I'm stuck at the Florida Agricultural Exposition today. Or, as it is abbreviated, FL Ag Expo. I call it the FAg Expo. That's how I roll. :)

Amy would be overjoyed to see how miserable I am having to wear Florida colors on the week leading up to The Largest Outdoor Cocktail... >:(

I should do my actual Goo Con:Citrus Ridge report. I had one copy that I wrote. It was epic! I tried to make it as funny and irreverent as possible. I trashed it. I thought that it came out sounding too negative on everyone. I tend to have a sort of acerbic sense of humor, so it sounds kind of harsh. I don't want to do this write-up and make it sound like I'm down on everyone, or that I consider myself somehow superior. I mean, I think everyone has figured out that I am not like that, but I don't want there to be any question, so...it's gone.

I then wrote another copy of what happened. I thought this copy was a bit too down on me. As I read through it, it sounded almost like I didn't have an awesome time, and I totally did!! Honestly, I am kind of negative on myself, but seriously, is there anyone who doesn't have things about themselves that they don't like, or that they wish they could change? Or course not. But, in the interest of not sounding like a sad little puppy, I ended up deleting that one, too.

When I am super depressed, I like to watch this video, which cheers me up a lot. Sup? Don't you dare judge me!

Or sometimes this one: Yo.

Pretty much, Goo Con was like this:

Friday

I got out of work early, which I wasn't expecting, but I was seriously hoping would happen. I surprised the group at Earl of Sandwich, but Amy Austin surprised me by not being there. Bitch! ;) I met Jackie Mason for the first time, and she is exactly as great as she seems to be when I have interacted with her here. Some people aren't; she totally is. AND, she was willing to settle for a handshake instead of a hug, which I appreciated! It turned out she forgot about trying to scam a hug out of me, but she will be reminded later...by a certain person who will be named at a later time. I had a salad at the sandwich restaurant. It was pretty good!

We then went to a Disney type store (briefly considered running through the fountains, but wisely abstained), where Kelly Lee made her own lightsaber, and then a Lego store. I wanted to make Lego representations of everyone at Goo Con, but decided against it. Maybe next year!

We then went to Publix. I got to drive with Matt Preston, who I met as the first Goo Con, so I knew he'd be awesome to hang around with, as usual. We rolled big pimpin' in my candy apple red VW Jetta (Diesel!). We bought a bunch of groceries, and then headed out to the rental property. I got us a bit lost, so we got there a bit behind everyone else.

We unloaded the Jetta (I had all the groceries, since I had more room for stuff since it was just my stuff packed in it), and I busted in there. No one claimed the back master suite room, and I'd been coughing for about a week and a half, since I came back from Iceland with the flu (not H1N1, thank goodness), so I took the master suite, so I could isolate myself from the general population (plus, since I was among the last people to get there, and everyone else had avoided claiming it, I figured it would be ok). As a joke, I put a sign up that claimed I had called dibs. So, we checked out the house, which has awesome, and then we relaxed, pooled it up (nice pool/hot tub combo!), and waited for Amy to arrive for dinner.

Eventually (it seemed like forever, Amy got there. There was a bit of tension right at the start, since she was making the rounds of the room, and hugging everyone like it's nothing, but when she got to me, I put out the hand. Hug block...successful! Then, like she wasn't already annoyed with me, she was hoping to get the master suite, and she called bullshit on the master bedroom dibs calling. I pled my case, but I don't think she was convinced that I should have the room. I got it though, because Amy is gracious. Or she didn't want to fight about it at that time...one or the other!

So, Amy got her stuff settled in, and we were off to the China Buffet!! ...Until she couldn't find her keys. Fortunately, I spotted them on the kitchen counter not long thereafter. I think that helped smooth things between us. Either that or it was when she reminded Jackie that I was uncomfortable with hugging, and that she should try to hug me later. (I caught that evil glare in the rear view, by the way!!)

Before the Buffet, we went to Best Buy, and bought ourselves a dongle or something for the computer. It might have been important or not, I don't know nothing from computers, except how to type letters, and even that don't work well for me most of the time.... Did you know that Anna Faris works at Best Buy? Neither did we!

The China Buffet was...ok. The food wasn't fabulous, but it wasn't deadly horrible either. I killed the conversation with my negative outlook. (Remember, one of my rules of Goo Con is that conversations shared with me are not to be revealed, unless I'm revealing something about myself. It's not a written rule, but it works well for me) I don't have a lot of happy memories of high school, and the only things I could think of that I get from my parents were all sort of negative traits. This is not good, because I did have some happy high school memories, and my parents are great people with positive traits. I don't see the postive in myself, though, normally, so I could only think of negative aspects. I think it but a damper on the conversation. Other opinions may differ...

Returning to the house, we had the first round of Live GOO Game. It was a closely fought match, but I got lucky with a bet-it-all approach (learned last year from that rat bastard Steve West!) and got the final question to double my money and win the round. The top three finishers got medals. The manufacturer of the medals was Dinn Brothers, but when I looked at the back of my medal, I thought it said Dunn Brothers. We had a little laugh about that! :)

The evening ended with Steven King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes, we watched one episode officially, then Amy and I (nocturnal freaks that we both are) stayed up to watch a couple other episodes, one of which "The End of the Whole Thing" gave us laughing fits, and most of the best quotes of the weekend. :)

Then, I still wasn't tired, and neither was Amy, so I hit the pool, Amy hit the hot tub (she was sad to have missed the earlier opportunity) and we chit chatted all night. The decision to not sleep..might not have been the best idea, but I got to see some awesome shooting stars or meteorites or whatever, and I had a great extended conversation with Amy. I wasn't really tired anyways. Until later...

By the way, do you all know what the best thing to do for a drowning person is, according to the conventional wisdom of passing sailors? Ask Amy. :)

Saturday

Kelly makes an awesome breakfast. Seriously. If you come to Goo Con for nothing else, the breakfast is fantastic. Maybe I'm biased (I am the worst cook known to man), but I love home cooked foods, and Kelly is magnificent!! Round 2 of the Live Goo Game also in the AM. Once again, the bet-it-all strategy (and luck..the sweet sweet embrace of Lady Luck) allowed me score big on the final question, and I won the second round. My grand total was pretty good too (does this sound familiar yet, Mr. West??), so I was in good shape for the rest of the game (not bragging, just stating a fact).

Then, it was pool time again until the Gothic Earth game. Cannonballs were done. Amy made fun of my horrible farmer's tan (no, seriously, it is horrible. Even barefoot, you'd think I was wearing white socks.). I also found out that I apparently have some kind of blotch of skin on my back that isn't very pigmented. I haven't seen it, so Amy might just have been giving me a hard time, but we will see...

The Gothic Earth game was fun! I enjoy role-playing, so it was right up my alley!! I confess that exhaustion started to catch up with me, and I might have nodded off a couple times, but I rallied and stayed in there to the end. No naps for this guy here!! We won! Thank goodness our trusty nurse knew how to drive a submarine... :)

And now, it was food time!! We took two cars this time, since Kelly didn't want to be stuck in the very back of Amy's rental truck any more. The rental had XM satellite radio, though, so that was cool! We had dinner at a restaurant whose name escapes me, darn it! Bahama Joe's, maybe? Bama Breeze? Something like. When we got there, we had a 45 minute wait, so... tropical drinks!! I had a margarita to start, and then a pina colada. Then, when our seats were ready, I got some mahi mahi and I had 3 white russians (or, as we who follow The Dude call them, caucasians). We had a great round of conversations here! A fun meal, and great company! Couldn't be better!!

Let me break the flow to say, yes, I did have some drinks. Probably a few more than I should (there's more to come...as you will soon find out). It is, unfortunately, a coping mechanism for me, which is not an excuse, but just sayin'. I kept it mostly under control, and I don't think I caused any troubles for anyone. The others may have their own opinion, and they are welcome to give it. In fact, if anyone present thought I was an ass, I'd really like to know that, because I think I was ok. I can't fix a problem I don't know I have...

On the way back, we stopped by a grocery store to get some TP and garbage bags. Don't know why they skimped on stocking this at the rental house, but... Amy and I got a bottle of Wild Turkey and some sour mix to make some whiskey sours for round three of Live Goo Game. This round did not go so well for yours truly. I came in third place (out of four, since Kelly was exhausted by this time, and did not participate). Still a medal qualifier, though! I still had the high total, so things were going about as well as I could hope. Next, Matt, Amy, and I decided to try to stay up and watch The Orphanage. I got about 20 minutes in (as far as I can tell), and then...

Sunday

6:15 AM, I woke up curled in a ball on the floor in the TV room. Matt was gone to bed, and Amy was snoozing on the couch. I went to the bedroom, turned on the tv, and watched tv for a bit. Tried to get a bit of sleep, but it was mostly a wash. Slept on the floor, not in the bed, due to icky feelings about some stains on the comforter. I kinda feel bad about laying claim to the big bed, and then never using it, but, as you may or may not have noticed, it wasn't like Amy would have used it anymore than I did! :)

8:30-9:00-ish, Kelly started on brunch, while the rest of us forged on with the final round of Live Goo game. I was doing pretty good. I was ahead, and I was betting conservatively to just win at the end. I ended up making my final bet such that my grand total would be 66600 (I was at 66300, as I recall, so it was a very small bet). Jackie bet almost everything on the final question, and ended up beating me for the round (I did not get the correct answer). So, I was #2 (yeah, I said it. Laugh it up.) The final scores had me as the overall winner, so I won the big trophy. I was very happy to have won, and it serves to remind Mr. West that he's holding my trophy from last year! :P I gave a short speech, thanking everyone, but someone stood up and said, "Aaron, I'ma let you finish, but Amy Austin is the greatest Goo Game player of all time!", which was hilarious! Thanks!

After this, it was clean up and go time. I had to get home for the wife's birthday, and Jackie also had to leave early, so I was taking her to the airport. Tearful goodbyes and final session of picture taking, followed by the inevitable good bye hugs. Grudgingly did I take part. Very grudgingly. ;) Fortunately, I was still a little bit hunged over, so that made everything ok. (I told you earlier it was how I cope...I just didn't say what I was using it to cope with!)

Almost didn't get lost on the way to the airport. Almost! :) Had a pretty good conversation with Jackie, mostly about gaming and the inevitable weight gain that would come of the rich living at Goo Con. We discussed how great it would be if you could choose where the weight would go when you gained weight, and that's when I said I would one huge boob. Probably because I am a boob. :)

I dropped Jackie off at the airport a bit later than she was hoping. I offered to hang around, in case she missed her flight, so she wasn't stuck at the airport alone, but she'd had enough of me by that point, and she ran out of the car as soon as she possibly could. (I joke. She politely declined.)

So, it was still a little early, so I stopped back by the ol' rental house, figuring I had a good 45 minutes to an hour to get home before I had to meet my wife. I got there, and then I did something that will probably make you all cringe. Since I had left, I didn't feel right just busting back in like I belonged there, so I rang the doorbell. No answer. Then, I knocked at the door, just in case. Again, no answer. So, figuring they had gone out somewhere (and yes, I saw that all the vehicles were still there, but they could have decided to walk around or something, I figured...I'm a bad figurer.), I hopped back in the candy apple red VW Jetta (Diesel!) [You know, I'm the kind of freak that names his car, so my car does have a name. I'm not giving you the name, but I am telling you that the candy apple red VW Jetta (Diesel!) has a name, which is pretty much revealing of something about me, I am sure], and left to go home, with a small tear in my eye, and a giant trophy of excellence on the passenger side seat to keep me company.

You think I'm joking? Ask Jackie. She watched me put the trophy on the seat after she left the vehicle.

And, yes, she got an actual good-bye hug before she left. I might be dickish, but I'm not a total dick.

OK, I am a total dick, but I do try sometimes. :)

The rest of the festivities after I left...I don't know what happened. I got a text message saying that, even had I stayed, I would have gotten (wait, let me pull out the phone so I can get the exact quote) "soundly defeated in the goo.tc trivia". ORLY? I asked. The answer was a resounding YARLY!

That's about it. Except for the final thoughts on everyone:

Scott -- Thank you for all the work you do, both on the site, and especially for the Goo Cons. I have a great time every time I go, and I am glad that you do what you do to let me have these opportunities. Always a pleasure to spend time with you, whether it's around the gaming table, playing Super Monkey Ball, rocking out to SLAYER!!!!!!, or just chillaxing. You are a great person, and I am honestly honored to be able to call you friend.

Kelly -- You rock. I feel bad that the only things I say about you in the write up are that you rock at cooking. Not because it's untrue (because you totally rock), but because you do so much more than that, and I wouldn't want you to think that's how I see you. You have an awesome presence about you! You are always ready with a big smile that lights up the room, and that's no lie! Thanks for everything, and see you on Monday. Some Monday. Eventually. Gao!

Matthew -- Matt. What can I say about Matt? Matt is super cool, and I enjoyed seeing him again for the second time. He even politely laughed at my one braille joke (no, I shall not repeat it). Matt is always cracking some crazy joke, and he keeps me in stitches! It was a pleasure seeing you again, good sir, and I hope to see you next year at Goo Con 3! Also, I DID NOT SEE YOUR JUNK!!!

Jackie -- A pleasure to meet you. I have to say that although we have conversed a bit on the site, I wasn't sure what to expect when I met you. You are a genuinely nice person, which is no surprise, of course, given the calibre of folks (Kelly, Scott, Matt) that you are friends with. I hope to see you at the next one, and I hope I didn't offend you too badly with my course language and crazy alcohol swillin' ways. :)

I guess that's it. Talk to you later!


Twenty-two Replies to 28-X-2009 or Finale/FAg Expo

Aaron Shurtleff | October 28, 2009
Amy -- You know I wouldn't forget about ya! :P It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance! I can honestly say that, were the nature of the Live Goo Game not better catered to my abilities than yours, I have no doubt that you would have thoroughly trounced me, as you no doubt will on everything else we compete in on the site. Sorry I stole the awesome bed from ya! :P You are a very special person (and not in a short bus kind of way), and I am sure that we would be best friends in another place and time...like if you weren't a damn Gator fan. Go Bulldogs! ;)

And if you ever see me drowning, just let me die. Please! ;)

Amy Austin | October 28, 2009
What if the passing Sailor is dressed like Alizée? (I'm pretty sure that uniform is *way* out of regs... but damn if I'm not sorry I didn't own velour sailor suit with a fish on the butt when I got out of boot camp.)

I had more to say... but I totally forgot. Just like with all those live goos. ;-( Srsly.

Aaron Shurtleff | October 28, 2009
I am also sorry that you don't own a velour sailor suit with a goldfish on the butt. OK, if you had such a suit, you could save me if I were drowning. But only in that particular case!!

I just know that I'm going to drown one day, and Amy will be there, watching me die, and she'll say, "Hey. He said only if I had the velour suit with the fish on the ass. His bad."

Amy Austin | October 28, 2009
That is exactly what I will say.

Aaron Shurtleff | October 28, 2009
Sorry! I was watching that video again... *drool*

I know that's what you'll say! You'll be standing there with your little bellows and a lit cigarette, taunting me.

Amy Austin | October 28, 2009
What a hilarious thought. Srsly.

Aaron Shurtleff | October 28, 2009
I am a hilarious guy.

And also happy-go-lucky. ;)

Jackie Mason | October 29, 2009
[hidden by author request]

Steve Dunn | October 29, 2009
Haha, that's funny about "the Dunn brothers." Nice to know we were there in spirit even if we couldn't be in person. Sounds like a great time was had by all.

Scott Hardie | October 29, 2009
Great write-up, Aaron! You're a great friend, and a gentleman, and very generous and supportive. I'm lucky to have someone as awesome as you in my life.

My own write-up was done yesterday, but I haven't linked to it yet because it's taking me longer than I expected to get the photos all ready. I should be done shortly.

Aaron Shurtleff | October 29, 2009
Don't feel bad, Jackie. It's all good in the 'hood!!

DON'T YOU BASTARDS PRETEND I DIDN'T RICK ROLL YOU!!!!! :)

Aaron Shurtleff | October 30, 2009
Also, the current king is Carl XVI Gustaf, not V, so there is a slightly longer line of (Hot) Carls than originally thought. :)

Jackie Mason | October 30, 2009
[hidden by author request]

Aaron Shurtleff | October 30, 2009
If that's directed at me, you obviously haven't heard my "Humpty Dance"!! :)

All right stop what you're doin'
'Cause I'm about to ruin
The image and the style that you're used to
I look funny
But yo I'm makin' money see
So yo world I hope you're ready for me.

And don't hardly need to ply me with alcohol to get the "goods". :P

Aaron Shurtleff | October 30, 2009
I sing in Doowutchyalike,
And if you missed it
I'm the one who said
"Just grab him in the biscuits!"

I'll be doing this all night now! My wife will be totally pissed! :D

Aaron Shurtleff | October 30, 2009
Now that I've told you a little bit about myself
Let me tell you a little bit about this dance
It's real easy to do!
Check it out.

First I limp to the side like my leg was broken
Shakin' and twistin', kind of like I was smokin'
Crazy wack funky
People say "You look like MC Hammer on crack, Humpty!"
That's a-ight, 'cause my bodies in motion
It's supposed to look like a fit or a convulsion
Anyone can play this game!
This is my dance y'all, Humpty Hump's my name!

W00t! That's off the top of my head! I crush that song!!!

Jackie Mason | October 30, 2009
[hidden by author request]

Aaron Shurtleff | October 30, 2009
Well, in the immortal words of Run DMC (rest in peace, Jam Master Jay):

It's tricky to rock a rhyme
To rock a rhyme that's right on time
It's tricky.
(What is it?)
Tricky tricky tricky tricky!

Steve Dunn | October 30, 2009
Bogus brothers makin' albums when they know they can't hack it
Cos they lyrics is played like 8-ball jackets
Now tell me i can't tear it up
Go get yourself some toilet paper cos your lyrics is butt

Jackie Mason | October 30, 2009
[hidden by author request]

Amy Austin | October 31, 2009
!!!

Amy Austin | October 31, 2009
[hidden by author request]


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