I've gotten rid of the spunk, y'all.


This has got to be my favourite photo of the weekend. I was too busy climbing all over Wntrmute to think about how it looked from the side, but this tells me everything I need to know...


 Vital statistics:

  • What: A noderpartymeet!
  • Why: It's Wntrmute's birthday, silly
  • When: Saturday, 3rd of November 2007
  • Where: Swindon, Wiltshire, England
  • How: That's a stupid question that doesn't even begin with W, so I shall ignore it

Rambling back-story and marketing pitch:

Well, there's not that much to ramble about to be honest. I've been badgering Wntrmute to come and see me for a while now, and the only weekend for a while that suits us both turned out to coincide with his birthday. So he was all like "bake me a cake", and I was all "suah, shall we have a par-tay?", and he was like "yeah, why not?", so, um, yeah.

Obviously we can't have a party without guests, so it was decided that a proper node should be put together in the proper way to let y'all know that you're way invited to come along and help us eat the cake! And drink the booze! And scare the neighbours!

The Plan:

I'm guessing one or two people will be showing up on Friday the 2nd, which is great; that evening will probably run along the lines of quiet chat, moderate drinking and a simple home cooked meal. Saturday will see more people arriving, tidying up, shopping for necessaries, cake baking, running around like headless chickens, and possibly me throwing everyone out of the place in the afternoon while I have a nervous breakdown and they go and enjoy themselves in the pub, the bastards.

Where was I? Oh yeah. So anyway, Saturday night is gonna be all like Party Night, and if you need that explained to you then you've lead a very sheltered life! I'll lay on some snack food, there will be cake, and booze, and music, and just possibly party games if DEB organizes them, and maybe even some debauchery. I don't know, I'm working on that last one.

Then there will be sleep in a very come-as-you-are sort of way, as space will be limited. I strongly recommend arriving with at least a sleeping bag to your names. Once everyone gets bored with sleeping, there will be breakfast cooked or purchased, and then we can just mooch about and read the Sunday papers until it's time for people to catch trains home or whatnot.

Another option is to book a table for brunch in this quite upmarket trendy place across the way and treat our hangovers to some table service and pampering. We'll see.

The Popularity Quotient:

OK, so obviously none of y'all is going to want to commit yourselves before you know which Britnoderdom VIPs have been booked by their agents to make an appearance, so here's who's planning to be there:

/msg me to let me know if you fancy it, and we can dicuss travel, crash space, dietary restrictions and all that jazz. Swindon is actually stupidly easy to get to by road, rail or coach from almost anywhere in England and Wales, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Update: We are now out of floor space, there's dibs on the bath and someone might have to sleep on top of the kitchen counter. I so totally want to see more of you guys - but unless you can really tug on my heartsrings and get me to let you sleep in the wardrobe, I think you might be better advised booking into a B&B - I'll be happy to help find something affordable and nice.

W00t!

Having read aftermath nodes from previous nodermeets, I used to wonder why they were generally vague, non-descriptive, full of silly quotes but few other details.

No longer.

I was planning to write a vibrant, in-depth account of all interesting events and highlights, but the precise details seem to be obscured in a general sea of drunken noder-happy. Nonetheless, I'll do my best to give a general impression of the timeline of my very first nodermeet.

My journey began rather excitingly, as this was also the first time I'd ever traveled British Rail alone, and the first since it was privatised. When I bought my tickets, the ticket-master handed them to me, pointed to the train sitting on the platform and said "Right, on you get!".

Me: "Wot, that train there?"
Ticket-dude: "Yes, quick now!"

So I dash out onto the platform and into the train. The doors shut seconds afterward and I'm on my way. Note that at this point I have absolutely no idea where I'm going or what my connections are. Fun.

(fast-forward)

As I stand gormlessly outside the Swindon Railway Station, a tall dark stranger with long hair and a black trenchcoat who'd been eyeing me on the train suddenly addresses me.

"Excuse me, are you by any chance DTal?"
"Why yes, yes I am!"
"Andrew Aguecheek."
"Hi, Andrew!"
(shakes hand)
"Erm, how did you know it was me?"
"Oh, you looked lost and about the right age."
"..."

(fast-forward)

(on the bus, passing sign saying "WARNING: TANKS")
"You know, this doesn't look like Swindon anymore."
"You know, I think you're right."

(fast-forward)

************
*CLASSIFIED*
************

(fast-forward)

(sitting by a fire in comfy chairs in a swanky hotel)
"Well, this could have turned out worse."
"Agreed."

(fast-forward)

(entering room)
"Hold it!"
*FLASH*
(spots clear revealing grinning Dimview)

(flailing head connects with something soft)
"OWWW ow ow ow ow.."
"Oh god sorry sorry which bit did I hit"
(sorry, Deb)


"Hey, what are these?"
"Chicken balls!"
"I didn't know chickens had balls!"

Ah, see, it's no use; the rest is just a sort of fuzz. I do recall consuming some perfectly excellent food courtesy of TheLady, having a discussion on temporal realities with a famous science fiction author, and imbibing modest quantities of alcohol. I also have some vague memories of being mercilessly tortured by a ninjagirl. Ninjagirls, please; you have power, don't abuse it.

Somewhere between the hours of 3 and 4 in the morning, there was a collective movement bedwards, or in most cases, floorwards. Sleeping bags were laid out in a surprisingly ordered fashion; the only modification to the layout was that sam512 advised me to turn my sleeping bag around, for reasons that would become clear. That they certainly did, in a manner rootbeer277 described the next morning as "epic". Waking at about 9:45, I opened my eyes and looked straight into those of a grinning Dimview, who was obscenely awake, fully dressed, and taking notes! Honestly.

A few things, however, stand out in my mind with excellent clarity. The Debutante and I reminisced about my first (nuked) writeup. I asserted (and still do) that E2 is NOT unfriendly to new noders. We, as a group, had a very interesting, emotional, but remarkably sober discussion over what E2 means to each of us personally, what might be wrong with it, and how maybe to fix it. No one got angry or upset, as far as I know. No voices were raised. The Debutante justified her position as a Content Editor magnificently by capably moderating throughout. I was truly awed by the general level of discourse, alcohol-induced stupor notwithstanding. You are all incredibly intelligent people, and so friendly it hurts. Seriously, you're amazing. I hope you never leave.

The journey back home was both fun and bittersweet. The routes of Andrew Aguecheek, sam512, and I ran together as far as Stroud, and Sam and I didn't separate until Birmingham (where he had to stop me from changing my hard drive in the middle of the station, in case it was mistaken for terrorism). For me, the nodermeet didn't really end until 2:45, when the last noder and I parted ways.

This place means a lot to me. Andrew Aguecheek commented at the meet that I seemed "scarily into it", which was itself scary seeing as he'd attended some fifteen nodermeets, and I one. I know I haven't noded much, but I care very deeply about what happens here, and I hate the thought of e2 dying. This event, this wondrous marvelful event, showed me that it isn't dying. It's alive, very much alive.


And kicking.

Universe 'At Risk' From Eagle Owls

this is what a nodermeet looks like

Bright was the day and high were our hearts when--

Alright, I can keep that style up for about half a sentence.

It seems that noders are unable to follow simple instructions! Yes, folks, there IS a number 11 bus, and getting on a randomly-chosen other bus which seems to be heading in the right direction is not a good substitute! We had people ending up in different streets, different towns, different dimensions. "You're in the right room, don't worry! But you're in an alternate universe which doesn't have any people in it. No, move kata a few feet!"

TheLady has a superb bookshelf and an equally superb comic bookshelf. TheLady also cooks! Prepares food. Perhaps the prevalence of recipe nodes should have given it away, but noders cook.

Dimview exists. She is a real, corporeal individual, and there is photographical evidence! Of kohlcass, who phoned up during the nodermeet to wish Wntrmute a happy birthday and ended up talking to everybody including myself, I have only heard a voice, briefly, but it's surely only a matter of time.

"I don't recognise you. Let my check my list of people who are expected to be here. Are you... BaronWR? Hah! Success!"

DTal seems like a nice young man. We'll have to work on that.

Andrew_Aguecheek and I crossed the road to the Co-Op - dashed handy - to buy booze. "Right, how are we paying for half of this each?" "You cut, I'll choose." ("Would you like to sponsor a dog?" is the strangest thing either of us has ever been asked at a checkout.)

Apple: just as evil as Microsoft? Consensus was yes. Don't get TheLady started. My theory? Apple can make stylish-looking computers and music machines. Microsoft are not at liberty to create sleek, stylish-looking, white and chrome software, so they lose.

The Debutante arrived, bringing party games. Yeah, seriously. We passed parcels. BaronWR's forfeit was to propose marriage to the noder opposite. rootbeer277 ("PROFESSOR SCIENCE")'s forfeit, shortly afterwards, was NOT to accept BaronWR's proposal, alas. Instead, he was instructed to remove three items of clothing. And complied. Yeah, really. We've seen his feet, ladies.

We were divided into groups for the quiz round. "Right, for this game, you will be given the title of a node on Everything2 and you will have to tell me which noder wrote it!" "Ah ha!" I thought. "Since I am a regular user of E2, I have the advantage! Oh, wait."

There was the Never Mind The Buzzcocks "Hum the song and have your teammate guess it" round, which devolved into "Get one point for recognising any of the songs in the pile of cards" but was hilarious. There was also the totally awesome Have I Got News For You "Headlines with deleted words" round, which included none, some or all (actually all) from the meet's guest publication, the November 2007 issue of Sporting Shooter magazine.

It should actually have been "Harriers 'At Risk' From Eagle Owls"

There was also "Fowling By _________". The actual answer was "Moonlight" but by this point we were giving points to the funniest answer, so I believe it was Wntrmute who won with "Chanel".

Last Year's Rabbi did not make an appearance, alas.

If you are a Facebook friend of any of the attendees then you will be able to view Dimview's photo gallery of this meet here. la petite mort's gallery is here, including several pics of Wntrmute with his honeyz.

At this nodermeet, to my surprise, we actually spent a fair amount of time discussing Everything2 itself. No, we did not come to any firm conclusions. At least in the catbox, everything everybody says is heard by everybody else who reads. My goodness, it's almost like everybody has a differing opinion!

When we ran out of beer I think we (or at least I) moved on to drinking vodka and blackcurrant squash, which was enough to start me thinking seriously about sleep. I felt no shame about curling up on the floor while the party continued, since archiewood was already asleep under the kitchen table, and also, it was, you know, two thirty in the morning by this point. I thought of it as starting a trend.

When The Debutante is asleep on a sofa under a thick heavy blanket which completely covers her, it looks like there's nobody there.

The cold and regret-filled light of day dawned, as it does after November nodermeets. My patented hangover cure: fruit! Also there were delicious eggs.

Thank you for letting us eat all your food and sleep on your floor, TheLady!

Wntrmute, you should have another birthday next year

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