October 26, 2003

My interest...

is PIQUED, not PEAKED! For the love of...! And it's not a MUTE point, it's a MOOT point! A tenant pays rent, NOT a tenet! Hear me now: LEARN TO USE THIS LANGUAGE CORRECTLY AND I'LL CONSIDER NOT SERIOUSLY MAIMING YOU.

Well, that was therapeutic. Anyone join me for a drink? Yes Tony, whiskey counts as beer.

Posted by Gene at 01:31 AM | Comments (4)

October 23, 2003

The moment you've all been waiting for...

So, only about 3 weeks late, now comes the tale of the Indianapolis visit. The usual suspects kept me from setting aside enough time to write this up (class work, midterms, gaming, general laziness). The introduction of a GBA emulator (FFTA, anyone?) and the Halo demo certainly didn’t help. But now that the heat is off (for the moment), I have some catching up to do, including writing a letter to the brilliant folks over at Cooper who are instituting these god-awful and absurd changes to the curriculum. However, that's a topic for another time. Onto Indy!...but first a disclaimer. You may think that I write too much about trips like these, but you have to realize that my main intent with these things isn’t to accommodate you, the reader. It’s here so I don’t forget what happened as I get older and stupider. Having it online is icing on the cake.

Mine, Kari's, and Anthony's (coming soon)

It was a very dreary and hazy Friday morning. My roommates and I had just finished watching Catch Me If You Can around 1 a.m., after which I chilled in my room waiting for Matty to arrive. He arrived around 2:30, and following some brief confusion in the mindless street layouts that permeate Pennsylvania, I tossed my shit into his car and we were off. Muhammad was riding shotgun, which placed me next to the noisy patched up broken window in the back of the car. I didn’t mind the whistling, I just felt bad because I couldn’t hear most of what Matt was saying. After an hour or two on the road, Matt pulled into a Flying J for a recharge. Upon entering what appeared to be, from the outside, nothing more than a standard sort of mini-mart at most gas stations, I was floored. I looked in one direction – a small clothing outlet. I turned and saw DVDs for sale. On my way to the bathrooms, I passed a set of showers. There were signs for wireless internet access on the urinals. When my business was done, I walked out of there slowly, not sure if it was all real. The place was simply much too odd. Sure, it was probably a trucker’s stop, but it was just…so deceptive. Matt theorized that we had actually driven off the road and were lying in a ditch, with this just being a happy dream. Muhammad thought this place wouldn’t be here when we’d been driving past it again. I just didn’t know what to think.

The next few hours were pretty standard. I’d drift off to sleep, and every 45 minutes or so Matt would bring down the window for a smoke. The blast of cold air would sweep me back to the land of the conscious, but I’d slowly drift off again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually we found our way to Indianapolis, but weren’t sure exactly where the track was. Muhammad started to look at the map, but Matt stopped him and simply rolled down the window. After listening for a moment, he pointed and said “THAT WAY!”. It was simply classic. Following the sound of the cars, we found our way to the track. A quick call to Greg let us know where he was, and we soon met up with him and the girls for breakfast. I called Nuval to check on his status before we headed back to the track.

We watched the practice runs from a few different locations. Eventually we went to the seats we’d have on race day to check out the view, but we were soon booted by personnel drones who told us that the area was off-limits. We went back to the center of the track to finish watching all the timing runs, but rain started coming down near the end. As we got wetter, lap times progressively got worse. If I remember correctly, they were all around or below 1:10 for the first group, but by the end the times were as long as 1:20. We made a visit to the various cars on display before starting to head out. On our way out, Matt decided to submit a complaint and ask why that seating area was off limits, particularly since we were supposed to be able to sit anywhere on the preliminary days. He didn’t quite get an answer, but was told that everything should be open on Saturday. We then continued our trek back to the cars, which was rather lengthy as our parking spots were on the opposite end of the track from where we were. Once we finally got moving, we met up with Nuval (who had Auffermann in tow) in a Century 21 parking lot. I switched cars and jumped into Tony’s ride, partly to catch up with him and Joe, partly to get more leg room. Our destination was the Days Inn where they were all staying. While Greg and Matt took a direct route through the city, Anthony took a slightly different route which landed us at the inn significantly sooner than anyone else. Everyone checked in, settled down, showered, etc., while we tried to decide on a place to eat at. In the meantime I called Rob up and told him to come on down, since we’d likely be ready to roll by the time he arrived.

Once everyone was ready, we rode over in our 4 cars (sadly, Rob’s was the only automatic of the group) to the Loon Lake Lodge. Typical of Indiana, it made little sense. There was a random plane on top of the restaurant, and gaining entrance to its parking lot wasn’t as obvious as it should’ve been. The food itself wasn’t bad, though we couldn’t quite reach a consensus as to whether the chewy things in the mashed potatoes were bits of meat or potato skins. The leftovers I took with me were taken in vain, as I would never get to finish them. Rob drove me back to the hotel, where we chatted a bit more before I joined back up with everyone else. Following a few hits of good ol’ Jameson Irish whiskey, I hopped back into Tony’s mobile and we headed to Joe’s place. What followed was a very, very odd situation that could only have come about from the involvement of Cooperites. Nuval sniffed through Joe’s roommate’s DVD collection and put up some Dr. Who videos while Joe and I dueled. It didn’t take long for me to teach Joe what he didn’t know about Duel Monsters, and the fight started, with me using the Pegasus deck, and Joe the Joey deck. Despite Joe’s disbelief when I played Toon World (and my Toon Summoned Skull, whee!), he eventually beat me. We both made some foolish mistakes during the game, but one of his particularly evil moves was using Penguin Soldier’s flip effect to pull both of his own monsters off the field just before he activated Dark Hole. So very wrong.

The next morning Nuval and I were heading back to the Days Inns, sans Joe, who was staying for the football game against Notre Dame. We were unsure what to do for breakfast, but that question was answered quite conveniently when Anthony found out we could partake in the continental breakfast being served at the hotel without scrutiny. Movement toward the track commenced once everyone was full on donuts, cereal, eggs, and…hot dog meat? This time, however, we had the added company of Shankar, Damien, John, and Kari. We were able to sit where we wanted this time, and watched as Kimi Raikkonen placed far ahead of Michael Schumacher in the prequals, much to our amusement. Gotta hand it to the Montoya fans, they get pretty vocal for their man. We then toured the cars on display at the show for a second time, to let those who weren’t with us the previous day take in the sights. Upon various visits to the bathrooms there, I wanted to take a picture of the troughs inside, but I was never able to be in there without other men inside. I'm not too sure they'd like me taking pictures of them taking a piss.

Our next task at hand was on to do what must always be done when a good number of Cooperites get together, especially because the weather was being so very cooperative (especially as compared with the previous day) – FRISBEE. There was a golf course inside the track (don’t ask why), so while the girls watched, Damien, Muhammad, Anthony and I took to one side while Matt, Shankar, Greg and John manned another. It quickly became apparent that I needed to learn how to correctly throw the frisbee against the wind. We all began racking up grass stains, so I decided to simply go without the formality of pants to save them from getting any worse. Unfortunately this was all short-lived as a security guard soon came over to us, stating that we couldn’t play on the course. The comical part came when he asked “Are you ladies with them?”, and they answered yes, to which he responded “Then you’ll have to leave too”. We began the long march back to the cars, walking across part of the track this time. When we got back to the hotel, half of our party passed out while the rest of us spent time doing things like watching Kung Pow on TV. Eventually we headed to the Outback Steakhouse for dinner, where Kimi was toasted several times (imagine Timmy from South Park saying his name). Once we were all stuffed beyond limits any mere mortal should come near, we split up again. Nuval took us back to Joe’s place, while the others went out in search of night life in Indy.

The scene was not much different than it had been the previous night, except Stargate SG-1 was playing the background in place of Dr. Who. Joe and I had 3 more duels, with Anthony not-so-diligently keeping track of life points. I won twice, then we switched decks, and Joe won again. We’d each won two duels, but final score was Pegasus 3, Joey 1. Terrible.

Sunday. The day. After another breakfast from Days Inn (this time with real breakfast sausages), we visited a grocery store to get, what else, M&Ms and soda (which they listed as “pop” up there, the NERVE of those people). Then there was the drive to our familiar parking spots and the walk to our familiar seats. Once the race actually got underway, things got more interesting (duh). It was fun eyeing the drivers on the previous days as they did their solo laps, seeing how they’ll take that turn, how much time they’ll gain or lose. It was all that times three on Sunday – sure, there were 20 cars, but we only really cared about one, and only really followed three (two for those who didn’t care about Montoya). The dreary clouds robbed us of the glorious weather we’d encountered the day before, and they were accompanied by pelting, marvelous hail that came and went. It didn’t much serve to dampen anyone’s spirits, people understandably got progressively louder with each passing lap. In the end, Kimi placed a solid second, which was reason enough to celebrate. We took the long way back to ours, taking a side trip to see the car show which wasn’t sponsored by the car industry.

Our last meal together was at Hooters, which you certainly can’t complain about. Unfortunately, it was all over way too fast, and before I knew it we were all saying goodbye to one another. Sometime in the very early morning of Monday, Matt dropped me off at my place of residence. I bid him and Muhammad a safe trip home, and went upstairs to fall into my bed.

Posted by Gene at 02:24 AM