The Podcamp experience

Quite honestly, I never intended to go to podcamp.

I had the rare Saturday off, and I fully intended to go the Kecksburg UFOfest … not so much because I believe in any of that stuff, but more because I’m a peoplewatcher. And let’s face it, a UFOfest is right up there with Trek conventions if you are a peoplewatcher.

But Kecksburg decided to combine 2 different festivals into one: Old Time Days and UFO Festival were rolled into one, with the majority of UFO-related events slated for Sunday. I only had Saturday off, so, in a phrase, I was boned.

But podcamp was going on, and I decided to go. Now here began an little odyssey that I wasn’t expecting.

Now, last year’s podcamp hit maximum capacity — I know this because I had opted to go, again, at the last minute — but I only found out that it was sold out right before leaving. So, I figured this time that the same thing had happened, and asked on Twitter if someone could get me in. @Dwightspaulding had an extra registration, so we made plans to meet and he could get me in. Now, I only know Dwight from some brief conversations here and there … so it was kinda weird to have someone lend a hand to someone else who was just a voice on the internet. Weird, but awesome.

So, I woke up after 4 hours and headed on down in a zombie-like state. Upon entering The Art Institute, I immediately ran into @Wormy from Bitchburg. Now, I’ve been meaning to meet Wormy and crew for a long time, having already bumped into @Mindbling at Jack’s a few years ago. It took her a few to figure out who I was (as did Mindbling, because she only saw me with a beard), but as soon as she did, she gave me a big hug, and we chatted like we were old friends. And that feeling was something that ran throughout the podcamp … meeting people for the first time, and yet having it feel like you had been friends forever.

I found out that I could register at the door, and so I did. However, I waited for Dwight so I could meet him in person and thank him, because, again, that was exceptionally cool of him to offer to help me out.


At first I didn’t go with a name badge. I don’t know, I just kinda hate them. But as I wandered through, I realized that that was the only way I could recognize a lot of people was through that little tag. So, I went and got one. And that’s where the fun began.

See, I know my blog isn’t huge. I know that I don’t have a billion followers on Twitter. But the fact that folks recognized my handle and said, “Oh my God!” and introduced themselves to me or hugged me — it’s completely weird and awesome all at once. I’ll never be a celebrity in my life, but man, for those brief seconds, I felt like one.

And it was especially funny when people who were more celebrity-esque (maybe “recognizable” would be a better word) in the ‘burghosphere recognized me. I mean, yeah, I walked up to them to introduce myself, but they spoke like it was an honor to meet me, not vice-versa. Again, awesome and weird all at once.

I am a little mad that I wasn’t more awake to really take advantage of the day. I missed out on so many inappropriate jokes (like when women said, “I love your tweets!” — I didn’t say, “Well, yours are pretty sweet, too!”), and so many chances to just introduce myself to other people. I mean, I knew I was tired when I was chatting with @TallCathy about movies, and I couldn’t remember names of specific movies and actors that, ordinarily, I could rattle off in succession and not even blink. I had 2 beers, and quite honestly, I was ready to fall asleep. So I cut my socializing off early and headed home. Normally I’d try and tough it out because I hate that feeling of regret when I mis something that’s obviously awesome. But, with construction on Rt. 28 and a 40 minute drive ahead, I knew it was time to end the day.

But there’s always next year’s podcamp, and you can bet that it’ll be my priority. And I think it’s safe to say that I’ll take the day off beforehand so I won’t be wandering through podcamp in such a zombiesque state. I’ll see you all next year!


6 Responses to “The Podcamp experience”

  1. September 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    It was fantastic to finally get a chance to meet you! I’m really glad you caved in and finally showed up for the fun. πŸ™‚

    • September 19, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      Wow, see, this is what I was talking about … no no, it was awesome to meet *you* at long last! And now I feel really special, because, as you said in your presentation, if you comment on people’s blogs, you REALLY love them. πŸ™‚

      • September 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        TRUE STORY. πŸ˜‰

  2. September 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I’m so happy you had a great experience at Podcamp!!! I LOVED getting to meet you finally…now, about that birthday drink…

  3. September 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Glad you had a good time!

  4. 6 Dana B
    September 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I witnessed this whole event and I can honestly say that every words of this is true. add in a little more bouncing (clearly from Art) and you’ve got the scene. It was great to finally meet you!

    aka @yay_toast

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