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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“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)