In our last episode, Mr. Karen and I had retired to our room Saturday night after skipping out of karaoke early. I’ll leave the rest of Saturday to your imagination—quite possibly you’ll come up with much wackier hijinks than actually ensued; if you think of something really good, e-mail me and share so I can keep it in mind for our next trip. We started Sunday morning with the Life After Journaling panel, opting to sleep in a little instead of going out for breakfast. As with the popular panel, I didn’t go for the content but just to see the panelists, especially Diane, whose journal was the first one I ever read. I’d seen her in the break room before the panel, but hadn’t recognized her because she was holding a baby I didn’t know she had. Kim Rollins was scheduled to be on this panel at one point, too, but dropped out sometime in the last few weeks, which was disappointing, as I’d have liked to see her, too.
The next panel we went to was Online Personas, since I wanted to see those panelists, too: Lynda and Karen (she who makes me “the other Karen”, but that’s okay, because I don’t at all mind being confused with someone who’s so smart and beautiful) and of course Kymm. (I cannot resist the power of Kymm, even though she had no trouble resisting us on the streetcar on Saturday, when she pulled out her magazine to read instead of talking to us for one second more). I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure you all that I’m not a persona—I’m a real person who is who I say I am, and Mr. Karen is really someone I met in high school and not a hired escort.
The final panel of the Con was the Pamie Panel, which really should have been called the Anna Beth and Pamie Show. Pamie writes the truth when she says Anna Beth is universally loved; I barely got to talk to her and was ready to quit my job and move to Austin just to be closer to her. This panel had the extra special feature of prizes given out to people who submitted questions; Shelly won one and generously let me take it home, so now I have a fabulous pink computer-shaped pencil sharpener. It’s found a home on my laptop docking station alongside the wooden rabbit I got in North Carolina in June and the sand-stuffed triceratops I bought when I went to the quilt show in July.
Then it was time to go. I really wished we’d been able to stay for the Sunday readings and the closing remarks, but with the three-hour time difference and having to work on Monday, we really couldn’t manage to take a later flight than we did. At the airport, I bought Ghirardelli chocolate for my coworkers. I don’t usually buy them stuff, but we’re having a contest to see who can have the most fun with an afternoon off, and I figured a bribe would help me get a few votes at least.
So now my JournalCon experience is over, and I’m bummed. I wish I’d been able to spend more time with everyone, especially the people I met briefly and never managed to hook up with again, like Hez and MichaelH and Selila and Sasha and Lisa whom I know as ljh and Spinny and pinkstinky (whom I’d forum-marry if she didn’t hate that sort of thing), and Lucy (who I only managed to babble at for a few minutes on our way out the door). Actually, I’m not sure I formally, met some of those people, just talked to them and figured out who they were later (as opposed to the people I talked to that I still haven’t figured out who they were because I am dorky). There were some people I never got to talk to at all, and I wish I had. My swag met pink and sparkly Jen, but I did not. Pete radiated so much cool I dared not approach. I regret not working up the courage to at least introduce myself to Jeremy and thank him for all the work he’s doing on the Suspects new server (I did bravely say “good morning” to him in the stairwell before I realized who he was; go me). I wish I’d met Devon, whose take on JournalCon has a few people stirred up. Leaving aside that he called us bloggers, which we are overwhelmingly not, it’s his “frumpy” comment that annoyed me most when I first read it. Hey, those are my friends you’re calling ugly there, buster. Upon reflection, though, if I were a young, hip guy from the big city looking at 30 and 40-something women, I might very well have the same reaction. I’m glad he came; part of what appeals to me about reading journals is seeing how other people look at the world, and his perspective on the Con is interesting, as are those of the other attendees.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to go again next year. I’ll know not to make so much swag, since not everyone who says they’re coming will show up and not everyone who does come wants to take advertising for my site home with them. I’ll know to arrive well-rested so I can stay up ‘til all hours and talk to more people. I’ll know it’ll be a good time, so I won’t need a rental car to give me the option to just take off at any moment. I’ll know I won’t be able to do everything and talk to everyone, but that probably won’t keep me from trying.
Thus ends the JournalCon 2002 trilogy; now it’s back to real life. Coming soon: more quilts and collabs and goal check-ins and stuff.
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