Saturday, December 04, 2004

Last week, the day after Thanksgiving, I drove up to Camarillo to meet with fellow bloggers Leese and Stanks. Leese posted in detail (in a much more timely fashion than me) about the enjoyable encounter, so I’ll mostly provide my own impressions of these two crazy kids.

First of all, Leese and I started off months ago flirting in Blogland -- harmless verbal banter -- something about her pedicured toes that got our fingers-a-typin’ in someone else’s comments section. Shortly after that, I came to really appreciate Leese’s website, especially the stories about shopping with Stanks, their steamy romantic evening alone, their little boy not liking Leese’s lullaby voice, her new car-washing obsession, or their son asking innocent questions about Mommy and Daddy's intimacy ("you make humpy?").

Though I hadn’t yet read Stanks’ blog, I was glad she brought her husband along. I figured it could be a little weird for a married woman to meet an internet guy face to face. And though probably she knew there was nothing to worry about, I didn’t want Stanks thinking I’d interpret this as him saying, "Take my wife -- Leese."

But because they’re both so easy-going and down-to-earth, we laughed about this, rehashing episodes of "As the Blog Turns" with complete comfort. As Leese mentioned, we talked about our favorite sites and posts.

And bloggers. This was the second real-life blogger-meeting for each of us -- Leese had met Aimee and I met AJ. Leese and I weren’t actually that surprised that all these get-togethers went so well. If you read enough posts and comments over time, you can tell how a cool person’s pixellated personality will translate easily into 3D.

To commemorate the occasion, we took some pictures, but in my opinion, they really didn’t do any of us justice. I don’t think I’m photogenic --there’s always a weird angle, lighting, and my goofy expression of "so, will the flash go off this time?" Based on those shots, I’d say the same about Leese and Stanks, but Leese’s post of their recent family photos look more like the couple I met. Leese is petite, cute and charming, and Stanks is a good-lookin’ dude with a friendly smile.

And they’re a great couple. That’s what I got most of our meeting. These two are happy and in love but good-naturedly bust each others’ chops. It was endearing, never schmaltzy. The stories they told me about each other was what I enjoyed most. I kept telling them, "You should blog this." How they met in college (a fight over using the library’s computer) or when Stanks was the on-site manager at a hotel, and drunks would pull the fire alarm, so they’d have to scramble their kids outta the place.

They thought they might have to bring the boys; the restaurant they picked out was low-key and child-friendly -- sawdust on the floor so you can drop your peanut shells there. They told me how they had been there before and the kids were amazed it was okay to litter that way. I had hoped they would bring those manic monkeys, and Stanks had even considered having me meet them out his father’s house so I could also try Leese’s homemade wontons... but it would be too distracting with the whole family there for the holidays.

Oh well, next time. They had offered some good advice about my car situation, and now that I’ve got a new one, I’ll have to make a roadtrip soon. Hopefully meet some other northern California bloggers, and of course hang out with Leese and Stanks again.


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