December 11, 2006

Off to an auspicious start

Well, my semester break started pretty well, with a pleasantly busy weekend (for a change). It was a very long week, with paper and project to finish, but it's certainly good to be past it. The weekend began with the I-66-h0sted All Holiday Blog Celebration, so we'll do that first. Heck, that might be all we'll do; I'm not sure that anyone really needs to hear about my company holiday party. Anyway.

The double-edged sword about the HH's, for me, is that they are seldom more than about five blocks from my office. This is a good thing, in that it's never very far out of my way to get there, but at the same time it does result in a lot of pre-HH sitting around. My workday ends at 5:30, and there's really no point in trekking all the way out to Ballston and back, so I just hang out at the office. The result is that I am at the latest on time for the thing to start, which is not always a good thing when it's your second HH and you haven't, I don't know, met/seen the host before (at least, not in 3-D). So I got to Science Club at a couple minutes after 7, and wandered back to the DJ booth. Nothing. There were a fair amount of people there, but none that I recognized. So I did a tour of the place. Nice upstairs, although I have the feeling I was walking through a private party (buffet setup, some strange looks from people, that sort of thing), checked out the basement, no familiar faces anywhere. So I parked myself off to the side and waited (and people-watched, something of a hobby of mine anyway). There was one other person there who seemed to be waiting as well, but I figured I'd chill out a bit and see what happened (turned out to be HomeImprovementNinja, but I didn't know that at the time). I-66 arrived after a few minutes, I met him and HIN, and the HH was officially under way.

Science Club is a decent place, if for no other reason than it has a back room that we were able to more or less take over as the evening progressed. The downside, which is true of most townhouses-turned-bars, I guess, is that the space is long and narrow. I remarked to a couple of folks that it's kind of ironic to be in a bar/club and have less room to maneuver than in the average Metro car. But it is a pretty nice spot, and it was never all that cramped, so it was all good. (This was my first time there; the last time I was at that address it was a Thai restaurant.)

All in all, it was very cool. I met a bunch of folks who I have been reading, which was great, and got to see a few people again who I'd met at Gazuza (double-great). I will admit that I still find the whole thing a little surreal, particularly when people recognize the name of my blog. Good surreal, for sure, but surreal. Plus the whole keeping track of both real and blog names is its own challenge. But I think I did all right, and got to talk to a truckload of witty and engaging people while I was at it. I got to spend some time with repeat offenders Kathryn, KassyK, V, Brunchbird, Bettyjoan, Ashburnite, and HeatherB again, all of whom are tons of fun. V was officially my hero for bringing cake, since I had sort of skipped dinner (okay, Kassy also gets hero-credit for having the birthday for which said cake was brought). Always good to see folks again, and also kind of nice to be remembered (again, just a tad surreal). And like I said, I got to meet a ton of people who I read regularly, occasionally, or in various comments. Many I had never met, or only met briefly at my last HH: I-66, HIN, Velvet, Red, Hey Pretty, Joe Logon, Boztopia, VK, Mandy, VP of Dior, DCVita, FreckledK, Tyler, a couple of Carries whose blogging status I never quite nailed down, and Kathryn's BP. Throw in a few non-bloggers, BBird's S.O., a couple of Kassyk's crew, and you have a full evening on your hands. I made it until a little before midnight, at which point my week kind of caught up with me and I had to head home.

Just a couple of notes:
  • I-66 had what was, for me, the line of the night: "They do bar mitzvahs." I'll not get into the reason for the line, but trust me when I tell you it was hilarious. I-66, I hope you remember, because it was genius.
  • Props to HIN for the charity raffle. There would be more props if I had won, but much credit all the same.
  • Happy Birthday to KassyK.
  • In his primer (which is excellent, btw), I-66 makes a point about managing your expectations, in terms of how you envision people based on their writing vs. how they are in person. I found myself a little surprised a couple of times to meet the faces behind the words. I was surprised as much by my surprise as anything else, if that makes sense. I didn't consiously expect one thing or another, but I did say to myself, "Wow, [x] wasn't how I expected him/her to be." I should mention, having said that, all surprises were of the better-than-advertised variety. Which is just a credit to you folks, really.
  • Five years of engineering school, just so I could fix the battery door on Velvet's camera after it's trip to the hardwood.
  • Count me among those who are very much looking forward to January and the smoking ban. Holy crap. I couldn't even get near my jacket for the rest of the weekend, and it still had a little smokiness to it this morning. Thank goodness for redundant outerwear.
  • I will probably repeat this in recapping most of these, because it bears repeating: anyone who still believes that the blogs/internet are the domain of the socially inept and visually challenged should spend an hour or two at one of these gatherings. Charming, witty people and some seriously gorgeous women. Seriously.

So thanks to I-66 for playing host, and I'll see you at the next one. Right on time, I'm sure...


Velvet said...

Thanks for fixing my camera! I would have just bought a new one because I'm so foolish.

WiB said...

Velvet - my pleasure. I'm just glad I didn't break it further (because let's be honest: there was little enough light that I was making a barely-educated guess in my attempt), and managed to save you a new-camera purchase. Unless you were looking for an excuse to buy a new camera, in which case I apologize.

Anonymous said...

Great to see you again (even though I stupidly didn't recall our first meeting)! And amen about the smoking ban--though I think Febreze stock is going to plummet (since that's usually how I solve the smelly-coat problem).

WiB said...

bjoan - no worries, I don't really hold people responsible for that sort of thing. Next time, we can greet each other like old friends.

And congrats to you (and your rear end) on the superlative. Guess those jeans did their job after all...

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