Monday, October 20, 2008

Had a Wonderful Time; Wish You Could've Been There

Well, this past weekend was the Great Midwestern Blogger Gathering of 2008. Which is pretty grandiose-sounding, for 13 people getting together in a pub, and assorted other evening festivities. 2amsomewhere gave his account of the Saturday evening activities, so I'll try not to duplicate too much of what he said. For my part, the bottom line is, that Molly and I had a great time meeting and getting to know everybody, just a little bit.

Last week, 3M offered me tickets to the Michigan State-Ohio State football game (he has season tickets; must be nice); both teams were 6-1 heading into the game, and my Spartans were entertaining thoughts of possible bigger and better things than we've recently been accustomed to. But, I declined the tickets to be with my blog-friends. So, I hope you all feel very special. When I told FTN my dismay at having to forego the game, he consoled me by saying that, heck, they'd probably lose by four or five touchdowns. By the time we left our hotel room, they were already behind 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. So, I could relax and give the gathering my full attention. Still, I hold FTN personally responsible for the five-touchdowns-plus-a-field-goal drubbing that we eventually took. (*sigh*) (But seriously, that's a pretty impressive gift of prophecy, dude. . .)

I'll start by saying that it's going to be a little bit difficult, at least for the next little while, to stick to protocol, and remember to use people's blog-names, and not slip up and call FTN 'Engelbert', for example (because, well, 'Humperdinck' is just so, you know. . .) So, if I screw up, y'all can just sort of discreetly let me know via e-mail, and I'll go back in and add your cell-phone number. . .

The group, once we were finally all together, consisted of FTN and Autumn, RS and Therese, Taja and Brady, Drama, Fusion, Trueself, BJ, the aforementioned 2amsomewhere, Molly and me. I thought it was very brave of the non-blogging spouses to come along, since they've been talked about in what might be considered to be embarrassing detail, from time to time. I was pretty sure that anyone who'd ever been to my blog would be eager to meet Molly, just because, well, I try to put her in a positive light. Which is, honestly, pretty easy to do. But I've thought for a while that Autumn has to be the most misunderstood person in our corner of blog-space (not, to be clear, because of anything FTN has ever said, but extrapolations made by other folks from what he's said). And, I've got to say that I'm pretty sure now that I was right. I mean, heck, we even talked her into flashing her tattoo. . . Honestly, the two of them are a really sweet couple, and complement each other in some really good ways. Molly thanks you, by the way, FTN, for introducing her to Snakebites. Um, and I thank you, too, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).

We occupied our booth at the pub for close to five hours, having a relaxed good time, telling stories and joking with each other. Calls were placed to faDKoG and XH, and the phone passed around the table (and I apologize to both of you that I'm not quicker on my feet than to say anything wittier than, "Uh, hi; how are you?). Molly was eager to head to the 'gay-friendly sports bar' for some karaoke (and just the concept of 'gay-friendly sports-bar karaoke' has my head spinning just a little bit), but we wound up heading to a game/arcade/pool place that was a shorter walk away. I got to watch Therese and RS kill zombies, while Molly and Drama had a long conversation upstairs. We walked around Monument Circle, which was pretty cool (OurTown doesn't have anything nearly that cool), and then headed back to the hotel, where we gathered in FTN/Autumn's room for Guitar Hero and American Idol. I'm on the recovering end of a cold, so my 'Idol' rendition involved much more cracking of the voice than I'd have hoped (and trying to keep up with the streaming lyrics to 'Satisfaction' got a little challenging once or twice). (And, no Beatles in a 'karaoke' game? Are you serious?). And I'll say that, unless you like to be thoroughly humiliated, you do not want to play 'Guitar Hero' with Autumn. . .

We finally got to bed about 2AM (and I suppose that, technically, we were 'somewhere', but that's a different blog entirely), but Molly and I still woke up early enough for our Sunday Morning Tradition before Mass (she even packed her Silver Anniversary Outfit special for our trip, which added a nice celebratory touch to the festivities).

RS had done some research, and found a Tridentine Latin Mass not too far from our hotel, so we joined them there, which was a wonderfully rich experience.

The group gathered again at a nearby park on a beautiful Sunday morning, for some more relaxed conversations, played with Taja's puppy, and took pictures of each other, in various combinations and configurations. A few of us caught lunch together at the mall food court, and then we headed home. (Molly and I had a minor adventure on the drive home, which I might post about sometime in the future).

As I said, we really enjoyed the time. It was very cool to meet the people behind some of the blogs I read - to get a sense of faces, gestures, tones of voice, and all those things that we miss in a text-only environment. It was a pleasure to meet each and every one of the folks there, even the folks whose blogs I've not visited terribly often. And I appreciate the effort that everyone made to be there (especially RS/Therese and Fusion, whose travel involved airplanes).

Thanks to FTN for being The Organizer, putting the bug in everyone's ear, making the pub reservation, and even doing quite a bit of legwork on hotels, and such. And thanks to 2AM for being our tour guide for the weekend.

One more time, with feeling - we had a wonderful time with you all; it was a pleasure. . .


Add October 21 -

I'm the least bit curious - those of you who were there, what did you think of Molly? I know I put her on a pretty tall bloggity pedestal, but how did you think the reality compared with the picture I've painted?


lime said...

ah, so glad it was such a wonderful time. the three times i have met fellow bloggers were each wonderful experiences. glad you and molly got to enjoy the same. :)

for a different kind of girl said...

I said it to each person I had the pleasure of chatting with briefly on the phone - I wish I could have been there! I'm the slacker (who is broke and with a husband who is the master navigator away that weekend) who sadly had to bow out of the fun. I thought of you all all weekend, wishing I'd have been there to meet you - and not just because I can kick some serious ass on Guitar Hero!

My absence ay also be explained by the fact that FTN is, indeed, my doppelganger!

I hope someone will consider letting me peek at their photos sometime so I can pretend to insert my image in them and at least feel like I'd been there!

Therese in Heaven said...

We really enjoyed getting to meet you and Molly (and the others) as well. I hope the opportunity repeats itself sometime in the future. And I also hope the beverage was convivial enough. ;)

Cocotte said...

Aww man, sorry I missed it! Thanks for the recap.

Bunny said...

I so wish I could have been there!! If I were still living in Michigan I definitely wouldn't have missed it, but the distance from S.C. just made it prohibitive. :(

Sounds like it was a lot of fun. If anyone wants to share pictures, email me!

FTN said...

Your rendition of "Satisfaction" was stellar. Sorry for the lack of Beatles songs for the karaoke.

Regarding your question at the end... Molly seems like a very nice, sweet, people-person, very curious and willing to initiate conversations and talk to people. Which, all things considered, might be considered outside a "comfort zone" for some people in this type of situation (my wife, for instance).

I liked talking to her and getting to know her a little bit. As for the tall bloggity pedestal, well, some of that has been on a sexual level, so, um, I'm not sure I'm qualified to say.

Tajalude said...

Was so nice to meet you!! Molly was a delight, and it's so easy to see why you love her so much and why you speak so highly of her. She makes people feel at ease and has such a warm, generous spirit. Brady & I both had a wonderful time and loved meeting you both.

Desmond Jones said...

Lime - You've met fellow-bloggers three times? Lucky girl. . .

faDKoG - You know, come to think of it, I've never seen the two of you together in the same place. . .

But it was fun to at least say hello via cell phone. And I can't wait to get a look at your back yard (that's what she said).

Teh-REHZ - All of the beverages were quite suitably convivial, thank you. And I'll look forward to seeing you next time, as well (but gosh - I don't know if we can just up and hop on a plane like you young jet-setters. . .)

Cocotte - Maybe next time, eh?

Bunny - I was sorta lookin' forward to drag-racin' up I-69 with you. . . (and somehow, 'drag-racing up I-69' sounds vaguely obscene. . .)

The Organizer - So, uh, Molly kinda messed with Autumn's 'comfort zone', huh? Sorry about that. We really did enjoy meeting her.

And you know, it never particularly occurred to me that I was putting Molly on a sexual pedestal. . . (that's what she said). . .

Seriously, we ain't no sexual athletes, or nothin'. But our sex is joyful and life-giving, and that's plenty good enough for us. . .

But, uh, damn straight you aren't qualified to say. . .

Taja - So, one last point of clarification - is it 'Ta-zha' or 'Todd-ja'?

It was a pleasure to meet you and Brady, too. I'll read your blog with a bit more of a twinkle in my eye, now, having met you. ;)

Fusion said...

It was very nice to meet you both, felt like we didn't get much time to visit, but I found you both to be a very guinuinely loving couple.
You are lucky to have each other Desmond!

Desmond Jones said...

Fusion - It was a pleasure to meet you, too, and yeah, I'm sorry there wasn't more direct face-time with you, but I suppose that happens when there are 13 of us. . .

And thanks; we know how fortunate we are. . .

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