A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Friday: Friday was great in that I spent large chunks of Thursday preparing for it. Had the car ready, had all my travel paperwork completed. I planned on grabbing food on the road but had to wait for laundry to finish...by 1230 I had reached escape velocity and was on my way to Chicago from Meaford Ontario, (google map it, it's bloody far).
I stopped in Battle Creek MI to have dinner with a good friend I haven't seen in awhile. That ended up eating almost two hours! Once back on the road I drank one of those supicious 6 hour energy shots. They work. I got to the hotel around 1130 or midnight and couldn't find my roomie. So I talked a guy at the front desk into giving me a pass card to the room. I showered and met up with Susan, Jenn, Karine, Thom, Greg, Mara and all the usual suspects in Susan's room who seemed to be running their own Blue Mug.
Gotta run, post more in a bit...
That's Flanker for ya. He's there. He's gone. Like the wind...
Thursday- We left for the airport around twelvish- our flight got minorly delayed and then we got delayed in the air A LOT. Luckily, we had not anticipated Chicago traffic so Lyn and Erik were delayed too- which means we met somewhere in the middle.
Tangeant: From above, Chicago looks like Broccoli. The trees are plentiful and round and the land is mostly green. Like broccoli. Las Vegas looks like a Borg cube at night, from above, because of the strict square configuration of its streetlights. San Antonio is a patch work of earth colors and construction. New York from above looks like... well, home. But Chicago is pleasantly vegatable-like.
We stopped off at an Ihop before reaching our hotel- which was about three blocks away from the con hotel. We were tired, we were frustrated by traffic. We slept muchly.
Friday- Got in before reg desk was open. There was the minimal 'ice breaker' awkwardness that always is just before reg opens. But it melted REALLY fast. I stole lots of food from the con suite. (Well, just two apples one orange and two waters- but a LOT of the tea, and the tea is going to be my best friend for a while now as I am home.)
Set up in the art show.Hung with Hecate, Jenbob and her boi (Why is it I blank on his name? I can see his face clearly in my mind- and they both give the best hugs.) No one else had entered in the Adult art section- which was to my benifit later on.
I did a quick sketch freebie for Patrick (I like drawing for Patrick as he likes a lot of the same subject matter I like) and mainly relaxed in there before Opening Ceremonies.
Met and spoke with the camera crew- who were very nice people. Went to Chilli's with Ckayote, Harvester of Eyes, Jillian, Kimberly, Mandolin and Carmine (Carmine is a serious flirt, btw) as well as the people I usually hang out with, Spacebabie, Revel, Erik, Lynati and Aaron. I had Chicken Crispers (my standard at Chilli's) and a Mango margarita. All was yummy.
(The irony being that in regular every day life I don't drink since there's no cause to socially, so I imbibe a touch more casually at the con.)
I was REALLY congested the WHOLE convention and I think it's because I had not smoked the whole time I was there. It's healthier, sure- but not being able to smell sorta makes the transitional period not a happy. Saw and spent time with DTaina and Leo and A Fan, and (Drat, what is your name! You had the gargoyle ragatone music last year) and Chyna Rose and.. and... DrAT! I need a better memory. It's like a sieve.
We had Opening Ceremonies and, to my delight, the podium was set up so that you could see the people's side view through the mirror behind them. Visual fun. More visual fun with the Gargoyles Music Videos (YAYE LYN, we love our present! Demona would SO be a Joan Jett fan)
After opening I went to dinner with Karine, Jennifer and Greg to discuss Blue Mug Productions- we had pad thai and crab ragoon and other delicious things. Our waiter was ultra nice. After that we had ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. I don't know WHAT most meetings are like that Greg said we were very productive. Maybe my standards are higher than reality? There are benefits to not living the 'we have meetings' lifestyle.
Soon I found myself hanging out in Susan's room with Gorebash, Patrick, Susan, Karine, Greg, GxB, Jen, Flanker, Thom, Sammy, Seth, Rebecca.. and? I think I got everyone there? It was fun. And many hours passed and I nearly ended up bunking with Karine and Jen and Rebecca because I didn't feel comfortable walking the street at night by myself. (I do in NY because that's *my* city and , perversely, it's safe to walk at night if you know where. This was a college town with some unsavory elements thrown in.) But I called my Aaron and he is a supportive wonderful gentleman who knows the cardinal rule about walking a lady home. So I waited downstairs and had polite conversation with a very drunk and angry young man.
Now, on principle I believe in hearing people out. So I sat politely and kept my eye on the security guard who kept walking OUT OF LINE OF SIGHT. Way to keep a girl safe, bro! But it was alright as he was soon distracted by his drunken friends (as it became obvious he was a guest of the hotel drunk and not some random drunk) And not only did Aaron show, Erik and Lynati did as well and we had some great conversation on the walk back. We went to bed, and slept quite nicely.
I got up around six, even though I was asleep around three or four. (I can sleep eight hours, but it is normally in two hour increments.) I went back to sleep. Eight o'clock. So I took a shower and got dressed and did make up. (Another 'con special occassion thing') I didn't audition for Radio Play for two reasons- one, I had panels directly in conflict with it and, two, more importantly, I was talking funny THE WHOLE con. Seriously. Do I sound like that? Lyn and I walked to the hotel, and I bought a dragon puppet at the art fair next door. I got in I social butterflied. (Or social multitasking, whatever you like to call it.) Spent time in the 'lobby' area, the con suite and art show. I caught the end of Karine's panel and then it was time for mine.
Really, it's just an excuse to draw naked people. But I had fun and I hope people learned something or found it interesting, or just took something away from it like the idea that beauty is where you see it. (I kinda ranted a little about curvy girls and their under-ratedness and I got good reaction from that. For it is true.) Then there was radio play.
What can you say about radio play? Other than, you should go see it if you have never? Everyone was really good and Jen called up a storm as she told the story of the Stone of Destiny as Shari. I wasn't surprised, magical convergence or whatever Macbeth calls it in 'Pendragon'. Not gonna spoil it for you. You shoulda been there or you were.
Then.. time passed. Did I show Greg art then? I did a LOT that weekend but the time is fuzzy to me. Eventually dispanded to eat at a pub and I had a delicious pot pie and I also tried clams on the half shell for the first time. Not as bad as I had feared- perhaps sushi makes you ready for anything. At the table was the usual cast of characters, and two or three first-years. I can see you clearly in my head, but the names are elluding me. But I mean you! Eventually there was Blue Mug-a-Guest.
It started not so Blue got Blue, not so Blue- etc. Always a good time.
Directly bed and then sleep.
I dressed up for Sunday, after having debated it with myself, but in retrospect I am glad I did. I'm not always blue jeans and t-shirts. Greg got it right away- but it is those early imprints that affect later preferences so much. Lynati and Kimberly and Greg did an awesome Biology and Culture panel, and I am still really impressed with Lynati's essay on gargoyle eye glow. I hung out more, did more commission work in the art room. I was going to do the Iron Artist competition but it involved a weakness that I cannot overcome- pasta.
I have clear memories of sucking at pasta art as a child and I was a little intimidated.
Saw the tail end of the auction, and then went back to our hotel room to change for the banquet. I wish more people had- it was a GORGEOUS room and I really think there should be some taking advantage of the elegance availible. We had the trivia contest and we were lucky to be sitting with (among other really nice folk) Matt from Station Eight. The competition was fierce, but our table won. Yaye!
We went down to Rebel and Spacebabie and GxB's room and hung out and we changed into our Masquerade costumes. Lynati and I were cat girls and Aaron was The Cheetah Pimp. (Cheetah print is a thing in our household. Love it.)
I have two complaints of that costume- I have a third degree jawline, which means my bottom teeth are slightly ahead of my top teeth. Which means with artifical fangs I can't close my mouth. Which means I can't pronounce words like 'physisists at Caltek' or 'Foggy Bottom'. Which means I am asked to, because I can't. (It's a 'The West Wing' reference.) On top of the congested, I varied from sounding stupid to sounding baby doll stupid. Actually, that's my only complaint, but I'm counting it twice.
We got a LOT of attention. A lot of positive attention. And, I hate to admit it, but I ate it up. And boy did we DANCE. I don't remember the last time I danced like that, if ever. The hip shaking, sure. But the full on dance steps? Must have been the cat girl costume. Very liberating. I danced with Lynati and Jenbob, and Karine, and Jen and Vox-I will take the time out to declare here and now, Vox is INCREDIBLE on the dance floor. She's a beautiful woman to begin with, very delicate features, and she just let's GO dancing. I was happy. I told her boyfriend Ethan so.
I even danced, a teensy, with Keith. Yaye. Most of the guys sat in a corner playing video games- but that didn't mean some weren't watching the huge amount of sheer female beauty on display on the dance floor.
Eventually, again, I found myself in Susan's room. To which I will say Ben Affleck > Matt Damon. Spent a very pleasant time with most of the group from Friday night- though numbers dwindled as the siren song of sleep called to them. A lotta love in that room.
Saturday: Caught the end of the fanfic panel, which had really good discussion, I felt, especially from Merlin Missy who I don't know if she knows if she is a THE in this fandom- but she is. So there. Then we announced, talked about, etc, at the Blue Mug Productions panel. I was smart and sat on Edmund's (the write) right. Well, mostly smart. I'm not usually that bratty though, honestly. I just work here.
Closing ceremonies was bittersweet as it always is for me, but we got through goodbyes like a bandaid- quick.
Thank you all for a wonderful time and for all the nifty ribbons I won. You can win ribbon too if you enter the art show. Come to the con! They spoil you there. (At least I felt spoilt.)
Erik, Lynati, Aaron and I, before we parted at the train station, went to the Field Museum and saw the Ghost and the Darkness- the infamous man-eating lions of Tsavo. They were beautiful and beneign and my heart went out to them. I don't see maliciousness in efficient predators. That's just nature. And I hear human is yummy.
We got home safe from a fast and uneventful flight.
Really- consider going to the Gathering next year and if you already know you can't afford to make it- start SAVING NOW for the next con after that! This is an experience that is worthwhile and even if you don't buy a coffee once a week that you normally would, you CAN afford it. You just have to commit to the idea and plan for it.
Now I sleep. Stay safe.
And the cake is a lie.
I like how you have a second Saturday after Sunday. I gotta try that.
Mr. Weisman, I am a journalist/reviewer for http://www.ComicMix.com and a big fan of your work. I will be attending the Gathering of the Gargoyles convention in Chicago and I wanted to ask if there would be anyway I could snag an interview with you for our readers. For your review, you can check out the kind of work we do at ComicMix.com and you can find previous interviews I've conducted at this link: http://alankistler.squarespace.com/journal/2007/11/20/alan-kistlers-interviews.html. My personal web-site is http://KistlerUniverse.com and my e-mail is KistlerAlan@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your time.
Of course by now, the Gathering is passed-- but of course we did have that interview. Thanks!!
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Monday, July 7, 2009
12am - The Memorial Panel for those who have passed officially made the con a 5-day event. Chocolate Fish.
1am - A bunch of us hung out for hours. Chris, Ken, Lex, Tim, Windy and others.
5am - Back to the room.
5:30am - Sleep.
10:30am - Wake-up. Five hours. Not too bad for me.
11:30am - Packed up with some difficulty. All those extra t-shirts and the crochet'd Goliath made it tough to fit everything in. Lex and I headed to Axel and I had gumbo, an Onion Ring and an Axel burger.
4:20pm - My delayed flight finally took off.
6:20pm - Just barely made my connection to my L.A. flight.
9:30pm - Arrived at LAX.
10:00pm - Home.
And that's that. Finished just in time, because tomorrow I leave for Con-Odyssey II: San Diego ComicCon!! More when I return.
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Saturday, July 5, 2009
12am - Lex and I met up at COF2E2 and hung out chatting for hours, joined by James toward the end.
5am - I returned to my room and pretty much went right to sleep.
9:30am - Wake-up.
11am - I had a Buffy & Angel panel. Yeah, yeah, what am I doing on that panel? Just being a geeky fan.
2pm - Comic book panle w/Terry Beatty, Chris Jones, Mark Evanier, Marv Wolfman and Len Wein.
3:30pm - A panel on Continuity with Chris Jones and others.
4:30pm - Took a nap.
7:30pm - Dinner at Vantage with Lex. Coke, Bread, water, Tomato Soup, Edimame, Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans. Good food.
9:30pm - Comics as Movies Panel w/Terry.
11pm - Mature Comics Panel w/Hank, Damien and Eve. This was probably the one dud panel of the entire Con-odyssey. It should have been fun and raucous and raunchy like a blue mug. But we got off to a serious start and never quite found a rhythm, though Eve tried when she arrived. Felt strangely on the defensive -- for no particular reason. But I did pimp BlueMugProductions.com.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Friday, July 4, 2009
5am - Finally went to sleep.
9:30am - Wake up.
11am - An animation panel with Mark Evanier, Wally Wingert and Matt Waterhouse. We covered a lot of ground about the business. (Some of it pretty disheartening, I'd think.)
12pm - I toured the art show.
12:30pm - Dr. Jim Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes, gave a talk on the costumes and accessories of superheroes, including unstable molecules (although as I pointed out to him later, he really only dealt with how they worked for Mr. Fantastic, not for the Invisible Girl of the Human Torch) and Captain America's shield. It was great.
2pm - I had a Gargoyles panel. Always fun.
3pm - Lex and I went to Dairy Queen for "lunch". Had a cheeseburger, fries and an Orange Julius. Got a chance to talk with Ken Hite and his wife Sheila. Ken's the only guy doing more panels than me. I shrug it off... for now.
5pm - I have a signing alongside Marv Wolfman and Wally Wingert. I have nothing for people to sign. But I learned some lessons from Marv about this that may prove useful at CopperCon later this summer.
6:30pm - Matt Waterhouse, David Margosian, Jennifer Menken and I have ANOTHER animation panel ("Cell vs. Chip"). It starts out as a bit of a struggle to make sure it's not just a rehash of the panel earlier in the day, but it winds up being pretty fun and unique enough. It helps that I have an ENDLESS quantity of showbiz horror stories.
7:30pm - Went out to Olive Garden with Mark Temple, Mark Evanier, Jody, Chris Jones, Marv Wolfman and Len Wein. Had breadsticks, minestrone and angel hair with shrimp.
11pm - A panel on "The Rebirth of the Heroine" with Charlotte Nickerson and Jen Manna. This was a fun one too. But I missed Soylent Blue because of it, which was a bit of a bummer as I remember them being really, really funny the last time I was at CONvergence.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Thursday, July 3, 2009
4:30am - Finally went to sleep.
10am - Wake up.
11:30am - Went out to breakfast at the Edina Grill with Uncle Joe. (Joe is my wife's father's brother.) We mostly talked about the crazy industry I work in. I had Eggs, sausage, hash browns, sourdough toast.
2pm - All the con's special guests (over twenty of us) had a photo call. After that, I went to check out the Dealers' Room.
5pm - I had a panel on the Spectacular Spider-Man.
7pm - Opening Ceremony.
9pm - Lex took me for a comparison Juicy Lucy (this one w/Blue Cheese that didn't quite get liquid), Lemonade, Cheese Curds and Onion Straws.
10pm - We got back to the hotel in time to see a pretty good fireworks display in the distance. I toured all the cabana parties, but I wasn't into it, so...
11pm - I went back to my room.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Wednesday, July 2, 2009
3am - Went to sleep.
12:30pm - Wake up. Yep. I was pretty tired.
2pm - Lex and her husband James and I go to Matt's for Juicy Lucys and fries.
3pm - Lex and I go to a mall (not THE mall) and grab some Cherry Garcia before...
3:55pm - We saw Wall-E. Which I thought was just great. Really liked it.
7:10pm - Went to the Guest Reception at the hotel. They served cake. But "NO FORKS!"
10pm - I was back in my room and a bit restless. Just started watching television. See even when I catch up on sleep, I wind up blowing it the next night...
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Tuesday, July 1, 2009
4:30am - Finally went to sleep.
9:30am - Wake-up.
11:15am - Car took me to the airport. Grabbed some McDonalds: Quarter-Pounder w/cheese, fries, coke and an apple pie.
2:15pm - Flight departs for Minneapolis. Had some tomato juice on the plane.
3:45pm - Arrived in Minneapolis.
4pm - Lex Larson, my CONvergence guest liason picked me up and took me to the Sheraton in Bloomington to check in.
5:30pm - We arrive at the amazing new (to me) Guthrie Theater. We had dinner at Cue, the restaurant there. The food was amazing. Breadsticks and bread, Salad, Flatiron Steak, potatoes, green beans...
7:30pm - We saw THE SECRET FALL OF CONSTANCE WILDE, a play about Oscar Wilde, his lover Bosie and especially his wife Constance. It was a great production. Very creative. Amazing performances... and PUPPETS!
10:30pm - Back to the hotel.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Monday, June 30, 2009
12:30am - After the ballroom dancers went their separate ways, a few of us (Susan, Jennifer, Mara, Gore, GXB, Patrick, Karine and I) went up to Susan's room to hang out, talk, laugh, debate the virtues of Twizzlers vs. Red Vines, etc.
4am - Back to my room. Had another apple.
4:30am - Bed.
8:30am - Wake up call.
10am - Had breakfast with my cousin Alex and her friend Tobin. Orange Juice, Begniets, toast, potatos, eggs, bacon.
11:30am - Took a break, but as I understand it that one-eyed pig Edmund Tsabard had a panel with Jennifer, Karine and Mara to talk about Blue Mug Productions and show some samples. For more info, stop by BlueMugProductions.com.
1pm - Closing ceremonies. Always bittersweet.
3pm - Goodbyes. Pretty much everyone took off, except myself, Patrick and Susan and her family. Susan took Patrick and I to her house, where we met her many, many, many, many dogs and saw her many, many, many cells. Very cool.
5pm - Susan, Rob, Carly and Chloe took us to yet another great dinner. Had shrimp, clam chowder, coke, steak, lobster tail, rice, slaw. Then Rob and Chloe took Patrick and I back to the hotel.
7pm - I was back in my room. And pretty darn tired.
9pm - Sleep.
11:30pm - Knew it was too good to be true. Woke up. Had another apple. Watched some television and read some Ross Macdonald.
The end of another FANTASTIC Gathering... and yet my trip is only half over!
MORE TO COME...