Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The water's fine.

"You don't even bother to check the temperature of the water, you just jump right in."

This is what a friend said to me today about how I treat my 'hobbies' and fixations. If I get interested in something I go at it full force, no messing around. I don't just dabble...I *live* it.

Some of you were around for my "Taylor Hicks phase", something I'm still grasping to understand myself. I just knew it was something that had taken hold of me at a particular time in my life when I needed something to excite me, and I went for the ride. And what a ride it was. It's still difficult to explain that Mr. Hicks really became a minor player in my hobby. Each time I saw him put on a show, it became less and less about him, more and more about who I was spending the time with, and all of the experiences I was having. I went to Birmingham, AL twice, Atlanta, New York, Las Vegas...all to experience life with this group of people who were becoming my friends.

I don't talk to many of them anymore, but the ones I talk to a lot are the ones I intend to keep forever. I'm sure I'll continue to have some conversations with a few of the others, but once this 'phase' was winding down for me, it seemed to be winding down for others...we just moved on.

So, now I've dived into my next hobby, phase or 'subculture' as I am frequently finding fascinating similarities and interesting differences between the various groups I mingle with (writers, blues and soul music fans, sci-fi geeks, tech geeks, etc).

I'm *really* into wine.

And that doesn't just mean I find a couple I like. Oh no. It means I 'found' the winebloggers, the vloggers, the wikis, EVERYTHING I can get my hands on that relates to wine. I track my cellar and tasting notes. I have 43 bottles right now, 15 of which I consider worth 'saving' and not just popping open to drink randomly. I'm learning how to train my palate to get better at tasting wine.

I live my passions.

So Friday, I'm checking in on my favorite wine vlogger, who is a cult icon with the wine lover set -- he has fanatic followers and has caused a lot of controversy in the staid wine business.

Meet Gary Vaynerchuk.

Gary took over his family's wine business many years ago and has built it into one of the premier wine businesses on the web. He embraces Web 2.0 (and I'll be posting about throwing myself deep into the social networking pool more in another post...this only scratches the surface of it).

So Friday, I learn he's up in Sonoma tasting wines with Kevin Rose, founder of Digg. Kevin was using a great new Web 2.0 tool Qik to broadcast LIVE from his Nokia phone out to the site and to the entire world. Further, you could chat with them through the phone as they were recording, resulting in some questions being asked by people to Kevin and Gary which they could answer (that is until the lag got kind of bad -- there's still work to be done on this technology).

Gary is also joined by Tim Ferriss, author of the NY Times Bestseller "The Four-Hour Work Week" and Robert Scoble from Fast Company. These four people are extremely successful with their business and a lot of it can be attributed to their shrewd use of Web 2.0 technology.

During the course of the video, Gary mentions it might be fun to host a party Saturday night for the Twitter followers -- yes, Twitter is yet another Web 2.0 technology that I have embraced (if you come here often, you've probably seen my recent twitter updates over in the sidebar).

So, a party? A WINE party? Hosted by *the* Gary Vaynerchuk and with the aforementioned internet 'personalities' in attendence? I instantly knew that I had to be there. Before they could confirm their musings I twittered Robert Scoble and asked if the party was a go. He told me it was, and I said I'd be there, in Santa Rosa, for the party the next night.

Crazy, right? Looking back, no crazier than my flights hither and yon to see the American Idol winner. In fact, this looked downright sane in comparison. So, I sought out travel companions of a female nature...my other thought being it would make for a good girl's weekend and I didn't need any of my male friends (who I cherish SOOOO much) to get in the way of any possible, ahem, romantic possibilities. Hey, some of these guys are wealthy. A girl can dream, right?

I had no takers on the trip. At first I was bummed, and almost talked myself out of going...seven hours of driving alone seemed too risky. But I didn't let it stop me. I got up Saturday morning, gassed up my car, packed a small bag and hit the road.

SPLASH. I am in the pool, and the water is fine.

(To be continued...)


anotherfilmmaker said...

your are an extreme, intense person, which is how many of us are. but what's going on with the writing? is ii still a focus or have you moved on?

Natalie MacLean said...

Great blog Shawna! Since you're into all things wine, you might find my interactive food-and-wine matcher helpful.



Editor of Nat Decants Free Wine Newsletter

Author of Red, White and Drunk All Over

Julie O'Hora said...

OMG, I had no idea you called me on your way out of THE POOL! So sorry I couldn't talk longer -- we have to talk again soon. I want to hear every detail. SO proud of you for jumping in -- bet it was exhilarating!

Brett said...

You're clearly insane.

And that has not one thing to do with anything you describe in this post.