George's "George is Moving to Thailand" Going Away Party:
Sunday, April 13, 2003, Somerville and Boston, Massachusetts
We first met George in September 1994, at MIT playing Magic: The Gathering on a Friday night in a room full of sweaty strange men. George had long hair that was an interesting blondish shade. We next met George a few Fridays later, when he had short hair. A few Fridays after that, George had a shaved head, and we eventually put together all of these funny, tall guys from Wisconsin (George would call it a "rum" full of sweaty strange men, for instance, with his Wisconsin vowels) and realized that they were one and the same person.
So, over the last nine years we've seen George through many different hairstyles and facial hairstyles, through many moves from apartment to apartment in Allston and Somerville, and through much ribbing about his girlfriends, girl "friends," and Wisconsin heritage. In a week, George leaves for Thailand (you can find out why once he gets his blog online here), and we joined him today for his big Boston going away multi-stage party.
First, Robert and I met George and Michiyo at Boston Paintball in Somerville, where George worked for part of the last year as a referee. This meant in practicality that many cellphone calls from George included abrupt paintball fire in the background, and that on Sunday nights after he worked all day, a very sweaty, painty George would show up for parties or dinner. Michiyo had been to Boston Paintball before, and Robert had played paintball once last year for Noah's bachelor party, but neither was really the experienced player George was. They got suited up--Michiyo in old clothes, Robert in a cute grey jumper over his regular clothes--and George gave them a quick orientation to the guns. The games alternated between open games (open to novices or experts alike) and novice games (meant for beginners, who used the less-powerful rental paint guns instead of the faster-shooting, more expensive kind some very obsessive paintball players used); Robert, George, and Michiyo played in pretty much every game for about an hour and a half. Michiyo had very good form--she would crouch down behind a bunker and look all professional--until she got shot. Robert's strategy was rather to stand almost entirely still, not bending or crouching or even moving out from behind anything. He did surprisingly well, but I think his somewhat cowardly playing harmed his status in the eyes of the mostly adolescent boys playing with him. George was clearly pretty good at this--once, in a novice game, he single-handedly obliterated the opposing eight-member team; unfortunately, not a single member of that team was over the age of 10 or over half of George's height. One pathetic little boy--covered in the cornstarch-solution and fish oil paint from head to toe--was practically crying as his father brushed him off afterward.
After paintball, George and Michiyo went back to his place to change clothes and wash up. Robert and I offered to take the T straight from paintball to dinner in Chinatown in order to get there early and save a table and greet the other people who were supposed to meet us there. Though this was a fine idea in principle, our train got stuck for awhile, then was declared out of service, and then the new train we were dumped onto and made to wait for took forever to get there. Basically, we were the last to arrive at dinner. Dinner was at King Fung Garden and consisted mostly of Peking ducks, dumplings, rice cakes, chow mein, and scallion pancakes. Present were George and Michiyo, Bob and Howard, Ghaz and Alyssa, Ben and Lise, two friends of Michiyo's, Jef, and Robert and me. I unfortunately forgot to take out my camera at the table, but the ducks were great and dinner for everyone came to $130.
Next--on to Jacque's, a Bay Village club a short walk from dinner with a drag show featuring many of George's friends. We were guests of honor, and sat front and center to enjoy the show. Here you see Ben and Ghaz and someone's foot on the table; Ben and Lise clowning around before the show began; and Ghaz, Alyssa, and Howard posing for a picture. The show featured Ivory and other friends of George's, but the emcee--pictured below in two different outfits--was Diamond, who particularly appreciated the attention from different members of our group. Below, she serenades George; gives Howard a great photograph for just $1, and lets Michiyo--yes, quiet Michiyo!--stuff a bill down her shirt. When Robert and I left just before 11:00, the show was still going strong. Sadly, the whole Sunday-night,-have-to-get-up-and-go-to-work-tomorrow-morning thing was working against us--we ran for a bus and ended our evening home, still thinking our goodbyes and goodlucks to George as we coded this page.
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Created: 4/13/03. Last Modified: 4/13/03.