All right, all right, a disclaimer and a little shove to get the old Everything rumor mill up and running. A housemate of mine, who is also one of my very best friends, has mono. I have yet to be tested but have myself been feeling quite lethargic and yucky for days (have yet to receive official confirmation, however). So to wonko, all of you who monitored my glaring at the webcam or at them, I swear it wasn't on purpose. Yes, I felt like wet rotted cabbage for the majority of my time in Seattle. But nonetheless am glad I went. And the glaring was not on purpose. (Actually this apology does not apply to Chihuahua Grub, who said I looked 67 and death-bound. Fuck him, man, because I was, even if he made my day by calling the party and being silly on the phone with me, which I knew he would.)

The delicious part (think naughty nodeshells, people) is that our gracious host, Mr. Weasel, is just getting over the kissing disease himself. This would be COMPLETELY hilarious if I had seen him at any point between the E2 Portland Tea and the Debauch. But it's kind of hilarious anyway. I would totally make out with weasel IF he would have let Wonko and me burn down the Space Needle, but alas, he did not. I recommended that he resign from his post as dean of setting shit on fire.

I can't quite get over the surreality of noder meets in general. First, unless preceded by lymph (again with the damn mono references), I rarely use the word "node" in spoken conversation. It still sounds weird to me when spoken aloud, as do words like "XP" and "monkey, monkey, monkey, William Shatner." (Which we played on the grass at the Seattle Center, for a short time joined by a random mulleted blonde man and two lovely girls. I never imagined, when I created my E2 account a year and a half ago, that moJoe would one day say, in reference to me, "That's not fair! She's not running, she's frolicking!" or something to that effect.)

It always feels like starting over to me. You might be awestruck at a particular person's nodes and /msg or e-mail them often and warmly, but find little to break the ice (ha ha ha) when you track him or her down at the proverbial punch bowl. It's not even the matter of reconciling or noder personae with our real-life identities. Even with mono I'm just as much a smartass in person as I am in the catbox. It's just that, with two computers running IRC and Java chatterbox, I discovered I'm still BETTER at it when I have to type instead of talking to strangers. And I can't help but think what Ann Landers would say about that.

That said, some random observations:

achan and flamingweasel for some reason shock me with the depth of their voices, though I'd heard both their voices before. achan won't mind me saying (because I will buy him cookies if he does) that his voice is almost low enough to make him evil. He isn't. He's just shifty and untrustworthy. I wonder if they let him back into Canada. (I have no doubts that P_I got home quite safely, but I won't say why.)

I saw them juggle fire! But that's been said already.

Monorail contains the word "mono." That was the bad joke I could not stop making.

I meant to talk to all of you lots more, I really did. I will get my breath back shortly.

I hate escalators and heights sometimes. But then I said, Christen, you are holding the hands of two very fine people, this is no time to fret. And I didn't.

And God is finished with all us gruesome little noders became me hammering my thumb and breaking my jumprope and hating my kids with their balloons. I am full of diseases spread by dirty books but nonetheless came out ahead and (quietly, glaringly) happy. I owe you all a stack of pancakes and a six pack of beer.