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04 July 2012 @ 08:23 am
Climbing and Bondage Ball  
So apparently today was my designated day to be covered in white powder. Repeatedly.

I got home from work, showered, tossed together club gear and climbing gear and headed off to the gym to meet doctorskuld.

I got there about 7:40 and doctorskuld had already been there for a bit. I climbed several very easy and easy flat walls, and then failed at a couple very easy negative incline walls. On one of those failed attempts i managed to spill a moderate amount of chalk out of my unsealed chalk bag in the process of falling off the wall, then landed on the chalk. I didn't quite realize exactly how much until we were done and i changed into my club clothes.

We went and grabbed some dinner at a nearby ramen place and then i headed up to LA for the Bondage Ball.

I got there in pretty good time, made it up just before 11 i think. I was rather sad to discover when i dug in my bag for the non-clothing accoutrements and found that i only had my cuffs. When packing up everything i'd grabbed the stuff from the usual spot where it gets tossed in the bedroom when i undress, but somehow forgot that i'd worn the collar to Anime Expo, and it was still in my messenger bag at home =P I felt kind of naked being at a BDSM themed club without the collar, but at least i still had the cuffs? Yay?

So just as a social benchmark for the evening, there was a big line outside the club, but i quickly figured out that was the will call line, and then found the other, _much_ shorter, "still need to buy tickets" line. And in line right behind me was a very cute girl. And i of course couldn't think of any way to start a conversation. I think i _might_ have managed to smile at her, but she either didn't notice or didn't care. So we just stood there silently for 5 or 10 minutes. Actually, that's not entirely, true, after about the first half a friend of hers showed up, so after that it was me standing silently while a cute girl and a very cute girl chatted next to me. And that was the social highlight of me night.

So the "purchase tickets" line was much shorter as mentioned, but seemed to be moving at _about_ the same rate as the will call line, so we were actually getting in much faster, The people ahead of me were theorizing that it was because reading printouts of paypall receipts and/or checking people off a list was more time consuming than just taking money and waving you in. I made the cynical observation that the club already had the money from the people in the will call line, whereas our line was a still untapped economic resource, so of course they were more eager to process us :)

In any case though it didn't take long to get to the front of the line. At which point i discovered that sometime in the past 12 hours or so the price had gone up from $30 to $40 =P I'd naively figured that once the price jumped from $20 to $30 the day before that that was it. However technically they never posted what the door charge was going to be =P

After getting in i wandered about for a little bit to orient myself with the place. Okay, technically i loitered about in the lobby for a minute or two first just to give the very cute girl from behind me one more chance to strike up a conversation if she felt like it, but she just walked right past without noticing me any more than she had in line, and _then_ i reconnoitered the place. There was the medium sized front lobby, behind which was a large dance floor and stage. Off to the side of the lobby was a bar and lounge that i passed through once and then never visited again. There were stairs leading down to the Dungeon dance floor that was in a kind of cool multi-tiered basement area, and up to the "Batcave", which was a rather small and awkward dance floor. There was another set of stairs up from there that might have led to another lounge or dance floor or something, or might have led to the large balcony that looked down over the main dance floor downstairs, but in any case was blocked off for VIP ticket holder access. On the main floor there was a sorta outside hallway leading to an open patio where people were hanging out and chatting and occasionally smoking.

Oh yes, and of course this being the Bondage ball there were a couple spots along the sides of the main dance area and along the back edge of the patio were people were doing BDSM stage shows. After the original survey though i really didn't pay much attention to those. For some reason if it doesn't involve someone i know i generally find watching BDSM to be pretty meh. They often involve cute girls, but there were cute girls all over the place, so it's not like i needed to stick around the shows for that.

So after exploring all that i worked my way back to the main dance floor and started.. dancing of course. And that's pretty much how i spent the entire rest of the night. Every so often i'd decide i needed a change of scenery and/or music and do another quick round of the place and settle in at a new dance floor.

They actually did have a couple events going on on the main stage, There was a band playing there when i first showed up, but from what little i heard while doing my initial tour they didn't sound especially interesting, and by the time i was done exploring they'd wrapped up and a DJ had taken over. However a different band took over awhile later (midnight maybe?) and they were actually pretty decent.

At some point the band started throwing large blacks balloons out at the audience. It was pretty obvious that it was supposed to be a game of "keep the floating thing up," but it quickly became apparent that it was slightly different from the normal game. The balloons moved.... oddly. The first time one landed near me and i got to pick it up i could tell that there was something inside moving around making it feel... kinda jittery it seemed.

So here's the thing about playing this game at a goth club. It may not have been a regular goth club, but the decor was still pretty dark. And the main lights were off. And did i mention that since it was a goth club the balloons were black? And they'd been using a fog machine intermittently? And what light there was was frequently strobing on and off at varying rates? And to reiterate, that there were multiple balloons at the same time that were changing course in midair by themselves?

This may in theory have been a game of "keep the balloons up in the air", but it quickly became apparent it was actually a game of "Keep an eye on balloon A and then suddenly get whacked, frequently in the head, by balloon B which just dive bombed out of left field." Note of course that a number of people weren't especially keen on this game, but trying to opt out of the first part only increased your odds of participating in the second part.

I of course am happy to play silly games, so i only got whacked in the head a moderate amount. Of course i'd also managed to find and/or create a small patch of empty space around myself, thereby providing a larger angle of attack for the balloons, so i may have ended up with an above average number of impacts anyways. I certainly got to pick balloons up off the floor after they nailed me or someone next to me and relaunch them quite a number of times.

But here's the other thing about playing this game in a goth club. Balloons have a finite lifespan anyways, but i'm pretty sure it didn't help that a lot of the audience was coated in various bits of metal. It wasn't that long before the balloons started bursting. The first i became aware of it was when all of the sudden it started.... raining? Something was coming down around me, did they do something weird with the fog machine? No, i could actually feel it hitting me. It was kinda bright, was it some kind of glitter? No, it wasn't sparkly, it was just... some kind of white powder. Which is the point at which the light bulb dawned.

The balloons were filled with corn starch or flour or something. And when they burst they were raining down white powdery destruction upon the dance floor, and i happened to be right in the middle of one of the first air bursts. I and several other people around me went from being very confused to haphazardly trying to dust ourselves off after the white torrent had passed. In fact even hours later if i really wanted to know what exactly they put in the balloons it might still be possible to shake a small sample out of my hair =P This also did interesting things to the physics of the dance floor. It was like and yet very different from the slipperiness of someone spilling their drink. I ended up sliding around quite a bit for awhile after that, but i mostly managed to use it to my advantage.

After that band finished up i eventually moved downstairs to the Dungeon room and spent a lot of the rest of the night there with occasional wanderings up to the Batcave, traversing the rest of the place on the way for the purpose of people watching. I noticed another band or show or something playing on the main stage a little later but they didn't seem as interesting, and then awhile after that some kind of fetish fashion show, which was also pretty meh.

Around 2:30 they shut down the top and bottom floors and kicked us all out to the main dance area, which then stopped playing music at 2:45 or 2:50. Boo!!! You said you were going to be open until 3!!! I hung around inside for a little bit until the staff people started doing the usual "No, really, you need to go thing" and then loitered around the edges of the crowd outside on the sidewalk for a bit before heading home.

I got home around... 3:45 or 4 i think. Fell asleep around 5 or so for an hour or two then woke up for some reason and decided to write this. And now i'm going to try and get some more sleep :)
 
 
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