I blog tonight from my dorm room at Case Western.

When I first woke up this morning and rolled out of bed, I had no inclination that something was wrong. Likely, my scope of movement when I first awake—5:45 or any other time—is circumscribed to the point that I’d barely notice missing limbs. It wasn’t until I was in the shower, trying to wash underneath my arms, that I realized that something was terribly amiss.

In terms easy to understand, it felt like someone was stabbing me under the right scapulum with a knife every time I twisted, stretched, or even inhaled. A variety of diagnoses occurred to me, but of course I knew the culprit: stiff, tumescent dorm beds make for stiff, groaning web developers. And of course, that goddamnable knot has remained beneath my shoulder blade all day, so I sound like a decrepit old man whenever I so much as hoist my laptop case onto my lap, groaning all the way. No amount of bending, stretching, or funny breathing seems to help.

In fact, the only time when it feels tolerable is now, after 40 or 44oz of Killians from Applebee’s, where we went for dinner—that is, after driving around Cleveland, lost, for about an hour, in sporadic emeses of ballistic rain, searching in vain for some lost bar named after a monkey.

We were all in a fairly good mood—the first day of the conference, though eminently forgettable, was hardly bad, and at the very least it reinforced suspicions we had about the technical feasibility of certain things. After a successful trip to Wal-Mart for essentials like a toothbrush and soap, we prowled for a restaurant/bar. You can perhaps picture the absurd sight of a large, 11-seat van in muted grey tooling around Cleveland, basically in circles, full of five geeks in search of meat and beer, navigating only by vague, natural-language directions.

It turns out that the monkey-named bar was replaced by a quick-care medical facility before our arrival in Ohio, and so we defaulted to Applebees, which of course was about a 30-second drive from Wal-Mart, but which we arrived at only after a ridiculous 45 minutes of bewildered, aimless circumnavigation of downtown Cleveland. The Applebees in Joliet, whose praises I normally sing, would be ashamed by the Applebees in Cleveland, which is not only slow, but serves tough, dry steaks. About the only thing to be said in its defense is that is has Killians on tap.

I really don’t have much to say—sadly, even the vacationary life of a bunch of technology geeks is about as interesting as carpet lint. The most that can be said for me is that I’m considerably funnier with two tall beers in me, though I can attest that when I am truly inebriated I am solemn as a caricatured Indian chief. C’est la vie.

§1231 · June 28, 2006 · ·

1 Comment to “The Conference: Day I, Pt. II”

  1. Rusty says:

    I at least get more talkative with a couple of beers in me, but that effect lasts for only 15 or so minutes before I stop talking and start yawning and struggling to stay awake.

Leave a Reply