Someday, in the event that I have nieces and nephews, adorable little children (all children that eventually go home to somewhere else are adorable) will look at me with their Dave Keene eyes and say "Auntie Never! Tell us about the nineties! We want to hear all about the internet boom when everybody became a millionaire overnight." Some of my friends did become millionaires. It was funny to see the names of people that I knew in press releases. It was strange to hear everybody talking about some company where I knew the CTO. Someday, when I'm surrounded by wide-eyed children, I will tell them about the time The Magazine Which Must Not Be Named rented out City Hall and threw a 2000-person party with eight open bars. There were the suddenly-rich ravers at Critical Path and the thugs-in-suits at Scient. There was that time that J, S, and I all made $10,000 overnight. On New Year's Eve 2000, most of my friends were in Fiji.
Some of them struck it so rich that they were inspired to spread it around. Jamie, unhappy when Netscape's corperate celebrations, rented out the Sound Factory for a Mozilla Party. D found a champagne he enjoyed so much, he bought every last available bottle in the United States, and then brought it out, case after case, for his friends to drink. I'm certain that there was an entire year when every time I went out, I saw some display of wealth so ludicrous I couldn't stop laughing.
When I got the invite from Dan Sully, I didn't understand at first. The first time it showed up in my mailbox, I mistook it for spam and deleted it unread. I do this a lot. My friends, if I've been owing you a reply to some tidbit of email for six months, there's a very good chance that your message has been lost in a fit of overzealous deleting. I thought he was just getting some friends together for the premiere of Lord of the Rings. We would all stand in line and give each other moral support. I could not have underestimated him more. Dan pulled a move directly from the 1999 playbook . He had rented out a full theater at the Metreon and he'd invited three hundred of his friends to see Peter Jackson's movie the moment it premiered: midnight.
Nevermind the movie. It was a beautiful movie, a great movie, I can't even count the number of times it gave me goosebumps, but the night was a beautiful thing in and of itself: three hundred people milling around a theater in the Metreon, hugging the people they hadn't seen since last week and the people they hadn't seen in years.When the lights dimmed and we took our seats, it was like watching a movie on a couch that seated hundreds of my friends. We cracked wise and hooted and laughed and ahh'd in a way that we would never have done in a dark room full of strangers. When the credits rolled, after we were done applauding Peter Jackson, we turned and we applauded Dan, because he'd thought to do this when we all so desperately needed cheering up. And this bitch of a year, 2001, didn't feel so miserable.