The best Blogfest write-up goes to Barry with his perfect recap of a wonderful evening! East TN bloggers met in person to put name to url. Glenn Reynolds has the list of attendees. These events are a little strange to enter. For one, the children (except Noah) were with us and I have continued to fool myself into thinking that blogging is something we do unawares to them despite knowing full well they understand our blogs completely. I am sure that both Tommy and Sarah have visited each blog and declared them "boring and weird" since our blogs don’t use the word "cuz," don’t change the font size nearly frequently enough, and have no picture from Naruto. Also, we all read each other so…is there really anything to talk about? "Um..Post #1345." "Ha! That was great. I responded in comment #12768." "Read it! Excellent retort! Did you catch the Youtube video on that?" "Covered it in post #4491." Silence. "Check please."
In reality, we walked in 30 minutes later than intended and confused the hostess since we had no reservation, no call ahead seating and, apparently, had no intent to sit down. We made various attempts at figuring out if anyone was here: "Blogfest?" Blank stare from the waitress. "Inn of the Last Home?" A waitress goes to get a manager and whispers something about police. I didn’t know they already had a run-in with Mike Faulk. Sarah exits the restaurant in embarrassment and I stare blankly at a crowd of people that looks something akin to the prisoners on the train in The Wall.
So Rich Hailey approaches asking, "Looking for Blogfest? Someone identified you." For a brief moment I experience what celebrities must feel and I reply, "Good to read you!" After locating Sarah we fill the final seats at the blogger’s table. Lucky for Sarah, a girl near her own age was sitting right beside her. They ignored each other the entire evening. Tommy had the pleasure of sitting beside Mike Faulk who graciously tried to engage the nervous, bored teens until being drawn into adult conversation with Dr. Helen, Glenn Reynolds, Perry Nelson, and Lissa Kay. Amy sat on Sarah’s other side. Evan took the head of the table with Cathy and I on either side of him until Katie Allison Granju, Jon Hickman, Randy Neal and Mrs. Neal showed up adding yet another table. The early bird side of the table included Thoughts of an Average Woman, Barry, Michael Silence and his wonderful daughter, Rich Hailey, and Say Uncle. As some seats emptied, Les Jones and his wife, Melissa, filled in (I hugged his wife and he was probably packing!). Pulling up the rear was Mark Steel who enjoyed Tuckaleechee Porter until closing. [Hopefully I covered everyone. This paragraph should have links to ALL attendee’s blogs and their Blogfest review.]
In the realm of overt cuteness, Michael‘s daughter with a huge grin unabashedly bee-lined it to Evan, grabbed his hand, and led him through the restaurant to the vacant upstairs banquet area so they could run and play. Ah! My boy’s first date! Of course, little Casanova is in big trouble if he let’s the ladies lead him so easily.. ahem! They were adorable and thrilled beyond belief to have a playmate.
In the small world realm, Melissa and I go back a decade give or take. We met at a friend’s party eons ago. She recounted how I encouraged her to get into computers. The teenage girls who ignored each other in lieu of text messaging went to the same beach at the same time for a vacation this past summer. Perry Nelson worked with Lissa Kay.
In the realm of social ineptitude, I flashed our camera enough to make restaurant patrons think they were at a Hollywood movie debut, asked Mr. R Neil, "So, what do you do?" only to see everyone look at me like I was from Mars, and I got to blathering such a technical description of something that I myself became lost in my words! Guess I need to get out of the basement more often.
Overall it was fantastic event. Rarely do you attend something where no introductions are needed and the person sitting beside you possibly understands you better than your psychologist. It was definitely interesting meeting people face to face with whom you already have somewhat of a connection. I only wish we had more time for deeper conversation. The time flew by and partings had to come almost in conjunction with hellos. I look forward to the next Blogfest!
Update: As I re-read my post with Cathy I realized I left something from the "In the realm of overt cuteness" paragraph. I had intended to tell about Evan and Jon. Ironically, before I could return to update the post, Jon had commented about being left from Barry’s recap. Evan doesn’t always warm up to people. He even shys away from the grandparents from time to time. There was a moment at the Blogfest where Evan stopped running around. Planted his feet. Extended his left arm straight as an arrow and pointed his index finger at Jon. Then he reached his right arm out straight as an arrow and pointed his index finger at Jon. Jon was the chosen! Evan declared him, "The fun guy!" Then Jon, father to be, reached down and picked up the insistent Evan who proceeded to drool and snot all over him. Evan really liked Jon!
Update: Mark Steel came in as we left.