C12, 2006

Holy cow, this was my 11th Convergence. *boggle* New Orleans won the bid last year, and managed to put on a kick ass party despite Hurricane Katrina rolling over them in August.

Fri Apr 14

I'd ended up picking airline tickets that had us leaving Boston at 7:30 in the morning, yet again, mostly due to the fact that every time I tried to buy a later flight, the priced jumped a hundred dollars. So, we got up at 5am, stumbling around in the predawn apartment, gulping down breakfast and scurrying around when the taxi pulled up. This time I didn't look outside before 5:30, when we'd requested it, so I didn't stress about them being early. The ride to the airport was fast, but the check in line was pretty long, so it was good that we had some extra time. Then we were directed to the corner of terminal C where Continental left from, and there was a single security line dealing with all the traffic. We got through and to our gate with time to spare, enjoyed the light while waiting in the sunken lounge, and we had an uneventful flight to Newark. Dropping in over NYC, I was able to see the statue of liberty in the water. We went over to our connecting terminal on the elevated train, and then picked a diner in the food court for breakfast. The whole place looked like a mall, it was disturbing. We had a three hour layover there and our flight was delayed, and the gate changed to one downstairs (with no windows, and a claustrophobic feeling to it). View from the original gate. The flight was fine, they gave us microscopic sandwiches as a snack, and I got a few drinks to keep Cris' runny nose supplied in napkins. Flying in over New Orleans, I could see patches of bright blue where plastic was nailed over various roofs. We picked up our bags and grabbed a taxi. The driver had long bronze nails that fit neatly in between her thin dreads to scratch her scalp, and talked to us of driving in Boston versus New Orleans ("I'm in transportation, drivin' is drivin'"). Traffic got a bit heavy approaching the quarter but we got dropped off eventually, and I checked us in to the Monteleone and we went up to our 7th floor room, dropped stuff off, unpacked, washed faces, and then headed up to the roof to the meet and greet. We meet DJ Sailor Gloom in the hallway of our floor, and he directed us up instead of down to the mezannine level - he's very friendly. We got our badges, t-shirts, goodie bags and shuttle tickets (said hi to Dr. Frank N Furter who was selling the latter), and my name was recognised - it went out on all the voting pings, and Frank gave me Hellsop's badge with my name on it to tease Peter with. :,

Troy/Jihad spotted me in line and said hi, haven't seen him in *years*, but I was so tired from waking up at 5am (and being hungry and thirsty) that I couldn't speak coherently. I tried to track him down again over the course of the weekend, but we never reconnected. Time to drop him an email again.

We dumped out our bags to find out what stuff was in it - program, stickers, a go cup, fliers, lanyard for the badge, more fliers - and then spotted Amy (moses) and Axel, and diverted them to dinner with us (well early dinner, it was around 4pm). I gave Jack Dempsey's a quick call to verify they were open (until 8) and we met in the lobby to grab a cab out to the Marigney. The fried platter for two was even bigger than I remembered, we had two for the table and seemed to barely dent them. The mac and cheese was smaller as a side with the meal, but still great. We had the bartender call us a cab and waited outside (nice and warm) for it. Back to the Quarter and to bed for a party nap until 8.

Cris was still feeling bad, so I got ready (was in the shower when Lee called) and went over by myself. Took the shuttle with a silent seat mate to the Howlin' Wolf, and found Lee, and Amy and Axel and hung out with them most of the night. Also spotted Adam and his crew - they'd been into the drinks before coming. The bar didn't have non beer bottles, so I had a cranberry and amaretto that rivaled the ones at Machine for weakness. Cusraque spotted us when we were suffering through Kali Yuga (the singer didn't seem to have any formal training, and the guitarists seemed to have differing opinions on how much or little the band rocked). JV found us at one point and snapped a bright flash picture. Voltaire was wandering around, as well as the boys from Bella Morte. Kooper Kain were okay, the singer was drumming as well, and could actually sing, but the songs ran together after a while. Stromkern were great, amazingly bouncy and energetic, and the guitarist had the widest happiest smile on his face most of the time. The whole crowd was jumping and dancing along. Then an industrial/emb dj took the decks and spun while they set up for Attrition. The singer was very beautiful, like a white swan in a black and white corset and tulle skirt, but she was a soprano and her voice cut right through my head and I had to go.

Amy and I took a walk around the block after KK, and I spotted Lee and talked to her a few times. A lot of people were hanging around outside, even though smoking was allowed inside it wasn't too thick. Good crowd to venue size ratio, it felt just right. The night started off with the opening ceremony of a parade with drummers and belly dancers moving around the room, and then a voodoo wedding on stage.

I took the shuttle bus back to the hotel by myself, said hi to Amy and Petro in the lobby and then went up and crawled into bed around 2:30.

Sat Apr 15

The curtains block out most of the light, we were able to sleep in until 9:30, then headed out to try and get to breakfast in the garden district, but ran across Huey's diner before finding the Magazine St. bus stop, and ate there. Cold air from lots of fans up in the high ceiling (lots of dark wood and mirrors, very classy), but the french toast made with egg bread was good and filling. Then we walked back along the river to Wicked (got a skirt, great discount there), and the market (got my tea). The nightmare b4 xmas exclusives store wasn't open yet. We hoofed it back to the hotel only to find that the time was an hour off (the device we checked wasn't put onto local time) so we had some time to decompress and then browse the vendor's market.

Nothing caught my eye at the market, so I went back upstairs to get changed for the tea. I wore my black sundress and velvet choker and was quite under dressed. I sat with Palaver (Scott?) from Toronto (his room mate does the fetish masq) and Panurge (drop him an email with the contact info for the tailor from the dark circle lj community). Fross and Zara joined us, as well as a woman from Buffalo that I might have sat with at the tea last year. They had 4 carafes of hot tea, a mint iced tea, and two coffees, the blackcurrant tea was great, but ran out twice and was only refilled once - it was the only black tea, they had camomille and lemon spice and something else. I went back up again for finger sandwiches and fruit and then again for dessert (chocolate pie and tiramisu), but the quantity didn't quite match what I was expecting for the price point. Ah well, it was great having a chance to chat with everyone, and bond over living in the Great Lakes area. :) Voltaire took the mic to MC the fashion show and started off with a story about wearing his skull sweater while flying and always being pulled over for random searches. Faerun's Grove had some neat stuff, corsets with obi's incorporated. Kambriel did a tribute presentation for the Pale Court designer who had died last year, which made me tear up a little. We stayed and talked until the staff started taking up table clothes around us, still a bit before 4 though. I did a quick whip round the vendor's room, no sign of Cris, so went back to the room where I found him.

Gave Lee a call but it went straight to voice mail, and Cris and I headed out to the Country Flame right around the corner from the hotel. The Mexican combo plate was a bit sparse with a bean enchilada smothered in chedder, but the mango colada made up for it. The chips and salsa were home made, good and plentiful. Cris went off to procure coffee and I sat in the lobby for a while. Amy joined me for a bit as well, and I think Palaver and Adam also wandered by at different points. Cris was taking a while so I went back up to the room, and he came up in the next elevator - Royale Blend was closed so he'd gone further afield. I took a quick shower and then dressed for the evening - red silk skirt and burgundy fishnet top, black pvc corset. We were able to get on the first shuttle that came by, with Bella Morte sitting behind us and talking about gross stuff. We had a long wait for the fashion show, we finally appropriated a chair and a stool and guarded them throughout the night, sitting way off to the side of the stage. Voltaire sang the Brains song first, and then the evening's designers broke out the swanky stuff. Original Sin had a fun performance, the designer in a suit again. I can't recall which designer did the pvc encased women with veils and red head lights, and the dancer with dancing lights - very impressive to see. We pretty much stayed in one place, I got the silversmith's card from Palaver when I did some walking around. I don't think the corset was too tight, but my back and side were killing me again in it - I think that one doesn't work with my body any more, or else is unforgiving of the skew that the orthotics are giving my hips.

HMB was okay, but descended into background music for me as I was chatting to people. Then a break and Rasputina came on. I stayed sitting, popping up occasionally to take a look at them. They seemed to do more heavy stuff rather than the classic sounding cello tunes that I tend to prefer. Cris and I were both pretty tired out after that, and left after Voltaire did the new gothic name for a guy from the crowd, Eugene (who rolled dice on a chart and ended up with Count Vlad the Fornicator of Clergymen, I think :) ), and Voltaire gave him a Rasputina colouring book and something else for the ordeal. Voltaire was giving out his line of stuffed dolls at one point too. My back had me in wimpering pain as the shuttle hit the potholes, and I drew a hot bath with the hot java bath bomb to try and soak out the tension. It was about 3:30 by the time I crawled into bed and was able to get to sleep.

Sun Apr 16

I was feeling a bit sore still and decided to get in a workout to try and work out some knots. Cris read by the pool as I made my way into the fitness room and used the elliptical (a Startrac that was much more upright than the longer striders that I've used before) and some of the machines (just upper body - no free weights available). The elliptical had a fan built in, which was good, because the humidity seemed to have seeped into the room - the view was great though, out over toward Tchoupitoulas Bridge. I grabbed an apple from the basket in the gym, said hi to Cris, then I went down to the room and took a shower and changed.

Then we set out to try and find someplace to eat. It was Easter Sunday so brunch places were full up, and some listings were just out of date and the restaurants still closed. The concierge wasn't very helpful at all, we ended up walking down to Verti Mart but found that they didn't have breakfast food, so we doubled back to Cafe Amelie, nestled in a courtyard between a hotel and a shop. The wind blew through keeping it a bit cooler (I was wilting from walking around in the sun). There was a wait for the table, so we went to sit by the bar, finding that the bartender, Christian, was the sommelier for the wine tasting at the hotel later today. The other guy behind the bar was a waiter from the west coast (Alaska and Seattle) drafted to help out, and Cris helped him by looking up how to make a mojito on his blackberry. I had a couple of glasses of fresh lemonade that refreshed me a lot, as did sitting under the fans inside. We were seated finally, and had expensive small but good food (the baked egg on tomato bread sounded more like a quiche on the menu, but was one egg on a bagel, basically, when it came - very well garnished, though). The guys from Stromkern were hanging out behind us.

We tried to check out the silver smith shop on Chartres for studs and cufflinks but it was closed. We doubled back to Fun time or something like that and I grabbed a dead duckie and some Nightmare b4 xmas mugs. We went further out and stopped in at Evie for iced tea and coffee, checking out the Gambit for places to eat.

Correction - we went back to the hotel at some point, resting our feet, then went back out to Funtime and Evie after I checked out the vendor's market, trying on a couple of things that didn't quite fit. The luminex fabric that the Faerun's Grove designer used ($400 a yard) was incorporated into a corset for $600 - ouch. If I get to Austin, I should check out their store.

After Evie we walked out to the Marigney to see if the tapas place, Mimi's, was still there. As we passed a park, a battalion of fuzzy caterpillers invaded the sidewalk, freaking me right out. Luckily it was only a short stretch of sidewalk, but on the way back we used the other side of the street. Mimi's was still there, and we put in an order downstairs, sitting in the pub area on high stools at a bar table. The bartender mentioned that there were tables upstairs, so after settling our bill with her, we went up and settled in more comfortably there, and they redirected our food. The bartender there had gone to the Howlin' Wolf the night before, but had to work tonight, and she was playing Xymox the whole time we were there. We ordered a second set of plates after the first two sets each - the chevre croquets were amazing, with local honey drizzled on them. The asparagus spears wrapped in smoked salmon were good, as well as the mushrooms on toast, but the honey made the dishes it was in, the almonds stuffed in dates were great, as well as the honey-less sweet cheese in phillo dough tarts. Very glad we hauled ourselves all that way (2600 Royal or so). We saw a parking space with a spray painted warning on it: "No parking, not even 4 a little while". As we'd walked out, a tree branch had cracked and tilted down to obscure the side walk - we crossed over so as not to walk under it. Lots of locals were wishing us happy easter as we passed them on the side walks. One group was having a dinner party, complete with table and cloths, on the sidewalk outside their house.

We made our way back over to the hotel, with me slowing down as we went through hot and sunny patches. We sat on the bed for a while, I had my feet up waiting for them to stop throbbing. It took us about 50 minutes to walk back from Mimi's, and despite my Bond Girl Boots from Fluevog being really comfy most of the time, the sole isn't as padded as my Doc's are, so the soles of my feet were pounded to ground beef.

Then it was time to get ready, and I did everything but the halter corset until we were ready to walk out the door, avoiding sweating too much. It's more comfortable in it than the pvc one, though it was custom made for me. The shuttle was pretty bare on the way to the venue at just before 9pm, but it was full enough in the Howlin' Wolf that all the tables were claimed. I was able to nab a chair and Cris a table around Bella Morte's set. They went on a bit later than planned, I think they were waiting for the place to fill up more, but they rocked mightily. I lost my personal bet that Andy would have his shirt off by the second song, he lasted till number 4. They did a great cover of a song from Grease, Andy crooning "I'm just a fool in love with you" and staring out soulfully into the audience. This after rocking out like zombies for the rest of the set was a neat switch. It was cool seeing them with a live drummer, though Micah seems to have gone punkier and spiked his hair and postures with his keys on a stick now - I kinda miss him geeking out with the Mac laptop, though. Great set, lots of energy, but they didn't get as much back from the crowd as they should have. Axel was near where I went to dance, and we chatted with him and with Amy at times in the night, as well as my new Toronto person, though not at the same time so I fell down in the intros department. I was quizzing Cris on the dj styles, we saw things from great beatmatching to fade in fade out. The first dj seemed content to just play stuff for himself, no one seemed to want to dance before they had three drinks in them. DJ Sailor Gloom did another set after Voltaire and with the dramatic lighting playing down on him as he bopped to the music evoked an 80s club vibe despite the EBM-industrial set he was playing. Voltaire was getting drunker as his set went on, forgetting the words to a new song at one point, but so charming about it that we were all amused. He sang us his lullaby for his son, about kicking monster butt, and When You're Evil, and The Vampire Club ,and God Thinks. He's apparently written the Brains song for the Grim Adventures of Bill and Mandy, should try checking out the cartoon network for it.

Combichrist wasn't doing anything for us, the drummer looked hot but didn't seem comfortable behind her drum kit, and was playing simple runs anyway, so we headed back to the hotel and I crashed out while Cris did some prepacking.

Mon Apr 17

I woke up before my cell alarm at 10 to a piercing beep. It was bad enough that I wandered out into the hall to find out what it was. It seemed to be coming from the room housekeeping was in but she didn't know what it was. I called the front desk, they said that they'd send security up, and it stopped soon after. I packed up my stuff and took a quick shower, then we headed down to check out, running into Axel and Amy there, but they'd already eaten. Adam appeared as we checked our bags (the concierge lady was being mean about that too), and we hauled him and his friend off to Huey's for breakfast. No pancakes or waffles available so I had the french toast again, though getting it plain this time was good. Had a bit of a chance to catch up with Adam, more than last night over the music, and found a fellow coffee hater in him. We should have joined him for the corpgoth dinner at Arnaud's, he was raving about the meal he had. We settled up and they split off to walk around while we headed back to the hotel to get a cab to the airport.

Our driver was Croatian I think, and played us some folk tunes ("natural music, by real people") on the drive, which was uneventful though I saw a sign saying it was 91F - ooof. No line at checkin, and despite them rescanning my bag due to my pill box, we got through security quickly and to our gate, which was located right past the metal detectors. Unfortunately there was a smoking lounge nearby and it bled smoke into our space a bit. I went and got us a couple of bottles of water, but there was no tea to be had in that section of the terminal. Read a bit and watched a few more goths trickle into our boarding area, including Cusraque.

Our plane was a bit late, but boarding went pretty quickly, though we're at the back and so boarded in the first group. On our way to Newark now, ate the tiny turkey sandwich and a twix bar and hoping that that will last me through the mall in Newark and to home.

In Newark, we sat with Cusraque and talked a bit about the weekend past, while waiting for our delayed flight - we'd been in a holding pattern coming in to land, there was some sort of backup. Cusraque pre-boarded, and we ended up joining him in his row. We chatted for a bit, then he slept and we read. Our luggage came through safe and sound in Boston, and we took a taxi home.


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