Just got back from PorcFest XI (tangent: around time of last Super Bowl, commented on FaceCrack about how it seems odd to me that Super Bowls are numbered with Roman numerals, since I suspect much of the ‘Merican Booboisie doesn’t know how to interpret them. Since then, have been shocked to find several intelligent friends who don’t know how to read Roman numerals. Was this something I learned in public school? Catholic school? Self-taught? I don’t remember anymore. In any case, the Free State Project may want to change to a different numbering system if PorcFest keeps going much longer.) Overall, had a great time. Mad props to the organizers, who gave many many hours, blood, sweat and tears to throw an epic weeklong convention/series of parties in the woods for 1000+ friends and strangers, and as usual, received boatloads of criticism, backseat driving and bitching from some quarters for their efforts.
Not sure it would be interesting to recap exactly what I did each of nine days (if anyone IS interested, let me know and I’ll see what I can do). Let me sum up with a few Top 10 lists.
Top 10 Achievements I’m Proud Of
10. Learned to knit
9. Attended an entrepreneurial meet and mingle and stayed for an hourish and actually spoke to people.
8. Did a masterful job of judging personal physical limitations. Got much tanner, but not sunburned. Stayed well-hydrated. Got plenty of sleep. Took vitamins (some of the time, anyway). Partied in moderation, but not so much as to be incapacitated the next day or be unable to show up for morning volunteer duties/panels. Managed to avoid blisters and abrasions until time to go home. Ate loads of crap, but it was apparently offset by all the walking around because weight is the same.
7. Stayed the entire nine days without fleeing home or to Mount Washington/Canada/etc. to avoid interacting with people.
6. Did a pretty good job of moderating the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance‘s panel “Legislative Activism: Seizing the Reins of Power” (if I do say so myself).
5. Avoided any ugly altercations [ref: PorcFest X]
4. Avoided drinking to excess and needing to be told later to what degree made ass of self [ref: PorcFest III and the infamous Entire-Bottle-of-Jack-Daniels incident]
3. Avoided drama with cute guys [ref: several previous PorcFests]
2. Had interesting recreational substance experience
1. Reminded why I’m here, why I’m doing this, why it matters, and why I should feel good about it
Top 9 “Areas for Improvement” at Future PorcFests #fail
9. Attended entrepreneurial meet n’ mingle and only talked to people I already knew
8. Was gruff to hapless attendees who asked me questions/for help #badvolunteer
7. Spent an evening hiding in room watching Firefly (NOT on Michael H.’s WiFi, for the record) rather than interacting with 1000+ interesting liberty peeps just outside door
6. Totally failed to lose 40 pounds by PorcFest. Failed to lose *four* pounds, even.
5. Blew off several party-at-campsite invitations (although, in my own defense, there’s only so much socializing I can handle before fight-or-flight is triggered).
4. Bitched and moaned.
3. Exchanged all of 5 words with interesting gentleman was hoping to talk to #facepalm
2. Had terribly awkward experience with pleasant person who probably thinks I’m a raging bitch now while stoned out of skull. To quote friend to whom I recapped (just) part of Sandy’s MadCap Magical Cookie Misadventure: “Um, yeah, that is NOT the drug for you, what with the social anxiety. Try cocaine.”
1. Didn’t hand out a single business card for Shire Liberty News, despite paying for expedited shipping to be sure to have them in time for PorcFest
Top 10 Weirdest/Most Annoying/Most Infuriating Moments
10. Getting to a panel late, taking a seat amongst numerous empty chairs, then having a weird guy who had been standing in line to ask a question come over and say “You’re in my seat”. And he wasn’t kidding. He stood there until I moved, despite the aforementioned EMPTY SEATS ALL AROUND.
9. Multiple instances of people cutting lines. Were they raised by wolves?! I know you SEE me, m*f*s.
8. Being referred to as “famous”; having total strangers address me as ‘Sovereign Sandy’. To be clear, this is a weird, not an annoying/infuriating.
7. False advertising and lack of professionalism by multiple vendors in Agora Valley. For example, claiming they’d be selling A when what they really sold was B. Claiming they’d be selling breakfast, yet nowhere to be found during the hour prior to the day’s sessions beginning. Approaching them at noon and they haven’t even begun cooking for lunch yet. Or approaching them at 6:00PM and being told they sold out of item “hours ago”. There was one vendor, I swear, that I went to at least 8 times during standard meal hours, and every single time she either wasn’t even there or didn’t have any food cooked. More than one vendor told me to “come back in 30 minutes”; when I did, they said the same thing. How hard is it to hand-write a sign saying “Open ## – ##” (no matter how limited that timeframe might be) and then, you know… sell food during that timeframe?
6. People who carry on conversations during panels. SO rude. Much worse than doing it in a theater (for which, as we all know, there is a SPECIAL Hell), because it’s distracting to the person/people giving a live presentation in addition to the attendees, many of whom have travelled from other states/countries to be there
5. People who let their dogs go on and on yelping during a panel, or their baby go on and on shrieking. SRSLY? Have some courtesy and take it outside. See #6/SPECIAL Hell above.
4. Seeing how many people cheered/clapped at Larken Rose’s justifications for cop-killing.
3. Finding out that multiple men were offering drinks from the Courtesy Tent to women who didn’t pay the $150 sponsor fee. You can’t “give away” something that doesn’t belong to you.
2. Hearing about/observing how many people didn’t pay the entrance fee to attend PorcFest. Unless you procrastinated for months (when the price went up), it only cost $45 for an 8-day event! And it isn’t even a fundraiser; all the entrance fee does is cover the costs of putting on the event! Some people even acted shocked (SHOCKED) to be asked to pay, because apparently they just assumed that they would have their expenses covered by others, because…. because why? Because some Porcupines are more equal than others, apparently. :-\
1. To whomever FORCIBLY tore the parking sticker off my car, in order to DEFRAUD Roger’s out of the measly $5/day parking fee…
Top 10 Best Moments (or at least, 10 Awesome Moments; I’m sure there were more)
10. Having Hitchens the mini pig attend Knitting 101. Life will now be incomplete until obtain mini pig.
9. Seeing how overjoyed Patrick Byrne was at the audience response during his keynote presentation.
8. Having a native of South Africa say my biltong was better than hers (to be fair, she was pressed for time when she made hers).
7. Being approached with a possible business opportunity.
6. Caitlin and Sabbrielle’s wedding reception #moarlove #yesicried
5. hearing Vera Kichanova talk about what it’s like being a libertarian activist in the former Soviet Union and realizing how, for all the bitching a lot of people do about “police state USSA”, it could be much, MUCH worse
4. being dragged to a panel I wouldn’t otherwise have attended, but finding out it was exactly what I needed to hear and was quite helpful
3. the Auld Locals, an Irish folk band from Massachusetts, who talk and sing about liberty issues, if you can believe it
2. having one girlfriend French-braid my hair and another paint my nails (black) #girlishpleasures
1. having my BFF buy me a serenade on ukelele, personalized to my musical taste, performed abruptly in road on sunny hillside, with numerous strangers around, while buzzed by (friendly) drone