One of the things that always amazes me about real-world conversation compared to blog conversation is just how much time we spend talking about other people. It’s especially evident when you run into someone you haven’t seen for months or even years: there’s so much good stuff to catch up on, so much potential, but you end up spending almost all your time asking how X, Y, and Z are doing.

In the blog world it would never once occur to me to, for example, leave a comment on Myke’s blog asking how Gustavo has been. But that’s exactly what we do in meat space every day of our lives. Blog world is so much more direct and enchantingly egocentric.

With all that said, blogging is also about spreading networks and conversations, breaking down borders and stereotypes that separate us. Walking along La Jolla’s coastline with Myke last week, we agreed that he, HP, and I would have never become friends were it not for the flattening effect the blogosphere has on the social obstacles we inherit. It dawned on me during Myke’s visit that, besides a couple high school friends I’ve lost touch with, HP is my first real American-born Latino friend. And Myke, my first gay friend. Plus, as Myke pointed out, the age difference alone could’ve kept us from becoming friends had it not occurred online first. (Happy 38th old man!)

In that spirit, what follows is a random, and in no order, run down of what my peoples – virtual and otherwise – have been up to lately. How’s that bad 90’s rap song go?: “Why don’t you bring your friends to come meet my friends and we can all be friends?”

Karen is the first person I met in the physical world after first getting to know her through her weblog. Since then we’ve fallen out of touch completely. I think the last time I saw her, big-bellied and still pregnant, was when Elenita visited last year (amazing to think it was over a year ago) and we all went out for greek food. Taking a look at Karen’s last entry though, she’s just as articulate, analytical, and honest as ever. She’s also got this new section (well new for me) on the right hand side called “Tidbits of Life,” which I really like – just one or two sentence little wisps of reflection … like this one about her family who still live in Turkey:

My mom bought an iBook last time she was here and we both bought iSights. This past weekend, my nephews were staying over at their house and we did a video conference where I got to see my nephews, mom and dad and they got to see me, David and Jake. No one can say the digital age doesn’t rock.

Speaking of Elenita … she’s back! Which probably means I lost a bet to someone ’cause I really thought the best of her blogging days was well behind her. She came to visit last September and, even though I was typically busier than I like to be, we still got in some good exploring, beach time, and even a swim. Unfortunately, it seems like some ideological differences are coming between us. (my list is coming soon)

Dr. CerealI must admit, I miss Dr. Cereal a little bit. Our team rad exploitations in Monterrey were legendary and could/should have been more so. Not only that, but he could have obviously used some competition in the Kitchen Gymnastics World Competition 2005. It’s ok though, it’ll give me a whole year’s worth of training time after which I will beat him so badly, he’ll wish he was a cockroach in his own apartment.

Speaking of Monterrey, Armando shows off his tattoos and his girl leaves a comment saying “kiero verte raiii nauuuu,” which I guess translates to “I want to see you right now.” I never did get to meet Armando while in Monterrey, but I did meet Hipocratico who has recently written two warm and fuzzy posts about his wife, Erika (who I was lucky enough to meet) and his daughter. I also got to meet Candy who made this hilarious video and Rolando, who it seems is still on blogging hiatus. Another Monterrey blogger who I didn’t get a chance to meet, but who I certainly hope to meet some day is Luiz who continues his obsession with chorizo and now TinTin.

emcCésar no longer goes by the EMC, but rather “Mr. D.” His first day surrounded by “bug-eyed, little guercitos” seemed like a big success. At least more successful than him trying to look GQ in that pic.

Chris and I haven’t gotten lunch together lately, but as usual, he and his lady Anna have been much more participatory San Diegans than I. He’s also got some great pics of chalk art from Little Italy, like this one of Mario from Mario Bros. Speaking of normally participative San Diegans, Derek has fallen off the map since the big marriage announcement. Hopefully he won’t blog for more than another month so no one is affected by his annual voter’s guide.

The queen bee of the blogosphere (just kidding!), Cindylu, has made up her mind on her halloween costumesunflower princess. Hmmm. No comment. I’m actually a little bummed. For the past three years my group of friends and I have rented a party bus in Los Angeles on Halloween which takes us … well, I never really remember that far into the night. But tradition goes I dress up like a woman, the pictures turn out hilarious, and the next morning’s hangover is disastrous. On top of just halloween though, part of the celebration is Angel’s birthday … but this year she’ll be taking her pediatrics board exams which mean our halloween is getting postponed until mid-November. And which means, I have no idea what I’ll be doing this Halloween. No reason to shave the legs and put the pantyhose on if I have nowhere to shake it.

duttSpeaking of my group of friends, if there are any two things that hold us together it is a house in Pacific Beach commonly known as 1669 and it is Dave Dutt. He’s somehow the drunken spiritual cement holding his arms around us all. I mean, look at this picture, it’s all so obvious. I even have faint memories of hanging out in Dave’s garage as a 15-year-old while Moreno showed me how to play 3 note Smashing Pumpkin solos on the electric guitar. Anyway, Dave’s been doing well lately: working, playing lots of shows in Hollywood, and he’s coming down to SD this weekend which should be fun.

Elena Mary’s blog is one of the very first I started reading – nearly two years ago – and never once had I remembered her blogging about her sister … until Monday when her sister showed up in the NY Times. Pretty interesting. She’s even written a chapter of a book. Talk about a proactive family.

eric kauKau Boy is better known on this weblog as the unlucky guy on the bottom bunk, but he also happens to be the best American potter in all of Taiwan. According to me anyway. His latest batch of flickr photos is the first peek into Eric’s new Taiwan life for those of us he left behind. I love flickr.

Wow, it’s late. And Thursdays start early in my world. So this thing is gonna have to turn into a series … which, of course, means it’ll never be finished.

Smart went nuts and rode a unicorn through the storm …