Alright, so I'll just give this a good old ramble:
Brickfair started with Pat coming over to my house, because we had elected to take the bus together this year. Pat, for those not in the know, is our own Darth Vader, and is incredibly awesome in real life. I know you guys like hating on him for his reviews, but hey, somebody has to tell the truth. So anyway we hung out and went to see Inception because he had not yet seen it.
Okay quick Inception break: This movie is just one great film. Don't believe the haters, because I know they are out there. Just go in and see it as soon as you can. Maybe, and I mean maybe, it'll go over your head, but for god's sake nothing cinematic has moved me quite as much as the train scene in a very long time.
So anyway we went to see that. Everybody loved it. Then we got on a bus.
Okay, so when I say we got on a bus, I mean we waited an hour for our bus to even show up. Eventually it arrived, very late, but of course we had to wait a long time to even get on the thing. Then we got to meet our bus driver, the always incorrigible Mr. Terry Shaw. Mr. Terry Shaw ran his bus like a well oiled machine. In fact, he probably oils that machine too much. He made sure everyone understood the complete route by giving us a thirty minute question and answer session. If anyone dared speak out of turn he would simply stare them down until they quieted down. He made sure everyone understood there would be NO singing on this bus, NO dancing. Of course, to this Pat and I replied instantly "But we can dance if we want to! We can leave our friends behind! Cause your friends can't dance and if they don't dance they're no friends of mine!"
He was not amused.
I'll spare you the rest of the nasty details, but by the end of our trip we had ended up five hours late to our destination. Sooo awesome. Then, after another twenty four hours or so of riding, we finally reached Springfield to discover our luggage had not made it with us. Oh man. Oh boy. Let me paint you a picture: We had been riding a bus for three days, two nights. Wearing the same clothes the entire time. With no showers or hygiene around for miles. Did we smell? you might say that. You might also say the sun is hot. And we had no clothes to change into either. It was in other words a very pleasant arrival.
So moving on, everyone was really angry and really upset by the time we got there, and it seemed like this Brickfair might not be as awesome as possible. Then we finally reunited with our friends and it suddenly got a lot better. First we got to meet Maddison, aka Nukaya. She is pretty much ridiculously awesome, and I think it is fair to say she was the star this year, especially for Pat, who by this time had become one of my closest friends. You really just can't spend three days on a bus with someone without either hating them or loving them, and that's all there really is to say on the matter! Andrew was of course back, being his bossy self, but that's what we love about him and although I still wish he had his chin strap beard back it was great seeing him. Naturally the rest of the crew eventually got to hang with us, and that was great. I didn't get to hang out at the apartment everyone else lived in, and I won't lie and say there weren't some hurt feelings at some points because of things related to this (InnerRayg? More like InnerCryag....wait....that was awesome. Name Change coming up.) but this actually turned out to be awesome because the reason I didn't get to visit was because of things I had done, and when you can make things better after you've made a mistake you always feel good. You better believe when Ray has made someone upset he will do whatever it takes to fix it or die trying. And this was all really before Brickfair even started!
Then Brickfair started, at least in my mind, with our annual staff dinner. Not everyone got to go because -somebody- doesn't know how to follow directions, but there was still a sizeable amount of awesome people. There may or may not have been some presence of alcohol during this adventure but it was all good fun, and it really helped make a sour beginning turn into a much sweeter journey. Then we slept and woke up the next day to awesome news: Our luggage was found, much to our relief. You better believe we changed the heck out of our old clothes. I didn't even wait to get home, just slipped into the bathroom and then carried my old dirty pants around with me like some kind of twisted pet. That night we got to go to the "Running of the Bulls", which is everyone goes to the Lego store at night after the mall has closed to buy half priced sets. It was totally rad too, I got the most awesome space ship set I've ever seen.
We went to bed and woke up to the first public day. Public day is when all those smelly people who don't really like Lego but want to check out us nerds come by and so they do that and we all smile and try to ignore them. There was lots of fun this day; we helped out with stuff, we bought things; we ate food. It happens.
Brickfair started being really awesome during bingo. We do bingo every year, but we rarely win things. not this time, oh no. I managed to score a huge set, a nice $150 box set of one of the modular building sets. This thing was huge, and I was very proud of calling my bingo before it happened (The winning number was B6! Destiny I say!). I didn't keep this set, but I made sure it went to a good home. I'll be honest, I had no room for it anyway. Ask Pat, he's seen my room. It is a -mess-. There was also one of those really cool jumbo air jumpy thingies, and I didn't get to go in it this year but man even just watching it was a blast.
So lots of more things happened, and really it becomes kind of pedantic to list all our little social interactions, but just trust me in that it was spectacular. The next day we got to do a spectacular set review after the public finally vamoosed. This review is one you guys will probably be seeing in a few weeks, and it's pretty funny if I do say so myself. Then that night a couple of us got together and had some fun for awhile before going to bed.
Sunday was really a stand out day for one reason; Steve Witt. Every year he takes us all out to dinner and this year was no different. The difference was that we had SOOO MANY people. It was ridiculous how many people we had, and all of us were dressed to the nines. We took over an entire wing of the Outback Steakhouse we were in and oh man did we cause trouble, but the staff were gracious and it was a ton of fun for everyone except Maddison and Pat, because they "had" to go outside and be "sick" or something. Man it must have sucked being all alone together like that I just can't even imagine. Luckily we eventually all came out and joined them for some post-dinner partying. It was great, with one small exception, and everyone had a really spectacular time looking good and being friends.
And just like that, it was over. We didn't leave till the next morning, and infinite thanks to Andrew Six for driving us everywhere we needed to be at the time. Then Pat and I had to go home again on another two day bus, and while we still had fun we honestly spent most of it sleeping because of how little sleep we had all gotten over the period of the event. And now, we're home and sad and bored.
So here's to next year!
I won't do a shout out to the people I met, because you know who you are and if we had fun you know we had fun already. If we didn't, then next year we'll probably become better friends, sometimes it takes a few times to become buddies with everyone just because we add so many people each year. But if you think maybe when I say I really enjoy your company that I'm talking about you, then you are right. Trust me, there isn't anybody at Brickfair I dislike. In all honesty there is always drama every year, and I know for a fact there are people who dislike some other people there for all sorts of reasons (many of them justified), but I personally could never bring myself to dislike any of you guys. Brickfair is just too good of an experience for me to ever dislike any aspect of it.