Why In Real Life Matters

Suffice to say, late nights of the party hopping – not nursing/night terrors/accident/illness/etc. – variety happen pretty much never these days. But it’s not the only reason Monday night was remarkable to me. In stark contrast to the Monday prior, where I was doubled over with splintering abdominal pain (which, by the way, remains a mystery...my labs recently came back normal), on Monday I hit the HP/Staples party co-hosted by the ladies over at Aiming Low. As always, it was fantastic to see my local peeps Sandy, Christina, Tania, Angela, Christy, Jodi, and Jill, as well as connect with new BFFs Barbara, Anissa, Janet, Katie, and Angie. We laughed, we drank pomegranate martinis, we slapped asses (well, that was only me, Barbara, and Tania), we played with gadgets and office supplies, we learned about the altruistic bridge between Boston and Halifax (thanks for the history lesson Katie! I love you Canadians!), we (or rather, I) forgot to take pictures of our awesome friends. It was, in a nutshell, one of those super happy events because after spending so many intimate hours with my laptop, it's just awesome to not only be out with friends, but to be out with friends who understand the online space. At one point I looked up at our table and all of us were tweeting away TO EACH OTHER, giggling maniacally when our sordid tweets made it up on the #aiminglow thread projected on a giant screen. Where else in life is behavior such as this so fun and not totally weird?

Admittedly, I regret a bit having to duck out early, but thanks to a kind and generous invitation from the lovely Barbara Jones, she, Jodi, and I hopped in a cab and headed up to the Paradise to see Five for Fighting (a way easier to spell name for singer/songwriter John Ondrasik). It was the first live (grownup music) show I have seen since I was pregnant with Laurel (aka. a ridiculously long time ago) and I was, for lack of better words, overwhelmed. And not just by the heady smell of beer, sweat, and talent.

Thing is, I spent 20 some odd years as a performer, initially as a scratchy sounding elementary school violinist, eventually evolving into a semi-professional performer who played solo recitals and got paid to play in symphony orchestras. Live music was a big part of my life - largely as a performer, but I also went to a fair number of concerts. And not just classical. Through middle and high school I saw some pretty cool major shows, such as Billy Joel (where I first saw electric violin live and nearly peed my pants), Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Sinead O'Connor.

I'm always utterly moved by live music and the same went for John Ondrasik's performance, with the notable exception that the emotions seemed further amplified given that: a) it had been so long since I had seen a live show; and b) in an intimate setting like the Paradise, it really feels as if the artist is playing in your living room (albeit a rather large, sticky floored living room).

Anyway, my point is this. In recent months I have been wrestling with Jon over blog trips and becoming increasingly picky about events that I will attend. Obviously a party and a live show are a lot different than a blogger junket, but even with social events, I find that I have to be selective because there are a lot of them and I often really need evening hours to catch up on work. But clearly, in real life interactions make a huge impact on me. When I meet the people behind blogs, I become more committed to reading them. When I hear live artists, I'm more inclined to buy their work. (Note to self: ask Jon to buy the latest Five for Fighting album on iTunes because I have no idea how to do that. And yes, I had already mentally committed to buying his album before I met Ondrasik backstage.)

I spend a lot of time dealing with Boston Mamas business that is sort of tedious and annoying, such as deleting bad pitches and interacting over poor event coordination. But there's so much awesomeness - all centering around in real life interactions such as those at BlogHer, the Brand About Town retreat, and Monday night's events that makes me so grateful to be in this space and to have these friends who are even more awesome in real life than they are online.

Me, John Ondrasik, Jodi Grundig, and Barbara Jones backstage.