Throughout the merry journey that is life upon this planet, all of us go through certain life-changing rituals. Among them, things such as your first kiss . . . the first time you get drunk . . . the first time you have Intimate Knowledge of another person . . . and the first time you see The Rocky Horror Picture Show!

Imagine my surprise and, dare I say it, dismay when I learned that My Beloved has made it to the ripe old age of 32 without experiencing this fine example of the cinematic art! He knows not the joys of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, nor does he know how to do the Time Warp!

Obviously, this oversight cries out to be remedied . . . and fast. Of course, my first thought was what a superb reason for a party.
An nodermeet, in fact.

I therefore invite you all not to glorious Trans-Sexual, land of Night on the planet Transylvania, but to . . .


The gory details:


Friday, October 28 through Sunday, October 30. The weekend leading up to that fine old witchly holiday, Halloween! Indeed, what better time of year to watch RHPS? As with last year, consumption of trick-or-treaters is not permitted.


Same as last year, natch: our house at 107 East Sullivan Street, Heyworth, Illinois. That’s about ten minutes south of the Bloomington/Normal area – also some 3 hours from Chicago, or Indianapolis, or St. Louis. Centrally located, we are.

Our area is at the hub of two major highways, Interstate 55 and Interstate 74, and the Central Illinois Regional Airport is nearby in Bloomington. The Peoria airport, 50 miles distant, may be cheaper; if so, pickups can be arranged. Also, Normal is served by Amtrak. Message or call me if you need help with directions.


Aside from the reason cited, haven’t you been reading those post-nodermeet writeups? These shindigs are FUN! We’ll even have a few non-noders in attendance so you don’t forget what normal people are like.


There'll plenty of chips and snacks and so forth around, any manner of soft drinks, beer, and wine. For the harder stuff, bring what you like and bring some to share (sharing is caring, after all). I don’t drink beer, so suggestions on what to get would be appreciated!

Since, last time, folks tended to wake up in the mid-morning, breakfast and lunch usually wind up being the same meal. There are dinner plans, though, for each evening.


Here's the tentative schedule, subject to change just like it did last time:

Friday 28th October:

Arrival date! There’ll be someone at the house all day, so get here whenever you please. Later in the evening, Tom and mcc will be hosting the ever-popular massive Carcassonne game, while the rest of us watch to see who shows up (or doesn’t show). Those who don't show will be mercilessly talked about. Also, we can annoy Apatrix with endless questions about The New E2 until he passes out.

Dinner will be lots and lots of glorious pasta, expertly sauced with Tom’s Illinois Pasta Sauce.

Saturday 29th October:

As soon as everyone’s conscious again, we’ll have pancakes & waffles made from the world-famous Everything2 Pancake Mix! As the day wears on, we’ll have the traditional nodermeet activities such as consuming (more) alcohol, chatting, getting to know each other, playing with the cats, letting the cats play with us, and so on. There’ll be plenty of snacks, and more substantial food around, to keep everyone going until dinner and movie time.

That evening, we’ll have the ceremonial de-flowering of our Rocky Horror virgin with the showing of Rocky! Dinner will most likely consist of pizzas or such, and maybe some of Gwen's world-famous Russian Cream!

Sunday 30th October:

Unless someone volunteers to make breakfast/brunch, we’ll have yet another round of the pancakes & waffles (they were pretty popular last year), again as soon as everyone’s coherent. Not much planned for today, other than the inevitable reluctant goodbyes until next time . . .


We’ve got some room here. We can sleep one on the couch, three to four in the upstairs bedroom, and three to five or so on the floor in the living room. Floor crashers should bring something to sleep on, it’s a hardwood floor (emphasis on the hard). There are motels with ten miles or so of us – let me know if you want help with arrangements.


Not much here except that we have four cats. They’re very friendly creatures and, unlike most cats, actually appear to enjoy being around lots of people. They’re shorthair cats and don’t cause my allergies to go wild, but your reactions may be different.

We don’t usually have neighbor problems, but keeping outside noise down is always appreciated.

Internet connections: We've got plenty of Internet here, but no wireless - so if you bring your laptop, bring your Ethernet card as well!

Transylvanians in attendance:

non-noder Kent
avalyn and Molly
Wuukieeand mcc
Junkill and Suzi
choco-tracy, another RHPS virgin!
grundoon and wertperch(!)
Passport is coming from St. Louis in his Suburban, and can take passengers!
yclept is comin' all the way from Joisey!

Considering the invitation:

Pint might be ridin' with yclept!
mblase (who is reminded that a vacation from Peoria is always a Good Thing!)

Sending their regrets:

Siouxsie, a former RH groupie.
Cool Beans, StrawberryFrog, et. al., otherwise engaged at another nodermeet!
TheDeadGuy is unfortunately otherwise engaged
Heisenberg promises to spill fresh blood on his stethoscope
aionaever says it's a bit far but to send his love to Tim Curry!
Andrew Aguecheek is the victim of a nuked bank balance and can't make the journey, but will be doing the Time Warp at his uni party!
The Lush is otherwise engaged!
IWhoSawTheFace can't make it, but will be doing Elbow Sex in our honour!
LeoDV will be in Dublin and hasn't mastered the trick of being in two places at once, unfortunately.

Children of the Corny 2 Nodermeet Aftermath Write Up
The Meet's Almost Over and We Still Haven't Shaved The Meru!!!?!
Why Have I Overdosed On Heroin?!? A Brief History of the Foundation of GCP2K3.
Howto: Cuddle With Izubachi in Three Simple Steps or Less (Drunken Heterosexual Male's 1st Edition)

Chapter 1: Making Smart Personal Choices
Halloween is my favorite holiday, and leaving behind my friends to go to Illinois for the purpose of talking to strangers was a very hard choice for me to make. Choosing to stay in town would ensure going to a large party at my college and possible having a great deal of sex. Going to this nodermeet would involve being in a building with more homosexual males than single heterosexual females my age by a great number for a prolonged period of time. Nothing against the gay scene, but parties in my mind are usually better when they include massive quantities of persons of the sex and sexual orientation you are attracted to. I chose to attend, though.

I love E2. How could I refuse a party of everythingians a state over? I'm impulsive, so I told the host I would attend. At the time, my roommate said he would go as well. Later, he decided to attend another party close to home that promised less drinking. I had a choice to make. Should I cancel too, or should I go anyway? I have known passport basically since I started being serious about E2, or at least since I understood what it was. He helped me learn the game, and he taught a 15 year old kid how to node. We both lived in the same city and were up from 8pm - 3pm on a regular basis. We are a perfect E2 match. I had never met him, though. Being the troll I am, I suggest us going together in the chatterbox, it's a fact. You can check the archive! My and TBBK shared our thoughts and after a few days of talking, the idea of going snowballed, and not only would it be us, but it would be Phyrkrakr, ScientistPhilosopher, TBBK's friend, Passport, and myself.

Chapter 2: The Formation of the GCP2K3
GCP2K3, n. Abbreviation for "Grilled Cheese Party of 2005"

The plan was to meet in St. Louis at Paige's house and head out from there to pick up ScientistPhilospher. I was running late. There was traffic. When I arrived at Paige's house, everyone greeted me and we piled into a Chevy Suburban. At that time I didn't even get to see his house. I felt like a jackass. I have gotten to know these people, and i didn't know what to say. I didn't feel like I knew them, and I felt that I wouldn't live up to what they thought of me as an online entity. On top of that I was late.

After picking up ScientistPhilosopher, I felt less tense. My jokes didn't fall flat anymore, and I was no longer the new guy. I felt like myself, and everyone was happy. We joked the whole way up to wiccanpiper's house. Getting to know these noders fucking rocked. They have sharp humor and quick reflexes when it comes to producing it. As typical noder-boys, we referenced boobies in the manner of lesbians, monkeys, and soy. With the boobie came the mention of Hooters restaurants, and the fact that some of these stores... ahem... fall flat.

"Yeah, but do they make a good grilled cheese?"

And then and there it began. Life no longer became a question of boobie, but rather a nobel quest to find a good grilled cheese. On ever mention of a restaurant or person with a good or bad comment on their name, we asked if they made a good grilled cheese. Even the legendary expert on food stuffs yclept, who we would shortly see, was brought in to question. Our quest would not be finished with ease. Thus the GCP2K3 was formed.
GCP2K3 was chosen over GCP2K5 due to the fact in rhymes. It makes sense if you think about it. Then again, if you think about the last sentence, it didn't really make sense. So just don't think about it and we'll be safe with our title of GCP2K3.

Chapter 3: How Not to Invade Illinois
Pulling up to 107 West Sullivan Street late at night made finding the house a trying task. The road was poorly lit, and the houses were seemingly unlabeled. Walking door to door, I tried to find the numbers of each house. We finally located what we thought was it just as soon as a van pulled up. The excitement filled the air. As the vehicle timidly parked, I thought that this confusion stemmed from the attendees taking a quick trip to the store for some sort of product. I couldn't have been more wrong. The driver of the van, scared, unrolled the window with confusion. We were in the wrong place. Evidently 107 West Sullivan is not 107 East Sullivan, and the signs and paperwork telling us, GCP2K3, how to get there showed us that we might be a little west of East Sullivan.

Finding the place was much easier once on the correct street. East Sullivan was well lit, and you could just tell that there was a nodermeet at 107 from the makeshift beer storage unit, multitude of cars, and the large label "E2" displayed out front. After a few delays and inability to find a good venue to purchase booze, we were in the right place. We were welcomed by Wiccanpiper at the front door, and a hot plate of pasta inside. Hospitality and and friendliness were oozing out of the walls, or perhaps that was just the bright yellow, blue, and pink paint. The drinking began. Eat Poop You Cat was fun. I think I was the winner.

Chapter 4: How To Piss Off Sleeping Noders and the GCP lockout of 2005
Drinking vodka from a canteen makes getting drunk easy. You don't even have to put your drink down if you have a pouch for it on your belt. Smoking was not allowed in the house. After most of us had been drinking, we all decided to step in to the garage for a smoke. There were pipes, hand-rolled cigs, standard issue menthols, and cloves. We stood out there few about an hour before Avalyn brought up anal sex and everyone decided to move back inside. The night was about done, and most of us were finished having fun. We had been introduced, and out inhibitions had been lowered. It was time for bed for everyone, but phyrkrakr and myself. Even yclept was spent and read to go to sleep after a 2 hour lecture on JRR.

We continued to drink our drinks and talk about literature, cars, and everything. It was about about time for me to try one of his hand-rolled cigarettes. We snuck out of the kitchen and out on to the front porch. It was only going to be a quick smoke. No need for jackets, gloves, or my beloved vodka. It was damn cold, though. Phyrkrakr and I decided to grab a few Rolling Rocks and head to the garage again in hopes that it would be a little warmer. It was. We talked about the structure of E2 and how it had changed over the years. We talked about the decline of the site as a refrence and what things could help make the site more friendly. It really wasn't anything that hadn't been said before, but when you're drunk you don't care if what you're saying means anything at all. We had killed the rest if his beers and were out of things to smoke that weren't already stomped out on the floor. It was time to go inside.

We were both annoyed when we found the back door locked. Walking around to the front, phyrkrakr knocked on TBBK's truck waking him up like any drunken asshole would. Grabbing a few more beers, we tried the front door. Oh noes! It didn't open either! It was getting light out, but it wasn't getting any warmer. We fumbled around a bit trying to get a window or door open or to get someone to open it for us, without avail. We returned to the garage disappointed, cold, and carrying a good deal of someone else's beer. It was us or the beers. Only one of these groups was going to survive. We took the lives of the beers in hopes that the sacrifice would allow us to make it through the night until someone came for us. It was only a matter of time before time would tell our fate. So what could we do until then? We did what any drunken 21 year-old would do. We drunk dialed people inside leaving messages.


We finally returned to the warm interior of wiccanpiper's household after a brief encounter with the doorbell. Hunt05 seemed very confused as she let us and our beers in at 07:00. We found a sharpie and phyrkrakr identified a victim. Using the sharpie with the forehead of what was thought to be ScientistPhilosopher, a fellow GCP2K3 member, resulted in the following five letters: B, A, L, L, and S.

I'm not sure if that's Matt.
Who else could it be?

The victim was vandewal, and when he woke up he was fairly upset, and he was so with just cause. We were first in line for amazing pancakes, and vandewal stormed out of the meet upset with what we had done to him. It didn't look like he was coming back. Phyrkrakr went to sleep, and I wrote "BALLS" on ScientistPhilosopher's head in an attempt to smooth things over with the now AWOL vandewal. That didn't work so well. I felt like an ass. This was mainly because I am in fact an ass.

Chapter 5: Post Pancake Stress Disorder
We all decided it would be nice to go for a walk to enjoy the now nice day after the nice meal and stress from the "vandewal balls issue." Walking outside, we caught Eric pulling in to 107 West Sullivan. If you remember, we were at 107 EAST Sullivan. We flagged in the 'bachi and we all felt better. At this point it is only right to note that Matt has 8000 pound balls.

Chapter 6: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Carcassonne (But Were Afraid To Ask)
Carcassonne is a board game. It's fairly fun in appearance, and doesn't take too much to learn. On the down side, it lasts about 7 or 8 hours. It was amazing to watch. There were six players and Tom moderated the game. It was insane to watch. After every piece was drawn, Tom would tell you what it was called, what it did well, and how many more of that tile was in the bucket of a few hundred tiles. Each play of the game took about five minutes, and as a non-player it got boring for me fast. I was out of adult beverages. It was time to fall back and resupply with Josh.

Wiccanpiper, being the amazing host he is, gave us direction to the local Friar Tuck Beverages. There, we picked up a 12 pack of beer, a 6 pack of beer, an different six pack of beer, and a 4 pack of beer. On the way back we got lost and accidently ended up talking to some high school girls. We went to a high school kegger. It's insane to see how little girls want to mount older boys. We were out of there fairly quickly despite the fact that a few of them were cute. Crossing state lines and having sex makes the legal limit 18, if memory serves. I think we were just attracted to the single and female bit that we didn't get at the nodermeet. Something tells me that Paige was pissed we had his truck for 3 hours. Maybe he was just jealous of the little girls we got to see.

When we arrived back at chez Joe et Tom, Eric was talking about philosophy with the scientist, Carcassonne was still going strong, gwenllian had made Russian Cream in the form of a brain, yclept had brought out the lembas and cheese cake, there was a whole mess of toys and props laying about, and everyone was drinking at a re-assuring pace. There was nothing to do aside from drunkenly claim eien_meru's overgrowth on the front porch. I'm not too great at using scissors while drinking, but he looked a great deal better afterwards.

Chapter 7: Endgame, a Wedding, The Loss of Virginity, and Noder Cuddle Porn
After Carcassonne ended, we decided to drink heavy amounts of rice wine provided by yclept. ScientistPhilosopher was drunk as per usual and still drinking. eien_meru was pretty much gone as well. At this point it is only right to say britnoders are sexier than merkinoders. It was time to watch The Rock Horror Picture Show. We drew a V on the foreheads of the RHPS virgins with lipstick and somehow "Pretty Boy" found its way on to Izubachi's back... and then on to the front of a pillow he was laying against... and on to SciPhi's chest. See, during the film, SciPhi was dared to remove his shirt after Izy did, and when Tom came down to watch he was pretty much naked so of course the meru had to take his clothes off too. Since everyone there was pretty drunk, there was a great deal of noder touching between everyone on the couch. The film was great, and everyone had a great time. Some of us more than others.

Rocky ended, and eien_meru had to be helped up stairs because he was all sorts of drunk, but was able to get up on his own. ScientistPhilosopher and Izubachi had a long, close, talk about philosophy in each others' arms. Josh (21 years of age) casually asked yclept (Over 30 years of age I think) what her thoughts on age difference in relationships were. Obviously after the high school party he didn't mind them himself. Phyrkrakr and I continued to drink. Wiccanpiper noted drunkenly that I had a nice body. Tom was quiet as he always was. Avalyn was hanging out with Molly uploading his pictures to the internet and writing in a blog. yclept capture the entire moment with her sobriety.

ACK! You lost dignity!

I had a blast, and hadn't gotten much sleep so I went to bed. Upon awaking, we left for St. Louis and my credit card didn't work anymore. I love you noders. We need to do this more often!

RoguePoet's party pictures:
RoguePoet's CD case pics:
yclept's pictures:

Thoughts on people:

He's a great guy. He's seemingly laid back and has a really fun sense of humor and really bad pictures of himself when he was younger. He likes his pipes, that's for sure and he does a pretty good russian accent when I'm drinking (in accent) vodka. A really great host.
He was sort of quiet, atleast around me. Perhaps I just didn't have a good idea what to talk to him about, but he seemed to be excited by the Carcassonne game. He was a great host as well, and I wish I would have been able to find something for us to talk about. His pasta was amazing, by the way.
Didn't really know what to think of this guy at first, to be honest. He's got a really laid back look and I knew he was a ranking officer around here. He was a great guy at the party, very kind and he was able to throw out some pretty funny lines. I didn't realize he has an accent until I met him. He was a Carcassonne master and had a few great stories. For some reason I felt I was bellow his level.
This is another noder I didn't talk to THAT much. She was fun and brought a lot of really great things to the party. She's much better spectator of RHPS that I.
After he had his face written on, I was a little afraid of talking to him. For some reason I blamed myself for what happened and I knew he was angry about the whole situation. I never wanted him to be angry with me. He seemed like a pretty level guy, but I guess it is my fault I didn't get to talk to him more.
Shockingly cool. I was familiar with the name and some of his works here on E2, and thought he was going to be a lot... er... more lame than he was. Seeing his political views, I thought he would hate me, but then again... maybe he did. In that case, he'd be an even cooler guy.
Not what I imagined at all. He's huggable and smaller than I expected. His beardy was a bit too much for me. So I took it from him. He look a lot better afterwards.Freakin' hobbits.
I had talked with this guy on here and knew he was a complete emo boy. I wasn't expecting him to be such a great talker. He was really passionate about what he had to say and it made him easy to listen to. Most of the stuff he talked about reminded me of my roommate, but the way izubachi talked about it was less abrasive and much more interesting. Damn emo kids.
I didn't get to really talk to this one at all. I wanted to, but I just never got in and did it. I was too busy with people I had already met, I guess. Sorry, Junkill.
St. Louis Blues fan. GO BLUES! Need I say more?
I didn't get introduced to her at first and it took me about an hour to figure it out, but she was pretty nice. Laid back and easy to talk to. I really didn't know much about this noder before the party, so I didn't have anything to expect. I honestly don't remember much about her. Maybe I was drunk.
Easily the most intelectual of the bunch. She's really caring, kind, cut, warm, and nuturing. When you talk to her you feel smart and loved. She's very passionate about what she loves, but really reserved when voicing her passions. It makes it great for talking about literature, you says something and she will totally disagree with you and you will love her for doing so. I wish she was my mother.
He's pretty much what I expected, but not everything. My mental image of his was pretty big. He's a little shy it would seem, but easy to talk to and bring out of his shell. He's a cool guy, and for some reason I felt bad using naughty words around him. He was great. GCP2K3!
I spent most my time with this guy, I think. He's pretty much got my interests, but he goes about pursuing them a lot better than me. He's a little less annoying than me, but just as fun-loving. We should start a frat. Oh wait. We did! GCP2K5 LOCKOUT!
He drinks a lot. He's a really interesting guy, but he makes you feel stupid if you can't keep up with him. He's a loving guy. He let me put balls on his face and isn't afraid to cuddle with noders who feel cold and alone. I'm nost sure if this is a good thing. I loved it, though. GCP 4Evah!
Always awsome. He's creative, kind and a good listener. I bet he has an awsome girlfriend. He made us CDs and brought us free books! YAY!


This was to be my second nodermeet. My first was four years ago in Holland Michigan. I am not going to say I had a bad time at that one, but it simply did not compare to this one, wasn't even close.

My original plans were to get together a giant group of noders and ride up in my (very old) 1975 Pace Arrow RV. But alas I couldn't get enough riders to make that a viable option, the seven miles per gallon it tended to get sort of priced it out of the market. I glanced at my motor scooters and little two seater convertible and deemed them both inappropriate for the trip as well. But luckily I had an ace in the hole, "The Burninator". "The Burninator" is a seventeen year old Suburban with a 12 inch raised roof conversion, most of the paint is dead, the front fenders are a completely different color and the body is almost completely rusted away below the doors. "The Burninator" may not look like much, but boy can it go.

Now one thing you have to know about "The Burninator" is that it burninates, all the time! Mostly it just burninates out in front of my apartment. Sometimes it burninates the peasants. But this weekend it would be burninating the countryside.


Phyrkrakr was the first to arrive at my place. He got there long before our other riders. I usually tend to feel anxious around new people, but somehow that never happened at all this weekend. We used our extra time to do the mandatory things, like bolt the loose seat back down in "The Burninator" and shop for booze.

Josh arrived soon afterwards. We finally got ahold of Pat, and upon finding out how late he would be, we decided to start watching Death Race 2000. We barely got past the "The baby, go for the baby!" part of the movie though, as Pat finally arrived and it was time to leave.


It was exactly like loading up Santa's Sleigh, but without anything to do with Christmas, or presents, or Santa, but "The Burninator" was loaded down with noders and beers and we were ready to rock. First stop Edwardsville to pick up ScientistPhilosopher who was wise enough to wrangle a deal that required no driving on his part at all.

I'll have to say that our little group of five bonded very well on the way down. If you are going to a nodermeet then I highly suggest carpooling with as many people as possible. Everyone ends up knowing each other by the time you get there. It makes for a completely different experience than simply walking into a room full of people that you don't know.


Upon arriving we promptly went to the wrong house, apparently this was a common mistake, as we were not the only ones who did it. I sort of like to fool myself with the idea that the no-shows for this gathering actually spent the whole weekend at the wrong house, sort of like they did in National Lampoon's European Vacation.

The first night consisted of a lot of drinking and a lot of talking. I consumed my fair share of beers, but I couldn't even begin to compete with some of the real champion drinkers there. I am fairly sure that CrAzE and ScientistPhilosopher managed to stay drunk the entire weekend.

I spent the night sleeping in the back of "The Burninator". It was pretty comfortable and I was only woken up by locked-out noders three times.


Everything memorable happened on saturday. There was the seven hour Carcassonne game. I instantly fell in love with the game, but at the same time realized that I need to play with other people who play like me. I make my moves in under a minute, while most of the other players would take five to ten minutes per move. Oddly enough Artman2003 ended up nearly winning, and he seemed to be the only other speed player there. During the Carcassonne game I also began to grow more and more concerned and annoyed because Liquid Rubber and CrAzE had borrowed "The Burninator" for a quick trip to the liquor store, and they did not return for almost three hours.

That evening we watched the video from "Cold hands, warm hearts. Handfasting in London, wertperch and grundoon together.". Unfortunately the audio in most of the video was almost completely inaudible, but the GCP and company kept themselves entertained by commenting on whether we would, um, you know, with each of the respective Britnoders. The female Britnoders almost universally ranked favorably amongst us, and several of the male Britnoders also scored prominently with certain auxiliary members of the GCP.

I was lucky enough to go to bed before izubachi and ScientistPhilosopher started their road towards their own handfasting!!


Sunday was uneventful, it consisted of saying goodbye and going home. This event made me realize at lot about my life. First and foremost is the fact that I largely have the wrong friends. I love my friends dearly, and have known them for a long time, but we have absolutely nothing in common and that gap grows daily. I had more to talk about with people I had never met before than I normally do with my best friends. The second thing I realized is that I normally have very little to look forward to in my life. After the meet I found myself asking myself, "What next?".

Soylent Green is people

I didn't have enough time, or maybe I wasn't in the right places at the right times to get to know everyone, but I got to know a lot of people.

  • Wiccanpiper - He was easily one of the most social people there and is absolute proof that you don't have to have the same opinions or lifestyles as someone else to have a great time with them.

  • BriarCub - I really wish I could have gotten a little more time to talk to Tom, as it seems like he would fit in really well with Josh and I.

  • avalyn is about ten times cooler in person than I imagined he would be.

  • eien_meru is someone I could easily start hanging out with.

  • hunt05 is actually a girl!! Who knew that???

  • CrAzE is exactly the same person in real life as he is in the chatterbox.

  • yclept is thoughtful, intelligent and can talk about almost anything, and more than one noder went away harboring a bit of a crush.

  • Phyrkrakr exemplifies the GCP ideals of fun, mayhem, beer, food, and discussion.

  • ScientistPhilosopher is almost too interesting to even begin to describe.

After work on Friday, October 28, 2005 (my second-to-last day at that crusty old warehouse - Halloween was my last), I drove over to where my wife works. She had already been picked up by her mother and I knew she probably was, but I took my chances anyway to say goodbye to her. We have been car pooling to save gas and she'd needed a way home since I didn't want to drive all the way back to O'Fallon, then back to St. Louis and onward to Heyworth, Illinois. Even though she was not at her lab, I took the opportunity to use the facilities one final time before my anticipated nearly-three-hour tour of Illinois.

It was to be my very first nodermeet. I am not one to have the time or money to go meet internet people very often and this was my best chance at ever getting to do so with E2-ers. At only just under three hours way, I couldn't pass up the opportunity and am eternally grateful for Wiccanpiper inviting me to come in a /msg about a month ago. Before COTC2, I had only met peeps in real life that I'd met on the internet twice before. Once was when I dated a chick I'd met on a talker back in the spring of 1995. The second time was when I met swankivy back in late-September, 2003, while on my way down to the Florida Keys. For more on that, see this.

It turns out that the trip did not take nearly as long as I'd thought it would. Mapquest lied to me. Well, actually it told me how long it would take at a legal, reasonable speed. I got there in about two and a half hours, and that was with stopping at McDonald's on the way up and eating...INSIDE! Say what you want about the golden arches, but not much beats their good ol' filet-o-fish. Fish patty, cheese, tarter sauce and buns. Beautiful in its simplicity. Anyway, I hauled some serious ass up I-55 and was able to get away with it because I always made sure I had a ticket buddy. What's that, you ask? To put it simply: I made sure there were always at least one car ahead of me driving as insanely as I was who, should we have passed a speed trap, would have been nabbed first. Maybe I should do a whole node on it. Only one speed trap was passed and he didn't seem to mind that we were doing 75.

When I arrived in Heyworth, Mapquest told me what streets to drive down. An "E2" sign on the street Mapquest told me to follow told me to keep going. So I did. Apparently I didn't see the other "E2" sign and ended up almost leaving Heyworth again. I turned around and went the way my buddy Mapquest told me to. I stopped at a house with a fire going in a burn barrel, a big guy standing around, and a bunch of lawn chairs strewn about in the yard. Surely this is the nodermeet! I mean, there's a big fire and all!

"Is this 107?!" I cautiously ask the burninating gentleman.

"No, that's up yonder!" he says helpfully, pointing ahead. I thought that was odd because it looked like Sullivan ended at a T. Apparently it's one of those cattywumpus streets that starts up again twenty feet to the right on the other side of the cross street. Those annoy me.

I finally arrived at a house with an "E2" sign on the mailbox. Finally, one that was helpful! :) Being the speed demon that I am, I was one of the first to get there. The gracious host, Wiccanpiper, was the first friendly face I saw. Let me stop here and tell you about this man: I have not met many folks as friendly, charming, hospitable, and fun as our nodermeet host. I almost felt guilty for eating his wonderful food and drinking so much of his flavored water. I am diabetic, after all. In fact, on Saturday night, this guy was so considerate he told me not to eat gwenellian's Russian cream thingy shaped like a brain. Apparently it had a lethal amount of sugar. How many hosts are looking out for their guests' health? Well, maybe most of them, but anyway...

After greeting Wiccanpiper and making a friend (hopefully) for life, inside I met vandewal, hunt05, briarcub and Tracy. I hopelessly tried to learn all of their names, real and usernames. Let me point out that it was a very unusual experience for me the entire weekend, having to learn two names for everybody and trying to keep them straight. I'd be a rich man if I had a dollar for every time I asked vandewall or Phyrkrakr if they were ScientistPhilosopher, or ScientistPhilosopher if he was vandewall. Actually I'd be rich if I got $10,000 for each time, but you get my drift. My ineptitude at remembering the names has caused me to take a lot longer to write this than I would like to admit. Thank God for the other writeups in this node.

When the St. Louis crew arrived, I finally got to meet passport, formerly a "kitty" that had gotten a lot of "boo-boos." He is a fellow St. Louisan that I could have, and probably should have, met sooner, given his geographic proximity to me. I found him to be a really cool guy and the rest of his grilled cheese sandwich posse was cool, too. Craze was the most unusual of the bunch. I'm such a dunderhead that when I saw the military-type garb he had on I asked him if he had been in the armed forces, forgetting that it was a fucking Halloween nodermeet! Fortunately nobody called the Duh Police, for they had already had many warrants for my arrest issued.

Anyhoo, finally one of the people I had most looked forward to meeting arrived: avalyn. He had long been an E2 hockey buddy of mine, even though I am a St. Louis Blues fan and he is a Detroit Red Wings fan and we are genetically supposed to hate each other's guts. He arrived with Molly. He was just as fascinating, perhaps moreso, than I had anticipated. Turns out we had a lot more in common that I'd thought. He's my age, graduated high school the same year, and at seventeen just like me, a rarity. We had similar negative schooling experiences. Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about and we had a wonderful three or four hour conversation. We bonded on a deep level and I hope I've made another friend for life.

There was a lot of eating, arrivals, drinking, and smoking. No I didn't do any smoking and very little drinking (with the diabetes medicine I take consuming too much alcohol can cause a potentially lethal condition called lactic acidosis). But I still hung out with the smokers and drinkers, once in Wiccanpiper's garage where I almost choked to death on the smoke and humored half the group, especially vandewall, with my joke "What has two legs and bleeds a lot?" It was during this smoky garage gathering that I found out just how gay the nodermeet was.

At some point, close to 4AM, I decided it was crash time. Hell, somebody had to get that train on its tracks. I turned out the lights to help bedtime along. Who knows how much longer everybody would have stayed up talking? I initially tried to sleep on the couch, but with avalyn and Molly there first, it was nuthin-doin. I had hoped to crash on the couch because I had foolishly forgotten to bring anything soft to sleep on. My sleeping bag had been used as a litter box and I'd had to dispose of it. Luckily, Wiccanpiper, gracious host that he was, provided me with one of his own, completely cat urine free.

Sleeping was a challenge, as I have to sleep with a CPAP mask. See my first node, Sleep study, and Sleep Study 2: the CPAP machine for more info. I finally did get to sleep and had that annoying dream where your teeth are falling out.

The next morning there was a doorbell. Apparently some of the group had gotten locked out and subsisted on nothing more than fermented beverages for the wee hours of the night. Somebody got "balls" written on their forehead, and a little bit later Wiccanpiper made some wonderful pancakes. The breakfast of champions. And he had sugar free Mrs. Butterworth's! My savior!

After more stuff, and a great walk around town in a beautiful day, the massive Carcossone game commenced. See the other write ups for more details on that. I do have to say that their depiction of me being a speed player and a jack of all trades was accurate. It is quite a strategy game, but I went with my gut a lot and diversified which got me within range of winning. It was my first time and I admit I got a lot of help from briarcub, our genius officiator of the game. yclept soundly defeated all of us. /me bows down "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!"

I had to go after the game, which had lasted a lot longer that I'd thought it would. Boy some turns lasted forever. I got going a lot later than I'd wanted to. I wanted to spend all day Sunday with my family, that is why I had to jet late Saturday night. Plus after having my van stolen the previous Wednesday and starting a new job the following Tuesday, I had a lot to do. I was remiss that I missed Rocky Horror and didn't get to spend more time conversing with avalyn. I have seen the, uh, interesting pictures, and I really wish I could have been there.

The following is a rundown of the attendees and my thoughts of them and/or comments. I'm going to try to include everybody, but if I miss you, I apologize. I'm still having trouble remembering all of the names.

  • Craze: With your outfit, you looked like you were straight out of a movie... a movie about strange guys who go to nodermeets. I hear there was one starring Kevin Spacey.
  • Wiccanpiper: Boy this guy is gay! What? I meant happy. I swear I did.
  • izubachi: I didn't get to spend a lot of time with this kid, as he arrived the day I left. He's all of what? 19? And he's sittin there spouting philosophy like he's some kind of leader of a philosophy street gang orchestrating many drive-by ponderings. And he fuckin writes in Japanese. I wanna know whose dick he sucked in the netherworld to be born with that brain.
  • avalyn: Uber cool, I hope to see you again sometime. I'm really glad your cats lived. There's nothing worse than starving pussies.
  • yclept: She's very nice and sweet, makes great lembas and can knit like nobody's business. I thought about asking her to knit a dick warmer for me, but didn't because, let's face it, that would have been terribly inappropriate -- that and I didn't think of that joke until just now while writing this. If you didn't laugh I've just wasted countless valuable electrons. If you did, you're a sick, sick person.
  • vandewall: Thanks for laughing at my jokes. Hopefully next time nobody will write balls on your head.
  • Phyrkrakr: I recall this dude being funny and cool. Kind of like John Candy in Cool Runnings. But not.
  • ScientistPhilosopher: I found him to be quite a scientist and a philosopher. Wait a minute...!
  • Junkill: Glad I got to meet you, albeit briefly. You were just like I'd imagined you'd be. Actually, I'm lying there. I'd never imagined you before.
  • briarcub: Wiccan's a lucky man to have you. You were also a good host and cook and a sharp Carcossone runner.
  • gwenellian: You're cool and so are your adorable kids. I'm glad you brought them. They both seem wise beyond their years.
  • apatrix: You were also cool and interesting to talk to. I repeatedly tried and failed to nail down where exactly you're from. I have it nailed down to somewhere in the alpha quadrant. Sorry again about that silly nodeshell.
  • passport: What can I say about him that hasn't already been said? He's really an evil alien hell-bent on liquefying and sucking out all of our brains through a straw. That was a total lie, but you can definitely say that that had not yet been said about him. Nice to finally meet the fellow St. Louisan.
  • hunt05: I was surprised at how young she was. Too bad we were all corrupting one of America's youths. Shame on us. This bullet point has been brought to you by the letter "M."
  • JohnnyGoodYear: Lemme tell you about this guy, he... no, wait, nevermind, he wasn't there.
  • There was this tall guy, I don't remember his username or real name. I remember him saying he was just lurking on E2 for now and that he was a figment of our imaginations. Maybe he was.
  • artman2003: He was kinda funny, but he wore this silly mask thingy when going to sleep and he had to leave early. What a dork!
  • Roguepoet: The CDs he brought were fabulous, the covers of which were all designed by him. I salute you, you rogue poet you. Oh, wow, you should have babies with ScientistPhilosopher. Then you could have rogue scientists that are also poetic philosophers. Or something.
  • eien_meru: Last but not least we come to this cuddly little guy. This gentle little hobbit could have come straight from a Build-a-Bear workshop except for that bird's nest of a beard. Fortunately that was getting clipped off just as I was departing.

Again, it sucks that I had to leave before Rocky Horror. I hadn't done a RH screening since the spring of 1995 when I was a freshman in college. And that was only my second one. I saw in photos how special and cuddly that time was for all the noders. I'm not sure if I would have taken off my shirt, though. I am married and it could have been dangerous, driving all the noderwomen wild with my sexy, hairy torso. Perhaps it is a good thing that I left early.

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