Each one of these posts will be heavily tangential and full of wild assumptions. Hopefully you will find these at least slightly interesting.
Meeting Earl Sleek
One thing I'll never forget (even if the forgiveness came instantly) is my sister absolutely losing her mind when she found out that I'd be staying with people I MET ON THE INTERNET.
Because OBVIOUSLY I would end up hacked to pieces in some SoCal dumpster by this HOMICIDAL MANIAC who ... blogs about hockey and draws adorable cartoons. (Naturally)
She had seen an episode of "Oprah" that featured online sexual predators. Keep in mind, growing up, my sister is the LAST person I'd expect to freak out about anything ... especially based on the workings of big momma 'O.' This prompted a freak out from my wildly unsupportive brother and my nun-like mother. Typically, I can coast quite comfortably under the radar with these people, but never underestimate the power of technophobia.
If nothing else, my family should have worried for Earl Sleek.
Not sure how much personal, identifiable information is appropriate here, so I'll keep it to a healthy minimum. Sleek showed up to (very nicely) pick me up from an Amtrak station and had the "Katamari Damacy" soundtrack playing in his car.
It was a little bit awkward at first, but my God, the guy owns a soundtrack to an obscure video game I LOVED in high school. Talk about an amazing ice breaker. Otherwise, we would have probably been a little less relaxed. Here's a simulated thought process, thwarted thankfully by the dual wonders of nostalgia and Japanese pop music:
Me: Weird, I've never seen this guy before. He's tall and seems way too normal to be a blogger.
Sleek: Jesus, this guy's fucking fat.
Luckily, we were able to avoid such thoughts and chat about a game where you roll up human beings and enjoy visuals clearly targeting the college stoner/Autistic crowd. We eventually watched hockey and segued into "Mr. Show" (a program I had never seen before that night, which blew my mind).
My original plan for the trip was to spend time with both Sleek and Fear the Fin's Mr. Plank, but things fell through with Plank. (Or Plank thought, "Wow ... this guy is a serious douche bag. Time for Plan B.") Unfortunately for Sleek, I ended up crashing at his place for pretty much a full week. This meant heavy exposure to my flippant style of pontificating and unquenchable need to make a joke out of everything.
Certainly, if I were to plan the trip again, I would have done things quite differently. Regardless of whether or not I annoyed the piss out of Sleek*, he was incredibly gracious to allow me to stay at his spectacular bachelor pad. Thanks for everything, Sleek.
And keep rocking that Katamari.
* - I totally annoyed the piss out of him.