August 15th, 2001

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I will now make it through this 11 am - 2 pm conference call for K brought me a falfil sammich from Pita Inn. I love Pita Inn, and we were supposed to go today, but thank you someone from Phoenix scheduled a 9 a -12 p meeting Phoenix time.

This does no bode will for us Schaumburg types as this means it's 11 - 2 our time. This blows pretty much any possiblity of eating lunch as who is hungry for lunch at 10:30 am, and by 2 pm I've eaten the formica of my desk, I'm so hungry.

But now, I have pita goodness. Yum.

Maybe I'll write more of the Milwaukee Adventures while I'm on the call.
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    I love pita inn
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The Milwaukee Adventures, part 2

So, we head in to the Convention Center, and I am overwhelmed by the number of geeks that are located in a 1/4 mile radius of said center.

The first task is, then, to find out where we get Wigge's badge. He's pre-registered, so this shouldn't take too ling, right? Hah. I guess being pre-registered means "You get to wait in this line that extends only to the Illinois border, rather than the other line that would be as long as your small intestine were they both in a straight line." While waiting in line, I examined the cross section of the population around me and determined that there really are only 10 types of geeks; there were just a whole lot more of them in one place.

As we're waiting, we keep an eye out for this mysterious physics-type friend of Wigge's, T, who is supposed to be meeting us there. The one major flaw with this plan is, well, we don't know when. But T knows when Wigge's plane got in, and could then estimate what time we'd be at the center. Of course, Wigge doesn't have a phone number for T either, so we can't tell if he's left yet. Ah well, no big deal, really. It's about 4 pm, and there's no way I'm leaving for Chicago now, because I'd hit the middle of rush hour traffic, and I'll pass on that fun.

We're moving up in the line, and Wigge is reading off these crazy sayings that are written on the doorways to some of the meeting rooms. I don't remember any of them directly, but one of them basically said "My grandmother got married off to one of her drinking buddies then spent her life in america toiling away," or such.

Meanwhile, some of these GenCon Helper Minions (not the actualy WoTC staff, but volunteers, I guess -- they didn't have cool shirts) were booming out in an ear-splitting yowl: "A through E! If you're last name starts with A through E, raise your hand." We watch other people step out of line, because Wigge's a K.

Later on: "F through J!" *sonic boom from the sound of this guy's voice RIGHT next to my ear* I turn to Wigge and go, "Oooh! that's you, right?" He gives me a look and reminds me he's a K, and that I need to re-take kindergarten. Ah well.

This continues on, and about 10 minutes later I turn to Booming Guy, and say, "You've been here 5 times already. There are no more A through Es or F through J's here, go boom further down the line." I get a nasty look, but at this point I don't care. The people ahead of us in line are in the same boat, and agree with me, however. Everytime Booming Guy, or his associate, Stick Man, come by, they ask "What letters?" and I say "No new ones." They look disappointed and go back to talking. She's an L.

Ooh! Excitement and rapture! Booming guy comes down with "V through Z!" Our little group murmurs that that's a lot of help, can we not have "L through O?" AT this point, Wigge writes in his notebook "Your last name begins with a K," just to remind himself, because we get so excited when we hear a new set of letters.

About 20 people from the front, Booming Guy comes down and says "L through O!", and Wigge raises his hand, but BG decides to pick people behind us instead. Wigge comments that, "I guess they meant L through O, except for YOU."

The L girl turns around and we're grumbling in a good way, and she says "You know, I'm going to see you around this weekend, and all I'm going to remember is: 'You're the K guy!'" and we mention that we'll just remember her as 'The L girl'. She introduces herself to us by her real name, but darned if I know what it is now -- I just remember her fondly as the L girl.

She should title her autobiography "The L girl Memoirs."

Finally, Wigge gets his badge and fun stuff, and there's still no sign of physics boy T. I do run into two Chicago acquaintances of mine though, Brian C and G0ff, who are shocked to see me there; I'm really the last person you'd expect to see at GenCon, so I don't begrudge them their expressions.

What ensues next is a lot of waiting. Luckily I have my game-boy -- er, I mean pilot -- to entertain me, and proceed to pop a squat while Alex wanders around looking for T, since he's made me one of those little chauferr signs saying "[T's name]" in big letters, on the off chance he's looking my way and sees his name.

A half hour goes by, and I decide to see if, by chance, T has already registered or if he hasn't gotten here yet. So, I put on my best oh-please-help-me look and ask one of the sig in people to see if T's has checked in, and he hasn't. 5 mintues later, someone walks by with an overpowering odor that almost knocks Wigge out, it's so strong. By this time, I'm sitting on the floor so I escape the B. O. of death. Whew!

Anyway -- T shows up another half hour later, and luckily, he's got an "A through E" last name, so we tell him to walk really slowly, and they'll call his name quick enough. Once T's registered, we head over to the event registration, so Wigge can try and get into the same events T did, passing by even more examples of feekitude and fashion faux pas -- the highlight being baggy vinyl pants on a guy.

After we're all registered, we decide to search for sustenance.
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Bonus news...

I got a letter in my inbox from the Education Assistance program! I'm approved to go back to grad school and have work pay for it!

So, I may be a Master in 4 years or so!

Here's the program I'll be taking:

... it's a bit odd to be excited to go back to school.
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