This Page Shall Begin
The Recounting of the
Incredible and True Story
of the Adventure That Was
How do you describe one of the best days of your life? I have decided that you don’t. Or perhaps can’t is a better word. Whatever word or words you wish to use they will fall short. So here goes me describing one of the best days I have ever had. Both my husband and I loved it so much we felt like it was a second honeymoon.
Now on to Avengerville!
What is Avengerville you ask? It is what I call the incredible adventure my husband and I had when we visited the set of Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron. Yes, that actually happened. So here is the tale of the adventure.
Now this adventure might take several pages to write, so here at least I shall start.
Know that I am a HUGE Avengers fan. When the final credits began to roll the first time I saw it (I saw it many times) I thought “This is now my new favorite movie.” I love it. I LOVE THE AVENGERS!! For me it is perfect. I believe that it is perfect because the maestro himself, the great Geek God of Awesome, Joss Whedon, wrote and directed it and let his perfect cast play. Well done everyone!
Hubby and I have been BIG fans of Joss since we saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer advertised in a TV Guide. Plus Mr. Whedon has no fear speaking up for women’s equality and his writing and work shows it. I LOVE this man and his work! I am happy to say, I got to stand next to him and watch him work his magic.
In September of 2013 I found this article Bid For Chance to Visit “Age of Ultron” Set, Help Women’s Shelter on The Mary Sue. Joss Whedon, in his awesomeness, was helping the Downtown Women’s Center raise money for their annual fund. The Center is a homeless shelter for women. What he offered was a Unique Experience auction item. The winner and a friend would get to be a personal guest of Joss Whedon’s and visit the set of Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron for a day. Oh wow! We would get to meet Joss Whedon on set. Squee! So very cool. I, like other people, all sighed and wished that we could do this. I mean wouldn’t it be great? I figured there was no way anyone could afford this unless they were millionaires.
However I thought it would be fun to watch the bid. I am after all, an eBay veteran. So I went to the online auction site, Bidding For Good, created an account, and started watching the bids. I figured I would participate and live vicariously by watching someone else win this auction.
Several weeks went by and I got an email saying the auction was winding down, would be done in six days, and did I want to place a bid? I laughed and went to the site for more vicarious fun. Then I saw the bids. Well huh. The bidding was lower than I had imagined. Wheels in my head began to turn. Maybe I could think about bidding. Maybe I could even possibly win. My mother had passed six months earlier and I had received some life insurance. The bidding would end on Sunday night at 9 pm California time or Midnight my time. I could watch up until then to see if I wanted to try. I then made a final and wild decision: I would set a limit on my bid, tell no one, bid until Midnight on Sunday and see what would happen. I felt my mother would like this. I mean, I would be turning 50 in 2014 and she would want me to have a huge blow out party! So off I went.
On Sunday night, Hubby was asleep with the TV playing (it’s always a sleepover party at my house) and I was glued to my laptop, typing as quietly as possible. I was watching the minutes and the bidding go by. I placed a bid – ooo I might be the one to win – but drat someone bid higher! Yes my heart was pounding, my adrenaline running high. Grateful for paying for high speed Internet I placed my bid again. Now yes I was ahead BUT the Website had said that if someone bid right at Midnight they would take that bid as the winner.
Then at 12:20 am Monday morning I got the email that said “Congratulations you won.”
Oh My God/Dess.
I immediately woke-up Hubby and told him what had happened. “That’s great” he said and promptly went back to sleep.
I actually did go to sleep that night.
The next day I told a few people at work who were also huge Joss Whedon and Marvel fans. When I got home Hubby was on the couch and looking a bit confused. “Did you tell me last night that we won an Avengers 2 set visit?” he asked. “YES!” I told him. “Oh wow.” said Hubby. We began to make plans.
When I got the letter in the mail giving the same text as the winning email, I knew it was time to tell the world. As I wrote on my blog:
So you might have heard back in October that Joss Whedon, because he is awesome, helped the Downtown Women’s Center in LA in their big fundraising event Dinner With A Cause. He offered a Unique Experience to be auctioned. It was a set visit to Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. Below is the description:
The Downtown Women’s Center is auctioning off an exclusive on-set experience for the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron! As his personal guests, the winning bidder and a guest will meet writer/director Joss Whedon and visit the Avengers 2 set. Filming begins in London in Spring 2014 (airfare and accommodations not included). All auction proceeds go directly to the Downtown Women’s Center.”
Cool, huh? That Joss is the BEST!!!
And ya’ know what?
Yes, that’s right, me. I won.
Here’s a picture of the letter I got with my official you won announcement in it.
So some time in 2014 – the year I turn 50 – I will get to meet Joss Whedon, visit the set of Avengers 2, and have my little Geek heart burst with ever loving Geek Avengers Fandom.”
Preparation: Emails and Phone Call
During this time I had received emails from the Downtown Women’s Center thanking me, from Bidding for Good letting me know that I would be contacted about setting up my visit, and from Joss Whedon’s staff. It was quite thrilling receiving emails from those who work for and with Joss. Everyone was so very polite and courteous – a trait that continued throughout the adventure – and plus it was just OMG FUN to get emails from Whedon’s people.
What was also nice was that they wanted Hubby and myself to have a good time. They wanted us to visit when the full cast of Avengers would be on the set. I can’t tell you how kind that felt to me. I would have been happy being told to sit on the floor on the studio and just watch for several hours. Yet here were these lovely people trying to give us a good experience because we had helped the Downtown Women’s Center. Apparently several of them knew of the Center and were grateful we had helped.
Speaking of the Center, close to Christmas time I got a call. My phone said it was from California. I couldn’t imagine who was calling me but I decided to pick up. When a woman on the other end tentatively asked me if I was M. Lion I got suspicious about a sales call but said yes. Her voice then immediately warmed up and she said that my donation had helped her secure housing at the Center. Oh how sweet! This was one of the nicest calls I’ve ever received. 🙂 She sounded so joyous and so happy it really made my day. She did like her home too. She thanked me but I told her to thank Joss Whedon. I don’t think she knew who that was due to the pause in the conversation. We had a nice talk and wished each other Merry Christmas.
Note: My husband is a fundraiser/development director – see Scott Fundraiser.com – and was very impressed that I got a phone call. He gave this thank you phone call a nod of professional approval.
The set visit would happen sometime during May – July. Hubby and I had time to get our passports and check flights and places to stay. I wanted to be prepared.
I don’t know how I didn’t burst an internal organ waiting for our visit date, but I am happy to say that all organs are still fine. One fun moment occurred during lab time in my classroom. I got an email from P., our contact in Whedon’s office, who said they were closing in on a few dates. I gasped so loudly I startled my class.
Then in April I got THE email: The date was set for May 1, 2014. I chose it because the movie was schedule to open one year from then. I jumped up and down a bit, told everyone, including my classes and colleagues, and began the second phase of preparation: Flight and Hotel!
You can read about that in Part Two.
- The Avengers
- Story of a Five Year Old Avenger, Meeting The Avengers
- Captain America Motivates The World’s Youngest Avenger
- Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron
- The Mary Sue
- Downtown Women’s Center
- Joss Whedon
- My Blog Posts
- Elizabeth M. Lion’s Memorial Site