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The September 2002 Chicago GT

(Note: Most of the photos taken inside the ESPN-Zone were taken under low-light conditions. Every effort has been made to make these photos clearer, limits of photoshop and digital cameras notwithstanding. All photos have been resized for clarity, but kept as large as possible. Please be patient if it takes a while for them to load.)

MORE PHOTOS can be seen on the Wisdom website, taken by Wylin. They can be found HERE, then click on GT Pics

NEW: Lania's thoughts: " My favorite parts - Meeting everyone... Chatting with Natilena... Finding the group again... Being loud in Natilena's hotel room (I thought we were gonna get kicked out)... My not so favorite parts - Speeding ticket (on the way there)... Getting seperated from the group (we left to go check into the hotel)... Lania who? (Come on? Wife of Solanthas? Anyone?)... Walking to the hotel at 12:30 (Is this the right way back?)... Driving home (eight hour drive)... I can't wait to do it all again... " Lania has made a page going into more detail about her view of the trip:

Solaron's Point of View:

It began pretty painlessly, surprisingly enough. Faille, Humble, myself and Katrana approached a group of obvious MUDders. Don't know what it is, but SOMETHING always sets them apart. Plus, Myronides was getting his ass kicked for wearing his jersey, so that helped.

We were introduced to Ambrose, Taz, Boyardee, Natilena, Myronides, Maimer, and Lania. I don't know who expected what, but many of my mental images were totally blown aside when I saw these people.

After introductions, we all went inside (Sorry, photo quality extra poor) the noisiest place on earth - ESPNzone.

We all headed up the stairs and bought some cards with credits on it to play some games on. I proceeded to soundly thrash those in attendance at any racing game, while also managing to look like an utter moron while trying to box. It's a fine line I walk.

Photos: Ambrose, Taz and Myronides watch the boxing.| Shots of Faille, Katrana & Natilena racing - racing #1 & racing #2. | Folks watch as Boyardee, Taz & Ambrose race. | Solaron looking distracted as Katrana & Humble horse race |

Natilena was camera shy in the beginning, but that may be because I can't take pictures. At all. Seriously.

We then headed down, after an hour or two, to grab some food. Ambrose and Taz picked on Boyardee, and everyone picked on Ambrose and Taz. The food was good, filet mignion for me and fetuccini alfredo for Katrana. The desserts were good, but it was.. well.. expensive. Photos: Everyone at the table |

Wylin and Lorax arrived soon after, and introductions were repeated. We again headed upstairs, where Maimer somehow managed to control a jeep travelling across 90 degree slopes of a mountain of ice. (Needless to say, I spun in circles the entire time). Humble deafeated me easily (VERY easily) in a shooting game, I retired soon there-after from any non-racing games.

Photos: Solaron, Myronides & Humble race motorcycles | Solaron shows up on one of the TV monitors as he plays a video game | Myronides concentrates on his Air Hockey game | Taz, Ambrose and Myron try a three player game |

From there, we were at an impasse. Ambrose and Taz left to go to a party at his place. We were all invited, but Plato, Shon, and Hutt had still to arrive, and we had 3 hours to waste.

Leave it to mudders, we wander down a few blocks to a Starbucks. Closed? Ha! We find a nearby park, and side on the sides of the fountain (because after all, it's Chicago. The tables and chairs were stacked and chains down.) Humble somehow managed to pop the lock off a set of them, and then we were living. We all told stories, ideas, memories, etc, for a long while. Natilena was forced to cover her ears three or four times and shake her head violently as we mentioned Alex's rather dirty deed of killing her. Photos: Faille by the fountain | Boyardee, Wylin & Lorax | Solaron, Boyardee & Wylin

We finally made it into the Starbucks after a couple hours, grabbed some drinks, and made it back to ESPNzone. Once again, after a little wait, a few threats to PK Wylin if he wouldn't do as I told and be my loyal slave. *cough* and we saw another group of people that we all knew through our MUDDER senses that also mudded - yes, Plato, Shon, and Hutt had arrived. Photos: Solaron keeping a sense of humor |

To our surprise, Plato was the father of Hutt and Shon (yes, that threw me for a loop as well). We went through MORE introductions, hit the arcade for a while, but the sounds was *really* annoying. We spent a few minutes deciding where to go - at first, it was our hotel room, about 20 minutes away. After Myronides and I pestered Natilena, she finally lost her sanc and was defeated, and we headed around the block to hit her hotel room (Wylin and Lorax stopping for some potions of heal first, in Budweiser cans).

From then on, it was all stories. We talked about old times, new times, what might happen in the future, who killed who, who wants to kill who, who was the most annoying person on the MUD, and the like. We called Theoden, and he talked to people for a while. Finally, after nearly 12 hours, Myronides was forced to grab his train, and he left. After another hour or so, it was our turn to leave. Wylin, Natilena, Lorax, Maimer, Lania, Shon, Hutt and Plato stayed and had pizza and beer I hear... but WE had another GT to be at in 12 hours. Ahhh, memories.

Hope to do it next year - which translates to hell yes, that was a LOT of fun.

Thanks to everyone who attended - GT's really make mudding more enjoyable for me.

Katrana Remebers: " My favorite part of the Chicago GT was when we all of us, were shoved into Natilena's hotel room *laugh* We got to know each other alot better than when we were just playing games at ESPN Zone. So it was awesome, we talked about 2.x and the ups and downs of 3.x, which characters are extremely annoying, which are just insane (that will remain classified) *snicker* That was the best part of the Chicago GT.

Wylin says...(My favorite part of the GT was) "bs'ing in natilena's hotel until 2:30am w/beer." The funniest thing he saw was, "Katrana playing the horse riding game. Lorax thought the horse might need a cigarette afterwards."

Myronides chuckles..."hehe Sol forgot to mention we all sucked at the motorcycle game an got disqulaified quickly :)"

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