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RADIO PLAY: The History

I posted this in the comment room, but Todd suggested I repost it here...


Sometimes I just don't have anything Gargoyles for us to do. And I'm not sure if just doing old episodes is all that interesting. And the other things have been fun... at least it seemed that way to me.

Here's a history of the works of the GATHERING PLAYERS...

1998 - RAIN OF THE GHOSTS (an unproduced pilot I wrote)
1999 - THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES (a rejected pilot I wrote)
2000 - ROUGHNECKS: THE STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES (the last arc of the series, which I story edited, half of which was unproduced. Written by me, Jon Weisman Lydia Marano, Cary Bates and Michael Reaves.)
2001 - GARGOYLES: "Hunter's Moon, Part Three" (Note: this was the first time that we actually did something gargoyles related for the radio play. This included scenes that were cut for time from the original. Written by Michael Reaves.)
2002 - TEAM ATLANTIS: "The Last" (Unproduced episode featuring Demona and Fiona Canmore, written by me)
2003 - GARGOYLES: "The Reckoning" (Performed in honor of Gary Sperling, who co-wrote the script with Lydia.)
2004 - GARGOYLES: "The Journey" (my uncut version of the script)
2005 - DOC SHAKESPEARE (An unproduced pilot written by myself and Sam Bernstein)
2006 - GARGOYLES: "The Mirror" (written by Lydia Marano and Brynne Chandler Reaves)
2007 - GARGOYLES: "Clan Building, Chapters III, IV & V: Invitation Only, Masque & Bash" - (from the comic, premeiring chapter V before it was published. Written by me...)
2008 - Geez, I should probably figure this out soon...

Anyway, you can see that traditionally, we've only done something gargish about half the time. For me it's fun to get to see my unproduced work performed, and it does give the fans a little insight into the biz. In any case, I've never heard any complaints from the folks who attended.
Greg Weisman

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tyler writes...

I love this website!!!!!!!

I have some questions about gargoyle beasts

1. what do other beasts of other clans look like. like london, mayan, loch ness ect.

2.i noticed the picture of the blue gargoyle beast of the gathering of 2004 looks a lot like it could be bronx and budecca offspring. i was wondering if it was designed to b their child or if it was desinged after them? if it was to be their kid whats is it's name, gender ect. ( sorry if u dont know what im talking about i cant think of the word, mascot maybe, it was on there web site and in a few different places in different positions)

gargoyles # 6 comes out today o ya

Greg responds...

I'm glad you love it, tyler, but without being too judgmental, I wish you'd make better use of its archives.

1. I'm not going to tie my hands -- or rather my artists hands -- by committing to something visual before we choose to depict it.

2. You'd have to ask the designer of the mascot. Mascots are fun -- but they aren't canon.

Response recorded on October 15, 2007

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Jade Griffin writes...

Um... I am posting my review of the dvd. I was forwarded here so forgive if this is the incorrect place to stick this in Greg's section... Here goes!

The menus were exciting to watch unfold. As a big fan and devoted Gathering (convention) attendee, I skipped the great quality of the sound and video for a peek at the Gathering Documentary. Wow. That to me is the most special part of the dvd. The film crew were awesome when we were there and filmed for four straight days nearly. Though I wish all of the footage could be used, what was selected for the film I felt spoke adequately of our devotion to the show. Though I missed not seeing Aaron's demona tattoo;) I was seen no less than three times, which is a plus, but the way in which the documentary was put together was quite professional and I am pleased and proud to see Disney able to take the time to honor us, the fans, for our dedication. Without us, there would have been no dvd for some time. It is a mark of achievement, the whole package, and many years in the making. Here's to the tenth year, and hopefully many more to come!

Greg responds...

I missed Aaron's tattoo too. It was in the rough cut I saw. Wish they had left it in.

Response recorded on October 20, 2006

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Lord GargFan writes...

Here's my DVD review:

First, the Power Rangers commercial made me laugh. Someone brought up how it was like the murderer speaking at the victim's funeral.

The animated menus were GORGEOUS!!! Absoulutely beautiful.

The clarity of the pictures were awesome. Ditto for the audio.

The commentaries, doc, and pitch were enlightening to me. It's a pity that they didn't make the Gathering featurete longer.

Anyway, that's my review. Short and sweet.

Thank you, Mr. Weisman, for creating such a good series.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. I'm very glad you liked the DVD. I liked the current length of the Gathering featurette. Like you said, "short and sweet". There were a couple of things they cut that I wish they had kept in, but I've watched ALL the footage they shot that weekend, and I think they got most of the best stuff.

Response recorded on September 22, 2006

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Jade Griffin writes...

The Gathering 2004 : Jade Griffin's Journal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 5 - 9, 2004


August 5th- Thursday

I'd been looking forward to another Gathering, having missed last year's con in New York. Not even the necessity of flying to a foreign country could dampen my mood. I couldn't wait for my voyage to start!

Having never traveled outside the US, I was grateful for some friendly assistance from seasoned passengers. None on my flight were headed for the Gathering but I find helpful people are more plentiful than previous pessimistic estimates calculated. Arriving the day before the Gathering at 6pm to the hotel, who should I see but the famous and welcome faces of Eden and Kanthara! Followed closely by a sighting of Siryn in the elevator, I was in the comfort of garg fan familiarity. My second home:)

It really is special, the feeling of Clan. We laugh, we share, we know and help each other, but it's more than that. It is a feeling for me that no matter what goes wrong, who cares! It will come out right. I know this because my good friends and fellow Clanners are here with me:)

That evening, I met two of my three roomies -- Mandolin and Kathy-- and had a nice dinner -- accompanied by Chyna Rose and Seri Wavelength-- where we talked on all manner of subjects, from anime crossover fics to garg biology.

BTW, the hotel is gorgeous, everyone is nice, and the food and rooms excellent. Thank you, Montreal Delta Centre-Ville!

I found more and more well-known faces (and names for those I'd never met irl) -- including Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles-- and don't get to sleep until roughly 2AM. But who could pass up Godiva chocolate bars and the offer of secrets revealed from Clan Olympics coordinator Abram Wintersmith? Thanx Mau and Abram!


August 6th- Friday

Up but not having eaten, I went down to the lobby to see who's about and the Mezzanine to get my badge for the con. It's nothing unusual that it was late setting up. No biggie. More time to gather and chat:) What we do best. I also began collecting room #s to relocate people later.

After registering, unofficially assisted a duo of con virgins with questions. Decked out in my homemade G'04 t-shirt and con badge, I musta looked fairly official looking because I got a lot of questions!

Time to set up art. I hurried back up to the room, grabbed my entries, and set my shtuff up. Grabbed a bite to eat and signed up for Artist's Alley, where artists can take commissions and sell their art on the spot. There for almost 1.5 hrs, and then at the end I received a whopping 6-person commission! There were so many awesome artists competing in the art show I felt a tad outclassed. Y2Hecate, Taylor, Sara Berkley, Noel Leas, Eden, Karlyl, and so many more. The garg fandom definitely has the most talened and creative people. But let's not forget the film crew hired by Disney to make a G'04 documentary. I'd been watching for signs of them, and saw them a bit that day. Hard not to lugging around a film camera and a boom mic:) But I wasn't trying to get in anyone's way, so at the Artist's Alley I stayed. And at every Gathering I attend, I do one thing besides my infamous Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000 event (more on that later). I bring a picture to give away.

This picture has a rather touching story behind it. It is a memorial picture I did after learning of poor Granite's unfortunate accident that took her life, and I refuse to sell the picture. I want her remembered, and so I give the picture to others, to remind them of her, of how special we all are, and that we are a special group because we care so much about everyone, even those we met only briefly.

As I told this story to one fan stopping by, the film crew heard me. They came over and asked me to say the story again. Intrigued, they later came back and filmed me explaining from the start, and reading the lyrics that go with the picture, from Disney's Millenium Walk: "We Go On". I was so happy to have them interested in Granite's picture, I think I forgot to say my name! LOL. And yes, it was great getting on camera. Can't lie there.

Opening Ceremonies. We got to watch Greg's (aka Greg Weisman, series creator) usual delightful video collection of hopeful projects, and then got a little surprise. Greg had an audio tape of others we'd like to have as guests, saying hello to us from afar and hoping to see us in following cons! How sweet! And then Clan Olympics interrupted the whole affair with an intro of the teams and the first competition. Talk about wild!

Greg came back to the podium after the planned 'interruption'. He had important stuff to say, and we listened well.

"The first season of Gargoyles will be released on December 7th of this year, in time for the holiday season."

Ecstatic applause ensued.

"I have a mission for you." Greg said. "Even if every one of you bought ten copies of the dvd..."

And here we interruped with a hearty, "Only ten??"

Smile. "It won't be enough to get the show back. I want you, like missionaries, to spread the word. We need to tell everyone about it. that is the best thing you can do to get new material for the show. If it sells phenomenally well, we'll get that shot. So go out there, post it online, tell everyone you know, get the word out about the dvd. This is the pivotal moment, the make-it-or-break-it. Our only shot at this, but we do have a chance." Note: not verbatum

Even more ecstatic applause errupted.

So we now have a mission, and a good start.

Here's an even better one: Chris Rogers, heading the G'05 con in Vegas, informed us that the fandom is now a legal organization, with all the legal rights and priviledges thereof. We can write off Gathering expenses on our taxes, including travel, membership dues (Gathering admission), and probably hotel expenses! Can this really be true?? OMG! Exciting stuff! We are recognized!!

After Opening Ceremonies, it's time for MGT3K. Mystery Gargoyle Theater 3000 is a combo of the show antics of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Gargoyles. Basically, I invite con goers to join me in making fun of the episodes:) I get it all down on the net and post the 'scripts' on the official MGT3K website. For more info, see Mystery Gargoyle Theater 3000 for info and the scripts! I was pleased to see about 30 people attending. Ah, the faithful hecklers:)

The con does something every time I find fascinating. This year it was called the Blue Mug-A-Guest. In cons prior, it had no name I knew of. Basically Greg Weisman inviting however many will fit into the con suite to talk about whatever we want involving gargs or his other works. And I mean ask him ANYthing. This session was rated 18 and over, people. Frequently, though, we had mild queries for the Creator, and the room was totally packed. I think I counted 45 or so people in one small con suite, and you know how small those rooms are!

It was another late nighter but as always, I fell into bed around 2:30 AM, very happy and psyched.


August 7th- Saturday

Aside from Keith David (voice of Goliath) being seriously delayed, the con was going great. So much to do! I had another commission, a pic trade with Taylor, the art show to cast my vote in, a few panels to catch, food, auditioning for the Radio Play, socializing, merch to peruse, the auction to bid at, and then dinner. Still no Keith David...

Many people dressed nice for the banquet, and let me tell you, I felt I should have. It's ambience. spoke nothing but elegance and decadence. Beauty, tasteful delights, and no small meal! Add that to great company and you get... Exquisite.

BTW, 2 things different in Canada than in the US-- Same # of bums on the streets but the shops all have open windows and walls! Instead of air conditioned buildings, they let the natural breeze cool you while you eat and shop. Cool:)

Keith David arrived and was very friendly, open, amiable, and very willing to tell stories, even after all the delays of flights and having his three children with him. He must really like us!

I and others had to depart w/o hearing all of his stories. Costumes to prepare!

Like many this year, I worked hard on my outfit. We wanted to look good. We all knew the film crew would be there, and so would Greg Weisman and Keith David. I hoped everyone would be surprised and pleased with mine.

Wow. What cool costumes! Echidna, Loopy, Princess Catherine and Tom, a pregnant Fox, MacBeth, Puck, Ophelia, Xanatos and a trenchcoated Fox from Eye of the Beholder, and fan characters galoure. There were lots more. Sorry if I haven't named you.

I decided mine needed some dialogue so I signed up to do the cosplay. I had ten minutes to come up with something as I waited in line to walk in! I also had a hard act to follow with Loopy's scared-of-flying gargoyle song and play. Dang, that costume rocked! But I'd give it a try.

"Jade Griffin as Elisa from Eye of the Beholder!"

My que! I jogged down the aile in my ball gown and up to the stage, flashing my con badge like a police badge.

"Elisa Maza, NYPD! Has anyone seen Fox and Xanatos??" Well, my entrance surprised many, as I looked just like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Of course, this was from the garg episode Eye of the Beholder where Elisa dressed as Belle one Halloween night ;) I continued, "Aw, crap! They ditched me again! Every Halloween it's the same thing. And I even have the right wig this time, too. Oh well... Can't let this go to waste." Where I proceeded to 'rip' the bottom of my specially tailored gown off in a solide stroke and flash some leg, and a gun holster, before sauntering off.

I guess I made an impression. I won second place in cannon characters (costume). Truly the 'Belle' of the ball, everyone said I looked awesome. Everyone seemed to want to take my picture, or have one WITH me! (and if you have any please! I'll do a photo swap for a copy!!) They asked me how I made it, said I looked so cute! *giggle* Best of all was when Greg announced the winners : "Jade Griffin as La Belle Elisa!" Wow:) What a title!! I'll treasure it always.

We danced, we sang karaoke, we got Keith to sing and Greg danced. Eden dressed as Titania gave a superb rendition of Chicago's All That Jazz which drown out the mad-cat yowling of the next room over's horrid karaoke (and dang they were aweful! I hope Keith realized we were totally busting up because of them during his talking and not him. Major LOL!) Again, up until @ 1 or 2 AM.


August 8th- Sunday

Greg couldn't join us to rally for the closing ceremonies but Chris Rogers was more than plenty to stir the fire. Right after closing, the first meeting of Gargoyles Fans.Org convened. We discussed in parliamentary procedure fashion who would be elected on the board of directors (and we did that there), how to meet, how often, started discussion on publicity for G'05 and the DVD being synchronous. Tons of ideas, on all aspects of this exciting step in our beloved fandom. It is the fandom we support the most, you see. Finally, legal recognition! Can you imagine how rare that is? What other fandom has done that? I can't name any! We have that status. It makes me happy. With whatever we do next, we have already accomplished a lot.


August 9th- Monday

Aw, gotta go. Laser tag last night in a 3-story facility and a tour of old Montreal that got me and Robert lost and I missed my flight. Did I mind? Naw. The spirit of the Gathering goes with me. It's a part of me. No... I make it a part of the Gathering. We all do. This group is so special:) We make it special, because we try, because we do, because we are there. At the Gathering or no, we are always by each others' sides. I go home, to Reno, to rl, but I never left my Clan. In fact, I just got closer:)


If you couldn't tell, this fandom is dedicated to the color and expression of creativity and to the enjoyment of life and fun. In spirit, we are gargoyles. We live, we love, and we'll defend and protect that with everything we've got. We are Gargoyles Fans, and we live!

Greg responds...

Hey Jade, I guess you've retired your "La Belle Elisa" dress. But it's always great to see you...

Response recorded on August 18, 2006

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Lord Sloth writes...

Friday (part deux): I wasn't completely certain that I'd go for do the auditions today, wondering vaguely if there might be some kind of advantage to waiting and going for the one that Keith would be down for. I turned out to be wrong on two counts, count one being that an audition is a fairly informal business and having another celebrity there would surly just add to the pressure; and count two being of course that it was a moot point anyway since Keith didn't arrive till the banquet. But I was determined to be part of this radio play and it's usually better to get it over with than to worry for another day, even if I could rehearse my lines for longer.
As for my lines, Xanatos script looked mighty tempting as there was a whole lot of fun new smug dialogue to play with, but I decided I'd be better off bringing out all the guns with Demona's emotional rampage. That made getting the part of Xanatos in the end all the more ironic, but I shouldn't get ahead of myself. Now I think, for the most part, that the audition went quite well, but be straight with me here Greg (if you can remember), did you write something akin to disgraceful next to my English accent? Cause I think I would have in your place. I THINK I did a fairly good Scottish and cat, but then I haven't heard myself on tape so who knows, all I know for sure is I don't blame you for not giving me Jon Castaway!
So that was fun, much more fun then what I did next. There was still a good hour or so before the opening ceremonies, so I thought I'd make another attempt at getting a new charger for my camera. The end result was that I spent the hour walking/running back and forth along Rue St. Catherine (I think) looking for something that ended up costing from seventy to one hundred smackers anyway. At least John (sorry, can't remember your full name) accompanied me for a good portion of the time, and twas good exercise so not all was in vain.
So, back I came just in time for the start of the show, and what a show it was! I can't say I fully understood the Olympic mentality, but I think I'm still glad that I opted not to participate. All the awards and promos were good stuff <was good stuff?>, though my hands were pretty exhausted by the end, we still had to show plenty of enthusiasm for the cameras. But as Xanatos says, that was all merely the icing, and the cake was fantastic; even more then getting the DVD news (which was great) I had been yearning a long time to see those spin off pitches/reel, and that was a dish best served cold. It wasn't entirely what I expected with some very different art then what we normally see on the show (I know they weren't finalized, but I wonder how close those shows would look to the one I know and love). Those giant robots were a little disconcerting as well, a little too close to X-men's sentinels, whom I was never fond of, but hearing claw, dingo, Robin and the rest again more then made up for it. And then I got to hear Demona again! I wasn't expecting that, even though I knew you had played that tape before, I didn't know it would be hear. That was something, once Marina came up I closed my eyes and let my mind fill in the pictures, though I might have looked like I was on drugs or something cause I had a big grin on my face. And then Mole re-dubbing her his "angle of the night", a bit sacrilegious but very hilarious!
Then that was that, and all I had were memories. I stuck around for Gargoyle Theater and threw in some cheeky comments myself, (which are on an audio file somewhere too no doubt. That was fun enough, but ultimately I prefer not to mock what I love too much, the scars can run too deep (so I hope Captain Chavez doesn't get a hold of that tape and hear my comment to her).
Anyvay, I'm not certain what I did for the next hour, I think I went up to Alex's room to hang out and watched south park in French, so that was mostly forgettable. Comparatively speaking.
Then came the Mug a Greg in Blue. Pretty good stuff, though I don't think I learned anything new that hadn't been said before in ask greg (which is understandable, not everyone who came will have been there), but it was plenty cool enough to listen to the way you phrased your answers/rants and to note the similarities to the way you write the same thing. Admittedly, it wasn't all that blue, I had a vague notion by the end to ask another Q along the lines of which of your characters you find the sexiest, but by then it was nearing 2am and I could barely string two word together coherently. I guess that's what happens when there's not enough smut in our dialogue, but I digress.
So far I was having more fun then I planed to, and there was still a lot to look forward to tomorrow. So I stumbled back to my Hostel to get what sleep I could.

Greg responds...

Hey Sloth, I'll be honest, I have NO memory of your audition. Remember the performance, of course. But the audition? Nope. But obviously, you did well enough to get cast, so...

Response recorded on August 17, 2006

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Aaron writes...

Greg, I'm sorry, I've been writing for the past three hours straight and I'm not anywhere close to being done.

But G04 was lots of fun, I'm looking forward to Vegas (though not all the work that's going to come with it) and if you're curious you can read the full account of my gathering journal which should be posted on my LiveJournal


by the time you read this.

Again sorry, just ran totally out of time.

Greg responds...

Hey Aaron,

Don't sweat it too much. I'm a bit confused that you were able to post this. When did the posting function shut down...?

Response recorded on August 17, 2006

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Zehra writes...

Whoops, sorry the last part of this is late. Picking up where I left off..

Zehra's Gathering 2004 babbles, part III

Sunday, August 8th (Zombie Sunday, and Keith David rocks)

Around 6am, I said bye to Greg in the lobby. Then I went back up to my room and slept for about 5 hours.

Wandered down around noon to the Keith David Mug-A-Guest, and talked with some cool Canadians while sitting on the floor, waiting for Keith.

When Keith entered, the room was imbued with energy as he proceeded to shake everyone's hand. Throughout the Q&A he dripped more gems. Keith credits God as the main thing that has gotten him through his career. That response particularly stuck with me-I think that's really awesome.

After the Q&A, I had a quick lunch before closing ceremonies. The art show awards were announced, and I was pleased because a lot of the pieces I voted for got awards. Yay talented artists!!

I got Keith to sign my radio play script--he saw that I played Elisa and gave me a high five. *squeal* I told him I wanted to become a stage director, and he said maybe someday he'd be working for me. What a nice, awesome guy.

After that, I crashed in my room for a while. Watched Mean Girls on the hotel tv, which I really enjoyed (particularly the Caesar speech.) Then I took another nap. By the time I woke up, it was too late for dinner, so I went to the con suite to see if anybody was around. Who did I run into outside the room but Alan! Who ushered me in, and made me sit dangerously close to his wife. Men. ;) Karine, pregnant bartender extraordinaire, mixed me a yummy cranberry vodka peach schnapps drink. Mmmm tastes like college.

After saying goodbyes, I went back to my room and watched CNN until I heard my fill of the Scott Peterson trial news, and fell asleep.

Monday, August 9th

For some reason my body thought it'd be a great idea to wake itself up at 5am (residual jet lag.) So I gave into it and had breakfast, and plotted what to do with the rest of my day. I thought about joining the amusement park folks, but I really wanted to go shopping. Thanks to the kindly instructions from the Signature Club lounge's lovely ladies, I set off for Eaton Centre, a mall about a 15 minute walk away.

The weather was freaking BEAUTIFUL. Clear blue skies, a cool wind blowing in. No need for a jacket.

I bought some things I probably wll never wear. A really cute, kinda retro 70s dress, with a Lichtenstein-esque pattern. One of those "poncho" things that are in style these days, a delicate pinkish knit with fringe. But the best buy was from this casual clothes store called Ko Kawaii (multiated Japanese for "cute kid") There, I found the best pair of lounge/workout pants EVER which I affectionately term the Shego pants. Black with a green stripe down the edge. These sweatpants were the perfect cut--slim, long and flare at the bottom. And they combined 3 elements I love: 1) Shego colors 2) Japanese (the characters for ko kawai were on it) and 3) the number 28, my birthday and lucky number (I'm wearing them now, actually) My only regret is not buying more. And I'm pretty sure its a Canada-only chain. Bummer.

So..to answer the age old question: Is Canada more fashionable than the US? The answer would be a resounding YES.

I wanted to do more sightseeing, but I'm paranoid and as a girl travelling alone and not knowing the area well(though I hear Montreal is very safe,) I didn't meander too far from the hotel. That's what I miss about Japan--the safety. I went all around that country by myself and never ran into any problems. It's probably the safest place I've ever lived, or ever will live.

Also, I was exhausted (damn 5 am start.) But I did stop at a cathedral (Queen Mary of the World, I think) on my way back, and rested there for 20 minutes. Beautiful architecture. I love old buildings of worship. Mosques, cathedrals, temples, shrines--they're all so beautiful. The energy in them is just so...peaceful. Soothing, calming--I guess is the best way to describe it.

Got back to the hotel, and took a nap which lasted 8 hours (oops.) In the late evening, I spent the money I would have spent on dinner by renting Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (another great film. I love Kate Winslet) and then finally went to bed.

Tuesday, August 10th

Uneventfully got to the airport in the afternoon.

Sat next to a nice man on the plane who was interested in talking my ear off about how the airlines dont know what the heck they're doing, and can't run a business. He began talking about how the company structures are flawed and how fare tables are in flux and inconsistent...and having absolutely nothing to add(I STUDY THEATER) I nodded and smiled. He was cool though, reminded me of Mr. Clean.

Came home to my dad who brought home Indian food for me. Yay!
Watched Go Team Go, the Kim Possible episode I'd been wanting to see for a while that I had set a tape for on the Thursday I left. Yay!

Thus ended a great little vacation that totally recharged me, and made me glad to be back on this side of the world. Thank you, Greg! :)

Greg responds...

Don't thank me. It's those VERY HARD-WORKING Gathering Staffers who put on the show. All I do is show up and help heft the occasional box or fold the occasional t-shirt... oh and get a lot of hero-worship. The things I put up with. ;)

Response recorded on August 16, 2006

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Vashkoda writes...

Gathering Report Part II, condensed version


Since I'd promised everyone I would audition for the Radio Play, I was forced to get out of bed around 9. Gore had apparently stayed up late at the Mug-a-Guest the night before, and told us to go on ahead to breakfast without him. I spotted a lot of con-goers this time around, and members of the staff eating at a table beside us (it was amusing to watch the con staff wander around the hotel forming a train behind Karine).

I thought I'd be too nervous to eat, but Sean reminded me I'd need energy for the auditions, especially with Greg calling for loud projections. So I forced myself to have a few croissants, then began hunting for a restroom (which took me ten minutes because the door had been left open so that the sign wasn't visible. Ugh). I tried calming myself by meditating/resting with my hood over my eyes (not that that did much good). Finally I settled on talking to Carol Wagner, who was manning the line. I asked her what she did as a living to have the role of Guest Relations at every con, and how she managed to have so many contacts that she was able to get all those voices on the tape Greg aired. I figured she was a talent agent of sorts. It turns out she's simply in the animation industry, though she still deserves lots of props for what she's managed to do. Then I got the script, and having done Angela, Hudson, and Goliath before, I decided to do Xanatos this time. Greg saw me and instantly said, "Vash!", and I was gratified he had actually recognized who I was the day before. I spoke my lines, then spoke them from the back of the room. I didn't even have to be told to project this time, though I was asked to have more fun with the lines. I think my sarcastic tone must've impressed him most, because I snagged the role of Maria Chavez, who has a few lines of irony in her dialogue with Bluestone. I also tried to mew like a cat, though I made the admission that if I tried to project, it would sound like the cat was being tortured. ;)

Afterwards, Sean and I dropped by the Dealer's Room/Art Gallery. I spotted Siryn making gargoyle masks with Becca Morgan and another fan's child. It seemed like a lot of fun, but after Si admitted that the crafting was a little costly, I relented in my efforts to join in. I then spent at least an hour looking at the different art pieces and voting on the best ones, changing my mind several times (my favorites were a blended image of Demona and Elisa's faces called 'Red, Blue and Gray' (I think), and a picture of Demona's hand crackling with magical energy that Kythera made called 'The Storm' that ended up winning best in show). A very cool picture of Puck looking devious and another of a Mary-Sue harassing Brooklyn also later won awards. Gore was up by this time, so we decided to have another go at finding a Radio Shack and lunch. Thanks to his net connection, Sean was able to get directions. Unfortunately, these directions did us little good, as we discovered that most of the shops were actually underground. If not for a disappointing stop at another computer store, we would never have known this subterranean mall existed, as apparently the entrance was through the bank across the street. We finally find a universal remote for the hotel tv, and grab lunch in the food court (not wanting to ruin the banquet meal to come, I limited myself to McDonalds fries). We get back just in time for Greg's Mug-a-Guest, though I'd been to one of those before as well, and was interested in checking out the SCA weapon's demonstration in the room next door. So I sat in the back of Greg's panel so that I would be able to slip out unnoticed now and then, but Greg caught me and made me feel horribly guilty. Since the SCA people were taking forever to get ready, I decided to stay put and take notes. Topics ranged from Hudson's "Dark Ages" name, to Mab's appearance in the show, to Disney's old plans to make the Gargoyles Universe their equivalent of the DC and Marvel superhero universes (it seems the Gargoyles spinoffs weren't just a pipe dream). Greg also discussed his attempt at making a Stargate series, and his opinions of the "Atlantis" movie. The biggest revelation came as Gore brought up a topic we had discussed in his car, asking Greg in a very indirect way whether G&E's adopted child was G2198 Nick's ancestor. Greg answered "yes" after a moment of hesitation, though there were other good questions he refused to give answers to. Afterwards came the Radio Play rehearsals, and I discovered Gore, Seth and I had all been given roles. Since it was in the same room, we chilled for a while as we waited for everyone else to arrive. It was "The Journey", as Gore and others had guessed from the character initials at the bottom of the audition sheet. A big difference was that this was the original version that Greg had submitted; not the version that the TGC staff had edited. It was exciting, as many of the voices were dead-on (and some, like Lex with a French accent, were a lot of fun to listen to). Amazingly enough, we finished on time with fifteen minutes to relax before showtime. I would have returned to the room, but Gore stopped to look at BrooklynX's cells, and I couldn't help but admire them as well. Before we knew it, it was time to assemble in the large, lecture-hall-like room. Luckily, since I had a scene with Gore, we got to sit next to each other and chat while the room filled up. Of course the DVD crew was there, but since I was in the second row, I wasn't too anxious. Everything went smoothly, and it was a lot of fun!

Afterwards came the banquet. I usually skipped these to save myself some money, but I figured it would be nice to at least have one meal where you didn't have to worry about where you would eat. Gore, Sean, Seth and I chose a table together, and soon we were able to rope Silver and her mother in with us. The appetizer was shrimp, which I'm sure was amazing for those who liked it, but most of us filled up on the bread (which had suspicious colored lumps in it that I'm really hoping were olives). The salad was all right, except that Silver's poor mom couldn't have any because they didn't know if there were any nuts in the dressing. The quail and dessert were great. Keith David finally arrived and took his seat at the table that had drawn his name. Though both he and Greg offered to take questions, Keith was obviously the center of attention, and had to sneak bites in between answers. He said, "I don't think there's a more avid fan of Gargoyles than me. If I wasn't doing it, I'd be watching it." If he were to be remembered for two things, he would want it to be "Jelly's Last Jam" and "Gargoyles". Keith gave no short, simple replies, but told long, thoughtful answers to each question (often going off-topic). He himself loved Shakespeare, and appreciated Goliath's elevated language. He most admired gargoyles' humanity, "their sense of being, to not be of the world, but in it, to not fall prey to it. It's something extraordinary".

Greg also threw in a few anecdotes about how listening to Elisa say Goliath backwards created the name "Thailog", and how Keith was able to bring life into a small part character like Officer Morgan. I took more detailed notes on all of this, which will again have to be limited to my website version, but I can say the evening was a blast, despite the neighboring convention's attempt to drive us all mad with their horrible singing. Afterwards, Sean and I went back up to the room to catch a nap before the masquerade, but I overslept and just made it to the awards segment. The costumes were amazing, though.

Although there's still Sunday and Monday to cover, I'll have to end here to make the deadline. It was a great con, and a big thank you to the staff and fans that made it possible.

Errata: I got the name of the G2005 hotel wrong. It is indeed the Palace Station Hotel and Casino

Greg responds...

I had a vague memory that the posting function shut down at midnight, but I'm glad you made it in under the wire, Vash.

Response recorded on August 16, 2006

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TopMan writes...

Before I begin on the rest of my journal, I'd like to mention something I forgot to mention before, which isn't really relevent to anything, but I feel it important to mention it as it was a situation I felt I'd handled a bit awkwardly. During the course of Friday day, I had inspected the artwork, and saying (pretty much to myself and Reusch) my usual jokingly begrudging comments about how I wish I could draw. Period. Well, Michael (it was Michael, wasn't it? My memory is really bad, all the time) must have overheard me talking about drawing, and approached me during the opening ceremonies, and said something to the extent of "I heard you talking about drawing. You draw? Do you ever take character requests?" I was really caught off guard by this, because I really am not the greatest of artists (this isn't just something I tell myself to put myself down... I guess I have potential, but that's all it is at the moment) and I figured with all the great artists in the con, it was strange that he'd ask me. So I managed to blurt out in the Sentence-Fragment-Caveman-Language "Um. No. I mean... Yes, but... I suck. You don't want to ask me." What I meant to say was that I was really flattered by the offer, and of course I'd have done it if he'd really wanted me to, because I always love when people ACTUALLY want me to do something (it makes me feel helpful ^^) but with the very few art skills I possess at the moment, I was very doubtful at being able to give him anything that would match his expectations, nor anything that he'd really deserve. So, if you're reading, Michael, or if anyone who knows him is, tell him I'm sorry if I was rude!

Well, with that being aside, on with the journal!

Saturday, August 7th

Reusch and I had to take our own car so that I could stash my Thailog costume in the trunk until Masquerade time, so she drove, as I don't know how yet. We got there JUST in time for the Clan Olympics Trivia Torture... that is, it would have been just in time if everyone else had been there on time, and of course not everyone was (I envy their sleeping in =P). So, as we were taking our seats, Nez and David gave us our Clan Flags (little bandana things to represent our clan; ours were green and yellow with bugs on them) and I was told to sit at the front. Then, for some reason the other three decided for me to come up and for David to go down.

AND THANK GOD FOR THAT! If I had had to endure the gross tortures... *shudders* The Trivia Torture was fun, although our team MUST have come in dead last for the event itself. We got I think 2 answers right (or maybe even only one), and when we DID pick a card we got Boned, so we ended up with no bonus points. It's not that we didn't know the answers... Nez and Reusch were very savvy in the regular trivia, and I knew most of the answers to the Gargoyles trivia (though most others did too, so I once again found myself a hindrance to the team). The problem was the way the answering team would be chosen: we had to write it down and then raise our hands. Our team, unfortunately, was not equipped with speed writers, so the only times we won the round were when nobody else knew the answers, and that was rare. There was also a question that we had gotten right, about phobias, but then one of the other people objected, because they said they had been diagnosed with the phobia and it was something else. So the question became moot and another question was drawn. It turns out that the dictionary definition was on our side, so we should have gotten the point for it, but we only found this out in hindsight. Besides, we don't really have a right to complain, because the Green Dragons were really unfairly treated in this game, as they were about to win and then were deprived the title. I don't blame Abe or MAui for it, and I'm not mad at anybody, but there definitely should have been more rules laid out for the Spirits to follow. Of course, nobody would have been able to anticipate that going in, so I guess it was Live And Learn. Surprisingly, even though we got no bonus points, we somehow were only bumped back down to third after the event, which I assume was because we ended up in third for the final standings, and THAT was all because of the fact that we were too anonymous for anyone to even notice us, let alone target us. Good and bad, I suppose.

After that was the one hour lunch break, during which time Reusch and I went up to the con suite to watch more Gargoyles fun. Hunter's Moon part 3 was playing, which was funny because I hadn't seen parts 1-2, and Reusch hadn't seen anything past Future Tense, but we watched it anyways, and Awakening came after that, which has some of our favourite lines... ("Oh Magus... what've ye done?!") We made a new friend there, Kaylee, who was working on her costume at the time, coincidentally dressing up as Princess Catherine (and looked beautiful and elegant all the while). So we sat, chatted, watched the show, and told her how awesome it'd be to say this line or that line when she was in costume. She never did though (tsk tsk!)

Afterwards we headed down to the SCA Weapons Demonstration, which was pretty cool, but not really my thing. The thing I'd have been more interested in, the Melee Fighting part of the demonstration, was going to be during Clan Olympics, which was a blast, so I had no grudges about missing the Melee.

Pictionary was, well, a blast! I've always loved pictionary, and we ended up coming in first for the event. Reusch, Nez, and David, yet again, are the ones to thank for this, because I only got one of the four topics we got right (One for the money, two for the show!). That in itself is surprising, as usually Reusch and I are able to read eachothers minds, and we often do excellently in this category. Still, this event put us back into second place!

The bonus round, however, dropped us back down AGAIN into third. It was a ball-picking game, where if you picked 3 of the same colour, you lost. We started off great! The deciding ball was yellow, and then I drew a blue ball to get us one point (I was the only one of the four teams to not draw the Bad Colour in the second turn), but then we drew two yellows right away, negating the point we'd earned and ending our turns.

We had some time before the Radio Play was supposed to commence, so Abe and MAui gave us boxes to decorate. While most of the other Clans were playing another round of Pictionary, we all jumped in and had a blast with our box! Reusch wrote the team name on the top of one side, where underneath I was drawing a picture of Riel, the Gathering mascot, heartily looking quite depressed and belting out the team motto (Groooooaaaan). Caption for the picture was "Riel loves us! So should you! ...please?" Nez and David were doing a fantastic job on the second side, where Nez drew a Gargoyle and we forced her to draw it holding a Tim Hortons bag (she was being avidly against Tim Hortons for no reason) and David drew a picture of the "Poutine Grande", I guess the Mexanadian official food, a poutine within a taco shell that disgusted everyone and delighted me to no extent. It was around this point that the Radio Play was gonna start, so Reusch and I went to go see it while Nez and David were gonna wander.

The Radio Play was FANTASTIC. I can't think of anyone who did a bad job, and the atmosphere was very lively and friendly, instead of each person just standing up, reading the line with the emotion of a robot, and then sitting down. Michael as Vinnie, *insert someone's name I unfortunately forgot, sorry!* as John Castaway, Eden as Margot, Stormy as Cagney (HEHEHEHEH!) and *insert ANOTHER name here, sorry!* as Macbeth were really the ones who made the show fantastic, but not a single line was delivered badly from anyone, and at the end I almost wanted to shout out "Encore" (to which the cast probably would have shouted out "NO!") ^^.

There was a lot of extra time here before the banquet, and obviously we didn't want to eat anything, so we met up again with Nez and David and went up to their hotel room to decorate the rest. They had bought several tacky little items, including a loon with propeller wings, weird coloured balloons, and stickers with traffic signs. So while David drew a picture of a Gargoyle shouting "You want Tomalés?!?!" (which, incidentally, is still stuck in my head) and Nez did some weird giant flower with the jumbo wax crayons she'd bought, Carolynn and I were having some immense fun with the stickers, putting little captions. We had a stop sign sentence that read "STOP beating our clan", a recycle-esque sign captionned "All around fun", and a no-parking cloud (very random). Then, I had a stroke of genius, or stupidity. I took the speed signs (which, for some reason, ALL had the number 80) and put them sideways, so they'd make a little face. I then dubbed it "The Official Groaning Emoticon". We all got a kick out of this, so we decided that we really WOULD make it our official emoticon.

It was around this time the banquet would be starting, so we said goodbye to Nez and David yet again, and headed down. At first we felt foolish, because we were sitting at a table alone... then Flanker came along, and we convinced him to sit with us, yay! Then he convinced Sarah, he/we convinced Kaylee, and we convinced Annie and Catherine to sit at our table. We now had a full table (since we were asked to keep one spot open for a Guest Raffle, heh) and we couldn't have asked for better tablemates. The conversations were fun, and Annie and Catherine irritated Reusch and I to hell with a weird rearranging game that ended up having a surprise twist to winning, which they refused to tell us until much later. Reusch and I started doing a little tap dance routine with our silverware, we found that the hotel had WAY too much time, as their vegetables were cut into Stars of David and U.S. states, and *most* of our table were unanimous that the food wasn't bad, but wasn't at all to our tastes. The shrimp was ok, although I can't say I'm one for avocado sauce, the salad seemed a little bland (but then I'm just used to creamy caesar), the potatoes and vegetables were good, and the quail was not bad, though none of us were big on the stuffing... so we all sort of carved it out and just ate the bird. When desserts came, only one at our table (Flanker) got the chocolate, but I had decided several months in advance that I HAD to get the chocolate dessert, so I did what I do best, be annoying, and asked the waiter if he could possibly substitute it. He did, and I ate some of the best cake I've ever had. Reusch got stuck with the fruit thing, but she didn't like the cake much when she tried it anyway, so I guess she was kind of boned there.

KEITH DAVID CAME! It was very sudden, and suddenly we were just all clapping as he came into the room. The poor man had to answer questions as he ate, but I think he actually enjoyed the attention, at least partly. The room would have been quiet enough to hear a pin drop, as we were so attentive to his words... if it hadn't been for the GodAwful Karaoke (TM) next door, which, at least for us near the back, and with my semi-bad hearing, completely drowned out his low voice. Also, unfortunately, I had to leave early to start applying my blue face makeup and putting on my costume, which also meant I missed his Dead Horse comment =( Ah well.

The putting on of the costume took more than an hour. The horns I'd bought (the liquid adhesive kind) refused to stick to my head, so 15 dollars were wasted. One really exciting thing though was that as I was trying to apply the horns (and at this point I was half blue, half skin-coloured) who should walk into the bathroom but Keith David!!! After going to the bathroom, he came to the sink where I was, and as he was washing his hands he asked me if I needed help. I explained to him how the glue would stick the horns on but that it was feeble and wasn't drying well, and he asked to take a look at it, and gave me a bit of advice. I thanked him profusely, and though they still didn't work (it must have been something to do with the glue) I was glad that I'd wasted the 15 dollars on the horns, just so that I could get Keith David talking to me ^^. My ears weren't even visible either, so I didn't bother with them, so another 10 dollars wasted. I went through a whole tube of the blue stuff, but I had bought two, so no worries. Unfortunately it was rubbing off everywhere, so parts of my costume were unintentionally blue, while my fingers weren't quite blue enough. And of course, once I put the feet on, the evil feet that took days to create, they immediately began to fall apart. I'd brought a glue gun, but had nowhere I knew of to plug it in, and with my fake nails and all I wouldn't have been in any condition to use it, so I was stuck. Reusch helped with some scotch tape I'd brought, but as you know, that doesn't work well on fabric, so I had to walk EXTREMELY carefully.

Because I was so preoccupied with the falling apart of my costume, and adding to that it was my first Masquerade and I didn't know what to do, I was very nervous, and must have been on the stage for a total of what, 5 seconds? I waved weakly and left, period. Luckily, my shoes held out, coincidentally, until the moment I left the auditorium, where they immediately fell apart, so that was a plus. It's a bit of a shame, since the costume took a lot of time and money to make, that it ended up falling apart and being such a "failure"... which is to say, I didn't win any awards. I know, I know, how egotistical of me, because it was my first con and it was a bit of a thrown together costume and it didn't really deserve an award, but I was still hoping, you know? Anyways, everyone who did win certainly deserved it (*ahem* Korul, anyone?), and even those who didn't, still had kickass costumes. I don't want to mention any here, because I know I'll leave someone out who really deserves a mention, but I will say that whoever dressed up as Banshee did a really great job, and I think it's a bit odd that she wasn't mentioned in most people's con journals, because it really was an A+ costume.... everyone's was. Congratulations everyone! On a side note, I think one of the things that has made me so bitter about my costume was that I didn't end up getting a ribbon. And I'm not talking about a Prize ribbon, but the ones that were handed out to all the participants afterwards. Obviously, it wasn't intentional: They only had so many, I was the person on the far left, therefore the last in the row, and SOMEBODY would have not gotten a ribbon even if it wasn't me, but still, it made me feel a bit rejected nonetheless. It cheered me up a bit that a lot of people approached me afterwards asking me to pose for pictures, and a couple of people complimented me on my costume, so maybe it wasn't as bad as I'm thinking it was, but definitely, next time I'll make a human costume, as it's less time, less money, less chance of falling apart, and therefore less nervousness when presenting. I have an idea of what to dress up as, but I'm not going to say anything yet, in case it falls through. Still, I had a great time, and at least I have several pictures to boast, including one with Keith David, the guy who actually DID Thailog's voice. That's reward in itself. And this paragraph turned out to be a big egotistical rant, so I'm gonna stop now and move on.

Reusch and I were originally gonna enter the Karaoke contest, but neither of us were up for singing that night, and I was already feeling a bit down because of the unfortunate happenings of the costume, and I'm self-conscious enough about my singing as it is, so we ended up leaving after that. I wish I hadn't, as there were apparently some great moments that I missed, but luckily, most were taped and put on S8.org, so I got to see them! Thanks to Gore for that! So we went home, and slept.

Sunday, August 8th

After we arrived at the hotel (via my dad, again), we went up to join the Hunter's Moon Dash, a.k.a. Scavenger's Hunt. Nez and David had a permanent marker, and immediately on our arrival put an 80 on our hands. It was awesome! They actually liked my joke ^^ Then we decided to put them all together, and David spoofed the Wonder Twins of Superfriends "fame" by saying "Wonder-groan powers unite!" and we all groaned, it was awesome. Anyways, scavenger hunt. Reusch and I already knew that we'd lost. Scavenger hunts are death to us, as we SUCK at finding anything, and have no imagination, but we did our best anyways. We actually managed to find some stuff, but the problem was we were usually the last to procure them. I did manage to find a DISGUSTING KFC sandwich in the parking lot (still in the wrapping, thank god) that must have been from weeks ago, and that counted as A Bird, Any Bird, but that was about the only thing I contributed that wasn't exceedingly late. So yeah, definitely lost, but still had a good time.

*Side bar here: I'd decided to wear my Team Bandana a different way each day, and I ended up with a bib, a loincloth, and a sort of Old Lady Shawl thing that goes over the hair, but I got no pictures of that, sadly*

Now we had some time before anything was going to start, so we Mexanadians were going out to lunch (we'd finally convinced Nez to try Tim Hortons). Along the way, we met up with a bunch of people, although unfortunately the only name I caught from the group is White, and I haven't been able to contact her since in order to find out who else was there (if anyone has White's contact information, I'd really appreciate it ^^) It was awesome, we practically took over the Tim Hortons. We took 3 tables and shoved them together, and we were carrying our box and everything, it was an insanely bizarre picture. We got to talk a lot about random things, and I got to know some more people (even though I never learned their names) and I had a great time.

What was SUPPOSED to happen was that we would spend 5 or 10 minutes looking in the art galleries, and then we'd head off to a panel. I'd wanted to go to all three of the panels featured in this spot, but Reusch had decided she'd be most interested in the Colouring seminar, so we were going to go there. However, with buying the PGA, getting it signed, voting for the art contest, buying random Gargoyles trading cards, and the like, we ended up being too late to go to any panels. So we attended the Keith David Mug-A-Guest, which was fascinating. I never knew that Keith David once played Moufassa in the Lion King Broadway, I'll have to talk to him about that if I ever get into a conversation with him.

After the Mug A Guest was closing ceremonies, which had all the energy of a funeral durge. We were all tired from the con, and sad that it was over. Still, the closing ceremonies were fun! Karine started off in french, which I'm now happy I understand, and while I don't remember everything, I remember the first thing she said was "I've lost ALL my english!" That got chuckles from all us french people, and weird stares from the others. The artists got their awards (the art was AWESOME this year!) the Clan Olympics winners were announced (we tied for third with Clan Challanged part Duex, which means we were never technically under third place ^^ GROOOOOAAAAAAN!) Canadian Body Massage was in second (congrats to Flanker and all his temps!) and Arcadian International came in first and won snazzy t-shirts, so congrats to you guys! The olympics were a blast, and I can't wait to participate again. Las Vegas presented again, and I REALLY wanna go, I hope my parents change their minds. I pre-regged for 20$, so at least I can contribute, if I don't end up going.

As I was waiting in line to get Keith's autograph, I signed up for Laser Quest, and then, when I got to the front of the line, I said to him "Mind if I be greedy and ask for two things signed?" He just laughed and said "Of course not". So I got him to sign a Goliath trading card, and the programme. On the programme he wrote "To my good buddy Thailog- All the best. Love Keith David". He didn't instantly forget me, and took note of my costume, so I was very happy about that! That man is such a great guy.

Laser Quest was awesome! Reusch wasn't there for it, so I hung out with Jade Griffin a bit, and talked with Wolffer a lot (he was a really big sweetie and offered to drive me home, because I insisted on taking home the Mexanadians box). I, of course, sucked at the Laser games, and of course I was picked as King for the team (Damn you computer! Don't pick me!!!!) but it was an awesome time. One highlight was when we all walked in, someone happened to look up, saw Gargoyles perched on the ceiling, and we all started cheering. Another was the staff there, who seemed elated to have such weird people here (I think the guy at the counter actually took a picture of the group making Gargoyle faces). They were just fantastic people, and it was a great night. Wolffer and Viv and I didn't end up staying for supper, as we weren't very hungry, so we left after the games.

Monday, August 9th

I'm running out of time to write this, so I've gotta be brief, and only mention the highlights. One of the best parts of the day was the Metro ride, because someone ended up starting to say the Goliath monologue from the credits, and of course we all joined in, and we had a bunch of people staring at us. After the metro came the shuttlebus, which was a quick ride to LaRonde. We started off in big groups, then broke off into smaller ones after lunch. Luckily, before that we got a picture of Kyffin and I perched on top of posts in Gargoyles positions. Chyna Rose, Sarah, Reusch and I stayed together for the day, singing showtunes from Rent and going on the Monster, the Ovni, the Vampire, and the Cobra. Unfortunately the lines were too long for anything else, and we left at 5 due to the heat and a bunch of other people leaving at the same time, but it was still fun.

That ended the Gathering, sadly. I'm really hoping my parents will change their position so I can go to next year's at Las Vegas. The people are so friendly, it wasn't at all what I was expecting. Thank you all for making a n00b feel so welcome ^^

-Top Man

Greg responds...

Did you make it to Vegas? What about Valencia? We're still here! Hope you are too!

Response recorded on August 15, 2006

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Lord Sloth writes...

Friday (part one): And an early start is what I got. I woke (very appropriately) as the sun was rising, which a very strange thing for me to do but I suppose my internal clock improves tenfold when I'm in a new and exciting place. I then showered and headed off to the mall where I assumed I'd be able to find a replacement battery charger for my camera, you see, fool that I am, I brought my video camera with an empty battery and left behind the cord to charge it. I had breakfast there but as it was getting near ten and radio shack wasn't yet open, I headed back to the hotel. I then joined my group and had breakfast again, this time just an expensive half a grapefruit so as not to be left out. Soon after I bought meself my ticket and nametag and soon enough things started to happen.
Since this was all new to me, I had to attend con-virgin 101 to get prepped for the plucking. Didn't stay there for too long since there was only so many ways Sapphire could stress to be as crazy and open as I could and to not worry about the consequences. Overall I think alright in that regard, not that I'd win any awards or even be in the top 50 rank of crazy out there fans.
However, I figured a good place to start would be the general round robin, even if I wasn't completely sure what that was about. Now, I'm neither much of a writer or an on-the-spot improviser (though both activities hold my interest), but I think I did alright when suddenly called upon to continue the story; even if I forgot some of what had already been established earlier, I held fast to what I knew about MacBeth and Demona (whom the story was about). I could be mistaken, and I know the truth is out there somewhere on the tape spacebabie caught it all with, perhaps already on the Internet…I ought to look into that…
Anyway with that fun concluded, I headed down for the real juice of this event: a voice acting seminar with KEITH DAVID!!! And some other guy would be there as well (who apparently had SOME sort of connection to Gargoyles) to assist Keith, or something. He he. But then I get there and learn Keith wasn't going to be in the city till at least tomorrow, <sigh> "better late then not at all" I reckoned as I settled in to watch this other guy. All right, enough jerking around, I enjoyed professor Weisman's class immensely, one of the best parts of the gathering and probably the highest highlight of Friday. You (Greg) may have considered it the same old tripe you've done in past seminars, but it was still a hellava good and interesting time to a virgin, one which I could probably stand to go through a few more times. I took some notes since I may actually be doing some voice acting latter on for a computer game (a fan made, non profit one perhaps, but still a fine quality production (anyone who used to like the King's Quest games and would like to apply online, go to www.kq9.org, there should still be time)). I got even more revved up however when the DVD crew showed up and I had just unwittingly volunteered to read some lines in front of the camera. <<Eep>>. I was ultimately proud of my performance however, subtle though it was, as Goliath drinking tea with Leo, Una, and Griff. Tis always though with parts expressing little outward emotion because there's usually a lot one has to convey to the audience in less then obvious ways. I'm even proud of my last moment when I got the balls to look dead on in the camera for my final line "don't worry, I won't let anything happen to him this time". WOO HOO! No regrets man, not even if it shows on the DVD!
With that done I figured I had gotten me and myself all preped for THE AUDITIONS. DUN Dun dun.

Which I will continue latter as I am out of time.

Greg responds...

You were posting right down to the wire. Let's see if the rest of your conjournal made it... You had 46 seconds left, I think.

Response recorded on August 15, 2006

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Lord Sloth writes...

In which the Lord Sloth migrates to the Gathering of 2004 and Piglet meets a Heffalump

Thursday (and a few years before):

Well, there I was; a big fan since the "awakening" in 94, but not a single convention (of any kind) to my name. In all fairness, I only learned of the Gatherings (and of the whole fandom) while the 5th one was all but in progress, but still, it was about time that I found out what all the fuss was about. Knowing that this one was only a three-hour drive made it all the more imperative, and all the more inexcusable that I almost missed my chance by not committing and not making arrangements soon enough. Luckily, I was able to get weekend reservations in a youth hostel that was amazingly close to the hotel (and cheep); and on top of that, Alex Garg (bless him) had room for 1 more in his car and was coming right past my city.
So, with lady luck grinning smugly at me (after only a twenty-minute delay finding my place) I was off to see the Weisman, the wonderful Weisman of Montreal. I and my traveling companions: Alex Garg, Leo and Sadistic Cow, had a fairly uneventful journey (they say the real adventure was back in Toronto), but I did get finally get to talk one on one with people about something they like as strongly as I do (which I don't think I've experienced off of the net), not to mention hear a hilarious recording of the Silence of the Lambs musical. Things got a little rougher once we got into Montreal's traffic (having been there before I should have warned them, but I guess I thought it was common knowledge), but after a few wrong turns and barely getting checked in before the cut off time, I finally made my way to the Hotel. I then hung out in most of the evening in my party's room (with a fantastic view at the top floor) and had a hardy dinner of bananas, granola bars and cookies.
Other attendees started to arrive latter so we hung out in the lobby and had a mini gathering, where I was finally able to put some faces to all them screen-names and avatars I had seen over the years. Didn't see so many that I knew to well and, even with previous chatting history, I still have some troubles socializing face to face. I hadn't been keeping up at station 8 as much as I had used to anyway and it was obvious (and heartening) that this was already quite a tight knit group of people. Eventually a not so dapper looking fellow sporting a nice (yet now deceased) beard walked passed with a group escorts/tag alongers and I hear awed shouts of "Greg's here, Greg's here!" and I think "where, behind the over aged fan?" (in Graham Chapman's voice naturally). I soon realized the truth and wasn't all that surprised. You soon moved on to do your thing and I went to bed soon after as well since I hoped for an early start.

Greg responds...

"over aged fan," huh? Yep, that's me.

Response recorded on August 14, 2006

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Reusch writes...

Con Journal

Ten years after the start of the Amzing animated series "Gargolyes", I was sitting at my friend Topmans house when I suddenly thought of "Gargoyles". I asked Topman if he had ever seen the show and he replied that he didn't. This was an absolute shame of course and after assuring him that this was and amazing show he proceeded to download the episodes. After procurring the first five episodes Topman soon discovered that I had indeed been right. This was one, if not the best animated series ever made. All of this led him to search the web for fan websites and it was then that he stumbled upon the 8th Annual gathering of the gargoyles. It was to take place in our home of Montreal, Quebec so we of course had to attend. We had no excuse not to. We quickly filled out the registration sheets taking the whole package, including the awesome t-shirt, and cut a check. Soon we were able to revel at the sight of our names on the registered people list, thingy.

We were so excited about it that we could not contain our excietment as August 6th quickly approached. All we had to do was sit back and wait.WRONG! Topman had the brilliant idea of making a canon costume. And ,well, Topman being Topman had to pick one of the most difficult characters to make a costume for. "Thailog". Now don't get me wrong "Thailog" is an awesome character, but making a costume of him. Not my idea of easy. And I am really lazy. But of course I had to help Topman because he's my best friend. We started a good deal in advanced because we knew it would take us forever, but we are both huge procrastinators so... Needless to say we only Really started working the week of the con. It took awhile, but after lots of glue, velcro and sadly enough staples(?) we managed to put together what I thought was an awesome costume. I however have vowed to never attempt feet on another costume again. Throughout this whole costume ordeal we watched "Gargoyles", which made it a little harder to work on the costume, but hey, we got to see some "Gargoyles".

Well I guess that after all of this rambling I can get started on my actual Con journal. I just thought that it would be a good idea to explain the interesting events that came befor the big day.

The notion of waking up in the morning has always disgusted me, but after having worked on a costume for the last week and getting about an average of five hours of sleep each night, the idea of waking up is just horrendous. However I forced myself out of my sleeping bag, (I had crashed at Topmans the night before due to working on the costume into the wee hours of the morning) so that I couldprepare myself for a weekend of what I was sure would be non-stop fun.(I turned out to be under-estimating the con). So Topman and I piled into the car and his dad drove us downtown. We would have taken the bus, but I needed to find out how to get to the delta hotel because I had to drive there the next day so that we would have a place to store Topmans costume. The wings I made were not the most sturdy of wings.(That's what I used the staples for). When we arrived we were a few hours early so we decided to go to Tim Hortons where we had a sweet, sweet french vanilla(Our favorite drink). After that we decided to go see if anything had started. We had like a half hour befor anything started. When we got there we discovered that the registration desk was open and we shyly approached, but just stood there. we waited untill one of the staff asked us if we were pre-registered. we replied yes and gave our names. We in return received our package which included an amazing name tag with this years mascot, "Riel", one of the gathering t-shirts and a program.

Now that we were at the con and had our name tags and everything it was time to mingle. At least that would have been the normal thing to do. Topman and I decided to take refuge at one of the empty tables and browse our program so that we could decide what we want to do. While doing this Sarah came around recruiting people for the clan olympics. Topman and I were a little apprehensive about joining in seeing as we were not to keen for anything involving athletics, or trivia so we put our names down as a maybe. Later on we thought, "ah what the hell. We're here to have fun lets do it!". So we told Sarah and she said we had to be in teams of four. Well seeing as Topman and I did not know anyone we had no team so Sarah said that she would find us ones. After this Topman and i went to put on our t-shirts.(We were practically the only ones wearing them the first day. we felt kind of wierd, but it was a cool shirt.) When we cam back Sarah had found us a team. A couple of loners like us named Nez and david. They turned out to be an amazing couple of people. Topman and I couldn't have asked for a better clan. The only problem was we had to think of a clan name. Well after having chatted for a good while with Nez and David, we discovered that Nez was fromTexas, but was right on the border of Mexico. With that in our minds we came up with the name "Mexanadiens". It would have been more appropriate to be called the "texanadiens", but well I guess we were a little to excited to think straight. Then came the start of our ongoing joke. When Abe asked our name we told him, but then he asked for a team motto. we had no idea that we were suppose to have a motto so we all groaned. We then decided that we were too lazy to come up with another motto so a big groan in unison was the start of a beautiful thing. After a talking for awhile we went our seperate ways. Nez and David went to a live drawing thing and Topman and I went to the "con Virgin.
It was here that we met Sapphire and Chameleon girl. Two very awesome peole. we spent a better part of an hour drawing random things on the white board and just talking. It was really fun. Topman and I got to really act like ourselves here. That would be acting like complete morons. Ah, good times. After that we went to the voice acting seminar with Greg.
We arrived and found that most of the seats were taken so we sat all the way in the back. Greg then started giving tips on voice acting and it was really interesting. The only bad thing was that Keith david was not there yet due to him finishing shooting a film. No problem, he would be there later. Soon greg started asking for volunteers. I was not too keen on the idea seeing as I always make an ass out of myself when I do something like that. I was however trying to get Topman to go up because hes a really ggod actor and has been an extra in a few movies and has done a few commercials. He was not too keen on the idea. In the middle of all this the disney film crew arrived to shoot some stuff for the Gargoyles dvd. Thank God. It took long enough for them to put the show on dvd. Anyways the last skit that greg was doing required five people and only two put their hands up. I finnaly managed to persuade Topman to do it and he went up. we however still did not have enough people so I volunteered. I knew I would regret it. I ended up with the part of Hudson.(My least favorite character.) I soon discovered that I could not wink with my voice.*Wink*. However it was really fun. I got some applause for being a girl with the part of Hudson.
Well after that was done Topman and I didn't really want to visit the other seminars(seeing as the radio play conflicted with the clan olympics) so we just hung around the tables. Soon Nez and David joined us and we decided to go to the underground mall to get some food. We decided to get some McDonalds. This was the biggest mistake ever. the service was terrible. I wanted the salad with the crispy chicken. The woman there asked me twice about the chicken so I felt confident that they would get it right. Mistake number two. It took about twenty minutes, after she told me that it would be ten, and they got the chicken wrong. At this point I just wanted to eat something seeing as we had like fifteen minutes before the opening ceremonies. During this twenty minutes they burned two batches of fries, messed up Davids double big mac and forgot to give me the salad dressing and a fork. I had to ask for them and at that point they still did not have davids food ready. I had to eat quickly so I went to sit down. Unfourtunatly, they don't know how to cut chicken at this McDonalds so I had to go ask for a knife. And when I did this I was given a fork. Let's just say that this was not the most pleasent experience that I've ever had. We arrived just in time for the opening ceremonies which were awesome. Karine welcomed us all and Greg played us a tape from people who could not attend the convention.(Even though Keith David was on the tape.) It was really awesome. Greg then proceeded to trick us all by stopping mid-sentence and announcing, "Keith David everyone". we all turned to see... Nothing. Now that was cruel, but it was really cool to see what a great sense of humour Greg has. He then played us the pitch for gargoyles and a few other shows he had been working on. They were pretty awesome. Then while one of the staff was talking the clan olympics took over. We were not expecting this and topman and I were terrefied that we would have to make fools of ourselves in front of everyone. It turned out to be really cool. David had to put on a shirt full of holes so that Nez could fill it with plastic balls that Topman and I handed to her. It was really fun. And at the end it turned out that we were not in last place. This was exciting news. After that we concluded the opening ceremonies.
Topman and I then decided to attend the Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000. We didn't know what this was, but after an episode we really got into it. It was also here that we met Annie and Katherine. They were so cool. we had a blast saying random coments abouot the episode we were watching. Topman and I were however kicked out early so that they could prepare for the next portion of the clan olympics.
Within ten minutes "shot in the dark" had started. We were the third to last group to go and the game ended up being throwing three koosh balls at targets that had point values and power ups on it. At the end we ended up being in third place and first in that event. Not bad at all. After finding out these results Topman and I went home to sleep and prepare for the big day.

Once again we had to wake up Early, but this time I had to drive there. This was nerve-racking, seeing as I had never had to drive downtown, but we ended up at the hotel with no trouble at all. The first event of the day was the clan olympics "trivia torture". It turned out to be the best torture ever... Seeing as David was the one to be tortured. Their were three forms of torture, 1-toothpaste and O.J. 2-getting your hair dyed or 3-chocolate dipped in blue cheese dressing. The only thing that I learned from this trivia was that none of us could write really fast. Thankfully we were not the first ones to get out so we still ended up in third.
After that we went to the weapons demonstartion, which I found to be really entertaining. nothing beats some good old fashioned sword fighting. This laster for about an hour. we had to leave early for some more Clan olympics.
The fourth event turned out to be really hard pictionary. I was volunteered by the rest of my clan to be the one to draw. I love how we did not choose the artist of the group which was nez. Well we ended up being first in this event after having passed on a few of the things like new and improved. How the hall am I suppose to draw that. Well whatever we were doing well and there was only one more event to go.
The last thing we attended befor the banquet was the radio play. It turned out that it had a cast of like thirty people. The episode turned out to be journey. All the actors were great. I especially liked the person who got to play Elisa's cat Cagney. Brilliant stuff. They all got a rousing applaud at the end and now we had time to kill befor the banquet.
We ended up in Nez and Davids hotel room decorating our box for the clan olympics scavenger hunt the next day. It turns out that Nez and david had gone to the dollar store and bought random stuff like balloons and road sign stickers. So we finished decorating the box with crazy little sayings that corresponded to the road sign stickers. Topman and I then left for the banquet. Unfourtunatly Nez and david were not attending.
At the banquet Topman and I were back at square one, sitting alone at a table. Flanker then came and saved us by joining out tables. he was a really cool guy and we had alot of fun talking to him about random stuff. Then Annie and Katherine joined us. Flanker then got Sarah to join us and brenda decided to have pity on us and joined us too. We know had a full table,(Still leaving a spot open for either Greg or Keith David). It turned out to be an awesome table. Even though we did not get Greg or Keith. Sigh. Well it was still an awesome table. When the food came we had a blast making fun of it. the best was the vegetables that came with the main meal. They were cut in the wierdest shapes. We figured that one of them was cut in the shape of Quebec. Whether or not this was intentional we have no idea, but it was hilarious. I even took a picture of it. The food was not bad, but we hated the stuffing inside the quail. Oh well. Apparently everyone had fun watching my expression as I ate the fruit desert. It was so gross. Apparently the bavarian cake was fantastic, but I was stuck with the gross fruit thing. Lets just say there are probably some really good photos of my facial expressions. Finnaly the big moment arrived. Keith David. he walked into the room to great applause. It was now time for the Q & A.
Greg started it off to give Keith time to eat something. I didn't really have any questions so I just sat back and listened. Then Keith got into it. He was a great guy and it was really intersting to listen to him. There was one problem though. the room next to us was doing Karaoke. It sonded like a dying giraffe. Topman and I were having serious problems trying to hold in our laughter. I felt so bad that I was laughing while Keith was talking, but man were they bad. Sadly Topman and I had to leave so that we could get his costume cause he needed time to change into it and put on the body paint. This was too bad cause we missed the part where Keith said "will somebody shoot that horse", referring of course to the people attempting, and failing, to sing "My heart will go on".
Topman went to put on his costume in the mens room. When he came out about an hour later, I had to help him put on the fragile wings and those stupid feet. Never again.
When the masquerade started I got myself a seat on the side so I could take pictures. There were a lot of amazing costumes. But what I really liked was the cosplay done by sapphire, chameleon gril and some guy who I don't know his name. Sorry guy. They performed the opening monologue to Gargoyles using bristol board and a lot of crazy things. It was fantastic. Then they started the parade of costumes. They were all really good. I will not try to name them all cause I know that I will leave some people out. All I can say is I loved Jade griffins costume with the rip off skirt like Elisa's in "eye of the beholder". I got a lot of great pics so I will always have these great memories. Once the awards were given out all the people who were dressed up went outside for people to take some pictures. I got a lot of really cool ones. After all of this awesomness, it was time for Karaoke.
Topman had to go take off the costume so I was wondering around listening to the other people sing. Thankfully the costume held up till the end of the masquerade. After that the feet started to self-destruct. At the Karoke Keith David serenaded us with a wonderful song. He was so good. It was also really sweet how he had his kid up there with him. That was so nice. There was also this guy you did a rendition of "Blame Canada" with different words so that it was "Blame Gargoyles". When Topman returned we talked to Annie and Katherine for a bit, but then we were really tired so we went home to try and get some sleep.

Sunday started off with the last event of the clan olympics. It turned out that Topman and I were really bad at this. We were always the last to get the things that were on the list. The only thing I can say is that our box was, I think, the best one there. Nobody else had a sticker that said 80 into the official groaning emoticon.(Look at it sideways) We all had this written on our hands that day. It didn't help us, but we had our Groan powers unite by putting all our fists together and groaning. I have to say I had a really great time with the clan olympics.
After the event was over we decided to show Nez one of the great things about Canada, Tim Hortons. She was a little skeptical, but she soon learned the error of her skeptcism. We also met up with a bunch of other con goers and took over a corner of the Tim Hortons. It was really awesome.
After our delicious lunch Topman and I went to check out the artwork. We were so jealous of all the people who could draw better then us. The drawings were really amazing. Topman and I then each bought some Gargoyles trading cards. These included the pop up ones. Those are really cool. I currently have them all sitting on my window sill. I am looking at them right now as I type this. Man they are cool. Anyways back to the con. We then each bought a copy of the Phoenix gate anthology. We also got this side by most of the authors. I got a lot of neat little notes from them. It's a great little momento. And from what I've read so far I'm really loving it, so great work you guys.
Now it was time for the mug-s-guest with Keith David. He was a really open guy and he told us a lot about what he felt about the show and other things like what cologne he wears. It was really cool to just listen to him talking. he has such an awesome voice. I believe Gorbash said it best in his con journal, "He could read the phone book and we would all be hanging on his every word". Unfourtunatly Keith had to go eat something befor the closing ceremonies so that was over.
The closing ceremonies were so sad. I didn't want it to end. There were a lot of thank you's said to all the people who made this amazing event possible and then Chris went over stuff about the 2005 convention in Las vegas. This was really sad cause I'm pretty sure I won't be able to make it. Oh well ther's always the one after that. We also found out the winners for the clan olympics. We came in third tied with some other clan who's name escapes me at the moment. oops. After all the talking Keith David was signing autographs and I got him to sign my Program. He was so nice. he asked me how I got my nickname and posed with me for a really cool photo. That was so awesome. I must of shown everyone I know that photo. I can't believe that I got to meet Keith David. This con was the most fun I hav ever had. I hope that it keeps going for a really long time and I hope that Disney see's what an impact this show has made on a lot of people. Well the only thing left now was La Rode tomorrow.

When we finally left the hotel to go to La Ronde I was so excited. I hadn't been there in a few years so the fact that I was going there again with a bunch of really cool people was really exciting. When we got on the metro Sapphire led us in reciting the opening monologue. It was so funny. I wish I could know what was going on in the other passengers head. they must have thought we were all crazy, but it was worth it. When we got to La Ronde we split up and the group I was in went to the cobra. The line didn't look to long, but they only had one cart running on the track so it was really lonk. Topman,Chyna Rose, and I passed the time by singing songs from Rent. Once again I'm sure people thought we were nuts. We then decided that just befor the drop on the cobra we would scream out "Gargoyles on dvd December 7th". We were all suppose to do it in unison, but the rest of the gang could not hear us, but it was cool none the less. we had a great time on all the rides and it was just so much fun to be there with this great people. It was a sad time when we had to leave, but there will be a next time. Of that I am sure. Topman and I wished all the other con goers on the metro a safe journey home and told them that we hoped we would see each other in the near future. for now it's just e-mail and chat rooms. Oh well I guess thats good enough.

well I want to thank everyone who took the time to read this lengthy con journal. I hope you enjoyed it and I apologise for any spelling and grammer mistakes. I'm doing this really last miute. As I said at the beginning I'm a really big fan of procrastination. I also apologies for missing anything important. so much awesome stuff took place that my brain is swamped with fond memories.
Hopefully I will see all you cool people at a future con.
Ciao, Reusch

Greg responds...

Glad you had a good time. Hope to see you at another Gathering soon.

Response recorded on August 14, 2006

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Leo writes...

Note: The following is just a quick and dirty version since I only have a few minutes left


Saturday, August 7th: Gathering, Day 2

After eating breakfast (a less expensive breakfast this time), I went "Thrill of the Chase" panel hosted by Spacebabie, Ellen Stolfa, and Christine Morgan. Then I went to the art room to pre register for G2005. They were trying a new computerized registration system this year, so there was a delay while they got the software configured.

After finally registering, I realized that I had used up most of the lunch break. So I went to the auditorium and waited for the Auction to begin. Has anyone else noticed the shrinking quantity of merchandise available each year? Anyway… This year's big item was a cell of Goliath carrying Elisa - I think it might have been from "Double Jeopardy" - that went for over $400!! I won a puzzle an a "golden book" version of "Awakenings."

I brought the items I won back up to the room and checked out my equipment, to make sure everything was working. I still needed to get audiotapes to record Keith David at the banquet. I also had a request from Demona Taina, who wasn't able to make this years gathering, to record Keith David saying a specific naughty bit of dialogue in Goliath's voice. *groan* That would have to wait until after the radio play though, because my Nikon SLR decided to jamb on me. *$@#!!!!* I had intended to use THAT camera to take pictures of the masquerade/cosplay because my digital camera has a slow shutter. [insert more unvocalized expletives] So I spent the rest of the time before the radio play trying unsuccessfully to manually rewind the film so I could put in a new roll. *sigh*

The radio play this year was an extended version of "The Journey." (Greg had added a few scenes back in that were cut by the "Goliath Chronicles" people to make room for Goliath's monologue.) This was the largest cast ever, at 31 performers. Keith David was originally scheduled to play Goliath, but he was still delayed. Rob St. Martin did a pretty good Goliath in his place. The rest of the cast did a superb job as well, especially Zehra's performance of Elisa (she almost sounded like Sally Richardson in some places.) Of course, the DVD crew was there taping.

After the radio play I ran to the Office Depot (I think that's what it was, the sign was in French) and bought a 10 pack of 90min cassettes. (I would only use two of them)

Went to the banquet. Ate Quail. Keith David showed up. he talked about Gargoyles, They Live, Men at Work and his other movie experiences. After the banquet I got him to say the lines requested by Demona Taina.

Went upstairs to put tape recorder away. Keith David stepped out of the elevator. His room is 2 doors down from ours. Went to Masquerade. Lots of costumes. Took pictures. Went to the bar with Ellen and a few others after. Missed the Karaoke with Keith David. Then went to bed.

Sunday, August 8th: Gathering, Day 3

Went to "Gargoyle Biology" panel. Then I got my Phoenix Gate Anthology signed by all the authors. Listened to Keith David's mug-a-guest. After Closing Ceremonies I got Keith David to autograph my DVD's and Demona Taina's drawing of Thailog hugging Goliath. Then Kelly got the 6-frame screen grab compilation that we collaborated on autographed. He just stared at it and laughed. Then he asked for his own copy. So we ran across the street to the Office Depot and got a color copy. After hading it to Keith I took Kelly's picture with him.

After that excitement we walked up University Street and ate at a sandwich place in the underground mall, then headed back to the hotel.

Ellen took Alex, Kelly, and me up Mount Royal. It was a tiring climb, but it was a nice view. I took many pictures until my camera batteries wore out. We took the long way back down with a short cut through the university. Ellen then treated us to a drink at a pub, one of her old hang-outs. We got back just in time to meet her husband, who had arrived just a few minutes before we got back. Then we went to bed. Alex and Kelly had to leave in the morning. I stayed an extra day so I could go to LaRonde and maybe do a little more touring, before heading back home

Greg responds...

And you posted your journal right under the wire. Thanks. It's really appreciated.

Response recorded on August 11, 2006

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Lynati writes...

Con Journal part 5


Slept well, very deeply, and was woken up by a voice in the room that wasn't expected there; Siryn, in search of her missing wallet. It was later recovered, although not in the room. Being of no help and knowing it, I let sleep drag me back down right as she left. The second time I wake and there is an extra someone in the room, it turns out to be Ellen Stolfa, whom Emambu finally hunted down to sign his Anthology. There are about two seconds where I think, "oh good, nothing is on fire, I can go back to sleep" before recalling I really wanted her to sign mine as well…and I'd already packed it. Besides, I wanted to talk to her- I'd managed to miss her pretty much the entire con, and the same thing happened at '03- and so managed to wake up enough to do so. I think I was officially up after that, and due to the one miscommunication in the Travel Plans side of things, I'd only gotten the room until Monday morning anticipating leaving that afternoon. We'd already taken care of that, having worked out with Revel and Spacie to crash their room for the last night, and so I started trucking my bags and boxes down to their room on the 7th floor.

At some point during this move, Mara and Aaron woke up enough to pack, and with Emambu we got everything moved with no mishaps. Oh, I did have to spare a good 15 minutes to finish cleaning up the bathroom. The paint was the easy part, actually; it was the soft pastels that had turned to powder everywhere that were the problem.

I go check-out, and more or less stumble into Kathy then- she amidst a crew of her own, who tapered off while we talked until we were the only two in the walkway. Now, I hadn't gotten to talk to Kathy much, outside of what con matters she helped with in 2003. Definitely my loss. Anyway, there was again a moment of "let's move out of the middle of the walkway". Talk at this point was focused on con stuff and the position the DVD might put Vegas in. She went off to do something, and I wound up talking with Flanker and IRC Goliath, whom we shortly learned the origination of "Team Canadian Body Massage" 's oh-so-original name from. For the unenlightened, it is from one of a collection of amusingly re-dubbed GI Joe Public Service Announcements. (He was nice enough to post the link in LJ for our perusal; it's I think sixth or so down on the list. http://www.fenslerfilm.com/?sec=video )

The group doubled in size somehow, and next thing I know Emambu and I were giving Kathy a back massage. I got to talk to Flanker for a bit, and after Aaron showed up the conversation with Kathy turned back to con stuff for a while, but rapidly moved to fic. And lo, we were struck amazed, for here was someone who not only remembered what happened during season 1 of TGS, but *remembered why things were done the way they were!* A bloody revelation to those left with the chore of writing the last seasons of the Gargoyles Saga as we prepare to close down the project. Somehow Chris and Hudson and Kael materialized amidst this, along with Norcumi and Quindar, and suddenly there were umpteen conversations going on. I was pulled out of chat by Dancer for a twenty minute discussion, only to return and find the conversation was just returning to the point I had left it at. Surreal.

Hunger takes up, and those of us who are going out for food offer to pick up McDonald's orders for those who aren't. We make the mistake of ordering our own food to sit down instead of takeaway, and are an hour or so later in returning with feed for the others. …ooops…

We move up to the loft of the lobby for a bit, Aaron and I dragging Emambu into the ficcy talk with Kathy, until Chris and co. have to leave and the rest of us are too exhausted to stay awake much more. All of us opt to go back to the one room and hang out there for a while, and offer Mandi the same when we run into her, which she took us up on. We gather there for a while, lots of random storytelling, especially things involving cars and a great story Emambu has from a time his brother inadvertently caused the start of a mile back-up on both sides of the highway.

A good time was apparently had by all, although Kathy's expression at nearly the whole room singing along- and keeping pace- with the entirety of Dennis Leary's "The Asshole Song" was quite amusing in its own right.

But we couldn't keep up the pace forever, and one by one people begged off for the night or fell asleep where they lay. A perfectly dead-dog way to end a wonderful weekend, and I only threw up twice during the con, which makes this the least vomitous Gathering I have been to.
Yaye Montreal!

And now it's time to prep for staffing 2005; I've already started by updating the "tips for running a small con" advice piece that Aaron and I wrote after 2003; unfinished, it's already blossomed into website proportions and has been accorded such. Con Planning 101 can be found at: http://lynativerse.artchicks.org/Fic/CP_TOC.htm

Aug 29th, 2004

Greg responds...

Really, until we can get it down to NO vomit, I won't really consider it a victory. ;)

Response recorded on August 11, 2006

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Lynati writes...

The con journal that wouldn't die, part 4 (of 5)


Wake up to my own alarm clock and skiddadle off to co-host "Gargoyle Biology 101", a sort of lesson in applied science. Or applied reality, as the case may be.

Mara got me a muffin, which I managed to nibbled the top off of while waiting for more people to show…we had a scant room at first, but fifteen minutes into the presentation the ranks had swelled to something respectable. Yggdrasil started off with a power-point presentation on genetics, a very well done one at that. It moved to me next, and my short focus on basics of anatomy, with an emphasis on gargoyle wing structure. (I'd like to see- or host- a panel some year that caters to the art side of how gargoyles are built.) It was also an excuse to show off some of my art, which I'd created for this very purpose (in school) in the first place…and the research of other knowledgeable fandomites I'd collected, Like Shadowriders's "Gargoyles and Flight" document. The latter half was more opting answers to the audience's questions, which were very good; Dylan fielded most of them, since he of all of us has the strongest (actual medical) background. Topics ranged from social aspects of the species impact on their biology to speculations on "real" causes of eye-glow, to…all sorts of stuff. Some slightly more earthy than I expected, but it was all fun. And I learned a few things myself. All three of us agreed that we'd like to see it relived (and improved) at Vegas, provided all can make the con.

I find it a bit amusing, in an odd fashion, the number of people who've referred to this as "Whit's Bio Panel" in their con journal, especially after his own admission of not having time to do any prep work…not that I did much new for the con either, beyond grabbing the vast notebook I'd put together over the last school year. (Actually, until I got my schedule at registration, I wasn't wholly sure that we were even going to *have* the panel.) Yggdrasil was definitely the one who was best prepared…
No, my "amusement" had far more to do with the fact that my name was left entirely off the header, when the panel was inspired by my running around last semester trying to draw people into discussing gargie bio to help me come to realistic conclusions for a project I was doing for school (Basework for my Senior Thesis, actually) and the panel partially my idea…Okay, it irks me. Yes, I *know* it wasn't deliberate and there was far more to contend with than such a minor detail. It still irks. ; )

I can't remember what happened between the end of the panel and closing ceremonies. I recall briefly looking in on both Kathy's writing panel and Liz's art one…wait, no, I remember. I spent it in the art room, which I had not yet seen, participating in the silent auction. (I won the only two I tried for, shocked that neither had bids; one was Kythera's "the Storm" - both a print and original sketch- and a lovely watercolor Liz did of the three named Ishimuran clan members and their beast.) I also picked up a copy of the Phoenix Gate Anthology and a pin, and headed for the signing table. Talked to people, Liz and Eden and Karine some, and the signers, but mostly with Dylan and Stormy.

Closing Ceremonies came on, and then the guest signing. I ran up and got my Montreal Con shirt for Mara to get signed, and wandered around the room talking to people. (Again, mostly Dylan and Stormy, since I am nearly as fixated on their work and ability to write as I am on Cyrway's, and they as people (and not just authors) are both imminently cool.) Mara grabs me to ask what I want Keith David to sign on my shirt, and after a minute of blanking on anything, ask that it be "munchies??" I drift off, and come back to find Mara had been asked to explain the context of such an odd quote…and Keith had been much humored by the story. (This being the "true story behind the Goliath CHRONICles") I am talking to Karine at the back of the room, wavering over presenting the Montreal Puppy to Keith, and manage to just miss his initial reaction to Aaron's tattoo, which he was again convinced to show. Around that point I go up, hand over the glass with a fairly brief explanation, and leave with Aaron before I can hold up the remainder of the line for too long.

The Official Meeting was after that; strange experience. (I agree with Quindar that KGB meetings are more entertaining. ; ) We're gathered en masse for talkies a bit, and then came time to say goodbye to Cat, Rika, Heccy, and Dave, who all had to leave then. : (

Hudson and Aaron and many others decided to play laser tag, which I have always wanted to try, but really didn't feel up to; I was assured everyone would be back in an hour or so. (It was five.)I spent the first two hours packing up my art mess and trying to convince Mara that she wasn't wearing pants, and should put some on. (The fact that she was entirely clothed was a logic I simply ignored on the grounds that I was bored and she- being very tired and thus susceptible to my inanity- was entertaining.) I finished most of the clean on up and took pity on Mara, letting her nap, and wandered off to, well, wander. I ran into Norcumi and Quindar some time later, who had just left a note for me at the room. We circle the lobby several times before landing in the big comfy lobby chairs for me to wait for the return of the laser-taggers. At one point we pass Keith David and his wife coming out of the elevator, and I managed to put on a less-grumbly expression just in time to return his greeting.

The three of us sit and talk, eventually joined after an hour or so by Mara, and Emambu- who was crashing in our room that night. Ckayote and Greg Bishansky materialized and joined us until, an hour or so later, Aaron and the others showed up. And he brought pizza! We swapped stories with Norcumi and Quindar, who randomly took pictures as the night went on.


Greg responds...

Decompression days can be good.

Response recorded on August 10, 2006

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Lynati writes...

con Journal Part 3


I wake up, and it is Not Good. My usual con sickness- collectively caused by the sleep deprivation, food deprivation, running around, stress, and relationship issues which seem to come together EVERY Gathering- has made it's first appearance. And then some. I beg off for the morning, asking Mara to send my regrets down to Chris, as I was supposed to help sit pre-reg. I got back to sleep, curled around the maelstrom in my guts, and when I finally get up things haven't improved at all. And on top of that, one foot had settled itself into a pediac fetal position, and refused to straighten out; I couldn't even feel half my leg at first. Some feeling crept back into my largest and smallest toe…unfortunately, that feeling was pain. I limped off to find Cat, only to find her not only sick herself but also at a loss of what to do when it comes to leg problems. She suspected I had pinched a nerve in my hip, and stretches of muscle groups besides my calf and foot did seem to help. I still spent most of the day feeling like I was doing an impression of Verbal Kint.

I manage to make it downstairs eventually, in time to meet up with Aaron and Mara as they went to be interviewed by the Video Crew. The interview is winding down when Aaron adds in, "…and I know Greg Weisman wanted me to show this…" and peels off his shirt to reveal the 8" color Demona he had tattooed there when he was 19. They wrap up, and Aaron helps me stumble off in search of food that I can keep down, and on our way out we run into Cat's crew returning from brekky, and I somewhat brighten upon seeing Dancer still with them. We wind up in the train station next to the Tim Horton's, at a passable sandwich place, and notice a Office Depot-type store nearby, and head over to it as I am looking for stands to hold some art (cast-glass versions of the 2004 mascot, which I referred to as the "Montreal Puppies") that I'd made with the intent of giving to Karine and the special guests. We found something I figured would work, and bought a couple to try out. (They worked. I went back the next day and bought more. Montreal rain tastes awesome.)

After that was the great search for the home depot; Karine had given us good directions that Montreal's one-way street deal utterly confused us on. The less said about that trip, the better, only thank you Revel for the loan of Hyena, and the HD people were actually very helpful.

So we get back to work on my costume. And…yeesh, I don't want to even go into it. Emambu, Mara, and Aaron wound up doing a metric buttload of work for me, and injuries on the side, and I gave my uber-staplegun to Aaron, who had successfully managed NOT to staple the fabric into me through the small amount of plaster strapped to my back.

Thank you guys, thank you thank you thank you. And I promise I'll be done with my costume months in advance from now on.

By the time I make it down, half-finished, the masque itself is over…well, the judges are out for decision-making. However, my arrival seems to catch much attention, and I was stopped for a mass photo time, which pretty much made the whole thing worth it. As did my "best late arrival" honorable mention from Greg Weisman. Awards for the rest are given, and then someone dressed as the Hunter (Flanker, as it turned out) had me strangle him for a photo op. (I have no clue how those pics came out.) I talk to Loopy about his costume, muchly jealous… I think I'm pretty much going to have to cross-dress as Brooklyn for 2006 in order to beat that. (Yes, 2006. I have something else in mind for 2005.) Hung around, and met up with Norcumi and Quindar, once again promising that I'd shortly be available for them to kidnap away for a few hours. First there were a couple things I had to take care of…giving Greg one of the Montreal Puppies…and then there was a little incident with Emambu singing a filk I wrote, at the start of karaoke.

Scooted off after that- missing the YMCA thing, which after spending 2 months straight every summer for 11 years at a YMCA camp which considered that song (heh) something of a theme, I could have probably managed the lyrics decently- and spent the night talking to Norcumi and Quindar in their room. That conversation starting off with me being asked to explain the differences between the reality of First Born and real life. I suppose those of you who follow the comic might have been wondering as well, so I'll just clear the air right now…yes, it's true.
Cat really IS dating Cthulu.

Got back into the room a little after four in the morning, realized that I no longer had to work on a costume, and was happy. Then I realized I was skedj'd to co-present a panel the next morning, re-checked the time, and whimpered at the ten am slot. (why ten am? why Sunday morning? whhyyyyyyyy??? ; )


Greg responds...

Face it. The Gathering is not sleep-enducing.

Response recorded on August 10, 2006

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Lynati writes...

Con Journal Part 2


Was woken up by Mara getting back to the room from a venture out, and the notification that my reputation as a Scary Fangirl (tm) had apparently preceded me. I, naturally, took this entirely out of proportion and spent the morning avoiding two of my fanfic heroes less I do something to confirm the fact. (Easy to do with the whole "incognito" thing; I had to pass within two feet of them on a couple occasions in the crowd). We hit registration and got our con goodies; and as further proof that Chris has the powers of mesmerism, Aaron was convinced to sign up for the Clan Olympics 2005 staff team. (If there is one thing he hates more than participating in a sport, it's participating in a team sport.) They needed a fourth, and I'd already begged off for the fact I had a costume to finish (again). So Mara wound up in the last position, whereupon I think something along the lines of "Well, I guess you're Staff now" was then said. We haven't eaten yet, and as we run into Hudson's group and Cat's Crew we learn they have not either. So we all decide to go out for lunch, with a few other random fandomites also in search of sustenance. About seventeen of us arrive at this café, see that they are packed and turn to leave when (the manager?) comes out and says there is room enough for us all at the outside tables, and the service is fast…won't we stay?

We do, and the service was fast, and the food was good and inexpensive. I had a gyro, and sat and chatted with Chris while Cat pulled my arm out at a funky angle and spent about ten minutes fixing the carpal tunnel that had started to develop in my right hand. (Thank you again, Cat; I haven't had so much as a twinge since.)

Emambu and I and a couple other slipped back to the con early, wanting to catch the Voice Acting Seminar (another panel I have never quite made it to.) It was good; Emambu and Revel were great reading out Lex and Brooklyn's lines from one scene, and whomever did Griff's lines from that bit of M.I.A.

I'd almost worked up the courage to volunteer for a reading when the camera crew showed up. Now, the thought of making the attempt in front of the crowd was already enough to give me a minor difficulty in breathing; there was no way I was going to embarrass myself on film to boot, even with the general assurance that it wouldn't make it onto the DVD.

It was a good panel; I'd like to see what it's like with more presenters. It ends, and I am temporarily stunned by the fact that Ethan seems to have sprouted a smaller, paler, female version of himself, and hadn't noticed. I go over to the girl because reality demanded it, and tap her on the shoulder. This turned out to be White Avator, one of the fandom's artists. I sneak off then to work on my costume (I have a very strong memory here of chipping off an extraneous chunk of glass in time to Mellencamp's "Rain on the Scarecrow" playing on my walkman) and remain there until I am dragged down to Opening Ceremonies. (I knew what time it started; I just didn't realize that time was already upon me.) Three seats were supposed to have been saved by our friends in the second row; somehow things got mixed up, and there were only two. Mara opted to sit in the row directly behind, so I sat between Aaron and a girl who turned out to be Mercedes.

Didn't take me long to realize that the two people sitting almost directly in front of me were Dylan and his fiancée, Stormy. Attempts to return a greeting were dismembered by Aaron suddenly attempting to display his sense of humor with something that involved a Vulcan pincer grip and the back of my neck…and then the show, as it were, was on.

Current Staff was introduced, leaving not a few of us deeply impressed that Karine could Chair a con while THAT much pregnant. Greg Weisman got up to talk, which resulted in a quote from the con that seems to live in infamy right next to "mommy, what's a con virgin?"

Greg had made a comment about how after this many years, he doubted the fandom had anything left that didn't have his signature on it, but if anything was left…
Cat's immediate response was, "Sign my Grandma!"
Greg looked at a loss for words, which was funny in its own right even though he didn't deliver what I thought was the obvious response of: "Bring her to Vegas!" ; )

About then Abe and MAui stepped in with a surprise first event for the Gargie Olympics. About the time the walkway had cleared and they were counting balls, I slip off to the other side of the room to talk to whom I hoped (correctly) was Norcumi, whom I'd been keeping an eye open for. Kythera popped up minutes later and took the seat next to me, and…I cannot remember that conversation at all. um. *^_^*

About that time Chris is tapped to pitch 2005, and introduce his staff…which I get a surprisingly illustrious inclusion into. (hee, I felt special…) I watched Quindar (Norcumi's s.o.) during most of this. He, heretofore, had been very much in doubt of some of the 2005 intentions and the staff's ability to pull them off; by the time I got to speak to him about it that night, Quindar admitted to being impressed by the speil, as did Norcumi. (Both are shockingly cynical once you get to know them, and not terribly easy to impress. They are very helpful people to have playing the devil's advocate for ideas.) My one odd-note-out about it was that, from where I was sitting, with the reddish long sleeves and the sharp claws and my inability to clearly see his facial features, the mascot looked unnervingly like Freddy Kreuger.

I get back to my original seat right when the lights are turned down for the "home videos" part of OC, and watched the faces of those around who, while hardly new to the fandom, had never attended a Gathering before. It was strangely gratifying to see their expressions; maybe it was knowing that I am not the only one drawn so deeply into the show. After that was the Atlantis ep "The Lost", which I'd yet to hear. I liked it, although I had the misfortune of sitting in front of Rika as well as Mara and Cat, and…I think she tried to crawl into her own hat at one point. I could almost keep a straight face through the, er, more innuendo- accessible portions…but I couldn't help but turn to see how Rika was handling it, and I just lost it after that. In front of me at the staff table, Siryn didn't look like she was coping much better… ; )

(Of course, it wasn't until after the con that we realized that "…all the grunts, groans, and gasps of combat being taken terribly out of context by our collective filthy, filthy little minds" (as Christine Morgan put it) the script actually *directs* the Voice Actors to sound that way at points, when we had a chance to sit down at Greg B.'s house and look at a copy.)

Opening Ceremonies end, and Aaron and I wind up talking to Mercedes for a bit. Enter here the discussion shifting to fellow writer Cyrway without Aaron or I directing it there. Sayeth Mercedes, "It's good to know she still has fans as dedicated as you. As far as I know, there's only one person out there who still writes to her about her Gargoyles fic."
Us: ""oh?"
Mercedes: "Yeah, there's a girl she found who does filks about her universe,"
Me : (thinking) oh cool, there is someone else writing Cyrway filks?
Me : ~ pause as reality kicks in ~
Me: "You mean…someone *besides* me?"
Mercedes : "What name do you post under?"
Me: "Lynati"
Mercedes: "Yeah, that's the one."

So. Yeah. She's read them. And apparently doesn't hate them. The One deigns to notice my work in Her name! (…ever had a running gag that lasted so long that you and your friends lost track of the line between the joke and reality? It's a scary, scary thing. On that note, there really isn't a 30-ft tall statue of Eddie of Winslow in Aaron's backyard.) (Yet.)

I get rather distracted at this point, and miss/don't recall much of the conversation that she and her brother have with Aaron at that point. I'm too busy bouncing around like the hyperactive fangirl I am.

I meant to work on the costume more from after OC to the start of the Blue Mug, but this wound up not exactly happening. First off, I was distracted by conversation with Hudson and Kaelyan in lower level for a bit, throwing in a "actually, I have a pair of pliers" to Kael's comments about the so-far failed attempts to get the DVD player hooked to the TV. I promised to send them up; I had also promised to drop by to visit Cat's Crew and have them around to chat to while I worked. I head upstairs, when I notice a fandomite drifting by herself; being someone who 1) values her own solititude at times and 2) has been left wandering for lack of anyone to hang with, I decide to by a good con-goer and strike up a conversation. This is Dancer, whose friends took off for dinner without her; I offer to let her come hang with me if she has nothing better to do, after I run a few errands. We head to Rika's room first, were she and Cat are quickly embroiled in a metal-working conversation as I talk to Rika and Heccy. Eventually those still awake- ie, not Sammy or GE, who were also sharing room and ride- come up to my room. Dancer mentions wanting to call home but her phone not working, and I mention Hudson wanted it known that his satellite phone was available for such calls. I send her up with my pliers, which struck another thing off my list. Unfortunately, Dave and Heccy realize they are more of a distraction to my work than a help only 20 minutes before the Blue Mug, so I really only had about that much time for the costume. *sigh* Then again, I come to the con primarily to see my friends, not to be awed over at the masquerade. (Although I really do enjoy that, when I happens.)

I head up to the consuite, and have a chance to talk to Liz around then about turning in my AMV's for the contest, which I was advised to do the next morning, early. (As it turned out, I wasn't capable of upright motion for most of that morning, so I missed entering them entirely. Eh, for those who care- and have windows media player- they are posted at:
and the one I was forced to render in two parts:

I found myself staring again at the aptly-named White, who has hair so beautiful I could not resist asking to be allowed to pet it. (I'm not usually that touchy-feely with people I don't know very well. The conventions have really helped improve my ability to handle social situations.) I liked the conversation; after all, the blue mug doesn't *have* to be raunchy; it just is allowed to be. I managed a couple decent questions. (Forgetting one that came as a follow-up to one I'd recently gotten response to at Ask Greg; At the time of The Last, did Demona really believe she was the last gargoyle alive?) It ended late, and I again worked later- about 5am- on my costume, and gave myself my first hot glue burns of the weekend. (my only second degree burn from a glue gun, ever, would come the next night...along with Mara's. :\ )


Greg responds...

It's the people, isn't it? I like to think I contribute, but really the thing that makes the Gathering work year after year is the family it has become. Squabbling family on occasion, but family nonetheless.

Response recorded on August 09, 2006

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Torvik writes...

Am I the last one to post a journal?? (Hope not...)

2004 Journal for Alan (Torvik)

I'm doing this all backwards.

It seems like most people get involved in the fandom, and *then* attend the Gathering. Not so in my case. My sister and I attended because we loved the show, and now here I am, looking to be connected to the fandom throughout the year as well. Funny.

I thought the con was great. It took a while for us to find our niche and the rhythm of things, but that didn't really dampen our fun at all.

I was drawn to the con for a couple reason, one of which was the acting aspect (voice and otherwise). I had put a big circle around the voice acting seminar on my schedule, and felt confident that we'd get there in time for it. However, because of our hour long flight delay, and trouble getting to our hotel (we stayed at the Days Inn down the street - $40/night cheaper AND we got a Shrek 2 theme room ;) not only did I miss out on the seminar, but on the RPG Panel and the first auditions. Disappointing.

Opening ceremonies were alright. I wanted to ask the pregnant lady who she was, and what her role in the weekend was. The first half didn't feel so much like a ceremony, as much as it felt like the ref laying out the rules before a wrestling match…

I enjoyed what Greg had to share, especially the pitches he had prepared. I liked the idea of Gargs 2198 (or whatever the year was) and Dark Ages. Bad Guys seemed a little contrived, and the rest seemed like an ever bigger stretch. (The Gate was 'just out of reach' for 40 years?? Reach a little farther man! Come on! ;) Still, it was a great glimpse into all the workings that boil below the surface that we never really get to see.

MGT3K (don't ask me to write it out) was fun, especially since I had found myself heckling episodes over the past half year since I had dusted off my tapes. I appreciated Jade when she invited Jackie and I to sit closer on the floor. I was like, 'Hurray, acceptance!' I gotta check the site out sometime to see if any of my lines got picked up.

We left after that, since we were kinda tired and weren't too interested in the Blue Mug. It was a nice walk back to our hotel. Only twenty minutes (downhill), and three Tim Hortons on the way. We felt far safer walking downtown Montreal at that hour than we would have in Winnipeg.

Jackie wasn't feeling so hot the next morning, so I caught a cab and went by myself. First off, I went to audition. The form I was given asked if I wanted only large part, only a small part, or whatever. Now I naturally WANTED a large part, but I didn't want to jeopardize my shot at getting anything by saying I ONLY wanted a large part, so I put 'whatever'. It also asked if I could speak with an English or Scottish accent. I didn't know what to put, but I knew I didn't want to limit myself, so I put a yes for both of them. Afterall, it didn't ask if I could do them *well*. (The back of the audition bundle had an early concept pic of Angela! Just another one of those fringe benefits of attending the con!)

I read Hudson's part for the audition. Since I started watching Gargs, I had adopted little Sottish hints to me speech, and I think that helped. I had also spent two months in London, but that didn't really help at all. My attempt at an English accent sound like an Irishman trying to sound Scottish.

From there, I went up to the ConSuite and watched Hunter's Moon 1-3. Good stuff. Good stuff.

Jackie and I were going to attend the SCA demo (whatever that meant) but we decided to help Mug Greg instead. I finally got to ask my question that had been sitting on 'Ask Greg .com' for half a year, and received a satisfying answer. (When he lead the clan, everyone probably called Hudson 'Mentor', not as an official name, per se, but a respectful handle all the same. After Goliath took up leadership, some still called the older gargoyle 'Mentor' but it wasn't as common, and had pretty much slipped away my the time they had reached NY.)

After that, were rehearsals. I checked the cast list, and sure enough, I was on it! Once we were all assembled, Greg called out each person one at a time, and announced which part they had. I tried not to get my hopes up. I really tried, especially since Kieth David wasn't going to be there to read the part of Goliath, and I knew that my voice had a certain resonance to it.

Finally, Greg reached the end of his list, and asked "Who still doesn't have a part?" I put up my hand, as did a guy in the front row. "Oh," Greg said, "So-and-So, you're Owen." Everyone clapped. "There must be someone who still doesn't have a part." I raised my hand again, and Greg announced that I would play Hudson's role, which I was pleased with. Then he said that they had seen Ed Asner (the original voice of Hudson) in LA, and they got him to sign the script, which I would be able to keep after the show! This made being Hudson *especially* ok. ( http://www.geocities.com/_zith/script.jpg Sorry about the horrible quality of the scan. I'm using my parent's computer right now X-(

The Radio Play was lots of fun. Sure, I only had 4 lines, but Hudson was mentioned often. When I heard the person read Castaway's part, I suddenly remember what an English accent was *supposed* to sound like. It'd obviously be fun to be a part of a Radio Play with a smaller cast. Maybe next year…

After that, it was the official time to watch the music video entries. A bunch of us crowded into an elevator and headed up to the ConSuite. Sadly, only 3 video actually worked on the laptop. Luckily, one of them was mine. I thought the other two were kinda cheesy and boring, while mine was fresh and punchy. (Well, what else am I supposed to say about my own video?) Yet, I saw that votes were also piling up for 'Learning to Fly' (despite the fact that Gargoyles clearly don't fly… ;) We cast our votes and left for our hotel.

Jackie and I skipped the banquet, because a) it was very expensive, b) we both wanted to take a nap before the long evening started, and c) we needed time to get our costumes ready. So we slipped back to our hotel and did the above.

We were going as Fox and Xanatos from 'Eye of the Beholder'. I had suggested the idea to her a few months ago, expecting that I'd have to do some major wheedling to get her to go along with the idea. To my surprise, she was excited about the idea right away. Lucky me.

Her costume was simple. I went to Value Village and found the longest trench coat I could find as well as an old, gold necklace I could take sections out of. I went to Michael's to get Fimo and some half marbles to make the Eye of Odin from, and I already had body paint to 'tattoo' her eye with.

My costume was a little more involved. I picked up some sleek black sweat pants from the aforementioned VV Boutique, as well as an equally sleek black t-shirt which would be worn over a dark purple long sleeve sweater. A pair of black socks and a dark brown pony-tail extension rounded off the simple part of the costume.

The tricky part was the jet-pack. I had grabbed a few screenshot of David wearing it, but still struggled in figuring out what exactly it looked like, since the shots weren't that clear. I went to Home Depot, and wandered around their duct-work section trying to put it all together in my mind.

It ended up being simpler than I thought. The only noticeable modification I made was changing the suit to dual-thrust from single-thrust. I found two duct-elbows that were big and wide enough to do the trick. I also bough four duct straps (2 for the belt, and 1 for each arm strap), and one plate to go across my chest. I used ordinary duct tape to hold it all together, and shiny waterproof tape to cover it.

The finishing touch was the easiest to overlook. I went to Radio Shack and bought two red lights, a switch, some batteries, and other little do-das that are required for electrical work. The guy working there was very helpful since I had never done anything like this before. I rigged up all the lights together, and they worked great, except they were a bit on the dim side, and the lights in the ballroom already had a red tinge to them.

That night we finally assembled all of our costumes together, and I think we looked great. Sure, I didn't have the goatee, and Jackie didn't have strawberry blond hair, but we were close enough. (I even put on extra clothes under my costume, just so I'd look more buff ;)

We arrived back at the con on time, but the dinner went long, so we spent time waiting around. Since we were participating in the costume contest, they asked us to wait in another room with the other competitors. We were an interesting look crew, to say the least. What I really like is that even though there were tones of people dressed up, there was only one overlap in costumes. (Double the Dracon means double the trouble, eh?) There were four Foxes, and even tow from Eye of the Beholder, but they were all different.

Once everyone was seated in the ballroom, we lined up outside the doors and waited to be called in. Jackie suggested that I carry her in to the stage. I was hesitant (afterall, my buffness was only because of the extra clothes I was wearing) but decided to give it a shot. I picked her up, and as we walked down the aisle I whispered to her, "I've never felt more heroic in my life."

I think it was our entrance that secured us the 'Best Couple' award. I was so very pleased with the outcome. Jackie and I enjoyed the rest of the ball, listened to some karaoke. I really enjoyed getting our photo taken with Jade. She was dressed up as Elisa from Eye, who of course was dressed up as Belle. It was SO prefect. I couldn't have planned it better.

I also pulled Greg aside and thanked him for casting me as Hudson. I think the role came with a certain mantle, and I appreciated having it placed on me. I also told him that everyone at home loved my voice, but I wanted to know what 'people from his world' would think of me. 'Would I be just another voice?' He said that I had a good sound, and that doing accent work might be good for me, but ultimately I had a Canadian sound, and if I wanted to work in an American market, I would need to learn how to turn it on and off. It was advice I could understand. Jackie and I left not long after.

The next morning we were back, ready for our last day of the convention. Jackie decided to sit in on the Garg Bio discussion (since she's majoring in it) and I went to help Mug Keith David, who had only arrived the night before, just in time for the end of the banquet. A couple of us had been sitting there for almost an hour, when someone announced that Keith had not been informed about the session, and would not be there until after lunch. Disappointed, I left to join the end of the Bio session.

The Mug-A-Guest was pretty good (although I did get bored with it after a while). The biggest highlight was Keith's answer when I asked 'What, other than perseverance, do you most attribute where you are at to?' Without batting an eye, he said "God". Apparently he had wanted to go into ministry, and decided that this was the best kind of ministry for him to be involved in. I found that real encouraging. It was a refreshing contrast from the 'go where the work is' and 'perfect your craft' advice.

The Closing Ceremonies were nice. They announced the art show winners for a while. I still wasn't sure if I had won the Best Music Video award. I had hoped as much, but I felt there were enough votes for 'Learning to Fly' to give me a run for my money. After the art awards, they gave the floor to the Las Vegas people for a bit, and said a bunch of 'Thank You's. I began to wonder if they had eliminated the music video contest because of low turn out. Then, just before they were going to finish everything off, Liz stopped the proceedings, and asked if the creator of the music video 'Faint' was present. And I was! I went up and collected my ribbon, well contented again.

After the official closing, Jackie and I got in line to get Keith's autograph. I took that opportunity to thank him for his words that afternoon, stating that it helped me remember the role my faith needs to play in my career. Once we were done with that, we headed out to make our way to the airport.

Jackie and I had a great time at the Con. We went, wanting to spend some time together before she got married, and we had an excellent time doing so. Our costumes were GREAT, I won the contest, I got to be in the Radio Play, and received good advice about voice acting.

I probably won't be in Vegas next year, but I think I'll get a supporting membership and try to enter another video. The year after, who knows? I'm also finding a number of people who have said to me 'Oh yeah, I remember that show. Whatever happened to it?' At which point I give them the big Dec. 7th speciel. (I hope it goes well…)

Well, it's almost Sept. 1st, so I had best read this over, and post it. Thanks again fandom for helping keep this going. Looking forward to being more involved in the future.

Alan/Torvik/Xanatos in a jet-pack/the music video contest winner/…

Know what? Just call me Tor.

Greg responds...

Hey Tor, glad you had a good time. What exactly is a "Shrek 2" theme room anyway?

Response recorded on August 09, 2006

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Lynati writes...

2004 Montreal Con Journal

Part 1

My con experience, as with most who travel by caravan, starts a bit before the actual con dates.

It started with a couple small problems; I can't fly on an airplane until I get this little "has seizures and blacks out on planes" thing looked at and hopefully fixed; Aaron didn't have time to renew his passport, and Revel wound up promising both him, Mara, Greg B. and Alex a ride to the con along with Spacebabie, in a car that only seats four. About that time, Emambu offered/was convinced to drive from Pittsburgh to Kansas City and pick me up. Deciding that 1) Pittsburgh wasn't too bad a place for a layover from the Texas contingent, and 2) Revel didn't especially want to navigate New York alone, never having driven in the state, we wound up using Pittsburgh as a crash point for one night (well, morning as it turned out), and both vehicles- Emambu, Aaron, Mara, and myself in the Mafia Cruiser, and Spacie and Revel in his Hyena- would travel together to get the Bishansky brothers, and take another night there before heading up to Montreal.

There was also some juggling of luggage, mostly me leaving most of my stuff- not planning to return to KC until some time in September, I'd had to pack for a full summer, and somewhere along the line decided that being separated from the hub of my communications, art, writing, and research for over two months was too long. Add in I was already traveling in a car with huge trunk space, and that I wasn't entirely comfy in leaving it alone in my apartment for two months, I wound up bringing my entire computer set-up (sans printer) with me.

So Thursday we take of from Greg's mother's house, and are Montreal-bound. Today's trip wasn't much different than the previous day, with Aaron and Emambu indulging in sports-conversations, and an uninterested Mara and I in the back seat, dozing and working on art. I'd called for a stop at the nearest home-depot-esque store to pick up a few more supplies for my costume, and indulged in a lot of wire-wrapping of sections of chicken wire together for my vastly-unfinished costume.

During the con, I wound up re-living my 2002 position of holing up in my hotel room for half the con, missing both the radio play and several panels I wished to see, working on a costume that I didn't finish nearly to my standards but wore anyway, and which people seemed impressed by. Of course, while I automatically jump to my own laziness as an excuse for this, it isn't really true. Both times I had pressing school issues- 2002 I'd gone to Germany on a school trip for credit, and had to mail my costume home as I couldn't lug it around eastern Europe. I left that trip two days earlier to make the con. This time, it was finishing up the last credits I needed to complete my double-major- with the class ending on July 28th- and packing up my apartment, since I wouldn't be back until I came through to add everything to the moving truck I'd be bringing my Maryland property with, en route to a final destination in Texas. Both, sadly, ranked ahead of my costume in things I had to focus on- and even then I'd only had time to start Ophelia on July 3rd.

Besides, there was always the next years…

Anyway, after a while the conversation shifted a bit; some was centered around the webcomic Jack, and a long debate about the nature of its anthropomorphic reality. More was fic-related, since all four of us are/were fic writers…or at least, fic procrastinators. Before hitting Pittsburgh, the Texas contingent had come up with a new game to pass the time, called "Fate", which we indulged in for a while. Each person takes a turn in picking a canon character, and each time around everyone explains what happened to that character in their own world. Eventually this dissolved into fic-talk (my favorite pastime) and some TGS-related discussions. This would not be the first time such a topic came up during the con. ; )

I, sadly, had no more chances to sing, as Emambu had given into my request for lessons on the ride up from Kansas City, and I spent a large portion of that trip butchering Melissa Etheridge and listening in awe to Emambu's talent when it came to a best-of Van Morrison album.

It was bordering dusk when we hit Canada, and the fic chatty was still going strong. We cross the border with ease- if over an hour's wait- but have to pull off at the first opportunity when it is realized that no one has the directions from the border to the hotel. Between 411 and a helpful native, we were on our way…only to be further diverted by more road construction. We reach the hotel, unload at the front, and I check in. New experience for me, and considerably easier than I was worried it could be. There are a number of our age/type people hovering about in the lobby, and I get some help in carting everything up to the room. Come back down to mingle after finding said room to be satisfactory…if tricky to get into.

I recognized Leo, and managed to correctly place another girl- whom I'd only met briefly at 2001- as Chyna Rose. She, Mara and I, and one who I absolutely did not recognize as Silver despite a long art-related chat in '02, sat down to stretch out and talk. Talk at this point mostly revolved about interesting quirks in finding the hotel, pet cats, and Wolverine. Others drifted in, most of which I'd never met in person. This included Chameleongirl, whom I know from LiveJournal, and the Sadistic Cow, who I know from the one Gargoyles fic that actually gave me nightmares as well as from Mooncat's forum. Didn't really chat with either of them much during the con; sorry guys.

About that time the caravan that included Chris, Hudson and Ethan showed up, and I wasted no time in pouncing Ethan over the matter of my furry feet, which I was forced to leave with him in New York and had been assured, repeatedly, would be returned to me at the con. I was really really looking forward to being reunited with them, my first attempt and surprising success at gargie feet, but that didn't happen; in an apartment the size of a breadbox, they had proved unfindable.

I'm really going to miss those feet. : (

And while I'm busy sulking about that, Aaron wanders away from where he'd been chatting with Chris, comes up to me and says, "I'm in".

To which I, knowing he couldn't possibly mean 2005 con staff since his insistence post-2003 that he'll never get within 300 feet of being on a con staff again and Mara's equal insistence that she would gut anyone who attempted anyone who attempted to convince him otherwise with a plastic spork, cleverly respond:


"Treasurer. For 2005. Chris talked me into it."

"What? HOW???"

"I'm not sure."

I notice at this point Mara is talking to Chris, and no sporks seem present. It takes me a while to process this, so it's a full three minutes later, after I've gone back to chatting with Silver about art stuff, that I turn back to where Aaron is talking to Hudson's group and yowl a "Are you insane?!?"

Aaron: "What?"

Me: "…nothing."

Time passes, and the (rather large) group that had accompanied the con staff and Greg Weisman out to dinner return; it may have been after midnight by then. Anyway, an all new round of greetings goes on, of which I am only peripherally part of as I either don't know, or am severely intimidated by, most of those who just showed up. I should also take this time to point out that I was at the con ingocnito- as myself. About three months earlier I'd needed hair for an art project, right then, and lopped off my ponytail to use. I'd cut it back further in the tweening months, so for the first time since I was seven I had hair that didn't reach my shoulders. Second, I was wearing contacts instead of my usual (darkly tinted) glasses. It had taken Hudson until after I started talking for him to recognize me, and Kaelyan about five minutes after that. (Kathy Pogge didn't for over a day, but then, she had far less reason to than either of the guys.)

But Greg Weisman knew in two seconds flat, and gave me a hug as well. So there's a group of over twenty fans carousing in a mass of sub-groups chatting right in front of the hotel doors for about half an hour before people start begging off and heading to bed. The ones left eventually decided to move out of the middle of the lobby walkway- where everyone tended to gravitate to throughout the con- over to the couches, and all we sat down and chatted for a bit.

The group broke up, and I worked on my costume while Aaron and Mara went to sleep, and for a couple hours after that.


Greg responds...

Hey, YAY for me. Sometimes I'm quite dense about these things, so I'm glad I wasn't that time. Usually, once I really meet a person, he or she is locked in fairly well. But it can take me two or three gatherings to lock someone into my less-than-traplike brain. And I'm sure there are many exceptions.

Response recorded on August 08, 2006

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Spoogens writes...

Da Gathering Journal.

Well.. This 2004 Gathering was a learning experience.
I learned that this con has morphed from people just coming to see cool, new things and drool over voice actors and Greg. It's turned into a mission and a family. Like in all families, not everyone gets along, but we all stick together and go to ungodly places to see eachother once a year. We take care of eachother, trash hotels together, and constantly strive to make the family a big and better functioning unit.
I learned that everything in Montreal is written in French, and detours and incredibly hard to navigate in a foriegn language.
I learned a pint in Canada is Nearly Ten Smakeroos.
I learned smokes come in packs of 25.
I learned Keith David is very friendly when tipsy.
I learned everyone gets friendlier and smilier when in ridiculous costumes.
I learned Radio Plays are cooler in auitoriums.
I learned everyone bands together when in a country where they can't read the road maps.
And I learned why I've never gone to Montreal before.

I can't wait until 2005, because I know that no matter where we are, or how exspensive a 5 inch pizza is, we are a family.

Greg responds...

An extended family that's eager to extend even further. Tell your friends.

Response recorded on August 08, 2006

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Venus writes...

I have no time to do a real journal, sorry.....college is draining my soul (I have 5 seperate assignments to finish by tomorrow as I type this!), but I did want to get in a blurb before it was too late.

I had an awesome time at this past gathering, it was my third, and definately won't be my last. I saw masses of friends....those people are my family, and it makes me uber happy that I get to see them atleast once a year.
Gargoyles on DVD! I've already convinced another girl here to buy it. ^-^
And....soon back on TV? We can only hope!

Umm, like I said...it was great, I had masses of fun, and I hope everyone can make it for 2005! I'm wearing my t-shirt for it today! I'm a walking advertisement!
See you guys in Vegas!

Greg responds...

Glad you had fun. Stick with us, the best is yet to come!

Response recorded on August 07, 2006

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Nikki "Y2Hecate" Owens writes...

Gathering 2005

Unfortunately, with school and family madness, I've not had time to write up an actual con journal (yet). But, I did want to say a few things about it.

The 8th Gathering Of The Gargoyles, was actually my 4th Gathering. It was a wonderful experience, as always. The staff did a great job, and I thank them for all their hard work.
Traveling to Canada was a new and exciting experience for me. I'm glad I got the chance.
The Gathering itself is always fun for me, and this year was no exception. But here's some of my personal highlights.
The banquet was delicious. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it, as I'm a very picky eater, but I'm glad I tried it.
The art show was amazing. So many talented artists! Seeing all the great pieces and the work put into them really encourages me to improve my own art.
Lots of interesting panels, as usual. I only wish I had the time to attend more of them. Radio Play, and Blue Mug were a couple of my favorite events.
The Masquerade and Ball!

The best part, however, is just hanging out, and seeing all the fans that attend; my friends, and all the new people I meet.
The Gathering is just that.. a gathering. A gathering of lots of great people from all over the world, just hanging out and having fun. All in the name of Gargoyles.
It's something I look forward to every year.

I can't wait to see everyone in Las Vegas for 2006! Come hang out with us!

(If anyone's interested: When I do finish my more detailed con report, I'll post it here: http://www.y2hecate.com/Gathering2004/ )

Greg responds...

As many of you know, Nikki loves the Gathering so much that she's now conchair for the 2007 Gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Response recorded on August 07, 2006

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Jonathan D. Parshall writes...

Got to the hotel the day before the convention absolutely exhausted. That airport really ain't so great. Just collapsed into bed.

The first day I attended a extremely interesting panel with John Clemens about combat. Hudson showed he was scarily familiar with weaponry of all types. :) The opening ceremonies were cool, learning the next con was to be in Las Vegas was a pleasant surprise and I definitely plain on attending. Watch the Clan Olympics take over the ceremonies was a highlight and I only wish I could have managed to see more of it during the con. Afterwards I was participated in Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000, which was a blast. After dinner and going to my room for a while, I attended the Blue Mug-a-Guest with Greg. Am I the only one who thinks we really get a bigger room for this? The past two have each seemed far too small, this time especially. I still enjoyed the conversation and got to trade a few before hand with Whitbourne about Tim Hourtins. Got my question answered, but again forgot to ask the question I put off asking in New York.

The next day I was at I the auction and managed to buy some things I really don't need. The Radio Play was wonderful. Whoever did the voice of Vinnie really hit the nail on the head, it sounded perfect. The banquet was probably the highlight of the con (Despite the subpar food, but I was expecting that. I am SO looking forward to those Las Vegas buffets!). Listening to Keith speak was a treat, despite having to strain to hear him over the caterwauling next-door (Who the heck were those people anyway?).

The last day was sad, but it really great to get my photo with Keith and a autograph. I had planned to go the amusement park, but a mix-up of my fault prevented me. Still, it was all in all a great con and am already checking airfares for next year. See you'all there!

Greg responds...

Short and too the point.

Response recorded on August 04, 2006

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CKayote writes...

Note to readers; I was writing actual hard copy in a notebook while I was at the con. I've

transcribed it pretty much word-for-word, so when it's written in the present tense, that's

because I wrote about it while it was happening. Where it's in past tense, that's because I

was writing about it later on.

Thursday Evening

Airline travel was airline travel. I'll invest in a jetpack.

8-ish: Got to hotel. Ate. Talked with other gathering-goers. T-Shirts from precious

Gathering and trench coats are good indicators.

1: Finally got to bed. On the floor. Still better than the "mattress" in my dorm last year.


9:45: Awake. Went to Eat with Sarah the Great. Found out I don't like Swiss Almond Mocha

Chocolate coffee.

We went and registered in. Gotta buy a Shirt. Signed up for Blue Q+A and Clan Oylmpics.

12:00: Went to Sapcebabie's General Round Robin. We talked about UCF (she just graduated

from the university I'm attending).
Waited for more people to come.
Seri Wavelength, Whitbourne, Allaine showed up. We waited more. Lord Sloth showed up.
We started. Allaine taped the whole thing.
"Macbeth and Demona in the Grand Canyon whitewater rafting. Using the words "Bitch, Ropes,

Rocks, Flirtatious, Salamander, Moss, and Whisky"

1:15: Dingy! Out of Round Robin.

1:50: Went to fill out a ballot for the art show. Must take some illegal pictures. Then get

Bought a Gathering T-Shirt and Phoenix Gate anthology.
T-Shirt was too small, so I exchanged it for another one.
Got lunch with Sara the Great.

3:15: Saw a little bit of Greg's voice acting talk. He was talking about picturing the

characters in his head before making the show.

3:30: Went to costume seminar.

4:15: Wrote on the hard copy of this journal. Waited for opening ceremony at 5:00.

4:45: Made a sign for our Clan Olympics team. We purposely spelled it wrong. -> For those of

you who don't know (re: everybody), I was on Clan Chalangd, Part Duex.

5:00: Sat with my team (Me, Sarah the Great, ChynaRose, and Allaine) at opening ceremonies.

I stuffed the most balls down my shirt! So proud.

Vegas sounded great. Decided I had to find money to attend.

Enjoyed the pitch presentations. Liked the evolutions of the character designs.
Great story about 'This is meant for kids?!"
Wasn't impressed by the New Olympians presentation. Thought the design for Sphinx was

interesting. Very Gargish. I wonder why no one on AskGreg has asked if she has some ancestry

in the New Olympian Clan.
My advice (not that I'm qualified to give it) to Greg on this one is it needs to have some

plot rather than just premise.

Bad Guys ROcked!

Disappointed we didn't get to do Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000.

Dinner: Ate a bagel at Tim Horton's.

10:00: Shot in the dark. We came in last but made 3 tic-tact-toe. Must get someone to

exorcise the "spirits".

12:00-2:00: 'Blue' (why is it called Blue?) Mug-a-Guest. Not a lot of 'Blue' questions. Was

I the only one who asked adult questions (I asked using the tail to pleasure one's self and

where little Oberon's Children came from) or is my memory bad? Probably both.


9:50: Dragged myself out of bed (re:the floor). Roomates need to wash their feet. Damn!

10:00 Torture trivia. Lots of fun. I'm surprised the other teams didn't try to get us out

But never fear! I am the holder of the magic 1up ball!

11:15: Out of torture trivia. We were down to 2nd from last. Saved the 1up ball.

I went upstairs and cleaned up. Had some bad donuts and awlful coffee (mostly water) at Tim


12:00: Sat around talking about commercials with some of the English con-goers at the

McDonald's by the Tim Horton's.

12:30: Came to the auction. Bought some stuff.
I'll see about scanning the coloring book up onto the internet.

1:37: Still at the auction. Going to buy a dangly and stick it to my forehead like White.
Damn! The Brooklyn went up to $26!
Bought the last Broadway one for $6. Probably too much. But I must suction cup it to my head

so I can take a photo and put it on the internet. Which means I need a website.

They auctioned of "The Cell". You feel the tension in the air. If someone had lit a match

I'm afraid the room would have exploded.

$41 for the "Darkfighter" backpack.

Gotta email Rita M. and congratulate her on how well her artwork sold.

2:30: Played really hard pictionary. It was really hard.
We got last and had to allow another team to die. But we still had the Hunter's Moon Dash to

make it up.

3:15: Payed for my auction stuff. Attached the Broadway sucker to head. It rocked.

Played pictionary some more just for fun. Robert was really good at it. we got all the

phrases when he was drawing.

3:30: Put in the minimum $20 bid on the Gargoyle-alien-armor-dune-worm painting. It's sort

of alot and not's Netzumi's best piece, but it's picture I stumbled upon that got me into

the fandom, so it's worth buying.

3:40: Put stuff down up in the room. The I went to attend the radio play. Was wondering what

it was going to be. I know it needs lots of people and there's about 30 sitting upfront.

3:50: We started the radio play. Had to wait for the film crew.

4:21: They did "The Journey". Going to see the music videos next.

4:30: Seen the videoes. Disappointed there was only 3. Apparently the mail-ins didn't work

or some such. Poor Siren. Trying to remember if Nickerous said he sent some in.
Think mine was the best, but I'm partial. Didn't because of it.

Went to A fan's room. Ate his pizza and watched a few episode tapes.

8:30: Banquest is over. Keith David is doing Q+A. Annoying music from next door drifting

over. But don't worry, "Our hearts will go on."

9:30: Kicked us out to prep for the Masquerade.
Gotta do something for it next year. Severius or Owen?

9:50: Masquerade's getting going. Lots of people in costumes who don't seem to be in the

contest. I wonder if the full body gargoyle guy scared them off.
Costumes were great. Ran out of pictures on my camera. Started taking them with the digital

in my cell phone.
My hands are sore and bleeding from all the clapping! And I'm finding I write with too many

exclamation marks.

11:45: Went up to Sarah's room and we made "The ONE BOX."
Came back down and took Allaine's pciture with my camera phone. I know he saw us. Wonder

what he was thinking. Will find out the hard way.
But it'll be worth it. Our characture of him is great!

11:55: Came down to karoke to see what's going on down here.

1:05: Lyric-less "YMCA" (we didn't know any of the words so we insert 'something-something'

every 5 seconds).
My hands are still sore from earlier.

1:35: My "I Will Survive" is a hit.


10:05: Sarah had Scott drag me out of bed for the scavenger hunt. Lot of fun. Bought the

knick-knacks we didn't have.
Sarah ran upstreet(and I mean literally mean up and in up-hill) to a convience store and

nearly passed out.

12:30: Saw the Keith David Mug-A-Guest.

1:15-ish: Bought the "Midori' piece I had bid on in the art show.
Bought another T-shirt too. (Later I got home to realize that the gargoyle is on the back of

the shirt, not the front like I thought.)

3:00: Closing. Looking forward to 2005. Registered for next year. Got a free T-shirt.

5:30: Swam in the indoor pool. Feel much better.

6:30: Showered. Smell much better.

7:00: Laser Tag!

Glad I wore all black.

9:30: Went to eat at a restaurant called Rueben's. Lousy sandwich. Fires were good. It was

decided that we will do laser tag next year in Vegas.

10:45: Siryn is a mean drunk. Enough said.

11:00: Talked with Lynati & others about TGS stuff. Aaron, Marge, & Greg Bishanky(?) showed

up later.

1:40: Went to bed.


7:30: Sarah dragged me out of bed. We walked around and saw the architecture.
Got breakfast. Good food.

9:50: We got back. Ran to the bathrooms.

10:10: Out of room. Sat in lobby and talked.

11:30: Outta there. Cuaght bus to the airport.

12:55: Finishing Gathering Journal in airport. Missing everybody already. Dang.

Greg responds...

That was punchy! It had verve!

Response recorded on August 04, 2006

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Leo writes...

Thursday, August 5th: "Pre" Gathering.

We arrived at the Delta Centrville a little after 6PM. Kelly and I went with the porter and our bags to our room on the 28th floor (the highest "guest" floor in the hotel). After tipping the porter we relaxed in the room for about a half hour, checking out what channels the TV had to offer. Alex only had time to glance around the room and make a couple calls home before he had to go play "Taxi Driver" between the hotel and the airport. Lord Sloth then stopped by after checking in at his youth hostle and we let him keep his stuff in or room while he was at the con.
We arrived at the Delta Centrville a little after 6PM. Kelly and I went with the porter and our bags to our room on the 28th floor (the highest "guest" floor in the hotel). After tipping the porter we relaxed in the room for about a half hour, checking out what channels the TV had to offer. Alex only had time to glance around the room and make a couple calls home before he had to go play "Taxi Driver" between the hotel and the airport. Lord Sloth then stopped by after checking in at his youth hostle and we let him keep his stuff in or room while he was at the con.

We spent most of what was left of the evening lounging in the room or taking exciting elevator rides down to the lobby, either for Kelly to have a smoke or to see if we could catch any other con-goers as they were checking in. By about 10:00 most of the "con veterans" had arrived and we hung out in the lobby (A Fan, Mara, Aaron, Spacebabie, Revel, Liz - who is also from Virginia - Wingless, and many others) Alex Garg had arrived with Kathy, but they had to leave again to go pick up Kathy's room mate as well as Denis - the 4th person in our room. This caused some confusion when Denis arrived about an hour and a half after Alex Left.

I was under the impression that Denis had arrived with Alex. So Kelly and I brought him up to the room. We watched TV for a while and waited for Alex to come back from "parking the car". About half an hour later when Denis asked us where Alex was, I said he probably stayed down in the lobby to chat. THEN.. we find out that Denis actually didn't get picked up by Alex, he took a taxi when he couldn't find he, at the airport.


At about 1:AM, Alex comes in looking exhausted. He looks at the bed he had planned on sleeping in, sees Denis asleep in it, then looks at me and Kelly. After briefly explaining the misunderstanding we finally called it a night, with Alex sleeping on an exercise mat on the floor.

Friday, August 6th: Gathering, Day 1

The four of us (Alex, Kelly, Denis, and I) had breakfast at Chez Antoine, the "bistro" in the hotel lobby. With us were Ellen Stolfa, Kathy Pogge, and a couple other fans. Most of us ordered the buffet, which was pretty good but a little on the expensive side. After breakfast, we went up to the mezzanine and hung out until registration started. I saw many familiar faces and many new ones as well, including the "famous" Christine Morgan.

A little while later, registration opened and I picked up my package - con badge, T-shirt, Phoenix Gate Anthology, and schedule (or rather "program" - 26 pages and center stapled - kudos to Syrin for the awesome job). After our little group had registered, Ellen invited us on a walking tour of downtown Montreal. We all went back upstairs, dropped off our packets gathered our "tourist" gear. Unfortunately my digital camera needed a recharge so I had to take my bulky SLR film camera instead. On the way back down I stopped at the con suite and dropped of a couple movie contributions for the video room: "They Live" and "Men at Work" - both featured Keith David. Soon we were all assembled and ready to go.

We first stopped at the Notre-Dame Basilica. I had seen videos of this building, and I knew the interior was even more spectacular, so I really wanted to go inside. I was particularly interested in seeing the famous organ which has been there since 1891. Unfortunately we didn't have much time, and we were hoping to stop for food before getting back to the con. So I took some photos of the exterior and a couple shots of the horse-drawn carriages that were lining the street. I hoped I would be able to come back later and see the inside. We then visited China Town where we browsed a few of the shops. We then made our way back towards the hotel. On the way back, Ellen took us by McGill University, one of her Alma-matters. We briefly stopped at a bistro on University Street. Its small atrium featured a sculpture of a cow. This provided for some amusement as one of Kelly's online personas is "The Sadistic Cow." Ellen and Kathy decided to stay and eat, while the four of us from room 2816 rushed back to the hotel so we could catch the beginning of the second block of panels since we were already missing the first block.

I went to Flanker's "Understanding Combat" panel. I don't think he'll be able to do this panel in Vegas, much less set foot in an airport with his "visual aids" - which he let us play with. :-D. I then auditioned for the radio play. I never bothered to audition at the last to cons. I was hoping Keith David would be there, but he hadn't arrived yet. So Greg had brought in "Crazy Demona" Jen to assist him. I read for Xanatos and did my "angry cat" impression. The DVD crew was waiting outside the room. Being a multi-media enthusiast I had to get a close look at that camera. After that I went up to the room and relaxed a bit before Opening Ceremonies.

Opening Ceremonies started out with the usual introduction by the con staff. Gorebash was awarded the title of "Fan Guest of Honor." Then Clan Olympics "took over" with their first event: "Get Stuffed" - where one team member stands at the front of the room, wearing a ripped oversized t-shirt, into which others try to stuff as many plastic balls as possible (I took pictures). After the silliness was over, the G2005 staff pimped next years con and unveiled the mascot, unofficially named "Blue Eyes." Then Greg (after pulling his sadistic "Ladies and gentlemen, Keith David" stunt) played a tape recording of several of the production crew and voice talent involved in the show, including Ed Asner (Huson) sans accent. Basically they all said the same thing - how they loved working on the show and that if they could they would try to make next year's convention. Next came the big announcement that the DVD was going to be on December 7th (the day after my birthday.) Greg then proceeded to elaborate by reading from a printed out PowerPoint presentation (which you can read more about in his own journal). The rest of Opening Ceremonies proceeded "normally" with the screening of the two promotion videos, the Bad Guys lica reel, and the audio recording of the never animated Team Atlantis episode, "The Last."

After Opening ceremonies we retreated back to the room - I think we watched "South Park"… in FRENCH - before heading down to the Blue Mug -A-Guest, where you can ask Greg anything that comes to your dirty little mind. At least that's how it was last year. This year, it wasn't so "blue." Some say it was because we didn't have Thom Adcox there to encourage us. I think it might have been because it was scheduled before the "regular" mug-a-guest since Greg couldn't stay Saturday night. Whatever the reason, it seems more people were interested in talking about the DVD than asking naughty questions. Although I didn't stay very long, I did work up the courage to show Greg the screen shots of frames that might have been "overlooked" but the animation supervisors, as well as a compilation of screen shots with accompanying text (courtesy of the "Sadistic Cow.") These were passed around and got some amusing reactions.

To be continued..... (hopefully)

Greg responds...

I've come to the conclusion or at least the opinion that the reason that Blue Mugs are no longer as blue as they once were is because we've already covered most of the blue bases. At every blue mug, somebody pipes up and asks a silly or humorously obnoxious question that's so out there that I don't have an answer, but serious blue discussions that we might have seem old news.

That's my theory, anyway.

Maybe the comics will encourage more blueness -- since they won't be blue at all, but may inspire blue thoughts.

Response recorded on August 03, 2006

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IRC Goliath writes...

Seth's Con journal! (and just in time)

My Gathering experience

Wednesday (Day -1)

Before I left from Fresno, California I was really nervous about the flight:
a) I've never been out of the country before
b) I didn't have my passport
There really wasn't any excuse for me not to have my passport, I had plenty of time between The Gathering 2003 and 2004 to get one but I didn't think I needed one since I had a state issued form of identification and a certified copy of my birth certificate. Well, approximately two to three weeks prior to my scheduled time to fly out I wanted to double check and make sure I had all my shit together. So I called the Office of Vital Records to make sure I had everything in order and they explained to me that the look of the Certified Birth Certificates and the embossed stamp that is used on them had been changed since September 11th and as a result there was the possibility that an airline might reject my request to travel. So I made a mad scramble to try and get an updated copy of my birth certificate but was unable to procure one in time for my flight. I assumed as long as they let me on the plane at Fresno that I would be okay the rest of the flight and it didn't even dawn on me until I left LAX that there was the possibility they could reject me at JFK or Canadian Customs!
But despite all my worrying, things went relatively smooth. The people at the X-RAY machines always gave me a knowing grin as I proceeded to remove my keys, loose change, phones, pager, wallet, belt, etc. just to get through the friggin metal detector.

Thursday (Day 0)
So I landed in JFK on Thursday morning and that's when something really cool happened! They needed to bump one person from the 9am flight into Montreal to a later flight and offered a travel voucher for the person who would exchange seats. Since I knew my roommates weren't going to show up until 1pm I decided to be the volunteer. I could wait 3 hours in JFK and get a travel voucher or I could wait 3 hours at the hotel. So, several rounds of Mario Golf later I boarded the plane to Montreal.
Customs was... interesting. It was fairly easy in the sense that all I had to do was show them my Birth Certificate, ID, and answer a few questions. The line was LONG and I thought I was going to be there for HOURS but it moved faster than expected. The only thing that worried me was my luggage was already off the plane and off the carousel, sitting off to the side. Upon exiting customs I was greeted by not less than a thousand people. It took me a little while to remember that just because we're not allowed to greet people at the gate in America, the same does not apply for other countries. I quickly spotted an ATM machine so I could get some local money and was soon off to the hotel via Taxi.
The hotel was quiet... too quiet! Where the hell was everybody?! It took a while for everybody to trickle in (including my roommates) but eventually I began to see some framilar faces from cons past: Gorebash, Vashkoda, Wingless, CrzyDemona, Kathy, GregX, Hudson, Chris Rogers, etc. Wingless, Gaberus, A Fan, and I went in search of food after dropping my stuff off in the room and getting settled in. We chatted the night away with fellow fans before retiring to our respective rooms to get ready for the big day.

Friday (Day 1)
We woke up around 9 so we would be up in plenty of time to get breakfast and stop by the registration desk before the first events started. Good old McDonalds located down in an underground complex. Beneath Montreal is their subway system which expands into a gigantic underground labyrinth of malls and stores connecting to the aboveground buildings all over downtown Montreal! It's really impressive! I wish I had more time to explore it but, unfortunately, 90% of it was shut down on the weekends so I only had the little experience on Friday. After breakfast and getting my registration in order, I loitered around the lobby for a while say hi to old friends and getting caught up. I ran into some more friends that I hadn't seen the night before, including Greg Weisman, Lanny, and Siryn. These are some of my favorite times during The Gathering because there are so many wonderful and diverse people who attend and some of them I only get to see once a year. I also spent a little bit of time checking out the Art Show & Dealer's Room. Sans the items Disney brought from the Archives to display last year, the turn out for both artists and dealers was much more impressive and diverse this year.
Wingless and Gaberus went off to attend Flanker's Understanding Combat session while I went to attend Greg's Voice Acting Seminar. I love the voice acting seminar's as I'm a little bit of an attention whore and love the chance to perform in front of an audience, even though my voice isn't very unique sounding. And it's always great to learn new lessons and tips from people in the industry. The panel was supposed to feature both Greg and Keith David but Keith hadn't arrived yet as he was held over a day in Miami (I think) where they were filming Transporter 2. Despite the absence of Keith, the seminar was really great and Greg did a fantastic job parting advice and wisdom onto us. It was also during this seminar that I was introduced to a Canadian friend of Lanny's named Michael, who has done real voice acting in his life. Michael is quite the character and a real interesting guy... but more on him later.
After the voice acting panel it was time for me to try out for this year's radio play! For those of you who have never attended The Gathering before, Greg brings a script from episodes of Gargoyles or scripts from other projects he's worked on for us to reenact before an audience. But first we have to have auditions to try out for the various parts. This year's radio play we were able to figure out was going to be "The Journey" based on the initials of the roles that needed assigning.
After the auditions were over I had a little bit of time to chill out before the opening ceremonies so I accompanied Gorebash, Vashkoda, and Sean as they moved into a different hotel room with highspeed internet access available. We decided to check out this create your own pasta place that Vash knew about after ceremonies. Opening ceremonies proceeded as usual. The con staff welcomed everybody and presented themselves, the announcement for next year's convention, and Greg presented his usual slew of videos and stories (which we NEVER get tired of watching). There were a few major announcements:

1) Next year's convention will be held in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada!
2) Gorebash received the equivalent of the Lifetime achievement award for all of his efforts on Satation 8 and helping to keep the fandom alive
3) The official release date and stats for the Gargoyles DVD which was originally announced in 2002:
A 2 disc set comprised of the complete first season, uncut
MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) of $29.99
Commentary on the first five episodes by Greg, Frank Paur, and Keith David
The original pitch Greg used to sell the show to Disney
And a documentary on The Gathering of the Gargoyles 2004 as filmed in Montreal, Canada

That's right, there was film crew at the con who had been running around and getting footage of anything and everything they could (the voice acting panel and radio play auditions were no exception and I hope I end up on the DVD :D). Very, very exciting news... It was a GREAT time to be a Gargoyles fan. Greg closed with some inspirational words stressing just how much it's now up to the fans to get the word out on the DVD and The Gathering.
After ceremonies we went to the pasta place (whose name escapes me at the moment) but I think is worth mentioning because it was absolutely fantastic and I wish we had a place like it in Fresno. We all came back to the hotel for the Blue Mug-a-Guest which wasn't very blue this year due to A LOT of questions and excitement around the DVD. I tried to do my own part to help keep in on track with a few questions about Lexington's sexuality but it was still a great experience, as usual.

Saturday (Day 2)
I woke up late. There weren't many events I was planning on going to in the morning but I wasn't planning on staying up until 2:30am at the Blue Mug-a-Guest either. After buying a few items at the Dealer's room and bidding on the Art Show items, my roommates and I went down to the underground malls to try and find some food (perhaps more McDonalds). But they were closed! Everything was closed!! We probably spent close to 2 hours running around all of Montreal looking for some food! I was hoping to make it back in time for this year's auction. One of the things I'm famous for (even though I've only done it three, maybe four times) is paying outlandish amounts of money for some of the rarer pieces. This year I went to way to many conventions and took way too many trips so I was flat broke but I was still hoping to make a guest appearance just to freak people out and make them wonder what I was going to bid on (can't disappoint the fans). Unfortunately, it was not meant to be... I made it back to the hotel JUST in time for the Radio Play Rehearsals.
I've done quite a few of the Radio Plays and I must say this year's cast was brilliant. Everybody did a fantastic job! As I said, we did the Gargoyles episode "The Journey" and I was assigned the role of Owen Burnett... I swear I was type-cast!! But at least I had lines this year, unlike when I played the mute character Claw at last year's con.
Highlights included:
Zehra as Elisa Maza (I swear she SOUNDS like Salli sometimes)
Michael as Vinnie Grigori (he really has fantastic talent and he's cute too! :D)
The sexy Jen Anderson as Fleance
Liz and Stormy doing great jobs as baby Alexander Xanatos and Cagney the cat
Vashkoda and Gorebash played the roles of Maria Chavez and Matt Bluestone wonderfully
Lanny did a great Travis Marshall
But the people who stole the show with the last lines were Cindy and Chris Rogers as Margot Yale and Lennox Macduff.
Keith David finally arrived during the Banquet and I was the first person to shake his hand coming through the door. I believe he recognized me from past conventions as I've been to every convention he's been to and I thought I heard him say "It's good to see you again" as he shook my hand. Anyway, the banquet was a fantastic experience and many laughs were had by all... especially thanks to the party next door which featured some of the WORST off-key karaoke singing I have ever heard in my life!! To point that Keith said "Somebody shoot that horse" as somebody was hitting the high note on "I did it my way."
A couple of other highlights from the QA with Keither (for me anyway) was when he was telling us how seeing Harrison Ford's Motorcycle (they were in Hollywood Homicide together) would give him a boner and the out of context quote "I hope I can whip out Thailog when I need to." So THAT'S what he calls it (I know, I know. "My dick, my dick, my dick" ... or in this case Keith's).
After the banquet came the Masquerade and Cosplay. My personal favorites were:
John as the Renaissance Hunter (I'm a little biased because I played John Canmore in hunter garb in 97 and 98 but it was still a great costume!)
Lynati's Ophelia
Becca Morgan as Bronx.
Sapphire, Chameleon Girl and Ethan's reenactment of the second season Gargoyles theme with props
All of the staff members costumes (Siryn was SO adorable as Tom!!)
And last but not least, Loopy at Korul. It's about time a fursuiter showed up with a Gargoyles costume (complete with retractable wings that were controlled by his arms)!! He did a great skit as well as The Gargoyle who's scared of heights to the tune of rubbery ducky. Lanny pointed out to me later that we've seen costumes done better and more complex at other furry conventions but it was still awesome to see. Lanny and I spent most of the night chatting away and getting caught up as friends often do but we occasionally peeked our head back into the ballroom for some of the better highlights including listening to Cindy, Jen, and Keith sing (all three are fantastic in their own rights!), a hilarious edition of YMCA (or YMCsomething) and the filk "Blame Gargoyles" based off of South Park's "Blame Canada" (incidentally, I found myself whistling that tune all through the airport on Monday! Thanks A LOT guys… I'm lucky they didn't kill me, eh!). I said my goodbyes to Greg before heading upstairs to retire as he was leaving that morning to meet up with his family for his daughter Erin's birthday.

Sunday (Day 3)
Most of Sunday I spent gathering up a few last goodies in the Dealer's room before chatting the evening away with Jen, Lanny, Siryn, and Vash. Closing Ceremonies was sad, as usual because it means that things are unfortunately coming to an end (as is this diary). I was happy to see that many of the pieces that I voted on in the art show won awards and Cindy did an amazing job handling the whole ordeal :) I was able to get Keith David to sign my Delux Wingblast Goliath action figure and he made a note of it because he had never seen one before and thought it looked awesome (I have to see if I can pick one up for him to give to him in Vegas).
Afterwards Vash, Gore, Sean, and I ran around all of Montreal to try a find an EB Games for a Playstation 2 RF unit so Sean could play Final Fantasy XI in his hotel... Nothing is open on the weekends in downtown Montreal and I mean NOTHING. Hell, I'm shocked the hotel we were STAYING at was even open after the experience we had on Saturday and Sunday. I spent the rest of the evening in the con suite with the staff talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly for both this year's con and next and a little bit of brainstorming on how to help promote it and the DVDs. I also got a little bit of cuddle time with Jen and Alan grabbed my ass! WOO!!!

Monday (the final day)
I picked up some souvenirs and memorabilia for the people back home before packing up my bags and heading to the airport. The flight out was as smooth and uneventful as the flights in and now I can say that I've officially been to a foreign country. I always wish The Gatherings could go on longer than they do because I always have such an amazing time at them but this year I was a little glad to be back in America. Between nothing being open on weekends and not speaking French, Montreal ran me a little weary at times (and I appreciate even more how little Spanish speaking California actually is now, despite our complaints that they're taking over :D). But despite that I'm eagerly looking forward to returning to Canada to explore more of the country itself (and not just from the view of a hotel room) as what little I WAS exposed to took my breath away with it's gorgeous blending of country, history, and modernization. And I can't wait to do it all over again in Las Vegas for The Gathering of the Gargoyles 2005!!

Greg responds...

Seth went on to join the staff for G2006, this past month. I also had lunch with him, Michael McAdams, Sam Bernstein, Brian Dumlao, Sammy and Tom at San Diego ComicCon last week. That's right. We hang.

Response recorded on August 02, 2006

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Arno writes...

(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.

Greg responds...

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!!!

Response recorded on August 02, 2006

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Vashkoda writes...

Gathering Report Part I--the abridged, somewhat more relevant version


Gore navigated through the back alleys of the Bronx to pick up me and my friend Sean. It's in fact thanks to Gore's car (and his offer of floor space) that I was even going to the con, as I was otherwise still suffering from jetlag, work-guilt, indecisiveness, and a general nervousness of being filmed. But when your transportation, lodging and company is taken care of, how can you say no, especially when you really wanted to go in the first place?

So we take off on the I-87 with the general awareness that it's going to be a long drive, and that the direction will be North. Somewhere along the way, we realize that we are no longer on the I-87, nor heading exactly North. I guess that's what happens when you get distracted by long discussions about Greg Weisman's ideas for the show. So after passing the twentieth or so cornfield, Gore proceeds to make a daring U-turn right in front of the toll booth. We throw repeated glances over our shoulders as we listen to what Gore dubbed "running from the cops music". It turns out no one was following us, and we saved ourselves from paying the toll for our detour. The detour did cost us time, however, and we only made it to the border at 10 (though this did mean a shorter line at customs). I made use of my French-skills in translating a few signs, and we managed to find the hotel. There were some fans waiting in the lobby when we arrived, but all we could think about was sleep. Luckily we were shepherded upstairs by Seth/IRC Goliath and Dave/Wingless, who told us registration had been pushed back a few hours the next day. That suited us just fine. Through the elevator glass, we gaped at the view of the pool on the gym floor. Then we reached our room and crashed.


Not knowing where else to go, we decide to eat at the hotel. We fill up on omelets and buffet food to give us the energy to explore the city (by foot. Gore had his car, but due to a miraculous feat of squeezing it into a tiny parking space, he was very reluctant to take the car out again). We dash over to registration real quick to get our packets and, most importantly, the schedule of events. I begin a hunt for a laptop for a certain video project I was hoping to complete (I was almost positive either Gore or Seth would have brought one, but no luck). Seth does mention that Chris Rogers, with help from Lynati, managed to hook up a VCR to the hotel tv's (which were somehow modded to stop guests from doing that sort of thing). That gave us hope for Sean's PS2. So we go to the Staples-like store next door, but don't manage to find the remote that would let us switch the video input (this of course, assumed that we would manage to hook up the PS2 to the tv). As we're looking at the map in the con booklet, we set what may be a Multimedia City towards the top of the map. After fifteen minutes of walking what we thought was north, we see the word "ouest" on the *left* side of the map, which meant we had actually been going south the whole time. D'oh! On the walk back, Gore starts asking me to translate signs, and gets a real kick out of the "Je me souviens" on the Quebec license plates. I then teach him the opposite phrase, "J'oublies", and he amuses himself saying it throughout the con. For his impertinence, a Quebecan pigeon makes his shoulder its new roost. We only have time to explore 'North' a short distance, but we do manage to spot a "International Pasta" restaurant that I insist we go to for dinner. Sadly, the Asian-style building we'd been hoping was also a restaurant, turned out to be a Holiday Inn.

So we make it back in time for Greg's voice-acting panel. Normally I wouldn't have gone to this one, as I've heard it in the past. I was actually planning on going to the tour of Karine/Kanthara's animation studio, but that was unfortunately dropped out of the new schedule. Still, the fact that Keith David would be there made this one a bit more special. Only…it turned out Keith was delayed filming a scene for "Transporter 2". We were still treated to a unique twist when the DVD video crew turned up in the middle of the panel. [I will omit my detailed notes here and save them for my site, which if you're curious, can be found here: http://crossroads.dragonmists.org/fantasy/avalon/gathering/g2k4.html]. Afterwards, the room cleared for Radio Play auditions. Sean was as reticent as ever, which only made me less eager to try out. Gore had no problem putting himself near the front of the line. I stood back and hesitated, and then had my single personal encounter with the DVD crew, when they asked if I was auditioning. Then when I saw the crew going inside to film the tryouts (yikes!), and saw that Siryn (who I'd be embarrassed to act in front of) was going to help judge, I made a quick escape. My reasoning to everyone afterwards was that it'd be better to try out the following day, when Greg might be more desperate and forgiving.

As a consolation prize to having no PS2, Sean urges us to upgrade to a room with internet access. We go up to our new room on the 22nd floor and chat with Seth, as Sean tries to get his old laptop to boot for over an hour. I decide to give up on my project (guess it'll have to wait for 2005). Just as it activates, it's time to head to Opening Ceremonies. We manage to snag the front row right in front of Greg. I embolden myself to go up there and have a quick word with him (I really wish at some con, I'll have a chance to have an actual conversation with the guy). Then the con staff begin to speak one by one, until Maui and Abram hijack the mic to announce that the Clan Olympics' first event is starting right then and there. Greg looks bewildered and slightly annoyed (or perhaps worried about the chaos and how it would look on film), and I wonder if he had been warned of this ahead of time. I was relieved that enough people showed interest to fill ten teams. The goal was apparently to do a plastic-ball relay to fill a teammate's shirt (which had holes in it, though whether this was to allow balls to go in or to make it harder to keep them in, I wasn't sure). The team in front of us had so many balls, they had filled the sleeves and had to use their teeth to keep them up. Yet despite this, they were the losing team, which leads me to think that the goal was not the number of balls, but rather the kind of balls, as some apparently had points written on them (I really hope the rules were explained at the beginning to these people, or I consider this event to be horribly unfair). Balls kept falling to the floor, and Gore amused himself juggling them (until he was outstaged by Siryn).

Opening ceremonies then resumed with more con staff announcements. Gore ends up winning the Fandom Guest of Honor award, which was well deserved after all the hard work he put into making (and still upgrading) Station 8. The G2005 staff (Chris, Lanny, Aaron and Mara) show off their mascot and announce plans to tentatively hold the con July 21-Auguest 1 at the Las Vegas Plaza Hotel. They also want to organize a celebrity charity poker game to try to draw more guests, along with plans for a Grand Canyon trip and acquiring show tickets. Then Greg takes the mic and asks the con virgins to raise their hands (I'd say a good thirty people did-I wonder how many of them are Canadians who weren't able to make it before?). There were five people who had been to all 8 conventions. We then watched the spinoff pitches for Dark Ages, New Olympians and Bad Guys, as well as the original series pitch, and a video with interviews I don't think I've seen before (my memory is fuzzy, but Greg did mention he'd just received a new tape from Buena Vista). We also listened to the Team Atlantis crossover-episode audio tape. And as a surprise bonus, we got to listen to members of old Gargoyles cast and crew wish us well at the con. Included in the tape were Frank Paur, Keith David, Bob Kline, David Schwartz, Troy Miters, Vic Cook, Ed Asner, and Cripsin Freeman. Carol Wagner had collected the voices, but didn't have time to get any more before the con. And then of course, Greg announced the big news - that the DVD will be out on Dec 7th for $29.99, and that there would be an audio commentary for the "Awakening" 5-parter. He reminded us that he's done all he can, and that it's up to us now to get the word out and get as many people to buy it as we can if we hope to have a season 2 DVD, or even a continuation of the series. He also asked us to go to the DVD film crew and tell them how Gargoyles changed our lives (relationships, fan-writing/art, reading Shakespeare, getting tattoos, etc).

After Opening Ceremonies, we rushed to the con suite where they were showing the music videos. Apparently there was no system in place to project them, so we had to watch them on Liz's laptop. By the time we got there, they were already playing the and last one, so we forced them to play them all over again. My favorite was one to the music of Linkin' Park, mostly because the images were sometimes appropriate to the song, and because it didn't seem to drag on too long. Then I reminded my roommates about the pasta place we saw earlier (I'm a pasta-freak), and we invited Seth, Dave/Wingless, and Dan/Titanic/Gaburos to come with us. It was better than I could have imagined. It was only a small fast-food-like chain, but this place put professional Italian restaurants with pasta-combo deals to shame. You could pick from a dozen kinds of fresh pasta and 30-or-so sauces, and they would put the ingredients together and sauté them right in front of you. After skipping lunch, I needed a hearty meal, so I went with the linguini and stroganoff, though I salivated over everyone else's dishes as well (not literally, thankfully).

We were exhausted when we got back to the room, and I tried to decide whether it would be worth torturing myself trying to stay awake for the Blue-Mug-A-Guest. After assurances from Seth and Gore that they would take good notes, I finally allowed sleep to overtake me. So ends Day 2.

Greg responds...

As some of you now know, Vash has been sheperding (sheperdessing?) the creation of the Team Atlantis animatic for "The Last". Anyone interested in helping out, by storyboarding a section or two should contact Vashkoda!

Response recorded on August 01, 2006

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Jeffrey Allan Boman writes...

I posted this first in the Comment Room, but realized I should post them here:

Gathering of Gargoyles
August 6th - 8th
Delta Hotel, Montreal

First I have to point out: in terms of my attendance experience, this was a small convention. All conventions seem small after WorldCon, but at approximately 180 attendees, this one was a little larger than Primedia in 1999.

The big difference is: I had fun at this one.

I think it helped that this had a much more specific focus: PriMedia was for fans of all television media; this convention was solely for fans of Gargoyles, the most rich and fascinating animated show to come from Disney. As a result, we all had something in common.

It also helped that the convention was kept to 6 rooms spread over 3 small floors; PriMedia was all over a few long, empty floors of a hotel, helping it to feel like a ghost town.

Day One

I started the convention with a chuckle: when I filled out my registration form, I put my BBS alias (Thoth) in the nickname section.

When I got my registration badge, I learned it was the ONLY name listed! I don't think many there would recognize me from the name alone, but it still made for a funny thing.

I was amazed at how young most of the fans were: folks in their late teens or early 20s. The show really touched fans all over the age spectrum.

The 1st panel Friday I attended was called Perspective at 1 PM. I thought it might actually be about the show. At first I wondered if I was in the wrong room, as I was the only person there. Turned out the con chair who was hosting it was just running a little behind.

The panel was actually about drawing in perspective, something I learned in school. I stayed in case the panel speaker (the con chair Karine) needed some help. That was a bit of arrogance on my part: she's actually a working animator; I'm not.

This was the only drawing panel I attended during the con... since I can no longer draw that would just seem pointless.

We began learning just how quickly the hotel staff worked to please us: first, the a/c made the hotel feel chilly. That was fixed up quickly. Also: the speakers were blasting 'muzak' in all the rooms, making it hard to hear panelists. That too was fixed immediately.

I visited the con suite next. They didn't have snacks out yet, but the room was quite nice, and I got to enjoy some of the classic shows on tape. I'd forgotten about some of the episodes, like the one that introduced the Golem of Prague!

3 PM: RPG panel

The speakers were longtime gamers, owned a store in Seattle, and the wife was a published author. They relayed some fun "war stories" of their past games. This is something I never grow tired of.

Bringing the panel back to the reason for the con I asked what game they thought best to play Gargoyles. They mentioned how Steve Jackson has the write-ups (they were massive GURPS gamers), but can't publish them. Disney won't let anyone make money off their IP (even if they don't try) so I suspect legal reasons.

5 PM: Opening Ceremonies

This was attended by the most people I'd seen to date at the convention. Not surprising, since it was attended by one of the guests Greg Weisman (series creator and producer). ?

The Ceremonies were 'interrupted' by the first event of the Clan Olympics, a Gargoyles-themed version of the Color Wars we'd held in summer camp. The difference was again that these were fun. I got to hold one end of a dividing line rope for the first event.

Greg played an audio tape of some actors from the show expressing their apologies that they couldn't attend. The audience got very lively when Ed Asner spoke!

The Con Chair for next year had a speech. The con holds an Olympics-style city choice every year; Las Vegas won for next year. That's not a con I can afford along with Westercon. Two trips in less than a month would be too much.

Because of the Clan Olympics I had to leave before the end for Transport, so I missed some of Greg's speech. At least I was there for the most important part: the first 5 episodes (season one they call it) will be released on DVD on December 7th. Mark your calendar and get many folks to buy it, so that we can send the message to Disney that the series can be profitable. DVD sales are the reason Family Guy will be coming back next season. Maybe this could do the same thing for Gargoyles!

Day 2

I grabbed some eats at a hotel snack shop. The hotel restaurant was too pricey, and breakfast was a buffet. Without someone else to carry my plate, I wouldn't be able to carry it.

10 AM Thrill of the Chase

This was my "Writer Panel" of the weekend. :) The panelists mostly were awake. One of them showed the effects of too much partying Friday night, not enough sleep.

The topic was, as the name implies, chase scenes. They spoke of the challenges to write a good one, of how a chase may have nothing to do with action, and how even Gargoyles had a show-long chase (Eliza Maza and Goliath). It was a very interesting panel.

Next was a convention lunch break. I spent it in the dealer's room. I haven't outgrown my D-R Liaison roots... the room had many more dealers, as often happens at smaller cons; dealers will save money by only being there for the longest day.

I had a neat surprise there: Emru & Tamu Townsend were both there for fps! I hung with them for most of the rest of the convention to talk shop, to share memories of my University days with Emru, etc (I just realized: he makes another APA link too!). They had past issues of the print magazine for sale and display. I was actually in more of them than I remembered: counting my online review, I actually have 5 to my credit, not 3 (two were in one issue that I own but haven't seen in many years). Counting my mini report for this con, I'll be up to 6 pieces so far.

12:30 PM Mug-a-guest : Greg Weisman

Several of us asked about a lot of things. I asked about Greg's dealings with voice actress Brigit Bako (I explain in the sidebar) and the seeming non-finish of the Avalon storyline (actually it was the World Tour. I had the wrong name). Others asked about different story points, Greg's opinion on current Disney 'toons (opinions cut to avoid hurting Greg if they come out wrong). It was an interesting panel.

Emru went aside with Greg to interview him for the magazine, and I spent the time chatting with Tamu. Afterward I had lunch w/Em. We went a short enough walk into downtown, but it was enough to leave me wiped out. We took a small cab ride back to the convention; I wanted to pay for it, but Emru did - it was his chance to expense something to the magazine. :) We came back to:

3:30'ish PM Radio play

This was Greg's final episode of the show, read by attendees. There were differences from how the show originally aired; not a surprise, since Greg wasn't the series editor by then. Unfortunately Keith David was delayed due to a film shoot, otherwise he intended to be there to read the Goliath part. Rob St-Martin, the convention Vice Chair, read it instead. It was a fun piece. Emru made a joke about the Auditorium we sat in; it was as if we were back in school!

Rob St-Martin added to the NaNoWriMo reunion of the weekend: he, Karine and the smaller Mark all ran things, while the taller Mark (I don't know his last name. Mike might) was there, and Chris Taras (who ran our NaNo-group) ran the Auction. It was very successful from what I hear.

I couldn't afford the Banquet too, and I missed both it and the Masquerade - but I still reserved my evening Transport after those events. I ended up eating supper at hotel restaurant. I tried the con suite after, but it was closed for those events as well. Fortunately I only had a 30-minute wait for Transportation after though. That's far better than a 2-hour wait!

I almost forgot: I saw our friend Kriquor at the Radio play. I saw his name on the pre-reg list, and guessed he'd be there as David Xanathos, but this was my first chance to see him. He's another friend now living in Toronto, sadly. :(

I did see one of the folks in hall costume (or for the Masquerade) outside of the Radio Play too. I wish I'd had my camera ready, because it was breathtaking.


I spent most of the day in the Dealer's Room with Emru & Tamu. The only panel I wanted to attend the most for the day would be there anyway.

10 AM'ish Mug-a guest w/ Keith David

There were a lot of people seated to wait for him... I told him how he was one degree of separation from Brigit for me. He said he may say hi to her for me, but I won't hold him to it. Unless he recalls my name, I don't expect him to remember me.

His speech turned into a long diatribe on how soldiers can't easily adjust to regular life after war, but once he began talking about his career, it was gold.

One thing that stood out: he listed Gargoyles as an animated series, not a cartoon. As he said, cartoons are now things aimed at kids (in North America, granted), whereas the series was far more sophisticated. This was very apt to many of us.

Before he arrived I passed through the art show, as it would be taken down soon after. There were some very talented artists shown... of course the primary subjects were characters from the show.

After Keith's speech, Emru had a prize drawing. He'd got folks on an fps mailing list for a chance at a prize. I won one of them: a CD of music inspired by anime. I didn't win the grand prize (a season 3 DVD set for Family Guy), but I may get it anyway... Em will try to get me all 3 seasons to do a series overview.

2 PM Closing Ceremonies

This started with another speech from the 2005 Con Chair (Vegas: I can dream...) then a long string of awards for folks in the art show. Then we got the winners of the Clan Olympics. They spotlighted the lady who had the first pre-registration to this convention. She came from Australia - wow!

I unfortunately had to miss Keith David's final words as I had to get my Transport home.


I had fun at this convention. It had a smaller set of panels, only two guests - but the fact that it was on a focused theme, that I knew quite a few folks there, that everyone was friendly... it was definitely worth the time and effort.

I'm counting the days now until the DVD comes out, and I'm hoping to get to the 2006 Gathering - the 10th anniversary!

Greg responds...

Did you make it? Are you still around?

Response recorded on August 01, 2006

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Ethan Gilchrist writes...

Just cutting and pasting my entry from my livejournal about the con. To sum up though, I miss everyone and cannot wait for next year!!!!

Spent most of the day trying to get to level 20 on CIty of Heroes. lol

Last minute packing before I left. Shower and shave and out the door! I was supposed to hit Newark Airport by noon to meet up with my ride. For once the notoriously late one was on time!!! Got there at 11:52am, called Chris and found out they were late. LOL 3 hours later they showed and we began a looooooooong drive up to Montreal. The drive was actually uneventful for the most part. That is until we got to the border. Turns out the Canadian Border guards were "on strike". They're not actually on strike but they were being uberly slow. Ah well. Made it to the hotel and proceeded to pass out.

Woke up and 19 of us decided to mob a restaraunt for food. That was uber fun!! Made it back just in time for the voice acting seminar and the auditions. I was uber nervous but I still had the guts to try. Didn't care if I made it or not, I just wanted to make up for missing it last year. While I was in line Sapph showed up and let me know what room I was supposed to be in. After the audition she ran up to me franticly and said "Ethan! I need you!" No NOT like that! (Not that I wouldn't mind heh). She needed me to do the naration for the skit she was planning for the masquerade which I'll get to in a bit. We went to her room and practiced. After that were opening ceremonies which was a real treat for me since last year I missed them. Con quote for me was said here "Sign my grandma!". LOL!!!

I skipped the next couple events but for the life of me I can't remember what I did! lol Round 11pm was the blue-mug which was fun though oddly tame this year. Went out for dinner at some place called Le Marche which was sort of like a permanent street fair/cafeteria sort of place. Stayed up all night until about 8am before staggering back to the room and going into a coma.

Yet again woke up just when I needed to. Just in time to stumble to the registration desk and find out that I got a part!!! *happy dance* It was only a bit part but I got to be a villian which was MUCH fun. Like acting evil is a stretch for me. lol I only missed one cue which was when the coldness of the auditorium got to me really bad and for a second I just couldn't talk. I don't know if anyone caught that but we just kept going. Thing about that was that I didn't worry that it would just stall. I knew everyone else would just keep going. *shrugs* Anyway, after that me and a couple people went to an Irish pub down the street for a guiness. Walked in, sat down at the bar and told the (uber cute) bartender "Hi, yes we're tourists, no we don't know what's going on, and yes we will refrain from pretending we do." She got a big kick outta that. Made it back for the banquet. The food was great! The manager even surprised everyone by making special gargoyles menus!!! Missed the Q&A because I had to get ready for the masquerade but I don't mind that...

Shortly before the masquerade I realized something. We were pantomiming the opening to the show. This meant I was reading the lines from it. Kieth David's lines!!! With him sitting in front of me and judging us!! ACK!! lol I was quite a bit nervous but I franticly ranted about that for a while to get it outta my system and just went for it. I had an absolute blast! Sapph and Julie were amazing!! The worst part was that it was soooooooooo hard not to bust out laughing myself! :D

Afterwards there was kareoke and after being charged up from the masquerade I took the mike (which I forgot to turn on lol) and belted out "Another Irish Drinking Song" by Da Vinci's Notebook. I think people liked it. Wasn't bad since by that point my voice started dying. Ended up staying awake until 6am after a marathon conversation which, for me, is one of the highlights of the entire con.

Yet again woke up just in time. I was the model for the life drawing that day. It was fun except the room was INSANELY cold!!!! Went to the mug-a-guest with Kieth David afterwards and then wandered around trying not to be all depressed that people would be leaving soon. Heh Closing ceremonies were bittersweet but on the other hand it just get's me closer to next year's con and VEGAS!!!!

More stuff went on after closing ceremonies were over but I'm going to cut this here since I'm getting tired of typing. lol Still a lot of detail I left out of this as well but I'll add more later. Anyway, that's all for now!! *bampf*

Greg responds...

I do appreciate people cutting and pasting their Gathering Journals to this spot. I know my responses aren't all that interesting, but it helps to have one location where I can point to for the powers that be.

Hope we've gotten a lot of G2006 journals, just for that reason.

Response recorded on July 31, 2006

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Kaioto writes...

Well, I'm not sure if this is very relevent, but it is a post anyway. ;-)

My Gathering Experience - Montreal 2004

Honestly, I think I spent less time focused on Gargoyles this year than any other. I blame driving competely. This was the first Gathering I'd ever brought my car to, and it was a mixed blessing.

On the positive side, I could afford to take myself and my wife to this event due to the fact that I could drive to and from Montreal in only 6 or 7 hours. It wasn't that far from Boston. I also managed to help out a friend in a tight spot.

On the down side, the drive was taxing, traffic problems conspired to make us miss registration and Opening Ceremonies, and I spent more time than I bargained for outside of Montreal proper.

I have to say that the city reminds me of home. The construction still causes assinine traffic. The drivers are atrocious. The only big differences were that everyone I ran into from a bilingual Francophone / Anglophone and it is illegal to make a right turn at an unposted red light.

On the up side, we got Kael's bag back for him. Seems that when he flew down to Virginia to hook up with Chris Rogers car to drive up, his airline lost his luggage with his clothes. They got yelled at and agreed to FedEx it ASAP to the hotel in Montreal. Of course, they didn't bother to make sure it would clear customs in time to actually get there. So it was to sit at the airport in a FedEx depot for the entire weekend until after Kael left. That was uncool, so we drove up there, got lost in the airport, surrounding highways, and auxiliary roads. Eventually we were directed to the depot, then redirected to the terminal where we had to repeat the litany of disaster to a friendly customs agent who eventually took pity and stamped the release forms. We took them back to FedEx, filled our more forms, and Kael finally had his stuff back.

You know, I wonder how Elisa coped with not having a change of clothing during that whole Avalon Tour. It must've been annoying, especially with all the adventuring. It'll ruin your clothes pretty quickly.

That was sort of the tone for the whole Gathering. Run around. Drive around. Get lost a lot. I was so tired I spent most of the time lounging here or there, just listening to interesting people talk and drifting. Hudson always has interesting stories to tell. The writers panels seemed to be going well, but I just don't have any time or ambition for writing at the moment. The dealers room was very cool. I got a chance to go through the art show and pick up some pins, T-Shirts, and pre-register for Vegas.

The Banquet was very nicely done. I enjoyed everything but the loud noises coming from the next room over. Keith David was as charming as ever. Managed to get some good coordination going with Siryn and Chris about web-marketing the Gargoyles DVD and Gathering 2005 online. I managed to take a peek at a lot of the awesome costumes from the contest and harass Greg a bit about a comic project we've been plotting for a while now.

Chris managed to convince me to take Lexy along and go to the Montreal casino that night. It was very late, but I really didn't want to call it a day since I had to drive back Sunday anyway and wouldn't have time to do anything else this Gathering.

I never have any luck at crowded casinos on a weekend night, so I should've known better. I dropped some money at a cold Blackjack table. Lexy was caught by the slot-machine that wouldn't die. It just kept playing down to one quarter and then hitting back up to 40. It yo-yo'd like that 3 times staight! Chris had more luck on the higher blackjack tables and a little time playing craps. He treated Lexy, myself, and Kael to dinner / midnight snack over at the buffet. I had chocolate and raspberry death-cake and a lemon pasty of some sort. The sugar was enough to get me back to the hotel in one piece.

The drive back home wasn't too bad, except for having to double-back for something vitally important right at the U.S. border. That added 3 extra hours of driving time, but people were so honest and helpful that I could still count it as a somewhat positive experience.

Perhaps I'll have better luck with my travel and my tables in Vegas next year.

Hope to see you there!

- Marty "Kaioto" Lund

Greg responds...

Ahh... the advantages of being two years behind here at ASK GREG. Of course, I did see Marty at G2005 AND G2006. The comic project is now a reality. Spent most of San Diego ComicCon last week signing copies for a bunch of fans who didn't know the comic was out. Asked everyone to help spread the word by telling 1000 people each...

Good times!

Response recorded on July 27, 2006

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Mara Cordova writes...

Basically, this is a cop-out post because I'm still in the middle of writing my Gathering diary and have hit the wall, narration-wise. (Also, it's more or less the same for a majority of the time pre-and-post con as Aaron, Spaciebabie, Revel, Emambu, Lynati, GregX and Alex Bishansky since we all caravaned to and from Canada.) I do plan on finishing it, sometime, but for now I just want to post that I had a wonderful time, it's always great to see everyone again, meet long time online friends who finally get to make their first Gathering and actually have some really nice conversation with people I sorta knew by name but not really on a person-to-person level.

I will will *will* (I say to you three times) try to get my diary done, but I wanted to post something now at least.

So I had a great time and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone (and more people who haven't been before or haven't made a Gathering in a few years... *crosses fingers*)again in Vegas. Which, somehow I'm on staff for... again. But that's another kettle of fish. Ja ne!

Greg responds...

Cool. Always great to see you as well, Mara.

Response recorded on July 26, 2006

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Wingless writes...

Well, I've been wanting to do this for years, but not being a person very good with words(which is why I got into radio, after all), I've never gotten around to actually writing a gathering journal. This was the 4th gathering I've attended, having been to 1998, 2001, 2003 and this year. I've never been big on traveling, mainly because I'm legally blind and deathly afraid of getting myself lost or something. I can see enough to read(nose to page-or in this case, nose to screen). I can also use a camera reasonably well, and what might surprise you is that I can see things in the photos I took better than I could actually being there. Stating that, I apologize in advance if I don't get all the names right or miss metioning someone. Also excuse any bad grammer or spelling. As I stated, writing ain't my thing.

Wednesday August 4th.
I had been pretty busy trying to get all the details done before the trip. I had done minimal packing up to that point, and needed to get my butt in gear. I had also been working on a little surprise for Greg Weisman, and thankfully got it completed on time(more on that in Saturdays entry). I had also made a CDR of mp3s for the trip. I had bought some new clothes, done lots of washing and managed to get most things packed before the evening. This would be the easiest Gathering trip I've had, being Ottawa is only a 2 hour drive from Montreal, and I was traveling with my friend Gabarus(Dan) and Flanker(John) was driving up to Ottawa to pick us both up. Flanker was going to stay with Gab overnight and we'd head off to Montreal early Thursday morning.
I had gone into Station 8 chat and talked to Whitbourne(Dylan) who asked me to bring my Ultimate Goliath action figure, along with an 12 inch tall Elisa figure his fiancee Stormy(Mary)asked me to bring for her custom action figure display, so I made a point to pack those before I forgot. The Goliath figure actually came in handy later. Talking to IRC Goliath (Seth) that evening, It was looking like we might pick him up at the airport on our way - but the best laid plans..and all that. So, I chatted to Gabarus briefly online(since he has no phone) to make sure Flanker got there ok and make our plans. I wanted to leave by 10, they wanted to leave by Noon, so we compromised and planned for 11am. IRC Goliath was flying to L.A. first, and he got online at the airport for a bit and made some plans to try and pick him up. It was after 1 am before I finally hit the pillows - and actually managed to sleep, which I was never able to do before the previous 3 gatherings I attended.

Thursday, August 5th

I got up reasonably early to get myself showered and pack my shaver and a few last things. Had a bit of breakfast and a coffee(I prefer tea, but coffee is faster to make). Then I headed to the computer to see if my sleepy head travel companions were awake. No sign of them-but IRC Goliath was online again. He was in New York - and his flight had been delayed to Montreal, so he wouldn't be leaving there till after 11. That seemed to be a good thing, except we hadn't left yet. Without being able to co-ordinate things, we wouldn't be able to pick him up, which I felt kinda bad about. When 10 am came and went, I started to get a little nervous. Then 11 am, I started to get concerned. It was 11:15 when I got a call for Gab, they were at a gas station about 5 minutes away and they'd be to get me shortly. A half hour went by and the two lost souls pulled in the driveway. They came in for a few minutes to help me with my luggage. I had a large suitcase and a carry on bag - and a few other things in a plastic bag. Feeling like I was bringing the house with me, I felt a little better when I heard Flanker was bringing a cot and sleeping bag, and Gab packed his full sized computer tower with him, plus his other luggage. The plan was to hook the computer to the TV in our hotel room and we could watch DVD's - again, the best laid plans....
So on went the tunes and off we went. Flanker had already made the trip to Montreal, but not from Ottawa, so we kinda had to limp our way out of the city. I'm no good at directions and Gab is reasonably new to Ottawa. After a few wrong turns, we found the right highway and were on our way. It was a relatively uneventful trip, although we overshot Montreal a little bit, but that gave us a chance to stop. Flanker checked the map, Gab went in search of smokes and I found a Monsieur Felix and Mr. Norton cookie place - a gourmet cookie place only in Montreal that I've heard about for years. So I grabbed a dozen mix of chocolate chunk cookies and some water, found my way back to the car (with Flanker's help) and, after we all had a cookie break, we were off again.

We arrived at the hotel after 2:30 and took the scenic route around the parking garage before we found a spot, close to the elevator of course, and we made our way to the lobby. It wasn't long before I heard a familiar voice - IRC Goliath was hiding off in one of the seating areas close to the windows. Gab & I had our roomie, Flanker went off in search of his roomies as well. We checked in, got our keys and headed up to our room.

The room was certainly nice enough. Being a large person, I always check out the bed frame, which was less than sturdy. Gab suggested we remove it for the duration of our stay, so we disassembled the bed. They brought up our bags and Gab immediately went for his computer tower-to see if he could hook it up to the TV. Although it had A/V jacks, they were not accessible(we even had hotel techs check it out and there was nothing they could do). We also planned to have a few cold drinks in the room, but there was no fridge. We called down and they actually sent one up. We were all set-except for the tv. After we talked for a bit and looked at some of the DVD goodies IRC Goliath and Gab brought that we planned to watch, we headed beck downstairs in search of other early arrivals.

We found a few people, including A Fan. By this time we were all getting pretty hungry, and A Fan was looking for someone to venture out for food with, so we were instructed that there were places to eat down below the hotel(which strangely you have to walk through the hotel restaurant to get to(go figure). A lot of places were closed, but we finally settled on a strange little pub/eatery done up in a super hero motif - almost like you were walking onto the set of the old batman 60's TV series. So we all ordered and started to eat(although they got my order wrong...oh well). Gab wasn't feeling very well. He had been fighting a bout of strep throat for the last few weeks and was still feeling the fever from it-so he had his food packed up and we headed back to the hotel and headed back to our room for a bit.

IRC Goliath and myself headed back downstairs to see if we could find more arrivals - and maybe spot Greg, who had supposedly arrived. Discovering Greg and the Con staff had slipped out for dinner, we hung around checked out who had arrived. Chris Rogers was around, as was the Mysterious Lord Sloth(a fellow Canadian I wanted to finally meet). Abe Wintersmith also had made it and he sat down and chatted with IRC Goliath & myself for a bit. Maui, Arno and her crew from Toronto also rolled in (Maui is from Ottawa originally and I hadn't seen her in some time - this would be the first Garg Con I've been to with her attending. Little did I know the major part She and Abe would play in making it such a fun Con). We ran into Hudson and his group - and took some pictures. Gorebash, Vash & Hyperdawg arrived we chatted in the lobby for a bit-and took a few more pictures. We saw them up to their room. Not surprising the first thing Gore & Hpye did was unpack their electronics - You would almost think that it was sustenance and they required it, but hey, I'm much the same way, so I shouldn't talk. We talked for a little bit, then headed back to our room to check on Gab-who was dozing off with the TV on. Back down to the lobby we went to hang around for a little while longer-still hoping we'd catch Greg & the staff come back from dinner. It was creeping on 1 AM by the time IRC Goliath & I finally gave up and headed back up to our room for some much needed shut eye.
I must admit here that I said hello and got hugs from quite a few people - but my poor memory combined with my lousy eyesight prevents me from mentioning everyone - and I feel a bit bad about that. I appreciated everyone that came up and said hello to me.

Friday, August 6th:

I have this over conscious habit of not wanting to hold everyone up by me being slow, so despite setting the alarm, I got up an hour early so I could shower and clear out of the washroom so Gab & IRC Goliath could have free reign-and that would give me some lounge time to relax a bit before the long day ahead. Goliath was the first of us to head down to register, while Gab & I....gabbed. a bit longer and waited for him to return so we could see his schedule and get an idea what our day would be like. By the time we got moving it was almost lunchtime. Gab & I registered, and I ran in to Whitbourne & Stormy. I was thrilled they would both be able to make it. The Can Clan couple as I call them. They've been to visit me at my place in Ottawa many times over the years. Since they moved from Kingston to Halifax I don't see them as often.
After that, Gab, Goliath & I headed to McDonalds to grab a quick bite. Gab & I had plans to catch Flanker's weapons panel and Goliath wanted to check out the voice actor's panel. I was feeling I was missing something, since I wanted to hear Keith speak again. We only got a brief taste of him at Gathering 2001, and the thought of having him for the whole gathering was great. Not that I'd likely have the nerve to go up and talk to him, mind you. I'm shy as all get out.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect for the understanding combat panel. Being visually impaired, using a gun is kinda out of my league, but I went just the same. I had promised Flanker - and was a little concerned about a low turnout. I need not have worried, the room was about 3/4 full and there were a lot of technical questions. Flanker put on a very good demonstration. He knew his stuff - despite an attempted upstaging by Hudson and a few other knowledgeable attendees. I've known Hudson was very knowledgeable about weapons for some time-so that wasn't a surprise. I can see him and Flanker working on a similar panel in Vegas next year. On the subject of Flanker-the man has some of the most amazing red eye! You'd swear he was a gargoyle the way his eyes glow in some of the pictures I took.

After the panel, Gab & I went in to the art room to check things out. There was a lot of amazing art and merchandise there. Gab picked 2 T shirts, and he found someone selling a Goliath Mug. My very first piece of Garg merchandise was the Lexington mug-and though I had found Broadway and Brooklyn, Goliath had eluded me. Whitbourne came over just at that moment and bought the mug for me. *blushes* He's amazing-and no amount of protesting from me was going to stop him. The artwork as always is simply breathtaking. We have so much talent in this fandom. That's another thing that Gargoyles has inspired - it's caused many people to explore their talents in writing and drawing - and we have one amazingly large pool of talent in both fields. I spied a few pieces of Kythera's work that I wanted(I think I would have bought out her binder of images-along with everyone else's if my wallet would have let me...*sigh* oh well.

It was time for the radio play auditions. Every year someone tries to get me to audition and every year I chicken out. Would I like to do it? sure! I've been involved in radio on a volunteer basis for close to 20 years, so it would seem natural. Trouble is, doing a radio show in a room by yourself with a microphone is a lot different than speaking in front of close to 200 people. Radio is a breeze compared to that. For that reason, and the fact that the script would have to be large print for me to even considering becoming involved-and with the hectic pace the con takes, it would be too much of a hassle getting one made up. So I just stayed on the sidelines and convinced Gabarus to take part(he's also has some radio experience-and a good voice). I knew IRC Goliath was going to audition-as were Whit & Stormy-Although Stormy wouldn't get to audition until Saturday morning. While all this was going on, I headed back up to our room for a bit to relax, check out some of the pics I took before opening ceremonies.
Gab made it back up to the room to unwind before opening Ceremonies as well. We talked for a bit, and after auditioning for the radio play, we realized he was also tied in with the Clan Olympics. He was just a little miffed, thinking he was committed to 2 things at once-and was certain that it was me who had hooked him into the Olympics in the first place. I was feeling bad-largely cause I wanted to see him in the radio play. Strange thing, I couldn't for the life of me remember ever having talked to him about the Olympics before. We finally figured out that it was indeed Flanker who had "recruited" Gab to team Canadian Body Massage. Ha! It wasn't me!

The Opening Ceremonies began. I was up at the front near the video screen(as always) with Gab on my right and Stormy & Whit on my left. It was fun watching and hearing Stormy's reaction to everything-as a Con Virgin and all, but I'm quite sure Whit filled her in on some of it. Still, you really need to be there. We had the intro for the Con staff and a taste of what Gathering 2005 was about. Then, before Greg got his chance to talk-the event was hijacked by Abe and Maui and the Clan Olympics! We were introduced to all the teams.

Team Canadian Body Massage:
- Flanker
- Whitbourne
- Stormy
- Gabarus
The 2005 Con Staff
- Chris Rogers
- Lanny Fields
- Erin Wheeler
- Mara Cordova

The Mexinadians
- Top Man
- Reusch
- David
- Nezumi

Arcadia International
- Robert Luca
- Arno
- Dubble
- Countess

The Dark Knights (Said "Ka-Nig-Its")
- Shade
- Enyo
- Adam
- White

The Green Dragons
- Kya White Sapphire
- Chameleongirl
- Karlyl
- Kyffin

The Defective Gargoyles
- Gix
- Airalana
- Syrth
- Wolffer

Clan Challanged: Part Duex
- Sarah the Great
- Chyna Rose
- Mike Cohen
- Amena

Then-the first event, which involved one member wearing a hole filled shirt while the rest of the team did a relay of sorts to bring plastic colored balls and stuff them in the shirt. Whitbourne was up there as the victim..er, person wearing the shirt-proudly waving his Acadian flag. It was a fun event(although I forget now where we placed in that). Gab apparently got bowled over-landing flat on his back during the event. He has back problems to begin with, and as long as I've known him(which is like 8 years now) he's forever having accidents that result in him landing on his back. Poor guy.

Greg finally got his chance to shine. We saw the original pitch of Gargoyles to disney(with a very young looking Greg on the video) for those who might not know, this video features a synopsis of the show idea, with several still drawings of the Characters. Being that Gargoyles was conceived as a comedy, several of the character designs on these cards reflect that original concept-namely the trio and especially Bronx. Then, the original test reel with some borrowed music from several other movies. The infamous "It's Better Than Barney" story -and the pitches for the unmade spin offs, "The New Olympians", "Dark Ages", and the lica reel of "Bad Guys" - which in itself is worth going to the Gathering to see! Then, something we fans have been waiting for...the announcement for the DVD release -along with an actual date-December 7th!. I Can't wait myself.

Once opening Ceremonies came to a close, Gab & I hooked up with Goliath, Gorebash, Vash and Hyperdawg and we ventured out for food. This was really my first look at Montreal on foot. I now that sounds strange, not only being Canadian, but also only 2 hours away from the city. I just never had a chance to go before. I was amazed how clean it is - and only someone like me could appreciate the extra bright crosswalk lights and the countdown timers so you know how long you have to cross. What also too me by surprise is how little business activity there was. Many store fronts were empty, and those that were occupied were closed. It took us a while to find a restaurant. We finally found a nice pasta place - which not only gave you a choice of pastas, but also your choice of about 20 different sauces-which they made fresh right there in front of you! We all made our choices, and sat down and talked about the gathering events thus far. It felt a lot like a bunch of old friends getting together. I know most of us chat online to one another, but it always amazes me how much the world has opened up as a result of the internet. The whole gargoyles fandom and the convention are a good example of that. It's a pretty wonderful thing. Myself having been quite a sheltered person most of my life - getting out like this is an amazing experience. Just a little frightening at times being in an unfamiliar place and not being able to find your way around without some help. I'm pretty used to knowing my domain and being able to navigate without looking. I must admit I do feel a little bad having to "lean" on people and have them watch out for me. So I'll say a big thanks to Gab, Goliath, Gore, Whit, Flanker and in past years, Dark Horse and Pogo. All of them stuck their necks out for me to make sure I had a good time. I'll tell ya guys, it's greatly appreciated.

Dinner was over. Gab Still wasn't feeling his best and he brought most of his dinner back to the hotel(that fridge we had sent up to the room got pretty full towards the end of the Con. We all headed back to the hotel and hung out for a bit. Then back up to our room Gab & I went. We watched TV for a bit. Goliath joined us a bit later - he needed the experience of seeing some of the Simpsons and South Park in French! Goliath then headed down to meet some other people before the Blue Mug A guest with Greg. I stayed with Gab for a bit longer-then headed to the Con suite to get us some seats for the Mug A Greg event. At that point there was still hope Keith David would make it for that, but we'd have to wait a bit longer.

I grabbed the last few seats for myself and Gab(who was going to come down later). Someone gave up a seat for me-which was appreciated. The room was soon packed-with little walking room, let alone breathing room. It's one event I think most of the 18+ con goers look forward to the most. I really think at times we talk about the Gargoyles as if they were real. I think that's a lot of the appeal of the show - the characters ARE so lifelike in how they were written and portrayed that it's easy for the fans to get lost in that. I know myself I would like them to be real. I think the human race could stand some competition at this stage of the game. We could stand to have some a "Living conscience" that would help to keep us in check.
It was a tame blue mug A guest compared to previous years. The absence of Thom Adcox and the excitement over the DVD likely helped to keep things at least PG for most of the event. I actually got the nerve to ask a question...ah, the coward that I am. Basically how Gargoyles would handle the subject of the "Birds & The Bees" - since the parental structure of the clan is different from that of humans. The hatchlings have many fathers and mothers(biological connections don't matter so much as the older clan members raises the younger).
It was 2am by the time Greg called it a night. It had been a busy day so we ventured back to the room and crawled into bed. The con was going by too fast already.

Saturday, August 7th:

Again I got up before the alarm, showered and got myself together before my sleepyhead room mates woke up and did the same. By the time we got ourselves together, it was almost time for the first events for the day, so skipping brekkie, Gab and I headed to the Clan Olympics trivia torture. Keep in mind that I wasn't officially on any team, but I knew Stormy was auditioning for the radio play, and that left Team Canadian body massage short a few members - so I offered to stand in. Thankfully, I wasn't selected to be the victim up at the front of the room having to be tortured. I even got one of the answers right! *faint*. It was a hoot, and I was busy running my camera to capture the "tortures" on film...Chocolate and blue cheese dressing? What were they thinking?!!

Lunchtime proved a bit of a challenge. Goliath, Gab & I hooked up again and went in search of a place to eat. Heading down to the tunnels under the hotel where the stores had been so busy the day before - here, at noon on a Saturday EVERYTHING was closed! I'd never heard of that before -so we followed the tunnels for a while and landed back up on the street. It was a good hour before we found somewhere to grab a bite. On our walk back - we stumbled on a building with multi colored windows. Something like that is great for me. A landmark even my eyes can pick up on-plus I love colors. So we grabbed a few pictures (I see by other peoples photo collections from the con that I wasn't the only one that noticed that building...I still don't know what was in it though.)

We didn't quite make it back in time for the Auction - something I don't like to miss, since I have a vast collection of Garg merchandise. I did notice that someone had brought one of the Gathering 99 double CD soundtracks that I had made(I ended up making over 90 copies of that-and gave em all away or they were auctioned off at the con). I still wonder if Greg ever got his copy(as usual, I never had the courage to go up to him and give it to him myself-but I'd be tricked into it this year...more on that later).

It was time for another round of Clan Olympics-but it was also time for the Radio play auditions, which took Gab, Stormy & Whitbourne away from Team Canadian Body Massage again - so in steps Wingless to stand in on the "Really Hard Pictionary". I think team captain Flanker began to appreciate having Mr.fill-in handy-and surprisingly I got one of the answers there too-woo for me! We wrapped up early and continued to play before the radio play opened up. I was surprised it was held In the Auditorium. The room was set up like a lecture hall, with raised tables with these silly pull out chairs-much to small for us large economy sized Con goers-so I planted myself on the stairs in the middle. I figured that would be a great spot to take pictures from. My Camera overall didn't like the lighting in that room, so it fought with me to take pictures. Once the radio play started and Greg introduced they would be doing an unedited script of "the Journey"-with some scenes that didn't make it to the actual show. He introduced the very large cast and things got underway. We have some very talented voices in the fandom. I was glad that everyone I knew that auditioned got at least some part in it. Then the Camera crew set up and started taping the radio play...right in front of me. That was a bit of a disappointment - but I know it was more important for them to get good shots of the event. Better them in front of me than me in front of them. It was an amazing radio play - always one of the highlights of the convention.

We all went our separate ways for a bit. Gab got invited up to Hudson's room, and IRC Goliath was also socializing. Gab & I had not gotten banquet passes, so we were trying to hook up with anyone that was going out to dinner. It seemed no one was or the plans fell through. I headed back up to the room to relax a bit and wait for Gab & Goliath to return. Goliath headed to the Banquet, and when Gab got back, we made arrangements(after trying to navigate a French phone book for a good half hour) to order some food in. Gab was feeling better thankfully and had a better appetite. We got done early, and I headed down to where the Masquerade was to start. It was then I found out that Keith David had finally arrived, so I peeked in to this bizarre room-lit in Orange mood lighting - very bizarre. I sat down at the back and listened to the last 20 minutes of Keith's Q&A. I don't think I was supposed to be there-not having paid for the banquet, but I'm glad I got to hear some of it just the same (notwithstanding the noise from the group caterwauling with the bad disco music next door to us.

Then the Masquerade and cosplay began. Some of the most amazing costumes I've ever seen for sure. Every year people seem to go further and further out to create the ultimate Gargoyles related costumes, and they do indeed improve every year. All of them were amazing. From the Gargoyles intro...with visual aids, to Korul and "the Gargoyle who's afraid of heights"-what an amazing costume! Flanker & Stormy were great in their Renaissance Hunter and Quarryman outfits. The Titania and Ophelia costumes were amazing as well. Jade Griffin in her Bellelisa dress-wow! My pic of her has to be the best one I took at the convention. Of course Becca Morgan was adorable as Bronx-ah to be young and able to walk on all fours again without killing your back. Got a great picture of Gab scratching her ear. It's a riot.

Things seemed to be winding down somewhat. I hung around taking pictures of the costumes madly while they got set up for the Karaoke. Then came the moment. I mentioned earlier the CD I made for Greg. To explain this better. A few years ago, someone found out Greg liked M&M's-so of course, the fans(which is short for fanatics, of course) don't miss little details like that, so last year everyone started hiding M&Ms in Greg's stuff-or put some in front of him when he wasn't looking. Well, to continue that fanatic vision. Last year, while on the subway to Coney Island in New York, those of us sitting near Greg picked up on him whistling or humming the Theme to the TV show-the Banana Splits (the "Tra la la song-one banana, two banana"). For the benefit of those who don't know what the Banana Splits was. It was a late 1960s kids show made by Hanna-Barbera.. It was a show hosted by these live action animals-basically people in amusement park type suits. Fleagle the Dog(the group leader), Bingo-a gorilla with lotsa teeth, Drooper, a rather clumsy Lion and Snorky, a shaggy gray elephant that doesn't talk-he honks! Basically these 4 animals live in a clubhouse which we got invited to each week. They'd show cartoons and a special adventure serial called "Danger Island" and also tell jokes, do prat falls & such. It was very colorful ans psychedelic. Well, the four animals were also musicians, and in the last segment of each show-there would be a little music video, with them romping around ala the Beatles or Monkees(this was still over 10 years before MTV folks). Anyway, marketing the way it is, there was a Banana Splits album released-with some pretty cool songs on it, along with a number of box top mail in EP singles you could get. Well, the DJ and 60s music collector that I am, took advantage of this little inside to Greg's mind set and made him a one of a kind CD soundtrack of these rare records. I had planned a little speech when I gave it to him-the whole 9 yards. Then the coward in me began to set in...I started to think-Greg isn't going to remember that happening on the subway. He's gonna bloody well think I'm out of my mind! So, though I had brought the CD down with me, I had, by that time, given up on the idea of giving it to him. Then Gabarus steps in. The take charge, fearless, in your face kinda person he is, went over to Greg and told him I had something for him, the Gab proceeded to drag me over to Greg(without me having a clue what he was up to-in order for me to give him the CD). I was in shock, and likely would have turned around and run given have the chance -but I stuttered through part of what I had planned to say and gave him the disc. I was very surprised and pleased that he seemed to like it. I imagine he didn't know they had actually put out records of the songs from the show. Just the same, I'm happy I got a chance to give it to him. Especially since learning later on that he had to leave the convention that night. I wouldn't have gotten another chance. Gorebash actually made me tell the story of the CD on video. God, I hope that never sees the light of day. I was still in shock from having actually given it to Greg! *faints*

Karaokee: I hadn't planned at all to stick around for that, but I'm awfully glad I did. Like I said earlier, we have some good voices in the fandom, and not just for the radio play. Catching Titania's "all that jazz" was pretty amazing, as was the parody of "Blame Canada"(very appropriate one to filk at a Montreal convention folks) - "Blame Gargoyles-we should form a full assault-it's Weisman's fault!" Then Keith David got into the act. What a voice! With his little ones in tow - he got up to sing-and beautifully too.

Not long after that - we headed back up to the room. Gab and I are a thirsty pair, and we were forever hunting for drink machines or somewhere to get something wet. I finally located a machine on our floor-and Gab had found one on the pool level too, so we loaded up and headed back to the room. Gab had made arrangements earlier in the day to borrow one of the projectors used for the opening ceremonies. Turns out that he ( Yggdrasil) was our next door neighbor in the hotel. Small fandom. So, Gab proceed to borrow this machine, hot-wire his computer to it(without the proper cables yet) and we were watching a few movies and futurama on the wall of our room till the wee hours of the morning. Yggdrasil needed his projector back early the next morning for his presentation(although I wasn't sure what it was about at the time).
Still feeling a bit damp & icky from the days events, I grabbed a quick shower and hopped into bed.

Sunday, August 8th:
Late to bed, late to rise. The convention winding down and I didn't want it to end-at least not yet. We were up too late to get anything to eat so we made a coffee in the room(Gab had Tea), and we all headed down to see what was going on. We all wanted to attend both Keith David Mug-A-Guests. It was only then I realized that Whitbourne and Yggdrasil had their biology panel at the same time. I waited around for the Mug a guest to start in the art room. When it proved to be delayed, I snuck over to the Biology panel. Much like the Blue Mug-A-Guest, here are all these people discussing cloning and the potential biological makeup of fictitious beings with Wings and tails. It was wonderful. Ah, the possibilities!

After the panel, Gab & I returned to the dealer room to find that the Keith Mug-A-Guest had yet to take place, and would be delayed longer-so we hadn't missed anything.

I only got to meet Keith briefly at the autograph signing in LA in 2001. He was on a tight schedule and didn't really have time to socialize. Wow! Did he make up for it this year. All eyes turned on him and applause sounded as he walked into the room. He went around to every table showing interest in what everyone was doing, The artwork, the Phoenix gate anthology, the T shirts - and everyone waiting to hear him talk. He warmly greeted all of us and shook our hands. That floored me. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see many people with that much charisma and class in the world today - taking time to talk to everyone that was there...even lil' ol' me!

His talk was amazing. One of the revelations that impressed me was when someone asked him "what haven't you done that you would like to do" and he said, "the Nat "King" Cole Story" - after his previous night singing-it just clicked! He'd be so perfect for that. People were interested in stories of the voice recording sessions for Gargoyles, the movies he'd been in and the people he's worked with.
After the Q&A, he stayed around to talked to people. Gab had talked to him briefly the previous evening about how to get into voice acting, and he had promised to talk to him the following day. He remembered Gab-who then dragged me over-Mr. Nervous knees that I am. Gab had told him about my involvement with music and radio. He said he was going to be in Ottawa with his family at one point and would consider dropping by my place to see my collection! I almost dropped dead on the spot.

The schedule was running a bit behind, so closing ceremonies had to begin. We all gathered in another room and ran through the awards ceremony. I was busy snapping pictures left & right the best I could, so the actual awards were a blur to me. I know Stormy and Kythera won several-as did many other artistic fingers. The presentation for Gathering 2005 by Chris Rogers. It sounds impressive. Vegas though? Large people and airlines don't usually like each other very much. At the moment I can't see myself going. That's not to say that I won't work on it. I certainly want to, If over I can get over the fear of traveling alone. I'm awful, I know.

Then the autograph signing with Keith. I had already gotten his autograph in 2001, and hadn't really brought anything to get signed. Stormy had returned my Ultimate Goliath figure during lunch break-since She & Whitbourne had to leave before 5pm. I got the idea of having him sign one of the Wings-which thankfully were detachable. I also brought the Goliath mug Whit had bought me. Gabarus was just ahead of me and we arranged to take each other's pictures with Keith. He was still charming and very open. When it was my turn, I went behind the table with im, and he put his arm around me and talked with me for a minute(keep in mind that I'm in utter shock at that moment). Thanks to Gab, I have a picture to prove it happened. Keith signed both the wing and the mug-and had never heard of the "Ultimate Goliath" figure before. Admittedly, it's not one of the better likenesses of Goliath, but hey, I had it there and Keith signed it.

Stormy came over and I congratulated her on her awards. She showed me close up her "gargoyles in drag" figures. Yes folks, she's a very unusual person-but I love her-and her fiencee Whitborune. They were off for their plane back to Halifax, so we exchanged our goodbye hugs and they were off. I snapped more pictures of people before they headed off as well.

Now, there was talk of a laser tag event being put together. I've never played, and being it's a very sight oriented activity-and was willing to go. Gabarus wasn't up to going and I wasn't about to leave him behind. I also figured IRC Goliath would be going for sure, and was very surprised that he didn't. I don't know for certain, but I think he might have stayed behind because I couldn't participate. Either way I was happy he didn't(and if that was the case, I luvs ya Seth).

As it turns out, our entire dinner crew from Friday night didn't end up going, so Gore, Vash Hyperdawg, Gab, IRC Goliath and myself headed back to the pasta place for another round. On the way they had some streets closed off since they were shooting a movie. They wouldn't allow cameras, but, after our meal, we came across a horse drawn bus type wagon(without the horse) so we couldn't resist getting a picture of the crew in front of it.
Once back at the hotel...everything was a blur. There were quite a few goodbyes and hugs from people departing. We headed back to the room for a bit, Goliath went up to the con suite to see what was going on, and ultimately got swallowed in the activities up there. Gab contemplated a swim but decided against it, so we just lounged for a bit. Once Goliath returned, we all called it a night.

Monday, August 9th

We had arranged for a late check out(1pm) so we could catch up on some sleep, pack and grab a bite before we had to check out. Things don't always work out the way we plan them. We got showered, packed, and by the time we got down to get something to eat, it was 12:30! We had to grab a really quick bite-thankfully the tunnel mall under the hotel was open. We ran back to our rooms, ate, grabbed our luggage and headed down to check out. There were still "gatherers" lingering about. We dropped our luggage, and there was a cab waiting. Goliath had to catch his flight in a few hours. After a long hug, we saw him off.

I went to sit down with our luggage while Gab went out for a smoke. Keith David was still there, making the rounds in the lobby. He came over and, shook my hand and said goodbye, again saying that he'd try to come by when he was in Ottawa. He never did make it, but the offer alone-Wow!
We found a few more lurkers at the hotel - Hudson, Kythera and bunch of next year's Con staff talking about 2005 in Vegas. Gab and I were awaiting Flanker-who had ventured to old Montreal for a cyber café to check his email. Keith David came by again-this time with his Kids to say goodbye, and there Gabarus snapped my last Gathering photo. An amazing Gathering it was.

Flanker returned, we loaded up his car and headed off back to Ottawa. An uneventful trip home I must point out, considering my previous 3 disaster trips return trips from the gathering. At least I wasn't going to get stuck on a runway in a fierce thunder and wind storm, or miss my flight an be stuck at LAX for 9 hours-hoping for a seat on an overbooked flight, or get stranded in the small town or Kenville, New Jersey when our car broke down(all true stories folks). We dropped Gabarus off first, and then myself...Glad to be home, and yet wishing I was still in Montreal with everyone.

How about this-we start our own commune - The Gathering of the Gargoyles commune where we'll all live, work and have fun together all year around(or at least for the summer months).

My only regrets? I didn't get to see more of Montreal-and show some of my American friends that Canada does have life to it. That I didn't get to socialize a bit more with everyone. There's so many people I chat with online and would like a better chance to get to know them better-as well as hang out more with those I do know. That I didn't get one of Arno's "Evil makes me Sad" shirts. We need to mass market those Maui.

Lets hope I make it to Vegas next year.

and here's a link to my gathering photos. As I write this(August 29th) I still have at least another 100 to post - so keep looking back in.

Thanks everyone for making it such a great time.

Dave "Wingless" Sampson

Greg responds...

Hey Wingless,

You know one of my fondest Gathering memories is that walk we all took down the boardwalk (or whatever they call it) out on Coney Island. Always great to have you at the Gathering. (No need to be so terrified of me. I rarely bite.) And the Banana Splits CD is in my musical rotation. I love it!

Hope to see you in Pigeon Forge!

Response recorded on July 26, 2006

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TopMan writes...

Top Man's Super-fantastical Super-long Con-virgirnal (Vir-journal

Disclaimer: Many of the people mentionned in this were also ConVirgins and n00bs, so chances are you've never heard of them/me and barely remember them/me from the convention, if at all. Hopefully, this will help you get more acquainted with us ^^

Someday the Nth of Whenever

I was browsing the web, and *somehow* came across the Gathering Of The Gargoyles 2004 website. I looked at it and thought "Jeez, what weird kinds of people would go to this?" Then I read the page, and thought "Jeez, I would go to this!!"

A couple of days after Someday the Nth of Whenever:

I talked to Reusch about it, thinking she'd laugh in my face. Instead, she said "awesome!" Everything was set ^^

Friday, August 6th:

Well, the day started off with Reusch and I getting a lift over to the hotel from my dad. The convention wasn't due to start for a little while, which we planned on purpose so we could wake ourselves up with a Tim Hortons french vanilla. We ended up eating brunch there, and it was very nice, except at the very end, when we were sitting outside with our coffees, much to my disgust and Carolynn's delight I was pooped on by a bird -_-. Not the proudest moment in my life. Luckily it was just my hand, so I washed it off easily, and we decided to head over to the hotel and scope out the inside.

In doing so we found out that Registration table was already open, so, feeling VERY antisocial, we sort of tiptoed up to the counter and waited until someone approached us, then we half-whispered our names and sat down at an empty table feeling foolish and admiring the packages. Suddenly, I get Abe from the table going "Heeeey, Topman!" and Sarah The Great is asking us if we want to join the Clan Olympics. I had already been considering it, as it sounded fun, and Abe was there to encourage me, and Reusch was all up for it, so I was close to saying yes. The only problem was we had only two people. So I asked her to put a question mark down next to our names. About 5 minutes later I figured "Ah, what the hell" and signed us up. She said there were two others needing a team and asked if we didn't mind pairing up with them, which of course we didn't. This was the make-or-break moment where half the convention could end up being spent with complete and utter weirdos.

And fortunately for us, we did! Nezumi and David were great fun from the get-go, and we hung out together the entire convention, but more on that later, because Abe ruined our good mood by making us think up a name. After five minutes of weird conversation, we decided on "The Mexanadians" (despite the fact that Nez was from Texas, not Mexico, and Texanadians would have been just as easy, for some reason we stuck with that.) We were so proud of our bizarre name, that we were grinning right up until the moment Abe said "Okay, so now we need your team motto." And we all went: "MOTTO!? *GROAN*" So, we decided that a hearty groaning sound would be a good motto for us. Unfortunately, for the moment we were going to have to leave our new teammates, as Con Virgin 101 (which Reusch and I felt we definitely needed to attend) was starting, while Nez and David decided to attend something else, which escapes me at the moment.

Con Virgin 101 was a blast. We arrived 15 minutes late due to our meeting with Nez and David, and apparently we weren't the first to interrupt Sapphire's panel, but since there were so few of us she just ended up starting over from the beginning. She talked about how everyone's insane (which is true), and then showed off her impressive art and french skills with a hilarious little scribbling. ("Bonjour, je m'appelle Velociraptor" XD) Of course, there can't really be ALL that much to talk about for introducing new people to cons, so after about 15 minutes, she realized that we had a whole spare hour. So all hell broke loose (that is to say as much hell as can break loose with about 7 people) and we started drawing on the board and chatting. We met ChameleonGirl there too, who is a great and funny gal, and there was a couple which I believe were French Canadian, and unfortunately I never caught their names, but they were nice and friendly. I felt a bit bad about having made little comments throughout Sapphire's presentation, because she seemed a bit miffed by all the interruptions, but I hope she realized I did it because I had warmed up to her and the room, and wanted to join into the discussions, maybe not in the most appropriate of ways. If you're reading this, I hope I didn't offend you in any way =S

Next up was the voice acting seminar, where Reusch and I got to see Greg Weisman in person for the first time. We learned here that Keith David wasn't going to make it, which was a little disappointing because I had been hoping to hear him spout a number of Goliath lines during this panel, but I soon got over it. Greg was a great speaker, and had a lot of information to give out, and I thought it was a very interesting panel considering, as a child actor, albeit not a very famous one, I had done (small amounts of) voice acting in the past and wanted to see what he had to say. At the end he was having people read the skits and coaching them, and Reusch SOMEHOW managed to convince me to join in for the last skit, provided she did too. I ended up getting Brooklyn, and Reusch, this time to MY delight, got Hudson (which was funny, as we are both avidly averse to Hudson's character). It was fun, although I'm almost positive I read WAY too fast, and then felt confused because Greg didn't mention anything to me (it either wasn't as bad as I thought, he didn't notice, or I was a hopeless case). Sidenote, whoever did the first Demona reading (I believe it was CrzyDemona?) and the Griff reader (Michael?) were AMAZING!!!

Unfortunately, we found out the Radio Play Auditions weren't available for viewing, so it was either the Costuming Seminar or the RPG panel. Reusch didn't want to touch the Costuming Seminar (we had just spent two solid weeks working on my Thailog costume, which was a beast to make) so we went to the RPG panel. Unfortunately, we had only dabbled in RPGs (read: RPG, as in one) so we didn't understand the panel at all, and decided we should probably leave before we went nuts in the room trying to pretend that we knew what we were talking about.

We went up to the con room and watched a couple of episodes, I seem to remember Kingdom and Hound Of Ulster. At some point we ended up finding Nez and Dave and decided that during this extended break we should find some food somewhere so that we wouldn't start stomach-rumbling during the opening ceremonies. We went to the McDonalds that was found, by whom I don't know, by going through the hotel restaurant into a bank/business building, then down the escalator into an underground mall. The service there was TERRIBLE. First off, the girl at the counter AND the guy in the back CONSTANTLY disregarded the beeping of the fry machine, so they burnt the fries TWICE. Reusch's salad took at LEAST 15 minutes to make, and they ended up giving her the wrong kind of chicken, despite the counter-girl asking twice. They neglected to give her a fork or salad dressing. She later found out that the chicken wasn't cut properly, so she returned to the counter, asked for a knife, was given a fork. David, meanwhile, was waiting for a double big mac, and they ended up accidentally making a single big mac, and then didn't notice until he was waiting for the food for five minutes. So he got to wait even longer. They gave us a complimentary hamburger, which I ate, but it wasn't all that good, and definitely didn't make up for the awful service.

We all headed back to the Opening Ceremonies, which were a blast. The staff presented themselves, and then during Liz's speech, Abe and MAui surprised us all by "taking over". They announced the teams, and then shocked us by saying that the first event would be NOW. Good thing we'd eaten =) Reusch and I had to grab the balls from the bin, and then pass them over the line to Nez, who stuffed them into David's hole-filled shirt. While Reusch grabbed balls from the bin, I took the strategy of picking up any and all balls that were dropped by others onto the floor. It must have worked moderately well, because we were in third place by the end. After all the excitement died down (I felt bad for Liz... the beginning of her speech was cut short, and then we were all still catching our breath for the end) Greg presented the DVD info (w00t for December 7th) told his amusing stories (I was shocked when EVERYONE around me shouted out "It's Better Than Barney", but I'll be prepared to join in next time ^_~), played a tape with a bunch of people who worked on Gargoyles (Keith David was hilarious, and Ed Asner was funny too, but he also said some very deep, nostalgic stuff about his being on the show and wanting to come to a Gathering that kind of made me sad, the way only nostalgia can), and then played all of his videos, which for some must be a bit boring now, but for me was quite interesting, as this was the first time I was seeing them. He then played an audio tape of The Last, the not-so-long lost Atlantis episode, which far too many of us took far too dirtily, but for good reasons!

After Opening Ceremonies came Mystery Gargoyles Theatre, which Reusch and I didn't quite understand at first, but then we figured out it was just people making jokes about the show as it's playing, which is what we do anyways. We also met some new friends there, Annie and Catherine, who, while we didn't see them much aside from the banquet, were really cool people and great fun to talk to. Jade Griffin also came off as being really cool, but I never really had a conversation with her until Sunday, which is a bit of a shame.

After an hour or so of heckling, the Clan Olympics people were kicked out of the room so we couldn't see what was being set up. It ended up being some kooky toss-the-ball game, with some very inventive twists, such as the Spirits and the flip-over rule, and the tic-tac-toe. I suck at tossing balls, and although two of my three shots came EXTREMELY close (one actually bounced off the middle of the chair that the target was sitting on, but never actually hit the target) but none succeeded, which made me feel a bit useless. We almost got a tic-tac-toe, which would have scored us some bonus points, but we didn't end up doing so. If only I had gone last instead of second, I MIGHT have been able to at least accomplish that... nonetheless, Reusch, David and Nez had enough skill to pull us into 2nd place! Congrats to them.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday hopefully coming before Tuesday ^^

Greg responds...

Always nice to get the perspective of the newbies. So... did you make Las Vegas? Valencia? Are you coming to Pigeon Forge? If you had that much fun, you can't let it be the last time, right?

Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com for more information on G2007 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Response recorded on July 06, 2006

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bummed writes...

My Gathering Journal -
I couldn't go! I wept at least once an hour. Could someone schedule a Gathering in early June someplace nice? I probably can't go to the 2005 one either. (bawls eyes out) :(

Greg responds...

Here you have it. Mid-June someplace nice. Are you coming or bumming?

Response recorded on June 21, 2006

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Mandolin (Mandi Ohlin) writes...

Greg -

I just got home tonight after working all weekend to finish up my con journal, only to discover that a disk error had eaten half of Saturday and all of Sunday and Monday. I spent an hour trying to retrieve it, drove myself to tears, with no luck.

It's now 11:30 on the 29th, I have to deal with getting my act together for graduate school on Thursday, I still have to find forms and call advisors and find out where the money is coming from, find out where my class is, find out what books I need, and there is no way I can reconstruct the whole thing by Tuesday night.

Greg, I am so, so sorry, but I just can't post the con diary by August 31st. I can't redo all that in time. I'm tired, I'm stressed, and I just can't get down all the wonderful and amusing things that happened in those four days in time for the impatience of the PTB.

I was there, I had fun, I want to retell everything that happened, but I just don't have the time left to do it by the 31st. Instead of a con diary, you'll have to settle for an apology. I can't redo all that in time. I can't.

Again, I am really, really, sorry. Please forgive me....

Greg responds...

You're totally forgiven.

Thanks for trying.

Response recorded on June 20, 2006

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matt writes...

My Gathering Journal

-unfortunatly i could not attend this years Gathering either. but i felt so helpless about posting Gathering Journals taht i decided to post this just to show people how easy it is to post their thoughts. i'm kinda dissapointed taht we only have a 25% turnout... i hope we see better participation in buying the DVD...

thanks Greg.

Greg responds...

Me too.

Response recorded on June 20, 2006

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Gorebash writes...

8th Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 6-8, 2004

My con journal. It's long (winded).

Thursday, August 5, 2004 (Abridged)

Driving from just south of Boston, MA to Montreal, Quebec. Left home around 6:30am. Picked up Vashkoda and her friend Sean (we met at the 2003 con) in the Bronx on my way. Didn't take the I-80 exit in Albany and went 200 miles west through New York before we figured out the error. Drove 200 miles east. Got back on I-80 and headed north torwards Montreal. Got in around midnight.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Vashkoda, Sean and I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We then headed over to the registration desk to pickup our badges and materials. We had a couple hours before the first session of the day, so we went in search of a universal remote.

Sean had brought his Playstation 2 with him in hopes of hooking it up to the TV in our room. However the hotel took every step they could to not allow hooking up external devices to the TV. We figured if we got a universal remote, we could then change over to the line input on the TV and bypass the hotel's attempt to stop such things.

Next door to the hotel was a Staples... or whatever it was they called Staples in Canada. No remotes, although I did pick up a silver Sharpie in hopes of getting Keith David to sign an issue of the Gargoyles comic book I had brought along.

We then headed west from the hotel trying to locate a Radio Shack a clerk at the Staples had said was nearby. We didn't find anything and turned around. As we passed under a bridge on the way back I was molested by one of the local fowl, deciding to use my shoulder as a convenient perch. Vash rescued me from the vile creature, and on we went.

Crosswalks in Montreal are much different than anything I was use to. For starters, you didn't have to push a button to get the lights to go red so we could cross. Seems Montreal has a thing for one-way streets, which allows a person to cross on any red light perpendicular to the direction you're crossing. They even provide a little counter on some corners to tell you how much time you have to cross. Very handy.

We then went east from the hotel to check out what was over on the other side. During our trip we found a Subway and a pasta shop, so food wasn't going to be an issue. Vash is big on pasta and so we planned to return later for dinner.

We got back to the hotel in time for our first session of the day. Greg was hosting a session on voice acting, partly in preparation for the radio play auditions that would follow. On our way in I ran into Greg and said hi. At the 2003 con I missed this session because I arrived Friday evening. Now I would finally get to attend the session.

Keith David was suppose to co-host the session, but we learned he had been delayed while shooting for the new film "Transporter 2" in Miami. No worries.

A little ways into the session the DVD film crew showed up. I tried to take it in stride, but was incredibly excited. The presence of the film crew showed that, yes, there really was going to be a DVD, and yes they really are going to do a documentary on the con. Of course we knew this ahead of time, but seeing the crew there in person cemented the reality of it all.

After some stories and a few pointers, Greg had people get up and read from some scripts he had with him. I got in on the last one. After the session ended, auditions for the radio play began. A bunch of us lined up outside of the room while Greg and Crzy Jen set things up. Like last year (and previous cons) four packets were given to the first four people in line. Each packet had a page of dialogged for a single character. As we moved forward in line and copy a copy of this packet, we would have to pick a character to read for when we auditioned for Greg.

With the packet also came a piece of paper where you had to fill out your info and if you could do a certain accent or bark or meow. The bottom half of that paper was for Greg to fill out during the audition. It included spaces to mark how well you performed based on various criteria. It also included a list of all the parts using 2-letter abbreviations to obfuscate which parts were which. It's a fun puzzle to look at those 2-letter abbreviations, try to identify which represent what characters, and figure out what the radio play will be. (Greg keeps the radio play content a secret until the show.)

I saw Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 listed amongst the parts and instantly put together that these had to be quarrymen parts. Since the only episode Greg wrote that had Quarrymen in it was "The Journey" I guessed we'd be doing a version of "The Journey". Vash was able to identify far more characters based on the 2-letter abbreviations than I and helped confirm my hunch when she figured out that JC was John Castaway and VG was Vinnie Grigori, aka Vinnie from the episode "Vendettas". Both characters are in "The Journey" so at that point we felt that we had a pretty good guess.

Last year I had auditioned with Xanatos' dialogged, which I had picked at the last minute with no chance to review it to get a feel for the lines. This year I'd have time to prepare. I finally settled on Lexington's lines just as the DVD crew came over and asked if they could film us rehearsing for the audition. I think everyone was a little apprehensive and/or insecure about performing for the cameras, but a couple people mustered up the guts to do it. One of whom had read Lex's lines. Then all eyes were on me to perform for the camera too. WTF? Okay. For whatever reason, I didn't feel I could do Lex's lines since they already had that on tape now. So I switched over to Broadway and read for the camera.

Finally it came time for my turn to audition. I'd get away from the film crew and not have to worry about being on camera. Nope. The film crew followed me into the room to tape my audition. Swell. But I could focus on the script and ignore what was around me, which I did. I thought I did well enough to have a decent chance at getting a part which didn't involve just grunting (as was the case last year).

After my audition I waited around with Vash and Sean while IRC Goliath did his thing. Vash and Sean didn't seem to be into auditioning for the radio play, but there were something like 31 parts, the most for any radio play performed at a Gathering thus far. Several others there as well as myself tried to convince them to audition, but it wasn't happening.

Sean wanted Internet access and rumor had it that the hotel had a couple floors of newly-renovated "premier" rooms that would cost us about 25 bucks more a night, but had Internet access. So we talked to the people at the front desk and got our room upgraded. We were now on the 22nd floor and had a great view looking west from the hotel.

At the Opening Ceremonies, Karine got up and welcomed us to the con and introduced the staff. This year's staff put on a great con, I haven't heard one bad thing. Keeping 200 guests happy is certainly not an easy job. Thanks guys!

CrzyD presented me with this years fan guest of honor award. I had no clue this was coming until about halfway through her intro, she mentioned chat rooms and Vash nudged me. It was really cool, but I feel there are a large number of people who've done a lot more for the fandom than myself, and so I felt a bit awkward. I tried to somewhat convey that in a little piece I said after getting the award. I was trying to acknowledge that s8's 'success' is wholly due to Ask Greg and the content Greg provides to this fandom. It's his willingness to share new insight and information on the Gargoyles universe that keeps the spark alive. And of COURSE it's also everyone who visits the site, who posts to the comment room, who hit the chat room, who post questions to Ask Greg. It's the fans willingness to contribute content, THAT's the other half. I totally missed this while I was at the podium, and realized about 10 seconds after sitting down what an idiot I was. It's Greg and the fans, contributing and feeding off of each other, THAT's why s8 exists in the form it does.

But it was still cool to get the award.

Opening ceremonies got taken over by the clan olympics. The first event was your basic stuff-balls-down-shirt-with-holes sort of thing. The losing team would be eliminated. However a special "7-up" ball (I think... or it may have been a different "power-up" ball) that was found by one team could have been used to save the losing team from elimination. That wasn't happening. Very cold.

I juggled for the cameras.

Chris Rogers got up and talked about what was in store for Gathering 2005. This may have happened after Greg did his stuff because Siryn talked about working on the mascot picture during the Team Atlantis episode... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Gathering 2005 will be in Las Vegas as the Palace Station hotel and casino. Rooms will cost $89 a night. The mascot was created by Siryn with the suggestion of "What would Frank Sinatra look like as a gargoyle?". She calls him "blue eyes" but Chris planned to have a naming contest for the mascot. He also talked about registering the Gathering as a certain type of organization in which membership dues (gathering registration) would be tax-deductible. I'm sure we'll get more info on that in the coming months.

Onto the main course. Greg was about to get up so I grabbed a clean tape and tossed it into the video camera I had just bought, specifically so I could tape the events of the con.

Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles, gets up to the podium and begins his intro. He then cuts short and yells out "Ladies and gentlemen, Keith David", directing everybody to the back of the room. Everybody turned and ... Keith wasn't there. A sweet callback to the 1997 Gathering where he pulled the same stunt.

Greg played an audio tape of some people who worked on Gargoyles saying hi to the fans. The people on tape were Frank Paur (producer), Keith David (voice of Goliath), Bob Kline (director), Dave Schwartz (storyboard artist), Troy Adomitis (storyboard artist), Vic Cook (storyboard artist), Ed Asner (voice of Hudson), and Crispin Freeman (voice actor for various animated series). A big thanks to Carol Wagner who was responsible for going around and getting these guys on tape. It was a real treat.

Greg gave us the news on the DVD. He announced the release date, December 7, and that the 5-part "Awakening" would have a commentary track that included Greg, Keith David, and Frank Paur. It would also include a (15 minute?) documentary on the Gathering con, which is why the film crew was there. There will be advertising for the release on Toon Disney and ABC Family.

Greg went into the standard material at this point. The pitch. The re-pitch(es). The promotions leading up to the show. The "it's better than Barney" story. The video pitches for "New Olympians" and "Dark Ages" as well as the lieca reel for "Bad Guys". Anyone whose attended at least one Gathering is well acquainted with this material, but it's always fun to hear the stories again. It's part tradition, part pre-history story telling, and I always enjoy it.

Greg played the voice track for an episode of "Team Atlantis" called "The Last" in which Demona and one of the hunters make an appearance. "Team Atlantis" was based on the movie "Atlantis" but was canceled after "Atlantis" had disappointedly (to Disney) box office numbers. But not before a few episodes were recorded! It was a nice inside-look at the animation process, and especially nice to hear that the grunts and groans we've had to do during past radio plays sound just as funny when done by the professionals.

After Penning Ceremonies, Vash, Sean, IRC Goliath, Wingless, Dan and I headed out to that pasta place we'd found earlier for dinner. On the way I found an ATM machine that was on a network that my ATM card could use and snagged my first bit of Canadian cash. Crazy stuff, especially with the shiny holograms in the corners of the their $20 bills.

The pasta place was really sweet. You picked your choice of pasta from a list of about 20 or so and then picked your sauce from a list of maybe 35 or so. The chef would put the meal together and cook it right in front of you. This night I had angel hair pasta with the Orleans sauce, which was basically chicken in some sort of cajun sauce. The guy gave me a dumbfounded stare at how I pronounced Orleans. Vash, who speaks French very well, would later tell me that it's pronounced a little like "Or-lee-oh" in French. Whups.

After dinner we headed headed back to the room to chill for a little bit until Greg's blue mug-a-guest at 11pm. The mug-a-guest was pretty tame, although some curious screen caps from a couple episodes of Gargoyles were making the rounds. A question about Angela and Gabriel came up but Greg said the two had more of a brother/sister relationship than anything else. Some fun with tails. But for the most part, it was more regular mug-a-guest with lots of stories about the development of the show.

After the mug-a-guest I crawled back into bed and fell asleep quickly.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

I didn't have any plans until the 12:30 Greg Weisman mug-a-guest. Vash and Sean, at some point, took off to attend the radio play auditions that were happening earlier that morning. Vash had finally broken down and auditioned. I met her and Sean during auditions and we three decided to take off in search of an electronics store. Sean was still looking to find a universal remote for the TV in the hotel room.

We set out into Montreal and soon found a computer hardware store. We browsed for a bit and eventually asked one of the clerks if they knew where the nearest Radio Shack was. We were finally pointed in the right direction and made our way to a nearby underground plaza.

Underground?! Apparently this is common in Montreal. You'll walk into the lobby of some nearby building (in our case, the Royal Bank of Canada I think it was) and you'll find stairs or an escalator, off in one corner of the lobby, leading down into the underground mall. If there are signs that mark where these entrances are, I didn't see them.

In the underground mall we found a bunch of shops typical to any US mall I'd been to, including the elusive Radio Shack. Sean bought his remote and I grabbed some lunch at a Subway. On the way back Vash stopped at a McDonalds with a mad craving for fries.

We were back at the hotel in time for Greg's mug-a-guest.

At these types of events, the mug-a-guests, I usually have nothing that I feel is relevant to ask. I much prefer to take the more passive role of sitting back and enjoying the stories that Greg has to tell. But while I was rattling around potential questions in my head, a conversation Vash and I had on the drive up popped into mind.

We had been talking about the Gargoyles:2198 spin-off. I'm mostly interested in the LXMs which I see as having huge potential, both in their concept, and in their use as a plot device. In a pre-Space Spawn world, I see them serving very good purposes and serving very dark purposes. I see a parallel between the LXMs and distributed computing, with all the pros and cons that come with DC. It would come down the intentions of the person who controlled the LXMs. It also rattles the brain a bit to figure out just what the nature of the Lex/Xanatos relationship is or was.

But, more to the point, Vash brings up Nick Maza. Where does he come from? Elisa and Goliath are a couple, and they can't have kids, so who else is there? Beth Maza? I spent the trip up with the notion it could have only been a descendant of Beth Maza. Derek's a mutant. Elisa's parents, we might assume, have no other kids, and we have yet to hear of any cousins to Elisa, Beth & Derek. So I figured it had to be one of the three, and Beth was the only one "available" to have kids. The kink in that idea is that if Beth were to marry, traditionally, she'd take her husband's last name, and so would any kids. So how does Nick get the Maza name?

Then at the blue mug-a-guest, someone had brought up E&G having kids. Vash had brought up in the car that Greg had said (at some point) that E&G would probably adopt a kid, but that the adoption, or the relationship, or something relating to that kid would have sadness and serendipity.. or something like that.

Anyways, Greg responds to the E&G kids question by bringing up the adoption angle, and his response seemed pretty cemented in the idea that E&G would definitely adopt. So as I'm sitting at the Saturday mug-a-guest with Greg, I start putting 2 and 2 together. If E&G adopt, what is that kid's last name going to be? Goliath doesn't have one (...well, not in the sense that I'm talking about). Would the kid take Elisa's last name? How would the general public react to news that she and Goliath had adopted a kid? Some sticky points.

What if the kid takes Elisa's last name? Now we've got a way for the Maza name to carry down a few generations to G2198. So I started working out on a way I could ask this to Greg without being direct. It seems that approach sometimes works better at getting an answer out of Greg than just being direct.

Just as I was putting it together, Carol Wagner came over and let me know that the Gargoyles DVD crew were interviewing fans and that I should probably go see those guys within the next half-hour or so.

But before I left, I asked my question. Does G2198's Nick Maza have an ancestor, born around this time (2004 +/- 5 years) who is adopted? Greg thought about it for a moment and said yes. HAH! Vash was there with me and I think we were the only two who realized what Greg had just revealed. With that I stood up and took off to see the DVD crew. Perhaps a bit too dramatically, but I just had my big moment for the day, so I was buzzing.

In the ballroom where Opening Ceremonies were held, the DVD crew had setup a white screen which they were interviewing fans in front of. I arrived in time to see one guy (whose name I'm blanking on, even after I had time to talk with him after the masquerade... DOH!) take of his shirt and reveal the Demona tattoo across his chest. Those of us watching all bet that that particular moment will be making it on the DVD.

A couple more people went up for interviews, including Becca Morgan. The DVD guys started talking about breaking for lunch, but were able to get me in before the took off. There wasn't anything big about the interview. Just typical questions that they seemed to ask all the fans. I'm guessing they'll have a quick montage of responses to their "Who is your favorite gargoyle?" question. I said Broadway, and when asked why, quoted Broadway's "slow and steady" mantra. But I doubt that'll make it on the DVD as I stumbled across the words.

They needed a separate "Who's your favorite bad guy?" so I could go off on Fang and how much I love that character. Jim Belushi's delivery, and Fang's great one-liners combine to make some of the most memorable moments in any Gargoyles episode. (Probably overshadowed by only the "Here's Puck" scene from "The Mirror").

So after the DVD bit, I headed back up to catch the tail end of Greg's mug-a-guest. I was feeling overly-confident in my earlier success that I tried to get Greg to answer whether or not Fox is alive in G2198. I did so by asking if Alexander Xanatos IV's mother is alive in 2198. AX IV is the same as baby Alex from the original series. Remember that Alex is 1/4th fae, and as such, has a different 'life cycle'. Fox is 1/2 fae. So if 1/4th fae can have an extended life, wouldn't 1/2 fae mean twice as long a life? (Assuming no unnatural causes in death.) Then it would make sense that she's alive in G2198, and Greg's lack of an answer makes me think that she is, but that she's in some kind of ... odd situation or position. Because I don't see why she wouldn't get involved in fighting the Space Spawn if she were alive, but we get no mention of her in the G2198 synopsis Greg's provided. So her role is either subdued or simply not there because of some other, unknown, factor.

And I think that Fox's position in G2198 somehow relates to what Titania whispered in Fox's ear somehow. But... theories aside...

Greg wouldn't answer my Fox question. So I was batting .500, which is better than I expected.

But in my own head, I think the answer is "Yes" followed by a very big "but".

And way back in the dark recesses of my mind, the alternate answer to "What did Titania whisper to Fox?" is something to do with Titania's past relationship with Xanatos.

But Greg's right. Leaving some things unanswered can be more fun.

So after the mug-a-guest came the radio play rehearsals. I was lucky enough to get selected for the radio play this year. While a group of us were waiting for Greg to show up I got to be the meat in a Siryn and CrzyD sammich. Very nice.

Jen later (post-con) showed me an old pic from the 98 con where I was also the meat in a S&C sammich. Of course I was in drag, Jen had body paint, and Siryn had a horn. At the rehearsals, Jen didn't have body paint, and Siryn had no horn.

Greg showed up and handed out scripts to everyone for "The Journey". My earlier hunch had been proven correct. I was given the part of Matt Bluestone. No grunts and growls for me, this year I had real words! Vash got the part of Maria Chavez and so we had a scene together.

We went through the script once with Greg providing feedback on our performances.

Then it was time for the show. Greg had been worried that with 31 parts, there'd be nobody left to attend the show itself, but we had a great turnout. Riverdale did a great Vinnie and easily stole the show. The guy who played John Castaway (was his name Eric?) nailed his performance of John Castway and the scenes between him and Riverdale as Vinnie, I thought, were some of the best we've had in any radio play.

After the radio play we headed back to the room to get ready for the banquet.

At the banquet there was still no sign of Keith David, although rumor had it that he was on his way and would make it in time for the masquerade. At our table was Vash, Sean, IRC Goliath, Silver and her mom. The banquet started off with a shrimp cocktail which only Sean ate. I inspected mine, but I'm not a big shrimp guy. But we did have some dinner rolls the rest of us filled up on them. We think one of the roll types served at our table had bits of olive in it. And we think those olives caused a green discoloration on the outside of the rolls. This is what we think. But we also think we may have had a small anti-biotics factory in our bread basket as well.

There was also a salad, which I'm told the hotel does not normally serve with the dressing that came with it. Apparently, while taste-testing things out, the con staff enjoyed the salad we had, but liked the dressing from another salad they had taste-tested. The hotel was willing to accommodate. Pretty cool.

The main course was quail, which was very tasty. During this time Keith David arrived! He was seated and the staff began to serve him his meal. Greg started moderating questions for Keith, who would answer between bites. Greg was also willing to take questions, but I think everyone was focused on Keith. I found Keith to be incredibly open, willing to share, and very very friendly. The guy could read names out of a phone book and I think we'd all still hang on his every word.

Dessert was either with "seasonal fruit charlotte strawberry coulis" or "three-chocolate Bavarian cake with raspberry coulis" depending on .. luck, really. I had the three-chocolate one and it was damn nice. Best dessert I've had in a long time.

All throughout dessert Keith David continued to take questions. In the ballroom next to ours there was another party going on, during which they broke out the karaoke machine. So while we were all trying to listen to Keith talk, we were subjected to some less-than-stellar karaoke performances, barely muffled by the partition between the two rooms. At one point Keith yelled out "Somebody kill that horse!", during (I think) somebody's rendition of that Celine Dion song from Titanic (and, holy crap, was it bad).

We got to hear the story about the origins of Jalapena, and how there was a mini-revolt among the production staff to stop Greg from using it, lead by Frank Paur (I believe). Keith gave the name of the singer he got "Jalapena!" from, but I've already forgotten it. I wish I'd brought my video camera with me to the banquet.

After the banquet we had a break while the room was cleared and prepared for the masquerade.

The ballroom's lights were dimmed for some reason (maybe at the DVD crew's request?) so what I was able to video tape came out particularly odd (in terms of light).

I grabbed a seat to the side of the area where the cosplayers would be performing. The judges for the masquerade were Greg, Keith, the hotel manager and his wife. The hotel manager seemed to get really into it. The manager's wife seemed like a deer in headlights.

During the first skit, I discovered I was in a crappy place to video tape from. All I was getting were peoples sides. So I moved around to the back of the ballroom and started taping from there. I was in a nice place as I was able to get people as the entered and stood on stage.

Loopy's costume of a character named Korul, and his performance done to his song "The Gargoyle Who's Afraid of Heights" stole the show. It was a great costume, with functional wings, and the performance was fun. Jade Griffin came in as Elisa in her yellow (Belle) dress from the episode "Eye of the Beholder" and wowed the crowd as she tore the skirt off (nice) much like Elisa in said episode. Flanker came in as the Hunter, complete with a sword (a fencing foil I think). There was a Fox/Xanatos couple where Xanatos carried Fox down to the stage area. Their costumes were also from "Eye of the Beholder" so Fox was in just a trench coat while X had his jet pack on. There was a classy looking Fox in a black evening dress played by Annie (I think). There was an Ophelia who I think showed up late and missed the judging portion. Patrick Toman was done up as Puck. Karine (con-chair) was done up as pregnant Fox from the episode "Walkabout". Karine, herself, is a few months pregnant. Siryn was dressed as young Tom (the only one in drag this year, I believe). There was a sweet Echidna costume, complete with snake tail and a snake-form of danglies (old school s8 chat ppl knows about danglies). Cindy was done up as Titania (who knew Titania could sing?!), a Princess Katherine, and a Macbeth and Gruoch. There were some original character costumes whose names are just absolutely escaping me. One was a nurse; there was a gargoyle lady who had these spring-loaded wings which were sweet, ... I'm easily missing at least 10 more people. Sorry, my memory is crap.

After the masquerade, things transitioned into a sort of karaoke/dance party. This is probably the part of the con I most enjoyed. I got to meet and talk with a ton of other fans, many of whom I've met only online before this night.

Keith David came back down and did a song for us acapella. He said during the banquet he's wanted to always do a movie about Nat King Cole, and he could! It was a great song to listen to, and very memorable moment, made all the more so by Arno getting grabassed while slow dancing with another guy during the whole thing. Oh, and that's on camera too. Nice.

One guy got up (is this Eric?... someone was named Eric, and it totally threw me off) and did a parody of "Blame Canada!" from the South Park movie called "Blame Gargoyles" which was hilarious.

MAui is crazy. At some point she convinces somebody to play YMCA and tries to get me up to dance. Feh! I don't dance, at least there aren't any videos to prove it, despite urban myths of a certain "goats go to hell" song. Anyways, I didn't know the words to the song (as people started singing along) nor did I have any clue what the 'dance' was. Batting .000, finally back to my normal average.

But I wasn't the only one. And very quickly, the lyrics we sang became "something" for every word besides the refrain. Ah, mass crazy. This is what the con is all about.

A lot of people stuck around well into evening. Just before I left, Greg went over to this giant sketch pad (if you can all it that) and drew a gargoyle in orange marker. Where this thing is now I'd love to know. I think it was his own misc. gargoyle, although it did look like Brooklyn, wearing a pair of sunglasses.

Finally exhausted from the day, I headed back to the room to sleep.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Having stayed up until 2am the night before, I slept in late on Sunday. I woke up around 10:30am. Vash and Sean had already woken up and taken off for who knows where. I was left to fend for myself. I got myself together and headed down in hopes of catching the first of two Keith David mug-a-guests.

The mug-a-guest was to take place in the same room where the art show and dealer room were located. When I showed up I discovered Keith had missed his first mug-a-guest. Later I was told this happened simply because he hadn't been informed about the mug-a-guest and didn't know he was scheduled to show up. No worries, there was still the afternoon mug-a-guest, and Closing Ceremonies.

I still hadn't found Vash and Sean and I wasn't up for lunch, so I decided to hit the art show. The art this year was some of the best stuff I've seen yet. Even Greg's kids got into the act and have a few pieces on display. The "wtf" of the show goes to Stormy's 'Caught in the Act'. Basically she took some of the Kenner Gargoyles figures and put them in dresses. Odd? Shocking? Different? I don't know, but I sure as hell won't be getting THAT image out of my head anytime soon. A lot of the con staff are exception artists and more than once I had to be reminded by IRC Goliath (who was there checking out the art as well) that I couldn't vote for them. I dug the etchings which I believe were made by Y2Hecate. I was very close to buying one and trying to put that in as a window on my computer case. I definitely wanted to buy a piece of art this year. I had a few extra bucks and I wanted to do my piece to support the artists in the fandom, so I was on the hunt. Most of the art that was up for sale were done through silent auctions. However the piece that caught my eye wasn't, it had a flat buy price, and so I quickly snatched it up. It's a profile of Demona's face done by Andrea Zucconi. I'd love to know what Andrea was thinking as she drew this. (I should probably e-mail her.) What I see when I look at it is a moment of vulnerability and perhaps sadness in her face. It's one of those things you just really never see or expect to see from Demona, which makes it all the more interesting. When I'm looking at it, I don't see the cold-hearted, walled-up Demona seen throughout much of the show, but someone who actually feels emotion. I dunno. I dig it. I've got to take it to a place and get it framed.

Still a few minutes before the mug-a-guest so I headed outside the door, onto the terrace, where I saw BrooklynX. I finally got a chance to check out BrooklynX's stash of cells. As he told to me, what Vic Cook (storyboard artist for the show) said at last year's con was true, he has more Gargoyles cels than Disney. BX even has the cel used in some marketing materials that shows the main cast lined up together. It's the same image of Owen, Xanatos, Demona, Goliath and Elisa that I've had on the front page of s8 for the past couple years. Incredible. He also had a couple cels from "Eye of the Beholder" which is a personal favorite of mine. He also has another book of cels from other shows and artwork that he's either commissioned or had given to him as a gift. The guy knows his artchicks.

Karlyl and Silver were also there and I sat down and hung out with them for a few. There were some oddball balloons floating around so I grabbed a couple to give a minor reenactment of the '98 con. Although these balloons were a bit on the large size, not that I minded, much.

I headed back into the art/dealer room to await Keith's eventual appearance. While I was waiting I was finally clued into who the line of 10 or so people sitting behind one of the tables were. They were the authors of the Phoenix Gate Anthology and they were signing copies of the book. Never one to turn down the chance for a good souvenir, I grabbed myself a copy and proceeded down the line getting autographs of all the authors. Stormy and Whitbourne were both in line and I they really made it an especially treasured souvenir as they both wrote comments about how they met each other through s8 and that they're planning on getting married. It's especially cool to hear about people who met through the fandom and developed a close relationship. I wonder, 20 years from now, how many kids there will be simply because this fandom exists. (Not to put any pressure on Stormy and Whit, hah.) And do we include Keith David's kids in that? He and his wife had their first date during the first Gathering back in 1997, as Greg tells it. Pretty cool.

Keith showed up to the mug-a-guest and went around the room shaking hands, checking out the artwork that was on display, and talking to the Phoenix Gate Anthology people. He was a real class-act, taking his time to meet everyone in the room. He seemed genuinely interested in the artwork and PGA stuffs. Very cool guy.

I was too busy paying attention to my camera, trying to get everything on tape, to hear everything he said. And I am presently away from my tapes of the mug-a-guest, so I don't have much to say about what was said. I can say that Keith was very open, very willing to talk and go into great depth on whatever he was asked. I remember his first question was about the cologne he was wearing, which a lady or two seemed to enjoy. He said he couldn't remember every show specifically, when asked about his favorite episode. He said one of his favorite lines from the show was "I've lost everything, even my revenge!", which Goliath yells out in Awakening (part 2 I think). He talked a bit about his interpretation of the line and what it meant to him. He also talked about the lack of killing in the show and how important he felt that was. "We beat [the bad guys] up pretty good, but we never killed anyone.", I think was what he said. He talked about other movies he's been in, told a story or two about filming "Men At Work" with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. He was very cool, very willing to talk, and it was really enjoyable.

After the mug-a-guest I caught up with Vash and Sean who had shown up for the mug as well. I paid for the art piece I had bought and we went back up to our room for a few minutes while we waited for Closing Ceremonies.

This would be the first time I was able to attend closing ceremonies as at previous cons I would have to leave early on Sunday to catch my bus or train home. Since I was leaving on Monday, I could stay and catch all the Sunday events. Karine got up and said a few words, got the crowed pumped for the 2005 con, and thanked the con staff and volunteers. The whole crew really did a great job putting together and managing the con. Greg wasn't around for the closing ceremonies as he had to leave early to be with his family and celebrate his daughter's birthday.

After closing ceremonies, Keith was available to sign autographs. I had brought with me a copy of issue #1 of the Gargoyles comic put out by Marvel, with the giant Goliath on the cover (and a bumpy cover too). I also had with me one of those new silver Sharpie markers that I picked up at the Staples (equivalent) next door to the hotel. I handed him the book to sign and he took a few moments to look through the comic. He seemed to get a kick out of it. I then asked him for a second autograph for a friend, and to sign it "Hey Dave, where were you?!!". An odd request no doubt, but he was very cool and signed it. It's for a friend whose autograph collection is made up of those collected by his friends, each one saying "Hey Dave, where were you?!!". It had started as a goof when he missed a signing by Kevin Smith way back in the day, and it's just snowballed since. He's got a Captain Atom book I had Greg sign last year as well.

Vash and IRC Goliath also had things to get signed. Vash had her picture taken with Keith, as did IRC Goliath. He gave Keith a t-shirt as well. I forget which one it was, but it had a line-drawing of a gargoyle (Goliath?) on the front. I think Step L.. I can't spell her last name, Raptor Woman, I think she had drawn it.

Anyways, with our autographed swag in hand, we got together, (Vash, Sean, myself, IRC Goliath, Wingless and Dan) and we headed out to the pasta place for dinner, again. This time through I ordered angel hair with the teriyaki sauce, which had dark-meat chicken in it. It was mighty tasty.

When we got back there was a group of people trying to get 30+ people together for a game of laser tag at a nearby place. But I declined. I wanted to get to bed fairly early so we could leave early the next morning. On our way back to the room, IRC Goliath stopped by the con suite to see if he could swing a couple of non-staff passes into their postmortem party. We continued on to our room. IRC Goliath showed up an hour or two later. We hung out for a while, then IRC Goliath took off, I watched TV for a little while, then went to bed.

Monday, August 9, 2004 (Abridged)

Drive home was fairly uneventful. Left Montreal around 11am. Dropped Vash and Sean off in the Bronx around 6pm. Got home just before 10pm. Slept. A lot.

Greg responds...

Gorebash, I can't think of anyone who deserved a fan guest of honor award more than you. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here answering questions here at ASK GREG.

Response recorded on June 20, 2006

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Spacebabie writes...

Tuesday Aug 10

We woke up to the sounds of popping. The early risers began to pop their knuckles and joints, waking ever one else up that joined in on the popping. After getting dressed and last minute packing done we carried ours suitcases down to the basement and placed them into Hyena and Mafia Cruiser.

Before we left the city we filled up the cars with gas and bought breakfast snacks.

We thought they were hard on us going into Canada. They were even harder on us coming back. We watched as they waved Emambu's car to the side. We were slightly worried, but the questions were a bit tougher but they did not wave us off.
As we drove we saw the Mafia Cruiser join us on the road and we regained contact via the walkie-talkies. We were informed the department of homeland security was interested in Lynati's tail.

Except for a stray backpack set on attack mode near the lovely town of Coxsakie, the trip back to Gregx's house was relatively dull.

We helped to take Grex's and Alex's suitcase out of Hyena and into his house before were retreated to the deck and enjoyed sodas. It was a cool and comfortable evening, made pretty by the candlelight and fireflies. Grex's and Alex's mother is an excellent cook. She fixed us a meal of pasta, delicious beans with bits of chicken and black olives. Sliced tomatoes with thin slices of cheese and slices of bread.

After dinner we watched the Buffy musical and some hilarious downloads before we retired for the night.

Wednesday Aug 11.

After waking up we brought Aaron and Mara's stuff into Hyena and gave Erik some of the snack foods. After a few last hugs and goodbyes we were on our way to Texas. We decided to avoid the most of Tennessee.

Emambu and Lynati separated from us when were in Pennsylvania. We continued to drive south passing through Maryland, the Virginias and into North Carolina where we stopped at a Denny's. I ordered mushroom Swiss burgers with seasoned fries.
We decided to keep going. I think the day officially ended somewhere in Alabama.

Thursday Aug 12

I kept weaving in and out of consciousness around the south. Waking up in Louisiana before drifting back for a brief nap before we entered Texas.

We returned to Revel's house around noon. We unpacked and set bags down around the house. Nearly everyone checked e-mail and took a nap. Aaron and Mara had to return to San Antonio around four. We had our goodby hugs with the promise to keep contact over IMs and LJs.

Revel and I had sandwiches before we did some drawing and went to sleep.

Friday August 13(No wonder it happened)

I woke up feeling sick from a head cold. Luckily I packed cold medicine for just in case.

The two of us left messages on messages boards before we did some more drawing and started on our gathering Journals.
That evening we ate fast food from Long John Silvers. I had a cup of fried shrimp with fries, a diet soda and some hush puppies.

While watching television we switched to the weather channel and saw Hurricane Charley bearing down on Orlando. I called my family and talked with everyone including my brother. The power went out at my house during mid conversation. We kept trying back every hour before we went to bed.

Sat Aug 14 (Why do I have to go back?)

Woke up and did some last minute packing. Revel and I both decided I should leave the art I won at his house and he could mail it to me.

We tried calling the house and no answer…tried everyone's cell and no answer.

To pass the time we watched Gargoyles on ABC Family. The episode was "Turf".

I checked on my flight to make sure it wasn't canceled. We did some more drawing and journal writing.

The power came on my house around 3:pm (My neighborhood is lucky) we called to confirm when my flight was landing and where I would be found.

We went to the airport around 5:00 and I said goodbye to Revel around 6:00.

Flight was uneventful. Ate a snack pack thing of a little sandwich with pretzels and a tiny candy bar. It is good to have a window seat when you are flying at sunset and at night. The fading colors are beautiful and the land below looks like various Light Brite sets.

There were plenty of lights in Orlando, but also a lot of dark patches. For anyone who flew in for the 2000 gathering might remember how the airport was designed. Imagine stepping off the plane and immediately walking down a narrow path created by a velvet rope. On either side where the chairs are there are chunks of ceiling scattered about and patches of water soaked carpet.

They told us it might be 45-minute wait for our luggage. I waited only about 20 for both of my suitcases. Stepped outside and my father had just pulled up to the curb in Riker (His white Sport Track)

After I returned to my house (And saw the broken fence) I greeted my mother and the animals. Reset my clock, gave Zelgadis's keyboard a tap and checked to see if it was working, called Revel to let him know I was home and then crawled into bed for much needed sleep.

Greg responds...

And so it ends...

And so it begins....

This is it. Gathering 2006 this week. I can't wait!

Response recorded on June 19, 2006

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Spacebabie writes...

Monday: Aug 9 (So embarrased I got the previous date wrong)

Slept in in again. Revel and I barely had enough time to get dressed and ready to go down stairs into the lobby to meet up with the gang heading towards La Ronde. Revel called the other people who were rooming with us that night. Lynati was the first to show up and I gave her one of the two keys. We kept the other one.

Karine lead us through the labyrinth like path to the Metro and paused at McDonald's to get breakfast.
The metro was unique in that it had rubber wheels and wooden tracks. As we rode Sapphire lead the group in reciting the intro lead of Gargoyles.

I was feeling a small headache developing. (Maybe it was because of the lack of coffee or food) I wasn't in the mood for some of the big coasters. Revel and I rode a couple of rides, including a small coaster with the carts designed to look like toboggans.

We met up with the others for food. Instead of combos they have trias. Either phrasing makes sense if you think about it. I had a chicken sandwich tria.

After we ate Revel and I rode the monorail around. It was a descent post lunch ride and we were able to hold hands and enjoy the scenery.

We exited the ride on the other side of the park where there was miniature golf. We played a half round: nine holes of the game on a course with a Camelot motif.

We went on several more rides, including my favorite: the swings and snacked on Dipping Dots. Before we left the park we bought a couple beverages. Just my luck I bought a soda from a machine that wasn't working properly. It was warm. Luckily we took it to the front desk. Told them where the defunct machine was and I was able to exchange it for a cold one.

While waiting for our train. I noticed my arms were a little burned. I broke out in laughter over the fact I have yet to get burned this summer in Florida but I get burned in Canada.

Nobody was in our room when we returned and we were hungry. We went to the McDonalds. I still had half a cold soda in my room so I didn't order a tria. I ordered a chicken nuggets and a small fries and a Mcflurry (They were out of yogurt parfaits.

The rest of the rogue squadron was back in our room when we returned in addition to Kathy. We chatted while we ate. Mandi came in and joined in the conversation while she groomed her Banshee wig.

Alex played a homemade video he downloaded of clips of Cowboy Bebop with Denis Leary's "@$$hole song")
We talked about fic, next years con. This years con and the possibilities of where 2006 might be.

Eventually we all grew weary. Kathy and Mandi left and we squeezed three people per bed with the Bishansky brothers on the floor.

Next up: The long voyage home.

Greg responds...

Ahhh, the mellow bittersweet feeling of a gathering winding down...

Response recorded on June 15, 2006

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kathy writes...

Hi Greg,

No blow by blow Gathering Journal from me this year, just some comments:

Gatherings are never long enough. There are too many people to catch up with.

Creton (pork pate) is good for breakfast. Sugar pie is better than it sounds. Cheddar cheese should never be used on anything claiming to be Italian food.

I want Keith David's jewlery. Not to wear, just to take out and admire from time to time.

"My Heart Will Go On" should be banned from kareoke for all time.

Have I mentioned I enjoy our post-prandial racewalks through strange cities?

Viva Las Vegas!

Greg responds...

I'd enjoy those walks more if I wasn't always RUNNING at the end because I'm late to the Blue Mug or whatever. Otherwise I love to walk.

Response recorded on June 14, 2006

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Norcumi writes...

2004 Con Report
(apologies for the length)

Quindar and I headed up to Canada by car, thankfully without too many wacky hijinks ensuing from my mutual inability to drive OR navigate. Coming from the lovely and way too large state of Pennsylvania, we only got in around midnight through a single lane highway bordered by concrete barriers that looked like they'd been painted black by the same lunatic that put together the very strange road signs. (yes, I've already been told that they adhere to international sign standards whereas the U.S. doesn't - but I also swear the next time I go to Canada, I'm wearing a shirt that says "Sorry, I'm a stupid American" in several languages). While we were checking in, a group of gargy people were hanging out in the lobby looking strangely out of place. The hotel was outright beautiful - sadly enough, we didn't get any pictures of that - and my first impression was "swank.... how'd we get away holding a con here???"

Being tired, we headed back past the group of garg people - Greg included - to the ridiculously expensive parking garage, hauled luggage to the room, and returned to find people gone. :( Still, that meant at least some decent amount of sleep that night.

I had my first encounter with the row of elevators that faced the outside of the building and thus had a glass outer wall. I'm sure it was fairly amusing - door opens and innocent garg fans step inside, one wandering over to the fantastic view from the 21st floor, the other only going about halfway before the doors close, the elevator starts to practically freefall, and viewers find me plastered back against the door with appropriate "eeep!" sounds. Quindar seemed to enjoy the view the entire time, though. I will admit I really did like that they designed the hotel with the indoor pool viewable from those elevators, but trippyness aside, my fear of heights did not enjoy it enough to ever manage to comfortably stand next to the window. It did make for an interesting personal challenge throughout the con, though.

Found the registration desk and got a chance to talk with BrooklynX and Abe Wintersmith while signing in. Saw a few more gargoyles fans, and then we decided it was finally time to take a look around the city.

Well, actually it was more like a hunt for a place to exchange money, but this sounds better. The concierge gave us directions to I still don't know where, but it sure was pretty walking the few blocks looking for it. Aside from some gorgeous architecture, local interest was found mainly in the fact that one of the streets we were traveling was reserved for a movie shot later in the day. Sounds boring, until you realize that the city had pre-made signs for this purpose. Also, one of the trees growing from the protective grates had been removed, soil and all, and replaced with a mini-telephone pole. I guess just because.

I'm also silly enough to find it very amusing that there was a guy with a "Movie Surveillance" jacket watching over everything, mostly because I literally only know about 7 phrases of French, most of which I was mentally confusing with my 7 phrases of Spanish. Public education and the mandatory 3 months of assorted languages didn't help me much. I'll admit, as lovely as the location was, the French thing intimidated the heck out of me. There's just something about knowing that if I somehow get separated from known locations that it's even odds anyone would even be able to understand me. Due to nerves from that, I tended to make sure that every time someone spoke to us, I used specifically English phrases - it's a spiffy trick of all the waiters and service people have. Go up to helpless English speaking tourist, and a "Bonjour hello," and they take the cue of how you answer to speak whichever language.

We ended up wandering down into the subway system, a nifty little set of actual train and underground walkways. Beautifully kept up - though everything was pretty much monolingual, including a sign for either a movie or play about the life of Elvis (...) - and the walking part was intriguing. The thing that kept striking me about the city as a whole is they put a lot of work into making things aesthetically appealing, as compared to most of the US, where once you get past the Victorian period, architecture tends to be utility based. I mean, the subway system had sections that were clearly there mainly for art purposes. Pretty spiffy, all told.

After an interesting encounter with an overly helpful local and a map, we finally had lunch in a McDonalds in the underground area just by the hotel. - the first and only McDonalds I saw the entire time. We actually tried to go to the Subway (yes, the sandwich place - who says restaurants don't have a sense of humor?) first, but the person behind the counter just looked at us blankly as I gave my now standard introduction of "Hi, do you speak English?" Since we figured we could at least figure out how to order a large fry from a French only menu, we headed next door. Which was all well and good, but after getting food, I realized that I had neither been charged for nor gotten my drink. Rather than deal with the snarky mainly French speaking McDonald's person, I decided to wander back to the Subway. A different person was manning the counter, and he managed to speak - barely - some English. With a lot of gestures and many sheepish variants on "I'm sorry, can you repeat that?" I finally managed to get a bottle of Coke. Or, as he seemed to put it, "Cocola." Very nice guy, though, and I think I thanked him profusely enough about that.

Quindar and I somehow ended up finding ourselves randomly sitting next to Yggdrasil, so we had a spiffy chat over food about gargs, biology, politics, and a few of the con panels. Pity we didn't get a chance to pester him some more over the weekend. After watching lots of people in con paraphernalia brave McDonalds for food, we all headed to Opening Ceremonies. Lots of fun, and Greg seemed to be having a wonderful time - both with the good news about the first season coming out on DVD (December 7 is about a week after my birthday.... I know what I'll be getting from everyone I know!) and the Keith David gag. I also entertained myself by watching the DVD crew taping the documentary. It was amusing to watch the cameraman try to figure out what to film, and the expressions on all three of their faces when the crowd let loose with "It's better than Barney!" were absolutely priceless. They apparently didn't see it coming, even after Greg called OC the garg version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The other highlight was a tape of hellos and good wishes from assorted people who'd worked on Gargoyles but couldn't make it. I honestly can't recall everyone on there, but both Ed Asner and Crispin Freeman had wonderful and touching things to say. It's good to hear that everyone, fans to voice actors to producers, loved this show.

And Vegas.... wow. That is going to be... interesting. Chris Rogers certainly knows how to put together a presentation. I've been turning over the idea of the Gathering in Vegas since I heard about it, and at first I had very mixed feelings. With the realization that the DVD will have documentary of the con, and going out there into the world, well, that means a pretty hefty increase in attendance, no matter what. And Chris really seems to not only have that well in hand, but any other random ideas that seemed to have been thrown at him. He had a really terrific talk about con plans, and it looks like it will be really cool.

I'm looking forward to Vegas, actually.

I think after that, another foray for food, a bit of time in Mystery Garg Theater, and then we headed up to the con suite early to see if anyone was there. Due to that, we got to hang around, listen to people chat about random things and Leo's strange screen shots, not to mention we actually snagged some chairs. Blue Mug wasn't too blue, but it was really amazing, because it's 30 odd people crammed into a room, and basically hanging out with Greg. Totally different atmosphere from Greg being the guy standing up in front of the crowd and talking - much more relaxed, cozy, and overall just very fun. This of course went until the wee hours of the night, until Karine kicked us out.

Happy thoughts and good wishes to Liz Chesterman's friend, who was not only a con virgin but hadn't made his way through the whole series, and so left early due to getting some massive spoilers during the blue mug.

We slept in a bit, and wandered around the hotel looking for people to chat with. I think somewhere in here we spotted the DVD camera crew talking amongst themselves, and I nerved myself up to talk to them. I asked if they were still looking for stories, and there was an exchange of looks before the camera guy told me they already struck the set. The director, however, asked what it was. Given it was Quindar and myself standing there, I guess he suspected another "couples" story, so as always I enjoyed myself too much pulling out the classic of "I got cancer in '96, gargs helped see me through to remission, Make-A-Wish sent me to 2000, been coming back ever since." Then add in Quindar's quiet "we met in 2002, and been together ever since," and I think we kinda surprised them with that. There was another, different look, then the director told us to check for them around Masquerade time.

That done, and having carried out part of Greg's mission (go forth and spread the word of gargs, and talk to the camera crew!), we finally headed out to the radio play, and what an event!

The talent in this fandom never ceases to amaze me. The script was for The Journey, and it was incredible. Rob St. Martin made for an incredible Goliath, Zehra once again portrayed a spiffy Elisa, and Vinnie, Castaway, Macbeth and Margot Yale all shone as well. Heck, EVERYONE rocked. As an interesting side note, Greg mentioned at some point that the lovely line of Macbeth's - "Madame, they burned witches like you in the middle ages!" was actually an improvisation by John Rhys-Davis. So when I got home I checked the 2000 Journey script, and found that the original line was "Madam, you are the most narrow-minded--"... and one can only wonder what word would've followed. Margot's return shot of "Mister, you are living in a fantasy world!" still makes me giggle immensely.

We headed down to the banquet after that, but people were preparing the room itself, so we hung around outside with assorted people. Then the camera crew showed up and started taping mock convos between people, trying to get real, lifelike interaction to tell personal stories to people that... probably knew at least some of it anyway. We spotted them, and so bit the bullet again and went up once they were done.

Noel Leas and her friend (apologies, I know I've seen you before, but I never catch your name!) were randomly snagged to try to talk to us about our story. I had my usual case of stage fright, and so I have no idea what I said AT ALL, other than WAY too many ums and ahs in there. Sigh. Ah well. Did our duty, told our story, and could therefore just chat with the film crew a bit before they moved on to their next group. I'm afraid I also don't recall what anyone else said.

Meanwhile, the room had finally opened up to let us in. The banquet followed, and was really, truly stunning. Admittedly in several different senses of the word, but I had a lot of fun. I'm afraid I don't recall who all we sat with, other than BrooklynX and Lynati for the bits when she wasn't working on her costume. There was a one day con-goer, to her first Gathering with her father, who looked a little overwhelmed by the insanity, but incredibly proud when his daughter went and gave Greg a picture of a gargoyle she'd drawn. I think that really made her night, if not her con. If she sees this, apologies for not remembering her name, and hope to see her next year!

The other person at our table was a Canadian fan, whose name I also didn't catch. Eeek. Sorry! He was also incredibly nice, and not only put up with Quindar, BrooklynX, Lynati, and myself talking obsessively about the con, but he also humored me and answered Stupid American General Questions About Canada. One of the most interesting threads was actually about the con shirt design. To paraphrase, there's the grinning Mountie beaver - Canada - riding along top the symbol of Quebec, which is a silly looking dog. I totally forgot about Quebec talking about secession a few years back, but with that in mind, I can see why he commented that it'd be a cute shirt for a kid, but not something he felt comfortable wearing. ::facefault:: One of those interesting commentaries about how different cultures lead to misunderstandings.

The other major interesting bit to the meal actually involved the menus. Yes, the menus. The cover was a nice Delta logo, the inside had the expected menu, but the inside of the cover had a picture of Goliath (picture 8c in the S8 misc image archive), above the Garg logo. When first seeing them, I think everyone made awed noises, and then moved on. I'll admit I did a bit of a double take at the logo, because I could see the classic clawmarks in the name - marks from the logo with Goliath standing above the letters. I'll admit I thought it was odd that a) the con mascot wasn't used and b) the normal logo wasn't used, but I figured what the hey. They're still darn pretty. More on this later.

Keith David finally arrived near the end of the dinner, and it was fascinating to just listen to him - the content was interesting, but it was the rumble that's naturally in his voice that really is nifty. I'm also rather proud of the fact that when he left the room for a few minutes, I noticed the waiter clearing away dishes - including Keith's! I snagged the man and told him that at least Keith was still eating, so he put the dishes back - and when Keith returned a moment later, he double checked to see if his food was still there. Glad I could help with that before anything happened!

Let's see... all else I really recall of the Q&A was that Greg didn't answer many questions, but I at least got to ask him about his project with Vic Cook that we heard about last year. Stuck in the cogs of the machine is the quick answer, unfortunately. After the Q&A broke up, Quindar and I got recruited to help move tables and chairs. I finally got to meet Ian "Sir Rowan", whose art I've been watching (and drooling over) for a long time, and he seemed happy to know there's a fan of him out there. Unfortunately I was too caught up in table moving to remember to mention I'd been hitting his Elfwood site for far too long, and could only tell him that I'd really enjoyed the comic he, Kanthara, and friends worked on.

Due to chair rearrangement, we got good seats right up front behind the judges. Which was interesting, because soon after we sat down, the hotel guy who'd been running interference with the Godawful Karaoke (tm) next door sat down at the judge's table. He was pretty hyper, grinning and clearly having the time of his life, especially after A Fan came up (wearing a suit and a Delta name tag of Daniel) and asked if he wanted his glass filled with water. They had some nice banter going, but unfortunately all that I remember was Fan recommending the Hilton across the street. Basically, the hotel person was almost giddy and clearly having a blast. When Fan finally wandered off (to stand by the door and try to help guests there), the hotel guy finally turned around and just had a bit of a ramble/conversation with us. Turns out that Daniel was the hotel contact person, and had been interested in the con from the get go, which is somehow (I'll admit to not knowing entirely how) related to him becoming a judge for the Masquerade. But he was really enjoying things - the strangeness, the energy, the fun. Then he proceeded to get up and grab one of the spare menus for himself, after all he did with it. He sat back down, turned around, and proudly showed us how he wanted to do something spiffy and special for the menus, so he went online to the Disney site, and picked up the garg logo, but that was black and white, so a little boring - so he cropped that, and snagged the Goliath picture to put above it.

I love this man. He is so cool. Then, when Greg finally came in and sat down next to him, Daniel asked him to autograph the menu. Greg did so, and Daniel turned around and gave us the niftiest thumbs up, "this is great!!" expression.

You can find it at http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040808_214602_1406 thanks to Quindar being quick with the camera. :) Daniel was not expecting that, so he just flopped over the table laughing, and went back to talking with Greg. We caught him later, and Quindar got a business card, so we will be sending on the memento. He was also kind enough to later pose for the camera with his menu: that one's also available at http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040808_224402_1433 :) It was also cool to have things from a non-fan's perspective as the people paraded by in costume, and Daniel would lean over and ask Greg if each of them was from the show or not. A little different type of attention for Greg!

The masquerade itself was awesome. The cosplayers themselves were stunning, the staff was clearly having fun (pregnant Kanthara as pregnant, Walkabout Fox was rather inspired), and the audience was highly dressed up and spiffy to boot! I have to make an offhand comment about why on earth did Cat as Hecate's Heccy (I think?) not join in??? Especially with the big battle-ax o' DOOOM? Also, there were several very nifty versions of the Eye of Odin running around, which really impressed me. Well, that and scared me, but right now I'm going with impressed. Beyond that, however, I'm still just too stunned to make much commentary. That, and I have no idea who people are in costume. ^_^; Sorry!

Single commentary: Ethan, Sapphire, and Chameleon Girl put on a hilarious and wonderful performance of the opening monologue that has to be seen to believed. Hit s8. S8.org is our FRIEND!

Once the judges adjourned to talk about costumes, the masquerade people were free to drift out into the hall and have their pictures taken, of which there were lots. The most memorable bit of that to me was the group photo after awards, when everyone in costume grouped together and let everyone take several dozen shots. And they vamped nicely for the cameras - including someone who was taking pictures with several cameras, clearly belonging to people IN the shot - until they declared they would be leaving in five... four... three... two... ONE! and just streamed out amongst the picture takers like some movie shot or something you'd see on camera. I have no idea if the DVD crew was still around for that. I hope they got it, but if not, it made for a fun moment anyways.

Quindar and I had finally managed to catch Lynati, and promised to kidnap her after the masquerade, and "hanging around for a few minutes for something." So we were right there as Emambu got up for karaoke, and did Lynati's filk of Blame Canada: Blame Gargoyles. Now, it's very strange to me to realize that when Emambu was doing his spiffy intro talk, Greg was busy chatting with someone, and utterly oblivious to the fact that someone was trying to get his attention. So Quindar went over, got his attention and told him he was wanted by people at the front of the room, and THEN Greg was noticing what was going on.

Blame Gargoyles, simply put, is stunning. In a very, very good way. All I really know what to say is, if you haven't seen it yet, go to s8.org and check the archives to see it. Thank you, Gore! You totally DO deserve the fan guest of honor award!

After this, Lynati went off to get less green (her Ophelia costume was amazing), then we all tromped back downstairs because Lynati had an art project to share. I'm still not entirely sure about the details, but she made several glass, wood backed friezes of the con mascot, and she wanted to give one to Greg. Since we found out during dinner that he'd be leaving very early the next morning, she wanted to catch him then.

We made it back to karaoke just in time to catch Keith David singing acapella - and my word, that was amazing! We just stood quietly in the back and listened, like everyone else... aside from Arno and whoever grabbed him for a dance. Heh. When that was done, Lynati snagged Greg and wowed him with her gift, which he really seemed to like.

Then we finally got to kidnap Lynati and talk until the wee hours of the morning.

So because of going until the wee hours of the morning, we decided to just get sleep. We slept late enough that we pretty much passed on the events, but were up and about to keep our appointment for dinner with BrooklynX, because both Quindar and I are finding to our amusement that the con is more a family reunion and a chance to get together and see people than about the panels - which is fun, no doubt about that, but the main thing is the people. It's strange how the fandom and the con become a strange but nifty mix like that. Anyway, we had a good meal and a nice chat, with a bit of ogling BrooklynX's cel and art collection. Lots of talk about gargs,, the DVD (of course!), and life. After unknowingly keeping the restaurant open a bit longer than they expected (in our defense, con time or no, they closed ridiculously early), we headed back to the hotel and went off to do our own things. Quindar and I ended up wandering around the hotel and finally trying to look at things - what we found was the Mezzanine level Muzak volume knob. No, seriously, we did. There's pictures of it, even. We considered playing with it, made jokes about how it was good that it hadn't been publicly advertised during the con itself, and then went off to write a note to Lynati. After all, the girl had gotten no more than 5 hours of sleep (I think rather less) because she had to be up for a biology panel, and it was late enough in the evening we figured it'd be good to make sure she knew how to contact us, considering she was visiting us at home post-con. So we wrote and dropped off the note, then wandered back down to the lobby - only to discover a very sleepy Lynati sitting and waiting for Aaron and Hudson to come back from laser tag.

Since talking helped keep her awake, we joined her and started chatting. We tried doing a few walks around the lobby itself, and while that didn't help her, we did pass Keith David coming out of an elevator, and he said hi. Then back to the chairs, and we talked. Mara and Emambu came down eventually to tell Lynati she had a note left under her door, then they sat down and we did this fun mixed convo that floated between all of us. Eventually, most of the laser tag people came back - but not the segment that had Aaron and Hudson, which had gone off for drinks and food. So we talked some more, as CKayote joined us, and maybe GregX, until the second group straggled back in. More talking, with Aaron (and GregX if he wasn't there before), and basically we were there until 3 am.

I love con time. It doesn't work like real time, but it's way cool. Things went until everyone was too tired to really hold conversation anymore, so everyone went to bed. The noon checkout time was not fun.

However, that meant by noon we were out of our room, stuff packed in the car, and saw us sitting with all the other non-park people who were waiting for the parkgoers to get back, so they could hit the road. It was an awesome group get together, with random people talking about anything and everything. Chris Rogers discussing next year's con, Kathy Pogge talking about the joys of con running, random American politics, and all sorts of other cool stuff I've unfortunately totally forgotten.

The part I keep forgetting to write down that WAS fascinating: at some point, while we were all hanging out, Keith David wandered by with drink in hand and at least one kid in tow, and he stopped to say hello to the group. That rather predictably led to him and his family being sat down for pictures of the group, before he wandered off, telling us that he was really looking forward to the Vegas con.

He. Is. Awesome. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the heck TOOK the photos! If they see this, or someone knows, could they please pass a copy of the picture my way? I'd love to add it to the con photo album, with appropriate credit.

We stayed around as long as possible, just hanging out, until it was clear we had to hit the road. Then heading back across the border - the stop at the border itself was interesting in two ways. One, the mail in rebate for Canadian taxes was interestingly with a massive cut (20%?) for the company doing it, rather than getting total back at the border itself. Which is just evil. Two, the bored guy quizzing us to see if we were legitimate enough to get back into the states asked us some questions. Why we were in Canada - for a convention - and what was it about - the show gargoyles - and while he didn't seem any less bored or uncaring, he did comment that he remembered the show.

.... and Disney canceled this WHY?

Anyway, there were more crazy hijinks with my lack of navigation, but in the end, we made it safely to our destination. It was interesting to check into the hotel that night. I was doing my typical thing of advertising post-con with the 2003 shirt, and as I finished signing us in, the night clerk did a literal double take at my shirt. "Where'd you get that?" After a strange moment of not getting how weird the universe is, I jumped right in to my spiel about the con. He seemed impressed, and while he laughed politely at my talk of Vegas, he did in fact write down the date of DVD release....

I love this fandom. It always amazes me how almost anyone I talk to that ever saw Gargoyles, says something along the lines of "Oh yeah, I remember that! I loved that show!"

Great con. For those interested, pictures can be found at http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004 - pictures taken by Quindar, because my camera decided to die on me literally the day before the con.

My favorite picture of the lot: http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040808_230946_1452

Here's to Vegas, and the DVD!

Greg responds...

As I write this, it's only ten days before G2006 in Valencia. Probably the only good thing about being so far behind here at ASK GREG is that it's timed out so that these 2004 reports are getting me really psyched for 2006.

Response recorded on June 13, 2006

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Quindar writes...


Greg, I know you wanted Gathering reports posted here, so here's mine. It was good to see you and everyone, and as always, thanks for sticking by the show.

I wrote up the original report with links to photos. Since I don't think Gore accepts HTML, and I didn't want to interrupt the purported narrative with URLs, I've removed most of these links from the text of the report. Photos are available on Norcumi's site at http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004 for anyone that's interested. No, that's not a typo.

Norcumi and I got into Montreal on Friday at about 2 in the morning. Apparently MapQuest had underestimated driving times, because we had been /planning/ to get in earlier the previous night. The last 45 minutes' drive inside Canada proper was largely composed of road construction, replete with signs politely warning us in French that we were to beware of the tigers. Or something. I remembered enough high school French to get by, but I think the signs made Norcumi's head explode. But to me, the really funny thing was the customs agent at the border. The Gathering site had led me to expect the usual bilingual thing, where everyone who works with tourists greets them in both languages. Many of the store clerks and waitpeople in Montreal did indeed do that, but the customs agent didn't, so my ear didn't process her greeting the first time around. The conversation went like this:

Her: "Bonsoir."
Me: "...say again?"
Her: "Bonsoir."

At which point I got it, but I thought it was rather interesting that she didn't switch to English once it became apparent that I spoke it. She simply repeated herself. Har har.

Anyway, since we arrived so late, we looked at the schedule and figured that none of the panels on Friday looked interesting enough to lose sleep over, especially since the Blue Mug was scheduled for that night. So we slept in, and Friday afternoon we went out to wander around Montreal a little. Nice city, though the fact that all of the signs were in French was consistently, and unduly, intimidating. At a square around the corner from the hotel, there were a couple people with a table and a sign bidding all passersby to "IMPEACH CHENEY". There was also a lot of nice architecture, some of which was nice enough that they were shooting a movie with it a couple blocks up the street. We didn't see the actual shoot, just the no-parking signs and a couple Old West-style telephone poles which had been cemented into tree holes on the street.

That part of Montreal has an interesting system for its subways. In order to reduce the number of subway stations while still making them easily accessible, they have an underground grid of walking tunnels which connects to a subway station every few blocks. Makes sense, given how far north they are. We didn't actually take a train -- we got as far as the station and turned back -- but we did wander around, and get lost in, the tunnels. Ultimately we followed the signs back to the hotel and wound up in the food court vaguely underneath it, where we ordered from Subway and McDonald's in a combination of pidgin English and gestures. (I was loath to use my high-school French, probably because I was afraid I would mispronounce stuff. I tried, but wasn't able to work myself up to it.) While we were eating in the (beautiful) food court, a random Gargs fan who turned out to be Yggdrasil struck up a conversation with us. (Maybe he noticed Norcumi's shirt? Or did we just look like the con type?) It was his first con, so it was interesting to get his impressions of it, though we mostly ended up talking about Canadian gun control laws.

After that was Opening Ceremonies. It was pretty much the usual, though they held the first Clan Olympics event /during/ OC. It wasn't very well planned (http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040807_174126_1382), but it was amusing, and the sign trick they pulled at the beginning was cute. Greg announced that the first-season DVD will be out December 7, and introduced the camera crew that was filming a Gathering documentary for the DVD. He read some PowerPoint slides that had been conveniently overnighted to him on pieces of paper, raving about how great the show was -- it even had a yearly convention attended by THOUSANDS OF FANS. Heh. (Though we had a surprisingly large number of con virgins this time, as it turned out.) Chris Rogers gave an impressive talk about 2005, and then Greg did his song and dance. I've seen the leica reel three times now, and this is the first time I understood all of the action in it; the animation can be pretty jerky at times. They also played an audiotape made by a bunch of people who worked on the show who weren't able to be at the Gathering. One of those people was Ed Asner, and something in his message jumped out at me. I wasn't taking notes, so all I can give is my impressions rather than direct quotes... but while everyone else on the tape was talking about the show as something in the past but somehow still in existence, Ed was very definitively talking about the show as though it was finished, dead, never to happen again. The finality of his tone really took me aback. Thom, Keith, and Greg are all realists, but they all seem to think of Gargoyles as having some sort of existence outside of, or alongside, reality: that it's about more than 65 episodes which aired from 1994 to 1996. Ed doesn't seem to think that way. I don't mean to say that it was deliberate. It didn't seem to me that he didn't enjoy doing the show, or that it wasn't very important to him at the time. Mostly it felt to me that his method of dealing was to move on. But I don't think he was aware of the discordant tone of what he was saying.

After OC we wandered around. We dropped in on MGT3K for a while, but the room was too big and it didn't seem like anyone could hear anyone else. So we headed to dinner in the hotel restaurant -- very good food. Nice clam chowder.

Then we went to the Blue Mug-A-Guest. Like last year's, it wasn't very blue, and there weren't any major revelations this year, but the Blue Mug is always fun because of its informality. It was held in the con suite, presumably so that we wouldn't be kicked out the way we were last year, but there wasn't really enough space to go around. Norcumi and I got there early, so we had seats, but most of the people ended up having to sit on the floor. It came up at some point that Owen was Puck, and there was a con virgin sitting next to us who hadn't gotten that far in the series and was really disappointed in the spoiler. We both felt bad about it, but what are you going to do? Greg also made an interesting comment about this idea for the Korean gargoyle clan: what they protect is an idea, and the idea is justice. But not in the way the Manhattan Clan does: the Korean gargs believe in poetic justice, meaning that you get what you deserve. Apparently they never were able to fit that into the World Tour, but it's an interesting idea nonetheless. He also explained TGC: apparently the people who worked on TGC had just come away from working on /X-Men: The Animated Series/, and didn't have time to come up to speed on Gargoyles before starting to write for it. Thus things like putting Goliath on trial: it made perfect sense to these people that the existence of gargoyles was accepted, because they were thinking of them in terms of mutants.

After the mug, on the way out to the elevator, I pinned Greg Weisman and told him that Norcumi and I had first met in person at the 2002 con and that we had been together for two years. ("You're probably not collecting these anymore, but...") He congratulated us and told us to tell the film crew about it, and we all went to bed. I hadn't been able to get up my nerve to mention that to him at 2003, so it felt good.

Saturday we slept until the radio play. Before they opened the doors, we hung around the mezzanine waiting for the play to start. We went through the art show; very nice work. I enjoyed all of it, but particular kudos to whomever did the Mary Sue piece. We talked to BrooklynX some, got big hugs from A Fan, and I determined from another staff member that the schedule was in fact correct: Greg would /not/ be at Closing Ceremonies. Nice of them to keep us in the loop and everything.

The radio play itself was a modified version of The Journey. It was fun, though I do wish Greg would return to using non-Gargoyles scripts for the radio plays. If we're going to the Gathering, we've probably already seen the episodes, and IMHO it's much more fun when we don't already know what's going on. It makes sense, what with Keith David (who ended up not making it in time for the radio play anyway) and the film crew, but still. Nonetheless, the (huge) cast gave a very nice delivery.

After the radio play we wandered out to find the film crew. Given Norcumi's story and mine, we figured they might want an interview, so we asked them about it. Apparently they had already struck the set they used for interviews, but they told us to find them during the masquerade and they'd interview us somewhere. We headed up to the con suite for a while and then went down to wait for doors to open for the banquet, only to run into the film crew again. They ended up doing a couple interviews right there (including ours). They were done in the style of a fake conversation: grab some random fan and bore them by telling them your story for the cameras. It was fairly annoying, actually. The interview before ours was pretty good, but I'm not at all sure (and was not at the time) that we gave the film crew anything usable. The fake-conversation device was just so /awkward/. Maybe the part about Norcumi coming to G2K on a Make-A-Wish grant was usable... anyway, we did our Honorable Duty, and if they don't use the footage I'll probably be happier anyway. I looked like an idiot.

Then came the banquet. This was a delicious five-course meal which started with shrimp cocktail and a salad and then went on to stuffed quails. I ended up eating Norcumi's shrimp cocktail as well as my own, not that I'm complaining. We ended up sitting at a table with BrooklynX; a French Canadian fan; and a girl from Vermont and her father, who were only there for the day. Apparently it was the first con of all three of them. The girl from Vermont had seen the website and convinced her dad to come out to Montreal for the day. She ended up giving Greg a piece of art she made, and he really seemed to appreciate it. It was really sweet.

BrooklynX, Lynati (who was in and out; she had to work on her costume for the masquerade), and the two of us ended up spending most of the meal talking about con politics; hopefully that didn't distress the other occupants of the table too much. The Canadian added an interesting point, though: the con T-shirt shows the Canadian beaver riding on top of the Quebec mascot. He said: "This shirt would be fun as a gift to a child or something, but I would not wear it." Apparently it's offensive to Quebec separatists. I doubt this occurred to anyone responsible for the shirt; it's just interesting how politics always come back to bite you.

Keith David had been scheduled to be there for the entire convention. Apparently his movie got behind schedule, so he wasn't able to leave for Montreal until Saturday morning, and then he had delays at the airport. He showed up at the end of the banquet, and so everyone ended up grilling the poor man while he attempted to eat dinner at the same time. Unfortunately half of his comments were inaudible, due to the tenor of his voice and the bad karaoke sounds coming from the next con over. ("Somebody shoot that ho!" -Keith) But he was interesting. On more than one occasion his answers were so profound that everyone erupted in spontaneous applause. He delivered the most spirited, considered praise of gargoyles as a species that I have ever heard. It was clear he really feels the characters; the extent to which he personalized Goliath was heart-warming. And, on a personal note, when he had to duck out he asked me where the restroom was. It was the extent of my interaction with him, really, but it made my day. Isn't that sad? (While he was out, Norcumi managed to save his meal from destruction by the hotel's Plate Retriever Person, so we both have a really bad story to tell.)

After the banquet, BrooklynX grabbed us to help rearrange tables for the masquerade. No one knew what was going on, but it got done, and at the very least it meant we got front-row seats for the masquerade itself. We therefore got to see the saga of Daniel the hotel coordinator, who was sitting at the judging table right in front of us. He had done up the banquet menu himself, complete with Gargoyles logo and a screenshot from the Disney site. He was really proud of it, telling us all about how he did it, and very enthusiastic about the con. He was fun. When Greg came in he had him sign a copy of the menu, and while Greg signed Daniel turned around and gave us an exaggerated thumbs-up (http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040808_214602_1406). That's gotta be the best photo of the whole con - Greg, seriously, check it out. I ended up getting Daniel's email address to send him a copy of the photo when we got home.

(He also let A Fan borrow his hotel nametag, which Fan used to do his butler routine and stand next to the door. Fan was even waiting on Daniel, getting water and such. The whole thing was a blast.)

The masquerade was truly amazing. Apparently everyone was hamming it up this year for the film crew. The photos tell more than I possibly can, but it was just amazing. We even got a guy in who is apparently an amateur master costumer of some sort; he goes from con to con showing off his costumes. He won Best Costume, of course.

After the masquerade we hung around for a while. Lynati wanted to give some art to Greg, since he was leaving the next morning, and so we chased around with her for a while as she got everything together. I wound up sitting in the hallway outside Lynati's room, waiting for people and chatting with Aaron, who was trying to get into the room to get his shoes but didn't have a key. Then we went back downstairs, Lynati gave Greg her thing, Erik sang "Blame Gargoyles", and Lynati and the two of us headed up to our room to talk until about three and a half.

Sunday, because we had been up so late, we missed everything again. We seem to be making a habit out of this; it happened last year too. (We both seem to be going more and more for the people, and less and less for the events, as the years go by.) We got downstairs in time to catch the middle of the 501(c)6 organizing meeting, which was not nearly as fun as a KGB meeting nor as well organized (!). Then we met BrooklynX for dinner, which ended up being at a diner nearby. The food was decent, but it was outside the hotel and wasn't McDonald's, so no complaints. We came back to the hotel and hung around for a while, but Norcumi wasn't feeling well so we headed back to the room.

Eventually Norcumi started feeling better and we got bored, so we went out to look for Lynati. Though we didn't find her we found a Muzak knob next to the mezzanine elevators, which was cool enough that I had to go back to the room to get the camera. Got camera, took pictures, went down to the lobby and promptly ran into Lynati, who was waiting for people to get back from laser tag. So we ended up sitting around the lobby talking to Lynati until several in the morning. And playing with the camera. Over the course of it, Emambu, Mara, Aaron, CKayote, and GregX were there for various periods of time. There was TGS, there was Aaron telling stories about driving down the highway with his foot out the window, and there was a long, animated, highly amusing discussion between Aaron and Emambu over the quality of recent seasons of MST3K.

Eventually everyone that was left (Lynati, Mara, Aaron, and Emambu) decided to go bug Hudson and we decided to go to bed. Yet for some strange strange reason, instead of going to bed, we went along to bug Hudson as well. Mostly this consisted of hanging around in the hallway listening to rants about MST3K while Mara and Lynati went to see if Hudson was presentable. Apparently he was not, and by the time he was, everyone wanted to go to bed. Thus we stood around watching Hudson watch everyone drift off to go to bed. I decided I had had enough, told Hudson that we hadn't been able to sleep without him, and went to bed. The whole thing was worth it, just to be able to deliver that line.

Monday we checked out. We had been planning to wander around Montreal a little before heading out in late afternoon, but we were too tired from all the late nights. So instead we hung around the lobby. A bunch of people came and went -- there's no way I'm going to remember who-all was there, so I'm not even going to try -- but mostly I listened and wished I had the camera again. Chris Rogers was there, and so I aired a few things I had wanted to mention for next year's con, but mostly it was just sitting there hanging out. Keith David came by wearing a bright blue suit and posed for a picture with everyone. (By the way, whoever took that picture, please get in contact with Norcumi or me. I'd like a copy.) Ultimately we decided we had to head out. We had another meal at the lobby restaurant (while watching the public works department pull up all the manhole covers on the street outside, look underneath them, then close them again) and then headed for Connecticut to visit Norcumi's parents.

One final note on the organization of this year's con. I thought the con went really well this year. The hotel was terrific, the location was great, and organization was good. The hotel staff were incredibly tolerant of con craziness; it astounds me that they even let us make nuisances of ourselves in the lobby as much as we did. The schedule was overly light and had some timing problems -- three of the four interesting events during the day on Saturday were scheduled during the 12:30-1:45 time block -- but that was my only major complaint. Except for this: the staff had a persistent us-against-them attitude which I found highly distasteful. The staff was highly defensive, and anything that looked like it /might/ be a criticism was jumped on with all four feet. During Opening Ceremonies, someone said that they missed Thom. It wasn't a gripe about the con staff, it was just the sort of thing people say when Thom isn't there, just the sort of thing they said at 2002 -- and suddenly Karine was at the microphone berating people for wondering why Thom had been cancelled at the last minute. That's the first example. The second example is the way Keith's schedule was handled. Again, his travel delays weren't the staff's fault, but neither was the staff particularly communicative (though they did try) about what was going on. And finally, to my knowledge, it was /never/ announced that Greg wouldn't be at Closing Ceremonies. I figured it out by looking at the schedule and then asking a staff member, only to get snapped at for my trouble. Now, I don't think /anyone/ would object to Greg leaving early so that he could be there for his daughter's birthday. I don't think anyone would blame that on the staff. But I /do/ think people wanted to know that, so that they could say their goodbyes or whatever. But I never heard it announced. It should have been. The con staff was too busy defending their turf to keep people in the loop. Folks, you can do better than this.

Next year's Gathering looks to be a fun one. The staff really seems to have it together, and the schedule and location should make for interesting times. Honestly, my biggest fear is that we'll be completely overwhelmed. Even if the DVD sells very badly by Disney standards, the Gathering documentary will send lots of new recruits our way, and in the worst case I fear that we'll be completely overwhelmed by con virgins next year. Not that that would be bad from a financial perspective, but the smallness of the Gathering seems to be a major attraction these days. Many of us don't come for the events anymore, but for the people. And if the people have trouble finding each other, it'll be a very different con. We could certainly use some new ideas and new blood, though, so it'll be a mixed blessing no matter what happens.

Greg responds...

I don't think you'll ever have to worry about not being able to find your friends at the Gathering... For better or worse, we're never going to turn into ComicCon.

As for the Radio Plays, I like to mix things up. So I'll continue to do new stuff and old Garg scripts. Both are fun, for different reasons. And honestly, I don't always have new stuff to present.

And I see your point about staff defensiveness, but you could also cut everyone a bit more slack. I'm not sure you realize (a) how much work goes into putting one of these things on and (b) how much complaining does take place. The examples you gave may indeed be instances of people being defensive, but the reason for that defensiveness is because (and I've witnessed this) so MANY instances of people, well, bitching.

And frankly, I'm not sure that you're being entirely fair. My non-appearance at Closing Ceremonies was in the program, as you stated. That to me qualifies as an announcement. And Keith's delayed appearance was spread by word of mouth... how else would it get spread? At the time of Opening Ceremonies, no one knew Keith would be delayed. After that, when was everyone together for a grand announcement to be made?

I know it may sound like I'm being defensive now, but I'm not on the staff. I'm just a bit protective of these good people. Still, I'm sure we could all stand to lighten up a bit.

Response recorded on June 12, 2006

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Spacebabie writes...

Sunday Aug 6

Slept in and woke up in time to get dressed quickly. I slipped into a pair of jeans and my Samwise shirt. I didn't have time to eat. I didn't want to miss Allaine's panel.

Allaine had set up a tape recorder to record our voices for Mooncat who couldn't make it this year. We wrote down names of the characters and mixed them up before he selected a couple. It went well and we decided to use the end for an upcoming fic challenge. With a few extra minutes left Allaine read his entry for the canceled reading challenge. It was funny and the way he read it made it even funnier.

After the panel. Revel and I went to look for Chris Rogers. He wasn't in the dealer room, although I did manage to buy a Brooklyn and Goliath dangler. Now my Lex Dangler won't be so alone. We found out Chris was still asleep.

After he, Kaelyan and Hudson had fully woken and dressed we went to seek food. First place, no food. The sign pointed to the revolving restraint at top. Gregx, Aaron, Mara and eventually Dancer joined us.

After a small wait we were seated and we received our beverages. I had ordered coffee of course. We loaded up our plates with food. I had a croissant, a little cup of blueberry yogurt, scrambled eggs, bacon, crepes, and some potatoes. Mara discovered the chocolate milk at the juice bar and Aaron found the desserts. After eating I reloaded my plate with some cantaloupe, a piece of cake, an éclair, and a slice of raison bread with some chocolate spread.

We ate and talked while studying the scenery. We saw the dome shaped frame that was once part of the expo center, a strange structure that was part of the 1976 Olympics and a large crane with a potential jumper. The police seemed to talk him out of it. Chris agreed to cover the bill as long as we paid him back later. I gave him my last 20 Canadian dollars and promised to pay him the rest back later.

We were rejoined by Lynati in the basment and gathered around a small table while Chris showed us how to gamble via cards. He showed us the positions of the game table and told us when would be a good time to fold. We used the hotel candy as chips to mock gamble with. We played a few rounds until Closing Ceremonies.

Closing Ceremonies is always a depressing time for us. It is a sign the gathering is officially over. The medals were given out to the winners of the clan Olympics and ribbons were given to the artists. We were reminded to prereg for next year before they gave us the official farewell.

After it ended I pre-regged on Chris's laptop. It's been a whole year since I used a laptop, but I eventually figured it out.

After pre-regging I went to exchange some more American cash for Canadian and returned to the art room to see if I won the art I bid on. I did! I won the lovely ink drawing of Demona by Karine and a beautiful marker picture of the trio and Puck riding a shopping cart by Eden.

With my newly acquired art safely placed in Revel and my hotel room I took a small nap while Revel paid for his meal and repaid the rest I owed Chris. After snoozing for a couple of hours Revel and I went to look for people to hang out with before we searched for food. Couldn't find anyone.

We decided to find a Subway and walked along ways to find one. I ordered my favorite combo: Teriyaki chicken with a diet Pepsi and baked lays. We returned to our room and ate while leaving the TV on for background noise. We also watched an episode of South Park and King of the Hill…the voices were waaaaaay off.

Next Up Monday: Theme park day.

Greg responds...

Winding down, are we?

Response recorded on June 08, 2006

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Ellen writes...



Sunday morning brought with it the luxury of sleeping in till 8:30, as opposed to 8:00. Good thing, too; at this point, I needed that extra half hour to prepare for the day. I got to the mezzanine in time to get a couple of authors' signatures in my anthology, then repaired to Allaine's adult round robin. Maybe it was because I knew what to expect, maybe it was because we were all in the same boat of abject exhaustion, but this time around it didn't seem as difficult as the first time, last year in New York. (That happened to be the greatest challenge of my entire writing career, such as it is. There's something about composing prose on the fly, without seeing it or being able to revise it, that frightens me.)

We moved the story along tastefully and seductively, and ended with a neat cliffhanger that we decided would make for an ideal complete-the-story challenge for the sorely-missed Mooncat's Gargoyles X forum. Allaine wrapped up the session by reading aloud a little tale he graciously penned at my urging earlier this year, an account of a sudden-death playoff hole at the British Open golf tournament between Hudson and (if I recall correctly) a "Kim Possible" character named Duff Killigan. Many of you know that Allaine can pen dramatic dialogue with the best of them, but how many of you are aware of his talent at *humorous* dialogue? I laughed so hard I had to wipe tears from my eyes.

I decided then that I needed sustenance to remain vertical for the next few hours, and was happy to find that Kathy and Princess were willing to accompany me upstairs for brunch at Tour de la Ville. We found lovely things to eat and once again had a very enjoyable conversation, with me often gazing glassy-eyed at the handsome city outside as the view gradually rotated around us.

When we went back downstairs, I was dismayed to find that I had missed a substantial portion of the anthology-signing session. However, in retrospect, I would have been far less functional if I hadn't taken time out and eaten something -- again, those trade-offs. Upon joining the group, Christine immediately presented me with a stack of books that I gratefully signed. Just the idea of scrawling my signature upon a story of mine in print, even on as amateur a basis as this, boggled my mind.

As our book-signing wrapped up, Keith David began a question-and-answer session in the same room, in the area where we seated. As he had the previous night, he enthusiastically answered our questions and generously regaled us with tales about his work, and all present listened in rapt attention.

After a while, Karine quietly came up behind us and had us sign, one by one, a copy of the anthology to present to him. "What a nice idea," I thought. As I accepted the book from her and began to open it to my story, I was struck by the irony that I should be signing an autograph for Keith David, as opposed to the other way around.

And then I looked down at the title page of my story, and it hit me: Not only was I signing an autograph for him, I was signing it to a story I had written *entirely from his character's point of view.* From a purely creative standpoint, this was more than big. This was definitive. My story would be read by one of the *co-creators* of this character we know as Goliath.

My hands started trembling.

I took a deep, calming breath, and commenced writing. "Mr. David," I inscribed, "this one's for you. I hope I got it right." I signed my name, handed the book back to Karine, and simply sat, silent and outwardly calm, waiting for the feeling to return to my extremities.

The closing ceremonies had a relaxed feel to them, with the con staff clearly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and all of us running on empty rest-wise. Mr. David reiterated his intention to attend the next Gathering in Las Vegas, delighting all present. The con staff got nowhere near the applause they deserved (but then, this would have been impossible under any circumstances), and the proceedings wound down in a relatively low-key manner.

I had to bid farewell to Dylan and Stormy at this point, unfortunately. The time with them went entirely too fast.

My two objectives now were to preregister for Las Vegas and to obtain an autograph from Mr. David, who remained his amazingly personable self as he patiently and jovially signed pictures, programs, books, and whatever else we fans scrounged up. He had smiles for everyone.

I had brought with me a black-and-white press-kit sketch of Goliath for him to sign, then it occurred to me: What was there of mine for him to sign, really, but my anthology story? When my turn came, I recounted my earlier experience of signing my autograph to this story in his copy, and his reassurance in reply convinced me that I had nothing to fear from his judgment. Leo was kind enough to take a picture of the both of us. It turned out great.

Once I had preregistered, Allaine, Princess, Leo, Alex Garg, Kelly, and I headed over to the train station for some supper. It was nearby, sure to be open, and relatively inexpensive, but I regret not returning to Movenpick, where the food was far superior. This was negligible, however, in light of the pleasant company. We had some passable sustenance and good conversation. Then Leo, Alex Garg, and Kelly obliged me not only by waiting patiently for me while I changed into my walking shoes back at the hotel, but by letting me haul them up to the top of Mount Royal. I knew *I'd* enjoy the view, but would *they* consider it worth the trek (some of it on rather sketchy trails through the woods necessitated by the reconstruction of the steps to the top)?

They insisted that they did, and the exclamations I heard from them when they first beheld the panorama of the St. Lawrence River Valley made me believe they were being honest.

We enjoyed the view of night settling upon the city, then started downward. We took the long way this time, walking down the dark but wide main path. I took my companions on a shortcut through the McGill campus, then was indulged by them further when they allowed me to buy them a round at one of my old student haunts, an Irish pub farther down University, on our way back to the hotel. Through sheer dumb luck, this little detour delayed us just long enough to enter the hotel lobby about two minutes after my husband did. I made introductions, then bade goodnight and farewell to my fellow hikers.

I took the husband upstairs so that he could drop off his bag, then accompanied him back down for a tall cold one. While we were in the bar, we were joined by a small group that included Princess, Kathy, and Chyna Rose. We enjoyed a conversation that involved immersing my hapless better half in the wonderful world of Gargs fandom in general, and Garg fanfic writerhood in particular. He did fine -- if he was scared, he didn't let it show.

We stayed up well past our bedtimes once more, then shuffled upstairs and collapsed.


The following morning, we slept late, and it felt simply grand. Through confusion and missed communication, however, we failed to join Kathy, Mandi, and Princess for breakfast. I met up with them later for long enough to apologize to them, and then Kenn and I were off to walk the streets of Montreal.

The weather was perfect that day, and I amused Kenn by saying over and over, "I can't believe that I don't have to *be* somewhere in five minutes!" He had (quite accurately) described me as being in "college final-exam all-nighter No-Doz mode" when he met up with me on Sunday night, so this opportunity to wind down was welcomed by both of us. We strolled up St.-Laurent north of Sherbrooke, looped back down St.-Denis a little ways, stopped at Schwartz's for smoked meat, wandered back downtown, and found a lovely little sidewalk café on McGill College. We sat, enjoying the weather, the scenery, the rush of people around us, and the fact that we weren't among them. It was at this point that I felt truly unplugged from the glorious but frenetic Gathering scene.


Highlights from then on would be of little interest to those reading this account, but they included, in chronological order:

-- Dinner at Gibby's in Old Montreal on Monday night

-- A visit to the Museum of Fine Arts on Tuesday afternoon

-- Dinner with a good friend Tuesday night (the one, ironically enough, responsible for the humorous anecdote with which I regaled Maestro David in the bar)

-- A visit to the basilica of Notre Dame de Montreal on Wednesday

-- A visit to the Montreal history museum in the old city

-- A one-night delay in getting back home, thanks to the hurricanes and what-not obliterating flight schedules up and down the East Coast.

One last Gathering-related anecdote: On Wednesday as we were checking out, we ran into Keith David once more, in the hotel lobby. I introduced him to my husband with the line, "Kenn, this is Goliath," which elicited chuckles all around. Mr. David mentioned that he had begun to read the anthology, and that he was impressed with the quality of the writing and artwork featured in the book. (He mentioned that he was just about to read my story. From this I surmised that he'd read Dylan's by that time, and evidently -- and not at all surprisingly -- liked it.)

When we were finally airborne Thursday morning, I mentioned to Kenn that I was having to put some thought into how I'd respond to the people back home who'd ask me, simply, "How was your trip?" I decided that the most accurate answer to that question would be, "It was an alternate universe." And I have the con staff and my fellow writers and Garg fans, as well as Greg Weisman and Keith David, to thank for that. You folks are something else.

See you in Vegas!

Greg responds...

Hey, give yourself credit too. You made the effort. You came, so you get to see and conquer. Showing up is more than half the battle.

So all of you... it's NOT TOO LATE...

Come to the TENTH ANNUAL GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES in Southern Cal. June 23-26.

For more information, check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com

Response recorded on June 02, 2006

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MooncatX writes...


Firstly, I have been to previous Gatherings (VA and NY) but wasn't able to attend the Gathering this year in Montreal. Of course I wanted to, because the Gathering is really a wonderful experience for anyone in the Gargoyles fandom. All the ones I've attended have been warmer, friendlier, more fun than anyone could hope for. It's like the ultimate family reunion where you all have these great common interests and are all so happy to get together and have a good time and enjoy the company of people you only get to meet up with in real life at these special Gatherings.

It's not just your fellow fans who are warm and accessible, but the industry people, like Greg Weisman, who is so friendly and outgoing and willing to share his personal thoughts and good humor, that the experience of a Gathering is extra special and memorable.

In any case, I would have loved to have gone, but unexpected family and financial emergencies kept me at homebound for this year. But even though I was many miles away, in Kansas, I didn't feel forgotten or left out. Special friends of mine in the fandom, people I've only met in the flesh at previous Gatherings, were doing their best to catch and save a bit of the event to send to me in a WONDERFUL package I got just the other day. So a most special THANK YOU to Allaine, Princess Alexandria, Seri Wavelength, who called me from the Gathering itself in Montreal to give me updates on everything going on at the convention, and super special thanks to Allaine who went above and beyond the call of friendship to audio tape portions of the convention for me, the round robins and the mug-a-guests and the opening and closing ceremoies... All of which I'm listening to with a very loved feeling and happy heart. I couldn't go to the Gathering, but my friends managed to send a bit of it to me *^_^*

Along with these great tapes, Seri sent me a wonderful piece of art from the convention, whee!!!, I got one of the Gathering schedule booklets which is just grrreat! And most wonderfully Allaine picked up my copy of the Phoenix Gate Anthology and got it signed by everyone there who participated in the book. Which by the way, I've read most of now and it is TOTALLY KICK ASS!!! Art to die for, and some of the best writing I've seen fan or pro, and all terribly enjoyable. If anyone hasn't gotten a copy yet, see if you can because it's so worth it =D

Besides the much appreciated care package, other fans have put up picture galleries, vids and audio files that are so fantastic, and help the fans who didn't get to go have virtual peek at the Gathering. And the Journals, the wonderful, wonderful Gathering Journals, which gives even people who were there an even broader knowledge of events and a richer experience. For those of us who didn't get to go, it's pure gold, every journal eagerly sought and devoured.

So, I'd like to give a big THANK YOU for everyone writing a Gathering Journal and posting it, because it's such a neat opportunity for others to experience through you some of the Gathering. It's so very appreciated.

Well, I'm definately going to be going to the Las Vegas Gathering in 2005, barring having an anvil dropped on my head... Already making plans and preparing for the trip, because I don't want to miss another Gathering if I can possibly get there at all. Viva la Gargoyles!


Greg responds...

Ahh Pshaw. We all try to pitch in. Hope to see you next month too. (Man, I'm really tired of being a full two years behind.)

Response recorded on June 02, 2006

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Nezumi writes...

The Gathering is one of the most fun conventions I've ever been to. When David and I showed up Friday morning, there was none of that awkwardness that I've felt at other cons. People I'd never seen before online or off invited us to join in their conversations right from the moment we showed up. I never had a chance to be shy.

We disappeared into the dealer's room to set my stuff up for the art show for about an hour. While we were there, Maui showed up to ask people to join the Clan Olympics. I volunteered myself and the boy, but we didn't know anyone to be the other 2 members of the team. Maui solved that problem by giving us to another pair of homeless players. This turned out to be the best thing to happen at the con. I love my clan. We met Reusch and Top Man for the first time that morning. By the end of lunch you couldn't tell that we hadn't been friends for years. And the woman at McDonald's was our arch nemesis. I still wish Reusch had actually tried to eat that salad with the plastic knife or maybe even both forks. We went to some different panels, but our team spent most of the weekend together.

David and I had a blast at the Life Drawing panel. It was very relaxed and there was a lot of fun conversation going on. At least until the TV crew showed up because that's when the reclusive artist instincts seemed to kick in for all of us. If you keep quiet and don't look up, nobody will notice you ^_~ I'm only sorry that we had to miss the second session because of the Hunter's Moon Dash part of the Olympics.

The cosplay was great. There were such cool costumes! The Bronx was my favorite and all because of that little waggly stump of tail on her costume. I went as Anastasia Renard… but nobody noticed. It's not exactly a costume that stands out as one. And really, of everyone at the con only David would know how strange it is for me to be in a dress. I'm glad I dressed up anyway. It was fun ^_^

Greg responds...

Glad you both had a good time. See you next month?

Response recorded on May 31, 2006

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Spacebabie writes...

Saturday Aug 7

Woke up and washed and dried my hair. I decided to wear my Pirates of the Caribbean shirt. I joined Ellen in the restaurant downstairs and ordered pancakes and a cup of coffee. They placed a variety of fruit on my pancakes including kiwi. The two of us went over our panel notes while we ate.

Christine and our audience were already waiting for us. We assembled at the table and the panel began. We want through various examples and brought up several movies that highlighted our examples before we asked questions.

After the panel I went into the art and dealers room. I voted on the various subjects and bid on a couple of pieces. I went to Alan's table and bout a G200f shirt, pin and Phoenix Gate Anthology.

Next thing I went to was the auction. It was fairly entertaining despite the lack of stripping. One highlight was Siryn chasing after Taras. I managed to win the following: a gargoyles binder, a coloring book, and three action figures: Xanatos, Elisa, and Brooklyn aka No Neck

I had enough time to put away my stuff and come back for the Radio play. Mara sat next to me and I had something to drink and a bag of Crispy Minis to snack on. There was a huge cast this year. The play was the Journey. Michael McAdam was an excellent Vinnie. Revel sounded a whole lot like Broadway. Jen and Ethan played off each other well and so did Chris and Cindy. They earned that huge applause. When Dylan (As Brooklyn) read out his line at the end of the Broadway and Angela kiss there were a few sympathetic awwws. Zehra was an amazing Elisa and Rob made a sessy Goliath. Emambu as Castaway was breathtaking. At end a few audience members wanted to sign up as Quarrymen because of Erik's performance.

Revel:" I told you she would love it." Revel to Erik about his performance. I was the She since I have the same feelings for Jon/Canmore/Castaway as Siryn does for Vinnie. It's scary, I know.

The lighting in the room for the banquet was pretty dim and the candles did not help. It was almost as dark as the banquet from 2000. Revel and I sat at a table with Seri, Chynarose, Kathy, Yrrgdrsl and I think Mandi

The banquet was amazing. We had tasty rye rolls with butter and some water to munch on before the appetizer. I loved the menus and placed mine in my bag to keep as a souvenir. The appetizer was interesting. It almost looked like a work of art and wondered how I was supposed to eat it. I took a picture of it because it was so pretty. I managed to nibble around the edges, eating the large shrimp and the olive before I dove into the shrimp and avocado sauce. I'm a shrimp whore. The salad was good and I loved the dressing. The main course was pleasing to all of my senses except for hearing. I can't remember the last time I had quail. It was hard eating the legs but I managed the veggies. The veggies were good and I loved the round potatoes served in a tortilla shell. The dessert was a perfect finish. I had the fruit charlotte with strawberry coulise. Hmmm it was like a tiramisu.

As were eating our desserts Keith David arrived. The poor guy barely sat down to eat when we began to fire questions.
That was when it started. We were trying to have a Q and A when they decided to strangle cats next store. That was when it sounded like when the group next door made their tragic attempt at Karaoke. I know I can't sing, but these people made could make me sound like Amy Lee from Evanescence.

"Could someone please shoot that horse?"- Keith David

Revel and I left around 8: 15, giving us 45 minutes to change for the Masquerade. Revel draped himself in a towel and sat in the tub while I sprayed in the dye. I used the white for the streak followed by the black on the sides.

I quickly slipped into my outfit: white skirt, peach colored shirt, and a white button up blouse to use as a nurses jacket. I attached the badge on my blouse and slapped band-aids on my heels (to prevent blisters) before I slipped on my heels. I felt sympathy for Eden, Lynati and everyone who put on body make up and rubbed on body shimmer over my shins, arms and dabbed a little on the apples of my cheeks.

We gathered in the room on the left of the banquet. There were many amazing costumes. There was a Fox and a Xanatos from "Eye of the Beholder". It went well with Jade-Griffin's Elisa as Belle. There was an Elisa and Dracon from "Protection." Becca was an adorable Bronx. There was also an Elisa-goyle, Thailog, Banshee, Renaissance Hunter, Quarryman, and Ekidna. Dancer was a princess and Caille as Argentina.

Sapphire's Cosplay was first and I wish I could have seen it. Dancer was next and then it was my turn. I'm getting used to the masquerades. I didn't feel any bit nervous and actually enjoyed strutting my stuff while Jen shouted, "Work it girl."
I sat next to Dancer and took more pictures of the others as they took their poses. The last was Loopy in his AMAZING gargoyle costume and filked "Rubber ducky" as the gargoyle afraid of heights.

During intermission we all waited outside and took more pictures. I interchanged between cameras in my skirt pockets.
A variety of prizes were given out in the forms of ribbons, medals and trophies. Lynati arrived in her Ophelia costume and holy cow it was cool! I won third place for Noncannon.

After the prizes were given out we started to mingle some more, took some pictures. Sapphire and I got onto the dance floor and danced a little bit before Revel and I returned to our rooms. Revel to slip out of his costume and wash out the dye and me to change into some pants and clean off some of the shimmer.

We returned in time to see Keith David finish singing and Watched Allaine sing. I never expected Allaine could sing so well. A pity we missed Erik's singing. I sat next to Mara and I was already feeling my energy had been used up for the day. When the YMCA dancers gathered both Mara and I just placed foot on the floor and tapped along with the music.

"Young man, something, something, something."

Next up Sunday.

Greg responds...

I'll admit I'm running out of pithy responses to the G-diaries, but I still love reading 'em.

Response recorded on May 30, 2006

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Spacebabie writes...

Friday August 6
I forgot what time I woke up but we had a few hours till registration opened. Showered and selected my Ravenclaw shirt and khaki pants to wear. After I exchanged some American for Canadian money Revel and I went to search for food. We found a nice lil café. I had a muffin and a bagel with some coffee.

When we returned to the hotel we ran into Cindy aka Eden, Patrick and a handful of fandom artists. They needed a few hands. We first came in with panel boards followed by the poles. Assembling the poles reminded me of a giant Kinex set.

Several people were gathered around the registration tables and I noticed some familiar faces including Chyna-rose, Seri-wavelength, Allaine, Ellen, and Dylan and many more. I was reintroduced to Dylan's fiancée" Stormy", and Chameleon girl. It was great getting reacquainted with everyone I have talked with via e-mail, message boards, chat rooms and instant messengers.

I was pretty amazed with the program. They were beautifully done and well organized. I noticed my panel was bumped up to noon, giving me a few minutes to glance over some off the program.

I noticed the candies they had set up for the panel table. I had a good number of attendants. The whole panel got turned into a running gag about Macbeth and his dinghy.

Shortly after I glanced back into the dealers room and bought a few books from Tim Morgan. Christine was there to sing them including the gift for my father. I came across Karine in the room. She asked how my panel went and I told her it was great and I apologized about not finding any Shock Tarts for her. She was able to find some in Montreal.

The Next panel I attended was Greg's voice acting seminar. That was when the DVD camera crew arrived. Greg was instructing the crowd how to voice act and asked CrzyDemona's help to read for Demona. She did that too well. He gave the script to Seri and he gave a few pointers after she read. The other scenes performed were form M.I.A and Awakening pt1. Greg even told a story about Carol Channing and a chiffon blouse.

Afterwards it was Eden's costume panel. I learned how to take care of wigs: create wings, tales and brow ridges. I also learned two good kinds of body paint to use.

I was starving afterwards. Revel ad I walked uphill to find a place for food. We found a McDonalds and to my disappointment a quarter ponder with cheese is not a Royal with Cheese. It was still food and the fries were a bit salty but it was good to have something to nibble on during opening ceremonies.

The welcoming pitches were excellent and for the 2005 pitch Chris looked sharp in his suit. The clan Olympics took everyone by Surprise but they were fun to watch. It is always great to see the newbies and the spin off pitches again.

The evening ended with "The not quite so blue" Mug a guest. It was hard to squeeze all who wanted to come on the room, but we managed. The highlights that were included were:
Several details about the DVD.
The fact "Angels in the Night" could have been much worse.
CrzyJen making fun of Erik's soup.
Greg making fun of Liz falling asleep.
Siryn crawling under my legs to get under the table.
My own legs falling asleep.

I had to leave early to get a good night's sleep to prepare for the next day.

Next up Saturday

Greg responds...

Christine SINGS her books? I had no idea. How cool!

Response recorded on May 26, 2006

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Abram WinterSmith writes...

Here is that last chunk of it...sorry about that.

Everyone who approached me to sign their Phoenix Gate Anthology, thank you for giving me the privilege of scrawling my name and heartfelt thanks in there. Writing for that book was a big step for me, and to know that there are people out there who are enjoying that story is enough to keep me inspired, and to continue plugging away at something deep down inside I truly love. To Cindy for encouraging me to gather up the courage to write that story, and to Christine Morgan, who helped me refine it.

To Kythera, thank you for giving me something of your heart, I consider that a privilege and a wonderful distinction. Love you much, sis.

To Greg Weisman and Keith David. Thank you both for making the trek to Montreal to attend this year's Gathering. Greg, I don't usually get a chance to speak with you all that much, but when I do it's fascinating, entertaining, and thoughtful. You're a great gentleman, and it just wouldn't be the same without you. Keith, it was pleasure to see you again, and a great honor to meet your family. After seven years, despite the changes in your life, both personal and professional, you've remained the same down-to-earth, wonderful human being (or gargoyle) that I met back in 1997. Bless you both.

Last and not least, to everyone who came to the Gathering, to each and every one of you whom I've had the pleasure and joy to meet and speak with. It's a moving feeling to know that one is welcomed somewhere, and despite the dark hours, one is truly never really alone. Thank you for your companionship, kind words, cheers, jeers, and laughter.

Now THAT'S it…nothing left to say except for:


Scott "Abram" Rogoff

Greg responds...

Thank you, Abram. See you soon!

Response recorded on May 25, 2006

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Abram WinterSmith writes...

Greg, you asked for a Gathering 2004 Journal. Here is my contribution:

The 8th Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles
A Convention Journal by Scott "Abram" Rogoff

This is the fifth Gathering convention that I have had the pleasure and privilege of attending, so I figured it was about time to start the tradition of writing a Gathering Journal. I'm not entirely sure why I decided that this was the right time to do it…being someone who is somewhat good with the written word, it would make sense to write something about a convention that I've grown incredibly fond of. Add this notion to the fact that I've been regularly updating a LiveJournal for over two and a half years and it's pretty much a no-brainer at this point. I know that I've got a lot of mental notes of the other four Gatherings that I've attended in 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2002, but I will wait just a little while longer to write about those. The matter at hand (or talon in this case?) is to relate what happened in the most recent past. Sit back, and enjoy the read…I hope this proves to entertaining.

"Hey! You Could Fly Over Here and We Can Drive Up!"

I met Shaun "BrooklynX" Donagher at the 2000 Gathering, but for the life of me I couldn't remember what he looked like until this weekend. I think I ran into him in Sapphire's Raptor Chat and we began to talk in there, and then over AIM, and eventually we added each other to our LiveJournal Voyeur's lists. Being writers, we both seemed to be full of all sorts of zany and cool ideas, which culminated in the creation of several storylines, though I'm not sure if any of them will make it to a more public forum. We've been having fun with it, and exchange the frequent smart-assed remarks back and forth…this sort of behavior often marks the start of a good friendship.
We were talking about the 2004 Gathering and discussing matters such as rooming and transportation. Originally neither of us had any room mates picked out, but we both needed to find one in order to make the hotel price a bit more on the reasonable side…so we decided to room together. (Flanker and Mike would later join the mix). I figured Shaun already had his plane ticket to Montreal already purchased, but he then mentioned to me that he hadn't…so drawing from my innate like of road trips, I offered to drive him up to the Gathering if he flew into Rochester. The move would actually save him over a hundred dollars, and it would be a lot of fun too. So before I knew it, I had a travel buddy. So already this was going to be fun trip, and it was going to start a little earlier than the Gathering.
At this time Siryn was still in Rochester and I think I extended the offer to her to drive up with Shaun and myself, and then I found out she was moving away from the area. However, she did offer to get me in contact with Sarah McEvoy…AKA "Sarah the Great". After spending five days traveling and hanging out with her, I know she's fitting of the namesake; a wonderful and funny person she is, and a great travel buddy as well. We spent some time making phone calls to one another and planning things, and before we knew it, everything was set up…our Journey to and from The 8th Annual Gathering was to begin on the 4th….

Wednesday, August 4th - Yes, It Started THAT Early…

It's funny how at the Gathering and the events leading up to it I'm suddenly willing to wake up extremely early to get things done. When the alarm clock buzzed at 6:30am I practically jumped out of bed, full of energy. Shaun's flight was to arrive around 10:40 and there was no way that I was going to be late to pick him up. I quickly prepared a sizable cue card and wrote "SHAUN PUP" in big green and silver letters, a very quick job, but it was quite noticeable. A few businessmen gave me a few funny looks and an older woman asked me if my dog could actually read signs. I shrugged and told her he was a German Shepard, so he damn well better be able to read. She made a funny noise and walked away, about ten minutes before Shaun actually came walking up the ramp, I knew him from the Weird Al shirt. Leaving the sign behind we started on the pre-Gathering preparations: The procurement of chocolate and Pocky.
We headed to the Asian Food Store in Henrietta and grabbed about five boxes of Pocky, and a bottle of ginger dressing that Liz requested, the keepers of the store asked us what we were going to do with all that stuff and we mentioned the Gargoyles Convention…they were pretty keen on that. Next was to Godiva Chocolateer to pick up the order I placed with them…some 75 bars of their chocolate on sale, all varieties…sadly only one white chocolate bar left in the entire store, but milk, dark, raspberry, and almond bars filled the order out nicely; they would do for the little surprise I had planned for the Convention Staff…anybody who is reading this knows full well how evil I am.
Mwu. Ha. Ha.
It was about 3pm by the time Shaun and I got back to my place, and he was pretty exhausted, I was beginning to feel tired too, so we chilled out a bit. He had picked up Doom 3 at Best Buy on our way home so he was busy installing that, and I went out to go get some preparation stuff for dinner. Sarah the Great arrived shortly after that, and we got to meet each other for the first time…again. She presented me with a bottle of raspberry wine, which was very sweet of her. We woke up Shaun and we got to catch up with one another, we talked a lot about politics, some Gargoyles stuff, and basically got all bouncy about the convention. Dinner was good save for the sudden attack by a juice-spitting hamburger as I was grilling it, but the clothes got washed and everything was fine after that. We kept on talking until a little before sundown and then grabbed some Seneca Farms Ice Cream for dessert. Anyone who visits my place during the Summer will almost certainly wind up coming to Seneca Farms either for ice cream, fried chicken, or both.
After some more talking, Shaun decided to offer up a movie, and we all watched "Hellboy", which was cool for the visual effects, a little thin on story, but still a good film…I'm going to see it again with Leva, and I'm still looking forward to it. Funny how it took a Gathering to finally get me to hook up my DVD Player. ;) We then went to pack the car, having decided to take just my Neon….at first it seemed like a bad idea, but we fit all of my stuff, all of Sarah's stuff, Shaun's equipment and prints, and the Clan Olympics crap into the thing, and still had room for ourselves. HUZZAH! We all then headed to bed, for we knew we were going to have one heck of a day ahead of us.

Thursday, August 5th - I Wanted to be on the Metric Clock: 100 Hours a Day…

Waking up at 7:30am, we all headed down to have some breakfast and get our final trip preparations set up. Sarah took the front seat, she was going to be my navigator because of her fondness for maps, of which I had absolutely no argument against. Shaun took the seat behind and was…Color Commentary…because all road trips need one of those. Before we knew it, I had burned a bagel, Sarah had the trip planned and I was ready to start driving. We were OFF TO CANADA!
Trip went extremely quickly, we got to the New York State Thruway and covered the first 70 miles or so in a little over an hour before hitting Route 81 North right up to the Canadian Border…but we needed to stop at the Duty-Free Shop for the obligatory alcohol purchase. About the only time I will purchase hard liquor freely is when it's not taxed, and I found some Godiva White Chocolate Liquor…HAD to pick up a bottle of that stuff, but decided at the last minute to put it toward The Evil Plan. We each picked up a bottle of booze, Shaun picked up one for Karine, and Sarah grabbed some for herself. Always a nice way to shop, beats the local liquor store.
Customs was pretty routine, but I was nervous. After all, I hadn't been to Canada in four and a half years. I knew I had to have a passport now, and had that out of the way. After the questions were answered, the Canadian Border Patrolwoman told me I should sign my passport before going back to the United States so I wouldn't get into any trouble. We're pulling away and out of the blue I half-yell "Suckers!", not knowing that Shaun had not yet rolled up his window. Luckily, no flashing lights or sirens were following the car, so I think the little faux pas went unnoticed, though we all shared a pretty good laugh over it and then pulled into a Service Centre for a Wendy's run…I did some Instant Lottery and found out that the terminals play a jingle when you cash in a winner. I already knew I was going to play, since going to the Casino Montreal was more than likely not going to happen. Besides, I put a sum of money aside just to play with my Latex Fixation (one of these days, this may lead to pointy ears, gargoyle feet, and other stuff that may lead to a costume…).
We arrived on the outskirts of Montreal around 2:30pm or so, and we began to search for the Hotel. Shaun pointed vaguely in the direction of the Live Meet Location, so that was cool. After passing that we began to get into the more stop-and-go traffic of Montreal heading toward Center-Ville. After overshooting the hotel by about ten minutes we backtracked and made it to the Delta Center-Ville, our home for the next five days and four nights…in a real nice section of downtown Montreal. It was weird to finally be back to this city after four and a half years. From 1997 to about 2000 I would visit Karine, Genvieve, and that whole crew on a pretty regular basis, usually during the Spring. I remembered Rue University, old Montreal (which I regrettably didn't get to see much of this time), and LaRounde. This was the first time that I was going to stay at a hotel and enjoy the hospitality of Montreal, and after the four nights were up, I can say that it was one of the best hotels I've had the pleasure of staying in.
Shaun and I checked in, and we ran into Cindy, Talyesin, Karine, Karlyl, Sapphire, and a few others over that afternoon. Finally got to meet Kaylee too, which was very cool; always a wonderful feeling to put a face and voice behind the online persona. Old favorites soon followed up, like Crzy Demona, Siryn, and Liz. Gatherings are like family reunions in a way, only you don't necessarily want to kill the people you're meeting, and your cheeks don't get pinched nearly as much, if at all. The convention staff all went their ways to get things prepared, and I went up to the 14th floor to claim my bed…and shortly afterward met John Clemens, AKA "Flanker", he and I hit it off right away and I spent a lot of time just hanging out with him over the four days up there.
Since I brought my Gamecube up, as per the plan with Sapphire, I decided to hook it up and practice (if Liz was a good as she said she was, I would need it!)…and it was one of THOSE television sets…the ones where you couldn't hook up a game system without a special plug. No problem, went up the mall on St. Catherine's and got one at Radio Shack, also had a late lunch with Flanker as well. Subway is good in any country. We walked around, got used to the uphill/downhill trekking, and made it back to the hotel. The 'Cube began to work, and I enjoyed some MarioKart for a little bit before wandering around and exploring the hotel some more.
Sarah the Great joined Flanker and I as we began to explore Montreal some more and we wandered about into old Montreal, which was just as pretty as I remembered it. We caught a few of the sights, contemplated dinner at one of the fine restaurants, but decided against it, and just wandered around some more until we hit the fine cuisine of Tim Hortons, a place which I will probably go out of my way to eat at from now on. The three of us discussed a few topics, mainly politics and the state of affairs in the United States, Bush Worries, and other things. Three Gargoyles Fans and not a bit of discussion on gargoyles, go figure, but it was a liberating experience to be able to talk current events without getting my head bitten off for saying the "wrong thing". Good food, great friends, and awesome conversation…who could ask for more?
We all headed back to the hotel afterwards, and I caught up with Wingless, Seth Jackson, Kyt-Sis, Norcumi, Gorebash, and a few others (if I forgot your names, I'm sorry, there was just so many of you!). Found out that Kyt was rooming right next to me, so she and I went back up to my room and I presented her with the copy of "Final Fantasy: Origins" I was hoarding, and the hint book that went with it. It was worth seeing the look on her face. She and I talked for a bit, and then we headed back down to do some more catching up. Seth and I talked video games, Wingless and I spoke a bit, but I mostly just basked in the happiness of seeing old friends, and being in the company of new ones.
MAui, Arno, and Dubble all came by shortly afterwards, and shortly after, MAui and I began to plot and plan for the first Clan Olympics event; as in how we wanted to pull it off and get it done. We also brainstormed on just what in the Hell the event "A Shot in the Dark" would entail. As we plotted in the hotel lobby, I believe Jade Griffon ran up to me and gave me a hug, we spoke briefly then and there too…and Gorebash and I caught up a little. By this time, I was going into sensory overload, but in an extremely happy way. Eventually, MAui and I went back to my room and I showed off my work on the Clan Olympics, and she showed me the cards she worked on…everything looked awesome: so well-done and professional-looking. She really outdid herself on that, and I think her efforts really made this year's competition special.
At this point, I remembered that our 4th Roomie, Mike Cohen, was probably downstairs in the hotel lobby, probably about ready to lynch me. I made it down to the lobby and began looking for anyone with an orange shirt…and lucked out, for Mike was the only one dressed in orange. I led him back up to the room, helped get him settled in and then went back to planning and plotting with MAui until we both got tired. Shaun Pup eventually came back from the Con Staff dinner with Greg Weisman, and we settled down for bed, knowing that at about eight thirty in the morning, we would be all out and about.

Friday, August 6th - We Have Infiltrated…

MAui and I woke up early to walk up to St. Catherine's and search for Cheap Plastic Award Medals…a mission that ended in failure, but it gave us plenty of exercise. We walked around the Eaton Centre and searched through those teeny bopper shops, but nothing really jumped out at us. Oh well, one would figure that this being an Olympic year in general they would be easier to find. Note to self: buy them in bulk…
Since we only got one team to pre-register for the Clan Olympics, we decided a few days before the convention, along with Liz, to set up a table for prospective teams. I sent out Sarah the Great to cull the Gathering Attendees and find some suitable quartets. It didn't take long before the first of seven teams to register, and the mix was very impressive; the 2005 Gathering Staff put up a team, a few teams of Con Virgins, and the Arcadians all put up their bids for the cheap non-metal medals this year. I brought out "Billy" for the first time (he's that ridiculous-looking grinning kid, he probably weaseled his way into a bunch of photos…). We had a full compliment of teams by about 3pm or so, which made me a very relieved man. Also over this time I got to talk a little more with Talyesin and enjoyed speaking with him. Tried badgering CrzyDemona into putting up a Clan Olympics team this year, but she turned me down, and also chatted with people in general, which is always a fun thing to do at a Gathering.
In the middle of all of this, and preparing for a couple of the games, I heard a guy ask what this was all about, and wound up face to face with one of the Disney DVD Cameramen. Brain goes on automatic and I just start calmly stating how the Clan Olympics started, what they were all about, and how it all worked…and blabbered about how good the fandom was in general, being so tightly-knit and all. Honestly, I haven't the slightest clue if I actually sounded decent or wound up being a bloated moronic ass about the whole thing. It seemed to last much longer than it did, mainly because of being nervous as Hell...after all, when one could potentially be speaking in front of thousands of people who buy the DVD on December 7th, 2004, one tends to get a bit scared. I can only imagine how Chris Rogers, Hudson, Karine, and anyone else who got interviewed would feel. But what are you going to do, run away? Become silent? Nah, just say what's on your mind and let the viewers in on the fun, and who knows…maybe we'll get a bunch more people in on the Gatherings in the coming years.
Around 5pm or so I manage to track down MAui and we decide to finally look at the room where the Opening Ceremonies are…and that's when everything began to sink in, we were going to steal the show in the middle of everything. Now I know Liz, Anne, and I all planned this ahead of time, and the staff also knew what we were up to. However, as the two of us worked on walking to the sides of the dais in unison and then went through our cue cards, I had one overriding thought going through my head: "They are SO going to kick our ass about this!" When you plan on flinging some 400 balls around a room in front of a live audience and in front of the people hosting the convention you're attending, there was call to be nervous. In about thirty minutes, we both felt somewhat comfortable with what we were doing. Even if we weren't, it was way too late to back out now.
I run up to grab the ball pit, MAui grabs the sunglasses, and we take our seats at the back of the room, and when Liz spoke the pre-determined trigger words, we slowly walked up, circular cue cards in hand, and just lurked on either side of the dais table. We take one look at one another, give the thumbs up sign like a pair of blues brother-and-sister, with some Matrix-like flair, and we hold up the first cards…and then drop them to reveal our first words. I didn't expect the crowd to react like they did, but they genuinely seemed to like what we did.
I introduced the teams for the Clan Olympics, and they all came on up, cheered, and whooped it up. Then many of them went into semi-shock when we announced that the first event would be RIGHT NOW. MAui grabbed the Holey Shirts, and I wheeled the balls to the center back, and before long, everyone was psyched up to do the event, and the crowd got to see first hand what this was all about. In two minutes it was over, and we were counting things, determining the first team to be on the chopping block. We took our "victims" out of the room and said "we now return you to your regularly-scheduled Opening Ceremonies…" I think the audience and staff really liked it…and then our first eliminated team began to smile when MAui and I let them in on the secret that they would be able to come back as "Spirits" and haunt the surviving teams.
After briefing the Dark Knights about their new role, I went back into the Opening Ceremonies and watched Greg Weisman speak about the whole Gargoyles phenomenon and he shared with us the original pitches for the show, pitches for some other shows, and audio tapes of Ed Asner, Greg Guler, and a few others. Another treat was an audio tape of the Atlantis series, which had Demona in it…and for some strange reason it sounded a lot like an erotic fantasy…but then again I think my mind was in the gutter…as were others. At the end of the presentation, the message was pretty clear: tell friends about Gargoyles, let them, know that the DVD comes out on December 7th, and that this is the last chance to push it…make or break time. The Opening Ceremonies concluded and MAui and I presented Greg with eight bars of Godiva Chocolate, since no team won that prize, and there was more than enough to go around.
I flitted about with the convention goers for another hour and a half or so, met a lot more people and was able to pal around some more before needing to pick up everything for the second Clan Olympics event. I managed to sneak in on the tail end of Jade Griffin's "Mystery Gargoyles Theatre 3000", an event which I wish I had attended because I LOVE that sort of thing. However, there was more work to do…fun work mind you, but still work. Got about half of the ballroom cleared out and set up our "Shot in the Dark" shooting gallery. The first quartet of Spirits made their way into the darkened room, grinning evilly, and were anxiously awaiting their first opportunity to mess with Clan Challanged: Part Duex…the team that refused to save them from elimination.
The surviving teams found out that the Dark Knights had crossed over to the Dark Side of the games, and were going to be trying to keep them from scoring points. The twist seemed to work quite well for that event, and it was enjoyable. People were throwing Koosh Balls around, the Squishy Soccer Balls saw some action…one guy was whipping them clear across the room and hitting targets…a real deadeye there. In the end everyone seemed to enjoy it, and the Defective Gargoyles got eliminated, Clan Challanged refusing to save anyone again. That's how the cookie crumbles, and they seemed to have some evil plans set up for the next event, which would take place the next morning.
Alright, survived the first day of Gathering, made it through the first two events, and things are going great. Everyone is having a good time, I'm feeling pretty damn good at the moment, and aim to find something to do. Originally wanted to do the Blue Mug-A-Guest, because I never really got a chance to do it before…wasn't going to happen this time around because the room there was PACKED, you couldn't even open the door…I knew this from Shaun, who was sitting propped up against the wall, waiting to deliver a VCR to the con suite. It was right then and there that I realized that I hadn't eaten a damn thing since last night. That was bright….so I'm looking around for people who hadn't gone to sleep or out to see Montreal at night, wind up saying hi to the crew in MAui's room, asked someone to walk with me to Tim Horton's…just didn't comfortable walking alone at night in the city, even one as nice and clean as Montreal…my New York City heritage rearing its ugly head.
Originally, no one was able to join me, so I wandered about, tried the "Liquid Dinner" thing and realized that wasn't going to work all that well…I really needed someone to walk with, and share dinner with. Countess then decided to join me, and I was very grateful for that. Got a chance to get to know someone new, and found out she lives in Montreal, which was good to know. We also talked about my past, explained where I came from, how I got to be, and all that…mainly just rambling, but she either really enjoyed getting to know the man behind Abram, or was just humoring me for the hell of it. In any case, I was appreciative for the company, and we left back for the hotel with much milk in hand, a rarity at most conventions.
Countess went to bed, I wished the Arcadian Room goodnight, and I plodded back up to my room, and ran into Kythera, whom I gave my last chocolate milk to…she's a major fan of the stuff like I am. ^_^ We shared a milk and some tired friendly grunts and words, and then decided to collapse…Shaun was already in bed, and the VCR was in tow. Flanker and Mike soon made their way back and we all finally wound down for some much-needed rest….

Saturday, August 7th - Breakfasts of Champions, Spirits, Pictionary, and Shyness.

At conventions, you don't sleep…it really doesn't matter if you're on the Convention Staff or are a Program Presenter, or if you're new to these get-togethers. Either you have something to do or somewhere to be, or you actually want to be up early to enjoy being with friends for as long as possible. At Gatherings, I'll happily wake up at 8am, or even seven or six in the morning if it meant hanging out with good people. So when that alarm rang I was all ready to go, and had all my stuff ready to go for the next Clan Olympics event.
Ran down to Arcadia Room to grab MAui, who was still asleep, so I simply went ahead to set up for Trivia Torture, the third event for the weekend. The first people who entered the auditorium were the members of the Green Dragons: Sapphire, Chameleongirl, Karlyl, and Kyffin. I don't know what it was, but that really made my morning when they came in and took their seats. Of course I was still setting up, running late like I usually did. MAui soon joined us, and then my co-host and I set everything else up as the other teams filed in for the Trivia Torture, with Billy grinning like a constipated evil genius behind me.
The event was pretty well-received, especially the torture part of it. MAui and I took turns reading the questions and teams scrambled to "Buzz In" by writing their answers on pads and hoisting them into the air as quickly as possible. Bonus cards were picked by teams, who earned points, all while ripping off targets from their opponents. Lanny actually came up and grabbed a pair of cards, which put another member of his team on the chopping block, and then he picked the "Abram 1-up", which put ME on the chopping block with his two hapless teammates. In the end, one of the 2005 Con Staff got her hair colored, Lanny got to enjoy toothpaste with an orange juice chaser, and I discovered the culinary perfection which is Godiva Chocolate dunked in Montreal's Finest Bleu Cheese Dressing. It wasn't all that bad, except for the whole chocolate and salad dressing part…I think there are some blackmail pictures floating around of me with this horrible disgusted look on my face as I choked my punishment down.
We're all having a grand all time, eating toothpaste and orange juice, sucking down Godiva and Bleu Cheese, and spray-painting our hair for a good hour, and it came down to the Green Dragons and Arcadia International. Both teams had a major shot of winning this event until one of the Spirit Teams decided to screw over the Dragons…which didn't sit well with them. (Frankly, I don't blame them). Since I already laid down the ground rules on Friday I really couldn't do much about it without upsetting someone, so like an yutz I let it stand. The last thing I ever want to do is upset people, so seeing the event end on such a sour note made me feel bad…things got smoothed over a bit after a while, and at the very least I know that rules will need to be streamlined a bit better. Live and learn, I suppose. Also have to make it clear that the games are spectator-friendly; people -can- come in and watch the proceedings and root teams on. That was one of my "Stupid Guy Moments."
I spent some time wandering around the convention afterwards, checking out the artwork in the show and looking at the dealer's room booths. Took some time to vote on the art show awards and place my ballots out. A lot of excellent illustrations this year, it was hard to pick winners for all the categories that were given. I did the best I could and went ahead and voted for what I thought deserved it, only way to do it, really. Oogled over Liz's artwork, marveled at Karlyl's, and Jade Griffen's…and Karine's and Talyesin's…so much wonderful work, so little time. Maybe next year, if I keep myself on schedule, I'll have the first of my "Talon-Etched" pots to throw into the mix. However, illustration still remains a medium that I continue to admire, and give praise for where it's deserved…and practically everyone in that show did.
It was about this time that MAui and I walked up to Eaton Centre to try to find those elusive Cheap Plastic Gold Medals, but we merely wound up finding chintzy crap that didn't suit our needs. Kind of sucked, but what can you do? It was a good walk, anyway. MAui went to Tim Horton's, and I went back to the hotel to prepare for the next event, and to regroup a bit.
Really Difficult Pictionary was a hit at the 2002 Convention, and this year I happened to be extra evil and got some true doozies for our surviving teams to sketch out. I think the best score was 4 out of 10, so I felt a little guilty about that, but not too much guilt since everyone had an awesome time. The "Secret Bonus Event" was revealed as a version of the "Three Strikes" game from the Price is Right…and a bit of "Press Your Luck" thrown in for that. I'm a sucker for game show references. In the end, it was Arcadia International, the Mexinadians, Clan Challanged: Part Deux, and Team Canadian Body Massage going to the final four…and they got their Collection Bins to prove it. The Final Four got a chance to decorate their boxes with team logos and pictures. "Poutine Grande" is an image that will be etched into my head for the rest of my life…and one of these days I will serve Poutine in a Taco Shell to Top Man, whom I believe was the person who dreamed up of that monstrosity. Funny thing is, it might actually taste pretty good…stranger culinary feats have occurred, after all.
Robert and Flanker asked if they could do the rest of the Really Difficult Pictionary sets and MAui agreed to it. I busied myself throwing out paper and trash that had been amassed by our drawing antics…when I got back up there they were still at it…and Robert celebrated in his ability to get all ten of his clues in the four-minute time limit. Either a sense of pointless pride or a need to be included overrode me and I stepped up to the drawing board…and also managed to get 10 out of 10, and in slightly less time, proving that I can play the games as well as organize and make them up. There were some 30 or so people in La Terrence playing Pictionary and having a blast, that was the main point of the whole thing, and the spirit of the games definitely seemed to be with us.
Just as we finished cleaning up our mess and putting back huge pads did Talyesin call out and ordered us all to the auditorium for the Radio Play, something I was looking forward to. In 1998, I actually auditioned for Greg's radio play and got a minor role (which eventually led me to find out more about Spike than I bargained for…one of the funnier convention memories I hold, but that's for another Gathering Diary). However, I haven't quite worked up the courage to try out for another one yet, and Clan Olympics takes up a big chunk of my time anyway. One year I may go for another Radio Play role. When I got into the auditorium, I was actually pretty glad I wasn't part of the play, but only for the reason that the entire front area in front of the seats was PACKED.
There were some 30 roles in this year play, and it was based on "The Journey" I believe…everyone did an excellent job, especially Talyesin as Goliath, and the guy who played Vinnie. A lot of other friends were involved, and honestly every last one of them really made it a success. The whole thing kicked major butt, and being a spectator to it was a great break from all of the running around. Already looking forward to what will happen at the next radio play.
I was invited to dinner by the Arcadia Clan…those whom I remember the names to are MAui (of course), Arno, Beedoo!, Dubble, Countess, and Robert, those whose names I don't remember, I'm sorry…but if you tell me, I -will- edit this. ;) We all took the trek to St. Catherine's and eventually found the Hard Rock Café of Montreal…in the middle of an open-air street festival which was rocking and hopping. We all got some inside seats and socialized to the music. I scratched Beedoo!, chatted with Robert, and laughed as Arno suggested a line of T-shirts based on his "Evil Makes Me Sad" T-Shirt (if you haven't seen this shirt, you MUST…it's really adorable!)…stuff like "Evil Makes Me Happy!" and "Evil Makes me Mad!"…then out of nowhere, there was "Evil Makes Me Want to Pee!" which gave most of us some really messed up mental images. We all enjoyed various dinner items, I had the pulled pork sandwich, because I was craving it…and we passed around a napkin cartoon a few times. MAui, Robert, Arno and I exchanged evil genius faces. It was a great dinner with some awesome friends, I just wished I could have shared similar dinners over the other nights, but I tend to forget to eat at Gatherings…
On the way back to the hotel, Robert spotted a Laser Quest arena and had to stop to check rates. He had this really great idea of getting a group of Gargoyles Fans together after closing ceremonies and basically take over the Laser Quest for three games. Hell, I'm all for it…I even played in that very arena waaaay back in April of 1997 with Melissa, Mae Li, Karine, Adrianna, Dark One, and others at the original Montreal Mini-Gathering. I wasn't going to miss this one for the world! We started to plot for that and get the word out that night during the costume ball.
At this point, I went up to my room to start working on part of the surprise I had in store for the Convention Staff…it was hard at first to put words to paper, but I think what I ultimately wrote was honest and heartfelt, but more on that later. Half of the ballroom I spent in the hotel room, struggling to deal with a slight panic attack…I tend to get very shy at times…I can get up and act like a total putz in front of a bunch of people when it needs to be done, like the Clan Olympics, but when I try to do such things for myself, I tend to not be able to…but this time around I was able to spend about half of the time actually wandering around and socializing a bit…especially with Flanker, Gorebash, Arno, and a few others that were in attendance.
Gorebash and I had a very nice conversation; we caught up with one another and told each other what we were up to. He's a guy whom I always considered a good friend, but never got much of a chance to hang out with. Come to think of it, a lot of people I consider friends I don't hang out with much…already working to correct that, bit by bit. One of the things I would love to do in the early fall is get a few Gathering folks together and do a wine tasting and brunch, and maybe even do a Spring Get-Together as well…bring back the Mini-Gatherings…there's no reason to not attempt them, really…and call me overly-nostalgic, I would love to see at least a few people more than just once a year.
During the early part of the ball I got a chance to listen to Keith David sing, and ran into his wife and his kids, but didn't realize it until he/they introduced me. Last time I saw Mr. David was in 1997, where he spoke with Karine and I…another very fond memory. He now has a beautiful family and is such an accomplished actor in many mediums. It was an honor and a pleasure to see him again after seven years. We spoke briefly about Gathering with a few others, and Flanker discovered his enjoyment of swordplay, which made his face light up…always a great thing.
After a rocky start of the evening it turned out to be quite a nice night after all. I managed to stay downstairs longer than I anticipated, it felt comfortable, and I was among people I cared about. I got to see some wondrous costumes; including Laurean as Tom and Kaylee as Princess Catherine, both were beautiful. Karine and Cindy did a perfect Pregnant Fox and Titania. There were some excellent gargoyle costumes also around, and someone even went as Echidna…I will always have a soft spot in my heart for snake women, and the people who have the talent and gumption to dress up as them. Karaoke was also fun, and some people in this fandom have truly beautiful voices. I remember one young lady on stage singing her heart out…and her mother hid behind Gorebash and me so she wouldn't be spotted…she wanted to hear her daughter sing, and that was really cool in my eyes, a mother supporting her daughter like that.
Eventually things started to wind down and we began to wander off to our separate ways. I tried finding Hudson's room to hang out and challenge Kaelyan to a round of Soul Calibur II, but failed to locate him. Next year, or next time he comes down to my place, his ass is mine. (Yes, that's a challenge…^_~) I stopped by the Arcadian Room and said my goodnights, and then wandered about the hotel for a little while longer, just taking in the beauty of it…visualizing all of us in our Station Eight Gargoyle Personas, lounging against rafters, relaxing and just hanging out in general. It was a real good visual to end the third night in Montreal. I found my room shortly after, and sleep soon found me…

Sunday, August 8th - The Hunt Is On, time to Get Zappy…

Had to wake up extra early this morning to get the final preparations for the Hunter's Moon Dash done and over with…needed to talk to the manager of the pool area and get her permission to hide the ball pit and MAui there, which she did, so that was cool. Went down to the gift shop and gave the clerk there one of the squishy soccer balls to put up "for sale"…and she did a truly wonderful job in displaying it rather inconspicuously. A few teams caught sight of it before the event, but didn't realize what was going on until later. Last night I sorted ball pit balls, taking out all but three yellow ones from the ball pit, and putting the rest in a container in a visible, but out of the way place. Also planted the shiny bags and the Sack Of DOOM tickets around, as well as giving more to the spirits. The last Clan Olympics event…finally!
Our teams filed into the terrace area with their decorated boxes, which overall I think was a great idea. There was a lot of spirit and excitement involved and it was going to culminate in the mad dash around the hotel looking for things like floor mats, plungers, diapers, and other assorted weird stuff. MAui and I did some last-minute plotting, and Flanker came strolling in with his "Billy For President" box, and my navy comforter! He must have overheard something, but he didn't get away with it…I took the blanket from him and told him to play nice. Gave him credit for trying though…and got to admit; seeing Billy plastered all over his container was quite funny. All of the boxes were wonderfully done, too…still like the 404 Error message drawn on the Arcadian Box also.
As the final team members made their way into the starting area, MAui ran off to take her position poolside on the 4th floor, which was right in view of the elevators. I briefed the Arcadians, Body Massagers, Mexinadians, and Challanged clans about the rules, and how everything was going to go down. I answered questions, and the tension and excitement mounted…and then the 45-minute countdown began and the Arcadians were off…the other three teams left within two and a half minutes of one another, intent on finding everything first.
Things were going well and good and rather mundane as teams collected the easier of the items, and then the Arcadians went on a tear on Bonus Items! I remember Arno and Dubble leading Karine to their box and getting her to stand in it for the full half-minute required for their big bonus. I wish I had taken a picture of that, because that moment was rather funny. Arno found my 2 by 4 in the Dealer's Room and sprinted it back to his box, and that was followed by a couple of squishy balls and a bunch of business cards. All the while, even the teams who weren't doing as well seemed to have a blast searching for all this stuff, and I think the gift shop lady took a shine to us when she began selling little souvenir birds and shot glasses. The 45 minutes was over way too soon, and it was time to tally up the scores…I think everyone knew that Arcadia International dominated the event and won the whole thing, but I didn't want to make the official announcement until the Closing Ceremonies. Besides, I still needed to find Cheap Plastic Medals somewhere in Montreal!
After cleaning up and thanking the hotel staff for their cooperation, I met up with Mike Cohen and Sarah the Great to go out for some lunch, and to search for the objects of my need. We headed over to the train station, and while Mike and Sarah ate their brunch I ran over to Staples and asked the clerks there if they had anything that resembled medals or even award ribbons. No luck; no medals, no ribbons…not even extra lanyards. I got stressed out a little, but then saw a bunch of metallic markers and decided to go even cheaper than plastic…this year, we would be giving out Cheap Cardboard Discs That Vaguely Resemble Medals! I bought my stuff, and some Instant Lotto and ran back to my two companions…chugging down some chocolate milk with them. Again, not choosing to eat all that much because really, I just don't tend to eat at conventions…too excited/nervous to eat anyway.
I managed to get back to the hotel just in time for another session of Phoenix Gate Anthology signings. Christine ushered me to a table and immediately had me sign books. I don't think I'll ever get used to the concept of people actually wanting my autograph, but the feeling of being able to do that for someone, and see them smile meant a lot to me. Perhaps it's a sign that I do decent to good work, or maybe it means I may be moderately famous someday. Who the heck knows? Still, to be able to express a thank you to both people who are very close friends to me, and to people whom I don't know as well, but consider me a peer and a comrade, that's just plain cool.
Keith David's Mug-A-Guest was in the same room as the Phoenix Gate Anthology Signing, which made me very happy because I thought I was going to miss all of the speakers this weekend. I knew I had some other stuff to do before the Closing Ceremonies, but I was going to at least spend half an hour in there! Listening to this man speak and give his reflections on show business, Gargoyles, and life in general was an absolute joy. That's one of the biggest things that stand out at this convention; the celebrities we have tend to not only be famous, but really down to earth…you feel comfortable around them, and I believe that notion is mutual. Greg Weisman, Keith David, Thom Adcox, Greg Guler…all of these men treat their fans with a great deal of respect, which makes it so much easier to give THEM respect and adoration. That is one of the biggest things that makes The Gathering such a special convention to me.
I really wanted to stay for the entire Keith David Mug-A-Guest, but I needed to get going and do what I needed to do. There were medals to be made and I didn't want to go into Closing Ceremonies empty-handed. (I really should have that backup plan ahead of time…) I ran into Sapphire and Chameleongirl during my little medal-creating project and we plotted to do some Gamecube action that night. We've been wanting to do that this weekend, and Liz wanted in on it, and anyone else was welcome to join too. So we set that up for right after Laser Quest, which I had already promised Rob and others that I would join in on. Even on the last official day of the Gathering so much was going on!
Kaylee, Ian and I snuck up to the Con Suite to carry out The Evil Plan: About two months before the convention I had decided to bring up a spread of Godiva Chocolate, Mint Tins, wines and other goodies, and put a thank you card in the center. It was going to be small at first, but it wound up being some 36 bars of chocolate, 20 tins of mints, three bottles of wine and a bottle of Godiva White Chocolate liquor. After putting forth so much effort and hard work, the staff really did deserve to be treated to something nice. Truth be told, a couple weeks before I almost chickened out on this, fearing it would be taken the wrong way…but sometimes, you need to throw caution to the wind and go with your inner nature. I was just very relieved that Kaylee managed to get the room key from Karine, for I believe she was the only one left in the dark by the time the surprise was to be revealed! We set up the spread in a nice presentation, and then left…it was now out of my hands.
Before long it was time to go to the Closing Ceremonies and everyone who was left was there. Karine takes the podium and begins to speak in French, which was a fitting way to kick things off. Not sure if that was planned or not, but it worked very well. I was going to toss out the three squishy soccer balls to the crowd for keepsakes, and CrzyDemona took one…which I didn't mind one bit…the Gathering Staff deserved a stress ball, after all. Cindy got up to speak and present the awards for the Art Show…and many of the people I voted for got ribbons, including Kythera, Karlyl, Stormy, Jade Griffin, and many others, all of whom deserved those rounds of applause and praise.
Chris Rogers began to talk about Gathering 2005, and MAui and I managed to get up and semi-interrupt him to declare the winners of the 2004 Clan Olympics. Arcadia International seemed surprised that they won by such an overwhelming margin, but they worked their butts off for that Cheap Cardboard Disc with Gold Writing on It. We did have another prize for them as well: MAui and I made Clan Olympics "We Kick Tail!" T-shirts for the four Gold Medal Winners, so Arno, Dubble, Robert, and Beedoo! (I think) got to take those home. We also announced that we would be doing another Clan Olympics in Las Vegas, which made a lot of people very happy. I know most of the participants this time around want to do it again. Overall, I think we did a decent job of putting it all together, and it was very gratifying to know that a lot of fun was had.
Keith David came in late in the closing ceremonies to sit in on them, which was welcomed without any hesitation, and he stuck around to sign autographs and artwork. It was at this point that I pre-registered for Gathering 2005 (for if I don't go, I'll probably never hear the end of it.) and was about ready to go back to my room for a bit when Kythera presented me with one of her limited edition prints, which really touched me: it was of Goliath kneeling on a pillar…and since Keith David was there, I asked her if she would have him sign it…and she agreed! This piece of artwork will be framed…done by a great artist and co-signed by a great actor. My thanks goes out to you, Kyt-Sis…in spades…and hearts, clubs, and diamonds too. That print will be on my walls for years to come, a fond memory of a great time.
We were talking and chatting and having a good time, happy that the convention was a success, and out of the blue CrzyDemona hugged me, thanking me for the spread in the Con Suite…this was followed by a hug from Karine, which was another one of those "Floor Me Moments." A lot of thoughts were running through my mind, but in the end I hugged back and accepted it for the thank you it was, and nothing more. Give credit where credit is due, and reward those who do a job well done. At the very least, I'm glad it wasn't taken the wrong way, and that it was accepted and genuinely appreciated.
After a rather lengthy meeting with the 2005 Gathering Staff and Attendees, it was time to go and get ready for Laser Quest, but not before running up to my room with Hudson to grab the last of the Godiva for Keith David. Felt rather bad that all he got was two measly bars, but I handed over the last double-box of Pocky I had, which went over great with his kids. He introduced me to his family, and sadly I can only remember the name of one of his younger daughters: Mae Li. I spoke to Beth Maza about this, and she still doesn't believe me. She'll just have to come to Vegas and hear it for herself. I also relayed the message to Mr. David that he was welcome to join us as Laser Quest, an idea which he seemed real keen on…so I gave him directions to the place on St. Catherine's and the first part of the group trekked on up.
I decided to wait up for Keith, because I had a little bit of doubt in my directions. A young lady stuck around with me, whose name I currently cannot remember (sorry!) stood by and chatted for a while, discussing fandom matters and how much both of us liked the convention. After about 45 minutes of waiting we both figured that Keith either went up to his room, went to spend time with his family, or went ahead to Laser Questing not knowing people were there to walk with him. No problem, the two of us managed to get up to the arena, and only one game had been played, so I found a guy who didn't want to play anymore, so I paid him eight bucks and took his place.
Hudson had begun dividing out teams for the next too games, placing all of his Quake Buddies and other good shots on his team and lumping the rest of us on "The Other Team". This was going to be an ass-handing, no doubt about it…but it was still fun. The first of the two games was just a simple points-based battle, and I spent most of my time doing the uber-slow Terminator (Governater?) walk around the maze, tagging people I could find…was proud that I hit Hudson and Chris a couple of times, and they returned the favor. I also probably hold the record for the most times barreling into a wall or obstacle in a span of fifteen minutes, got the bruises and scrapes to prove it.
The second game was called "Queen and King", where hitting the other team members didn't matter, and one woman and man on our team had a limited number of lives. Jade Griffin was our Queen and Flanker was our King, and we did our best to keep them safe. I wound up trying to follow Robert and Dubble as kind of this Secret Service like group, but managed to fall behind and then get lost. I'm hearing laser fire, and shouting KING!! KING!!! QUEEN!! However I was wandering around looking like a complete doofus. Still managed to tag a bunch of people though, but our team lost by a mere five points, not that this surprised me. In the end I was happy with finishing solidly in the middle of the pack of Laser Questers.
Having a Mario Party and Mario Kart date with Sapphire, Chameleongirl, and others, I decided to hightail it out on my own and make my way back to the hotel, and ran into Riverdale along the way, where we just talked…mainly about voice work, how we were linked to the fandom, and a bunch of other things. He eventually joined us in the GameCube partying that followed.
The video game goodness started in my hotel room when Sapphire brought over her controllers, games, and Karlyl, Chameleongirl, and others…Liz and her friend Matt(?) soon followed, and Ethan Gilchrist also joined in on the fun. We started out with Mario Party 5, just Sapphire and I, and then Chameleongirl and Ethan joined in on the second game. Just short contests, but Mario Party is a game where everyone can just pick up and play and have a good time. Chameleongirl never played Gamecube in her life, and she wound up winning, which was hilarious. Also remember teaming up with her in a pinball mini-game where we outscored the competition by about 36,000 to 3,000…so Chameleongirl, you may be my pinball partner any day!
After Mario Party, Shaun wanted to go to sleep, I don't blame him….so we attempted to move the game system into Sapphire's room, only to be foiled by a protected coaxial cable guard….damn those hotel safeties, trying to force us to pay for crappy, outdated video games! Not daunted, we moved into Lanny and Riverdale's room, and the Mario Karting commenced! I found out just how good Liz is at handling a little cartoon kart, and her friend was even better…I think I placed third in most of the races behind them, so practice is in order during the off-season. Karlyl and Riverdale took turns as well, and this elicited the next great quote: "I'm sucking the hind teat, noshing the nether nipple."
It sent three racers into the wall with laughter if memory serves me right.
As the party wound down we put in Bloody Roar: Primal Fury just to check out the "Jiggle Factor" on some of the female characters…which got a bunch of laughs. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder how Jenny the Bat can walk straight now. It was a great end to the whole thing…and it felt good to be able to share such moments with friends. I spend most of my working time talking about video games, and usually only play them in the privacy of my home, alone. Doing the whole party thing really kicked major butt…and I think I'll pack the 'Cube for Vegas. Sapphire, if you're up to this, let me know. ^_^
Being Sunday night, I decided to get a jump on packing up the car. I took all of the ball pit balls down to my Neon and packed them away, threw out all of the cardboard discs that I didn't need anymore, saving the one Kythera drew upon. The only things left of mine in the room was my suitcase and satchel…everything else was packed in ahead of time just to streamline everything for tomorrow. As I trekked half-asleep to and from my car I greeted other exhausted Garg fans and said my goodbyes to some, whom were either leaving tonight or tomorrow morning. Also stopped by the Arcadians' Room one last time to say my goodbyes there, for I think most/all of them were not going to go to LaRounde Monday Morning. It was a joy to be able to hang out with MAui, Robert, Arno, Beedoo!, Countess, Dubble, and the rest of them this year…felt like I grew closer to them this time around. I really liked the ArCanadians music disc I received from them…which has gone into my morning drive rotation.
Anyhoo, there was sleep to be had and I tottered up to get to bed…and realized I was only the second guy in the room. Flanker comes in a little while later, and then Mike joins the room last…this marks the last night of the first time in a long while that I slept in the same room with three other grown men. I remained awake just a little while longer, taking in what had gone on in the last three days, and could confidently say that I would never trade times like this for anything. The best part was that it wasn't over quite yet…

Monday, August 9th - Back South…

Sooner or later it has to end, but it was going to end on a high note. Flanker, Mike, Shaun and I all woke up a little earlier than normal to get ready for checkout. I wandered around a bit to say my goodbyes to people who were not going to make the trip to LaRounde, trying to hit everyone I possibly could. I know I missed a fair number of people, especially Arno, MAui, and the rest of the Arcadian Crew. Eventually we got the car packed, I gave up my key to Shaun and he checked us all out. The Delta Center-Ville was probably one of the finest hotels I've have the opportunity to stay in, Gathering or not.
We all met in the lobby and soon gathered up in a pack to head toward the Metro station that would lead us all to Six Flags: LaRounde. The group in part consisted of Karine, Cindy, Liz, Talyesin, Kyffin, Sapphire, Chameleongirl, Shaun, Sarah, Laurean, Trishana, Patrick, Christine, Becca, Seri, and Top Man. I know there were more, but I can't remember the names, just plain bad at that sort of thing. We rode a few Metro cars and made it to the buses that would take us all to the amusement park. There were photos taken, laughter, happiness, and just a general feeling of less stress. The convention was officially over, but hanging out was still to be had.
LaRounde was the only major disappointment for me, sad to say. The park looked beautiful, but there just weren't any rides that I could fit into, which was strange because I could do a lot more when I went there a few years ago, and was heavier. I won't bash on LaRounde though, for it was one of the nicer parks I've had the chance to walk through. I took in the scenery and the watched the people, talked to a few of them. I played a few carnival games, and gave my plushies to some of the younger kids who were trying to win but couldn't. I have no need for stuffed plush roses anyway, and it was a nice thing to do. Also got a chance to play Outrun 2, which kicked major tail…but I didn't get on the Dance Dance Revolution Machine. I had told Sapphire that I would do DDR with her at some point…so I gotta get into better shape, and make sure I don't have a multitude of blisters on my feet because that will be something I'll need to make good on in Las Vegas, or in Florida, depending on how my vacationing plans go.
Overall, everyone kind of went their separate ways at Six Flags…I know a few of the convention staff members kicked out early, and I don't blame them one bit after all the work they've done. Others just got tired of the lines and decided to go home, and some of us stayed until about 5pm, Shaun, Sarah, and myself were a part of that number….we took pictures of the stragglers in our group in general and we parted ways. It was overall a decent trip, though I was a pretty miffed that I didn't actually get to ride anything. But hey, I got my exercise in spades and still managed to have a decent time. We rode back on the metro and were guided by one of the Montrealers, and during the ride I met a guy who knew where Penn Yan, New York was, which was neat…small world. We made it back to the hotel and at about 6:30pm we were on our way back to my place.
The trip back to New York State was filled with a lot of talk about various fandom ideals, political banter, mental issues and general silliness. Though we were all pretty tired so half of it was only semi-coherent. I had to get some gas before getting too far into the Quebec countryside, and it was the only time I had to gas up in Canada…score! We ate at Wendy's right inside the Ontario Province border and talked yet some more. The rest of the ride was just general rest, and me concentrating on driving until we hit the Duty Free store right before the United States…we had to stop. I grabbed a dozen Cadbury Flake bars, some Canada Flag stickers to torture my boss with, a shotglass, and a bottle of Godiva White Chocolate Liquor…figured this time I wouldn't be so tempted to give it away.
During our slow-moving line to customs we joked around and laughed quite a bit, and I forgot how to drive in the process, which was met with much embarrassment from me, but it got a good laugh out of Sarah and Shaun. Absent-Minded Professor genes are good for something. We talked to the U.S. Customs Officer and he asks us the standard questions and he actually recognized the show Gargoyles…I think we chatted up the convention and told him to go buy the DVD of the First Season, which is coming out on December 7th. He laughed and waved us through to United States Roadways. We hit another gas station, got more caffeinated beverages and motored down Route 81…hitting the Thruway a couple of hours later.
At this point we're pretty punchy: Shaun is snoozing in the back seat, and Sarah is keeping me awake by rambling about Yu-Gi-Oh!, which I counter with rambling about story ideas, both fan fiction based and original. It also helped that the road was mostly in a straight line. We finally get to the home stretch half past midnight and we begin to play "Spot the Mennonite", which we both lost because they were all probably sleeping. Pulling in at about 1am, we made good time overall…only we woke up the dogs, which started barking…oh well, they missed us after being gone for nearly five days. I set up the inflatable bed for Shaun, the downstairs hide-a-bed in the den was already made up for Sarah, and we were all ready for some well-needed sleep.
I spent a little time on the computer to read up on my e-mail that I missed, just to make sure I didn't miss anything major at work. Go into Station Eight and wind up bumping into Mai "Beth Maza" Li, who began to ask all about the convention. If there is one person I absolutely can't turn down speaking to, it's her. So we chatted a bit, Shaun put in his remarks and this kept going for at least an hour. Sleep depravation was finally get a hold of me, and I cut out. It was great to sleep in my own bed again…heck, it was going to be great to get more than four hours of sleep in general. When it comes to Gatherings, though, sleep depravation is very worth it, especially when it comes to seeing friends whom you usually only see once a year.

Tuesday, August 10th - It's Gotta End Sometime…

Waking up at 10am never felt so good, and I was still in short-sleep mode, so I felt really great. Shaun and Sarah were still sleeping so I took the time to sneak out and grab some eggs, ham, cheddar cheese, shredded potatoes and bacon…we already had bagels. I decided to prepare omelets, bacon, bagels, basically a classic Sunday Brunch style breakfast, only it was Tuesday…oh well, it was the Day Before Having to Go Back to Work Brunch. We all sat around our kitchen bar top, eating our eggs, bacon, hash browns, and drinking orange juice, just enjoying the last day together.
Sarah was the first to leave, we all grabbed her car and then I led her to the shortcut road I took to get to the Thruway in the first place…she honked, we honked…bye bye Sarah the Great. That left Shaun and me to go back to my house and prep up for his trip to the airport. We hung out in general for another hour before packing his remaining stuff in the car and heading toward Rochester International Airport. We popped in the South Park Soundtrack and half-smiled, half sang along, and Shaun eventually put in another Weird Al compilation, with Amish Paradise blaring as we passed Mennonites…the windows were closed though, unlike the customs crossing into Canada.
I stopped by Michael's Arts and Crafts to pick out a frame for the "Pillar" print that Kythera gave me, and picked out something in a black, dark purple and silver…that should be done in a couple of weeks, and it will hang in my room/apartment/house for the rest of my days. After that relatively short trip I got Shaun up to the airport. He and I hugged, I told him to have a safe trip, and he disappeared into the airport terminal. That was it; the last person I knew from Gathering was on his way home and I was a solitary Gargoyles Fan once more…at least until I got home to go online again. Another Gathering, my fifth, was now officially a very fond memory, and now there's just about 11 months until the next Gathering in 2005…in Las Vegas. I had been asked with MAui to do the Clan Olympics next year…which I will gladly take up the ball pit balls for. Who knows what else will happen…as long as I'm with a group of wonderful friends, in a great location, knowing does it really matter all that much?

See everyone in 2005!

And You Thought It Was Over…

When I came into the Gargoyles Fandom in October of 1996, I had the
long-standing belief to give credit where it is due. This is no different.

I would like to thank the 2004 Gathering staff for a job extremely well done. Karine, Rob, Brenda, Patrick, Jen, Ian, Shaun, Liz, Laurean, Cindy, Carol…all of you pulled together one of the most elegant and classy Gatherings yet, and for that you have my gratitude, respect, appreciation, and an overabundance of chocolate. Liz, thank you especially for working with MAui and me on the Clan Olympics, we couldn't have done it without you. Brenda and Ian, thank you so much for co-conspiring with me on "Evil Plan #1", I'm happy it worked out as well as it did.

To my two travel buddies, Shaun and Sarah…thank you for putting up with my crazy rambling and blatant addiction to Instant Lottery. I've always enjoyed road trips, but road trips with friends are that much sweeter. Sarah, it was a joy to meet up with you again, and to share this wild ride with you. Shaun, it has been a pleasure to be able to have you as a companion and friend on this road trip. Thank you both for making the ride up to and back from Montreal a joyous one for me. You are both welcome in my home anytime, and next time, I'll get steaks, I promise.

To Shaun, Mike, and Flanker…rooming with the three of you has been a trip and a half, and I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. It was a great deal of fun, though Flanker, I'll still have the occasional nightmare about that military cot. I hope I didn't keep any of you up with my snoring, if I did….well, revenge is sweeter in Vegas.

For the Arcadia Clan; thank you for unofficially adopting me this weekend, and having me along on your trip to the Hard Rock Café, and to Laser Quest. Robert, Arno, Beedoo!, Dubble, MAui, Countess, everyone in that wild and crazy bunch, you made me feel more than just welcomed, you made me feel normal…as normal as a Gargoyles Fan could be, anyway. A special thanks to you, Countess, for being a walking companion that night to get some Tim Hortons, that meant a lot to me.

To Sapphire, who helped co-conspire a Sunday Night GameCube Fest, and to Chameleongirl, whom I will play pinball with any day.

Everyone who approached me to sign their Phoenix Gate Anthology, thank you for

Greg responds...

Woo! See, gang! You just can't top a Gathering for good times, good friends, good conversation, etc.

Are YOU registered for G2006 yet? Time is running out!

Response recorded on May 25, 2006

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Ellen writes...



Those responsibilities asserted themselves a few short hours later, when I got in touch with Spacebabie and Christine, my 10AM panelmates. Christine had family obligations, but Spacebabie was able to join me for breakfast downstairs at 9. We discussed topics we expected to cover during the panel, and a great deal more.

Our panel seemed to keep moving all right, considering that the majority of us in that room had stayed up way past our bedtimes the night before with the Boss and everyone else in the con suite. It was a huge help, of course, to have a con panel veteran such as Christine there. Most importantly, though, the people in attendance seemed to enjoy it. We were up against some stiff competition with the radio play auditions, and I for one am grateful to each person in attendance for helping to make our panel a success.

From there I wandered into the dealer/art room and did my level best to fill in the art ballot as thoroughly as possible. (Who am I kidding? Half the time, I was only guessing while I voted. All of the work was awesome.) I then headed to the live auction. I stayed for almost all of the proceedings, enjoying the fabulous floor show that the auctioneers -- Marc and Rob, were they? -- were putting on. They were witty, smart, and persuasive -- I was all the more willing to bid as a result of their efforts.

Also, during the live auction, I had an opportunity to introduce myself to Karine. And I'm setting this off in its own paragraph for a reason. Folks, I have been pregnant myself. I have been *six months* pregnant myself (as was she at this point). You can ask my husband how much fun I was to be around during that time -- preferably in my absence, if you desire an honest answer. Hauling a small sack of cement around on your front ain't all that comfortable, and it can be very, VERY tiring. Nevertheless, through it all, Karine was unfailingly hardworking, cheerful, attentive, and indefatigable. I found it almost frightening. Whatever kudos, whatever glamour, whatever reward this woman receives from her work on Gathering 2004, no matter how great, will still fall far short. She is superhuman, and we mere mortals are all the richer for it.

From the auction I wandered back out to the mezzanine, where I encountered Kathy and Carol Wagner. They encouraged me to go downstairs and talk to the Disney film crew. I was glad I went when I did, because I was able to listen in on Dylan and Stormy's eloquent testimony to the greatness of this series we all know and love. They did the series proud, and I'm looking forward to seeing how much of their can't-miss presentation ends up on the DVD.

On the other hand, this also meant that my own little ramblings had to follow in the wake of their verbal luster. Oh well. My interview was essentially a pleasant chat with David, which is what it should have been. Whether or not I gave him and his crew anything they could use is another matter. If and when I go to the cutting room floor, I'll go happily, knowing that I did my best and, above all, made yet another friendly acquaintance amid the populace of these Gatherings.

I decided that this year I mustn't miss the radio play, and I was glad I went. The players, all cast-of-thousands of them, were individually and collectively brilliant. They put their hearts into every line, and the synergy between them and narrator/director Greg was almost palpable.

Following the radio play, I decided that a little bit of quiet time was in order. Unlike last year, I didn't actually fall asleep (fortunately). I rested comfortably instead, contentedly watching the Yankees-Blue Jays game and the periodic updates of Greg Maddux's ultimately successful bid for his 300th win (life is good). I kept an eye on the clock, and rousted myself when it was time to dress for dinner.

I arrived at the banquet slightly late, but found a place at a table with Kelly, Leo, Alex, and James Anatidae, with whom I was particularly pleased to converse, considering that I hadn't been able to spend time with him otherwise. The food was very good, too.

And then Keith David arrived. How could I do anything but give this gentleman a standing ovation?

(Memo to self: If 30-year high school reunion next year features a karaoke system, make sure no guests of honor are trying to speak in the ballroom next door.)

I said above (and on previous occasions) that I could sit and listen to Greg Weisman talk for hours. Same with Keith David. The gentleman loves to tell stories, and tells them with every inch of his body and every shade of expression in his face. And what a joy it is to watch and listen.

I stayed for the masquerade and cosplay, and was very impressed. Some serious work and talent went into those costumes, and it showed. Loupy/Korul and Becca both were too cute for words. And Flanker, you were drop-dead elegant. I might have to write your Hunter into one of my stories.

I was dismayed to know that I'd miss Allaine singing karaoke if I headed up to the bar for a little quiet time with a few of my other pals, but I was again craving uninterrupted conversation. So off I went with Dylan, Leo, Kelly, Alex, Mercedes, Andrew...

And, well, whaddya know? In walks Mr. David. He sits on our side of the bar and begins chatting amiably with the bartender. I pointed him out to my companions, and Dylan knew exactly what to do. He got up immediately, his hand fishing in his pocket for his wallet, and paid for the maestro's drink. Since Dylan had missed out on the banquet and the subsequent Q&A session, I decided that he deserved a little one-on-one time with Mr. David, and abandoned my urging that he persuade him to join the rest of us. After a while, though, I decided to horn in on the conversation anyway, if only for a minute or two. I went up to them, introduced myself to Mr. David, and chatted for a bit. Our talk touched upon the funeral profession at one point, giving me the opportunity to entertain Mr. David with a brief and thoroughly silly anecdote involving the friend with whom my husband and I would be having dinner several nights later. I'm proud to say that I made the maestro throw his head back and let out a laugh that would have filled the interior of Notre Dame de Paris.

Not long after that, the bar closed, Mr. David retired for the night, and the rest of us meandered back downstairs to check out the proceedings, such as they were at that point.

It was then that I found the opportunity to thank the Boss for dropping that link on Station 8 to his brother's outstanding baseball blog site, Dodger Thoughts. Then, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, I proceeded to bawl him out in the same breath for giving the name of such a nice guy (viz., his brother) to such a shit-heel (viz., Jon Canmore/John Castaway) in his Gargoyles universe. Hey, it had to be said. ;) I also mentioned how impressed I was that his father was in attendance at the last Cubs World Series (and not as a Tigers fan, either). Let it be said, however, that I chose to avoid *real* controversy, and refrained from bringing up the recent Paul Lo Duca trade.

By the way, Jennifer Anderson has a *beautiful* singing voice.

As things wound down in the ballroom, Kathy, Alex Garg, and Dylan agreed to accompany me to my room for a nightcap. Our conversation ran until 4, at which point I announced that I was on the verge of physical collapse, a sentiment readily seconded by my comrades. We said our good nights and got a few hours of shut-eye.

(To be concluded.)

Greg responds...

Props always go to Karine and Jen and all the other staffers. Staff after staff, year after year, these hard-working people do near-thankless work and always manage to put on a great show!

Response recorded on May 24, 2006

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Alex Garg writes...

Monday, August 9 - The Long Road Home:
I woke up, collected my things and went down to the desk with Denis to check out and make sure Denis was set to spend another day in the room. There were a few communications blocks at first, but Denis used his French to get them cleared up - gotta love those bilinguals. Too bad I spent most of my time in high school on Italian and dead languages (get a Gathering in Italy and I'll be golden).

We all gathered together for breakfast and ended up sitting next to Gorebash and a couple of his friends, though we pretty much kept the conversation within our own groups. Leo split afterwards to catch up with the group heading to Six Flags, and Denis... I don't remember what Denis decided to do, but he went off on his own.

Kelly and I gathered our things, went down to my car and headed off around 10 - getting out of the city was much, much easier than getting in.

With no stops along the way (well, no pick-ups anyway), it was smooth sailing. We hit traffic around Toronto, but fortunately we were staying outside of the city so there was no risk of getting misdirected again. A storm threatened to make things particularly hazardous but it held off long enough for us to get to the QEW and to Hamilton.

Got Kelly back to her place in one piece and didn't stick around for long - cat allergy aside, I was in a mindset to just get to Niagara Falls and relax. Got out of Hamilton without incident and headed on back to the States.

Of course, it wouldn't be a road trip if there was no incident. I ended up following the wrong signs and got lost on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls - nice town, just not where I wanted to be. Eventually I got my bearings and continued on to the correct bridge.

I slowed down on the bridge to take a look at the Falls, which was as close as I would get this trip, and continued on home. I had an interesting conversation with the border guard that, well... I was tired. This is pretty much verbatim:

Guard: Okay, I gotta ask - what do your plates mean?
Me: "Let there be night." It's Latin, motto of a club I belonged to in high school.
Guard: Ah. Okay, citizenship? ~What I heard: Citizenship papers?~
Me: Birth certificate and driver's license.
Guard: No, what country are you from? ~What I heard: What country are you coming from?~
Me: ...Canada...
Guard: ...What's a Canadian doing with Virginia tags?
Me: What? I'm not ~~sudden realization of what he had actually said~~ ...oh! I'm American. Sorry. Yeah, American.
Guard: Carry on.

I got to the hotel about the same time as a crunch of Italian tourists and guests who didn't seem to understand the concept of checking into a hotel, so I opted for a quick dinner while the crowd dispersed. Nothing, and I mean nothing tastes as good as a steak after a long day on the road.

Made it into my room and ordered "Master and Commander" for some post-travel entertainment. As soon as it ended I went to sleep.

Day's mileage: 430
Total mileage: 1,360

Tuesday, August 10 - The Long Road Home Continued:
I woke up around 8:30 and carried myself to the Duty Free Shop to exchange the Canadian currency into ol' Greenbacks as I doubted I'd have another chance after Niagara Falls (another difference between the U.S. and Canada - while you can exchange currency almost anywhere up there, you can only do it at the border and international airports down here). I walked there because the only exit by car was back into Canada, and while I very much enjoyed my time up there I just wanted to go home.

I decided against going to the Falls for three reasons: rain was coming, the crowds were gathering and I just wanted to go. So I left at 10 and began the final leg of the road trip.

It started with my getting turned around in Buffalo. I lost track of the various signs and ended up on I-90 Eastbound. Okay, so, not wanting to go to Albany I turned around, donated $.30 to the state of New York via their toll booths and tried getting home again.

Not much to report for the first part of the trip - just followed the breadcrumbs from the way up. However, if you'll recall the storm that slowed Leo and me down on Wednesday, it would seem lightning can strike twice in the same place. Just before State College and my turn off to I-99, a storm fired up and dropped visibility to zero. It was pretty dramatic - driving rain, lightning all about and cliffs on either side of the windy road, all at speed (nobody felt like slowing down). I made it out of the storm in one piece and well beyond my exit.

By the time I figured out that I had missed my exit I was halfway to I-81, so I decided to carry on. As I mentioned back on Wednesday, Pennsylvania is entirely too big. Oh boy, well, I made I-81 and carried along on to I-70. I had planned on going to I-66 to avoid the traffic, but I was approaching the nine hour mark and didn't want to add another 40 minutes to what was going to end up being a 10 1/2-hour trek, so I braved I-70.

Only when necessary, friends; only take that road when absolutely necessary.

So that path aside I made it home in one piece - although very, very tired. I stayed up just long enough to grab dinner, my only meal that day, and then hit the bed hard.

Day's mileage: 580
Total mileage: 1,940

That's it - all I've got. Thanks for reading through it.

Greg responds...

Thanks for writing it up. How did Leo get home?

Response recorded on May 23, 2006

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Alex Garg writes...

Sunday, August 8 - The Weekend, Pt. 3:
To say that I "woke up" at 6 would be wrong - I merely emerged from a comatose state with limited activity. My shower was only slightly rejuvenating, and the two cups of coffee I had downstairs just barely gave my body animation. Simply put, today started off on only adrenaline and caffeine - truly a Gathering experience.

Well, Gathering and high school.

Anyway, as true consciousness and animation slowly returned to me I made my way to Allaine's round robin panel and an equally exhausted group assembled - Ellen, Allaine, Princess Alexandria, Denis and Spacebabie. We waited a while as Allaine tried to wrestle some more people away from the Gargoyles Biology panel but he was unsuccessful and we got underway.

I had missed Spacebabie's panel on Friday so I wasn't really sure what to expect, but what I didn't expect, though, was that doing an oral round robin would be harder than a typed one; although given my state of body and mind, doing anything that morning requiring more than a passing thought or gesture was challenging. Despite that, the round robin came together and we got a decent story going - then we had to stop.

The dealers' room/art show was the next stop. I put in bids on artwork (I lost all of them) and saw that the PGA signing tables had been set up. Christine was there and let me know that we were finally underway for the book signing, so I joined her. People trickled in at first, not really sure what was going on (some people weren't even aware of the PGA), and after a while more of the authors began to assemble. It was about half an hour before the crowd really gathered and we were signing multiple books at a time.

Being asked for a signature is really a weird experience, especially given my attitudes towards my work, but as long as people think that getting my signature was worth it - fair enough.

I had intended to go to Kathy's workshop, but about the time I was going to step out when the crowds were dying off Keith walked in, so I stuck around. It went well, good Q&A, and in the course of it we signed a PGA copy for him - now that made me nervous. I don't know why, but it just didn't sit well with me.

After Keith's mug-a-guest had ended it was time for Closing Ceremonies - so sad. People had already left, Greg wasn't there, people were still running around; it didn't have the same energy as Opening Ceremonies and was kind of depressing overall, really for the reason that it was the end of the con. I skipped on pre-registering for Vegas - I have no clue if I'll be able to make it, but if it turns out that I definitely won't, I'll put in a supporting membership for sure - and just got in line for Keith. It didn't occur to me until I was in line that I should have brought my Radio Play script from last year for him to sign, so lacking anything Keith/Goliath-related I just had him sign my copy of the PGA - a little quid pro quo signing.

From there I went with Ellen, Allaine, Princess Alexandria, Kelly and Leo to lunch in a deserted food court - good, not great. We chatted about what we all had to look forward to when we went home. On the way back to the hotel Ellen offered to take us up to Mount Royal to look out over Montreal at night. Allaine was going to laser tag so he couldn't make it, and Alexandria opted out. Kelly was undecided up to the last minute when I ambushed her at the hotel restaurant and encouraged her to come.

It was a haul going through Montreal, but it was all so worth it.

Ellen pointed out the various places she remembered from her days in Montreal on our way up, but the fun began when we got to the park. We opted for a back route to the observatory that turned into a nature hike, but there were plenty of other disoriented groups to keep us company as we went up the narrow trails.

Eventually we arrived at our destination and we were not disappointed. Montreal is stunning. Honestly, the staff should have had a trip to this place - it was just so beautiful. We hung around for about an hour or so enjoying the view, but eventually we had to go back so Ellen could catch up with her husband.

We didn't take the scenic route back - nightfall made that an impossible feat - but we did cut through the university (so, okay, a different kind of scenic) as Ellen extended her tour. We stopped off for a drink at an Irish pub for a quick round before we finished the trip, and the stop gave Ellen the perfect timing to walk into the hotel to greet her husband at the check-in desk.

Realizing that it was unlikely we'd see each other in the morning we said our goodbyes in the lobby and then retired to our rooms. I gave my parents a call to let them know when I'd be leaving the next day and then went to sleep - actual sleep this time.

And that was the weekend.

Next, "The Long Road Home"

Greg responds...

Yes, the bittersweet end of another Gathering... <sigh>...

Response recorded on May 23, 2006

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Alex Garg writes...

Late Saturday, August 7 - The Weekend, Pt. 2:
Gee, I wonder how many Disney cartoons he could have been talking about, given the activities in the hotel. I suppose they could have just gone on some drunken tangent about Duck Tales, but was pretty sure the guy was talking about Gargoyles and those of us attending the Gathering.

I am a magnificent eavesdropper. I know it's rude, I know I shouldn't do it, but it's just one of those things I do very well; and when the conversation relates (in some way) to me, well, I grant exceptions in my morals to listening in on people talking about me behind my back.

Their conversation started off pretty typically - what nerds, why bother, yadda-yadda; stuff I'm used to hearing being the Gargoyles geek that I am and things I pretty much ignore. I was about to tune out when as the conversation turned to what was going on downstairs, the costumes, karaoke and the like, but then they started talking about crashing the party.


I don't go to many conventions and see my online friends all that often, so when I do attend such events I appreciate them *not* being crashed. They passed around the straw to see who was going to go down and scout it out, come back and bring the others for a good ol' party crashing. They came to a guy who, apparently, had some connection with the group (I would find out what later) and spiced up the bet. The bet was that he couldn't come back to the bar in 10 minutes with a girl from downstairs and the pot was set at $17.

As the group was finalizing their plans, Keith David entered the bar and Ellen and Dylan began talking about inviting him over. All right, so, people were about to go downstairs to crash the party and an opportunity to share drinks with Keith David had just entered the scene.

Stop party crashers, drink with Keith, stop party crashers, drink with Keith...

Ellen and Dylan decided not to invite Keith over - Dylan instead opted to buy Keith a drink - and so my course was clear. When the crashing scouts left the bar, I followed.

Of course, I made no attempt to be stealth-like in my pursuit - the objective was an interception, not make sure they involve a fellow Con-goer in their sick little bet - and they, guy and a girl, spotted me. I was quick to let them know that I had overheard their conversation and wasn't going to give them a free ticket down.

They denied wanting to *crash* the Gathering but the guy did fess up to his boss' bet. Okay, let's back that up - this guy's boss bets him that he can't get a girl back to the bar in 10 minutes. Are you feeling a little repulsed by his boss, too? The guy turns on the charm and appeals to me man-to-man, thinking that I'm going to sympathize and approve of the bet to lure a girl back to the bar. He even tries to slip a bribe by me.

In what some might consider counter to a federal employee's stereotyped first instinct, I refused.

So he tries the backup plan - feign interest in the Gathering. All right, semi-weak spot, semi-opening to get him to leave: if you ask me about the fandom and the Gathering, I'll tell you all you want to know. My thought process was to use that to *maybe* get him to forget about the bet or bothering us and just part ways peacefully. It worked to some extent, however I talked it up a bit too much and they insisted on seeing everything that was going on. Plus in the course of conversation it was discovered that they were from the D.C. area as well, so we ended up talking a bit about all that was going on at home which, although it eased any tension that was between us, took away a bit of my edge.

In any event, we headed down to the ballroom - the two of them looking for their target, me looking for security - and then they revealed who their target was. "Kelly." Earlier I had seen the Kelly I've been hanging around with go to the bar in proximity of the guy, but she had gone to bed a while earlier; so I told him that Kelly was my roommate, asleep, and "probably not" going to go back with him to the bar.

He looks into the room - "No, there she is."

Ah, see, it didn't help that there were three Kelly's at the Gathering and that his "Kelly" I know as Sapphire. So... instead of diverting him, I led him right to his objective.

*heavy sigh of defeat*

Sapphire came over, greeted the guy and invited him in - you have to invite a vampire into your house before they can attempt to suck your blood - and I left; I don't need to be defending people I don't know and who are very capable of handling themselves.

She sums up the event in her journal as follows:
"I had to lay down for a while because I was feeling ill. I went to the bar to get something to settle my stomach. A guy, Nate, came over and started hitting on me, and wouldn't let me go back down to the convention. Once I left, he even came down to the convention to see what it was about (which is fine because I told him he could). Luckily he left shortly, I think we were too weird for him."

As I said, I went back to the bar feeling pretty rotten about the event - namely my handling of it, particularly in hindsight - and saw Dylan and Keith sharing a drink. Ellen shared an anecdote with Keith that had him laughing (it's actually very funny, but you'll have to have Ellen tell it because I can't). The guy, of course, came back to the bar without Sapphire and was chided by his coworkers - no big loss.

We stuck around the bar until it closed then went down to see if the ball was still going. There were a few people left but it was clearly winding down for the night (/morning - it was 1 a.m. at this point). Continuing my wallflower state I hung around while Ellen and Greg talked about baseball and his brother's website. Had I known that Greg was leaving early I would have spoken more - not that I had much to say, I just like the guy - but, alas, I missed my chance.

The party ended and we brought Kathy into the group - now just down to me, Kathy, Dylan and Ellen - as we headed up to Ellen's room to just hang out. The coffee I had sucked down plus my mind rolling over and over the earlier episode and how it could have gone even worse were keeping me up, so I gladly stuck around.

Again I didn't talk much - seriously, I love to listen more than chat. The three of them, among my inspirations for writing, talked back and forth about books they liked, writing techniques they used, etc., so for me, just kicking back and listening in on all this was great. Dylan left around 3 and Ellen booted Kathy and me out about a quarter to 4.

I was still very much awake at that point - again, more from continually going over and over the night's events more than the coffee - and just wandered around the hotel. At that point, it registered that the Gathering would be ending soon and, well, that just saddened me. Eventually my body cried out and my brain allowed it to return to the room to lie down.

So at 4:15 a.m. I plopped down on the floor and my eyes shut - brain very much stayed on. No sleep.

Next, "The Weekend, Pt. 3"

Greg responds...

Geez, that "boss". Creepy is right. Uggh.

Response recorded on May 22, 2006

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Alex Garg writes...

Saturday, August 7 - The Weekend, Pt. 1:
Woke up 7-ish and grabbed some breakfast before heading off to Ellen, Christine and Spacebabie's panel regarding chase scenes in fiction and what makes a good one. They all seemed rather tired, but despite that the panel turned out well - good participation from the audience (although they all seemed tired, too - for once I was ahead of the sleep curve).

I stopped by the mezzanine to take a look at the cast list for Radio Play around noon and was very happy to see that I had made the cut - along with about 30 other people. Largest cast ever.

Grabbed lunch with Kelly and we pretty much just hung out in the restaurant. From there it was on to Radio Play rehearsals where we learned that we'd be doing the uncut version of "The Journey." I was Art, and I had fun with it.

I filled out the audition sheet as "Alex Garg" - Greg inserted "Alex 'Carter' Garg" on his own. Greg remembered my name... I'm so happy.

Radio Play was well-attended, thanks to the staff closing everything else so people would sort of be forced to attend. A good strategy as last year's Radio Play's audience was sparse. Of course, the DVD crew was also there, so maybe they'll get a shot of my head or something. Overall, the show went very well and everybody seemed to have a great time with it. We had a bit of a break before the Banquet and I used that time to, once again, retreat to the room - briefly.

The Banquet was definitely something else. At the table were me, Kelly, Leo, Denis, Ellen and James Anatidae. It was a fantastic meal. At some point near the end Keith David finally showed up, having escaped filming yet another movie, and was bombarded with questions before he could really get a chance eat. I was tempted to ask, "Would you like to eat before we continue?" but decided not to be a jerk - the group doing karaoke in the next room had that covered.

We got a break after the Banquet/Q&A to retreat to the room, and on our way down to the Cosplay we encountered Keith who, as it turns out, would be staying on our floor - not that we interacted much with him, but it was still cool to know that Keith David was right down the hall.

Let's talk about Cosplay for a second. I don't know if it was Montreal, the DVD crew or just a huge collective effort this year, but the costumes were above and beyond. Seriously, some great work. My camera wasn't working, though, so I don't have any pictures.

I didn't stick around for the Ball - never have, I don't dance - and instead went with Ellen, Dylan, Stormy and a couple of others to the bar (they had drinks, I had coffee). Leo and Kelly showed up later and joined in. I didn't really say much, as always more content to listen. This kept my ears sharp for them to pick up from behind me "It's a [cut] Disney cartoon!"

Next, "The Weekend, Pt. 2"

Greg responds...

Hey, Carter, of course I know your name! It usually takes me two cons to get an individual's name down, but I try my best.

Response recorded on May 22, 2006

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Alex Garg writes...

Friday, August 6 - It Begins:
Nobody bothered to inform my internal clock that I was on vacation and didn't need to be up *nearly* as early as I was. However, it gave me time to freshen up before we all went down to breakfast with Kathy and Ellen, the whole group being me, Kelly, Leo, Denis and Rob. After that we kind of scattered - registration was moved to noon so I just hung out in the mezzanine and talked to folks as they came by.

After a while registration opened and we got our packets - con badge, schedule (which was really something else), PGA and shirt (I ordered an XL, I was presented with a small (made the exchange for a large later)). I flipped through the PGA and was very, very impressed. The stories are truly top-notch, and I'm still surprised that I'm in it. The back of the book says, "This anthology contains ten stories and eleven pieces of art, brought to life by eighteen of the fandom's top authors and artists," and to be in that list (given all of my literary accomplishments) is something else. Still amazed.

At some point Ellen asked if we all wanted to go on a walking tour of downtown Montreal - Ellen's old stomping grounds - and we agreed, we being me, Kelly, Leo, Denis and Kathy. It took a while for us to assemble - whenever one of us showed up, another had to run back to get something - but we eventually made it out of the hotel.

Montreal is a beautiful city, a great mix of modern architecture with an old world atmosphere. We stopped by the Notre Dame Basilica and Chinatown (all very nice) and then started looking for a place to eat. What we hadn't done, however, was check our watches, and when we did we realized that we were all going to be late for panels we wanted to attend (and I had missed Spacebabie's Round Robin). So we had to cut short our plans to eat out and headed back to the hotel. We passed Ellen's alma mater on the way and she and Kathy eventually ducked into a cafeteria. As became a theme with me this Gathering, I wasn't hungry and, with the others being similarly without appetite, we made our way back to the hotel to attend Flanker's panel. From there I was off to Radio Play auditions.

Last year I had the role of Thailog, so I wasn't too nervous going in - right up until the DVD crew showed up. For a second it looked like they were going to film my audition, but they did not. I read as Lex, got nods of approval from Greg and Jen and left it in their hands. As I stepped out of the audition, the DVD camera was *right there.* There was only one thing I could do - look like a deer in headlights, give them a quick nod with a smile and dart away. I hope that doesn't make the cut - nobody needs to see a sleep-deprived, tired, startled Carter.

I had been very excited about the DVD crew being there, but I pretty much made it my business to avoid them. Not that I'm camera shy or anything - not by any means - I just didn't really have anything to say and I wasn't doing anything particularly interesting. So, you know, there was no point in getting in their way.

Anyway, I went back to the room and hung out with Kelly for a while until Opening Ceremonies. LOTS of first-timers at this one, close to half of the attendees. We saw the videos, Greg played a tape of many Gargoyles-involved people and we heard the pitch for the 2005 Gathering - we're goin' to Vegas!

Opening Ceremonies also included the first Clan Olympics event - many, many teams involved - that was hilarious and chaotic. After that event we went back to the room to hang out for a brief time before the Blue Mug-A-Guest. It was at this event last year that I "earned" the title "Creepy" - *poke at Greg* - so of course I was going to participate in this one. The event was going to be held in the con suite and about 60 people packed in, even though there was really only comfortable room for about half that.

It wasn't very "blue," if you will - they scheduled it before the regular Mug-A-Guest, so the many took the opportunity to ask the regular questions; that plus all the exciting DVD news was on people's minds. I would have stayed around longer but I was suddenly overcome with sleep and ducked out about 12:30 a.m.

So ended the first official day of the Gathering.

Next, "The Weekend, Pt. 1"

Greg responds...

I love those late night sessions, whether or not they turn blue.

Response recorded on May 18, 2006

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Alex Garg writes...

Thursday, August 5 - The Longest Freakin' Day:
On the road again...

Leo and I left Niagara Falls about 8:30 and had no problems getting across the border - I know, we were spoiled. Once we were across the border we sent Kelly a heads-up to let her know that we were on the way. After making that call, Kathy called to ask if I would pick up her roommate at the airport after she arrived - to which I agreed.

Hamilton should have given us a warning of traffic to come. I'm used to one-way streets, that wasn't an issue, but not an entire city of one-way streets. I managed it, however (though I almost went the wrong way down one of those pesky one-way streets), and found parking.

We found Kelly, I dropped off Squidgy's toys, Leo scared Squidgy off by taking many, many, many pictures of her, Kelly and I exchanged CDs (which I wasn't originally aware that we were doing, but it worked) and we were off once again.

Toronto is a very impressive city - skyscrapers, CN Tower, etc., much like NYC; and the traffic's about the same. This didn't help us when the GPS decided that we should see Toronto more closely and turn off the highway an exit too soon. We were never *lost* in Toronto, despite what Kelly and Leo might describe in their journals, we stayed on the same street the entire time - we just had trouble finding a suitable exit.

Anyway, because the GPS was kind enough to take us off the highway then peter out (going back to that problem of not managing to download the detail maps), Leo was left to navigate. He got us onto a parkway which led us back to the highway and we fled Toronto hastily.

A short time after noon Lord Sloth (Rob) called and wondered if we could still swing by and pick him up, and I had no problems doing so - well, I had no problems agreeing to do so anyway... sort of.

Cell phone coverage was less than sharp along that stretch of highway which led to some amusing conversation.

Rob: "I'm wearing a white shirt." + cell phone static = "What's your insurance?"
Me: "...State Farm...?"

Less amusing was the fact that when he said we should take the third exit into Kingston we just took the third in a series of seven exits and ended up far, far off course. However, like in Toronto we got through it and picked up Rob without further incident - unless you count the fun we had at the A&W store when trying to pick up food.

Let's not go there.

It was more smooth sailing from Kingston to Montreal, but it was in Montreal that things got very, very interesting and frightening. Like with any metropolis, traffic piled up when we were about 20 minutes out. Then it piled up some more. Then some more.

I've had this route planned for months down to the mile and minute - unfortunately, I must have thought that Rush Hour didn't exist in Canada because that's when I planned the minute I'd arrive in Montreal. On top of that, the drivers in that part of the country are, to put it nicely, insane. So, we were approaching a metropolis in Rush Hour conditions with the worst drivers Canada has to offer.

To this respect, Montreal is Canada's Washington, D.C. - I was home.

On top of the traffic, Rob let us know that he needed to be at the hostel by 6 (it was around 4:45 when we learned this) otherwise they were going to drop his reservation. The crunch was on.

As at home as I was with the traffic patterns, it took a second to dawn on me that I had crossed over to the other side - the tourist. I can't stress how often I grind my teeth at a Georgian who swerves from lane to lane playing dodge-car with Marylanders, or how often I need to charge around a New Yorker who is obeying the posted speed limit in spite of the flow of traffic. Now, I could imagine the Quebecers who took a glance at my Virginia tags and felt their hearts sink at the knowledge that this tourist was going to throw a wrench into their traffic.

And how I did.

All right, let's talk a little bit about that sketch tunnel that welcomes you into Montreal. Because, you know, it's sketch - at least if you're trying to get to University St. The signs... kind of don't exist for that until you get *out* of the tunnel, if you get out at the right exit. I did not get out at the right exit. So, confused, I got back *into* the tunnel and popped out even farther from where I needed to be. From there, things got weird.

I fumbled through Montreal until we got to a major road at which time I pointed towards downtown and hoped to cross University. Let's talk about this road that I turned on.

Okay, imagine your standard four-lane road. On the far right you have your bus/taxi lane, on your far left you have your turning lane - all normal; the middle two lanes are, instead, one big-ass lane that two cars share. To repeat - that two cars share.

Never have I heard of such a thing, much less driven such a thing. I would have been more than happy to turn off of it, but Leo had discovered that the road took us almost directly to Rob's hostel (it was about 5:30 at this point). Traffic was heavy, time was running out, and I was completely in the dark as to what was going on. Eventually I got sick of it all and just sank into D.C. commuter mode.

I must have angered many a Quebecer, much less scared Leo, Kelly and Rob - but I give props to my mad driving skills (Kathy, if you're reading this, stop laughing).

With about 10 minutes to spare we dropped Rob off a block from his hostel, and he reported later that he got his reservation with four minutes remaining. With that mission accomplished, we made it to the hotel (after having to briefly leave Montreal) and got ourselves squared away.

I had planned to arrive with enough time to relax myself, but the traffic ordeal had made it so that I had to leave the hotel to pick up Denis and Kathy pretty much as soon as I stepped into the room.

Off I went.

Getting to Dorval was simplistic - just had to take a highway and follow the signs. Again, the Maryland-like driving qualities of Quebecers, the setting Sun in my eyes and a really sketchy roundabout kept me on my toes. I saw that Denis' flight was two hours delayed and was going to come in about the same time that Mandi, Kathy's roommate, would be coming in, so fortunately I would only have one more trip after this one. I picked up Kathy without much of a wait and it was back to Montreal.

Determined not to make the same traffic mistakes I had made on my first ride in, I made new ones. This included screwing up the tunnel again *and* running a red light - first time for everything. Overall, though, getting Kathy to the hotel was much, much easier than getting my roommates there.

Had a little downtime in the room then it was off to get Denis and Mandi. At least, we left the room to do so. Kathy and I decided that since customs was adding an hour to people's wait times we would just hang around the lobby. Oh, boy, talked to a lot of people (Michael, Lenny, Mara, A Fan... lots more), saw Greg show up (tired) and then we were off.

Mandi showed up... Denis didn't. After an hour, Denis still hadn't shown up. After an hour and a half and learning that British Airways was undergoing a complete meltdown at Dorval... Denis didn't show up.

We waited until midnight for Denis and then figured that he'd be intelligent enough to realize that we weren't going to wait around all night and just take a shuttle. This he did - just two hours earlier, minutes before we showed up at Dorval.


Got to the room at 1 a.m., unrolled the airmat that my fellow office intern loaned me and called it a day - a long, long day.

Day's mileage: 480
Total mileage: 930

Greg responds...

Wow... you are a generous and dedicated soul.

Response recorded on May 18, 2006

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Alex Garg writes...

Tuesday, August 3 - Prologue:
Typical day at work. Got up around 7:30 a.m., out of the house around 9, in by 10 (love that summer recess intern work schedule: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.). I left a note for my parents to dig up my passport so I'd be all good to cross the border - for years I've insisted on keeping it, but they've always said that it would be better for them if they kept everybody's stuff together. At about 11 I get a call from my dad - Dad never calls my office unless it's something big.

Mom was sick and couldn't remember where my passport is (she was under the impression that I had it. See note above, understand the minor headache that washed over me at that moment). So, I said that I'd just go with my birth certificate.

Apparently, that's with my passport.


Fortunately, I was born in D.C., so I cut out from work early to head down to D.C. Vital Records to pick up a new certificate. I don't know if it's because I work for the bureaucracy that has made me immune to fear of bureaucracy (the DMV doesn't scare me, either) or that I was too dedicated to getting this checked off my list that I wasn't thinking about what a trip of this nature entailed, but I set off to do it anyway.

There's nothing like walking in a suit in 90 degrees + humidity for a mile-and-some to get you in the mood for filing paperwork. And, of course, there's nothing like sitting around for 80 minutes while the people who came in after you get their certificates first to keep that energy going, not to mention the words of encouragement coming from the man who had been waiting five hours for his certificate.

So, after that long wait I got what I sought and was on my way. I did all my packing that night, made Kelly her mix CDs, double and triple checked with the hotels that all my reservations were in order and took a good, long sleep in preparation for tomorrow.

Here's what I didn't do: get drinks for the ride, get Kelly's cat, Squidgy, any toys and download the maps I needed to my GPS - I had the route in there for about a week, just not the maps along the way. I could do those in the morning.

Wednesday, August 4 - Onward:
Dad woke me up on his way out at around 7:30 a.m. and we had our goodbyes. I went through my morning routine and was out the door at about 8:30 to take care of the last-minute details of my trip and I left the computer to download those GPS maps. While out I picked up the drinks, an Arnold Schwarzenegger "The Governator" chew toy and scratching post for Squidgy, a 128 MB memory disc for my digital camera and a new pair of headphones for Kelly as a belated birthday present (Squidgy had destroyed hers a few days earlier).

I returned home about 9:45 to check on my maps, only to see warnings that my device didn't have enough room to hold them all and the map of Montreal was corrupted. So after sacrificing the maps of D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and greater Ontario in order to keep maps of the key cities *and* reinstalling Montreal… I was out of time. Leo was due into Dulles at 11:10 and, the airport being 40 minutes away, I needed to go.

At 10:06 I posted in my LJ "See you all in Montreal!!!" and was off shortly thereafter - quickly grabbing a road atlas on my way out.

No problems at Dulles, other than getting together with Leo, but through much of the morning we didn't have any incident. We stopped in Altoona, Pa., for a bit of lunch about 1:30 p.m. but for the most part had a straight shot - although through some very windy, skecthy back roads.

One of the great things about today was that my older sister was on her way *back* from Canada and pretty much along the same route. She gave me a ring at some point in the afternoon that she had just gotten through a major storm in Pa. and wanted to know where we were.

We were just entering the storm at that point.

It was, well, massive, and we had to pull over a few miles east of Du Bois to wait it out, but from there (I promise this time) - straight shot.

Pennsylvania is entirely too big, BTW.

We got into our hotel in Niagara Falls, N.Y., around 7:30 p.m. without much trouble and ordered a pizza for dinner (culture clash - how big is a sheet of pizza?) We called Kelly to let her know that we were just across the border and to confirm the time we'd be picking her up (and asked her the question above - she didn't know).

That night we had to contend with a very, very loud tour group that had taken up the hall. So, though I ended up sleeping soundly, it took a few hours to get there.

Day's mileage: 450

Next, "The Longest Freakin' Day"

Greg responds...

Now, I've got two of you leaving me in suspense...

Response recorded on May 17, 2006

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Spacebabie writes...

Thursday, Aug 5

Woke up and showered. Greg bought Donut Holes. I ate a few along with some coffee. Greg, Alex, Revel and I tried to wake up the others. We paused to admire Greg's action figures and Revel pointed out one of his Peter Parker figures appeared to be constipated. After a few laughs we managed to get the others up. I decided to show off and picked up Aaron from behind. He went LIMP and had to sit back down. Now I know how Lynati feels. (Ask her or Aaron about a certain Akon story)

We managed to get everyone fed and dressed and head out to the hardware store to pick up more supplies for Lynati's costume and then fill the cars with gas and the coolers with ice and sodas

We passed by the Catskills (More mountains and another Washington Irving Setting.)

The lines at the borders were long, but we managed to make it through. We pulled over to a rest stop to get better directions. It seemed the second we drove over the border the temperature dropped. Coat time! I tried to wait along with the others but because of my sandals. (Comfortable for traveling) I had to jump back into Hyena to warm up my feet. After we received directions we continued toward Montreal.

The star wars jokes picked up when we drove through this tight trench made up of cement dividers. As we drove up on the bridge into Montreal Greg noticed a big glowing red search light and made an LOTR joke. Our first exit was blocked off but we managed to find another one and drove towards the hotel.

Nearly everyone got out to find the real place to park and try to get our keys. Several people in the fandom were there to greet us including Sapphire, who looks totally differed sans glasses. We got out our suitcases and I watched the stuff while Revel and Emambu park the cars in the basement parking lot.

After dropping off our luggage we went down to socialize. I met with Ckayote from the S8 comment room: Another Floridian and a fellow Golden Knight. I tried to stay awake but I could actually hear the lullaby music form the Sims game in my head. I had to crawl into bed before I passed out on the lobby floor.

Next up Friday.

Greg responds...

Sure... keep me in suspence... ;)

Response recorded on May 17, 2006

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Kaylee Skylyn writes...

(Second try. Not sure it made it the first time...)

Gathering 2004 Con Report/Journal
By Kaylee Skylyn

My gathering experience started well before the gathering. Little did I know what I was getting myself into when I volunteered to do the website for this years Gathering. Being a very shy person and very very thrifty I had never attended a Gathering before. Main reason tho is that I never considered myself a people person and was not fond of crowds, let alone crowds of virtual strangers, so never could bring myself to attend. After attending this year I can totally see why people make the Gathering a priority. The con staff was GREAT and the live meeting early in the year allowed me to get to know them first so I could better deal with everything else afterwards.

By being on staff I gained a good insight into how the Gathering worked and was amazed at the dedication people put into it. But my actual Gathering experience started days before the gathering when I tried to finish my costume in time. I'm such a procrastinator so had left it to the last week before hand. I only partly succeeded in finishing it. I ended up taking Wednesday off work to work on my costume and to pack. I was NOT ready to leave for Montreal yet so I really needed the extra day. There was much stress on Wednesday. Wednesday night I left Milton late and drove the 5 hours to my parents' house.

Thursday August 5, 2004

I got a few hours sleep then got up around 8:30 to say hello to my mom before grabbing breakfast and a few things then heading off the rest of the way to Montreal, which luckily was only 2 hours or so.
I arrived at Karines house around 12:30 to meet the rest of the staff and cart supplies to the hotel. After greeting everyone we trekked inside to get organized. We then piled into the van and car and took a bit of time for a Poutine lunch around the corner. The van was packed FULL of people, luggage and supplies so we filled the space left in my car. We unloaded everything at the Hotel and left most of the staff there to pack the envelops for registration while me and Karine gathered the rest of the supplies including the Anthology (which turned out wonderfully!) By the time we had most everything in place it was getting late and we sat down for a breather while Patrick and others took the van to pick up Greg at the airport.
When Greg arrived we all jumped up to greet him. Everyone was very happy to see him and stood back watching. This was my first time meeting Greg, I suspect he knew who I was by me being the only new face in the group and I was amazed how wonderful and …not aloof he was. Then we trekked down old Montreal looking for an open food place. We didn't have to go far so when we found one we crowded in. We ate, talked and laughed. Greg was a GREAT guy to hang out with, I can see why he is so well loved by the fans. After a nice dinner we walked back to the hotel. I love the old buildings in that section of town so I spent most of the walk looking around at the wonderful stonework. I also like how there are horse and buggies driving around and had to stop to say hello to an off duty horse (I love draft horses). When we got back to the hotel it was fairly late so we agreed to meet for a breakfast meeting the next morning then split up and headed to bed.
Photos from the day:

Friday August 6th 2004

I slept in a bit so had to wait for the shower, once it was free I took a speed shower but still was a bit late getting to the meeting. We walked down to a nearby breakfast restaurant and had a meeting during our time there. We went over who was doing what and made sure everything was covered. I don't remember what I mainly was doing… o_O I do remember running around a lot. I did my task then I tried to make sure everyone else had what they needed. The time flew and before I knew it it was 12 and someone asked me if the Perspective panel was still on so I took over setting up the Auction display while Karine ran down to do her panel. After everything in the dealers room was ready and people started filing in I started making sales from the Con table…despite not having the cash box. Heh…oh well. I make a few sales with exact change so that was good, and not hard as most were nice flat prices. The dealers room was fairly busy for a while and we sold a number of t-shirts ending up with only large left. That was encouraging. After things there settled down again I left Alan to cover the table alone and wandered about checking on things. It didn't take long for me to find another job and I spelled some staff off at the registration table. Part of me wanted to go to the radio play auditions but I knew I would not do very well. Being very shy and all, I also don't like to have the camera focused on me. I'd like to be on the DVD for a bit but am to self conscious for to concentrated attention.
Soon it was time for opening ceremonies and so we shut down the registration and started setting up for opening ceremonies. After we set things up and finaly got the equipment running properly we opened the doors and waited for our guest of honour to arrive. Apparently "Where's Greg?!? Is a very common question at the con. *giggles* Shortly after we had everyone and the staff went on stage, took their seats and Karine got started. I stayed below the stage with the crowd, not wanting all those eyes on my but also to run the tapes for Greg. I loved Gregs speech and the promotional videos of Gargs. They were great. And the tape of the other voice actors messages to us at the convention were very cool too. Very nice to hear them all. Being my first con these were all new to me and was great to see them, very cool to see what he went through to convince the others to make the show, and boy am I glad he succeeded!
After opening ceremonies many staff headed out to dinner with Greg again but I was exhausted so I went back to my room for a snack and a long nap. Happily I woke up just before the blue mug-a-guest so I headed up to the con suite and waited for Greg and the others. The room slowly filled and I'm sure we had more than the scheduled 30 people, not that Greg minded and we didn't have the heart to turn any away as long as there was room to breath. I LOVED the mug-a-guest! It was so cool to just sit and listen to Gregs comments on the show and the background of the show, gargoyle biology, love lives and other cool things. It was stated that this was the most tame mug-a-guest ever but I found it very cool that way. Finally Greg had to dash to the bathroom at 2 am and I took the opportunity to do the same. I was starting to nod off just before that so I decided to just go to bed lest I not be able to function the next day.
Photos of the day:

Saturday August 7, 2004

I managed to get just in time to make in to the con suite for our morning breakfast meeting. Having been a bit late getting back yesterday we decided to go to the hotel restaurant. We all went for the breakfast buffet being fast and lost of food…but it turned out to be darned expensive… We went over jobs and duties and quickly headed out to do our jobs. I ran to the store for a few things before heading up to watch the con suite. I managed to grab my costume and worked on the bottom hem (the only part of it unfinished) of it while I was watching the suite. If I hadn't of had that to work on I would have been quite nervous and fidgety. I like to feel like I'm helping out or at least working in some way.
Luckily Patrick was able to spell me off for a while and I caught the SCA combat demonstration, I was really looking forward to that. I was very thankful. It was cool, fun to see them play around with the swords and see the different styles. When they took a half hour break I rushed upstairs for a shower and then peeked in the con suite and took over the duties again...although sadly it was to late for him to catch the biology seminar. I felt bad (not having known he wanted to see it). So I returned to watching the con suite and working on my dress.
As radio play started Karine popped up and we closed up the con suite and I was SO GLAD I got to watch the radio play (I had forgotten what time it started). It was AWSOME!! I loved how everyone put so much into the voices and it went of so very well! So cool!
I think it was after radio play that they announced the music videos so I grabbed a con suite key and ran upstairs with the first elevator or fans. Saph still beat me to the door. *laugh* But I let them all in and started the videos, we had a good crowd. I passed around a sheet for them to vote on and we got quite a few votes down which was nice. My favourite of the videos won: Faint. So that was cool too, but they were all nicely done!
The time flew and it was time for the banquet before I knew it. My costumes bottom hem was not finished but I ran upstairs and changed into it anyways. While waiting for the elevator Greg came down the hall and I think the look on his face will be etched in my memory. A sorta double take-blink sorta thing. I think I surprised him with my costume. *giggles* I hope he liked it! I took a needle and worked on the finishing touch between courses. I got the front half of it completed and that was good. Made me happy because the back of the hem could be hidden by the cape.
The baquet was great! I really liked the food, although my table mates didn't seem to like it. *shrugs* I loved it. I also think If I am going to pay any sum of money for a banquet I want a NICE banquet, not a cheep buffet. And this banquet was a VERY NICE banquet. I really lucked out as well and I got the chocolate disert. The one I could actually eat too! Made me very happy and it was so taisty.
Near the end of the banquet our long awaited guest Keith arrived! He was greeted with warm applause. It was cool to see him, my first time putting the name to the face. We had a bit of a mug-a-guest as Keith tried to answer questions between bites of food (and he was sure trying to eat as fast as he could) Greg tried to answer questions as well but poor Keith still had trouble eating. For the two days he was at the convention I felt bad for him, as we never gave him a moments peace.
After the banquet we gave everyone some time to get into costume and us time to get ready for the Masquerade. After a while I wandered up to find some of the staff and me and Si decided to go through with our evil cos-play. We asked to go last rather than first because we were both so nervous. Si went as page-boy Tom and me as Princess Katherine so we played the scene where the Princess knights Tom as Guardian of the Eggs. But our evil twist, or Si's evil twist anyways, was that Tom jumps up and kisses Katherine at the end. So we decided to do that, but not really kiss but pretend to. I'm not sure I did very well….ok, I know I didn't. I totally blanked out when we got up there then totally lost my Princess Katherine accent…oy, I was embarrassed….but everyone seemed to like it as we did get some applause and the staff found it very funny. (as we had not told anyone except possibly our roommates, about our plan). Everyone's costumes were great! It was really great how almost all the staff had dressed up too. Very cool. I think the Mask was my favourite part. I'm hopping I can get on the DVD at least for a few seconds with my costume, but I kind of didn't go in the right spot for them to see me in the cos-play. I had my back to them…opps. Well there goes my only chance. Bla.
Afterwards we set up the music stuff and played some music but mostly they did Karaoke. I do not sing well and do not sing in front of others so I did not stick around for too too long. I did feel very bad about going to bed before Greg left as he was so great to just hang out with. I wanted to have another mug-a-guest that night too. :P I think he just stayed up all night talking with people. I wanted to stay up but just couldn't…
Photos from the day :

Sunday August 8th, 2004

We got up for the usual morning meeting, this time me and my roomies were a bit late as we all slept until 9. Those there decided to go to the bagel shop close by, not wanting to pay outrageously at the hotel restaurant. As I couldn't eat anything they would have there (due to gluten intolerance) I decided to stay and have a shower, for breakfast I ate some fruit I brought just for this type of occurrence. When the staff got back and we got to work I found myself jumping between jobs as people needed me.
I wandered over to the animation magazines table during a slow time and started browsing their stuff. The guy promptly swept over and hit me with the plug, and did well as he got me to sign up for the mailing list with the slight chance that I could win a CD.
Keith slept in, and I certainly don't blame him, but this meant that there were lots of people milling about waiting for his mug-a-guest. When Keith finally did come down and do the mug a guest he was great! Such a cool guy and the fans had a good time too. I helped to finish taking down the art show set up as quietly as I could while he was talking (and me trying to listen). After the mug-a-guest we started to set up for closing ceremonies, I kept running errands and such then came back for a few seconds and was just about to run off again when I hear someone call my real name (a rare occurrence this weekend) I look around kinda dazed and Karine points at me and I see the magazine guy holding up one of the ballets and I realise I won something! How cool is that! So I picked out a CD, not having any idea what any of them are I just chose the cover I liked the look of best. Later Si explained what the anime was about and now that I listen to it, it does have son nice music so it was a good choice.
Somewhere in the Keith mug a guest Abe Wintersmith pulls me aside and asks me to help him set up the surprise for the staff. He had this planed for MONTHS. He had bought tones of chocolate and some wine as a thank you for the staff. I was nervous about it…I had no idea if I could keep the secret and get the staff up all at the same time. But we set up ok and I kept the key away from Karine as best I could. Then me and Ian tried to keep all the staff OUT of the con suite until the reveal time…it was hard! Everyone kept wanting to go up, and most of the time I could divert them by saying I could run up for them…but there were a few times they would not let me. I forget the first but then Tal needed to put some of his art away, then Karine needed her closing ceremonies notes and wasn't sure where they were… So each time I escorted them up and tried to look nonchalant as I stood IN FRONT of the door to the half of the con suite with the chocolate and wine. Boy was I nervous someone would see it! But NO ONE DID! *cackles!*
Closing ceremonies was prity good. Just before starting I had to go let Keith know we were about to start. The poor guy. Right after his mug-a-guest the DVD guys interviewed him for an hour or so. I found him in the restaurant trying desperately to get some food into himself and burning his tough trying. I felt horrible….but told him that we were starting…but to take his time! (he didn't of course, I felt so bad) so a bit after we started he came in and I popped down to show him to the stage and to a spot to sit up there. After Karine summed everything up Cindy gave out the art show awards, and Clan Olympics gave out their awards we then gave the 2005 staff a chance to pimp next years con in Las Vegas. When Closing ceremonies was finished Keith ran off for a bit and me and Liz tried to convince the rest of the staff that it was essential that we go up to the con suite for an emergency meeting! It took a lot of convincing but eventually they all agreed to. We ushered everyone up and I opened the doors to the other half "Come on in!" Karine was the first in I think and she was "Oh wow…" which was followed by the others, after the speechlessness (besides the wows) it was quiet for a minute and then someone said "So what was this emergency meeting about?".*laugh* Your looking at it. So Karine read Scott's (Abe) awesome letter and the staff thought it was totally awesome. And they thought it was a great idea to carry on as well. So I left them to it and popped back downstairs to make sure the signing session with Keith had started alright and boy was the line long! It was cool tho. And I let Abe know that the thank you gift was well received.
Just before Keith started the signing session tho he had be talking to some staff and I went to apologise again for interrupting his lunch. He spotted my necklace of porcupine quills and claws and leaned in for a REALLY close look (like inches from my neck) as he asked what it was. I was a bit surprised and didn't really respond to coherently...I'm not use to people being in my personal space and not use to a celeb doing that at the least! I told him what it was and then he asked where I got it. "Uhhhh…a trail I use to walk on?" I wanted to tell the full story but was too nervous and before I could collect my thoughts he was whisked off to the signing. I felt a bit silly.
After that I wasn't sure what to do with myself. It took a while for it to set in that "Hey the con is over." And I got a bit of a sad feeling. I really had a good time with the staff, they were all so awesome! I hung around watching fans get stuff signed then eventually wandered back to the con suite to relax. I later felt bad I didn't wait till Keith was done with the signatures to really thank him for everything, and apologise again. Eventually the staff slowly tricked back up to the con suite and we started the dead dog party. We ordered pizza, or rather the rest ordered pizza and I ordered a side of fries. We broke open the wine and started the drinking. It was VERY good wine! Ian had also been sent to buy us some other drinks earlier so Karine mixed up some stuff for us and the wine was gone in no time! We had a good time relaxing, it was nice to know it all went off alright. Granted there were some bumps but there was nothing really big that went wrong so we had much to be happy about.
Just before midnight we all started to wind down and some of us wandered off to bed. We tidied up a bit and vacated the con suite so Karine-mom could get some much needed sleep. I stopped in at Abe's room (as it was right beside mine) and watched them play Mario for a bit before I got too tired and headed to bed.
Photos from the day:

Monday August 9, 2004

I had to get up fairly early so I could get Patrick to drive me back to Karines, where my car was parked, before they headed off to La Rond. I took a speed shower and grabbed almost all of my stuff. (I realised later I forgot my shampoo and such but no biggy). We unloaded the art room stuff at Karines house then I said my goodbye and got in the car. I was kinda sad again, realising this was the end of the end. I loved hanging out with this gang and was sad to leave, but I really did need to get back. I REALLY couldn't afford another day off work. So I drove out of Montreal and back to my parents house, picked up some stuff, said Hi and Bye to mom then continued back to Milton. My adopted kitty was certainly glad to see me when I got home.

It was a great weekend! I thank the staff for being so very awesome and such a great effective staff. They all made me feel so welcome. I really had a good time being on the staff and I am very happy to have met them and to (if I may) call them friends. Thanks guys!

Greg responds...

And thank you for all your hard work too.

I'm afraid those picture links don't work anymore. That's the trouble with having a two year backlog, I guess. Things get outta date.

Response recorded on May 16, 2006

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Spacebabie writes...

Gathering or Bust!
In preparation for the mega trip I made sure everything was ready. Water dishes were filled the food storage was full of cat food. Dyed my hair red for both costume and to cover up my few gray hairs. Printed out synopsis for my panel and even the schedule. The last thing was make a packing list and of course pack.

We did a lot of driving in a couple of days. If you want to save on money on flying then organize a road trip for a Gathering. It's more fun when there are a group of people. You are going to need the following"

Gas Money. Have some of the other people in the car pitch in for gas.

More than one person who knows how to drive

Snacks. Get a good variety so you don't always have to stop for food.

Music. It doesn't have to always be music Comedy CD's are also good

Walkie Talkies. If there is more than one car.

Decent Maps.

Sunday, Aug 1

Flew out to Houston on an Express Jet. It was a cramped little thing. They had to reopen the door and close it thus soaking the flight attendant. We were extra nice to her. Landed at terminal B Revel was parked in C. We rode the monorail to C. We stopped by the Food Bucket to pick up snacks for the trip. We got a good variety. There were chips, crackers, jerky, candy and granola bars.

Monday, Aug 2

We made last minute preparations. Talked with Mara and Gregx via Instant messenger and made sure they had their papers ready. I did some sketching and watched Princess Bride. Revel's mother did some last minute stitching on the jacket for Revel's costume and she helped me laminate my badge for my costume. Aaron and Mara arrived after I have gone to bed.

Tuesday, Aug 3

The four of us woke up real early and loaded the coolers with ice and sodas and packed away our luggage into the back of Hyena. After we drove out of Houston I fell asleep. I woke up around when Revel pulled into a McDonald's parking lot. I had a Sausage McMuffin and a cup of coffee.

During the first part of the trip I was in charge of the music until I snoozed again. We switched around seating positions at gas stations. Revel and I were both falling asleep when Aaron thought a Highway patrol man was after him. It turned out it was the car in front of us. We stopped for Arbies in dinner in Tennesse. I forgot what it was called but I had the grilled chicken sandwich with pepper bacon combo. I fell asleep sometime when we were in Kentucky and we played a few word games when we arrived in Ohio. When we drove through Cincinnati I looked around for the WKRP sign. Afterwards I kept dozing off and on until we reached Emambu's place in Pittsburgh. The sun was rising when we left Hyena. Emambu and Lynati greeted us and helped us stagger back to the places Emambu had set up for us to sleep.

Wednesday, Aug 4

Technically we began the day by falling asleep at Emambu's. The original plan was to leave around 2 PM. We got everyone awake by 2. A group of the earlier risers went out and bought bagels and coffee for everyone. I had a blueberry with cream cheese. After we had eaten and showered we had left Emambu's in two cars. Revel and I were in Hyena and everyone else was in the Mafia cruiser. We communicated with each other over the Walkie Talkies. The Rogue Squadron has been born. We stopped at a mega gas station for gas and food. Revel and I split a pizza stuffed pretzel. We continued driving through Pennsylvania, even going through tunnels in some of the mountains. I haven't seen mountains since I was eleven so the whole scenery was amazing. The higher altitude caused the tops of some of the Pringles to bulge. Before we drove into New Jersey we saw this sing "Last Exit in Pennsylvania. It almost read as "Your last change to get off the road before you enter New Jersey." We drove through NJ and into New York. This was when the rain stated. We drove past the area known as Sleepy Hollow. The haunt of the headless horsemen is a golf course. After some confusing roads we finally found Greg's house.

Next up: Thursday

Greg responds...

I've read so many versions of this trip by now, I almost feel like I was on it with you guys. ;)

Response recorded on May 15, 2006

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Matt Fews writes...

Saturday August 7th

Having being dropped off at 9:00 at the Dorval bus station, I took the 211 downown, from there, took the Orange line to Square Victoria.

I had no trouble finding the hotel.

Upon entering the hotel, I took the escalator to the Mezzanine where I signed up for a day pass.

Having been given a badge and program, decided to take part in the Trivia challenge, being somewhat good with trivia myself.

When that was finished, I ventured into the dealer room, where I picked up a T-shirt and deposited a 3-D jigsaw that I had to the auction.

At the point, I headed up to the Con Suite where I scarfed a whole bag of B-Bque chips(Broadway would be proud).

At 12:30, went down to see the auction and was bummed that the item that I wanted was already sold.

Oh well, at least this presented me with the opportunity to purchase a copy of PGA back in the dealer room.

I was totally flabbergasted by some of the artwork. Man I wish I knew how to draw like that.

Then came the radio play, Kudos on all of you who were brave enough to participate in it.

After it ended, I seized the moment to have Greg sign my program.

Back up to the Con Suite I went for more of Season 1.

Before I knew it, it was 6 in the evening, I was bouncing off the walls in anticipation for the arrival of Keith, that I handed my program after writing my address on the back of it to someone who told me that they would have Keith sign it for me.

I guess in all the excitemnt/confusion, I had no idea that it was Kanthara that took my program from me.

And so ends my First(and hopefully not last) con experience.

Greg responds...

Maybe next time you can stay and hang...

Response recorded on May 12, 2006

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Kelly/Sapphire writes...

From your G'04 journal: "Kelly told us all of her obsession with Dr. Doom. (How obsessed is she? Well, let's just say I found myself getting jealous.)"

You know I love you, Greg! :D *smooch* ~ And I was glad we got you during dinner instead of Keith. If only because I'm more comfortable around you, and have more fun talking /with/ you, having an actual conversation. As opposed to listening to a bunch of people ask random questions.

Greg responds...

Cool, I'm glad SOMEbody wasn't disappointed to get me over Keith-isn't-here-yet-David. ;)

Response recorded on May 12, 2006

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Ellen writes...


Let me establish one thing right off the bat: I love Montreal. I love its looks, its style, its earthiness, its vitality. I've carried a torch for that town ever since I first vacationed there as a high school student, exactly thirty years ago. My affair with it culminated in my two years as an undergraduate transfer student at McGill University (due to scholarship eligibility issues I had to do my freshman and sophomore years elsewhere). Those years as an honorary "habitant" ignited a passion in me that's never been extinguished. I love Chicago, but oh, you kid.

So, last year in Manhattan, when I learned that this year's Gathering was to be held in Montreal, I was thrilled to have a long-overdue excuse to get back there. This, combined with another opportunity to enjoy a meeting with my writer friends (et alia) such as I'd just had in New York, meant that my attendance this year was never in question.


Being the mother of a very active four-year-old keeps me busy, and the day I left for Montreal was no exception. It was my son's last session of day camp, so I had a blessed couple of hours to myself to pack amid the usual chaos before having to run off to the store to buy flowers and chocolates for the day camp staff for putting up with my bottle-rocket offspring. My husband was able to get home from work by late afternoon, which allowed me time to put the finishing touches on my preparation. Then it was time for the boys to take me to the airport.

Ah, sweet freedom.

The sun receded into the west as we flew east, and was gone for the night by the time we reached Quebec. As the plane descended, I peered out the window, looking for familiar landmarks. I found the silhouette of Mount Royal against the urban landscape in the distance, and spotted the four-way beacon atop the Royal Bank Building just beyond it. I grinned spontaneously and felt the thrill that the sight of this old flame of mine always gives me. That sealed the deal: I knew that this was a can't-miss weekend.

Well, okay; it missed on one account. Due to what was determined to be human error at Bell Mobilité (if the U.S. Cellular folks were giving me the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth), my cell phone was inoperative while I was in Montreal -- during the three days out of the whole year when I really, *really* needed the blasted thing. Nice job, guys.

I arrived at the hotel fairly late. Especially after spending time phoning people and trying to get my phone to work, I decided that I'd be inviting trouble by attempting to stay up much past midnight. I knew from last year's experience that I'd be getting entirely too little sleep that weekend anyway, so I did the sensible thing and called it a night.


Friday started out with breakfast with Kathy, Leo, Denis, Alex Garg, Kelly ("Sadistic Cow"), and Rob. I was particularly delighted to meet Denis and Kelly face-to-face after meeting them online. I regret not chatting with Rob, however, especially after learning that he's the Lord Sloth of S8 comment board fame, who was kind enough to offer me a cyber-cookie the first time I posted there. My apologies, Rob. I didn't mean to slight you.

Breakfast *did* feature the first of several good chats I had with Kathy, however, and for that I'm pleased.

We headed from there up to the mezzanine to register. There I greeted my "adopted nephew" Dylan and met his fiancée Mary, greeted my dear Philly pal Allaine (who chastised me, good-naturedly but rightfully, for not alerting him when I went to breakfast), greeted Spacebabie, greeted Silver and her mother, greeted Sarah the Great...so many faces, familiar from last year, and how nice to see them all.

And I finally met Christine Morgan and her family. As I've said many a time, she is my first and best inspiration in this delightful little world of fan fiction writing, and having the chance to shake her hand at long last was a special treat.

I then sat down to study the packet of information I'd just received from the hardworking con staff. I was pleasantly interrupted by my breakfast companions inquiring whether I was game for walking around the city with them. Naturally, I was -- once I'd changed into more practical shoes, that is.

We walked past the Basilica of Notre Dame de Montréal and wandered through Chinatown, then headed north to Sherbrooke, my companions amiably agreeing to head back eastward along one of the city's main arteries. We turned back south on University and ended up at an indoor food court at Place Ville Marie.

We'd nearly stopped for sandwiches along Sherbrooke, and I was ever so glad we waited. Kathy and I ended up ogling the food stations lustfully, in a state of total sensory overload and not knowing how to decide among the sushi, custom-made pizzas, mussels, fresh fish... Then we came across a cozy little seating area that featured salmon and beef tartare, and it was game-over. Kathy had the salmon canapés; I succumbed to the temptation of the raw beef. We each had a glass of wine, and we shared an utterly delightful conversation, over the course of which I began to discover just how fascinating an individual she is.

Predictably, we made it back to the hotel frightfully late for John/Flanker's discussion of real-life weaponry and its equally realistic use. This was typical of the weekend, though. The limit to the number of hours in each day made everything a trade-off -- sacrifice a half an hour here for the same amount of time there, try (and, of course, fail) to be in two places at once, make the best choices, on the spot, under the circumstances. I wouldn't have given up a moment of my lunch with Kathy, but it cost me the opportunity to hear John speak for longer than I did. And he's an excellent speaker, too. In the end, I settled for being (very) pleased just to have met this impressive young gentleman.

I had a little time to myself before the opening ceremonies, so I made a dépanneur run. Dépanneurs (the name literally means "breakdown service," in the automotive sense) are convenience stores that dot the city of Montreal, and the nearest one was in the train station. I stocked up on all the essentials -- extra water, Diet Coke, beer, and Coffee Crisp candy bars. I returned to my room with my booty and dressed for the evening.

Between Greg and his presentations and MAui and Abe with their Clan Olympics hijinks, the Opening Ceremonies were thoroughly entertaining. The inclusion of the words "uncut" and "unedited" in Greg's announcement of the December 7 DVD release drew a spontaneous shout of joy from me, and I wasn't by any means the only one. As for the Clan Olympics, it's always a treat to see Allaine loosen up. As for Dylan (he of the well-stuffed shirt), he's always loose. I'll be watching closely to see whether his cries of "Acadie!" and accompanying flag-waving make it onto the DVD.

After that it was dinnertime -- late, of course, as befits Montreal. Princess Alexandria, Allaine, Dylan and I ended up at an Italian-style sports-bar-type place downtown (after a few wrong turns owing to my dismal memory of the layout of downtown). This was truly a special occasion. Great conversation and good food with friends we see but once a year (if that). Priceless.

When we got back to the hotel, we headed to the con suite for the Blue Mug-a-Guest session. I agree that it wasn't terribly blue this year, because we were all preoccupied with the release of the DVD. (My guess is that next year's session in Vegas will be back on its proper track of impropriety.) One of the highlights for me, however, was the chance to lean over to Gorebash and compliment him on his Station 8 Gargoyles site. He'll never hear such remarks as often as he deserves.

In theory, I could have sat and listened to the Boss talk all night long and then some, but when his flesh proved weak and he took a potty break, mine proved weak as well, and I embraced this opportunity to go collapse into bed. After all, I did have responsibilities the following morning.

(To be continued.)

Greg responds...

Always nice to see that people are also making the most of the environs of the Gathering. It's one of the things that makes the Gathering special and different. New places to explore. I never (or rarely) have the time to explore, but I'm glad someone does.

Response recorded on May 10, 2006

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Yggdrasil writes...

Gathering Journal

Thursday August 5, 2004

The day started off on a sour note, as I spent the first three hours of my morning proctoring a genetics exam. For those of you who don't know, proctoring involves sitting around and doing nothing for three hours. Anyways, the exam wrapped up and it was off to Montreal. Since I live in Ontario, it was only a 6 hour adventure. The only rough part of the drive was passing through Toronto. In Canada, Toronto has two seasons; winter and construction.

I made it into Montreal by about 8:00. After checking in and dropping off my stuff, I made a quick jaunt down to the lobby to say hello to anyone who was there and then went for a walk in the city. After 12:00 it was time for bed after putting some final touches on my presentation.

Friday August 6, 2004

It Begins. Picked up my registration package, said hello to several more people and then dropped into Con Virgin 101. The room was pretty empty, but the event did help to set the tone for the Con. Thanks for your info Sapphire.

In the afternoon I listened to Flanker's combat discussion (I provided the projector), and had a chance to meet Aaron, Hudson and Greg B. The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around downtown before the opening ceremonies. I found a nice café by the docks, and pretty much ate there for the duration of the con. It may have taken about 30 min to walk to, but it was worth it.

The opening ceremonies were a series of revelations. Since this was my first gathering, many of the events and information were new to me. The Bad Guys promo was great, ditto for the Team Atlantis tape. God I'm such a geek, I'll take Gargoyles however I can get it. The Clan Olympics started with an ouch, one event and several injuries already. After the opening ceremonies there was a brief pause, where I acted as a stand in for team Canadian Body Massage. I had to skip out early, since I wanted to attend the Blue Mug a Greg. I didn't have any real questions, but I had heard that the event was a riot…it was.

Even though this was apparently the tamest Mug in memory, it was still informative. I only asked one question about whether Greg would do a commentary if they did the 3rd season. The only thing that will haunt my dreams is the shot sequence presented by Leo. I have no idea what was going on, but it was weird. At about 2:00 we were kicked out of the suite, so it was off to bed.

Saturday August, 7 2004

Saturday was a complete blur. I attended a few talks in the morning, the auction and radio play in the afternoon and then it was time for the banquet. The banquet was a very pleasant affair. Keith David was late, but it gave my time to talk with the people at my table. It was nice to put names to the faces that I knew from the TGC CR. Sarah, Revel, Spacebabie and Kathy it was nice to meet with you. I know I'm missing two people at our table, but your names have completely left my mind.

When Keith David finally arrived, pandemonium ensued. Of the entire evening, I will always remember one event. When someone asked how Keith used Goliath in Pitch Black, it led to an elongated diatribe about his relation with the director. I got to become the personification of that director. I guess I just sat in the right seat, but I got to have Keith David tear a metaphorical strip off of my hide. Memories abound.

I only attended part of the cosplay, but wow. I was amazed by everyone, but Korul (?) that was something else.

Sunday August 8, 2004

Sunday I gave my Biology talk with Whitbourne and Lynati (See I can be taught). This was a blast. I had a prepared talk, so I presented first. Considering that it was thrown together over about 5 hours I thought it was quite good. Lynati gave a quick talk about here research into Gargoyle biology and then we opened the floor to questions. Discussion covered stone skin, muscle mass, gliding, bone composition, and although no genetics really came up, I was able to contribute. After the talk I had to bail and head back to Ontario. If I manage to make it to Las Vegas next year, I would love to team up again for Gargoyle Biology part 2.

Well there you go. I'm sorry that it's so rough, but time is not on my side.

Yggdrasil (Greg Perry)

Greg responds...

Hey, I appreciated you contributing. Hope to see you soon.

Response recorded on May 09, 2006

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Anthony "Archangel"Zucconi writes...

Gathering 2004 Journal
Anthony "Archangel" Zucconi

Thursday, 5 Aug 2004

The morning had finally arrived. Today begins the trip to The Gathering. I look forward to this all year. This is my family reunion, or at least that's what I tell anyone who asks where I'm going, and I am excited. The excitement is a good thing because this early in the morning it's the only thing keeping me going.

The first flight from Melbourne, Florida to Atlanta was pretty uneventful. It was in Atlanta where the fun began. While waiting for our connecting flight, my wife and I noticed that the girl standing in front of the ticket counter was wearing Gathering nametags from past Gatherings. She looked very familiar, but neither of us was sure who she was. I told my wife that she looked like "Sapphire" but it had been a year since I'd seen her so I didn't trust that to be true. She came closer and I was able to read her name tags. I was correct; it was Sapphire (Kelly). She was just two seats away from us and she hadn't recognized us. It was time for the fun to start. I began talking to my wife about this person standing right next to us as if we didn't want her to hear us; however I spoke so loudly that it would be impossible for her not to hear. My wife caught on to this immediately and joined in the game. You could see by the look on Kelly's face that she was racking her brain trying to remember who we were while acting like she couldn't hear us. Finally she remembered, so we all sat around and talked while waiting for our plane.

The plane ride was fun. On the way the toilet broke and the flight attendant had to inform everyone as politically correct as possible as you could only deposit "liquid" waste. He held up an empty water bottle to illustrate his point. He requested Kelly draw him a little cartoon of the incident to remember it by.

When we finally arrived we had to find transportation to the hotel. I was planning on taking a cab, but luckily Kelly had been there before and knew about the bus. This made for some more play money. On the bus ride Kelly showed us her videos from "City of Heroes" which was more then enough to get me hopelessly hooked. (Thanks for killing my budget Sapphire) When we arrived at the bus stop, we still had a couple of blocks to walk to get to the hotel. Luckily I spotted it before we stopped because the buildings there were blocking any view of it.

We got to the hotel, checked in, decided to meet back in the lobby in an hour, and went up to our room. We were on the 7th floor. Apparently the hotel didn't think it would be wise to keep all the Gathering attendees on the same floor, so we were spread out all over the place. The rooms were nice though, not like some of the horror stories I heard from last year in New York. After a quick change and refresh we went back to the lobby. We were late because of my wife. Every married man reading this will know why. They'll also know I'm going to pay for writing that in this story. We met up with Sapphire again and headed up to her room. There we met up with Trishana (Karlyl), Julie (Chamaleongirl), Taylor, and Liz. We all hung out for a while talking (Julie told me the meaning of all the words I didn't understand in "Waltzing Matilda") and watching videos until hunger got the better of us, so we left in search of food. Liz knew of these glass doors in the hotel that lead to an underground alley where there where shops and food, but apparently only Harry Potter could enter the alley, because we never found it. Instead we found another alley with food and shops, so we ate there. They had a Subway which really hit the spot. There was also a place called Second Cup. This must be the Canadian version of Starbucks, which I was in dire need of. After that we headed back to the hotel. We hung around for a while waiting for this big dinner with Greg that was promised. It was supposed to be at 9:00, so we all went to the lobby at 9:00 and nobody was there. Someone got in touch with the Staff and found out it got pushed back to 10:00, so everyone just waited. Then down comes Laurean (Siryn) to tell us that the staff decided to make dinner "Staff Only". Thanks for waiting until 10:00 to tell us this. If I wasn't tired I was tempted to go anyway, but I know where I'm not wanted. It had been a long day so we headed off to bed.

Friday, 6 August 2004

Everything was due to start today so we got dressed and headed down for food. We decided to try out the restaurant in the hotel. That was a mistake. The buffet they offered cost 15.00$ CAN and the food was horrible. The pancakes couldn't be cut and they tasted like cornbread.

After breakfast we went off in search of registration. They weren't excessively late this year so we got our packets pretty quickly. It was good to see all these familiar faces again. After a nice meet and greet session we headed off to set up our stuff in the art room. I love this because it gives us a sneak peak at the art early, and this year had some good art.

After we set up Andrea wanted to see the "Perspective" presentation, so we split up for a while. I wanted to hang out with people so we agreed to meet up at 1:15. After we met up I wanted to see the "Understanding Combat" presentation, but I quickly became bored because I do that for a living. We ducked out and went to the "Voice Acting Seminar" with Greg Weisman. Keith David was supposed to be there to, but he was M.I.A. (Gratuitous Gargoyles Pun) I had a lot of fun in here. I ever got to play the part of Demona. (Eat your heart out Jen) After the seminar I waited to try out for the Radio Play while Andrea went to the "Costuming Seminar". My tryout went well, but I really blew the attempt at an English accent.

Finally it was time for Opening Ceremonies. This had all the same stuff we look forward to every year, plus they added a Clan Olympics event right in the middle of it. Greg played the audio recording for "Team Atlantis" which when you just listen to it without the visuals sounds really dirty.

After Opening Ceremonies it was time for food. We decided we were craving McDonald's so we set off on at quest for a Quarter Pounder. The first McDonald's we came to was closed, along with everything else. I guess Canadian's don't eat after 7:00.
We finally found one that was open and the quest for the Quarter Pounder was fulfilled. For anyone who's wondering, they actually call it a Quarter Pounder, but they say it in French.

We returned in time for the Blue Mug-a-Guest with Greg. It's wasn't as "Blue" as usual, but Greg didn't have Tom there with him. We suggested that we call him since it was only 8:00 in L.A. After a lot a fun it was time for bed.

Saturday, 7 August 2004

There was not to much going on early so we took the chance to sleep in. Little did we know, but this would pay off later. We got dressed and had some quick snacks to tide us over until tonight. We headed down to check out the Gathering Auction. There wasn't very much good stuff up for bid this year. I guess Gargoyles merchandise is running out. I decided to offer up 2 of my CDs to the cause. I had to run out in the middle of the Auction to rehearse for the radio play, so Andrea had to tell me how they sold.

The radio play this year was "The Journey" and I was Quarryman #1. I love being part of the radio play, but I always ask for small parts because reading isn't something that comes easy for me. Maybe next year I'll take a chance at a bigger part, but I make no promises. The performance went well and it got filmed for the DVD so maybe we'll all be stars.

Now it was time to prepare for the Banquet. This is our chance to dress up before we dress up. We headed down to the Banquet Room and were waiting around to get in. We found Kelly there so we started talking when who should show up but the DVD camera crew. They were looking for anyone with cool Gathering stories, and they had come to the right place. They let us do some acting at this point because they wanted to film us telling someone our story not telling the camera. Andrea and I told Kelly the story of how we met, fell in love, and got married all because of the Gathering. Then Kelly told us her Gathering story. Finally I told Kelly my skydiving story for fun. I hope they get on the DVD.

Now it was time to be seated. We were told to leave one empty seat at every table because some lucky table would get either Keith or Greg. Karine first announced that we would get Keith, but she misspoke she meant to say Greg, so we had to settle. Dinner was good, but not nearly filling enough for what it cost. Just once I wish the price of the Banquet was for quantity and not quality. I like to feel full after a good meal. As the meal was ending Greg ducked out to go find out where Keith was at because he still hadn't shown up. Just after he walked out Keith walked in. I tried to get everyone to keep it quiet from Greg for as long as we could but that didn't work. However Keith got to get even with his "Ladies and Gentlemen, Greg Weisman."

Now it was time to prepare for the Masquerade. I was reviving the costume that got me my wife, "Tony Dracon". Andrea went as "Bad Elisa". We headed down again and got lined up and ready to go. As we lined up they put Kelly first. The skit that she kept so secret was going to happen and we weren't going to get to see it. Next year they need to let the costumes go in first so they can see the skits. The costumes were great this year. Andrea and I were named "The Cutest Old Married Couple". After a lot of pictures we began the party. We had a decent attempt at Karaoke. It's wasn't as good as we wanted do to equipment problems, but we managed.

Sunday, 8 August 2004

The night was drawing to a close. Andrea and I joined a small group in the con-suite to wait out the rest of the night with Greg since he decided to remain awake all night because he had an early flight. Now as far as what happened in that room I'll never tell, but "Mime's" the word. Everyone said their goodbyes and as Greg left to shower and pack we were off to bed.


We woke up and headed down to close out the art room. I only sold 1 CD this year. Of the 10 I made 1 went to Greg, 1 to Keith, and 2 were donated to the Auction. Do the math and you'll see I'm still left with 5. These 5 went to the people who made this Gathering special for me. If anyone who received one reads this, thanks. In the Art Room Liz told me that Andrea had won a lot of awards for her art, but made me swear not to tell her. After that we listened to Keith talk for a while.

Closing Ceremonies wasn't quite the same without Greg, so we need to start planning the Gatherings around his daughter's birthday in the future. Afterwards we had our first business meeting where we elected our Board of Directors. I would have loved to serve on the board, but to steal a line from the show, "My time is not my own."

Finally a large group of us went to play Laser Tag. This was a great step up from the Nerf War we usually have. The Laser Tag arena even had Gargoyles hanging from the ceiling. The games were great. That's probably because I was on the winning team, but I had fun. Finally a smaller group of us went out for food. Andrea and I split a pizza. Then it was back to the hotel for sleep. We had an early flight.

Monday, 9 August 2004

It was time to get going. We checked out and headed for the bus. The problem was we never found where to by the tickets and I was in no mood to look. Luckily there was a cab stand right there so we took one to the airport. After 3 plane rides we were home and this year's Gathering was officially over. I'm left with a feeling that having our family reunion only once a year is just not often enough.

Greg responds...

Tony, I hope to see you and Andrea in Valencia next month. Wouldn't be a true Gathering without our cutest old married couple.

Response recorded on May 09, 2006

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BrooklynX writes...

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on May 05, 2006

Bookmark Link

Dylan Blacquiere writes...

Okay; after seeing the mangling job that cutting and pasting from Microsoft Word did on the last post (damn you, smart-quotes) I've tried to fix them all up. I'll repost my whole Gathering journal; hopefully that'll fix the whole problem and have the added bonus of it all being in one place. It's long. Wow. If any of the punctuation friggs up and comes out as tags, I apologize, and it just means that Bill Gates and the Microsoft Word Paper Clip ae evil geniuses that are out to ruin my life.

Friday, August 6

The preparations for the trip had kept Stormy and I up for longer than we'd expected; Thursday had dissolved into a parade of framing artwork, editing writing pieces, haircuts and packing. All of this had started late. We had gone to the Annapolis Valley in southwest Nova Scotia on Wednesday, to check out Digby's annual scallop festival and visit with a friend. We had only gotten back to Halifax at one p.m. on Thursday, and that left us with not a whole lot of time to do everything that we needed.
But it all came together. Somehow, in the end, it always does.
I didn't get much sleep that night. We had to get up at 5 a.m. to get ready for the flight, but I was also trying to think about the Gathering and how I felt about the whole thing. I was excited about going, but I was also feeling a bit wary and ambivalent. I had recently sort of drifted away from the fandom by default, still talking to people but not writing much in the way of fanfiction or thinking much about Gargoyles at all. I had thought that it was a bit of natural progression, that I was making the transition to writing only original stuff and settling into my second year of medical school. Either way, I was wondering what the Gathering would do for that, whether it would reverse the course, bring me back into the fandom, or whether it would just be an excuse to meet with people and have a good time before coming home and doing much as I had before. Last year's Gathering had given me a "post-fandom bounce", so to speak, but last year I was still pretty involved. It was a question that was on my mind for most of the four hours I was trying to sleep.
We woke up at five, spent an hour getting showered and dressed and preparing the cats for another weekend without us, and then we were on our way. I made do without coffee, driving through the streets of Halifax and across the span of the Macdonald Bridge over the Narrows. Stormy was excited, looking forward to seeing everyone for the first time; this was my second, so I knew the score, and we spent much of the drive to the airport talking of what she could expect and what we were looking forward to. She was excited about the art show and the Phoenix Gate anthology (which we had both been published in), while I had my list of Gathering goals: buy Keith David a drink, get the Acadian flag on the DVD footage in honour of the 400th anniversary of Acadian settlement in North America, speak French as often as I could, and have a good time with all of the friends I had met for the first time last year.
I don't like flying that much, but I like airports, and the pre-flight experience was stressless. Check-in, breakfast, security screen: all fine, save for the fact that my belt buckle dinged in the metal detector and I was asked to undo it in order to prove that I was not some sort of sartorial terrorist. We waited about twenty painless minutes to board, and I had my coffee and my Globe and Mail to keep me happy, until finally we were on the plane, settling in. I almost crushed poor Stormy's hand when the plane took off; have I mentioned that I don't much care for air travel? Aside from that, the flight was flawless, and we landed at Trudeau Airport about an hour later. We got our luggage and called a cab, and twenty minutes and thirty-one dollars later, we were at the Delta Centre-Ville. We checked in, hearing the ominous phrase "king-sized bed" and then went up to the twenty-seventh floor to find our room. Just the king-sized bed, room enough for three people. Problem was, we had asked Mercedes and her brother Andrew, two more con virgins and friends of ours from our frequent trips to Maine, to stay in the room. Only three of us would get bed space; the last would have to find somewhere to make the floor comfortable. By the time Mercedes and Andrew got there, I had already decided that it would have to be me. I'd reserved the room and though there would be two beds, so the fault, such as it was, was mine. But that was okay; I'd slept on less comfortable floors before, and I was sure that the magnanimity would make up for the mattress deficiency quite nicely.
We went down to La Terrasse to find when registration would start. No one really knew, but there was a crowd down there, many old time friends including Allaine, Spacebabie and Revel, Mara Cordova and Aaron Wheeler, Kathy Pogge, and Ellen Stolfa, who I hugged first and longest. We all had a series of chats, and I met a few new people, including Tim, Christine and Becca Morgan, who were there as well. It was time for lunch, though, and people were splitting off and going their separate ways, and so Stormy, Mercedes, Andrew and myself started on our way to find people to hit Montreal with. We ended up going to Chinatown with Greg Bishansky, and we saw a nice part of the downtown before getting to the Chinese Quarter. Nothing seemed to open until eleven, so we had to wait a few minutes, and eventually we found a Vietnamese restaurant and had a fine meal. We got back to the hotel just in time for registration to begin; from that point on I had my Gathering badge, announcing to everyone that I was Whitbourne, and that I was with the fan crowd. And that was when the events started, and so we all started splitting up to check out what the Gathering had to offer.
I first went to the General Round Robin, presented by Spacebabie; the turnout was a little sparse, but that worked fine for the crowd, and I got to spend a little bit more time with Spacebabie, Allaine, Revel and Sarah the Great, catching up on old times since Manhattan last year. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that c-words were off limits (even if it were the adult round robin I have no doubt that same restriction would have held true) and then we started round-robining the scenario of Demona and Macbeth meeting in the Grand Canyon as a prelude to the events of "Sanctuary". I picked "whiskey" as my word, but ended up using "salamander", and it didn't take long for the round robin to be hijacked with a running joke involving Macbeth inviting Demona for a ride in a dinghy. It seemed funny at the time, at least. After the round robin ended I went to look at the art room. Stormy and Mercedes had set up their work, and the Icestorm Brooklyn that Stormy had painted to look like Whitbourne was standing proudly (drunkenly?) on his table. After that, I crept into the Combat lecture being given by my friend Flanker; he was having a good time, even though Hudson and Aaron, in the back, seemed to know just as much about weapons as he did, prompting him to jokingly ask why they were even there. It was a fun lecture on a subject I know very little about; I liked the sniper scope that was passed around, though I thought it sort of funny that whenever anyone got to look through it, they inevitably used it to line up the crosshairs with Flanker's head. Poor guy.
Next came the radio play auditions, something that I didn't take part in last year but was looking forward to this time. I got my form, and filled out my preferences (any part, think I can do a Scottish/British accent, no to cats and dogs) and had a nice chat with Kathy Pogge before I was called in to the audition. I ended up reading the Brooklyn part in the audition package, and even though I was one of the last, Greg Weisman told me that I was the first to read for that part so far. "Really," I said, though I was thinking "cha-ching". So I read the part, and then read the part again from a farther distance, trying to use all my experience as a drill instructor in cadets to get the emoting across. Greg seemed impressed enough, told me I had done a good job, and so that was the end of that audition. I went outside, met with Stormy, Mercedes and Andrew again; it was getting late, and we wanted to find some supper before the fast-approaching Opening Ceremonies.
I can't understand the difficulty we had in getting food. Everything we could find in the cafes nearby was closed or too expensive, and it took us nearly fifteen minutes to find a sandwich bar that had enough to sate us. We grabbed our food and raced back to the hotel; I had time to eat half of my salad and half of the sandwich before people got called in to the ball room for the opening gala. I sat with Stormy and told her most of what to expect, though I was surprised at how many were there. The room was full, it seemed, much better than last years had been, and even Greg seemed surprised. I got to catch up with Wingless, Gabarus and a few other old and dear friends. Karine Charlebois, the con chair, got up and gave a speech, and that was when Maui and Abe Wintersmith got up and hijacked the convention for the Clan Olympics.
I had been signed up for this by Flanker, and I owe him big-time for that. I had been conscripted onto Team Canadian Body Massage, a WTF name if ever I heard one, though I must confess that we had one of the fuller esprit-de-corps' to be found. It was a neat excuse to wave my Acadian flag, anyway, and try to get it on the DVD, but any pretense at dignity was soon gone as I stood in front of the Gathering wearing a ripped T-shirt, having plastic balls stuffed down my front. And we didn't even win, even though we cheated fair and square. I had my suspicions that it was rigged, though I at least got to shout "Acadie!" at the DVD crew, and that made things somewhat okay. During the aftermath, Greg Weisman found me and told me that they had forgotten to get me to try the accents during the radio play auditions, and so that would have to be one of my first goals for the next day.
The opening ceremonies continued with a pitch for the 2005 Gathering in faraway Las Vegas, and they sold me completely and utterly, so long as I'm not doing an overseas placement for med school in Africa or Southeast Asia. After that, Greg took the podium, talked about the DVD release, and then showed off the goods – the pitch reels, the storyboards, the concepts for some of the thwarted spinoffs, and the voice recordings for the Team Atlantis episode "The Last", all of which I'd seen and heard but which Stormy had not. She was delighted, and I was pleased that I knew what to expect. With that, the Opening ceremonies ended, and I went out to do the social thing that was, is, and ever shall be the centrepiece of my Gathering experiences. I totally skipped out on the Clan Olympics for it, leaving Flanker in the lurch and causing Maui no end of grief (she hates me still, as far as I can tell), but it couldn't be denied; it was time to see Montreal. Poor Stormy had to go to bed; she was exhausted from the trip and wanted to make sure that she could attend the masquerade the following night. So Ellen, Allaine, Princess Alex and myself headed to the outside world, bound for Ellen's old stamping grounds from her McGill days and some of the Italian restaurants there. There was quite a bit of talk about writing and baseball and inclement weather: I had lived through my first hurricane last year, while Ellen and Allaine had spent some time together watching the Cubs play. It was a fine meal with good friends, and for the first time in months I was hearing fanfic writers talk about stories that had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with giant transforming robots. It's enough to make me believe in God.
On the way back, Ellen and I talked a little bit about fanfic, and I ended up mentioning that I was thinking of giving it up again. I told her that I felt I wouldn't have enough time, that I wanted to spend the writing time I had on work that I could publish, that there wasn't enough time to get my name out there if I spent it working on fanfiction. In her infinite patience, she told me that was fine, but then told me that if I really wanted to write fanfic then I shouldn't stop myself, because forcing myself to write what I wasn't interested in was a sure recipe for dissatisfaction and frustration. (At least, that was the gist of it; the conversation extended over several city blocks, at least). I had to admit that the original, artsy-fartsy stuff I had been writing had been utterly less than satisfying, and that the most success I'd had so far had been with poetry and with a story based loosely on my fanfics, and that the rest was shaping up to be elegantly written garbage. So I had been given something to think about as we got back to the hotel, something that carried on into a conversation with Ellen and Alex in Ellen's hotel room as we waited for the blue mug-a-guest with Greg to start.
We showed up with a few minutes to spare and joined the crowd; Greg was a few minutes later than he'd been scheduled (though he hadn't entered Keith David territory yet), and as soon as he showed up, the questions began. The thing was, for a blue mug a guest, the questions were surprisingly tame. They were mostly about the DVD rather than any positions or fetishes, and most of the revelations (that I was there for) had to do with special features and such, not like the bombshells of gargoyle sexual orientation that had galvanized the conventions last year. But that was okay, and the theory is going that had Thom Adcox been there then things might have gotten raunchy quickly. Or pantsless. Or both.
At about one o'clock, Flanker and I left the mug-a-guest and went out to explore a bit more of Montreal by dark. We ended up at a small tavern just off of Ste. Catherine Street (another goal!) where I had a pint of Stella Artois and he had a cup of coffee, though something got lost in translation, because he said that he didn't want any "fancy coffee" and the waitress apparently took this to mean that he did, in fact, want fancy coffee. But things were soon settled, and we sat and talked about military matters, his panel earlier in the day, and a few of his experiences overseas in Bosnia through the Canadian reserves. It was a great conversation, one that will go down as one of the memorable moments of the Gathering for me; we came back to the hotel and parted ways, and then I stumbled upstairs to bed. Stormy, Mercedes and Andrew were sound asleep in the bed; I got a few pillows from the front desk, found a blanket in the closet, and made a nest on the floor to try and while away the few remaining hours of the night, my first in Montreal.

Saturday, August 7

I had spent much of the night shivering; the fan was up too high and it was bloody cold, and I hadn't gotten much sleep until I had cranked 'er up to Saharan comfort. Nevertheless, I woke up at seven that morning raring to go, running on five hours of sleep. I went to the hotel pool for a brief swim, and then got back to go to breakfast with Stormy, Mercedes and Andrew at the Deli Planet café in the Gare Centrale. We caught up on a few old-times stories, and then got back to the hotel in order to go our separate ways again. I went back to the Radio Play auditions, both to hold a place for Stormy while she checked out the art room, and to follow instructions and give my impression of Scottish and British accents. It was in a different room than the day before, so I followed a crowd of people to find it, heading for the auditorium. Maui was greeting people as we walked in, and she looked delighted to see me. "Witless!" she said. "You're coming back to Clan Olympics!"
"Wait a minute, this isn't the radio play auditions?" I asked.
She punched me in the shoulder and chased me away, calling me nasty names.
When I finally got to the St. Charles room for the auditions, Greg called me Brooklyn and the "cha-ching!" sound went off in my head again; nevertheless, I tried reading Hudson's lines for the accent tests, and they went a little less successfully. Now if there had been a character speaking in an Acadian accent, I would have nailed it, but alas, there was no Avalon Tour episode about Goliath and the others ending up in Bathurst and having to speak in chiac and play the spoons, so I was out of luck. Stormy did well, too; she told me that she had been asked to meow like a cat, and she just imitated our Smokey doing his morning dance for food and attention. It apparently impressed Greg, much more so than Smokey impresses us. This didn't take all the allotted time, so I snuck into the Thrill of the Chase panel being put on by Spacebabie, Ellen and Christine. It was pretty neat; loads of cool suggestions about chase scenes, a discussion of the movie "Memento", and plus I got to talk a little bit about "Trailer Park Boys" (my new favourite show, go and find it, it should be on Bravo down in the States and most of it is on DVD now). That panel ended up going a little bit over time, as all of the best writing ones often do.
We stupidly decided not to get lunch, and instead just milled about chatting with friends and acquaintances, waiting for 12:30 when the radio play cast was announced. Both Stormy and I were chosen, as was the third member of Team Canadian Body Massage, and I could just imagine Flanker and Maui breaking down into fits of wailing and gnashing of teeth at our inconstancy. Stormy and I went to the room where people were getting set up for the weapons display by the Society of Creative Anachronism; we sat with Flanker, though I was not in the mood for watching people play with wooden swords and say "verily" a lot, and just before the demo started I announced that I was making the quintessential Canadian journey: the Tim's run. Flanker gave a me a toonie, and I set out up University Avenue to score some Tim Horton's coffee. As I was making my order, I ran into some American fans who had never been in a Tim Horton's before. "They take credit cards, right?" asked one of them, staring in confusion at the price lists and the wide array of crullers and donuts.
"Why wouldn't they take a credit card?" replied his friend, looking confident in her ability to buy bagels with plastic. I thought that I might perhaps watch the show, but I chickened out, and told them that every Tim Hortons in Canada that I'd ever been to was cash only. They looked vaguely horrified, but I think in the end that things worked out well.
I came back with the coffees to the weapons demo, and Flanker and I watched for a while. To my surprise, it was quite interesting, and the guys doing the swordplay seemed pretty cool. I think that after spending so much time in the insular cliques of medical school, the geekiness threshold is a little lower once you get to a place like the Gathering; fortunately, I got better. In fact, I figured that if my friends at school hadn't already googled my name and found my fanfic, then the fact that I had a chance at being on the DVD in my Dalhousie Medicine T-shirt would probably knock me out of the geek closet forever. I ducked out of the weapons show at the first break and went to watch the auction, long enough to watch a bidding war for an animation cell that went up to $455; it was a nice battle, but then it was time for the radio play auditions. I met Stormy and started heading for St. Charles; on the way we ran into Carole Wagner, who told us that the DVD crew had been wanting to interview us as one of the couples who had been brought together by the show. So we ran downstairs to the ball room to see if they were there; sadly, they weren't, and so we went back up to the auditions.
Greg gave out the parts first thing; I was awarded the role of Brooklyn, while Stormy got to be Cagney. We ran through the lines, floored by the sheer brilliance of the other actors, especially the two playing Elisa and John Castaway. Stormy went all out on her Cagney lines; I did my best to reach into the Brooklyn lines, especially the "parting is such sweet sorrow"; I concentrated as hard as I could on every ex-girlfriend I'd ever had for that one, and I thought it went fine. The audition ended on a positive note, and as Stormy and I left the room, Carole found us again and told us that the DVD crew wanted to try again.
We went down, and gave a ten minute long interview of which I'm sure they'll use about five seconds. It wasn't that hard for either of us; Stormy is money under pressure, to coin a phrase, and I'm so used to TV crews an audiences, not to mention that I think I was born with a silver tongue. We talked about how we had come to discover the show, how we had met, how long we had been (I ended up making a crack about my parents' frustration with the lack of an official wedding that I hope to every God and saint they cut from the footage) and then we gave each other a soft kiss on camera. It seemed sort of lame, but I have my doubts that they'd have used the raunchy French-kiss that I'd wanted to give her, so maybe it's all for the best. At the end, we were asked why we thought Gargoyles was so unique; I asked if I could be elitist, and then went off on a spiel about how it was a show unafraid to show its intelligence, and how it depended on becoming involved with the characters as though they were real people. Ellen was watching us do this and she tells me that she thought it was eloquent; I have my doubts, but when it comes to TV, I'm always a bit self-flagellating. After that it was time to run upstairs and get ready for the actual performance of the radio play. We had to wait for the DVD crew to arrive, but when they did, we tore right into the performance of "The Journey", uncut and uncensored. I got a few wild whoops of applause when I stood up and was introduced as Brooklyn, which is always a wicked boost for the ego; I'm not sure how well I did with the lines, though, especially since the DVD crew came up and caught me on tape a few times. It's something I'd do again, though; loads of fun and lots of laughs. I got Greg to autograph both my and Stormy's scripts, and then we went to drop some things off in the hotel room before Stormy, Mercedes and I took off to find some food and explore the city.
We walked to the metro station at Victoria Square, pretty much just to say we took it, and we rode it two stations down to the Old Port, or Vieux-Montreal. We walked past a bunch of weddings in the public square and got a bit of the flavour of the place; after a short search for a nice restaurant, we ended up finding a fantastic place called Le Grill. Uncrowded and tucked away in a sort of alcove, with just enough shade to make it comfortable. We had a criminally good meal; I ate filet mignon and drank draft beer, and my companions ate just as well. After that we ended up walking up and down the streets looking for interesting things to see, and we came upon the medieval store that a few people had been talking about, Excalibor. (Is that French or just charmingly misspelled? I'm not sure). But the store was magnificent, and almost instantly I found a multi-coloured raven mask that I had to have. Mercedes bought a mask, and she and Andrew both bought pendants; only Stormy escaped, and she bought something at the native art store. Vieux-Montreal is horrific as temptation for impulse buys. We also went to see art galleries and a few of the streetscapes, including the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. I had not spent a lot of time in Montreal before this, only a few hours spent waiting for connecting trains to Toronto or Moncton, so I was glad to see a bit more of the city than Gare Centrale. We ended up walking back to Chinatown, where I saw the Fu-Dogs at the gate on Rue Saint-Laurent, and we got to see it at a busier time than the day before. I also managed to see the street-sign for Rue Sainte-Urbain, or St. Urbain Street, the literary turf of one of my greatest heroes, the incomparable Mordecai Richler, famous for bringing that street to life in books like "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" and "St. Urbain's Horseman". Had I time enough and world, I'd have walked on that street for hours trying to retrace the steps, sort of like a Bloomsday pilgrimage in Dublin only with smoked-meat sandwiches; alas, time was getting late and we had to get to the hotel for the masquerade. Stormy had to finish her Quarryman costume, and Mercedes and I at least had masks now, though few clothes to go with it. We got back in time and got the costumes squared away, and then we went down to see what things would transpire.
The costumes were amazing, even though my wicked raven-mask robbed me of any semblance of peripheral vision; we enjoyed the masquerade and the cosplays even to the tune of the nurse's reunion singing karaoke next door. There were plenty of great costumes that took lots of hard work and effort, and I swear to God I'm dressing up as Bonavista next year if it kills me. Poor Lynati, though; her Ophelia costume was great, even if it was also late, but she at least got an honourable mention for it. I still have that stupid "I'm a Gargoyle Who's Afraid To Fly" song stuck in my head, every so often. Aneurhythms are dangerous things.
There was a party afterward, but we didn't stay; a crowd of us went upstairs to the hotel bar and had a few drinks. Stormy stayed till midnight, and Andrew came and had a few rounds, all the more poignant since he's not legal in his home country. I med Sadistic Cow and a few others, and Ellen and I started a few conversations about misbegotten golf games and classical music. The DVD crew came up again, though without their cameras; they'd had a long day, too, I gather, and I can't blame them for wanting a drink.
About fifteen minutes before one o'clock, when the bar was scheduled to close, Ellen pointed out that Mr. David had just appeared. She would know; she'd been to the banquet and had been enchanted by the stories that he had told, I turned around and saw Keith David sitting at the bar, and almost unbidden, I announced that I was buying him a drink, and then I was suddenly up and walking toward him. I think I was a little bit lit; I certainly was more courageous than I usually am, and that explains why I thought nothing of walking up the bar and saying "Mr. David, if you don't mind, I'd like the honour of buying this round."
He looked at me in surprise, then flashed me a wide and pleasant smile. "That's very kind of you," he said. I fished a twenty from my pocket and gave it to the bartender; he then gave Mr. David a double shot of Muscovskaya (I know because I kept the receipt; how's that for a souvenir?) that earned me only three dollars in change. I was startled, but I didn't show it; I left the toonie as a tip, then ran back to my table, got my beer, and joined Keith David for a drink. We had a long and pleasant conversation about medicine (he caught just from the way I talked that I'm interested in psychiatry and thinks that I should go for it). We talked about his interest in the ministry and his belief that acting is vocation as much as his job. We talked about good-and-evil, we talked about memorable roles, we talked about ideal Canadian cottage country and the beauty of Montreal. He bought the next round, and so I can say that Keith David bought me a pint of Sleeman's with as straight a face as I can manage. After a while, Ellen came over and introduced herself and told him a story about cremation magazines and centrefolds, and Keith laughed so hard that he nearly spilled something. It was just an awesome evening, and when it ended and Keith had retired for the night, the bar lights came on and we went back downstairs. So not only had I met my goal of buying Keith David a drink, but we had actually closed the bar down with him. The only think that would have made it perfect would be if we were in Halifax and he'd bought me a pint of Keith's Pale Ale, but that would have been asking too much.
We went downstairs for a few minutes and congratulated Greg on the birth of his nephew, and then Ellen, Kathy Pogge, Alex Garg and myself went up to Ellen's room for a nightcap. It was another brilliant conversation (I'm running out of superlatives, here) that touched on writing, on Freudian slips, on language, and on the fandom as a whole. We shared book recommendations and tales of reading, had a few final beers; however, I couldn't help but notice that a few times I had been talking about writing fanfic in the present tense, and I wasn't sure how scary that was. I noticed Ellen shooting me a few knowing smiles about it, though. She's wise, that one.
Finally, at quarter past three, I was on the verge of collapse and so I reluctantly took my leave. I went back downstairs to my room, still giddy at the events at the bar and the receipt in my pocket; that night, when I lay down in my blanket on the floor, I had no trouble at all finding sleep.

Sunday, August 8

I hadn't mentioned the Gargoyles Biology panel that I had been scheduled to give with Yggdrasil and Lynati up to this point; the reason is that I hadn't worked on it, and so waking up that morning was just like school; making a mad rush to the Tim Hortons with a notepad and jotting down discussion notes. It looked very much like my early mornings in undergrad when I'd stumble, bleary-eyed, to the Pit (the campus coffee store) and do the work that I should have done the night before. I got back in time to greet Andrew and Mercedes parents, and say goodbye to our friends, who were leaving early (They did come to the biology panel, but I was playing Teacher and so it was better to get it out of the way early). I went down to the Auditorium to get the talk ready. Check the lights, write a few things on the white-board, everything that those of us who've given thesis seminars know about first hand. This, though, was at least promising to be fun, though there was no degree lurking at the end of it.
It went spectacularly. We had a great crowd, and I was vastly impressed with the turn-out we had, considering that we were up against the adult round robin and the first of the mug-a-guests with Keith David (though we later found out that Keith hadn't made it to his first one, so maybe that's kind of unfair). Yggdrasil had got a powerpoint slide on genetic engineering ready, and Lynati had her notes on musculature and bone structure ready. I was acting more as facilitator, I suppose, but we had a lot of good questions and neat ideas on the metabolism of stone sleep, the mechanics of gargoyle gliding, the healing factor, the glowing eyes, etc. The DVD crew came in and filmed us, and so there's the geek closet just blown wide open, but it was still a great talk filled with neat ideas and fun people. Some people told me later that they wished Greg had been there, but I have the suspicion that Greg is just happier not thinking too much about the biology of the show. I'm sure many a B.Sc undergrad would feel the same way, given the opportunity. But I have to say it again; there are a lot of thoughtful and smart people in the fandom, many of whom have tried to look at the broader scientific questions that get asked with a series like this. There were even a few questions that flirted with the blue end of the spectrum, though everything ended up nice and PG friendly.
After this it was a mad-dash scramble to get checked out of the room and to stow our stuff in Ellen's room, and then we were immediately wrangled by Christine to go and start signing copies of the Phoenix Gate Anthology in the art-show room. I signed quite a few for the other authors and artists, and I also signed quite a few for a lot of fans who seemed amused at the whole idea of us sitting at the table and brandishing pens. I felt a little like a poser, and since Keith still hadn't come downstairs yet, I also felt a little like the opening-act who won't get off the stage to let the headliners come on. But we did get great seats for the mug-a-guest, and Keith finally did come downstairs; he got to talk to everyone except the PGA crew and Carole semi-firmly told him to sit down and start answering questions (Nicely, though; I'm mostly teasing. Mostly).
The night before I had been speaking with Keith one-on-one; this time I got to see him work the crowd. He's singularly charming and he answered every question with wit and a genuine sense of enjoyment. He's also a master of the artful segue, and quite often a seemingly closed question would branch off into a rich and expressive answer that had nothing to do with what had been asked, but gave a great glimpse into the mind of someone who clearly feels at home in his own skin and who viewed his craft as art and calling as much as job and paycheque. Just like in my conversation last night, his topics ranged from acting to philosophy, and I think he would have gone on for hours had not Carole insisted that he go and get some lunch before the closing ceremonies. With that, he took his leave, and the rest of us lingered and settled in to wait for the last Gathering event. I was starved and there was no time to run up to the Tim's; I went looking through the underground mall for something to eat but everything was locked up tight. Annoying, but hardly the end of the world; I figured I could live of my glycogen stores for a couple of hours and wait until the airport for food.
Closing ceremonies was kind of a blur; I was kind of distracted, wondering if we'd have time to be able to say proper good-byes to friends before having to run out and catch a taxi to the airport. We watched the art show awards, and Stormy was amazed at winning five ribbons (I was happy that the Whitbourne kitbash and Revel's picture with good ol' Witless in it won some accolades, but then again, I'm vicariously selfish). We got to hear the pitch for Las Vegas, and I decided that I would go as long as my projected voyage to Africa for school next summer allows it. I also had to explain my T-shirt (it says "MEAT" and has a picture of a T-bone steak with a caduceus on it). a few people asked about it, and I had to tell them that it was a shirt printed for our joke-gentlemen's club at school. MEAT stands for Medicine, Ethanol, And Testosterone. It'll be on the DVD, I assume, since the crew was there for the biology panel, so of anyone's curious, that's it.
The ceremonies ended earlier than I expected, and so Stormy and I had time to join the line to have Keith sign our Phoenix Gate anthologies after all. Stormy showed him the Goliath she had dressed up in drag for the art show, and he thought that was flipping hilarious. He also sang to her; a riff on her fan-name, which he justified by saying that he'd had a friend nick-named Stormy when he was younger. He signed her book, and that book's now at her parent's house in Clifford, Ontario, stored safely away for posterity.
I got him to sign my book, too, right on the front page of my story. He remembered me from the night before and we followed up for a moment on the conversation we'd had. Once he got a close look at my name, he looked up at me and asked if I was familiar with the works of Dylan Thomas.
I nodded. "I was named after him, actually," I said, and this is true, though my parents hadn't read any of his poems and they just thought his name was interesting.
"He had some good advice," Keith said, and then he took my book and his pen again. At that point he'd simply signed "To Dylan – all the best", but he then added "& remember, do not go gentle into that good night". I've never planned on doing so, but now I have even more incentive. Thanks, Keith.
Time was growing criminally short, now, and the last of the Gathering was spent saying farewells to all of our friends again. Lynati, Wingless, Allaine, Kathy, Maui, Princess, Mara, Aaron, Spacebabie, Revel, Dan, Flanker – the list is endless, with so many dear friends to speak of that it's impossible to name them all. We didn't pre-register for the Gathering next year, there just wasn't time, but we both know that unless we're in faraway lands at the same time as the Gathering, we'll be there in Las Vegas. Heck, I'm actually buying a guitar and learning to play it just for next year's Gathering, so I can go as Bonavista. (And now that's on the Internet, so people can hold me to it as though it were a legal contract.) We got to prolong the farewell with Ellen, mostly because we were stashing our swag in her room for the afternoon, but in the end we had to say bye to her too, and that one was just like last year's for me; bittersweet, with the promise of a Gathering reunion the next year.
We left, pretty low-key, got our stuff, took a taxi to the airport; we talked of the Gathering the whole way there, confusing the driver, I'm sure, and we looked back at the Montreal skyline, wishing we were staying but knowing that the real world was beckoning. We got to the airport; twenty minutes, thirty-one bucks, just like last time, and did the dance of the Infernal Check-In, with its ritual questions of "did you pack your bags yourself" and "did you leave them unattended" to round out the routine. We ate junk food for supper and then boarded the plane; on the way there I ran into one of my friends from med school, who had been in Montreal visiting friends. We talked for a few minutes, but we didn't say much; she ran into a friend of hers from undergrad, and Stormy and I were tired, but still, that time we spent waiting in the gate seemed to sum it all up. At one end of the chairs was my friend Erin, where we talked about med school and Halifax, but then I went back to my own seat and read the stories in the Phoenix Gate Anthology until it was time to board the plane. Real-life and fan-life have always been sort of an interesting dichotomy for me, and somehow that image, so close to the end of the Gathering, lingers as much as anything else that happened that weekend.
On the plane ride home, I fussed and fidgeted for a while, and then turned on my laptop and started editing a fanfic story that I hadn't touched in three months. It felt right and proper. It won't ever get me published, and sometimes I fear that the crowd who reads that is ever diminishing, but still, it felt good. Stormy looked at me with patient understanding; Ellen, I'm sure, would have beamed. It wasn't all that productive; by the time I started getting into the editing groove we were landing in Halifax and catching our bags and finding the car, but it was there. The Gathering had brought me back into the fold.
I'm writing this a couple of weeks after (as a crappy postscript, I just found out that the alternator on our car went and it needs to be replaced, something that seems to be a shortly-after-the-Gathering tradition) but I'm still feeling the buzz. I'm going to show my family and friends the Phoenix Gate story, and I'm going to natter them into buying the DVD. I'm going to look into going to Africa next summer but I'm also going to make sure I have time to go to Vegas. I'm going to learn to play the guitar and make enough money that I can buy all the guests a round for next year. And most importantly of all, I'm going to get out my laptop more and write, as much and as often as I can about the things that command me to write about them. It won't always be fanfic; other muses lurk in the ether that have visions of the Giller, the Booker and the Nobel prizes in their heads, but it will be what I enjoy. That's the legacy from the Gathering that I want to keep.
See you all in Vegas.

Greg responds...

I'm not sure if the reposting was necessary... but what the hey! More diaries the merrier.

Response recorded on May 04, 2006

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Talyesin writes...


Morning comes WAY too early but we get ready for Karine and Patrick to pick us up at ten. At ten, we get a call - they're coming to get us at noon. Okay, so more relaxation time is always good, we watch more Trigun. Karine and Patrick show up and we load up the tshirts and auction stuff and our baggage and head off to the airport to pick up Laurean, Liz, and Taylor, and Patrick displays his uber l33t packing skillz!!! Back to Karine's to pick up more stuff, we met up with Kaylee, get everything packed and out to lunch, more packing, many many trips back and forth from the West Island to Downtown and back again, getting all the stuff and all the art display panels and everything to the Hotel. Met up with Chameleongirl and Sapphire, YAY YAY YAY!! I spent some time packing con packets, which was a lot of fun. Then still MORE time on the road, heading out to the airport to pick up Greg. We hung around the con suite, then headed out for a VERY late supper. There was a bit of a mixup, at first I thought the supper was open to everyone who wanted to attend. Turns out we had to let down a bunch of people, which was unfortunate. Had a very nice late supper, headed back to the hotel, collapsed asleep.


Why oh why is morning so FREAKING EARLY? Head off to a local diner for a very slow breakfast, which meant everything got pushed back a little. Unfortunately we wound up losing one of our dealers, who had shown up early to set up and been told by the hotel's staff there was no convention going on, so they had left. Oh well, we wound up needing that space in the dealers' room for other stuff. I manned registration for most of the day, which annoyed me a little because with Karine in panels all day long, it kind of seemed like no one was in charge and things got a little disorganized. But that's probably the control freak in me talking. Anyhow, we got the news that Keith David's plane had been delayed from 6 PM to 11 PM. I went down to the auditions at 3, intent on auditioning, Jen grabbed me and said, "You're auditioning first so you can get back to work." I read for Xanatos, and I guess my voice work and all those years in theatre paid off, because Greg told me normally he'd have me read from the back of the room to see if I can project, but that wouldn't be necessary in my case. Anyhow, I went back to work. With someone else manning the registration desk, my control freak stress level went way WAY down, and we were off to opening ceremonies, where we got more news about Keith David being delayed once again - to Saturday, 5 PM. Sigh. Okay, so we start off Opening Ceremonies, my first ever! Greg tells a bunch of stories and shows a bunch of video clips, pitches for the show mostly, that everyone seems to by heart, except me. Anyhow, Opening Ceremonies are a success, everyone seems to enjoy the Clan Olympics interruption, and around nine-ish (I think) we head off to supper with the Andersons and the Morgans. There's a Blue Mug a Guest at 11, but I'm zonked, so I head off to bed.


Grab a quick breakfast in the Hotel restaurant, get organized for the day. Set someone up to take over con suite and reg desk so I can spend the day running around making sure everything is getting done, which is what I really truly need to do and luckily I'm fairly good at it. At 12:30 they post the cast for the Radio Play, I got cast. Rehearsals start up after lunch, and I got the part of GOLIATH!! WOO!! If Keith hadn't been late, I would have gotten another part, I think... but it's the one time I'm HAPPY he's late! We rehearse the play once all the way through, Greg gives us notes, and then head on over to the show! Believe it or not, that's NOT the least rehearsal time I've ever had... anyhow! Greg introduces the cast, I get the big starring intro and a huge round of applause. The radio play - The Journey, from Goliath Chronicles, is a GREAT success, everyone loved it, AND I got to say the title of the play! Woo!! So then we're off and running to get everything organized for the Banquet. Daniel Fortin, our contact at the hotel, had printed up some GREAT souvenir menus, the Banquet is AMAZING, although I spent most of it waiting for Keith to arrive, both because he's the Guest of Honour and I'm on staff and wondering where the hell he is because he should have been here two hours ago, AND because our table won the draw for where he was to sit! We'd be sitting with Keith David! YAY! So eventually he shows up and Sandman7 sniped my seat! No biggie, he deserved it for all the hard work he did all weekend. Congrats Marc, you're welcome. After banquet, we split up to get all costumed up. The wig we had planned for my Xanatos costume didn't fit, so I wore the black suit anyway and went as President Luthor. *LOL* Anyhow, the Masquerade was AMAZING, Cindy looked awesome as Titania, Karine looked great as Pregnant Fox, in fact, ALL the staff who dressed up looked FANTASTIC. So after the Masquerade there were TONS of pictures being taken, and we had to figure out how to hook up the Karaoke, which we eventually did. Cindy kicked it off with an AMAZING rendition of All That Jazz. Cins you ROCK! Then she and I beat a hasty retreat to tally up the Art Show votes. Good thing we did too, because we were up until 1:30 AM counting all the votes. Collapsed asleep that night, lemme tellya.


ugh... mornings suck. Quick breakfast, the last of the panels. Took down the art panels during Keith's Mug-a-Guest. He's a great storyteller. I got some bad news about my uncle dying then, left me a little dazed for the afternoon. Closing ceremonies went VERY well, thanks. I got to sit next to Keith, he's a VERY cool guy. Chit-chatted with him a little during the ceremonies. Most of Sunday is a bit of a blur I was so freaking tired. Closing ceremonies, then the signing with Keith, where I got him to sign my Radio Play script, telling him I had been his understudy. He laughed. After the signing, we closed up everything and went up to the con suite where Scott Rogoff had set up a WONDERFUL thank-you gift for the Staff - some bottles of wine and some great chocolate. What with the booze we had bought for ourselves, we had QUITE a fine time at the Dead Dog Party, lemme tellya. Ordered the best pizza EVER ( flavoured with exhaustion and hunger, so may be my memory is a little biased) had a great time at the DDP.

All in all, this was the absolutely best way for me to lose my con virginity - that's right, it was my first convention EVER. And it ABSOLUTELY ROCKED. I loved the family atmosphere, the sense of community. It was AMAZING, and I really have the fans to thank.

Greg, you created a fantastic show. But what's more important, you created a Clan out of the fans. Thanks.

Greg responds...

Thank you. Thank you all. Give yourselves a hand.

Response recorded on May 04, 2006

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Liz Chesterman writes...

Gathering 2004 Report
Or: Nips and Lipples! Keith David owes me money!

Wed, Aug 4th

I start with Wednesday because it was such an important day, being the last day before we left. I was up at slightly after 8am and wouldn't quit until 1:30 am Friday morning. Wednesday was mostly spend making prints, buying ink, doing last minute errands. Packing was easy, for the most part; I just wanted to make sure I took the right supplies, didn't forget the most important originals, and get my damn mask done. The wig had to be sewn on, then I had to figure out how to pack the costume in a way it would receive minimal damage on the journey.

I ended up forgetting Binoicle: Mask of Light. Bummer. But I didn't forget anything really important.

Taylor and I left at 4am Thursday and had no problems getting on the various planes and etc, despite being total zombies. I would faze from being a zombie to being awake all Thursday. But that's almost typical pre-con Liz anyhow.


Was very long. Of course, that I'd been up since 8am the previous day didn't help. But we made it into Canada with no mishaps, and met up with Trishana right after we got our baggage. Somehow we managed to be on the same plane in and not realize it. It was great to hook up with her at the airport tho'. We also managed to snag Laurean a bit later.

Patrick, Karine, Cindy and Rob picked us up in a van (after waiting for a while, wondering if we were waiting in the wrong place). Everyone kept asking me what kind of van, what color van Patrick was driving. I kept responding: "How am I supposed to know, it's a rental?" Ah well, we were all worried and nervous.

Headed to Karine's to pick up Brenda, then had Poutine at the same restaurant from February. Back to Karine's to pick up equipment and supplies, then onto the hotel!

I realize now my Live Meet 2004 Report is rather incomplete. I'll have to piece it together later.

Snagged Trishana at the hotel and shoved Taylor on her. (Wanted to give Taylor a chance to not have to deal with staff things and start enjoying himself pre-con. Plus I figured he'd enjoy Trishana's company.)

Helped haul a crap load of things from the van to the cons uite and such. Packet stuffing time! Half of the staff got together to stuff pins, PGAs, shirts and programs into the pre-registered packets. I have to say again that the pins were awesome (Thanks, Two Wacky Pin Guys!) and the programs were gorgeous, thanks to Laurean. Yes dear, you rock. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Managed to get praise from Costume Goddess Cindy on my Yama costume. Got some tips and hints and help for future projects as well.

Hauled my own suit cases to Kelly's room, met up with Trishana, met Julie, Australian Coolie. I remember futzing around, then getting snacks with Kelly, Trishana (coffee!), Julie, Taylor, Tony and I know here name but it escapes and shames me. "Elisa Maza." It'll come to me. No, not Salli Richardson. Gah. Andrea! Anyhow, I got some fruit and we all talked for a while. Headed back to the hotel and chilled with people, keeping in mind about the Staff/not staff dinner.

Anyhow, futzed around, and got more surly, grumpy, tired and hungry by the minute (sorry guys), but dealt with it. Time rolls around for the staff/not staff dinner and Greg has not arrived. We've gotta wait another hour. Or so. Taylor and I explored the hotel a little, found the underground/covered alley-way, then talked with some arriving fans at the hotel, then back to the hotel room for a while.

Looking forward to the staff/not staff dinner was the only thing keeping me awake at this point. At the last minute, find out it's now a staff only dinner. ;.; Well. That's all I'll say there. There were good reasons, I'll leave it at that.

The walk was long (both ways) but entertaining (both ways). The dinner was great, but a bit overpriced IMHO. I was so happy to get to the hotel and just crash. Everyone else in the room was asleep already, gah! But I managed to not only go to bed without bothering people, but get up at a decent hour for pre-con staff breakfast.


Breakfast was at some local restaurant. We got the day planned over coffee and assorted things, then headed back to the hotel to get the con started and the art show put up. I took a shower, then tried to help answer questions, set things up and whatnot. Discussed events with the Clan Olympics hosts, set up my own art show (badly, yet again. I'll learn some day), and attend a voice acting panel hosted by the incomparable Greg Weisman.

Gawked over artwork in the show, set up my own Artist Alley table with Taylor. People like my work, and that makes me happy.

The DVD crew was out and about, starting with the first panels. I'm sure they got many, many many, many interesting things over the weekend.

Opening Ceremonies was fun; I got to start talking about the various contests happening at the con when the Clan Olympics literally stole the stage (and me right off it!) and had their first event, Stuff It!, right there in the middle of the ceremony. Rawk! Yes, it was staged, but apparently I was convincing enough that the audience didn't realize it. Makes me happy. I think it really opened up the con in an upbeat way. Not only did the teams have fun, but the audience loved the antics. Afterward I finished my contests points and handed the podium on to the next staff member.

Greg did his usual schpeils and showed the various pitches for The Dark Ages, The New Olympians, Bad Guys and played the audio for The Last. He also played a tape made by Carol Wagner of a bunch of staff, cast and crew for the show, a new bonus for the convention!

"Vampires... it's what we're not."
-Ed Asner

Afterward was dinner at Le Marche (The Move and Pick) with Ethan, Kyffin, Julie, Trishana, Kelly and Taylor. I had garlic bread with cheese, stir fry shrimp, cappucino and cheesecake with berries and chocolate sauce. Yum!!

Taylor and I went to the Blue Mug-A-Guest after dinner. The con suite was just packed with people, but the mug wasn't very blue (adult). Poor Taylor; Puck is Owen he didn't know yet, but found out and ducked out afterward so as to not be spoiled on any other points. (He's only seen the first few episodes of season 2). I started drifting off during the thing; it's hard for me to stay awake late at night if my hands aren't busy, and I was teased for it. Ah well, it's true, it's true. Ian arrived a bit later, and stayed for about a half hour. I was awake again by then, but when we got back to the rooms everyone else was asleep. :P So to bed, again!

Julie and I tried chatting for a while tho', since she wasn't very tired either. But poor Trishana couldn't take it. "Man... guuuys... geeeeez." Boy, that was funny. We got quiet and went to sleep.

Artist Alley again! I loved talking to people about my different works and doing artsy things. I worked on my Then and Now image (to be posted later), then auditioned for the Radio Play. I read for Angela, since apparently no one else had. I got into the play with just 2 lines, the same word three times, but still had a blast.

Back to Artist Alley, which started booming around lunch. And the DVD crew came at some point to film the art show. I attended part of the auction and bid on some things. I really wanted some Rita M. art (damn, I even made the prints for her!), but missed my chance on two pieces. However, they went for fabulous prices, and that pleases me greatly. Taylor bid on a cel from Awakening Pt 3, but let it go at $450. I think it ended up reaching $455 CAD. Congrats to the auctioneers Taras and Sandman7, who were fabulous. We then I practiced for the Radio Play, then I scrambled around getting the music videos running. Phew!

The Radio Play, The Journey, went wonderfully. Mike, who played Vinnie, won my heart over with his performance. Then people scrambled to watch the music videos and I got to chill for a little bit before the Banquet.

Our table got Greg Weisman as our guest of honor. Okay. I'll be honest. It hurts, but I will. Karine made a mistake in announcing the draw and said we'd get Keith David. Now, I love Greg to death. And I love hearing his stories, accomplishments, failures, funny moments and etc, but I was super psyched to get Keith. So I was a little disappointed for a moment (and felt horrible), but you know what? Having Greg at the table for dinner was awesome and I do not regret that in any way. So, you go Greg.

Dinner was fabulous. Even after tasting and picking everything out in February I was yet again amazed at how good the food was. And except in a few strange cases, everyone loved the meal. Quail stuffed with grapes? Shrimp cocktail with avocado? Delicate chocolate and fruit desserts? Oishisouuuuuuuuuuuuu.

Keith finally arrived at the end of dinner, and folks were all geared up to ask him questions. Poor guy. After being delayed three times and being awake for ever and I'm sure starving as well, he still delighted in answering questions. I had to cut out, tho', to get the Masquerade forms counted and organized, then get into costume myself.

Trishana and Ian helped with the Masquerade organization, then I popped down to the room where Trishana, Julie and Kelly helped me dress. And boy did I need the help. I will say again, I would not have been able to get dressed without your help, ladies. Especially the body paint part. And the man boobies on the bodyplate.

Down to level C where Ian and I corralled Masquerade contestants into Recency A and got them set up to show off their stuff. I was amazed with all the costume submissions this year, and so very happy to see a plethora of cannon characters. I was also extremely pleased to see so many non-contestants dressed up for the ball. I was especially impressed with just about every staff member dressing up and Lynati's Ophelia.

Oh yeah, folks were impressed with my Yama costume too. I'm just glad it survived the trip up with little damage. After showing off, having a billion pictures taken in different areas and poses, I was more than eager to change to something more normal. Because it might have looked good, but DIZAMN was it hot! I can't wait to see photos.

I changed and showered after, then headed back down to the ball for dancing and karaoke. Mostly karaoke. Strange! People liked it tho', even if my CDs didn't display the lyrics in Jen's computer. Taylor blew people away with his rendition of the 'Love Boat' theme, and a group of 20 or so amused the crowd with their rendition of YMCA with no lyrics. "Something, something somethingsomething. Somethingsomething.." I sang too, but am shamefully out of practice and shamed myself with Heart Breaker. Maybe next year I'll be smart and do Black Velvet or Holding out for a Hero.

I eventually split with Kelly and Taylor, and we went back to the room to draw and talk with Julie and Trishana. We stayed up lat and loved it!


Ah no, it's nearing the end of the con. Got up late but down to Artist Alley only 45min late. Stayed there for a while, then hosted my panel on marker and computer coloring. Granted, nearly everyone was in the Keith David Mug-A-Guest, but to the few that were there: Thank you. I enjoyed helping you guys out.

Back to Artist Alley for a bit, where I met Felix in person! Foofy hair! I met Gen earlier in the hotel room. Then on to Closing Ceremonies. Karine got to thank everyone again, and 2005 Staff talked, Clan Olypics announced the winners, promised to return next year, Cindy handed out all the art show awards, and I announced the Music Video Contest winner.

Keith David had his autograph signing while the staff fled up to the con suite for the thank you present from Scott "Abe" Rogoff. For those who didn't know it was coming, they were A) surprised B) elated C) unbelievably grateful. For those that did, just B and C, but still. Scott? You rock. Thanks for my Ginger sauce!

Word got around that Keith David was blown away by my print of Spawn and Goliath together. He wanted a print! I was going to give him one anyway, but that he liked it so much.. he loved it! I couldn't wait to give him one, and get my own copy signed.

But first I helped with taking the Art Show panels and such down, then to the van. Good work. And I got pre-registered for Gathering 2005, Vegas, then waited in line for Keith David. (And Gen, Felix, Ian, Trishana, Julie, Kelly and Taylor were hungry. We all wanted dinner. But I couldn't take the chance of not getting Keith's autograph.) I had him sign some things and was random fan #23598716098 until I pulled out my 11x14 print of Rumbling Thunder. Please sign this too? The other stuff was just icing; I made that print specifically for him to sign for me.

And he asked for a print for himself. I pull out 1/10, "It's always been my tradition to hand guests a piece of artwork as thanks for coming." And he goes, "Could you sign it for me?" So I did, and he asks, "Do you have any more?"

Pause. "Ah, yeah, I've got three or four."

"Can I have them?"

Pause. "Sure! I've got some here. Lesse.. oh, I've six."

"Great. I'll take them all."


"How much."

"Ten dollars. But for you, five!"

"No no, you decide how much. Just let me have the rest and I'll pay you. Do you have a card?"

"Yes, but not on me. I'll go get you one."

And then Shaun took pictures of me with Keith David,... eeeee! Had then to grab my Artist Alley supplies and take them to the room, then get some business cards. Waited in line again to be polite, and handed Keith the original 11x14 ink of the image. I was going to keep it, but, what the hell. It just made the experience even more special.

"I've got some cards. Do you want just one, or a couple?"

"Give me a couple."

I hand them to him. "Someone might contact you."

Liz. About to pass out, figuratively.

So then he had to go get cash. I didn't actually get paid until late Monday, but that's okay. It was Keith David, I knew he was good for it. Any still, even if hadn't, to be able to say, "Keith David owes me money!" is one of those strange, weird, awesome things. I'm sure he had to go to dinner with his family and other fun things, plus he was planning on possibly going to laser tag with the fans.

We finally headed to dinner, sans Kelly and Julie, who were in the business meeting for 2005. That's cool; important stuff planning for a con is. Gen, Felix, Trishana, Taylor, Ian and I were headed off through the streets of Montreal to a place that had food in crepe form! What. A. Spectacular. Dinner. Holy cow, Montreal has good food! And the dinner conversation/company was great. Never a dull moment. Never an awkward one. You guys rule.

Back to the hotel and to Tacky Town, thanks to Ian. I bought an Inu Yasha and Sesshomaru pillow and some zipper pulls. One over-priced item a trip! We then had to part ways with Gen and Felix, boo, but hopefully I will meet up with them again.

Back at the hotel there's the Dead Dog Party for a while, then video game competition fun! I had fun kicking ass in Mario Kart, and even ended up owning the Double Dash Master, Taylor, once. And it felt so good.

By the way, Mike "Riverdale," you also rule. You were one of the most amusing people I met at the con this year. "Sucking hind teat" indeed.

Well, after Bloody Roar: Primal Fury, we had to call it a night. Afterall, tomorrow was LaRonde day!


Monday we all got going pretty much on time and got to the park in good order. Group shot in front of the fountain, then we rode some crappy stand-up coaster. Then lunch, and DDR! w00T! I'm so out of practice, but I had a great time anyway. Probably because despite being out practice Kelly and I still showed up the 'tweens trying to hound the pads. Feh! We then rode The Dragon, 'oooh, aaaah,' the crappiest ride the in the park, but amusing, and the ferris wheel. Oh yeah, I forced Dippin' Dots upon Julie, and she loved them.

The Monster had been closed earlier, but was open by then, so we rode the second tallest wooden coaster in the world. What a fantastic ride! As far as wooden coasters go, it was the second best I've ever been on. Second only to the Cyclone at Coney Island.

After that we were going to enter in the Double Dash tourney in the Nintendo building. But it wasn't worth it; 50+ horny 10-16yr olds (mostly 10yr olds) acting like it was a life or death thing? Feh, Taylor would have wiped the floor with them all; castrated them before they knew what as coming. So we didn't bother; Taylor's the Double Dash Master; he doesn't need to prove it... but so many times. Instead we waited in line for The Vampire for an hour and a half. Awesome ride that one.

Afterward, Dippin' Dots for Liz and Kelly. Ian and Taylor went off to ride a back-and-forth, swinging-spinning ride. Julie, Kelly and I instead played DDR. Well.. Kelly and I DDR'd, Julie watched. Kelly fended off the pad monkeys, and we kicked ass again.

Headed back to the hotel and had to part ways with Ian. Love the guy; wish he could have stayed yet another additional night.

Dinner at Tim Hortons.. it was okay. After calling Le Marche, "open 'til 12!" but not really; arrived at 10... doors locked. Bastards.

Back to the hotel yet again to babble and doodle. Sang the 'Star Wars Cantina' parody to Copa Cabana with the additional verse Taylor and I came up with. Arted, laughed, a lot. Eventually slept.


Ahh, Tuesday. Why'd you have to come so soon? Packed up all my stuff, got breakfast. Wrote a note to Keith David and took it to his room with Taylor.

Keith David.. answered the door... and hugged me again! I thanked him for coming, for interacting with the fans, for being so fun, friendly and the stories. He's totally psyched to come to Vegas in 2005. Did I mention that before? Because it's true.

Best Keith quote:
"Excuse me? You take that right back where you got it."

On phrases you bring home with you from your travels. (Like Australia.)

Keith is so much fun to talk to. He's so.. one on one, down to earth. And he invited Taylor and me to go to the spa and pool with him and his son. Spa. With. Keith David. Pool. I could have spent the day with Keith David! Gah! But Patrick, ever the calm voice of reason, happened to interceed and reminded us that we indeed have a plane to catch. Sigh. I got more hugs from Keith David tho', and that makes me unbelievably happy. Like Greg, it'll carry me to 2005.

Oh yeah. This didn't hurt:

"Where are you guys heading?"
"Richmond, Virginia."
"Ah, I have family down in Virginia Beach I'm visiting in September."
"Oh, it's wonderful there that time of year. Still warm, but most of the tourists have cleared out. I'm sure you'll have a great visit."
"Oh yes. And maybe I'll give you a call."

Again. Even if he doesn't.. that it was said.. damn! Happy Liz! More points for Keith David! More hugs too. ;>

The plane rides were uneventful, but quick. Even the 2hr layover in Cleveland wasn't bad. I sketched for Patrick on the first plane ride. Just for chips and giggles I did a female Puck.

Madeline and Mrs. Fauss picked us up at RIC and dropped us off at their house, where we collected Taylor's Tahoe and headed back to my home. Taylor dropped me off and we talked for a while, then my stuff was hauled inside, and crashed. Phew!

I had an unbelievably wonderful time at the convention this year. It's definitely been my best Gathering yet, and I've heard the same thing from some of the other fans as well. This pleases me to no end, and I hope 2005 goes as well as 2004 did. Good luck to you, Las Vegas. And I look forward to seeing everyone, and more, back in late July next year!

Remember, you have A YEAR to plan; no excuses! It's Vegas too, so it'll be much cheaper than normal. Don't let The Gathering pass you bye! If start now with a positive attitude, you will make it.

Greg responds...

I'm glad I wasn't too big a disappointment at the banquet. (I totally understand. It sometimes amazes me that the entire fandom isn't totally bored with me by now.) Think of it this way, you got me and you didn't really lose out on Keith since he didn't show until much later.

Response recorded on May 04, 2006

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Dylan Blacquiere writes...

The last of my Gathering journal. Now it's off to shame my friends into writing them!

Sunday, August 8

I hadn’t mentioned the Gargoyles Biology panel that I had been scheduled to give with Yggdrasil and Lynati up to this point; the reason is that I hadn’t worked on it, and so waking up that morning was just like school – making a mad rush to the Tim Hortons with a notepad and jotting down discussion notes. It looked very much like my early mornings in undergrad when I’d stumble, bleary-eyed, to the Pit (the campus coffee store) and do the work that I should have done the night before. I got back in time to greet Andrew and Mercedes parents – they were leaving early, and I gave some warm goodbyes – and then I went down to the Auditorium to get the talk ready. Check the lights, write a few things on the white-board – everything that those of us who’ve given thesis seminars know about first hand. This, though, was at least promising to be fun, though there was no degree lurking at the end of it.
It went spectacularly. We had a great crowd, and I was vastly impressed with the turn-out we had, considering that we were up against the adult round robin and the first of the mug-a-guests with Keith David (though we later found out that Keith hadn’t made it to his first one, so maybe that’s kind of unfair). Yggdrasil had got a powerpoint slide on genetic engineering ready, and Lynati had her notes on musculature and bone structure ready. I was acting more as facilitator, I suppose, but we had a lot of good questions and neat ideas on the metabolism of stone sleep, the mechanics of gargoyle gliding, the healing factor, the glowing eyes, etc. The DVD crew came in and filmed us, and so there’s the geek closet just blown wide open, but it was still a great talk filled with neat ideas and fun people. Some people told me later that they wished Greg had been there, but I have the suspicion that Greg is just happier not thinking too much about the biology of the show. I’m sure many a B.Sc undergrad would feel the same way, given the opportunity. But I have to say it again; there are a lot of thoughtful and smart people in the fandom, many of whom have tried to look at the broader scientific questions that get asked with a series like this. There were even a few questions that flirted with the blue end of the spectrum, though everything ended up nice and PG friendly.
After this it was a mad-dash scramble to get checked out of the room and to stow our stuff in Ellen’s room, and then we were immediately wrangled by Christine to go and start signing copies of the Phoenix Gate Anthology in the art-show room. I signed quite a few for the other authors and artists, and I also signed quite a few for a lot of fans who seemed amused at the whole idea of us sitting at the table and brandishing pens. I felt a little like a poser, and since Keith still hadn’t come downstairs yet, I also felt a little like the opening-act who won’t get off the stage to let the headliners come on. But we did get great seats for the mug-a-guest, and Keith finally did come downstairs; he got to talk to everyone except the PGA crew and Carole semi-firmly told him to sit down and start answering questions (Nicely, though; I’m mostly teasing. Mostly).
The night before I had been speaking with Keith one-on-one; this time I got to see him work the crowd. He’s singularly charming and he answered every question with wit and a genuine sense of enjoyment. He’s also a master of the artful segue, and quite often a seemingly closed question would branch off into a rich and expressive answer that had nothing to do with what had been asked, but gave a great glimpse into the mind of someone who clearly feels at home in his own skin and who viewed his craft as art and calling as much as job and paycheque. Just like in my conversation last night, his topics ranged from acting to philosophy, and I think he would have gone on for hours had not Carole insisted that he go and get some lunch before the closing ceremonies. With that, he took his leave, and the rest of us lingered and settled in to wait for the last Gathering event. I was starved and there was no time to run up to the Tim’s; I went looking through the underground mall for something to eat but everything was locked up tight. Annoying, but hardly the end of the world; I figured I could live of my glycogen stores for a couple of hours and wait until the airport for food.
Closing ceremonies was kind of a blur; I was kind of distracted, wondering if we’d have time to be able to say proper good-byes to friends before having to run out and catch a taxi to the airport. We watched the art show awards, and Stormy was amazed at winning five ribbons (I was happy that the Whitbourne kitbash and Revel’s picture with good ol’ Witless in it won some accolades, but then again, I’m vicariously selfish). We got to hear the pitch for Las Vegas, and I decided that I would go as long as my projected voyage to Africa for school next summer allows it. I also had to explain my T-shirt (it says “MEAT” and has a picture of a T-bone steak with a caduceus on it). a few people asked about it, and I had to tell them that it was a shirt printed for our joke-gentlemen’s club at school. MEAT stands for Medicine, Ethanol, And Testosterone. It’ll be on the DVD, I assume, since the crew was there for the biology panel, so of anyone’s curious, that’s it.
The ceremonies ended earlier than I expected, and so Stormy and I had time to join the line to have Keith sign our Phoenix Gate anthologies after all. Stormy showed him the Goliath she had dressed up in drag for the art show, and he thought that was flipping hilarious. He also sang to her; a riff on her fan-name, which he justified by saying that he’d had a friend nick-named Stormy when he was younger. He signed her book, and that book’s now at her parent’s house in Clifford, Ontario, stored safely away for posterity.
I got him to sign my book, too, right on the front page of my story. He remembered me from the night before and we followed up for a moment on the conversation we’d had. Once he got a close look at my name, he looked up at me and asked if I was familiar with the works of Dylan Thomas.
I nodded. “I was named after him, actually,” I said, and this is true, though my parents hadn’t read any of his poems and they just thought his name was interesting.
“He had some good advice,” Keith said, and then he took my book and his pen again. At that point he’d simply signed “To Dylan – all the best”, but he then added “& remember – do not go gentle into that good night”. I’ve never planned on doing so, but now I have even more incentive. Thanks, Keith.
Time was growing criminally short, now, and the last of the Gathering was spent saying farewells to all of our friends again. Lynati, Wingless, Allaine, Kathy, Maui, Princess, Mara, Aaron, Spacebabie, Revel, Dan, Flanker – the list is endless, with so many dear friends to speak of that it’s impossible to name them all. We didn’t pre-register for the Gathering next year – there just wasn’t time – but we both know that unless we’re in faraway lands at the same time as the Gathering, we’ll be there in Las Vegas. Heck, I’m actually buying a guitar and learning to play it just for next year’s Gathering, so I can go as Bonavista. (And now that’s on the Internet, so people can hold me to it as though it were a legal contract.) We got to prolong the farewell with Ellen, mostly because we were stashing our swag in her room for the afternoon, but in the end we had to say bye to her too, and that one was just like last year’s for me – bittersweet, with the promise of a Gathering reunion the next year.
We left, pretty low-key, got our stuff, took a taxi to the airport; we talked of the Gathering the whole way there, confusing the driver, I’m sure, and we looked back at the Montreal skyline, wishing we were staying but knowing that the real world was beckoning. We got to the airport – twenty minutes, thirty-one bucks, just like last time, and did the dance of the Infernal Check-In, with its ritual questions of “did you pack your bags yourself” and “did you leave them unattended” to round out the routine. We ate junk food for supper and then boarded the plane; on the way there I ran into one of my friends from med school, who had been in Montreal visiting friends. We talked for a few minutes, but we didn’t say much; she ran into a friend of hers from undergrad, and Stormy and I were tired, but still, that time we spent waiting in the gate seemed to sum it all up. At one end of the chairs was my friend Erin, where we talked about med school and Halifax, but then I went back to my own seat and read the stories in the Phoenix Gate Anthology until it was time to board the plane. Real-life and fan-life have always been sort of an interesting dichotomy for me, and somehow that image, so close to the end of the Gathering, lingers as much as anything else that happened that weekend.
On the plane ride home, I fussed and fidgeted for a while, and then turned on my laptop and started editing a fanfic story that I hadn’t touched in three months. It felt right and proper. It won’t ever get me published, and sometimes I fear that the crowd who reads that is ever diminishing, but still, it felt good. Stormy looked at me with patient understanding; Ellen, I’m sure, would have beamed. It wasn’t all that productive; by the time I started getting into the editing groove we were landing in Halifax and catching our bags and finding the car, but it was there. The Gathering had brought me back into the fold.
I’m writing this a couple of weeks after – as a crappy postscript, I just found out that the alternator on our car went and it needs to be replaced, something that seems to be a shortly-after-the-Gathering tradition – but I’m still feeling the buzz. I’m going to show my family and friends the Phoenix Gate story, and I’m going to natter them into buying the DVD. I’m going to look into going to Africa next summer but I’m also going to make sure I have time to go to Vegas. I’m going to learn to play the guitar and make enough money that I can buy all the guests a round for next year. And most importantly of all, I’m going to get out my laptop more and write, as much and as often as I can about the things that command me to write about them. It won’t always be fanfic; other muses lurk in the ether that have visions of the Giller, the Booker and the Nobel prizes in their heads, but it will be what I enjoy. That’s the legacy from the Gathering that I want to keep.
See you all in Vegas.

Greg responds...

Wow. That's bloody inspirational. And although it probably sounds like it, I am NOT being sarcastic. Honestly.

And for the record, I've always wanted to attend one of those "Gargoyle Biology" Panels, but I'm always scheduled to do something else at the same time. But I'd love to talk about that with fans at some point. Casually.

Response recorded on May 03, 2006

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Zehra writes...

Babbles on The Gathering 2004 - (part II)

Saturday, August 7th

I woke up (around 7, says my memopad. I kept a small memopad during the con to jot down notes, but I honestly don't remember waking up that early. I wonder why?) Killed time by eating breakfast and lunch. At some point, I visited the dealer's room and met Jen's dashing hubby, Alan (whose goal it would be to get me to mack on his wife the rest of the con.) Oh, like I need any persuasion... ;)

It was also confirmed that Keith David would be missing the radio play, but would be there in time for the banquet. I was kinda bummed. Because playing *opposite Keith David* would have been...it would have been close to a religious experience, let me put it that way. But I guess it wasn't meant to be. It was still insanely fun and Rob did an awesome job as Goliath.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.. Saw the cast list posted, and then wandered around. Was told by Carol that I should go down and talk to the DVD people. Eeek. I love interviews, but not unless I feel very familiarized and fresh with the subject matter (and to be honest, I've not really had the chance to watch much Gargoyles in the past 7 months abroad) So one thing I was kind of reflecting on this whole con was 'what Gargoyles means to me.'

I went down, watched some really good interviews before me (including Michael's, which just blew me away. It was everything you could possibly want in an interview like that! I am betting a large cut of what he says makes it on to the dvd.) Then I did my interview for the DVD people. Let me rephrase that. I fed spacecrack to the DVD people.

I think it was because I was grappling with that question--what does Gargoyles mean to me? I can't say specifically that Gargoyles inspired me to follow a certain career path, but I can say that it largely shaped the way I think about the world and the person I became. It was like a crash course in Shakespeare, world mythology and history, a tale of romance and humanity and drama and hope. It was a portal into countless other things, all which helped me explore different intellectual interests and grow up. And because of my idol worship of Elisa, my preteen wardrobe was filled exclusively with red and black. It was my childhood.

Thinking about my own experience with it, and hearing stories from other people, I realize--That's the power of great art. Something that can have such a transforming role in the lives of so many. It's incredible.

So I yada yada-ed something like the above very inarticulately, but the DVD staff was really cool. They were easy to talk to.

Next up was Radio Play rehearsals! Where it was revealed that the script was...The Journey! (Which, actually, I already knew, thanks to a reliable source ;) ) And I found out I was going to play Elisa! Yay! Greg told me later that he thought about casting me as Castaway. (Aaaand Zehra's long history of playing men continues.) But I'm glad he didn't, because the guy who played Castaway (blanking on his name right now) was rocking.

So we did what you normally do at rehearsals, and rehearsed. I enjoyed the chance to work with a script that was more action noises than words for dialogue, because I've not really done that before (I do a bit of stage acting, often in verse.) After rehearsals, the radio play was about to start, but I remember moving some chairs to the auditorium (there was something like 31 of us in the cast.)

The one thing I remember right before the play--FLASHBULBS going off EVERYWHERE. People got really camera happy. I was blind by the time the first act started. I'll just consider it preparation for when I'm rich and famous, I guess. ;)

The show was fun to be in, and based on the audience reaction, fun to watch. Everyone rocked their parts! Applause all around.

After that, I went up to my room and being kind of tired, debated whether to sleep or not. I ended up taking the world's shortest nap, woke up at 5:55, and ran down to the ballroom for the banquet, thinking that I'd be late. But people were meandering in slowly, and I was on the early side. At dinner, I had the honor of sitting with Jen and Alan and the Morgans! And two new folks from Boston, Nicholas and Darrien. I hope they weren't too lost/scared. ;) Dinner was DELICIOUS but I had a hard time getting into it because of lack of appetite caused by the world's shortest nap. By the time the quail got there though, I was back in the game. Jen treated me to wine (read: tried to get me drunk. I have you figured out, woman! ;) ) I left to go to the ladies room at one point, and of COURSE that's when Keith David walked in. But yay, he made it!

Keith David. This man drips POETRY. Not only is his voice beautiful, but the things he says are bursting with something I can only describe as resonance. I could listen to him talk forever. He said something in particular that I wish I had written down word for word because it was phrased so perfectly and really hit home. But now memory fails me. AND his kids are ADORABLE. Also, mega-props to the folks who met him and his family at the airport--Patrick and Carol, I think--these folks were running around all evening and didn't get to eat much, if at all.

After Q&A with Keith, the masquerade began. I was blown away by the intricate, well thought-out costumes. There are so many talented people in this fandom! What is so great about the Gathering is that everyone gets the chance to strut their stuff and really shine at what they love to do.

I particularly thought the Eye of the Beholder Fox/Xanatos couple (Torvik and his sister, I believe) was a really cute idea. And very fitting that Jade Griffin was a hot Elisa as Belle, also from that episode. The cosplays were all very clever and amusing. Not to mention the STAFF whose costumes were rocking. I loved Karine's pregnant Fox. Alan was a dashing Macbeth and Jen was a gorgeous Gruoch. And Siryn pulled off a gorgeous evening gown and Tom all in one night. Now that's versatility.

After the awards had been given, the dance/karaoke portion of the evening began.
Keith David regaled us all with his acapella (with a BABY strapped to his chest no less, oh my gosh, cuteness.) I must say, our karaoke was far superior to the banshees next door.

Around 2am, the masquerade was winding down. Because of his early flight, Greg wasn't going to bed. So a group of us (Jen, Karine, Andreas and Archangel (who made a HOT Bad Elisa and Dracon at the masquerade) and Patrick--there were also some more folks there at some point) went up to the con suite to keep Greg company before he left for the airport (or what I affectionately call the "Grope Greg Weisman Panel." ;) ) Everyone was pretty cracked out on sleep deprivation (you know when *everything* becomes funny?) There was live action Sailor Moon, there was miming...I don't think I've laughed that much in ages. Sadly, we broke it up a little after 5 am so Greg could go get ready for the airport.

Stay tuned for part III, Zombie Sunday and so forth.

Greg responds...

Turns out you must have done fairly well on your DVD interview, because you definitely made the cut. That was a fun all-nighter. Almost made me feel like a young college student again... except the next day I felt like a real old fart.

Response recorded on May 02, 2006

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Zehra writes...

Hi, Greg!

I present...

My babbles on The Gathering 2004 - (part I)

Firstly, I'd like to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made the Gathering a blast, especially the con staff. You guys rocked the house DOWN.
I had a lot of fun meeting so many of you for the first time, as well as seeing those of you I'd met in 2001 and 2002.
Forgive me in advance for forgetting names of folks I talked to. I never forget a face, but the names are a bit harder...

Thursday, August 5th - Setting off!

I left for the airport around 2 for my 7:30 flight. I took a shuttle bus to the Indianapolis airport because my dad had to work all day and couldn't drive me down, and ended up at the airport ridiculously early--something like 3 hours in advance. But better early than late. Packing the night (or morning) before was a challenge, as I hadn't yet unpacked from Japan (I got back about a week before.) I ended up forgetting some essential things (like a watch) so I did some duty-free shopping at the airport.

I also took the opportunity to reintegrate myself into my mother culture by ordering a good old American hamburger from TGI Fridays. Ahhh....my love, how I have missed you! If there's one thing America can do better than Japan, it's the hamburger. Anyhoo, I write about it because I find it amusing that I have started speaking English with Japanese characteristics. For example, I didn't want the pickle. Usually you say "no pickle" or "hold the pickle" right? Instead, I said "I don't need the pickle." Which I guess is understood just fine, but I know it comes from the Japanese way of saying you don't want something "x wo iranai." (literally "I don't need x.") The ex-pat process is nearly complete. ;)

I had an uneventful flight, an uneventful connection in Pittsburgh, and arrived in Montreal around midnight. My taxi driver on the way to the hotel was really nice. He was telling me about neat places in Quebec to hit if I had the time. Also, he asked me if I knew what my name meant, and I said it's the Arabic word for flower. He said not only that, it means "rose." I don't know if that was an indirect come-on or what, but I appreciated it. ;)

More name weirdness--when I checked in at the front desk, the clerk commented on my name and asked me if it was Lebanese. It's used in Muslim families, so I guess it's used over there. I was exhausted, so I fell asleep pretty soon after I got to my room. This would be the only night of the weekend where I would get a normal night's sleep.

Friday, August 6th

I woke up around 9. I had one of the Signature Club Rooms, because when I called to make my reservation, the hotel informed me they were out of the rooms that had been blocked off for the convention. So they gave me the best deal they had available, and that happened to be for the Signature Club, which included access to the private roof lounge. Delta Signature Club--why just *feel* like a pretentious snob when you can actually *be* one? So I had free continental breakfast in the roof lounge which overlooked a magnificent Montreal morning.

Around 10 I meandered down to register, but no one official was around. There were some familiar faces down there. I must say here that I hope I didn't appear anti-social in any way throughout the con. I had planned on dragging some friends with me this time, but it didn't pan out, so I was a lone wolf. I am a pretty extroverted person, but get shy and cautious in social situations where I don't know folks very well, especially if there's already an established group dynamic. I'm workin' on that!

I forget what I did to kill time, but I got a manicure and another burger at some point. But I did get registered--I think Siryn and Rob were manning the desk when I went up.

In the afternoon, I went to the voice-over panel/workshop/Q&A/thing. And as I was about to walk in the door, who did I run into but GREG WEISMAN! Who gave me a hug and commented on my short hair.

The situation then was that Keith David would be arriving a little late, but despite his absence the panel was interesting. Something I found interesting from the director's standpoint was the idea of creating a "sound pallet" that sets the tone of the language for the show--Gargoyles was Neo-Shakespeare. Try to surprise yourself in casting choices I think was another good piece of advice. (fangirl aside: I just think it's so coool that this con exists, and that professionals like Greg and other guests over the years give these workshops and AMAZING opportunities to learn from the pros. It is MIND BLOWINGLY cool.)

Jen sat behind me during the panel, but was unaware that the woman sitting in front of her would soon become her LOVAH!!! ;)

Listening to the exercises of the panel got my acting-bug aroused, and so I decided to audition then as opposed to the next morning. I must give mucho applause to Carol Wagner, who was running the line. I had the pleasure of getting to talk to Carol a little bit throughout the con, and not only is she an amazing guest coordinator, she's an absolute sweetheart.

Ah, auditions, the sweetest torture. I love auditions, even though they make me want to die. I never get nervous during an actual audition. I'm all nerves before, but once I'm actually in there going, it's like I'm in my own little world. And then I'm all nerves after. But the part in between, man, that's fun. I was feeling kinda rusty actually, as it was my first audition in nearly 9 months (there wasn't a lot of performance opportunity when I was in Japan.) I chose Xanatos' lines, because they seemed like the ones I could have the most fun with. I think it went okay, because Jen and Greg seemed pleased.

After the audition I think I went back to my room. Opening ceremonies was fun. I always love seeing Greg's spiel. It's kind of bittersweet though, because I see those pitches and think wow...those would have been awesome shows. Also nice to learn the DVD release date (December 7th!) I really hope they start releasing more of the Disney Afternoon shows on DVD (my life won't be complete until I have Darkwing DVD.)

After opening ceremonies, I was hungry. And really didn't want to end up eating at the hotel restaurant again. And was looking for company. Here's where that shy thing comes in again. I was wandering lost through the lobby and luckily I ran into Greg and he invited me to come along with a group to this crepe place. It was a nice walk through Old Montreal to get to the restaurant. Very European feel. There were street performers with accordions and bagpipes and cobbled roads and charm.

I want to marry the crepes I had that night. Mmm... As great as the food was, the company was greater! It ended up being Greg, Karine, Kathy, Siryn, Shaun and some cool folks whose names I didn't catch (sorry!) The restaurant had a really interesting outdoor lighting scheme that changed from red to pink to orange to yellow. The waiter was a nice guy, but sort of dangerous dropping plates with food and knives and what not here and there. It was fun talking to Siryn about Japan/Asia. I had been semi-miserable being back in the US for the past week, so it was nice being able to reminisce and swap stories. (But let it be known that thanks to the Gathering, I'm not miserable anymore!) Greg also regaled us with the story of how he met his wife. I'm such a sappy girl, I love stories like that.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel (Greg rushed ahead so as to not be too late for the blue-mug-a-guest) I almost went to the blue-mug(which in retrospect I wish I had,) but I was kind of feeling dead when I got back to my room, so just decided to call it a night. Also, being that Gargoyles is kind of like my childhood, I was afraid of being SCARRED FOR LIFE (that would happen the next night. ;) ) So to sleep I went.

Stay tuned for part II, Saturday shenanigans!

Greg responds...

Ah, Zehra, we missed you last year in Vegas. I hope you can make it to Los Angeles this year. You are always so much fun!!

But what's this about you and Jen being "LOVAHS"? I must know more.

Response recorded on May 02, 2006

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HollyAnn writes...

Hi! Here's my con-report for the Gathering 2004 "Le Gathering".

My husband and I live in the Champlain Islands of Vermont, so we're very close to the border, so we just drove up to the convention every morning, and then drove back everynight.

This was the first time I've ever been to a Gargoyles convention. I had been a fan of the show since I in college (back in 1995), so when I heard that a Gargoyles convention was happening so close to here, I just couldn't pass it up! I even learned how to draw Gargoyles by watching the TV show. Having been an anthropomorphic artist, I've been to furry conventions before, so I had a rough idea of what a Gargoyle convention would be about. I actually heard about the Gathering through an online comic that one of my friends has; he had a banner that I clicked on, and the rest is history.

The first day was a little slow, but that's very normal for any convention I've attended. Having never been to a Gargoyle gathering before, I was pretty much a stranger to everyone, and vice versa. But I met some artists in the Artist Alley who were very nice and friendly to talk to, and I had the chance to check out the art show. There was some VERY talented artists in there! I wish I could've voted for more people in a particular category, it was very hard to choose just one.

Later that afternoon, I attended the Opening Ceremonies. I've never been to them before, at any convention I've ever been to, so I thought that I would go and see what it was all about. It was interrupted during the beginning of the ceremony for the first event of the Clan Olympics. I had a very vague idea of what it was all about, but I had no idea that they looked so fun! We watched the different teams rushing around, trying to get as many plastic balls into specially-made holey shirts and the teams were given points. After the event was over, the ceremony resumed, and Greg Weisman talked to us for a while. He played us a tape in which Ed Asner and Keith David as well as other cast and crew of the cartoon had recorded themselves on tape and addressed the audience. We were also treated to some videos, in which a younger Greg talked to us about different possible spin-offs of Gargoyles. Personally, I think I would love to see two of these spin-offs make it: The Dark Ages and Time Dancer. I've always liked the idea of Gargoyles staying in the medieval/dark ages setting, so I think the Dark Ages show would be great. As for Time Dancer, I'm a fan of time travel stories, and it features Brooklyn (my favourite Gargoyle) so I don't think they can go wrong there. ;) We even listened to a recording of a show that was never animated, where the crew of Disney's Altantis meets up with Demona, which we all thought was interesting as well as funny from all the grunts and other things from the actors. We left after the Opening Ceremonies for the day.

On Saturday, I was supposed to be in Artist Alley to try my hand at drawing gargoyles for people, but we were exhausted from our drive, that I wanted to sleep in. I missed out on selling and drawing for people, but my main concern was that I wanted to go to the auction. I LOVE going to auctions! I had seen the many things that were being offered up for bids on Friday, and I really wanted to get myself a Brooklyn action figure (I'm kicking myself for not getting one when they used to be in the Disney Store years ago). So, I went to the auction, and it was TONS of fun! The hosts (auctioneers) were very friendly, out-going, and joked around alot. I didn't get the chance to get a Brooklyn action figure, but I managed to walk away with a few things. I was amazed at just how much some of the prints were going for as well. And it was fun to watch people fight over the animation cel they had there as well. After the auction was over and after I had paid for my new Gargoyle merchandise that I had won, we had to leave early so that I could get some housework done. The job of a housewife is never done!

Sunday was the same as Saturday: We slept in a little bit and we got to the convention in time for all of us to sit down and meet Keith David. I was expecting that he would just wave to us and sit at his table, but he surprised me when we went to everyone in the room (myself included), shook hands with them and actually greeted them and asked how we were enjoying the convention! I thought that was really nice of him. He was very friendly when questions started and it was interesting to hear a glimpse of behind-the-scenes of Gargoyles of when he was the voice of Goliath, and to hear his own opinions of things. I had a question for him as well, but I was much too shy/chicken to ask!

About half an hour after the Mug-A-Guest was over, they had the closing ceremonies. It surprised me to hear that I had won a CD! One of the dealers in the Dealer's Room was having a draw for a CD and I had entered at the last minute, not really thinking I would win anything, so it was a surprise :) They announced the many winners of the artists in the Art Show, and I'm glad that many of them won something, their art was definately worth it! They were also talking about the next Gathering, which will be held in Las Vegas. If we could afford to go, I would...but unfortunately, we're already planning a big trip to a different convention next year. It's too bad, because I remember going to Las Vegas when I was 13 and I missed out on the slot machines because I was too young...

All-in-all, I had a great time! If The Gathering ever plans on coming back to the area (either in Montreal, or in the Nothern NY state or Vermont area), I would very much like to go again! The hotel was located in a wonderful location, so that it made it very easy to find when coming over the border. I'm actually Canadian myself, and I was glad that many of the workers in the hotel will speak English for you if you're not familiar with speaking French, and they were kind and polite there as well.

I'm really excited about the first season of Gargoyles coming out on DVD, and just in time for Christmas as well! You can take a guess what'll be on my Christmas list this year ;) Again, I do hope that they make some spin-off shows of the Gargoyles, or even start making new shows of it. The whole reason why I like Gargoyles is that it's different, and it's also a different style for a Disney cartoon as well. I had a great time at the convention, and it really made me more interested in wanting to know more about the Gargoyle fandom and viewing more Gargoyle fan art as well.

Thank you everyone for the great time! I hope I can go to The Gathering again :)

Greg responds...

Hey HollyAnn,

I'm glad you had fun. You might think about attending G2006 this year. It'll have about 50 special guests (artists, actors, writers, etc.) and only about 300 attendees. That's a pretty stunning attendee to pro ratio. You won't get that at ANY other con.

Response recorded on May 01, 2006

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Kaylle writes...

Kaylle's G2004 Journal (Part 2 of 2)

[Again, for the illustrated version, visit www.ladyavalon.com/gathering/gathering01.htm ]


Annie and I got up “early” Saturday morning and headed downstairs to audition for the Radio Play. We were some of the first people to arrive, so we were at the head of the line. I was a little nervous about the audition, but I’ve always been more comfortable reading and voice-acting than acting on stage, so it wasn’t too bad. I didn’t have the nerve to try growling or snarling in public, though, so I shied away from the gargoyle parts in the audition scripts. I read some of Elisa’s lines from an old draft of Awakenings, and they were pretty close to the final draft but not exactly, which made it easier to read them by myself instead of trying to mimic Salli’s performance.

After that we wandered out into Montreal and found a patisserie somewhere to have breakfast. I dropped part of my scone on the ground, but then we had lots of free avian entertainment. We then set out in search of a drug store and denture cream. I’d bought some fangs for my costume back in Ohio, and the guy at the costume store suggested using Fixodent to hold them, but I’d forgotten to get some. We didn’t have much luck, but eventually we found a tourism office and asked directions. The attendant was very helpful and gave us a map and directions to a drug store in Chinatown. We bought some denture cream and headed back to the hotel.

We headed back up to our room to work on our wings. Last year I’d had this idea that I could make wings that could be caped appropriately but that would spring open when they were released, the way the gargoyles do when they go into battle-mode. We’d been working on them off and on for months, trying different constructions, and we still weren’t done. I spent several hours sewing in the car on Friday, attaching the claws at the tips of the wings and the clasps to hold them shut. We hadn’t tried them on since, so we weren’t positive the clasps were in the right places, and we still had some problems with the straps to hold them on. The maid was in the bathroom, and we didn’t really want to interrupt her, but we only had a little time in between activities so we decided to just stay out of her way as best we could. (We tried to tell her not to bother making the beds, etc, but she didn’t speak any English). So we tried to be unobtrusive in the back of the room, me in my leotard with my five-foot wingspan and Annie trying to make the wings stay flat on my back ... Eventually we decided we could probably use the brute force method and tie them on with the loads of extra fabric we’d brought with us.

We gave up and went downstairs to check on the Radio Play. We’d both been cast, but we wouldn’t know who we were playing until the auditions. So we decided to poke our heads into the auction, which was just starting. I didn’t intend to stay, knowing I had no money to play with, but it was more fun than I expected watching us all go crazy for obscure Gargoyles merchandise. (The auctioneers were really fun, and they egged us on with reminders that the bids were all in Canadian dollars. “They’re practically worthless!”) I bid on a few little things and then discovered they had one of the Disney pins. I’d been looking for one of those since June, when I went down to Disney World and learned about pin trading. I had decided to get pins for the things I really love to display on my backpack at school, and the only one I was still missing was Gargoyles, but no one seemed to have those anymore. I was determined to win the one in the auction, and I spent more than I intended to, but I did win. Of course, once I realized it was still sealed in the packaging I decided I couldn’t possibly put it on my backpack and have it lost or stolen. So now I’m back on the market...

After the auction we rushed to the Radio Play auditions. I was cast as Fox and Annie was Angela. (We were a little disappointed that Keith wouldn’t make it, but the cast was great and we had a lot of fun even without him. The guys that played Vinnie and Jon Castaway stole the show, but everyone was good. And it was fun to have such a large, diverse cast! I would definitely try out again next year. Afterwards, I got Greg to sign my script and the oversized promo card from the series one trading cards.

Annie and I ran upstairs, changed our clothes, and then headed to mass at the Basilique de Notre Dame. The church was beautiful, although my pictures don’t do it justice. The downside was that the entire mass was in French. Annie and I both took Spanish in high school, so the service was completely incomprehensible to us. (I tried to keep track of where we were in the service, but I’m Lutheran so I don’t know the structure of Catholic mass particularly well anyway, except where it’s similar to the Lutheran service. At any rate, they seemed to have a few extra sections in there that I didn’t recognize, so I got lost pretty quickly.) The only parts I could recognize were the creed and the Lord’s Prayer, just from the rhythm of the words. I was proud of myself just for staying awake.

After mass, we rushed back to the hotel and went to the banquet. We sat with Alan and Carolyn, our friends from MGT3K, Brenda/Kaylee, and two other people whose names, I’m sorry to admit, I’ve forgotten. At any rate, we all had a lot of fun talking and laughing and making fun of various foods. We had some vegetables shaped like Wisconsin and Yoda, some dancing silverware, and a few brainteaser games before the meal was over.

Keith arrived towards the end of the banquet and was a great sport about answering questions while he ate dinner. I was taken aback by how down-to-earth and friendly he was. (Not that I expected him to be unfriendly, just that, like Greg, he wasn’t an aloof guest-of-honor, he was a friend). I could have sat there all night listening to the questions and answers, but we had less than an hour to get ready for the masquerade, so Annie and I beat a hasty retreat to our room.

Annie was going as Fox, so her costume was fairly simple to assemble. That meant she could help me get mine together, which was good because mine was a lot more elaborate. Silver leotard, silver makeup, pointed ears, skirt, bodice, belt, shoes, jewelry... and wings. (The denture cream ended up being completely ineffective, so I had to skip the fangs). Annie helped me paint my face, neck and shoulders and then we started wrestling with the wings. When we were done, my shoulders were killing me but the wings were staying on.

I finished painting my arms and legs while Annie got dressed and painted on her fox tattoo. We’d dyed her hair Thursday night, but it still didn’t come out really red. I liked the costume anyway; she looked so sophisticated in her gown and long gloves.

I ran out of makeup (despite the fact that a stick was supposed to be enough to do five or six faces, and I’d bought two of them) so my hands and arms ended up a little spotty, but it was the best I could do. By this point we were already half an hour late, so we took a few quick pictures and ran downstairs.

We'd had to come up with a name for me on my entry form (I was tempted to put "our kind don't have names" but I decided being a smart-aleck wouldn't win me very many points). I had originally planned to go as Demona, but I’d gotten some very cool silver fabric on clearance, and silver had been a color that was readily available in both makeup and dye. So I’d become “generic silver gargoyle with spring-loaded wings,” and I didn’t have a name picked out. We finally settled on Argenta, because we thought we remembered argentum or something similar was Latin for silver (turns out, luckily, we were right).

When we got out of the elevator on the convention level, there were a bunch of people waiting outside the door. “You! Are you in the masquerade? Argenta? You’re on right now!” I had been under the impression that the masquerade was a party, a masked ball. It turned out it was more like a fashion show. And my name had *just* been called. So I ran onstage and showed off my costume for the judges. I walked nervously across with the wings folded down, flicked them open (Annie claims people cheered for that, but I honestly don't remember anything), walked up to the judges and asked if I was done yet. By now I was feeling more than a little foolish to have driven 13 hours and painted myself silver! They said no, I had to "strut" (amid catcalls from the judges, which was amusing and rather flattering!). So I walked back and forth for a while with as much attitude as I could muster and then retreated to a chair on the side of the stage.

I was sorry I’d given the camera to Annie, because it meant I couldn’t take any pictures of the rest of the costumes, but after the masquerade we had a brief intermission to take pictures while the judges voted. We reconvened after 15 minutes for the awards. There were several of them, not all of which I remember. Becca Morgan, who looked really great as Bronx, won for best junior costume. Revel won the Thom Adcox Memorial award; not having met Thom, I’m not sure what that entails, but I imagine it has something to do with losing your pants... Korul’s costume was amazing, and predictably won Best of Show (I’m only sorry I didn’t see his “Rubber Ducky” performance!).

I won 1st prize for an original character, which floored me, but I was flattered and happy and Annie was thrilled (“We didn’t spend the last three weeks building spring-loaded wings for nothing!”). I got a lot of compliments on my wings and costume, and Annie got a lot of remarks on her Eye of Odin necklace. I had my picture taken with Greg and Keith, who were both really wonderful and complimented me on the costume. I was really surprised that Keith didn’t mind having his picture taken while holding the baby; I couldn’t imagine any other celebrity who wouldn’t go crazy at the idea of having his children photographed. But his whole family was down in the ballroom, playing and listening to the karaoke and having a good time, and Keith himself sang for us, so this was just another demonstration of how friendly and comfortable he was. (And it was a thrill to hear him sing... wow, wouldn’t the Gargoyles: The Musical episode have been fun?)

Annie and I were downright exhausted at this point, and as much as we love karaoke we were mindful of the fact that we had a 13 hour drive ahead of us the next day. So we decided to call it a night and retreated back upstairs. It was surprisingly easy to shower and get off all the silver paint (for which I was incredibly grateful!), and then I collapsed into bed.


I had to work on Monday and Annie had class, so we had to head home Sunday. I was sorry to miss the third day’s events, but I was glad to come at all, so I was willing to make some compromises. We got up at 8:30 (we thought it was 9:30, actually, due to some weird alarm clock malfunction that occurred sometime in the middle of the night), packed up our huge mess of costumes and fabric and makeup, and sneaked out to our car before the bellhops could catch us. When we went back in to check out, there were a few other con goers in the lobby, but I think most people were still sleeping. We stopped at the dealers’ room just to see if anything was open yet, but it wasn’t, so we headed back down to our car and said goodbye to the Gathering 2004.

I drove us to the border and then Annie took over. It was only slightly more difficult to get back into the US; the customs officer did ask to see our driver’s licenses and then asked us how we knew each other. We were tempted to tell him Annie was smuggling me over the border as a mail order bride, but we decided getting arrested wasn’t such a great idea so we told the truth (we met in high school) and he let us through.

After that the trip was mostly uneventful. I got out my laptop and set up some fanfic to convert to audio to take to work with me the next day; Merlin Missy’s All Through The Night, since I had it on my hard drive (one of the best crossovers I’ve ever read, and I don’t know anything about half the shows involved!). I then proceeded to talk Annie’s ear off in an effort to stay awake, waxing philosophical about all things Gargoyles, but eventually I gave up and took a little nap. We saw a car somewhere in New York with the license plate IMBATMAN, and I tried to take his picture but he was getting off the freeway and I couldn’t catch him.

We got back to Columbus safely around 10:30 that night, triumphant that once again one of our harebrained schemes had panned out, and already planning next year’s trip to Vegas. Thanks to everyone for making our first Gathering such a great experience, and a *big* thank you to the con staff for putting it all together!

See you all next year!

Greg responds...

It's fun to join the Gathering Players, isn't it? See folks, you just gotta audition for that Radio Play!

Response recorded on April 27, 2006

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Kaylle writes...

Kaylle's G2004 Journal (Part 1 of 2)

[I have an illustrated version of this journal on my website, but as requested I'm pasting the text here. People who want to see the pretty version should go to www.ladyavalon.com/gathering/gathering01.htm ]

(or, Useless Background Info)

I graduated from high school in 2000, and as a kind of graduation present my mother agreed to take me to the Gathering in Orlando. We bought plane tickets, reserved the hotel, etc. I was so excited!

Then I got a letter from MIT, where I was going to be a freshman in September. It turned out they have a summer program for incoming freshman, where you can live on campus and take pass/fail elective credit classes that are similar to the real courses you’ll take your first term, by way of preparation for real college life. I’d be able to get used to living on campus, meet new friends, and get a head start on college classwork. And it was free. But you weren’t allowed to skip classes, and you weren’t allowed to leave for vacations.

I, naturally, wanted to go to the Gathering, but being the sensible person I was I knew I *should* go to school. So I made a sort of bargain with God; I told Him I’d apply for the program, and if I got in I would take it as a sign that that was what He wanted me to do. (This seemed like a very logical plan of action at the time.) So when I got in, I grumbled a lot (that might be an understatement, actually) but I went and I missed the Gathering.

Since then, every year I’ve intended to go and never quite been able to pull it off. Last year I started to design a pair of wings, only to run out of time to build them before the Gathering in NYC. I was just about ready to write it off as a lost cause when one day I received an email from tvshowsondvd.com, mentioning that Disney was going to send a camera crew to the Gathering this year in Montreal. They were actually taking note of the fans of the show, and I had a chance to be counted as one of them.

So I considered. My wings were still in pieces in my basement. I’d just come back from a week in Florida and had no spending money left. I hadn’t been online in ages, so none of the fans knew who I was. Plane tickets to Montreal were running $350+, but the drive was 12-13 hours.

But... Disney was paying attention!

So I emailed my trusty sidekick/partner in crime, Annie. “Hey... Do you maybe want to go to Montreal? In about five weeks?” She thought I was crazy, but as usual we didn’t have anything else better to do. So we broke out the wings. Started sewing and engineering and hot-gluing things together. And by some miracle it all came (mostly) together in time.


We’d been up sewing till midnight or later the night before, but I got up at six to go to work. Somehow managed to stay awake all day (audiofanfic helped a lot) and picked Annie up on the way home from work. I still wasn’t packed, so we had to head back to my house and run around like chickens with our heads cut off for a while. Annie became chief CD-burner and picked out some good driving music while I tried to find my birth certificate. We finally got on the road at 6:30 and drove six hours to Buffalo. We checked into the Howard Johnson and collapsed.


We were up again at 7:30 and on the road once more by 8. Annie did most of the driving this morning as I was a little zonked from driving the night before. It was ridiculously easy to get into Canada; no one even asked to see our IDs. “Where are you going?” “Montreal.” “Where are you from?” “Ohio.” “Have a good time.” I guess terrorists don’t come from the Midwest...

Traffic into Montreal was a pain, but we finally got to the hotel around 3. It took us another ten minutes to figure out how to get *into* the hotel, thanks to a number of one way streets, but at last we got checked in and parked and settled in our room. We went back downstairs to registration and got checked in there too. There was a sign-up sheet for the Blue Mug-a-Guest at the registration table, and it was full, which was a little disappointing; it felt like we’d just driven *forever* and we were being excluded from things for getting there three hours too late. (It turned out later that signing up wasn’t required, and we got to go anyway, so all my disappointment was for nothing).

We wandered through the dealer’s room and art show, which was suffering from some power difficulties at the moment. I made a mental note to come back and buy one of the Demona T-shirts and a G2004 pin, which I never got around to doing. All the artwork was really well-done, by turns amazing and hysterical, and I was sorely tempted to buy a few things, but I resisted. (The one that stands out in my mind the most was the Phoenix Gate piece that was used as the cover for the anthology. That was just beautiful. I also remember being impressed of a shot of Elisa and Goliath overlying the NYC skyline. I’m sorry I don’t remember whose piece this was!)

Most of the con-goers in the vicinity seemed absorbed in conversations and activities, and we were feeling shy, so we went out into Montreal to find food. We found a Subway a few blocks away and got some sandwiches, then raced back to the hotel just in time for the Opening Ceremonies.

It was a little bit of a shock to see so many fans together in one place, so many people who loved this show as much as I did and wouldn’t think I was weird if I talked about it for hours on end. I was surprised by how candid Greg Weisman was; despite having pored over the Ask Greg archives and reading Gathering journals from years past, I hadn’t realized just how much Greg was “one of the fans,” so to speak. He wasn’t the aloof guest of honor; he was just as excited to be here as we were.

I was also surprised by how many other con virgins were in attendance. I’ve been a fan of the show since early in the second season and just hadn’t been able to make it to a convention, but a lot of the people I talked to were relative newcomers to the fold. It thrills me that we’re still attracting new fans, ten years later.

It was great to hear about the DVD (and the Powerpoint slide show on paper cracked me up!). Even though I know it’s a long shot, I would really love for Disney to take note of us and bring the show back on the air. The fact that they wanted footage of the Gathering seems like an awfully good sign, but I’m not in the television business so I really don’t know.

There was also a tape of greetings from Keith David, Frank Paur, Ed Asner, Bob Fein, and numerous other production staff. Keith slipped into the Goliath voice a few times, prompting a rash of delighted giggles through the crowd. Even though I *knew* he was coming to the Gathering (he wasn’t there yet, he’d been delayed), even though I *knew* plenty of people had met him before and probably weren’t as impressed by this anymore, it was suddenly incredibly cool to hear that familiar voice... Ed also seemed really pleased to be on the tape; he didn’t slip into the Scottish brogue, but he talked with such a quiet dignity that it was easy to “see” him as Hudson (despite referring to his character as “the old geezer”).

After that Greg played the pitches for Gargoyles and for Dark Ages, The New Olympians, and Bad Guys. After years of hearing about them, I was excited to finally see the fabled videos. (I groaned a little when Terry was introduced as an MIT graduate--“Why do they always go to MIT?”-- but Greg later explained that was sort of an inside joke, as a relative of his was an MIT grad who’d studied English.) Watching the pitches and listening to Greg talk about the plans he’d had, I could see it all in my head, the way it could have been expanded into a multilayered universe like the ones Marvel and DC have. For the first time I understood the scope of the project and I was stunned by it.

We also heard the voice track for the planned Team Atlantis episode Greg had sneaked Gargoyles into. Having seen Atlantis only once, several years ago, I didn’t remember most of the characters very well, but the Gargoyle subtext was intriguing and all of the voice actors did a great job. I do love Sheena Easton as the female Huntress, both Fiona and Robyn.

After the ceremonies, we stayed for the Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000, which was a lot of fun. Annie and I met Alan and Carolyn there, who were also con virgins, and had a lot of fun just laughing and joking through the episodes. I was really surprised to realize they’d never seen the show in its original run; they had just downloaded a handful of episodes off the internet and liked them enough to look for the rest. It’s awesome that we’re still bringing in new blood, and even more awesome that they came to the Gathering.

After MGT3K was over, Annie and I went upstairs and ended up taking a quick nap before the Blue Mug. We’d set the alarm for shortly before eleven and, amid many grumbles, we got up and went to the con suite. It was pretty packed, but we found some seats on the floor by the coffee table and ended up being at Greg’s feet. The room got even more crowded before we got started, but I don’t think we turned anyone away completely. The questions ended up being fairly tame, compared to what I guess has been covered in previous years, but I’ve heard that attributed to Thom’s absence. I enjoyed it anyway; it was very cool listening to Greg just talking about the show, something he obviously loves very much. I asked a few questions, although I don’t remember now what they were. Most of the conversation focused on the upcoming DVD and what-ifs about bringing the show back on the air. The conversation broke up at about 2 am and we all stumbled gratefully back to bed.

Greg responds...

Wow, from such humble beginnings, you're now a major part of the fandom, hosting gargoylesdvd.com. Thanks!

Response recorded on April 27, 2006

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Patrick writes...

Addendum: The last line of my last entry should have read:

And as I drove home, thus ended my Gathering 2004 adventure.

I caught my own typo a split-second too late.

Greg responds...

Better than I did. I didn't catch it until you mentioned it.

Response recorded on April 26, 2006

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Cindy aka Eden writes...

Part Two Of The Gathering Report.
And the Saga Continues...

Things seemed to have slowed down a lot the next day. Oh don’t get me wrong, it was still crazy in that Gathering sort of way. The Staff woke up yet again at an ungodly hour...okay 8 am isn’t really ungodly but its still early! Rob dragged me off to the con suite again and his time we all met at the hotel restaurant for a breakfast buffet. Eggs, bacon, baked beans (which was odd to me but I’m just a crazy American), but not peanut butter. DRAT! Ah well. We discuss the days events. I shovel scrambled eggs into my mouth and we head out to start yet another day of chaos. The dealers/art room isn’t open so I ask for the keys and wait for it to get unlocked. While waiting I got to meet the Two Wacky Pin Guys. They’re the ones who did our Gathering pins (Which are AWESOME). They were very friendly and showed me all their other pins like the spaceship from Futurama. Okay..if anyone from Gathering 2005 is reading this. PLEASE hire these guys again to do pins! Not only are the pins really cool but these guys do some quality work! That is my public service announcement of the day.
Trish stops by for a while and we bond about this and that. Mostly us chatting about life, labyrinth ball, and men “jiggly puffin” All over the place...You really need to talk to her about that. Its her term. Yes, I know what it means but its funnier when she explains it. Lanny and Mike drop by as well and we chat about fun things like MAN FAYE and drag queens..you know..the usual. I find out that there’s a bidding war on my “Attack Of The Mary Sues!” Picture in the art show. WOO! It was up to about $45 CAD. GO ME! Not to self...Do funny pieces for Gathering because you make MONEY. *Etches that thought into her brain*
I also bond with Rob and Karine’s Friend Mark aka Sandman7 who is our security in the dealers room. He was in charge of watching over the auction display table for the day. We enjoyed calling the legion of Gargoyle action figures his “Unholy army of the night” followed by us waving our arms yelling “RUN! Fly my Unholy army of the night! Destroy! Destroy!”....They didn’t respond accordingly...Damn plastic.
Half way through the day Carol comes over and takes my arm saying she needs me for something. Me being the fool I am say “Der okay..” and follow. The next thing I know I have a scrip shoved into my hand and I'm pushed into the Radio Play audition room and commanded by Greg to “Bark Like A Dog!”
I Cough.
Jen Laughs and points.
I ask Greg if this is some sort of long going fantasy of his.
Jen Falls over.
Greg asks when he lost control of the audition.
You know, I haven’t barked like a dog since I was ten years old..LORD I’m out of practice! I read for the radio play in my usual manner...insanely loud and insanely fast. But I get in anyway and I play MARGOT! WOOT! *L* I always liked her for some bizarre reason..that and the part is small and I don’t have to listen to the sound of my own loud voice reciting lines. Contrary to popular belief...I hate the sound of my own voice. I run the art room for a while longer before rehearsal and find that all my art pieces except one has a bid! WOO! Cindy made lots of money at a Gathering! This actually has given me enough confidence to enter other con art show. I’m very tempted to enter the comiccon art show and see what happens.
So we rehearse. A lot of staffers ended up in the play. I played Margo. Rob got Goliath since Keith is still in airport limbo. Rob of course has one the deepest voices I ever heard on a man. So I thought that was perfect. Jen played Flaence...because she grunts so damn well, Liz played Alex Xanatos, Laurean played Billy’s mom. Of course every time I heard the words Billy’s mom I kept getting “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” stuck in my head. But its the one day “She’s a Bad Mamma Jamma” is over powered. HA, LIZ! I have thwarted you! Of course “Shes a Bad Mamma Jamma” Gets back into my head the very next day...DAMN YOU LIZ!
I never did the radio play. Actually I’ve only watched. And the couple times I didn’t watch I used that time as my nap time back in my room. Sorry...its true. Cindy is a sleepy girl and I figured its far more polite to sleep in my room that blatantly zone in front of the actors. But participating was really a fun experience! We did an adaptation of The Journey. Rob continued to squeal “I get to say the title of the Episode!” in an unusually high pitched voice...which was unusually sexy in a way. The auditorium was packed with people and the show went very smooth and was a BLAST to do. Apparently Chris Roger’s and I got the biggest laugh of the day with our Jerry Springer moment at the end of the show. I was tempted to pick up a chair and hurl it..but I figured that would be a smidge over the top.
Then BANQUET TIME! In retrospect I should have dressed up for the banquet. But there was something in my brain that didn’t want me to change three times that day. (Staff wear to banquet wear to Costume). That's WAY to many times to change clothes without being on stage! So I just put on a nicer shirt and a clean pair of jeans for it. Though since its Vegas next year I think I will go the extra mile and put on a nice dress. Not a lot of people have seen me in a dress in person so I might as well shock people. “AAAH! Cindy’’s in a dress! Its the Armageddon!!”
The food was magnificent! I have become rather fond of quail. Yes quail stuffed with...stuff. I’m not sure what that stuff was but my god it was good! Well quail and shrimp and everything else they threw at us. Best Gathering Banquet I’ve had! All the tables were advised to keep once seat free because Karine was raffling off Greg and Keith’s seats. Our table won KEITH! WOOOO! Of course he wasn’t there but standing in a custom’s line with Patrick at the airport. So Rob Mark, and the other Mark (who was very nice) guard over Patrick and Keith’s shrimp until they got there. So we spend our time bonding over old Kids In The Hall episodes...I’m such a KITH fangirl.
Happily half way through the Banquet Keith and Patrick show up! I have to say Keith David is one the most warm and fascinating men I have ever met. I really was wonderful with all the fans. The man has an uncanny ability to make everyone he comes in contact with feel very special. He even did Q and A while eating and didn’t complain once! And the man can really tell a story. I was glued to my seat listening to that voice for a long while until Rob tapped me on the shoulder and said that I had to get upstairs to get into makeup and costume...and even then I waited an extra 15 minutes to listen to him finish his story. Then I quietly made my exit to get into costume.
MEANWHILE! Rob Was ironing his pants and my Titania skirt which was a mess. I Dashed into the bathroom and started the long process of painting myself green. Thank god Jen had a really great Titania green. This year I didn’t look blue! I had way to much fun trying to get myself looking like the drawing. But after some eyeliner and shadowing I managed to get her look pretty good! Also the fact that my hair went straight this summer helped a lot. Granted, I HATE my straight hair but this time, It was a big help this year. Somehow a lot of people managed to migrate to our room. The Morgans dropped in to say hi. Becca made a GREAT Bronx. Patrick came over to claim his wig that I brushed for him. He made a kick ass Puck costume...But part of me longed for his days of baggy pantyhose and lipstick. *le Sigh* But he still looked great. I made a bet with him actually. If he can find two other guys to do the Wyrd sisters with him next year in drag, I personally will make the dresses.
You hear me Patrick!? Start recruiting!!
Patrick picked me up some nice elf ears for Titania which really completed the costume..of course I had no clue how to put them on so I pick up the phone can call Jen with a “I can’t put on my ears!” Plea...Funny enough at Gathering that phrase is completely expectable. Jen managed to come up before I spirit gummed my fingers to my ear. And she made me look all purty! Kaylee and Lauren dropped in and they looked GREAT! Kaylee made an amazing Princess Katherine. And Lauren was such a cute Tom! I really can’t wait to see her Sora costume next year. She’ll look great!
We managed to get down to the masquerade, with president Luthor as my escort. This seemed rather appropriate. I was completely BLOWN AWAY by the fantastic costumes this year! Best Masquerade Yet! Lots of people went as cannon characters which was great. And not only cannon characters, but complicated cannon characters! I loved them all but some of my favorites where the Ophelia costume which was amazing, Echidna was wonderful, The eye of Odin episode version of Fox and Xanatos as adorable, Jade Griffin as Elsa as Belle was adorable and Y2Hecate’s Elsagoyle was one the best ones I’ve seen! The cosplays were great too. KWS’s group that reenacted the opening of the show with props. It was hysterical! I think is totally deserved its “best cosplay skit’ award. And It was fun to watch Lauren throw herself at Kaylee as Tom. Oh yes HIGH AMUSEMENT FACTOR!
We gave out the awards and took photos. The staff looked all fantastic since a good %90 of us were in costume as well. It really was a big group for the masquerade. It made me really happy. I hope next year we have even MORE people in costume. I’m hoping to do the Banshee next year..that is if I don’t change my mind..
The Karaoke contest is next and I still have NO clue how I got up there or why I even went up there. Call it a moment of insanity, a moment to show off. Being drunk wasn’t an option. That came the next day. So I sang All that Jazz feeing horribly rusty! i haven't sant in over 5 years now. But apparently I didn’t suck because no fruit was thrown and no ones ears were bleeding. *L* Apparently Gorbash has this immortalized in avi form on S8.org. Which Is a good thing because God knows if someone can get me to do it again...though singing Karaoke as the Banshee could actually be a pretty good sight gag.
Unfortunately after that I was wiped so I missed the YMCA sing along and Keith David singing. I also noticed that my red tights have all my lost their elastic and were falling fast. That and the whole costume was slowly Disintegrating on my body. Well not that I blamed it.. It IS about four years old now. If I stuck around any longer in costume I would have been completely naked. And while that would have satisfied many a Titania fanboy fantasy...I didn’t want to be the one that acted it out. So I went back to the room. I changed and thought for a moment of going back down in my regular clothes but I was so tired after cleaning off all that body paint. And yes, I left a green ring around my tub. I also had to Count art show ballots so I got hung up doing that. By the time Rob and I were done I was so tired I fell asleep and dreamed about green body paint, and Liz singing “She’s A Mad Mamma Jamma”....oh Christ! I just heard the song on the TV just now! WHY GOD?! WHHHHYYY?!
I’m surprised I remember anything from Sunday..I was in a coma all day...I remember taking the art show down..I remember Bailey Irish Creme...
I shall recall the best I can.
Rob and I walked up and down the streets trying to find an open breakfast place. The hotel buffet was just getting to pricey. After he made me walk up hill *Mutter mutter*we found a nice little place a couple blocks away. Once again..I shoveled eggs into my mouth. We get back to the con and I let people finish their bid wars for the last few hours. My Mary Sues pic gets into a bidding war and It makes about $80 CAD! WOOO! Go Me! After a while Patrick, Rob Shaun and I take down the art room as Keith comes in for his Mug-A-Guest. I am once again hypnotized by his voice and sit and listen to him..probably with a dreamy fan girl look on my face...the horror...the horror.
Closing ceremonies are short and sweet and rather funny. I announce the Art Show winners and since she’s wasn’t there and I don’t know if she has been informed...CONGRATS THUNDRA! You won 1st place in the Now And Then constest! Greg wasn’t there since he had to leave in the morning to get home for his daughter’s Birthday. But Keith WAS there and I got to sit next to him. He seemed to really love the con and us fans and expressed interest in coming back! I really hope he becomes a regular like Greg and Thom. He really is a delight. We’re left sitting together for a moment and I pretty much say “you know? I’ve had all these things I wanted to ask you..and now that you’re sitting right here, They all just left my head.” If I added a “DER DER DEEERRR!” To the end of that sentence it would have summed up my state of mind.
Open mouth.
Insert Foot.
But he was very gracious and said “well sit a minute and lets chat. It’ll come back to you. EEE! JOY!.. Well until I was tapped on the shoulder and told I had to leave to the con suite for a meeting...ARG!! So reluctantly I head out.
Now..there is only two things..TWO THINGS that would have Taken away the sting of missing a chance to chat with Keith David...Chocolate and Booze. And Luckily BOTH were there on the table in the con suite. My sweet bubbs Scott left a kings ransom in Godiva Chocolate and Liquor un in the con suite for us as well as the nicest thank you note I ever read. I really was touched. We ALL were. And the fact he left the RASPBERRY FILLED CHOCOLATE there! AAH God Bless you Bubbs! BLESS YOU! I think I ate four...
Patrick Rob and I work back in the art/dealers room with clean up and art distribution. Thanks to Patrick “Numbers is where I’m a Viking!’ Toman, the whole process went smooth and easy.
Then off the the dead dog party! The party was a blast...of course the booze helped.
Now, to say I was tipsy would be an understatement. But It really wasn’t my fault. It was the fault of the idiot who left a full bottle of Bailey RIGHT next to me. For shame whoever you are! I Am weak! I know I talked to a lot of people..I know I was attacked by a stuffed bunny and a stuffed Kangaroo. I know there was a strange Gay man/Jen orgy somewhere on the bed. And I remember getting both my feet and my hands rubbed by two attractive Canadians.
You know..this only tells me I should drink more...
Around 11:30ish...or later I really cant recall, Rob and I packed up and grabbed a cab back to his place..and I fell asleep on my face.
Monday And Tuesday
Monday was a short day for me but exciting. I didn’t wake up hung over but I’m sure everyone thought I was because I was so freaking tired! Rob and I took the metro to the hotel to help clean up the con suite and pack up. Then we waited for the rest of the group to meet up for La Ronde goodness! The large group hopped on the metro and headed out. I remember having lots of trouble figuring out where I put my Metro ticket..I mean COME ON people! Its just not logical to hand it RIGHT back to the ticket guy after buying it!
La Ronde was a beautiful park..which I was amazed was owned by 6 flags..anyone who has gone to Ghetto..ahem..I mean Magic Mountain know what I speak of. Patrick, Rob, Trishana, Shaun, Karine and I split away from the others in what I like to call the “mellow group”. We grabbed some food and took our time walking and chatting and just kicking back...
By the way, La Ronde as the BEST Amaretto Fudge I have EVER eaten!!
Rob recommended the dragon to us as the worst Roller Coaster ever made...this sent my cheesy senses tingling. Now I apologize to anyone who rode the Dragon and hated it...but I HAD to see if it lived up to its name.
Oh sweet Jebbus it did.
I’ll sum up the ride. You move at a rather leisurely pace up and down past a couple traffic lights, some sort of tarp and two paper mache Dragon heads super glued to the floor.
You do the Math.
Unfortunately Rob and I had to leave early. It was a shame because I love hanging out with people I don’t see very often. But it was more a blessing because around 3pm I was about to pass out. Its a sad statement on yourself when the pregnant lady thinks you’re a wimp.
I go back to Rob’s and fall asleep on the couch.
Tuesday was spent sight seeing! It was fun to see the Montreal Streets not blanketed with snow. I find I really do enjoy the snow. Why? Because I don’t have to live in it! MAW HAHAAA! Aw yeah...Rob and I hit a couple great DVD stores where I found House on Haunted Hill for $7 CAD and the entire series of Firefly for $24 CAD...I could NOT pass up that deal! He also showed me this wonderful occult shop which had a nice vibe to it as well as an Anime CD shop. I was going to pick up the Trigun soundtrack but I didn't want to go on an all out spending spree so I chilled.
After getting back we had a good meal of chinese food and finished up Trigun. I forced Rob to rent from his arch enemy the evil Blockbuster Video so we could watch Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2. Though Vol. 2 is a lot slower, I really loved how it summed everything up so well. We stayed up watching movies and listening to the major thunder storm the rest of the evening. It was a great way to unwind after a frantic weekend of con staffing.
I flew home the next day. I was a bit on the bummed side. I tend to get a little down after having a great weekend. I was going to miss Rob, Karine, Patrick, and all the others I usually see only at Gathering. My flight was uneventful. I got to watch Garfield...and when you're really tired and bored, its very entertaining...
I probably would have moped most of the evening thinking I had to take a cab home. Luckily Max gave me a call and said he’d come get me. So I got to chat and laugh with someone and relay my con experience instead of stewing about missing my friends. He treated me to an In and Out Burger then took me back to my place where he stayed while I was gone. I needed someone to take my mail in and water my plants. And since my place is closer to his job than his place I offered him the bed and the washing machine. I was pleasantly surprise to come home to not only a nice clean apartment, but a small bouquet of yellow and orange roses on my coffee table, a plate of donuts, and a bottle of champagine....Well hell I wasn’t expecting THAT. O.o
So it all ended on a very good note.
My feelings in general about this Gathering? Small yes...but probably the best so far fandom wise. This one had the nicest, most courteous, most grateful people from the fandom ever. All they wanted was to kick back and have a great time. No major complaining or whining or crisis or bizarre behavor...well no more bizarre behavior than usual. But that was what made it so great for us staffers. You thanked us but thank YOU guys for being so awesome to US. This Gathering really renewed my love not only of the show but of the fandom as well. And now I am completely stoked for next year ....when I won’t be staffing...and free to make an ass of myself. And thanks to Jen being the amazing person she is, I An registered and ready to go.
And thus ends Cindy’s long, long, on my god I cant believed I typed THAT much, con report. Pictures soon to follow but not tonight...because I’m lazy.
Cheers to ya’ll!!

Greg responds...

Thanks again! Montreal was a GREAT con! And the costumes were just amazing. I'm glad they were immortalized on the DVD.

Response recorded on April 25, 2006

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Cindy aka Eden writes...

My Gathering Report...by that loud redhead

I don’t know Why I count Wednesday to be honest. I spent most of the day in transit and didn’t really get to Montreal until Thursday. I Woke up around 6 am to get ready to go to the airport. Max crashed at my place since it would be easier for him than Shlepping all the way from Mira Mesa to take me. He's a nice guy:) Apparently that wednesday EVERYONE in San Diego was flying Delta that day. It was insane. people who were checking in curbside were getting turned away. People were late for flights. People were Missing their flights. people were generally in a bad mood. I was SO happy I got there 2 hours ahead of time to not me caught in the pandalurium. My flight was fine, our in-flight movie was Shrek 2 which made me happy. I have a track record for having bad in-flight movies (Maid in Manhattan anyone?). My stop over was in Atlanta which is a HUGE airport which probably has its own zip code. I spent my 2 hours wandering the concourses and just walking and stuff. Tres exciting. I was rather mellow all day which was odd. I’m usually a nervous flyer. But I was rather clam and easy going...I think it was the Xanex.
My flight to Montreal was delayed about 3 hours which was a bit of a bummer but no skin off my nose. After all, I had a good smut novel and a bag of peanut butter M&M’s. I could have lasted the apocalypse. Though the french guy heading to Montreal with his dog was OUTRAGED. I wanted to tell him “Dude..yelling at the Ticket counter isn’t going to change the weather in Cincinnati.” but I had I feeling he wasn’t going to listen. His dog needed walking around a 2nd hour of waiting so the big black flight attendant walked this iddy bitty poodle around the Tarmac. Holy Cow it was SO CUTE!!
We finally get on the plane and I sleep during most of the flight. We land around midnight and I run the rat maze I like to call YUL. Rob is patiently waiting at the other end of customs for me to escort me back to his place for the night. I was so glad to see him! Not only is he one of my best friends but I knew I was that much closer to sleeping in a real bed!! We get to his place and I gorge myself on Peanut butter and apples (my favorite Snack). We watch a couple Episode’s of Trigun I brought with me from home and pass out for the evening.

Ah Thursday. The day of frantic set up. I woke up around 8ish to get ready to be picked up by Karine and Patrick. I eat breakfast that involved peanut butter. (Food of the gods). Rob and I manage to watch another Trigun episode before Patrick’s Big red rental van pulls up in front of the house. We load of the van with my Gianormous suitcase. I was cursing myself for bringing such a big one but in retrospect it was a good idea since it was loaded up with Art Show stuff and cosplay costumes. I see Karine who was VERY pregnant for the first time. EEE! baby! I get to rub her tummy!! this was an event for me. weird I know but Karine was the first pregnant woman who let me rub her belly!...I don’t know a lot of pregnant women. So I have a rather girly moment with Karine for a second and then we hop into the van and head to the airport. Liz, Taylor, and Laurean are waiting! We find then sitting curbside at the airport with Trishana. YAY trish! But she disappeared like the exploding bird in Shrek “’Cause first she was here..and then she was GONE!!”...sorry...inside joke. She caught a cab to go to the hotel...at least that is my theory. my other theory involves aliens and pieces of white wonderbread...but we won’t go there. Patrick “I am UBER PACKER!” Toman managed to get Liz, Laurean, and Taylor’s luggage into the van long with Liz, Laurean and Taylor. It was like a clown car in there! I though we could Strap Rob to the hood. I mean after all his head his shaved, he’s aerodynamic! But it probably would have gotten cold for him on the freeway.
We get back to Karine’s place to meet up with Kaylee who drove there and pack up more con stuff loading up Kaylee’s car as well...we are Constaff 2004...we have lots of Crap...fear us. After we’re loaded up we stop for burgers in Poutine. I myself have a burger. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Poutine. But I was Craving meat that day. CINDY HUNGERS FOR MEAT! CINDY WANT COW BLOOD! AAAR!
Ahem...moving on.
We get to the Delta after Kaylee and I try to figure out how those Crazy Canadian parking meters work. I’ll admit it..too high tech for me. The Hotel is BEAUTIFUL! Granted, this year it was a little on the expensive side but I think it was worth the money. The Place was beautiful the bed comfy, the con suite HUGE and the staff VERY friendly and nice to us gaggle of uber geeks. Besides, I rather spend the money for that then stay in a cheepo roach motel any day. I highjack a bellhop and his rolly cart of Doom (tm) to help us unload the van. We get everything up to the con suite in one piece and I tip the bellhop big so he’s be willing carry more of our heavy crap later. Ah yes..I am such the big spender.
We start to work on stuffing envelopes with programs, Pins, T-shirts, and PGA’s. Liz Kept singing “She's a Bad Mamma Jamma” Which got stuck in my head for the REST OF THE CON!...DAMN YOU LIZ!! Of course by the end of the envelope stuffing everyone in the room was singing “She's a bad mamma jamma”...because Liz Is evil.
After we finish Jen, Alan and Mistah Greg come rolling in. Jen Proceeded to Grab Karine’s belly, press her lips against it and squeal “Hellooooo Baaaabeeeey!” which cracked me up. Alan...grabbed my butt...But that is just his way of saying hello. So I grabbed his back. Frisky lil monkey...
Then we did...something. As to what that something was? I can’t remember at all. But I know we did something! So either it was too traumatic to remember or I was really THAT tired. But after whatever that was was done the staff and a couple G2005 peeps went to dinner. And I ate some of the BEST muscles in the WORLD that night! UGH! *DROOL DROOL DROOL* I got to say hi to Lanny who I haven’t seen in ages and I got to meet Riverdale!! Of course I didn't know at the time he was Riverdale but just a funny guy named Mike. It wasn’t until MUCH later I realized he was one of the Fan Art Fight Club fellas. *L* I drew a picture of Eden Coveting his pants.
Which reminds me..Mike! Of COURSE I’ll do a commission for you Mistah!
We walk back to the hotel where I relay tales of the horror known as MAN FAYE. And thus the legend continues into the garg fandom. We get back to the lobby and I see a TON of people I haven’t seen in ages. Mara and Arron, Hudson, Greg Bishansky, Silver..and got to meet some people face to face too like Spacebabie, Seri Wavelength and White. I know there were others there but I was so dog tired I don’t remember everyone. SORRY! Hugs all around! I would have stayed and chatted all night but I was so zonked and Went back to my room and crashed face first onto my bed.
And thus the end of pre-con Day.

Mornings...suck. Actually i wouldn’t mind mornings if they weren’t so freaking early. Rob had to all my Fireman carry me to the con suite that morning because my legs refused to get out of bed. We met for lunch and after the magical elixir called Coffee I was functional again. Bless that sweet liquid! I think I consumed a good 24 gallons that weekend. We plan our day and eat eggs. My breakfast would have been perfect if I had peanut butter on toast..because It is the food of the gods.
We get back to the hotel 30 minutes late which makes me a bit tense. We already have artists lined up at the art show/dealers room ready to set up. So I explain to them we’re running late and We still have to set up the art panels. The I prepared myself to be eaten alive. Luckily that wasn’t the case. The artists were not only understanding, they wanted to help! Which made me so..well..overjoyed! We got the panels set up in record time! Thank you, guys! We had a moment of crisis when Patrick and I realized that We were short an elbow Joint and had no black binder clips to hang the art. ACK! So Patrick “I am like the Wind!” Toman Jumped into the van to go to Home Depot while I grabbed Ian as a translator and ran to the office supply store across the street...actually I didn’t need a translator, I just wanted to catch up with Ian. I Lurves the Ian!
We return. Crisis Averted.
The art show set up is smooth. I chat for a while to Jade Griffin who I haven’t seen in ages! turns out she met my old friend/co-worker from YAW Peter Temple. He was working an artists alley at an Anime Con. SO glad he’s drawing again. I hope bump into him sometime!
Friday I also taught my costuming panel. I was only expecting one or two people there. I figured it was the first day and people usually spend the time setting up, registering, or catching up with friends. But thanks to my personal PR gal Laurean my room was FULL! I lurves the Laurean! So I taught my panel on Wigs, Make up, Wing and tail construction and other things. The Disney DVD crew even dropped in to film me! So I may be on the DVD! So Go Buy the dvd and laugh at me talking with my hands! Trishana was laughing her butt off at me as I attempted to censor myself in front of the camera crew. As many of you know, I have a mouth of a drunken Sailor. So me trying to censor myself resembles a Chipmunk having a seizure.
Opening ceremonies went smoothly. Liz and I Drew stupid pictures to eachother...She drew Eden Singing “She’s a Bad Mamma Jamma”...which got back into my head again..DAMN YOU LIZ!! Carol managed to get a really great recording of people who worked on the show to say hello to us and sorry they couldn’t make it. This included Ed Azner who I adore. He just kept on Rambling and rambling...My favorite quote of his.
“..and the show is dark...Like Vampires...Which is what we aren’t...”
How can you not love that?!
Clan Olympics did their first event during Opening Ceremonies which was freaking Hilarious! I’m not sure how the game worked..but I had a great time watching Trish run around shrugging randomly to people. Liz and I were on the floor with belly laughter.
Greg did his Gathering speech which I haven’t heard in 2 years. It was fun to listen to it all over again. And I loved seeing the video pitches of the Gargoyles spinoff shows..Damnit! I SO wish Gargoyles,Dark ages came out! I would have loved that! We ended the night with a Voice recording from the never made Team Atlantis series that had a gargoyles cross over. I liked it a lot...even though the grunting and the groaning without visuals or sound effects with it sounded a little...ahem...Risque...which is putting it lightly.
Rob and I went back to the room for a while thinking that was the end of the day when Jen called and asked us down to dinner. So we met up with her, Alan and the Morgans for some dinner at the hotel. There I once again retold the horrors of tales of the MAN FAYE, and got to witness Becca’s “exotic Dance of the Doilies”...which is something one has to experience...
Spent the rest of my awake state styling Jen’s Grouch wig and attempting to make my Faye wig into a Xanatos wig for Rob. But When I put it on him it looked more like a Hair sprayed beaver was making love to his head than actual hair. So we passed on that and he went as Lex Luthor...thank god he’s flexible.
One thing I did discover late at night in Montreal is the soft core porn on basic cable. I woke Rob up from a dead sleep for this one.
Me: “DUDE! What IS THIS!?”
Rob: *Groggy* “Wha...?”
Me: “There’s a Chick in a Devil costume getting spanked on TV!”
Rob: “....Hand me my glasses!”

More to Come...

Greg responds...

You were rather "clam and easygoing". It's good to be clam, when the sky is falling around you. Just climb into your shell and chill. Yes, clam is good.

Sorry, Cindy. But you have the best typos!

Oh, and what was your smut novel? Just curious.

Response recorded on April 25, 2006

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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 6
Monday, August 9

If Ben Franklin were to attend the Gathering, he would probably observe that, "Late into bed and early to rise makes a man weary and red in the eyes." On Monday, once again, I was awake at the crack of dawn, this time so I could drive Kaylee back to Karine's, where her car was parked, and make it back to the hotel in time to hook up with the group going to La Ronde. Rob had warned me the night before that rush hour traffic would be horrific, so Kaylee and I had made plans to be on the road by quarter of eight. We got out to Karine's place with no problem, and then Kaylee offered to help me unload the Art Show display stuff and put it in Karine's backyard. It turned out to be a good thing that we did, because I ended up needing every little bit of space in the van later for the stuff that was brought down from the con suite.

After I said good-bye to Kaylee, I made a quick stop at McDonald's for orange juice and then I drove back downtown. The traffic really wasn't bad at all, and I made it back with plenty of time to spare. I was going to be switching rooms for my last night in Montreal, so I packed up my bags and stashed them in the van for the day. I think I must have left my shampoo and my bar of soap in the bathroom, though, in my rush. The next place I stopped was the lobby, to buy my La Ronde ticket from the concierge, and then I went back upstairs to help Karine and Rob pack up con stuff and move it out of the con suite. After everything was crammed into the van, we headed back to the lobby to hook up with the other two dozen people who were waiting for Karine to lead the way to La Ronde.

By the time we got to the subway, I was very glad I hadn't gotten delayed in traffic, because I think I would have totally gotten lost trying to find the right trains by myself. Two things I noticed about the subways in Montreal. One, they are a lot cleaner than the subways in New York City. Two, the trains have rubber wheels and don't ride on rails. Rob said it's supposed to make for a smoother ride, but I honestly couldn't feel much of a difference from the subways I rode in New York City last year, other than there was no squealing or clacking in the turns.

Two short subway rides and a short bus ride with no air conditioning later, we arrived at La Ronde. The first thing that Rob and Cindy wanted to do was eat, and that sounded good to me, too, since it was past noon already and I hadn't had breakfast, so we found a place and got burgers and such. Then Karine and Shaun found us, and we did some wandering around the park. Rob led us to "The Dragon," which he said was the lamest roller coaster ever, and I think we all agreed afterwards that he spoke the truth. It makes me wonder, were strobe lights and plastic dragon heads sticking out of the concrete ever really considered scary?

We did some more wandering around, rode the Ferris wheel and the Vampire, ate some fudge, then got Subway sandwiches. We lost track of most of the huge group we had arrived with, but at some point, we ran into Luarean, Trishana, and Leo. Rob and Cindy left early, and the rest of us went and rode the Spiral, which was the tall observation tower thing. After that, Karine, Luarean, Trishana, and I decided we'd had enough, and we took the bus and subway back to the hotel.

On the way back, the four of us ran into Keith in the hotel restaurant. He was there with his family, and the waiter had just brought out a cake with candles on it for his daughter. Keith asked us to join him in singing "Happy Birthday," so we did. Then he asked if we had seen Liz, but since she was still at La Ronde, Keith gave me the money he owed her for some prints he had bought to pass on to her when I saw her later. Then he offered a bit of advice before we said good-bye, saying, "Remember, if you can't be good, be good at it."

Trishana headed back to her room to take a nap, and I left to drive Karine and Laurean back to Karine's place. There, we unloaded all the stuff from the van, then chilled out for about an hour before I got good-bye hugs and left to return to the hotel. When I got back there, as I came out of the elevator from the garage, it really struck me how much the whole mood of the place had changed. For the first time that whole weekend, I didn't see anyone from the convention in the lobby, and a big group of businesspeople had taken over the bar in the hotel restaurant.

Ian had given me the key card earlier in the day for the new room I was supposed to be in that night, and luckily it worked when I tried it, because there was no one else from the con to be found when I got back. I took a nice long shower, then put the TV on and watched a rerun of "Monster House" for a bit while I debated my options for food. The food court in the underground mall was closed, and I didn't really want to spend $25 in the hotel restaurant again. But at the same time, I didn't really want to wander around downtown Montreal all by my lonesome, either. Luckily, I didn't have to, because I ran into Leo and Trishana in the lobby.

We collectively decided to go in search of food, so off we went. On our way out the door, we bumped into Morgans, who were also headed out but in a cab. Trishana and I just picked a direction and walked, and Leo followed along, taking pictures of the scenery. Eventually, after making a big circle, we came upon a Tim Horton's, where we got sodas and sandwiches and sat around for awhile just talking about the fandom and the Gatherings we'd been to. It was kind of a nice low-key end to the day, actually.

When we got back to the hotel, I made a quick search of the Mezzanine for other con peoples, because I'd heard a rumor that Kathy, Aaron, Mara, Greg Bishansky, and some other folks that I knew had been sighted up there at some point in the evening. Sadly, the area was deserted, so I decided to call it a night.

Back up in my room, I found a note from Liz asking if I knew Keith's room number, so I gave the money he had given to me to Trishana to give to her. About ten minutes later, though, Liz turned up, and I learned that I would not be sharing the room with three other guys after all. Two of them had changes of plans with their rides and had left early, so I would only be sharing it with Taylor. So bonus for both of us, because we each got a bed to ourselves that night.

I crawled into bed and turned on "The Tonight Show," but apparently I was more exhausted than I'd been admitting to myself, because I only have drowsy recollections of Jay's monologue and I started nodding off pretty good during the "Headlines" segment. So at that point, I turned off the TV and went to sleep.

Gathering Diary - Day 7
Tuesday, August 10

Ah, the bliss of eight hours of sleep. For the first time in many days, I stayed in bed past nine. Breakfast was had from the food court in the underground mall. On the way there, I ran into Kathy and Mandolin, who confirmed that the restaurants were indeed open for a change. I ended up grabbing something from McDonalds. In Quebec, they serve "crepes et saucices," but what you get looks remarkably identical to "hotcakes and sausage" as found here in the States.

After packing up my suitcase, I hung out for a bit with Liz, Taylor, Trishana, and Julie in the room across the hall. Julie (Chameleongirl) had traveled all the way from Australia to attend the Gathering, which I think is the farthest anyone has come in several years for one of these conventions. She and Trishana weren't leaving yet, but Liz, Taylor, and I were all on the same early afternoon flight. Before we left, though, Liz wanted to thank Keith David one more time. I didn't remember Keith's room number, but I had Karine's phone number so I gave it to Liz and she called Karine to ask her.

I think Liz's original plan was to slip a note under Keith's door, but after she and Taylor had been gone for a while, I started to suspect that the plan had changed. It was getting near time for us to leave for the airport, so with my bag in tow, I headed up to Keith's floor to see if I could track them down. I found them in the hallway talking to Keith, who was wearing one of those white hotel bathrobes. I found out a little later that he had just invited them to join him in the pool. I felt a little guilty about dragging them away, but I think in the end it's probably a good thing that we didn't all miss our flight.

So we said good-bye to Keith, and told him we hope we'll see him in Vegas next year, and he gave us all hugs and sent us on our way. The last people from the fandom I ran into before leaving were Ellen and her husband, and Denis DePlaen, who I saw in the lobby after I had brought the van around front to get Liz and Taylor's things loaded up.

The drive back to the airport was quick, and there wasn't any line to speak of at the check-in counter for Continental. The line for U.S. customs wasn't too bad, either, and we made it into the terminal with enough time to get lunch at Burger King before going to the gate to board our flight. The flight itself was pretty smooth. When we got near Cleveland, the pilot had to circle around to join the queue for landing, which took the plane right out over the lake and gave me a perfect aerial view of my neighborhood. I think I even spotted my house.

After we landed, Liz gave me a sketch she had done for me on the plane of a female version of Puck, and then I said good-bye to her and Taylor and headed off to claim my bags. And as I drove home, thus ended my Gathering 2005 adventure.

The End

Greg responds...

Sounds nearly pastoral and trauma-free. Congrats on a great con!

Response recorded on April 24, 2006

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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 5
Sunday, August 8

After the all-nighter I had pulled, morning seemed to arrive all too quickly. Nevertheless, I still managed to make it to the con suite by about quarter after nine. Karine led Shaun, Laurean, and I to a little coffee shop just a few blocks away where we could grab some cheap eats for breakfast. On the way, we passed by an area where the street was blocked off for a movie shoot. It was a period piece, and there were a number of horse-drawn carriages on the set. Yet parked along the curb was a Lamborghini Diablo, which was apparently there to just distract the tourists and make a very loud anachronistic statement.

Back at the hotel, we found ourselves momentarily locked out of the con suite because we had exited from the door on the public side of the room, which couldn't be opened with the room key, and Karine had left the security chain engaged on the other door. So I drank my coffee and ate my bagel with cream cheese out in the hallway, as Shaun and I waited for someone from security to come up and open the door.

I was assigned to Con Suite duty again for Sunday morning, which was probably the dullest two hours of the con for me, and meant I ended up missing the Gargoyle Biology panel downstairs. I didn't even turn the TV on at first, because the only people coming into the room were the ones doing the Clan Olympics scavenger hunt. One person took a pencil. Another made off with the phone book. Yet another asked me if I could leave to come with them, take my shirt off, and stand in their box. But since that would have left the room unattended, I had to decline.

Eventually, some people came along who actually wanted to watch "Gargoyles" videos, so the TV was turned on and we watched "Mark of the Panther." This was the episode where Goliath finally acknowledged Angela as his daughter, and where Elisa finally had to fess up to her mother about the gargoyles. This episode also featured Anansi, and as the little band of humans, gargoyles, and were-panthers headed into that village in the third act, I couldn't help quipping, "Follow the spiders… why couldn't it be 'follow the butterflies?'"

As the episode was ending, Laurean showed up to take over in the con suite, so I headed downstairs to see where else I could help out. We had originally planned to have Keith do two Mug-a-Guest sessions, so that people would get a chance to attend one and still attend other panels. It would have worked, too, except Keith was nowhere to be found until sometime after lunch. His Q&A session got started in the Art Show and Dealer's room around the same time that Cindy, Rob, and I decided to begin dismantling the Art Show. Cindy took all the art down and somehow still kept it organized, clearing the way for Rob and I to break down the displays. This gave us a jump-start, because all that was left to do after Closing Ceremonies was move everything back down to the garage and load it back into the van. After everything was taken apart, I used my L33T math skills to help Cindy collect the money from people who had bought art.

Closing Ceremonies came and went in a blur, just as the Opening Ceremonies had done, only this time the whole staff got to sit up front. Karine had some fun with the crowd by starting her farewell spiel off en français. Cindy presented all the Art Show awards, and Chris Rogers spoke again to hype everyone up for Gathering 2005 in Las Vegas. After Closing Ceremonies were over, I ran to the back of the room to pre-registered for next year while Keith was getting set up to do autographs. Rather than wait in line for a turn to squint at Chris's laptop screen, I wrote my registration info on a piece of paper and handed him a check. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the fastest.

As I was rooting through Chris's box of free t-shirts looking for my size, Rob tapped me on the shoulder and said in a rather ominous tone, "All staff need to come up to the con suite." Wondering what new crisis had arisen and who was going to have to deal with it, I grabbed my stuff and hurried up there as fast as I could. As I walked through the door, a greeting card was handed to me, and it was then that I spotted the spread on the big conference table. Scott "Abram" Rogoff had decided to surprise the staff with thank-you cards and an assortment of liquor and Godiva chocolates. So that provided the perfect ending to a weekend of hard work, as well as the perfect beginning to the Dead Dog Party.

We couldn't get the Dead Dog Party started, though, until we had finished cleaning up everything downstairs. Luckily, there were plenty of fans willing to lend a hand again, so it didn't take long at all to get the Art Show display stuff hauled back to the van. After that, Cindy and I finished cleaning up the room, and then we headed back upstairs. Jen, Laurean, and Tim Morgan had gone to the meeting that Chris Rogers was holding to discuss next year's convention, so the rest of us got a bit of a head start on the booze. But eventually, everyone trickled back in, and the staff all chipped in to order pizza.

There were fans in and out of the room all evening, and Karine's husband dropped by as well, along with some friends of theirs who we had met with in February. Eventually, though, we had to clear out the people who had only drifted in to consume the food that other people had paid for so that we could have a little staff meeting. We wrapped things up around midnight, and I headed back to my room and took a quick shower before going to bed.

Greg responds...

Sounds pretty uncrazy for an end of con. Sorry I missed it.

Response recorded on April 24, 2006

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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 4
Saturday, August 7

I woke up at about quarter to nine, made myself presentable, and went on up to the con suite, where a collective decision was made to go with the buffet at the hotel restaurant so that we could hopefully get the day started on time. I had eggs, bacon, ham, pancakes and baked beans. I've never seen baked beans served in a breakfast buffet before, so maybe that's a Canadian thing. At any rate, it was food.

I spent the morning helping out where I was needed. The Radio Play needed more women to try out, so I watched the Art Show table for a while when Cindy was drafted to audition. When the Auction started, I did my best not to get sucked into it and instead got sent to watch the con suite, which was fine with me because I'd had more than my fill of Auction chaos in 2001. I relieved Kaylee so she could go watch the SCA weapons demonstration, and sat down to watch the last three episodes of "Awakenings" and then "Thrill of the Hunt" and "Temptation."

Surprisingly, there were very few fans in and out of the con suite. At most, there were five or six people total in the room at any one time while I was there. At one point, A Fan wandered, staring at his feet and complaining about being unable to find the hotel's shoe shine guy. Given that he was wearing sneakers, I found that moment insanely amusing.

Eventually, Kaylee returned to relieve me, so I headed back downstairs to see what was going on. I poked my head in the door of the room where the SCA demonstration was finishing up, but everyone was in leather armor and protective masks so I couldn't really tell who was who. Then I spotted Carol and Kathy sitting near the registration desk, so I wandered over there to say hi and find out if Carol had heard anything new about Keith's flight plans.

I must have wandered away for a moment to check on what was going on in the other rooms, because when I came back, Carol caught me and introduced me to David Grabias. I shook his hand and had said "Nice to meet you" before it even clicked in my head that he was with the video crew, and thus I was ambushed to come downstairs to the ballroom for about ten minutes and be interviewed about "Gargoyles." So there may be a sound bite of me on the DVD, who knows. I don't remember much of what I said in response to the questions they asked. But at the end as I was signing the release, I had one of those "it's a small world" moments with Howard Shack, the cameraman. He asked whereabouts in the Cleveland area I lived, and when I said Euclid he said that he'd lived in Euclid, and started naming off streets that I knew.

A Fan was next to be interviewed, so I scooted off to check in with Carol again. As near as she could tell, Keith had actually gotten on the plane this time, so it seemed like things would be set for us to pick him up at the airport around 6:00 pm. Next up, though, was the Radio Play, so I headed into the Auditorium to find a seat. This year's performance was "The Journey," with the scene order slightly revised by Greg to be closer to the way he originally wanted them. A number of people from con staff were on the cast this year, including Rob as Goliath and Cindy as Margot Yale ("Madame, they burned witches like you in the Middle Ages!"). The real scene-stealer, though, was Michael as Vinny. "Hey, can you believe it?"

After the Radio Play, Carol and I headed out together in the van to fetch Keith from the airport. His plane landed at 5:15 pm, so we were certain that even if it took 40 minutes to get through customs, we'd be able to have him in the van by no later than 6:15 pm, and get back to the hotel with plenty of time left to join everyone else at the banquet. When we arrived at the airport, however, the place was a madhouse. We came to find out later that about ten international flights had all landed around the same time as Keith's flight, and it ended up taking Keith almost two hours to get through customs.

I did my best to stand lookout, but the crowd was so thick it was impossible to get a clear view of the doors where people were exiting customs. Several times, Carol went to ask people who were walking out what time they had landed, because after the first hour of waiting, we were starting to wonder if we had missed Keith entirely. Finally, at about quarter past seven, Carol got a call on her cell phone from Keith's manager, relaying a message from Keith that he had just gotten out of customs and was waiting near the currency exchange booth. It took us several minutes just to make our way 50 feet through the crowd to find him.

Keith had a skycap in tow with a huge cart loaded up with luggage, so I left him and Carol and ran (literally) back out to the parking garage to bring the van around. At the curb, I helped the skycap load the bags, then turned around to discover both Carol and Keith had suddenly vanished. A moment later, they reappeared and it was off to the hotel, as fast as I dare drive with the voice of Goliath riding shotgun.

From the get-go, Keith was incredibly warm and personable, telling us about how much he enjoyed doing "Gargoyles" and saying "You know, I want to be like Goliath when I grow up." It was hard to keep my eyes on the road, in fact, with him sitting there next to me. He has such a powerful voice, it just makes you want to maintain eye contact. As we pulled up in front of the hotel, Keith commented that he was hungry, but it was quarter to eight at that point, and Carol and I honestly didn't know if there would still be any food left from the banquet.

I helped the bellhop unload Keith's bags, then hurried to park the van back in the garage while Carol showed Keith to the front desk to get checked in. When I got back up to the lobby, he had just gotten his room keys. I'm still not sure how, but somehow we convinced Keith to come downstairs and say hello to all the fans gathered at the banquet. I ran ahead, not even sure if they were still waiting, and the first staff person I spotted was Jen. I whispered to her that "the guest of honor is here" about two seconds before Keith and Carol walked in the door behind me, and the room erupted in cheers and applause.

Keith was shown to an empty seat at a table near the front where a shrimp cocktail appetizer was still waiting, and Cindy pulled me down into a similar empty seat near her. Apparently, Cindy and the others at that table had guarded our food for us, threatening to visit bodily harm upon any wait staff who dared attempt to remove it. So a big thank you to them, for keeping both me and Keith from starving. But I also have to extend major thanks to Carol, too, who didn't get a chance to eat at all, because she had to get in a cab and run straight back to the airport to meet Keith's family, who were arriving on later flights. I've already told Carol I'm going to buy her dinner at G2005, so here's me saying it for the record, too.

Greg returned to the room a few moments after Keith arrived, and Keith did Q&A as he ate, though it was tough for parts of the room to hear him over the loud music coming from the class reunion party next door. I didn't stick around for the entire Q&A, though, so I missed the part where Keith allegedly yelled "Someone shoot that horse!" when someone in the next room started singing a karaoke version of "My Way." Instead, I quickly finished my desert and hurried off with Laurean and Cindy to get into costume for the Masquerade.

I had spent an hour or two at a time on and off for the past six weeks working on my costume but I had yet to wear it, so I was rather anxious to see how the entire outfit looked when it all came together. I had previously costumed as Puck for the 1998 Gathering, but the old costume was in such poor shape that I was only able to save the leggings and the sash. Everything else, I remade, paying a bit more attention this time to detail. And overall, I think Puck 2.0 turned out to be pretty damn kick-ass.

Of course, there were a whole lot of kick-ass costumes this year, and many of them belonged to con staff. Karine had the perfect costume as pregnant Fox, Alan and Jen made a great couple as Macbeth and Gruoch, Kaylee looked fabulous as Princess Katharine, Cindy was steaming hot as Titania, Liz rocked as Yama, and Laurean was absolutely uber-cute as pageboy Tom. The fans had lots of wonderful costumes, too. And if someone can get me a transcript of the lyrics sung by our Best of Show winner, Loupy, I will be eternally grateful. It takes guts to filk to the tune of "Rubber Ducky."

One of the strangest things about the Masquerade this year… this was the first time I didn't get sweltering hot while wearing a wig. So finally the air conditioning being on overdrive in those meeting rooms paid off. At one point, I startled an old guy who was getting on the elevator, too. "Whoa, I thought you were Santa Claus!" was I think what he said, after I had explained there was a masquerade going on downstairs. One thing I learned, though. There's a reason why they call them riding boots and not walking boots. Owie. After about two hours and several trips back and forth to the con suite to fetch A/V supplies for Lord and Lady Macbeth, the Puck was quite glad to go change back into his human alter-ego. He did stick around long enough, though, to watch Queen Titania take the mic and sing "All That Jazz." Wow. To borrow a phrase from Jim Carrey, "Smokin!"

When I came back down to the ballroom after getting out of costume, there was more karaoke going on and I discovered that Carol had finally returned from the airport. In the end, all of Keith's family was finally accounted for, so everyone was happy. Then someone decided to play "Y.M.C.A." and everything went a little mad. We were using Jen's laptop to play the karaoke, but it couldn't display the lyrics from Liz's karaoke CDs. And unbelievably enough, no one knew any of the words to the song, so what we got was about two dozen people dancing and singing a rendition that went like this:

"Young man! Something, something, something.
I said, young man! Something, something, something.
I said, young man! Something, something, something.
Something, some… thing… some… thing… something.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A…"

It was a three-minutes that you really had to be there for to fully appreciate. "It's a little bit funny," though, because the last karaoke song of the evening ended up being mine. I found the Elton John tune "Your Song" one of Liz's CDs and decided to give it a try. It was the first time I've ever sung in front of people, but it was fun and my only regret is that Cindy wasn't there to hear me sing a song from "Moulin Rouge." So next year, Cins, we're doing the "Elephant Medley," okay? ;)

The rest of the night was spent in the con suite, talking about all those things that are most humorous while the brain is in a semi-conscious state. A small group of us stayed up with Greg until around 5:30 am, when it was time for him to go get packed up so he could leave. I'm sure he still thinks I was the walking dead when I drove him to the airport, but honestly, I hit my second wind sometime around 2:30 am as the live-action "Sailor Moon" thing that someone was playing on their computer was ending. So at 6:00 am on Sunday morning, I drove Greg to the airport, dropped him off, then came back to the hotel for about two hours of sleep before it was time to kick off the final day of the convention.

Greg responds...

And thanks for the ride too...!

Response recorded on April 21, 2006

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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 3
Friday, August 6

I woke up around 7:30 am, mumbled good morning to Laurean as she was on her way out the door to the gym, and scored the first turn at the shower since everyone else in the room was still sleeping. Then I napped until about ten minutes before nine, woke up again, and went up to the con suite to see what the plan was for breakfast. Karine led us all to a diner nearby that had pretty good food at pretty good prices, but they also had the slowest service ever and we were running a half hour behind the schedule printed in the program by the time we got back to the hotel.

I was on Art Show setup duty, assisting Cindy, so the two of us headed up to the room on the Mezzanine level and enlisted anyone who was willing to help unload the van and move the art show display materials up to the room. About six people offered to help, so it took only about ten minutes to get everything up from the parking garage and into the room where the Art Show would be. Alan joined in to help with assembly, and the plastic pipe frames went together quickly, until we suddenly realized we were short two to the 90-degree elbow pieces.

Karine gave me some quick directions to the nearest Home Depot, and then I was off on an emergency run. As I learned at The Gathering 2002 in Virginia, there's nothing quite as fun as driving around an unfamiliar area at top speed, searching for a destination you're not quite sure of. But finally I spotted the familiar orange sign, and ran inside to the plumbing section to grab the pieces we were missing. On a hunch, I also grabbed another pack of zip ties for attaching the pegboard to the frames, which should earn me a psychic friends network membership card because when I got back I discovered Cindy had tried to call me on my cell phone - which I didn't have on me - to tell me that they needed more of those, too. So for about 15 seconds, I was a god for saving the day, and then I went back to work getting the remaining display put together.

I spent most of the rest of Friday afternoon in the Art Show / Dealer's Room, helping Cindy with setup and then sitting guard duty at the Auction display table for a spell. I wouldn't have gotten lunch, but Alan asked me if I wanted anything from Subway, so I gave him money and he brought me back a soda and the best roast beef sub I've ever consumed in less than two minutes. Later in the afternoon, I attended Cindy's costuming seminar. I learned how to take care of wigs, and I'm pretty sure I was the only guy in the room except for when the DVD crew came in to do some random filming.

Right after Cindy's panel was over, Karine or Carol informed me that Keith David had been delayed to a later flight, so I would be picking him up around 11:00 pm instead of Karine's husband Adam picking him up around 6:00 pm. I was fine with that, even if it meant having to remain alert enough to drive at that late hour, so I ran upstairs to the con suite to record the revised flight details in my notebook. Before we knew it, it was getting near time for Opening Ceremonies, so I headed down to the ballroom to see if my help was needed with anything. I had been told we were getting a screen measuring 4'x3', so it was quite a surprise to see they'd given us one about three times bigger. Rob and Karine were still trying to get sound and picture to come out of the projector at the same time when I walked in. I'm not sure what button it was that I pushed, but suddenly there was a picture. A few moments later, we found the volume control, too, and everything was ready.

Greg showed up with his stack of videotapes, and I was given the complex job of sitting next to the VCR, loading tapes, and pressing play. For me, Opening Ceremonies seemed to go by in a blur. Karine welcomed the fans and introduced the staff, then Jen presented the Fan Guest of Honor award to Gorebash. Next, Chris Rogers came to the podium to talk about Gathering 2005, and then Liz came up to make some announcements, which was when Abram and Maui "interrupted" for the first Clan Olympics event. After all the chaos had settled, Greg's part of the Opening Ceremonies began. First he played an audio tape containing the voices of Ed Asner, Keith David, and a number of other people associated with the show that Carol had helped compile the week before. Then he showed the traditional series of videos, and ended with the audio tape of the voice recordings for the never-completed "Team Atlantis" episode "The Last."

After Opening Ceremonies, we handed the room over to Jade Griffin for the "Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000" event and debated what to do about dinner. Half of the staff wanted to trek out into Montreal again, and half of us were too tired to want to do all that walking. As a few of us were discussing it in the lobby, Greg came up to me and said he had good news and bad news. The good news was I wouldn't have to pick up Keith at 11:00 pm. The bad news was Keith's flight had changed again, and he wouldn't be arriving until 6:00 pm the next day, Saturday.

Greg then joined up with the group Karine was leading out into the city, but I decided to give my feet a rest. I joined Jen, Alan, Tim, Christine, and Becca, and the six of us had a late dinner in the hotel restaurant. Tim told us all about his misadventure earlier in the day where he'd been hit by a car while crossing the street. He was mostly okay, but he still made sure to put some alcohol on his injuries in the form of a shot of tequila and two white russians. I stuck with cola because I was drowsy enough already, and I had a pretty good hamburger followed by a nice slice of cheesecake.

After dinner, Jen, Christine and I went back up to the con suite to await Greg's return for the Blue Mug-a-Guest. We were joined shortly by Anthony and Andrea Zucconi and a few other fans who had not hooked up with the huge group that had gone out with Greg to dinner. Exercising the ancient rite of "first come, first serve," we claimed the chairs and left the floor to the latecomers. Greg arrived only about ten minutes behind the scheduled 11 pm start time, and within a short amount of time the room was filled to capacity and then some.

For a Blue Mug-a-Guest, the overwhelming majority of the discussion was pretty tame. A lot of the questions focused on the DVD and what could be done to make sure that Season 1 will sell well enough that we get Season 2, and so on. Some ideas were floated about using the internet to coordinate the fandom's efforts, such as having everyone purchase the DVD from Amazon.com on the same day.

There was one question that was asked about how the fay copulate and reproduce which Greg apparently misheard at first, as he began talking about gargoyle egg-laying. He remarked that the eggs are soft and flexible when they are laid, and also that they start out small and grow bigger. This elicited a "Ha-ha, I was right, I told you so," comment from someone I had debated this same topic with in one of the online comment rooms a few months ago. Not the most mature of reactions, and bad science to boot. It made me wish I'd been able to attend the Gargoyle Biology panel on Sunday morning, because as much as I respect Greg, I still firmly believe that it must be recognized that there is absolutely no precedent at all in the animal kingdom for hard-shelled eggs that grow in size from the time they are laid to the time that they hatch.

Anyway, sorry to digress, but this was still bugging me when I went to bed that night, so I felt it worth mentioning. I can't remember very many of the other specific questions that were asked, though I do recall that when Greg was asked about whether the tip of a gargoyle's tail was especially sensitive, he deferred the question to Christine Morgan. Greg also blew a whole bunch of fanfic out of the water by saying that in his mind, Angela was a virgin when she arrived in Manhattan, and that gargoyles as a species were not promiscuous. I'm not quite sure these revelations are going to slow down any of us who've written stories to the contrary, though.

Friday night finally came to an end at around 2 am on Saturday morning, when Greg got up to answer the call of nature and Karine decided it was time to clear everyone out of the con suite. That included con staff, as well, so I headed to my room to grab a few more hours of sleep.

Greg responds...

Eggs are soft until the first day. Then they harden into stone when the sun rises. I don't recall ever saying they change size. Just that their softness allows for a somewhat easier laying. But who knows? Maybe I did say that. I say a lot of stuff.

Response recorded on April 21, 2006

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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 2
Thursday, August 5

With one day left until the convention opened, I awoke already knowing we had a ton of stuff to do. Over breakfast, Karine and I went over our list from the night before to make sure we wouldn't forget anything. The first stop was the bank, to deposit money and get small bills Canadian for making change. Then we headed out in the van to pick up the program booklets from Bureau en Gros, and made a quick stop at Home Depot where I grabbed a can of red spray paint to touch up my Puck boots.

Next, it was off to Rob's place to pick up him and Cindy, along with the big box of Gathering t-shirts and a box full of stuff for the auction. Running just slightly behind schedule at that point, we headed to the airport, where we found Laurean, Liz, and Taylor waiting at the curb. I parked and jumped out, and we played a quick game of human 3-D Tetris to fit all seven people and their bags into the van. I'm sure the chassis was nearly scraping the ground on the way back to Karine's, but we arrived back there just in time to meet up with Kaylee, who had driven in from Ontario.

For lunch, we split up into two cars and went to the same greasy spoon we had visited in February during the live meeting. After satisfying my craving for poutine, we drove back to Karine's and packed as much stuff as we could into the back half of the van and the trunk of Kaylee's car. I also found a few minutes take my boots out in the backyard and gave them both a fresh coat of paint to repair the damage the T.S.A. had done. They were left to dry on the porch, and the eight of us set off as a convoy for the hotel.

At the hotel, I parked in the underground garage - a feat which required some careful automotive maneuvering - and Kaylee parked on the street. Cindy shanghaied a bellhop to help us unload the van, and Shaun had already arrived to help out, so in short order we were able to get everything moved up to the con suite. Kaylee and Karine then took of again in Kaylee's car to fetch more con supplies from Karine's office and pick up the Phoenix Gate Anthologies. In the meanwhile, the rest of us got to work stuffing the con packets. By the time Karine and Kaylee returned, the packet stuffing was mostly done.

It was the height of rush hour when Rob, Karine, Kaylee and I set out again to fetch the art show display boards and a few other remaining items from Karine's place. On my way out, I ran into the Morgans in the lobby and told them where they could find the rest of the staff. By the time I got down to the garage, Rob was already waiting for me. Highway traffic was a real bear for about half the way back, but by the time we had loaded up the panels and the last of my and Karine's bags, the highways were moving at normal speeds again and we zipped back downtown without any problems.

When I got back up to the con suite, I found the remaining members of the staff had arrived. Carol was there, and so was Jen and her husband Alan. I took a few minutes to move my bags out of the con suite to the room I was sharing with Laurean and Kaylee, but after that was done I didn't have a whole lot of time to sit around before it was time to head out in the van once again to retrieve Greg from the airport. The art show display boards were still in the back of the van, which meant we could only take a welcoming party of three and still leave a seat free for Greg. So this time it was Rob, Jen and I who went. Finding our way to the airport turned out to be fairly easy, and we parked and went inside to wait for Greg to emerge from the magic doors at customs.

The wait for Greg took just long enough to cost us for a second half hour's worth of parking, which Rob was kind enough to hop out and pay on our way out of the garage after I realized that I had left the little ticket in the van when I should have brought in with me. We drove back to the hotel - my third trip downtown of the day - and managed to find a parking space in the garage again. Jen called up to the con suite to let them know we were back, so when we walked into the lobby with Greg some of the other staff members had come down to meet us. There was also a group of fans gathered in the lobby, including Kathy, Hudson, Aaron, Mara, Greg Bishansky, and several other people I recognized from previous Gatherings whose names escape me now as I try to write this journal almost a week later.

While Greg got checked in and took his stuff to his room, I went back up to the con suite to see what could be had in the way of snacks, since it was now going on 10 pm and I hadn't eaten since lunch. There was still some pita bread and humus left that we had picked up while grocery shopping for the con suite during the second trip back to Karine's, so I was able to find enough to tide me over until the late dinner we'd had planned with Greg.

I hope there weren't too many hard feelings about the dinner plans on Thursday night, but apparently there had been some miscommunications that kept some of the fans waiting around downstairs in expectation of joining us. In the end, it seemed like there were three times as many people wanting to go than the restaurant Karine had planned to take us to could even seat, so we had to scale it back to current and future staff only.

Of course, in traditional Gathering last minute change of plans style, the restaurant we had intended to go to had just closed their kitchen a few minutes before we got there. So instead we ended up at another restaurant across the way, where instead of crepes I had a three-cheese pizza. By the time dinner was over and we had made our way back to the hotel, most of us were nearly dead on our feet. So we called it a day, and made plans for the staff to meet in the con suite at 9 am for breakfast and a strategy meeting for the first day of the actual convention.

Greg responds...

Yeah, any experienced con-staffer knows that Greg must eat when he gets to town.

Response recorded on April 20, 2006

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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 1
Wednesday, August 4

I slept in a whole hour later than normal for a weekday, then dragged myself out of bed to get some last-minute errands run before it was time to leave for the airport. My morning rounds included a stop at the post office, to collect the last of the last-minute Gathering pre-registration payments, and a stop at the bank to deposit them and withdraw some cash that could be used to make change in Canada for fans who wanted to pay us in U.S. dollars. I had to visit two banks, because for some strange reason the first one didn't have any one dollar bills.

Back at home, I had enough time to finish packing and eat lunch before heading out to the airport. By the time I left, mostly cloudy had turned into steady rain, so the drive to the airport took a little longer than normal. Finding parking took forever, but inside the terminal there was barely a line at check-in or security. I checked two big bags crammed full of costume and con stuff, then headed to my gate at the far end of the airport. I got there with about a half hour to spare before boarding, but since the flight was departing out of Continental's regional terminal and not the international one, there was no duty-free shop that I could buy any gift booze at (sorry, Karine).

The flight itself was uneventful and only about half full. We landed at the Montreal airport ahead of schedule, then waited on the ground for about ten minutes for our gate to clear. Once off the plane, there was the usual fifteen-minute walk to customs, where the wait time was posted on the wall as 40 minutes. The long line that snaked back and forth between the velvet ropes was constantly moving, though, so that at least gave the illusion of progress. After a quick chat with the Canadian customs officer, I claimed my bags from where they were waiting by the carousel and went to get my rental car.

Airport renovations had claimed more of the arrivals area since my visit in February, including the rental car counter, so I headed straight out to the parking garage where a small mob of businessmen had convened around the Hertz office. I overheard the agent at the desk complaining that they were running out of cars and couldn't upgrade anyone to vans or luxury sedans, so I received several envious glances as I claimed the keys to the minivan I had reserved months before.

From the airport, it was off to Karine's house. I found my way to the freeway with no problem, and after that it was easy to find the right exit and follow the directions I had memorized in February of "left at the light, then right, right, right." I got a little surprise when I came up to the first right turn. Straight ahead, I could see the St. Lawrence River, which in February had been frozen over and invisible under the snow.

At Karine's place, we got right to work doing Gathering prep. When I opened my bag to unpack the pipe fittings I had brought for the art show displays, I discovered a little card saying that the T.S.A. had opened and checked my bag. Unfortunately, they didn't wrap the towel back around the boots for my costume before stuffing them back in the box with the pipe fittings, so the red paint on one of them had gotten all scuffed up. Karine got out some red acrylic paint and we tried to touch them up, but the color wasn't a very good match.

Knowing we had more important things to do, I set the problem aside and got to work instead on the special pieces we needed to make for the art show displays. Using Karine's tools, it took all of fifteen minutes to fabricate the six connectors we needed for the center posts of the display units. Setting those aside, we moved on to con badges and con packets. By the time Karine's husband Adam arrived home, we had nearly finished assembling all badges and we had stuck labels on all the con packet envelopes which would be stuffed the next day at the hotel.

For dinner, Karine made hamburgers and corn on the cob. Then we finished putting the lanyards on the badges and got everything packed up and ready to go for the next day. Around 11 pm, Karine downloaded the final PDF file of the program book Siryn had been working on nonstop for the previous week, and it was just before midnight that we headed off to the 24-hour copy shop at Bureau en Gros (the local equivalent of Staples) to place an order for 200 booklets. I pretty much stood there as Karine did all the talking since all the talking was in French, but I did make myself useful by running off some self-serve copies of the masquerade registration and walk-in registration forms.

It was closing in on 1 am by the time we got back to Karine's and decided to call it a night. I shared the futon in the living room with Peanut, a very friendly orange cat who is so big she has her own gravitational field. And that night I got what would turn out to be the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep I would get until Monday night.

Greg responds...

Patrick, I do want to thank you for all the hard work you put in year after year for this fandom!

Response recorded on April 20, 2006

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Revel writes...

August 8
Slept late again, but I had a mission. I went to find Chris Rogers to pre reg. for 2005. Spacie and I did find him still asleep in his room, along with a hung over Hudson, whose ears are already too sensitive from what I understand.

We did however get a small group together and ate on the revolving restaurant for the buffet, over priced, but most hotel food is and this was all you can eat. The city was nice to see from above and it was nice to watch the rain come in. The guy on the crane trying to commit suicide did put a slight damper on things, but he did come down.

We spent pretty much all early afternoon up top and only attended closing ceremonies. I won two art awards, one first place that I was not expecting to get, but not complaining, it was also the one that sold. I finally did get registered for Vegas and paid Chris the money for the buffet I owed him. After than it was time to collect art from the art show and pay for the thing that were bought.

Could not find people after that, many ended up leaving or just disappearing, Dinner was subway sandwiches that we found several blocks away up the big hill.

August 9
The morning started out with a bit of a hustle because Spacie and myself were set to go to La Ronde, but to save money, Aaron, Mara, Lynati, Greg and Alex Bishansky, and Emambu were all to move their things to our room, since we would not be there and it was just for one night. Took some effort but finally got people moving and I don’t think anything was left behind.

It was a good sized group to take to the park, not quite as large as the Coney Island group of last year but enough. I was surprised to see that the subway cars actually ran on rubber tires instead of rails. Karine also pointed out that they used wooden brakes, you could smell them at hard stops.

It was a great day for being outside, not hot at all. The park was bigger than Coney Island, but smaller than our local Six Flags in Houston called AstroWorld. There were however a LOT of people there and at first not all the coasters were going. So long lines were expected all day. We caught a few smaller rides and took the park tour tram, which was really nice and relaxing. Caught a round of mini golf and had lunch with a small group we had arrived with. On the way out we both bought drinks out of a coke machine but her’s was warm. The park attendants were kind enough to exchange it for a cold one for free.

After we grabbed some McDonald’s again we returned to find our room full, all 8 of the Rogue Squadron plus Mandolin and Kathy Pogge. Was a nice after con chat party plus we all joined together for a singing of Denis Leary’s @$$hole song. Not sure if Kathy sang or not, but was fun nonetheless

Sleeping arrangements were made and we all crashed.

August 10
As said before, mornings are not this crew’s strong point. But I managed to get them up and moving. Being that the road trip was my idea from the start I felt like I was in charge, or maybe I just like ordering people about, the world may never know. But bills were paid and we got fueled up and loaded to make our way back to Greg’s house in NY.

All the fuel was in liters and seeing a sign for .89 cents sounds great, till you remember it is in liters. (I have an 18 gallon tank which comes out to about 68 liters) So I got enough to makes sure I could make it to the next stop.

Easy to find our way back out and started South. So then we come to the US Customs and border, which for those who do not know now falls under department of Homeland Security. Just when you think the Canadian border guards are being up tight you get to meet the US border guards. These people literally act like they want you to be a terrorist so they can shoot you dead and get out some of their frustration. They are trained to ask reasonable questions and protect our country but did anyone think to train them in courtesy? Not even a thank you or welcome home.

We had one other stop in the Adirondack Park that I think was to search for illegal game hunting, but that went fast.

Greg and Alex’s mother was very hospitable and we ate well, and if anyone is interested they did get a new fridge. I went to bed early knowing it was another thousand or so miles of road ahead.

August 11 and 12
This is a two day entry because not much went on and because quite frankly it all felt like one long day. Basically, we didn’t stop. We stopped for fuel, and we stopped for restrooms, and we stopped at a Denny’s in Salem, Virginia for dinner, but other than that, we didn’t stop till we got back to Houston. We talked, played CD’s, most of it was a blur, I just hope I was awake when I was suppose to be, but we clocked it in at about 27 hours of total driving time.

After a brief nap Aaron and Mara returned to San Antonio and that brings to a close Le Gathering and Road Trip 2004.

Greg responds...

Woo, I'm exhausted just reading it. Hope -- nearly two years later -- you've had time to recover. And I hope to see you in Valencia in a couple months!

Response recorded on April 19, 2006

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Revel writes...

Journal part 2 Stuff about the con, how about that!

August 5
Thursday, Once again scheduled plans of departure were way off because no one wanted to wake up. Breakfast was Dunkin Donuts because the night before the refrigerator died and so did everything in it. Weather reports were sketch but we only hit a couple of light patches of rain, nothing to slow us up.

A small note about driving in NY, the people, even outside of Manhattan appear to all be emergency vehicle drivers, because everyone is driving like they have a person dying in the back seat. I am not a slow driver, but I try to exercise a little bit of caution when driving through narrow, near 400 year old, dinky town roads that do not appear to have been widened, just paved over. Crazy.

Upstate New York is very pretty, lots of places one can imagine where Xanatos would place a retreat (since I don’t think a specific location was determined) but we drove reasonable and made good time. Gas in NY is ungodly expensive compared to Texas. I will never complain about our prices again.

Now, we come to the border. When we arrived, there were two posts open and not a one of them appeared to be going fast. I was later told that the Customs agents were on strike but still had to work so they took their sweet time. About an hour and a half wait and I had to use the rest room nearly the whole time. Like sitting in a theater and not wanting to get up type feeling. I will admit that I made one little lie to the border agent, they did ask if we were armed or carrying any weapons and I did have my knife with me. The short of it is, I carry it when I go place that I am unsure of the security, like rest stops in some states, and I really, really had to go, so didn’t want to slow things even more.
Montreal was not far from the border, about half an hour I’d guess, but had to drive through a trench with no shoulder or escape, which is very, very unnerving. We survived. Our first exit was blocked off, had to double back and finally across the bridge to downtown.

We found a small group congregating in the lobby as a welcoming committee, was nice to see some faces that I had not seen in over a year. Hung out there for a while, Seth, Wingless, Sapphire, Kyt, Hudson, Chris Rogers, CKayote, and many others were there as well. I crashed pretty early, was road fatigued.

Now about the Hotel. An excellent location for people like us who were unfamiliar and could not read many signs. It was very easy to find. The lay out of the hotel was well thought out, with the convention levels close together and easy to access and we could stay in the lower floor till all hours and no one said a thing to us, because we are so far below the other guest that we can’t disturb anyone if we tried. The rooms were as advertised, or at least ours was. A nice double with two queens that we really needed on the last day, I’ll explain later.

Two minor complaints. The parking spaces in the basements were reeeeeeally narrow. Erik drives a Town Car, and to get between the lines he and I had exactly 8 inches of space door to door. Second complaint, which is very minor, was that good cheap food was quite a walk away, that’s just the sacrifice of a downtown hotel though, oh well.

August 6
Friday, first day of the convention itself. Spacie and I hunted about trying to find a breakfast place, settling on a bagel place next to about a block and a half from the hotel. I had a croissant and a sesame seed bagel. Was not too expensive, 7 bucks for the two of us.

I first went about locating the Art Room. Easy to do once I found Cindy, who was recruiting to help set up art. Naturally fair that if I want to set up art I should help set up the art space so I did. It went well enough, some of the joints were uneven or kept popping out. One over all comment I had heard was that the lighting was poor. It was, but we all survived and there was a lot of good stuff.

After set up I invaded the Round Robin, that despite our best efforts at keeping it PG slipped at some point or another. And of course there is a tape of it floating around.

The film crew came in and watched Greg’s Voice acting panel, this was the first time I’d say most of us had seen them, I could tell a lot of people froze right up, but they were very cool people and I’d say most warmed up to them. I did get to do a reading with Emambu, who is a very talented individual even if he’s too modest to admit it. He was Lexington and I was Brooklyn from the scene with Tom and Mary in Awakening part One. This was a good warm up for me because radio play auditions followed immediately after the panel and I was one of the first to go. Having been in the play last year I felt more confident in my ability and read the Broadway lines (not expecting to get the Broadway part the next day, but that’s irony for you.)

Opening Ceremonies was fun. One of my favorite parts is to see the show of hands of con-virgins and second timers. It always seems there are a great deal of virgins, but very few second timers. It’s like once you come twice you will do what ever you can to come again. The DVD info was good to hear, and yes my Dad’s birthday is December 7th. *evil grin* This was also the first time I had gotten to hear the Team Atlantis tape. At 2002 I missed the radio play all together, and 2003 I stayed at the auction, which ran into the Team Atlantis panel. Someday I’d really like to watch the teaser trailer that was played for the media with the kind of speakers and bass that Greg describes, till then I’ll just have to imagine it. Chris’s pitch for 2005 sounded really good, Vegas should be a lot of fun, just need to start saving some play money now.

Dinner was McDonald’s, I ordered nuggets, and some how ended up with a double big Mac. Not what I wanted and too far to walk to change it back so I ate it. Afterwards was mostly just hang out time. Catch up on what everyone had been doing. Went to the Blue Mug a Guest and enjoyed hearing the questions and asked a couple of my own, neither even slightly Blue, but was nice to get a change to ask Greg. The whole thing about whether he had read the original Heinlein “Starship Troopers” was important to me, since I didn’t feel the screen writer for the movie had. Got to bed about 2am I think.

August 7
Can’t even remember what I had for breakfast, must not have been very good. What I do remember was being approached my Hudson and being asked if I could drive Zaius Monkey to the Airport because his baggage never made it through customs and he had to go down and confirm it. At first I agreed. If we had left right then and there I may have even been able to get him there and back in time. But we became distracted. Our small group ended up down on the bottom floor where the film crew were shooting individual interviews and they wanted to see Aaron’s infamous Demona tattoo. So that ate half an hour and I found out I was in radio play. There was no way I could make it to the air port and back and neither could Emambu. Luckily Kai and Lexy offered and came through, big thanks to those two.

Not much later, my car was required again. Lynati needed more paint for her costume and we were all short on time. Aaron, love you like a brother, is not good with giving directions, or working with sketchy ones. Karine told him where a Home Depot was and we attempted to find it. What we ended up doing was spending half an hour cursing at one way streets, going the wrong way, illegal left hand turns, and some how I found a gravel road down by one of the bridges that cut back to a real street. See, driving video games do pay off. We finally got oriented and started down the right direction, but I had to let Aaron take over because I had radio play rehearsal.

The rehearsal was fun, for a minute there, while Greg was passing out scripts I thought I’d end up with Vinnie, but instead received Broadway. Not expected, but certainly fun to play.

Had just enough time to run down to the hotel store and get some snacks before the play itself. As many know now we read “The Journey” and though Broadway only had once scene I did it the best I could, even tried mimicking Bill’s voice, not sure how well it came out since we always sound different to ourselves.

The banquet soon followed and my only complaint was the lighting, not the food, the food was really good. The lighting was really poor for picture taking that was disappointing. We had some of the white wine, not sure who paid but was nice to have something besides just water. Our table consisted of myself, Spacebabie, Kathy Pogge, Yggdrasil, Chyna Rose, and Seri Wavelength. We had some good conversations. Everything from fandom stories, to alcohol, to farm stories, to politics.

Keith David did finally arrive and I felt bad because he seemed like he really wanted to eat, but at the same time be a good guest and answer questions. I did manage to ask him a question about Harrison Ford, which was for my mother who is the biggest Ford nut in the Central South West.

Had to check out of the Q&A early to get my costume together. For the most part, it was easy, the hard parts had been done already, which was trying to dye a suit to match the burgundy/maroon that Dracon wore. The hardest part was the jacket, I went through several thrift store jackets, but spent more on dye than I did on them. The hair, which completed the look, was done by Spacebabie, I sat in the bath tub and she used spray in hair color. Was hard for me to see but was told it came out wonderful. I didn’t have a skit in mind, thought about saying something when I got out on the floor, but went blank so I posed like Han Solo in Return of the Jedi and the crowd cheered. At the awards presentation I won the Thom Adcox memorial award, but sorry, I have not progressed enough to dropping my pants in front of the public yet.

After it was all over I washed my hair as best I could and went back down to convention level to hang out and chat till 3 am.

Greg responds...

Nothing like those late night chats. They're easily my fondest memories from most Gatherings...

Response recorded on April 18, 2006

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Revel writes...

Here is my 2004 Convention journal/road trip.

I apologize, this first part actually is just build up to the Gathering, but most of it is relative... or I thought so.

The Gathering 2004

Well, Let me start from the beginning. For me this vacation actually began on August 1st.

August 1
For the most part it was an uneventful day. Final preparations were made to Hyena, My 2003 Pontiac Aztek, as I waited for Spacebabie’s plane to arrive.

I feel I should explain how her name came about. For starters, she is a gold-beige color, but also it’s her attitude. The Aztek is a very unconventional looking car hard edges, subtle curves, but also has all kinds of electronics and features. It’s a love it or hate it kind of thing, I guess a lot like Hyena the character. All I really should say on that.

After the airport we bought road snacks, two way radios and I got some additional motor oil for when we got back.

The birth of the road trip was because I was not entirely sure where I would be living several months ago and to combat high airline prices, because the average price for a round trip ticket remained about $300 and often higher. I came up with the idea of the two of us just road tripping to Montreal. Not long after we finalized the idea, others hopped onto the road trip idea. The final count was eight people, Spacebabie, Aaron, Mara, Greg X, his brother Alex, Emambu, Lynati, and of course myself.

August 2
This is the day Aaron and Mara were to arrive from San Antonio, a casual 3 hour drive from Houston. They did arrive, but unfortunately much later than original planned. I had planned to rustle everyone up at about 4am, but we only went to bed about 2am, soooo we slept in a little later.

August 3
Tuesday morning, 5:30am, destination Pittsburgh, PA. I somehow, magic most likely, managed to get my three passengers to the car and on the road. They all immediately went to sleep again.

We made it out of Houston with no problems. Our route to Emambu’s place had been planned weeks before and I had studied it entirely. We first traveled East across Louisiana before turning north, cutting up Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee. I discovered that Tennessee is not a state you want to drive in if you are trying to cross the country at a fast pace. Tennessee has a lot of large hills and mountain roads that cops like to wait on, especially the blind side of a steep grade. Almost thought they tagged us once for sure, but it turned out to be the car in front of us. Aaron was driving at that point and I never did really go back to sleep after that. We traversed half of Tennessee, turning North again after Nashville, we hit that city at about rush hour. Don’t have to worry much about cops when you are crawling at 30 mph.

I noticed that not all states have those great big “Welcome to Blah Blah Blah” signs. We crossed into both Kentucky and Ohio without really even noticing. Did briefly see Three Rivers Stadium where the Cincinnati Reds play.

It was after Columbus though that we ran into our first bit of bad weather. Fog. Not a little fog, like I can only see 5 feet in front of my car fog. Not good when added to that both Aaron and I were both road fatigued. We stopped in West Virginia to switch one last time and I took us into Pittsburgh. The fog has cleared well but now it was almost dawn and crazy early to work drivers were about. There are few things more scary that 18 wheeler drivers thinking they are commanding something the size of a VW Beetle.
Emambu gave good directions though, we found his apartment just before 6am. With time zone change the first leg was completed in just about 24 hours.

August 4
We all slept pretty late, at least to early afternoon. Emambu, Mara and I went into town to get breakfast and coffee for those that wanted it, plus final check on directions to GregX’s house, not that they were that good. I hate Map Quest. It works well enough for major routes, but when it comes to small urban roads, always, ALWAYS double check with a local that the road has not be renamed or renumbered, or has a itty bitty street sign that no one can see in broad daylight let alone in the middle of the night and rain.

We packed up both cars, Erik’s “Mafia Cruiser” and “Hyena” and made our way out of town via the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This is where the radios came in. I recommend for any two car or more convoys that they should all have radios. They are great for coordinating stops and a lot of fun to shoot comments back and forth. Aaron’s dubbing of the lead car as “Red Leader” lead to the Rogue Squadron name.

As said before, the maps did give us a general idea of where we were going. And as we approached New Jersey, we became inundated. It poured, and I mean poured. The kind of rain that even with full speed wipers you cannot see more than ten feet in front of you.

We made the right exits however, across the Bridge and onto the East side of the Hudson. Then it was just a matter of getting to Croton. Much easier when you don’t drive pass the exit you need. This is on top of the fact that for some reason I get horrible phone reception so the last few turns to find the house required more effort than it should have.

Nevertheless we arrived, the rain stopped, and we all had food and a place to sleep. Many thanks to Greg’s mother for putting up with a bunch of worn out travelers, we all appreciated it.

Greg responds...

I've read this travel story a few times by now, but it's always interesting in a Rashomon sense to see if from different points of view.

Response recorded on April 17, 2006

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Allaine writes...

Very long journal, I'm afraid.

Allaine's 2004 Gathering Journal

Day 1
Thursday, August 5, 2004

I left my house at around 10 AM for a 2 PM flight. When I got to the airport, I discovered two things. First, even though I was taking an international flight, my plane wasn't gated at US Airways International (Terminal A), but US Airways Express (Terminal F). Having been told already to park in Garage A, I had to drag all my luggage across the length of the airport.

A more infuriating discovery was that my flight had been cancelled. Since this was the second time my flight to Montreal had been cancelled in three days (the first time being Monday night, forcing me to scrap plans to catch a ride from the airport with Kathy and Alex Garg), I was understandably outraged. I was forced to take a flight that was leaving at 12:30, but I would be making a stop in Boston for ninety minutes. I didn't actually make it through Customs in Montreal until 6 PM. Fittingly enough, I needed two buses to get from the airport to the hotel, but that didn't happen until around 7 PM.

At least I wasn't poor Alexandria, who wasn't allowed to board her flight because she didn't bring the right birth certificate. Finding out she wouldn't be arriving until Friday was a further disappointment.

That being said, I was able to check into my room without incident, and the first people I found were my other two roommates. Chyna Rose was eating in the lobby restaurant when I found her, so I joined her for dinner. Later Seri Wavelength found us there once she arrived. We talked for a while, then went upstairs. I met Jade Griffin for the first time as she worked on her Demona doll, but she was the only other person I saw. Actually, that's not entirely true. Someone said they'd spotted Karine going to the 21st floor, so I went up there to see if the Con Suite was open yet. I did locate the Con Staff, but since they were quite busy discussing things I probably wasn't supposed to hear, I waved and crept back to my room. Since Alexandria was still at home, I got a bed all to myself while Chyna and Seri shared the other bed. I guess I should say here that our room was very nice. It wasn't enormous, but the beds left plenty of room for two, and the bathroom was spacious. I went to sleep around 11 PM

Day 2
Friday, August 6, 2004

The three of us didn't really leave our room until around ten in the morning. Although we were hungry, we decided to register first, since registration was about to begin. I saw many familiar faces for the first time when I got there - Ellen, Kathy, Spacebabie, and Whitbourne foremost among them. I also got to meet some first-timers, including Dylan's fiancée Stormy. We talked for a while, but since the registration was running late, I went to breakfast with Seri and Chyna. I had the buffet, which was delicious. In fact, I got the buffet the following two days as well, and ate so much that I never needed lunch. It's all about the budget, knowhutahmean?

After breakfast we registered, and I got my packet, including two copies of the Phoenix Gate anthology, one for me and one for Mooncat, who unfortunately couldn't come this year. They did a fabulous job on the Anthology, as it was my first time seeing the finished result from cover to cover. I would read all the stories, including my own, more than once over the next few days. Then I went to the Art Room, where I got to meet two people I'd been looking forward to meeting. I feel both have a significance for me as both a fanfic writer and reader. When I first started reading Gargoyles fanfics a couple years ago, I sought out Jennifer, aka CrzyDemona, and asked her where I could find good Demona fics. She referred me to Madame Destine, whose stories continue to be among my favorites to this day. Plus Jen has a hell of a reputation around the fandom, and even if our politics don't match, she strikes me as extremely smart about a lot of things. The second person was Christine Morgan. As a writer who dreams about being published some day, Christine is an obvious inspiration to me. I didn't buy any of her books, but I did grab one of the Demona T-shirts Jen was selling, as well as an official convention T-shirt for my younger brother.

At last the first panels began. I attended Spacebabie's General Round Robin, where we had the unenviable task of creating a story about how Demona and Macbeth's paths crossed while white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon. Most memorable, I think, was a running gag about "dinghies". I also brought out my tape recorder for the first time. I taped several panels throughout the day, both for my own memories and for Mooncat's benefit. Unfortunately, I managed to tape over the GRR panel a couple days later. Oops.

After the round robin, most people went to the Voice Acting Seminar. Keith David was not present, unfortunately. In fact he didn't arrive until Saturday night. But Greg did a very good job. Lucky Seri got to be critiqued on her reading of lines for the second year in a row. Later I also got to read lines for a scene as young Tom. There was also this interesting anecdote about Carol Channing in her bra . . .

At this point I went back to my room. Two seconds later I realized there were new bags in the room, so I hurried back down to registration and confirmed that my final roommate, Princess Alexandria, had indeed checked in. It took me a while to track her down, but we talked for a while until the Opening Ceremonies began. When I went downstairs, I did locate another person who I rarely email but love talking to, Mara Cordova, as well as a few other familiar names.

There I found myself on one of eight teams in the Clan Olympics. I hadn't been planning to devote any time to it, but I was roped in. I participated in two events that night, including a game where sixteen people fought for balls in a big container and ferried them back and forth across the room. I quickly figured out that I couldn't hold many balls at once, so I started searching for balls with lettering on them. One of the balls I found had "1-UP" written on it, like a video game icon. A fateful selection.

Afterwards I learned two things - we were in first place by two points, and the 1-up ball could be used to save one team from elimination. I could either save the eighth-place team, or hold onto the ball in case my team was in last place at some point. Since I didn't know the rules of the game, I didn't see the point of being the nice guy, so I held onto it. Later I discovered that apparently eliminated teams are allowed to make life difficult for the remaining teams. Oops again.

After Opening Ceremonies, which also featured a taped greeting from Ed "Hudson" Asner and my second time listening to the tape of the Gargoyles/Team Atlantis crossover, I stayed for the MGT3K panel hosted by Jade. When she found out I had a tape recorder, I lent it to her so she could tape the show and transcribe it later. (She still has that tape, in fact, and I need to make sure she has my address so she can mail it to me when she's done.) It was very funny, but I only stayed for about half an hour. Then I went out to dinner with Alexandria, Ellen, and Dylan at an Italian restaurant. I love the panels and everything, but it's especially moments like this that I come to the Gathering - being able to spend an hour or two alone with writers and readers and friends who I don't normally get to see, talking about things we normally only discuss via email.

We returned to the hotel by 10 PM, so I could rejoin my team for the second Olympics event, Shot in the Dark. We didn't do that great here and dropped to third. This introduced an element of anxiety in my team (which included my roommate Chyna Rose), and we decided to let yet another team burn. Now we had two teams that hated us. Unfortunately that event took over an hour to finish, so I didn't get ready for bed until almost midnight. This was my first night sharing a bed with Alexandria, but there was enough space in the bed that we didn't have to touch at all if we didn't want to, and everyone slept well.

Day 3
Saturday, August 7

My Olympics team needed me for Trivia Torture (I think they wanted me to be tortured), but I regretfully (ha ha) passed and went to the Thrill of the Chase panel. The hosts were Christine, Spacebabie, and Ellen. Ellen is a close friend of mine, so I would have gone no matter what the topic was. What we discussed were chase scenes, both in fics and in movies, since chase scenes are so often a part of films.

After that I took a break from the Gathering for a couple hours and went sightseeing in Old Montreal with Alexandria. We ended up shelling out $40 for a thirty-minute carriage ride that let us take in a lot more of the sights than if we'd walked. I was still beat when we got back in time for Really Hard Pictionary. I learned that my team had fallen into fifth place in the Trivia event, which meant we failed to use the 1-UP ball for a third time. So three teams were gone, all thanks to us. Although we were in last now, so I fail to see how we profited from it. Sure enough, the "spirits" conspired to make my Pictionary round more difficult. I had to draw without my glasses (I'm nearsighted, so that had absolutely no effect really), and only one team member (Michael) could guess. Plus I drew one of the harder packets. However, at the risk of sounding a bit immodest, I am a damn good Pictionary player, and I did manage to pull our team into a three-way tie for first before the last team passed us.

That led to a final bonus event where we had to pull colored balls from a bag. We found ourselves in a tie with Mara's team for last, but because of a tiebreaker we ended up in fourth. Since it was our last opportunity to use the 1-UP ball, and since I like Mara a lot, I immediately offered it to her team, but they told me to hang onto it. So my decision not to save them (which must have made a few people scratch their heads in disbelief) left four teams in the running. But we wouldn't find out who won until the Scavenger Hunt the following morning.

Next was the Radio Play, where the Actors read from The Journey, an episode I hadn't seen in a long time. The Actors did a very nice job, especially Stormy as Cagney (that was a very plaintive meow), the guy who played Vinnie, and the Macbeth-Yale eruption.

For the second straight year I passed on the Banquet, so instead Alexandria and I, after voting in the Video Contest, found ourselves having dinner out. We'd hoped to find one of the restaurants we saw in Old Montreal, but it's a funny place over there. Saturday night, and everything seems to be closed! After stumbling around for half an hour, we eventually settled on another Italian place in a completely opposite direction from where we first looked. It was called Guido Angelina, and all I can say is three things. The wait was brief, the portions were huge, and the food was excellent. What more can a guy ask for? Well, a good conversation partner, I guess, and Alexandria and I talked for a very long time about each other's stories. Admittedly, she was my roommate, but I probably spent more time with Alexandria than anyone else this year, and I loved every minute of it.

After we got back I decided to shower and shave before the Masquerade, only to have Seri return just as I was going to shower and announce that Keith had finally arrived and was answering questions downstairs. They were nice enough to wait for me to finish showering before leaving. I got to ask Keith a question about his fight scene from They Live, but the best part was the woman in the next banquet room shrieking Sinatra's "My Way" during karaoke, and Keith says, "Somebody shoot that horse!" Hee hee hee!

Then we had Masquerade. By now everyone knows about the incredible gargoyle costume someone wore (I never did get his name - Kurol?), and I shudder to think of how much time and effort it took to get the costume together. Besides him, the best costumes were Lynati as Ophelia (poor Lynati didn't make it until just as the judges were returning with the results - amazingly, this was the first time I even saw Lynati, who was so helpful before the 2003 Gathering), Cindy as Titania, and someone I didn't know as Ekidna - if it hadn't been for the other guy, I would have picked her as Best in Show, partly because she picked one of the lesser-known characters and did a great job with her reptilian look. I got plenty of pictures, because goodness knows, we had a LOT of costumes this year, and everyone looked great. The only snafu I was aware of - Seri's Pack Fox costume refused to stay in one piece, and she wasn't able to wear it. At least Chyna didn't have any trouble with her Elisa Maza costume.

(Karine made the sensible choice of playing Fox from Walkabout, since it turns out she's six months pregnant. I'm in awe that she was able to continue chairing this convention in her condition. She also had a very nice medieval costume on earlier in the day.)

Later that night I talked to Kathy for a while, and she assured me that I wasn't completely crazy for expecting Andrea to find out about Demona and her sister every time I began to read a Madame Destine story. _That's_ why evil looks so good. It's because she has it so bad :D

After that, I sang "An Innocent Man" by Billy Joel for karaoke. I had hoped to sing "The Bitch is Back", in honor of my favorite character, but the computer was being difficult and I had to choose from an abbreviated list. It's a song I've sung before, but it's not exactly dance music, and wisely people took the time to continue their conversations. Eventually I went back to my room, where Alexandria and I spoke to Mooncat for a while over the phone before the four of us went to bed.

Day 4
Sunday, August 8

Last day of the Gathering. This time last year, I was going to leave the Gathering as soon as closing ceremonies ended, so I counted the hours and got very depressed. This year my flight wasn't until Monday, so I was able to enjoy this day a little better. Which was a good thing, because I had an Adult Round Robin panel to moderate first thing in the morning. Although this did prevent me from joining my Olympics team for their last event.

Anyway, there were a lot of events going on Sunday morning, so my Adult RR panel had five guests - Alexandria, Ellen, Spacebabie, Alex Garg, and Denis Malkavien. For my first time attending an adult RR, I thought it went very well. Despite selecting names randomly, I couldn't have picked a better pairing than the one we got, Fox Xanatos and Gargoyle-Elisa. I still have to transcribe my tape from that panel, but it went VERY well, and everyone went twice. I also read what would have been my entry in the Reading Contest, had it not been cancelled. They seemed to like it.

After that, I went to the Art Room to do some voting, and discovered the Phoenix Gate Anthology signing was taking place, so I took my seat and signed a lot of copies, as well as getting my copy signed. Unfortunately Summer Jackel and CS Hayden weren't there, but I did get little stickers with their signatures on them. I also bought a lot of trading cards from the Morgans, and I put a bid on one of Cindy's drawings. And since Keith gave his Mug-a-Guest in that room, I had a great seat. I got to ask him another question, this time about his experience working on a sitcom called The Job. This was a definite improvement on the previous night, since Sunday's Mug was cozier, better lit, and it was easier to hear.

At that point there was nothing to do but attend Closing Ceremonies. The 2005 Gathering Committee really sold their Las Vegas convention, and I registered for it as soon as the Ceremonies were over. I also got Keith to sign Mooncat's Anthology for her. And I learned my Clan tied for third in the Olympics. Yay! I also had the winning bid for Cindy's picture of Cowboy Alexander riding Bronx and telling him to "Giddyap!"

Afterwards I had dinner with Ellen, Alexandria, Leo, Sadistic Cow, and Alex Garg in this deserted food court before rejoining Seri and Chyna and about thirty other people for Laser Tag. It was my first time playing as an adult, but I had a lot of fun (except for the twelve block walk) and got extremely sweaty. I selected "Get the other team to hate me" strategy, and I believe I succeeded quite well. By then most people vanished into their rooms, so I waited in my room for a while before I slipped into bed with Alexandria one last time and fell asleep.

Day 5
Monday, August 9

Not much to say. I woke up at 8 AM, had breakfast, said goodbye to my roommates, and took a taxi to the airport. I got very emotional a couple times, especially when I left a goodbye message on Seri's voicemail and almost lost it in the middle of an airport terminal, but I was able to keep control. The first couple days ARE a very sad time for me, however, because I won't see these people for another year, and 99.9% of the time, it's the only time I see my fellow fans. So I'd like to thank Ellen, Kathy, Dylan, Mara, Stormy, Spacebabie, and everyone else I spoke to at the Gathering this year. I do hope to talk to you all more via the Internet while we wait for the 2005 Gathering.

I had the best roommates this year, I couldn't have asked for anything more from them, so Alexandria, Seri, and Chyna - I trust we will all continue to be friends for some time to come.

Other than the cancellation of the Reading Contest, Karine and the Convention staff did a fabulous job this year, and I had an incredible time. I hope the Las Vegas crew will be able to match it.

And thanks to Greg and Keith for being there. It was a show unlike all others.

Sincerely, Allaine

Greg responds...

Gatherings are of course my favorite time of year too.

So, just to be clear, you never did use that 1UP ball, right?

Response recorded on April 17, 2006

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Gathering Journal Part 5
Monday, August 9th

Woke up with Revel calling my room to make sure Alex and I got up and checked out of our room. So, woke, showered, moved all our crap next door into Revel's room, and went down to the lobby to check out.

A bunch of people were going to Six Flags La Ronde, but I declined as I never liked amusement parks too much. So, just hung around, had a soda, and decided that while I was in Canada, I was going to get myself a Cuban Cigar, so I head to the gift shop and buy one. One of those big, fat Montecristos... just like what Castro smokes. So I take it outside to smoke it, and am out there, when who comes out but Keith David, looking for Y2Hecate, who unfortunatly had already left. Keith sees that I have a Cuban and I tell him where he can get one. I finish my cigar and head back in... not the fun begins, cause no one ever told me you weren't supposed to inhale. Aw well, was only a little dizzy for about an hour.

So we spend a lot of time just chilling in the lobby, Aaron, Mara, Hudson, Lynati, Seth, Flanker, Kythera, Kaelyan, Dancer, Wingless, Kathy Pogge. Talking fic, and all sorts of other things. Keith comes back with a cigar, and posed for a pic with the rest of us

Afterwards, some of us were hungry and went up to get food and pick up food for others, Hudson handed me a few bucks to get him a quarterpounder as I recall, so we went up a few blocks to that train station mall, and did not go into McDonald's. We got ourselves Chinese food first, it was Ethan, Aaron, Lynati, Kathy and I. We chatted fic and went to McDonald's and came back, an hour late, but everyone got food.

We all hung out for a bit, before Hudson, Chris and everyone had to go. Afterwards the rest of us, Aaron, Mara, Lynati, Emambu, Alex and I along with Kathy and Mandi retreated up to Revel and Spacebabie's room and chatted more fic and later, Revel and Spacebabie came back, and the conversation went all sorts of places, weird car stories, accidents we had as kids, you know, the get to know each other better discussions. This went on well into the night. Finally, Kathy and Mandi called it a night, and we went to sleep early (well, early for us) as we had to clear out my noon the next day), and so all eight of us manage to fit into this room.

Tuesday, August 10th

Woke up, in a timely fashion, we all did, and began taking all our crap down to the cars... and we had a lot of crap. Revel checked out of the room, and now the Rogue Squadron was back on the road. We bid a fond farewell to Montreal and stopped for gas and snacks. Finally we came to the border. First we got out and went over to the Duty Free shop to get our tax refunds, and bought a couple of shot glasses. Before heading to the border.

Emambu's Mafia Cruiser was in front of us, and got pulled over to the side for inspection. This of course made us nervous. But we were just questioned and allowed to drive. Emambu followed shortly. Turned out that "The Department of Homeland Security was quite interested in Lynati's tail" quote Aaron.

So we pull over to the side, and go to Subway's for lunch... it was built in a shack, but it was still Subway's. And we all rejoiced at being back on U.S. soil. We ate, and went on our way, though it turns out that this time we'd make more stops than on the way up. We had to stop for gas at some point in a back water NY town (que the "Deliverance" theme). Also on the way back, Emambu ran over a backpack lying in the middle of the high way, and stopped to check his tire, which was fine. So finally we reach the Tappan Zee Bridge at around eight at night, and get back to my place.

It's a nice night so we eat dinner out on the deck, we eat Italian, and we enjoy our last night hanging out together before the next con. Come up to my room, where Lynati brought the season six of Buffy set to watch the Musical episode since some people wanted to see it and never saw it. When I first watched that episode, I hated it. Years later, I enjoyed it. Go figure ;)

Then we watched this link Seth gave us of these re-edited and re-dubbed GI Joe Public Service announcments gone horribly wrong. Laughed our asses off before all going to sleep.


Wednesday, August 11th

Woke up, and showered and dressed and waited for everyone else to get up. Packed up the cars and all decided to go for one last breakfast at the Croton Diner, so we headed down there, and got a look of shock from the Host there when I went in and said "yes, I need a table for seven people" ;). I ordered the Chile Con Carne and Chedder Cheese Omelate. Forget what everyone else had. But we ate, and breakfast was good.

Finally was time for us all to go our separate ways. Lynati got into The Mafia Cruiser with Emambu and headed back to Pittsburgh, and Aaron and Mara piled into Hyena for the very long haul down to Houston Texas.

Had a great time, really needed this since I didn't get a vacation last summer, and I can't wait till Las Vegas next summer.

Greg responds...


It's so great that the Gatherings and fandom have created these tight friendships.

Response recorded on March 24, 2006

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Chameleongirl writes...

Here it is, as asked - my Gathering Journal.

What I did on my non-Summer Vacation.

Tuesday & Wednesday.
Oh the joys of an early flight and insomnia - being awake since 2 am and then travelling for 36 hours resulted in worse than usual travel sickness. I spent 2 days curled up in a chair at the Auberge sipping water and nibbling bread, reducing all my sightseeing plans to nothing.

I, literally, dragged myself to the hotel where I dozed in the foyer trying to spot Garg fans as they appeared. Some were pretty obvious :). I finally spotted Talyesin (along with other staff) and I got a big twirly hug (I managed to repress my puke reflex). I also met Liz, Taylor and Karlyl who were to be my roomies. Karlyl, Taylor and I lounged in the foyer chairs (so comfy) and waited for Kelly to arrive.
When she finally turned up there was much hugs and hellos and we all went out for food. I didn't eat, since I was still feeling ill, but talking and laughing and just being around fun people made me feel better (The Gathering â€" a cure for any ill). We were supposed to go out for tea with the staff, but that got bumped so instead we went to a 24 hour coffee place.

Breakfast was found, DDR wasn't. Kelly and I walked all over Montreal looking for an arcade, only to miss by about 2 blocks.
Instead we decided to get back on time for Registration, where we hung out, volunteered for the Clan Olympics and waited for the staff to appear :)
After registering we hung out a bit then headed out to Con Virgin 101, hosted by Kelly. Not a lot of people showed up and most of those that did were late, so there was some repetition. But it was fun. Kelly did well, I met some new people, we all ate the free lollies.

The hotel pool was fun, but kinda cold. If you are going to heat a pool, please make sure it is at least close to body temperature!
While we were waiting for Opening Ceremonies, Kelly, Kyffin, Ethan and I all practised the skit Kelly had arranged for the Masquerade. It was fun and I almost forgot about the fact that I would have to perform in front of real people.

Opening ceremonies were a blast! Taylor furiously worked on a Green Dragon mascot for our Clan (it was great â€" he is a fantastic artist) and it was done just in time for the first event. Abe and Maui hijacked the room and made Kyffin and I scramble for plastic balls so Karlyl could stuff them down Kelly's shirt. Kyffin had the idea of using a blanket to collect a larger number of balls, but I couldn't grab hold of the right corner â€" people were shoving us and grabbing all our balls, so we gave up and just did it the same as everyone else. Unfortunately the time wasted meant that we came last, saved by the presence of a bonus ball.
After the commotion died down I got to hear the famous spiel from Greg. It was interesting, but long. By the time it all ended I was hungry and had a headache, so Kelly, Kyffin, Liz, Taylor, Ethan and I all went out to Le Marche.
It was *busy* and noisy. But the food was good, especially the dessert :)
We had to get back to the hotel though â€" the second Clan Olympics event was due to begin. We had to wait a while for our turn, so the others actually fell sleep waiting. The second event was easier to play, all we had to do was throw a ball at a target in a darkened room. We got a few points, enough to keep us alive. By that time we were all totally stuffed, so we went back to our room and just crashed.

First event up was more Clan Olympics, trivia this time. We were doing great â€" we answered heaps of questions, got to torture a couple of people, had bonus cards that were supposed to save our butts. But, on the last question a member of an eliminated team (who were allowed to interfere in game play) came over and confiscated the one card that would have won us the game. They pretty much decided that we weren't allowed to win and kicked us out. After that our team decided to leave and find some DDR, walking those two extra blocks mentioned earlier.
We got back in time to watch the Radio Play. It was great, the VA's were perfect.
Next was the Banquet, which, while the food was ok, was made all the better by having Greg sit at our table. (Though the moan of disappointment made when we realised we wouldn't have Keith, and Greg's reaction to that, were even more amusing)
I didn't actually say much, I just couldn't think of anything. But it was still cool.

I would have liked to stick around for the Q&A, but we had to go get ready for the Masquerade. One last practise and we were ready (Karlyl was in stitches after we showed it to her). Oh the nervousness ...
All the costumes we saw while waiting were absolutely fabulous, I am in total envy of their imagination and sewing skills :)
We were up first, but I managed not to have a breakdown. The only bit we fluffed was the lighting â€" the dimmed lights went unnoticed, and I missed my cue to scream.
Still, it was fun and the costumes I saw were great!
I got a ribbon :D

I would have hung around for the karaoke party afterwards, but that really wasn't my thing, so I went to bed. When everyone came back later, I got out of bed and socialised. Liz wanted to go up to the Con Suite and give Greg the con badge she had drawn him, so we all went up there and talked and watched live action Sailor Moon til 4am.
My head is still boggling over that.

Today was a lazy day. We all just hung out in the dealers room and talked. I was still there when Keith David came in for his Mug a Guest, so stayed and listened to him talk.
I love his voice..
Closing Ceremonies were good â€" I finally caught up with Hecate and Venus! I gave them monkies.
When pre-Reg fro next year opened I ran out to the only ATM that I knew would give me money so I could sign up. Yup, that's right â€" I'm off to Vegas next year.
While in line I chatted with Venus some more and got to meet Pixlz. I really regret not catching them earlier, but at least for next year I'll know what they look like :)
Since Keith was still signing autographs I stood in line again and got him to sign the menu from Saturday night. I have my very first celebrity autograph, I'm so proud ^_^

After getting some food we went up to the con suite for the party (Mara showed off her cool new art), then went room hopping, playing video games â€" I won a game! That never happens to me, so I think the celebratory dance was warranted ^_^
I went off with Kyt to collect the art I bought from her, so I also got to see more gaming and to say goodbye to others that were leaving in the morning.
We tried to be good and sleep early so we could get up in time for La Ronde, but silliness seems to be inherent in all the friends I make, so we were up late doing the sort of things that are only funny at 1am in the morning ^_^

La Ronde! I hadn't been to an amusment park in a veeery long time, so I was really looking forward to it. I had promised to go on the coasters, but I had to get them to force me- I'm afraid of things like that. We waited in line, then waited some more, it took an hour, but then I was finally strapped in (second from front!) and then the fear set in.
It was fun ride, but I was freaking out *before* it started. The only coherent words I made during the ride were “OH MY GOD!!” repeated frequently and loudly.

I had fun.

The other rides were good, but having to wait in line for an hour for each really sucked. I didn't want to go on the Vampire with the others, so I got to sit in the shade and relax while they boiled in the sun :)
Finally, at 8pm we decided to go back to the hotel. A teary farewell was had for Ian, then we went out for tea, once again ending up at the 24 hour coffee place. Damn they got a lot of business from us that weekend.
Once again, we tried to sleep early, but that was a futile hope. Finally sometime past 1 sleep claimed us all.

Kelly woke up early, but my brain refused to engage properly, so I just lay there and tried to get both my eyes open at the same time. Eventually everyone was up and packing. It was sad, because it meant that goodbyes were coming.
I hate goodbyes.
Kelly left with much sadness by all. Liz decided to stalk Keith David one last time and buy souvenirs and I checked back into the hotel for a few more days.
Finally Liz and Taylor left too, so Karlyl and I went out to find some lunch in the city. We had a nice walk and bought some stuff in Chinatown, then it was time for Karlyl to go too.
Now I was lonely. The new room was nice (they gave me free chocolate) but it would have been better if my friends were here. So I ate chocolate and watched Scooby Doo 2.

My new room included free breakfast an internet access, so off I went upstairs to indulge. Afterwards I went for walk into the city and ended up back in Chinatown again. On the way back I made sure to pass by some buildings that caught our eye the day before. Karlyl â€" remember that creepy restaurant with the rotting dummies? Well, it was actually open, and the dummies *were* whispering as you walk past.
Very creepy.

I had tea in the hotel restaurant then went back to the room and watched Van Helsing. Tomorrow was the day I had to leave, so I decided to sleep.

Time to leave. I packed and checked out then had a nice ride out to the airport. I got to see the rest of the city in daylight. Dorval airport sucks, very disorganised and kinda cruddy. Plus my plane was delayed, but they didn't tell us. Vancouver airport is better, but still chaotic. I like travelling by plane, I just hate airports.

I saw the Rockies by air. They are magnificent.
I also finished reading the Phoenix Gate Anthology on the plane. There are some fantastic stories and artwork in it, 'Dust and Ashes' made me cry.

Didn't exist for me. Huzzah for the International Date Line.

Home, finally. Mum and Dad picked my up from the airport in Melbourne and we drove straight home, stopping only for a quick lunch. I hung around their place till I had the energy to drive home, then I got on the net and tried to catch up with my LJ backlog. I gave up around 11.30, seeing as how I had been awake (save for occasional naps) for 48 hours, and went to bed.

And here ends my very first Gathering Adventure.

(I came all the way from Australia to meet you, and I barely said 2 words. Go figure)

Greg responds...

But I remember you!! And you spoke more in Vegas.

I always appreciate those fans who travel the VERY long distances to get to the cons.

Response recorded on March 24, 2006

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Gathering Journal Part 4
Sunday, August 8th

Woke up, showered and dressed and wandered around, stopping to chat with people. At some point I went to breakfast with Aaron, Mara, Revel, Spacebabie, Hudson, Chris, and I think Kaelyan and Dancer were there too. Breakfast was a buffet on a revolving restaurant on top of the hotel. Had eggs, bacon, a bagel with smoked salmon, hash browns, sausage, orange juice. It was pretty good.

First excitement of the day was as we were eating, the restaurant revolved and we got a view of a man on top of a crane two blocks away surrounded by police, the man was obviously attempting suicide. Weird thing is that according to the waitress, it was the second time within a month that someone went up there to jump. But just like last time, this guy did not jump and climbed down.

After breakfast, we just hung out on the bottom floor waiting for Closing Ceremonies to start, which started late. I also finally received my copy of "The Phoenix Gate Anthology", so was happy, since mine had been misplaced. Closing Ceremonies came and went, and then Keith David started signing autographs. I had him sign my badge and my copy of the Anthology. Aaron came buy and showed him his tattoo. Keith's reaction to the Demona tattoo was priceless, he stared blankly for about twenty seconds then said "Are you sh---ing me?.... That's fabulous." Keith rocks.

So, Closing Ceremonies ends, and a bunch of people are going to play Laser Tag. For some reason I was not in the mood, I was tired. I ended up in the con suite for the Dead Dog Party. The Con Staff was winding down, and while the party was mostly con staff, I was welcome to hang out, pizza as ordered and I contributed cash, and Siryn and I had a few drinks and traded war stories (what I call work stories). Siryn's had a few interesting jobs while I've worked in the same Barnes & Noble for the past two and a half years, so we both had stories. Funny enough, usually you'd assume that your perfect drinking buddy would be another guy, but Siryn turned out to be the drinking buddy I always wanted.

Let me know if you'll ever be in NYC or the NYC area Si, we'll go get some drinks :)

Mara eventually comes up, and the con staff kicks everyone out. I don't blame them, I did it last year, they deserve time to themselves. They earned it. Told Karine she did a great job, and hugged Jen good bye. Then went down to the lobby, and Mara and Siryn did some bonding, chatting about life and other things. I really respect the both of them a great deal.

Aaron, Hudson and the rest of the Laser Tag crew came back, and there were plans to go play fighting games, but they never really panned out (as far as I know), so some of us hung out in the lobby.

The rest of the evening is a blurr right now, but I went to sleep around two in the morning, that much I remember.

Greg responds...

I'm still semi-bummed I couldn't stay for the whole con that year... sounds fun.

Response recorded on March 23, 2006

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Francois Ferland writes...

Gathering Of The Gargoyles 2004

This year was my first convention, and I was almost unable to attend because of my work and a very limited budget. Still, I got lucky enough to get a week off and the money problem was resolved by staying at my sister who lives in Montreal (a few hours away from my home in Quebec city).


I got to the Delta shrotly before noon. At first, I was a bit anxious at being there, since I didn't know anybody and hadn't been involved with the fandom at all except for posting a few questions on Ask Greg a year ago. That, plus being a shy guy who has problem feeling comfortable with strangers, made me afraid of spending the whole con alone.

I began by going to the Con Virgin 101 seminar. There was only about five or six of us, but it was still fun. I was very hesitant to speak at first because my spoken english isn't all that hot, so jumping into a conversation is kinda hard. Still, I met a few people, got their business card and got a bit reassured about the other people at the con.

I then decided to go to the voice seminar with Greg. I was disappointed at first that Keith couldn't make it, but that didn't last long once Greg started talking. Man, I had no idea he was this young! Or at least, that he acted so casual around us fans. Reading his responses on Ask Greg for years made me build a very different mental image of himself, but I like the real version better :). He gave a lot of good tips about speed, following other people's cues and the importance of interplay between voice actors. I never realized just how important finding the character's motivation behing each line was. There were several readings by fans, from Awakenings Part V, MIA and Thrill of the Hunt.

After that, I took it upon myself to take part in the radio play audition, despite being scared like all hell of speaking in front of so many people. We waited in line for a while until we could get scripts, and I started talking to a guy named Michael next to me. He was really nice and very good with his voice, and made me a bit more comfortable talking to people despite my horrible accent. The documentary makers from Disney then stopped in front of us and asked us to play our part. When they got to me, I think I must have stayed there, laughing nervously for about aminute before taking the plunge and reading the part of Lexington. That part better be on the DVD after all the stress they put me through :). Then I finally got to audition before Greg, and he made me repeat to whole thing from the back of the room with great anger, and I sounded a lot better, because my voice tends to break up when I'm speaking too softly. I had a lot of chances to be picked up, since there were a lot of parts available this year.

I then headed to the dealers room and bought the convention t-shirt (it'd so cute, it'S got a mounty beaver on the back of the con mascot!) and the Phoenix Gate Anthology. I saw a lot of very good art, including Artemis Prime's Warworld Starscream (which I had already seen on a Transformers message board I usually hang out on). There was a lot of stuff up for auction, which was a shame since I didn't have much money to spend. After that I hung out with a bunch of people in the hall in front of the elevators. One of those was an artist (I didn't catch her name though) who was showing us all the pretty gargoyles she had drawn (including lots of naughty ones, especially the seven deadly sins :) ). After that I heard people talking about the banquet so I asked at the registration if it was too late to buy a ticket and they said yes unfortunately. If I can make it next year, you bet I'm going to pre-register for it.

By 16h40 I was hungry as all hell, having only had some cereals for breakfast. Fortunately I saw a guy with some McDonalds who told me he got it from a restaurant one block uphill from the hotel, so I probably beat some record running there, eating a trio and getting back within 15 minutes for the opening ceremony.

The ceremony was very fun, with the Clan Olympics highjacking the place for their first match. It made me regret not signing on. The plans for the 2005 con with the whole incorporation thing was very neat, and I hope it makes it easier for people like me to make a trip there. Greg then gave us a date for the first season DVD, yeah! Spread the word to everyone people, it needs to sell well to warrant the second season because that's where all my favourite episodes are! Oh yeah, Greg's 'manual' Power Point presentation for the DVD was quite... impressive *snickers*. It was fun to hear the tape from several people who worked on Gargoyles, including the great Ed Asner. I was glad to finally see the original pitch for the series, as well as all the stuff people kept talking about on the net like the pitch for Dark Ages and New Olympians and the now famous Bad Guys leica reel. It hurts not to be able to talk about it, because it was so cool! And although I haven't seen Atlantis, hearing Marina Sirtis playing Demona on the unmade episode was great. That, plus the fact that there was a lot of grunting and animal noises made quite a few people laugh hysterically!

After the ceremony, I put a flag on Quebec City on the map of where the fans come from, then stayed for the Gargoyles MST3K. It was the first time I was seeing a MSTing live and it was fun, although it was hard to follow because lots of people talked at the same time. We saw Kingdom, Revelations and Walkabout; I wish I had been witty and quick enough to participate.

I finally went home to my sisters at around 21h20. I was geting tired and didn't want to miss the subway. If I had been able to afford the hotel, I would have stayed for the Blue Mug-A-Guest. Not that I had questions of my own, but I'm sure there were a lot of twisted minds there...


My alarm clock went off at 8h30, but I didn't get up until 9h05. I was really tired after watching a movie last night with my sister and her boyfriend.

I got to the con just in time for 'Thrill of the Chase'. Although I've never really written anything, it was a fun panel with discussions about physical but also emotional chases and epic journeys as well.

After that, I went to Greg's Mug-A-Guest. He told us Keith wouldn't make it until late today, and I started to fear he might not make it afterall. There were a few questions about the show (Gorebash asked a question I didn't understand, and then ran away after getting an answer) but most of the panel was about behind-the-scene things, which I prefered personally. The comment I liked the best is the about his 'appreciation' for Disney's Atlantis, and the scene where he says the whole movie comes to a dead stop and where all the characters 'vomit' their life story around a fire :D.

After that, I headed to the registration desk to see if I was included in the radio play, which I wished I wasn't because I was starting to have second (and third and fourth) thoughts about it. And I got a part (unfortunately :) ), that of Lexington. But all in all, I was more glad than scared because now,I didn't have any excuse not to participate. We did the rehearsals and we learned that we were going to play 'The Journey'. I had four lines in all, and I was told to play them a bit more sarcastic and suspicious, but Greg didn't talk about my volume, so at least I got that part good.

The play itself was great and exciting, even though I was really nervous. I just hope my accent didn't show too much. Everyone was great, and I especially liked the people who did Eliza, Castaway, Vinny and Fleance. After it was over, I got Greg to sign my script, which was awesome since I didn't think we were going to keep them.

I then finish voting for the art contest. Too bad some of the one I would have voted for done by members of the staff. Alas, I didn't get the time to vote for the music video. There wasn't much left for me to do today, since I couldn't go to the banquet and I didn't feel like hanging around until the maskerade. If not for my sister and her boyfriend, I would have taken up the offer of the guy who was looking for a partner in harassing local pizza places in order to get what he wanted.


I was planning to go to the Gargoyles biology panel, but I was so tired that I pretty much slept until 11h00. I got to the con at around 12h30 and hung out in the dealers room until Keith David's Mug-A-Guest. I got my Anthology signed by the authors who were present, and I even met Stormy, whom I knew from a Transformers board I visit. I was actually surprised that she remembered my nickname (I remembered afterward that I had reviewed one of her Transformers stories a few months prior). I also talked a lot with the lady from FPS magazine (who's name I forgot, dammit!) about sci-fi and fantasy conventions in Canada. She was really nice, and was lucky to get a big hug from Keith David when he arrived.

Keith really surprised me. I mean, I was a big fan of his voice work, having heard him as Goliath (and in a kids show on PBS called Reading Rainbow where he once narrated a story), and, well, he just has a gorgeous voice! I was glad that people didn't ask him too many questions about his characters, because it's embarassing when fans can't separate the character and the actor behind it. Still, he impressed me a lot because he didn't hesitate to speak about his characters and their motivations (which reminded me of Greg's seminar about finding your character's intent). He was also very heartwarming and charming, and after finally seeing a picture of Sally Richardson, I understood why he said staying on the mike while acting with her was difficult :)

Then finally came the time for the closing ceremony. I was sad to have to go immediately after it ended, because I would have loved to stay for the lazer tag game later on and La Ronde on monday, but I had to get home to go to work tomorrow. I barely had enough time to take the subway to my sister's place, pack my things, eat supper at a local greek restaurant with her and her boyfriend, taking the subway again and finally catching my carpool for Quebec City.

You can be certain that if I don't lose my job during the next year, I'm going to save up for Gathering 2005 in Vegas next year. It's going to be a lot funnier to be able to stay for the whole thing, and at least I'll know a few people this time!

Greg responds...

I remember that when Jen Anderson and I were casting the Radio Play, we specifically thought it would be fun to have a Lexington with a French accent. So you were really worried about that for nothing.

I'm glad you had fun. But I honestly can't remember if you made it to Vegas last summer. (Sometimes they all bleed together in my head.) Hope you're saving up for Valencia in June.

Response recorded on March 23, 2006

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The Sadistic Cow writes...

The Gathering '04

Day 1

Alex Garg and Leo picked me up. And they was so nice. ^____^ Alex got a scratching post and an Arnold chew toy type thing for Squidgy (my cat), and got me a replacement pair of earphones as a belated birthday goft...cuz my cat is insane and tore mine apart a few days before. o.O And Leo took a lot of pictures of my kitty, so yay!

The drive. We drove. For many hours, we drove. We first got sorta lost in Toronto, seeing as how that city is insane and none of us really knew where we were going. Trying to follow the map was somewhat difficult, but thank God it wasn't me trying to read directions - I'll get lost in a paper bag. YAYE for Leo, who helped guide us out of the city!

Oh, and we saw a Condom Shop (named that, too) while going through Toronto. And I think we saw the "homosexual" side of town (or, I think, that's what Leo (or somebody, can't remember who) commented on so I guess I'll have to assume we were in the gay community's natural habitat or some such nonsense like that :P). Nevermind the enormous lineup I saw which was where I think Bill Clinton was signing his book for the mob who seem to take more interest in American politicians than Canadian.

Curse you, you un-patriotic blockheads.

Anyway, we made a few "pee stops" before we charged down on Kingston with all of our combined fan fury. We got lost there, too, and had to keep talking to Lord Sloth on Alex Garg's cell phone. Dude, I mean really - we should have gone left but we went right. Right? Right. Yeah. But we finally did manage to find Lord Sloth's house, and he joined us in our romp through Ontario and into Quebec.

And now we reach the roads of Quebec. FLEE FOR YOUR LIVES!!!! Honestly...those roads were insane. We got lost there, too - and so many times we came close to the Delta Centre-ville and then made a wrong turn and ended back up on the interstate practically. Eh heh heh. And here I thought Canadians were law-abiding for the most part when it came to roads, and I was expecting similar driving in Montreal that I usually see in Hamilton.

Did I get what I expected? UM. NO. I never expected Montreal drivers to be as crazy as they were, ignoring the one lane that held two cars side by side. There is no way to describe that street; but there were three lanes and in the middle one you could just barely shove two cars side by side...and there was no dividing line in there anywhere!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! And the drivers were crazy. So...yeah. Nutbars.

We finally made it to the hotel. Checked in, went up to our room, and got unpacked. Poor Alex had to shuttle so many people while Leo, Lord Sloth (who got there after checking in at the hostel) and I lazed about in the room. And it seemed Alex had just missed Denis, who took a shuttle (or a cab, not sure which) to the hotel... customs I think gave poor Denis a problem. Yeesh.

Leo and I then went downstairs and mingled with other Gathering folks. Fun times. Met Mara, and she told me I was shorter and cuter than what she thought I was. o_O And I have my place in the fandom now - I am the owner of the "wrong" Brooklyn/Malibu pic that I use for my LJ icon. Yay, go me! I'm KNOWN! XD

So when Alex finally got back, we all about went to bed. Lord Sloth returned to the hostel and we all just crashed, exhausted from our adventure.

Day 2

We had breakfast with Ellen and a couple other people. I think it was me, Denis, Leo, Alex, Kathy, Ellen and a few others...though who they were completely slipped my mind. Then we went sight-seeing. Saw lots of cool stuff, like the awesome cathedral and horse-drawn carriages. We also thundered through China-town, something I've never done before, and it was amazing. Simply fantastic.

We also attended many Gathering who-diddlies, which was also fun. I'm skipping over things right now because a) I can't remember *all* of it, and b) I am extremely tired. But I witnessed "Get Stuffed" as the Clan Olympics game during the opening ceremonies, and that was a fun, fun time.

I kept to myself somewhat, browsed the artist alley for most of the day... it's not easy being a n00b. :P I tried but I was still frazzled... met Hudson and a bunch of other people, finally saw a few of my favourite artist's floating around and was pleased with that. But, thanks to my medication I was forced into a state of mind where I wasn't all there in the head, so I can't really remember a lot of it.

But I will say that I despise the elevators at that hotel. Evil, evil things - and it didn't help at all when Leo jumped in the elevator. Scared the crap out of me and I yowled at him for it. XD

Went to the Blue Mug-A-Guest for a while, where Leo's and my screengrab collaboration was passed around, much to the amuement of a lot of people. I didn't stay too long because by that time my medication was kicking in and I would have ended up falling asleep where I sat (which was right next to Greg at his feet, eeeee! XD).

Day 3

Wandered around the panels for a while. Attended the Gargoyles Biology 101 panel, hosted by the fantabulous Dylan Blacquiere (sp? and I think it was Day 3 that I did that.... o_O). He rules, man. I love that guy. And the panel was interesting, I really enjoyed it. I also went to the Radio Play, which was super fun; maybe if I can make it there next year I'll try out. It looked fun. ^_^

More riding on the elevator ensued that day, and I got a lot of nosebleeds for some reason. Maybe it was the height and the constant going up and down on the elevators. o_O But, anyway, it was gross.

Spent a lot of time down in the restaurant we had breakfast with Ellen in, drinking coffee and losing myself in my thoughts. Alex joined me there for lunch, and we chatted it up for a while before we went about our business.

Picked my mom up a souvenir from Montreal, a glass mug with a Montreal logo on it. Heheheh. I figured I wanted to get her something practical, something that can be used instead of something that won't really be looked at or touched. :P

Then we went to the Banquet. And I discovered that I really don't like quail all that much. LOL But I wasn't feeling wholly good either, I had a bit of a stomach ache and I was feeling tired. But the banquet was fun, and Keith David finally made his appearance there, much to our collective delight. But, seeing as in Regence C there was some sort of party going on, I couldn't hear Keith very well when we got him talking.

And yay! He was on the same floor as me, Alex, Leo and Denis! Bwahaaaaa!


By the time it was over, I was exhausted - again. I went down to Antoine's for a few coffees to stay awake and all that, and I ended up meeting up with Alex Garg, Dylan, Stormy and a few other people. So I stuck around with them, had a couple beers (which was a double whammy, combining meds and booze...o_o) and then went to bed.

Day 4

Closing ceremonies. It was fun, interesting and I was excited about the Gathering being in Las Vegas next year. Suffice to say, as much as I didn't want it all to end I was glad of it, because it was a nice ending to a good time.

We went out to dinner, kinda just wandering around with Ellen, Allaine, Princess Alexandria and my little group. Then we headed back to the hotel, I sucked back a coffee because I wanted to go with Leo, Ellen and Alex to Mount-Royal. So, yeah, I sucked back a coffee and was ready and rarin' to go. A brief moment of rest and relaxation in the midst of all the excitement.

And hooo boy, was it ever a walk. By the time we reached the topmost part where we could look out over the city I was sweating buckets, but I enjoyed the romp through the forest and the lovely greenery that surrounded us. I never thought there'd be so many hills in Montreal. LOL!

We stood up there looking out over the city for a while, just admiring the view. It was simply GORGEOUS. If anyone visits Montreal again, I would suggest going up there. The walk is long and painful, but it is worth it beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Leo, Ellen and Alex took a lot of pictures.

Anyway, we took the long way back and I was blind for the most part because it was dark outside by the time we decided to mosey along. We took a slight detour/short cut type thing on the way back and ended up in a nice Irish pub for about half an hour or so, at which point I took a moment to take the most well-earned whiz of my life. Thank you, Ellen. LOL.

We sat for a while, had a drink, and then went back to the hotel, whereupon I crashed pretty quickly.

And, yes, I am skipping out on a lot of details. Truth be told it's all a blur now, it was all exciting and fun and I loved it. So much happened and things I saw, words can't even describe.

Oh, and on a couple of side notes I forgot to mention before:

Leo and I got Keith David to say, "I love you Thailog" and another "naughty" bit. :P (and, yes, we have proof. And, no, it wasn't our idea - we did it for Demona Taina.)

And I got to sit on Keith David's lap, got a kiss on the temple from him and got him laughing at the screengrab collaboration Leo and I came up with, with my text and his screengrabs put to a dirty theme. And Keith signed my Pheonix Gate Anthology with an amusing little note, "To Kelly, of the active, very active imagination. (I'm scared of you). Love, Keith David". And told me he "likes how I think". ^____^ YAY! I so happy. XD


Greg responds...

Few people are as fun to hang around as Keith. Thom comes to mind, of course. But few others. Glad you had fun. Hope to see you this year in Valencia.

Response recorded on March 22, 2006

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Gathering Journal Part 3
Saturday, August 7

Woke up, showered and dressed and went downstairs. Auditions for the Radio Play were going on, but I decided to sit it out this year, which I kind of regret now. Aw well, there's always next year. So I just wandered around for a while, chatting with people and chilling. Eventually I ran into Carol Wagner (who was my guest coordinator last year and was doing the same thing this year. If you ever run a con, get this woman on your staff, she does an awesome job). Anyway, she told me that the DVD film crew were downstairs doing fan interviews and suggested I go down since I was a Con Chair and if I saw Aaron and Mara to send them down also.

I go down and walk into the room for the tail end of Siryn's interview, and she gave a good one. Kathy Pogge and Mandi give their interviews and afterward it's my turn. THey ask me a few questions, like how the show has impacted me, what I would say to get people to watch it, what I liked best about it, and who my favorite character was... the last sentence gets me into a two minute speech about Demona, to which the camera crew asked "Are you the guy with the tattoo?"... heh, I got confused for Aaron. I say I'm not, but that he'll be down to be interviewed shortly. I thought it went well, hopefully I'll make the final cut. So I get up and Christine Morgan is being interviewed. As I'm about to walk out, Aaron and Mara come in with Lynati, Hudson and a few other people and I tell Aaron they're waiting for him. So I stick around and watch them get interviewed, and Aaron does show his tattoo... that I'm sure is a definite lock for the final cut. I hope they quote him saying "permanently etched into my skin.".

So we head up, and I end up joining Mara for one of the Clan Olympics events... really hard pictionary. We have Kyt on our team, so we figure this will be easy. It wasn't, I swear it was rigged, we got the hard ones. We lost, but didn't mind too much since we didn't want to do the next event anyway.

Afterwards it was time for the Radio Play. This year it was "The Journey". A terrific production if I do say so myself. Emambu was great as John Castaway, Jen and Ethan played off each other really well as Banquo and Fleance, Cindy was great as Margot Yale, and Chris really brought down the house as Macbeth with his MADAME THEY BURNED WITCHES LIKE YOU IN THE MIDDLE AGES! line. THe guy who played Vinnie was great too, as was Stormy as Cagney. Lots of applause.

Since there were no events schedualed for a bit, Alex and I went with Ethan to this Irish pub for a couple of drinks. It was fun, the bartender was cute. Talked American politics there and came back. Ethan went to the Masquerade and Alex and I went up to Aaron, Mara and Lynati's room where they were busy finishing Lynati's Ophelia costume. I won't go into the details here, but unfortunatly things ran late. I head down to the ground floor where we're having the masquerade to keep an eye out on when the masquerade starts and keep them informed and make sure Lynati is schedualed to go last, but again I'll spare you the details.

While doing that I meet Keith David who finally arrived (the voice of Goliath, Thailog and Officer Morgan for those who live on Mars). I first met Keith David briefly four years ago in Central Park when he was performing Shakespeare's "A Winter's Tale" where he played the king. I met him for thirty seconds after and told him I thought he was great and mentioned I loved him in "Gargoyles", he shook my hand and really appreciated. Keith then came to the '01 Gathering in LA but had to leave early, so I didn't get to meet him. But I got to say hello and told him I saw him in "A Winter's Tale" and I'll be damned... he remembered me. Keith is a really great guy, and he has a very, very, very strong handshake.

Anyway, the masquerade begins, I miss the show cause I'm standing outside the room, but all the costumes this year were terrific. I can't really name a favorite here, but I'll give special nods to the guy who won... forget his name. Revel as Dracon, the entire con staff was great, that girl who was Ekidna, Flanker as a Hunter, everyone was great. Finally Lynati came down and her Ophelia costume was terrific, one of the ebst costumes I've ever seen at any Gathering.

Masquerade ends, and we just party and hang out, people start singing Karaoke, and this is where Emambu sings "Blame Gargoyles"... once again the link is...


just right click this link and hit 'Save As'

Cindy sang really, really well. There was a dance to "YMCA" but no one knew all the words so it went something like this...

Young man, something, something, something
I say young man, something, something, something.

You get the idea ;)

Chilled on the sidelines mostly talking a bit with Greg Weisman and Carol and Jen, and several hours later he had to turn in, as he had to leave early in the morning. Said good bye and ended up hanging with Aaron, Mara, Hudson, Ethan, Silver and a bunch of others outside till around 3:30 in the morning. Before we all went to bed.

To be continued

Greg responds...

A stranger reading all these con journals would think that the most significant event of the convention was the YMCA "something, something" sing-along. It's the one thing that absolutely EVERYBODY seems to mention.

Response recorded on March 22, 2006

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Gathering Journal Part 2
Friday, August 6th

Woke up and jumped in the shower, leaving Alex who still wanted to sleep in the room and ran down to the lobby. Registration was not open for another hour and I ran into Whitbourne and Stormy and a couple others (blanking out on their names) and we went looking for food and ended up in China Town... yes, Montreal has a China Town, though unlike NYC's China Town has much less in common with Tiajuana. Nothing opened till 11 so we had to wait, but finally we ended up eating at this Vietnamese place, I had this shrimp and chicken dish, which was pretty good, and finally we headed back.

Found Alex, picked up registration and hung out in the art and dealer's room for a bit, before heading down to the Voice Acting Seminar which was supposed to be run by Greg Weisman (who is a voice director as well as a writer), and Keith David. Unfortunatly we learned then that Keith had been delayed and wouldn't be arriving until much later that night. But Greg did great on it by himself, talking about voice acting and directing fans with scripts, and critiqing them. Jen as usual read for Demona, and according to Greg was "too good", and had to give it to someone else so he could critique them. I believe it was seri_wavelength who read. Anyway, it was a fun panel.

Anyway afterwards about twenty of us including Aaron, Mara, Lynati, Hudson, Mandi Cat, and well... a lot of people went off in search of lunch. We found this crowded diner which thankfully had enough tables outside to sit us. Though Hudson travelled between tables taking a french fry here and an onion ring there. Good burger there, and we all returned to the hotel for Opening Ceremonies.

Opening Ceremonies was the same as usual, the con staff is introduced. But I felt bad for Karine when she got up and asked "what does the fandom want?" and a lot of people shouted out "We want Thom!" as unfortunatly Thom could not be there this year. I missed Thom too, but I understood, and Thom will be back eventually. I hope the con staff doesn't feel too bad about it, because it was a great con, and I don't think they have anything to apologize for. Putting together a con is not an easy feat.

Greg then got up and did his usual, but also announced the release date for the DVD. December 7th. A two disk DVD set containing all thirteen episodes from the very first season of "Gargoyles". The DVD will also contain an audio commentary by him, Frank Paur and Keith David on all five episodes of "Awakening". They will be the original uncut versions, and will have the original pitch for the series on it, as well as the documentary that was being shot about the con.

Greg then showed his videos, telling the old anecdotes that those of us who have been to several of these cons can now finish for him. He showed the original series pitch, the press preview that used music from the soundtracks from "Glory" and "The Power of One", the Jonathan Frakes press pitch, the pitches for "New Olympians" and "Dark Ages" and of course the leica reel for "Bad Guys.... the latter you need to come to a con to see.

Afterwards it was time for "Gargoyles" MST3K where we MSTed the crap out of the episodes "Kingdom" and "Revelations". I'm blanking out on some of the call backs, but hopefully Jade Griffin will post the transcript soon.

I'm blanking out on the next few hours, but I remember hanging out in the dealers room for a bit and then the lobby with the crew talking fic, and we were being filmed by the DVD crew while doing it. Later we went up to Hudson's room and hung out for a bit before it was time for the Blue Mug-A-Guest.

Keith was supposed to be at the Blue Mug-A-Guest but unfortunatly did not arrive, and it was 11 PM, so we figured we wouldn't be seeing him tonight. Greg was able to hold it all on his own, but unfortunatly we did not have any of the "blue" questions from last year. Though after Lex came out of the closet at last year's, it would be hard to top. It was a very, very, very tight squeeze, 30 of us in the con suite, the floor was completely covered. But it was good. We were finally kicked out at around 2:30 in the morning and we all crawled off to bed.

So far a good first day for a great con.

Greg responds...

It is too bad that Keith couldn't make the Blue Mug. I have a feeling, he'd be REALLY good at Blue-Mugging. Just a feeling... ;)

Response recorded on March 21, 2006

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Andrea "Elisa Maza" Zucconi writes...

Hi Greg,

Alrighty, another long, long con report for you... :)

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Ok, early morning. Brrr. We flew from our home in Melbourne, FL, to Atlanta, GA. While we were trying to figure out which gate they wanted us at, we ran into Sapphire (Kelly Creighton), and were immediately in Gathering-mode. Whee! The three of us were able to find the right gate, and thus we had a fun flight with Sapphire drawing cartoons for us and the flight attendant, who was very grateful. My personal favourite was and still is the ‘for the lavatory â€" how do I put this â€" er, liquids only, please!’ scene.

Montreal airport immediately reminded me a lot of Paris, as in very crowded and smokey. After a few questionmarks popped out of our heads, we found the right bus and headed to the hotel while Sapphire showed us her video collection from ‘City of Heroes’.

Then there we were, and met up with Liz, Trishana, Taylor and Julie. The seven of us went in search of food â€" Lix was convinced there was a ‘glass door that leads to an underground market in the basement of the hotel’. Okaaay… no such thing, but we did find a subway station a few blocks away, and since we found food there we were satisfied and happy so we agreed to let the subway station be Liz’ mysterious underground market.

Word got around that everyone was invited to a dinner that night, so we waited until 9:00, at which point someone said the dinner was giong to be at 10:00 â€" so we waited and starved, and as 10:00 rolled around it turned out the dinner was ‘staff only’ and we were to go hungry. Wah.

Friday, August 6, 2004

The day started with getting our registration packets and setting up the art show. We tried the breakfeast at the hotel bistro â€" which lead us to provide anyone tempted to try the same with a passionate warning against it. French cooking? Nah.

I went to Karine’s panel on perspective. It’s not that I don’t know how to do it, but I always enjoy the company of all the many other artists at the Gathering, and I am always interested in how others do things. You always learn something.

After that, we checked out the voice acting seminar, where Greg was left alone because Keith David hadn’t made it to Canada yet from his shoot in Miami. But hey, Greg likes the attention, and let’s face it, we are suckers for the man. ;)

Tony headed to the radio play auditions, while I went to Cindy’s costuming seminar. Never miss a chance to listen to a professional. Now I know how to porperly wash wigs. Yay!

We went out to find an accessory we needed for our costumes, which made us slightly late for the opening ceremonies (oops…). But luckily we didn’t miss much, and we got to enjoy Greg’s annual shpeel to the fullest. By now, every one knows the best lines (‘It’s better than Barney!’), and Greg gladly plays off of his audience. There were some new pieces in the show, so that was cool.

We went in search for some actual food, but all we could come up with was McDonalds… hee hee… ;)

Later that night a lot of people crammed into the Con Suite for the blue mug-a-guest with Greg. It was pretty much the least blue mugging we’ve ever had, but that was okay. It was an aquamarineish-mugging. We had fun. And were very tired when we finally stopped at about 1:30 am. Who needs sleep at the Gathering?? Defenders of the night and so forth.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Saturday! We ditched the bistro and stuk with our cheese and snack cakes instead.

While Tony was in the radio play rehearsals, I watched the auction and sat on my hands real tight so as not to tempt myself. There was a good amount of money raised for charity. Even though I have to say, the auction has somewhat diminished over the last few years. Back in 1999, it was a huge deal, with lots of yelling and laughing. Maybe we can give it more attention in the future.

The radio play was very cool â€" it was Greg’s uncut version of ‘The Journey’. Some of these people really would make good voice actors. A very convincing Cagney, whoever you were! Cute.

A special thanks to Greg for making my day on Saturday by saying my Elisa-painting was ‘amazing’. It means a lot.

After the radio play it was time to get ready for the banquet. It is something of a tradition to dress up for the banquet, so I did. I mostly use the Gathering to show off the stuff I never get to wear otherwise! J/K. Well no, I do. In the hall, the film crew filmed us! Yay! They told us to tell our ‘Why we are married because of Gargoyles’ story to Sapphire (like she hasn’t heard it before ;)), and she told us her ‘How Gargoyles got me through High School’ story. We’ve heard each other’s stories, but you know what, we don’t mind telling and hearing them again. It makes us notice that bond that this fandom shares. It’s like being comfortably married for five years, and then your spouse says or does something that reminds you with a happy pang of why you fell in love with them in the first place. I love our fandom. We are indeed somewhat of a family.

We were lucky enough to have Greg sit at our table, even though poor Liz was disappointed it wasn’t Keith David, we had a great conversation with him all the way through an excellent dinner.

Finally, Keith David showed up, and even though he was served the food he never got to eat much as he was answering questions. He is a really smart and deep individual, and not afraid of sharing his thoughts with us, which we really appreciate.

Time to get into costume! Tony and I went as Tony Dracon and ‘Bad’ Elisa from the episode ‘Protection’. As a gimmick when we walked on stage to show off, we handed the judges a jar of jalapena peppers, which were so nicely set up through Keith’s monologue earlier! Thanks Keith! J The ball was awesome, great costumes and good times. I had to change before the dance though, my Bad-Elisa-top was a little dangerous to wear while moving.

Thank you so much Taylor for singing the ‘Love Boat’ song (that’s right, it’ll be written here for eternity)! That was the coolest! J

As the night grew late, people dwindeld to remove their gallons of body paint and fall into bed. However, there was a small group of people, including us and Greg Weisman, who were just not getting tired. So our little group ended up in the Con Suite, chatting and munching on random treats and having a grand time. Greg had to leave at 6:00 Sunday morning to be home in time for his daughter’s birthday. His original plan was to go to bed, but as 4:00 passed us by, he decided to just skip the sleep. Who needs it. Sometime after the point we were so sleepy-drunk we laughed histerically at anything (canadian picasso-mimes, chickens, ans Senior Tricordio) Greg had to leave to pack, and we finally went to bed. Thank you Greg for being so in touch with this fandom. You are the best, and we had a great time.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Needless to say we didn’t get up early on Sunday. I gathered up my art show pieces that hadn’t been for sale (or hadn’t sold), and then we went to the closing ceremonies.

I actually got a bunch of awards for my piccies! Hurray! Seriously - it might just be a little ribbon from a bunch of friends, but you know what, it means a lot to an artist. We have a hard time finding jobs, a harder time finding satisfying jobs, or praise. At the Gathering, we support each other, and it helps. Thanks so much to anyone who voted for my artwork, and congratulations to all the other artists â€" you are all awesome.

After another short visit to the Con Suite, we joined a group and went to play laser tag and have pizza. And again, it was late, but this time we actually went to bed shortly before midnight. Whoohoo.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Homeward bound. Home is good, but we do miss the family that the fandom has evolved into. Thank you all for a great Con, and see you next year in Vegas!

Greg responds...

Andrea - As I seem to recall, you still owe me a good color xerox of that Elisa painting... ;)

Also aren't you two supposed to renew your vows at the Gathering one of these years...?

Response recorded on March 21, 2006

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Christine Morgan writes...

This is why I write more novels and series than short stories ...

Wednesday, August 4th and Thursday, August 5th
Traveling, and Montreal

Wednesday was long. Extremely long. We got up at two in the morning, were picked up by our town car at 3:20 (_much_ nicer than the Shuttle Express vans, btw), and arrived at the Seattle airport a little after four. Then we waited in a long line to check in. Lots of desert-camo army guys in line, too. The one right in front of us had a fresh hickey the size of my thumb, and no hope of hiding it, not with that hairdo. Go, soldier-boy! ;)

Flew from Seattle to Chicago, but everything going into and out of O'Hare was delayed, so we spent some time sitting on runways. In Chicago, we still had about an hour to grab some food, then get on the plane for the second leg of the trip. Once we disembarked, we walked for what seemed like a half mile or more to the customs station. Which was like Disneyland ... a long rat-maze of a line with a sign saying that the wait from this point would be 40 minutes.

And after that, we got to go to another line to have our books inspected. That's the one drawback to these international cons, and dragging all those books along. But we got through, and were met by our driver (town car again) for a trip to the hotel.

Montreal has the reputation of being a beautiful city, and it's a rep that is well-deserved. Lots of green, lots of clean, and lots of fabulous old stonework. I really do love buildings from back in the day when creative architecture didn't mean weird glass-and-steel geometrics. The hotel is quite posh, and an easy walk from Old Montreal (mucho fabulous old stonework).

We checked in, unpacked, took a peek around the hotel, then walked over to a place called Gibby's for dinner. Gibby's is a steakhouse located in a restored 200-year-old stable, and it was bursting at the seams with the kind of ambiance that most gamers would love. Low, beam ceilings. Stone walls. Dim flickery yellow lighting. It was the Inn, as found in countless campaign beginnings ... "your characters meet at an Inn." All it lacked was the hooded old man sitting by the fireplace, selling treasure maps. Food was good, too, and it was the first time ever that I can recall being served sherbet between courses to cleanse the palate (then again, I have never lived much of a highbrow life).

After, we roamed through oldtown a bit, admiring the buildings -- and the astonishing cleanliness and almost total lack of homeless people. Canada is certainly doing something right in taking care of its folks. We got back to the hotel 10-ish local time (7-ish on our body clocks, but our bodies had been up since 2, so we were ready for bed).

Thursday was a lovely day. Becca and I spent an hour and a half at the pool. Watched a gal whose job I don't envy -- she had to climb out on these ledges that overlook the hotel's four-story atrium to water and trim the plants.

Then we went for a long rambling stroll through Old Montreal, looking in shops. Bought Becca a sweatshirt, and she got herself a keychain for her collection. After lunch, we got on Le Bateau Mouche, a fancy ferry sort of boat that took us on an hour-long river tour. This is, I say again, a beautiful city! I took some pictures, and we had a nice relaxing time.

After that, we stopped for ice cream and then came back to the hotel. As we were kicking back in our room a while later, Tim happened to glance out our ten story window and spotted some familiar folks far below, unloading a car. "Hey ... isn't that Patrick? And the redhead ... that's Cindy."

So we rushed down to the lobby but just missed them at the elevator. Hung around for a while until someone came back -- Patrick -- and he told us where the rest were. We went up for a visit (and to slip some Sabledrake catalogs into the envelopes holding the programs, badges, and other goodies).

And, ta-daaaa! We finally got to see the Phoenix Gate Anthology! It looks very good. I think everyone involved will be pleased and proud.

We left the group for a while to get food, and began spotting more familiar faces. Saw Lanny checking in, and I'm pretty sure I saw Seth in the hotel restaurant. Saw Karine, who is going to have a baby in November! I didn't know! Gosh, I am so out of the loop sometimes! Saw Jen's husband Alan, and then, finally, ran into Jen.

We hung out for a while, and Becca colored with Siryn, and folks came and went, and then Greg arrived. He spotted Becca right away and asked her where her parents were ;) I was there, said hi, got my hug and smooch on the cheek. Tim had gone downstairs to take care of some e-mails (and, really, to indulge his new online poker addiction). Then a whole big crowd was going out for food, but we were all beat and so Becca and I returned to the room and slept.

Friday, August 6
The Gathering, Day 1

The official con was slated to begin when registration opened at 10:00 AM. After Becca swam, we headed down to the terrace and found many friendly faces already on the scene. We mingled, said hi, and waited around. Because, of course, nothing ever quite starts on time, on the first day especially. But soon, con staff appeared with boxes of registration packets. We all got our programs and badges. Plus shirts, pins, and books for those who’d ordered them. And, dare I say, everyone got a Sabledrake Enterprises catalog.

It was so good to see people again … I can’t begin to explain. After missing the past two cons, and having fallen out of touch with many of the online forums â€" I lurk around Station 8 and the TGS room, but wouldn’t call myself horribly active there anymore â€" I was really reminded how much I had missed everyone. And how cool it was to meet new people whose screen names I knew but who I’d never seen in person.

Except, the funny thing was, I didn’t recognize a lot … a LOT … of them. I was feeling quite guilty for being so out of the loop. I would find out later in the day that it wasn’t just me being dense, because nearly half of the crowd at opening ceremonies would raise their hands when the first-Gathering question was posed.

After we got our packets, Tim and I left Becca to hang out while we lugged our stuff down to set up in the dealers room. The con rules stated that all kids had to be accompanied by a grown-up, but there were always plenty of folks around willing to keep an eye on her.

It’s funny, it really is, but this is her extended family. The Gathering crowd even moreso than just the gamer-geek-fantypes at other cons. These are people she may not see as often as she does some of her blood kin, but many of them are people she knows better, and hears more about. We’re raising her in a con environment. Some of them, like RadCon, get a little freaky with the Goths and SCAers and Klingons running around. Scenes where most parents might be reluctant to let even their teenagers go alone, and yet it’s there, more than anyplace else, we feel safe and at home and have no problem giving Becca a fairly loose leash.

Especially at the Gatherings. This was her fourth, and she’s become the honorary fandom kid. Everyone’s hatchling. And it wasn’t a matter of persuading her to sit with someone else, either … she was eager to get away from Tim and I, preferring to follow Siryn around, or Cindy, or Jen.

Or Arno, whose patience at having a stuffed cat thrown at him went far above and beyond the call of duty. That, in Becca’s mind, is as much a Gathering tradition as the masquerade. “Is that guy going to be there, the one I throw Chip at?” Heck, we even had to go online and find a new Chip (calico Beanie Buddy cat) on e-Bay because her original one was lost somehow, and she didn’t want to go to the Gathering without a Chip to throw at Arno.

Anyway, the dealers room turned out to be in the same room as the art show and artists’ alley. It was right near registration, too, and near the auditorium. Very nice to have it centrally located. The con staff had a table to sell shirts, pins, copies of the Phoenix Gate Anthology, and even some leftover calendars from 2003. Jen and Alan had a table, hawking her tee shirts. Later in the weekend, there would be a fanzine company and a sci-fi club.

And we had a table. No, I lie. We had three. When all my books are assembled in one place, they take up a lot of room. Alas that we won’t be able to display and sell the ElfLore trilogy anymore, though! My publisher gave me the axe just a couple of weeks before the Gathering, and wouldn’t let me buy any more copies before the whole trilogy went out of print. But we had all three MageLore books, all four of the Silver Doorway books to date, both Trinity Bay books (including a couple of copies of Black Roses on audio), Naughty and Dice, and the two zombie anthologies in which I had stories. We also brought some garg merchandise, not a lot since we were pushing the luggage limit already and Tim had been going around and around trying to figure out the customs and import laws. It all did make for a nice set-up, though.

Once that was done, we had a few hours before the room officially opened, so we headed out in search of lunch. Tim had scouted the train station food court, but we had the bad luck to end up there at lunch hour on a Friday. Now, I have an intense dislike of crowded, noisy, unfamiliar places. Always have. And it’s gotten worse exponentially since Becca was born â€" my personal phobia about getting lost can’t hold a candle to my fear of losing track of my kid. I think Tim used “intimidated” in his LJ, but I wasn’t so much “intimidated” as just extremely uncomfortable and unable to relax enough to have any sort of appetite.

We got back in time for the dealers room to open, and then Becca and I headed over to Greg’s panel on voice acting. The video crew showed up while we were there â€" poor Seri, thought she was going to get off easy, but Greg made her keep reading lines even once the cameras were rolling! She did a good job, though. It’s interesting to get the inside scoop on how everything works, and to hear all the war stories. Carol Channing’s chiffon blouse, anyone?

Tim and I had signed up to do a panel later that afternoon on RPGs, and a fair number of people turned up. Most of them even stayed, hey! We talked about our experiences in the gaming industry, our plans for releasing Simulacrum next year (and we’ll need art, hint-hint). Told some gaming war stories of our own, too. And Becca’s idea of helping was to draw monsters on the white board behind us the whole time.

Then came the worst part of the whole weekend.

See, there were only a couple of problems with the site this time around. One was that the hotel, while very posh and full of staff who treated us exceedingly well, came with an equivalently posh price tag. The other, more aggravating, was the food situation. While the sprawling underground area does boast about any kind of edibles you could want, you better only want ‘em during normal day shift business people working hours. Everything closed after evening rush hour, leaving the dining options severely limited.

So, Tim, knowing this and feeling all guilty and responsible for lunch not having worked out so great, took it on himself to wander the streets of Montreal. Man hunt food. Woman and Child go to Opening Ceremonies. Man find food. Slay mammoth. Then Man, returning to cave, get mauled by saber tooth tiger.

Well, all right, it was Chinese take-out instead of a mammoth, and it was a car and not a saber tooth. I’m trying to make light of the situation because when I found out about it, I worked up one hell of a case of retroactive panic. He got hit by a car. For all the gory details, see his LJ (http://www.livejournal.com/users/tavelorn/)

But Woman and Child knew nothing of this. Becca and I were at Opening Ceremonies, where the con staff were doing the introductions, the thank-yous, and all that good stuff. The Clan Olympics interrupted with a sudden wild game that involved a stampede of people running around stuffing plastic balls into tee shirts. Only one casualty that I knew of, and it was all captured for posterity by the video crew. Showing us at our mature, sedate, respectable best.

Chris got up to talk about plans for 2005 (Vegas, baby, and high-damn-time we had another Gathering in the west!). Then Greg gave his speech, and how is this for cool? He’d gotten his helpful and diligent Girl Friday, Carol, to collect taped well-wishes from several people associated with the show, including Frank Paur and Ed Asner.

If that was cool, the big news was even cooler â€" that the first season of Gargoyles was slated for a December 7th release! With commentary, and with this documentary being filmed at the con. If it does well, we may get the second season. And once that ball starts rolling, it might not be beyond the realm of possibility to dream that ultimate dream of a new series!

Of course, in the middle of it all, Greg played his usual prank by raising an arm to the back of the room and announcing, "Ladies and Gentlemen, _Keith David_!" And so, of course, we all looked. Because once, when he did that, Keith was actually there (three cheers for variable interval reinforcement). Because, this time, Keith was expected. Delayed, since the film he was shooting was rained out again and again, but expected. This time, though, no Keith.

It would only be the beginning of a saga that probably added a few grey hairs and notches to the blood pressure of the con staff … Keith will be here for opening ceremonies … well, okay, no, but Keith will arrive late tonight … all right, Keith will be here tomorrow afternoon … he'll be here in time for the banquet … eventually, though, Keith _did_ arrive! Just not today.

We saw the pitches for the original show, for New Olympians and Dark Ages. We saw the Bad Guys reel. Then, as a new treat, Greg played another audio tape of a Team Atlantis episode he’d written, one in which Milo and company encounter a certain Fiona Canmore who is hunting a certain stone-by-day, vengeful-blue-demon-by-night creature with the voice of Marina Sirtis.

It was in the middle of this broadcast (which was unintentionally hilarious, what with all the grunts, groans, and gasps of combat being taken terribly out of context by our collective filthy, filthy little minds) that Tim came in. He sat down by us, listened to the rest of the episode, and then turned to tell me that we needed to talk. That is _never_ a good phrase. Then he told me his car adventure, and I got to freak out imagining all the horrible things that could have happened. Visions of myself having to call his parents to tell them their only son had been run over. Visions of the police finally tracking him to the hotel and delivering the news to me. Visions of being stranded in a foreign country with Tim stuck in the hospital. Or worse.

But he is all right (as I type this, it’s Wednesday August 11, and we are in a plane flying home) except for a murky purple bruise on his arm. At the time, though, we were all in a state. The three of us returned to our room and ate the Chinese food that had survived the collision (lukewarm but good anyway), and then decided that Tim could use a drinkie. Hell, I could have used a drinkie, and I don’t normally drinkie. So we thought we’d find someone in the con suite to look after Becca while we went to the hotel bar and got sloshed, but the con suite was closed.

However, we ran into a crowd downstairs, and amended the plan. The hotel restaurant had a neat section of tables surrounded by cushy couches, and eight of us â€" Cindy and Rob, Jen and Alan, Patrick, and we three Morgans â€" commandeered this primo spot. By then, I had gotten around to thinking I needed dessert more than drinkie, so I had cheesecake. We had a grand time there, and when it was done Tim and Becca went back to our room while I followed the others back up to the con suite to attend Greg’s special late-night Blue Mug-A-Guest.

It turned out not to be nearly as blue as expected. For one thing, most everybody was brimming with questions about the DVD and “what would you do if.” For another, apparently most of the real naughtiness has been covered at previous midnight panels of this sort. As for me, I hadn’t attended many of those and by now, heck, anything I’d want to ask, I’d already decided my-own-self how I was going to handle it in my stories and done so.

The room was packed to capacity, and thanks to Jen abandoning her chair to Greg, I found myself in the weird position of sitting up in a chair next to him while others were all around us, mostly on the floor. I only felt on the spot a couple of times. Once was when Greg put me there, by redirecting a tail question to me. For the record, people â€" I did not invent the dirty tail trick! That was Spike! Okay, I did pick it up and run with it, but I didn’t _invent_ it (suppose that I might have, given time, but she did it first, so blame her!). I squirmed a little, too, when Andrea brought up my fanfic in an Angela-and-Gabriel question. Greg, if you’re out there, sorry … sorry … that one was all my fault.

What really caught me, though, was when the topic of September 11th came up, and Greg was asked if/how he would handle it in the show, were he given the chance. Now, see, my entry for the Phoenix Gate Anthology, “Dust and Ashes,” was a September 11th story. And as I sat there, listening to Greg talk about the importance of addressing it in a way that would not be disrespectful to the actual events and persons involved, I found myself starting to worry about that story.

I _believed_ I had done my best to be respectful, but I got started second-guessing. Especially when Ethan, who witnessed the tragedy, started talking. After all, I was a continent away and watching on television at work (after Tim called me, after _he_ heard about it from Jen). As great as my shock and horror was, I knew it couldn’t compare to that felt by those actually present. All I could do in writing was try to reach toward what I imagined it must have been like, and though just writing it gave me the cold chills all over again, I was worried that it would still fall far, far short.

So, after, I sought Ethan out and specifically requested him to read my story and let me know what he thought. He told me the next day that he read it, and that it was just what he would have wanted from such a story. I can’t really say he _liked_ it … who can _like_ that kind of story? But I felt it was powerful. One of the most powerful things I’ve ever written. I am very interested in hearing from others who’ve read it, hearing what you think.

Oh, and FYI â€" the only place to read “Dust and Ashes” is in the Phoenix Gate Anthology. I have no plans to post that story to my site. The con staff have several copies of the book left, and I know that at least a few of the other authors have stated a similar intention to not make their tales available anywhere else. So, buy the book.

Well, eventually I figured I should raise my hand. Gotta ask something, right? So I did. And Greg denies it, but that sure did look like dread in his eyes. If not dread, there was at least a palpable wariness. I have no idea what he expected me to ask. By the sounds of it, all the really raunchy questions had already been lobbed his way in years past. I don’t know what _I_ could have said to overtop those.

My question was, given the tendency (by no means a universal tendency, so don’t send me angry e-mails protesting) of human males to fall asleep shortly after nookie, and given also that gargoyles don’t fall asleep per se, what _do_ their males do. And I don’t mean that human males zonk out instantly, like someone threw a switch … too many people were imagining blissful post-coital gargs plummeting out of the night sky. Greg’s reply was that he figured they would be left with a pleasant mellow buzz.

I followed up with, given that gargs have superior recuperative abilities, how many times can the average healthy male “go” in a night. He said “three … and a half.” I guess the “half” is left up to imagination … perhaps going back to that earlier tail question.

Karine threw us all out shortly thereafter, and a good thing, too. It was past two in the morning. I staggered off to bed, knowing that the dawn was going to come awfully early.

Saturday, August 7th
The Gathering, Day 2

When we checked in, the lady at the desk said our room had a "river view." She was taking a little creative liberty. It's true that, with the proper amount of squinting and peering between buildings and under overpasses, there was a glint of something that might've been water. What we had was an eastern exposure, and on previous mornings we'd found that meant the sun woke us at 6:30.

Given that I had only fallen into bed at about 2:30 the night before, I was not looking forward to waking in four hours. And I must've been tired, because I didn't. I woke at quarter to nine, with the realization that I had a panel at 10:00. Ellen called shortly thereafter to let me know that she and Spacebabie were meeting for breakfast to discuss said panel.

Our initial plan was to just dash down and scarf some fast food, but the weekend isn't a work day, so the underground was closed. Arg! We ended up at the hotel's buffet instead, and still made it in time for my panel and the opening of the dealers room.

The panel was called "Thrill of the Chase," featuring myself, Ellen (who always dresses so smart and sharp, like she's going to a job interview, while the rest of us are slobbing around dressed like … well, like typical fan geeks, which is reasonable enough I guess, given that we _are_). We got a nice turn out, and wound up ranging across various topics of action scenes in general. Given that I still hadn't had any caffeine for the day, I think it went okay, though I think I rambled a bit much.

While I was off doing that, Becca and a couple of other kids joined Siryn to do crafts. Then I got sent off to do an interview with the video crew. I was apprehensive, let me tell you. It's all well and good to have them talk to people whose lives have changed because of _Gargoyles_, who've made something of themselves. The success stories, as it were, be they creative, business, or emotional.

And yes, I owe a tremendous debt to the show and the fandom. My writing has improved so much … I've experimented, my confidence has increased, I've benefited in a roundabout sort of way because people who have read and enjoyed my fanfic are then more likely to buy my books because they know they can trust me to tell a good story.

Some of the connections are very direct â€" I might never have written the novel _Black Roses_, for instance, without the inspiration that came from fanfic. That's why I dedicated it to Greg and Salli Richardson … the basic small town ghost story idea had been bobbing around in my head since I was a teenager, but I couldn't quite get a handle on it until after the fanfic, until mentally casting Salli as the character of Theresa. Then, hey presto, it all came together. Greg was so sweet, too, when I gave him a copy. He seemed to think it was very cool, having a book dedicated to him.

But anyway, here I was, having written over two million words of _Gargoyles_ fanfic … the equivalent of twenty paperback books. It felt like I was painting a target on my forehead, getting up there in front of that camera and asking to be hunted down. Imagining stern-faced Disney men-in-black knocking on my door (not that I haven't imagined that, several times over these many years, but I'd never gone out of my _way_ to get their attention before).

We then thought about trying to have Becca interviewed. She was game for it, but she got hit with a big-whammy case of stage fright as soon as we went into the room. We sat and watched a few other interviews â€" Aaron and Mara, one of the met-through-the-fandom love stories with the added bonus of Aaron's "Most Dedicated Fan EVER" status thanks to his giant full-color Demona chest tattoo. But, though Becca said she really wanted to do it, she was just too nervous. We ended up going back to the room for a while so she could settle down.

When she was recovered, I dropped her off at an SCA fighting demo â€" she's seen plenty of them at other cons, and always enjoys them. I stuck my head into the Auction in time to see a cell going for much higher than I could afford. Then I minded the table while Tim went off to fetch food again. Him being, of course, under orders to cross at the crosswalk and look both ways!

The Radio Play came next, with a huge cast to read from the script of "The Journey," the first TGC episode. Keith still hadn't arrived, so Rob "Talyesin" read for Goliath and did a terrific job. Zehra, as Elisa, was great too … there were moments when she was _so_ Elisa that it was goosebump spooky. Mike, aka Riverdale, was a perfect Vinnie (it was apparently his first Gathering, and I have never seen someone fit in so fast and so well; he is truly one of us), and the guy who played Jon Castaway was almost too intense. It was a great show.

The Banquet began at 6:00, and still no sign of Keith David. The three of us sat with Jen, Alan, Zehra, Darien and Nicholas (the latter two had only just discovered the Gathering and come up from Massachusetts; Nicholas was one of the few kids at the con). Karine had Nicholas and Becca draw slips from a goblet, each slip with a table number to tell where Greg and Keith (if he showed) were to sit.

The room was lit eerie orange, so I have no idea how anyone's pictures are going to turn out. Our waitress was a strict grandmotherly type who scolded me for not eating my appetizer or finishing my salad. Dinner was stuffed quail, eensy little birds with eensy little leg bones. Decadent dessert. After seeing that Lanny's table had ordered wine, we did the same (Sprite for the kids).

The menus were an additional cool touch; the menu was listed opposite a color image of Goliath. I meant to save some, but on unpacking, I never did find them so I must've left them somewhere.

And then, at last, Keith arrived. The funny part was, a few minutes earlier, Greg had left the room. So here was Keith, and no Greg. Keith was taken to his table, and it struck me that what we needed was for him to, when Greg walked in, stand up and announce, "Ladies and Gentlemen, _Greg Weisman_!" You know, like Greg keeps doing. So I told Jen, Jen told Karine, Karine told Keith … and he did it!

Keith managed to talk between bites, and had to compete with the party going on next door. It was, I think, a nursing school reunion or graduation, so lots of women singing lots of bad karaoke. That is not always necessarily a contradiction in terms, by the way … when it was our group's turn later, a few shining stars rose high above the rest.

We left to go back to the room, so that I could get Becca into her costume and so Tim and Denis could work out their PayPal arrangements â€" Denis, one of my most dedicated readers, even shelled out for the _Black Roses_ audio book on CD!

Becca went as Bronx for the second time. Amazingly, most of the outfit still fit her (four years? was Orlando four years ago? egad!), though we did have to do new pants for it, since the old ones stopped just below the knee. Borrowed face paints from Jen, and soon we had our Bronx. We hooked up with members of the con staff â€" Jen and Alan as Gruoch and Macbeth, Cindy and Patrick as Titania and Puck â€" and it was time for the Masquerade.

What an incredible turnout, too! The staff weren't eligible for the contest, but plenty of other people dressed up and were just fabulous! The judges were Greg, Keith, our hotel liaison Daniel (he had such a good time; he's probably going to be talking about this for years!), and a lady who, I think, was either Daniel's wife or girlfriend.

I was sitting on the sidelines with my camera when Jen came up and grabbed me and stuck me at the judge's table, so that I could help keep track of who was who and which characters were canon as opposed to fanfic. It was a little startling to suddenly find myself seated next to Keith. And it turned out I didn't have much to do â€" most of the characters were canon this year. But I got to join the judges in their sequestered chamber and listen to them discuss the entries.

I say again, incredible turnout! Incredible costumes! Andrew, as Korul, not only had an amazing outfit but did a song-and-dance routine, was the undisputed best in show. Keith particularly appreciated the ladies, and I am pretty sure I heard a couple of those deep rumbling Goliath-growls from him … like when Argenta was strutting, or when Jade undid the skirt of her Elisa-Belle dress.

The Masquerade opened with Ethan, Sapphire, and Chameleongirl doing a cosplay with props of the _Gargoyles_ opening theme. Then came Vanessa as Dancer, in a lovely white dress. Then Spacebabie as Lori Canmore, and Nikki as Elisa-as-a-gargoyle. Then a scene from "Eye of the Beholder" as a trenchcoated Fox was carried in by Xanatos (that was Jackie and Alan, I think). Then Becca as Bronx. Tony and Andrea were Dracon and Bad Elisa (that costume often wins the Cleavage Award), presenting the judges with a jar of jalapeno peppers.

Sorry if I'm getting any names wrong; I was a little dazed. Then we saw Allan West as Thailog, Stormy as a Quarryman, Mandi in long purple hair as the Banshee. Annie came as Fox. Revel won the Thom Adcox Award for the attitude of his Tony Dracon.

Sherry's Echidna costume … so cool! So neat to see different characters! Lynati was a late but spectacular arrival as Ophelia. Flanker as the Renaissance Hunter … Kaylee and Siryn as Princess Katherine and young Tom (for which Si won the traditional Gorelisa cross-dressing award). Karine was ideal as Fox-in-maternity-smock.

Becca loved being Bronx. She posed for pictures, she roared for the crowd, she had a wonderful time and was thrilled to win a ribbon for Best Junior. But she was also glad, after a couple hours, to get out of that sweaty costume and wash off all the blue. Not only was there facepaint, but the costume hat has never been what I'd call color-fast.

So we took her back to the room to clean up. Then she and Tim stayed to sleep, while I went back down to the party. There was much singing. Now, I don't sing. Ever. I mouth the words to "Happy Birthday." So I admire the heck out of everyone who got up to sing in front of a crowd.

Keith reappeared and sang a number. He had his family in tow. I didn't catch their names, but there was a boy a little older than Becca, a girl of around three, and a baby who was all big adorable dark eyes. At one point, the little girl was climbing around on the stage and did this precarious step-wobble-teeter, and Greg and I, who were standing nearby, both almost lunged for the kid. Parents. Just can't help it.

We had our own lounge-singer rendition of "The Love Boat" (we definitely need him to come to Vegas, to shoehorn him into tight Tom Jones pants to do "It's Not Unusual"), and Zehra blew us all away with her performance. What a voice! Earlier, in the radio play, she'd been Elisa … now she sang like Julie Andrews, with that same almost unbearable purity of voice. She got a well-deserved standing ovation.

And talk about a hard act to follow! The only thing to do was to plunge into absurdity … and you'd have to look long and hard to find any number more absurd than "YMCA," especially when nobody knew the freakin' words! "Young man, something-something-something! I say, young man, something-something-something!"

I mean it. Literally. That's what they sang. Twenty people doing the arm movements and everything. Only knowing the chorus. I have not laughed so hard since seeing "Van Helsing."

So, for future reference, here is a link to the complete official lyrics:

I didn't stay long, and what time I was there I spent hanging out with Jen and sneaking peeks at her husband's legs (gosh, Alan's got nice legs … and those boots! Oh, baby!) while he was busy rounding up a bevy of beauties to keep him company at the back of the room.

What the rest of the hotel guests must've thought, I do wonder. There was the elderly couple: "See? I told you this place was full of weirdoes." (this because they were sharing an elevator with Puck, Titania, Bronx, Gruoch and Macbeth). There was the couple that wandered in while the karaoke was going on. There were the nursing students, or whatever they were.

And there was the man who approached Jen and I at one point (I forget exactly when) and asked, "Excuse me … what are Gargoyles? I mean, I know what 'gargoyles' are, but … who are you people?" Jen abandoned me to field that one on my own. I think I handled it okay. At least the guy didn't run.

And that was it for Saturday! I got to bed at a more reasonable hour, after saying goodbye to Greg â€" he was planning to stay up all night and leave at six to get home in time for his daughter's birthday.

Sunday, August 8th
The Gathering, Day 3

We went straight to the hotel buffet that morning, and had breakfast with Kathy Pogge. I think most everyone was off to an even slower start that morning, especially the people who'd stayed up all night to see Greg off.

There was some confusion all weekend long about the Phoenix Gate Anthology signing party. It wasn't on the schedule, and so it was going to be at the same time as Keith and Greg were doing autographs. Which, of course, got shoved all around. Finally, it was decided that the signing party would take place during Keith's Sunday morning Mug-A-Guest, in the dealers room.

Which, of course, conflicted with Allaine's adult round robin, and Dylan's talk on gargoyle biology. At least, it would have if the Mug had started on schedule at 10:00. What really happened was that I moved furniture, setting up some tables and chairs and pens, and made some quickie handmade signs for the PGA and for Keith.

Ultimately, it worked out pretty well, I thought! We had a long row of authors and artists. All but two of the PGA authors were there: me, Dylan, Stormy, Ellen, Scott, Allaine, John, and Alex Garg. The other two, Christi and Summer, had sent autographed stickers so that they could sort of sign in absentia. Kyt was there, having done the beautiful cover art, and Kya White Sapphire and Liz joined us to sign their pics, too.

Speaking of which â€" big thanks to Liz for filling in at the last minute when we had a space in the book and needed a piece of art; all the more thanks from me because she did an illustration from "Dust and Ashes," and then honored me by giving me the original! Time to hit the frame shop, and see about squeezing some more space out of our overcrowded walls!

The crowds kept us pretty busy with our pens, and then just as we were more or less finishing up, Keith arrived. It was coming up on 1:00 by then, and some people had been sitting and waiting most patiently. The art show was already coming down. Keith toured the dealers room (he took one of my _Black Roses_ audio tape demos, which was mildly alarming) and then sat down to answer questions.

He also expressed interest in the PGA, so Karine snared him a copy and had us all sign it. This, of course, got me nervous all over again. Wonder what he'll make of the stories? Wonder what he'll make of _my_ story?

The talk topics ranged all over. We found out that a couple of Keith's dream roles would be to do _The Man of La Mancha_, and the Nat King Cole story. When he said this, a low anticipatory sound â€" "ooooh!" â€" went through the crowd. He briefly ascended a soapbox to talk about soldiers and, after someone is trained to dehumanize and kill the enemy, how difficult it is to reintegrate into regular society.

While this was going on, the art show was being taken down and Art Show Goddess Cindy was busy getting the awards ready. As always, the talent of this fandom is just amazing. I liked seeing the unconventional things, too, the wooden sculpture, Jade's darling little Demona doll … it made me resolve that next year, I'll have something to contribute. I may not be able to draw, but I can craft, and I think I'm finally ready to bust out the old hot glue gun again.

Closing Ceremonies began at 3 or so, with the presentation of the art show ribbons, another Vegas reminder from Chris, and the Clan Olympics winners (Becca was swimming at the time, but she was happy later when I told her that Arno's team won the gold). Keith did his autograph session, and a lot of people signed up for next year.

Then Chris convened a business meeting to elect a board of directors. The final seven members were him, me, Jen, Siryn, Hudson, Scott, and Greg B. But in retrospect, I think Tim should have been nominated, not me. He's had loads of experience with this sort of thing, bylaws and motions and seconding and voting and quibbling over wording and all that hoo-rah from being a Mason (so _this_ is what they do at their secret meetings!). But he'll be here to help me out.

After that, we horned in on the con staff for the Dead Dog party up in the con suite for booze and goodies. Karine mixes a mean drink! Some friends of hers showed up with their daughter, a cute little kid who was shy at first â€" for maybe three whole minutes â€" before she was running around playing with Becca and tickling people and feeding candy to us all. There was laughter, cussing, foot massages, silliness, ranting, cuddling, bad jokes (I don't think Karine was all that terribly amused by the "what's the difference between a lightbulb and a pregnant woman" one; she shot me a narrow "har-har" sort of look).

We had pizza â€" Becca had chicken nuggets; whenever we go on vacation, I try to enforce the "chicken nuggets for only ONE meal a day, but sometimes it doesn't quite work out â€" and we partied. The three of us left around 11:00, and I heard that the rest of the party broke up shortly thereafter.

Monday, August 9th and Tuesday, August 10th
La Ronde and Montreal

We got up and got moving fairly early Monday. Breakfast at McD's, and then Tim headed off to explore the city. Again, under orders to stay out of the street. He wanted to prowl the university district, and look for game stores, and go to museums, and take more pictures of buildings … and all the general gamer/history geek stuff that he likes to do.

Becca and I, meanwhile, waited around for the group that was headed to La Ronde. There ended up being some two dozen of us who went, many in garg shirts. Entertained (or frightened) the passengers on the Metro by treating them to a loud, enthusiastic rendition of the "One thousand years ago" speech. Oh, how I love cities with actual efficient rapid transit! Seattle is such a throwback in that regard.

We had our Six Flags season passes, bought this year since not only have we visited our local park but knew we'd have this trip coming up, as well as Magic Mountain in December when we plan to invade Jen's house (and, in light of developments, we're now thinking to arrange it so that we're there on the 7th, for a DVD release party!).

As it turned out, the season passes caused a slight problem. We got separated at the gates because Becca and I had to go to another window to use our passes. By the time we got that sorted out, we'd lost track of the others. Becca, who had wanted to go on the big rides with Siryn, was disappointed but soon got over it.

Nice park! Hot day. We went on a few rides, not many as it turned out because some of the lines were horrendous. Becca won four little stuffed snakes and two fat little stuffed dogs playing carnival games (skee-bowling and darts). It was a lot of fun, just me and her, mommy-daughter time. I bought a "La Vampire" visor, to make up for the hat I lost at Wild Waves.

The last ride was the log ride, which was not the tame tepid Splash Mountain we were expecting but fast and bumpy and full of rapids … fun! Then we sat for a while and watched other logs come down the flume, waiting to see if anybody was going to flash the camera. Closest we got was a quartet of teens who flipped the finger in unison.

We wound up making our way back to the hotel on our own, too. Becca was sure that I was going to get us lost, oh she of little faith. Then she went swimming, and Tim told us about his day.

Then, with aching legs and feet, we wimped out and took a cab down into the old town district, to a fondue restaurant. Seen as how Becca had already eaten her day's quota of chicken nuggets and all! And wow! What a meal! We got the Fondue Trio, which started with a cheese fondue, bread, grapes and apples. Then we got a bubbling pot of broth and a platter of raw chicken and beef and veggies to dip. And then, oh-my-slavering-gods, a fondue of dark chocolate with bits of crepe, marshmallow, banana, and strawberry.

As we returned to the hotel, by cab again because now we were not only footsore and achy but stuffed to capacity with yummy fondue, we ran into Keith and family again. Judging by the array of stuffed animals they were carrying â€" a clownfish, more snakes, etc. â€" they had been at La Ronde too.

We slept in on Tuesday, and then headed to Notre Dame. I only shot a couple of pictures before Tim started grumbling about how flash photography would damage the paint. So I quit, even though hoards of other people were popping flashbulbs right and left. It was a truly impressive building … and I wish I'd realized sooner the gross impropriety of wearing a Gothy black "La Vampire" visor into a cathedral … but my skin didn't blister when I dipped my fingers in the holy water font, so I guess that's a good sign.

Our next stop was the Science Center, where we were just in time to catch the English version of this interactive immersion shark game movie thing they had. Fifty or so people sitting in a dark room at computer terminals, while up front is a huge screen of underwater scenes. Each of us played the role of some sea creature, starting low on the old food chain and working our way up through the species by eating prey, avoiding being eaten, and reaching certain goals. Very cool.

Becca enjoyed the Science Center, which had exhibits devoted to the science of sleep, the human body, and technology. A movie must've been being filmed outside, too, because we could see trucks and trailers and cameras and crew, and they had gone to some effort to make the outside of the Science Center into an airport. Luggage trolleys, suitcases, signs, etc. Never did catch a glimpse of anybody famous, though.

We had an early dinner, then returned to the hotel. By now, if anyone else was still around, we didn't see them. Tim started packing while I took Becca for a final swim, and then I got online briefly … before the thunderstorm rolled in.

And what a thunderstorm! Huge flaring sheets of lightning, stinging rain blown almost horizontal by high wind, crashing roars of thunder. The weather channel even said something about a chance of tornadoes, if I was translating correctly (though how hard can it be to guess what "tornade" means?). So I turned off the computer, and we doused the lights, and sat and watched the storm.

Luckily, it didn't blow out the power or the television, so Tim and I were still able to catch "The Amazing Race" before falling asleep. The alarm was set for 4:00 AM, so that we could get to the airport and finally head for home.

It was a wonderful trip (except for the car thing). So great to see my old friends and meet new ones! I didn't realize until I was there just how much I'd missed everybody. We're all looking forward to Las Vegas, and Tim and I have even found ourselves thinking seriously about a Seattle bid one of these years.

Greg responds...

Seattle sounds great!!

Christine, I love reading your Gathering Journals. I also love hearing about the Montreal stuff that you did. One of the few regrets (and it's pretty minor) that I have about most Gatherings is that I'm so busy that I never get any real tourist time in. Don't ever see all that much of the town. I'm glad you managed to.

Response recorded on March 20, 2006

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