Triple the birthdays, double the humidity, single the ferris wheel, and zilch the Disney...

It's gonna be Ninjapenguin, Sylvar, and Ssd's birthdays, so lets get down to it!

(Well, it could be a double noder birthday bash if one of the birthday people can't make it, but still, its damn impressive... and it's also serving as a gathering.) The Central Florida E2 Cabal and those who gave birth to Sylvar, Ninjapenguin, and Ssd should be thanked.

When was it?
August 24th, 2002 @ 2pm

Where was it?
Orlando, Florida

Who showed up:
Apatrix +1
Skweejeepusher + 1
Hojimoji +1
Gamaliel +1

The Hoary Aftermath

The gas guzzling logistical nightmare that was the The First Ever E2 Triple Noder Birthday Bash (and Central Florida Cabal gathering)! didn't end all that badly. Ironically enough it was triple the birthdays and double the humidity.. but there was no ferris wheel and we were way too close to Disney. The original plan was to meet at a go kart place on International Drive, then go eat someplace, and then go back to my place. It didn't quite end up that way. The only place suggested to me to eat was in Celebration, FL. Though I was wary, I put it on the list by default. I received a message from Bluedragon late Friday afternoon saying that she was staying at a hotel on I-Drive and couldn't find the go kart place where we were supposed to meet.

In an insane fit of panic, I talked to Apatrix, who gave me a call and helped me figure this all out. Eight P.M. Friday night I was /msging everyone to let them know that he original meeting place may not exist at all. (Note to self.. don't offer to plan a gathering when I have a vacation coming up and school starting.) We decided after a lot of hyperventilating (on my part) and alot of "my god I can't believe Xplace is that far!" (on his part) to meet at the Orlando Ale House because A. its a common meeting ground and B. it worked out pretty well March 18, 2002. Little did I know that most people weren't planning on showing up that early. Whoops!

Skweejeepusher, Ssd, Servo5678, a friend and I showed up at the Ale House at 2:00. After a bit, Gamaliel and friend made what was to be one of many short appearances throughout the day. We sat... we waited.. and slowly I got calls and made calls and realized that very few people were going to show up to this part of the gathering. Skweejeepusher, Ssd, and Servo4568, and our non-noder friend decided to go to a theme park type place down the street, I stayed because the Thedeadguy showed up.

Soon Apatrix (+1) showed up and the four of us hung out until it was time to leave for Celebration. Thedeadguy wasn't feeling well and had a hell of a day, so he decided to stay behind. He was missed and wished well. After a haphazard follow the leader situation on the way to Celebration, we finally made it. (I was informed that everyone in Celebration has a poodle, and there are no mosquitoes. Both of these things appeared to be true.) I'd have to say that the funniest thing ever was when Eviltemptress gave us appliances for our birthday (I got a vacuum, ssd got a microwave, and Sylvar got a spare tire) and we all were walking down the streets of Celebration holding them. I'm sure that didn't look suspicious at all. Wait till the pictures come out.

At the restaurant, Sylvar offered us a bigger and potentially less college oriented (I live in a college owned condo complex) place to party... but it was in Lake Mary. I had all the supplies at my house, so again it was another driving adventure to go get that on the way. Upon arriving in the third county we were in that day, we got settled for about 30 min. and then were asked to go due to unforeseen sorority related emotional anguish (see Sylvar's aftermath write-up). After getting the supplies back to my house again, the 11 that were left trecked back for beer, chips, silliness, and good conversation. Apatrix was made the creepiest noder in the absence of thedeadguy, but I mayhaps the title be returned at the next gathering. The entire thing was an adventure, and I'm grateful to everyone who made it and helped me out!

Thank you to (in no particular order):

  • Skweejeepusher for the ride to the gathering in the first place.
  • Apatrix (+1) for driving all over and helping me plan this whole thing. Sorry some of it was put upon you.
  • Bluedragon (+1) for taking time out from their vacation to meet us all.
  • Panamaus for the card plus more, plus coming all the way. It was a pleasure having you and Swankivy over.
  • Czeano and Eviltemptress for stopping in on the way to MD and Eviltemptress for giving me a vacuum (which was a source of much suggestive joking later that evening)
  • As (probably) the last person awake after this party (and thus, the first to node), I would like to publicly thank segnbora-t and Panamaus for the birthday cards! I think that is the nicest birthday present I've ever gotten from someone I had not met before.

    Others have done a fair job of describing the party, so I'll not add much more. (I let you win to extend the playing time. so HA.)

    In summary (at least in my eyes), this was a success! And, all three birthday people were able to attend!

    I'm sure all you downvoters are just jealous that you couldn't come.

    Before I launch into my recollections, I want to thank ninjapenguin for setting up and organizing the event. Thanks, ninjapenguin!

    The afternoon started with Skweejeepusher, ninjapenguin, a non-noder named Jake, and I carpooling to the Orlando Ale House. Skweejeepusher drove in his car with no air conditioning, so by the time we drove down I-4 at 60mph with the windows down, my hair was sporting the fashion style known as the wind tunnel. To all those who saw me: my hair is much better than it looked at the Gathering!

    Since the Fun 'n Wheels no longer existed, Skweejeepusher, ssd, Jake, and I went down to the Fun Spot, a place with an arcade and other goings-on, to watch for others who might be arriving there. After a few rounds of air hockey (I defeated ssd twice), it was back to the Orlando Ale House. Before we left, however, Skweejeepusher cashed in some prize tickets he'd won for some cheap plastic animal hair combs which he distributed to the rest of us. While not entirely functional, the comb did allow me to somewhat reshape my hair.

    After regrouping at the Orlando Ale House we caravaned out to Celebration for dinner. Unfortunately, some misunderstandings and so forth led to Skweejeepusher missing the exit to Celebration, leading us to circle Orlando for a while. Despite the setback, the fun continued. We saw such touristy landmarks such as the Giant Orange and Merlin's Magic Gift Shop.

    Eventually, either through careful planning or just dumb luck, we arrived in Celebration were the majority of noders had already amassed. Introduction all around and the feast commenced. Might I say that the Columbia Restaurant makes a tasty filet mignon.

    As the day turned to night the group relocated to an apartment out by Lake Mary. With Skweejeepusher's car running low on fuel, a gas stop was necessary. However, this gas stop took place right on International Drive, a major tourist area. 9:30pm + Saturday night + tourist trap = much traffic. A simple fuel stop lasted thirty minutes.

    It was after 11pm before we reached the apartment complex. We were in search of building 17, but our tired, windburned eyes could only find up to building 12. Perhaps a local resident could be of some assistance? Ah, what luck! Here comes someone now!

    A elderly man who looked as though he had died years ago stepped out of his home. Skweejeepusher flagged him down and he approached the car while carrying a jar. A jar of what, you ask? On closer inspection, it appeared that this man was taking his jar of live bees out for a walk. As for directions, the man was no help at all. He and his bees presumably returned to the crypt.

    Thanks to more dumb luck we found a hidden driveway that led to building 17. Rejoining the group, we make with the yakkity-yak-yak for a while about life, E2, and everything. As midnight drew closer the group again pulled up stakes and retired to ninjapenguin's apartment. It was at this point, at 1am, that I bid the group farewell and returned to my own apartment to attempt to repair my hair and sleep.

    In closing, my first Gathering was much fun and I enjoyed myself immensely. It was nice meeting all of you that I met, and I look forward to more gatherings in the future. See you... out there!

    I'd like to apologize to all y'all who drove out to my place on short notice. I'm so sorry -- I didn't consult Jodi, who was at the ass end of one of the worst weeks of her life. I wish I could have been more social; I wish she hadn't spent the night sobbing about how her self-esteem died when she was cut from sorority rush at the last minute possible. I should have realized how exhausted she was.

    With the exception of myself, the noders at this gathering were 100% classy. I wish I'd apologized to you in person before you moved on to NinjaPenguin's place. I love the spare tire I got as a birthday present (others received a vacuum cleaner and a microwave oven), and panamaus's gift card, and the cards and good wishes everyone else had for me. You guys are the greatest.

    And here's the punchline: IT WAS A MISTAKE. They didn't mean to cut her from the rush at all! They were devastated when she didn't show up on bid day, and the president of the sorority called to apologize repeatedly. If there were any hazing, I'd say she's got a free pass now. She's been through hell. But it was my fault for letting that affect your evening, and I'm sorry.

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