Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Little Face Time

By the time I got to New York on the Friday before Spring Break, I was exhausted. Several hours of flying, not to mention cooling my heels in Atlanta when Delta randomly decided to cancel my connecting flight, had left me cranky and fried. Consequently, I didn't really catch on when the wife mentioned that we would be meeting one of my favorite bloggers, Odat, for lunch the following Tuesday. Sometime the next day, as I was wandering from grocery store to grocery store picking up the necessities, it occurred to me that I would finally be meeting one of the people that I regularly welcome into my life. Of course, I immediately got a little nervous. Sure, Odat seemed really cool, and the calming optimism of her posts had been cheering me up for months now, but there was always the possibility...

After all, how many stories have we all heard about psychopaths stalking people on the internet? And, for that matter, don't the neighbors always say the nicest things about serial killers? I mean, can't you imagine someone in Dahmer's building saying, "He was always so optimistic, willing to look on the bright side of things. Of course, he usually had a young swinger sitting on ice in his bathroom, so who can blame him?"

Actually, to be honest, I was never really worried about Odat. I was, however, a little bit nervous about myself. Had I set the bar a little high? Was she aware that I usually draft my posts before I send them out? Jesus, I hoped she'd be as cool in person as she was in her writing.

That's the key point, I guess. A few times a week, I invite a bunch of strangers into my life and take a little peek inside theirs. Maybe I leave out some information, but I write some incredibly intimate things about myself. My favorite bloggers, of course, do the same. We let each other into our thoughts and dare to divulge how our minds work. Admittedly, I'm an exhibitionist, but still...

At any rate, Tuesday came around, by which time I'd managed to put a lid on my nervousness. The wife was feeling pretty sick with a bug that she'd picked up from Georgia. I offered to go alone or reschedule, but she was having none of it. She was eager to meet the legendary Odat, and nothing short of leprosy was going to keep her from this lunch date.

By the time we showed up at Barnes and Noble in Union Square, where we were scheduled to meet Odat, I really had to go to the bathroom. That particular B&N hides their Men's room in a really inconvenient place, which meant that any further nervousness was overshadowed by a frantic search for the porcelain playroom, which I finally located in the computer section. I rejoined the wife by the front door, where she was on the lookout for "a curly redhead." Shortly after I got downstairs, we found ourselves joined by an energetic redhead with a huge smile.

Odat took us to Republic, a fusion restaurant near the bookstore. It had a really spare communal setup that made me think of state-run dining halls in China. The food was fantastic, Thai accented and perfectly prepared. We took off our coats, then put them back on again--it was a beautiful restaurant, but the heat left something to be desired. Somehow, though, the chilly air added to the cozyness of the situation.

Because she was sick, Misanthropster's voice wasn't working too well. When I'm nervous, or forced to carry a lot of the conversation, I tend to get a little Joe Friday. I ask a lot of questions, and probably talk more than I should. Odat was incredibly nice about everything, and I realized that the sensitivity and generosity that pervade her posts have a real basis in her personality. She is, simply, a genuinely kind and thoughtful person.

Lunch ended too soon, and Odat went back to work, while the wife and I trekked back home, where she took a nap. I was only moderately afraid that I had talked too much, and was left feeling pretty amazing about my first blog author meeting.

Which brings me to my next announcement. I'm going up to Arlington, Virginia this weekend to spend Easter with my friend John. He has assured me that he is very much up for a little bar hopping. If any of my favorite DC-area bloggers are available on Saturday or Sunday, please let me know. Having met one of my favorite authors, I'm eager to share beers with a few of the others!

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  • yknow if I won the lottery Id arrange all my favorite bloggers to be flown over (with their respective partners) hire out a castle or somewhere really cool ; the whole works!the dinner/drinking session would be a howl!

    By Blogger Judith, At April 4, 2007 at 10:20 AM  

  • Awwwwwwwwww (she says all teary eyed and stuff).....Like I told you before, it was so very very nice to meet you guys...(so my "seriel killer" personality was kept in tow..huh? hehehehehehe).
    You really didn't talk THAT much Crank!! ;-)

    By Blogger Odat, At April 4, 2007 at 10:45 AM  

  • I have had the pleasure of knowing Odat for sometime now, and I am lucky enough to see her in person from time to time when she comes into the office (that's another story). Lovely, funny, sensitive and SINCERE.
    Oh, by the way, Odat asked me to be sure to tell you that I am using her computer and am not Odat typing about myself. I am "not so common", by the way. I am also her "twinhead" except my crazy curls are not red (hers are not red either).

    By Blogger Odat, At April 4, 2007 at 11:33 AM  

  • I just visited odat and thought her avatar which recently hypnotized me into redoing a meme was following me. I love to read bloggers meeting bloggers. We do get to know each other on a personal level. I have no one living here in Vegas so far that I have found that blog and are interesting to me that is. Great that you met her. I too would be so nervous, I always edit and rework my posts even my comments. Sometimes I have no clue what my fingers were typing.

    Take care

    By Blogger Danielle, At April 4, 2007 at 12:17 PM  

  • Man, I'd love to hang w/ you as I'm a regular bar-hopper in DC. Unfortunately, I'll be in NEW YORK this weekend celebrating Easter. Damnit!

    I was psyched to MIRL (meet in real life) with someone who's now a really good friend in DC. I've met dozens of people here through here, including her best friends who just happened to live one block over from in my Arlington neighborhood.

    Small world....

    By Blogger Matt, At April 4, 2007 at 12:32 PM  

  • I hope y'all werent' drinking in front of Odat.

    By Blogger Matt, At April 4, 2007 at 12:33 PM  

  • Matt, I'd say come meet up with me in NYC, but I'll be in Cape Cod for Easter. Snort.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At April 4, 2007 at 1:37 PM  

  • The next time you are cooling your heels in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Email me. I'll meet you at the piano bar in the Atrium.

    By Blogger mist1, At April 4, 2007 at 4:49 PM  

  • I almost forgot...

    I'm not a serial killer either.

    By Blogger mist1, At April 4, 2007 at 4:50 PM  

  • Judith-
    An outstanding way to spend your winnings. Right now, you're on the top of my reasons for travelling to Ireland!

    Let's just say that I'd DEFINITELY be surprised if you had any bodies buried in your basement. And thanks for the reassurance!

    Odat's Twinhead-
    Are you sure you're not Odat?

    Nice to know that I'm not the only obsessive retyper. And, of course, nice to know that there's someone to meet if I ever find myself in Vegas!

    Matt, ya bastard-
    I can't believe you're going to New York this weekend! Man!

    And, no, I only drank Thai iced tea.

    And so the world turns...

    Why do I have the feeling that you'd make a stopover in Atlanta a lot more fun?

    I mean, assuming that you're not a serial killer and all...

    By Blogger Crankster, At April 4, 2007 at 6:23 PM  

  • This weekend, in DC. Let's talk.

    By Blogger The CEO, At April 4, 2007 at 8:08 PM  

  • P.S.
    Did you steal the chopsticks!!!!!!
    OMG......!!!!! And I thought you were sooo nice......hehehehehe
    Peace, again...

    By Blogger Odat, At April 4, 2007 at 9:14 PM  

  • Wow! Sounds awesome. I won't be in DC/VA for another 2 weeks. I'll Be in Manhattan with my sister. I try to edit my blog,honestly. but, I have so little patience that I can't wait to post my idea before it disapears. Then again, that's why there are always tons of typos. I have picture, never the details. Hope you have a good trip in NoVa/DC.

    By Blogger Pickled Olives, At April 4, 2007 at 9:20 PM  

  • CEO-
    There, there, and there.

    Not to say that I'm above stealing chopsticks (I'm definitely not!), but I actually found that random picture on the internet with a google image search. What are the chances?

    And, oddly enough, my wife will be in Connecticut with my sister. Of course, they will then be going to Cape Cod.

    Jesus, is anyone going to be home this weekend?

    By Blogger Crankster, At April 4, 2007 at 10:24 PM  

  • I will be fitting a kitchen floor - far more exotic then all the rest of yiz :oP

    By Blogger Judith, At April 5, 2007 at 6:29 AM  

  • Your wife is one of my favorite Crazy Internet Stalkers, and the only reason I know you...

    By Anonymous Jinja, At April 5, 2007 at 7:32 PM  

  • Oh and it is my first wedding anniversary this weekend. We're going to a craft beer festival. In Berkeley. So no, we won't be home!

    By Anonymous Jinja, At April 5, 2007 at 7:33 PM  

  • Jude-
    You live in a cool, exotic place. I'm already envious!

    Congrats on your anniversary! And damn you for rubbing in the whole "craft beer festival in Berkeley!" As if I wasn't already envious!

    By Blogger Crankster, At April 5, 2007 at 10:09 PM  

  • The best word I found in Odat's blog is 'Peace!' No wonder you found her lovable!

    By Blogger ramo, At April 6, 2007 at 3:18 AM  

  • I have known Odat for years.. she's surprisingly nice, considering her prison record....


    By Blogger Deb, At April 6, 2007 at 5:50 AM  

  • I suffer the same disease - garrulous when nervous. But when I'm quiet is when you really have to worry.

    Touching post.


    By Blogger Glamourpuss, At April 6, 2007 at 1:12 PM  

  • Ramo-
    I know what you mean--simple and beautiful.

    I KNEW IT! She's keeping people in the basement, isn't she?

    Right there with you. Quiet is when I'm plotting evil.

    By Blogger Crankster, At April 6, 2007 at 4:36 PM  

  • Yay! Just now catching up on blog reading! See you at 5!

    By Blogger Lee, At April 7, 2007 at 12:27 PM  

  • In response to Deb's comments, I have never spent time in prison....nor do I have a record...
    (now about the bodies in the basement,.....hehehehe)!!

    By Blogger Odat, At April 7, 2007 at 6:01 PM  

  • Okay fine. Just because you didn't get caught........

    By Blogger Deb, At April 8, 2007 at 7:01 AM  

  • Oh, what fun! Wish I'd been there, too. I would love to meet all of you.

    I have never met a fellow blogger except for a couple on my sidebar whom I already knew, one of which is my daughter. (Never mind which one, though.)

    Thanks for sharing the good times with us.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At April 10, 2007 at 9:12 PM  

  • Odat-
    Somehow, I always knew.

    I think we need more details.

    Let's be honest: even if I hated your city (which I don't!) you constitute a good reason for flying cross-country. I'm sure we'll meet someday!

    By Blogger Crankster, At April 12, 2007 at 3:54 PM  

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