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Saturday April 08, 2000, 11:59

It is always interesting to see what transpires when members of what I will losely call the "online community" meet each other for the first time. Inevitably, what happens is that these people will meet each other, socialize, try to find some common ground either related to, or completely separate from what they know of each other based on their web pages, and then these people will scurry home to recount the meeting on their respective web sites.

I mean, I know that's what I always do.

It can also get you into a lot of trouble. I mean, I went through this big account of these really nasty women in their pleather pants and blah blah blah, and I thought it was funny and entertaining and a pretty good representation of my feelings and the events that transpired that night, at least from my point of view, and then robin emails me and tells me I'm a bitch. Why? Because I neglected to mention her on my page and recount the story that she told of the girl (affectionately known as the "mattress" to the frat) who got so drunk one night that she ended up throwing peas and chicken down her cleavage before collapsing on the table.

Now Robin is super-cool, but for some reason that story didn't really stand out in my mind and I had forgotten it until she had reminded me about it. Well damn, then I felt like a real jerk because then I relized that it had been a particularly exciting night because I had met Robin, whom I was supposed to meet in Chicago but didn't because of the damn snow storm and I got stuck in St Louis instead of meeting up with all the people I had wanted to on my weekend trip up there (I am reminded that I never did finish my account of the Chicago weekend, and, for that matter of my time in Austin for SXSW either -- oh well). But it was weird, because I felt like I had already met her because we had emailed a bunch and I had looked at her pictures from her various trips and had gone through all of her webcam archives and damned if I didn't think I already knew the girl. Though in thinking about it now I really don't know anything about her, but that's the trap you fall into in this virtual world that we've all built up.

Ok, this is actually not at all what I've wanted to write. No, that's not true, it's actually exactly what I wanted to write, but I didn't know it when I started. I don't normally write like this, on my laptop, in notepad, offline, being able to go back and insert and revise and all that.

But I am today.

You know why? It's because it's Saturday, and I am, in fact, not at work. This is not a rare occurence for me, surprisingly enough, given the fact that I work at a startup. I think that the wonderful part of all this is the "I'm not at work" part of it. I go to work every day of the week, and I sit around for a couple of hours before the guys I work for show up (I am so reluctant to call them "bosses" which doesn't feel right, if only because it brings up images of the big guys at the end of a given level of a Nintendo game which doesn't feel right because I played a frighteningly little amount of Nintendo when I was growing up. I remember going over to Michael's house and we'd play Contra (up up down down left right left right b a b a select start -- or was it a b a b?) or there was that one time at Dennis' where we stayed up all night playing this game where you were this little car driving along the mountain and you had guns and whatnot and you had to shoot the other cars off the road, etc etc, but I don't remember the game much at all other than the fact that I was really really bad at it and while the rest of the kids slowly drifted off to sleep I stayed up with a few other troopers trying to beat the level and get to the boss. Of course I never did because I just can't do video games like that. I think it must be some sort of deficiency coming from only growing up with a hand-me-down Atari console) and then I work for a bit doing random stuff which I'd rather not be doing and then I come home, hungry, because I've probably not eaten during the day at which point I make myself some pasta and toast and think about what a sucker I was for moving up to Boston.

But then the weekend rolls around, and I am fabulously happy, because there are always fun things to do on weekends when I'm not at work. In fact, I'd venture to say that the weekends are made that much more exciting by the fact that my job is not at all what I want it to be, because then I have all this pent up energy that I can put towards having fun.

Take today for example. Today I'm going to meet up with Simone, whom I just recently met, and we're going to hang out. It's going to be tons of fun if only because we get to do that awkward "meeting for the first time thing" since we didn't really get to that the other night since we were at a poetry thing and there really isn't too much time to gab in between poems and whatnot. So yeah, life experience.

What am I talking about? Oh right, so this is all about how I've changed recently. Or rather, I think, since college, but I've noticed it out in the real world. I've learned that it's totally cool to not worry about what other people think of you. Well, I've realized it. I don't think I've totally learned it yet. And the point isn't to go running around like a total lunatic because it doesn't matter what people think. No, I'm talking a much more subtle level here. It doesn't really matter what people think of you when you're standing around in the basement room of a bar where there are all these people sitting around watching someone reciting poetry (on a stage which really reminds me of something out of Double Dragon with that chain link fence thing surrounding it and, wait, another Nintendo reference in the middle of this thing? I didn't even own a Nintendo. Damn.) because that's just it, they're watching the person doing the poetry thing.

They don't care about me.

And that's really great, see, because they don't realize that I am totally out of place and I'm here meeting this girl whom I've spoken to via email and have done enough investigative webbing to sort of see what she looks like but only in that vauge "her head is being blocked by someone else's hair" way or "is she really holding a dustbuster in that picture" way and realizing that she probably won't have a dustbuster with her tonight and so that won't really be a good clue as to who she is so I'd better just stand here and look inconspicuously conspiculously out of place and exhude that "i'm looking for someone" look so that maybe she'll come over here and save me.

I mean the poetry wasn't that bad at that point (and this one girl did recite this nice poem about this boy and this girl and the girl walking behind the boy and something or other love something yadda yadda I kind of missed the gist of it because I was looking for Simone looking for me but it was nice anyway) so I didn't really mind standing by the bar and the bathroom except that I could tell that I was really in the way of the waitress who kept on bumping me out of her way because, well, I was in her way.

But Simone finally did come along and rescued me from that awkward place by the bar and the bathroom and we went and sat down at this table and didn't really talk too much except for me bitching about St Louis every time I coughed and whatnot. But it was still cool.

The point? Oh, I guess the point is that we're going to hang out today, and then I will go to this birthday party. And then I'll come home and write all about it.

Or not.

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