Monday, May 19, 2008

Tweeting an Adventure

In late May 2007, I made my very first Twitter post:

Wondering what I should do with Twitter...

Close to a year later, I continue to wonder.

Twitter does occasionally provide me with useful info. It has introduced me to and inspired me to write about a great little startup nonprofit. And it does, unquestionably, provide some high quality entertainment, both through the people I read and directly:

@joeyheadset: Dropping a handful of Good n' Plenty candies into a cup of coffee: a noble experiment! (though probably doomed to failure).

I can't say I really do much with my own tweets, however. I unload non sequitor thoughts for which I can't find real life homes. I announce some blog posts and throw the occasional link out there. I offer unsolicited advice to @BarackObama. But, honestly, I'm flailing.

Last night, I flailed in a new and exciting way, and, probably because there's something irresistibly ridiculous about blogging about tweeting, I feel compelled to share.

My sister got on a train in Boston in the early afternoon and asked me to pick her up in Wilmington at 830pm. The train stopped moving in Kingston, RI. She and her trainmates sat on the tracks there for more than five hours. A replacement train finally arrived. And Giuls told me her new ETA was 150am.

Midnight rolled around; I started getting tired; and late night ideas started to swirl. You know the swirl, right? Moments of intense but fleeting creativity. The pursuit of runaway imagination threads. Accidental poetry. Etc. I think you know what I mean. I think.

Regardless, my spiraling night thoughts last night had something of a common theme: adventure. I recounted adventures past, noticed the tiny adventures of which everyday life consists, and wondered in what situations we actually embrace the uncertainty of adventure and don't just seek to conquer it.

Just before I left for the train station, Twitter came to mind. It struck me that Twitter might be a tool for enabling the real time, long distance broadcast of the often misremembered rollercoaster of thoughts that pound through the heads of adventurers when they're mid-adventure.

I had a potential adventure coming up. I was driving downtown in the middle of the night. And I decided I'd tweet it. You know, just in case.

Here's how it went down, tweet by tweet:

(114am) @jdegrazia: soon an adventure begins. headed to downtown wilm, de to pick up my sister whose late train arrives at 2am.
(133am) @jdegrazia: Saw a fox. Makes me think about grizzly man.
(145am) @jdegrazia: Bunny too. Lots of wildlife tonight.
(151am) @jdegrazia: Listenin to a mix limmer made for new year's at jimbo's portable pub on the movie set 2004. Starts w sam cooke cover. Wow.
(153am) @jdegrazia: At train station. Dead quiet. Reminder of just how tiny wilm, de is. And that it's past my bedtime.
(155am) @jdegrazia: Thinkin bout blogging about tweeting this little adventure.
(158am) @jdegrazia: Sis arrived. So glad she didn't sleep through the stop. Comin from boston. All day. Ugh.
(202am) @jdegrazia: Giuls thinks my twitter experiment is weird.
(230am) @jdegrazia: Back. Fun talkin on ride home. Twitter interruptions would have been bad for the convo, so skipped em. Talked a bunch about karma.
(236am) @dshupp: @jdegrazia tell sis that twitter isn't weird, your china people have to follow you somehow
(242am) @jdegrazia: @dshupp Exactly. And make sure I don't do anything stupid. You guys are like the lil good ideas angel on my shoulder.
(244am) @jdegrazia: Still think it might be weird to blog about this tmrw though. Funny how you have these internal debates about weirdness levels.
(255am) @jdegrazia: Ok. 3am. Bedtime. Story over. The end.

Anticlimactic, right?

Sorry about that.

But oh well. It was fun to read through the tweets this morning. Fun to watch my sister's face get more and more suspicious as I explained the little experiment to her. Fun to hear from Dan and know that at least one person out there was following along real time. Fun to argue with myself about the weirdness of writing this post. And, most importantly, it was fun to ANTICIPATE adventure's onset.

It would have been much cooler, however, had the city been attacked by flocks of pterodactyls or something. I was ready to record history, and history had other things to do. Guess that's just the way it goes sometimes.