The frabjous funky frozen Twin Cities E2 whirling festival of doom
had been marked on my calendar since it had been announced, which is rare, as the only other thing that is ever on my calendar is Siggraph
, every August
I was really looking forward to gathering with other users of E2, as I thought it would be a lot like the good old days
. I was excited enough to go to bed before midnight, which is where everything (not E2) started to go awry
In my childish excitement, I had set my alarm clock's alarm, but had failed to 'arm' it. When 7:30am CST rolled around, nothing happened with my clock, nothing at all. Around 12:30pm CST, I awoke, shouted an expletive
, and realized that I could still make the 5:00pm reservation at Buca
, if only a little late
At ~12:34pm, I looked at E2 and found that the reservation was for 4:00, but decided to try and catch the crew before they were done with dinner.
I drove fast, very fast
. The drive from Madison, WI to Minneapolis, MN takes 4.5 hours, so I had no time to spare. Around 3:00pm, everything (again, not E2) came to a grinding halt. There is a law in Wisconsin
that the State Highway Patrol may have no more than 400 officers. They do a remarkable job with so few personnel
. I was informed that I hadn't been "gunned", but had been going a bit too fast
for the conditions. Without bothering to take my license, he had just given me a cursory warning. I would assume, with winds in excess of 50mph yesterday (April, 07 2001), officers in the Midwest
were probably fairly busy.
Having learned my lesson, I decided to slow down a bit, which was fairly easy. "Road work next 10 miles... Be prepared to stop."
I could feel my chances of making the festival
Exiting at 233a (11th st), and a left on Harmon put me at Buca. I parked, ran in, and asked the man at the front desk/podium/soap-box if he could see if a party was still in. He asked if I knew the name of the reservation, and I did (Chris Cotrell).
When you do something pathetic, like wetting yourself
, in middle-school, most people will laugh. In fact, everyone will laugh except for two people
: Your teacher, and a true best friend. If your best friend laughs, trust me, they're just a proxy
for the friend that you'll still talk to after college. Instead of laughing, your best friend will give you the "I'm really sorry that such a terrible thing has happened to you, but I'm glad it's not me
The host at Buca's gave me that very same look as he said, "They left about 10 minutes ago."
I thanked him and left Buca's, not knowing where litmus
' band would be playing (Hamline
). If only I could have found an Internet Cafe
. Both of the people that I know in Minneapolis were out of town, so I just drove around the one-way-for-a-block streets and circled Loring park a couple of times. I looked for a group of geeks, sure to stand out in a metropolitan population in excess of 2.5 million. I thought that they might have spent a spare hour or so playing on playground equipment, so I circled Loring park again (for a grand total of three times), but only Mac users would have had the dedication to puerile warm fuzziness necessary to brave the chilling rain and tree-toppling wind that laid waste to the Twin Cities all day. If anyone saw a bright Yellow Integra Type-R, complete with a moron inside, hot-lapping Loring park, that was me.
I had been driving around Minneapolis for an hour when I put my tail squarely between my legs and decided to drive home. The drive home proved to be relatively uneventful, until a thumb-sized screw assaulted one of my sparkly new tires (less than 1000 miles), turning a good portion of it into hamburger. I was over a hundred miles from home, and suddenly limited to 50mph by the bicycle-worthy spare. One helpful driver, seeing my tardigrade
cart, efforted to speed me up (white testing our current view of physics) with the momentum of photons. To that end, he drove behind me with his hi-beams on, no more than a car length back, for nearly an hour.
It took just over eight hours to make the 4.5 hour journey back from Minneapolis. What I had thought would be a frabjous
day, ended up being wholly dissapointing. I'll make the next one though.