The holiday rush has been particularly rushy this year.
We’re not complaining. Please keep us busy.
It’s fun when it’s all hooves on deck.
The holiday rush has been particularly rushy this year.
We’re not complaining. Please keep us busy.
It’s fun when it’s all hooves on deck.
This weekend I’m at (Re)Generation Who, a convention dedicated to Doctor Who. Doctors Peter Davison and Colin Baker are here, as are a bevy of companions and other actors from throughout the show’s 50+ year history.
I am here as a vendor, selling the bags, pillows and book covers I sew. My company is MarfDazeGeek.
Here is a play-by-play of my (mostly) busy day. Many more pictures as the day progresses.
“RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!,” says my outrageously loud and insistent alarm clock.
Just in case wake up phone call from husband David.
Chat with a fellow dealer by the elevator. He has clearly come back from an early-morning jog.
Buffet breakfast. Decide on one less sausage due to shame based on lack of early-morning jogging.
I get a nice jelly-filled pastry to feed my feelings about my lack of early morning jogging.
Head to the lower level in an attempt to get Peter Davison’s autograph. Fail. Too many people in line and I need to get up to the Dealer’s Room.
Start to get booth ready in the Dealer’s Room.
Decide that a second cup of coffee is in order. Head to the café.
Return to Dealer’s Room and chat with neighbors until the room opens to the public. Today’s discussion. Sam vs. Dean. My talented corset-making neighbor picks Dean, based solely on his
loyalty bravery cheekbones jawline love of pie. I go with neither. Those guys are trouble.
Dealer’s Room opens to VIPs.
First sale. Yay!
Room opens to everyone.
First grab-and-go multiple sale. Sometimes people get to my table and pick up the first three or four bags they see and buy them. This shopping strategy is so different from my own that I suspect these folks are on a scavenger hunt. Three MarfDaze bags. Check.
Crowd begins to form in the dealer’s room. Effects of the second cup of coffee begin to be felt. Good morning!
A cybershade drags Jackson Lake through the dealer’s room, like in “The Next Doctor.”
I meet the first of many Twelfth Doctors of the day.
Just like the Peter Capaldi-shaped Doctor in “Deep Breath,” she brought along dinosaurs to help introduce herself.
Someone notices the “Grr Argh” on my 2-year-old Zombie bags sign and connects it to Buffy for the first time ever.
Quick stripy scarf count in the dealer’s room. Only four. Step up your game, people.
Two new scarves enter the room. Two leave. There must be a conservation of Fourth Doctor Scarves Law.
Someone drops by for the expressed purpose of telling me how much she loves the bag she bought from me last year. Blush.
I learned the ASL sign for TARDIS. Which is really quite lovely. Get it?
The Doctor, a friendly Dalek and Oswin drop by.
Someone pays using a $2 bill.
A lady says she has nothing to put in bags and that she has too many already. Then she buys four. Not that I’m complaining.
For some reason, I’m selling Stargate bags at an unusual rate. Again, no complaints.
Vincent and the Doctor say hello.
I told Missy and the Doctor that I’m glad they’re friends again, and she said, “Not just friends — in our case, we go home and sleep together.” Well, no surprise there, Master.
This Doctor must have been doing some welding under the Tardis console.
River dropped by.
And then showed off her diary.
The Triceratops Has the Phone Box.
Still slow. But someone gave me a wrapped grape tootsie pop. Internal debate about whether or not to eat candy from strangers ensues.
I remember that I enjoyed an UNWRAPPED Jelly Baby yesterday, and it was given to me by Tom Servo dressed as the Sixth Doctor yesterday and I have yet to die. It was quite tasty.
A man wants to smother his couch with Doctor Who pillows from MarfDaze. Needs to call wife first for a thumbs up. That’s probably a wise move.
Cat is the greatest dealer’s room volunteer ever. She is the gold standard of responsiveness and friendliness. Today, she introduced me to her mom.
I checked and I’m still not dead from yesterday’s tasty jelly baby from strangers. Now I’m eying the grape tootsie pop more seriously.
Post lunch crowd starting to drop in.
This is Brad. Brad likes signs and sly humor.
Yesterday, Brad came as a bombastic xenophobe.
There’s always exactly one jerkface at every event I go to. No more. No fewer. And it is the official surprise jerkface job to say something unexpected, insulting and weird all that same time. Today’s jerkface pointed to a bag and asked his companion, “What the fuck is this? Why the fuck would you make that?” Dude, I’m right here. To answer your well thought-out questions, in order. 1.) It’s a bag. 2.) Because I’m a multidimensional wavelength of celestial intent and frankly, I’m amazing.
As if sent by the fates to keep the force in balance, delightfully prolific and prolifically delightful author John Peel dropped on his way to a panel to thank me for a present I gave his equally delightful wife. Today I found out that I read a few of his star trek books many years ago, long before we met. Funny how life works.
I notice for the first time all day that I haven’t been sewing despite my sewing machine being in front of me, all ready to go. I’m ok with that. I had a rough time sleeping last night, and tired brain + sewing machine needles + fingers = ouchies. Possibly bloody ouchies. Best not to sew.
I admired a Tardis/Doctor combo.
I’m pretty sure all the Daleks and all the Cybermen just walked by my table in the condensed form of one Mr. Nicholas Briggs.
After a busy spell of actually selling things, the Master came by. I told him to please not kill Irving.
Irving is still hiding from the Master.
Seeing all the multigenerational families of Doctors today – a Tom Baker dad was with a Matt Smith teen and a Peter Capaldi tween, it occurred to me that the newest doctor is always simultaneously the oldest doctor.
I met a pug named Lillian.
Amy and Rory arrived on the scene.
Afternoon lull. Time to edit this blog. While I eat a grape tootsie pop. How did this get here?
I discover that the real danger in the tootsie pop is that it’s hard to talk to customers in an elegant and professional manner with a chewy lolly in my mouth.
Lull officially over. Now afternoon rush.
Utilikilts and stripy scarfs now vying for sartorial supremacy in the Dealer’s Room.Three kilts to five scarves (counting Irving’s).
What’s the most charming idea you can think of? Toss it aside and replace it with talented belly-dancing geeky ladies in fanciful costumes dancing. I wasn’t able to see Antipode’s show, but I did see some of their outfits. Adorable.
Oh. Hey. It’s snowing. A lot.
Quick break. Need someone to watch the table.
My con friend Missy is dressed as the Master, who, as you know, is now Missy.
Not gonna lie. Sometimes I completely forget what I’m really supposed to be doing behind my table (selling bags, because mortgage and food) and my booth just sort of turns into a doctor who/star trek/whatever else chat space. And then someone else turns up and actually wants to look at the bags, and I’m like, oh, right, yeah, bags!
Someone introduced me to my new favorite cute animal, the flapjack octopus.
Carla here showed off her fabulous cloud and crystal rain drop necklace made with repurposed china.
This Fourth Doctor dropped by at 4:44 exactly.
Let me take this lull to tell you about the movie I saw last night. The Making of a Lady, which is set in 1896 England tells the tell of lady’s secretary
Jenny Flint Emily Fox Seton, who marries John Stewart (but not really) and gets menaced by Benedict Cumberbatch’s even prettier but malaria-addled brother (but not really). And Ab Fab’s Patsy is their aunt. (Kinda really.)
Other than the amazing clothes and committed performances by some of the actors, the best part of this high melodrama was Sarah Dempster’s review from the Guardian, which may be the best piece of writing I’ve read in quite a while:
“Life in the marital mansion passes in a series of stifled yawns and half-hearted gropes by gaslight. There are dinner table longuers and lingering shots of Emily looking pained at a writing desk… It’s not exactly a bouncing jalopy of woo-hoo.”
I’ve decided that I need to live a life that can only be described as a bouncing jalopy of woo-hoo. Let me get on that.
Another Missy and I chat about Jessica Jones.
Someone came by with a nametag that says Skynet. Which is clever because SPOILERS. No picture because SPOILERS.
Everyone’s at dinner. Figurative thumb twiddling ensues.
I’m hopeless at figurative thumb twiddling, so I decide I need to sell six more things in order to call this day successful. This is difficult as everyone’s left for the evening.
This Eleven had many of Matt Smith’s mannerisms down.
Met a couple who are only halfway through David Tennant, but who have watched all of River Song in order, from her perspective. Yowza.
Met a mom who has made her tween son an amazing 17th Doctor costume. In case you were wondering, the 17th Doctor wears iridescent gray tails with a royal purple lining and a jaunty purple cravat shot with gold. You heard it here first. Start planning for 2032.
Despite the thinner crowd, I’m halfway to my arbitrary end–of-day goal.
Nope. Not going to make the goal.
Happy to visit with my last guests of the day, Lydia and her daughter, Sydney, whom I see at many local conventions. Sydney is hilarious and unbelievably quick witted. I suspect she will a critic, a commentator, a professor or the president.
Dinner and blogging.
Signing off. Time for sleepies.
But first, one last shot of Captain Jack and Ten in the form of belly-dancers.
It seems like only last week that I was writing a piece about what it’s like to be an introverted convention goer.
Wait, it was last week.
This weekend, Irving and I are in Washington, D.C. for the Salute to Supernatural convention. I thought it might be fun to check out the Mark Sheppard panel.
He plays Crowley, the current king of hell, on the show. Even if you don’t follow Supernatural, you know him from something.
As a vendor, I don’t get a seat, but I’m allowed to watch if I hang out quietly on the side against the wall. No problem for me. I prefer to be off to the side, out of the way.
No sooner than Mark —
Can I call you Mark, Mr. Sheppard? I’m going to call you Mark.
— took the stage, he left it and began walking up and down the aisles, so that folks throughout the room could see him up close and snap photos.
He’s very urbane and droll. Plus smoky throated British accent. Delightful.
He’s clearly a seasoned pro at handling large audience Q and A sessions. Walk, walk, walk. Acerbic, but lovable bon mot. Walk, walk, walk. Quip, thoughtful answer, quip. Walk, walk, walk.
I was willing him to come down the aisle near my wallflower perch, so I could get my usual shot of a celebrity with Irving sneaking in the frame.
Come on, Mark, turn right.
Careful what you wish for.
At this point, MARK SHEPPARD SNATCHED IRVING OUT OF MY HANDS AND KEPT WALKING.
At first, I thought he’d give him back. But no, he just kept on going.
What was I to do? I started to walk behind him. The audience roared.
He didn’t even turn around. He just broke into a run.
I started to half-heartedly pretend jog, in an attempt to maintain a semblance of dignity.
Surely, you’re going to return Irving before you make a 40-year-old chick in a dress start to chase you for realsies.
“Cardio is important,” he tossed over his shoulder.
Was he seriously playing keep-away with me? Was I back on the 4th grade playground? I thought about giving up and appealing to the audience.
But, then again, despite Mark’s trash talking, I didn’t feel picked on. Mark’s got a layer of snarky, but he doesn’t seem like a bully…
A lightbulb went on over my head as my latent inner theater major kicked in. I realized I was being invited to join in “a bit”.
You wanna play, Mark? I’ll play.
Good thing I’ve been working out recently, because I ended up flat-out running in front of several hundred people (and now that I’m thinking about it, holy shit, soon to be thousands of youtube people — please be kind).
I got up to the front of the room, but then he sidestepped me and headed for the middle of the audience.
Oh, it’s so on.
I pretended to go this way, and then went that way. Despite my lack of animal grace and sports bra, the audience cheered and I knew they were on my side.
He returned and we ended up having a stand-off, in front of stage. Mark tossed Irving back.
As I headed back to my spot on the wall, I passed lots of hands extended for high fives.
I spent the rest of the panel in a bit of shock, heart racing, with Irving clutched to my chest.
Then later, back at my booth, folks were asking after Irving. He became a (very) minor celebrity in these here parts for an hour or so.
Still, we’ve had enough excitement for the weekend.
That was fun, but don’t you even think about kidnapping Irving again, Mark. We’re ready for you now.
UPDATE: The youtube video evidence is up!
Dear Readers, I’m busy sewing bags and preparing for a series of upcoming scifi conventions, so I’ve asked guest plushy blogger Irving to fill you in on our recent adventures.
Love, love, love, Martha
The Walking Moose
Irving here, ready to tell you about life on the road as the Official MarfDaze Spokesmoose.
Martha thought she’d try to sell her fandom bags at fan convention. To get her feet wet, she applied for the December 2014 Walker Stalker Convention in NJ/NY, which celebrated The Walking Dead.
Why start small when you can do a convention featuring the most famous actors from the most popular TV show in America, right outside of the most populous city?
It was quite a change from the local craft fairs we’re used to.
Before the show, Martha, David and I toured the venue and snapped some pictures to burn off some nervous energy.
But once the booth was set up and customers arrived, it was a whirlwind. We had very little time for moose glamour shots.
Suddenly, there seemed to be people everywhere. Martha and David had their hands full.
On the second day, reinforcements arrived in the form of Martha’s sister-in-law and nephew. I got to hoof it and meet my favorite Walking Dead actor.
It was an amazing and amazingly fast-paced experience. Can’t wait to go back this December.
Farpoint: To Boldly Go Where No Moose Has Gone Before
Next, Martha left David at home and we headed to Farpoint, a Star Trek-oriented convention near Baltimore.
It was much, much smaller than the Walker Stalker convention, so Martha and I actually got to talk to people and take tons of pictures.
Here’s the view from the MarfDaze bridge:
Our vending neighbor, Cynthia from Wyrd and Wired, was friendly and full of good advice.
There were lots of authors at Farpoint, so Martha brought some books to sign in case some wandered by.
And some did!
Then, the most famous author at the convention — guest of honor Timothy Zahn — came to the table and Martha didn’t have any of his books out! She didn’t bother to pack any because she figured he’d never come by. Oh, the horror!
You know who else came by the table unexpectedly? Tim Russ, aka Tuvok from Voyager.
Martha tried to play it cool, but inside she was a mess. She was relatively non-embarassingly squee-ish asking him to take a picture with me in the autograph line, but then he showed up as a civilian going through her wares and she started to get giddy. He was very nice, though. And what a great voice that man has.
We also met YA mystery-book author TJ Perkins, who has an intriguing-sounding new children’s book coming out in April.
Also at the convention was the dreamy Colin Ferguson. Martha couldn’t get away from the table long enough get picture of us together, but we saw lots of him coming and going.
Farpoint was a Star Trek convention, so we saw lots and lots of Starfleet admirals and captains and ensigns and red shirts. But you know who else kept showing up? This guy:
First he was going solo and looking old school. Later he reappeared with Ace.
Then he came back alone in a dapper suit.
He had the Brigadier keeping an eye on his ride.
But Farpoint wasn’t all Doctor Who and Star Trek.
Kaylee came by from Serenity.
And I met a new dance partner.
Next stop: David, Martha and I are headed to Wizard World Comic Con in Raleigh with James Marsters (Spike from Buffy!), Ian Somerhalder (Lost! Vampire Diaries!) and Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha on the Walking Dead!). In short it will be a festival of awesome cheekbones.
Your Friend in Plush,
I’m busy training for an 18-mile overnight walk to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and I’m excited for two reasons: