Eleven years ago almost to the day and less than a year after joining the site, I made my nodermeet debut in Louisiana. Since then I've quit counting them. Almost exactly three years later I met your fair co-host at another nodermeet in Illinois. Since then we've hosted five of them together. Not half bad for someone whose default condition is unsociable and reclusive.
Despite being hermits most of the time, we like having people over every now and then. While debating whether we could make something happen this year, it was a bit alarming to notice that E2 Gatherings lists not a single formal nodermeet for the calendar year of 2012. I know that many of us still get together casually but these pre-announced, "official" nodermeets in the past often served as an introduction of new people to the "live" community of real people behind E2 and as an affirmation of tribal membership for old-timers. I'm afraid that, despite things looking up for the site under its new direction, not nearly enough of this has been happening lately. The lack of meeting activity was what clinched it for us.
I hope that things pick up and that new faces increasing start making their presence felt, starting right here in a small Indiana college town. Still, the numbers do leave open the possibility that this may be the last E2 gathering as we know it. Given this, we just had to do it. So, just in case it is "so long" for this mainstay of E2 community life, here's your invitation to this 267th (though hopefully not final) iteration of nodermeet goodness:
SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE TURKEY
Who? You and your hosts, who for the sixth time in E2 history (and second on these premises) will be gwenllian, alex and their brood. "You" in this case means pretty much everyone, whether you've had an account for 12 years or for 12 days. This is your golden opportunity to get out of the family gathering by pleading other obligations.
When? Starting on the Wednesday, the week and weekend of the American holiday of Thanksgiving, which this year falls on November 21-25. I know this is not much notice but, much like last year we were not sure we could do it this year. This time we just tried harder.
Where? Our secret lair in West Lafayette, Indiana. Attendees will be picked up five miles away and blindfolded before being driven to the gathering point. You will miss very little: this is the Midwest and we don't do scenic.
Why? Because we fully intend to be the last meet standing, and we throw a damn good party. Besides we have plenty to be thankful for, which includes our families being on another continent and the near certainty that they'll never read this. So what we do is invite what passes for our family these days and in this place: NODERS! Plus, if you ask anyone who's been here, we like to feed people like your Italian grandmother would. Mangia! Mangia!
Notes for travellers:
- We can generally sleep as many people as we have to. This includes your significant or insignificant non-noder others. External accommodation, should you desire it, should be reserved in advance but tends to be available as long as it's not a game day at Purdue
- Any amount of unmetered parking is available within 100 yards
- This is Indiana in late November. You may bring t-shirts. We may get snowed in
- Airline passenger pick-up will be available from IND most times of the day. Anything beyond IND will not be possible, though you could check if someone is coming from Chicago way
- We have three Amtrak trains between Chicago and Cincinnati every week. Station pickup is no problem
- This is a kid-friendly nodermeet. We will do our best to make any youngsters that you wish to have tag along comfortable
House rules (in advance):
- Kid-friendly does not mean sober. It just means making a reasonable effort to stop short of making a puking drunk ass of yourself. We don't love you enough to hold your hair as you do your porcelain penance. Granted, last time I came a close second in those sweepstakes, but...
- There is no smoking inside the house. Nicotine addicts get to shiver outside the front door
- The house is pet-free. Visiting beasts will be asked to remain in the fenced back yard and get along with each other
- Illicit drugs should be left in your vehicle and consumed off the property
The schedule for each day is flexible. We play by ear to keep people occupied and entertained. Being old hands at this, we're pretty good at making things work without a formal schedule. Your itineraries may include stuff like the time-honoured pilgrimage to local legend Von's (unusual books, beads, records, oh my!) and more mainstream fare like Wolf Park. We would like any attendees to register their intentions and special needs with us so we can plan crash space, meals, and the size of the bird to be consumed. Depending on when everyone can show up, the feast may be pushed to Friday. Keep in mind that we did that in 2007 and it lasted into Saturday. Also, vegetarians can be accommodated for most meals but turkey is turkey and we're a bit set on that one. Vegans, I'm afraid, are outta luck but welcome to peruse the fridge in search of sustenance.
Listen UP! This is important to us. How important? Gwen traded NIGHT SHIFTS for DAY SHIFTS to free these days and I cannot say that I remember the last time that happened! Honour the sacrifice and show your ugly mugs. If you need persuading or need some help planning, talk to me and I'll see what I can do to get you here.
Don't make me come get you! Or rather, please do.
Taking the cake: 7 confirmed
Notorious wafflers: 0 unconfirmed and elusive
Dog biscuits: 2 confirmed and many suspects
People who approve of this message but have failed to sign up: 2 noted