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Highlander: The Celebration

Thursday April 09, 1998

Day 1, We Arrive

Leaving for the con today, I can't believe I am finally going to meet Stardust, let alone room with her for the next 4 nights. Her plane leaves Newark one hour late, yet seems to make extrodinary time as it arrives in LA 10 minutes early. I find my Momma Stardust sitting in baggage claim, hand made MacStar boingers in hand patiently waiting for me. I'd know her anywhere and once I held up my MacStars logo sign her face lit up and we knew we had completed the first task of the weekend...just connecting. This was Stardusts first trip to the left coast, and thank goddess we had a gorgeous Southern California day to welcome her. She didn't want to get into my car, just wanted to stand in the rays of the sun and bask. We drive by the building where I work since it is so close to the airport. But we have places to be and people to meet, so we push onward. We had both signed up via email to be volunteers during the convention, we had no clue doing what but were game for anything that came our way.

We are off and on our way to the hotel by 1:00pm, we take the 105 east and again blessedly there is no traffic until we hit the 5 south. Even on the way my pager is buzzing. Having the pager makes me a focus point for trying to coordinate getting this clan all together during the next few days...in retrospect I should have thought better of it and just left the pager behind. We arrive at the hotel about 2:00pm and since I booked into the concierge level we are whisked to the 14th floor for checkin. We are quickly processed, and I am given a phone message (already?). This one from our dear friend Mousie who we were to meet up with in Disneyland once we were settled, but as it was to be all weekend, the plans had dynamically changed. We are standing in the concierge area and my pager again is buzzing away, this time it is a hotel room number, someone already checked in is looking for us. We are right down the hall in 14-320 (great right across from the soda and ice machines) but the room is spacious and there is a work area just perfect for my laptop to be set up.

As we await our baggage I check the phone and see the message waiting light already flashing. (I cannot remember a time during our stay at the Hilton that this light was not lit.) I return pages, phone calls, and per instructions page Mousie who we find out is already working as a volunteer, she is on the loading dock and is guardian of the "stuff". Beltane is already to work too, but in a different area somewhere in the hotel. From talking with ZiggyStar, we find out that volunteer registration is at 3:00pm. Just enough time for Mom to have a quick nap, our luggage to be delivered and we are on our way to the 4th floor to meet up with ZiggyStar. The 4th floor is where Member Services is located, as well as the meeting rooms made available for use during the Con. This is a place that during the next few days we would spend much time. The volunteer registration line is long, but a bright voice gets our attention and ZiggyStar whisks us up to where she was holding our place in line. The line moves quickly. I sign up to help during registration on Friday 12pm to 3pm, and Stardust signs up to work the photo opportunities in The Loft at the same time. I figure registration provides me a better chance of meeting up with all the Rysher Forumlanders and Chatters, after all everyone has to go thru registration at some point right? We also find that our *computer and typing skills* were welcomed with a squeel of delight from Kerry (the person in charge of members services). Stardust and I are signed up for something mysteriously called "Data Entry" on Friday evening after the welcoming ceremonies. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

We finally catch up with Mousie who has come to registration to obtain her weekend pass and registration packet. Stardust and I have made arrangements to wait until Jazz arrives to register for the Con and our Holy Ground seating. Mousie has to get back to her post as guardian of the *stuff* but on her way to the elevator she brings us by to meet Beltane. We are greeted with a bright smile and a hug from Bel, but she is also working until much later in the day so Stardust and I are off to meet up with Starlite and V-man, Starchild and Tarra over at Disneyland, Tony is to meet up with us after work too.

The hotel has a free shuttle to Disneyland, but it seems to take forever to get to the Magic Kingdom due to all the construction going on in the streets around us. I have to pick up the comp passes I was lucky enough to score and Stardust and I are in the Magic Kingdom in time to see the Hercules Parade, which we follow all the way down mainstreet. Stardust is on east coast time still and it's way past her dinner time now so we are looking around for someplace to eat when my pager goes off. The code tells me that the first group of MacStars has arrived and we patiently wait in front of Cinderella's castle. We no sooner meet up with Starlite, V-man, Starchild her 2 year old jumping bean Tarra when my pager starts going off again. I go off in search of a pay phone and the rest of our crew goes off in search of food. The page is from Tony, he will be leaving work soon to meet up with us and we arrange a code for him to page me with so I can meet him with his ticket. I meet back up with the rest of the party and we head off to ToonTown with Tarra where we spend until about 8:00 when its now time for Stardust and I to get back to the hotel to meet up with Jazz.

We leave the group to continue having fun, with the hopes we can meet back up later. On our way to the front gate my pager is buzzing again. It's Tonys code this time, so we pick him up on our way back to the hotel. We go to our room, and Stardust takes a catnap while Tony and I set my laptop up around her. We log into chat and give an update, but we are ALL hungry now so we decide to have dinner and wait for Jazz's arrival. The bistro in the hotel isn't busy, and it affords us a great view of the elevators so we can keep and eye out for Jazz. We are just about done with dinner and we see her sweep through the lobby, so off in hot persuit we go. Its almost 9:00pm and registration is due to close at 10:00pm so off to registration we go again, where we meet up with Jazz and her nephew who are at the very end of the line. We are informed that they have closed off registration with Chris and Jazz as the last in line. When we question why since registration was scheduled to be open for another hour they inform us it will take until 10:00 to register all those in line. *sigh* We then tell Melissa that we were to register with Jazz and question what we should do now since we wanted to have Holy Ground seating together. Upon hearing our plight Melissa walks a few steps away, and smiles at us saying that the end of the line is now *here* which is behind where we are standing. This type of accomodation to the needs of the con attendees was to continue throughout the rest of the weekend. When faced with a new challange, the Con staff were always quick and inventive to resolve any issues. We get through registration quickly, if you had your information handy all went quite smoothly. We were in the Loft, Holy Ground seating 402-405. No idea if these are good or bad seats, but at least we will all be together.

From Left to Right do you know who is who? And just why does she look so suprized?

Give up, left to right
Stardust, Jazz, Barbwire, Tony

Stardust is ready to hit the hay, so Jazz, Tony, Chris and I take the shuttle back to Disneyland where we get in line right away for the Indiana Jones ride, it's one of my favorites (and not just because it is sponsored by AT&T =8> ) We wait a good 30 minutes in this line, even though the park is to close at midnight - but hey it's spring break/easter weekend so we expect this. We have just enough time after our jeep tour with Indy to jump into the Pirates of the Caribean ride which is empty and we walk right in. Sadly once this ride is over it's time for Disneyland to close, so we hop on the shuttle back to the hotel and bid Tony goodnight as he is not staying over. I bring Jazz up to our room to deliver a package that had been sent to me for her. It's about 12:30 and the hotel has calmed down, but there is still movement everywhere in anticipation of the next days of fun. When the elevator doors open on the 14th floor there is a man and a woman standing there waiting. They try to enter, obviously not expecting anyone to be exiting that late. I look up and see a man in a black leather jacket, with short dark hair and glasses. Slender of build and not too imposing I take another look and it strikes me IT'S KRONOS! Valentine Pelka and his minder (all the stars had a minder with them all weekend, someone from the Con staff to see after their needs and to keep tabs on them). I quickly recover from my suprise and say "Hello, I recognize that face" with a slight chuckle to my voice. Val smiles at us, says Oh Hello, and takes a step back so we can exit the lift. I am beaming now. This is our first star sighting of the weekend! And I'll tell you it just kept getting better and better. This encounter also confirmed for me that we were on the floor with the Cast Members as I had hoped. Jazz is nonplussed since she had already had some quality time with Val at the recent HL convention in Manchester England. Stardust is sound asleep and I settle into my bed with great anticipation for the next day!

Click here to hear Valentine's favorite line from CAH


Email: barbwire@2die4.com