Stefan's Year in Review
DecemberThe last Ascension party of the year was great. Lots of people came out to the Masquerade for good music and good fun. The weather and other events kept a few people away but we had a blast until they finally kicked us out in the wee hours. Artwork by Jason Flowers was pretty cool too. Thanks to DJ 313, DJ Lecter and DJ Eschar for the excellent tunes. Pictures are posted.(Write me for the entry code).
|Oni's Nightmare before Xmas party turned out well. Lot's of people came out for a fun night. Most wore Jack or Sally costumes but there were a few leftover Halloween ones too. I had fun talking pictures and being naughty. The face-painting wasn't as popular as last month and some no-shows were disappointing but everyone seemed to have a good time. I thought the decorations were beautiful and made for fine back-drops. Pictures are posted.(Write me for the entry code).|
|I was amazed by the wonderful outfits at the Atlanta Wizard's Ball as over 1000 people descended into Hell in the Masquerade for a Harry Potter theme party. The huge attendance was good because there were many cool costumes but bad because parking was terrible and it was very crowded. The energy was off too as so many people weren't dancing. I tried to mingle and have fun but it really didn't work for me. Still, I got some good pictures. Overall, I was disappointed because I really wanted a house badge but couldn't find the booth and I didn't get any Butterbeer. If anyone tried the butterbeer I would like to know about it.|
Guardians of the Galaxy was as stupid as I thought it would be but it was still entertaining. Glad I didn't pay much though.
I agree with Justin Craig that Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is only half awesome. They were true to the book and the movie is very good but cutting the story in half really ruins the dynamics of the characters and plot. The movie itself was already going to be dark and gritty with boring costumes but this money grab was a really bad decision. Unlike the first two movies which were young-adult, this is intense adult stuff. This will scare aware many from seeing the last part. It is so different from the first two that this move to split it will probably lose many fans. I expect the reviews to be mixed and the final film not to do as well in the box office: But it will do great on DVD. There were some changes, I've noted about 50 myself, but they hit most of the major points and overall it's a very good film. I like this article to. Why didn't Katniss make her demand to kill President Snow?
I went to the NCG triple feature - Hunger Games marathon which was very cool. We got special passes and it was great to watch all the films together to really get immersed in the experience. They had breaks between the films so you could refill your popcorn. The crowd wasn't as big as I'd expected and no one wore costumes but I would do it again.
|Oni's Day of the Dead party at Famous Pub was fun. Many people looked amazing both in make-up and dress. Two make-up artists did a wondereful job painting people all night with colorful and creative designs. The music was great too thanks to DJP and Bouncyhouse. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
The reviews for Interstellar are mixed and I certainly can understand why. While parts of the movie are visually interesting the overall plot is not. Matthew McConaughey did a great job but the script just wasn't there to support him. The whole ghost-alien-futureself thing was just too confusing and mixed-up. The physics of the planetary landings were ridiculous compared to the care they took with the time distortion elements. Something to talk about for sure but not something to watch.
The food at the Atlanta Lobster festival was good but overall, the event was weak. The lines were very long and there really wasn't much to do so I got bored and left. There were serious sound problems which is why I lost interest in the music. I guess I won't go back if they do it again.
Doug and Robin's post Halloween party was fun with good food and drink but too cold to be outside.
The Halloween Legion party hosted by Dragonfire Events turned out pretty good. There was a good crowd and many fine costumes that made shooting pictures fun. The music was sporadic which left the dance floor frequently empty but everyone seemed to have a fun time. The decorations, both inside and out, were impressive. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
The Ascension Halloween in Hell party at the Masquerade was okay but had issues, again. Just like previously parking was a serious problem which I believe kept people away. Seating was also a problem which made others leave early - If, after dancing for a while, you can't sit and rest, why stay? Additionally they were very short staffed at the bar which upset many people. Even a Halloween costume contest failed to attract a large audience which I believe signals the end of this event. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
|It was a long drive to Conyers for the Atlanta Chili Cookoff but well worth the trip. There were some great chili offerings and I enjoyed the day out and the music.|
I think I missed something at the Whole Hawg BBQ Festival on the Marietta Square because I didn't get to try the BBQ. Maybe that came later but as I walked around and watched a band, the only BBQ offered was from vendors. I had some good food but left disappointed. I won't be going back either.
The Corruption of Oz party was disappointing. Very few people attended and the music was bizarre. I stayed for the costume contest but left shortly afterward. The biggest let-down was that my friends didn't show. I didn't pull the camera out because I wasn't inspired but the other photogs there should have the few good costumes covered. On the technical side, the lighting, seating, parking and bathrooms were terrible.
|Kenny Rogers put on a good show at the North Georgia State Fair. After walking the concourse and enjoying a turkey leg, red velvet funnel cake and roasted corn on the cob, his show was a great highlight. He sang abbreviated versions of most of his hits and even brought his wife and kids on stage. But it was his jokes, stories and interaction with the audience that made the show fun. His voice isn't as strong and he made several jokes about growing old but I enjoyed it tremendously.|
Most of my friends skipped the Sept. Ascension party. I assume it was because the other events at the Masquerade used up all the parking and they left in frustration. But inside, for those who attended, the music was good and people had fun. I left early and while I took some good pictures there isn't really enough for a gallery. Write me if I took your picture and I'll send you copies.
|Oni hosted her monthly Ritual party with a pirate theme she called Treasure Island at Famous Club. Many sexy pirates and wenches attended. There were some terrific decorations too. DJ Skittles and DJ Eschar kept the music spinning and the people enjoyed a fun night. Pictures are posted; I hope you like them. Comments are encouraged.|
|It was a beautiful day for the British Car and Motorcycle Fayre in Norcross. The historic town center was full of classic and modern British cars that attracted a huge crowd. I took dozens of pictures but mostly spent the day socializing, sight seeing and answering questions about the Minis. This year there were 5 classic Minis and 7 modern Minis which made my car happy. The day went very quickly but ended on a sour note: About an hour before the scheduled end of the event, a rain cloud came through and most people evacuated. There was barely any rain fall, just a few scattered droplets, but it was enough to scare everyone away. On the bright side, Annmarie and Lashauna came through in awesome Union Jack dresses and I got a great picture of them with my Cooper; So I'm calling this one a win.|
AugustThe Ascension; dance party at the Masquerade was wonderful. It was held in Hell this time and, although there wasn't a huge turnout due to that big convention next week, there were plenty of fun people. The other club events caused some parking issues early on but eventually everyone showed up and had a great time. Music kept everyone dancing and people seemed thrilled. Oni looked great dancing around, didn't she? There were three Sammies and a newbie named Emily that made my night quite memorable. Thanks to everyone for making the night a success. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code )
I finished reading, All You Need is Kill: The book that inspired the Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow. Then I went and saw the movie for a third time. I still had questions, so I found the manga version of the book online which answered a few more questions from the book. While the theme is the same from book to movie - Everything else is different. I found it very amusing to find things that made it into the movie: Some things really stand out. As with all time-travel fiction, there are issues but I really like the story. Anyone want to discuss?
X-Men: Days of Future Pasts was as bad as I expected.
|The Imperial OPA Circus took over the Shakespeare Tavern to perform the The Grand Cabaret. Mostly it was acrobatics with a juggler and some comedy. It was fun, but more unpolished than I expected. Still the aerialists were very good and it was a good night. They asked the audience to dress up and many obliged which resulted in an exciting costume contest; I liked Maria, the lion tamer the best. I hope there are some better pictures posted; I didn't think they'd allow photography and only took a few shots with my phone.|
|Oni's Ritual hosted a fun Goth Luau party at Famous Pub. The music was too loud and not many people showed, which drove many away early, but I had fun, met some new people and took a few fun pix. (Write me for the entry code)
The memorial for Val at Mary's home was nice. Many of his work friends, motorcycle friends, his brother Steve and sister-in-law Kelley got together to share pictures and stories. Val died unexpectedly from complications after a motorcycle accident. He will be remembered.
I enjoyed Jennifer Daniels' performance at Eddie's Attic. The show was part of the Amplify Concert Series; It's a fund raiser for the Decatur Cooperative Ministry's work in the area supporting shelters and other causes which is good. I bought their CD to support the cause. Jennifer was great and Steve Everett and Marshall Seese were also good. Of course the service and the seating are always disappointing. My first experience with the jerk chicken wings was also disappointing.
| Ritual: Quarantine - Oni's Medical Mayhem party at Famous Pub was a success. The music was too loud and the bar was too dark for my taste but a lot of people came out and had a great time. There were some amazing outfits and Oni's performance was awesome. It was great to reconnect with some long lost friends too: Grace and Raven. I think we all had fun. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
I liked the Tom Cruise movie: Edge of Tomorrow. It was definitely a sci-fi action movie but had romance and comedy too. I call it a mashup of Starship Troopers and Groundhog Day with a pinch of 50 First Dates. The twists and turns were very unexpected and the ending it what you expect but not how you expect it. The special effects were nice. The only thing I didn't like was the one dimensional general and the plot-hole exiting his office. I saw it on the regular screen and it looked fine.
|The Secretroom Halfway to Halloween costume party at the Jungle Club Atlanta was really fun. The fashion show was beautiful: The models and outfits were lovely. After the show I went back stage for more pictures, then the models came out for shots with the crowd: Those images are awesome. Thanks to Eike, Hada-Pixie, Marissa, Megan, Autumn, and the Paranoia ghouls. I'm not too happy with the designer, who used my pictures without writing me and then removed my watermark on some pictures - Very Rude! The performance by Pandora Von Kit along with the aerialists and go-go dancers made the night very entertaining. Pictures are posted (Write for the entry code).
A big part of the night's success was that not too many people showed; Even some performers didn't make-it. The new renovations suck-out-load and severely limit the capacity. The place is miserable when there's a large turn-out; But since that didn't happen, there was room to move around and have fun. There was even space to sit or pose pictures. Given that, it will be a long time before I return to that venue.
The forth and last Ascension party at Legend Cafe was good fun. Many people were in a playful mood and came for a good time. Some long missing friends showed up and some new friends made the night really fun for me. There was a good turnout and I got some good pictures. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
My cable company, Charter Communications really hosed me with their new service change: My bill went up 20%, my electricity bill went up with all these new boxes that are on all-the-time, and I lost the capability to record shows on my VCR/DVR. Worst of all, there is a terrible lag time and horrible Guide banner every time I change channels. Does anyone know how to install an antenna and digital converter box? I will be switching to Hulu or Roku shortly. The FCC and corporate greed really screwed the pooch again.
The Trek Trance: Star Trek costume party at Legend Cafe was pretty cool but not well attended. There was a Star Trek convention a week earlier and I think people were tired. But I had fun and took a few good pictures which are now posted.
Oni's God and Goddess party was also fun but not well attended. The huge Star Wars party across town and other events really stole her crowd. There were several Greek and Roman Gods in attendance. We had a great time and pictures show it!
I enjoyed a beautiful afternoon walking through the Inman Park Festival. There were some interesting craft booths, I ate some delicious food and just enjoyed being out. On the down side, I missed the parade and the music was not my style so I didn't stick around; Which is why I got home before the rain started.
The third Ascension party at Legend Cafe was a lot of fun despite the many other events and a convention happening that weekend. That's probably why many of the regular attendees weren't there. Still, many fun people showed up for the music and mayhem and we had a great time. I didn't take a lot of pictures but the ones I got were pretty cool. I even had two mini-photo shoots. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
I donated blood at Congregation B'Nai Torah on Sunday which turned out to be a bad idea. After fighting Easter traffic to get there and donating blood alone, because I was practically the only one there, I was very disappointed by the snacks provided. Since the Passover holiday was still being observed, there were no bagels, lox or Keebler cookies: Only matzo and apples. I know it's supposed to be all about giving but wow: That was a major let down. I will plan better next year.
Bad Habit's, Oni's Catholic School girls theme party at Legend Cafe was fun. Many people showed up in costume and there were many interesting variations on the theme. Oni put together a group shot that was awesome and I've seen that picture on several people's pages already. It was a really fun night. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
I went down to the 75th Atlanta Dogwood Festival and had an enjoyable day in Piedmont Park. Mostly I ate my way around but the arts and people watching was fun too. I'd forgotten how crowded it gets and parking was difficult even on the bike.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was very good. Good plot, good characters and special effects. I really enjoyed it.
The 2014 Great British Car Fayre in Alpharetta was pretty week. Only a few cars and people showed, probably because of the rain. I enjoyed a crepe and the band but didn't stay very long.
The second Ascension party was not as well attended as the first but was still great. Lots of new people showed up to explore the new experience and less people meant the bar wasn't crowded. They set-up a beer tub for overflow but it wasn't really needed. There were several photographers which deterred my activity. Still, I had fun and got some good pictures that I was able to send out but was disappointed so many of my friends didn't show. I look forward to the next party.
Oni's Speakeasy Gangster theme party at Legend Cafe was fun but not great. It will take a bit for the new location to settle in and for people to get accustomed to it. The main dance floor is still too dark and the music didn't please the crowd, so the floor was usually empty. People mostly sat in front of the bar and talked. Plenty of free pool tables was clearly not a bonus. I had a good time though.
The launch party for Ascension at Legend Cafe was a huge success. The pool tables were cool, the dance floor was huge and it was nice to have a separate play area. Still, there were some issues that need to be worked out. Thanks to everyone that posed for pictures and played along. Thanks to Brent and Brian for arranging a new gathering place and starting a new monthly party. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
We had a good time watching RPI vs. Clarkson Hockey at TJs Sports Bar in Alpharetta. About 30 alum of both colleges showed up to share stories and have fun. There were a few hockey jersies and many college T-shirts. It took a bit to get the telecast to work and the resulting tie was disappointing, but at least RPI didn't lose.
Tainted Love by DragonFire events was a fun party. They rearranged the space so we had more room to play which made this event more fun than the last. The people were more open too and we got a little more naughty. I liked that. I didn't take many pictures so no gallery this time. Luke and his crew did a fine job.
I caught Thor: The Dark World at the cheap theater and am really glad I didn't pay full price. Wow, they are screwing that franchise.
I celebrated Chinese New Year at the Atlanta Chinese Cultural Center with some friends. They had the traditional Lion Dance and all kinds of fun food. My favourite part was the bubble tea but the drummers were pretty good too. It was a fun time.
Post Storm report: My car was fine when I picked it up the next day. I went to work Thursday and discovered hundreds of my co-workers were forced to spend the night in the factory. Others spent hours on the roads getting home and a few damaged their cars. So I got off easy.
Once again a little snow has shut down the state of Georgia. I wasn't so lucky this time and didn't leave work early enough; So I got stuck in horrible traffic and had to abandon my car and walk. Hopefully it will still be there when the weather clears. But I made it home okay and have plenty of food and books.
|I spent NYE at the Shelter saying good-bye to the year and a wonderful place with 500 of my closest friends. While many danced and drank to distraction, others openly wept at the loss of this alternative-family watering hole. I will look back on the Shelter as a great success, it lasted just as long as Studio 54. Besides - No club lasts forever: Innovox, the Point, the Chamber, Future, etc. The final NYE party was epic: the staff of the Shelter ended their time on top, in style, and their own way. Thanks and congratulations to Mike and Dave.
Of course I took lots of pictures but with such a huge crowd and so many people coming and going, I didn't get every picture I wanted; I missed shots of several close friends and to them I apologize. But I did get shots of people using the cage for the last time, beautiful people having fun, the silly-string war and my favourite: a group shot of the Shelter staff.
I'm not sure where the next stop on this adventure will take us but I look forward to finding out. Pictures are posted. (Write me for the entry code).
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