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Alle and Carl visit Ohio

Posted by julival on October 17, 2002 with additions by Alle

Here is my version of the events of October 10-13, 2002.

But first some background. *g*

For any of you who don’t know, Jeff and I met Alle and Carl in person for the first time in summer of ’01 in sunny Las Vegas at the Freakout there. We had a grand time and were looking forward to seeing each other again for freakout ’02. But then life intervened, as life will do, and neither of them was able to make it to DC this summer for various reasons. I was very sad and missed them. :-(

I missed you guys as well...

But then, YAY! Alle asked me in chat one day how close I lived to downtown Columbus. I thought that was an odd question, so I questioned her further - turned out she had to go to training for work and had a choice of cities, one of which was Columbus, Ohio. *happy wiggle* So I invited her to come stay with me after the training seminar was over. She made all the arrangements with her boss for an extra day off after the seminar and we had a long weekend all set to go! *bg*

Then, of course, our plans were made known and Alle’s warder (and my idol), the illustrious Rhodric, aka Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, very sweetly requested to join us. *joy* So we made all the plans and I got things organized on this end and counted down the days...

Carl had some last minute transportation issues, but he called Tuesday night to say it was all ironed out and we made plans for meeting at the airport on Friday. That boy really needs a new car. Maybe we should start a collection. *l*

Alle got into town on Wednesday and left me a message on my answering machine that she was safe and sound and checking out downtown Columbus. So I gave her a call and we talked for about an hour *l* she’d been to the downtown mall and stuff. Whoohoo! *l* We made plans for me to pick her up at her hotel after I got off work on Thursday and she was out of her seminars.

Julie very nicely neglects to mention that I copied her cell phone number down wrong, so when I tried to call her cell, I got an out of service message. At least I copied her home number down right. Things would never have gotten started, since I didn't have her address with me, and couldn't remember the name of her town. *l*

I did not lose alle. *bg* I was _slightly_ late because of traffic, but I went to the right place and she was waiting patiently and she and I got to talk a lot about Columbus and her seminar and stuff as we slowly but surely made our way back out of downtown in rush hour traffic. *l* then we came home and she had Presents for us! I got some heavenly chocolate macadamia nut coffee, the boys got candy, and Jeff got a hilarious wiggly hula dancer for his dashboard. *lol*

We had a pretty simple dinner - jeff grilled chicken. And alle and I played in the chat. It wasn’t easy working the two different chat windows *l* I kept accidentally saying things under alle’s handle. And there was a newbie in chat that night! *lol* I think she probably thought I was really really weird. (shut up). Alle thought it was all very funny. I have found no evidence to refute her reputation...

I must take exception to this remark...I was very well behaved the entire time. *nods* i don't know why Julie kept flipping me off though.

Somewhere in there, we also had phone chat with a certain smitten kitten. First we called (on direct orders) then she called. We figured it was safe, seeing as how germs can’t travel via phone line. But somehow, Carl ended up with TK plague this week anyway *l*

Alle was pretty jet lagged and I had to get up at my normal weekday time on Friday since the boys had school and jeff had work, so we didn’t stay up particularly late.

I'll interupt the narrative here just to mention something about jeff. Thursday night was the fist hockey game of the season, so of course, jeff watched. He is a very vocal and restless fan. *l* He hums, sings and whistles, claps, cheers, gets up, paces around, sits down, and then starts the cycle all over again. *g* I am glad his team won, he gets quite a workout rooting for them.

We made a plan to leave the house at about 9:15 and we had a little breakfast and whatnot. I had some of my yummy new coffee. *bg* I was wired.

There was some very minor hilarity on the way to the airport as I took great pains to prepare Alle for the scary merge we had to get through while highway changing to get where we needed to be and to ask her not to scream and to help me watch for cars. Then there was no problem with the merge at all. Alle said ‘was that it?’ and then when I sheepishly admitted that it hadn’t been like it usually was, she screamed. I almost had to whap her. But I’m a good hostess, so I didn’t.

*snicker* where I come from, the scary merge she refers to is called a lane change. *g*

The first entertainment at the airport was our vehicle search as we entered the short term parking deck. There were men waiting to search the back of the cars in front of a blocked gate, so I had to open the back of my minivan. *Weg* my new minivan has a really fun feature. I can press a button in the car or on my keychain and the back hatch door makes a really loud beeping sound and then opens hydraulically. *chuckle* it scared the inspection man. Made him jump. In retrospect, it’s probably sort of a poor idea to make an airport security man jump these days. Heh. But no one got shot.

Now Columbus airport is not very big at all as metropolitan airports go. But it’s big enough that we had to check around and get information to find Carl’s baggage claim area. It was waaaaaaaay at the back of the downstairs baggage claim and there was absolutely no one around when we got there. So we just stood around hoping we had the right place and all. We knew the flight was on time, so it was just a matter of waiting.

We sort of stood around wondering if he’d actually made it to the Atlanta airport and freezing. Or well, I was freezing because the airport was really cold, and alle was not because she had on her leather coat. Stupid Columbus weather. Then there was this really weird little old lady...

Alle and I were just standing there minding our own business and this little old lady wanders up to us and asks us in the most astonishingly slow voice if this is where we’re waiting for those people from Atlanta. And I’m not joking. It was like a Saturday night live sketch. It was like someone zapped her with a slow talking ray. "are....you....waiting...on....those....people...from...Atlanta...?" I was afraid she was never going to reach the end of her sentence. Seriously. I was worried about her! So I was as helpful as I could be. *l* and we heard her whole life in slow motion. She was waiting for her daughter and granddaughter. They had been coming from Seattle? (somewhere out there in the northwest corner) and had to go through Atlanta and missed the connecting flight the day before because "you...know...that...airport...was...closed [*panic* oh dang dang dang, what if carl had no flight?!]...for...an...hour...yesterday..." [*relief*] so "they...gave...them ...a...room...and...she...called...and...they’ll...be...on..this...one" I wanted to press fast forward. Her granddaughter turned out to be a teenager and they were out there looking at colleges because "you...know...she..graduates...in...june..." *nodnodnod* want some coke? Coffee? Amphetamines? Cocaine? Gaaaaaaah! Then she wandered over to a storage closet to wait for them to arrive. Meanwhile, alle and I watched the down escalator next to the baggage carousel. Heh. But I did call the lady back over when people started coming down the escalator.

Naturally, Carl was practically the last person down the escalator. Alle and I noticed a huge preponderance of potbellied men (and women) coming down the escalator. See, our vantage point allowed us to see people from the side, feet first and then coming slowly into full view as they descended. We were watching for Carl’s jeans. *g* we kept seeing potential carl legs and then there would be a huge belly creeping in the view that would just ruin the whole thing. So it was like ‘ooooo! That might be him! Ewwww. No." and then _finally_ "ooooo! There he is!" *bg*

Hugs all around and off we went to collect the car, stow the baggage, and head up to Easton Towne Center (one of columbus’s new hoity toity malls) to wander around and meet jeff for lunch. I also had the opportunity to make some more people jump as we approached the van. *weg* I love my remote control door opener. And that loud beeping just really clinches it. *snicker*

That isn't quite the whole story. As julie goes to open the door remotely, she has a very eveil grin and when the poor woman jumped in the air, she laughed. She was scary. *nods*

Easton is owned by this disgustingly rich guy named Les Wexner, who also owns Victoria’s Secret, The Limited, and all the related candle, bath product, and clothing stores AND a small town on the east side of Columbus. It’s a nifty mall area with half the stores and restaurants outside in an old timey ‘mainstreet’ type set-up and the other half inside a big mall made to look like an old train station. It has a big Barnes and Noble on the outside part, so we spent quite a bit of time wandering around in there laughing at book covers, discussing fantasy, and being silly. I even bought some books! Alle talked me into getting a Dorothy Dunnett - the first Lymond.

hehe...julie kept trying to talk me into buying a book, but it didn't work.

So I’ll be getting around to that after I finish my Carol Berg books and my other new purchase - GGK’s Sarantine Mosaic. (sp?) Got alec some books, too - Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy. Alle and carl gave me many many warnings, but it’s so hard to find good challenging books for alec and I said I’d read it with him, so we’ll see. I’m not ready to give him Jordan or Martin. If Jordan only went through book 3, I’d say fine. But beyond that it gets a bit kinky for a 12 year old. My 12 year old, anyway. *l* (Course, very little can faze him after he read Fiest’s Faerie Tale without my knowledge *grimace* but I try not to think too much about that. And I refuse to read it to see what he read.)

*l* It wasn't _that_ bad.

We met Jeff for lunch at an Italian place called Brios. The lady who seated us was about to fall out of her dress and she was intrigued by Alle’s shirt, which said something like "Are you a Good witch or a Bad witch" on the front (maybe it was ‘am I a good witch or a bad witch. Or maybe it was just good witch or bad witch...). I had told alle earlier in the day ‘but you are not a witch at all!’ and she said ‘exactly!’

The shirt reads "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" *nods*

I was still hyper from my coffee and excitement, but the other three were a bit sleepy. Alle was still on Hawaii time, Jeff hadn’t slept well the night before, and Carl had been up since about 4 am finding his way to the airport. We had yummy Italian food while Jeff grilled Carl on his studies and what his plans for after college might be and whether or not he’d like to move to Columbus to manage various businesses that Jeff is considering starting. *l* It made me so happy yet again that we don’t have daughters. No prospective boyfriends would last ten minutes under Jeff’s inquisition. But, fortunately, I think Carl was too tired to even care.

After lunch, Jeff headed back to the office for a little bit and we three headed home to my house. We’d barely walked in the door when some narcissistic xy female with a Napoleonic complex called to talk to Bushy - she was on a fire drill or something *l* Then I showed Alle and Carl some of the prints of photos from DC and gave them my personal observations on various people. *g* And then it was almost time to call Caly and Mikey and see how they were doing. While we were taking turns talking, Carl and I played some warriors and compared equipage and whatnot. When it was my turn to talk, I ran a couple of possible vow sets by Mikey, but for some reason he didn’t think Caly would want to go with the one that said she would love, honor and obey, as Mike was the head of the house, etc. I had just gotten my official Ohio state license for solemnizing marriages and was showing Alle and Carl my kit of Universal Life Church supplies *g* I even have a parking pass.

While I was on the phone, Carl and Alle took a little nap on the couch. Later we got dinner ready - burgers and hotdogs on the grill. Oh, and we did have to make a grocery store run, too. Needed limes, chips, and salsa. Alle and Carl were much better behaved in the grocery store than Uli and Shaun were. *nods* But they made friends with the express lane checkout guy. He started giving them grief about wearing leather coats when it was only about 50 ° F out and then when I told him they were from Hawaii and Georgia he was all "oh, yeah, I understand - I’m from California and it’s cold to me, too." I’m pretty sure he was flirting with Carl. He looked like Tom Cruise’s boyfriend. *nods*

Right in the middle of dinner, I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to have called Louis and Uli, too. Heh. So I went charging in here to see if they were on line, and luckily caught Louis. Turned out that we were better off to call on Saturday anyway, so we got that all arranged. The Miller Friday Night Video was an interesting selection. There was nothing new out that looked good, so Jeff called me from the video store and read me a few descriptions to choose from. I went with CQ, a fun little flick about a young aspiring director who is doing special effects for a 1960’s sci fi movie filmed in Paris and Rome. It’s about his angst and his relationships - the real one with his sweet, cute, brunette stewardess live in girlfriend whom he ignores, despite her attempts to entice him, and the fantasy one with the Barbie starlette who plays the lead in the film he’s working on. So we have a film within a film and the sci fi film is hilarious. It’s almost Austin Powers-like, but not gross. The Barbie chick runs around in a skin tight pink leather catsuit and is named Secret Agent Dragonfly. Her mission is to retrieve The Weapon from the rebel hunky guy on the moon. *lol* It provided some good fodder for humor the rest of the weekend.

While we were watching the movie, I learned that corona with a slice of lime is pretty good. And that Carl doesn’t exaggerate when he talks about the amount of alcohol he consumes. It was astonishing. And he was still functioning!

But you did help! *g* And I notice you don't mention your full proof method of climbing up the stairs. *weg*

I don’t remember exactly what we all did after the video, but it involved a lot of laughing. I think jeff went to bed around midnight or one or something and I think we went to bed around 2, maybe... or it might have been three. Actually carl and alle stayed up later than I did. I think she read some to deal with the jet lag and I know he came back downstairs and played on the computer. Then jeff had to get up and take rob to soccer and the rest of us got up slowly but surely and got ready to go out for the day.

The plan for the day was lunch at the mall food court so carl could have his chick-fil-A fix and then the zoo. Carl and Alec got chick-fil-A, I got Chinese, Alle got a really yummy looking stuffed baked potato, and jeff and rob got pizza. Jeff also got some lo mein. We all had to watch Carl eat waffle cut fries with pepper dipped in vanilla softserve icecream. He even convinced Rob to try it! And rob liked it!!! *grimace*

After that it was off to the zoo for an afternoon of watching the animals do it like they do on the discovery channel. Well, there wasn’t much of that, actually, because it’s the wrong season. But we did get to see one of the teenaged male gorillas intentionally scare the [expletive deleted] out of a young lady. He had been lying quietly on the floor of his indoor enclosure staring at people and then after our group moved to another enclosure to watch the new baby gorilla that was being fostered into the troop, he suddenly jumped up and charged the glass and smacked it right in the face of this poor girl. *chuckle* the docent told us he likes his victims young and female.

After the gorillas and bonobos (sort of like chimps only smaller), we stopped for the traditional zoo photo with the gorilla cut out. I told Carl to kiss the man in the middle, but he chose to kiss alle instead. _Then_ when I was resetting the camera, he kissed the guy in the middle and got away before I could snap the next picture. *l* We also saw the manatees, the fishes (I’ll say no more, cales), the tigers, the elephants, and the new baby rhino. He’s not as cute as the baby elephant at the DC zoo, but Klyde’s still pretty sweet. He has a tiny nub of a horn on his nose. *l*

While we’d been at the zoo, my trusty vcr had been taping the OSU football game for Jeff. So when we got back, he scurried upstairs to watch it in speed time while we called the swedirish pair. Then it was off to Dave and Busters for dinner. D&B’s is a restaurant/arcade. Usually we have to wait for a table and we play games before dinner, but this time the table was ready fast so we ate first and then gamed. Jeff got zillions of tickets on this one video card match thing. Alle was going to play Pop a Shot (basketball) but they were all occupied and very popular.

i got to play only once, because I had used up all my credits :-(

I used mine and Jeff’s combined tickets to get a really cute little white stuffed bear and Alle used hers to get a Monkey *l*. She can tell you more about her monkey later.

well, there isn't much to tell. He's a stuffed monkey after all. He now resides with the rest of my managerie on top of the bookshelf in my office at work. He is hanging out of my bamboo tree. His name is Jefarlie, and he's gray and very cute. *nods* And I think I won way more tickets then jeff...combined you guys had 596 and I alone had 475. :-P

It was still relatively early when we got home and we ended up spending most of the evening watching random comedy skits on comedy central, old sat night live episodes and The Man Show (that is the most disgusting show ever). Meanwhile, jeff was chatting up chicks at visions. I think he was keeping Cyn and Kitty entertained. Maybe Gils, too. Can’t remember for sure. Then we talked about playing cards, but carl had forgotten his phase ten deck and I didn’t have two normal decks of cards and we almost played Gin rummy but none of us could remember exactly how, so we got out the scrabble instead. Oh, there were more photos in there somewhere...

Carl, Alle and Jeff

and Me, Carl, and Alle

and Carl with my new white teddy

and Carl and Alle

Alle _tried_ to get some evil photos of me with the bear but I resisted and the result was unpublishable. Since it’s my camera. *g*

They were only evil because you wouldn't sit still. *g*

I have to say that scrabble at 1 AM when everyone is tired and goofy is an interesting challenge. Alle is _quite_ the competitive scrabble player, however and pretty much demolished both me and Carl. By the last few moves, we had her taking our tiles and making words for us. *l* But I did my best to keep up with her for a while there. I had some really good letters, too!!! She’s just devious and she was always convincing Carl not to take her space. Technically, she didn’t tell him where ‘her’ space was each time, but I think they used the bond to transfer the info.

Damn...you're on to us. *l* Oh, I'll mention here that julie makes the oddest face when she tries to either embrace the Source or channel the One Power. *weg*

At one point, I had the letters B and I and T and C and H and Y and another C and I really wanted to make a particular word with them, but I couldn’t find a good spot for them.

*lol* Too bad...that would have made a more interesting scrabble photo.

But then I spotted an open K and I went with CHICK instead. *sigh* I ended up sticking the Y on the end of EGG in desperation near the end of the game. Heh.

After that we still didn’t want to go to bed yet, so we had to do it. I got out the blue nail polish. *BG* Alle did the left and I did the right. We picked the blue because it matched his eyes. *lol* isn’t it lovely? it had been my plan all along to give him my little bottle of travel nail polish remover so he wouldn’t have to arrive in Atlanta with blue nails, but the brat went upstairs shortly after and peeled it all off! Bah on him. *l*

We all finally wandered up to bed around 3, iirc, and again, alle and carl were up a bit later than I was. Then we had to get up at 7:15 to get ready to leave by 8:30 to get to the airport. Bleh. It was sad and depressing and cold and rainy and glum. Saying goodbye sucks. :-(

goodbyes suck worse than escalators. I had an uneventfully horrible trip back - mainly due to it being crowded, late, no air while sitting at the gate,long, and accompanied by a hyperactive and extremely vocal toddler in the row behind me, and a screaming infant 2 rows back. Thank god for portable mp3 players and a nice supply of batteries.

Still, it was soooo worth it. I enjoyed my all to brief stay, and can't wait to meet up with more freaks at the greatest freak event ever...the wedding of two freaks. *g*

So there you have it.