I am still digging myself out of the pile of things that accumulated while I was AFK for a week, but apparently people are on pins and needles waiting for me to talk about the con. So here's one of the more amusing parts.

I was rather surprised when Moggie told me she'd gotten tickets for one of the photo ops. Normally, Moggie reacts to cameras by turning into Sméagol and scuttling back into her underground lair. I used to drag her on shoots as my assistant and photographers were always trying to talk her into taking a few pictures, and she mainly hid behind the softboxes and pretended not to understand English. I'm still not keen on yobbos with 5MP cell phones, mostly because without makeup I wash out and look funny, but I had plenty of warning to put on some face paint this time, so great.

I also discovered that Moggie was not kidding about being bad at talking to strangers who happen to be on TV. She turned an interesting shade of puce when I summoned her over to chat with Osric Chau, who likes to loiter in the hallway and nerd out with all the fans. I spent the entire afternoon before the photo op alternately beering her when she started to freak out, and caffeinating her when the beer kicked in and she got sleepy-emo. (This is easy to do when the con is being held in a hotel-casino. They don't care if you buy bottled mojitos and cart them around the building.) I seriously considered giving her one of my emergency Xanax.

The actual photo session moves pretty quickly. There are a million people to get through. It's well-organized, but not as perfunctory as you think. A lot of people dress elaborately funny for this, and even the normal-looking ones like to think up strange requests -- there's a really entertaining one floating around tumblr right now where the girl asked for "your best haunted house reaction faces". The actors basically get to do lightning improv the whole time, and everyone has fun with it. Moggie had gone with the "trio" session, which is Jensen and Jared and Misha together in a rather small space in front of a camera crew, which probably gives you a good idea of how serious it wasn't. There was a lot of giggling.

Moggie was busy vibrating with anxiety the entire time we were waiting, and I rather doubted she was going to get out any full sentences. Talking to strangers is what I'm generally there for, anyway.

As near as I can recall, what I actually said when we got to the front of the line was, "Hello, boys. She's shy and I'm afraid of nothing. Be creative."

I would like to note here that you should never, ever say that to them unless you really mean it, particularly Misha, who has a disconcerting habit of actually listening to people. It was perfectly true, in context; my father's about the same height as Jared, and until middle-aged engineerdom set in, was about the same build. I am accustomed to backchatting Wookiees. And anyway, I've never heard of the three of them being anything but friendly. Weird, but friendly.

I got a query out of Misha ("Nothing?"), he gave me a chance to answer ("Nothing."), and then he promptly snatched me up by the long, dangling braid. I wound up spun towards the camera with my hair wrapped around my neck, tipped backwards into Misha's shoulder while Jared pretended to eat my head. So now we have a photo print where one side is Moggie and Jensen Ackles, looking like two pleasantly normal human beings posing for a publicity photo, and on the other side I look like a complete dork getting mauled by two very tall twelve-year-olds.

I thought it was funny as hell. The photo assistant as we were leaving told me she thought I was going to fall over for a moment there, but I never did; either Misha pegged me as someone who had a decent sense of balance or he was just prepared to catch me if I did topple. I'd believe either. Mog has the physical print right now and the photographer hasn't mailed out the JPG proofs yet, or I'd show you all the gloriously ridiculous results.


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