The social kind, not the computer kind (not that computer networking can’t be fun; I’m not trying to get a bunch of network administrators angry at me or anything, but… fuck it; you know what I mean.)
While I was out in Los Angeles attending Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, I spent a lot of time standing around in various lines: waiting for autographs, photos, etc.
While on its face this would seem to be a very boring way to spend one’s time, at events like this it is a perfect opportunity to talk to people. Which I did.
I met a nice guy named Richard Ludt and his daughter Amelia who were cosplaying Jayne Cobb and River Tam (you can figure out who was who) while standing in Summer Glau’s autograph line.
We had a nice chat about Firefly (weird, right?), movies, conventions, other celebrities, and how they were really standing in line so that Amelia could get her Reaver axe signed by Summer (she already had Jewel Staite sign it; pretty cool), not for anything Richard needed. Like a cool dad (I think I know one of those…), he was there to pay for it and encourage his daughter’s enthusiasm.
Nice people, those two.
Later, while standing in line waiting for Summer Glau’s photo-op, I stumbled into a rather prolonged discussion about movies, podcasts, blogs, and other associated subjects with a rather pleasant fellow named Erickson. Turns out, we share a common aspiration to be part of a “social-media/podcast/multi-discipline” discussion-type of project with a couple/few like-minded folks. I hope he was serious, because I am definitely interested in a project like that.
How I do love to hear myself pontificate…
Heck, even on the plane trip home, I found myself engaged in a discussion about movies, TV shows, comics, and conventions with a young guy who just started working for Merrill Lynch in Salt Lake City.
The point is, the next time you find yourself standing in line somewhere, waiting for some otherwise mundane (or not-so-mundane) event to occur, maybe you should consider striking-up a conversation with some of the folks waiting around with you. You already know you have something in common: you’re in the same queue for one reason or other.
I’m not saying that you’re going to encounter someone who will bring about a life-changing shift in careers, but you may, at the very least, find a fun way to pass the time, and you might even learn something you didn’t know.