Friday, February 11, 2005

No, I still haven't heard anything. Sigh. There's an office clean-up afternoon scheduled today, and when I heard about it a week and a half ago, I thought, "Great! That'll be a great time to get rid of a lot of the free junk I've accumulated over the last nine years, in anticipation of my leaving the office." But no. I mean I can still do that, but it won't have the same triumphant feeling. Plus I have a headache from not sleeping. (The past few nights, I stay up until 12:30, at which point I am very sleepy, then I get into bed and my brain starts whirring, and I can't fall asleep for an hour or more.)

I was in NYC visiting the sister and the baby for most of the past week (well, four nights; Sat-Weds.). I had been hoping to also look for apartments while I was there, but since I HAVEN'T HEARD YET, I couldn't. There was another reason for my visit, though, a reason I didn't tell anyone here, because I figured you wouldn't understand. But I feel compelled to tell you now.

I went to a fan convention for The Amazing Race.

TAR, being the most entertaining and least-loathesome reality show out there, is one of the three shows I try to catch on a weekly basis (and unlike with Lost and Arrested Development, I usually succeed). Television Without Pity (see links at right) recaps the episodes, and also organizes a mass viewing of the final episode; somehow the website is popular enough that they convince the Amazing Race contestants to show up. This particular event was known as TARcon6 (for the sixth season of the show) and was held at Play by Play, the sports bar inside Madison Square Garden. My sister and I went, and even though we came a little late we lucked out and managed to score some seats at a primo table with a friendly trio of ladies (two middle-aged, one teenager). The place was packed with about 350 people.

Watching the show was quite fun, with everyone booing the more hated players and cheering the more beloved ones. Most of the people there looked like they could easily have been friends of mine - for the most part, I didn't get any creepy uber-nerd vibes from anyone. It helps, I think, that TWoP is very snarky and cynical. However, there was a stout gentleman who kept standing in front of us and heckling the people on the television, then turning around to see our reactions. Some of the crap he was yelling (at the people inside the TV) was over the line and too angry, like "Just shut the hell up, bitch!" I made a point of not making eye contact with him, though I did let him high-five me once.

After the first hour of the two-hour finale, I noticed some hubbub nearby, and realized that Charla, the little person from one of the teams last season, was about ten feet away. "Look! It's CHARLA!" I said to my sister. There was no hesitation on my part - I WOULD get a photo with her. Years of working my very particular media job have made me quite comfortable at being pushy enough to get my photo taken with various semi-well-known strangers. I got a nice one of me crouching next to Charla, who was very nice. (I also got one of me and my sister with Charla, but my sister is blushing a lot, and she'd hate me if I posted it).

(You, dear reader, likely have no clue who I am talking about. This is why I didn't tell anyone about this before. Feel free to stop reading, as it only gets worse.)

Near the end of the show, the final detour challenge the players had to do was to finish a smallish-size deep-dish pizza. Which was very lame. "Aw, COME ON!!" shouted the stout fellow. "This is BULLSHIT!!" A couple who were not the crowd favorites won the million bucks. It was sort of a let-down.

After the show was over, we hung around waiting for more racers to show up. My sister was a bit unsure about approaching them but I was all gung-ho about it, instigating all the photo ops. We left our seats and went to the entrance area, where a roped-off recieving line had been set up. The racers would walk past the line and then enter the bar and hang out for a while, talking, taking photos, and drinking. For fans who had the time and the right questions to ask, they could get some behind-the-scenes dirt on the show. We were not those fans.

The first people we saw were Chip and Kim, the much-loved winners from last season. I grabbed Chip and got someone to take his photo with us. I said, "I was rooting for you guys! I actually cried when you won!" (This is true.) "Aw, that's so nice! Thanks for your support!" he said.

Like most of the racers we encountered, he seemed to be having a total blast. After all, these people are just normal people who happened to be on a TV game show for a little while, and we're all treating them like they're big stars. The whole thing was absurd and hilarious, yet I couldn't stop taking pictures. I took photos of most of the racers who showed up: Lena and Christy, the girls from Queens whose names I can't remember, and:

Aaron and Hayden:

MaryJean and Don:

Hera and Gus:

The bad, bad Jonathan and Victoria. When they came, most people ignored them.

But the show's recap writer, Miss Alli, really got into it with Jonathan. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but he was not happy:

Adam and Rebecca:

... and finally, me and my sister with the very attractive Kris and Jon. Her boobs were blindingly perfect, and she was sweet as the dickens.:

We had a great time, it was all very surreal and fun. We really didn't know exactly what to expect, but it was as great and as weird a time as I had allowed myself to hope it would be. Hooray!


RodneyG said...

Thanks for the TAR post and photos. I have no idea who you are, but I googled TARCON6 and there you were. Looks like it was a fun time.

Thanks again,
Random Internet Non Uber-Geek Guy

RodneyG said...

Okay, I'm at work, so I read several months worth of posts. A couple months at the beginning, and then skipped ahead to Oct '04.

I had a good time.

I think I will now go google you to see if you are famous. I mean, if your blog is famous.