A few days ago, Evil Genius passed the word that he would be in Chicago. After some back and forth about location, we decided on a restaurant near my home, Feed The Beast. This was good, because it meant that my son Adam, who turned out to be the night's chief photographer, was able to join us.
I had called in a reservation to get an outside table at Feed The Beast My son and I arrived at 7 PM, and we were joined about 15 minutes later by Evil Genius. He had, it turned out, ended up walking to the restaurant, unable to catch a cab. Fortunately his walk was through one of the nicest walking areas in Chicago.
Adam and I had a chance to get to know Evil Genius. Then we were joined by The Idea of Progress, who opened with the best line of the night. He was joining us after participating in a Critical Mass event. He rode up, took off his bike helmet, and as he locked up his bike asked "Are you guys a bunch of bloggers?"
"Why yes, in fact, we are."
He joined us, ordering the Macaroni and Cheese on my son's recommendation. The conversation and greetings continued, and we were soon joined by Bubs, who ordered the largest Guiness any of us had ever seen.
As we proceeded to converse and demolish the myth of bloggers as malcontent misanthropes, it occurred to us that Grant Miller had never arrived. We began to theorize that he was actually a myth, a created character-- we referred to him as Keyser Soze."
And then he had to ruin it all by showing up.
We had a marvelous time talking. And talking about other bloggers. If your ears were burning Friday night...
We determined that Dale is the apparent nexus of the blogosphere (and a really nice guy). We wished Lulu could have made it. We talked about connections various bloggers have-- that Lulu and Coaster Punchman are old friends; that Deadspot and I have been friends since college.
As we had libations and talked, we kept hearing cheers from Feed The Beast and from Gannon's, the bar across the street. The first round of cheers was because the Cubs were winning (and won) their game in Cincinnati. The second round of cheers was when the Milwaukee Brewers lost their game, meaning the Cubs won their division and were going to the playoffs. Even my son, the die-hard Cubs fan, is too jaded to get too excited about it; the Cubs have let him down one too many times. Still, we could hear the news helicopters that were hovering over Wrigley Field, about a mile and a half away. The assembled bloggers joked that these were the fabled government Black Helicopters spying on what was presumably a group of bloggers plotting to overthrow the world.
After the various bloggers bid adieu and went off into the night, Adam and I walked home and talked about what an interesting group this was. I don't know if you could come up with a more diverse group of people, yet they shared one thing-- they clearly all like other people. They're hardly the isolated angry people living in bathrobes that cetain pundits have described us as. Blogging is, for them, for us, a form of self-expression, and a way of finding other people who think a little out of the box like we do. Were it not for blogs, none of us would likely have ever met.
And that would have been a shame.