24th ~ 25th October, 2009

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,



Well, it starts out with me leaving around 3:30pm Friday afternoon. A very long drive, let me tell you! I finally arrive in Pigeon Forge about 1:30am Saturday morning. Cold, crisp weather, and I am very tired, but so excited, as I know our Wonderful Mr. J-Man is ensconced somewhere in the hotel before me! So, I think, “Hmmm ... I know he’s prolly asleep, but ... I can always leave a message at the front desk to have him call me in the morning ...! Maybe he’ll have a moment or two free, and we can at least say ‘Hey!’ to each other!” Oh yes! I’ve cajones the size of Texas!

So as I’m chatting up the very nice lady at the front desk ... telling her how I’m here for the SciFi Con, how I’m a friend of Doug’s ... having asked her to please make sure my note isn’t delivered before 10am so as he can sleep in, undisturbed, if he wishes ... I spy the room number she writes on my note! “Eeek!” I think to myself! “Ok ... breathe ... breathe ... you can behave yourself, Sianna..!”

So out I go to my truck, to try to get some sleep.

8am sees me wide awake and ready to go! I put myself together, go grab some coffee, and wait. I know how busy he is, so I don’t anticipate him calling. I get a call from Michele, letting me know that she might be delayed getting in. I reassure her that I’ll come collect her, no matter what time she gets in. A bit later, I get a call from Carly, letting me know she was able to get a rental (Yay!), and that she & Matt will be in tonight, late. Ok good, looks like everyone is still gonna make it!

Finally, about 2pm, KatyBacon calls to say she’s here ... where am I? I see her in her car, on the phone, so I tell her I’m right in front of her, and I wave! I’ve already managed to get my room a bit early, so we go up and put her things in. We hang out, walk down to the convenience store for some junk food, then back to the room ... watch some tv, and wait to pick up Michele.

So once Michele is with us, we get them registered for the con. By now, we are all chomping at the bit to see our Dougie. So, as I know he’d love to see us too, so long as he isn’t busy, I suggest we ring him up! So, we do!

Dougie: Helloooh?

Me: Hello, Mr. Jones.

({Michele, sitting next to me, proceeds to scream)

(So, having scared the snot out of me, I scream)

(I hear Dougie in the background)

Dougie: What?!

{Once I regain my composure:}

Me: OMG! Michele thought she saw a spider!

Dougie: Who IS this?!

Me: Oh Gods! I’m so sorry! This is Sianna!

Dougie: Sianna! What happened?

({I explain that Michele thought she saw a spider, and, as she is allergic to them, got scared and yelled out to warn me.)

Dougie: Oh!

Me: I’m so sorry I yelled in your ear like that!

Dougie: No, it’s ok, I just didn’t know who I was talking to, is all. All I heard was “Hello Mr. Jones”, then screaming..!

The rest of the conversation that followed was him telling me he’d gotten my note, but wasn’t able to call, as he’d had to go to the Ripley’s Haunted Aquarium thing. We asked if he was going to be free for a bit, as we all wanted to see him, that we had gifts for him. He said that he would love to, but that he was getting ready to go to a magic show in a bit. He assured us that as soon as that was done, he’d love to come see us (Yay!).

And so, with the promise of our Dougie fresh in our minds & hearts, we decided we’d try to hold some food down. Off we go, across the main road to a seafood place. All three of us are giggly, and feeling very high in anticipation of seeing our wonderful Dougie.

Suddenly, oh, about twenty minutes into our meal, my phone goes off. I’m thinking, “Who the h*ll is calling me?” I don’t recognize the number, but it looks like a California area code, so I start hyperventilating that it. just. might. be. Dougie ...! Nope, but it is the next best thing: Derek! He proceeds to tell us that Doug was bugging him on the way over to the magic show as to how long it was going to take, as “my FanSapiens are waiting for me” (!) So Derek got my number from him, and he was inviting us to join them at the show! Only thing is ... we need to be there NOW! We jump up out of our seats, rush to the register, wait for what seemed like forever to get our ticket & pay. We run as fast as we can, do our best to avoid getting smushed by any cars whilst crossing the road. Finally in the car and we’re off!

Derek is texting me as I’m driving, trying to tell me where the place is at. We find it ... but our hearts sink just a bit as we see an incredibly packed parking lot! Not so fast ..! As we see our Derek, standing in a spot, saving it for us! We get parked, exchange warm, excited welcomes and hugs. In we get, and then ... Dougie! More exchanges of warm Bosies and welcomes. Then we see Camden ... more hugs ... seated ... then the show begins!

All I can say is ... WOW! Terry Evanswood, our Magician, was very, very good. Lots of hollering, screaming, applauding ... Dougie and I acting like a couple of kids at a carnival with our Ooo-ing & Ahhh-ing ... great stuff ... great time.

After, Doug, Camden, and David (Barclay) graciously offered to sign autographs for the cast & crew ... more photo ops with them. More hugs from Doug & Derek, then back to the hotel. The three of us simply can not wait to hang out with him some more! Finally, we get a knock on our door ... Dougie! And what to our wondering eyes should appear? But a Dougie all dressed in Dough Boy pj bottoms with his “Kick a Kat” shirt!!

More hugs ... Bosies ... sitting on the bed ... chatting like a bunch of teenagers ...”just us girls”! {Dougie quote}. First, from me, a Halloween-sized bag of mini Kit Kats! Dougie: Lord Girl! I’ll never be able to eat all of those! Me: Well you’re not supposed to eat them all at once! Presents opened; first, mine. Out came the necklace I made for him: a choker, beaded different shades of blue & clear turquoise, with a little dolphin in blue, made of sculpy-clay! Fighting back tears as he placed it ‘round his neck, then hugged me. Next, the Silver Dolphin of Devotion I made for him {as I explained to him} for all the Love & Devotion he has shown us, his FanSapiens. I think at this, he was just a tad overwhelmed, as I’d sculpted it by hand. We spoke of Anoray, or, “Donaray” as he affectionately calls her ... of how she’d originated the idea ... of how she’d graciously given me permission to make one for Dougie.

Next, a CD of songs, sung by Yours Truly ... some were of a couple of his favorite artists, a couple were songs ‘tweeked’ lyrics-wise by our own Anoray {My Guy becoming Fish Guy} and Carly-Rhi {You Make Lovin’ Fun becoming Doug Makes Fandom Fun}. He looked at me, and asked me if this was of me singing them. “Yes” I said. And only just a couple of days ago, in IM, he finally had the chance to tell me that: “I listened to your entire CD in the car to & from Las Vegas ... I LOVE IT ... possibly one of the most heartfelt, sweet things I've ever received!!!” (Yep ... I so cried when he said that..) More hugs ...

Then Michele’s presents ... I’ll let her tell what she made for him, as I don’t want to mess up the descriptions for her ... which Dougie was totally blown away by, by the way! Then Katy Bacon’s ... again, totally overwhelmed by so much love from us.

More talking, giggling ... Pinky Promises made about things we three shall carry to our graves ...

Finally, poor Matt & Carly-Rhi make it in about 3:30am. After “Hellos!” & “Oh My Heavens!”, we all get back to sleep. 9am sees us all up, not-so-bright-eyed-&-bushy-tailed, but excited and ready for Breakfast with The Stars! We get in line for the buffet, seated, and happy to see our Dougie again. Whilst awaiting Dougie, Camden, and David Barclay to make their way round to us, Derek comes to our table to offer us tickets to the VIP Laser Tag Party for $5! “Score!” we all say! Then also an invitation to the Coolwaters’ After Party. Derek has every one at breakfast form up for a group photo, which ends up being put on a form for the autographs. More hugs from Dougie, and then autographs from all three.

Then off we go, to terrorize the Con! Bugging Dougie as much as we can ... harassing Camden and David, too ... photos taken ... then a Q&A with Dougie & Camden on stage with Derek MC’ing. Loud simply does not do justice to what we all were. “Raucous” I think, would be a much better term! Then off we go back to the room, to change into our costumes. I took the longest, because I’m really anal when it comes to mine. Carly comes back up to change attire, as her feet were absolutely killing her, Bless! She and I finally head back off to the Convention Center to hook up with the rest of my new FanSapien Family. More photos with Dougie. Was super nice that he was impressed that I had made almost all of my costume. Then we inform him that we were going to Taco Bell to get some food for him, to make sure that he ate! Back with food, just in time for him to rush off to a location in a room behind the stage for a taped interview for the Con. Dougie told us to follow him, so off we go! “The Entourage” well in tow, we watch from ‘stage left’ whilst our Mr. J was interviewed. Was never so proud when Dougie speaks of how his Fans will make him presents, whilst touching the choker I made for him ...

Interview done! Back off to the table ... more running around ... back to the room for a bit. Nearly time for the Laser Tag Party! Change of costume for me ... then down to the lobby to meet up with everyone. A brief walk to the Laser Tag place...Derek scored top over everyone else..! So much fun, running ‘round, shouting to people, “Dude! I’m already dead!” Ambushed by Camden & Dougie multiple times ... ambushed *them* multiple times..! Pete, Derek’s photographer, took some really great photos of us there ... will get my butt in gear, and post them to my MySpace & will link it here in another post, anon ...

Back to the hotel ... then to Derek’s suite for the Coolwaters party. Dougie is made an honorary Accafella ... not quite sure what that was all about ... but from what little I do know, they are a singing group Dougie knows of. That is where the Cookie Monster T-shirt came from that you might see in some of the photos from AdventureCon. Pizza, sodas ... Dougie in a circle with a bunch of FanSapiens, holding hands, singing “Kumbaya” ... prizes given out by Derek ...

Next: Karaoke/Disco/Dance party! Michele, Matt, Carly-Rhi, & I get there first ... first order of business: find a suitable table! Ok, one near up front! Claimed and awaiting Mr. J and others!

Dougie, Derek, Alberto {Derek’s quiet but absolutely lovely Life Partner!), Renee (KateWisdom), Camden Toy, David Barclay ... all in attendance ... party can now begin! I was able to do Carly-Rhi’s “tweeked” version of “Doug Makes Fandom Fun”! Thank Goodness! He liked it! Carly was happy to get to hear it sung, so I was happy: I made two people I love dearly to smile. Lots of dancing ... singing, “Can’t Smile Without You” with Dougie: major highlight of the evening..! Carly-Rhi sings, “Let’s Do The Time Warp” with a bunch of us dancing it with her.. Yep, totally sillies, we are! And I must say, Carly-Rhi has a really good singing voice. She really impressed Dougie ...

Derek too, and what a silly, fun guy he is ... I totally had so much fun, dancing, singing, listening to others’ sing ... Ooo! And then ending with a Limbo competition! Of course, Dougie joined in after some minor prodding! Unfortunately, he didn’t win ... Laurie, one of the AdventureCon people won.

The evening winds down, finally, around 2am ... more Dougie-hugs with promises to join us for another Pyjama Party in our room. This time, we invite Derek, Alberto, Camden and David {Barclay} to join us. Renee, too, and finally we get to have Matt & Carly-Rhi there as well! Well, Derek, bless his heart, opted out in the end ... Dougie finally joins us after being fished out by Carly-Rhi. Finally, Dougie and she get back to our room. More presents from Carly-Rhi, and Renee. More hugs from Dougie for them. More talking and chatting of all sorts of things ... Dougie is soooo tired from all the excitement that he begins to fall asleep, using Camden for a pillow ...”Dougie, you poor thing! You’re ready for bed, aren’t you?”

Dougie: “Yeah, but I don’t want to miss anything!”

Pyjama Party II over, and all parted for bed, to dream of what just passed, and of what tomorrow might hold.

9am sees us all up again ... packing out our things, as we needed to surrender the room by 11am. Things safely in cars, we head for some breakfast. We see Derek, who comes over to talk with us ... I so love this man ... more thanks to him for all he did for us ... he’s just the best ever ..! Then, back to the Con! Doug, as Carly said, was no where to be found ... as we suspected, he was still in his room; I go to Derek to see if he’s heard from him. “Nope!” And with that, I let him know that me, Carly, Matt, & Michele will go and fish him out.

Off we go, and once Mr. J’s room was approached, none of us had the guts to finally knock...save for Matt! This is where the infamous, “bread crumbs & lemon juice” incident occurs. Dougie cackles, says, “Ok, lemme get my shirt on!” Out he comes, and once again, “The Entourage” escorts him to the Convention Center.

After a bit, talk turns to 1: making sure Dougie gets fed, and 2: getting Dougie video’d answering KateC’s questions to him. Brilliant Idea! let’s get him to Taco Bell! Boom! Two Birds with One Stone! Naturally, we all know that, if left to his own devices, the man would never leave his table, so long as fans line up ... he just loves them so much. So, once again, we head over to Derek to let him know what we’d like to accomplish. With his blessing obtained, plans were laid to kidnap Dougie ‘round 2pm for food & Q&A. Dougie is told of Brilliant Plan, and, with many assurances from us that we’ve obtained Appearance Manager Derek’s Seal of Approval, he agrees.

2pm approaches, with still some fans trickling in. Finally, we have a break and remind him of the time. He hesitates, as a couple more loving fans approach. He asks if he can get them really fast, and of course we say yes ... the only drawback is that we are on a bit of a schedule, as we needed to make sure Michele gets to her plane on time.

Fans happy, Dougie happy, we make a Run for the Border! Matt, Carly, Michele, Me & new Puppy Renee ... food ordered, paid for ... table acquired ... we sit, begin our meal ... talk of more things to do with upcoming projects, hashing out answers to questions for the Q&A. Dougie first does the greeting for FanSapiens ... then, the Q&A! The man just is so fascinating, and he really does have so much love in him for each an every one of us.

Back to the Con ...

Time is quickly approaching when we must go our separate ways...we realize we must part ... mutual realization hits that we so don’t want to. We’ve already said our farewells to Dougie, Camden, Alberto, & Derek. We didn’t let ourselves cry ... nope! But as me, Michele, Carly, and Matt are sitting by the entrance, waiting for the videos from our lunch to upload onto Matt’s laptop, we start reminiscing on all the fun ... of how much more close we all feel to Dougie, and to each other as well. Oh, My Heavens ... that is when the tears begin to flow. We three, me, Michele, & Carly, have had such a time of things of late ... this weekend has been as a balm to us. We laughed, we talked, we shared our lives ... we bonded ... we didn’t want it to end. More tears.

Me: We need to go back and say one more ‘good bye’ to Dougie. You so know he won’t mind us crying. You so know he’ll wrap us all three up in one, big Bosie, and just love us all the more.

So, off we go ... Dougie has some fans ... hmmm? But then, what’s new about that? The man is just so loved! As we wait, Derek comes to wait with us ... we tell him why we came back, one last time ... he sees us crying ... he hugs us ... begs us not to cry, as it’ll make him start! Ah, such a Dear Love he is! He leaves for a moment ... returns with “Abe Sapien” key chains! Oh my ... he makes us promise to use them, and of course, we promise ...

Finally, Dougie is free ... he looks at us three girls, at our tear stained faces, so full of love for him....we explain why we came back. I am a river of tears, so that I can barely speak. With some explanation from the other three, a look of understanding, and total compassion, crosses his beautiful face.

Dougie: Awww! Come here!

Michele on my right, Carly on my left ... me, in a puddle, in the middle, he draws us three into a big, group Bosie.

Dougie: Look at the Love Here!

My crying renews ... I am such a mess ... I finally get out something about how we were all getting ready to leave, and started talking about how we didn’t want to leave each other, or Dougie...of how we all just started crying ... and of how I knew our tears would be safe with him.

Dougie: Oh Precious ... of course they are.

Us: We just love you so much.

Dougie: I love you all too.

Finally, we knew we just had to leave, or we just wouldn’t. More hugs to each other...promises to stay in touch. Matt & Carly take off. I deliver Michele to the airport. I start my journey back to Florida.

And thus ends my lengthy tale of bonds forged, strengthen’d. Of a Brother, found. Of memories so precious, made, that I will remember, even when I am old, and grey, and cannot remember my own name ...

Sianna Hoskins
7th September, 2009

© 2009 Sianna Hoskins. All rights reserved.

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