I started this blog four and a half years ago.
At the time, there were no blogger gatherings that I was aware of.
I think it was about three years ago that the first local blogger gathering (well, not the first one EVER, but the first one since I had been blogging) was organized by the late Greg Beck and his best friend Michelle. It was held at Harry's in the River Market.
I work downtown, so I was the first to arrive. I had no idea what to expect. How would I recognize these people? Were they already here and I just couldn't spot them? What do I look for? Nerds? Geeks? Intellectuals? Emos? Goths? I had no idea.
A guy with crazy hair walked in and immediately walked up to me, extended his hand and said "I recognize you!" He complimented me on my blog and the comments I had posted on other blogs.
At one point he said something like "Want to guess who I am?"
Fucker! Turns out he was Bill Brownlee from Happy In Bag, There Stands The Glass, Plastic Sax and I'm not sure how many others.
But here's the thing...the picture he has posted on his profile is THIS!
"Oh sure! I recognize you! You're the Alien face-hugger guy!"
WTF, Bill? LOL! That was mean!
As Bill was grinning at me awaiting my response and I was enduring one of my most awkward social moments EVER, Greg and Michelle finally showed up and, as I recall, so did Spyder.
Other bloggers trickled in over the next few hours and a good time was had by all, with Greg holding court in the corner. He was King of the Bloggers and everybody wanted to talk to him.
What I discovered was that people who are intelligent, amusing, entertaining and interesting online are intelligent, amusing, entertaining and interesting in real life.
I think Greg and Michelle organized another meet-up, but I don't recall the location.
A month after that, Greg was dead from a heart attack.
It came as a huge shock. We were all devastated. None more so than Michelle, obviously.
The turnout at his funeral was HUGE, with lots of hot women rocking it in red dresses, just like he wanted.
It would have been very natural for us all to disperse and go our own way.
But Spyder wasn't having any of that.
She took up the mantle and started organizing our monthly get togethers. She has been doing it faithfully for almost three years now.
It's a pretty thankless fucking job! Because I'm here to tell you, we can be a bunch of whiny, prima donna little bitches! "It's too far south! It's in Mordor! Why can't we meet north of the river? They allow smoking! They don't allow smoking! Their dirty martinis aren't dirty enough! Their bathrooms are gross! Wah, wah, wah!"
But she keeps doing it and every month there is a get together. Show up if want, don't if you want. But there is a meeting every fucking month. Everyone is always welcome. Bloggers, tweeters, commenters, lurkers, even anonymous trolls. The meet ups are always publicized well in advance and anyone who shows up will receive a warm welcome. Because that's just how she rolls.
I can't imagine the local blogging community being as cohesive as it is without Spyder.
Spyder and her husband, Kanga, are two of the most generous, caring and giving people I have the honor to know. Whenever anyone needs help, they are the first to show up and the last to leave.
I remember when one of the blogger meets was a volunteer shift at Harvesters organized by Dan Ryan.
Spyder and Kanga were busting a sweaty hump! They were going at it with a passion! I remember commenting on how hard they were working. I forget whether it was Kanga or Spyder who responded by saying "That's how shit gets done!" True story!
So this is just a little bit of appreciation for the woman who has probably done more for local blogging than anyone I know. You have taken the spark generated by Greg and Michelle and turned a bunch of self-absorbed attention whores into a community of caring people who have each other's backs.
Thank you, Spyder. Your efforts are appreciated.
Just thought you should know that, Miss Moneypenny.