Yes, in honor of all the brave men and women who died for the great gathering that was the HOT DAMN! An E2 gathering in Ohio?!?!!, I claim the first writeup!

If you have pictures from the gathering online, please msg me with the url and I will add them here. If you need a place to put the pictures online, I'll be happy to provide that. Pictures rule.

http://www.voidptr.net/sightings.shtml
http://goatcam.net/blorp/?path=e2%2Fohio
http://www.cs.purdue.edu/homes/nolandda/E2/

Thursday, May 31st 2001

Calm day, I get a note from Zot that thefez and iDeath are here. I head over around 9 and we go for sushi at the japanese place across the street. Relatively quiet, we sit around and drink beer and chat. thefez is not at all what you would expect... We pick up jessicapierce at the airport around 11, plane arrives around 12. We have a lovely sign which proudly reads Lesbians! Monkeys! Soy! complete with a diagram of a 4 breasted lesbian soy eating monkey. jessicapierce is somewhat sick from the plane ride and does not react so well to the sign, however we had a great deal of fun watching the reaction of the other passengers in the hour we waited for her plane to arrive.

Friday, June 1st 2001

I get up around 8 to start smoking the pork shoulder. It produces large amounts of smoke wafting from my balcony which quickly attracts the attention of the apartment manager... Plan B, I pack everything up and set up at Zot's place. I leave it to cook and head back home to start on the cake in honor of sane_guy's birthday. Due to the large number of vegetarians that will be present, I pick up some veggie dogs and portabella caps. We head to the airport around 1 and pick up Gamaliel. More fun with the sign, we almost pick up some other guy who was laughing pretty hard at it, but he kept walking. We head back, and jessicapierce and I head out in search of some more hickory wood for the smoker and end up driving all over town. Back at the party, people begin to trickle in.

Friday night we have the early arrivals, I'm not even going to attempt to name who they were... We are hanging out, and around 11 or so we decide to head out to a club. We walk over to a place called Outlands. I've lived in Columbus all my life, and I had no idea this place existed. Total goth club, complete with public flogging, candle wax, and electrocution. We get some drinks and watch the whippings while others bust a move on the dance floor. Jurph turns out to be quite a wild man despite his calm demeanor.

As we are standing around, some guy up on the stage points at me and waves me over. It should be noted that at this point I am well decorated with name tags, including one on my crotch that says "Sex Toy" complete with a Buy 2, Get 1 Free sticker. He proceeds to hit on me, and grabs me by the back of my neck. After telling me that he's the straightest guy I'll ever meet, he licks my face and grabs my crotch. He then calls over some scary looking woman and tries to get me down on my knees to give me to her as a toy. She asks how much I've had to drink tonight, and I say not enough. That got rid of her... I finally squirm away from scary man and hang out in the middle of our group for protection, although they seem to be more interested in watching me squirm than protecting me... According to Xamot, some biker guys started calling me their little blond boy. What can I say, men love me. After a while, Jurph and Tandex get electrocuted for fun and profit! We head home around 3 and I make my way back to my apartment.

Saturday, June 2nd 2001

Saturday morning I get up and get the potato salad done and finish up icing the cake. Yeah, I frosted the hell out of that bitch. Head over to Zot's and all is relatively quiet. We take a group trip with about 20 people to Yankee Trader. This is the place to buy crap in Columbus, with a complete selection of things like rubber chickens, fake swords, funny hats, fake dog crap, and all those other stupid things. We buy a fair amount of crap and head back. Most of the afternoon, everyone hangs out at the nearby park. Around 5 we flare up the grill. The pork shoulder is reheated, I grill up a mean flank steak, some veggie dogs, some garden burgers, and portabella caps. We all chow down in harmony. Unfortunately I vastly underestimated the number of hungry meat eaters we had and it went pretty quick, sorry to those who did not get their fill. I must say, the break-in of my new smoker went extremely well, it was by far the best hunk of pork I have ever tasted. We have some cake and ice cream in honor of sane_guy's birthday, goes fast as well. Recipes for the food I made will be forthcoming...

More arrivals and the party is in full swing. We head over to the Grayhound terminal to pick up Neil. As soon as we walk in, two british girls run up to us and ask if we are looking for Neil. They point him out to us. Very odd, he apparently met them on the bus and they just thought we looked like people who were here to pick up Neil... Tandex's wife is a caterer and hooks us up with some finger sandwiches and junk food. Jurph and I set up on the back porch for some music. Oh man did we suck. Unfortunately, Jurph has a rare musical imparement that prevents him from being able to remember anything beyond the first verse of any given song. But we did kick some ass on some of those first verses, and even managed to pull of a few decent verses of American Pie. As the party is hopping up, I head over with WonkoDSane and Void_Ptr to pick up her leather booty. As she is changing, I can't resist, I call down to the front desk and order a 6 AM wakeup call. EVIL! It played out well, and all staying in the room were a good sport about it.

Back at the party, jaubertmoniker has shown up after saying he wouldn't make it, but then he's leaving as soon as I got there. He drove about an hour to stay for 30 minutes, silly noders! Everything is going well, except some goobers put on Rocky Horror and have at it. Sheesh... Kurt the Pope is very very drunk. I've gotten about 3 words out of him all weekend, and now he's ranting and raving about assessing property. He gives me Hawaii. I run around the block with him to try and sober him up, but all he does is comment on this new and exciting property to assess. GoneJackel and Karmaflux get into a wrestling match with pudding. It was not pretty. Oh so very not pretty. Around 4 am, myself, jessicapierce, Phillys Stein, and zot-fot-piq crash on an inflatable mattress upstairs. Zot sleeps through the rest of our slap hapiness... Everyone else falls asleep around 7 am, I manage to somehow avoid sleep alltogether...

Sunday, June 3rd 2001

Around 10 we scramble up and get showered. We make plans for lunch at the Starliner Diner for 2 pm. We head out, half the party get's lost. We all eventually get situated. The folks at the starliner, in addition to cooking up some mean cuban/eclectic foods, went way out of their way to accomidate our group of about 30. The food and service were great, we leave a 35% tip on a bill of $285. We love the starliner diner. Through the afternoon, goodbyes are said and we all laugh and cry at the recent memories of our new friends.

In the evening, we head out to eat at Mac's cafe around 10 pm. The hardcore group remaining consists of myself, zot-fot-piq, sane_guy, jessicapierce, stand/alone/bitch, thefez, brassmule, Morgon77, and Pyrogenic. brassmule had about 9 shots of tequilla and 2 long island iced teas. He looks all of 16 when he smiles, how he got served I don't know. Watching him smashed is a hilarious experience. We head back later and all crash on the sofa. Around 3, everyone has basically crashed except myself, jessicapierce, and Pyrogenic. JP's plane is leaving at 7:25 so we figure there's no point in trying to get any sleep now, so what the hell. We take a walk in the park and get accosted by scary homeless people with mean dogs. Head back to the crib. JP and I get in depth on the metaphysical concepts of thinking outside the box, it's deep, trust me. JP and I brave out the night without succombing to the deep pull of sleep. Everyone get's up around 6 am and we all head to the airport to see JP off. We head back to Zot's and I bail to go to work. Wearing the same clothes I wore on sunday and looking like hell beat to death with a radish stem.

Summary

First off, thanks to zot-fot-piq for providing us with a place to party and sleeping room for many noders. No matter what he said, he put the effort into this thing and we all owe him a big thanks. (Note: after careful consideration, we have decided to compromise and say that we all pulled this off together. Except for sane_guy, he's just a crack whore.) Thanks to tandex and his wife for providing us with party foods, and for being all around cool people. Big thanks to briiiiian for the compliments on the smoked pork shoulder, I've yet to have someone so eloquently compliment my food. And thanks to WonkoDSane for bringing me some Shiner Bock from the heart of the south.

The final noder count we came up with was 45, but we might have missed a few... Hopefully everyone had a good time and ended up well fed and liquored. Special thanks to Clampe for providing the hosts with quality Blockstockers shirts, and to dem_bones for allowing us to rub his bald head, we are truly not worthy.

Thanks to everyone who made it out and braved the cold and rain. I had a great time, and we hope everyone else did as well.

Random thoughts: thefez is a wet kisser. jessicapierce has a heart of pure black evil, and it tastes like chicken. I never met a pig that wasn't good food. If anyone ever again comes into a room and turns on the lights to show me a picture of a crab penis, I will kill them. Ghihuahua Grub is the coolest person I have ever met in my life. Becca makes a mean cookie. Jurph should not be allowed to play with fireworks. iDeath? Yeah, we got that. Dizzy and Katyana are so damn cool it makes my legs weak. noders are cool as hell. If I can just get Mike to the 24-hour Whipper-Snapper, I will be okay.

Swim to the light source, or fly like a moth,
and toss away stuff you don't need in the end,
but keep what's important, and know who's your friend.
--Phish, Theme from the Bottom


Friday

first impressions, pipelinks, what's in a name?, grounded, cats that think they're dogs

I knew I was coming from a co-worker's wedding reception. I knew that I would be arriving before czeano. I knew a few E2 names from the guest list. Other than that, I was going in completely blind--but at least I was going in well-dressed. Overdressed, it turned out. Having come from a wedding reception, I had a necktie on, and if one didn't notice my belt and combat boots, one might swear that I was a laid-back conservative suit.

Arriving in a smoky living room in zot-fot-piq's den of decadence, I realized that I didn't know anyone, and that jeans were in order. Introductions were made all around. I promptly forgot most of them, but managed to retain ideath, Becca, brainwave, ccunning, Void_Ptr, WonkoDSane, and zot-fot-piq's noder names, which was enough for me to (gradually) piece more names together later. Becca and I had a brief but animated discussion about her teddy bear's name as it related to my "real" name. I politely declined to be called by it and opted for Jurph or J.R.; I prefer Jurph, but noders are expected to have two names, I guess.

Someone with initiative suggested dancing--a trek was organized to Outland. I ditched my buttoned-up shirt and tie on the dance floor and improvised a choker out of a shirt garter. I didn't get a look at myself in the mirror, and in retrospect, I probably looked pretty silly, which my dancing probably didn't help. By the time I took my first break from the music, a non-noder who had come along was being flayed, and taunting the dominatrix. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, this is a bad idea. I volunteered for the electric chair--a van de Graaf set up next to the rack. My impressions:

The fatigue of a long day set in, and I settled down, and tandex's wife--soon to be my gracious host--told me about the really cool restaurant she's opening up near I-71. Now that I've had her cooking, I'm definitely going to eat there, just watch me and see if I don't. So there. The walk back was amusing--Becca had hiccups, the whipping boy was drunk, and I was getting sleepy. On our return to ground zero, I met some more noders--I remember aphexious being someone I hadn't met yet--and probably re-introduced myself to people I'd already met, and generally wandered about. WonkoDSane and I lucked out and scored beds at tandex's house with the cats that think they're dogs. Actually, Niles was the one that really blew my mind. I'm not a cat person, but HOT DAMN! this was a cool cat... I petted the cat for a bit, talked E2 with WonkoDSane for a bit, and slept for the other bits. I don't think I realized what I had gotten myself into, but it seemed like the potential for fun and insanity were there in equal parts.


"Upon us all, a little rain must fall."
--Led Zeppelin, The Rain Song


Saturday

NPR, Wendy's for breakfast, reunion, aerobie defoliation, pre-flight, freebird, "...a golden god!", direct orders, pyrotechnics, "property", spelunking, pudding, lips.

Woke up at nine-ish, after bad dreams about drowning. The cat by my bed spoke to me, but I'm not fluent in Cat. I showered, got dressed, and tandex and I passed the morning in pleasant conversation, with NPR in the background. Eric the Multifaceted dropped by with his wife Jeanette to help tandex and Stephanie and WonkoDSane and I prepare some of the catered food. They brought back some Wendy's for a late late breakfast... Mmmmmmmm, Frosty. I put my skills to work in the kitchen helping prep the veggies. Jeanette humbled me with her much simpler method of dicing tomatoes. WonkoDSane and I departed for the party, which, according to the warning label was not set to go off until 8pm. Dire Straits on the stereo--a good omen.

Czeano was the first noder I saw when I got in, and glorious guttural growls of "Dongtar!" were uttered along with the requisite hugs of recognition. I was stunned to note that I recognized other faces, and hadn't forgotten everyone's names. I remember a brief discussion about fireworks, which czeano recalls in much more detail. Despite the light mist and threat of rain, we--or damn near all of we--headed for the park.

Frisbees were there, and a balloon, and ideath with her indian clubs and juggling balls. An aerobie was in the tree, but that didn't last long. Some rope from my car, and Sane Guy's pinpoint accuracy caber tossing, and that thing didn't stand a chance. Nor did the tree, really. Agent Orange never defoliated this well! I suspect there were people who were enjoying tossing things at the aerobie more than tossing the aerobie to other people.

In between the various bouts of things getting thrown with high precision, I managed to actually get to know a bunch of noders. Books, movies, music, corporate law... it was all good. If I had to pick a moment of the party that I enjoyed most, it was that hour or two. Like the guy from that sci-fi flick, I realized it all at once: E2 is people! It happened while I was talking to ideath and Void_Ptr, or maybe aphexious and BAR and Protector of Mankind, or possibly neil--I felt the full impact of the idea that every noder has a whole life of stories to tell, and experiences that they share with the rest of us, and every node is a hopelessly inadequate expression of that, until you've met the person who wrote it and can see them in the situation. From there on out that day, I realized how amazingly cool it is to look through the eyes of someone totally unlike you, and realize that, by some quirk of fate, he or she sees a lot of the exact same things you do.

When the rain started to threaten us, most people left, but a few stayed back. Like Schroedinger's Cat, the aerobie came out of the tree as soon as nobody was observing the effort it took to remove it. A victory cry of "Dongtar!" was briefly rallied, but it didn't catch. As the people continued to arrive, the park group began to percolate through the house, grabbing snatches of face time and wisdom from passing noders, or settling like leaves into short-lived conversational piles.

Alcohol, forbidden by the state of Ohio's "open container" laws, was imbibed. I didn't partake, but I rarely do, and I didn't want to miss anything that might occur later. There were portabello mushrooms, and I almost missed out. There were cake and ice cream, and I did not miss out. Brassmule and Sane Guy went in search of miscellanea, to include alcohol and Pizzeria Pretzel Combos. I bumped into a guy who I recognized as Eric the Multifaceted, only he was airbrushed to a lovely golden sheen, like Doc Savage, Man of Bronze. We exchanged greetings briefly, I wondered about his "theonomist" name tag briefly, and then went out to eat my cake while he painted a bat on Clampe's face. The groceries got back, and I scarfed my Combos until ccunning suggested that I retrieve my amp and set up for our epic setlist of twenty or so half songs. When we set up, I didn't have any idea what to expect, but we had an amazingly supportive audience. ...until they realized what they were supporting.

We sucked in the grand style of all street performers who have never practiced. We sucked with pride and glory and audience participation and forgotten lyrics. We rocked.

We played such favorites as:

We heckled the audience, and we earned a quarter.

Around this point, karmaflux showed up. He really likes West Side Story. He named his Government Issue rifle Fibonacci, because its serial number was #235. He's a grunt, but he's not your average grunt by any stretch. Adding karmaflux to the mix at this point, along with the carload he came with, was like turning the "weird" knob up to 11. We talked military with the Pope and Neil, and it was educational to say the least--I'm just a lowly second lieutenant, and I learned a lot just listening. At some point, karmaflux explained to Becca what could happen to him if he disobeyed my direct orders. Honestly, until that point, I didn't understand what it meant to be in charge of--and totally responsible for--someone.

I went back inside, talked with more people, had another Coke, continued to marvel at the density of cool people. Girlface and I talked about India and the Atlanic Ocean and whale watching, and Void_Ptr and I climbed around on the outside of zot-fot-piq's Yellow Brick Noder Shell, leather booty and all! I had a stunning (actually incapacitating) burst of deja vu from a dream I'd had almost a year ago. At this point, things get hazy in my mind: did Gone_Jackal and karmaflux get in the pudding pile before or after Rocky Horror Picture Show? Did the Pope give me South Dakota before or after zot-fot-piq reluctantly agreed to let me place an inferno inside a beer bottle? Who didn't I manage to talk to? What was the song playing on the computer upstairs? Was that stand/alone/bitch who taught me to say "Where are my pants?" in Hungarian? I remember taking a mouthful of 151 rum and breathing fire briefly. That was fun.

By the time I got back to tandex's house, I had already begun to forget things, muddle them in my mind, and I had to refer to the journal I brought for details. Even there and then, the answer to "what next?" was: talk, and listen, and listen, and talk. After one last really cool conversation, I fell asleep almost instantly, and dreamed of the ocean and a desert.


"..."


Sunday

up in the morning, does his teeth, bite to eat, rolling, bite to eat ii, hugs not drugs, rolling ii, epilogue: E2 is People!

Again with the cat in front of my face. Again with the paws. Hmmmm.... breath tastes like Pizzeria Pretzel Combos. Brush teeth. I managed to snag a ride with Morgon77 and his Delaware Destroyer back to the Short North. Great bumper stickers and a smooth transmission. Not quite WonkoDSane's rented Mustang, but WonkoDSane was, at the time, easy to measure, and I had a car to load. Tandex informed us that there were breakfast reservations for a party of 20 at 2pm. I love America.

Upon returning to the party, I found that everyone was still there, and the party was still groggily going on. I mean: everyone. Well, I think czeano bugged out. I went out back, found my Pizzeria Pretzel Combos that I'd left neatly sealed in their waterproof bag during the night's rain, opened them again, and scarfed a few. Brassmule, bless his soul, was entitled to a handful or two, since he'd bought them for me--nobody else seemed interested in sodium and cheese that early in the morning.

After trying, in vain, to convince aphexious, BAR, and Protector of Mankind to join us for breakfast and convoy back with me on I-70, I packed my gear back in my Honda Accord, including the mix tape Girlface gave me and a robin's egg that I found while talking to Gamaliel.

I pulled my car back up to the party when it was announced that the breakfast convoy was leaving, and took on one passenger. I was third in the convoy, so what could possibly go wrong? The two cars in front of me split up. I decided to follow the leftmost car--it was Bart, our host, so he had to know where he was going... right? Right. He knew the route so well that he had shaken me in about 4 blocks. I tried faking it--but I should have known: Faking it with a cute girl makes you both look silly. That is to say, I informed Void_Ptr that I was winging it, and trying to lead the convoy to glory or breakfast. Glory must be south of Columbus, because I missed the exit for breakfast and kept losing latitude. At a fortuitous red light, Sane Guy flashed his headlights. I believe he was behind Xamot, who had elected to trust my driving, too. Foolish mortals.

I'm shocked that I couldn't feel the XP bleeding out my ears--Sane Guy was cursing me left, right, and sideways for missing the turn... but still following us. He pulled around and took the lead, and life was good once more. I'm glad he stopped us when he did, or we might never have eaten. On our (correct) way to the Starliner Diner, Void_Ptr and I discussed National Missile Defense, trophy girlfriends, dyslexia, and how her brother is a shoo-in for the Naval Academy.

The Starliner Diner was The Paper Moon Diner meets Holy Frijoles--great breakfasty food with a Cuban flavor, slightly overpriced, but huge portions. I ordered the blueberry banana pancakes, sat between mordel and brainwave, and we talked about how nodes grow up, how noders grow up, and how strange it was that

  • We all met on "The Internet,"
  • we had only met each other face to face, for the most part, yesterday,
    and
  • we were, nonetheless, all friends.

Weird, neh? The food was great, the check was huge, and the tip was almost as big. E2 is a good customer. Conversation died down, seats were shuffled, and the party revved up again, quietly, in the parking lot. At this point, I had to say my goodbyes and get back to Fairborn, OH. So, how do you say "goodbye" to forty complete strangers you met less than 48 hours ago? Hugs. I could rant on this for hours--about how people are afraid to hug each other, how homophobia has made us all idiots, how Europeans know how to hug--but I won't. I'll just say that Everythingians are some of the coolest people I've ever met, and I've never met so many awesome people in so short a time span.

The drive back was good and bad: there was so much to think about, and my good mood to revel in, but there was nobody to share it with. It was a long hour and a half. When I got home, there was a /msg from a noder wishing me a safe arrival.


E2 is people!
/me gives zot-fot-piq his Alfred E. Neuman mask, his Sergio Aragones backdrops, and a Spy vs. Spy hat. That's right... MAD props.

I'd been craving road trip like nobody's business, and I must say that the journey really was as good as the destination, even if it was disorganized and ridiculous. Maybe that's why it was so good.
Friday night I talked to Conrad and Josh. We planned to leave around 10 AM (yeah, right) and take Josh's car instead of Lola the Corolla. I still didn't have proper directions to Kurt's house. I frantically e-mailed him, feeling like the den mom for a bunch of overgrown supergenius cub scouts.

Josh picked me up at 10:30, we headed to Conrad's house, where Kurt was supposed to meet us. Almost two hours later, Kurt shows up. He'd been pulled over twice and searched for drugs once. Understand that his car is much more ominous than he is. Anyway, we drop Conrad's truck off at Midas and speed out of Nashville, not looking back.

Josh and Conrad sat in front, and Kurt and I squeezed into the backseat. I use Kurt's Palm Pilot to take pictures of my legs, his eyeball, the scary trucker behind us, the clouds, the cows, interesting billborads... I was in roadtrip heaven. In Louisville we stopped for gas and to Ching! the car. Lipliner and glass do not mix well. Back on to 71-N, where we promptly ran over a beaver. Yes folks, a BEAVER. He rolled, hit the median, and twitched. I successfully did not cry. It was difficult.

So we drove for a few more hours... *yawn*
When we got there, I suddenly realized that I felt very shy. Shyer than I'd felt in years. There were a bunch of noders sitting on the front porch, and I (with all my silly little level 2 nodes) suddenly felt very, very small. I went upstairs, changed into something more slippery, and went downstairs to munch on broccoli... Changed my mind, and went on a walk instead. Zot lives in the prettiest neighborhood I have ever seen. I walked barefoot, dangling my high heels from two fingers, enjoying the cool pavement and the darkening sky. I returned, feeling much better, and went for the BEER!
Then it got hazy.

Conclusions:
Tandex is awesome! He put me at ease practically by snapping his fingers. An excellent guy.
Jurph is a very hip dude.
Becca is kind and funny and has the prettiest hair I have ever seen.
Sane Guy is just that. And he's really cute, too!
I really wish I got to talk more to ideath.
ccunning is smooth like buttah.
Pixie Sticks are good. And they're better with Parrot Bay!
Letting the Golden Boy paint my leg was a good idea after all.
Cigars and nutmeg do not clash at all.

I ended up changing into boxers and crashing out early. I'm such a party pooper...
The Starliner Diner was awesome. The pen dispenser intrigued me. And the nifty little cardboard tubes made me smile. I did a crossword puzzle (with a little help from my friends) and had the most amazing salad.

Back to Zot's. More talking with Tandex. He's SO COOL!
Naptime. I woke up with Big Red stuck to my arm. Thanks to whoever left that little gift.

The four of us left at around 8 o'clock. On the way out of town, we stopped at a Speedway. A small child wore a large orange sticker that read: "FAMILY PACK! SAVE TWENTY CENTS PER POUND!" This amused me greatly.
more naptime.
The only magazines sold in Kentucky gas stations are High Times, Outlaw Biker, Fur, Fish, and Game, and Lowrider. This scares me.

Nashville. Waffle House with Kurt. Looked over all the pictures, got teased mercilessly, and gorged myself.

You guys are great.

Friday, June 1, 2001 8:00am

I get up and stumble downstairs to the laundry room to see if my clothes are dry and not too wrinkly from last night's laundry spurt. I being packing furiously. I recieve a call from my mother-in-law asking if we were still on for breakfast at 9 at the Windmill. I say, "Uh, sure. I need to take a shower yet. I'll be a little late." I shower, put my hair in pigtails and head out. We eat an unhealthy breakfast composed of eggs, bacon, toast, coffee (hers), and milk (mine). I fetch a sleeping bag and a tent from the back of her car, and head back home to finish packing.

I finally leave my house around 11am, and call Dana and Anthony to let them know that I'm on my way. Dana does not sound amazingly thrilled with life. I think she's got a cold.

I drive. And drive. And drive. And get gas. First time I've ever seen sub-regular gas. And drive. And call Dana and Anthony again because I'm on US-23 and almost there. Whee! I pull into the parking lot and look up, and there is Dana waving faintly at me from her apartment window. Yay!

I run upstairs and am greeted with a hug and the news that we are waiting for the rest of the northern convoy. Cool. Other noders arrive, dem bones,the gilded frame,clampe,kurt the pope, and coby among them. We run upstairs for a quick smoke, and then prepare to leave. I transfer my meager belongings to Dana's trunk and we are off. I had a very entertaining drive down. I couldn't read a map to save my own life. Literally. We got lost and separated from The Great Northern Convoy. No biggie. I'm stoned and don't care. We make it to Columbus anyway.

We drive around Columbus for a bit, and realize we can't find the hotel, because, again, the map is showing its deficiency. Never fear! Dana knows how to get to Zot's house. Yay!

We arrive. Are greeted by noders. I can't quite remember who, but I think ideath,jessicapierce,perdedor,the mysterious ted,briiiiian,zot-fot-piq,saneguy... And a few others. I'm really sorry if I missed anyone, but I have a terrible memory for these things.

We sit, and chat, and drink beer, and chat, and drink more beer. Then some brilliant person (*cough*) suggests we go dancing. Tandex suggests several different places withing walking distance. I leave the deciding up to him.

We go, we dance, we see people get electrocuted and beaten. We try to avoid seeing potato-man and nasty fat woman get these things done to them. <shudder>

Afterwards, I got a ride back to zot's from Stef. Not many more events. Get ride to hotel from WonkoDSane. Sleep.

Saturday, June 2, 2001 11:00am

Wake up. Shower. Put hair in little butterfly clips. Arrive about in time to go to the park. The Aerobie gets thrown in the tree several times, and I had to climb on shoulders three different times to help get the rope down. I learned to juggle a little bit from ideath and convince WonkoDSane that he should try it. He now juggles better than I do. We talk, and laugh, and get rained on, and laugh and talk.

WonkoDSane and I leave to go for a ride in his rented mustang convertible before it rains. We head east (north?) on High for a long long distance and stumble across a pontifical school. It was *huge*, at least 3 times larger than you can imagine. We craned our necks and watched the clouds go by.

We arrive back at Zot's and greet more new noders. We eat sandwiches and fingerfoods and sit around. Kurt The Pope gets really drunk and gives me the couch. I collect souls as toll for couch sitting. I marvel at Pyrogenic's xdvd collection. I get somewhat slightly plastered. WonkoDSane and ccunning and I run out to pick up my leather booty and a jacket for Chad. While I'm changing in the bathroom, Chad calls in a 6am wakeup call. Bastard.

We return to zot's to learn that Rocky has been canceled. So Stef goes to pick up her copy. Calling, Dancing (and crushed feet) ensue. I've never done this before. Was very fun.

I get a ride back to the hotel. Sleep.

Sunday, June 3, 2001 12:00am

Got up. Showered. Put my hair in a hankie. Headed over to Zot's where we waited for 2pm to come around so we could eat. A couple of abortive attempts at breakfast were made, but we just ended up waiting for 2. People flocked to their cars. I hopped in a car with Jurph and we promptly got lost. Somehow, we managed to eventually make it to the Starliner Diner and had a marvelous meal. Tasty plantains. Dana and Anthony expressed their desire to leave. Received many hugs from many noders, got french whispered in my ear, my back realigned and various promises made for attendence to my Vaporware Holland E2 Gathering. Got in the car and drove home. Almost hit a racoon. Stumbled inside and noded. Sleep.

Aftermath

I skipped school on Monday and noded. I haven't noded so much in a single day for a really really long time. It felt really good. I talked to my newfound old friends in the catbox and felt connected.

Plans are now being made for a noder commune in the wilderness of Wyoming. It will have a racetrack, a dairy farm, a horse ranch, an indoor heated pool and an underground lair. And of course, internet access for the masses. We'll call it E2PCOT. What do you think? Wanna come live with us?

E2 party. The rain, the drizzle, the soaked up bits forgetting their crisp and sogging out, making a good reason to loosen up, not obsess about my stupid hair forgetting to stay smooth. Laughing at my husband muttering “this better be good” on the way up the porch and then muttering “that wasn’t bad” four beers, three hours, and two blocks later.

The Pope all pointy and fulla sparkles.

Golden boy and his book of painted ladies, my husband, a longtime fan of bushes admiring especially the places where the make-up did not go.

dem bones, neither old nor bony, not at all the old letcher I had pictured, but rather solid. I was not able to pass my hand through his torso as with ghosts. (That was I, with the sparkling eyes, dumb grin and Led Zeppelin groupie enthusiasm overkill).

clampe leaning in with one marked up eyebrow slightly raised, I can see it through the make-up, he says with this voice in a secret, “I don’t usually wear a bat on my face.” And I believe him, and I am actually glad he clarifies this, because I think I might have a pre-conceived notion of how bat face people really are, and as it turns out I had noticed/admired his thumbprint in the nodgel before meeting him and then I had the pleasure of discovering that even in person he is lucid, friendly and probably thinking interesting thoughts.

“Tonight your secret’s safe with me…” KH

stand/alone/bitch. Suddenly appearing, looking familiar, like gahachino. And it was like two cat creatures, each admiring the stunning coat of the other. And if I could have unstuck myself I would have placed my big furry paw over hers and licked her proper behind the ears, and if I ever get the whole picture I might blow up, which is why, I hope that she reveals herself only one colorful plastic bit at a time. Otherwise, it may have been too many body parts, shocked up into the sky, making hard to sift noders, piled up in zots garden. Seems I might have stolen the blue part of her rainbow, but all I really did was make it bigger, a way bigger blue.

Sane guy and his purty hairs, a really nice genius sitting in each eye.

Testosterony cartoony karmaflux, either a yummy cereal good right out of the box, the kind of carny most girls prolly say yes too, or really eager to smear himself with pudding and lurch about in the dirt getting his wet little shirt all dirty dirty dirty…. Oh, wait, there’s the Kleenex.

Jurph (rumored to need electrocution to blast him out of his nice pants and tie) with some cute leather ass I did not identify propping each other, each with a toe hold on zot’s Short North noder colony mountain.

Zot-fot-pig on the porch, a compelling squint to his eye, playing air banjo and ner-ner-nawing his way through the creepy little ditty in Deliverance.

Phyllis Stein, who is SO not a woman, tells the dark secrets of Steve from Blue’s Clues.

Gamaliel standing near the bathroom, waiting in line and giggling about having to pee, we each cross our legs and hop, which does not help. I thought he might fly, like an airplane over the railing and although I did not indicate it at the time I adopt him for imaginary snugglets because he looks nice and has a fine fine giggle.

thefez was nothing like expected, instead kinda like a huggy bear whose voice chip has witty affirmatives instead of the bland factory kind, but also like a fuzzy caterpillar about to be a nice big butterfly.

jessicapierce, like a magnet. Somehow passing all the silly tests I never knew I was doling out. I wanted to look into her but it was like peering into the sun, best seen from a sly angle. She burned my retina, now I have this blue and very magic void burning in the center of whatever I see, and this sense that I did a thing I was supposed to do by meeting her.

And I forgot to tell someone about my pagan leanings in relation to my screen name, forgot to pass the word around that I am forever searching for real stripped tights, blue, green or red, like all the groovy fantasy witches have.

And I did not get to join the Wonkoalition, but I can see how he draws his followers. And Ideath was there and I somehow never knew or said hello.

And I met people who fell in love with each other because of E2, and when they were standing near each other they had a gravitational energy thing going on that was electric and invigorating.

And becca is all about big hugs.

And then it was over and I had to leave, my coach was turning into a pumpkin, you see. And we walked the long walk back to the car, and drove the few miles back to our apartment and I could hardly make a coherent sentence about who I met, and what we said, and what it means that I met this batch of fabulous people. But today I'm ready to tell all of you. You are groovy. No, I mean it. Ask a fish. Ask the moon. Ask the gods what they think of what is going on here. Magic going on all over the place. My stuff IS everything.

Yes, it's YAHDWU! (yet another hot-damn writeup, patent pending)

I wasn't supposed to go to this. The universe tried its hardest to keep me from going, but I somehow found myself throwing my gear into Gone Jackal's car on Saturday afternoon, and only a few hours later (Jackal has no gas pedal -- it's off or 100mph) I was walking past an odd group of people on a very homey-looking porch. One weirdo had a bat drawn on his face.

I wandered inside, where someone forced a nametag on me. Didn't seem to do me much good, as I can see from the other writups I was quickly forgotten. Hell, people thought someone else was mordel. SNIFF (just kidding folks, I'm much more stable than that). I tried to make sure to talk to people, get their names, before I started drinking. Didn't last long... the Shiner Bock was too tempting.

Soon I found myself inside the house, holding a glass of Parrot Bay rum as Medeival poured blue Pixie Stix into it. I found myself sitting with Girlface on the front porch, neither of us really talking to each other. I found myself trying to talk with Void_ptr and Morgon77 as they discussed if you can be a geek without using computers. I found myself mystified as Rocky played, but no one was watching it... they were participating. I found myself in the back "yard", talking with Eric/Theonomist about American Indian sweat lodges. I found myself the proprieter of Zot's back gate, courtesy of Kurt ThePope. I found myself watching Karmaflux and Gone Jackal beating the crap out of each other on the back porch. I found myself hanging out with Xamot, though we were both pretty quiet guys, and didn't really talk about anything. I found myself shaking my head when I saw The Protector of Mankind singing "Happy Birthday". I found myself on the front porch, eating Jaffa cakes with Dizzy in the fading light. I found myself awake at 6am, sitting with about 5 noders as we randomly surfed and read E2. I found myself running up the stairs to share a newfound delight with the others (sorry Chad, but I did NOT turn on the light). I found myself sleeping in the doorway of the room with no door. I found myself being woken up two or three hours later by some stand/alone/bitch, and decided I wasn't as tired as I thought. I found myself making level 5. I found myself hanging out on the porch for too damn long, waiting to go get some food. I found myself searching the house for a penguin, when my shirt clearly stated they were stealing my sanity. I found myself looking at Dem Bones, trying to say something (I failed). I found myself reveling in how cool Chihuahau Grub's car is, his music is, he is. I found myself (and many others) lost. I found myself eating pancakes with Jurph as we tried to figure out a mathematical model of node-fu over time. I found myself telling impishlaugh an insanely easy word for her crossword puzzle. I found myself walking around the parking lot, saying my goodbyes. I found myself on my way back to Chicago.

I just found 40 friggin new /msgs from all these crazy people.

I don't need to tell you people how cool you all are. You already know that. I can't tell you all how much I needed this weekend, needed to be around you people. Thank you all, let's do it again next week (KIDDING, ZOT! DON'T DIE ON US!)

* As stated in HOT DAMN! An E2 gathering in Ohio?!?!!, I was quite nervous about meeting “Internet people.” Keep that in mind as you read this.

Friday –

I get to a late start and then hit mega-traffic. When I check into heart break hotel the Cross Country Inn, I see something odd; this hotel has a drive-through check-in. I really hoped I would get fries with my room, but since they didn’t even make my room up, I don’t want to ask too much.

The plan is for Ccunning to come to the hotel and bring me to Zot’s. I call over to Bart’s house and tell him where I am and that I need to speak to Chad. When Chad picks up the phone we talk for a few minutes and then he asks where I am. I tell him that I am near his apartment… the mocking that proceeded made me realize that I was not talking to Chad, but Ted instead. After my long trip, I was not amused.

* I want to go home. I am now completely scared of these people.

Sane Guy and Ccunning arrive five minutes later in Ccunning’s pimp-mobile. I am on the telephone with my mother. Mom and I are very close and she was very nervous about me meeting “Internet people.” I am telling her how great everyone is and how much fun I am having – I had yet to meet anyone. I was worried about what impression this was going to give the guys, but they thought it was hilarious.

*I feel a little more relaxed because Chad and Matt are both nice and pretty decent looking guys… not scrawny and dark psychokillers.

As we arrived at Zot’s, I walked onto the porch. I had people all around me, so I did a complete 360, shaking hands. Whom had I just met? I couldn’t tell you. It was a big blur.

*The next bit felt like I was in a pool with thousands of hands feeling me. I was happy, yet overwhelmed.

We went to the park and I played Frisbee for the first time. The noders started killing the tree to get their toys back.

*I cringed and felt the pain of the tree. If they were not so funny doing this, I may have cried for the tree.

In the evening we went to Outlands which was only 4 blocks away. Let me just tell you, scary stuff. If I did not have Tandex and Brainwave, I would have been really scared. I tend to be a little bit of “an uptown girl.” I have happy hour at the Old Library Restaurant with friends on Fridays. To say this was my first time and a Goth club, would not correctly explain my experience to you. I had not even realized that there are clubs where you paid people to beat and electrocute you (in public). I continually grabbed Dan’s hand and when I went from one place to another in the club. I wanted to be viewed as taken. If anyone there hit on me, as they did Chad, I would have been very intimidated.

Two noders got the electric treatment and one non-noder in our group got the beating. I was interested in this, yet scared. As I watched J.R. squirming like a schoolgirl, I couldn’t figure out why he would do this, especially in front of people that he had just met.

* What have I gotten myself into?

To escape this beating and electrocuting circus, I had brainwave take me back onto the dance floor. Suddenly there was this guy in black latex pants, with dread locks checking brainwave out. I immediately felt the need to protect him, so we danced a bit closer. He is quite a good dancer, if I may say. I suddenly felt much safer and had forgotten that an hour ago, a woman in 4 inch stiletto heels and a short plastic looking dress grabbed my ass.

*I am starting to feel a bit more comfortable now that I found a comfort person. I start to hiccup on the way home and Brainwave is kind enough to wait for me.

The rest of the evening is a blur. I had an extra bed in my drive though, check in hotel, so my new friend Brainwave joined me. We were up talking until a bit after 5am.

*Before I went to sleep, I say a prayer in thanksgiving for meeting some really cool people. (If I only knew what Saturday would bring.)

Saturday –

On Saturday, we slept in. Housekeeping comes by and I am in nothing but my towel. I ask him to come back in a half-hour twice through the door, but this man speaks little to no English. I run into the bathroom (although, I was fully covered, I am embarrassed easily) and Dan asks him to come back in a half-hour. The man says “no.” Asshole. Before we leave for breakfast at Bob Evans, I call the front desk and ask for our room to be made up. I explain that I was not dressed when the man came and what happened. She says, no problem. She will take care of it.

After our delightful breakfast with our wonderful waitress, Jamie, we return to the room. Is it made up? No. But I’m sure it will be when we get home. Return to Bartley Day’s house.

When we arrive at the house, only three people remain. Everyone else went to the novelty store to buy balloons and monkees. When they return, we go to the park. There, BAR lets me sit on his jacket so I don’t get my pants dirty. He and his girlfriend, aphexious, are sweet people. I get to know Laurel, Cliff, Chihuahua Grub, Katyana and Dizzy a little better.

* I cannot believe how cool everyone is turning out to be! Wow! I am having a really good time!!!

Then, someone walks up to me with an oversized yellow balloon. I just look at him as he throws it at my face. I am in complete in total shock because I don’t remember meeting this guy… just vaguely seeing him. I feel dumb for not blocking the balloon and get ditzy. I tend to get ditzy when I feel way out of my element. I trust people too much. I did not expect this stranger to throw the balloon at my face. Now, in retrospect, I realize that this guy is someone I have been chatting with for quite a while. That is why he took such liberty with me. Had I realized it was him at the time, I would of gotten up and kicked his ass, like he deserved. However, I go on being polite instead.

In the evening I change into my “look at my ass” pants (since Rosie had her leather booty pants on). I drink way too much and flirt with way too many people. From this, I discovered that Medieval is a complete and total gentleman. Because of my impaired state, I was leaning over exposing myself, unbeknownst to me. He nicely pointed this out so I could stop from any further embarrassment.

I also got backrubs from several sweet gentlemen. Let me just say, Zot gives phenomenal backrubs and makes fondue! He is in line to be my new cabana boy.

Below are my drunken realizations:

Brainwave and I went back to our unmaid rooms and crashed. I will kill housekeeping in the morning.

Sunday –

Sunday morning, I am ill. Very ill. I didn’t know I had that much in my stomach ill. I haven’t drunken that much since I turned 21. Damn, it was fun.

We arrive at the house to help clean up and Bart tells us he will wait until September to do that. We all take a group picture. Someone mentions breakfast. I have been drinking a lot of water, so I feel up to this. It’s only a little bit down the road, I am told. We have reservations at 2pm, I can easily be on the road by 3pm – 4pm at the latest. I am supposed to be in Cleveland, meeting a friend who I haven’t seen in five years, at 5pm. This shouldn’t be a problem.

I am in the caravan of doom. We get lost. I don’t care. I love spending time with these people. We eat. We hug. We leave. At 5:30 I depart on my marry way.

In reflection, I have * NEVER * in my entire life, had such a good time as I did that weekend. I have made some really strong bonds. I hope to see brainwave again soon. I am flying out to see pyrogenic next week. I can’t wait to see Dana and Anthony again.

*I came with 5 bottles of hard alcohol, 30 beers and 3 batches of cookies, I left with 37 friends. Pretty fair exchange if you ask me.

Going to your first E2 Gathering is a lot like my first sexual experience:

  • It was less scary that I thought it would be.
  • It was bigger than I ever imagined.
  • It was not at all what I expected.
  • It was a little painful in the beginning, but better than anything else by the end.
  • There was lots of hugging in the end.
  • I want more.
  • A true and sincere thank you to goes to everyone from HOT DAMN. This especially goes to Bart. There was not one person there, who I did not like, respect and love on some level.

    How I came to be a noder

    So, I'm not even invited to the party, but my wife is helping Tandex's wife cater it, so I feel somewhat compelled to help go to the grocery when asked. Someone's car was blocking Stefanie's driveway. I was planning on leaving town that weekend to change the oil in my car, and visit friends back home. Most importantly, I needed to find my hat. So, while shopping Stef walks us back and forth across Giant Eagle four or five times looking for different things, and an hour trip turns into two. I am so glad my wife shops off of a list. I have plenty of patience, as I haven't made hard plans with anyone. While shopping I hear about this beautiful man that is sleeping in the guest room, and about the party that would take place that evening.

    It's all about everything and you can go if you want (Apparently Zot extended an invitation because my wife helped with the catering). What is everything? Some web page of some sort, which has its own culture. O.k. hanging out with a bunch of folks I don't know who have their own subculture doesn't quite sound like something I would like. It is being held over at Zot's house. I know Zot from the old BBS days, and the first time I met him, I was in a dress, and he had just seen The Crying Game. But there is someone there you know, Eric. His name is Chad, and he says he knows you from OSU. OH MY GOD! If he is who I think he is, then he is a friend of someone I used to know that likes to fuck sheep. More reason to just go to Nerk this weekend.

    As we are pushing the groceries to the car, I chuckle, and ask Stef, "If I go, can I take my paints?" Surprisingly I was told I could, but they probably won't go for the whole nude painting thing. Ya know, that is all right. Painting on people's bodies isn't about nudity for me. It is about the fun. O.k. now I am tempted. We return to the home of Tandex and Stefanie after acquiring Wendy's for those who were there.

    While chopping veggies with Jurph, Tandex asked me if I was going to go to the party, and I replied I was thinking I might, and was thinking of bringing my paints. Again I was surprised to be encouraged, and I decided I would go, I just had go home first. The absolutely beautiful man awoke from his coma, and I commented that he looked very much like Nelson from the Simpsons. Stef took offence, but Jurph backed me up. Once the girls no longer needed us, Tandex, Jurph, and Nelson (I cannot remember his node name) left for Zot's, and I returned home to try to change my oil without ramps.

    Not being able to get my head under the car, I paint myself gold, gather my stuff, and head out to the party. If I want to paint on people, how better to advertise than to paint myself? I arrive at Zot's, and most folks are out at the park, but Tandex is there, and is looking at me oddly. He should know better than to encourage me to do something and expect me not to do it.

    Chad aka Ccunning was there. He didn't seem to recognize me. As I had gotten it in my head that he was someone else, and this party was completely out of the context in which I normally see him, I didn't think to re-think his identity. I started talking to him as if he were the friend of a former friend who fucks sheep. I told him that Betty (another mutual friend of myself, and the person I thought I was talking to) would be surprised to find out that I had seen him. When Ccunning asked, "Who's Betty?" all clicked into place. I apologized for having misplaced him in my mind, and continued to talk about the pleasantries of the day.

    The coolest part of the evening is that I did get to break out my paints and paint on other people. I painted a bat on someone's face, a cute dinosaur on someone's arm, a flame on Impishlaugh's leg, and I filled in color on Tandex's tattoo. The rest of the night was spent talking to people I don't know, and meeting new folks, whose names I have no chance of remembering. I also recall many trips to the used beer depository upstairs. Staying in Columbus was worth it.

    A weekend of opportunities that couldn't all fit in my pocket.

    Is it too late? I don't want to miss any more opportunities. I would still like to give you my thoughts. I still need to tell the Hot Damn congregation how I want to eat them all like pudding. Allow me to debrief:

    It did rain for forty days and forty nights. The Great Northern Convoy packed up their respective arks and traveled south. The Holland contingent took up the lead, which I thought silly since I had been to our Ohiorific destination before.

    I started talking to Bart a while ago. We bonded over crispy apartments, and my work kept sending me near Columbus. Just before my second trip there I asked in channel if anyone lived there and could recommend fun stuff. As it turns out Zot-fot-piQ lives in the heart of, and has his finger on the pulse of Columbus. Furthermore, he makes a mean fondue. And you should all sample Sane guy's godiva cake.. But, I digress.

    The smells of fonduetastic memories lead me astray from my convoy. The other two thirds of our convoy missed an entire expressway. As it turns out Bones is a follower. He wanted to get on the correct expressway, but decided to follow the gilded frame instead.
    Ok. So I couldn't find the hotel, but my keen noder sniffing ability lead my new noder husband Dizzy, Void_ptr and myself straight to the porch.

    THE PORCH was an intimidating place to arrive. There were noders a plenty, and I only recognized a few from my stalker like investigative picture seeking abilities. I have a communications degree so I went on a manic handshaking spree and instantly forgot all the names save 3. I never did get much of a chance to talk to those 3. I regret missing that opportunity. I took this journey to meet new friends. There were a few I was eager to size up. They seemed larger than life names with almost superhuman writing abilities. I wanted to make them more real, more flawed, more human. Much to my delight, they were all indescribably wonderful. They were everything I wished I could be. Not only could they write, but also they can sing, and dance, and juggle, and draw, and maintain stimulating conversations for 3 days straight. Noders never fail to impress me.

    It wasn't long before the other two thirds of the great northern convoy arrived. Suddenly there were gods standing on the porch. I think I actually saw some bowing. Sure Dem_bones is one charming and impressive mother fucker, but try calling him boner. It will help you get over it too. My clique had arrived. I regret relying on them for support as much as I did. People were incredibly nice to me, and nary one masturbation nor tub joke was made. I wish I had cut the umbilical cord from my convoy. I exchanged witty banter here and there with the occasional ultra cool noder, but never went for a walk down the tracks with Phylis Stein, and JP. I didn't sit on the stairs and talk about Oscar Wilde, or Kurt Vonnegut with Chihuahua Grub. The event was bigger than myself, and I was lucky to remember more than 20 names, and marvel over ccunnings velvety apparel while I could.

    What I really came for was the dancing. I only got to dance with zfp for a few seconds at my wedding. He promised to swing dance with me if I came. If you swing dance, she will come. I was about 3 drinks of whatever into the evening (thanks to whomever supplied the liquor I was drinking) when some Brian Setzer Orchestra tune started to wail. I collided with Bart in the dining room. I think I may have stolen this first dance from Ideath, however, I am glad I did. This was secretly my favorite part of the entire trip.

    Bartley Day sure can jump and jive. He threw some kick step, kick step combo at me and my heart was thrusting through my throat. I then, in turn, stole a moment from Ideath. She asked me if I lead. So I spun her, and spun her from the follow position. Thank you both for the dance. I find joy in my belly when I am dancing. Unfortunately, there were things other than joy in my belly at the time. I actually took Dizzy on the puke walk with me. You know, the walk around the block from the party because you don't want to puke in front of the cool kids. I felt like I had been through a dryer. My stomach was churning and churning. Thankfully, I didn't barf, but I certainly didn't feel up to more dancing.

    That was the missed opportunity I felt worst about. I really wanted to go to Outland. I can't begin to recount the numerous stories of Bart's that takes place at Outland. I also love to dance, and wanted to dance with more noders, but my ailing stomach prohibited me. I went back to my hotel feeling bad that I didn't get to play with any of Bart's friends. Luckily for me, I got a chance in the more quiet hours of day 2 to get to know the men behind the stories. I hope it's not too late to thank them for letting me in. I felt like I got to be part of their clique. I have liked you all for longer than you have known.

    I didn't scamper off to the Park like the most of the clan did that day. I had the opportunity to enjoy some more quiet moments with our gracious hosts. I also got to hide my lack of aerobe throwing ability since the tree captured it long before I made it to the park. I had talked zfp into taking a nap and only regret not taking his shoes off and tucking him in. I went to the bathroom while I could and saw him laying there. He looked tuckered out, but was such a good host he wouldn't even shut his bedroom door. I hope he got some well-deserved rest. I am flabbergasted at how well he held it all together. I thought the bathtub jam was a big event. He had some 40 noders flowing around his apartment for 3 days with outliers there for over a week. Kudos to him. If I could raise a glass of that, what was it, $137 dollar bottle of whiskey, and spill it on the floor for the host who can boast the most roast..or soy product. Cheers Bart. You did an immaculate job. Remember the things that matter.

    I found my way to this beautiful park filled with beautiful noders a few of which were mutilating a beautiful tree. I wept for the tree and donned one of its flowers on each fingertip channeling the spirit of the tree to beg for its mercy. O.k. not really, but the gist was there. Alas, to no avail. Despite my offers to buy the kids a new aerobe, they continued to beat it mercilessly. I found other ways to entertain myself. Dizzy and I went for a walk with Becca. We got to hear how her journey brought her here, and I wish her luck in wherever it takes her. She is a good woman and does make a mean cookie. Good thing too. Dizzy and I ate the cookie dough that I whipped up for dinner each night since she provided the freshly baked variety. That damn Holiday Inn only had room service until 9pm. Yeah, we stayed in a hotel. We figured 40 people, one bathroom, and limited floor space; it was worth the extra expense. After all was said and done that was what I regret the most. I missed the opportunity to see waking noders. Catching them in a moment few are privy to seeing. I liked the quiet moments. They are more honest.

    Speaking of honesty, my sleeping wouldn't have been quiet. Thanks to the excessive precipitation, I had been quite ill for weeks. My humble apologies to anyone who took home my germs You will all be thankful I wasn't sleeping there with you Apparently I snore loudly when I'm sick. I also become revengeful when awoken too early. Props to ccunning for the best prank of the weekend. We got a 6 am phone call that made me weep for I thought I wouldn't get back to sleep. When I woke again at 9, I thought surely clampe did it. He's the kind of guy who shits in his brother's pillowcase. I prank called the papal framed clampe room to avenge my lost sleep. They were already up and sprinting to the last moments of the party. I regret not trading a few more hours of sleep to be there in the morning.

    The final morning was beautiful. It's a wonderful phenomenon when 40 strangers all come together for a few brief turns on the earth, and leave hugging. Even if I never get around to messaging the Hot Damn group, talking in the catbox with individuals or even posting this node, there are people I will never forget. It was an honor to meet you all. To those I didn't get the chance to sit on the steps with, I hope there is another day my friends. For those who let me in, thank you. It means a great deal to me.

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