Friday, January 30, 2009

ColinFest in Review

This is a post I have been meaning to get to for almost three weeks. On January 10th, Maureen and I attended the 3rd Annual ColinFest, a party thrown for Colin, by Colin, of the Colin. Right before we went to the event, I posted an autobiography of Colin to help you to conceptualize the reasons for ColinFest. Since the 10th, the masses (mostly Colin) have been clamoring for a write-up of the event, and since it is one of the more unique Michigan-related activities in which I have participated, I would be remiss to not spend at least some amount of time reflecting on that day.

Saturday afternoon of January 10th in the greatest snowstorm (to date) of 2009, we climbed into my front-wheel drive coupe and slowly and fishtailing-ly made our way to Craig’s house in Ann Arbor. Sometimes you don’t appreciate how many small hills do exist in places until it takes you 10 minutes to make your way up a snow-covered one in your vehicle. After much apprehension and safety concern, we finally showed up to Craig’s house at about 2:30. Ironically and coincidentally, we showed up about 30 minutes late – exactly at the same time as Colin for his own event. He was a little bit miffed that he was late, so we helped him to unpack the structured activities, food, and raffle prizes from his car and carried them into Craig’s house. The party consisted primarily of Ultimate players from the University of Michigan. Ultimate players are the most crazy and dedicated individuals you will ever meet. They live and breathe the game, even though it will never provide them any sort of personal income. They also tend to be a group living in dichotomy – they love granola and being slightly hippy-like with long hair, but at the same time most of them wear North Face vests and drive decent vehicles. Over the years I’ve accumulated a few contacts within the Ultimate world, but Maureen and I only knew a few people at ColinFest.

Upon arrival, we signed up on the attendee sheet to indicate our presence as well as to participate in the numerous iterations of the raffle. The food was plentiful, and almost entirely provided by Colin and his family. Snacks included plentiful and picturesque cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter, one other kind I can’t remember), loaves of quick breads with embedded chocolate, pork, punch, brownies (gluten-free and with extra gluten), waffles, and lemon cream pie. The punch had ice cubes molded into the likeness of Colin for the brief period before they melted, the waffle iron had a Colin imprint, and their were coasters with Colin's face stamped onto them. There were also a series of games set up in the basement which primarily consisted of throwing something and something else and trying to get that first thing to land in or around the second thing. Champions of the games were awarded chocolate suckers also shaped in the likeness of, you guessed it, Colin. To this point I've also ignored the T-shirts with his picture on them and the Colin temporary tattoos. You'd like to think I'm kidding, but I'm not. On top of all of these festivities, there were several rounds of a lotto-style raffle in which the winners were awarded a variety of prizes from the prize table, some of which also included some variety of a likeness of Colin.

Our participation in ColinFest 2009 ended after the Colin theme-song contest, in which participants wrote three different three songs dedicated to the life, myth, and eventual death of Colin. Lyrics included gems like "Colin McIntyre, you set my heart on fire." I have a link so that you can download the song, but I've temporarily lost that and will update this post once I get my hands on it again (update: here's the link to the song. You'll have to trust me that it's not a virus).

All told, I've never been at such a celebration of oneself, invented, advertised, sponsored, and funded by that self. It was a fantastic afternoon of food, fun, and things shaped like Colin. It would be very easy for you to assume that I'm making this entire thing up, but again, I am not. If you're lucky, maybe between right now and next year you'll have the opportunity to meet Colin, become friends with him, and have the good fortune to make the short list for ColinFest. Enjoy this video of some of his highlights, as well as him doing something else ridiculous (he's the one originally with the cake).

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