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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 3
Friday, August 6

I woke up around 7:30 am, mumbled good morning to Laurean as she was on her way out the door to the gym, and scored the first turn at the shower since everyone else in the room was still sleeping. Then I napped until about ten minutes before nine, woke up again, and went up to the con suite to see what the plan was for breakfast. Karine led us all to a diner nearby that had pretty good food at pretty good prices, but they also had the slowest service ever and we were running a half hour behind the schedule printed in the program by the time we got back to the hotel.

I was on Art Show setup duty, assisting Cindy, so the two of us headed up to the room on the Mezzanine level and enlisted anyone who was willing to help unload the van and move the art show display materials up to the room. About six people offered to help, so it took only about ten minutes to get everything up from the parking garage and into the room where the Art Show would be. Alan joined in to help with assembly, and the plastic pipe frames went together quickly, until we suddenly realized we were short two to the 90-degree elbow pieces.

Karine gave me some quick directions to the nearest Home Depot, and then I was off on an emergency run. As I learned at The Gathering 2002 in Virginia, there's nothing quite as fun as driving around an unfamiliar area at top speed, searching for a destination you're not quite sure of. But finally I spotted the familiar orange sign, and ran inside to the plumbing section to grab the pieces we were missing. On a hunch, I also grabbed another pack of zip ties for attaching the pegboard to the frames, which should earn me a psychic friends network membership card because when I got back I discovered Cindy had tried to call me on my cell phone - which I didn't have on me - to tell me that they needed more of those, too. So for about 15 seconds, I was a god for saving the day, and then I went back to work getting the remaining display put together.

I spent most of the rest of Friday afternoon in the Art Show / Dealer's Room, helping Cindy with setup and then sitting guard duty at the Auction display table for a spell. I wouldn't have gotten lunch, but Alan asked me if I wanted anything from Subway, so I gave him money and he brought me back a soda and the best roast beef sub I've ever consumed in less than two minutes. Later in the afternoon, I attended Cindy's costuming seminar. I learned how to take care of wigs, and I'm pretty sure I was the only guy in the room except for when the DVD crew came in to do some random filming.

Right after Cindy's panel was over, Karine or Carol informed me that Keith David had been delayed to a later flight, so I would be picking him up around 11:00 pm instead of Karine's husband Adam picking him up around 6:00 pm. I was fine with that, even if it meant having to remain alert enough to drive at that late hour, so I ran upstairs to the con suite to record the revised flight details in my notebook. Before we knew it, it was getting near time for Opening Ceremonies, so I headed down to the ballroom to see if my help was needed with anything. I had been told we were getting a screen measuring 4'x3', so it was quite a surprise to see they'd given us one about three times bigger. Rob and Karine were still trying to get sound and picture to come out of the projector at the same time when I walked in. I'm not sure what button it was that I pushed, but suddenly there was a picture. A few moments later, we found the volume control, too, and everything was ready.

Greg showed up with his stack of videotapes, and I was given the complex job of sitting next to the VCR, loading tapes, and pressing play. For me, Opening Ceremonies seemed to go by in a blur. Karine welcomed the fans and introduced the staff, then Jen presented the Fan Guest of Honor award to Gorebash. Next, Chris Rogers came to the podium to talk about Gathering 2005, and then Liz came up to make some announcements, which was when Abram and Maui "interrupted" for the first Clan Olympics event. After all the chaos had settled, Greg's part of the Opening Ceremonies began. First he played an audio tape containing the voices of Ed Asner, Keith David, and a number of other people associated with the show that Carol had helped compile the week before. Then he showed the traditional series of videos, and ended with the audio tape of the voice recordings for the never-completed "Team Atlantis" episode "The Last."

After Opening Ceremonies, we handed the room over to Jade Griffin for the "Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000" event and debated what to do about dinner. Half of the staff wanted to trek out into Montreal again, and half of us were too tired to want to do all that walking. As a few of us were discussing it in the lobby, Greg came up to me and said he had good news and bad news. The good news was I wouldn't have to pick up Keith at 11:00 pm. The bad news was Keith's flight had changed again, and he wouldn't be arriving until 6:00 pm the next day, Saturday.

Greg then joined up with the group Karine was leading out into the city, but I decided to give my feet a rest. I joined Jen, Alan, Tim, Christine, and Becca, and the six of us had a late dinner in the hotel restaurant. Tim told us all about his misadventure earlier in the day where he'd been hit by a car while crossing the street. He was mostly okay, but he still made sure to put some alcohol on his injuries in the form of a shot of tequila and two white russians. I stuck with cola because I was drowsy enough already, and I had a pretty good hamburger followed by a nice slice of cheesecake.

After dinner, Jen, Christine and I went back up to the con suite to await Greg's return for the Blue Mug-a-Guest. We were joined shortly by Anthony and Andrea Zucconi and a few other fans who had not hooked up with the huge group that had gone out with Greg to dinner. Exercising the ancient rite of "first come, first serve," we claimed the chairs and left the floor to the latecomers. Greg arrived only about ten minutes behind the scheduled 11 pm start time, and within a short amount of time the room was filled to capacity and then some.

For a Blue Mug-a-Guest, the overwhelming majority of the discussion was pretty tame. A lot of the questions focused on the DVD and what could be done to make sure that Season 1 will sell well enough that we get Season 2, and so on. Some ideas were floated about using the internet to coordinate the fandom's efforts, such as having everyone purchase the DVD from Amazon.com on the same day.

There was one question that was asked about how the fay copulate and reproduce which Greg apparently misheard at first, as he began talking about gargoyle egg-laying. He remarked that the eggs are soft and flexible when they are laid, and also that they start out small and grow bigger. This elicited a "Ha-ha, I was right, I told you so," comment from someone I had debated this same topic with in one of the online comment rooms a few months ago. Not the most mature of reactions, and bad science to boot. It made me wish I'd been able to attend the Gargoyle Biology panel on Sunday morning, because as much as I respect Greg, I still firmly believe that it must be recognized that there is absolutely no precedent at all in the animal kingdom for hard-shelled eggs that grow in size from the time they are laid to the time that they hatch.

Anyway, sorry to digress, but this was still bugging me when I went to bed that night, so I felt it worth mentioning. I can't remember very many of the other specific questions that were asked, though I do recall that when Greg was asked about whether the tip of a gargoyle's tail was especially sensitive, he deferred the question to Christine Morgan. Greg also blew a whole bunch of fanfic out of the water by saying that in his mind, Angela was a virgin when she arrived in Manhattan, and that gargoyles as a species were not promiscuous. I'm not quite sure these revelations are going to slow down any of us who've written stories to the contrary, though.

Friday night finally came to an end at around 2 am on Saturday morning, when Greg got up to answer the call of nature and Karine decided it was time to clear everyone out of the con suite. That included con staff, as well, so I headed to my room to grab a few more hours of sleep.

Greg responds...

Eggs are soft until the first day. Then they harden into stone when the sun rises. I don't recall ever saying they change size. Just that their softness allows for a somewhat easier laying. But who knows? Maybe I did say that. I say a lot of stuff.

Response recorded on April 21, 2006