This weekend I traveled to Portland to participate in a monthly panel discussion, Drunken Discourse, which is broadcast on Portland public access television and made available online after that. (It sounds like it may be December before the most recent one, Episode #6, makes it on air.) I was invited by the host, Kyle Curtis, who read some of my work and gave me the opportunity to present my newest research project entitled: “Controlling the Narrative: Gatekeepers, Secret Societies, and Good Ol’ Boys Networks.” My best friend since high school accompanied me on the train ride down, and one of my first and favorite friends, my cousin, met us at the venue just as the event was starting.
I was able to take a brief break and join them at their table in between participating in the on-stage “get to know your panelists” conversation and actually giving my presentation. This is how the off-stage conversation started:
Cousin: Is she drunk yet?
Cousin: Should we fix this?
As I stated in my presentation, I have done editing and design work for a Tacoma based Drunk History presentation in the past (uncredited) – obviously this is the type of work I didn’t do while inebriated or in public.
Leading up to the event, I announced on several occasions that I was bringing my friend as my designated drinker.
I was honestly not going to have even one drink.
I failed in this endeavor.
I reportedly still rocked my presentation — even with not getting the clicker thingy, aka “slide navigator,” to work initially, and then later accidentally killing the entire slide show. Thank goodness for producers like Megan Taylor of Manic Esoteric Productions for straightening that out without me having to interrupt my presentation to ask. Those present had the great fortune to listen to Juan Coronell’s, Narendran Muralidharan’s, and Bill Hernandez’s talks ranging from sweet (“Embrace Change”) to hysterical. Narendran’s “Conservative Immigrant” had us dying; his timing was dead on.
Saturday night (and Sunday morning) did reconfirm the following for me: there are consequences to giving into peer pressure. Something about trying to be a responsible adult, the chronic sleep deprivation that accompanies parenthood (I had two hours of sleep Friday night), and missing a gallbladder has weakened my tolerance for vodka. But this weekend also reminded me of the power of hanging out with strong, intelligent, positive, and supportive women. I am extremely lucky in this regard.
I will share the link when it is available. According to Megan, the show airs on TVCTV.org and Portland’s Open Signal. “This includes many public access channels including CAN which reaches the greater Portland Metro area. CAN is on Xfinity Channel 11 and 331 (in HD) and CenturyLink Channels 11 and 1011 (in HD as well as Frontier Channel 22.” According to Open Signal’s website, “Via our five cable channels, Open Signal reaches over 400,000 homes in the Portland metro area […]” In other words: no pressure. Keep an eye out on the Drunken Discourse Facebook page for more information.
I am looking to publish the longer written version as soon as possible, and I can also be available to repeat this presentation sober (the audience doesn’t have to be). Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.