A Trekkie’s Tale

“Live long and prosper”

~Spock~

And we all say…

“Peace and long life!”

Some of you knew this was coming. I announced at the beginning of September that as part of a month-long birthday celebration, Natasha and I would be attending a Star Trek Convention in Chicago on the 15th.

We went, we saw, we laughed (a lot) and we bought a T-shirt. Here are the details:

The Tickets

Tickets for a Star Trek convention can be very pricey. There were attendees that paid around $600 for three days of admittance, the right to sit in the front row of the main convention room, attend special parties and have the opportunity for photos with and autographs from their favorite Trek celebrity.

Natasha and I were cheap and paid for the $30 no-frills general admission. We passed on the $50 autograph from Brent Spiner (Data), although it was fun to see him and Daniel Davis (Dr. Moriarity) up close. Many additional celebrities were there on Saturday (Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Nichelle Nichols, etc.), and I imagine there were more Trekkies in costume as well.

The Costumes

I’ll let the photos and my comments speak for the costumes.

I know, not many costumes on Friday. I wanted to take a photo of Seven of Nine, but she kept eluding me. Probably commiserating behind closed doors with the Borg.

The Celebrities

Upon entering the large ballroom, the first speaker was Suzie Plakson, who played K’Ehleyr on Star Trek: TNG. She was accompanied by Michael Paladin, the show’s make-up artist, who transformed Suzie into K’Ehleyr right before our eyes. Very cool. This was followed by a game of Star Trek trivia and a 30th TNG Anniversary presentation, complete with off camera photos of the TNG cast and a few funny stories.

Our favorite speaker was John Billingsley, who played Dr. Phlox on Star Trek: Enterprise.

This guy was hilarious. He could have been a stand-up comedian. He started out by saying he was part of the cast that almost killed the Star Trek franchise. Yeah, the Enterprise series didn’t go over very well and lasted a mere three years on network TV. He believes the “five people” that were watching the show were probably sad at it’s cancellation.

John didn’t talk about characters and episodes. He thought that would be boring. Instead, he encouraged the audience to ask him “the most embarrassing questions” we could think of to keep his forty-five minutes entertaining. There were prizes involved. John ran around the ballroom to talk to audience members and would do the Captain Kirk “tuck and roll” back onto the stage before answering another question.

Natasha and I did not ask any questions. We were laughing too hard at the shenanigans.

The Vendors

Natasha and I were somewhat disappointed by the vendor area. We thought it would be bigger and there would be more than one vendor selling a variety of T-shirts. We also failed to find a Star Trek coffee mug and earrings that suited our tastes and budget. Nevertheless, we both went home with a T-shirt and bumper stickers (that we’re not adhering to our bumpers) and had a fun talk with Dan at the Gaaays in Spaace booth.

Dan’s group came to fruition a year ago, named after The Muppets “Piiigs in Spaaace!”Β They were hosting a party offsite, open to any convention attendees. Natasha and I had other plans – to have dinner and head back to the convention for Friday night karaoke.

Karaoke

Yes, we sang karaoke. On stage. While my performance of “That’s the Way (I Like it)” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band was okay, Natasha rocked the house with Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.” She got a high-five from emcee John Billingsley. He continued his comedic ways by offering commentary after each performance, including telling Natasha “that’s your shit,” but he didn’t know what that had to do with bananas.

Sorry, no photos or video. Nothing to see here.

The Wrap-Up

Natasha and I decided two things: 1) If we had to do it over again, we might have bought a ticket for Saturday instead of Friday. More celebrities and more costumes. Then again, we would have missed John Billingsley and karaoke. Β 2) Unless we manage to get to the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, we’ll probably not go to a Star Trek convention again any time soon. This was a one-time “bucket list” item. I know…bad Star Trek nerds.

There are those who take this Star Trek thing very seriously. They plan their vacations around the conventions. They plan their costuming a year in advance. Their living room looks like the bridge of the Enterprise. Natasha and I don’t take it quite so seriously. Yes, we have our Star Trek pajamas and T-shirts and Star Trek key chain, but we can’t quite get to the point of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on fandom. It’s not in our psyche or our budget.

Still, this was a fun experience, one that we will not soon forget.

Live long, prosper, and peace people.

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31 responses to A Trekkie’s Tale

  1. Joanne Sisco says:

    I would say you got much more than your $30 worth from your Friday night ticket πŸ™‚

    Live long and prosper!

  2. joey says:

    I love that you had a great time πŸ™‚ For $30 and souvenirs, you seem to have gotten plenty of bang for your bucks!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I could never bring myself to spend hundreds of dollars for a 3-day ticket when $30 did me just fine. One day, when I win that stinkin’ lottery, I may ask Brent Spinner for his autograph. πŸ˜‰

  3. Aunt Beulah says:

    I haven’t been a die-hard fan of anything since I watched Gorgeous George and professional wrestling in my teen years. Nevertheless, I love reading about those who are fans and the fun they have. So I loved your adventures, photographs, and opinions.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Auntie! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. These days, I’m more of a die-hard fan of a couple of TV shows and my bicycle. It’s interesting to see what some fans will do or pay for their celebrity love and to be part of a culture. I call myself a Star Trek nerd, but I shall remain in amateur status compared to the hard core Trekkies.

  4. Ally Bean says:

    Love that you did this. I’ve often wondered what it’d be like to go to a Trekkie convention, having been a fan [not really a full-fledged nerd] over the years. So fun that you got to do this.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I still think I’d like to go to the Vegas convention as I’ve heard it’s so much bigger and better. Maybe some day…

  5. Dan Antion says:

    I don’t know how I missed this. However, it’s not entirely my fault, I did not get an email 😦

    It looks like you had a great time. I don’t think I could bring myself to sing karaoke, but I would love to be there to see the performance. I’m glad you knocked this off your bucket list.

    I haven’t been to a convention since before STNG started. I can only imagine what the Vegas convention is like. It must be a hoot.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I never thought I would ever sing karaoke, but my girlfriend egged me on a few years ago to do it locally. I’m not much of a singer, but far better than some people I’ve heard. It’s a matter of not caring what other people think and having fun.

      I may still have to go to the Vegas convention, if I ever have the chance. Yeah, it must be a hoot and a half.

      • Dan Antion says:

        That would be amazing. I’ve never been to Vegas. The only reason I want to go is to tour Hoover Dam, maybe tour the dam after the convention.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I was in Vegas and at the Hoover dam many years ago, and they are both very awesome. You don’t have to gamble in Vegas because there is so much to see and do that doesn’t cost a dime. If you ever get the chance, I recommend a trip there.

      • Dan Antion says:

        Thanks. I haven’t actively avoided it, but some conferences shy away because some companies won’t let employees travel there for training.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I can understand why. The desire to ditch training and go look at the pretty lights might be very strong.

  6. Sounds like you had a grand ol’ bucket-list-tickin’ time and got your $30 worth! I’m impressed with your karoke singing. Awesome! I think you should do the Vegas convention one day (if that’s the Big One) and get the really full on experience. πŸ™‚

    PS Sorry it took an extra day to get to this. My plan to read it while babysitting got waylaid by a surprise birthday dinner. πŸ˜‰

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Surprise birthday dinner?

      You might not be as impressed with my singing in person, but you might be impressed with my I-don’t-care-what-you-think attitude.

  7. JoAnna says:

    I so appreciate going vicariously through this post. Went to a couple small Trek conventions years ago. I think I’ll work on Data’s “Blue Skies” for karaoke in case I get to go again some day. Will definitely go for that $30 deal and look for Dr. Phlox.

  8. Not a Trekkie, but was partially raised by one — my brother. So I’ve seen all the original episodes. I loved hearing your tales from the convention but I really think this post would have been MUCH MUCH MUCH better if we’d seen video of you singing πŸ™‚ …. But I guess what happens in a Star Trek Convention stays….

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I have video of Natasha singing, but she was my doo-wop girl when it was my turn. So, no video. I think that’s for the best…

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