I just got back yesterday from a week in Montréal.
The first half was me at WordCamp Montréal – my very first WordCamp ever – and I love it. As WordPressers can tell you, I like to describe things in the vein of ‘It’s like Foo and Bar’ had a baby. For example, I said GlotPress was like if Trac and BuddyPress had a baby. Montréal itself is like if Seattle and Paris had a baby. Very unlike Toronto, which I’m far more familiar with, it’s got a majesty of soul and age to it. Old Montréal is exactly as tourist trappy as one might expect, but the architecture is worth it. We didn’t make it to old Quebec City, but next time. Next time.
The WordCamp part was terrifying for about a minute. Then I spotted Zoonini. She looked like her avatar, and my natural shyness faded into my manic panic chatterbox. I stuck by her for a bit, but then I found my long lost sister, Andrea. There was squeeing and hugging and ‘Oh! You have to meet….’ It was really wonderful to put faces and voices to names. Naturally, day one was Saturday, so there was me without a computer, talking and chatting, but not typing. It’s fun to be nerdy without hands on for a change. Sunday I took lots of photos, of course.
The WordPress nerds will wonder ‘Did you meet Matt?’
Yes, actually, but we didn’t introduce ourselves. He was sitting by Nacin and Otto, and they were talking about this and that. I wasn’t star struck (he’s just a guy, around my age, kinda reminds me of my brother, needs a haircut). I just didn’t feel the need to go ‘Hi, I’m Ipstenu.’ At some point, he mentioned how he was concerned, in a casual way, about Google+ and how their rebranding of Blogger would affect WordPress.com (which as we all know is the gateway drug to WordPress.org). That was when I spoke up and asked if he’d ever tried to leave a comment on Blogger? It’s non-intuitive and you have tons of hoops to jump through to login, and a captcha. He seemed interested by that.
I didn’t mention that the actual blogging interface is like trying to shove a monkey up a paper-towel tube. And videos? Forget it. Still, it was a nice chat about things, and we nodded, and went on our ways. Later on, Otto told me that Matt, like everyone else, assumed I was a man, and while he recognized the hat, he didn’t put two and two together that I was Ipstenu, but he did want to meet me. Alas, the only time we had for that, I was busy helping someone at the Happiness Bar, though I suppose that’s to everyone’s credit. We’d rather make people happy than introduce ourselves!
Nacin: “You’re in charge of finding cat images.”
Otto: “You’re on the Internet. How hard can it be to find pictures of cats?”
Nacin: “A tinfoil hat would look good on you.”
Me:”What do you think this hat is lined with?”
Sunday wrapped up and we went to a new hotel to see my mom and step-dad. They’d come to Montréal to meet up with us. We hugged, we kissed, we took a tour! We stopped in at Giorgio (an Armani store) and the guy was so friendly he gave me and my uncle free scarves. Lightweight grey scarf for me, which I like a great deal! Then Mom and my Aunt tried on shoes, and pretty much the trip went like that. Walk, talk, eat, drink, shop.
My Uncle presented me with my grandfather’s cufflinks and tie-pin. They say ‘M.E.’ in Hebrew, and as I’m the last one in the family with the initials who is both cool and actually wears shirts with cufflinks now and then, I get them. Most of the rest of the trip was heavily personal, but I was so happy on the trip that I didn’t miss home until I got there and was covered in cats.
A well done trip.