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This is why I write more novels and series than short stories ...
Wednesday, August 4th and Thursday, August 5th
Traveling, and Montreal
Wednesday was long. Extremely long. We got up at two in the morning, were picked up by our town car at 3:20 (_much_ nicer than the Shuttle Express vans, btw), and arrived at the Seattle airport a little after four. Then we waited in a long line to check in. Lots of desert-camo army guys in line, too. The one right in front of us had a fresh hickey the size of my thumb, and no hope of hiding it, not with that hairdo. Go, soldier-boy! ;)
Flew from Seattle to Chicago, but everything going into and out of O'Hare was delayed, so we spent some time sitting on runways. In Chicago, we still had about an hour to grab some food, then get on the plane for the second leg of the trip. Once we disembarked, we walked for what seemed like a half mile or more to the customs station. Which was like Disneyland ... a long rat-maze of a line with a sign saying that the wait from this point would be 40 minutes.
And after that, we got to go to another line to have our books inspected. That's the one drawback to these international cons, and dragging all those books along. But we got through, and were met by our driver (town car again) for a trip to the hotel.
Montreal has the reputation of being a beautiful city, and it's a rep that is well-deserved. Lots of green, lots of clean, and lots of fabulous old stonework. I really do love buildings from back in the day when creative architecture didn't mean weird glass-and-steel geometrics. The hotel is quite posh, and an easy walk from Old Montreal (mucho fabulous old stonework).
We checked in, unpacked, took a peek around the hotel, then walked over to a place called Gibby's for dinner. Gibby's is a steakhouse located in a restored 200-year-old stable, and it was bursting at the seams with the kind of ambiance that most gamers would love. Low, beam ceilings. Stone walls. Dim flickery yellow lighting. It was the Inn, as found in countless campaign beginnings ... "your characters meet at an Inn." All it lacked was the hooded old man sitting by the fireplace, selling treasure maps. Food was good, too, and it was the first time ever that I can recall being served sherbet between courses to cleanse the palate (then again, I have never lived much of a highbrow life).
After, we roamed through oldtown a bit, admiring the buildings -- and the astonishing cleanliness and almost total lack of homeless people. Canada is certainly doing something right in taking care of its folks. We got back to the hotel 10-ish local time (7-ish on our body clocks, but our bodies had been up since 2, so we were ready for bed).
Thursday was a lovely day. Becca and I spent an hour and a half at the pool. Watched a gal whose job I don't envy -- she had to climb out on these ledges that overlook the hotel's four-story atrium to water and trim the plants.
Then we went for a long rambling stroll through Old Montreal, looking in shops. Bought Becca a sweatshirt, and she got herself a keychain for her collection. After lunch, we got on Le Bateau Mouche, a fancy ferry sort of boat that took us on an hour-long river tour. This is, I say again, a beautiful city! I took some pictures, and we had a nice relaxing time.
After that, we stopped for ice cream and then came back to the hotel. As we were kicking back in our room a while later, Tim happened to glance out our ten story window and spotted some familiar folks far below, unloading a car. "Hey ... isn't that Patrick? And the redhead ... that's Cindy."
So we rushed down to the lobby but just missed them at the elevator. Hung around for a while until someone came back -- Patrick -- and he told us where the rest were. We went up for a visit (and to slip some Sabledrake catalogs into the envelopes holding the programs, badges, and other goodies).
And, ta-daaaa! We finally got to see the Phoenix Gate Anthology! It looks very good. I think everyone involved will be pleased and proud.
We left the group for a while to get food, and began spotting more familiar faces. Saw Lanny checking in, and I'm pretty sure I saw Seth in the hotel restaurant. Saw Karine, who is going to have a baby in November! I didn't know! Gosh, I am so out of the loop sometimes! Saw Jen's husband Alan, and then, finally, ran into Jen.
We hung out for a while, and Becca colored with Siryn, and folks came and went, and then Greg arrived. He spotted Becca right away and asked her where her parents were ;) I was there, said hi, got my hug and smooch on the cheek. Tim had gone downstairs to take care of some e-mails (and, really, to indulge his new online poker addiction). Then a whole big crowd was going out for food, but we were all beat and so Becca and I returned to the room and slept.
Friday, August 6
The Gathering, Day 1
The official con was slated to begin when registration opened at 10:00 AM. After Becca swam, we headed down to the terrace and found many friendly faces already on the scene. We mingled, said hi, and waited around. Because, of course, nothing ever quite starts on time, on the first day especially. But soon, con staff appeared with boxes of registration packets. We all got our programs and badges. Plus shirts, pins, and books for those whoâd ordered them. And, dare I say, everyone got a Sabledrake Enterprises catalog.
It was so good to see people again â¦ I canât begin to explain. After missing the past two cons, and having fallen out of touch with many of the online forums â" I lurk around Station 8 and the TGS room, but wouldnât call myself horribly active there anymore â" I was really reminded how much I had missed everyone. And how cool it was to meet new people whose screen names I knew but who Iâd never seen in person.
Except, the funny thing was, I didnât recognize a lot â¦ a LOT â¦ of them. I was feeling quite guilty for being so out of the loop. I would find out later in the day that it wasnât just me being dense, because nearly half of the crowd at opening ceremonies would raise their hands when the first-Gathering question was posed.
After we got our packets, Tim and I left Becca to hang out while we lugged our stuff down to set up in the dealers room. The con rules stated that all kids had to be accompanied by a grown-up, but there were always plenty of folks around willing to keep an eye on her.
Itâs funny, it really is, but this is her extended family. The Gathering crowd even moreso than just the gamer-geek-fantypes at other cons. These are people she may not see as often as she does some of her blood kin, but many of them are people she knows better, and hears more about. Weâre raising her in a con environment. Some of them, like RadCon, get a little freaky with the Goths and SCAers and Klingons running around. Scenes where most parents might be reluctant to let even their teenagers go alone, and yet itâs there, more than anyplace else, we feel safe and at home and have no problem giving Becca a fairly loose leash.
Especially at the Gatherings. This was her fourth, and sheâs become the honorary fandom kid. Everyoneâs hatchling. And it wasnât a matter of persuading her to sit with someone else, either â¦ she was eager to get away from Tim and I, preferring to follow Siryn around, or Cindy, or Jen.
Or Arno, whose patience at having a stuffed cat thrown at him went far above and beyond the call of duty. That, in Beccaâs mind, is as much a Gathering tradition as the masquerade. âIs that guy going to be there, the one I throw Chip at?â Heck, we even had to go online and find a new Chip (calico Beanie Buddy cat) on e-Bay because her original one was lost somehow, and she didnât want to go to the Gathering without a Chip to throw at Arno.
Anyway, the dealers room turned out to be in the same room as the art show and artistsâ alley. It was right near registration, too, and near the auditorium. Very nice to have it centrally located. The con staff had a table to sell shirts, pins, copies of the Phoenix Gate Anthology, and even some leftover calendars from 2003. Jen and Alan had a table, hawking her tee shirts. Later in the weekend, there would be a fanzine company and a sci-fi club.
And we had a table. No, I lie. We had three. When all my books are assembled in one place, they take up a lot of room. Alas that we wonât be able to display and sell the ElfLore trilogy anymore, though! My publisher gave me the axe just a couple of weeks before the Gathering, and wouldnât let me buy any more copies before the whole trilogy went out of print. But we had all three MageLore books, all four of the Silver Doorway books to date, both Trinity Bay books (including a couple of copies of Black Roses on audio), Naughty and Dice, and the two zombie anthologies in which I had stories. We also brought some garg merchandise, not a lot since we were pushing the luggage limit already and Tim had been going around and around trying to figure out the customs and import laws. It all did make for a nice set-up, though.
Once that was done, we had a few hours before the room officially opened, so we headed out in search of lunch. Tim had scouted the train station food court, but we had the bad luck to end up there at lunch hour on a Friday. Now, I have an intense dislike of crowded, noisy, unfamiliar places. Always have. And itâs gotten worse exponentially since Becca was born â" my personal phobia about getting lost canât hold a candle to my fear of losing track of my kid. I think Tim used âintimidatedâ in his LJ, but I wasnât so much âintimidatedâ as just extremely uncomfortable and unable to relax enough to have any sort of appetite.
We got back in time for the dealers room to open, and then Becca and I headed over to Gregâs panel on voice acting. The video crew showed up while we were there â" poor Seri, thought she was going to get off easy, but Greg made her keep reading lines even once the cameras were rolling! She did a good job, though. Itâs interesting to get the inside scoop on how everything works, and to hear all the war stories. Carol Channingâs chiffon blouse, anyone?
Tim and I had signed up to do a panel later that afternoon on RPGs, and a fair number of people turned up. Most of them even stayed, hey! We talked about our experiences in the gaming industry, our plans for releasing Simulacrum next year (and weâll need art, hint-hint). Told some gaming war stories of our own, too. And Beccaâs idea of helping was to draw monsters on the white board behind us the whole time.
Then came the worst part of the whole weekend.
See, there were only a couple of problems with the site this time around. One was that the hotel, while very posh and full of staff who treated us exceedingly well, came with an equivalently posh price tag. The other, more aggravating, was the food situation. While the sprawling underground area does boast about any kind of edibles you could want, you better only want âem during normal day shift business people working hours. Everything closed after evening rush hour, leaving the dining options severely limited.
So, Tim, knowing this and feeling all guilty and responsible for lunch not having worked out so great, took it on himself to wander the streets of Montreal. Man hunt food. Woman and Child go to Opening Ceremonies. Man find food. Slay mammoth. Then Man, returning to cave, get mauled by saber tooth tiger.
Well, all right, it was Chinese take-out instead of a mammoth, and it was a car and not a saber tooth. Iâm trying to make light of the situation because when I found out about it, I worked up one hell of a case of retroactive panic. He got hit by a car. For all the gory details, see his LJ (http://www.livejournal.com/users/tavelorn/)
But Woman and Child knew nothing of this. Becca and I were at Opening Ceremonies, where the con staff were doing the introductions, the thank-yous, and all that good stuff. The Clan Olympics interrupted with a sudden wild game that involved a stampede of people running around stuffing plastic balls into tee shirts. Only one casualty that I knew of, and it was all captured for posterity by the video crew. Showing us at our mature, sedate, respectable best.
Chris got up to talk about plans for 2005 (Vegas, baby, and high-damn-time we had another Gathering in the west!). Then Greg gave his speech, and how is this for cool? Heâd gotten his helpful and diligent Girl Friday, Carol, to collect taped well-wishes from several people associated with the show, including Frank Paur and Ed Asner.
If that was cool, the big news was even cooler â" that the first season of Gargoyles was slated for a December 7th release! With commentary, and with this documentary being filmed at the con. If it does well, we may get the second season. And once that ball starts rolling, it might not be beyond the realm of possibility to dream that ultimate dream of a new series!
Of course, in the middle of it all, Greg played his usual prank by raising an arm to the back of the room and announcing, "Ladies and Gentlemen, _Keith David_!" And so, of course, we all looked. Because once, when he did that, Keith was actually there (three cheers for variable interval reinforcement). Because, this time, Keith was expected. Delayed, since the film he was shooting was rained out again and again, but expected. This time, though, no Keith.
It would only be the beginning of a saga that probably added a few grey hairs and notches to the blood pressure of the con staff â¦ Keith will be here for opening ceremonies â¦ well, okay, no, but Keith will arrive late tonight â¦ all right, Keith will be here tomorrow afternoon â¦ he'll be here in time for the banquet â¦ eventually, though, Keith _did_ arrive! Just not today.
We saw the pitches for the original show, for New Olympians and Dark Ages. We saw the Bad Guys reel. Then, as a new treat, Greg played another audio tape of a Team Atlantis episode heâd written, one in which Milo and company encounter a certain Fiona Canmore who is hunting a certain stone-by-day, vengeful-blue-demon-by-night creature with the voice of Marina Sirtis.
It was in the middle of this broadcast (which was unintentionally hilarious, what with all the grunts, groans, and gasps of combat being taken terribly out of context by our collective filthy, filthy little minds) that Tim came in. He sat down by us, listened to the rest of the episode, and then turned to tell me that we needed to talk. That is _never_ a good phrase. Then he told me his car adventure, and I got to freak out imagining all the horrible things that could have happened. Visions of myself having to call his parents to tell them their only son had been run over. Visions of the police finally tracking him to the hotel and delivering the news to me. Visions of being stranded in a foreign country with Tim stuck in the hospital. Or worse.
But he is all right (as I type this, itâs Wednesday August 11, and we are in a plane flying home) except for a murky purple bruise on his arm. At the time, though, we were all in a state. The three of us returned to our room and ate the Chinese food that had survived the collision (lukewarm but good anyway), and then decided that Tim could use a drinkie. Hell, I could have used a drinkie, and I donât normally drinkie. So we thought weâd find someone in the con suite to look after Becca while we went to the hotel bar and got sloshed, but the con suite was closed.
However, we ran into a crowd downstairs, and amended the plan. The hotel restaurant had a neat section of tables surrounded by cushy couches, and eight of us â" Cindy and Rob, Jen and Alan, Patrick, and we three Morgans â" commandeered this primo spot. By then, I had gotten around to thinking I needed dessert more than drinkie, so I had cheesecake. We had a grand time there, and when it was done Tim and Becca went back to our room while I followed the others back up to the con suite to attend Gregâs special late-night Blue Mug-A-Guest.
It turned out not to be nearly as blue as expected. For one thing, most everybody was brimming with questions about the DVD and âwhat would you do if.â For another, apparently most of the real naughtiness has been covered at previous midnight panels of this sort. As for me, I hadnât attended many of those and by now, heck, anything Iâd want to ask, Iâd already decided my-own-self how I was going to handle it in my stories and done so.
The room was packed to capacity, and thanks to Jen abandoning her chair to Greg, I found myself in the weird position of sitting up in a chair next to him while others were all around us, mostly on the floor. I only felt on the spot a couple of times. Once was when Greg put me there, by redirecting a tail question to me. For the record, people â" I did not invent the dirty tail trick! That was Spike! Okay, I did pick it up and run with it, but I didnât _invent_ it (suppose that I might have, given time, but she did it first, so blame her!). I squirmed a little, too, when Andrea brought up my fanfic in an Angela-and-Gabriel question. Greg, if youâre out there, sorry â¦ sorry â¦ that one was all my fault.
What really caught me, though, was when the topic of September 11th came up, and Greg was asked if/how he would handle it in the show, were he given the chance. Now, see, my entry for the Phoenix Gate Anthology, âDust and Ashes,â was a September 11th story. And as I sat there, listening to Greg talk about the importance of addressing it in a way that would not be disrespectful to the actual events and persons involved, I found myself starting to worry about that story.
I _believed_ I had done my best to be respectful, but I got started second-guessing. Especially when Ethan, who witnessed the tragedy, started talking. After all, I was a continent away and watching on television at work (after Tim called me, after _he_ heard about it from Jen). As great as my shock and horror was, I knew it couldnât compare to that felt by those actually present. All I could do in writing was try to reach toward what I imagined it must have been like, and though just writing it gave me the cold chills all over again, I was worried that it would still fall far, far short.
So, after, I sought Ethan out and specifically requested him to read my story and let me know what he thought. He told me the next day that he read it, and that it was just what he would have wanted from such a story. I canât really say he _liked_ it â¦ who can _like_ that kind of story? But I felt it was powerful. One of the most powerful things Iâve ever written. I am very interested in hearing from others whoâve read it, hearing what you think.
Oh, and FYI â" the only place to read âDust and Ashesâ is in the Phoenix Gate Anthology. I have no plans to post that story to my site. The con staff have several copies of the book left, and I know that at least a few of the other authors have stated a similar intention to not make their tales available anywhere else. So, buy the book.
Well, eventually I figured I should raise my hand. Gotta ask something, right? So I did. And Greg denies it, but that sure did look like dread in his eyes. If not dread, there was at least a palpable wariness. I have no idea what he expected me to ask. By the sounds of it, all the really raunchy questions had already been lobbed his way in years past. I donât know what _I_ could have said to overtop those.
My question was, given the tendency (by no means a universal tendency, so donât send me angry e-mails protesting) of human males to fall asleep shortly after nookie, and given also that gargoyles donât fall asleep per se, what _do_ their males do. And I donât mean that human males zonk out instantly, like someone threw a switch â¦ too many people were imagining blissful post-coital gargs plummeting out of the night sky. Gregâs reply was that he figured they would be left with a pleasant mellow buzz.
I followed up with, given that gargs have superior recuperative abilities, how many times can the average healthy male âgoâ in a night. He said âthree â¦ and a half.â I guess the âhalfâ is left up to imagination â¦ perhaps going back to that earlier tail question.
Karine threw us all out shortly thereafter, and a good thing, too. It was past two in the morning. I staggered off to bed, knowing that the dawn was going to come awfully early.
Saturday, August 7th
The Gathering, Day 2
When we checked in, the lady at the desk said our room had a "river view." She was taking a little creative liberty. It's true that, with the proper amount of squinting and peering between buildings and under overpasses, there was a glint of something that might've been water. What we had was an eastern exposure, and on previous mornings we'd found that meant the sun woke us at 6:30.
Given that I had only fallen into bed at about 2:30 the night before, I was not looking forward to waking in four hours. And I must've been tired, because I didn't. I woke at quarter to nine, with the realization that I had a panel at 10:00. Ellen called shortly thereafter to let me know that she and Spacebabie were meeting for breakfast to discuss said panel.
Our initial plan was to just dash down and scarf some fast food, but the weekend isn't a work day, so the underground was closed. Arg! We ended up at the hotel's buffet instead, and still made it in time for my panel and the opening of the dealers room.
The panel was called "Thrill of the Chase," featuring myself, Ellen (who always dresses so smart and sharp, like she's going to a job interview, while the rest of us are slobbing around dressed like â¦ well, like typical fan geeks, which is reasonable enough I guess, given that we _are_). We got a nice turn out, and wound up ranging across various topics of action scenes in general. Given that I still hadn't had any caffeine for the day, I think it went okay, though I think I rambled a bit much.
While I was off doing that, Becca and a couple of other kids joined Siryn to do crafts. Then I got sent off to do an interview with the video crew. I was apprehensive, let me tell you. It's all well and good to have them talk to people whose lives have changed because of _Gargoyles_, who've made something of themselves. The success stories, as it were, be they creative, business, or emotional.
And yes, I owe a tremendous debt to the show and the fandom. My writing has improved so much â¦ I've experimented, my confidence has increased, I've benefited in a roundabout sort of way because people who have read and enjoyed my fanfic are then more likely to buy my books because they know they can trust me to tell a good story.
Some of the connections are very direct â" I might never have written the novel _Black Roses_, for instance, without the inspiration that came from fanfic. That's why I dedicated it to Greg and Salli Richardson â¦ the basic small town ghost story idea had been bobbing around in my head since I was a teenager, but I couldn't quite get a handle on it until after the fanfic, until mentally casting Salli as the character of Theresa. Then, hey presto, it all came together. Greg was so sweet, too, when I gave him a copy. He seemed to think it was very cool, having a book dedicated to him.
But anyway, here I was, having written over two million words of _Gargoyles_ fanfic â¦ the equivalent of twenty paperback books. It felt like I was painting a target on my forehead, getting up there in front of that camera and asking to be hunted down. Imagining stern-faced Disney men-in-black knocking on my door (not that I haven't imagined that, several times over these many years, but I'd never gone out of my _way_ to get their attention before).
We then thought about trying to have Becca interviewed. She was game for it, but she got hit with a big-whammy case of stage fright as soon as we went into the room. We sat and watched a few other interviews â" Aaron and Mara, one of the met-through-the-fandom love stories with the added bonus of Aaron's "Most Dedicated Fan EVER" status thanks to his giant full-color Demona chest tattoo. But, though Becca said she really wanted to do it, she was just too nervous. We ended up going back to the room for a while so she could settle down.
When she was recovered, I dropped her off at an SCA fighting demo â" she's seen plenty of them at other cons, and always enjoys them. I stuck my head into the Auction in time to see a cell going for much higher than I could afford. Then I minded the table while Tim went off to fetch food again. Him being, of course, under orders to cross at the crosswalk and look both ways!
The Radio Play came next, with a huge cast to read from the script of "The Journey," the first TGC episode. Keith still hadn't arrived, so Rob "Talyesin" read for Goliath and did a terrific job. Zehra, as Elisa, was great too â¦ there were moments when she was _so_ Elisa that it was goosebump spooky. Mike, aka Riverdale, was a perfect Vinnie (it was apparently his first Gathering, and I have never seen someone fit in so fast and so well; he is truly one of us), and the guy who played Jon Castaway was almost too intense. It was a great show.
The Banquet began at 6:00, and still no sign of Keith David. The three of us sat with Jen, Alan, Zehra, Darien and Nicholas (the latter two had only just discovered the Gathering and come up from Massachusetts; Nicholas was one of the few kids at the con). Karine had Nicholas and Becca draw slips from a goblet, each slip with a table number to tell where Greg and Keith (if he showed) were to sit.
The room was lit eerie orange, so I have no idea how anyone's pictures are going to turn out. Our waitress was a strict grandmotherly type who scolded me for not eating my appetizer or finishing my salad. Dinner was stuffed quail, eensy little birds with eensy little leg bones. Decadent dessert. After seeing that Lanny's table had ordered wine, we did the same (Sprite for the kids).
The menus were an additional cool touch; the menu was listed opposite a color image of Goliath. I meant to save some, but on unpacking, I never did find them so I must've left them somewhere.
And then, at last, Keith arrived. The funny part was, a few minutes earlier, Greg had left the room. So here was Keith, and no Greg. Keith was taken to his table, and it struck me that what we needed was for him to, when Greg walked in, stand up and announce, "Ladies and Gentlemen, _Greg Weisman_!" You know, like Greg keeps doing. So I told Jen, Jen told Karine, Karine told Keith â¦ and he did it!
Keith managed to talk between bites, and had to compete with the party going on next door. It was, I think, a nursing school reunion or graduation, so lots of women singing lots of bad karaoke. That is not always necessarily a contradiction in terms, by the way â¦ when it was our group's turn later, a few shining stars rose high above the rest.
We left to go back to the room, so that I could get Becca into her costume and so Tim and Denis could work out their PayPal arrangements â" Denis, one of my most dedicated readers, even shelled out for the _Black Roses_ audio book on CD!
Becca went as Bronx for the second time. Amazingly, most of the outfit still fit her (four years? was Orlando four years ago? egad!), though we did have to do new pants for it, since the old ones stopped just below the knee. Borrowed face paints from Jen, and soon we had our Bronx. We hooked up with members of the con staff â" Jen and Alan as Gruoch and Macbeth, Cindy and Patrick as Titania and Puck â" and it was time for the Masquerade.
What an incredible turnout, too! The staff weren't eligible for the contest, but plenty of other people dressed up and were just fabulous! The judges were Greg, Keith, our hotel liaison Daniel (he had such a good time; he's probably going to be talking about this for years!), and a lady who, I think, was either Daniel's wife or girlfriend.
I was sitting on the sidelines with my camera when Jen came up and grabbed me and stuck me at the judge's table, so that I could help keep track of who was who and which characters were canon as opposed to fanfic. It was a little startling to suddenly find myself seated next to Keith. And it turned out I didn't have much to do â" most of the characters were canon this year. But I got to join the judges in their sequestered chamber and listen to them discuss the entries.
I say again, incredible turnout! Incredible costumes! Andrew, as Korul, not only had an amazing outfit but did a song-and-dance routine, was the undisputed best in show. Keith particularly appreciated the ladies, and I am pretty sure I heard a couple of those deep rumbling Goliath-growls from him â¦ like when Argenta was strutting, or when Jade undid the skirt of her Elisa-Belle dress.
The Masquerade opened with Ethan, Sapphire, and Chameleongirl doing a cosplay with props of the _Gargoyles_ opening theme. Then came Vanessa as Dancer, in a lovely white dress. Then Spacebabie as Lori Canmore, and Nikki as Elisa-as-a-gargoyle. Then a scene from "Eye of the Beholder" as a trenchcoated Fox was carried in by Xanatos (that was Jackie and Alan, I think). Then Becca as Bronx. Tony and Andrea were Dracon and Bad Elisa (that costume often wins the Cleavage Award), presenting the judges with a jar of jalapeno peppers.
Sorry if I'm getting any names wrong; I was a little dazed. Then we saw Allan West as Thailog, Stormy as a Quarryman, Mandi in long purple hair as the Banshee. Annie came as Fox. Revel won the Thom Adcox Award for the attitude of his Tony Dracon.
Sherry's Echidna costume â¦ so cool! So neat to see different characters! Lynati was a late but spectacular arrival as Ophelia. Flanker as the Renaissance Hunter â¦ Kaylee and Siryn as Princess Katherine and young Tom (for which Si won the traditional Gorelisa cross-dressing award). Karine was ideal as Fox-in-maternity-smock.
Becca loved being Bronx. She posed for pictures, she roared for the crowd, she had a wonderful time and was thrilled to win a ribbon for Best Junior. But she was also glad, after a couple hours, to get out of that sweaty costume and wash off all the blue. Not only was there facepaint, but the costume hat has never been what I'd call color-fast.
So we took her back to the room to clean up. Then she and Tim stayed to sleep, while I went back down to the party. There was much singing. Now, I don't sing. Ever. I mouth the words to "Happy Birthday." So I admire the heck out of everyone who got up to sing in front of a crowd.
Keith reappeared and sang a number. He had his family in tow. I didn't catch their names, but there was a boy a little older than Becca, a girl of around three, and a baby who was all big adorable dark eyes. At one point, the little girl was climbing around on the stage and did this precarious step-wobble-teeter, and Greg and I, who were standing nearby, both almost lunged for the kid. Parents. Just can't help it.
We had our own lounge-singer rendition of "The Love Boat" (we definitely need him to come to Vegas, to shoehorn him into tight Tom Jones pants to do "It's Not Unusual"), and Zehra blew us all away with her performance. What a voice! Earlier, in the radio play, she'd been Elisa â¦ now she sang like Julie Andrews, with that same almost unbearable purity of voice. She got a well-deserved standing ovation.
And talk about a hard act to follow! The only thing to do was to plunge into absurdity â¦ and you'd have to look long and hard to find any number more absurd than "YMCA," especially when nobody knew the freakin' words! "Young man, something-something-something! I say, young man, something-something-something!"
I mean it. Literally. That's what they sang. Twenty people doing the arm movements and everything. Only knowing the chorus. I have not laughed so hard since seeing "Van Helsing."
So, for future reference, here is a link to the complete official lyrics:
I didn't stay long, and what time I was there I spent hanging out with Jen and sneaking peeks at her husband's legs (gosh, Alan's got nice legs â¦ and those boots! Oh, baby!) while he was busy rounding up a bevy of beauties to keep him company at the back of the room.
What the rest of the hotel guests must've thought, I do wonder. There was the elderly couple: "See? I told you this place was full of weirdoes." (this because they were sharing an elevator with Puck, Titania, Bronx, Gruoch and Macbeth). There was the couple that wandered in while the karaoke was going on. There were the nursing students, or whatever they were.
And there was the man who approached Jen and I at one point (I forget exactly when) and asked, "Excuse me â¦ what are Gargoyles? I mean, I know what 'gargoyles' are, but â¦ who are you people?" Jen abandoned me to field that one on my own. I think I handled it okay. At least the guy didn't run.
And that was it for Saturday! I got to bed at a more reasonable hour, after saying goodbye to Greg â" he was planning to stay up all night and leave at six to get home in time for his daughter's birthday.
Sunday, August 8th
The Gathering, Day 3
We went straight to the hotel buffet that morning, and had breakfast with Kathy Pogge. I think most everyone was off to an even slower start that morning, especially the people who'd stayed up all night to see Greg off.
There was some confusion all weekend long about the Phoenix Gate Anthology signing party. It wasn't on the schedule, and so it was going to be at the same time as Keith and Greg were doing autographs. Which, of course, got shoved all around. Finally, it was decided that the signing party would take place during Keith's Sunday morning Mug-A-Guest, in the dealers room.
Which, of course, conflicted with Allaine's adult round robin, and Dylan's talk on gargoyle biology. At least, it would have if the Mug had started on schedule at 10:00. What really happened was that I moved furniture, setting up some tables and chairs and pens, and made some quickie handmade signs for the PGA and for Keith.
Ultimately, it worked out pretty well, I thought! We had a long row of authors and artists. All but two of the PGA authors were there: me, Dylan, Stormy, Ellen, Scott, Allaine, John, and Alex Garg. The other two, Christi and Summer, had sent autographed stickers so that they could sort of sign in absentia. Kyt was there, having done the beautiful cover art, and Kya White Sapphire and Liz joined us to sign their pics, too.
Speaking of which â" big thanks to Liz for filling in at the last minute when we had a space in the book and needed a piece of art; all the more thanks from me because she did an illustration from "Dust and Ashes," and then honored me by giving me the original! Time to hit the frame shop, and see about squeezing some more space out of our overcrowded walls!
The crowds kept us pretty busy with our pens, and then just as we were more or less finishing up, Keith arrived. It was coming up on 1:00 by then, and some people had been sitting and waiting most patiently. The art show was already coming down. Keith toured the dealers room (he took one of my _Black Roses_ audio tape demos, which was mildly alarming) and then sat down to answer questions.
He also expressed interest in the PGA, so Karine snared him a copy and had us all sign it. This, of course, got me nervous all over again. Wonder what he'll make of the stories? Wonder what he'll make of _my_ story?
The talk topics ranged all over. We found out that a couple of Keith's dream roles would be to do _The Man of La Mancha_, and the Nat King Cole story. When he said this, a low anticipatory sound â" "ooooh!" â" went through the crowd. He briefly ascended a soapbox to talk about soldiers and, after someone is trained to dehumanize and kill the enemy, how difficult it is to reintegrate into regular society.
While this was going on, the art show was being taken down and Art Show Goddess Cindy was busy getting the awards ready. As always, the talent of this fandom is just amazing. I liked seeing the unconventional things, too, the wooden sculpture, Jade's darling little Demona doll â¦ it made me resolve that next year, I'll have something to contribute. I may not be able to draw, but I can craft, and I think I'm finally ready to bust out the old hot glue gun again.
Closing Ceremonies began at 3 or so, with the presentation of the art show ribbons, another Vegas reminder from Chris, and the Clan Olympics winners (Becca was swimming at the time, but she was happy later when I told her that Arno's team won the gold). Keith did his autograph session, and a lot of people signed up for next year.
Then Chris convened a business meeting to elect a board of directors. The final seven members were him, me, Jen, Siryn, Hudson, Scott, and Greg B. But in retrospect, I think Tim should have been nominated, not me. He's had loads of experience with this sort of thing, bylaws and motions and seconding and voting and quibbling over wording and all that hoo-rah from being a Mason (so _this_ is what they do at their secret meetings!). But he'll be here to help me out.
After that, we horned in on the con staff for the Dead Dog party up in the con suite for booze and goodies. Karine mixes a mean drink! Some friends of hers showed up with their daughter, a cute little kid who was shy at first â" for maybe three whole minutes â" before she was running around playing with Becca and tickling people and feeding candy to us all. There was laughter, cussing, foot massages, silliness, ranting, cuddling, bad jokes (I don't think Karine was all that terribly amused by the "what's the difference between a lightbulb and a pregnant woman" one; she shot me a narrow "har-har" sort of look).
We had pizza â" Becca had chicken nuggets; whenever we go on vacation, I try to enforce the "chicken nuggets for only ONE meal a day, but sometimes it doesn't quite work out â" and we partied. The three of us left around 11:00, and I heard that the rest of the party broke up shortly thereafter.
Monday, August 9th and Tuesday, August 10th
La Ronde and Montreal
We got up and got moving fairly early Monday. Breakfast at McD's, and then Tim headed off to explore the city. Again, under orders to stay out of the street. He wanted to prowl the university district, and look for game stores, and go to museums, and take more pictures of buildings â¦ and all the general gamer/history geek stuff that he likes to do.
Becca and I, meanwhile, waited around for the group that was headed to La Ronde. There ended up being some two dozen of us who went, many in garg shirts. Entertained (or frightened) the passengers on the Metro by treating them to a loud, enthusiastic rendition of the "One thousand years ago" speech. Oh, how I love cities with actual efficient rapid transit! Seattle is such a throwback in that regard.
We had our Six Flags season passes, bought this year since not only have we visited our local park but knew we'd have this trip coming up, as well as Magic Mountain in December when we plan to invade Jen's house (and, in light of developments, we're now thinking to arrange it so that we're there on the 7th, for a DVD release party!).
As it turned out, the season passes caused a slight problem. We got separated at the gates because Becca and I had to go to another window to use our passes. By the time we got that sorted out, we'd lost track of the others. Becca, who had wanted to go on the big rides with Siryn, was disappointed but soon got over it.
Nice park! Hot day. We went on a few rides, not many as it turned out because some of the lines were horrendous. Becca won four little stuffed snakes and two fat little stuffed dogs playing carnival games (skee-bowling and darts). It was a lot of fun, just me and her, mommy-daughter time. I bought a "La Vampire" visor, to make up for the hat I lost at Wild Waves.
The last ride was the log ride, which was not the tame tepid Splash Mountain we were expecting but fast and bumpy and full of rapids â¦ fun! Then we sat for a while and watched other logs come down the flume, waiting to see if anybody was going to flash the camera. Closest we got was a quartet of teens who flipped the finger in unison.
We wound up making our way back to the hotel on our own, too. Becca was sure that I was going to get us lost, oh she of little faith. Then she went swimming, and Tim told us about his day.
Then, with aching legs and feet, we wimped out and took a cab down into the old town district, to a fondue restaurant. Seen as how Becca had already eaten her day's quota of chicken nuggets and all! And wow! What a meal! We got the Fondue Trio, which started with a cheese fondue, bread, grapes and apples. Then we got a bubbling pot of broth and a platter of raw chicken and beef and veggies to dip. And then, oh-my-slavering-gods, a fondue of dark chocolate with bits of crepe, marshmallow, banana, and strawberry.
As we returned to the hotel, by cab again because now we were not only footsore and achy but stuffed to capacity with yummy fondue, we ran into Keith and family again. Judging by the array of stuffed animals they were carrying â" a clownfish, more snakes, etc. â" they had been at La Ronde too.
We slept in on Tuesday, and then headed to Notre Dame. I only shot a couple of pictures before Tim started grumbling about how flash photography would damage the paint. So I quit, even though hoards of other people were popping flashbulbs right and left. It was a truly impressive building â¦ and I wish I'd realized sooner the gross impropriety of wearing a Gothy black "La Vampire" visor into a cathedral â¦ but my skin didn't blister when I dipped my fingers in the holy water font, so I guess that's a good sign.
Our next stop was the Science Center, where we were just in time to catch the English version of this interactive immersion shark game movie thing they had. Fifty or so people sitting in a dark room at computer terminals, while up front is a huge screen of underwater scenes. Each of us played the role of some sea creature, starting low on the old food chain and working our way up through the species by eating prey, avoiding being eaten, and reaching certain goals. Very cool.
Becca enjoyed the Science Center, which had exhibits devoted to the science of sleep, the human body, and technology. A movie must've been being filmed outside, too, because we could see trucks and trailers and cameras and crew, and they had gone to some effort to make the outside of the Science Center into an airport. Luggage trolleys, suitcases, signs, etc. Never did catch a glimpse of anybody famous, though.
We had an early dinner, then returned to the hotel. By now, if anyone else was still around, we didn't see them. Tim started packing while I took Becca for a final swim, and then I got online briefly â¦ before the thunderstorm rolled in.
And what a thunderstorm! Huge flaring sheets of lightning, stinging rain blown almost horizontal by high wind, crashing roars of thunder. The weather channel even said something about a chance of tornadoes, if I was translating correctly (though how hard can it be to guess what "tornade" means?). So I turned off the computer, and we doused the lights, and sat and watched the storm.
Luckily, it didn't blow out the power or the television, so Tim and I were still able to catch "The Amazing Race" before falling asleep. The alarm was set for 4:00 AM, so that we could get to the airport and finally head for home.
It was a wonderful trip (except for the car thing). So great to see my old friends and meet new ones! I didn't realize until I was there just how much I'd missed everybody. We're all looking forward to Las Vegas, and Tim and I have even found ourselves thinking seriously about a Seattle bid one of these years.
Seattle sounds great!!
Christine, I love reading your Gathering Journals. I also love hearing about the Montreal stuff that you did. One of the few regrets (and it's pretty minor) that I have about most Gatherings is that I'm so busy that I never get any real tourist time in. Don't ever see all that much of the town. I'm glad you managed to.
This is my con report from Le Gathering, Montreal 2004.
I have attended sci-fi/fantasy conventions since 1985. In my youth, everything was new and exciting and I always looked forward to the next opportunity to meet like-minded people at these magical weekend gatherings.
But like anything, it gets old after a while: one becomes jaded, or cynical, or bored. And for those of us who turn a hobby into a business, this is intensified by the "professional" angle that we maintain.
But at this convention, I re-discovered a pleasure that I haven't enjoyed in almost ten years: The sheer enjoyment of reveling in the appreciation of a wonderful creation-- in this case, Disney's animated TV series, "Gargoyles."
The show ended its run in 1997, but the fandom survived-- and have held a regular convention every year since that time. Understand: the show was over. It only ran three seasons, the last of which wasn't even the same production house as the first two (thus a dispute on whether there were three seasons, or really only two.) And yet, despite this, a loyal following of fans put forth the effort to make a convention happen, dedicated to this show, year after year in a different city each time.
I was always a fan of the show, but I felt no particular motivation to seriously join the fandom, until this year, when my good friend Lanny invited me to the convention. "You're a voice actor," he said. "You've got to come. Some of the voice talent from the show will be there." And then he very, very generously offered to fly me down on his air travel points, and put me up in his hotel room.
How could I say no? I looked forward to it-- and I hadn't been to Montreal since I was four-- what a fun opportunity!
So I flew down east, got picked up by Lanny and Derrick and off we went to the hotel.
The very first night, I saw the difference between this convention and so many others: The people who made it happen, and the guests around which the fandom is based. Lanny, it turns out, knew most of the convention staff personally, not to mention Greg Weisman, the creator of the show. We all went out to dinner the first night and I sat between Greg and Lanny and across from the con chair, Karine "Kanthara" Charlebois (six months pregnant and still the perfect hostess, she is TEH FABULOUS, or as we say in French, <i>absolument fameuse.</i>).
And there it was: meeting one of the guests of honour, the show's creator, who is a great guy and very open and-- and this is the part that really sent me-- just one of the gang. You'd never pick Greg Weisman out at this convention as the Special Guest Superstar Guy. He knows these people, and they know him. They're old friends. You can feel that vibe. They're used to each other, comfortable with each other. It's a feeling I haven't seen before in the otherwise drooling-fan-infested populations of other conventions.
I noticed that compared to other conventions, the dealer's room and art show were small. I realized this was because they weren't the focus of the convention, they weren't the <i>point.</i> The point was, and always has been as far as I can tell, the people. The fans I began to meet were happy to be there, as opposed to the dull whineyness of many convention veterans. They were from many diverse backgrounds, and there was a wide spread of age ranges. Artists, theatricals, computer techs, veterinarians, publishers... one couldn't pigeonhole this fandom into one demographic; they are, literally, from all over the place.
I met people that I knew only vaguely as names mentioned by artist friends of mine who were involved in the fandom. They too, had heard of me in similarly vague ways. Those barriers dissolved quickly as I was welcomed by everyone I met. Like I said, these people are all part of the gang-- in Gargoyle terms, we're all one big clan.
I haven't felt that connection in years. I used to have the same feeling with other <a href="http://www.elfquest.com">ElfQuest</a> fans in the late 80's, but since then had become jaded. These people, this Clan, re-awoke something in me that I thought I'd lost, like a memory of my youth but still present in the here-and-now.
The Radio Play, the main reason Lanny invited me and the reason I wanted to go, was so much fun I forgot that I was trying to be a professional and do some serious learning from the veterans of the biz. I auditioned for Greg Weisman, who made it very easy, explaining in a prior seminar what he wanted and how to give it to him, and with the help of Jen, miss CrzyDemona herself, they cast me (as The Ham Comedy Character, which tells me that they had me figured out from the word Go).
Here's the other magical thing about this: Keith David, the voice of Goliath himself, was meant to be at the voice seminar and the subsequent radio play. Due to complications he couldn't arrive until late Saturday night. Guess what-- I had an amazing time anyway. It says a lot about a convention that even when a major guest can't make it, that the fun just keeps on going. I know it did for me.
Keith arrived at around 11 pm Saturday night and he was welcomed-- he had brought his family and he sang karaoke songs after the costume contest. Once again, a miracle-- I can't think of any celebrity who would not only bring his family to a convention with him, but actually stick around and participate in a room full of adoring fans singing karaoke.
The magic of the Gathering, again.
On a personal note, I found the man inspiring. He was <i>resonant.</i> I could believe everything he said because I could feel the strength of <i>his</i> belief behind it. He spoke of the industry of acting and voicing, which spoke directly to me-- but his other anecdotes and stories were a pleasure to listen to as well, because he was sharing in an intimate setting.
Intimate settings seemed to be the name of the game, as Greg Weisman hosted his own "Mug-A-Guest" panels, in both the PG-13 and the "Blue" -- anything goes -- format. Sitting in the con suite, hanging out, anyone could ask him anything. He was accessible. He was friendly. He was candid, open, everyone's pal.
Again, something I've never seen before.
Disney is planning to release the first season on DVD on December 7th of this year. There was a film crew at the Gathering, filming us every day and asking for interviews with the fans. I volunteered, wanting to do my part to explain the amazing phenomenon that Gargoyles fandom is. I hope that I painted a good, clear picture and that something of that message makes it onto the "special features" of the DVD release, because this phenomenon is too cool to allow to pass unnoticed.
To my fellow Clansmates out there, the new people I've met and the generous friend who allowed me my first glimpse of this amazing world-- thank you. Thank you for a great weekend. Thank you for a truly magical experience. I can't say enough about a weekend with no downsides except perhaps:
- Fear me in battle at LaserQuest.
- Liz is a total SHARK at Mario Kart. Fear HER.
- Next year, in Las Vegas, I really hope to put together a smashing team for the Clan Olympics.
Thank you all. I know I'm looking forward to the future of this fandom, and my place in it.
To those of you reading this: The next Gathering happens around the beginning of August, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Go to <a href="http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/">http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/</a> and keep an eye for further developments. And remember: The sooner you register, the sooner the convention has more money with which to create a fantasy weekend of unparalleled enjoyment.
"And remember: The sooner you register, the sooner the convention has more money with which to create a fantasy weekend of unparalleled enjoyment. "
Truer words and all that.
Well, Michael, I hope to see you in Valencia this summer. There will be a ton of guests, including voice actors Keith David, Thom Adcox, Jeff Bennett, Bill Faggerbakke, Brigitte Bako and Edward Asner. Plus Voice Directors Jamie Thomason and Ginny McSwain. And that's just for starters. We'll have writers and artists and composer Carl Johnson, etc.
An L.A. Gathering is a great place to interact with professionals. Lots and lots of guests in a relatively intimate setting.
Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com for more information.
Well, you wanted con reports...here's a long bugger. ^_^
I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off and went to work and packed and dropped my luggage with the zipper not zipped, thereby spilling everything across my living room. Ha ha aha. Made it out to the airport,where at TEN-THRITY at NIGHT, there was traffic all up the ass at LAX. V. Disgruntled, but made it into TERMINAL 2 in no less than 30 minutes. I shouldâve got out and walked, it wouldâve been faster. XD.
Anyways, checked in and dealt with the idiot ppl at the front desk ( Them: You have e-ticket! Me: I go international! Them: You have e-ticket! Me: Machine wonât give me a boarding pass because Iâm going _international_ you freak! Them: You haveâ" Me: Oh, for Godâs sake, just check me in!) I make it down to the waiting area for Northwest and whip out the drawing utensils. I had inked versions of all the pieces I was planning to show ( cuz I like, decided to do them Tuesday, instead of having a blank board XD) . I start working on the Puck/Wyrd Sisters piece and realize that Iâm a bit loopy. So I call my friend Teresa to let her know Iâm leaving (I forgot to tell her when I was going). Anyways, I work on that a while, then they call us for boarding. Nice ppl have pillows and blankets on every seat, which makes me happy. I planned to do some more drawing, but was so tired that five minutes into the flight, I zonked. So did everyone else apparently. I woke up when the head flight attendant with the accent from hell (Please fasten seat belllllllllllllllllllltttttttttttts for takeoff, Thaaaaank you, come agan!!!) told everyone that we were approaching Detroit. I was like, yes, is good, though I have various cricks from sleeping in non feasible positions.
Get into Detroit, find gate for Montreal. I sit down and furiously begin work on the âMoondanceâ piece. Am very, very, very tired, but know I need to finish, as I didnât finish the puck one and this one, plus the London one are infinitely more complicated. Get on plane to Montreal and end up passing out, so I didnât work on the pic anymore. Get off plane and wander through the âcorridors of doom!â, aka, the Montreal arrivals area until I get to customs. I g through, get luggage and then I see Liz (Sara Berkeley)! I call out and we hug and yay! I was just happy to see someone I knew. I meet Taylor, who is just in front and we all go out to the curb. I hang with them while we play âwhere is the van with Patrick in itâ. Laurean (Siryn) shows up not too long afterwards. We wait a while until they arrive and then they take the van and I jump a taxi to the hotel. Taxi guy is real nice and gives me a neato map and event booklet and circles relevant places. I get to the hotel and am blown away by how lovely it is. I canât check in, as the room isnât ready, so I wander up the street to get food. I come back and I wait around to see folks and an hour or so after I get there, I see Seth (IRC Goliath)! We chat for a while, until his roomies show up. About ten minutes later, Karine (Kanthara) and Cindy (Eden) and Rob (Talyesin) all show up, and I see Scott (Abram Wintersmith) too! SO I wander over and am like âHi hi!â. Kelly (KWSapphire) still isnât in yet. Liz and taylor show up and then Liz pawns Taylor off on me. We randomly meet Julie (Chameleongirl), who is our other roommate, so everyone but Kelly is there yet. The room is on her card and no one elseâs name is on the room so we canât check in yet. We end up curling in chairs and sleeping, until Kelly calls my cell.
Anyways, we go up to the room and I resume my mad frantic must draw frenzy. Kelly gets Tony and Andrea from downstairs and everybody chats in the room for a while. The other folks go out to meet ppls for dinner, which ends up being a flop, but I stayed in so I could work on the art. Eventually, around eleven or so, I think they come back and Kelly gives me the second half of her tuna salad sandwich. I gobble down and thank her. We sleep.
Mad frantic dash to finish art crap. Going nuts. Rest of folks get up and go to breakfast, _I think_. I sit around and finish up art. I am so happy when finished, I run down around 12:30pm and set up art stuff. I see Cindy again and Jen (CrzyDemona)! Jenâs hubby, Alan walks up to me and says âYouâre Trishanaâ and I am like âI amâ¦â. Hahahha. Alan has sexy knees XD. Anyways, I put up my crap â" Karine lets me borrow some black construction paper from her ( thank yooooouuuu!!!) so I can mount my stuff on something. After thatâ¦Iâ¦uhâ¦I donât remember what I did after that. XD I know I picked up my registration packet and said hi to Rob and Kelly roped me into doing clan Olympics with her, Julie and Kyffinâ¦derâ¦OH! Yes. Me, Julie and Kelly went to the French Staples office supply store and I had a fit because I bought some stuff really cheap there!!! After that, I went to Cindyâs costuming panel, at which time, the legend of Man-Faye became known and has since made its rounds through the con. XD They were filming and Cindy kept curbing her language and it was rather funny, ehehhee. âSon of biâ"er gun.â Anyways, after that was the opening ceremonies!! We went to that and it went incredibly long, though I dug the Ed Asner tape comment: âVampiresâ¦itâs what weâre not.â And I wonât even talk about the Team Atlantis audio. Those who were there know what Iâm taking about. Anyways, there was the first clan Olympics event at the opening and Cindy and Liz got a kick out of my âutterly confusedâ expression when Julie and Kyffinâs plan to put balls in a blanket failed and they didnât show up at the front until like 3/4ths of the way into the game. I couldnât see them, so I had no idea what happened or if I was just missing them. :P After that, apparently Genn (Ithil) sits with us and I notice, but Iâm not sure itâs my honeykins â" I hadnât yet met her in person yet XD. Anyways, it is! But I am taken away or I wander away â" we end up going to dinner at Le Marche, since we didnât go to eat with the staffs and stuff. We being me, Kelly, Julie, Kyffin, Ethan, Taylor and Liz. That was fun. :] I also gave one of the servers information about the Gathering!! I had forgotten to take off my badge. Anyway, we head back and Kelly, Julie, Kyffin and I go to a clan Olympics event. I think Liz and Taylor went up for the blue mug-a-gust, where Taylor experienced a revelation about Owen and Puck (hehehe). I donât remember what happened after that, but I do know that weâd gone to bed, then Liz comes back and she and Julie strikes up a conversation. Julie is a adorable giggle-box, but I was feelinâ the lack of sleep heavily and I apparently mumbled funny things in my delirium.
Thus the rampant : âMan...guuuysâ¦.geeeezâ¦â comment was borne.
Get up. I donât remember what happened, except that I got up. OH. Right. Went to breakfast with Liz, iana n Taylor at the hotel buffet, whichw as good. Then-- Clan Olympics. Trivia torute. Which was fun, but we got majorly shafted by the âspiritsâ. Itâs alright, but it was still a bummer. Hoepfully there will be a few more rules on what spririts can do.
Afterwards I went down to the dealers room, where I chatted with Cindy for a while and ended up watching the room because Cindy was drafted into doing the radio play auditions. XD Saw Jen again and we chatted some. I harassed Liz and Taylor while they were doing the artist alley thing. Finally saw some of Taylorâs work and Good GOD! Heâs got some AWESOME stuff and hasnât done commissions before O_O. Silly, silly boy. He seemed shocked that we all said weâd commission him. Oh and I made Cindy draw me Vic porn. XD *snuggles* Kyt draws me some Orcus porn as well, ayayayayaa!!!! Iâm such a fangirl XD I also got into a bloody bidding war over Cindyâs Brooklyn and Mary-Sue pic. My limit was at 45 bucks and apparently it went to 80. O_O Go Cins. I also devirginized her new sketchbook. Twice. I feel proud XD.
Anyways, Genn and Ian show up!:D:D So we go around Montreal and end up at a Second Cup â" like a Coffee Bean place. I marvel over the fact that there is clean air and thoroughly amuse my French Canadian friends, heh. We chat for a while, then eventually, we have to get back. Ian had to go do slave work for the con staff ( kidding XD), so me and Genn just hung out for a bit, until the banquet was going to start. Since she wasnât going, she left. Wish she couldâve stayed!
In any case, went to the banquet and Kelly gave my seat away, so me and Ian ended up at the table next to them. They drew Greg Weisman to sit at their table. Our table was a riot and completely nutters. It was fun, if a bit odd at times. Dinner was good, and Keith David finally showed up. Also, there was the âooonch, oonch, oooonch:â techno music from the folks in the room next to ours that kept interrupting things. It was very funny, heehhe. After the dinner, me and Ian helped Liz organize the masquerade stuff and then me, Kelly and Julie helped Liz with her costume and body paint. Funniest moment:
(Through the bathroom door)
Kelly: Liz, you alright in there?
Liz: *pause*â¦.eheheheheee. I have man boobies.
After which she opened the door and the rest of us just died, because she had man nipples that could be used as weapons. It was the chest plate. Heh. Anyways, we slather body paint on Liz and baby powder her and she looks awesome!!! Go down to the ball, where I chat with Cindy and Taylor. Rob wandered in and out, sporting his âPresident Lex Luthorâ look, ehehhe!! The masquerade was AWESOME. Everyone had RAWKIN costumes. Indeed, it was one of the best years yet. After the masquerade, there was karaoke. Keith David even sang some! But I died when Taylor sang the love boat and true to his words, everyone over 35 fell out. XD. It was a great rendition. ^_^ The YMCA song was suitably retarded, but fun, since no one could remember the words XD. I spent most of the night chatting with Andrea (Eliza Maza) â" a very cool and gifted gal. Iâm only sorry I didnât get a chance to tell her and her husband Tony (Archangel) goodbye on Sunday :/.
I stayed down there for many hours. Then I went upstairs and took a shower. When I got out, the rest of the crew was back. We ended up going to the con suite to chat with the folks. Greg was trying to stay awake until his very early flight out. We chatted and then we watched live action Sailor Moon on Karineâs computer. After that, I was done and we ended up going to bed at 4am.
The last thought on my mind: Alan has sexy knees.
(Thatâs what you get for putting your man in an above the knee skirt, Jen!)
Apparently Ian and Taylor knocked on our door that morning so we all could go to breakfast. Apparently I answered it. And I was told to go back to sleep. I think I told Liz about it too, but it really didnât matter. We were all zonked.
Um, I got up and went to the dealers room, hung with Cindy and stuff whilst waiting for Genn. She shows up with Felix! And he indeed has poofy hair XD. Me, Genn, Felix and Karine eventually go to get food â" I get General Taoâs! karine stays as long as she can, but she has a panel to do, so she leaves. The rest of us follow not long after wards and itâs started to rain! Yay!!!! I love rain and we donât get any out here in LA. We go to Karineâs Dynamic characters panel and I ask her to draw feet XD. After wards the closing ceremonies arenât too long away and we sit in the terrace, where we put static clinging balls in Genn and Felixâs hair. Kelly shows up for a bit and we bounce the ball around. Silver and Gorebash show up, along with Arno and Gorebash puts the balloons under his shirt and makes booby Gore! Hehehhe. Pictures are better than words. XD
Go to closing ceremonies, where I win first place for marker canon gargs and marker fanon gargs XD Very cool. I also sell all my stuff, except âMoondanceâ because I didnât want to sell it. ^^;; But I sold prints XD Go figure?
Anyhow after closing ceremonies, Keith david does autographs and folks sign up for the Vega 2005 gathering. I have Keith sign a cd that Tony and Andrea gave me!!! That was unfortunately, the last I saw of them *pout* as they left on Monday morning.:/ Taylor satisfies his âKeith david must sign art specially done for him to sign!â urges and Liz hits jackpot â" Keith wants her business card and work and buys it from her!!! Liz sports goofy look until I last see her on Tuesday. Iâm sure sheâs still sporting goofy look XD Iâm glad both she and Taylor had a good time ^_^.
Anyways, Genn and I are getting hungry and evil â" Kelly and Julie are at the business meeting, which runs long and so, me, Genn, liz, Felix, Ian and Taylor go to this crepes placeâ"MAN the food was awesome. We wander back to the hotel, and Genn and Felix end up leaving us (awww!). The rest of us make it in. Later I end up wandering up to the con suite and get engaged in after con âthank all that is holy, itâs over!â party, where I proceed to be groped by small children O.o. Iâll never be the same XD After a while up there, I end up leaving, and say goodbye to Jen! Whoâs not coming to the LA Ronde amusement park on Monday because sheâs _leaving_. *pout, grumble, pout*
Anyways, I wander back down to Scottâs room, where a video game thing is in full swing. I sit around and chat for a while, until Ian comes in. Folks were playing Mario party 4 and Ian kept having brain non-compute moments that left me, him, Liz and Taylor in stitches. Taylor even drew brains leaving the skull XD Anyways,w e eventually get kicked out, cuz Shaun wanted to sleep and we go to Mikeâs (Riverdell) room.
OMG. Noshing the nether nipples.
Mike has an awesome sense of humor. Scott shoved the controller for Mario Kart in my hands and I showed exactly how badly I can play. XD We all giggled a lot, then we ended up going to our room.
Got up. Went to La Ronde. The whole weekend, Iâd been suffering from some sort of feverish allergies. While I had a great time, my nose and eyeballs wouldnât stop running, so I was very subdued when we got to the park. Me, Rob and Cindy go to get food and then Karine, Patrick, and Shaun show up. We munch and I actually feel less vile. We wander for a while, and then Rob insists that we go n the dragon, the LAMEST ROLLERCOASTER IN ALL EXISTENCE. That was really funny. We then go on the ferris wheel and that was just awesome â" the view was spectacular. And the air felt so good! After that we ended up going on the vampire, which is basically Batman the Ride for those of you Californian folks whoâve been to Magic Mountain. We went on another ride after that, but then me, Karine, Patrick and Laurean, whoâd joined us before the Vampire, went back to the hotel. Rob and Cindy had left a few hours before. Shaun went to find Scott, so they could leave.
Anyways, on the way into the hotel, we see Keith David!! He gives Patrick the money for Lizâs prints and he asks us to sing happy birthday to his youngest girl! He was a very nice person, and his family had to be incredibly accommodating to deal with all of us. They were so graceful, I was very impressed. ^_^
I said goodbye to Karine and Laurean, then went to the room to zonk for a while. The rest of merry band was still at La Ronde. ^_^ I woke up later and wandered out with Patrick and another guy who I donât know the name of to find food. We walked in a giant circle and then settled on Tim Hortons. OMG, best iced cappuccinos ever! We go back and chill for a while, then folks show back up! We chat for a bit that night and stuff, since everyone except me and Julie are leaving on Tuesday. I also think this was the night that I ended up turning Taylor in Jadzia Dax with Julieâs stamping pens. XD HahHhaahha.
Kelly gets up really early and opens curtains. AHHHH.
She packs and gets stuff together, then she ends up leaving. It was very sad, because it was like âitâs overâ and that wasnât fun. We all get up and pack up our stuff and everything. I like Taylor and Liz go get breakfast and pick me up some toast. I learnt o work the coffee machine in the room and make my own coffee. The keys had stopped working for everyone when Kelly checked out, so someone had to stay and keep the door open.
Anyways, Taylor and Liz went and stalked Keith. They had the wrong room, then they had Patrick call Karine and get the right room number, but he wasnât there. They tried one more time and hit the jackpot. XD I swear Taylor had afterglow *dies* and of course, Liz was grinning and in a happy daze.
They ended up leaving and Julie got herself another room for the night. The room was Goregeous!!!! Afterwards, we went tromping around the city and bought stuff in Chinatown. We had really good charbroiled chicken at a little buffet and panini place. We went back and watched disturbing Discovery channel shows and then it was time for me to meet Genn in the lobby. We went down and Genn showed up. I bid Julie goodbye:/
Me and Genn tromped around with my luggage XD in the subway. Weâd gotten almost to her house and the sky opened up and rained basketballs. I loved it, but I didnât want to be in it. Thankfully, Gennâs Dad showed up and drove us the few block to the house.
They have a beautiful home and her kitty!!! *squeeee!!!*
Her mom makes a salmon thing and we eat and chat over dinner, then we retire to Gennâs basement and look at bishies and art and stuff. We talk too late into the night, then go to bed.
That morning, her mom plies me with fruit ( since I said I eat fruit in the morning) and then she drives us to the metro station so we wouldnât have to take the bus as weâd done the day before. She mentions, in idle conversation that a toxic gas cloud had rolled through the city that morning O_o.
Anyways, we get back to the hotel and I bid Genn goodbye and she goes to work. ;_;
I go to the airport, go through customs.
Customs: Where do you work?
Customs:What do you do for a job?
Customs: Are you alright?
Me: â¦too early for such complicated questionsâ¦..
I eventually get through and get on my plane. In Detroit, I ride the bright red train several times XD, then head on to LA, where my dad picks me up and my cat attacks me when I get home.
The end. XD
I remember staying up so late Saturday night, laughing for hours... and that live action Sailor Moon was truly freaky. Good times. XD (What the heck does "XD" mean?)
Everyone always asks whether there will ever be another season, or how it's coming along, or the like. I'm going to assume that, if one was in the works, you'd let us know. But I do have a few questions that are definitely related, although off to the side a little. To wit:
1) Is it even POSSIBLE for there to be another season? It certainly looks like Disney's given up on the series, so how likely is it another company would get the rights? What would they have to go through?
2) If there was another season, would The Goliath Chronicles be considered canon? Other than the fans almost unanimously hating it, there's really no justification to cut it from the continuity.
I hope you consider these as questions you are willing to answer, and not merely more irritating pleas for another season. :)
1. The so-called THIRD SEASON OF GARGOYLES is now in the works... in comic book form. The folks at creaturecomics.com, SLG Publishing and Disney have teamed up to put out the new book with original canon stories due to hit the stands in June 2006.
2. I'm choosing to ignore the Goliath Chronicles in the comic book. The justification is that ... is that... well, heck, do I really NEED a justification?
I wasn't able to make it to the Gathering, but I might see if I can manage something for next year. I've been enjoying reading through the journals posted thus far, though. It sounds like a lot of fun was had.
Other than that, I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to keep in touch with the fans of the show - just reading through the archive of answered questions gave me all the information I would have asked about. I look forward to purchasing the DVD this fall too, and I hope the rest will come out as well!
That's about all I wanted to say... Thanks again for everything you do for this community, and I hope I'll get a chance to meet you and some of the people here someday.
You should come to Anime Boston or Otakon sometime. =p
Thanks for the kind words. And I'm not hard to get as a con guest. Pay my way, and I'm there, basically. So if you want me at a con, suggest it to the organizers.
Hope to see you in Valencia in 2006.
Stormy's Gathering Journal
Well, this was itâ¦the first time in 12 years that I wasnât spending my summer on a military base. The first time that I was free to attend The Gathering. The week leading up to the Gathering was a frenzy of artwork as I strove to have everything I wanted to show at the art contest ready to go. In the previous months, since I knew Whitbourne had been making plans for us to go together, I had been checking in on the Gathering website where I found out about the Phoenix Gate Anthology project. I submitted an entry and to my great pleasure found myself (and Whitbourne) selected to be in the anthology. The pleasure of publication doubled the anticipation for the convention.
We flew to Montreal on Friday morning, after a frenzy of last minute art framing, packing, and preparation. The convention hotel was just beautiful and in an excellent location. We met up with Jen âMercedesâ DeSalme and her brother Andrew âSombreroâ DeSalme, and enjoyed a nice lunch in Chinatown before heading back to the hotel. I ended up missing the first set of panels because Mercedes and I were in the art room setting up our art pieces.
This is when I learned the first lesson of The Gatheringâ"you canât do everything. The sheer amount of events going on simultaneously meant that it was impossible to do it all. Maui had attempted to recruit me for the Clan Olympics and Iâd intended to join in, but in the end I only made one eventâ¦the one held during opening ceremonies. The rest of the time I was distracted by art duties, writing duties, costume duties, voice acting dutiesâ¦on the other hand, the pace guaranteed never a dull moment! Still, I wish Iâd done more for Team Canadian Body Massage.
The only other con Iâve ever attended was Transformers BotCon in 2002. BotCon is a much larger show, with huge crowds and a real emphasis on buying/selling in the massive dealer room. It somewhat surprises me that Gargoyles fans arenât, for the most part, rabid acquirers of Gargoyles merchandise. However, this did mean that I was able to acquire a set of Gargoyles pencils in the auction for a price that didnât break my very small budget. Itâs also just as well that my point in going to the con was primarily to meet friends, rather than to acquire stuff. To suppliment my souvenir budget, I sold a toy with the help of the Morgans and used the proceeds to purchase one of Christine Morganâs books as well as a Brooklyn dangler.
Conversely, I was surprised at the amount of art in the art show that was for sale. Iâm very new to the field of computer generated art, doing most of my work in Prismacolour pencils. That means most of my art is one-of-a-kind and Iâm loath to part with it. Furthermore, Iâve occasionally experimented with colouring or accenting my art with glitter inks. The ink makes for a really neat sparkling effect; however, when I scan the artwork, the sparkle effect is entirely lost, leaving only the flat base colour. This means I love to show off my sparkling images in person, because trying to put them online doesnât do them justice.
That being said, hereâs what I chose to show:
1. A truly terrifying Ophelia and Angela drawn in âBratzâ style, with sparkling clothing
2. Original character Lady Bismarck of the Iron Clan of Bavaria
3. Original character Wagner of the Iron Clan of Bavaria
4. Demona, accompanied by a poem I had written
5. My sparkling Jetstorm jet that I showed at Botcon 2002 (and got on the Transformers DVD)
6. My sparkling Megatron and Tempest, also from Botcon 2002
7. Sonic Attack Jet, my first CGI piece
8. Sparkling Jhiaxus, also shown at Botcon 2004
9. Black and white Motormaster, also shown at OTFCC 2004 and Botcon 2004
10. Four My Little Ponies, each of which represented a different element
11. A Barbie doll dressed as Elisa, in the arms of Ultimate Goliath
12. A kitbash of Whitbourne
13. A kitbash of Wagner and Caligo
14. âThen and Nowâ: contrasting a truly hideous Wagner pic from 1996 with one I completed the day before the con
15. and finally, the long-to-be-remembered diorama âCaught in the Actâ, in which a custom-made Fox figure and Hardwired Xanatos stumble upon Broadway, Lexington and Goliath in stoneâ"wearing Barbie dresses, jewelry, and holding makeup.
Iâd hoped I might win something for my kitbashes. I was more than surprised to win not one but five art show ribbons.
First place B&W Sci Fi for Motormaster, King of the Road
Second place 3-D Fanchar for Whitbourne
Third place Pencil Sci Fi for the Elemental Ponies
Third place CGI Sci Fi for the Sonic Attack Jet
and Third Place 3-D Canon for, you guessed it, âCaught in the Actâ
(How will I ever top âCaught in the Actâ next year???)
After finally setting up all our art, Mercedes and I dropped in on Edenâs costuming panel. Although I already had my costume set to go, I found Edenâs panel very entertaining! :) I donât know much about costuming and this gave me great ideas for years to come.
Next came the biggest challenge of the Gathering: finding supper within walking distance from the hotel. For some reason all the restaurants we found in walking distance were either expensive, or else lunch-only, or else McDonaldâs. We finally found a sandwich shop, since we wanted something we could grab and go in order to be back in time for the opening ceremonies.
My favourite part of this was getting a chance to see and hear the Gathering-exclusive goodies: the original pitches for Gargoyles, Dark Ages and The New Olympians; the taped voice acting for the Atlantis ep featuring Demona, and the Bad Guys demo reel. After hearing about these things, believe me, there is nothing to compare to actually seeing and hearing them in person. I like Sphinx :) Gregâs involvement with the fandom is wonderful; unlike Hasbro, whose greatest interest at Transformers conventions is all about pimping their latest toyline rather than discussing the mythology that they created with the original Transformers, you can tell that Greg truly loves Gargoyles.
At this point, medical demands sent me to bed at 8 pm. I needed a long rest so I could stay up for the masquerade the next night. So Saturday morning dawned with a refreshed Stormy getting up in time to eat a good breakfast at Deli Planet in the train station before the dayâs events began.
The first thing I did was hit the radio play auditions, since Iâd missed the ones on Friday. Greg asked me to meow like a cat, and my first thought was âa cat saying what?â Having four cats makes me rather fluent in their language, which varies surprisingly depending on what theyâre attempting to communicate. So I started with a feline question (brrrrr?) followed by attempts for attention (mow? MOW!!) and concluding with the SmokeyDance (well, minus the dancing, I guess it was just the Smokey Song, that horrible cry Iâve awoken to for the past two years from a former feral who remains obsessed with the idea that he may someday wake up and discover that the past two years of life on our couch has been some kind of kitty dream. Every morning Smokey greets us with a cry of âFeedmefeedmefeedme OH MY GOD THE BOWL IS EMPTY Mom Dad Feedme OH MY GOD WHAT IF THEREâS NO FOOD LIKE EVER AGAIN, OH GOD OH GOD!!!â) And it goes something like meowrOWrowROWrOWrowrOWâ¦.
Greg started laughing and I had this feeling I was going to be cast as Cagney, though I did get to read Demona and be evil for a while. After my evilness, I dropped in on the auction. I had my eye on a Brooklyn dangler, but when a pack of Gargoyles pencils had trouble getting a bidder, I offered a dollar and won. The dangler ended up going higher than $20, way out of my price range; I bought one from the Morgans on Sunday. Still, I was happy to contribute my dollar to the auction for the Gathering fundraising. Next came our rehearsal for the radio play, and finally the play itself. I sat beside a girl who played Bronx and we discussed our relative animal experience; she works at a kennel, so has had as much exposure to dog language as I have to cat.
After the radio play, Whit and I headed to Old Montreal with Jen and Andrew for a wonderful dinner and some shopping. Jen and Dylan/Whit bought masks; Andrew got a necklace. My indulgence was completely non-costume related: I purchased a Spirit Feather with a leather thong handle. I burn sweetgrass and sage at home, and have never had a proper feather for smudging the smoke. The leather thong enables me to hang the large feather far out of reach of aforementioned four cats. We got back just in time for me to finish sewing the big Q on my Quarryman outfit and it was costume time!
The Quarryman costume was pretty easy to put together. I already had urban combat pants, army boots, a studded belt, some belt chains, and some wide black leather studded bracelets. The hood was made of an old T-shirtâs back sewn into a hood, with eye holes and a tiny nose hole; it didnât need a mouth, it was thin enough to breathe through easily, and it was stretchy enough to accommodate my glasses easily. The shirt was another black T-shirt with a white circle sewn on it; Iâd used black and yellow markers to draw the Q insignia.
The masquerade was lots of fun. There were some truly amazing costumes, and Iâm neither surprised nor disappointed not to have won in this categoryâ"my entire goal was to dress up and have fun despite my limited budget. The fact that I put together a good-looking Quarryman costume using only what I had on hand means I succeeded. In fact, I was told that no one has ever done a Quarryman before, and Iâm glad to have done something original.
I now turn to my only down note for the conventionâ"the advertised reading contest. The contest got cancelled due to lack of interest; yet I know of at least two other people besides myself who had written stories for the contest. The only instruction on the web page was to be ready to read at the Gathering, and we were; yet the convention organizers, having not received emails, presumed no one was interested. Had there been a request on the Gathering website to email the staff about our reading contest entries, we certainly would have done so. It was a bit of a downer to have worked hard on an entry and not have had a chance to share it. The staff offered that we could arrange our own reading; however, I found that I simply didnât have time. I really hope that in future years, the reading contest is continued so I can use my entry then; I also hope that communication about how to enter is a little clearer.
Sunday morning. Sleeping in meant the only breakfast option was McDogfoodâs if I wanted to eat something before the panels began. Flanker and I debated the relative merits of Rotten Ronnies vs Canadian Forces field rations while we waited. I grabbed some chow and arrived to watch Whitbourneâs Gargoyle Biology panel. After that, it was time for the PGA signing to beginâ¦what a kick! I have decided that doing book signings is something I could get used to :) I took the time to buy my Brooklyn dangler from the Morgans before the dealer room closed and Keith David arrived. After his presentation, it was time for closing ceremonies. This was when I got the good news about my art contest wins, scared Keith David with the sight of a Quick Strike Goliath in drag, and got him to sign my anthology.
Unfortunately, after that we had to go catch our plane. There was a little time to say goodbye to everyoneâ"Wingless, Dan, Rustbot, Lynati, Princess Alex, Spacebabie, Ethan, the Morgans, Flanker, and all the other people I either knew or had metâ"and it was homeward bound. I really hope Iâll get to see myself, and my friends, on the Gargoyles DVD this Decemberâ"that was a really great kick, knowing that features of the con will make it onto the DVD. It was a great convention, a great time. The Gargoyles fandom is really âcozyââ"this is one convention that hasnât been corrupted by emphasis on pushing products or corporate glitz. Itâs by the fans, for the fans. And that is something special. Kudos go to all the organizers for the work they did, particularly Eden who dealt with all my art questions from an art show newbie who didnât know how the panel/table system worked. Also kudos from a fandom that is based around the audience /participating/ rather than simply sitting back and watching. I felt so involved with everything all weekend, and that was a great feeling. All in all, I hope I can go to The Gathering again, if itâs half as good as this one itâll be more than worth it.
And see... you DID make it onto the DVD!!
I hope to see you and Whit again at G2006!
Sirynâs Gathering Journal
Thursday I had about 2 hours of sleep. This is mainly due to the fact I was drinking caffeine all night. Drinking caffeine was due to the fact of trying to finish the Gathering Programmes last minute. (note to future staffsâ¦do NOT do this, how it was pulled off at all was nothing short of miraculous).
So, my car came at around 6:45, I was fully packed and off. Went to airport, got on plane, and landed in Montreal.
With absolutely no one there waiting for me. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally I spotted Liz. Who actually was waiting to be picked up as well. She was with Trishana and Taylor. So, we began to seek out every van we could. Taylor continously sweared the next van would be the one to pick us up. I was swearing that some of the vans looked very familiar, and that the drivers were stalking us. (I was jokingâ¦somewhat).
Finally Patrick, Karine, Cindy, & Rob appeared. They showed me the Gathering Programmes, which I was very happy to see were printedâ¦until I saw a typo. DRAT. (I will go ahead and apologise for any and all evil typos in the programme to save time) But, I was happy it was printed, and looked cool. Especially since the last 2 weeks had been totally devoted to getting it finished.
We then went to Karineâs place, loaded up the car, and went to the hotel. At the hotel, I got my room, and there was much packing of the registration packets. To be honest, packing registration packets is my most favourite part of being on staff. I donât know exactly why. It is very soothing, the staff jokes and wonders what lies in store, and it is like wrapping tons of presents. Liz and I also whipped through the Programmes writing in the room number. (Which I specifically left out on purpose because you usually do not know what room the Con Suite is in until you get to the hotel.) We then stuffed t-shirts, pins, anthologys, and programmes into the packets. I was really giddy and happy. I was with my friends, everything looked fantastic, and I was really happy about the Â¨Programmesâ¦even though I continued to harass the staff and ask again and again if they REALLY truly looked OK.
Greg soon arrived after. I do not know why, but sometimes I feel really really shy around Greg. Not like OMG you are an amazing star kind of shy (even though he is), but more or less..Hi! You are really coolâ¦and I am going to just stand here and admire your coolness. Blah. But I usually get over it after about five minutes or so. (or force myself too by talking waaaaaayyy too much.) I think I have only ever been star shy around Greg Gular (character designer for Gargoyles) and Vic Cook (Storyboard artist) mainly because it is like HI! You do EXACTLY what I want to do when I get betterâ¦so..umm I am going to ask you a lot of dumb awkward questions, feel really weird about asking them, and then shut up for the rest of the Gathering. (They werenât here this year, but that is how I usually act when they are around.)
ANYWAYS, getting back on track. The staff & 2005 people were going out to the annual Letâs get Greg food deal. Unfortunately, there was some communication, and about 30 or so people were also waiting to go as well. So I volunteered to go down and tell everyone Sorry, You canât come. It really sucks that not everyone could go. I know how it feels. (I have been denied from outings like this before) But how are you going to fit 40+ people in a resturant with no reservation? *sigh* So, after waving everyone off, apologizing sincerely, I said the OK, and we all went out to eat.
(After speaking to Karine, dinner was in fact originally open, we just had to close eating because 40+ people was absolutely undoable. However, I never knew this at the time, and was going on the inclination that it was staff only, because that is what I always thought it was. I really wish EVERYONE could have come though, and I know it majorly sucks to be left out. So I apologise to said people for saying it was always closed. My bad. I am sorry. :/)
Nothing eventful, food. Greg lightheartedly teased me he has never seen me when I am NOT tired. (Which..I think might actually be close to the truth. ^_^;;;) Finally, tummies full and brains all mushy, we staggered back to the hotel. I found Kythera, and said hello to friends in the lobby. Kael greeted me and reconfirmed his videogame challenge to me. (more on this later) I then staggered to bed, and fell asleep for the earliest time in weeks (which was around 1am but still early..) No mattress ever felt so good.
I woke up majorly early. I got up at around 7am very nervous, hyper, and excited. I knew I wasnât going to sleep for any longer, so I changed into gym clothes and told a very groggy Patrick I was going to the gym. I then worked out at the hotel gym for about 30 minutes, then came back, grabbed a shower, and changed into my Con Staff clothes. (A really NIFTY design by Stephanie Lostimolio. Did I mention how kickass she is as an artist?)
I then pulled out the 2005 mascot (Blue eyes, as I affectionately call him). I started colouring and inking, and going back and forth. I had done some work the night before while waiting for Greg to show up. He was turning out pretty cool, which I was happy aboutâ¦because the last thing I ever want to give anyone is crapâ¦(which is a reason why doing my commissions takes so friggin longâ¦). Patrick then told me to get ready, and we went up to the Con suite and then out for breakfast.
We all went to breakfast, of which I only had tea. (diet). I was also the secretary at the meeting, and wrote down duties and responsibilities. Sadly, I should have really done this EVERY single morningâ¦however didnât. Hindsight twenty twenty. I highly suggest future staffs to go out to eat in the morning, because it helps the staff know who will be where and what you will be doing during the day. I wanted to write down the notes, because I like doing it, I donât have to talkâ¦too muchâ¦and I felt REALLY REALLY bad for the Volunteers messup.
Yesâ¦Si was in charge of volunteersâ¦but Si was so focused on getting the Programme done, she forgot to set up the proper schedule for the volunteers (I had one, however my entire computer harddrive crashed about two weeks prior to conâ¦PS. ALWAYS SAVE BACKUPS!)â¦so while she was able to catch some and ask them to help and where to be when, for the most partâ¦poor staff had to fill in a lot more than they should have. (And I really really really apologise for thisâ¦I still feel bad.. -_-;;)
Unfortunately, we came back late from breakfast. (There was only one waitress on duty), and there was a staff mixup on when things were supposed to be opening. We came back to a hotel of people waiting for registration. YIKES!! So Rob, Shaun, and I ran up to the consuite to set up things and get them ready. I worked at Registration for most of the morning. (Something I also like to do, because you get to meet and greet the fansâ¦and make everyone feel comfortableâ¦and it sets the con off to a great start when someone gives you a friendly smile. Rob said I seemed like a pro at it, I just like doing it. (Even though I am usually incredibly shy for the first few hours of the Gathering).
Sooo Con staff duties began. There was running inbetween Con Suite & registration. Running between registration & hotel rooms. Hotel rooms & panels, etc. If you are ever on a Con Staff, expect to work. You will be needed, people will look for youâ¦so be prepared to see very little of everyone else but staff. (it kinda sucks).
Karine & my lifedrawing panel went well, and the Disney DVD crew came in and taped us. After the panel, I bumped into someone who mentioned the DVD guys went to registration. I had to go there anyway for something (I forget now). Walking up the stairs..I saw the DVD guysâ¦filming the Gathering Programme! (Oh pleaseeâ¦..I hope they donât display the pages with the typos!) Still, it was REALLY cool and kinda a âGo ME!â moment. I then remembered to ask the DVD guys about the DVDs being multiregional. David said he was not sure if they would be, nor would they have influence concerning that, but he would mention it. He asked me what was going on, and I mentioned some of the panels, including Cindyâs. Cindy had been mentioning earlier she was afraid no one would show up for her panel, and was asking for moral support. So I sent the DVD guys her way. (Which, I am very glad I did, because TONS of people ended up showing up at the panel!)
I think I did something else afterwardsâ¦but I forget what. I did talk to people about Clan Olympics and random thingsâ¦.but again..some parts of con are a blur, and this is one of them.
At some time, Rob told me to go help with Radio Play Auditions. I saw a lot of friends including Gorebash & Seth (IRC Goliath). I was excited to see Gorebash there. He was getting fan guest of honour, and didnât even know it! I was sooo happy because he really deserved it, and it took all the self control I had not to spill the beans then and there. So everyone was asking if I was going to try out, to which I said I really couldnât because I had a panel at the same time as the rehearsals. Greg then saw me and told me I should try out. Since I canât really say no to peer pressureâ¦especially GREG peer pressure, I said I would try. The DVD guys then appeared, and filmed people practicing their lines.
At this point..I felt like the DVD crew STALKER. I was worried they were going to think I was stalking them just to get on the DVD. O.o They had just gone inside to tape Greg & Jen (Cryzdemona) doing an audition, when Carol appeared and told me I should go in and help. Nowâ¦I was a bit embarresed trying to explain the reason I didnât want to go into the Audition room because I felt like the DVD STALKERâ¦so I stalled..and then finally went in. The DVD guys left soon afterwards. I stayed and helped Greg & Jen. We said random jokes to each other and I drew. (I was the door person, so while people auditioned I sketched in my sketchbook to pass the time).
Finally..I think it was time for opening ceremonies? I canât remember, another blur. At some point, I RUSHED to my room, grabbed the 2005 mascot, and frantically worked to finish it during the ceremonies. (I also worked on it trying to distract myself from the soundtrack of the Team Atlantis : The LAST episodeâ¦which sounds VERY VERY wrong if you use your imagination) My defense, I was sitting next to Jen. Got it done just in time and handed it off to Chris.
Clan Olympics takes over. I am a little confused, because I thought that was VERY VERY lastâ¦.and was worried about 2005 not getting a chance to speak but sokay. It worked. I helped count plastic balls. Fun. Weird, but fun.
Chris spoke. Said lots of 2005 stuff. He showed off the mascot I drew. (funny, the mascot was wearing similar clothes to what he was wearing, and it wasnât on purpose!) People loved it. I think. Maybe they just liked it. (but that is OK too) Chris liked it. Lanny liked it. I was happy. They were the only two whose opinions mattered to me. I wish I had accomplished more with it. But I was relieved I got it done in time, and very very grateful they were pleased.
Blue eyes (the 2005 mascot) is kinda based off of Frank Sinatra. I love Frank Sinatra, ever since I heard all of his songs on the Qe2. So I was very happy to draw him when Chris asked me in 2003. However, he was a pain to draw. I did several caracitures of Frank Sinatra and they didnât work. I tried different ways of gargifying him. They didnât work. Finally, I got bored, and drew a beak on him. That worked. It looked more like Frank than any of the others. (No clue whyâ¦but it did). So maybe it was fate. I was happy. No main mascot (not including Otherconâs Death in this) has ever had a beak. So it was originally and fresh. And I will draw more of it.
Chris and Lanny like him. Yay. The 2005 con sounded really coolâ¦I just hoped things would work out. I had spoken to Chris earlier, who said its OK that I could not commit to the con, and that he was happy with me doing art. This kinda made me feel guilty..and paranoidâ¦can I really go to a con next year and NOT be on staffâ¦and NOT contributeâ¦and NOT do work?
So..Greg and some people (including me) went out to dinner again. And it was REALLY yummy and good. Greg, Zehra, and I talked about Japan, mythology, shakespeare, and a bunch of other assorted topics. (Yes, at this point, no longer shy about being around Gregâ¦see..told you I would get over it..always do).
Then was Gregâs Blue Mug a Guest, where people actually asked pretty low key questions. It was nice actually. There was a HUGE amount of people in the room, and I curled up next to Jen & Lanny. I asked three questions, then shut up. (They were interesting valid questions though!â¦I justâ¦wish I remember what they were..oh right! One was about what the Korean Gargoyles looked like, another was concerning what sort of production artwork from the show was still saved and around (aka..I WANT TO BUY ITâ¦before Anthony Zucconi doesâ¦)) I did ask about Vinnie, and asked if he was ever going to have a girlfriend. (Yesâ¦my selfish question for the evening..thankyou. Greg laughed at me..hehe. But that is okay, because it warrented a laugh.) I asked After a while though (after getting up about a million times to grab art supplies from the Staff Only room of the consuiteâ¦sorry about that people I stepped on..) I crawled and hid under the table of the consuite, and listened to Greg answer questions, and people chat and talk. I fell asleep at some point, but it was nice and warm..and a very comfy place to rest.
I think AFTER the mug a guest was over I went to bed. Or I talked to more people. I canât remember, because of the evil blur again. I just thought âOh noâ¦Friday is already overâ¦two days leftâ¦â
I woke up just in enough time that morning. I chewed on an atkins breakfast bar and staff went out to eat. After we all came back, everyone dispersed. Andâ¦a lot of attendees were looking at me on what to do. URK. I hate it when they do that. Greg was wondering where Jen was. I didnât know where she went to. So, trying to stall Greg & attendeesâ¦and figure out where everyone was. Not fun. Finally found Jen, finally found staff with keys, and everything was sorted out. I then rushed to Radio Play auditions and auditioned. If anyone is curious, I did the Broadway part. (I was going to do Xanatos, but a lot of people were doing that one, and I like being original).
I then went to the art show and worked at the Kid table. Becca Morgan didnât want to do facepainting, so I broke out all the art supplies I had bought for mask making, and we started doing that. (two more kids showed up as well, and we all made pretty masks which I hung up and displayed at the art show) They painted, they made masks, they had fun. I love kids.
Unfortunately, I had meant to relieve one of the staff members in the Con Suite sooner, and lost track of time. Jen had posted the Radio Play parts and said âSorry hun, didnât make Vinnieâ. I had known previously the Radio Play was going to be The Journey, and Vinnie, my fav garg character, was a part I wanted. But that is okay. In a Radio Play, ALL PARTS ARE GOOD PARTS! At this point, I missed my fiance, Tempest. Who really *LOVES* the Radio Playsâ¦a lot. He finds them fun, and Greg inspiring. Tempest is currently in the Middle East working on a consulting project, so getting a part in the radio play made me think of him a bit.
(There was something I did here..that was valid to mention..but at the time of typing I just have totally blanked on what it was..)
Karine just reminded me! I was told to go in the auction. YAY!. Auction. Taras and Sandman were hosting it. Much fun to be had. Lots of bidding. I walked away with a beautiful print of Rita Mâs artwork, some gargoyle pencils, a binder, a colouring book, two gargoyle clingers and a gargoyle folder.
I wish I could have gotten the Gargoyle Pogs..but that is okay.
The Gargoyle animation cel of Goliath & Elisa went for $455 Canadian. WOW. Awesome. Very very cool.
Gahh! Now I had to rush to rehearsals! (Karine took over for me at the auction, thankyou Karine!)
We only went through the Radio Play Rehearsals once, more would have been nice, but time is short sometimes at cons. The part of Vinnie was given to Mike. Good choice! He played a GREAT Vinnie. I could not have possibly come close, and I really really enjoyed his Vinnie. (Fangirl squeal here). Also, Vinnieâs last name is Grigori, not Gregarino. (hehe..just something I noticed while reading over the scriptâ¦and I hope mine is packed SOMWHEREâ¦. O.o;;;;)
Insert time for an interview here. Carol motioned for me to go down and speak with the DVD guys. I felt weird..I probably wonât be on the DVD. I got nervous, didnât know what to say, (mainly because I usually rehearse most things in my head before I say them). Soo..yeah. I answered the questions kind of dumbly. I was asked who my fav character was. I almost said brooklyn, but then said vinnie, and stated my reasons why. I forgot to add though that Vinnie is the only guy who would have the guts to face Goliath with a pie gun. Drat. There goes that hindsight twenty twenty thing again. I mentioned why & when I first started watching Gargoyles. I still remember. I used to babysit for a nurse, so I would come over to her house REALLY early in the morning. At 6am. Around the time Gargoyles was on where I lived at (at that time). I was channel surfing, and found Gargoyles. I decided to watch. The episode was Temptation. I was hooked.
I interviewed, not realizing the Radio Play was immediately after rehearsals. I got into the room just in time, and was the last one to sit down. Then everyone else came in. I got *REALLY* nervous. First lines of the Radio Playâ¦yeahâ¦no pressureâ¦NOT. (Gore or Seth was teasing me earlier about setting the entire tone for the Play, and not to screw up. %_%) Overall, we did well. Everyone did a great job, and LOVED Mikeâs Vinnie. (It is interesting to note Mike told me later he was trying to find me in the cast and look at me when Vinnie says âCan you believe it?â âI am a heroâ or something like that.
Must find that scriptâ¦.
Then it was time for the Banquet. I changed into my black ballgown (because sometimes..you just NEED to FEEL PRETTY!), put on makeup, and brushed my hair. I then went downstairs to the banquet. I sat with Lanny, Derrick, Mike, Karine, Jade Griffin, and another person. (Sorry, I forgot your name.. @.@) Now, if you havenât guessed, I love hanging out with Lanny and Derrick, just because theyâre down to earth..and I donât feel like a complete idiot when I talk around them. So we all talked at the table, and Mike talked about Reboot, another animation I loved, and we chatted all through dinner.
The food was amazing. I helped pick it out, but it was STILL AMAZING. Everyone at our table loved the food. We ordered wine. (DOH! Lanny, I owe you money..or artwork next Gatheirng for my share of the wine BTW..) All was yummy, delicious, and good.
Keith David appeared! YAY! Finally. (He had been delayed AGAIN because his movie had been rained out. He also spent 2 hours in costumes. EWW EWW EWW.) I raised my hand and said he was awesome in Chronicles of Riddrick. After that, I sat down with Chris Rogers, who showed me the computer programme he was using to take Gathering 2005 registrations. (yes, I am a tech geek sometimes, deal). So we were talking about random stuff. We got shushed, and we shushed, and then I went to go change for the masquerade.
Wee. Soo yes..changing. Patrick and I put our costumes on. I went from a beautiful black ballgown to pageboy clothes and a short blondhaired wig. (which didnât want to stay completely on.) After getitng my costume on, I lurked over to Cindy & Robâs room to see how they were getting ready. Then wandered back downstairs to help set up the banquet room for the Masquerade. (Which involved a lot of moving of chairs and explaining how people were going to walk and who was going to sit where).
Kaylee appeared looking smashing, and she pulled me over and asked if we were still going to do that thing I had mentioned. On Thursday, I had mentioned to her about cosplaying the knighting scene that Tom & Princess Katherine hasâ¦but having Tom kiss Katherine at the end. So, we practiced it. And waited in line, and practiced. (KWS was REALLY nice in letting us borrow her sword, thankyou sooooo much for that!)
Finally, our turn. I try to walk up slowly as possible. Do not laugh, do not laugh, be calmâ¦because if I laughed or cracked a smile I KNEW I wasnât going to be able to last. So I stepped up, took a deep breath, and said my lines. Kaylee said hers, and then I dipped her! Wee! I think people clapped and liked it? I was too nervous too tell. ((It took all the guts I had to pull that off without laughing or totally stopping etc)) Then of course I told the judges please not to vote for us because we were on staff. (And Staff is exempt from prizes)
BTW, our staff ROCKED for costumes! They were absolutely AMAZING. Greg was really impressed. When he gave out awards, he had all the staff in costumes come up.
I ended up getting the GorElisa award for crossdressing. Hehe. And then all people in Gargoyles costumes poised for pictures. It was fun, reminicent of older gatherings, and all in all good to have. Karaoke started afterwards and continued until the late evening. I would have liked there to have been dancingâ¦just because I *REALLY* wanted to danceâ¦and even changed into more appropriate clothing...but that was okay. People had fun. Chris took some people to the casino. I chatted with Lanny, Seth, Aaron, Mara, and a few other people. We chatted about fandom, vinnie, 2005 gathering, and other things.
Finally, pushed myself to bed and went to sleep.
No. Not Sunday. It isnât allowed to be Sunday. Sunday is when most people leave..and the Gathering is overâ¦and there were SOOO many people I hadnât hung out or talked to yet! (however this year, that wasnât the case at all!)
Karine, Shuan, Patrick & myself ran out for a quick breakfast. Or Rather, they did, and I munched on an Atkins bar. (see a pattern? I did this the entire conâ¦saved on money for food though). I then went immediately to the lifedrawing nude panel. The model didnât show upâ¦so we improvised. The model finally did show up, and finished up the panel with a few fully nude poses.
Then I went straight to the Con Suite. And I STAYED THERE. I stayed and watched 2nd season. I then realized my favourite episodes of the second season really involve the international Gargoyles. Almost all of those episodes are extremely well writtenâ¦.I also checked out more of Sora from Bushido, since I *AM* planning on cosplaying her at 2005. (I didnât have the costume finished in time for this year).
I think I stayed there until closing ceremonies, then I locked up, went downstairs, and sat next to Jen (again). Hehe. We are evil when together. Karine opened the ceremonies speaking in French. It was sooo funny. Everyone was giving her weird looks. I then started speaking to her in French (pretty much saying Speak English! They canât understand you!) hehe. It was funny.
I still didnât want the con to be over thoughâ¦There was SOO MANY PEOPLE I didnât get to talk too! I pre-registered Tempest & myself for Vegas. Iâm pretty sure we can go. At that point next year, I think any sort of vacation from wedding planning will be a good break. (Btw, Chris & Lanny suggested getting married at G2005. But as much of a fan as I am, I am not sure I am THAT much of one!) And, Gatheringâs always need money, as soon as possible. Plus, t-shirts to add to my Gargoyle T-shirt Quilt!â¢
Everyone was organizing a freeze tag game. I finally caught up with Zaius. I made plans to challenge him to the Soul Caliber II game after he got back. I went to the Con Staff Dead Dog party. Booze & Pizza. I donât care if it was breaking my diet. It was worth it. It was good. Greg gave all of the staff the Promotional Gargoyle DVD postcards that were distributed at Comic Con. (Vash, I will scan that and send it to you for GNC when I get back to the states.)
I must get more Godiva White Chocolate Liquer one day soon.
I got locked out of my room, hung out with Mara. Then Hudson and Zaius came back, and said I could stay in there room. The games were on! While Hudson and Zaius were getting drinks and caffeine, I played some Soul Caliber II, and got to the end without dying. Zaius came into the room and challenged me. We played. I won. We played again, I won. Hudson played me. I won. (yes, I beat Hudson, but heâs not used to videogame controls..he plays more online games). We talked about Doom 3. Hudson said I would love playing it. I beat Zaius some more, and then got tired and slept. Woke up at around 4am. Tried to get into my room again, and did so. Passed out on the bed after apologising for waking people up.
It was a good con. I still wish I had spoken to more people..but it was a good con.
Full of goodbyes. Some people went to La Rhonde with us, some didnât. (24 people went I think?) When we got back, we ran into Keith David, who shook our hands, and we sung happy birthday to his daughter.
In the evening, Karine, Adam, & I had Sushi, and Karine and I went over Gathering Expenses. Weâre in the Black. YAY. I wonât say how much, because there are a few more payments to be made (hotel, AV people, aritsts), but yes..money for next year. That is always good.
Karine & I have been checking on and off whether or not con journals have been posted yet. In fact, she suggested we sit down and type ours out now. Which I am glad she did, because I am not sure how much longer I would be able to remember everything. ^_^;; I told her that there may be bitching or whining, or things mentioned that she didnât realized even happened or was a problem. Because this is a Gathering. No Gathering is going to be perfect, there are always mistakes. However, if you are prepared with that knowledge, you will be more prepared to face problems when they do arise. You canât make everyone happy. You just need to make MOST people happy & have a good time and thatâs what is important. (That being said, all the journals we have read so far have been REALLY positive!) I am happy Karine wants to read them. I was worried about reading the ones for my conventionâ¦but those werenât bad either. (except for the banquet, which I still majorly apologise forâ¦)
I think all the staff did a great job. (I could have done better, but I always could do better.)
It was a great con. Next year is in Las Vegas. You have a whole YEAR to save up money and go to it.
Buy the DVD and go to 2005. No complaints, no half promises. You have a year to plan now. DO IT.
(and the sooner you register, the more money the con has to get awesome guests!)
That was a great read, Si.
But my favorite part is the following typo: "Keith David spent two hours in costumes."
Si is also on the staff for the 2006 Gathering.
For more information, check out:
Ok, so I've been checking this place on and off for the last 7 years and only now have I bothered to ask a question. I figured that somebody would've asked it a lot earlier (I searched the archive plenty of times), so I guess it'll fall on my humble shoulders.
Are you ready? *drumroll*
What did Titania whisper to Fox in the end of the Garthering?
*rimshot!* Okay, okay, lame joke! For real this time!
1) When Puck decided to create Owen after seeing Vogel, how fast did that happen? I mean, did he met Vogel a Monday and by Friday Owen was already sending in his resume? Or did he wait a bit, do some type of research to sound more convincing? Did he even NEED to do research? Which brings me to another question...
2) Did Owen... or Puck, for that matter... ever went to college or its 16th century equivalent? I mean, 1000 years is a lot of time to horse around. Did he ever sign up in a comminuty college in a fit of boredom or something? I'm asking because it seems to me the Renard position required a lot of schooling. Puck is great con artist, but can you really bluff you way through a lab/a corporation for years and years? Seems you can't keep it up forever.
Yes, this is what has been nagging me for years until I finally cracked. Yay me, I guess.
Oh, so you DON'T want to know what Titania whispered. Cuz I was just about ready to tell...
1. I think there must have been a period of observation.
2. I doubt he went to community college. Magic allows for all sorts of short-cuts.
Why do gargoyles lay egg's? They have
hair so they are mammals?
Gathering 2004 was a blast
Went out to have breakfast at the diner with everyone and we parted ways. Lynati and Emambu are heading down to Pittsburgh and Aaron, Mara, Revel and Spacie have a very long haul to Houston.
Had a great time, but am depressed cause I hate this part... a lot.
I suppose I should now start my con journal.
Getting to this Gathering was planned out several months in advance. Revel decided he was going to drive up with Spacebabie and would pick me up since it was in Montreal and I was on the way. Then this expanded into my brother coming, as well as Aaron and Mara... which was going to be a very tight squeeze. Then Emambu and Lynati joined in with Emambu's car... which helped a lot. It became a two car caravan with walkie talkies to stay in contact.
Wednesday, August 4th.
Spent the entire day getting ready, packing and cleaning up the house for my six guests. Constant phone calls to see where they were, plus plans to briefly chill with my friend Ron and his girlfriend Natalie who are flying back to Israel on Sunday (so this would be my last chance to see them). Ron and Natalie were at a concert in the city, and would not be in till late, and Revel said the caravan to the Gathering (here after referred to as the Rogue Squadron for reasons you'll see later), wouldn't arrive till late... Alex and I had bets as to who I'd see first.
I get a call from Ron that he and Natalie are at the train station so I go pick them up, we chill for a bit watching a re-run of "That 70's Show". Then I get a call from Revel, they're lost in Croton, and it takes a bit of doing but we manage to talk them to my street and drive way.
Gods, except for Mara I have not seen any of them in over a year. It was great, and my kitchen was very, very crowded. We eat, we chat, Revel and Spacebabie set up the inflatable bed in the dining room for themselves and drift off to sleep while the rest of us relocate up here to check e-mail, chat, watch AMVs, etc, etc, etc. At some point I dropped Ron and Natalie off at Ron's house.
We finally manage to get to sleep at around 3:30 am, with plans to be out of the house and on the road by noon.
That does not happen.
Thursday, August 5th
We try to get up early, but considering this crew (I am very guilty of this as well) we don't all end up up till at least 11 am. Then it's a while to get everyone showered and dressed and out. Plus we need to go to the hardware store so Lynati can pick up some wiring for her wings. Afterwards it's to the gas station for gas and some sodas.
Finally around 2:30 we are on the the Rogue Squadron is on the road. We head south to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge and head north... Montreal is well over 300 miles away, but traffic is light and we're making good time, we figure it shouldn't take more than a five hours to make the drive. Plus we have the walkie talkies to keep contact between the two cars. I'm riding in Revel's SUV (which is gold and named Hyena) and Aaron is riding in Emambu's car... dubbed affectionatly The Mafia Cruiser. We're constantly in contact and only have to make one stop in this back water town. These are the parts of New York state I never see. There is a town in NY called Troy... and there's another one called Coxsackie... we had a lot of fun with that name.
Finally we make it to the border... which had hundreds of cars all moving at a snails pace... and why, because the Canadian border controllers are on strike... but since it is illegal for them to strike, they are slowing things up as much as possible. We sit there for about 90 minutes. Finally, we get through and everyone stops to use the bathroom... and funny enough, once we crossed the border the temperature just dropped that very instant... so out come the trenchcoats. Nice to have trenchcoat weather during summer time and at a Gathering.
We get back into our cars and start heading north another 40 miles to Montreal... where we enter what we called The Death Star Trench The high way was reduced to one lane surrounded by these concrete barriers... and Aaron grabs the walkie talkie and starts quoting from the original Star Wars movie all sorts of lines from when they are flying through the Death Star trench, and we're quoting follow up lines... this goes on for several miles, and I have to say it's a good thing no cars broke down because we'd have been fucked, there is no where on either side to pull off. We figured the Canadian High Way unions do the same thing as ours'... they waste money.
Finally we make see the Montreal skyline, which has the weird search light shining all over the place, so in the geek moment, I use my Frodo voice and way "We made it to Mordor. It's the Eye". It takes us a bit of time to find the hotel because none of the signs are written in English. Which leads to one of the great weekend quotes from Aaron.
Montreal is like Broadway. It's large, slightly confused, boring and can't read or write English.
But we finally find the hotel, which was easy to find, and check in, there is a crowd of people and Sapphire comes up to say hi... and I regret to say that I did not recognize her without her glasses, with longer hair, and with her tattoos covered... Sapph, if you read this, I'm sorry.
We check in, and immedietly my keys are handed to a bellboy... which I snatch back, I will find my room myself, and I don't want to have to tip him. We put our bags in our room, and come back down. Here we run into Seth/IRC Goliath... and a bunch of other people, I'm blanking out on names, I'm sure someone will remind me.
Hudson, Chris Rogers and his crew arrive and we immedietly start talking Gathering 2005. And at the time, Chris asks Aaron to be his Treasurer, and Aaron says yes. And for those of you who don't know, Aaron and I had a pact after Gathering 2003 that if either of us ever seriously considered being on con staff again, we'd commit ritual suicide. But the pact was broken, and I did not feel like ritual suidice anyway.
We all hang, and finally the G2004 staff and Greg Weisman arrives. Greg gives me some good natured ribbing for last year, which is fine, I have a sense of humor about it, and it is funny. Ironically enough, I was more at ease with Greg this year than at previous years, because there was still the celebrity Gargoyles creator thing going, but this year we were like old friends instead of series creator and series fan. And Greg is just one of the greatest people in the world any way. It was great to see him again.
It was really great to see Crzy Jen, cause I was always disappointed that she couldn't make it to Gathering 2003. It was really great, and finally as one con chair to another I went up to Karine to tell her it would all be over soon... I said it humorously though... but seriously, Karine did all this and was five months pregnant. Talk about an iron will.
The con staff goes to bed and the rest of us hang out with Greg Weisman in the lobby for about another hour. And afterwards we decide it's time for bed, had a long drive and we all need sleep.
To Be Continued...
"I dropped Ron and Natalie off at Ron's house"
You mean you're still allowed to drop people off?!!!
HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING, PEOPLE?!!
Sorry, G. Couldn't resist. ;)
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