November 1, 2005

Blogmeet — Tennessee Style.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 12:35 am

Counting the past weekend at Eric’s, I’ve attended three sorta-large blogmeets and one smaller one, and describing them is never easy. On the most basic level, there’s the physical thing. One is always, always dog tired after one of these events, which invariably involves heavy drinking a few cocktails, ridiculous late-night hours much discussion, and most times significant travel, with all the stress that comes with that territory.

However, perhaps more importantly, blogmeets are difficult to write about, because there is always so much going on all the time, making it impossible to tell the story in anything other than in a bit of disjointed fashion. There is no agenda.

Now that I’ve stated the problem, I cannot offer a solution. I, therefore will do, as I have in the past, which is to let my fingers do the “talking” and hope it comes out in something resembling English.

It was a swirl of activity and hilarity from beginning to end. We shot pool, shot guns, drank shots, cussed like sailors, ate like cave men, sat around a fire, played and sang a bunch of tunes and generally raised a bit of hell.

Some of the crew from past blogmeets where in attendance, such as Eric, our gracious host, (and his immeasurably understanding bride). Zonker (and his mullet which appeared only late on Night Two) and the lovely Key Monroe (along with her nice guy husband – his first exposure to a blogmeet) were also on the case. And, then there was Denny, who served as the other half of the “Elderly Brothers” (apologies to Don and Phil) as we played guitars and sang lots of “Elderly Brothers” faves. Denny, who with his atomic kazoo, served double duty as the “horn section” and, not surprisingly, wowed the audience.

There were also a host of bloggers there whom I had never met in person, and, as has been the case at prior blogmeets, they were all great peeps.

Foist, da goils:

Army Wife Toddler Mom (“AWTM”): She was the first “new” blogger I met. She is a genuine fox a very striking woman. She confided in me, before the craziness started, that this was her first blogmeet and that she was a bit nervous about meeting so many new people. More specifically, she was concerned about the possible unease that often accompanies long periods of silence that can occur when “strangers” all find themselves in one place

I assured her that, just as nature abhors a vacuum, bloggers abhor silence. We They are all incurable blabbermouths. Silence simply does not erupt at blogmeets. Ever. Not surprisingly, she took to the blabfest like a duck takes to water and even earned the moniker of “Red Hot Martha Stewart,” a product of her good looks, charm and mastery of things domestic.

Princess Cat from A Swift Kick & a Band-Aid: Cat, is a displaced Californian who currently hangs her hat in Washington D.C., but who discovered this weekend that blogging transcends geography, big time. She has a great sense of humor with just the right amount of Northeastern edge. She managed to make the hair on the back of my neck stand up with a real-live ghost story. And, when it came to party stamina, she (and AWTM) went the distance.

Boudicca, of Boudicca’s Voice: How often does one run into a woman who is stunning, funny as hell and who also happens to be a farookin’ rocket scientist? Really. Also, she claims to actually like listening to the “Elderly Brothers”. What’s not to like about that? She is most definitely a class act.

Mordicca, Sister of Boudicca: Holy Cannoli. I’ll be damned if she doesn’t look like Sarah Jessica Parker wishes she could look. She and Bou prove that it is possible to hit the jackpot in the genetic lottery more than once. In conversation, they play off each other, making it plain that they truly enjoy each other’s company, and they unselfishly share that gift with everyone around them. Mordicca reportedly has a boyfriend. I hope that guy doesn’t let her get away.

Tammi, of Tammi’s World: Finally, finally I got a chance to meet Tammi, whom I have “known” online for the longest time. She is everything I expected her to be and more. It takes all of about five seconds to feel you’ve known her forever. It is also not at all surprising that she was a major thorn in the side of the people who were in charge of the Mennonite School she attended. “Tammi, you know that bikini-wearing, dancing, drinking, and throwing punk parties is frowned upon in this school.” Cracks me up to hear those stories. Oh, and the girl can sing too. She capped off the weekend by running her fingers through my “great farookin’ hair,” thereby keeping her promise to Teresa of Technicalities (who, unfortunately, was not able to make it). Ya gotta love Tammi.

Smiling Dynamite: Also known as the “Beloved Wife” of Harvey of Bad Example. Harvey hit the long ball when he married her. She is a delight. I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked, because she and Harvey did not arrive until Saturday, and that’s when Denny I did most of our noise making guitar pickin’. She seemed to actually like the noise, which makes her Aces in my book.

Sissy of And What Next: An exceedingly nice young raven-haired woman, who impressed me most by doing two things: (1) Having the courage to actually publicly don the hat with the horns on it, and (2) Actually asking Denny and me to play more. The former causes me to admire her party style, while the latter calls into question the state of her hearing. I like her.

Beth of She Who Will Be Obeyed: She is one of the blogging Donovans, who came all the way from Kansas with husband John to attend the event. She is a real nice person, with an ever-present smile and always ready with a story. She and John took front row seats to the “Elderly Brothers” concert. I hope that wasn’t just because they happened to be the most comfortable seats in the room. 😉

And now, for da boys:

Matt of Blackfive: This is one truly impressive guy. His strong military background and dedication to active duty military personnel and veterans is well known to his legions of readers. I wonder how many of his readers know that he is also an extremely easy going and friendly guy, who is a pleasure to be with and who enjoys a few cocktails. I’m going to make it my business to buy one of those Blackfive tee shirts and help support Soldiers’ Angels, and I urge you to do the same. I hope to see him again.

Harvey of Bad Example: Now, this is a real good guy, who has a most engaging personality and a lightening fast sense of humor. Many of the attendees are part of Harvey’s Blog Family, and it’s easy to see why he has spawned so many “offspring.” He has an eye for good writing and the ability to encourages those who can write (and may not even realize it) to give blogging a try. Besides, he came to the blogmeet armed with a bag of quality cigars to share, which is always a good thing. It did, however, take me a few minutes to convince him that I really am a drummer and not a guitar player, which, come to think of it, made me feel pretty good myself and about Harvey.

That 1 Guy: This is a bear of a guy who, a few months ago, drove his Harley from somewhere north of Chicago to Eric’s house in Tennessee – in the rain. He looks like a guy I would not want to have angry with me, but it takes about the duration of a handshake to see that he is a extremely friendly guy, who can even manage to smile while dealing with a seemingly intractable nosebleed. He also plays guitar. Next time, I hope he brings his axe.

John of Castle Arrgghhh: John has encyclopedic knowledge of weaponry and things military, and the distinguished look to go with it. I fully expect to turn on the TV one day and see him on the History Channel wearing white gloves while demonstrating the features of World War One British firearms. In addition, he surprised the hell out of me when, during a musical brain fart, I jokingly began singing a song in German, and he began to sing along! Yep, I figure that the History Channel is in John’s future.

Redneck of Redneck Ramblings: I’ve “known” ‘Neck for some time online, but I’d never met him. After having done so, I’m convinced that anybody who doesn’t like Redneck must have his head in his ass. This is a guy whose “down home” style belies a rapier sharp wit and the ability to deliver nonstop laughs. I got the chance to spend some time with him sitting on the tailgate of his pickup (something we don’t get to do very often around here) and shooting the shit about everything from dogs, to golf, to beer drinking. Quality time, man.

RSM of When the Smoke Clears: I regret that the only chance I got to chat with RSM was while a bunch of the guys were standing around watching Eric work his grilling magic on the ribs (pronounced “REE-ubs” in Tennessee). He left for his three-hour drive home while Denny and I were doing our act. I hope I have the chance to see him again.

Johnny Oh of Closet Extremist: What’s not to like about a guy who can strum and sing a John Prine tune folllowed by the hillbilly version of “Gin and Juice,” and who can fix elevators? Johnny wears an ever-present that makes me think that good nature and a constant smile is a Tennessee Thing.

Jason and Brad: The former is Eric’s buddy and fellow pool shark and the latter is Eric’s cousin. These two, like Johnny Oh and Eric further prove that being friendly and smiling all the time must be part of the Tennessee Culture.

And FINALLY, a special word about our Host and Hostess: I’ve known Eric for a couple years now. This is the third blogmeet I’ve attended with him, and, in addition, we got to spend a couple days together when he interrupted his and Mrs. SWG’s vacation in New York City this summer to come across the river to my neck of the woods. He is a great writer, and, I’m happy to say, a great friend. He broke his ass to see that everyone felt at home in his home, and for that, I am most grateful. As for Mrs. SWG, she is just plain super – in every way. I figure the luckiest day in Eric’s life was the day that he first “chatted her up” in Scotland. Thank you both.

It was great seeing you all, and I hope to do so again.


  1. I sooo hope to see you again Jimbo. You made me sooo comfortable, everyone has you to thank for my “cuttin” loose……

    Comment by armywifetoddlermom — November 1, 2005 @ 12:55 am

  2. A hillbilly version of ‘Gin and Juice’? Now that I’d like to hear. Heh.

    Comment by rita — November 1, 2005 @ 7:42 am

  3. I’m glad I finally got to meet ya, Jimbo… you’re one of the best.

    Thanks again for your offer of assistance, and yes, I’ll be getting that prescription filled. What an embarassing way to meet everyone!

    Comment by That 1 Guy — November 1, 2005 @ 8:09 am

  4. *sniff sniff* Wish I could have been there… One day I will get to meet you!

    Comment by Teresa — November 1, 2005 @ 9:07 am

  5. .. it was my pleasure, Jim… everyone was awesome… the fact my house is still standing is a complete miracle!..

    Comment by Eric — November 1, 2005 @ 10:16 am

  6. There was nothing NOT to like about your singing and playing. Every now and then Mo and I would lok at each other and say, “Wait. Do you know that one? Are they makin’ that up or is that for real?” 😉

    It was truly our pleasure meeting you. Mo and I will never really look at rats the same way ever again… heh heh heh!

    Comment by Bou — November 1, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

  7. Okay, I’m officially very green with envy! You men not only some incredible bloggers but all the ones who are my most favorite family members and friends. Sigh!

    In conversations I’ve had w/Teresa, VW (BE blogsis), Zonker, Laughing Wolf and myself we agree that there should be an east coast blog meet in late 2006. I thought a beach setting would be ideal to lure all those landlocked bloggers, and especially Tammi!

    Just a thought… I’m just throwing it out there to see how people feel about it. It can be held anywhere from the Maryland coast to the Jersey Shore.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents which was borne out of jelousy

    Comment by Michele — November 1, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

  8. Heh. I’m afraid of beaches… they have hurricanes. Just sayin’… 😉

    Comment by Bou — November 1, 2005 @ 5:22 pm

  9. First of all, Jim, it was GREAT to hang out with you (as always). I’m glad I got to hear more of your “noise making” this time as you’ve got a great sense of rhythm. Couldn’t help but tap my feet everytime you started up the guitar. We’ve gotta meet up again soon!

    As for Michele’s idea…I’m in. Tell me when and where. I’m there!

    Comment by zonker — November 1, 2005 @ 6:28 pm

  10. two words…

    atlantic city


    Comment by mr. helpful — November 1, 2005 @ 6:59 pm

  11. mastery of “all things domestic”… crack me up.

    Comment by armywifetoddlermom — November 1, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

  12. Them’s some kind words Jim. I enjoyed the chat on the ‘gate as well. Not just that one, but the one before you went in search of the Orange T for the guitar case.

    Tailgatin”s easy man. Happens many many times ’round the ‘Neckshack. Hell, I can put it in the driveway and ‘gate by myself in the “good weather”.

    You truly do rock when you’re playin’ guitar. Yes you do, back and forth, and then some. 😉

    I hope to hook up again sometime.

    Watch out for them “fake Joisy Cops” and the fire hydrants.

    Comment by RedNeck — November 1, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  13. So… which exit are you from? 🙂

    I think Michele’s right. East Coast blogmeet would be great. I wanna hear you play the drums some more 😀

    Comment by Harvey — November 2, 2005 @ 9:35 pm

  14. I’m so envious! Wish I’d gotten to meet the Saturday night crowd!!

    But-of-course… it was very good to see you again, hon. You are definitely part of the entertainment packie. 😉

    Comment by Key — November 3, 2005 @ 3:32 pm

  15. New Blood!

    I met me some more blogger peeps last weekend, some of whom are my koolaid drinkin’ brethren! Only the chaos of everyday life has kept me from blogging on said topic until mid-week. While I am disgusted with myself for…

    Trackback by Key Issues — November 3, 2005 @ 4:36 pm

  16. I demand the right to see and hang and talk with you again.

    (There, how’s that? too forceful? sorry.)

    Comment by RSM — November 10, 2005 @ 9:36 pm

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