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Well, we had so much fun last year we decided to do it again. Also, our reputation and respectability (such as we command) survived almost intact. Uh... plus, we've got lots of leftover booze that must be disposed of. So, you are all cordially invited to...

There goes the neighborhood! 2: Unfinished Business

When?

Well, Labor Day weekend... for the calendarally challenged, that's Friday, September 1st through Monday, September 4th, 2006.

Where?

gwenllian and alex's house:

Why?

Cuz it's fun, we like to hang out with our homies, and incidentally the abovementioned booze problem.

How to get there
By road: West Lafayette (and, by extension, Greater Lafayette) is in north-western Indiana, about a third of the way between Indianapolis and Chicago on I-65 (exit 175). Also, both US 52 and US 231 run through West Lafayette.
By rail: Lafayette is served by the Cardinal (51) from New York to Chicago via Huntington, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, etc. Check Amtrak for fares and schedules.
By ship, and spacecraft: Mmm, nope. Well, unless you're someplace that connects to the Wabash river and would like to paddle.
By bus: Greyhound. $98 round trip from anywhere within an 800-mile radius
Underground, by tunneling from China: Nobody ever tunnels from China.
By air: If you're flying yourself, Purdue International Airport (LAF). The less aviatorial public can arrive at Indianapolis International Airport (IND). We're willing to make an airport run or two but, because of the distance, anyone needing pickup on short notice may have to wait a while.

Approximate distance from select major cities:

Indianapolis   60 miles
Chicago       125 miles
Columbus      240 miles
St Louis      280 miles
Detroit       300 miles
Nashville     350 miles
New York      773 miles
Guanajuato   1782 miles

Travel Assistance
If you really want to come and have serious trouble raising the funds to do so, let us know and we'll see what we can do.

Where to stay
We have substantial amounts of floor space and enough space for 2-3 tents in the back yard. We are now the proud owner of actual couches (!) with 4 (yes, 4) built-in recliners. We also have 2 futons and miscellaneous inflatable sleepables. brainwave and evadyne are also just three blocks away and will be able to accommodate noders again.
Plenty of safe street parking is available for our four-wheeled friends. Also, the downstairs bathroom's plumbing, which failed on the eve of the last nodermeet, has been repaired.

The nearest hotels (1.7 miles):
Family Inn of America
1920 Northwestern Avenue
800-251-9752
Prestige Inn
1217 Sagamore Parkway West
765-463-1531

It's early days yet, so no formal schedule is set so far, but big hits last year were:

Tentative schedule, subject to change:

Friday afternoon/evening:

Noders arrive, talk, consumption of miscellaneous liquids and solids, possibly Eatpoopyoucat

Saturday morning:

Waffles, now with real maple syrup or other flavoring of your choice

Saturday noonish/early afternoon:

Global Fest, which was a lot of fun last year and offers lots of possible lunch choices. Ans after Global Fest, the Frozen Custard!!

Saturday evening:

gwenllian has to work from 7 pm to 11 pm, so alex, Erika and Ian will be your hosts for a trip to Wolf Park for Howl Night. Unleash your inner lupine! Upon completion, the massive Carcassonne game will no doubt commence, followed shortly by the return of the gwen. More consumption of miscellaneous substances is also scheduled.

Sunday noonish:

The semi-sort-of-this-is-the-second-time-so-it's-traditional brunch at the Route 66 Diner

Sunday afternoon:

A visit to Von's is now in order, for those who don't chicken out and run away like they did last year

Sunday evening:

Depending on inclination and people present, a repeat Carcassonne game, more Eatpoopyoucat, or for the very brave of heart, possibly a German screening of one or more of the Harry Potter movies, the South Park movie (yes, it's still wrong in German), MIB 2, an Asterix movie, or Kondom des Grauens. If anyone is so inclined, we do also possess a Playstation 2 if the competitive spirit moves you to demonstrate your gaming prowess.

Monday morning:

More waffles or other morning-type foods, per individual preference. Inevitable departures. Hung-over declarations of undying friendship. Resolutions to do this again next year.

This year, we also offer wireless broadband for the hopelessly geeky among us!

Awesomely cool people who will be there:

People who are pretty cool but beginning to melt around the edges, possibly, unless they make up their minds about showing up:

People who will melt away into a little sticky puddle on the floor unless they change their mind about not coming RIGHT NOW, and that means YOU, Mister!

  • SciPhi
  • hunt05
  • PMDBoi isn't being asked. He's being ordered to attend and provide colourful local entertainment...update: he respectfully declines, as he is going off to RPI in New York in August, which makes us very sad :(
  • grundoon, wertperch, and imp/buddha - who have now decided to abandon us callously and do their own thing in California :(
  • Chase, who will be participating in the mass slaughter of our innocent feathered friends
  • nocte, who prefers going to some silly wedding to having me write her a new bedtime story *sniff* I know when I'm not loved...
  • jessicapierce
  • craze - like we believe that dubious "I'm volunteering that weekend" story
  • Chras4 is giving us a raincheck
  • mordel, whose boss will be receiving a visit from the Ninja Monkey Death Squad
  • vandewal and possibly his mythical wife, whom we will believe in when we see her - who now are stuck at the hospital with his undoubtedly just as mythical mother-in-law

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/kellumj2001/album?.dir=deb8scd&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph//my_photos

After the Math

I wonder when 'izubachi' will disappear?

The only times I've ever considered leaving E2 were bouts of intense crazy and an uninformed period during the Community2 drama spectacular. Otherwise it really hasn't crossed my mind. E2 eats up a greedy portion of my time and attention that I'm more than happy to share.

But in my old noder age I've been gazing all moody-like at mementos mori. Places like Jane's homenode and the aftermath writeups of gatherings in the 2001-2003 range. Friends and folks who weren't friends, but whose writeups I've been very intimate with, have been dropping off one by one. Most of the time, real life interferes. Occasionally, administrative behavior pushes them out. And there's plenty to be said for the crotchety state of the codebase (as was said, frequently, at this last nodermeet). Everything2 went live in 1999 and the site's design looks it over every inch of the page.

I know there are paths E2 could take out of the Valley of Comatose, I know there are more than enough users and admins who are lining up to give the creaky old wagon a good push, and I know I'd throw my weight in, but I'm not sure we can get the momentum going. Still, unlike a good many of the party who've abandoned the whole endeavor already, to walk away would be a staggering loss to me.

Because I'm still able to attend gatherings like these. It wasn't a spectacle. It wasn't a drunken revery with apocalyptic undertones. It was just friends sitting on a porch in the darkness of the early morning, taking turns telling stories, laughing. It was a phonecall from a continent away and a chorus of cheerful yelling in peculiar accents. It was crashing on a familiar futon and eating junkfood for breakfast surrounded by noders sprawled in rocksolid states of sleep. It was relaxing and homey.

We don't do tribes anymore. Cities and technology render them infeasible. We've packed too many people together in spaces too small and now we're growing ill from anomie. But we're clever, human beings. We've figured out ways to compensate. We've figured out that you can use wires and electrical pulses to find new tribes, to cocoon yourself with the telepresence of those of like mind.

E2 is a family to some. It's a community to others. It's a writing resource or a library or a chatroom or a graveyard or just a damn website, with nothing more worth saying.

For me, E2 is a tribe. I love my tribe. I'm selfish and I'm stubborn and I don't want it to die.

I want to hear Wiccanpiper impersonate celebrities. I want to listen to briarcub improvise on the piano. I want to talk editor shop with Apatrix. I want to sleep over at brainwave and evadyne's. I want to watch thrillers with Brooksmarlin. I want to go drinking with vandewal. I want to hear more of Junkill's stories of massage clients. I want eien_meru to use more British slang. I want to gush fanboy silliness about The Dresden Dolls with chaotic_poet. I want gwenllian to remember her time with the wolves. I want to survey bookshelves with dann.

Entropy fuck off. These are my people.

Friday

"I'll be sure to have loud heterosexual sex while you're here." -Apatrix to Wiccanpiper

The Outies Carvan of Doom II headed out from Normal, IL at 5 on Friday. Wiccanpiper stood at the helm driving the backseat Pirateboys, me and eien_meru (a suprise addition), and Wiccanpiper's partner in crime, Briarcub. It was my second nodermeet and all the nervousness that preceded the first was absent, replaced by a slow growing buzz of excitment.

eien_meru had jumped the gun and had hit West Layfayette somewhere around 9 am that morning, waking up our gracious host. We were told that he was not a morning person. eien decided to kill time, and the enviroment, by driving the extra two hours to Wiccanpiper's.

The drive was nice as our ragtag pseudo-family rambled through the cornfields as eien_meru and I picked on each other and Wiccanpiper and BriarCub laughed and added fuel to the fire. We were the second car to arrive, shortly after night fall, izubachi already settled in as the little boy nodling, Ian, has already attached himself to izu's hip.

gwenllian greeted us at the door with her and Apatrix's female nodling, Rowan, and psuedo-nodling, Ginny. I was the only new face and so I was passed around, introduced, and processed into the collective, or what there was of it. Apatrix was still awaiting the arrival of Dann at the airport and the rest of our menagerie had yet to arrive. Inside, a table laden with food, including a squid shaped bread thing, waited, with cages of small animals for entertainment. An accompanying drink laden table waited in the room adjacent.

We started Young Frankenstein after it was revealed that I had never seen it. I can't say that there are many more movies that are so appropriate to start a nodermeet. Brainwave and evadyne wandered in mid-movie and another round of introductions was made. The movie wound down and Dann and Apatrix made their way in.

We sipped on wine, booze, and pop as the night progressed, munching on the various plates as people caught up, got to know each other, or simply just reveled in the act of nodermeeting. Our hosts announced the development of Apatrix 2.0 and there was much revelry. I was the newest noder, ranking in at just over a year. Everyone else was an old pro at this and the flow of conversation between old friends was warm and salty.

It drifted slow into the night and one by one, we all crawled away to drift off to sleep, except eien_meru and dann who chatted on the porch until 7 am.


Saturday

"London is calling and it's calling us gay." - gwenllian

Saturday brought groggy heads peeking up around 10 am and puttering about. The nodlings were scampering about doing various brickabrack as the Outie filled living room groaned and rolled over, ignoring the evil daystar peeking in through the curtains. The house, outside of the nodlings, awoke one by one and started stumbling about bleary eyed. Wiccanpiper and Briarcub made a run to the local market and returned with a morning basket of sort-of-freshly-baked goodies. Junkill arrived from his friend's place and Brainwave and evadyne wandered over from their place, bringing izubachi. We chatted about what the day held: a trip to the Global Fest at the local college, Purdue, and a visit to Wolf Park.

London called. And it apparently called us gay. I couldn't really tell though as we all crowded around speaker phones and yelled unintelligibly to each other, one side coming in with an accent more fun. It was chaotic, but beautiful and fun.

Vanderwal made a last minute addition and we all rambled out into cars and vyed for parking over at the University. We wandered the mini-globe setup in this little corner of Midwestern America, munching on stuff I couldn't pronounce and looking at things from across the world and BrooksMarlin joined us mid-meal.

There's something odd to be said about the fact that the only time I see the other Chicago Noders is outside of Chicago.

In other news, we got to play with a two-toed sloth and I think we're all better for the experience.

We eventually retired back to our host's place where the boys brought out their toys and I joked around on the piano and the nodlings were nodlings. It was peaceful in it's semi-anti-social, yet still social, chaos.

The wolves that night were powerful and their voices keened lovely. The audienced howled at them and then sat back as the lupine echo rang through the night. gwenllian had wandered off to the land of work, but the rest of us piled in again and headed off into the semi-wild of Wolf Park. The wolves paced back and forth in front of the plump and rather edible looking children, looking cute and as wild as handraised, constantly researcher observed creatures could be. Junkill's Suzi and his friend joined us for this. Night set simply to the howls of the semi-wild.

It all faded again to talking in a circle, a smokey porch, and each person dropping off slowly into the night...

It all itched like old warm memories barely remembered, tasted like words left on the tip of a tongue after a lovers chat, and it all ended too soon.


Sunday

"Notre Dame's one of those hard schools to get into if only because every Irish kid wants to go to it and Irish Catholics can breed." - evadyne

Sunday broke a little less groggy, but a little more drained (and a tiny bit sad). It'd been a fun weekend, but all good things come to an end. The kids watched cartoons in the den while everyone else got ready for the day and planned out when they'd leave. We all had time to catch a bite though so we trekked our way out to the Route 66 Diner. It was the same tune here as it was all weekend, just a different setting: laughter and mirth sprinkled with random wisdoms.

The rest of the Outies Carvan headed out after this. I was catching a ride with izu back to Chicago and that allowed me to enjoy two more Lafayette pleasures: frozen custard and this awesome little bookshop called Von's. I've come to the conclusion that the natural habitat of the noder species must be a place like Von's. Bookshelves that reach way up and held a variety large that everyone was soon sequestered away to various sections. The place itself was more than just books -- the basement held a comicbook shop and there were two other sections on the main floor: one for beads and decorations, the other for music and dvds. We all left with a little something. I walked away with a small stack of literary criticism.

From there it was Frozen Custard, and then goodbye.

It was a thoughtful ride home and izu was a gracious host, if host can be used in reference to a driver. My second nodermeet was much less a head rush than the last. With my feet on the ground and with the people around me, this was a much calmer and almost subdued feel... It was sipping wine on a porch late at night. It was nestled in a circle chatting silly things or serious things. It was talking about the site we loved and what it was and is and will be.

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