In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Charliecon: The wrapup

Welp, since I'm leaving later today for Cherry Hill, I figured I should get this done before another weekend blows on by. Besides, I can keep watching deadwood episodes at another time and I'm not even sure if I like the show. At best it's just treading water at keeping my interest and I'm hoping to find out exactly what so endears this show to others.

Anyway, where I left off was the start of the second and last day of charliecon. It began, as all good days begin, with a hearty breakfast.

Here were the provayers of breakfast on that fine morning. It was pretty spiffy and they got to cook it right in the little kitchen complex in the building. There was a little bit of just about everything on the menu from french toast and pancakes to sausage and eggs.

After breakfast, I spent a good chunk of my time just loafing around and wandering here and there. It seems that someone had brought a bunch of books she was looking to get rid of and I went to flip through the pile. Most were romance novels and a couple were truly hilarious.

The title of this one is 'A Fabulous Husband', a romance novel for women who were 'Forty and Fabulous'. Heh, I figure at that age, finding a fabulous husband, or any husband, is pretty unlikely in the whole wish fulfillment area. Probaly on par with finding Fabio earlier on. I believe this is Patty(?) who's posing with the book and we took turns reading excerpts to general merriment and snickering.

The writing, as you might imagine, was just atrotious. It didn't help any that the main character's name was Barbara Jean Fairmont, which immediately became BJ Fairmount.

A bit after that, Chelle was trying to organize a lunch trip out to TGIF. There was the generic confusion about who exactly was going and in the end I decided to trek along because there was nothing else interesting going on. At the resturant, I debated a bit before deciding to order one of their slushie fruit drinks.

When the receipt came, I found that the waitress had rang up the drink with '** DON'T COOK **' on it, which I found pretty amusing. I can only imagine that either someone up in management thinks that the wait/kitchen staff are absolute idiots or, even more disturbing, that they are absolute idiots and require the reminder.

On a sidenote, the nachos there were weird too. They were individually done like you were serving hor douvers or something instead of just having a mess of chips onto which you toss ingredients.

At the lunch, I also found out that a couple people at the event worked for a fertility clinic. I, of course, asked for funny/interesting stories but sadly there didn't seem to really be any. On the plus side though, they did have sperm keychains which I immediately took a picture of. I thought it would have made a great gag gift for some friends, but I figure grinning sperm keychains are probaly not the easiest things to find. God knows ebay hasn't helped.

0 items found for 'sperm keychain'

Disturbingly, I did however find this for sale:

After getting back, chelledg showed me the absolutely kickass box that her brother-in-law designed to fit their Roborally set. Holy crap was it nice. Of course, it also weighed a ton but it looked like a set fit for a king. It would have been spiffy to have tried a game, but I got wrapped up in something else.

Yep. Twilight Imperium. That's what I spent the next god only knows how many hours doing. The game was actually pretty spiffy though there were some problems here or there. I really don't like the Imperial function, and Todd and I debated that point off and on for quite a while. His take on it is that it's simply a 'clock' of sorts so the game didn't spiral into something Talismanesque. My rebuttle is that there are plenty of ways to do a clock without making a choice into no choice at all. If one selection is so far overpowered that you _must_ take it whenever avaliable in order to win, then why the heck have it be a choice at all.

This was close to how the game ended when I won. You can sorta compare with the first picture and see that my bookish nerd-aliens managed to kick some pretty major ass. This was partly due to the fact that Todd managed to screw himself accidently with the initial map placement. We were playing a 3-player game with Chris and there was also some conflict there. At one point, since I really didn't want to start bloody war, I told everything that as long as no one tried to move into a couple of disputed systems, we would have peace and prosperity. Either he didn't believe me or I don't know what happened but he moved his ships in, more or less daring me to fire, and well, I unloaded. Things got a bit tense after that but no blood spilled (non-metaphorical), no foul.

That was pretty much the end, by the time that Twilight Imperium ended I was feeling quite poorly and spent a chunk of the next hour or two lying down on the floor. There were a couple last games of Fluxxx and some sort of word guessing game and then it was time to leave.

I snapped a shot of our gracious host and hostess along with their sign-in sheet for Charliecon. I never did get an official final count but I think it was somewhere in the 30's or 40's.

By the time we loaded everything up and got back to Todd and Chelle's place, it must've been like 3 or 4am. I went to my room and basically slept the sleep of the dead. I had left it open-ended whether I would drive home the next day but I didn't manage to drag myself out of bed until past noon. Since they weren't intent on kicking me out yet, I decided to end the trip a day so I could get some sleep and perhaps not having to drive through Pennsylvania in the dark. I freaking hate that blasted state.

That night, Todd's mom came over to chat with them about a trip she was going to take iwth her sisters to the great smokey mountains. Todd and Chelle had just made the trek not too long ago and were passing over maps and advice about which trail to take. After dinner, I went back to my room to read but ended up dozing off almost immediately.

The next morning, Todd had gone off to work and I wanted to take Chelle to brunch. We ended up going to Cracker Barrel, which I knew had become a resturant at some point but had never been to. I was sorta expecting to see nothing but cheese and meat baskets in there but instead it was stocked like the ultimate tourist trap.

I mean, good grief, christmas whozits already? This was some sort of giant sized snowglobe around a foot and change in diameter which shot out little styrofoam balls as snow.

I had the chicken fried steak and ran into grits for the first time in my life. This is not to say that I've never seen grits before. Grits and I had passed like strangers in the night on many an occassion starting in the dining hall in college. We had simply never managed to have our destinies intersect at any point before. I tried it both salty and sweet and neither seemed quite right frankly. The best that I could say for grits is that it was as if someone tried to do oatmeal and got it all frakking wrong.

As I was paying to leave, I saw something spiffy and it became my souvineer from Twinsburg Ohio. It's a Halloweenie! It dances (well, kicks its legs and waves its arms) and sings 'Mahna-Mahna' from the muppet show. It kicks ass. I've since had chelle send me a couple more of the suckers so I could pass them out as gifts.

Here's chelle with my souvineer. For some inexplicable reason, she didn't seem to want to pick one up of her own.

And that was it. I was off back home again. The drive seemed longer than ever and the blasted radio stations harder to find as the numbers on the stations went around and around and around. I freaking hate Pennsylvania.

I finally stopped for a pee and meal break at a Mcdonalds somewhere and here's a shot of my receipt. Woooo, creepy. I kept thinking that if I ended up getting myself smooshed by a tractor trailer and they found the receipt, I might become some sort of Urban Legend. The devil cursed McDonalds. Oh, and they served vanilla soft-serve cones up there dipped in chocolate. Spiffyness.

Well, it's sorta obvious I didn't get smooshed or I wouldn't be here jotting this down. At one point, sitting in a traffic backup soon after the McDonalds, it seems that someone else did get a smooshing. Maybe they had stopped at the satanic McDonalds too.

And so that was the trip. I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures as belated as they were. I'll probaly have more pictures from Southern Exposure when I get back on sunday night.
Tags: charliecon

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