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Capitals of countries...
California bear
FYI: Rabat is the capital of Morocco. I know some of you must have cheated on my last poll to get that. I bet half of you don't even know the capital of Canada off of the top of your heads. You don't, do you? ;-)

Joan of Arcadia panel.
California bear
Thanks to the wonderfully generous waterbearers' invitation, I got to attend a panel on Joan of Arcadia on last Saturday all the way up in Los Angeles. It was very cool. The event started at 7 p.m., and I wanted to arrive somewhere in the time slot of 6:30 p.m. so I left my house at 4 p.m., and after getting gas and eating McDonald's we arrived at the place at about 6:40 p.m.. I was a little scared that I wouldn't see Jenifer, but she was waiting for me right in plain sight.

I just wanted to dedicate this part of my entry to my awesome dad. He really is terrific. He drove me to and from the event, got the gas for the van, bought and fed me a quarter pounder with cheese, offered me candy (I had to say no because I didn't think we had enough time), and waited for me when I was at the panel. He listened to an audio book while waiting for me, but I think that he didn't even bring enough of the book, and I think he might have listened to parts of it over again. He also got Mexican food while waiting for me, and it gave him an upset stomach. Well, the point is that my dad is awesome. I love and appreciate him beyond words.

To the unfamiliar, Joan of Arcadia is this awesome show that plays on CBS Friday nights (8/7 Central). The show has a family called the Girardis -- Dad Will Girardi, Police Chief (Joe Mantegna), Mom Helen (Mary Steenburgen), office worker at Arcadia high school, Big Brother Kevin (Jason Ritter), recent victim of an automobile accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down, Joan (Amber Tamblyn), 16-year-old whom God talks with in various guises, Little Brother Luke (Michael Welch), 15 years old and very into science. Anyway, it's all very, very good. If you aren't watching, there must be something wrong with you.

Anyhow, back to the panel. It was very cool to hear all of them speaking about the show. And when I say them, I mean the panelists which were: Barbara Hall (creator and writer), Joe Mantegna, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Ritter, Amber Tamblyn and Michael Welch. First, we got to watch the pilot episode, which I have seen several times before because (a) it's a great pilot, and (b) Kris Lemche is in it, and he is HOT. Anyway, it was really cool to watch a TV episode in a theater with hundreds of other people, including the creator of the show, the writer and director of the episode, and of course the people who acted in it. I thought that this was great, because if I had written an episode of TV, it would be beyond cool to watch it with other people, and to listen and feel their responses to it.

I've actually only been to one other television panel before, and that was at the ComicCon in San Diego last July for Farscape. And, that was very different than Joan of Arcadia last Saturday. After watching the pilot episode, we got to listen to the question asker (I'm sure there's an official word for that girl, but I can't remember) ask each of them questions. It was really awesome hearing them all speak about their characters. Each of the actors loves their characters SO much. It just makes me love the show that much more knowing that the people making the show are loving every minute of what they're doing.

I know I have been critical of Helen and Will in the past, but no more. I love them! I love them so much! It's all Joe and Mary's fault for being so cool. They asked what each person liked about their character and disliked about their character, and everyone loved the realness of their characters. They couldn't really say anything that they disliked about their characters, because they all enjoy being their characters. Well, Jason said that he really wished that his character didn't cheat on his girlfriend, and he told a funny story where he was watching the episode where he cheats on her with a group of people, and they all just started hitting him when they saw that his character was a cheater.

Speaking of Jason, we got to talk to him afterwards, which was pretty cool. In the theater, I couldn't back up because the incline was so steep, so I was making my way toward the front of the stage area so I could turn around and Jason came down to see me. It was really sweet. Let me just say that I think it's funny when famous people introduce themselves to you. Jason told me "hi, I'm Jason." But, it seems like famous people like to do it, so I just let them. He actually forgot my name three fourths of the way through our conversation, and asked me again, and he said his name again for me, too.

We talked mostly of all the assistive technology on the show. I asked how his character gets up the stairs, and he told me all about the chair thing that hooks up to the stairs. He's always like, "let's show it." But they told him it was too loud and too slow. He is all about showing the reality of being paralyzed, which is really cool, because I think it's important to create an awareness of the subject. Not a lot of people know about this kind of thing. Even with Christopher Reeve's injury, people still don't know what goes on in the day-to-day life of a paralyzed individual, and that is what Jason wants to show with his character Kevin. He is very cool, and VERY funny.

Well, that was my awesome experience this past weekend. Let me just say that it definitely was much more fun than what I had originally planned -- doing my homework. :-) Thanks, again, waterbearers, for the invitation! It was awesome seeing you again!