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A warning: My journal is LONG this year.
Gathering 2005 Journal - Day -1
July 28, 2005
Going directly there from work, I managed to get through the security gate at BWI in record time. In fact, everything was bizarrely easy- the e-tickets went through fast, the people in line were nice and easygoing. (Note to self- flights on weekdays are a good idea.) Just sat down and read my Doctor Who anthology (Short Trips- ironic title, as it turned out) while I waited.
Then the flight itself- Baltimore to Pittsburgh. I don't think there are many things I find more exciting than takeoff. The rush of speed, the sharp climb as the landscape below shrinks, then floating above the clouds, looking down at the world through a drifting sea of mist and a landscape of white. (I was fortunate that there wasn't anyone sitting next to me- otherwise, I would have had a lovely view of the cabin.)
After arriving in Pittsburgh, I got myself dinner from a McDonald's that evidently didn't see much business around 7 p.m. A few passengers around me at the time looked like they might also be going to the Gathering, but I stopped short of humming the Gargoyles theme to see if anyone would perk up. (I didn't recall any of those faces being at the con, so it's just as well.) It's about this point that I began to realize I was technologically behind the curve- everyone had neat cell phones or laptops- I had a years-old cell phone model that couldn't do much more than play Tetris. (This point became more apparent as the long weekend went on.)
Unfortunately, when I arrived in Las Vegas about five or six hours later, things went sour. The flight from Pittsburgh to Vegas itself was fine, if very long- finished Short Trips and moved onto the sequel, More Short Trips. Las Vegas itself was a striking sight as we approached, a cluster of stars in a vast ocean of shadow. (Kind of interesting that "Sin City" should shine so bright from a distance.) But after that... I waited for an hour in the wrong baggage claim, and when I finally did figure this out, I wasn't able to find the last hotel shuttle of the evening before it left. So, I had to wait in line for a taxi. A very, very, long line- there were literally a hundred or more people there.
When I finally got to Palace Station (tipping the cabbie far too much, my dad said when I mentioned it later), I went to the employee's floor in the main building instead of my floor in the Courtyards. I eventually found my way to my room (after passing by the Con Suite on the third floor, but I was in no mood for socializing), which- counter to the request I'd made- was a smoking roon. However, by that point I was too tired to care, so I just went to bed.
I've been looking for you!
I notice that in many, many tv shows--when you consider their history --as in, all that has happened to the characters/all the adventures had--the totality is simply ridiculous. Even that show on FOX called "24"--which prides itself on being highly serialized--suffers from this problem. One of the reason's I loved Gargoyles was that the show's sense of history never seemed ridiculous. How did you and your writers manage to avoid this problem?
Well... I guess part of the plan was to present the show in real time. It may feel more believable because we're not forcing a lifetime of events into an artificial time frame. Maybe.
Or maybe it helps that we have such a large ensemble cast. Because events aren't all heaped onto a single character, but spread out among the cast, it helps. Maybe.
Hi Greg, Any chance this series mite restart with all new episodes?
thanks for your time ;-)
Any? Sure. But in the meantime, you might want to check out the comic book.
The short of it: The cons keep getting better. This was my 3rd.
I have to say, I'm a god at planning trips. I got three one way flights from Buffalo to Vegas, Vegas to Vancouver, Vancouver to Toronto. All I have to do is get to Sarah 'The Great's place in Buffalo and we fly in together. I also volunteered to host another panel on combat, this time discussing hand to hand. I got cheap flights, but paying for hotel and registration could be an issue. Looking the Gathering forums, I found a crazy offer. Some lady would pay my hotel and registration if I helped her run a booth promoting her website. Too good to be true, but I asked anyway. She wanted me to phone her. Hey, for a few bucks, why the hell not? Apparently she's serious. OK, whatever gets me to the gathering. She also mentioned she studied Tae Kwon Do and could bring some stuff to my panel, sweet!
I have never never ever had a problem crossing the US border. Apparently there must be a biker gang or terrorist cell called 'Gargoyles' because I was interrogated by US Customs for over an hour. I was really nervous. Eventually they let me go and Sarah's mom was mad that I was late for dinner. Sarah and I made it to the airport to find that our flights were delayed which could mess up our connecting flight. But, there were no major problems, other than the fact that we were supposed to rooming with Denis but had no way of getting ahold of him in Vegas. I ended up calling his cell from the hotel room phone. Ouch.
I was going to hit a rental range to fire some machine guns, but no one showed up. There was tepid interest in doing that or some airsoft later. No biggie. Registration was scary since Shara was supposed to take care of it, but they couldnt find my con badge and I couldnt find Shara. They found me one, but Shara didnt show up for awhile, I was a little tense. I finally met her and we set up her table. She had me running a dice game that basically amounted to me giving away free gargoyles t shirts and posters. It was fun, and an easy way to earn a hotel room and registration. I dont recall anything exciting happening friday night. I was just exhausted and went to bed.
My panel was to happen at 3pm, but I still got up early and helped out with Shara's table of free giveaway madness. It was cool and I kept meeting really people like Paul and Julie. Shara let me go check out the voice acting seminar, since I constantly miss it at prior cons. It was really interesting and Greg and Thom are really good and getting alot of information across in limited time. I had to grab my martial arts stuff and start strapping it on while they wrapped up their panel. Paul came in and had mentioned earlier that he had studied alot of Tae Kwon Do and Hwrang Do and was also a veteran of Iraq. I brought two sets of sparring gear so I loaned him one and figured I'd start my panel with a bang. Martial Arts is a pretty big topic to cover in an hour so I didnt bother preparing notes to read or anything dry like that (like my panel was last year). I asked to guys to open the doors and Paul and I fought while the seats filled. It was a really good match. He got a good kick on my face, and I knocked his glasses off his face. We put on a good show and I bowed and began talking about martial arts between heavy breaths and glasses of water. After I explained a little and talked about how to pick a school and things like that, Shara displayed her Tae Kwon Do uniform and performed a Kata. Next I invited Julie, a 12 year veteran of law enforcement to speak about street combat. She's a real life Elisa Maza and she totally made the panel something special, even to the more experienced guys like Paul and I. We wrapped up and I think the panel went really good, and much better than I thought it would. And I ended it just in time because the fire alarm went off. I tried to get some info about the comic coming out but I missed the main part of that presentation. I slept friday night so I decided to go out saturday. I turned down Maui's invitation to the Rainforest Cafe, a decision I would regret the rest of the con. A bunch of us broke off to see the strip and go see 'Charlie and Chocolate' Factory. Poor Noel was driving around in someone else's HUGE van at night in an unfamiliar city full of hostile drivers. Things were rough and I ended up breaking down and eating totally overpriced tiny pizza. We DID eventually get to the theater missing the first couple minutes of the movie, but it was still a good time.
Sunday I got up and had to kill some time. I had plans with some guys on the Somethingawful.com forums to meet up and go shooting in Boulder City. But I always wanted to audition. I knew I wouldnt be back in time for the Radio Play, but maybe that just made the audition less stressful. I read for Broadway, I think I did ok, since Greg seemed surprised when I said I couldnt be in the play. I apologized and left. My buddy picked up and we went to Boulder City. I wont bore everyone with details but it was much cheaper than renting and I had good time, and hurt my hand firing guns that are too damn big. I got back to the hotel around 5pm, and found out that I couldnt get a haircut for the banquet because the shop was closed. Darn it. I shaved off my goatee and started putting together my dress uniform. I decided to wear it because I didnt bring a costume this year and there's nothing wrong with a little attention whoring at the Gathering. Plus I look like solid gold in that thing. I was late and Sarah came to my room, she went out and got osme make up and wore a nice gown and looked totally fabulous. We got there late but it was cool since nothing had really started yet. The banquet was really awesome this year. There was a weird period between the banquet and the masquerade where I couldnt find anyone. Dark Lord talked to me for a few minutes before I had to remind him that I was Flanker and that I had shaved. Dark Lord is a special individual and I wont forget him anytime soon. Desert was served during the Masquerade which was cool since I wasnt in the masquerade and got some chocolate cake. Shara totally smoked everyone in her brooklyn costume as I knew she would when I first saw it. I cant believe it was her first con. The rest of sunday I just hung out with everyone and bought Thom a beer and generally had an aweosme time. Eventually the party broke up when Greg fell asleep in his chair.
MONDAY & TUESDAY
This part of the Con was crap. You start saying goodbye to everyone and it sucks. Sarah and I formed a band of die hard cling-ons(After we got free show and dinner for listening to a time share pitch). We started stalking Chris Rogers and ended up following him into some pretty awesome buffets. Chris is the Man. Almost a dozen of us hit the Adventure Dome on tuesday and roped in a family so we could get the group discount. We all a good time even though I was feeling a little sick. We met up with Chris again who got us through a massive line up for the Buffet at the Bellagio, because Chris is the Man. I had a killer time with Sarah the Great, Liz, CKayote, Hudson, Dancer, Chris, Aaron and if I got your name wrong or forgot you just smack me in LA.
Farewell, my enemies!
So how many children did Oberon have? If it is not too much trouble can you list the more notable ones?
It's not any trouble. But I'm still not gonna do it.
Hey Greg It's Doug
Just wanted to get my gathering journal in, sadly it is a short one as I was in vegas for more reasons than just the gathering, in fact as I mentioned in your mug a guest I literally threw some cloths in a bag, left hunters moon going on the VCR, and got on a plane. I had never really been out of south texas much so it was cool to be in a different place.
I waited for two hours to register then rushed right up to the suite to talk to the mighty Greg Wiseman. I was pleased to find that the atmosphere was quite nice and I was not nervouse, even though this was my first gathering. I feel that many of the questions I had on my mind kinda drive things for a while and I was happy that they got answered one way or another. By the way did you ever check out hunters moon, I could swear he almost touches her hair on the train. I was pleased to hear about the comic and your work on the Batman.
I stuck around in the Suite to talk to Thom, man that guy is awsome one of the coolest guys I have ever spoken with in my life. He was very open and honest about working in the profession of voice acting and I learned a great many things from him, And he is just hillarious and was very helpfull in answering any questions about the industry, lex or the show. I would also like to thank both you guys for your sigs. I have to be the only person to ask Greg Wiseman "Can i be a son-of-a-bitch and ask for your autograph." HAHA and Thom signed his Lexington as well.
I then went over to the Demona debate and thought it to be a little "Over Analyzing", and many of my opinions seemed to be overlooked or ignored and I dunno... I just kinda wasn't into it after that but I did stroll over to the dealers room and found a talented artist who runs creatures of the night and bought several pieces of her work just as she was closing up shop, she was happy to sell me them at a nice rate and I was down to 5 bucks after my anthology purchase, long story short after a few hours of the gathering, and the blue man group I was good. Hope to see everyone next year in LA
Journal Thingy... Part 3
First off, let me say that if I forgot anyone, or am putting things in the wrong order, I'm sorry. The past weekend is quickly becoming BlurrCon. Which is why I want to finish this sooner rather than later.
First off, on Thursday, I saw Andrea Zucconi, and a big shout out to her about that. I never really knew her at the previous cons, I knew of her, but she friended me on LJ shortly after G2004, and I friended her back, got to know her over LJ, so it was cool seeing her this year.
Also saw Siryn, who's getting married in a few weeks I think. Another call out to her, though now I think I need to at least send a gift ;)
Saturday, July 30th
I slept in today. Was not quite enough to get me off my jet lag, but it helped. Got up, showered and dressed and once more, I went in search of breakfast. I forget what I ate, but I did end up at the Series Development panel, but it's all a great big blurr. I recall enjoying it though.
I think I spent most of the day hanging out in the art room though, just chilling with people. I bought pre-registration for Gathering 2006... the full package. Hung out with everyone, it was all cool.
Eventually, we went to the Slave Labor panel, and got to hear more about the comic. Dan Vado seems like a cool guy, and the panel gave me hope, the comic looks to be in good hands indeed. Especially since he's going to leave Greg alone to write what ever he wants.
After this I went with Revel and Spacebabie to dinner, as well as another girl, and I forget her name, and I feel really bad about it. Food was okay, we talked politics and horrible job stories.
After that, it was time for the Celebrity Poker Tournament. I was at first calling it for Thom, he's an actor, he should be able to bluff, but he was out early. In the end, Chris won the game... game, poker is a sport... Greg came in second, followed by Gore. It was a fun watch.
Revel and I headed back into the casino, he won money this time, but I lost a bit. Was still ahead from where I started though.
After that, it was time for Hudson's Rant, always fun. Pick a random topic out of a hat. I'd reproduce some of it here, but this is the PG version of the journal.
Later on, the art chicks finally returned from throwing Siryn her bachelorette party. I pointed at her veil and made a joke about her and Adam eloping. But I followed them back up, and (contrary to popular jokes at the moment, I was not stalking them ;)) so I could give Jen an animation cel I purchased for her of Goliath and Demona from "Awakening: Part Four". I wanted to get it out of the way, because, given how hectic these cons are, I wasn't sure if I'd get a chance again. I'm happy to say she loved it.
Night ended in the con suite, chips, pizza, Super Smash Bros. Hung out for a while, before returning to my room to collapse.
You'll have to do better than that!
Journal Thingy... Part 2
Friday July, 19th
Woke up, showered and dressed and went downstairs in search of food, ran into Aaron in the casino and decided to help him out, ended up watching the con suite for about fifteen minutes, since it was unlocked with no one in there, and was soon relieved and went back down to the con, and assisted a little (very little) with art room set up, hung out, then spent about 90 minutes at the registration table with Chris, Seth and a few people, had some Burger King for lunch that Revel and Spacie got me.
It was about this time that Revel gave me the art piece I commissioned from him, which would go on to be a big hit at the con and won second place in the art show. For those who weren't there, here it is.
Ended up missing the Demona Debate, which I was interested in, but aw well, been involved in so many of those, I wasn't bothered about it. Spent a good chunk of the day in the Art Room, chilling with Aaron, Revel and anyone else that happened along.
Finally it was time for Opening Ceremonies. Chris welcomed us all to Vegas, Greg got up and showed his usual videos, and some new ones. He made his speech about what a big year it's been, what with the DVD coming out, and new DVDs and comics on the way. Finally, Opening Ceremonies concluded with Seth showing the new fan made leica reel of "The Last". Basically, for those who don't know, in the cancelled "Team Atlantis" series, Greg wrote an episode set in 1920, guest starring Demona who was being hunted by Fiona Canmore. The episode was scripted, voice recorded (Marina Sirtis reprised her role), and only partially story boarded before they cancelled the series. Those were auctioned off at Gathering 2003, and Vashkoda did a wonderdul job adapting the storyboards into an animatic, lining it up with the voice tape, adding music and sound effects and color... it was very nice. Now to see if we can possibly get it finished. Vash, if you read this, you did a great job.
So, after Opening Ceremonies, Revel and Spacie and I head into the casino. I was of course adamant against gambling, but then I got board and put down $100 at the Blackjack table. I did not know what I was doing, so we stay in for a couple of hours, I get the hang of it and I walk out with $138. That was fun.
Next up was Greg and Thom's Blue Mug-A-Guest. Fun as always, and this year it was actually blue. "Are Gargoyles pink inside?", Greg also talked some more about the comic, it was good times.
Finally, it's about 1 am and we decide to call it a night, and head down to the cafe for food, Greg shares some anecdotes about the business, Aaron and Emambu are talking about soda. I have a cheeseburger. Good times.
Then we call it a night for real.
To be continued.
Good times, indeed.
Gathering 2005 Part One
I couldn't sleep, there was just no possible way I would ever fall asleep. The shuttle was supposed to pick me up at 7 AM, and here I am, not being able to sleep. So, at 5:30 am and wide awake, I do what any one would do. I go to the diner to have breakfast. Thank gods for 24 hour diners. I order the Eggs Benedict and coffee and orange juice. Eggs good, coffee tasted like chalk though. So, I come back, right in the nick of time to catch my shuttle.
So, we take a drive, pick up two more people, one of whom is flying on the same exact flight that I am. Cute girl who I spend the remainder of the trip over to Vegas flirting with. Same shuttle, same place, hell our tickets had us sitting next to each other on the plane. I never caught her name, which kinda bums me out now, but not too much.
So, we soon arrive at John F. Kennedy airport. I hate JFK and greatly prefer LaGuardia. JFK is a very hard airport to find your way around without asking directions, and the place is HUGE! JFK is it's own enclosed city, it has it's own monorail and everything.
And now it's time for my rant on Airport Security... first of all, keep in mind, I'm not wearing my trench, I'm wearing a black suit jacket (not the same one I wore later at the banquet), and Security is all over me, everything except t-shirt and pants has to come off. THey pull me to the side to further frisk me, and my Zippo Lighter is pulled out of my checked luggage and confiscated... I was pissed. But, I get everything back, and I make it to the plane. Yeah, yeah, this is my first time on an airplane post 9/11.
The flight is long and uneventful. The in-flight movie is Sahara, but I'm not interested. I try to sleep a few times, I skip the meal, but I have this curse of not being able to sleep on airplanes. The last half hour of the flight is really nice, as we fly over the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam... hmm, somehow, you'd think the Hoover Dam would have a no-fly zone. Aw well.
We land in Las Vegas, and well, Sin City wastes no time, there are slot machines in the airport, as soon as you step off the plane. I go and grab my checked luggage, and head to grab a shuttle. Unfortunatly, we end up with a lousy shuttle. AC is broken, driver doesn't know where anything is. Eventually I spot the Palace Station from the window, and point it out, and so I get dropped off, and check in.
First of all, I drop off my stuff, and go get food. I treat myself to a cheese burger and fries from the Cafe (I forget it's name). I wonder back to my room, and try to watch some TV, nothing's on, and the hotel doesn't have Comedy Central, so I can't catch the Daily Show later in the evening. So, I order myself some hotel porn... the porn wasn't very good.
I check my e-mail, and find out that Dreamie and Winterwolf are in the hotel, so I call them, get their voice mail, and leave a message. It's late, so I roll over and go to sleep. I get a call back, and it's them, naturally I invite up to my room to hang out, I haven't seen them in two years. So, we chill and get caught up. I show them some crap on the internet... most prominently the American translation of the Chinese dub for "Revenge of the Sith"... which led to this year's in joke:
Do not want!... which was the Chinese translation of Darth Vader's now, infamous Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, first day, despite some problems ended on a high note... a high note that continue on for the entire duration of my stay.
Got up, showered and dressed and went downstairs for breakfast, wondered over to the Buffet and I spotted Chris Rogers, Hudson, Seth, Kathy, Zaius and Dancer, and they invited me over to sit. So, we ate, and again got caught up, battle plans were discussed for the con, and so on, we finished and left.
Soon enough, Aaron, Revel, Spacie and Lynati showed up, and we helped them unpack their van (they drove to Vegas, all the way from Houston, TX), and since Aaron and Lynati were on con staff (AGAIN! They're masochists ;)), they had a lot to bring. So, we do that, and a group of us head out to Target, and the Home Depot to get crap that's needed for the con. I wasn't on con staff, but I did so much volunteer work, at times it did feel like being on staff again. Not that I minded, I'm always glad to help out a Gathering where I can.
So, we take two cars, Aaron and I ride in the rented van and follow Chris, unfortunatly, he knows his way around and we don't, so we lose him for a bit, lefts and rights are confused, but eventually we all end up at Target and get this stuff done.
We bring it all back, and drop the panels off at what will be the art room. Then we chill for a while, and I'm blanking a bit, but eventually we go to see the Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur, which is like "Medival Times", but a little better. Food was okay, and we get to sit in the evil section and root for Lord Mordred and his Dragon Knight. It was hokey, a little lame, but hey, still fun. BTW, some people rode in a bus, and a bunch of us crammed into Aaron's rental van, I got stuck in the trunk... and unfortunatly no pictures were taken. But, I got a seat in the back on the way back, still fun.
We came back to the hotel, where more people arrived in the lobby, including Jen, Cindy and Kythera. Great to see those three again. Jen greeted me with a hug, as did Cindy. We hung out in the lobby for a while, before the art chicks called it a night, and the rest of us went back up the Con Suite... at long last, Greg Weisman and Thom Adcox arrived from a ten and a half hour flight from Los Angeles (yes, ten and a half hours to get from LA to Vegas... you heard that right), we all hang out and chat for a while, Greg tells us about why he didn't like Batman Begins, and yeah, his critisisms are valid, and he's entitled to his opinion, but I still think the movie kicked ass.
Eventually we all call it a night, and hit the sack.
To be continued...
I just think you're starved for a decent Batman movie. ;)
As I told you, it's the high quality of Batman Begins that raises expectations that ultimately I think the movie fails to meet. So...
But I really liked Kelsey Grammer as the Beast. Seriously.