I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my bucket list, and how I’m now 38 /falls off chair/ and how I am to the point in my life where I can start putting check marks next to things I’ve always wanted to do, or people I’ve always wanted to meet.  I have the usual stuff like ‘go to Europe’ on the list, but for me it’s more of connecting and meeting people as well as going to exotic places. I don’t get tongue tied if I meet a celebrity, I don’t scream and carry on at concerts, and I’m not a crazy groupie.  With exception. Quite a few of them.  Here are some of my more memorable moments…

Lynette & Eric RiceEric Rice (Spin Martin/SL) – This was a b-i-g-g-i-e. I first met Eric in Second Life and got to meet him in person for the first time at the 2nd Podcast & New Media Expo.  Of course he’s a legend online and in-person, but I really didn’t know what he looked like in human form. I had only ever known him by his avatar.  Walking around the expo floor with some friends of mine, we stopped to chat with Eric.  I was nice and polite (I hope!) and smiled like an idiot I’m sure, not knowing who it was we were talking to.  My girlfriend Jen was like, “Lynette, don’t you know who this is?”  No.  Then as she introduced him as Spin, I looked at his nametag (and saw his avatar/name). AND. I. SCREAMED. LIKE. A. SCHOOLGIRL.  Geek crush is an understatement. Since that embarrassing first meeting, I’ve gotten to be friends with Eric and have seen him several times at various virtual world & geek outings.  He’s totally adorable, trailblazing brilliant, and we banter like siblings.  A keeper for sure.

Lynette & Ed "Radio" RobertsEd Roberts (Ed Radio/SL) – Here’s another Second Life friend I met for the first time at the same conference I met Eric at (notice I’m wearing the same shirt…) It was quite a day for me.  Ed and I had met on Podcast Island in Second Life where we both hung with lots of early adopter podcasters and the rest of the Podcast Pickle crew.  As soon as I saw him on the expo floor I ran up and gave him a big hug, I was just so excited to see him in person.  We were getting a few strange looks, as most people who know both of us assumed we were married (we have the same pseudo last name in Second Life), but we are more like brother/sister!  Ed is a cutting-edge podcaster and social media pioneer as well as an incredible friend.  To this day I count myself lucky to know him!

CC Chapman & LynetteC.C. Chapman – Again with the Podcast & New Media Expo in 2006.  Funny, silly picture, not at all what it looks like!  I had met C.C. in the PodShow ‘casting room’ as I like to call it.  I was very nervous to go up and introduce myself to him, as he was/is a rock star in the podcasting (and now social media) arena.  All I was really going to do is ask for a picture with him and them leave him on his way.  We knew a lot of the same people, traveled in a lot of the same online circles, and both started early on in the genre.  The entire conference was an eye-opener for me, and I soon came to realize that the celebrities of podcasting etc. were just as normal and down to earth as I am.  Later on C.C. and I worked together at crayon and still cross paths all the time.  It makes me feel old to think how long he and I have both been in “this space” and where we are today from our days of early podcasting.

Lee Coulter – Amazing musician!  C.C. Chapman took this picture and set this whole ‘punked’ thing up, he just knew that I’d freak out and he’d get a good laugh.  We were all at PodCamp NYC, and C.C. was over talking to Lee Coulter (I am totally in love with his music!) and he was like, “hey Lynette, do you know who this is?” No. Like you think I would have learned from the first time someone asked me that question…  When I realized who it was, I jumped up and screamed and hugged poor Lee.  Not sure if you can tell or not, but he looks a little scared, a crazy pregnant woman and all freaking out over him.  Now Lee doesn’t know me or anything, but it was one of those ‘rock star’ moments that I will never forget.  I did get to see him in concert a few months later (when I was good and huge pregnant) in California at the 3rd New Media Expo.  His music has been in near-constant rotation the past few weeks on my iPod and he’s actually what got me thinking about writing this whole thing up.

Lynette & MattMatthew Ebel – AMAZING MUSICIAN!!  He goes way back for me.  First started listening to his music when I first started podcasting back in 2004-2005.  He was a favorite on the Podsafe Music Network and somehow I just became a super-fan.  One thing led to another and he wound up in Second Life living in a tree on our island (LONG story…) and next thing I know he’s crashing at our place on his way around the East Coast and going to breakfast with my husband and I (that’s where this picture was taken).  He’s wicked tall, insanely talented, and incredibly driven.  So very glad I have gotten to meet him in person a few times and see him perform.  Just amazing!  Anyone near the Boston area needs to go check him out and get lots of venues to host his gigs!

There are lots of other people along my travels that I completely loved meeting and that have added to much to my memories and life, but I just may have not freaked out like a dork so much when I met them.  Paige from MommyCast, Ewan Spence over at TPN Rock (among a ton of other projects), Whitney from LD Podcast & PodCamp, Chel Pixie, Diva… So many wonderful people make up my bucket list – and too many to even list out for the interwebs to see.  Notice that the majority of the people I value in my life are from online – ‘real life’ in a lot of cases – and come from the blogging / podcasting / social media space?  It’s what I do, the circles I travel in, and some of the *happy* in my life.

What’s left on my list?  Rick Springfield. J.C. Hutchins. Italy (again). UK. Ireland. Vacation to Disney World with my family. Trips to gamer-cons. A vacation with just my husband.  I am okay if I kick it before all this, but it’s always nice to have whimsical aspirations.

Rick Springfield will get checked off my list (not a notch in the bedpost, those days are gone) this fall when I go on my cruise with hundreds of other insane RS fans.  I’ve been to concerts, sang with him, touched his arm and guitar (can you say FANGIRL!!??), but never ever have I gotten my picture taken with him.  Now I am not expecting to develop a friendship or any type of communication with him, but hell, you never know. Back in the day I never thought I’d meet some of the people that I did, let alone become friends.

Not sure if I’ll ever get the opportunity to meet J.C. Hutchins in person, but I will always be a rabid fan of him and his work.  I made this tee shirt in homage of the 7th Son podcast novel and proudly wore it to PodCamp Philly.  He’s an amazing author and storyteller, and I am a forever-fan.  His new book is coming out in a few days, and although I’m sure it took him months and months to write it, it will take me about 3 hours to read it cover to cover as soon as Mr. UPS driver delivers it.

So that’s my braindump on people I’ve been thinking of lately.  I don’t want to collect places and things in my life, I want to collect people and friendships.  These are the things of value in my life, the tangible possessions that I carry with me in my heart.  Friends…memories…past, present & future.  When I look back at my life (hopefully when I’m nice and OLD) I don’t want stamps in a passport, I want friends, online and in person, who made a difference in my life.  I only hope that someday I can do the same for all of them.

[tags]Eric Rice, Spin Martin, Ed Roberts, Ed Radio, Lee Coulter, CC Chapman, Matthew Ebel, MommyCast, Ewan Spence, Rick Springfield, JC Hutchins[/tags]