A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Displaying 1 record.
(Below you will find my Gathering diary, as it is. In its original version it is actually more or less integrated with a multiple page photo gallery, and part of a larger diary on my visit of Canada. This entire setup makes it very difficult to post the diary somewhere without the pictures or sub-pages. I have opted to copy and much of the relevant text into the submission form in order to post it here. Existing out of its original context, the result might be a bit confusing, so please bear with me.)
Friday was the first proper day of the Gathering. It began with sleeping in late for most of us, considering the time we had gone to bed the night before. The exception was MAui. She had to get up early to work on the Clan Olympics with Abram Wintersmith. As a result most of the morning had already disappeared by the time we were up and about. By that time Robert, also our roomie, had shown up as well, swelling our ranks further.
One of our first acts of the day was to get registered at the registration desk. Again, a lot of familiar faces, and some new ones, but I have to say, I liked all the new faces I met.
We registered ourselves as a team for the Clan Olympics under the name "Arcadia International" ("We don't suck!"). Our members represented Canada, the United States of America, Great Brittain and The Netherlands. It was a team with too many members so we needed to rotate, but that turned out to work just fine as there was always some other team in need of a spare player. The Clan Olympics was a major event this year, and ended up dominating our weekend. Good thing it was a lot of fun.
At some point we decided to go to have breakfast/lunch. As we walked out ('we' being Robert, Dubble, Countess and myself) we walked right into a huge group of Gathering-attendants who all were just leaving for breakfast/lunch. The group was far too large to remember, but random names would be Hudson, Chris Rogers, Kaelyan, Cat, Mandolin, a bunch of people I know by face, not by name, and a bunch of people I don't remember at all. Awash in the sudden current, the self-appointed "Dweeby section of the group", we followed them around to a corner restaurant who gladly wanted to feed us, but only outside, where there was still room. The personel was quite friendly. It seems that for some reason, wherever Gargoyles fans go, everyone seems to like them. What is it about us? ;)
After all this the Gathering started proper, starting with the opening ceremonies, and then through the MGT3K event to the second Clan Olympics event. The second event? Indeed. The first had already been sprung at us during the opening ceremonies. A very daring move indeed.
Unfortunately Countess and Beedoo! missed most of this. Countess had to pick up Beedoo! from the airport as the opening ceremonies started and returned very late due to a delay. But with Beedoo! there at least our room was now completely present.
I recall that at one point, we went too bed. Way too late, again.
--- The registration desk, manned and womaned by BrooklynX, Rob and Siryn, was a very active place at the start of the Gathering, so much so that people gathered there for the largest part of the day. Aside from regular registration there was the seperate registration for the Clan Olympics beside it. No one could register without at least hearing of the event.
(Actually, I think the man's name was Rob. I know what his online handle is, more or less, but I can't even begin to spell it. ;) )
--- At the registration desk we also met the camera team sent there by Disney to film the Gathering. I was very pleasantly actually surprised to find that they were very open, very enthusiastic people. In my cynicism I had assumed they would just show up, shoot some film, collect their wages and leave. Instead, they really seemed to be there to want to get into the thing.
The camera team asked us to register again, so they'd have footage of registration. So we handed in our badges, then, in front of the camera, walked up to the desk, told our name and got handed a random badge and envelope. It was nothing like proper registration, unfortunately ("Arno! Hey Arno! What's you're last name!?"), and I wish they'd been there to film that instead. But we dutifully did our bit. A great actor I shall never be though.
They certainly filmed a lot of stuff. As I was talking to the camera people, signing away either my soul or my right not to want to appear on the DVD (yeah, right!) on some piece of legal paper, and suddenly I realised that I'd lost my program! But when I turned it around I found it again, under this enormous camera, being filmed for the DVD. I am so proud. Sadly, though, I lost it for real later that day.
--- As always the Gathering officially kicked off withthe opening ceremonies. In random order: we watched the movies, we listened to the stories. We listened to what the staff had in store for us, there was a fun tape with recorded messages from about a dozen(?) people involved with Gargoyles on it (as with Ed Asner's letter at the Gathering in LA, 2001, I can't help but notice what a kind man he seems to be), Gorebash received a well-deserved fandom award and at some point the opening ceremonies even got hijacked by the Clan Olympics.
After the chaos caused by this died down the opening ceremonies continued as usual. Further notable parts included the release date and further information on the Gargoyles DVD and Chris Roger's plans for the future of the Gathering which were, to say the least, fascinating.
--- During the opening ceremonies the whole thing got hijacked by the Clan Olympics. MAui and Abram Wintersmith stepped to the front of the room, stoically dropping cue cards declaring the opening ceremonies to be taken over. Truthfully, It was a hillarious thing to happen, and I must say, a brave thing to do for both them as well as the Gathering staff, who no doubt had to OK this rather unconventional idea.
So there we were, participating in the first event already, Jess and Dubble grabbing balls from a box and Robert stuffing them down my shirt for all he was worth, all this in front of the entire assembly of fans as well as the camera crew.
Sadly, I have no pictures of the actual event itself. I was too busy getting balls stuffed down my shirt.
--- Beedoo! arrived hours later than she was supposed to, but fortunately just in time to do the traditional "hanging out in our room" thing with us again.
The second day of the Gathering was the only full day of Gathering planned. As such, it was filled with activities, most of which I did not have a chance to attend.
As stated earlier, the Clan Olympics dominated our weekend, and it continued doing so. One thing it did was force us to get up relatively early (once again, even earlier for MAui), allowing us to have much more day at our disposal as we would have had otherwise. The whole day consisted of walking around, looking at things, meeting up with people, voting on the artshow, voting on the art show again only properly this time, all that fitted around the two impressive Clan Olympics events: Trivia Torture and Really Hard Pictionary.
I did not manage to visit many (or any) panels that day, though I did go see the radio show. We also, as traditional, did not go to the banquet, since some of our group have finances that will not allow such an expenditure. On the other hand, most people seem to have missed the Karaoke singing following the masquerade, and that's certainly their loss.
--- Three years ago I met young Becca Morgan at the Gathering in LA, 2001. She threw a cat at me, numerous times. This seems to have left quite an impression on her as this year, when she finally showed up again, she had insisted on bringing a cat to throw at me. As the old toy was lost a new one had to be bought for the sole purpose of being thrown at me. Believe me, the money wasn't wasted.
--- The first Clan Olympics event of the day was Trivia Torture, possible the most professionally executed one of all. MAui had worked hard (and stayed up late) designing and printing professional cards for this game, while the way this conventionroom was set up could not be more perfect for this game.
The rules were complicated when explained but simple while playing: each team assigned a team member to sit on a chair below. This team member would not play, they would be the 'hostage'. Above each hostage three circular cards with entertaining text were stuck to the wall. These acted as a form of 'points'. If the 'points' of a team reached zero, ie, all the cards were removed, the hostage would be tortured either with spraypainted hair, or various disgusting combinations of food to eat. We put Robert down there (who bravely volunteered). Surplus Arcadia International member Dubble played for another team and promptly got sat down there as well, making sure we'd lose even if we won. ;)
The game centered around questions asked (from professionally designed cards, of course) by either Abram or MAui. The question would be either Gargoyles trivia or 'regular' trivia question. A member of the first team to hold up a piece of paper with a legible and correct answer would then get to step down and remove a 'point' from one of the teams.
Intermixed with all this were bonus cards which could do either good or harm, and the Spirits, members of teams which were previously eliminated from the game and who could interfere with the game at their apparent discretion.
Arcadia International eventually won the event through Spirit intervention at the expense of the Green Dragons. There's no saying for sure whether we would not have won otherwise, but I will say this though: the Green Dragons were good. Very good!
--- The second Clan Olympics event of the day was "Really Hard Pictionary", which lived up quite well to its rather presumptious name. Really Hard Pictionary was, well, really hard. Try drawing "It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine". Try drawing "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons". Believe me, it's even harder than it might seem.
By popular demand the game was continued even after all the scores were awarded, just for fun. I'll note that Robert and Flanker turned out to be very good at making people guess the right phrase. Absolute highlight was Flanker drawing a schetchy big fat gargoyle to indicate the word "Broadway". The Gathering was probably the only place in the world where this would work.
--- After the Really Hard Pictionary event of the Clan Olympics each team was given a box and provided with a source of markers of all sorts of colours. The box was to be used in the next and final event, the Scavenger Hunt, and we were to decorate it as we saw fit.
The decorating was taken care of by the two most artistic team members available, Countess and Beedoo!. Countess did some terrific lettering, while Beedoo! drew some cute pictures of the characters of our team. To them goes nearly all the credit for a fine box indeed. Myself, I went to the radio play as it was being decorated, and thus my only contribution was the addition of the Dutch flag among the three other flags of our respective countries.
--- As the box was being decorated and I was about to make my way to the radio play, this person here walked into the hotel. I don't know his proper name, I don't even know his face, I just know that he went by the name of 'Korul' and that this was the most amazing costume I had ever seen. Needless to say, he was there for the masquerade later that day.
--- I went to the radio play expecting to find Keith David there playing the role of Goliath. Unfortunately, he still had not arrived. The radio play was still pretty fun though, because the reworked 'original' script of 'The Journey' worked well and because there was some pretty good voice acting there. Clearly after all those years people have become quite good at this sort of thing.
The people who stood out the most, though, I thought, were Chris Rogers as MacBeth and Eden as Margot Yale. They were amazing, bickering with each other. "Madam, they burned witches like you in the middle ages!" "You, sir, live in a fantasy world!" If anything of the radio play ends up on the DVD that had better be in it.
--- As not all of us could afford the banquet, we ventured out to find some food of our own. This entailed my first trek through downtown Montreal. As it turned out, almost all I would see of Montreal on the days of the Gathering I would see that day. Everything we needed was conveniently placed in one single street.
--- We finally found food in a Hard Rock Cafe, situated in the middle of a Brazilian street party of all things. With all the bustle it took them rather a while to serve us, but we had fun entertaining ourselves.
--- This year's masquerade was the most spectacular I have seen. Granted, all other years, for one reason or another, I missed the grand entrances, but even then, the quality of costumes was very high, as was the quantity. It was a very nice touch that nearly the entire staff was in costume as well. I was quite impressed.
Overall winner was, of course, the man known as Korul. The detail on his gargoyle costume was amazing, particularly the moving wings and mouth. It was very impressive and a very well-deserved win.
--- After the masquerade came the Karaoke night. Sadly, due to some apparent technical difficulties taking up a bit of time, many people had already wandered off. Which is their loss.
Sunday was the wrap-up of the Gathering, but a very busy day nontheless. To begin with there was the final Clan Olympics event: the Scavenger Hunt, a fitting finale which had us exhausted and yet hyped up before 11 AM.
After this came the closing ceremonies, which I have to admit seemed a little of an anti-climax. Greg Weisman had already left, as had the camera team. And really, what else was there to say that "we're done"? Nevertheless, the Gathering staff put together an excelent con altogether, and they deserve to be praised for it.
In between the Scavenger Hunt and the CLosing Ceremonies I happened to stumble upon a Mug-A-Guest with Keith David. Now, I'm not really one to go listen to celebreties. I'm quite sure they are interesting, just no more so than my friends who I only see once a year if that. I decided to stay and listen, though. I found there that Keith David, whom I knew next to nothing from, was a very intelligent, very thoughtful and very kind man. I was very impressed and I hope the camera team got some of it all.
Also, nearly everyone at the Closing Ceremonies will remember Robert and Jess peddling a sign-up sheet for an impromptu game of laser-tag. To those that did not sign up, or show up: you missed out. Really. Definately.
--- Once again Clan Olympics had us get up at the crack of dawn (also known as about 8:15 AM) in order to take part in the one Clan Olympics event us Arcadians actually consistently do well: the Scavenger Hunt.
The Scavenger hunt involved finding items from a list and putting them in the box we prepared the day before. Some items were simple, others were difficult, and a few turned out to be impossible: A can of Lysol, a bird, any bird, three different flavors of lip gloss, diapers, any vehicle floormat, one standard #2 pencil, a non-hotel blanket, a MALE con-goer with a 2004 Gathering shirt not from our team (who was to strip off the shirt and toss it in the box), a hardcover book, a set of balls from the first Clan Olympics event, a shotglass, three rolls of packed toilet paper, a disposable camera with no photos left on it, a plunger and a note from any hotel staff member saying "I did this for the Clan Olympics".
And then there was a list of bonus items, held by MAui who had hidden herself somewhere in the hotel. These items were for extra points: some wooden thing called the "Official 2x4 of the 1998 Hock-Fest", some bonus bags, three squishy soccer balls, as many different business cards as we could find and a special guest or Gathering staff member to stand in our box for 15 seconds.
It was a very exciting and very exhausting game which had Gathering attendants running chaotically through the hotel. We got a cleaning staff member to give us toilet paper and write us a note, I stripped in my Gathering Shirt in exchange for a vehicle floor mat and a disposable camera for another team, and then I generally ran around with no list, no team member and half an idea of what to look for. The box filled marvelously nontheless. I am only disappointed not to have been there to see Kanthara stand in our box.
Fun fact: the Gathering Hotel had only one plunger in the entire building. And they'd lost it.
--- During the closing ceremonies the winners of the Clan Olympics were announced. Considering the scores and our results at the Scavenger hunt, it was not really a surprise anymore, but Arcadia International won! Mind, with some help from the spirits, but even then, I know my teammates certainly played quite well.
So, we came forward and accepted our prizes and the honour. Our prizes consisted of a circular piece of cardboard saying we won and four Clan Olympics T-shirts to split between the five of us. Look at us showing our Arcadian pride.
After closing ceremonies I got another shirt from Chris Rogers for pre-registering. Very kind of him. Withg the Gathering T-shirt, the Evil Makes Me Sad T-shirt and the Clan Olympics prize, it was my fourth new shirt that weekend. I'd started seriously regretting bringing shirts at all.
--- The other major event of the day: Lasertag!
Saturday evening we passed a lasertag place on our way back to the hotel. Now, Robert had, at earlier Gatherings, already expressed a desire for us to play Lasertag. So, he went inside for a moment, asked for information and came out with the knowledge that a group of exactly 30 people would get a good discount.
So, he set about organising a group of exactly 30 people. He and Jess went round the lines for Keith David and pre-registering after the closing ceremonies and collected names of people who wanted to come. It took some doing, but they actually managed to fill their list. Even Keith David signed up.
Of course, around the time people were to gather in the lobby things went all pearshaped. Some didn't show up, others wanted to join after all. Some would arrive late. Keith David was still eating with his wife. In the end we left in two groups, one of twenty-one and another group of straglers that would hopefully make thirty.
Robert became nervous.
The walk to the Lasertag place was sort of an event itself. Keeping a group that size together on the sidewalks of Montreal was no small matter, especially considering that we were late and needed to keep up a good pace. Being Robert's roomies more or less automatically assigned us the task of keeping the group together a bit. Now we know what sheep dogs feel like! It was an entertaining walk, though.
It took some time for the rest of us to arrive, but when they did we were with 33, though sadly without Keith David. It turned out they could fit 32 in their maze, so Jess kindly voluntered to sit the whole game out. She really missed out for the rest of us. She's too kind (but don't tell her that ;) ).
The game itself was brilliant, and I'm sure the massive amount of people we brought helped a lot. It was pandemonium and I think everyone had great fun. There were three rounds, one with everyone against everyone, one with two teams, and one with two teams protecting two members, a king and a queen. It turned out Robert was the Lasertag champion among us. No wonder he wanted to play.
I hope we'll do this again some time.
See the fun the rest of you are missing out on?
Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com for information on the 2007 Gathering of the Gargoyles. We're in a different city every year, and this year we're heading to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!!!