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!!!

Piece-ing Together The Week And A Half We Were Gone

Just as the title suggests, I’m going to have separate entries of the SDA Marathon, Emptyeye and My wedding, and MagFest 9. Emptyeye‘s still working on the one post that will be his side of the story. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been back, so you can see how well THAT’S working out…

I firmly believe that if I were to do that, it would be twice as long (in length), especially when it comes to details, pictures, etc. If you know me through Facebook (like most of my friends do…), then you know I like to put pictures up after stuff goes down… I’ll put the best of the best up here, so you (my constant readers) can see for yourselves the story I’ll be telling.

After all, a picture IS worth a thousand words!!!

Post MagFest Withdrawal

Hello constant readers, I’m STILL feeling that Post-MagFest withdrawal/depression that comes after it’s all over and all of us have to return to the real world following all of MagFest’s awesomeness! If you’ve never gone, then you’ve never experienced it’s after-affects on the gamer’s psyche. It’s DEFINATLY a rush to be there and see how much time and effort that Mr. MagFest has put into this year’s festival (even if he IS going to leave, he’ll still be going. Don’t worry!). It’s amazing that the few individuals that work on MagFest put their entire souls into the festival for us that go every year. I’m definatly thankful! Thanks Brandan! Thank you for all your hard work. Sorry if I was such a bitch at times throughout the wedding planning stage of things! And sorry that you got stress hives on account of the festival. You have been an AWESOME leader! We will miss your control of the event, but be sure, the spirit of MagFest will continue on. Hopefully, with a freaking vengeance!!!

I’ll be back to give a full account of everything in a bit. A few of us work in the afternoons…

Picture Plea

Sorry I took so long after the Marathon/the wedding/MagFest to write up any post at all. I was actually working on a scrapbook with all of my favorite pictures from the Marathon, the wedding, and MagFest.
Actually, I should correct myself… I’m working on two. The first is dedicated solely to the pictures that were taken at the wedding. The Second is to both the SDA Marathon and MagFest. I’m hoping to have the latter done by the end of this next week.
I’m actually still waiting on other people’s pictures of the wedding. There might be some that I like…
If you were there and have any that you think I would want to put into my scrapbook, please feel free to message me. Please do it soon-ish, as my parents (and his) want to see them too. And since my parents weren’t there, I’m hoping to have some pictures and stuff to show them sooner rather than later. Was thinking of showing them off today, but since I’m JUST getting around to this plea, well you know…

PLEASE, if you have any pictures, send them to ASAP…

A Month’s Hiatus

Hey constant readers.
I thought it about time for me to finally tell you WHAT I was doing for the month or so I haven’t been writing blog posts. First off, I’ve been working Part time. But also, I’ve been working on finalizing this website .

Yeah, Emptyeye and I finally have a wedding date!!! I’ll put up pictures after the event, though. Don’t you worry…

I think I’ve given up on the Harry Potter differences post. Sorry… It was just WAAAAAY too long. I might try it again for next Summer. We’ll see how well it all goes!


Yay! Pictures Up!

Hey all. Didn’t I tell you that I would write a post soon about my time at MagFest? I do have to apologize to those that were on the edge of their seats waiting for me to get my act together and get this up.

All 42.5 Weighted hours.

All the stuff that I was tripping on all weekend.

I have to admit that most of my time was spent working behind the desk of the consoles room. And when I wasn’t behind the desk, I was pretty much passed out on the bed in our room.

Looks comfy, doesn't it? That's what I thought . . .

So, you’ll have to excuse my lack of knowledge of what happened during the bulk of MagFest. Don’t get me wrong, I had LOTS of fun. I was actually doing a lot of people watching all weekend, which is really fun for me. I got to show off Raving Rabids (a game for the Wii) to my fellow Console staffers at one point. That was fun. I’ll try to tell you the stories in whatever semblance of order I can. I just have too much jumbled together about the event to be putting all that sheeee-it in any precise order. For that, I’ll apologize right here and now.

On the drive in to MagFest, we hit LOTS of snow. Got stuck behind several accidents. I swear, people don’t know how to slow the hell down when it snows. There were at least 10 accidents between 3 exits that were backed up for at least 2 1/2 hours. “Oy Vey With The Poodles Already!”

Let’s see, we got to the hotel (or the citadel, as it’s more commonly known by MagFest go-ers) at about 3 or so on Thursday afternoon. Did the checking in thing. I got to meet some of Emptyeye’s buddies. They helped us bring our stuff to the room. I drove them to Subway to get dinner, and then to get some groceries at the supermarket right next door in the same plaza. Empty and I both went down to the Consoles room to see what was what. Got my first marching orders from Bunny (a nickname; and yes, there’s a picture of her), who I’d be working with most of the weekend. Then I pretty much went upstairs to our room to hang out and watch the ball drop. Nothing like watching Kathy Griffin do her thing in Times Square. Empty came upstairs with enough time to see it to. Shared some Cadbury chocolate and water. Classy, huh? Then did the whole calling my family to say Happy New Year, thing. Read a bit while Empty went back downstairs to the Console room. Then we both went to bed.

That's the Challenges Booth.

The rest of the Console Room.

Friday came my first shift. You’ll notice by the pictures, there was NOBODY but staffers around on Friday morning. Those that were were the good people who didn’t spend the night gone. Either that, or they were morning people. I don’t know which. . .
By Friday night, everyone was up and about.

The Original set-up for the SDA Charity Marathon, before all the technical difficulties.

If you’ve read Emptyeye’s post about the SDA ( Speed Demos Archive ) Charity Marathon, you know all about the technical issues that they had getting everything started. I managed to take a picture of how they SDA guys had everything set up. You also would have been already aware that the Marathon was to benefit CARE, and they raised over $10,000 over the course of Friday night into Sunday. They had everything mostly all ready to go until they realized that they couldn’t get the internet to work with them. So, they ended up going to the guy that runs SDA’s house to do the Marathon. I would have liked to see more of it than I did. I was happy that Emptyeye had fun with that, though.

*Just so you know, I’ll put the remainder of the pictures I’ve gathered at the very end of this post with as many notes as I possibly can. This embedding picture thing one at a time is starting to piss me off!!!

Saturday, was more of the SDA Marathon. I was off working 3 different shifts. It was the day that had most of the major tournaments going on. There were also LOTS of people dressed up like game character costumes.

Sunday was more working. Set up our 360 and Lego Rock Band in the Consoles Room. One of the other staffers decided he wanted to trip over the wires and made the system come crashing to the ground. Ruined our copy of Lego Rock Band. I was kinda mad. Empty had his mind set on other things, but I’m sure he was equally mad. The last of the SDA Marathon was that night. Ended VERY early Monday morning. Emptyeye came in after I had been asleep and double- locked in. Couldn’t get in with the deadbolt on, now could he? . . . Woke me up, made me mad. I just let him in, and passed the heck right back out.

Monday was my final shift. Said goodbye to those I had been working with. Packed up the 360, the broken Franken-kit (apparently the staffers had NO idea that the original drum kit of ours doesn’t work without the FRANKEN part of it and ended up taking it all apart), and got the hell out. Was mad as hell about Franken-kit being ruined. Mostly mad at myself that I didn’t explain WHY it was set up that way. I mean, how the hell was Bunny supposed to know that the drums didn’t work the way they were supposed to unless they were rigged the way we rigged them. SHE WASN’T!!!!

The drive home was good. Made it home alright. Kinda late. Unpacked the car, and passed the hell out. Did the unpacking the next day. You know how it all goes when you get home from a trip.

A scrapbook with all of Emptyeye and my memories from the weekend.

So, I guess you know that all the issues with my camera cable gave me such a headache. But once I got everything working, I created this;

And now, all the REST of the pictures I took. You’ll note that I didn’t add any pictures of people in their different costumes from Saturday. This was because I didn’t think it right to put up their photos without getting their permissions to do so. Getting their permissions would have taken too long, either way. . . Enjoy!!!

In other news, my brother is moving again soon. To a house, this time. It looks like it could be a good place. We’ll hopefully get to see it before he moves again . . . well that’s the running joke, anyway.

Anyway, I’m off. Till next time, folks!!!