 years old) was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. If and when he saw a picture of Mr. Spock or heard him mentioned, he used that sign.

Today, he is verbal but will still, at times use his signs in conjunction with his speech – that “Mr. Spock” sign has come to represent Star Trek in general for him and he still uses it.

Coincidently, DC just happened to be born on William Shatner’s birthday (not planned – I swear)

Before the days when Star Trek costumes were available to purchase - DC's second Halloween.

Before the days when Star Trek costumes were available to purchase – DC’s second Halloween.

Last October, we finally made it to New York Comic-Con. I was nervous – it was so crowded, but the hope of meeting Felicia Day, kept DC pretty much on track. He also got to meet William Shatner and the Real Mike Tee Vee. All were very nice to him and he was very, very happy.

A few years back a friend of mine told me about “Shore Leave“,an event held in Baltimore every August. It is smaller than ComicCon and the original plan was to try this first, see how DC managed it and then move on to the bigger ‘Con’ in NY at a later date. Somehow we ended up doing it in reverse. But, since DC did so well at ComicCon we decided  Shore Leave would be a breeze.

We left on Thursday afternoon as soon as DC came home from his work program. Our 5 hour drive to Baltimore somehow turned into an 8 hour haul. We opted not to stay at the hotel where the event was being held as we were planning on doing a few other things in Baltimore while we were there and I really thought it would be just too much for DC. We had reservations at the Holiday Inn – Timonium. We finally arrived a little bit after 11pm.

The man at the desk checked us in to room 717. We headed up to the 7th floor in the slowest elevator known to man – reverse warp speed. We opened the door to room 717 and found that the door was bolted from the inside and soon a man’s face was looking at us through the 6 inch space in the door. He wanted to know what we were doing and why we had a key to his room. We explained that we had just checked in and this was the room we were given. He explained that HE had just checked into this room moments before. DC does not understand this, he wants to “go to the room”.

Fortunately a hotel employee was in the hallway and called down to the desk. He got the desk clerk to assign us a different room on the same floor, let us in with his master-key and went down to switch out the keys for us. We were now checked into room 725. At about 11:45, the room phone rang. It was the desk clerk. He has forgotten our name (??!!) – we had reservations so he should have all of that information, but I gave him our name again. At midnight, the phone rang. It was the desk clerk once again, this time calling to tell us he would have someone slip free breakfast coupons under our door for our inconvenience. We thanked him and hoped this would be the end of the phone calls for the evening.

We spent Friday at the Inner Harbor. DC of course spotted the Barnes and Noble and Hard Rock “Caf” (DC-speak) so, you bet we had to  visit both places. It was a nice day and we had a very nice time.

We got back to the room at about 4pm to discover that no one had come to clean. I thought that was odd, but given the debacle of the night before, I really didn’t think too much about it at the time. We would be heading back out in an hour so there wasn’t much point to calling anyone to clean at that time of day.

Reading the Shore Leave schedule, I noticed that there was a “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” tournament at 6pm. DC loves the Big Bang Theory and thinks “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” is the most hysterical thing he’s ever heard. He does not really know what it means, the words are  just so funny to him. I thought if we attended the tournament, he would see exactly what it is…. a game.  I didn’t think he would actually understand the game, but at the very least he might understand what they are talking about in the show.

When we first walked in, the moderator was explaining the rules, reading from a very confusing T-shirt, complete with diagrams and pictures of the signs. One of the participants piped up “That boy has the directions right on his shirt” – I don’t think the moderator appreciated this, he looked up, sighed and went right back to explaining with HIS T-shirt. DC got a kick out of the tournament and asked me more than once “to play“. I knew he really didn’t understand it and thought about asking the moderator if someone could play a quick game with him when they were finished, but during the practice rounds I did with him, I could see he really didn’t get it. He just threw whatever I threw. I told him he could play against me. We played at the table while the tournament was in progress. This seemed to make him happy enough.

After the tournament we were walking down one of the hallways and I noticed the TARDIS in the corner and pointed it out to DC. He recognized it immediately yelling,  “Dr Who” We went to check it out. It was a photo booth. I don’t know what sort of directions the man gave DC when he was in the booth, but I could see from the computer screen outside that every time “Look at the Camera” came up on the screen, DC did something with his hands and his face, when the prompt was not there he sat looking at the screen normally. I’m sure he was following his understanding of the directions the man gave him.

He also happened to find a pair of TARDIS slippers. There were only two pair on the table, but thankfully one pair was his size. He was pretty darn happy to get them. He has a “thing” about slippers lately, I don’t know why. He has a few pair of slippers at home but never wanted to wear them, all of a sudden he loves slippers and wears them all of the time. The Tardis slippers were a nice find for him.

Pictures taken, slippers purchased, now DC was beginning to get antsy. He had enough for one night and as you may or may not know, DC’s favorite thing when on vacation – besides bookstores and restaurants, that is – is the hotel room. He really just LOVES hotel rooms, so he was anxious to get back. We arrived back at the hotel at a little after 9. Jokingly, I said to Doug, “I hope they didn’t give our room to someone else”

 -I really have to stop joking like that, really!

We got to the door and the key would not work, none of our keys worked. There were 2 women just down the hall going into their room and I heard one  say  to the other, “Now look,  their keys won’t work” and they asked us if our keys worked. We told them that they didn’t. They proceeded to inform us that they had just checked in and they were assigned room number 725 (our room). They opened the door, went in and realized that this was clearly someone else’s room (especially as you know,  no one had come to clean it that day). They had just been down at the desk to have it corrected and in the process the people at the desk deactivated our keys.

DC just wanted to “go to the room” and again, we are left standing in the hallway. I was so worried about Shore Leave being too much for him, but as it turns out the hotel caused him (and me) more anxiety that anything else that weekend.

We went back down to the desk and informed them that once again, we were stuck in the hallway. Last night they had us walking into someone else’s room and tonight they sent strangers into our room. The women at the desk said that when the desk clerk switched our room the night before he didn’t mark it down – which explains why no one came to clean – they thought it was empty (but why did he call to ask our name?? – That will remain a mystery). One woman offered us free breakfast coupons for the rest of our stay (they must have to give out an awful lot of those) – I informed her that we had already been given coupons the night before for that error. They didn’t offer anything else. I could be wrong, but it did seem as though the women that walked into our room that night were upgraded to a suite – but, I could be wrong…………….

On Saturday morning, we decided to take in the “Fairy Tale Panel” back at Shore Leave. DC must have been much more exhausted from Friday than I realized as he fell asleep and slept (in the front row, mind you) throughout the entire hour. 200lbs of dead weight hanging on me the entire time – just what you want when you are running a panel, someone fast asleep in the front row!  He did also sleep through the Once Upon a Time panel at ComicCon, but at least it was a dark room and we were nowhere close to the front. I suppose it could have been worse, he could have been snoring.
Saturday was much more crowded than Friday night had been. We tried to stay away from the most crowded areas, but refreshed from his “nap”, DC made a bee-line to the Buffy doll that I knew he wanted but refused to buy the day before – I think he was just too overwhelmed on Friday night to know what he wanted until he found the Tardis slippers, that is..
We had purchased tickets for 3 photo ops the night before, but we still had a little time to kill, so we went to the autograph tables, which surprisingly, were not very crowded.

Our first stop was Robert Picardo. I explained to DC that he was once on a Star Trek (Voyager). His sign read “I’m the Doctor”. This confused DC, he knew it wasn’t David Tennant, the only Dr. he is aware of, but the sign did say “I am the Dr.” so he called him Dr. Who.

– just following directions, Doc…….

We moved on to Michael Welch. He was exceptionally nice to DC – really, they all were.

We then headed to THE most confusing Photo Op line ever. We had tickets for 3 Photo Ops which meant we had to get in line 3 times. The lines did move quickly, but it was all very confusing trying to figure out where we were supposed to be.

The woman at the entrance to the photo room just Ooo’d and Ahh’d over DC every time we arrived for a photo. “Oh! Look at him, he is so excited!” – he was, plus there is no one that loves to have their picture taken more than DC does.

His first photo was with Robert Picardo, “Dr. Who” from a half hour earlier. He didn’t call him Dr. Who this time even though he was wearing a Dr. Who shirt (he didn’t have his “I’m the Doctor” sign with him and it wasn’t David Tennant on his shirt).

Next up was Eve Myles. She was a few minutes late getting to the photo room and when I saw her coming down the hallway, I got a little bit anxious. Her hair was much longer than it is on TV and in photos. DC LOVES long hair, LOVES it! Before we were faced with another  ‘Snow White Incident’ I launched into “the rules”.
“DC, you can not touch her hair”
“Okay Mom”
“DC what is the rule? – Tell me”
“Don’t touch your hair” (the usual pronoun confusion,but I knew he understood)
and then….. just for good measure…
“DC, what is the other rule?”
“Don’t pick up the people”
and he didn’t……….

Next and thankfully, last as DC was tired of getting in and out of lines…. Silas Weir Mitchell. I love Grimm. DC has seen it a few times, but I don’t think he really knew who he was. It didn’t faze him because, someone was taking HIS picture and isn’t that really all that matters?

At this point, DC was starting to get edgy. Our last stop was the Eve Myles autograph table. We had a good 1/2 hour wait until she was finished with the Q&A she was leading. We slipped inside to listen and more importantly to move DC out of the hallway.

He didn’t want to sit down.

He didn’t want to stand where we were standing.

He didn’t want to stand in the next place we moved to.

We moved close to the door and he seemed okay with that.

But then a staff person came over and told us we couldn’t stand there so we moved back to the hallway.

We decided to just wait at the table.

There was a wonderful lady sitting at the table who just happened to be a Special Ed teacher (we seem to run into Special Ed teachers everywhere we go, she was the second on this trip), she let DC pick out the photo he wanted autographed early. He picked a photo of Ms. Myles from a Merlin episode. We chatted a bit, she chatted with DC a bit as well. She told him he was doing a good job waiting – he loves compliments, who doesn’t.

The Dalek from the Tardis photo booth was now roaming the hallway “EXTERMINATE!”,  so that helped to keep him occupied until Ms. Myles was finished with her Q&A. When she arrived at the table, the woman whispered something to her and then introduced her to DC. She told her that he was waiting a long time for her. He was first in line for her autograph, she was lovely to him. He was thrilled…..

but he was also “done”.

I didn’t try to push him to do any more. We arrived that morning at 9 and it was now after 3. That was a long stretch for him, even with the nap. He had a few sketchy moments throughout the day, but I really I think, overall he did a fantastic job!

In the words of DC, “We all had a wonderful time”

except for this guy…………..

this guy....

this guy….

and a big shout-out to the “trying to be helpful staff member” that asked Doug (aka “This Guy”) if he needed help finding something….

“I’m just looking for some place to hang myself”

(Thanks Guy, I’m sure, Doug was waiting all day for an opportunity to use that line, and there it was)

#LLAP

Progress with a Side of Pasta

Progress with a side of Pasta

Progress with a side of Pasta

Looking back over the past year, I can honestly say that it has been a very good and productive year.

DC completed his first full year of “work”.  He transitioned into it very well. Me? I am the one still having a problem calling it “work” and not “school”, the “car” is here, instead of the “bus”. I panic each time a school vacation comes along because I have to make plans for DC while I’m working, until I realize he doesn’t get those weeks off anymore; he’s working. The transition seems to be much more difficult for me than it was for him.

Volunteer

Volunteer “Dream Job”

My “Broadway Baby” also has a volunteer job as a Greeter at a local theater, with a job coach of course. He loves it and does well. The shifts are long, but he makes it through and he is happy when he gets home. How many of us can say we have our Dream Job? DC has his.

Because of his “theater experience” he was asked to help his camp by passing out programs at the annual “Thank You to Our Civic Groups” picnic. Unfortunately, the promise of cheeseburgers after he was finished totally distracted him while he was supposed to be working, so we will write  that one off as a “trial run” and I will know how to better explain the process to him next year.

Communication-wise, I’ve noticed that I am doing much less prompting to get him to respond to a greeting and many times he will initiate a greeting himself; although “Hello Old Lady isn’t exactly in my top ten, he DID initiate the conversation himself. He was also able to tell me a couple of  times, in his own way, but in a way that I was able to figure out, that he wasn’t feeling well.

He has been asking to do  more things “All by myself”, like making his lunch for school work, his breakfast, making his bed and shaving. “All by myself” means he doesn’t even want me in the room (a good thing with the shaving……. I make him nervous – me?- “Mom, are you still here?”).

This year we skipped our annual Halloween trip to either Salem or Sleepy Hollow and decided to go to New York ComicCon. To say it was  crowded is an understatement. He did well. Yes, he was anxious, but he controlled himself as best he could.  Mike TeeVee came at the perfect moment. DC was getting anxious so we were on our way off the show floor because I could see he was getting upset. We happened upon “Mr. TeeVee” on the way. No line,  as I don’t think anyone realized he was there yet. He was very nice and was able to spend some extra time with DC. DC calmed down right away.

He waited in line for an HOUR and A HALF to see the love of his life, Felicia Day. Do you remember when your kids were little? When they would finally eat or do something that they never would before and you were afraid to even look at them for fear they would stop? This is exactly how I felt standing in that line with him. I don’t think I was even breathing. Fortunately she came out early and we were relatively close to the front of the line, so I knew we were “home free” at that point. He was excited when she came out but then he turned to me and said “I am very nervous about this”. He has used the word “nervous” up to this point only when there was a storm, never about meeting anyone. I think he realized right then and there that the people he sees on TV or in the movies are real people AND that this person, that he adores, is someone special.

Penny's Frozen Yogurt

Penny’s Frozen Yogurt

We made it to the front, I could breathe again.  She was lovely to him. It made his day.

He was also able to meet William Shatner. He does know who that is due to his mother (me). He was very nice to him as well but “no pictures please”. We did forget to tell him that DC was born on his birthday; maybe that would have rated us a picture –but live and learn.

His Uncle asked him to sing Edelweiss at the table on Christmas Eve. DC is, and always has been, a ham so I was surprised that he sang the song, looking only at me and then buried his head in my arm when he was finished. Bashful! Embarrassed! I don’t know if this is a good thing or not,  BUT, it IS a new reaction and a new emotion so I will add this to the Plus Column as well.

There is so much more I can say about this year, but my point is, DC is 22, he continues to make progress. No, not in leaps and bounds as he did when he was younger, but it is there.

No matter what the age, there is always progress to be made. It may not even be noticeable right away, but it is there.

And, Oh……. On New Year’s Eve, Eve,  two days before the year ended, he actually ate pasta. PASTA!

Happy New Year!

“Penny” is in the house! NY Comic-Con

 

2013 comiccon

This year we decided to forego our annual October/Halloween weekend in Salem to attend NY Comic-con.

October… Costumes… it qualifies.

This was our very first “Con” and me, in my infinite wisdom, decided not to start small. Nope…. New York City…. Huge…. Mega Crowds…. but I have to say that it really went well.

Even though we would be in the city for the entire weekend (New York City is DC’s favorite place in the world) I opted for just the one-day/Saturday ticket. I knew that being in New York and not walking around the city and the crowds that I was anticipating would not make for a very happy guy. If this was a bust with DC at least there would be the bright spot of spending the rest of the weekend visiting his favorite places – Hard Rock, Central Park, Toys R Us, The Eloise Store in the Plaza and the Hershey Store.

Since most of our day was posted on my Facebook page, I am going to take the easy way out and just re-post those posts – they say it all anyway….

Once we made it through the crowd outside (pictured above) we headed to the vendor floor – the autograph/photo-op room was not open yet. DC wanted to see Felicia Day and only Felicia Day – but first; the vendor room.

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 Just as we were making our way out of the vendor room because of the crowds, we happened upon Mike Tee-Vee. The real Mike Tee-Vee. Talk about a find! DC was so happy! If we had walked down a different aisle we would have missed him. Fortunately it was early and not too many people had happened upon him yet so he was able to take his time with DC.

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*****

Waiting in line for Felicia Day.  He had waited almost an hour and just as I thought he couldn’t take it anymore, she came out. She came out 20 minutes BEFORE her scheduled time. It was still another half hour before we made it to the front of the line but just seeing her up there kept him focused. Can’t love her more for doing that!

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*****

Some illegal photos Doug took while we were waiting.. until he was screamed at by the staff, that is.

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****

DC with Felicia Day… She was wonderful. She held his hands and asked him which Dr. Horrible song was his favorite. (He was going to wear his Dr. Horrible costume, but changed his mind at the last-minute which was probably for the best)

IMG_3546

DC loves “Penny” from Dr. Horrible but he also knows her from “Erica” (Eureka). He was thrilled. She let us take a picture even though we were not supposed to (as much as he loves her, I just could not make him stand in another line for a photo-op with her)

*****

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I picked the only panel I thought he would enjoy – the Once Upon a Time, panel. Even with the appearance of surprise guest “Emma” (Jennifer Morrison), DC fell asleep about 10 minutes into it – I tried….

There is a Walking Dead panel later today that I am dying to go to, but … yeah… that’s not going to happen.

*****

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Lunch: Pretzels on the floor. The pretzel line was the only manageable line for food we could find. If he was not looking forward to dinner in the city later, THIS would not have gone over well at all. – *Note to self

*****

I told myself all day that I would not spend the money they are asking for William Shatner’s autograph. Well, I caved. How could I attend my first Comic-Con with William Shatner in attendance and skip him? DC does know him of course because I am his mother. I was nervous but William Shatner was nice to him. We were not allowed to take photos (and no, I was NOT going to pay for a photo-op), so this was the best we could do. We completely forgot to tell him that DC shares his birthday!

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Ready for dinner in the city…

(update 2/2016: This was a post that I made private some time ago until I had the opportunity to edit a few of the photos of DC – I was reminded of it due to a conversation I had yesterday – My apologies if you have received an e-mail notification for a new post – it’s old)