HCC 1999, Part 3


Thank heavens we didn’t get as drunk on Saturday as we did last year. The boat rocked a lot more (you’ve never seen dancing until you’ve seen a room full of people at various levels of intoxication incorporating the two-step lurch to the left because the boat shifted into their dance moves) and the last thing we needed was to be as absolutely blue in the face ripped as we were last year.

Still, it took me three hours longer than I meant for it to, to get out of bed. I had noble intentions of hauling my alcohol-laden self out of bed, showering, and staggering down to the Q&A room so I could get a good seat for pictures.


Instead I more or less didn’t sleep until the alarm went off to tell me to get up, finally managed to get up and shower (the restorative powers of showering are astonishing) and ate an entire box of Saltines during the Q&As. It was a vast improvement over last year, when I was still /drunk/ until about 2pm. Aiii. :) Sarah got up a little before I did and got down to the Q&A and the ENTIRE CRUISE was there before us, but such is life. :) (Christi, on the other hand, got up at noon. *grin* And went to bed at midnight Sunday night, the piker! Sarah and I are made of sterner stuff. :) Or possibly stupider stuff . . . .)

Maureen Russell spent pretty much the last year doing a Best of Highlander book/video series. She just finished it, and Sunday’s Q&A sessions were focused on some of the episodes from BoH, with the actors. Stan (and then Stan and Jim) talked about End of Innocence, Jim talked about Glory Days and Armegeddon, Jim and Peter talked about Indiscretions, and Peter talked about Methuselah’s Gift. And Anthony talked about Duende, but I didn’t see his bit because we were trying to get a PWFC fan club picture taken, and besides I saw it at Sword Spectacular this summer. I really should finish that writeup.

Now that you’ve had the summary:

Stan’s session was kind of frustrating because for a significant part of it, the sound wasn’t working. He took a bunch of questions from the audience, and since people were addressing him, he could hear the questions, but mostly the /rest/ of the audience couldn’t, so there were many times when Stan was answering questions and we had no idea what he was answering.

This is not, mind you, intended to slight Stan at all. He did repeat a number of the questions so we could hear them, and he was really great about the fact that the sound /was/ screwed up. *laugh* Not to mention he’d been at the bar until it closed, too, and so at the outside he could’ve had only about five hours of sleep. :) If he’s like the rest of us he probably didn’t have that much. *grin*

End of Innocence is the first show Richie is on again after Mac tries to kill him in the Dark Quickening episodes. It’s an excellent episode, though Stan sat there and winced through a lot of it; he says he can’t watch himself on screen easily, because he always thinks of how he should have done something, or how he’d do it now, with more maturity and experience.

Because there was no sound, he spent a lot of time just chatting, telling us about what was going on silently on the screen behind him. The blonde guy whom Richie battles in that episode (who looks, I just figured it out, like a young Clancy Brown with hair [an Earth2, not a Kurgan, sort of look]) apparently had worked with Stan only about six months previously, in a movie in which they played half brothers and nemises. I think I’m making up words. Nemisi? Nemisee? Nemisises? Nemisises. That looks bestest. :) So they got a chance to work together again; of course, Stan got to kill the other guy, but hey, you can’t have everything. :)

Somebody asked Stan who his favorite costar had been, and this I remember because his answer is Ron Perlman, and I think Ron Perlman is a god. :) Ron was in The Messanger, and Stan was incredibly excited about working with him. He’d seen him in A Few Good Men on stage in um 91 or so, in the Jack Nicholson role, and it really cemented Stan’s desire to be an actor, because Perlman was /so/ good. (“You thought he was going to come down off the stage and rip your head off,” Stan said.)

So they were on the way to filming the first morning Perlman was on set, and Stan was burbling at him about how he’d really made a significant difference in his life, and Ron said, “Yeah, kid, that’s great. Do you think they’ll still have breakfast when we get there?”

Pretty down to earth guy, Stan said, grinning. Been there, done that, not a lot phases him. :)

Jeez, I’m drawing *such* a blank on Stantalk. I’m going to have to see what Sarah remembers. Meanwhile, I’m gonna go on to Jim and Peter, because the sound was working by then and I remember more of what they said.

Jim came in, actually, very shortly after the sound started working. Maureen introduced him — maybe as the sexiest man in the world, again, which she did at SSW (I think Maureen has a bit of a crush on Jim. Then again, as far as I’m concerned, any even vaguely heterosexual woman in her right mind WOULD . . . ) — and Jim came up on stage, sat down, and said, “Thank you, and goodnight,” which was pretty much his introductory line the whole weekend.

He actually apologized for being so damned out of it, explaining that he’d just come back from Bucharest and he was ten hours time-shifted from the rest of us. Having made his disclaimer, he spent pretty much the next two hours wisecracking and making us laugh. :)

*laugh* They started out with stuff from EoI, so Jim and Stan could both talk about it, and because Stan hadn’t been able to talk much about the show, with the sound off, and all. We got a couple of takes of Richie’s confrontation with MacLeod, with Richie saying, effectively, ‘oh yeah, I get it now’.

It’s really a good performance on Stan’s part. He said that if he could do it again, he’d probably lighten it up a little, let some of his anger out through humour, which would have also been a very effective performance, but it really is very well done. Richie was never my favorite character — I’ve warmed up to him, actually, since meeting Stan — but favorite or not, he did some good performances.

Sarah said she thought that Richie as a character (and Stan as an actor) hadn’t really come into his own until the final two episodes, To Be and Not To Be. I think Stan agreed with that, in a way; he talked about what an incredible joy it was to come back and work with these people one final time — actually, what he said was, “It was great to get to play with Peter, since I hadn’t gotten much of a chance to before,” and the audience just *broke* *up*. Stan looked /totally/ bewildered, and somebody — Maureen, maybe, or someone from the audience, said, “I guess you know where *their* minds are.” Poor Stan. *laugh*

/Anyway/. Stan really adored the chance to get back together with the cast and do some final scenes, and I think Sarah’s right, those eps were probably his best episodes. He said they were great to do because there was no pressure, that the whole thing was just a great reunion and a lot of fun.

See how I started remembering things about Stan as soon as I said I’d talk about Jim? Nice trick, isn’t it?

So in End of Innocence — I think — Mac tells Joe that the next time they see each other, it’ll be the last. Jim mutters, “Asshole,” which causes us to all laugh again. A little while later, we got to see a scene where Richie goes to Joe to ask for money to buy a new sword. Since he’s just been forcibely reminded of his Watcher oath, Joe says no. Dunno if Jim said it, but the obvious audience-commentary line was, “Asshole.” :)

Oh! *laugh* During Richie’s confrontation with Mac, his last line is something to the effect of, “I’ve been practicing. Next time you draw a sword on me, it won’t be so easy.” There was one of the RHPS/prayer meeting moments with that, while half the room echoed the lines along with Richie. Not, perhaps, as effective as the legendary moment at Anaheim with the Jimmy scene, but it reminded me of the story. :)

And then we got to see Richie try to manhandle information out of a bar waitress, and Joe charm it out of her. Maureen says, “Hasn’t anybody ever told you that you catch more bees with honey than vinegar?” and Stan’s like, “It’s not my fault!”

Everybody went “Awwww!” and Joe and Mac making up again — what a bunch of saps we are *grin* — and at that point Stan pretty much had to go. He got a huge round of applause for being so bloody patient with the sound, and Clan Denial got up and went with him for fan club pictures. I wasn’t fast enough to get a better seat, though, sniffle.

Jim — God. All right. The more astute of my readers may have noticed that pretty much any time I mention Jim’s name I fall over swooning. I mean, I went on the cruise last year ‘cuz — well, ‘cuz I thought it’d be fun, but the idea of meeting Peter Wingfield, the Perfect Man, was just too great to pass up. And don’t get me wrong, meeting him /was/ incredibly awesome and yeah, he’s pretty much perfect. (Those eyes. Those hands. That nose. Swoon.) But it was Jim I met in the airport, and consequently was remembered by. So Peter may be Perfect, but Jim holds a special place in my heart. He’s an incredible person and whenever I get to see the man perform, I just . . . *sigh*.

He talked about Glory Days and Armeggedon; lest you be mistaken, GD is a Joe Show, and the supbplot with Duncan is only there so people can run to the bathroom without missing the commercials. (Oh, that’s not fair, it’s an entertaining little plot, but really, the show is about Joe.) It’s the story where his high school sweetheart finds him, still in love with him after thirty years. It is, honest to God, one of the best of the Highlander shows. We’re treated to an aspect of Joe we haven’t really seen much of, his insecurities about having lost his legs, and how it changed him from the high school football hero that he had defined himself as.

Neither Joe Dawson nor Jim Byrnes are men who come across as having a lot of insecurities. Seeing a vulnerable Joe in this show is just mind-blowing. Duncan’s interfering, trying to get him to go out with Betsy, Betsy is throwing herself at him — “Joe’s a little thick,” Jim said — and Joe is backpedaling like mad, looking for a way to protect himself.

Jim paused the episode at one point, while he and Betsy are at dinner, and pointed out a blonde woman in the background, an extra. She, apparently, a few months later, because a great scandal in Vancouver, ‘cuz she was on a (murder, I think) trial, and slept with the defendant. So Jim just had to point out that little bit of local color. *grin*

There are a couple of great moments in the episode, where Duncan is playing the father figure to Joe, drawing on four hundred years of wisdom that doesn’t show in his face. Joe finds out Betsy’s married — “Joe’s a little thick,” Jim said, grinning — and in the end, Joe’s come . . . a distance. I’m not sure how far, but a distance. The episode ends with Joe discovering Mac dug up his old football, hefting it, and then saying, “Hey, Mac. Go long.” And a game of catch is started, and the whole audience broke into applause.

That opened up the floor for talking about what was euphamistically referred to as “the leg thing”. It’s not Jim’s favorite topic. I’d never heard him talk about it before — I missed his Q&A on last year’s cruise — and it was kind of interesting the /way/ he talked about it. His speech was faster and sentences less complete than usual.

He was asked how he felt about doing shows that focused on the fact that he has no legs. He said he thinks it’s an important topic to focus /on/, because it is nether comfortable nor easy to do. Disabilities — I can’t remember if he used that word; I /know/ he didn’t use handicaps — are a kind of taboo subject in our culture, and he thinks if we can talk about physical limitations more easily, it’s better for everyone. That’s part of why he’s willing to do shows like Glory Days; they open up topics that we don’t usually own up to.

He said he thinks everybody has body issues to deal with; not, obviously, that everyone has a prosthesis, but that there are things that we’re all uncomfortable with in our own bodies. He hoped being able to talk about more obvious disabilities like his own could make it easier for people to talk about /whatever/ issues they had with their own bodies.

He also said that he wasn’t quite as thick as Joe, was a little more empathic, and that he’d dealt with the fact that he’d lost his legs in an entirely different way than Joe had. He, Jim said, had never let anything stop him (there is a quote somewhere on the JBAP page from Ray Charles: “I’m not good because I’m blind. I’m good because I’m good.” That pretty much sums Jim Byrnes up, for me.), while the Joe character pretty clearly had mental limitations, if nothing else, on what he could and could not do, and what other people’s perceptions of him would be.

Someone got up and asked him a question which I cannot quite remember, and Jim responded to it as a continuing discussion of the leg thing — I think she asked something along the lines of what kinds of challenges did he face as an actor, but anyway, he answered and the woman was a little taken aback, because, as she said, “Actually, I wasn’t thinking about the leg thing at all.” Strange, sensitive topic.

*laugh* Somebody asked how long it took for Adrian to catch the football, and Jim rolled his eyes. “Oh, you know, it took a whole day of shooting.” Then he shook his head and said, “No, if there’s one thing Adrian is, it’s athletic . . . didn’t take long at all to get that shot.”

They showed some bits from — hm, I don’t remember which show. The one that Joe shoots Horton in, and leaves the Watchers. Jim was making fun of himself for not being able to shoot somebody well enough to kill them, and then they stopped the tape to talk about Peter (?), who played Horton. “You couldn’t meet a nicer guy,” Jim said, and laughed. “You’d never think it, but he’s really this incredibly caring wonderful guy, and he’s playing this monster.”

Maureen started to say something about Peter, and right on cue, Peter Wingfield struggled through the curtain and came out on stage. I don’t know if he’d heard his name, or if he just happened to be wandering out, but it was really funny. :)

They continued to talk about the episode, after Peter gave Jim a hug and sat down and made himself comfortable. Jim stopped whatever episode it was again to tell another story. They’d been in Ireland, and had gone from like Galway up to Belfast, at the end of a very long and tiring day, and they got in to Belfast late at night and were trying to find a pub to get a beer. They got to this place right at ten, and the bartender was calling for last rounds. Jim and the others were trying to convince him to let them stay and have a few more beers, and this episode was playing in the background.

The bartender kept saying, “No, no, I can’t, there’d be trouble with the law,” and then he turned around and Jim was on tv. Said the bartender, “Jaysus, it’s himself!” And they got to stay late and have some beer. *grin*

They must’ve shown the Jim and Stan episode scenes earlier, but I’ve only just remembered them, so I’ll mention them now. Again, I don’t know what episodes they were– I hadn’t even /seen/ them — but it was kind of the first time Jim and Stan really got scenes of their own together, not long after Jim came on the show. They were kind of feeling each other out, both on the show and getting to know each other in real life, but in this particular episode somebody jumps out of nowhere to shoot at Jim. Er, Joe. And even though Richie doesn’t /like/ Joe all that much at this point, he jumps in front of him and gets shot all to hell.

Turns out Stan had the line I liked so much from Raven, first — “I’ll be right back.” Someone asked Jim if Joe knew, at that point, that Richie was an Immortal. Jim said, “Oh, yeah. Otherwise I’d have been like, “Gee, you’re dying. I’d call 911, but I can’t remember the number!””

At any rate, Peter came in, and Maureen turned to the Armegeddon tape. I *still* haven’t seen the whole episode, though I saw quite a bit of it on Sunday. It’s pretty much horribly agonizing. Duncan’s being hunted by this demon, and he’s asking Joe to trust him, and there’s this fairly wonderful scene where Joe says, “You’re asking me to believe in something I can’t see and can’t touch.” Duncan backs way off, and Joe’s like, “Wait a minute. I can’t believe in this demon, MacLeod, but I can believe in you.” Goop. :)

So the demon, in the form of Horton, starts showing up to corrupt Joe. All the demon wants is for Joe to hold to his oath and not interfere. He shows Joe the deaths of some Watchers, and — oh, God, poor Joe. It’s just awful.

But the really mind-blowing scene is the same one that I fell apart over last year. Horton offers Joe his legs back, for nothing more than not interfering, not helping MacLeod. More: he /gives/ Joe his legs back, in a beautiful sfx scene, and then he takes them away again. The scene is astonishing, and painful, and simply incredible. It also got the applause it so richly deserves.

I was watching Jim and Peter as much as I was watching the scene. I know I saw Jim wiping his eyes, and I think I saw Peter doing the same; his eyes, at least, were very bright. When the scene was done, Peter turned to Jim and slipped an arm around his shoulders in a tight one-armed hug, then put his forehead against Jim’s shoulder. It was an incredible reaction, tender and proud and deeply touched.

Then Peter took the microphone and said, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that scene.” I cannot tell you exactly what he said, but his voice was tight and he was overwhelmed and humbled by Jim’s skill and courage in doing that scene. Anyone who’s seen it will understand why, but the opportunity to see Peter as affected as the rest of us have been was just phenomenal.

And Jim, darling, charming, gruff Jim, was more than a little embarrassed at the accolades. He does this thing when he’s embarrassed, a way of moving his jaw and hsaking his head, dismissing the compliments, and as soon as he could he brought the topic around to Peter (Horton), and the difficulty /he’d/ had doing that scene. Being so utterly nasty — no, cruel; Horton-as-the-demon is vicious and cruel — was apparently not easy for Peter to do. Offering Joe something that there was no possible way for Jim to be given — it’d be a hard thing to do.

Someone asked how Joe had dealt with that particular episode, and he said the writers had asked if if they could /do/ it, and had asked him a lot of things that came out in the scene — Horton reminding Joe about what it felt like to dig his toes into the sand, or run — those two were things Joe mentioned specifically. It was interesting to hear and watch Jim talking about that; a certain amount of longing, but not bitterness, and not resignation. Acceptance, I guess. I know he’s lived with it a long time, but it still blows my mind.

Once everybody was done being affected by Armegeddon, they did the Methos & Joe Show, Indiscretions. This is, not surprisingly, probably my favorite episode, since Methos and Joe are my favorite characters. :) It was the last episode filmed, so Peter’s Quicke–er, Methos’, Quickening, was the final scene ever filmed for Highlander. He said it was incredibly surreal, standing ther doing the Quickening while thirty feet away were all these suits drinking champagne and celebrating. :)

The theme of Indiscretions: Keeping it in one’s pants, as Jim said. The point at which Joe reveals to Methos that Amy is his daughter, Jim deadpans, “Methos is a bit dense.”

Peter was big on stopping the film. He stopped it when Methos went and found the iron pipe to clobber the bad guy with, and says, “NOw, is this just a matter of protocol? You have to use an iron pipe? Because I have a sword!” I’d never thought about that!! *laugh*

Moments later he stopped it again, at my absolutely favorite thing, the coolest god-damned that’s ever happened on network television: Methos unchambering the first round from the gun he’s stolen, to psych out the guy he tries to shoot. He said, “F. Braun McAsh taught me that trick, and I suspect F. had occasion to use that in real life at some time.”

Clearly, if I ever get the chance to meet F. again, I’m going to have to tell him he’s the coolest man in the universe. :) (Peter’s perfect, Jim’s sexier than anybody, but for that trick, F. gets coolest overall. *grin*)

There’s a bit in Indiscretions when Methos is going on about what a great pair Methos and Joe make. “Like Scully and Mulder. Sipowitz and Simone. Caligula and Incitatus. Of course, you can’t be Incitatus, because he was a horse . . . ”

Peter said, “Guess which one of those was an ad-lib!” just as Jim said, “Peter and his God-damned classical education . . . !” Last year on the cruise, Gillian said everybody’d been amazed that Peter knew who Caligula’s horse WAS. (Which spawned Peter saying, “Hey, I’m tight with horses!” but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

Peter stopped the film again (that boy shouldn’t be let loose with a pause button!) right after Yet Another Great Methos Line: “Just because I don’t like to fight doesn’t mean that I can’t!”

That, Peter said, is one of the most important defining lines about Methos in the whole series. I don’t think anyone didn’t know that: Methos is incredibly good at what he does. You just don’t live five thousand years in the Game if you’re no good with a blade. But there’s a great difference between being a coward and being relectant to fight. The old man only fights the battles he really has to.

(Which, apparently, includes saving Duncan’s sorry ass, and interfering on the Highlander’s behalf. Methos is _such_ a great character. Man.)

When the Indiscretions thing was over, Jim had to go for fan club pictures, so he got another huge round of applause and cheers and general swooning behavior, and then Maureen and Peter talked about Methuselah’s Gift and Timeless. Well. Peter talked, mostly. Maureen spent most of the day listening, too. :)

Although — having said that — Maureen spent a while explaining that she had about nine hundred dailies from MG, because some of the stuff Peter had done was just so good she couldn’t bear to not show it. A couple of the soundtracks were screwed up, which is a shame, but despite that, it really was good.

The scene is not, perhaps, quite of the caliber of the Jimmy scene. Mostly, I think, that’s because we’d had a lot of episodes to watch Methos and Duncan’s relationship build, whereas this was the first episode we saw Methos and Amanda together in. It was powerful, but there wasn’t the agony of these two beloved characters being torn apart.

The scene is one long fight, and they spent half a day filming it, until Peter and Liz (‘Lizzie’, Peter calls her) were absolutely exhausted. There was a point, he said, at which he and Liz were sitting to the side, and Liz was just about in tears, she was so frustrated and tired, and all he could do was tell her, “We’ll just do this, and they’ll get what we can give them, because it’s the best we can do. We’re just going to do the best we can do.”

Watching the dailies can be incredibly cool. You get to see a range — now, look, I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably end up saying it again. One of the great things about Highlander, as a series, is that I always felt like I was watching actors who were also beautiful, rather than beautiful people whose only legitimate reason for being in front of a camera lens was that they were beautiful. It’s one of the things that I love about Highlander. Watching the dailies gives me a new appreciation all over again for just how good these people are. It’s a chance to see them perform a range of emotions and reactions through a scene that I already known — a chance to see that yes, these people really do act; it’s not that they got it right once and got that once on screen.

Peter said one of the liberating things about doing film is that you have a chance to do things over and over, to see what works and to make a total fool of yourself doing things that don’t, rather than on stage where you perform a certain way to get a certain reaction; there isn’t as much room for exploration. We got to see a beautiful range of performances from him in the fight scene with Liz.

One of my favorites — which he paused to comment on — was one where he gives the speech about how little time mortals have /incredibly/ quickly. It was, in fact, much too fast, and Peter stopped to say that. But, if you already knew the lines — as we did — it was actually an incredibly effective delivery. The sheer rage and frustration personified by the speed at which he spat out the lines worked beautifully. Unfortunately, you really did have to /know/ the lines for it to work; for the first time hearing them, it was much too fast for the impact of what he was saying to settle in.

Other takes: there were two takes where he aborted a significant part of the speech, cutting off early. The first take went without commentary; Methos flung a hand up and swore and stalked away. The second time, Peter paused the tape and said, “I believe very strongly that if a character doesn’t feel that it’s right to say the lines, you as an actor shouldn’t force them.” Momentary pause. “I also believe very strongly that if you can’t remember the lines you shouldn’t say them!”

There was one take where I just wanted to cry on Liz’s behalf. She missed her block, the fight stopped, they did it again, she barely blocked, the fight stopped, and she kind of turned helplessly and said, “My arm’s just gone. Just gone.” I just wanted to cuddle her and make her feel better. *sheepish look*

One of the things that I liked best — Methos roaring, “WHAT!” when Amanda calls after him, when he’s decided not to take her head — must not have been scripted. Out of the nine or twelve takes we watched, he only said, “What!” in maybe three of them. The funny thing is that I was able to recognize, immediately, the one that they put in the show.

The very final take, when Methos and Amanda stagger off together, Peter is overheard to say, “I’m too tired to fight anymore.” I know it was /Peter/ who was tired, but the line seems appropriately poignant from Methos, to me.

*laugh* From the same episode, there were a bunch of takes of Methos and Amanda breaking into the Watcher Headquarters. They’re sneaking about, and all of a sudden from out of nowhere, Adrian (who directed that episode) yells, “MEOW!” We just lost it giggling. :) He kept doing that, yelling, “MEOW!” and “BUZZ!” (for the Immortal warning), and we kept giggling. :)

I can’t even make a stab at explaining what happened in the first take. It was like Peter and Liz were given a random set of words and just flung them at each other without the slightest regard for what was supposed to be happening. Eventually Methos goes off to get the cat, and Peter was like, “*What* was *that*?!”

The whole series of takes was like a comedy of errors. :) The cat was incredibly mellow and wouldn’t run away, so they were trying to terrorize it; Amanda put the night-vision goggles on and Adrian was giving her instructions that she totally failed to follow (Peter said, “What? I’ve got these goggles over my eyes. I can’t hear you!”); at one point Peter forgot to go get the cat . . . it was all extremely silly.

They did Timeless next, and I think it was after the, “The alternative would be unthinkable,” line (which the ENTIRE ROOM swooned at) that Peter said, “I get *all* the good lines. I think this was filmed right after — “Somebody had to do it.”” Cheers and approval. :)

Methos is jabbering nervously, trying to ask Alexa on a date, in that episode; Peter picks up the mike and says, “Five thousand years old and he can’t get a girl.” (But it’s so *cute*!)

God, he does get all the good lines. That’s the episode, too, where he says to Joe, “You are /all/ dying. Six months, twenty years; what does it matter? Now tell me where she lives.” Methos is such a blunt bastard. If I’d had slightly more presence of mind, I’d have asked Peter what it was like for him becoming that person, especially for lines like that. It’s not a /cruel/ line, exactly, but it is inhuman. Or metahuman. But I wonder if he, Peter, becomes distanced from ‘mortals’ when he plays that survivor, that ancient man. I read some interview or something that makes me think that the answer is yes. Methos isn’t an easy person to live with.

I didn’t, however, have the presence of mind to ask any such thing. I didn’t even think of it until just now. :)

By the end of the Petertalk, Christi and Sarah and I were ALL Starving To Death (rather than it being Just Christi in that state) and we skipped Anthony’s Duende talk to find food. Not very bloody successfully, either, as we’d managed to Just Miss Lunch and it was Hours Until Dinner. Cleverly, we ordered room service and thus did not perish.

I think after feeding ourselves we went in search of photos, but that might have been after the concert that night. We — oh, I know what we did. We had a very frustrating time trying to dress ourselves in the dresses we’d bought in Mexico, but for one reason and another, none of us were happy with how we looked (vanity, thy name is ChristiSarahCatie) and so ultimately we all sort of grouchily changed into other clothes, and then went to the closing ceremonies and the Jim Byrnes Band concert.

I suspect you will not be surprised to hear that the concert kicked ass. *grin* There was more slow music (a little more), so I didn’t dance _quite_ as much, but once more Anthony and Mary were great fun to watch, and there was a hysterical moment which had Sarah almost passing out on the dance floor. I forget what song it was, but it was something wherein Jim was doing rattlesnake noises, and Sarah looked up to catch him doing this veeeeeery sexy touch of the tip of his tongue to his upper lip. I swear to God she almost fell over. Clutched at my and swooned and demanded to know if I SAW that. I didn’t; I only saw the incredibly sexy grin that followed it up. Have I mentioned that Jim Byrnes is the sexiest man on earth?

I — and a lot of other people, evidently — noticed that while the thank-yous were being made during the closing ceremony, there was not mention of next year’s cruise. I have this Idea in my head (and this is only my idea, not anybody else’s) that if there’s another Highlander cruise, it’ll be in 2001, after the movie’s been released. There was talk last year of maybe doing an Alaska cruise (obviously, /I/ think that’s a good idea), but trust me, one Really Does Not want to do an Alaska cruise in NOVEMBER. So, y’know, maybe in 2001 the 4th Mostly Annual HL Cruise could be in June or something out of Anchorage. :)

(That’s important, guys. The part where it STARTS in Alaska. It seems very foolish to me to have to fly to Seattle to start a cruise out there and come BACK to Alaska and then go BACK to Seattle and then fly BACK home again. See? Alaska is a *nice* place to start! *big eyes*)

After the concert we went to get dinner, which was good, ‘cuz we were once more pretty much dead of hunger. Sunday’s dinner was an international dinner, and since we’d had French and Italian the last two nights, we figured international meant leftovers. :) I no longer have any idea what it _was_, but it wasn’t leftovers and it was good. I suspect I had steak, ‘cuz I’m like that.

*laugh* Vonda gave Tony his bear and he paraded through the entire dining room with it, looking _incredibly_ smug. I wish I’d gotten a picture.

After dinner, we went up and collected several pictures — actually, I think we did that earlier, too. Earlier, there was an Extremely Attractive Man in a tux puttering with the pictures, and I kind of vaguely thought he was our pirate, but I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to him. We were looking for our pirate photos, in fact, and there was another guy who’d been the pirate, and I proclaimed that *our* pirate was cuter. The guy in the tux said, “Which was your pirate?” and Christi said, “The one in green,” and he said, “Thank you!” So it was in fact him, and wow he was cute. :)

After /that/ we went up to close the bar again. Didn’t quite make it — Christi bailed early, and my enthusiasm drained after about 45 minutes of Latin dance music. Variety is the spice of life, or something, you know? :) So Sarah and I wandered down to another bar, where we saw Jim who was talking with Misha, and I stopped and said hi and got a hug and we talked for a couple of minutes, but he was having a conversation already and I didn’t want to intrude too much. Since it was about 3am by then, it was officially Vonda and Ronda’s birthday, so we had some cheesecake and laughed a lot and admired Jim from a distance, and Much Too Late, we staggered off to bed.



Monday was also not _really_ a cruiseday, although we were in fact on the ship and stuff, which makes it more of a cruiseday than Thursday, I think. Monday was the Final Day, which meant we had to get up Real Early (after being, you guessed it, up WAY TOO LATE on Sunday) and stagger around blearily for a couple hours before getting off the ship.

Which is pretty much what we did. It was a really gorgeous day, much prettier than the cruisedays themselves, really, and we got up much too early but not early enough to find food. (Does anyone else notice this as a common theme?) Well, we found _some_ food, but I think it must’ve fallen under Stuff Catie Didn’t Want To Eat, ‘cuz I don’t remember eating much.

In a last-minute fit of desperation, I went and bought several of the offical cruise pictures — the pirate pictures, and er um something else. Oh, probably the dinner picture. Sarah made horrible faces when presented with her pirate picture. :)

We all piled off the ship in a more or less orderly fashion, without, snif, any further Peter or Jim Sightings, but we did manage to hook up with Vonda and Ronda, which was good ‘cuz it was their birthday, so we got to wish them a happy birthday while standing around waiting for a cab and getting sunburnt. (Okay, I’m probably the only one who got a sunburn in the half an hour or 45 minutes we spent waiting for a cab, but I did indeed get a sunburn. Aaah, the fine pale skin of the Irish. Gotta love it.)

Actually, all five of us — Ronda, Vonda, Christi, Sarah and I — all piled into the _same_ cab and went to the airport together. We were not, of course, convienently at the same terminal, but, not being wholly aware of just how God Damned Big LAX _is_, we all piled out at Vonda and Ronda’s terminal.

Beeeeg mistake.

What was a considerably worse mistake was that Sarah and I were leaving from Terminal Six, and Christi from Terminal One, and we foolishly made poor, poor Christi walk ALL THE WAY down to Terminal Six with us before sending her back to T1 ALL ALONE. We are horrible people! And, well, Christi and I, at least, had no comprehension of just how much of a hike this meant Christi was going to take. *grin*

*LAUGH* Christi has just told me that she took a shortcut across the parking lot in the middle of LAX, thus cutting quite a bit of distance out of her trip. *laugh8!

It took a long damned time to get to our terminal, anyway, and then because it was a bright sunshiney day, it was sweltering in the terminal, and by that time we were pretty much passing out with hunger, and so Sarah and I got pizza and had a cheerful talk about the weekend and about our writing projects.

*laugh* There’s another thing that poor Christi had to put up with all weekend. All of a sudden we would start talking about this or that plot idea, while she sat there in bewilderment and stared at us. There was a lot of time, too, while we were being extremely silly (gasp! no! not that!) and were speaking in thick Russian accents. After a while even Christi started doing _that_. :)

Something we ended up talking a lot about, Sarah and I, in the airport, was the very weird ameboa phenomenon that happens around the actors. Particularly Peter, since it was at the PWFC meeting that we really saw it in action. Not to suggest that the guys are anything but gracious about being swarmed, but don’t you think that would be _incredibly_ strange, to have all those people wanting to be that close to you and touching you and talking to you?

I mean. If you’re one of the talent who goes to a convention, you know that’s part of what’s going to happen. (I am suddenly, for no reason at all, reminded of Jason Carter at SSW, whom I did not see being swarmed, but who was simply incredibly charming and delightful to those of us who hung around to talk to him for a while. Right. Anyway.) So if you can’t handle it, you don’t go to conventions, I would imagine.

And there’s no _doubt_ that in a way it’s got to be an incredible egoboo, a _total_ thrill, that people are that enamored of you. As long as you can handle the idea that for these three days, privacy is pretty much not an option, it’s got to be _amazingly_ flattering.

But I dunno. I get weird about people’s personal space, whether the person in question is Peter Wingfield or Jim Byrnes or John Doe down the street. (Not that John Doe down the street is usually mobbed, but you get the idea.) I want to rub elbows just as much as anybody, but . . . I hate to join the crush of people. Probably a third of the PWFCers at the party hung back, and I sort of figure they must’ve felt the same way. Kind of a weird situation to be in. How to talk with The Star while respecting his (or, hell, my own) personal space.

Once more, we Highlander fans are an amazingly lucky lot, in that. Peter and Jim and Anthony — everybody I’ve met at the cons I’ve been to in the last year — has made a _real_ effort to talk to people, to give everybody a minute of time for their own Moment. With odds of 500 (or even 60) to 1, that’s a really hard thing to do, and I’m just constantly blown away by how good these guys are to us. :) I just wish — *laugh* I was _incredibly_ lucky on the ’98 cruise, meeting Jim alone in the airport and getting to do the dessert with Peter, just 4 or 5 of us talking to him. I wish _everybody_ got that chance at every con, I guess. (While I’m at it, can I have the sun, the moon, and the stars?)

_Anyway_. Sarah and I spent a lot of time discussing that whole peculiar scenario and sort of decided in the end that we’d sure like to be the talent ourselves, just to see what it ws like from that side. *laugh*

Eventually we got on our respective planes and flew away home, quite satisfied with the whole weekend. It was a really great cruise, and if it doesn’t happen again in 2000, I _sure_ hope it happens in 2001. For roughly the thousandth time, unending thanks are due to the Highlander Clan Staff, to Panzer-Davis, and to all the actors who took time out to come on the cruise this year.

Like the man said, let friendship thrive.

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