October 3rd, 2005


Guards run...

So back at Leather-Levi Weekend, kproche won a registration for the Golden Gate Guards' annual club run.

I know, you're asking "What's a club run?"

Basically, it's something not entirely unlike a bike rally; a gay motorcycle club (or other type of gay leather club) hauls up to a campground out in the middle of nowhere (and this was out in the middle of nowhere, the last stretch of directions involved 8 miles on an unimproved logging road), invites a bunch of other clubs to come and join them, and runs a 2-day party.

Well, barely 2-day party. Things start at 6:00pm on Friday (and no earlier) and everybody has to be out by noon Sunday.

We weren't originally planning to go, but since K won the registration, and the theme was Stargayte we decided it would be fun. Besides, Warren, the Guards president, told us he expected us to do something for camp decoration. Of course, that was barely 6 weeks ago, so we didn't have a lot of time.

If you've been reading K's journal, you've seen the posts over the last two weeks detailing the building of the chappa'ai. We also ordered SG-X patches and bought new woodland camo BDU blouses so we could have proper uniforms. Tuesday night I was sewing velcro down on the blouses for the patches.

I forgot how much I detest the drive up to Mendocino, particularly on a Friday. It always takes at least 2-3 hours longer than it should to get past Sonoma county; a simple 4 hour drive turns into 6 or 7.

It was significantly past dark when we finally got to the camp, but there was still a bit of dinner available, and we were in time for the "Guest Show."

A grand run tradition is the run shows. In the style of classical Chinese ettiquette instruction:
In the evening, there will be a show, and the show will feature sketches. The sketches are humorous, and they will be bad.

The LOBOC MC did a pretty awful Stagate-themed sketch, but it was followed by one of their members singing a fabulous parody of Peggy Lee's Is that all there is?. mmoose and a friend did a hysterically funny drag-king number to TMBG's If I wasn't shy.

Saturday we got up, built the gate (in the process discovering a major engineering flaw that will be corrected), caught lunch and generally relaxed. While we were building we got to watch the last bike/buddy event; the rider or buddy had to collect a card from a table, ride over to an easel, and stick the card next to the name of the Stargate character it described. Points were given for each successful match.

A bit later we showered up and got into uniform for the campsite tour.

Pilar, Mark and Mario (with a little help from their friends) had put together a huge light-up ring with blue streamers inside, and presented a tacky little sketch at Camp Kinki Tipi. It was actually really funny. They also had a selection of wine for the attendees.

The LOBOCs had built a gate from PVC pipe and cardstock. It was pretty comprehensive (they had a DHD of a sort) but also pretty ugly. They were stuck on this "Planet of Jailhouse Rock" thing so their presentation wasn't terribly coherent.

We didn't know about presentations or drinks, so we were pretty much winging it. We did, though, have the iPod (with the Neil Norman version of the Stargate theme, and Hakim and Carly Hennessy's cover of Walk Like an Egyptian) and the inMotion. I forgot the major rule, so unfortunately the inMotion started breaking up when the batteries ran low.

The Guards' infamous "Prime Rib Dinner" was, well, mediocre at best. The roasts (I couldn't tell if they were prime rib, but they definitely weren't on the bone) were all well-done, and a touch dry. The "chicken alternative," on the other hand, was surprisingly good; chicken breasts braised in mushroom sauce with bread dressing on the top.

Pilar, Mark and Mario won the campsite competition; not a surprise since they had put a lot of thought into their presentation and site, and had kept to theme very well.

I'm going to be a bit pissy about the costume contest, though.

When we got there, we found signup sheets for the costume contest; we didn't even know it was going to be happening. So we signed up.

We had the only Stargate uniforms on site. They weren't perfect, but they looked good. Pilar at least had camo BDUs with Society of Janus patches. The award went to a pair of guys who were in unmodified camo overalls and bush hats. Not bad, but barely in theme.

The club's run show followed awards. See above notes about run entertainment. Great chunks of it were incredibly bad, and it had almost no structure. The tech, at least, was better operated than at last week's SF Ducal show, though. Didn't have to worry about the spotlight operator causing epilepsy.

After the show, we had a few drinks, I had a cigar with Hilary and the Marine, and we crashed. It was a long day.

Sunday morning we packed up and left. Nothing happens on Sunday besides breakfast, packing and leaving.

I don't know if it's worth 10 hours on the road for such a short party. LLW is easier to get to, and is almost 4 days of events. On the other hand, next year's theme is "San Francisco." It's the 20th anniversary of the club and the run, and the centenary of the San Francisco quake and fire. If we can find documentation, I'm thinking 1906 SF Fire Department Uniforms, and perhaps a scale model of Coit Tower...