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RIPOSTES 2006-04 (Apr)

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Gipdac writes...

1a. What year was Katana hatched? 1b. When did Katana first meet Brooklyn? 1c. When did Katana get her name?
2a. What year was Fu Dog hatched? 2b. When did Fu Dog first meet Brooklyn?
3a. What year was Nashville hatched? 3b. Where was Nashville hatched? 3c. How old is Nashville when the TimeDancers appear back in 1997 on the Eyrie Building?

Greg responds...

1a. I have yet to do my research to nail this information down.

1b. I have yet to do my research to nail this information down.

1c. I'm not revealing that at this time.

2a. I have yet to do my research to nail this information down.

2b. I have yet to do my research to nail this information down.

3a. 1978.

3b. I'm not revealing that at this time.

3c. In 1997, Nash was 19 in chronological years. About 10 in biological years.

Response recorded on April 28, 2006

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Anonymous writes...

Why not make an animated feature-length film, given the recent commercial success of the "Pokemon" genre, et cetera? Are CGI Gargoyles honestly a good idea?

Greg responds...


Yeah, why not? I'd love to. But no one at Disney is asking me too.

CGI Gargoyles could be a VERY good idea if the CGI is done well. Although as always, I believe that the best CGI in the world won't help unless the story and characters are great.

Response recorded on April 28, 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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Kaylle writes...

You know, of course as soon as I was in the same room as you, I couldn't remember any of the questions I meant to ask. And as soon as we got in the car to come home I recalled all of them, but when I sit down to ask them here once again they escape me...

At any rate, the one I do remember is this: We know the gargoyles sleep in stone during the day. But I wondered if they can also sleep like humans/animals do, maybe take a nap during the night if they're just overexhausted or bored or whatever? We have a few instances where they're knocked unconscious, but that's not really the same thing.

Greg responds...

No, Michael Reaves and I had a discussion early on as to whether being knocked unconscious was the same as sleeping, and on his advice, we decided that it wasn't.

Naps... I just don't think they're built that way, biologically.

Response recorded on April 26, 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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