WEEHU3 - Day 1, which really starts two days before the actual first day of WEEHU, was bright and clear and very Oregon-in-October; that is to say, still summertime. I spent the first part of it at work, then convinced them to let me leave for reasons of personal safety. "Won't you feel responsible if I die driving all night to San Francisco?" I asked them, and, mostly because it was really slow and I was really superfluous, they let me go. Which turned out to be quite necessary, because my co-driver backed out on me. Solo all-night drive! Woo fucking hoo!
I actually really like to drive at night, and I'm a commuter by nature, so it wasn't that much of a hardship. Except for the no-sleeping part. But more of that in a moment.
Because I was driving, I had planned on taking slightly more stuff with me to WEEHU than I would have had I been flying; with the loss of a second person's stuff in the car, I had no choice but to bring more stuff. So in the car on the way home from work I planned what I would be packing. (It turned out to be one rolling luggage rack worth of stuff. And I am not ashamed.)
My Packing List
One large suitcase (softside) - CLOTHES
One small suitcase (softside) - half MAKE-UP/JEWELRY, half STUFF*
One carry-on size suitcase (hardside) - CLOTHES/SHOES for the Calico
One Army regulation-size duffle bag (not actually from the Army) - SHOES/BOOTS
One carry-on size bag (softside) - extra blankets (which I completely forgot I'd brought.)
One large shopping bag - COOKIES. More on the cookies shortly.
One official Coca-Cola delivery flat - 9 litre size bottles of Coke Zero, 1 bottle of booze**.
One leather briefcase - my laptop and the important external hard drive, plus notebooks...
One large handbag - EVERYTHING ELSE NECESSARY FOR ME TO LIVE MY LIFE.
It's really not that much...
Oh, yeah, right.
One Electric Piano (which never got played, but we could have if we'd gotten around to it...)
One Electric Piano Stand & Bench
It's still really not that much. I mean, I could still see out all the windows.
Anyway. I get home, I do laundry, I make the first batch of cookie dough. Then I make the second batch of cookie dough. Then I make the third batch of cookie dough. Then I make the fourth batch of cookie dough. This is a shit ton of cookie dough, and my life would be easier if I could get my hands on 3 or 4 extra kitchen maid mixer bowls, but I do what I can. What I'm going to do when my mixer finally dies I really don't know. It's the one my Mom bought new when I was 9, which makes it spring of 1981. I inherited it when she got a shiny new one, and she's regretted that ever since. The new ones just aren't the same...but I digress.
The Four Cookies
Chocolate Chip. No, you cannot have the recipe. The only person who has it other than me is my sister-in-law, and it was part of her Christmas present last year. You have to really work at impressing me to get that recipe...or be family and have a love of baking that approaches my own.
No, you also cannot know the secret ingredient. Work out your own special recipe!
Earl Grey Chocolate Chip. So good! And even better if the lid is put back on the airtight container properly by the people in the con-suite. (They were good crispy too, I suppose, but they weren't...quite...right...after that.)
No, earl grey tea is not the secret ingredient in recipe one.
Dark Chocolate Oregon Hazelnut Stout Crinkles. The High Ruler over all other cookies. The One Ring of cookies if you will. The best fucking cookies I have ever made. (And more on these cookies later.)
Molasses Crinkles. My family's favorite cookie. The attendees' of WEEHU least favorite cookie. There's no accounting for taste. Whatever. That just means that I got to eat more of them than I thought I would.
Now everyone should understand that baking is the thing I do to deflect attention off of myself in new social situations, which technically wasn't a necessary thing at WEEHU because I'm an old pro at WEEHU-ing now. But (and this is one of the only things in the entire world about which I will be unabashedly arrogant) I am a fucking marvelous cookie baker. My cookies are phenomenal. People should pay me to bake them cookies. (And they have.) People should throw themselves at my feet and beg for the honor of eating my cookies...wait...why didn't I do that?! (Note to self, at the next EEHU, make people beg at my feet for cookies...)
In this case, the cookies served a greater purpose. I needed something to occupy myself while I stayed up all damn night. Mixing, chilling, and baking something around 24 dozen cookies used up the time nicely. When they were done I made sure the "food" portion of my packing was ready to go, then went and sorted clothing. And jewelry. And Stuff*. And then went to bed for 3 hours or so.
Which brings us to Wednesday morning. I got up, messed around online, as you do, (well, as I do), organized make-up and toiletries, then went back to bed for another 6.5 hours. I was trying for a full 8, with the idea being that then I'd have no trouble staying up during the drive, but 6.5 was probably more than I should have expected. I woke up around 7; this gave me ample time to get everything officially packed, get myself properly prepared (because shaving in a hotel shower = not fun) and the car loaded, with time to spare for more messing around online.
In support of messing around online: a certain person was coming to WEEHU from destinations far, far away, and it would have been down-right rude of me to not talk with them as they were trying to stay up all of their respective night, right? Right.
At 12:30am I set off for a weekend of trance, adventure, and smut. Just the kind of vacation that suits me best!
Highlights of the drive include: never getting lost despite unexpected road closures/accidents along my route (thanks, Salem, Oregon and middle-of-nowhere California,) chatting with the cashier at the gas station in Yreka, and the orgasmic crescendo in "Pines of the Appian Way" happening just as the sun was rising over Mt. Shasta. (Note to anyone who might care - "Pines of Rome" is my favorite piece of classical music, and "Pines of the Appian Way" is my favorite part of it. It was written by Ottorino Respighi, whose works were a major influence on the style of John Williams, which you can hear quite clearly in this piece, especially in the use of woodwinds. But again, I digress.)
I arrived in beautiful Belmont, CA around 11am, and met up with Felix Krull for our traditional first-day-of-WEEHU brunch. (We've done it twice. Therefore it is now a tradition.) While I awaited him, I chatted with the Calico via Skype, and was informed that, somewhere in the hotel, a Bannable Offense lingered. After an exhaustive search (I walked over to the one person using a hotel provided computer to surf tumblr and asked the air "Is there a Bannable Offense within the sound of my voice? Turns out, there was) I located Banny and Felix and I dragged her to brunch with us. Let me tell you, there is nothing more entertaining after a 10-ish hour drive than watching two highly educated people discuss the failings of our public educational system (as well as the negative impact of a societal expectation that college degree = smarter/better/etc has on some people) over omelettes. Eventually, we used up all of Felix's lunch hour, and Banny and I went back and hung out in the foyer of the hotel some more. If I recall correctly, that is when we encountered Dancecode, Unsunng, and W, two out of three whom I'd met the previous July at MEEHU. Others who trickled in while we sat around were Flower (who I'd met at MEEHU) and KnowingSmile, Max and Lily (who I met in September in Seattle), and Orchid-Girl (with whom I'd only chatted online) and AndSleep (who I'd met at WEEHU1.) And of course Carneggy and Kat. Who I know because Reasons.
I'm taking the time to point out how I know all these people because as recently as 6 months ago if you'd told me that I'd be attending an event and not only know a lot of people but call them my friends I would have scoffed at you. It's kind of a big deal for me.
Anyhow, once Carneggy and Kat arrived we got to go up to our room. I'm pretty sure people were impressed with the amount of stuff that I'd brought - that look on Carneggy's face was totally "I'm impressed" and not "I'm resigned". I'm totally sure. Yes.
Banny wasn't going to have a room until after 5, so she hung out with us, and got to see the grand unveiling of all the shoes, the clothes for Calico, the jewelry, and the Stuff*. For some reason, she was really impressed with the high-test fishing line, although it sadly never got used for anything. Did I take advantage of this time to nap? OF COURSE NOT. You are talking the crazy talk right now. (I had been up for only 22 hours or so by this time. Piece of cake!) Somewhere in all of this, ZanyM and MrDream's plane arrived, and we texted back and forth about the wonders of air travel and rental cars (and also whether or not Zany was going to make it to the hotel in time to ride with me back to the airport to pick up more people. She did not.) So, right around 4:45 Banny and I went back to the airport to pick up Lee Allure and Lizzidoll. I am not too proud to admit that I am a much better driver when there is no one else in the car. I get distracted. But we eventually made it to the airport, picked up our two lovely passengers, and after running a Very Important Errand involving blindfolds***, made it back to the hotel unscathed. We collected Carneggy and Kat from where they had been resting and went back to hang out in Lee's rooms to chat until dinner time. A bunch of us went to dinner at a local Afghan restaurant (which was fantastic) and I got to catch up with even more people who I'd met at previous events, including HypnoMaestro and Mephki. I somehow ended up sitting next to Lizzidoll rather than Carneggy, Kat, and Heidi (a new friend from Seattle) - mostly because I blindly followed Liz left when I should have turned right, and thus got to have the fun of seeing her totally fangirl when she found out she was sitting across from HypnoMasterD. I was definitely feeling the fatigue at this point; there were so many different conversations going on around me that I nearly drifted off into trance to compensate. But only nearly. After dinner we made it back to the hotel just in time for Lee, Lizzidoll, Zany, and I to practice our Sekrit Projekt before DJ Pynchon arrived. That lasted all of 15 minutes before Pynch arrived, with the Calico in tow. There were hugs all around, then I ended up spending quite a bit of time in the adjoining room so that I was out of sight of the main room, for reasons that I shall go into in my Day 2 post. I will say that Pynchon also had to use an entire luggage cart for all of his stuff...but I fancy mine was more full. I spent part of that time frozen like a statue, because why not, right? But most of it in watching a mindless Lizzidoll make endless circuits between the two rooms.
Which brings us to the Highlight of the Evening.
The Highlight of the Evening
You, Gentle Reader, are hereby invited to imagine first-hand the delightful spectacle of a somewhat absent-minded DJ Pynchon realizing that the dazzling and entranced English Rose his unconscious mind had been preventing him from noticing was in fact the lovely Lizzidoll, come all the way from England for WEEHU. It was the Best.Surprise.Ever. They had a marvelous little meeting of minds, which I will admit I got a little spacey watching, and also a little turned on. (You'd have to be dead to not have been a little turned on.) And that's all I'll say about that.****
Carneggy and Kat were getting over being sick, and I had been up for something like 28 hours at that point, so we toddled off to bed, so that we could be well-rested (for certain definitions of "rest") the next morning.
*the STUFF aka the things I collected that I thought would be useful in some way or another at an erotic hypnosis gathering.
items for goody bags for my Subjects Safe-Space talk
high-test fishing line
standard tape measure
bell (the kind you ring for service at a shop counter, not the kind you ring for service from your servants.)
plastic covered clips (five for a dollar at the Dollar Tree)
compressed air canister
**what I call Lemon Flavored Paint Thinner. If properly aged, it would have been Limoncello. And I have two other bottles of it that will be marvelous in two months or so. But this stuff...definitely still paint thinner.
***the BLINDFOLDS, a necessary object for anyone participating in a certain brain-washing class later on...
****There will be a participant's version of the Hightlight of the Evening available if there is enough interest. Well, participants? Did you read the footnotes?
A note about footnotes: I am perfectly well aware that I do not organize my footnotes "properly". I don't care. Thank you, and have a nice day.