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50 WEEKS TIL VEGAS 09 Stories of 2008
Posted 15 June 2008 - 01:12 AM
Personally, 2008 has been a RESOUNDING, rewarding - albeit EXHAUSTING - experience.
Registration went well. Goody bags and tags were passed out. Workshops hosted and a showing of Wrath of Gods, with Martin Delaney was viewed.
Martin Delaney is an absolutely CHARMING fellow and was so incredibly GRACIOUS with his time and talents. His lovely girlfriend, Louisa, was a joy to be around -- she simply lights up a room! Martin regaled us with Gerry stories and made a few DIE HARD fans for himself! (I joked that we would be starting a MALS (Martin Addicted Lust Syndrome) for him - but he's got a site which should be going "live" in a few weeks. All those in attendance will be fighting to see who can register first! He was simply GRAND! I can't say enough good things about him. He was extremely generous. After we auctioned off Gerry's PSILY jeans for $1,000! (Deb/KnightPhantom was the lucky winner), Martin allowed us to bid on his jeans -- earning us a whopping $500 for SGK! (Fergie was the winner of Martin's britches! He's promised to wear them one more time for good measure!) LOL
Anyhoo, we just wrapped up. "Post Vegas Blues" are starting to creep in already and I'm not even finished sweating from all the dancing! However, I thought I'd start a thread for us to start posting "stories" and pictures.
Many of you were there in spirit! GET READY FOR VEGAS 09!!
Posted 15 June 2008 - 08:05 AM
I envy you your "post Vegas Blues" just as I envied that you were all there at all but I remember the feeling from last year. Can't wait to hear everyone's stories!!
I'm also already looking forward to Vegas '09 Baby!!
Posted 15 June 2008 - 12:14 PM
HEE HEE....and I'm sitting down with the jeans in my lap, RIGHT NOW!
Posted 15 June 2008 - 03:55 PM
Posted 15 June 2008 - 05:46 PM
Posted 15 June 2008 - 06:14 PM
And, the countdown till 2009 starts, and the hopes for so many of us being there. I am going to try my hardest. I've been disappointed now 2 years in a row. But, all good things are worth waiting and hoping for. I'm just so grateful I will get to see all the pics and hear all the wonderful stories of this years blast.
Good going Gals, you all deserve a round of applause!!! For all of your great works this year!
Love and Hugs, M.
Posted 15 June 2008 - 09:07 PM
As I sat down on the shuttle bus to the hotel, a lovely woman in front of me turned and said something to me. I thought I heard her say something about the Hilton. I immediately recognized her as none other than DonnaKat! We chatted all the way to the hotel. After checking in, we headed to the elevators. Who should pop out of the first door to open? Why it was Celine (gerrynutsnap), Big Mike and Leslie D! After a bit of squeeing and hugging and a few odd looks from passersby, we continued up to our room. I knew the weekend was off to a good start.
Throughout the rest of the day, I continued to connect with my GALS. If I tried to list everyone, I'm afraid I would leave someone out. But there is nothing in the world that compares to running into your GAL friends and picking up right where you've left off or meeting someone for the first time face to face that you've been chatting with online. I enjoyed a wonderful performance of Phantom at the Venetian with Issy, AimeeMarie, Zany,Snap, Katie and Val. While the play is not the movie, the production is just fabulous. I absolutely loved it. We ran into more GALS at the theater including Lady Elissa and her daughter, Texas Gramma and Kittypro. If I'm missing anyone, it's because I'm so darn tired right now. We enjoyed a great dinner after the play.
As Holly said, we had registration on Friday and everyone seemed to be having a fun time at the workshops and just generally chatting. The only glitch seemed to be the lack of a promised internet connection in the ballroom. Sitting down on the floor outside of the casino is a strange place to find a wireless connection but you'll do anything for GALS! I appreciate the patience of everyone that waited for my slow computer to log into PayPal so that they could buy raffle tickets. Y'all were awesome.
Since this is turning into a book, I'll sign off for now and add a bit more later about our wonderful Friday and Saturday events. Suffice it to say, Dayna, Jenni and all those who planned this out ahead of time very obviously worked very hard on this. I'm proud to have been able to help while in Vegas. Y'all are the essence of teamwork and I'm proud just to know you.
Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:58 AM
Congrats on a great job to Dayna, MODS, and ADMINS!!!!
Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:16 AM
Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:38 AM
I must say that I was completely impressed with this weekend. I arrived (ha!) on Friday and upon entering the ballroom I was completely overwhelmed. This was my first convention so I didn't recognize anyone right away. I saw Donna Kat and then Bella Wolfe, and it got better from there. I was blessed to put faces to screennames and enjoyed hugging women who I have only communicated with in cyber space. I also immediately recognized Swannie, and it was wonderful to hug her! I saw Knight Phantom, RandomLanda (girl, you made me laugh so much yesterday), Stacie-In-Nebraska, Aimee, our WONDERFUL Mods and Admins, and so many other GALS (forgive me if I leave you out . . . so tired . . .). There is no better feeling than having someone say, "What's your screenname?" "Phoenixgirl" and have that person scream in your face with delight to see you! I felt loved, wanted and accepted right away!
I attended the scrapbooking workshop which was smoothly run by Lugerry. We had a blast taking pics of Gerry and turning them into beautiful pages of adornment and adoration. OH! There was a characaturist who had his drawing of Gerry on a pad of his paper and many of us were able to get ours done. The dude gave me buck teeth, which I don't have, and large breasts, which I do have, and made me swooning over Gerry, which I do on a daily basis. It was fun!
My small group of Girlies that I was with went upstairs and took a group photo with Annette. Annette is probably one of the funniest and generous women I have ever met. Thank you!!!! She took our pictures and I don't think I've ever taken a better picture in my life . . . a picture is only as good as it's photographer!
Then, during the screening of B&G, the projector the hotel provided wasn't working properly so we were blessed to have Martin Delaney there to regale us with Gerry stories. He was great in an impromptu moment and kept us entertained while a new projector was quickly rounded up.
The Friday night festivities were so much fun! While we sat at the tables talking and laughing, Alice showed pictures of Gerry over and over and over and over on a very LARGE screen. It was fantastic!! We hooted and hollered at our favorites! Dinner was fancy shmancy! Then we watched the four Gerry videos up for the Butler award and again hooted and hollered at the poor man! We had a raffle, where I won a FANTASTIC PSILY bag which included the novel with Gerry on the cover, a letter page from the scene with Gerry's parents, a Galway Girl CD and a YANKEES TICKET!! That was the best surprise in the bag!
There was a beautiful dedication to a GAL that I was not fortunate enough to know, Dee. She was so loved by everyone, and was a beautiful lady. There were many tears and I know so many of you miss her terribly. I wish I had known her. We were then blessed with a song from our very own Songbird, Katie, who gave us chills with her beautiful voice as she sang for Dee.
And just to keep everyone on their toes, we were given a hysterical stand up act by our very own HeISmyGspot!!! I think we all peed our pants, including Martin, at her awesome description of the Gorgo scene. Spotty, I'll never look at a pipe cleaner the same again!
Then we ended Friday night with dancing . . . and boy did we dance! All disco baby! We had so much fun dancing with each other, watching the pictures of Gerry roll on by . . . and then I think many of us went to bed that night as we had a full day of excitement scheduled for the next day.
Saturday morning we met downstairs at 9:00 am to go to the Palms to see Phantom of the Opera. Oh, to see it on the big screen again was so incredible. There were many women who had never seen it on the big screen (this was only my second time) and it is just such a moving experience. Before the movie began we were told that Patrick Wilson (a good friend of our own Annette) had called to thank us for continuing to keep the Phantom alive and for us to keep on keepin' on!
After we all wiped our tears and noses, we piled back into our cars and were BLESSED to see the POTO costumes at the home of a woman (please forgive my leaving her name out of my head) who purchased them to keep them together and safe. What a beautiful and selfless thing for her to do! She (her name is Susan!) has the most gorgeous home I've seen in a very long time, and she had so many mannequins dressed in the costumes, including PONR and Red Death ( ) . . . many of Emmy Rossum's costumes, the Hannibal and Diva costumes . . . and I know I'm forgetting something . . . hmmm . . . what was that now??? Oh right!!! WE GOT TO PUT ON GERRY'S CAPE! Oy vey! First of all it was very, very heavy, and if there was ever any doubt as to his strength, this cape proved how strong he really is. It was placed on our shoulders, and we were able to take pictures with it on. Yeah, I have pics . . . but I can't write and upload pics at the same time . . . I'll post all my pics later today. ANYWAY, THANK YOU SUSAN for allowing us into your gorgeous home and allowing us to take pictures of your collection. Oh, the Masquerade costumes were on mannequins that were on the steps in a line . . . it was just gorgeous!
Then, after finding me a Starbucks on the way back, a couple of us went to the ballroom and helped set up the tables for the gala of the evening. Wow - was it glamorous! For dinner, we walked in on a red carpet into the ballroom. It was decorated in black and silver and was just gorgeous. But even more gorgeous then the decorations were the WOMEN. We ALL looked absolutely stunning! But no more stunning than Big Mike in his kilt! Whoo hoo! And, just to let you know, he earned an extra $20 for the Susan G. Koman foundation by giving GALS a peak at the goods! (Nooo, well, I'm not sure since I was scared to death of him!).
After another fancy shmancy dinner, things got serious. We heard of stories about breast cancer survivors and victims, and everyone was overwhelmed. We have so many tough cookies among us, and also some tough cookies in our lives. This is a disease that needs a cure immediately! We raised a lot of money for the foundation, and a representative from SGK was there to humbly thank us. Then Songbird again sang for us, singing "Hero", and I don't think there was a dry eye in the place! I know I lost it!
The Butler Award was given to Kittypro for her absolutely stunning and spot-on video of Gerry's career. I need to find it and download it for myself!!!!
Then Dayna kept things on the down-low by giving awards and telling stories about some GALS who have overcome so many obstacles in their lives. I was inspired, and again, cried. But a good cry, you know? I hope I'm not mixing things up in my head, but for some reason I think I am . . . someone will correct me, I'm sure.
Anyway, they gave the first Rising Phoenix Award, which made the phoenix in me rise with pride for the beautiful GAL who won (I'm going to hell for forgetting names! ) As someone who is still rising out of her own ashes, it was inspiring to know that it IS possible!!!!! I was blessed to hear about Fergie's story, and quickly found her afterwards to talk to her and ask her to help me continue to allow my phoenix wings to rise (if you thought my name was Phoenixgirl because I'm from there, nope. Never even been there . . . it's because of what it symbolizes!). I KNOW that with the help of all the GALS here I will become the Phoenix that is inside me.
Before I go on . . . let me say that this weekend was more about being a woman and being a member of a wonderful group than it was about Gerry. He is only the mortar of our friendships, but GALS goes so far beyond Gerry.
We had the rest of the raffles, and sadly I didn't win the only thing I wanted . . . the UGGS! But wonderful Poppy did!!!! And I couldn't be happier for her! I cannot believe the jeans went for $1,000, but hey . . . they ARE Gerry's! SIGH.
Wow, this is long . . . I'm sure you're bored. Just know that I was able to walk around the Strip for the first time in 21 years (the last time I was in Vegas I got married - eek), as well as the next day.
I'm sure I've left out a ton, but someone else will fill up the holes. Again, pics will come later!
THANK YOU DAYNA AND JENN!! I have never had a better weekend with a better group of women in my life! We're already planning for next year . . . and I can't say thank you enough. I feel like I haven't done it justice . . . but again, I'm friggin' exhausted! A definite sign of a good time!!!!
Love you all, and to those who were there this time . . . NEXT YEAR IN VEGAS, BABY!!!!
Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:13 AM
A few more details just from my own perspective:
A lovely woman, Andrea, stopped by the registration table late in the afternoon on Friday. She's a local resident in the hotel industry so she was there in the Hilton on business. Turns out she absolutely LOVES Gerry. We both gushed over our mutual Butlerization while seeing Phantom back when it was released. There is nothing like talking to someone that just "gets" it. Those of us at the table made sure she knew about the screening of the movie the next day at the Brendan. I was absolutely pleased as could be when she showed up there the next morning. I loved talking to her about getting to see the movie again on the big screen. She thoroughly enjoyed the movie, of course, and loved seeing it with a room full of Gerry fans. So a big to Andrea if you happen to peek your head into GALS!
As Lisa said, Friday night was just wonderful. Katie - you are appropriately named Songbird. You made me cry, girl, with your beautiful song. A true talent. The tribute to Dee had me in tears seeing her beautiful smile up on the screen. Realizing that Vegas was the last chance many of us ever got to see her made me realize how precious our time there really is. You are missed, Dee. Holly - you are an absolute treasure when it comes to your way with comedy. You once again had me laughing to the point of tears. You describe the feelings we share about Gerry as only you can. I wish I could have seen Martin's face during your performance. I hope he was laughing as much as we all were. Awesome job!
Libby, touchmetrustme, was the winner of the Rising Phoenix award. And no one deserved it more. I can't begin to tell you, Libby, how thrilled I was when I found out that you were able to make it to Vegas. You gave us all the chance to give you those hugs that we've only been able to give via the internet. Thank you for being there with us. I hope it helped to lift your spirits, knowing and feeling how truly loved you are.
All the videos were great. I'm truly blown away by the talented group that showed their videos that night. I hope we are able to post them all to the site soon. They were fabulous. Each and every one of you should be so proud!
As you've already heard, Martin Delaney was absolutely delightful. We were so lucky to have him there as well as his lovely girlfriend. I hoped they enjoyed themselves as much as we enjoyed having them there. I loved his Gerry-stories about their time in Iceland during the filming of Beowulf. It sounds like it wasn't all hard work while they were there.
We were all veru excited when Dayna told us that Gerry had called her and left messages on her cell phone. It was such an unexpected treat to realize that he had taken the time to do that. We all know he doesn't have to, so the fact that he did made it even more special. I'm looking forward to hearing it again once we are able to post it to the site. I'm sure we'll have to twist Holly and Katie's arms to get them to undergo the arduous task of transcribing yet another of Gerry's conversations. *sigh* Oh the pain. hehehe
There's lots more but I think I'll end this for now. There are so many things going on in my head right now as I think back on the past few days. I'll try to add more as my head clears a bit. I look forward to reading more posts as well so I hope as folks stumble in, they come in here to share.
Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:17 AM
Libby won the Rising Phoenix award this year. Mel was our slide show expert. It was fun working with her this year doing all the technical stuff, including dj, which I now confess, was my first gig. Mel is an excellent partner and kept me in check when I thought people wouldn't like certain music. Thanks for everyone who sent in requests. We tried to play a variety of stuff for everyone.
I don't have pictures, but I have video...hehehehehe...
HOPING...with my new work schedule, I can get the video out soon. I think a lot of the mods and admins are still in Vegas.
Lisa covered everything pretty much. It was a full weekend, to say the least. I am on a high right now, which is really needed, because I had to come back to a job that I am hopefully leaving in the near future.
I'd like to say that it was a huge success. Thanks everyone for making it a successful weekend, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I can't wait for next year!
Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:52 AM
Ditto to everything Alice said about working together... it was great sharing the tech table with her and collaborating with the playlist for dinner and dancing! And even though I had audio issues running tech for Jay White (which Martin made light of later... Lord bless him) it was a great time!!
More to say, but I'm sleepy still, lol...