Post-SLCC 2007 Observations
Now that I’ve caught up on my sleep and had a little time to think about the experience, here’s my overwhelming (and not unexpected) impression. It went too fast. Never again while my health is for shit. Need more time to meet more folks, see more, well any, presentations and to hang out more with those I meet. Also, I’m hopeful that the lessons learned by me and others this year will be applied forward to subsequent gatherings.
Too fast, like a wedding, it’s over in an eye blink after nearly (for me) a year’s prep time. My poor body, in the crappy shape that it is, just didn’t have the stamina I’d want/like/expect to have for even just walking around, I was prepared for that, but how much it just plain slowed me down was frustrating. Not being able to dance as I would in years past hurt and angered me to be honest. In my 20’s and 30’s even, going dancing for 4 or more hours wasn’t unusual and to barely have the stamina for one friggin’ song, that was horrendous to me. Those of you that know me well know how stubborn I can be and determined, too. What I found was that if I “pushed” myself physically as I would in years past, that the consequences were frightening. So, not wanting to find out what an ambulance ride is like, I scaled back, took care of my areas of responsibility and that was that. I was able to do my job, anything less would have been unacceptable to me, I’m thankful that I was able to do that much, and with the help from some good friends at that, which is fine, as who among us gets “there” alone, truly?
That scaling back is what cost me time for presentations and for more socializing, so its kind of like the choice to not drink, die or not do it? Hmmmm, easy choice. And knowing that by next year, hell or high water, I’ll have had some major changes in my health managed by then, gives me even more impetus. Will make getting a decent costume together for the ball easier too, well maybe not, more options and choices will be tough, but that’s a burden I’ll happily suffer.
What were the surprises of the convention? How damn chipper folks where, how little drama I saw unfold (interpersonal not logistics, and frankly that I mostly heard about, I didn’t witness 1st hand), and how seamlessly folks blended together from different “in SL” social groups. Maybe this is more like what beta was like, as the head count was closer to the pre-public head count as anything, but it sure looked like nearly everyone went to Phil’s opening speech and that later that night nearly the same number of folks attended the ball (I’m betting it wasn’t nearly the same head count, just looked that way). Based upon the variety of costume wear, the name tags I could get a clear look at (omg we gotta make them bigger or I need new glasses or even better, I want lighting controls and/or a magnifier wand like in Photoshop IRL) there were folks from pretty much all the communities in SL, and certainly of every “age”. I was really happy to see so many folks I’ve known for years or just heard about for all that time, but just as happy to see folks that have only been in SL a short while embracing the convention and the platform. It’s a hopeful sign.
Phil’s speech was charming, engaging, and illuminating. He didn’t say anything all that surprising but showed himself to be the incredible “front man” I’d suspected he had to be in order to raise capital, motivate folks and drive this rather unwieldy, often unrealistic, completely pie-in-the-sky project that is Second Life forward and through any and all obstacles. The “Missing Image” tee shirt was a fun acknowledgment of a daily frustration for many or is it all of us. I saw him working the room, sticking around for ages talking to folks, listening to what they had to say. Never got to talk to him as I was “working” whenever he was about, but that’s ok, other than kvetching about him sticking me in server limbo about 2 years ago I dunno what I’d have to say to him anyhow. I’d rather say something interesting than not at all. I’m silly that way.
What wasn’t a surprise was the consistency of what meeting online folks IRL is like. It really is that look over, acknowledgment moment, and moving on as if one were in-world. That’s really nice, especially for those of us that DON’T look like our avatars, although a friend that didn’t make it to the convention got a look at the pictures and she noted that I do look like Madame. I thought about it, and went back to look at the pics and I guess I do. Or is it the other way around? Madame looks like a skinny me I guess. Except for the amethyst colored eyes, and bigger rack (even heavy I don’t have those hooters, which is fine, less cumbersome), oh and tiny feet, nothing short of late life foot binding is gonna give me tiny feet, nothing!
So what to do next year differently? Convention-wise, I’ll leave that to the official discussion, but suffice it to say my mantra is communication. Well it always has been for more than 1 person operations, and for good reason. We missed some obvious stuff, got a lot right, and will do even better next time. I’ll have my health in better order, so I’ll be able to do more, less painfully, and more enjoyably. I’ll prep myself and my personal life better for the convention. Stuff changed around a bit at the (for me, the personal life organizationally challenged person I am) last minute so to speak and that kinda threw my planning and preparations off. I’ll do better at getting a lil more rest (I’m not unrealistic but a lil more could have been managed) before the convention begins. I’ll have a functioning phone and not lose the damn thing at the end.
What went right? An awful lot. Some folks never made it to Chicago, due to the biblical storms on Thursday, unexpected health and family issues, however those that were staying with me, all made it in and home safely. I got to meet Trin and Nala FINALLY. Zomg that’s been long overdue. I got to meet just tons of folks, my two self-proclaimed stalkers couldn’t have been more charming, amusing, or loving if they’d tried. I felt that I contributed to the convention’s success, was thoroughly embarrassed by the acknowledgment given by my fellow committee members (I’m not good w/compliments, sorry if I acted weird about it), and very proud to see the results on so many smiling faces. The Thursday night trolley gig went off well if a little damply at the beginning. I wish more folks were able to go, some hadn’t made it in yet, were tied up with preparations or just plain (understandably) exhausted, but those that went had a grand time I think. It was and is important to me to share what I see as my Chicago with those I love and to see them enjoy something as wonderful as a night at the Green Mill, listening to jazz, that’s worth more than I can say. Definitely a high point.
There’s so much more but I guess you’ll have to ask me about it in person/avatar. Take a look through the picture links posted on the SLCC blog to get a feel for what went on, and what you see over and over is smiling faces. What better measure of success could there be?
Oh, and yes RadioRadio threw down at the Linden Meet and Greet, not that anyone IRL could hear us (hotel sound was teh suxxor in that room), hell I couldn’t hear Trin and Nala and they were sitting next to me! Nala ROCKED the end of the mascarade ball and regardless of some folks in-world that apparently have never heard nor heard of the 3 + year long running traditional 11 pm SLT TriNala song exhorting folks to strip down, the folks in Chicago went nuts! Teh Pink Cheekin was in fine form, following Nexeus’ blistering set with just the smoothest, tightest mix I’ve heard yet. My only frustration was w/my dumb health and not being able to really dance how I felt about the tuneage. Next year.
To those I spent the bulk of my time with, I love you guys, you are the best, and somehow we need to find more time, with less work attached to spend together and enjoy each others’ company. This project re-united me with some of my friends from earlier in my Second Life, and for that I am eternally grateful. I also have acquired some new good friends that are a welcome and wonderful addition to my life online and off. And ya know what? My guildies in EverQuest II greeted me back with abuse and proddings, as sure a sign that they missed me and welcomed me back, and (tolerated) my hiatus with good humor. Can’t ask for more than that can ya?
Finally, to my Pops and Ann, I cannot thank you two enough for the support you’ve given me and the help and tolerance you’ve shown me in these difficult years. Opening the house up so that we could get some props built on just the hottest damn day of the year was just one of many kindnesses you’ve graced me with, and that I’ll never be able to repay. Thank you so very much, love you.
Trinity Nala & Madame DJ!