This blog is a focussed experiment. I wanted to test my ability to publish and produce a taut multi-media blog on something. I attended TAM7 in July. It struck me as the perfect 4-day crash course. The "course" didn't go as well as I hoped, but I learned a lot. I'm continuting to update as I have the opportunity to - eventually I'll have covered the entirety of my experience at the conference.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Decompressing from TAM

Jodie messaged me this morning asking if I felt like my 'vacation' had lasted longer than four days. While I enjoyed the hell out of my long weekend, it doesn't really match my definition of 'vacation.'

I've already mentioned that sleep has been a precious commodity for me this past week. Last night I finally slept solidly more than four hours – six in fact and that leaves me feeling positively perky. By last night I was approaching incoherence. I could hardly focus long enough to complete a cogent thought, and yet sleep itself... the body just wasn't allowing it. Saturday we had a break of many hours between the sessions and the Skepchick party. I laid down, feeling utterly spent... nothing happened. I closed my eyes and waited... still awake. After about 45 minutes I gave up and went to hang out at the bar with Jesse, John, Rob and Jessica.

The non-stop schedule and the infamous timelessness of being inside a casino kind of screwed up my inner clock. If someone told me I'd only been gone a day – no make that two days, I'd be ALL over the lie if it were merely one day – or if they had told me I was gone a week, I'd be hard-pressed to doubt them.

The dryness... apparently the number one selling item in the casino giftshop is lip balm. I am really not a fan of the feeling of lip balm on my lips, so I eschewed it, but if I'd been there any longer I would have had to give in. I pretty much just met my limit. Other parts of my skin suffered as well.

Tandem to the dryness – which was caused in part by the ever present air-conditioning – was the heat. I had no idea that the Mojave desert is the hottest place on earth. I assumed it was the Sahara. I can't believe people live out there – it's truly not fit for human life, yet we wrestle it into submission. The two hottest experiences of my life straddled the temperature outside in Vegas while we were there. Going outside was hardly a pleasant trip. Wearing sunglasses and the hot wind whips around them creating tiny convection ovens between then and your eyeballs... it's awful. To say nothing of the dry nose... it's just this side of gross.

One thing that really surprised me was how much of a news bubble we were in. I had forgotten that Michael Jackson died until I got home and started listenign to four days of backlogged news podcasts. The South Point Casino was a Jacko-free-zone.

And there's still so much to really absorb. So many ideas that are developments on what I already knew; so many brand new bits of information that I didn't know yet; so many creative thoughts to sift through and choose to act upon.... I'm looking forward to going through all my media and refresh what I learned. Maybe I'll get it all done in time for TAM8.

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