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Everything posted by printersdevil78

  1. Wow, I had forgotten about a lot of the stuff we did that day, including Marty's Playland! It sucks that I had to leave for my friend's wedding before I could hit the other Jolly Roger with you. But hey, at least the bridesmaids were cute!
  2. ^^^Yep, we did a daytrip. It was about four and a half hours each way for me since I had to meet my friend in Delaware; it would have been a little less had I gone straight up through Maryland. All told, we spent about nine hours at the park/Chocolate World/Sweet Lights. It was a long day, but where I grew up we had to drive at least an hour to get to the grocery store, movies, etc., so long stretches on the road don't bother me as much as they seem to bother others (plus I wasn't driving, so I got to take a nap on the way home). I had thought about suggesting in advance that we spend the night and try the Christmas activities at Dutch Wonderland the next day, but we both had other things going on. ^^lol, I forgot about Frenchie!
  3. It's 2 a.m., and I just got back from Hersheypark, where I joined a friend and her daughter for a fun-filled (if tiring) day at Christmas Candylane. But enough text; go see the pictures! Mr. Twizzlers. Mr. Reese's Cup. Mr. Hershey Bar. Outside the main gate the Hershey's characters got their frames in lights, starting with Mr. Hershey's Kiss. Random illuminated ride sign. Just because I can. The rest of the park also was nicely lit after dark. It also provided a nice view of the Christmas tree atop Kissing Tower. The train gave us a grand circle tour of the Winter Village of lights. The Twilight Express at maximum throttle. Our chariot awaits. This is why the Twilight Express is important. However, we did get to ride the Twilight Express. Not to be confused with that other Express. You know, the Polar one. No Frontier Flyers for me on this trip, unfortunately. "I swear if you don't put down the freakin' camera and stop taking pictures, I'm going to bop you with this thing...." This is why the bronze elk is important. Or, rather, "important." However, I can offer photographic proof of this bronze elk. And face it: I could have told you it was made of chocolate, and you wouldn't have known the difference. I can even show you Santa's mailbox, complete with his house number (which you'll notice, not by coincidence, is 25 to correspond with that particular date in December). But I can't show you Santa. Because no personal cameras were allowed in the same room with Santa. And since we opted not to purchase the $18 photo package, we have no actual photographic proof that Santa was ever at Hersheypark. So I'm going to go ahead and propagate the rumor that he wasn't. That should send admissions tumbling. ...I can show you Santa's elves toiling away at his workshop (I like to think this one is Lebbie)... ...I can show you Mr. Reese's Cup standing beside Santa's Christmas tree... ...I can show you Mr. Hershey Bar standing in front of Santa's house (which, if you look closely, you'll see is actually made of Twizzlers)... I wish I could show you Santa at Hershey park. I really do. I can show you the building where he lives when he's at Hershey... ...because we had people to see! We stopped to watch the train garden for a few moments, but we couldn't stay long... Hi, Natalie! It's called "Christmas" Candylane, but all faiths are welcome. Even the Joeyites. Meanwhile, Santa and his elves trained for their upcoming ECW appearance. Speaking of reindeer, Santa's were at the park training for Christmas Eve. ...and even the reindeer! ...the Traffic Jam... ...the Helicopters... As was the Space Ace... Nonetheless, this carousel was Lauryn-approved. Nothing says "quality carousel" like a horse with a dead fox strapped to its back! See? I wasn't just making that up! You honestly didn't think you were going to read one of my trip reports without seeing a picture of an antique carousel, did you? This one was originally built for Liberty Heights Park (later Carlin's Park) in Baltimore. Since no coasters are operated during Christmas Candylane, Santa was finally able to fulfill his lifelong dream of using the Comet as a landing strip. The lights on the "Kissmas Tree" flashed in sync to popular (and loud) Christmas songs once an hour. FYI, poinsettias and chocolate are both poisonous to dogs. ...but He clearly doesn't sell as many sweatshirts as Santa. Jesus may be the "reason for the season"... "Funny, I don't seem as tall as the Reese's Cup...." Lauryn measured put to the Reese's Cup height. She got measured on the way out, as well, just to make sure she hadn't grown a foot or two while in the park. We were fortunate that the temperature hovered around 50 until the sun went down... then it dropped dramatically! Apparently they were celebrating Christmas or something. From there it was on to the main attraction, Hersheypark. The show itself is a typical 3-D animated film with the usual wind, water, bubble and light effects. Characters from the movie are mounted on the walls in the post-show area. I personally liked Mr. Jolly Rancher in his '80s garb... though the show wasn't introduced until the early 2000s. Photos in the pre-show area depict great moments in Hershey history. Like when Mr. Hershey Bar explored Egypt and didn't melt. Our special guest, Lauryn, models the Really Big 3-D glasses. Because I've done PTRs of the Chocolate Factory Tour before, we'll skip that this time and go straight to the Hershey's Really Big 3-D Show. We didn't do the trolley tour, but if anyone is interested, these are the holiday rates. ...and in! Chocolate World was decorated outside... Decorations welcomed us at the Hersheypark tram stop. (Don't worry; the captions get slightly better from here.) And finally, we discovered this during a stop for gas on the way home. But you'll have to come up with your own joke; I'm going to bed. "...because you didn't buy nearly enough chocolate this time!" The Big Bad Wolf really blows! This little guy was scattered in various locations throughout the display. We took to calling him the "O-Face Christmas Tree." If nothing else on this trip, I learned that Christmas light displays are very difficult to photograph from a moving vehicle with a cheap digital camera. Thus, the rest of this TR will consist of the photos that actually came out... though there were dozens more really cool displays (and some mediocre ones, too) that I wasn't able to capture adequately in pixels. Santa and Rudolph found another coaster to ride, as well. Storm Runner was well represented in the display. This is what the lights looked like through the glasses. They gave out free kaleidoscopic glasses with each paid admission (which, at $20 a pop, they darn well should have). They also tried to sell us kettle corn and Pepsi products as we drove to the admission booth, which I didn't appreciate. On a side note, am I the only one here who thinks I look kind of like that guy from Biff's '50s gang in "Back to the Future" in these glasses? After a not-so-quick dinner at Wendy's (whose entire staff seemed to be trying to figure out when exactly they built an amusement park next door), it was on to Hershey's Sweet Lights, a 600-piece outdoor Christmas light display. Back inside Chocolate World for some end-of-the-day shopping, we also saw Mr. Milk Duds. And Mr. York Peppermint Pattie.
  4. Wow, Mike, great shots from the big Ferris wheel (and of Radio City Music Hall, too)! Guess now everyone knows where the sign in esvadj's avatar is located.
  5. Great job, Robb and Roxanne! I lost 40 pounds between last March and July; it's not easy! It's not too difficult to gain back, either, unfortunately. I'm up 11 pounds since the Behemoth/Flyer trip (OK, so 10 of those pounds were probably because of the Behemoth/Flyer trip...). My plan is to wait until after the holidays, when we're past our busy time at work and past the party season, and I can get back to maintaining a fairly healthy diet. I've got to drop another 40 before the West Coast Trip so I can look buff for all those California girls the Beach Boys are always singing about!
  6. Good stuff, Michael--especially the belly dancers! I have tickets for a Renaissance Christmas Madrigal Feast next Friday (sounds like it's going to be kind of like Medieval Times, only without the horses). This was a nice prelude!
  7. Thanks for the promotion, Big Mike! And for the pictures. Your camera actually makes me look good! A limerick to celebrate: There once was a man named Big Mike, Riding coasters is all that he liked, One day he hit the road, Or so we're all told, For a hundred amusement park hike. And wow, after seeing photos of that show, "Avenue Q" is going to suck by comparison.
  8. I had a nice picture of the Dominator sign at Dorney Park, which I cropped two ways and sent. I also submitted a photo of Thunder Creek Mountain, though it was drained for the season when I took it, so I'm not sure if it's suitable.
  9. While we await the results, some Big Mike Haiku: Big Mike is the man Rides coasters around the globe While we count duckies The Big Mike thread grows Now at two hundred pages Better watch out, Shane! Here's the park map and prices for 2008 No bikini pics A babe is running The kiddie roller coaster Mike's odds? Pretty good. Isn't that a shame? No Hard Rock Park for Big Mike Hanna beat him there The Big Mike Hotel Welcomes guests throughout the year In scenic Montville Big Mike got to be On Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" "So what are you, twelve?" The coasters are closed For 2008, so Mike Heads down to Broadway Big Mike, AKA "TPR's Friendliest Guy" Except to Larry Jason "Unofficial Poet Laureate of the Big Mike Road Show" Rhodes
  10. Robb, is the "first-come, first served" policy from here on out only for Scandi, or does it apply to all the trips? With only six spots left on West Coast, I'm a bit anxious... but at the same time, airfares in August are looking really good right now.
  11. I hope this doesn't give Jay Rasulo any ideas.... It's baaa-aaack!
  12. As I am currently doped up on Nyquil, I feel this would be a good time to offer the "alternate" answers to some popular questions from the trip chat transcript. (NOTE: The following is for entertainment purposes only--mostly mine--and should not be considered legitimate in any way.) Q: The price for the trips seem pretty steep. Is it money well spent? A: Considering the state of Wall Street, this is probably a better investment than 1,000 shares of Disney right now. Q: If I live local to some parks, can I join you guys for just one park during a TPR trip? A: Didn't we already get a restraining order against you last year? Q: If you are banned from the TPR forums, you won't be allowed on this trip right? A: Actually, quite the opposite. Our experience has taught us that people who are excessively annoying online usually have much better social skills in real life. Q: My mom wants to know if we can do half of a trip for half the price. A: Only if you bring your half brother. Q: Can a friend of mine go on a TPR trip even though he is not a member of the forum and I am not going on the trip? A: Wait, you have a friend? In real life? Like not imaginary or online or anything? Dude, please share your secret with the rest of us! Q: Will there be a “non-Disney” option for West Coast like there was for Europe? A: Disney already owns your soul. Michael Eisner won it in a poker game back in '97. Best to just accept this and move on. Q: If Hard Rock Park reopens would that be included on the deep south trip? A: No, but it will be included on the TPR Miracles of the Millennium Tour, which takes place in September. Q: What would be good times to book a flight INTO and OUT of DFW for the Texas trip? Approximately 3:47 a.m. or 2:52 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Q: Will there be porn in the back of the bus? A: No. This year all porn will be moved to the front of the bus. Q: Will there be any photo walk backs on any of the trips? A: Yes. We will be doing a photo walk back of the full-sized basketball court located in the top of the Matterhorn. Q: What happens if I'm 13 years old? A: According to the "What the hell is this board????" sticky thread on the "Ask Alvey" board, you can now officially ask if Elissa will date you.
  13. Oh, you're gonna enjoy revisiting all those classic rides you first rode more than two decades ago! Like the Peoplemover, the Skyway, Country Bear Jamboree.... But seriously, I flew cross-country for an annual Disneyland trip each year from 2002 until this year (when I opted for TPR's Behemoth/Flyer trip instead), and I always stayed at the Park Vue Inn. It's literally RIGHT there across the street from the entrance to the Disneyland Resort, accessible via crosswalk. The rates are decent, the staff has always been beyond friendly, the rooms are nice enough (though a bit small) as long as all you're planning to do is sleep there. And just this year I hear they've added a Coldstone Creamery in the lobby! Plus they have a pool, if that makes a difference (doesn't for me). I don't know about nearby grocery stores, as I've always eaten the Park Vue's free continental breakfast (also very good--and if you don't like that, there's an IHOP in the parking lot or a McDonald's just a few doors down) and then just gotten lunch and dinner in the parks or at Downtown Disney. However, the hotel also has a small gift shop that carries snacks, sodas, etc., as well as snack and soda machines on property (I felt so cool the first time I bought Knott's cookies there--IN California!). Anyway, I've stayed at hotels throughout the country for work, pleasure and volunteer work, and for location, price and friendy staff the Park Vue is firmly planted in my top three. (And now maybe they'll put me on the payroll....)
  14. Yeah, as a wooden coaster enthusiast (thanks to the East Coast Trip), I'm really looking forward to both Giant Dippers, as well as the carousel with the rings at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk--I can compare to the one at Knoebel's! Also looking forward to seeing the Circus Trees at Gilroy, just about everything at Disneyland and DCA (I canceled my annual vacation there this year--which would have been next week--to go on the East Coast Trip), finally getting to visit a Legoland, and making my triumphant return to Knott's and USH for the first time in nearly two decades. Actually, in all honesty... there really isn't anything I'm *not* looking forward to on the West Coast Trip! Crossing days off the calendar to August 5 is the new reason I wake up every morning.
  15. Great stuff, Shawn! Miss the updates on your RTW website, but I can't wait to see your Olympics photos on here!
  16. Great TR! I was actually researching hotels in the Hershey/Lancaster area today for a possible trip to Christmas in Hershey/Dutch Winter Wonderland, and I came up with a lot of "under renovation" reviews for some of the more budget-friendly places, so it's nice to have visuals (even if it is from a hotel closer to Philly). I just hate it when the room card doesn't work and the person staffing the front desk won't believe you until he/she comes and tries it himself/herself. That happened to me in Canada on the Ravine/Flyer Trip. It happened to a friend of mine a few years ago in Nashville on New Year's Eve, as well, only they never were able to fix his, and the hotel was booked solid for the holiday. They finally ended up taking the door off the hinges to let him in! Great souvenirs, too. Someone gave my mom one of those Hershey's chocolate candles for Christmas last year. So you were sent "on a shoot"? Does that make your career "photographer" or "solider of fortune"? Jason "I've Had Airport Pizza For Breakfast Before, Too" Rhodes
  17. Big Mike, as a Broadway enthusiast as well as a coaster enthusiast, what's your rating on "Avenue Q"? The board of directors over which I preside (for another seven weeks) decided to reward some of our most active members with free tickets to this show during our trip to NYC in early December. I was pretty excited--but we're having a hard time convincing a few of our members that this is an early Christmas present and not a late trick-or-treat (without the treat). I'm sure if I told them the show came with the Big Mike Seal of Approval, their attitudes would quickly change. I'm excited to see our brief-but-rewarding Ocean City meet-up is coming up in just three more TRs!
  18. ^^Oh, I sent my deposit in for West Coast within hours of the trip's announcement! If everyone is nice to me on the trip board, I might consider bringing candy sushi and butter cookies again... but I'm not flying cross-country with a Smith Island cake! Delicious though it was, that thing was a pain to transport even just driving a couple hours to Philly. I'm holding out for more Tim Tams and Cadbury chocolates myself....
  19. I always say I never have time to watch TV, but I do tend to stockpile shows on tape (yeah, I still have one of those old-fashioned VCR thingamabobs) and watch them when I do have free time. My current lineup: --Lost --My Name is Earl --The Office --30 Rock --Life on Mars --Monk --Psych --The Simpsons --King of the Hill --Family Guy --American Dad I also have a collection of DVDs on loan from my dad that I watch on my lunch hour (I originally watched most of them first-run or in reruns during college). They include: --Due South --Early Edition --The White Shadow --Adam 12 --The Rockford Files I wish they would release more episodes of "Quincy, M.E." on DVD beyond season one, and I'm still waiting for them to come out with a "James at 15" DVD set, but as long as they keep putting out new seasons of "CHiPs" (hands down the greatest show in the history of television), I guess I can't complain too much. Kudos to Wes for bringing up "Arrested Development," by the way. That show was Jason Bateman Awesome!
  20. Wow, that's really something to think about. Before this comment, I never, ever thought about TPR's primary goal as being informative. I mean, obviously it is VERY informative--it was a web search for unbiased information about an event I was considering attending at Walt Disney World that led me to discover the site almost two years ago. But since that magical, magical day, I've always seen it as strictly an entertainment venue (and a free one at that!). Now, in the Big Mike thread of all places, I find out that all this time I thought I was being entertained, I was actually learning. Well screw that! If I wanted infotainment, I'd watch "Sesame Street"!* Now I'm going to have to be extra careful about which threads I read to make sure I don't contract anything "informative."* Jason "Why Won't You Let My Brain Just Laugh?" Rhodes *Paragraphs marked with this symbol denote sarcasm. Paragraphs not marked with this symbol denote epiphany.
  21. They must have been in line behind me when I tried to get lunch there in May. I left when the line hadn't moved in 20 minutes... and there was only one person in front of me.
  22. Happy Daylight Savings! Now that October's over, I finally have time to share photos of some of the cool things I got to do with my local Jaycees chapter during what Chuck would call the "grisly month of horror." Enjoy! Finally, after all 200-some children went home, the Plaza was cleaned up and the leftover pumpkin pails were placed into storage for another year, the few of us who were still standing wound down at a local pizza place run by the brother of one of our members. That was our treat for the night. Hope you enjoyed the photos! Even Dave likes "Budgie"! Seriously, this thing is right up there with Curious George and the Cat in the Hat. It's going to be a cultural touchstone. I'm insanely jealous! However, the one that drew the most attention was "Budgie." You've never heard of "Budgie" because it's a book Joanne has personally written, illustrated and mocked up. This is the only existing copy. But rest assured, you WILL hear of "Budgie." Because this thing is going to make Joanne a millionaire many times over. Someday we're all going to be riding a "Budgie" attraction at Universal. And I'm not even being facetious. Just remember you heard about it first on TPR! As a kindergarten teacher, Mary had access to a number of fun Halloween books for storytime. Callie also took some turns at storytime. She's a spy, by the way, not a burglar (she had to make that clarification approximately 390 times throughout the evening). Joanne is used to working with kids as a youth minister, so we made her our queen of storytime. Those who have read this TR all the way through will notice that she came as Silvestra! Mary got to personally escort this little guy, her unofficial "nephew." Our past board member Lesley also came out. We had no idea her son led a secret double life as Bob the Builder! We were excited to see our friends Duran and Wendy come out. Most of us hadn't seen Wendy since June, when she gave birth to a bouncing baby Jack-o-lantern. The Plaza is has long been of special interest to the local city council, which has been trying for years to rejuvenate the entire downtown area. I think one of my vice presidents put it best: "Tonight is the most people that have been on the Plaza in the past six years--combined." Or Saul, the Salisbury Jaycees Bear? If you said Brian, you're right! In fact, one of the police officers on hand during the event put his hat on Brian and took a picture because he said in the fat suit, Brian looked like his lieutenant! Who do you think received more attention from the kids: Brian the personal trainer... ...and ring toss (all recycled from our annual Easter egg hunt). ...a ping pong ball toss... Games included a beanbag throw... This is what it was all about. "Yo, check us out! We got mad Skittlez!" Another bobbysoxer and Belle. Another valley girl, the Joker, two princesses, and someone we think was supposed to be Daphne from Scooby Doo (not pictured is Fred, who was also there). My favorite of the college costumes was a replica of Charlie Brown's ghost from "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Also pictured: Three Baltimore Ravens, a costume I didn't understand and a dude who apparently didn't get the "Everyone else is dressing up" memo. Pimp (we let this slide on the "family-friendly" rule on account of no one really knew what he was supposed to be), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and '50s bobbysoxer. Some of their costumes were wild. From left: '60s hippie, local bike rider and '80s valley girl. Our chairperson, Mary, who LOVES having her picture taken (note the sarcasm) gave instructions to the dozens of local college students who came out to help. We encouraged our volunteers to dress in non-scary, family-friendly (our code word for "non-slutty") costumes. I was Fonzie. The event also served as a promotional opportunity for youth-based non- and not-for-profit organizations like the Cub Scouts. At the registration table, kids had to pick up a candy ticket with a listing of the numbered trick-or-treat tables. Volunteers at each table checked off their number on each ticket, ensuring that each kid went through only once so we would have enough candy to go around (which we did--with only seven popcorn balls and one bag of Hershey candy left over). Shake that Laffy Taffy.... This is what 2,160 Tootsie Rolls look like. We received two grants that enabled us to purchase all the candy at no cost to us. And this was our "alternative pail cart" featuring Batman, Darth Vader, Power Rangers, Disney Princesses, Pirates of the Caribbean and Spider-Man. In all we had 271 pails and bags to hand out. Based on the number we had left over, we estimate that we served a little over 200 kids. These were some of the 224 pumpkin pails we had to give away when kids registered. My favorite October event took place on Halloween. Last year the local newspaper reported a sharp decrease in area trick-or-treaters, as some of the neighborhoods around here aren't exactly safe to walk in after dark anymore. Plus parents were worried about drunk drivers, pedophiles, etc. So I came up with an idea of blocking off the mostly abandoned Downtown Plaza and having a safe trick-or-treating event with candy tables, games, prizes, walk-around characters, story time, etc., loosely modeled after Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Anyone who thinks I stole the idea for the logo from the Halloween re-theme of the Disney's California Adventure sign is right on the money. The mummy bows to the greatness that is the Chevy Impala. (It was actually resting on the bumper--it fell over when I pulled away.) ...and eat you! Because that's when the scary tiny clowns with no bones come out... No wonder this guy's dead. The surgeon's like, what, 12? For those who always wondered whatever happened to Elvira. You call this a graveyard? It doesn't even have a see-saw! "I can save *how much* on my car insurance?" Ever wonder what would happen if the Joker and Harley Quinn had a love child? So does this guy. "I ain't got no body...." Die, Strawberry Shortcake, die! It's the haunted toilet! Sit at your own risk. Any haunted house with a bar is our kind of haunted house! Q: What's the difference between this and McDonald's? A: You don't get a fancy plate at McDonald's. Glad we filled up on tombstone cupcakes earlier.... Dave finally met someone! And she appears to be saying "Wassuuuup!!!" Once it was dark enough, we took a hayride to the haunted chicken house. The campers run this one-night event as a volunteer project, and it was just superb--not to mention free to the community. Jay encouraged us to take a backstage tour for suggestions and photos (though we kind of wish he'd told his security people we were coming--it would have saved us a lot of explaining later on). Campground Conga! I had a nightmare that these creepy scarecrows were eating my flesh. And for our Universal fans, here's Homer Simpson... sort of. For our Disney fans on the boards, here's Goofy... sort of. Granted, I was a little biased on this one since I hail from the self-proclaimed "Crab Capital of the World." *Insert your own joke here.* These were the ones I liked. Somehow, Dave and I got roped into being pumpkin judges. Most of the campers entered the pumpkin carving contest. There were two more shelves just like this one. After Viagra! Before Viagra. OMG, Tyler was right! Mayonnaise DOES = death! Jay, on the left, would be our member who owns the campground. Dave, on the right, would be hoping this picture will *finally* be the one that's Match.com-worthy. Apparently Jack Skellington had already come and gone. They had hot cider and tombstone cupcakes for invited guests. The gnats were free! The evening after the disappointing costume giveaway, we held our annual basket bingo. I'll spare you the photos, but suffice it to say, it was the worst in chapter history. We're pretty sure it's a sign of the economy: Normally we raise over $2,000; this year we didn't clear $900 despite having more donations and advertising than last year. Things began looking up again, however, as we visited the "Ghosts on the Nanticoke" event that weekend at Roaring Point Campground, owned by one of our members. Bet you can't guess what this guy's favorite ride at Universal is (if you said "Jaws," you're right)! We had advertised that the free Halloween costume shop would be open for two hours, but we didn't have much business after the first 15 minutes, so the costume chairperson and I busied ourselves by organizing items from the chapter's recent military supply drive. This may not look like much, but it represents a portion of more than 500 items collected--plus cards from local elementary school students--for U.S. troops serving overseas. These Winnie the Pooh and Tigger outfits were more like pajamas than costumes. They're being donated to a local Christmas drive for less fortunate families with children. High School Musical is now officially part of this TR. That should send the ratings soaring. All the costumes were donated to us after last Halloween by a local toy store. I just don't understand why hardly anyone wanted free costumes. This stack of Elmos alone retailed for $50 each! In all, we had over $2,700 in costumes to give away absolutely free--and almost no one came. We had 27 Spider-Man outfits to give away. We ended up giving most of them--along with the other hundred-and-some costumes no one came to pick up--to a local counseling center for mothers with drug abuse problems so they could give their clients costumes for their children. On Halloween, I happened to be in the neighborhood and saw one little boy come out of the clinic wearing one of our pirate costumes. It completely brightened my day. Next up: the Jaycees gave away 135 Halloween costumes to less fortunate children... or at least we tried to. Through the local school system, we sent out invitations to 175 families "in need." Of those, only 18 children showed up to claim free costumes. Angela made us all these lovely parting gifts: candy apples dressed up like... caterpillar heads, we think (they may actually have been ladybugs--we were too polite to ask). And Brian was the only player to correctly guess the murderer, earning him a box of Turtles (because they were on sale at Wal-Mart). Travis won the Best Actor Award: a canned ham. Joanne won the Best Costume Award: a box of Hot Tamales (for being so hot). From left: Old Silvestra, new Silvestra, president of the Dungeons & Dragons club and sci-fi convention organizer sex groupie. Or, as Brian said when he found out I created the characters, "You mean all this s*** came out of your head?" Kristin to me, via e-mail: So you're going to make the pregnant lady play a glamorous actress? Me to Kristin, via e-mail: No, you're playing an actress who was glamorous 40 years ago. She's old and washed up now. Kristin to me, via e-mail: Oh, cool. Thanks! Two e-mails later: Wait, did I actually thank you for calling me old and washed up? Dr. Mike played a sci-fi nerd. Call it typecasting (except he has a girlfriend). Silvestra chats up Dave, who played the head "securi-tay" guard at the civic center where Galaxy Con XII was held. Travis played the convention organizer, while his wife Joanne played an actress who stars as sexy alien Silvestra (the third actress to play the character since the late '60s) in the next "Space Station X-10" movie. I played the franchise's creator, who was the night's murder victim. The traditional Murder Mystery Night group shot. These people had no clue what they were in for--but I did. I write a new Murder Mystery for the chapter each year. However, this dessert pizza was the best part of all! And not just because she abbreviated the organization's name in grapes. Anything with a snickerdoodle crust is OK by me! Angela is an AWESOME cook! Never mind the carrots and celery--check out the buffalo chicken pizza and antipasti salad! (Not pictured: her equally amazing mozzarella and basil (pronounced bay-zil) pizza. At least I'm told it was amazing. By the time I got to eat, the bazil pizza was gone and the plate was still rattling on the counter.) Angela and Brian were our gracious hosts this year. First up was Murder Mystery Night. For those who have never attended one of these (and if you haven't, you should), someone is "murdered," and it's up to the rest of the guests to figure out "who dunnit." Kind of like a living version of the board game Clue. This year we had a sci-fi convention theme. Welcome to Galaxy Con XII!
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