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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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So, in one of the more foolish adventures I’ve made in recent history, I rode out to California Friday night, in order to make a party that started at 8PM. Of course, I wasn’t going to arrive on time for the party, and ATC ensured I arrived even later than expected, but yes, I rode 2500 miles on a plane and dashed from SJC north at slightly faster than highway speeds in order to make a halloween party.

The next evening we went to the Exotic Erotic Ball, which I found to be pretty tame. More or less, it was a lot of dancing, music, and performances, and a chance for some folks to walk around somewhat (or completely, in several cases) naked. If you’re really into pornography, I could see it being appealing, as maybe you’d recognize some faces and get to meet some porn stars. Generally though, it was just an overhyped and overly commercial MTV spring break made into a costume/halloween party, and turned up to 11. As disturbing as this is going to sound, it reminded me more or less of Blizzcon in almost every way, down to the costume contests at the end.

Most of the merchandise was typical porn store stuff, and most of the booths relatively uninteresting and uninspired. Social Kink had a big area set up, and seemed to be the most shocking thing for most people. Personally it was shocking because I saw a former coworker doing a flogging demonstration. To each their own, but I didn’t need to see him in specific.

Speaking of which, the other disturbing surprise I came across (literally walking right up to him until I realized what was happening) was a man completely naked trying to mount some sort of combination phallus/pogo stick, with little success.

So, two unpleasant images that will be burned into my mind for years to come, and a bunch of mediocre entertainment. For something that can be booked via Ticketmaster, it was interesting to see once, but I don’t think I’d bother going back again. I think it rates about the same as “county fair” in my book.

I felt like traveling as light as possible since I’d be heading straight to work when I got back, so I didn’t pack any glass, and as such I don’t have any photos. Saw a ton of folks with 16-35/2.8L and 70-200/2.8L and exotic flash rigs; I sort of wish I’d packed my 20D, 50/1.4, and 580EX, as I think I could have gotten some decent shots with a lot more subtlety. On the upside, it was strangely freeing not always carrying a bag full of glass around (as I can never really restrict myself to just one lens) everywhere.

I’m a bit tired from the jet lag, staying up late, partying, and no sleep for the last two days (I need to remember to book a window seat when I’m taking the red eye), so I think it’s high time I got some sleep.