When last we spoke I’d been on the roof of the Gilman House. I decided to head out to get some dinner. And went the wrong way, repeatedly. Walked the wrong way, got on the wrong bus, finally gave up and hoofed it to a pub of some variety that had interesting looking cheeseburgers. I’m really starting to like Tillamook cheddar. Burger was good, nothing spectacular but just what I was in the mood for. Headed back to the hotel, missed my stop, got turned around and back. Oh, that physical compass I bought…it’s possessed. Utterly unhelpful. Oh well.
Hung out in my room for a while to decompress. Then got dressed up for the VIP party at the nearby Chinese Gardens. I didn’t get this dressed up for my last job interview. I even wore a tie (regular tie, not a fancy tentacle tie like I’d thought to do…ran out of time). Headed on out, the gardens were just a block away. Got checked in, got my badge for the weekend, then got taken on a tour of the Portland Shanghai tunnels. If you’re interested in crazy history, true crime, or the not so fun life of a sailor, read up on this place. Those who know me, know I dislike closed in places, especially if there’s no air moving. This was only a few degrees off what I’d consider hell, if I had to be stuck there. I pity anyone over my 5′ 7″, as I was ducking under pipes and low arches. And critiquing the ethernet cable runs I saw. (real businesses still use the tunnels for piping and wiring). It’s rumored to be haunted, but I didn’t see or feel anything too weird, besides thinking that someone could use the tunnels to film an awesome adaptation of ‘Pickman’s Model’. Tour lasted about an hour, our tour guide could really spin some good yarns. Need to look up some material on the archeology of the tunnels, my history geek was letting itself be known.
After the tunnel was the reception back at the gardens. One of the organizers recognized me from Facebook, we’d actually met years ago at Texas Frightmare Weekend, she sold me one of my first EoD shirts. But other than that, I knew no one. So I meandered, trying to fight the urge to wallflower…then I saw Ross, the editor of Word Horde, who I’ve been online pals with for years. So I centered my courage and said hello. The miracle of the interwebs, we chatted for a bit about the Fest and how it was my first one, and I got told that I was in for a great time. Which became the theme for the night. They started with some readings of HPL’s poetry, which got me talking to a random gentleman, who used to live in Texas, and I was assured I would have a blast. Then I met one of the original founders of the Fest, who wanted to know how I’d found this fest, and made me feel really welcome. Oh yes, and I’d have a blast. Wanted around some more, found the tea house in the gardens, where 4-5 people were sitting around talking movies. I joined it, no self consciousness, just yay fellow geeks. The other in joke was I kept meeting people who’d lived in Texas. One was from Austin, and another had lived in San Angelo as a kid (poor guy). The one lady was from the Seattle area, no Texas links. All were repeat attenders, and we talked geek, and movies, and Vikings, and Dr Who. Then we started discussing Stuart Gordon’s movies, and well…speak of the director and he shall appear…
Yes gang, Stuart Gordon, of Reanimator, From Beyond and DAGON!!! fame, walked in. And sat down with us and we talked movies and theater stuff. Mostly I just listened, somewhat star struck, and somewhat just wanting to hear his opinions. (I now need to do a rewatch of early Cronenberg stuff, and I’m told that the recent kids movie BFG has some creep moments, may give that a look.) I did tell him about showing From Beyond to some friends, and how I got the ‘Dear gods Vulpine, what the hell was that ?’ from said friends. Got a good laugh on that. Things finally ended about 11, so I said my goodbyes, wandered the gardens thinking I might be lost…found the exit, headed back to the Gilman House and crashed. I will freely admit to walking on air on the way back, I’d not only been social with people I didn’t know, and talked somewhat sanely to one of my favorite directors, but I never really felt anxious. At most I felt unsure of what to do. Major difference.
And with that I’m going to call this a post. Going to head over to where the Theater is for the offical start of the Fest. Time to get my movies on 🙂