Alright gang, a harried and frantic upload later,
and we have photos!
The meet up took place in sunny Ann Arbor, and we had great weather the entire day, which was great since there was a decent amount of walking to take in most of the sights we wanted.
First up, SardonicSamurai showed up at my place on Thursday night and we got some coney dogs up in Flint, MI. We played Tankmen, and he kicked my ass by giving me AIDs. After some food and fun, we toss back down , and crash since we had to be up early.
SonicMega shows up at my house because he lives north of me, and we all drive down together, separately, since I have no idea how many people will be showing.
So the day of the meet arrives, and at roughly 11 45 we show up at the Diag. Fairly straight forward, we wait at the Diag. We are asked by homeless for mushrooms and pot, though they may have been students, it's hard to say, and are enjoying a Peruvian Flute Band, then a Christian Korean Hymn Choir when I get confirmation and soon arrival of the full gang.
We have in attendance.
oh, and myself.
Speeling contacts me saying he's put in his contact wrong, and may have hurt his eye. I tell him it's his decision to arrive if he wants.
I call Captain-Destructo, and he's in Detroit currently, he plans on hanging out with us later that night. No problem.
We wait around til around 12:45pm, and are all very hungry. The guys next to us on the benches that happened to order like 3 pizzas didn't help, and we resolve to head out. Since Speeling was a possible show up, and not wanting to have him feel left out if he arrived, I contact him via cell phone.
Speeling informs me that he in fact has pink eye, and says he forgot he doesn't own contacts. My faith in anything he says at this point and for the rest of the day quickly diminishes.
We arrive at Pizza House, in Ann Arbor, and proceed to enjoy the dinner. I inform Luis that I am out of my age limit. While at the dinner table, he calls thinking I'm surrounded by a sea of clutching 14 year olds. Haha, got ya. Our server is very cool, and we appreciate the promptness. I can't recall his name, but he was a) unaware of what newgrounds.com was and b) a self proclaimed biogeek.
We proceed to laugh and joke and not talk at all about Newgrounds, and hold civil conversation like people that are not obsessed with the internet.
Joking of course, we talk to each other about how we got our user names and SonicMega and Sardonic proceed to do various cartoon voices. I was worried for YungJazz and Islandgirl, they were choking up at times from laughing so hard.
36Holla comes from Chicago, and approves of the deep dish pizza offered here. That pleases me, as you have to really work to get proper Chicago deep dish.
We order 3 pizzas, some appetizers, and the smart people get shakes, because Pizza House has shakes that will put hair on an egg. The food is fantastic and everyone eventually shuffles off. After heading to my car, and somehow SonicMega losing track of us, we regroup at Pinball Pete's.
Sonicmega, SardonicSamurai, and 36Holla join me in 2 vs 2 airhockey, and after 3 rounds of very close matches, and Sardonic's poor defense, SonicMega and I claim victory over the defeated.
Speeling texts me, saying there is a barricaded gunman by his house. At this point I hope he gets hit by stray fire.
Nearly everyone plays Para Para Paradise. No one wins, the instant you play, you lose all dignity.
I notice SonicMega gets girls around him while he DDRs the place up. YungJazz and I are busy running Street Fighter III: Third Strike. He suffers multiple losses against my Elena.
Subsequently he destroys me at Capcom vs SNK 2. My Joe Higashi is no match for his damn samurai.
Everyone continues losing at Para Para Paradise. I believe Sardonic has video of our terrible terrible journey in arm flailing, or more like arm failing.
We idle some time running through a few rounds in Tankmen.
I play Sardonic 1 vs 1, and I manage to pull off a third turn win. TAKE THAT.
Since there was a decent amount of interest, Sardonic, 36Holla, Dirtshake, and MegaSonic want to play. Steve is able to teach them the rule structure after only playing twice. Not too shabby Steve. I oversee the match, and eventually 36Holla winds up blowing everyone away. Laughter and bemusement were had by all.
Speeling asks if I have Sardonic's number, he wants to prank him. I fail to give it to him.
Anyways, eventually we head out, and decide now would be a great time for a live Stickam broadcast! We spend the next hour wandering trying to find signal, eventually heading towards our destination, a two story comic book shop called Vault of Midnight! Everyone mills about while I hop online trying to find out where Fab999 is, since he seemed very eager to show up. I send him a ding, and await for a reply. Beyond this, my goal is to make sure no one is getting out of hand.
The gang films ants tackling some food on the bench. Oh god, that's the bench I'm on. Thanks for letting me know there were ants everywhere guys. After everyone enjoys the air of comics and such, and checking out all the knick knacks, and finding out that Ann Arbor is home to a robot repair shop, I head across the street to Mongolian BBQ to make reservations.
We originally were going to have our reservations at Buffalo Wild Wings, but after getting treated so poorly over the phone by the staff and being told they don't do reservations for less than 20 people, I was put off enough to take my party elsewhere for the night. Pity, since I love their Asian zing sauce.
Speeling informs me he has gone paintballing and got shot in the dick. One wonders if you have pink eye, how quickly the recovery must be if you are able to engage in a sport that requires intense hand eye coordination.
We head out for Gellatos at new place that opened across the street from Pinball Pete's. The chairs were small and white, much like the majority of the Newgrounds.com fanbase. I had the Blood Orange Sorbet. YungJazz tries it 'This shit just tastes like regular sorbet.' IslandChick buys a large thing of water that looks like it could be wielded as a club. SonicMega covers his gellato with so much fruit I don't know if he'll even get to the actual gellato under it all.
We kill a little more time at Pinball Pete's since it's not quite 8pm, and dinner is at 9pm. I head over to get batteries for my camera at a nearby grocery store and receive a message 'WE HAVE ENTERED THE SEX SHOP'. Ah, yes. S3, the Safe Sex Store. Great place, if a little pricey, and they are I'm sure having a decent time. I sit on a nearby bench where 36Holla comes out, face beet red, proclaiming 'They are all in there having a good time. '
I ask him, 'It's a sex store were you not expecting to see penises ?'
'There were a lot.'
Soon enough, they pile out, I fail to notice if anyone has purchased anything, because I receive a phone call from Fab999, politely informing me he may show up later, but he has personal matters to attend. I enjoy his frankness, joke with him a bit, and inform him we can hang out some other time, I am after all, a Michigan man myself. I appreciate his quickness to tell me he'll likely not be showing up.
Speeling asks me how the party is going. I fail to respond, my finger poised with a text response of 'Stop fucking texting me, I get it, you're not showing, and you are trying to chum up with me.'
I delete the message and we head off to Mongolian BBQ, each of us grabbing a decent portion of food, and enjoyable at that. My Red Wings manage to tie it up 3-3, and we proceed during the third period's end to head off towards the Hiedelberg. I make the mistake assuming because it is a bar/restaurant there will not be an issue with the younger kids coming. I was mistaken two fold.
First, the seating is less than ample, and we would find ourselves split between tables.
Second, I was misinformed about the policy, and our fellow NGers will have to leave. Thankfully the staff was very accommodating while we sorted out where we were going. Also unfortunate, it seems YungJazz forgot his ID, which is a pity since he seems like a solid man to be out with and enjoying the bar crawl with us. BAH.
We spill out into the street, I am missing my Red Wings game in overtime now, and I realize the possibility that perhaps Captain-Destructo will be able to accommodate the 21+ crowd at his place for a few rounds. It will allow us to say goodbye to the rest of the younger gang, and regroup for an evening of revelry.
I receive no answer from him. I am left at a loss for what to do at this point, and realize that perhaps it's best to call it a night. After one last round of photos, chatting, and laughing, we begin the long walk back to our vehicles. I wonder how the Wings are doing, and if my friend is alright. Regardless, the NG Michigan meet is at an abrupt end. MegaSonic wants to know if he can crash my place. I am mildly annoyed by this, ultimately, not his fault, I just don't know him. I go with my gut, and let him come along, since Sardonic and 36Holla were crashing there anyways. Everyone thanks me for hosting the event, and for the first time in a long while, I feel a little closer to happy.
Then Speeling texts me asking how the party is going.
We arrive back at the vehicle, and MegaSonic pretty quickly passes out in my vehicle. As we hit the expressway, I get a call back from Captain-Destructo rather slowly, and I am guessing either drunk or tired explaining that he's not showing up, and that he knows he's disappointed me. I ask him how the Wings did, and he tells me they lost in overtime.
I explain 'No big deal, I'm used to disappointment tonight.' and inform him, I'm driving back home, and will talk later. Tired myself, I manage to somehow stay in my lane, mostly, and drive us home. Far from the spectacular night I had planned back at my place, where we would engage in enjoying a live review of Hannah Montana the Movie the Game for Xbox 360, I instead head to bed rather tired.
The morning after arrives, and I'm up earlier than most. I check out the web, and proceed to eat some cold pizza. I have my fill, and later, I ask Sardonic and 36Holla if they want to get a bagel. SonicMega is still sleeping, so I grab a quick shower, and thankfully he's up by the time we wanna grab some breakfast.
We head to Big Boy's as they have a breakfast buffet. Unfortunately, I'm left to pick at my Apple glazed hotcakes, as the prior pizza filled me up. A poor judgement on my end, but the rest of the guys eat their fill, and our waitress Sally is both kind and attentive. After that, I'm still mildly tired, and slightly grouchy from the last part of the previous night, but my house holds the key releasing angry rage, a copy of Street Fighter IV. We proceed to play for a couple hours, and sadly 36Holla seems to have gained a small amount of talent to try and beat me. He fares better than most, but my Zangief remains an unanswered stomp fest and he struggles at best against him.
Soon enough, the time comes to say good bye, and they leave towards Ann Arbor to get the vehicles together, and depart. My time with everyone is at an end. I hope that you all had fun, I know I did.
Speeling texts me that morning to say Hey. I fail to acknowledge him.
My copy of Hannah Montana was shipped with a large crack, I am back to my normal existence of poorly made decisions, dealing with various projects, and looking for a real job.
See you all in Montreal : )