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Very brief con journal for Gathering Vegas 2005. I'm used to doing longer ones, but lordy, I just haven't had the time (or the memory, haah) *_*
I worked all day:P
Then I got home and packed and was trying my hardest to get ready for the art show. That so didn't work out for many reasons, even if I finished, sorta, a couple of pieces. I stressed and ended up just saying I wasn't going to bother. It was just unnecessary strain on my already twitchy self.
Got up super early and went to airport for my flight at 7am to Vegas. Thankfully the Southwest lines were fast moving and was checked, given a boarding pass and gone through security in about 45 minutes. Beautiful. Anyways, I got on the plane and found out that I had Speed Racer in LA style traffic for a pilot. I felt sick after that flight *_*
Anyways, I landed about 8:30 am, but didn't get my luggage until sometime after nine and didn't catch a shuttle for some time after that. By 10:15ish I was on my way to the Stratosphere Hotel, where all us folks who value our lungs and don't mind commuting a bit were staying. ^_^ Cindy directed me to our room ( haha, that was funny) and I made it up to the 23rd floor and finally got a chance to eat the breakfast I had gotten two hours earlier but hadn't eaten. I still wasn't feeling too hot after eating, but it was bearable.
We ( the herd of Stratosphere folks) headed over to the con not long after that and went to register. I hadn't pre-registered, though they had it listed as such in the book, hahaa. I saw some of the Miniclanners ( lexy, Solstice and Oracle) so I chatted a minute, then ran into Jade Griffin, Julie and others while we all waited for the general registration to open up. It did and I got my badge and stuff, then headed straight for the art room, where I saw Liz, Andrea and Tony, and other folks. We laughed and greeted each other and stuff, then I was conscripted into helping Liz put up her art of doom. I think we went to a panel too, on garg anatomy.
After that we went to opening ceremonies, which was very cool. Lots of stuff that we hadn't seen/heard before -Keith David's "I've been denied everything, even my convention!!!!!" line was just spectacular, since he couldn't come. Vashkoda's leica reel was awesome! Hopefully there'll be more next time:]
After opening ceremonies, I can't remember exactly what happened, except that I felt totally sick and needed to eat or something. The smoke of the Palace station was kicking my behind, so I told folks I was going to eat something…anything and left. Ran into Nezumi and we braved the Guadalajara restaurant in the casino. The salsa and chips were good. I felt better afterwards and then I went back to the con.
…I have no idea what happened after that. O_o I just know I crashed that night and felt horrid when I did, but much better the next day.
Me and Cindy slept in, thank God. I was awoken by a call from Darth Vader on my Nextel phone at some ungodly before 10 am hour, but I mumbled at him that he didn't put out enough to wake me up so early and to call back later. I went back to sleep after that.
We did get up eventually and went to the Aladdin hotel for their buffet, which is AMAZING. We then wandered into the Paris Hotel and I oogled some chocolate desserts that I'd had the last time I was in vegas. Thankfully, I abstained, though it was difficult. After that we went to the con and hung out in the art room. I was having a severe bout of "I can't draw to save my life" so I was just hanging out and attempting to produce something…anything. It wasn't working. So I actually just hung out a lot, I think. I know I didn't go to any panels that day even though they had the big comic unveiling info session thingy.
Me and Cindy eventually headed back to the strip and visited Excalibur and…Ra…gawd, what was the name..er..yeah! Luxor. That was it. We visited the Luxor and put a lot of shiney powder on. We debated on heading back to the con, as it was almost 6pm, but ended up just going to the Stratosphere. We had a jackass of a cab driver and so we decided to get a massage in the water massge thingies. Oh My Gawd. HEAVEN. That is soooooooo good! I have to do it again, let me tell you.
That night, we went out to celebrate Laurean's impending nuptials and had a bizarrely fun time. Didn't get to bed until ungodly hours.
Cindy had panels to give today, so we got up earlier than usual and had breakfast at the Lucky Café in the Stratosphere. Very very good quiche and waffle dishes!!! It was lovely. I bought a Chinese fan that morning but apparently left it in the hotel somewhere o_x
We trotted over to the Palace Station. And once again, accosted the art room. Cindy had to give her panels eventually, so I hung out with Kyt and Liz and so forth. Once again, attempted to draw and failed miserably. I ended up in a bidding war with Sonia Lai over Kyt's sexy hot Goliath piece, but we both lost to an interloper ;_; I hope he has a good home. However I did get Liz's Red and White piece, which made me squee with joy.
Ended up going to the radio play which was awesome and funny! This was honestly the first radio play that I've been to before, heh. I was happy that it wasn't too long, nor too short - I've heard the stories of the some of the other radio plays being very long. Since I don't really sit still, I thought that it was a good length.
After the play, I went with Liz, Julie, Kyt and Seth ( not irc goliath Seth) and hung out in Julie and Liz's room until around the time for the banquet. I didn't dress up, though Julie was super hot and gorgeous in her dress!:D:D The food was okay - I am not a fan of eggplant, personally though I would;ve enjoyed a veggie main dish and I would've preferred dessert with dinner. In any case, the best part of the banquet was the little gargoyle candle holders! Those were really cute.
After dinner, we headed back up to Liz and Julie's room because Liz volunteered to let folks change there. Anyways, I think it was the original folks, plus Sonia Lai and Nezumi who made our way up there and hung out. Dancer made an appearance at some point too. We had planned to oogle the masquerade folks and the casino people reactions, but I left before that and headed down to the banquet room again. I got to sit with the Miniclanners, which was SO AWESOME. I love you guys!!!!:D Anyways, that was cool and the masquerade was fun. Cindy was sexy and purple and I was very amused XD
Anyways, the awards for the masquerade and art show were given out and of course, Liz and Kyt cleaned house, but Nezumi got an award too, along with Jade, Cindy, Karine and Nikki, so I was all jazzed because they all did some seriously kickass art. Kudos to everyone who entered the art show and won awards because you all were fabulous!!!!!
After the masquerade, I think we just hung out. Normally we have some sort of dancing or karaoke or something, but nothing this year, so we hung out and the costumed folks trickled back in after removing their costumes. Everyone then proceeded to have a good time. Sexual Hilter and all that jazz. XD
Uh…we got up at our normal time, and went and had waffles at the Lucky café. Teehee. We made our way over to the con, and chilled in the art room again. I started doodling - I brought my ipod this time to see if a little music couldn't kick my brain into action. It worked, so I sketched in people's sketchbooks. :D I owe Liz a sexy sketch of her lion tiger owl towel guy still, since he's who I wanted to draw. XD
Anyways, It was really low key - folks were leaving and stuff on Monday - the con was a day longer than normal this year. I picked up my Liz piece and enjoyed it. Also watched a little bit of the silent auction, then went back to arting in the art show room.
And OMG, I pre registered for next year. I'd get kicked if I didn't show up for the con in my own back yard:P Anyways, I'm planning ahead, heh. The closing ceremonies was short and sweet. I said goodbye to a LOT of people who were leaving Monday, including the minclanners. They're so cute:D
Uh, after the art room closed down, we all headed out to the Star Trek Experience and ate at Quark's. Kyt got harassed by a Klingon, Tony thought Michael Dorn was talking to him in the toilet, Cindy and I shared a giant smoking and bubbling fish bowl and Oomox is the new orgasm. XD And Andrea's tribble was awful cute >:]
The best of the two rides was the Klingon encounter and I am apparently Jean Luc Picard's ancestor.
We said goodbye to Seth (the irc Goliath one :]) and Karine as they both had late night flights out of Vegas. I wsa sad to see them go :[ Greg had departed before we got on the rides, so everyone was sorta leaving. It was very sad. The reunion was coming to an end.
A bunch of us ended up chilling at the Stratosphere until really late. I finished drawing Dr. Penguin and Ninja Bear for Cindy XD and also consumed this black forest ice cream and cake thing from the haagen daaz store in the hotel. SO GOOD.
Went to bed late:P
Nose and throat felt like sandpaper so I was drinkin' lots of water. I got wedged in the back under some suitcases and we went to pick up Julie. Said goodbye to Liz ;_; Then we went to eat and then headed out of Vegas. Jen and the crew were kind enough to drop me off at the airport and I said goodbye to everyone - Julie, Kyt, Cindy, Patrick and Jen, then headed home.
The flight was fun because I was half asleep and there was lots of turbulence. A LOT.
And my cat pooped on my bed because I was gone too long for his tastes.
"Farewell, my enemies!"
Con/Vacation Journal Part 2
First up (after breakfast .. SUGAR!!) was Clan Olympics - Trivia Torture!
Abe and I ran around getting stuff organised (I did a lot of dashing from the con rooms to our rooms that weekend, this was repaid to me later -_-), running late as usual. Good thing this is the Con though - nothing ever starts on time :)
I love Trivia Torture, it's great to see just what one team will do to another in the hopes of winning cheap plastic medals ...
One of the first-time Con-goers was this sweet looking young girl by the name of Fusion Demon ... Never EVER trust a cute 14 year old girl. They're evil!
Fusion Demon was the one to come up with the grossest foods combinations used in the torture - OJ peppermint and Vegemite shots, aerosol cheese pickles and hot sauce .. her mind is a dark dark place and I shudder to think what she's going to be capable of when she's all grown up.
Good luck on that world domination thing Fusion Demon! XD
As it was the game went off well, save for one girl who got peppermint essence in her eye and Patcher, who got sick after the event.
One team consisted of a family, and the parents seemed to take great delight in torturing their kids. Then the sisters started on each other ... Aaah, family love, it's just beautiful ^__^
We still hadn't finished coming up with clues for the next CO game (Really Difficult Charades), so we went up to Abes room and brainstormed for an hour or so. It was fun. The first clues were hard to come up with, but once you set the ball rolling we were writing down heaps.
'99 bottles of beer on the wall' and 'Go go Gadget arms' were two of my favourites ^_^
I left Abe in his room so I could go get some lunch (I found Subway!) and catch the start of the Slave Labour Graphics panel. By this point my sugar high had well and truly worn off and I was quite tired, so Kyt leant me a shoulder to lean on. Comfy :)
The panel was interesting, though not as informative about the Gargoyles comics as people had hoped. Understandable though, Gargoyles was a last minute inclusion. Still, the other comics look good, especially the Haunted Mansion one.
I had to leave the panel early to set up for Charades, so if anything was revealed after I left someone will have to let me know.
Charades was fun! One team totally ruled at it - they got 9 out of 10 right. And they were hard ones too.
Afterwards we slipped in a bonus game of Greed, using the flashing rubber dice that I brought for Abe. It was fun to watch (and unlike the other props that we gave away freely, Abe kept the dice for himself. They were shiny ^_^).
There was some confusion that evening about what our plans were for tea. In the end I went with Liz, New Seth, Nezumi, Jade Griffen and Clan Arcadia to the MGM Grand for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Before we met up with JG and Arcadia, we went for a walk around the strip. This is where my body rebelled and decided to grow HUGE blisters on the balls of my feet, right behind my toes.
I barely made it to the MGM Grand, I just wanted to sit down and cry it hurt that much :(
Still, the walk was worth it - the restaurant was really nice (food was kinda Eh though), the drinks were yummy, there was a zebra and a snarling hippopotamus hiding in the canopy, and in the souvenir store I found a chameleon hand puppet!
I bought him right away and named him Pepe. I carried him round for the rest of the Con and Jade Griffen even drew a picture of us both ^__^
Rather than walk back to where we parked the car (the Paris), we rode the monorail. Liz was disappointed we didn't get the Borg one, but I was just glad not to be walking. I've never been on a monorail before, this one was quick and smooth and CLEAN. Public transport that's clean? you don't get that in every city :D
Anyway, we got back to the hotel safely then practically collapsed on the bed for a heap of sleep.
I woke up in the morning with incredibly sore feet, so after a shower I borrowed and exacto blade from Liz and took care of my blisters. I spent most of the day walking around bare foot, only putting on my shoes when I got told off by the security guard at the elevators. I took them back off once I was out of sight anyway :)
I spent most of the morning just lazing about the Dealers Hall, talking to people and making bids on items. I ended up buying this huge black cloak from the Ren Faire dealer, Kate. I can't wait to wear it!
The last Clan Olympics event for the con was the Hunters Moon Dash. A kind of scavenger hunt involving things that Abe hid around the hotel as well as stuff they had to scrounge for themselves.
Once again, the bonuses for this year involved getting staff members to stand in the boxes, though this year we made it harder and specified 2 staff members of the opposite sex :D
It was so much fun to see all the teams run around like maniacs, tying to find their items. Not to mention the mess they made! One team was the clear winner - they got all the items, save one, on the list. The one item they missed was the one no-one got: a frisbee the didn't say Nevada, Las Vegas or Palace Station Hotel. It was agreed by all the teams that there wasn't a single frisbee to be found in the area, let alone one that was tourist labelled :)
When the game was over we cleaned up as best we could (my gods, the mess!), made sure that everyone returned the stuff they had borrowed from the hotel, then we went upstairs and tallied the points. Clan Challenged won (again), followed by both the Arcadia teams. We sorted out the medals for them, then made up a few bonus awards for Fusion Demon, Patcher and the Leonards. They deserved them :)
Next it was back down to the Dealers Hall and the bidding war that had erupted over some of 'my' items. I managed to snag the Gargles t-shirt, lost out on Nikki's art work, and send Kyt's 'Branches' and the Demona/Xanatos/Steel Clan toys to auction on Monday.
The Banquet was coming up, so we went upstairs to change. I love any excuse to dress up, so I wore my slinky black skirt and sparkly halter top. Abe wasn't feeling up to it and he gave his seat to Kyt, so we sat on a table with Flanker, Sarah-The-Great, Liz, Shara, New Seth, Sonia, Denis, and I think Karlyl .. I can't remember, sorry!
The food was kinda Eh. I don't eat beef or eggplant, and the chicken was badly cooked. But I still enjoyed myself - it's about the company you keep, not the food you eat.
After the food was cleared away, we had time till the Masquerade/dessert part of the night began. So we hung out upstairs and got to see some of the costumes before wandering back down to the hall and grabbing a table a little closer to the front.
There weren't a great number of costumes this year, but they were all well done. Benny and Erin were absolutely adorable as Goliath and Holly. Fusion Demon rocked in her outfit (remember, she's evil and will rule the world one day, I know it). Shara's Brooklyn costume ruled, Onyx's was funny. I like the wings on Echo's and Revel makes a a great Jackal (I really want to do Hyena one day). Nikki's Sin and Cindy's Banshee were both sexy :)
Unsurprisingly, Shara won Best Costume for Brooklyn ^_^
Abe and I gave out the Clan Olympics awards and I think Abe said he'll be back to do it next year. I hope so, it's so much fun to watch, but I don't think I'll co-host next year - too much stress!
The art awards were given out - Liz scooped the pool with her Zodiac series and a couple of others. Kyt, Nikki and Nezumi won a couple too :)
After everything was over we hung out in the hall just talking crap, would have been nice to have some music or something though.
I got really tired at about 1 so I went upstairs and crashed.
I am very disappointed to have missed the man-love fest that seemed to be going on at Jen's table. Thankfully, Jen had her camera with her and we can all giggle over it ^_^
I woke up at 6am, sick to my stomach. Yup, Julie puked. Yay -_-
I lay on the bed for a couple of hours till Liz woke up, then we went downstairs in search of a breakfast that wouldn't make me hurl. Liz, Dreamie and I ended up in the Guadalahara Cafe. I got toast, they got food that was mostly edible :/
The rest of my day was spent napping on a giant inflatable smiley-face ball in the Dealers Room. I hate being sick!
The day wasn't a total waste, as it was the last day everyone else was just hanging out and chatting, so I caught up with people. Jade Griffen drew her picture of me and Pepe, which made me happy.
At the Auction I managed to get my mitts on Kyt's pic and the toys. It cost me $145, but it was so worth it! I ended up giving the Steel Clan toy to JG (it was the Demona and Xanatos that I was really after).
I hung out for the rest of the Auction, just to see what the other items would sell for. The comics and script did well. As did the poker chips.
While I was waiting, I got Greg to sign my con book. No-one told me that Thom had left, so I was kinda disappointed that I missed out on his autograph. Oh well, next year! :)
I said a sad goodbye to Abe, who had to rush back to Arizona that night so he could go to work on Tuesday. Then I took off with Jen, Karine, Kyt, Karlyl, Cindy, Greg W, Andrea, Anthony, Patrick, Seth/IRC Goliath, New Seth, Jade Griffen, Liz, Miranda and Scott (Hah! Say that in one breath ^_^) for the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton.
We had a great meal at Quarks Bar (expensive, but still yummy). Jen, Karine, Cindy, Karlyl, Andrea and Anthony all had Borg Spheres. A large alcoholic drink commonly known as a fish bowl, because that's what it's served in. A big, round fish bowl.
They even put dry ice in it so it smokes!
I would have had a go at one (or one of the 'lesser' alcoholic drinks), but I was still feeling kinda queasy and I didn't want to give my body more reasons to puke.
During the meal we were visited by a Ferengi and a Klingon. Kyt got totally Kling-owned! T'was funny XD
We were all heading off for the rides when Greg had to leave, so we all said our goodbyes and tried to round up our group so we could all enter at once.
We rode the Borg ride first. It was in 3D, very well done and a lot of fun. The poking by the seats was weird and kinda freaky at first. There were shouts of 'Titania! Save us!' when Janeway appeared on screen.
Aaah, multi-fandom geekdom ^_^
It was a god ride, but there could have been more than one Borg stalking round the set, I was honestly expecting a little more from it.
There were too many of us to fit into the next running of the Kilngon ride, so we waited in line for the next go-round. I really pity the few mundanes that got caught on that ride with us ^_^
This one was a ride simulator, not in 3D, but I think it was better. Very stomach churning.
Anthony and I were both by the door of the shuttle, so we started playing with the control panels. The crew member told us off, claiming we could set off the self-destruct. Hehehehe ^__^
The best part of the ride was where parts of the Strip blew up. Huzzah! XD
When the rides were all over most of us when back to the stratosphere and hung out in Jen's room. Some went downstairs in a hunt for food, the rest of us stayed upstairs and discovered JG's little secret - she's actually a *very* naughty girl.
Maybe if your lucky, she'll scan her 'Jade Strippin' pic and show it off :D
The fact that most of us were leaving in the morning sent us packing back to the hotel, where we passed out (again).
I got so much sleep at this years con, but I was still exhausted. Go figure :)
August 2 - August 11
Time to say goodbye! Liz and a few others were staying on, so we hung out in the foyer with them till Jen and co turned up. Saw GregX in time to say goodbye before his shuttle left.
Liz ended up hooking up with the leftovers of Clan's Challenged and Arcadia while I joined the others for the trek home to California.
But first! We had to get 8 suitcases and 6 people in the car. It was kinda like Tetris, but with people. Poor Karlyl ended up buried under baggage. Most of us did actually. Luckily, she was only with us to be dropped off at the airport, so after another sad goodbye we re-arranged the car and took off once more.
The drive was loooong, and a little boring. But we were too tired to care.
Kyt had to go home (she had work in the morning) but Cindy and Patrick stayed the night.
Cindy had stuff to do in the theatre that evening, so she left in the morning. Jen, Patrick and I took off for food, then Jen left for work. I spent a lovely afternoon sleeping on the couch (this was when I made the awful discovery that I snore).
Jen brought her kids home with her - they're a wonderful bunch. I had a great time meeting them and I'm really going to miss them :(
We went out for Thai, I'd never had it before and it was lovely. Patrick left not long after to catch his flight, so then it was just me,Jen and the kids.
The last week has just flown by. Jen got the Con Cooties (I've avoided it .. so far) so we didn't go paint the town red. But we still managed to enjoy ourselves.
I was introduced to Firefly - I'm leaving with the box set tucked safely away in my suitcase.
We made cookies and overdosed on sugar.
I spent waaay to much money on comics, DVDs and toys.
Kyt came back down for the weekend, which was fun.
We went and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - the most cracked out movie in the history of forever! I loved it :D
I pre-registered for next year, so now I have incentive to come back. I think at some point I offered to be Jen's Con lackey in exchange for a spot on her floor before the con.
I don't intend to spend 4 weeks on holiday next year, but it would be nice to hang out with people for a while in a non-con environment.
All in all, my vacation rocked! I had a great time, the bad parts totally wiped out by all the good stuff that happened.
I'm going to miss everyone. LJ and IM just aren't the same thing.
Photos should be going up when I get home on Saturday.
My hands hurt from typing this all up ^_^
"Farewell, my enemies!"
Vacation/Con Journal Part 1
Last year was my first Gathering and I enjoyed it so much I decided to come back this year. With one major change - I would be spending more than a week there. Just over 3 to be exact.
Yeah, this is goingot be a loooong one ^_^
July 19 & 20
Since I was dropping $3500 on airfares, I decided to make the most of my vacation, so I arranged with Kelly/KWSapphire to spend a week at her place in Florida.
My flight out was horrendous! Air New Zealand decided to strike that week, so I had to add an extra flight to an already long trip, jsut to make my connecting flight to LA. Not to mention the 19 hour layover in LA
I went from Melbourne->Christchurch->Auckland->LA->Denver->Tampa. It took two days and I was sick as a dog for the last 2 legs. On arrival in LA I was told a room had been booked for me at the Radisson (sp?), due to the airline strikes. All I had to do was get on the Radisson shuttle, tell them who I was and everything would be taken care of.
Firstly, I think I got on the wrong shuttle - I ended up in Culver City. Secondly, they had no idea what I was talking about when I explained my problem. They called around for me and found a room at the LA Plaza.
That I had to pay for.
Still, a real bed was nice, as was real food and a shower! I didn't get any real sleep, but that was ok, it was just nice to lie down for a while.
I was supposed to catch up with Trishana/Karlyl during my layover, but I didn't get to my hotel room till well after 6pm, so we just chatted on the phone for a while instead.
I left for LAX at 430am, glad I did too - the airport was chockers. It took forever to get through the lines. I really wanted to not be sick today, but it was not to be. I was violently ill on the way to Denver, enough to worry the flight staff.
I hadn't eaten that day, not much the day previously, and with the lack of sleep I was really out of it. I was shaking a fair bit, so they got someone to wheelchair me to my connecting terminal. I'm, kinda glad they did - Denver airport is HUGE! I had to take a train to get to the next gate 0_0
Once again I was sick, but managed to get some sleep on the flight to Tampa.
Boy was I glad to see Kelly!
We stopped off at Wal-Mart on the way home (my first real taste of America :P), ate some toast to settle my stomach and then layed out on the couch and watched this trippy Christian Bale movie, Equilibrium.
My second day in America and it started off in a comic shop. So much money spent! (SO much more I could have spent)
As a result I now have a nifty Carrie Kelly!Robin figurine, with working sling-shot!
We met up with Kelly's mum (Hey Pat!) for lunch, eating at this great little buffet place called Sweet Tomatoes. Now if that were a world-wide franchise instead of Maccas ....
The afternoon was taken up by napping and the evening by Batman TAS episodes ^_^
For the first time, in a loooong time, I went to the beach. Clearwater is absolutely beautiful. White sand, warm water.
A pirate ship on the horizon ... (damn I wish I had pics of that, it was cool)
The water was shallow out to a fair distance, thanks to a sand bar, so it was fun to wade out and body ride the smaller waves :) Thunder clouds were coming in over the water just as we were leaving, it made a lovley sight. We then went off to lunch at Los Mariachis, really nice Mexican.
Anna/[info]prinlee was coming over for a night out, so I made myself pretty for her. She was so happy to see us, especially after I gave her the wombat she (jokingly) requested :)
I know what Anna looks like and you don't! (I even have pictures, which no-one is allowed to see :P)
Went to this little greek place, Mykonos, in Tarpon SPrings for tea.
All the food I'd had so far had been great, this was no exception. After tea we went to Madeira Beach and hung out on the beach, chatted and watched the sun set. Anna hung around till midnight, she finally got to see the Gathering featurette from last year and we pointed out all the people she might know.
All in all it was a really great day and I'm disappointed we didn't get to catch up again before I left :/
We had a nice lay morning before heading out to Kelly's parents place for lunch. Their house is beautiful and her parents are great people.
Lazed around the house all afternoon before heading out for the night. We went to a sushi restaurant, but I wansn't feeling adventurous, so I had something cooked ;)
Later on we headed out to a club called Banana Joes. It wasn't really my scene, but Kelly enjoyed herself. Ended up falling asleep (rather uncomfortably) on the couch at someones house, before heading home at 730am.
Showered in an attempt to feel human again, as there was no chance in hell of me getting any more sleep that morning. 3 hours would have to do :)
Kelly ducked out for a while, so I was dropped off for our trip to Busch Gardens. Hmm, while I did have a good time there, it would have been better without the torrential rain and huge-arse thunderstorm.
Would have gotten more than one ride in certainly :D At least Kelly got in a few games of DDR between ride lines (got a good crowd watching by the end too)
As it was, we ended up standing around on a staircase for 2 hours waiting for the storm to pass so we could get on the ride. We almost got struck by lightning! By the time the storm had passed it was getting late, so we decided to go home instead :D
I think I slept for 10 hours that night, but I still woke up tired!
Today can be summed up in 2 words:
Yup, almost all the episodes from Volume 3, one after the other. I fell asleep at around 930pm and woke up at 11 (this is when Kelly made the awful discovery that I snored, something I didn't believe till a few days ago). It was decided to go to bed and finish up in the morning :)
More shopping. This time for DVDs at Target, followed by another trip to the comic shop. Kelly ended up talking for about an hour with this guy who turned out to be an inker for the Fantastic Four editions of the House of M storyline, Don Hillsman II. He got her to sketch in his artbook, while I raided the back issue boxes.
Once again, spent lots on money, and resisted spending even more. At least my brother will love me - I bought him some Deadpool comics!
We decided to go see a movie in the evening, but got there too late to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or Fantastic Four. Ended up watching Bewitched instead. It was alright, but really not something I'd go out of my way to watch. Amusing though.
Last day in Florida, so we went back to the beach. The tide was out, so the water wasn't as smooth, also I tripped on something on the sand and cut my foot, but apart from that I had fun. We brought lunch and ate it on the sand. I got a little brown. A little :)
Just happened to meet up with Kelly's parents for tea at Cricketers, a nice coincidence. It meant I got to say goodbye :)
It was an early night, due to having to get up at 6am to go to the airport.
Viva Las Vegas Baby!!
The day started out early - 6am usually doesn't appear on my alarm clock, but it had to that morning. I'm glad we did start out early though, the check-in desk was severely under-manned and it took forever to get my bags checked in. It didn't help that I'd never used an E-ticket before and didn't know the procedure.
Then, waiting in line to pass through Security, I got pulled aside and got the complete you-are-a-potential-terrorist work-over :)
Yay for pat-downs by middle-aged chunky women!
The one thing I was determined to not have happen this flight was the inevitable puking. Ladies and Gentlemen, can I get a round of applause for dramamine? The wonder drug that, for some incomprehensible reason, is not available in Australia :) That stuff tastes like shit, but it does work. I think it was responsible for me sleeping most of the way to Atlanta.
Waiting to re-board in Atlanta, I succumbed to temptation and bought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. By the time I landed in Vegas I was 3/4 of the way through (and by the time I left on Tuesday I'd finished it, so much for saving it to read on the plane home ^_^)
At the airport I was supposed to hook up with Liz and Nikki/Y2Hecate, who were landing within a half hour of me. So I found a cleanish patch of floor at the exit and proceeded to wait for them. And wait. And wait some more.
Luckily I had Andrea, Anthony and Nezumi to keep me company, because we ended up waiting about 2 hours for them to show up. It turned out that the airline had lost the suitcase carrying Liz's markers, about $900 worth and they had to hang around while calls were made and forms filled out. We hung out on the exit floor for a while longer then caught the shuttle to the Palace Station, site of this year's Con. I know others have had bad opinions of the place, but apart from the indoor smoking I never really had a problem - the beds were comfy, the AC worked, the food wasn't too hideous .. :)
At the hotel Liz, Nezumi and I hooked up with Jade Griffin and her friend Seth Long (hereafter called New Seth) and went out for Chinese. Apparently Vegas has a Chinatown :) Back at the hotel we hung out at the Con-Suite and picked up out packets early (we're sneaky :P) and discovered that due to several mix-ups, we wouldn't be going out with Jen/Crzydemona and her group to see naked men dance. At my (joking) comment that I was really looking forward to stuffing dollar bills down someones undies, a young woman came over and promptly unzipped her pants and showed me her panties. They were green and very pretty. I gave her a dollar ;D
That was my very first introduction to Dancer ^_^
Not long after that we were kicked out of the con-suite, so we went down to the foyer to wait for Jen, Cindy, Patrick, Kythera, Karlyl. Rounding them up, we (them, JG, New Seth, Liz, I, Andrea and Anthony) went off to the hotel's not-so-irish Irish Pub.
Mmmmm, Kahlua and milk ^_^
At this point of the night it was getting quite late and the new arrivals still hadn't eaten, so we trooped off across the road to the Macaroni Grill for some Italian. It was nice, but the best part was the paper tablecloths we got to doodle all over :)
The last part of the night (before I completely collapsed at midnight) was spent just chatting in the foyer with the group and a heap of other new arrivals.
After a shower and a cheap breakfast, I was ready to start my Con Experience.
This year I had succumbed to insanity and offered to co-host the Clan Olympics with Scott/Brother Abe And since he would be arriving late, it was up to me to coerce 4 or more teams into playing, as well as run the first two events. Sarah-The-Great was a great help in rounding up a few teams (including her own), so a big Thank You! to her. We decided to hang out a the Con-Virgin 101 panel to help explain what exactly the CO were, and to recruit a little too. Good thing we did - we got first dibs on the free cake and ice cream when it came out! :D
Next up was the Thom Adcox mug-a-guest (mixed with a really quick lunch). It was a great time, only a dozen or so people, and Thom has the best stories. Next year, he'd better bring in that standee of him in a chicken suit (or even just a picture of it) or I'm going to be mighty disappointed :D
Afterwards, in a slight panic, I set up for the first CO event - a ball relay. Easy enough in theory, but not when it's a giant yellow smiley beach-ball that you can only carry with your back or front (no limbs or other helpy-type things at all). Not to mention the envelopes that contained potential bonuses on the floor (I made them pick them up with their feet, I'm evil ^_^). I'd managed to rope Liz into helping me host the first two events, I think she enjoyed herself quite nicely :) Unlike last year, there were only 5 teams, but they were great - big thanks to Team Challenge, Da Brogues, Bottom of the Barrel, Clan Arc and Clan Adia.
All up, it was a great event, full of chaos and confusion and laughter. Typical Clan Olympics really ^_^
As this even ended just before Opening Ceremonies, I had to run around and clean up as well as get some food. I learned last year that not eating beforehand lead to a humongous headache. Unfortunately, my lack of knowledge of the existence of a Subway in the hotel meant that I ended up with Burger King. Eew >.<
Opening Ceremonies was excellent this year. In addition to the regular stuff (gawd, I sound like a veteran :P) we were also graced with an alternative first pitch video and a fan-made lieca reel of 'The Last', the unmade Team Atlantis episode.
We were also told more about the Season 2 DVD release - the first 26 episodes, up to 'Kingdom', will (hopefully) be out by the end of the year. The second half of the season will, no doubt, rely on sales of part 1. We also got to see a teaser of the special features, part of an interview.
Greg didn't really get into much about the comic, probably due to the fact that there was a panel scheduled exclusively for that the next day.
The highlight of OC had to have been Keith Davids sorry-I-couldn't-be-here section of the cast/crew tape - "I've been denied everything, even my CONVENTION!" ^_^ I don't think we'll ever run out of variations of that line for him to say :D
After OC I Liz and I had to set up for Clan Olympics event 2 - Shot in the Dark. I love this one! A series of targets, 5 squishy tentacle balls and a room with no lights on. Way fun.
The teams loved it too, so much so that a second round of it was hosted by Scott on Monday night, just for fun :)
Some of the team members scuttled off to Jade Griffens MGT, so others had to double up on turns, but we didn't have any drama over it. In fact the game went quicker than I thought it would, so I had plenty of time to make it to the Blue mug-a-guest. While it wasn't all that blue, it certainly wasn't entirely clean.
I loved Greg's reaction to someone asking if a gay character would be introduced in W.I.T.C.H, he said there was someone they were thinking of, but he would say who. Immediately Anthony and Andrea both yelled "Is it [CENSORED]?" Greg, quite shocked, asked how they knew. This must have really ate at him, because later in the night he stopped in the middle of an answer, turned to them and exclaimed "How did you know it was [CENSORED]?!" (or possibly her was looking for an excuse not to answer - with Greg, who knows XD )
At 1am I was having great difficulty making my eyes focus, so I trundled off to bed, after saying a quick "HI" to Scott.
As you demanded! Beware, it is long. But you asked for it. :)
GATHERING 2005 REPORT
Day 1 - Thursday
We (my hubby Tony and I) got up early. Very early. Like, 3:15 am early. But that way we made it to Vegas at an acceptable hour. Coincidentally (or… was it??), we met Julie at the airport, who was in turn waiting for Liz, so we waited with her accumulated Nezumi and Y2Hecathe. When Liz showed up (carrying a grudge because she was not carrying her markers, which the airline had lost), we made our way to the shuttle and the hotel under much chatting and pointing out the windows.
We laid claim to our hotel room, which means we scatter our stuff until there is no more floor. Then we scouted out the hotel, casino, and con suite while trying to reach Jen on her cell, which finally lead to a joyful reunion with Jen, Kyt, Cindy, Julie, Patrick, and Liz, and we all went out to eat at the Maccaroni Grill across the street from the hotel, which was awesome, awesome food. There was much laughter and chatter and doodling on the paper tablecloth.
We hung out in the lobby for a bit, accumulating more and more people. Thom (Adcox) strolled by and was mugged by all with extensive hugging, then he retreated to his room while we all stayed around waiting for Greg (Weisman) to show up and say hi, who was, as we later found out, waiting in the Con Suite the whole time. We were beat though so we went to bed around 12:30 pm.
Day 2 - Friday
It has officially begun! While Tony met up with the rest of the "black coat gang", I hung out at the art room and helped Liz number her awesome zodiac prints. Trishana showed up, and there was much hugging and squeaking. ^_^ Dreamie let me use her laptop to do some extremely important stuff I had to do for work, THANK YOU Dreamie!
Then I went to the "Anatomy in Fantasy" drawing panel, hosted by Lynati and my cuddlywuddly Kyt. Now, I do know how to draw and consider myself not horribly bad (I do get paid ;)), but the Gathering is a focus point for SO many wonderful artists, with such a wide range of talents - I always learn something from them. Next was the "Writing for Animation" panel, hosted by Greg Weisman, where I finally got to cuddle him hello. Here as well I learned a few new things, and there are always fun stories to be heard on Greg's industry panels.
Somewhere in between here, Chris let me use his laptop to finish that work stuff that I needed to do, so a big Thank You to him also!!!
We took a short recess and then went to opening ceremonies. They were a little shorter than usual, since Greg was getting tired of his age-old Spiel, and decided to loosen things up a bit by dropping some stuff and adding some new stuff we hadn't seen yet. Which was great! As long as we get to keep the "It's better than Barney!" line, we're happy. He was a little upset that Chris 'stole' his "who here has been to how many cons?" show-of-hands game, I bet nobody next year would dare take that from him. ;)
Oh yeah, the Blue Mug! This is where we try to ask "dirty" questions about Gargoyles, and Greg and Thom try to answer them. Last year's BM was not very blue at all, so a few people put all their back into it this time! It was good fun. Tony, Liz and I had set the chairs in a circle, so it was a nice, little, cosy, dirty round. I am especially proud of making Greg speechless, which is not easy! I will not reveal my near-psychic premonition here, because I'm not sure how secret Greg wants to keep it. ;)
After the Mug, a few of us including Greg went to a small restaurant inside the Casino to have most delicious and decadent desserts. Greg gave me some very valuable tips as to what to do with a project of mine.
And again, midnight is long passed… what was it, like 3:00 am?
Day 3 - Saturday
I so wish the panels didn't start before noon… groan… I went to the "Series Development" panel, about which I hardly remember anything… err… yeah. Sorry.
Voice-acting seminar! Did we stay through this? Not entirely actually, at some point I hooked up with Trishana and we went to chat with Liz before her portfolio review with Dennis Woodyard. I think it was really awesome of him to do that, and I felt really bad that I had not prepared a portfolio. I had not done anything this year really, there was so much going on all year that I couldn't fit in any artwork. I hope he does it again next year!
Went to the "Backgrounds" panel hosted by Dreamie and Kyt, which was extremely informative and cause for much drooling over their beautiful artwork. Up next: the panel about the upcoming Gargoyles comic. Adam (Laurean's fiancé) showed up, and I met him for the first time. He reminds me of my high school art teacher - freaky! Sadly Laurean has long hair now, so we couldn't play our switcheroo-prank this year - even though we did get some people confusing us nevertheless.
Thennnn… most of the girls of our little family band (Jen, Cindy, Kyt, Trish, Laurean, Karine (who looks freakin' outstanding for just having had a baby!), Lexi, and I) hooked up to celebrate Laurean's upcoming nuptials in style! At a dinky little strip club named the Palomino… hilarity ensued, and many great lines were forged that evening and will probably last for a long time. While this was going on, Tony and Adam joined Greg, Thom, Chris and Alexgarg in the Charity Poker tournament. They apparently had a lot of fun too, involving ice cream and the hotel's hot tub.
Day 4 - Sunday
I managed to drag my butt out of bed to go to Dan Vado's mug-a-guest. He was really nice, and I learned a few new things about the comic book industry that will hopefully help me out… if I ever finish my book… then the W.I.T.C.H. panel, hosted by Greg. I really love the comic books and the characters, and I am thrilled that Greg is taking over some plotting in the second season to bring the show back closer to the original stories. Pretty cool, we got to see an old animatic that was to be the original pitch for the pilot episode. Greg's wife Beth and kids Erin and Benni arrived also - man, the kids are getting big! I feel old! Then, Tony went to radio play rehearsals, and I relaxed a bit in our room.
The radio play! Always fun and a highlight of the con. Tony was only an alternate this year, but it was also fun for him to get to watch the whole thing for a change, since he's been in almost every play so far. Laurean, Jen and Seth were killing me, they were great.
Yay, fooooood! We were starving. The banquet was beautiful! There were little gargoyle-themed candleholders on our tables that we got to keep. Wonderful costumes, and many well-deserved awards. As I mentioned before, I had been completely and utterly lazy this year, so I could just sit back and enjoy the costumes for once, and not have to jitter about art wards. Yay! There was much frolicking and laughter, and I got to layeth the smack down on Lanny playing Yu-Gi-Oh. ^_^
Some of us stuck around after the banquet, getting increasingly punchy as the night progressed, as it should be.
Day 5 - Monday
Wow, a 4-day con! This was a really good idea actually. I went to the "Original properties" panel and got to see some awesome ideas from the combined heads of Greg Weisman and his artistic posse.
I will never, EVER understand why stuff like "The Buzz on Maggie" (no offense, Thom!) and "The Wiggles" makes it on TV while shows like TechnoSapiens don't get produced. WTH?
Said good-bye to Thom, who had to run. Miss him! He's such a sweetie. I can even forgive him that he has a crush on my husband. ;) Btw, we found out this year that we have the same birthday. No wonder we have so much in common (including my husband, ha!).
The auction: Mostly the stuff that most of us already have… still, most pieces went for a good price. Some of the artists really made a killing this year - I should not be lazy next year. Tony really wanted the set of poker chips they had used for the tournament, but once they passed $180 that was it… it's ok, we got him another set the next day.
Closing ceremonies were short! But that's ok, rip the Band-aid off quickly.
Our little group of friends, including Greg, went to the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton (at least I think it was the Hilton). How cool that was! We ate (and drank!) at Quark's bar, then Greg had to go and meet up with his family. The rest of us went on the Borg- and the Klingon-rides, which were riddled with fun, groping, and Gargoyles-references because of the voice actors. I got a Tribble (it moves!!!), and I bought Tony a plushie Porthos, his favourite character from Enterprise.
The night ended at some point at the Stratosphere hotel, where we talked and laughed and stalled on saying good-bye.
Day 6 - Tuesday
This was our couple-day, since everyone else was going home. Tony and I had signed up for this time-share presentation that earned you free tickets to a show and dinner. The presentation was short and painless, the dinner was great, and the shows were fantastic. We got two: "The world's greatest magic show" and "The Rat Pack", both of which were really awesome. I am rather seasoned when it comes to stage shows, so I love it when I am surprised and get to say, "Oooh!".
We also got this $200 crystal for $35… It has our faces laser-etched into the center, and it rotates on this lighted platform thingy, really cool. It now sits in our living room.
Day 7 - Wednesday
The long way home. Overpriced airport food and the like. Can't wait 'til next year! As always, the Gathering did not disappoint, it keeps getting better and we keep growing fonder of each other, as we grow together from the seed of "Gargoyles".
That sounded a lot ickier than I wanted. Anyways, good times!!! :)
"Farewell, my enemies."
Allaine's Gathering Journal
Wednesday, July 27
Compared to last year, coming to Las Vegas was uneventful. I boarded a 11 AM EST flight at Phila International Airport. It landed at 1:30 PM PST, which gave me just enough time to read Harry Turtledove's Settling Accounts in its entirety. I didn't make it to the hotel until 3 PM, though, because the shuttle I boarded stopped at three other hotels, including one downtown, before mine.
Princess Alexandria, Mooncat, and Summer Jackel were my roommates this year, but Summer wasn't due to arrive until Friday morning. When I got to the hotel, Alexandria had already checked in, and she met me at the front desk. Mooncat wasn't going to come for another couple hours, so we went to our room and I dropped off my bags. I gave Alexandria several chapters of a story I'd been working on as a surprise gift, and then we went to the Guadelajara Cafe, which normally was the Palace Station's Mexican restaurant. But this weekend they were renovating the 24-hour restaurant, so the Guadalajara had expanded hours and American items on the menu. We went for a snack, because Mooncat wanted us to have dinner with her once she arrived. That took place around 5:30. Needless to say, I was really happy to see both of them. We'd been planning the details for weeks.
The Palace Buffet was, I suppose, what one would expect for $6.99. A lot of choices, none of which were exactly superb. Still, it did the trick, I guess. Alex and I weren't that hungry, so we could pick and graze as much or as little as we liked. After that it was back to our room again. Mooncat had been told upon landing that her luggage was on another plane that wouldn't arrive until later, but that they would deliver her baggage to the hotel. Until then, she had the clothes on her back and not much else.
We eventually decided to visit a local miniature golf course Alex claimed to have seen from the freeway near the hotel. As we were walking out, we ran into Kathy Pogge and Mandolin, our first Gathering guests, and we talked for a while. We caught a taxicab, and proceeded on a laughable half-hour drive where our driver assured us he knew what a miniature golf course was. Alexandria kept trying to explain anyway. "You know, windmills," she said. I sat in the back and muttered, "He has no idea what she's talking about."
He didn't. He took us to a typical country club. The valet there told us that we were looking for a place called Skandia, which was on Industrial Blvd. He was half-right, as it turned out. We drove up and down Industrial but saw nothing. Eventually we went back to the hotel, threw thirty dollars at the driver for the fare, and went inside.
The bell desk informed us that we could walk to Skandia in fifteen minutes if we went out the back entrance. Someone, at last, who knew what they were talking about. We walked up Rancho Drive for a while and arrived at the mini golf course. We played eighteen holes of miniature golf without bothering to keep a detailed scorecard. Instead we just paid attention to who got the best score on each hole, and then whoever "won" the most holes would win. I think I won by three. At the end they had this 18th hole where you got a free game if you made a hole-in-one. Both Alexandria and I got holes-in-one, and we gave our passes to someone else.
By then we headed back to the hotel because it was dark outside. Mooncat's luggage hadn't arrived yet. Apparently the same company handles all the missing luggage and makes one big delivery run at night. The bell desk said they'd call us if it arrived by ten, but we assured them that we'd be up until midnight. Good call. They brought her luggage to our room at 10:30. Mooncat had been wondering what she was going to wear to bed, so that was good timing.
We crashed in our room, and watched some TV and some videos on Mooncat's laptop. I gave Mooncat a T-shirt, and she gave me a Kim Possible snow globe, some Batman: The Animated Series commissioned art, and two Kim Possible posters. We went to bed around midnight, as predicted.
Thursday, July 28
Since we had a whole day before the Gathering began, we decided we would hit the Strip today. We took the hotel shuttle to the Tropicana, and from there we checked out most of the major casino/hotels in the surrounding area. The heat was brutal, so we tried to stay indoors as much as possible. First we went to the MGM Grand and saw the lion habitat. From there we got a little turned around, and ended up at the Excalibur, which was cute. We checked out the shops, and I won a little telescoping lance when some woman failed to guess my birth month.
The best part was next - the Luxor. I love ancient Egyptian history and culture, so it instantly appealed to me. They did a really nice job with the place too. Golden sarcophagi, obelisks, realistic-looking walls, sphinxes, etc. We looked in a couple shops here, and I bought a small cat statuette. We also agreed we'd have to drag Summer back there, because there were plenty of statues with jackal motifs. Then we went upstairs and walked through the King Tut museum, which contained a recreation of the rooms of Tut's tomb. We were right in the heart of the Luxor pyramid. You could see all the rooms above us, and the elevators that moved diagonally. We tried to ride one, but they're key-operated. We got a snack before we left.
After that we went to Mandalay Bay, which was also very nice and very new. We basically strolled through the whole casino until we got the Shark Reef, which we decided to come back to if Summer was interested. The place looks gorgeous, but by then my feet just hurt. We ended up heading outside despite the heat and walking past the front of the Mandalay and the Luxor. There was a lot of really nice statuary out front, and I got plenty of pictures. Then we went back to the Tropicana and boarded a shuttle to the Fashion Show Mall. We walked around the mall for a while, then went outside to Treasure Island. We thought about staying around for the free Sirens show outside the TI, but ended up leaving instead. Probably a good thing, because it started to rain as we got on the Mall shuttle, and when we returned to the hotel it was pouring.
We had dinner at a place called the Broiler, which had large portions and was pretty nice. At some point I left Alexandria and Mooncat to their own devices and went to the Con Suite. Lynati and Aaron Wheeler were helping with a lot of the work for my game show panel Monday morning, and we still had a LOT to do, so we agreed I should come by that night before the Gathering began. As it happened, Lynati spent most of the night working on the registration packets, so I just sat in on a discussion with Greg Weisman and some other people, and we talked about things like comic books and "why the Batman Begins movie sucked". (And now Greg knows my name :D).
I think Ellen Stolfa dropped by our hotel room at one point, and we talked for a bit. Then I went to bed.
"I've been looking for you!"
Have you heard any new movie roles in the future for Gerard butler? After
"Burns" I've heard "Marlowe" anything else been offered to him
Uh... Phantom of the Opera?
O.K. you're totally in the wrong place, but I do seem to recall that he was in that movie.
GATHERING JOURNAL 2005
I was glad that this year's con was in Las Vegas. This city wouldn't normally be a destination for me; I'm not into the casino and show scene. And, like I kept telling my pals over the course of the weekend, I was getting into town about 40 years too late to do the one Vegas thing I really wanted to do - see the Rat Pack at the Sands. Nevertheless, the bottom line was that - other than this being the Gathering, which I'd attend no matter where it was held - this was an opportunity to go somewhere I'd never been before, and that's nothing but good.
The flight in was smooth and on time, and gave me the chance to get all my paperwork done in anticipation of the panels I'd be co-hosting. I collected my suitcase at the baggage claim and was out the door to find a taxi.
Before I left, numerous people had told me about how the dry heat of the desert felt much better than the humidity in Chicago, that I wouldn't notice the heat in Vegas as much, etc., etc. Bull. It's HOT in Las Vegas in the summer. Period. And I was roasting as I wrangled my suitcase through the taxi line. I nevertheless had to perk up and look my best, because along came Greg Weisman and Thom Adcox in that interminable taxi line, graciously offering to share their cab with me even after the trials and tribulations they'd been through that day. (It had taken the poor guys over twice as long to get there from Los Angeles than it had taken me to get there from Chicago.) One of the things I really wanted to do this weekend was to personally congratulate Greg on getting the opportunity to write more of his stories, and to tell him that, speaking as a writer myself, the news about the comic actually left me with a lump in my throat. The fact that I was able to do this right off the bat was an auspicious beginning to the weekend indeed.
After this pleasant chat with the Boss and Thom in the cab, I checked into the hotel and hauled myself up to my room. I got on the phone with Emambu to set up a breakfast meeting for the following morning, and with Allaine and Mooncat to find out which room they were in. I stopped by and chatted with them and Princess Alexandria for a little while, until I was fairly certain I'd fall over if I didn't get to bed pronto.
The following morning I met Emambu at the little restaurant at the foot of the stairs leading into the casino. The primary purpose of our meeting was to review our material for the "Writing that Flows" panel. However, I found Emambu so easy to talk to and such an interesting conversationalist that we stayed there until the restaurant manager threw us out at 20 after ten so that the staff could set up for lunch. We moved our conversation out to the lobby, where Allaine, Mooncat, and Princess Alexandria joined us. I finally decided it was high time I went and registered, so I was off in search of the meeting facilities.
Once registered, I found myself with a little free time before our panel, so I retired to my room, put my feet up, and listened to Frank Sinatra on my CD player. One of the best things about this weekend was that, since the events were extended over an extra day, I had extra half hours here and there just to sit back. It made a big difference. I might have been incoherent by the end of the convention, but I was still on my feet.
I was very gratified to see how many people showed up for the panel that Emambu and I hosted, that they all stayed till the end, and that many of them had comments and questions throughout and after the session. I say this because much of what Emambu and I discussed was the dry and boring nuts and bolts of technically clean writing - grammar, punctuation, usage, and all that stuff that makes for, as I call it, a frictionless read. Not very exciting, but so vitally important to good writing.
I had every intention of staying in the meeting room for Greg's Writing for Animation session - really and truly, and I'm sorry I missed it. But at the end of our panel, Shadowrunner (a.k.a. Julie) introduced herself to me. I've always liked her stories, had corresponded with her via e-mail, and had found out just a few days prior that she would be at this, her first Gathering. So we repaired to the hallway outside the meeting room, where we were joined by first Alex Garg and then Jackel (another on-line writer friend I was meeting face-to-face for the first time). Before we knew it, Greg's session was over. What was I saying to the guys in the cab the night before, about getting together with my writer pals and not being able to shut up?
From there I ducked into the dealers' room for long enough to pick up my copy of the Eye of Odin Anthology. It looks VERY spiffy. Christine and Tim outdid themselves on it this year, and I was sorry only that they weren't there so that I could have told them that in person.
I headed upstairs to take a breath or two and change clothes, then met Kathy in Jack's Pub downstairs to review our material for the following morning's panel on writing action scenes. I always enjoy chatting with Kathy; she has loads of great stories from the farm and from life in general for when we inevitably digress from the business at hand.
We both headed off to the opening ceremonies from there, where all present were suitably delighted at the advertising trailer for the next DVD release, and thoroughly agog at Vash's pseudo-Leica reel of The Last. Holy cow, what a tour-de-force of artistry and production that was. Hats off to Vash!
I met Mooncat, Allaine, Jackel, and Princess at Chin Chin's in New York, New York for dinner. (Good, but I can of course do better around Wentworth and Cermak for a fraction of the price. ;) ) The others were off to see Zumanity, but I returned to the hotel for the Blue Mug-a-Guest. I know by now that those sessions are always good for laughs, and this one was no exception. Like last year, however, the discussion tended to be unusually G-rated, since many of the questions had to do with the new comic series that was distracting us from coarser topics, just like the DVD release distracted us last year.
The following morning, I sat for a while in Starbuck's with coffee, a fruit drink, and a bagel and reviewed the material for that morning's panel with Revel and Kathy. I thought it turned out very well. Kathy and Revel were awesome, there was lively discussion and give-and-take throughout the session, and we covered a wide range of topics within (and outside of) the topic at hand. As with all of these panels, the time flew.
From there I went back to the dealers' room with every intention of scoping out all the artwork and NOT abandoning my coffee on Shara's table (my apologies, Shara!). However, I ran into Alex Garg and suggested we head over to the restaurant in the Stratosphere tower for lunch. He was game, so off we went. The food was good, the view was spectacular, and the conversation was delightful. And every so often we'd catch a glimpse above of the infernal roller coaster outside, atop the tower. We'd glance up at it, then look at each other, shake our heads, and say, "No, thank you."
The downside of this was that we returned way too late for Flanker's panel, so I took a few minutes to put my feet up before grabbing another cup of joe and heading to the Creature Comics/Slave Labor Graphics panel. It got me excited all over again about the release of the comic. Plus, before the panel, I snagged the chance to chat with Shara a little. She's amazing, a real go-getter.
After that, I decided to check off another item on my Vegas to-do list. Emambu and I went over to Rio for dinner at the Voo Doo Café. We loved it - great food, great atmosphere, great view. I'd recommend it anytime. After standing outside and talking non-stop for who-knows-how-long, we finally decided we should head back so that he'd have a fighting chance of catching the tail end of the celebrity poker tournament. Knowing that I had reached my own limitations for that day, I simply headed upstairs and crashed.
First up Sunday morning was the anthology signing in the dealers' room, which was fun because it was reminiscent of signing school yearbooks. From there I went to Dave Schwartz's storytelling panel. He was approaching the topic more from a graphic perspective than a writing perspective, of course, but I was very gratified to hear him giving us attendees several of the same story/plot construction tips that my panel mates and I have been giving other writers over the past couple of years. I also enjoyed his analysis of scenes from the movie "Mildred Pierce," as he pointed out one visual metaphor after another.
Then I was faced with another quandary - Greg's W.I.T.C.H. panel, or sustenance? I opted for the latter and headed down to the Oyster Bar for a bowl of chowder and some oysters on the half shell (which were quite good). I managed to catch the last few minutes of Greg's panel, at least, then returned to the consuite for Allaine's reading-aloud session. I was honored to help him out by reading parts of one of his excellent works, and tried to do it justice.
From there we headed down to the radio play, which, of course, was very well done. (The unanimous consensus in my writerly circle was that "Doc Shakespeare" would make a heck of a novel.) With a quick change of clothes afterward, I was off to the banquet. I enjoyed chatting with Leo, James Anatidae, CKayote, and the other gentlemen at the table, and the little gargoyle tea light holders at the place settings were a nice touch. Dancer stopped by and chatted a bit as well. Then it was upstairs to put my feet up for a bit (and convince myself that, no, I was NOT tired) before the masquerade. I joined Allaine, Mooncat, Jackel, Princess, Julie and Denis downstairs for the masquerade and cosplay. Too bad MC, Jacks, and PA ducked out to the pool before Allaine received his well-deserved award for having the best Eye of Odin story in the anthology. Go Al! At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, Allaine joined the girls at the pool, and I went down to the pub with Julie. She regaled me with fascinating and humorous stories until we were both too tired to be lucid, at which point we called it a night.
Monday morning I munched on the remnants of the previous two mornings' bagels and washed them down with a diet cola as I packed. I checked out, left my suitcase at the bell desk, and went upstairs with every intention of simply being a spectator for Allaine's fan fiction game. Somehow I got roped into being a participant, though, and thus spent the rest of the session alternately embarrassing myself with how little I knew about the work of my fellow fic writers (several of whom were present) and being amazed at the extent of Gside's knowledge of the subject. He won, of course. And a good time was had by all. I returned to the art room to check out Kythera's portfolios, then joined Al, Jacks, MC, Leo, PA, and Alex Garg downstairs for lunch in the Broiler.
We headed back upstairs for the live auction. Yay for Alex for getting that fabulous set of poker chips, but I just couldn't let him get those playing cards for so cheap, and I think Julie felt the same way. ;) I'll have to buy him a treat in L.A. to make up for bidding against him. But I'm sorry, Alex, that horrified look you shot me when you realized that my hand was up was well worth the price of admission.
We hung around for the cozy, low-key closing ceremonies. Then it was time for me to pre-register for next year and say my goodbyes. That took me a while, of course. And I was touched when the Boss opened his arms to me for a hug. Greg, you're a swell guy.
The trip home was smooth and uneventful. Two very sleepy boys (one big, one little) picked me up at O'Hare at midnight Chicago time, and now I'm back to reality.
In closing, my overall impression of Las Vegas was that it was hot, garish, and smoky, but lots of fun. Above all, though, the scenery was fabulous - the city is ringed by mountains, which are endlessly fascinating to this midwestern flatlander. And I found the natives to be extraordinarily friendly.
I would be horribly remiss if I didn't specifically thank Chris Rogers and the formidable con staff for all their hard work over the past year, and congratulate them on a terrific convention. And one last note: I didn't get the chance at the convention to do much more than to say a quick thank-you to Marty Lund for all his efforts on behalf of Greg's Gargoyles vision in particular and the Gargs fandom in general. But as far as I'm concerned, this guy - who is as low-key as he is deserving of praise - has demonstrated the ability to walk on water. Bravo, Marty, and thanks again.
You'll have to do better than that!
I tried to keep a running journal. As you'll see, that didn't pan out.
"I should have had cream cheese. It's 6:48 a.m. and I've just finished a very disappointing egg, ham and cheese bagel. My flight doesn't board for another 90-odd minutes, so for now I'm hanging out at the gate with a bunch of St. Louis-bound folks.
"Usually I'm up at 7 a.m. to be bound for work at 8, but this morning's 5 a.m. wake-up call didn't bother me.
"No, losing my camera bothered me (post scriptum: the camera was found in one of my shoes under my bed. *shrug*) - and my G'03 shirts, which went M.I.A. from the laundry thanks to unwanted (and, as I recall, expressly forbidden) laundry "assistance." Oh well.
"It's well past 70 outside with the humidity somewhere between "swimming pool" and "ocean." Fish could walk on land in this. I can't say I'm too eager to fly into a Las Vegas heat wave.
"8:05 - Jitters. I love flying, but for whatever reason I've been overcome with near-panic. Maybe it's the realization of how narrow my window is for connecting in Chicago, or that I can't get any movement in today's sudoku puzzle (which is a bad omen, let me tell you), but I'm nervous as all hell.
"Should be boarding in a few minutes. Will write when I land.
"10:12 Central - Yeah, it was a very narrow transfer window that damned-near closed on me. I arrived at the gate just 30 seconds before they called my ticket group. Close.
"I don't know what was up with the pre-flight jitters at D.C., but there's no sign of them now.
"This plane is, predictably, very energetic. There's music coming over the intercom, lively conversations about gambling, all anticipating fun times ahead.
"Will write when I land.
"12:04 Pacific - Touchdown.
"Ex post facto: Okay, I was bad about keeping a running journal, but I've got plenty in my memory to write a solid journal.
"Getting out of the airport was an ordeal - much glitz and glamour in the form of slot machines, casino advertisements, and a limo driver holding an 'Iglesias' sign causing people to stop in mid-walk - but I managed a shuttle to the hotel and arrived about an hour after touching down. I had missed the first panel I had wanted to attend, but Fate compensated for that as I ran into Thom in the lobby, where he recalled his travel nightmare.
"As I stood confused at the opening to the hotel's casino, Ellen ambushed me and led me through the chaos to her panel, co-hosted by Emambu. Though the subject material was familiar, it was a good panel - and it was nice to sit in something more roomier than a sardine can.
"After the panel and hanging out with Ellen, I encountered my roommates - Denis, Jenn/Rain, Paul/Akhetnu, and Kaylle - and was introduced to Julie/Shadow Runner, a fellow D.C. area resident (one of the few I've met directly through the fandom). Summer Jackel also made her appearance, and good conversation was had (though, I think, at the sacrifice of a panel she was headed for when I called her away).
"There were many other familiar faces that walked by during that time, but it would be diverting from the journal to name them all.
"My roommates and I poked around until opening ceremonies, and the new material (DVD-related) was good stuff. The well-wishes from the cast were probably the night's highlight.
"Upon that event's conclusion, the 'Four-Eyes Clan' - so-called despite my lack of glasses - headed down to Paris Las Vegas for that hotel's buffet. It was pricey, no question, but it was worth it. To have eaten the same in D.C. would have been prohibitive for the wallet.
"I hadn't been prepared for the expanse of the hotel, however, and so as we poked around the blistering of my feet began; not that I minded at the time, but now I'm thankful I have a desk job.
"We made a fashionably late (okay, really late) appearance at the "Blue Mug" event, but like last year's a lot of it was focused on the DVD and comic news (not that there weren't many attempts to turn it towards "blueness"). However, whatever was discussed there I cannot remember - my mind was three hours ahead into Saturday morning and I can't say I was making much of an effort to pay attention compared to my effort to stay awake.
"The event concluded, we picked up Roger as another roommate, brining the room total up to six, and we called it a night once the event concluded. I took the floor.
"I slept poorly that night - not so much due to the uncomforable nature of the floor as much as the cold of the air conditioner, the lack of a pillow, blanket and long-sleeved shirt. It didn't occur to me until about 5 a.m. that maybe if I moved out of the AC's path I wouldn't be so cold, but by then it was too late to salvage a good sleep."
Tired! I "woke up" around 7 a.m. and made my way downstairs to the Palace Cafe for breakfast. I missed that they were supposed to be closed, which would have kept me from heading there at all, but this morning they were open for a limited time in order to try out a new system. The best part of their trial run was that all meals were free. Free!
Wonder of wonders, a free meal at a con!
I ran into Flanker on my way out of the Cafe as he was on his way to breakfast with Sarah the Great. I informed him of the free meal available in the hotel, but it was too late - Cafe stopped service and closed up until Tuesday. So, since they were up and in search for a meal and I was in search of something to do, I joined them on a trip to the Strip for breakfast (well, their breakfast anyway).
We got back to the hotel and I headed over to Ellen, Kathy and Revel's panel on writing action sequences. It was good stuff - well done.
From there I went to the dealers' room to place bids on some art (of which I would lose two out of three) and the full set of Gargoyles comics at the silent auction.
While hanging around one of the dealer's tables, Ellen invited me out to lunch at the Stratosphere. How could I refuse?
We headed out, the cab driver gave Ellen free tickets to a show of some kind, and got in to the hotel. The restaurant required reservations, but we figured that with the main lunch hour behind us there would be room - certainly for just the two of us - and we were right.
Of all the times to not have a camera, that was the most painful. The view was *stunning* from up there.
Ellen and I had a good lunch, good conversation; it was a nice break from the con.
We had such a good time, though, that we missed Flanker's panel, which was unfortunate as people have given it rave reviews.
So I stalked around the dealers' room a bit more and checked on my bids. I found that I had been bested on one piece of artwork; and so, even though the fire alarm went off and con staff encouraged my evacuation, I one-upped my challenger. Dedication, folks - auctions are not for the light-hearted.
I had been thoroughly bested, however, on another piece of art and someone placed a fifth bid on the comics, sending them to the live auction on Monday.
Once the alarm was silenced, I hung out and waited for the evening's poker game. Fun times, people - though a disappointing turnout. The players were solid - Greg was wearing his "poker shirt" and boasted that he had just brushed up on Poker for Dummies, and Thom... Thom had a clever strategy of playing like he had no idea what he was doing.
Okay, Seth and I coached him once or twice (or thrice), and with our help he put up a good showing, at least up until he was coached to keep a hand with nothing going but a 50% chance for a flush before the flop - not by me, BTW - and from there it was downhill.
His death was when we thought he had landed three aces and encouraged him to stay in, only to have him bested by a full house.
The best part of the game wasn't so much coaching Thom as heckling Greg. So rarely does one have the excuse to send a jeer or two his way - mostly because he usually has a smart-ass response in the wings at all times - but tonight was a good excuse.
Mandi kept a log of quotes from the crowd and players that night, which I hope she'll get around to posting soon, my favorite being (of course) mine:
"Greg'll stay in - unless he's too scared."
*crowd jeers, Greg shoots me a "WTF, man?!" look... then folds. Crowd goes wild*
Chris won by engaging in a proxy war of attrition, pitting the other players against each other while slowly building his pot. After his victory, Greg called for an ice cream run - so 20-odd of us headed through the casino to storm the ice cream stand.
Before I had a chance to enjoy my rocky road, some old guy (and maybe slightly drunk) took me aside and told me how our con had drawn the wrath of local talk radio (though I'm not so sure he was talking about our gargoyles as much as... ... I don't know). I managed to break away before my ice cream melted away into nothingness, just in time for the crowd to discover the local arcade.
Thom and Archangel engaged in a motorcycle race (and, of course, seeing and hearing Thom on a motorcycle immediately invoked images of "Awakening" and Lex's ill-fated ride). I called winner. Thom won.
In our race, I was winning comfortably. Thom saw this and in a sheer act of underhandedness leaned over and pushed my motorcycle in an attempt to throw me off! He didn't succeed, but he did tap the brake in the process, causing me to slow down and miss the next checkpoint, thus running out of time.
He lapped me and won the race.
By this time Greg, et al., had appeared and poked around the various games. I had a few tokens to kill, so I stopped by a shooter to get rid of them before we all headed to the pool. Unfortunately, they made a quick exit.
One moment everyone was there, the next... nothing. You'd think I would have heard 20 people file out of a small room, but no.
So, de facto ditched, I hurried out of the room to intercept the group (which was being shown where the pool was, which was important to me because I had yet to go there) and found them as they entered the elevator bay.
Having missed the pool tour-
Me: "So, where's the pool?"
Greg: "It's... where that wet place was. Didn't you see it?"
Me: "No. Y'all ditched me in the arcade so I had to run find you, you jerks [read that light-hearted, mind you]."
Thom: [in a not-so-aside to Greg] "He's just mad because I pushed his motorcycle."
Of course, lost in the exchange was the fact that I still had *zero* idea where the pool was, and so I almost aborted going on the outing.
Also not having swim trunks was a very motivating factor.
However, I determined that, in the absence of swimsuits, there are shorts. Problem: I didn't have a room key.
So I headed back down to the lobby in the hopes that the gift shop carried trunks. It did. I grabbed the first pair off the rack, dropped $15 and waited for somebody to show up to guide me poolward.
Thom appeared. We headed out, others appeared with Greg, and so from the 40-odd from the poker match there were 10 of us at the pool/hot tub. We stayed through the pool's closing at midnight, and from there parted ways.
It wasn't long afterwards that I was asleep on my hotel room floor - well out of the AC's way this time.
Woke up not as early as the day before, having managed to get sleep out of the AC's path, and headed down to the hotel's buffet with Denis.
After breakfast I headed over to the Dealers' Room to get my Eye of Odin Anthology signed by the folks available - and there was happiness. In talking with Allaine and the other writers present, I had to admit that I had not brought anything for the "Reading Aloud" event later that afternoon, which Allaine was hosting, and so I was going to audition for Radio Play in the event I couldn't write anything that afternoon.
I got in the short line for the Radio Play final call and read as Demona; having succeeded in getting a slot in past years with Xanatos ('03 - Thailog) and Lexington ('04 - Art), I wanted yet another change of pace - and the lines were good.
Immediately following the auditions I grabbed a chair, sat in the hallway and began reconstructing my read aloud piece in the event I wasn't cast.
At 1:30 p.m., as promised, Greg and Jenn (CrzyDemona, not my roommate) posted the cast list, and I was on it.
Relieved (and disappointed), I put away my notebook and headed for the silent auction to check on bids. I had been crushed on two pieces of art I had bid for and let them go, leaving one, and put down bids on the previous night's poker chip set and playing cards. Then I chatted with Revel - also cast - as we waited for rehearsal to roll around.
This year's script was an original, non-"Gargoyles" production, so we were excited to take part. I died in the teaser, but it was fun all the same.
After rehearsal, Chris informed us that the silent auction was about to end and we had just a matter of minutes to place final bids. I entered the room and joined the hoard of people guarding their bids. I had been one-upped on both the cards and the chip set, so I placed the fifth bid on the cards, sending them to Monday's live auction, and the fourth bid on the chip set. Archangel placed the fifth bid on the chips (despite my empty threats to not), and so everything I wanted had to be had on Monday.
The play went well. I died, got some laughs, then enjoyed a back, front-row seat to the rest of the play like a good ghost. Good times, people.
I wasn't signed up for the banquet, so I joined Paul and Jenn (roommate) for another outing to the Paris hotel for crapes, which were to die for.
We rushed back to the hotel for the costumes/cos-play event, and there were some pretty decent ones this year, though fewer participants than last. Chatted with Ellen, Julie, Allaine, Mooncat, Summer, and Alexandria, finding out that the latter three had it in mind to go to the pool, as did I.
I ended up going to the wrong pool, however, and getting trapped in conversation. The woman with whom I was speaking, when I asked where the other pool was so I could go look for my friends, replied, "Oh, there are just three girls at that one. I don't think you want to talk to them."
I managed to escape after some time and, sure enough, the three girls mentioned were quite the three I wanted to find, and we stuck around the pool until midnight.
From there we went back to our rooms, and after a few hours of conversation with my roommates (sans Paul, who was chatting with folks at the banquet) went to bed.
I have to agree with the many folks who have said this before, but I'm grateful the con staff extended this year's Gathering into a fourth day. That made things far less hectic (at least from a con-goer's prospective) and, well, it's good to get a Monday off.
I headed on down to Allaine, Aaron and Lynati's (though absent) "Win Xanatos' Money - Fanfic Edition" event, though that was quite a mistake given my tired state. I had thought participation was going to be voluntary, but oh no! I walked in, Allaine handed me a sheet and said, "You have 15 minutes."
The "reading list" was around 500-700 fics (depending on whether authors' double handles were taken into account), with word lengths ranging from tiny to novella. From there, Allaine and Lynati pulled 21 true/false questions. Because I didn't know I would be participating, I read up on none of the fics before the convention.
So, staring at the 21 questions before me, I did plenty of guessing. Oh, how I guessed - and oh how I screwed up on a number of them.
G-Side, Ellen and Alexandria made it to the next round having gotten 14, 13 and 13 out of those 21 correct (it turned out I got 12 right), and so the pressure was off me. G-Side won, though Ellen and Alexandria were able to hold their own.
From there it was lunch with Allaine, Ellen, Alexandria, Mooncat, Summer and Leo (it feels like I'm forgetting somebody, and I mean no offense if I am) at a place in the casino. The food was quality, as was the conversation, which is a key element in eating out.
After lunch we headed over to the live auction, which was my big event for the day.
I designated many of the above-mentioned as my bidding proxies should something happen to me (and I was quick to set limits on what they could spend in such an event), as my stomach was acting up and I didn't know if I would have to make an exit. After that, I just waited for my items to come up.
The first item was the deck of cards from Saturday's poker game, the king of clubs signed by Thom. My bid going into the auction was the high bid - $21 - but, seeing my competition a few rows down, I jumped that to $24, prompting Allaine to lean over and ask, "Why did you outbid yourself?"
That must have been enough to ward off my competition, because he didn't offer anything higher. I was confident in my victory as Chris counted down. Until...
"$26!" someone shouted from behind me! Ellen, my proxy, betrayed me!
At some point in our back and forth she admitted she didn't want them, she just didn't want me to have them for cheap. I, on the other hand, did want them so I would have a complete charity poker set.
I ended up winning the war at $38. That's the most I have ever spent on cards. Ever. Greg and Archangel later signed the ace of spades and king of clubs respectively.
Later in the auction came the comic books. I didn't have the high bid at the silent auction, but whomever it was that had outbid me was no longer at the con, so I became next in line. There were some initial bidders, but I knocked them down - someone bid $80, I jumped to $100, and the room quieted down.
Once more I became confident in victory, until Dancer called out "$110!"
We went back and forth until she hit my ceiling of $150, and I thought all was lost. But Allaine came to the rescue and said he'd pitch in $10 if I moved to outbid her. I put down $160, and Dancer did not come back. I was two for two (and Allaine very much has my thanks).
The poker chip set came at the end of the auction, which Chris announced was valued at $300. My ceiling was $200. It was go time.
Archangel had the high bid of $90, and I quickly put down $100. Several others rose to challenge me, but each time I batted them away. However, as the bidding went on I came closer and closer to my ceiling. I put down $180 and nervously anticipated that somebody would put down $190, forcing me to my ceiling (which, after crossing it twice for the cards and comics, I was not going to cross again, even for a $100 bargain).
I waited... and waited... nothing happened. I won!
So, having put down a total of $378 for my various items, my bank account cried just a little bit; however, I was happy. And yeah, E&H crew, we's having some poker matches this year.
And that, essentially, was the end of the Gathering. Closing ceremonies followed the auction, and the sad goodbyes were had. Relative to last year's they were better because more people were around, but it was still disheartening.
Gave my well wishes to those leaving and headed on my own way.
My roommates and I headed over to the Strip for a bit of a walking tour. We started at the MGM Grand to see the lions, then made our way down the Strip to Caesar's Palace and the forum shops for dinner.
Holy hell is that place expansive. It never ended. Ever.
Dinner was at a Hollywood Planet with desert being gelato farther into the mall. My stomach began acting up again and I had to insist that the trip be cut short (well, shorter given the time we had already spent there), lest my body revolted.
We hurried down the Strip towards the Tropicana to catch the shuttle back to Palace Station, but we got there just in time to watch it drive away. So we hitched a cab back and pretty much did our own thing from there - namely packing.
Denis and I went to bed earlier than the others because of our early departure times (Denis needed to leave the hotel at 4:30 a.m., I at 9), and so ended Monday.
Got out of the hotel on time, seeing various folks heading out as well. Security didn't hassle me about the poker chips as I thought they would, and lugging that case through the airport and on/off planes was not fun at all, and surely got some people's eyebrows up.
The flight from Vegas to Chicago was very, very dull. Where on the plane in everybody was excited to get some action, everybody now was licking their wounds. While I'm sure many contemplated gambling losses, I very much realized just how much money I had spent at the auction; and with those expenses on top of the money I spend for other necessities, I might as well have gambled.
Chicago to Washington was a nicer leg - although the two-hour layover was not fun - as I and the person next to me engaged in small talk, but pulling into the gate was a most welcome experience.
Dad picked me up around 11 p.m., after some confusion about which level of the terminal I was on, and I was home by 11:20, in bed by midnight.
I woke up for work at 7 a.m., and I was sad.
Farewell, my enemies!
I actually kind of wanted to see Win Xanatos's money, but was getting kind of beat so we slept in. For the most part all I did till closing ceremonies was help supervise art room pick up and tear down. Make sure all the items were accounted for and watched Winterwolf do a tavern dance or something, was fun. Ran down stairs with Chris Rogers to get Thom to sign the poker chips, that case was heavy too.
Closing ceremonies was short and bitter sweet, as always. It's sad to see the con end but can't have fun all the time. Spent a while longer with the staff and Emambu cleaning up the dealers room, playing soccer with a yellow wal-mart smiley. The hotel staff really appreciated our efforts to help them clean. Apparently most groups just trash and run. It was nice to help them out since they had been very good to us at getting what we needed.
Most of our friends already know that Spacebabie and I are engaged and we were going to get hitched in Vegas, but after some careful consideration we settled for a simple improve mating ceremony in the Con suite at the dead dog party. It was good enough, though probably in the spring the real thing will happen, which will make our families more happy since they will be there.
The staff left for dinner and Spacie and I left to have our own dinner date in style, suit and dress. Now we settled on a Carabbas that was not too far away, more than walking distance. Unfortunately, I should have just taken the van. But we were on a date and I wanted to be driven. But this emphasized why I am a person that is very do it myself
Because I know it's done right. Damn rip off taxi cabs. At what point does Flamingo sound like Charleston.
The food was good, because I was not driving I also had a Cosmopolitan, I've had better, but the food was good. We were going to walk the strip a little when we got back but we had just missed the shuttle and needed to get up early anyhow. So missed some of the Vegas sites. We can go back someday and catch them.
Not a very exciting entry, Wake everyone up, get the money to Chris, who looked about as awake as us, and load the car and go. We had to make pretty good time getting back because need to get the car back to the rental place by 11am on Wednesday. Damn Dollar rental, hate them. Anyhow, we moved pretty fast, slightly less weighed than when we came and stopped a few times for food and breaks and gas. We drove on through the night.
Well, this should have been uneventful, but at about 5:30 am something ran across the road. I was half asleep in the back with Spacie and Aaron was driving, we were not far outside Decatur, Texas. Aaron swears it was a large raccoon, it looked to big to me, but I didn't get a good look before we were swerving and fish tailed, did a 360 and ended up in the grass with a flat tire. No major damage, but it did kind of ruin our schedule. But remember to always get insurance when renting a car, you never know what can happen.
I got the tire off and a cop stopped by to help. Amazing how many people can dial 911 even at that hour in the middle of no where. The part that slowed us down was having to wait till 7am for a tire place to open, since it was too far to keep going on the donut.
So we got it home, unloaded and got it to the rental people as soon as we could. Remember, Always top off the tank before returning, they charge like $5.00 a gallon if it's not full. I was able to get them to not charge the late fees due to the incident. But still had to pay for the gas. >_< $60 for a half tank. @*&^%!
After a nap and some showers we relaxed and Aaron and I played some Halo 2 and my mother brought KFC.
Slept in laaaaaate, and it was nice. We dropped off Spike's art at UPS and attempted to mail out the T-shirts to those that paid for theirs but left the ground bills at the house. Oops. But that's fine I took care of it, later. We had dinner at the Kobe Japanese Grill and sushi. Good food, very short wait and was nice to have a relaxing post con meal. After which we loaded Aaron's Buick Century back up, I put in the new K&N Air filter I bought him and they left for San Antonio.
Thanks once again for another great year and hope to see you in LA
Farewell, my enemies!
I had an early panel with Kathy and Ellen on action writing. I was a tiny bit late getting up so only grabbed a bagel and an apple juice in the Starbucks. To be honest I felt intimidated being on this particular panel. Where the Demona thing was a free for all, this had an out line and I was up front with two very accomplished writers. I kind of felt I had no right telling others how to do things with my very measly credentials.
Despite my personal feelings I tried to do my best and kept my mouth shut more. I think it went over well, there were good questions asked so I was pleased.
I believe I sat at the reg desk some more with Lynati, Nourcumi I believe? and IRC Goliath. There were probably others.
I next ran off for the Portfolio Reviews with David Schwartz. The man is very cool, was glad to have some time with him and have him look my stuff over. He gave some good points and was very constructive in his criticism.
I believe I went down stair and gambled a little more while I waited for auditions, with a quick stop by the Con Suite to see if they were playing the extra video time from last years con, they were not.
The radio play has become something now that I try my best to get in now, because I've now done it three times. It's a lot of fun and a bit of an ego boost every year that I make the cut. I've always been proud of my voice, and if had not done drawing would probably have pursued acting of voice acting. When I entered everyone was laughing, I guess I missed the joke but I can probably guess what it was about. I read Lexington this time and it was apparently good enough, though I stumbled at first, took a breath and got through it
I stuck my head in and caught the end of Flanker's martial arts panel. Flanker looked sharp in his Canadian Army uniform, but that was a different night. Anyhow the fire alarm went off, and we sloooowly started to make our way out since it did not seem like it was going to stop. Followed by shouts of, "Save the cash box!" and "Save the porn!" Thankfully it stopped before we could get the art room locked up.
After the false alarm was the Slave Labor Panel. Very promising things, we can all hope for the best and pimp it as best as possible along with season 2 DVD.
Ran to the buffet for dinner before going back to the main room to watch the charity poker. I never realized Greg W was such a good player. Have to watch those clean cut looking guys.
Took a small break after the game to go gamble some before Hudson's Rant. This is something that is really beyond description. There is just something entertaining about giving this man a microphone and letting him talk about what ever comes to mind.
After much fun and immaturity we went to bed.
Didn't have any reason to get up early so we stayed in our room a little longer. After which grabbed a bite to eat. I played a little Roulette and ran up the escalator on the wrong side to go back and get Lynati's soup and drink but didn't know where she went, forgot what room she was in. I believe I watched the art room some more with Emambu and others both Emambu and myself had to give up the duty to go to radio play rehearsals later that afternoon. I played the part of one Arthur Somes, a nerdy waiter or something in a sleepy California beach town in a romantic comedy series called Doc Shakespeare. The concept seems very interesting, maybe someday they will get it to sell if they have not stopped trying.
I played a little more down stairs one last time while Spacie got ready for Banquet. The food was excellent. Aaron looked damn sharp, as did Flanker and Lynati. Dreamie and Winterwolf had donned their pirate garb earlier and were cute together. No party is complete without pirates! Note of interest was that it was buffet style, I like this better because when we are served you don't get to customize your meal. I just like that better.
Our table was myself, Spacie, Mandi, Gside, Aaron, and Lynati. GregX bounced back and forth and Flanker came by for a chit chat before we had to go get our costumes ready.
Jackal, I actually came up with the idea a while ago, though it would be interesting to combine the dress suit from Her Brother's Keeper and post Upgrade Jackal. The bolo tie was the easiest part, though should have used a more fine brush when painting. The eye and ear cover was the last piece put together but I though the best part, I was proud of how well it held together. The gloves went through several stages. It was my mother, who works on costumes as a hobby, who came up with using the aluminum from cooking pans. I think it worked well, just a bit too fragile, the thumbs fell off early, but still worked well enough. I think if I were to try again I would use something more sturdy as a base. I know the suit was not the same color as HBK, but I really like that suit.
Won some art awards, was really proud of the second place for "Kill David" I really liked that piece. Eventually we got back to our room and some sleep.