I attended this blogger conference last week at the College of Saint Rose. If you go to the link, you'll see what people, including me, thought of the event. The video, which I kvetched about in the article, is also available at the site.
One of the running observations in those comments is that the participants feared that the event would turn out to be a snarkfest, based on some of the online comments that some of these same people had made online to each other. Instead it was, if not a love fest, then at least quite civil. And I got to see my buddy David Brickman, pictured, and not just his head.
I find it all very odd, because, lately, I'm finding people online to be, for the most part, much more civil than in person. There was an incident last month at church - which I won't get into much except to say this: when someone wants to convince me of the efficacy of a point of view, it's really important that the topic sentence not be patently, demonstrably false. That transaction, combined with some other circumstances, made going there, especially to choir, a little less of a safe place to be than it had been heretofore. Not occasionally, some of my racquetball partners can be - let's say unnecessarily irritating lately. Our neighbors, who we are fond of, lost their house for back taxes; verdict is out on the buyer, but early signs are, let's say, less than encouraging. And the Albany Y is closing at the end of the month; I've only been a member since December 1982, so I have no emotional investment.
Meanwhile, online life is pretty darn great. Part of that, admittedly, is the fact that it was my birthday Sunday and I got probably two dozen Facebook well wishers, plus four e-cards, a number of e-mails, a few comments on the blog, and a mention from Gordon. Since I am admittedly LOUSY at Facebook - it just isn't something I find the time to do regularly - I found the FB responses in particular really gratifying.
But it's other stuff. My blog was featured on the Times Union page when I happened to be sitting at the library next to a guy looking for a job; I could just give him the link to the Census information. "Hey, is that you?" pictured on top? Why yes, it is.
The mighty comic blogger ADD cited a conversation we had a while back in a recent post. Jaquandor (the guy at Byzantium Shores) and Scott answered my questions; yes, some of them are the same questions. I get good comments from the ABC Wednesday folks.
Sunday Stealing stole my meme (that's a good thing); and yes, I had admittedly stolen it myself.
Speaking of stealing, I was pleased that the NYS senator Kirsten Gillibrand came out for gay men being able to donate blood. I wanted to write something but didn't have time, so of course, I stole it. I feel only slightly guilty, because I stole it from me. Repositioning, as I recall ADD and I decided.
Someone joked at the Times Union gig that "almost no one" showed up in pajamas. Sometimes, the folks that I could "talk" with in my PJs are just easier to deal with. Well, except for Glenn Beck attacking me.
I'm not much of a believer in astrology, but my friend of 52 years, born two days after I, sent me our chart. I found it oddly soothing:
"This aspect is all about breaking the bonds that held you down in the past." [Sounds right.] You are about to become liberated from some sort of situation that contained or limited you...Earlier in the month we have an excellent day that you may want to circle on your calendar - March 7...will help you hone your powers of communication. The written and spoken word will become very important to your progress at this time, and if you are born on March 7, or within five days of this date, this will be true for your whole year to come because this is happening on your "solar return" or return of the Sun to your time of birth. (The closer your birthday falls to March 7, the more dramatically you will see this trend.) Travel taken near March 7 should go really well, and all news, including news about home and family, could make you want to sing!"
Since my birthday was March 7 - which turned out to be a pretty good day...
Sonny and Gertie: what might have been
11 hours ago