In case you haven’t been able to tell, I’m all about meeting people from the internet. Naturally, I would be the one to organize an event based off of the very idea. I am just glad that Jen agreed to be the backbone of my crazy idea. Even through all of the planning, it never really hit me that it was actually going to happen until I filled up my tank, stocked up on smokes, and hopped on I-10 heading West. A direction I have never driven before. I even made a Vine on the road.
I arrived in Austin, TX alone after a long, but enjoyable 6 hour drive. I love to drive. It’s relaxing to me as long as I don’t get lost. I take one wrong exit and you would swear I just launched myself into outer space without an oxygen tank. I don’t think the La Quinta Inn was ready for me. As I stepped out of my SUV and started to unload my stuff onto a luggage cart, shoes, lanyards, and toiletries were falling everywhere. It was like my luggage sprung a leak.
“Well, I’m here.” I thought.
I didn’t waste much time doodling in the hotel room, as I was ready to meet up with Jen so we could slap each other in the face as a reality check ritual. Little did I know, she had already explored Austin, met up with one of our speakers, Julian Gallo, and played with some bats. Cool. I’m late!
This would be a recurring theme. For some reason I felt totally under prepared the entire weekend.
Walking down Congress, I was looking around waiting for Jen to pop out of the woodwork, or one of the many hipster shops rather. Soon, I came to the restaurant we were to meet. I was right across the street from it. And there they were. Jen and Julian, and in deep conversation too by the looks of it. I thought about jay running directly to them, but I figured it might be best for me to refrain from breaking laws before meeting the rest of the attendees. A few times I actually waved thinking I had made eye contact, only to embarrass myself when I realized I hadn’t.
Too be honest, I was a little more nervous about walking down the wrong street and getting lost, than meeting everyone in person. I’m awkward as fuck on the phone, sure. I don’t enjoy giving speeches, no. But I don’t get nervous to meet people one on one. I’m totally cool and put together. Unless they are nervous. Then it’s like catching poison ivy when you haven’t been outside yet. Confusing.
Regardless of nerves, when I saw the set up that 508 Tequila Bar created for us, I got a huge surge of proud feelings. I knew we had done it right. It only got better after that first night. I don’t think we could have planned this thing better, and I think everyone there meshed in an amazing way. Friendships blasted into hyper mode. It went a step beyond networking. I think they call it bonding.
Jen’s composure and eyebrows wowed me. It was mesmerizing to listen to Jullian talk about pretty much anything. I enjoyed giggling in the bathroom with Michelle as she nonchalantly wiped the counters after washing her hands. Chiara and I snuggled in our La Quinta bed after the speaker session, entertaining ourselves with nothing but some 711 candy and lottery scratchers. I fell in love with John and his wife Lisa who have to be the cutest couple in the history of the internet. So many moments go through my head when I think of the weekend.
Unfortunately, I did have one hang up about the event… me.
I recognized the fact that I had lost touch with much of the blogging community well before BI but way too late for my liking. When I was buzzing around during BI, I felt a bit intimidated. I hadn’t read anyone in so long. Since the beginning of the year when we started planning BI13, I have been so caught up in… well… planning. Blogger Interactive, Kickstarter projects, moving and moving some more, Bachelorette parties, Bloggers for Movember, and a million other things seemed to keep me from participating in the one thing that started it all. Blogging.
When I asked Lauren and Michael of Key + Arrow who they were, I felt like an idiot. Their blog was right there on our Facebook page. Dur. Yet, my mind felt blank. I didn’t get to have the depth of conversations I wanted to, because I wasn’t leading conversation like my normal self. I felt scattered. I felt intimidated. What?!
Luckily for me Vyvy of Vyvacious reminded me of something. Vyvy expressed the same concern to me over Brussels sprouts and calamari before the event even began, yet there at the Hangar Lounge on the second night she was sitting on Red’s wife’s lap, taking pictures, dancing, and chatting up a storm. She reminded me that having everyone memorized wasn’t what mattered. What mattered is that we were all there. We were there for each other. We were there to continue to get to know each other and learn from each other. And most of all, I think we all gained a new excitement and buzz for blogging, writing, and our virtual community while we were there. And I am more than okay with that.
Thank you Jen for ALL of your amazing hard work on this with me. Thank you Julian and Chiara for sharing your sexy brains with us. And finally, thank all of you who came out despite the distance, schedules and nerves. I love you all.
Look out for the official post event write-up on the BI page along with a slideshow of photos that have yet to be shared!
- Why You Should Attend Blogger Interactive 2014 (sipsofjenandtonic.com)
- Say Anything – Blogger Interactive 2013 (rich-full-life.com)
I’d hoped to soon post some brag pictures of myself casually looking off into the distance, wind in my hair, and with nothing but clouds in the background. Or, maybe me and Ryan Gosling embraced in a contrived but nonsensical pose as we ascended up and away. Unfortunately, my plans to ride in a hot air balloon for the 4th of July block party on Tuesday night crashed straight into a power line (not literally). Ryan stood me up too. Jerk. The weather decided to act a fool the afternoon festivities were to commence, and upon arriving home from work and seeing no over sized inverted tear drop shaped balloons in sight, I assumed it was a no go. So, I went to a bar to meet some friends as consolation. Well, you know what annoyingly corny people say about assuming…
[Apparently the balloon did manifest itself at some point in the hour that I was away from the party. There were also reports that Ryan actually showed up as well and did a nude swan dive into the pond. Bastards. ]
That is the thing about expectations and planning. Convinced that they are both almost always self-destructive, I think I will quit making them. That whole night was the exact opposite of what I planned in my mind. It was so disappointing, that I actually wrote the most depressing draft for a post while slouched in the corner of my balcony as I watched the last and only fireworks I got to see that night pathetically sort of half explode. Must have been the left over duds arriving late to the party, just like me. It was probably the most unnecessarily dramatic thing I have ever written and certainly not appropriate for the tone of this particular blog. Although I will say, I am good at following Hemingway’s advice to, “Write drunk; edit sober”.
I deleted the pity party post the next morning when I pretty much woke up face down on my keyboard. But, to end on a lighter note, while I did not get to balloon cruise that night, I did make up for it on the actual 4th of July. A few friends, a few beers, and lawn chairs on a roof. Can’t get any
more redneck better than that. I regret nothing.
- Up (25tofly.com)
- A Hot Air Balloon Shaped Like Darth Vader (neatorama.com)
- Hot Air Ballooning – a bird’s eye view (gorentals.co.nz)
[Am I hallucinating again? Does that really say hot air balloon rides? Aliens may have abducted my blog yesterday, but I don’t think they abducted me and messed with my noggin. Maybe they erased my memory. Either way, yay for massive balloons and me inside of one.]
Next week brings Independence Day. This obviously brings with it celebrations, pyromania, and most importantly one much-needed day off of work. A certain conveniently placed party will be going down in my neighborhood. A neighbor of mine gushed about the annual fireworks show over the pond a few weeks ago in a Pilates class, and naturally, I have been impatiently waiting to enjoy the spectacle from my third story balcony ever since. I like it there. It is safe there. Just because I love fireworks doesn’t mean that I am not pathetically terrified that they are all defective and will somehow turn in to
heat Becca-seeking missiles as soon as they leave the cannon. There is a chilling childhood story that explains the origins of this fear, but it really isn’t chilling at all… at least not to anyone besides myself. I’ll keep that one in the vault for now.
Speaking of fear, I’ll get back to that balloon thing. Assuming that wasn’t an epic typo, this 4th of July is starting to look up (literally). Read the rest of this entry
I have been very proud of myself for staying home, saving money, and relaxing
this whole week the majority of the week. Recovering from last week’s whiplash was much needed. But, if you are anything like me, you can only maintain hermit status for so long. I needed some human interaction that wasn’t on a screen and conversation that didn’t start with the @ symbol.
The list of friends I had drinks and visited with were as follows:
Friend 1: A friend of over three years, with whom I worked in the service industry while in college. We didn’t exactly get along or really not get along when we initially met, but at some point we became great friends. It perplexes me when these phenomenons occur, and the thing is, almost all of my best friendships happen this way. Indifference towards each other straight to holy-shit-you-complete-me. I guess we just don’t realize how connected we are with our friends until we start thinking about how things were in the beginning. I’ll admit, we had help from a few bonding apparatuses… anything alcoholic and Sex & the City/Taxi Cab Confessions to name a couple.
Along with being behind on writing this past week, I also haven’t been able to read my favorite blogs. I finally got to catch up on some this morning in between work. Finding myself a bit troubled by my seemingly idea-less mind lately, I decided to take some inspiration from a Five Forks blog post today. It has been a decent amount of time since I thought about some of my firsts. Lets see…
It was the Summer between 8th and 9th grade. His name was Sal. Nah, Sal was so not his real name, but I think Sal sounds cool, his real name did start with an S, and it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books, Blueberry’s for Sal. We had been “going out” (aka chatting on AIM) for about two weeks. Jazzy and I had convinced our parents to allow us an unsupervised gallivant to the movie theater. Of course, we were not old enough to drive yet, so Dad had to drop us off. Super cool.
The first hour of the flick consisted of playing musical armrests, and when it was my turn, making sure to position my hand palm side up and open in order to make it easier for him to hold my hand if he would so choose. I couldn’t even begin to tell you which movie it was that we went to see, but I do know it was an action movie … ba dun tsss. Read the rest of this entry
I was a complete slacker this weekend on the blog front. Hey, it was Easter weekend after all wasn’t it? Considering I had been looking forward to a three-day weekend so longingly, I was a bit disappointed. For starters, there wasn’t much going on. I had been fantasizing about activities in my head that I was going to partake in, none of which happened. Most friends were out of town visiting family, seeing the significant other, or working (shudder). This is a familiar scenario for me. Let me explain.
When there is a free day off of work, a party, an event, or anything that is particularly worthy of anticipating with excitement, it never seems to go as intended. This comes from building up expectations, in this weekend’s instance – a three-day weekend non stop fun fest. When expectations fail to come to fruition, I end up feeling… blah. Every time this happens I recognize it immediately, nonetheless I continue to do it. Time after time I build it up. Then, I started thinking about other little life lessons I never seem to learn from. Okay, more like lessons I do learn from but my brain chooses to perpetually ignore. Here are a few examples of this type of failing: Read the rest of this entry