A Very Whovian November

For those of you hiding under the metaphorical rock that bars you from watching or knowing anything about one of the BBC’s most successful shows, Doctor Who, first of all I pity your empty life and second of all GET OUT FROM UNDER THAT ROCK!

This weekend the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special happened and was it everything we Whovians hoped it would be? I certainly think so. I mean David Tennant and Billie Piper back again? ‘Nuff said.


There was a lot leading up to this certain event. For me it began in August. A friend of mine said a local theater was doing a reader’s theater encore presentation of what they called Doctor U, basically a fan homage spoof of Doctor Who. It had two talented actors who played 10 and 11 very well. We liked it so much but good gracious was the theater empty. I think maybe 20 or 30 people showed up and we thought, Poppycock! Surely the massive Whovian fanbase here in Utah would want to partake in such a delightful show and only hadn’t come because they hadn’t known.

We set about to correct this grand error immediately and immediately emailed the owners of said theater to tell them why they should do it once more, but especially to do it in November in celebration of the 50th anniversary coming up. There were scores of fans who’d love to come, especially if it was a costume party. And so we convinced them. Salt Lake Comic Con caught wind of it and helped promote it and both nights the theater ended up being 90% full if not sold out. (Only a few seats left a day or two before when I checked.)

Did someone say costume party?! This is my best Rose selfie.

Did someone say costume party?! This is my best Rose selfie.

The costume contest, by the way, was won both nights by little boys. One came as an Ood. He had gummy worms attached to some kind of mask that went over his mouth and a globe ornament. It was a sweet costume! (The day I forgot my phone too….) The other boy was the Empty Child. I didn’t bother to compete against that. I mean, puh-lease. Obvious winners there.

It was a reader’s theater version, but that doesn’t mean a bunch of people sitting in chairs. They did have to read from the script, but both Doctors came dressed in costume, as well as a couple great Dalek costumes and a really good Weeping Angel costume. They asked for audience volunteers for the part of Rose Tyler (whom they called Billie). Since I had come as Rose Tyler, my friend goaded me into volunteering and so I did.


Narrator barely visible on far left. Then #10, Me, the Master, Karen (Amy), #11, Ben Franklin, H.G. Wells. I had a “mind control eye-patch” on to make me do the Master’s bidding.

Since this is was the reader’s theater version, they had a narrator reading stage direction. During this picture here, #10 admits he loves Billie. And not long after this moment, I received stage direction that went something like this: Billie grabs the Doctor by the lapels and gives him a big kiss.

Say what? Huh? Oh! Well…. okay…. Yep, I did. Turns out this has been a pretty good year for me. Superman swept me off of my feet back in September. And I more or less kissed my favorite Doctor. Now if someone can just help get me together with Lee Min Ho by Christmas, this will be the perfect year.

Why yes I am incredibly handsome!

Ahem. Anyway, that was the weekend before the 50th. The weekend of the 50th the friend who goaded me into kissing the Doctor also threw one of the coolest Who parties ever. She went all out (maybe a little overboard, but so what). Because she was working so hard, I thought I should bring a special treat and made Weeping Angel sugar cookies. I think I did pretty well for the very first go. And they were deliciously sugary.


I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I won’t. But let me just say Steven Moffat pulled out all the stops for the 50th. There are all kinds of geeky Who references buried throughout the show. Plus we’ve got some major timey-wimeyness happening that will make you gasp. We get great performances from all three Doctors (Smith, Tennant, and Hurt), especially that all three of them make fun of each other in hilarious ways.

It also provided me with some closure when it came to Tennant. I was still holding a grudge that he left the show, I’ll admit it. But now thanks to the 50th I think I’m okay to let him go and I eagerly await what Peter Capaldi will bring us.

But the thing that topped the whole show for me was a final interaction in the last few minutes of the program. I’m not really sure what it meant. I might have to exchange emails with some of you who know what I mean. Let’s just say I give it four out of four stars. 😉

Will I be going to see the show tonight in the theaters? Absolutely not! No, it’s not what you think. I love Doctor Who. And normally I would have bought tickets the moment they were available. But they ruined it with 3D. 😦 Yes, friends, this is how much I loathe 3D. But those of you who go will have to let me know what you thought.

Did you watch the 50th or will you be attending the event tonight? Are you still avoiding Doctor Who? Has it been a good year for you? Have you ever been to a premiere or celebratory party of a show you loved that was awesome?


Best Lego Display Ever

Okay, maybe not ever, but it certainly was impressive. It covered the span of a large boat. Apparently we have huge Lego fans here in Utah (no surprise really). I went around the table taking pics of nearly every section, but did some special focus on the “New York” section. Have a look, and happy Friday!

Tales of the Con

Did I mention we’re already the 4th largest Comic Con in the nation? Because we are! Woot! But onto business.

Like smart people, my geek gals and I registered for the Con early. They even encouraged this with QR codes you could take and scan. And the first 1000 people supposedly got a figurine, but I wasn’t about to fight that crowd. I was just happy to have my registration out of the way. Because every day during the Con the lines to get your wristband went clear out the door and around the block. In this case the early bird does get the geeky worm.


They said it started at 4 p.m. but apparently they scheduled panels for much earlier. I still had to work, so I missed out on the Buffy panel with Nicholas Brendon (Xander). 😦 But I did make it in time to see David Prowse and Peter Mayhew (Darth Vader and Chewbacca).


Peter Mayhew has had a surgery to fix his knees so he can walk well again. Hopefully that goes well. They were doing a documentary on it, featuring our Con as the last one before his surgery.

One of the most interesting parts of the panel was hearing David Prowse talk about being Darth Vader. He said they kept darkening the eyes of the helmet because they didn’t want to see light reflecting in his eyes through it. Also he delivered all of his lines through the helmet and he kept asking George about what they were going to do about his lines for sound and George promised they’d fix it in the studio.

And they did. With James Earl Jones.

Then David had another surprise in Return of the Jedi upon viewing it. They finally take the mask off of Darth Vader, when whose face should appear but Sebastian Shaw. Say what?! Poor David. But as he said, Star Wars, it bought me a car, it paid the mortgage. And now he can run the Con circuit regaling tales of Star Wars shenanigans. 😉


Day One was pretty chill considering. Not everyone was there yet. Some of the booths weren’t set up in the exhibit hall. Things were just getting rolling. But Day Two brought a bigger crowd and lots of fun costumes. Like a cool weeping angel, an AT-ST, and even Gozer the Gozerian.

weeping angel

Don’t blink!

AT-ST costume

Being original = winning.

gozer costume

If we think of J. Edgar Hoover…

We showed up early to see Adrian Paul (Duncan MacLeod on Highlander). If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend it. One thing we really respected about Mr. Paul was his commitment to the story and the show. He constantly kept on producers to keep things consistent and to keep the show about the relationships, especially when it came to flashbacks. He said he believed that’s why the show worked so well.

He also briefly touched on his charity PEACE (Protect, Educate and Aid Children Everywhere). All in all he seemed like a really decent fellow and didn’t have that disdain for fans you unfortunately see a lot with celebrities. He said multiple times he knew the success of Highlander was due to the fans.

adrian paul

Yup. He still works out.

Then it was Go, Go, Power Rangers! time. I used to watch the original MMPR with my little brother back in the day. Let’s be honest, I watched it for Tommy. I was studying martial arts at the time and he’s a big martial artist practitioner, so it was a match made in heaven.

But Tommy wasn’t there. 😦 However, Zack and Billy were. And Zack is still looking real good! 😉

powerrangersI have no idea who the girl is. She’s from a later iteration of Power Rangers. And unfortunately, either on medication or a few bricks short of a full load. I was like, “Come on, don’t be the ditzy blonde!” Nothing doing, peeps. She barely remembered her name, let alone why she was there in the first place. But at least Zack was entertaining. He even got up and showed us some of his “Hip Hop Kung Fu.” 😉

I already told you about my experience with Dean Cain. 😉 The end of Day Two concluded with a premiere showing of a movie called Orc Wars.

Okay, it’s not the most brilliant thing you’ll ever see, but it is a lot of fun. It’s basically Die Hard meets Lord of the Rings with a tank. And ladies, the protagonist may rival Taylor Lautner’s abs, just sayin’.


Saturday we began with a Q&A panel with Kevin Sorbo of Hercules fame. He brought a DVD of some clips from Hercules, but mostly took questions from the audience. His patience level for questions was about 3 seconds. So he wasn’t a jerk exactly, maybe just on the border of disdain for the fans. I guess after seeing how Dean Cain and Adrian Paul interacted with fans, it was a starker comparison.

But he at least made concessions to one fan whose father had suffered a stroke. I guess Kevin went through the same thing during Hercules. He wrote a book about it called True Strength. I might check it out if it goes under the $5 Kindle mark or it’s available at my library.

kevinsorboThen it was time to go listen to the Captain—Captain Kirk that is. The line an hour before was already ridiculous amounts of long. But that’s to be expected for Shatner, isn’t it?

Our local Utah Jazz Bear came to most of the larger events, throwing around confetti and some Jazz swag. (And at this Con, swag was nearly an extinct species. Nobody was handing out nothing!) He’s just trying to promote the team. Yes, it’s a little lame, but hey, not like anyone else is handing out swag. And Shatner not only wouldn’t play along and toss stuff out into the audience that the bear handed him, he had to berate how stupid he thought the whole thing was. *sigh*

At least he’s funny. It’s not like I didn’t know he was kind of a jerk. Again, with the contrast of other celebs who weren’t acting like total doofs, well… But once the attention was all back on him, he at least turned on the funny. He told stories of how he was out in Utah when he got the call for Star Trek.

A fan asked him who he’d want to play him in a movie about his life. His answer: Chris Pine. 😉 He also said he used to prank Leonard Nimoy while filming Star Trek—a lot. Nimoy had a bike he’d ride to where they had lunch, and Shatner wanted to be first to lunch so he chained it up. Then had the grips put it on the ceiling and light it. And a bunch of other pranks. I’m betting Nimoy wished the Vulcan nerve pinch was for reals.


Crowd for Shatner from the middle of the room.

After Shatner we were allowed to stay in the room for Stan Lee, but we had Dean Cain pics scheduled at 4:50 and Stan Lee at 5. Well, we knew if we left the room that would be the end of our chances to see Stan Lee. The things a girl does for Superman. I’d seen him once before at SDCC, so it wasn’t as big a disappointment as it could have been.

And apparently because he had so many people who’d signed up to meet with and take pics with him, he decided to cut the panel short and keep his commitments for the meet and greet. So at the end of the day, it wasn’t the worst thing ever. Right? Right?


Since I sit at a desk all day for work, three days of walking on concrete floors had taken its toll on me. The remaining panels weren’t all that appealing to me, so even though the Con would go on for another few hours, I headed home.

But what a weekend! But fear not, friends, that isn’t the end of Jae’s Con posts. Tomorrow I’m going to be at a writing conference, so I thought I’d leave you with a post on displays, including one of the coolest Lego displays you’ve ever seen! Lots and lots of photos! See you tomorrow.

If you’d been at SLCC, which panel(s) would you have wanted to attend? Which celebs have you seen in person you thought were total jerks or really nice? Who’s the one celeb you’d want to meet and why?

Why My Con Was Super

All right my lovelies, gather round and I’ll tell you a story. I’ll give you a more detailed Con goings-on Thursday, but today is about adventure. It all started on Friday.

I showed up to the Con decked out in my Lara Croft costume. I was going for a cross between classic Lara and new Tomb Raider game Lara. One of my favorite moments was when this other Lara called out to me, saying, “Hey younger me! Come here, let’s take a pic!” So we did.

thelarasI have to admit, I’m jealous of her sweet, sweet belt and holsters. But I have cool fingerless gloves, and that’s something. Right? Right?

After going to a friend’s panel on the video game he helped design for, Animal Jam, my geek gals decided it was time to get Dean Cain’s autograph. Did I want his autograph? Certainly! But having paid for Comic Con and dropping another large chunk of cash on my upcoming writer’s conference, well… Let’s just say cash was not as free-flowing this month.

I told a friend I would just be going along for moral support and to possibly meet Mr. Cain, which is when he said, “Oh? You want an autograph?” And then handed me some Comic Con vouchers—specifically good only for celeb autographs and photos. Say whaaaaaat?!

Now I had a dilemma before me. Get an autograph or get a photo? Decisions people, decisions!

I joined up with my geek gals already in line for the autograph, still trying to decide which I preferred. Sure, it’s cool to have an autograph, but a picture, I decided was worth more to me. So I just stood by as moral support while they got their autographs.

But here’s the thing about Dean Cain, he’s an incredibly nice guy. So even though I didn’t have anything to autograph, he still made it a point to say hello, even standing to shake my hand.

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Wanna-Be Survivalist: Solar Ovens

Maybe it’s the current trend of zombie apocalypses influencing me, but lately I’ve got all kinds of interest in survivalism. A year or two ago, the county north of where I live got hit with a severe windstorm. We’re talking gusts of 75 mph (that’s 120 km/h for my international peeps). Anyway, they were without power for 5 days, which doesn’t seem like a long time at first glance. But try and picture yourself without electricity for 5 days. That means no heated water, no ability to heat food, no heat (unless you’ve got a gas line), no means to charge any electronics, and no light at night.

Even more recently comes to mind Hurricane Sandy. Having extra food and supplies on hand doesn’t seem so crazy when you’re faced with the possibility of being without electricity or in a disaster type situation.

My first priority in life is always good food. At first I wondered if solar power could run an oven, but unless you’ve got serious $$$ to install serious panels it’s unlikely. A good poor man’s option is always keeping propane tanks around to run mini-stoves or the grill, but that requires propane. Someday I still plan to build a wood-fired oven, but again that requires fuel and wood may not always be easy to come by.

The solution? A solar oven.

solar ovenThese little babies are a bit pricey (I got the accessories bundle for $320, I think the cheapest one is around $240-260) but after only two uses I’m convinced they’re worth every penny. It weighs only 22 pounds (about 10kg), folds up pretty compact and is extremely easy to use.

You’re probably thinking, well, that’s fine for the summer, but what about the winter when it’s cold outside. Aside from this thing functioning just fine at the base camp of Mount Everest, I’ve also read other blogs that it heated up just fine at 30-40F (-1 to 4C). (This other woman was successful at 22F!) I’ll have to do a winter post when the time comes.

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