JSDC
XLVIII. Misadventure< Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >

Maelstrom / Crossroads 

If you haven’t viewed season three of BSG, then you shouldn’t click "comments" because:

1. You don't watch the show and don't care.

2. You do watch the show, are totally obsessed and don't want to be spoilered.

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You Have a Destiny 

I don’t even know where to begin.

As far as I can tell, it all started on prom day when I won a basket of beauty products. The beauty supply store called my celly to tell me the news and I was all, “YES!” and immediately went to claim my basket and hell yeah did I ever use those products in preparation for The Big Night and possibilities of Prom Queen.

Advantage, Stover.

Flash forward to two months ago.

I win the most well-suited, Battlenerdrific sweepstakes ever. The prize is coming up, oh yes; it’s coming.

So tonight I swing by the Portal to Another Dimension/Starbucks. “Hey Jess,” says the barista, who is definitely my friend. He does Capoeira.

“What’s up, man?” I greet. “YES! There are vanilla cupcakes!” The pastry situation is working in my favor. As far as I'm concerned, I'm already a winner.

“And hot chocolate, organic right?”

I nod in the affirmative and he rings me up.

“WAIT A MINUTE—Freeze!” I say,

And he does,

Because I’ve noticed something on the wall (see he’s frozen there):

“YESSSS! That’s my name!”

My name is on the wall.

I won customer of the week whatelsecanIsayIamjustthatawesome!

As usual, it was really hard to win. First, I had to write my name on a piece of paper. Then, I had to put the piece of paper in a basket.

Now? Free Starbucks all week, bitches.

ALL WEEK.

And yes Starbucks is related to Starbuck which is related to Battlestar Galactica which is related to a mandala that looks kind of like a portal to another dimension so, yes, this has all happened before and will happen again and can I help it if I’m currently in the middle of cosmic forces? No.

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Gemini on My Mind 

. . .


*Nebula Photo by Richard Crisp

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All Along the Watchtower 

Dear We the People of the Internet,

How fucking awesome is Crossroads Part II, the season finale of Battlestar Galactica?

C.Sto and I saw it last night, and it is so awesome that you are going to flip your grip at the end. In many ways, it’s unlike previous BSG episodes: More like watching the end of the second act of a film.

I’m under a non-disclosure agreement about the episode until it airs and am anti-spoiler anyway, so you can bet that as soon as the show airs Eastern Time I will be back to talk about it in detail.

Seriously, the episode is so awesome that I feel bad for people who don’t watch the show, because they are really, really missing out.

Comments here.

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Jump 

You.

Netflix.

Ten dollars a month.

Two discs at a time.

You can watch BSG starting with the miniseries and continue on to seasons one, two and three.

You’ll probably finish in about two months.

Try the Netflix free trial and get the BSG miniseries. If you like it, continue. If you don’t, cancel your membership. You lose nothing.

They’re planning a two hour episode-movie about the Pegasus that will air on SciFi and then be released shortly after via DVD. This will lead up to the return of the series, twenty-two episodes, in early 2008. You’ll be caught up for season four, which I assume (and hope) will be the last season so that they go out strong, on their terms. You’ll be able to see what we are so excited about with this year’s finale and you’ll be able to join in when the next “OMG(s)” happens.

And me?

This is all I’m going to ingest this spring and summer, really:
- Harry Potter Books (all of them again, and the new one)
- NatGeo Magazine
- I want to look at some maps and finish the study books on my nightstand (Anatomy of a Criticism, The Tao Te Ching and Myths, Dreams and Religion; the latter is edited by Joseph Campbell).
- Odds and ends on the Internet: News, friend’s blogs, et cetera. And whatever music I like. Maybe a new release I’m not expecting will surprise me in terms of film and I will go.
- I may watch LOTR.
- Discovery’s Planet Earth Series

After this weekend, I felt like I wanted to unplug completely and not update this website anymore. That always passes though: We know this. People experience that feeling from time to time. I don’t even bother to write about it anymore because I know it’s passing frustration, sadness or the like.

One moment in the Crossroads, part II episode that struck me, because I feel this way currently, more so than I usually do about what’s happening, is the moment when Adama says to the president something like, “That’s in the past now, we need to concentrate on the future.”

I will finish writing the tedious entry about my trip because I feel I need to.

And then I’m going to jump forward.

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Misadventure 

Be a star among the stars! A three-day/two-night trip for two to Seattle, where you'll walk the red carpet into the Battlestar Galactica Finale Viewing Party. Trip includes:
• Round-trip Coach Airfare
• Ground transportation
• Hotel accommodations
• A tour through the futuristic landscape of Seattle
• A Battlestar Galactica gift package, including exclusive merchandise, and much more!


By now you most likely know that I won a Battlestar Galactica sweepstakes. Here’s the link with the prize information I listed above. Here’s a screenshot in case the link goes dead.

After having been gifted with my prize, I urge you:

Never enter a sweepstakes.

No matter how much you want to, no matter how easy it seems; remember this story and do not enter.

Before I start, I’d like to address the impending, “Yeah, but it was a free trip, so stop complaining!”
1. Although airfare, some transportation and the room were covered, traveling still creates expenses (unless they give you spending money, which we weren’t getting).
2. You will be taxed on the prize. In fact, you have to fill out tax forms before you can claim the prize.
3. You have to pay to have the paperwork notarized and mailed in such a way that guarantees it won’t be lost. They give you a deadline, a short deadline, so you will end up paying for FedEx, quite possibly.
4. Traveling takes you away from your life and is exhausting. Especially flying.
5. Because I have been writing about my excitement over this prize for two months now, I would be remiss not to post an entry with the story.
6. I would also be remiss not to dutifully tell the details of the night as they occurred. Unfortunately that is bound to come out as complaining, because much of it is, in fact, complaining. You can decide for yourself if the complaining is warranted, as soon to follow are the events of the trip as they unfolded.

In sum, know that, just as there are worst things than death, there are things better, and smarter, than a free trip to Seattle.

Such as staying home.

I’m skipping the getting there (our driver was punctual and terrific) and the checking in to the “deluxe” hotel. I’ll say that we were jet lagged and fatigued respectively, and that we had to wait over three hours for a room, which was after the listed check in time of 3PM. We tried going to lunch in the pricey hotel restaurant to pass the time, but it doesn’t take that long to eat a Cobb salad and bread. Thus it was that it was rainy and cold and I was sleeping on a couch in the lobby looking pathetic while C.Sto halfheartedly text-messaged with The Viking about how non-deluxe our circumstances where. Apparently the hotel had a lot of people checking out and in, and… didn’t properly prepare? Couldn’t handle the volume? Didn’t care? Enjoyed watching the line twenty deep leading up to the check-in desks? Thought I was an amazing addition to the lobby and wanted to keep me there for life? Misadventures of this sort continued throughout our trip: Tiny things that nagged and were undesirable, happenings that dampened our mood, views we were told were better than the room we would have had, the one that wasn't ready, but in reality said view was not… We cheered ourselves with thoughts that tomorrow, the second evening of our time there, was the Battlestar Galactica “VIP viewing party meet and greet” (quotes per the original sweepstakes paperwork mailed to me). The BSG event was the only reason we had come, and the only thing we cared about being any fun. Also, fuck you, United Airlines: Those damn breakfast cookies are disgusting. Everyone thinks so.

you'll walk the red carpet…

Thursday came along. It was overcast and rainy again. Not that we weren't prepared: Weather.com had told us that rain was to be the case for the entire trip. We took it easy in the daytime in hopes of rehydrating from flying. Light shopping, Starbucks, hit up the mini-mart for snacks and water, took advantage of HBO, checked e-mail, laughed at The Skulls and got ready to go. C.Sto felt like she was getting dressed in the dark because the dress code was not mentioned in our detailed package of instructions, and thought maybe we should call our coordinator to double check. Not wanting to be high-maintenance, I told her that what we were wearing was fine, and that long ago I’d stopped obsessing over what to wear to entertainment events. True though we were not in LA, I didn’t really care and wore what I’d wear to any event here unless it stated is was cocktail attire, semi-formal or something non-usual. It’s useful to look nice, I agree, but it's also important to be comfortable in the doing. And no that doesn’t mean wearing a dress when they don’t force you to. Ever.

Thoreau said, “Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes.” I believe there’s also a story in the Bible about the same idea, although I cannot recall where. I’m sure there are more stories and myths and parables as well on the subject. Of course all of this means that, unless otherwise stated, you can wear jeans to an entertainment event such as a premiere or the like (as long as said jeans cost at least $150).

And now you know.

5:15 PM: C.Sto and I made our way to the lobby to meet the event coordinators at the appointed time (“5:15 sharp”). We were in “group A” and boarded the appropriate charter bus, set to leave at “5:30 sharp.” The other winners of group A were already aboard (I know better than to show up early for anything to do with entertainment) so we sat in the back where the rows were empty. We were dressed just perfectly. And there we sat.

“Group A,” “other winners”… I hear you and you are confused. Let me flash back to a few weeks ago.

From the beginning, from the initial verbiage on the notification letter, C.Sto and I were of the understanding that there must be a few other winners. “Congratulations!! You have been selected as a potential Grand Prize Winner in the Battlestar Galactica Everywhere Sweepstakes, which you recently entered. However, before we can officially declare you a Grand Prize Winner, we must certify your eligibility.” We weren’t even sure if I had won until they called to book our flights. My guess was that there might be ten winners max. With their guests, that would equal twenty people total.

There were, in fact, multiple winners. This was confirmed the week prior to our trip when one of the coordinators sent an e-mail without BCC-ing everyone’s e-mail address. There were 18 e-mail addresses listed. It made sense: The title of the contest is “Battlestar Galactica Everywhere,” so the point would be to bring people everywhere to the BSG awesomeness. We were less special than we originally thought, but still “Grand Prize Winners.” Not a bad thing at all. Also, I finally dug up a cached copy of the official rules. The rules did state that there would be more than one winner, as did the original notification letter “certify the potential Grand Prize Winners” (plural). Hence there were 18 winners plus their guests, except there must have been more because we counted the people on the bus and multiplied it by two (there were two buses) and came up with 56, which looked about right once we got to the venue.

We waited for the bus to get moving. Again, not unexpected: The event didn’t begin until 6PM and we were blocks away, so we figured they would have us sit awhile. The seats were comfortable and C.Sto and I were excited, tittering really; everyone was.

So as we’re sitting on the bus counting up the people and more and more I realize I might be right: This event is only for the winners and a few other associated people. Which could be cool and exclusive-neat, or could be… well it wasn’t making sense, industry wise. I had a bad feeling. I told C.Sto this and she furrowed her brow: Our concerns were mounting. A few things had been bothering me, us, really. Mostly me. We dismissed them because I’m used to going to this stuff and it all usually works out and is handled nicely by publicists and why worry about something needlessly? Surely it would all come right once we got there…

+Item One: The week prior, upon finally receiving our trip paperwork and some details, I see the description for Thursday reads as the following. This is exactly how it appears on my paperwork:

VIP Battlestar Galactica Season 3.5 Finale Viewing Party
Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
6:00PM – 11:00PM
Enjoy plenty of heavenly food and out of this world cosmopolitans during this evening’s reception taking place in the SKY Church at the Sci-Fi Museum and Hall of Fame. The Sci-Fi Museum combines artifacts and information in evocative environments, immersing visitors in science fiction’s ‘alternative worlds.’ Witness how science fiction touches all forms of artistic expression and reframes the complexities of science, art, culture and the humanities – giving visitors new insights into themselves and their world. The evening will include a cocktail reception filled with lots of food and drinks, followed by the official VIP Screening of the Season 3.5 finale!”

I called C.Sto and read this to her. “It doesn’t mention the meet and greet anymore or any cast members, who will be in attendance, et cetera,” I worry.

“That’s weird, you’d think they’d want to tout that, I mean that’s the whole reason for going,” says she.

“I know. I don’t like it. …But the meet and greet is in the other mentionings, there’s a carpet which implies media and so forth…” I pull out my previous paperwork to confirm this, and again look at the prize link and the official rules. The rules also state, “a VIP viewing party meet and greet (ground transportation provided).” I fax her a copy and we continue to muse over the many reasons why it does not mention meeting with the cast.

+Item Two: The event runs from 6-11PM and is only in one venue. We’d have no travel to do in those five hours between locations or otherwise. The show is under sixty minutes long. That’s a lot of mingling… I don’t get what we are supposed to do for that long.

+Item Three: The food and drinks are occurring prior to the screening. This is strange. I have never seen this happen. It doesn’t make sense. Isn't the point to talk about what you've just seen?

+Item Four: I am worried that if there are a large number of winners they will treat us in the way that people like to treat what they stereotypically view as “fans.” This division usually results in perfectly normal people acting like stereotypical fans, because that’s how they are being treated in terms of access and so forth. In fact, I was fairly certain this was exactly what was happening from the point when I received our hotel information. We would be staying at the Westin Seattle. Westin is a Starwood hotel, along with the St. Regis, The W and a slew of other hotels that we’ve stayed at in different cities. “There must not be a W in Seattle,” I told C.Sto, “otherwise they probably would have put us up there.” I looked and it turns out there is a W in Seattle. Then I told C.Sto that I was 99% sure we were at the Westin and the talent would be at The W, just in case we had any wild ideas about sweepstakes winners being, you know, equals to the cast members as they passed them in the lobby or some such. We looked at the Westin online and the location vs. The W and the room rates in attempts to discover what the advantages to The Westin might be. “Maybe in this case the Westin is better than The W,” I said. That did sometimes happen, although technically The W is a better hotel. Starwood lists them both as level four. Don’t be fooled: The Westin is more of a level three, drab business hotel masquerading as a level four and that makes it overpriced with limited selection and it lacks the details that make a hotel feel special, “deluxe” or “luxury.” Anyway, I know how this works and I was fairly certain they were separating us from the talent already. It’s not a good message to send and it doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of. I should note that at all junkets and the like the press and the talent and everyone are put up in the same hotel, and usually (when possible depending on the location) that hotel is of Four Seasons caliber. I have only witnessed two exceptions to this and that’s because one was not in a city so they had to put everyone up at a Sheraton (including Al Roker) and the other was due to the amount of available room at Park Lane hotels in London so they had to split people between two very nice hotels that were practically next to one another.

And now you're caught up to present.

We’re sitting there, on the bus, ignoring the mounting concerns, and making friends with the guys in front of us. They are Jameson and Mark from Maine, a.k.a. the only other youthful, excited lovers of Le BSG in our vicinity. They talk of what it will be like to chat with Mary McDonnell and we discuss how we won, what we do in life, and how great the writing on the show is and things in common of that sort. They mention that the Sci-Fi Museum is less than one mile away, and we could have already walked there by now. C.Sto and I point out that we aren’t walking anywhere because we are wearing nice shoes, and it’s raining and we straightened our hair. Then the bus drives and we are on our way, laughing all the while…

We’re supposed to be there by 6PM. We arrive before/around then because the museum is only a few minutes away. Nothing is happening outside: Our bus pulls up, there is rain and concrete and the front door. I look at C.Sto and we both know this is not an event at all. There is no media. There is no red carpet.

It was not an event that was already set up and happening and that we got access to: As we had guessed, it was an event created specifically for this sweepstakes. Once again I push our doubts aside because, in general, I’m a hopeful person and I’d like to think I’m wrong. C.Sto does the same for the same reasons. That, and we’re already here and things are in motion, so what else do you do? You get off the bus to see what awaits, and hope for the best.

Be a star among the stars!

As we enter Experience Music Project, the music museum that connects to the Sci-Fi museum, things begin to look more familiar. On the wall is the lighted event sponsor branding (SciFi) and, on a screen hanging high above, close to the vaulted ceiling, a still of the Battlestar Galactica branding. The party has a lighting theme, as is typical: Dim, purple-ish, and six disco balls rotate far, far above, reflecting blue lights. Low volume, unrecognizable music plays in the background, serving as white noise as guests mingle. There are standing tables with candles, two identical food buffets (one each side of the room), a table with coffee that will later feature deserts and two identical open bars (also on each side of the room). The bars are sans vodka sponsor and stocked with better liquor, such as Grey Goose et cetera, and that is a nice change from the film festivals and many other events. It looks much like a premiere party, except it is only the winners instead of a couple hundred people. Which again could be awesome, or could mean we have reason to worry. …And, also abnormally, there are only standing tables. No place to sit. This makes me think we will not be in this room very long. Finally, we notice a small, black stage is setup. This platform is about a foot tall and not very wide. A few mics with stands sit on the floor nearby.

“Why is there a stage, what’s that for?” I asked C.Sto, as if she would know. I procure myself a glass of water, we sample the food and stand around what quickly becomes our home base: A little circle standing-table shared with Jameson and Mark. A still photographer drifts by, snapping photos. (We were not allowed to bring any cameras or cell phones inside. That’s understandable.) After asking, we are told by a museum employee that the Sci-Fi museum will be open to us after the screening. “Why not now?” we wonder, as we stand around for two hours waiting for something to happen.

At one point the event coordinators come through holding what looks like papers and clipboards, and we think something is happening: It isn't. At another point, one of the curtains at the entrance is closed, and we think something is happening. It turns out that it has just come unfastened. Earlier I had nervously joked, “Maybe the meet and greet is for the winners to meet and greet each other.” No matter what we talk about the conversation comes back to this as it is looking as if this might be the disappointing truth. One of the guys asks if we’ll be watching the episode on the LED screen hanging from the ceiling. I look at it and say no because, logically, it is there to display music videos and moving visuals as people pass through Sky Church into the music museum. It is up far too high. Plus, there are no seats. I then decide to drop my W theory on our event buddies and tell them that we will mostly likely head over there later because the lounge is usually a slick place to hang out.

By this point, C.Sto and I are so bored that we decide to go to the bathroom to break things up. At the mirror, I talk to a tipsy girl from Pennsylvania who is overdressed and uncomfortable about it. “I didn’t know what to wear, they didn’t say,” she mourns, looking down at her lacy dress and heels. I assure her that we were also confused and that she looks very pretty and who cares anyway: No one knows what's going on. When we return to our table, Jameson informs us that they flagged down one of the coordinators and asked them about the cast. There are indeed two cast members present. They are supposed to come down (come down, from where?) to introduce the episode and then they “may do a brief Q&A” (a Q&A? What? Why?)…

They do indeed come down, a video camera and sound guy in tow. Everyone cranes to see who it is…

Helo and the Chief.

Many a face has a “...what the frak...” look for a moment, but people quickly recover because most of them have never seen someone who talks at them through the box in their living room in real life. Plus, stuff is happening and there is a video camera, which looks really important and always distracts people. And anyway we all love the show and everyone on it.

Meanwhile, C.Sto and I can't help but notice, “One less cast member, and it wouldn’t even be 'stars,' it would be 'star.'"

Helo and The Chief get on the little stage. They’ve been there (somewhere in the venue; not where we are) mingling and drinking and are both personable and professional. They introduce the screening and we all wait to be directed on where to go to view the episode as they disembark the platform.

Suddenly, “last week on Battlestar Galactica” starts up on the screen hanging high from the vaulted ceiling. The audience turns around, surprised, then looks confused: Where are we supposed to sit?

By then I am in “fuck it” mode and sit on the floor. Some people, resigned to the situation and not wanting to miss a beat of the screening, join us. A girl nearby mumbles about her bad back as she reluctantly sinks to the floor. I myself lay on my back with my head on my satin clutch like a mini pillow in attempts to get a good angle on the screen. C.Sto sits beside me, sighs, leans over and remarks that they haven't turned the disco balls off. There were indeed blue lights grazing across the screen. It suddenly dawns on me that Sky Church must also be a small concert venue.

Here is what the room would have looked like if we had had chairs (photo from another event): 1 - 2

This is the best photo I could find to try and show the screen. Either the stage (that's a different stage) is higher in that photo or the screen is lower.

Here is information about the space itself: 1 - 2

“The screen, which has been split into narrow panels, is programmed to display music videos. But they're not like your usual MTV fare. Instead, the screen fills with giant kaleidoscopic images, geometric shapes shifting, turning, whirling. ...It's like looking at the coolest, not to mention largest, screen saver ever programmed. ...As the human eyeballs struggle to take in the enormity of the images, a customized audio system delivers a colossal onslaught of music through more than 50 speakers spread throughout the room.”

"'The purpose of Sky Church,' says curatorial director Chris Bruce, 'is to immerse you in music.'"

Well then, I’m really glad we’re watching a film there. Thanks.

When it dawned on me that this place was a concert venue, totally geared toward music, I realized that there must be some sort of skybox thing. I whisper to C.Sto that she should look up to level three, where I have found the true “VIP” area, i.e. the place where the staff and the Chief/Helo are viewing the episode, while we sit on the floor below like paupers and groundlings. The passes we were given said VIP, but we clearly are not very important at all. Unless there was a VVIP pass that we didn’t get, or something, but I’ve never heard of that.

Here is a photo of the true VIP area.

Damn them: They had chairs.

Although the screen is difficult to see, (at one, darker part C.Sto’s like, “I can’t even tell who that is,”) Crossroads part II is awesome and the sound in Sky Church, what it is known for, is impressive. This especially paid off in this episode wherein sound plays an important part. When ships jump, we hear it distinctly. The sound mixing is on point. And, having watched most of Battlestar Galactica on DVD and having now watched this episode on SciFi when it aired, I appreciate the return to no commercials, no annoying SciFi branding on the bottom left and no ads for The Dresden Files (retarded) running across the bottom. Also, this is an episode that is all about momentum and commercial interruptions really screwed with that more than usual.

Then it was over and we were all stoked because at least the episode was great.

The Chief and Helo came down and answered questions: Softballs lobbed by the crowd, many of which were useless, speculative… that they couldn't possibly answer: “Hi I really love your show what do you think Cally will do when she finds out?”

I was soon reminded of why people view fans as crazy: Some lady winner who suddenly was acting like she was on crack was standing near us and constantly yelling things like (to the above question), "SHE'S GOING TO KIIIIILL YOU!!" They did 20 minutes of Q&A. Not many people had questions (there were handfuls of people there who had never even seen the show before), no one was prepared for this type of con-ish thing, and some of the questions were geared for writers, producers or directors and the actors, well mostly the Chief spoke, pointing out a couple of times that they didn’t write the show and that “that’s all Ron Moore.” Then the Chief took a shot of Jameson with Jameson, and I laughed. (That's clever.)

Helo and the Chief are great and all and I don’t want to take anything away from them or diminish their roles on the show. They were good: It was the event that sucked. We had been mislead and there was indeed confusion and disappointment that more of the cast, people such as Olmos, Mary, Ron Moore, weren’t there. I have never been to a party for a television show and had that happen. People did, however, make the most of it: Everyone began to hit the open bar. The Sci-Fi part of the museum was soon opened to us. It’s pretty neat but it only takes about 15 minutes to walk through, so we returned to Sky Church. There, the camera was busy following Helo and the Chief as they talked with a huddle of winners in the huge, empty room. One nice, older lady asked Helo for a hug, then he hugged her and another asked, then he had to hug everyone because people have no self control when they are treated like they have no self control. Faux-publicists were looking pissed and snarky and saying “OK they have to go now.” C.Sto wanted to say hi to Helo, so I gave her a question to ask and listened as she talked to him about his upcoming projects (Smallville). I got our coats and a cab and we went back to the hotel early and tried to decompress from the most anticlimactic occurrence in our lives.

A Battlestar Galactica gift package, including exclusive merchandise…

Jameson and Mark were nice enough to get our gift bags for us (we missed them because we left early) and bring them to the hotel.

Gift package contents:
- One promotional photo of one of the actors
- XL “Frak Off” t-shirt (so large that it doubles as a dress)
- Scifi magazine with stories about everything but BSG
- Scifi branded umbrella
- Science fiction museum coffee tumbler
- XL Science fiction museum t-shirt with half naked girls “rescue from the cave dwellers of argon” thing that none of us understand (nor would wear as a dress)

…Exclusive?

Most of that wasn’t even Battlestar Galactica merchandise, much less exclusive:
- Purchase the “Frak Off” shirt at the Scifi store.
- The promotional photos are online everywhere, print them yourself. 1 - 2
- The tumbler and weird t-shirt you can get from the Sci-Fi museum gift shop.
- You can find the magazine at the grocery store, newsstands, and online.

Here is what they said:
Be a star among the stars! A three-day/two-night trip for two to Seattle, where you'll walk the red carpet into the Battlestar Galactica Finale Viewing Party. Trip includes:
• Round-trip Coach Airfare
• Ground transportation
• Hotel accommodations
• A tour through the futuristic landscape of Seattle
• A Battlestar Galactica gift package, including exclusive merchandise, and much more!

Here’s what they should have said:
Be a person among some other people! Random, four day/three-night trip for two to Seattle, where you’ll walk on pavement with a bunch of people who are not on the show Battlestar Galactica into a Battlestar Galactica finale viewing stand-about. Trip includes:
• Round-trip Coach Airfare
• Ground transportation
• Hotel accommodations
• A boat tour of Seattle
• A SciFi brand gift package including zero exclusive merchandise, and an umbrella!

and much more!

This section is short in that there was not “more,” much less “much more.”

Post Mortem

We only took seven photos on the trip and the only two I like are from Pike Place Market.

C.Sto Walks

Daffodils

For what we paid out of pocket, C.Sto could have flown to Los Angeles, we could have cooked up some sweet meals in my kitchen and we could have seen more stars and red carpets just by going to a movie at the ArcLight. Or going grocery shopping. (That is not hyperbole.)

Did I expect the entire cast to be there? Nah. Upfronts were earlier in the week so one cast member was in NYC. Furthermore, people always have scheduling conflicts if they are working on something else while the show is out of production. This I know, but surely from the positioning of the sweepstakes we all expected that some of the cast would be there. More of a majority, as is usual. Or at least a handful.

I have a far better chance of running into Mary McDonnell, Edward James Olmos and Ronald D. Moore around town than at an actual Battlestar Galactica event. (Notice all the photos are LA locations and events.) And yes before you say it again, I do know what a great contact the show runners would have been for me, and you know that the primary person I wanted to speak with was the developer in charge of the storytelling, because that’s what interests and excites me the most. I also lament for one of the winners, a professor at a university, who is currently teaching a course called “Religion and Battlestar Galactica.” He asked the Chief and Helo about their take on the religion in the show, but really it’s RDM who would have been great for him to speak with so that he could take the story, the insight, back to his class, much like I carried my George Lucas conversation in my pocket (and probably still do, come to think of it).

Speaking of pockets, that’s why I quickly jotted down this entry in detail: To keep it in my pocket for future reference. I’ve been on nearly all sides of events like this, press, talent, fan, the brand involved… I don’t think it’s unlikely that I will be again, and if it’s something I have a say in, and that would reflect on me, I’d plan for the people involved to be treated differently.

It’s funny how it seems that everything is coming together and special things are happening to you, but then they’re not. Cite: Maybe.

Despite the huge expectation gap in terms of the party, there were nice things about the trip. The instructions we received for transportation and hotel were detailed, complete with confirmation numbers and so forth, and it is wicked handy to have a driver meet you at the airport. The coordinators arranged to fly C.Sto and I from separate locations. I know, I know, it’s not a hard thing to do, but the contest rules did say that the winner and guest had to fly from the same location, so they could have easily refused. Also, we weren’t overscheduled/they gave us days to travel: Sometimes people smack you with a bad schedule and it’s maddening. It’s necessary to have your own time and down time. The coordinators also always responded when we emailed them questions, were heard to address dietary concerns of the winners and were well-put together people. I have also been informed that they are going to send out the event photographer’s photos from Thursday night, which is great. I had been wondering about that but forgot to ask the photographer for a card. I should have made him take some photos of us.

Would I be willing to give Seattle another chance? Yep. If I had to go there for work or the like, I’d welcome the opportunity to experience it again.

I hope that if you ever win a sweeps it turns out to be better than ours. And I hope you will ask for a lot of specific information before you accept and insist on getting it more than one week in advance, and don’t let them be professionally vague about things either, or expect that your expectations will be met because the wording sounds glamorous, especially in the case of an entertainment sweepstakes that involves meeting other people or attending any sort of entertainment event.

There was a rumor that Jamie Bamber, Olmos and Mary were supposed to be there but cancelled.

If it’s true, then I don’t blame them. The trouble was our reasons for being there had no reason to be there, and, thus, neither did we.

I sent this to SciFi because their branding was on the wall (and is on my umbrella). Parent company: NBC Universal. Their cable division is the listed sponsor of the sweeps, so I also sent NBCUni marketing this link simply as an FYI in hopes of improvement on the next sweeps they offer.

Anyway, nobody likes a complainer, so that’s that, it’s over, the end.

Epilogue

We did go to The W and my theory was spot on and that all worked out OK for us and was pleasant and did allow us to improve the trip, somewhat, by kicking it informally with enjoyable people. We chatted to the event coordinators and the Chief (who is outgoing, informed, interesting and Irish). Mostly that was C.Sto: I was busy eating a grilled cheese sandwich and winning a battle of wits vs. some local boys.

Battlestar related and spoiler-free:
+ Initial reaction to the finale episode.
+ Discussion on the end of season three.

Update: The story; now with photos!

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Standing Room Only 

Today I was e-mailed an online, Kodak EasyShare gallery with the event photos from that BSG sweepstakes I entered and won and then it sucked. It’s like the event photographer they hired was documenting our story. (I would photo credit him, but they didn’t include his credit with the photos, so I am unable.)

I pulled a few of the low-res images from the gallery so that you may see our night more vividly. There were about 90 photos total, four lines of photos in the gallery, one line of which was set in the VIP area where most of the event coordinators each took time to pose with Helo individually while we all mingled below for two hours wondering what the fuck was going on.

Check out the view of our heads from the VIP area. Strangely, our sweepstakes winner VIP badges could not get us into the VIP area. I have pointed out our amazing table, where C.Sto, Jameson, Mark and I stood for hours before being required to stand for another hour during the screening. I had mentioned that we took up sitting on the floor in attempts to actually be able to see the screen. Let it be known that I speak the truth.

Earlier, when we came in, we also stood in line.

Here is a picture of the place wherein we did most of our standing just before we were standing there.

And Jameson did indeed take a shot of Jameson with the Chief. See? It’s all true.

Finally, anytime there is a microphone I will get it. Unfortunately, the photographer insisted on shooting people at odd up angles (or on flat lines) all night.

But really; aren't these photos a crack up? I don't know if I've ever felt so annoyed and amused all at once!

Full Story | Gallery

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Pilots Passed 

People sometimes get really into a website, and then, I do believe, oft move on just as quickly. I was thinking about this trend, how long some readers have been here and continue to be here, and on my own reading habits as I skimmed the comments from two entries a year or so past.

Here are a few of the JSDC handles that we haven’t seen in a long while:

Xyloart, Dusty, Kevin McD, naiah, Sponky, GeekRev, Jellyfish, Morgant, Melissa, Amanda, Jess #2, Stef, EdwoodCA, Kristina, JoS, GeekRev, James Abel, Lauren, ambeart, Shawn, Kat, John Doom, Clay, Toby, wynk, FoxForceFive, Jodi, Schiller, Will Campbell, Steve, Henry, Pete, Dombrowski, Chris K, Jen, Dariush…

Where do they go?

I wonder.

It is sunny-bright and blue and there are white clouds and I see them all flying high... I have such a strange imagination. I mean, they don’t even have planes in my mind’s moving tableau.

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