tomfromhr.com a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies

31Jul/126

#winetoreach and VEDA

This last Friday, Joey tweeted he wanted to #winetoreach. Just like that, suddenly, he had put together one of the most popular, hectic and fun #winetoreaches in a while. That was all it took. 

For those unfamiliar with this, #winetoreach started one fateful night, many moons ago when my BFF Ashley got a bottle of wine and stayed home one night, drunkenly tweeting with the hashtag #winetoreach, parodying her own Twitter handle, @writetoreach.

It started off with folks getting drunk, hanging out on Twitter, and using that hashtag together. It was like we were all going out to the bar together, but were doing so from the comfort of our own homes, in PJs. Obviously better than the actual bar, where you have to dress up and spend more than $8 on a bottle of wine.

Then, one day, I think it was during #VEDA last year, we realized, hey, we have webcams, and there's this thing called Google+ Hangouts that would allow us to all hang out together and see each other and actually talk!

Can I admit that this still freaks me out a little bit? Live, non-text based conversations in general still freak me out a little bit. I always worry I won't know what to say, or there will be some uncomfortable silence, and even though I've had so many awesome and hilarious #winetoreaches, this still freaks me out.

Nevertheless, I did it. I dove in. And suddenly there were all these people I'd come to know, being their awesome, inclusive, hilarious  selves. Anyone who seemed to be at home on Twitter would get a bomb of tweets, asking (or demanding) they come online. Hell, on Friday we were pulling in people who didn't know most of us, just to chat and have a blast.

This is the spirit of #VEDA, I'd say. That inclusiveness. That mutual recognition of the awesomeness in others, even if they don't believe it themselves. That positive attitude, that welcoming, is just so incredibly wonderful and powerful. I've become a braver, better person thanks to #VEDA, thanks to #winetoreach, and probably thanks to most people reading this.

So thank you. Now let's go out there, tomorrow, and create some cool stuff.

And if you're not signed up for #VEDA? That's okay too. I still think you're awesome.

But you totally still could.

Oh, and last night, in the middle of #winetoreach, we made a Happy Birthday video for Linda. What other group of people would do that?

30Jul/122

City Living: A Review

I spent not quite a month living in the city of Toronto.

In short, I didn't like it.

I'm struggling a little bit to explain exactly why, because it's not entirely clear in my head. I liked seeing friends, for sure. I liked being closer to them, being able to pop out for dinner at a moment's notice. I liked being able to leave work 5 minutes late and only be 5 minutes later, not 30. 

I'd also say I liked cooking for myself. I liked not having anyone waiting for me at home and being able to eat dinner at 8 if I felt like it. But those are things that would be solved by living on my own no matter where I lived.

What probably bothered me most though is something that I think is a key part of living in Toronto, and something that you likely get in any large city, which is the sheer speed of it. Everything moves quickly. Everyone rushes past you. No matter how fast you're walking (or even running) you're not moving fast enough for someone else. Everyone packs into everything tightly, squishes together, in their rush to get where they're going. And that bugs me. I'm a slow walker. I like to take a moment and smell the roses. To pause, sigh, and text someone. 

I didn't feel like I could do that comfortably in the city.

I felt constantly rushed and out of time. 

I'm sure there are areas of the city where this is not true. Emma was kind of enough to show me a quieter, nicer area of the city, that I could definitely see myself living in. But it would still mean crowding onto the street car. It would still mean dealing with the hubbub of that city and, honestly, I don't think that's where I want to be.

I've started to feel like I want to build something. To sound a little New Age for a moment, build the life I want, to attract the things I want. And I think that's primarily space. A nice porch. A backyard for a dog to run in. A place to keep a BBQ and learn to cook, like the neighbours beside me as I write this. A place to sit out with friends (those who will make the trek to visit me) and talk about life's important things. A room to meditate, to sleep and to play WoW (one for each, ideally). A garage to park my car. A house. A home.

Places like that exist in Toronto, I know. But they are likely 3 times my budget, or so far out that I may as well be living in the suburbs.

So, for now, I'm thinking suburbs. We'll see in a couple months, as I get things moving. Toronto did a number on my finances, so things will be moving a little slower than I had hoped, but I've also realized that finding the right place may take time. Which is good. I want to enjoy this time, now. 

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27Jul/120

What I’m Absorbing: July 27th

Each week I'll post the things that are in my ears and in front of my eyes. This can include articles, websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, TV shows, podcasts, books, games, programs, utilities or anything I can think of! Where possible I'll try to put links to check things out. The idea here to share, critically look at what I'm doing, and to motivate myself a bit to not just play WoW all the time.

Watching: The Newsroom - This is Aaron Sorkin's new show, following a nightly news program in the US. Although Sorkin has a well-known liberal bent, the show seems to try and present a balanced approach to a lot of issues. It's been fascinating so far because it started off back in 2010, covering such events as the Louisiana oil spill, the shooting of Gabby Giffords, the midterm elections and other sorts of things. It has Sorkin's excellent flair for dialogue, but is definitely a bit preachy. Still, it's definitely entertaining, though they seem to be trying to do more about the personal lives of the news people, which is not Sorkin's strong suit. Stick to the politics and high-minded ideals, Aaron. I'd give it a watch though.

Reading: I finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline this week. It tells the story of a future world where pollution and wars have left Earth mostly desolate. People live mostly in stacked trailer parks, and live out their lives online through an MMORPG called OASIS. The creator of OASIS dies, and leaves the key to his fortune hidden inside the game. The novel centres around Wade Watts, who searches in the game for the hidden fortune. Some of the book's references were a bit over my head, but if you grew up in the 80s, you'll find tons of great moments. It was good fun; nothing too serious, and didn't really touch on the implications of a society lived almost entirely online, but I'm hoping for a sequel that does. A great read overall, though.

Hearing: After Ashalah went to Florence and the Machine, I've had Shake It Out on repeat. Such a great song. I've also had a huge love for Call Me Maybe. Not ashamed to admit that. Also loving Lip Dubs and covers of it, particularly this one by the US Swim Team.

 

What are you absorbing this week?

20Jul/120

What I’m Absorbing: July 19

So I'm relaunching my weekly list of the things I'm watching/reading/listening to! Changing the name to What I'm Absorbing, cause I think that sounds better than consuming! As did GFM, I believe. 

Each week I'll post the things that are in my ears and in front of my eyes. This can include articles, websites, blogs, YouTube Channels, TV shows, podcasts, books, games, programs, utilities or anything I can think of! Where possible I'll try to put links to check things out. The idea here to share, critically look at what I'm doing, and to motivate myself a bit to not just play WoW all the time.

Watching: Doctor Who - Season 2. I've still got Buffy on the back burner, but lately I've been rewatching the first season of the 10th Doctor, with David Tennant. So far I'm loving it; forgot how full of energy and excitement he is, and how much I love the dynamic between Rose and 10. Just finished the Christmas Special and am moving forward from there. I don't know if I'll be able to watch his last episodes again, truthfully, but I want to get as far as I can before it gets a little depressing, and particularly revisit Steven Moffat's classic episodes like Blink and Silence in the Library. For you Yanks, I believe this is available on your Netflix (Editor's note: Damn you all.)

Reading: Right now, I'm reading Ready Player One, but I wanted to talk a bit about what I just finished, which is Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. This was a relatively quick but, honestly, hilarious read. It's a memoir, written in a kind of blog post style, of a woman's life. Her life is a little unique, growing up in rural Texas with a father obsessed with taxidermy, but her writing style, which is frenetic, tangential and just fun is what really captivated me. This woman could make the phone book sound interesting, and I've since started reading her blog and following on Twitter. Besides that, though, there is love, heartache, death and taxidermy in the book. Not to mention lots of blogging and Twitter related anecdotes. I'd highly recommend you read it.

Hearing: I'm tempted to talk about podcasts or music, but lately I've been reading a lot on my downtime and listening to WoW podcasts again, so I can't say that will be too interesting. The song I have heard and love lately is this cover of We Found Love by Lindsey Stirling. It's really hopefully, fun, and a beautiful video too. Her whole catalogue of violin covers of things is a really neat listen, particularly the LotR one.

Playing: Besides the obvious World of Warcraft, I've been playing a little fun game called Implode for iPhone and iPad. Essentially there are little structures that you place bombs on, to try and bring it down, while not hitting nearby buildings and make sure it falls relatively flat. It's a fun, simple little game that can be played any time you have a spare minute.

Using: Transmit. I'm a sucker for pretty, well-designed Mac software, and this one is no exception. Lately I've been playing around with editing bits of my website, trying to get a bit more comfortable with FTP, and Transmit has helped me work through that a bit. I'm sure it has tons of features I'm not using, but for what I need it to do, it's perfect, as well.

 

What are you absorbing this week?

19Jul/122

Wine and Love: 11

5641043482 6f577b210d mSo today I'm doing Wine and Love again, hosted by Suki! Here we talk about the things making us reach for the wine glass (or alcoholic beverage of choice) and the things we love this week! It's hard to keep track, I know, but do try to keep up!

Wine

  • I've had a rough few days at work. Nothing terrible, just things have been busy, and it takes its toll.
  • As much as I'm super grateful for the chance to live in this place, it's still really weird to live in someone else's space, and not entirely ideal. Mostly just because like…I'm trying to fit two people's lives, essentially, into a bachelor apartment. It's definitely been a great experience overall, though. I've learned to cook new dishes, manage meals and all that, which has been great. And I've been seeing folks more often, which is also just wonderful. But I will be glad to move home in a week or two.
  • I've been a little annoyed at the transit system in the city. Most of it seems to just be bad luck, but I swear I'm having tons of trouble with it. As much as I like the fact that it can get me to my doorstep more easily than the trains I normally take, it can still be a hassle. I've been late to work almost every day so far; if I leave early, there's a delay on the transit system. If I leave late, I get lost finding my way out of the transit system. Can't. Win.
  • I haven't slept well in…a month or two now. For various reasons, now being that I'm not sleeping in my own bed, and this heat wave doesn't exactly help. And although I'm physically closer to work, I don't really get to sleep in by much more than about 10 minutes. Especially since the transit system has proven I can't rely on it.

(Editor's note: Phew, that's a lot of wine, Tom).

Love

  • Well, where there's wine, there's also love. I have made some delicious dishes for myself. A simple pasta sauce with whole wheat pasta and beef, I cooked myself, has been super satisfying. I've been munching on carrots to try and make sure I get some veggies, too. 
  • I've been inspired to write a lot more here. It's funny, but I think it has to do with the fact that, at home, I sit at a desk where, historically, I've gamed. For years, that spot has been where I chatted and gamed. Not much else. So to sit there and write feels…weird. Off. Odd. Whereas here, sitting in a new spot, I've kind of redefined that a bit. I game in this spot, but I find myself gaming a lot less, and writing a lot more. I need to see if I can create a spot like this in my own place, or even at home, temporarily at least. I might look at getting a better chair for the back deck table. The chairs we have now are all recliners, so don't work entirely well for writing, but for the next month or two, that would be the perfect spot to write.
  • Although I've felt out of sync with some friends lately, I've felt like we reconnected a bit, which is good. Very good.
  • I've been drinking more wine. Wait, does that belong in Wine, or Love? Ah well.
  • VEDA is coming up soon! I've also possibly convinced several friends from offline (I hesitate to call them IRL friends, cause are we not real life friends too, folks? Is this not reality, in a way?) to join in. At least one so far, and possibly two more!

What are you loving this week? And what's making you whine?

18Jul/122

I know nothing

There's really not much purpose to that video, other than that I kind of love it, and the post today is vaguely pop culture related.

Earlier today Emma commented on something Simon Pegg had said, drooling over some bikini clad cosplay Leias, saying this was not cool. 

Now, the Tom of…say 10 years ago, would be all over that comment. Saying he was just expressing his opinion and…you know, I can think of all the other things he'd say, but I'm honestly embarrassed by them. So I won't. Sufficed to say, he would have argued with her a lot.

And the thing is, Emma is my friend, we've had this argument. And I was wrong. Plain and simple.

Later on that day, I was proven wrong about something else, and I honestly snapped a little.

See, this seems to happen to me a lot. It certainly feels like, time and again, I am proven wrong about something. I get into a discussion with folks and they have more facts, more experience, more data, stronger arguments, and in the end I'm left with nothing to say but "well, I guess you're right."

And to be honest and get a little real for a second, it's exhausting and incredibly disheartening. It makes me feel like an unintelligent idiot for ever arguing my earlier point, and for not realizing or knowing more about this topic. Occasionally it makes me feel like a chauvinist or something of that sort. And I walk away with my confidence knocked down a little.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else feel like this sometimes? 

I'm tempted to end it there, cause that's what I'm in the mood to do. But, that would be a somewhat depressing blog, so instead, I'm gonna talk about why it's okay and awesome to realize you don't know anything.

You know who else said they didn't know anything and was always asking questions?

Socrates.

That's right, folks. 

So instead of thinking the fact that I seem to know nothing is a bad thing, I'm gonna spin it into a positive. I'm going to ask questions, try and understand topics, read up on things, and be open to new ideas. And, you know, try and not comment on things I don't understand. And when I get proven wrong say "You're right." And instead of walking away feeling mopey and dejected, walk away saying "Hey, I learned something new today. Awesome!"

But what I'd say to you is, why not do the same? Why not practice being able to admit you're wrong? It's weird. I felt weird the first time I did it. Like I almost didn't know what to say. I'd never heard someone say it, cause no one really does anymore. Honestly, think about the last time in your life you were having a discussion with someone and you or they said "You know, you're right." We fight by degrees now; someone is partially right, we're partially right. Sometimes that's true.

Sometimes it isn't.

So, in summation. I know nothing.

But you should still read this blog.

Because reasons.

17Jul/120

Why You May Wanna Do VEDA. Maybe.

Lately, Twitter has been all a twitter (see what I did there?) with talk of VEDA, or Vlog Every Day in August, a tradition started by someone a while back to be done in April, but which my BFF Ashley decided to do in August and got all the really cool people to do then with her. If you're reading this blog, there's a half decent chance that's how you know me. Or you're reading back to see how my infamous writing career all began. Hello, reader. Please don't forget to buy one of my many New York Times bestselling books, or check out my new Star Trek series I'm running, starting this fall on HBO.

For those of you calendar-deprived folks, August is soon, yo. And you may be thinking to yourself "Self, should I do VEDA?"

My instinct has been to yell at you "YES, JOIN ME IN AWESOMENESS" but I have to hold back my inner camp counsellor here. Hell, I didn't even know I had one. VEDA is not for everyone, but since folks are asking, I thought I'd lay out my case for it in one easy place. Rather than retyping it via email, text, Facebook chat, and whatnot. What can I say? I'm lazy sometimes.

Why you may want to do VEDA

  • Learn to Vlog. Vlogging, or video blogging, is the act of talking to a camera for 1-3 minutes on a topic (or not on topic). And I found it scary as Hell the first few times. I don't like the way I sound. I don't like the way I look on camera. Why is my chin doing that? AHHHHH! VEDA helped cure me of a lot of that. Well, my chin still does that thing. But I care less about it now. Overcoming my fear of vlogging is a good thing, as I'm generally of the feeling that overcoming fears is a good thing. But vlogging opens up a whole new means of expression, which is definitely good.
  • Learn YouTube/iMovie/Other Video Stuff. Vlogging also made me learn iMovie, relatively quickly. Yes, you can just film yourself for 3 minutes and throw it on YouTube, but you can also make an intro! Edit it down, so folks don't have to listen to you say um for 14 minutes. Not that anyone did that last year. (Ed. note; someone totally did, but it wasn't Tom).  You also learn a bit about the features YouTube offers, among other things. And, again, I think learning things is generally a good thing. Call me crazy.
  • Meet awesome people. The stories you hear, of people who met through VEDA, who got to know each other, who are now friends, perhaps even romantically involved. I'm not sure if that one couple actually met through VEDA, or knew each other beforehand. Probably the latter. But still! The VEDA community is full of awesome people, sharing themselves. I felt inspired from some of the insecurities videos last year, and it was wonderful, in a terrible kind of way, to hear so many people share my insecurities and fears. Then to get drunk with them on webcam later on. Meet up with one of them this year, and meet so many, many more next year. I say this as a surety, even though it's not, but I will MAKE IT HAPPEN.
  • Do something for 31 days straight. How often have you said to yourself you're gonna do something, every day, and then do it for a few days and give up? This is something you can do. Not only will you have a record of what your life was like in August, but you'll have something you can point to, yourself, and say "I did that." I think that's pretty cool.
  • Spur your creativity. Perhaps this may be the most important one, at least for me. Ashley talks a lot about Ze Frank, and some of the awesome, creative things he's done, and how a lot of what he did started through blogging and vlogging. Although it may not be fiction, by making these videos you're creating something, sharing something. You'll be exposed to dozens of people, doing exactly the same thing. For me, that is awesome, and that alone is reason enough to do it.

I could go on and on, and likely will think of more reasons the second I hit publish on this. Not that I couldn't go back and edit more in, but I think I've covered everything I have to. Even if you don't want to participate, I'd encourage you to keep an eye on my YouTube channel, and others, and see what we do in August. I think it's going to be amazing and that you're gonna see some hilarious, heartfelt and inspiring videos from some hilarious, heartfelt and inspiring people.

So, join me. Or, at least, watch me.

16Jul/122

Tom Takes Toronto: TTC Living

For most of July, I'll be living in the city of Toronto, and sharing my impressions and thoughts under the heading Tom Takes Toronto. Click here to see the posts under this category. Though, at this time, this is the first post, so that's all you see. I realize these italicized explanations are supposed to carry over to all the posts. Oh well.

I've lived in the suburbs for most of my life. While I spent a few years in Guelph, a small college town in Ontario, the majority of my years were spent in the very picture of suburbia, Mississauga. Big box stores, huge parking lots and vast subdivisions and residential neighbourhoods were the order of the day.

I hated it.

When I was younger, and couldn't drive, I hated being tied to an unreliable transit system (not to mention, when I was very young, parents who feared I would be abducted or otherwise accosted every time I stepped on a city bus). I didn't really get how buses worked, truthfully. I still remember trying to take my first bus, and stepping back, nervously, as it swung toward me, and then watching my friend, on that bus, looking at me incredulously as the bus driver, assuming I didn't want to board, drove off.

When I passed my driver's test and was finally able to drive on my own, I was ecstatic. My parents were relatively liberal with the car (well, minivan) and so I was able to drive around a fair bit. When I moved to Guelph, the city was small enough that the majority of my world was within walking distance. The parts that weren't were accessible by a few key bus routes I learned, so that was easy.

When I moved back to Mississauga, I managed to get my own car. The freedom was exhilarating at first. To this day I still marvel at the fact that I own a car sometimes. The idea that this beautiful, wonderful machine is full of my crap, my dirt. It sounds odd, but I still find it so weird. I still think of myself as a kid, in ways, and I feel incredibly lucky to own it. Plus it is kind of a cool car. Dodge Caliber, bright red. Pretty snazzy.

However, as I started working downtown, and looking at moving into the city, it felt like an albatross around my neck. Trying to find a place with a parking space, that I could afford and was, you know, larger than a bread box, proved near impossible, unless I went so far out of the city that I practically needed the car anyway.

I started to think about giving it up. I wouldn't need it for work, I didn't think I was going to be anywhere but in the city, and public transit would be totally fine for me. 

Yeah, not so much.

Living in the city the past week or so I've been entirely reliant on public transit, more specifically the Toronto Transit Commission or TTC. Mostly, I've been pretty happy. It gets me to and from work in a reasonable time and has allowed me to stumble home after I've had a few drinks in safety.

Today, I ventured out to do some errands. I needed to drop off some dry cleaning, visit a local yoga studio and sign up for a pass, buy some coffee, and get some groceries. These places are all in relatively opposite directions, but I did the best I could to do things in some kind of organized fashion. As I stepped out, I noticed there were clouds on the horizon, but I hadn't seen any rain on the little icon on my phone, so I figured I was fine.

After the dry cleaning was dropped off and I had filled out a form for a surprisingly unfriendly yoga studio employee, I stopped at a small patio for some lunch. As I sat, it started to rain. Hard. Like, insane, monsoon, WTF-is-this-Canada-or-the-jungle hard. I was far enough back I was covered, but I figured I could wait it out. So I waited. And waited. And waited.

When it didn't clear, I eventually said "screw it" and ran for the nearest station. No worries, I figured, as I waited in the hot subway tunnel, I can get to the coffee shop via TTC. And I'm sure the rain will have cleared up by the time I get to the station I need to get to.

Nope, still pouring half an hour later.

Well, I'm sure I can take a street car to get there.

Nope, streetcar isn't running because of construction.

So I walked. I don't think I've ever been more soaked in my life, but I did it, ducking into a covered area whenever I had a moment, but by the time I reached the coffee shop I was legitimately concerned I was going to make a wet mess merely by stepping into the shop.

Thankfully, the worker did not throw me out, gave me my locally-roasted, organic, fair trade beans (I know, but they make damn good coffee) and let me sit for a while, assuring me his plastic chairs could handle my wet ass. After drying off a bit, and the rain finally letting up a bit, I decided to try and catch a street car going back to the subway on another street, so I walk down and see several street cars going the wrong direction. "At last!" I say to myself, "I've found a running street car line! I will make note of this, and wait by this sign for one coming my way." So I waited. And waited. And waited. And watched street car after street car go the wrong direction, with none in sight going the way I wanted. You know, towards that subway system that connects much of the city together. I'm sure there just aren't many people wanting to get to that subway system.

I walked it, eventually. I crammed myself into a subway car, squeezing my body as small as possible as someone sat down just a little too close to me, and tried to focus on my book (this one, which by the way, you should definitely be reading), and watch for my own subway station.

Getting back to the apartment felt like a minor victory unto itself and, to be clear, I'm not trying to pretend this is some horrible ordeal. It's not, and the fact that I can get between these areas with relative ease is a triumph of modern urban planning. Trying to do construction and run a system for a giant city on a budget is hard, I get that.

But holy crap, am I keeping my car. And, this is making me feel like, probably not living in the city. That may be my clothes, still drying from several hours ago, talking, though.

(Editor's note: This post is long, rambley and a tad unwieldy, and makes you come off a little whiney. But, it's your blog, and this "editor" is really just a device you stole from other books, namely the one you mention earlier, to hang a lampshade on that fact. Which is a phrase you learned in the excellent Stargate episode 200. And this is getting off topic. Basically, I know I'm whiney, but I still think it makes for an entertaining story. Ah, just post it.)

13Jul/129

Guest Post: An Introvert’s Guide to Making and Meeting Friends on the Internet

Today we have an AMAZING guest post from Ashley! Thanks to her for this, and check out her blog linked below! She started VEDA (well, the VEDA we all go by) and is generally awesome. And, my BFF. Obviously.

Hello readers.  This is Tom’s bff Ashley and I blog over at Writing To Reach You. Tom and I have never discussed our bff status, but I am stating it now and it would be rude of him to edit this.  So my bff Tom asked me to blog about making and meeting (IRL!) friends on the internet when you’re an introvert.  Some relevant background information on me: I have been an introvert all of my life, but I’ve only known what that means for maybe the last ten years, and I’ve only stopped apologizing for it in the last couple years.  Introversion and shyness are not the same thing, but they’re not exactly strangers either, and I happen to host them both.  And, as for the other part of this discussion, I have been blogging for about four years, and I’ve met so many bloggers now that I’ve lost count.


As for how to make friends in general, I have no idea.  Make eye contact with an extrovert and hope they do the rest of the work?  I have found it easier to make friends on the internet, but I have also learned that all the old rules of meeting people still apply.  The way to make friends is to be yourself and find people who like you.  This is something that gets easier with age, but I think the internet speeds it along, because for a while you don’t think to be anyone but yourself.  Why would you need to anyway when you can find groups of people who like all the same weird things that you do?  I started blogging with the vague hope that I would find some people who would be interested in what I had to say, but I had no idea that I would make some of my best friends.  As in life, if you try to be what people want, they will see right through it.  You can only pretend to be someone else for so long, and as an introvert, you can only pretend to be an extrovert for about 10 minutes before you’ll be exhausted.

You are going to find people online who you click with instantly, you’re going to find people you can grow friendships with over time, and you are going to find really awesome people with whom you simply have no chemistry.  Everything about this is perfectly normal and okay.  Go for the easy friendships, put the work in on the slow-growing friendships, and just smile and wave at the awesome people who aren’t for you.  This is the internet and not a small town; there is no reason to force relationships with people you have nothing in common with or who don’t want to be your friend.  It is my secret belief that it is easier to meet people on the internet when you create stuff.  When you write or make videos or tweet original thoughts, you give people a chance to get to know you.  These things can serve as the foundation for real conversations.  When you only react to other people or tweet links or reblog pictures, you don’t give people a lot to go on.

If you’re anything like me, then you are nice, but maybe not all that outwardly friendly.  Even if you find someone you think you could be good friends with, you may not know how to make that happen.  I suggest that at the very least you should make yourself open to the possibility of friendship.  There will be a few people who see your awesome from miles away and do all of the work of establishing a friendship.  Don’t resist these kind people.  But if that’s not happening, then I would suggest first establishing some kind of a connection through blog comments and replies on twitter.  Make relevant and authentic comments.  If that goes well, send an email to establish a more personal connection. If things go well enough there, then you will be good enough friends to move on to gchat and texts.  If after several good faith efforts to establish a friendship the other person does not reciprocate, then move on and find your people.  They are out there.

As an introvert, you are more likely to take delight in a few good friends rather than a whole swarm of acquaintances.  Don’t forget this and somehow think you need to be friends with everyone on the internet.  You only need a few people who get you.  And once you find them, make it your job to be a damn good friend.  Distance may be a factor, but it doesn’t prevent you from being there for your friends.  Make yourself available to talk.  Comfort them when they need it.  Send them cat pictures to cheer them up.  Do what you say you’re going to do. Know that as with any friendship, things may sometimes be difficult.  These friendships are as real as any other and you should treat them that way.

So you have made it this far and now you’re ready to make things really real and meet your internet friends.  We will assume you have taken all of the appropriate safety precautions--like, you know this person well and you are meeting in a public place.  Make sure this is a person you really do want to meet and choose a venue that works for you.  As an introvert, I’d suggest that you choose a somewhat quiet place where you won’t have to talk over the noise.  You also probably shouldn’t choose a large convention as the first place you meet bloggers (you’re more at home in small groups).  Then, expect it to be a little weird: the first time I ever met a blogger in real life, I walked up to Nico and he said, “Ashley?” and I had this very surreal moment of feeling like the internet had just come to life.  But, remember: this is the same person you have been talking to for months or years, so no matter how weird things might seem for a minute, you will soon be able to pick up where your conversation last left off.  Now: repeat.

As internet people, we make a big deal about how the relationships we form here are real, and we are telling the truth, but nothing compares to finally meeting someone in real life.  I swear you can learn more about a person by watching them talk for two minutes than you can from reading their blog for years (see: why you should vlog).  But the really great thing about meeting someone you first got to know on the internet is that they already know you.  You don’t have to explain your quirks or give them your whole back story.  I don’t even have to explain that I’m an introvert or shy.  This person already knows and likes me, so I get to feel comfortable being myself from the beginning.  As someone who doesn’t normally wear her personality on her sleeve, this is such a relief.

I am going to assume that you had a really great time meeting that girl you’ve known on the internet for a couple years now, but if you have one bad experience meeting a blogger, don’t let it turn you against the whole idea.  Try again.  And if you’re a thoughtful extrovert who has read this far, know that introverts really appreciate when you respect our introversion, but you don’t have to treat us like precious cargo.  We already like you, so you just be yourself, and don’t worry too much about us.  We like that you do a lot of the talking. It gives us a chance to think. Now, who’s ready to meet some bloggers?

12Jul/121

Wine and Love: 10

So today I'm doing Wine and Love again, hosted by Suki! Here we talk about the things making us reach for the wine glass (or alcoholic beverage of choice) and the things we love this week!

Wine

  • While I'm enjoying living in the city, it's not totally ideal. I can't say I love the subway, though I am getting more reading done. I still feel a little bit out of sorts, living in a place that's not mine. Though, to be fair, this is a very minor w(h)ine. Though I am hot!
  • Haven't been sleeping well the past...few weeks, now. There are a variety of reasons for this, mostly based around eating habits, sleeping in a new bed, all that, but it just adds up to me feeling off and a bit worn down. And unable to get up early. Or, well, not unable. But really not feeling up to it.

Love

 

  • I've been keeping up with blogs, and a little more with YouTube, and even doing some writing myself. I missed it, and I'm glad I'm getting back to it.
  • I went home for a little bit on Tuesday night, and being away, and living on my own, has made me really appreciate my Mom, and my house. Although it's not perfect, I will be glad to get back there for a little while.
  • I'm enjoying my time alone, but finding it is making me crave time out a bit more too. I've been out and about with people almost every day since Saturday, and I've actually enjoyed it, and not felt drained. I think this is because most nights I am coming home alone, and can shut myself off when I need to, which is great. But it's making me realize that I don't entirely hate social engagements, and they're not always super draining. So it's a nice realization, truthfully.

What are you loving, and not loving this week?