Sunday, June 13, 2010

What a week.

Food and wine just seem to have gone out of focus. This experience has been beyond incredible...emotional, uplifting, trying, exhausting, rewarding, challenging, terrifying, and wonderful. If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd be a dad after Georgia barely squeaked out a win against South Carolina- where I was drinking 32 oz. mugs of beer quickly to bring the Dawgs "good luck"- and I would've looked at you squarely in your 8 eyes, laughed, said [gibberish], and tripped over my own feet as I went for a hug...upon which I would then try to fight you.

Not that this anecdote is indicative of how I live my life, but I just can't see myself with this level of responsibility. One of the critical things that gives me strength is my family and my friends. While I'm so appreciative of all the great folks who have touched our lives thoughout the years offering their wishes, I was absolutely floored by the caring and support of- essentially- complete strangers...otherwise known as the folks I've met through Twitter and Facebook. Though many of these folks I've gone on to meet in person and build friendships, Heather and I can't fathom that people from coast to coast knew about our pending parenthood, and were there to offer encouragement. Some, like Ben at Vinotology, even wrote posts to toast our new baby. Unbelievable. Ben lives in West Texas, and I've never met him, but I don't think it's far-fetched to call the guy a friend.

For this reason, while many forms of electronic communication can be impersonal, I think social media bucks the trend. If anything, it seems to only encourage personal contact, rather than limit it. I'll be meeting Ben, along with hundreds of other "virtual" friends, at the Wine Bloggers' Conference in Washington in a few weeks. Frankly, I would have little interest in leaving my beautiful baby daughter and miracle of a wife to hang out with a bunch of strangers. But, through building relationships via social platforms (and bolstered by the response this past week), I just look at the event as getting together with a bunch of friends I haven't seen in a while. Cyberspace, bringing real people together in real life. Doesn't sound impersonal to me at all.

To all of you who I've connected with- both online and in person- I extend a very heartfelt thank you.

Oh, and speaking of the conference, I've got a lot of work to do. Helping mediate a panel with Vinotology's Ben and Andrew of Wine Soiree. Got a lot of ideas almost hashed out, but they're currently lost somewhere in a pile of sleep deprivation, poop-laden diapers, yet-to-be sanitized milk bottles, and deep love and satisfaction. I hope to find them soon and put on the best show I possibly can...

...worst-case, I have about a million pictures that I'll use to lull the crowd to sleep. And then I will yell at them for taking sleep for granted.

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