A Station Eight Fan Web Site


The Phoenix Gate

Ask Greg Archives

RIPOSTES 2006-04 (Apr)

Archive Index

: Displaying all 22 records. :

Posts Per Page: 1 : 10 : All :

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

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

Bookmark Link

Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 4
Saturday, August 7

I woke up at about quarter to nine, made myself presentable, and went on up to the con suite, where a collective decision was made to go with the buffet at the hotel restaurant so that we could hopefully get the day started on time. I had eggs, bacon, ham, pancakes and baked beans. I've never seen baked beans served in a breakfast buffet before, so maybe that's a Canadian thing. At any rate, it was food.

I spent the morning helping out where I was needed. The Radio Play needed more women to try out, so I watched the Art Show table for a while when Cindy was drafted to audition. When the Auction started, I did my best not to get sucked into it and instead got sent to watch the con suite, which was fine with me because I'd had more than my fill of Auction chaos in 2001. I relieved Kaylee so she could go watch the SCA weapons demonstration, and sat down to watch the last three episodes of "Awakenings" and then "Thrill of the Hunt" and "Temptation."

Surprisingly, there were very few fans in and out of the con suite. At most, there were five or six people total in the room at any one time while I was there. At one point, A Fan wandered, staring at his feet and complaining about being unable to find the hotel's shoe shine guy. Given that he was wearing sneakers, I found that moment insanely amusing.

Eventually, Kaylee returned to relieve me, so I headed back downstairs to see what was going on. I poked my head in the door of the room where the SCA demonstration was finishing up, but everyone was in leather armor and protective masks so I couldn't really tell who was who. Then I spotted Carol and Kathy sitting near the registration desk, so I wandered over there to say hi and find out if Carol had heard anything new about Keith's flight plans.

I must have wandered away for a moment to check on what was going on in the other rooms, because when I came back, Carol caught me and introduced me to David Grabias. I shook his hand and had said "Nice to meet you" before it even clicked in my head that he was with the video crew, and thus I was ambushed to come downstairs to the ballroom for about ten minutes and be interviewed about "Gargoyles." So there may be a sound bite of me on the DVD, who knows. I don't remember much of what I said in response to the questions they asked. But at the end as I was signing the release, I had one of those "it's a small world" moments with Howard Shack, the cameraman. He asked whereabouts in the Cleveland area I lived, and when I said Euclid he said that he'd lived in Euclid, and started naming off streets that I knew.

A Fan was next to be interviewed, so I scooted off to check in with Carol again. As near as she could tell, Keith had actually gotten on the plane this time, so it seemed like things would be set for us to pick him up at the airport around 6:00 pm. Next up, though, was the Radio Play, so I headed into the Auditorium to find a seat. This year's performance was "The Journey," with the scene order slightly revised by Greg to be closer to the way he originally wanted them. A number of people from con staff were on the cast this year, including Rob as Goliath and Cindy as Margot Yale ("Madame, they burned witches like you in the Middle Ages!"). The real scene-stealer, though, was Michael as Vinny. "Hey, can you believe it?"

After the Radio Play, Carol and I headed out together in the van to fetch Keith from the airport. His plane landed at 5:15 pm, so we were certain that even if it took 40 minutes to get through customs, we'd be able to have him in the van by no later than 6:15 pm, and get back to the hotel with plenty of time left to join everyone else at the banquet. When we arrived at the airport, however, the place was a madhouse. We came to find out later that about ten international flights had all landed around the same time as Keith's flight, and it ended up taking Keith almost two hours to get through customs.

I did my best to stand lookout, but the crowd was so thick it was impossible to get a clear view of the doors where people were exiting customs. Several times, Carol went to ask people who were walking out what time they had landed, because after the first hour of waiting, we were starting to wonder if we had missed Keith entirely. Finally, at about quarter past seven, Carol got a call on her cell phone from Keith's manager, relaying a message from Keith that he had just gotten out of customs and was waiting near the currency exchange booth. It took us several minutes just to make our way 50 feet through the crowd to find him.

Keith had a skycap in tow with a huge cart loaded up with luggage, so I left him and Carol and ran (literally) back out to the parking garage to bring the van around. At the curb, I helped the skycap load the bags, then turned around to discover both Carol and Keith had suddenly vanished. A moment later, they reappeared and it was off to the hotel, as fast as I dare drive with the voice of Goliath riding shotgun.

From the get-go, Keith was incredibly warm and personable, telling us about how much he enjoyed doing "Gargoyles" and saying "You know, I want to be like Goliath when I grow up." It was hard to keep my eyes on the road, in fact, with him sitting there next to me. He has such a powerful voice, it just makes you want to maintain eye contact. As we pulled up in front of the hotel, Keith commented that he was hungry, but it was quarter to eight at that point, and Carol and I honestly didn't know if there would still be any food left from the banquet.

I helped the bellhop unload Keith's bags, then hurried to park the van back in the garage while Carol showed Keith to the front desk to get checked in. When I got back up to the lobby, he had just gotten his room keys. I'm still not sure how, but somehow we convinced Keith to come downstairs and say hello to all the fans gathered at the banquet. I ran ahead, not even sure if they were still waiting, and the first staff person I spotted was Jen. I whispered to her that "the guest of honor is here" about two seconds before Keith and Carol walked in the door behind me, and the room erupted in cheers and applause.

Keith was shown to an empty seat at a table near the front where a shrimp cocktail appetizer was still waiting, and Cindy pulled me down into a similar empty seat near her. Apparently, Cindy and the others at that table had guarded our food for us, threatening to visit bodily harm upon any wait staff who dared attempt to remove it. So a big thank you to them, for keeping both me and Keith from starving. But I also have to extend major thanks to Carol, too, who didn't get a chance to eat at all, because she had to get in a cab and run straight back to the airport to meet Keith's family, who were arriving on later flights. I've already told Carol I'm going to buy her dinner at G2005, so here's me saying it for the record, too.

Greg returned to the room a few moments after Keith arrived, and Keith did Q&A as he ate, though it was tough for parts of the room to hear him over the loud music coming from the class reunion party next door. I didn't stick around for the entire Q&A, though, so I missed the part where Keith allegedly yelled "Someone shoot that horse!" when someone in the next room started singing a karaoke version of "My Way." Instead, I quickly finished my desert and hurried off with Laurean and Cindy to get into costume for the Masquerade.

I had spent an hour or two at a time on and off for the past six weeks working on my costume but I had yet to wear it, so I was rather anxious to see how the entire outfit looked when it all came together. I had previously costumed as Puck for the 1998 Gathering, but the old costume was in such poor shape that I was only able to save the leggings and the sash. Everything else, I remade, paying a bit more attention this time to detail. And overall, I think Puck 2.0 turned out to be pretty damn kick-ass.

Of course, there were a whole lot of kick-ass costumes this year, and many of them belonged to con staff. Karine had the perfect costume as pregnant Fox, Alan and Jen made a great couple as Macbeth and Gruoch, Kaylee looked fabulous as Princess Katharine, Cindy was steaming hot as Titania, Liz rocked as Yama, and Laurean was absolutely uber-cute as pageboy Tom. The fans had lots of wonderful costumes, too. And if someone can get me a transcript of the lyrics sung by our Best of Show winner, Loupy, I will be eternally grateful. It takes guts to filk to the tune of "Rubber Ducky."

One of the strangest things about the Masquerade this year… this was the first time I didn't get sweltering hot while wearing a wig. So finally the air conditioning being on overdrive in those meeting rooms paid off. At one point, I startled an old guy who was getting on the elevator, too. "Whoa, I thought you were Santa Claus!" was I think what he said, after I had explained there was a masquerade going on downstairs. One thing I learned, though. There's a reason why they call them riding boots and not walking boots. Owie. After about two hours and several trips back and forth to the con suite to fetch A/V supplies for Lord and Lady Macbeth, the Puck was quite glad to go change back into his human alter-ego. He did stick around long enough, though, to watch Queen Titania take the mic and sing "All That Jazz." Wow. To borrow a phrase from Jim Carrey, "Smokin!"

When I came back down to the ballroom after getting out of costume, there was more karaoke going on and I discovered that Carol had finally returned from the airport. In the end, all of Keith's family was finally accounted for, so everyone was happy. Then someone decided to play "Y.M.C.A." and everything went a little mad. We were using Jen's laptop to play the karaoke, but it couldn't display the lyrics from Liz's karaoke CDs. And unbelievably enough, no one knew any of the words to the song, so what we got was about two dozen people dancing and singing a rendition that went like this:

"Young man! Something, something, something.
I said, young man! Something, something, something.
I said, young man! Something, something, something.
Something, some… thing… some… thing… something.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A…"

It was a three-minutes that you really had to be there for to fully appreciate. "It's a little bit funny," though, because the last karaoke song of the evening ended up being mine. I found the Elton John tune "Your Song" one of Liz's CDs and decided to give it a try. It was the first time I've ever sung in front of people, but it was fun and my only regret is that Cindy wasn't there to hear me sing a song from "Moulin Rouge." So next year, Cins, we're doing the "Elephant Medley," okay? ;)

The rest of the night was spent in the con suite, talking about all those things that are most humorous while the brain is in a semi-conscious state. A small group of us stayed up with Greg until around 5:30 am, when it was time for him to go get packed up so he could leave. I'm sure he still thinks I was the walking dead when I drove him to the airport, but honestly, I hit my second wind sometime around 2:30 am as the live-action "Sailor Moon" thing that someone was playing on their computer was ending. So at 6:00 am on Sunday morning, I drove Greg to the airport, dropped him off, then came back to the hotel for about two hours of sleep before it was time to kick off the final day of the convention.

Greg responds...

And thanks for the ride too...!

Response recorded on April 21, 2006

Bookmark Link

Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 3
Friday, August 6

I woke up around 7:30 am, mumbled good morning to Laurean as she was on her way out the door to the gym, and scored the first turn at the shower since everyone else in the room was still sleeping. Then I napped until about ten minutes before nine, woke up again, and went up to the con suite to see what the plan was for breakfast. Karine led us all to a diner nearby that had pretty good food at pretty good prices, but they also had the slowest service ever and we were running a half hour behind the schedule printed in the program by the time we got back to the hotel.

I was on Art Show setup duty, assisting Cindy, so the two of us headed up to the room on the Mezzanine level and enlisted anyone who was willing to help unload the van and move the art show display materials up to the room. About six people offered to help, so it took only about ten minutes to get everything up from the parking garage and into the room where the Art Show would be. Alan joined in to help with assembly, and the plastic pipe frames went together quickly, until we suddenly realized we were short two to the 90-degree elbow pieces.

Karine gave me some quick directions to the nearest Home Depot, and then I was off on an emergency run. As I learned at The Gathering 2002 in Virginia, there's nothing quite as fun as driving around an unfamiliar area at top speed, searching for a destination you're not quite sure of. But finally I spotted the familiar orange sign, and ran inside to the plumbing section to grab the pieces we were missing. On a hunch, I also grabbed another pack of zip ties for attaching the pegboard to the frames, which should earn me a psychic friends network membership card because when I got back I discovered Cindy had tried to call me on my cell phone - which I didn't have on me - to tell me that they needed more of those, too. So for about 15 seconds, I was a god for saving the day, and then I went back to work getting the remaining display put together.

I spent most of the rest of Friday afternoon in the Art Show / Dealer's Room, helping Cindy with setup and then sitting guard duty at the Auction display table for a spell. I wouldn't have gotten lunch, but Alan asked me if I wanted anything from Subway, so I gave him money and he brought me back a soda and the best roast beef sub I've ever consumed in less than two minutes. Later in the afternoon, I attended Cindy's costuming seminar. I learned how to take care of wigs, and I'm pretty sure I was the only guy in the room except for when the DVD crew came in to do some random filming.

Right after Cindy's panel was over, Karine or Carol informed me that Keith David had been delayed to a later flight, so I would be picking him up around 11:00 pm instead of Karine's husband Adam picking him up around 6:00 pm. I was fine with that, even if it meant having to remain alert enough to drive at that late hour, so I ran upstairs to the con suite to record the revised flight details in my notebook. Before we knew it, it was getting near time for Opening Ceremonies, so I headed down to the ballroom to see if my help was needed with anything. I had been told we were getting a screen measuring 4'x3', so it was quite a surprise to see they'd given us one about three times bigger. Rob and Karine were still trying to get sound and picture to come out of the projector at the same time when I walked in. I'm not sure what button it was that I pushed, but suddenly there was a picture. A few moments later, we found the volume control, too, and everything was ready.

Greg showed up with his stack of videotapes, and I was given the complex job of sitting next to the VCR, loading tapes, and pressing play. For me, Opening Ceremonies seemed to go by in a blur. Karine welcomed the fans and introduced the staff, then Jen presented the Fan Guest of Honor award to Gorebash. Next, Chris Rogers came to the podium to talk about Gathering 2005, and then Liz came up to make some announcements, which was when Abram and Maui "interrupted" for the first Clan Olympics event. After all the chaos had settled, Greg's part of the Opening Ceremonies began. First he played an audio tape containing the voices of Ed Asner, Keith David, and a number of other people associated with the show that Carol had helped compile the week before. Then he showed the traditional series of videos, and ended with the audio tape of the voice recordings for the never-completed "Team Atlantis" episode "The Last."

After Opening Ceremonies, we handed the room over to Jade Griffin for the "Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000" event and debated what to do about dinner. Half of the staff wanted to trek out into Montreal again, and half of us were too tired to want to do all that walking. As a few of us were discussing it in the lobby, Greg came up to me and said he had good news and bad news. The good news was I wouldn't have to pick up Keith at 11:00 pm. The bad news was Keith's flight had changed again, and he wouldn't be arriving until 6:00 pm the next day, Saturday.

Greg then joined up with the group Karine was leading out into the city, but I decided to give my feet a rest. I joined Jen, Alan, Tim, Christine, and Becca, and the six of us had a late dinner in the hotel restaurant. Tim told us all about his misadventure earlier in the day where he'd been hit by a car while crossing the street. He was mostly okay, but he still made sure to put some alcohol on his injuries in the form of a shot of tequila and two white russians. I stuck with cola because I was drowsy enough already, and I had a pretty good hamburger followed by a nice slice of cheesecake.

After dinner, Jen, Christine and I went back up to the con suite to await Greg's return for the Blue Mug-a-Guest. We were joined shortly by Anthony and Andrea Zucconi and a few other fans who had not hooked up with the huge group that had gone out with Greg to dinner. Exercising the ancient rite of "first come, first serve," we claimed the chairs and left the floor to the latecomers. Greg arrived only about ten minutes behind the scheduled 11 pm start time, and within a short amount of time the room was filled to capacity and then some.

For a Blue Mug-a-Guest, the overwhelming majority of the discussion was pretty tame. A lot of the questions focused on the DVD and what could be done to make sure that Season 1 will sell well enough that we get Season 2, and so on. Some ideas were floated about using the internet to coordinate the fandom's efforts, such as having everyone purchase the DVD from Amazon.com on the same day.

There was one question that was asked about how the fay copulate and reproduce which Greg apparently misheard at first, as he began talking about gargoyle egg-laying. He remarked that the eggs are soft and flexible when they are laid, and also that they start out small and grow bigger. This elicited a "Ha-ha, I was right, I told you so," comment from someone I had debated this same topic with in one of the online comment rooms a few months ago. Not the most mature of reactions, and bad science to boot. It made me wish I'd been able to attend the Gargoyle Biology panel on Sunday morning, because as much as I respect Greg, I still firmly believe that it must be recognized that there is absolutely no precedent at all in the animal kingdom for hard-shelled eggs that grow in size from the time they are laid to the time that they hatch.

Anyway, sorry to digress, but this was still bugging me when I went to bed that night, so I felt it worth mentioning. I can't remember very many of the other specific questions that were asked, though I do recall that when Greg was asked about whether the tip of a gargoyle's tail was especially sensitive, he deferred the question to Christine Morgan. Greg also blew a whole bunch of fanfic out of the water by saying that in his mind, Angela was a virgin when she arrived in Manhattan, and that gargoyles as a species were not promiscuous. I'm not quite sure these revelations are going to slow down any of us who've written stories to the contrary, though.

Friday night finally came to an end at around 2 am on Saturday morning, when Greg got up to answer the call of nature and Karine decided it was time to clear everyone out of the con suite. That included con staff, as well, so I headed to my room to grab a few more hours of sleep.

Greg responds...

Eggs are soft until the first day. Then they harden into stone when the sun rises. I don't recall ever saying they change size. Just that their softness allows for a somewhat easier laying. But who knows? Maybe I did say that. I say a lot of stuff.

Response recorded on April 21, 2006

Bookmark Link

Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 2
Thursday, August 5

With one day left until the convention opened, I awoke already knowing we had a ton of stuff to do. Over breakfast, Karine and I went over our list from the night before to make sure we wouldn't forget anything. The first stop was the bank, to deposit money and get small bills Canadian for making change. Then we headed out in the van to pick up the program booklets from Bureau en Gros, and made a quick stop at Home Depot where I grabbed a can of red spray paint to touch up my Puck boots.

Next, it was off to Rob's place to pick up him and Cindy, along with the big box of Gathering t-shirts and a box full of stuff for the auction. Running just slightly behind schedule at that point, we headed to the airport, where we found Laurean, Liz, and Taylor waiting at the curb. I parked and jumped out, and we played a quick game of human 3-D Tetris to fit all seven people and their bags into the van. I'm sure the chassis was nearly scraping the ground on the way back to Karine's, but we arrived back there just in time to meet up with Kaylee, who had driven in from Ontario.

For lunch, we split up into two cars and went to the same greasy spoon we had visited in February during the live meeting. After satisfying my craving for poutine, we drove back to Karine's and packed as much stuff as we could into the back half of the van and the trunk of Kaylee's car. I also found a few minutes take my boots out in the backyard and gave them both a fresh coat of paint to repair the damage the T.S.A. had done. They were left to dry on the porch, and the eight of us set off as a convoy for the hotel.

At the hotel, I parked in the underground garage - a feat which required some careful automotive maneuvering - and Kaylee parked on the street. Cindy shanghaied a bellhop to help us unload the van, and Shaun had already arrived to help out, so in short order we were able to get everything moved up to the con suite. Kaylee and Karine then took of again in Kaylee's car to fetch more con supplies from Karine's office and pick up the Phoenix Gate Anthologies. In the meanwhile, the rest of us got to work stuffing the con packets. By the time Karine and Kaylee returned, the packet stuffing was mostly done.

It was the height of rush hour when Rob, Karine, Kaylee and I set out again to fetch the art show display boards and a few other remaining items from Karine's place. On my way out, I ran into the Morgans in the lobby and told them where they could find the rest of the staff. By the time I got down to the garage, Rob was already waiting for me. Highway traffic was a real bear for about half the way back, but by the time we had loaded up the panels and the last of my and Karine's bags, the highways were moving at normal speeds again and we zipped back downtown without any problems.

When I got back up to the con suite, I found the remaining members of the staff had arrived. Carol was there, and so was Jen and her husband Alan. I took a few minutes to move my bags out of the con suite to the room I was sharing with Laurean and Kaylee, but after that was done I didn't have a whole lot of time to sit around before it was time to head out in the van once again to retrieve Greg from the airport. The art show display boards were still in the back of the van, which meant we could only take a welcoming party of three and still leave a seat free for Greg. So this time it was Rob, Jen and I who went. Finding our way to the airport turned out to be fairly easy, and we parked and went inside to wait for Greg to emerge from the magic doors at customs.

The wait for Greg took just long enough to cost us for a second half hour's worth of parking, which Rob was kind enough to hop out and pay on our way out of the garage after I realized that I had left the little ticket in the van when I should have brought in with me. We drove back to the hotel - my third trip downtown of the day - and managed to find a parking space in the garage again. Jen called up to the con suite to let them know we were back, so when we walked into the lobby with Greg some of the other staff members had come down to meet us. There was also a group of fans gathered in the lobby, including Kathy, Hudson, Aaron, Mara, Greg Bishansky, and several other people I recognized from previous Gatherings whose names escape me now as I try to write this journal almost a week later.

While Greg got checked in and took his stuff to his room, I went back up to the con suite to see what could be had in the way of snacks, since it was now going on 10 pm and I hadn't eaten since lunch. There was still some pita bread and humus left that we had picked up while grocery shopping for the con suite during the second trip back to Karine's, so I was able to find enough to tide me over until the late dinner we'd had planned with Greg.

I hope there weren't too many hard feelings about the dinner plans on Thursday night, but apparently there had been some miscommunications that kept some of the fans waiting around downstairs in expectation of joining us. In the end, it seemed like there were three times as many people wanting to go than the restaurant Karine had planned to take us to could even seat, so we had to scale it back to current and future staff only.

Of course, in traditional Gathering last minute change of plans style, the restaurant we had intended to go to had just closed their kitchen a few minutes before we got there. So instead we ended up at another restaurant across the way, where instead of crepes I had a three-cheese pizza. By the time dinner was over and we had made our way back to the hotel, most of us were nearly dead on our feet. So we called it a day, and made plans for the staff to meet in the con suite at 9 am for breakfast and a strategy meeting for the first day of the actual convention.

Greg responds...

Yeah, any experienced con-staffer knows that Greg must eat when he gets to town.

Response recorded on April 20, 2006

Bookmark Link

Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 1
Wednesday, August 4

I slept in a whole hour later than normal for a weekday, then dragged myself out of bed to get some last-minute errands run before it was time to leave for the airport. My morning rounds included a stop at the post office, to collect the last of the last-minute Gathering pre-registration payments, and a stop at the bank to deposit them and withdraw some cash that could be used to make change in Canada for fans who wanted to pay us in U.S. dollars. I had to visit two banks, because for some strange reason the first one didn't have any one dollar bills.

Back at home, I had enough time to finish packing and eat lunch before heading out to the airport. By the time I left, mostly cloudy had turned into steady rain, so the drive to the airport took a little longer than normal. Finding parking took forever, but inside the terminal there was barely a line at check-in or security. I checked two big bags crammed full of costume and con stuff, then headed to my gate at the far end of the airport. I got there with about a half hour to spare before boarding, but since the flight was departing out of Continental's regional terminal and not the international one, there was no duty-free shop that I could buy any gift booze at (sorry, Karine).

The flight itself was uneventful and only about half full. We landed at the Montreal airport ahead of schedule, then waited on the ground for about ten minutes for our gate to clear. Once off the plane, there was the usual fifteen-minute walk to customs, where the wait time was posted on the wall as 40 minutes. The long line that snaked back and forth between the velvet ropes was constantly moving, though, so that at least gave the illusion of progress. After a quick chat with the Canadian customs officer, I claimed my bags from where they were waiting by the carousel and went to get my rental car.

Airport renovations had claimed more of the arrivals area since my visit in February, including the rental car counter, so I headed straight out to the parking garage where a small mob of businessmen had convened around the Hertz office. I overheard the agent at the desk complaining that they were running out of cars and couldn't upgrade anyone to vans or luxury sedans, so I received several envious glances as I claimed the keys to the minivan I had reserved months before.

From the airport, it was off to Karine's house. I found my way to the freeway with no problem, and after that it was easy to find the right exit and follow the directions I had memorized in February of "left at the light, then right, right, right." I got a little surprise when I came up to the first right turn. Straight ahead, I could see the St. Lawrence River, which in February had been frozen over and invisible under the snow.

At Karine's place, we got right to work doing Gathering prep. When I opened my bag to unpack the pipe fittings I had brought for the art show displays, I discovered a little card saying that the T.S.A. had opened and checked my bag. Unfortunately, they didn't wrap the towel back around the boots for my costume before stuffing them back in the box with the pipe fittings, so the red paint on one of them had gotten all scuffed up. Karine got out some red acrylic paint and we tried to touch them up, but the color wasn't a very good match.

Knowing we had more important things to do, I set the problem aside and got to work instead on the special pieces we needed to make for the art show displays. Using Karine's tools, it took all of fifteen minutes to fabricate the six connectors we needed for the center posts of the display units. Setting those aside, we moved on to con badges and con packets. By the time Karine's husband Adam arrived home, we had nearly finished assembling all badges and we had stuck labels on all the con packet envelopes which would be stuffed the next day at the hotel.

For dinner, Karine made hamburgers and corn on the cob. Then we finished putting the lanyards on the badges and got everything packed up and ready to go for the next day. Around 11 pm, Karine downloaded the final PDF file of the program book Siryn had been working on nonstop for the previous week, and it was just before midnight that we headed off to the 24-hour copy shop at Bureau en Gros (the local equivalent of Staples) to place an order for 200 booklets. I pretty much stood there as Karine did all the talking since all the talking was in French, but I did make myself useful by running off some self-serve copies of the masquerade registration and walk-in registration forms.

It was closing in on 1 am by the time we got back to Karine's and decided to call it a night. I shared the futon in the living room with Peanut, a very friendly orange cat who is so big she has her own gravitational field. And that night I got what would turn out to be the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep I would get until Monday night.

Greg responds...

Patrick, I do want to thank you for all the hard work you put in year after year for this fandom!

Response recorded on April 20, 2006

Bookmark Link

Allan Ecker writes...

This isn't a journal, I guess. It's just a shout-out. It isn't a journal because I didn't get to the Con, but if it had been anywhere within, oh, a 500-mile radius of me, I would have been there, so I feel justified in at least writing that I would have been there. (Heck, if I weren't moving around so much due to internships and such, I'd have gone anyway.)

I just need to give applause to Gargoyles. It was beautiful, cool, and fun, truly a jem of animation. The Shakespearian references layered over deep characterization and even deeper character -development- truly light my heart afire. I'm aching for this DVD. I can garantee that, unless all the copies are snapped up in, say, the first week of them hitting the market (which I honestly hope for, since that will likely mean more would be on the way), I will get it. I have two other friends who will do the same, -almost- as much to show support for the incredible talent (and any applicable forces of managerial mojo) involved in producing Gargoyles as to have DVD-quality sound and picture as opposed to our moldering, commercial-break-laiden, misordered VHS's.

Gargoyles, is, in my humble opinion, the single best animated series American animation has to offer. Gargoyles is better than the sublime Batman animated series and the inspiring X-Men Evolution, both of which have been released on DVD already. It has also done what I previously considered the impossible in unseating Tale Spin from the pinnacle of my Disney Pantheon of Good Shows.

Gargoyles didn't find me until long after it had stopped airing. In fact, you might say I walked in just in time to see this pivotal moment in its growth. I just wanted you to know, Greg, that I will be voting with my wallet (possilby twice) to get Gargoyles the recognition it deserves.

To Greg, and to all who gave Xantos, Goliath, Brooklyn (and of course, PUCK!) life, thank you.

PS, an actual question:

Just how "voluntary" is stone sleep? You mentioned in a recent (well, two years ago by now) response that sunlight was "a powerful psychological cue". Could a gargoyle fight off stone sleep for as long as (or longer than) thirty seconds? Would this have any short- or long-term side effects?

Also, sometimes gargoyles roar after waking, others not. I take this to mean that it is semi-voluntary, like yawning and/or stretching. Is it more or less voluntary than yawning? Will some circumstances make a gargoyle less or more likely to roar upon waking?

Greg responds...

Thanks for all the kind words. Did you get the two DVD sets? Did you make it to Vegas last summer? Are you coming to Valencia this summer? Have you pre-ordered the comic book? Yep, there's a lot for a Gargoyles Fan to be thankful for these days. Hope you and your friends are taking advantage of all that and SPREADING THE WORD!!!

Now to your questions...

1. It's not particularly voluntary. Yes, a garg can hold off stone sleep for a few seconds. Maybe even thirty or so, but not much more than that. No after effects that I can think of.

2. Roaring is optional, I suppose, but it's also common sense to the point of being ingrained. You wake up and you don't know what it is you're facing, so your ROAR to scare the bejeepers out of whatever might be threatening you.

Response recorded on April 19, 2006

Bookmark Link

Revel writes...

August 8
Slept late again, but I had a mission. I went to find Chris Rogers to pre reg. for 2005. Spacie and I did find him still asleep in his room, along with a hung over Hudson, whose ears are already too sensitive from what I understand.

We did however get a small group together and ate on the revolving restaurant for the buffet, over priced, but most hotel food is and this was all you can eat. The city was nice to see from above and it was nice to watch the rain come in. The guy on the crane trying to commit suicide did put a slight damper on things, but he did come down.

We spent pretty much all early afternoon up top and only attended closing ceremonies. I won two art awards, one first place that I was not expecting to get, but not complaining, it was also the one that sold. I finally did get registered for Vegas and paid Chris the money for the buffet I owed him. After than it was time to collect art from the art show and pay for the thing that were bought.

Could not find people after that, many ended up leaving or just disappearing, Dinner was subway sandwiches that we found several blocks away up the big hill.

August 9
The morning started out with a bit of a hustle because Spacie and myself were set to go to La Ronde, but to save money, Aaron, Mara, Lynati, Greg and Alex Bishansky, and Emambu were all to move their things to our room, since we would not be there and it was just for one night. Took some effort but finally got people moving and I don’t think anything was left behind.

It was a good sized group to take to the park, not quite as large as the Coney Island group of last year but enough. I was surprised to see that the subway cars actually ran on rubber tires instead of rails. Karine also pointed out that they used wooden brakes, you could smell them at hard stops.

It was a great day for being outside, not hot at all. The park was bigger than Coney Island, but smaller than our local Six Flags in Houston called AstroWorld. There were however a LOT of people there and at first not all the coasters were going. So long lines were expected all day. We caught a few smaller rides and took the park tour tram, which was really nice and relaxing. Caught a round of mini golf and had lunch with a small group we had arrived with. On the way out we both bought drinks out of a coke machine but her’s was warm. The park attendants were kind enough to exchange it for a cold one for free.

After we grabbed some McDonald’s again we returned to find our room full, all 8 of the Rogue Squadron plus Mandolin and Kathy Pogge. Was a nice after con chat party plus we all joined together for a singing of Denis Leary’s @$$hole song. Not sure if Kathy sang or not, but was fun nonetheless

Sleeping arrangements were made and we all crashed.

August 10
As said before, mornings are not this crew’s strong point. But I managed to get them up and moving. Being that the road trip was my idea from the start I felt like I was in charge, or maybe I just like ordering people about, the world may never know. But bills were paid and we got fueled up and loaded to make our way back to Greg’s house in NY.

All the fuel was in liters and seeing a sign for .89 cents sounds great, till you remember it is in liters. (I have an 18 gallon tank which comes out to about 68 liters) So I got enough to makes sure I could make it to the next stop.

Easy to find our way back out and started South. So then we come to the US Customs and border, which for those who do not know now falls under department of Homeland Security. Just when you think the Canadian border guards are being up tight you get to meet the US border guards. These people literally act like they want you to be a terrorist so they can shoot you dead and get out some of their frustration. They are trained to ask reasonable questions and protect our country but did anyone think to train them in courtesy? Not even a thank you or welcome home.

We had one other stop in the Adirondack Park that I think was to search for illegal game hunting, but that went fast.

Greg and Alex’s mother was very hospitable and we ate well, and if anyone is interested they did get a new fridge. I went to bed early knowing it was another thousand or so miles of road ahead.

August 11 and 12
This is a two day entry because not much went on and because quite frankly it all felt like one long day. Basically, we didn’t stop. We stopped for fuel, and we stopped for restrooms, and we stopped at a Denny’s in Salem, Virginia for dinner, but other than that, we didn’t stop till we got back to Houston. We talked, played CD’s, most of it was a blur, I just hope I was awake when I was suppose to be, but we clocked it in at about 27 hours of total driving time.

After a brief nap Aaron and Mara returned to San Antonio and that brings to a close Le Gathering and Road Trip 2004.

Greg responds...

Woo, I'm exhausted just reading it. Hope -- nearly two years later -- you've had time to recover. And I hope to see you in Valencia in a couple months!

Response recorded on April 19, 2006

Bookmark Link

Revel writes...

Journal part 2 Stuff about the con, how about that!

August 5
Thursday, Once again scheduled plans of departure were way off because no one wanted to wake up. Breakfast was Dunkin Donuts because the night before the refrigerator died and so did everything in it. Weather reports were sketch but we only hit a couple of light patches of rain, nothing to slow us up.

A small note about driving in NY, the people, even outside of Manhattan appear to all be emergency vehicle drivers, because everyone is driving like they have a person dying in the back seat. I am not a slow driver, but I try to exercise a little bit of caution when driving through narrow, near 400 year old, dinky town roads that do not appear to have been widened, just paved over. Crazy.

Upstate New York is very pretty, lots of places one can imagine where Xanatos would place a retreat (since I don’t think a specific location was determined) but we drove reasonable and made good time. Gas in NY is ungodly expensive compared to Texas. I will never complain about our prices again.

Now, we come to the border. When we arrived, there were two posts open and not a one of them appeared to be going fast. I was later told that the Customs agents were on strike but still had to work so they took their sweet time. About an hour and a half wait and I had to use the rest room nearly the whole time. Like sitting in a theater and not wanting to get up type feeling. I will admit that I made one little lie to the border agent, they did ask if we were armed or carrying any weapons and I did have my knife with me. The short of it is, I carry it when I go place that I am unsure of the security, like rest stops in some states, and I really, really had to go, so didn’t want to slow things even more.
Montreal was not far from the border, about half an hour I’d guess, but had to drive through a trench with no shoulder or escape, which is very, very unnerving. We survived. Our first exit was blocked off, had to double back and finally across the bridge to downtown.

We found a small group congregating in the lobby as a welcoming committee, was nice to see some faces that I had not seen in over a year. Hung out there for a while, Seth, Wingless, Sapphire, Kyt, Hudson, Chris Rogers, CKayote, and many others were there as well. I crashed pretty early, was road fatigued.

Now about the Hotel. An excellent location for people like us who were unfamiliar and could not read many signs. It was very easy to find. The lay out of the hotel was well thought out, with the convention levels close together and easy to access and we could stay in the lower floor till all hours and no one said a thing to us, because we are so far below the other guest that we can’t disturb anyone if we tried. The rooms were as advertised, or at least ours was. A nice double with two queens that we really needed on the last day, I’ll explain later.

Two minor complaints. The parking spaces in the basements were reeeeeeally narrow. Erik drives a Town Car, and to get between the lines he and I had exactly 8 inches of space door to door. Second complaint, which is very minor, was that good cheap food was quite a walk away, that’s just the sacrifice of a downtown hotel though, oh well.

August 6
Friday, first day of the convention itself. Spacie and I hunted about trying to find a breakfast place, settling on a bagel place next to about a block and a half from the hotel. I had a croissant and a sesame seed bagel. Was not too expensive, 7 bucks for the two of us.

I first went about locating the Art Room. Easy to do once I found Cindy, who was recruiting to help set up art. Naturally fair that if I want to set up art I should help set up the art space so I did. It went well enough, some of the joints were uneven or kept popping out. One over all comment I had heard was that the lighting was poor. It was, but we all survived and there was a lot of good stuff.

After set up I invaded the Round Robin, that despite our best efforts at keeping it PG slipped at some point or another. And of course there is a tape of it floating around.

The film crew came in and watched Greg’s Voice acting panel, this was the first time I’d say most of us had seen them, I could tell a lot of people froze right up, but they were very cool people and I’d say most warmed up to them. I did get to do a reading with Emambu, who is a very talented individual even if he’s too modest to admit it. He was Lexington and I was Brooklyn from the scene with Tom and Mary in Awakening part One. This was a good warm up for me because radio play auditions followed immediately after the panel and I was one of the first to go. Having been in the play last year I felt more confident in my ability and read the Broadway lines (not expecting to get the Broadway part the next day, but that’s irony for you.)

Opening Ceremonies was fun. One of my favorite parts is to see the show of hands of con-virgins and second timers. It always seems there are a great deal of virgins, but very few second timers. It’s like once you come twice you will do what ever you can to come again. The DVD info was good to hear, and yes my Dad’s birthday is December 7th. *evil grin* This was also the first time I had gotten to hear the Team Atlantis tape. At 2002 I missed the radio play all together, and 2003 I stayed at the auction, which ran into the Team Atlantis panel. Someday I’d really like to watch the teaser trailer that was played for the media with the kind of speakers and bass that Greg describes, till then I’ll just have to imagine it. Chris’s pitch for 2005 sounded really good, Vegas should be a lot of fun, just need to start saving some play money now.

Dinner was McDonald’s, I ordered nuggets, and some how ended up with a double big Mac. Not what I wanted and too far to walk to change it back so I ate it. Afterwards was mostly just hang out time. Catch up on what everyone had been doing. Went to the Blue Mug a Guest and enjoyed hearing the questions and asked a couple of my own, neither even slightly Blue, but was nice to get a change to ask Greg. The whole thing about whether he had read the original Heinlein “Starship Troopers” was important to me, since I didn’t feel the screen writer for the movie had. Got to bed about 2am I think.

August 7
Can’t even remember what I had for breakfast, must not have been very good. What I do remember was being approached my Hudson and being asked if I could drive Zaius Monkey to the Airport because his baggage never made it through customs and he had to go down and confirm it. At first I agreed. If we had left right then and there I may have even been able to get him there and back in time. But we became distracted. Our small group ended up down on the bottom floor where the film crew were shooting individual interviews and they wanted to see Aaron’s infamous Demona tattoo. So that ate half an hour and I found out I was in radio play. There was no way I could make it to the air port and back and neither could Emambu. Luckily Kai and Lexy offered and came through, big thanks to those two.

Not much later, my car was required again. Lynati needed more paint for her costume and we were all short on time. Aaron, love you like a brother, is not good with giving directions, or working with sketchy ones. Karine told him where a Home Depot was and we attempted to find it. What we ended up doing was spending half an hour cursing at one way streets, going the wrong way, illegal left hand turns, and some how I found a gravel road down by one of the bridges that cut back to a real street. See, driving video games do pay off. We finally got oriented and started down the right direction, but I had to let Aaron take over because I had radio play rehearsal.

The rehearsal was fun, for a minute there, while Greg was passing out scripts I thought I’d end up with Vinnie, but instead received Broadway. Not expected, but certainly fun to play.

Had just enough time to run down to the hotel store and get some snacks before the play itself. As many know now we read “The Journey” and though Broadway only had once scene I did it the best I could, even tried mimicking Bill’s voice, not sure how well it came out since we always sound different to ourselves.

The banquet soon followed and my only complaint was the lighting, not the food, the food was really good. The lighting was really poor for picture taking that was disappointing. We had some of the white wine, not sure who paid but was nice to have something besides just water. Our table consisted of myself, Spacebabie, Kathy Pogge, Yggdrasil, Chyna Rose, and Seri Wavelength. We had some good conversations. Everything from fandom stories, to alcohol, to farm stories, to politics.

Keith David did finally arrive and I felt bad because he seemed like he really wanted to eat, but at the same time be a good guest and answer questions. I did manage to ask him a question about Harrison Ford, which was for my mother who is the biggest Ford nut in the Central South West.

Had to check out of the Q&A early to get my costume together. For the most part, it was easy, the hard parts had been done already, which was trying to dye a suit to match the burgundy/maroon that Dracon wore. The hardest part was the jacket, I went through several thrift store jackets, but spent more on dye than I did on them. The hair, which completed the look, was done by Spacebabie, I sat in the bath tub and she used spray in hair color. Was hard for me to see but was told it came out wonderful. I didn’t have a skit in mind, thought about saying something when I got out on the floor, but went blank so I posed like Han Solo in Return of the Jedi and the crowd cheered. At the awards presentation I won the Thom Adcox memorial award, but sorry, I have not progressed enough to dropping my pants in front of the public yet.

After it was all over I washed my hair as best I could and went back down to convention level to hang out and chat till 3 am.

Greg responds...

Nothing like those late night chats. They're easily my fondest memories from most Gatherings...

Response recorded on April 18, 2006

Bookmark Link

Revel writes...

Here is my 2004 Convention journal/road trip.

I apologize, this first part actually is just build up to the Gathering, but most of it is relative... or I thought so.

The Gathering 2004

Well, Let me start from the beginning. For me this vacation actually began on August 1st.

August 1
For the most part it was an uneventful day. Final preparations were made to Hyena, My 2003 Pontiac Aztek, as I waited for Spacebabie’s plane to arrive.

I feel I should explain how her name came about. For starters, she is a gold-beige color, but also it’s her attitude. The Aztek is a very unconventional looking car hard edges, subtle curves, but also has all kinds of electronics and features. It’s a love it or hate it kind of thing, I guess a lot like Hyena the character. All I really should say on that.

After the airport we bought road snacks, two way radios and I got some additional motor oil for when we got back.

The birth of the road trip was because I was not entirely sure where I would be living several months ago and to combat high airline prices, because the average price for a round trip ticket remained about $300 and often higher. I came up with the idea of the two of us just road tripping to Montreal. Not long after we finalized the idea, others hopped onto the road trip idea. The final count was eight people, Spacebabie, Aaron, Mara, Greg X, his brother Alex, Emambu, Lynati, and of course myself.

August 2
This is the day Aaron and Mara were to arrive from San Antonio, a casual 3 hour drive from Houston. They did arrive, but unfortunately much later than original planned. I had planned to rustle everyone up at about 4am, but we only went to bed about 2am, soooo we slept in a little later.

August 3
Tuesday morning, 5:30am, destination Pittsburgh, PA. I somehow, magic most likely, managed to get my three passengers to the car and on the road. They all immediately went to sleep again.

We made it out of Houston with no problems. Our route to Emambu’s place had been planned weeks before and I had studied it entirely. We first traveled East across Louisiana before turning north, cutting up Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee. I discovered that Tennessee is not a state you want to drive in if you are trying to cross the country at a fast pace. Tennessee has a lot of large hills and mountain roads that cops like to wait on, especially the blind side of a steep grade. Almost thought they tagged us once for sure, but it turned out to be the car in front of us. Aaron was driving at that point and I never did really go back to sleep after that. We traversed half of Tennessee, turning North again after Nashville, we hit that city at about rush hour. Don’t have to worry much about cops when you are crawling at 30 mph.

I noticed that not all states have those great big “Welcome to Blah Blah Blah” signs. We crossed into both Kentucky and Ohio without really even noticing. Did briefly see Three Rivers Stadium where the Cincinnati Reds play.

It was after Columbus though that we ran into our first bit of bad weather. Fog. Not a little fog, like I can only see 5 feet in front of my car fog. Not good when added to that both Aaron and I were both road fatigued. We stopped in West Virginia to switch one last time and I took us into Pittsburgh. The fog has cleared well but now it was almost dawn and crazy early to work drivers were about. There are few things more scary that 18 wheeler drivers thinking they are commanding something the size of a VW Beetle.
Emambu gave good directions though, we found his apartment just before 6am. With time zone change the first leg was completed in just about 24 hours.

August 4
We all slept pretty late, at least to early afternoon. Emambu, Mara and I went into town to get breakfast and coffee for those that wanted it, plus final check on directions to GregX’s house, not that they were that good. I hate Map Quest. It works well enough for major routes, but when it comes to small urban roads, always, ALWAYS double check with a local that the road has not be renamed or renumbered, or has a itty bitty street sign that no one can see in broad daylight let alone in the middle of the night and rain.

We packed up both cars, Erik’s “Mafia Cruiser” and “Hyena” and made our way out of town via the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This is where the radios came in. I recommend for any two car or more convoys that they should all have radios. They are great for coordinating stops and a lot of fun to shoot comments back and forth. Aaron’s dubbing of the lead car as “Red Leader” lead to the Rogue Squadron name.

As said before, the maps did give us a general idea of where we were going. And as we approached New Jersey, we became inundated. It poured, and I mean poured. The kind of rain that even with full speed wipers you cannot see more than ten feet in front of you.

We made the right exits however, across the Bridge and onto the East side of the Hudson. Then it was just a matter of getting to Croton. Much easier when you don’t drive pass the exit you need. This is on top of the fact that for some reason I get horrible phone reception so the last few turns to find the house required more effort than it should have.

Nevertheless we arrived, the rain stopped, and we all had food and a place to sleep. Many thanks to Greg’s mother for putting up with a bunch of worn out travelers, we all appreciated it.

Greg responds...

I've read this travel story a few times by now, but it's always interesting in a Rashomon sense to see if from different points of view.

Response recorded on April 17, 2006

Bookmark Link

Allaine writes...

Very long journal, I'm afraid.

Allaine's 2004 Gathering Journal

Day 1
Thursday, August 5, 2004

I left my house at around 10 AM for a 2 PM flight. When I got to the airport, I discovered two things. First, even though I was taking an international flight, my plane wasn't gated at US Airways International (Terminal A), but US Airways Express (Terminal F). Having been told already to park in Garage A, I had to drag all my luggage across the length of the airport.

A more infuriating discovery was that my flight had been cancelled. Since this was the second time my flight to Montreal had been cancelled in three days (the first time being Monday night, forcing me to scrap plans to catch a ride from the airport with Kathy and Alex Garg), I was understandably outraged. I was forced to take a flight that was leaving at 12:30, but I would be making a stop in Boston for ninety minutes. I didn't actually make it through Customs in Montreal until 6 PM. Fittingly enough, I needed two buses to get from the airport to the hotel, but that didn't happen until around 7 PM.

At least I wasn't poor Alexandria, who wasn't allowed to board her flight because she didn't bring the right birth certificate. Finding out she wouldn't be arriving until Friday was a further disappointment.

That being said, I was able to check into my room without incident, and the first people I found were my other two roommates. Chyna Rose was eating in the lobby restaurant when I found her, so I joined her for dinner. Later Seri Wavelength found us there once she arrived. We talked for a while, then went upstairs. I met Jade Griffin for the first time as she worked on her Demona doll, but she was the only other person I saw. Actually, that's not entirely true. Someone said they'd spotted Karine going to the 21st floor, so I went up there to see if the Con Suite was open yet. I did locate the Con Staff, but since they were quite busy discussing things I probably wasn't supposed to hear, I waved and crept back to my room. Since Alexandria was still at home, I got a bed all to myself while Chyna and Seri shared the other bed. I guess I should say here that our room was very nice. It wasn't enormous, but the beds left plenty of room for two, and the bathroom was spacious. I went to sleep around 11 PM

Day 2
Friday, August 6, 2004

The three of us didn't really leave our room until around ten in the morning. Although we were hungry, we decided to register first, since registration was about to begin. I saw many familiar faces for the first time when I got there - Ellen, Kathy, Spacebabie, and Whitbourne foremost among them. I also got to meet some first-timers, including Dylan's fiancée Stormy. We talked for a while, but since the registration was running late, I went to breakfast with Seri and Chyna. I had the buffet, which was delicious. In fact, I got the buffet the following two days as well, and ate so much that I never needed lunch. It's all about the budget, knowhutahmean?

After breakfast we registered, and I got my packet, including two copies of the Phoenix Gate anthology, one for me and one for Mooncat, who unfortunately couldn't come this year. They did a fabulous job on the Anthology, as it was my first time seeing the finished result from cover to cover. I would read all the stories, including my own, more than once over the next few days. Then I went to the Art Room, where I got to meet two people I'd been looking forward to meeting. I feel both have a significance for me as both a fanfic writer and reader. When I first started reading Gargoyles fanfics a couple years ago, I sought out Jennifer, aka CrzyDemona, and asked her where I could find good Demona fics. She referred me to Madame Destine, whose stories continue to be among my favorites to this day. Plus Jen has a hell of a reputation around the fandom, and even if our politics don't match, she strikes me as extremely smart about a lot of things. The second person was Christine Morgan. As a writer who dreams about being published some day, Christine is an obvious inspiration to me. I didn't buy any of her books, but I did grab one of the Demona T-shirts Jen was selling, as well as an official convention T-shirt for my younger brother.

At last the first panels began. I attended Spacebabie's General Round Robin, where we had the unenviable task of creating a story about how Demona and Macbeth's paths crossed while white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon. Most memorable, I think, was a running gag about "dinghies". I also brought out my tape recorder for the first time. I taped several panels throughout the day, both for my own memories and for Mooncat's benefit. Unfortunately, I managed to tape over the GRR panel a couple days later. Oops.

After the round robin, most people went to the Voice Acting Seminar. Keith David was not present, unfortunately. In fact he didn't arrive until Saturday night. But Greg did a very good job. Lucky Seri got to be critiqued on her reading of lines for the second year in a row. Later I also got to read lines for a scene as young Tom. There was also this interesting anecdote about Carol Channing in her bra . . .

At this point I went back to my room. Two seconds later I realized there were new bags in the room, so I hurried back down to registration and confirmed that my final roommate, Princess Alexandria, had indeed checked in. It took me a while to track her down, but we talked for a while until the Opening Ceremonies began. When I went downstairs, I did locate another person who I rarely email but love talking to, Mara Cordova, as well as a few other familiar names.

There I found myself on one of eight teams in the Clan Olympics. I hadn't been planning to devote any time to it, but I was roped in. I participated in two events that night, including a game where sixteen people fought for balls in a big container and ferried them back and forth across the room. I quickly figured out that I couldn't hold many balls at once, so I started searching for balls with lettering on them. One of the balls I found had "1-UP" written on it, like a video game icon. A fateful selection.

Afterwards I learned two things - we were in first place by two points, and the 1-up ball could be used to save one team from elimination. I could either save the eighth-place team, or hold onto the ball in case my team was in last place at some point. Since I didn't know the rules of the game, I didn't see the point of being the nice guy, so I held onto it. Later I discovered that apparently eliminated teams are allowed to make life difficult for the remaining teams. Oops again.

After Opening Ceremonies, which also featured a taped greeting from Ed "Hudson" Asner and my second time listening to the tape of the Gargoyles/Team Atlantis crossover, I stayed for the MGT3K panel hosted by Jade. When she found out I had a tape recorder, I lent it to her so she could tape the show and transcribe it later. (She still has that tape, in fact, and I need to make sure she has my address so she can mail it to me when she's done.) It was very funny, but I only stayed for about half an hour. Then I went out to dinner with Alexandria, Ellen, and Dylan at an Italian restaurant. I love the panels and everything, but it's especially moments like this that I come to the Gathering - being able to spend an hour or two alone with writers and readers and friends who I don't normally get to see, talking about things we normally only discuss via email.

We returned to the hotel by 10 PM, so I could rejoin my team for the second Olympics event, Shot in the Dark. We didn't do that great here and dropped to third. This introduced an element of anxiety in my team (which included my roommate Chyna Rose), and we decided to let yet another team burn. Now we had two teams that hated us. Unfortunately that event took over an hour to finish, so I didn't get ready for bed until almost midnight. This was my first night sharing a bed with Alexandria, but there was enough space in the bed that we didn't have to touch at all if we didn't want to, and everyone slept well.

Day 3
Saturday, August 7

My Olympics team needed me for Trivia Torture (I think they wanted me to be tortured), but I regretfully (ha ha) passed and went to the Thrill of the Chase panel. The hosts were Christine, Spacebabie, and Ellen. Ellen is a close friend of mine, so I would have gone no matter what the topic was. What we discussed were chase scenes, both in fics and in movies, since chase scenes are so often a part of films.

After that I took a break from the Gathering for a couple hours and went sightseeing in Old Montreal with Alexandria. We ended up shelling out $40 for a thirty-minute carriage ride that let us take in a lot more of the sights than if we'd walked. I was still beat when we got back in time for Really Hard Pictionary. I learned that my team had fallen into fifth place in the Trivia event, which meant we failed to use the 1-UP ball for a third time. So three teams were gone, all thanks to us. Although we were in last now, so I fail to see how we profited from it. Sure enough, the "spirits" conspired to make my Pictionary round more difficult. I had to draw without my glasses (I'm nearsighted, so that had absolutely no effect really), and only one team member (Michael) could guess. Plus I drew one of the harder packets. However, at the risk of sounding a bit immodest, I am a damn good Pictionary player, and I did manage to pull our team into a three-way tie for first before the last team passed us.

That led to a final bonus event where we had to pull colored balls from a bag. We found ourselves in a tie with Mara's team for last, but because of a tiebreaker we ended up in fourth. Since it was our last opportunity to use the 1-UP ball, and since I like Mara a lot, I immediately offered it to her team, but they told me to hang onto it. So my decision not to save them (which must have made a few people scratch their heads in disbelief) left four teams in the running. But we wouldn't find out who won until the Scavenger Hunt the following morning.

Next was the Radio Play, where the Actors read from The Journey, an episode I hadn't seen in a long time. The Actors did a very nice job, especially Stormy as Cagney (that was a very plaintive meow), the guy who played Vinnie, and the Macbeth-Yale eruption.

For the second straight year I passed on the Banquet, so instead Alexandria and I, after voting in the Video Contest, found ourselves having dinner out. We'd hoped to find one of the restaurants we saw in Old Montreal, but it's a funny place over there. Saturday night, and everything seems to be closed! After stumbling around for half an hour, we eventually settled on another Italian place in a completely opposite direction from where we first looked. It was called Guido Angelina, and all I can say is three things. The wait was brief, the portions were huge, and the food was excellent. What more can a guy ask for? Well, a good conversation partner, I guess, and Alexandria and I talked for a very long time about each other's stories. Admittedly, she was my roommate, but I probably spent more time with Alexandria than anyone else this year, and I loved every minute of it.

After we got back I decided to shower and shave before the Masquerade, only to have Seri return just as I was going to shower and announce that Keith had finally arrived and was answering questions downstairs. They were nice enough to wait for me to finish showering before leaving. I got to ask Keith a question about his fight scene from They Live, but the best part was the woman in the next banquet room shrieking Sinatra's "My Way" during karaoke, and Keith says, "Somebody shoot that horse!" Hee hee hee!

Then we had Masquerade. By now everyone knows about the incredible gargoyle costume someone wore (I never did get his name - Kurol?), and I shudder to think of how much time and effort it took to get the costume together. Besides him, the best costumes were Lynati as Ophelia (poor Lynati didn't make it until just as the judges were returning with the results - amazingly, this was the first time I even saw Lynati, who was so helpful before the 2003 Gathering), Cindy as Titania, and someone I didn't know as Ekidna - if it hadn't been for the other guy, I would have picked her as Best in Show, partly because she picked one of the lesser-known characters and did a great job with her reptilian look. I got plenty of pictures, because goodness knows, we had a LOT of costumes this year, and everyone looked great. The only snafu I was aware of - Seri's Pack Fox costume refused to stay in one piece, and she wasn't able to wear it. At least Chyna didn't have any trouble with her Elisa Maza costume.

(Karine made the sensible choice of playing Fox from Walkabout, since it turns out she's six months pregnant. I'm in awe that she was able to continue chairing this convention in her condition. She also had a very nice medieval costume on earlier in the day.)

Later that night I talked to Kathy for a while, and she assured me that I wasn't completely crazy for expecting Andrea to find out about Demona and her sister every time I began to read a Madame Destine story. _That's_ why evil looks so good. It's because she has it so bad :D

After that, I sang "An Innocent Man" by Billy Joel for karaoke. I had hoped to sing "The Bitch is Back", in honor of my favorite character, but the computer was being difficult and I had to choose from an abbreviated list. It's a song I've sung before, but it's not exactly dance music, and wisely people took the time to continue their conversations. Eventually I went back to my room, where Alexandria and I spoke to Mooncat for a while over the phone before the four of us went to bed.

Day 4
Sunday, August 8

Last day of the Gathering. This time last year, I was going to leave the Gathering as soon as closing ceremonies ended, so I counted the hours and got very depressed. This year my flight wasn't until Monday, so I was able to enjoy this day a little better. Which was a good thing, because I had an Adult Round Robin panel to moderate first thing in the morning. Although this did prevent me from joining my Olympics team for their last event.

Anyway, there were a lot of events going on Sunday morning, so my Adult RR panel had five guests - Alexandria, Ellen, Spacebabie, Alex Garg, and Denis Malkavien. For my first time attending an adult RR, I thought it went very well. Despite selecting names randomly, I couldn't have picked a better pairing than the one we got, Fox Xanatos and Gargoyle-Elisa. I still have to transcribe my tape from that panel, but it went VERY well, and everyone went twice. I also read what would have been my entry in the Reading Contest, had it not been cancelled. They seemed to like it.

After that, I went to the Art Room to do some voting, and discovered the Phoenix Gate Anthology signing was taking place, so I took my seat and signed a lot of copies, as well as getting my copy signed. Unfortunately Summer Jackel and CS Hayden weren't there, but I did get little stickers with their signatures on them. I also bought a lot of trading cards from the Morgans, and I put a bid on one of Cindy's drawings. And since Keith gave his Mug-a-Guest in that room, I had a great seat. I got to ask him another question, this time about his experience working on a sitcom called The Job. This was a definite improvement on the previous night, since Sunday's Mug was cozier, better lit, and it was easier to hear.

At that point there was nothing to do but attend Closing Ceremonies. The 2005 Gathering Committee really sold their Las Vegas convention, and I registered for it as soon as the Ceremonies were over. I also got Keith to sign Mooncat's Anthology for her. And I learned my Clan tied for third in the Olympics. Yay! I also had the winning bid for Cindy's picture of Cowboy Alexander riding Bronx and telling him to "Giddyap!"

Afterwards I had dinner with Ellen, Alexandria, Leo, Sadistic Cow, and Alex Garg in this deserted food court before rejoining Seri and Chyna and about thirty other people for Laser Tag. It was my first time playing as an adult, but I had a lot of fun (except for the twelve block walk) and got extremely sweaty. I selected "Get the other team to hate me" strategy, and I believe I succeeded quite well. By then most people vanished into their rooms, so I waited in my room for a while before I slipped into bed with Alexandria one last time and fell asleep.

Day 5
Monday, August 9

Not much to say. I woke up at 8 AM, had breakfast, said goodbye to my roommates, and took a taxi to the airport. I got very emotional a couple times, especially when I left a goodbye message on Seri's voicemail and almost lost it in the middle of an airport terminal, but I was able to keep control. The first couple days ARE a very sad time for me, however, because I won't see these people for another year, and 99.9% of the time, it's the only time I see my fellow fans. So I'd like to thank Ellen, Kathy, Dylan, Mara, Stormy, Spacebabie, and everyone else I spoke to at the Gathering this year. I do hope to talk to you all more via the Internet while we wait for the 2005 Gathering.

I had the best roommates this year, I couldn't have asked for anything more from them, so Alexandria, Seri, and Chyna - I trust we will all continue to be friends for some time to come.

Other than the cancellation of the Reading Contest, Karine and the Convention staff did a fabulous job this year, and I had an incredible time. I hope the Las Vegas crew will be able to match it.

And thanks to Greg and Keith for being there. It was a show unlike all others.

Sincerely, Allaine

Greg responds...

Gatherings are of course my favorite time of year too.

So, just to be clear, you never did use that 1UP ball, right?

Response recorded on April 17, 2006

Bookmark Link

Chris writes...

Hi Greg I have a couple more questions. First off i was wondering if you've heard of TGS [The Gaygoyles Saga Site]?If so do the stories and Series Like Dark Ages,Pendragon,Timedancer,And Gargoyles Continuation actually follow your vision for the Gargoyle Universe? They do seem to have a lot of what your vision is for the series so are those stories what would have actually been had Disney not cancelled Gargoyles? Thanks for your time on all my questions.

Greg responds...

Chris, instead of waiting two years for an answer, you could have checked the ASK GREG FAQ and discovered that, yes, I've HEARD of TGS, but I've never read any of it, so I have no idea whether they followed my vision or not...

In any case, I've had no involvement, and aside from tidbits I've dropped here at ASK GREG, the TGS staff could not have known what I had planned.

Response recorded on April 13, 2006

Bookmark Link

Buffyverse Stats - Year Six



Once AGAIN, I'm wasting my semi-valuable time (and hopefully yours) to bring you the latest update in my attempt to catalogue the most significant characters in the BUFFYVERSE. Previous CUMULATIVE updates covered the first, second and third years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After that, the task became more complicated as Buffy's fourth season aired simultaneously (day and date, literally) with the first season of Angel. So the Year Four update included Buffy S4 & Angel S1. Year Five covered Buffy S5 & Angel S2. This update, Year Six, covers Buffy S6 & Angel S3.

As you may recall, I've tried to inform this subjective task with an objective formula. I tried, as much as possible, not to allow my knowledge of future events to influence the current standings. Still, I won't deny that subjectives have played a role. It's hard not to take extra notice of a character you know is going to be important later. And ties were broken based entirely on subjective criteria.

The idea behind a cumulative tally is to mimic the original experience of following the Buffyverse. It's a horse race. Some of the winners and losers are decidedly predictable. Others are a bit surprising - surprising enough that it's become absolutely clear that my system must be flawed. I've since dreamed up a new system, but it's too late to implement it. Someday, LONG after I've finished this first survey (but ONLY if I prove truly insane), I might just start over and see what the results are with OBJECTIVE SYSTEM 2.0. But for now - assuming you haven't nodded off - you're stuck with System One.

I have a list of ALL the characters that have appeared in both series up to this point. It's so long (including everything from leads to ridiculously minor characters) that I haven't even bothered to count how many there are. But my list of MOST significant currently tops out at 202 characters.

But I think listing the top 40 is both pleasantly traditional… and plenty. Or largely. I just want to note a few characters introduced (or revisited) in this set of episodes, who haven't yet or never will make the top 40, but whom I believe are memorable enough to merit honorable mention.

Starting with…


#197 - The Prima Ballerina. Summer Glau, later of FIREFLY & SERENITY, plays a dancer trapped performing the same ballet forever until Angel and Co. save her.

#196 - The Girl in the White Room. At Wolfram & Hart. A creepy, vicious little god-girl.

#191 - Lady with a Baby, a.k.a. Mother #2. Same actress played a mom with a kid on Buffy and then later played a mom with a kid on Angel - who's secretly working for Wolfram & Hart. No guarantee that these two roles on two separate shows are actually intended to be the same character. But I like to think so.

#175 - Arney. Lorne's Demon contractor, who betrays the Angel gang to Holtz.

#167, #168, #169 - Fury #1, Fury #2, Fury #3. Very funny trio, who defy their names by being REALLY into their former sex partner Angel.

#166 - Sunny. Connor's first friend - a junkie who doesn't survive long - after he arrives back on Earth.

#165 - Doctor. In Buffy's vision of being in an asylum, this was the Psychiatrist, who tried to convince her that her entire life in Sunnydale was psychosis.

#163, #164 - Josh and Sara Harris. Xander and Anya's two kids in the false vision of the future presented to Xander at the couple's aborted wedding.

#160, #161 - Mr. & Mrs. Burkle. Fred's parents.

#154, #155 - Caroline & Sarah Holtz - Victims of Angelus & Darla that send Holtz on his centuries long quest for vengeance.

#144 - Sweet. The tap-dancing Demon that brought us BUFFY: THE MUSICAL! "Once More With Feeling…"

#130 - Doris Kroeger. The woman from Child Services, who tried to take Dawn away from Buffy.

#118 - Cave Demon. The guy who gave back Spike's soul.

#117 - Billy Blim, a.k.a. Young Man. The guy that Angel saved from a burning hell to protect Cordelia's visions from killing her. He returns later as a guy who can bring out "primal misogyny" in men. Lilah kills him.

#113, #192 - Razor and Mag. Biker Demons who appear in the opening two-parters where Buffy comes back to life.

#108, #174 - Lorraine Ross & Gina. Buffy's boss and fellow employee at the Double Meat Palace, who each appear in a couple episode.

#102 - Sandy. Sandy first appeared when the Vamp-Willow came to our universe. She was a victim that Vamp-Willow bit. Then two seasons later, she resurfaces as a vampire, whom Riley allows to feed on him. Riley then stakes her. Again, I love that they used someone with continuity for Riley.

#99, #131, #162 - Tony, Rory & Jessica Harris. Xander's Dad, Uncle & Mom, i.e. the horrible family that convinced Xander - more than the misleading vision, that he wasn't ready for marriage with Anya. Personally, I never bought this.

#75 - Clem, a.k.a. Clemmet, a.k.a. Loose-Skinned Demon. With Merl dead over on Angel, we meet a newer, sweeter sympathetic Demon. Gotta love Clem.

#70 - Rack. Willow's magic pusher.

#69 - Skip. Originally Billy Blim's hell-guard. Later Cordelia's spirit guide. I really liked Skip and have to admit I was pretty bummed when in Season Four of Angel he turns out to have been a villain all along.

#55 - Halfrek… and Cecily Addams? Halfrek is Anya's best friend, a fellow vengeance demon. But the same actress also played Spike's first love Cecily. And when Halfrek first spots Spike, she recognizes him, so…

#45, 46 - Justine Cooper and Sahjahn. The demon who brought Holtz to the present, and the obsessed woman who fell in love with Holtz because he gave her purpose.

#41 - Connor/Steven. Angel's son. He'll crack the top 40 next season.

And before we start, a fond Top 40 farewell to Willy the Snitch (now at #51), Mr. Trick (#49), Jinx (#47), Holland Manners (#44), Amy (#43) and Adam (#42).

Abbreviations for previous rankings…
Y1 - Buffy Season 1.
Y2 - Buffy Season 2.
Y3 - Buffy Season 3.
Y4 - Buffy Season 4/Angel Season 1.
Y5 - Buffy Season 5/Angel Season 2.
NR - Not Ranked that year.

#40 - The Master. Y5: 34. Y4: 27. Y3: 16. Y2: 13. Y1: 8. Buffy's first Big Bad from an abbreviated first season just barely holds on to the Top 40, falling 6 rankings. And it's not at all a given that he'll hold on after next season. After all, Adam has already fallen OUT of the top 40. Adam may not have been the best of Buffy's Big Bads, but I'm still stunned that he fell out of the Top 40. (Particularly given some of the less interesting characters that ARE holding on.)

#39 - The Groosalugg. Y5: 81. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Groo, the half-demon from Lorne's dimension, who fell hard for Cordelia, jumps up 42 rankings, as he joins the Angel team for half a season… before gallantly riding off into the sunset so that Cordelia and Angel can (not) hook up.

#38 - Gavin Park. Y5: 128. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Gavin, in his second season as Lilah's post-Lindsey foil at Wolfram & Hart, leaps up a WHOPPING 90 positions. I really liked Gavin, but in hindsight I really should give credit for that to Daniel Dae Kim (now playing a totally different character on LOST), because other than functioning as a FOIL, he never really has any juice of his own. But he sure appears a lot.

#37 - Andrew Wells. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Andrew, the definite third wheel of the Season's Evil Trio (no, not Brooklyn, Lexikngton & Broadway) is #37 with a bullet, entering the Top 40 in his first season. He's very funny… and he becomes a near regular next season, so he's only just getting started.

#36 - Warren Meers. Y5: 82. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Warren, who emerges as the only non-banality of evil member of the Evil Trio, jumps 46 rankings. Murderer of Katrina and Tara. Creator of Dark Willow. He winds up skinned.

#35 - Forrest Gates. Y5: 32. Y4: 21. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Riley's ex-best buddy falls three rankings. Still twice-dead, he's one of the characters that I can't believe is still holding onto a Top 40 spot. I mean Adam's fallen off, but this guy holds on… based on having a lot of screen time.

#34 - Glory. Y5: 30. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Year Five's big bad drops 4 rankings. Any big bad deserves the Top 40 in my opinion. Hope she holds on.

#33 - Mayor Richard Wilkins III. Y5: 29. Y4: 19. Y3: 14. Y2: 40. Y1: NR. The Mayor also loses 4 rankings. This guy damn well better hold on.

#32 - Graham Miller. Y5: 28. Y4: 22. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Riley Finn's second best friend falls four rankings. Like Forrest, another one that I can't imagine why he's still in the Top 40.

#31 - Maggie Walsh. Y5: 27. Y4: 18. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. And Maggie, the holding place for Adam (who actually had more screen time) falls four rankings herself. Still feels like she's too high up to me, but at least I buy her being in the Top 40. But her placement above Adam, Glory, the Master, and the Mayor is one of the things that points up a flaw in the current system.

#30 - Ben. Y5: 26. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Year Five's big bad's alter ego for Glory also drops four places. And here again, a flaw is pointed up. Ben ahead of Glory? And still in the Top 30? Really? Like Maggie ahead of Adam, it's about screen time, not actual character significance or OOMPH.

#29 - Jenny Calendar. Y5: 25. Y4: 17. Y3: 13. Y2: 11. Y1: 15. Jenny also falls four rankings. (Who are the four guys who pushed everyone back, huh?) Says something about Jenny's original significance that a non-regular like her is holding on for so long.

#28 - Harmony Kendall. Y5: 23. Y4: 25. Y3: 20. Y2: 26. Y1: 18. Harmony keeps bouncing back and forth, falling five (not four) rankings this year to her lowest ranking yet. Of course, this is the first year that Harmony doesn't actually appear at all.

#27 - Kate Lockley. Y5: 22. Y4: 23. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Angel's cop friend doesn't appear this season at all… and I hate to say isn't particularly missed. She falls five rankings. (Five being the new four.)

#26 - Lindsey McDonald. Y5: 21. Y4: 29. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lindsey has hit the road, and having also been absent all season, falls five rankings too.

#25 - Daniel Holtz. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Captain Holtz, Angel's Big Bad for the Season (or surrogate, if you're counting Connor as the finale's final big bad) is #25 with a bullet. He's deadly and great and played by my buddy Keith Szaribajka (who played Psycho for me on MAX STEEL).

#24 - Jonathan Levinson. Y5: 33. Y4: 24. Y3: 17. Y2: 19. Y1: NR. Jonathan, the LEAST evil of the EVIL Trio, picks up the same nine rankings he lost in Year Five (when he had zero appearances). He's always welcome.

#23 - Francis Doyle. Y5: 20. Y4: 15. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Doyle falls three ranks (three, really?) and out of the top twenty.

#22 - Lilah Morgan. Y5: 31. Y4: 31. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lilah climbs nine positions. She has some really great moments this season - and really seems to come into her own with Wesley at Season's end. But the promise of the previous season, that she would be IN CHARGE doesn't materialize as she gets a new boss.

#21 - Principal Snyder. Y5: 18. Y4: 12. Y3: 9. Y2: 10. Y1: 12. Snyder falls three ranks, dropping out of the Top 20.

#20 - Faith. Y5: 17. Y4: 13. Y3: 10. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Faith loses three rankings and doesn't appear all season. Though she holds on to the Top 20.

#19 - Drusilla. Y5: 16. Y4: 16. Y3: 11. Y2: 8. Dru doesn't appear this season and falls three rankings her own self.

#18 - Darla. Y5: 19. Y4: 28. Y3: 23. Y2: 23. Y1: 11. Darla jumps up only one ranking for her half-season on Angel. She has one of the best death scenes EVER. EVER.

#17 - Lorne, the Host. Y5: 24. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lorne becomes a de facto Angel regular and jumps up seven rankings to enter the Top 20.

#16 - Winifred "Fred" Burkle. Y5: 50. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Fred leaps up 34 positions to reach the Top 20. Being a new regular gives you a boost, huh?

#15 - Riley Finn. Y5: 12. Y4: 11. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Riley makes his last appearance (as a married man no less) but still falls three rankings.

#14 - Joyce Summers. Y5: 11. Y4: 9. Y3: 8. Y2: 7. Y1: 7. Joyce appears in Buffy's Madhouse Vision, but misses out on the rest of the season, falling three slots.


#13 - Tara Maclay. Y5: 15. Y4: 20. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Tara moves up two rankings, but she'll probably peek at unlucky #13. I can't belive that I haven't seen Amber Benson in a hundred things since Buffy. She is so missed.

#12 - Daniel "Oz" Osbourne. Y5: 9. Y4: 7. Y3: 7. Y2: 12. Y1: NR. Well, Oz falls three rankings, dropping out of the Top Ten. Two years of non-appearance'll do that to ya.

#11 - Dawn Summers. Y5: 14. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Dawn, on the other hand, moves up three rankings, trading places with mom Joyce.

#10 - Charles Gunn. Y5: 13. Y4: 37. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Gunn climbs 3 ranks to crack the Top 10.

#9 - Anya Kristina Emanuella Jenkins. Y5: 10. Y4: 14. Y3: 22. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Anya continues her steady climb. Only one ranking this year, but within the Top 10, that's still impressive.

#8 - Wesley Wyndam-Price. Y5: 8. Y4: 10. Y3: 15. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Wesley stalls at a still impressive #8, as he begins his turn toward the darker Wesley.

#7 - Spike. Y5: 7. Y4: 8. Y3: 12. Y2: 9. Y1: NR. And Spike likewise stalls, maintaining at #7. And there's a HUGE gap between him and #6.

#6 - Willow Rosenberg. Y5: 6. Y4: 6. Y3: 4. Y2: 4. Y1: 4. Willow stays at #6. Again, her being this far below Xander absolutely demonstrates that the system is flawed, particularly when this was Willow's turn to be the Big Bad. It just doesn't make sense.

#5 - Rupert Giles. Y5: 3. Y4: 3. Y3: 2. Y2: 2. Y1: 2. Giles falls two rankings, but manages to just barely hold onto the Top 5, despite missing much of the season. Willow's hot on his trail though, which seems right.

#4 - Cordelia Chase. Y5: 5. Y4: 4. Y3: 5. Y2: 5. Y1: 5. Cordelia moves back up one ranking into the #4 slot by passing Giles.

#3 - Angel. Y5: 4. Y4: 5. Y3: 6. Y2: 6. Y1: 6. Angel moves up one ranking also by passing Giles. Is Xander next?

#2 - Xander Harris. Y5: 2. Y4: 2. Y3: 3. Y2: 3. Y1: 3. Xander maintains his #2 ranking for now. Since he just saved the world from Dark Willow, maybe he's earned it.

#1 - Buffy Anne Summers. Y5: 1. Y4: 1. Y3: 1. Y2: 1. Y1: 1. Duh.

Bookmark Link

Chris writes...

Hi Greg I have a couple questions.First off i was wondering have you decided the dates of when Goliath,Elisa,and Xanatos die? Second I'm assumming they die of natural causes like old age right?

Greg responds...

I have not pinned down exact dates. And I'm not going to confirm or deny your second question at all.

Response recorded on April 05, 2006