Costume Concerns (01-03)
Airport Angst and Plane Pleasure (04-07)
Registration and Recreation (08-11)
Bar Bounties (12-15)
Fearless Friday (16-21)
Cabaret Confessional (22-26)
Saturday Sensibilities (27-31)
Cabaret Confidential (32-35)
Sunday Send-Offs (36-41)
 Let me introduce myself. I am Deborah Abbott. Some know me as "World Wide Deb" and others know me as "Code Tango", but at Xena conventions people know me as one of the gals who dresses up like Xena. I had been anticipating the Pasadena Xena convention for over a year, wondering what costumes to make because I knew it would be one of the biggest and best Xena conventions so far. Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor would appear together at last!
 While analyzing the costumes on the newest episodes of Xena, I thought to myself, I want to feel sexy, fearless, and exotic at this year's convention. I knew immediately which costumes appealed to me. I narrowed it down to Cleopatra Xena in the white dress/gold collar from the episode ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA (108/518), the harem/belly dancing outfit from the episode WHO'S GURKHAN (116/604), and Xena in chains from the episode ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA.
 I made the costumes at the last minute. I knew if I was going to dress in chains I had to exercise harder than usual. I starting hiking 20 miles three times a week, with the addition to my regular aerobics, and running routine.
Airport Angst and Plane Pleasure
 On the morning of Thursday, May 3rd, the day of my flight, I was still packing and rushing around like a h*ll on wheels. I hate flying because I am claustrophobic. I landed in Phoenix Arizona for my connection flight to Burbank and found that the flight was a few hours late. I called my hotel roommates in Pasadena, Gina and Maryann, to see if they made it to the hotel. They did and were already by poolside. How I wish I were there mingling with other Xena fans and being around the excitement than to be where I was, stuck in the airport, pacing the floor like a bored little hamster.
 I decided to call Zeta, my friend who was to pick me up, to see if she was already at the airport, but all I got was an answering machine. I thought to myself I hope she is not waiting around for me. I got off the telephone and went to my gate to find they were finally boarding. When entering the plane I quickly snagged an aisle seat with two empty seats next to me. I had lots of space and felt good about that.
 I smiled at the women across from me and told them I was going to a Xena convention. The funny thing was, so were they. The woman in the seat in front of me overheard us and then spoke up that she was also going to the convention. I told her to come and sit with me in my row and she did. This was her first convention and she was excited about it. She took out all of her trading cards and pictures to show me. I, of course, had all of them, but I always love to look at Xena pictures, so I did not complain.
 I knew this was going to be a good flight. I ordered another rum and coke and we talked Xena all the way to Pasadena.
Registration and Recreation
 After landing, Zeta was standing next to Old Warrior with big smiles on their faces. A perfect greeting to what I knew was going to be a beautiful weekend. When I arrived at my hotel room I noticed my silly roommates had put an 8x10 printout on my door of pictures of me dressed in different Xena costumes.
 After Gina let me in the room and I put my bags away, we went to registration. The line was so long. As I approached the area, I recognized many people I met from past conventions and new faces that I met on line. After receiving my wristband, we went on a buying frenzy. Like I need more Xena merchandise, but I cannot resist the photographs, they are so beautiful. I bought about $300 dollars worth of stuff and had my eye on the Xena leather jacket and Gina, bless her heart, bought it for me.
 Gina, Maryann, Old Warrior, and I went back to the pool to eat dinner and noticed Missy Good was at the table next to us. I did not want to interrupt her dinner, so I left it at that. I knew I would have another opportunity to say hello to her. Gina and Maryann hurried down their food because tonight was the final episode of Survivor. I am a huge Survivor fan, but because I was attending a Xena convention I wanted to socialize. I stayed to talk with Old Warrior and to finish my dinner and drink my margarita.
What she did with Missy later on at the convention
 Pretty Little Wendy (PLW), my Gabrielle, finally arrived and walked up to our table with her huge suit case and seemed to be out of breath. I gave her a hug and asked her to join us. She took a seat by me and said she was hungry so I told her to eat Gina's meal. It was hardly touched. After our meal, we went up to the room where a group was watching Survivor. I was tempted to stay but no way, I go down to the bar to see what kind of trouble I can find, Wendy follows.
 Arriving in the bar, I meet up with friends from past conventions and a woman who looks like Xena with tattoos, who is from Alaska. It was her first convention so I introduced her to the people in the bar whom I had met at other conventions. All of a sudden, to my surprise, I see a television in the bar and Survivor was on. All of the women were voting for Tina but me. I wanted Colby, my fellow Texan to win. Unfortunately, Tina won.
 Kimmy Kat, a friend who dresses as Gabriel and was working for Creation that weekend, turned to me and said, "Deb there is Cupid!" I replied, "Yes, I saw James already!" James was a guy who dresses as Cupid but this year he did not because he was working for Creation. She put her hand on my shoulder and turned me around to face the door, "No, the Cupid from the show!" I said, "Oh, it's Karl! OH, IT'S KARL!"
 Karl Urban walked into the bar barefoot, dressed in a button down shirt and slacks wearing a fisherman's hat on his head. I get a lightbulb over my head, "DEB, GO BUY THAT GUY A DRINK!" The room went silent, all attention I felt was on me as I quickly walked over to the bar behind Karl and said, "Can I buy you a drink?" He turned to me and looked a little surprised and said in his New Zealand accent, "Sure!" I said, "What are you having?" He said, "Heineken." I told the bartender to put it on my card. Karl said, "Thank you!" I said, "It is not every day I can buy a star of Xena a drink." Suddenly all of the women and a few men charged him for pictures and autographs. One girl even painted his toenails with glittery nail polish. I am still wondering why she had nail polish in the bar.
 Karl showed us his cute heart tattoo that he and his fiancee shared on their ring finger. I found him to be nothing like his character Caesar on Xena. Karl was very kind and sweet. He hung out for a little while to finish his beer and left as quickly as he came in. I had to pinch myself to make sure that it was not a dream. I floated up to my room to find three sound asleep roommates, but that all changed after I applied the self tanning product and had to stand nude for an hour for my fake tan to take effect.
 Friday, May 4th I wake to find the sheets are all orange from my tan and Wendy's hand is dark orange because she helped me apply the hard to reach places and forgot to wash her hand. Not living on much sleep, Wendy and I put on our costumes. I dressed as Cleopatra in the white dress and gold collar and Wendy as Gabrielle in the red velvet.
 We enter the auditorium just in time to see Hudson Leick. She is incredibly wonderful on stage, bringing my eyes to tears three times. One of the times was because the person asking a question was crying and could not say anything except, "You are so pretty" then Hudson gave her a big hug. You can tell Hudson truly loves people and her fans.
 Another time my tears flowed is when a woman asking a question mentioned her mom and Hudson said, "I remember her, I love her, how is she?" the woman replied that she passed away. Hudson stood shocked and took a moment. You could tell she was affected by this news. Hudson shared a few minutes talking off the microphone with the woman and was still left affected after she was done. She tried to get back into character but it appeared to be hard for her after the news. She ended her appearance by rolling around on the stage. That woman has a big heart!
 Next was Zoe Bell, Lucy Lawless' stunt double. I was surprised to find that her hair was blonde and she was quite pretty. She demonstrated a few sword moves and stunts with volunteers from the audience.
 Karl Urban was on next and for some reason, I became nervous because he decided to call Kimmy Kat and me onto the stage with him. I had no idea what he might say, but luckily, he only wanted us to hold posters up from his movie, The Price of Milk, and thanked us for a fun night.
On stage with Karl Urban
 Bruce Campbell was next and what can I say about Bruce, but he was Bruce. He was dressed in the same Hawaiian shirt that I have seen him in at three different cons. I am wondering if it is his lucky shirt. In fact, a lady in the audience yelled out if he had any other shirts besides that one. Bruce did a lot of promoting his book, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor, and said he would be in Austin, Texas for a book signing. I yelled and clapped because I am from Austin. Then he said the signing would be at the Alamo Draft House. Again I yelled and he replied while looking at me, "Looks like you just came from there."
 Later that night at the cabaret, I was trying to find my seat and luckily had one on the aisle. Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi were the first act. It was lots of fun at first and then their act seemed to drag a little. Bruce was looking for someone in the audience to be in his act, and headed down my aisle. I was yelling "Bruce, pick me! Please, pick me!" He stopped dead in his tracks as he asked for my hand and looked at me. He said on the microphone, "Ted will this do?" Ted could not see whom he picked, so Bruce said to me to come with him. I followed holding his hand up the stage. Ted seemed to be happy with his choice and they asked me to stand between them. I did not mind that one bit. They asked me to feel two handkerchiefs tied together in a knot. I did and Ted asked me if I liked knots, I said yes. Bruce asked me to take off my Cleopatra collar that I had on and was more than happy to do that as well. They had me stuff the knot into my cleavage and Bruce and Ted pulled on both ends of the handkerchief, pulling out a white bra that I was not wearing, I did not have on a bra, so I have no idea how that was done. Bruce then looked at me and then looked down to see my slits on my dress and said, "What do you have on?" I just smiled and exited the stage.
Bruce, Deborah, and Ted
(photo by Marilyn Cristiano)
 Adrienne was next. She came out in a feather boa and tight jeans. She sang and had a beautiful singing voice. Ebonie Smith was stunning as always, bringing James on stage to tease him while singing.
 After the Cabaret, I headed straight back to the bar to see what kind of trouble I could get myself into. I was not in there but three minutes tops and low and behold, Karl Urban showed up again. He was asked for autographs and pictures by fans. I did not buy him drink this time, but I did ask to take a picture with him. This would be my only opportunity to take a picture with a star this weekend because I have general admission seats. I asked him to strike a pose that Caesar would have preferred. I thought the picture came out very nice, with his hand on my rear and the other holding a drink. That is the closest I will ever feel to Xena.
 Around that time, Missy Good was drifting in from what appeared to be a really good night, judging from her smile. I asked Karl to be in another picture with Missy Good and me, and he said yes, but this time we both did a high kick for Missy. Missy entered the elevator and Karl disappeared in a crowd of fans.
 Not wanting the night to end, I wandered down a hallway that led outside to the pool. The night was perfect I did not want it to end so I decided to go for a swim. Not being prepared with a swimsuit, I jumped into the pool in my full Cleopatra costume, without the shoes of course. The water was perfect. I relaxed and took a deep breath as I looked up to the dark heavens and smiled. The moon was full, the stars were bright, and the night was perfect. I slowly swam around in circles watching the fabric of my white Cleopatra dress flow through the ripples of the sparkling water. It looked as if I had a tail of a mermaid. The security guard politely kicked me out of the pool saying the pool was closed. I went back to my room, with little effort undressed, and went to sleep.
Deborah Abbott in her costume taken from WHO'S GURKHAN
 Saturday, May 5th, I woke feeling like the day could not get any better than what I had already experienced. I met up with friends to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. I did not eat anything and left early to put on my costume. It took a lot longer to put on the WHO'S GURKHAN harem costume than the Cleopatra costume. Rubbing on fake tattoos and gluing jewels around my eyes took the longest. After getting dressed, I did not even look like myself. Wendy was dressed in the fringe Gabrielle outfit and wiggled around in it good as well. We were ready in time to see Adrienne Wilkinson and William Gregory Lee on stage. Wendy asked me if I wanted to go and buy some more Xena stuff and I said sure. We missed Tim Omundson on stage but the merchandise made up for it.
 There were new pictures from the episode WHEN FATES COLLIDE on the table, and I just had to buy them. I bought a large picture of Karl as Caesar with hopes that I might see him again so he could sign it. Funny thing is, just as I was done purchasing the pictures who do I run into, but James escorting Karl into the merchandise room. FATE! I ask for his autograph on my large photo and that is the last I speak to him, ending it all with a thank you.
 Wendy and I were back in time for Claire Stansfield. She came out lovely and fouled mouthed as ever. I love her. She speaks what is on her mind and does not give a care to what people think of it. She played a tape of Danielle Cormack and Kevin Smith telling us hi in their Kiwi accents over the microphone but I could not make out heads or tails of what they were saying. Claire invited a woman on stage, gave her a kiss on the mouth, and said, "There will be more of that later!" My mind went in several different directions.
 Alexandra Tydings was next on stage and was too cute for words in her little milkmaid braids. She had lots of energy and spunk. She used the whole stage to tell her story of how she was on Sheena and how she had to face a snake eye to eye. I was caught up in the way she was telling the story, full of body mannerisms.
 I went to the rest room right after that and as I was coming out, a film crew snagged me to do an interview with me, then asked if they could follow me around while chatting with different people. I agreed to this and sacrificed seeing Ted Raimi on stage. After that, the crew brought me up to the second floor for an interview that took maybe an hour to do. They then asked to meet up with me again after tonight's cabaret. I agree again.
 Later that night, at the Cabaret, Claire Stansfield and Alexandra Tydings were magnificent with their Triple XXX act. They came up with an idea that was so magnificent. They acted out fan fiction stories and ended with a kiss. The audience ate it up and people were talking about it for days. They stole the show for the whole weekend. This dynamic duo earned many new fans that weekend.
 Because of their act, I do not remember Robert Trebor's act that was on after them. Tim Omundson and Ted Raimi surprisingly had wonderful voices. Karl Urban sang the songs of the Beatles and I wish I were sitting closer instead of in the back of the room because he sure was cute with his hair slicked back, but I did get a little dancing in with friends.
 The film crew found me dancing in the back of the room with my friend and whisked me away where I am again interviewed with other Xena fans outside. Then we were brought back to the bar, my usual hangout spot, but this time it is overflowing with people. I do not know what happened, the women must have thought Claire and Alex were going to show up. So the filming ended much earlier than what was planned and ended with them wanting me to kiss a woman. Their choice was my friend Kimmy Kat, so we did.
 I was starting to feel empty and sad. It dawned on me that the weekend was almost over and so was the dream. I was to wake up soon but did not want to. Wendy said softly to me, "Well, it is passed 12. It's my birthday". I yelled out, "It's Wendy's birthday! Let's all sing her happy birthday." All of the women, about 50 or so including me, sang happy birthday to Wendy. I then gave her a spanking and talked her into a swim. Somehow, I talked her into getting undressed and to swim in her bra and panties because that is what I had on. Zeta and a few others were talking by the pool while Hondahawk was taking pictures of us swimming. The security guard came out and told us to get out but Zeta talked him into letting us swim for ten more minutes.
All chained up
 Sunday, May 6th, I did not want to wake up. I knew this was the day it would all end. Wendy and I were late because it took us longer to dress, which was odd, because I was dressed in chains, the least amount of clothing all weekend. Wendy dressed in the fringe again with the Gabrielle coat. We missed Missy Good, Ebonie Smith, and Tsianina Joelson on stage. We got there just in time to see Darien Takle. She was fun to watch with lots of energy.
 Renee O'Connor came out looking as sweet as ever and I was surprised to see how far long she was along in her pregnancy. We were all surprised that she came out singing because she is normally shy in person. Little did we know Lucy Lawless would be right behind her joining her on stage singing along side her in the costume she wore on the set of Spider-Man. They were great and beautiful together. It was great seeing their friendship light up on stage.
 Next up was the Costume Contest. I was nervous like I always am. It was my friend Wendy's first time entering the contest and she was not nervous at all, so she said. There were all kinds of wonderful costumes. The Amazons were back from last year along with lots of new ones. When I entered the stage I twirled out of my rug and crawled across the stage to my friend Wendy, dress in and fringe Gabby, and I got my key stuck in her cleavage. The audience at least was laughing but that was not supposed to happen. When the contest was over, a cameraperson came over to Wendy and I to ask us questions and film us for Zoe Bell's documentary. That was fun.
 We went to the pup dinner. That was my first time at a pup dinner/auction. They raised a lot of money to go to charity and I thought that was a good thing.
 After that, I went to the bar to say my last good-byes to anyone that may be around. I found a few friends with tears in their eyes.
 I never thought that I would be so affected by a television show, but Xena changed all of that. It was a ride I will never forget. I met many beautiful people along the way, new friends that will stay in my life, and characters who will live in my heart forever. This one show changed the views for so many people and gave others the courage to be who they are. The show, Xena was much more than wonderful actors, writers, and directors. It goes deeper on so many levels. Not only did it take us to other worlds in time but made us feel that we were there living beside Xena and Gabrielle. We felt their love, their courage, and their pain. We were there for them when they were sick, in love, in hell, in heaven, and will be there for them until the end. However, it will not be the end for us, because we are part of the magic and the magic will live inside of us forever.
Pisafe. Interview With Deborah Abbott. WHOOSH #44 (May 2000)
Nina Knapp. Not Your Typical Fan. WHOOSH #51 (December 2000)
Deborah Abbott is an artist and actress living in Texas.
Favorite episode: WHEN FATES COLLIDE
Favorite line: Xena (to Gabrielle): "Scratch my nose will you?" THE DEBT
First episode seen: THE WARRIOR PRINCESS [Hercules]
Least favorite episode: MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS