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Bayside High reunion

November 8, 2008

We all know I love a good theme party. And, really, who doesn’t love “Saved by the Bell”? So I thought, why not combine my two loves and have a delightful “SBTB”-themed party with my friends? And I did. I went as far to design and print my own sweatshirt, which read “I’m so excited… I’m so excited… I’m so SCARED!” on the front and “Bayside High Class of ’93” on the back.  Classy, no? (Obviously I was going as Jessie Spano from the caffeine freakout episode, “Jessie’s Song.”) I forced each of my friends to come dressed as various characters, or at least in the “SBTB” style. I made an abundance of mix CDs of songs that were popular between 1989 and 1993, when “Saved by the Bell” was on the air. 

AC Slater and Jessie Spano.

 I went all out… as usual. I even broke out my hair crimper! I’m sorry, okay? I’m a child of the 90s. Anyway, it ended up being one of my favorite parties of the year. My friends were great about dressing up and playing the part. I took a fillion pictures and even made makeshift opening credits starring us (too embarrassing to post to the public). So, in case you want to throw your own “Saved by the Bell” soiree, here are a few tips from me:

* Enforce the dress code! It’s way more fun (and provides far more photo opportunities) if your guests come dressed up. Don’t let anyone in the door who’s not fully decked! Key costume elements: neon anything, big hair, leggings, denim jackets, jelly shoes and jewelry, stripes and big floral patterns, headbands, HAMMER PANTS!

* Music is key. I used to find the most popular songs between 89-93 and put the best ones into a playlist to blast during the party. Here are a few of my selections:



* I own the “Saved by the Bell” board game from 1992. It’s pretty epic. If you have it too, you can get that out and ask each other trivia questions from the show as a party game. If you don’t have it and want it, check Amazon and eBay for fairly cheap used games.

* Get your DVDs ready! I put my “SBTB” DVDs on in the background and just muted them while the music was on. It adds that extra Bayside High atmosphere that everyone loves so much.

My friends and I as the Bayside High gang!

Have you had a “SBTB” party? Send me your pictures and tips at!


My Dunder Mifflin

November 28, 2007

My life is proof that you don’t always have to travel to “live the movies”… sometimes a movie or TV-themed staycation can be just as fun. Take, for instance, the “Office”-themed party my friends and I had over our Thanksgiving break.

My friends and I as our "Office" alter egos.

I tend to go a little overboard on things like this, especially theme parties (ask any of my friends and they’ll agree). But I believe the key to throwing a great theme party is being really intense and forcing your guests to obey you. Luckily my friends are really great about that sort of thing.

To begin with, I designed my invitations in the style of a Dunder Mifflin memo. I paperclipped a nametag to each My handy-dandy memos with nametags.“memo” with a character’s name on it, so each of my friends knew who to come dressed as. (Not that it would’ve been too hard to guess — my friends are oddly well-cast as the “Office”-ers.) I instructed them all to wear said nametags to the party. Next, I created Dunder Mifflin badges for everyone. This is simple. I just copied and pasted the Dunder Mifflin logo from the “Office” website, pasted two columns’ worth into Microsoft Word, and then printed them on cardstock. From there I punched two adjacent holes at the top with a hole punch, and added a badge clip to each one. And voila! My super-amazing Dunder Mifflin badges.I had one waiting for each of my guests when they arrived. (I’m fully aware that I’m a giant nerd.) I didn’t stop there — I made a cake with “Dunder Mifflin” scrawled on it, and even slipped some keys into a jello mold as a gag. I put “Office” DVDs on in the background, and my friends and I traded off filming each other in silly “Office”-inspired scenes. At the end of the night, I pieced together a funny little “Office” episode, starring me and my friends. Pretty decent, if I do say so myself. We took a few liberties with plot points, but oh well. That’s why they don’t pay us the big bucks.

screen gems – wilmington, north carolina

January 7, 2006

Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast. It was Belgian waffles and apple dumplings. FREAKING DELICIOUS. I wish Kathleen cooked my breakfast every morning. Anyway, we took a cab to EUE/Screen Gems Studios, where Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, and many a movie have been filmed. On weekends they give tours, so we got there early and bought our tickets and waited in anticipation.

The tour was awesome. We walked through sets of both shows. We saw the interiors of Capeside High and Tree Hill High, and went into one of the classrooms. I made sure to sit down in Brooke Davis’ seat because she’s my favorite One Tree Hill character. I really don’t think I could get any nerdier. I even answered a trivia question that one of the tour guides asked, and she said I was the only person who’d ever gotten it right. Go me. We also got to go into the Scott family kitchen, into Joey Potter & Audrey Liddel’s dorm room, to Mitch Leery’s headstone and into DAWSON’S BEDROOM. At that point my life was pretty much complete. Alex and I went into Dawson’s closet and recited some lines from Jaws. We sat on Dawson’s bed. We climbed through his bedroom window – and if you ever watched the show, you know how monumental that is. All in all, it was such a crazy, cool experience.

From the studio we took a cab to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, which was used for some exteriors of Capeside High School. Being on that campus felt really nice. I thought, hey – I could go to grad school here and live in Wilmington. I’m seriously considering it. They have an education program and a creative writing program. There’s certainly promise there.

We walked around, took some photos, enjoyed our time on the campus. We walked down the strip to the BK Lounge and got some lunch, then took a cab back to the Dragonfly Inn.

We rested up a little in the room, then went back downtown later on. We did a little shopping and walked around a little bit. I came across Karen’s Cafe from One Tree Hill and then we got dinner at Hell’s Kitchen, which was where Joey worked during season six of Creek and where Haley’s sister Taylor worked (although they called it The Swinging Donkey) on One Tree Hill. It was a cool atmosphere, and if I lived there I’d go there a lot.

While traipsing around a bit longer, we came back by N Salo, which was Screen Play video on Dawson’s Creek. I had to stop for a photo op before we headed back to the b&b to retire for the night.

a walk through capeside – wilmington, north carolina

January 6, 2006

Our first night we were too tired to do much, so we stayed in and ordered pizza. But we woke up the next morning ready to go. Kathleen made us a delicious breakfast quiche. It was superb. We chowed and got ready pretty quickly and headed out. I had mapped out a pretty sweet itinerary so we would hit all the good spots, and I’d organized it by where they were in town. We spent the entire morning walking around Wilmington hunting down Dawson’s Creek filming locations. In the photos above, I am at Thalian Hall, which is a performing arts center and was used as The Rialto on the show – the movie theater that the teens always went to, and the site of Dawson and Joey’s first date.

The downtown riverfront was supremely gorgeous. It’s a beautiful place and now that I know, I’d go there even if Creek hadn’t been filmed there. I bet it’s a great place to live. The riverfront is lovely, and it is also the site of Pacey and Andie’s first kiss after the dance in episode 206, which Alex was especially excited about. I forgot to mention that The WB show One Tree Hill is currently filmed in Wilmington, and I watch that show too, so I was on the lookout for OTH locations as well, and they film A LOT of scenes on the riverfront. It was funny how all the locals kept telling us how cold it was outside, but we thought it was really warm – trust me, January in North Carolina is like the tropics compared to January in Maine.

We were ushered in out of the “cold” – into the Water Street Restaurant, better known to DC-ers as Dawson’s family’s restaurant, Leery’s Fresh Fish. Alex and I were atwitter at being inside ‘Leery’s Fresh Fish’. And the food was good too. All in all, it was a lovely morning and a lovely lunch.

Following lunch, we continued our walk and we stumbled across THE WALL. Of course, it only really means something to us. It is the wall that Pacey bought for Joey to paint on after her school mural was defaced, which he later painted “ASK ME TO STAY” on, which in turn caused Joey to chase him down to the dock, tell him she loved him, and hop on his boat with him. They sailed away in True Love (the boat … and the emotion) for three months. I’m pretty sure everyone in town thought we were nuts for taking pictures of a wall.

We managed to get in some shopping while sight-seeing. We went to CD Alley, which Dawson and Gretchen frequented on DC and which is where Tyler Hilton’s character Chris Keller worked on OTH. We also went to Island Passage Elixir, where Dawson’s Creek characters shopped, and we each bought a ring. They’re sparkly and fun.

We got dinner that night at the Reel Cafe. Supposedly it was a hangout for the Creek kids and currently for the One Tree Hill kids. Anyway, it’s a cool little place and it has a club upstairs and an outside deck. It had a cool vibe – like the Hard Rock Cafe, but with movies and TV shows. I enjoyed myself.