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Is been a good few days

Early last Tuesday afternoon, I took a long lunch break (with nothing else to do in the meantime) to drive to my parents' place and continue work from there, which turned out to be a couple hours of nothing.  I did my few assignments on Wednesday, had dinner, and met with mmsword to head to datacat's place.  Thanks to the late trip (mmsword arrived exactly as expected at 9:00 p.m.), there was very little traffic.  Also, the trip managed to completely avoid the major bridges (such as George Washington).  I found a parking spot less than a mile from datacat's that was legal, where my car remained undisturbed for days.  We all hung out for a couple hours that night before turning in.

Thursday involved relaxing and recovering from the drive before taking the subway out towards Terminal 5, while datacat was still at work.  We arrived and got in line at about 5:30 p.m. for the doors opening at 6:00.  Already it was cold and the line was long, but it moved with surprising efficiency once the doors were open.  I realized after arriving in New York that I'd accidentally left my bag of clothes at my parents' place in New Jersey, so I was wearing a T-shirt with no jacket.  Noting how cold it was already and how much colder it would probably be when we left some six hours or so later, I went straight for the vending area to see what warm things they had.  The only clothes other than T-shirts was a single hoodie in multiple sizes, and that was $65.  I had $56 on me after tolls on the way up, and mmsword only had $7 I might have borrowed, leaving me a painful $2 short.  I asked the vending lady about an ATM machine, which she said they had up front by the ticket booth.  Unfortunately there was non re-entry allowed, so we ducked through a side staircase to head upstairs and see if we could find a way to the other side, and if there was an ATM there behind the ticket booth.

We managed to squeeze through the coat-check area and inform the security lady there what we were doing, who instructed us to head down the stairs and double back for the ATM.  Once there, a different security guard told us it was out of order and to head back upstairs, to the back of the building, then downstairs to the main bar, behind which was another ATM.  We did this, and I managed to spot the ATM just after asking a barkeep where it was.  I got some money and looked across the room to notice I was some 25 feet away from the vending area where we started.  So I bought the insanely expensive hoodie in size Large and we wandered around the three-story building to look for a good spot before the show started.  I'd been keeping in touch with datacat by phone, who managed to buy a ticket even though the booth said "sold out" by the time she got there, which was awesome as it was good to have her with us.  We all settled into a corner on the third floor hovering just over the stage, which I think was a much better spot than anything available on the first floor.

The first act was a band called 3, and they were great.  Some nice, original, melodic progressive rock, and they managed to perform well for being packed onto a stage with four bands' equipment.  The second act was Between the Buried and Me, who had a lot more talent than they actually used throughout the show; there were parts where it was really good, but a lot of it was very generic.  The third act was Opeth, the band whose hoodie I'd bought to keep warm, and they were about as mediocre as it gets; I actually found myself unconsciously tuning them out as background noise and thinking about other things while I watched the motions of the crowd below.  mmsword and I observed that humans in high density form a kind of fluid and assessed the nature of mosh-pit dynamics from a bird's-eye vantage point.  Finally, after the first three hours of show, we got the main act: Dream Theater.  It was well worth the sleep-inducing effects of Opeth to then be awoken by the amazing hour-and-a-half performance of Dream Theater.  Unfortunately the volume levels weren't adjusted to a good balance, and I could hardly make out a word or two of lyrics over the sound of the instruments, but it was still a great performance from the musicians and from the lead singer flying around and on and off the stage.  One of things I enjoyed the most was how roughly equal attention was given to each band member; there was no clear leader of the band, they were all equals.

When the last act finished at about 11:35 p.m., we all sat back in an area for people to enjoy drinks and ignore the concert up on the third floor while the masses piled out of the building.  We relaxed and chatted for a while as our ears tried to recover, then got up and moseyed out ourselves once it was clear the building had emptied quite a bit.  It was amazing how fast everyone piled out and the stage was being torn apart.  We had to stop by the coat-check area for datacat to pick up her bag (who also, by the way, won "Spot the Minority" by being the only visible black female who was not on security).  I thought that might take a while, for surely there'd be a pile of people collecting items, but the area was already empty after maybe 10 minutes or so.  As we left the building and wandered down the street toward the subway, I realized that it was somehow warmer at midnight than it had been between 5:00 and 6:00 that afternoon.  So my very first hoodie was an overpriced advertisement for a band I didn't like when the weather didn't call for it.

At least it's pretty and cozy and warm, and I'm glad I had it the rest of the weekend.

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