First night at TED Aspen

I have to start this post by saying – I am a HUGE fan of Jill Sobule. I mean, CDs, blogs, following her career, it’s a funky thing, not in that stalker way, just in that “how many 45 year old married guys follow Jill Sobule’s career?” kind of way.

I met her years ago at the TED Conference in Monterey, CA and we did our very first text messages with each other on the Treo 180 given out in the legendary TED gift bag. It was way too fun. I had never heard of her and we just happened be standing next to each other and traded numbers. Then later that day I saw her perform and I was all about Jill. Loved her songs, her twisted sense of humor, the way she carried her guitar without a case and plugged it into the system like it was her first time on stage.

So back to tonight – first night at TED 2008. They had a dinner for all the speakers and it was a major schmooze opportunity. I bumped into Jill and Rives right when I walked into the restaurant. We were inseparable. We ended up at the same table with a few of the folks from TED HQ who were very cool (Jennifer and Emily – nice story about the bus ride, Jennifer!).

The Raspyni Brothers, Jill, and Rives have been pegged as “The Little Kids Table” at TED and it is our job to take this entire week of cerebral excellence and make it funny in an 18-minute wrap up. If tonight was any indication, we are off to a really great start. Julia Sweeney was supposed to be here but came down with that nasty flu so we are one great comic mind short.

So many wonderful laughs and for a while it was just performers connecting… sharing stories from the road and from the stage. Highs and lows, successes and failures. Jill was just a girl with real stories and Rives was a world traveler and the biographies didn’t matter. Great food and a decent 2005 Chardonnay made 2.5 hours fly by.

Tomorrow we start the real work – watching some of the great minds of our world “tell a story they’ve never shared before” as the TED instructions state. It’s an amazing conference and I am so happy to be here – for the 5th time!

Oh, and as a side note, landing at the Aspen airport is a visual treat. The runway seems to be cut right into the mountain because the last 3 minutes of the flight you are face to face with fantastic views. Good design.

Seems only fitting that it’s where TED begins.