It was the backpack that did it. Inside: a Nikon D60, a handheld Kodak video camera, a notebook, and an iPad. I wore that thing around Comic-Con for three days. It reminded me that I was there to work, which served to sharpen my irritation over the whole experience, which made it un-fun, which it turn made it fun.
I'm not making any sense. Try this: I went to Comic-Con this year because a few months back, I asked my editors at MoTH if they could try to get me a Press Pass. Selfish reasons, of course: I'd always wanted to go, and there was no fucking way I could afford the ticket myself, assuming of course that I could even get a ticket, as they go fast. And there was a professional reason: I wanted to do a feature-length story, something a bit more than the usual tossed-off blog posts I've been doing for the past six years. And so I found myself at the Con, not as a participant, but as an observer. I took notes, pictures, made voice recordings, listened to people, talked to them. Mostly, though, I just observed. True, I am an unabashed Geek - though, I quickly learned, my Geekiness paled in comparison to the vast majority of attendees. But that didn't get in the way of the story. Which, by the way, did not write itself - going in, I had a clear idea of what I thought the story would be about, but just like a battle plan, it didn't survive the first five minutes of contact. When it was all over, after the words were put to screen and then saved and sent off to my editors, I was frigging exhausted. Three long days at the Con, yes, but pushing my brain to come up with something interesting and different...that's what did it, and it was the same kind of tired I feel after a long day on the water. Beat down and happy.
Here's the thing: I'm losing interest in the dad-blog-o-sphere. I suspect that many of the guys in my bracket are as well; we've been at it for years now, our kids are getting older, we're comfortable in our Dad Skins, and frankly there's very little out there that we find compelling. If you think that's harsh, or snobbish, or dickish, that's fine; it's me being honest, and I'm not alone in wondering where the genre of dad writing is heading. The chorus of voices is all starting to sound the same, and in many cases that chorus sounds like a recycled self-help book, or worse, an infomercial. The debate still goes on: what is a dad blog, what isn't, what should be, what shouldn't. I've got my opinions, and I'll probably continue to share them, but ultimately, I've reached the point where I no longer care. I'll keep doing my thing (and hopefull doing it well), but I'm cognisant of the fact that DadCentric has a lifespan, and it's much closer to the end than the beginning. And you know what? I'm cool with that. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross would probably tell me that I've reached the Acceptance Stage. Happy about it, even. Because wearing that loaded-down backpack was pretty awesome. I should do it some more.