I’m sorry that I’m so late in posting this, guys–the past three days have been hellish. The brain-damaged neurotic *&%#$ for whom I’m cursed to provide tech support have been on a tear since Sunday, and half my coworkers computers have been crashing as a result of new software that management decreed we must use. Balance has been a very busy (and pissed) boy.
Now that the venting is done, here are the notes:
3:00 PM–Punctual fellow that I (sometimes) am, I arrived right on time, to find Cheffie in the kitchen, Shadowmaster (a non-SDMB friend of Chef) decorating the living room, and Chef Jr (apparently) on a dose of high-power stimulants. Chef Jr was overjoyed that I had finally remembered to bring my flashfingers powders again. While Shadowmaster was showing off his RC truck (he’s been racing it, apparently, and is quite pleased with it), Cheffie explained the rules of a game he had decided to instigate. Each attendee was to be issued a single string of beads–anyone caught saying the words “yes” or “green” or pointing with an index finger would forfeit a string to the catcher. The prize was to be an extremely silly-looking Mardi Gras jester hat (which will no doubt make many appearances in the photos).
3:15–I am dispatched on a mission: I must retrieve Ayesha and LionSOB from their hotel, and acquire a bag of ice and a bottle of Mountain Dew (for Shadow). As I depart, GRACE ARRIVES. Carefully following Cheffie’s directions, I soon found myself…back at Chez Chef! Isn’t it a shame that a fully-grown and generally fairly competent fellow like myself can get that lost no more than 5 miles from his own home? I’m still not sure how it happened.
3:30–I confirmed the directions with Cheffie, and recruited Shadow as a navigator. Once safely ensconced in my vehicle, I declared “lemming mode on”–meaning that I intended to drive in a straight line until directed otherwise, or until we drove off into the sea. Shadow is a clever fellow; he took the hint and provided (occasionally confused or belated) directions that eventually led us to the hotel. Ayesha and LionSOB were waiting, and apparently had no trouble spotting us as the emissaries of the SDMB–at least, no violence was required to cart them off with us. While LionSOB was acquiring the ice, Ayesha commented on the rather large quantity of Dew that Shadow planned to consume that evening. She assured me that it was insignificant; apparently LionSOB goes through about 4 liters of Coca-Cola a day. I can feel my myelin shuddering at the very thought.
3:45–Upon our Triumphant Return to Chez Chef, we found that JimB and Adam Yax had arrived during our absence. Cheffie had claimed temporary immunity to the rules while he explained them to the newcomers–not that that prevented his son from trying to claim his beads. Subtlety is not Chef Jr’s forte, and he was finding his efforts to trick people out of beads rather frustrating.
4:20–Cheffie was explaining the arcane mysteries of Hurricane mix to Adam Yax in the kitchen. Shadow and LionSOB were apparently talking shop–I couldn’t hear them, but my neepery-sense was tingling. Grace and Ayesha were socializing. I was scribbling frantically, trying to catch up on my notes, which is why I have little to report at this point.
4:30–psiekier and his GF arrived. She seemed to regard the band of merry lunatics he had dragged her into with considerable equanimity, and duly noted that, as Chronicler, I should be notified if she planned to do anything to humiliate herself in an entertaining fashion.
I triggered a flashfingers behind Chef Jr in an attempt to distract him from his quest for beads, startling the crap out of everyone except, it would seem, Chef Jr. In the aftermath, an impromptu finger-snapping contest worthy of a beatnik coffee house arose.
Quotes Out of Context:
Grace: “I’ll thump you back!”
psiekierGF: “They have small balls like that at the gym.”
I caught a vague, unquotable muttering about “ball-less exercises” from psiekier; is his GF due for a disappointment?
4:45–Mrs. Chef returned from work. Aglarond apparently didn’t feel well enough to come. SkySlash was running late.
4:55–Zyada arrived and was duly issued her purple beads. psiekier related a truly bizarre and implausible UL about a tarantula filled cactus. I had never encountered it before, and it led me to wonder how anyone could be gullible enough to believe it. Zyada began recruiting dirt-moving help; she had even brought along maps to her house. Once Grace and JimB had confirmed their volunteerism, Grace suggested attaching a beer to the front of the wheelbarrow to keep Jim motivated. Zyada promptly lost her beads to someone, prompting the comment “Now that I have no beads, the men have no excuse to stare at my bosom.” and the chorus “Since when have we needed one?!”
Chef Jr finally managed to trick Shadow out of his beads.
5:20–Street names, and the obsessively trendy naming conventions of developer, were discussed. Grace mentioned “Preston Vineyards” off of which various wine-themes streets spring. I wondered if the place would ever become so heavily developed as to require a “Mad Dog Drive” or “Mogen David Lane”. I described the ridiculous tangle of Robin Hood references around Sherwood Forest Blvd (on which I briefly lived during college) and an intersection of 6 streets (all variations of 25[sup]th[/sup] Street) that I encountered in Tulsa.
Zyada was recruiting again. “How can I bribe you to come help…short of sex.”
Shadow: “…I’ll get back to you on that.”
Jim, who had objected to starting on the dirt-moving in the morning on the grounds that he couldn’t start drinking beer before noon, was struck by an inspiration: If he kept drinking all night, he wouldn’t have to “start”.
Shadow: “The only problem is that beer and Pop-Tarts don’t go well together.”
Balance: “Beats beer and Cocoa Puffs.” <mass gagging event>
Jim’s 3D family tree came under discussion. I came away with the somewhat confused conclusion that some of his kids are in no way biologically related to each other or to any of his past wives (aside from being the same species, and I’m not sure I can guarantee that ).
5:40–LionSOB is deathly allergic to crab meat. Cheffie had apparently suggested that he could use fake crab meat, and LionSOB could fake his death, but the idea was shot down. I’m not sure quite what to make of this quote from Cheffie: “For those who don’t care to eat on their knees…”
psiekier is quite excited about the Pokémon plates. I think he was having pokachu flashbacks.
5:50–A discussion of movies arose; psiekier, the heretic, claims to have liked “Starship Troopers”. I was horrified and offended until I remembered what a movie-freak I was dealing with. Michael Winslow’s imitation of the really bad dubbing on old kung-fu movies was discussed, in relation to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (about which I’m reserving judgement until it hits the video stores).
Badtz Maru and Deena (sp?) arrived, and are directed to the food and drink.
6:10–Palmyra arrived, and promptly began to be teased, which led to explanations about the skeleton incident for the newcomers. That in turn led to a discussion of movies that must be watched drunk, stoned, and/or in the company of a crowd of friends (possibly also drunk or stoned). The general consensus was that “Army of Darkness” fit neatly into the category (over some objections from psiekier). Even he agreed about “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, though.
Adam related the dark tale of intrigue, past misdeeds, and rampant bureaucracy that almost caused him to miss Samedi Gras. His overt mission in Montreal was simply to undergo a physical examination and interview in an effort to acquire a green card. He has apparently been using that cover for some 10 years now and, thanks to the elephantine bureaucracy involved, it’s still plausible. To add verisimilitude, the top-secret agency (even he doesn’t know who they are) which sanctioned his mission arranged for his flights to be delayed. His cunning plans worked–he retrieved the crucial documents for which he had ventured back into his native land. All seemed well, but the bureaucrats were on the move. They attempted to block his passage at the border by producing records indicating that he had long ago attempted to cross the border with <gasp> a quarter ounce of marijuana. Clearly, such a diabolical fiend must detained! Agent Yax, too well-versed in the ways of his foes for such an elementary maneuver, trumped them by signing a document swearing not to marry while in the US. The overwhelming pointlessness of this so fascinated the bureaucrats that he was able to make his escape while they remained entranced. Such is the fiendish subtlety of Adam Yax, who once passed so well as a Russian in Moscow that he was nearly arrested for trying to sell Russian military equipment (a watch he had just bought) to an American (which, of course, would be a silly thing for which to arrest a Canadian :rolleyes: ).
Ayesha reported that the patio contingent, including herself, LionSOB, and Zyada, were taking turns stroking the Chef. I confess that I knew not what to make of this proclamation.
psiekier admitted that he hasn’t seen “Toy Story 2”, a severe shock to the group. We had all assumed that he had seen every frame of film ever shot.
Computer viruses infiltrated the discussion. Shadow had an interesting story about Micro$oft “support”. A user contacted him about a virus received in Lookout!; Shadow contacted M$ about it for some reason which remains unclear. The tech he spoke too asked him to send in the virus. Shadow, naturally wary, asked how he should send it…and was told to “just forward the email”. Smirks appeared as we realized where this was heading. Sure enough, the idiot tech opened the virus and let it loose in the M$ network.
Palmyra mentioned a paired virus in which each member of the pair monitored the other, and replaced it if it were deleted. Shadow and I recognized this as the classic “Robin Hood and Friar Tuck” hack, which dates back to the days of big iron and punched-card programming.
News from the patio: Ayesha is reported to be playing with Cheffie’s balls, while LionSOB looks on.
At Palmyra’s request, here are direct links to DFW dopefest pictures:
The State Fair and the The Ditch
psiekier apparently doesn’t think his picture shows up enough. Grace noted that she thinks she once saw it on an episode of “Cops”–the one about the Bruce Campbell stalker.
Cheffie wandered in, talking about Oriental artistic styles with regard to composition in art photography–particularly emphasis on environmental factors over people in the composition.
Shadow reported that he once opened a conversation at an office party (during his first week on the job) with the words, “So there I was, standing in line at the adult video store…” He said that the conversation soon fell prey to the spreading ripple of silent, shocked stares.
Palmyra, who had been sitting next to psiekier and his GF ever since we started eating, delicately pointed out that “These two need to get a room.” The couple in question was apparently oblivious to the comment at the time
7:25 (Sorry about the long gap in timestamps)–It’s time for more Quotes Out of Context!
Palmyra: “All I have to do is swallow the baby.”
Multiple sources/chorus: “Zyada’s sucking on the baby.”
(It’s hard to beat a king cake for causing disturbing comments.)
Ayesha quoting Byzantine: “The seam is your friend.” I guess you had to be there.
Grace, on Aglarond’s underwear: “He’s so thin…I can’t imagine anyone making underwear that would fit him that doesn’t have, like, Pokémon on it.”
Shadow is showing off his truck again, this time to JimB, psiekier, and psiekierGF.
7:55–Radio call signs that proved…awkward…were discussed. Several folks remember a radio station with the call sign “KUNT”; it has apparently been changed since. Palmyra commented on “radio voice”, the clear, practiced tones of professional announcers and talking heads. She notes that someone like Peter Jennings can reproduce a horribly inarticulate speech (Rodney King’s “Why can’t we all just get along” was an example she gave) and make it sound profoundly impressive, just by editing out the inarticulations ("um"s, "ah"s, and the like) and applying his trained voice. I pointed out that the teleprompters don’t hurt.
8:00–Guest Correspondent Palmyra had been leaning against the back of the couch as we talk. The tangle consisting of psiekier and his GF were right behind her. Here is her report:
“[psiekier] mumbled something about ‘need to get out of clothes’, which only I heard. She responded with some kissing noises.”
Our Guest Correspondent’s conclusion? “These two really need to get a room.”
Somewhere around this time, Ayesha and Chef Jr have been declared co-winners of the bead contest. Chef Jr chooses the hat, while Ayesha promptly dons the elaborate, little-plastic-baby-encrusted string of beads that had been intended for the mask-making gaming (which we never got around to).
From across the room, I heard Zyada comment earnestly, “Blue jays are very aggressive.” I decided not to ask.
8:10–Amidst teasing, psiekier and his GF finally depart in search of that room. Ayesha seized psiekier about the knees to try to prevent his departure. Skyslash and his fiancé apparently departed without my noticing. Were they ever really there, or were they just another manifestation of the growing Myth of SkySlash? Next time, on “Unsolved Mysteries”…
Another Quote Out of Context–Palmyra (somewhat plaintively): “I don’t have a trick.”
She saw me making a note of that and accused me of having a dirty mind. I’ll allow my illustrious readers to draw their own conclusions about the state of her mind.
8:20–Adam departed. We cancelled the call to INS.
8:30–Shadow was playing with Chef Jr’s parabolic mic, deliberately pumping feedback into his own ears. Well, there’s no accounting for tastes. The little toy works, but it’s not very directional, so I scrapped any ideas for using it to track conversations at future gatherings. Shadow seems rather taken with Palmyra, for which I certainly can’t fault him. (He promised dire vengeance if I mentioned this, but I scoff at such threats. Hey! Stop! Cut it oummmph…)
Outside, the conversation has returned to food. Flan and green olives are discussed at length, along with the culinary inadvisability of combining the two. The show “Jackass” was discussed, but Shadow’s talk with LionSOB about RC racing is closer and overloading the microphone, so I’m not sure what was said.
8:45–Palmyra departed quietly, leaving Shadow a bit downcast and me without a convenient target for teasing.
Deena and I started talking about RPGs–it turns out that she and Badtz are regular table-top RPGers. We reminisced for a while about the Tomb of Horrors, and how our groups coped (or failed to cope) with the hazards therein. I told her a bit about the IFGS, the Live-Action Role-Playing group I play in, and them to come out and watch our next game. (As soon as I get the details from the producer, I’ll let you guys know.)
9:00–Badtz and Deena departed. Deena was planning to drive, Badtz to sail (judging from the way he was tacking ). Jim, Zyada, and I started talking about screennames. We discussed the possibility that online communities may just be ahead of the curve, with a use-name system becoming more common in mainstream society in the future. It’s an interesting conjecture, anyway.
Zyada was called away for some sort of emergency consultation on the patio.
Shadow and LionSOB are talking about hacking, and lamenting the fact that inept little script-kiddies and cracker wannabees are being called by the profound title of “Hacker” without earning it.
9:45–Grace, Zyada, and JimB departed. Chef related some stories about working at Wendy’s that I will leave to him to repeat, if he so chooses–my notes have wound to an end, and all that I remember clearly is something about a gay manager walking up to the front counter, where he found an interesting tableau: Cheffie resting his hand on a female coworker’s breast. “You breeders take it in back.” Cheffie recalled the difficulty of restraining the knee-jerk wisecrack. Here endeth the Chronicle of Samedi Gras.
The hospitality of Chez Chef is above reproach. As always, Cheffie worked miracles in the kitchen. The food was marvelous, the drink flowed freely, and the company was of the best. I had a wonderful time, and am already looking forward to our next get-together.