TimeWarrior writes:

Well, I made it there yet again. My best highlight of San Diego Con I am compelled to share. This experience made it one of the best San Diego Cons ever. I must add that I’ve posted nothing at all in recent months because I’ve been in school and now am finished with it. After all, this is a graduation treat to myself. I’m so glad to have seen most of all of the ‘Ringers’ at the 2 moots. Much thanks to Donna ‘Eridana’ H. and is as aver such a pleasure to see everyone again. My apologies to those I may have missed in passing by.

Unfortunately I could not camp out early on line outside of the big meeting Room 20 due to Art Show and networking. The line was so long that I didn’t get into Rm. 20 till about 2:35 and Sala Baker made up as an oc was up on stage doing the Saruman’s orc army stomp fest that was done at Helm’s Deep. I was there not 5 minutes, when a friend of mine found me in there and said, “Make a decision to either stay or come right now to be first on line, because the LOTR actors are signing after this panel – say nothing just follow me.” I went with her – a good call. Through the hard work of this friend (Helen) who’s a real good autograph hound, I was able to personally meet Sean, Andy, Dominic and Elijah that afternoon. Needless to say I took a trip from Horton Plaza Mall on foot and back, bringing her a veggie burrito dinner afterward. She had not left the 3rd floor ‘sails’ open area all day. Andy is a truly sweet and I should say a helpful fellow. He’d earlier clued in my friend Helen about the as yet unannounced signing after the panel. She went and told the Con staff overseeing the autograph signing area, who knew nothing. Because they were grateful for the ‘heads up’, they arranged for us to be first in line after disabled fans and some exhibitor volunteers going first.

As we wait for our turn, I watch through people’s shoulders – I can’t help but be fascinated by the candid exchange between Elijah and Dominic. Very animated and close. One thing that had me amused in particular is Elijah seeming to consult with Dominic about the state of his breath. Then he tests this by exhaling into his hand near his nose to check it – funny! Priceless. I tell my friend what I saw and wished I caught it on the camera. She says, “Nah, better that you didn’t – it would look bad and be uncool like ‘paparazzi’ did it”. Still, I was disappointed because it would’ve looked great in TheOneRing.net scrapbook.

I get there. Sean remembered me from the Brentano’s signing and Dominic remembered me from the special breakfast at last years con. Even Sala remembered me again when he was signing at the New Line booth earlier on Fri. I didn’t think they would since they’re very busy and see hundreds of fans over time.

Back to Sean – he is so genuinely happy to see me and I say to him that I’m amazed that he remembers me after all that time. Then I remembered what I forgot to tell him at Brentano’s. My Mom’s been dogging me about it ever since. She wanted me to convey to him for her that she absolutely adores him and his Mom and that his performance in “Rudy” is her most favorite. Well that really tickled Sean and he thanked me most graciously. Then (and I still don’t believe this) he took my hand and kissed it! What a sweet fellow. I don’t do well in heat with high humidity. Here I am hot, tired, dank and sweating – not at all looking my best, feeling as ugly as an old toad and without hesitation he kissed my hand all the same. Still smiling over it and I’ll always cherish that moment.

Andy – also so nice and gracious man. He also remembered me from doing signing on Fri. at another booth (not at the New Line one). I don’t quite remember what I said to him (divided brain trouble), nice cordial small talk I think, because I was still dazed from Sean’s kiss. Oh I know – divided 3 ways because I was taking pictures of my autograph friend ahead of me with Dominic and Elijah and she was turning back and taking pics of me after her with Sean and Andy.

Then I move on to Dominic. He says, ” Hey you , how’ve you been?” I said I’d just finished school and had art in the Art Show, elaborated a little on it, saying I was selling some and also displaying some book illustration I did – that hopefully he could make it over there to see it while at the Con. “That’s great and I’ll try” (or something like it), he said and signed a ‘Merry’ picture for me. Well I tried, but I greatly doubt he could’ve made it since it is known that it would not be without some difficulty.

While at the same time as my friend ahead was finished and leaving, Elijah turns back and picks up on our conversation and looking at my Con badge sees my name says, “Ah, ‘Ann’, oh – Anne with an “e”! Actually, both Elijah and Dominic are making a big thing about seeing the name ‘Anne’ with an “e” on the end like they encountered it as a rarity. How excited they get! – so cute! Then Dominic leaves off as the next person comes up behind me – a small petite lady who’d qualify as a real hobbit in size and very nice. I took a picture of her with Dominic and Andy and Sean in the background – I hope I can contact her to send her the picture eventually.

Now this is my first time meeting with Elijah. ‘Frodo’ has always been my favorite, so Elijah is now special to me for his performance as ‘Frodo’. I think he’s amazing as himself as well, as I do of all the other actors and crew. I’m so totally honored to finally meet him and I admit I’ve found myself quite taken with him – and suddenly very nervous in his presence. He finishes with signing his ‘Frodo’ picture for me. We shake hands – his is strong and warm like the others, yet there’s a gentle softness about it. I can’t help but to look at him quite closely. I look at him like I scan for black heads on my brother’s back. It’s true. His skin is flawless – a 22 year old man with the skin of a 2 year old – with more thickening in his short beard along his jaw. He’s looks back at me. Such a sweet nature. I, I try to glean what he is behind those eyes and fall in. I go, “Yep – they are that blue”. …. Lame and unoriginal. His eyes seem to glaze over – a sense of emptiness. At which point I (think I say “bye”) back off and he turns back to Dominic and the next one in line. Totally blew it. I so truly regret that slip and am currently beating myself up over it. Gawd! If I was going to comment about his exterior perfection, maybe I should’ve said he was a “freak of nature”. Too late.

An apology: Elijah, if you happen to get some report of this, please accept my apology. I’m mature enough and better than that. Should we meet in person again, I’ll strive to say something interesting. If my mind draws a blank, I’ll wave or nod and keep going. I need to get around that. There is more to you than your appearance. And I assure you, I really do have a life.

It was great to see Richard Taylor and get another picture with him and the scale size Gollum statue at the LOTR Pavillion. This guy is so great, so accessible and appreciative of the fans most of all. He showed us pictures of his baby. A cute blonde baby boy. I don’t recall him giving us the baby’s name. One of the other fans surrounding him asked if the baby was used to seeing all the creatures at the WETA Workshop. Richard T. said he once introduced the baby to one of the extras in the process of costuming or in full finished orc costume. The orc said “boo” and Richard said the baby (a toddler on foot by then I think) fell on his behind and messed himself.

Other stuff: Thursday was my day for taking in panel discussions, networking and meeting some long time friends – going back to 1980 Comic-Con. Some of Friday and all of Saturday were my big LOTR days – the crown jewel of the entire run. Sunday was quiet discussion with another fan artist friend in the Art Show, getting the scoop on my display. I didn’t sell much of my earlier art works, but got good response on the other recent book illustration art. It seems people were asking if it’s pieces were for sale, which would be of interest to my collaborators on it. After getting it out of the Art Show, I took it to show Colleen Doran, another professional illustrator who’s work I’ve admired for years. She had given me advice on doing the book illustration and I wanted her to see the result of my labor. She liked it. If there were something wrong or off with it, she would have said so. Me and my friends left and the dealers hall closed soon after.

I admire all the cast and crew for delivering on the near impossible job of bringing Tolkein’s work to life, which other studios or directors who had so far balked at to even attempt. Any thing less than what New Line, Peter Jackson and WETA have done, would have been a mockery. So, I love you all and like many of you I have loved and wept over the Tolkein books for a long time. Now if only I can meet Billy B., Ian M., Christopher Lee, Cate, Miranda, Liv – someday.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the next Oscar Party for the Return of the King. I got a feeling that this will be our victory year. The year of Peter Jackson for Best Director and ROTK for Best Picture. At the next San Diego Comic-Con, I’ll do my best to be able to see you all again and we will all join in a victory dance.

I have pictures to share, but they will follow later – they still have to be developed.