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Ok, first up is my 2007 Gathering con jouranl. Yeah, I know it is a year late. Sorry about that Greg.
Gathering 2007 Report
Wednesday, June 20th:
I got up at 4 am for my 6:10 am flight to Baltimore. I read my usual round of web comics, ate and packed up the last of what I needed for the trip. I got to Sacramento International Airport (which oddly doesn't have any international flights) around 5. After finally getting through the check-in line and security check point, my first task was to find the gate and then track down some over priced caffeine.
After getting some gum, I boarded the plane and we took off pretty much right on time. A little over an hour later, I finally got to experience the Salt Lake City airport. Oddly enough, the plane I had flown in on was the same one I had to get back on for the hop into Baltimore. While sitting around, I kept reading "Conquers Legacy" by Timothy Zhan.
Around 9:45, I was back on the plane and around 10:45, I was in the air again. Like the previous short flight, I pretty much stuck to reading the book while occasionally looking out the window. I finished up the book about 20 minutes out and I thought it didn't live up to Zahn's previous work on the Thrawn triology (Star Wars books).
Landing on time, I first called home to say I safely landed. And then I called Mandolin to see where she was. She was going to be a few minutes later, which was fine with me. Finding the luggage claim, it started up as I got there. Maybe 20 bags came out as Mandolin joined me. Waiting, we watched the same suitcase go around about 6 times before the conveyer stopped. About 20 minutes later, it started up again, this time with the rest of the luggage.
After getting my bag, we headed over to her place to drop it and my backpack off. From there, we got dinner and then went to a couple stores to pick up some sandwich material, bottled water and a few other little things for the drive down. Around midnight, we called it a night.
Thursday, June 21st:
Mandolin woke me around 9. We packed up the car and then headed to Dunkin' Donuts, where I got some breakfast. From there, she stopped by a friends house to see if she had left her wrist brace there. No joy. After that was Sprawl-Mart, eh, Wal-Mart for a pillow (mine was not comfortable) and ice for the coolers.
The drive started off fairly well until we hit the Harper's Ferry Crossing over the Potomac River. They were doing some sort of bridge work, which cost us half an hour since there was only one lane open (two lane bridge). After getting into Virginia, we got onto a different highway. And then we crossed into West Virginia and then back into Virginia. We stopped for a short break before getting onto I-81.
After a couple more hours, I took over as the driver after taking a late lunch break. I spent the next 3.5 hours driving. I'll say this, driving along I-81 is as boring to drive along as I-5 between Stockton and the Grapevine; just more trees and hills. After swapping again, I went back into navigator mode for what was left of the drive.
After finding the needed exit in Tennessee, the directions got to be a bit more confusing. Mainly since some of the turns it told us to take didn't exist and it was off when it came to the number of miles. Finally hitting Pigeon Forge, Mandolin and I agreed the main street was similar to the Strip in Las Vegas, Orlando, and a couple other places… lots of lights on the buildings to confuse and distract the drivers. It nearly worked, since we almost missed the light.
We made contact with Kathy, who I asked if I could crash on her hotel floor for the night. As we pulled around into a spot closer to the room, we ran into Gorebash right as he arrived. While going to the elevator, we saw Jen, Karine, and Patrick briefly. Getting rid of our stuff and having a late dinner, Mandolin and I watched a little TV before walking to Walgreens. I bought some Coke and cookies to drink and munch on during the con.
Getting back to the hotel, we watched some TV for a while before calling it a night around 11.
Friday, June 22nd:
Around 7 or so, Mandolin and I got up and decided to shower and go get breakfast. I went for the pancakes and had some Coke to help wake me up. We ended up chatting for a bit before trying to find our badges. All three of us got a quick taste of the rather… odd elevator.
After getting my badge, I was dragged by Gorebash into Karine's art panel. After that, I helped watch the registration desk (yet again). At some point, Flanker and Sara the Great arrived and I got a room from them. I quickly moved my stuff from one room to the other and went back to help out at the reg desk until opening ceremonies.
After Greg's usual spill, Norcumi, Quidnar, Conna and I went to get dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse that was across the street (the name escapes me). I have to agree with Patrick's earlier comment about the crosswalks. Its faster to drive across the street than walk. The food was pretty good and once done, we went back to the hotel and talked for a while.
Saturday, June 23rd:
Flanker, Kathy, Sara, Gside and I decided to go over to the Red Rooster for breakfast. We talked about a variety of things and noticed that a few other fans had shown up there as well. For food, I decided to have the bacon waffle. Eh, it could have used more bacon.
While some of them headed off to the shooting range, I went back to the room for a shower before handing out the forms for folks to fill out for the radio show auditions. There was a small bit of a crowd and at one point, I had to run after somebody because they left their form in the stairwell. Ooops.
Once again, I circulated upstairs and talked with a variety of others before helping with the registration desk for a while. Once again, we got some walk-ins. I had something for lunch, but can't remember what. At one point, I had to grab one of the radio play lists because Greg forgot to write down a couple on one of them. Later on, I watched one of the doors again while the radio play rehearsals occurred. And to fight the boredom, I made an attempt to write.
And when the radio show was set to start, I got to direct folks to go up one floor and and come down the other set of stairs (since the radio play folks were in the way). The show was pretty impressive. After it was over, Conna and I decided to go get dinner. On the way, we stopped at the nearby book store. It was not very impressive. The Science-Fiction section was rather small and it seemed to be more geared for religious themed books.
We went to Hardee's for dinner and the food wasn't all that impressive. We talked for a while before she had to go return something. On my way back to the room, I ran into Flanker, Thom and Sara as they were getting ready to go get dinner. I decided to tag along despite just eating a little earlier.
While they ordered the food, I found a table for us to sit at, which proved challenging since it was rather crowded at the Pizza Hut. We talked about Thom's new commercials, among other things. After that, we headed back to the hotel for the blue mug.
Blue mug had some interesting questions and answers. Granted I can't remember what was asked. I just know at some point it broke up and I went to bed.
Sunday, June 24th:
I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast before heading up the registration desk once again. Did some chatting before heading off to the Bad Guys panel. Of course, Greg didn't want to reveal much, so we only got to learn a little bit and some biology was discussed as well.
The rest of the day was a blur until it was time for the banquet. I sat with Conna, Norcumi, Quindar and I forgot who else. After discovering the tea was way too sweet, we kept trying to dilute it with the ice water. And the food was pretty decent, though the mashed potatoes could used far less butter.
The Q & A was also pretty decent, though one person kept asking tons of Owen/ Puck questions (if I remember right). We kept exchanging looks with another table and started to hope some other folks would ask questions. After a while, it broke up so folks could get ready for the masquerade.
There was some pretty good costumes this year. I don't remember who got what award, other than Flanker getting the Thom Adcox Memorial Award. Per Duncan's and Guan's requests, I tried to take a number of pictures. Some of us moved into the other room while others danced.
Going back to my room, I got my Scooby Doo deck of playing cards and Scooby Doo Uno deck as well. We played a few rounds of Texas Hold 'Em before playing Uno. We had quite a bit of fun playing and at one point, Thom joined us. After a while, I doubt he liked me dropping draw twos and fours on him.
After a while, the game broke up and I went to get money from the ATM to pay Flanker for the room. Naturally, it was raining and none of the ATMs close by were working. After heading back to the room, I decided to pack what I could and fell asleep.
Monday June 25th:
I got up early to take a shower, pack and eat breakfast. A quick check found that the ATMs were still down, but Mandolin was able to loan me the $30 I needed to pay off Flanker. Mandi and I said goodbye to a number of folks before starting our 9 hour drive back to Baltimore.
The drive was rather uneventful, though we ran into a pair of thunderstorms along the way. And amusingly, we noticed that US 11 crisscrossed I-81 around 26 times. After managing to avoid most of the bad traffic, we arrived at her house. We dropped off our luggage, turned on the A/C and went out to get some dinner. In this case, we went to a pizza place and it was pretty good.
Back at her place, we decided to unwind by chatting and watching some anime. I don't remember what we watched, but it was nice getting to bounce some writing ideas off of her.
Tuesday June 26th:
Mandolin and I spent part of the day trying to see if we could find a window A/C that would fit in her home office. Didn't have any luck since most of them were big to either fit or the cover for the hose (unit that sat on the floor) that fit into the window was too large.
Stopping off to get some food and going to an ATM, I paid her off before we ended up back at her place to decompress for the rest of the day. Once again, we spent it talking and watching anime, this time "Trigun."
Wednesday June 27th:
Mandolin went to work while I finished packing for the flight home. I finished watching "Trigun" and watched the end of an "Outer Limits" episode. At 11:15, she dropped me off at the airport where we said goodbye. Check-in for the flight took forever and so did the security line.
Before headed down to my gate, which was at the far end of the terminal, I got some cash from an ATM and picked up a shot glass to add to my collection. Seeing that I still had about 20 minutes before they started boarding, I got Wendy's for lunch.
For the flight down to Atlanta, I pulled out Tom Clancy's book "Without Remorse." I spent most of time in Atlanta reading while waiting for the flight into Sacramento. On this plane, their were TVs in the seatback. The choices weren't all that great and the music selection could use some work. Spent more time reading and realized that I had picked up a cold somewhere along the line.
The flight landed a few minutes early, bringing another Gathering trip to a close. And it started the quest to save up for the 2008 Gathering.
You have an amazing memory for detail, a whole year later!
I posted this in the comment room, but Todd suggested I repost it here...
Sometimes I just don't have anything Gargoyles for us to do. And I'm not sure if just doing old episodes is all that interesting. And the other things have been fun... at least it seemed that way to me.
Here's a history of the works of the GATHERING PLAYERS...
1998 - RAIN OF THE GHOSTS (an unproduced pilot I wrote)
1999 - THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES (a rejected pilot I wrote)
2000 - ROUGHNECKS: THE STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES (the last arc of the series, which I story edited, half of which was unproduced. Written by me, Jon Weisman Lydia Marano, Cary Bates and Michael Reaves.)
2001 - GARGOYLES: "Hunter's Moon, Part Three" (Note: this was the first time that we actually did something gargoyles related for the radio play. This included scenes that were cut for time from the original. Written by Michael Reaves.)
2002 - TEAM ATLANTIS: "The Last" (Unproduced episode featuring Demona and Fiona Canmore, written by me)
2003 - GARGOYLES: "The Reckoning" (Performed in honor of Gary Sperling, who co-wrote the script with Lydia.)
2004 - GARGOYLES: "The Journey" (my uncut version of the script)
2005 - DOC SHAKESPEARE (An unproduced pilot written by myself and Sam Bernstein)
2006 - GARGOYLES: "The Mirror" (written by Lydia Marano and Brynne Chandler Reaves)
2007 - GARGOYLES: "Clan Building, Chapters III, IV & V: Invitation Only, Masque & Bash" - (from the comic, premeiring chapter V before it was published. Written by me...)
2008 - Geez, I should probably figure this out soon...
Anyway, you can see that traditionally, we've only done something gargish about half the time. For me it's fun to get to see my unproduced work performed, and it does give the fans a little insight into the biz. In any case, I've never heard any complaints from the folks who attended.
OFF TO CHICAGO... ON A WING AND A PRAYER...
Family's good, thanks.
Camouflage... I don't know. Maybe that helps, but you don't need it to explain stone sleep evolution."""
True, but I'm the kind of guy who soaks this kind of stuff like a sponge. I guess I was pseudo-inspired by that Animal Planet documentary 'Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real', where they figured all the dragon stuff out from Evolutiary relatives(crocs and gators) to Fire breathing.
"""Stone sleep is a huge protection against predators in the pre-tool age. Claws and teeth don't bite through stone (or rather the organic stone-like substance that Gargoyles turn into). Even scent is altered. A stone gargoyle is of little interest to and in almost no danger from other animals. It's not until Humans developed tools -- thousands of years after Gargoyles evolved -- that stone sleep became a liability."""
Yes, I figured as much. Though the scent thing is surprisingly new to me. Why, I do not know. *shrugs*
I find this stuff fascinating too. The Gargoyles Physiology and Culture panel was SO much fun at the last Gathering. We have smart fans.
We missed open story reading because Dad had some shopping he wanted to get done. But because I'm SUCH a good daughter, I didn't complain. The fact that he bribed me with a chocolate milkshake didn't hurt either. Pigeon Forge is like one huge, open-air mall; it's amazing what they can cram into three miles of land.
Dad and I got back in time for the Gargoyles Physiology and Culture Open Discussion. I think that may have been my dad's favorite part, he was impressed how much thought went into the scientific and cultural aspect of the characters. I was particually intrested in gargoyle customs, but by the end, I also was convinced the common ansestor of gargoyles and gargbeasts must have been pretty creepy looking. I like creepy.
I think I was hyperventilating when the Bad Guys Panel came up. The animated preview was fun to watch because we could hear the actors' voices again. We didn't get to learn a whole lot, but we were really pumped up. I think that was the point.
By the way, I will be rooting so hard for Yama.
At the banquet, there was some REALLY good food and a table full of nice people to talk to. I was the youngest person stting there, but I kept up pretty well. Most of the questions that came up I hadn't even thought of. Greg had to remind the guests at a point that it was not a 'blue' Q&A, by the adults who were laughing I guessed I had learned a new term. Anyway, we had a lot of fun and I was saddened when Dad and I had to leave early to go back to the cabin. I doubt I'll be able to make it to Chicago, but if I can, I will!
Creepy is in the eye of the beholder, I think.
We do hope to see you again!
Sorry it's so late, the computer ate my fist copy. But better late then never I suppose.
My mom had already left for work when I got up and, thank God, so had my brother. Dad and I had a quiet couple of hours before hitting the road. We actually went along the mountain range, so the scenery was pretty, but nothing too remarkable happened. We stopped by VA Tech so my dad could say hi to an old student, and show me the lamp post he ran into during a foot race. The memorial was still in the works when we got there.
It was almost sundown when we arrived at the cabin we would spend the night in. Dad pulled out a guide book and the convention schedual, explaining to me he had a few things he wanted to see and that I should prioratize when I wanted to be at the Gathering.
"Why didn't we do any of this today?" I asked.
"Because we're staying here tonight, and these are about 300 miles away in Tenessee."
"Oh, good point."
"But aside from that minor detail; we're on the same page, right?"
We left early, and despite spending hours in the car, I was suprisingly patient. Until we were only fifteen minutes away. There might still be finger marks where I gripped the door handle; I'll have to check.
Dad and I actually went to the convention before checking into our hotel. Our first lesson: Never, under any cercumstances, use the elevator!
We wandered about in the registration room and met some really nice people. Even Dad was impressed by the artwork and I was uncharacteristly talkative when I met the other con-goers. Dad tapped me on the shoulder...
"Hey, Rach, that guy in the t-shirt-- Isn't that your hero?"
I looked over my shoulder. Yeah, my dad was right, that was Greg Weisman.
"Go on, get his autograph," Dad urged. I stepped up to the table, greeted him, and managed to stutter something close enough to 'Could you sign this please?' that Greg could understand me. Heh, ^^;
I regained my composure in time for the Radio Play Auditions. I could do the Southern and Scotish accents okay, but after doing the Scotish, I couldn't make the British accent work. Dang. In line a met another girl close to my age who also had an autism spectrum disorder, it was easy to talk to her, so that was fun.
I got to stay through Opening Ceremonies, but had to leave before the music video contest.
The Team Atlantis episode was really cool, even if it wasn't all animated.
We missed the Radio Play Casting by a little, but I found out I was in it. The Mug-A-Guest with Greg was fun, and I asked a few questions my mom wanted to know too since she couldn't make it. Dad went out for lunch during the Radio Play Rehearsals, and just made it back in time for the Radio Play itself. I was Maggie the Cat; I got a little nervous, and the reason the grunt when the debris fell on her sounded so weird was because I acctually choked for a second. It work well though.
When Dad and I came back from having chili dogs, we ran into Greg and a group of con-goers by the crosswalk. I got really happy when I was told I did a good job, and I looked forward to telling my family they could see it on You-Tube soon. I kept my lips sealed about the content of issue 5 though.
End part one
Glad you had fun.
And you're right -- better late than never.
We had been traveling for about a week before the convention, camping in the Smoky Mountains area and south Kentucky, as well as taking in the scenery at Nashville. Anyone who finds my journals insanely entertaining and wishes to see more of my stellar wit (including a hilarious account of getting hopelessly lost in rural Kentucky at night) can go to www.freewebs.com/jurgan6, where I'll have the rest posted in a few days. And now, to slide this in under the deadline.
Note: Heather = Yami Raven, Rob = Jurgan
Friday, June 22
Given as it was the second longest day of the year, we were on the east edge of Central Time, and we were in a tent, the sun woke us up at 5:30 A.M. We'd planned on getting up at 7:00, but when I saw the light, I thought it might be 7:00. But we had a long drive, and we were pretty well awake, so we decided to just get up and get a move on. We bought some donuts at a gas station and drove east across a national forest in Kentucky, then south to Pigeon Forge. Fortunately, after five days of travel we'd gotten past all of our wacky driving mishaps and had a fairly uneventful trip. Our directions had gotten lost, so there was no chance of Mapquest screwing us up again, but we'd seen the Grand Resort when we drove through on Tuesday, and we were able to find it again without much trouble.
We got to the hotel at about 1:30, and they said that they wouldn't have our room ready until 2:00, so we drove down the street to a Chinese buffet. The food was pretty good, and the TV was playing a loop of some bizarre Chinese acrobats performing feats of superhuman precision (wow, I sound like an ad). We then went back, checked into our room, and carried our stuff upstairs. Typically, Heather wanted to make our first stop the dealer's room, so we checked in to the con and then looked at the goodies. I immediately spotted an RPG related shirt that was utterly hilarious and perfectly fitting with my RPG personality, so I didn't even try to resist the urge to buy it.
Shortly thereafter, it was time for opening ceremonies. Learning our lesson from last year, we both went to the bathroom beforehand. When we got down, we saw that the TV was too close to the ground for everyone to see from their chairs, so we quickly moved the chairs to the sides and sat on the floor. Hey, we're an informal bunch. After announcements, Greg started his usual spiel, calling it "The Rocky Horror Gargoyles show," an apt comparison which I'd never thought of/heard before. Last year, Greg kept trying to encourage people who'd already seen it to leave, but I think he's accepted that that's not going to happen. So we saw the usual fun stuff, heard some good, or at least possibly good, news about the comic and DVD's, but by the time it was over it was too late to show the music videos. I never got to see any of them. I guess we ate dinner and went to bed, though I can't for the life of me remember what we had- probably something informal like sandwiches. Heather fell asleep unexpectedly, and so did I a few minutes later.
Saturday, June 23
I got up by 10:00 or so because I wanted to audition for the Radio Play. I ran to a "quaint" old-time diner and brought back lunch (note: I may be getting when we ate which meals mixed up, but it doesn't really matter. If you're accused of a crime, though, I may not be your best witness). Heather stayed in the room, because there wasn't anything she was interested in, and after a week's camping, a bed is hard to say no to. At the auditions, I was a bit intimidated, because I still remember trying out in 2002 and bombing terribly. A large crowd sat on the stairs, and we had a lot of fun talking, though we only had a couple scripts to share. I argued with some girls about how Inuyasha would have been better if it had taken lessons from Gargoyles. At one point, I made some joke referencing a certain character from TGC whose name must not be mentioned (let's just say it was mentioned over forty times in one episode). A few people felt my faux pas had to be punished, and started discussing whether it would be more appropriate and/or efficient to decapitate me or simply remove my larynx. That's the sort of conversation I find very amusing. I was one of the last to audition, and I feel I did a lot better than before, reading the part of Brooklyn instead of Xanatos. Greg said I did "great!"
I went back to the room for a while, and either went to get lunch or ate some leftovers (I honestly can't remember when I got the food). I went back down at 2:00 for the world-building for fantasy/sci-fi fan panel. I almost always go to the fan panels, except for the art ones. We talked about a lot of good stuff, though I can't really remember much of it now. I was also spending the entire panel wondering if I'd made the Radio Play cut, since I hadn't had time to check beforehand. Once the panel ended, I quickly ran to check the casting sheet, and was thrilled to find I'd made it! Of course, it turned out that there were more parts than people, so I made it by default, but I like to think I did well enough to merit it. I ran back to the room long enough to tell Heather, and then ran back down for rehearsal. Greg had us set up the chairs in a very specific pattern, and then had us sit in an even more specific arrangement. Once we were all seated, we found out that we were performing issues 3, 4, and 5 of Gargoyles comicbook. Of course, we were all thrilled by that revelation, and I'm sure many of us were tempted to flip to the end to see what happened, but I stayed with the cast. I was Matt Bluestone, and my scene was early on in the play. Greg had to give me a note, calling for "Matt," and it took me a minute to realize who he was talking to. Apparently "Tri Chung" is pronounced "try," not "tree." Huh. Anyway, we went through the play, and sat on the edges of our chairs throughout act three. When we found out about the Illuminati's triangular structure from 1 to 36, as a mathematician I immediately set about calculating how many total members there were, although I didn't expect it to be significant. I could have done it in my head (18*37- half the last number times one more than the last number), but it was distracting me from the story, so I pulled out my phone calculator. 666. Hmm, maybe it is significant. The "Andrew Johnson" line got a big laugh at rehearsal, though less of a response in the play. And, of course, "Nine." When we finished the rehearsal, we were given a twenty minute break. Heather had been unsure of whether to come, but when I told her what we were performing (without spoilers), she decided to come. Then I ran back downstairs, where several cast members were mulling over the revelations we'd just had. The conversation led me to come up with a theory for who number 1 is (this is why I love fan speculation- together we come up with better ideas than we would individually; whole vs. sum of parts). Obviously, I can't put speculation in an Ask Greg entry, but I convinced a number of people, including Greg Bishansky.
The play itself went very well. The audience was barely larger than the cast. Heather got a couple pictures of me reading my lines, but I don't think they came out. Fortunately, Youtube has the whole thing. Thom Adcox got people rolling on the floor every freaking time he opened his mouth. We got laughs at the right moments, and a very satisfying gasp at the end.
After the play, Heather and I went to dinner at Kinkaku, a sushi/hibachi restaurant across the street. We had just sushi, and it was pretty good. Still not my all-time favorite (that'd be Toyo, in Rock Hill, SC), but it was a good meal.
We hung around for a while, and then went to the Blue Mug. On average, the questions started out pretty dark blue and gradually paled as the night went on. I had a couple terribly mild questions, including one Heather wanted to ask, but she left before she got a chance. Thom pulled his pants down to show his tattoo and repeated his infamous "Monsigneur Nelson" joke. I'm still not sure I get the joke, but it's fun to watch.
After Thom left at about 1:30, most of the people scattered. My favorite thing to do at cons is just sitting around talking to people, so I gravitated to the small group sitting around Greg. Jen Anderson was there, and I think Gorebash, but I can't remember any others. Next year I should really write this stuff down immediately, instead of trying to remember it a month later. My biggest regret is that I can't remember who all the people I met were. Anyway, we sat around telling stories. I mostly just listened, since I'm still relatively new to the cons and didn't want to butt in to other people's conversations. All the others knew each other pretty well, and I did feel a little intimidated at first, but it was pretty easy to talk after a while. We had one conversation about which was worse: hurricanes, tornados, or earthquakes. Jen told a story about getting on a plane by pretending to be engaged to Thom. Greg lay down on some chairs half-asleep, waking up occasionally to tell people who called him that he was not a taxi company and they needed to enter a different area code. Eventually, Greg decided he was going to bed, and the rest of the group broke up.
That evening summed up the con for me. Although there were far fewer guests and events than last year, I felt like I really got to know the people who were there a lot better. I'm really starting to feel like I'm part of these cons, instead of just a guest watching them. I got to meet some new people, whom I'll hopefully see again next year.
Part 2 in another post, assuming I get it done before the queue closes.
Well, the queue will open again when issue #6 comes out (sometime this month) so post part 2 then!
So, here was Matt, enjoying his evening, finishing up dinner and dishes and about to settle down to a good book before bedtime when alas he decides to peak into the Comment Room and realizes the Ask Greg queue closes in mere hours (so he gathers) and he has forgotten to post his 2007 Gathering Journal!!!
So in a mad rush to finish he begins to type. Without further ado...
After barely arranging to get Friday off work and saying the goodbyes to my Jason (the boyfriend who will probably attend G '08 with me) I hit the road around 5 AM CT. It had been a while since I had a nice road trip and there is always that fun feeling about leaving when it is still dark outside. Long (and boring) story short, I arrived in the town of Pigeon Forge at about 3:15 PM ET. My first impression of the town was that it seemed to be brimming with traffic and pancake houses. I was relieved to discover the hotel without incident (aside from the aforementioned traffic) and checked in. I quickly found my room, threw down my stuff and made my way to the convention area. I found it a good sign that right after checking in at the Staff table, I ran back to my room to leave some stuff there and on my way back ran into Greg Weisman himself. I was amazed that Greg seemed to remember me by face alone (or maybe he read my badge, but he seemed like he knew me). I wish I had his talent of face/name recognition. I'd only met him once before briefly in 2002. Anyway, Greg tried to convince me to try out for the Radio Play. I had considered it for months, but I greatly enjoy listening to the production so I opted out. Perhaps next year. I'll think about it. Greg seemed in a hurry for something and I made my way back to the art room/dealer's room area. On the way I ran into Harvester of Eyes. We hadn't met before and chatted about Putt-Putt golf a bit and how he dislikes it and then I finally made it back to the main convention room. As I was looking around the wares, I noticed one space left on the sign up sheet for Mug-A-Guest with Greg and I eagerly signed up. I went to examine the art, which was naturally quite good. There were a few really fun pieces, kudos to those who submitted art. I was happily surprised to see a few sample pages for Issue #5. I felt almost guilty seeing Brook's costume, Dr. Sato and Mary and Finella. Of course, at the time I didn't know that I was going to soon learn much more about Issue #5. Ran into Greg X and chatted about the comics, the Comment Room and other silliness for a bit.
The time for Opening Ceremonies came around and I eagerly found a good seat... of course, not long afterwards I found myself sitting on the floor. It was all very kindergarten story/naptime-esque.
I don't care how many times Greg has been through the Opening Ceremonies stuff, I loved seeing and hearing it all. However, I guess Greg felt that he needed to add something new to the routine, so he proceeded to destroy the hotel podium to the delight and amusement of the con-goers .
After the end of Opening Ceremonies, I was famished and made my way to dinner at Shoney's across the street. I went back to my room and laid on the bed and enjoyed that "I'm on vacation" feeling for a while and then, feeling fat, went swimming to burn off the Shoney's. Exhausted, I went back to the room and passed out.
Slept pretty late. Reveled in the feeling of not waking up to an alarm. Took my time getting ready and went down to the complimentary breakfast. Finding no fruit in sight, I shrugged and gorged on biscuits and gravy like I hadn't done in years. Vacation, right?
I made my way back to the con and attended the "Fan to Pro" panel with Karine (and Samuel). I felt guilty again when Karine accidently let slip Quincy's name, but that was nothing compared to later. Anyway, the panel was great, I really enjoyed listening to Karine and there were some great questions. Even though I'm not much of an artist, it was fun. After that I had the Mug with Greg. This was a lot of fun and it really made me realize why the Gathering is so great. When a group of people can sit in an (ever growing) circle (in person!) and chat about Gargoyles, it makes me feel a great sense of community which is only faintly felt via the internet community. Somehow Greg revealed to us that the Jogger is Billy and Susan's uncle. Not sure how we got that out of him, but I thought it was a neat tidbit.
After the Mug, I decided I needed/wanted a walk so I wandered down to Taco Bell for lunch and ended up counteracting the purpose for the walk there when I got a big ole quesadilla thing... ugh, I ate too much on this trip.
I waddled back to the hotel with enough time to get a great seat for the Radio Play. Wow, that was fun. To have brand new canon material revealed to us as a big group like that was just awesome. Something I haven't felt since I was watching the episodes as the came out 11 years ago with grade school friends and talking about them at school. So much fun. Thom Adcox was hilarious as Brentwood (great casting there, ha!), but I was also impressed by a lot of other people, namely Phoenix-Talon as Elisa. Honestly, I can't read the line "I'm a part of this clan. Nothing will ever change that." without hearing Phoenix-Talon. I should be hearing Salli Richardson, I know, but her Radio Play counterpart deserves a round of applause. Great job.
After the Radio Play I congratulated Greg on a great job and then excused myself to call my friend Ryan (another Gargoyles fan who couldn't attend due to med-school) and told him exactly nothing except that I heard the script for Issue #5. He was good about it, but I couldn't stop gushing about how great it was so I decided to spare him (and spot tempting myself) and just get back to the convention. [On a side note, I happened to witness the most interesting scenario involving a baby duck and a fisherman in the stream behind the hotel during this phone conversation. But that, as they say, is a story for another day...]
I went back and made my way to MGT3K, which was one of my favorite events at G'02. Had a lot of fun making fun of the episodes (and Greg's intros for the eps). I truly do feel, however, that the Goliath Chronicles was made for MGT3K, and hope to see TGC in that (and only that) venue at future Gatherings.
Next came the Blue Mug. Never attended that before and I was not disappointed. Goliath's genitalia, Thom Adcox removing his pants and humping a fan (separate incidents of course), and lots of pornographic Gargoyles art and video clips. And I hear this was a MILD year. Yikes. Lot of fun though. I didn't want to miss a minute of it so I remained even though I was very sleepy. Found myself attempting to flirt with Thom from across the room (can't help it, he's cute) but nothing came of that (truly for the best) and after the Mug broke up, I went back to my room to sleep. Instead, on a whim, I jumped in the pool and swam around until the thought of swimming in the dark had me totally freaked out ( I was actually getting "the shivers" imagining monsters below me in the darkness). Well aware of my exhaustion, I went to my room and slept.
Woke up early and got things packed up. I needed to be on the road asap, cuz I had to get back home for stuff on Monday.
Fortunately, I had time for a quick breakfast at that Rooster pace next door. Finally had some fruit for breakfast, although the restaurant insisted on immersing it in some sort of sugary fruit syrup. Went back to the con and listened to a couple of the open-story stuff. Some people had some pretty good stuff, and the stillness of the room and the singular voice was refreshing after the Blue Mug the night before.
Next attended a panel I'd been waiting for all weekend; Gargoyles Physiology and Culture. Though I certainly disagreed with a lot of the ideas floating around that panel (especially involving Gargate evolution), I had a great time. It was nice to actually be able to have that conversation outside of the Comment Room. And we all agreed, for various reasons, that gargoyle eggs do in fact need to be turned. I felt that this consensus, minor though it was, was a good place for us to move to the culture part of the panel. I was surprised that I ended up enjoying this part of the panel even more. Greg really inspires me when he talks about Gargoyle culture. It really was fascinating and wonderful stuff, and Greg explained his thoughts so well. It made me feel I got a glimpse, for a moment, into that universe Greg is always tapping into.
After the panel, most of us moved on to the "Bad Guys" panel. Turned out that Greg, naturally, wasn't ready to reveal much there and the panel turned into a Marketing seminar. Not much I can say about that that others have not already.
After the so called "Bad Guys" panel ended, I realized I needed to hit the road. I said my goodbyes to Greg and a few others and made my way back home. I arrived in my apartment in St. Louis very very late Sunday night (Monday morning?).
It was a great trip and I'm thrilled that the Gathering next year will be even closer! Hopefully, I'll be able to bring my friend Ryan and boyfriend Jason along next year, but I know I'll be there at least.
Now, I need to get this posted before the queue closes again.
Thanks Greg, Thom, Karine, the entire Gathering Staff and everyone who came! It was a lot of fun!
Thank you, Matt. I'll admit I did cheat and glanced at your nametag, but now I swear I know your face. (It usually takes me a couple of Gatherings to nail a name and face together on anyone.)
I really enjoyed the Phys/Culture panel also. I'm such a science moron, it felt like a great crypto-education. And, as I'm sure ALL of you know by now, I LOVE talking about this stuff.
Thurs, June 21st
I got into Nashville about 7:30 Central Time. I hope Southwest fun flights or whatever they're called connect to Chicago next year, cause it was cheap as hell and best of all there weren't any delays!
I waited around for a couple hours for Kirsten (Babyfey) and Demona Taina, who was on her first trip to the continental US from Puerto Rico. We all flew into Nashville, so we rented a car and drove to Knoxville. For some reason I was surprised that they only had country music stations in Tennesse.
Taina was amazed at how big everything was. Apparently the 3 hour drive was longer than it took to cross Puerto Rico.
Kristen had made reservations for us at a motel outside Knoxville. It was right off the highway, and I was really happy when I saw the the nice looking place with the big banner that read "Free Breakfast". But she had booked us at the seedy motel behind it. The sun never seemed to go down that night (turned out it was the solstice), and considering the kind of place we were in, I kind of felt like we were in a Twilight Zone episode. Somehow I managed to get a good night's sleep on the cardboard mattress.
Fri, June 22nd
We got up early and picked up Kristen's friend at the Knoxville airport, ate pancakes for breakfast, then drove to Pigeon Forge. The place is like Vegas except without all the stuff that "stays in Vegas". Traffic was terrible but we managed get to the hotel eventually.
I hung out in the art room for awhile, then got lunch with some other people (I can't remember for the life me who- I think it was Aaron, Lynati, Jade Griffin and Leo) at this pizza place that they had coupons for in the art room.
Opening ceremonies was fun as always, and it was good to see so many new people had showed up.
We went to the minigolf place down the street after that, and had our asses throughly handed to us by the course. Thank for doing the math for me, cause we would have been there for another hour if I had done it myself.
Then we ran across the street en-mass (felt like we were playing real-life Frogger) and got dinner at the restaurant where we couldn't find the door. They had some great catfish.
Then we ran across the street again, and we hung around in the 2B room. Hudson ranted about random subjects, which was hilarious. I can't remember the guy's name, but man did he do a good Christopher Walkin impression. We tried to have him order pizza in that voice. Mara, Lynati, and yet another person I can't recall know all the words to Rent. All I knew was the words to the Simpsons parody of it. Some people got pizza from the place we'd eaten before (we recommended it and still had some coupons left). The delivery guy ripped us off majorly and the pizza wasn't that great either.
Sat, June 23rd
I got up early, and walked downstairs in a rather zombiefied state, ate some pancakes and went shooting with Flanker, Sarah, Leo, Dtaina, Sadisitc Cow, and some others. It was a lot of fun and Leo is a killing machine. Someone made the mistakes of trying to explain what a gargoyle is to they guy who owned the shooting range.
I went to a few panels after that, then the radio play which was great! Thom Adcox will never live now down "Thailog Smart!"
I went to minigolf with some people who's names I, again, can't remember. That was a mistake. It kicked my ass worse then the night before, and I missed MGT3K, which is my favorite panel at Gatherings.
The Blue Mug was fun, but I'm starting to think that we're running out of 'adult' questions ask (particularly after last year-wow!). And we didn't get kicked out of the room this year- a first for as long I've been going to Gatherings!
Sun, June 24th
I woke up early again and had pancakes (detecting a trend?). I went to a few panels, and then ended up at the banquet, which was very good this year, and there was plenty for 2nds and 3rds this time! Some how I got the impression though, that most of people wait staff there were children of Hotel employees who were being forced into helping. Somehow we started talking about the masquerade, and I ended up being dragged to Walmart to buy stuff for my Severius costume. The Masque was alot of fun- the guy in the full-body gargoyle suit was amazing. I offered Hudson $5 to say "Luke, I am your father" while he was dressed in his full SWAT gear. People kept having my throw my head back and kackle (I have no idea how to spell that and neither does the spellchecker) so they could take pictures. And then there was that other stuff (highlights of the masque!) which I'm sure is now on YouTube.
I ended up talking fanfiction with Lynati in her room (I wish I had the time to be as detail obsessed as she is), and working on the Myst (I don't really know what that it, but it was fun to work on) for somebody's new fanfiction.
Mon, June 25th
I slept in a little, and well, are pancakes the legally mandated breakfast food of Pigeon Forge or something? Seriously.
I wish had rained that night (or that the roof hadn't leaked), because i didn't get a chance to vote on the art show.
I don't recall to much of closing ceremonies (I was too tired). Kristen and I left shortly afterward and drove back to Nashville were caught our flights out.
All in all, even after leaking roof and such, it was still the best gathering I've ever been to.
And I apologize to everyone whose name I forgot. I can never remember people's names when I need to.
Glad you had a good time. Hope we see you in Chicago. And the Blue Mug doesn't have to be blue. It's just that it's okay if it is.
My Con Journal 2007
Note: I was feeling sick pretty much the whole time, so I didn't really do much...
June 22, 2007
We drove for about 7 hours before we got to the hotel. We went to lunch at a Chinese buffet down the road. I went to the dealer's room right after we got our badges. I bought a zombie shirt and a plush Anubis. Then, Rob and I went to the Opening Ceremonies. It was fun to see all the new people who came this year. After the ceremonies were over, we went back to the room to rest and eat dinner.
I again went and bought nice stuff at the dealer's room, then Rob and I went to the radio play. Rob got to play the part of Matt Bluestone. Everyone did a wonderful job! There was a spoiler for the 5th issue of the comic. It just goes to show that there are perks to coming to the Gathering. After that, we went to get some sushi at Kinkaku down the road. After dinner, we came back to the hotel for the blue mug. Thom humped a guest and showed off his tattoo. I wasn't feeling well, so I left the mug early and went to sleep.
Today we went to the Physiology panel and talked about how gargoyles raise their young. It was very interesting. Afterwards, I went back to the room to rest and have lunch. Later, I went to the dealer's room yet again and bought a sushi charm bracelet. We went to a steak buffet place for dinner, which wasn't very good and definitely not worth the money. On the way back to the room, we saw Greg and Thom playing air hockey. Rob played against Hudson, and I played against Flanker. Rob lost his match by one point. I beat (or according to him "slaughtered like a spring lamb") Flanker by one point. It was so fun to be able to go against someone new for a change. After the match with him, I was exhausted, but Greg asked me to play, and you just can't say no to the MF Garg Master. I had my ass handed to me, but that was because I was tired. Assuming we make it to next year's Gathering I would like to take him on again to see what I would do when I was at my best. It was so much fun! After our matches, we watched a few other people play, then went to the Masquerade. There weren't many contestants this year, but all the costumes were wonderful. I especially liked the Gargoyle costume that took Best in Show. After the contest, I started feeling sick, so I went to bed.
Today was the last day of the Gathering. The first thing we did was go to the auction/signing. I got Greg and Thom to sign the cover of my program. After that, was talked to some people in the art room while we waited for closing ceremonies. We were encouraged to come back next year. We will do that if we have enough money. We are getting married 7 days before the Gathering. We will be the only people I know who have had their honeymoon at a convention! So, the next time you see me, I will be a happily married Garg fan! ^_^
And I hope you're feeling better now.
This be my con journal for the year:) A bit abbreviated since I don't want to snore anyone out:)
I travel every year I can make it, from Reno, NV to wherever the con happens to be: from Montreal, Canada to my home state to Williamsburg, WV to Fort Worth, TX. Why? Read on:)
I was approached by email by the wonderful Eden asking if I could be on the Con Staff this year. Boy, would I! No, I am not insane:) So I told my husband I was going and got my tickets and travel plans. The Gathering of the Gargoyles 2007 would be in Pigeon Forge, TN. I would fly to Memphis, TN and drive the 6 hours on a mini road trip with three other great people: Admiral Trimm, Beedoo!, and Arno. And that's exactly how it happened. As soon as I got off the plane, I jumped in Trimm's jeep and we were off! It actually took 8 hours, given the dumb construction. Bah. Silly humans.
Arriving at the hotel, which was a lot less than we anticipated it would be --- in size, not price -- I got fed up w/ them and headed over to the main hotel to find the con suite and my fellow staffers (we had been moved to a hotel across the street due to some overbooking or some such nonsense). Got my registration packet, shirt, badge, etc. and headed back for sleep around 12am local time.
Day one was setting up the art show and sitting in the art room for most of the day. This would be the majority of my task while the Art Show Coordinator this year: babysit the art room. No biggie. Most of the Con I am either in a panel or in the art room anyway drawing up a storm. I learned the hard way being the Art Show Coordinator left little room for actually drawing while most of it went to coordinating, lol.
Boy, did we have a lot of new people this Con. So many new hands raised at Opening Ceremonies, it was awesome!! Met some neat new people, too:)
I hosted three panels while at the Con: Gargoyles Physiology and Culture with Greg Weisman and Lynati, Mystery Gargoyle Theater 3000, and an Open Writing session and discussion panel (i won the writing contest this year. Wee!!). It was a blast, despite hassles with elevators and hotel personnel. And me, Beedoo!, Trimm, and Arno finally got a room in the right hotel. Yay!
We basically ignored the bad hotel stuff until it culminated into a bit of a fiasco. The Masquerade and dance is a big event at our Con. Earlier in the day, the women's restroom next door had flooded. The hotel staff was fairly prompt in coming to dry (and not clean) the carpet but it was still a bad event... In the midst of our costumed frolicking and boogying, someone ran in and said they needed volunteers because the art show/dealer's room roof was leaking-- on top of everything in the room! We ushered our decked out behinds up to the art show/dealer's room and lo and behold, the ceiling was leaking! It had rained earlier that day. It being around 10pm local time and the dealers all gone to bed, plus the hotel staff unwilling to send anyone to help us move our stuff, we took matters into our own hands! Hudson coordinating this awesome march, approximately 25 con-goers (and yes I mean fans!) hupped to it and moved all of the dealer's merchandise including thousands of dollars of comic books to the room next door. Bad on top of worse... Though our move occurred in about 10 minutes, we learned that the next room also had a leaky ceiling!! Egads, people! So, improvisation among such brilliant minds as ours isn't hard to find. We took every table stacked the merchandise on one, and put another table over that table to shield it. All but the comic books. Someone brought in their own tarp and someone got some drop cloths to put over the rest of the delicate merchandise. Saved! As for the artwork, the set-up was promptly broken down, the artwork sorted by artist, purchased, auction, etc. and taken to the safe haven of the blessed con suite. All hail the snacks!
Did such dark moments hamper our most awesome Con? Naw:) You cannot believe the aura of goodness from this convention. It is truly the best experience anyone will ever have of a fandom. We pull together like we've known each other for decades, good friends who've known each other face to face forever, and some of us have just met:) It makes fun stories to tell each other afterwards. It really was a great Con despite the ... interesting... hotel. Hanging with the rest of the fans, our wonderful guests, hosting a panel beside Greg Weisman, laughing all night with Arno, Trimm, Beedoo!, and so many others... Oh, and of course the Blue Mug;P You will not find a better group of people drawn together under the banner of fandom and that's the truth. So, join us, won't you? It's a family reunion where you don't hate any of your relatives. It's great and you GOTTA come. That's my soap box:) Gargs forever! And don't forget to get the comic books!!
Thanks, Jade! You did a great job and were always such an enthusiastic presence on the staff!