There’s been so much going on, and my OCD is kicking in. What to do? How to do it right? Analysing risks. Trying to find the perfect fit. Understanding people. What do they want? How can I help them? What takes priority? Where are the links? How are things connected? Am I qualified to do my job? Can I write something worthy of readership?
This is the fourth or fifth year I’ve been asked to write a few blogposts for Fremont Oktoberfest.
…and, “I’m not doing well,” IMO.
They’ve given me free reign, but I’m not sure what to do with it.
My instinct: Boring.
My background: Contract writing. A lot of instructional manuals: How-to operate, how-to maintain, how-to service … equipment, software. services and products. Informative materials.
That is my instinct.
That is safe, unnoffensive.
That is also dry and boring.
I think about real-life experiences. I am the kind of person who likes to interact with many, but still remain in the background, capturing what’s going on around me. I like to take pictures — mental and with my iPhone. I’m more of a voyeur than a full-on participant; I’m comfortable being the third wheel.
Can I convey what I see into words?
What I feel? the mood? the sights and sounds? the flavors?
If I share my interpretations of the world; its/my weird behaviors; our errors and struggles; the failures and successes, will there be a moment shared? understanding? forgiveness? embarrassment? harm?
My desire: To be more clever
I like funny people. Not “contrived” or “forced” or “stupid” funny. I like a lot of naturally witty people.
I wish to be like them: To be naturally clever.
My instinct doesn’t work that way. My clever is… well, I’m not sure what it is. I know I can be good at embarrassing myself. I tend do this a few times a week. Sometimes people are witness to it. C gets mad, snippy, mean when he sees me doing/saying things that… that are “stupid.” This, about me, embarrasses him. But I can own it. Yes, I sometimes do and say stupid things. Can he handle it? Not really.
Can I share these? should I?
The inexperienced writer
Can I gather my thoughts into one succinct post? What details need to be cut? What wording to be altered? I have no editor. Am I capable of writing something decent? Can I free-fall write, without self-editing? Will it make sense? What is worthing of publishing?
Informative is safe.
I don’t know if I have the talent to write “experience.”
The point of the blog, to drive interest in the festival.
Can I do this effectively by sharing stories?
Things I love about Fremont Oktoberfest
- Ritual of attendance: Visit to Brouwer’s Cafe, then the Beer Garden
- Voyeurism: People watching, witnesing human interaction
- Dogtoberfest Sunday: I love dogs; they’re cute
- Familiarity: Seeing people I know
- Newness: Sharing a table with strangers — interacting, with a glimpse into their world
- Attire: Costumed people at a beer festival; the occassional guy in a kilt; fashion, shoes and tattoos
- Drinking beer: …
…I’ve drank a lot of different beers over the years. This year’s FOKT Beer Garden has a “newness factor” by having a few new Seattle breweries pouring. A lot of other beers I’ve had before. They’re good. Some of the beers will open people’s mind, causing them to say, “This is Beer?!” …they’ll seek out that beer post-festival, but will they know where to find it? How to find it? Is it draft only? Seasonal? Can they easily find it? I could likely write about these things, yes?? The beer selection at the festival allows me to revisit beers I’ve not had in a while — and that’s important to my job. I need to intimately know beer to sell it right. My job is to get people into beers they’ll like. I’m a craft beer pimp. Who’s reading this blog and what do they want to hear from me? What do they want to know about the festival’s beer garden?
Stupid things I’ve done at Oktoberfest
- Puked in the porta potty’s urinal (didn’t have enough water, ate too late, hint of sunstroke, and likely one too many samples)
- Dropped my cup down the porta pottyhole
…the porta potty experience. I’ve been in many beer festival porta potties, and this festival has some of the better ones. To-date they’ve been kept clean throughout the festival, most have hand sanitizer. How to not get sick and prevent a hangover. How to hold onto your cup when using the facility. …oh, there I go, back into “instructional, informative” mode. How can I make these topics fun? Am I capable of making them resonate with people? What stories do people want to hear? Where do I edit myself?
Cool things about Fremont Oktoberfest
- Chainsaw pumpkin carving (stand too close and get hit by flying pumpkin — innards in hair, on shirts-pants-shoes)
- Live bands (I don’t think I’ve ever stood in front of the stage to listen/dance, but it’s always been good festival background. Who’s playing? who are their fans?)
- Plenty of room to walk about (streetfair environment, literally on two closed-off streets where people live and businesses operate)
- Delicious beer (yep, yep! But many rare-popular choices run out on the first two days; Deschutes activities all three days.)
- Dogtoberfest Sunday (I love dogs! Too bad Earl’s not socialized enough to make it a pleasant experience for him to come along. Maybe next year, if I make the effort to better socialize him all year long? Friends are bringing their dogs this year.)
Makes me feel good about Fremont Oktoberfest
- The company of friends (last year was my first for this; previous years attended solo … with friends is so much better!!)
- Blowing off steam
- Petting cute pooches
- Sharing the Fremont Oktoberfest experience (giving away the passes I get from blogging)
- Giving away my unused tokens
- Relaxing affects of beer
- Eating greasy fair food
- I feel fat, what to wear? Jeans and t-shirt, comfortable shoes.
- It’s a long drive, parking can be a bitch. Park and bus in? Safety first.
- I realize loneliness (desire to share experience with C, but he doesn’t enjoy these things the way I do)
Other possible topics
- Should you take a first/second date to a beer festival?
But what of these makes a good topic?
…what would YOU read?