Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Monday Recap

Monday at ALA was about equivalent to Sunday at Origins: deadsville in the exhibit hall for a good part of the day. Luckily for me, Michelle had agreed to come help me out the last day of the show so I didn't have to sit there by myself for the whole day. Having someone to talk to made the time go a lot faster and the booth breakdown was easy. We donate all of our remaining samples to the library association and once I sweet talked a couple of GES guys into grabbing me a pallet I was able to get the whole thing done in maybe 15 minutes.

About 20 feet from the door of the building, I spied a guy who looked familiar. "That looks like JB," I said to myself. "That *really* looks like JB... Hey, waitaminute, JB is a LIBRARIAN. That IS JB!" He was working on a laptop in the building lobby and I hesitated a few minutes before going over to him. I haven't seen JB in person in at least 10 years and I wasn't entirely sure how I would be received. I decided to go for it and walked up to the table.

"Yes?" he responded curiously, no recognition in his eyes.
I paused, waiting to see if he would recognize me. Nothing, nothing...
"It's Nicole," I said.
A brief look of confusion as he tried to make the connection, then, completely boggled, his mouth dropped open. "Oh my god!" He hugged me and we sat down to do some catching up.

JB was a college friend of Lisa and Jonathan, a St. Olaf alum who I met after he'd been away getting his MA in History at Champaign-Urbana. He'd just returned to St. Olaf where he'd gotten a job in the library and had gotten himself sucked into helping out at Lion Rampant. When the company moved to Georgia, John pulled up stakes, quit the best job he'd ever had and moved, too. He was supposed to become the Ars Magica line editor and history guy, but he couldn't come right away with everyone else and in the couple of months that elapsed the plan had already begun to fall apart. By the time he got to Atlanta, he was told that he was going to have to get another job because the money we'd thought was going to be part of the plan of the move hadn't materialized. John got a job as a night clerk in a hotel for a while, then got a job at the Emory University library, a path that eventually led to becoming a fully fledged librarian. John was a great guy who was poorly treated by the Lion Rampant experience. I was in love with him at the time but the stress of the situation resulted in a painful, jagged break-up. When I left Atlanta and went running home to Minnesota, I left everything behind, including John. I've long regretted the additional pain I caused him in addition to the broken friendships and disappointments that the rest of Lion Rampant had layered on him.

It was wonderful, if a bit surreal, to catch up with him. His family is all doing well and just about exactly as I would have expected (the yuppie siblings are still yuppies, the rebel sibling is still a rebel, his parents are powering along through old age and continuing to do all the things they've always done). He's happily married, with three step-kids (one of whom is about the age I was when we were together in Atlanta) and is successful in his job, which is no surprise to me at all since he was always diligent and capable in his work. He's living in California. He hasn't had much contact with the other folks I knew in Georgia, though he did drop a couple of names from our old game group that I had forgotten. I caught him up on what I knew of the goings on of the various old LR crew: marriages and divorces, children (and rabbits), various game industry business decisions, who'd become millionaires, who had proven themselves to be manipulative ego-maniacal back-stabbers whom I will never forgive and no longer associate, and so on. We passed an hour easily. Unfortunately, I couldn't linger after that because I had to go home, get Kate, and get back downtown in time for a dinner with some other colleagues. Great surprise to see JB and wonderful to catch up and see him relaxed in his life and comfortable and centered in himself. I smiled about that all the way home.

Dinner last night was at The Pink Door and involved a roasted beet and arugula salad and wild boar risotto, but I refrained from taking pictures since it was a dinner meeting with business associates. Suffice to say it was excellent and a good time was had by all.

I'm looking forward to being home tonight and not wandering around downtown until all hours. The weekend was long and busy and I'm still pretty exhausted by it all.

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