Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bloggers Are Introverts....Not!

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.


Valerie said...

Glad to hear you had a fun time...wish I could've been there.

Bubs said...

I've always told my kids to preface an angry confrontation with a positive observation to ease the way. So...

Thank you for taking a picture of me where I look like a cross between John Doe and Slim Pickens, only with bigger, uglier ears.

I don't know about you, but I AM an angry person who hates others and blogs in a bathrobe. And I don't like you mocking the black helicopters, either. Don't make me file a report. I hate doing that on my days off.

Lucky for you you tell a good story and have endearing kids.

Splotchy said...

Argh, I woulda liked to have made it.

Maybe there can another one before the winter is upon us.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

How jealous am I that I wasn't there, oh wait I was at a TN get together that featured four bloggers.

Evil Genius lives up to his name, check out the red Satan eyes he has. :)

Your son takes a mean picture and Bubs looks like the shiftless hilbilly he claims to be. He'd fit in well down here.

And I must say Mr. Yen, you are looking not too shabby yourself these days.

Even though my team, the Red Sox, made the playoffs, I'm rooting for the Cubs to win it all. They deserve it and so do you Chicago fans.

I'm going to end this long comment now.

Erik Donald France said...

Three cheers to your pow wow -- and thinking outside the box.


Bubs said...

Seriously, y'all did miss a really good time. I'd never met anyone other than Mr. Yen and his son, and I hadn't read Evil Genius' or The Idea of Progress' blogs before that day.

What a nice bunch of guys! If you ever have an opportunity to spend some time with these folks, do it.

Skylers Dad said...

Excellent, excellent! That looked like a good time, Evil appears to have the same camera as I do in his photo, and I love the Onion holding down Grant's position until he could show!

And, I feel I need to admit to you all that I still do work for the Gov, having never left the Navy.

Those weren't Blackhawks, that is soooo yesterday guys!

I was watching you while controlling my Predator drone...

Laaw-yuhr said...

That sounds so great. Glad you all had fun.

Dale said...

I appreciate you not calling me a nexus of evil!

It sounds like a great time and now I wish I'd landed my 'copter to get a closer look at y'all. You don't look nearly as grainy as in my surveillance photographs.

vikkitikkitavi said...

RE: The Cubs.

This is the year, baby!

RE: Blogger get-together.

It looks like fun. Y'all needed a few female-type bloggers, though. Maybe my sister and I will hook up with you the next time we're in Chicago.

Jess Wundrun said...

If you ever do a bloggers sunday brunch I would be in. (You're about 3 hours away - but I love bloggers and eggs!)

Chris said...

Ditto what Vikki said - sausagefest!

Glad you guys had fun! We'll have to try another one before the end of the year.

Beth said...

What a great time! I would have given anything to be there!

red said...

Beth - you should have told EG that in advance. Maybe he would have made it happen ;P

Johnny - Thanks for blogging about it after the fact. The other guys are being kind of tight-lipped. I imagine EG will blog about it when he gets home.

Grant Miller said...

FYI: The Evil Genius was all hands.

Johnny Yen said...

Next time we do this, hopefully there'll be a little more notice. It was kind of a last-minute thing.

Hey, they were all taken by my son!

You should have seen the rest of them. I'm thinking of doing a "scary blogger" poll" with the pictures.

Seriously, it was great fun, wasn't it? Given what happened with work recently, it really cheered me up.

Hope you can make the next one!

Glad you had a gathering yourself! Perhaps we can get together next time I'm in Knoxville.

Hey-- check out the New York Times online-- there's an article about Asheville, N.C. in the Sunday Travel section.

The blogsosphere seems to be filled with those who don't toe the line.

Skyler's Dad-
And here we thought it was a big mosquito.

It was a fun time indeed!

Did you get our good side?

When we sent out the all-call, we hoped at least a couple of the female bloggers would show up. When you and Kristi come to town, give us some notice-- we'll do it again!

Yes, let's definitely do that!

I have a feeling that there'll be more gatherings in the future.

Aha, the blog war has begun!

The Idea of Progress strangled a baby harp seal right there at the table.

BeckEye said...

Well, it sounds like you boys had a gay old time. In the oldest, truest sense of the word. As far as I know.

I once hypothesized that Dale was the glue that held all of blogdom together. I'm glad to see that we can all agree on this. Dale is the Blogfather. We shall read no other blogs before his.

Just one question - Is Grant Miller old enough to drink?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Awww look at you guys, you are all so cute! It's really nice to see you guys get out of your bathrobes every now and then.

Mob said...

That's awesome, since Chicago is the center of the blogging world, I may relent on my travelling embargo and let the wife plan a trip of some sort, as I'd love to meet some of my favorite interweb acquaintances and have them mock my Texas accent mercilessly while I admire their robes and slippers.

lulu said...

I wish I could have been there. I'm coming home for the holiday break, so maybe we can plan one while I am in town? Because I know that no one is busy around Christmas.

You know, I think it is unlikely that you would never have met any of those people if not for the blogs. Look at you and me. I keep waiting for the day I meet someone here who says "You're from Chicago? I used to know this guy Brian..."

GETkristiLOVE said...

What a bunch of fine looking gentlemen, especially Adam. ;)

I'm not sure you all can handle me and my sister in the same room with you guys, but I'm up for it.

GO ROCKIES - how about THAT game?!

Oh, and p.s. JYEN- you have a typo in the Soze link.

'Bubbles' said...

I can justify a trip to Chicago with enough notice! Seriously.

But don't let that stop you from trying to pull something together.


Coaster Punchman said...

God, you guys look so docile. You could have used a drunk Punchman to stir things up a bit!

I once told Grant Miller I would feel intimidated walking into a room of so many bloggers at one time. It takes me twice as long to think of something to say to people than it does to spew out all sorts of nonsense on my blog. Which leaves many the impression that I'm mildly retarded or just really dull.

Nonetheless, wish I could have been there to meet all you guys.

My parents are in Chicago so next time I'm there I'm organizing something. Or asking one of you to.

The Idea Of Progress said...

I've just noticed that I neglected to note how handsome I look in my photo.

Or, perhaps, not.