Wed, May 9, 2001
I debarked from work with suitcase and laptop for the airport. Was at the airport in time to hear the final call for a direct to indy flight. Inquired about taking an earlier flight to at least get part of the hassle over with. unfortunately, I had missed the only one that would get me to indy any earlier, and my uber-cheap ticket did not allow standby on other flights.
Flight was ok to Midway, switched planes just fine, and the second flight was going well right up until just before landing...
Some idiot sprayed perfume/cologne... in an enclosed space like an airplane, it's like spraying it in your face. It was strong. I have allergies. I was coughing, tearing, and having a hard time breathing until we landed.
One of the flight attendants sprayed something in the bathroom to kill the smell there, which didn't help either. The nice person sitting across from me gave me a lifesaver in order to help.
Ankh was waiting at the gate and we went to get Thai for dinner. Then we hung out until early in the morning.
Thurs, May 10, 2001
Went to the rents place. I had breakfast, did some troubleshooting on the computer, and basically chilled out. Drove to Muncie, arrived at Jingoro's place just as he was leaving the driveway. Switched cars.
Jingoro wanted me to be there by noon, and I arrived slightly ahead of schedule. The plan was to do some running around and get a few things finished before leaving, around 3pm.
Knowing Jingoro, I figured midnight might be more accurate. It was obvious that 3 wouldn't be it, but it started dragging on even more...
When the hockey game came on, I was sure we wouldn't be leaving until midnight.
Alas, finally Jingoro realized that we had better get on the road, so 8:00 was just about the time we left.
We did do a few smart things, like pooling cash for some food to have in-room in case anyone got hungry, and drinks... We also planned to pool liquor. Jingoro had just gotten an oil change an minor maintenance done on the car as well.
We arrive at Beldurin's place sometime late, packed his stuff in the pile, and continued to Jingoro's parent's place. Beldurin and I put the others (including the driver) to sleep with tech talk regarding our jobs and toys.
We moved some of our stuff in, and Beldurin and I realized just how hungry we were. We petitioned Jingoro to make a run to get some food, and ended up at a local Denny's, which despite it proximity, seemed to take an awful long time to get to. Denny's was.. well, a Denny's... which is to say we got awful service, barely edible "food", and were surrounded by late night trash of all sorts. We did enjoy ourselves though.
We cracked jokes at Denny's about all sorts of things, and did a whole lot of insulting and teasing each other. Beldurin and I cracked up at a real life example of Timmy, which is kind of mean, but it happens.
we finally got out of there back to the house and slept.
Friday, May 11, 2001
I didn't sleep very well, but I did have my own room and bed, which was nice. The sounds of his parents getting up for work in the morning were really loud, and just as I was getting back to sleep, the alarm went off. My job was to wake up Jingoro, Lum, and get into the shower. Jingoro would wake Plague and Beldurin.
I took my shower, got dressed, and repacked my gear. Plague and Beldurin were still sleeping, but I figured Jingoro had woken them and when he got out of the shower, they would be mobilized.
Jingoro spent an awful lot of time talking about plans for the day and getting directions from his father and other things, so much so that I'm not exactly sure when he finally got into the shower. I wandered the house, had a bowl of cereal, read the paper, and finally ended up breaking out the laptop for some Slay and AoE2...
Jingoro called the other people involved with the trip, and during that conversation announced that he was pissed because Plague and Beldurin weren't up yet. Which I thought was his job.. oh well.
It ended up that while waiting for the other people, they went to the store, they got ready, and I played Majesty....
Finally, they returned, and we mobilized. Packing the car was a challenge, but it worked. We started off at a liquor store, where I bought 12 packs of Mike's Hard Lemonade and Honey Brown. various rum and vodkas bottles were also purchased or had been brought by various people.
We then dropped of Ryoga at his house, packed his stuff fin our car, but he went in the other vehicle. We confirmed radio channels, and were going to caravan, except that some felt food was in order. Fast food again. Ugh.
The trip wasn't too bad, we got to the hotel in reasonable time, though not the 11am that Jingoro wanted for some unknown reason.
I managed to find some of the people I wanted to within the first few moments of our arrival, and had to be dragged away once the room was secured to unload.
I wandered for awhile, said hello to more con friends, ran into old friends I hadn't seen in a year or more, and all that sort of thing.
We met back for dinner, the plan was to go to Mitsuwa... it took us about an hour for a 15-minute trip due to misdirection and the fallacy of democratic navigation. They were closed. Now, I know my friends. They are still in college, while I've got a "real" job. I also have spoiled myself in the arena of food. The entire trip I avoided fast food, and I knew that this was my only chance for a "real" meal.
So I suggested a local steakhouse which I really enjoyed on previous trips. When queried about how expensive it was, I just answered "don't worry about it." We arrived, and all 6 of us were seated in a nice booth. The menus flipped over, and I could tell from the looks that this was a bit above their budgets. So I mentioned that they should order whatever they wanted, since I would be paying. I noticed
that some of them were looking to the cheaper part of the menu still, so while we debated the different selections, I kept suggesting that they get my favorite steak, which was one of the more expensive ones. They were finally convinced of my sincerity. Dinner was good, with such highlights as the server joking like she was one of us and Beldurin's mostly-tequila long island tea.
We returned to the hotel.
Jingoro's SO had a Lum costume that was the envy of approximately 90% of the con. Ok, and the body to match was also a major source of that envy.
During the night, I managed to consume approximately 12 beers/hard lemonades and fall asleep at hell. Wandered back and slept in the bed with Ryoga. Slept like shit, and both Beldurin and I were annoyed at Jingoro's snoring. As snores go, Jingoro's is about the level of highway construction - the walls were rattling, but only in our room. A few years ago at a con, there were dueling snorers in the room, and the noise level was about the level of ground zero for a shuttle launch - 3 rooms away you could still hear it. Luckily, having learned my lesson from that time, I had packed earplugs. These worked very well in lessening the irritation of the sound, and let me get some semblance of sleep.
Saturday, May 12, 2001
Saturday the alarm went off at 7:30 thanks to some asshole that stayed there previously. By the time Jingoro's wake-up call came at 9, most of us were awake and somewhat mobile. We were set for a day of wandering the con. Dinner plans were thought up which included pizza and wings later in the evening.
Jingoro and Lum assembled their costumes and started heading towards panels and such they wanted to catch. Beldurin and Plague were the last ones up, so I left them to do such and assemble their costumes. I just wandered for awhile.
I managed to get in line for the DDR USA Mix machine and do Make A Jam versus by myself. It wasn't my best showing, as I haven't played on an arcade machine in months, and I don't practice that performance at home. I nearly died when I was done, ran to the water, and left to find somewhere to sit and calm down. I finally settled outside of reg, so I could watch all the people wander by.
I contacted Beldurin a nd Plague via FRS (damn handy things to have on-hand during cons and similar events) and they were heading down soon, so I kept watching and waiting. Finally, I decided I needed a bit of a snack and a DrP, so I went up to the room. Evidently, I just missed them. The called on the FRS asking where I was, so I headed down to meet them. We hooked up with Jingoro and Lum, and wandered through the con stopping constantly for photo ops.
There wasn't much going on. We hit the Match Game and the Game Show, and wandered back to the room for the food delivery, since we had called ahead and given a delivery time. Meanwhile, we watched hockey and drank. There were also a few naps involved. It was relaxing, as dealing with the masses was getting irritating to most of us. The hotel was too small for the attendance anyway, let alone with construction blocking off parts.
Somewhere in there, Plague was told to take off the costume, since the spikes were dangerous. Oh, and we stood in line for the cosplay pre-qualification for quite awhile, before finally being told that they were already full.
Back in more normal garb, we wandered through and such... I was trying to track Goofy down to see what parties and such were happening. The cosplay wasn't over, and pretty much everything was shut down for it. Plague, Beldurin, and I wandered out to the pavilion early so we could get a seat before it got crowded and all the cosplayers arrived for the mass photo ops.
The floodgates opened, and it filled up. fast. Goofy showed up, as well as a few others. We saw lots of costumes up close and personal. J walked up dressed as Lime and talked for a bit, showing off the award he won. Beldurin leans over and asks me "is that a guy or a girl?" I just look at him and say "dude, that's J!" and the entire table cracks up.
We finally found out about 2 parties, and wandered to one of them. Of course, it was already over. The next question was whether to go to the other party or the dance, which was starting soon. We decided to party, and wandered up to it. We weren't sure which room it was, so we ended up in the hall talking for a bit before we got confirmation. We passed the door guards and were in. I was impressed with the full service bar they had.
Met up with a few people we usually talk to at such events, had a drink or three, and relaxed for a bit. Finally, we realized that the dance was going on, so we should stop by... The dance was filled with raver wannabes swinging glowsticks. The music was pretty ok. We tried to use fan dances to take it over, but it just didn't happen - there weren't enough of us. We admitted defeat and went back to the party.
We talked and joked with several different people for who knows how many hours... I was going to leave several times, but it became a contest between myself and Goofy for who could stay up longer. We finally ended up declaring a truce and leaving at the same time. I actually had a spot in a bed with Plague, which I was more than happy to take. Once again, earplugs saved my sanity.
Sunday, May 13, 2001
Sunday morning sucked. I was feeling not too great, and we had to get everything packed and in the car by 11am, although they did extend it to noon. Still, I was way out of it and in no mood to be mobile. Anyway, we all got up, ready, and packed back up in plenty of time. We were out of the room a little after 11. The only problem (a constant in con world) was trying to get out of the hotel - every elevator was full. Some of us just walked down the stairs, but other had coolers and heavier luggage, and decided to wait. Car packing went pretty well, with my stuff going near the door so as to minimize the hassle once we got to the airport.
We wandered back into the con for a few hours, then. Plague and I decided that DDR was a good idea, since 99% of the people we saw were newbies or non-performers. On our starts, we jumped the rails - not realizing that they were not properly bolted to the floor. The stages tilted up and slammed to the ground right as we hit, which was an overall pretty nifty effect. Someone in the back shouted something to the effect of "Holy fuck, those people just jumped the rails!" We really didn't do that well, but it was much more entertaining than the standard shuffling that had been going on before.
We were pretty winded after our set, so we grabbed some water and managed to find a place to sit on a comfy couch outside the lower dealer's room - where we were to meet the others in the next 1/2 hour anyway. Eventually, they wander by and then off again because of some drawing they had tickets for. None of them won anything, and we decided to run to Mitsuwa before the last drawing. Again, we talk a longer than necessary route to Mitsuwa, but it wasn't too bad.
Mitsuwa... ahhh, the Ramen shop is as wonderful as I remembered. I gave advice on what to order to the people who were unexperienced. And we sat down to wait for our orders - it was pretty busy. Most of us had our food, but Jingoro and Beldurin had to wait extra long times... Finally Beldurin got his, and dug in... Then Jingoro. Lum let Jingoro have a piece of beef, which he started choking on, Jingoro ended up in the bathroom for awhile. After a few minutes, Beldurin went in to check up. At this point, I finally realize what's going on, so I head in there to check up.
Jingoro is standing next to the sink, coughing heavily into it... Looks like hell, really. This goes on for a few minutes as Beldurin and I discuss options. Beldurin attempts to get directions to the nearest hospital from someone, but they really aren't that accurate, so we think about trying it again. I wander back to the others for a status update, and Beldurin summons me back to the rest room. Evidently, Jingoro has decided that since breathing isn't getting any easier, a trip to the hospital is in order - like now. Beldurin calls 911 and has an extended conversation with some idiot, who finally sends an ambulance. I go out to meet them, and send Plague back to assist Beldurin. I play lead the paramedics to the helpless person, then go back to update the others.
Paramedics take Jingoro out a back door and into the ambulance. Beldurin gets directions from the driver to the hospital while Plague gets the car. We pile in and start the drive. Beldurin is stating that since the meal was interrupted, we need a food stop. I'm thinking the airport might be a good thing, in case the hospital stay is extended. Meanwhile, the directions were wrong, and we end up a few miles in the wrong direction. So we turn around and finally arrive after getting directions from a gas station.
We wander in, and they will only let a few people back at a time, so we hang out in the waiting room until we get status. Then Plague and I walk back to the car for some sodas and discuss our options. We sit and wait for awhile.. Beldurin goes in for a photo op, and Plague goes in for status update. It seems they want to try an IV with a muscle relaxer and then surgery as a backup.
We finally see them heading out, the IV worked... and we leave. I call RedneckNinja, who had called earlier in the weekend while my phone was off. Lots of joking takes place all around, mostly aimed at Jingoro, of course. Somehow we get to the airport and I catch my flight. No problems, I get to my car and drive home without incident.
I did not read over this once I wrote it. I just wrote it and am now posting it. I may be totally off the mark in places. Fucking hell, why do I need a disclaimer in my own journal? I know I left some things out, especially humor and jokes and catchphrases that I can't quite remember, so if anyone associated with this story lets me know, I'll add it.