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Thursday, December 01, 2005

California Here I Come

Today I reminded my partner that he had promised to cover me next week while I am away in California.

"Oh yeah, right. Why are you going to California again? Do you have some family there?"

And it was at that point where I remembered that I had forgotten to come up with a good reason for the trip. Because the real reason probably wouldn't sound too good.

"Oh, I met this guy on the internet..."


"And, um, so my wife and I are going out there to meet him and his family."

"I see. So you're meeting guys on the internet now?"

"Well it's not quite like that." NO WAY am I going to start telling him about the blog.

"What's his name?"

"Oh, his name? Er...Doctor Bean..."

"Did you say Doctor BEAN?!?"

"Well no, that's not his real name..."

"Do you mean to tell me that you're flying 2000 miles to see some strange guy you met on the internet and YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HIS REAL NAME??"

Boy this was getting harder and harder to explain..."Well, sure I know his name. I mean, we chat almost every day..." That's it, tell him that you talk to this guy more than people you actually know.

"So you're chatting with a strange guy named 'Doctor Bean', and now you're going to meet him in California."

"Well, when you put it that way, it does sound a little creepy."

"Hey dude, whatever floats your goat."

I was really scrambling here. How do I explain to a non-blogger what the blogosphere is like? Do I even want to? Can I explain that, through the magic of the J-Blogging community, I found a guy that I enjoy talking to on a daily basis about Judaism, Medicine, family, and Battlestar Galactica?

"OK, you got me. Actually I'm going out to Los Angeles because I'm thinking about relocating my practice there."

Maniacal laughter.

"Good one. I liked your first story better."


Y'know, it's a little odd. I got into blogging because there were things that I couldn't discuss with the people around me, but that I could discuss in the blogosphere. And now it seems, now that blogging itself has become something important to me, I find that I have one more thing that I can't discuss with those around me. And so I do crave the company of other bloggers, if for no other reason than just to relax and discuss our wonderful new community.


torontopearl said...

Hey, that's great news!!! I'm so happy you and Balabusta are getting away and that you will meet Dr. Bean and ball-and-chain!

Upon my return from Los Angeles in June, I had this to say on my blog:

1. A public thank-you to Dr. Bean and ball-and chain of Kerckhoff Coffeehouse for being such wonderful hosts, and extending themselves to me, me a "virtual stranger."

2. A public thank-you to ball-and-chain's mom for being a wonderful hostess and extending herself to me...just because she's as nice as her daughter and son-in-law.

PsychoToddler, have a wonderful time with this wonderful family! And if you can, check out this great Persian food restaurant that b-and-c's mom took me to. It's most appetizing...

(Maybe you want to meet Robert Avrech while you're at it, so he won't be so "psyched out" by your blogging name if he meets the real you! He's not too far from the Beans.)

torontopearl said...

BTW, I'm just copy editing a manuscript called "The Company You Keep".

You're in pretty good company with Doctor Bean et al.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Hey, I say "float your goat"!

Like i told Mar Gavriel's friends, it's only sketchy if you meet someone from online for dating purposes. Otherwise it's perfectly normal.

(or so i keep telling myself)

Stacey said...

It is so awesome that you will finally meet. I so wish that I could go, too.

Maybe we could all have an annual blog-friends reunion somewhere different each year.

Ezzie said...

LOL. You can always point them to my article. :)

For me, I went looking for SoccerDad in a shul he was visiting - but I went a week early. A couple friends were there, and they asked why I was. Your post reminded me of just how awkward it was to try and explain that one...

Though in general I think I'd just explain it exactly as it is. Let them think I'm crazy - they won't think any worse than if I try and stammer out some story. Well, maybe not, anyway... ;)

Ezzie said...

Maybe we could all have an annual blog-friends reunion somewhere different each year.

Stacey, you just want to go to Cleveland! :)

But wouldn't that be fun!

fudge said...

right, steg. there's MUCH less chance they'll turn out to be some eighty-seven year old pervert chain saw massacre if you tell them you're looking for friendship.

and by the way--isn't this the doc who jetsets off to the carribian at his caprice?

and FURTHER by the way--thanks for telling me before you left--when do I get to go to the lovely pacific?



oh and by the way, i showed the people from the radio station the video of yonina imitating strong bad's goatface club thing, and one of them nearly needed the heimlech.

PsychoToddler said...

and by the way--isn't this the doc who jetsets off to the carribian [sic] at his caprice?

I assume you're referring to my partner, not Dr. Bean. Dr. Bean, as we all know, is poor. Which is another reason why I like him.

Irina Tsukerman said...

LOL, I can SO totally identify with people's reaction towards blogs and meeting other bloggers. But I think blogger re-unions (?) is an awesome idea... Right now, I'm severely limited in resources to fly to other places, but I'd be totally open to one in NYC, and eventually I hope to meet people in other places as well... Hmm, I often wonder whether meeting people I interact with online will be a disappointment simply because they become real or quite the opposite.

PsychoToddler said...

Steg, yes, 'float your goat' is an obscure reference to something that was said over on fudge's blog. Trying to maintain some level of consistency across the PT franchise.

PsychoToddler said...

Ezzie: we had lunch with one of my wife's coworkers today (hiya M.) and explained the trip to her. She sat there calmly with a little smile on her face that seemed to indicate 'I'd better not show any reaction...who knows what these crazy people are capable of...'

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

right, steg. there's MUCH less chance they'll turn out to be some eighty-seven year old pervert chain saw massacre if you tell them you're looking for friendship.

Ssssshhhh, Fuuuudge, i told you not to blow my cover! Now when do we get to meet for our pervert chain saw party?

Stacey said...

Stacey, you just want to go to Cleveland! :)

Damn, you just outed me!

But wouldn't that be fun!

Hell yeah!! Esp. in winter. I can see Jack freezing his California hiney off. :)

Doctor Bean said...

This might not be the right place for this, but I guess I should let you know that I almost never bathe, and none of us wear clothes inside the house.


Looking forward to seeing you.

I'll post my home address and your flight info in case anyone wants to "join" us.

Ezzie said...

Hmm, I often wonder whether meeting people I interact with online will be a disappointment simply because they become real or quite the opposite.

Don't we all...? Though I think pictures play a large role. If you know what the person looks like, it's not as big of a shock when you meet them. It sounds superficial, but it makes a lot of sense...

Hell yeah!! Esp. in winter. I can see Jack freezing his California hiney off. :)

I miss snow... :(


By the way, y'all are invited here anytime. And we wear clothes.

PsychoToddler said...

If I were someone who was interesting to talk to in person, I wouldn't need virtual friends.

Ralphie said...

I know Dr. Bean & clan. And let me assure you that based on my first-nad knowledge, your visit will be creepy.

Sorry I'll be out of town. Have a nice trip.

Jack's Shack said...

I plan on never going to cleveland. Just no reason to do that, I'd rather clean all of Grand Central Station with my tongue.

Doctor Bean said...

Ralphie: first-nad knowledge!!

I'm giggling hysterically.

I think you may win Most Unfortunate Typo of the Year.

Jack's Shack said...

P.S. Nice post, I liked it.

Mirty said...

I met David of Treppenwitz when I was in Israel, but so far he's the only blogger I've met in real life, not including the bloggers who happen to know me from when I was 10 and then found me again here in the J-Blogosphere. (That's a whole 'nother story.)

PsychoToddler said...

I've met Toronto Pearl and Shira Salamone. Also Sklaro (Prodly) and Velvel and Becky. And apparently I met Cara. Twice.

Not counting all the bloggers that are related to me.

wanderer said...

You're about to meet us as well! Looking forward to meeting you at the Beans for lunch next Shabbat. Been following the tales of the Psychotoddler as a lurker for a while now. Like Ralphie, we have first "nad" knowledge of the Beans as well - a foot-stompin', lip-smacking, hand-clappin', finger lickin' good time is guaranteed to be had by all! Heck, you could call it a symposium on Judaism, Medicine, Family and blogging and then write the whole trip off! (It IS the end of the tax year!). I'll have to dust off any Battlestar Galactica trivia I can come up with...:)

Ezzie said...


I've met SoccerDad, and Israel Perspectives' brother is in Lander with me. I also know some readers/lurkers and S.I.L., who writes on my own blog, but I don't know if those count...

Another blogger ALMOST came over, but didn't. (AHEM!) We're still hoping to have them, though.

Shira Salamone said...

"If I were someone who was interesting to talk to in person, I wouldn't need virtual friends."

Actually, the Punster and I had a grand old time with the PT/Balabusta clan when we met in June. It was a nice combo of serious conversation and laughs. Boring, you ain't. :)

I talk about blogs all the time. I imagine some folks think I'm slightly off the old rocker, but then again, I'm not sure they didn't think the same of me *before* I got involved in the J-blogosphere. :) Obviously, it doesn't help that I'm "in the closet" as a blogger at my shul and at work, but I wouldn't be free to talk about either of the above organizations if I were not blogging anonymously. Only a couple of my friends know that I'm blogging, and I'm now sorry that I let them know. So, the poor Punster, being one of the few folks from real life with whom I can discuss my own blog, gets the dubious privilege of listening to me run my mouth about . . .er, running my mouth. :)

So, just how many Nu Yawkers are there here? As Irina was saying, "I think blogger re-unions (?) is an awesome idea... Right now, I'm severely limited in resources to fly to other places [likewise, I'm sure], but I'd be totally open to one in NYC." So far, I count me, Irina, Steg, and Ezzie, and one or two other bloggers who've posted over here whose names I can't say I remember, living in the New York City metropolitan area. Blogger party, anyone? What a "mixer" that would be. It occurs to me that we Jewish bloggers are not only a wild mix of haskakot/religious viewpoints, but also cover a considerable age range. It's a good bet that I'm the oldest one of the NYC-area bloggers commenting here, so just call me Savta/Grandma. :)

Mark, I don't suppose that you and Mrs. Balabusta will be heading to *this* coast any time soon, but whenever you get here, we could have a regular blogger convention. :) In the meantime, enjoy your trip to California, and please say hi to Dr. Bean and ball-and-chain for me.

Jack's Shack said...

I am very curious about all of this. I wonder if in person it will feel normal or awkward when you realize just how much some people may know about you.

Shira Salamone said...

Er, make that "hashkafot." (It's past my bedtime, as usual.) And, er, as I was saying, er, pardon me for running my mouth.

MC Aryeh said...

Another NY-area blogger here. I am also curious what it would be like to meet people whose blogs I have been frequenting over time, You do form an impression of someone based on how they write and what they reveal.

PT, I think it's pretty impressive that you are so open to meeting your fellow bloggers. Have the ones you have met turned out to be who you imagined they would be?

Essie said...

Have an awesome time in California! I love that place. Will be such a nice change for you, from the Milwaukee weather to sun, sun, sun! Very cool that you and the Bean are finally meeting up.

Anne said...

Enough! I will find a babysitter. I will join you all for dinner next Saturday. I will eat kosher Chinese food and not choke. I will laugh at all your jokes and marvel at how the Internet has brought us all together, frummies and heathens, in glorious blogging harmony.

I will try not to glance at my watch every five seconds and wonder how much the babysitter is costing and if we'll hit much traffic on the way back. I'll be bringing the baby and hoping against hope she will not need to be breastfed right there at the table at the precise moment my food arrives.

I will not stress. I will not stress. I will not stress.

Looking forward to meeting you all.

PsychoToddler said...

wanderer: Looking forward to meeting you as well. I will have to get the Beans to indoctrinate you with the new Battlestar Galactica. Otherwise the conversation just won't be interesting.

Ezzie: Keep extending the invite. However, I have it on good authority that what that blogger really wants out of a shabbos is some peace and quiet. And food.

Shira: And we very much enjoyed meeting you two. I do enjoy talking about blogs, even as it makes me feel lame. It's a little like talking about video games. Which by the way, I have yet to find somebody over the age of 15 with whom I can have a good conversation about that. Although I am working on Mrs. B. We're getting to the point where a dinner conversation may include, "OK, I think we can destroy the mutant power dampener by using our Xtreme power-ups in tandem. What do you think?" (BTW that's her question to me).

Still, I don't let on about the blog in public unless I absolutely have to. This leads to a lot of conversations where people ask me what's new, and I want to say, "I just wrote this killer blog," but I end up saying, "not much."

Jack: I know a good way to find out ;-)

MCAryeh: considering how many NY J-bloggers there are, I'm surprised you don't do something on a regular basis. But then, many of you will blow your covers. Can't imagine DovBear showing up to one. Well, maybe he'd come, but not take off the mask. It would be shocking to discover that your next door neighbor is your arch-blogging-nemesis.

And with regards to how people are in person, I've found it to be variable. Some are just as you read them, others are completely different.

Essie: I could use a little sun just about now.

Anne: Yay! Positive thinking, positive thinking, positive thinking.

Mrs B. will get all gushy on the baby.

Ralphie said...

Um... any way I can delete that "nad" post? Pretty freakin' embarrassing.

I'm missing out on Wanderer, too? What a bad time for a vacation...

Doctor Bean said...

Inland Empress: Terrific! Looking forward to meeting you. No need to stress. I've spend most of my life as a heathen, and only the last decade and a half as a frummie (and a marginal one at that), so I think I can bridge the gap for you. And the Chinese food isn't bad.

Finally, don't worry about breast feeding at the table. We're doctors!

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

In the last few weeks i've met two NYC-area people who've told me "oh, i read your blog; and i have my own blog, but it's anonymous so i'm not telling you who i am." It's so aggravating. And i don't even like talking about blogs in RL that much anyway.

Ezzie said...

Peace and quiet? Heh. That *sometimes* happens here... But if that is what is desired, we can do that. We could use it ourselves, sometimes.

Food is NOT a problem. I've put on 45 since the wedding (and before all the doctors hit me, it's been coming off. Slowly).

And the open invite is truly that - open. Sometimes people feel uncomfortable with the non-specificity, but we're slowly training our guests that we mean it. Anytime... just call a few minutes in advance to make sure we're not over-booked (or out of town). But we'll keep trying. :)