It Was a Good Day

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Okay, it’s only now that I can catch my breath to report on last weekend — possibly the most jam-packed, enjoyable weekend I’ve had all year.

Warning: This post gloats at how great and charmed my life is right now, so if that will make you hateful, don’t go past this crease.

Friday

When I got home Friday night, I knew that Podcamp Philly was started to swing into town with a meet-and-greet that night. I was too pooped to socialize, though, and did some rudimentary work before I passed out. Just as I was retreating from my computer, though, I got a message from Bender asking if anyone wanted to watch the last performance of Flamingo/Winnebago — a play he raved about earlier in the week. How could I say no?

Saturday

PodCamp Philly

I woke up bright and early to bike over to Drexel to register for Podcamp Philly in the morning. Having experienced my first un-conference experience with Blog Philadelphia, I wondered how the podcamp would fare.

Signs were good when I found that one of the sponsors — Comcast — was treating us all to free drinks from Starbucks. Sponsorship and schwag — check. I think I collected four new shirts at various points over the course of the conference.

There were a lot more courses than Blog Philadelphia, and they seemed more focused and productive. There was a lot of lecturing, but not because the session leaders weren’t open to free-wheeling discussion. In fact, there were a lot of newcomers to podcasting and podcamps in general, which seemed to be a pleasant surprise to those who were veterans of multiple podcamp experiences.

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I quickly realized at the opening session that, yes, there is a podcamp experience, a podcamp phenomena. Podcamps apparently have been going on in various cities for a few years now, and there are definitely some bigwigs within this podcasting community, several of whom were enthusiastically present for Podcamp Philly.

Overall, the day turned out to be all smiles. Good people, good info. I’m going to have to devote a whole separate post to all the stuff I learned there.

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It was around 4. Need to meet Bender for the play at 6:30. Biked home, unloaded all the schwag, and then coasted over to the Northern Liberties Fall Music Festival. Got there in time to buy a necklace for Dana at the Liberti booth to raise money for mission work at the Sudan, enjoy the child-friendly stylings of the Lara and Joe show, and scarf down a hamburger, fries, and Jamaican cream soda. Perfect weather.

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Sufficiently full, I finally made my way over to the Painted Bride to meet Bender and Chris for Flamingo/Winnebago. Glad I went. Wasn’t as startling as Isabella, but pretty clever in its own way. Loved how they incorporated live music. Really interesting use of a large rotating stage piece that functioned, at various times, as a gas station, diner, mountain, Vegas hotel room, strip club, and — of course — Winnebago. Liked how they weaved together a lot of narratives together. Baffled by the ending, which, though not as abrupt as the final episode of the Sopranos, did rely heavily on Don’t Stop Believing to provide some closure.

Who made Journey the seminal band of the oughts? Don’t get me wrong, I love the song. But c’mon — Journey? We can’t do better than that? OC, Laguna Beach, Sopranos, the White Sox, Hillary Clinton. This isn’t getting played out?

Aside: Thank you Petra Haden for justifying a cappella as a guilty pleasure again.

As we parted ways, it was cool to find out that Chris used to be a serious ice skater who now loves watching the UFC. Funny that she’s the second former-competitive-ice-skater-now-UFC-fanatic I know.

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Decided to check back in on how the Music Fest was progressing along before I headed home. I think Fuzzbase was playing. Weather still perfect.

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Across the street, the Glass Works studio seemed to be having an open house and demonstration. Our neighborhood has a glass blowing studio — how cool is that?

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I got home and zonked out, but was awakened by the chattering onslaught of Grace, Debbie, Nancy, and friend. They brought over baby shower invitations and enough peppiness to lift Dana to a late dinner out. Grace, by the way, is the other former-competitive-ice-skater-now-UFC-fanatic I know.

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On the way over, we were lucky to get a glimpse of the sculpture Eben Kamihara was working on for his brother’s place, Bar Ferdinand. I’ve always wanted to say hi and wow but always chickened out. Being accompanied by a gaggle of girls made it a lot easier.

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We tried the refurbished and much ballyhooed Silk City Diner, but it was — as might be expected — packed. We settled for its older half-sister, North 3rd, and had a grand old time.

Walk back. Hilarious late night conversations. Falling asleep on the couch.

Sunday

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Another day of Podcamp Philly. Even better than the day before.

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While there, I nagged Bre Pettis of Make Magazine’s weekend project podcast fame to leave Podcamp Philly a tad early and hike over to the Make Philly meeting. (He was going to go without my nagging, but I did nag him).

Of course, I myself biked over to my first Make Philly meeting at the University of the Arts.

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Can I just tell you? It was awesome. Slavko Milekic gave a mind-blowing eye-tracking demonstration that veered on Minority Report interface coolness. People showed off the latest manifestations of their inner geek. We got in teams and made an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine in under an hour. I participated, and I’m just a poser. All-ages, all levels of skill. Just the nicest folks. I’m going to have to renew my Make subscription and go to these things every month.

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And on my way out I bought a Hermes Rocket at a flea market for $20. I might have been able to bargain for less, but I was too ecstatic.

I biked home, and then Dana and I drove to Tenth to catch the first evening service with Paul Tripp. He’s starting a series on Jonah that is not to be missed.

And that was my weekend. I suck, I know.

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