Goo Con III
by Steve West on October 17, 2010
What a fantastic time! Matt is truly one of the most gregarious, fun-loving and genuine people I know. Denise and Kelly were completely charming (of course!). And Scott... he puts me at a loss for words. There's so much effort that is largely unseen by those not there (you can get only so much from photographs). You can only appreciate what happens by being there. I hope I can make it next year and see a bunch of you good folks there. Special thanks to Aaron, Nathan and Raquel, Steve Dunn, Ryan, and Jackie. You guys are awesome. I'll post more after I have time to reflect.
I arrived at the airport to find a huge sprawling complex that was appropriate for Orlando - it seemed like Disney World. There were monorails to transport you to the main terminal from the gates but when I asked if I could skip that and walk it from one of the many walkways, the security guard put his hand on his hip and told me that was probably a bad idea. So I told Dick Tracy I could wait for the next train. He eyed me suspiciously the rest of the time.
After the short train ride (I could have walked it in three minutes MaGruff!) you exit into airport ShangriLa. I was supposed to meet Scott and Kelly at the third floor Food Court except there wasn't just one. I mean, there was food available everywhere and most nooks looked like a food court to me. When I got to various signs that indicated baggage claim was imminent, I turned around and yes, there was an actual food court that I had passed where I spotted Kelly first and then Scott.
They greeted me very warmly with hugs all around. Scott was genuinely happy that the first guest had arrived and we started talking about upcoming scenarios almost immediately. When Scott let me know that the attendees list was down to five, we decided then not to split up into two groups for the field trip and travel together in one car to one place if Matt and Denise agreed. That settled, Kelly started treat shopping with her eyes. Krispy Kremes over there, Astronaut ice cream around the corner, lunch for Steve from any of the Food Court options, etc. It really was a cornucopia of victuals. Scott had laptop business to attend to so Kelly and I went for food. She wanted a Nathan's dog and I was strangely compelled to get Arthur Treacher's. I love that stuff, go figure. Scott resisted the lure of the freshly baked Krispy Kremes and reminded me that Starbucks was around the corner so we walked a bit window shopping while waiting for Denise's flight to arrive. I was fascinated by a store that catered to dogs. Looking around, I saw about 8,000 people and not a single mutt. How did they stay in business? Scott remarked that it's probably a store that caters to guilty pet owners who left Fluffy at home. One pumpkin frappacino later for Kelly and a coffee, black (coffee flavored) for me and we settled into the comfy chairs. After some conversation and a trip to the Disney store (Orlando is chock-a-block with them) Scott was concerned that Denise might have a difficult time spotting us amongst the crowd. So he went in pursuit of her while Kelly and I stayed put so as not to split us up too much and not be able to quickly reunite. Three minutes later, I looked over my shoulder and saw a person who was undeniably Denise (she's pretty tall and I recognized her from her picture even though she didn't wear the parka). Warm welcomes followed and we made it to the car. Off to the house to hook up with Matt a little later.
The house was decorated in Hollywood motif including a red carpet entry. It was quite a display. After settlig in, Denise slaughtered us three times in a row at a game designed for physics geniuses apparently. This was a prelude to me getting my butt kicked repeatedly the whole weekend. It was a cool game though. Except for that butt-kicking part. Matt calls and we're off to Sonny's. A BBQ place. Not Bar-B-Q or BBCue or anything goofy. BBQ. The pulled pork and plenty of it was cooked swine heaven. Matt ate the hot sauce and regretted it. I believe his tongue leapt out of his mouth and dialed the fire department. I wisely abstained. Back to the house for the best movie I've seen since The Parallax View. Nothing but the Truth was an incredible find. Vera Farmiga is my favorite actress now. See this film! All this and it's only Wednesday.
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