Typing About Mud At the End

The Sound of Typing

It’s always interesting to meet someone for the first time. There is the slight nervousness of how to present yourself, the forced grasping at straws we call conversation topics, and the buildup of sweat in the usually smellier places of your body where sweat seems to take brief vacations.

What’s even more interesting is meeting someone that you have read about, or even someone whose words you have read.

The internet is one of the world’s greatest tools of communication and also one of the worst. Usually the tone is lost in the typing, so many a misunderstanding has occurred from misread messages that didn’t have a smiling emoticon to indicate humour. However, for every instance of the internet being the devil, it also has an angelic side as well.

Sometimes you just end up clicking with the person who you are communicating with, and this buds into a friendship of sorts.

This past weekend, we met up with three girls (Courtney, Clara and Reena) at a friend’s birthday party. It was nice to meet them all. I’ve met Courtney before at a wedding, and it was good to see her again. Before I actually met her, I was given her blog address in a comment that she left in one of the Hai-Kuul entries. The other two girls are her friends and also have their own blogs. Their blogs are like conversations. Not necessarily professionally crafted pieces of writing (I can say this because mine is not Mordecai Richler by any stretch of the imagination), but honest dialogue about what’s going on in their lives, and what they are thinking. When you read their blogs, you get to know them enough to start an easy conversation with them, as their talking and speaking are similar. It was a fun time.

Currently, I have physically met four people from the blogosphere (the fourth being Ian, whom I met in May – referenced in a previous article). Considering that each of these live introductions went really well, I have to admit to feeling slightly giddy at this tool for making great new friends.

Indeed, quite a few people that contribute to the growing number of comments (as well as my carpal tunnel syndrome) are people with whom I think I could hang out with and have a beer or two.

When comments arrive from a new contributor, I like to read that person’s blog (if they provide a link), and see what they’re all about. I often wonder what their voices sound like, and how they speak. These thoughts spiral into another level when that person posts pictures of themselves.

Sometimes you have a particular expectation of how someone will sound based on what they look like. I know from experience that people don’t expect my voice to be the way that it is. More than once I have been told that the sound of my voice was slightly unexpected. On the flip side, I have had phone conversations with coworkers who, upon meeting me for the first time, readily admitted that they thought I was a short, fat bald guy (where they got this, I don’t know).

Another example of this duality is my friend Dave. His blog is excellent. He is an exceptionally gifted writer with a great sense of humour and talent for communication that makes me wonder why he isn’t famous yet. However, in real life, he doesn’t constantly zing the crowd with his wit. Instead, he sits back and observes what’s going on and will occasionally fire off a great one liner that will keep things lively for the rest of the evening. You would have to get to know him a bit better than casually to believe that Touch You Last is written by him. Not for lack of ability, to be sure, but for the simple reason that he is quieter in person than he is on his blog.

This difference in real personality versus blog personality intrigues me.

Does anyone else think about this kind of thing? I am interested to know if any of you have physically met folks online, and how reality may have been different than your expectations.

Don’t Track Mud In My House

I had to do something the other day that I’ve never done before: I deleted a comment from someone I don’t know.

The comment itself was innocuous enough. It simply stated that they liked the haiku writing, and they encouraged me to visit their site.

Always spurred on by curiosity, I clicked on the link, and found the oddest blog I have come across.

It was a series of entries slamming women, various races, and other groups of people.

While a racist-tinged joke told once in a while around the office or in the bar is barely tolerable, having a page of unintelligent ranting doesn’t sit well with me. I didn’t particularly appreciate the content of that page, so I erased the comment that could lead people there.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like being associated with writing like that.

To End On a Positive Note…

A few months ago I wrote about a cab driver with whom I had a great conversation. At the end of the conversation, he recommended a book called The Way to Buddhahood. I recently ordered this book, and it shall be arriving today. I’ll have to let you know how it is when I am done reading The Unfettered Mind.

Hai-Kuul – June 27, 2005

Intel Inside (Requested by princess_castle)
Never ending race
To create the fastest chip
I hate their jingle

U Silly (Requested by princess_castle)
What do you think, dude?
I’m pointing at your damned self
You are quite silly

Memories (Requested by princess_castle)
Pieces of yourself
To be recalled at leisure
Make the most of them

Blast From the Past (Requested by princess_castle)
Who would have guessed it?
You had a taco for lunch
Rum does funny things

Just Leave Me Alone (Requested by princess_castle)
I have a headache
And I’m trying to do my work
Get out of my face

Site Pop-Ups Allowed (Requested by princess_castle)
I hate marketing
But to use this site I must
Allow them to work

Ghostly Particles (Requested by princess_castle)
Ethereal dust
Floats in the periphery
They make me feel scared

Green iPod (Requested by Schmitgit)
This popular toy
Seems to come in all colours
I still don’t need one

Steaming Summer Days (Requested by Schmitgit)
The thermometer
Has moved to Antarctica
I should do the same

Air Conditioning (Requested by Schmitgit)
A cool winter breeze
Cuts the air like a sharp knife
And lays heat to rest

Air Canada Prices – Highway Robbery (Requested by Schmitgit)
They rule the blue sky
Their competition lingers
They take advantage

Eating Like a Goldfish (Requested by Schmitgit)
Miniscule pieces
Of flaky protiens taste like
Bad tofu burgers

*Remember, you can submit a topic to inspire your very own Haiku Poem by clicking here. You can read about Hai-Kuul here.