On Saturday, Cassie-wa and Stephanie were up bright and early because it was Starkid day! Hooray! We ate breakfast and then wandered down to the convention area where there was a COMICALLY LONG LINE. Naturally. We did not join it. We vaguely considered going to a tattoo meet-up, but decided against it. It was about 9am and people were waiting to get into the main room for the gothic operetta “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart.” This would be followed immediately by Starkid. Since we were there – and who doesn’t love an opera first thing in the morning? – we waited until the end of the COMICALLY LONG LINE line came to us and found seats.
And it was GREAT. We were both pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the show. 85% of the cast had an amazing voice (the other 15% made up for it with enthusiasm!), it was well put together, the music was epically operatic. And there was a “mother reads her daughter a story to help her through a difficult breakup” frame story. We love frame stories.
Then it was time for Starkid. And we, along with the rest of the audience, about lost our damn minds. AJ Holmes came out to the keyboard first and we lost it. Then Darren Criss poked his beautiful head out of the door and we lost it more. Oh Darren, why do you have to be on TV? We love you so much more! Although Stephanie would like to note how funny it is that there is no difference between how much the crowd lost it’s mind for Darren than for any other member of the cast. We are obsessed with them ALL! They started off with “Get Back to Hogwarts” and went through pretty much every main song from both AVPM and AVPS – with the crowd enthusiastically singing along and cheering wildly for each song. It was an absolute blast.
Then came a question and answer session – moderated by Firenze the Centaur. Now, Jim Povolo is like a gigantic male model, but when he puts on that wig and little centaur butt – magic. Pure magic.
“You see, I’m a centaur. Not a Pegasus like my friend Rainbow Dash.”
He alternately asked questions from index cards which were left by his forest friends such as David the Gnome and Tom Bombadil (one of these questions sent Nick Lang on a 5 minute rant about Spiderman 3) and questions from the audience. (Such as – “Joey Richter, will you go to the ball with me?” He declined since he was already going with Evanna Lynch. OH OKAY. What a blessed life.) It was hilarious and wonderful.
Meanwhile Cassie-la and Kelly were spending the extra time they saved NOT seeing Starkid and instead slept and did not waste $20. We all rejoined after Starkid to watch something we normally do not care about: sports.
One of the things we missed at Infinitus 2010 last year was the chance to see a live Quidditch match. Living right near New York, which is where the Quidditch World Cup is played is pretty damn cool, but we definitely wanted to know what non-fictional (or self-proclaimed Muggle) Quidditch looked like.
The first match we watched was played by noobs, with George’s Left Ear vs. The Bitchin’ Snitches. The game started off with each team kneeling in front of their goal posts, eyes closed while the Snitch was “released”. In this case the Snitch was merely someone with a yellow sock with a ball in it hanging on them like a tail (as you would expect, this person had to be in good in enough shape to basically play tag for an indefinite period of time). Once the Snitch was released and given time to leave the premises the whistle was blown and the game began.
The goal is to get the white ball (the Quaffle) into the three hoops to score points without being “knocked” off your broom by the Bludgers, which are red balls which are thrown rather than hit with bats. If a player is hit by a Bludger they have to go back and touch their goal post to simulate the time it would take if one were knocked off a broom to get back into play.
Meanwhile, the seekers are looking for the Snitch who eventually wanders back onto the field, generally taunting the teams. At one point the announcer made a point of saying, “The Snitch is still at large. And getting more obnoxious by the second”. In the second match by the International Quidditch Association the Snitch was particularly saucy, throwing water in the faces of both seekers. He even hid with the spectators to avoid notice. That match we rooted for Snapes of Wrath because we love their name, but sadly the Butterbeer Monocles won.
After a long extended period of time in the heat, we all went inside to take a naps in the wonderful wonderful air conditioning.
While her three wizardly friends napped, Kelly decided to go on a solo mission to Maureen Johnson’s Ladies Salon for Ladies. When she arrived, MJ was still discussing her new book The Name of the Star. If you like the story of Jack the Ripper and Young Adult literature – you should pre-order this book. Preferably from Books of Wonder, an independent bookstore in NYC. If you do that, Maureen promised she would sign and maul every copy from that store. Then she demonstrated her impressive powers of mauling on the ARC in her hands. She stated that copy would go to Hank Green.
Seeing Maureen hosting her own panel without having to facilitate discussions or ensure Ron Weasley wasn’t effing things up just confirmed how absolutely bonkers that woman is. She cursed frequently, threatening her audience with statements like “if anyone touches that seat, I will cut a bitch.” If someone left while she was speaking, she would stop and say “Judging yoooou!” in a singsong voice, or “Memorizing your faces….hate you forever.” She also brought back the fun game from the nerdfighter gathering called “What Random Shit Do You Have In Your Possession?” Except she added a twist – she wanted LIVE QUARRY. She would shout for someone to bring her a Malfoy, and people would go sprinting from the room. Hank Green would have been on the menu, but he was doing an event with Esther Earl’s family.
Then one brave soul volunteered to take an ARC and hide. Maureen’s eyes lit up with an evil glow, excited at the prospect of a live manhunt. So the boy took the book and bolted from the room, and MJ made us countdown until we could be released from the room. When the doors were thrown open, more than 20 girls ran in pursuit of that boy. (It was a bit like the Gnome Mobile…) One shrewd girl found him within a minute and came triumphantly back to the room, ARC raised in the air like the Triwizard Cup.
At this point, things got a little chaotic. Members of the male persuasion were asked to leave so the ladies could get prettified for the ball. Other girls were streaming in, asking if someone had already found the live quarry. Some took advantage of this time and went up to get things signed by Maureen. Others looked around, shrugged, and then began taking off and putting on clothes. Not wanting to encounter the MJ Death Stare again, Kelly decided to take advantage of Maureen’s temporary distractedness and slip out the door. The ball was fast approaching, and she had to get her dress robes on.
When Kelly returned to the girls’ dormitory, we all got ready for the Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball, in honor of Esther, a member of the HP fandom who died from cancer last August at the age of 16. We were told to be ready to dance our faces off, and we got ready with this in mind.
Stephanie was decked out in a green/black dress in honor of Slytherin house, Cassie-wa dressed herself a la Rowena Ravenclaw complete with Claire’s tiara… I mean diadem, Kelly put on an adorable magical themed dressed covered with stars, and Cassie-la went as a Slytherclaw with a blue and bronze dress and hair piece with Slytherin accessories and eyeshadow.
After eating mass amounts of sushi (like they do in Twilight) and watching an amazing Florida thunderstorm, we headed downstairs to drink and be Merry (and Pippin). There were a lot of amazing costumes, and some frighteningly confusing costumes as well (see main photo of a storm trooper, Lucius Malfoy, and Michael Jackson above). People were dancing their faces off as expected, but the music was just as awful as last year with the exception of the Ghostbusters theme song which had everyone singing and dancing regardless of age. And let’s not forget that we were treated to the Duck Tales theme song! Because we hadn’t had quite enough of it yet – could we ever? Woo-ooo!
At this point, after much alcohol, Stephanie and Cassie-wa, as is their wont, ran into some wizard rockers while Cassie-la went to make a phone call to her boyfriend and her beasties and Kelly ran to change her shoes. Stephanie and Cassie-wa chatted with Brian from Draco and the Malfoys about Wrockstock which they will be attending in October – tried to figure out where Missouri is and learned the joys of “ba-corn.” And that the best food is at the kid’s table.
When we all rejoined again, Brian and his roommate, Justin Finch-Fletchley (of “and the Sugar Quills”) invited us up to their room for EVEN MORE drinking while the DJ had time to get their music act together. We drank an assortment of beverages (none of which were very good, and most of which were probably neither Brian or Justin’s) listened to the Hold Steady and the “Buffy” musical, learned more secrets (man, we learned a lot of secrets this weekend!), got caramel popcorn thrown at us and witnessed some general debauchery.
Afterward, we headed back downstairs to drink more and dance! Stephanie, Kelly, and Brian disappeared into the main crowd to dance like crazy and the Cassie’s had some alone time to dance Cassie-style (Cassie-style being like loud, drunk white-girls). Thankfully, the music was much better, and they were playing crowd pleasers like the Ramones, Lady Gaga, the “Pokemon theme song, and the LeakyCon favorite “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (“Total Eclipse of the Car” if you’re drunk Cassie-wa, and “Total Eclipse of the Cart” if you are drunk Cassie-la misunderstanding drunk Cassie-wa) which was sung roughly three times. Melissa Anelli, the Head Mischief Maker at LeakyCon, made a speech in memory of Esther (which was interrupted by chants of “Esther! Esther! Esther!”) and there were a lot of tears and group hugs. Kelly rejoined us and we re-enacted a cornucopia of love as best we could, minus the nakedness.
As Kelly summarized the evening, we got drunk and we danced YAY!
Cassie-la, Cassie-wa, and Kelly were exhausted from all the shenanigans and decided it was time to Rohan Gotobed around 2 a.m. Stephanie, however, went down to the lobby to attend a wizard party featuring about 30 wizards, some wrockers, and apparently, ALL OF THE ALCOHOL. The hotel was happy to allow this party in the lobby because it meant it wasn’t happening in a guest room, disturbing other guests (although they did try to subtly kick everyone out by dimming the lights few times).
It was very much in the spirit of “When the Lights Go Out”: “We’re wizards, we’ll party forever. This night will never end!”