Oh, god...it was horrible! There were bodies everywhere, some living, some dead...some worse. There must've been thousands of them, clad in geek memorabilia, angry fists held to the skies as they screamed "WHERE'S EDB DAMNIT!!!"

And the smell...Oh dear lord, the smell...

There was this guy there, his name was blowJoe or somethin'...and he kept talking about thermonuclear warfare, against his own countrymen...they were preaching mass genocide!


But anyways, I disgress...

Originally, I came because I heard there were going to be live, petrified, nude Natalie Portman lookalikes recruiting for the soy army.


I was sorely disappointed.

The Real Story:


no, I'm just joking...
Listen to me, gentle noder, and I shall tell ye a tale about the HORROR that was The Portland Oregon Everything Tea!

Ok, so it was pretty fun, actually. I showed up late to the Tao of Tea but was spotted instantly (my sparkling personality must really shine through.) Most of my fellow noders had already arrived including ideath, Brain, patientfox, Dialogue, flamingweasel, pukesick and of course our gracious host, LordOmar.

We chatted it up and all got along famously. I had only been there five minutes when the guy working the counter asked me to stop cussing so loudly. Oh well, some people just can't deal with a group that is as hardcore as we were.

I don't mind saying that the place was a tad froofy. LordOmar picked a nice, quiet, neutral spot, but there were no candy asses in this boat! We jabbered, laughed and talked shit about everyone that wasn't present at the moment. Soon after, dragoon showed up and pukesick left (not necessarily in that order.) We soon gave up on icicle and Eco, figuring that they wussed out. We were only half-right. As we were leaving to go hit Hawthorn for some eats, icicle walked right through the middle of our group as we milled about indecisively on the sidewalk. She looked like she was about ready to yak up breakfast or break into a sprint, so I, being the natural leader that I like to think I am, called out to her before she could escape.

She looked only very slightly like a caged animal, but soon calmed down and we all began our trek to "Hippie Boulevard" and ended up at the Oasis Cafe, a small, trendy, gourmet pizza joint that was crawling with yuppies. We stole a bunch of tables and ordered three large pizzas. We then proceeded to loudly talk shit about everyone that we had left out during our discussion at the tea place earlier.

Everyone was twice as cool as I had hoped and we had a lot of fun. We all seemed to agree (more or less) on all of our topics of discussion except about whether dannye, upon walking in to Powell's Book Store would: implode, explode, burst in to flames or interact with the environment in a sort of matter/anti-matter type scenario. Liberal/conservative simply canceling each other out and quietly ceasing to exist on this plane.

The world may never know!

Anyhow, after that, we all walked outside and talked for a bit before we split up, half of us (LordOmar, dragoon, brain) went home, the other half came to my work place and are having a little noding party on the computers (except icicle, who bailed). If anything else interesting happens, I will tag it on here. All in all, it was much more fun than I expected and no one got hurt (yet)!
The real story of the portland oregon everything tea: There was a lot of discussion about noding, noders, and node theory...

good lord they've tried to brainwash me but i've got my sanity back for a second you've got to help me it was horrible they locked us in a room and made us listen to this guy and we were served this stuff that made me feel funny and then i agreed with everything the leaders told us and now i think that killing myself for this cult is a really good idea and oh lord the drugs are taking hold again

...so it was a really pleasant afternoon. Thanks to everyone that showed up, and I look forward to the the nothin' but coal for you, geek e2 westside holiday gathering and lan party.

The tea! I knew I shouldn't have had the tea! Now they're after me! There's only one insane way out! Thank god for cyanide!

Well, while it was terribly messy extracting myself from the piles of bodies, I had a good time.

I. The Tao of Tea

a. Arrivals
I showed up almost exactly on time. As always. :)
I actually went into the wrong part of the tea house to begin with. The Tao of Tea is split into two different sections, one on each side of a theater(?). The side I went into first had a lot of yuppie looking people sitting around looking very serious. I new I was in the wrong section. I traveled to the other section, and was spotted by the large group of scroffy looking people with funny looks on their faces. "These people", I thought to myself "have to be noders." In attendence upon my arrival was our (most) gracious host, LordOmar, pukesick, patientfox, ideath, flamingweasel, and Brain. There were some brief introductions, during which we swapped between user names and real names. I still have yet to get everyones real name down, and so will refer to them by their user names. (although I do know moJoe's real name is (wait for it....) Joe.) There was some muddled conversation about some various geeky things. pukesick tells us that he will be living quite soon, as he was meeting people. The tea arrives (some nice green tea, and something called "liquid jade"....I don't think it was opium..).

b. General Bullshiting, moJoe shows up, pukesick leaves
The door opens and this guy who looks suspiciously like the Flaming Messiah of Retribution walks in the door. More general talk is issued forth. There is some discussion of freenet, and network related issues. pukesick flees into the evening light, that he might meet with "real" people. Feh. Having a "life". :)

c. More General Bullshitting, dragoon shows up, moJoe dispenses amusing anecdotes
The conversations continue. I realize I'm not being very descriptive, but I was at the extreme edge of the group for most of this part, and only pulled up a seat next to moJoe (no, I wasn't trying to hit on him...though he is cute...), so I could hear what was going on. Anecdotes from here and later to be noded once I have a moment to think. That place was a bit froofy (nice, though...in a froofy way), so...

d. The party moves, icicle joins us
As we're standing on the sidewalk, looking like a bunch of chumps, this girl walks right through the group. moJoe looks at her funny, and then calls her back. It be icicle! We all convoy into a line (at one point, I believe we were actually lined up the way we would be if we were all in the chatterbox together......it was eerie). I'm towards the rear for most of the short walk, with ideath and Brain. ideath showed off her abilites at juggling, and patientfox talked about bands with flamingweasel. LordOmar and moJoe were too far ahead for me to hear what they were talking about. Our deaths, I'm sure....but I'm getting ahead of myself.

II. The Pizza Place

a. Choosing places to sit & ordering pizza We wandered to a place called (I believe) the "Oasis Cafe". It serves pizza. This is good, as we have two veggie eaters in our midst. We stand in the doorway, blocking traffic, as we work out a way to get nine people around three tables. Eventually, everyone gets situated, and our "dads", Omar and moJoe, get up to the counter to order us food. Conversations turn more to E2-related stuff. *cough*Dman*cough* ...And a good time is had by all.

b. Waiting for the pizza
More talking. Some friends of the reedies show up, have food just behind the assembled group, and leave without really saying anything. They looked nice enough.... more E2 talk, including the people we enjoy reading (ToasterLeavings got "props" from all).

c. Eating the pizza (mostly done in silence....)
Mm.....bread and cheese......tastes like some sort of food stuff....

d. Post Pizza musings
Yet more E2 talk. Dannye's likely implosion upon entering powell's books is addressed. No real decision is made. The debate rages on.....

e. The Group splits, LordOmar, Brain, and dragoon leave
After moJoe takes down all of our names (that's what happens when you get old, ya know?), the group splits in two. Much remorse at the leaving of the fine E2 fellas. Hopes were spread around for a reunion at the thing in december. Love is in the air......you know, the love of a man for a fine cuban cigar.

III. The Internet Cafe ("Internet Arena")
a. Browsing the Head shop
The people with nothing to do browse a head shop nearby to the cafe. moJoe examines a lunchbox with his image as vishnu on it. Comments are made about the expensive chairs. Why did we go in here again?

b. Traveling to the cars/driving to the Internet Arena
We walk to icicle and flamingweasel's vehicles. icicle and flamingweasel walk next to each other, and ideath mentions that this may be dangerous, on account of their opposing natures. I laugh. We reach the cars. me, fox, weasel, and ideath head off in the combustable rodent's ride, and moJoe and icicle lead the way in the lady's vehicle. Icicle drives kinda slow. And now you know!

c. Things what happened at the Internet Arena, icicle leaves
Upon reaching moJoe's front for his cocaine smuggling ri....job, icicle flees. She had places to be, I believe. moJoe shows us the upstairs of his work, wherein the vast amounts of computer equipment what makes up his business are housed, while ideath hits a computer for her e2 fix.. It was just like my work, only using a bunch of individual computers instead of a couple powerful ones. It smelled like home. We return to the main room and utilize the computers to node en masse, which is a much more social and less creepy experience than one would imagine. ideath does not have scabies.

d. The Washingtonians depart
After about half an hour to 45 minutes of this, my driver (flamin'weasel) announces that it is time to leave. He, I, and patientfox flee into the night, thanking moJoe for his kindness as we leave. The drive to Washington is quiet, as we're all quite tired. Upon reaching my home, I regain my E2 access, and fight a small flame-war with a newbie by the name of flybomber. He loses. I sleep.

I had a great time. As moJoe mentioned, all were quite sociable and normal-tastic. I hope I see everyone again in december. Until then, my friends....

So the night before was exhausting, mindwrenching and disappointing, so it's no real surprise I didn't wake up until 2:30 or so. I remember setting my alarm clock to noon, but examining it now reveals my ability to rise, turn off the alarm and fall back asleep without ever gaining full consciousness. Or maybe my dormmates came in through the unlocked door and turned it off for me, although they were awfully kind not to bash my head in once they had entered the pit of doom and despair I laughingly call my room.

My alarm clock is the most obnoxious one ever.

I feel extremely sorry for the surrounding inhabitants. It's not just loud, but screeching and piercing. Still, somehow I ended up being late for the Everything Portland Tea. The short morning rituals observed, a quick run down to Steele and 39th, a wait for the bus, a short ride and a jaunt down Belmont delivered me at the Tao of Tea, merely an hour late. I walked in, confident despite my lack of personal knowledge of any noder involved bar my fellow student Brain. I was greeted not with a hearty cheer or mug of ale, but desolation and devastation. Not really, but the mental effect of surveying the assorted hipsters and blackclad pierced staff in the place of the hearty comradery of fellow noders was much the same. So I suppose I looked fairly clueless, something I excel at, and an employee came over to ask my major malfunction.

"I'm looking for someone I was meeting, but they don't seem to be here." I muttered.

That wrinkled pink-gray product of one million years of evolution, nestled between his shoulders, allowed the helpful if slightly permanently sneering young man to explain the best course of action was to go outside and to the right. While it felt like I was getting kicked out of a tea house, after a false start I arrived at the real source of the action. A group of warmly inviting, jovial, healthy young adults, chatting and drinking tea with great gusto. I sat down and was treated to a barrage of real names. Now note, I had never before met people in real life that I had previously known online, so I was ignorant of the protocol and had been expecting E2 names, handles, aliases or whatever term best fits in the physical world. Not that figuring out the identity of our little group was that hard. Brain I knew, moJoe was positively incandescent in his loud humor (guess which noder got the dirty looks from the staff behind his back?), LordOmar's good cheer tickled my neurons into remembrance through homepage picture, ideath was unfortunate enough to be close enough for me to ask her there, flamingweasel revealed his identity through an anecdote about Everclear and burning flesh, icicle came as we were leaving with a good initial impression of a scared rabbit, Dialogue and I chatted about his return to Everything on the way to food, and patientfox revealed himself while munching on pizza and stealing tables from hipsters. Apparently and disappointingly, I missed pukesick - on the other hand, have any of you ever seen both of us in the same place at the same time? I thought so. And so I note each and every one of you.

So to jump back in time, we were sitting around, many of us drinking tea, being loud, obnoxious and fun. Walking down to food, moJoe and LordOmar took up the scout position while Brain entertained us with his brightly colored jester cap as ideath juggled and patientfox dissed corporate rock sellouts. As mentioned, yes, we did talk shit about almost every E2 celebrity, except for nate. He doesn't do enough for us to bitch about. Other fun highlights were a surfeit of getting to know you, various people's views of drunken noding, one noder's search for drugs, themes and the desperate need for customization, a brainstorm on the proper title for our post-meeting node, discussion of the December North-west E2 meeting, solemn pontifications on True Noding, and much more. Two frosh from Reed showed up, one of whom I spent a night with once and this and that, so I was surprised to see her there, and perhaps a little uncomfortable, but they didn't stay long. After munching, we were gently ushered out by the staff and stood around, looking hungry and menancing. Someone suggested starting an E2 gang, I suggested celebratory tattoos for all, and we went out to buy switchblades for robbing the assorted hippies, junkies and yuppies of Hawthorn. Actually, a majority of people left for moJoe's workplace to node and Brain, LordOmar and I went away, although I'll admit to a stop at Powells for school books first. What can I say, I'm not much of a storyteller. I enjoyed it.

So when shal we all meet again?
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

The dismal mists caused by half a bottle of Baker's 107 proof Burbon "There was something I was doing today", I told myself through the pain which squeezed against my temples like so many monkey's with vice-grips. Ah yes, tea. It's still a few hours away. I tear into my hangover, using my patented combination of bagels, orange juice, excederin and cigarettes, at 1:30 PM I'm feeling something close to human. The weather is looking on the verge of rain, so I get my girlfriend to drive me down to the Tao of Tea i'm looking around, it'd been a good six months since I last stepped into the place. Yuppies abound and my quaint tea-shop is now a refuge for the trendy elite. I search for space meanwhile I see a motley group of disaffected youth hanging outside the theatre entrance, "ah yes these are them, for they are my people", I quickly introduced myself and found us some area to sit down. My thoughts were reeling, "this wasn't the best choice of location". But lots of people got there, and we soon got past the uncomfortabe "hey I don't really know any of these people" stage and got down to some chatting about everyones favorite topic: e2. Of course as with any uncontrolled mixture there was some flux. pukesick left, moJoe and dragoon arrived. We discussed noding habits, voting habits, getting to know you nodes and those noders foolish enough not to attend, ideath promised to bless me if I swore to read every node I vote on (sign, no more vote-dumping on the daylogs). I stuck to my usual mode of mild self-deprication mixed with slight jovality (is that a word? well, it is now). MoJoe and ideath were excellent in their roles as the "senior noders" present, although everyone seemed to have something to contribute to the conversation. My fears of having three prople talk and five people just sit there uncomfortably, or worse having all of us just sitting there in silence were entirely unfounded (although with Joe there, it was hardly a possibility). All in all I feel it was successful, and I feel things got a lot better when we ditched the tea-debacle and got down to some pizza munching at the Oasis Cafe, the reedies were cool cats, as most reedies are. The washington noders, well I can't thank them enough for coming down, it really added a nice dynamic. icicle, well i really didn't talk to her much. I hope that the "over 21, portland-resident" noders can get together again soon for a night of drinking and debauchary, ok mostly drinking (ideath, mojoe, dragoon, Brain, I'm talkin' to you (I think.. there may be more, maybe less)).

Ok I know that I probably I didn't mention everyone's name, but I'm an asshole that way.

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