Star Date 03.17.2013- Emily's Log, Supplemental
You could say I'm a fan of Star Trek. I grew up watching Next Generation with my Dad at the dinner table. I revisited the series with my husband in college. I have a Trek themed tattoo that wraps around my mid-section that took over 30 hours to complete. My husband and I have collectible memorabilia on display all over our home. We have a sharpened Klingon Bat'leth and battle axe next to our bed for home protection. A fan. Yeah, sure.
My husband proposed to me while we were in Vegas for the big Star Trek convention in 2008, but that was certainly not our first or only nerdy convention experience. Over the years we've attended many, but I can honestly say that Orlando's Megacon has always been one of our least favorites. Admission is pricey, and covers pretty much the cost to enter the dealer room and everything else is a surcharge; all the staff are pushy jerks; they have decent celebrity guests, but you don't get much of a chance to interact with them. Basically, we only usually go if we're super bored. However this year when the guest list was first announced, and His Holiness a.k.a. Sir Patrick Stewart was on it, we both decided that nothing would stop us from attending. We had the opportunity to meet many of our favorite Trek characters at the Vegas convention, but Sir Patrick was not there, so this was a major coup for us. Then the guest list was expanded and something truly incredible was taking shape: almost the entire cast of main characters of Next Gen were all going to be at MegaCon. If that wasn't exciting enough, Michael Hogan (the best character, Colonel Tigh, on the best show ever, Battlestar Galactica) would also be a guest. A photo op that included the whole TNG line-up was being offered at a staggering price. I balked. NFW. The hubby looked me in the eye and said, "When is this going to happen again? Patrick's not getting any younger. Do you ever think you will look at that picture and regret being there for it?" Touche, husband. We purchased our photo op and went ahead and got one with Michael Hogan while we were at it.
Bringing Daphne with us meant Sunday would be the big day (the only option to get both photo ops on the same day and not have to be at the con for 8+ hours to do so). I broke out D's BSG and Trek onesies, then made a special-order bib purchase (as noted at the end of last week's peanut). I bought myself an incredible NextGen vintage tee on ebay to cut up. Advanced tickets were sold out, and after waiting in line upwards of 90 minutes just to buy our tickets last year, our game plan was to show up before the doors even opened (necessary since our Michael Jogan photo op was just 10 minutes after opening). We've decided this is the way to go from now on since we didn't have to wait in any line whatsoever to buy our tickets. We also got to park super close (walking distance, no need for a shuttle).
We went straight back for our Michael Hogan photo op. For some reason he was dressed as Robert Shaw in Jaws, but I let that go. In typical Megacon fashion, we were ushered in and out super quickly without much chance for more than a "Hello," but he smiled at Daphne's cylon onesie and out we went.
Oh well. He was still very nice. We started making our way through the vendors and artists. Slow going with a kid in a stroller, but carrying her might have killed us both. Took a break to grab lunch, then decided it was time for Daphne's outfit change.
Then we went to get in line for the Next Gen photo op. Daphne was doing a good job of distracting me from how excited I was by being a bit of a grumpy turd. So I stopped and looked her right in the eye and said, "Please, please, don't ruin this for me." Then Ian had a little talk with her about what her job would be. "Daphne, Troi is in there. I bet she's a big mush for babies. She is your target. Make it happen." "Really? You don't think Gates McFadden?" "No, it's going to be Sirtis." They started letting people in and I was a little dismayed at how fast the line was going. I had been doing my best not to raise my expectations at all so I wouldn't be disappointed if we just get shoved through the line, but a tiny part of me was hoping for a slightly more personal experience. We finally entered the room with about 3 couples in front of us, and I got my first view of the cast and I lost my cool a little, not going to lie. I squealed a little (quietly!). But something else happened while I was geeking out on Patrick Stewart: the moment I entered the room with Daphne in my arms, Gates McFadden looked up at her and started pointing at her and elbowing Marina Sirtis. It was all over. I saw Marina start Oooooohing and (I'm not joking here) the three people with photos ahead of us didn't even have Marina looking at the camera because she was too busy making faces at Daphne.
They had pre-opened holes in the back line up for us to stand in for the picture. I was told I would be standing between Will Wheaton and Brent Spiner (met Brent in Vegas, he's a very silly guy) while Ian would be between Frakes (he'd met at Megacon before) and John De Lancie (an awesomely snarky bastard we'd met in Vegas). Patrick Stewart was sitting quietly (and waaaay too far awaaaaay) in the middle of the back row. Probably just as well that I couldn't grab him or I might have completely lost it, molested him, and gotten arrested. I walk up to my spot with Daphne, Brent and Will smile, then Will looks down and sees Daphne's bib and says "Oh man!! How cool is that!" The staff is telling us to look up and take the picture, Brent sees Daphne and smiles and points at her and *click* the picture is done and the staff is trying to get us to leave.
But Will stops me and says "Did Patrick see this?" He doesn't wait for a response, but leans over me and Brent, "Hey, Patrick! You gotta see this!" Brent Spiner leans back and, I swear to you, I might have heard an angelic choir, for Sir Patrick Stewart is now turning to face me and is reaching out to TOUCH MY CHILD. He reaches down and tugs her bib straight and reads... "Picard... is my.... what's that.... Captain." He looks up at me and this huge grin splits his face from ear to ear (I'll note he'd been totally quiet and non-responsive in all the pictures, note the dead face he's making in the picture) and says "Well, isn't that MARvelous!" F**K YES IT IS, PATRICK STEWART! The staff is still trying to shoo us out but now Marina has stood up and says "Gimme that baby!" She grabs Daphne and starts gushing about how cute she is (Go, baby, go!). She marches back up to her seat with Daphne, sits down and YELLS at the camera guy "TAKE ANOTHER PICTURE!" So they did.
Oh Marina. Thank you. You can see my kid. You can see the bib. This picture is so much better. I love you, Marina Sirtis. I will never call you counselor Cameltoe again... ok except for right there. We were handed our two photo tickets (we only paid for one, so thanks for the extra picture, too) and shuffled back out of the photo room. Ian and I just kind of stood around for a couple minutes grinning like idiots at each other, then he looked down at Daphne and said, "Well, I guess we can put you up for adoption now, because you've definitely served your purpose." We agree that we need a baby for all future con attendances.
Right after that we ran into Ian's friend, Mike, who let us know that Michael Hogan was hanging out at his signing table with NO LINE. So we decided we'd wander over there and take the opportunity to talk to the guy since we didn't get to during the photo op. We walked right up to him and told him how great he was, of course. But then we just started chatting, about how we named our tortoise after him "Really!? How cool! I'm honored!" and our Colonel Tigh drinking game. He then told us about some canadian drinking game that involves people getting punched in the face. He wandered out from behind his table and we took a couple pictures. Daphne was taking a nap but he peeked in at her and told us we "did a good job." Some other people showed up to meet him at that point so we shook his hand and left, but he really is a super nice guy and FRIENDLY and smiling all the time, pretty much the antithesis of his character on the show.
We spent the rest of our time wandering the booths. We picked up some cute art to frame for Daphne's room:
That's Lo-cute-us of Borg-i and a penguin as Geordi LaForge on the Enterprise.
At that point, Daphne was letting it be known that she was O-V-E-R it, and we were pretty tuckered, too, so we rolled on out. Thank you, Megacon. Because of, or in spite of, you we had a really really exceptional experience that I will treasure always.