American Beauty was playing on CineMax and although I've seen it a dozen times or so already, I still find it difficult to get up when I'm watching it; and so I'm constantly looking at the time also - 3:10 - well - there's still time...

Jane: I'm serious, though. How could he not be
damaging me? I need a father who's a role
model, not some horny geek-boy who's gonna
spray his shorts whenever I bring a girlfriend
home from school....

3:20 ... need to locate the place too ... hmmm .. okay - 10 more minutes.

Lester:(V.O.) Remember those posters that said,
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"?
Well, that's true of every day except one.
(a beat)
The day you die.

3:35 ... I better start; it better be worth it.

Now El Camino has some strange attributes as m_turner pointed in his w/u; for once, almost all major streets change their names when they intersect it; so you need to read both ways when you are approaching an intersection; then it divides into El Camino Way and El Camino Real at a point and you find yourselves wondering if you actually want to go to the 'Way' or 'Real'. And the numbering - you'd see 800 El Camino on your right and 2900 on your left, and you could be following increasing addresses when all of a sudden it starts decreasing. Its funny - except when you've just interrupted your watching of American Beauty (right before the Angela and Lester scene) and are locating the bowling alley in Palo Alto no less1.

And the external appearance of the Bowling Alley was no consolation either. One of those places that make you lock your car twice and check that the windows are closed airtight and to the top; make you check your wallet sleeping deep in the front pocket; and you remind yourselves to kiss the ground if you make it back alive.

Not many cars were parked outside and when I walked in; not many people were waiting for other people; I approached the desk wondering what to ask? "Hi - I'm here for Everything2 noders meeting"?? Ummm, no - "Hi! I'm a noder. Someone waiting for me?"? Sheesh - that's pure silly. "Hi ! I'm here for the NoCal Super Layoff Unemployment Collecting BBQ Moonlit Bowling Noder Meet" - Yeah - he he - that should do the trick.

Still I found myself uttering - "Hi ! Ummm; I'm supposed to meet a group here; ummm for Everything; well - is there a group here for meeting at 4:00, umm, well, with the name factgirl.. he he ... you have no idea what I'm talking about do you?"; The attendant being the extra nice person he was saved his laughter and told me that there's another person waiting before me and facty would be late. 'Oh okay so its happening', I think to myself - alright. I look at the person who has arrived before me and its m_turner with his hat and Crypto T-shirt. I approach and introduce myself; and lo and behold - the gathering has started !! Well 2 out of 15 ain't that bad to start with really.

We were soon joined by R-O-Boroussss, bind-ull-neeks and khynmachoor - ah well the noder names; Note to self - carry some unused floppy disk stickers next time. We need name tags.

Trivia: Ouroboros was by far the only one in proper attire - the everything2 T-shirt.

And then there was steev and facty, and lostandfound and misuba and cipher and conform and then there was bowling. I wish I sucked a little more at it and could atleast get the E2 West Coast Bowling Trophy (the one that Khym got - the lowest score one). I was almost there. Damn !!

Trivia: khym chanur was pretty amused and interested in T-shirt statements. He discussed analyzed and emperically concluded the statements m_turner's and steeve's t-shirts were making.

Akaska didn't turn up till late; but did afterall turn up; with the ever welcome Digital Camera in hands; a Cheesecake in her car's trunk; a cool black shade with a little glittering heart on its left glass, and the Europeans!! I'm not sure but I think Khym discussed their T-shirts at length with them to keep them amused :)

After an hour++ (the attendants were very nice that way, they didn't gripe or charge for the extra time ... but wait - maybe it was because they could see facty's bra all this time :) of bowling; misuba laid his foot down and said its like a law or something to eat all American food after bowling so the Thai place next door was way out of question. And when misuba puts his foot down, one better not refuse, for the fear that the next time, misuba's foot will land on one's own.

Sadly, in our effort to disperse and recollect at University avenue and El Camino Real as pedestrains, (which, BTW, is another curiously funny configuration of roads) we lost steev.

Our original intended destination was clogged with people; so lostandfound found us another one; with the waitress at reception strikingly similar in looks and skin shade to Salma Hayek (well - maybe its just me - but she was HOT!!).

(r) 2001.08.27 Ouroboros says the hostess was definately hot! and her short leather skirt should have been illegal

Soon after we settled down, m_turner, misuba and ouroboros started playing this game with pyramidal hollow plastic thingies. I've never felt as stupid before in my life as while watching these guys play. No, not even when I was caught counting the number of bones in my body to answer a biology question in school. It was like that 3 dimentional chess from star trek or something.

And there were intellectually stimulating discussions all around the table; from layoff stories to Cool rules; to American Indian ownership laws to enhancing E2 for mobile device support to 'can an object be called a work of art, if it can also be used to clean kitchen floor' (okay - nah - I made the last one up, but you get the idea alright). If there was any non-noder sitting with us at this time, (s)he would either run straight after the meeting to his/her computer and spend rest of the night at E2; or (s)he would run with hands on ear screaming at top of his/her voice right now)

The day ended with Akasha forcing her Cheesecake down everone's throat along with the gas fumes. ("Mmmmm, Cheesecake and the gas fumes, Mmmm", Akasha remarked at one point. I suspect it was all preplanned). Also, lostandfound had found everyone a bunch of dying flying baloons and Everyone had fun kicking that thing around. "This is more fun than kicking a can", Ouroboros remarked at a point; everyone agreed.

Trivia Observation: lostandfound is good at finding things.

I walk back towards my car with misuba, cipher and conform. We shake hands and go our ways; it's been a nice evening and it was every penny worth missing American Beauty; (specially when you own it on DVD anyways.)

LESTER (V.O.) (amused)

You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure.
But don't worry...


LESTER (V.O.) (cont'd)

You will someday.


1> You see; since the time I moved to Bay Area and was first introduced to East Palo Alto (a coworker told me it was the murder capital of USA not long time back) I have this unfounded but deep seated fear for anything called Palo Alto; why we have this extra powerful lab server everyone logs on to do the daily builds called PaloAlto - me - I don't even ping it.