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Monday, August 23
Woke up early with Steph, hoping to score a hearty breakfast at the Saddle Ranch. Only to discover that the information weâd been given the day before was inaccurate. We were told that they were opening at eight. It turns out they were really opening at eleven, due to maintenance issues. So we walked to Subway and got breakfast wraps.
Made it back to the hotel before the comics panel, and even had time to shower. Comics panel was a lot of fun. Greg actually had a good reason for Brooklyn breaking the fourth wall in Issue #11.
After that got out, I managed to get Greg Guler to resign my Gargoyles trade, this time in permanent marker. Then I ran over to the Dealerâs Room, and found out that someone outbid me on my art. Ah, well. One less thing to lug back home with me.
So I went back to Salon 6 to sit in on the Gargoyles Physiology/Culture panel. That one was also a lot of fun, though I left a few minutes early to grab caffeine from the lobby. While waiting for Closing Ceremonies, I saw Thom Adcox slap Greg X, because apparently Gregâs brother told him to by phone.
Closing Ceremonies were after that. Like last year, they were bittersweet, but there was another dimension to it this time, since there wonât be a Gathering next year. Still, it was fun hearing tales from past cons. I might have gotten up to tell one of my own (how the fandom scarred my brother) had we not been evicted from the room. From there, I mingled with people in the hallway as they started to trickle off, and joined a mailing list to get more info on the future of the fandom. Then I was drafted into helping carry some boxes down to Patrickâs van, lending more credence to my theory if I stand in one place long enough, I get pressed into service, and it usually involves carrying things. Ah, well, I donât exercise enough, anyway.
After that, I said goodbyes to a few people (including Greg Weisman, who actually remembered my name), went back up to the room, drank a beer, and updated the journal.
Steph wanted to eat around 5:00, so we went down to the cafÃ© in the lobby to catch a deal they had: three course dinner for fifteen bucks. Had salad and prime rib, which was cooked just right. Had cheesecake for dessert, which we wrapped and took back up to the room. Then we took a quick trip up to City Walk, and stopped by Ben and Jerryâs for a cone.
About 8:00, I went down to the bar for one more martini, and then back up to the room to catch some Adult Swim. It was in this time that Greg X and Carl both returned (John had left earlier, during Closing Ceremonies). I originally wanted to retire early, but I wound up staying up way too late hanging out with the roomies, talking about the con, and watching videos with Greg on you tube. Finally drifted off around 1:30 or 2 AM.
Tuesday, August 25
â¦And I was awoken after about two hours of sleep by the wake-up call Iâd placed the previous day. I rose, roused my girlfriend (weâd packed the night before), and we dressed and headed down to the lobby. We boarded the shuttle, and from there I had a fun time trying to figure out the seatbelt. There was no traffic this time, but it WAS still dark out.
After some annoying lines at LAX (and me losing my Swiss Army Knife because I stupidly forgot to stick it in my suitcase), we found our gate. I slept right up to the boarding, after we got on the plane, through takeoff, and through the first half of the flight.
After I woke up, I kept busy reading my Dune novel. Landing was a little bumpy, and then we had a few hours to kill before connecting flights. We had lunch at Wendyâs, and then I moseyed down to the bar for a Sam Adams Cream Stout (which I drank slowly, because I can never find it in Virginia).
Flight back to Richmond was also uneventful. We got our bags and got back to the parking lot just as the sun was setting. Almost symbolic, in a way. We drove home, stopping at McDonaldâs for some burgers, and then I began the lengthy ordeal of unpacking/preparing for work the following day.
And thus concludes things. Though my involvement with the Gathering was brief, Iâm still happy to have been a part, in some way. Iâll always have fond memories, and hope to stay in touch with the friends Iâve made. If the Gods are willing, there will be another journal for a different con someday.
I do hope so.