Sunday, February 24, 2008

Double the Benny...

...double the fun.

Today we decided to just do the final two parts of the Time Ring Trilogy, Birthright and Just War. We start the day off with homemade chicken soup, because nothing goes better on an 80 degree day than homemade chicken soup. On the beer front I've brought Shiner Bohemian Black Lager. Much sadness as I found the local Russian cafe has closed down. I was looking forward to clogging my arteries with sour cream. But we make up for it by having homemade rice krispie treats so I can clog my arteries with marshmallows.

As the treats are liberated from the pan and made ready to eat we slip Birthright into the player. Very quickly we decide the running joke is gonna be laughing like the hooker we hear in the beginning.

Tim: It's the Rani's gas!

After the hooker gets killed we pause so I can refresh Tim and Angelie on what happened in Walking to Babylon.

Angelie: I remember the rings.

Tim figures out that it's 1909 via his book on Jack the Ripper. Which means he's not a demon.

Benny kicks some ass with some Gymkata music in the background. Then she meets up with Colin Baker in the form of Popov. Popov talks about his dead daughter and how he'll avenge her death.

Tim: Probably by sitting on him.

Jason hangs out with the Insect Queen and we learn that apparently they have better psi powers than Uri Geller.

Angelie: She sounds like the Empress of the Racnoss.

Me: Does anyone know who this dead hooker is?

Benny threatens to castrate a local and we all agree that that's pretty cool. All of a sudden Benny busts out a local dialect to keep the locals off her back and Popov busts out the psychic paper.

Me: God has the music come a long way since these audios.

We seem to loop back around to the beginning of Walking to Babylon when once again Jason offers up the use of the time rings to some aliens to keep them from eating him. Meanwhile Benny's trying to make a booty call to John Lafayette.

Tim: Isn't he dead?

Me: No. We just wished he was dead.

Benny reads Lafayette's letter and it's just as schmaltzy as he was in Babylon.

Me: Again, I really wish he'd died.

Next up is more exposition via Jason and the Queen Insect. It's a shame that at least up to this point in the audio it seems the only reason to have Jason is to allow us these exposition moments. All of the action is given to Benny. At this point Jason's not doing anything that couldn't in theory be given to another character. I wish greater care had been taken when adapting this novel for both characters and no Doctor.

Me: Any chance we'll see the Peking Homunculus at the shop? Because this audio needs it.

Tim: I'm enjoying it. Then again I like this period.

The first disc ends and we declare it's potty time.

Me: That was a pretty lame cliffhanger.

Angelie: It's like the beginning was good and then, I don't know.

Me: I wish they had used the point where Jason finds out what's in the larder as the cliffhanger. We the audience can kind of figure out what's coming, but from a story perspective it's a little more engaging as opposed to the exposition cliffhanger we get.

During the break we discuss the physics of Angelie's rice krispie treats, that I contend are full of crack because they're just that tasty. We figure it might have to do with the use of the Jet puff jar of marshmallow mix as opposed to melting marshmallows. The krispie's are so soft that you need to hold them gently with your pinky out to consume them. We also discover that a semi-dry moscato wine goes very well with these treats. It brings out the marshmallow.

Tim: I must be the only one enjoying this audio. I love the period and historically they're on the verge of change that even by and large the educated populace has no idea is coming. You have these progressive things happening, but everyone is still locked into this unenlightened mindset. But I think it's one of the reasons why the Doctor Who universe returns to this period in time. You could spend a whole day watching episodes set in this period but there are very few set in the Renaissance period, for example.

We engage in another discussion of Jason Kane versus Captain Jack.

Tim: Jack started out as a cad and con man but quickly adapted from his time with the Doctor and became heroic.

Me: Because he was designed with that end in mind. He's meant to be this hero. It's never The Adventures of Jason Kane. It's always the Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. Jason is basically the companion to Bernice's Doctor and rarely gets the opportunity to be heroic. He gets it in The Lost Museum and we do encounter other instances later on, but for the most part he was used in the audios as a means to create the problem that Benny's got to solve.

We start the second disc with the riveting Benny getting nearly stripped search scene. Then we get another Jason exposition interlude as he has a private moment where he wishes Benny was there.

Angelie: Get some lube, Jason, because you're screwed.

Popov gets Benny out of jail.

Me: (As Popov) I'd have been here sooner, but I was at the all you can eat buffet.

We decide that we need to drink each time Benny utters "Goddess" and Khan's name is mentioned. Between "Goddess" and "cruk" we have the beginning of an excellent drinking game.

It's back to exposition central as the Queen Insect's Daughter talks with Jason. We figure out that Benny probably just got infected by a Charrl. Seriously, why do they even have Jason in this? He's doing nothing to propel the action.

Benny takes her turn in exposition central as we recap what's going on for those that maybe skipped the first disc. We go through a sequence of Charrl vs Charo vs Churros.

Me : Hoochie koochie! Dear lord, this could've been cut down to one audio if we didn't have all these extraneous exposition sequences.

We get a reunion between Benny and Jason which is utterly devoid of all emotion. He slips his hands inside her bra and steals the key to the lockbox.

Tim: I thought it had to be Benny's voice that opened up the box.

Wow! They let Stephen Fewell have a bit of a chance to act in this finally as Jason worries about whether he should hand over the time rings or not. And then a bit more as he gets to interact with characters that aren't insects and has a tender moment with a sleeping Benny.

Me: Dare I think that Jason will get to save the day?

Angelie: Isn't he due by now to save her? Hasn't she saved him twice by now? (In reference to the Great Divide opening) Oh my god! How theatrical!

The final track nearly kills us as Khan's name is uttered practically every line.

Me: It seemed like a sensible thing to do at the time, calling for the cops.

Tim: It's what the Brigadier would've done. (when Benny and Jason touch their Time Rings) Wonder twin powers activate! Form a roach motel!

We finish Birthright.

Angelie: Is that it?

Tim: It's the end of part two of three.

Angelie: That sucked.

We immediately start up Just War. This time they knock the previously on Bernice Summerfield out of the way as Jason gets drunk with some Nazis. And a nice bit of tying back to Death and Diplomacy as Jason bemoans the war's effect on his family history. Fewell plays an effective drunk.

Benny's diary entry returns for the first time since the Beyond the Sun audio. I do miss the background noise of the pencil scribbling though.

This might be the best incorporation of Jason into a Time Ring trilogy audio as he actually gets something to do. If Angelie can get a t-shirt that says "The Hive Must Live" can I get one that says "Captain Kane, Not a Marvel Superhero"?

Benny races away from the Nazis and in this one scene we get more action that in the entire Birthright audio. Then she pops a cap in Gerhardt's ass.

Angelie: Did Benny kill someone?

Tim: Yep.

Mark Gatiss is exceptionally creepy and evil as Wolff. We get to the sequence where he's torturing Benny and it's incredibly chilling. Lisa Bowerman gets to flex her acting chops against Mark Gatiss as Benny goes through her ordeal. We get a much more satisfying cliffhanger as the disc ends with Benny screaming at Nurse Kitzel not to leave her.

Tim: He was definately better in this than as the U-Boat captain in Sirens of Time and also more creepy than as Dr. Lazarus.

The second disc starts up and Steinmann shows up to interrupt Wolff.

Me: Daddy's come home! And upon looking at Benny's back Daddy's pissed.

Angelie: Kick his ass!

Nice bit with Benny repeating Jason's name over and over as Steinmann rescues her from Wolff. Benny dances around her date of birth and I note that 's probably a bit timey wimey, wibbly wobbly. The interrogation continues and the music suite starts up. It also might be the best of the trilogy. It's a shame it took until the third one for them to really get their groove going on all fronts.

Tim: I honestly think this one might be the best one since Oh No, It Isn't!

Angelie: I don't like this one. They're torturing Benny. She shouldn't be subjected to this. I don't like the subject matter. It's right up there with the first Benny audio.

Again, a nice tie back and emotional moment as Benny is at the height of being tortured and she continues to call out for Jason. Benny takes Kitzel hostage and heads off to the morgue to see if Jason's dead. Benny gets her own as she locks Kitzel in a drawer in the morgue.

Benny and Jason finally get reunited at the German airbase.

Angelie: Tender moment. I normally don't like Jason, but right now...

Tim: The love theme from Just War.

The greatest horror for an Englishman is experienced by Jason as he realizes he gave the Nazis the tools they need to win the war in theory. Sound editing makes it feel like Jason is walking throughout the hangar as he states he will not be the reason the Nazis win.

Benny and Jason steal the plane and we get a bit where they catch up on what's been going on with one another. Benny fills in the backstory as to how she ended up with Ma Doras. I point out that Jason's dad really was a rat bastard.

Jason figures out how to keep the plane from exploding.

Tim: That wasn't entirely bollocks.

We get the inevitable confrontation between Wolff and Benny. Jason shuts up Wolff in mid soliloquy.

Angelie: Shoot him!

Jason reads her mind and pops a cap in Wolff's ass as he starts to gloat about making Benny cry.

Let's recap what we've learned so far in the trilogy:
1) Don't have sex with Benny. Bad things are bound to happen to you.
2) Don't touch John Lafayette. Bad things are bound to happen to you.
3) Much like no one puts Baby in the corner , no one makes Benny cry. Bad things are bound to happen to you as Jason will willingly pop a cap in your ass. Maybe this should be his Ursu code.

Another great moment for Fewell and Bowerman as Jason tries to get back with her after they've returned to the 26th century. I really wish they had gotten more of these moments during the trilogy. I think a big disservice was done by having them split up for some much of the trilogy. As later audios have shown us along with the brief moments we get in this first season they've got great chemistry.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Special Gallifreyan Edition: The Lost Museum

Bad Redo: Not getting to do a story before Gallifrey.

Good Redo: Managing to get a full Time Team together at Gallifrey.

This is where my ego should pop in a say, "Yes! I'm the Mac Daddy!" (Who the hell am I kidding? I spent all Saturday doing that.) What started off a side comment to Paul Cornell Thursday night became a reality Saturday evening as the full team got together to do The Lost Museum. All fifteen of you that read this might notice that we were jumping ahead in the Benny range. This was because I didn't have Birthright on my MP3 player and we had a few guests to join us. Namely Simon Guerrier and Lisa Bowerman.

See? Look at the pictures taken by Tim.

With Simon and Lisa on board we made the decision to jump ahead to let Simon comment on the first Benny audio he wrote. And really, how crass would it have been to go"I want you to do commentary on Jubilee"? Since we were in a dead zone in the wifi department we didn't do this "live" so the general format won't be chock full of direct quotes like it normally is. I promise that next time we'll be a bit more prepared, like not being in a dead zone and external speakers. And yes, there will be a next time.

Without spoiling too much for the corresponding chapter in The Inside Story, which Jason Haigh-Ellery promises will be out in a timely fashion shortly, Simon got the idea for this story while watching a documentary on the alleged looting of the Baghdad Museum. Initially everyone believed the American troops had done it, but slowly it was discovered that actually the museum staff were hiding the various artifacts to keep them from being destroyed. A rant by his wife on the museum and stories from a mate who had returned from serving a tour in Iraq also aid in the formation of the overall story.

He had wanted to do an expansive story to show how horrible the war that Benny and Jason end up in the middle of is. Gary Russell said he could do the story, but he was limited to only a cast of four. This lead to the translator portion of the story, realizing that Big Finish had never done such a story before. This allowed him to get around the cast limit by having a world full of aliens but all speaking in the voice of Jason Kane.

As we huddled around the laptop trying to listen to the audio we got a new fan in the form of Bill, who is the gentleman with the goatee in the photos. While we weren't making this a super secret we weren't actively promoting it either. For one I wasn't sure if everything would fall into place and second I didn't want to actively counter program against Ed and Jenny's wedding at the convention. Saturday evening was really the only time that worked for all parties involved. But we enjoyed having Bill, who was a fan relatively new to the world of Who thanks to airing of the first series on his local PBS station. Simon and Lisa gave Bill a crash course in Benny overall and how the third series two-parter Human Nature/Family of Blood was based on the New Adventure book Human Nature that featured Benny.

Eventually we get to the montage sequence where through various Jason Kane voiced translations we learn just how bad a time these aliens have been having since the war started. I note it's a beautifully done montage and ask Simon why he went the route that he did. He explained that he wanted to convey just how horrific and complicated the whole affair was. He goes on to explain that the Baghdad Museum was dedicated to showcasing "extinct" cultures, the ones that the Saddam regime tried to eradicate.

Benny's in the tub and Jason refuses an invitation to join her. I note this might be the only time Jason refuses such an offer. The museum guide, an acquisition probably from her time with the Doctor, is stolen and the chase is on with Benny hopping from rooftop to rooftop in nothing but a towel and her trainers.

Simon: Can I point out that we're got a visual gag on audio?

The visual/audio gag is followed up by a wonderful bit of rude dialog involving a chicken and its various uses. This joke is cemented by once again it being all told in the Jason Kane Hawking style voices.

Madcap hilarity segues to action which segues to angst as Markwood saves Benny and Jason. In the process Benny loses an arm and we get a lovely moment were Benny bemoans the fact that she can't put her arms around Jason. Simon notes that this was another attempt to tie things back to The Collection and remind listeners that she and Jason are in a relationship.

We slowly continue to discover the extent to which things are not as they seem within the museum.

Tim: This part reminds me of Douglas Adams.

Lisa: I was thinking the same thing.

Another sequence of gunfire ensues and Lisa teases Simon about padding the script. I note that even with one arm Benny is still able to control the situation. We also get more linking material back to The Collection as Jason tells Markwood about his family.

The battle rages on and we learn which alien screams are Simon's favorite and how to tell the difference between him and his brother, who are doing all the native alien voices. We get a variation on the theme of Jason Kane being Baldrick as a cunning plan involving a canister of anesthetic gas ala Jaws goes horribly wrong. The twist comes when in fact Jason does manage to save the day proudly exclaiming, "What have I been telling you? I'm bloody brilliant me!"

With Jason actually saving the day for once we begin to discuss the sometimes less than far treatment the character has received in the past. Simon notes that more often than not Jason was written as either a bit of a dick or pure comic relief. It's when he's allowed to be clever that we see Jason as a decent human being. Lisa points out that he's rather heroic in The End of the World and I chime in with that he's also incredibly heroic in Death and the Daleks.

We hit the final couple of scenes in the audio after the day has been saved.

Simon: These two scenes show how things are still complicated.

Tim: And is usually left behind in a Doctor Who story.

The audio finishes and the discussion continues as we debate whether the first season of Benny's was better than the first batch of Doctor Who audios. Eventually we heeded the siren's cry of food and adjourn to the lobby. For those of you keeping tabs of the booze and food we consume at our meetings there was no food but Sam Adams and margaritas were drank.

I'd like to thank some obvious and some not so obvious people for making this happen. The obvious ones are Simon Guerrier and Lisa Bowerman. While we thanked them profusely the rest of the convention it would be incredibly impolite not to do so here. I managed to throw this together haphazardly at the last minute, hence all of us huddling around a laptop with no external speakers. They could've told me to sod off, but they didn't, instead giving us a few hours of their evening. Thanks you.

The not so obvious ones are Shaun Lyons and Tom Wilk. Again, both guys could've told me to sod off as I tried to make this happen. Shaun allowed us to have a room that had no current programing and Tom allowed me to use his laptop. Without them this wouldn't have happened. Thanks guys.

Tune back tomorrow for a regular Time Team installment with the final two parts of the Time Ring Trilogy.
Now playing: Keane - A Bad Dream
via FoxyTunes

Gallifrey - Day Four

Day four finds me relatively well rested as I get nearly 6 hours of sleep. Tim and Angelie: not so much. Apparently my snoring has reached epic proportions. I still do not believe the story involving my snoring and keeping half a plane up though.

I decide to forage for good at Carl's Jr and actually see the sun for at least a few minutes. It wasn't an earth shattering experience but it made my stomach stop growling so I can't complain. I also suck it up and get a cup of obscenely overprice coffee from Starbucks. In the lobby I set up shop, working on a blog entry that all fifteen of you that read this will see shortly. Eventually John and Dan, aka CaptainJackFaceofBoe, find me and we talk about how it's our first Gallifrey it won't be our last.

And yes, before I go any further I know I'm skipping Day Three. That's involved with the little surprise I have for you.

Much like Friday, there's not that much I want to hit in the panel department. We do make our way though for the Seventh Doctor roundtable with Sylv, Sophie, Lisa, Mark Ayres, and Andrew Cartmel. Nothing earth shattering though I think I could've lived without the image of a pair of Tom Baker underpants hanging in JNT's office. Speaking of JNT, probably the best bit for me was Sophie telling a story where he asked her to drop a few pounds. She as so mad that she actually put on weight and then when JNT saw her again asked what diet she was using because she looked great. Lisa then noted that that was a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. As a woman with a lovable panda bear shape I can say that story and then Lisa's comment was absolutely awesome.

Afterwards we hit the autograph lines again. We each had some items that we wanted signed that we didn't get signed during the first session. This was also Tim's first chance to get Lisa's autograph as he didn't make the Saturday session. I caused some giggles as I opened the Big Finish coffee table book to The Shadow of the Scourge page for Sylv, Sophie, and Lisa to sign. Got a lovely unsolicited inscription from Lisa. I also had fun torturing John with all the autograph combinations he could get while still working within the 2 item per guest rule.

We made it through that line and just went right back to queue for the session with Cornell and Moffat as none of us made the Friday session. The highlight of this session had to be handing Paul my copy of British Summertime and then watching as he showed it to the others at the table who hadn't seen the American version yet.

A couple more panels were hit and then it was time for closing ceremonies. The highlight here had to be Sylv playing the Doctor Who theme on the spoons and Mark Ayres forgetting which son he brought to the convention. Moffat closed out the proceedings with a well placed "Timey whimey, wibbly wobbly".

Of course though Closing Ceremonies didn't mean all the fun was over. Eventually we all made our way back up to the lobby where as usual the fun and drinks carried on well into the night. A bunch of us hung out with Lisa and Mark, discussing such items as Wal-Mart in the UK and which X Factor winner was actually going to have a decent career. This is where Handsome Timmy D completely forgot I was part of the group when he started a comment along the lines of "So, Lisa, as the only woman in the group you'd understand..." Much laughter ensued as Lisa pointed out I was right there and I noted that while I may have a jacket on I did have a couple of assets that would mark the casual observer that I was a woman. Mark was pleased that now his verbal gaffe would not be the biggest one of the evening. I totally understood though. When you're with a group of people and the only women are myself and Lisa I get that your eyes are probably gonna gravitate to her long before they look towards me. It was all good. I got free beer. :D

Later on the evening found me inside one of the bars with Cathleen and Keefe. I don't know how they managed it but they made friends with the guys running Regenerations in the UK and were quasi hanging out at Sylv's table. I obviously didn't talk to him but I can say I drank at his table and talked with his son.

Day four ended with me trying to get some sorely needed shuteye when I crawled into bed shortly before 1am.

Now playing: Triumvirat - Illusions on a Double Dimple
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Time Team Update

Besides the Gallifrey travelogue we do plan some Time Team stuff as well. I've got a little secret stashed away for a later date. Hopefully in the next week or so depending on things.

We are getting together this Sunday for another Full Time Team installment. This time it will be an all Benny affair as we finish the Time Ring Trilogy.

Now playing: Massive Attack - Three
via FoxyTunes

Gallifrey - Day Two

First, let me implore you to register as soon as possible for next year's convention. With it being same bat time, same bat place next year now is the perfect time to lock down that weekend on the calendar. While you notice I'll talk a lot about the mass quantities of booze I consumed this weekend, there was much more to do than that. There were a lot of night time activities I blew off because personally they're not my thing, like karaoke and masquerade balls. But ultimately I made a lot of great new friends that I can't wait till next year to see. Speaking of which, if you went to the con find me on Facebook.

Day two found me sipping overpriced water and muffins in the lobby at 8am sporting my plaid sleep pants and an apparently useless breathe right strip on my nose. Between excitement, the inability to get comfy, and the idiot who had the room before us setting the alarm for 5am I got maybe an hour of quality sleep. My time in the Methlab allowed me to wander downstairs to get my badge and program so we could start our plan of convention conquest. I can't tell if it's one I folded or not, sadly. The convention was jam packed with such nougatty goodness that you really needed to plan things out to hit as much as you wanted. Also I had tickets for the Kings game that night so I knew right off the bat that Friday would be screwed for me in the autograph department for the most part.

Tim and I wandered down to the dealer's room and I spotted the guy I had met the day before, Dale, along with John who had hooked up with us. Dale spotted us and let us come in early to take a look at his wares. By far Dale had the best table in the room. Mainly focusing on the Classic Series his table had a lot of goodies that the other tables didn't. Plenty of New Adventure and Missing Adventure books, awesome prints, hordes of DWM's and toys aplenty. The three of us wiped the drool off our faces until some other dealer not so subtlety hinted we should leave by whining about the need to guards on the doors. I think they were just jealous of Dale's supercool table.

I decided to make an attempt at sleeping since I didn't really want to hit anything until 2pm when McCoy and Aldred were signing autographs. Sadly this did not come to pass as housekeeping decided to clean the room and I was gonna be damned if I told her to come back. So I ended up wandering back down the now officially opened dealer's room and went back to Dale's table. John was purchasing the Ghostlight print, having pledged to beat Tim and I to it. I bought a Dapol white dalek toy that looked a tad like Special Weapons Dalek, The Return of the Living Dad by Kate Orman, and Burning Heart by Dave Stone. I also picked up the coffee table book about the first 50 audios and some of the other stuff done by Big Finish.

2pm rolled around and we got in line for autographs. I handed Sylv the cover for The Final Amendment and had to explain that he was indeed in that audio. Sophie got to sign my copy of Ace! and listen to me remember her appearing on a NJN pledge drive and singing. Tim took my photo as I talked to Rob Shearman, thanking his to taking a look at this blog and joining Nitro-9. Tim told Rob how he's one of his favorite writers as I handed Gary Russell The Final Amendment cd cover and had to have the same conversation with him that I had with Sylv regarding it.

I quick dumped the autographed items on my bed and headed downstairs for the 3pm interview with Lisa Bowerman. Remember where I put my stuff because this will become important later. Tim, John, and I managed to get front row seats to watch her be interviewed by Jason Haigh-Ellery, the grand poobah of Big Finish. This also means that they had front row seats to watch our reaction as after having successfully avoided spoiling how The End of The World ends, the first guy in the Q&A portion blows it. Jaws dropped, eyes popped, Lisa pointed out the guy had just blown the ending, and I didn't manage to cover Tim's ears in time. He says he'll probably forget by the time we officially hit that audio.

We kept our seats for Sophie and Sylv who were being interviewed by Gary Russell. He took a different tact in that he wrote down fifteen questions, would ask the audience to pick a number and then he'd ask the question associated with that number. This lead to a question being asked regarding favorite toys from childhood and whether they still had them. Sylv immediately looked down at his lap and the room burst into laughter as Sophie turned as red as her top.

5pm rolled around and it was time for me to hit the Kings game and for Tim and Angelie to head down to Anaheim. Remember this as it will become important later. I made it to Staples Center and I must say I have a new respect for Kings fans. As in I never had any to begin with. I just kind of figured the odds of legitimate hockey fans in LA was pretty damn small. But the fans were numerous, knowledgeable, and rowdy as they heckled the Calgary Flames fans who had traveled en masse to see the game. Sadly, for them, they watched the Kings make the Flames their bitches. I've never seen Dion Phanuef manhandled the way he was that night.

I made it back to the room around 11pm and dropped off my new t-shirt and hat on the bed to mingle with the other goodies. Again, remember the placement of said items later on. I wandered out into the lobby and ran into Dan, a friend of Simon's. Convention war stories were told and much beer was consumed. Eventually a bunch of us made our way to The League of Evil Geniuses party where I earned my Lab Rat ribbon. You see, various things/events had ribbons you could earn by participating and then hang them from your badge. To be Lab Ratted I had to drink whatever has offered. I went with the chili vodka which was given to me in a thimble with the proviso that I shouldn't drink it one shot or I'd blow out the back of my head. God was he right. I've never sipped a thimble of vodka before, but I had to this time. I finished that and followed it up with some Kahlua type drink which cut the burning sensation of chilis. This was topped off with some sips of champagne and absinthe. See? I told you I earned my badge.

Apparently Evil Geniuses need their sleep too and around 2am we were told that we didn't have to go back to our rooms but we couldn't stay in their suite. As a lovely parting gift, and as a way to erase the image of Zygon porn, we were given champagne to take with us. So Dan, myself a couple of others found ourselves in need of a party and place to finish the booze. Now, for some reason I had had it in my head that Tim and Angelie were gonna spend the night in Anaheim so I go, "Hey, my roommates are gone. My room is free and it's on the lobby." Off we go traipsing down the hallway like Withnail and I, hands full of plastic cups of champagne and Dan swigging from the bottle. While trying not to spill champagne from laughing so hard we reach my room and I hold up a silencing finger as I slip the keycard into the door.

Now, this is where I hope you remember at least the bit about Tim and Angelie. I crack open the door to find the lights off. This of course means they're back and asleep. So I quietly close the door, turn back around and incoherently mumble how the room is no longer empty. Off it's back to the lobby proper where we find people are still up.

Sidenote: much thanks to the Marriott. I don't know many hotels that would stand for large quantities of people to get pissed in the lobby at all hours of the night and breaking at least a glass a night.

We join the group and start to partake of the veritable liquor cabinet that the coffee table has become. Seriously, two bottles of Jim Beam, two bottles of Seagram's gin and lord knows what else because I can't remember. But I do remember that I discovered that Pabst makes Pabst Geniune Draft. I kid you not. It comes in a yellow can and everything.

4am rolls around I realize I've now been up for close to 48 hours with no real sleep. I start to head off to bed after stating my current time awake and Dan tells me that I should make it an even 50. I give it a go for another 30 minutes, but by 4:30 I've all but passed out on the lobby floor and I won't be that fan so I stumble back to the room. This is where I hope you remember the placement of my stuff. It's all on the bed and the lights are now off. In an effort to be courteous I decide that instead of trying to move stuff around on the bed in the dark I would just sleep on the floor. So I grabbed a pillow and huddled as close to my bed as I could.

Now playing: Radiohead - Up on the Ladder
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gallifrey - Day One

I got into LA around 10 in the morning on Thursday and was at the Marriott by 11. I go to sample some of the local cuisine in the form of the nearby Burger King. Eventually I just hang out in the lobby and slowly, like moths to a flame, convention goers find one another. I find it interesting how we could just spot another another on pure sight and instinct. Like we give off a pheromone that just tells other Whovians where we are.

I did get worried for a second. You might recall that in a previous post I noted that I was gonna be hanging out by the Starbucks and that if you read this blog I'd love to meet you. Late in the afternoon a small child wearing a "I'm with Creepy" t-shirt walks up to me and just starts pointing at himself. He acts like I should know him and I start to worry that he might be one of the ten that I know reads this blog. Not that I wouldn't want a child to read this, but you might note that I don't always watch my language. The child's mother quickly points him towards a woman sitting with the group that he really should've gone to. I quickly wipe the sweat off my brow.

The truck arrives with the goodies for the convention and myself, along with some new friends, decide to help unload it. One of the things we got to unload was the TARDIS. Obviously not the original but a pretty awesome fascimile of it. I'd have taken a photo but it's kind of hard to take a picture when you're carrying the top of the TARDIS.

After that we got roped into working in what we affectionately called the Nerd Methlab, putting together progams for the convention. I was able to lead the revolt for pizza and tasty non alcoholic beverages. This is when one of the new friends, John, had to give up after being up for nearly 24 hours and thinking that the type on the program was moving. We got liberated from the Methlab to help move in the sound and lighting equipment.

I made my way up to the lobby after the latest bit of sweat equity to check in with Tim and Angelie who had just arrived. Or I should say get with them long enough to get my room key since at this point I had procurred a pint of Sam Adams. It was 10 in the evening by this point and I thought it was time to buy a round or two as by now Paul Cornell, Steven Moffatt, Lisa Bowerman and Simon Guerrier among others were in the lobby. All three of us got to introduce ourselves to both Paul and Simon. We mentioned that we read their blogs and thanked them profusely for pimping ours. At least for me the rest of the evening after that was spent in the lobby hanging out and knocking back the booze. I was good and only uttered my Captain Jack Is A Poor Man's Jason Kane rant (tm) only once. And I got high fived by some other new friends, Cathleen and Keefe, who had read the piece I did for Shooty Dog #4. I finally decided to hit the sheets around 2am, having been up for nearly 24 hours when you factor in the time change.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Long Time No Blog

Yeah, I know, I've been a horrible slacker and not lived up to my promises of doing Solo Adventures. And yeah, the whole team hasn't been able to get together because we all became social butterflys. But I promise, really promise, we'll get back on track after Gallifrey.

Speaking of which, I know I've mentioned this before, but since we're less than a week out I'll say again that we'll be there. For all 5 of you that I know read this we'd love to meet you if you're coming out to LA. I'll be the one sitting in the Starbuck's in the Marriott sporting the Penguins cap and an Unkle t-shirt most of the day Thursday.

On the pimp front if you live in Houston and like coffee you've got to check out the Official Time Team Coffee place, The Coffee Shoppe. You'll see a link under the Non-Who Stuff We Like section. It's run by some good friends of mine and have gotten the Redo Seal of Approval.

I would promise maybe one or two Solo Adventures before Gallifrey, but hell, I hate breaking promises to our loyal readership so I'll just say that I'll try.

One last item: If you can lay your hands on it, pick up British Summertime by Paul Cornell. I finished this a few days ago and absolutely loved it. Vintage Cornell.