Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions New & Old

Admittedly, my Thanksgiving weekend didn't quite go as planned this year - but in the end. it turned out to be pretty freaking awesome.

I began my holiday with a years-old tradition - going to a movie. Usually a 'young adult' movie; in this case, Catching Fire :) Add in something that my sister and I started last year - Painkillers at Cheddar's - and, well, yay Black Wednesday!

Now, as it happened, my sisters and a few other friends were in the area and didn't have plans for Thanksgiving dinner. After a couple of Painkillers (and several bourbon and cokes, if you want me to be completely honest), I decided that an 8 PM Black Wednesday trip to the grocery store and an offer to make some semblance of a meal on Thanksgiving was a great idea. And you turned out to be just that.  Including my nieces and nephew, there were ten of us at my house for dinner last night...a dinner that was followed by a few of us hanging out and playing the Game of Thrones drinking game!

First, though...bread and salt for guest rite!

Best game pieces ever!

::sigh:: Cersei's at The Wall again!

The boys look on in wonder...or...something

Poor 'Jaime' got Jory'd *and* Hodor'd, but somehow still won the game. I guess after all that, he really deserved it. Cersei was quite close, though! Sandor and Robb kept getting sent backward, so they weren't too happy with the outcome...not that they ever had a chance (poor Sandor :( )

Lannisters Rule! (The Drinking Game, at least...)

Pop figure, of course ;)
Somehow we ended up having way too much food, but hey, at least that meant yummy leftovers for me today ;) (After having to go to work and finish up some last minute end of the month stuff, and making an ill-advised stop at Old Navy to buy 50% off jeans) But thanks to great friends and crazy family, it was honestly one of the best Thanksgivings I've ever had...

Happy Thanksgiving from the Queen Regent and the King in the North!
More post-drinking-game silliness with some amazing friends <3

I hope that everyone else had as great of a holiday as I did :D So cliche, I know, but even with the things that didn't go as planned, I really do have a lot to be thankful for and I'm not sure I would have traded this weekend for anything. Pin It

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Confessions

I confess...there's nothing like jet lag on a Monday morning to make me even more happy that this is a short work week ;)

I confess...that I'll be shocked if I 'win' NaNoWriMo this year :-/ Sad but true. I've simply been too busy and had to travel too much this month ::sigh::

I confess...I'm ready to just stay home for a while. So much traveling the past few months has really worn me out! (And it's pretty rare that I'll admit anything like *that* ;) )

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Writer's Block Wednesday: A RenFaire Pirate's Life for Me!

Once upon a time, four pirates went to the Carolina Renaissance Festival...

They watched fire eaters...

...ate turkey legs...

...met Renaissance Joker and Harley Quinn...

...caught some of a tournament...

...and clearly had a little too much fun ;)

Really, with how busy I've been this fall I was  beginning to wonder if I'd make it to RenFaire at all. But when my buddy (and fellow Ice & Fire Con organizer) Matt told me that their Pirate-themed weekend was coming up, I knew that I had to *make* time for it. We had a complete blast, of course, though the fact that I thought it would be an 11 AM to 6 PM (or so) day, and it turned into a 10 AM to 11:30ish PM day. But it was worth every minute and I'm so glad I got to go, especially now that RenFaire is over for the year. ::sad:: Pin It

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Confessions

I confess...I've never been so happy that I drive a stick shift as I am after this past weekend. I almost hit two deer Friday night when I was driving up into the mountains, and had I been driving an automatic, I definitely would have hit at least one of them - it was foggy, I was rounding a tight corner, and even though I wasn't going fast (*maybe* 35 mph, at most), the thing literally leapt out of the woods and landed right in front of my car. Had I not been able to work both the clutch and the brakes, I wouldn't have stopped in time. So much love for my car right now.

I confess...I learned my lesson last night in terms of writing Walking Dead episode reviews after playing my Walking Dead drinking game. 'Nough said, I think.

I confessI've been thinking about my impending birthday a lot lately. Too much. Turning 30 didn't bother me, but 31, well, I'm not looking forward to.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Walker Stalker Con 2013: Day 2, Part 3

Okay, so I left off with my buddy and I getting our zombie makeup 'did' by Roy Wooley from Face/ what better way to pick back up than with a picture of the finished product? ;)

With Roy!

I am not the best at making zombie faces. Ah well :)

Showing off my Media pass in front of the Walker Stalker sign

Don't worry though, after a bit of food (a burger, because of course a zombie needs her meat) and some drink, my zombie face got progressively better as the night went on ;) I even braved the Saturday night VIP Meet & Greet in my ridiculous "Disney Tourist zombie 'costume'", and was lucky enough to run into Chad Coleman (Tyreese) and Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha)! And after the meet and greet, it was about that time...zombie party time, of course!

Oh, and I 'bit' Norman Reedus! (Just kidding, that's an awesome cosplayer named Steve)

See, I told you my zombie face improved!

Another awesome zombie at the party!

My buddy the Gov needed a bite too ;)

The zombie party was actually a lot of fun, and definitely not as crowded as I' would have expected it to be. They had cash bars, of course, but I was also pleasantly surprised that they had a food spread...for free! I'm not usually one to go to the big theme-type parties that they have at conventions, but I'm glad we made it out to this one. The only minor issue was that they stopped the music/dancing for quite some time while they had the costume contest, and since timing-wise it was scheduled in the middle of the dance party, that did kind of make for an awkward break and it seemed that a lot of people unfortunately wandered out of the party because of it.

Amanda is nonplussed about me biting her.

Oh, her turn.

Daryl doing what he does best!
Now, earlier in the night we had met Melissa Hutchison, the voice of Clementine in the Walking Dead game, and as we were leaving the zombie party we ran into her and her friend Oxford and grabbed a picture with them. She was extremely friendly and great to talk to and I'm glad we saw her one last time and were able to grab this shot :)

It was actually (surprisingly? haha) a pretty early night for me, but I did end up back outside one more time after leaving the zombie party, where I ran into Scott Wilson (Herschel). I didn't talk to him because he was surrounded by people, but I thought it was so great that he was out there smoking a cigar and talking to fans, when I'm sure he could have found a private place to enjoy said cigar. I also later heard that he was outside for quite some time - possibly even a good couple of hours after I went to bed around 12:30 AM ;)

Sadly, going to bed Saturday night meant that Walker Stalker Con was almost over...but hey, not quite yet! I hit up a few activities on Sunday before leaving Atlanta, and I'll continue my coverage with those stories in my next entry! Pin It

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Walker Stalker Con 2013 Recap: Day 2, Part 2

I was admittedly feeling pretty darn amazing after participating in the Andrew Lincoln press roundtable, so after running back up to my room to upload my audio onto my computer (I couldn't bear the thought of losing it, for obvious reasons!) it was time to head back to the dealer room to meet up with "the group" :)

On the way there, though, I met a fun femme!Daryl and her zombie...

...and then once I was there, I ran into Daryl again...sort of ;)

'The group' had really wanted to get our picture with the cast, but unfortunately it was deemed a bit too expensive (at around $450 - even split between a bunch of us, that's a lot of money). So instead we all met up at "Daryl's motorcycle" for a quick group picture!

Though the 'dealer room' at Walker Stalker Con wasn't extremely large, they definitely made up with it by having so many actors there from the show, as well as several other 'entertainment' options. I got my picture taken by CNN! (Though sadly it wasn't one of the 20 photos chosen for their slide show. I'd love to see the pictures their photographer took, though, because the ones my buddy snapped are sadly mostly blurry because my camera is kind of a piece of crap.)

Seriously, this isn't a good picture of me and I have a weird look on my face, plus the lighting is bad...but it's the best one my camera took. CNN photog, where are my pictures?! ;)

Next up, it was time to get ourselves zombified for the party that night! My friend and I had snagged appointments with Roy Wooley from Face/Off, and while this involved getting painted up a little earlier than I would have liked, I'm definitely glad that I sucked it up and had him do my makeup. Because being a zombie turned out to be really fun. And for now I'll leave you with some 'before' pictures, and I'll be back with the 'after' shots and the tale of the rest of our night in the next entry!

Don't mind my face. I think my friend was teasing me.
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Confessions

I confess...I went to RenFaire on Saturday, and what was supposed to be merely a long afternoon somehow turned into a 13 hour day. But it was totally worth it :)

I confess...until yesterday, I hadn't seen a movie in a theater since June. That's right, nearly 5 months. But I saw Thor 2 and it was pretty darn great!

I confess...Walking Dead, which has its problems in terms of writing and whatnot, still had me on the edge of my seat last night. For nearly the entire hour.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Walker Stalker Con 2013 Recap: Andrew Lincoln Press Roundtable

As promised - the audio file of the press roundtable with Andrew Lincoln at Walker Stalker Con! :) And below, the full transcript that I created of said file, for those of you who prefer to read rather than listen ;)

1) Jonathan James ( – We had talked before about the fact that you don’t do too many convention appearances because you have a busy schedule and need to spend time with your family. So…what made you say yes to Walker Stalker Con, and why did you want to support the fans of Atlanta…?

AL: This is my second home…and I always wanted to do something for the home side…Also my family have just flown back to England, I have a spare weekend…when I’m not working, my weekends are sacred. And also, the podcasts are fantastic. I did some podcasts in between seasons…I loved having a direct relationship with the fans. And also, everybody else is here as well, and a lot of grateful undead. You know, there’s a lot of people that have died, and it’s quite nice to see everybody as well, so it just felt like the perfect storm, really. Yeah, contractually we do an east coast and a west coast…but I think that it’s very important that we celebrate this city, because I think this city and this state is integral to the success of the show…for so many reasons.

2)   Joe Blackmon ( – One of the best things…I think you’ve done was…after your wife died…Is there something coming up…in this upcoming season where you have another moment like that, where people are just gonna go ‘wow’?

AL: I’m not one of those actors that watches it so…I don’t know. But…certainly there are some incredible emotional moments as always in the show, and this season in particular. There’s a lot of story, there’s a lot of character development in this season….I won’t talk about myself so much, but I will talk about Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Norman Reedus, Steven Yuen, Scott Wilson…wait for Scott Wilson in the next couple of episodes. Everybody is getting their chance to shine, and we have an incredible ensemble of actors here. I’m not one of these people that goes “Yeah, I killed that scene”…it’s just not my style. I try and just give everything I’ve got every day, and do my best every take. And…losing someone as important as Lori was on so many levels…very difficult, but…there’s something I’ve just read, we haven’t shot it yet, and I hope I get it right. But…there’s something very very big looming that makes me nervous, and a nervous actor is always in my opinion a good actor, because it means you care.

3)   Emma Loggins ( – Obviously you have a very passionate fan base. I’m curious what you would say is your most memorable fan experience that you’ve had?

AL: I think it…will always be the first Comic Con. That was like we were in the belly of the beast. It was one of the most wild and sort of extraordinary days of my life. Because you’ve been working on this thing…I’d been so isolated in that first season…in those first three episodes…I mean I was alone for the first two, and we’d only shot that. So it was sort of revealing it to the world, and certainly one of the most fervent, intelligent, and loyal fan bases we could ever wish for – if you get it right. So…when I heard there was a roar of kind of approval…thirty seconds into the first show reel, the first trailer. People responded to it…I don’t know if it was joy…but I think it was more relief than anything else.

4)   Tara Lynne ( – I think it was at Comic Con earlier this year, you mentioned that every choice or action that Rick makes or takes comes with a cost. So I was curious if there was one particular one that you felt was most detrimental, or at least had the biggest effect on his current decision to kind of step back in terms of leadership?

AL: You know it’s interesting, because I think Sophia was a huge…I spoke…with the writer’s room…between one and two, and I said “He has to mess up profoundly badly.” You know what I mean? If you play a hero, you’ve got to see a broken man.  And I said that to Frank Darabont…in the pilot, when he arrives back at home and his family’s not there and he thinks they’re dead…you’ve got to see a man break, because that’s just..a human being. But then you see the fortitude that happens…I speak about 12 Years a Slave…there’s a beautiful moment in it that Chiwetel Ejiofor does during a grave scene that is a very similar moment…that…in amongst the hell, there’s still hope…when you see a man’s strength. I think Sophia was one of those terrible decisions. He should never have left her, he shouldn’t…and that irrevocably changed him, and caused that divide in the group between Shane…the pragmatic…against the humane…and…I think that the shock and the aftereffect of Lori’s death certainly put him into a place where he was isolated for a lot of last season. And dealing with his own grief and his own…madness, for want of a better…I mean, he was very very distressed and disturbed, and I think that that made him loosen the reins on keeping an eye on Carl and Judith. And I think what you’re going to see a lot more this season is a man taking responsibility for that above all else.

5)   Phantom Troublemaker ( – Clearly you are not from the American South, but your portrayal of Rick is much more than just a learned accent. Your actions, and just the way that you do things and think of people – the ‘being humane’ that you spoke of just a minute ago – how did you come to have such a good portrayal of a southern gentleman?

AL: You know, I just…do what’s on the page…and hopefully bring as much…I can only bring myself to it, you know…but there are things you heighten and you lessen when you play a role. I’m just very very fortunate that this is one of the great roles of my career that I’ve been offered,…and they keep writing incredible character development. There is something about being around a crew that is from Atlanta…and shooting in Atlanta…as I said before, I think it’s integral to the success of the show, the fact that we film it here. It informs…you know, like when you learn a different language, or you attempt to…you kind of become a sponge, and that’s sort of what my job is, really. But I’m only doing what’s on the page and just filling in and bringing my own take on that, I suppose. But thank you for saying that…I’m honored to even be asked, from another country, to do such a seminal kind of role…that is so American. It’s funny, I was talking to…my wife…we were in the car yesterday and the kids were watching Pinocchio, and we were listening to Pinocchio, and we were driving…And it was so hopeful and na├»ve and optimistic and wholesome. And she said, “What’s happened to the world? Why has it gone so…everything is about, sort of, consuming…” And I said, “Not in the South. The South still has that old…there’s a respectability, and there’s…a respect between generations, and a politeness, and a formality, that I think a lot of the world has lost. And I love being here because of those very things. And there’s a courteousness. I love the “miss”, when my wife gets called “Miss so-and-so”, or sir…there are certain things in place here that have been lost in a lot of the rest of the world, that I admire still. So maybe it’s just because I dig it, that it…helps you know?

6)   Mark Poynter ( – We were told not to ask about spoilers, but who on the cast is notorious for having loose lips?

AL: Yeah…Holden…she…freely…Laurie Holden said something I think last season that nobody picked up on. It was at a convention I think, and we all were just ripping Laurie for the rest…because she just let…I think it was a death, I think it was somebody’s death…maybe it was last season or the season before…but we remember, just…and it was taped, the whole thing…and she just…but it’s hard, you know, the difficulty with this is that we’re way ahead of you guys already, and we’re desperate to tell you…we keep saying ‘wait, just wait’, because it plays out…but I don’t think that anybody’s really done a big goof…apart from me, I think I’ve said a goof…have I said something? No, I think that’s largely one of the reasons why I don’t do these events so much, because I can’t stop myself from spoiling things. But it becomes like a diplomatic exercise, you become like a politician in this game. Because there’s so much viral kind of information out there, and it goes so quickly, you have to be very very careful. But I’m desperate to tell you…I can’t wait for you to see this season. I just want to see how you respond to it, because I think you’re going to see some of the best performances from a lot of this cast that you’ve ever seen.  I really do.

7)   Rodney Ho (Atlanta Journal Constitution) – You’re on your third show runner, and I want to ask how different has it been?

AL: There’s great continuity in our show. The crew…I would say 85-90% of them have been on the show from the beginning, and I think that is essential to having a work environment that is so focused and so relaxed. And they know the show, they know when we’re hitting the show as performers, because they’ve been looking through the camera lenses and they’ve been doing all of this for four years. As long as we have scripts, everything just runs…in the show. It’s a beast. And I have to commend…all of these amazing producers that we have. And all of the incredible design team that work very very quickly. They get scripts two weeks before we shoot, and they have to build these beautiful sets. What I will say is that it’s been thrilling this season. I think the storytelling has been magnificent. I think that it’s smart this season. I think you’ll benefit from re-watching episodes, because everything that is said is earned or deserves to be there. Every single line from every single character plays out. And that has been extremely satisfying to read as an actor, but to watch other people perform as well. So yeah…I hope you like it.

8)   Jason Bailey (92.9 The Game) – If you had 100% control over your character, and maybe the storyline – up until now, is there anything you would have changed? And if so, what?

AL: That’s a great question. I maybe…I would have loved to…have had a bit more time with my wife. Sarah Wayne Callies is such a great actress, and I loved working with her so much, and I suppose I would have loved to maybe have had more scenes. But the thing is, the beauty of…how that informed my character was that it sent me off into this crazy place that we arrived at and it was brutal and challenging and scary. So it’s difficult in hindsight…if you change that, you change it…because it changes every other aspect. And I’m very, very happy about who this guy is now and where he’s at. Just because it’s been a different experience this year, playing a guy that…almost like he’s holding himself back…he’s like a man in the traps… he’s reining himself in. But…that may not be for long.

As you can probably tell, this was an amazing experience. Andrew Lincoln gave all of us great, thoughtful answers to our questions, and I feel extremely blessed for having been given this opportunity :)
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Walker Stalker Con 2013 Recap: Day 2, Part 1

Saturday morning of Walker Stalker Con was a bit hectic (admittedly, I overslept juuuust a bit), but eventually I made it down to the dealer room to meet up with the group. There was a panel that I wanted to attend at noon, but when everyone decided to show me off to Laurie Holden (who'd seen them and asked where "she" - as in Andrea - was) I had to tag along as they waited in line for her autograph. When we got to the front of her line and they pointed me out, she was so sweet - she actually got up and said that she had to give me a hug, and proceeded to give me what was probably the longest hug I've ever received from a complete stranger. Not gonna lie, it *kinda* made my morning.

Saturday's 'show' Andrea costume (with what I realized later were the wrong pants ::sigh::)

After meeting Laurie Holden I rushed back over to the Westin for the Zombie Costuming panel with Eulyn Womble, the costume designer for Walking Dead. Not only did she discuss some of the ins and outs of costuming the show, she even gave some tips/hints/tricks (or what have you) for aging clothing items and the like. It was a really great panel and she was extremely engaging. (In fact, I ran into her just outside the hotel later in the day and couldn't help but stop and say hi and thank her for the panel - at which point I also found out that the little shih tzu sitting next to me during the panel was her dog, which was too cute.)

Zombie Costuming panel with Eulyn Womble

I had a bit of free time after the costuming panel and before *my* biggest event of the weekend - a press roundtable with Andrew Lincoln! So I wandered around the hotel a bit and then headed over to wait for Andrew Lincoln (!!!!!!!) - at which point I ran into Kina, who makes one hell of an awesome Michonne...

Next up...I'll share the entire transcript of the Andrew Lincoln press roundtable (and probably the audio as well if I have time to get it uploaded to YouTube, though some of it is a bit difficult to hear). After that I'll move on with my recap, but be prepared for a few more Walker Stalker entries ;) Pin It

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Walker Stalker Con 2013 Recap: Day 1

This past weekend I had one of the craziest and most surreal experiences of my life (so far, anyway). I had been granted a media pass to Walker Stalker Con - the first Walker Stalker Con ever, mind you - and had even gotten in touch with some cosplayers who asked me to be the Andrea for their group. Still, as exciting as all of that seemed, nothing could have prepared me for the amazing whirlwind that this convention turned out to be.

Unfortunately, I did arrive a bit late on Friday thanks to the combination of me oversleeping and dealing with traffic getting into the city. I checked into the Westin and had to wait a little while for my luggage, too - as I had to change into one of my Andrea costumes - so I didn't even make it down to the dealer room until around 5 PM.

This meant that I sadly missed meeting up with my cosplay friends, but I did get to walk around and check out the booths. They had a lot of cool stuff going on (some of which I'll talk about in future entries), including this basically life-sized (dead-sized? ha) zombie cake! The chance to eat this thing was being raffled off, but as I wasn't certain I could stomach biting into something that looked like that, I let it be ;)

As it turns out, the cosplay people weren't 'dressing up' for the evening meet and greet, which allowed me to change back into my "comfortable clothes" as well. I will say, though, when I finally met up with them at the meet and greet it was fun to see that they had leaned toward dressing like the actors whose characters they cosplay!

I think the meet and greet was a cool idea, but at the same time I'm not sure it was handled properly. I think it may have been better as a VIP event where they sold less (or possibly more expensive) VIP tickets, and allowed the attendees to take pictures with the actors who showed up. Also, most of us were hungry, so we didn't stay long - though we did run into IronE Singleton (a.k.a. T-Dog) on the way out!

(Please excuse awful blurry and kinda dark cell phone pic)

I ended up tagging along with "the group" for dinner at Meehan's (after a slightly disastrous attempt to get drinks at the bar at the top of the Westin - $7.50 for a Miller Lite NO THANK YOU). The food was good but the service sucked, so in the end we were there so late (until well after 11 PM) that it was off to bed just after. Still, it was a good time hanging out and getting to know some other Walking Dead cosplayers, especially Jimmy, who has mutual friends with my buddy, um, 'Jaime' (haha) and I!

I'll be back soon to recap what was the truly Big Day of Walker Stalker Con...and yes, I've got some really exciting stuff to share. Stay tuned! Pin It

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Confessions: I *am* The Walking Dead, this morning...

I confess...that returning to real life is even more difficult today than it usually is after vacation, because I had the most amazing and eye opening weekend in Atlanta. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved as a media/press guest at Walker Stalker Con.

I confess...a big part of the reason it was such an awesome weekend is that I was invited to be part of a press roundtable with Andrew Lincoln - you know, Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead - and I'm still riding on cloud nine over that.

I confess...while I'm on this Walking Dead kick...that I did NOT see last night's episode coming. (If you've watched it, you know what I'm talking about, and that's all I'm going to say to avoid spoiling anyone just yet.)

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