"I'll be sure to have loud heterosexual sex while you're here." -Apatrix to Wiccanpiper
The Outies Carvan of Doom II headed out from Normal, IL at 5 on Friday. Wiccanpiper stood at the helm driving the backseat Pirateboys, me and eien_meru (a suprise addition), and Wiccanpiper's partner in crime, Briarcub. It was my second nodermeet and all the nervousness that preceded the first was absent, replaced by a slow growing buzz of excitment.
eien_meru had jumped the gun and had hit West Layfayette somewhere around 9 am that morning, waking up our gracious host. We were told that he was not a morning person. eien decided to kill time, and the enviroment, by driving the extra two hours to Wiccanpiper's.
The drive was nice as our ragtag pseudo-family rambled through the cornfields as eien_meru and I picked on each other and Wiccanpiper and BriarCub laughed and added fuel to the fire. We were the second car to arrive, shortly after night fall, izubachi already settled in as the little boy nodling, Ian, has already attached himself to izu's hip.
gwenllian greeted us at the door with her and Apatrix's female nodling, Rowan, and psuedo-nodling, Ginny. I was the only new face and so I was passed around, introduced, and processed into the collective, or what there was of it. Apatrix was still awaiting the arrival of Dann at the airport and the rest of our menagerie had yet to arrive. Inside, a table laden with food, including a squid shaped bread thing, waited, with cages of small animals for entertainment. An accompanying drink laden table waited in the room adjacent.
We started Young Frankenstein after it was revealed that I had never seen it. I can't say that there are many more movies that are so appropriate to start a nodermeet. Brainwave and evadyne wandered in mid-movie and another round of introductions was made. The movie wound down and Dann and Apatrix made their way in.
We sipped on wine, booze, and pop as the night progressed, munching on the various plates as people caught up, got to know each other, or simply just reveled in the act of nodermeeting. Our hosts announced the development of Apatrix 2.0 and there was much revelry. I was the newest noder, ranking in at just over a year. Everyone else was an old pro at this and the flow of conversation between old friends was warm and salty.
It drifted slow into the night and one by one, we all crawled away to drift off to sleep, except eien_meru and dann who chatted on the porch until 7 am.
"London is calling and it's calling us gay." - gwenllian
Saturday brought groggy heads peeking up around 10 am and puttering about. The nodlings were scampering about doing various brickabrack as the Outie filled living room groaned and rolled over, ignoring the evil daystar peeking in through the curtains. The house, outside of the nodlings, awoke one by one and started stumbling about bleary eyed. Wiccanpiper and Briarcub made a run to the local market and returned with a morning basket of sort-of-freshly-baked goodies. Junkill arrived from his friend's place and Brainwave and evadyne wandered over from their place, bringing izubachi. We chatted about what the day held: a trip to the Global Fest at the local college, Purdue, and a visit to Wolf Park.
London called. And it apparently called us gay. I couldn't really tell though as we all crowded around speaker phones and yelled unintelligibly to each other, one side coming in with an accent more fun. It was chaotic, but beautiful and fun.
Vanderwal made a last minute addition and we all rambled out into cars and vyed for parking over at the University. We wandered the mini-globe setup in this little corner of Midwestern America, munching on stuff I couldn't pronounce and looking at things from across the world and BrooksMarlin joined us mid-meal.
There's something odd to be said about the fact that the only time I see the other Chicago Noders is outside of Chicago.
In other news, we got to play with a two-toed sloth and I think we're all better for the experience.
We eventually retired back to our host's place where the boys brought out their toys and I joked around on the piano and the nodlings were nodlings. It was peaceful in it's semi-anti-social, yet still social, chaos.
The wolves that night were powerful and their voices keened lovely. The audienced howled at them and then sat back as the lupine echo rang through the night. gwenllian had wandered off to the land of work, but the rest of us piled in again and headed off into the semi-wild of Wolf Park. The wolves paced back and forth in front of the plump and rather edible looking children, looking cute and as wild as handraised, constantly researcher observed creatures could be. Junkill's Suzi and his friend joined us for this. Night set simply to the howls of the semi-wild.
It all faded again to talking in a circle, a smokey porch, and each person dropping off slowly into the night...
It all itched like old warm memories barely remembered, tasted like words left on the tip of a tongue after a lovers chat, and it all ended too soon.
"Notre Dame's one of those hard schools to get into if only because every Irish kid wants to go to it and Irish Catholics can breed." - evadyne
Sunday broke a little less groggy, but a little more drained (and a tiny bit sad). It'd been a fun weekend, but all good things come to an end. The kids watched cartoons in the den while everyone else got ready for the day and planned out when they'd leave. We all had time to catch a bite though so we trekked our way out to the Route 66 Diner. It was the same tune here as it was all weekend, just a different setting: laughter and mirth sprinkled with random wisdoms.
The rest of the Outies Carvan headed out after this. I was catching a ride with izu back to Chicago and that allowed me to enjoy two more Lafayette pleasures: frozen custard and this awesome little bookshop called Von's. I've come to the conclusion that the natural habitat of the noder species must be a place like Von's. Bookshelves that reach way up and held a variety large that everyone was soon sequestered away to various sections. The place itself was more than just books -- the basement held a comicbook shop and there were two other sections on the main floor: one for beads and decorations, the other for music and dvds. We all left with a little something. I walked away with a small stack of literary criticism.
From there it was Frozen Custard, and then goodbye.
It was a thoughtful ride home and izu was a gracious host, if host can be used in reference to a driver. My second nodermeet was much less a head rush than the last. With my feet on the ground and with the people around me, this was a much calmer and almost subdued feel... It was sipping wine on a porch late at night. It was nestled in a circle chatting silly things or serious things. It was talking about the site we loved and what it was and is and will be.