Monday, August 19, 2013

Life is what happens while you are making plans

I keep meaning to update the blog and life keeps getting in the way. 

I cannot believe it has been 5 months since the last post. It has been a crazy last 5 months. 

So where to start... 

Life has been incredibly busy, but what really happened was, what we were all bracing ourselves for, and dreading, and praying against, and that was the loss of a truly magical spirit that was my 11 year old nephew Tanner. Nothing can prepare you for such a loss, and being on the other side of the globe did not help. 

Tanner passed on May 18th and Eric and I hopped on the first flights we could and arrived the following day. We spent 10 days back in the States with family. 

We were very fortunate in that we had just been in Los Angeles for 3 days at the end of A April (just 3 weeks early) because we had gone to Calgary Expo to run the Weta booth. 

Calgary was a fun convention. And while it is now completely overshadowed by the events that followed, at the time it was a lot of fun. Great people and great atmosphere. Both Eric and I were working this show together. The highlights were definitely getting to meet the lead cast of Torchwood- John Barrownan, Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd. They were incredibly funny and truly friendly. And yes, John is really good looking in person. :0)  I have since been fortunate to meet up with them again - Eve in Australia, and John in San Diego. I also got to meet Nathan Fillion! Who was also very funny and sincere. I am not usually one who gets exited by celebrities, however I will admit there are a few out there that truly entertain me and I do enjoy the opportunities to meet them if just to say thank you.

This is John Barrowman and Casper Van Dien surprising Nathan Fillion with a giant snake.

John Rhys-Davies was there and came by our booth to catch up with Richard Taylor. We all ended up going out for dinner. He is the most marvelous story teller. And Sylvester McCoy (Radagast the Brown and Dr. Who) was one of the friendlies, and great fun tohang out with. I had previously met him at Supanova. The extra added bonus to Calagry was that our good friend Nyssa from Seattle came up to see us and it was wonderful catching up with her. She brought a friend, Chris, as well and we owe them both huge thanks for staying after the show until 2:00 am helping break our booth down. Other fun tidbits: riding in the elevator with Lena Headey,  getting to see another good friend Phil LaMarr, and flying on the plane back to LA with Mitch Pileggi, Robert Patrick, and Richard Dean Anderson.

Eric worked very hard setting up the booth.

Prior to Calgary, I did two shows in Australia - Supanova Melbourne and Gold Coast. This was my first visit over to Australia. And the truth is, I still have not seen much of Australia. The shows were great fun, but the timing was such that I flew in, set up, did the show, broke down and flew back. Worked for a few days before flying back again to do Gold Coast. So I've seen two different airports, hotel rooms, convention centers and a very small slice of town. SupaNova is a great show due to its smaller scale. It is nicely paced and low stress. (compared to the mother of all conventions San Diego comic con. ) We have a much smaller booth and there are only between only about 30 - 60k people depending on the location. 

At the VIP evening events I was able to meet and converse with some great folks. Alex Kingston (River Song of Dr. Who) and Adam Baldwin (Firefly and Chuck). We also had a Hobbit presence. So we had several cast members, Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Dean O'Gorman (Fili) and Mark Ferguson (Gil-galad from LOTR)
In the Gold Coast I got a few moments to walk the beach. It was a nice little resort town. 

It was three incredible weekends in a row, three shows, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Calgary. It was work, but great fun. Calgary Expo came together kinda late so there was not a lot of planning ahead, but we managed to take 3 days off in LA on the way back to see family. And now looking back we are so very grateful that we did. We got to spend some great time with Tanner. We had dinner together and spent some quality time watching Sponge Bob and other favorite shows, and playing on the iPad. We did not know that it would be the last time we would see him. He was heavy due to the meds, but other than that he was funny and playful and himself. I will always remember and cherish that visit. 

Three weeks later we were back for the funeral. It was a a beautiful service. Over 500 people came to share the morning. Many tears were shed, and many laughs were heard as the family shared amazing tales of the "magic that was Tanner". In the end as he was laid to rest, there appearing in the sky, was a full 360 degree rainbow around the sun. This is not a common occurrence. It was remarkable, it was beautiful, and many took it as a sign and found great comfort in it.

I think it has taken me this long to finally get around to the blog again, because in have not yet been ready to try  and put this all into words. It is a difficult thing, it's a bit like living it all over again in my head. And it still hurts. It will likely hurt for a very long time. To know that I have a nephew that I will never see again except in my memories and photos. And he will forever be in my heart. Thank you to all who sent their love and support. We truly appreciated it. 

So there went April, May and into June...

And we now had barely 4 weeks back at work, before we were planning and packing for our originally planned visit back to the States to see family and friends, head up to Seattle for a quick visit and then down to San Diego to run San Diego Comic Con. 

Eric got called in to help build a giant helicopter out of Lego. He does get some pretty fun stuff to work on. 

And I was busy getting all the last minute stuff together for the San Diego show.Oh and I had one more trip back to Australia for Supanova Sydney. Another fun show that had a great turn out. The Hobbit represented again.This time with Adam Brown (Ori), Aidan Turner (Kili), and Jed Brophy (Nori). I got to meet up again with Eve Myles, Kai Owen (Torchwood), and fantasy author Raymond E. Feist. Another UCSD Alumni and San Diegan. I even met Carrie Fisher (shame on you if you don't know).

Los Angeles was a great visit. It was nice to be back there under better circumstances and it was a much anticipated change in the weather. It is winter in Wellington - cold and wet. Even Myztyc tries to stay warm under an electric blanket.

When we arrived, LA was experiencing a heat wave and the temperatures got up to the high 90's (36 C). We spent a lot of quality time with good friends and family, ate lots of our favorite foods, including In N Out Burgers and Mexican. We spent the 4th of July at our traditional family BBQ. And got to meet the newest member of our family Sienna, who was just 10 days old.

We took a quick visit up to Seattle to spend more time with family and friends up there.

Birthday dinner with family at Benihana -my favorite!

And then it was down to San Diego for ComicCon.

Comic Con was a blur. It was another success, lots of fun, and lots of work. There was certainly not enough time to roam, to explore and to visit with friends and colleagues.
I was at the booth for almost the entire show. So apologies to all those I missed. If I did not get a chance to see you and catch-up, I am sorry. I hope you had a great show and hope we can connect again soon.

To see more great photos check out Eric's website

We took the 4 days after the show to collapse, sleep, and recharge a bit before returning to NZ and back to work. We spent more quality time with family, ate and saw a few movies.

Now back in NZ...Myztyc is happy to see us as we are her. We are still keeping busy. I will have a trip to China ahead of me, maybe two. And things are in full swing with the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (film two).

Eric is working again back at Weta and heads off to Salt Lake City for another convention the beginning of Sept.

Eric and I plan to take some much needed and well deserved time off around Xmas and are heading over to Australia to dive the Great Barrier Reef. 

I am hopping to be back on a more regular schedule and will update the blog again soon.

We hope all of you are doing well.

Stacy & Eric

1 comment:

  1. Richard Dean Anderson!!!!!?!?!???!!!!

    I'm thrilled to hear again about your adventures. Perhaps we'll get a chance to see you again before too long.

    --Peter Schaefer