Sunday, December 16, 2007

I met Joss Whedon!

Quote of the day: “From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.” ~ Carl Schurz

Song of the day: “Lifts You Up” by Beth Hart

State of mind: content and contemplative

Date: Sunday, December 16th, 2007

The universe has it out for me. I planned on being in Boston at 11:00 (or even earlier) to give me plenty of time to met up with everyone in case I got lost or I couldn’t find a parking space. Well, as it turned out, I didn’t even get onto the Mass Turnpike off of the NYS thruway until 11:00. Why? Well, I could recount all the things that went wrong or I could just say that the morning was a cornucopia of wrong and leave it at that. The rest, details. And therein lies the Devil; so let’s just leave him lying.
My soundtrack for the drive was Seether and I made pretty good time and got into Boston itself at around 1:00. (Did Seether have anything to do with it? Probably not. I just wanted to mention them.) Now all I had to do was find Church Street.
Google gave me a map, but what good is it if the city you are in makes you guess what street you are on? Most intersections I came upon did not have a sign anywhere that I could see labeling what the street was. I asked a cop for directions. He lied. I stopped at a gas station for directions. They were... vague. Despite this, I found my destination, parked my car in a very expensive lot, and joined the throng of happy protesters and sign wavers. I had no sign. (Sorry.)
I missed the speeches and the Q & A but luckily there are clips of it on You Tube.

After just a few minutes, we were off and without even considering that at some point I was going to have to find my car again, I followed the crowd. I took a few photos. After four shots my camera announced I was out of room. *sigh*

Here they are:

We made our way through the streets past cheerful traffic cops and confused drivers to The Harvard Lampoon Building.

I suppose this is a place where traditionally anyone with anything to say can come and say it. Loudly. Or with catchy chants. Which is what we did. (On the way back to my car, there was a considerably smaller crowd in front of The HLB that wanted trees. It took me and a random guy on the street a few minutes to figure out what they were saying.) The WGA crowd walked around the HLB (or The HLB. Which is it?) a few times, paused, chanted, ate donuts, chanted some more. As I was walking around the second time I spotted a friend of mine and ran ahead to join her. Naturally, she was wearing a brown coat. (I wear mine on my soul. Or something. My body however had on a grey coat.) She pointed out people to me, let me hold her sign, and kept me from getting dripped on by the snow melting off the roof of the building as we walked around it. I was very grateful. In return, I stole her book. (More on that later.)
During the third pause in front of the building, Joss was walking though the crowd near where we were. He wasn’t wearing a scarf. He didn’t have his coat buttoned up either. (No wonder he’s sick.) A few people went up to him and asked if they could get a photo together and Tommy took his photo for them, but didn’t ask for one of herself with him. Neither did I. But I totally should have asked him to take ours. (What? That isn’t funny?)
Jaime Paglia (who created “Eureka”) was also walking amongst the horde. I’m sure Rob Kutner who writes for The Daily Show was as well, but there was a lot of people which means a lot of horde to walk through. There was some more speechifying, but I couldn’t hear most of it. Then we all moved onto the Pandemonium, a science fiction and gaming bookstore a few blocks away. As many of you may already know, I am physically incapable of entering a bookstore and not buy anything. I didn’t realize it was a science fiction bookstore so there really wasn’t a safe place for me to be. Every aisle I ended up standing in as the crowd filed in had bookshelves filled with books that I wanted, needed, had to have. I was able to restrain myself somewhat and only bought two books: Neil Gaimen’s collection of short stories in “Fragile Things” and Christopher Moore’s book called “You Suck”. I’m looking forward to both.
There wasn’t much time to mill around because the line was already beginning to form to meet The Three- Joss Whedon, Jamie Paglia, and Rob Kutner.I got in the queue with Tommy and her friends from the New England Browncoats and we chatted for the hour and a half it took for us to get to the head of the line. Except Tommy couldn’t stay. About an hour into the wait, she had to leave. She handed me her copy of Killer Angels (one of the books Joss has mentioned helped to inspire Firefly) and gave me instructions to tell Joss that she and two of her students read the book, loved it, and even went to visit Gettysburg. I can do that. I was then told to hand the book off to her friend from the NE Browncoats so he could give it to her later. Uh, oops. After I relayed the message to Joss about the book, and had my own stuff signed, I was feeling a little giddy and apparently forgot what I was supposed to do because I immediately walked away from the table, up the stairs to pay for the other books I had, and walked out of the store. I didn’t even remember I was supposed to pass the book along until about 3 exits on the Mass TPKE. Why was I giddy? Because I dorked up completely and he didn’t treat me like I had. (That was very nice of him.)
The exchange was pretty much this (totally paraphrased and probably out of order):
“Please sign one of my DVD covers from Firefly. You can pick your favorite”
“Would it be weird if I signed them all?”
“Wow. No. BTW, just wanted to mention that TV started in Schenectady... which is much closer to where I live.” *blatant hint* I forget what he said. But it is true. TV started here. And General Electric which now owns NBC, USA, and the Sci-Fi but-not-really-because-we’re-the-monster-movie-and-wrestling Channel.
Then he spots my t-shirt.
He actually expresses gratitude that I had the shirt on and says, “I’ve heard about the shirts but I’ve never actually seen anyone wearing one.”
“Well, it’s important.” (Important?? So. Fucking. Lame.) What popped into my head was this: It’s not just important, it’s like air! Wearing this shirt is the absolute minimum that I can do. I have no idea how the people at Equality Now do it, be submersed in the total horror and sheer stupidity of what is going on! I hope their office is made of bubble wrap because they must be banging their heads against the wall on an hourly basis. I get the bulletins and just want to run out into the street and yell at people for walking their dogs or running errands when there is such injustice going on Right. Now. And I am just so grateful for the people at Equality Now because finally I have a smidgen of hope that someday it might just be all right. ... But I didn’t say that. I sort of got brain freeze. I guess that means that Joss Whedon is like ice cream. (I wonder what flavor?)
Then I said, “I actually get asked about what it means when I wear it at the mall and get to explain it to some people. So that’s good.” (I actually said, “so that’s good.” Ugh.)
He agreed. Then he asked if I’d trade, my shirt for his Boston Red Sox hat.
“Sure.” I say, then kind of laugh. I was actually tempted. And I did have another t-shirt in my hand. Someone was handing out Writers Strike shirts in front of the (The) HLB. But I had to decline, using the excuse that I was from New York. (Seriously, was he trying to get me killed!) I think he laughed. Then he mentions being from Manhattan and his mother teaching in Cobelskill, which isn’t far from Albany, which is what I said. I think I actually said the word Albany and then let my sentence drop because once again in my head three paragraphs sprung into life and froze my tongue. (Which is so freaking annoying.) In my head I was thinking, Yep. Albany. Where I did the screening in that huge theater and invited you to, but of course you couldn’t come because it was on your birthday and who in their right mind wants to be on the other side of the continent from their friends and family on their birthday... besides me?
And we were going to have cake. You know, on account of it being your birthday, but the caterer I called about doing an all desert buffet wanted 8000 dollars. Seriously. Eight. Thousand. For cake and cookies? Were they filled with gold, because 8000 dollars is ridiculous, so I dropped that idea. Let them buy milk duds. It was a movie after all. Who has cake at the movies?
But the theater was awesome and I think you would have liked to have seen Serenity in a theater with a sound system designed to handle rock concerts. When Serenity broke atmo, you didn’t just see it, you felt it! The building actually shook! It was awesome. But I didn’t raise as much money as I wanted and blah blah blah just shut up already woman! Oh right. Not talking. Say something!
(Yes, this is what it’s like in my head.) Then I handed him my packet of tissues which he seemed grateful for too. There was stuff about traveling not being good for your health or kids that bring home the cold from pre-school.
And the rest of the exchange I forget. I’m pretty sure I thanked him for being there. Then I moved down the table so Jaime Paglia could sign my t-shirt and he asked me if I wanted Joss to sign it too. Wow, they just love signing stuff don’t they!? So I said, sure, that’d be great. He asked Joss to sign it for me and I thanked them both again and floated off. With Tommy’s book.
The walk back to my car was long, winding, and mostly uneventful. I found my way to a T line stop that had a map and I was going in the right direction but after about another 10 minutes I figured I went too far and stopped in a small grocery store to ask for directions (again). The manager called up one of the stock boys who was going to go outside with me so he could point the way but instead offered me a ride in the delivery van. Oh thank god! So, this kid from Texas that didn’t have his coat on and had only moved up north a year ago gave me a lift right to the lot and I was on my way. (Seriously, men. What is with not dressing properly for the cold?) I got in the car at 6:00. Got lost trying to find the Mass TPKE, but eventually found it after only having to turn around once, and was on my way. Beth Hart was the soundtrack on the way home. At 9:00 I pulled in my driveway. *Phew!*

Show quote of the day: “I hate to interrupt, but we have bigger issues at hand. Time is unraveling. The laws of physics are breaking down. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's the kind of thing that's not gonna stop at the city limits, is it?”


LL said...

You know... you and Kathleen are hell for beating around the bush, so I'm kind of unclear on something...

Did you get to meet Joss Whedon?

NYPinTA said...

Sorry about being so vague, LL. But yes, yes I did. Story to follow... (Cuz I know your dying to hear all the details.)

Beth said...

BAit the hook well ... these fish will bite.

LL said...

Yeah... I'm waiting here with bated breath...

NYPinTA said...

Story is up.

LL said...

I'm very disappointed in you P...

You could have stretched this into at least 3 posts...

And a Eureka quote? In a post about Whedon? *sigh*

You should have traded the shirt for the hat. You could always get another shirt, but you'll probably never have another chance at the hat. And then you could have it next time you met Joss and he'd have remembered you immediately, and you'd be one more step on your way toward underwear model status...

Do you really need me there to tell you these things? *sigh* ;)

NYPinTA said...

Just showing Mr. Paglia a little love.
And I don't think if I had taken his hat would mean instant recognition if we were ever to meet again.
And what does that have to do with me being in my underwear??

wa11z said...

Cool story! And you should have traded for the hat.

LL said...

"And what does that have to do with me being in my underwear??"

Other than that being a semi-objectionable image now running around in my brain?

*sigh* Let me spell it out then.
A certain old guy is known to date underwear models...
A certain writer knows and is friends with a certain old guy...
You could have had an "in" with this certain writer through trade and circumstance...
Hence, had you made the trade, you would have been "one more step on your way toward underwear model status"-- meaning that you could have been one step closer to... oh nevermind...

That toxicity of yours is really starting to manifest itself... :ewink:

Beth said...

What I love so much about you meeting him is how absolutely lovely Joss seems. Not stuck up or too busy and any of that other yucky stuff. That's really awesome.

Beth said...

And are you an underwear model? Are you in Schenectady? I think we talked about this before, but I'm in Broadalbin on the Amsterdam border. You are like 20 miles away from me.

John said...

Wow, if Joss was able to read minds, you guys would have had one hell of a conversation. Or, half a conversation, since if he could read minds, you wouldn't have to actually say anything, he'd just know what you were thinking. And if he could project his thoughts, you wouldn't even really need to speak at all. I always wondered why robots in movies speak out loud, since they can probably communicate through some sort of collective brain. I don't mean the ones that have to interact with humans, like the "Danger Will Robinson" robot, but the ones that are talking to each other, like the God-awful "Roger Roger" battle droids. I seem to have gone off track a bit.

I'm not sure what I was trying to say, but I do know that you should have taken the hat. The guy you drove all this way to see offered you his damn hat for a shirt that you had two of. C'mon, Joss Whedon's hat! Maybe he only wore it for twenty minutes, but you could be like, "Hey, Joss Whedon gave me his hat!" There's a conversation starter. And it's just as interesting and far less disgusting than "Tara Reid gave me scabies!"

LL said...

"And are you an underwear model? "


fermicat said...

You spend a few minutes with Joss, and all of a sudden parts of your writing sound just like him. Specifically, your comments about the Devil. Very Joss-like.

Your description of trying to find your way around Boston brought back lots of memories. It's true -- it is nearly impossible to find out what street you are on. They apparently don't believe in that kind of signage. So even if you have a map, you are totally screwed.

Oh, and I just bought Fragile Things, too. I was supposed to be buying gifts for other people, but I managed to sneak in a few books for me.

NYPinTA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NYPinTA said...

Fine. Next time, I take the hat. Geez. ;)

Here is the other reason I didn't actually give him the shirt. I had been wearing it all day and it smelled like me. (Not that it is necessarily a bad thing, I'm just saying...)

Beth, I live close to Schenectady. A bit further south. But Schenectady is a hell of a lot easier to get too than Boston! (But not nearly as pretty.)

john... when did Tara Reid give you scabies? Now that is a story I want to read!

LL, shut. up.

fermi! Thanks. :) I think if the strike keeps up and all the shows go to re-run or reality, I'll start a book club here. Maybe that should be the first book?

LL, keep. shutting. up.


Beth said...

Ah, okay. I really thought you modeled underwear! Damn LL confuses me so.

Boston is my favorite city in the US. I think it's just beautiful ... and I'm not a city girl. Philly's beautiful too, but there's something about Boston.

LL said...

Wha? :innocent:

John said...

Tara Reid did not give me scabies, but I think that might put me in the minority of the population.

Legend has it that if you go into a dark bathroom and look in the mirror with the lights off and say "Tara Reid," Tara Reid will appear and give you crabs.