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Susie will tell you about the Clod-hopping security guard who confiscated her smart card - thinking she was filming James at the Concert - making her miss the final part of it, trying to explain it was only photos but he and the Steward hadn't a clue and wouldn't give it back to her - she was understandably very upset.  She went over to Lisa afterwards and tried to explain - i had been put in the picture by then and followed her over, saying to Lisa - this is ridiculous, she bought the camera on Thursday and hasn't a clue what it can do and she would not know how to anyway!!  Leave it with her, said Lisa - and a little later, found a steward who did know what she was looking at, who cleared the air, apologised to Susie and gave her back the card.   Lisa gave Susie a spot prize or something the next day, in an attempt to make up for it, i don't know what and Susie, being the sweet and generous person she is, accepted it in the spirit it was given and EVEN forgave the Clodhopper - personally i would have had a piece of his ass!  [as i told him later, to his amusement, tho he did look a little wary...]

Would you believe i actually took a costume with me -  long black skirt, apron with long ties and a puritan collar [not very well made] which was going over one of my longsleeved black cardis...  except that i could not get an iron and the left side of the collar would not sit right without one!!  so i didn't get into it or put on all the witchy make-up i brought down!  woulda looked pretty stupid without the gear - Salem witch you see...  i was going to jell all my hair out from my head in a nimbus, kinda like i stuck my finger in the light socket!  could have been a giggle.. oh well, just as well really, considering what happened later.

i did remember to turn the clock back an hour and i like to think that hour made a difference.  we were not that late getting up and took ourselves off - after a £6.50 all you can eat & coffee/tea to match at the Docklands Travelodge - not that expensive in the scheme of things but a bit limited in scope and the same every day... sausages,tomatoes, limp bacon [i like mine crispy], scrambled eggs that looked like they had been sat on by a hefty elephant, mushrooms with very little taste, as much toast as you had the patience to wait for as it took a while to brown, little pots of yoghurt and apples or bananas - a couple of kinds of cereal, very limited - the good side was plenty of butter, jam etc and LOTS of coffee, help your self...  i got to crave my weetabix! *shrugs* those breakfasts put a good lining on my stomach and i got through with a sandiwich until dinner time...

i guess it was a good thing that breakfast ditracted us, as it got to be 'whose room didn't get serviced today?' - Char's first, no clean towels, ran out of toilet paper, unmade bed etc - then it was me & Susie's turn...   Char couldn't go and get the stuff herself and she couldn't call the Reception desk without a sodding credit card!!!!  she could not get her wheelchair thru the doors without me giving it a VERY strong heave-ho and i just about reset all the doorjambs down to her room...  they were all so narrow.  Unbelievable place...  hardly helpful, although Francesca and i reached an understanding very quickly - i thought they were crap and she didn't disagree with me, and when i rang her today to query an item on Char's account, she remembered me immediately....

Well, Ken ferried us into the building, 'mornin' darlin'...' (i wonder if he sleeps in that baseball cap) and went to put our bags on the seats - it as been commented on before by others that it was good to be able to do that without thinking, someone was going to walk off with your goodies [though i did always take my purse with me, if Char, Susie or one of our friends was not looking after it, not THAT trusting...] but the bags with photos, cameras etc i left without a qualm...  and they were totally safe.   Somebody had grabbed my reshoot pic [sorry, can't remember who - i stopped writting my journal by this time and i have no idea - i'm winging the rest].  i said, yippee!  until i took a close look at it - and to my horror, it was not that different to the day before...  somebody's hair on James' neck AGAIN!  i was so disappointed...  Char, Susie and Pob saw my face and came a-running and said get it re-done - i cried 'this IS re-done!' and they didn't understood what i meant when i said 'i CAN'T ask for it to be reshot AGAIN..' - [what i could not tell them was the time i watched James being photographed in Pasadena at the Grand Slam Con 2003 and a teenie asked for a hug - and he let her.  Just for a second, i caught a glimpse of ennui on his face as he endured and allowed the hug - she couldn't see his face and had no idea;  she went away happy...  But i promised myself that i would not and could not put my self in that position as i couldn't bear that look directed at me..  any hugs or whatever would have to come from him and if there were none forthcoming, sobeit...   only once, did i even come close to breaking my rule, at Oakland and as the barriers had been raised, i am damned glad i didn't.  All the contact i have ever had, has come from James alone and i have never initiated anything except a handshake.

Lisa came over and looked at the pic, saying: 'yes, Photoshop will get rid of that', handed it back to me and pretty much just walked off...  i was stunned...

so there i was on the edge, with angry, frustrated tears welling up in my eyes - furious at myself for not wanting to go back and ask again - Pob, Ken & Char all concerned and saying GO! and i couldn't explain why i was upset - Ken disappeared and i think went to ask if it was ok - they all stood there and yelled GO! at me and then Rocky appeared and said, yes it merited a re-shoot, 'go' and seeing my face, said, it is up to you but do it now - and i caved in, grabbing the picture and my courage in one hand and my stick in the other and went downstairs.   To say i felt sick, would be an understatement... i silently gave my pic to the Steward on the door and she looked at it and took it into the photographer for judgement - he was in the process of setting up - James & David hadn't arrived yet - verdict, yes, he would happily re-shoot it.  

i felt a little less sick and i was bidden come in and walked in just as James came in himself.  The photographer waved me over to James and i stood by him as he stretched and i explained what had happened, saying only half joking, you are going to get sick of seeing me!  "no, no! it's ok" he said and that he knew this sort of stuff happened all the time.   He stretched again and i said involuntarily, you must be exhausted..  He grinned and said, "yeah - it's like 5 Christmases all at once but worth it" and as i made aaww-type noises, said "i'm ok", put one arm around me and gave me a half hug!  then saying with a smile, 'i've been told i gotta stop hugging people' - but it made me feel a whole world better, i can tell you.  We just nattered about nothing much, till David arrived very shortly afterwards and i said hello again and he grinned at me.   Photographer got ready and click! and we were finally done, 'bye!' i said, hooffing it out the door, pronto! and went back upstairs - i saw Eliane briefly on my way out, hi, cherie..  Had to fill out the form, as this photo would not be ready that day - will send it to you..  ok..  Bookworm54 later said she wasn't sure if the tattoos would show up enough to identify me and if i didn't get my pic in a little while, the unsent ones would be posted on jmlive and i could claim it then...  o-kay...

Well, i rejoined my little band, doing a little jigging dance as i did so to the music playing in the hall...  how was the photo, they said, when they could get me to stop gyrating and shakin' that ass! - what photo? oh that, yes, it was fine...  but i stopped teasing and told them what had happened.  We socialised and watched the screenings then Ken arrived to say the disabled autographs were about to happen at the back of the hall - i had my hands full with my stuff for them to sign and Susie [who had hers already] very bravely volunteered to step in and push Char for me! *giggles*  But it was a godsend in reality, as we did have a bit of a wait while they set it up and i was able to sit while that happened.  Not that many people realised what was happening except part of the back row and a couple of stewards kept watch that nobody else joined our tiny queue.  Ken hovered like a damaged angel and watched over us. 

James arrived first, of course! and set too signing pics and accepting gifts and i sat, last, watching him, [thinking sadly, i haven't brought him anything this time - except my heart].   So nice not to have someone waiting at your elbow, such a luxury...  he was very nice to Char and she had some time with him [she'll tell you better than i will] and was delivering gifts for other people too.  Susie got an acknowledging smile, yes, he knew who you were..  There weren't that many of us really and pretty soon it was my turn - i just grinned at him and said, me again! giving him the picture of David & himself from the professional session they'd done and telling him to be sure he didn't sign over his own face and he laughed, saying 'thats the theatrical part of me, baby!' and i laughed and told him off, saying we want to see you face and he took my hand and squeezed gently and i said take care [like i always do] and he said, i will, and he was done.  Grabbed his jacket and took off. 

David was not too far behind they said and we waited for him, luckily not too long.  Trinity appeared behind me, all excited telling me she had won some Buffy/Angel cards [very nice and in a folder too] in the raffle and David appeared.  She whispered, i'd love him to sign one and i put my hand behind me.. she slipped one in and when i gave my photo to him to sign, i just put it on the table in front of me.  He signed my picture very sweetly and winked at me, then reached across and picked up the card and signed that too... Nice man - thank you, David.   Went to look for Trin and i thought she would go into orbit!!  

During the day, had chats with Deni, Steve Himber again, all too briefly with some and missed a couple of the girls completely - Come, yodel at me next time, DebW, i wanna meet you - formally!  and Deepblu, please come to the next one and be WITH!  You never have to be alone at a Con, there is always a group you can join and the person sitting next to you, gets known and it grows - but anyone on the Boards would be happy to include you.   And yes, i remember the pretty woman with the long skeletons in her ears, you were in my row and quite the sweetie...

Char wanted a break and we decided to go find some late lunch, Susie said there was a fair amount available and we asked Ken what was near - KFC & McDonalds - stop, that will do.  We had directions and got ourselves there ok and i noticed that the Italian restuarant i had researched before i left, was just a few doors down - oh goody, gave them a ring and yes, call in half an hour as the Manager would be in then but as far as they knew, they had plenty of room, and so it proved.  Made a booking for 10-15 initially, as i had mentioned having dinner after the Con to various folk and then we rang round to say i had booked close to the Con [only one taxi/bus or whatever home from there] and where it was, etc.  Had our lunch and very nice too, came back to the Con.  Several people came over and said can we come to the dinner too? and it sorta grew - i rang La Frachetta again and no problem, come one, come all...  maybe 25-30? fine!

The joint Q&A with James & David was a real joy to watch and i was so proud of Pob with her lovely flirty and funny questions - you held it together, baby and spoke up clearly and they enjoyed it as much as we did...  Bath oil, huh?  yeah, good for all things - clean the bath? i'd drink his bath water!  and the nude centrefold or photoshoot question was genius...  and we all had a good laugh.  My hat goes off to the nervous fan who was hauled up on stage by David, taking her place in the audience - she was fucking brilliant!!  i haven't laughed so much in years..  and the applause when she came off, had to be heard to be believed, marvellous stuff...

The final question 'how do vampires get erections?' could not be topped and James jumped to his feet, thrust out his hips and roared at the crowd - "One word, baby! Rigor-mortis!!"  and just brought the house down!!!  goddess, you just had to be there! 

Well, they went off and signed autographs until it was time to do the farewells, a little early at 1900hrs - i had heard David wanted to leave early and he would be doing his good bye before everyone else.  And he did - he spoke from the heart about the loyalty and love of the fans and how he had seen a man earlier in the day, gesture over his heart, indicating opening it to the person he was talking to and made the same gesture to us - and even thought it was pure theatre and pure schmaltz, it was touching because i think he meant it.   We hollered our approval and gave him a rousing goodbye.  He had thanked the Stewards and the organisers too and when James came on not long after, he brought armfulls of flowers for ALL the Stewards [including Steve Himber] from a collection given by the audience - i hadn't heard anything about any of this, or that the rest was to be given to charity, about £200 i think - very good.

We yelled, we screamed, we whistled and i think he got the idea!!  i was a touch hoarse for the next couple of days...  Abso-bloody-lutely brilliant...  lets all do it again, next year!

The crowd streamed out, people saying goodbye and going off to their appointments or just home - then when the dust started to settle, we adjourned outside - hugged Ken, see you next year, babe? and took off to the Restaurant.  It proved to be welcoming and warm, and so were the staff - well done, guys & gals!  We came in to find some had arrived before us and as we found our seats, more arrived after us, to my delight and eventually even a group of the Stewards arrived and ate with us too... We had some toasts to James and the Sisterhood of James, which is what i christened us - i went round taking pictures and you can see them all on http://hpphotos.com/lovejames - password 'arness' - i haven't put in all the names yet, forgive me if i have not inclueded yours - let me know and i will.  i would have stayed longer but Char fell asleep and Trinity was in some pain with her back and so i called up my new friend Koss and said take us home.  Susie stayed on and came back with Deni & crew and we met up in our room when i had finished putting Char to bed and she was going to leave me a note to join them in the bar for a night-cap, so we went down together.  We sat and nattered for a while and i was honoured to be given a run through Pandis' photos and Sami had her laptop plugged in - between them, i think they have the best of the Con pics this time, with RavenU - more, please Sami! 

Bitten suddenly yawned enormously and that was the signal to end it all...  We said goodnight, to those leaving early and see you at breakfast to those who weren't leaving till later and afternoon like us.  Susie and i actually messed about and i wrote up some of my diary and we talked until about 0330!    i swear that woman sleeps once a year, hanging upside down in the wardrobe..!!!  anyway, that really was the last of the Con - we didn't want to let it end...

i won't bore you with the 'Words' i had with the Hotel the next day or Char's delayed departure [she needed another day to sleep and prepare for the return home] - suffice it to say, she made it in one piece to the plane and British Airways did me proud and upgaded her to Business Class, so she could stetch out and rest - Char managed a 6 hour sleep on the way back to Seattle!!  i love them...   She is now home and resting and recuperating well...  She misses you all as much as i do and hopes to see you all next year - without the Chariot, if we can manage it!!

Rob is in the process of sorting out a new pc for her where she can use it more easily and she will be back posting on the boards in the near future.

that's it for now, luvs - hope i haven't bored the pants off you!!  my love to the incredible Susie, Trinity & Pob, Ken, Louise, FrenchDaria, Medusa, Duster, dear Pandis, the amazing Samifidler and all the super guys and gals of the Con - not forgetting KatieMarie - you better pm me soon, girl!

Kissy, kissy - 'lovejames'



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 10th, 2004 05:46 pm (UTC)
Thank heaven some of us are verbal
Brilliant reports Ma'am-and thank you for the kind words about my pics-there are literally thousands to sort through so be patient-I'm giving it a couple of hours at least every day-keep checking back-I'm posting new ones to the pages every day-here's the link to the index page for all the Halloween pics-


One little thing you left out, but it touched me-as James was walking off stage on Sunday he turned to us all waved and said "I'll miss you"-...gotta love the guy...

Nov. 11th, 2004 12:13 am (UTC)
I have so enjoyed reading your con reports, you write so vividy and you don't pull any punches . It's great to see things form a different perspective and you've caught so many details that I'd missed or forgotten about.. Thank you

And glad to hear that Char made it home safely, that's one amazing woman!

Oh and BTW I'm not too hot on the yodelling but I'll make sure we're formally introduced at the next one ( James' solo tour with an audience or two attatched maybe?)

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )