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[personal profile] oanimation
First off let me mention that I wrote this in word while at the airport and on the plane. And if Continental's stupid electric plug worked I could have spent my flight working on my photos, but nope, I ran out of laptop battery. I do have a couple photos to share within the report. The rest will have to wait until I finish my storyboard homework. Also, since I wrote this in Word, if you see a letter instead of a LJ user name it's because I missed one or two. I am a bit sleepy right now so forgive any typos I fail to find while re-reading this. Thanks.

Saturday the 14th:

I got up at an ungodly hour of the morning to catch a 7:30 am flight out of LAX to Newark. I met [livejournal.com profile] mad_brilliant_  at the airport. Even though the pilot said it would be a smooth flight it wasn’t. It wasn’t a horrible flight but there was evil turbulence. On the plus side we arrived 45 minutes early into Newark. Time we then lost since we just missed the hotel shuttle and had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. But eventually we made it to the hotel where we met up with [livejournal.com profile] ghostgirl13  and [livejournal.com profile] seapealsh . I was determined to spend some time in New York valentine’s night just cause one, I was so close to it, and two, I really didn’t want to spend valentine’s in an airport hotel in New Jersey. The only person willing to spend a cold evening in the city was [livejournal.com profile] seapealsh . [livejournal.com profile] mad_brilliant_  wasn’t feeling to well and [livejournal.com profile] ghostgirl13  had homework. So [livejournal.com profile] seapealsh  and I headed out to catch a train into Penn Station. Once there we saw the tourist sites. I pointed out the Empire State Building, which was lit up red and pink for the holiday, I think or is it normally lit that way. I forget. Then we headed to Times Square and walked around a bit. The Time Square Ball had hearts on it. :) And I took a photo for a couple enjoying the city. There were a good number of lovebirds around. After Times Square we headed in the direction of Rockefeller Center. I wanted to see the ice skating and I kind of remembered how to get there. I guess I should mention now that this whole trip was done without a map. I was just relying on memory and knowing the city is in blocks so getting lost shouldn’t be an issue.  I took some pics and video of that and then we wondered around to find food. We ended up trying an Applebees on 42nd street, but discovered it was an hour and half wait and they gave us number 846 and were only calling numbers in the 600s at that point. So we left to find food elsewhere. We ended up going back to the train station to eat there. On the way back we stop in Macys. I almost bought a stuffed bear dressed as the Statue of Liberty. But I managed to say no. For those of you that don’t know my weakness for toys, saying no to that was quite a feat. Before we entered the train station we discovered a map outside the station that showed some specific tourist points and discovered we were close to St. Patrick’s and missed it. I saw it last time, but always forgot where it was. Then we grabbed some Krispy Crème donuts shaped as hearts for desert/breakfast and had dinner at an overpriced bar and grill in the station. Then it was back to the hotel, to prep and sleep for the next day’s event. And although I think the weather might have been warmer than usual for the area, it was still colder than LA, but it didn’t bother me. I was bundled up well and glad to say I wasn’t a west coast wimp in the cold.

Sunday the 15th:

On Sunday we left the hotel around 10am to get into South Orange with enough time to eat before doors opened. Despite the fact that our taxi driver didn’t know where he was going (aren’t taxi drivers supposed to be very familiar with the area and/or have maps) we got to the venue with enough time to find food and eat with no hurry. While eating we ran into a couple of familiar faces and talked and laughed while eating. Close to 11:30 am we headed over to the theater and did the hi and hug thing with many people. It was fantastic to see Deni there, and always good to see all the familiar faces. The theater opened just about on time. The theater staff handled the admission. So we all entered got to our seats and I got to meet some new faces. One lady next to me said she went to the Paleyfest event and apparently at the end when people went up to get autos she said people were jumping over the seats to get to the stage. She was very turned off by the whole thing. I know it was a mob scene with people trying to get autos, which is typically of PaleyFest events, but I didn’t realize people were being that extreme in getting to the stage. She enjoyed this event much more since there was no mob scene. Another lady was a librarian at the Smithsonian. Now that’s got to be an interesting job. Like I said in my short report, the event was a good mixture of regulars and new fans, as well as a good mix of men and women. It was neat to see that.

Shortly before the event began Steve came out to explain what was going to happen. It was photos first for everyone called by row, and then the extra photo people could go through again called by row. The photos happened on stage behind the curtain. They had a screen set up to play screeners while we waited. Before Steve came down they played the Dragonball trailer, and during the photos was Superman Doomsday. Then they would bring out a table on the theater floor for the autos to be called by row. They played Torchwood and Numb3rs then. And then we’d have the Q&A and then the theatrical reading, which he would disclose later. He explained that while he didn’t want to rush people, we needed to be aware that if the photos and/or autos ran long then the Q&A would need to be shortened. So if everyone stayed aware of that and no one hogged James then we wouldn’t need to miss out on other things. And I’m glad to say that everyone cooperated with that and Steve and the theater folks did a good job of keeping things moving without rushing, so we got the full Q&A. After Steve explained all that and told us we’d be receiving a Dragonball poster at the end of the event, he brought James out to say hi. Per usual he looked good. He was wearing what was later learned to be clothing given to him by fox for the promotional tour. It was a nice dress shirt, white with brown pin stripes? (not sure if that’s the correct way to describe it) and a black vest, with his usual black jeans and sneakers. He head back up the stage behind the curtain and after a few moments the photos began.

For my photo, when it was my turn, he got that bright smile he has and said it’s good to see you again or something along those lines and held out his hand to shake. For a second I was darn it I’m just going to get a handshake, but then he pulled me into a hug. I told him in the hug it was good to see him again, and probably asked how he was. We got into the pose, just the standard photo op pose, and when it was over he said he was good, his kids were good and he was healthy. I smiled and replied back awesome as I was walking away. Then I saw that Steve was selling the extra photos. Since my parents gave me spending money for my trip I bought one extra photo. Then [livejournal.com profile] ghostgirl13  and I just sat in the back of the theater and talked for a bit while waiting for all the rows to go through. For the second photo op, P was telling us to know what pose we wanted before going up since it was taking too long for James to think up poses. I didn’t have a pose in mind so just went for the standard pose again. As we got into the pose James turned to me and asked if this pose was okay or did I want another and I went that’s okay this is fine. So to change it up he wrapped his other arm me too. I suppose that was an invitation for me to put my arms around him but I didn’t. I’m always afraid to cross a line. Probably a little too cautious, but all well. As I was leaving I said thank you as I normally do he may of said my pleasure which he often does in that sexy little voice that makes you turn into a puddle of goo, and he did the grabbing my hand a squeezing it before slowly letting my hand slip out of his as I walk away thing as well. Yep puddle of goo. I know it’s stuff he does to everyone but it still affects me. Sometimes I wonder what it is about him that causes these reactions. It’s very strange, and no matter how many times I wonder about it, I can never come up with an answer. It’s a mystery. And I guess if I ever did figure it out then the effect would be gone and that would be no fun.

Then it was just waiting around again and talking before the autos began. The extra photos didn’t take too long, so we didn’t have to wait long before the table was brought out for autos. P and H went through the crowd giving us notes to write our names on and selling extra autos as well. Then James came out and the autos began. The way they had it set up it was very easy to get photos while he was signing. That was neat and many people including myself took advantage of that.

When our row went through I finally decided to go with the toon drawing for the auto. When James saw it he laughed and I think he went that’s cool. He asked if I did it and I replied yes, I was just sketching one day and one drawing ended up a bit tooned. He said he liked how I made his teeth white, and then said I was a liar for that, before laughing and saying he was just kidding. I just smiled and laughed during the exchange. So that answers whether he realizes his teeth are yellow, not that I can throw stones about that, most of the time my teeth are just as or more yellow than his depending on the amount of soda I’m consuming. :)

Then it was back to taking some photos while he was signing.

Then I was starting to crash a little and saw they still had a few rows to go through, so I went out into the lobby and got a vitamin water to revitalize myself. I guess it worked because I stopped yawning. After they finished the autos, they took a little break so James could eat before the Q&A. We were told what time to be back which was like maybe 15 minutes so people could grab a drink or what not. My only slight gripe of the event would have been the set up of the Q&A. They stayed down on the floor level rather than use the stage. Which did make things more intimate, but theater seats are designed for people to see clearly on the stage not on the floor in front of the stage. And they also set up the microphones at the front of both aisle so anyone sitting on the sides probably couldn’t have seen James because of the line of people to ask questions. Steve did mention to those people to be aware there are people behind them that can’t see through them, but he didn’t ask them to sit or kneel and no one did. I noticed some people on the side were standing in order to see. James sat on the table that was used for autos and while I could see him for the most part due to heads in front of me, I couldn’t really take photos without heads in them but I have some when ever he stood or moved a little further down the table.

But at least I wasn’t on the side. Cause that would have sucked. But the Q&A was very interesting. No stupid sex questions, no repetitive questions that are on his website. There was the whose a better kisser questions except this guy included Amber from Chance in the question, and someone asked him to talk like Spike.

Not sure what question brought this one, but it could be a Piccolo impression. As he got a couple Dragonball questions.

But other questions included, if he wrote a singles ad how would he describe himself, after he described it he asked the asker if she would date him and she gave a “meh” probably not gesture. It got a laugh out of James and the audience. He was also asked if he had a Bucket List what was on it. I think he said he wanted to produce films, and skydiving was another. He also quickly mentioned as he turned around to the next question another ménage a trois before he died would be nice. Some one mentioned she was at the inauguration and wanted to know where James was then and what his reaction and thoughts were at the time. It was so funny to see James turn into a fan boy over Obama. He was all bouncy and said if he ever met him he’d be all (in a small geeky fan boy voice) “can I have your autograph?” And he admitted he has had fantasies about being Obama’s press secretary, and has another fantasy about playing songs for Obama’s kids. It was just too cute to see him gush.

After the Q&A we had another short break and Steve announced that James and another actress (I unfortunately forget her name) would be doing a reading of Love Letters on the stage. It was very well done. They had a few flubs in the reading, but it’s not a fully rehearsed memorized performance, just a rehearsed reading so flubs are a part of the game. I remember at UCLA I saw a reading done by Tom Hanks and a whole slew of actors. (Off the top of my head was Annette Benning, Martin Short, William Shatner  and many more.) It was a fundraiser for the school, and man, were there flubs in that. But extremely funny flubs since it was a comedy and many of them ad-libbed like crazy. But the Love Letters reading was well performed and a wonderful story. Very moving, sad as well as moments of funny. It again makes me wish James would do a play somewhere. Maybe one day he will.

After the performance it was the dinner break. First you had to pick up your photo ops and the Dragonball poster. That was a bit chaotic. [livejournal.com profile] ghostgirl13  had picked up our photos so [livejournal.com profile] seapealsh  and I just had to make our way over to the posters. Some fans saw us trying to get through to the posters while they were trying to get through to the photos and they did the whole pass it back thing with the posters so we didn’t have to make it to the table. That saved some hassle. We ended up at a Mexican restaurant for dinner although I don’t like Mexican. So I got a sandwich at the hotel when we got back since I was pretty hungry by then.

After food, it was back to the theater for the concert. I saw a pile of dirty snow in the parking lot on the way back, and went my trip back east is complete. I saw snow. :) The theater was pretty packed so it looks like they sold the concert only tickets well. It was a good concert. James told everyone in the Q&A and maybe at the concert too I don’t remember, that he was going to try to sing most of his songs. He couldn’t do all due to time constraints, but if there was a song you wanted to hear to shout it out and he’d let you know if it was coming up or add it to the set list if he could. He said no to Rest in peace, for obvious reasons, I think Good Night Sweet Girl the GOTR song and Dance Slow cause it was the one song he hadn’t practiced. He did "Fall of the Night" and "Finer than Gold" which made me happy as I think those songs are very beautiful songs.

It was a good concert. Good sound, and once James’ voice warmed up after a song or two, he was in good voice as well. His voice cracked a little probably due to being overused during the day.

He did his usual, now I’m going to leave the stage and you guys cheer and then I’ll come back thing. He hammed it up going “I love you guys in a rocker voice” Before running off stage.

Then he came back laughing and said you know it does feel good the whole encore thing. He sang three more songs I believe and then before going off stage for good said he had stuff to giveaway and started throwing his picks in the crowd

and the sweat towel, and something else but I’m not sure what it was. The set-list? Or something else. I missed what else he threw cause I saw one of the picks on the ground near my feet. So went yay! and grabbed it. Then it was time to wander outside and call a taxi to take us back to the hotel.

So that was the weekend. Way too short, but fun.  

Now I'm home, after another bumpy plane ride. I repeat turbulence is evil. And I need to go sleep. 

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-17 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icemink.livejournal.com
Thanks for the report and the pictures. Those of us who couldn't make it love to see this stuff ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Your very welcome. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-17 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikesgurl.livejournal.com
Awesome :) Thanks for the report (and the wonderful pics!) hun. I so wish I could have been there! But I'm glad you guys had a good time.

And I'm glad you got to spend some time in the city :)


(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Thanks. You were missed and I'm sure James missed your smile. :)

I almost went down to see how much it would cost to rent skates at Rockefeller. But I didn't. Although it would have been neat to say I fell on my ass at Rockefeller Center. LOL.

*hugs back*
Here's hoping for something on the west coast this year.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-17 08:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sky-prague.livejournal.com
Thanks a lot for sharing your experience; it was nice to reading it. I am glad you had good time and your photos are once again amazing. The 3rd photo is my favorite.

I am also looking forward to your photos from NY :).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Your very welcome. hehe, yeah I love that laughing photo too. He seemed to be enjoying himself that day along with the fans. My New York photos are not much. I took my crappy small camera into the city, and mainly took video of stuff. But if anything looks decent I'll post it. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-17 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ukchrisp.livejournal.com
Wonderful report, it sounds like it was a great con.
Your photos are great (as they usually are) and you've captured some really good expressions.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. It was a wonderful con. Steve and the SOPAC theater people organized it well. I hope the events you get in the UK runs as smoothly.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ukchrisp.livejournal.com
So do I, i'm hoping that whatever the saturday event turns out to be includes some sort of theatre stuff, I love seeing him on stage.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-17 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kimrae1977.livejournal.com
Great pics so far! Glad it was worth the weekend up cross-country. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Thank you. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-17 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lurky.livejournal.com
Great report and great pictures as usual. Thank you.:)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 05:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. And it was nice meeting you, although briefly, in the lobby. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-17 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lovejames.livejournal.com
Thanks, babe!!
i loved your report and i think your photos are the best i've seen - surprise, surprise! Not!
i'm really glad you had a good time and every post i've seen so far has said it was a wonderful day. That's what good organisation and sticking to the programme will do for you - and a well-rested happy James!!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 05:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Thanks. It was fun, and James was definitely in good spirits.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spikereader.livejournal.com
I've really enjoyed reading your report and your pictures are fantastic. Glad you had a good time.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-20 07:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Thank you. I'm glad to be able to share what was a great weekend. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-18 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chic-c.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and the wonderful pics.
I'm really glad you had a lot of fun and managed a bit of sightseeing too.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-20 07:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Your very welcome. I'm also glad I was able to squeeze in the little bit of sightseeing. It would have been sad to have been that close to NYC and not visit.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-19 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ms-scarletibis.livejournal.com
Wow, did you take these photos? They're really great :D

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-20 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Yep and thank you. I have many more, but I'm not sure when I'll have time to go through them. Maybe this weekend. Maybe. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-19 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyaelfwynn.livejournal.com

It's me, the librarian from the Smithsonian! I joined a couple of the Yahoo! lists to find other people posting about MFV as my f-list was d-e-d dead and one of them pointed here!

Your photos turned out very well!

Glad you made it home safely.

I've got most of my posts done; I've still got to write about the concert.

It was fun meeting you! Take care!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-20 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
OMG....Hi! That's so cool you found me. This fandom really is such a tiny little world. I'm glad you like the photos. And thank you. It was definitely fun meeting you too. Take care. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-26 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_sharvie_/
Yay! A report and pictures! Sweet! They look fab. I'm glad you guys had fun. And SNOW! I'm glad I'm not the only person to go ga-ga for snow. *lol*

Did he say where he was for the Inaugural? I'd love to know.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-26 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oanimation.livejournal.com
Hey there. *hugs* Been awhile. Thanks about the photos. And it unfortunately wasn't much snow. Just a pile of dirty snow in a parking lot. But I saw snow. :)

And I think he said he was at home watching the Inauguration. We got a story about him going out and kissing the ground on the election night. He did the same thing when Clinton was elected, but he was in an icky part of Seattle? then, and the ground was quite gross. He said this time he's in a better neighborhood. But he actually didn't answer the girls question about where he was much. He went off on a tangent, fanboying over Obama. LOL.