Big giant head


In Other News

I'm not sure, but I think Dave Van dissed Beth in his last entry. I'm not sure because, hey, this is Dave Van we're talking about. But it sure sounds that way.

What he's done is to take half of one of Beth's recent entries, one where she's mad at me, out of context and suggest that it's indicative of our entire relationship. And then he comments broadly, negatively, on that. In comparison to -- get this -- his relationship with his wife.

He says, referring to Beth's entry, "I thought I had it bad." Uh... Excuse me. We've all read your journal, Dave. You do have it bad.

Dave Van. Critiquing anyone else's relationship. With any living being. The mind boggles.

Now, my first instinct is to leap to Beth's defense and flame him off the face of the earth. But my second instinct says "No, don't, be a nice guy. Why kill a fly with a sledgehammer?" So I think maybe I'll just bruise him up a little.

You see, I know why Dave went after Beth. He's been flirting with her through e-mail lately. Clumsily and poorly, but flirting nonetheless. I know this because she's been sharing it with me.

Did you know that, Dave, that I know you've been drooling on my wife? I've read every letter.

Beth's been playing along with these flirtations, sometimes with my help -- "No, no, say this and ask him that." -- and I guess Dave feels their relationship has grown to the point where he can chastise her. I guess he thought it was okay to tell her that he was "appalled" by her entry and her attitude about it.


Beth is tough as nails. She brooks no shit from anyone, including me. There's no way she'll take a scolding like that from someone with no right to give it, no matter how sincerely he might compliment her hair.

She wrote back to him. Short, sweet, two words: "Bite me."

Frankly, I think she went easy on him. But then Dave posted his entry in question. And here we are now.

Dave. Buddy. You're out of your league -- with both of us -- and now you've been outed. So... game over, olley-olley-oxen-free. Do yourself a favor: fix your own shit up before you criticize mine again. And have some respect -- stop flirting with my wife.

Don't worry, Dave, I still love ya. You might not love me anymore, but that's okay. I'll still read you anyway.


Sunday -- October 3, 1999

If keeping an online journal is an odd compulsion, an even odder one is that manifested by us weirdoes who keep online journals: we keep wanting to meet each other. I've been doing this journaling thing for just over two years and now I've fallen prey, now I'm starting to meet my cohorts.

I was doing fine up until May of this year. Up to that point I did this in a sort of vacuum: I'd put my little entries up and sometimes people would write to me about them, and I'd read other people's journals and sometimes I'd write to them -- but that was it. No contact beyond what you saw on the screen. I didn't know them, they didn't know me, everybody's at monitor's length, everybody's happy.

But then there was this phone in the desert that needed fixing, and this other journalizer guy whose writing I admired agreed that it needed fixing, and Mission Improbable was born. And I spent something like a dozen hours with Steve in the confines of my truck as we drove into the Mojave. And I ended up making a friend. Damn it.

Then a few months later Lucy, the Queen Bee of Archipelago, hit town and a few of us LA-area Archipelagans got together to have dinner with her and her husband. And I met even more journalizers. And I liked them. Damn it again.

Then last night, even more. Last night a whole bunchalotta LA-area journalizers got together for a group ... something. We met at Nancy's house and drank sangria and ate from the fabulous Tub O' Meat and talked and laughed and read selected entries from our journals aloud. And I had a good time. Damn it, damn it, damn it.

And now... Well, now I guess I'm just a community pimping, journalizer loving, online people meeting, outgoing man about town. Now I've gone to yet another gathering of journalizer types and I've met even more of them and... So much for my hard-won rep as a loner, I guess.

This was my biggest group of journalizers yet and I'm happy to report that so far none have had arms growing out of their foreheads or appear to be mutants. (Except Steve, of course, but he's one o' them tallish fellows.) Who all was there? There was Nancy and Meg and Miriam and Marie and Tamar and Diane and Mahrya and Beth and me. And there was supposed to also be Stee and Sasha and a few others I can't recall, but they couldn't make it. Maybe next time.

We hung out in Nancy's booby-trapped kitchen for awhile (The tiles! Stay away from the tiles!), talking and eating and doing normal party stuff, then we let the weirder aspects of journalizer personality out as we adjourned to the library where we each took a turn reading a selected entry from our journals.

I think that was my favorite part, listening to the others read their selections and observing their pauses and emphases and hearing their words in their own voice. My selection was Wood, a choice that surprised those who'd already read it, and surprised me too after I got into it. Oops, color me chartreuse. At least it got laughs. Generally not what a man wants when he's talking about his penis, but all rules are off when journalizers meet.

I'm not sure how the soiree ended; Beth and I had to cut out early to get Zoe from her granddad's. I suspect weirdness. Nancy's 3 a.m. wrap-up entry suggests things went really late, and I've received mail from Tamar that specifically mentioned blackmail. I think we left too early, but I'll have to read everyone else's accounts to know for sure. If they tell the truth, that is. Some things are better left unsaid.

But with online journals they never are, are they?


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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins