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With the costume & cosplay contests over, things started to relax. My assignments were over, and I could just kick back. Unfortunately, I was leaving the hotel at 6am the next morning. For the first time, I'd miss Closing Ceremonies, which was a huge bummer. I'd also miss spending any real time with Keith. But my daughter's TENTH birthday was Sunday the 8th. I had hoped to bring the whole family to the Gathering this year, but I just couldn't afford it, and I wasn't going to miss her birthday. In fact, Erin was very gracious about allowing me to fly home Sunday on her birthday instead of Saturday night. The trade-off was I agreed to shave off the beard when I got home. Benny likes it, but Erin doesn't. So it's gone now.
I promise though that next year, the whole family's coming to Las Vegas. In fact, we're leaving for Vegas the day after tomorrow. That's right, I'm so anxious to get back to the Gathering, I'm leaving an entire year early. (Or maybe, it's because my in-laws live in Vegas, and we're going to see them. I get confused sometimes.)
Anyway, we hung out downstairs for awhile. I had a number of nice chats... with Crazyman Marty Lund and his decidedly saner wife Lexy... with Kathy... with Ellen... with Carol... with Shaun... with Tony & Andrea...
Keith and his kids came back down for the Karaoke. Keith couldn't find a song he liked, so he just sang (wearing a baby no less). He truly is one of the coolest and smoothest individuals on the planet.
We've got some great singers in the fandom. Taylor sang the Love Boat theme AND better still "The Summer Winds". Cindy, Zehra & Jen all have amazing voices too. And that YMCA was a classic.
There is no way you're ever going to get me to sing. Never gonna happen. Have to maintain some dignity. But just because I'm a thrill-seeker, here is a brief list of songs I sometimes sing in my car...
Nat King Cole's "When I Grow To Old To Dream"
Joe Jackson's "The Other Me"
Joe Jackson's "Hometown"
Bruce Springsteen's "One Step Up"
Don McLean's "American Pie"
Karine dragged me onto the dance floor. After I made her promise not to go into labor, we did a couple of swing moves which was fun (especially when she eventually let me lead). I definitely think the Gatherings need more swing in general.
Around 2am-ish the downstairs party began to break up. I know I was saying good-bye all night. I was really on the fence about whether or not to stay up all night and take off at six, or try to go to bed and worse try to wake up at five.
Because, I was having too much fun, I opted (mostly by default) for staying up all night.
Karine, Jen, Zehra, Patrick, Tony, Andrea and I went up to the consuite to hang. Had an apple and some chips. Liz, Kelly, Karlyle & Chameleon Girl showed up for a bit, and Liz dropped off a very cool hand-drawn Angela conbadge for me. We watched a surreal live-action Sailor Moon. This is something my kids would go nuts for, so if anyone can copy this stuff to VHS, I'd be interested...
It was all very punchy and silly and cosy and fun. I made one of the most truly tasteless jokes I've EVER made in my life. It was semi-avian in nature.
I love all-nighters. And I loved spending time with these people.
Then finally at about 5:15 it was time to hit the showers. I said goodbye to Karine, Tony & Andrea at the Consuite. To Jen in front of my room.
Of course by this time, it was way past officially Sunday, so I'll finish my last Journal entry tomorrow...
NEXT: The Trip to the Airport: ¿Can Toman top Bishansky?