Not long after I woke up, I got a call from Jacob, who was babbling incoherently about being a block away and wanting to see us before we left. He had left his VCR in our room, so I told him he should come over and pick it up. He never did show, however, so we just assumed he was dead. Alas.
Checking out was a little crazy (apparently, they almost charged the marathon room to bspalek's tab!), but we got everything taken care of. I checked Jacob's VCR into the bell closet. The only non-us person I ran into was Wai-Yin (backup10).
eirefaerie and I bid adieu to dachelle. Then we hit up Taco Shack to mack on some breakfast tacos. I was unfamiliar with this delicacy. I chose one with eggs and potatoes and one with beans and cheese. I paid for Erin since, like my Poultrygeist Pizza, it was the food she was so excited to get.
We ate on the road. Breakfast tacos are not complicated creatures. The egg-and-potato taco contained eggs...and potatoes...in a tortilla. The bean-and-cheese taco contained beans...and cheese...in a tortilla. I wasn't sure what exactly made the latter qualify as breakfast material. The tortillas were very good, though.
Erin can drive with her knees.
I put on the VM soundtrack, and we sang along to "We Used to Be Friends." I forget what song we were on by the time schnappycat called. She'd woken up late and missed both breakfast and us.
After the VM soundtrack, I put in Sufjan Stevens in honor of jeeperstseepers. I realized "Chicago" would have been a great song to have used for Wallace's departure.
As we neared the airport, we searched for a place to eat lunch. I spied a Jack in the Box, which we don't have in Michigan, so I suggested it, and Erin said, "We're not eating at Jack in the Box," and I said, "Oh," but then we went anyway. I got two chicken sandwiches and an Oreo shake. She got a chocolate shake. We talked about certain people (yeah, we talked about you, dude). I got a message from carpedi7 that I showed to Erin: We miss you!
It had taken us much less time to get to Houston than it had taken to get to Austin, so I was way early for my flight, but that was how it was. Erin and I stood outside at the drop-off point, wondering how to say goodbye after a weekend like that. So rather than make a big spectacle, we had a nice hug. Apparently, if I had waited about five more seconds, she would have said, "So, you want to make out?" WOE FOR MISSED OPPORTUNITIES.
That, for all intents and purposes, is the end of the tale.
But in all the "this happened, that happened" of the previous posts, I didn't get much time to say anything of worth about all the great people I hung out with. The wonderful thing was that with very few exceptions, everyone was exactly as I expected them to be. Especially those whose pictures I'd seen and whom I'd talked to on the phone. So here are some words.
eirefaerie. What can I say? Our friendship sort of creeped up on me, and it's inextricably tied to the Marsathon. She had the in with the Drafthouse, and I had the in with Rob. We coordinated behind the scenes, we exchanged secret information, we laughed and cried at things you had no idea were going on. E-mails flew back and forth all day because apparently Erin has no concept of AOL Instant Messenger. But after time, it became clear why _cinnamongirl_ loves Erin the mostest. Because she's a pretty amazing person. She's got strong beliefs, and she stands by them. She's loyal to her friends, while at the same time recognizing their flaws. She's humble enough to continue denying any credit for the Marsathon, when it's very clear that while it may have happened without her, it would not have been the kickass experience it was without her mad organization skillz. She's more generous than she should allow herself to be. There's more going on beneath the surface than you might think at first. Meeting Erin was like...seeing an old friend. She's awesome, bitches.
iheartbridges is all right, I guess.
It was not sur—oh, fine. iheartbridges is even better in person than you might think. She's jubilant and energetic and...it's late and I can't think of adjectives.
It was not surprising to discover that petunia846 is very nice. It's almost palpable; you can hardly fathom her being mean to you. She's also very quiet, and as a result I didn't talk with her as much as I should have. Oh, and she was the very first one to call me and offer me a Marsathon ticket because she's NICER THAN ALL YOU BITCHES.
Except maybe carpedi7, who was nice enough to bring me dark chocolate (and to check that I actually liked dark chocolate beforehand) even though I didn't realize she'd brought it for me and I was mean to her. But not really, because I'm not really mean to people. Usually. Jenn was very excited to meet me, and I hope I didn't disappoint.
sadiekate claimed I didn't disappoint; in fact, she told QB I was even better than she expected, which...she must have had some low expectations. Kate and I had talked on the phone a lot, so it was nice to finally put a face to the boobs. And, guys, her boobs are enormous. They're bigger than my head. Worship the boobs at rack_of_sadie.
faithx5 could be petunia846's twin sister, except they look nothing alike. But she, too, is extremely quiet and prefers to observe people rather than interact with them. I saw her writing in a journal of some sort, most likely, "Who are these people? What am I doing here? Did eirefaerie just make out with joranbelar? Why am I writing in LJ tags?" It just now occurs to me we should have gotten a picture with her as Veronica and soundingsea as Lilly.
joranbelar is a rare find: an extremely cool guy in the fandom. I'm glad to have met him. The problem is, he's also extremely hot, so now all these women want to date this machine. But I don't need you, beish, I'm on the Rubik's cube team!
schnappycat is an elitist bitch. Who is more fun to be around than most elitist bitches.
thetheatremouse, you weren't there. But we wished you were.
dachelle is way cool. She's always got an idea for something to do, be it Chuck Norris facts, Trouser Snake, or pouring cocaine down an anthill. Plus, we had spicy African peanut soup, and you didn't, so nyah. And what would the weekend have been without her video iPod, Adam Clayton? It allowed us to have an awesome "Lazy Sunday" singalong in the room Sunday night. And that was the last time we watched "Lazy Sunday" that weekend.
Couch Baron is so nice and friendly, guys. I mean, he hung out with us all weekend. All us crazy TWoPers who eat up the bandwidth in the VM4. He could have very easily just done his own thing, but instead he chose to be one of us. For a lot of people, he was more of a celebrity than the actual celebrities, and if you were too intimidated to talk to him, you...shouldn't have been.
Jacob is the Biggest Flake in the World, but he's really just a big teddy bear. Very sweet guy, and while I didn't get to have any scintillating conversations about Third Wave Feminism with him, I did get to hear about how he got into Gilmore Girls. And oh, we were his first TWoPers! He hadn't even met Couch Baron before! So we got to show him that not all TWoPers are lunatics.
You know how kerrypolka is extremely peppy and expresses herself CAPS-LOCKLY in her journal? Yeah, she's like that in real life, too.
hobviously, you were not there! I missed you, buttons. I tried to call you, but you did not pick up. Woe.
bspalek. Again with the quiet. You guys have to speak up! Or else I get distracted by the people who are talking!
To the lurkers who support me in e-mail, I'm glad you "admire [my] work" and think I "help keep the Meet Market in line." But don't be a stranger! Say hi once in a while. I won't mind.
prime_meridian, thanks for the quesadillas!
raelee, your quesadilla was decidedly not spicy. And we totally did not spend enough time together.
backup10 is small and cute, and you'd never expect the things she says on the Internet to come out of her mouth. I would not pardon her snark!
Rob had a really good time, I think. He was very much a person, especially at the marathon. He was funny. He was simultaneously both in tune and out of touch with the fandom. And he likes me! I swear, I'd been waiting for him to finally say, like, "Dude, just stop e-mailing me. Bye." But I suppose I needn't worry about that anymore.
Katie fucking rocks. So incredibly sweet and nice to all these random people she had no obligation to care about. She could have just hung back, but from what I heard, she was chatting up people at Stubb's and everything. I told Rob she's like the female Austin Powers: men want her, and women want to be her.
Greta is teh cuteness. BUT I DID NOT GET TO MEET HER DAMN YOU txtequilanights!!
Kristen is just as pretty and nice as you've heard. Girl apparently has the World's Smallest Bladder, but she talked to everyone she met on her seventeen thousand bathroom breaks. She seemed very appreciative of everyone and everything. During the panels, she was always whispering to Jason, like, "Damn, that Indian guy back there is so hot. I should date him." When she wasn't lusting after me, she was cracking jokes and making fun of people.
Kevin, Kristen's asshole boyfriend, was not actually an asshole, and it was cool to talk to him about the whole Punk'd thing.
Jason is just as serious and profane as you've heard. When he answered a question, it was in a very deliberate tone, as if it were a very important question to be answered. And I'm not sure how many times he said "fuck" or "shit" onstage.
Lauren, Jason's wife, was very pretty but shy, understandably, what with the hundreds of girls who wanted to steal her husband away.
Michael was less of the sweet goofball he is on rack_of_lamb, which was nice. He's a good combination of serious and funny, and he'll switch back and forth with ease. I always thought he was a very sincere person, and meeting him proved me right. He may be a bit of a ham, but he means what he says, and I think he appreciates the attention not just on the "Yay, look at me!" level but on the "Thank you for noticing" level.
violet4120 and shutterbug1, we didn't talk much, but I hope you guys enjoyed yourselves!
It's a funny story about aprilbegins, really. It's not like we interacted on TWoP a whole lot, but we seemed to run into each other all weekend, and we got to know each other a little bit. It's the kind of thing that's great about events like this: not only can they strengthen the relationships with people you already know, but they can create new ones simply by allowing you the convenience of physical proximity.
amberlynne: WTF WHY THE FUCK DID WE NEVER MEET?!?!?! I had this niggling feeling in my head that there was someone I wanted to meet that I hadn't met yet, and I couldn't figure out who it was.
magnolia888, I know we didn't talk a lot, but you were one of the people I wanted to meet, so it was good to see you for those ten seconds.
Oh, zimshan. We did not hang out and do crazy things. I did not get to hear you say adorable things. We barely talked at all! What, do you hate me? Man, you suck! Okay, you don't. But thank you for saying I'm down to earth.
All right, I'm getting really tired, and I cannot shout out to any more people. Suffice it to say that I did not spend nearly enough time with any of you. But it was so great to meet everyone. And if you want to comment in here, we can reminisce about the good times we had. Or we should have had.
I'm sleepy. But first, I have to show off alliterator's kickass icons made from outoffashion's kickass pictures. These three are not for the taking, as I am using them:
And here are some more, a couple from sadiekate's pictures. I don't know you would want to use any of the icons of me, but there are some fun Rob ones:
Finally, I'd like to thank the people who left such nice comments on my recaps, and I'm glad I helped you feel like you were there. They took many hours out of my life, hours I didn't really have, so I'm glad the time was worth it.
I couldn't figure out how to end the previous post, so I ended up going with the simplest and least clever thing I could think of, and this post will be no different. Be ready for it, because it's horrendously cheesy, but I think it sends the right message. We had a good time down in Austin. Good people, good times.
Remember the Alamo.