It's been and gone, and great it was, too! Photos here, here and here; scroll down for aftermath!




Let's try again...

So, there was going to be a nodermeet. Then, briefly, there wasn't. Since my cheap flights and accommodation don't offer the possibility of a refund, I'm heading to Dublin regardless, so it's back on again. However, I don't think it'll quite count as a nodermeet if I'm the only one there, so hopefully some of you will join me.

The (rough) Plan

When?

Friday, April 20th, 2007.

Where?

Current Plan: We'll start at Dakota (Link); as it looks easy enough for even someone as unco-ordinated as me to find. I'll aim to be there from about 6, and once we've assembled we'll see if we want to stay. Easy enough?
If you're in blarneykissers you should have my mobile number; if not and you want it, /msg me.

Other suggested venues, should you be visiting for a while (or if we move on):

  • Clarendon Cafe Bar, 32 Clarendon Str, Dublin 2: says IWSTF VERY cool, right in the heart of old Dublin, outdoor seating, allows smoking, great staff. And... if we don't like it, there are 4 other good bars very close by.
  • The Long Stone.
  • Harry Byrne's on the Howth Road in Clontarf (ReiToei's favourite pub in Dublin)
  • The Thomas House, suggested by Cool Beans as "a good pub, and just enough outside the very cenre of the city that it's quiet enough downstairs on a Friday night"

Never mind, Who?

By the power of the Google cache, you can expect some, all or none of the following to make an appearance:

Probably
Possibly

If you're not attending then you don't get mentioned. If you're currently mentioned but have changed your mind, let me know and I'll alter the lists as appropriate. Want in now that I'm (vaguely) running the show? Read on...

OK, How?

Message me to be added to either of the above lists, or to be upgraded from maybe to definitely. The writeup for the previous Dublin meet contains some practical details. As I mentioned I'm not local so can't really offer advice, but various members of the blarneykissers user group should be able to help; I've gained control of that too, should you want in/out.

So, in summary...

Join me and maybe some other noders at an as-yet undecided location, if (once chosen) we can all find it, but very definitely on the 20th of April! What could be easier?

Also:

If you're London-based, make sure you go to TheLady's birthday at the end of March. In an ideal world, come to both! (But don't dare use this as an excuse to miss London. I'm in trouble for that, and you would be too.)



THE TRAGIC AFTERMATH

Jellyfish Green put his arm around my neck and began choking me as Haruspex, ReiToei, Cloudstrife and his GF Thursday beat me senseless. After that malevolent bit of nasty, they left me for dead but then had the girl present me with the bar tab. Vicious bastards. You'll be hearing from my attorney.

Somewhere in the bloody haze, I vaguely recognized kohlcass, dimview, wntrmute, and darl. They offered no help whatsoever. In fact, darl ordered two more drinks and told the girl to add it to the tab. Dimview looked down at my crumpled form and kept saying "It serves him bloody right. He had it coming." Wntrmute was relieved that my boorish presence was punished. He even asked the Irish lads to work me over again. He'd noticed a few teeth were clinging tenaciously to their original places in my mouth, and suggested that even they be removed from their sockets. Kohlcass kept singing strange ditties and rocking gently. I think she was hoping that initial full-body embrace and the noogie she'd received was just a bad dream. A bad dream... hummmmm...

She did give me a very nice scale model of a Maltese bus. Jellyfish Green came through with a bunch of cool comic books. I had bought presents, of course, American chocolates for the men, stockings for the women, Bush in 06! buttons and Bibles for everyone. It didn't help. Nothing helped as I gurgled in my own bloody breath on that filthy, sticky barfloor and watched them walk out to that godforsaken Indian place next door.

I just lay there for a while, gazing up at the ceiling, thankful that the room wasn't spinning, thankful the pain had stopped, when a good looking pair of legs walked by, then stopped to order a drink. God bless America. I gazed up some Irish lass's dress and was thankful to the gods of random acts of kindness when her big Irish boyfriend stared down and noticed me.

Faith and begorra, the pain started again.

A bad way to see Dublin, from the floor.

Love to you all for a very fun evening. You're welcome to crash at my place any time. This means you, Darl. Kohlcass is a sweetheart. Jellyfish Green, you totally rock, even though you threatened to kill me. One word: Anger_management. You Irish lads are ueber cool: ReiToei, cloudstrife, Haruspex. Hope we get to do this again. Finally, what can one say about the only grownup in the group? Dimview is blonde and blue eyed and cute and propah. What's not to like? :-)

To mark the one month anniversary of my very first nodermeet, I shall share my very personal perspective of the event. It is as it was! Verily.



Product design theory teaches you that the first forty seconds of contact is crucial to your lasting impression of an object... or a person. If this applied here, I think I would have been either led by the hand all day or thrown off the Ha'Penny bridge by the end of the evening. Designers, aye? What do they know?

The hostel I booked for myself was called 'Barnacles' and it promised to be just around the corner from Temple Bar. Since it would not be my first time visiting Dublin, I was pretty sure I'd manage to meet Dimview in time for lunch by 1pm. I had told her I'd be wrapped in a green shawl. I lost said green shawl in the Arrivals lounge. No matter.

Making it to the Temple Bar area in one hour seemed to be a doomed project. Besides not getting off at the right station, which was conveniently titled 'City Centre,' I realised that I had been walking for a good twenty minutes in the wrong direction. Apparently, I had forgotten to cross the Liffey. Thank goodness for Wntrmute who decided to join the kohlcass-Dimmie minimeet at the last minute, as well as the roaming credit he allowed me to waste asking him to please find her and to say I would be rather tardy. This helped ease my mind and kept me from believing several angry Scandinavian-looking women walking past to be my should-have-been company for the afternoon.

I finally found my hostel and checked in, glancing towards the doorway from time to time. The Dimview and Wntrmute I found outside were very good at making my pre meet stress go bye bye. The first surge of excitement came over me and the thoughts whizzing through my head were something on the lines of Aaah! They're real! And my hands don't go straight through when I touch them!' Hence started an onslaught of hands-need-to-be shaken-cheeks-need-to-be-kissed which would morph into poking later on. Dimview took over the navigation controls - a gesture I appreciated dearly - and led us to a place to have lunch. Soon afterwards, darl asked us to meet him somewhere near St Stephen's Green - 'Look out for someone wearing a flouncy scarf', he proposed. And there he was sporting the infamous Duck t-shirt and a hairstyle that was only matched in greatness by IWhoSawTheFace's later in the evening. I quickly volunteered my nodername and real name, which he did not recognise. Tip: If you don't recognise someone's nodername at a meet LIE! LIE! LIE! Lie through your teeth. This left me rather subdued and I kept asking Dimview to re-confirm that she was aware of my E2 existence.

While Wntrmute was away freshening up, darl, Dimview and I made our way towards Trinity College. After convincing darl to go see the Book of Kells, the only editor in the house for the evening and I tried to visit a nearby museum, failed and were subsequently content with finding a place to sit and chat. Soon after which our Oxford lad emerged... literally jumping with literature endorphins, if there are such things. He even managed to describe which page the Book had been turned to. What followed mostly included coffee, singing amnesiac's The Nature Song and me disgracefully leaving Wntrmute's earlier favours unrequited by not noticing his where-are-you-guys? SMS. I was too busy trying to get my companions to provide some warning as to what to expect from meeting IWhoSawTheFace. As the conversation proceeded it became clearer and clearer that Dimview and darl knew nothing about Malta - this must eventually be remedied by complete immersion. When I finally noticed Wntrmute's attempts to reach me, I had to pass him on to Dimmie for instructions even though we were around the corner from my hostel. Who knew! It was then my time to make a short disappearance.

To everyone's genuine surprise, I made it to Dakota unattended in half an hour.

Dakota is a slick, stylish bar with just the right people-to-barstool ratio. We availed ourselves of a central table and even had an 'Other Users' list. The devious Wntrmute kept threatening to add my gossip about noders who would not be present during this meet to the aftermath. When JellyfishGreen arrived asking for 'Everything Squared' darl and I were left dumbstruck for about half a second before we could answer. Yet the guy had been to Malta! The boys spent some time deciding whether to take alcohol, a Neolithic magnet (the Neolithic era in Malta was the most advanced of its time) or a headless fertility goddess. Aah! Mid-chat I was suddenly being thrust into full noogie surrender mode and heard a loud, yet familiar voice booming 'This one's from MALTA!' I proceeded to entering stage 2 i.e. complete noder encounter shock. IWhoSawTheFace's entry had been like a tornado blazing through the room, and once my jaw dropped, it seemed as if it could never be secured shut again. He brought Hershey's and let me poke him every now and again to test whether he was really solid matter. Soon after, comic books were spread over the table.

Unfortunately I would only learn that JellyfishGreen is truly the most polite Canada boy of them all a few days after the meet. I thought Uncle Face had also brought the comic books to the table and actually turned to JFG and said 'You can keep these - I'm sure you appreciate comic books more than I do. I'll take the chocolate.' He didn't seem to be too enthusiatic about my outburst of generosity but smiled graciously nonetheless. I'm guessing my system heard 1. Canadian and 2. married and went into self-destruct.

Suddenly there were Oirish noders everywhere. CloudStrife and token non-noder Thursday, one Haruspex who gave me the opportunity to exercise my golden If-you-don't-recognise rule and ReiToei who I chose to avoid as much as possible since we had bickered in the catbox very recently. As I cowered in fear, Dimview told darl I was distraught by his lack of immediate recognition. He reassured me saying he'd figured out who I was later in the day, smartly accompanying this with a squeeze, which left me weak at the knees and very forgiving. ReiToei persevered. The Guinness in my bladder helped me reason that if I introduced myself to him by another name, he'd probably think the non-noder was his great foe kohlcass. My plan worked brilliantly until I was foiled by the aforementioned Haruspex. Fortunately this gave ReiToei and I the opportunity to ameliorate our situation.



There were a number of extra things I learnt that night, these being:

1. Indian restaurant waiters in Dublin are both rude and pesky.

2. There are pubs in Dublin that look like someone's sitting room.

3. Once you walk right past your hostel, mischievous noders will try to make you do that again. Yet when they realise how disoriented and ditzy you are, they are sweet enough to walk you home.

4. Noders are good-looking and generally less scary than you would imagine. That being said, it did get a bit weird when the smarter among us had a good, long chat over dinner about the sublime beauty of abstract geometry.

5. Some noders give the bestest hugs! Some give 'em twice!

In Dublin's fair city...


Ah, yes. Dublin. I'm afraid I have lost my heart to that city. But that's for another node. Perhaps a shorter, less detailed, and less rambling node than this is has turned out to be, but let's not dwell on that.
WARNING: May contain several run-on sentences. Do not be alarmed. They were designed that way for a reason.



This node is about the day when I met a big handful of great people, four of whom were actually even Irish. To my knowledge, that is: I understood almost all they said, so maybe they were in fact not as Irish as, say, one of the cab drivers I encountered during my stay. Hmmm... Anyway:

This particular Friday in April I walked up to Temple Bar to find Barnacle's, a hostel in Temple Lane South. I was picking up kohlcass who had arrived from Germany that very same morning. I sat on the curb in the lovely sunshine, jotting down notes in my little notebook. If I don't get things written down I forget, so I try to keep a sort of diary. I'm not very good at it.

Across the street from where I was sitting a young man took up post. I had noticed him when he passed behind me on the sidewalk, and now I noticed that he reminded me of someone. I shrugged it off - until he, some five minutes later - walked over to me and said the magical words: "Would the phrase 'Everything2' mean something to you?"

So that was the first time I met Wntrmute in person. I had seen his picture, so that was why he was vaguely familiar. He told me kohlcass had been delayed, and we decided to find a café and sit down for a while.

Wntrmute is a very cool guy. I kept getting this image of his sentences being already constructed in his mind, patiently waiting in line to be said. He never seemed to hesitate or search for the words, he spoke rapidly, and he was damn funny to listen to at that. Fascinating.

kohlcass arrived, fashionably late. A bit flustered and out of breath after having gotten herself lost on the way. Which is very impressive in a city of Dublin's size. She said some of the nicest words to me that anyone has ever said:

"I can't believe I am actually meeting Dimview!!"

Awww...



The three of us made our way from Temple Bar to William Street South. After having spent a week in the city doing aimless walkabouts, I felt I knew my way around.

"There's this nice café just off William Street," said I. "Little Caesar's Café. Not too expensive."

But as I led the way I became more and more convinced that I was getting us terribly lost. It was embarrassing - until I looked up and found us standing out side the very café I was trying to find. Of course, instead of just saying in a nonchalant way "Ah, here we are", I beamed like a small sun ever so proud of my pathfinding abilities. Poser I am not. Not a very good one, at least.

After a nice lunch we went further south to meet darl at the corner of St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street.1

"I'm wearing a fancy scarf." he told Wntrmute on the phone. Well... he was wearing a scarf, but its level of fanciness was debatable. Still, never mind, eh? Anyway he had very fancy, curly hair, so that kinda made up for it. Also he proved to be a restful sight-seeing companion later on, which I may recount in a daylog at some other time.

Since darl was hungry we set out to find a nice place for food and coffee. Again it was up to me to choose the venue, and I wanted to go to "Five". We really got THE LOOK from the waitress when we announced that only one of us wanted to eat. I think Five likes to be an upscale, posh place, and not for shabby coffee drinking poor tourists like us.

"I'll have to ask the manager." she sniffed, and swooped off.

"Well it's not like we are occupying a table that someone else wants," said darl, looking around in the fairly empty restaurant. "They should be happy to have customers at all!"

The manager seemed to agree, and we got our coffee and some food. darl's chips had sugar on them. Tasted very odd indeed, but that was how they served them. Sweetened.



Wntrmute needed to go back to his hotel to check in, so we walked him down to the river. On our way we admired a very beautiful sidewalk painting: a copy of Michelangelo's "Madonna and Child" (seemingly the only free standing painting by the master2). We agreed to meet again later, and then make our way to the Dakota, where we were to join the rest of the noderflock of this Dublin nodermeet.



After looking into Trinity College, where darl studied the Book of Kells, we proceeded to a café in Temple Bar. While we were waiting for Wntrmute to return to us we chatted away amiably. These people are awesomely relaxing to spend time with, and an hour just raced by. Finally kohlcass discovered Wntrmute's attempts to contact us, and managed to send him in the opposite direction of where he was supposed to go, before she threw the cellphone at me with a desperate shriek. Gotta love that girl.


And so we were off to see the rest of the noders.

There was one small problem though: kohlcass wanted to get changed and washed and all that. Which meant that she'd join us at the Dakota later. The thought of her wandering through the streets of Dublin, a dazzled expression on her face, cellphone in hand... it was almost too much. But she wanted to show her independence (they grow up too fast), and so we parted ways.


The Dakota was not very crowded at all. We secured a large table for E2, and hogged chairs from all over the place. We had a good view of one of the doors, and while darl and Wntrmute were very relaxed and collected I jumped all over the place every time someone seemed to be looking for someone. darl (I think it was) took pity on me and bought me a large Guinness to calm me down. I think it was Guinness, but it might have been something else, since I had already learned that Guinness was not quite to my liking. So sorry about that, ye Irish noders.

Quite miraculously kohlcass appeared! She had made her way from Temple Bar to the Dakota with few or no mishaps, and looked to be very happy about that too. Shortly hereafter came a tall, good looking guy who turned out to be JellyfishGreen. Good looking and Canadian, which all but made kohlcass faint. And then, while she was ogling the newcomer Canada boy, someone grabbed her from behind and knuckled her soundly on the head while yelling excitedly: "THIS ONE IS MALTESE!!". IWhoSawTheFace had arrived.

That made up a total of six noders on this Dublin meet: one Maltese, one American, one Canadian, one English, one Scottish, and one Danish noder. The internationality of the meet was overwhelming. What was needed to counter this was some Irishness.



And so they came, one after the other: Cloudstrife, the guy with one of the most beautiful usernames on E2, and his cute non-noder girlfriend Thursday; Haruspex, who had not announced his presence and therefore was a very nice and welcome surprise, and ReiToei who had to, reluctantly, admit that the Dakota was not as crowded as all that, despite his misgivings.

Now I have had this misconception that all or most Irish have fiery red hair. Actually I did see quite a few Dubliners with lovely red hair, ranging from rich auburn to strawberry blonde, but these guys all had more or less black hair! I was dumbfounded. Of course it may be something to do with too much sitting in front of a computer, and... nah. It was probably just one of those things.

Gifts were exchanged - except for those from the Danish noder, who had very meticulously left hers at home, at the dining room table. There were Maltese liquors, American chocolate, and some not-so-Canadian comic books. There was more beer, and this may be the cause of me remembering the rest of the evening less than clearly.

At some point the foreign contingency of the meet relocated to a nearby restaurant. It was late, we were hungry, it was Indian. We had something to eat, despite the confused staff's best efforts to bungle the whole deal, and then we went in search of the Irish noders - who had in the meantime decided to make themselves scarce. Hence we set out on a journey north of the river to find a place called "The Shakespeare", off O'Connell Street. Sounded quite nice, but turned out to be so small and dark and crowded that we, the Foreigners, found ourselves seated in the next door restaurant, without even noticing having left the premises. Odd.

Still, it was charming in its own way. The restaurant had run out of glasses, which meant that darl had the choice to either drink directly from the pitcher (we had ordered water), or share a glass with one of us. Being a resourceful young man he instead fished the tealight candle out of its glass, and used that. The glass, not the candle. Um.

Then JellyfishGreen decided to go home, and that was more or less the signal to call it a night. I was sorry to have to say good bye to him, 'cause I would have loved to chat more with him. Very nice guy, indeed. But there'll be other times.

Wntrmute's hotel was close by, and we said our good nights and waved him off before walking kohlcass home to her hostel - "we" being darl, Iwho, and I. After dropping her off the rest of us shared a taxi, since we were all southbound.



Thus ended this evening. I really never got to talk a lot with the Dublin noders, but I had a great time. I am afraid that most of the gifts brought to the table at Dakota ended up in my posession, as I kinda just swoshed the lot into my purse before we left. Fitting in an ironic way, since I had brought nothing with me...

Thank you, all of you, for a great day and evening. Hope to see you again.





  1. Can you tell I really enjoy dropping street names?
  2. See the original here, and the copy here


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