Date:         Mon, 24 May 1993 10:56:00 EST
From: It's the discussion that's fun--not the resolution
              <traven@vms.cis.pitt.edu>
Subject:      WHTMATP, part one

Semi-awake, back at work...  Did I actually go to Providence for the weekend?
Did I actually talk to wordslers from around the globe, both ftf and on the
phone?  Was it live or was it Memorex?  Hmmm, well, I see the USAir ticket
jacket and the two boarding passes stamped 'USED' so it must have been real.

Assuming for the moment that it really *did* happen, herewith a report from the
official First Guest and sole representative of the list.jerrygarcias in
attendance at The Party:

        a.  arrive at PVD, find Elaine waiting for me.  We arrive at The Party
site by about 3:30.  Very nice home, of course, filled with books and
bookcases.  Help tidy up and prepare some munchies, wander out to the front
porch with Elaine to enjoy the gorgeous day and await the crowds.

        b.  Toy Car drives past the house, we discreetly wave to draw
occupants' attention.  Inside are Natalie and Blomberg -- have long-awaited
first ftf with the latter.  I can report, and several others were careful to
confirm, that the Toy Car is a darker though less wondrous blue than my eyes.

        c.  more revelers arrive, in no certain order.  //anne// drives past
several times.  The mystery guest pulls up in a long black Cadillac (was that
a '68, Michael?) with NJ plates.  Somewhere along the line, we hear that Bill
Merrill will pick up Karen and Karsten, but he arrives without them.  To be
honest, I have no idea how or when they got there.  Rita and the
couple-of-the-big-announcement are picked up from somewhere by Elaine and
Frank.  Judith and //anne// pick up a mound of Oriental goodies.

        d.  Rashmi drives up, accompanied by navigatrix(?) Richh.  If someone
has access to USGS seismological data, could you determine whether the earth
*really* trembled when such net.deities as Richh, -abh, G, karsten, and natalie
(to name a few) all stood upon the same ground?  Assuredly, the energy level
was evident on someone's instruments.

        e.  much later madness dissolves into a swirling, Samuel
Adams-assisted, mist.  The smell of garlic pervades all -- while sitting on
the porch, Jenna mistakenly identifies me as the source (what did you think,
I'd been chomping a head of it like an apple?).  I unwittingly abet Blommie in
keeping Karen too busy talking to eat any of The Dish.  The Announcement is
bandied about, though I remain a tad skeptical that it's all a ruse by Tushar
or Santa.  Katie wows all with dessert -- quite the achievement among the
marvelous competition (note to Rita and Ann: it's not that chocolate cheesecake
is an abomination, but that I'm disappointed that two of my real faves just
don't seem to go all that well together).  Katie again fails to convince me
that I didn't personally drive her from the list; as atonement, I'll have to
take her to Fallingwater when she comes to the 'burgh for her interview
(that's a promise!).

Hmmm, all this writing and I'm still on Friday night...and haven't said a word
about the phone calls (Emily, the trip to the 'Bake is gonna be  of
adventure with John).  Better close for now, and do some work, then write a
second installment later.  Just want to mention how great it was to talk with
those I had a chance to talk with, and how much I regret missing those I
didn't spend any time with.  I owe extended notes to several of you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
neal          traven@vms.cis.pitt.edu                 412-624-0097 (office)
              traven+@pitt.edu                        412-624-0110 (fax)
                    "You're only young once, but you can be immature forever."
                                          -- Larry Andersen, relief pitcher

Date:         Wed, 26 May 1993 01:15:00 EST
From: It's the discussion that's fun--not the resolution
              <traven@vms.cis.pitt.edu>
Subject:      WHTMATP, part the second and finall

...in which your faithful reporter writes of telephones and sleeper sofas, of
cat hair and baseball, of cackling and microwaves, of videos and commuter
trains, and of alarm clocks.

        a.  telephones -- yes, Elaine and Grant have call-waiting.  And Natalie
doesn't know how to use it.  Luckily, she didn't quite cut off whichever
far-flung correspondent she was speaking with at the time; Blomberg
demonstrated the procedure, but Natalie didn't .  Unfortunately, most
of the calls were poor connections, so I'll once again say hello to Elwood and
Carolyn and JMW and Carol.  Only the last came through loud and clear, though
the party-roar subsided sufficiently that I heard most of what John said, too
(the Amtrak trip to the SalmonBake is gonna be a , I can tell).  Sorry I
didn't make it to the phone when Dan called, but hey, we've communed a couple
of times before...

        b.  sleeper sofa -- that's where Karen and Karsten slept (the
newly-betrothed pair were in the library/video room, my futon was in the
computer room) in the living room.  Quite the feat unfolding it, though once
set up the frame was *very* stable.  How stable?  You'll hear about that in
the 'cackling' segment.

        c.  cat hair -- a major accomplishment of Elaine's Saturday was
rubbing, scratching, and grooming Louisa.  The poor dear had recently suffered
a moderately serious wound at the hand (teeth?) of the local feline bullyboy,
and was in serious need of reassurance.  In gratitude, Louisa left hair *all
over* Elaine.  We're talking serious hairshirt.

        d.  baseball -- a secondary goal for me was attending a Pawsox game on
Saturday night.  Ausbrook wimped out, actually thinking we'd believe that he
would be  a 2-year-old while the kid's mother gave birth to a
brand-new sibling.  You expect me to buy that lame-o excuse, Michael?  Frank
decided that washing and folding clothes would be a more 
experience.  And Karen even hightailed it to Boston to avoid attending.  As is
traditional when wordslers want to see the Pawsox, it rained a bit on Saturday,
though there was never any threat that we'd be rained out.  In the end,
Blomberg, Ann, and I (the only *real* fans in the whole bunch), watched the
Pawsox lose 6-1 to the Toledo Mud Hens.  At the game, I had a ftf with a member
of one of my APBA baseball simulation leagues -- a nice chat, but his son
didn't cotton to me, so we kept it brief.

        e.  cackling -- now, you have to realize that Karen and Karsten left LA
at 7am PDT on Friday, flew across the country, partied until about 1am EDT
Saturday morning.  So why was I awakened at about 6:30am Saturday by Karen's
 laughter?  Why did that laughing foil a couple of attempts to go
back to sleep?  Some minutes later, I staggered down the stairs to observe
(from right to left) Graham, Anne, Karen, and Karsten all lying on the sleeper
sofa.  Grant was nearby reading the newspaper as if this sort of thing happened
regularly, Elaine was somewhere (I don't recall).  Much giggling, groping, and
such ensued, demonstrating convincingly the strength of that sleeper's
framework.  Much of the rest of the morning involved snoozes by various people,
plus noshing leftovers and muffins.

        f.  microwaves -- Graham prepared a delightful lunch of leftover
chicken for himself, Anne, and me.  He took to that microwave like he'd been
*born* using one.  He quickly mastered defrosting and covering to prevent
spatters.  BTW, I overheard -abh confide to Graham that she wasn't much of a
cook...my wedding presnt will be some sort of basic cooking equipment...

        g.  videos -- the good news is that -abh had brought about a dozen
tapes of ST-TNG and ST-DS9 for Graham's viewing pleasure.  The unusual news is
that the Star Trek marathon was preceeded by Karsten's video.  It, uh,
presented us with a preview of coming attractions.  I fully agree with Anne's
review of the goings-on.  Someone else would have to volunteer to collect the
samples for lab analysis, however.

        h.  commuter trains -- you'd think, after their Friday afternoon
arrival fun, that Karen and Karsten would have taken a nice direct train from
Providence to Boston to see Rita and Nico.  Amtrak runs 'em, you know.
Instead, Grant drove them up to South Attleboro to get the commuter line train.
Well, not quite -- seems they got caught in traffic and missed it.  So they
hopped up to Attleboro, but couldn't find the station.  They finally beat the
train to Quincy, well up the line, and headed off for the Hub.

        i.  alarm clocks -- after the ballgame, Ann, Blommie, and I repaired to
Brown's 'GCB' for a brew or two.  Since I would have to be on a 7:25am flight
the next morning, it would be a brief stay before turning in.  WRONG!!  We
didn't drink *that* much beer, did we?  There was only one pitcher, right?  And
a couple more rounds?  The music brought back lots of memories, largely of Top
40 radio between 1967 and 1973.  Blomberg 'called' several of the more
revolting selections (Archies, Partridge Family, Tommy James, and such).  The
other two told of junior high and HS, while I recounted college and grad school
days.  Blomberg was unnecessarily impressed that I'd been at Woodstock.
Eventually, I was packed off to sleep in the wee hours, not all that long
before I'd have to rise to get to the airport.  Yet I was awake and almost
sentient well before the scheduled time for the alarm to ring.  How'd that
happen?


There it is -- the rest of my travelogue on The Party...  Stay tuned for
the next chapter, as this intrepid reporter will be wending his weary way
westward in less than a month...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
neal          traven@vms.cis.pitt.edu                 412-624-0097 (office)
              traven+@pitt.edu                        412-624-0110 (fax)
                    "You're only young once, but you can be immature forever."
                                          -- Larry Andersen, relief pitcher