I got my right side window seat and a pillow to cushion my right elbow in the hopes that the tendonitis and tennis elbow that I'd developed in it wouldn't pain me too much over the 6 hour flight. They were charging $5 for their headsets or to use your own to watch the movie about the making of Citizen Kane, so I just dozed through it, glancing up occasionally to appreciate the sets and costumes. I regretted asking for a vegetarian meal, since the French toast that everyone else was having smelled delicious. They showed a special on Ron Popeil that we could now listen to for free, but he quickly creeped me out by his resemblance to the Joker. I found out at about the three hour mark that I should have gotten up to stretch my legs before then since my left one almost gave out on me when I tried to maneouver out of the seat. My seat mate, on her way to Hong Kong I think, woke up at around this point and asked me where we were. The pilot had announced our approximate route, going up through Canada and then back down to the States around Alberta, a route I was familiar with from flying every year between Toronto and Vancouver. He hadn't given an update in a while, so I looked out the window and told her Manitoba. She seemed impressed. :) I started reading the seat back magazine and decided to actually take it with me for once when I came across an article on barbequing that I just had to show to my carnivore friends. All in all, the flight was just long, not painful, since the kids seated near me didn't scream except on take off and landing.
As we were sitting at the gate waiting to deplane, I spotted my bag going down the conveyer belt. It had split after all and my clothes were starting to spill out. Great. I rushed to the baggage claim area and snagged my case off before it lost anything. The AA rep at the counter was nice enough to tape up my case for me to keep everything in. I wandered off to try and find Tetsab's gate since she was supposed to get in soon after me. I told Tygger (the purple haired Bostonite on my plane) that I was going off to do that and couldn't share a cab to the Crowne with them. I found the gate and that her flight was delayed, so decided not to wait for her nor for the Handbasket van to arrive to pick me up (both good calls as it turned out) and caught the airport express bus just as it was pulling up. Tygger was on it, and Xthlc Matt jumped on just as it was leaving and I flagged him down to sit next to me and we gossiped our way downtown.
I spotted Troy/Jihad at the hotel as some of us attempted to check in despite the hindrances of the hotel staff (the rooms weren't clean, they weren't what we'd ordered, they didn't exist). I ended up getting the first one that Tygger looked at since it matched my specs but not hers. I put Louise on the reservation (again) so that if she snuck in while I was wandering around she'd be able to check in when she arrived. moses/Amy and Stuart had arrived while I was putting my stuff in my room, as I discovered when I went back down to the lobby in the search for food (again, one easy way to meet new people at a Convergence: ask if anyone wants to go get food, the resulting adventure will be a bonding experience :) ). Matt and I started to go and get food with Jenn and Margaret, and moses and Stuart tagged along, as well as Ryan Gill. We found the Pike Market eventually. Margaret had some trouble on the down slopes in her platforms, but we persevered. I had a good halibut chowder at the Three Girls Bakery and cemented my vow to eat as much seafood as I could over the weekend. I loved their sign that warned against molesting the honey bear. Louise snuck in while we were eating, as I found out when I eventually tired of worrying that she hadn't come by me as I sat in the lobby and ventured up to get a sweater and found her napping. Matt called Art's cell phone to check on the progress of the Handbasket since it was supposed to arrive before we did. ETA 20 minutes, so we stuck it out in the lobby for a while longer, keeping an eye on the street for arriving basket cases. :) I spotted Etienne and scurried out into a bone crushing hug. Krista gave me a hug too, Art was looking purposeful (I think he just wanted to get away from the car he'd been strapped into for so long and into a nice stationary hotel room) and Erika (amazingly) still had some bounce in her. Art's car had apparently followed one set of directions and the van and Macross's bike another, so I settled in to wait for the second wave as the first checked in, chatting with Carmen and Doc Pain to pass the time. TSM/Will had arrived and I let him put his luggage in our room as we waited for the rest of his room mates. Jealousy finally pulled in in the van with Sio and Carla, and Mac on his bike, complete with hands free microphone. I think that was everyone insane enough to brave the cross country trek, otherwise, they were in the van too. :) I braved the parking garage to help unload as twin streaks of glitter took off to visit a spa (Krista and Erika sorely missed the comforts of civilisation it seemed). They settled into their three connecting rooms on the 21st floor and the fight for the showers began. I saw Mac, Art, Stuart and Amy and all off to go have Thai food as planned. I toddled off to my nice uncluttered room and took a shower also to wash the grime of travel off. Ryan came by and we talked for a bit then wandered up to the 21st floor where Krista directed us to the hotel bar to find everyone else. DJ Arcanus/Tony, ][/Ron and James had finally made it in from Boston after being routed around the country. I grabbed Jealousy, Carla, Siobhan, Jason from Toronto, Ryan, Spider and Benton and we headed over to the Pike Bar and Grill for supper. Seafood again for me, this time a yummy crab burger. Stuart had brought me back a golden delicious apple from his food run earlier, but I was very appreciative of a full meal by this point. We hiked back up the hills to the hotel, I dropped my stuff in my room and Ryan called on me, and we went back up to 21. We called Spider's room (1659, for some reason the number stayed with me) and found out the party was on for 11/11:30. No-one showed up by 12:30, they were still at the Vogue, so I went up to my room to sleep after a quick peek into the lobby to see if anyone was there. I was introduced to c-ko briefly before succumbing to tiredness.
The time difference bit me on the ass and I woke up at 8am. I took advantage of this by going to the market with Carmen for breakfast and to stock up on food for the room. I picked up croissants, fruit, cheese, bread and lugged it all back up to the hotel. I ate in the room, then brought the grapes down to the lobby with me, sharing them with Carmen as we hung out and kept an eye on new arrivals. Again, the opening and closing of the lobby doors was letting in a bit too much cool air and I popped back upstairs to grab a sweater. I talked a bit with Petro (who rode his motorcycle up from California to attend) and waited with Barb and RJ (or was it TJ?) for Ryan and the rest to show up so they could go to the court house to register for concealed carry permits. Stuart and Amy appeared first and then the gun hounds took off. Jason came back from his recconnoiter of Seattle, having found all the places on the itinerary for future reference. He gave us directions to the Town Hall. I hung around a bit, waiting for Steph and Martin to arrive. They got in around 1pm, I took them up to the room and gave them the spare keys, fed them and then dragged them over to the Hall for the days events. We picked up our goodie bags and cruise tickets. My elbow was killing me at this point, but when I tried to get a sling from first aid, they didn't have one. Etienne, with his wonderful luck regarding me, grabbed that elbow to shift me out of the way on the steps at one point. It hurt and I scurried off to the bathroom to dab at my eyes before I distressed him more than my initial scream of pain did. :) He apologised profusely and I determined to find a sling so it wouldn't happen again, apparently, tucking my hand in the strap of my courier bag wasn't obvious enough. *shrug* Steph and I wandered out to get a snack. Saw Ryan, only four people ended up going shooting. We were all grabbed just after we arrived back at the Hall and trekked out for Thai food, past the Poly Clinic and lots more landmarks that I apparently forgot about when trying to direct Benton back there later. Steph and Martin, ?/Andrew, TSM, Jason, Siobhan, Xthlc, Casper, Spider, Sola and probably a few more were present, but we managed to get served fairly quickly. The food was cheap and good, which was why I was trying to direct Benton there, though I broke my all seafood all weekend vow with the chicken cashew that I ate. On the trek back, a woman that knew some of us tried to stop as she was driving by, but couldn't find parking. We lost Etienne on a quest for cigarettes and then found him again, puffing away contentedly.
We managed to find our way back to the Town Hall for the opening ceremonies. Macross was MCing and Voltaire told some jokes and hinted about Batwing Candlewax in the Great Hall. It felt almost like being back in High School, collected in the gym for an assembly, but much cooler. We went back to the hotel soon after and futzed about for a while. Steph and I went back to the Hall for the Kiva Han coffee. I caught Troy at one point and had a chat and suggested going out for tea the next day so we could talk longer and be uninterrupted. Talked with Ryan a bit, then the belly dancers started and I was captivated for the next 45 minutes. I took pictures but none came out (hopefully insert link here to someone else's pix). After they were done, we tramped back to the hotel to change for the night at the Catwalk (which name I can never see without mentally appending the thread title "Netgoths fucked the" to it).
c-ko led Steph and I there and we stopped in for Mediteranean food upstairs first, watching people go by towards the club entrance. I lapsed again from my seafood agenda, but the babaganoush was wonderful, and the hummus and pita were worth it too. We braved the steep and narrow concrete steps down into the club at around 9:30pm, catching the end of Unto Ashes' set. I tried to listen to Faith and Disease, having enjoyed their music at Danse Macabre II, but I ended up talking to Dr. Frank N. Furter and his friend Eric about their New Orleans hijinks. Tony was in a bad mood due to problems with his orders going astray for clothes and CDs, so I passed my money to Art (since he could actually reach the bar) and got Tony a whisky sour to take the edge off his bad mood. At some point I ended up with a smudge of black lipstick on my nose, and Carla was nice enough to play Mommy and wipe it off for me. I grabbed a Faith and Disease CD (Lamentations, which ended up being a collection of singles, some of which I already had, but ah well) and a t-shirt to make up for my inattention during their set. I hung out with TSM for a while, but found the back room very hot despite the lovely garden of Eden style decorations. I sat at a stool at the bar for a while until I felt bad for blocking the paying customers, though I could see over people's heads fairly well from there. Voltaire raffled off the Hello Kitty vibrator, but I missed most of Trance to the Sun's set since I had to go outside to get some air. It was far far far too hot, crowded and smoky in there. Ben hugged me and then disappeared before I could figure out who he was, thinking it was Mykal for some reason. Jealousy threw me, TSM, Erika and Siobhan into a cab back to the hotel despite my professed desire to walk back. We hung out in their room for a bit, then I wandered down to Tony's where I wedged myself into the space between the bed and the wall in an effort to get some space to myself. Stuart gave me a head rub to calm me down. I went back up to the Handbasket room, but it was still crowded. A drunk woman and her husband were talking loudly. Jealousy and I went out into the hall to try and have a chat, but they came out also to continue their fight. The guy started getting physical with her, and since I was facing them and J had his back to them, I said his name and nodded at them and he jumped in to separate them. When the girl tried to get J off of him, the guy was able to land a punch. J was finally able to get them to leave the area by threatening them with calling security. I tried not to over react as he washed the blood off and then he walked me up to my room at around 3 or 4am.
I did finally track Troy down and we walked to the turnaround for the metro and got on the 71 bus out towards the university. Got off at NE 45th and tried to find the tea house Kuan Yin that Gabriel had recommended. We eventually found out that it was on N 45th instead and too far to walk. We went to another tea house instead, Ginza, and I had a great cup of jasmine - ginko tea with honey. It was a bit pricy but definitely worth it. We had a good talk, chatting through the cloud burst and came back out to sun peeking through. Around 4pm we headed back via bus. He went off to dinner and I went up to the room to get ready for the Underground tour.
Met people in the lobby after changing to my velvet top and leather kilt in preparation for the cruise. We were led to the start of the tour, J caught up with Sio, Carla and myself since we left on time. We were split into two groups, one cruise going and one not, and the guide that we got was cool. Janet kept making morbid jokes for us to laugh at, but she knew her stuff too. The purple tinted sky lights were cool, and I took a picture of some huge abandoned gears rusting in a boarded off corridor. Monica Mitchell took this one of me, wandering the catacombs, looking like a lost child. J caught up with us again in the gift shop, since he was in the second non cruise group. We ended up taking the Fun Shuttle back to the hotel.
I'd heard that boarding for the cruise stopped at 8:30 so Steph and I came back and we hurried to get there. We caught the shuttle again, and I was in a bit of a pissy mood due to having to wait around for people. There were rumours of two boats going out and warnings to stick with your friends so as to not get split up. All came to naught as they finally started boarding us, but we were to stay close to those we wished to have our pictures taken with while boarding. I stuck close to rufus/Jen, .fx and Jason since the crowd was freaking me out. Black clad hordes milled about and eventually resolved into a line going towards the boat. They got me through the crush and onto the boat and to a place to sit across from the door where Voltaire was welcoming people aboard. I had asked Tony to try and find the TV Terror compilation and Mac played the Gilligan's Island theme song as we got under way. Me and Steph, at the rail of the ship, luckily the only picture Monica Mitchell took of me in which I'm blinking. I danced on the top deck for a long time, until it started spitting a lot. James and some other Bostonians joined me, while Tony was spinning and it was far too much like being at Ceremony, but in a good way. I found that dancing was the best way to avoid being sea sick despite a relatively smooth cruise and some mis steps. I took quite a few pictures and I think most of them turned out, following my sister's advice that the landscape will be there forever or almost, but you'll want to remember how your friends looked while you were hanging out with them... A woman with a tricornered hat kept taking pictures while we were dancing outside, the flash was distracting. I *think* it was Spinmistress Batty but I could be wrong, I'd met her in < a href="detroit3.html">Detroit at the detgoth first anniversary party but didn't spend a lot of time talking to her. Martin took a picture of me that I like a lot, I'm staring off to the horizon with a dreamy smile on my face, revelling in being on a boat again. It started raining a bit heavily by the end, so I stayed inside, hanging out with Siobhan and TSM, (Picture by Monica Mitchell) for a while, well, Sio, anyway, Will was napping. :) Also talked with Tony for a bit after I managed to climb back behind the DJ set up. I introduced Mykal to Louise in passing, I had to get back up for some fresh air and couldn't stay to chat. RatBastard was looking a little green around the gills, so I urged him to try dancing for a bit too. Most of us were pretty tired by the time we came back to dock, but it was a wonderful evening all told. I was one of the last ones off the ship, waiting for the crush to clear. I tried to get Ron's attention re the party his room was throwing, but no luck. Got a head scritch from Tony - long nails are a Good Thing[tm]. I walked with Siobhan and fx and rufus and I think Louise, but we ended up going the wrong way and hit the Pike Market and then back. I bounced up the stairs back to street level when they decided to find a cab, but they ended up walking back also. No idea where all that energy came from, maybe the ginko in the tea that afternoon.
I settled in the lobby for a bit, then up to Spider's room, where it was quite crowded and I tucked myself down between the wall and the bed again. Monica Mitchell snapped this picture of Erik and me, as I tried to find a quiet place to sit Benton and Una were nearest me on the bed, talked with them a bit. I dragged Rogue/Erik, Sean/Mist (?) and a cat like woman with me when the punks crashed the party, and we headed up to the Handbasket room. The punks made the mistake of wandering in there. TSM went somewhat ballistic when they started stepping on his stuff, and yelled them out the door. He disappeared and so did J and we worried that they'd gone punk hunting, but it turned out that J was making sure they left and TSM was calming down. In any case, Casper, Steph, Ryan, Erik and myself went down to Spider's room to make sure they hadn't gone back there, but they were gone. Spider was sitting outside her room, also calming down. Jen told me later that hotel security had ejected the punks since they weren't actually paying customers. We went back up to my room, Erik got his camera that he'd left there earlier and we checked the lobby for Will and then back up to the 21st floor where we found out that he was in the Decompression Chamber (the third room, reserved for when people needed to let off some steam in the interests of not killing people). I stayed a while then staggered up to bed.
Back in our room, Louise was struggling with her costume, so I lent her my roll of scotch tape (for once I had planned ahead and brought note paper and tape for leaving notes on doors with) so she could put together her beard. I liked her costume best, I think, since in the spirit of the theme of dressing as your favourite dead person, she went as God. Ryan popped back in in full Highland regalia, and I decked myself out in my Edwardian style blue velvet dress. We went down to the 21st floor but they weren't moving at all and since I was anxious to get to the venue when the doors opened so that I wouldn't miss anything, I skipped supper and headed over there without them. This was the start of my bad mood that night and I'm sure I still owe apologies to a ton of people for snapping at them. :( I'd gotten fed up with waiting for everyone all weekend and this felt like the final straw. I walked over to the Showbox with Ryan and joined the hugely long line up as it started to rain and I got more and more miserable. Ryan went off to get a snack, and when he came back, I decided to go back to the hotel to change into something that wasn't going to get ruined by the rain, since of course I hadn't brought my umbrella with me. They still weren't letting people in yet in any case, despite warnings to be on time. I stomped up to our room, blessedly empty, and decompressed for a bit, telling Scary Lady Sara that the line still wasn't moving as I passed through the lobby at 7:15. I changed into my PVC outfit, throwing a sweater over it for warmth. I took the Fun Shuttle back over to the Showbox since it pulled up outside as I was leaving. I found J and Sio and Carla and co in the line up and stood with them, for some reason feeling like I was on the verge of tears. Carla tried to give me a head scratch but I shied away from it, and Art's blown kiss didn't cheer me up either. We finally got to the door, and I found that I'd misplaced my wallet with my ID in it. J offered to walk back with me to the hotel to get it, but I said that I wasn't good company at that point and headed off by myself (with umbrella this time at least). I know I snubbed Empty as I walked down the line past everyone, my mood at it's blackest. As I got to the corner, I found my wallet deep in my pocket and decided to walk around the block to try and cool down a bit and come up to the door from the other direction. I was able to sneak back in without going through the long line yet again at least.
I spotted Steph and went to sit with Spider and Una. Stuart found me, and reassured Ryan that I'd gotten in again - they were to close to doors between 8 and 10 or something for the surprise so everyone was sort of edgy, especially the underagers who knew they'd be kicked out at 10pm. I danced for a little bit but the songs were mixed short and I couldn't get into the rhythm of them. Just as I was about to go over to the left hand bar to try and find the Handbasket crew, Peter Murphy took the stage. At first I was sure it was an imposter, but then he started talking and his distinctive voice convinced me. I was standing beside Frank (dressed as Oscar Wilde) at that point and he whipped out his cell phone and called Twilight/Amy in NOLA and held up the phone so she could hear the crowd going wild and Peter singing to us. People had been joking all weekend about who Batwing Candlewax would be, guessing Andrew Eldritch or Peter Murphy but we were still totally blown away. The ecstatic smiles and bouncing around of the most serious goths gave firm testament that everyone approved of the surprise guest. My mood turned around for the better at that point too. :) It turned out that Mac had known all along, and Spider managed to get one of the "I give blood" button wearing volunteers drunk and weasel the surprise out of them. She was dressed as Punk for the evening, and Andy Warhol was wandering around also. I thoroughly enjoyed the set and then when it was over tried to find everyone. I ran into Troy and Tony and stood with them for a while. After Peter Murphy, they started herding the under 21s out, getting all the 21+s into the bar area. The crush brought on a panic attack in me, and Art performed his first heroic act of the evening for me and got me out to stand by the doors where there was some air. I ventured back near the stage when Voltaire came on. I loved his set, but when he chucked a box of promo CDs into the crowd and they landed near me, I was again caught in a crush and Art performed his second heroic act for me. I buried my face in his jacket and said get me out of here, and he did, totally making up for the minor freaking out he gave me last year in NOLA when I was in the grip of another panic attack. I expect them now, unfortunately Convergences are getting so big that the crowds freak me out on a regular basis. I went up to the left bar area to find some room again, and talked with Tony for a bit. I eventually spotted Casper and Monica and Jealousy when Attrition came on - they'd gone for food. I relaxed a bit more with familiar faces around me and took off my covering up sweater, which prompted a few pictures to be taken, like this one of me that Monica Mitchell took. Loki gave me a huge pixie stick when Andrew reintroduced us (we'd all been in Spider's room at one point, but tiredness and drunkenness necessitated a re-intro). There were plans made to meet in the HandBasket room at 2am for a final room party, but I think I ended up spreading the word a bit too far. My feet were hurting at this point, so I went to sit with Ron and co and talked with cheating judas/Kelly for a bit. I ran into Steph and we decided to head back to the hotel. Ron said that they'd leave by 2am. We caught the Fun Shuttle, running into Ryan on it. I changed in our room and then went down to Spider's room first, she was stressing so I stayed in the hall for a bit with her and ran an errand with her, up to the 'Basket room to return J's jacket that she'd borrowed. Back down to her room and again hung out in the hall with her and Ryan and Steph, and I went back up to 21 to run another errand for her to try and stop her worrying about one thing at least. Stuart and Amy joined us in the hallway and we headed back up to the HandBasket room - Spider deputised someone to take care of her room and joined us. The room became very crowded after Ron and James and Tony arrived and I cleared the entry hall in a panic, needing to get out into the hall. J cleared out more people from the room, getting rid of people he didn't know. I still hadn't eaten by this point, so Louise and I went down to the Boston room to join in the order for pizza. It was also a bit crowded but I managed to get some food and calm down. Ren showed up and hung out for a bit too. The sky was going white occasionally outside the windows from sheet lightening. As I got back to the room, Steph and Martin's alarm was going off for them to head to the airport, so I gave them a good bye hug and promised to come visit Toronto soon, then fell dead asleep.