Hawk helped me write the following description of the social. Comments from other people are included and attributed.
These people bothered to show up: Chad Orzel and his friend Paul, Brad "Puppybrother" Smith, Mike Ikeda, Joe Morris, Brian Ritchie, Courtenay Footman, Melissa Horn and friend Kim, Novak of Novak, Bill Garrett, Hawk, Megan O'Neil, Josh Hall, Jim Folsom (aka Corwin2), Jennifer Edelman, Dave Harris, Silver Nelson, Chris Williams, and Bryan Ecker. We were hoping that Piglet would come, but she blew us off to play a game of softball.
The food was rather good, but a bit bland. I guess that's why Brad picked it.
[Chad adds: Yeah, like it takes guts to show up when Brad picks the food... "Oooh, I don't know... It might be too exotic... I'll just stay here with my bread and water..."]
Someone (Joe Morris) told us about a local outbreak of AOL troublemakers.... It seems that there's a bunch of kids running around the Northern Virginia area spraypainting their group's initials all over buildings and walls. They call themselves the "Aerosol Out-Laws". You figure out the rest.
We were a rather lively bunch. There was a half-wall behind us, and Chris and Novak went climbing when they decided to visit people. I suggested we get a picture of several darkfriends climbing over the wall and "going over the top". Nobody was interested.
At one end of the table, Novak held court and everyone sat around as he dispensed his pearls of wisdom on one mundane subject after another. Or maybe he was just dispensing pearls, and that's why there was a crowd around him. In another part of the room, Megan Chris, Melissa, and Hawk discussed BDSM. Maybe that's why everyone else gravitated towards Novak's end of the table.
Megan showed us some of her body piercings, including those that required her to remove clothes and open orifices to show. She told us about amusing tales about what happens when she and her friends have to go through airport metal detectors. After that, she demonstrated that she could hold a glass between her breasts and drink out of it. (Damn, Novak, you shoulda kept this groupie!)
The manager eventually became disturbed by how much we were distracting his staff (the male cooks were very appreciative of Megan's antics with the iced tea glass) so we left the restaurant. As usual, we milled around outside for the next half hour. Picture 20 people all saying, "I dunno, what do you wanna do?"
Silver "knew" the area, and came to the rescue by suggesting a "nearby" bar. Unfortunately, the bar turned out to be just a little farther than she thought. Like 25 blocks away instead of just 10.
Bardo's is an interesting bar. It used to be a car dealership, and to preserve some of the old mood, they've lodged a classic car midway through one of the plate-glass windows in the front of the building. (I don't think that was there when the place was a car dealership... I know I'd think twice about buy a car from a guy who'd crashed one into the front of his own building.) For an ex-car dealership, however, it had very little parking. There were signs all over the place telling you not to park anywhere except in a lot that didn't actually exist. (I mean, the lot was shown on the map, but I circled the block 3 times and didn't see it. And that's pretty amazing considering the map said it had 300 spaces.)
After trying unsuccessfully to find this parking lot Utopia, I broke my car window. I didn't do it intentionally; it just shattered when I pulled the door shut. It was sort of interesting in a way... as the door clicked home, I saw the window immediately fragment along a thousand spider-web line, and it hung there in space for an eternal split-second until the tiny pieces rained all over me like spray from a waterfall. Except the pieces were edgy glass instead of water droplets. Bummer.
After all the parking and window-breaking was taken care of, we started to drink. And talk. And drink some more. Chris and Megs dragged Melissa, Kim, and Josh into a continuation of the BDSM conversation that they'd been having at the restaurant. The folks at the other end of the table were having a one-upsmanship contest on who'd broken the most expensive piece of lab equipment, I think. "Oh yeah, well once I turned a class 5 laser on after draining out all the coolant!" Geeks.
Hawk started talking about her ex-boyfriend John, and someone else (Megan, I think) misheard that as Hawk saying she used to date John Novak. Speaking of Novak, Melissa decided to stop making moves on Chad and began working on Novak instead. She was fondling his hair, and giving him hugs, and... nevermind. They made such a cute couple!
Breaking my window earlier in the evening turned out to be a blessing in disguise. After the window broke, I moved my car to a safer place (ie, one where people won't walk by and spot the car that's easy to break into) at Hawk's brother's house. Chad and Silver, whose cars were parked next to mine originally, got towed. Why does a 9-5 Mon-Fri business tow people on Saturday night? Damn parking lot Nazis.
Now for a few quotes taken out of context.
"Well I can come in halfway."
"You're not going to learn social interaction at Texas A&M."
"Well, Josh is easy but John Novak is hard, but not hard enough."
Oil Can Porter
-smooth, sweet, chocolate flavor
(Okay, this wasn't said at the social, but it was one of the beers that Bardo supposedly offers. Chad tried to order one, but they were out.)
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