New Orleans Recapped: A five chapter recollection.
Writer's Note: I am doing my best to recall the events that occured during the timeframe of October 26, 2001 to October 30, 2001. Some details may be sketchy, at best, and any resemblence to fictional characters or storylines is purely incindental. No purchase necessary. Redeem at local cafe for one (1) free cup-o-joe. Offer not valid to family and normal attendees of cafe coco. Not available in all areas, void where prohibited by law.
Chapter One - The Ride Down OR Evil lies beneath.
Dateline - October 26th, 2001 - NightShadow arrives at la casa de toastido, and promptly passes out. I stay up and play with everything on my computer until about 6am. NightShadow then awakens, and we decide to get the show on the road.
I've personally never been to a McDonalds before dawn, so this is new experience number one for this trip. Let's just say that the Steak and Egg Crossant at McDonalds is one HELL of a breakfast sandwich. We consume our breakfast in an astoundingly fast manner. NightShadow forgot his zippo, must turn around and go home. grr.
NightShadow recovers his zippo. I review the directions on my cellphone. My car stutters, and off we go.
Fortunately, we left way before Nashville Rush Hour on a Friday, so things were going smoothly. NightShadow promptly passes out in the passenger seat. The time is now 7:15am.
The drive down is beautiful. All of the trees have began turning colors, and leaves are blowing across the road. I have my window cracked, allowing the satisfying cool breeze to encompass me. Sunlight. Ick.
Welcome to Alabama. More road, less fuel, NightShadow wakes up and falls back asleep quite often. After watching for that I-20/I-59 branch from I-65, I resume mindless open-road driving for the next 4 hours. Eventually, we actually reach I-59.
Welcome to Louisiana Jay is now awake again, and we reach I-10. The most interesting maneuver I have ever pulled in my little Dodge Neon occurs at this split. I was able to merge back left after following faulty directions on my phone to merge right, and avoid a collision with fate by about 6 inches on both sides.
"Follow I-10 to exit 234, merge right onto ramp." Sounds easy enough, right? After exiting the interstate, we find ourselves lost in a vast array of maniacal drivers, and one way streets. After translating the beautiful coloration of the english language into viable directions, we made our way to Suzy and Brian's place.
"toastido and NightShadow."
We get inside, are greeted by m_turner, BAR, and Indra363, and I immediately find the bed and fall asleep for the next 3 hours.
I am awakened to chattering in the next room. It's Brian and Laura. I stand up, and walk out of the room, stretching and grabbing for a cigarette.
"Hi, I'm Josh, and you are?"
"Laura, nice to meet you."
"Likewise. Hey, I thought you were a guy."
Giggles ensue. m_turner and myself hop into Laura's red car, and head back to her apartment.
Upon arrival at Laura's apartment, I find myself introduced to Angel, Ken, Dann, and Sauth. We chat for a good bit, and then, out of nowhere, the noder caravan containing both the rest of the Wonkoalition and the Columbus Posse pour in, make greetings, and immediately start battling robots and playing with legos. Then, as quickly as they arrived, they all departed to go rape and pillage in the French Quarter.
I stay with Templeton. We chat, smoke, and joke around. A copule hours later, the entire posse returns from food, drink, and other fun. Shortly after, Medieval arrives, bushed from the drive.
After an hour or so of random conversation, everyone departs to their respective sleeping quarters.
After getting back to aphexious' place, I hit up E2, then fall asleep.
I wake up on the floor, in a sleeping bag. Get up. Shower. (Note: aphexious' shower is NOT meant for anyone taller than 3 feet tall). Get Dressed. Ken arrives to pick us up to head over to NOLA Noder Gathering HQ.
"Yea, I'm going to the Voodoo music fest. So is Jay."
I'm cast a dirty look by Jay, who's gastritis is killing him already. How was I to know that a little music and fun wouldn't get his mind off his stomach? We hop into Carson's car, and ride down to the park. After finally finding what looked like a good place to be dropped off, a New Orleans Police Officer begins to yell at Carson as we are starting to get out. I re-close my door. NightShadow is almost killed. Twice. It's all in good fun, no harm done, no feelings hurt. We stand in line for the Festival for roughly an eternity. Once we get to the gate, We're scanned for metals, and weapons. Jay loses a miniature swiss army knife. I'm scanned, and hand my coat to the coat searcher guy. He feels my pockets where I'm stashing my CD's and smokes, and asks me what's in my pockets.
"CD's," I respond.
"Good answer. Have fun."
He didn't even confirm it. I guess the acronym NoPD really does mean NO PD. We all head to the main stage, in search of Templeton, oenone, m_turner, and Jurph. We find no sign of them. Indra363 even walked around for a good half hour looking for them. NightShadow, unfortunately, had to go because of the bass pounding on his stomach, and Indra joined him. I'm sorry you guys missed a wonderful evening of music. I sat with Apatrix and we sipped on Alcoholic piss water. I then thought up the idea of actually CALLING to see where they were. m_turner and his hat are God's gift to a crowd. As soon as we met up with them, though, Templeton and m_turner left. Apatrix and I stayed with oenone, and watched Better than Ezra, Bush, and Tool. All in all, wonderful shows. Tool, however, rocked my socks off.
After the show was over, someone didn't think when they decided that a 6-foot wide bridge would help clear out 30,000 people effectively. We saw the guy in the tree at Voodoo Fest. We waited, and waited, and waited. My phone rang.
"Toastido. It's panamaus. Where are you?"
"Oh hey, we're still waiting to cross the bridge. Where are you?"
"Under the I-10 overpass.
"Cool. I'll call ya when we get outside the gates."
Little did I know, this was nowhere in the future. He called back. We met by the overpass about 45 minutes later. Jurph was there. We decided that we could either try to hitch a ride, call a cab, or walk back. We started out walking. Jurph and his friend Jason are good with direction, as well as ideas along the way of how to get the Cops to give us rides back if they thought we were wielding a bong. Finally, we were able to snag a cab for four bucks a head. Thank you again for spotting me fare, J.R.!
The Taxi was clean. It also sported Bob Marley over the sound system. It was a very surreal taxi ride. We got back to templetons, and I was ready to pass out, but managed to stay awake, chat with Templeton, m_turner, and oenone about the show. The party gang showed up again, and left again. Apatrix, myself, and m_turner decided we should get back home. We walked with Apatrix down to Canal St., and finished our journey back to the Lower Garden District. A total of 32 blocks (more if you count the wrong turns) for m_turner and I.
Chapter Three - Sunday Brunch OR Good Lord that's a lot of money!
We head over to Templeton's in my little red bitch, which is now squealing at the agony of the streets. We arrive with no problem, and all head out for brunch at The Court of Two Sisters. I don't think I've ever paid $27 for as little food as I had. I know it sounds cliché, but any meal is better with noders and cheddar. The money was well worth the time we spent together in that restaurant. Many Pictures were taken. Many Stories were told. Many hugs were passed, nipples licked, and cards signed. I'm not sure exactly who got the 3 piece band to do Happy Birthday for me, but to you I want to thank for that ungratified sign of love and friendship. I really do appreciate it.
After brunch, I really don't remember much of what happened, except later that evening, Jurph, Jason, Apatrix, brassmule, and a couple others including myself, went to the Clover Grill. I watched Jurph attempt to kill a drunken gay bicyclist. It was good food, good friends, and the end of me for the evening.
Chapter Four - Day of Exploration OR Noder Hangover Part One
It was early. Well, Not exactly. Discofever arrived with Jurph and Jason, and snagged NightShadow and myself for a day of sightseeing. First was the Tree Of Life. This tree had to have been several hundred years old. It was a beautiful sight of power and a symbol of lasting life. We played in the Rope Swing. I tried to climb the Rope Swing. I burned my left hand on the rope. We hung around for about an hour, said our final goodbye for now's to Jurph and Jason, and headed out. NightShadow and I had brought our pool cues and wanted to play, so disco took us to Behind the 8-Ball club.
We get in, I grab an Abita (which, If I do say so, is one EXCELLENT local brew.), and begin to play. After finally finding a decent table, we realize that Discofever is a worthy opponent. After 3 hours of gameplay, we head to a little greasy spoon and have dinner. The food is cheap, and excellent. After dinner, we exchange stories of our experience this weekend, and head back to Suzy and Brian's.
It's 9:45. I decide to go online and play on E2 for a bit. I joined edev, and began checking out the inner workings of my favorite website. This goes on for hours, so I will not bore thee with details.
Around 2:30 or so, I get the munchies. I go on a nice peaceful walk down to the Walgreens, pick up some milk, oreos, and breath strips. Upon getting back, I see that aphexious and BAR just got in, and we all chat it up for a bit. Shortly after, I pass out.
Chapter Five - Time to Leave OR Thank you all!!
I woke up around 2pm or so. NightShadow is awake, packed, and ready. I shower, get dressed, grab NightShadow, and head to the A&P. I wanted to get a thank-you gift for not only our hosts for crashspace, but also for Templeton, the host of the entire event. I grab two bottles of fairly nice wine, and we head back over. We had a glass with Suzy and Brian, I packed the rest of my stuff into my car. We said bye to Suzy and Brian, and headed to Laura's to return the sleeping bag she so graciously let me use for the weekend, and give her my thank you. Suprisingly, we caught her at home. We chatted it up for a bit, exchanged hugs, and headed back for the road.
After the downtown tour of the I-10 Entrance ramps, we got on I-10 East, and headed out. The drive back was much more peaceful than the one in, and the I-10 bridge over the inlet was lit up beautifuly with the almost full moon. NightShadow slept, because, well, apparently NightShadow sleeps during roadtrips. I drove, and got us back, less about 2 hours of travel time. We got back to cafe coco, chatted with a few of the regulars, and headed home.
I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who helped make this experience one that I will not forget as long as I live. (barring any memory disorder) YouoenoneallByzantinerock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I Can't wait for the Mardi Gras Gathering that aphexious has mentioned plans of.. *snicker*