Friday, October 21, 2005

Home again

I made it back to PA. Luckily, the hurricane slowed down and we didn't see any problems with the flight. Only my hangover....

Last night was the closing party for the conference. HP bought out Pleasure Island in Disney until 11 PM, and everything was open for us. I met up with some of the guys I'd made friends with over the last couple of days, and we started in on a long drinking session. Since the games were open too, the guys decided they wanted to "test their strength" on the game where you use the mallet to try to reach the top of the tower. One of the guys had already tried and hit top once. He tried again and was able to do it twice. They convinced me to try next - told me that they tweak down the strength and give me a smaller mallet. I'd already had a few beers by this point, so I was up for it. I walk up, and the guy just stands there holding the big manly mallet. I comment that I guess I'm using the big one. He belatedly offers to get me the smaller one, but I like 'em big. :-) I took my first swing, and I made it about 60 - better than quite a few of the guys ahead of me. By this time, a crowd had gathered and started cheering me on, and I gave a few more good swings. I topped out at 88. Even though I didn't made the 100 mark, the guy still gave me a stuffed monkey. Another guy in our group goes next, and hits a 55. One of the wandering entertainment guys on stilts starts heckling, making sure that everyone knew that a girl had beat him. He hit a 92 on his last one, so his pride came out intact.

Like many other places, smoking is not allowed in the bars. We had the option of either drinking in cool or smoking and drinking in the heat. This was a great dilemma until we hit the cigar shop. The guys needed smokes, so we stopped in and found a nice air conditioned place where we were allowed to smoke. It was right next to one of the beer carts, so there was no problem with the booze supply either. I actually smoked a cigar last night. The guys picked out a very mild one, and I learned how not to inhale while smoking. Very odd concept, especially while drinking.

Many more drinks were consumed, but we all had a great time. We sat around trading stories, then we decided to hit one of the clubs with a bunch of games. Air hockey was played, and I won my games. Time flew by. The bars were closing, and I had to catch a cab back to the hotel. I got back and played some drunk poker (bad, bad, bad) then crashed. Morning and my flight came way too quick.

On a positive note, I got a response to the apologetic email I sent to my new Sun buddy. Luckily, he forgave me and was kind enough to tell me that I wasn't as obnoxious as I'm sure I was. He'll be in the area (sort of) over the next few weeks, so I'll be sure to meet up with him and buy him some drinks. Luckily, my big mouth didn't seem to hurt me this time!


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