As my plans had been to turn right around at the end of this and get to the evening event, I had no book, no computer, etc. with me to kill some time, so I decided I'd go home. I proceeded towards my bus stop, only to miss that bus by a half a block, giving me 10-15 minutes of good quality RAGE to stew through. At this point, I was sufficiently "on edge" that I contemplated blowing off the evening event, figuring that I'd be more in a mood to fight than to network, but I figured I'd only get more angry if I stayed home, so headed back out.
Fortunately, the event, the December meeting of the Social Media Club of Chicago, was quite good, featuring a presentation by two authors, Shel Israel of Twitterville, and Erik Qualman of Socialnomics, both of whom were quite interesting (I wish I'd had a spare $50 to pick up their books). There was good food (Domino's Pizza from @Ramon_DeLeon and Wao Bao from @baomouth), free drinks (wasted on me, but there was beer, wine, and tequila), and about 200 people to schmooze with. While I didn't end up with a ton of cards, I met some very interesting people, and even went to an after-party at a bar down in the loop.
I'm hoping that tonight will be as good ... I'm off for a "Company Party for those Without a Company" being hosted by Out of Work Chicago down at the ritzy Mid-America Club up on top of the Aon Center (on the 80th floor) ... they're expecting 400, so it's not likely going to be a "quality networking" environment, but hopefully there will be interesting connections to be made.
One notable note on the job search: I got a call today for an interview (a real-live in-office face-to-face interview) at this company out in the 'burbs for next Thursday! The company doubled in size over the past year (which, given the economy, is pretty remarkable) and it seems that they've out-stripped their existing communication infrastructure, so are looking to hire somebody very much like me. I'm probably going to rent a car to get out there for the interview, but it looks like they may be accessible (especially if they have a company van that shuttles from the metra station ... it's a bit over 2 miles) to public transportation. Needless to say, getting a job would be the bestest thing (well, except for that winning Lottery ticket, of course) that Santa could bring me this holiday season!