I put soy sauce in my smoothie, thinking it was Flax seed oil. I dropped my copy of Franny and Zooey in the tub. I locked myself out. Again. I got a parking ticket for not curbing my wheels, even though I wasn’t parked on a hill? It’s been one of those days.
By which I mean fraught with problems so minute they don’t even register on Maslow’s Hierarchy of human need. I totally have an apartment and health insurance. So. Pretty decent day.
There were quite a few moving moments at XOXO, but I’ve been revisiting one in particular — when The Doubleclicks took the stage to perform “Imposter,” a song about the Mars Rover.
There were hundreds of us in the room, but it was unusually still — everyone was listening to the words of this achy, earnest song about imperfection, alienation, and loneliness. Then the singer just… forgot the lyrics.
On my way home from XOXO Fest, and I’m typing this from a Motel 6 where I did not even consider using this novelty condom. Awaiting a knock at the door from the guy with my Offical Grown-Up Certificate.
“You’ve got an emergency. Who would you call at four in the morning, knowing they would get out of bed and do whatever they could to help you? Those are your friends. That reduces your Christmas-card list a lot.”
I’m curious, do you have a metric like this around friendship? How does a friend become a friend?
I fell for Australia on a business trip in 2005, “Australia! They have giant rats that carry their babies around in tummy pouches. Aussies! Very similar to Americans, except more in touch with their mortality due to the myriad poisonous things surrounding them.”
I remember that trip vividly, lazy breakfasts at Bills, feeding kangaroos, fruit tasting with a guy named Digby (Digby? I mean, come on. Central casting was in on that one). Also, they have trees that sting there! They call them Stinging Trees! Apt, Australia. Apt.
Anyway, one of the poignant things about travel is how you come to love a place, knowing you’ll likely never get to see it again. Because you should probably save up for health insurance and maybe pay your taxes or whatever.
So I’m feeling giddy right now, because…
A Bunch of Us Are Going to Australia
Go Mighty has been working for months with Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand to find ways to encourage folks to visit Australia. In the coming weeks ten people, including me, will travel there to cross off Life List goals and meet some of our favorite Aussie bloggers. (Hi, Pip!)
But! What about you? What if you want to ride a kangaroo while a didgeridoo sounds in the distance?
You Should Come Too
If you’d like a chance to win your own trip, because you’re canny like that, make a list of all the things you’d like to do and see in Australia — swimming with the fishes in the Great Barrier Reef, learning to butcher at Victor Churchill, touring Melbourne in a hot air balloon at sunrise, investigating whether Australian toilets really do flush backward.
Then tag your aspirational-Aussie goals #goaustralia on your Go Mighty profile. On November 1, Go Mighty will select one community member to travel with a friend to Australia. This is merit based, so do it up right by uploading fun photos with your goals, writing stories around why you want to do particular things, and setting goals that say something about who you are. Shine bright like a diamond, and so forth.
Let’s Fill a Plane on the Cheap
If Australia is on your list, but you’d like to visit with your whole family, or an entire small town, here’s how to get $200 off of each ticket:
If 332 of us promise to visit Australia in 2014, enough to fill an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 aircraft, it will trigger a $200-off discount code. Like a Groupon, but for koala hugging. Head to Go Mighty and click on Fill-A-Plane for all the info.
Come! We shall cuddle wallabies, barbecue in the middle of December, lasso crocodiles and have them pull our rowboats, then be reported missing on the evening news. Just like real Aussies.
Aussie slang prints by Droops Store.
I’m about to leave for my second year at XOXO in Portland, a technology and art festival put together by my friend Andy Baio and co-founder Andy McMillan, who wanted to recapture the feeling of possibility and camaraderie he missed from the early days of SxSW Interactive.
Last year the festival had a sort of craft fair in the lobby, and these were some of my favorite things:
We Flashy, killer reflective wear for creatures of the night.
Print mashup from Berkley Illustration.
A Bikesexuality Zine. Ding!Ding!
And among my favorite objects of all time, Campfire Cologne.
I may never wash this sweater again. Or my hair.
Stop looking at me like that.
Are you going to XOXO? And/or do you wash your hair after a campfire?
Remember a couple years ago when I made the 24 Days Advent Grab Bags with my friend Rena? Well, since then, Rena has founded Makeshift Society, a co-working space and clubhouse for creatives in San Francisco. Now she and my friend Bryan Boyer are starting one in Brooklyn.
If you’re part of the wi-fi workforce in New York, and you’re tired of staggering between coffee shops pining for a free outlet, consider becoming a Makeshift Brooklyn member through this steal of a Kickstarter campaign.
I know the space will be a catalyst — I so admire both Rena and Bryan. In fact, if you’re coming to Camp Mighty they’ll both be there, and I’ll be clinging to them contentedly like a sleepy koala.
This is a good idea, so invest in your careers, entrepreneurs. Brooklyn! Let’s sit down at a table together and get shit done.