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May 29 - 31, 1998
The Toronto/Apsley FumbleRumble was a huge success. I had a great time and I'm certain that all the Fumblers who attended can say the same. Below the links is my unofficial FumbleRumble report which I posted to the list on Monday, June 1.
What Do You Want To See?
Julian's Unofficial Report (Long)
Posted to the list on June 1, 1998
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A weekend with Fumblers, to me, feels like a weekend with a bunch of friends I've known for years, despite the fact that including today, I've only known Fumblers like Jenn [with two n's :) ] Prybutok for four days, face-to-face. [If this sounds really shitty, take note that I'm pretty terrible at writing messages reflecting on wonderful experiences. :) ] I am not trying to be elitist by saying this, but experiences like this can simply be summed up by saying "You had to be there." All the experiences that I've had with meeting Fumblers have been positive, and if you weren't there, I really truly wish you had been so that I could have met you/hugged you :)
Thus, before I submit my own [lengthy] Toronto/Apsley FumbleRumble Report, which some of you might not read in its entirety, I thought I'd prepend these comments to it. I had an excellent time this weekend and I was truly sad to see everyone go. [Oh yes, and Brian Wilson gives the BEST hugs. Some of you who he'll be seeing on his way back to the West Coast will be receiving some hugs from me, with him acting as the go-between [he adores this role -- who wouldn't?] :) ]
So without further delay:
Julian's Toronto FumbleTogether Report
I met up with Fumblers at the Lone Star Cafe on Front Street in Toronto around 2 p.m. on Friday. The Lone Star is a Tex-Mex type restaurant, something we'll be seeing more of [keep reading for a while :) ] The Fumblers present were as follows:
Tabassum couldn't make it because she had to work :-(
Lunch was delicious, although NOBODY ordered the Chicken Chimichanga (despite Frank's fascination with saying this word repeatedly) It was also Jenn's birthday (no joke this time -- we weren't trying to con a dessert out of the restaurant, HONEST!!) so we all sang for her and she got a free piece of cheesecake. (Which she kindly shared amongst all the Fumblers.)
After lunch it was time to load the cars up with groceries and head off, with the exception of Thomas (who couldn't come up for the weekend) and Squid & Jenni (who had to head back to the Amiga convention at the Metro Convention Centre -- but they came up later that evening) I got to ride in Tass's spanking new Toyota Tercel, along with Frank and Rannie.
We sat in traffic for a long time (after all it was Friday, 4:30), finally got out to Scarborough despite Rannie's response of "depending on traffic" to every query for directions to his parents' house :) and picked up his stuff. Then we were off!
There were a number of road sign misreadings enroute to Apsley, more notable ones being "Exotic Cat World" --> "Erotic Cat World" (it turns out that Bloo saw this one too :) ) and "Night Danger" --> "Night Dancer" (complete with yellow warning light!) We stopped for gas somewhere in the middle of nowhere and Frank made an accidental attempt to pick up the sixteen-year-old girl pumping gas <grin>
Angela and her fiancé Greg.
We arrived at Ange's parents' place in Apsley fairly late, about 7:30- ish, depending on the orientation of the sun in the summer (Rannie said it sets in the north <g>) and were immediately set upon by insects of various descriptions. (I estimated later to Squid that I had about one bugbite per square foot of my body.) Despite the bugs, it was very very beautiful -- later on that night we lay out on the dock and watched the stars. It was quite peaceful and relaxing. But mostly we sat indoors and chatted, and played drinking games ["suicide" is Jenn's favourite :) "Call a suit, dammit!!" :) ] I know I'm forgetting a lot of the funny things that happened that first evening, but then again, as I remarked to Squid, I can barely remember what I had for dinner last night. [wait... what did I have? hmm. oh dear.]
At about midnight or so, we headed off to bed (the earliest I've been to bed in a while). I slept with Brian :) or at least in the same bed, anyway. Getting ready for bed was funny. Here Brian and I were delicately tiptoeing around the cabin and whispering to each other, thinking Rannie and Frank were asleep (I even peed in the bushes because I didn't want to wake them up by going through their bedroom to get to the bathroom) until we're both in bed, and we hear a rustling in the next room, whereupon Brian shouts out "Are you guys awake?" <insert uproarious laughter on the part of Frank and Rannie here>
Brian and I slept until about 12:30 the next day. The bugs were still bad, so while Bloo and Jenn went out on the boat with Ange (on a tour around the lake) I stayed inside and chatted with Lisa and Tass. Lisa rocks my world. She is so cool! Don't be frightened that she's obsessed with Titanic or Romeo and Juliet (she might as well be James Cameron's best friend :) ) Neither of us really know the words to "Adia" except for the word, "Adia", so our rendition goes "ADIA!!!! <mumble mumble mumble mumble> ... ADIA!!! <mumble mumble> ADIA!!!" :- ) Then there's the "Maybe You Should Drive" humour, which I already described in the post we made from Bloo's laptop (which should have hit the list already, presupposing his ability to find a telephone line)
Later that afternoon Bloo, Jenn and I went out on the lake in the canoe. Neither of us can steer very well, so we hit a number of objects, including rocks, logs, the swimming platform, the underpass under the highway, and a tree. :) Oh well, none the worse for wear -- mostly we were on open bodies of water so it was okay, and the scenery was gorgeous so that made up for the bumps and scrapes dealt to the canoe. I forgot to bring my camera with me in the canoe, but I don't think it would have done the scenery justice anyway.
After a delicious dinner of barbecued chicken it was time for Saturday Night Festivities :-) First we began by commencing our post to the list (by Sunday, it was digest-length in itself) and a number of individuals had their fingernails/toenails painted (not me though! although Mari said she was quite willing to do it last night, in public :) ) Jenn, as I indicated previously, has quite a low alcohol tolerance, which was proven to be the case :) She had quite a bit to drink, but she is HILARIOUS when she's drunk <grin> I'll leave details to others (ok, in part because I was pretty drunk myself, having consumed the better part of a six-pack, among other things :) )
Around 1 in the morning we decided to call all sorts of Fumblers across the continental United States, on my calling card, from the outdoor payphone by the lake. Jenn has now memorized the number on my calling card, which is scary. :-) The only thing is, none of you guys are home on Saturday nights! We tried calling Patrick (line was busy, and cellphone didn't work!), Lois (not home), John Stewart (not home, left a message), Whit (not home, left a message on her ZDNet voicemail), Jess (not home either), Jason Kurylo (left a bunch of messages with his roomie, who was pretty sick of us calling by the third call :) ) and a whole host of other people who weren't home. Did you all go get lives while we weren't looking? :)
We FINALLY got through to one person, Ant-knee, who I talked to for about fifteen minutes and Bloo talked to for about an hour, during which time he was entirely consumed by the mosquitoes. Then we got through to Xochitl who'd just gotten off work, and I talked to her, somewhat incoherently, for a while. After all this phoning it was about 4 a.m. so Bloo and I went to bed, along with Frank and Rannie, the latter of which was quite tired out from loudly singing "opera" tunes on the dock :)
I was just about to nod off when I was jarred awake by Mari and Jen forcibly removing all the siding from our cottage <grin> It seems they suddenly decided that they were going to have a Sambuca Freedom Concert, and I, having the foresight to know that Jenn was coming for the Sambuca, locked the front door before I went to bed :-) In revenge against my unwillingness to let these two fine upstanding individuals <smile> into our cottage, Jenn tried to call John Stewart again using the aforementioned memorized calling card number :) but he still wasn't home. Luckily Brian had taken his address book indoors so Jenn couldn't rack up other charges on my calling card :)
The next morning I was awakened by more shouting, and I'd barely opened my eyes when I saw Tass leaping through mid-air, landing upon my torso :) Ever see the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon entitled "Homicidal Jungle Cat" where Hobbes attacks Calvin who's gone to the bathroom to get a drink of water? Hi. :)
Actually, it seems that it wasn't only Jenn tearing at the siding on our cottage -- I awoke to extremely high winds pounding all the buildings. I was promptly informed that we couldn't leave yet, because there was a tornado warning. It only got better when Greg entered the main cottage to announce that the good news was that the radio station hadn't repeated the tornado warning, but the bad news was that the radio station had gone dead about an hour ago. :-) Despite a string of hydro transformers exploding on the highway due to downed power lines, there was no other damage and we were soon on our way after lunch (and after appending to the now-massive post to FTE) We had to say our goodbyes to Tass, Frank and Rannie first (someone please ask Tass about the gecko-tongues! tee hee) and then Squid and Jenni, who had an immense drive home to Indy. (Brian gave Squid's car the official blessing, because Squid was mildly doubtful of its roadworthiness :) )
Christine and Rick drove me back to Toronto, where I made dinner and then met up with Mari, Brian and Jenn, who wanted to go up the CN Tower. I was all set to, until we got there and found that a) only one observation deck was open, due to a combination of high winds and a private party, and b) the $15 admission fee. As Mari quite reasonably pointed out, it's equivalent to paying $15 for the elevator ride up to a height roughly the same as her office tower (she works on the 63rd floor) But Brian and Jenn went, naturally -- if I was a tourist, I'd probably have paid the $15 too -- and Mari and I went on a hunt for coffee/milkshakes. Had to walk two and a half blocks to Union Station to find an open McDonalds.
A late dinner with Mari, Jenn and Bloo at Tortilla Flats.
The last I saw of Jenn was today, when we had lunch at together with Ange and Greg. Brian & Mari (road buddies! Mari's travelling out to the west coast with Bloo) just missed us by about half an hour, but Jenn had a flight to catch, and I'd already taken a two hour lunch as it is. I was sad to see Jenn go, but I'll probably see her again in August too, either if she comes up for Toronto Lilith, or when I go to Vancouver.
And that was it for the big Toronto FumbleRumble '98. I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling a bit sad, because once again I'd had such an awesome time with all the Fumblers and here I was back at work, in front of a boring computer terminal :-( As such, I spent most of the day surfing the 'net, seeking Tori's "Raspberry Swirl" (let's go! :) )
If you made it this far, I applaud you. If I haven't met you yet, I
hope to meet you someday; if I have met you, may the time be short
before we meet again.
P.S. Pictures will be on my website by Thursday evening. If any
Fumblers who were at the Rumble this weekend have pictures they've
put up on the Web, please let me know and I'll link to them from my
Webmaster Julian C. Dunn ([email protected])