Abusing Nostalgia: Joss Whedon

Here's an interesting one, written just a few months after I moved to Los Angeles (you can tell because I'm still pretty wide eyed and bushy tailed).

If you don't know much about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most of this will be Greek to you.

It really was a cool experience.  Aside from driving by Fountain and Fairfax (the Afghan Whigs fans among you understand), it was my first real "Los Angeles" moment.

This would actually not be the last time I'd see Joss Whedon or members of the cast of one of his shows in person, believe it or not.  More on that in the future.

Saturday, September 28, 2002
9:24:45 PM
I wrote this to, well, to pretty much everyone I know:

Okay, everyone, I'm going to try to make some sense out of the events of the day -- it all seems a bit surreal, to be honest -- both now and when it happened.
The signing/appearance was set for one and I got there at about 11:45. There was already a line, probably of about fifty people. They made it clear that we HAD to have the CD to get in, so I promptly ran inside and bought one (it rules...get it for the liner notes at least). I then got back in line, CD in one hand, Emmy copy of The Body in the other.

At about 12:30 (at this point the line was pretty big -- maybe a hundred and fifty people) a car pulled into the driveway. It was a greenish blue BMW. The first person to see inside yelled "It's Joss!" And it was. He parked and got out and there was much cheering and clapping. He waved as he headed inside. I think I almost passed out.

There was a film crew in the parking lot and they interviewed a girl standing near me. They told us they were from A&E and they were shooting a documentary on Buffy that should air in late October or early November.

Soon, a really nice looking car showed up and parked by the door. A driver got out and opened the back doors. A bunch of young girls got out, including Michelle Trachtenburg. This was a surprise since the fliers had said "Joss Whedon, Amber Benson, and other cast members," so we weren't sure who would show. No one ever actually saw Amber enter the building, so she could have walked to the store for all I know.

They actually took groups of twenty people into the Tower Records store and made everyone else wait, which was actually really good because it gave you a bit more time. You were going in as a group, not a long line.

As we moved forward another girl who had been standing by me returned with food from Subway. By this point we were standing by Joss' car (which, as nice as it may sound, wasn't really a rich guy car). She looked around for someplace to set her food and realized the only place to go was Joss' car. So we watched as she ate lunch on Joss' car. People took pictures and videotaped her, in fact.

Eventually we made it to the front of the line and I was about to piss myself. I'm extremely apathetic by nature, but when I really care about something I care about it A LOT. My hands were starting to shake.

They let us in and they were playing the musical in the store. Again, there was a line, but only a small one. I could see them -- Michelle, then Joss, then Amber. They were sitting at a table that was raised a bit off the ground. A few minutes after I entered, Joss got up. Two large men escorted him to the back of the story -- to the bathroom. I think my heart skipped a beat.

They decided it was a good time for a bathroom break, so Michelle got up as well. Michelle seems to have a following because some girl carrying a small DOG went with her to the bathroom. Kinda odd.

Anyway, Amber was alone at the table and she seemed so nice and so relaxed and so funny. It was kind of ridiculous. But I'll get to that in minute.

Everyone returned and the line moved forward. I should point out that I was wearing a tie -- I took a REALLY long lunch break from work to go to this. So I still had my fancy clothes on.

Anyway, I get up to Michelle and I hand her the CD as she says hi to me. I say hi back. I hand her the videotape and she asks me where she wants her to sign. I say anywhere is fine. She signs, but notices that the glossy cover makes the marker seem like it will rub off. I say that's okay as Joss notices what's going on.

I feel bad about meeting MT because it was kind of a blur at that point. Joss Whedon had suddenly entered my direct vision and everything else fell away. I handed him the CD book and asked him to sign on his picture, which he did. Then he looked at the tape of The Body.

"My girlfriend bought that on eBay for me," I said.

He looked it over, then signed it.

"It's my favorite thing," I said.

He stared at it again. "It means a lot to me, too."

"I feel bad, though," I said, "because my girlfriend bought it for me but I can't watch it -- I breakdown when I do."

MT intervened (thankfully) and recommend Joss put a heart by his name. He asked where and she kindly put one on for him.

At one Joss made a joke to the person in front of me in line and Amber laughed and said "I miss hanging out with you!" And later I thought to myself: I really wish I could make that statement.

Then it was on to Amber. I slid her my CD book. I was in a bit of a trance -- she had to open it to the page of Tara.

"I have to ask you a question," I said.

"What's that?" she asked.

I started mumbling incoherently. "Chance!" I finally blurted out. "When will we be able to see it?"

"We're working on getting distribution right now," she said as she signed my tape.

Just then, the Tower Records guy moved me along. I stood off to the side, waiting for my friend to get done. As he joined me to the side, Amber looked up at us and waved.

"Thanks for coming!" she said. "And you're all dressed up!"

"I came from work," I said back. "I'm on a really long lunch break."

And she winked at me.

Yep. She winked at me. Or maybe us (my friend and I). But he's gay, so I'm going with me on this one.

And I walked out the door.

And I remembered the little business cards I'd made up that said www.buffysdomain.com and how they were still in my pocket. *sigh*

I've been high as a kite ever since.