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WEDNESDAY, JULY 2, 2003:
I got up to pack. My poor little duffle was really busting at the seams given how many books, t-shirts and videotapes I had picked up. But it held.
We had time to go into town for one last round of Tacos and Ice Cream.
Then we took our Cape Air flight to Boston.
Had a layover, so, well, of course, I ate again. Airport Whopper and an Orange. An actual orange.
Got on a flight to Los Angeles. The movie was "Chicago". We had been debating as to whether or not to take the kids to see this film, so we just let them watch. I liked it. So did they.
When it was over I started reading William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying". Great book.
We arrived home very late. Put the kids to bed. Then I started to read/skim about two weeks worth of newspapers.
Finally went to bed.
THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2003:
Went to my local bookstore and retreived our pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. We still hadn't finished rereading Goblet of Fire to the kids, so we wouldn't end up starting Phoenix for a bit. We've since started it. We just got through the Hearing. Good stuff. But man, this series has grown up some, huh?
We had vague plans to meet some old friends at Disneyland, but we were just to beat to face the traffic down to Anaheim. So I didn't see my friend Iris. Didn't see Bruce Cranston in New York. Or Paul Lacy. Or Dan Raspler. Or my NY cousins. But I didn't feel ripped off. I saw Lianne and Doug and I've made so many friends among the fandom, that my time was full.
FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2003:
Independence Day. We had two parties to go to. First the Ehrlich's, then the Resnicks. Ate a ton. I mean, a ton. Steak, multiple pies. And a lot more too. Saw some fireworks. Finished reading Faulkner.
SATURDAY, JULY 5, 2003:
I've now grown a bit obssessed with LXG. So I went out and bought a trade paperback, "Heroes & Monsters" at Golden Apple Comics (a place I used to go into weekly, but which I haven't entered in years) that annotated Alan Moore's series. Still haven't seen the movie.
Benny bought some English translation of some Anime cartoon. CardCaptors, I think. Erin bought an Archie digest. She's now addicted to Archie digests.
That night we had guests over for dinner. One Thom Adcox. Plus the wife and daughter of Josh Silver, Keith David's manager. This was a get together we had planned weeks ago, but Josh couldn't make it because he "had" to fly to London to spend time with Keith, who's there shooting Cody Banks 2.
It was a very nice evening. And great to see Thom again. I have got to see him more often. We walked into Larchmont Village for Baskin Robbins. I had a chocolate chip milkshake with bannannanna.
SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2003
Erin and Benny had a play date at our house with the two Sperling kids. I hadn't seen Carol yet, so I didn't have the card for them that you guys all made.
Their mom rejoined us and we all went to Sinbad. Which was truly mediocre, I thought.
One week later, I took the card and the Radio Play script over to them. They were VERY appreciative. Gary's son immediately sat down to read the script. And they liked all the pictures on the card. So you all did a nice thing. Thank you.
And, well, that's my summer vacation...
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2003:
Woke up and like an addict went back to Krispy Kreme in Penn Station for three (or, okay, maybe four more donuts).
At 9am I met Carol, Greg Bishansky and Aaron out in front of the hotel for what would turn out to be "Mr. Bishansky's Wild Ride".
Greg had originally wanted to leave at 9:30. But I had an 11:35 flight out of LaGuardia to catch, and not wanting to take any chances, I insisted on 9:00 sharp.
Said goodbye to Carol and Aaron and wound up leaving about 9:10ish.
Greg had directions. He also had a car that was making a real odd noise, but he assured me it was driving fine. When it started stalling periodically, I got a bit nervous, but he was always able to start it right up again, so I hid my concerns.
We talked. Mostly, as I recall about League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It was nice and I wasn't paying very close attention to where we were going. Until I happened to look up and notice we were at 8th and 24th. I couldn't figure out why he had taken us this far west and south. He apologized. Said the directions were confusing, but now he was on the right track. However when we passed the hotel again at 9:45, I figured I better start navigating.
To be fair, there were a number of street closures that kept screwing us up. And then came the accident, which was absolutely NOT Greg's fault. We were waiting at a red light, when a commercial van sideswiped Greg's car, clipping off his driver's side mirror. We pulled over. The van driver got out, but instead of coming to see us, he ran over to a bus and started yelling at the driver. It was kinda like cosplay. He clearly wanted us to think that somehow the accident was the bus driver's fault. But we were at a dead stop when he hit us, so even if he was cut off, there's no way that hitting us wasn't HIS fault. Period.
Anyway, while he yelled at the bus, which ignored him and drove off, I wrote down his license plate and the truck owner info for Greg. The guy then came over and threw a twenty at Greg, saying "Here's twenty to fix your mirror and besides this was NOT my fault."
Now, I was faced with a moral dilemma, that one could argue I failed at. Neither Greg nor I thought that $20 would fix his mirror. I should have advised him to get out of the car and exchange Drivers license and insurance info with the van driver. And absolutely NOT to accept the $20 as a payment. But Greg seemed willing to move on, and I was seriously concerned about how late it was getting. So I let Greg drive on. My bad.
Also my bad for using the expression my bad. Uggghhh.
I directed Greg to the Midtown Tunnel, asking if he knew how to get to the airport from there. He said yes. This would prove to be something of a little white lie.
We pull up to the toll booth just beyond the tunnel. Greg digs for the $4 to pay the toll and I yell, "STOP!" Too late. He rear ends the car in front of him. Okay, now this one was TOTALLY Greg's fault. I'd be more upset, but even then, I'm thinking, "Two accidents en route to the airport. This is so out there. It'll make a great story for ASK GREG."
Anyway, the victim pulls over while we pay our toll. I'm focused on him, and am only peripherally aware of Greg getting directions to LaGuardia from the Toll Booth Guy. In the back of my mind it occurs to me that Greg may not quite know what he's doing.
Fortunately, there was no damage to the victim's car. He drove off. We drove off. We then missed our exit (17) to change freeways for LaGuardia. The next exit was closed. The remaining glass in Greg's broken mirror was flapping around in the wind, so I finally asked him to just pull it off before it took out one of our jugulars.
We got off at exit 19 and turned around to head back. No U turn of course. So I made my second morally challenged call of the day and basically ordered Greg to make an illegal U. He did. We got back on the freeway.
As we approached exit 18 (Morris Street, I think), Greg was sure he knew how to get to LaGuardia from there. I asked him twice, as our exit was supposed to be 17. But he was sure. He got off. And almost immediately said, "I don't recognize anything." I said, "Greg, you're killing me here." But I think I was still half joking at that point.
We turned around and got back on the freeway to head for 17. Major traffic jam now. Greg says, "Lucky, you're flight doesn't leave until noon." I kinda blow a small gasket and remind him at leaves at 11:35. As it was now 10:35, I felt that we should be there already, given security lines and all.
We finally reach 17. He heads west. And again, immediately says he doesn't recognize anything. Without asking, he gets off the freeway again. This time when I say, "Greg, you're killing me here!" I'm really not joking at all. I'm pretty pissed off. (Of course, this time it turns out he was right. We were heading the exact wrong direction. So it was a very good thing that he got off.)
Greg was looking for someone to give us directions. The first guy he asked spoke no English, but the second guy actually gave us GREAT directions. Thank you, stranger.
We got back on the freeway, heading East. But by the time he dropped me off at the airport departure level it was 11:10. Let me just say that two hours to get to LaGuardia from Penn Station is not really making good time, especially considering we only hit two little bursts of traffic.
Anyway, he went to park in case, as now seemed likely, I missed my flight. I went inside. There was a huge line at U.S.Airways, so I approached one of those e-ticket check in machines, but it said you needed a frequent flyer card for that. So then I approached the guy manning the EMPTY first class line. I asked if he would help me, explaining that though I was not a first class passenger, my flight was leaving in twenty minutes and I didn't think I'd make it through the coach line in time.
His response: "Well, you got to wait in the line."
I have to admit, I was a little stunned that he wouldn't help me. I must have given him a look, cuz he said, or you can use the machines. I explained that I didn't have a FF card. He said any credit card would do.
I returned to the machine. I rechecked and it in fact said that I had to have a FF card. But I tried my credit card and it worked fine. Took a minute tops. So the whole thing about needing an FF card is just a trick basically to encourage people to get and/or use their FF cards. Stupid.
Luckily there was no line to speak of at security, and they didn't strip search me or anything, so soon I was running for my gate. It was 11:25 at this point. So it could really go either way. I arrived at the gate -- which was literally the last one in the terminal of course, only to discover that the flight was delayed forty minutes.
Here, I'm torn between happy and upset. After all, I was there against all odds. But mostly I'm just happy I didn't miss it. So I settle down. I call Greg and tell him to go home. All is well, no harm done. I call my father-in-law to let him know that my flight to Nantucket is delayed.
I know I ate again. Can't remember what though.
Got on the plane and arrived in Nantucket.
No one was waiting for me, but their house is so close, I figured they must be on their way and there was no point in calling. So a half hour later, I called, by which time they were -- just -- on their way to get me.
Still, I was there. Went back to the house, then went with my mother-in-law to spend some time with my kids on the beach. I was supposed to watch them and make sure they didn't drown. But I could tell I was drowsy, so I relinquished my responsibility to my mother-in-law and took a little nap.
For dinner that night my in-laws cooked up live New England Lobsters. So good. Then we went into town for some ice cream with the kids. I had a hot fudge sundae with chocolate chip ice cream.
We came back to the house. And pretty much all just went to bed. That was the first night on the entire trip that I went to bed before 1am.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES... OR AT LEAST THE VACATION DOES... TOMORROW!
MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2003:
Today, in the middle of my two week vacation was a work day -- or at least half of one.
I got up and headed back to Krispy Kreme for more donuts. Then I walked to midtown for my first meeting.
Then I had a meeting at MTV. Just what we call a Meet & Greet. Hi. Nice to meet you. Hope we get to work together some day. It was nice, and they're doing some interesting stuff. So I do hope I get to work with them someday. I talked to her (I'm not giving names on purpose) about the project that Vic and Greg and I have, but I didn't pitch it, as we're waiting to see if Warners wants to sign on and pitch it to MTV with us.
Then I had time to kill. I had passed Midtown Comics on my way to MTV, so I headed back there. I don't frequent comic book stores, much these days. Wound up quitting that world more or less cold turkey in 1996. But the commercials for "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" movie had intrigued me. When the "FROM HELL" movie came out, I didn't go see it, but I went into a bookstore and bought Alan Moore's graphic novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had been haunting bookstores for League, thinking that the movie would bring the GN into similar wide release. Hadn't been able to find it, so I finally broke down and entered a comic book store. Midtown Comics is a great looking store. I found LXG immediately, and then looked around. It's the same old thing for me. I'm out of the world and too far behind. If I started buying anything (on impulse that is) I'd have to buy EVERYTHING. So I stuck to my original purchase.
Then it was up to William Morris for my meeting with DAG Entertainment. Me and the DAG guys really hit it off. We spent a good chunk of time talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, how much we liked the series and how disappointed we were in the final episode. (My main gripe: too much to fit into one hour; it should have been a two-parter.) They talked about a project they had that they were interested in me working on. It sounded cool, and now that I'm back (two weeks later) it looks like I actually got a job thanks to the Gathering.
We talked so long, I realized I was going to be late for my next meeting. I called ahead and then took off rather abruptly.
Soon enough I arrived at Noodlesoup Productions to meet with the guys there. It was another really fun Meet & Greet. I hope to do some work someday with these guys too.
After that it was back to the hotel. I was supposed to meet up with my old friend Bruce Cranston, a former Disney boss of mine who now lives on the East. But his daughter was sick, so he had to cancel.
I decided to head for McDonalds. I ran into Mandi in the lobby, and she kept me company at McD's. It didn't seem to air-conditioned, so we took the food back to my room. I ate and then felt VERY sleepy. I didn't want to find myself sleeping through the play that night, so I kicked Mandi out to take a nap.
Only, I didn't fall asleep. Oh, well.
We now segue right into dinner. Dreamie, Carol, Patrick, Karlyle, Liz, Kelly and Montreal Rob all headed to P.J.Clark's, which was one of my haunts back when I lived in NYC. It was a place I always went to with my dad for burgers, whenever he came to town. And the last time I was there was probably in 1996, when I dragged Keith David and a few other folks there after a Gargoyles event (sort of a pre-Gathering) at a Gallery in Queens. Had a great burger.
But then Carol and Patrick and I had to hustle to attend Shakespeare in the Park. We raced uptown via subway, and then took a cab across the Park. We got out and ran to the Delacourt Theater. Fortunately, Carol had already picked up our tickets (a gift from Keith David and his manager Josh Silver).
The show was really terrific. Liev Shrieber was great as a conflicted Henry V. The rest of the cast, especially the Chorus, was also great. And I loved the production -- with the small exception of a gratuitous direct reference to Bush & Hussein. It was so unnecessary.
After the show, the three of us hung out. We walked around, past another one of my old apartment buildings, this one on Amsterdam near 76th. The neighborhood has changed so dramatically since I lived there my first summer in New York. Then I realized that it has been TWENTY YEARS, so I suppose it's entitled to change in that much time. But suddenly I felt old.
Back at the hotel, the three of us watched, uh, THE BLUES BROTHERS Movie or something on tv, while we killed off the last of the bottled water Carol had given me on Thursday and the last of the Peanut M&Ms that Kathy had given my on Sunday.
Then I kicked 'em out. I read some of LXG. Again it fit the theme of the rest of my reading this week. Mixing new fiction with old fiction, legends and history. Alan Moore, a writer I've long admired, seems interested in the same sorts of things I am. ALL THINGS ARE TRUE. Creating a grand tapestry of characters that can interact. But I was stunned at the breadth of his knowledge. For example, I was surprised to see that he had portrayed Captain Nemo as an Indian. I had read 20K Leagues and had not gotten that impression. Turns out, that in Mysterious Island, Verne establishes Nemo's ethnicity. And that's just the most obvious example. The research represented in this work is nothing short of MASSIVE. All I can say is... thank god I've got Kathy Pogge to do my research for me. I'm way too slow a reader to cover that much ground.
Anyway, I quite enjoyed the book. I haven't seen the movie yet, and some of the changes seem needless and less-than-helpful. Still, you can't ask for better Quatermain casting then Connery, so I'll keep an open mind.
TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR GREG & GREG'S HARROWING "ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK..."
It's the entry Bishansky's been dreading for the last two weeks...
SUNDAY, June 29, 2003:
Got up relatively late.
Made a couple more attempts to get into see the Othercon art, and still couldn't.
Went down into Penn Station to the Krispy Kreme store. Now, the thing is I've gotten Krispy Kreme's at a bunch of different places (Dodger Stadium, in particular). But I've never been to an actual Krispy Kreme store where I got their full line-up of donuts to choose from. I restrained myself and only bought and ate three. (And you wonder why I put on 11 pounds over a two week vacation.)
Speaking of sweet treats... PEANUT M&M'S. All weekend long, various different people walked up to me and kept handing me little bags of Peanut M&M's. I happen to really like Peanut M&M's so I was fine with the thing. But it started to get a little weird. Particularly when I left the judges table Saturday night with Vic and Thom to make our costuming picks, only to come back and find a huge pile of those little yellow bags on the table. (We gave them out as prizes for the costume/cosplay contest.) It's not like I minded, but I was pretty stumped as to who or what was behind it all. Eventually, Kathy Pogge revealed herself as the culprit. Seemed I had made one offhand comment at some point about how I was more of a peanut M&M guy than a regular M&M guy. And she ran with it. Hey, free food. I won't complain!
Anyway, after Krispy Kreme I headed up to Auction and Signing. Not many autographs to sign. I guess most people have my signature already. It was nice to see the materials for my Team Atlantis episode "THE LAST" (copies of my director's script, the Demona redesign, the audio-tape of the cast recording and the partial storyboard) all go for a whopping $740 to IRC GOLIATH.
But then it was time for Vic and I to take the elevator down for our last panel.
Speaking of elevators, it seemed odd at first that most of the elevators had t.v. sets playing CNN non-stop. Except that by the end of the weekend, if I got into one of the elevators that didn't, it really felt like something was missing. I'll never forget where I was when I learned that Katharine (note the spelling) Hepburn had died. In an elevator, watching CNN.
Anyway I finally got down to see the Othercon art. A bunch of people, Hudson in particular, watched me watch the art. Having an audience, while being an observer, was a little strange. I think they thought my head was supposed to explode or something. But I just thought it was pretty cool. I smiled and moved on. They all seemed very disappointed.
Next was the Team Atlantis panel. We showed the materials that Seth had just won in the auction and I played the tape of "THE LAST" which went over very well. I'm bummed that Disney never made the series and that episode, giving you guys another shot at seeing Demona on the screen. But I'm glad we at least got as far as recording the episode, so that I have a radio play to add to my opening ceremonies tapes every year. We also showed some clips from the new Atlantis DVD, featuring many garg voice actors, including Tom Wilson, Clancy Brown and Morgan Shepherd as a guy who thinks he's Odin.
Back upstairs for Closing Ceremonies, which is always bittersweet. I gave one last speech, trying to rouse the crowd to register for G2004. The new staff, by the way, is already in high gear. Montreal is going to be great. You don't want to miss it.
But I think my speech was just so-so. I remember the fire&brimstone thing I did in Florida to try and sell G2001 in L.A. I think I had the whole crowd on their feet that day. Sometimes you just can't recapture the magic.
But I'm amazed at how often you can. I think that's one of the many, many reasons why the Gathering is so fun for me every year. (Of course 72 hours of non-stop adulation might have something to do with it too.)
I said good-bye to some people. The auction restarted. No one had bid on my kids' painted ceramics. (Though they shared third place in the 3-D category.) So I tossed their pieces in with mine at the charity auction. I think Uriel picked them all up for about $40. I was grateful that someone wanted them. But this may not have been my most intelligent charitable contribution. It cost me $70 to make the things. Plus I had to give each kid $5 as their "profit". So next time, maybe I'll just hand the con $40 instead of trying to be so creative. They'll make more and I'll lose less. We also auctioned off a signed Atlantis poster, and scripts from "The Journey" and "The Reckoning". But I don't remember what they sold for.
Somewhere in here, I missed saying goodbye to Thom. So I said goodbye to Vic instead, even though he wasn't actually leaving NYC for another day.
Next up was our school field trip. There were 27 of us total, including myself, Kathy, Patrick, Kelly, Liz, Sean, Montreal Rob, Leo, BrooklynMagus, Mandi, Sarah, Erik, Dylan, Wingless, Seth, Ayami, Ethan, BiZZ and... and... well, more.
I was very concerned about someone getting lost, so I was constantly counting heads. A nightmare.
We stopped first at Ground Zero. I'd love to say I was blown away. But to be honest, I felt so distant from the place most of the time. I think it's too immense. And it looks too much (now) like a construction site. Plus so much is gone, I couldn't get my bearings. Couldn't picture what I remembered. It was so unreal, I guess. I think I was more effected by the effect it had on BrooklynMagus than the effect it had on me.
Back on the subway then, the 27 of headed for Coney Island. We arrived and split up, agreeing to meet back at 10pm to find out who wanted to stay and who wanted to go. I immediately knew I'd be wanting to go at 10pm. (I must really be getting old.) It just occured to me that I'd rather spend those hours hanging out and talking than spinning around on the kinds of rides I could go on at any county fair.
But Kathy and Patrick and Wingless and Seth and I tried to hit the things that really made Coney Island special, i.e. the original Nathans, the Cyclone and the AstroTower. Missed out on the Ferris Wheel, which I only realized after the fact was unique. We took a walk down the boardwalk and then met up with everyone. Miraculously, all 27 people showed up and all wanted to go. So we did.
Made our way back to the hotel. I did a final headcount and we scattered. A bunch of people joined me on my pancake hunt, but all I can say is "City that never sleeps, my foot!" Places were closed or closing right and left. We couldn't find a diner. We couldn't even find an ice cream parlor. Finally, we found an open ice cream place deep below Penn Station in the Labyrinth. Well, actually near the LIRR. After sheparding 27 people all night long, it seemed for a good long five minutes that we had lost Kathy somewhere underground. But she showed up with Popeye's chicken in hand. I was inclined to be cross until she offered to share. (I'm such a food whore.)
We all wanted to drop stuff off in our rooms and then hang out. So we agreed to meet in the Consuite in ten minutes. I was there, right outside the door, when Mandi came out. She needed a drug store and no one would go with her, so she and I went on a trek to a 24 hour pharmacy that made the Pancake hunt look like child's play. By the time I got back to the consuite, most of the people I had agreed to meet up with weren't there. Those present were quietly focused on some anime. Wasn't in the mood, so I headed off to bed. Not a big deal, but I do want everyone to know that I didn't blow you off on purpose.
TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR GREG'S FURTHER ADVENTURES IN THE CITY THAT SEEMS TO SLEEP A LITTLE...
SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2003:
Each day better than the last...
Again, I got up for a staff meeting, and I remember getting together outside the London room. But that's all I remember.
At 10am, Thom and Carol and I held another round of auditions with Emambu running the line, and auditioning.
At 11am, Thom and I helped Carol bring the Disney-loaned Gargoyles Development and Production artwork up to the Art room. I took another look at the art in the room. Some very cool stuff, particularly Niamgold's face cards. (But I really want her to finish the deck with a different canon character on every card. I mean we must have 52 characters easy, right?)
No bids on Erin and Benny's art. Uh oh.
Then Thom and Carol and I retreated to my room to cast the Radio Play, posting copies of the cast list at noon in multiple locations around the con.
I made several attempts to get into the Othercon art room, but kept finding the door locked.
At 12:30m I held a Starship Trooper/3x3 Eyes Q&A. I showed some DVD clips from both series, in particular featuring voice work by Gargoyles Voice Actors. Also showed some funny videos on 3x3. That Gap add still cracks me up.
But there weren't many questions for me on Troopers or 3x3. So we wound up just talking about whatever.
At 2pm, Vic and I held the Series Development Panel. This was nice. I showed the New Olympian, Gargoyles and Dark Ages pitches again. I also showed the Bad Guys reel again. And Vic and I showed the new show we're trying to sell now (with Greg Guler). It got a pretty good response. Hopefully, we'll sell it and be able to tell you about it soon.
At 3:30, the cast gathered for our radio play rehearsal. There wasn't enough time, because of various delays. But I could tell that they were quick studies.
At 5pm (or near enough to that, as we started late), we performed the Radio Play. This year as a tribute to Gary Sperling we performed his script of THE RECKONING.
Ladies & Gentlemen, The Gathering Players:
ANGELA - Jill "Leopard" Friedman
DEMONA - Batya "The Toon" Wittenberg
GOLIATH - Stephen Sobotka, Jr.
THAILOG - Carter Moore
BROOKLYN - Sarah the Great
MALIBU - Lanny Fields
TALON - William "Revel" Anson
FANG - Alex "Simon DelMonte" Wittenberg
ELISA - Vashkoda
DELILAH - Mandi Ohlin
HUDSON - Erik "Emambu" Mambu
BURBANK - Eric "Gorebash" Tribou
BROADWAY - Adam Leigh
HOLLYWOOD - Greg "GXB" Bishansky
CLAW - Seth Jackson
BRENTWOOD - Anthony "Archangel" Zucconi
LEXINGTON - Gabriel Guerrero
and Thom Adcox as DR. ANTON SEVARIUS
Everyone was great. Seth was really cast as an understudy in case someone didn't show, but I knew he would get a great laugh as Claw. And in fact he got TWO great laughs as Claw. One when he entered and one where he stood silently for his part.
Thom was fun as Sevarius. In the rehearsal, Thom and Carter did this very funny extended laughing sequence that cracked us all up. They did it again during the performance, but didn't sustain it as long. Oh, well.
But the show went great. Liz Chesterman also drew a big card up for Gary Sperling's kids, which everyone signed (and which Carol got to drag home for me). I'll give it to them next week and let you know their response. But thanks everyone who signed and special thanks to Liz and Carol.
At the Banquet, I sat with Lexy, GXB, Spacebabie and Revel and... ugh, I'm sorry, I can't remember. Pretty good food. I really liked the rice especially for some reason. I was quiet. It was a perfect example of how I'm really pretty shy in social situations. If someone had started asking me questions about Gargs or whatever, you couldn't have shut me up. But I'm lousy at small talk. Thank God, Revel was there to carry the conversation, or we would have been darn silent. (Of course, by this time everyone was tired and stuffing their faces too.)
We had a great Q&A with myself, Thom, Vic and Nichelle Nichols. Unsurprisingly, most of the questions were for her. (After all, you can get to me, Vic and Thom all the time.) And she was just great. Very gracious and warmly funny. We talked a bit about Mark of the Panther. My memories of it and hers. And she talked about Star Trek, her science fiction novels, her singing and a bunch of other stuff.
The Masquerade started at about 9:45, I think. Fewer costumes then previous years, but what their was was cherce.
Revel as Vinnie and Spacebabie as Hunter won cutest couple. (And picturing Vinnie hitting on Robyn Canmore, cracked me up.)
Cosplay prize went to Patrick as Anastasia and Karine as Fox. They were hilarious. Patrick also won the Gorelisa Memorial Award... for like the third time or something. We've got to get this guy some decent panty hose.
The Thom Adcox Memorial award went to Rob.
The Greg Guler Memorial award went to Nikki Owens.
Best Costume went to Kyt.
After the Masquerade, a few of us (me, Thom, Lanny, Patrick, Kathy and Carol) headed down to my old haunts in the West Village. The place was packed. We walked past my old apartment building. Then we went and had a second dinner at the Caliente Cab Company. Great Guac, man.
Afterwards we returned to the hotel. We all planned on going back to bed, but those of us on the 11th floor found ourselves talking in the hallway, too jazzed to go to sleep. So I invited the small group (me, Thom, Gabriel, Lanny and Kathy) into my room. We talked WAY into the night. Thom finally went to bed, I think around 3am. I think I kicked everyone out at 3:30. But I don't think I got to sleep until 4:30. It was like being in college again. Very neat...
TUNE IN TOMORROW AS GREG IS TRANSFORMED INTO THE AMAZING "DEN-MOTHER"...
FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2003:
So I remembered what I did after dinner the night before. And since technically it was after midnight, it's kinda okay that I'm putting it in this entry.
I read. I had finished two novels in Nantucket: THE DANTE CLUB and THE DAVINCI CODE. And I started a third, THE SINISTER PIG by Tony Hillerman. I finished that one late Thurs/early Fri.
Normally, I'm a big Hillerman fan, but I have to say this book was weak. No mystery, since he gives it away. Little suspense, since we know that our heroes have allies. Omniscient narrator, so it doesn't have the unique dual protagonist structure that makes his books so neat. Almost nothing of Navajo culture. And worst of all, Bernie was turned into a damsel in distress. YUCK.
Also, it didn't fit the pattern of my other reading for the vacation, i.e. that mix of fact, legend and fiction, which was one of the hallmarks of the first two books and of the Gargoyles series. ALL THINGS ARE TRUE.
Still, I so rarely get to read for pleasure, it was nice to put away three books.
Anyway, back to Friday...
I woke up at 8am, which wasn't easy. But I knew I wasn't going to get much sleep this weekend.
At 9, I was down in the consuite for the staff breakfast that didn't materialize because there were other more pressing things to do. I helped stuff and alphabetize envelopes instead.
After that, around 10:30am, Kathy and Carol and I went down to the hotel Lindy's for a WAY-overpriced meal that included fermented tomato juice. Kathy insisted on paying, which was very, very nice of her, if unneccesary.
Around 11:30, I stopped by the art room to drop off the ceramic figures that Erin, Benny and I had painted for the con. Mine was just on display -- but was destined for the charity auction on Sunday. It was a gargoyle that I dubbed (at the last minute) "No-Name". Erin had also done a gargoyle; she had painted glasses on it, so I named it "Four Eyes". Benny had done a fairy, which I named "Junebug" after one of the fairies in our back yard at home. The kids weren't donating their art to the charity auction. They wanted to get paid for theirs. More on this Sunday.
At 1:30pm I had a Mug-A-Guest up in the Skytop room. Answered a few questions in my long-winded fashion. It was fun.
Then at 2:30 I went downstairs to join Thom for a Voice Acting Seminar. This was fun. We answered questions, but we also workshopped a number of pieces including the Demona audition side, a Griff/Leo/Una/Goliath scene from MIA, a Lex/Tom/Mary/Brooklyn/Demona scene from Awakening One and a Lex/Goliath/Brooklyn/Broadway/Hudson scene from Thrill.
It was fun and we discovered two exceptional actresses, Jill & Rachael. Unfortunately, Rachael actually got a paying acting gig so she wouldn't be around for the Radio Play.
After that, at 4pm, Thom and Carol and I held the first round of auditions, with Archangel and I think Chyna acting as our volunteers, managing the line.
We had some really great people, but I couldn't help missing some of our missing long-standing Gathering Players: Jen, Jubes, Zehra, Zach Baker, Jordan Mann, etc.
Kathy brought Thom and I Nathans hot dogs from downstairs for lunch. So I think she paid for two of my meals that day. Uh. Thanks AGAIN!!
6:30 brought Opening Ceremonies. The G2003 staff intro'd themselves. And then the G2004 staff (led by Karine and Kelly) did the same. I'm already excited about the Montreal con. I hope all of you will be there.
Then it was my turn. I took hand counts of con virgins, 2nd timers, third timers, fourth timers, fifth timers, sixth timers and those absolutely HEROIC SEVENTH TIMERS. It was great to see people like Noel, Patrick, Karine and others raise their hands.
But it again made me think of those MIA that I missed. All those listed above and also Derek, Christine, Tim and Becca Morgan, Spike, Pogo and Aimee, Kenna, Steph, Cindy, etc. I'll admit it. I'm greedy. I want them all back!
I read letters from Greg Guler and Brigitte Bako, both announced guests that unfortunately had to pull out at the last minute. They said some nice stuff.
Then I did the Video Presentation AGAIN. Garg pitch. Garg promo. Garg presentation. Dark Ages Pitch. New Olympians Pitch. Bad Guys Reel. It was fun for the Virgins. Fun for the old hands. Fun for me. My resolution for next year is to stop apologizing for showing the same stuff over and over. If people don't want to see it they can leave the room.
After opening ceremonies, a group of us (me, Carol, Kathy, Patrick, Mandi and Vic) went to a restaurant called AMERICA, which was one of my favorite places to eat back when I lived in NYC. It was empty, which was weird, since back in the day, the place was always packed. The food was still great, so it just must be out of fashion. I had popcorn shrimp and pulled pork and tastes of a bunch of other stuff. As a table we shared like six deserts including apple pie, cheesecake, brownie alamode, and Death-By-Chocolate. Also, my college friend Doug joined us for dinner. I hadn't seen him in years, so it was great to catch up, especially at America, a place he and I used to go to with some frequency.
After Dinner, time was short so we hustled back to the hotel (sorry, Mandi). Thom and I held our "Blue Mug" which was a real blast. People try to shock me, but it isn't easy to do. I suppose by now, most of you have heard the big revelation of the night: that Lexington is Gay. I hadn't planned on revealing it, but a direct question was asked and so I gave a direct answer. We had an intelligent mature conversation about it -- spiked with lots of laughter. I was really sorry when the Security Guard broke us up around 2am, and in hindsight even sorrier that none of us took him up on the offer to check with the front desk for permission to continue.
Still it was late. I went to bed. But I was so juiced it took me another couple hours to crash.
TUNE IN TOMORROW AS OUR YOUNG MAESTRO GATHERS HIS PLAYERS...
THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2003:
Having been on Nantucket for a few days already, you'd think I'd be on Eastern time. But nope, not me. I'd been going to bed ridiculously late -- even by my standards, and getting up, well, let's just say before noon (but not much before).
But today, to catch my plane I had to set the alarm for 5:30am.
I had a very eclectic breakfast: an egg yolk, bacon, a bananna, Apple Juice, a slice of turkey, Cranberry Jello and a Three Musketeers bar at the Nantucket Airport (the setting for the tv series "WINGS").
My flight was supposed to be a non-stop to La Guardia, but the flight number got changed and I wound up on a puddle-jumper that stopped in Hyannis before heading off to New York. This was not a problem for me, but caused panic with Mara and the Bishanskys who were waiting to pick me up in Queens. They had forgotten that I was coming from Nantucket, and assumed that I was on a flight from SoCal. But the now-non-existant flight number they were given didn't match with a California flight. And because of the stopover in Hyannis, I was getting in later than they expected. So they thought they missed me.
Of course, when I did get in I just sauntered off the plane and Alex recognized me, calling over to his mom and Mara. They were very apologetic. But since, I never knew there was a problem, I was fine.
En route to the hotel, Greg & Alex's mom told this story about the "Underwear Cowboy" who hangs out in Times Square. Just as she finished telling us about this guy, we drove past him. I would wind up seeing him again later in the trip.
We arrived at the Hotel Pennsylvania and checked in. Carol Wagner (guest coordinator extraordinaire) was waiting and handed me the huge quantity of stuff that I had more or less coerced her into taking to New York, so that I wouldn't have to. (Thanks, Carol, for everything.)
My room was nice. Not huge, but much larger than some people got. No room service though. (There ought to be a law.)
I then headed out to meet up with Lianne, my high school friend, who now lives in New York with her husband Chris and son Elijah. It was so hot, I decided to walk, since I had the time and I just figured the subway stations would be sauna-esque. It wasn't too bad walking through midtown, as the concrete canyons create a breeze. But the air just flattens out at Central Park South. And man those last few blocks into the sixties were torture.
Lianne and I met at Elijah's school, at Stephen S. Wise Temple, up near the Park. As a kid, I went to a Stephen S. Wise Temple in L.A. I wondered who this Wise guy was that he had temples named for him all across the country, but no one could answer me. No one being, Lianne and Elijah (age 4).
We went to a coffee shop to grab a late afternoon breakfast (bacon, eggs and potatos) then walked with Elijah through Central Park. We hung out at the water park, rode the carousel, strolled across the sheep's meadow, got ice cream, etc. Lianne and I got to catch up. It was great. I dropped them off at their midtown apartment and walked back down to the hotel.
I cooled off for a bit in my room, but by that time the staff had checked into the consuite, so I stopped by to say hello.
Then a bunch of us went to go wait for Thom Adcox and Vic & Hanna Cook out in front of the hotel. They were about a half-hour late, when Carol went inside to discover that they had arrived as planned but had been dropped off in the alley.
When we finally hooked up, we got everyone checked into their rooms and then took off for a late dinner at Monster Sushi.
We had at least three tables. Thom, Kathy Pogge, Carol, Spacebabie and Revel were at my table. Nearby were Sapphire, Liz, Dreamie, Winterwolf, Mara, Aaron, GXB, Ethan and Lynati. (I think that's everyone.) The food was great, and we traded acting stories. I learn more about Mr. Adcock-Hernandez everyday. I had no idea that Thom was a dancer.
I have absolutely no memory of what we did after dinner. None. It's even possible I just went to bed.
MORE TO COME AS OUR INTREPID MR. WEISMAN ENTERS THE GATHERING ZONE...
FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2003:
This was a last minute day of stuffing in work, mostly. But I did have a great lunch at the Airstream Diner with Thom Adcox, Jen and Alan Anderson, Lanny Fields and Derek. (Uh, I just realized I don't know Derek's last name.) Lunch was great, and most of us came back to my office after to talk. It was the perfect precursor to the Gathering. I knew I needed to kick them out and get some more work done -- and I did eventually -- but not until much later than I originally planned.
The only bummer was that Derek, Alan and Jen weren't coming to the Gathering this year. We gave them heck about it though.
Also, and this is VERY important, I had been dieting right up until the morning of the 20th (and had lost 9 lbs.). Diet was officially over until July 7th. Now I could Gather AND eat!!
Anyway, after work I headed home. Beth, Erin, Benny and I were picked up by the car service and taken to LAX. In the airport, we spotted Tony Shaloub, the actor who plays "Monk" and who was the voice of the Emir on Gargoyles. He did one days work for us about 8 years ago, so I didn't approach him, but I took it as a good omen. Especially when it turned out he was on our red-eye flight to Boston. (Although he was in First Class, and we were in coach.)
The movie was Daredevil, which I hadn't seen. There were a few things I liked about it -- and I'm always more generous to movies on a plane, since I'm so desperate. Not a great movie. But I didn't hate it.
SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2003:
Saturday morning we arrived at Logan Airport in Boston to catch our connecting Cape Air flight to Nantucket. (I know, I know, you're all thinking: "But Greg, didn't you know the con was in New York?" Bear with me.) Tony Shaloub seemed to be following me. It occured to me that this former star of "Wings" which was set in Nantucket, might be going there. That would put him on our very small plane. At any rate, it seemed to be fate, so I reintroduced myself to him, and intro'd the two kids. He was very nice. But it turned out he was going on a different plane to Martha's Vineyard. Which seemed to me like a real blow to Wings fans. But what can you do?
So the four of us boarded our flight to Nantucket. And then we were there, picked up by Beth's parents, who live there most of the year.
We spent most of the day relaxing and/or sleeping. It was raining anyway and we were beat.
That night, on cable TV, I saw some bit of Awakening Parts 3 & 5. And took it as another good omen.
SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2003:
Another relaxing day where we didn't do much. Though I did buy an apple pie that I would wind up eating single-handedly over the next two days.
Kathy Pogge sent me some research for a project I might be working on. Thanks, Kathy.
I started reading a book called THE DANTE CLUB. It was very good. Aside from including a lot of Dante/Inferno references, it mixed real people with fictional. Told a fictional story in a real setting, etc. This is stuff, which I'm sure you guys realize interests me a lot. It would become the theme for my reading this week. Anyway, a very good book. I recommend it.
On the other hand, that night I finally saw "Attack of the Clones" on cable. UGH. A movie that is entirely catharsis-free cannot be a good thing.
Question: What am I supposed to think the Tuskan Raiders did to Ma Skywalker? Just beat her up a lot? Gang-rape her? Awful.
And Owen wasn't a Skywalker in New Hope? I had no idea.
And doesn't Padma think that Anakin requires -- if not prosecution -- then at least therapy, after he kills Tuskan women and children?
And am I the only one who totally doesn't buy the Jedi rule against love? Where did THAT come from?
And why is the whole Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Siddius thing played like a mystery?
Plus the plot's a mess.
MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2003:
With the start of the new week, Erin started a one-week Sailing Class and Benny started summer camp. They both had a lot of fun.
I finished Dante Club and started a new book, THE DAVINCI CODE. This one wasn't as well-written, but again dealt with a mix of real people and legendary figures, and secret societies. Mixing fact and fiction, as we tried to do in Gargoyles. Not as good a read, but fascinating subject matter.
We treated my in-laws to all-you-can-eat Spaghetti and meatballs.
We started a lighthouse puzzle that we still hadn't finished by the time our trip ended.
We had Hot Fudge sundaes in town.
That night on cable: more good omens:
--Brigitte Bako in "Mind of a Married Man".
--Tony Shaloub in a new episode of "Monk".
--And Keith David narrating "Comic Book Heroes - Unmasked" It was weird hearing him talk objectively about Spawn, as if he had nothing to do with it. But it was a pretty cool special.
TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2003:
With both kids in camp, Beth and I had time to wander through town. We got ice cream, and I got some Clam Chowder. I wanted to get the Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, but they don't do that on the island. I guess that's a San Francisco thing that hasn't reached the East yet. But it seemed like something someone could make some money on. One of you go get rich and thank me later.
We had dinner at home (baby back ribs and potato pancakes). I finished Da Vinci Code and watched The Bourne Identity, which was okay.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 2003:
Again, Beth and I had some nice time for ourselves for a walk through town. This time I got Soft Tacos and a Smoothie.
Dinner was Italian Sausages at home.
And the night's movie was "Lost & Delirious" which was pretty creepy.
TUNE IN TOMORROW AS GREG LEAVES NANTUCKET FOR MANHATTAN...
Before I start, I just want to say...
1. I had a blast. Thank you, everyone for another phenomenal and memorable event in my life.
2. Now that the posting function here at ASK GREG has been re-awakened, I'd like to ask everyone who attended the Gathering to post their Gathering journals/diaries/logs here at ASK GREG. If you've got them posted elsewhere, please cut and paste them here. (Do not provide a link.) One, I'd like to read them eventually. And I even think it'll be kind of fun to be reading them months from now. I'll be nostalgic. Two, I think we should have a record here for con virgins and other newbies about just how much fun the Gathering can be. Thanks, in advance.
3. As I'm going through my journal, I'm flat out bound to forget some things and even some people. I apologize in advance. There are so many names and faces, it sometimes takes me a year or two to process people (just ask Spacebabie).
4. I'm not just going to post about the Gathering (i.e. about June 27-29th). My vacation started on June 20th and didn't end until yesterday, July 6th. So I'm going to post everything Gathering related that took place over that period. Hopefully in chunks.
5. I won't be answering any more questions until I get this done, but I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the week.
6. I'm also hoping to getting back to rambling about episodes -- about one ep a week, starting next week or the week after. That's the plan, anyway.
7. And again. Wow. Thank you all.
There you go. A double dose of ASK GREG today, because tonight I am off to the East Coast. A family vacation first, before I head into Manhattan for the Seventh Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles. The G2003 staff has a kick-ass con planned for all of you this year.
Guests include myself, Thom "Lexington" Adcox, Nichelle "Uhura/Diane Maza" Nichols, storyboard artist and director Victor Cook and Paul Lacy, who helped me create GARGOYLES all those many years ago.
We have a display of ORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION ART FROM THE GARGOYLES SERIES, lent to us by Disney.
We have a Radio Play, a sneak peak at new development from myself, Vic and Gargoyles' character designer Greg Guler. We have the audio tape of the Team Atlantis episode featuring Marina Sirtis as Demona. And all the standard Gathering good times we have every year.
I hope to see all of you there. For more info check out:
And I'll be back here answering questions around July 7th.