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Patrick writes...

Gathering Diary - Day 5
Sunday, August 8

After the all-nighter I had pulled, morning seemed to arrive all too quickly. Nevertheless, I still managed to make it to the con suite by about quarter after nine. Karine led Shaun, Laurean, and I to a little coffee shop just a few blocks away where we could grab some cheap eats for breakfast. On the way, we passed by an area where the street was blocked off for a movie shoot. It was a period piece, and there were a number of horse-drawn carriages on the set. Yet parked along the curb was a Lamborghini Diablo, which was apparently there to just distract the tourists and make a very loud anachronistic statement.

Back at the hotel, we found ourselves momentarily locked out of the con suite because we had exited from the door on the public side of the room, which couldn't be opened with the room key, and Karine had left the security chain engaged on the other door. So I drank my coffee and ate my bagel with cream cheese out in the hallway, as Shaun and I waited for someone from security to come up and open the door.

I was assigned to Con Suite duty again for Sunday morning, which was probably the dullest two hours of the con for me, and meant I ended up missing the Gargoyle Biology panel downstairs. I didn't even turn the TV on at first, because the only people coming into the room were the ones doing the Clan Olympics scavenger hunt. One person took a pencil. Another made off with the phone book. Yet another asked me if I could leave to come with them, take my shirt off, and stand in their box. But since that would have left the room unattended, I had to decline.

Eventually, some people came along who actually wanted to watch "Gargoyles" videos, so the TV was turned on and we watched "Mark of the Panther." This was the episode where Goliath finally acknowledged Angela as his daughter, and where Elisa finally had to fess up to her mother about the gargoyles. This episode also featured Anansi, and as the little band of humans, gargoyles, and were-panthers headed into that village in the third act, I couldn't help quipping, "Follow the spiders… why couldn't it be 'follow the butterflies?'"

As the episode was ending, Laurean showed up to take over in the con suite, so I headed downstairs to see where else I could help out. We had originally planned to have Keith do two Mug-a-Guest sessions, so that people would get a chance to attend one and still attend other panels. It would have worked, too, except Keith was nowhere to be found until sometime after lunch. His Q&A session got started in the Art Show and Dealer's room around the same time that Cindy, Rob, and I decided to begin dismantling the Art Show. Cindy took all the art down and somehow still kept it organized, clearing the way for Rob and I to break down the displays. This gave us a jump-start, because all that was left to do after Closing Ceremonies was move everything back down to the garage and load it back into the van. After everything was taken apart, I used my L33T math skills to help Cindy collect the money from people who had bought art.

Closing Ceremonies came and went in a blur, just as the Opening Ceremonies had done, only this time the whole staff got to sit up front. Karine had some fun with the crowd by starting her farewell spiel off en français. Cindy presented all the Art Show awards, and Chris Rogers spoke again to hype everyone up for Gathering 2005 in Las Vegas. After Closing Ceremonies were over, I ran to the back of the room to pre-registered for next year while Keith was getting set up to do autographs. Rather than wait in line for a turn to squint at Chris's laptop screen, I wrote my registration info on a piece of paper and handed him a check. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the fastest.

As I was rooting through Chris's box of free t-shirts looking for my size, Rob tapped me on the shoulder and said in a rather ominous tone, "All staff need to come up to the con suite." Wondering what new crisis had arisen and who was going to have to deal with it, I grabbed my stuff and hurried up there as fast as I could. As I walked through the door, a greeting card was handed to me, and it was then that I spotted the spread on the big conference table. Scott "Abram" Rogoff had decided to surprise the staff with thank-you cards and an assortment of liquor and Godiva chocolates. So that provided the perfect ending to a weekend of hard work, as well as the perfect beginning to the Dead Dog Party.

We couldn't get the Dead Dog Party started, though, until we had finished cleaning up everything downstairs. Luckily, there were plenty of fans willing to lend a hand again, so it didn't take long at all to get the Art Show display stuff hauled back to the van. After that, Cindy and I finished cleaning up the room, and then we headed back upstairs. Jen, Laurean, and Tim Morgan had gone to the meeting that Chris Rogers was holding to discuss next year's convention, so the rest of us got a bit of a head start on the booze. But eventually, everyone trickled back in, and the staff all chipped in to order pizza.

There were fans in and out of the room all evening, and Karine's husband dropped by as well, along with some friends of theirs who we had met with in February. Eventually, though, we had to clear out the people who had only drifted in to consume the food that other people had paid for so that we could have a little staff meeting. We wrapped things up around midnight, and I headed back to my room and took a quick shower before going to bed.

Greg responds...

Sounds pretty uncrazy for an end of con. Sorry I missed it.

Response recorded on April 24, 2006