Marathon Happening Now! Go, Go, Go!!!

Here’s the newest news from the SDA front. . . Empty and his buddies have put together another Charity Marathon. This time, they’re working to benefit Doctors Without Borders. This is a charity that will be helping people out over in Japan. Since there wouldn’t really be video games without Japan, the Guys and Gals over at SDA have decided to try to help…

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is a nonprofit effort dedicated to working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.

100% of your donations go to Doctors Without Borders, who are currently helping with the relief efforts in northeastern Japan. So, tune in April 7–10, 2011 for 60 awesome games played quick. They need your support!

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MagFest’s Magic Peels: Ninth Time’s The Charm

The madness that is Alexandria, Virginia’s Music and Gaming Festival (AKA: MagFest ) continued on again this January, with four days of awesomeness. Four days of record-setting amounts of awesome bands, vendors, great repeat-offender Panelists, and alot of arcade games from yester-year, made for one hell of a wedding reception/ honeymoon weekend for Emptyeye and I. But our wedding was only one part of this glorious weekend.

As to MagFest Proper, there was alot going on. So much so, that I may miss something in my re-telling. However, I’ll try my best not to miss anything. In this spirit, let’s start our journey with our arrival at the Mark Center Hilton on Wednesday, January the Twelfth.

We got there between two and three in the afternoon, but didn’t get up to our room until closer to three. We took our usual “view from the room” pictures, took a potty break, and went downstairs to grab the first load of our stuff to bring up to our room. Before we could get to the second load, we heard a knocking on our door. When we opened the door, we saw a bellhop with a very large basket on a cart.

This is how the basket looked.

This basket was from both sets of our parents. My mom had called a place named “Thoughtful Gift Baskets By Mary” out of Alexandria to see if there was some sort of gift they could give us since neither set of our parents was able to make it to the wedding.

I have to be honest, I knew something was up when my mom kept asking where we were, and when we would get to our room. But that’s okay. We were still surprised to get it so soon after we got there. I mean, we hadn’t even lugged all of our stuff up to the room yet…

We left the basket (and our curiosity of what was in it) behind in our room while we headed out to the garage to get our remaining bags from my car. En Route, we bumped into Brenden “Mr. MagFest” Becker in the lobby starting to get things set up for the Festival. (As a side note, don’t EVER call MagFest a convention in front of Mr MagFest [as well as several die-hard MagFest go-ers]. Trust me on this!) We made plans to meet up with Mr. MagFest later that night (after we all had taken a nap; as Mr. MagFest was as tired as Emptyeye and myself) to look at the room we were assigned to for our wedding Thursday morning.

Once we had everything in our room, we called my mother and his to thank them for the basket and to let them know we had gotten to the hotel okay. Then Emptyeye passed out for a few ZZZ’s. I spent that time rummaging through the contents of the basket.

The following is a list of what was inside:
1) A Time Capsule (with Cards that people can write messages on for Empty and I to read when we open the capsule, a list of things for us to put into the capsule before we seal it, and a bunch of stickers and a bunch of other forms to register the capsule online with.

2) A “Hot For You” microwave-able cake (that we didn’t even get to make until we got home).

3) 2 nice wine glasses- flute style.

4) Sparkling Cider (instead of wine or champagne. It’s illegal to have alcohol in the open down in Virginia, so Mary {the lady that owns the company that put the basket together} included the cider for that reason. It didn’t matter, either way. Empty and I liked the cider. Quite a lot, actually!)

The Sparkling Cider Bottle

5) Fortune cookies with quotes about love and marriage.

Fortune Cookie Box

6) A year’s worth of Lover’s Choice His/Her weekly romance cards with little surprises that Empty and I can do for the other.
7) A box of heart-shaped caramel-filled milk chocolate and dark chocolate candies. (Those were gone faster than I remembered to take a photo of them)
8 ) Box of “Bed of Roses”
9) A nice silver frame for our wedding photo.
10) A silver serving tray
11) Lots of ribbons and peanut-like filler.

Once Emptyeye woke up, we had some dinner and went to find Mr. MagFest. Trust me, locating Mr. MagFest is harder than it sounds, especially on MagFest Eve int he midst for the Festival set-up . . .

We followed Mr. MagFest to check out the room that we were assigned to for our wedding, and then up to his room. We hung around with him for a bit until Jon St. John called Mr. MagFest and told him that he had finally arrived. All three of us trekked down the hall to Jon’s room, and had a couple of drinks with the voice of Duke Nukem, himself! He showed us his new portable recording toys, and then he and Mr. MagFest went out to eat with a bunch of their mutual friends.

Empty and I went to look at the room once more and to take some more notes for room set-up. I have to be honest, I flipped out when I saw that the room had been set up for a normal MagFest Panal Room. Considering how high-strung I usually am about getting my way, this is the only true Bride-zilla moment that I had throughout the months of wedding planning. I’m afraid that I went ape-shit on one of the maintenance men I found. I yelled at the poor guy. If you’re reading this, I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry I was such a bitch!

When I got back to where Emptyeye was waiting for me (he was quite buzzed from the liquor, so he was alot more calm about things than I was), we texted Mr. MagFest about the room changes, and he said he’d take care of it. Emptyeye managed to calm me down a bit as we wnt back to our room to hang out with each other for awhile before Emptyeye went to bed. Then I started to get myself ready for the wedding before I, too, laid down for a couple of ZZZ’s. This leads us to early morning on Thursday . . .

* * * It’s a New Day Folks * * *

Oh yeah. If you hadn’t heard this before now, Emptyeye and I got married the morning of the 13th of January. The details of the Ceremony I’ll discuss in an entry I’ll be posting in early June. The reason for this, is because our parents are throwing us a post-wedding party/ celebration. During this party, we’ll be playing our wedding video and I don’t want to give anything away beforehand. So, stay tuned for this, folks! But here are a few pictures to tide you over .
Those on the invite list will be sent official invitations as soon as we print them.

By this point, you must want to know how the rest of Thursday went. So… Let me tell you. After Emptyeye and I tied the knot, we had to rush back up to our room to change into civilian clothes and grab my purse (or more specifically, my ID) so that we could get our MagFest Badges.

Empty signed himself up for a Supporter Badge. This entitled him to all sorts of swag.

The Official MagFest 9 Towel

MagFest 9 Bag


Stress Sprite

Official MagFest Notepad...

I had volunteered to staff for four shifts during the course of the weekend, so I got the ever-awesome Staff Badge and the MagFest 9 Mega-Man Style T-Shirt.

MagFest 9 Staff Badge. Note, I was Staff #69... The most AWESOME-EST number EVER!!!

I have to be honest, I pulled Empty into the Staff line because it was much shorter. Honestly, shorter isn’t always better. In the Staff line, there was only one person and one computer. For the other line, there were three of each. This picture is brought to you by this blog…

This was part of the longer line.

The length of the line was clearly from the number of people trying to Register, and not from technical problems. It’s awesome that there were that many people to witness all that MagFest has become since it’s inception!

In fact, there were one hundred and sixteen Super Supporters and one hundred and forty two Supporters that were named in the MagFest 9 booklet. This does not include the hundreds of people that signed up to Staff, all 28 Special Guests, the members of all thirteen bands, the thirteen DJ’s, anybody running Panals or Events, members of local press trying to get a story, photographers, nor any one of the rest of MagFest’s miscellaneous repeat-offenders.

After waiting in the Staff line for forty minutes or so for our passes, we hung around downstairs and looked around some. After awhile, I went back upstairs (around two PM) to do some Facebooking before taking a nap. I’m addicted to Facebook Applications, if you haven’t figured it out yet…

This time, however, I was spending some time posting photos from the Ceremony on Facebook so that our families could see them right away. Since neither of our families could be there in person, we wanted them to be able to witness some of the Ceremony… I also changed my last name and marital status while I was on Facebook. Then I created a new e-mail address to represent my new identity.

I mean, I’ll still be good old Wacky Silver until the day I die, but now I’m also known as Mrs. Emptyeye to most of the SDA community… Hey, I keep busy when I want to be, right?

Anyway, after doing all of this, Empty and I had dinner and hung around a bit before I took a nap before my first shift, which started at ten PM. I worked until six AM the next morning. While I was working in the Consoles room, there was soo many parties going around the hotel. None of them were as Epic as the numerous parties going on inside the elevators. In fact, they kept happening all weekend. So many Elevator Parties that hotel security ended up calling the cops to make them stop. This brings up to Friday the fourteenth.

* * * It’s a New Day Folks * * *

I have to admit, I slept alot during the days of MagFest. I kinda felt like a vampire all that weekend. But that’s okay, as alot of the good stuff happened between the hours of seven PM until four AM. It’s alot of when the true MagFest go-ers have their Panals. it’s also when alot of the better bands play, so I never felt out of place sleeping during the day…

I spent a majority of Friday (that I wasn’t sleeping or eating, of course) just walking about taking everything in. My next shift wasn’t until early the next morning, so I had time to see most (to all) of the Friday night concerts.

* * * It’s a New Day Folks * * *

Next came Saturday the fifteenth. My shift was from two to six AM. There was alot going on that morning. I was in the middle of most of one woman’s quest… Her boyfriend proposed to her with different clues that she got from doing different tasks… Go here to see the video that the woman made about the experience… It’s really CUTE!!! I was told by one of my fellow Staff Members that we would be the last stop in a bunch of tasks before the guy proposed, and I tried to stick around as long as I possibly could. Unfortunately, I didn’t QUITE make it… Fortunately for me, the lady posted the video on YouTube so that I could see it all for myself. Thanks for that!!! 🙂

I got tired just before 10 and I went upstairs to pass out for a bit. I slept a few hours (until long after noon, actually), and then Emptyeye came upstairs to tell me that a few of the vendors wanted to see me sometime that afternoon. Or, more specifically, both of us together… They wanted to give us some free swag.

From the lady at GBee Fabrics , we got a stuffed Bee Mushroom (or as I keep calling it, a Bee Toad). If you’ve never played Super Mario Galaxy before, perhaps you don’t know that in one of the Worlds, Mario eats a yellow and black mushroom and turns into a bee in order to complete part of the level.

Bee Toad

From Dave Lister (AKA: Paradox Lost), we got two posters. One with two sleepy Pikachus with “Congratulations” and his initials written on the bottom right hand corner.
I chose this one, because I thought the two Pikachus looked cute together. The other poster has “Life Comes At You Hard” on it, and Ruby from Paradox’s own cartoon. For those that don’t know who Ruby is, she’s NOT the demon girl who was played by Jared’s new wifey! (Just a shout-out for all the Supernatural fans out there…) She’s actually the character in a shirt with a star / sprite on and an angry green shroom in her hands. Paradox signed this poster with “Married At MagFest!! Yay!” and his initials on the bottom left-hand side. Empty liked this one… Paradox decided he was going to give one to both of us.

The posters are both very awesome! They’re currently hanging around our apartment. My Pikachu Poster is hanging on the wall in back of my computer. In fact, it almost looks out of place with my True Blood Calendar and all of my Wiccan Artwork. The only thing that makes it fit in with the rest, is the MagFest 7 poster that I’ve had up there for awhile. Empty’s poster is hanging up in our kitchen.

After getting our swag from the vendors I mentioned above, Empty and I headed back upstairs to hang out for awhile and have some pizza. After he went back downstairs to hand out with some of his friends, I spent the time before my last shift packing our stuff up so we could have an easy start the next morning (that, and I wanted to make sure I could sleep longer after my last shift… sleep before driving long distances is an awesome thing!!!). Shortly after I was done packing, I took a quick nap. Empty came in to sleep shortly before my last shift.

* * * It’s a New Day Folks * * *

Now, here comes Sunday the sixteenth… I had my last shift from two until six AM. There was alot going on that night. There were alot of people dressed up in costumes all day Satuday.
There was one costume in particular that stuck our at me… It was the guy dressed up like Waldo.

The reason he stuck out for me, was because I kept finding him… One of the ladies I was working with that night kept pointing him out every time he came by the desk. So, it became an inside joke with us, and I decided to take a picture of him every other time I saw him.

Can YOU spot him in the pictures???

After my shift, I got my t-shirt form Registration (with my signed shift schedule…) and went upstairs to take a quick nap before it was time for Empty and I to check out of our hotel room. When I woke up, we packed up our car, said a few goodbye’s to people we could find, and headed out on the road shortly before noon.

We were just about to get to the New York State line when Mr. MagFest texted me and asked if Empty and I were going to be able to come to Closing Ceremonies (which were at three that day). I told him that we were almost at the New York Border, and that we couldn’t find him before we left, so we had just taken off. some of us had to work the next morning, you know…

Not even a half hour later, he called me and told me to put the phone on speakerphone so that Emptyeye could hear the conversation as well. While we were both listening, Mr. MagFest explained to the crowd that had gathered that MagFest had yet again set another record this year. That in the past, they had had people honeymooning at MagFest, and they had had a couple get engaged at MagFest. But before this year, they had never had a couple get married at MagFest.

Mr. MagFest told everyone, further, that since I had to work the next morning, that we were already on our way home, but that we were on speakerphone listening to them right now. He asked the crowd to wish us well in our marriage by yelling “Congratulations!” all at once. It was really sweet . . . I have to admit that I was close to tearing up when I heard everyone in the room participate. So, thank you all for that!

Suffice to say, I think that Emptyeye and I figured out the secret to being treated like MagFest Royalty. All you have to do is be the first couple to get married at MagFest. This entitled us to marry things we wouldn’t have been entitled to. Vendors giving us free stuff was one of the perks. Hanging out with Jon St. John on Wednesday night was another. Empty getting free food from the Staff Room when he wasn’t supposed to, was another perk that Mr. MagFest made sure he had. If you’ve ever staffed at MagFest, you know that those that Staff get perks like free food throughout the weekend. So Mr. MagFest dragging Empty up to the Staff room was pretty huge!

We were also given anything we needed, particularly when it came to stuff we needed to make our Ceremony work. Also, Jon St. John REALLY must have liked hanging out with Empty and I Wednesday night, because he just about jumped at the chance to DJ our wedding. I mean, he only had to make sure our entrance and exit tunes played at the right times. But him agreeing to help us will probably be one of my favorite memories from that day. So thank you Sir! You truly do have BALLS OF STEEL !

Based on the level of fun that I had at MagFest 8, I didn’t believe that I could have had any more fun that I did last year. But once again, MagFest’s reputation for out-doing themselves every year has come true. I give MagFest 9 TEN Flags on my fun scale. That’s FOUR more than Six Flags Amusement Parks. So, ladies and gents, it’s a total WIN!!! This, my dear Charlie Sheen, is winning!!!

New SDA Marathon!!!

Hello Constant Readers…
While you’re waiting for my post on MagFest, here’s the newest news from the SDA front. . . Empty and his buddies have put together another Charity Marathon. This time, they’re working to benefit Doctors Without Borders. This is a charity that will be helping people out over in Japan. Since there wouldn’t really be video games without Japan, the Guys and Gals over at SDA have decided to try to help…

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is a nonprofit effort dedicated to working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.

100% of your donations go to Doctors Without Borders, who are currently helping with the relief efforts in northeastern Japan. So, tune in April 7–10, 2011 for 60 awesome games played quick. They need your support!