Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

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

Friday, January 06, 2012

The SOA S4 Fan Reception Part Deux

So then we film the WTFSutter segment. Unfortunately, some of the responses on YouTube were not very nice about Mark and myself. Others were not happy with the sound quality. I'm sorry about that. It was unplanned, and Kate Curtright (his assistant) and Mr. Sutter were very generous in makin' it happen. Yes, we were in the reception room, there was a lot of talk in the background. Could we have gone someplace quieter? Probably. But at the time, we did the best that we could do. For those of you who might have missed it, here's the whole segment.

This is the throttle lock I mentioned in the segment:

After the WTFSutter segment taped, I finally got the opportunity to sit and talk with The Great One about story writing, and how I sensed that Gemma was more to the club than 'just an old lady'. While it wasn't talkin' about Life, The Universe, and Everything, it was pretty damn close!

I spoke of the battles to keep people from wearin' patches and cuts if they don't belong to clubs, and that fightin' the battle against Ebay bootleggers was out of love for the show, and knowin' what the cast and crew go through to make the show happen. Speakin' of shows, we also touched again on the WOA (Watchers of Anarchy) misunderstandin', and how that podcast has done a lot to unite fans of the show. I let Mr. Sutter know that he's this generation's 'Great Bird of the Galaxy' as Gene Roddenberry had been with Star Trek, as no other show seems to have united so many people all over the world.

We also touched upon the creative process, and in listenin' to my recordin's, feel that here was another 'floor open up and whisk me away for bein' a dumb ass!' I mentioned my fanfic and how it delves into the things that the show doesn't have the opportunity to answer, such as LuAnn's funeral and how Otto got to attend. He seemed interested in that, and was very polite about it. I hope to GAWD I didn't bore him to tears about it. Perhaps someday he'll check it out, as it was written out of love for the show and the characters. But if I could take back any moment, that would be the one.

Meanwhile, Kenny Johnson had come into the reception, and walked up to congratulate me for winnin'. If you've ever heard Mr. Johnson's greetin' on the Watchers of Anarchy podcast, he really does speak the way he tweets!

"I'm Lowecat, and often tweet back to y'all, though you don't follow me!" (Kat, @Meadowgirl, rectified that problem when she hijacked Mr. Johnson's smart phone, twitted from it, and then added him as one of my followers! )

"So how'd you like the episode?"

I told him that it helped me understand his tweet earlier that week. I'd responded by remindin' him that Sutter had left the door open for him.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! No, no, it's one of those things - folks are like, how come you're not there, like it was my choice. And like, It wasn't. Yeah, it was a little tricky between NBC not lettin' me--

Someone, maybe @Meadowgirl, asked if Prime Suspect had been yanked. At the time, of course, he believed it was still going to air. We all know how THAT turned out!

So I presented him with his little bit of IN swag, and he started singin' the IU school song, and mentioned David Letterman.

"So does that mean you're an IU fan? Cause you'd better NOT mention the 'P' word in my presence!" (The 'P' word is Purdue).

"Hell Yeah! I love Indiana!" he replied.

I gestured at Mr. Sutter and said, "This is the new Bobby Knight, in case you didn't know! It seems that anything he says or tweets is always taken the wrong way!"

Kenny knew exactly what I meant, "You say what you think, don't apologize for it. It's not politically correct they obviously all get bent out of shape." I'm not sure how Mr. Sutter felt about bein' identified as the new Bobby Knight, as he was presented with some grilled tofu to eat, and I started talkin' with Mr. Johnson about my bike, named for his one time nemesis.

"You named your bike 'Tiggie'? "


"Oh, I love that!"

Tig, the bike, is a 1981 Yahama Seca 750. Mr. Johnson stated that he loved that, "Right on!" I then pointed out the IN quarter attached to the photo.

"That's beautiful. Thank you so much!"

Then I had to open mouth, insert foot again, by admittin' that I didn't like Kozik that much at first, because he was pickin' on my fave.

"I know. I know."

Continuin' to swallow my entire foot whole, I blathered on about how Kozik grew on me later and how much I was enjoyin' 'Prime Suspect'.

Robert, the DH, approached as I was gettin' a hug (undocumented on camera, dammit!) from Mr. Johnson. I introduced him and Mr. Johnson said hi to him, adding that he was watchin' Robert roam around. When asked if he were a rider as well he responded with his 'super chicken' quote, which elicited a laugh of delight from Mr. Johnson. I then showed off the pic of Robert astraddle a motionless Tig, the bike, which elicted another laugh of delight.

While Robert and I were talkin' with Mr. Johnson, Mark/@twistedshadow was doin' an on camera piece for the upcomin' DVD box set. One of the staff came to get me for my turn, and I reluctantly went along. It was more fun to talk to the cast and crew than to talk about myself on camera!

As I passed Mr. Reid, I got a big bear hug of thanks for his swag, which included the pic and quarter, as well as San Diego Padres baseball cards, which he said he loved. I figured out his favorite from a tweet and did some research to determine his favorite ( Hey, I'm a former reporter, we investigate facts). I wanted to talk to him some more, but had to do my duty, but promised to see him once duty was done.

Kyle Looney, from FHE, asked about the flip cam, as she was collecting them before she left, and I sent her after the DH, who was manning it. Some of our camera work may appear on the DVD as well. (Later on, due to the confusion of jugglin' cameras, and my disappointment at not havin' pics of me with the various celebs except for the candid shots, meanin' that we didn't get the hugs, Ms. Loony obtained a number of those shots from the flip cam and sent them via email. Purrs and whisker kisses go out to her for doin' that!)

I also got an opportunity to finally meet Mr. Sutter's assistant, Katie Curtright. This woman is fantastic, and very nice to deal with. We traded emails as the event loomed, so she's have the contact info to get news and things to me. She was always helpful, so I included a wee giftie to her, SAMCRO_BLOGGER, and Culvercat (Christie, one of the production staff who was instrumental in takin' that picture of Kim Coates holdin' a sign of thanks to me, even though my name was spelled wrong, it didn't matter!). Those three individuals received stuffed plush kitties from me as a thanks for their kindness and support. Ms. Curtright has the bag of IN swag (pics and the quarter) for all the other actors, and promised they'd be delivered when production on Season Five begins. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when they get it!

I won't tell all y'all what transpired durin' the tapin'. Suffice it to say that will be on the DVD. Wait for the OFFICIAL edition to be released. Don't be fooled by the Season 4 DVD box set that's out now and available on line. You'll miss out on the extras! The whankers sellin' the bootleg S4 make it look official because they use the artwork from the promo DVDs that FX sent out to reviewers.

(If I could say anything to FX promotional department on that, I'd tell 'em to change the format/cover of the promo DVD to somethin' generic, so the asshat bootleggers lose their credibility next season. Are y'all readin' this, Mr. Sutter?).

I get a little dry during the recordin' session, so the guy in charge of that walks with me back to the bar to get some water (and maybe to insure that I don't get involved in more chit - chat?).

Mr. Sutter, Ms. Sagal and their daughter were gettin' ready to leave for FX Net's UFC party (where Mr. Flanagan, Mr. Boone, Mr. Perlman, and Mr. Callie were) and they wanted to be sure to say goodbye. I was the gleeful recipient of a warm hug from Ms. Sagal, and another one from Mr. Sutter, with profuse thanks given for the little swag. Then back I went to finish the taping, water in hand to wet my whistle.

Once the recording was over, I returned to the reception, where Mr. Johnson was holdin' court with Kate and Mark, and the DH was wanderin' around. Kyle Loony presented me with some swag of my own, the blue long sleeved SOA hoodie, which fits purrfectly! I wear it on my days off and when writin' my fanfic. Robert got a hoodie of his own, which he has squirrel away somewhere.

I didn't get a chance to say farewell to a lot of people who were leavin' for the UFC party, which is regrettable, as I didn't want anyone to feel snubbed. I do recall gettin' a goodbye hug from Mr. Ornstein, but missed Mr. Rivera, Ms. McNally Sagal, and possibly Ms. Renton. Fortunately, Mr. Ornstein and Ms. Renton have become IRL friends to me on twitter and FB; we correspond frequently, and I love them to death. Mr. Rivera also follows me on the twitters, and was an early befriender on FB, and I greatly treasure his time/attention.

Mr. Reid and I did get a chance to talk some more, and swear to Gawd, did more imitations of ole 'Spewl Agnew' (look that one up on wikipedia or somethin', you'll know I'm referrin' to former VP of the US Spiro Agnew, who had a bad case of foot in mouth disease, too!) that night then I have in life. In attemptin' to explain why I try to be respectful of celebrities time/attention at public events like the party the night before, might've induldged in a little TMPI (too much personal information). I hope he knew it came from the heart, and that it's a genuine desire NOT to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Mr. Johnson was still around as well, talking with Kat and Mark. I joined the conversation, and it got around to arm wrestlin'. Never one to back down from a challenge, I sat down at the table and lifted my arm, acceptin' the challenge. (OK, there was a little thrill in gettin' to hold hands for a bit with Mr. Johnson, won't lie about that!). He really protested about takin' on a woman, and offered to arm wrestle my USAR husband. However, he consented to take me on, and our bout lasted for all of three to five seconds. That man has a grip and an arm of iron! Somethin' tells me he could've ended it in one second, but 'pretended' a bit to save my own ego. Robert did arm wrestle Mr. Johnson, and their bout ended a little quicker.

It was obvious to us that Mr. Johnson was enjoyin' himself, and had imbibed a bit. We Kat, Mark, and myself got a little concerned if he was drivin' on his own, and we all three ganged up on him. I even threatened to take his car keys, which absolutely embarassed poor Robert. As a reporter, I saw far too many accidents involvin' drunk/buzzed drivin'. Naturally, Robert suspected that Mr. Johnson had more sense than that, as did I, but at the moment, we wanted to be sure he was OK. If it came down to it, we'd have taken the keys and had our driver take him wherever he had to go!

To his credit, Mr. Johnson seemed to appreciate our triple concern for his welfare, and wasn't offended by our threats to ensure his safety. Open feet, insert mouth? Maybe. Would I do it again? Hell yeah! I care, dammit. So sue me.

The reception had come to an end, the room was clear of all but a few of the FX staff and the bar staff. And us. And Mr. Johnson. None of us really wanted to return to the hotel (us bein' Mark, Kat, and myself), but as the Bard wrote, 'All good things must come to an end.'

We walked out of the back entrance we'd used all night of the bar with Mr. Johnson, and loaded ourselves into the SUV. We said goodnight to Mr. Johnson, who strode off to his own car (and I do hope it was with a driver!!!!) unmolested by paparazzi and/or autograph hounds.

We returned to the hotel, happy and loaded with memories of a very good time. I hope that all y'all have enjoyed these blogs. I've enjoyed relivin' the moments, and hope the actors and crew continue to enjoy their presents.

A note on that: one crass individual came up to me and voiced their derision about givin' presents to the cast/crew. "Why you chose to waste your time and money is a mystery to me! Don't you know they'll just throw the stuff out later?"

My answer? "A gift is given because it shows you're thinkin' of that person, and want to do somethin' nice for them. What they choose to do after acceptin' the present if up to them!" I wanted to add more, but figured it was a waste of time and effort, unlike the swag for the cast/crew. The cast, especially, is always asked for somethin', an autograph, a tweet, a picture, a bit of time and attention. What's wrong with givin' THEM a little token of appreciation? (Rhetorical question, folks. Doesn't need an answer).

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.