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Have You Found Mr. Goodbar? I Hope Not…

21 Sep

This evening, I finally got around to downloading some of the pictures I took last July at MagicMeets (where, by the way, I had a fabulous time!).

And I must say, I still can’t get over this baseball hat, which I saw on the racks at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Um, didn’t anybody else read that book? See that movie? I hope it’s safe to venture into spoiler territory now that Looking for Mr. Goodbar has been out for a few decades….’cause I just gotta say, I’m not so sure that finding Mr. Goodbar is such a desirable outcome.

Magic Meets: Best, Worst, and Strangest

23 Jul

Magic Meets was my first major Disney fan gathering, and it was a blast! I’ll be on a roundtable discussing this event later this week on the All About the Mouse podcast…so for the time being, I’ll simply offer some “slice of life” observations and tidbits from my weekend.

Best in Show: Spending time with a boatload of fellow Disney freaks was truly a treat! I’ve never seen a friendlier, more welcoming community. It was especially fabulous to get some face time with friends I’ve gotten to know online, and find out more about how much we have in common. It has been brought to my attention that I truly am not the only evil queen around here. It was also incredibly satisfying to learn that Lisa’s and my Those Darn Cats podcast does, in fact, have several listeners! Sure, our download stats already told us people were subscribing…but listening is a whole other thing!

Bitchiest Moment: There were two major events taking place in the Radisson that weekend: Magic Meets and a Marriage Enrichment workshop. In the gym Saturday morning, I kept wanting to ask people, “So, are you a Disney geek, or is your marriage just all fucked up?”

Deepest Observation: I attended my first ever Pin Trading meet, and realized just how intimidated I am by the people sitting with enormous binders of pins before them. Can I blame this on a little PTSD from a bad experience with a pin shark putting the hard sell onto my son at Disneyland Paris? Maybe. But I also notice that hardcore pin traders seem to be the stigmatized out-group within the out-group of Disney geeks. People with pin trading binders and lanyards overflowing with Hidden Mickey pins (like, say, myself) will nonetheless say, “I’m not really a serious pin trader…” or even, “Those people scare me.”

How much of this is because we’re intimidated by their awesome collections, and how much is because we want to believe that, at least for this one moment, there is somebody freakier than ourselves? (“If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.” Thank you, Kris Kristofferson!)

I was also interested to learn that plenty of hardcore pin traders used to be Beanie Babie collectors, and that when Beanie Babies went bust, the collectors needed something new to do. Unlike, say, those of us moderate-level pin traders like myself, who seem to be Disney fans who find in it a simple expansion of our passion for all (or many) things Disney.

Saddest Moment: Missing my son terribly, after attending the Pin Meet. He’s the one who got me into pin trading in the first place, and I know he would have had a blast playing bingo, and looking at all the rare and special-edition pins. Late Saturday night I became overwhelmed with sadness about the fact that he can’t join me at MouseFest 2008, and was too embarassed to tell anybody, so I just hibernated in my room a while (so, what is it that now compells me to share this intimate tidbit on the wilds of the interweb? am I nuts or what?).

Best Place to Stretch Your Legs on I-78: Roadside America! Pal Mickey and I needed a little break on the way home Monday, so we stopped into this indoor miniature village to walk around a little bit. I was taken by the nighttime pagaent, but his favorite was the caverns. Remember, stalactites stick tight to the ceiling, but you might trip over a stalagmite!

Even More Deepest Observation: I found myself reflecting a bit on my cultural orientation and class background, and the priorities I unconsciously apply to my decisions about vacation time and money. Sometimes I deeply envy those who stay in the Deluxe accomodations, who book trips through Adventures by Disney, whose lives are such that a Disney Vacation Club investment makes sense. But then I consider, is it truly that I couldn’t afford those choices? Or is it that I simply have different priorities for my time and money? I am a travel junkie…there’s no doubt about that. And regardless of what my income is, or might someday be, I’ll probably always choose quantity/length of trips over luxury of accomodations or service. I’d rather spend 6 nights at All Star Movies than 2 at the Grand Floridian.

But when a travel agent referred to Disney Deluxe accommodations as being “what we’re all comfortable with,” it really came home exactly how different my experience is. Do I enjoy deluxe accommodations, on the occasions I’ve partaken thereof? Absolutely. But am I uncomfortable at the Best Western or Pop Century? Absolutely not.

Best Animatronic Cows: What, animatronic cows? Well, yes indeed. Lisa and I spent some time Sunday at Hershey’s Chocolate World, where we needed to ride the Chocolate Tour not just once, but twice. I’m hoping that the ridethrough we recorded comes out okay! I tried to buy a copy of the theme song in the gift shop…the look on the clerk’s face was priceless.

Most Timely Bargain Shopping: On Sunday we made a highly successful expedition to the local Disney Store Outlet, where I found a Tinkerbell watch I’d admired (priced at $50) at a deeply discounted price ($7.50, to be precise). I also saw a wall full of WALL-E merchandise, which made me feel deeply conflicted. I love the movie, so I want the merch, but the movie’s message about conspicuous consumption makes me question whether I really need one more t-shirt, or that plastic watch. I had some serious lust for the WALL-E metal lunchbox I saw for sale at Magic Meets, but resisted for those same reasons. Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying the Tinkerbell watch, or a few other cheapo goodies for the boys back home. I never promised I’d be consistent, did I?

Magic Meets Roll Call!

16 Jul

I’m so excited about heading down to Magic Meets this weekend! I’ve been hanging out in the Disney online fan community for a few years now, and this is the first time I’ll be attending a major fan gathering. I’ve been to a few smaller ones, informal meets organized on the DISBoards, and it’s always been fun to meet up with people who are as crazy as I am, at least when it comes to Disney stuff. (Sometimes there’s more overlap too…online or in-person, I have in fact met people who also share my passions for roller derby (hi Geoff!), anime conventions, and queer liberation.

Lisa and I ramble on a bit about MagicMeets on this week’s Those Darn Cats podcast, and throw in a few other odds and ends as well.

So, are any of y’all heading to Camp Hill, Pennsylvania this weekend for the big event? MagicMeets Roll Call!! And hey, if you’re there please don’t be shy, come over and say hello…ye shall know us by our furry little ears, and we’ll have some little buttons to give away.

MagicMeets Partners with Segway

14 Feb

This just in from Magical Mountain: Disney North East Fan Meet Partners With Segway:

MagicMeets, the group responsible for the largest annual get-together of Walt Disney World fans in the United States’ Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, has announced that it has partnered with Segway of Central PA to showcase Segway Personal Transporters at its fourth annual Northeast Disney Fans Gathering. The event is to be held on Saturday, July 14, 2007, at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill, PA, just across the river from the state capital, Harrisburg.

Now, how mad am I that this conflicts with one of my favorite anime fests, ConnectiCon? Apparantly my personal scheduling gods missed the telecon. This is entirely unfair, seeing as I’m entirely prepared with my m4d l33t s3gw4y ski11z!

Kitty-chan on a Segway
Yours truly, on a Segway tour of Paris in 2003

All you Disney podcasters out there gotta promise me there will be Vidcasts of Disney fans on Segways, so I won’t miss out on all the fun!

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