The Gathering, 2002
So... this is written a year late. ::grins sheepishly:: Yeah, I'm horrible about things, but between the schedules, notes, and pictures, I can give at least a somewhat decent report.
First off, I was really looking forward to the con for several reasons. First, it was at Williamsburg - I'd actually gone to my first con when I was about 9, and it was at Colonial Williamsburg, so nostalgia and private amusement are always good for entertainment. I had also gotten into a long streak of fun and extensive conversations with a fan named Quindar, who was also headed to the Gathering, and I wanted to actually see if chatting in person was as fun as over IM.
So, that led to a weekend where my parents went off sight-seeing a lot, and I ended up spending a lot of time wandering around chatting with Quindar (who did indeed end up being as fun to talk to in person).
As usual, the family headed out a day early, and I didn't get enough sleep. Took a plane, then switched to a turbo-prop mini thing, which I'm weird enough to enjoy. We got to the rental car in a decent span of time, and then set off to find the hotel. Directions, after all, said it was only about half an hour away.
Several hours and one badly needed stop to eat and re-hydrate at a completely different hotel later, we finally managed to pull into the hotel. Capital Landing was an interesting place indeed.
As we pulled in, I could see a yellow U-Haul, with several recognizable Gargoyles people moving stuff out - BrooklynX, Jubilee, some of the Mafia Clan - so a wave and then signing into the hotel and getting WATER. After that, I poked around the con area, which was pretty much the bottom floor of the hotel. Strange placement, but I think it worked fairly well overall. Everything was nicely centered... just finding it the first time was interesting. Then on to the lobby and watching people arrive. It wasn't too long before the U-Haul people finished up and wandered in and sat down as well. Hudson ended up holding court with anyone adding in after the initial hellos and hugs. This went on for about an hour, with repetitive questions about the nearest Wal-mart (only 15 minutes down the road), the U-haul, and where to find food. Finally, most people headed off in search of one to all of the above. That left me and the one person I didn't know who had been helping unload... and it turned out to be Quindar. We sat and had a bit of a chat - with more interruptions of people trying to find Hudson, Abe, the Wal-Mart, U-haul, or food.
Food seemed to be a good idea, so I kidnapped Quindar, and he, my parents, and BrooklynX ended up eating a later dinner. With everyone tired, dehydrated, and vaguely snarky, it was... an interesting meal. Still, it was good to sit, chat, and find out about life and people.
Got up fairly early and headed to the art room, and then ended up helping Kya Sapphire, Quindar, BrooklynX, and I forget who to set up. Then I scurried back to my room and got my art pieces to put them up. Wandered through the Dealer's Room and the Art room several times, and then met up with Quindar again. We headed off to grab a meal, and then spent I literally don't know how long wandering up and down Capital Landing road chatting about anything and everything. We headed back for Opening Ceremonies, which was entertaining as usual, with added interest in talk of Atlantis and Clan Olympics (much more about that later). Spotted Greg Guler finally, and stopped to say hi. Then kidnapped Quindar again and we had a less snarky dinner. Back in time for Hudson's Rantfest, which was... interesting, especially given the Mystery Science Gargoyles Theater going on the other side of the partition, with laughter enough where Hudson turned around the speakers and asked them to keep it down.
Got up late, wandered through Art and Dealer rooms again, and met Quindar for a meal. We ate at the pizza joint in the hotel, and thus were muchly entertained by the Clan Olympics - rather, their scavenger hunt. Items from around the hotel seemed to include a serving tray and other random bits from the restaurant... and the guy who was in charge of this was having a blast with everyone. Random con person would run up, out of breath, looking frantic, and with a list, then practically scream "can I please please please have this item???"
He'd give them a long look, and then ask something simple - sing the national anthem.
Of course, with a multi-national fandom, this got interesting results. "I'm Dutch! I don't know the American national anthem! I can sing the Dutch national anthem, but I don't know what the American one is!"
"Ok, then, sing me the Dutch anthem!" So poor person looked taken aback, then belted out with lord only knows what - I presume his national anthem, but since I think he was the only person there that was Dutch, the counter guy simply turned to a totally bewildered customer waiting for pizza and commented on how pretty it was. Then he gave people their tray, and they ran out. Another group comes in, and get to sing other nation's anthems (I know they ended up with French [or something from Les Mis via Kythera] and American), or hop around the bar a few times on one leg, or something equally silly and entertaining. Lunch was fun. Everyone in there got lots of entertainment, and the poor people who kept coming back for other items had to work for their stuff. "So, the last guy sang the Dutch national anthem. What've you got for me?"
Mostly, it was just very entertaining.
This went on until the Radio Play. The lost Atlantis (and Gargoyles) episode The Last. First we got it as the standard Radio Play, which was really cool, and then the recording. Strange, but very, very darn cool. The Banquet which followed was.... Erm. Hotdogs, macaroni, and so on, with the Gregs standing on a central area (for raised seating... ended up eating and then going up for a better view). The dining area was separated on various levels, probably so smaller parties could have some privacy. While it was amusing to see the Gregs leaning far over a railing to answer questions, it was also a little disassociated. I can't think of anything much else interesting about it, so on to the Masquerade.
I was a little nervous about that, actually. In the year I'd become a rather obsessive 3x3 Eyes fan, and noting that my shorter hair, when shaggy like it gets at school before I come home for holidays and a haircut, looks vaguely like Yakumo's. So... just for the hell of it, I made up a costume, fought with my bangs, and found a red makeup pencil for the Wu symbol. While I'm not the right shape for the costume, I think it came out fairly well. And since when I got into the room early and random people kept doing double takes and asking me about either 3x3 Eyes or Yakumo, I'm pleased. One of these days I'd like to actually enter the contest, but you lose too much of the fun and entertainment awiting in line outside the door. But, the best moment to it all was right before judging started, and Greg Weisman turned, did a long double take at me, and asked in a rather incredulous voice if it was Yakumo. He seemed rather pleased someone did a 3x3 Eyes deal, so I had warm fuzzies the whole time.
Of course, part of that might have been the thick pants, long sleeved shirt, and arm guard in a crowded room with no air conditioning. ^_^; I pity the people like Lynati, who won best costume with good reason. Amazing, especially the fuzzy garg feet she did. I'll leave the rest of the Masquerade to the pictures - it's too amazing for words!
Soon as things settled into party mode, I slipped out to change - I couldn't take the heat! Back in the room, just for giggles, I didn't fight with the makeup pencil, simply changed. Headed back, got overwhelmed with people, so Quindar grabbed me and we spent some time wandering around.
There is, quite frankly, little quite so surreal as walking around Capital Landing after dark while discussing Gargoyles. It's particularly trippy when you head into a late night gas station for drinks, still with a Wu symbol. I'm surprised we didn't get kicked out before buying stuff.
After walking and talking ourselves out, we headed back and decided to meet up the next day.
A late morning, and directly to the Auction. Mr. Andy ran things, with the help of Cat (in her Thom Adcox Fan Club shirt), so it was VERY entertaining. Catch phrase of the event was "come on, you know you want it, buy it!" (well, that, or "but does it vibrate?") They did a wonderful job selling a lot of amazing stuff. Made the time rush by until Closing ceremonies. Sad, but cool in that Disney sent along free shirts and such, so everyone left with stuff and seemed to have fun. Awards went out, and the New York crew pushed a very interesting sounding con. Yes, I pre-reg'd for it. :)
Yes, grabbed Quindar for another meal and long chat session. ::grins:: I haven't done this much story development in years.
Spent some time in the lobby, before the family had one final meal with Quindar. Back to the lobby, final goodbyes and hugs, and then back home. The convention totally rocked, the hotel seemed to really really like us, and I flat out had a heck of a lot of fun. Hope the journal hasn't been too boring!
* My hotel room was apparently just down the hall from the guests. While this means very little overall, it was hilarious to occasionally hear through the door a knock down the hall, followed by "Greg! It's Greg! Are you there?"
* I also had crazy moments where I'd see Greg Guler down in the con area, say hi, chat a bit, and then head to the room, taking the back elevator. I'd walk up to my room, see Greg coming down the hall in the other direction, and we'd smile and wave, and end up leaving at about the same time. It got to the point where I'd just see the poor man and burst into giggles.
* Random quote amusement: a group of people kept playing Magic: The Gathering in the halls of the con area. It was out of the way, simply allowed for random things to be said in quite moments. You'd walk by bored people at the registration desk, then a small circle seated on the floor, and someone would ask, "So, who wants to play with squirrels?"
* The hotel people REALLY liked us. I can't get over it simply because it was so amusing. There was the guy in the restaurant how had a hall of a good time asking for randomness to give out stuff, the servers during dinner tried to hang around during the Q&A, and the people manning the desk during the Masquerade asked if all the cool costumed people could stop by so they could see. ::grins:: They got quite a kick out of some of that. I think there might even have been pictures taken then, but not sure.
Anyway, there are indeed lots of pictures, to be found here, with fun commentary and all!
For contact, e-mail me at Norcumi@backtick.net
In the meantime, if you want more rantings, you can head back HERE. That's all!