Category: fun events

Quiet, yet not.

I’ve been quiet for a while!  Wasn’t really on purpose.  I got a head cold, and I’ve been very spacey/introspective for the past few weeks. I needed to slow down, to remember to prioritize and say no… I feel overwhelmed in the summer with the crazy schedules, but yet most everything (except work) is something that I want to do, something that makes my heart sing and refuels me.  But I need to have enough down time to recharge or I’m running on empty.  No idea where all these gas metaphors are coming from 😛

Not long after I posted about flow, my love posted as well, and you should read it.  😀

Two weekends ago, we went to Dexcon same people who run Dreamation, the game convention in February.  We are truly lucky to have this in our backyard, and took full advantage of the weekend this time.

Friday night, at the last minute, we dressed up steampunk and stopped by a LARP that was created by someone I know – called Brimsteam.

The Dexcon gathering of Brimsteam

The Dexcon gathering of Brimsteam

While we weren’t there for long, we had an amazing time playing Maddy and Clarke, on a scientific expedition from the University to study plant and insect life in undiscovered lands.  Clarke learned to gamble, successfully, and we had a small expedition in a hot air balloon for some sport hunting of astral jellyfish.  Yeah, I know.  But it was FUN!

Steampunk Self Portrait

Steampunk Self Portrait

We then went to the vampire LARP that we played in February.  You know, vampires really aren’t very sociable, especially when you are enemy clans… but we enjoy dressing up and pretending to get along with all the others, and well, the costumes are half the fun 😀

The next day, we went back for board games.  Gloom, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and something else… Then we were dragged into $300 Pyramid, where I did better than I ever expected to and won $6 in credit at the vendors room!  Played a game of Poison, then went home to change and returned for the continuation of the vampire LARP.  (Photo above is from the second night.)  Despite staying up late both nights, we returned Sunday – Nate for a game of Magic, and me for something that was overbooked and had no room.  But we were roped into a game of Puerto Rico, and then headed out to get to Philly for practice with our fire performance group for Burning Man.

Insert boring long work week, with being sick and lots of unpleasantries.

I was worried my health would prevent it, but I recovered in time for the weekend and on Saturday we caught up with the next playtest of Brimsteam.  This time, there was actual Danger! and Excitement! as I got caught in my first gunfight (and hid. yup. I did. Not ashamed to admit it.  I AM playing a sheltered intellectual 😛 Not to mention wearing heels in a dark area with steps, I thought I’d kill myself before a bullet could.)

Brimsteam Beta 026

Kaylee and Maddy

12 hours of character creation, game play, fights, downtime with refreshments and gambling, and lots of mystery and mayhem.  I can’t wait to do it again.  (While I don’t mind the vampire LARP, this is such a different experience and more suited for me personally!)

Brimsteam Beta 041

Kaylee turned out to have a similar education to myself - here we are investigating a bio-luminescent fungus attached to moss that was a key clue to a murder and sabotage plot!

Brimsteam Beta 063

And Clarke gambled. And gambled. And drank and fought and was shot and unconscious for a bit. And gambled.

Unfortunately we are missing the first full weekend of play, as we’ll be out in Reno for Burning Man.  But we hope to make it to the one in September, and I only hope it’s not during my cousin’s wedding! 😀

So that’s two busy weekends, with lots of work and rest in between. My added stress is having to significantly purge and reorganize my apartment before some electrical work needs to be done – luckily the date is postponed, but I’m not sure to when, and I have to keep up with it while the crushing pressure is off.

This weekend we’ll be traipsing around south Jersey, seeing some of my love’s friends and family, another conclave rehearsal, and at some point seeing my brother for his birthday.  Hope you all are enjoying your summer!


Morning Coffee - by ManisMachine

My Morning Coffee - by ManisMachine

I am back in the “default” world after an amazing weekend at the first (and hopefully annual) PEX Summer Festival.

I’m almost at a loss of words.  I’m also at a loss of photos.  I brought two cameras, and never touched either.  I’m relying on photos others took and enjoying the candids I find of myself!

(Sometimes I find looking through the camera keeps you from experiencing something.  There is also creativity in photography, and it’s rewarding in it’s own way… but I sometimes feel struggle to balance being in the moment and taking photos (whether snapshots or artistic)  Anyway this is a whole post on it’s own so we’ll talk about that another time.)

By ManisMachine

Workshop that Random and I attended, taught by LinaLuv - By ManisMachine

What was it like?  It was like the best summer camp ever.  The location, Ramblewood, used to be a kids’ summer camp.  Now it caters more to adult and alternative groups like ours.

It was a weekend of music (oh the music), friends, fire, workshops, swimming, playing, learning, smiling… I think I realized every time I saw anyone in the main PEXie crew (who each put in hours and hours of work to make this happen) – they had a huge grin on their face.  I think I did too.

Lounging - by Brian McBriarty

Lounging with Reno, Random, and my bottle of wine - by Brian McBriarty

The weekend was just full of joy, laughter, dancing, playing with fire, meditating, and just hanging out with some really amazing people.  The only thing missing was some people who I knew wanted to be there and couldn’t, for whatever reason.

Giant Bear - by ManisMachine

Giant Bear's Effigy - by ManisMachine

The night the effigy of Giant Bear burned (via torches stuck up his butt :P) I just felt the possibilities of where this first festival is taking us, and I knew that we were watching a piece of history.  No, this wasn’t quite the same as a burn (as in an official Burning Man recognized event.)  But it was almost like the best PARTS of a burn, magnified, with the worst parts missing altogether or passing unnoticed.  And on July 4th, it was the perfect way to express and celebrate our freedoms.

Some favorite memories:

– The Gamelatron.  An amazing installation of a robotic gamelan orchestra – all we knew at the time was that it was such a peaceful serene moment that sent us into a wonderful meditation.  We returned again planning to meditate more, and there was spoken words at times during the piece.

Modeled after traditional Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, the GamelaTron is an amalgamation of traditional instruments with a suite of percussive sound makers. MIDI sequences control 117 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven and rhythmic sound. Performances follow an arc similar to classic Indonesian gatherings, where stories from great epics, such as the Ramayana, are told and settings given in words that are continued in music.

– Music – need I say more?  Of course, with several stages and world famous (or just philly famous) DJ’s, the music was amazing.  A DJ was set up right by the pool so you could swim and still feel the beat, and the pavilion went all night long with fire performances and comfy couch/beds to fit all of your late night needs for entertainment and comfort.

– Workshops – made it to a few, including one about Cultivating the Gift of Fire, by LinaLuv.  This was based on the chinese elemental creation cycle, and dealt with being in the present moment in our relationships/interactions with others.  We also went to a fireplay workshop, which covered contact fire and fire eating.  Random took a contact staff class with Lucky and has a new obsession, and I made it to a pleasure palace workshop which was an exercise in asking and receiving pleasure from others (while respecting your own and others boundaries) – it was a very relaxing experience to have 6 people massage you at once!!

– Our mini camp.  We had a small group but a comfy shade structure and spent lots of time chatting with old and new friends as we overlooked the field and watched activities around us.


ETA memories as they surface again:

– Performers before the bear burned came out and the crowd was way too silent as they watched.  Chad’s yell of “we’re gonna burn some shit!!!!” and prodding the audience to hoot and holler was a wonderful sight!


I happened to be on the PEX facebook group and while the first part has been on PEX webpages before, if you haven’t seen it, it’s a good summary of what they are all about.  And below it is a wonderful poem I never saw before.

The Philadelphia Experiment is a Community of diverse beings that are connected through a common desire for creativity. The Experiment is the catalyst that unites us. We are dreamers, dancers, musicians, engineers, designers, artists, yogis, teachers, students, philosophers & just plain ol ordinary folk. Through our network we open doors of collective opportunity and experience. We invite you to join the PEX family. Chat, discuss, connect, create and get down here.

In Philadelphia
there is an experiment;
an examination of a life…
a community
beyond the false borders
of the homophobic, claustrophobic
caustically toxic
closed minded social order
that feeds us disunity.
The experiment
is an examination of rhythmic sound,
an observation of human creativity,
an exercise in social autonomy,
the rehearsal of a collective economy,
a measurement of participatory allegories,
and that of dreams becoming realities.
There is freedom
and liberation…
an emancipation from the socially toxic “me first” nation.
And there is dancing…
like no one’s watching
dreaming with your feet
getting into that higher trance type of dance.
Formed in the Black Rock City valley
this Philadelphia experiment
is a reflection
of radical self-expression,
a manifestation
of urban in-ergy
human synergy
free-love showing
consciousness raising
acceptance of the beauty in asymmetry.
It is a mindset.
A realized concept…
the silhouette of a calumet
shared in peace.

In Philadelphia… there is an experiment… and it is we.

The Philadelphia Experiment -A Poem Inspired by the Decompression
The Philadelphia Experiment
by Oskar Castro aka Bohiti
(a work in progress)

It’s so hard to explain to people who haven’t been.  There’s a sense of heart and community at the base of all that they do, and you know everyone who makes this happen does so with ALL their heart, and just for you.

A huge thank you to anyone who helped make the event happen (and it took so many!) as well as to each person who showed up – because they are just as necessary to make the experiment work.  With a happy heart and a smile still on my face, I look forward to celebrating independence and freedom with you for many years to come!


I’ve been quiet over here, between PDF, work deadlines, and all that kind of fun stuff… but I’m still here!

This month is a whirlwind and I already don’t know where May went, so I expect it to go faster.

This weekend – bachelorette party 😀

Next – Figment! I may be going with a Buttafly, as Random will have a bachelor party that night.

The next weekend is Random’s birthday (June 21) and the wedding that he is officiating for his friends (the above mentioned bach parties) on June 20, so we’ll be down the shore.

After that, June 26/27 is a garage sale hosted by the Deviants (come shop! sell! contact me for info!! It’s in Lake Hopatcong) and that Saturday night, anyone who plays with fire should contact me about hanging out and doing such nonsense in honor of Random’s birthday.

Spin jam is tonight, as long as the clouds hold off, and I keep giving them the evil eye…. (Either they’ll listen or retaliate.  JUST CHOOSE ALREADY!)

My limited photos from PDF are here – some film ones stll need developing.  Drinko was a huge hit! Especially combined with Skittles Vodka and Vets!


Processing lots of stuff with my e-course – funny enough, by NOT doing some of the exercises.  Le sigh.  It’s been stressful (mostly because of work deadlines) but they are done now, and I feel like I’ve been getting extra attention from my love in order to help eliminate stress 😀  Absolutely no complaints here.

Life is good, just busy and hectic and fast right now.  Trying to stay in the moment.


Spinning in Circles

Through my travels to Burning Man and regional events, I’ve been exposed to a lot of new hobbies.  I started with poi – never imagining I would one day set them on fire.

Poi is a form of juggling one might say, that consists of balls or weights or wicks (for fire use) attached to chains or in socks (for practice only).  You spin them around you in various patterns, which all look extremely complex but break down to basic movements that most people can learn.  Some performers will always blow your mind with their creativity and flow!

I also met a lot of hoopers – hula hooping, or more accurately hoop dancing, has come a long way from the Wham-0 days.  I started trying to learn that as well, not so much out of a love for it but it was the most fun I had getting tired out (or, that evil word – “exercising”).  Until one day, when goofing off to some really amazing music, I started to feel it.  The magic within the hoop when it truly becomes a dance and the hoop is your partner.

Since then, I’ve been practicing more and taking a workshop when I can.  I am not in it to perform.  The exercise isn’t the only reason I pick it up, but it makes me feel better afterward.  It’s about having fun, and sometimes just a meditation while spinning, getting lost in the movement and rhythm of the music as the Sufis do.

Recently hooping is less restricted to festivals and burners, and it’s becoming a trend as a fitness regime and hobby.  The local community is growing, and while it’s more difficult in less urban areas to gather because we are spread out, hoopers are always looking to gather and spin together.

Morristown is usually central to a lot of people, and I decided to start a public gathering here.  It would be open to the public, and all forms of “skill toys” would be welcome – poi, hoop, devil sticks, contact juggling…  I figured if I started a regular thing, it would continue on even when I couldn’t attend.

And so Morristown’s first Hoop/Poi Jam was held last night on the Green.  The call went out online to hoop communities, New Jersey burners, and emails to friends.  I had no idea who would come, whether we would have people interested or annoyed at our presence, or what would happen.

I was thrilled that my friend Danny and his dog Bo would be driving up – his Traveling Piano project brings a great energy to public areas as he creates amazing music, allows anyone to jump on the truck and play, and talks at length with everyone who stops by.  It’s not the typical music most hoopers or poi spinners listen to, but it has it’s own beauty and flow that is a unique experience and I know I enjoyed those moments I got lost in it.

Photos by/compliments of Danny Kean:

Danny has been playing so long that he improvises pieces you would swear took ages to compose, but as I overheard him telling others – it’s not about the notes, or if you miss one or hit the wrong one.  It’s about the journey and how you get there, and being in the moment.

He’s talking about the musical “flow” – the same flow I felt for the first time in the hoop last summer, the flow that beginners of any skill toy struggle with as they try to learn the basics (or the notes).  Learning the basic moves uses a different part of the brain, and it’s necessary.  But once those moves start to feel comfortable, your muscles remember them and you don’t have to concentrate as hard.  And one day, you start flowing and improvising – when someone asks what/how you did a move, you don’t even remember what move it was, you just remember the feeling of being lost in spinning circles.

In the end, several good friends of mine came, some online friends who I hadn’t met in person yet, and we met some amazing people passing by – many tried either to hoop or the piano or both!  The night chill and our empty stomachs drove us to end the night and look forward to future jams, as the weather gets warmer and evenings get longer.


Want to join us?  Come by on the First and Third Thursday of each month at the Morristown Green.  I don’t get there until 6:30 or so, but everyone is welcome to arrive earlier if they’d like.  Next one is May 7 – I may end up adding one between now and then since it’s 3 weeks away.

To know the latest about these spin jams, please sign up on the yahoo group (free to join and we are only using it for group email):

We will usually have extra equipment to share, but please ask before using anything and be sure to leave it with us when you go.

Musicians welcome!  Danny can’t always be here, so feel free to come hang out with us if you’d like to play!

Note, we do NOT use fire at these events!  (and do NOT attempt fire performance without being trained by a professional artist, for the safety of yourself and those around you!)

To get started in learning some of these hobbies or find places to buy equipment, here are some good links:

Thursday April 16th

6:30 pm (I will be there around then – feel free to arrive earlier if you wish!)

Morristown Green – a square park in the center of town which has one way traffic around it.

Street parking may be difficult, there is a map showing parking in town here –

We’ll meet at the open brick area near the center of the park, there are benches and such there. (Depending on the wetness of the ground we may stay on the brick if there’s room)

Anyone welcome, regardless of your skill level! Any skill toy welcome, devilsticks, staff, etc.  We’ll happily share helpful tips and tricks, but remember this is for all of us to enjoy ourselves and not a free lesson.

If you have extra hoops/poi or whatever, please bring them along if you are willing to share! Keep in mind that this park gets a lot of foot traffic, and we’ll want to keep an eye on extra items and purses to make sure they don’t walk off (accidentally or on purpose) – so keep that in mind as well.
(Please ask before borrowing someone’s equipment – sometimes they are special pieces and it’s not anything personal!)

There will be NO FIRE at these events. Feel free to bring music but if we are asked to turn it down/off we will have to comply.

One thing I need input on — I need a way to communicate with people interested in these gatherings. Currently there are people on, Facebook, and people I only have email addresses for. I’d prefer to use email (possibly via google or yahoo groups) to send out notices – does anyone have a strong preference or dislike for any method of doing this? (I’ll still post to tribe and facebook but more sparingly, with details on how to get on the email list for up to date info.)

I’m still planning on doing this every other week (so the first and third thursday of each calendar month) – we’ll see where it grows from there. In the event of rain/questionable weather, feel free to contact me but chances are if you don’t want to be outside, no one else will either. 😛

Thanks! Holler if you have any questions!

Katie (aka Hunnybear)

Summer is a-coming!

Because Playa Del Fuego tickets are on sale this Saturday!

You all hear me talk about this all the time.  Tickets are sold in two batches – the first will surely sell out fast, second, who knows… so be on time! If you have ANY questions, holler!

Playa del Fuego
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Burn
Odessa, Delaware
Memorial Day Weekend
May 21 – 25

The first tier of tickets will go on sale on March 21st at 12:00 noon. Please go to to verify your login before they go on sale! The second tier will go on sale on April 21st at 9:00 PM. Tier 2 will only stay open for 1 week to allow time for mailing and lost ticket procedure. There will be 1000 tickets available at $35 each. If any tickets are not sold before the second tier closes, the remaining tickets will be sold at the gate for $40, CASH ONLY. A reminder: minors must be accompanied by their legal guardians.

And you know what else??? This year, PEX is expanding their events to host a summer festival!! There is no way I’m missing this.
The Philadelphia Experiment Presents:
PEX Summer Festival 2009 – An Experiment in Joyful Self-Expression through Music and the Arts

July 3-5 2009

The PEX Summer Festival is a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional music and arts celebration! This will be a place for harmony amongst joyful adventurers in self-exploration. On July 4th weekend, we are looking forward to our largest collaborative effort to date in the gathering of like minds and compassionate spirits. We will be uniting for three days and nights of amazing music, art, education, dance, participatory shared experience and conscious connection on 200 acres of private land, just one hour south of Philadelphia.


200 Scenic Acres including a Spring-Fed Pond
Over 40 DJ’s, Live Bands & Performers
Olympic-Sized Swimming Pool w/ Daily Pool Parties
Dormitory Style Cabins w/ Showers & Toilets
4th of July Barbecue Before the Effigy Burn on Saturday
½ Mile of River Frontage
3 Sound Stages
Fire & Drum Circle
Live Performance Art & Art Installations.
Outdoor Amphitheater
4,000 Square Foot Outdoor Pavilion
Basketball, Tennis & Volleyball Courts
Ropes Course
Canteen & Hot/Cold Beverage Bar
Lectures & Workshops Including Yoga, Aerial Silk, Fire Staff, Poi, & Capoeira
Meal Hall w/ Optional Standard, Vegetarian & Vegan Meal Plans Available
Therapy Sexploratorium
Tent & Car Camping
Free Drinking Water
Free & Secure Parking

Conveniently located one hour south of Philly.
(Only 45 minutes from Baltimore, 90 minutes from DC and 3 hours from NYC)

Tickets & Additional Information Available April 1st, 2009!


All this planning going on – let me run down my calendar of events (for public events only) to share with you.  Contact me for more info on any of them!

21- PDF tickets on sale

4 – Fundraiser in Philly for a women’s fire troupe – I wasn’t able to join because I already signed up to participate in the Burning Man conclave (fire performance), but will be trying to help out as much as I can. This fundraiser will have yoga and massages and lots of fun stuff going on!
20 – Second round of PDF tickets on sale
25 – Ag Field Day – Rutgers College spring festival, burners usually attend and hang out here for the day

21-25 – PDF!!!! (and the 1 year anniversary for me and my love!)

12-14 – Figment – Free arts festival at Governor’s Island, NYC
19-22 – Wildfire – Fire arts retreat in CT.  Usually sold out in advance, but you may snag tickets closer to the event. I’m not going this time.

3-5 – PEX summer festival!

31-Sept 7 – Burning Man

8-12 – Fall PDF

Yeah, I’m kinda overwhelmed already, and there’s things like weddings and such not even listed that are on our schedule.  But I’m also REALLY excited about all this!  Our theme camp for PDF is looking hawt, I’m hoping to help out more with PEX and maybe Figment this year, would love a chance to work on some large scale artwork but not sure if that will happen (I swear I’m gonna learn to weld! :P), and Random and I are safeties/possible minor parts in the conclave fire performance for Burning Man.  Once it all starts, it’s a lot of fun, I just have to not freak out about how we’ll fit in everything we want to do.  What’s meant to happen will happen. 😀

Late Winter Malaise

It’s hard to pinpoint.  A complex mix of emotions.  Winter is coming to an end, and where did all that hibernation time go?  I’m supposed to be well rested, instead on a rainy morning after the spring ahead time change, I can’t drag myself out of bed on time.   We were teased with spring – temps up into the 60’s last weekend.  It’s coming, but not soon enough.  And of course, once spring arrives, there’s barely any time left to breathe.  Yeah, I can’t wait for Playa Del Fuego, but the thought of it reminds me of the to-do list of projects to be done before then.

I don’t know.  I can’t place it.  I don’t know how to remedy it.  I am pretty sure that if N wasn’t here, I would be holed up in my apartment depressed.  Usually when I feel this way, turns out to be PMS.  *checks calendar*  Nope.

I hope it passes quickly.  Maybe I just need sun – even the warm weekend was overcast, and we didn’t take advantage of it except for some car maintenance/cleaning.

Saturday, I’m going to be in the St Patrick’s Day parade.  I’m doing it for Kendra.  And to make sure I don’t spend all weekend in bed.  Unless it ends up raining, because then that’s exactly what I’ll do.  So if you see a green fairy riding a bicycle with the Morristown Green bloggers, say hi, I’ll be passing out candy as well.

Life is just a game

At least this past weekend, it was for many people.

Dreamation took place in the Morristown Hyatt, and my boyfriend (who loves games of all kinds) was thrilled that it was in his new backyard!  It is a game convention run by Double Exposure, Inc., with back-to-back games from Thursday to Sunday.

I’ve learned that my boyfriend is right – every person has a game.  They may not know it, because they just haven’t found it yet.  Do you have a game that you like?  Monopoly, Scrabble, Dungeons and Dragons, Risk, Magic the Gathering, Fluxx, computer games, Xbox or Playstation?  If you’ve heard of it, chances are it was played at this event!

Upon registering, you see large printouts of a grid schedule – divided into role playing games, board games, war games, video/computer games, and more.  Overwhelming as it is, there are so many tables that you are sure to find a spot at one of them and many of the games are open to all skill levels.  The dealers room had vendors selling many of the games played at the event and more, if you wanted to take some home.

A steampunk board game shocks this player

A steampunk board game shocks this player

For the afternoon, my boyfriend and his friend signed up for one of the war games called “Zombie Outbreak Level 3”.  I had to run out briefly in the middle of the game period, so I didn’t sign up to play, but was able to help play the role of the zombies while I was there.  Several large tables were pushed together with a city layout of streets, buildings, cars, and wreckage of a post-zombie attack world.  While the rules were roughly based on other war games, this was the custom creation of the game master (GM).

Upon each players turn, they have a number of actions their group of humans (military, gangs, or civilians) would take to outrun or outfight the zombies.  The zombies themselves have a turn as well, advancing on the humans as they search for brains to eat.

Military trying to hold their position against the zombies

Military trying to hold their position against the zombies

The winner is the first one to get their human team (or remnants of their team) in a vehicle and out of the city.  Four hours later and several teams successfully escaped, although my boyfriend’s gang was killed off.  I had never played a war game before but it was entertaining and many times played out like scenes in a movie.

We had a quick dinner break while we made evening plans.  Our other friends decided to play Blokus (a team based board game similar to Tetris) then enter the poker championship, where one came in 15th place.  The rest of us decided to play a live action role playing game, or LARP, about vampires.

I should explain that my boyfriend has played LARPs for years, though not the specific one we played that night.  He’s been trying to get me to try it, and it seemed like a good time to test it out.  I was thankful for my Burning Man costume collection, as once we decided to play it took a half hour to come up with three costumes for our vampire personas.

I felt like I was being thrown in the deep end of the pool and didn’t know how to swim – we worked up character backgrounds (I was a 1920’s flapper named Rose, turned vampire and currently an artist/fashion designer.  He was a Chicago mob boss and the one who “turned” me.  His friend played a psychotic schitzophrenic vampire who gave everyone the willies.)  From there on out, it was like walking into a play where you know your character, and the situation, but there is no script.

They were easy going enough on beginners and I learned quickly that you can ask pretty much anything during the game, but if you are “out of character” you put your hand on top of your head so others know whether it’s you or your character speaking at any time.

Several of the organizers/key players were excellent, taking this beyond watching theatre and beyond murder mystery parties to try to immerse you in the action.  I was never one for creative spontaneous action, so I tried to play my character but took comfort in following the leads of my boyfriend as our characters would have acted similarly.  We wandered around the hotel, which became a trip to the underworld where we tried to battle/bring back a spirit slave.  Battles are fought with your characters skill points in various areas and drawing a playing card – adding certain points to the card value gave you the “strength” of the move or hit, and your opponent had a chance to dodge or fight back.

The final battle of the night was against two creatures who are the kind of thing that scare even vampires.  Much of the story line was told in descriptive words rather than actually being presented to you, and as we battled the two creatures in a conference room the GM described mystical energy lines, disappearing and reappearing extra limbs, and the effect of our attacks against the creatures.

The one thing about LARPing is time goes at a different pace.  While we often were sitting and talking in a virtual vampire conference in real time, a battle that takes a few minutes actually plays out over an hour or so as points are totalled and cards are drawn.  I didn’t expect to have energy to make it to the end but wanted to see it out, and struggled to wrap my brain around the points/hits in battle at a bleary 4 am in the morning.

In the end, the vampires won (which is good), the warring factions of vampires came together for a brief truce to face the common danger, but one never knows what will happen next.

We were all a bit bleary here at 4:30 am after playing.  Though, we were vampires so lets just blame the impending sunrise for our exhaustion...

We were all a bit bleary here at 4:30 am after playing. Though, we were vampires so let's just blame the impending sunrise for our exhaustion... I'm in the red wig.

Whether any of these events fit your fancy, or you are loyal to an old school board game, it’s definitely worth checking out.  Double Exposure runs two large events a year, and Dexcon 12 will take place July 8-12, 2009 again at the Morristown Hyatt.

(I have some more photos to upload tonight, will add a link here when I do.)

It started with a simple concept.  An indoor renaissance faire in the winter, in NJ.  Not a tourist trap for families, but geared to the audience who is counting the days until the spring and the larger faires of summer, and call it Jeff Mach’s Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire.  It grew from that into a very diverse event featuring ninjas, pirates, steampunk, almost anything you can think of will fit into this alternate universe.

The official theme for this year’s Wicked Faire event was “The Wicked Chocolate Factory” and added a sweet layer to the event.  The faire was held at the Hanover Marriott this past weekend, and I attended Friday night as I enjoy the shopping opportunities and seeing some great costumes.

A mime and a hooper entertaining faire arrivals

Steampunk fashion is growing in popularity and was prevalant this year, with many scheduled events including an amazing fashion show.  If you haven’t heard of steampunk, you may recognize it when you see it.  Think of it as victorian science fiction – steam powered machinery taken into the future, ala H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.

We arrived at the event and started wandering among the vendors – familiar faces and new ones sold leather goods, costuming, jewelry, and more.  By the time we reached the main ballroom, people were gathering for the steampunk fashion show to start, but looking around at the audience was just as much of a show.

This faire was a little more Victorian than Medieval

This faire was a little more Victorian than Medieval! A guest waiting for the fashion show to start

However the fashion show did not disappoint.  Men and women dressed in intricate outfits walked the catwalk (or stage) with grace and professionalism as fans and photographers looked on.  It was worth the longer than usual intermission, understandable when you saw how complicated some of the outfits could be.

One of many fabulous outfits on display

One of many fabulous outfits on display

This Little Red Riding Hood doesnt look like shes scared of any wolves!

This Little Red Riding Hood doesn't look like she's scared of any wolves!

For more amazing photos, check out the Wicked Faire photo pool on Flickr here.  (My photos are only partially loaded online, but I’ll be adding all of them to the photo pool this evening.)

Ghostbusters provided security, and enjoyed a little shopping as well.

Ghostbusters provided security, and enjoyed a little shopping as well.

After the show ended, we finished exploring the vendors on the main floor and upper floor conference rooms.  Living up to the “Wicked” part of the name, the adult vendor rooms checked ID’s at the door before perusing costuming and accoutrements of a more wicked nature – the only children at this event are grown ones.  However, there certainly is a little something for everyone with the variety of interests and hand crafted wares.

Our wallets much lighter, we decided to head home rather than stay for the headlining events – performance by Voltaire, a showing of the movie “Repo: The genetic Opera” with a shadowcast, and many other talented groups.  However, we were not to escape without some chocolate.  Speaking briefly with some fairegoers at the side door, I was suddenly presented with a Golden Ticket!

Golden Tickets! Photo by Sessa

Golden Tickets! Photo by Sessa

We could not skip this amazing opportunity.  We joined Willy and Veruca in an afterparty where yes, you COULD lick the wallpaper (covered in candy buttons!), cupcakes, and enjoy some homemade mead by Long Island Meadery.  I recommend the root beer mead for something truly different, but every variety we tasted was wonderful!

Willy and Veruca - Behave or he'll take away your golden ticket!

Eventually we tore ourselves away from this chocolate fantasy land and headed home.  We had another busy day ahead of us the next day, and you’ll hear about that shortly.

So next February, when the snowy weather is getting you down, make your way to the Wicked Faire for some serious entertainment and sunny spirits!

Santacon Update

I set up a group text message thing, only for people that I (or my merry band of Deviant elves) know personally, for NYC and PEX santacons.

If that means you, and you want updates on where we are during santacon, let me know. (I need either your email or your phone #.  my email is k8et1120 (at) gmail (dot) com.)

If I don’t know you – and I see a lot of people finding my blog looking for santacon updates – sorry, no offense, please follow my twitter and I’ll try to keep you up to date as well.  (One person left a comment on my about me page, asking me to email him, but left no email!!)

I do NOT have ANY insider info.  I will only know what is posted at 10 pm friday night, and where we are at any given moment in the city – I won’t know where we are headed when we are travelling.

See you Ho’s soon! 😀