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Monday, January 16, 2006
Middle Tennessee Blogger Meet-Up
Saturday afternoon was the monthly meeting of the Middle Tennessee Bloggers and Podcasters group in the big city of Smyrna. For the first time in months, the group had a meeting that didn't conflict with a UT football game, so I was able to come out to Espresso Joe's to meet with some of middle Tennessee's finest and funniest bloggers.

TN Girl decided to visit the group all the way from the Rivergate area on Saturday. She came down early and we met for lunch at the Famous Chinese Buffet in Smyrna. No--seriously, it's called the Famous Chinese Buffet. I am not being sarcastic here (I know, it's hard to tell sometimes). After having a pleasant lunch, I realized--crap, we have five minutes to get to the meeting. Luckily this is Smyrna and we were able to make it to the meeting in five minutes.

As I drove up to Espresso Joe's, I nearly ran over some guy who was standing in the middle of a parking space. Ironically enough, it turned out to be Chip, also a blogger and/or podcaster. I didn't know this at the time, so I'd've felt bad had I run him down and he turned out to be a blogger. Actually, I'd've felt bad running him over because, well, my car is still relatively new and blood stains are hard to get out of a new paint job.

I went in and was greeted by Michelle of This is Smyrna, TN and Ivy of Bad, Bad Ivy. I've met Michelle in person before, but I'd never had the priviledge of meeting Ivy. Chip came back and said he knew from my car it was me (and I've not even got the new UT decals for the windows yet!). I apologized for almost killing him, but he seemed pretty cool about it. Funnily enough, the guy working the counter at Espresso Joe's also has a blog, though it's over on MySpace. I think Michelle went by and commented on it.

Now, since the Redskins were playing the evil Seahawks later that day (boo, the northwest!), I had on my Redskins shirt. But to confuse everyone, I had on my new Titans jacket I got at Wal-Mart on clearance a few weeks ago. I have to admit I was self-consious going to the meeting as last week, I was cleaning my glasses when I heard a snap. I looked down and my frames were broken--the portion that holds the lens in place. So, I had to go with my back-up pair that are fine as the prescription hasn't changed much in the past dozen years but they look like the ones the dad wore on Undeclared. Yeah, they're a little big. I've got new ones on order with new super-cool, smaller frames, but I was still feeling pretty self-aware going in as if I had a sign on that said--dude, I've got the biggest glasses EVER!

Michelle revealed she'd been at Espresso Joe's since 1:30 (it was now 2) and was apparently doing some experiment wherein she wanted to find out how much caffeine she could consume before a)her account ran out of cash or b)her head exploded. I'm not saying Michelle is addicted, but seriously, there are 12 step program that might help you out, Michelle. I only say this because I care. As we sat there and translated our sites into hip-hop via Gizoogle, a couple came in. Now, we were kind of loud and boistorous, cutting up and having a good time. Ivy found it amusing that Gazoogle was having a field day with stories about her car. Someone asked me something about my b'day, which is coming up and I stated I was going to the Lady Vols game up at Vandy and suddenly from across the room comes a loud, "You must be Big Orange Michael." Since the person speaking wasn't pointing a gun or a tazer at me, I identified myself as such, even though I'd gone to a blogger meet-up incognito since I had on no orange.

We all looked over and the gentleman asked us if we were the bloggers. We said we were and it turned out to be Gunner and his wife Elizabeth whose blog is called Hare Lipped Frog. Gunner shared with us the story of how Hare Lipped Frog got its name because it's an unusual name. I also expressed how I hadn't consulted my inner seventh grader when I'd named my blog and if I wanted to shorten it, it was B.O. Michael, which I really think sends the wrong message when I'm commenting on other blogs. Ivy and Michelle came up with a different shortening of my screen identity, which generated quite a few chuckles...

So, anyway, hilarity ensued. We talked about a lot of random stuff from knitting to canning to the Rocky Top Brigade to why Ivy insists upon hard coding her other bloggers on her page when she could just get BlogRolling and life would be so much easier. We also talked about others who said they might come but couldn't and tried to come up with cool ways to get them to come out to the next meeting, which is set to take place on Feb 11th at 2 p.m. at Espresso Joe's in Smyrna.

Finally, about 3:15 I had to excuse myself so I could get home in time for kick-off and watch my mighty Redskins get screwed out of a game by bad officiating. (OK, I made that last part up...we lost, but I just wanted to see if anyone would comment on it or notice that I'd said that.)

I will admit, I was a bit nervous going into the meeting, but that wore off quickly. I was lucky that I'd already met Michelle in person before and so knew who to look for. Chip took pictures of everyone there and they're up on his site if you want to look. I promised to put links from my blog to everyone there and I hope y'all will go over and visit them, add them to your blogroll and say howdy. And while you're at it, set aside Feb 11th to come out for some coffee (if you're into that), conversation and to put faces with blogs.

And we did discuss bringing a microphone or two next time and making our very own, best of podcast right then and there. So, even if you can't attend, you could feel like you're there. But you know--it could be Memorex or it could be live. I can attest that if you come to the live meeting, Espresso Joe's has really good, rich brownies.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/16/2006 02:05:00 PM | |
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