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Old 08-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #641
skip spence
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skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.skip spence is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Guess I should give a brief account of the trip as well. Before leaving, friends were questioning my judgement as I had decided to spend valuable holiday-time visiting "who now?" in Finland of all the places (see, Finland is not very exotic to a Swede nor is Sweden to a Finn I assume). At one point I was beginning to do so myself too but now I'm very happy to've made the journey and met these great people. It's been a long time since I last played hide-and-seek games in dark woods. Too long.

Agan and Lommy I'd met a few week before of course, and they are both very warm and friendly girls that I feel familiar with already. Love you guys (Annina too)! Nogrod is much like his on-line self (though slightly less coherent late at night) and a great out-doors cook. Rune is a top bloke who can hold his liquor quite well (and the rumour regarding farm-house animals is nothing more than a half-truth I'm sure). For some reason I didn't get to know Legate as well as I should have liked to, but I'm hoping to make amends at some other time.

The other people I had had little interaction with on the bd's so I didn't really know what to expect. Volo is a quirky fellow with an interesting fashion sense (as you've seen, no doubt). I've information from credible sources he's been performing miracles involving water! Kath was also a nice new acquaintance I'd like to know better - she is a great conversationalist and an enthusiastic cheer-leading coach. Greenie is a really sweet girl, very smart and mature for her (or any) age. I've already got a little sister or else I'd adopt you as one, but perhaps we can assign you another part? Last, but not least, Spawn is a girl I only met briefly, with little or no one-on-one time, but I'd very much like to change that in future.

Well met all of you and hope to do it again soon!

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Originally Posted by Boromir88 View Post
Now if only Volo decided to sport a pony tail, as I used to have a major obsession with anyone who put their hair in a pony tail.
So the day Volo sports a pony-tail your lonely days are over?
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:45 AM   #642
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Originally Posted by skip spence View Post
So the day Volo sports a pony-tail your lonely days are over?
Next time, Boro, next time...
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:55 AM   #643
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Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I was privileged to meet the lovely and accomplished Nuranar during a recent trip to the U.S. She hasn't been active here in the past years, but I did get "acquainted" with her on the Downs and have continued to read her blog regularly, as we share a passion for fabrics and sewing. We had a wonderful shopping spree, exploring fabric warehouses and other stores, having lunch together, and conversing during the long drives it took to get anywhere in the Metroplex.

The awkwardness of meeting someone you do and don't know lasted only about 1 1/2 seconds at our first greeting; it was very easy to converse with her and great fun to look through bolts of fabrics, some beautiful, some horrible. All in all it was a wonderful experience, very entertaining and even educational; I learned some things about historically accurate fabrics from a very knowledgeable seamstress and reenactor. More important, I feel that I found a friend!

Oh, and we did document the event with a photo - I'll send it to the BD photo page for display.
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:25 AM   #644
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I can't believe I've not posted about the Finland meet up on here! I haven't have I? I'm not going mad? Well let's assume I haven't and start from the beginning.

I flew over on Monday morning and was not met at the airport with open arms because my meeters had got the flight times wrong. Luckily I'd managed to get lost (something that should not actually be possible in Helsinki airport) so by the time I was in the right place I only had to wait five minutes anyway! My meeting party consisted of Rune, Agan, Greenie and Annina. Rune and Agan I had met before so it was lovely to see them again, Greenie was just lovely and when Annina arrived (she was parking the car) she was really nice too.

We then drove for a while to meet the others in a little service station. Nogrod, Lommy, Legate, skip spence and Volo all piled out of the other car and we had a chat in the car park before going to find food. This was the beginning of my time spent trying to learn to like liquorice as it seems to be all Finnish people eat! It never really grew on me though. After a quick catch up with Volo and greeting to everyone else we all got back in the cars and drove to the summer cottage. Agan, Greenie and I had a chat in the back until my sleep deprivation caught up with me and I rudely fell asleep.

Once at the cottage we were introduced to the house, the lake, the boat and the sentinel. I was ridiculously tired and didn't really take in much or talk to anyone until Nog made the most delicious dinner and I got some food in me! After that I completely startled Rune by waking up big time. The last time we met at Oxonmoot I hadn't been very well and had been quieter than usual. This time I was back to my normal self! We all had a big mad conversation round the campfire and then the Finns introduced us to a game called The Guardian. This involved dressing in black clothing, hiding in the woods and trying to sneak back to the fire. I got close but wimped out right at the end and got caught. It was fun but really quite scary! After this my tiredness came back and I went to bed and zonked out. The last thing I heard was Rune shouting something and someone else telling him to be quiet - then it was about midday!

We went out on the boat the next day, with Volo doing his walking on water impression. I was very impressed with Annina's rowing skills, even if she did call us fat elephants. To be fair we weren't really being any help. The rest of the day we played seven of clubs (I was dismal at it) and ate chocolate. Oh and tried minty vodka. It tastes so much of mint that you can't taste the vodka which is nice but it also tastes so much like mouthwash that it feels really, really wrong to swallow it! In the evening we again had dinner and a fair amount to drink and then I was introduced to the world of the sauna. It was interesting, but I can't say I'd do it often. Being in the lake was nice though. We then annoyed Agan immensely because she tried to go to bed, I came and bothered her and then everyone else followed me. We had about 5 people on her bed and everyone else on the floor - except Nog who was having a very deep discussion outside.

The next day we went back to Helsinki and stayed at Volo's place. It was nice to have a few creature comforts back! We went out for dinner the first night to somewhere called the Hedgehog's Nest. I just liked the name! The next day skip left us bright and early and we just did some shopping and hung around during the day. Then Agan and Rune made a lovely dinner between them, even if we did overestimate the amount of spaghetti needed, before we headed into town to see dancing spawn. The meet with her was really lovely and we walked around a lot before we eventually found somewhere that would actually let us all in due to age restrictions. We found a nice cafe at which Annina eventually joined us. This was also the time when we accidentally lost Volo. Because Annina joined us when he'd gone to the bathroom we just assumed the numbers were right and we left without him! There is a wonderful picture of Rune and Greenie when we realised - it is posed but it is also exactly what they looked like originally! We managed to find him again and all headed home.

We had to move out of Volo's into Nogrod's after a while because Volo's family came home. His little brother was so cute, he kept bringing us food! At Nogrod's we watched the Helsinki marathon go past and also watched Monty Python and had more lovely food.

Rune left around this time. We all went to the aiport with him to send him off and while we were sitting waiting for his plane we had something to eat and the Finns made him and me read from Volo's maths textbook. I didn't understand a word of it (though I learnt that harma is grey!) but apparently my pronunciation wasn't too horrendous.

One day we also went to (excuse the horrible spelling but I can't remember it) Suormalinna, which is an island near Helsinki. We took the ferry over and then spent some time investigating the island and making Agan look like one of the bodies in the dead marshes. It worked suprisingly well! I stuck my head in a cannon and then we had lots of pictures taken in a barrow. Greenie and Agan went swimming in the freezing waters of the sea - the rest of us weren't quite so mad.

The last night (for me - Rune had gone the day before) was spent in the park with Theodred, climbing things and watching rabbits. In the morning Annina very kindly took us to the airport again (though poor Agan and Greenie had to go by bus) and everyone saw me off.

All in all it was a brilliant week. We did much and I got to know people so well. I found it lovely that all of us managed to get on for the whole time despite being with each other every second of the day!

Nogrod I was glad to find isn't as overwhelmingly philosophical as he can be on here. He was very generous and easy to get on with and while he was very busy he always made time for us when he could.

skip spence I knew nothing of from the 'Downs but he was really laidback and easy to get along with and I would love to meet him again. He apparently also gives a good shoulder massage.

Rune I knew already and he was much like he was the last time I'd met him, only this time I could run away from the history conversations! Also, as I was feeling well this time, I could argue back.

Agan too I had met before, but when we met in London we couldn't really think of anything to do so I found this meet better as we had more of a chance to talk to each other. I found it very easy to get along with her and just felt really comfortable with her.

Volo I had also met before and he was just the same, only with fewer shoes.

Greenie I had never met, and out of everyone (bar skip) she is probably the one I had communicated least with on the 'Downs but the second I met her I just found her so friendly and easy to talk to. She is hilarious, everything is 'cute' and now when I find myself saying that word I think of her!

Annina was also very funny. She and Rune have a lovely if violent relationship and it was great entertainment just to sit in the back of car listening to the two of them fight. She was also very generous and drove us all over the place.

dancing spawn was also lovely. It's been a while since I've spoken to her since both of us have gone a bit quiet on here, but apart from being initially bewildered by the stories she was also really easy to get along with.

Legate is much like his online self. I didn't really spend much time with him because he was either attached to Lommy or at school and unfortunately the one time we were really around each other in the RL werewolf game I played a large part in getting him killed!

Lommy was just like she is on the 'Downs and that was lovely to find as I've always got on well with her on here. And you know what? Her nose IS fun to push!

I think that's everything/everyone!
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:57 PM   #645
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I'm avoiding the monumental task of posting all my photos of my trip to Oxonmoot and Wessex by posting this reminiscence here.

Five years ago I first met Estelyn and Squatter, and Esty visited me in my home town three years ago, so this meeting with them was both a remembrance and a newal of good times and good friendship. Both have changed so little that we picked up where we left off those years ago. And I must acknowledge that Squatter was a gracious and hospitable host, for he not only chauffeured me to Oxford, but enabled me to see Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor, Cardiff, and Tinturn Abby, as well as Exeter, where I saw those poems in Old English (the Exeter Book) that years ago I struggled to learn in the original. It was right and fitting for a Tolkien visit that I should do so. I especially thank his family for putting me up and welcoming me warmly.

Oxonmoot brought the pleasure of meeting more Downers, for there we had a Fellowship of Nine--well, the number kept changing more or less, depending on who and how many were visiting the bar. But as Tolkien seems to draw gracious fans, so the Downers I met are all fine folk. Although we missed the "initiation" at the Lamb and Flag (I blame country road traffic; Squatter blames my dawdling at Stonehenge), we quickly made amends at the formal dinner Friday night, which began with the ceremony of facing west and remembering the lost of Numenor and the Valar which Faramir and his company observed. An erudite Faramir Jones was there, with a talkative Poison Ivy, and a mad Hookbill, as well as Estelyn and Squatter. It was as if we all belonged together and our table was never quiet; I noticed that other tables noticed our fellowship. Whether it was for the wit of our conversation or the wetting of our conversation, I cannot say.

Some of us visited the august Telerin Circle where readings of Tolkien's work were undertaken while others took a more Tookish approach to the evening. We lost track of Estelyn, Guinevere, and Poison Ivy and I seem to recall that it was past two am when I said good night to Squatter and Rune.

First breakfast means an early rise at Oxonmoot, so I think it was only Estelyn and Poison Ivy, Faramir Jones and Hookbill, who made it to the mushrooms and tomatoes with me. The day was filled with attending sessions, some of which were superb indeed. It was always a difficult choice when good ones ran concurrently.

We divided up for lunch, as some of us hadn't paid for the meal at Lady Margaret Hall, so we wandered off in search of pub fare, which we found close at hand at the Rose and Crown, a pub over a hundred years old (I suppose that's not such a ripe old age for an English pub) with a courtyard covered in vines still holding grapes. It was here that I had my first chance to talk with Guinevere, who is rather quiet, and here that Rune and Squatter came into their own. I always fancy a good wit and here I had two of them. We did make it back to attend Estylen's session on dragons and parody and Giles, though, so the Tolkien aspect of the afternoon was not lost. I managed as well a visit to the Dealer's Room, where narfforc showed me a Canadian edition of LotR, which I never knew existed. Now I have something to look for in the second hand stores here.

Dinner was al fresco as we ate a barbeque on the garden terrace before many ran off to prepare for the masquerade. Costumes were well done and Downers made us all proud, with Hookbill as Radagast, Poison Ivy as Beruthiel, and Esty as Ioreth all winning awards. Following the masquerade there was a competition between the bar and the entertainment, and I won't say which won.

Sunday morning came very early for some of us, but all save narfforc and Guinevere made it to Enyalie at Tolkien's grave. It is a lovely little ceremony which emphasises more the fellowship of Tolkien's fans than the death of the man himself. We were entertained by Hookbill's imitation of a prone Tolkien--he managed to improve upon his performance as Tolkien from last year and that one had been splendid.

Sunday afternoon meant that Downers convened again at the Lamb and Flag, although Oxford traffic delayed Squatter and me from joining the gang until quite late. By this point, I was tired enough that I forsook a tourist trip around Oxford with Guinevere and simply gave myself over to cider and lunch and more cider. An added treat was meeting Mithalwen, who drove in for the afternoon through harrowing traffic. As a matter of fact, I don't think I ever once heard anything good about traffic in England.

Dinner was a disapointment, as we had planned a culminating Tolkien event at the Mitre, where he used to eat with Lewis, but alas the restaurant had no food, as the delivery had not come through. More could be said about English traffic, but I won't. Those few of us left had to satisfy ourselves with All Bar One, with Squatter and Rune proclaiming that a future Oxonmoot must include a mixed grill. At sometime after 10 pm Guinevere, Rune, Squatter and I said our good byes.

I think it is fair to say that all agreed Oxonmoot was too short. For me, who travelled over three thousand miles, it certainly was, but I made up for it by seeing other sights. Yet now when I read posts here on the Downs, I have a smile and a voice to go along with the words, and feel privileged to have met so many Downers this year. Wyrd willing, there will be more to meet next year.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:06 PM   #646
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All I can say was that it was worth the journey to meet you and (briefly) Guinevere, renew aquaintanceship with Squatter and catch up with Rune (who knows me well enough not to feel the need to be polite even though I brought him beer!). Taking an hour to get out of my home town wasn't an auspicious start and having finally made contact with Bethberry (seems like trying to phone Mithalwen was a major occupation) and most vitally found a parking space after a mere half hour or so circling St Giles, I then had to wait for the end of a learned discourse before I could say hello!

It was lovely to see that the Lamb and Flag was not too different from when it was a favoured Sunday lunchtime haunt when I lived in Oxford many moons ago. However I don't rememeber ever laughing quite so much or so long on previous visits. Rune and Squater are a great double act. And while I can't remember much of details (not due to alcohol... due to the stress of the journey I risked only a half, a measure I would normally regard as homeopathy rather than a drink) ) but I am fairly sure that "Can elves walk on treacle?" was oneof the more serious topics. I do know how to silence a group of downers and shall attend any future gatherings suitably prepared . And no I didn't uncloak.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:07 PM   #647
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Eye

A few weeks ago three Downers from Nebraska (Sally, Mnemo, & Phantom) met for an afternoon of fun. But things didn’t turn out quite the way they expected.

First, the Nebraska Downers were pleasantly surprised when Lommy and Little Green showed up, arm in arm.
Lommy & Little Green

But there were more visitors yet! To the delight of all, Aganzir, Esty, and Mira (aka "Stick") dropped in as well. Here are all of the out-of-staters pictured together.
Group Pic (sorry we couldn't find a Scar doll, Aganzir- hope this lion is close enough)

Unfortunately, they didn’t all get along. Only minutes after arriving, Esty and Mira had an argument that escalated swiftly.
Esty vs Mira

As evident in the following picture, reactions to the fight were mixed. Mnemo registered shock, Sally fretted over the possibility of injury, where as Phantom- he seemed amused, if not downright pleased.
Watching the fight

The fight ended when Esty snapped off one of Mira’s limbs. Here she can be seen displaying it over her left shoulder as a trophy.
Esty wins!

After that things calmed down and the Downers chatted and got to know each other. As shown in this picture, Aganzir and Phantom really hit it off.
Phantom & Aganzir

It wasn’t long before they were blowing each other kisses.
Blowing kisses

Tired of Aganzir getting all of the attention, Little Green went to great lengths to thrust herself into the limelight. The following picture features her at the zenith of her act, during which, as can clearly be seen, she took off her top. Sally and Duck averted their eyes from the shocking display, but Phantom on the other hand was obviously captivated.
Little Green takes it off

Later, the discussion turned from Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, and Duck shared her controversial theory that all of the spells from the books are real and possible to duplicate. Here she can be seen preparing to cast a spell on Lommy. (And you’ll notice her “wand” is in fact Mira’s arm.)
Mnemo's Magic

Soon the talk turned to werewolf, and Phantom and Lommy entered into a heated debate about double-lynching rules. Unfortunately their argument soon crossed into the realm of physical violence. Here Phantom can be seen holding Lommy’s beak shut and threatening to punch her.
Argument escalates

But things only got worse from there. Phantom actually picked up Mira and used her to pin Lommy to the table.
From bad to worse

Phantom’s behavior warranted a warning from the Mod on site, Esty. She got in his face and told him off quite strongly.
Esty chides Phantom

Phantom, however, had no interest in listening to her tirade, and let her know in no uncertain terms.
Phantom's response (image edited for obvious reasons)

Under cover of Phantom’s misconduct, Little Green took the opportunity to settle an old score with Sally, leaping onto her from behind and grinding her face into the table.
Green ambushes Sally

Due to the group’s appalling behavior, they were unceremoniously booted from the eating establishment, thus cutting short what was a truly exciting Downer experience. Should such an event happen again, you can be sure that it will be captured on film and posted here.

(All joking aside, we did indeed meet up for several hours and we had a great time. Lots of laughs, plus Mnemo introduced us to D & D via a Barrow-Downs campaign that she wrote herself. It was a blast!)
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:28 PM   #648
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Phantom failed to mention that his scuffle with Esty resulted in his nearly being smothered by her skwerlish minions.

Ah, well. It was an experience which no camera will ever be able to capture. Not even with surround sound.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:36 PM   #649
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Fabulous. Very amusing. I'm a bit sad that Stick lost an arm... And that the phantom beat up on Lommy... But such things happen.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:25 PM   #650
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I find it amazing that such an epic event took place at Arby's. I Love the censoring of that filthy finger/hand.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:21 AM   #651
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Phear the might - skwerlz rule!!

Thanks for the great photos - this former Nebraskan would have loved to be there with you.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:18 AM   #652
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Hahaha that's brilliant! The topless Greenie has got to be my favourite, though.

However I strongly object to being a pink lion with a heart-shaped mane!
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:12 PM   #653
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Thumbs up

the phantom? Without a bow tie? Impossible!

Excellent pictures, tp! But you know exactly what I'm going to do now...
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:24 PM   #654
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Mnemo looked very accomplished with the wand; as if she was in Flitwick's class practicing her Banishment Charm. So what magical substance forms the core of the Mira-wand?
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:04 PM   #655
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Quote:
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So what magical substance forms the core of the Mira-wand?
Love. Or pancake batter.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:42 PM   #656
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Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
Mnemo looked very accomplished with the wand; as if she was in Flitwick's class practicing her Banishment Charm. So what magical substance forms the core of the Mira-wand?
Probably a hair from whoever made the wand and I am guessing that it was Phantom. It would explain why he is wearing the hat in all the pictures.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:13 PM   #657
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Actually it's a single tenuous fiber from a Balrog's wing. Nebulous, and of dubious canonicity, but it works darn well for fire spells. There is, after all, something very magical about an ambiguous description...
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:31 AM   #658
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Is it terrible that I can't decide which answer I like best? I mean, pancake batter is pretty magical but I do loves me my fire...
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:54 PM   #659
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And despite all this you seem pretty cavalier about the loss of an arm...
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:01 PM   #660
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It's just a flesh wound.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:49 PM   #661
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^ what Fea said.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:59 PM   #662
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Who knew a meeting of Downers could be so eventful.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:05 PM   #663
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Quote:
Who knew a meeting of Downers could be so eventful.
Mith ... whenever I try to meet anyone!

Looks like you three had a great time though, you definitely have to come for the New Year meet up!
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #664
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Speaking of which, I've been kicking myself for weeks that I can't afford the plane ticket. You all had better find a Gwath avatar (I suggest that statue of The Dying Gaul - Roman copy or otherwise) or votive candle to stand in for me.
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:19 PM   #665
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Would someone care to explain to me what this big New Year meet up is?
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:23 PM   #666
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It's a dark ritual.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #667
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It's a dark ritual.
What he said. *is sad she can't make it, for knows it will be epic* I'll have to send something to be in my place or something. Although I do have a webcam now.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:38 PM   #668
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What he said. *is sad she can't make it, for knows it will be epic* I'll have to send something to be in my place or something. Although I do have a webcam now.
You can send the cookies you owe me as a stand-in.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:33 AM   #669
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Mith ... whenever I try to meet anyone!
Yes and when you are not there I inherit your problems *shudders at the memory*.

I am sending a Mithstitute to Bostonmoot....
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:21 AM   #670
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Would someone care to explain to me what this big New Year meet up is?
Well I maintain that it is the gathering of the greatest minds that has taken place in the U.S. since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Apparently Gwath will have you believe it's a super-secret cult that is meeting to further their agenda to take over the world. They will leave lots of indistinguishable clues through secret symbols, and that way when world takeover is complete, they can mock everyone for missing all the signs right in front of their faces.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:45 AM   #671
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Well the symbols clearly aren't going to be much of a secret if you just go and tell everyone about them. Borangutan, I'm voting you off the island for explaining our evil scheme in too much detail. That makes you into an aspiring Bond villain, and everybody knows that if the bad guy explains his evil plan before sealing it into place, a secret agent will escape and ruin the plan. Duh.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:52 AM   #672
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Eye

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Originally Posted by Morai
I find it amazing that such an epic event took place at Arby's.
Are you kidding? Arby's is epic! Curly fries dipped in BBQ.... mmmm....
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Phear the might - skwerlz rule!!
Indeed, they certainly made their presence known at our gathering. During Duck's D&D game our characters actually had to fight a pack of chat-skwerlz. Thankfully we didn't have to fight their boss (Esty, of course) due to the fact that we managed to have a five minute completely on-topic discussion regarding the Ent-wives in the midst of the battle. It was awesome.
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The topless Greenie has got to be my favourite, though.
Yes, definitely an inspired pic idea.
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However I strongly object to being a pink lion with a heart-shaped mane!
Heh heh- well, just assume you died your hair and styled it especially for this event.
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But you know exactly what I'm going to do now...
I'd be disappointed if you didn't.
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you definitely have to come for the New Year meet up!
Shhhh.... No one's supposed to know I'm going.

Oh, and just letting you people know, these pics aren't the end of it. There is also a video from Arbymoot!

I may post it tomorrow if you're all very very good.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:09 PM   #673
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Oh...wait, so we were serious about creating secret symbols for a world take over? My bad. I thought that was just a red herring for the other, other plan. *zips mouth and crosses fingers hoping weather is kind enough to allow for that plan*
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:48 PM   #674
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That's it, big mouth, snow is going down the back of your shirt.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:52 PM   #675
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the phantom? Without a bow tie? Impossible!

Excellent pictures, tp! But you know exactly what I'm going to do now...
And I've another one you could use as well....*cackles*
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:44 AM   #676
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Oh, and just letting you people know, these pics aren't the end of it. There is also a video from Arbymoot!

I may post it tomorrow if you're all very very good.

Whatever happened to this video??
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:09 AM   #677
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*prods Sally*
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:19 PM   #678
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*prods Sally*
What? You know where it is, you silly wench. And you have my password. What's stopping you?


ETA: Oh, all right then, I'll be the man....erm, chick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTECCGtY_bQ
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:20 PM   #679
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"So you call her Spanish."

Yes!
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:26 PM   #680
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I automatically pronounce everyone's name with a Spanish accent. I speak all foregin languages with a heavy Spanish accent except English and - you guessed it - Spanish.
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