We should've entitled Ashram Esme just simply Murphy's Law. Because each and every time something could go wrong, it did. Whatever couldn't possibly be any worse, suddenly was worse. And let's not even bring up the airport saga we went through getting to LAX. JFK airport's dead, Angela! Don't bring it up again.
|What it's like NOT to meet Stephenie Meyer after waiting 4 hours in the sun to do so.|
Saturday morning there was a SURPRISE! slotted for 10:00am in our itinerary, so I dressed cute and brought stuff to have signed. After realizing it was not the mass celebrity meet and greet, we quickly surmised that it was Stephenie Meyer. That morning was the morning we learned the hard way that Summit and CHE (Chad Hudson Events, who put on the whole thing) have a serious case of mismanagement, miscommunication, and Schadenfreude.
This horrible blonde woman was calling number groups (based on your wristband) so it wasn't a bum rush or whatever. It was a random drawing, only they didn't tell us that not all of us were going to meet Stephenie. They didn't tell us anything except to MOVE BACK! in really surly tones.
I'll let PineyLonesome explain... she really paints the setting most accurately:
First, she decided to call out numbers without using any sort of megaphone or microphone or visual aid. None of us could hear her due to the ambient crowd noise. It would have been so easy to write the numbers down on a poster and have someone hold up the poster. It would have been even easier to make use of the massive JumboTron screen behind her. Or, she could get a megaphone. At some point, one of her staff handed her a megaphone (halfway into the signing) and she started calling out numbers, but the megaphone was defective. It made it even worse. Some people started to tweet out the numbers, which was also helpful (If you had the Wifi password, and Wifi password was only given out via rumor and word of mouth instead of being posted anywhere, you know, ACCESSIBLE).After all the numbers were called, which no one said "That's it, guys! Sorry!", we were left standing around confused, trying to see if that was the end of the signing or if SM was just taking a lunch break. The CHE team had left to go work on the concert set up, which was quickly approaching in the itinerary slot and right in the same area we were all standing. It was 700 people completely baffled and rightfully pissed off, stood around going, "WTF IS GOING ON! Are we NOT meeting Stephenie?"
But even worse than her complete lack of competence was her condescending attitude. She told us that if anyone in line failed to obey the rules, we'd all lose our privilege. Another girl there, who is a preschool teacher, told me that she occasionally uses those tactics on the 3 year olds (but she didn't like to do that since it punishes the really good kids at the expense of the really bad kids).
Then the blonde woman kept making us repeat after her "1 photo, 1 autograph, don't bring anything else to sign." Then, because she thought it was funny, she'd occasionally yell out (with clarity somehow) stupid questions like "HOW MANY PHOTOS?" and "HOW MANY AUTOGRAPHS" and "WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING TO SIGN." People in the audience responded. Except LTT people and a few others, because we all are adults and can fucking follow instructions and don't need someone to quiz us nonstop about said instructions.
Finally the blonde woman said to us, "I'm going to check with Stephenie and see if she's willing to stay longer to meet more people. Don't be upset...yet."
So, we stood for about 10 minutes next to the other slighted Twihards (including Nutty Madame, mind you) and then decided, "Screw this, let's get lunch." and we did. Skipping the Twilight Concert in which basically every famous person ever associated with Twilight attended (no, not actually, just five). (eye roll) Whatever.
By Sunday, the day we assumed we'd meet Guri (who wasn't even in LA, btw), I knew that I had to dress down and not bring anything to sign. Expect nothing. NOTHING. Because as soon as you expect more than a stale yet somehow slightly moist blueberry muffin and an epic shaft of a celebrity meet-and-greet, they will suddenly run out of bagels and Peter Facinelli will skip ONLY your section and then wave to everyone like he did sign your Return of the Volturi poster.
|Clearly Peter is waving directly at Ashram Esme.|
Luckily, my plan worked. PFach turned out looking deliciously hot, and stood close enough for me to make out with him. I did not make out with him, don't worry. If I had, you wouldn't be getting these after-the-fact-updates from me, since I would've been kicked out of Fan Camp stat.
In addition to people giving us free stuff, we also got to meet-and-greet (use of the term "meet" loosely here) Jackson, Maggie Grace (ADORE!), Mia Maestro, MyAnna Buring (Downton Abbey ftw), BooBoo Radley, and some kid named Brandon who played a wolf in BD2.
|*Drool* He was so hot in person. Cannot express how hot.|
I'm going to pretend we are in a park together in this photo,
and he is pouring me a glass of wine while I'm lying back,
propped up on my elbows, looking up at him. (nods)
|MyAnna sees you... (Seriously no clue what's happening here, |
but I own that exact shade of lipstick)
|Jackson signing Piney's Twilight novel and looking dapper.|
|Brandon guy signing the Ashram Esme banner.|
StoneBumChum, the artist, featured on right :)
|Mia looking cute|
|Still looking cute|
|I loved you on LOST, Maggie!|
|Go Team Seth!|
After all of that nonsense, we left to go to the beach. Well, that was the plan at least for me, Piney, and Ilene. We'd head to the hotel, drop some stuff off, then go to Venice Beach. The weather was gorgeous, nothing was standing in our way...
Except that when we got down to the main camp area (Group Sex got shafted to the parking garage, did we mention that? Remember when we mentioned that before like it was a joke and not going to happen? Well, it did happen. Fur realz. Murphy showed up and laid down his law), there were all these OTHER celebrities doing meet and greet with the people in the main camp. And the organization of it was so ridiculous that the celebrities were all on the outside and the fan camp people on the inside, but then all the Group Sex people walking by were...on the outside! Which enabled some entertaining things to occur...
Do you recall when I was all, "Oh, I might meet Charlie Bewley!"?
|He's so much taller than I expected!|
The most memorable thing at Fan Camp (besides all the glorious times with my Ashram Esme girls) was meeting Charlie Bewley and Traci and KBV seeing me on the "wrong" side of the guardrail (Charlie's side). On our walk back to regular Tent City (Groups 1-5's tents), we saw Erik Odom in a henley that was nearly the same color as Tom Hiddleston's eyes, and Piney got a photo of us right after some girl serenaded him with her mandolin playing (NOT LYING).
|Erik Odom photo bomb!!! |
This was taken while he was recording the serenade.
Yes, I am laughing at the absurdity.
Then was looking for Guri. And I mean LOOKING. I scoured the regular Tent City like an eagle looking for a rabbit. No Guri. There was Noel, but no Guri. Where was he? I started tweeting it out: Guri WHERE ARE YOU? And some girl in Scotland gave me false hope in her reply. By then Piney was long gone, back to the hotel to get ready for our trip to the beach. But I wanted Guri. It was serious. That was when I looked up and saw Charlie Bewley basically 10 ft in front of me, with no barrier in the way, no anything. Just Charlie, his handler, and a small throng of girls on the other side of the barrier. I approached him and somehow managed to speak in a normal sounding voice, "Are you Charlie?" at which point he turned back, looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, "Yes." I asked for a photo, the whole thing was surreal. I was so unprepared. I had nothing to sign, nothing but my camera phone [and boobs?]. I debated telling him that Jules says hi. But I didn't want to be that creepy girl who is friends with his friend. So, I just thanked him and his handler and walked away in anonymity trying to escape the Fan Camp barriers (there was no exit that way). By the time I'd rounded back to find another way out, more girls had discovered Charlie's precarious lack of barrier placement and there was a line on both sides (one sympathized with the behind-the-barrier girls who got the shaft). Then I tweeted the photo of me and Charlie to Jules, who thought it was hilarious and asked if I'd told him to put his cap on correctly. In the words of Mr. Hiddleston, "Ehehehehe."
|Erik is an illuminated manuscript.|
and the Venice Canals...