Sunday, November 30, 2008

NYC and the MESA Conference

Part of the recent silence on this blog has been due to me being out of town. On November 19th, I flew to New York to see my friend Sophia and attend the gala for WITNESS. So for a brief day and a half I tried not to get lost in New York, sorta learned the subway system, and tried not to get taken by the taxi drivers. I've heard many people say that you either love or hate New York. I don't hate it, but I really have no desire to go back or to ever live there.

The WITNESS gala was the real reason that I went to New York. One of the Global Voices Board Members, Joi Ito, is also on the WITNESS board and had purchased a board table for us to attend. Seeing that this must have set him back probably around 10 grand, making my meager monetary effort to go to this event was the least that I could do. It was fascinating to see from an events coordinator standpoint. At one point during the evening I had actually starting tallying the cost of what I was seeing between the event personel, the catering, the open bar, entertainment etc. Based on what was there and Utah prices I would guess that it would have been at least $50,000 to put the event on, but if it was closer to $100,000 I wouldn't have been surprised. However I figured that with the table costs and the auctions.....they probably took in close to $600,000. If I had to I could probably organize an event like this....I've done plenty of things on a smaller scale....but the purchasing of tables is an interesting new element to consider.

And before you ask, no I didn't take pictures but I can direct you to my Facebook page (if you are already my friend) and the Flickr sites of those that are MUCH better photographers than I: Joi Ito and the amazing Georgia from GV.

From my late night at the gala, to my short powernap at Sophia's, I was off on the 7am train Friday morning to Washington DC to attend the MESA conference. Of course, in our office there has been so much drama with just getting the staff to this conference it was strange to finally be there. Overall, I'm glad that I went...I needed to go and make contacts there...especially with the other Outreach people. And it was good to make an appearance and reconnect with some people I hadn't seen for several years like my old Turkish professor Roberta and with my Kurdish activist pal Kani.

Friday afternoon I presented to the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) about using podcasting for Outreach work, which went over very very well. I am definitely considered the "new school" generation with this group and I ended up fielding alot of tech questions from everyone there....including ways of improving the current MEOC website. They had a great book vendor sale there and I bought 6 books....which is not too bad considering that I havent bought any books for myself for 3-4 months at least.

I also ran into several people that knew Mr.3....and they all asked about him. Each person I told the whole story too.....so sorry dude.... if you hadn't totally ruined your rep as it was already, I started the MESA rumor mill on you. Speaking of Mr.3 related items on this trip, I met and had lunch with Kathy. It was great to finally meet her in person, and I am quite indebted to her for helping me learn the truth about Mr.3. She is wonderful, smart and witty... for all of Mr.3's faults he did manage to choose some pretty strong women to victimize. This will be his downfall in the end. In any case, Kathy is just tops with me!

Back to DC stuff.....I actually did some tourist stuff there for once. For a very very cold two and a half hours I took a bus tour of the city....it was a doubledecker bus and I HAD to be on the top. I do have pictures of that excursion which I will upload a bit later. Needless to say, I had a blast but I was frozen through.

So that has been some of what has been going on.....other items that I have to report on include the current dating situation and how now...I'm in a relationship. More to come!

1 comment:

Kathy101110 said...

You're the tops with me too, hun!
K