“When our weary world was young
the Struggle of the Ancients
The Gods of Love and Reason
sought alone to rule the Fate of Man”
– Neil Peart, from Hemispheres
I am in the throes of TTL Aftermath.
Put another way, I’m extremely hungover from co-hosting the latest Twitter Taste Live event – the largest of its kind, ever – the kind of hungover that makes you mutter curse words aloud at the random air molecules that are causing you physical pain as they bounce off your head.
Actually, the air molecules aren’t so much bouncing as they are attacking, with extreme prejudice, using some sort of especially violent molecular kung-fu.
It’s the kind of pain that is somewhat abated by a) sleeping in until the hotel forces you to checkout, then b) spending a few hours walking the Wharf in Boston to take in the harbor air (and take advantage of Boston’s Spring, which is nearly an entire day-and-a-half in length). I wore my Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLIII Champions t-shirt, just in case anyone mistook me for a despondent Patriots fan.
By most accounts, the TTL event (which took place Friday across three time zones, and featured wines from Hospice du Rhone producers) was a big success. We had what seemed (to me, at least) to be a relatively small but passionate contingent participating in the East Coast portion of the event. On the Right Coast we had a sort-of battle between Aussie and California producers, but the clear winner was not terroir but the white Rhone varieties themselves – our participants enjoyed the white wines that bookended the on-line tasting: Rutherglen’s extremely well-balanced Marsanne / Viognier blend (“The Alliance”) and the honeysucke-sweet Le Vol Des Anges, a late-harvest Roussanne dessert wine from Bonny Doon. I think the East Coasters were able to try something new, and open up their wine worlds just a teeny-tiny bit.
The Second Glass (who were thoughtful – and probably over-busy – enough not to mention that I am long, long overdue on my writing assignment for them) really knows how to throw a top-notch event, and Wine Riot! was a great time. I’m finding myself a bit sad at the prospect of missing the second night of the Riot – my liver, however, is extremely pleased that I’m homeward bound).
While I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I was inwardly torn the entire night (I also struggled to behave myself on twitter as my tweets were being broadcast on projectors throughout the event location).
I’m a very social animal, and I’m a recovering chronic multi-tasker, so I try very hard to concentrate on the moment and not try to have too many things going on at once. Co-hosting a Twitter Taste Live event is the equivalent of me falling off of that wagon. The TTL events are frenetic, and it’s tough keeping up with the influx of information coming in from the stream twitterati comments (which are more often than not fantastic and energizing, so I don’t want to miss them). Throw in a near-constant stream of friendly and buzzed Bostonians who are coming to check out TTL, media types who are asking you and your posse for interviews (I did take part in one which was filmed, and will try to get a link out to that when/if I get one sent to me), hanging with the generous and excellent guys behind TTL (Craig and Chris) and trying to catch up with other bloggers (like uber-consumer Rob Dwyer and the uber-funny Dale Cruse)… well, it’s just a recipe for Dude Brain Meltdown.
My natural inclination is to engage with the people physically in front of me, and so the TTL stream likely suffered from lack of my full attention in co-hosting. As soon as the TTL event drew towards a logical close, I had to shut down the netbook and get my social-butterfly groove on (at the expense of my social networking groove).
My fear is that, during the time when both streams were full-on, my lack of ability to effectively balance them caused both the on-line and off-line events to suffer, in “Jack of all trades, master of none” fashion. This has potential negative impacts on both my on- and off-line lives, of course: in these situations, should we potentially piss-off the people who are right in front of us by appearing aloof and anti-social, or potentially piss-off the contingent of on-line participants who are expecting us to converse with them, hopefully uninterrupted, in a unique shared experience in real-time?
In my increasingly-inebriated state, I imagined the ancient Greek gods battling over topic of where my attentions (and intentions) should lie:
|Apollo – God of Reason, Logic, Lunar landing vehicles, & General Level-Headedness||Dionysius – God of Love, Wine, & Aggressive Social Palm-Pressing
“Joe, this is not going well. Despite the fact that you want to talk to the people that are physically in front of you, you have a duty to co-host and interact with the on-line TTL participants.”
“Don’t listen to that guy. You’re here in Boston, you should enjoy yourself. Did you see all of those booth babes? There must be a thousand bottles of wine up in this joint. Here – take another sip…”
“Once again, Dionysius you show why he cannot be trusted to give Joe proper discourse. Joe, you must keep your countenance and abilities lest you drunk-tweet and damage your on-line brand image!”
“Countenance? Brand image? What planet is this dork from, anyway? Jeez, did you see how tight the shirt was on that girl who wanted to talk to you? Are you drunk yet?”
“I should come to expect such blinkered, juvenile and puerile attacks from you, Dionysius. And it’s clear that… wait a second, did you just give me the finger?!?? You a—hole!!!”
“You wanna piece of me, Logic Boy? Come an’ get it! Or should we just sit here and wait for us to all die while you prattle on with yer analysis-paralysis? Hey, let go of my tunic, d—khead!!!”
What does it take to make these guys just shut up already ?!??
Anyway, I’m really, really hoping that I did you all (both on- and off-line) better than that in how I handled things Friday evening.
And I’m also really, really hoping that I won’t need medication for hearing the voices of battling ancient Greek deities in my head when I’m drinking.
If you’ve got advice for a former chronic multi-tasker on how to handle these sort of conflicts, I’d love to hear it, because I’m not sure that I participated in either the on-line or the off-line as well as I would have liked. In fact, I’m am sure that I didn’t participate in either as well as I would’ve liked.
I’d love to blame the booze (and let’s face it, the TTL Grenache-based selections were whoppers and approached Port-like abv levels) but for me the struggle began long before the high-alcohol Rhone varietal buzz kicked in.
At the very least, I had a great time. And as Ricky Nelson once said, “you can’t please everyone, so you gotta please yourself…”
(images: 1WineDude, pantheon.org, mythencyclopedia.com)