After all these years, I can say with authority that this was One Of Those Lotusphere Nights.
You don't know what they're like till you've been here for a couple of years (for me, it was 1998), and even when you're in the middle of one, you don't know it's one of those nights until it has broken over your head like a big wave at Waikiki and you thought you were in the duck pond.
Chalk up Wednesday night of the nineteenth Lotusphere as One Of Those Lotusphere Nights. A perfect mix of new and old, crazy and sensible, beer and vodka, blues and rap, cigarettes and cigars (and the pathetically passive-aggressive lady outside Dolphin who put her WalMart scarf over her nose when some of us were enjoying cigars that cost more than everything she was wearing).
One of THOSE nights.
And it could only come after a classic Lotusphere day. The hardcore technical sessions. The last-minute can-I-borrow-a-cable saves. The "is he OK, can we lend him meds?" The old friends looking after old friends, and the new friends looking after the new. The looks across a room to say, "yeah, we're here, we're with you, we're all OK."
I need to tell you all something, because, well, I've told you damn near everything all these years.
Sunday night, I was ready to pack my shit back into the diesel and drive home to my wabbits. I was so soured on the experience that Disney has chosen to give this conference after all these years that I was ready to pack my grip and go.
Those of you who've known me all these years understand how hard that would have been, because like many Sphereians, I cannot sleep as long as I think there's something interesting going on somewhere, and.... I MIGHT MISS IT!
Those of you who've actually been here all these years understand that Disney didn't used to get in the way of the experience here. We spent six times the rack rate for off-property hotels because we depended upon the transparency that these venues offered. We didn't have to wonder, "gee, will they actually clean up this broken glass on a public walkway? Will they actually replace broken lights in our room that were there when we checked in? Will they NOT harass friends of ours who happen to be of color? Will they please not play Cee-Lo's "Fuck You" in a restaurant with five-year-old children?"
Forget all that.
Lotusphere is about US, not the venue where we happen to end up. The many and wonderful LUGs, from ILUG to MWLUG to DNUG to SkiLUG to UKLUG to IamLUG, prove that. Everywhere WE go, we bring Lotusphere with us. WE, and not Disney (and to be hardcore about it, not IBM)... WE are Lotusphere.
Everything we do all year, wherever we are or go, we are the community that makes this week so rich. We are the people who look after our friends, send cards for birthdays, cry over our losses, find each other jobs, share music and recipes and pictures and houses and cross-country road trips... talk each other through marriages and divorces and tell each other secrets and share wonderful ideas and smoke each other's cigars. We are a goddamn amazing community, one that convenes here in this place once a year, but which is not now, nor has it ever been confined to this place.
Wake up in the morning. Brush your damn teeth, because, well, you should.
Look in the mirror.
I AM LOTUSPHERE.
Because you are.
We all are.
And because we all are, I adore you all. All the thousands of you, whether you are here or at home or away from the Yellowverse.
We are Lotusphere.
Go to sleep now. I am going to go have a cigarette and cry outside, so I don't wake up my roommate. Because that's how Lotusphere is.
We do that.
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2. Jason Hook01/19/2012 06:11:30 AM
I look forward to your writing Scott or Turtle (whoever). Thanks for sharing it.
I'm happy to be one of US.