Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Barlibash 2002 Report! - Xoanon @ 10:08 PST
From: Asarina


This is my report about Barlibash 2002—I had a great time and want to share with everyone how much I appreciate TheOneRing.net for making such a gathering a reality. It was so good of Curunir, Jincey and Saint to work so hard to create the components of such a great bash. Thanks guys and gal, especially to Curunir.

My flight was arranged by Hobbit Travel so I didn’t get in until Thursday – their preferred chartered airline doesn’t run to Seattle every day. Lauralinda picked me up and then my memory gets fuzzy; I don’t remember if we stopped by the motel first or went directly to Pike’s Market, where we met other Bashers by the ‘pig and clock.’ I got my first-ever sight of such TORn celebreties as Jincey, Samgamgee7, Tookish and probably several others whose name got lost in that fuzzy memory of mine.

Pike’s Market and the waterfront area of Seattle was very interesting for a dedicated shopper—which I’m not usually but the colors, the smells and the babble of human interaction was exciting. So were seeing the fishmongers who throw fish at customers or maybe just at each other . This was actually one of my favorite parts of the Bash because the women I was with had an instant bonding experience. Very shortly into the afternoon, we were calling ourselves ‘The Seven’ and had discovered we all could quote appropriate phrases from the movie and/or books for just about any situation. They are: Thevina Finduilas, Frodo’s Girl, Ale of Ginger, Lauralinda, Queen of Gondor, Laura, and myself.

I didn’t get a good meal all day; there just wasn’t time. We all met at the Admiral Theater in West Seattle for a showing of The Fellowship of the Rings with all the Bashers who were able to attend. Just in case you are clueless, let me assure you that this is the absolutely best way to watch the movie. We clapped, we sang and cheered muchly, we spoke lines right along with our favorite heroes and villains. We counciled Elrond to push Isildur in this time (he didn’t) and warned Boromir against giving into the Ring’s temptation (he didn’t listen to us, either). We cried together. My favorite experience while viewing The Fellowship and one I will treasure for a long time.

Friday, I had a bite of breakfasty food in my room, then Second Breakfast at Denny’s about 7 am. At 10:30 am, I followed Ale of Ginger and Laura back to Denny’s for Elevenses (I was laughing with the huge group of Bashers there that this was second breakfast, somehow forgetting about my coffee and bread in my room…). Then a group of us did the Bellevue Art Festival, a wonderful indoor/outdoor art show and sale. Wow. It was wonderful. I had lunch. Then back to the hotel to primp for the Banquet.

This was another highlight of the weekend; my dinner companions were interesting and the food was good. Another chance to do a lot of talking, to take some interesting pictures of my own and watch the Hobbits take cheesecake snapshots (and I’m not explaining that one. Let them defend their actions!!). We had real door prizes (yeah!!) and passed around scrapbooks and copies of the Trilogy and other neat items to get signatures from other Bashers. I treasure the comments I received and have read them several times. Very precious mementos of my first Bash.

I went to Denny’s to breakfast the next morning at 7 am, and the waitress laughs and tells me the rest of our group had just left a few minutes before. I had to ask what she meant; a certain number of Bashers had been there drinking coffee at 6 am when she came to work, and her impression was that they had been up all night. !!! Had to be that younger crowd!!

I spent Friday questing about the area on the busses—yeah, I know hoofing it would have been more authentic but I didn’t have a pony named Bill. I went to the University of Washington and its famous bookstore, the Fremont district where I saw a troll under a bridge, back down to downtown Seattle where I watched them throwing fish around again (still no trout. Seattle must not have trout ). I bought gifts for family (salmon and chocolate-related items, mostly). And then I met the Bashers for a 3:30pm showing of The Fellowship of the Rings, just because it was such a natural thing for us to do.

Tragedy struck!! We were shooshed!! Some evil orcish minion of the Dark Lord Sauron complained to management and we were shooshed. So we were quieter but still cheered at all the good times to cheer. And we made a convert!! A fellow audience member was very excited about our group and so we told her how to get to us online. Yeah!!

My group then headed to the waterfront in West Seattle for a fish-n-chips dinner and even more conversation and photos on the water. (Well, the photos were of things on the water and the beach, and the conversation was up there on the beach. Don’t be so literal.)

Back to the hotel, only to find the bar was closed and the only place to get a drink was in a rather well-lit foyer. So we took it over, because it gave us a better light for looking at Frodo Girl’s pictures of New Zealand and her copies of Viggo Mortensen’s books. Tookish caught up with us there and asked us to come to the courtyard, where we had closing ceremonies and had some nice prizes passed out, thanks to Cervante! I didn’t win anything but I enjoyed seeing all the Bashers who were there, one last time. And I got an orange glowstick to light my way home (not to use as a projectile weapon…sheesh, po. What is that all about?). Then back to our drinks and conversation with Jeremy, another barkeep who likes LotR. Really, really likes it – he very nicely asked Frodo’s girl if she had the Two Towers trailer on her Mac. Well, of course she did and we all watched it. Yeah for Jeremy!

It was very sad to leave the next day. I’ve been getting emails from the other Seven about how hard it was to break up our fellowship and take off for our homes. I’ve got many good reasons to be glad I came to Barlibash 2002 and the best one is finding my new/old friends there. Again and finally, I thank TheOneRing.net staffers who organized our mission, quest…thing from the bottom of my heart, and hope you find the enthusiasm to continue holding Bashes for us.