Thursday, March 17, 2016

Inevitable Recap is Inevitable

Before I dive in to my NEEHU recaps, I want to acknowledge that yes, I never wrote my post for Day 5 of Charmed! - for which there are reasons that I won’t go into, but as I’ve already posted about one of my highlights of that day (and of the entire event, to be honest), I feel like I’ve filled the obligation I made to myself.
Now, onwards!
(Featuring a soundtrack, for Reasons…)

First of all, I have to thank the amazing Mephki and the rest of the scholarship committee for making it possible for me to attend NEEHU by awarding me a new presenter scholarship.* In my heart I say that without it I’d have found a way to attend; my head knows that it would have been impossible without that help.
Second of all, people who know me know that one of the things I like to do is bake and bring home-made cookies with me to events. For NEEHU it was looking as if I wouldn’t be able to afford to check my cookie suitcase, but several friends banded together to make sure that I could. So my great thanks to @hypno-sandwich@tennfan2@sebsteerpike@mr-prism, @zanythoughts, and whomever else contributed to the cookie suitcase fund. **

And now on to the meat of the thing:
DAY ONE:  Variations on a theme - A journey begins with a single stop…er…step…

I was unable to buy my plane ticket to NEEHU until the Friday before the event. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that a ticket that I priced on Thursday would be over a $100 more expensive the next day, so rather than purchase my first-choice flight, I lined up an itinerary that was a tad bit more complicated, but significantly more affordable.
It took a little bit longer than average ***
In order to save cash on parking, I chose not to leave my car at the airport for this trip, something that I normally do because I usually fly at night and it’s simpler to have my car waiting there for me when I return. My flights to NEEHU, however, (mostly) were all during the day, so I  drove the car to @kerriekkerrie‘s house so she could babysit it, and took public transportation to the airport.  Other than the fact that it was cold and miserably rainy, my commute went very smoothly, and I shortly **** arrived at the airport.

My first flight was out of Portland at 315 on Wednesday. In order to get the price I wanted, I had to depart a day early and return a day late. So for an event that started mid-afternoon on Thursday, I left on Wednesday. That flight took me to Phoenix, a standard layover stop for many flights originating in major west coast airports. I had an hour layover in Phoenix, then boarded a second plane…which sat, stalled on the tarmac as mechanics rushed to replace its damaged starter. *****  Once that was accomplished, we took off for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I knew I was going to have a layover of at least 4 hours in Milwaukee, so I had packed a fuzzy blanket and a pillow for my journey, and after a minor hiccup getting back to the main terminal was able to lay down and sleep.******
From Milwaukee, I traveled to Cleveland, where I disembarked…only to get back on the same plane 3 hours later and continue on to NYC.*******
At LaGuardia, I waited 3 hours for @carneggyblog to arrive, then we bussed/subwayed ourselves over to Port Authority and caught a Peter Pan bus to Hartford. At which destination we finally arrived around 1015 PM.
Eighteen and a half hours of travel, not counting the commuting parts, sounds terrible at first, but my “plight” had a lot of disguised blessings. The only plane that was full was the first one, but I was in an exit row and had so much leg room that I couldn’t touch the wall in front of me with my feet fully stretched. On my second plane (the one with the faulty starter) I had a bank of three seats to myself, and was able to get about four and a half hours of sleep in, which I augmented with another three hours in the Milwaukee airport. ******** On my flight to Cleveland, which was on what my Dad would have called a “glorified puddle-jumper”, a very nice woman who spoke very little English had accidentally taken my seat, but didn’t want to switch back - so she flew crammed into a tiny seat on one side of the aisle, while I got another hour of sleep in curled up on the row of two seats across from her. ********* 
The rest of Thursday night is kind of a blur. Because we arrived so much later than usual, I didn’t say hello to as many people that night as I might have preferred, although I did collect a group of people for an impromptu cookie social in our room, which ended up having an extra @sebsteerpike********** in it for the evening, but only after we’d collected his stuff from @tennfan2‘s room.*********** We got to bed at somewhat of a decent hour, (the only night this would be true), and bid Thursday “farewell”.
* I was involved in, either through presenting, co-presenting, or being a panelist, 6 different classes. Not a record by any stretch, but quite a lot!
** I am seriously considering monetizing the cookies, either as a straight cookie business or as a potential reward when I’ve got my Patreon set up, or both. 
*** Right. Longer than average. Official flight time (not counting delays) 18 hours and 25 minutes. Still not as bad as the time I took Greyhound bus from Portland to Las Vegas. Yes, @tennfan2, it does sound like a country song - especially as we had a layover of several hours in Bakersfield.
**** Pro tip - buses in Beaverton, Oregon are often about 5 minutes late, and the Max train to the airport has a lot of people on it at lunchtime on a Wednesday.
***** Quite a few people on that flight with me made noises about being scared that the plane would fail in the air. PEOPLE! THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY DON’T FIX IT! Always be glad that you’re delayed for repairs, because that means that the thing they’re fixing broke before you took off, not while you were actually flying.
****** It turns out that the Milwaukee airport closes off the concourses from midnight until about 4 AM. Not knowing this, and knowing I had a 5 hour layover, I dawdled coming off the plane, and eventually had to be let out of the locked concourse area by the local sheriff. This meant that I had to go through another security checkpoint…but that’s okay, because they have a “recombobulating area”. Best word that no one ever uses ever!
******* Yeah, cheaper to fly into LaGuardia than Hartford.
******** The floor, as always, was surprisingly comfortable
********* And Seb introduced us to my new current favorite drink, the ‘Ryan Gosling’ - rye whiskey and Gosling’s ginger beer and cherries - “the only pun that’s good enough to drink” <<—– which slogan I created, and should be receiving both credit and payment for any time, I’m sure…
********** I’d like to take this public opportunity to apologize again to @tennfan2 and @soundshypnotic, who hadn’t seen each other in person for years and years, but were very gracious when I interrupted their reunion knocking on their door.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Day Three at Charmed! - Mannequins Part 3

Let's see, where was I? Soup, check, corset, check, mannequins, check...

Oh yes. After vending. I might have eaten something. It was probably cookies. Yes. Let's go with that. I also might have gotten to watch a hot music video, and also I might have gotten to know Heel_Edge a little bit better. Yes, those are all factual statements.

And then...
And then the snarkstorm* began.

Earlier in the weekend, possibly while talking about the hotel, I'd gotten the idea in my head that it would be a ton of fun to collect the snarkiest people I know, remove whatever natural filter they might have, and throw them all into a room together with a list of topics and, you know, see what happened.**  We never really got a chance to do that, so (because I was in a snarky mood) I decided to combine that idea with the evening's Cookie Room shenanigans.  The rule that night for the Cookie Room was anyone wanting a cookie had to get permission (and more than likely perform a task) from the person who'd previously managed to acquire a cookie. At the same time that this was going on, Carneggy quietly removed my personal snark filter.***

And, braintwinning being what it is, I was able to easily help Pynchon**** remove his.

And also Calico.*****

And Tennfan.******

And Morgan.*******

And AndSleep.********

I quite enjoyed it.

However, combining the two games into one space?  It probably would have worked better if the "ask permission for a cookie" rule had worked out better. It didn't take long for someone to claim the title of "Cookie Czar", and after that I felt the need to continually step in to make that part of things run more smoothly. (Because no snark filter.)  It was still fun, though.

This is also the night where I discovered that I am not the only hypno-person to be in love with A Very Potter Musical (shout out to GleefulAbandon) and that’s you know, totally awesome.
Although now that I think about it that might have happened Sunday night. 

Eventually people ran out of gas and went back to their rooms, presumably to sleep.

*I have just now this moment made that word up, and I love it so much that no one should be surprised when it starts showing up in conversation. Seriously.

**Right, so when I was living in Denver in the 90's and married to the world's biggest football fan, I got to read a lot of sport columns and see a lot of SportsCenter - and there was a particular someone who leaned heavily on the concept "lock them in a room together and, you know, see what happens". Fortunately for me, I can't quite remember who that person was, but if anyone reading this knows, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

***Removed it with the caveat that I'd still have the good common sense to not be hurtful or vicious. And I wasn' anyone's face anyway.

****You know how there are those phones you can touch screens with and it automatically transfers data? Well, for us, it works with foreheads. The more you know.*********

*****One of the sweetest parts of the entire evening was when Calico begged to have her filter put back - and then apologized profusely for what she felt was her rudeness. I repeat again, for the entire world to see, you were at most as rude as the average customer service rep at a grocery store. In other words, not really rude at all.

******Tennfan swears that I did not forehead bop him. I have decided to take his word for it.

*******And I know I barely tinked Morgan on the forehead with my finger; she was pretty close to being filter-free already.

********I <ahem> may have bonked him harder than necessary. I <AHEM> also might not care.

*********"The more you know" also applies to learning how to tighten a corset. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Day Three at Charmed! - Mannequins (Part Two)

“But what about the mannequins?” I can hear you asking. We’re almost there.

After Alternate Personalities, we all enjoyed a special treat. @hypnosubdude​ had posted a request on the suggestion board for a hypnotic dinosaur fight - and @kittykatkatja jumped at the chance to do it. In the end there were four dinosaurs total, three t-rexes and one triceratops (although I will always think of him as a “tricerastegosauratops” since our Ringmaster, the talented @everydayis-girlfriday​ kept getting the two types of terrible lizard mixed up.)  It was a grueling and vicious battle, and everyone came out of it bruised and a little bit bloody - and in the end the triceratops was overwhelmed by numbers, but not before driving one of the rexes out of the fight through sheer exhaustion.  It was a fantastic spectacle and hopefully will be repeated at every event ever forever from now on.

And then we set up the vending area so that Lee and Pynch could sell the Book, and Lee’s hypnotic jewelry.

Which is where the fun begins.

The Mystery of the Haunted Hotel Part Three (Part Two)

As Noelle hurried upstairs to change into her vending outfit, she noticed Carneggy and Kat sitting at a table in the hotel restaurant.

“Can you order me some soup?” she asked. “I’ll just change my clothes while they’re working on food and come back down.”

“We would” said Carneggy, “But they don’t have soup.”

Noelle stared at him, certain he was joking.

“They don’t have…? What kind of restaurant is this?”

“The kind that doesn’t have soup, apparently.”

“All righty then, I guess I’ll eat a yogurt in the room or something…”

And with that, Noelle turned and raced for the elevator.

She had given herself 30 minutes to dress for vending, half of which was taken up by getting into her corset. She’d gotten it as tight as she could manage on her own when Kat came through the door.

“I’m here to help you lace.” Kat said. “Carneggy is still waiting for his sandwich.”

…To Be Continued…

A couple of weeks before Charmed! Pynch asked me would I be interested in being a mindless display model for jewelry at Charmed!.

Well, yes.

As the evening approached, Lee asked the three of us models (hypnosubdude, Calico, and myself) if we wanted to be able to move ourselves or if we wanted other people to pose us. We all opted for that second thing of course.

So after setting up the vending area, I returned to the room to put myself into my official mostly black modelling outfit - black dress, tights with a rhinestone back-seam, and my new (and only) black brocade corset. I have to tell you, I look fucking awesome in that thing. I don’t say things like that about how I look very much, but in this case…I can’t not, I just love the way it looks that much!

After Kat had helped me get my laces tightened, I headed back downstairs - just in time to watch hypnosubdude getting posed. Lee arranged him artfully, then asked me if I wanted to go next.

I elected to go last, so I could see exactly what she was doing. I’d never been a mannequin before; and I’d had practically no experience actually working with Lee directly - so I wanted to know what to expect. This worked against me, because right as she was getting done with Calico people started coming up to the table to buy the book. It worked against me because I didn’t get to be frozen right away, but I would not have missed that 15 or so minutes for the world, because watching Lee and Pynch as people came up to them to get the Book that has been so long in coming signed - watching their faces and how excited people were to be buying it, and how deeply touched Lee and Pynch were by the experience - someone needed to see that and recognize it and I’m so very glad that someone was me.

And then it was my turn.

I will do my best to describe it.

She thanked me for being there to share the occasion with her. She smiled and looked into my eyes and said…something…I’m not sure what. Maybe that I already knew what to do? I do not know. I know she was very emotional, and I couldn’t help but be touched deeply by that…and then she was moving my arms around, shifting my feet to a better stance, adjusting my head, my neck, to a specific angle…and I was left alone, within myself, as people continued to browse the wares around me and behind me.

At first I was incredibly conscious of my breathing - and nothing else. My breathing and a spot in the distance on the carpet that my eyes returned to each time someone moved through my field of vision. As I breathed I went deeper into trance, and eventually I couldn’t keep my eyes open completely, and the world went by around me in a hazy glimmer of shadowed bodies barely seen through my slitted eyelids.

Until someone cracked a single-tail at the neighboring booth.

It scared the ever-loving crap out of me, to use a colorful expression that my Dad loves.  Had I been capable of speech at that moment, I probably would have chosen to exclaim “Jesus Fucking Christ” - so I suppose it’s a good thing that I wasn’t capable. I lurched out of trance, abruptly and completely. After checking on me, Lee declared that it was probably time for us all to have a little break anyway, and we sat or walked a little bit, sipping water, and generally having quiet fun.

I think it was Calico who asked to be repositioned first. I know I was last again, and this time Lee told me that the sounds in the room would be distant and muffled, so that I could stand in peace no matter what might happen around me.

And I fell into the deepest trance I have ever experienced.

I don’t know how long we stood this second time. I don’t know who walked by. I don’t know what was said near me or to me or about me.

This is what I know: I lost my eyes almost immediately. After some period of time I started to feel as if my entire face was turned toward the ceiling (it wasn’t), almost as if I was being pulled upward. I still will swear that I repeatedly felt as if someone were repeatedly and physically pushing my right shoulder down, or rather, placing something heavy on my shoulder than removing it (they weren’t), as well as scraping their fingers across my ribs - through the corset (they weren’t). Eventually I began to feel as if the entire back of my head was missing - you know that sense we all have of where the parts of our body are even when we can’t see ourselves? I lost that completely in relation to the back of my head, possibly to my mind. And the feeling lingered even after Lee invited me back into the waking world.

It was an extraordinary experience, and one I hope to be able to have again.


Day Three at Charmed! - Mannequins (Part One)

The Mystery of the Haunted Hotel Part Three

Carneggy and Kat didn’t even budge as Noelle fell out of bed to go to breakfast.  She gathered what she’d need: (room card, tea bags, Carneggy’s hoody, kitty slippers) and slipped out into the hallway. Sometime during the night someone had plugged in a space heater in an attempt to raise the low temperatures to something live humans could tolerate - it was almost successful. If the elevator hadn’t made a noise like a small creature being devoured by a somewhat larger creature being devoured by a larger larger creature she might even have believed that the hotel wasn’t haunted after all.  But it groaned like a wild thing as the traveled down to the ground floor in search of breakfast.

Noelle nodded at the same stoic folk she’d encountered the previous day, noted the same rotting fruit, the no-longer-interesting waffle maker, and decided to settle for Corn Pops and tea, with half a Costco blueberry muffin (stale of course) just because it was there. No one spoke in a voice louder than a murmur; the rowdy comradery of previous events was completely absent, and Noelle finished her food as quickly as she could to return to the room. “I guess I’ll start recapping today” she thought to herself.

…to be continued…

Saturday was a very full day for me, but oddly after the fact it felt like I’d barely done anything.  I did indeed return to my room and write the first of my Charmed! recap posts, the only time I’ve managed to get one done during the actual event about which I was writing. Honestly, it likely will never happen again.  I did eventually give up and go back to bed, which was warm and cozy and marvelous…which is why I didn’t make to any classes before 11am. To be fair, I could have walked in after the 10 o’clocks had already started, but I have a deeply ingrained distaste of walking into things late. Sneaking in, that’s another thing, but the way the classrooms were set up made it almost impossible to be as sneaky as I would have wanted to be. So I hung out in the hallway until 11, then went (for the third event in a row) to @theleeallure‘s (@hypno-sandwich/Dj Pynchon’s) Hypnotic Amnesia class.

——– A Not-So-Brief Message From My Unconscious ——–

kk Hello there, I’m Noelle. I was very very busy today, and in order to give all of you the correct (that is, interesting) perspective on things, I will be giving my recaps as well. To keep confusion at a minimum, I will refer to the conscious mind as “XXXXX”.

I really enjoy the Hypnotic Amnesia class. It provides me with a perfect opportunity for a little fun at my own expense, so to speak. In other words, I enjoy making sure that XXXXX won’t remember much of what happens in it. One of the techniques that Lee covers has to do with counting down backward from 1000 (or 1001 depending on who’s telling the story that day) and the first time we attended this class I suggested to XXXXX that she try doing it.  It worked so well that we did it again the next time (which account can be found in our WEEHU recaps) with the same successful results. This time around, XXXXX had twigged to the fact that she had been missing a giant portion of the class, and adamantly stated that there would be absolutely no counting.

As if I need her to count to get what I want.

Both of those previous iterations of the class followed the structure of Lee and Dj Pynchon’s book on hypnotic amnesia very closely. (Excellent book, you can get it here. I highly recommend it. In fact, I wrote a review of it. I’m “Amazon Customer”. Honest.)  Now that the book is out, they don’t cover all the techniques (because BOOK.)

But they covered some of my favorite things!

Of course the counting - this time it was Pynchon who brought it up (so 1001, not 1000). They also covered that old favorite “forget to remember, remember to forget” which is pretty much a confusion induction the way Lee approaches it. They also covered things like the “exploding”advertisement and putting things in a room in Dj’s mind to which only Lee (and Id) has access. My favorite part of these classes is when Lee demonstrates the efficacy of her techniques on Dj for us - the split-second look of resignation he gets on his face as he realizes he’s about to be messed with, closely followed by blank incomprehension - this is my kind of porn!

I hope you enjoyed my account of this class; I’ll be back later, but for now, I’ll return you to your previously scheduled programming…kk

Just so everyone knows, I mostly always know when my unconscious has been out and about. I would really like to be able to reach the point where I have no idea when Noelle is front and center, but that’s a work in progress.

With that said…about the Hypnotic Amnesia class.  I did not count. I very carefully did not count. And what I remember of the class is…well…really wanting Pynch’s friend Heel_Edge to enjoy watching him being fucked with. When I close my eyes and try to picture the class in my mind’s eye, what I see is a weird melange of the class as it was at WEEHU and side-eyeing Heel_Edge to see if she was having fun.

So be it.

After Hypnotic Amnesia a bunch of us raced to Subway for lunch so that we could get back in time for the next class (in which a lot of us were participating.) I got to ride with @calamitybrain (who people will remember from her adorable kitty ears and super-cool clawed gloves) and @heraldofthesorceress, with whom I had a great conversation about how being ADHD affects one’s ability to function in a busy society. We rushed back and I ended up in Lee’s room…just in time to comfort @hypnokittencalico as she was struggling with what turned out to probably be food poisoning - right before her first ever presenting experience…

…Sounds of Hypnosis.

She did a fantastic job! She co-presented with Lee, and they went over the different types of sounds that were commonly used by people in tandem with hypnosis, as well as making sure to discuss how important it is to limit sound-based suggestions to very specific times/places/people/etc. At the end Lee and I did a duet version of the musical confusion induction that we performed at WEEHU - and it went pretty well considering that neither of us had really looked at it in 3 months.

The next class was my Creators’ Round Table - we were in a much bigger room than we needed, especially as I had done a really poor job of getting the word out as to what the class was actually meant to be.  So the 6 or so of us who were there had a lot of fun - shout out to Robin, who attended because she likes to read hypno-smut and gave the rest of us someone to focus on instead of constantly talking about ourselves.  I’m going to try this one again at NEEHU, with a much better class description, and I will state it here as well:  the point of this class is for creative people of all stripes within the erotic hypnosis community to gather together to talk about their work, their motivations, and how we can work together as a creative community in order to educate the hapless mundanes in the guise of lovely, smutty entertainment.

After the Round Table, I participated in @HypnoMaestro and @carneggyblog‘s Alternate Personalities class.  @kittykatkatja and I were called upon as examples of alternate personalities so that the attendees could see what differences there were in body language and speech patterns and suchlike.  It was interesting, but I think many of the people there thought it was going to be more of a “how-to” class; there weren’t very many questions at all, which is rather surprising to me given the subject matter and the slight controversy surrounding the idea of alternate personalities in the first place.

———— Another Interlude ———————-

kk Did you miss me?

So I thought this class was no fun at all. I was made into a display model - “See how XXXXX turns into Noelle almost instantly! Isn’t it interesting?” -

No one seemed to care. No one asked me any questions, and when I went back to my seat no one clapped for me. The clapped for Kat. Which makes sense because she went from being “kat” to being “princess”, and princess is a little - and cute and bubbly and very obviously different to Kat. But still. kk


Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Night at Charmed! - Game Night (contains descriptions of knife-type play)

In the midst of the shenanigans of the first night in the Cookie Room…

By now, if you know me or have been reading my recent posts, you’ll have noticed that I came out of my Charmed! weekend in a much toppier mindspace than usual.  It seems as if every event I attend opens something new up for me, often in strange and unexpected ways.  At MEEHU, it was the incredible feeling of acceptance that I learned to own as something I deserve, at WEEHU it was realizing that yes, I am actually loved, and at Charmed!…

At Charmed! I learned that it is totally possible for me to indulge myself in darkness without going completely mad with it.

It’s midway through the evening of forfeitous fun and I am feeling very powerful. People are doing things because I want them to, which is, frankly, intoxicating, and when the opportunity arises to play with @hypnokittencalico a little bit, I jump on it.  She’s more than happy to be stuck, arms spread as wide as possible, on the bed, body scootched forward so that she has to rest her weight on her toes, while I practice tickling her stomach with various random objects from around the room.  She seems to enjoy it, and I get an idea:  why not give her a more lasting momento of the evening?

I get her weight off her toes, and make sure she is stuck down to the bed again, then announce that we will now be playing a game of “Hangman” on Calico’s tummy.  We had opened some plastic packaging earlier; the smaller piece worked admirably well as a stylus, and I did a couple of test slices with it to see if Calico would be okay with it.

She was.

So. Hangman. One word, eight letters. People are eager to play, and throw out the obvious choices for letters: ‘t’, ‘e’, ‘d’, ‘r’, ‘l’ - someone’s been watching too much Wheel of Fortune I think.*

Someone finally says ‘s’ and two spaces are filled in.

@mr-prism says, “I know the word! Should I solve it?”

“Of course not, I say. People should keep guessing letters.”

And, because tonight I have discovered power, they all do.

We fill in all the letters but one: H Y P N O S _ S - as Calico moans and writhes on the bed with every stroke. Eventually I have the entire figure of the hanged man filled in, and I relent and call for an ‘I’.  It is marvelous fun. **

We experiment a little bit with the kinds of things one can do to newly created welts - I had received the gift of a bottle of Viniq purple liquor (the swirly hypnotic stuff) from @theleeallure*** and it stung nicely in Calico’s new cuts, but it was far more effective to tell her we had a different interesting substance on our hands and pass them over the top of the word ‘hypnosis’ and watch her twitch and try not to scream.

“Hydrogen peroxide.”


“Lemon Juice.”

I’ll bet she can feel it now, as she’s reading this.****

* I DESPISE Wheel of Fortune. It’s too easy, and they always ALWAYS always fucking buy a vowel, which costs them money, when they should be picking the obvious consonant. Words have PATTERNS people. Honestly.

** There is a picture, and it will be posted shortly.

*** the Viniq was very very very tasty. Not everyone liked it, but I did, very much.

**** And later that evening, when Preston wanted to give me a foot rub, Calico hurled herself into position under my legs to act as a footstool without being asked, so I can only assume that she enjoyed herself.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Day Two at Charmed! - Hallways

The Mystery of the Haunted Hotel Part Two

Noelle batted at her phone as the alarm went off. “Oh fucking hell” she muttered. “It’s time to get up for breakfast.” She slithered out of the bed and headed for the bathroom to change out of her pjs, then decided the hell with it. “I’m going to breakfast in my pajamas” she announced to Carneggy as he pulled himself out of bed. “But I’m wearing my coat.”

Making sure that her Slytherin prefect’s pin was straight and secure on her pajama top, Noelle slipped out of the hotel room and into the frigid hallway. She was looking forward to breakfast, which at WEEHU the previous October had been quite social and full of friends to talk with every morning.

The first thing Noelle and Carneggy noticed upon entering the breakfast space was that this definitely was not going to be a social experience. The three or so people already there looked groggy and out of sorts and all shuffled listlessly around the area as they foraged through the meager offerings for something tasty and nutritious.

“I didn’t think it would be possible for it to be more cold down here, and yet somehow it is.” Noelle observed.  Her attention was immediately drawn to a waffle maker set up on the breakfast counter. “Well you know I”m going to have to play with this.” she told Carneggy, and proceeded to make herself a waffle using pre-mixed waffle batter from a nearby dispenser. Next to the waffle area she noticed a set of shelves containing tiny boxes of cereal as well as two full shelves of apples and oranges. “I think I’ll take some fruit up to Kat” she started to say, leaning down to pick up on apple. Her voice trailed off as she noticed just how not wholesome the apples looked up close. “These apples look like they’ve been here for awhile” she observed to Carneggy. “It’s almost like we’re wandered into a ghost town kitchen or something.”

“You should check this out too” Carneggy said, pointing to an adjoining area. “Stick your head through that door and see what you think.”

Noelle nervously approached the glass door, which seemed to lead into an office of some sort.  “Holy shit!” she exclaimed as she felt the air beyond the door. “It’s got to 20 degrees in there! They expect someone to work in that?”

“It’s even better” said Carneggy. “That’s the business center that anyone can use.”

“Jesus, who’d want to?”

They chatted with the few others who’d come down for breakfast, then returned to the room and went back to bed.

I really was a little disappointed that more people didn’t come to breakfast at Charmed! - but the quality of the stuff offered was so inferior that I don’t blame people at all for choosing to sleep in and go to Cracker Barrel instead.  It was pretty bleak.  I ended up eating yogurt in my room to augment my daily bowl of tiny box cereal and muffin half.

Friday was of course the first day of classes, and I was all fired up to get up and go to all of them…but somehow managed to go back to sleep and not wake up again until nearly 1. (Classes started at 130.)  I obviously needed it, but I hate to be rushed in my getting up and ready for things, and ended up passing on the 130 classes entirely. Instead, I managed to find @hypnokittencalico and took her back to my room for the last of the sekrit projekt reveals. Then we showed up wide eyed and attentive at 3 o’clock for @theleeallure‘s Hypnosis for Service class. One of the things I’ve always found interesting about Lee is the ease with which she seems to find people eager to be her hypnotized slave of one sort or another; for this class she had @hypnosubdude (aka the hypnotized yard slave) helping her demo.  My biggest take away from this class was that everyone spends far more time in a waking trance than they might know, and that it wouldn’t be half-fun to get to experience something like that at someone else’s direction.*

I have no idea what I did from 4 to 5. ** Maybe we had dinner? Or just loitered in the hallway? I know that sometime in this hour I was introduced to Hypno-sandwich’s friend Heel_Edge, a hypno newcomer who, I’m happy to say, is an amazing person and fit right in. At 5 o’clock, I joined @tennfan2, @hypno-sandwich, @zanythoughts, and @h-sleepingirl for Tennfan’s Telling Your Story class. I will readily admit that most of my fun in these types of discussions involves making my fellow writers squirm while being praised; Tennfan did a good job of leading the talk through a variety of topics including why we write, where we write, who we write for, and what we get out of it. I’ve heard that several people who attended have reached out to him about writing, so mission successful!

I’m almost positive that afterwards we had dinner. Or messed around in our room for awhile. All I know is, we made it back into the classrooms and caught the tail end of hypno-sandwich’s part of orientation, then watched as Lee yo-yoed him with various induction crammed into a short period of time.***

At some point we all went upstairs and officially opened up the Cookie Room. For Friday night, the rules of entering the cookie room were simple: in order to get a cookie, one had to perform a forfeit of some sort. (For example, neck rubs for any of the three owners of the room, or “dance monkey dance.”) We weren’t picky about what people did: one fellow jumped up and down on one foot for awhile, which was more than good enough for me. ****  We did see some marvelous tricks however: Lily (the artist formerly known as W) sang “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid to me - IN ITALIAN. Mephki informed me of an important piece of scientific trivia, namely that the average ph of a vagina is 4.5. (Remember that, I’m sure you’ll need to know it someday.)  I received several excellent neck rubs of varying degrees of strength, skill, and intensity, as well as as an A+ foot rub.  Someone recited the beginning of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales - in OLD ENGLISH, and the lovely Alianne belly danced for us while @everydayis-girlfriday played and sang. It was a marvelous evening of fun and cookies, and I’m happy to say that we didn’t have to punish a single person for thievery!

* See Saturday night’s recap for more on how fucking fun this can be

** Let’s be real here - there’s a lot of empty space in my memory at these events. I’m sure we ate, and loitered in the hallway, and so forth.

***  (I’m not going to lie - I am teeth-grittingly envious of him for getting to have this experience - there are some types of “dance monkey dance” that are a real turn-on for me, and this one is waaaay near the top of the list.)

**** I didn’t care what people did, as long as they came up with it themselves. This business where people want me to do their thinking for them? It’s annoying as hell. I like people who have working thinking mechanisms of their own.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day One at Charmed! - Arrivals

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday, you bitch of a day. Nothing good ever happened on a Thursday, just ask Arthur Dent, who has reason to know. (Thursday was actually fine; uneventful * even.)

But my Thursday actually started at 2 AM, which automatically bumps it into bitch territory. You see, I live an hour and a half away from the airport. And the flight I’d chosen, for what seemed like excellent reasons at the time, ** left at 5:25 AM. So at 2 I loaded the car and set off for Portland.

Other than both of my flights being packed to the gills, my travel was uneventful. I had packed the cookies into a $6 Goodwill suitcase to check (with the reasoning that if it didn’t make it all the way to Baltimore, I wouldn’t be that offended) which had put me in the interesting position of having to load my computer bag is if it were another suitcase; it still wasn’t as big as some of the backpacks that people are now shoving under their seats, but man was it heavy!

Now for people keeping track of other recaps, both here and on Fetlife, you might remember that there has been some chatter about the hotel, much of it negative. I also have things to say, but in an effort to be entertaining, I have decided to take a slightly different approach to everyone else…

The Mystery of the Haunted Hotel Part One

Noelle fished the charging cable for her phone out of the depths of her computer bag and plugged it into the nearest available outlet. The people in the know in the Charmed! group on Fetlife had recommended calling the hotel and scheduling a shuttle pick up in advance, but when she’d called the day before they’d chuckled at her and said “Oh just call us when you arrive.” It seemed too good to be true, but when she’d finally gotten her phone to turn back on and called, the woman at the hotel had cheerfully said, “Go to Door 15 and wait by the green shuttle sign, I’ll send the driver right over.”

Thankfully the all-important cookie suitcase had made it to Baltimore, so Noelle had to juggle a little bit to get both suitcases and her over-sized computer bag balanced for the 20 foot trek to Door 15. Upon arriving, she discovered a shivering young man with an exasperated look on his face: “What hotel are you waiting for?” he asked. “I’ve been standing here for 45 minutes!”

“I’m at the Ramada” Noelle replied.

“Oh,” said the shivering man, turning his attention back to the different shuttles that whizzed past.

Noelle pulled out her phone and checked the time; it had been about 10 minutes. She looked up and was surprised to see the shuttle for her hotel already approaching. “Good luck!” she wished the shivering man, and, having handed off her suitcases to the shuttle driver, clambered into the passenger seat of the white van.

“So are you with that big group that’s coming in?” asked the shuttle driver.

“Yep, I’m a little bit early though. How’s the food in the hotel restaurant?”

“Oh, the restaurant’s great, at least that’s what I’ve heard. And there are plenty of other good places to go to that are pretty near.”

The driver was friendly and personable and the drive to the hotel zoomed by in what felt like moments.

“Thanks!” Noelle smiled as the driver rolled her suitcases up to the front desk for her. So far, her arrival had been smooth as silk. She quickly paid for the hotel room, although she was a little bit taken aback when she was told that they were having to all their charge transactions by phone. And there was a mix up about which room had been reserved, but Noelle was happy with the substitution that was made and snagged the room key and headed up to see about having a nap.

The elevator groaned as she stepped into it. Literally let out a sound like an animal that had been trod on, and continued to rumble all the way up to the 7th floor. “Old mechanism I guess” she thought to herself. Other than the noise, the elevator worked fine, and soon Noelle was trundling her suitcases down the hallway to room 710.

The keycard worked on the first try; the door swung open; and Noelle was hit by a wave of icy air the seemed to swirl like a snow cloud around her as she entered the room. “That…seems colder than it ought to be.” she said aloud, moving to crank up the room’s heater. “I hope it won’t take too long for it to heat up.”

–to be continued–

So after settling into the room a little bit, unpacking and the like, I checked in with my various friends for when they would be arriving: @zanythoughts and @hypnokinkwithmrdream around 730, @tennfan2 around 8, @theleeallure and @hypnosubdude around 11, with @hypno-sandwich just after that, @carneggyblog and @kittykatkatja at nearly 1 AM, and @hypnokittencalico the next morning. There had been some talk of early arrivals helping with set up, so I headed over to Miss Isis’s room and got to talk a little bit about the local hypno scene until eventually someone showed up with all the papers and things and I got to stuff envelopes.

It turns out that stuffing envelopes after being awake for nearly 24 hours is much much harder than it sounds, so after about an hour of that, I went back to my room to partake of that wonderful invention, the nap. The room had warmed up a little bit, and the bed was quite comfy, and I had no trouble at all getting to sleep. When I woke up, I checked in with people again, and found out that Zany and Dream were at a local seafood restaurant, and Tennfan was just leaving the airport with his rental car, so we made plans to have dinner together after he arrived.

We went to Chik-fil-A and I am not ashamed.

We went to Chik-fil-A and had tasty food and better conversation. He and I are both of the mindset that we stand with one foot in the kink community and one foot in the more vanilla hypno community (him more than me to be fair), and neither of us have gotten over the sheer amazeballs feeling of “Holy shit, how did this happen to us?” Hopefully we never will!

Due to a room reservation mix-up, the room that I was sharing with Carneggy and Kat had ended up being on the party floor. I decided to embrace that fact, and Thursday night was the first night of an open door policy for us that worked out marvelously. I was certainly much more social than usual, and got to meet a lot more people because of it. Do I remember all these people? Well…not all of them no, but I am after all a work in progress. Slowly people began to trickle into the room, as they arrived from the airport or dinner or whatnot, and shortly I had a small crowd just hanging out with me. Then someone pointed out that @h-sleepingirl and @cckitten78 had arrived, and we all went down to the lobby to lie in wait for them.

Much greeting and hugging was had, and soon LeeAllure and Hypnosubdude arrived, with Hypno-Sandwich right on their heels. So more greeting and hugging ensued, then everyone dispersed to take care of unpacking etc, but eventually we all ended up back in my room to wait for Carneggy and Kat so that we could hand out Sekrit Projekts.

I have been wanting to design a tarot deck for years, and after WEEHU I had the idea to do a hypnosis themed tarot with my friends as models/inspiration for the various cards. Someday I hope to have the whole deck done, but I’m not going to rush it because I want to find the right person to fit each card. Which is why I didn’t have a card for Hypnosubdude, who I had met a couple of times but didn’t really know.***

I knew he was going to be there for the handing out though, and didn’t want him to feel left out…and had been given a white elephant gift at christmas that seemed liked the perfect fit…namely an Indominus Rex Chia Pet. I am <ahem> pretty sure he liked it.****

Then I handed out the Sekrit Projekts, trying really, really hard to be gracious and not a writhing ball of anxiety. I mostly succeeded. And everyone liked what they were given, and the projekt can continue!*****

Eventually people wandered back to their own rooms to sleep, and we three that remained prepared to do the same, but not before noticing that it was just turning 630 AM in England…

…which is why we skype-called @lizzidoll whilst she was still in bed to wake her up and make her open her own sekrit projekt, which she’d been waiting to open since the Monday previous. Because we love her and are generous like that.

And then we went to sleep…

*because the event hadn’t started yet, geddit?

**there was a small miscommunication about when classes would be starting, so a lot of ended up arriving on Thursday - I came extra early so that I would be able to nap.

***I know him now! And there is a card in the works. Just so’s you know.

****everyone should give gifts to Hypnosubdude - he is extremely enthusiastic when he is happy, it’s very gratifying

*****I, because I am clever like this, failed to take decent pictures of the cards. I am hoping that people will post pics of them, so that I can describe what I was going for with each card, although some people might not want to. We’ll see what happens.