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Norrington
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post Jun 10 2008, 09:49 AM
Post #1
As a complete "outsider" to this group and production I wasn't exactly sure what to expect attending my first Excelsior Ball. Would it be lame? Would it be a waste of time and money? Would I meet new people and enjoy myself?

Well, the answers are: No, No, and YES!

From the moment I walked up to the Registration desk and got my program and badge (which are FAR superior to most convention's) I was greeted very warmly by everyone! Ryan asked me at least twice if I had gotten my parking validated, Andrew made a point of introducing himself, Wendy was very friendly....Rob and Beo - gracious gents! Adam made the viewings of the episodes extremely entertaining with his MST3K commentary!

Dinner was very organized and the BEST!!! Ben was a lot of fun to chat with and Melodee kept me laughing (howling?) throughout the event. Tim was hysterical with his constant "floorshow".

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone involved. As an unbiased attendee, you all did a marvelous job, and the love you have for this production shined throughout!
I wished I could have attended all three days, but it wasn't meant to be this year.

The only downside is having to wait another year for the next one....

Sincerly,
~Darren
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Moentran
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post Jun 11 2008, 05:04 AM
Post #2
QUOTE (Norrington @ Jun 11 2008, 01:49 AM) *
As a complete "outsider" to this group and production I wasn't exactly sure what to expect attending my first Excelsior Ball. Would it be lame? Would it be a waste of time and money? Would I meet new people and enjoy myself?

Well, the answers are: No, No, and YES!

From the moment I walked up to the Registration desk and got my program and badge (which are FAR superior to most convention's) I was greeted very warmly by everyone! Ryan asked me at least twice if I had gotten my parking validated, Andrew made a point of introducing himself, Wendy was very friendly....Rob and Beo - gracious gents! Adam made the viewings of the episodes extremely entertaining with his MST3K commentary!

Dinner was very organized and the BEST!!! Ben was a lot of fun to chat with and Melodee kept me laughing (howling?) throughout the event. Tim was hysterical with his constant "floorshow".

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone involved. As an unbiased attendee, you all did a marvelous job, and the love you have for this production shined throughout!
I wished I could have attended all three days, but it wasn't meant to be this year.

The only downside is having to wait another year for the next one....

Sincerly,
~Darren


Huh?
Did I miss something, and actually go to EBIII?

Nice to meet you, "Darren"....
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post Jun 11 2008, 07:22 AM
Post #3
Just to add my experience as a newbie...

Thursday: Flight was good with good service, rental car was an absolute piece of s**t. (Story for another day – Never rent from EZ Rental Car. icon_smile.gif) Getting to Rob’s was quite easy and finally meeting people (Rob, Beo, David, Wendy, John, Nick, Lucy, Beccy, Ryan, and Karl to name a few) who I had only known through the medium of the forums or some other digital form was just awesome. I can't talk about the filming, under the wrath of the plot ninjas/pirate, but it was a great experience. Something I will never forget.

Friday: First day of the Ball. We had a very good IHOP experience for breakfast, so I can only hope others did. We may not have the curse of the IHOP. On the program was a showing of old Areakt films; let me say that Rob has come a long way since those early days. Meeting many more friends: JT, Adam, Barbara, Consuelo, etc. Probably my favorite memory of the day is the majority of us deciding to go to Subway for a late lunch. Well, twelve or so of us make it to Subway, the rest end up in different locations. It was very entertaining to see the faces of those workers when all these people storm their shop, rearrange it, and tell their wild stories. (Yes, we put everything back and cleaned up after ourselves.) Late in the night I had to run and pick up my younger brother, Arron, who is stationed with the Marine Corps near LA. (Thank you, Rick.)

Saturday: Things really got underway today, with the panels beginning and showing of the more current HF productions. It was cool to see the episodes in big screen. Seeing “It’s Hour Come Round at Last” drove home what I missed out on last year. Arron told me he was very impressed with all the CGI work, but even more impressed when he learned that Rob did the majority of that work himself. (He’s not a huge Star Trek fan, but has enjoyed some elements of HF and a lot of the blooper reels.) I volunteered for the acting contest. (Yes, I did!) It was judged by Brandon and Risha—who did an excellent job, by the way—and was interesting to try, as you could put your own spin on a character in the Odyssey universe. Dinner… ChimChim, we’re sorry we picked on your car! Honestly! (Actually, if we could afford it, we’d like one!) What a wonderful time! It was another chance to talk with people, who you might not have gotten the chance to talk to in the convention room. And then there’s the infamous drinking contest… Team Odyssey versus Team Intrepid. Yes, Team Intrepid lost, but some would suspect foul play. Team Odyssey versus Team Helena, that was even more interesting and I daresay that Team Helena didn’t lose by much, but even if they aren't always triumphant in the Andromeda Galaxy, Team Odyssey is triumphant in drinking games! After dinner, it was back to the hotel with more entertainment in the lobby piano provided by Maestro Foster and Maestro Hartwig. I’ve never done karoke with a piano player and a laptop before, but hey, there is a first time for everything. I will, of course, never forget that rousing rendition of the “The Grinch Song” provided by yours truly, Mr. John Whiting, and Maestro Foster. Again another late night to bed, and I understand we missed a certain "New Zealand incident". (Rick, is this "Revenge of LA MAMMA"? icon_smile.gif)

Sunday: We only got to stay through the bloopers and Archein panel, but I must say this… I had a h**l of a blast with all of you. I know that I have missed names and but you are in my heart and my memory. I look forward to seeing you all again sometime in the future to make more memories together.
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Betras McFarland
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:08 AM
Post #4
QUOTE (Moentran @ Jun 11 2008, 05:04 AM) *
Huh?
Did I miss something, and actually go to EBIII?

Nice to meet you, "Darren"....

boo hoo icon_sad.gif icon_sad.gif I hope you can come next time.

and yes! Sabar and other-Darren, I agree...it was simply wonderful beyond words. In fact, it was so wonderful I just couldn't stay through Sunday as I was so very sad at the thought of leaving and saying goodbye to my "family". And then everyone's very sweet greeting from Universal via Jenn's phone made me cry again.

You guys are all such good people- I am blessed to have come into this show at the loneliest point in my life (my love had just died) and have thus been led to meet you all, some only on the boards, some in person, some six or so years of in-person ... you are all very special to me. It is wonderful not to feel judged...it is a new thing for me, being the weirdo I am icon_razz.gif

I do wish I'd been able to visit with you and Tobey more, Sabar, but it was such a great big ZOO of friendliness, I guess it wasn't the time for a real heart-to-heart. Next time . icon_biggrin.gif
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sffilk
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:16 AM
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But Beccy, you smiled................ you promised me you wouldn't! icon_sad.gif
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Betras McFarland
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:22 AM
Post #6
QUOTE (sffilk @ Jun 11 2008, 09:16 AM) *
But Beccy, you smiled................ you promised me you wouldn't! icon_sad.gif

oh dang...I did. I shouldn't make promises I simply had no hope of keeping icon_razz.gif but I did miss you !
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:23 AM
Post #7
QUOTE (Betras McFarland @ Jun 11 2008, 09:08 AM) *
boo hoo icon_sad.gif icon_sad.gif I hope you can come next time.

and yes! Sabar and other-Darren, I agree...it was simply wonderful beyond words. In fact, it was so wonderful I just couldn't stay through Sunday as I was so very sad at the thought of leaving and saying goodbye to my "family". And then everyone's very sweet greeting from Universal via Jenn's phone made me cry again.

You guys are all such good people- I am blessed to have come into this show at the loneliest point in my life (my love had just died) and have thus been led to meet you all, some only on the boards, some in person, some six or so years of in-person ... you are all very special to me. It is wonderful not to feel judged...it is a new thing for me, being the weirdo I am icon_razz.gif

I do wish I'd been able to visit with you and Tobey more, Sabar, but it was such a great big ZOO of friendliness, I guess it wasn't the time for a real heart-to-heart. Next time . icon_biggrin.gif


It was absolutely wonderful seeing you at the Excelsior Ball, and I really wish that we could spend more time together. I think the standout time for me was sitting around the piano performing a couple of solos. You have a fantastic voice!

Good thing about these events, they're never really goodbyes, they're often "see you soons!" And I hope they continue to be.
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sffilk
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:26 AM
Post #8
Rob, Beo, PTB, any chance that for next year you could do it over Memorial Day weekend? It'd make things easier for a working stiff like me (who will actually be able to afford the air fare).
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sabarwolf
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:39 AM
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QUOTE (Betras McFarland @ Jun 11 2008, 01:08 PM) *
SNIP

I do wish I'd been able to visit with you and Tobey more, Sabar, but it was such a great big ZOO of friendliness, I guess it wasn't the time for a real heart-to-heart. Next time . icon_biggrin.gif


As do I, my dear, as do I. And may I also add that you have a wonderful singing voice. You gave Judy a run for her money that night. icon_smile.gif

QUOTE (Beolach @ Jun 11 2008, 01:23 PM) *
It was absolutely wonderful seeing you at the Excelsior Ball, and I really wish that we could spend more time together. I think the standout time for me was sitting around the piano performing a couple of solos. You have a fantastic voice!

Good thing about these events, they're never really goodbyes, they're often "see you soons!" And I hope they continue to be.


Thanks, Beo. icon_smile.gif And I agree, wholeheartedly, on all points.
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rick20625
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:51 AM
Post #10
QUOTE (sabarwolf @ Jun 11 2008, 11:22 AM) *
Again another late night to bed, and I understand we missed a certain "New Zealand incident". (Rick, is this "Revenge of LA MAMMA"? icon_smile.gif)


Why is it always ME that gets their name associated with these "alleged" incidents of misbehavior?

I choose to see it like this.... As approximately 20 EB3 folks spilled out into the hotel lobby (at about 1:30am) singing around Beo and Andrew and Bodo and Mike Johns playing incredible grand piano music singalongs, the upwelling of HF comaraderie attracted others onto the scene. One gentlemen, a member of the New Zealand Royal Navy, offered us a small sip of an oddly interesting honey-flavored New Zealand vodka. It was quite potent (Jaytee can describe his intestines burning quite succinctly). As I am always interested in trying new cultural experiences (and he was quite cute and very happy), I tried some. It was odd, but not bad. In the spirit of national unity, I decided to due my duty and spread the spirit of Hidden Frontier to the Kiwis of New Zealand through tasting another sample. Funny, it didn't burn as much. The third shot was even quite nice.... At that point, our New Zealand navy boy had returned, and attempted to wrap himself and Becky in a very large New Zealand flag. She resisted, and it was not futile. I would have helped her, but I was having difficulty focusing at that point. [from this point on, the rest of the story gets a bit blurry, but involves sitting in the lobby talking with people (they were either Belgian, or perhaps HF people, I am not sure.]

Rick
(Go Kiwis!)

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Betras McFarland
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post Jun 11 2008, 09:57 AM
Post #11
QUOTE (rick20625 @ Jun 11 2008, 10:51 AM) *
Why is it always ME that gets their name associated with these "alleged" incidents of misbehavior?

I choose to see it like this.... As approximately 20 EB3 folks spilled out into the hotel lobby (at about 1:30am) singing around Beo and Andrew and Bodo and Mike Johns playing incredible grand piano music singalongs, the upwelling of HF comaraderie attracted others onto the scene. One gentlemen, a member of the New Zealand Royal Navy, offered us a small sip of an oddly interesting honey-flavored New Zealand vodka. It was quite potent (Jaytee can describe his intestines burning quite succinctly). As I am always interested in trying new cultural experiences (and he was quite cute and very happy), I tried some. It was odd, but not bad. In the spirit of national unity, I decided to due my duty and spread the spirit of Hidden Frontier to the Kiwis of New Zealand through tasting another sample. Funny, it didn't burn as much. The third shot was even quite nice.... At that point, our New Zealand navy boy had returned, and attempted to wrap himself and Becky in a very large New Zealand flag. She resisted, and it was not futile. I would have helped her, but I was having difficulty focusing at that point. [from this point on, the rest of the story gets a bit blurry, but involves sitting in the lobby talking with people (they were either Belgian, or perhaps HF people, I am not sure.]

Rick
(Go Kiwis!)


hm...why on earth did I resist? I must have been insane icon_razz.gif
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SPT
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post Jun 11 2008, 11:10 AM
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Wish I could have been there, sounds like a blast. As Judy Collins would sing, or Liz Taylor absolutely murder...Maybe next year...
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sffilk
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post Jun 11 2008, 12:22 PM
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QUOTE (Betras McFarland @ Jun 11 2008, 12:57 PM) *
hm...why on earth did I resist? I must have been insane icon_razz.gif

Was he cute?
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Betras McFarland
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post Jun 11 2008, 01:07 PM
Post #14
QUOTE (sffilk @ Jun 11 2008, 12:22 PM) *
Was he cute?

buh...guh... ::jaw hits floor::

yep.

he was...Adonis-like. He tried to drag me down the hall, as I recall, but my princess-training kicked in at a most inopportune moment. icon_lol.gif ladies apparently do not get dragged down halls by strange men, no matter how adonis-like they may be.

oh dear...how dull it is to be a lady.
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Betras McFarland
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post Jun 11 2008, 01:16 PM
Post #15
QUOTE (SPT @ Jun 11 2008, 11:10 AM) *
Wish I could have been there, sounds like a blast. As Judy Collins would sing, or Liz Taylor absolutely murder...Maybe next year...

send in the clowns did happen...there was singing galore. you really do need to be there, luv. we missed ya! I was trying to put together a lil' surprise for you but I was so distracted by the zoo-like atmosphere (really you could not come down to the bottom floor without being whisked away by star trek people for another adventure) that it utterly failed icon_sad.gif but it's just on hold.

We have some amazing pianists in this group. Beo even bruised his poor thumbs, but the virtuoso, marrow-tingling performance was one I won't forget. And he said he couldn't do "jazzy" but proceeded to make it clear that was typical Welsh modesty.

and Andrew!! he should have his own variety show. I think he's a music teacher...which would explain his ability to pick up any song and play the heck out of it.

and Bodo! fab, fab, fab.

I really think we need to do a musical. The group around the piano singing "Seasons of Love" that first night was, I think, one of my favorite moments this weekend.
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sffilk
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post Jun 11 2008, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE (Betras McFarland @ Jun 11 2008, 05:07 PM) *
buh...guh... ::jaw hits floor::

yep.

he was...Adonis-like. He tried to drag me down the hall, as I recall, but my princess-training kicked in at a most inopportune moment. icon_lol.gif ladies apparently do not get dragged down halls by strange men, no matter how adonis-like they may be.

oh dear...how dull it is to be a lady.

clap.gif rofl.gif
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post Jun 12 2008, 12:29 AM
Post #17
As another newbie I also shoud write down my impressions. So, ... what can I say? It was a blast, it's been so much fun being at this event, I enjoyed it a lot and would be glad to join next time again. It felt like coming home after so many years, though it was my first time being there at all!!!Especially the speeches in the end at the last evening were so emotional, it was really very touching to experience it at first hand.

Hope to see all of you guys next time again!

Live long and prosper! Captain Majid
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post Jun 12 2008, 08:28 AM
Post #18
well, becky... it is a good thing you are a real lamb , you could have in real trouble .
(sorry, really baaaa joke)

I am going next year come h-ll or high water
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post Jun 12 2008, 09:16 AM
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So, I’m back home. It’s cold an rainy here in Cologne, and after more than 16 hours of bad sleep and an awful headache, I know now what a *jetlag* really is about.

I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH, to each and everyone of you! For such a pleasant, heck BRILLIANT time you gave me! I never had any reason to feel lost or alone (and I have to admit I’m always a bit uncomfortable when travelling on my own to a place where I haven’t been before). Right from the first day, it was such a welcome, such an experience - I’m simply lost in words about everything!

You all ROCK! You opened my heart in every possible way. Your friendship, kindness, help and support was a BLAST, and I really hope I’ll be able to come over again next year. I miss you all!! Heck, I’m feeling I owe everyone an awful lot!

A Thank You also to all who mentioned the music, be it Odyssey or playing some Trek tunes on the piano – please know and be sure that without all the support and encouragement I got from Rob’s and Nick’s side last year, simply none of it would have been possible, and I will never forget this. I love you guys!

So, thanks again. Meeting everyone was more than great! Thank God for the internet, we’ll be in touch anyways! icon_smile.gif

- Bodo
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Betras McFarland
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post Jun 12 2008, 09:20 AM
Post #20
Bodo!! glad you got home safely.

it was awesome to meet you, and to enjoy your wonderful playing icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif

gosh, I wish there were a way to get this group together more than once a year.
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