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As you demanded! Beware, it is long. But you asked for it. :)
GATHERING 2005 REPORT
Day 1 - Thursday
We (my hubby Tony and I) got up early. Very early. Like, 3:15 am early. But that way we made it to Vegas at an acceptable hour. Coincidentally (or… was it??), we met Julie at the airport, who was in turn waiting for Liz, so we waited with her accumulated Nezumi and Y2Hecathe. When Liz showed up (carrying a grudge because she was not carrying her markers, which the airline had lost), we made our way to the shuttle and the hotel under much chatting and pointing out the windows.
We laid claim to our hotel room, which means we scatter our stuff until there is no more floor. Then we scouted out the hotel, casino, and con suite while trying to reach Jen on her cell, which finally lead to a joyful reunion with Jen, Kyt, Cindy, Julie, Patrick, and Liz, and we all went out to eat at the Maccaroni Grill across the street from the hotel, which was awesome, awesome food. There was much laughter and chatter and doodling on the paper tablecloth.
We hung out in the lobby for a bit, accumulating more and more people. Thom (Adcox) strolled by and was mugged by all with extensive hugging, then he retreated to his room while we all stayed around waiting for Greg (Weisman) to show up and say hi, who was, as we later found out, waiting in the Con Suite the whole time. We were beat though so we went to bed around 12:30 pm.
Day 2 - Friday
It has officially begun! While Tony met up with the rest of the "black coat gang", I hung out at the art room and helped Liz number her awesome zodiac prints. Trishana showed up, and there was much hugging and squeaking. ^_^ Dreamie let me use her laptop to do some extremely important stuff I had to do for work, THANK YOU Dreamie!
Then I went to the "Anatomy in Fantasy" drawing panel, hosted by Lynati and my cuddlywuddly Kyt. Now, I do know how to draw and consider myself not horribly bad (I do get paid ;)), but the Gathering is a focus point for SO many wonderful artists, with such a wide range of talents - I always learn something from them. Next was the "Writing for Animation" panel, hosted by Greg Weisman, where I finally got to cuddle him hello. Here as well I learned a few new things, and there are always fun stories to be heard on Greg's industry panels.
Somewhere in between here, Chris let me use his laptop to finish that work stuff that I needed to do, so a big Thank You to him also!!!
We took a short recess and then went to opening ceremonies. They were a little shorter than usual, since Greg was getting tired of his age-old Spiel, and decided to loosen things up a bit by dropping some stuff and adding some new stuff we hadn't seen yet. Which was great! As long as we get to keep the "It's better than Barney!" line, we're happy. He was a little upset that Chris 'stole' his "who here has been to how many cons?" show-of-hands game, I bet nobody next year would dare take that from him. ;)
Oh yeah, the Blue Mug! This is where we try to ask "dirty" questions about Gargoyles, and Greg and Thom try to answer them. Last year's BM was not very blue at all, so a few people put all their back into it this time! It was good fun. Tony, Liz and I had set the chairs in a circle, so it was a nice, little, cosy, dirty round. I am especially proud of making Greg speechless, which is not easy! I will not reveal my near-psychic premonition here, because I'm not sure how secret Greg wants to keep it. ;)
After the Mug, a few of us including Greg went to a small restaurant inside the Casino to have most delicious and decadent desserts. Greg gave me some very valuable tips as to what to do with a project of mine.
And again, midnight is long passed… what was it, like 3:00 am?
Day 3 - Saturday
I so wish the panels didn't start before noon… groan… I went to the "Series Development" panel, about which I hardly remember anything… err… yeah. Sorry.
Voice-acting seminar! Did we stay through this? Not entirely actually, at some point I hooked up with Trishana and we went to chat with Liz before her portfolio review with Dennis Woodyard. I think it was really awesome of him to do that, and I felt really bad that I had not prepared a portfolio. I had not done anything this year really, there was so much going on all year that I couldn't fit in any artwork. I hope he does it again next year!
Went to the "Backgrounds" panel hosted by Dreamie and Kyt, which was extremely informative and cause for much drooling over their beautiful artwork. Up next: the panel about the upcoming Gargoyles comic. Adam (Laurean's fiancé) showed up, and I met him for the first time. He reminds me of my high school art teacher - freaky! Sadly Laurean has long hair now, so we couldn't play our switcheroo-prank this year - even though we did get some people confusing us nevertheless.
Thennnn… most of the girls of our little family band (Jen, Cindy, Kyt, Trish, Laurean, Karine (who looks freakin' outstanding for just having had a baby!), Lexi, and I) hooked up to celebrate Laurean's upcoming nuptials in style! At a dinky little strip club named the Palomino… hilarity ensued, and many great lines were forged that evening and will probably last for a long time. While this was going on, Tony and Adam joined Greg, Thom, Chris and Alexgarg in the Charity Poker tournament. They apparently had a lot of fun too, involving ice cream and the hotel's hot tub.
Day 4 - Sunday
I managed to drag my butt out of bed to go to Dan Vado's mug-a-guest. He was really nice, and I learned a few new things about the comic book industry that will hopefully help me out… if I ever finish my book… then the W.I.T.C.H. panel, hosted by Greg. I really love the comic books and the characters, and I am thrilled that Greg is taking over some plotting in the second season to bring the show back closer to the original stories. Pretty cool, we got to see an old animatic that was to be the original pitch for the pilot episode. Greg's wife Beth and kids Erin and Benni arrived also - man, the kids are getting big! I feel old! Then, Tony went to radio play rehearsals, and I relaxed a bit in our room.
The radio play! Always fun and a highlight of the con. Tony was only an alternate this year, but it was also fun for him to get to watch the whole thing for a change, since he's been in almost every play so far. Laurean, Jen and Seth were killing me, they were great.
Yay, fooooood! We were starving. The banquet was beautiful! There were little gargoyle-themed candleholders on our tables that we got to keep. Wonderful costumes, and many well-deserved awards. As I mentioned before, I had been completely and utterly lazy this year, so I could just sit back and enjoy the costumes for once, and not have to jitter about art wards. Yay! There was much frolicking and laughter, and I got to layeth the smack down on Lanny playing Yu-Gi-Oh. ^_^
Some of us stuck around after the banquet, getting increasingly punchy as the night progressed, as it should be.
Day 5 - Monday
Wow, a 4-day con! This was a really good idea actually. I went to the "Original properties" panel and got to see some awesome ideas from the combined heads of Greg Weisman and his artistic posse.
I will never, EVER understand why stuff like "The Buzz on Maggie" (no offense, Thom!) and "The Wiggles" makes it on TV while shows like TechnoSapiens don't get produced. WTH?
Said good-bye to Thom, who had to run. Miss him! He's such a sweetie. I can even forgive him that he has a crush on my husband. ;) Btw, we found out this year that we have the same birthday. No wonder we have so much in common (including my husband, ha!).
The auction: Mostly the stuff that most of us already have… still, most pieces went for a good price. Some of the artists really made a killing this year - I should not be lazy next year. Tony really wanted the set of poker chips they had used for the tournament, but once they passed $180 that was it… it's ok, we got him another set the next day.
Closing ceremonies were short! But that's ok, rip the Band-aid off quickly.
Our little group of friends, including Greg, went to the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton (at least I think it was the Hilton). How cool that was! We ate (and drank!) at Quark's bar, then Greg had to go and meet up with his family. The rest of us went on the Borg- and the Klingon-rides, which were riddled with fun, groping, and Gargoyles-references because of the voice actors. I got a Tribble (it moves!!!), and I bought Tony a plushie Porthos, his favourite character from Enterprise.
The night ended at some point at the Stratosphere hotel, where we talked and laughed and stalled on saying good-bye.
Day 6 - Tuesday
This was our couple-day, since everyone else was going home. Tony and I had signed up for this time-share presentation that earned you free tickets to a show and dinner. The presentation was short and painless, the dinner was great, and the shows were fantastic. We got two: "The world's greatest magic show" and "The Rat Pack", both of which were really awesome. I am rather seasoned when it comes to stage shows, so I love it when I am surprised and get to say, "Oooh!".
We also got this $200 crystal for $35… It has our faces laser-etched into the center, and it rotates on this lighted platform thingy, really cool. It now sits in our living room.
Day 7 - Wednesday
The long way home. Overpriced airport food and the like. Can't wait 'til next year! As always, the Gathering did not disappoint, it keeps getting better and we keep growing fonder of each other, as we grow together from the seed of "Gargoyles".
That sounded a lot ickier than I wanted. Anyways, good times!!! :)
"Farewell, my enemies."