Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Freaky Diki Tiki

Blogging makes the world seem like a smaller place. Unless you are a blogger it may seem weird to say you have friends that you've never actually met, but in some ways the readers of my blog know me better than the people I interact with on a regular basis. Those of us who spill forth our notions here on the blogosphere tend to share our hopes, dreams, fears, and inner thoughts. Way i see it sharing that kind of info makes a better basis of friendship than sharing a cubicle next to someone, or being forced to make small talk with you wife's college roommate's husband, or listening to some soccer mom brag about her life and family while Junior practices kicking the ball.

Through this blog I have befriended numerous like-minded masochists, though most prefer the term writers. I have "met"a handful of agents and editors and many others who entertain me in a variety of ways. there are literally hundred of people from all around the world that I would love to sit down and share a beer with, or even a simple conversation. I would have more to say to any of these people than half of my relatives or 99% of those I went to school with. I know them, they know me.

That last line sounded like a new verse to Barney theme song. I love you, you love me, we're a happy family so before I make myself sick let me get back to the original statement that blogging makes the world smaller.

I now know people in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada(too many from both to link to), Spain, and Mexico. As well as somebody from dang near all fifty states. But let me tell you a crazy story in pictures to illustrate just how small the world really is.

This is my friend Arlene posing as a tourist alongside her husband Rob at our recent Halloween party. I've talked about Rob and Arlene a few times on this blog.

Most weekends my wife and I find ourselves hanging out, drinking a few beers and playing games with Rob and Arlene. They are the godparents of our oldest son.

Arlene spent a great deal of time in Hawaii as a child. Her mother's side of the family is from there and she still has lots of family there including an older brother named Steven. I've never met Steven but I've seen him in pictures and what not.

This is the cover of blogworld pal Cloudia W. Charters' novel, ALOHA Where You Like To Go? (click on the link to order your copy via Amazon?)

Okay, so I have this good real world friend who was raised in Hawaii and this blogworld friend who now lives in and writes about Hawaii.

According to my research there are slightly more that 1,000,000 million people living in Hawaii. So what are the odds that out of those one million people Cloudia would snap a picture of this fellow leaning on a concrete dragon?

And what are the odds that I would see her post with this fellow's picture and recognize him as Arlene's brother, Steven?

I wasn't sure at first so I asked Arlene to confirm and she did. Then I asked Cloudia if she knew Steven since Arlene informed me that he was a part time photographer and I already knew that Cloudia did some writing for the Waikiki News. But Cloudia did not know him. She took the shot because it captured the three ages of man. It truly was a random happening that brought home just how connected we really are.

So what's the weridest or most incredible thing that's happened to you via the blogosphere?


Laura K. Curtis said...

I will contribute a non-blog weirdness because it's Hawaiian in nature.

I, too, have some good friends who live in Hawaii. And, as I have mentioned, I spent a number of years living in Austin.

Recently, we went to visit our friends in Hawaii. One of the things they do is take on real estate-related things. They may invest in properties, flip houses, all kinds of stuff like that.

So one night I am talking to my friend Bruce about this really fab place I ate in Bastrop, which is outside Austin, and he confesses that they actually own land in Bastrop.

"You do?" I ask.
"Yes. I mean, it was a good investment, and we really liked the area, but the clincher was that the subdivision was called [I forget the name, but it's like Tiki Village or something]."

Now, this happens to be where one of my very closest friends in Austin (or, technically, just outside of Austin) lives. In fact, he owns one of the lots one street over from hers.


Kristen Painter said...

Nothing weird happens to me via blogisphere. I'm boring.

Travis' wife said...

I think the whole thing is CRAZY!!

Clare2e said...

Hey, Travis- blog sentences count, too! You could've posted a couple of these as a teaser. It's an odd coinkydink, for sure.

I'm not sure mine's exactly bloggy, but its via writing. During a Mystery Writers of America Symposium here in NY, I was at a related bookstore party and began chatting with a very nice woman who just had that Dallas look. Hard to explain, but I felt like I could easily know her, because I'd grown up with similar people. Well, we'd never met before, but she said her husband, a new national officer for MWA, HAD grown up in my little part of Dallas. No wait, he'd lived on my street. We compared house numbers- He'd grown up on my block!

She dragged him over to say hi, and I remembered playing on the wall around his house. He remembered taping me into a cardboard box with a thuggy neighbor when we were kids. (My mouthiness still incites that kind of behavior.)

Anyway, it took my ongoing involvement in a national writers organization which was having its annual conference in crowded, cosmopolitan NYC to accidentally meet a kid from five houses down the block. And who also writes fiction about people doing bad things. For seeming so pleasant, that block must've had some odd juju.

Ello said...

Wow it is such a small world! I completely agree with you about the friendships that bloggers have. I know that I have made good blog buddies with people that I like much better than people I interact with daily and even some of my relatives! I think it is amazing to say that about people I have yet to meet. But I also think that it is the wonderful part of the internet!

Cloudia said...

Travis: You said it all beautifully. I'm so glad to be a reader of YOUR blog; you have the nicest readers on the web ;-)
COINCIDENTALLY, I wrote about the bitter-sweet coincidental alignment of Obama' finest hour and greatest sorrow, the passing of his 'Toots' (Who coincidentally lived 2 miles from where I live & write). "do do do do" (Twilight Zone theme music)
Aloha from Waikiki

spyscribbler said...

Wow, that IS freaky! That's amazing! I've never had anything that incredible happen.

I agree about the friendships. How many friends do I talk to every day? Not many. Certainly not as many as I blog with every day. :-)

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. That is pretty darn cool!

I think one of the best things to happen to me (not necessarily weird) is that I got to actually meet and stay with my friends from England that I met via the blog. I never would have known them otherwise!

Bina said...

The only thing that has happened to me like that is when I lived in Dallas when I was 20. I met this guy who had a motorcycle. He took me riding and then we went to this party. Well, I'm walking through the parking lot at this apartment building, and this girl comes out. Keep in mind I was born and raised in Northern Ohio and went to the same school system my whole life. Well, I actually graduated with the girl in the parking lot! It was so freaking weird cause I never thought I would ever see anyone ever again that I went to school with.

But my first ex? He never forgets a face and I swear to God no matter where he is, he knows someone from Hawaii (born and raised), Germany (stationed in the military) and stuff like that. It's really kind freaky to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Travis, I saw a photo of my former boss in Cloudia's blog.

I left my job in 2000 so it's been awhile.

Small world, indeed.

Reb said...

The world is a small place and the 'net is making all that much smaller. Cool story, I don't have any to add, but I haven't been blogging for long, so I may one day have a story like that too.

lyzzydee said...

Thats well spooky!!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

That's pretty freakin' bizarre. I don't have anything that tops that.

Packsaddle said...

Travis, I like you, but not well enough to "share a beer with".

I'll buy one for each of us, though, if you're ever in Central Texas.

Keep up the great work here.

Miladysa said...

Flipping heck that's freaky!

Lindy said...


pattinase (abbott) said...

Like you, finding so much out about people I will never meet face to face. Thanks for being one of them.

Angie Ledbetter said...

How cool is that? Small world getting smaller! Glad you're part of this weird and whacky blog-o-rama.

Georgie B said...

The weirdest thing that happened to me in the blogsphere involved my chat room world crossing paths with my real world and my blog world.

To whit: back in July, I made a post about the odd people who would post on the chat rooms in my local forum (the Harford Courant), and how some of them would actually have valid points that they were making, but would be lost because they would try to turn every topic into them.

I commented about one particular poster who used his real name, and who would post about his problems with law enforcement in CT.

Around late September/early October, I get a comment from someone thanking me for mentioning him in my post.

I went to check out his blog, and sure enough, it was the same poster I was talking about in the chat rooms.

Freaked me out for about a week.

Barbara Martin said...

Travis, you have just had a case of synchronicity. If this is your first, then you can expect more to occur.

I have had nothing coincidental or strange happen to me in the blogosphere. Although I do agree we are closer in our community than most families are, because we aspire for the same things in life and have a common ground.

During the summer while I was in high school, I went to Rome for holiday and met one of my classmates at a historic ruin. That same holiday, my mother met another school teacher at the airport who was arriving while we were departing.

Mom In Scrubs said...

Last summer I was at the zoo about 120 miles from my house, with the kids and my parents. They were having feeding time for the giraffes, so I took the kids up to get in line. When we got to the front of the line, the lady handing out the food said to me, "Are you Mom in Scrubs?" I was actually speechless for a few seconds, my mouth opening and closing like a fish.

When I said yes, she said, I'm Webgal - from Monnik's blog?

I said oh, sure, I didn't know you were from here! She said she recognized my kids (that was before I had ever posted pics of me).

My brain was spinning for the rest of the day.

Oh, and as to internet friends, I recall that I used to think that people who got to know each other online, then met and got married must be certifiably insane. I think I get it now...though I'll just stick to the friendship thing as I'm already married and all.

dee said...

it is very weird who you run across and meet via the blog....and so weird that you are writing about Waikiki....We're going there in a month to help with a financial seminar for an author, Todd Dean...the seminar is in Waikiki at the sheraton...I wonder if Cloudia would like to do a story on Todd - who is from Canada....My sister also spent several years on Kauai and I shipped many boxes of enchilada fixins over for her to take to her church potlock....apparently Hawaiians love Tex Mex....and the world gets smaller and smaller....

Josh said...

lets just keep the FREAKY going lol

Junosmom said...

Wow, I am still waiting for a freaky story like that!

Janet said...

I don't know. Does having the head of the American Neo-Nazis show up on my blog and make vaguely threatening comments count? (Click on the Neo-Nazi label on my blog if you want the gory details. Who knew he vanity Googled?)

Stephen Parrish said...

It didn't happen in the Blogosphere, but I once interviewed and hired a woman in Berlin who years before (and unbeknownst to me) lived across the street from me in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Lana Gramlich said...

Okay...that is, like, just TOO weird, man! I have a few stories KIND of like that. Here's one of them;
After posting my introduction at an online group, I rec'd the following e-mail; "It's not often that I come across someone with the same mundane name as me (Lana,) but to see one who, like me, is also a professional artist, following a Druid path, plays guitar & recorder & is learning Welsh. I'm having a bit of a heart attack here! *chuckle*"
(I subsequently learned that this Lana also lived within an hour of me in Canada...until I moved to Louisiana. Note that I no longer follow a Druid path.)
I have some pages of such weirdo things from my life here, if you're interested.

SUV Mama said...

Since we're talking about Hawaii...
When we were in Kauai last year we went to a luau, where my daughter befriended an older little girl eating at the table next to us. Of course we all sat together during the show & started chatting. Turns out they were from the coast of Oregon (where my husband is from- a very, very small town). They were in Kauai to spread the ashes of their Mom/Wife/Grandmother...who my husband also knew.
So a couple from Colorado (us) meets a family from Oregon in Hawaii....

But your story is way cooler.


As for the internet leading to blog weirdness, nothing yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Cheryl Wray said...

That is absolutely so bizarre, yet cool. "It's a small blogworld, after all."

Melanie Avila said...

Oh that's crazy! I can't think of anything off the top of my head. My aunt is the co-founder of Backspace so other people have that moment when they realize I'm related to her (and I think look like her a bit too).