Sunday, May 18, 2008

Geeky Weekend, part 2

So, I am a regular reader of Wil Wheaton's blog. I really liked him as Wesley Crusher (apparently a controversial statement among "real" geeks and trekkies), and I've been loving reading the fruits of his career transition. I certainly recommend giving his writing a look-it's good stuff.

Last year, when Super-Con was in town I remember being downtown and laughing about (and surreptitiously at) the costumed weirdos. This year, my perspective was a little different. Wil Wheaton was going to be there! Oh, and the guys from MST3K!

So, coming to this realization after the deadline for online ticket sales, I headed to the nearest comic book emporium to get my discounted advance ticket. I also made a purchase. I'll probably go back and do it again. A startling turn of events for a girl who's never been in a comic book shop before.

Saturday morning, I was very jealous because Andy and Elise were headed for a bug festival at an area nature center. It looked fun! As it happens, they had a fantastic time together and I got to hear all about it later.

Walking into the convention hall was fun. The costume contest sign-up was right next to the check-in-and-get-your-wristband place, and I thought that was fun. I made up my mind to wander the entire hall and get the lay of the land before seeking out the folks I most wanted to see. What a lot of great things to see! I felt a bit out of place because I really don't know that much about comics. I can say that I was only mildly interested in the big name ones I'd heard of before, and had a great time looking at the stuff presented by the artists themselves. I'm a sucker for people's creative efforts.

Anyway, I would just like to say that this was one of the nicest groups of people I've encountered. I wasn't expecting more than the usual contingent of jerks that one finds in convention halls, but I was surprised to not meet anybody being a creep. Really?! We should all be so lucky as to live in a world in which jackasses are so marginalized that they have to go underground. Say what you like about geeks and social skills, but it was an absolute joy to me to be in a room full of people who were happy and wearing their emotions on their sleeves.

When I came across Wil Wheaton, he was chatting away with a group of fans. I almost didn't recognize him because of his beard. (His picture on his blog does not include beardage.) I joined the short line to meet him, and a clearly excited young man stepped in front of me. When he realized that he'd probably cut in front of me and looked sad about it, I said not to worry, I'd been standing there looking around. In my mind this was a clear, "No worries, I wasn't being obvious that I was in line, we're cool." In his mind, I'd been standing around and now welcomed the chance to stand in line behind him. By this point, I was starting to feel a little nervous about being a fangirl in line to see a star, so I was pretty happy to let someone else go ahead of me. Maybe he had a better idea of what was on my mind than I did.

From reading some of Wil's stuff, I was pretty sure he'd be a nice guy and treat his fans kindly even if we got all dorky on him. Seeing him interact with the guy in front of me was enough to melt a heart of stone. I think it must take an incredible amount of skill and compassion to respond pleasantly to strange, blurted questions about public parts of your life from complete strangers. And to do it with a gentle sincerity must be a mark of a Good Person. If I were a star signing autographs, I'd want to be like Wil Wheaton. No question.

I'd like to think that when it was my turn to talk to this very cool actor and author I was also very cool. But I totally wasn't. "Ooooh, ooh! Make a connection with me! Maybe I'll stand out as not-just-another-fan!" Yeah, probably not. Talking to a complete stranger about whom I think I know a lot, and who knows me not at all, probably isn't going to forge any lifelong friendships. I'm proud that I didn't drool or blurt out anything profoundly inappropriate. Clearly, I have much work to do on my star-chatting persona before I should attempt to get anywhere near David Tennant.

The guys from MST3K were nice to hear in a panel discussion and fun to meet. I will have to check out their new project, Cinematic Titanic.

Still not as much fun as Wil Wheaton, though. He told me about where the book I had him sign has been, which I'm sure he's told before, but he was telling it to me. I am so excited to have in my hot little hands the small booklet thingie he published for his summer convention touring. For those who want to know, my hand-numbered volume is number 7 of 200. (Not Seven of Nine-that's something else entirely.)

It was great to get out and try something new. It was even better to meet someone I admire and to be able to honestly add to that admiration. I think I like my inner geek-maybe I'll let her out more often...

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