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Gathering Journal - Pretrip or "The trip that almost wasn't"
One note, I do make mention of when I was writing the journal, just as points of reference, so if I don't mention when I catch up to the present that I stopped to write my journal, it is an oversite.
Anyways, in my own words, my experiences.
Here am I, at 6:51am, Saturday morning, writing my journal entry the story of how the events leading to the day I arrived. Jet lag caught up with me, otherwise I would be asleep at this point. Anyways, back to the story of how I got here. Sometime in September 2005, I sent my payment for the registration costs for the Gathering through the post office. A few weeks passed by, and I didn't hear a thing back, so I emailed Patrick and nagged him once a week for a few weeks to see if my payment had arrived. Patrick asked me to stop, so I did and thanked him for his patience. I got really tired of waiting, so I finally paid online with the promise that whenever my gathering payment (I used a cashier's check) arrived from the post office, they would send me a check back. Three months after I sent my payment through the post office, I got the letter back, because I put the wrong zip code in. (In polite company, I can not say what I think of this . . blu . . mistake by the post office in taking so long to get me returned mail back.) I sent it in a new envelope and paid to have it delivered in 2-3 days so I could get my money back (banks are funny about cancelling a cashier's check). Thankfully, I got my check from the gathering and deposited it, thus passing obstacle #1.
Obstacle #2 was acquiring the plane tickets. I learned expedia.com and my local bank (Harvest) transaction processing systems don't exactly work well together (it's a technical issue). So I resolved to buy my tickets in person during spring break, which I did. (Murphy's law & I are acquitances so I didn't want to risk making a mistake scheduling my flights going through an airline.). That cleared obstacle #2.
Obstacle #3 was finding a roommate. I found that difficult being a new person to attend. Then, there's the paradox: I didn't want to book a room without a roommate (fear of getting stuck with a bill by myself), but nobody wants to sign up with anybody unless they already have a room booked. Finally, out of desparation, I decided to book a hotel room myself, only to discover that all the rooms reserved at the Gathering Rate were booked. Then panic sank in. Fortunately, I was able to share a room with A Fan and everything was set except for Obstacle #4.
Obstacle #4 was the scariest/most dangerous obstacle of them all for me. What was it? Telling my dad that I was going. (my mom died passed away in January 1995 after battling cancer for years). As some people in the tgs cr, I have frequently referred to him as "the moron". We don't have (and haven't) had a good relationship in years. We have virtually nothing in command except we're related by blood. So two weeks on the Sunday before I was to go, I worked up my courage to tell him and told. I have never ever seen him so upset and I was scared/terrified. Initially it was about the money. I'm a college student graduating in the fall without a full time job at the moment. Then the issue became about other things. Thank goodness for good stepmothers, that's all I'm going to say. The Saturday before the trip, I lost my checkbook and spent the next few days hunting for it, only to discover it was in my brother's couch in his home. (My brother and I are extremely close and have been for several years - this despite a 12 year age difference). Thursday, while packing, Murphy's law struck and I got only a few hours of sleep.
To be continued with Gathering Journal day 1 - what happenned that Friday . . .
Wow... obstacles indeed. Glad you made it though!