Monday, January 21, 2008

Mighty Fine Shindig!

Boy, did I pick a good one to go to for my first Shindig!

The TO BCs usually get 15-20 people at a Shindig. On Saturday at the Elephant and Castle there were over 35 of us at last count. Oh, and one of the waiters, who turned out to be a Browncoat too!

We had promised our girls that they could go swimming after dinner. This, naturally, ended up causing us to have an early dinner, so I got to eat with my family, even though I was going to a restaurant and pub later.

My night started after getting the kids in their bathing suits and telling them that when they came back from the hotel pool with daddy, I wasn't going to be there. I got, "Yeah. Okay. Can we go swimming now?!?!?!" So they were off. I had acquired a slight headache earlier so I took a motrin and then put on my stylish brown coat and headed around the corner.

I arrived around 6:30 and was directed up the steps to the loft. I got the very last seat at a looong table and was assigned #21 by the waiter. What a crowd! And it was only 30 minutes after the official start of the shindig. It was good to put faces to names and real names to online identities. There were a lot of us first timers, but it was hard to tell which ones were which, because the regulars welcomed us all in right away. Much laughter ensued.

Within the first hour, I felt like I should have been taking notes with all the various references being made to certain personalities. So that is what I decided to do. I pulled out a pad of paper from my purse, titled the first page, "Things I Learned at the Shindig" and passed it down the table with a pen. By night's end there were over 30 entries - all of these pearls of wisdom I posted on the Toronto Browncoat board to share with those unable to attend this particular event.

I got to hear a few stories about the recent Browncoat Cruise and Mutant Enemy day first hand from people who were there. I discovered that I am no longer the most shutter happy person I know. (I didn't even finish a whole roll of film- shame on me!) I was able to hand out wristbands and temporary tattoos to those in attendance - and was told it may be come expected of me! On the other hand, I did also score a couple of shiny buttons too! Yea me! Most shocking event of the night (for my husband to find out at least) was that I had a bit of beer. I hate beer, but someone ordered a raspberry beer and had a glass for sharing. I sampled just a little as someone else took the glass, and I stole a taste. But it was actually pretty good.

Some might think that getting all those Browncoats in one place, the conversation would be nothing but Firefly. This is not true. The conversations were informative, fun, racy, outrageous, and playfully verbally abusive at times. It was nice, though, that when I inadvertently make a Serenifly reference, as I am apt to do, I didn't have to explain it afterwards to the people with whom I was talking. On the contrary, the comments were usually built upon and added to. Yes, ladies and menfolk, we got our geek on that night!

This is indeed one of the things I love about the Browncoat community - the instant connection you have when you walk into a room of strangers puts you at ease right away. There's a line from a song from the 70s (and total obscure points to you if you can name what it's from) that goes, "There's not a word yet For old friends who've just met." Yes there is - they're called Browncoats!

My night wrapped up around 11:30. I didn't get to talk to everyone as much as I would have liked. It was a little louder and darker there than I'm used to. Also, the aforementioned headache was a big hinderance as was the temperature. Heat rises and they had us on the loft level of an area that was an old Victorian bank building, plus I think they had the thermostat set to 25 or something (that's about 80 american). Then there was 3 dozen of us milling around. The conditions did not help my already weak social skills. Regardless of all my nit picking on things like that, I still had an absolute blast.

I hope I can attend the next one as well. And the one after that and the one after that and the one after that. And host one, maybe, even..... Ah well... we'll see.

Until next time:
"Not your kind of party. More with the conversation and less with the breaking pool cues"

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