Trying to get several “online” friends together is like herding cats. That’s what my friend Sarah and I had been lamenting over the last few months after discussion of the old movie Pump Up The Volume on Twitter turned into a quest to get together to watch it. But, we eventually got almost everyone together for the viewing. And it was a great time.
We had to put this off several times in an effort to make sure everyone could attend. We’d try once and someone was traveling to the east coast. We’d suggest another day, and be thwarted by someone else’s plans.
Finally, we set a date. Rain or shine. One or ten people, we would do this. What was really too bad that Michael, one of the very early people who was talking about the movie had to move then. We felt bad. But, it would never get done if we had not set a firm date.
Early on, I volunteered the use of my television. Sarah and her husband don’t have a TV. A choice I applaud them for. There isn’t really anything to watch on tv nowadays that I can’t just watch online. I only turn mine on about once a year. Usually I would take the bus up to Boulder. But, carrying a 32″ flat panel would make for a slightly amusing trip on the bus. So, Sarah and her kids came down to pick me and my TV up.
The trip up was filled with knock knock jokes and filling me in with how they climb their backyard tree.
When we got to the house, Sarah and I chatted a little while she started dinner. She offered me a free meal since I was volunteering the use of my television. Before everyone else arrived, I split time learning how Sarah made her very delicious soup and finding new cat videos on Youtube for her kids (I had hooked my iPad up to the TV).
When Sarah’s husband came home we all ate (Did I mention how delicious it was?). And just as were finishing up clearing the dishes, her kids started using me as a jungle gym. I had laid down on the floor to navigate to a new cat video when all of a sudden one of them was sitting on my back. Sarah objected. But, I didn’t mind. I like playing with kids. And I can take the abuse. I haven’t seen my nieces and nephews much lately. And I don’t have kids of my own. So, it was fun.
I was in the middle of doing my best imitation of a miniature horse when everyone else showed up. Thank goodness. My back was starting to hurt. The girls got off my back to find out who was at the door. But, I didn’t get up. I was a little shy. Leading up to this night, I weighed how to introduce myself to this group. Since this event was being organized on Twitter, they know me as @Frogtosser. But, I’m also out as trans on there and go by the name Becca. But, in real life, I don’t look much of anything like a Becca. I don’t even attempt passing. Some friends have commented that my features are softening and one friend commented recently that my mannerisms are somewhat feminine. But, I haven’t really ever tried to present as female out in public.
And not to mention that Sarah’s kids were around. The last thing I want to do is make it an issue for her family.
The two young ladies who were able to attend were named Alex and Alexis. I know them on Twitter. But, we had not met in person. They were both very nice. Alexis had spoken at Ignite. And Alex had spoken at both Ignite and TEDx before. So, we chatted about that before starting the movie.
Once the kids were downstairs, and some snacks laid out, we were ready to start. I hadn’t seen the movie for many many years. And Sarah mentioned that she hadn’t seen it since it was in the theaters way back in 1990. I think Alex had seen it. But, Alexis had not.
I seemed to remember it being a little more of a lighter movie than it turned out to be. Sure, there were funny moments. But, just like when we saw Heathers recently, some of the subject matter made me cringe. There weren’t as many late 80’s fashions or hair styles to laugh at. Overall, it was a fun movie.
When it was over, I don’t think I expected what came next. Here we were, two teachers, two parents who home school and me, having just finished watching a movie about a corrupt high school prinicipal and the teenager who led a rebellion on a pirate radio station, and we didn’t expect the conversation to delve into the current state of education in this country?
I sat there mostly just listening to the ideas and experiences of each person as they flew back and forth. I did eventually speak a little bit. But, I just mostly sat there absorbing the intellectual conversation. Alex had spoken at TEDx about education. So, I got a chance to get some questions of mine answered. My mom is a retired teacher. And my step dad a current H.S. principal. So, the topic of education has been active one at many dinner tables. It was really great. As much as I don’t miss talking politics, this level of conversation was really amazing. I need more of it. I think I enjoyed the conversation more than the movie.
After everyone left, I started to unplug the TV and get ready to go. But, Sarah seemed to not be ready to go yet. I usually only speak with her online. So, anytime we can find time to sit face to face and just chat is nice. Sarah made an off hand comment about watching another movie. I said I was up for it. As did her husband. So, I plugged the TV back in and she went to get Wayne’s World off the shelf. That was fun.
Afterwards, I started yawning. Which came as a shock to Sarah. I’m always talking about being a night owl. But, I knew I hadn’t had any caffeine all day. We stayed for a little while longer. But, I knew I should get going. It was really late. And I depended on them to get me home. I didn’t want to be rude. So, we gathered the TV and our jackets and made our way back to my house.
I had a really great evening. It was nice hanging out with friends, watching a fun old movie and engaging in stimulating conversation. I certainly hope to do more of it soon.