Apocalypso NOW! SoCal Noder Gathering XP 2002 Professional Edition

Perhaps you've read my awesome node about the noder gathering?

Node Elves in Attendance

  1. Akasha
  2. Kenata
  3. C-dawg
  4. Fuzzy and blue
  5. Jasonm
  6. Paladinz
  7. Wolfdaddy
  8. Quizro
  9. Chras4
  10. Exceptinsects
  11. Kefabi
  12. AElien
  13. Eraser_
  14. Ocelotbob
  15. Panamaus
  16. Ouroboros
  17. Bindlenix
  18. Jongleur
  19. Misuba
  20. Factgirl
  21. SEF
  22. Roninspoon
  23. Sparkleface
  24. Conformyou didn't sign the rollsheet, motherfucker
  25. riverrun

We can all thank my indispensable majordomo, Akasha for both this and the name tags. Since I've removed the fiber and fluid evidence, and carefully scrubbed the gunshot residue from my hands, there would otherwise be no evidence that the gathering had ever occurred. It was all a dream. A wonderful wonderful dream. Other than the vomit.

So here's the deal - when people from the internet suddenly materialize in your living room IT IS A FUCKED UP DISPLACEMENT IN WHICH WORLDS COLLIDE. This is only half a joke. The superimposition of one world, mostly textual in its instantiation, over my very three-dee everyday living space created a kind of reality shear that took me a couple of hours to get over. It's one thing to get on a train and go to San Diego and meet the people there. Then San Diego becomes Internetland, which is like the commercial version of Everything, KS. But to kind of see the those spheres overlap, even if only for a while... it's something.It was like the thing with the children's book where the animals in the book come to life and dance around your room. Except that these animals brought me food.

I mean, honestly, have you thought about this? People were climbing on planes and showing up in my living room. People were getting in cars from other cities and driving towards my crazy house in scenic Echo Park. I'm still trying to formulate what this means. It's kind of like meeting your pen-pal, kind of like having a library of books that you can converse with. Suddenly, it's like the ultimate bandwidth party. No typing! No wacking the return key! You can see, hear, feel, and EVEN SMELL noders in real time. It there's one thing I hate, it's downloading smells because my nose-x only has serial i/o and it's write speed sucks.

Yr a generous bunch of people. You brought food, slipped me green (of various sorts), bought booze, and basically did the cooking. You cleaned up after yourselves. I came down into the downstairs the next morning and the place was basically clean. Which is more than I can say for my asshole LA real-life friends. Hollywood motherfuckers.

So in my node, if you've read it, what I tried to do was capture like, the essence of these worlds coming together. See I was going to major in physics, where I was going to do some awesomely groundbreaking work in parallel universes and about how these different worlds all exist within a bulk bag of cornflakes? But I was so advanced that the other kids were a drag and they asked me the leave, so what I did was take me notes and stuff and I turned them into this novel which is the first novel written in black and white. Now what I mean by that is not only is the actual text in black and the paper in white, which isn't all that unusual, but where I actually use eight-bit color tags around the prose the describe the various greyscale shades of stuff in the story, like the exact shade of clove cigarette smoke. The novel, which I haven't totally finished, is about these atheists from a computer dimension that try and convince people to turn away from God by giving you these BLANK BOOKS that have small writing to confuse you and by baking pumpkin bread, and the trick is that the bread seems like cake, but is actually bread, and they try and get you to eat that instead of the Eucharist. One of the pieces of bread has a plastic baby jesus in it that has a monomolecular knife for a hand, and you can use it to open a gateway that will suck up the computer atheists. But the deadly radiation from the gateway and the caffeine syrup and marzipan that you had to consume to make the knife work makes you puke, over and over and over, and you die, but it's really just crossing over into the Savior's loving arms because you saved Southern California from the Computer Atheists. NOBODY in my class got it, especially the 8-bit color code, but not everyone is as advanced as I am.

I rarely indulge in this sort of node, believing that they are mostly self serving and of real import only to those that attended the function. They're kinda like those paragraphs that everyone signed into the back of your high school yearbook.

You're the greatest!
All the best.
cke49 for kt!

San Dimas High School Football Rules!!
Fantastic cats run purple races. Hah hah.

Dude, I'll never forget that time
you snuck into "you know where."

Who the hell is cke49?! What in gods name are these people talking about? I didn't even go to San Dimas high. In less time than it takes a presidential intern to capitalize on her promiscuous pandering and turn the embarrassment of a nation into a book deal and fancy line of berets, your yearbook will be nothing more than a confusing jumble of half forgotten memories.

Noder gatherings and the subsequent after math nodes are the same way. On one hand they are valuable to every attendee and hold precious memories that may be forgotten with time. On the other hand, nobody else really cares much. They don't understand the little in jokes you may make reference to. And let's be honest, most of us were too drunk or stoned to remember with any real accuracy what happened. Those of you who weren't drunk, are likely liars.

So, there are both pro's and con's to this sort of node, and while I don't think they have much merit, I would hardly attempt to prevent others from reveling in these sort of Way Back Machine trips. Additionally, it would appear that I have decided to write one myself. So much for my high and mighty soapbox preaching, the temptation was simply too much for me.

Unfortunately I am terrible with names. Although name tags were used at the violent persistence of Akasha, there was little in the way of standardized notation, and lets be frank, some peoples handwriting is, well... less than decipherable. Also I had been drinking. Consequently, if I have forgotten to name you, misnamed you, or you believe you did or said something especially witty or notable that I have not mentioned, it's nothing personal. Get over it.

Our host, Igloowhite, was energetic and kind. The cats pad is rad. It was tough finding parking on a street that reminded me of a 19th century Italian cabbies nightmare, but once completed my skills as a parallel parker were validated. Igloowhite had an amusing story for practically every topic. He delivers them with a sense of timing equaled only by Bob Newhart and at at volumes that would warm the heart of R. Lee Ermey. If all that wasn't enough to push Usama off the cover of Time, he has the patience of a Buddhist assassin.

Quizro was cool, but then, he always is.

I knew riverrun was a great guy, but I didn't know how nice and personable he was when not being bathed by the warming radiation of a computer monitor. The breadth of his experience only lends weight to his words. When he spoke, he spoke as an authority and the room was virtually silent until he finished. It was like sitting in on a Socratic dialogue, all we needed were togas, olive wreaths and a penchant for discus throwers. But I digress and possibly embarrass both of us with my reverence.

Panamaus is quiet. His ways are subtle. His countenance may be one of humble smiles and pleasant jokes but underneath this facade is a killer bubbling to escape. Don't cross Maus, he's the kinda guy that'll wait underneath your car in the parking garage for hours, waiting for the opportunity to slash at your Achilles tendon with a shiv he fashioned from the coiled spring of a toilet paper holder. No Joke.

Conform, I had no idea who you were. I had never read anything you wrote. That has changed. You proved to be witty, articulate and well informed.

SEF is a fine lady and pretty much what I expected from a person who's brother builds houses out of hay bales. No, really. I enjoyed what time we spent together talking and only wished that I had been more attentive. I do thank her for taking the time to engage my terribly bored girlfriend in conversation.

Akasha, once provided with enough sugar, made pumpkin bread (not cake), that was tasty and nourishing. She even laughed once or twice at some of my jokes, although most of them seemed to either frighten or confuse her.

Misuba, bindlenix and Ouroboros were as always, a joy to see. I count them all as my friends. Bring on the bullets, I'll take em all for ya.

Factgirl and sparkleface, what can be said of them that hasn't already been spoken? Vivacious and tantalizing international spies posing as mothers and expert phrenologists. They are sultry, but deadly.

Some guy juggled

Fuzzy and blue revealed herself to be a mechanical transcribing machine with a heart of zinc.

Eraser_ sat quietly and his behavior has since convinced me that he is a dangerous insurrectionist. I believe he may have hit on my girlfriend as well. I have reported him to the governor of Pennsylvania for both.

PaladinZ, dude, eat some meat. You are way too skinny. Hit the carbs man.

I saw WolfDaddy standing on the porch. I don't think we shared one word the entire night. My bad man. I do know the dog drank wine out of the goblet you left on the deck. We told you that didn't we?

The rest of you were cool too, please refer to paragraph eight.

So, you see. There was some insightful and revealing information about noders included here. There was also some inside information that likely makes no sense. That's the way these things go though.

Pics can be found at Http://jedi.nevada.edu/e2/la

d00d. This node will undergo corrections when I learn to spell correctly. I'm sure half your handles are incorrect.

When I told my roommates where I was going on Saturday (they are familiar with E2), one of them said, "You do realize that this is an elaborate lure to rape you, right?" Well, the way I figured it, if you guys are going to node a million things just to rape me, well... I'm flattered and really would like to be raped by you.

So I got up, feeling like shit, popped a couple of Tylenols and took an 80-minute drive to Igloowhite's house. I was supposed to be clearing my head on the drive, but it ended up more of me asking several Hispanic gentlemen, "Excuse me, where can I find _____ Blvd?" They looked at me in askance and I repeated, "_____ Blvd?" No clue. I spontaneously forgot every ounce of the four years of Spanish I had taken in high school. Anyway, I got there and was immediately humped by Igloo's dogs, Saxon and... ah, dammit, I forgot the other one's name. It was a shaggy black dog of medium size.

Ah, my stunning prose. You can picture it all in your head, can't you? Why was I gifted with such eloquence?


I met Quizro, JasonM, Kenata, and SEF. SEF was meeting other noders for lunch (something I still don't quite understand) so she left after telling me I looked exactly like she thought I would. I thought, "Oh my god, did I put on the bullet-hole-infested straitjacket again?" It turns out I didn't. So I have no idea what she meant.

Later on, WolfDaddy and C-Dawg showed up, representing Santa Barbara like two, pardon the French, badass motherfuckers. Akasha woke up. I asked if any noders were hiding around back inside. I was told they weren't, so that made me feel all the more paranoid. Chras4 and her husband showed up, bringing with them all the alcohol an underage drinker like me could want. Things started getting blurry then (not due to the alcohol, dammit).

I'm probably messing up the order of the arrivals now, but I'll try anyway. Eraser_ showed up, after being delayed in an I-10 traffic jam. RoninSpoon + SO arrived, sporting an EDB t-shirt that was apparently on sale in the last month.*

* RoninSpoon was wearing the t-shirt, not his significant other. I mean, she was wearing a t-shirt too! Just not the EDB one. I'd have loved to go to a party where random women weren't wearing clothing.

Umm, let's see... fuzzy and blue and her friend, who I believe has noded a little or is at least familiar with E2, arrived. Her friend could juggle like a motherfucker. I have no idea what "juggling like a motherfucker" really means, but it sounds like the right thing to say. SEF and party finally came back. The party was Ourboros, conform, and bindlenix. (I can't remember if there was anyone else). Fellow UCLA bruin exceptinsects paid us a visit. Ælien and his friend (whose handle I can't think of) came. Igloowhite, Quizro, and Akasha brought back tamales. They were good. Akasha, I think, went for some All Spice for the pumpkin bread she was baking. For some reason, I thought she had gone to get Old Spice. I don't know why.

Misuba showed up sometime in the middle. Ocelotbob brought Panamaus. Factgirl showed up and Sparkleface came a little later. Riverrun came much later in the night so I barely had a chance to introduce myself before I left (and I assure you, it was entirely my loss). So, enough about the boring details. You know the rest of the routine - we got drunk, talked, and realized we're all too much like each other. Yeah, we even discussed median node-fu. So...

Private Messages Made Public (and some Impressions):

  • Igloowhite: you rule, man. Your house is like... awesome. d00d! It was so nice that I don't think I could ever sleep in it. Really. That and the fact that all that wood in there makes me feel like I'm on a pirate ship about to capsize because here comes a large wave... AAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAH! Thanks for inviting us over, Igloo. It was a real pleasure to meet you - you are as urbane and witty as your nodes (take THAT as you will ;-)!
  • SEF: you remind me too much of my mom. Knock it off! And what's with all this wisdom? It was great meeting you finally. I hope you don't miss LA too much. If you want, I can package some air smog and mail it to you.
  • Wolfdaddy: you have a great sense of humor. I wish I am as comfortable with who I am as you are with yourself. I'm glad I got to meet you.
  • C-Dawg: you're very quiet. It scares me. It's like you're the dark lord planning bitter, bitter revenge on every one of us. I like the way you think! SB represent!
  • Quizro: ah, yes, the man who thought I was of an entirely different racial makeup. That's beautiful. Quizro, you've got an awesome sense of humor. And then there are your profound thoughts. Why don't women whip out their boobies in the chatterbox? I'm going to write my thesis on that. What's that? Computer science major? HA! I'll write one, dammit!
  • Ælien and friend: didn't get to talk to you guys much since you looked so much cooler than me and I was intimidated. I don't see either of you in the catbox much so I'll be sure to go on IRC more often and keep up with some noders I don't know so well.
  • Chras4: you remind me of my mom too. I'll do my homework - I promise! I already did tomorrow's assignments before I started work on this, see? I didn't realize you just had your birthday, so a belated happy birthday. =)
  • JasonM: you're a very careful person. From talking with you, I know you have a lot of great ideas about the site, so maybe you should talk to someone high up about them. I think some of them would be great.
  • Roninspoon: dude, you scared the hell outta me. With that leather jacket and all, I expected you to be this big bad pro wrestler who was gonna piledrive me on the I-5. Yes, I'm too skinny. I know. Don't tell me to eat meat - I'm vegetarian. (Not that I care anymore, but my body just isn't used to it so I can't just start eating it.)
  • Exceptinsects: you're a UCLA Bruin. You, by definition, rock.
  • Eraser_: aaah! You're way quiet, but in a sneaky Mr. Burns kind-of way. I think you and C-Dawg were up to something. That's okay; I know where you live. I know where ALL of you live!
  • Ourboros: thanks a lot for the cards. I haven't read much of your work but I've been looking it up and I've been finding that you write just as well as you talk. I'm very glad to have met you - maybe I'll visit your friend's game store in the Bay Area when I come by next time.
  • Misuba: the king of Icehouse. Bow to him. Revel in his glory. REVEL, DAMMIT! REVEL IN IT, I SAY!
  • Bindelenix: one of those people I wish I could've talked to more (well, that is basically everybody). She has the most interesting handle origin I can think of. /me adds her to a list of people to look up and talk to online.
  • Conform: see above. He talked about E2 and the XP system which was way cool. He knows what he's doing so if anyone is looking to promote dudes in edev, there's one. End plug. Where's my crack, dude?
  • Sparkleface: unfortunately, I don't think I introduced myself to her. So... uhh, hi. I'm really sorry about that... I have that problem around girls. Especially pretty ones. =) (I'm hoping that helps me avoid getting a bad place in her writeup.)
  • Factgirl: you seem like a very very genuine person. In most cases, that's a bad thing, but not in yours. Say hi to me if you ever see me in the catbox or IRC; I'd love to get to know you better. And I'll remember what you said about nodevertising in IRC ;-)
  • Fuzzy and blue and friend: first of all, your handwriting is just SICK, fuzzy. SICK. Second, you ALSO remind me of my mom. No, I don't have an Oedipal complex. Really. You are the proud owner of the best line of the gathering - "Templeton's NOT Baby Jesus!" Your friend (I remember his real name, so... Peter) has mad juggling skillz! He should work in Vegas. Screw that whole computer science and math thing.
  • Panamaus: I didn't even directly talk to him until near the end. But I did listen a lot and you're a very cool dude... uhh, d00d. I'm kind of running out of words with which to describe everyone, without going back to the same terms. I'm no Igloowhite of prose, but anyone who has enough love of the E2 community to fly down from Florida is more than all right, in my opinion.
  • Ocelotbob: nice "RMU" ;-) Explain to me again why we didn't follow Spackle's instructions and blow the joint up?
  • Akasha: you have baked the best pumpkin bread I have ever eaten. Ever. Yes, I've only eaten one. But it was damn good. Good luck with your new major. Send me some links of your work!
  • Riverrun: I just had time to say hi to you before I left. My apologies - I have heard a lot of great stuff about you and I have had the pleasure of reading some of your nodes and they were, quite simply, amazing. I have 3 monkeys and 2 typewriters (one I stole from Igloo's house). Could you /msg me and tell me how many years it would be before they can replicate your work by typing randomly? That's the only way I'm getting that good, by using them.

"So, d00d, did you get raped?"
"How was it?"
"Best raping I've ever had."
"Can I go next time?"
"Sure, but I call shotgun on any furry animals in there."

Okay, first off, SEF did not say in so many words that Everything2 is phallocentric. What she said was something along the lines of its hierarchical structure and the system of rewards and punishments via the mechanism of voting are characteristic of the male mindset, and that many women participants find these elements confusing or alienating.

It was so worth it just to hear igloowhite switch on his baffled redneck voice and complain that he couldn't find the penis he keeps hearing is so "centric" to E2.

Second, Ælien neither "disputed" nor "debated" with me over one of my nodes. He merely /msg'd me to share his thoughts on it, along with reasons why he could not accept certain propositions therein.

Third: my pokerfaced assertions that I hate all Irish people, that I invented the compass, or that it's all I can do to keep from beating the shit out of Roninspoon at any given moment are attempts at humor. When I explain these remarks by saying "I lie constantly," that's an attempt at humor too -- one that only really works with people who know me well enough to be aware that I in fact do NOT lie all the time. I ask that you all, and particularly Chras4, accept these statements as my gift of laughter to you, however ill-conceived, and not as an attempt to confuse or frighten.

I'll let everyone else tell you what a great time we had, and limit my observations to three events that impressed me deeply:

  • Akasha, after driving all the way down from Silicon Valley, spent almost the entire night baking for us.
  • When an attendee became violently ill for a very long period of time, jasonm quietly excused himself from the fun and revelry in order to remain nearby and make sure he'd be okay.
  • Later that evening I witnessed our host igloowhite defending the honor of a lady with such deadly seriousness I thought it would be pistols at twenty paces if satsfaction was not given.

Selena, Jason, Steve: you guys are solid.

And yes, for some reason I was sure that PaladinZ was black. When I heard he'd arrived and saw a slim young man of Indian extraction walk in, I wondered "Hey, who's the Indian guy who showed up with PaladinZ?" I'm not alone in being confused, though: in a very Mothman Prophecies-like conversation, Eraser said that I called him on his cell phone a few weeks ago, identified myself AS QUIZRO, and hung up in mid-message -- a call I never made. Either strange forces are at work among us, or we've all been sitting in front of computer screens for waaaay too long.

So many impressions. So many moments. So many folks. Could I paint feelings? Fleeting images? Shall I try? Think Monet.

Beautiful wood floors, *click, click* of the heels as I pass from here to there. Warm redwood walls. Each window different, yet clear and open, Come, look! What do you see?, each door jam settled in it's place. Each owning it's own space. Inviting, friendly home. Scent of old house, coffee and pumpkin bread. mmmmm. I like this place. It spoke to me. Stay a while, come listen to some stories, so I did.

The stars fell down upon the hills of Elay for a time. The steady hum of traffic gave way to the warm laughter of new found friends. Arms, hands, and smiles followed by squeezes, presses, and sparkles.

I know you. Do you know me?

Intelligent articulate voices wrapping around the outside winding their way into and through me. Five conversations at once. I felt like the tuner knob searching to hone in on first one then another unable to decide which station to listen to first. Buzzing merriment in between.

Do I want reggae? Jazz? no, no old time rock and roll? or what about...

I wanted them all at the same time. It was being set loose in a candy store at age five. Go pick out ONE and you can have it. Pick? I gotta pick? Yeah, right. I snuck in as many as I could, flitting from here to there, tasting this and then that. I'll take one to whatever you're saying. Can this be packaged into an everlasting Gobstopper? Yum.

Translucent, multicolored triangles glowing, capturing the light, bending it, changing it, making it softer, then passing it back out to those gathered round. Luminescent legumes lined up amongst glittering snow drops. Glimmering bubbles suspended in space and time. Shimmering halo dancing about the moon. This was your aura seeping into me.

Do you know how precious you are? Do you? Well you are.

Bright eyes took in the sights. I wonder what they saw? He is like me circling around the edges, gathering ... something. Blue, they were blue. and busy. and smiling. Teddy bear hugs are warm and strong and no holds barred full of feeling. Touch is a powerful conduit of emotion. Damn, this one smells good. Keep your eye on him. If you drop your attention for one second, you are lost. Attentive gentleman, yes he was. I noticed this. I want a cookie from him. I think I should be concerned about my kid going through the same highschool as these two. Strangely enough, I'm not. This one did not bite, not even a nibble. He would have tasted vanilla. This one overwhelmed me a bit with his sharp humor. He was almost too bright to see. I watched beneath hooded eyes from afar. So many smart people! My brain was humming, trying to grasp concepts. Did you hear it?

Inquisitive, investigative, intelligent, seductive, tell me all your secrets eyes. Her script puts a typewriter to shame. If I could write like that, so precise, so clear, so neat, Borders wouldn't sell so many journals... He can handle more balls than I, that much is apparent. And..he does so with panache. Cool confidence personified. Epitome of a with it mom totally not concerned about the party the kids were throwing back home that she would never find out about. She's got attitude. If you missed her pumpkin bread, you were gypped.

This one is warm coffee, sweet and creamy. This one felt like a carousel ride. Did you see the lights in her eyes and hear the music in her voice? Were you close enough to catch it? What about the glitter of this one? Snowflakes under moonlight. Subtle humor, quiet laughter, a summer's breeze, simply light and refreshing.

Very well-spoken, very intelligent, piercing eyes. Sharp dude. My money would have been on that one if it had come down to a chessdual at the lodge. Boyscout, musta been. Worldliest boyscout I've ever met. All inclusive smile, that reached to the eyes. Genuine friendliness. So much to say. So much awesome style and oompf in the delivery. Tell me more. I am listening. And this one... This one is gingerbread, with a cool dollop of whipped cream. I must be honest. I did not expect to meet this one. Words failed me, whooosh out the window. What does one say to one whose writing you've admired for so long? His hand is warm. His voice is warm. His eyes are warm. He is gingerbread.

Did these brush strokes on a blank canvas work? Do you catch a taste these people? Are you still hungry? I am.

Circa de noon o'clock, kefabi and I met up at Of the Taco to discuss life, love, and Everything. Then there was driving. Actually, first there was traffic, but driving followed soon after. I had printed out two copies of Mapquest directions, which mysteriously burst into flames as soon as we hit the freeway. Luckily, I still had kefabi's shiny ass to follow. Good thing, too. Apparently, the Mapquest directions were designed to take me to Outer Mongolia, via the Bering Strait. Last I looked, my 4runner lacked amphibious travel capability.

Finding Firebase Igloo wasn't difficult. There were these little numbers on the sidewalk that we had intended to follow until we found somebody to tell us where it was. Luckily, one of those numbers had a Chinese lamp above it, and we used the light from it to traingulate the exact position of the house, which was about the scariest thirty feet of my life. Casa de Igloo is situated on the side of a hill, conveniently hidden from the hustle and bustle of the street, yet also conveniently located within streaking distance of the I-5.

My first impression of the house was that it was flammable, very flammable. Made entirely of oil-soaked kindling, I needed a minute to make the voices stop before I could step through safely. Once inside, it was like walking into the chill room of a trance club. A stereo softly played The Song Remains the Same as noders from around the multiverse stood, sat, or genuflected, waxing wise about this or that topic. I made myself known to the world via the sign-in sheet and some friendly shaking of hands(to show that I was not armed). The initial discomfort and intimidation faded as I stepped outside of Quizro's aura of enlightenment, to the (deck, patio, smoking room, aural orgy) and proceeded to addict myself to the world's most infamous flora.

Kef and I tended to stick together through most of the night, mainly because I had planned to use him as a meat shield in case things got ugly. Things didn't. Things were great. People were great. The night was great. True cliques never actually formed, as they tend to do at parties where all the guests actually know each other. The only thing that ever separated one group from another was smoking. No smoking inside. Factgirl's got it down.

WARNING: This is the part of the aftermath node where I ostracize myself by mentioning some names and not others. Please drive through.

WolfDaddy - I have to mention you first. You made the biggest impression, you bummed a cig or two, and you gave me a hi-5. You are the essence of Brain Candy. Even though the East Coast noders smoke more weed, they sure can't say they smoke it better.

IglooWhite - You sir, are the King of Swing. You invited us into your home, told a grip of great stories, had more idiomic comebacks than I ever could have hoped for, and bombed not one joke all night.

Quizro - We never did duke it out over the nature of our world. Nothing wrong with that. I'd eventually have to admit that I'm really a Taoist, and then my credibility would be shot. While you may say, "Who let the dogs out?" I say, "Let them run." Also, if I may say so, you look nothing like a Quiet Riot CD, as I was led to believe.


PaladinZ - You'll always be black in my book, no matter what reality says.

Akasha - "You guys are gonna smoke pot? I'd better make more pumpkin bread!" You were already gone by the time I responded with: "Is she married?" Tres cool.

Chras4 - Santa Clarita mom. Your son is safe, as long as he doesn't eat the food. (Your prose glose)

Roninspoon - You were both cool and scary at the same time. I think you were scary because you were so cool.

Factgirl - I think everybody has already said this about you but, I wish you were my mom.

Fuzzy and blue - You were at once fuzzy and blue, and yet neither fuzzy nor blue. Good show, girl noder. Good show.

Peter (Jongleur) - You couldn't have been more entertaining if you were hired. ...You weren't hired, were you?

Panamaus - I figured it out. You have the gift of being funny every time you say something. You are indeed wise to use your gift in moderation.

I wish I had more to say, but I spent a lot of the gathering contemplating my navel, and time got away from me. I certainly feel closer to the E2 Community now than I have since that one incident. The one with the scarring. Yeah. Kenata knows.
So here's the deal: E2, and the E2 experience, can be taxonomically categorized into the bits that can be explained to a non-noder and the bits that can't. It's a fluid, ever changing taxonomy that is a complex non-linear function of time, space, the educational background of the noder doing the explaining, and a new irrational universal constant (for which I have invented a new Greek letter) representing the immutable stupidity of the average semi-computer literate schmuck. It's a fascinating subject and I'll be pitching a screenplay based on my work in the area to Darren Aronofsky as soon as he's done shooting the new Batman flick. But I digress.

One of the key elements of the E2 experience which I do not believe most people bother telling about when they explain why we spend our time and our energies here is the experience of a noder coming into focus. Because there are so many users, and the reading of Everything2 as a hypertext has for the most part little continuity of authorship, we retain, initially, only the most high-profile users at first. The first time we flip through the database ("Jesus, there's a lot of stuff here!") it is an anonymous experiece. After a few weeks we know some names, even if we don't know much about the person. But the experience of the enduring user is that having accumulated a good sense of who most of the high-profile and prolific folks are, one still finds that on a regular basis a username suddenly makes a sharp transition from being just another name, that generates the faintest or even no sense of recognition, to a person, who has wit and style and often, to our happy satisfaction, no small number of contributions to the nodegel for us to peruse. Suddenly, we feel, Everything2 makes just that much more sense; we have reached the next quanta of clarity.

It doesn't happen very often. I remember very vividly when certain users came into focus for me. It used to suprise me. It still does, but only because I don't know when it's going to happen. I think it's one of the reasons I've made this a permanent home.

Saturday in LA was my first BIG gathering, and the whole evening was an explosion of clarity, focus, and "Man, how did I miss this user until now?" I spent the evening in awe that a complete misanthropist like myself could show up at a party largely populated by people that in some sense I'd never even heard of, and I pretty much wanted to get to know you ALL. And while I failed in that regard I have a checklist above from Igloowhite (I never even saw the sign-in sheet, sorry) from which to spend my next several months allocation of reading time and daily vote allocation.

I'm thinking maybe next weekend we could all meet at Igloo's again so I can get some QT with those of you I didn't get to really one-on-one with.

There was a fantastic balance of old friends and new people at the gathering. I was a little overwhelmed when I first arrived, but seeing misuba, factgirl, Akasha, Ouroboros, and Bindlenix all in attendance helped set me at ease. A few more noders were folks I had chatted with in #e -- jasonm (who accompanied Ocelotbob in picking me up at LAX. Thanks guys!), Ælien, Kenata, Eraser_, panamaus, and eventually Sparkleface. The rest of you, for the most part, fell into the vaguely familar... but no longer.

The party was that great mix of people who have just enough in common to have lots to talk about and enough differences not to know each other's jokes. You all impressed me terribly and I am at a loss for words (the 6k words of this writeup notwithstanding) to communicate that. Come to my neck of the woods and by all means bring more noders with you. While I can't promise to be the stunningly good host we found in Igloowhite, I'll do my best.

Lastly, I want to publicly thank Ouroboros for helping make my trip financially possible. Having met me only once before at a noder meet, his unprovoked act of generosity brought me to one of the best times in recent memory, and I fully intend to pay it both back and forward. We discussed the possible establishment of some kind of "noder travel fund" and while there are no concrete details yet I will be working on the concept and details. At the very least I hope to be able to assist at least one noder in traveling to the planned April-ish Bay Area gathering. I encourage you all to help me thank my generous benefactor by voting on his recent writeup, How to bake a potato.

See you all at the next meet.

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