Its always really hard to decide about what subject to write on when you had a weekend like I did. The experiences over the past couple of days gave me such a wide choice of potential topics, I thought Id have trouble choosing.
Add to it the recent news that Fox actually appears to be moving forward with a remake of Romancing the Stone, which almost became a topic that forced this article from its usual focus on Star Trek, just so I could go on one of my infamous tirades about how Hollywood has no more there there.
In the same vein, I was tempted to write about my soapbox rant and incredible discussion with my movie-loving friends while I was in Los Angeles over the weekend. Trust me when I say I dont often get the chance to really chew the gristle with people in a personal setting about our diverse opinions on the entertainment industry – and my friends have the most intelligent, well-grounded and passionate opinions about these matters. I really miss sparring with them and they give me so much to think about!
But I knew just after sitting down to type this months article what the subject had to be :
: and its unquestionably Lightspeed.
Over the weekend, The Husband and I attended the 10th Annual Lightspeed Fine Arts Celebrity Charity Event in Southern California. I dont think the phrase we had a good time comes close to describing how much we enjoyed ourselves.
Gary Hasson, the proprietor of Lightspeed Fine Arts and organizer of the function to raise funds to support the American Cancer Society, along with his amazing group of volunteer friends, outdid themselves again this year and brought in a great group of science-fiction celebrities to donate auction items and provide autograph sessions.
I know The Hubby and I did our best to contribute (The Hubbys purchase of an amazing print during the auction thrilled me), but I really hope they were able to raise some good money because the event was just so lovely.
OK, it also didnt hurt that one of my wishes came true – I was finally able to meet Jonathan Frakes, who portrayed my favorite Star Trek character, Cmdr. William T. Riker. (Seriously – theres a very long, three-year story here that finally culminated on Sunday, without the world imploding I might add.)
It also didnt suck that I also got to meet LeVar Burton, Walter Koenig and Cirroc Lofton from Star Trek; Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13; Jason Momoa from Stargate: Atlantis; Lee Arenberg from both Star Trek and Pirates of the Caribbean; the gorgeous Genie Francis of General Hospital fame; Catherine Hicks from Seventh Heaven and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; plus reconnect with other Star Trek alums John Billingsley, Bonita Friedericy (also of the hit series Chuck), Dominic Keating and Robert Picardo.
Seriously, I could go on and on!
I have also benefitted from attending this event in an even more meaningful way – Ive made some very good friends because of it. People who attend this event really seem to have a lot in common. Theyre sci-fi fans sure, but they come from all over the country and the world to gather at this one little function because they know they can do a bit of good plus theyll have a raging good time while doing it. I cherish the friendships I have made through Lightspeed and I am looking forward to reconnecting with them again next year.
I was, and am, a very, very happy fangirl.
I also had a twinge of hesitation about writing about Lightspeed because its so small and intimate that the self-centered part of me didnt want the whole world to know about it – to keep it as that small jewel of a party that only a few people know about : but thats exactly why I have to write about it.
This year meant more to me for reasons other than meeting Jonathan Frakes or reconnecting with friends. It meant more to me because cancer hit home for us once again this past year. In April, my 69-year old mother was diagnosed with aggressive metastatic pancreatic cancer. She died from the disease on Halloween – yep, a whopping six months between diagnosis and death.
The only thing I can say is that I would never, ever wish that death on my worst enemy; and I mean that with every fiber in my being. By the time she died, my mothers physical appearance resembled pictures of Holocaust victims I have seen and Im not exaggerating. Certain cancers that form in the digestive system can literally force victims to starve to death. Its just a hideous, horrible and heart-wrenching way to die. No victim, no family member and no friend should ever have to experience going through such an ordeal. Ever.
No, its not pretty.
No, I dont want to be nice about it.
Im angry that we havent found a cure yet and Im angry that so many people die from a condition that always seems to be one step ahead of us.
So while I was able to meet the one celebrity I had always wanted to, it didnt happen without knowing that we had all been brought to the function with a focus on the same goal : and thats funding research to find a cure for cancer.
I hope that one day The Lightspeed Charity Event never has to happen. I hope that one day we can get together to celebrate how no one will ever have to suffer from the pain, the fear and the agony of dying from cancer. And I hope one day I can meet Mr. Frakes again and not have to think about cancer as being the real reason why we were both attending the function.
In the meantime, The Hubby and I will continue our support of the Lightspeed Charity Event and I invite you to do the same. Even if you cant attend to take part in the auctions to raise money, please try to give – anything you can – to the charity of your choice in the hopes that one day no one will ever have to suffer from cancer again. I want to live in a day and age like in Star Trek where cancer has been wiped out. Were making progress, but more needs to be done. A lot more.
And yes : of course I got a picture of me with Mr. Frakes. It was totally awesome. Ive been giggling since Sunday! Look, I may have gone to Lightspeed to help raise money for cancer research, but Mom didnt raise a fool. I mean, he still has a beard! SQUEE! What? I cant help it. Im a hopeless Trekkie and a Riker fan. You should have figured that out by now.
Please have a wonderful holiday season no matter your beliefs or non-beliefs. Keep warm and safe and hug people a lot and remember to cherish the time you have with them.
Ill be back after the first of the year (2010 – wow!), and in the meantime, feel free to join me in the forums here at the BlipNetwork to discuss Trek at any time! Please dont hesitate to let me know if theres some aspect of Star Trek and its subculture that you would like me to touch upon in any of my future articles.
You may not get the opinion you might expect, but youll get an opinion!
Live long and prosper!