Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dear Diary: Today I was captured by Hill Folk, Never to be Seen Again was the best day ever.

Okay, I wasn't captured by hill folk, but I have been missing for a while. Bad blogger, bad bad!

I departed the country early in October to head to a Mighty Fine Shindig, The Browncoat Ball. Once I had found out months ago that Austin, Texas had won the 08 bid, I knew I was going. I had only been there once before (13 years ago, for 5 days) but fell in love with the town. Plus, now I have many Browncoat friends there, too- most important of them being the Bedlam Bards.

On this particular trip I even got to ditch my kids with their aunt and uncle and enjoy a weekend away with my fictious husband! We said goodbye to Thing One and Thing Two on Friday morning (Oct 10) and headed to the airport. Here, TSA provided me with an early morning security massage. Lucky me. (NOT!) But if that was the worst of what was to happen on the trip, I would be fine.

Flights were uneventful, which is the way I like them. We were in the hotel and settled just in time for the Ball's registration to start. So we registered, dropped of the donations for the raffle prizes and headed to find some dinner. We just wanted something fast, so we asked the concierge where we could get pizza. He directed us a few blocks away and when we got there we read : "New York Style Pizza!" In Texas. We decided to skip that and instead hit the corner pub we passed on the way there. Good choice. We sat outside to eat (In October!) and enjoyed the place immensely. If you're in Austin, check out the Hickory Street Bar and Grille. Go for the salad bar and the Shiner Bock!

After diner we returned to our room and changed for the cocktail hour(s). There we saw the Bards, and palm reading (Hi Joyce!) and fountains of chocolate and crafts and belly dancing (Hi April!) and about 75+ Browncoats. We ended up closing the place with Cedric and then heading to the hospitality suite. We talked out on the balcony (in OCtober!) and watched the excitement from 6th Street. We called it a night long before the partiers there did!

Saturday morning began the program tracks. The imaginary husband went off to learn knife throwing while I went into video editing. I learned some tips to make more fan videos, but was more flattered with what was shown on screen. Out of 5 videos run, 3 of them were mine! The next thing we attended was the filk circle. I tried to pass in "pick, pass or play" but was reprimanded by Cedric for not performing my sister's filked lyrics to the Bards' version of the Fruity Oaty Bar jingle. I said I didn't have them, but sure enough, they were pulled up on a Mac in the room from the email I sent Cedric a few weeks prior. Damn this new fangled technology!

We then had a small band of us going to the New York Style pizza place for lunch. The food was iffy but the company was first rate! We divided up after that and my fake husband and I found ourselves- quite by chance- in The Land Yacht It took us to Zilker's botanical gardens. This was a place that I absolutely adored on my last visit to Austin and I felt I had to go back. I have not included the link here, because I don't feel it is worth sharing. They've made a lot of changes in the past 13 years, and I don't think many of them are for the better. We left after only an hour and I prefer to remember the gardens as they were upon my first visit.

We returned to the hotel (via regular cab) and passed "The Original Taco Cabana", implying that there is more than one. Turns out its a whole chain of restaurants, negating each locations' claim of being "the original". At any rate, we decided to hit the roof top puddle, I mean pool (in October!). We opened the door to find the place filled with Barbie posers half our age. We left there too and just hung out until the Ball Proper (we had decided to skip the third session of programing).

At 7 pm we headed down to the Ball and saw all the pretties in their frofraw. Browncoats clean up very well and everyone looked very shiny as evidenced here. The food was fabulous, the string quartet was too loud, the desserts were to die for. We were lucky enough to snags seats at a table with the folks from Browncoat Fashions and others and had wonderful fun watching them take part in the Big Damn Heist. The dancing began with all 4 bards performing, which was quite the treat! The Brobdingnagian Bards performed their set. As usual, Marc and Andrew gave a great fun filled performance. I only found out later that it was their last performance ever together (big frowny face) but further discovered that they will each be pursuing solo careers (big happy face!)

The Bedlam Bards took the stage for the first of their sets and all had a great time. During the break more dancing ensued- this time of the disco variety! The Bards returned for another set and most of us closed the place at 2 am.

Sunday saw brunch with a good 1/3 of the crowd still in attendance. We were fortunate to be at a table with Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards (formerly, I guess at that point) and a whole group of lively funny 'Coats. Marc even treated us to some air auto harp!

After brunch we still had 2 hours before our shuttle took us to the airport. So the FH and I walked the 2 blocks to the Austin Capitol Building. We spent a nice time there and then stopped in the Visitor Center where we had a really nice time; enjoyed that a lot, actually. We also strolled down 6th street- not nearly as impressive on a Sunday afternoon as it is every night, I'm sure. But now we can at least say we've been there!

We found a shuttle waiting outside the hotel when we returned. It wasn't our scheduled one, but he said he'd take us anyway. So with that, our Austin mini vacation ended abruptly.

Xie-xie to the Austin Brwoncoats for putting on a really nice party (and there was no punching!) I hope for more shindigery with you very shiny 'Coats again! You've done the impossible, and that makes you mighty!

Until Next Time:
"I prefer our parties. The dress code is easier and plus I know all the steps"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Monkeys Have Landed!

Yes, that's right- there were monkeys. Some terrifying Space Monkeys got loose. And now they are in the Firefly Cargo Bay and ready to invade your personal part of the 'Verse.

Each set comes with a 6" tall rocket ship with opening top hatch and three different colored Space Monkeys. The Monkeys can be stored inside the "Ape-1" when not out causing havoc. All the little terrors are bendable and posable with magnetic hands and feet. They stick to the side of their ship, or anything else metal! Each Space Monkey is 3" tall.

The cost for the entire set is $18.00 plus shipping, and they are now available to send out into the 'Verse. The TERRIFYING SPACE MONKEYS can be found now at the bottom of the Products page of Firefly Cargo Bay .

You've been warned!

Until next time:
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle."