Gally One and What IS This Crazy Weather …?

[Dear Readers: My apologies for the length of this blog—no good spot to cut it. Sigh.]

WELL, IT’S BEEN A VERY INTERESTING TWO weeks. Between threats of major storms, I managed to make it down to The LAX Travelodge—reasonable traffic (considering it’s LA), not bad accommodations and service for what we needed. And not too bad a walk (0.5mile—three long blocks) to the event hotel—Marriott at LAX. That is … if my knee wasn’t throwing fits and the wind was trying to turn my umbrella inside out. Still, all in all, it was not bad.

I left home on Wednesday and made my ritual over-night stop at Lebec, hoping I would be in good enough shape to trudge around taking pictures—beautiful mountainous countryside. Mmm … not if I wanted to keep my camera dry and me upright. Fits of rain intermingled with bigger fits of wind (gusts) … and exhaustion kept me from playing with my good camera. I was going to take a few Blustery Skies ...shots from the window (a south-easterly view), but really not much of a view—18-wheelers were parked between the hotel and my view. Drats. Well, this one is from my return trip.

Since I ended up with loads of “chill-time” on my hands in Lebec, I caught up on what wasForcasting Rain happening at home via my iPhone and Facebook. The beginnings of a monster storm front started to dump rain … by the time I arrived in LA (actually, Inglewood) the next day, the front had hit the entire coast line—including LA. It only took a little over 1.5 hrs to get to the Travelodge from Lebec and thankfully they were able to accommodate my early arrival (yay). So I settled in and leisurely Dr. Who Paraphinalia unpacked before trudging up to the Marriott. Registration officially opened at 3pm … so I wandered around up in the Lobby for a bit before heading downstairs—plenty to do. By the time I got down there, they were already allowing people through (around 2:15-ish). Score! No queuing, no waiting! Lovely.

Whilst waiting in the faux-line, I met two gentlemen from Canada. After I was asked a few questions—I won’t say what, as John will probably use the same ones next year … we exchanged con ribbons—not my first since I was activelyRibbon Collecting Begins seeking people out up in the Lobby to share my ribbons (and hope to get some in exchange). John and Jake turned out to be hilarious—quick, dry wit that had me in stitches. We ran into each other over and over all weekend—and they had new costumes for each day. Jake did purchase all three of my books on Saturday—I was ecstatic! If he likes them, he promised to do a review and spread the word up in Canada! Yay! Saturday was the “dress your best” day—costumes were absolutely magnificent on everyone!

I nearly forgot the two Thursday events: trip to the local InNOut Burger place (unofficial)—poor locals never know what hit ’em—and Ice Cream Social Ice Cream Socialthe ice cream social (official) … both were tons of fun (but I cheated—took a taxi A Sneak Peek at Dealer's Roomto and from the InNOut Burger spot … I vividly remember the walk last year—LOL).

Captain Jack

Captain Jack

The costuming all weekend was amazing—especially on Awesome Weeping AngelSaturday as I mentioned. Weeping Angles (very few this year, but that made the ones I saw more special), tons of different Osgood or Zygon ...? Third DoctorDoctors, oodles of Amys, Daleks, TARDIS costumes in various shapes and sizes, a delightful K-9 Lovely Cardboard K-9(full size, but of cardboard and pulled about on a leash), Osgood … oooh, the list goes on. This year, I chose to not cosplay, but rather wear a hodge-podge of Dr. Who things: 4th Doctor’s hat and scarf, question mark pin (I didn’t realise so many doctors used that—three of them to be precise … do you A Bevy of Doctors Sutek and Mummiesknow which ones without googling it?), bow tie of the 9th My "Cosplay" AttireDoctor, vest of Sarah Jane … etc. I left the Osgood lab coat in my bag—no glasses (they broke the week before I left) to make it official. I also left Sarah Jane’s raincoat behind. I didn’t want to be lugging it around—no cloak room. Next year … I plan on making my cosplay outfits (only two) much more special. Next year—that is, if I’m able to manage scoring a pass …

I did have an umbrella—a Doctor Who “special” umbrella (insert huge grin) Dr. Who Umbrella-Inside Dr. Who Umbrella-Outsidethat I found a rubber tip for (I used it as a cane on Thursday—oh, yeah … I’ll explain that later) I finally got to use it asUmbrella ... and Crutch an umbrella on Friday and Saturday. It’s gorgeous—and huge! I didn’t need any other protection and stayed relatively dry—once I worked out how to keep it from becoming a “rain collector” (sniggle) and still keep the rain off.

I scoped out the Dealers Room as early on as I couldDr. Who Pins and found my two missing pins for myA Sneak Peek at Dealers Room hat—the War Doctor and 12th Doctor (Capaldi). Yay! That made me happy!

My buddies that came down late had awesome costumes! Renée was a very posh Dalek and Pam had a dress with the exploding TARDIS. Friends' Cosplay OutfitsMichelle chose to be neutral—she’s not into cosplay, which is perfectly fine! She and I did a number of the talks together … we only occasionally saw Pam or Renée (at Gally) since they had their own agendas for the talks.

Ood

Gallifrey One was amazing, running smoothly throughout the weekend. The all-volunteer staff did a marvelous job. Kudos—to all of them—for their tireless work that made the event such a fun time. I didn’t do Best Doctor Cosplay Ever What Can You Do With Ribbons??Queen Elisabeth or Zygon ?? Dalek Ood and Nurseany of the autograph or photo sessions like I did last year as I was feeling a bit “poor”—unwilling to spend the money for the opportunities. I did attend quite a few talks, both in the main room and auxiliary rooms.  And … unfortunately, I did not go on Sunday. My injured knee (remember the “caned” umbrella? That was not a Ooooh!prop—I trashed my knee … and ankles at the end of January), using a cane instead of the crutch for two days and all the walking took its toll on yours truly. So instead, I packed up my bags, put them in the car and headed home—I was going to try to do it in one day, but knew I needed the down-time in Lebec, so I made reservations at “my” Motel 6.

My trip home was relatively uneventful … Leaving LebecStop For BreakfastOminous Cloudsuntil I was about fifteen minutes away from my house. Flooding, downed trees/power lines and road closures from slides Accumulation of Rain (Wed-Mon)Flooded CulvertDowned Trees—Across Power LinesMore Downed Trees On My StreetUmbrella Damage Umbrella Damage Umbrella Damagebrought the highway to a standstill. I attempted to take alternate routes, but the country roads couldn’t handle the amount of rain and were completely flooded, so back to the highway to wait it out with everyone else. It took over an hour to drive a normally 15-minute drive. I came home to no power and a boil water notice. A tree came down and took out the water pipe for our little community. They had it fixed by the time I got home, but contaminants were in the system (my neighbor had told me to just stay where I was, but I really just wanted to come home, so I had steeled myself for the worst). It wasn’t too bad—that’s what blankets, coats and bottled water are for … and power was back on 24 hours after I got home (still on a Boil Water order … hope that ends soon because hand-washing dishes with boiled water is a nuisance). A glass-topped table with an opened umbrella toppled over. Only damage was to the umbrella (yay) and an aluminum ladder that mysteriously moved in the winds. There’s lots of very soggy ground so I’m treading lightly. I consider myself extremely lucky. No, let me amend that comment—I am blessed. There’s no luck involved.

Many people have standing water—or even literally running water—rushing through their homes. The roads are not just flooded, but in many cases the foundation of the road has given way and whole sections of road are gone. In the case of Big Sur, slides and flooding are the least of the problem—one bridge near Pfeiffer has been deemed unsafe and will need to come down and rebuilt. Our area is not the only area that has been inundated by the storms. Dams and roads in Oroville, San Jose and Yosemite (to name o few) have been compromised with flooding and erosion. Getting out from under all of this damage is going to take time  … and money—lots of it—and I’m not sure California has planned for a catastrophe of this magnitude.

I still have to clean up around my property plus empty out my refrigerator and freezer—”better to be safe than sorry” is the adage I’m holding on to—then make a trip to the dump to toss the spoiled food. We have a few days respite before the next round comes.

My biggest concern is that I live on a hill … I’m praying that my hillside stays put.

Dear readers, please enjoy your Friday and the coming week. If you’re a praying sort, please pray for California and all of the effected residents—for their safety, for dams to hold back their burgeoning water supply and for this rain to slow to a trickle for the remainder of the rainy season.

The drought is over for the majority of the state—a blessing. Have a serendipitous week, my friends.

 

 

 

The After Glow

GROAN … I COULD TAKE THIS BLOG in so many different directions, it’s not even funny. Trying to fine tune it to a singular direction might be tricky, so if I stray … please forgive me. There’s so much to talk about that this will probably be a multi-part blog. Hope you don’t mind.

Gallifrey One is an awesome event. That’s an understatement. The event is completely volunteer-run and despite a few glitches, it runs smoothly and the staff maintains a wonderfully easy-going demeanor (they may be freaking inside, but few—if any—show it). I did not run into any grumps or curmudgeons during the entire weekend and the attendees (for the most part) were equally great. It’s like one big family. A very big family. Lots of opportunities to make new friends and reacquaint with Gally friends from previous years; plenty of stuff to see—the Vendor’s Room is packed to the gills with cool stuff … and not just Whovian things. There were even Girl Scout cookies. Who can resist GS cookies?? I limited myself to two boxes … and purchased at the very last minute to keep me from gorging on them the entire weekend. And the troop made a cardboard Dalek out of cookie shipping containers. Very cool.

One of the new things they’ve added this year (I have a funny feeling I’ve blogged about this before) is the Sched—and electronic, up-to-date schedule of events for the entire weekend. Each individual could simply peruse the general schedule or sign in and create their very own personalized schedule. It was awesome. I’ve linked you to the last updated schedule that was posted.

Because the organizers want to stay at their LAX Marriott venue, getting a pass can be tricky. But, ooh so worth it! I think I already did a blog on my triumph of attaining one of those precious passes, so I won’t go into any details here. But, please note, they will begin the registration process anew in mid-April. In their words (links are my addition): “join us for GALLIFREY ONE: 28 YEARS LATER, 17-19 February 2017 at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel… the twenty-eighth incarnation of the world’s greatest annual Doctor Who family reunion. Tickets go on sale in mid-April (time and date to be announced soon, so watch our website and social media—Facebook and Twitter: #gallifreyone or #gally1—for details), with hotel reservations open in early May. The countdown resets, and begins once again…

I’ve managed to take a boat-load of photos (I’ll post at the end) and found a few links, via the Gally One FB social page that I think you will enjoy:
2016-24-pictures-that-will-make-you-want-to-be-a-doctor-who-fan-in-la-right-now
There’s this cosplay video … and one about Con Ribbons (she even interviewed David Peterson!) from the Gallifrey One conference to enjoy!

Do make sure you peruse the Gallifrey One FB page … there are so many awesome posts to look through—wonderful comments and photos galore.

One thing I cannot forget—there was a preview (actually two episodes) of Prisoner Zero—a great animated sci-fi serial that will begin airing this fall … in Australia. Here’s their promo:
“Prisoner Zero’ is a science-fiction adventure series for kids. It tells the story of Gem Coll and Tag Anaton, two teenagers from different worlds, living aboard a spaceship called Rogue. They travel to alien worlds to fight monsters from ancient times, free the oppressed from the evil Imperium’s tyranny and find out just who Prisoner Zero is and why the Imperium took away his memories. Leading the fight is Zero himself, aided by Gem’s adoptive parents Del and Bowi Rev, the mysterious alien known only as Librarian and Tag’s personal protection android, Guardian. The Imperium is masterminded by the sly, manipulative General Vykar along with his handpicked team: Prime Tactician Barqel and Prime Assassin Lady Kai.
I’m not an animated serial fan, but this was pretty darn good. It’s target is 10-15 year olds and I don’t think they’ll have a problem drawing them in. They are trying to get someone to carry it in the US and other locations, so if you are interested, start pressuring the networks in your area. They said we could check it out by using #PrisonerZero … but I’m having no luck finding a link to share.

And of course … then, there are my photos [it’s taken forever to off-load photos from my phone—there were over 17,000 photos (no wonder my phone’s been so slow—lol) … told you I take lots of pictures—plus I am very bad at getting them off the phone this last year. This has been long overdue—sorry for the delay] You may click on individual photos to enlarge—and see commentary. There are comments on ALL photos, even though the comments didn’t post here. They did not load in the order I wanted, but at this point, I just want them in the blog (sorry):

Gallifrey One Interview: Colin Baker

One of the many interviews in the main hall. My apologies (gave program away) … I do not recall the names of the two gentlemen to either side of Colin Baker.

GallyOne Interview: StarTrek-The White Iris

Yes, StarTrek. They actually created a rather cool production that picked up after Star Trek went off air. Christopher Doohan played his father’s part (Scotty) and was spot on—as were the other actors. The mannerisms and voice idiosyncrasy of the characters they portrayed were (nearly) perfect!
As one of the original Trekkies, I loved it!

Dalek

One of many roaming the halls of Gally One.

Cosplay: Dalek & Spaceman

These costumes are completely fabulous. Some hand-made, some store-bought. But who cares. They were all great. Here we have a Dalek, plus the “handler” as I call them for one of the costumes that make visibility a wee bit difficult (hence, the handler for safety’s sake). The costumed character is from a team of investigators sent to the Library to find out what happened. One of my favorite series of episodes (and one of my favorite lines come from it).

Nerder Mysteries

I saw this gentleman last year. Great cosplay outfit.
This group was in charge of this year’s convention-wide treasure hunt: “Let Zygon be Zygon”. I played last year—so much fun … but sadly, with all the stuff I was doing, didn’t have time this year.

Osgood "Twins"

Whilst waiting in line to snag a photo with Olivia Oliver (Osgood)—we actually started the line before they planned it should happen (oopsie)—we got to talking and had a great time comparing our likes. Turns out we had a fair amount in common. Unfortunately, I managed to forget her name (sigh … me and my memory), but I do have her email address, so I’ll call her AZDragonFly! Neat young lady!

The Osgood "Triplets"

Waiting in line can be a drag … but never a Dr. Who convention! AZDragonFly and I met up with another Osgood and with the help of a passerby, snapped this shot. We all have our inhalers. I know … you ask, Zygon or Osgood? Does it make a difference?
Our new Osgood is John O’Connor. This shot is from his phone. Thank you John!

Ex-Ter-Mi-Nate the Cookies!

One very, very tired Girl Scout Dalek in the Dealers Room, selling their cookies! Yum!
You can see the Dalek is made completely (well, almost entirely) from the cardboard packaging of Girl Scout cookies. I LOVE IT! Creativity at it’s best!

Me an' Olivia Oliver

My photo op with Olivia was awesome. I’d already chatted with her the day before and earlier in the same day whilst she signed autographs.
She really is a lovely lady! I was thrilled to meet with her.

Olivia Oliver/Osgood

My autographed copy of one of her many poses. Such a sweet lady! My TARDIS bag is the background … teehee.

IMG_9066 IMG_9067 IMG_9070 IMG_9073 IMG_9074 IMG_9076 IMG_9079 IMG_9087 IMG_9115 IMG_9118 IMG_9123 IMG_9124 IMG_9126 IMG_9128 IMG_9132 IMG_9133 IMG_9134 IMG_9135

Another Interview ...

Sigh. My apologies—it’s all starting to blur now. I am at a loss as to what group they are (most if not all have been part of Dr. Who as actors or in other capacities) … I do know that the second from the left is the one that played Churchill in one of the Who episodes, but this was about something different. Audio stuff (which I have only just discovered). I’ll amend this when I get the right info.

 

 

 

 

Anticipation …

TODAY, I AM FEELING LIKE A CHILD, WAITING … that delightful feeling of anticipation whilst waiting for Christmas or Easter, birthdays … or even summer vacations of long ago. Counting the days down to The Day. Well, yes … I think I will always be childlike anytime anticipation is involved. I love the thrill, the excitement … the surprise—of what will happen. What will happen?

I am gearing up for the annual (my second) Gallifrey One convention at the LA Airport Marriott. I have my con ribbons … and just submitted my pre-order for a photo-op with Colin Baker—the fourth Doctor in the series (… “my” introduction to the Doctor), a meet-and-greet of Classic Dr. Who people (including “my” Doctor) and a photo-op with Ingrid Oliver (she plays Osgood in the newer series). I’m organizing my attire—I’ll be making an attempt to cosplay Sarah Jane Smith (companion to Baker), who happened to be a reporter (so we have something … sort of … in common)—she was such a petite, young thing compared to this frumpy, “mature” author … but I will have my small remote controlled K-9 with me for good measure) and Osgood—this one should be fairly easy … hair pulled back into a ponytail, black glasses, red bow tie, 4th Doctor’s lovely scarf and perhaps a lab coat.

Last year, the whole experience was fun—newbie attendee with deer-in-headlights look all weekend, but this year … getting to meet with my favourite Doctor (possibly even Peter Davidson—5th Doctor) and Osgood, in addition to handing out my very own con ribbons—I’m expecting it to be absolutely outstanding. Last time I met any actors, I was a kid … a Nervous Nellie and certainly didn’t know what to say other than to shove a piece of paper in their faces for autographs, followed by a thank you. Here’s hoping I’m a wee bit more sophisticated and can carry on an intelligent conversation.

Even the trip south should be interesting … February. An enigma unto itself, really. No clue what kind of weather to expect—could be snowing on the way down when I get into the mountains around Lebec … or rain in Lebec and in LA with chances of land slides. Or, it could be drop-dead gorgeous … and hot in LA. One never knows—our weather has been so bizarre of late. So, yes. The El Niño has begun (in theory), but how long it will last is questionable. There’s no planning ahead. I’ll need to have multiple wardrobes at the ready to choose from for packing. Plus an umbrella. Very British, really. Teehee. Maybe next year (if I’m lucky enough to get my tickets—there’s a two minute window … honestly!) just maybe I’ll take the train into LA and hire a car for the trip to my hotel. We’ll see.

Friends are coming along, so that will make it even more fun. We will be sharing a room (or two—can’t remember) and everyone has their favourites activities and characters they want to have their photo-op with, plus there are panels to attend. Don’t know which panels I’ll sign up for because I enjoy keeping it a pretty flexible schedule. I’ll only have a couple specific times—most of the night on Friday to meet Colin Baker and the Classic crew, then the two photo-ops on Saturday and Sunday. That way I can meander through the lobby, the vendor rooms and … well, just general roaming around, passing out con ribbons and my wristbands (gotta sneak a little promotion in whilst there—teehee).

Our hotel room is about three (long) blocks away—15-20 minutes of walking several times a day … depending on where we go for meals—so we’ll get our exercise in at least twice daily, rain or shine. It’s too close to justify grabbing a taxi or hassling with finding parking for my own car (& paying for either) at the Marriott—and I have no problem with walking. Walking is fun—rain or shine. There’s lots to see when walking. And the nights … beautiful lighting. I’m not oblivious to the dangers of walking at night in the big city. I try to be smart: keep a watchful eye (very aware of my surroundings … listening and looking around as I walk—even when I’m focused on taking a photo), walk in groups whenever possible … and carry a heavy purse or umbrella.

I’m looking forward to this adventure and will keep you posted on how it turns out (with photos!) …