November 11, 2001
OK meeting people in teeny-tiny non-threatening increments -- a lunch
date here, a company picnic there, a family Thanksgiving dinner
once-every-other-decade -- but the idea of walking into a roomful of
people strictly for the purpose of *enforced merriment* fills me with
Part of it is shyness. Part of it is due to leftover
self-esteem issues, still being resolved. Part of it is due to the fact
that my normal patterns of social development were retarded for
twenty-some years by alcohol and drug abuse. (Socially/emotionally, I'm about eighteen years old at this point ...
which makes me younger than my oldest daughter.) Whatever the reasons
for my social unease, though, most of the time I would rather have a
root canal performed by a blind dental student on crack than walk into
yesterday was different.
allowed myself to be talked into going to yesterday's Northern
California Internet Journaler's Shindig for three reasons:
wanted to see Bev
wanted to meet some of the other journalers who have made me laugh and
cry and hiccup and scream and pull my hair out and wet myself (in a
good way) over the past few years.
wanted to scope out the competition.
was bringing Bed Picnic Bruschetta.
OK ... that's four reasons. Sue me.)
put on my party Maybelline and my party sweater-set and my party
dimples, and I loaded up the Subaru with a bucket of bruschetta, two
loaves of French bread and my husband -- I brought him along as social
reinforcement -- and we set out in search of fun, food, photo opps and
*enforced merriment* at Bitter
Hag's home in Pittsburg.
few photos of the event, courtesy of Bev:
our hostess, the
she may be occasionally bitter (aren't we all?)
but she is most definitely NOT a 'hag.'
hubby, Jake; the irrepressible Lunesse;
Rachel (holding Jolene's daughter Jessica);
Rachel's sig other, Matthew (arms crossed); Jane;
David, standing in the kitchen
keeping an eye on the Bed Picnic Bruschetta.
Ð®åƒ±êrvØ¡ (that's not a bald spot -- that's where his brain gets too hot and
melts his hair off)
and Secra chit-chat with
and baby Jeremiah.
Hanging out in The Hag's backyard
Counterclockwise from bottom left:
baby Jeremiah, Bitter
on the other hand ... some journalers TOTALLY live up to their nom de plume.
the luminous Karen
with the apple of her eye.
and Joleen (with Jessica): two of *FootNotes* best friends.
meet my new computer guru!
my surprise, the afternoon turned out to be about a bazillion times
less painful (and about a bazillion times more fun) than I'd
highlight of the day for me personally -- besides the bruschetta, I
mean, and besides getting to meet lots of people I absolutely adore (including a few I didn't even know that I adore
until now), and besides having somebody else handle
camera duty for a change -- was listening to the other journalers read selected
excerpts from their journals. Whenever I read these people online, I *hear* them in my voice ... so it was a
treat to hear the words in the author's voice, for a change. It gave
the readings an authenticity and a poignancy that you just don't get
when you're reading from a computer monitor.
David read a selection -- his Aquaman
rant from "20th
Century Rock & Roll Boy." In fact, he ended
up getting the biggest laugh of the day.)
didn't know until the very last second which *FootNotes* entry I was
going to read to the group -- I brought two along with me, figuring
that when the moment came for me to read, I would know instinctively
which was the more appropriate -- and as it turns out I wound up
reading this one
... mainly because it gave me a chance to talk about the whole Sliding
Doors fiasco. (Ironically -- considering the grief it caused -- Sliding Doors
is up for a Diarist Award this time around.) Reading this entry also
sort of paved the way for an interesting discussion about the ways that
our journaling lives and our 'real' lives intersect. In fact, if I have
any complaint about yesterday at all -- and I don't, really, besides
the fact that I should have said *yes* to that other piece of apple pie
when I had the chance -- it's that there wasn't nearly
enough journal-chat to suit me. I could have talked about ISPs and
traffic stats and parallel flange indicators all night long.
those who keep track of such things, here is (I believe) a complete
list of journalers who attended yesterday:
"Funny The World"
- Bitter Hag,
"Creme Rinse & Tobacco Smoke"
of the late-lamented "Thought Experiment"
"House of the Moon"
"Rachel's Daily Diary"
you: I still hate parties. I'm never going to be a social butterfly.
(Not unless you pour about a bucket of cheap chablis into me beforehand
... which isn't likely.)
an afternoon filled with cold Pepsi, hot food (much of it involving
cream cheese), laughter, hugs, adorable tousled toddlers, cameras
flashing, people with whom I have something fundamental in common,
comfortable chairs, fluffy cats and interesting discussions about stuff
I actually CARE about (and can contribute a *conversation molecule* to,
once in a while)?
I can probably handle.
if you don't call it a "party" ... I'll probably even have a good