Monday, May 17, 2010

Reflections on the 2010 McMinnville UFO Fest

I posted this over at my site The Interstellar Housewife, and while I usually don't do the whole cross-posting thing, I thought this would be a nice addition since some of it includes Regan.

Well, that was unexpected! I had a great time at the annual McMinnville UFO festival, in McMinnville, Oregon! Oh, it wasn't so much the festival itself that was grand -- I mean, it was filled with your usual nutbaggery and abundant silliness complete with grey-type alien faces galore *shudder*. No, the best parts were the times Maggie and I spent with Erik Stitt, Regan Lee and her husband, James Rich.

Regan is an amazingly cool woman! I was very happy to finally meet her in person. We all had some great conversation the first night, nestled into a quiet corner in the always-overpriced McMenamin's. For those of you how aren't familiar with McMenamin's, it's a company that buys up old landmark buildings and converts them to restaurants, pubs, hotels and so on. This particular McMenamin's was a bar/hotel, but featured the same inflated prices and overrated consumables you've come to know and love from the chain. Despite this, I very much enjoyed myself.

Sadly, Maggie wasn't feeling well, so I drove her back to our hotel a couple of miles down the road and put her to bed, before I headed on back to the pub to continue on with our conversations. Regan and her husband eventually called it a night and ascended up to their room, while Erik and I closed the bar -- and then some.

Somehow we managed to get up before noon, the next day, having been out until 4am. Me, Magz, and Erik all hopped in my Civic to hunt down some grub. We weren't in the mood to go searching out any particular restaurants, and seeing as we were all in dire need of some coffee -- STAT, we opted for the ever-dreadful Shari's. For you Midwesterners and East Costers, Shari's is kind of like Bakers Square or Perkins, only worse.

Maggie was happy with her Eggs Benedict but Erik and I had made a horrible error and ordered steak and eggs. His was intended to be rare, while mine was supposed to be medium rare. Poor Erik, lol. His was the worst of the two cuts. Instead of bloody it was more like red gelatinous blob-stuff in the center.

They were still edible, but not so awesome. I'd go so far as to say the steaks were totally un-rad. Oh, and my hash browns came with bacon and cheese. Bacon and cheese? On hash browns? What kind of new-millennium gluttonous fuckery is that? The menu didn't say anything about bacon -- and if you know me, you know I will not under any circumstances eat pork.

Bacon on hash browns. For fucks sake.

After Shari's we headed on back to the car and spent about 10 minutes ensuring our future diagnosis of lung cancer before shooting over to the main strip of the festival to get ready for the UFO Fest parade. We kind of debated whether to subject ourselves to that nightmare, but Erik and I had a strange desire to get a peak at the Star Wars contingent, so off we went!

I could go on to tell you about the intense cheese of the whole thing, or point out some of the more ridiculous features, some not even in the parade, such as the pregnant woman with a midriff tank-top, cutoff shorts a stroller and a cigarette in her mouth. Or the douchey creepazoid that walked up and down the center of the parade route like 20 times with his shirt off, looking to score some Pleiadan-skank action -- but I digress.

The parade finished about 2 and we killed a few hours waiting for Colin Andrews to speak at 4. At one point I re-applied my lipstick and did the ritualistic 'kiss' on a piece of paper to set the color in and left it with Erik. He had me sign it later in the evening.

When 4 O'clock rolled around we shuffled into the auditorium and found that Regan had saved us two seats. Thanks again, Regan!

Colin Andrews was something else! Originally, I wasn't that gaga about going to see him, but I'm wholly glad I did (he was the only speaker I saw, and the only one I had even a remote interest in seeing). Unfortunately, a couple of jackasses sat behind us and thought it might be a good idea to talk . Not "whisper", but talk while Colin was speaking. Oh, I'm sure he couldn't hear them, but they were right the fuck behind the 4 of us. There chatter was on and off, lulled a bit in the middle of the presentation, and then picked up again near the end. I had finally had it at that point, but I'll let Regan or Erik tell that story. Oh, and I'll also go into more detail about Colin's actual presentation in my next article. It's too much for this piece and I'm still processing the whole talk .

After Colin finished speaking, we all went up to shake his hand and passed a bit of chatter back and forth before letting him go. It was about 6:30 and it was time to give our goodbyes and hugs to Regan and James. Then Erik, Magz and I headed up towards Erik's motel in Newberg, OR, about 15 miles north of McMinnville.

On the same lot as the motel, there exists a semi-dive bar called Finnegan's. We gladly coasted on over for some burgers and Guinness (as you can see by the photo of Erik), a bit of flirting with our way-too-cute server, and cheerfully finished off the final night of our UFO Fest extravaganza at around 9:30.

I think it was Shakespeare who said "Parting sometimes sucks ass" -- or something like that -- and this parting was no different. But alas, we all had our lives to return to and thus our little adventure ended.

So, that's it in a bombshell. Great fun, great convo and great friends. There's not much more I need out of life!

Well, besides sex.

Copyright © 2010 Deirdre O'Lavery


Regan Lee said...

Thanks for posting this here as well Deirdre. I very much enjoyed meeting you and Erik! It was great.

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