Monday 17 – Wednesday 18 May 2011
This is the second, and final, installment of the Melbourne leg of my vaycay. It’s about the one moment I’d been waiting for since, ooooh, 15 July 2010 – not that I’ve been keeping a specific count on the date – so, around about a nine month wait. Yeah, there’s a pregnancy joke in there, big sis, but I will not be breaking that news to you any time soon. Nuh-ah, not me. Don’t laugh that ‘yeah right, give it a lil bit more time and you’ll be telling me that just after you tell me that you’re getting married’ laugh! 😛 Stop distracting me . . .
Saturday. The big day, the big tweet-up. The stars lined up, the universe was in harmony, nothing, I repeat NOTHING was going to get in the way of this tweet-up. If it was the last thing I did, I was going to make this happen!
But before I get on to that, the weirdest thing happened during the tweet-up. We’re walking along, minding our own business, chatting away and this random guy says ‘hi’. I’m thinking ‘Dear Jesus, he’s a freak.’ Look, when you’re from a small country town, you hear all about the weirdos that can be found in the city. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’ve spent long enough living in the city to be aware of what the ‘kids these days’ refer to as ‘randoms’, so the fact that some scruffy guy speaks to me on a Melbourne street doesn’t really seem that out of place, especially not after what happened the night before when I was on my way to dinner. That’s a whole other story that I might just keep to myself.
Anyway, he says ‘Aren’t you going to say hi?’ I’m thinking at this point: Well, no, I’m not, because I have no effin’ idea who you are dude. Next he says ‘You used to teach me.’ And my brain says ‘WTF?’, followed by my mouth saying ‘Glenn Pendlebury’. Sure as sh*t, it was little Glenn Pendlebury, a.k.a Peckles, who I taught many, many years ago in my former life as a high school teacher. Turns out Glenn now works for Greenpeace, and he travels around Australia, trying to encourage people to sign up and donate to the organisation. He even showed me the T-shirt he got for ‘recruiting’ two hundred and fifty people to the cause. Nice . . . although, great way to freak a girl out! And how flippin’ old did I feel then?!
However, as a side note, the really freaky thing is, that about a week before I left on my April Tweet-Up Tour of 2011, a thought that crossed my mind – and this is the complete, God’s honest truth – was I wonder whatever happened to Glenn Pendlebury. Well, now I know. He works for Greenpeace, and still looks as scruffy as he did when I taught him. Some things never change . . . apparently I don’t either, given that he recognised my face but couldn’t quite remember my name, some thirteen or fourteen years later. Back to point . . .
So, this is the tweet-up I’ve been looking forward to since July 2010 when the idea was first planted in my lil Smurfy brain. Ah yes, this was a seriously important tweet-up. I’ll tell you a lil bit about the day. How’s this? ‘Had a freakin’ awesome time. Going back again. Is it next year yet? It’s not? Damn.’ Probably not what you were expecting to hear. Let me try again.
On this particular day, Saturday 23 April, I got to meet, in real time, someone that I’ve already written a blog post about (‘D.O.T.T. Time Is Also Good For Something . . . A Rare Find Part 2’). Yup, I finally got to meet Marchi (@MarchiP, @SoMeAndI). Now, out of respect for her privacy, I’ve chosen not to publish a photo of Marchi. Instead, I’ve put together what I think is an identikit picture that bears a scarily close resemblance without giving too much away.
Yeah, those of you who know Marchi, will recognise her from this stellar identikit picture. However, you can see that I’ve refrained from dressing her in winter clothing, because I know how much she dislikes the cold. As such, I’ve opted for the Spring fashion catalogue from the House of D’Monique. And Marchi, you can thank me later for this awesome portrait that I drew of you. I’m seriously considering entering it in next year’s Archibald Prize. 😉 And not a word from the rest of you! Do you know how hard it is to draw freestyle using only your trackpad mouse on Dysfunctional Mac? It takes skill, damn it!
So anyway, I was ecstatic to finally be meeting someone who, and I’ve made no secret of the fact, I admire and respect greatly. The only person in the world who I allow to call me Smurf, and Sunshine (God knows why she calls me this. It’s evident to anyone who knows me, that Marchi has clearly never had to see or be around me in the morning, or she wouldn’t use this term at all with reference to me!), and maybe one or two others. The person who can make me laugh by combining 3 different letters into a sound – a sound that I now refer to as the secret weapon, because no matter how rubbish I feel, she can just tweet it to me and I automatically start laughing. No, I won’t tell you what it is. It’s an ‘us’ thing, like an in-joke, only to be used by authorised personnel. Have I mentioned I was ecstatic and beside myself to be meeting Marchi? ‘Cause I was. And I still can’t believe that I did. If I danced, which I don’t . . . no, I won’t go any further with that line of thinking. It only leads to demented squirrels (or squwrrls, as Clarky taught me to say), and p/dancing. Oh, you know it does, Marchi, you know it does!
I wrote in previous posts how I’d had an extremely high expectation about these tweet-ups. I’ve had these images in my head from the tweets, Facebook updates, blog posts, and websites of these fabulous people, and in meeting them in real time, I’d experienced a high level of anticipation and apprehension, which I think is probably natural. Just because you have a relationship with people online, doesn’t mean that it is always going to translate well into real time. Thankfully though, every tweet-up was beyond perfect, and exceeded every high expectation that I’d set. I couldn’t have met a better group of people, and there are absolutely no exceptions. This tweet-up was no exception. It faaaaaaar exceeded the hugely high expectations I’d set.
If I haven’t established it well enough by now, it was a total OMG-I-can’t-believe-it-this-is-finally-happening moment; a tweet-up with the person at the apex of my V.I.P list. Now, while I’m not going to discuss everything that happened, I do feel the need to reiterate this one point: Marchi, it’s true. I do love my fur-kid that much, and I would be as upset when she goes as when my mum goes. Don’t you look at me like that, woman! By the way, she asked me to pass this message along to you: Woof! Woof! Woooooof! 😛 And you know exactly why I included that!
We discussed this and that, there was sarcasm flying around (but that was to be expected), questions were posed and responded to, but what surprised the hell out of me was how much sugar there was at one stage. So much that I actually lost count, and to this day, the thought of the actual volume of sugar, and the sugar-coffee ratio both shocks me and makes me laugh. I’m thinking there’s got to be an episode of The Big Bang Theory in that whole ‘sugar-coffee theorum’ in Starbucks. The only question that remains is which one of us gets to be Dr. Sheldon Cooper, and which one is playing Dr. Leonard Hofstadter?
I just don’t know what to say about meeting Marchi, other than there are some truly incredible people in the world, and she’s absolutely one of them. But I don’t think that’s anything new to any of you, including Marchi. So, I go back to the broken record statement that I’ve made about meeting all of my no-longer-tweethearts-but-real-time-friends, I’m so glad that I took the opportunity to meet them. Marchi, I’m so glad that I finally got to sit across a table from you, and that we could have a conversation in more than one hundred and forty characters at a time. Although, I can see the funny side of it had we been sitting together tweeting each other, if only you didn’t have that aversion to small screens. 😉
Seriously though, it was . . . a dream come true. As with all the other tweet-ups, I spent a large amount of time talking to my mum about you. Yes, yes, everyone knows my mum and I actually get along really well, so I tell her everything almost everything most things some stuff that she can handle hearing about. She was particularly happy that I didn’t come home with a new tattoo. However, she did point out that if I had, at least there would have been someone sensible with me when I had it done, and hoped that you would have tried to restrict the size and look of any design I may have chosen to have permanently etched into my skin i.e. she thinks that you would have stopped me getting one that looked like ‘a prison tattoo’ – her words, not mine.
Currently, I’m actively trying to win a massive Lotto so that I no longer have to work, because then I can just get on a plane and come visit whenever I choose, or when you say ‘feel like doing something crazy’, or ‘why aren’t you in Melbourne?’ Fiiiiiiine, I can just live there. 😀
Thank you, big sis, for taking time out of your chaotic (or was that CHAOTIC) schedule to come meet me. We should do that again sometime. 😉 I don’t think it’s any sort of a secret that you are at the top of my Favourite People I’ve Met Online list, and you are one of the few people that I whole-heartedly, 100% trust with my life, even though you used a pink bag! Really, sarcastic or not, pink? Of all the colours, of all the things you could be sarcastic about, you chose a pink bag. *smh* Oh, the shame of carrying a pink bag around Melbourne streets. I don’t care how small it was, it was still pink! Next time you whip out the sarcasm with me, I’m going to try and distract you with shoes, and I won’t show mercy!
Okay, as a final note, I am coming back, twice that I’m currently aware of, in 2012 – no, that’s not a threat, it’s more of a statement, or should you choose to read it that way, a promise – and I have cleared it so that when I’m over for my work friend’s twenty first, while they’re at the AFL games they want to see, I’ll have free time. Hint, hint, just sayin’ 😉 We are absolutely, definitely, undeniably, categorically on for next year, so start getting prepared.
P.S. Marchi, did I mention that I think you’re even more brilliant now that we’ve met in real time, than I thought you were before? ‘Cause I do. Just sayin’, y’know, in my lil Smurfy way. Ooooh, and awesome. Hold up, lemme get my thesaurus *flipping through the pages* amazing, astounding, remarkable, exceptional, outstanding . . .