Maybe 400 of you are thinking, “Oh good, another TAM update,” and 40,000 others are thinking, “Look, stop rubbing it in.” Lucky for me, this blog is not a democracy.
The Amaz!ng Meeting 6 is now finished and I am home in Boston. Once again, I am stunned by the sudden lack of neon and the preponderance of taupe. Each year, TAM gets bigger, more exciting, and more stressful — accordingly, each year it leaves me more drained and sad in the days and weeks that follow. Still though, when I think about how much fun it was to run around recording all those interviews live and in person with my SGU buddies, followed by long nights of talking and laughing about everything from black holes to blackjack, I seriously think that I’d like nothing more than to do that as a full-time job for the rest of my life. I mean, I’d probably die within a few months from all the craziness, but I’d die a happy girl.
My main regret this year is that the schedule was so hectic I hardly had any quality time with close friends, though it occurs to me that I love them all so much I’d probably want more time no matter what. That includes friends like Randi, all the Skepchicks (Sam, A, Tracy, Masala_Skeptic, Stacey), Phil Plait, Richard Saunders, Michael Feldman, Brian Dunning, Ben Radford, Richard Wiseman, Ray Hall, Hal Bidlack, everyone at JREF (Jeff Wagg, Linda, Carl, Rich), and of course my eternal crush Sid Rodrigues. I’m just naming the ones you (the reader) may know, but for every one there were many more attendees I consider friends, to whom I hardly even said hello. I wish we could all just buy a village somewhere and turn it into SkepTown, where Adam Savage runs the local hardware store and Penn & Teller busk in the town square, while Steve, Jay, Evan, Bob and I are on the radio eight hours a day. I suppose that would turn us into a giant cult, though, which sort of goes against the whole critical thinking thing, so maybe not.
Quickly I’ll mention the new people I met who I loved (it happens every year, I add to the list of people I will miss terribly): Skepchick Carr2D2 of course, the very funny Ben Goldacre, the charming Chris French, the immensely talented George Hrab, the quietly brilliant PZ Myers, and easily a dozen Skepchick readers/SGU listeners who kept me laughing late into the evenings. The only one of you whose name I remember is Gabe. (Okay, that’s just a little joke for Gabe, whose name changed 12 times a night.)
The fans were absolutely without a doubt awesome this year. Not that in previous years they’ve been anything else, really, but obviously each year TAM gets bigger and we get a larger SGU and Skepchick audience. At TAM 4 I think a few people introduced themselves as Skepchick readers. At TAM 5 I was overwhelmed with the dozens of people who said very kind things to me. At TAM 6, a hundred of you completely filled up Trevi for our dinner, and hundreds of you dragged yourselves out of bed to see us podcast live at 8am Friday and Saturday, and then hundreds of you came to my party. You were all kind and respectful. Every single one of you waited patiently for the right time to say hello, asked very nicely for pictures and autographs, bought us drinks as thanks, brought us presents from around the world, and did your best to withstand the sauna-like heat in my party suite. Speaking just of the party, so many of you offered to chip in money or bring snacks and drinks and speakers and laser projectors. No one broke anything, ordered pay-per-view porn, or made phone calls to East Asia. When security showed up (due to the heat driving people into the hallways, where neighbors could hear us), you were respectful and awesome, and you moved the party back to the bar. A couple dozen of you offered to stay and clean up, and those of you who did were able to hang out for a few more hours and listen to George Hrab on the piano. That was maybe my favorite part, because I got a chance to speak with more of you in-depth.
The conversations with you all were fabulous. So many of you told me about new projects you’re working on, local skeptical groups you’re starting, blog ideas you have. I’ll do my best to promote whatever you have going on, because we need more of you taking initiative like that. Speaking of, I met a teen at TAM who happens to live in my hometown (and whose father knows my mom, which was a really strange and fun coincidence). Anyway, I hope that she’ll be helping me with a new project soon that I think Skepchick readers in particular will LOVE.
I’d better wrap this love-fest up because the non-TAM attendees are getting annoyed. Go to Flickr to see all the pics (especially to the Skeptics photogroup, which anyone can join!), YouTube to see some videos (I’ll be uploading more), and click here to see all the Skepchick TAM updates under the Events tag.
Thanks again everyone!