A Station Eight Fan Web Site
THE GATHERING REPORT, PART II
MONDAY, JUNE 25TH, 2007
The last day.
Where the hell did the time go?
I went to the Dealer's Room to pick up what I thought would be my winning bid, but (my confidence seemed to be getting me absolutely nowhere this year) Doppleganger had apparently outbid me for it at the last second. I was disappointed, but it's not the end of the world. Congrats to him. :)
Especially with that Gargoyles handheld I bid $40 for.
"Look at this guy. The game is like sex to him!"
A Fan paid us $130 for his share of the room and checked out before Closing Ceremonies.
Speaking of Closing Ceremonies, they were, as usual, fast and bittersweet. I always hate having to say goodbye to certain people, who I consider friends, for a whole 'nother year. There were a few awards. Lots of pictures.
I saw Thom off with a picture and a hug as he left with Patrick Toman for the airport. I hope he got home alright. I still don't fully trust planes.
The con was now ifficially over, but we weren't. Not yet. 3:30 PM meeting in the lobby for us remnants who went out for a game of Laser Tag and Dinner. The original plan was for a trip to Dollywood, but the lousy weather screwed that up, and just when I was in the mood for a nice rollercoaster too. Damn it.
Greg W. and I had played 2 more games of Air Hockey there, but didn't get to finish game #2.
After Laser Tag came the dinner. And it was decided we would all walk about a mile or so to Corky's BBQ and Ribs. I had a Bacon Cheeseburger, a Root Beer without ice, (don't ask) Mozzarella sticks, and fries. Got into a movie-themed discussion with Jeb, Halloweenking, and one other guy (sorry I don't recall his name).
Found out Greg's favorite movie is 'Office Space'.
Nobody, not even Greg W. himself, wanted to go to Baskin Robbins afterward, like we had planned to. So Vid The Kid, Halloweenking, and I let everyone else return to the hotel while the three of us continued our quest for tasty frozen desert. Halloweenking, conveinently, already had his car parked by Arby's, so we drove back to the hotel from there before going our seperate ways.
Vid The Kid and I decided to relax in the Jacuzzi a little while later. We had just gotten out and were drying off when Greg W. walked by, slapping me on the back in a friendly manner, and asking how we were. I said fine and asked what's up. He said work, and then, when I suggested jokingly that it was on the next con, he responded, with a air of amusement, 'No, just work.' Must've been for the upcoming Spiderman cartoon, I reckon.
Ran into Halloweenking again and played some Air Hockey with him. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the puck and by the time, there was only enough time for us to be tied 1-1 before the game automatically ended. Crap.
I'd also had to call front desk and tell them 'never mind, we found the disc'.
TUESDAY, JUNE 26TH, 2007
Spent most of the day at the Smokies again. I wanted to just chill out in the room and watch TV all day, but David was insistent, so I shut up and we went. This time, we saw Fontana Dam, and Clingman's Dome, in North Carolina. Took more pictures. Got back to the hotel that evening and spent the rest of the night there.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27TH, 2007
To quote Mace Malone from 'Revelations', it was "check-out time".
Woke up to watch Angel (Season 5, episode 2) before falling asleep again (during which I'd had a dream-within-a-dream about being on a College swim team and somebody drowned, or something. Weird.) and waking up at 10. I wole David up and we started packing up.
We left a $1.25 (cheap, but it was all we had) tip for the housekeeper and went to the front desk to check out. I was slightly antsy about our car's coolant issues, but I kept my anxiety to myself and focused on thinking about how the hotel hadn't been quite as grand as I expected. I'm not on the con staff or anything, but I remember thinking how unlikely it was that we would ever hold a con at the Grand Resort, much less in Pigeon Forge, again.
Never did finish that last game of Air Hockey against Greg Weisman.
I look forward to it someday.
And, yes, we made it home. Left at 11:30 AM and finally arrived at our house at 6:13 PM. No stops, just one time for gas before we'd left Tennessee, one time for a Fazoli's lunch in London, Kentucky, and one time when we got pulled over for speeding (eep).
And with that ends Gathering.
See you in Chicago in '08.
Just to be clear, I like "Office Space" a LOT. But it's far from my favorite movie.
Flanker's con journal.
To make my 6am flight, I wanted to be at the Ottawa Airport for 4am. To get there for 4am, I needed to leave Petawawa Ontario at around 2am. So why bother going to bed right? During the drive I had a random scene from Anchorman looping in my head again and again. I arrived in the darkened parking lot laughing by myself in my car. Not a good sign. I enter the terminal and realize that I have crossed the line from keen early into stupid early. I laid on a bench with my luggage and set my cell phone alarm for 4am. Which was pointless because you don't go into the deepest sleep on a bench. Despite NWA's sign stating they open at 4am, they really meant about 4:25am. Being early was especially pointless since everyone in the airport was channeled into one massive checkpoint and none of them were ready to work until after five. But once all those hurdles were overcome, I slept through take off on both flights. Once in Knoxville, Sarah (the Great) was waiting for me having just landed herself. Her mood seemed enhanced by some drinks at the airport bar. I picked up my luggage and rental car. I opted for a Dodge Charger because I very badly wanted to test drive one and this seemed like a good opportunity until they added fuel, tax and insurance costs. Sarah and I hopped in and navigated our way into Pigeon Forge in what I felt was a reasonable time. I checked into my room with no problems and then blundered my way to the con area to register, which is where I found Shaun (BrooklynX) who was going to be splitting the room along with Sarah and I. Shaun couldn't guarantee me a banquet ticket so I told him he'd be sleeping outside. I also started canvassing con goers for interest in a trip to a gun range, something I had mapped out prior to the con. The interest was high, but once a plan was formulated it was difficult to find everyone and pass it on. Sarah and I auditioned for the radio play with the rest of the con. I thought my southern accent was good and was overall confident that I might get some part in the play. Sarah talked me into sneaking out halfway through opening ceremonies which wasn't hard because my stomach agreed with her plan to go find food. We hit that Japanese place across the street, where they light everything on fire and juggle knives. I had alot of leftovers which came in handy later. Sarah had a golf game to go win, I was left to my own devices. The music video/open role playing seemed a little sedated, so I went for a drive on the mountain roads in my Dodge Charger, exploring routes to the gun range. I came back to Sarah the Triumphant and had pretty much the only full nights sleep I'd be getting the whole weekend.
I dragged Sarah and Shaun out of bed bright and early since Sarah was coming with me to the range and Shaun had to get up and do Con stuff. I tried to pass on to everyone interested to meet up for 8am in the lobby for breakfast. The line up for the buffet was crazy, so my shooters (Kathy, Mike and Sarah) and Shaun agreed to check out the nearby pancake house. For some reason it was much less busy and we were enjoying each others company when a string of zombies that looked like Gathering Attendees shuffled by in a daze. Yelling, waving and throwing things all failed to get there attention so I had to get up and walk 5 feet to their booth and shake some sense into them. Carter, Kelly, Leo, Francis and Esteban (holy crap I remembered your names!) all agreed to come along to the gun range. I was worried this was going to be too big, then too small, then too big again! After a great breakfast and minor navigation bloopers we found the range. I was not happy to see how packed the parking lot was at the gun club. I approached Leo and his passengers and told to them to prepare for disappointment. I could hear gunfire and was thinking that maybe the range was booked by a class or something. We went inside to a very bright clean professional gun range. There was a shooting class present, but they weren't going to need to fire until long after we would be leaving. The gentleman who ran the club displayed every degree of Southern manners and hospitality and was thrilled to have so many new shooters. I didn't even get any heck for being Canadian. In fact, I ask about discounts for soldiers or veterans and he said he'd look into it. We rented a couple guns and unpacked the ones I brought and got started. We had a blast (pardon the pun) and Leo may have lied about never shooting a gun in his life. His groupings were outstanding, even better than mine. Once we were done shredding paper I started to pack up and exited the firing line to hear someone in a deep southern drawl ask 'Now, whut exactlay, isa Gahgoyle? I now that Trawlls live unda bridges, whut about gahgayles?'. I forgot who had the patience to answer his questions but it was certainly entertaining for the rest of us. We got back to the Con and I ran into Karine and little happy Sam. We looked around the art area to see if they had posted the cast for the play and I encountered the fabulous Jade Griffon and her amazing gummigolyes that were so confusing to look at it physically disoriented me. I decided to take a crack at drawing for the first time this millennium in Shaun's book. This killed enough time (and let me sit down for a bit) before the play rehearsal. The cast was huge and I was pretty excited. I thought it was going to be fun to be directed by Greg and have a few lines. Then I found out I was going to be playing Goliath so I was a little tense at first. Eric had to do Thailog, which was way more dialog than Goliath, and two other characters with accents. He did such an awesome job too. Greg never corrected me so I guess I did ok. Obviously I can't get into details, but I will say that I had to deliver a really serious line right after something comical happened and it gave me small glimpse into the real challenges of acting because I had to stop laughing and instantly change moods. Things wound down a bit after the play, and people kept approaching me a little upset that I went shooting without them. Then I recall some of us going to eat at Pizza Hut where I took a photo of some crazy ugly kid smearing his face against the window to our booth. Then of course there was the Blue Mug. I tried to find out if Owen was gay (fit, polite, smart, clean and eerily loyal to a handsome man) Greg told me whatever floats my boat. After Blue Mug was over I approached him and asked sarcastically what kind of nail polish Demona wears in human form, to kinda make fun of how crazy specific fans can get on some details. He just kind of stared at me like I was nuts while (Jen I think?) explained that she used red because it matched her hair or something. The rest of my memories of saturday are spotty at best.
Sunday started with myself and a lovely lady (sorry I forgot your name) following Thom around looking for a fast coffee. We ended up crossing the street to some restaraunt and getting some coffees and biscuits barely in time for Thom to get to his Mug a Guest which he quickly renamed 'The Wake Your Ass Up Panel'. It turned into a bunch of us discussing our favourite classic horror movies and finding out the crazy roles Thom had taken shots at over the years. A bunch of crazies went off to get tattoos, I wanted to check out the Badguys/Gargoyles panel, where getting information was like drawing blood from a stone, although Greg did leak that a certain character would be appearing in Badguys, can you believe it? After that wrapped up I kidnapped Kelly and we went on a rapid clothes shopping mission because I wanted something a little spiffier for the banquet, for which I was finally able to get a ticket for. I got a khaki blaser type thing from banana republic and we dashed back to the hotel. The banquet started and I wish the heat didn't sap my appetite so bad because the food was incredible. I was only able to tackle one plate because I was more interested in drinking lots of water. We had finished eating and Sarah and Tatiana (cant remember real name!) were commenting that I looked a lot like Matt Bluestone with my hair slicked back and tan clothing. So we just up and bolted away from the Banquet with Mike in tow because he had some last minute costume ideas too. I bought a toy badge and rubber training gun (cant have anything too real looking right Hudson?) while Sarah and crew hit a wal mart getting me a clip on tie and some medical garb for Mike. Back at the con I forced my new block of yellow rubber into a holster and took my con badge lanyard and attached the badge to it. Costume was done! I filled out a form for 'accidental Matt Bluestone'. I had some time to kill before the masquerade so I began wandering aimlessly to see who I could bump into. On my first try I ran into Greg and Thom coming out of the stairs. They were going to play some air hockey so I tagged along to take pictures. Little did I know of the epic event about to unfold. What started as two guys having a fun game of air hockey became a tournament of intense passion, focus and carnage not seen since the Coliseum days of Rome. The Gods themselves trembled in terror from the war cries and inhuman savagery displayed by the world's greatest token spending athletes. Greg came out swinging, crushing all oppostion before him, like a tank against an anthill. However, he was ill equipped to deal with my foreign trapping style, aided by years of intensive Shaolin Kung Fu training. Spectators wept blood as I barely won. My victory was short lived as I was slaughtered like a spring lamb by an unknown challenger who's sole purpose was to humiliate me and then vanish back into the mists she emerged from. I thought it was all winding down. Little did I know Greg was plotting and simmering with rage at his loss to me, the only one capable of surviving his onslaught. He challenged me to a rematch and I accepted. Surely he was getting exhausted from maiming so many peons, I would have the edge. The masses gathered for this final exhibition and after another refreshing mouthful of my own sweat we began. My arrogance and assumed supremacy worked in Greg's favour, getting him a score of 6 to 1 in a fraction of a second. Despite Greg's ability to push the puck past the visible light spectrum my strong defensive tactics began to pay off. Tired, Greg's mental grip on the Earth's orbit began to weaken and 'normal' physics and thermal dynamics came back into play. My score slowly climbed and sure enough we had reached the Apocalyptic number of 6-6. The puck slammed back and forth atop the air table forged in the Jurassic era by super intelligent raptors. With the course of history hanging in the balance I managed one final shot that ended the destructive conflict. Greg did not appear to be choked with rage. He congratulated me on my victory but after releasing me from my handshake he began chanting in Latin while his eyes began glowing. Once he began levitating I knew it was time to get out of there.
Sarah had arrived and attached the clip on tie and I made my way to the masquerade. The other costumes looked great of course. I felt ashamed that I had just thrown mine together at the last minute for like, ten bucks when the others put so much effort into theirs. Except Mike, I'm on to your little scheme...
I ran out and did my bit but nobody told me where to go when I was done so I ended up wandering in circles spewing silly dialog I had thought up minutes before going out. I think it was Jade Griffon (who also found my sun glasses earlier) was pointing out where to go as I started stripping. I put the Blue in Bluestone. Belly dancing seemed to be a popular theme so it became easy to imagine that I was in 'From Russia with Love' and that a gypsy riot was about to break out any second. The judges went to decide on who would win in which category and we took photos of each other in highly dignified poses. Greg and his posse re emerged with their decisions. Sarah was awarded Champion of the Universe in Mini Put Golf. Mike won best canon character. I was recognized for my air hockey skills and was also given the Thom Adcox 2007 memorial award, which is confusing in many ways. Thom Adcox is both still alive and not me, so why I'm getting his award is perplexing. I interpreted the award to mean Sluttiest Attention Whore '07. I determined this on the way to receive the trophy from Greg, and since I seemed to have suddenly earned this new reputation I politely asked him to place the trophy in my belt which I had graciously extended. I then offered everyone present to witness what I felt was an excellent location for a trophy. The masquerade was over and various shenanigans ensued. We played 'Uno' which was new to me. After a quaint remark I made about Thom's fashion sense he led the table in a revolt against me ensuring I would never win a single round. My memories of the rest of the evening are spotty at best.
Never in history has a monday started so good and ended in such total misery. I quickly packed and checked out of the hotel, informing the front desk of the mattress frame that disintegrated when Sarah and I tried to adjust it. I would like to get off my chest that the hotel was utter garbage. But hey, it was cheap. My second range trip was another success, this time Rob, Trim, Revel, Spacebabie, Lynati, Gside and Tatiana came out and we dealt with the same friendly gentleman who was thrilled to have me bring more customers to his business. Many targets were expertly riddled but nobody matched Leo's skill. When that occurred to me I knew I found someone to give my 'special police' badge to since I had already given away my ugly yellow rubber gun. Once back at the Con, we loitered about saying goodbyes to each other (I hate this part every year) and we sat through the closing ceremonies, sans Thom. Many awards were given to the outstanding artists who contributed to the art show. I got a chance to stand up and present Leo with his badge, and he showed his target to the crowd (understanding why he brought it along now). With the badge and his huge camera he looked like a crime scene photographer. After discussing how awesome next year's con is going to be I yelled out 'show up OR I'LL FIND YOU!' to some giggles but Chicago's con chair (I'm so sorry I forgot your name) quickly followed up with or 'I'll SEND LEO' to roars of laughter. Oh openly threatening strangers is so much fun. Once the ceremony was over Sarah and I said our goodbyes to everyone and made for the airport.
WARNING: The rest of this journal is just miserable bitching.
I get to the airport well ahead of schedule and turn in my rental car with no issues. Sarah and I split up to our respective airlines. I was delighted to stand at the NWA desk for almost 40 minutes before they informed me that my flight has been changed to Delta airlines. So my 6pm flight through Detroit is now a 520pm flight through Atlanta (the opposite direction of Canada). With an earlier departure time it was decided I would be a great candidate for random extra security screening. I was nervous that chemical tests would reveal Gun Shot Residue (GSR) on my clothes so I told the guard that I was at a range before any alarms went off. I was told it wasn't a GSR test and that I was good to go. I rushed to my gate and spotted Rob and Anne eating at Ruby Tuesdays. I gave a quick hi but wanted to make sure I wasn't late. Weather in Atlanta was leading to serious delays so I had time to sit and chat with Anne, Rob and A Fan who were all waiting in the same terminal. I stole all of Rob and Anne's food because I was starving and didn't know if I had time to order my own. And because I'm a jerk. After loafing about the airport I finally left last after everyone else at around 8 or 9pm. I watched the throwers place my single black bag on the tarmac and walk away. I asked the lady behind the desk why my bag was on the tarmac and not in the plane. She said not to worry but I didn't listen to her. Naturally, the Atlanta to Ottawa flight was also delayed so I had a couple of hours to spend in an airport that was paralyzed with bad weather all day. Every single gate was crowded with irate passengers, crew and airport staff. I was thrilled to not be back in Petawawa. I hope my plane developed a fault and I would get to stay in the US for one more night. The 11pm flight turned into a 1am flight. At around 3 or 4am, I was finally on native soil but the worst was yet to come. I stood at the baggage claim hypnotized by the rotating belt. It stopped and I had no black bag. I was called over to a desk where forms were already waiting and myself and several others began filling out missing forms. As of writing, most of my civilian clothes, shower stuff, various paper work, knives and three handguns are unaccounted for. Thank god I had the foresight to retrieve my car keys so I was able to get back to base. I really hate to end the journal on such a downer but I did have an amazing weekend and I'm pumped for Chicago (not just because I can DRIVE there either).
PS Whats with all the insane right wingers posting questions these days?
You got me.
Great getting to know you a bit more. I killed ALL COMERS at Air Hockey the next day, btw, and so... YES, I want another rematch!!!
Gathering 2k7 Log
Wednesday, June 20
We got up early today, after getting too tired last right to do much serious packing. Still, somehow we managed to finish by 9AM-ish, and after having breakfast' we departed closer to 10.
South of Cincinnati, we stopped for a quick lunch at Skyline Chili. When we parked, a Puddle of coolant formed on the pavement under the car. After determining the leak isn't fatal, we continued. We bought some extra coolant as a precaution. Then, coming down off the Mountain near Jellico, traffic came to a complete stop or the freeway. Like in the Skyline parking lot, the car was on a downhill slope. Like at Skyline, a leak formed. But this time, it was more Serious. After consulting with my dad via cell phone, and improvising a method to remove a hot radiator Cap, I added the coolant i had bought and continued our Journey with a loose radiator cap, to prevent pressure from building up and forcing coolant out of the system. At the next exiti I refueled and bought sone More coolant. We Made it the rest of the way to the hotel without incident.
I've been through Pigeon Forge before, but not as a driver. Now I know why my dad always preferred to stay in Townsend. This place is like Las Vegas, but with a hokey southern flavor.
Ed and I checked into the Grand, watched some TV, and checked out the pool and jaccuzzi. Then I consulted a map and located two things: a Pizza Hut and a grocery where they're not trying to fleece tourists. We had to go back up to Sevierville for that second one. On the plus side, I found a back road to take us there instead of the congested Parkway. Except -that back road is being replaced with a six-lane divided artery. I guess they're expecting a lot of expansion east of the Parkway. It's rot busy yet, though.
Back to the hotel room for shower, TV, and journaling. I'm starting to get too tired to write so my Pochet PC can translate correctly on the first try. But I'm staying up (It's now 01:27) because a new Myth Busters is on. Oh yeah, and My left fore-arn is sunburned fron the drive. Ed's right forearm is similarly burned. That's it for today.
Thursday, June 21
I'm getting behind here. It's Friday afternoon as I write this.Yesterday I drove Ed around to all the Smoky Mountains locations I used to visit with My family as a kid. Look Rock, Cade's Cove. Newfound Gap, anong others. (BTW, on the way to the park, I noticed a Kroger store here in Pigeon Forge.) At first Ed was a little freaked about the heights. I promised him that Look Rock was the most heightsy thing we would do all week. And he didn't panic. By the time we got to Newfound Gap, he was used to all the mountain driving. I bet when we're on that mountain near Jellico on the way home, he'll have no problem at all. So we come back to the hotel, and watched Seinfeld while waiting for our roommate, A Fan, to show up. He arrived, and shortly after, so did Greg and Thom. I don't remember anything after that... Just kidding. Ed stuck around the lobby to hob-nob or something while I helped A Fan settle in. He needed some network cable, and I needed sorie earwax-removal stuff. So we went to Wal- Mart on the south side of Sevierville. And we forgot to tell Ed we were going. But he didn't seem too upset when we got back. Oh yeah. I chose a nice back-roads way back to the hotel from the store, except the road was curvier than it looked on the Map. I expect better of you, Seeger Map Company. A fan ordered pizza and I watched tv or something. I don't remember exactly what. I was tired, and went to sleep around 11:30 .
Friday, June 22
It's Saturday, and here I am writing down Friday's stuff. I slept in, journaled for Thursday. And headed to the Voice acting panel. It was hard to hear, though, because my ears were still plugged and the stuff I had bought the previous night didn't work at all. After the panel I went back to the room for Lunch. And then the con suite for a few hours until Opening Ceremonies. That was Cool. We got some good news about the comic, and some news which could potentially become good news in the future, about a Movie. Also during the ceremonies. I remembered the word search puzzles I'd made, so before the music video screenings,I went to the room to get the puzzles and took them to the con suite. I also requested that Greg and Thom get copies. I'm in the con suite now, though, and I don't see the puzzles. Anyway, next was the music videos. Too much emo, in my opinion, when they were done. Everyone just stayed seated, watching the G2007 promo loop, hypnotized. Ed and I went to the jaccuzi for awhile. Then headed to 2A and just hung out watching someone draw a naked garg and a happy little tree. Then we went back to the room and finished off the night with a couple episodes of futurama. And I got too tired to journal the days events.
Saturday, June 23
First thing in the morning, I headed to registration to sign up for the Greg mug- a. Guest which was later in the day. Unfortunately, the signup sheets for both mug-a-guest sessions had been put out friday and filled up quickly. So Ed signed us up as "alternates" for the mug-a-guest- with Thom.
Then Ed, A Fan, and I hung out in the con suite for several hours. Well. A few hours anyway. We set up my crappy, crappy DVD player there and put on, of course, Gargoyles. The suite was pretty full by the time ''The Mirror" came up. Which is good, because that's the one everyone wants to see. When Ed headed to radio play rehearsals, he took my camera for some reason. I had to get it back fm him before the show so I could take pictures of him and the other performers. The radio play. Bythe way, was Chapters 3,4,5 of Clan- Building. Yes. That's Issue 5 before it's out. And it just keeps getting better. Greg won't really let me say more.
Mystery Gargoyles theater 3OOO... That was fun. But without being able to hear the dialog well (stipid ears) -it was difficuit lo make snappy comebacks. Next was the blue mug, which of course was fun. Unlike last year, Thom took off his pants. Yay. And Greg explained Elisa's line of thought with Goliath not fitting into the expectations she had for her life. That really resonated with Me, reminding me of that morning in 2002 when I realized my life probably wouldn't be like I had Imagined. I guess realizing you're in love with a member of another species is somewhat similar to realizing you're in love with a member of the same sex. Somewhat.
The blue mug ended a little after 1 am, and everyone went to bed.
Sunday, June 24
Sunday norning, I actually woke up before A fan and Ed. We watched TV and Ed and I headed to the mug_a-guest with Thom, since some seats had opened up. We talked Mostly about show business and living in L.A., since a couple others in attendance were also from that area. After that was the Gargoyles/ Bad Guys comic panel. A lot of people had questions which Greg refused to answer. Of course. But there was some good information about the comic structure, and we got to see some nifty (over art.
After that. I went to the con suite to loaf. The con suite is good for that. When it was time for the banquet, A fan had his usual anti -banquet. He and I and this other guy went to T.G.I. Fridays where a couple other con-goers were already eating. I made a meal of overpriced fried mozarella and a grape slushie, which some what seemed to defeat the purpose of shunning an overpriced banquet.
Bach to the roon, ard more TV. At 8, The Masquerade began. Some good costumes, some awards, dancing, and a free T-shirt. And I got bored. I'm not really into dancing. So I went back to the room again and basically watched Adult Swim until going to sleep.
Monday, June 25
Now I'm getting really behind. It's Tuesday night and I'm just now getting to writing about Monday. Monday morning, I slept in and took a nice long shower, while Ed went to the dealer's room to spend his last cash at the aucton. Then came the dosing ceremonies with Announcements about next year, and then awards for art and music videos. Except Most of the award recipients had left already. Even A Fan, our roommate and one of three people (Greg Included) to have come to all 11 Gatherings, had departed.
So after that, everyone discussed what to do next. It was raining on and off, so Dollywood didn't sound too great. Instead, we walked down Parkway to an arcade for laser tag. The 20 of us were divided into two groups. Ed and I, as well as Greg, were in the second group. A bunch of us took turns playing Greg at air hockey. Not having much practice, I enjoyed losing to Greg. When our turn for laser tag came, I had fun. It was a free-forall. I didn't do particularly well score -wise, (7th in a field of about 13) but my accuracy was the highest, with about 2 of every 7 shots hitting something.
After that, we :dscussed ice cream. The Baskin Robbins was quite a distance, so we decided to walk that way, Building up an appetite for dinner, which we had at a Porky's. By the time that was done, nobody wanted ice cream anymore except for ne, Ed, and a guy named Halloween king. He had diiven there, so we didn't have to walk all the way back to the hotel.
Filled out the rest of the evening with TV and the jacuzzi. Spotted Greg one last time walking past the jacuzzi. Then bed. Basically.
Tuesday, June 26
Today turned into another Smokies sight- seeing day. First we hit Clingman's Dome, which turned out to be much busier than I'd expected. I haven't been there before, and the broken clouds at the same level as the mountain top Made for an eerie situation. Maybe Xanatos should have moved Castle Wyvern there. Much more scenic than Manhattan. ***Last-minute edit: This was intended as a joke. Although I highly doubt it would be used, since it goes against established canon, I hereby release any rights to the concept. So Greg or any fanfic author can use concept, regardless of whether or not they thought of it first, with no opposition from me, legal or otherwise.***
Next stop was Fontana Dam, which turned out to be a much longer drive than I'd expected. I've been there once, but my dad drove then. I usually study a map better before driving somewhere new, but today I didn't mind the extra mileage on the North Carolina highways. Coming around the west end of the park, there was some really thick fog on the little Tennessee river. That was cool.
Bach at the botel, we microwaved a pizza. More TV. More jacuzzi. More TV. Some people tried to come into our room, apparently having been told that they had it for the night. And then I got caught up with my con log.
Wednesday, June 27
So we woke up this morning -- when we got a wake-up call at 7am which we hadn't asked for -- went back to sleep, and woke up again around 10. Ed showered, and I started organizing our stuff which had been spread around the room in our 7-night stay at the Grand. We loaded everything into the car, made a final check of the room, and then checked out -- a half hour after the nominal check-out time -- and we made our way back to Columbus. Instead of the scenic route through Cumberland Gap which I'd been considering, we decided to stick to the Interstates, in case of more car trouble. Somewhere in the middle of Kentucky, I got pulled over for speeding when I thought the construction zone had ended; after explaining the simple mistake, I got off with a warning. We hit Cincinnati in rush hour. The radio traffic reports there are very timely and accurate; we hit the traffic jam exactly where they said we would. In Columbus, you could get stuck in traffic and not hear about it on the radio for a half hour; or you could hear about a really bad accident and drive past the described location minutes later and see absolutely nothing. Anyway, about 3 minutes from home, the "low coolant" light came on. No big deal. It's been refilled already. Still, I gotta get that radiator fixed. Total trip stats: 1,100.8 miles driven, 41.5 gallons of fuel consumed; that's 26.5 miles per gallon.
Oh yeah, and I'm having Ed proofread this to fix the worst lexicographical errors. Not typograhical, but lexicographical; because nearly all of it was written by hand and my writing interpreted as text by my pocket PC. Today's stuff was typed directly, though. And I'll post it to Ask Greg shortly.
Always interesting to hear about the same events from different perspectives...
So normally I am pretty bad about posting my con journal. I'll write a hyper-intensive lead up describing the trip up to the hotel the night before the con and then... nadda. In past years either most of my convention experience was such that I cold not post it publically, or I simply was too exhausted to remember any of it (2003 comes to mind) or any variety of things. But not this year, no. This year, I took notes in the car as I rattled my day off to my mate Aaron. (One of the nice parts of not spending the entire con attached at the hip is the being able to talk anecdote without having him go "I know, I was there- remember?"
FRIDAY: Got up around nine and had a very long shower before going to Karine's panel. I'm still quite impressed at how she can juggle work, friends, and baby concurrently- during. a. panel. After that I hung out with Hudson, Dancer, and Ash in their room, we watched car chases on t.v. Much fun. Eventually it was time for Opening Ceremonies, and enjoyed seeing the dvd version of the pitch because it is slightly different from Greg's version. (I'm still not quite sure which I like better, if one could make distinctions over such things.) The Last is getting intense and I *really* need to get off my butt and do the scens I called dibs on. I know how to draw Mole, and lord knows I know how to draw Demona, but watching the current version really helped cement in my mind what I'll be doing. SO hopefully there'll be mor for next year. After Opening Ceremonies, there was dinner. I think I had pizza but I don't remember. I hung out with Cat, Rika, Dave, and Cheri for a long bit, my notes tell me. Eventually I went to bed around four am.
SATURDAY: I had a panel with Nikki which was an othercon open discussion dealie. I'm really glad that Othercon is still going strong. I sat at Artist's Alley after that, and after seeing the artshow decided that there was not enough adult art work. So, I drew some. The reason I didn't have any for sale was because I didn't think it'd be nice to charge for stuff when I so obviously came to the convention unprepared. I hung out with Jade, Silver and Jordan. I looked at the dealer's stuff and met Ethan's girlfriend who was the one who made the gargoyle crochet dolls. Much awesomeness. Let's see... spent a lot of time with Erik and his girlfriend Steph... eventually there was the awesomecake that was Radio Play. It was engaging, revealing *singsong* and I'm not telling!(Wow, Mozilla Firefox is awesome, I had an error and had to reboot my computer but I didn't lose all of this text. Geez.)After Radio Play, I spent more time in Kathy's room with Kathy, JEB, Steph, Erik and Lynati. Then some MST3K and Blue Mug. Thom is absolutely adorable, and I felt some odd amount of pride when Aaron was the butt of his joke. (Har de har har.) I also was happy that it *seems* like we got a small reveal because of I picture I was doodling during that mug, but, yet again, not telling. You shoulda come to this con, come to nest year's con. There must have been more, since I went to bed again, around four am, but it's not in my notes.
SUNDAY: More time spent in Artist's alley, and the other othercon art panel. Silver and Jordan also came up to the board and it's just great to get all of these other perspectives since a good percentage of the fandom are artists. I helped Cheri, Cat, Dave, and Rika guard the artshow during the Banquet and also camped Greg's sketchbook. I didn't win it at auction, but it was fun to look at the randomness that is another person's headspace when their bored. Seriously. Me, Aaron and Lynati dressed up for Masquerade... I hadn't planned to originally, but since Lyn was going as "slutty" and Aaron was going as a pimp, I had to throw something together. So I was cheap slutty and Lyn was classy slutty. Good times. The dance was fun, especially lipsynching to RENT with Jen and Lyn respectively. Then I went out for a smoke, talked with KingCobra, Doppleganger, Leo and Sadistic Cow.. and came back to... The Twilight Zone. The dance was empty and there was an intense game of UNO going on in the other room. So I went upstairs to face THE LEAK. (Bah bah!) We moved boxes and tables and a big job became quick and easy because SO MANY PEOPLE HELPED. Like, yaye. Then I sat down between Alan and GregX. Alan gave me the best foot massage I think I have ever had, and we talked for many a hour it felt like until it was time to go to bed.
MONDAY: Was primarily time for goodbyes. I got and gave a lot of hugs, and I also did more of the volunteer thing by writing out the labels for the artshow awards. Then I had dinner with Aaron, Lynati, Quindar and Norcumi- which was kinda bittersweet since Lyn was leaving with them to Pennsylvania. After we came back to hang out in the con suite. I'm a light-weight and took a nap after about an hour. Then we (Aaron and I) spent more time in the consuite. The group came back after dinner and Aaron played Guitar Hero and I talked fic with Rika, Nikki, Dave, and Patrick. The waiter from the restaurant they went to dinner came to the hotel to hang out, and he was a really nice sweet guy. He taught us slight of hand tricks and during a smoke break me, Cat, and Jenbob's boi who's name I am blanking on even though he is the defininitve best, took a short night swim. Eventually, again, bedtime.
TUESDAY: I packed, hung out until people got ready to leave. More goodbyes, and hugs. We packed the car and said goodbye to Greg in the lobby while he was writing out one of his con journal entries. We helped move Hudson and crew to another motel since he had needed work on his car done. Then we got on and went home.
Thank you to everyone I got to spend time with and talk to during this con. I had a marvelous time, and it's wonderful to see how everyone is growin' up in a way over the years. And maybe not a little bit of that is because of a show we all watched as pre-teens and teenagers?
See you all in Chicago.
I'll be there! Loved the Blue Mug pic, by the way.
The Gathering 2007, Part 2
SATURDAY, JUNE 23RD, 2007
What a slow morning.
Hung around 3A, (A.K.A. The Dealer's Room) and bought a G2008 T-shirt. David and I considered registering for the next con (which, at the point that I typing this up, we have decided we will. No reason not to, after all.) but that we would have to do it online, at our own home, due to lack of cash (at the time, I'd only had enough for one of us to attend and not the other) funds.
I went down to 2A to check on the Radio Play Cast List. No one there, and, more importantly, no list. Yet. I decided the judges were probably going over it at lunch, and that I would see it soon enough. So I hopped the elevator down to the 1st Floor, strolling to the Con Suite to watch DVDs (A Fan had asked David and I if we would temporarily loan them our DVD player, to which we agreed. We had also brought our copy of Gargoyles Season 2, Volume 1 over. I had also brought over a Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVD over, but quickly figured out that no one, not even myself ATM, would most likely be interested in THAT.) and had a good time.
The Radio Play. How fun.
Like I'd said already, I was confident that I'd get Brooklyn. I didn't. I got Malibu, to my astonishment. But, hey, I'm not overly picky. I was happy to get what I did. I played the clone role with gusto, IMO. Rehearsal came before the actual play, and I was proud of myself during both. The script was the storyline for comic issues #3-5. If anyone wants to know what happens in #5... sorry buddy. #5 isn't out in stores yet, and Greg Weisman asked us to keep quiet about it, a plea I intend to follow. Anyone asks me about issues 3 or 4, that's fine. Those issues are already out. But I'm keeping my mouth shut on what happens in #5.
Thom played Brentwood instead of Lex. Life is just full of surprises.
Whoever (Jay, maybe?) played Goliath sounded more Broadway to my ears, but that could just be me.
MGT3K. Another beloved panel of mine. The choice episodes for this year were, in this order, 'Lighthouse In The Sea Of Time', 'Outfoxed', 'The Price', and, as a bonus, 'The Mirror'. It was still slightly difficult spitting out riffs, though I was more warmed up this year. I guess I don't have much of a sense of humor.
Blue Mug-A-Guest was enjoyable. Started out 'Blue' enough, to my satisfaction. But that quickly changed, to my dissappointment. Some of Thom's work was discussed, (I should watch for that coming Scooby-Doo DTV) as were the recasting choices for both Fox and David Xanatos. In an attempt to get things back on the 'Blue' track, I asked Thom how much time he thinks Lex spends on certain Internet activities, (everyone reacted just the way I wanted, with cheering and laughter) to which he said 'Several hours a night', and, then I asked, in regards to the MacBeth/Demona spell, if MacBeth ever had PMS as well. More laughter, more cheers, and even an 'OMG' was in there somewhere. :P Unfortunately, it still didn't stay as raunchy as I'd hoped.
David and I retired to our room at 1:30 am. He fell asleep almost instantly while I stayed awake awhile to watch some anime.
SUNDAY, JUNE 24TH, 2007
We went to the Thom Adcox Mug-A-Guest first. More movie talk. No problem there. In fact, movies are my favorite subject of conversation. I expressed interest in someday getting into the acting business, and Thom said that moving to a big city, like L.A. or New York, would be a good step. He expressed some annoyance over A-list actors (people like Jennifer Aniston or Drew Barrymore or Mike Myers) stealing vocal work from the lesser-knowns. He gave us all demo CDs that had some of his radio/TV commercial samples, (which I heard in the car later. Fun to listen to.) before we all went as a group to a nearby tattoo shop. It seems everyone was settled on a Phoenix Gate tattoo. Having wanted a tattoo, any tattoo, for awhile now, I'd hoped to join in. But I didn't have enough cash on me (dammit) and David (insert grumbling here), who would've had to charge it, said I should wait until my next birthday (my 25th in the fall) and see if I still want it then. I had wanted to just do something on the spur of the moment and not have to think about it first (for once), plus I don't like the feeling of being left out, but I sighed and unhappily agreed. I can wait if I have to. I made a comment, (during which I found he was 47.) about Thom being one great big tattoo by the time he turns 50. Having no panels ATM, I killed the time by looking for possible tattoo images for use in the future, which I did not find.
I even went back later to re-check the images on a whim. Found some possibilities this time. I definitely know what I want now.
Played 2 games Air Hockey with Jeb. Kicked his ass with a final score of 7-1 both times. :D
Air Hockey is one of my favorite games, BTW. Has been since childhood.
The Banquet (my first) was delicious. My friends Shawn and Louie were supposed to attend the con with us, but had to bail out (summer classes), and Louie had already bought a Banquet ticket, so I ended up with it instead. The menu was top notch. I had Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, (yum) Chicken with Rice, 3 cups of sweetened Tea (and I don't even DRINK Tea!), a dinner roll, and a piece of chcolate cake for desert. There were a lot of questions for Greg, Thom, and... what was her name? Damn, it slips my mind... Anyway. Abby asked a LOT of hyper Puck-themed questions. No prizes for guessing who she likes. Wow.
I played more Air Hockey, this time against Greg, Thom, and what's-his-name (He would later show up as Matt Bluestone at the Masquerade). I beat what's-his-name fairly easily, but, with me endlessly cursing like a sailer during and after the matches, Greg and Thom both smacked me down. Hard.
Speaking of the Masquerade, it was great. Lots of pictures. I knew right off that Halloweenking (as the Gargoyle) would win 1st prize, which he did. Tried to get a goofy picture (think bunny ears for the camera) with Thom, but he wanted to mingle, so I shrugged it off. Participated in the A-hole song (performed by Dennis Leary, in case you didn't know), which I didn't know all the lyrics of. I had to fake it, which I like to think I did okay at.
A few minutes later, I noticed there was some action next door, and, curious, went to check it out. It was a bunch of people (including Thom) playing "Uno". I said before that I like games, but I hadn't played that since I was seven, and, besides, it looked like there were enough players. So I was content to sit and watch instead.
Eventually, Jade Griffin came by and we looked through some of the photos she'd taken, including some of the ladies' room (I guess it'd flooded or something.). I quickly got tired of that, though, and left, running into Karl. I'd played a game of Air Hockey against him earlier and offered a rematch, but he declined.
I went to my room and fell asleep. Forgive me if I sound British here, but the term 'completely knackered' seems to be the most appropriate here.
To Be Concluded.
That's the point of the Gathering... to have fun until your knackered. I think that's our slogan.
Gathering 2007, Part 1
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20TH, 2007
Vid The Kid and I left home at 9:30 am. The journey itself was hell, with traffic jams, and the occasional coollant change, once the damn car decided to start leaking. Getting there was a real b***h, but eventually we made it. Took longer than it was supposed to, though.
A Fan called to let us know that he would be arriving on the following day. VTK and I went on a grocery run to last us for the week that we'd be there.
That's all that happened today, aside from our sunburned (David's left and my right) arms.
THURSDAY, JUNE 21ST, 2007
I woke up and went to the lobby for breakfast, whilst letting David sleep, though I wasn't overly hungry and ended up having a simple cup of orange juice. With pulp, apparently. I woke David up a little while later and we watched the 1st 'Final Destination' on DVD, then had some actual breakfast (cause I was hungry at that point), and left to spend the day driving around the Smoky Mountains National Park, which was one of the most parts of the week (besides the con, of course). 1st stop was a beautifully scenic overlook which, even with my (dwindling) fear of heights, didn't bother me much. Heh. Go figure. We went to Look Rock next. After a half-mile hike through the woods, we finally reached a view tower. Ascending to the top (or as close as we could get to it), we were both blown away by the view. David promised me that it would be the most 'heightsi-est' thing we'd do. I was both happy and dissappointed about that. I was uncertain to go on the tower, but I didn't want to dissappoint David so I followed him anyway. Glad I did. I could see for miles up there. If you want to see pictures, they should be on my website (http://www.geocities.com/kingcobra49036) soon.
We also took a self-portrait of ourselves at the SMNP sign, before driving to Cades Cove. We saw, at a camping site, a rock formation where David and his 2 brothers (I guess they'dve already been to Tennessee before) used to play when they were kids. Then it was off to a scenic loop (God, the state is beautiful), then, chronologically, the John Oliver cabin, a 180-year old Baptist Church, (which was a bit odd for me, because I've never considered particularly religious.) old-fashioned of course, with a cemetary, and an old 1800's styled mill. I've never seen a water wheel before. At this point, I was started to get bored of all the driving around and the scenary, but David wanted to go back to the camping area for lunch, and then visit Newfound Gap, so we did.
Finally got back to the hotel afterwards, just in time to run into some of the guests. Greg Bishansky, Greg Weisman, Thom Adcox, Jennifer Anderson, and others. I was happy. It was great seeing them again. Thom asked how I'd been, to which I'd answered honestly and truthfully.
TA: (grins) S**t?
And we both laughed.
A Fan also showed up and promptly checked in. Obviously, he was our roommate this year.
Took my 1st picture of this year's con, which was of a random attending girl. No reason, purely on a whim. My camera fingers were itching. I went down to the Jacuzzi. God, I love Jacuzzis. After a few minutes of basking in heated-watery bliss, I'd noticed Thom talking to a group nearby, and, after some debating, decided I was too curious to miss out on it, so I got out of the water and joined in. Thom's definitely an interesting talker, that's for sure. Soon, they all headed out to go eat somewhere, with no one inviting me to come. I admit it was a bit depressing, but I wasn't dressed for it anyway, so it made sense. I can live with that. I returned to my room instead, watching a DVD with David and A Fan before going to bed.
Sleep is always good.
FRIDAY, JUNE 22ND, 2007
Enough of the pre-con stuff. THIS was the day of the con, which is the subject of this journal and the purpose for my vacation, so today the convention stuff finally starts.
Woke up, and showered. Daily routine. Nothing unusual there. I paced the hotel, seeking the best view of the mountains. Nice view. I noticed a newspaper article about the con (from Pigeon Forge's local newspaper, the Star Journal) on the con suite door and went down to a nearby gas station to buy a copy. Maybe I'll cut out the article and stick it in a scrapbook or something.
Helped a couple members of the con staff move some comics up to Room 3A too, mainly out of boredom.
More pics at registration, including one or two of Thom. Chatted with him about the 'almost' Lex tattoo that I'd nearly gotten last fall. Found out his birthday. The Voice Acting Panel, which he hosted, was really fun. I'd missed last year's VA Workshop, (My only regret from G2006) so I vowed to go to the panel this year to make up for it. As always, hearing Thom talk was a treat, and I was certainly captivated. He told that 'Snap' story again, and other voice-acting stuff, as well. He's also apparently co-writing a series that he seemed interested in pitching to Adult Swim. I'll have to keep an eye out for it. David and I volunteered to make him a website (since it seems a lot of other VAs have them anyway, and he doesn't), and Thom seemed excited about it. We decided to discuss the details of it later on. Thom even gave us his number so we could run the info by him before building it. And who knew that Thom loved horror movies?!
Radio Play Auditions came next, and they were fun. I went in to read for Brooklyn (my favorite character), and I was a little nervous, at first, but when the judges asked me to re-read the last 3 lines, I decided 'to hell with it', swallowed my fear, and gave them the best Brooklyn I could. They seemed impressed. Greg complimented me for my ability to follow directions, which was pleasent. He asked me if I wanted to go by 'Ed', or 'KingCobra', or what. I told him anything was fine. I left feeling confident that I'd landed the part of Brooklyn, (which I found out later I didn't, but more on that later), but I decided to keep an open mind until I actually saw the cast list the following day.
Although now I feel I have to ask. What was with Thom wearing those pink bunny ears??
Opening Ceremonies. Just as great as usual, but, then, this is only my 2nd con, so what do I know? Other then that I enjoyed it, I mean? News about the 1st issue of 'Bad Guys' which I already knew about to begin with. Music Videos were still as enjoyable as last year's, with Greg B.'s 'I Stand Alone' (by Green Day) ringing in #1 on my list. I also loved 'The Awakening' and 'How Could This Happen'. I should look for them on YouTube or someplace later, b/c I want to see them again.
Afterwards, it was off to the RPG Gaming thing to do nothing but watch...
Once we were bored of that, David and I decided to return to our room for DVDs, but I decided (why, I swear to god that I do not know) to take a different route. While I was on my detour, I ran into a group of people talking to Thom. Surprise, surprise. I stayed to listen to Thom talk, then we headed off. Walked together a little bit, engaged in conversation (about his future site, and movies, and other things. Thom asking me how the Jacuzzi water was.) until we got to his room. I said good-night and kept on going down the same direction to my own room, where I crashed for the night with my DVDs.
To Be Continued.
I did miss out on the scenic aspect this time out. Maybe some other time...
Gathering 2nd half
Sunday June 24
After sleeping in we had breakfast at the Red Rooster again. This time I had waffles, and I am like Buffy when it comes to breakfast foods. I had the waffles with peaches and caramel drizzled on top, ah sweet buttery rich caramel, and to drink I had my preciousssss coffee.
After breakfast we went to the creative positioning panel where Mara and Nikki drew some fun and unique poses, while we suggested some poses. A few others, including Silver came up to also add draw in a few positions.
After the panel it was time for the Bad Guys panel. Greg W answered all the questions he was allowed to and we got to see a promotional poster…sweet. Karine said she loved drawing the characters and was really enjoying Yama.
We hung out in the dealer's room while they prepped for the banquet. GregX ducked out and we thought he went to shower and change suits, nope he went to go and join the Order or the Phoenix Gate.
For the second time in a row I dressed up for the banquet in my new red dress and red shoes. I am not a fan of dresses, so I rarely shop for them, but after seeing Revel's reaction to a character in the Britcom Coupling in a red dress I knew I had to get a red one, and after getting pretty I stood in front of the full length mirror and noticed that I had indeed lost some weight since last year.
The banquet was another good one. We had a choice of water or presweetened tea to drink. I like iced tea, but it was a bit too sweet and I needed to water it down a bit, a lot of us watered down our tea. I made certain I had three courses. I had a little salad, and had plenty of veggies in the form of carrots and broccoli, some beef, and a roll for my carbs, and a slice of cake for dessert. There were a lot of questions after word.
There were a lot of great costumes. Hal's stone gargoyle was stellar and I loved Chyna Rose's gargoyle costume, great work with the horns. Flanker was Matt Bluestone and his performance earned him the Thom Adcox award.
We did some dancing after, and maybe it was the sugar from both the tea and the cake, but I was feeling rather energetic and I pulled Revel onto the floor and busted a groove, got jiggy with it, worked it. We had a conga line for David Bowie's Dance Magic Dance, and we nearly crossed the stream.
Dancing ended when we had an emergency, the ceiling in the dealers room started to form leaks and we all rescued the art and the comics.
Monday June 25
Breakfast at the Rooster again. This time chocolate éclair pancakes and coffee.
After breakfast we joined up with Flanker who organized a group to go to a shooting range. This was the first time I have ever held a gun, and I am a daughter of a retired army captain.
I fired off about three rounds and I wasn't too shabby. My first shot was right through the neck of the paper target, there were a few in the head, several in the chest, and he won't be having children.
After we returned we packed up our stuff, gave Gregx the key, hugged and said our farewell and then began the drive back to Nashville. We stopped by Wendy's on the way and we both had nuggets and fries and I tried the new frosty float…yummy.
We were a little worried when we went to check in since a lot of people who were flying in to Houston for their transfer flight had theirs canceled, but since we were taking an express ours was fine. We ran into Winterwolf at check in and since his flight was also delayed we chatted some more in the terminal until we boarded.
Good thing we stopped by Wendy's on the way, cause all we got to munch on was a Gorram thing of peanuts. I read during the flight, but even though I was trying to focus on the flight we heard IT, and by that we mean this bimbo was behind us chatting about going to culinary school, and how her daddy was paying for an expensive trip to Paris and she had that valley girl voice combined with Karen Walker's voice from Will and Grace.
Revel's mom picked us up and we stopped by Jack in the Box for dinner, I had a sirloin burger meal with Swiss cheese and grilled onions, returned home, unpacked checked e-mail, and went to bed.
Spacie, you and I have so much in common. Our ConJournals are really about the food!
Con Journal...first half
Friday: June 22
We both had everything prepared the night before, because we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning. We got dressed packed up everything and went to Revel's mother's place where we left Hyena and she drove us to the airport…basically to save cash by not parking at the airport.
Lines were long at the airport, it was early in the morning and the lines were still long, line to check the bag and the line for the scan, made longer since there was only one scanner, but then they opened up a second one. Weeee. Took the monorail to Terminal B… and boarded the express jet.
Flight did not seem long at all. I dozed through most of it, except for take off, landing in Nashville and when they gave out muffins and beverages, ah precious coffee, come to mama.
On the way to the rental car the strap to my laptop case broke. Jack turned out to be fine. Yeah, different laptop, got it a few months prior since Pippin's backlight went out. I named it after the monkey.
Not long after we got on the road we got a real breakfast at McDonalds where I had another yogurt parfait, and an orange juice. I dozed again until we were a few miles outside of Knoxville. Revel decided to try to take a shortcut, but that took us through downtown Knoxville and through a lot of stops.
After we left the city and suburbs and ended up in the sticks we were getting confused, about where we were going. After several minutes of confusion we came through and into Pigeon Forge, after that it was downhill from there. Saw a lot of go-carts, mini golf courses, pancake houses…and a Wonderworks? (The upside down building) Holy cow, somebody cloned International Drive (Street where the 2000 motel was located), and placed it in Tennessee. We Called GregX for final directions and we called him again when we reached the parking lot.
The first person we run into once again is Greg Weisman, and then we came across GregX and were introduced to the elevators and the stairs. After we got a parking pass and were able to put our stuff into the room Revel and I got our con packets and Revel set up his art and we got caught up with our friends until Revel and Emambu went to the try out for the radio show.
I needed actual cash and Mandi showed me where the nearest ATM was, after I came across some paper I returned to the dealers and bought a Serenity shirt, and then I plopped down and did some drawing until they returned. I pointed out the Serenity shirts to Revel and he bought one.
After a group formed, Hudson took us outside where he could smoke and told us a story. We stayed out until Opening ceremonies.
At opening ceremonies we came across the small problem involving the large screen. Greg W decided to do away with the chairs and we sat down on the floor. Nikki welcomed us to the 2007 Gathering, introduced the staff and handed the focus to Jen who gave the fan of the year award to Karine. The focus went over to Susan Leonard who was speaking for Ellen for the 2008 Gathering in Chicago.
Then Greg W took the spotlight. He explained the sales of the DVD's, comics, mentioned Bad Guys and Pendragon. He asked for the Newbies and to see how many Gatherings people have attended. Poor Aaron had lost count of how many he had attended. Greg explained the history of the series, starting with the original comedy pitch and brought in the goodies, the pitches for Gargoyles, for the spin offs, and The Last. Greg W also broke the podium.
After opening ceremonies a group of us went to find food. GregX, Revel, Winterwolf, Legacy, Fan, Gside and I went to Huck Finn; a restaurant that advertised all you can eat catfish. It also had a store similar to Cracker-barrel. They served drinks in mason jars and every table got complimentary vittals; hush puppies, pickles, onions, and beans. I had the grilled trout.
After dinner we returned to the hotel room where we chatted until we were ready to sleep.
Saturday June 23
We woke up and after a shower we sought out breakfast and went to the Red Rooster Pancake house. Oh sweet lord what they did with pancakes, I had the berrylicious pancakes, so many berries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries on top of a triple stack with whip cream on top and coffee to drink. I am a zombie without my coffee in the morning.
I came back in time for the figure drawing panel and watched as the models sit and stand in positions while we sketched them.
After the panel I was thirsty, real thirsty. Revel and I went to a soda machine and I tried a vault for the first time, one of those cool bottles lasted for a while. We hung out in the dealers room and I got to meet Silver's fiancé, Jordan…and Holy sweet frip, can the dude draw! He was doing amazing shading details to big warrior brute, not sure if it was an orc, or a troll, or an ogre.
I went to the World Building panel, being that is a writing panel for fantasy and sci-fi writers. There were a lot of details, such as creating different alien races and how they would communicate, read, eat, etc. How their society would be set up, family units, politics, and religion. We also covered the different ways to use magic for fantasy.
Then came the othercon art discussion: Hooray pron, and Hooray Mara showing us how to draw naughty bits, making men and women realistic and how that would transfer over to gargoyles and the Fae, and while the discussion was going on, I was drawing something innocent…yes I solemnly swear I was drawing characters with their clothes still on.
Then it was time for the Radio Play, and just like in 2004 it was a pretty large cast. It was a performance of issues 3, 4 and 5 of the Gargoyles comic. Yeah that is right issue 5 and yes I know what happens, and you have to wait for it to come out in July. All I can say is that Emambu was amazing.
After the play it was time to eat. Another group of us trekked across busy traffic for pizza at Papa Johns. Revel and I split a pepperoni and olive pizza and I claimed the jalapeno. After pizza we played round of mini golf, and there were times when we the golf ball left the green and bounced on the sidewalk.
We had an hour to kill after the game and hung out in our room until it was time for Blue Mug, and it was pretty blue, lots of nice dirty questions, to keep us mulled over. The Blue Mug lasted until about 1:30 when Thom left, and when Thom leaves then everybody leaves.
Yeah, there's pretty much no party without the Adcox.
..well.. this being my first convention, I'm now posting my first con journal. I hope I'm doing this right..
First of all it was just a little too ironic and serendipitous that the convention happened to be in the same general location as my WestGate resorts vacation package.. I had been offered this package about two years prior and kept not knowing exactly when I wanted to use it.. The location was chosen but the dates had not been. When I found out about the Gathering being in Pigeon Forge I then knew what dates I'd want to use.
...Although... I really didn't like WestGate at all... blah.. I still had a pretty good time overall.
Thursday June 21.
It took us only 5 hours to drive in from Cincinnati.. I was going on no sleep because I was up all night the night before with severe nausea ~ My vice and my Kryptonite since my gal bladder came out. We checked in at 4, did a little shopping and crashed around 9 or 10pm.
Friday June 22nd.
So this was it..Denny's for breakfast at 10. Then we found the hotel which was about a 15 minute drive [5 if there wasn't any traffic...] from WestGate and got checked in. Then spent a good while just browsing over the dealer's tables and artwork. Very nice. Made me wish I had followed through and posted some art of my own. The opening ceremonies weren't quite what I expected but it was nice. My poor foot fell asleep because we were all on the floor in order to see the TV. I can't figure out how to sit Indian style without that happening. Then my friend had mini golf with Kirin who was sadly unable to attend due to being a mother and all. But mini golf was kinda cool... I actually got to play with them even though I was not signed up because Kirin did not make it.
Greg and Tom's group were finished before us, and I was a little surprised they waited till we got done as well. I didn't actually realise the scores were going to be tallied up for later. I lost. hehe.. our whole group did pretty bad.
Then we walked to Hukk Fin's Catfish Grill.. I had no idea we were doing that afterward I would have saved my appetite.. I wasn't thrilled about the location because I'm not a big sea food fan.. but they had fried shrimp and my personal favorite.. Fried Pickles!! YUM!
AND I got to sit near Greg and Susan so that was totally awesome. It was just cool as hell to be able to hang out with him! watching the show when it first came out was the most important part of my day when I was younger and now over ten years later I got to meet the man responsible. or at least mostly responsible.
And Tom Adcox is such a funny guy to be around. Such a wonderful personality, and very entertaining. He found a funny visor hat in the gift shop in the restaurant and walked over to our end of the table with it. I didn't catch all of what he said but it was some funny stuff. One of those Polaroid moments and my camera never came out of it's bag. It's so cool his voice really does sound like that! I wish I could have hung out with him a little more, maybe for the mug-a-guest but that was happening at the same time as the physiology panel which I surely did not want to miss.
Anywho.. as we walked back to the hotel there were alot of sports cars in a parking lot near the street. I noticed a dodge stealth and drooled.. then.. I noticed a second.. a third..at least 6 total. No one really noticed as I ran to my bud to exclaim all excitedly that there were at least 6 dodge stealth's sitting within 5 feet of each other. They went into the hotel. we got in my car and went back to our cabin and crashed.
Saturday June 23'rd.
Today we got up around 10 or 11 and went to Red Rooster for MORE pancakes. Afterwards we headed to the hotel and again went upstairs to the dealer's room and art show. There was more artwork to see this time. Then it was time for Mug-a-Guest with Greg. That was interesting but there were alot of questions I either didn't ask or forgot to ask. I missed out on the Radio play casting and rehearsals and the Radio play itself which was a huge bummer.. I didn't even know what it was otherwise I would have tried to be there for that. We left for a few hours and visited Cades Cove which was about an hour away.. it was a waist of time and gas. It wasn't what we expected though it was kinda pretty.
We came back in time for the Blue Mug deal which was certainly interesting if not entertaining. Then my stupid stomach started flaring up again so we didn't get to stay for the whole thing. We needed to get to sleep anyway.
Sunday June 24th.
Today started with a mandatory 90 minute spiel and tour at the WestGate which I was not interested in but if I didn't go I'd be hit with a $100 charge for every night I was there. When they showed me the 1 bedrooms that timeshare owners got I was thoroughly pissed. So much nicer than the crap hole we got at the top of the hill.. And it caused us to miss out on the open story reading.
so.. we got to the hotel in time for the physiology panel and hung around for the Bad Guy's panel after that. Then there was some time to kill before the banquet. Greg was downstairs talking to a fellow in the lobby. I sat down on the couch across from them hoping for a chance to share some thoughts and ideas I had as well as other questions I had either forgotten to ask or was too self conscious to ask. But it seemed to be a bit of an important discussion between him and the other guy so I just sat back and half listened half meditated on things. There's always next year lol.
Then it was time for the banquet. I was impressed the food was good. The mashed potatoes were the best! When we arrived most of the tables were taken. My friend and I sat down at one that was all empty near the front of the room. Some cool people sat with us, including Lynati. I was happy to meet her finally I'v seen some of her things on deviantart. Luck was on our side in a way, they decided to do a table at a time for the buffet and our table was first to go following Greg, Tom and the staff. I'm still kind of surprised that one of the front tables was empty.. I'd have thought most people would want to be up close to where Greg was so they could hear better. I guess most of them figured being closer to the buffet would grant them a better spot in line HAHAHA!
I left the banquet Q&A a little early to get my camera's battery charger and Nik's Laptop. Nik would be my friend but I'm tired of saying 'my friend' all of the time. Got back in time for the Masquerade wishing like mad I had been able to make the costume I thought about making...well maybe next year. There were some great costumes, got some pictures. They handed out awards for the best costumes in different categories then played music for the ball. At this point I was getting very detached from it all and started to feel some anxiety and depression setting in. I took Nik's laptop back to the car and returned not sure what I would do next.. A trip to the bathroom to get away from the crowd for a bit seemed like a good plan. Nik wasn't having any trouble hanging out with all the new people anyway.
So I went and found someones phone in there. Kirin happened to be in there as well but she sat down on the bench to give Samuel a little meal of his own before exiting so a conversation began between us. I had finished washing my hands and she asked if this was my first convention. The lost phone was gonna be stuck on the sink before returning to it's owner for a while lol.
And what a blessing it turned out to be.. It just seemed ironic that the timing happened the way it did, I wasn't in the best shape when I entered the bathroom. I felt much better when I left. We talked about artwork, her artwork, her plans, what she was doing and had been doing and will be doing.. I talked about some of my art blocks and troubles and belly aching and she shared some advice and thoughts on the matter. And Samuel was so well behaved through it all just suckling away. Then Niki/Y2Hecate entered asking about a phone and my hand went up before she could completely get the words out. So the phone found it's owner lol. Then we left and I met back up with Nik and we caught up on things and returned to our little crappy cabin for another nights sleep.
Monday June 25th.
This was our check out day for WestGate and I was happy to leave. I dropped Nik off at the hotel while I went down the street to check in at Shular Inn for one night. I unloaded some stuff, fixed my hair, stopped at Walgreens for some sweet vitamin water and a zebra cake then met up with Nik at the convention in time for the closing ceremonies. I had this idea to write down the websites on my con shirt with a sharpie.. I could only remember the Gathering site so I put that one on the front near the bottom. I don't know if Greg noticed it or not.
After the Closing announcements, they decided on doing Lazertag since Dollywood was rained out. I got Greg to sign the back of my shirt which was cool. I'm still kicking myself for having forgotten my DVD's. I even picked them up while packing then put them down because all the episodes are on Nik's laptop so I didn't think I'd need them. I'm such a dumba**!
Then we went to lazertag.. I was hoping to be in Greg's group but he got sucked into another game of air hockey. I wanted to ask him to play but I heard him complaining about his shoulder so I figured it would be an instant no, or just a bad idea anyway.. then later he started playing with someone else and I felt silly for having passed up the idea. It was time for our team to play anyway though.
Bot what a grungy nasty sweaty moldy old locker room smell that was back there.
.. we eventually started playing and I wasn't doing so grate at first. Then I found one of the sniper points and started to really have a blast. I so enjoy catching people off guard and being able to duck down where they can't get me too easily. It was loads of fun and as it turned out I was first place. ...some might call that cheating but.. what can I say.. I like being the sniper type.. close range combat was never my style when it came to lazertag. *shrug*..
After that they all decided to go walk down the street ..for ice cream I thought.. We decided to say our goodbyes and Greg gave us both a hug which surprised me but it was really cool. Very nice man!!!
We drove around for at least 45 minutes looking for a place to eat.. we saw the group walking lol.. We settled on Ruby Tuesdays and I got more shrimp and no cocktail sauce! They decided to stop carrying it.. what a crock. As we left to return to the entertainment and gift shops we again saw the group walking this time back to the hotel. It was just kinda funny. We did some go carts and some browsing and we did this mining thing which was really cool. Then we went to the hotel and crashed.
Tuesday June 26'th. We were late checking out but we had a great time.. we were even later getting on the road we wanted to go horse back riding but we got rained out. We ate at Denny's again and did some last minute shopping. I got a nice cool new katana and some great shirts for my parents who thoroughly enjoyed them. We got on the road finally around 5 and made it home by around 9:30.
We reminisced about the convention on the way back and I asked Nik if anyone asked him about me or said anything about me. he asked me what I meant and I said about my 'intense expression'.. Yes I do get pestered about this sort of thing all the time so I tend to ask him about it when around new people. The responses tend to amuse or interest me.
Apparently Greg had mentioned it so I was wishing I could have been a fly on the wall for that one. ..and apparently when people say I look intense.. they mean I look mad or mean.. but that's also no surprise to me as I get it all the time. *shrugs*
There is a reason for it..there are several. I am aware of them.. But that's a rant for another time.
I enjoyed the Gathering and look forward to next year.. now if someone could just please invent a miracle potion beyond the strength and effectiveness of Pepto and Emetrol so I could enjoy an evening sans-stomach upsets.. I'd be ever so grateful ;)-
I don't remember mentioning your expression to Nik, but then the Gathering weekends or always something of a blur to me...
I'm glad you had fun though. Hope to see you in Chicago next year.
Here's part one of five from my con journal. Unfortunately, this part doesn't contain anything about the con itself since it takes place the day before, but I thought I'd post it anyway. After all, if the con wasn't happening, none of this would have happened, either!
WEDNESDAY/THURSDAY - June 20th-21st
Our trip actually began late Wednesday night, as it was cheaper than flying out on Thursday. Nothing all that significant happened, other than me being absolutely terrified of the plane, but once I was on it an in the air, everything was fine.
We arrived in Chicago, IL at about 5:37 Thursday morning in concourse C. Our next flight was in concourse F. Oh my god, I cannot tell you how far we walked--concourse F was, literally, on the other side of the airport. They had a shuttle that would take you there, so we walked all the way down to the shuttle station (which was in the opposite direction of concourse F) only to find that it was closed for the day, so we trekked to our destination on foot. The airport was beautiful, but I was too frustrated and exhausted to enjoy it. They had an old army plane on display (I don't recall what war it was from, unfortunately) and a huge, life-size model of a brachiosaurus skeleton.
After we finally got to the gate and had a few moments to recoup, we then boarded the tiniest plane we had ever been on thus far. It was a little Embraer RJ145. The seating layout went accordingly: one seat by the window on the left, then the aisle, and then two more seats on the right. That was it. I'm not sure what the maximum capacity of the plane was, but it couldn't have been much. It wasn't even a full flight, so I was seated by myself on the left while Tif got the two seats on the right all to herself. The flight was smooth and about an hour and a half later, we arrived at McGhee Tyson airport in Knoxville, TN.
We went to collect our luggage. Tif's came out fairly soon, but I had to wait.
And wait, until I finally accepted the fact that my luggage would not be coming down. Apparently, it was still in Chicago, so I gave the United Express clerk the address to the Grand Resort hotel and he said the next flight from Chicago would be at 1:30 and my luggage SHOULD be on that one. Thank you, United. This was the first of a few stupid things you did and I will never fly your airline again, but more on that later.
Tif got our rental car that she was legally supposed to be driving since I'm not 25 yet, so shhh... It was a little, red Chevy Cobalt that had a broken seat, which was really annoying. I wanted to bring the back forward, but the lever on the side did nothing. I spent most of my driving time leaning forward slightly. It wasn't good for my neck.
There was a little mishap on the way to the hotel since the directions we had told us to make a left when we actually should have made a right, but my awesome sense of direction got us going the right way!
By the way, that awesome sense of direction? It must have randomly developed without me noticing, because I used to describe myself as directionally challenged. Seriously. North, south, east, and west meant nothing to me, but somehow, I always know which way I'm going lately. It's neat!
Okay, sorry. Boring little tanget over.
I don't know what time we got to the hotel, because by that time, I was practically sleeping with my eyes open. A very unpleasant woman who didn't know how to smile checked us in, over-charged us a couple of nights, and even charged us for an EXTRA night. More on that later, though. We didn't realize she had booked us an extra day until Friday and we weren't going to do anything about the over-charging until we talked to a few more con-goers. The room rate was supposed to be $59.77 per night, but we were charged $69.77 for Saturday and Sunday. We had asked the lady why we were charged more and she told us weekend nights were always extra, even with the discounted group rate. Whatever.
So we got to the room and were ready to pass out, but we knew we had to eat first. There was a restaurant next to the hotel called Red Rooster's Pancake House, one pancake house out of about 30 on the same street. I kid you not. Pigeon Forge loves their pancakes, mini golf, and tattoo parlors.
I had a (VERY YUMMY) breakfast burrito, Tif had a veggie omelet, and with full bellies, we meandered back to the hotel room and died.
I was awoken by my cell phone ringing. A man named Pete wanted to know what type of location I was at so he could drop off my luggage and said he'd be there in about an hour. Passed out, woke up again because Tif's mom had arrived at the hotel and Tif needed to help her check in (her mom and Allen stayed one night in Pigeon Forge before moving on to Gatlinburg the next day), fell back to sleep and was woken up a final time by the hotel staff letting me know my luggage had arrived. I waited around for Tif, but she hadn't yet returned, so I putted around the hotel room a bit. The bathroom was hideous. Light orange walls and a blue shower, what the hell.
After Tif got back, we retrieved my luggage and were awake enough to appreciate the beautiful view we had from the hotel balcony. We were right over a gorgeous, little creek that had all sorts of wild life, like Muscovy ducks, mallards, geese, cardinals, and squirrels. Some Canadian Geese even dropped by!
We visited with Tif's mom for a bit then got ready for... *dun dun dun* THE GHOST WALK OF GATLINBURG.
It didn't take long to drive into Gatlinburg. We got there at about 8pm. We had initially planned on eating first, but my feet were killing me, so my first Large Purchase of the trip was a new pair of shoes. They're cute, I think. Brown... they sort of look business-like, but the soles have a good grip, which is what I felt I needed since we were going to be walking so much. The man who ran the store even gave me a pair of socks, since the ones I had were too thin and causing the shoes to slip off my ankle. After that, we decided we wouldn't have enough time for dinner and would eat after the tour, so we wandered around the Village Shops for a while. I bought a magnet that has the Berry coat of arms on it from a shop that specializes in Celtic merchandise. We grabbed a couple smoothies from a coffee shop and then headed up to the cemetery for our tour at 9pm.
It was a LOT of fun. Our tour guide was an excellent storyteller. It's hard to describe the way he was dressed, so instead of trying, here's a pic: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v177/idgiebay/Misc/DSC00533.jpg
To start off, he had us go into the cemetery and take pictures. Hopefully, Tif will be posting some of those soon and I'll actually be posting some footage I took, but that probably won't be for a few days. I have work tomorrow, after all, and I first need to finalize all of my discs.
The tour consisted of our guide telling us real stories of murders and accidental deaths and then following up with tales of hauntings in the locations they took place. Everywhere we stopped, he gave us a chance to take photos and, hopefully, catch some "paranormal activity" on film. It would take a while to type up all of the stories he told us... Maybe I'll type them up later or maybe Tif will, but the footage I'll be uploading should contain the majority of them. Though, they may be choppy. I wasn't continuously filming the whole time he was talking.
Let's see, what else... The tour ended at about 10:15 or 10:20 and, by that time, Tif and I were starving. Oh lord, that was an adventure on it's own.
Gatlinburg, despite being a tourist town, apparently SHUTS DOWN between 10 and 10:30. We literally walked the streets for half an hour, trying to find some place to eat, but everything, even the HARD ROCK CAFE, for goodness sake, was CLOSED. By this point, I was getting very frustrated. My knees were hurting (I still have no idea why--I could hardly walk for a couple days, and then the pain suddenly went away), my feet were becoming blistered from the new shoes, I was still tired, and my stomach was trying to eat itself. Eventually, we got that hint that we weren't going to find anything, so we drove back to Pigeon Forge and stopped at the first restaurant we found, which--surprisingly--WASN'T a pancake house. It was Shoney's, of which there are three on the main Pigeon Forge road.
The service there was all right... We ended up with a trainee waitress who didn't understand English very well. I think she may have been German or French, I'm not sure. She was a sweetie, but it was difficult to communicate what I wanted. I had ordered chicken tenders with onion rings and had ended up with questionable-looking charbroiled chicken. Even though I didn't like it, I didn't send it back, though I probably should have. I didn't want her to get in trouble or anything.
So finally, we went back to the hotel. I can't remember now if we stopped by Tif's mom's room again or not. I was so tired. I do know that we looked at the pictures Tif took and watched my footage. I think we passed out shortly after that.
TO BE CONTINUED IN:
Friday: The Real Fun Begins
Sounds like the fun has already begun...