Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Here Now

So the Greater Midwest Blogger Fest happened this weekend just past. No, it wasn't anything formal, just a bunch of bloggers and spouses meeting in person, thanks to FTN, most of us for the first time.

To those who were there, let me assure you I will say nothing here that will blow your cover. I won't name real names. I won't give hometowns. Worry not. Your anonymity is safe with me. However, I am going to speak candidly here, and while it is not my intent to offend anyone at all I will not avoid expressing my opinions.

Without further ado, here are my impressions of those in attendance. These opinions are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else whether in attendance or not. Can you see them all squirming in their seats now wondering just what impressions they made on me? After all, I’m sure it was of the utmost in importance to each of them to make a good impression on me. (Stop rolling your eyes. You know you’re greatest goal for the weekend was my friendship and admiration.)

2AMSomewhere – Genuinely nice guy and, although fairly quiet, comes across as friendly, not standoffish, as some quiet types do.

Desmond Jones – Desmond was probably closest to my expectations for all those who I didn’t have first hand knowledge ahead of time. What you see on his blog and in his comments on others’ blogs is who he is. He is one of those people who are instantly likeable and easy to talk to.

Molly (Desmond’s non-blogging wife) – What a sweetheart! She strikes me as the type person who can be dragged (and no, I don’t think he has to drag her) by Desmond to any kind of gathering and fit right in. She chatted easily with just about everyone and seems to have a gift for easy conversation. Probably my favorite of those I met this weekend (not to say there was anything wrong with anyone else, but Molly is a rare gem, and I’m pretty sure Desmond would agree with me on that).

Recovering Soul – Probably the least like what I had imagined, at least in looks. I thought he’d be taller, and for some reason older looking, than what he is. He is another really nice guy though I didn’t get to converse much with him.

Therese in Heaven – Nobody could expect as much beauty as Therese has. Stunning would not be an overstatement. I am in awe that she could walk as easily as she did in the extremely high heels she was wearing. I don’t think Therese and I got the chance for any real conversation between us which is why I’m commenting shallowly on her looks rather than her being.

FTN – Ah, the instigator and organizer of the event. I knew from his blog he’d be tall. Maybe I’m jaded due to the basketball players I’m around so much, but FTN didn’t seem extremely tall to me. Yes, he was probably the tallest at the gathering, but seemed pretty normal, at least heightwise. Actually, he seemed maybe more normal than I’d expected from his blog. Another really nice normal guy. Apparently, it’s the nice normal guys who blog.

Autumn (FTN’s non-blogging wife) – Of all those in attendance she seemed the least comfortable. For much of the time at the pub where we met and had dinner Saturday night she sat with arms folded (body language doesn’t lie) and with a vacant sort of half smile on her face, kind of like she was tolerating being there. This, of course, didn’t at all surprise me given all I’ve read on FTN’s blog. At no time did Autumn and I ever speak to each other so I don’t really have much of a read on who she might really be.

Tajalude – Way at the other end of the table at dinner so I wasn’t surprised we talked little. Taja is as bubbly in person as she is on her blog and has the kind of hair I’ve wanted all my life. Not only that she has a great little dog, very well behaved for being only four months old.

Brady (Taja’s non-blogging husband) – I basically had no impression of him because with me at the very end of the table and him at the opposite end of the table we were as far apart as we could have been and never got a chance to talk. Seems quite devoted to Taja though and when I heard him speak it became clear to me that he is not living in his native part of the country.

Drama – One of the best friends in real life I’ve made via the internet. If I’d felt better I would’ve totally sneaked her out for a much boozier Saturday night, but as it was I was not much up to it. She was quieter than I’ve seen her in the past. Maybe that’s ‘cause in the past I’ve always seen her in her element with her friends rather than in a group of mostly strangers.

Fusion – Another whom I’d already met and count as friend. Enviously free in so many ways. We both totally sucked playing pool, but it was fun anyway. Fusion strikes me as the kind of guy who could travel the country, even the world, and make friends just about anywhere. Oh wait, he’s already done that hasn’t he?

BJ – Bless his heart, BJ is not much of a talker. He sits quietly, taking it all in. I never know if he’s miserable or happy to be somewhere until I ask after the fact. So for anyone who was there who wondered, BJ did indeed enjoy himself. I only know ‘cause I asked. Also, you can thank him for us showing up at FTN’s room on Saturday night. I was just about ready to pack it in feeling, as usual, like I was on the fringe of the things and wouldn’t be missed (this feeling, BTW, is all about me and not about how the others at the gathering were), but BJ told me he wasn’t going to allow me to give up. So I gathered myself together and thoroughly enjoyed myself as much as a wheezing asthmatic could watching others perform admirably at Guitar Hero and American Idol. In other words, BJ was my rock this weekend as he often times is.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow I’ll relate various tidbits from the weekend: some about others, some about myself, some about my surroundings. Same bat time, same bat channel.


Desmond Jones said...

Aw shucks, Truey. . . 'Instantly likeable'? That's one I haven't heard too terribly often. . . ;)

And yeah. . . Molly is a 'rare gem'. I been tryin' to tell you guys. . .

I think Autumn is just shy. She seemed more relaxed on Sunday (maybe just relieved to be getting away from us all. . .)

And, between you and Brady, there was an awful lot of orange around the table Saturday night, eh?

Fusion said...

Yeah I set new lows for the billards set eh? heh heh, but I enjoyed playing with you True!


FTN said...

Considering the circumstances, I thought Autumn was surprisingly comfortable and open with everyone. She spent 8 hours talking and laughing with us Saturday night and then another few hours on Sunday morning/afternoon!

Just seems like an odd thing for you to say about someone, since you guys were hours late on Saturday night and then didn't even show up or let anyone know you weren't showing up on Sunday.

Trueself said...

FTN – Although I’m far behind on responding to comments I am going to take a moment to respond to yours here because I can feel the pain that I have obviously caused you, and I want to sincerely apologize for that. I had no idea that my observations about Autumn were in any way inflammatory although I can tell by both your reaction and Desmond’s that something in the way I presented my thoughts didn’t translate well in the reading of them.

I’m not sure exactly which part of my observations as reported was the cause of your upset, but rest assured that in no part was I trying to be mean or nasty. I actually admired that for what I felt was an obvious level of discomfort she went along with the program quite well, and I felt bad for her having to tolerate us for so much of her weekend. I’m sorry if that didn’t come through in my post.

Also, because the weekend was a casual gathering it didn’t occur to me that my comings and goings or the timing of them would be of much importance to anyone. I certainly didn’t expect that people would wait for my arrival nor did I expect that anyone would much care when I departed. It would have been no surprise to me for the group to have moved on to another venue by the time BJ and I were able to make it to the pub given the delays we experienced that day in being able to get out of town, and if this had happened I would have held no ill will towards you or anyone in the group for it. I would simply have called Drama or Fusion to inquire as to the group’s location and caught up with y’all there. I am very sorry if I underestimated the expectations for the weekend events and wish you would have addressed them with me at the time that I offended. Because no one made a big deal out of it I had no clue that it was a big deal.

FTN said...

I sent some of this in email to Trueself, but maybe I should post it here as well, at least so others can see it...

Thanks. Desmond pointed out to me shortly after I commented that my comment seemed rather... snarky? I think that's the word he used. Sorry about that. Autumn, since she is not around our blogs at all, isn't quite accustomed to the more, uh, honest and forthcoming way we speak to (and about) each other. Plus, as with many people, she (understandably) has a bit of worry about how she is perceived, even by strangers. So I apologize if my comment-response seemed more defensive and inflammatory than need be.

Thanks for clearing this up, and I hope I cleared up my intentions some. I was just trying to stand up for Autumn a bit. And I wasn't trying to indicate you offended anyone by the time you arrived or anything, especially since you were sick. It wasn't a big deal, we just wondered where you were on Sunday morning and we hoped you were okay. And you are right, it was a casual thing, and we wanted it to be that way, which was why it was rather loosely structured.

Oh, and I had hopes for a flag football game in the park on Sunday, but it seemed many of the ladies thought it was too cold for shirts vs skins.

Desmond Jones said...

I sure hope I didn't give offense by what I said. I was really only offering my own perceptions relative to Autumn's 'body language'. . .