In my previous post I said I would explain what happened upon meeting John Green following his talk at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, so here it is. Nerds, please go easy on me.

I’ve been watching the VlogBrothers since Brotherhood 2.0 kicked off, back when Hank first uploaded Accio Deathly Hallows and it was featured. Even as my YouTube interests shifted to other users, I knew I could always go back to the brothers Green. So, I was still pretty excited to meet John. But I have to say, I was a little disappointed.
Woah, step back there, Nerdfighters of the Internet. I know how much you love your king. Let me elaborate.

I loved his talk. He was funny, charming and connected well with his audience. But, bearing in mind I’d travelled a fair distance, I wanted meeting him to be amazing. And I’m sure it was, for pretty much everyone else in the venue. I spoke a lovely girl called Amy who was in front of me in the queue and she was so freaking nervous about talking to John. As another of my YouTube amigos (name-dropping) told me, he too has met one (or both, I’m not sure – either way, there was a Katherine there too) of the Green brothers. He said they were just like normal people, and I found this hard to believe. Normal people? No, surely they were Internet gods and they radiated awesome from their eyeballs, don’t be so ridiculous.

Turns out, homeboy (no.) was right.

When it was John’s birthday, Hank wanted to make him a bobblehead of his own likeness. Turns out, you have to order a minimum of 500, so the remaining batch of 499 were put on sale. Anything limited edition, I have to have, so I bought one. I thought it’d be cool to have John sign himself, so I took that along, as well as my copy of Paper Towns.

When I got to the front of the queue, I was excited and nervous. I’ve met a few famous people before, but I wasn’t sure if this would be different, as he isn’t really famous through conventional means. For example, in an earlier blog post, I explained how I met the comedian Dara O’Briain, who was a positively lovely and charming man. He shook my hand, we had some banter, and he looked at me as a proper person and an equal he could have a chat with.

Now, John Green on the other hand… Look, I think he’s a good writer, and I love how he portrays himself on video. Thing is, as nit-picky and boring as this sounds, manners are really important to me. I don’t want a celebrity to look down at me, or be rude, especially if I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how I felt. John didn’t actually ever even look me in the eye. This is how the conversation went:
Me: Hi!
JG: Hey, thanks for coming. Oh, you’ve got a bobblehead, thank you for bringing that.
He then held the bobblehead in front of his face, shook it around a bit, whilst shaking his own head about. I see wut he did thar.
Me: Yeah, would you mind signing yourself? I’ve got a pen here, I don’t know if that’ll work.
JG: Yeah, that should be perfect.
At this point a member of staff from the event remarked on how cool the bobblehead was, and he proceeded to explain what I’ve just mentioned, about how you needed to order 500 as a minimum etc. During this he had signed both my bobblehead and my book, and as I looked at him to thank him for that, he’d already looked away and seemingly ignored my thanks.

This sounds like I’m being unnecessarily harsh and critical. I felt the amount of John Green love that was going down that day, and I have no doubts that he’s really a nice person. I can only say how I felt after the event, and if that illicits any sort of negative response, I can’t really apologise. So there you are, citizens of the Internet. Judge me harshly.


Edinburgh Jaunts: Part One

August 17, 2010

Hello there internet! This series of blogs will come to you in three parts. A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to book up my tickets for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, something I have attended every year since 2007. This year however I decided to do something slightly different, and entirely mental. I booked up to go three times. Three different trips. What even is this. Do I have more money than sense? Yes. Well, now I have significantly less money, and even less sense.
So, I have just returned from my one day visit, and I will now proceed to fill you in on what went down, yo.

I met my boyfriend at the train station at about ten in the morning. We found our seats on the train with no problems, for once. (On one trip to London we got on the wrong carriage, like absolute fucking numpties, and had to stand until the next station, then leg it to our actual proper seats. Idiots.) The trip lasted about an hour an a half, and when we got off the train, I forced him to come with me whilst I looked around for the Nerdfighter gathering that I knew was taking place in the very same train station, at just the time our train happened to be getting in. We found the posse of nerds fairly easily. They weren’t difficult to spot, what with their HUGE YouTube sign being chucked about through the air. Upon spying them, I decided it would be weird if I approached them, as they all looked about 15 and I have just turned 20. Instead, I watched them from afar for a few minutes. Yeah, that’s definitely less like the actions of a paedophile.

So then we wandered merrily to our hotel. Oh wait. No we fucking didn’t. We strolled to the bottom of the street, only to be confronted by a torturous amount of stairs.

These stairs + a suitcase + super hot weather = rage.
Luckily, James carried almost everything. That man is a bearded saint.

We left our bags at the hotel, after sweating on the concierge, and went for some lunch. Walking down the Royal Mile is not an easy task, particularly in Fringe season. So many people are trying to get you to come to their shows, shoving fliers in your face. I came away with a stack of papers about an inch and a half tall. This would be excellent roach, were I a drug user.

Then it was time for our first gig of five that we had tickets for. After getting lost for a little while, we managed to make our way into the sweaty room for a comedy performance by Goring and Stokes, who billed themselves as nerdy comedians. Well, they certainly were that. They were also really excellent, and I hope to see more of them in the future. Despite the heat of the room and some technical hiccups they managed to soldier on and deliver a top quality comedy performance. Four and a half stars, I say! Also, I’m a sucker for a nerd.

Our next event was the John Green book event, which was actually the main reason we went when we did. We planned everything else around me wanting to go to this talk that he was doing, so I had high hopes. He did a little speech about his book Paper Towns, which has recently been printed in the UK, then he opened the floor to some questions. After that, the entire audience of the sold-out gig shifted to the signing tent. No lie, the queue was the biggest I’ve ever seen for something like this. It doubled back on itself twice, and was out of the door of the tent at one point. Following a sighting of YouTubers Falletron and LittleRadge, and a subsequent excited text sent to a YouTube friend of mine, I felt I was ready to meet one of the freaking VlogBrothers.
And I did. I’m going to explain what happened in another blog, because this one is long enough already.

We had some ice cream and mooched about in our hotel until it was time to see John Bishop. Lovely Liverpudlian John was pretty funny, but I’d heard some comments about his show being more about telling stories than about producing laughs, and I have to say that’s probably a fair statement. Three stars, although in fairness to him he’s got a different style of comedy to what I would usually look for.

Then we had to really run for it, as Mark Watson’s gig was starting ten minutes after we got out of the John Bishop extravaganza, and the venue was nowhere nearby. We lucked out and managed to get epic seats, which was handy, because it was the best comedy gig I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a fair few. It’s not like it was my first one, although that would mean I have a 100% success record, and it’s nice to get the best one out of the way first, isn’t it?
Honestly, can’t say enough about it. Both of us were crying with laughing so hard, and he’s got such a nice manner about him. And he was signing his new book after the gig, and I came prepared and brought one from home. He seemed touched that I’d bothered, and thanked me for coming. Lovely. Ten hundred thousand stars, and a bowl filled with cake batter.

Hotel, bed, pass out. Exhaustion.

The next day, after some overpriced substandard breakfast, we managed to squeeze ourselves into a FREE Radio 4 taping of The Unbelievable Truth, a comedy panel show hosted by David Mitchell. The guests were Rhod Gilbert, Tom Wrigglesworth, Kevin Bridges and Lucy Porter. I don’t think we could have asked for a more perfect set of guests. Each one is excellent on their own, but together they are hilarious. The two shows go out sometime after September 27th, and they’re episodes 3 and 6 of the series, if anyone wants to listen out for that, and the trains in the background. Why they taped it next to the station I’ll never know. Seventeen stars. This is getting ridiculous. Let’s end it there. After having one full day at home, I’m off on another adventure tomorrow! To see Bo Burnham, no less. I am jazzed. Toodles!