Holy Days: My Time at MaxFunCon

I've been baptized in Malort, creativity, and kindness. This past weekend, Christy and I attended our third MaxFunCon. Each year I appreciate it more. 

Every MaxFunCon begins with a benediction. Well, it begins with check-in and a cocktail hour, but eventually we get around to officially kicking off the weekend. Since we use the word "benediction" I should point out that MaxFunCon is not a religious event. It's a celebration of all things awesome put on by the podcast baron, Jesse Thorn. However, despite its sometimes irreverent nature, MaxFunCon has gained the potency of a holy event, at least for me. It's a celebration of the human spirit; a reminder that people are good and joyful, that the world is mysterious and beautiful, and that a priest, Jeff Buckley, and my godless heart can share a hallelujah in equal measure.

Every year John Hodgman leads our group in a a few songs accompanied by his ukulele playing. The song, Surrounded by Friendshipis sung every year. I suppose it's the theme of the weekend. On the second year I attended, Hodgman introduced us to a song that I now sing near daily, as a sort of hymn. Resist the Tide, by Cynthia Hopkins has become so important to me that I have asked Christy to be certain it is played at my funeral. Oh, and this year Hodgman played We're in the Money while dressed as Ayn Rand. I did say MaxFun is about awesome.

A root personal concept in my life is the pseudoiterative. I plagiarized and adapted the idea from a Kim Stanley Robinson novel that I've mentioned once beforeThe idea is based in the surety and art of life's patterns and a desire to cultivate an awareness of both the repetitions and surprises of the present moment. MaxFunCon allows me a yearly appreciation of the pseudoiterative. The daily schedule is the same, but it's filled with new activities. I share time with friends I've come to know, while meeting new faces as well. It's a joyful experience that can be simultaneously frantic and meditative.

A rich life requires us to build meaning into whatever frame fortune gives us. Rituals, whether daily or yearly, are important to telling the story of ourselves to ourselves. For three years I've had the pleasure of partaking in MaxFunCon. I won't be there next year. My daughter is going to arrive soon and I'll be busy getting to know her. Maybe she'd be the perfect nine month old to visit Lake Arrowhead. Or maybe she hates nerds? I can't chance it.

I write this to document my love of MaxFunCon and to say goodbye for now. It's played a big role in my life, and my wife's. I'm glad my baby was able to hear everyone's singing in the womb. I hope I get to attend again. If not, I'll remain inspired to seek out and celebrate the creative things in life. I will also pick up a bottle of Malort next time I'm in Chicago.

Immortal Power: Plug It In!

I attend MaxFunCon every year with my wife. MaxFunCon is a wild weekend of creativity and camaraderie hosted by the Lorne Michaels of podcasts, Jesse Thorn. I can not recommend the event enough. It gets the blood flowing and makes you want to conquer the world in the name of awesomeness. Every year, Jesse and his friend Jordan Morris gift the Maximum Fun community with a theme. Last year's was More Powerful Than Ever: Going Ape. For some people, 2013 will be the year of the Snake, but for amazing people, 2013 is the year of Immortal Power: Plug It In! 

Now, I haven't updated this blog since October. It is obvious that I did not go ape enough. I could mention the chore of holidays and the lure of other projects, but those are excuses. Stoicism doesn't have room for excuses and ,obviously, excuses are anathema to anyone who is plugging into Immortal Power. That said, I am demanding better of myself starting...now.


  • I finish novel number one and push it into the face of publishers
  • I practice and discuss Stoicism like it's going out of style, which it has
  • I blaze a trail down my career path like a machete wielding adventurer
  • I don't alarm co-workers with imagery like, "machete wielding"
  • [placeholder for secret project]

There you go. I want to thank Zeno, Epictetus, Aurelius, Christy Lynn, and all Maxfunsters for the epic year that I am about to create. Immortal Power: Plug It In!