Driving Miss MoonDragon

It is a rather bleak morning, with us waking up around 10 AM. Melissa is still battling her flu-like symptoms, and is in and out of the bathroom all morning. It hits noon, and we realize we’re not going to make it to see Dustin’s apartment before dinner. I talk with him online, and he’s already guessed as much.

Around 1 PM, I hop in the shower as Melissa sleeps a bit. Around 2, we head out the door, armed with a road map, our digital cameras, and a bucket.


Poor Melissa. During the drive, she’s forced to use the bucket. I drive, trying really hard not to make any sudden motions with the car. She sleeps off and on, as we make our way north.

We arrive at the Villa D’Carlo, right on time and meet up with Dustin and Sherie. Dustin is as cool in person as he has been online, and all of us fall to talking. After a few minutes, FlamingoJeff and Ms. Flamingo arrive…. complete with "Charles." :D

Unfortunately, Melissa is in the bathroom as much as she is at the table. But I’ve still got in a few good pics, while we were all together.

Dustin (a3dmofo) and Melissa (MoonDragon)

Melissa’s self-portrait

Flamingo Madness! A kickass pen that Melissa bought for the Flmaingos (foreground), FJ (back), and Charles (right)

Moonie, Ms. Flamingo and FlamingoJeff. Plotting.

More Flamingos! FJ doing his best James Dean.

Sherie and Dustin, enjoying their I’vequitbutI’mdoingfineanddon’twantonethanks cigarettes. :D

THE SHRINE. Feel the wrath of our mojo, Kenosha!

After dinner, we decide to try and hit another bar. Melissa was on the verge of taking her leave… but trooper that she is, decided to stick it through. I was pretty impressed. We decided to try a place called "Shenanigans," and create an elaborate cover story to sneak her inside.

Unfortunately, Kenosha law seems to be a bit strict on minors inside drinking establishments… so we take our leave of Shenanigan’s and find ourselves at an Applebee’s. There, everyone orders a few more drinks (I switch from water to coffee). Converastion picks up again, and is a bit more relaxed…

It seemed to me that, at dinner, we were all somewhat nervous… still circling each other, trying to get a sense of what all these "strangers" were like. At Applebee’s, we had had food (well.. I had a slice of pizza), drinks, and time to get more comfortable. Talking at Applebee’s had to be the highlight, all of us hunched around a small bar table, chatting away.

At one point, FJ asks the server for an ashtray. A few minutes go by, and the server returns.

"I’m sorry sir. We don’t know how to make an ashtray."

All of us look at each other, confused.

"If you tell us what’s in it," the server says, "I’m sure we can make one for you. Or did you mean an actual ashtray?"

Turns out that you can’t smoke inside, possibly some Kenosha-wide law. But the big kick we got was that the server assumed there was some mixed drink out there called an "astray." Of course, we then had to all try to figure out what would go into a drink called the ashtray.

Here’s the final recipe:

Shaved ice
1 shot Kahlua
1 Oreo Cookie
1 Cherry
1 Regular Drinking Straw

Sprinkle shaved ice into a tumbler. Crush Oreo Cookie and mix with ice, adding a splash of Kahlua for effect. Cut Regular Drinking Straw in half, and push straw into de-stemmed cherry. Add to glass and serve.

By the time the party breaks up, Melissa is feeling somewhat better. Her, Dustin, Sherie and I spend a good deal of time hanging out in the Applebee’s parking lot talking. We say our goodbyes, I drop of Melissa at her grandparents’ house, and drive drowsily back towards Chicago… having finally met all these people I’ve been talking to for so long.

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