Monthly Archives: July 2011

Weekend of 22JULY2011 – Tour De Franzia, burner party, shooting, cigars, and fun.

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Weekend of 22JULY11

 

Thursday –

 

So although weekends usually start on Friday, this weekend was started by a single instant on Thursday. Specifically, a momentary loss of balance, a rolling of the ankle, and a light cracking noise, which heralded in the pain of a weekend with a sprained ankle.

 

On Thursday I was helping my friend Danny move from Malden to Newton, and we had just finished packing up the car. As I walked to the drivers side door from closing the trunk, I stepped into a pothole and felt myself starting to fall sidewards. And then I felt my ankle starting to slide sideways… and then I felt it roll completely, finally stopping with a light pop as I pulled it back into position. Fuck. My body convulsed and held itself for a second as a light set of shock set it, but I was able to recover and finish helping Danny move (although I didn’t walk very much, mostly using the car). Before I went to bed that night I pulled out the old cane I had in the closet and grabbed the medical wrap that I keep in my first-aid kid. After wrapping my ankle and propping it up on a pillow, I hung the cane next to the bed and drifted off into sleep.

 

Friday –

 

When I woke up on Friday and tried to take a step, I knew my ankle was in a bad way. That first step nearly turned into a face-plant as my ankle gave way. I took a hit of Asprin as I put my clothes on, grabbed my cane, and got in the car to go to the ER down the street. On the way I called my boss to let him know that I’d be into the office late, thanks to a bad case of “no good deed goes unpunished”. Luckily the ER was pretty much empty when I got there, save for one guy with a partially-amputated finger, so I was in to see the doctor within 20min of walking in the front door (Yay St. E’s hospital!). After ages of poking and prodding, pain and X-rays, the doctor came in to tell me that I did not have a broken ankle (thankfully!) but that I did have a pretty nice sprain (boo!). They set me up with a pair of crutches and an air cast, and I was sent on my way, heading into work for the rest of the day.

 

Boring work stuff here. SKIP!

 

After work I headed home, grabbed some quick food, suited myself up for an evening of partying, and headed over to Big T’s place to pick him and Maureen and Filipe up. Allison was, unfortunately, not going to be in attendance thanks to a persistant stomach bug, so our group compilation was changing around pretty rapidly. We ate a quick dinner of Quesadillas and then headed out to pick up my friend Emma and her “special friend” who was up from NYC. So with seven people smashed into a five-person car we headed over to the start of the Tour De Franzia.

 

A “Tour De Franzia” is an amazingly horrible idea for a drinking game. You get a team of 3-6 people together, set up various stops and party games, and see who can finish a 5L box of Franzia first. We started with a game of flip cup, then traveled about a mile to the next house where we did a “waterfall” challenge (first time to have everyone finish a cup wins), and then moved on to the final “sudden death” round, where we simply had to finish the box as quickly as possible. Now… my team had been carrying me earlier, because I was driving between stages thanks to my bum ankle. I decided to make it up to them by drinking a clean 1.5L during the final stage. And I did so. And I went from “Stone-Sober” to “Please stop the room, I’d like to get off” within 10min. Not bad.

 

The rest of the party is an excellent blur, but allow me to describe some of the more memorable parts –

 

  • Fencing – I grabbed my cane, T grabbed a bamboo pole, and we dueled from one end of the apartment to the other. There’s a picture floating around somewhere.
  • The Dance” – Filipe always makes people do this silly circle dance, but since I couldn’t partake… I climbed into the rafters and took pictures instead (maybe kicked one or two people)
  • Actual Dancing – White people can’t dance. We’ll leave it at that.
  • The heat – it was balls-fucking way too hot. Sucked, but sweaty dancing and fun and crazy is always a good time, especially when it leads to…
  • Swimming in Jamaica Pond – We all got together and headed over to JP to take a quick swim. I drove with Mike (sober driver yay!), Christine, Maureen and Danny. It was excellent once we finally found the damn pond. Took forever.
  • Sleeping. Drool so good!

 

Saturday –

 

I seldom get into fights, but when I do… the booze wins. I did NOT want to wake up, but my headache was way too strong to get back to sleep once I was concious. So I headed into the kitchen, drank some water, relaxed, and chilled with T until I felt well enough to drive myself home. I drank lots of gatorade and snacked on tons of Saltines, napped, and relaxed until about 1:30, when I headed onto NEU’s campus to grab lunch with T before heading to Reading to watch Harry Potter with Allison.

 

We arrived at the Imax a bit later than intended, thanks to an insane amount of traffic, but met up with Allison once inside. We were able to get rather excellent seats for the movie, and cuddled down to watch (under the watchful eye of her mom and dad, of course. Adds excitement). I have to say… the combination of amazing special effects, Imax, 3D, and the “butt-kicker” seats really made the movie quite stunning, and I’d definitely recommend the Jordans Imax in Reading to anyone interested in seeing a movie there. Totally worth it.

 

After the movie Allison’s folks had us wait for them at the car (so Allison could get her stuff) while they hit the bathroom. Instead of waiting though, we headed inside to get ourselves some ice cream… hot day + excellent ice cream = happiness. We met them back in the parking lot (after Allison got a quick talking-to for “being rude and making people wait”… hypocrisy much? Ok.) and then headed back into Boston, dropped T off, and relaxed for a bit before the evenings entertainment.

 

The evenings entertainment plan was to attend a fundraiser for my neighbors burningman camp entitled “Lets go fly a Bike!”. I had volunteered to play doorman for an hour or so, and thus I chilled out taking peoples donations and giving out wristbands for the first hour or so I was there. I worked with a girl named Lee Loo for the hour, since she could actually hear what people were saying, and Allison hung out next to me for a while… mostly just relaxing, but sometimes giving the death-glare to any girl who got too flirty with me 😛 I’ll admit, it was slightly annoying, but also a nice little ego boost, having girls chased away by a jealous lover. Hehe. I didn’t get to see much of the show while working the door, but I did get to see them setting up the centerpiece of the event; the flying bike.

 

The main attraction was a project by my neighbor that honestly looked a lot like an oil rig with a huge beam across the top. The thing was about 30 feet tall, with an 80 foot pole balanced on top of the rig, mounted via a gimbal. The idea was that a bike would be attached to one end of the pole, and a person would ride around in circles attached to the pole. When they were going fast enough they’d press a big red button labeled “FLY!”, and water would be pumped to the other end of the pole – thus counter-balancing the bike and causing the rider to float up into the air… whirling around 40ft in the sky. It wasn’t working yet (the space was too small), but it was a quite impressive piece, to say the least.

 

After my shift was over Allison and I walked around for a while, checking out all of the pieces of moving art and other creations. We played a few quick games of Street-Fighter on a home-built arcade that projected out onto the wall, watched some BMX and Mountaineering videos on a gossamer screen, and relaxed for a bit on a moving couch. Definition? Amazing. There were two DJ’s and a band playing; the DJ’s were rocking the usual electronica, but the band was being far more impressive with an amazing electric guitar backed up by a full set of Bagpipes… I seriously love electronic versions of “Scotland the Brave”. Mike finally arrived after the band finished their set, but the best part of the show was just getting started: the Spinners and Dancers.

 

One of my favorite performances to watch is a girl spinning fire. I don’t know if its the sensuality of the movements, the danger and heat of the fire, or a combination of the two, but its an amazing sight to behold. The guys are just as impressive in what they can do (if not more so), but a dude simply lacks the raw sexual energy that a skilled female dancer has. To me at least 😛 Tonight was, simply put, my night to enjoy the show… there were five or six amazing spinners, and I took the chance to really work on my camera skills… playing around with different ISO settings, different angles, and even a few attempts to move the camera while it was shooting to induce a blur to the shot. No matter what though, the evenings presentation was amazing, and I had a really great time.

 

The rest of the night was focused mostly on relaxing and enjoying the show, swapping between sitting on the mobile bed with Allison and standing up front to get the best pictures. Allison and Mike actually chilled out on top of the roof of one of the buildings for a bit while I took pictures, but we all chilled out in the same area for most of the party. We each won some random little knicknack in the prize raffle (I got a handbag, that I gave to Allison, and a pair of canning jars), and headed home around 2:30 or so once Allison got tired and the fire-spinning died down.

 

Sunday –

 

The best kind of day, in my opinion, is a day that starts off slowly, ramps itself up to an adventure, and then ramps back down to a relaxing and unrushed sleep at the end. Today was that day. It started off with waking up next to Allison, slowly getting ourselves mobile and showered, and then heading out to get lunch in a quite lazy manner. We ended up trying out a new burger joint near the Fenway called Tasty Burger… Allison somehow knew that I had recently gotten Pulp Fiction stuck in my head and ordered a “Big Kahuna” burger for herself… this burger was a tasty burger! Teriyaki sauce with a pineapple ring on top… damn that was a tasty burger. I even washed it down with a delicious sprite 🙂

 

Afterwards I dropped Allison off at the Pru so she could do some girly-shopping before an E-board meeting (for Anime Club, she’s the VP) and then headed over to the hill to meet T and Maureen. Once they finally got in the car (seriously… why they take so long to leave the house?) we cranked the tunes and jumped onto the highway heading North, to Manchester and the shooting range.

 

The afternoon was spent trapped in traffic, shooting at targets, unjamming guns, being trapped in traffic again, and watching awesomely unrealistic WWII movies. First up; Traffic. It sucks. A lot. Though my favorite cure for traffic? Good friends in the car, good tunes on the radio, and the windows rolled all the way down. Actually… the windows may not have been the best idea, thanks to all the cars around (and thus exhaust)… but it was still quite excellent indeed. The reason for even being on the road was our end destination – Getting up to the shooting range in Manchester so that we could squeeze off a few rounds, practice with a pistol along with the rifle, and generally have a good time. Maureen and I had shot before, but this was going to be Big T’s virgin experience… so we took a bit of time on the ride to give him the lowdown on shooting guns, how they work, the safety rules, etc… So once we got to the actual range, he was ready to roll. The ACR worked like a charm, and the holo-sight was definitely a nice bonus, though for some reason most of my shots went high… more than a little frustrating. The biggest annoyance came with the pistol that we rented though; for some reason it was jamming every few shots on Maureen and T, but not for me. The slide was slapping back too quickly and actually catching the ejected shell casing as it was thrown out… turns out they were holding the gun with a limp elbow, and thus the gun was swinging back as it recoiled, catching the shell as it flew backwards. Interesting. I was not aware that was a possibility, so I hadn’t warned them to keep a straight elbow… good stuff to know in the future.

 

After we shot through a few boxes of shells and wrecked a few targets, we all jumped back in the car and headed towards Boston. On the way we decided that, seeing as Captain America had just come out, we CLEARLY needed to go to the movies again. We arrived about 4minutes ahead of time, rushed into the theater, and saw quite possibly one of the best superhero movies since Batman or Ironman. Seriously… amazing. Red Skull was a bit unbelievable and lacked a good background, but was acted to a T. And seriously? That dude is getting some GOOD roles… Elrond, Agent Smith, Red Skull… hellz yeah!

 

Anyways, after the movie I drove T and Maureen home and quickly swung back around, heading to Cigar Masters to get some smokes before meeting up with Mike at his place. I grabbed a pair of Java Meduros, and actually chillled in the humidor to chat with the attendant for a few minutes; turns out he’s starting up a new coffee shop on Mission Hill near the Squealing Pig, so was interesting to hear all about the process of getting a new shop started. In return for my time he gave me a brand-new cigar punch, so definitely wasn’t a wasted few minutes, hehe. After I had bought everything I headed back out, driving myself over to Mikes.

 

Mike and I spent the rest of the night (and surprisingly deep into the next morning) chatting about pretty much anything that came to our minds. By the time I headed out around 1:30 him and I had discussed current politics, the TV show “Breaking Bad”, relationships, various girls, the Bachelor Party that we’re going to, and everything else we could think up. One decision we came to? We’re going to learn how to spin Poi… I’m preferably going to learn the Fire Snakes that I saw the night before, but Mike was down for pretty much anything that you can spin around while its on fire 🙂 Once 1:30 rolled around I knew I had to head home before it got too much later, so I said my goodbyes and headed back to the car, cruising on home before flopping into bed and drifting off into a most excellent sleep.

Weekend of 15JULY11 – Birthday Party!

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Weekend of 15JUL11
This weekend was just a series of partying, recovering, partying, and 
then napping a lot... Thus I'm just going to give a quick overview 
instead of the usual full-on story.

Friday -
Work on Friday - Stressful.  Why?  I quit my job.  Yep... put in my 
official two weeks notice to my boss, one of the most difficult 
conversations I've had to date.  But its over, and I'm leaving, and 
I'm definitely going on my world trip, WOO WOO!

After work was a lot of chilling and relaxing and eating, then 
picking up Allison and Liz and heading to my Birthday Party at Big 
T's place on the hill.  Stories are as follows;

I got the single greatest mini-keg ever.  Stopping in at the liquor 
store I decided against the usual mini-keg of Heinekin or Newcastle 
Brown, and instead picked up something else.  Not sure what it was, 
since it was completely in German, but DAMN that stuff was tasty!

Disco is back, and it seems I'm the king - "The Sprinkler", "Funky 
big-rig", "the lawn mower", "What is Love", and "The cool school bus" 
were all danced.  Yes, I looked like an idiot.  Yes it was totally 
worth it.

Frat guys + sorority sluts are stupid and annoying.  One frat dude 
with a popped collar and messed up sun visor showed up with three 
fat and scanky girls... they left after maybe 20min thankfully, but 
I did hear a scary concentration of the words "Brah", "tehe", and 
"like, no way!" coming from them while they were there.  But after 
slurping down all their Bud Lights (a 30-rack finished in 15min 
between the four of them) they headed out, since all we had was my 
beer and some Heinekin. It is nice how good beer scares them away...

Filipe now has a disco ball.  Nope, that doesn't make us dance any 
better.  Yes, it makes us looks dumber while dancing like white kids.  
Yes, totally worth it.

Four-Loco, when used in Jungle Juice, is amazing.  I had the sensation 
of being buzzed / trashed, yet absolutely no spins, nausea, or 
unhapiness.  Four-Loco straight = death.  Four-Loco mixed = heaven :)

If you have a jealous girlfriend, then dancing with female friends 
while she is asleep on the couch can be a dangerous thing.  Yeah... 
she woke up half-way through my friend and I doing a horrible 
rendition of the swing and made a flying leap into my arms to 
intercept me.  Ended slightly painfully for me, I'll admit.  Still, 
definitely impressive.

Not being the designated driver is amazing.

Saturday -
Brunch at iHop is quite excellent.

Being flexible is amazingly important - Saturday night was supposed 
to be an awesome fashion party for a girl who was featured on Vogue 
finally, but when we arrived?  Enterance gated, locked, and the 
lights out.  So what do I do?  Tell everyone who's freaking out to 
calm down, and we go to another bar.  Fun times ensue.

Serious business is serious.  I don't understand why people feel the 
need to make everything serious and sucky and PC all the time.  I'm 
trying to get information from a girl about traveling to South 
America, and all she'll tell me is that the natives will shoot me 
for not speaking their specific dialect of spanish / portuguese.  
So I say "ok, so their fairly xenophobic and unfriendly".  Her reply?  
"No, their super-friendly and accomodating!  But only if you look 
like them and speak their language perfectly...  Otherwise they'll 
stab you, rape you, and steal your kittens."  Seriously.  Truth is 
truth, even if its not nice.

I love Air Conditioners, even when they're frozen over and barely 
working they're better than the heat.

Sunday -
Sundays are designed for relaxing, playing video games, taking naps, 
and listening to music.  That is really all there is to say on the 
matter.

 

Weekend of 09JULY11 – CONNECTICON!

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Weekend of 09JUL11
This weekend was Connecticon and pre-birthday partying; a rather 
amazingly fun weekend full of good times and nerdy pursuits.  
Connecticon is a gaming/anime/nerd-culture convention held in Hartford 
CT every year, right around my birthday... figured I'd get a crew 
together and check it out again this year.

Friday -
The weekend really started with my friends birthday party.  
Technically it started when I got out of work... but the intervening 
time was pretty dull, I'll admit.  Allison, Big T and myself were 
planning on leaving for Connecticon early on Saturday morning, so 
we were all going to meet up at Brian's and then crash at my place 
that night.  Plans fell apart pretty quickly though when Allison 
got sick, and T found out he needed to drop his car back in his 
home town... so this evening it was just T and myself checking out 
Brian's party.

I met T at his place around 10:00, and we busted down the door to 
Daniel's place a bit before 10:30.  The party was in pretty strong 
swing by the time we came in, although the fact that we announced 
our presence by dropping (and exploding) a bottle of beer did hamper 
the introductions a bit.  The rest of the night was pretty much 
standard-issue though; some cool drinks, a few games of beer pong and 
flip-cup, and two birthday cakes (one vegan provided by Stef, and one 
awesome provided by Daniel and Brians older sister).  Around 
midnight-thirty or so I started getting bored, and so T and I jumped 
ship and headed back to our places to crash, and prep for the weekend.

Saturday -
T woke me around 8:00, using the scream of my cell phone to tear me 
from an amazing dream-massage; administered by Megan Fox and Kate 
Beckinsale of course... damnit.  I pulled myself from the bed and 
slowly got everything together; I had packed the previous thursday, 
so there honestly wasn't much to do.  I called Allison, hoping to 
hear of her miraculous recovery (she hadn't), and jumped in the car 
to start the drive down to Hartford.

I made amazing time but T arrived first anyways, and started scouting 
out the convention ahead of me.  Unfortunately the room I had reserved 
wasn't cleaned yet, so I parked the car and headed down the convention 
myself.  After about 45min waiting in line to get a ticket I finally 
got in and met T in the dealers room... nothing too interesting to be 
honest.  The one upside was that I got to talk to Ryan Schomer of 
Blind Ferret entertainment; the guy who writes two of my favorite 
webcomics.  I was hoping to talk him into sponsoring my trip, but 
unfortunately we didn't have the time to really discuss it, thanks 
to the people mobbing the booth.  Thus: I'll email, and make some 
plans then.  Before heading out to the hotel, we stopped by the 
fencing tournament to register for the next competition... 2:00, 
just enough time for some food.

T and I headed out to check into the hotel and grab some food.  
Checking in was unfortunately unsuccessful, since the room was still 
(!) being cleaned, but we did get our keys, so thats all the really 
matters.  For food, we headed into downtown hartford to find ourselves 
a brewery for some burgers and beer.  The place we settled on was a 
Steam Brewery with amazing Bison burgers and excellent dark beer.  
After finishing up our food (and T asking the waitress out to dinner, 
unsuccessfully) we headed back to the convention to join in on the 
fencing competition.

After parking the car and walking back over we warmed up with a few 
quick bouts against each other, and some random folks who were already 
at the competition.  I squared off against a guy named Dan to practice; 
turns out the kid was an extremely good sabre fencer, 
national-competition grade.  So of course, my first primarys match 
was up against him... and I got creamed.  I did disarm him at one 
point though, so... yay for me?  T, on the other hand, did quite well 
for himself, and was actually able to claw his way to the finals, 
where he squared off against Dan again, and took home second place.  
Impressive, to say the least... I've got video's of his matches, and 
I'm going to get them up online ASAP.

After the competition we hung out for a bit and visited panels, all 
the while a headache was slowly forming in the back of my spine... 
pro-tip for people attending conventions - Drink lots of water... 
I'm pretty sure this was a dehydration headache that I was strapped 
with.  I ignored it for a while though, and we were able to attend 
some rather amazing panels; "The Art of Griefing" and "Haters gonna 
Hate" by the Nerdfit network were the two best by far.  Those guys 
are hysterical, and the fact that one of their guys was dressed as 
"The Internet", when combined with the fact that their griefing had 
actually been mentioned on The Daily Show, made for an amazing panel.  
In between events we did finally head back and check into the hotel, 
grab a nap and some food, but overall the evening was spent hanging 
out, gawking at the cosplay costumes, and having a blast waiting for 
the rave to start.

One of my favorite parts of any convention is the "electronica dance 
party" event held on Saturday evenings.  They don't like using the 
term "Rave" thanks to the drug use associated with it, but... lets 
be honest, we all know whats going on here.  To say that it was 
amazing really doesn't do the place justice; the music was loud and 
excellent, the people were dressed amazingly entertainingly, and I 
had brought tons of glowsticks that I handed out constantly.  T and 
I had a blast; I ran into an old friend and chatted for a bit, and 
then we headed into the main dance floor and started rocking out with 
the first group of cool-kids that we met; three guys in full-on raver 
outfits, a girl in a tiny tutu (and not much else), a rocked-out 
raver girl, and a girl dressed like a spaztic neon dreadlocked cat.  
Yeah... interesting group.  But the girls were smoking hot and quite 
good dancers, the guys were cool, and the night was young, so we stayed 
and rocked the night away... even joining in on a conga line a 
few times for giggles.

Around 2:30 the rave broke apart, and after a failed attempt at finding 
an afterparty we all headed back to our hotel rooms, worn out from an 
amazing night of fun times and sick beats.


Overview -
wake up, relax, head out
connecticut
Connecticon - arrive
hotel check in... denied
check it out, waltz around, talk to Schomer
fencing... fucking A
panels, first one sucked but met a cool girl
relaxed and got ice cream
tactics... cool stuff, mostly about game theory and basic "why 
                   you're doing it" stuff, but cool
Art of Griefing... damn the NerdFit guys are hysterical - X-23 = SMOKING
headache gets back... nap time
fireworks
haters gonna hate
chill out, meet Braggings
Attempted sneaking into the rave
rave = fun, kitten girl, hot dancer girl, tossing T at girls, 
                     Damara look-a-like
try to find the party... fail
give up, chill outside for a bit, head back, crash

Sunday -
T and I had planned on getting up quite early, going for a swim, 
getting breakfast, and then heading to the morning panel by NerdFit... 
but that obviously did not happen.  Instead, I woke up with about 30min 
to spare before it started, ran downstairs to swim a few laps, hauled 
T out of his bed, and then ran over to the convention without 
bothering with breakfast.  

The Panel was... less than what was expected, mostly since "The 
Internet" wasn't in attendance (hungover, duh) and the few people who 
did attend were hungover as well... just slightly more coherent than a 
hungry zombie.  Never the less T and I hung out for a bit, laughed at 
the few gems and sighed at the many horrible jokes.  At one point we 
all decided that the correct path forward was, of course, writing a 
group song from audience suggestions... the song actually came out 
quite well, even though none of the lyrics synched up together, and 
the rhyming scheme was... sporatic, to say the least.

After that panel there really wasn't too much else to do, so T and I 
headed out to grab some quick breakfast before the next couple panels 
were up.  We couldn't find a D&D (Duncin' Donuts), but we did find a 
Burger King... "Hamburgers!  The cornerstone of any nutritious 
breakfast!".  Yep.  Yummy.  Not healthy, but I've gotta say, BK's 
shakes are by far the best I've had so far, definitely solid.  
Anyways, so we walked back to the center and chowed down while oogling 
at the scantily-clad ladies and trying to guess who was cosplaying as 
what (Hint: the favorite female costume this year was "Slut").  After 
we finished up we took a quick walk around the Dealers Room where we 
ran into some Avatar (the series) cosplayers, chatted for a bit about 
random stuff (T tried getting a few numbers, and succeeded at a 
couple), and then headed upstairs to the panels; "How to expand your 
social circle and talk to people" and "Traveling Around the World".

The first Panel was shit.  Shitty shit shit.  "How to talk to people" 
consisted of an asian frat-boy talking about "being yourself" and 
"just being cool"... all the shit that geeks DO NOT NEED TO HEAR.  
Seriously.  Everything this guy said hurt my brain, from "no, we don't 
sit around playing HALO and drinking Nattie Ice at the frathouse, we 
sit around playing Guitar Hero and drinking PBR!" to "Uhh... what do 
you mean 'pickup artists' and 'ice breakers'?  You mean the gum?".  
The guy talked about nothing for about 10min, and then quicly ran out 
of things to say... after which I started talking, asking leading 
questions and answering other questions that he couldn't think up 
replys for.  Then and there Big T made me promise to host my own panel 
as soon as I return from my trip, whenever that may be.  Deal.

After the shitty panel of hell, T headed out; since he had driven his 
own car he was going to go drop it off with his folks, and have a 
nice family dinner with them.  I went over to the "Traveling the World" 
panel, expecting to pick up one or two good tips from a dork who's 
been to England "that one time in high-school".  Wrong.  This was a 
fully-accented New Zealand guy who was leaving in a week to BIKE 
AROUND THE WORLD, with a grand total savings of... $3,000.  Yeah.  
The guy had some EXCELLENT tips, I'm going to admit, and I really 
enjoyed the presentation.  He had a solid slideshow to keep the basic 
premise moving, but we all chatted a lot about personal plans, worries, 
goals, and tricks we had learned along the way.  As everything wrapped 
up we all exchanged information and blogs and email addresses, 
promising to follow each others trips and trade tips as we learned 
them.

Once the panel was over I headed downstairs to quickly buy one or two 
things from the dealers room (warhammer figurines, 35% off!), then 
headed back to the car and started the long drive home.  On the ride 
I called Allison, then actually swung by her place to bring her back 
into Boston for a few hours before her Dad finished up with work (he 
works ~5min from my house).  We hung out and cuddled for a few hours, 
and then after she left I booted up the computer and played a quick 
game or two with my Dad on StarCraft II.  With the badguys defeated 
and our armies victorious I headed to bed, hoping to somehow get 
enough sleep to make up for the complete lack of rest I had 
all weekend.