I woke up around 8:30 to a horrible nightmare, in which I was banned from XOXO because I tried to sneak someone I know in who’s an asshole. On the way to Rev Hall, I took a duckface selfie for Jan, who couldn’t come this year.
I got to the venue around 9:30 and got breakfast once again at Fried Egg I’m in Love. It felt like the first day of fall: instead of shorts and sandals, I wore jeans and my new shoe, that needed some breaking in.
I took quite a few portraits that morning, including this one of Max, that’s one of my favorites:
I was about to get Pip’s for dessert when I ran into a group of people giving away free Blue Star donuts; they were quite good.
I went to Martha’s to get my usual morning coffee (a decaf iced latte) and to watch the simulcast of the conference; turns out it was only streamed to the other bar. I went over there but as it turns out, watching a talk and trying to write just doesn’t work, so back to Martha’s to finish the day’s post.
I do want to make note of the emcees’ “Who’s the Andy” joke, which was really funny.
Once I was done, I went back to watch Harry Brewis’ talk, which was not bad, though I somehow expected more than just the recap of his famous livestream last year. I also caught the tail end of Emma Kinema’s talk about game industry unions before that.
After the morning talks, we took a group photo of all the bald people we could gather, organized by Elly:
In the lunch break, I took more portraits. I also met F6x and got to thank him for the help he gives us.
Around 2 pm, we did an encore of Tim Tam Slam Jam, showing more people this now-tradition. Afterwards I got to chat a bit with Michael Hobbs and Sarah Marshall, hosts of one of my favorite podcast, You’re wrong about… Michael also tried slamming and liked it a lot. I also took their picture.
In the afternoon, I watched most of the talks: a couple of them were okay, the one that really stood out for me was by Hundred Rabbits; they talked about sailing around the world and all the challenges that come with that.
After the conference ended, I headed to Martha’s for a break where I ran into Doug Hanke. We talked like an hour about various life stuff and it was just a really great and meaningful conversation.
Before Story, I had a good chat with Elina Levkovskaya about fashion, and got to tell Matthew Bogart that I love Incredible Doom (I should finish reading it, now that the entire first volume is up online.)
I got a front seat for Story that started with You’re Wrong About. They talked about the Janet Jackson Superbowl Halftime Controversy and it was really great to see them live. This was followed by Everything is Alive that interviewed a chainsaw; it was surprisingly entertaining. I took a small break to find my favorite tote bag that I managed to lose twice one day, then went back and caught most of Yo, is this racist?, where Demi and Miel were guests. They had some really touching questions from the audience in the end.
Next, Helen Zaltzman talked about pronouns in a live production of The Allusionist. The final show that night was arguably the best one: the last episode of Punch up the Jam with Demi in it; they had Neil Cicierega and Open Mike Eagle for guests. The whole thing is up on Youtube and you should watch it; it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious. I don’t remember the last time I laughed that much listening to — well, watching — a podcast. They talked about the Ghostbusters theme song which turned into an in-joke for the rest of the conference. I even made a tribute page for it that lives at ghostbuste.rs.
The day was not yet over; earlier that night I got invited to a house party by Juan, so that was my next stop. The party was great but loud and that’s not my kind of thing so I ended up resting in a quieter room. Jonah ordered a bunch of pizza us; he also gave me another 90s temporary tattoo and I got two more for the future: one “Under Construction” and another that says “Sign My Guestbook.”
It was at that party I got to talk with Vale — who’s now a regular here at WriteTogether — about life, freelancing, 3D printing a fuck machine and she also showed her 3D-printed glow-in-the-dark Luigis on the cross with the Evangelion spear in their chest. I managed to get one of them in the form of a fridge magnet the next day.
I got home around 2:15 am and went to sleep around 3. It was also the first day that I wore my new sneakers, and they were not really comfortable; ultimately it turned out they are just not a good fit at all.