Monday, September 18, 2023

Streaming nostalgia

This weekend I listened to the final Pride 48 live-streaming event held from remote locations, something that I was involved with for several years. In fact, in the early days I was one of the folks nicknamed “The Suits” because we planned and worked on the event (and I was also even a host). But when the group started doing in-person events (first in Las Vegas, later in New Orleans), I moved into the background. Although Nigel and I both wanted to go to an in-person event, it just wasn’t feasible for many reasons, and then all sorts of things happened. That meant that I never participated in a remote event again.

This weekend was unusual for me: It’s been a long time since I spent time listening to live shows from the folks I was interacting with all the time back in the day, and since I participated with many of the same folks in the chat. It was as fun as it was back in the old days, and it also made me nostalgic about those days—and maybe a bit disappointed that I didn’t sign up to do a show.

I thought about doing a live show this year, but—as usual—I forgot all about it until it was too late. It turned out that several shows backed out, but I didn’t know that until the last minute, and—that was for the best. I don’t remember a lot of what we used to do, and, things have changed since then. As it was, I had to get set-up with Discord so I could chat (it was something I’d never done). That, at least, was easy.

Fortunately for me, I was invited to take part in the final show on Saturday night (US time, Sunday here). That meant using Zoom, something I haven’t used since the Covid Times. I had to figure that out all over again, and I did. The show was a lot of fun, and, of course, also nostalgic.

Back when I was helping to run the streaming marathons, I always felt sad at the end of the event. Most of that was because we’d put so much work and energy into it, and we’d also probably had at least a little sleep deprivation. What was unexpected for me this year was that I felt the same way when the event ended.

After it was over (early this afternoon my time), I did some stuff around the house, and tried to distract myself. The deep sadness I was feeling eased, as I expected, but I know that part of the reason this happened today was that the event reminded me of how much has changed, and with the fourth Horrible Anniversary in two days, I’m keenly aware of loss right now.

My past couple years in particular have been about building and rebuilding. I’ve been trying to build whatever my life will be, and also to rebuild myself and life from the great shattering. There have been many setbacks over the past few years, but I keep pushing myself forward because—well, it’s what I do. Sometimes it’s been damn hard work, but there’s also been a lot of what are, to me, encouraging signs of progress.

I’ve now resumed podcasting every week, and this year is already a more productive blogging year than last year, even if I stopped right now (I passed the 2022 total on September 8). I realised this weekend that the reason for the progress on both is that they matter to me: They were things that I always enjoyed and found fulfilling. So, of course I’ve started doing more podcasting and blogging.

At the same time, though, I’m also aware of the big roll Nigel played in encouraging me to blog, and then podcast, something I most recently mentioned in a post on Wednesday of last week. Nigel also participated in Pride 48, as well as supporting me while I did. All of which means that in this area, as with so many others, his influence is significant, both in the past and even now: I very probably wouldn’t be blogging and/or podcasting had it not been for him, and that makes it yet another reason my life is so much fuller now, even without Nigel in it, than it could've been without his support and encourangement during our life together, and his continuing influence even now.

While this weekend was nostalgic and sometimes reflective for me, and even though there was some sadness associated with it, too, I nevertheless enjoyed it a lot. The weekend gave me a chance to reconnect with old friends, it helped me realise how important blogging and podcasting are to me, and how much Nigel had to do with making all of that possible.

I intend to keep pushing things forward, to continue to focus on what I value and what’s important to me. I’ve come to believe that this is the best way for me to discover whatever my life will become. This is also the only way I know to repay Nigel for all he gave to me.

I never expected a nostalgic weekend to be so helpful.


Roger Owen Green said...

Huh. Silly me: I just assumed that you, as one of the original Suits, would have had a show.

Anyway, I'm glad it was therapeutic.

Arthur Schenck said...

I thought about it, but then forgot all about it until it was too late to join. However, something I didn't say in the post is that I don't know how the streaming works nowadays, and the software I bought back in the day to connect to the server stopped working several years ago (after newer versions of it came out, as well as new versions of the MacOS). So, I knew I'd have to relearn how to do the streaming, and learn it quickly. That sort of thing is challenging for me these days, primarily due to my difficulty with focus.

There's also the fact that after so long away from it all, the idea of doing a live show now felt… well, kind of weird, and there was a part of me that felt maybe I should just let the past be the past. As it turned out, this weekend could provide closure to that whole era for me, if that turns out to be the end of my Pride 48 interaction. That's something I didn't get with the way my participation just kind of faded away in the mid- to late-2010s.

At any rate, it was nice for what it was.