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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monkey Play at the El Rey in LA

When we heard that 100 Monkeys were going to wrap up their 45 city tour with several Southern California shows, we just couldn’t resist throwing all good judgment to the wind and making a long BookClub weekend out of it. Having unlimited wealth, no responsibilities in life, and a complete lack of priorities (only one part of this sentence is actually true), we decided to hit the road and become the 100 Monkeys version of Deadheads (but with daily showers).

The first of our four Monkey encounters was at the El Rey Theatre in LA, a fabulously renovated art deco theater from the 1930’s that makes you think old time Hollywood. The five of us (Twifixx, ZAnyMouse, Twi-daughters Nicole and Megan, and me) got spots in the center right up against the stage, the perfect location for maximum Monkey enjoyment. As always, it was a highly energetic show with the very enthusiastic crowd dancing and singing along the whole time. Every time I see the Monkeys perform, I’m convinced that it was the best show I’ve ever seen them do and this one was no exception. Jackson learned some mighty fine new moves during his travels these past few months and the band clicked together better than ever.

Yes, that really is a camera on Jackson’s hat. It took me awhile to notice the flashing red light and realize that we were being recorded every time he looked our way.

In honor of my good friend kiTT (who I’m convinced is the originator of Jared’s nickname “Mohawtie”) and thanks to a terrific suggestion from 17foreverLisa, we made neon green signs to try to get Jared to choose "Mohawtie" as the improv song. His sister was in the audience and he went with her title of "weightlifting snowman," but at least we made Jerad and Jackson laugh.

At the autograph table afterwards, Jerad told us that he would have picked our song title if his sister hadn't been there. I’m sure Jackson could have come up with some very interesting lyrics for that one! When Nicole gave them the Mohawtie sign to autograph, Jared drew a cute picture of a fish on it and then jokingly stuffed the page into his shirt. I'm not sure why he did that, but it was pretty funny and then Jackson acted like he was afraid to touch it. When Uncle Larry signed the page, he asked Ben J. what "Mohawtie" meant and Ben told him that it was because "Jerad has a mohawk and people think he's... we'll... you know.... hot" and then he looked really embarrassed from saying that. I thought it was such a generous and personal touch for the guys to stay after the show for an autograph line when it was so late and they were clearly exhausted.

We’ve seen 100 Monkeys perform quite a few times now and it’s hard to explain to people exactly what it is that keeps us coming back over and over again. I guess the best way I can put it is that it’s a chance to escape from real life for a bit with my two best friends (and future commune co-dwellers) and our wonderful daughters to dance and smile with a group of multi-talented guys who are very easy on the eyes and seem just as happy to be there performing for us as we are being there listening to them. What’s not to love?

And speaking of easy on the eyes... here's a favorite shot from one of the best magazine shoots EVER! I realize he's not a member of 100 Monkeys, but it just isn't right to leave him out of a TwiBite post.

TwiloveSue XOXO

P.S. Thank you to ZAnyMouse for naming my Monkey posts!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Random Comic-con Chat

Comic-con week began with a bang when 17foreverLisa flew halfway across the United States to brave a whole week with my family and attend the festival of nerds known as Comic-con. Nearly a year had gone by since the one time we'd ever met in person, but when we saw each other again it was as if no time had passed (I’m feeling so poetic right now).

TwiredJen, 17foreverLisa, and TwiloveSue (aka Jen, Lisa and Sue) at the San Diego airport. You know, I can't help but notice that we fail at having super secret online identities since all three of us include our real first names as part of our screen names.

Jen and I surprised Lisa at the airport with an embarrassing Rob sign, balloons, and a box of her favorite beverage (wine) decorated with Rob, Kristen and Jackson pictures. We had a great lunch at Seaport Village next to the bay (yes, Lisa overcame her fear of being eaten by killer whales!) and had a fun afternoon on the Old Time Trolley Tour through San Diego. I'll save the story of our BookClub fieldtrip to Hollywood (and all the embarrassing pictures) for my next post.

Because we take our Twilight extremely seriously and lost all sense of logic years ago when Edward first walked into the cafeteria, we then spent the next three days waiting in line for the Breaking Dawn panel. It was a little frustrating since Comic-con security didn’t quite know what to make of us being there so early (yeah, nothing weird about that). We kept trying to tell them it was only a matter of time before our group of thirty would grow to thousands.

Eventually they accepted our presence and went from threatening to call the police to “trying to work with us” to making us the official line and providing shade and bathrooms. Ah, the power of well-behaved Twilight fans and perseverance…

I know this sounds nuts, but it really was a fun experience and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. We held back on purpose to be second in line as part of our on-going plan to avoid the press at all costs. The group in front of us was inundated by media interviews from every news outlet and blog known to mankind and I’m grateful to them for representing our fandom so well. They were well-spoken and provided an interesting human interest story rather than the freak story I would have been. Trust me when I say that.

TwiSis Crystal, LuvsMeSumEdward, Twi-daughter D, Mary Lou, 17foreverLisa, and Allye – doesn’t this look cozy? ZanyMouse and TwiredJen made special trips to the convention center to keep us company in line.

Twi-daughter Nicole, Allye, Lisa

I will admit, though, that outside the San Diego Convention Center was not the most peaceful and comfortable place to sleep. It was cold being right there next to the water (what can I say, I’m a wimp and anything below 65 degrees is cold) and I can’t even say how happy I was when the trolleys across the street stopped running around midnight. That is, right until I realized that once the trolleys stopped, then the freight trains started. Seriously. Freight trains!!

Home Sweet Home

Nicole and I are huge Dr. Who fans and this picture from the BBC website of Nicole shows the beautiful Cosplay dress ZanyMouse made for her. Nicole had her picture taken tons of times over the weekend by other Who fans and also was interviewed for a BBC special. Is ZanyMouse incredibly talented or what?

My goal for Comic-con was to get as close to Robert Pattinson as possible and Nicole’s goal was to meet Matt Smith (he plays The Doctor on Dr. Who). I still can’t believe we both met our goals with flying colors (you can read about when I met Rob HERE – sorry to keep bringing it up, but I still can’t believe it!). Thank you again to my anonymous friend-who-shall-not-be-named that gave us the hot tip on where to find Matt!

Matt and Nicole

Sue and Matt

It was so cool to meet up with two of my Twilighty friends who also happen to be fellow Whovians, Dangrdafne and MissTejota.

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that Nicole and I are total geeks, so we were truly in our element at Comic-con. While I was there first and foremost for Twilight, it was pretty exciting to meet actors from Star Trek and Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was so sweet and gave GREAT hugs. Sigh.

Sue, Nicholas, Nicole

I have plenty more pictures to share in my next post, but here’s a lovely one of Rob to hold you over in the meantime. I may have used this one already, but does it really matter?

TwiloveSue XOXO

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Comic-Con: Twilight Stars Look Fabulous at the Crack of Dawn. Me? Not So Much.

As part of my diabolical plan to confuse you by doing my Comic-con posts in a completely random order, I’ll now tell you about our surprise early morning visit by Twilight cast members and save the adventures of line camping and other Comic-con talk for another post.

At about 6am on the opening day of Comic-con, Summit surprised us by bringing Nikki Reed, Ashley Green, Elizabeth Reaser, Boo Boo Stewart and Julia Jones to visit the line and deliver us breakfast. Needless to say, the crowd went nuts and nobody was interested in the food. Not only were there several thousand people in line by that point, but there were news cameras galore, spectators everywhere, and enough security to thwart a small country's revolution.

As security escorted the stars through the line, it became sort of a free-for-all to get a Breaking Dawn mini poster and coffee mug, meet each actor, and get an autograph or a picture. Despite the chaos, all of the actors were very calm and friendly, cheerfully posing for pictures and signing as many autographs as they could while security rushed them along and news cameras were shoved into their faces.

I spy Ashley Greene somewhere in the middle of all this mayhem.

There she is!

I’m sure I’m stating the obvious by saying that actors and actresses look so much more amazing than normal people to begin with, so when you put them next to people who have been camping out for multiple days…. well, in my case, the comparison becomes extraordinary (and not in a good way). Everyone else looks pretty good, though!

Twi-daughter Nicole and Nikki Reed. Nicole is a huge Dr. Who fan and proudly wore this awesome Tardis dress made by ZanyMouse.

Julia Jones and TwiloveSue

Twi-daughter Nicole and Boo Boo Stewart. Turns out he's a big Dr. Who fan too.

Elizabeth Reaser, TwiloveSue, Twi-daughter Nicole

The day’s autographs: (top l to r) Bill Condon, Rob, Taylor, Kristen, (bottom l to r) Boo Boo, Nikki, Elizabeth, Julia, Ashley. (I’m still in shock…!). Note that all I could think of to weigh down the poster corners for this picture was my spare change. I’m classy that way.

In case you were worried about Mrs. P’s fate after reading about how kiTT found her on the shores of the East Coast ready to cross the Atlantic in a bottle (hop over to TongueTwied for the full story HERE), rest assured that Mrs. P made it to San Diego in plenty of time for Comic-con.

She camped out in line with us for three days…

… got herself signed by Julia Jones (I hope that wasn’t too awkward)….

…and scored plenty of CC swag!

And because every post simply must end with a hot picture of Rob (this is a hard and fast rule, after all), here’s a shot from the Teen Choice Awards that pretty well demonstrates the smoldery yet incredulous look Rob gave me at the autograph session when I confessed my dorkiness to him. If you missed that post, you can read it HERE.

TwiloveSue XOXO

P.S. Don't forget to go Walk with Mrs. P today!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Comic-con: The Planets of the Universe Aligned, Karma Smiled, and I Met Robert Pattinson

I attended Comic-con a few weeks ago with one goal in mind: to get as close to Robert Pattinson as possible (without getting myself arrested or becoming the lead story on Access Hollywood). Silly me, I thought my best bet would be to camp outside Hall H for three days and try to score a front row seat at the Breaking Dawn panel. Little did I know that pure, dumb luck (or as I prefer to call it, fate) would be the key to my success. I’ll tell you more about being a crazy line camper and all the other fun things we did at Comic-con in another post because right now I have to tell you about how I MET ROBERT PATTINSON!!

I’m still in shock…

On the first day of Comic-con after several cast members visited us in line and Summit brought us breakfast, they held a raffle for the first 300 people in line to have a chance at 50 wristbands for a private autograph session with Rob, Kristen, Taylor & Bill Condon. Unfortunately, I didn't win, but my most awesome friend 17foreverLisa did along with one of the girls in the group in front of us. The rest of us were super bummed, but we still tried to be happy for the ones who won (believe me, it was very hard and I’m sure my eyes were glowing a bright green).

When they finally let us inside for the Breaking Dawn panel, it was total chaos and the back of the line basically went nuts trying to run in front of us and we also saw that the front rows were already blocked off for studio execs, the deaf, and all of their family, friends and neighbors (don't even get me started on that...). Our group got split up in the stampede, but Twi-daughter Nicole, 17foreverLisa and I did manage to get 2nd row seats together.

Before the panel started, I turned to Twi-daughter Nicole and said, “I wish I could have met Rob today, but I know it will happen sometime." As soon as I said that, a lady tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was leaving right after the panel and could she have our seats in exchange for her wristband to meet Rob!! I nearly died on the spot. Luckily she didn’t ask for my firstborn child, because Nicole was conveniently right there with me and I would have gladly traded her into a lifetime of servitude for a wristband. It’s quite likely that woman was my fairy godmother.

After the panel was over (more on that next time - it was fabulous!!), Lisa and I scurried off to the secret room to line up for the signing. They let us go in a few people at a time and I swear to you, I almost couldn't breathe when I saw Rob mere feet away. Taylor, Rob, Kristen and Bill were seated at tables all in a row and we were each given a Breaking Dawn poster to have autographed. We weren't allowed to take pictures (they threatened us big time) and the dictator-like woman in charge kept saying they had to leave in 7 minutes for another engagement. We found out afterwards that they ran out of time and the back part of the line never even got to see them. Can you imagine? I'm so glad we hurried.

Luckily there were some official photographers on hand to capture it all (note: none of the pictures in this post were taken by me and I believe all are APwire)

I met Taylor first and he was very adorable and friendly. We just made surface chit chat about Comic-con and his upcoming movie Abduction. I don’t remember much because, for some reason, I was having concentration issues.

Then, I moved down to Rob’s table and said hello to him with a big, dopey grin on my face. He smiled and said hi (I’m pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing in the background) and then he asked me "what does it say on your shirt?" I moved my CC lanyard out of the way and basically leaned forward with my chest stuck out (I'm such an idiot) and he read out loud "Ciao Volturi" (it had a cartoon picture of Alice in a yellow porche) and then he laughed and said, "that's funny."

You'd be very impressed at how cool and normal I acted (I think). I thanked him for coming to CC and said I was looking forward to seeing Breaking Dawn. I also told him that I was one of the dorks who waited in line for the past few days for the panel and he gave me a really funny, smoldery look, like "no you didn't...!" and stared straight into my eyes and smiled. I kind of shrugged and rolled my eyes and said, "I know...."

I told Rob how much I’ve enjoyed all of his movies and that it was really great to meet him. I also joked that I wouldn’t talk while he was signing his name because I didn’t want to make him mess it up (or something stupid like that) and he laughed. I tried not to be too gushy, but I’m sure I was. Then we said goodbye and I moved on to Kristen’s table.

I didn’t talk much to Kristen and Bill because it felt kind of awkward. I basically just said hi and that I enjoyed their movies (plus my brain was not working so well at that point) and then I floated out the door.

Wow. I still can't believe I finally met Rob and am so relieved that he was just as wonderful and gracious as I'd imagined. He was quite gorgeous in person and I didn’t even notice the hacked up haircut because I was so busy looking into his eyes. He most definitely has magical powers.

TwiloveSue XOXO