Saturday, July 26, 2008

BlogAsheville Meetup Last Night

OK, this is the last time that I'm going to mention the dorkiness I felt at being really excited to go to my first BlogAsheville Meetup- for two reasons. One, I don't want to offend my newfound friends in the blogosphere, and two, it was actually really cool, and I met alot of cool folks. But friends, let it just be said, as a former Neo-Luddite, I never thought I would have so much fun talking about rss feeds, search engine optimization, twitter, and general technology. (not to mention finding myself saying things like "blogosphere" and "netizen," shudder.)
But I digress.
Here's what happened:
I arrived at the Wedge Brewery roundabout 5:30. After a painfully awkward first 5-10 minutes of approaching random groups of people standing around outside at the Wedge, and saying things like, "um, hey! Are y'all the bloggers?" and "hey, could I just put these cupcakes down here for a second?" and trying to figure out how to order a drink: "well, i dont really drink beer, do you sell any wine or liquor?" I finally found my people. And, upon finding that there was nothing but beer to be had, I drank the first beer (well, 3 beers) that I've had in like, 6 months. (And to my delight, I have found that there were no gastrointestinal repercussions from drinking the Belgian-style witber)
I was excited to be at the Wedge, because my friends Tim and Trish, whom I wait on at Marcos most every Sunday night, are the owners. (there's even a "Marco's house beer" brewed by the Wedge- I'm told its a Czech-style pilsner [are all pilsners Czech-style? I don't know but I did learn that pilsners are a type of Lager]). Its a cool little space and the beer was tasty.
Anyway, after the initial ice-breakers, passing out of cupcakes, and some introductions, I commenced getting to know some of our local bloggers. One of my first friends was George, of George the Bastard. (I did not find him to be a bastard. Perhaps in due time.) George told me that in Cananda, where he used to live, drinking beer while eating cake is a national pastime. I was really happy to hear that, because so often in West Asheville, at the Walk-Ins, people will refuse a cupcake by pointing to their beer and shrugging, as though the two don't go together. Now I can say, "No, its ok! The Canadians do it!"
My dear friend Scot Q, of Dogwood Alliance Fame, was there talking up DA's new video game Pac-(aging) Man (there's going to be a Game-Launch party on Monday, July 28 at the Brew & View), and generally being his furry, friendly self. Oh, and he bought me a beer. Thanks, Scot!
I hung out with Don Mak, who runs Blogging Muses, (a songwriting blog) and who seems to know an awful lot about these here computin' machines. I met Aric, of Arratik and Scrutiny Hooligans, and Gordon, also of Scrutiny Holligans, and apparently, like, 43 other blogs. I met the lovely people behind My Weaverville, Asheville Now, Hangover Journals, 3 Cats and a Baby and Stoplight Haiku. Saw Clare Hanrahan, of Asheville on the Ground, and a bunch of other really nice people whose names/blogs I can't recall at the moment. It was generally a really sweet little gathering, watching the sun set over the train tracks, feeling the evening breeze, pleasantly far away from the maddening crowds of Bele Chere (although I did feel the need to follow up my 3 beers with fair food- french fries and polish sausage... mmm). I think that was also the first Friday night in a long time that I wasn't feverishly baking through the night for Saturday weddings, so that probably had something to do with it.
Anyway, what I have to say about it all is this:
I'm grateful to get to know the Asheville blogging community. After living in Asheville for 7 years, I've connected with lots of different folks for a variety of different reasons. But my life is different now than it was when I moved here. Although I do get to do my share of drinking and carousing these days, its nothing like the drinking and carousing I used to do. And you meet alot of fun people drinking and carousing. Since my son was born, I'm home alot more. I get up at 6am, and hang out with a two year old most days. This lifestyle does not lend itself to drinking and carousing. Hence, less late night, more internet. This blog world is new to me, and its inspiring. It's exciting to see people focus their energies on things that interest them, using tools and technology in creative and aesthetically/politically useful and beautiful ways. I started using the internet when my son was born, mostly to keep in touch with friends. I started blogging to promote my business and share my love of cake. Now I feel like I'm a part of a community that's new for me, that makes my world just a little bit wider, and it challenges me to expand to accommodate it. It challenges me to integrate other parts of myself, other communities, commitments, interests, my sense of beauty- and bring that into the communities I'm finding/building. Also, it challenges me to use this venue to its full potential- so I'm inspired to do more recipes, more writing, and more cake porn. Like everything else, its all about balance. You can't write about your life if your whole life is spent in front of a computer screen. But if you life involves a whole bunch of cool stuff, and you write about it in your own unique voice, it enriches your experience, and that of those around you.
And the dork factor?
I'm pretty sure dorky is the new cool.

see don's pics of the meetup.

9 comments:

Lexish said...

blogasheville is lucky to have you as an editor!

Don Mak said...

Great writeup and thanks for the kudos .... I posted some pictures over here if you wanna take a look. The girls really enjoyed the cupcakes :-)

Heather Rayburn said...

Yo! Thanks for the update for thems of us who couldn't make it. Congrats on making the "Cupcakes Take the Cake" blog!! That's awesome! Cheers, H.

Jessica said...

good post! It was great to relive the moment!
So good to meet you!
Jessica
threecatsandababy.blogspot.com

Jennifer Saylor said...

Wow, great post. There's always someone who sums things up in an eloquent and overarching way, and this time it is clearly you.

So sorry I wasn't able to attend -- I'll be looking for you and your baked goods in September. :0)

Gordon Smith said...

Jodi,

Thanks for the cupcake and for penning the penultimate post on the Wedge BlogAsheville meetup. It was good to meet you, Jessica, Scot, the Asheville Now fellas and to see old friends, too.

Word is that the BlogAsheville 3rd Annual Extrava will be held in late September, with awards nominations beginning around September 1st.

nataliecakes said...

So tell me... who bakes YOUR birthday cake?

George the Bastard said...

It was fun to meet you too, and the rape of the earth cupcakes were delicious!

AM said...

Great to meet you too Jodi, though I've been craving those cupcakes non-stop for the last 4 days. They're going to be very dangerous for my checking account, I can tell. :)

AM (MyWeaverville)