A Station Eight Fan Web Site
We were supposed to get up early, head down to the dealer's room, and sell pre-registration for G2K3. Again, any plan that includes the words "get up early"...
Around nine, Lynati came and pounded on our door. I begged for an hour to shower, shave, etc. (Sometimes I just need to feel pretty) Only my feet carried me back to bed instead of to the shower... So, around ten, Greg *and* Lynati came and pounded on the door. Feeling bad about oversleeping, I wanted to tear down to the dealers room and start selling pre-reg immediately. Everybody else thought we should get brunch first. And I've got the only car... In retrospect, I probably should have just gone out and picked up some McD's or something. Hindsight is 60/20. We ended up at some buffet place, which was better then the previous day's IHOP, but still overpriced. (But what did I expect in a tourist town?)
So, we ate. And then we came back, and set up in the dealers room. Demona May gave us a receipt book, and drew a fancy sign for us, as well as a stack of calendars she had made. Thanks DM. Greg and Mara and I rotated at the table for a couple of hours, (I spent my off time bumming around the art room) until it was time for the radio play.
Radio Play was the Demona episode from the aborted Team Atlantis series. It was quite good, (the guys playing Mole and Vinnie, whose names escape me right now, were especially hilarious) and a fun glimpse of what might have been.
Afterwards, Greg produced yet another surprise, a tape of the actual voice recording of the episode in question. He popped it in the deck... And nothing happened. Somehow, the stereo didn't like the tape. So Greg asked if anybody had a boombox or a tapedeck or something. To which I replied, "Well, we could all go out to my car..." (Laughter from the crowd) Greg told them "Don't laugh, it might come to that." (More laughter) It didn't. A boombox was procured, and the episode played. I almost enjoyed the Radio Play more then the actual tape. Maybe because the tape didn't have Greg narrating to give us visuals with the audio.
Interesting things learned from the radio play. One, there were gargoyles on Atlantis. Two, the Praying Gargoyle is an Atlantean artifact. Three, the PG regenerates over time.
After that, we went back and did the pre-reg thing again, until the banquet. We got there late, and so we couldn't get a seat on the higher level where Greg was. And then the hotel staff, who'd been so great about so many other things, wouldn't let us push tables together to make more room. Apparently it was a fire hazard or some such thing.
The food was burgers and dogs, with a side of mac and cheese. Free, and therefore better then a kick in the head, as my grandmother is wont to say. We finished pretty fast, and I would have liked to stick around for Greg's Q & A, but consensus was that we wouldn't be able to hear or ask questions from down where we were, so we split. Hudson needed a hand moving the chairs in the Opening Ceremonies room, so we went and helped with that instead.
And then it was time to get ready for Cos Play. The major question of course, being whether Lynati would finish her costume on time.
While Mara was getting dressed, I hung out in the hall with Winterwolf, who wanted to know if I remembered any of Edwin the conjurer's lines from Baldur's Gate II. (Of course) Jen popped out of her room and asked if I had a black hair tie, (of course) and then I retreated to get dressed as well.
It wasn't the most authentic Xanatos costume, but it worked, and opportunities to wear that purple coat are rare, so I went with it. Mara made a stunning Fox, if I do say so myself.
Other costumes> Jen makes a freakily good Xanatos. I mean, really, it's scary. If we can ever get Jonathan Frakes to a Gathering, she has to do it again. Spacebabie will never again be mistaken for jailbait, and will probably have to fight off the propositions with a stick next year. Anthony "Gambit/Archangel/Dracon" Zucconi was a scary Elisa. Dreamie was a very purrlicious kitty. Edwin never summoned any creatures like that for me. And there were lots of other cool costumes belonging to people whose names I unfortunately don't know. But they were cool.
And then there was Lynati... Lynati was literally working on her costume up until the moment Mara threw her out of the room to go to Cosplay. She'd told me about it in the months leading up to the con, but the descriptions didn't do it justice. Once again, I am awed.
Oh, and Mara and I won best skit for our Eye of Greg thing.
Mara: (As Fox) Look David, I'm wearing your engagement present. The Eye of Greg Weisman.
Me: (As Xanatos) That's... great honey. But, won't that turn you into a sarcastic genius who's unable to give a straight answer to anything?
Mara: ... Maybe... All things are true.
So the winners were announced, group pictures were taken, and then we took Lynati upstairs to show her to the desk crew who wanted to see the costumes. (Did I mention the hotel staff was really great?)
Which leads to one of my favorite anecdotes from this con...
A little set-up. Across the hall and down a ways from our room there was a family of the mundanest mundanes ever. White, middle-class, 2.5 kids, dad's probably a CPA or something. I would love to know what they thought was going on that weekend. Anyway, we seemed to be (Eric Cartman voice) warping their fragile little minds.
They gave me the fish-eye as I hurried by in my purple coat and the little girl says: "Daddy, I'm scared. There was a girl with green hair walking around earlier." (Which I assume was Ayami. Seemed like a pretty non-threatening shade of pastel green to me)
And he says: "Just keep moving honey." As in, don't stop before we get to our room or the freaks will get us.
So, after the masquerade, we're taking Lynati back to her room after stopping by the front desk, and I spot the same little girl, with the door cracked just wide enough to put her head through, peeking out into the hall. And she gets a look at Lynati, and her eyes get about the size of Lexington's, and then she SLAM!s the door shut. I did not see any of those people for the rest of the weekend.
So we let Lyn get changed, and head back downstairs. Zaius and Greg Guler are talking about Minnesota, and Hudson is trying to organize a Weisman/Guler deathmatch with the dart guns. Both agreed, but sadly, Greg vs. Greg did not happen. Greg Guler disappeared, and after that there didn't seem to be much point in dragging Greg W. out from where he was comfy.
GXB showed up about then with Spacebabie in tow. She couldn't stay for the next day of the con (:( ) but she wanted to pre-reg for next year. So we headed back to our room once again, and got that taken care of. And then we hung out for a while. It is really hard to maintain eye contact with Spacebabie while she's dressed like that.
So, after twenty minutes of that, we drifted back to downstairs *again*, and found out that Greg vs. Greg was cancelled. But people were still really enthralled with the idea of Nerf mayhem, so Hudson and Chris decided to set up a tourney. We assembled as many of the weapons as we could, and commandeered half of the OC room. While the Quake players sketched out a layout, I made yet another trip back to our room, to change into my trenchcoat, vampire emoticon shirt, and skull and bones headscarf.
Nerf War is mucho fun. Everyone, I think, had a really good time, and everyone was a really great sport about it. Every match, after the first one, ended with a headshot rather then needing the judges to count hits. I ended up paired against GXB in the first round. Heh. Staff fight.
We're getting ready, and Hudson tells us to take off our coats, 'cause we'll trip on them. We declined.
So we take our places, and Chris says to lose the coats, 'cause we'll trip on them. Hudson says "No, they wanna have the Matrix fight." And then he set some rules for our fight. 1. No slowing time. 2. No warping space. 3. No flying through the air sideways in slow motion. 4. Hits on the coat count as hits.
And we fought. It's really quite a rush. Maybe even better then paintball, because the range is closer and thus the threats are more immediate.
I won. Barely. I finished Greg with a headshot a few seconds after his dart came so close that I felt the wind on my ear.
Hudson defeated Chris in a much anticipated match that did not lack for excitement.
Which meant I drew Hudson in the next round...
I thought I had no chance of winning. But I had to at least try. So I ditched the coat for greater mobility, and then my shirt, to draw on the power of Demona. That brought things to a halt for a bit as everyone who'd never seen my tattoo had to get a look. Spaz Kitty transferred allegiance from Hudson to me for the rest of the fight. But Chris' "Dude, is that permanent?" had to be the best response.
It was awesome. I'd studied Hudson's fighting style in his previous match with Chris, and tried to imitate it as much as possible. Which lead to a stalemate with both of us dual-wielding dart pistols behind cover just out of range from each other. Hudson, trying to get me to break cover says "You know I ****ed your mom, right?" I wait for him to make a move, and then pop up myself, yelling "Daddieeeeeeeeeee!" in a high-pitched tone of voice.
That pretty much set the tone for the match. Lots of misdirection and trickery. I managed to stay ahead of Hudson's fire with body control and a lot of luck, while Hudson opted for Jedi-like deflection with his own gun.
We fired every dart out of every gun in the entire room, until we were left with nothing but the ultimate last ditch weapon, the spring-launched Styrofoam glider, donated by Tony Z, which killed you if it hit anywhere. I got to it, dodged Hudson's last few darts, and then we strafed the length of the room, before I headshot him when he changed direction.
I beat Hudson! W00-h00!
After that totally unexpected result, I had thoughts about winning the whole thing. Unfortunately, I was eliminated in the next round by Sgt. Goliath. That match was kind of weird. Multiple witnesses corroborate that two of our darts hit each other in mid-air, nearly rebounding back on us, and I head shot him, but the dart was in the air when his hit my forehead with a mighty smack, leaving a mark that was visible for ten minutes after.
Eventually, the tournament finished, and almost everyone who wanted to try their hand got to, except for that one really tall guy. Sorry dude. But take heart that next year Nerf War will be an official event.
After we got kicked out at 2 a.m., I went briefly back to the room, but finding Mara to be sound asleep, I went and hung out with Hudson and Co. outside for awhile. I think I finally left around four, and then I accidentally woke Mara up, and we ended up talking until sunrise on...
But weren't we using a microphone for the Q&A -- and frankly, don't I have the loudest speaking voice in Christendom?
Friday we were supposed to get up early and go with Hudson over to WalMart and buy more of those nifty guns. Can you spot the flaw in this plan? It's those three little words: "get up early." I don't like mornings as a general rule, and after a long day like the previous one... Nothing short of kicking in the door and throwing a bucket of water on me would have gotten me moving before noon.
So we finally get dressed, and head downstairs, picking up our badges and GXB in the process. Hudson turned up with many more guns, (but still not enough to go around) and told us they'd bought out the WalMart. After checking out the dealer's room and hanging Mara's stuff in the art room, hunger called, so the five of us, myself, Mara, Lynati, Revel, and GXB all climbed into the car and went in search of food.
Revel directed us to an IHOP where he'd been shortly before, with another group. The food was standard IHOP, passable but over-priced. We'd passed a Big K on the way, so we stopped and bought a bunch of stuff, including those huge blue Nerf guns we carried for pretty much the rest of the con.
So we returned, and after, I swear, something on the order of an hour trying to get the Nerf guns out of the packaging, we went our separate ways to get ready for opening ceremonies. Lynati went off to work on her wings some more, and we agreed to meet GXB back at our room in about an hour. This was a mistake on my part. One, it left us with very little time to do much of a final polish on our presentation, (which was only finished Monday before the con) and me with far too much time to freak out about the presentation. I've been terrified of public speaking for as long as I can remember, and this was no exception. How would we be received? Would I freak and babble nonsense? How would OtherCon go over? Ad infinitum. So I just laid on the bed and went quietly insane while Mara made fun of me in the guise of cheering me up. ;)
Then I channeled my freaking out into trying (futilely) to iron my vampire shirt. (The big, poofy, black thing with the ruffled front and cuffs I was wearing at opening ceremonies) A hopeless task, (and pointless, since the whole thing was hidden under my coat anyway) but it passed the time. Passed it too well in fact, since then I started panicking about being late. (Yes, it takes me twice as long as Mara to get ready to go anywhere)
So Greg B. shows up, and we have a mini-review of the presentation, before heading downstairs. We thought there might be seats reserved for us, but (thankfully) didn't want to take the chance. There weren't, so we got some about 2/3s of the way to the back of the room. Surprisingly, there was still a good view from there.
So, Siryn talks for a while. Poor girl. (Heh. Girl. I think she's a couple years older then me) Anyway, she talks, and the stress of the last year is just visible. My heart goes out to her. (My head, meanwhile, is still busy freaking out, so I have only a vague impression of what she actually said) Sapphire read a poem about the fandom, which Mara summed up by paraphrasing Stitch. "We're large. And broken. But still good. Yeah, still good."
And then it was our turn...
Our place toward the back made for a long walk up to where Si was standing, and I think we milked it a little. It was one of those moments I wish I could watch from the outside, to see the audience reaction. The three of us, GXB, Mara, and me, all in black from head to toe, including our trenchcoats, Mara and I carrying our Nerf dartguns at port arms, flanking Greg. The people who know us probably weren't phased, but I wonder what all those con virgins were thinking. I did catch the phrase, "only in New York" from somebody.
And so we pimped the con. We talked. And we talked. And we talked some more. I talked entirely too much. I got punchy and started threatening the audience with my dart gun. Talked about the hotel, location, rates, dates, etc.
(It has been pointed out to me by various people, that some of the things we said were somewhat derogatory to some of the previous staffs. I apologize for that. It was never out intent)
And we talked some more. We introduced the "Name the con" contest, and the mascot, Madison, or Maddie for short.
And then we introduced Death. The Other Mascot. He caused a bit of a stir. (Mara drew up these really great, really *big* pics of the mascots, and we showed them off)
And then we dropped the bomb, so to speak: OtherCon. Which took like half the presentation, introducing it and then answering some questions about it.
And then finally, we were done, and we got to sit back down.
And then Greg (W) got up to talk. He did a hand count, and the number of con virgins was unbelievable. Like, a third of the room. Amazing. He also had considerably bigger bombs to drop.
First up, Toon Disney gave us a bunch of free shirts, and hats, almost completely gratis. Reading a one paragraph Toon Disney advert was a tiny price to pay for all our bounty.
And then, the bunkerbuster: Gargs on DVD. In 2003. With Greg's commentary. Life is good.
Then he did the "litany" presentations, the ones we know so well we can recite along with Greg. And, as a bonus, there was a promo narrated by Jonathan Frakes, which I'd never seen before. Frakes described Gargoyles as "The next generation of Disney animation." Which I thought sounded really appropriate and cool for about ten seconds before I realized it's also a terrible pun.
And then, he showed the Bad Guys leica reel. Which totally freaked me out, because he forgot to do the "don't film this" disclaimer, and there were at least two people in the audience with digital camcorders...
And then we left, minus GXB, plus Lynati and Revel, to search for dinner. This is harder then it sounds. As so many people have already pointed out: What was with all those pancake houses?!? Are pancakes like, the state dish of Virginia or something?
We were really surprised to find a sushi place. So surprised, in fact, that to confirm that this was not a mirage created by our sleep-starved brains, we had to stop and consume large amounts of raw fish, rice, soy sauce, and wasabi.
The food was good but the service was slow, and we had to make another run to K-Mart for some things we forgot the first time, so we got back later then we intended.
We managed to make at least part of Hudson's Rantfest. Hudson had a really nifty-sounding announcement about starting an art archive that works like the fic archive does. It sounded pretty cool and I hope it happens.
After that, he just kind of rambled. Even if you're totally untechnical, like I am, just the way Hudson tells the story makes it funny.
That broke up just in time to make it to Rocky. Kind of a smaller audience then I'd expected, but people were probably tired by that point. And after that, we dragged ourselves to bed.
What was with all the pancake houses? Of course, I love pancakes. And I'll tell you a year later in NYC, that night after Coney Island, I would have killed for an open IHOP or Dennys.
Got up, entirely too early, and started calling rental places. Maybe we should have gone with Rent-A-Wreck. (Next time, national chain) Don't rent from New York Rental. So, we rent a Chrysler Seebring convertible, which has a few dings in it. Or rather, in the dim light of the parking garage, it looked like a few dings. Out in full sunlight, it was a different story altogether.
It also had a tape deck. Ordinarily, I would love that. I love cassettes, and hate CDs. Ninety percent of my music collection is cassettes. But, I didn't think anybody still rented cars with tape decks, so we brought CDs for traveling music. Oops.
(Side note to all you car owners: Do you feel like you have a bond with your car? I mean, to the point where it's like a pet or something? That it knows you and you know it, and you compliment each other? Just curious)
And we're off. Six hundred miles by map through unfamiliar territory with an unbonded vehicle. What could go wrong? Oh, and our main route, I-95, apparently has a bad rep about road rage. I felt right at home.
So we drove. From New York, though New Jersey, (Where we stopped for lunch and bought 64 oz mugs for the rest of the trip. Oh, and the pseudo-leather thing that's supposed to cover the top when it's down blew off somewhere on the Jersey Turnpike. Recovery was not an option) Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., back into Maryland, (where we got royally lost), and finally into Virginia, to pick up Lynati at Dulles airport.
So, happy reunion there, car reloaded, (for such a big car, the Seebring has *no* trunk space) and we're off again... Back to Maryland, for Chinese dinner, and so Lyn can do laundry and pick up her wings.
On the way back from dinner, it starts *pouring*. Now, I've never driven a convertible before, and we drove all the way up to this point with the top down, (The source of the sunburn Mara and especially I was sporting the whole con) *and* I'm a spaz. So we can't figure out how to lock the convertible closed. So the roof's leaking, and most of it's dripping right on the door panel where the window controls are... And *something* happens, and my window goes down and STAYS down.
This, in a word, sucks.
Much swearing and meddling with a pair of needle-nosed pliers fails to fix the problem, but fortunately for us, that was the last rain of the trip. (It did eventually fix itself, kind of) Fortified by a newly-bought Pat Benetar tape, we set off again, through the wilds of Virginia, completing a "four hour" road trip in two and a half hours.
Some general observations before I go on:
1. Eastern states have no idea how to build highways. Of every place we went, only Pennsylvania seemed to get it right. In Texas, highways actually go *through* places. None of this "here's an exit, some undetermined distance down which there *might* be a town" stuff. Virginia was particularly bad about this. Back home, on the side of the highway, there're fast food places, 24-hour diners, roadside attractions, evil small-town cops with radar guns, and, most importantly, *gas stations.* In Virginia, the side of the highway is... trees. Nothing but trees for miles. On the sides and in the median. Trees, and big "No Stopping" signs.
2. Toll roads are EVIL. It's a tax on people's ability to move freely. Just the idea makes me feel oogy.
3. "Speed limit enforced by aircraft." WTH does that mean? If you go too fast, they chase you with choppers? If so, then, (A) What were all those VA state patrol cars we passed for?, and (B) Why didn't they come after me?
Back to the ramble...
So, we finally get to Williamsburg, and, after a stop at 7-11, find our way into the hotel. It's like, 1 a.m. by this time. We get inside, and run into WinterWolf and Dreamie, Kyt, and some other people hanging out in the lobby. Wolfie showed us his rental, (his Seebring was in much better condition then ours) and we unloaded all our junk. During that lengthy process, Jen, Patrick, and Kathy arrived. More roadtrip survivors! Mara gave Jen her art gift, and the elevator opened to reveal Gregs W. & B., and a woman I later realized was Carol.
(I wish we'd figured that out sooner. We really didn't get to hang out with her, except a little after the auction, and by then it was too late to have much of a staff meeting)
Eventually, after most of the other people decamped for a late dinner at Denny's, we ran into Hudson, who showed off the first of many nifty black dart guns to be found at a nearby WalMart.
We just sort of hung out for a couple of hours, talking of projects, and cons, and the fandom in general. Unable to interest anyone else in food, I was forced to eat the leftover pizza from Jersey. Such hardship. ;)
And then suddenly it was like 4 a.m. Ack! Bedtime.
Now it's all starting to come back to me...
So Bishansky wasn't in the car with you? Cuz that would explain a lot. ;) (Sorry, Greg, couldn't resist.)
And, my much belated Gathering Diary...
Okay, this was BlurCon for me, so apologies in advance if I leave anything out. Or put anything in that didn't happen. I was so sleepy it was hard to tell sometimes.
Actually, this starts on Tuesday, since I wasn't packed until the last minute, and our flight was so early we decided to just stay up all night and then sleep on the plane.
So, I ran around and packing like a madman while Mara watched the first half of The Ten Commandments. (Dang, Vincent Price was actually young once?!?)
So, we leave, my mom drops us off at the airport, and we get to stand in line. For a looooong time. Next time, e-tickets.
We go through security, and I get stopped for a "random" check. This old lady empties everything out of my backpack, looks at it, (Including my disposable razor, which I know you're not supposed to carry on) and then puts it all back in, all of it the wrong way 'round, and then wonders why it won't close.
So we fly to Dallas. I lose my sunglasses somewhere on the plane, which irks me to no end. After I notice that, I also notice we forgot something a little more important: Lynati's feet.
"Did we tell my mom to mail that package?" "Um..."
So, a frantic phonecall home later, that's taken care of, and I buy a replacement pair of sunglasses. Which lasted about two weeks. They're broken now. Rassem frassem shoddy merchandise...
So, off to Laguardia. I slept the whole way, and didn't wake up until about ten seconds before we touched down.
"Hey, it's raining-" (Loud, bouncy landing) "Oh, we're here."
So, we drop our stuff at Mara's mom's place, and bum around New York a bit. I insist on a stop at MidTown Comics, because it's Wednesday, and even on vacation, I have to pick up my comics.
Dinner, and then bed until bright and early on...
Wasn't the 2002 convention in Virginia? Did you just Phoenix Gate your way to 2003 in NYC?
Hey, greg sorry I couldnt come to the gathering this year but theres been something going on in my neborhood in virginia! I keep hearing sounds like the gargoyals make when they are mad. please tell me what you think? oh and I'm still in love with goliath, and i'm writing a book called "The Run-Away's Hunter"!!!!
VIVA LA GARGOYALES!!!!!!!!!
You lived in Virginia in 2002 and you didn't attend the Gathering in Williamsburg that summer?
For SHAME!!!!!!!! ;)
alright,i'd like to begin by saying how much i truly, deeply love Gargoyles. it is the most incredible show i have ever seen. but i'll save higher efforts of ego inflation for later.
my question is about the Gatherings. i've noticed that when people have asked you about Team Atlantis or, in one case, who created the Praying Gargoyle statue, you told them the answer would be revealed at G2002. i was unable to attend this Gathering, cuz of the whole "no money" thing so will these answers be brought up in 2003 or here on Station 8 or will i just never be able to find them out? i'm gonna try to go to G2003, because it's very close to where i live.
which brings me to my next question. am i allowed to attend The Gathering even if i'm not staying at the hotel there? i know i should probably try to find these answers online before asking you but i figured since i was already here.
thanks for your time, sir!
I hope you attended G2003 and are planning to come to G2004 this month in Manhattan. You do NOT have to stay at the hotel, though I recommend it. For more info, check out:
Anyway, info on the Praying Gargoyle is available at every Gathering, starting in 2002. The short answer, however, is that the statuette was created by the Atlanteans.
I've been reading your Gathering rambles, and found them interesting, especially the part about the never-made Team Atlantis episode involving Demona. Pity that I didn't go this year and thus missed it (you don't suppose that you'll be able to play the "original radio cast" performance again at next year's Gathering?).
Although seeing Demona referred to as "the Gorlois" did feel a bit odd, since I'm more apt to associate that name with the Duke of Cornwall whom Uther Pendragon fought with over Igraine than with any gargoyles. Then again, come to think of it, you did once mention that Castle Wyvern was modelled on Tintagel, which was Duke Gorlois's chief stronghold.
I now play the original cast performance (audio track) at EVERY Gathering. So if you want to hear it, you have to show up.
I didn't choose the name Gorlois (as the Atlantean word for Gargoyle) accidentally.
If the gargoyles were not to know who their parents were... how did they prevent inbreeding?
Oh, and the Gathering was so much fun this year- can't wait for 2003!
I've answered this before. Sense of smell helps. Also most (though not all) gargoyles breed among their generation, procluding a mating with any biological siblings.
Hope you enjoyed 2003. I'm looking forward to 2004.
Hi Greg. Haven't posted anything in your queue for a while. At the Gathering 2002, I shook your hand and I believe I saw you in the parking lot carrying out Gargoyles backpacks. By the time you read this, you'll probably have forgotten, but anyway here's the link to my Gathering 2002 journal. It should still be there whenever you get around to seeing this.
Copy and paste --> http://www.dialwforwarp.com/gargoyles/journal.html
As a rule, I don't follow links posted here. Better to cut and paste your Gathering Journals here. (One never knows how long links will last anyway.) But I made an exception.
Jim, I've gotta say, I doubt the guy you saw in the parking lot was me. I don't remember any gargoyle backpacks... and I didn't have a car.
But I'm glad you had a good time. Hope to see you in Montreal.
Gathering Journal Part 2
Saturday - Sleep is for Wimps
Unfortunately, it's also necessary for cognitive processes. I'm sort of blurry on the day part of Saturday. I know I talked to a bunch of people and had a good time doing it. I also know that I went poolside long enough to read for a little while until the game of koosh catch turned into a cannon ball contest and I got all soggy. (Remember this, it turns into a running gag on Monday).
Eventually it was time for the Radio Play. Greg's players did an excellent job and we got to "see" an episode of Team Atlantis that had a strangely coincidental tie in to Gargoyles. As an extra bonus, since this episode had been voice acted by the professional cast we got to hear their version too.
Lunch was a Mickey Dee's run. Then we tracked down an ATM at a 7/11. Hey, sometimes a little mundane is a good thing. But I wished we had been tipped that the banquet menu was hotdogs and hamburgers, I might have had something else for lunch. C'EST la vie. (or something) And hey! Karine explained what Sacre Blu! means.
After the banquet and a great Q and A with Greg and Greg, it was time to get ready for the Masquerade. I sat out this year. I actually thought about a costume for five or six minutes, but I opted for minimal baggage instead. That's okay. I put on a length of batique fabric and my sunglasses and went as "Lilo and Stitch extra # 37 which, since it included bare feet, meant I was comfy as we wore out another night with pizza and a marathon gabfest. Unfortunately, this meant that I was engaging in yet another Gathering Tradition: the loss of my voice.
Sunday or This May Be the Home Stretch for the Convention, but I've Got Two More Days
Yes, we did actually get to bed before dawn, but not by much. Saturday became Sunday while we talked and laughed and generally got silly. I was smart enough to put my stuff out before going out for the evening, so getting to bed was a minimal hassle. Again, it was a good thing my roomies are heavy sleepers because this was definitely a night owl weekend.
I was late for the Starship Troopers panel - I'm not sure why. I spaced and lost about half an hour during breakfast. It was a good discussion though, and there was some interesting insight into the mind of Sony execs and their marketing staff. I hope they release everything they have stuck in the vaults, because the videos have been really good so. Afterward was the post mortem on Team Atlantis which will be coming to video after a fashion to a retailer near you. Buy that too and show Disney that they've been shortsighted.
I was definitely starting to feel the last couple of days so though I popped in briefly for the Voice Acting Workshop (Suggestion to next year's staff - schedule that before tryouts - Please?) I mostly concentrated on setting up our next after-hours event - A dinner at a restaurant that didn't serve pancakes or waffles and a trip to the Yorktown Ghostwalk.
I slept through Closing Ceremonies so somebody else will have to report on that, but did wake up in time to round up all of our party of ten and head out of the convention.
The hotel recommended the restaurant whose name I think was the Whaling Company ( I was still having a godawful time hanging on to details by that point). The food was good, the company excellent and we made it out of the restaurant in time to make our bus at the Yorktown Visitor Center. Btw, this was my only blind panic moment of the evening, I was sure for several seconds that I'd misunderstood the guy on the phone and taken ten people to the wrong place. I was more than a little relieved when the person I asked for information turned out to be our tour coordinator.
The cruise was dorky. I didn't realize they were just going around in a big circle otherwise I would have hauled everybody above decks. But it was a chance for some of our party to catch a quick nap. By the time the boat landed and we were segregated out for another bus ride we had gained some more Gathering folk. We ended up a party of fourteen and when our tour guide Rita asked if we were some kind of a fraternity having an initiation ritual (Not sure but I'm sure it had to do with Kyt on a leash that was sending her thoughts that direction) I replied no we were all part of a family reunion, which really wasn't too far from the truth.
It was a pleasant night. The company was fine and the fireflies were pretty. We lost part of our group on the walk back to the car because they were gawking at the twinkly lights.
We got back to the hotel in time to catch a portion of the Dead Dog Party, but the conversation wasn't really in keeping with the mellow evening we'd already enjoyed so it was back to my room for more conversation and later after the party broke up, girly time with Jen and Mandi. So ended Sunday or rather Monday morning.
Monday - Or Look! Kathy's All Wet!
The official after Gathering event was a trip to Busch Gardens. We assembled in the lobby and jockeyed for car space and soon we were underway. Hats off and Happy Birthday to Jubilee for organizing so many people. We all made it to the park and remembered where we parked. (Germany 2) bought tickets and went inside.
The core of our group was Lanny and Derek, Greg, Jubilee and me. Kellie Fay, Torrey, Sapphire, Winterwolf and Dreamie made periodic appearances as did Denis, Scott, Mandi and others who I'm afraid I can't recall anymore (I'm sorry!)
Greg and I rode the Loch Ness Monster. Kellie became the official keeper of stuff for the first part of the day, since she both caught some kind of funky cold from the hotels ventilation system (Honestly, nice people, really nice people (did I mention how great they were?) but they need to change the filters and clean their AC system.) We couldn't help notice the number of ads that popped up during the day for Chiropractic Services. It seemed to be some kind of omen, though thankfully, it was meant for someone else!
Anyway, since Greg's quote of the day was 'Sure, whatever' and mine was "I'm in". We made the rounds stopping at roller coasters and water rides along the way. It was my day to be soggy. Pompeii, this odd ride that involved live flame and water was my first soaking. Not bad, kind of nice after the inferno that was the first part of the trip, but I got doused pretty good, which resulted in Lanny complementing me on my new spiky 'do and a wet tank top.
The pleasant sogginess was soon to be a thing of the past. Shortly thereafter most of us got on the white water ride. Huge fun. But, this time I didn't get a little wet, I got completely soaked. Wet denim does not equal comfy. So I squished my way out of the company of my friends for a few minutes to buy a pair of shorts and change clothes. Now I was "sporty" and only semi soggy. A vast improvement for as long as it lasted.
I avoided a couple of rides that seemed like a sure fire trip to vertigo land, but Greg and I rode nearly all the Deathcoasters except for Alpinefest, fright, whatever. I took one look at that and said "A big no." despite multiple promptings from Jubilee.
We saw the Irish dance show. The dancers stomped their feet off, but may I just say, Damn you, Michael Flatley? I much preferred the Swing show that provided our dinner entertainment and Imaginique that closed the evening and I still can't believe Greg slept through nearly all of it. I gawked totally awed. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We still had to ride the Flume. (A word that Greg was strangely enamored with.) And to no one's surprise, I was all soggy again by the time it was over even though Greg obligingly acted as human shield.
There were bumper cars and the Autobahn and an amazingly entertaining interlude at the German area when Derek graciously paid so that we could all flip frogs. I will express some relief that he didn't win the giant stuffed flamingo, but I like the little walrus that became mine by the end of the night. (Thank you!)
Oh! And Busch Gardens is known for its critters! I got to play with the Lorikeets and see wolves and bald eagles and of course, the famous Clydesdales.
We closed the park, stopping for ice cream along the way. Well, some of us had ice cream. Greg, "Did I mention I like to eat?" Weisman had this absurd banana split in a waffle cone. He entertained us thoroughly as he tried to eat this thing while maintaining his dignity. A perfect final act to a great day.
But all good things eventually end. We drove back to the hotel and said many goodbyes. And so ended Gathering 2002.
I don't just like to eat. I'm damn good at it.
Of course, the disadvantage of reading these things two years after the fact is that it doesn't create any opportunity for dialogue...
But the ADvantage is that it's fun to be reminded and relive all these great memories. 'Sgetting me 'Syched for Montreal!