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Ok Greg, here's my 2004 Gathering Journal. Was nice seeing you once again. :)
Aug. 3 -
Spent most of the day finishing up the last of the packing, getting a haircut and picking up some more chocolate for the trip. Headed out to the airport just after 8:30 pm for my 11:05 flight. Got to the airport just after 9 and checked in my one bag. After that, went to go through the security point. The T.S.A. folks all noticed my Weird Al shirt.
Oddly, one of them called me an experienced flyer when I put my laptop into a bin to go through the X-Ray machine. Truthfully, I just read the sign to make sure that's what I had to do. Had to take my boots off before going through the metal detector. And got told by another that the 'SSSS' on my ticket meant the computer had randomly selected me for extra screening. Went through that and got a Mt. Dew to drink while waiting for the flight. Sat down by my gate, got out the laptop and started to type up my Gathering journal. Flight took off about forty-five minutes late, but didn't bother me too much. On the just over 5 hour-long flight, I slept maybe two hours.
Aug. 4 -
Was groggy when I got to JFK where I had a two hour layover before going into Rochester to meet up with Scott (Abram). Discovered JetBlue had free wireless access at their terminal, so I got on the net while waiting. Hit the Duknin' Donuts for a light breakfast during the flight to Rochester. Landed there an hour later and spotted Abram on the way to baggage. Retrieved my bag before stopping at Best Buy to pick up Doom 3.
On the way to his house in Penn Yan, NY, we hit a Denny's so I could eat an actual meal. Stopped off where he got some chocolate that I was supposed to not know about. Short drive later, was at his place. Took an hour nap and met Sarah the Great. Had dinner sometime and watched Hellboy. Conked out just after 1 am.
Aug. 5 -
Woke up sometime after 7 am to get ready for the drive up to Montreal. Breakfast was a bagel and some greatly needed water. We hit the road before 8 am after some interesting twisting and turning of the luggage to make it all fit. We piled into the car and headed off for Montreal with Scott driving and Sarah navigating. I took the seat behind Scott since I knew the Border Agent was going to ask questions. We managed to make pretty good time and we stopped at the Duty Free store where I bought a bottle of brandy for Karine.
Answered all the questions Customs asked of us and maybe a hundred feet or so away, Scott half yelled "Suckers!" even though my window wasn't all the way up. Thankfully, we didn't encounter a problem because of that and we shared a laugh over it. Stopped at a service center along the way where I got some food from Wendy's and some Canadian currency. It was the same one I stopped at with Siryn on the way up for the Live Meeting and this time I noticed the maple leaf instead of an apostrophe. Funny the little things you notice.
Along the way, I spotted the familiar exit that one take's to Karine's place. Granted I only went along that path once with Siryn for the Live Meeting, I still remembered it. We got to outer edge of Montreal around 2:30 pm. As we worked our way into downtown Montreal, I pointed in the general direction of the hotel. We passed through one tunnel and then as we went into another, I pointed out how I didn't remember going through a second one to get to the hotel. Our lovely printed up directions had failed to point out the exit. Go figure. Ended up pulling a massive u-turn and parked at the hotel around 3 pm or a little after.
Of course, the parking garage was just as evil as I remember in February. Grabbing my backpack, I headed up with them to the lobby. Checked in, got the four keys and ran into Karine and Patrick. Started helping them move things up to the con suite. Saw most of the rest of the staff as we went to work on sorting out things for the packets. We managed to pack the packets quickly and efficiently. Before too long, Patrick returned with Greg and the lot of us was off to dinner, minus some folks who thought there was going to be a rather large group of us going to dinner. Hopefully no hard feelings for them since we reduced it down to just staff and 2005 staff.
The place Karine has wanted us to go to had just closed the kitchen, so we went to another place a short distance away. Didn't get to munch on crepes, but got to chew on a three cheese pizza. The pizza was ok, but not what I would call 'good.' After eating, we went back to the hotel and decided to meet up at 9 for breakfast. Went down to my room and met my two other roommates and made sure the alarm was set for 8:30. After that, called it a night.
Aug. 6 -
Got up about 15 minutes before the alarm went off. Got up, showered and got ready for the staff meeting. Of course, I realized I had left my backpack up in the Con Suite. Once most of us showed up, we headed out to get breakfast. Service was slow seeing as there was one person working the tables. I had eggs, bacon and toast. We decided on who was going to work what job and I went for registration. I didn't work this for very long. Ended up going down to help Karine and later on, up to watch the Con Suite.
Kicked out everyone some time after 4:15 so I could close it up and bring down the VCR. Forgot a set of cables, so I had to run up to grab those. Ran back down to find out I needed a tape to test the setup. More running around and by the time I came back with the tape, Patrick had shown up with one. So I returned the tape I had gotten to the dealer's room. Came back down and found a seat for Opening Ceremonies. At one point during it, Greg asked what more can you want and somebody yelled out Thom. While we on the staff wanted to get him, it does cost a lot of money to board his dogs.
Greg announced the two disc DVD was coming out on Dec. 7th, which I mentally filed away. He also presented a Power Point presentation with some quotes from fans dealing with the upcoming release of the DVD. Clan Olympics started during opening ceremonies with some sort of ball relay. Somewhere in there, Greg played a audio tape of an Team Atlantis episode that never got made. I believe it was called "The Last." Also, we on the staff presented Gorebash with "The Fan Guest of Honor." He really deserved it. After Clan Olympics was done, things got moving along again.
After everything finished up, several headed out to get crepes for dinner. Our group was Greg, Karine, Mark & Mark, Zehra, Kathy, Laurean, Ian, myself and somebody else. Person's name escaped me at the moment. I ordered the Nelson, which had Maple, apple and bacon and it was very good. Our server had a slight lack of grace when bringing out the food. Dropped a couple of plates that smashed on the table. If I ever make it up to Montreal again, I'll have to ask Karine to take me back to that place.. After dinner, the lot of us headed back.
Managed to hit the blue mug a guest for a short while before running down to get the VCR. Tried to make it back into the mug a guest, but the room was too packed for me to get in. Decided after a little while to call it a night and lugged the VCR down to my room.
Aug. 7 -
Got up around 8:15 or so. Got ready for the staff meeting and met up at the Con Suite. We went down to the hotel's food area and snagged some food there. I grabbed the radio from the room Opening Ceremonies had been in and dropped it off in the Con Suite. After that, came back down to work the registration desk for the day. Chatted with Ian for a bit after setting my laptop. Don't remember what we talked about, but did get a few walk-in registrations. Managed to write a little before starting to play Doom 3 for most of the day. Of course, got my butt kicked several times over.
Got to watch some Clan Olympics stuff while sitting there and also missed the auction and radio play. Well, missing the auction didn't bother me too much since I didn't have that much money to spend this year. Did want to see the radio play, but oh well. Will have to make the effort to see it next year for sure. Was told to shut down early and brought the stuff up stairs. I think some time during the day I got two commissions from Cindy and two commissions from Liz. They were commissions they had done for me, so we decided the Gathering was the best place for me to get them.
Ran by the dealers and art room and just missed the voting for the art show. Oops. The art was pretty impressive this year; just too bad I didn't have the money to buy anything. Well, will have to correct that next year. While there, I managed to snag a sketch of Chaos by Kythera. Nothing like adding more art to the pile. After the room closed, I went downstairs to where the banquet was going to be held. Kept an eye on the door as more folks began to filter downstairs.
Around 6, we started to allow folks into sit down while Cindy and I checked to see if folks had the Banquet sticker on the back of their badges. Karine reminded them to keep a seat open at each table so we could auction off which table would get Greg and which one would get Keith when he arrived. Karine had Becca pull the first number and I believe somebody else to pull the second. I sat at a table with Norcumi, Quindar, and three other fans. About 15 minutes or so later, Lynati showed up and she joined us. Mostly chatted about what it takes to run a con.
I think about 7:30, Keith David and Patrick arrived. A few folks at their table managed to keep their food waiting for them. The Q&A session started up a few minutes later. Most of the questions were directed at him and I felt sort of bad, since he wanted to eat. While the Q&A was going on, the group in the next room started getting loud. I went to go see if I could get them to turn the noise and ran into Daniel, our hotel contact. Asked him to speak to them and he did. They started to get loud again and then he went and told them: "If you don't turn it down, fifty angry gargoyles will be after you." Group didn't get loud again.
Around 8:30, we stopped the Q&A so Keith could rest up a little bit. With some help from Ian, Norcumi, Quindar, and a few others, we started moving tables and chairs around for the masquerade. Once set up was done, we started letting folks in and got things moving again. The costumes this year where rather impressive. Siryn dressed up as Tom, Kaylee as Princess Katherine, Patrick as Puck, Alan (Jen's husband) as Macbeth, Lynati as Ophelia, Mandolin as Banshee and there were others, but can't remember who dressed up as what. Name forgetting aside, the costumes were impressive this year.
After the awards were given, a bunch of us took photos while they set up for the Karaoke. A little while later, the karaoke started up. I mostly sat out in the hallway talking with Silver about my character Chaos while she did a sketch of him. Showed Greg what Puppy Pack art I had and a little later on, showed Keith a few of the cels I had gotten from the show. Peeked in there briefly while Keith sang, though I don't remember what song. Took a couple pictures of Arno dancing with somebody, but can't remember the person's name.
Went back outside to chat with Silver some more while she started doing a sketch of Gadget. At one point, I though I heard somebody signing "Blame Canada." Oops, turns out the person was signing "Blame Gargoyles." Listened in slightly and heard folks trying to sing "Y.M.C.A." Snickered quite a bit because most of them couldn't seem to remember most of the lyrics. Silver debated about inking the Gadget picture, which I convinced her to do while we chatted.
I decided after that to get some sleep, so I said goodbye to Greg before heading up to my room. Told the folks that were gaming in there that they had half an hour before I was going to kick them out so I could get some badly needed sleep. They left just before midnight and I crashed for the night.
Aug. 8 -
Got up around 8:30. Got ready and went up to the Con Suite, though I got there a few minutes after 9. Karine, Patrick, Laurean and took a short walk to get breakfast from a nearby place. I got a bottle of Coke and a muffin for breakfast. It was the first caffeine I had the entire weekend. I set up registration and missed the Gargoyles Biology panel I wanted to go to. Chatted with a few fans, though I don't remember their names. Yeah, shame on me.
Got two walk-in registrations and closed up at noon. Went back down to sit in on the second Keith David mug-a-guest, which was the only one he did that day. Missed part of it when doing a little running around, but oh well. Around 3, we did the Closing Ceremonies. Karine rattled off what each of us did in turn and when she got to me, she went, "Shaun. Registration desk and self proclaimed con bitch!" Got lots of laughter on that one. Cindy did the art show awards and after everything was done, we started up the line for signing by Keith.
Got called upstairs briefly where the lot of us on staff got to see all the chocolate Abram had gotten for us. After that, I went back down and managed to get a cel signed by Keith, along with a photo. Wandered back up to the Con Suite for a little while. I chipped in $5 to help with the food for the staff dead dog party, even though I wasn't going to be there for part of it. Met up with Norcumi and Quindar for dinner, since we had wanted to get together for a little while to talk. After dinner, we came back to the hotel and chatted for about 2 hours.
They went upstairs to rest and I went back to Karine's room. Got to chat with her husband Adam and a couple of their friends for a while. Party broke up and I wondered back down to my room to start preparing my stuff for the next day.
Aug. 9 -
Woke up around 8 and started to get ready for La Ronde and the trip back to New York later in the day. Most of us packed up early, but our fourth disappeared for a while. Managed to check out close to 10. Got my ticket for the park and headed off with the group. Got to ride the local transit system out to the park got to wait on a hot bus for the ride over. A couple of us took a group pictures. Karine wondered where Christen and Becca had gone. I helped her look, but failed to spot them.
We wandered off to find a few others and ran into Patrick, Rob and Cindy. I quickly got some money and a bite to eat since I hadn't gotten breakfast. First ride we got on was "The Dragon." Talk about a very lame roller coaster. After that, was the Ferris wheel, walking and fudge. More walking before running into Leo, Karlyl and Laurean. After that, we hit the "Le Vampire." That one reminds me of "Top Gun" at Great America. Cindy and Rob left to rest and then our group got lunch.
Went to watch the diving show, but noticed it was packed. Went up on the slowly spinning tower before the others left to go back to the hotel. I walked around a little before finding Abram and another fan. We chatted a while before a small group of us headed out. Got back to the hotel and took off for New York. Stopped part way along for food and stopped at the duty free store. I picked up a shot glass before we crossed the border. Customs guy asked quite a few more questions than when I went through in February with Laurean. Along the way, I conked out for a while.
Got Abram's place, where Sarah, Scott and I crashed around 2 in the morning.
Aug 10 -
Got up around ten for a light breakfast. We saw Sarah off before sitting at Scott's place for a couple hours. Got dropped off at Rochester around 3 and checked in. Here, the T.S.A. went through my suitcase and once again, got selected for the random screening. Stopped off at the little gift shop where I picked up "The Teeth of the Tiger" by Tom Clancy. Spent most of the flight reading the book. Not too shabby, but not what I would call one of his better books.
Got into JFK, where I had to walk through half the terminal to get to my next flight, which was boarding when I landed. Got my seat and waited for take-off. Got off the ground a little over an hour later than originally scheduled since the flights going west were backed up due to a storm. Flight was pretty smooth and I tried to sleep, but just couldn't once again. Got in an hour later than planned. Got my baggage and headed for home, bringing to an end another wonderful and fun Gathering.
Even though I didn't pre-register for next years at the Gathering (didn't have the funds), I will be there next year. Being in Lost Wages, eh, Las Vegas next year, I can drive there.
Cool. Hope you're making it to G2006 this year too.
For those who STILL don't know about the Gathering and how much fun it was, is and will continue to be, check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com.