Like many of those who attended C2, I had been planning the trip for several months. But other than securing airline and hotel reservations, and of course my three-day pass, I had no agenda. The thing I had looked forward to the most was the privilege of finally meeting in person all the wonderful friends I'd made through DMEB and DMEB-2. I anticipated that our official dinner would be a highlight of the trip and the post-dinner photo session with ScottMaul would be the icing on the cake. But I had no idea just how wonderful a time was in store for me. It was like living a fairy tale...
After saying a wistful goodbye to my beloved cat, Pebbles, I loaded up the car and headed for the airport. I parked my car in a long-term lot and made the shuttle just in time. I was delivered to the front door of United Airlines and checked in--but not without being randomly selected for a secondary baggage screening. I said something imprudent like, "I'm trying not to take this personally." I don't think they appreciated my attempt at humor. Anyway, after just a few moments, I was free to head for the terminal.
The plane arrived in Indy a bit early. After claiming my baggage, I headed to my reserved shuttle that was to transport me from the airport to the Marriott Hotel. I had to wait for roughly twenty minutes, and instead of a limousine, I was shuttled in a van--still an exceptional bargain at ten dollars plus gratuity. I did not realize it until later when I met him, but I had been sitting nearby Julian Glover during the wait for the shuttle (and naturally, Julian got a limo). I recall his picking up the local paper and remarking to his companions, "Let's see what is on TV tonight..." and a few seconds later he chuckled and said, "Return of the Jedi!" At the time, I was wondering what was so funny about that--and attributed it to his probably being a C2 attendee. Oblivious to his true identity, I then pulled out my portable TV and watched ROTJ until my shuttle arrived.
After checking in at the Marriott, I approached the elevator and was thrilled to see that my room was on the top floor--the concierge level no less! The hotel staff had upgraded my room without my asking and at no extra charge. The room was comfortable and tastefully decorated, and I had a beautiful view of the city, including the main doors to the Convention Center. I unpacked and then hit the sack. Unfortunately, I was so excited about meeting my Sithsters that I did not get much sleep, but it's a small price to pay for such a fantastic journey.
After another night of sleep deprivation due to the excitement, I wearily crawled out of bed to go meet Belle, MaulMaus and Dark Lady for the first time in person. Looking down from my hotel room, I could see that a long line had formed, causing me to feel a bit concerned. Just then, Belle called my room and said that she and MaulMaus had been waiting in line all morning just to get inside the Convention Center and to come meet them after I was dressed. By the time I hit the hotel lobby to buy some much needed coffee from the very conveniently located Starbuck's, the girls called me again to say they were about ready to enter.
So I rushed across the street and searched the sidewalk in front of the building for any sign of my Sithsters, but saw no familiar faces. The door was manned as the line of fans were pouring into the building, and being a bit distracted while talking on the phone with MaulMaus, I simply waltzed through the door. I cannot believe that there wasn't a single protest. When MaulMaus had realized what had happened, she began shouting, "I hate her! I hate her!" At that point, I was wondering if I should approach them, or run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. *hehehehehehe*
Once inside, I still could not locate them anywhere, so MaulMaus told me to just go stand by something highly visible and they would come find me. I chose a sign with a big red question mark, which I thought was quite appropriate. I utilized the time to drink my cup of coffee when the cell phone rang again and I saw some crazed lunatic waving her arms a bit wildly. Then I realized it was the legendary Belle Bayard herself! We went rushing toward each other like two friends who hadn't seen in each other in decades. It was fascinating finally meeting these lovely women face to face. They were everything I'd hoped they'd be and more--lovely, fun, intelligent, and ready to have the weekend of a lifetime.
Immediately after our introductions, MaulMaus then introduced me to another important player in the wonderful world of DMEB2 by the name of ScottMaul. Some of you might have heard of him (LOL!). ScottMaul is a laugh a minute, literally. I think it's one reason why I didn't eat or drink much while in his company--I was too busy laughing my buns off! I have many male friends similar to Scott's vibrant personality, but they pale in comparison to this uniquely amazing young man. If Scott is in your company, you will be entertained every minute.
After our introductions, we first headed to the main exhibit hall that housed the merchandise and autograph signing booths. ScottMaul was like a kid in a candy store, rushing from stand to stand and expressing his delight as such. One needs to be in good cardiovascular shape to keep up with him.
As we continued to roam around the merchandise area, we ran into Sith Vixen and Vader Painter. We then spotted a life-sized plastic box in which fans could take photos to emulate looking like a packaged toy action figure! I had made a mental note to have that done once I was in costume on Sunday. I'm going to need to upgrade my memory because come Sunday it completely escaped me, and I'm still kicking myself for missing out on such a unique photo opportunity. Poodoo!
After exploring all of the merchandise on display and chatting with newly made fellow fans, we decided to get a bite to eat in the food court, at which time ScottMaul had to excuse himself for unexpected work duty. It was a clear indication of how dedicated the Garrison members are to their cause. They give of themselves and work long hard hours without expecting anything in return.
So, MaulMaus--who had an excellent grasp on how to find people from DMEB2--led us to an area where a few Troopers were hanging out. That is when I got to meet web legend Darth Cleo for the first time in person! Darth Cleo is a very vivacious articulate young woman and I really enjoyed meeting her as well.
Soon afterwards, I was also introduced to Dirty Tom, who was wearing some light blue contact lenses. Like a nitwit, I asked, "Are those contacts??" He politely replied yes, but was probably thinking, 'No, my eyes are naturally sky blue with little strange markings in them.'
At about the same time, there was someone in an incredibly outstanding Darth Vader costume, accompanied by an Imperial Officer, so I snapped a few photos. They looked good enough to rival the movie versions. I waved my hand at Lord Vader and yelled, "Yoo-hoo! Would you please pose for me?" Gawd, I must have sounded silly. Yeah, that would be a first. hehehehehe
A few minutes later, I was standing near a merchandise table chatting with MaulMaus and Dark Lady when a TV camera was suddenly staring me in the face. The journalist (from ABC) then asked me, "Why Star Wars?" Taken completely off-guard, I opened my mouth to speak but no words would come forth. I desperately looked to my companions for some moral support, but their expressions clearly told me that I was on my own (just you wait, ladies, I shall have my revenge). So, I decided to simply state that I'd been a fan since I was 15 when the first movie came out. Just then, I was interrupted by the journalist who "corrected" me by saying I must have meant when Return of the Jedi came out because I couldn't possibly be that old (thank you, Mr. Journalist). I then decided to state why I love Star Wars in the most general way I could: "It's a compelling story that touches the human element." Whatever that means. I think at that point, the journalist was just as confused as I was. As far as I know, the interview was never aired. (Note: I simply cannot fathom why they wouldn't use that "compelling" interview.) :confused: LOL!
Since we all were functioning on minimal sleep, we decided to return to our respective hotel rooms to get some rest before regrouping for dinner. Still too wound up to get any actual sleep, I simply lay on the bed and closed my eyes. But I was too wound up to even keep my eyes shut, so instead I called about half a dozen friends and family in California and asked them to watch the news, as I might appear in a clip. Yep, sure I would....
At about 7 p.m., Belle, MaulMaus and myself met up for dinner. We had a nice meal at Champions Bar & Grill, which was located in my hotel. While eating dinner, I saw that the Sacramento Kings had won, adding yet another highlight to my fabulous weekend.
After dinner, we three walked to the Hyatt to meet ScottMaul, Clutch, Dirty Tom and Ben. The boys introduced me to Jagermeister for the first time. Of course, it's really difficult to chug a shot when every word coming out of ScottMaul's mouth is making us laugh. Apparently fed up with ScottMaul getting all the attention, Dirty Tom then started doing a striptease. Woo hoo! Go D-T! Go D-T! Get your strip on!
After sitting and laughing, and laughing and sitting, we headed on down to the 501st Mixer Party. I had not purchased an advance ticket and was going to take my chances at the door. Once we were there, the man behind the table told us that they simply could not let any more people in who were not on the list. However, we managed to convince him by waving our Force sensitive hands in front of his face....or it could be because we mentioned ScottMaul's name!
The party was almost like being inside the cantina in A New Hope. I saw and photographed a fantastically costumed Chewbacca with Han Solo, an amazing Qui Gon Jinn look-alike, who, fortunately for him, was accompanied by a girlfriend, as Belle and I were drooling profusely. It was cool running into friends I had met two years ago at ImagineCon, and just observing all the people in costume.
After a little while, I began craving a cocktail, so Dirty Tom asked if I'd like to accompany him to a bar located in the hotel. Mesmerized by his good looks, I didn't even think to let my friends know where I was going. But it turned out to be okay, because Dirty Tom in his dazed inebriated condition took us the long way around (not that I minded). By the time we reached the bar, the others had already been there for a few minutes.
After buying drinks, a large group of us chatted on the mezzanine level for a while. Somebody then suggested that we go to a nightclub called the Wet Noodle or the Slimy Noodle or....wait! I think it's called the Slippery Noodle! Yes, that's it. Anyway, we walked in the freezing cold for what seemed to be miles, getting lots of comments from passersby in the process. The club was smoky and seedy, but the company was smokeless and seedless (smile). The Troopers bought drinks for the ladies called the Slippery Nipple. Fortunately, it tasted better than the name implied.
MaulMaus then presented the special DMEB2 Celebration passes to ScottMaul and Dirty Tom, who were most appreciative. ScottMaul was absolutely delighted by the gesture and I captured the moment on video. David whined about not getting one, and MaulMaus had to remind him that she was not aware that he was attending. She might be strong with the Force, but she's not psychic. Sheesh!
After hanging out at the nightclub for a few hours, we walked back to our respective hotels. After taking a shower to get the stench of smoke out of my hair, I climbed into bed and finally got a decent night's sleep.
© 2001-2005 DMEB2.net