Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The SOA S4 Ratings Challenge Reception Part One

With the new year upon us, and now that the upgraded thyroid meds are kickin' in and makin' me a little less 'meh' feelin', along with the holiday season activities drawin' to a close, I can now turn my attention to workin' on the last entry about the 'winnin' weekend'.
I've already written about the viewing party, and of gettin' to talk much too briefly with Nico (or Niko) Nicotera, aka 'Ratboy' the prospect. It still bothers me that I didn't get swag to him, much less spend more time talkin' with him. I'd hate to think that he felt left out because he wasn't one of the 'major stars'.
So, we enter through a back entrance to the 'West End Tavern', to a private room. The FX people had been busy, settin' up large posters of the show, and munchies and a bar (can't remember if it was open/free or not. All I had was water). My reaction was 'Oh Wow!'
Bein' one ballsy broad, and because a lot of people on the Twitters, FB, and the message boards I hang out on asked about it, I marched up to Mr. Sutter and asked if there was a chance he, myself, and Twisted Shadow (Mark) could film a WTFSutter segment.
"Yeah, we can do that!" (I had my Iphone's 'quick memo' app recordin' the reception, so that's why I can quote verbatim).
"I even brought the questions I sent!" was my response.
"Sure, Kate (his assistant) is here, so we can do that!"
I explained how the message boards, TigNation, SOA.Net and SOAforums were hopin' for such, and he replied, "Right, right, right. We'll do that. We'll do that."
Having gotten his promise to do the special WTFSutter segment, I was approached by Mr. Ornstein, who said that the event was gettin' more and more amazin' for us. "They really pulled it out!"
"Whoo!" I replied, still reelin' from the fact that I'd grown a pair of 'nads and asked the Great Man himself about the special WTFSutter segment.
"Would you believe when Kurt greeted me that I started cryin'?"
Mr. Ornstein grinned and replied, "Awww! I don't blame you, he is a bit scary."
That made me laugh.
Kristen Renton came up as we were talkin' and asked how I was enjoyin' the event. I commented on the cardboard cutout of the living sex doll looked like her. Mr. Ornstein added that she had gotten her own doll out of it.
"I cannot take credit for that!" she exclaimed. "But, thank you!"
Mr. Ornstein and I were both a little shocked, as the cardboard cutout looked so much like her. Ms. Renton went on to explain that when they shot episode 405, they had also filmed '. . .a bunch of stuff in this warehouse, including shooting with those dolls, but due to the storyline itself, things had to be rearranged. It actually wasn't me but it sure looked a lot like me!'
I insisted that it certainly LOOKED like her, meanin' the cut out. Mr. Ornstein that when people compliment her on her actin', they'd also comment "OMG! I'm standing next to the picture of you! It's so good!" That made Ms. Renton laugh.
I told her the picture sure as Hell looked like her, and she thanked me for that, I guess she considered it a compliment. I HOPE she did!
Mr. Ornstein then said "I'm waiting for the 'Filthy Phil' doll to come out!"
Ms. Renton added "That would be amazing!"
I excused myself for a moment to find my poor, bag laden DH. I found him in the center of the room, with the bags and the digital camera. He wanted to know what I was doin', and I replied that I was goin' to give out the IN swag to the actors and production people.
One of the production people I spoke with was affiliated with Fox as a party planner, and I presented her with a little something of appreciation for all the FX people, which she said she'd get to them.
(OK, the photo is of Kate and Mark talkin' to Mr. Ornstein, but y'all get the idea of how gracious and open he was to us!)
Naturally, the first person to get his package was Mr. Ornstein, who was standing at the bar. "Merry Christmas, baby!" I laid the package in front of him.
"Get out! Thank you!" And there he goes with givin' me another hug, making me all teary eyed again and mumbling somethin' inane about hopin' he'd like it.
"Should I open it now?"
"If you want to," I replied, still misty eyed.
So he rips into it, calling the Christmas kitty wrap the best kind. Inside the box, nestled in wrappin' paper, was an autographed pic of me and Tig - the bike - with an uncirculated IN quarter attached to the picture. Alone with a T shirt from the Indianapolis Hard Rock Cafe, and a keep sake ribbon that Robert and I had given out at our weddin' nearly 17 years ago.
(Note, all the actors received the autographed picture of me and the bike with the uncirculated IN quarter attached. Those who weren't present will receive theirs when Season 5 begins production. Kurt's assistant, the talented and very friendly Katie C., has them now and promised to see to it that the actors receive their bit of IN swag!)
So I explain what all he received. There was another picture of me with the twin tower beams for the 'Proejct Indy 9/11 Memorial' and an artist's renderin' of the finished memorial. "This is what you retweeted for me the day I learned about winning."
"Yes, I remember that. Absolutely. Wow!" He was very pleased with the ribbon keepsake as well as the shirt. "I love this stuff, thank you so much!" And here comes yet another hug.
We talked about the event at Perri Ink Cartel the night before and that the DH and I really enjoyed it. He asked me if I was drinkin' anything, and I just asked for water. (Trust me, with a small tummy, I know better than to drink any alcohol. It takes little to get me loaded, and I didn't want to make any more of a fool of myself than I might sober!)
From there, I went to talk again with Ms. Renton. I know the picture looks otherwise, but she and I really had a great conversation. I approached her with her little package and said, "I told ya I've got your swag!"
"Oh my goodness!" she actually squeed like a fangirl. "Oh, I don't wanna open it! It (the wrapping) is so cute!"
I explained that it was just my small way of sayin' "Thank you."
"Do you want me to open it?"
"If you want to!" Naturally, I wanted to see her reaction, but didn't want to pressure her, either. It turns out she's one of those unwrappers who open packages slowly, to savor the moment.
As soon as she saw the autographed picture, she crooned , "Oh, I love it!" She also received the Indy 9/11 project picture, as she'd retweeted about it as well. Then she got somethin' really special to lift her spirits. Inside a small cardboard box was a set of baseball cards for her favorite baseball team from Tampa Bay.
Another delightful squeal of thanks, and I was enveloped in a giant hug. We talked about our love of animals, and of the pain she felt about the situation at PSU. I was incensed to learn that some asshat on Twitter had hurt her by sayin' ghastly things about her bein' a part of the school. She reported the tweeter, and I hope he got what he deserved.
As we discussed our love of animals, I told her about a sign we have in the kitchen that 'Cat fur is not just a condiment, it's an accessory.'
"Anyone who doesn't like my pets can get out of my house!" she agreed.
"We have another sayin', 'Why do you think it's called 'FURniture'?"
She laughed, "I like that! I've never heard it!"
"It's been around FB."
Ms. Renton mentioned that she doesn't get to FB as much as she does Twitter, which is somethin' I can appreciate. I meant to tell her that one can set their twitter feed to post directly to FB, but forgot as we got to talkin' about bikes.
Turned out she was lookin' forward to gettin' a bike when she visited her family. She was startin' out with a 250CC. I told her that if she ever gets to Indy, she's due a ride on Tig. We also talked about the party Robert and I attended the night before, and she asked me if I got a tat.
"At my age, honey? Gravity is NOT my friend!"
"You're never too old to get a tat!"
I explained that right now, the only place on my not saggin' and flappin' was my ankles, which led to discussin' the gastric bypass surgery I had seven years ago. She was aware of it, as a good friend of hers had had the same surgery as well as the flapper removal surgery which is somethin' I need but can't afford. (one of the drawbacks to dramatic weight loss is that your skin doesn't 'snap' back from bein' stretched. After losin' a great deal of weight, many bariatric patients get their flappin' skin surgically removed via cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately, many insurance companies consider that elective, so it's a little cost prohibitive. Another reason I wear long sleeves all the time, besides bein' cold all the time!)
Robert snuck up to take a picture of us, which is why Ms. Renton is lookin' off to the side. I'd just told her the story of turnin' 50 and decidin' against tradin' him in on a younger model, and had already had the red car, so I bought a bike. She turned to him and told him, "You've got quite a woman, here, you know that?"
"Oh, yes!" he diligently responded, making both of us laugh.
The next person to get swag and conversation was Emilio Rivera. He greeted me with another hug, and though Robert took a picture of us standin' together, it didn't come out on the digital camera, nor from his smartphone. Since he was also mannin' the flip phone from the FX people, I suspect it got caught on there. Le Sigh.
So Mr. Rivera and I start talkin' about bikes. Mr. Rivera had a Yamaha Seca 750 at one time as well, a red one like Tig. He said it was a very powerful bike. How well I know! As Robert was takin' the pic of us together, I mentioned havin' a pic of him sittin' on the bike when it wasn't runnin'. "It's the only way I can get him on the bike!"
Robert responded ( as he did the many times that night when asked if he rode) that he does his imitation of Super Chicken whenever the bike is mentioned.
That definitely gave Mr. Rivera a laugh.
This was also my next 'floor open up and take me away!' moment of embarassment, as I had a bag full of stuff of Mr. Sutter, Ms. Sagal, their children while holdin' the picture/quarter for Ms. McNally Sagal and Mr. Rivera in my hand. I gave him the picture, and it was the one for Ms. Sagal!
He quietly and graciously pointed out the error, and I fumbled to give him the one for him, wishing the floor would just open up and swallow me whole! D'OH!!!!
I guess he sensed my distress, as he made every effort to overlook my faux pax, and we talked about the bike. He called the picture awesome and assured me the picture of me and Tig was still on his FB page. "Mine was a 1982 four into one (meanin' the exhaust, for those of you not mechanically inclinced) and it was red, too. That's a pretty bike. Back in the day, it was a bad ass bike. A lotta juice!"
"Oh, I handle him pretty well!" came my reassurance.
"How long have you had it?"
I told him three years, but meant two. And told him that the first year, due to the gas tank rust issue, we didn't get to ride much but we'd done a lot this year, which he responded with "That's great!" We discussed that I was lucky at findin' parts and have two great mechanics (Bill at Cycle Re Cycle I and Vic from SkyCustomCycle in Indy) to keep Tig purrin'.
We talked about his work on Mrs. Rivera's film that he posted on FB some time ago, and how much I appreciated her work due to my background in radio/tv/film in college. It was very evident to me that he is proud of her own achievements and loves her immensely. Because of that, I had Robert give him one of our keep sake ribbons.
"I have a treasure box that I keep things like that. I'm going to keep it in that box, so my son will have it later."
That really touched me, that he would want his son to have something like that. He asked what I do for a livin', since I'm no longer in the broadcast biz, so I related my CSR work, and how I'd gone online, found a tool to convert our scripts into Spanish due to the lack of interperters we have on staff.
"Sometimes the customers appreciate that I'm tryin' to help them, but one customer told me - in English - I needed to go back to school to learn how to speak correctly!"
"That's great! At least you try. That means a lot!"
From talkin' with Mr. Rivera, I went to where Ms. Sagal was sittin' with her daughter and Ms. McNally Sagal. Ms. Katey was talkin' about a director when I stepped up, luggin' my bag o' swag and presented the pictures to them.

"That's sweet!" Ms. Katey cooed. "That's very cool."
Ms. McNally was very impressed with her own picture and quarter, and then I pulled out the wrapped packages, one of which went to Ms. Katey, and the other to their daughter, Sarah. I explained that there was quarters for all three youngsters, and that I hoped the gift for Esme wouldn't creep out Kurt, as it was a stuffed cardinal, the Indiana state bird.
"I'm sure it won't bother him." she assured me. "I thought it was a live bird, and that had me a little worried!" She expressed delight in seeing the picture of me on the bike, and was interested in the Indy 9/11 project pictures I presented her.
She hefted the small package and asked if she should open it right then.
"If you want!" That became my standard answer.
Ms Katey found a porcelain trinket box inside her package, painted with a yellow peony, the Indiana State Flower. Inside the tinket box was one of our keepsake ribbons and the Cole Porter CD. The teens get to share a John Mellencamp CD of his best hits.
"That's beautiful!" She exclaimed over the trinket box, and was impressed that we'd been married 17 years.
Then Mr. Kurt came up as Sarah, their daughter, was opening her package and she told him about the gifts to the kids. Ms. Katey mentioned that she was going to post on Twitter, as she doesn't post much. "I don't want to just post about mundane things, like 'I took the kids to the bus'!" (Y'know, I never did see yet what she might've posted about the event! Hmmmm).
Mr. Sutter had come up to collect me to film the special WTFSutter, and then I was to go back upstairs to the theatre office with the FHE people to film somethin' for the DVD set.
I pulled his package out of my bag and said "Merry Christmas!" Mr. Sutter received some thought provokin' IN swag; two books that I hope give him plenty of readin' pleasure. Both are Hoosier authors, short story collections of Kurt Vonnegut and George Ade (for whom the Purdue Ross Ade stadium is named. He was quite an acerbic writer in his day, and I felt Mr. Sutter might appreciate his writing.
In the picture below, I had often tweeted to Mr. Sutter that we often shared the same outlook about people, from an old cartoon drawn by Charles Scultz. I found that cartoon on line, printed and framed it, and included the picture of my bike and myself in it. The drawing is of Linus Van Pelt, clutching his security blanket and saying, "I love mankind, it's PEOPLE I can't stand!"
Did he like what he received? I think so.


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