A Station Eight Fan Web Site
There will always be a Part Four.
Sunday July 31
Before we left the room, Revel called someone to fix the sink. Once again Revel and I stopped y Starbucks for breakfast. I had another caramel frappucino and a blueberry muffin. I went back up for my anthology and we ate together at one of the tables before going to the con.
After getting my anthology signed (With cute comments by GregX and Allaine) I went to the body casting costume panel. I learned about how to make different casts and how to make horns. Dreamy showed how she made her wings for her 2000 costume.
After the panel I went up to the Event Suite for the W.I.T.C.H panel. After fiddling around with the TV equipment we decided to go to the consuite and watched the "selling" video which was different from the pilot episode. Greg told us about the change in management and the fact that some Gargoyles Voice actors will appear. Thom had been cast as a talking calculator.
After the panel I went back to the art room and hung out until it was time for the Radio Play. I thanked Karine for a great con last year and got to see the latest baby pictures of Matthieu.
The radio play this years as based on a pilot for a quirky dramedy (As someone who was a fan of Ally Mcbeal and Ed, I think we need more of those.) Revel was the resident geek, Emambu the cop, and Siryn was the main character. Jen played her sexy sister. At one point Siryn stood up and paused before her face turned pink. Great acting from everyone, loved Seth's little Keanu Reeves improve.
I briefly returned to my room to do up my hair and makeup for the banquet. The sink was fixed! Joined up with Revel and we had a table with Gside, Mandy, Aaron, and Lynati. GregX folated between our table and the Family table. The little gargoyle candles were neat and so was the little statue in the middle. Banquet food was buffet style.
After everyone had their dinner fill we returned to our room for the masquerade. I did the costume thing with my Hot Topic fangs while Revel dressed up in his suit. I heard Greg W's voice outside our room and I looked out and saw an adorable pair of gargoyle hatchlings. I waved and smiled at them. I heard one of them respond. "She's got fangs."
We met in the con suite and Chyna Rose loaned my some polygrip to make sure my fangs stayed in place. I got to see everyone else's costume. There was Benny as Goliath, Erin as the Gathering 01 mascot: Holly, Shara as Brooklyn, Onyx as the Onyx gargoyle, Echo as a gargoyle with large silky wings, Fusion demon as a kitty demon, Cindy as the Bin Sidhe, Noel as Werefox, Dancer as Dancer, Y2Hecate as Sin and Afan as a mafia type.
We were lead through the secret passageways of the hotel to the con area. I'm getting better at walking towards the front, posing and then taking my seat…no more nerves. I took pictures and posed for some pictures. Cindy won first Canon , Revel was 2nd place. Noel won for Cosplay, Onyx won first for non canon, echo for noncanon. Benny won jr division canon, Erin non canon and Fusion Demon won best jr cosplay. Shara won best of show with her amazing Future Tense Brooklyn. I loved the flashing eyes. We chatted more until Revel and I got sleepy.
"I've been looking for you!"
The Third Part is always the Charm
Saturday: July 30
Revel and I woke up to notice the fact the sink had backed up. We were in a rush for breakfast and stopped at Starbucks. I had a caramel Frappucino and a blueberry scone. We grabbed our food and rode up to the registration area where we hung out with Hudson and Silver.
The first panel for that day was the Writing Action Scene panel. Revel was one of the presenters along with Ellen and Kathy. Kathy had warned us she was at the point where she was easily distracted by shiny objects. Good points came up like having a "cooling" time after writing a story before editing and to have a cutting room area on the computer or in the folder.
Next it was a trip up to the event suite for the Othercon Round Robin. It was me, Mooncat, Princess Alexandria, Efrain, Dennis, Summer Jackel, and Allaine. The bizarre couple we used was Werefox and Demona and had it set during Eye of the Beholder.
Once the RR ended I went down to the dealers room and purchased a belt buckle in the shape of a wolf's head for my brother and talked with several artists. I also collected several pretty business cards.
Around three I went to Salon C for the background art panel. Dreamy and Kyt showed some nifty background they had used and tricks on how to make them by showing individual layers. Kyt also showed us how to make images of fire.. The panel was almost over when the fire alarm went off. Confused, we slowly walked out, congregated at the registration area, and slowly made our way to the escalator when it stopped. We returned to the panel for some Q and A before it officially ended.
Next up was the SLG panel. Dan Vado made a good point that the Haunted Mansion comic would not involve the movie. We got to see some pretty visuals followed by pics of the Wonderland and Tron comics, followed by the now famous image of the Gargoyles Comic.
Revel and I took a dinner break and met up with GregX and was invited to share a table with….*there goes my memory…I am getting old* We talked about schools, work and Gregx's famous drive in 2003.
After dinner I used up a 20 at a roulette wheel. Then went to watch the poker match until it was time for the Group Art Fun.
There was a big sheet of paper, some markers and a lack of attendees. For a short while it was Dreamy, Fusion Demon and me. Then Fusion went back up to the Con suite and Y2Hecate arrived. We decided to get naughty and draw porn. Dreamy drew the naughty pic while Y2Hecate and I laughed. Dreamy wrote "Rant Topic Number One" next to it, then we ran up to the con suite while still laughing.
The three of us kept up our poker faces in the con suite until it was time to go down for the Rant. We waited for more people to arrive including Revel and GregX. Dreamy did point out the pic to where Hudson went "Well, hmmmm. What is the topic?" and rattled of a possible list. The rant went on until a giddy Siryn with a veil caught our attention.
Friday, July 29
Apparently the power went out because we woke up to see a blinking clock. Revel adjusted the time before we went to The Feast for breakfast. We joined Flanker and Sara the Great. After Revel and I finished eating we heard Thom's voice. We chatted with him and Lanny about various topics: including the evil eggs benedict and dogs.
After breakfast we helped Kathy set up Registration. Packets were handed out and we greeted friends. I squeed with delight at the fact we got a whole family with hatchlings. I showed some of my fellow Harry Potter fans a sketch I drew in my sketchbook.
Noon rolled by and it was time for my round robin. Hard to compete with Greg Weisman and cake and ice cream, but I managed to snag some people. The story primarily involved Puck and Fox and things got strange, fast. Just don't shout "Weeeee"in front of Chyna Rose unless you want her to die laughing.
Next I went to check out the art and dealers tables. I made sure I purchased a copy o the Eye of Odin Anthology, and Calendar. I also rolled some die at Shara's table and won a couple of T-shirts and a flag.
Next came the Demona Debate with Revel. (our first panel together). We made sure everyone who wanted to say something. Mostly what was discussed was about whether or not Demona was evil. I felt a little hampered by the burning in my stomach and a sore throat. The latter worried me due to the fact a sore throat is usually a harbinger for a head cold. (I felt fine through the rest of the weekend.)
We returned to the art show to talk and I went to bid on a few pieces of art before Revel and I went to get some Burger King. GregX gave us some money to get him something. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich meal with fries and a diet soda and Revel tried the Chicken Fries meal.
After dinner we got ready for the opening ceremonies. Chris greeted us and asked how many gatherings we have attended. Then the 2006 Gathering Staff did their spiel. Then Greg Weisman took the mike and showed us the visual goodies he brings every year. There was a recording of Keith David regretting not being able to make it and video recordings from Greg, Thom, and several of the cast and crew telling us that they hope to make it next year.
Greg showed two preview clips. (The Power Of One recording one that we haven't seen before. We got to see some preview bonus material from the second season DVD, the recording of artwork for New Olympians and Dark Ages and the Bad Guys Leica Reel. The last see got to see was the fan made Leica reel of "The Last." It was the video recording, plus the art boards pieced together and colored and some new art provided by Vashkoda (Who did an excellent job)
After Opening Ceremonies I preregistered for next year and Revel and I dropped some stuff of at our room. We went to the Casino where Revel showed GregX how to play Blackjack. When they went to play some video poker, I tried my luck (Or lack there of) at the nickel slots. After using up a dollar I went to the Irish Pub and had a margarita.
The Blue Mug A Guest officially began when Thom entered he room. It was not quite as Blue as 2003 but it was Bluer than last year. Some questions were about the 2nd season DVD and the comic. Greg mentioned he felt that one of the girls in W.I.T.C.H. Might be a lesbian.
Andrea shouts out. "It's not Irma is it?"
Greg's response: "How did you know it was Irma?"
We all left around the same time as Thom.
"I've been looking for you!"
Gathering 2005 Journal
Friday: July 23
Just like last year I flew out to Houston which was the starting point for the road trip. The flight was pretty basic, but a little hard to find where my luggage was coming in due to the fact the sign was broken. I found Revel and he knew where my luggage was coming in.
Tuesday: July 26
Aaron and Lynati had arrived. They had to take Mara to the airport before leaving San Antonio. The game plan was they would spend the night at Revel's house then we would pack up and leave for the road trip the next day. Aaron's car was packed with Con stuff.
Wednesday: July 27
While I made sure I hade everything packed, the others went to get the rental minivan. It took longer than we anticipated but it was a nice minivan. It had fold down seats, and pockets in the floorboards to store extra stuff. It also had a CD player, cassette player, radio, and satellite radio, There was even an outside sensor that let us know what the temperature was. The most amusing detail was the Florida License plate. We packed up our stuff: con stuff, luggage, music and snacks, and drove off.
Around Midnight, Texas time, I started to doze off. Lynati managed to shove some things around and stretched out on the floorboards, giving me enough room to stretch out across the seats.
Thursday: July 28
Woke up around 5:30 am at the Arizona Welcome Center. It was 58 degrees outside. I snoozed a little more until we arrived at Flagstaff. Yes, we visited one of the cities from the World Tour, not exactly at the university. We stopped at a McDonalds. I had a coffee and a yogurt parfait.
Our next stop was at the Hoover Dam. We stretched out and took pictures, before we continued on our way to Vegas.
Lynati phoned Chris when we parked and he sent someone with a key to lead us to the Con Suite. Inside were Seth, Hudson, Kael, Chris, Lanny, Dreamy, Dancer, Kathy, Winterwolf, and GregX. I was still exhausted from the trip so I took a small nap on the couch and woke up around the time Emambu and Leo had arrived. Some of us talked and others watched a few cartoons on a laptop Once the four of us road trippers had relaxed a bit, Aaron pulled the minivan to the front and large group of us went down to Carry in the luggage and con stuff and bring it back to the suite.
We opened the boxes and suit cases that contained the con stuff when we were finished. The Con stuff included packets that contained the programs an badges, T-shirts, Gathering Anthologies, the calendars, the trophies, little decorations and stuff for the auction.
Not long after it was check in time. Revel and I checked into our room, dropped off our luggage, hung up our jackets, costume material, and my little blue dress. We brushed our teeth after that long trip. Revel took a nap and I went back to the suite.
A large group of us went through the casino, to the elevators where we rode them up to the con area. We pushed around tables for the dealers and carried in panels and wooden beams for the art show. Afterwards we returned to the con suite where we were informed of Greg W's and Thom's plane, and where we had a great view of the afternoon thunderstorm. I'm used to such storms, but it was interesting to watch it.
When it as time for the official staff meeting, Emambu and I returned to my room and woke up Revel. The three of us went down to the Guadalajara for dinner. All three of us had a sandwich platter. Mine was the turkey club. After eating we returned to the room where we looked through Revel's sketch book and Emambu allowed us to look through his outline for his panel. We talked about the con and life and between 9:30 and 10:00 I drifted off.
I woke around one and heard Revel talk about how Greg Weisman did not like the new Batman movie. I changed into sleeping clothes, brushed my teeth, set the alarm and returned to bed.
"You'll have to do better than that!"
Mooncat's Gathering 2005 Journal…Part One
For me it began on the Wednesday before the Gathering, as with little sleep due to constant visitors the two days previous and frantic packing, I got up at 6am which was an hour later than planned. Even though my plane wasn't set to leave till around 1pm, my ride, who was also my house sitter, found out he had to go in to work that day and had to drop me off first, in the early morning, as he was borrowing my car during the week I'd be gone. Wretchedly tired, but running on pre-convention adrenalin, forgoing a morning shower or breakfast and hastily grabbing up my luggage and carryon and purse, we set off for the airport, my friend driving…
And found out it's a good thing we left early as we did because he completely missed the turn off for the airport as he chatted at me. But still, made it to the airport with plenty of time for him to get to work from there. Me and my luggage trundled into the check in area, where no living person was manning the desk for United (Ted), but fortunately I could just stick my credit card in the automated thingy and get my ticket/boarding pass… but darn if it didn't register the fact I had two pieces of luggage to check in! But finally a living person came to the desk, and made the adjustment and checked in my baggage. She offered to put me on an earlier flight to Denver (where I was to change over planes) but would be unable to make any earlier flights from Denver to Las Vegas, so I'd end up sitting in Denver for hours between flights.
I should have taken the earlier flight. As it was, I was so sleep deprived I thought spending time in the relatively quiet and peaceful local airport would be better than a bustling airport like Denver, and declined to make any changes to my flight plans…. STUPID MOVE… If at any time you can leave earlier, even if your connecting flight is supposed to change, DO SO. As it was, my original flight out was DELAYED, making me late for my connecting flight so much so I had to dash from one end of Denver's concourse to the area my connecting flight was to leave from and BARELY made it on board my flight…. Unfortunately as I was to learn later, my LUGGAGE didn't make the transition with me =(
But, I myself made it to Las Vegas pretty much on time, and then operating on only a single egg and cheese biscuit I snagged at my starting airport in the very early morning, and surviving the rest of the day on the tiny bag of pretzels they give out on the air flight, and half cup of beverage, I departed my plane and knew immediately that Vegas was quite a different city the moment I entered their air port. First thing you come across in the airport? SLOT MACHINES, rows and rows of them. Digital, and disappointingly modern and video game like. At the time it seemed a local eccentricity, a quirky thing to tell friends about later when recounting the trip. By the time I was to leave Vegas, I would be heartily sick of the ever present slot machines, because they are EVERYWHERE in that city, just everywhere. Even the little 7/11 quickstops have them. That, and the scent of cigarette smoke seemed ever present in Vegas.
But back to my missing luggage, which after patiently waiting at the luggage claim area, I realized was not forthcoming. I went to the alcove that United has for luggage problems and found out my luggage would be arriving on a later flight from Denver to Las Vegas, and was quickly assured that they could forward my luggage to my hotel. Since I had a dinner date set with my roomies Allaine and Princess Alexandria, (set up on my cell phone when I got off the plane) and I didn't want to keep them waiting, I accepted the United rep's offer to send my luggage along to the hotel and set off to catch the shuttle from the Airport to the Palace Station Hotel. After questioning a few people from the info desks and then the nice policemen on their cute bicycles I found the spot to wait for the shuttle. That part was very easy, and I arrived with my purse and carryon (a nice large over the shoulder bag that unfortunately did not have a spare set of clothes, only my reading materials and such, to find Allaine and Princess at the hotel *^_^* … (to be continued)
"I've been looking for you!"
Very brief con journal for Gathering Vegas 2005. I'm used to doing longer ones, but lordy, I just haven't had the time (or the memory, haah) *_*
I worked all day:P
Then I got home and packed and was trying my hardest to get ready for the art show. That so didn't work out for many reasons, even if I finished, sorta, a couple of pieces. I stressed and ended up just saying I wasn't going to bother. It was just unnecessary strain on my already twitchy self.
Got up super early and went to airport for my flight at 7am to Vegas. Thankfully the Southwest lines were fast moving and was checked, given a boarding pass and gone through security in about 45 minutes. Beautiful. Anyways, I got on the plane and found out that I had Speed Racer in LA style traffic for a pilot. I felt sick after that flight *_*
Anyways, I landed about 8:30 am, but didn't get my luggage until sometime after nine and didn't catch a shuttle for some time after that. By 10:15ish I was on my way to the Stratosphere Hotel, where all us folks who value our lungs and don't mind commuting a bit were staying. ^_^ Cindy directed me to our room ( haha, that was funny) and I made it up to the 23rd floor and finally got a chance to eat the breakfast I had gotten two hours earlier but hadn't eaten. I still wasn't feeling too hot after eating, but it was bearable.
We ( the herd of Stratosphere folks) headed over to the con not long after that and went to register. I hadn't pre-registered, though they had it listed as such in the book, hahaa. I saw some of the Miniclanners ( lexy, Solstice and Oracle) so I chatted a minute, then ran into Jade Griffin, Julie and others while we all waited for the general registration to open up. It did and I got my badge and stuff, then headed straight for the art room, where I saw Liz, Andrea and Tony, and other folks. We laughed and greeted each other and stuff, then I was conscripted into helping Liz put up her art of doom. I think we went to a panel too, on garg anatomy.
After that we went to opening ceremonies, which was very cool. Lots of stuff that we hadn't seen/heard before -Keith David's "I've been denied everything, even my convention!!!!!" line was just spectacular, since he couldn't come. Vashkoda's leica reel was awesome! Hopefully there'll be more next time:]
After opening ceremonies, I can't remember exactly what happened, except that I felt totally sick and needed to eat or something. The smoke of the Palace station was kicking my behind, so I told folks I was going to eat something…anything and left. Ran into Nezumi and we braved the Guadalajara restaurant in the casino. The salsa and chips were good. I felt better afterwards and then I went back to the con.
…I have no idea what happened after that. O_o I just know I crashed that night and felt horrid when I did, but much better the next day.
Me and Cindy slept in, thank God. I was awoken by a call from Darth Vader on my Nextel phone at some ungodly before 10 am hour, but I mumbled at him that he didn't put out enough to wake me up so early and to call back later. I went back to sleep after that.
We did get up eventually and went to the Aladdin hotel for their buffet, which is AMAZING. We then wandered into the Paris Hotel and I oogled some chocolate desserts that I'd had the last time I was in vegas. Thankfully, I abstained, though it was difficult. After that we went to the con and hung out in the art room. I was having a severe bout of "I can't draw to save my life" so I was just hanging out and attempting to produce something…anything. It wasn't working. So I actually just hung out a lot, I think. I know I didn't go to any panels that day even though they had the big comic unveiling info session thingy.
Me and Cindy eventually headed back to the strip and visited Excalibur and…Ra…gawd, what was the name..er..yeah! Luxor. That was it. We visited the Luxor and put a lot of shiney powder on. We debated on heading back to the con, as it was almost 6pm, but ended up just going to the Stratosphere. We had a jackass of a cab driver and so we decided to get a massage in the water massge thingies. Oh My Gawd. HEAVEN. That is soooooooo good! I have to do it again, let me tell you.
That night, we went out to celebrate Laurean's impending nuptials and had a bizarrely fun time. Didn't get to bed until ungodly hours.
Cindy had panels to give today, so we got up earlier than usual and had breakfast at the Lucky Café in the Stratosphere. Very very good quiche and waffle dishes!!! It was lovely. I bought a Chinese fan that morning but apparently left it in the hotel somewhere o_x
We trotted over to the Palace Station. And once again, accosted the art room. Cindy had to give her panels eventually, so I hung out with Kyt and Liz and so forth. Once again, attempted to draw and failed miserably. I ended up in a bidding war with Sonia Lai over Kyt's sexy hot Goliath piece, but we both lost to an interloper ;_; I hope he has a good home. However I did get Liz's Red and White piece, which made me squee with joy.
Ended up going to the radio play which was awesome and funny! This was honestly the first radio play that I've been to before, heh. I was happy that it wasn't too long, nor too short - I've heard the stories of the some of the other radio plays being very long. Since I don't really sit still, I thought that it was a good length.
After the play, I went with Liz, Julie, Kyt and Seth ( not irc goliath Seth) and hung out in Julie and Liz's room until around the time for the banquet. I didn't dress up, though Julie was super hot and gorgeous in her dress!:D:D The food was okay - I am not a fan of eggplant, personally though I would;ve enjoyed a veggie main dish and I would've preferred dessert with dinner. In any case, the best part of the banquet was the little gargoyle candle holders! Those were really cute.
After dinner, we headed back up to Liz and Julie's room because Liz volunteered to let folks change there. Anyways, I think it was the original folks, plus Sonia Lai and Nezumi who made our way up there and hung out. Dancer made an appearance at some point too. We had planned to oogle the masquerade folks and the casino people reactions, but I left before that and headed down to the banquet room again. I got to sit with the Miniclanners, which was SO AWESOME. I love you guys!!!!:D Anyways, that was cool and the masquerade was fun. Cindy was sexy and purple and I was very amused XD
Anyways, the awards for the masquerade and art show were given out and of course, Liz and Kyt cleaned house, but Nezumi got an award too, along with Jade, Cindy, Karine and Nikki, so I was all jazzed because they all did some seriously kickass art. Kudos to everyone who entered the art show and won awards because you all were fabulous!!!!!
After the masquerade, I think we just hung out. Normally we have some sort of dancing or karaoke or something, but nothing this year, so we hung out and the costumed folks trickled back in after removing their costumes. Everyone then proceeded to have a good time. Sexual Hilter and all that jazz. XD
Uh…we got up at our normal time, and went and had waffles at the Lucky café. Teehee. We made our way over to the con, and chilled in the art room again. I started doodling - I brought my ipod this time to see if a little music couldn't kick my brain into action. It worked, so I sketched in people's sketchbooks. :D I owe Liz a sexy sketch of her lion tiger owl towel guy still, since he's who I wanted to draw. XD
Anyways, It was really low key - folks were leaving and stuff on Monday - the con was a day longer than normal this year. I picked up my Liz piece and enjoyed it. Also watched a little bit of the silent auction, then went back to arting in the art show room.
And OMG, I pre registered for next year. I'd get kicked if I didn't show up for the con in my own back yard:P Anyways, I'm planning ahead, heh. The closing ceremonies was short and sweet. I said goodbye to a LOT of people who were leaving Monday, including the minclanners. They're so cute:D
Uh, after the art room closed down, we all headed out to the Star Trek Experience and ate at Quark's. Kyt got harassed by a Klingon, Tony thought Michael Dorn was talking to him in the toilet, Cindy and I shared a giant smoking and bubbling fish bowl and Oomox is the new orgasm. XD And Andrea's tribble was awful cute >:]
The best of the two rides was the Klingon encounter and I am apparently Jean Luc Picard's ancestor.
We said goodbye to Seth (the irc Goliath one :]) and Karine as they both had late night flights out of Vegas. I wsa sad to see them go :[ Greg had departed before we got on the rides, so everyone was sorta leaving. It was very sad. The reunion was coming to an end.
A bunch of us ended up chilling at the Stratosphere until really late. I finished drawing Dr. Penguin and Ninja Bear for Cindy XD and also consumed this black forest ice cream and cake thing from the haagen daaz store in the hotel. SO GOOD.
Went to bed late:P
Nose and throat felt like sandpaper so I was drinkin' lots of water. I got wedged in the back under some suitcases and we went to pick up Julie. Said goodbye to Liz ;_; Then we went to eat and then headed out of Vegas. Jen and the crew were kind enough to drop me off at the airport and I said goodbye to everyone - Julie, Kyt, Cindy, Patrick and Jen, then headed home.
The flight was fun because I was half asleep and there was lots of turbulence. A LOT.
And my cat pooped on my bed because I was gone too long for his tastes.
"Farewell, my enemies!"
Con/Vacation Journal Part 2
First up (after breakfast .. SUGAR!!) was Clan Olympics - Trivia Torture!
Abe and I ran around getting stuff organised (I did a lot of dashing from the con rooms to our rooms that weekend, this was repaid to me later -_-), running late as usual. Good thing this is the Con though - nothing ever starts on time :)
I love Trivia Torture, it's great to see just what one team will do to another in the hopes of winning cheap plastic medals ...
One of the first-time Con-goers was this sweet looking young girl by the name of Fusion Demon ... Never EVER trust a cute 14 year old girl. They're evil!
Fusion Demon was the one to come up with the grossest foods combinations used in the torture - OJ peppermint and Vegemite shots, aerosol cheese pickles and hot sauce .. her mind is a dark dark place and I shudder to think what she's going to be capable of when she's all grown up.
Good luck on that world domination thing Fusion Demon! XD
As it was the game went off well, save for one girl who got peppermint essence in her eye and Patcher, who got sick after the event.
One team consisted of a family, and the parents seemed to take great delight in torturing their kids. Then the sisters started on each other ... Aaah, family love, it's just beautiful ^__^
We still hadn't finished coming up with clues for the next CO game (Really Difficult Charades), so we went up to Abes room and brainstormed for an hour or so. It was fun. The first clues were hard to come up with, but once you set the ball rolling we were writing down heaps.
'99 bottles of beer on the wall' and 'Go go Gadget arms' were two of my favourites ^_^
I left Abe in his room so I could go get some lunch (I found Subway!) and catch the start of the Slave Labour Graphics panel. By this point my sugar high had well and truly worn off and I was quite tired, so Kyt leant me a shoulder to lean on. Comfy :)
The panel was interesting, though not as informative about the Gargoyles comics as people had hoped. Understandable though, Gargoyles was a last minute inclusion. Still, the other comics look good, especially the Haunted Mansion one.
I had to leave the panel early to set up for Charades, so if anything was revealed after I left someone will have to let me know.
Charades was fun! One team totally ruled at it - they got 9 out of 10 right. And they were hard ones too.
Afterwards we slipped in a bonus game of Greed, using the flashing rubber dice that I brought for Abe. It was fun to watch (and unlike the other props that we gave away freely, Abe kept the dice for himself. They were shiny ^_^).
There was some confusion that evening about what our plans were for tea. In the end I went with Liz, New Seth, Nezumi, Jade Griffen and Clan Arcadia to the MGM Grand for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Before we met up with JG and Arcadia, we went for a walk around the strip. This is where my body rebelled and decided to grow HUGE blisters on the balls of my feet, right behind my toes.
I barely made it to the MGM Grand, I just wanted to sit down and cry it hurt that much :(
Still, the walk was worth it - the restaurant was really nice (food was kinda Eh though), the drinks were yummy, there was a zebra and a snarling hippopotamus hiding in the canopy, and in the souvenir store I found a chameleon hand puppet!
I bought him right away and named him Pepe. I carried him round for the rest of the Con and Jade Griffen even drew a picture of us both ^__^
Rather than walk back to where we parked the car (the Paris), we rode the monorail. Liz was disappointed we didn't get the Borg one, but I was just glad not to be walking. I've never been on a monorail before, this one was quick and smooth and CLEAN. Public transport that's clean? you don't get that in every city :D
Anyway, we got back to the hotel safely then practically collapsed on the bed for a heap of sleep.
I woke up in the morning with incredibly sore feet, so after a shower I borrowed and exacto blade from Liz and took care of my blisters. I spent most of the day walking around bare foot, only putting on my shoes when I got told off by the security guard at the elevators. I took them back off once I was out of sight anyway :)
I spent most of the morning just lazing about the Dealers Hall, talking to people and making bids on items. I ended up buying this huge black cloak from the Ren Faire dealer, Kate. I can't wait to wear it!
The last Clan Olympics event for the con was the Hunters Moon Dash. A kind of scavenger hunt involving things that Abe hid around the hotel as well as stuff they had to scrounge for themselves.
Once again, the bonuses for this year involved getting staff members to stand in the boxes, though this year we made it harder and specified 2 staff members of the opposite sex :D
It was so much fun to see all the teams run around like maniacs, tying to find their items. Not to mention the mess they made! One team was the clear winner - they got all the items, save one, on the list. The one item they missed was the one no-one got: a frisbee the didn't say Nevada, Las Vegas or Palace Station Hotel. It was agreed by all the teams that there wasn't a single frisbee to be found in the area, let alone one that was tourist labelled :)
When the game was over we cleaned up as best we could (my gods, the mess!), made sure that everyone returned the stuff they had borrowed from the hotel, then we went upstairs and tallied the points. Clan Challenged won (again), followed by both the Arcadia teams. We sorted out the medals for them, then made up a few bonus awards for Fusion Demon, Patcher and the Leonards. They deserved them :)
Next it was back down to the Dealers Hall and the bidding war that had erupted over some of 'my' items. I managed to snag the Gargles t-shirt, lost out on Nikki's art work, and send Kyt's 'Branches' and the Demona/Xanatos/Steel Clan toys to auction on Monday.
The Banquet was coming up, so we went upstairs to change. I love any excuse to dress up, so I wore my slinky black skirt and sparkly halter top. Abe wasn't feeling up to it and he gave his seat to Kyt, so we sat on a table with Flanker, Sarah-The-Great, Liz, Shara, New Seth, Sonia, Denis, and I think Karlyl .. I can't remember, sorry!
The food was kinda Eh. I don't eat beef or eggplant, and the chicken was badly cooked. But I still enjoyed myself - it's about the company you keep, not the food you eat.
After the food was cleared away, we had time till the Masquerade/dessert part of the night began. So we hung out upstairs and got to see some of the costumes before wandering back down to the hall and grabbing a table a little closer to the front.
There weren't a great number of costumes this year, but they were all well done. Benny and Erin were absolutely adorable as Goliath and Holly. Fusion Demon rocked in her outfit (remember, she's evil and will rule the world one day, I know it). Shara's Brooklyn costume ruled, Onyx's was funny. I like the wings on Echo's and Revel makes a a great Jackal (I really want to do Hyena one day). Nikki's Sin and Cindy's Banshee were both sexy :)
Unsurprisingly, Shara won Best Costume for Brooklyn ^_^
Abe and I gave out the Clan Olympics awards and I think Abe said he'll be back to do it next year. I hope so, it's so much fun to watch, but I don't think I'll co-host next year - too much stress!
The art awards were given out - Liz scooped the pool with her Zodiac series and a couple of others. Kyt, Nikki and Nezumi won a couple too :)
After everything was over we hung out in the hall just talking crap, would have been nice to have some music or something though.
I got really tired at about 1 so I went upstairs and crashed.
I am very disappointed to have missed the man-love fest that seemed to be going on at Jen's table. Thankfully, Jen had her camera with her and we can all giggle over it ^_^
I woke up at 6am, sick to my stomach. Yup, Julie puked. Yay -_-
I lay on the bed for a couple of hours till Liz woke up, then we went downstairs in search of a breakfast that wouldn't make me hurl. Liz, Dreamie and I ended up in the Guadalahara Cafe. I got toast, they got food that was mostly edible :/
The rest of my day was spent napping on a giant inflatable smiley-face ball in the Dealers Room. I hate being sick!
The day wasn't a total waste, as it was the last day everyone else was just hanging out and chatting, so I caught up with people. Jade Griffen drew her picture of me and Pepe, which made me happy.
At the Auction I managed to get my mitts on Kyt's pic and the toys. It cost me $145, but it was so worth it! I ended up giving the Steel Clan toy to JG (it was the Demona and Xanatos that I was really after).
I hung out for the rest of the Auction, just to see what the other items would sell for. The comics and script did well. As did the poker chips.
While I was waiting, I got Greg to sign my con book. No-one told me that Thom had left, so I was kinda disappointed that I missed out on his autograph. Oh well, next year! :)
I said a sad goodbye to Abe, who had to rush back to Arizona that night so he could go to work on Tuesday. Then I took off with Jen, Karine, Kyt, Karlyl, Cindy, Greg W, Andrea, Anthony, Patrick, Seth/IRC Goliath, New Seth, Jade Griffen, Liz, Miranda and Scott (Hah! Say that in one breath ^_^) for the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton.
We had a great meal at Quarks Bar (expensive, but still yummy). Jen, Karine, Cindy, Karlyl, Andrea and Anthony all had Borg Spheres. A large alcoholic drink commonly known as a fish bowl, because that's what it's served in. A big, round fish bowl.
They even put dry ice in it so it smokes!
I would have had a go at one (or one of the 'lesser' alcoholic drinks), but I was still feeling kinda queasy and I didn't want to give my body more reasons to puke.
During the meal we were visited by a Ferengi and a Klingon. Kyt got totally Kling-owned! T'was funny XD
We were all heading off for the rides when Greg had to leave, so we all said our goodbyes and tried to round up our group so we could all enter at once.
We rode the Borg ride first. It was in 3D, very well done and a lot of fun. The poking by the seats was weird and kinda freaky at first. There were shouts of 'Titania! Save us!' when Janeway appeared on screen.
Aaah, multi-fandom geekdom ^_^
It was a god ride, but there could have been more than one Borg stalking round the set, I was honestly expecting a little more from it.
There were too many of us to fit into the next running of the Kilngon ride, so we waited in line for the next go-round. I really pity the few mundanes that got caught on that ride with us ^_^
This one was a ride simulator, not in 3D, but I think it was better. Very stomach churning.
Anthony and I were both by the door of the shuttle, so we started playing with the control panels. The crew member told us off, claiming we could set off the self-destruct. Hehehehe ^__^
The best part of the ride was where parts of the Strip blew up. Huzzah! XD
When the rides were all over most of us when back to the stratosphere and hung out in Jen's room. Some went downstairs in a hunt for food, the rest of us stayed upstairs and discovered JG's little secret - she's actually a *very* naughty girl.
Maybe if your lucky, she'll scan her 'Jade Strippin' pic and show it off :D
The fact that most of us were leaving in the morning sent us packing back to the hotel, where we passed out (again).
I got so much sleep at this years con, but I was still exhausted. Go figure :)
August 2 - August 11
Time to say goodbye! Liz and a few others were staying on, so we hung out in the foyer with them till Jen and co turned up. Saw GregX in time to say goodbye before his shuttle left.
Liz ended up hooking up with the leftovers of Clan's Challenged and Arcadia while I joined the others for the trek home to California.
But first! We had to get 8 suitcases and 6 people in the car. It was kinda like Tetris, but with people. Poor Karlyl ended up buried under baggage. Most of us did actually. Luckily, she was only with us to be dropped off at the airport, so after another sad goodbye we re-arranged the car and took off once more.
The drive was loooong, and a little boring. But we were too tired to care.
Kyt had to go home (she had work in the morning) but Cindy and Patrick stayed the night.
Cindy had stuff to do in the theatre that evening, so she left in the morning. Jen, Patrick and I took off for food, then Jen left for work. I spent a lovely afternoon sleeping on the couch (this was when I made the awful discovery that I snore).
Jen brought her kids home with her - they're a wonderful bunch. I had a great time meeting them and I'm really going to miss them :(
We went out for Thai, I'd never had it before and it was lovely. Patrick left not long after to catch his flight, so then it was just me,Jen and the kids.
The last week has just flown by. Jen got the Con Cooties (I've avoided it .. so far) so we didn't go paint the town red. But we still managed to enjoy ourselves.
I was introduced to Firefly - I'm leaving with the box set tucked safely away in my suitcase.
We made cookies and overdosed on sugar.
I spent waaay to much money on comics, DVDs and toys.
Kyt came back down for the weekend, which was fun.
We went and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - the most cracked out movie in the history of forever! I loved it :D
I pre-registered for next year, so now I have incentive to come back. I think at some point I offered to be Jen's Con lackey in exchange for a spot on her floor before the con.
I don't intend to spend 4 weeks on holiday next year, but it would be nice to hang out with people for a while in a non-con environment.
All in all, my vacation rocked! I had a great time, the bad parts totally wiped out by all the good stuff that happened.
I'm going to miss everyone. LJ and IM just aren't the same thing.
Photos should be going up when I get home on Saturday.
My hands hurt from typing this all up ^_^
"Farewell, my enemies!"
Vacation/Con Journal Part 1
Last year was my first Gathering and I enjoyed it so much I decided to come back this year. With one major change - I would be spending more than a week there. Just over 3 to be exact.
Yeah, this is goingot be a loooong one ^_^
July 19 & 20
Since I was dropping $3500 on airfares, I decided to make the most of my vacation, so I arranged with Kelly/KWSapphire to spend a week at her place in Florida.
My flight out was horrendous! Air New Zealand decided to strike that week, so I had to add an extra flight to an already long trip, jsut to make my connecting flight to LA. Not to mention the 19 hour layover in LA
I went from Melbourne->Christchurch->Auckland->LA->Denver->Tampa. It took two days and I was sick as a dog for the last 2 legs. On arrival in LA I was told a room had been booked for me at the Radisson (sp?), due to the airline strikes. All I had to do was get on the Radisson shuttle, tell them who I was and everything would be taken care of.
Firstly, I think I got on the wrong shuttle - I ended up in Culver City. Secondly, they had no idea what I was talking about when I explained my problem. They called around for me and found a room at the LA Plaza.
That I had to pay for.
Still, a real bed was nice, as was real food and a shower! I didn't get any real sleep, but that was ok, it was just nice to lie down for a while.
I was supposed to catch up with Trishana/Karlyl during my layover, but I didn't get to my hotel room till well after 6pm, so we just chatted on the phone for a while instead.
I left for LAX at 430am, glad I did too - the airport was chockers. It took forever to get through the lines. I really wanted to not be sick today, but it was not to be. I was violently ill on the way to Denver, enough to worry the flight staff.
I hadn't eaten that day, not much the day previously, and with the lack of sleep I was really out of it. I was shaking a fair bit, so they got someone to wheelchair me to my connecting terminal. I'm, kinda glad they did - Denver airport is HUGE! I had to take a train to get to the next gate 0_0
Once again I was sick, but managed to get some sleep on the flight to Tampa.
Boy was I glad to see Kelly!
We stopped off at Wal-Mart on the way home (my first real taste of America :P), ate some toast to settle my stomach and then layed out on the couch and watched this trippy Christian Bale movie, Equilibrium.
My second day in America and it started off in a comic shop. So much money spent! (SO much more I could have spent)
As a result I now have a nifty Carrie Kelly!Robin figurine, with working sling-shot!
We met up with Kelly's mum (Hey Pat!) for lunch, eating at this great little buffet place called Sweet Tomatoes. Now if that were a world-wide franchise instead of Maccas ....
The afternoon was taken up by napping and the evening by Batman TAS episodes ^_^
For the first time, in a loooong time, I went to the beach. Clearwater is absolutely beautiful. White sand, warm water.
A pirate ship on the horizon ... (damn I wish I had pics of that, it was cool)
The water was shallow out to a fair distance, thanks to a sand bar, so it was fun to wade out and body ride the smaller waves :) Thunder clouds were coming in over the water just as we were leaving, it made a lovley sight. We then went off to lunch at Los Mariachis, really nice Mexican.
Anna/[info]prinlee was coming over for a night out, so I made myself pretty for her. She was so happy to see us, especially after I gave her the wombat she (jokingly) requested :)
I know what Anna looks like and you don't! (I even have pictures, which no-one is allowed to see :P)
Went to this little greek place, Mykonos, in Tarpon SPrings for tea.
All the food I'd had so far had been great, this was no exception. After tea we went to Madeira Beach and hung out on the beach, chatted and watched the sun set. Anna hung around till midnight, she finally got to see the Gathering featurette from last year and we pointed out all the people she might know.
All in all it was a really great day and I'm disappointed we didn't get to catch up again before I left :/
We had a nice lay morning before heading out to Kelly's parents place for lunch. Their house is beautiful and her parents are great people.
Lazed around the house all afternoon before heading out for the night. We went to a sushi restaurant, but I wansn't feeling adventurous, so I had something cooked ;)
Later on we headed out to a club called Banana Joes. It wasn't really my scene, but Kelly enjoyed herself. Ended up falling asleep (rather uncomfortably) on the couch at someones house, before heading home at 730am.
Showered in an attempt to feel human again, as there was no chance in hell of me getting any more sleep that morning. 3 hours would have to do :)
Kelly ducked out for a while, so I was dropped off for our trip to Busch Gardens. Hmm, while I did have a good time there, it would have been better without the torrential rain and huge-arse thunderstorm.
Would have gotten more than one ride in certainly :D At least Kelly got in a few games of DDR between ride lines (got a good crowd watching by the end too)
As it was, we ended up standing around on a staircase for 2 hours waiting for the storm to pass so we could get on the ride. We almost got struck by lightning! By the time the storm had passed it was getting late, so we decided to go home instead :D
I think I slept for 10 hours that night, but I still woke up tired!
Today can be summed up in 2 words:
Yup, almost all the episodes from Volume 3, one after the other. I fell asleep at around 930pm and woke up at 11 (this is when Kelly made the awful discovery that I snored, something I didn't believe till a few days ago). It was decided to go to bed and finish up in the morning :)
More shopping. This time for DVDs at Target, followed by another trip to the comic shop. Kelly ended up talking for about an hour with this guy who turned out to be an inker for the Fantastic Four editions of the House of M storyline, Don Hillsman II. He got her to sketch in his artbook, while I raided the back issue boxes.
Once again, spent lots on money, and resisted spending even more. At least my brother will love me - I bought him some Deadpool comics!
We decided to go see a movie in the evening, but got there too late to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or Fantastic Four. Ended up watching Bewitched instead. It was alright, but really not something I'd go out of my way to watch. Amusing though.
Last day in Florida, so we went back to the beach. The tide was out, so the water wasn't as smooth, also I tripped on something on the sand and cut my foot, but apart from that I had fun. We brought lunch and ate it on the sand. I got a little brown. A little :)
Just happened to meet up with Kelly's parents for tea at Cricketers, a nice coincidence. It meant I got to say goodbye :)
It was an early night, due to having to get up at 6am to go to the airport.
Viva Las Vegas Baby!!
The day started out early - 6am usually doesn't appear on my alarm clock, but it had to that morning. I'm glad we did start out early though, the check-in desk was severely under-manned and it took forever to get my bags checked in. It didn't help that I'd never used an E-ticket before and didn't know the procedure.
Then, waiting in line to pass through Security, I got pulled aside and got the complete you-are-a-potential-terrorist work-over :)
Yay for pat-downs by middle-aged chunky women!
The one thing I was determined to not have happen this flight was the inevitable puking. Ladies and Gentlemen, can I get a round of applause for dramamine? The wonder drug that, for some incomprehensible reason, is not available in Australia :) That stuff tastes like shit, but it does work. I think it was responsible for me sleeping most of the way to Atlanta.
Waiting to re-board in Atlanta, I succumbed to temptation and bought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. By the time I landed in Vegas I was 3/4 of the way through (and by the time I left on Tuesday I'd finished it, so much for saving it to read on the plane home ^_^)
At the airport I was supposed to hook up with Liz and Nikki/Y2Hecate, who were landing within a half hour of me. So I found a cleanish patch of floor at the exit and proceeded to wait for them. And wait. And wait some more.
Luckily I had Andrea, Anthony and Nezumi to keep me company, because we ended up waiting about 2 hours for them to show up. It turned out that the airline had lost the suitcase carrying Liz's markers, about $900 worth and they had to hang around while calls were made and forms filled out. We hung out on the exit floor for a while longer then caught the shuttle to the Palace Station, site of this year's Con. I know others have had bad opinions of the place, but apart from the indoor smoking I never really had a problem - the beds were comfy, the AC worked, the food wasn't too hideous .. :)
At the hotel Liz, Nezumi and I hooked up with Jade Griffin and her friend Seth Long (hereafter called New Seth) and went out for Chinese. Apparently Vegas has a Chinatown :) Back at the hotel we hung out at the Con-Suite and picked up out packets early (we're sneaky :P) and discovered that due to several mix-ups, we wouldn't be going out with Jen/Crzydemona and her group to see naked men dance. At my (joking) comment that I was really looking forward to stuffing dollar bills down someones undies, a young woman came over and promptly unzipped her pants and showed me her panties. They were green and very pretty. I gave her a dollar ;D
That was my very first introduction to Dancer ^_^
Not long after that we were kicked out of the con-suite, so we went down to the foyer to wait for Jen, Cindy, Patrick, Kythera, Karlyl. Rounding them up, we (them, JG, New Seth, Liz, I, Andrea and Anthony) went off to the hotel's not-so-irish Irish Pub.
Mmmmm, Kahlua and milk ^_^
At this point of the night it was getting quite late and the new arrivals still hadn't eaten, so we trooped off across the road to the Macaroni Grill for some Italian. It was nice, but the best part was the paper tablecloths we got to doodle all over :)
The last part of the night (before I completely collapsed at midnight) was spent just chatting in the foyer with the group and a heap of other new arrivals.
After a shower and a cheap breakfast, I was ready to start my Con Experience.
This year I had succumbed to insanity and offered to co-host the Clan Olympics with Scott/Brother Abe And since he would be arriving late, it was up to me to coerce 4 or more teams into playing, as well as run the first two events. Sarah-The-Great was a great help in rounding up a few teams (including her own), so a big Thank You! to her. We decided to hang out a the Con-Virgin 101 panel to help explain what exactly the CO were, and to recruit a little too. Good thing we did - we got first dibs on the free cake and ice cream when it came out! :D
Next up was the Thom Adcox mug-a-guest (mixed with a really quick lunch). It was a great time, only a dozen or so people, and Thom has the best stories. Next year, he'd better bring in that standee of him in a chicken suit (or even just a picture of it) or I'm going to be mighty disappointed :D
Afterwards, in a slight panic, I set up for the first CO event - a ball relay. Easy enough in theory, but not when it's a giant yellow smiley beach-ball that you can only carry with your back or front (no limbs or other helpy-type things at all). Not to mention the envelopes that contained potential bonuses on the floor (I made them pick them up with their feet, I'm evil ^_^). I'd managed to rope Liz into helping me host the first two events, I think she enjoyed herself quite nicely :) Unlike last year, there were only 5 teams, but they were great - big thanks to Team Challenge, Da Brogues, Bottom of the Barrel, Clan Arc and Clan Adia.
All up, it was a great event, full of chaos and confusion and laughter. Typical Clan Olympics really ^_^
As this even ended just before Opening Ceremonies, I had to run around and clean up as well as get some food. I learned last year that not eating beforehand lead to a humongous headache. Unfortunately, my lack of knowledge of the existence of a Subway in the hotel meant that I ended up with Burger King. Eew >.<
Opening Ceremonies was excellent this year. In addition to the regular stuff (gawd, I sound like a veteran :P) we were also graced with an alternative first pitch video and a fan-made lieca reel of 'The Last', the unmade Team Atlantis episode.
We were also told more about the Season 2 DVD release - the first 26 episodes, up to 'Kingdom', will (hopefully) be out by the end of the year. The second half of the season will, no doubt, rely on sales of part 1. We also got to see a teaser of the special features, part of an interview.
Greg didn't really get into much about the comic, probably due to the fact that there was a panel scheduled exclusively for that the next day.
The highlight of OC had to have been Keith Davids sorry-I-couldn't-be-here section of the cast/crew tape - "I've been denied everything, even my CONVENTION!" ^_^ I don't think we'll ever run out of variations of that line for him to say :D
After OC I Liz and I had to set up for Clan Olympics event 2 - Shot in the Dark. I love this one! A series of targets, 5 squishy tentacle balls and a room with no lights on. Way fun.
The teams loved it too, so much so that a second round of it was hosted by Scott on Monday night, just for fun :)
Some of the team members scuttled off to Jade Griffens MGT, so others had to double up on turns, but we didn't have any drama over it. In fact the game went quicker than I thought it would, so I had plenty of time to make it to the Blue mug-a-guest. While it wasn't all that blue, it certainly wasn't entirely clean.
I loved Greg's reaction to someone asking if a gay character would be introduced in W.I.T.C.H, he said there was someone they were thinking of, but he would say who. Immediately Anthony and Andrea both yelled "Is it [CENSORED]?" Greg, quite shocked, asked how they knew. This must have really ate at him, because later in the night he stopped in the middle of an answer, turned to them and exclaimed "How did you know it was [CENSORED]?!" (or possibly her was looking for an excuse not to answer - with Greg, who knows XD )
At 1am I was having great difficulty making my eyes focus, so I trundled off to bed, after saying a quick "HI" to Scott.
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."
Allaine's Gathering Journal
Wednesday, July 27
Compared to last year, coming to Las Vegas was uneventful. I boarded a 11 AM EST flight at Phila International Airport. It landed at 1:30 PM PST, which gave me just enough time to read Harry Turtledove's Settling Accounts in its entirety. I didn't make it to the hotel until 3 PM, though, because the shuttle I boarded stopped at three other hotels, including one downtown, before mine.
Princess Alexandria, Mooncat, and Summer Jackel were my roommates this year, but Summer wasn't due to arrive until Friday morning. When I got to the hotel, Alexandria had already checked in, and she met me at the front desk. Mooncat wasn't going to come for another couple hours, so we went to our room and I dropped off my bags. I gave Alexandria several chapters of a story I'd been working on as a surprise gift, and then we went to the Guadelajara Cafe, which normally was the Palace Station's Mexican restaurant. But this weekend they were renovating the 24-hour restaurant, so the Guadalajara had expanded hours and American items on the menu. We went for a snack, because Mooncat wanted us to have dinner with her once she arrived. That took place around 5:30. Needless to say, I was really happy to see both of them. We'd been planning the details for weeks.
The Palace Buffet was, I suppose, what one would expect for $6.99. A lot of choices, none of which were exactly superb. Still, it did the trick, I guess. Alex and I weren't that hungry, so we could pick and graze as much or as little as we liked. After that it was back to our room again. Mooncat had been told upon landing that her luggage was on another plane that wouldn't arrive until later, but that they would deliver her baggage to the hotel. Until then, she had the clothes on her back and not much else.
We eventually decided to visit a local miniature golf course Alex claimed to have seen from the freeway near the hotel. As we were walking out, we ran into Kathy Pogge and Mandolin, our first Gathering guests, and we talked for a while. We caught a taxicab, and proceeded on a laughable half-hour drive where our driver assured us he knew what a miniature golf course was. Alexandria kept trying to explain anyway. "You know, windmills," she said. I sat in the back and muttered, "He has no idea what she's talking about."
He didn't. He took us to a typical country club. The valet there told us that we were looking for a place called Skandia, which was on Industrial Blvd. He was half-right, as it turned out. We drove up and down Industrial but saw nothing. Eventually we went back to the hotel, threw thirty dollars at the driver for the fare, and went inside.
The bell desk informed us that we could walk to Skandia in fifteen minutes if we went out the back entrance. Someone, at last, who knew what they were talking about. We walked up Rancho Drive for a while and arrived at the mini golf course. We played eighteen holes of miniature golf without bothering to keep a detailed scorecard. Instead we just paid attention to who got the best score on each hole, and then whoever "won" the most holes would win. I think I won by three. At the end they had this 18th hole where you got a free game if you made a hole-in-one. Both Alexandria and I got holes-in-one, and we gave our passes to someone else.
By then we headed back to the hotel because it was dark outside. Mooncat's luggage hadn't arrived yet. Apparently the same company handles all the missing luggage and makes one big delivery run at night. The bell desk said they'd call us if it arrived by ten, but we assured them that we'd be up until midnight. Good call. They brought her luggage to our room at 10:30. Mooncat had been wondering what she was going to wear to bed, so that was good timing.
We crashed in our room, and watched some TV and some videos on Mooncat's laptop. I gave Mooncat a T-shirt, and she gave me a Kim Possible snow globe, some Batman: The Animated Series commissioned art, and two Kim Possible posters. We went to bed around midnight, as predicted.
Thursday, July 28
Since we had a whole day before the Gathering began, we decided we would hit the Strip today. We took the hotel shuttle to the Tropicana, and from there we checked out most of the major casino/hotels in the surrounding area. The heat was brutal, so we tried to stay indoors as much as possible. First we went to the MGM Grand and saw the lion habitat. From there we got a little turned around, and ended up at the Excalibur, which was cute. We checked out the shops, and I won a little telescoping lance when some woman failed to guess my birth month.
The best part was next - the Luxor. I love ancient Egyptian history and culture, so it instantly appealed to me. They did a really nice job with the place too. Golden sarcophagi, obelisks, realistic-looking walls, sphinxes, etc. We looked in a couple shops here, and I bought a small cat statuette. We also agreed we'd have to drag Summer back there, because there were plenty of statues with jackal motifs. Then we went upstairs and walked through the King Tut museum, which contained a recreation of the rooms of Tut's tomb. We were right in the heart of the Luxor pyramid. You could see all the rooms above us, and the elevators that moved diagonally. We tried to ride one, but they're key-operated. We got a snack before we left.
After that we went to Mandalay Bay, which was also very nice and very new. We basically strolled through the whole casino until we got the Shark Reef, which we decided to come back to if Summer was interested. The place looks gorgeous, but by then my feet just hurt. We ended up heading outside despite the heat and walking past the front of the Mandalay and the Luxor. There was a lot of really nice statuary out front, and I got plenty of pictures. Then we went back to the Tropicana and boarded a shuttle to the Fashion Show Mall. We walked around the mall for a while, then went outside to Treasure Island. We thought about staying around for the free Sirens show outside the TI, but ended up leaving instead. Probably a good thing, because it started to rain as we got on the Mall shuttle, and when we returned to the hotel it was pouring.
We had dinner at a place called the Broiler, which had large portions and was pretty nice. At some point I left Alexandria and Mooncat to their own devices and went to the Con Suite. Lynati and Aaron Wheeler were helping with a lot of the work for my game show panel Monday morning, and we still had a LOT to do, so we agreed I should come by that night before the Gathering began. As it happened, Lynati spent most of the night working on the registration packets, so I just sat in on a discussion with Greg Weisman and some other people, and we talked about things like comic books and "why the Batman Begins movie sucked". (And now Greg knows my name :D).
I think Ellen Stolfa dropped by our hotel room at one point, and we talked for a bit. Then I went to bed.
"I've been looking for you!"