Thursday, 25 July 2013

Nerd HQ, again (because it's just that much fun).

Yes, you're right, here she goes again, but I still have stuff I want to show you! Non Nerd HQ/Comic-con related material is only a mouse click away ... Anywho! Here's a mish mash of stuff that went on during the four days of nerd invasion.

1. Cosplay - If you're in San Diego during Comic-con and you don't see a superhero, a Star Wars robot, a Joss Whedon character or any random super villain with a covered face and terrifying weapons, then you're not in San Diego. You took a wrong turn somewhere ...

"No place is too far away for a trip to Nerd HQ." - The Martian
 Comic-con is a family thing. Nobody gets out of wearing a silly T-shirt. 
 Even the cops want a piece of the fun!

2. Cool new gadgets! Nerd HQ displayed some future must haves. (Quick, get a bigger Christmas tree, these things are not the size of an X-box!) Not being a a massive gamer, I stuck to the old school arcade machines and caused some Tetris havoc. Mua ha ha ha haaaa.

Funded by eager nerds on Kickstarter.
 Could the screen perhaps show a real person's head? Not that I have a problem with my boss ... (Okay, so I don't have a boss. Someone please give me a job?)

3. Epic movie screening - A baseball field is not just for baseball, it's also for giant screenings of Joss Whedon's film Serenity starring Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. Over 2000 people bought tickets to sit on the grass on this cool summer evening and enjoy the film. Take that times 15 dollars and you have a whole lot of money for charity. Yay!

Mr Fillion and Mr Tudyk introducing the film.  Tadaa!
If the film was epic, the line around the stadium block was even more epic. Great job getting everyone in! (No chairs allowed!)

4. "Free" celebrities - If the Nerd HQ panels sold out before you could get a seat (which they usually did, in about a second) you could still meet some great actors on the stage in the main area, or during a photo op in the photo booths. For 20 dollars (to Operation Smile) you could get a photo with for example Grimm's own David Giuntoli. Now who can say no to that? (Well I did, he was just way too handsome to stand next to...)
Hey! It's Chuck and Gabriel!
And the lovely Evangeline Lily.
 The puppets from Glove and Boots. They do funny online videos, check it out. 
Below you can also glimpse me with legend Stan Lee, and Nerd HQ mastermind Zachary Levi, and some of my lovely friends. Put a camera in front of us and we suddenly go bananas ...

These pics are now on my wall as a reminder of how fabulous life can be.
I also put up my new Nerd HQ poster. It keeps falling off the wall, but I'm stubborn ...
That! Ladies and Gentlemen, was it I think. A week in San Diego done and dusted in four blog posts. From now on, it's all about London again (unless someone wants to sponsor me, then I'm happy to do some more traveling!) I hope you've had a great day!

See you soon!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Nerd's the word (and a few famous faces)

There was an important reason why I vacationed in San Diego last week, I'd been given the wonderful opportunity to help out at Nerd HQ, the largest off site event during Comic-con this year. The annual Nerd HQ is hosted by The Nerd Machine, which is the brain child of actor and philanthropist  Zachary Levi (known for for example TV-series Chuck, but currently creating buzz on Broadway in the new musical First Date).
 Nerd HQ at baseball stadium Petco Park!
Nerd HQ is a great place for any self-proclaimmed nerd, hosting panels with film and TV creatives, photo ops and the latest in gaming, but best of all, almost all of the proceeds go to Operation Smile, a charity that helps children with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.  So while you're  having lots of fun, you're also helping others.

I had the best time and met some wonderful people during my stay, both fellow volunteers and comic-con participants. Here's just a few of my lovely colleagues (I wish I could post all of you without having to steal other people's photos);

The hard working ladies who helped us be the best volunteers we could be;
The host himself;

This was the stage where a lot of the magic happened, with the baseball field as a fab back drop. There were so many great panels this year! I was lucky to be on mic duty during a few, and also attend a couple as an audience member. The (mainly female) audience went wild when True Blood star Joe Manganiello took the stage. (This pic is dedicated to my flatmate Itz);
 While the cast of Haven goes to J;
Now, I'm a big fan of the TV-series Supernatural so I was more than happy when I got the chance to sit in on the Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles panel Sunday afternoon;
 Jensen dancing himself blurry ...
There were more fluttering hearts when the final panelist of Nerd HQ turned out to be none other than Tom"Loki" Hiddleston. The stand by line quivered as tickets sold out in record time. A special thank you to Lisa who invited me to stand in corner and ogle during the panel which turned out to be both funny and inspiring.
Don't fret if you weren't there! Thanks to The Nerd Machine all panels can be watched online. Just click on this link and scroll down. Who can say no to a bit of Joss Whedon or the cast of Doctor Who?

I have so much more I still want to show you but I think I'll have to save that for later. I'll just finish with a few random observations.

1. In the US, if you say you're from London, the immediate response is; "London, London?" Because they have at least one of everywhere themselves. :)

2. I was repeatedly told I have a random English accent that is hard to pinpoint. I don't mind, I like to play hard to get ... ;)

3. People in the US like high fives, which is great. There should be more high fives in Europe. There should be a compulsory quota for high fives. I'm calling the EU ...

So, see you later peeps! Now I have to deal with my swollen post-flight ankles. Sexy, I know ...


Ps. If you'd rather not be in the blog post, let me know and I'll be happy to remove the photo.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

San Diego - Part 2

Tuesday equals Animals! San Diego has a very famous zoo, so yesterday I joined my hostel roommate and her sister and friend on a tour of it. The zoo is massive and there were achy feet all around afterwards. Well worth it though. Here are a few pics, I have loads. I could do a whole entry called "sleeping beauties". The animals took plenty of naps while we battled the burning sun.

These guys can sleep just about anywhere.
We took the air bucket a couple of times to cross the park with speed. Fun!
The polar bear under water work out.
The adorable animal I can't remember the name of ...
The hippos are coming! The hippos are coming!
Baby panda.
Baby panda and his mother's behind.
From now on the entries are going to become increasingly nerdy. Comic-con has started and downtown San Diego has been taken over by grown ups in dress up. It's nothing but brilliant!


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

San Diego - Part One

Hey peeps! Greetings from San Diego. Here's a little photo blog entry to show you that I'm perfectly fine and life is good. 
No, this is not the view from my hotel. I actually live in a hostel a few blocks away but when their internet crashed, I took myself to the nearest Starbucks and that happened to be in a Marriott hotel. Never a bad moment to get that flag in the air!
 I'm also living close to San Diego convention center where the massive San Diego International Comic-con is happening in the next few days. There's a buzz in the air, everyone is trying to get ready for the convention, both on and off the main site. There's plenty to do even if you didn't nab one of the very coveted badges.
All of this is happening in the Gaslamp Quarter, once a seedy, no-morals part of the city but now a popular shopping and restaurant hub.
 The main adventure of the day was a visit to Coronado Island, only a short ferry ride from the Convention Center. You can also take the famous bridge, but that would demand a car.
 I met up with my new Italian friend Lara, who I'd only spoken to via Internet before, and we hopped on the boat.
 You get nice views of the city centre from the island. And it's a calm away from the slightly more hectic but still ver laid back city.
Everyone in San Diego seem very friendly. Twice during my morning walk on the hunt for internet, men of different ages (without any ulterior motives as far as I could detect) wished me good morning on the street. And when I stopped to ask for directions, the comic- con construction worker (who happened to have a Starbucks mug in his hand) was very helpful and began chatting about this and that, including his work trip to a wintery Finland.
 Beach! Coronado has some of the best beaches in the US (according to polls.)
The famous Coronado hotel where plenty of well known people have stayed over the years. This is also where the film Some Like It Hot was filmed, making it synonymous with Marilyn Monroe.
 Some stuff I found on the beach; A sea carrot?
 A alien like jelly thingy? (Yuck)
 A crab! It was cute and creepy at the same time. A think the four pairs of "legs" reminded me a bit too much of a spider. Quick bugger.

In the evening Lara and I went to La Jolla for an Italian dinner. Now, I was prepared for some Spanish, considering how close we are to the Mexican border, but I hadn't expected to spend my first evening in San Diego surrounded by at least 10 Italians. Oh well, life is full of surprises and the food was good!

Now off to breakfast and I'll see you all soon!