Charity auction of Eliza Dushku’s Clothes & Memorabilia

As some of you know, I've been working with Eliza Dushku on a charity auction. She's cleaning out her closet after a wardrobe makeover, and trying to raise money to benefit Camp Hale, the non-profit summer camp her family is involved with.

Well, it's finally live! There are fancy red carpet dresses, stylish clothes and shoes, scarves and jewelry, screen-worn TV/movie costumes, signed DVDs and memorabilia, and more. Check it out!

If you know anyone who's a fan of Eliza's, or who might just want some sexy dresses and nice pants, please help us spread the word.

Thanks!

eBay Giving Works Welcomes Its 10,000th Nonprofit

eBay Giving WorksToday, eBay Giving Works, the eBay program that lets you post auctions where a percentage of the winning bid is automatically donated to participating charities, announced that they have 10,000th Non-Profit Group in the program.

Since it was my Serenity screening ticket auctions that got Equality Now to sign up for the program last year, I'd like to think I made a small contribution to helping this along. (In this case, "small" is defined as 1/10,000th, I suppose.)

So here's to all 10,000 charities that signed up, the guesstimated tens of thousands of sellers who have taken part in the program, the additional tens of thousands who bid on all those auctions, and the likely millions of people who have benefited from the money raised, in one form or another. With double cheers going to the probably dozens of eBay and Mission Fish folks who made it all possible. Good works, indeed.

Joss Whedon’s Equality Now speech

Yes, Joss Whedon has created some great shows, like Firefly, Serenity and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For that, we thank him. But it's the inspiration behind why he does what he does that makes us love him - and his creations. If you have any doubt of this, take a listen to his acceptance speech for his award from Equality Now.

Joss Whedon's Equality Now speech

"When you're asked something 500 times, you really start to think about the answer."

It just keeps getting better…

Ok, get this! We got in touch with Shawna Trpcic, who was the costume designer for Firefly. We were going to see if she'd donate a costume sketch and maybe a swatch of fabric from one of Inara's dresses, or something. Instead, she's going to let us come over and choose any one item out of her personal collection. Like maybe the entire suit that Atherton Wing wore in Shindig! Or maybe something even cooler.

Can you believe the generosity in a donation like this? Or how much it's going to bring in for the charity drive?? Between this, Jewel Staite's voice on your answering machine, and the fact that we haven't even heard back yet from half of the crew, my mind boggles at the list of prizes we'll have by the time we get to the con!

Plus, the added bonus is that I now have an excuse to make a trip to LA soon, to pick out a costume. Which means I'll get to swing by and visit a certain lovely lady along the way. It's good to be me! :)

SFBrowncoats.com – ComicCon Fan Table and Charity Drive

You've heard about the shiny little fan table the SF Browncoats ran at WonderCon. You've heard about how they raised $2000 to benefit the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Effort. And you've heard rumors that they're working on another fan table and charity drive at ComicCon that's supposed to blow the WonderCon thing out of the water.

But where's the website? When do we you get to find out what we're planning for the con? Where's the sign up list for volunteering? Where's the info on the charity we're going to be benefiting this time around? And where is that frelling prize list we keep hearing about, gorramit!??

Fear not, fellow Browncoats! The time has come for the great unveiling!! http://www.sfbrowncoats.com/events/comiccon2005/

What will you find here?

  1. Info on the SF Browncoats, and all the wacky things we've been up to.

  2. We're hosting the largest-ever Firefly fan table at ComicCon. Find out what we'll be up to, what kinds of schwag we'll have, and how you can become a part of it all.

  3. There's going to be a massive charity drive to donate Equality Now (one of Joss's favorite charities). Browncoats from around the world will be able to donate at the con. And we're accepting online donations too, so even those who aren't lucky enough to be at the con can get help us make the biggest Browncoats charity drive ever!

  4. Prizes!! Everyone who donates (at the con or online) will be entered into a huge drawing for thank you prizes. We're just starting to get the prizes together, but we already have an amazing list of shiny trinkets for you to ooh and awe over. And there will be more prizes added between now and the con, as we hit up more generous Browncoats and continue to get things handed to us out of the blue (did we mention the iPod Shuffle?!).

So check it out. Tell all your friends. Give in to your temptation to join us at ComicCon. Take a look around and see if you have anything you'd like to donate as a prize. And, most important, scrape together every last penny you can afford, and help us show the good folks at Equality Now just how mighty Browncoat generosity can be!! :)

--ray

[Also, if you catch any typos or broken links, send me an email off-list and I'll fix 'em up right.]

Writer’s Block

My life lately has been consumed with two things: my project at work, and the charity fundraiser I'm helping organize for ComicCon. The deadline for the first is fast approaching, and I'm terrified that I might be forgetting something. And the other is kind of flying in a holding pattern while the paranoid side of my brain refuses to let me concentrate on anything important.

At WonderCon, Miyu single handedly put together a last minute fan table and charity raffle, and raised over $2000 for the Red Cross. I had a blast hawking tickets, and even gave up my opportunity to attend the signing (Nathan, Adam, Summer, and Joss were there) to remain at the table and pimp the charity. So when Miyu mentioned the idea of doing another charity drive at ComicCon, I was interested.

Of course, I had no real intention of going to ComicCon at that point. It's an awful lot of money to spend on a weekend trip to a town I've already been to. But when I read about the charity she had chosen, Equality Now, my perspective changed. I rarely do anything interesting with my vacation time. And while I do still intend to save up a few weeks to spend in Italy next summer, I can't think of a more fulfilling way to spend a few days vacation than hanging out with geeks and using my vast capitalistic powers to benefit a worthy cause.

Lets do the math. WonderCon was a decent sized con, but nothing huge. And it was just Miyu organizing everything, last minute. And we raised $2000. ComicCon is ten times the size. It's frikkin huge. We have two months to plan. Several of the cast helped last time, and we have plenty of leads on getting them involved again. We haven't even really tried to start getting prize donation, and we've already got some amazingly cool stuff (the generosity of my friends never ceases to amaze me). Plus, we're going to be accepting donations online, so those who can't make it to the con (including a slew of UK and Aussie Browncoats) can get in on the prize drawing. Just imagine what kind of good Equality Now could do with the money we could potentially raise here.

I've been so slammed at work lately that I haven't had a chance to really get started. I have a list of contacts I need to write to, and a mental list of other people I want to badger for donations. And that's not even touching on the suggestions my mom has given me. But now that work is finally getting sane again, I can get down to business.

The first step, of course, is finishing the SFBrowncoats.com website, so I have somewhere to point people for all of the relevant info on the group, the con, the charity, and the ever-growing prize list (yes, I am perfectly comfortable with using people's greed to get them to do good - hehe). But for some reason I just can't get started. I have the outline for the site done, and all the pages are where they need to be. But not a word of content has been written.

The longer I stare at the blank page, the harder it is for me to find a place to start. Which is ironic, considering how hard it is to get me to shut up once I've started writing. I think something is bothering me at a metaphorical level lately. And until I can figure out what it is, it's going to continue to smack me down any time I try to concentrate on anything important.

Frikkin' metaphors. Nasty little creatures...

WonderCon 2005 – A Summary

This weekend, I went to WonderCon, at Moscone Center. The first thing I noticed as I entered the con was that they had some serious con security. I had barely found the Firefly fan table when the rest of the Browncoats started showing up. Miyu, of course, was already there and hard at work. Much to my delight, Rosie and Tamara, who we met in Chicago at the Browncoat Ball, were there. And I got to meet Saxon, and several others who I had seen on the boards.

The first thing most of us did was to head over to the autograph line. They had a gigantic line that you had to wait in just to pick tickets out of a series of buckets, one for each autograph session. If you got a winning ticket, you got the arm band to attend the autograph session. There were five buckets, I think. One was for the Firefly cast (Nathan, Adam and Summer), one was for Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, and the others... ah, who cares. I was hoping to get the Firefly cast, but I got Joss & Cassaday, so that was still pretty cool.

While we were waiting in line, I got to hang out with a bunch of the Browncoats, and had a great time chatting with them. And I kept noticing people pointing at me, since I was wearing a Mal outfit. Saxon's daughter said she was surprised I wasn't being mauled by women in that outfit, and I agreed that it was a frikkin' tragedy that I wasn't. :) Donna was in line with me, and kept catching me out of the corner of her eye and thinking that it was Nathan - even though she knew it was me (I later signed a postcard for her "Donna, I'm not Nathan. Love, Ray"). Oh, and I got an email from Tzegha while we were in line, which was primo timing.

The highlight of the day, of course, was the panel at which Joss, Nathan, Adam, and Summer spoke. Joss, Nathan and Adam are just as funny in person as people say, and they played off each other seamlessly. Summer was absolutely gorgeous. She seemed kind of nervous and shy, and didn't say much (with Nathan and Joss to compete with, it's no surprise she couldn't get a word in), but she was constantly striking these demure poses that were just downright adorable. Being a clever little monkey, I picked up one of those Griffin iTalk Voice Recorders for my iPod, and brought it with me so I could get an audio recording of the panel. Those who missed the con can check out the audio download and a cheat sheet for the visual cues.

Most of the rest of my day I spent manning the Firefly fan table. We were raffling off all sorts of Firefly schwag to benefit the Red Cross' Tsunami Relief. We had books, DVDs, t-shirts, signed photos, and the like. The t-shirts Alan asked about when he interrupted the panel on Nathan's cell phone were part of the raffle, too. And half way through the day, Nathan even sent over his own Serenity sweatshirt (complete with stain under the collar) and signed on the arm, for the drawing. Hawking the tickets was a blast. I haven't had that much fun hawking since I worked Inn Yard at the Blackpoint faire. It helped that the people I was hawking to were fellow browncoats, and that all the money was going to a good cause. I even bought $30 worth of tickets myself, in hopes of winning a deck of the custom Firefly cards (which Miyu made, and could have made a fortune if she were selling - everyone was asking if they were for sale).

Later in the day, Joss stopped by the booth. He was incredibly gracious, and stuck around chatting with us for a while. Before exiting the booth to be flooded by a hoard of fans, he shook all of our hands and very sincerely thanked us for all we (meaning all the fans, not just those at the table) have done to support him, and keep his show flying. We thanked him right back just as sincerely, and off he went to meet (more of) his adoring fans. Having already met Joss and not caring too much about autographs, I ended up taking the armband I won to see Joss and Cassaday, and told the crowd around the booth that the next person who bought $20 worth of raffle tickets would get the armband too. It took about ten seconds for someone to swipe that up, and it got more money for the cause, so I was happy.

Shortly before the raffle, I finally got away from the table and got a chance to see the Firefly fan room. Miyu arranged to have an entire room set aside for fans to gather in and watch Firefly episodes. It was amazing to see how packed the room was. Even with the quite a few Browncoats still on the convention floor and at the booth. there was standing room only in the room, which spilled out into the hall. It was great to see how many fans showed up for this!

Shortly before it was time for the raffle, Lil' Ewok ran out to the con floor to track down Joss (in the way only a teenling geek girl can), and brought him back to the room. Seeing him coming down the hall, we had them kill the projector, and told everyone who was coming. Joss comes in, sees Jubal Early's face frozen on the screen, and asks "what'ca watchin?" Joss then agreed to pull names for the raffle prizes, and then gave another very heartfelt thank you to the fans for sticking with the show through thick and thin. I also got an audio clip of Joss doing the raffle (5MB). The "hot" comment is when he's looking at a signed photo of Jewel Staite. When he says "this is very, very useful" he's referring to the giant bucket-o-cash that was the Red Cross raffle proceeds.

After the con, I gave Miyu a ride to the cafe where the after-hours shindig was going to be taking place, and then headed back to try and make it to the masquerade that was being held (and possibly to try and run into that cute girl dressed as Death ;) ). The masquerade was too packed, though, and they weren't letting anyone else in. So I just grabbed something to eat and headed back to the cafe.

Possibly one of my favorite parts of the weekend was getting to know some of the Oregon Browncoats. Erin was an absolute charmer, Kira was seriously cool, and Kira's boyfriend Steve handed my ass to me at the Ms. Pac-Man table, so he certainly earned my respect. I spent most of Sunday hanging out with Erin and her friend Bernadette. The three of us were there for the Starship Smackdown, which really deserves its own post. Suffice to say, though, it was quite an upset. In the history of Starship Smackdown, the only ship to ever win has been the original NCC-1701 Enterprise. But this year, Serenity and the Enterprise tied. Woohoo!!

WonderCon 2005 – The Serenity Panel

The premiere panel of WonderCon this year was undoubtedly the Serenity panel (and considering that they were followed by Kevin Smith, that's saying something!). Joss Whedon started the panel by bringing up John Cassaday to announce that they are going to be doing a second year of Astonishing X-men. Then he brought out Adam Baldwin (Jayne), Summer Glau (River), and Nathan Fillion (Mal) for a long Q&A session, and to show a clip from Serenity.

But don't take my word for it. Listen to it yourself. The first audio clip here is of Saxon & Rosie talking about their experiences on set as extras, which was basically just me testing to make sure the recorder was working. The second clip is a one hour long recording of the entire panel.

The following table provides cues to what's going on during the audio clip. Just match the time count on the clip to the row in the table and you'll get why people are laughing in several places. Warning: The audio clip and visual cues include the preview of Serenity.

Table hidden behind cut...