Skepticism

TAM – this day it’s for REAL Kittynh blog

It’s day 3 for myself and daughters in Vegas.  But this is the first day of TAM5!!  I know it is time to get down to work.  I have to start helping Linda and Randi and JREF by working the credit card machine!  To my happiness a fellow New England skeptic Tina is there to be my partner in crime (no, no we were honest!).  I think the best view of TAM is from the sidelines.  Tina points out that selling stuff is great as you get to meet so many people.  No one gets angry at waiting in line.  No one gets the least little upset when it takes some time for me to get up to speed on the credit card machine.  Everyone is in a good mood.  Randi dolls sell like crazy!  Tina is a hoot to listen to the speakers with.  We comment both pro and con, and seem to be in total agreement.  Boo stops by a lot, and I get to admire her boots.  I should take this time to stress that I admire everything about Boo, but at TAM it was about the fashion (at times).  Jeff is busy in a suit at his computer.  The cool thing about Jeff is that he can be INTENSE.  He can have that total FOCUS on the screen look.  And when I say, “oh Jeff, I have a question.” or “Jeff, boy this sure is funny…listen to me….”  he actually STOPS and listens.  This means one of two things.  Jeff is a really considerate person that knows that people mean more than computers, or he is an ALIEN. 

Mind you, I have to stop by and visit with Jerry Andruss.  It isn’t TAM without him.  His mind puts mine to shame.  I could listen to him all day, but he doesn’t let you just listen to him.  You have to LOOK and TOUCH and participate and LEARN.  I’m getting some photos when 2 really nice young men with a camera come up.  They want to interview Kitten and myself for a documentary they are doing on Jerry.  My first thought is, “oh, I’m not important enough.”  You know, interview the MIT grad student daughter.  But me?  They insist.  Because they say, they have been following Jerry around for 6 months filming, at magic shows and such, and they NEED WOMEN.  THEY REALLY NEED WOMEN to interview.  So I have a lot of fun just gushing on camera about a man I admire so much.  Talk about a thrill.  If not a peep of the interview gets in the documentary I don’t care.  Because this is another TAM lesson.  You take the time to openly talk about what you believe.  And you had better believe I think Jerry is the greatest.  If no one else ever hears what I think of him, at least those 2 guys with the camera did. 

Lunch is provided by the wonderful Scott.   He somehow keeps an eye on all the volunteers.  Not to check and see if they are working, but to see how he can make things easier for them.  So he brings out lunch for everyone checking people out.  He offers to take our place, but we are like, “no, this is a busy time!”  Scott has to tell people to work less.  This is TAM and giving back is what it is all about.  And no one gives more than Scott.

Now I have to say something about atheists here.  If you ask the average American about atheists, you will see the fear come into their eyes.  Because, atheists HAVE NO MORAL COMPASS.  Atheists are just some sort of wild creatures living by the law of selfishness and personal pleasure.  Atheists are dangerous.

Well, I always say, “Atheists are good for nothing!”  Because they ARE.  They are good because they ARE good.  There are bad atheists and good atheists (though I have yet to meet many even slightly cranky ones). 

Well, I am going to tell you about one of the GOOD and I mean really good atheists.  She is very much good for nothing.  That is my forum friend from JREF Tkingdoll, or Teek.  Teek knows I’m on a budget.  So what does she do?  She and her family offer to take Aynz (the teenager) to the Blue Man Group.  By take I mean “pay for”.  What does this mean to a mother?  Well, you moms out there know that anyone that does something that makes your child happy, has done the most wonderful thing for you possible.  Yep, those atheists.  Always doing something for nothing.

So off goes the teenager, the Brits have taken her for the evening and she is in good atheist hands. 

I end up somehow having a bite with Jeff and Hal and his lovely lady Elaine.  Jeff and Hal debate the tech problems of the first day.  Elaine and I plan a romantic get away for her and Hal where there is no cell phone coverage.  I will just say she is a trooper.  And that Hal owes her.  Excitement is in the air as Randi is going to be on CNN!  So, I hang around the Cafe, snarfing the rest of Elaines fruit plate and watch the tv in awe.  Robert comes on!  He’s talking about his web site for stopping Sylvia Browne.  I would gladly give him both my kidneys.  Then Randi comes on and works his magic.  He has that fierce look that had me so afraid the first time I met him.  I’m not afraid of that look.  In fact, since meeting Randi and becoming involved with JREF I have learned that LOOK myself.  I’m so proud to be a skeptic.  I’m so proud of JREF.  I’m so proud of Randi.  You rarely have those moments in life, that while they are happening you know you will remember forever.  Well that moment I will remember forever.

Then I have to scoot off to meet up with Aynz and Tkingdoll and Richard Wiseman (he’s hot) for an after show snack.  Mind you, I am talking with Richard Wiseman, and he seems to be listening to me.  Like what I am saying about how my grandmothers house was always scarey to me as it was so old.  I’m comparing it to his study of Edinburough Scotland (the tunnels where the poor lived) and what made them spooky.  I’m in heaven just talking with someone that has done work I really admire.  Mind you, the rest of the Brit group is so nice (Tkingdolls main squeeze is just a pleasure to talk with also) I am wondering why we had that silly little revolution in the first place. 

Then back to the Riviera.  My other daughter gets a call, and in a very generous gesture, invites me to join her for a snack with Randi.  Jonathan, a former JREF intern, has called to invite her down.  I’m thrilled.  We go and bask in the after CNN interview glow.  Randi teaches me a magic trick involving crackers.  Then I get the fun of seeing a kid in a candy shop, or rather Randi in a magic shop.  The respect the man behind the counter had for Randi was great.  We forget the performer, the AMAZING magician, at times.  But here in a magic shop I am reminded of it.  It ends with a Randi hug, and to me that is the perfect end to any day. 

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kittynh

kittynh

Artist, Mom, Skeptic

Looking for the perfect lollipop

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2 Comments

  1. January 25, 2007 at 5:57 pm —

    I really wish I could have gone to Tams. Since I couldn't go reading everyones blog is the next best thing. Everyone keep it up. I am living vicariously through you one and all.

  2. January 26, 2007 at 2:13 am —

    I loved that magic shop. Spent some money there too, and ended up talking with the guy behind the counter. The really cool part was walking into him in the Riviera hallways on the day I was leaving, and he recognised me and gave me a nod.

    One thing is for sure, the Riviera may not be as good as the Stardust, but the staff are definitely some of the best …

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