I am a dark goat demon.
Apparently. I'd settle for Pan.
Confused? Talk to the ungodly host.
The event began, for me, with a most auspicious launch, albeit one leading to subsequent problems. The night before I had hied myself (in the company of Zarah) to the venerable Vancouver East Cultural Centre - aka the 'Culch' - to subject myself to a program we had been anticipating for almost a half-year: The Little Chamber Music Series That Could presents Green Eggs and Cam - a Cam Wilson Retrospective. Including: the House of the Rising Sun Variations, Addams Family Opus 111 1/2, Carnival of the Animals (that Saint-Saens Never Got Around to Writing), Playground Rhymes for Grownups and (as announced in the program:) (If you liked the last piece and you continue to clap incesantly, it will be necessary for you to endure the only version known in Vancouver of Queen's classic tune for piano quintet and electric violin obbligato) -- that is, Bohemian Rhapsody performed in an utterly straight(-faced) classical style up until the guitar solo towards the end, at which point Cam busted out from behind the curtains burning out the blistering solo on a shiny (and... almost sexy) black electric violin. Rock on! Rock on!
It was upon the conclusion of this somewhat unusual concert, after a brief walk home, that my plan tumbled into motion - and with it, my First Glaring Mistake of the Conflagration: to ensure my being awake early enough to be adequately prepared to catch my 7:10 am bus departure I entered into a compact with my bed to stay up all night. This sort of behavior is not unknown to me, and it was facilitated both by the residual adrenaline pumping and baffling through my system from the concert and by the anxious heebly-greeblies regarding the colossal (for me) adventure I was to be embarking upon in a few mere hours. I doubt that I could have attained a restful sleep state even if I hadn't planned otherwise - but I was grossly mistaken in my assumption that sleep missed tonight could be caught up on during the Greyhound trip south. Being in a two-days'-sleepless state during the later meet was primarily responsible for my stumbling about in a zombie-like state of zonkification, dulling me despite occasional referential triggers from Dialogue and accounting for my being located, dazed and stunned, in the background of almost all pictures taken at the meet. In short, a foolish assumption led to a real shame, Portland and company being treated to only a pale shadow of my erudite and charuzmatic larger-than-life in-life persona. Something to keep in mind for next time.
Backpack wrapped tight around supplies which will largely go unusused (excepting a VHS tape and a bulk bag of gummi bears) I lurched from my cave in a slightly pre-dawn gloom, feeling ominously oppressed beneath an unusual preponderance of crows, passing motionless practitioners of tai chi and being ogled by what must have been every homeless person in Vancouver during the ten minute walk from my house to the bus station at Main and Terminal. I make a mental note to preserve the eerie atmospherics of the city before it becomes alive for the day for a future 3-day-novel.
The Vancouver bus terminal is beautiful but plays no significant role in my travels despite featuring vaguely humourous coffee - "so fresh you'll want to slap it!" I boarded my bus when it arrived and, to get into a suitable U.S. headspace, et up a copy of The Stranger (tragically, one of the final issues distributed on this side of the border) when it became apparent that no sleep was to be got on this infernal - but effective - four-wheeled rolling conveyance. The experience of international travel by bus seeming less of a fascinating novelty than my previous visit to my e2 brethren across the border, as we pulled into customs I would find that there were still surprises to be had in store.
Deflated and slightly twitchy on sleep-dep (I wonder if they can tell?) I am disgusted, in retrospect, by how quickly I crumple into Good Citizen mode - Yes, sir! It's right here! In duplicate! (sir!) The U.S. wants proof that your visit to their country is only intended to be a temporary one, my one-way ticket a problem given my plan to be driven back with Jeeves and company. My lack of proof of employment compounds things, and no doubt my appearance does as well. Finally it appears as though the sum of my "unnecessary" precautions - the ones my roommate laughed at my efforts to obtain, since Canada and the US share an "open" border - tipped in my favour and saw me through; the passport, ("What if you don't meet up with these Internet people? Where are you going to stay? How are you going to get back?") the $200 in U.S. currency, ("What if you get injured while in the U.S.?") the travel insurance, ... in short, those things that you never need to have when you're a clean-cut, gainfully-employed family of three going through the border crossing in your own vehicle. I recall hearing somewhere that the only people who take Greyhound in the US are criminals and the criminally poor, and wonder if my (lack-of-)choice of mode of transportation lumps me in with that automatically-suspicious lot.
The presentation of my student card seemed to baffle him more than anything yet, asking me about the classes I'd miss while in the U.S. I had to gently remind him that for us students it was Spring Break at the time, at which point he folded and made some notes. Finally, not finding any further grounds on which to block me, the customs official gave up and waved me through ("THIS time..."), and I begin to wonder whether I pulled a fast one on him - did he ultimately do me a favour by permitting me passage or was he merely being unnecessarily bureaucratic earlier? I consider rendering his trust misplaced just for spite, seeking out the first under-the-table job I could find once I pass the border, but figure it's probably too much effort to fulfil a mere fancy of emotional perversity.
While waiting for the other inhabitants of my bus to clear the process I had finally emerged from, I make plans to ensure less hassle next time. Proof of return is the biggie - having also been problematic for me on the Washington, D.C. hookup of my 1999 European trip - and I ultimately bring myself to agree that should such a get-a-ride-back situation arise again, the 12% cancellation fee on a two-way return ticket might just be worth the expense for a more-seamless and less-in-doubt transition between countries.
"Hey, Rowan!" - clearly an artifact of sleep-deprived sensory apparatus. No one there knew my name. "Hey, Rowan!" Oh, wait - my "friend" at the customs desk was beckoning me back. Did they forget to scan my retinas? Perhaps a cavity search had been accidentally omitted? The truth was considerably more benign - in such a state of shredded nerves after the grilling, I'd forgotten my passport at the customs desk. What a mess! I hoped I could pull myself together by the time I reached the Conflagration. Sighing in relief, I pocketed my passport and slunk out to the bus with my fellow passengers, now cleared, relieved that the customs officials hadn't unearthed the fact that like Netscape, PKZip and PGP, my tremendous brain is technically classified as munitions.
Heart still palpitating furiously, I sunk back into my seat on the bus and waited to calm down, but only inane worries appeared in my head: What if I lose my only pair of pants? What if Jeeves decides to go to Alberta instead of British Columbia? What if pictures of Mojoe and I in a compromising position are taken? What if I don't get up early enough to catch my bus across the border? This last concern snapped me back to some vestige of sensibility, realizing that I was in fact worrying about the possible outcome of an event which had already passed successfully. Then the realization of what I really missed struck me - the Second Glaring Mistake of the Conflagration: Damnit, I knew that something important was going to be forgotten. This was to be a subtle preparation, but one that I felt was important; in short, today was supposed to be a chocolate day!
There was simply nothing to be done for it. Perhaps such sensory hacking could be revised next time. Being now in the mindstate for such concerns of legitimate interest and importance I began taking notes as to my trials thus far, which is probably why I have been able to recount it in such detail four months after the fact. The writing calmed me down more, as it is known to do, and I reflected on the differences between physical and online exchange and commerce across international borders, examining the hassle I'd ensured thus far to get a chance to interact with international noders in face-space and contrasting it with the total lack of government interference or regulation involved in interacting with them electronically. I contemplated how sorely lacking the unpopulated database would be if similar customs procedures were applied to the online world. Would nate ever have gone through the bother to bring even Brian Eno to us?
Pulling out from the border crossing at last, I was still fluttery enough to laugh nervously at the driver's recycled joke as we pulled back in to a rest stop; "If the bus leaves without you there's no cause to worry - it comes by here again the same time tomorrow." Finally arriving at some complete calm - obstacle passed, there are no further impediments to my having a great time with some great people tonight - I make a mental pronouncement which later proves to be the Third Glaring Mistake of the Conflagration: Harrowing as that customs experience was, look on the bright side - there's no way the return passage through Canadian customs could ever be as involved a fiasco.
Gearing down from the second-to-second frenzy of unexpected mental activity at the crossing I settle back into a baseline mellowness which permits the passage of uneventful (or un-noted) hours (no doubt helped along by spontaneous bursts of microsleep) bringing me to the Seattle bus terminal, where I am to make a transfer to Portland. Eventually. The terminal seems familiar from my last trip South - the only difference seems to be that where the last time it smelt vaguely of urine, this time a faint aroma of vomit manifests. The same video games are in the arcade, and I observe a television set mounted on the arm of a chair being put to unusually good use as a pillow. Though we won't realise it until later (though she might have suspected something), Girlface and I sit together for a time waiting for the Portland bus to arrive.
Something in me irrevocably wants to shift this account to the present tense, and I am not terribly inclined to resist it any further.
The bus shows up, the passengers board and looking out the window my heart skips a beat as I observe what is a real rarity in Vancouver but presumably common as air a few paltry miles away - black people! Ah, what profounder changes cultural distance renders than geographical distance... Their appearance reminds me of the reporting in the Stranger I had been consuming an hour or so earlier on Seattle's then-recent Mardi Gras "race riots." Then I found myself stricken by the observation of racial division among work types - the baggage handlers came out and were dark to a man, while on the other side of the wall all of the desk workers inside the bus terminal were various shades of less-black. Shit, Holmes, if I was shoehorned into a line of work by the caste system of my skin colour, I
'd riot too.
The bus rolls out, bringing me towards my final destination, and finally calmed completely I get some reading done - finishing off Kenneth Patchen's Selected Poems; finding that despite her increased success in fiction, Margaret Atwood can write a mean poem in Power Politics; and starting Albert K. Cohen's sociology textbook "deviance and control" before noticing its soporific effect on me and supposing that this close to the gold, sleep at last would probably be A Bad Thing. Closing that final book, I gaze out the window and furrow my brows at the frequent bags of garbage lined up by the shoulder of the highway. Do Americans throw out entire garbage bags' worth of trash by the roadside? (as Jeeves later explains, yes and no: the litter tends to accumulate there on a piece-by-piece basis, where it is periodically collected and bagged by chain gangs - my heart skips another beat, how exotic!.) Washington mostly passes in a haze of the above words and as we start crossing an increasing number of bridges my heart knows Portland must be growing imminent. Instantly as we cross the Columbia the frequency of cyclists explodes tenfold and I know we have reached the halcyon fantasyland of tonight's mythmaking.
I disembark to a disappointing lack of fanfare and, presuming my Welcome Wagon has not yet arrived - though, of course, none of us have ever seen each other before - prowl around the station a few times, getting my bearings and getting a copy of The Everything Guide! from the Washington County, Oregon, Convention & Visitors Bureau (www.wcva.org) - Disappointingly, even it cannot resolve my ongoing problems with [this|pipe linking| . The third time I stalk around the perimeter of the station I find in the distance two people looking at me and grinning. Not entirely uncommon, but these grins and looks weren't like the ones I provoke in everyone else but almost as if they were the parties expecting me! Heart leaping in mouth, I make my patented hard link gesture (practiced late the previous night, replacing the relatively clunky everything salute) and their expressions of recognition affirm that These are Those For Whom I Am Here. We exchange false noder identities (me momentarily being Pukesick) and in quick succession first Girlface, then Prole and Dialogue show up and join our rapidly-growing party, little any of us realizing the ridiculous scale to which the group would soon be expanded.
Most of the actual Portland social activities have been more-than-adequately covered by the sooner up-writing correspondants. I will try to fill gaps and provide missing details only.
En route to the first of many trips to Powell's City of Books we joked about the massive amounts of trivia with which we would cumulatively be able to stun hapless opponents. Team Everything2 could assuredly trump Team Prettymuchanyothercommunity(onlineoroff) in any information-based game show situation, barring perhaps Team Mensa or Team Rhodes Scholars.
$50 US at Bookland goes like hot butter - a much-expanded the collected Kenneth Patchen (from which I later learn ideath used to read to her brother at an early age, no doubt scarring him for life), The Journal of Albion Moonlight, the Collected Poems in English & French of Samuel Beckett (endorsed by the woman at the checkout whose name Laurel wanted me to spring on her - but this evening was to contain enough glorious weirdness without needing to contrive further such) and some obligatory tripe from Fritz Leiber, Swords and (Some Nonsense Or Other) to complete my Lankhmar collection.
After meeting up with much of the rest of the attendees at Pioneer Courthouse Square, we find ourselves irresistably drawn back to Powell's (and they say the quantum singularity is in my stomach - ha! I don't even have an event horizon!) ... no further books are bought by me (not for lack of funds or self-control - my backpack is stuffed to the brim) so instead some conversation is made with sarahh and girlface at the café there. I'd have been more scintillating if I'd had some sleep, but what are you gonna do? A mix exchange is made out front, girlface and I trading tapes with flamingweasel, while an old lady by the door repeatedly attempts to sell us a magazine we don't want. Skrorn appears out of nowhere and insists I accept a dollar bill from him. What's with these people unexpectedly foisting money on me? I ask. He explains it's payment for the bet he'd made with me back in the meet-organizational phase, that I would not be able to find words beginning with the same first syllable of his name for the Battle Beasts-style roster of expected parties. Numerous times brain nearly drops his blue juggling apparatus into oncoming traffic, and I am multiply tempted to utter some pithy remark regarding this revolutionary remedy for the plague of blue balls.
After the Church of Elvis (or the outside thereof, for me) and Quite Some Walking we arrive at Montage - a novelty for me inasmuch as you can't really get Cajun food in Canada. That's what we get for expelling the inhabitants of Acadia. I wonder where in my hometown I could wander in amongst a mass of 20, ask for seating for the group and get it - instantly. Nowhere with the atmosphere of this place, to be sure. I could live without the seafood shots, however. Aside from the talkers-on-one-end, quiet-folks-on-the-other arrangement of our table some card observes that we're seated roughly as we might be found in the Other Users nodelet - the high-level users, comfortable in each others' presence, gabbing away and the relatively newer users mumbling in their gumbo at the other end.
From this point on it seems that someone is always missing from our group. It may be because their cars got separated from the caravan and took hours and hours to get back to the Funhouse. It may be because they were part of the goodly chunk of the group (as much as a half of us?) who installed themselves on the front porch to smoke, imbibe and miss the feline trio of Black Cat, White Cat and Eat Poop You Cat - surely (in my eyes) rarer and more appealing pursuits than nicotine and alcohol. Perhaps I'm missing something. Maybe I just wasn't willing to remove myself from the corner beanbag in which I had comfortably installed myself.
Based on his typed and tipsy entry in the write-up contributed to by the most people, lordomar clearly needs to node drunk more often.
What do you do when you are presented with a portrayal of your own death? This is a situation with which I had to deal during the eat poop you cat, sarahh passing to me an unmistakable depiction of myself (bearded, bespectacled, button-hattified) lying on the ground, eyes X'd out, a mysterious fluid seeping from my stomach. I calmly described what I saw, passed it on and shuffled a bit further away from the architect of my demise. Later on the picture was seen in the fuller context of what came before and after it, but I never came to any satisfactory understanding of what precisely prompted that particular image. It continues to haunt me to this day.
We called it a Conflagration but we were sorely mistaken - nothing burned. Nothing even smouldered. The torch was even brought from somewhere for use in conjunction with the tea candles I'd brought and even taken out but by then I felt that the possible wielders thereof had probably imbibed a bit too liberally to be trusted in activities of eXtreme pyromania. I didn't get to know mojoe too well over the course of the night, us always managing to interact around rather than with each other, but despite that I still didn't terribly want to see his face burnt off. As a sample to those who never knew what it is they were missing, an image from our prior night of tea candle combustion is viewable at http://www.fragtopia.com/canada/files/jer5.jpg - my roommate likes to describe it as photo evidence of him urinating fire.
The Fourth Glaring Mistake I made over the course of this meet was joining in the jam with my spirited kazoo-cum-trumpet rendition of Mancini's classic Peter Gunn theme. Musically the decision was sound, but my enthusiasm in the trumpetty gurglings resulted in a thrashed-up throat - soreness and some problems talking at much length. And truly - I am nothing without my verbosity. Not that, approaching 48 hours of awakeness, I had much to communicate that was interesting or coherent. But, y'know, it's nice to at least have the choice available.
After the movie some scattering occurs; people returning home, people collapsing in supine mounds on the Funhouse floor... and what are the rest of us to do? The deer (or large stickers thereof) needs a new home in public space, somewhere, somewhere. Srkorn, ideath, Girlface, Equinoctal Brain and myself head out scouting any number of potentially-suitable locations (nook, alcove, cranny, hidey-hole) for the deer to take up residence before we decide to pay back the telecom companies for all their hard work with a bit of prominent urban fauna. Stickiness applied, we move with the moment and decide to see exactly how many noders can be fit in a phone booth. (I would tell you, but that would be denying you the potential delight in discovering the answer for yourself!) The metabolic fury from my prodigious scavengings at Montage dying down I grow chill in the Spring evening and grow acutely aware of my underdressitudinalness. brr. Our host proves that chivalry is not yet dead and gives me her jacket to wear (which, absurdly, fits.) More to the point, she plants flowers in my beard and is later seen to remark bemusedly that I didn't seem to mind since I didn't complain? Understatement as well, it seems, is not a lost art. The Fraggles were right - listen to the trash heap, for it will tell you everything you need to know. I will return for the headgear and lingerie.
There is more to the meet but I have run out of me, returned to the Funhouse and my beanbag pedestal just in time (mere seconds before falling irresistably asleep while in an upright and walking position) while the rest of our mobile party proceeds to make much merriment flinging a plastic disc in a place of the dead - seeming perhaps disrespectful on the surface but let's not hold illusions - I have no doubts that the denizens would take part if they could.
Breakfast is straightforward - following an appetite-stirring walk LordOmar prepares for our goony assembly the natural morning counterpart to the previous night's gorge at Montage, providing enough food for an army and enough Muppet Show episodes for a daycare centre. If he invites you in to take in a glimpse at his geek lair, I'd recommend taking it - an entire house's worth of geekiness concentrated into a single room, like the secret identity of a superhero or the former life of an SS concentration camp monster. Uh, but perhaps this metaphor reaches too far...
After going in and out for directions three or four times I say good-bye, good-bye, good-bye and good-bye and, now loaded up in the van with Jeeves and his Arizonan cohort, we head out into the sunset... and back again to Powell's City of Books, because apparently a member of the party forgot to take their credit cards with them during yesterday's expedition and, uh, they couldn't bear to leave Portland without the books which had caught their eye. I'm no driver, but foolishly occupying the cherished shotgun position find myself cast as navigator through the insane tangle of bridges, highways, one-way streets and on-ramps which is at the heart of any major US city. We manage to get to Powell's, closing in through ever-decreasing spiral manoevres (wouldn't want to spook it and have to chase it across town) and only have to go by it four or five times before determining that NO, there is no parking to be had for us. It's a life lesson, kids - cars and books don't mix. Somehow people are let out to procure their works of fine literature, while the rest of us circle and prowl in increasingly-foul tempers. Eventually they re-enter the vehicle and we're bound south!
South? Isn't Vancouver north? Well, yes... but the temple they have to visit is most definitely located to the south. South it is! And, I must confess, them LDSers (erk, hope hope I'm getting the demonination right here 8) certainly know how to place an impressive building in well-kept grounds. Didn't go in, but architectually I ultimately agreed it was worth the detour. Seek out a place of worship near you today and marvel at how mch more interesting it is than your local Wal-Mart!
Since our known common keystone cultural experiences were scanty (music and, uh, Nethack?) conversation during the drive back dwelled primarily on the thing that brought us together (twice, now) - this, and my then-unique perspectives on it. (Well, Segnbora? Any sudden and profound reflections on what it's like to be Everything's Best User?) I reveal the dirty secret to them that most of the EBU, having been around for so long, were the inventors - or at least first discoverers - of most of the heinous aspects of e2 which plague us to this day - w invented the silly everything culture node, x invented negative-softlinking, y invented xp pack rape and z invented the "getting to know you" node. (I couldn't possibly reveal the secrets here - that would be tactless and distinctly unclassy - but corner me at a meet and see if I sing.) We dish dirt on noders whose noding styles we like and dislike, banter about reasons as to why, and more or less take e2 apart until there's nothing left - it's a long drive. Unfortunately the tape deck is broken, despite (or perhaps because of) repeated repair attempts and when the front stops talking, the back falls asleep.
I fear we shock Kesper North when we meet him for dinner in Bellingham with our sheer zombitude but a day locked down in car seats discussing everything culture will wear down even the newbie with the most radical ideas among us. If we found the gruelling journey and cabin fever were making us ornery, however, it would be as nothing compared to the grim ordeal which lay just before us, innocent and without an inkling of suspicion. Regretfully paying for our tepid meal we bid adeiu and are promptly confronted with the full extent of my third glaring mistake.
If you are lucky at a median border crossing (at least between Canada and the US, "The Longest Continuous Undefended Border in the World") you will be confronted with only a single level of interrogation: Where are you headed? Business or pleasure? How long do you expect your stay to be? Have a nice visit. Our party had to pass through five - please park your car there and form a queue in that building... - STAY BEHIND THE LINE! - then in that building... then in that building... and now we're going to search your vehicle. Perhaps we're lucky they didn't take it apart looking for contraband in the seats and bumpers. Still, over the next hour and a half (the amount of time it took to process every member of our party through every step) we were stuck with some devilish questions - exceptionally so given that at least half our party had just been woken up. Material covered with the customs agents includes:
- - what classes they'd been taking and clubs they were in at the University of Arizona
- - how the Sailor Moon role-playing game (which was present in the back seat of the van) is played
- - the wholly arbitrary nature of the words "horny" and "conflagration" on our commemmorative mix CD
- - why we were attempting to cross an international boundary in a van belonging to a friend of a parent of one of our party
- - and last but not least, both how a collaboratively-filtered user-contributed online database works and why its members might be interested in meeting face-to-face. (phew! you thought that last one was tough to explain to your friends and family - at least you've got a sympathetic audience there! 8)
I don't believe they thought we were up
to anything, but presumably the sheer power of skepticism informed their reluctance to believe that a bunch of Arizonan college students would willingly choose to spend their Spring Break coming all the way up to Canada for entirely innocuous reasons. Much like the first crossing I got the feeling that we were being let through simply because there didn't seem to be any further reasons not
to, and, having the small of my back, loose pants and beard
searched as a ludicrous finale we were finally permitted entrance into Canada. "Look at the sign! 'Thin km
etric!'" The last thing we needed at this point was to be caught breaking the speed limit leaving the border crossing.
Having permitted myself to dwell in the present tense, I now inexorably slip back into past. What a born rebel!
Though we had planned to be in Vancouver early enough to take in some night life, the kerfuffle at customs put our trip far enough behind schedule that there were only three important s-words in the minds of our party: stretch, shower, sleep
. They install themselves on the sparkling tabhouse
floor while I catch up on my e-mail well into the night. (I was not noding. I was not
. I swear.) The next morning (well, noonish perhaps) we head off into Vancouver's Chinatown in search of sustenance - well met in the form of the famous simulated meats at the renowned Buddhist Vegetarian restaurant. (Ask me to take you there somewhere - they've managed to improve sweet and sour pork by taking the pork element away! Sheer genius!)
As I lead them to the Dr. Sun-Yat-Sen gardens and keep a steady running patter little do they realise that I will end up taking them on a walking tour all the way across Vancouver's downtown and back. Up Granville, along Robson, and hugging Stanley Park
's Lost Lagoon
we spot over a dozen different species of bird, including more bald eagles in that park in a single afternoon than the rest of our group had ever seen cumulatively in the States, ever. Jeeves remarks that the streets of Vancouver look much different when they're not clogged with a quarter-million spectators
. How can I argue? Hauling the winded group back to my house (I swear all that van use atrophied their walking organs) my unforgettable roommate Compos
bring visitors from other countries home more often!" Mentis
joins into what ends up a spirited conversation about socialization, free trade and lack of faith in the public sector. It is not until too late that we realise the nuts fried rice of breakfast had been burned off during my stint as impromptu guide to Historic Vancouver and while debating the merits of various restaurants watched our top choices close one by one as we hashed over our increasingly-limited options.
Which saw us, of course, end up at the Naam - perhaps the best good-food, terrible-service 24-hour restaurant serving Vancouver's flake community. After waiting in line forever (you think I exaggerate but I'm not unconvinced some of the restaurants which had closed re-opened in the time we were in line) and failing to fall for the pitch of a creepy homeless man outside ("Hey! Do you want to hear the best poem in the world?" "Uh... no." "Would you like to hear the best poem in the world?" "Nuh-uh." "Howabout YOU?" "Nope") we were seated and stuffed our heads on only the best hippie cuisine and a conversation about colour theory (or, rather, how different colours corellate to different limited personality types) while the best poet in the world glowered and sulked at us through the window.
No mere words can adequately convey the extent of the awe which washed over my guests as they entered into the Casa Gelato the next morning prior to their departure, so I will instead mention the graffiti we passed on the way back to home base:
3 DEAD AMERICANS
- LET'S KILL THE REST
"Uh, I'm sure they didn't mean you guys."
I miss out. Not only do they leave me, but they return to Portland and the very homestead of ideath again! Insult to injury! More to the point, apparently pukesick shows up, three days late! He claims to have his reasons but I'm convinced he's just avoiding me. Their adventures continue for some time but for me things settle back down to something remotely ressembling (lack-of-)business as usual. Four days there and back is an admittedly intense experience and such high-level and maintained close exposure to noders requires some months of recovery. That said, I think I'm just about ready for another go at it.
previous | next...
A tiresome account of a tiring experience. Phew!