I met noders this weekend, but it wasn't anything so formal as a "nodermeet". Still, I think it deserves an aftermath write-up. The nodes that we discussed over the course of the nodermeet are randomly pipelinked throughout.

Meeting Annie and Kellum

I was a little apprehensive. You never know what people's interior lives are going to be like. I imagined the myriad of things that could be wrong with these people,

Including: Infirmed relatives that sit in the living room, drooling and crying and being a nuisance, while the other person tries to carry on a conversation and you all ignore the wheezing, frail human being slowly dying in the corner. OR

Horrible velvet pictures of Jesus or Elvis.

but I reasoned that twenty dollars in gas money was about the cheapest nodermeet money could buy. I left at ten in the morning.

Driving there was its own little adventure. It is enough to say that it cemented my belief that you can never get anywhere in Dallas that you haven't already been. This is due to the lack of any signs helpfully stating "This is just to announce the road is about to SPLIT THE FUCK IN HALF." This leads motorists who were in the far right lane finding themselves not just taking their exit, but on another road entirely.

I parked in the driveway and waited. I knocked on the door, met Kellum and shook his hand. I greeted Annie in the hallway. We stood there for a moment. I had broken my nodermeet cherry.

First order of business: coffee. We drove to the coffee place, and had a very satisfying conversation.

Conversational Styles

Kellum is a reinforcer; Annie is an expander. Kellum listens to what is being said, praises any ideas he likes, teases out understanding. Interacting with him, I noticed that our dialogue was lacking in cynicism or scorn on either side. He was making me a better, more civil person by talking with him. I spent nearly 24 hours without being sarcastic.

Kellum understands the subtle beauty of a poorly executed pun. He has the ability to express the hilarity of in-jokes and "you should have been there" stuff, conveying the humor to people who weren't there.

What Annie does well is summarization and expansion. She takes your idea and condenses it into one phrase or idea, or expands it into an area you might not have considered. Their conversational styles worked really well together, both really supportive and insightful.

Both Annie and Kellum are fantastic storytellers because they
  1. Have a sense of how to pace the story being told
  2. Can feel out how much detail to give and when
  3. Enjoy the subject they are talking about
  4. Involve the listener and check for understanding

A Smattering of the Subjects We Discussed

Ferrets are Mustelids, not Rodents * The tragic loss of Danish Vowels * Our Favorite Noders * The Leveling System * The Strange Humanity of Really Bad Pornography * The Danish Home Guard * Wikipedia * The Zen Nature of the Americano * The Sad, Dirty Lives of Prison Guards * Raising Children * Sex and Sensibility * Really Stupid Purchases * Neurology * Hardscrabble College Educations * The Morphology of Beards * Writing Groups * The Many Grudges of Dichotomyboi * The Secret Beauty of The Kind * Cats * Texas Weather * The Ravages of Alcohol * Homosexual Communities Among Asian and Indian Graduate Students * Sensitization Exercises to Improve Sex * A Psychological Profile for Psychopaths * The Proper Writing of Daylogs * Measuring Your Own Life Against the Lives of Others * Mythology * Sumo * Expertise * The Difficulty of Writing About Music * Participating in Quests * Gin and Tonics * Wine * Liquor * Alcohol * Hangovers * The Proper Methods of Massage * Burning the Midnight Oil * Tipping * Currency Exchange Rates * Terry Pratchett * Eddie Izzard * Margaret Atwood * Puns * Pack Rats and the Fastidious * French * Russian * The Addictive Nature of the Softlink * Asperger's Syndrome * How Much Annie is Like Skynet, the evil sentient robot from Terminator *

Evidence that Annie is Skynet

  1. She has extensive knowledge of most of American Culture
  2. She handles American idioms expertly.
  3. Knows what knock-knock jokes are.
  4. Is just alarmingly intelligent

From there: ice cream shop. And then a Italian Restaurant. I had originally planned to drive back that night, but the time was passing far to quickly for all that. I spent the night on a very comfortable guest bed.

The next day we dawdled until noon, until I had to leave. On the drive back I chewed on the things we had discussed and laughed like a ninny. Just like a ninny.

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