As promised, we had a party on Friday night.
The venue, Tonic, is a lovely bar, very clean, full of comfy seating and open space, and adorned with three flatscreen TVs to add visual interest. Seeing as how this is now a Bleiman bar, the screens were utilized to show Blue Planet. After the eerily beautiful sea creatures, the next movie in the background was Gidget. Sadly, Gidget did not do battle with a giant squid.
But the point of the party wasn’t video viewing, nor expertly muddled mojitos. It was hanging out in the three dimensional world, which we did.
I got to meet Kate Wing of Blogfish. She put forward the hypothesis that Randy Olson is like Spike Lee in certain salient respects. I was somewhat persuaded.
Josh encouraged me to abandon my family on weekends to get involved in political campaigning in Nevada. I asked how his dissertation was going.
While I saw Razib, we didn’t actually get to talk. He appeared to be engrossed in conversation. I’m betting some part of that conversation included the subject of evolutionary bottlenecks.
I finally got to meet Craig McClain, who related a story of being admonished for dropping the f-bomb (like, once) during a single meeting. With other scientists. I have it on good authority that scientists, speaking amongst themselves, occasionally use strong language. And there’s not a little irony in marine scientists being called out for swearing like sailors (especially when sailors swear in much greater quantity).
I also got to meet Nick Matzke of Panda’s Thumb. He reminisced about the period when listservs roamed the earth, blogs were odd mutants, and PZ Myers was a small mammal. He also shared some strategies for pushing the buttons of particular well-known scientists at UC-Berkeley.
Not that I would ever abuse information like that.
Of course, I also met Andrew and Benny Bleiman. In the flesh, they seem normal and harmless at first. As time goes on, though, you start to see glimpses of the personalities they display online. Needless to say, they’re a great deal of fun.
I got to chat with a passel of ScienceBlogs readers, all of whom were interesting and fun to talk to.
Sadly, the talking got harder and harder as the night wore on. The bar filled up with young people, who I can only assume live in the neighborhood because there was no parking to speak of for an eight block radius. (Yeah, I ended up driving. My experience with MUNI buses had me fearful I might miss the last BART train of the night, so I drove. I don’t feel good about it, especially in light of the dreadful parking.)
Nonetheless, a good time was had by many, including me. Next time, maybe we can meet for a picnic in Muir Woods.