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Strip Clubs! Bathtubs of the choicest hops! Live not-very-nude JessicaPierce! And... Sunday Sunday Suuuunnnnday morning!

Names, dates and reality may have been changed to corrupt the innocent and confuse the rest.

Saturday

After a week of little sleep and many tests, there is rarely something as joyful to look forward to as an E2 party. But low and behold, this week there was! After spending friday in preperation, sharpening my wit with many consecutive games of MegamanX and a ninja-style walk through the city, Jethro arrived around 6:30 to enrich me with the spirit of malt and provide a lift to said gathering. It was a long and hard quest, but after exploring business parks and conquering red lights en masse we managed to stumble upon accipiter's secret lair. Inside were pukesick and DiscoFever - JayP, Templeton and Accipiter were still out getting pizza and the Wonkoalition was on the way, so we chilled for a while. Scouring around the apartment I noticed two things: There were no brownies and the crazytaxi disc was missing. Just as I was about to lay light on this conspiracy, there was a knock on the door... Enter the Wonkoalition, namely (or pseudo-namely) WonkoDSane, Aphexious, CrispyCrisco, Mitzi, and Medieval. More introductions and attempts at putting faces with nicks and names with faces until it's time for a smoke break (how is it that 70% of all noders smoke?) Talk revolves around school, work and hum-drum E2 topics while vertical positioning is adjusted and cigarettes are smoked.

Back inside, we mix and mingle like the social butterflies we are, trying our best to remember "real names" and re-meet the people we find so charming in text. Soon enough, the crowd is enhanced by two lovely young ladies (escorted by our host) who are, in turn, enhanced by the ownership of two large pizzas. More introductions and screenname -> real name -> face and back matching ensued while pizza was consumed.

Social mingling commenced and I got the chance to talk to aphexious... I had read some of her stuff in the past (and liked it,) but after meeting her it becomes a lot more tangible. It's a impossible to describe her any better than Wonko did, but.. she listens to drum'n'bass and jazz, is one hell of a writer, intelligent and lurking, deep eyes, enticing smile and loads of energy, really cool to hang out with... too bad that she lives in Nashville. In fact, the entire Wonkoalition are a bunch of rad motherfuckers, to put it bluntly. They're all in real life like they are online, which is somewhat of a rarity... and they're hosting the next get together, so I better kiss some ass.
After some unsupervised god-power abuse the group collectively decided (at Wonko's suggestion) to head out towards a bowling alley... I rode with Templeton and Byzantine; upon arrival we find out about a two hour wait. Damn. Hey, there's always karaoke, right?

Riiiight, and Karaoke there was. Soon enough though, JP and the majority of her crew left, leaving only Accipiter, WonkoDSane, CrispyCrisco, aphexious, Mitzi, ccunning, and me to publicly humiliate ourselves (all but CrispyCrisco, who is a broadway trained vocalist... Needless to say, she owned everyone in the place without having to even try.) The white kids heated up the funk with such features as Crazy (both Patsy Cline and Britney Spears, the latter by accipiter), King of the road, Don't fear the reaper, Summer nights and many many others. The audience wasn't the least bit amused... but we were. Fuck the unsuspecting public. Around 2 AM CrispyCrisco suggested that we should go to a "Titty Bar", and knowing how young women are about such things no one dared to stand in her way. Since we had seven people and one car, I was honored by being allowed to sit on Mitzi's lap. I can never sit in a regular seat again, for even the finest silk will seem like concrete in comparison with Mitzi's cloudlike lap... it was bliss - except for the speedbumps. =)
Accipiter gets his car; we head to the ATM and retrieve some money to support the poor and suppressed. Next on the list was the Wonkoalition's hotel room. While dropping off the beer we discuss the age issue and medieval lets me borrow his wallet (see through compartment for fake ID...) Templeton, JessicaPierce, Byz et. al. are asleep, leaving the extended Wonkoalition to be the only non-sissies in the area. Back into the soccer-mom rentalcar of screaming death and we proceed towards the Bar de titte, only to find out that it

  • is closing in fourty minutes
  • has a $6-$12 cover charge depending on age
Hastly it is decided that no publicly accessible breasts can be this enticing and the mini-caravan turns around to return to the hotel. Beer is de-tubified and had, macs are bashed and praised, some E2 talk comes up and the lounging commences.

Soon it is relatively late and the ladies go to bed... Discofever mentions walking home, I consider joining him in crashing at JPs, seeing as how all my crap was still over there. WonkoDSane offers us a ride, we gladly accept and after sucking down 3 stout ales like it was going out of style I'm ready to pass out wherever, which I figured would be proper thing to do. (I hadn't reserved a place to crash at JPs and I'm a worser person for it =b) WonkoD dropped us off and DiscoFever decided to be the coolest guy on earth by giving me his (actually byz' extra which was passed on) sleeping bag. I cover my mugly self and pass out.

Sunday

Which is written in the past tense because feel like it. Alright? :p
Hell hath no fury like the morning light. I came to most of my senses around nine AM at JessicaPierce's where the majority of people were in the process of getting up. Our Sunday host was still out cold, but that was easily remedied... Jamcracker was let into the bedroom, and a short scream later JP is out and about in her JP PJs. She and Byz (I think) take showers and soon later the hungry horde descends upon the nearest IHOP. Our table was pretty clean when we sat down, except for a few marks of syrup under the dispenser... no biggie. Our waitress, Andrea, took our orders and upon return watered the table with orange juice. A few attempted assaults on our favorite dual-m-noder later we all had our respective foods. After IHOP we stopped again at JP's - some took showers, others nagged jamcracker and everyone went through her stuff... ...but, as all good things must come to an end we loaded up and said our goodbyes, once again parting for... the Econologe.

The wonkoalition had just gotten up (in time for checkout) and were hastily stuffing everything that wasn't screwed on the walls into their bags. A generous tip jar was left for the maid and everyone once again descended to the car for pictures and goodbyes...

So we left, Templeton's crew went out of their way to drop me of in Atlanta and even put up with my "guess and go" directions (Byzantine's a patient, patient man...)
Thanks to evvveerrrryone for showing up and being such a bunch of cool mofos. Special thanks to accipiter for taking the initiative and hosting the part, special thanks also to Jessicapierce for co-hosting and sheltering us (and thanks for the tab! =) ) I'm hoping to see everyone and then some at the Wonkoalition's get-together whenever it may be, where the titty bars are open 'till noon and the steaks are large enough to ride home.

Things that "needed improvement":

But, all these things considered, this 0wned. I now know five more people whose writeups I'm eating up as they come out, have faces to put with everyone and it was a rockin' weekend.


You know what to say, kids...

Thank you E2!

Friday evening, briiiiian arrives at my apt. and I have just enough time to think, "Hmm, there's a person I've just met in my house, this could potentially be kind of awkward," but it takes me all of about thirty seconds to realize Noders are rad.


What else I learned:

Noders are CUTE.

Except the ones who are going to ask me "Does that include me? Do u think I m cute cuz I think u r cute HAW HAW HAW" ...you are not cute at all.


Noders are, as already mentioned, CLEAN.

I knew you guys would treat my place with respect, but this is ridiculous. Thank you. The only signs that 7 people plus one cat shared my apartment for a weekend are:

  • one sparkly bobby pin
  • one stray Advil found but not consumed by jamcracker
  • one finished roll of Kodak Advantix 200 15 exp film. The weird oval kind. Speak up and you'll get it in the mail.

I was going to write up a crazy long in-depth description of the weekend's events but a. I don't feel like it and b. piq is here to serve.



Any of you, when in Atlanta, don't hesitate to call me. I was charmed by you, especially those who stayed over at my apt. - I only wish we'd had many more days and a hundred extra conversations, long ones, punctuated by Templeton hopping around in a sleeping bag. That's a good time. Thanks, kids.

A Civic hatchback trundles by us.

"ohh, look! The car's so cute, the leetle car's sooooo cuuuuute..."

Carson sighs. The more a car resembles a Micro-Machine, the more Laura likes it. She croons every time one zips past us. God knows what would happen if she got a hold of a Mini Cooper... the experience would be religious in intensity, I'd wager.


"I know what I'm doing. You'll see!"

It's true! They won't trust me. So I got the wrong exit - Cobb Avenue, South Cobb Street, all the same. Jessica recommended taking I-75 over, and everyone's believing that to be the gospel truth, but I will prove them wrong. It's Cobb Avenue, that's the shortest way, I'm driving, you all will have to shut up and like it.

I end up being right, but my idiotic GPS has Jessica's apartment erroneously placed north 500 feet, so any possible juice I might have gained is pissed away. But it doesn't matter; we arrived and Jessica has baked us baked goods and Jamcracker is as cute as her pictures promised and we spend the rest of the hour bombarding the poor little cat with attention.


"Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!"

Medieval is killing a bottle of Purple Passion in one of the most impressive displays of binge drinking that I've ever had the good fortune to lay eyes upon. I'm trying to remember his actual name; it's like 'Carson', but it's not. Six letters, starts with C, but I can't think and for the whole rest of the weekend I refer to Medieval as Carson.

There's a bathtub full of beer. It is my solemn and sworn duty to partake.


Dave & Buster's is truly lacking. There is no Dance Dance Revolution to be had. That's a bit of a bummer, since we had so much trouble finding D&B's in the first place, and expected to be well-rewarded for our efforts. Eventually, everyone gathers at a table and beings munching on congealed grease that is pretending to be actual food. I play two rounds of pool and suck hard, but that's all right, because Chris, Scott, and Christy aren't much better.

Suzy is not real. Her hair stays supremely styled and spiky, even in heavy precipitation, just like any self-respecting anime character. She has to stand outside in the drenching rain - something is wrong with Scott's rental car. A serpentine belt? Isn't that with the steering something or other? I try and bullshit, pretend I know the answer, but I'm dead wrong. The car works well enough for them to get home.

Brian's Acura lacks a working windshield wiper motor. We rely on Rain-X to save our sweet asses from fiery doom.


Some chick broke into Scott's room and is sitting on the hotel bed dressed in skimpy sleepywear! Scandalous.


Brian's with the Wonkoalition and Laura's meeting another blogger by the name of Bob so we head out to find one of these fabled 'geocaches'. The target in question is a mere three miles from Jessica's apartment, and after an initial misstep, we get to within 150 feet, when suddenly the GPS loses signal. We never find the hidden pirate treasure. Jessica's brother, Noah, begins to limp, his foot in pain - adding injury to insult. But at least I still have Jammy to play with.

Jessica lets me log on with her user name! I HAVE GOD POWERS. Oh, it's so wonderful stringing thefez along, sending him delicious /msgs. He's just a big trusting sweetie, emphasis on the 'trusting'.

Birch is gone. He's off breaking the law, he's a big fat lawbreaker.


"Third boxcar, midnight train / Destination Bangor, Maine / Old worn out suits and shoes / I don't pay no Union dues"

I'm feeling my oats as Chad, Brian, and I share a particularly bad pitcher of Amber Bock. But any energy I have soon leaves me; no lanes open up, no bowling is to be had. At least there's kareoke. Christy does her thang, competing with an Issac Hayes-style soul brother for the hearts and souls of the audience. The only one who gets close to either of those two is Scott, who, resplendent in a fine corduroy smoking jacket, performs King of the Road to general (and deserved) acclaim.

Chris performs a Britney Spears song. Badly. Laura and Jessica gathers up their brood (they're competing for the title of Den Mother). We make like a tree and leave.

I feel the need to mention here that Chad has the coolest black velvet slacks.


The Waffle House is, as expected, the cultural center of late-night Atlanta. The joint is jumpin', the juke is jamming. Christy regales us with tales of the people she's met working as a singer in Nashville. Our waitress has the gravelly voice that all good late-night waitresses have; I pray and pray she calls one of us "darlin'" but I must sadly report that there is no God and she never said that word.

We arrive back at the hotel and dear God, the bathtub is still full of beer. I do my part to right that fundamental wrong. piq has stayed with the group, and he and Brian will have to duke it out for the title of cutest Everythingian (male). Every time I see him, I think Raphael; Brian brings to mind the works of Lucian Freud for reasons I can't place.


Laura is a caterpillar and she's going to eat Jamcracker. She's evil.


"They're so big, the guy has to bring in his balls on a wheelbarrow. 'scuse me... 'scuse me..."

Jessica is a very very very nice person and she's given us many burned CDs, including one of Bill Hicks' vision of Arizona Bay. I drive for a bit, and then relegate myself to backseat duty, pondering crossword ponderables, letting Laura and Carson get all cute and adorable in the front seat.

Birch is either asleep or awake; it's hard to tell which. He keeps his slim figure by twitching endlessly while he naps; a good eight-hour rest must burn at least 500 calories for him.


Whiz-bang is over and a good time was had by all.


You got this far? Then you deserve some dirt. Ready? Jessicapierce is a member of JCPenney's 6 Bra/12 Panty club! Be sure and tell all your friends.

Friday February 9, 2001

After an 8 hour drive I pull into the wonderful econolodge and realize I forgot to write down Wonko's real name. I take a guess at the front desk and he corrects me and gives me the room number. Security is not a top priority of the econolodge... I head up and knock, but there's no answer. As I'm walking down the hall to find a phone, I hear voices behind me. I head back and it's my fellow noders WonkoDSane, Medeival, crispycrisco, and aphexious. They look surprisingly normal...

In the room I call some friends and end up being spanked by Medieval while a picture is taken. So it's going to be that kind of weekend, eh? After hanging out a bit, it's time for the beer run. We load up the car with a 12 pack of Corona, 4 6 packs of Shiner Bock, a 6 pack of Guiness and Hard Cider, one bottle of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum, 2 jumbo packs of condoms, one extra large tube of KY, a spatula, 20 ft of nylon rope, and the latest issue of newsweek.

Back at the room, we fill the bathtub with ice and beer. It is, needless to say, damn impressive. The econolodge, in a brilliant move of clever planning, even has a bottle opener right beside the toilet. Medieval chugs some serious booze... After a bit, Accipiter, piq, Templeton, briiiiian, and Byzantine arrive. I call jessicapierce and motivate her to get her butt over and join the party. She arrives a few hours later, but she brought yummy baked goods so all is forgiven. We head over to Dave and Busters for some food and pool. On the drive over, the Wonkoalition rental car of screaming death throws a belt and we end up nearly hitting a guard rail when the power steering goes out. All is good though, and we make it to D&B in one piece.

Discofever and I were shocked to find that they have no Dance Dance Revolution and sulk over some food instead. We head back to the motel and pretty much everyone who is not staying at the motel leaves (bunch of wusses). We walk into the room to find a strange girl hanging out there. Turns out Mitzi got lost and arrived late, but managed to talk the front desk into giving her a key to our room (like I said, security is not thier strong point...) After some deep conversations about the naked dance, I head to bed. After kicking Medieval out of my bed for the tenth time, I finally lock myself in the bathroom so I can get some sleep.

Saturday February 10, 2001

I wake up around 10 and head out to have lunch with some friends. I get back to the room and everyone is heading out to IHOP, so I go along. What the hell. After IHOP we return to our lair and hang out a bit. In desperate need of tunes louder than my PowerBook, we hit Radio Shack for an adaptor to hook it up to the TV in the room. Of course it doesn't work. We decide that to properly prepare for the evenings festivities, a thrift shop visit is needed. So, we unchain aphexious and crispycrisco leads us to a local thrift shop. I managed to find a nice shirt to go with my crushed velvet pants (yes, I do actually wear them in public), and a great leather jacket type thing (check my homenode...). We also picked up some extra handcuffs and an inflatable pony.

Back at the motel, we clean up for the party. I talk crispycrisco into wearing her vinyl pants, good move. We are all looking mighty pimpalicious I must say. We head over, fashionably late of course, and walk into an empty apartment. Everyone went for pizza apparently. They arrive back. There is talking, smoking, drinking, eating, frooty frooty muffins, and crazy taxi. Everyone loves piq's kick ass accent. JP tells us a story about butt plugs. Discofever get's down with his bad self. JethroBodine and ClusterSnarf arrive. Deprived from the internet since friday morning, I finally get to check my email!

Time to go bowling. 2 hour wait, and I'll be damned if they don't have karaoke . We're all pimped out, what the hell. WonkoDSane sings King of the Road again. crispycrisco makes us all look bad. Accipiter rocks out Britney Spears Crazy to the delight of the crowd. Most of the gang leaves and goes home to sleep (again!). WonkoDSane, piq, aphexious and I head up and do a really really sad rendition of Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper. Oh that sucked. We finish strong with WonkoDSane, Accipiter, piq, me, aphexious, crispycrisco, and Mitzi doing Summer Nights from Grease. The roar of the crowd was defening.

We leave the alley about 1 AM, and decide it's time to head to a strip club. Call over to JP's, everone is asleep except discofever who's up for it. We get lost on the way over, despite the fact that we've all been there 2 or 3 times. We head to the strip club, and more fun ensues...

Back at the motel we crash, listening to a kick ass compilation made by piq. piq and discofever head back to JP's and I hit the sack.

Sunday February 11, 2001

Next morning we wake up 20 minutes before checkout, clean up the mass quantities of beer bottles and cigarettes in the room. WonkoDSane, crispycrisco, Mitzi, Medieval and I head out to eat, end up at the Olive Garden. After lunch I hit the road. I make it home in a record time of 7.5 hours.

Conclusion

We had a kickass time. Thanks to Accipiter and jessicapierce for their hospitality! It exceeded any expectations I had, everyone there was cool as hell and it was great to meet people in person. Seeing as we basically made it a weekend long party, I think we kicked every other noder gathering's ass. Now if only we had made it to the tatoo parlor to get our asses chinged. Maybe next time...

Regrets

The only thing that bummed me out was that we kinda formed 2 groups, the gang at the Econolodge (Mitzi, me, and the Wonkoalition), and then the folks over at JP's. So there were several people I didn't get the change to really talk too much, which sucked. I feel a bit bad about this, I think I should have made more of an effort to hang out with the rest of the gang. But we shall do it again dammit!

Pictures from this spectacular event can be viewed at: http://www.math.ohio-state.edu/~ccunning/images/whizbang/

I picked up Ken and Birch at the airport the night before we left for Atlanta. By the time I came back from the second run, both Carson and Ken were asleep. We woke Ken up and chatted a bit, then hit the sack. I was supposed to be off the next day but had to come in to get my paycheck and run some errands. The guys wanted to get out as early as possible because we had 8 hours of driving ahead of us and wanted to avoid as much night driving as possible. We swung by a grocery store to pick up a few six packs of the local brew and they let me out to buy several packs of cigarettes. In the back of my mind I was thinking that right at this moment, another noder, Brian, was making the 8 hour trip from Orlando. I had met Ken and Brian before, and shit, Carson lives with me, so Birch was the only one in our car that I had never met. At one stop at a gas station I asked him why he was so quiet, what was on his mind at those times. He replied, "What, you want me to give away all my secrets that easily?" with a slim grin on his face.

When we got to JP's, Brian was already there. Looked like her brother Noah was sleeping over, possibly looking out for his sister who let 6 strangers sleep in her living room in bags on the floor. All over the walls were taped up drawings, sketches, and scans of art. JP's part-time job is playing with kids at an after school program, so there were industrial sized containers of Legos, tubs of pencils, pens and crayons. She had a suspicious collection of makeup for someone who, in my mind, didn't need to wear it, and a kitchen much too small for her needs. I felt instantly at ease. She was busy making baked goods for the gang and letting us all shower and change up for the pre-gathering gathering at the hotel. It was good to see Brian again; he'd gotten his hair cut since last I saw him and apparently struck a bit of bad luck on the road by blowing out one of his tires. He said he threw away a pair of flip flops after visiting a restroom so gross that there were human droppings on the floor. Ick.

Onto the Econolodge. I had spoken online with only 2 of the noders there, WonkoDSane and Accipiter, when we trying to plan for this thing a month ago. I forgot that I told Wonko I had quit smoking, so he reminded me that I had fallen back into it. I didn't know if they were messing with me, but they all seemed to have a hard time placing me as a noder. I checked out the good store of beer they had and settled in a chair to watch it all unfold. I felt like everyone knew everyone but myself and the people who came with me. For lack of knowing what to talk about, I belched a lot. That seemed to get recognition. We listened to CD's on the tinny speakers of someone's laptop and waited with anticipation for JP to arrive. What on earth was taking her so long? I found out later that her friend Pete, who confesses to being a fan of mine, dropped by after we left for the hotel and brought her some blank CD's. By the time we were all gathered, the gang wanted to go out. By that time, after the road trip (I can't seem to sleep on them because I'm paranoid the driver will doze off), we in the Taurus were a bit zonked, so we bailed for JP's. I felt bad that I wasn't more sociable, but for as crazy a life as I have lived, I'm more of a homebody these days.

The following morning Carson and I woke up and snuck out for Waffle House. Brian joined us almost through ESP and he finished the morning paper we bought after we left. He went out in search of a new tire and was gone for quite some time. We drove back to JP's and I was getting ready to meet Bob, a guy I'd been talking to for more than a year but had never been able to meet. Being both English majors, we had lots to talk about. He was in all ways what I expected. I can't deny that I'm hoping I can get him and JP to at least hang out once since they live in the same area. If I can't have him, someone should; he's such a cool guy. I'm, uh, I'm spoken for. Happily so.

While Ken was on his GPS sprint, I was locked out of the apartment, so Bob took me on a micro-mini tour of downtown Atlanta from the view out of his Ford Expedition (he knows how I feel about that). And, oh God I can't believe it, I went inside a STARBUCK'S and actually consumed something made there. I couldn't believe my eyes; this cool, amazing guy drinks his morning cup of joe at that awful place. Egads. Well, he gave me two books, so he's forgiven. I only wish we could have hung out more. That guy is full of good conversation.

So we head over to Accipiter's to find that everyone there is running late. We make a beer run then we make a pizza run and by the time we get back the Wonkolition is replete in thrift store odds and ends from their afternoon shopping spree. Out on the patio. Back inside. Checking our E2 accounts one by one like the geeks we all are at heart, and all the while, flashbulbs are the staccato of instant memorabilia. We play video games. We talk about video games. We eat muffins. Some of us sit in a car in the parking lot and….uh never mind. Skip that. After a while, the natives get restless for night life. A bowling alley over a karaoke bar is decided, but once we get there it's an hour wait for an open lane. That was a shame, because the lanes were all done up in blacklights with disco ball reflections dancing all over the polished wood of the alleys. Luckily for those who dig singing, there was a karaoke machine set up. Again the gang staying at JP's pooped out early. I guess we're just lame. Sorry guys. They did get Ken to come back out I think, but most of us crashed out again.

Morning. IHOP. Birch stole a tumbler for me. I stole a stone from JP's apartment complex. We headed over to the hotel to suffer chagrin at our early departure the night before, dispense hugs and more photos, dropped piq (that's pronounced Pee Eye Que, not pique by the way) nearby his campus and made our way back to New Orleans, whereupon arrival we went straight to Juan's to scarf some dinner before passing out.

That's the down low. Here's the details. It was awesome to meet everyone. I was especially sorry that I didn't get to hang out with Mitzi once she got there, since I had spoken to her on the phone once before the trip. I felt bad that I wasn't up for late nights or karaoke, that I brought a crew with me that was not as jazzy as the gang at the hotel. But I do hope I didn't annoy anyone or really let them down. This was my 4th gathering, so seeing new faces and not knowing many people is common for me, while the people I was with were doing this for the first time, and I WAS playing den mother, I admit, making sure everyone was comfortable. Most of the fun I have in groups is usually involving long, groggy conversations that don't have to end because everyone's sleeping over, and when I know I have to get in a car and drive somewhere else to crash, I'm more anxious than usual. I'm a ninny, but I do get better through repetition, I swear. Come to New Orleans and you'll see.

I was very happy to meet piq especially, as we had talked at length on IM about various social issues, one of my favorite conversation topics. It was also good to meet JP. She was one of the first noders I ever talked to besides Birch and getting to meet both of them in two days was awesome. I loved CrispyCrisco's singing voice (especially when she sang Crazy by Patsy Cline, my goddess of country) and her rendition of Cartman's voice. I thought Aphexious was beautiful, but her quiet manner made me shy to talk to her. Medieval was sweet as pie, even with the Purple Haze stains on his shirt. Wonko, well, he was Wonko. He was the MAN. Chad's pants ROCKED! And all of you were kind enough to put up with my belching ass for two whole days. That counts for something, I think.

While I won't be able to afford another road trip of this size for many months, I do hope some of you will come to New Orleans. My floor is your floor. Node on.

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