Detroit, 1999

I'd decided a while back to attend the detgoth first anniversary party, mostly since it was a Masquerade and Rhea's Obsession was playing. Siobhan offered the use of her car since mine was still not up to spec after the last trip and we agreed to make a night of it. We were going to stay at Art's place, but since he was one of the organisers of the party, he had to be at the Labyrinth by 4pm so we agreed that we'd attempt to be at his place by then, otherwise we'd head straight to the club. I was out at Savage the night before, but left to go home early since I was still feeling the effects of a late night on Thursday. I'd met a guy, Rodney, traveling from NYC to points south and west, and I'd given him some tips as to where to check out, since he was hitting a lot of cities that I had visited recently. He'd mentioned that he was going to be in Detroit on Saturday, so I gave him the detgoth home page info and he said that he'd try to make it.

Sat Sept 25

My alarm woke me up at 10:30am, but I ended up snoozing for a while. I finally managed to drag myself out of bed, showered, threw a few things in my back pack (ie everything but the kitchen sink since I planned for having to sleep on Art's floor) and settled down to play cards on my computer until Siobhan called. She called at 12:30 saying she was on her way, so I gave her some driving time and then loaded myself down with my pack and braved the elevator. I realised as I got down to the street that I'd left my watch in the jacket that I'd worn the night before, but I decided that it was technically a vacation, and I didn't need it. I did end up having enough time to have run back up, but if I'd taken it, she'd have shown up then for sure.

Siobhan pulled up, I threw my pack in the back seat, and arranged my feet around the big box o' tapes [tm] in the passenger foot well. We jumped on the Gardiner, then headed north along the 427 to get up to the 401. At that point we realised that the drive was going to be very boring, straight on till Detroit, so I'll spare you the details.

There was a bit of a slow down at the border, after we navigated the scary main street of Windsor (don't go there) and were approaching the border crossing at the Ambassador bridge. I started coughing immediately after we reached the zenith of the bridge and were going through the smog layer over Detroit. We waited in line for a bit, but the guards weren't being too fascist, so we made it through fairly quickly. She asked us which concert we were going to, and wished us a good time.

I'd trusted Mac's reassurances on the party web page that the construction on I75 was done, which of course landed us in the middle of a traffic jam as we made our way to Art's place in Royal Oak and I75 was reduced to one lane. We got there eventually, but it was after he'd left for the club. We'd stopped for gas at the station near his place, and Siobhan had taken so long to pay the cashier that I was about to gird myself and go in after her, when she came out and said that an ex army guy had liked her tanker boots and wanted to know where she'd gotten them. We escaped finally, and went and knocked on Art's door just in case, then we went over to Beruit Palace for some falafel and shish tawook. After eating, we paged Art, and Siobhan lurked by the phone as I darted out to drain my account of some money for the weekend. No response, so we decided to head back downtown towards the club. To avoid 75, we ended up taking Woodward all the way back. A few places looked familiar from my trip with Dorothy, but we still managed to get turned around when confronted with the maze of one way streets near Labyrinth. We eventually pulled up at the club and found a parking space in front of the doors.

The doors were left open, so we sneaked down and surprised Sue and gathered our hugs from Art, Mac, and Monica. Art gave us the key to one of the rooms they'd rented and escorted us up to the street to get our stuff, almost being run down by the lead singer from the New York Room as we left the club - she was painted in gold body paint and looked very odd at first glimpse. we hauled our stuff up to the room and got changed. We'd tagged along in the service elevator with Rhea's and they'd given us their room number along with an invite to drop by and gossip, so we did that after getting ready. Sue and Siobhan discussed tattoos and piercings while I fought to keep my feather boa from strangling me. I'd pulled together a flapper outfit for the evening, but it was the first time I'd worn the boa I'd picked up in New Orleans. Sue warned us that we were in a very bad neighbourhood of Detroit and urged us to move the car into the locked parking lot belonging to the hotel. We went back up to the room to get the keys, then down to the street and did that, managing to get the right pass card in the lot lock after a bit of confusion. Siobhan grabbed the sleeping bags and I carried the air mattress and we brought them up to the room in case we needed extra sleeping spaces.

By that point, it was close to the time the New York Room was going to start, so we went back down and in through the public entrance, paying our door fee and being marked with a huge 21 in what the door man assured me would be washable marker. The liar. He put mine above my long gloves, on my upper arm, and it's still visible days and many showers later. Monica was there at the door in her PVC French Maid's outfit she'd made, appropriate to her role of caterer for the evening. We went downstairs with her and were almost immediately accosted by Art, intricately wound into a great kilt, and pressed into service as the costume contest judges. Well, okay, he cornered me and asked for a favour without specifying it, and me, being grateful for the free crash space, accepted. Siobhan was not happy with me. :) We kept thinking we'd found our three winners and then someone new with a neat costume would walk in the door. I spotted Rodney while I was using the judging as an excuse to check out all the cute people, and went and said hi to him and Becky. We ended up not having a lot of time to chat since Sio and I were running around inspecting people and they had to leave after the New York Room finished. They were quite good, though the crowd ended up deserting the space in front of the band, one by one. They did manage to score an encore though, so it must have been that they just weren't in the mood to sway in front of the band.

Macross did a very good Cusraque impression the whole evening, flashing by in a blur of kilt and legs, keeping everything under control. Between the bands, they announced the contest results (a Spanish lady and a sheik ended up being a couple, and a woman in a Japanese kimono were our final choices, though the southern belle in the red and black dress, and a couple in drag were our honourable mentions that didn't get announced) and presented Art with his birthday presents. Siobhan and I decided that we would start drinking for real after we gave the winners to Art, and I scored myself a cranberry and Amaretto - the bartender mixed it strong! They didn't drag Siobhan and me up on stage, but did announce our names, and a bit later, Persephone from alt.gothic (who wore her gorgeous wedding dress) found me and we chatted for a while, and she introduced me to her husband and a member of Gossamer, who promised to pass on my greetings to Chris, the lead singer whom I'd met in Cleveland a few years ago. Krista and her boyfriend were very cute as Lydia and Beetlejuice, but the staff was disqualified from the judging. I was introduced to Matt, the awesome sound guy, and he promised to stop to chat more at Hallowmas when he wasn't working. Cossack loomed by and I grabbed him for a hug, and dragged Siobhan over to say hi. We ended up sitting with him and Titania for a while, trying to discourage them from spending a day in Windsor (don't go there). Cossack snapped another picture of me to add to his chronology of my hair lengths. The sheik ended up snapping one of me too, though I didn't tell him that I'd been one of the judges.

Rhea's Obsession took the stage after some DJing and were as awesome as always. I was a bit upset for them that the crowd didn't get up the energy to clap enough for an encore, but it was getting to 3am at that point. The DJs went into a cheesy 80's set, culminating with Thriller. I had a ball watching Monica and friends mimicking zombies on the dance floor. At that point, I was getting very sleepy, and Siobhan and I went back up to the room to rest for a bit before the after party. I took a quick shower and was drying my hair as people started arriving. I apparently looked enough different without the little cap I'd worn all evening, and leggings and a t-shirt that the new comers didn't recognise me. We sat and chatted for a bit, accumulating people slowly. Spin Mistress Batty came in and collapsed on the floor for a bit, but revived when Mac and Art came to move the party to the other room. They grabbed the room key to move their cars into the secure lot, and we sat and ate rice and cake, leaving the wine and the scotch strictly alone on pain of Mac's threats. One of the members of The New York Room and Batty were teasing each other constantly, and they got the rest of us joining in.

The car movers eventually arrived and the labour of opening the wine bottle began. Mac's corkscrew wasn't quite long enough, but Siobhan's saved the day, though the cork did end up being shoved in instead of extracted in the end. Mac disgusted us all by actually eating one of the military surplus ready to eat meals (complete with char marks) in front of us. Cossack had left a box of them with him. *shudder* The box lunches that my dad used to get when he worked an over night shift were much much more apetising.

The smoke started to get a bit thick then, so I decamped and went back to the other room across the hall to sleep, since I'd agreed to drive us back to Toronto the next day. I scrunched myself over to the side of one of the double beds in anticipation of the room filling up and was asleep instantly.

Sun Sept 26

I woke up with the alarm at 11am (checkout was noon), and found out that only Siobhan and myself had crashed in the room, everyone else having just rolled over where they sat last night and sleeping there. We slowly stumbled through getting ready to go and then I went to knock on the other room's door. Art answered and he came over to say good bye to us. He gave Siobhan money for three Hallowmas tickets, making her happy since she now had money for breakfast. I loaded myself down with my backpack and popped into the other room to say bye to Mac, then we headed for the elevators. Siobhan ran back to give them more Hallowmas flyers, but we made it down to the car eventually. I pulled the seat all the way forward and got us on the road, after a few wrong turns due to the triangular intersections mixing me up. We were across the border with no problems and I convinced a sleep deprived and hungry Siobhan that it would be harmless to stop in Windsor for breakfast, so we hit a Tim Hortons up for a bagel, muffin, tea and coffee. I realised that I was quite cranky and not up to dealing with the general public when the people in the store grated on my nerves after 1.2 seconds. Siobhan dozed her way past London and we stopped at the next service centre for a rest stop. She managed to get a Hagen Daz bar for $1.50 out of the vacuum operated vending machine and perked up after that, riding the sugar high. I got us down the 427 and to my place with no incidents. I grabbed my pack out of the back, and forgot, as always, to push the drivers seat back for her. It was about 3:30 that we got back, so I jumped online and started attempting to organise the dinner that I'd promised to have with a friend of mine. He ended up coming over for tea and we sat and talked on my balcony for a couple of hours, after which I face planted on my bed and didn't move for 10 hours or so.

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