Last night was the opening of XOXO. It’s my fourth time at the festival, and my second as a civilian who gets to see All The Things.* I usually struggle with explaining what XOXO is, except that is a gathering of people who do creative things within the realm of the internet and want it to be a place for good. It’s also a gathering of 2200 people (wow, the expansion!) who simultaneously are in deep appreciation of the community we have and in deep imposter syndrome of “how did I get to be in community with all these amazing people?”.

I left work early to go register and talk with people. The moment I left my house, I realized I suddenly had no mobile data, which set off a lot of back-and-forth with my mobile carrier and trying to cling onto wifi and a feeling of mild panic about not being able to use the transit apps to get home. (This is unnecessary mild panic, since it’s possible to use and chipped card to buy tickets on the fly, although I am not sure how TriMet can see you have done that?) It left some of my pavilion conversations a bit distracted.

I watched the opening talks and kept my mild-panic-inducing phone in my bag, thus no pictures. I am looking through attendees’ photos now and even though mine would have looked just about the same, I am kicking myself slightly for not capturing one.

The Andys. A presentation on the community that used to thrive where the Memorial Coliseum is now, and a vision of making it into a community again (it is an oddly dead zone for residents, and very much an event-and-leave space). A talk about making your good thing better and visible through making your one ask.

Today is Social, with many meetups organized by the community. I’m headed to see robots and then to two meetups I helped organize: the not-surprising knitters and sewists, and the music makers. Music makers happened because a community member was struggling to find a space and ran out of time. I grabbed the baton and made my asks and found us a space. I discovered two things: there are spaces easily accessible to me, and despite what I have been telling myself, I do want to make music with people. And I get to do that today!

(This is being posted one day late. XOXO brings the best overwhelm.)