Betawave Office Warming Party, Betawave Office, New York
November 12, 2009
Have you seen "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"? And by see, I mean that it's not even important that you hear. Johnny Depp's portrayal of Hunter S Thompson is nearly impossible for a half-deaf dork like myself to aurally comprehend, but visually, whooooo doggy. If you haven't seen it, you can easily duplicate the experience like this: hold your nose and clamp your mouth shut while someone rubs ice cubes on your face. When you start to see spots, rush any breath left out of your body, flip upside down and have someone bash you in the forehead with Granny's cast-iron pan while singing "It's A Small World" in the voice of Tiny Tim.
Or, do what I did: go to an office-warming party featuring disco lights and mannequins, a possible Ken-come-to-life, and a fiddler, while unable to breathe or think, due to a brain-shredding head cold fueled by a cocktail of Sudafed and his friends. It's pretty much the same. Minus Benicio Del Toro.
When I feel my worst is when I must look most friendly because when I popped out of the subway onto Prince and Broadway, face deep into my phone recalling my Hopstop directions, more than two people approached me.
Of course I didn't look up.
They tried again! "EXCUSE ME... SORRY!"
I made the mistake and looked up.
"Do you know where Greene Street is?"
It was at this point that I was hoping my right nostril would blow a cute little snot bubble while I smiled in a Captain Spaulding ("The Devil's Rejects," anyone ? Greatest movie on earth?) "I may have had your cat for dinner" sort of way, but no, this didn't happen, and the delicate blond toddling on her 8-inch heels in a skirt meant to be a bracelet, smiled, lost.
"I can't help you... HACK HACK HACK," I growled. I added the extra hack in there to get her afraid of swine flu or zombie infection.
And I'm not picking on you blond gals, every person who accosted me for directional aid happened to be blond. What can I say? I have a way with the ladies.
Eventually I made it to the Betawave party with my pal Corey Reiter, ridiculously talented jewelry designer, and I'm not blowing sunshine up anywhere dark, she's good. I immediately loved the colors, lots of green and orange. I guess any color at all in an office is better than oatmeal and eggshell. We wandered down a corridor past displays of cufflinks and found ourselves in a living-roomish area that may or may not always have a dj booth set up. My eyes immediately picked up mannequins in various stages of dapper. Mannequins freak me out. And then, the more people who showed up, the harder it was to distinguish who was real and who was pressed plastic. Yikes.
I spun around, feeling 2 parts Gonzo journalist, 2 parts Gonzo Muppet, awash in red, then green, then blue... I saw familiar faces like MediaVest people, and unfamiliar faces like Betawave CEO Matt Freeman and the fiddler Craig Judelman, whom the Betawave folks apparently found on a street corner outside their office. If you ask me, he fell out of a Brooklyn Industries ad -- pretty!
Just when I thought the mannequins were going to start dancing, the room fell silent as Danny Anderson -- "one of America's best young poets" -- recited some prose and poetry. The whirring in my ears only caught a few words, but I think if you played it in reverse he was saying "Water will be found on the moon."
After the poetry reading, I packed up my camera, gargled with hand sanitizer (no I didn't), and made for the door. There was no point in continuing to tell people "You don't want to shake my hand" because even in the act of sparing people any sort of non-contagious-by-now sort of virus, I was still sceeving people out. At least no one tried to air-kiss me. Even when I'm feeling well, I despise the air-kiss. Can we nix that from networking, please? I don't even air-kiss my granny.
Thanks, Betawave for a trippy evening -- and I hope you all have an amazing, healthy weekend. Next week is Web 2.0 Expo New York which means another week of my family wondering if I'm still alive and my poor desk at the MediaPost office neglected. If you've got some hotsy-totsy Hunter S Thompsonesque parties planned, send those invitations on to Kelly@mediapost.com!