Putting Faces to Names

The blog party at D’s was a great success. It was quite interesting to put faces to names. (Kristine’s reaction when Steve Evans introduced himself: “No you’re not!”). We had a lot of people there: D, Kristine, Steve and Sumer, Mat and Gigi Parke, Logan and Amy Bobo, Bob Caswell, Christina Taber-Kewene & Manahi, Chris Williams and wife (I didn’t get her name) and daughter, JL (Celibate in the city) and her sister, Rusty Clifton and Sara, Davis Bell, Jim Lucas, Mark Butler & his wife. I was also there, along with Mardell and the kids. There was good food and good company, and (once D. started playing the piano and Kris singing) good music. But I must admit I’m still trying to sort through the mental gear-shifting of putting faces to names. A few preliminary thoughts:

Kris is as interesting in person as she is on the blog. She also has a very nice voice, and was great with the kids (when we left, Kace asked if she was coming with us). And lest anyone wonder about the validity of her constant self-deprecating description of her looks, let me offer a contrary opinion: she’s cute as well. (Side note: she was wearing some pretty hefty heels; hopefully she’s not going to get Haglund’s deformity).

Bob Caswell — you see him in person, and suddenly a lot of things about his blog make much more sense. It’s hard to convey in blog how baby-faced and innocent-looking Bob is. I’m sure that random old grandmotherly ladies who don’t know him still try to pinch his cheeks and pat him on the head and tell him he’s such a cute little boy. So he’s the kind of guy who can get away with challenging authority — because he looks so innocent.

Mat Parke is pretty much the opposite of what I expected. He’s tall and broad and athletic-looking and blond. For some reason (probably because he’s on Steve’s blog), I had always vaguely assumed that he more or less looked like Steve. Ooops. (Mat’s wife looks more or less as I had anticipated).

JL (Celibate in the City) was also a bit of a surprise. She’s tall and lanky with dark hair and trendy-librarian glasses. Imagine Jennifer Garner playing a librarian, and you have a basic idea. And the most surprising part was that she looks like the most level-headed person on Earth. (Ahh, looks can be deceiving, no?) There was absolutely nothing in her appearance to say “I blog about my dates at CITC.”

Davis was also a surprise. He’s a tall, broad-shouldered, short-haired, easygoing guy. His prior posts about being a geek in high school had for some reason given me a different mental image. And for being a self-proclaimed geek, he was the life of the party, chatting with everyone and having a good time.

Rusty wasn’t really a surprise, since he has his picture posted online. One minor shift in image: Rusty does look a little bit like a bad-a** in his online photo, but at the party he was very nice and friendly. (He also brought a camera).

I didn’t really have strong mental images of Mark Butler or Chris Williams, so I wasn’t particularly surprised by either of them. I already knew D, Steve & Sumer, Logan & Amy, Christina & Manahi, Jim Lucas. So I wasn’t particularly surprised by any of them. Lest anyone wonder, here’s the brief assessment of them:

Steve is a thin, light-haired Canadian who has skater-esque (or is it surfer-esque?) hair, and actually smiles quite a bit (despite his snarky blog persona). He’s very witty in person, though it tends to come across on blog as snarkiness. Sumer is a blondish, freckled Texas girl who tolerates Steve’s antics with superhuman patience. She’s also incredibly nice and polite. Christina is just as I remember her from law school — fiery, sassy, and chatty. Manahi I don’t know all that well, but he seems very laid-back, a perfect complement to Christina’s fieriness. As for Logan and Amy, it’s a real mental exercise to remember not knowing what they looked like, since I see them every Sunday. Logan is dark-haired, a self-proclaimed metrosexual (though he always seems too masculine to reconcile with that), and usually goateed. He’s extremely chatty and outgoing. Amy is reserved and musical, with classic Snow White (black hair, white skin, red lips) looks. Jim Lucas is a George-Lucas type, or a scruffy-old-scholar type, depending on one’s viewpoint. He has a great knowledge of all sorts of events.

And D, the host of the party, was amazing. He put up with four rambunctious children, plus twenty-odd adults (and they were very odd adults!) invading his apartment. He’s got a nice place on Riverside drive. He had a great spread of food and drinks, and a nice set-up of furniture and decorations. He also has a nice entertainment center (the kids put it to good use watching cartoons) and a piano, which he was nice enough to play for a short while. D is (for the five people who don’t know him) the quintessential New York artist — 40’s, impeccably dressed, medium height, and generally artsy-looking (in a non-scruffy way).

And what about Kaimi and Mardell? I’m not sure what everyone thought about me. Mardell looked great, as always, with mid-length brown hair, pretty blue eyes, and a cute denim skirt. She spent most of the evening (as did I) chasing and corralling children.

Well, those were my impressions. I’m still integrating physical images with longstanding mental assessments of some people (Kris, Bob, Mat, Davis). It was a fun party, and quite fun to meet everyone. I couldn’t locate my camera (it’s gone missing lately), but Rusty brought his, and took some pictures that he e-mailed to me. So here they are:

Kaimi, Christina, Sullivan Kaimi, Christina, and Sullivan

Kaimi and Kristine Kaimi and Kristine

Kristine, Davis, Steve Kristine and Davis in foreground. Steve in background. Sumer and Christina, looking away from camera.

D., Chis, Lilly D., Chris Williams, and Lilly. Background: Mark Butler, Gigi Parke

Rusty, Kaimi, Davis Rusty, Kaimi, Davis

Logan, Bob, D. Logan, Bob, and D. Background: Mardell, Sullivan

Mat, Gigi, and Mark Mat, Gigi, Mark B.

Sumer, Steve, Davis Sumer, Steve, and Davis

UPDATE: Bob Caswell also has a report up about the get-together. (And he has some comparative comments, since he attended both of the events).

34 comments for “Putting Faces to Names

  1. October 30, 2004 at 1:15 pm

    Well, since I now have the official ok from T&S to say whatever the hell I want due to my innocent-looking Bob status, I must say, JL (Celibate in the City) may have been a little tall but “lanky” does not describe her at all (and I’m not just saying that to correct Kaimi’s faux pas of calling a woman lanky; it’s just not an accurate description).

    And Davis was the life of the party, huh? I missed out on the Davis action. I hope to meet him next time around. But I officially crown Steve as “life of the party”.

  2. October 30, 2004 at 1:22 pm

    Maybe my idea of what a “bad-a**” (as Kaimi calls it) is different, but I thought Rusty looked pretty chill in both his picture and in person. You know, someone with whom I could, like, see an R rated movie (am I allowed to admit that I see those on this blog?).

  3. October 30, 2004 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for posting the photos. It’s fun to see everyone and hear about the party. I wonder if others will be posting about their experiences and observations. :)

  4. Matt Evans
    October 30, 2004 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for posting the pictures, Kaimi. It’s so much easier to keep people straight in my mind if I have a mental image of them. We should impose a rule that T&S won’t add sites to our blogroll unless the authors have pictures of themselves on their website.

    And I completely agree about Kristine, she looks fabulous. She denigrates her appearance so regularly that I finally took pity and added the poor frumpy woman to the prayer roll. Either Kristine has been selling us a scam of misunderestimation, or boy do I have a great faith-promoting story about the power of the prayer roll. : )

    After Kristine, the face that most surprised me is D. Fletcher. For some reason I pictured him 6 foot 3 and 140 pounds.

    Steve is a lot different than I expected, too. Like your experience with Davis calling himself a nerd, Steve’s pre-Lasik surgery comments convinced me he was George Costanza. Now that I see his picture I realize he looks nothing like George Costanza.

    Kaimi, I think you’ve mislabeled the photo with Mat, Gigi and Mark B. It should read Mark B., Gigi, Mat.

  5. October 30, 2004 at 3:52 pm

    I’d again like to thank D for letting us do the party there. He was a gracious host and his apartment is fabulous (not to mention the food spread!). Next time I want to see an Imax film I will just stop by D’s place.

    I must apologize for the quality of the photos. I should have been using the flash the whole time cause all the orange ones are blurry. Also I should have taken more photos of the spouses (my wife, Mardell, Gigi, Sumer, Manahi, Deanna Butler, I didn’t get Jim Lucas, and CITC chose to remain anonymous), I just felt silly taking photos of these people I barely know with the intention of posting them for hundreds to see.

    Logan said, “…someone with whom I could, like, see an R rated movie (am I allowed to admit that I see those on this blog?).”
    My rebuttle, “No, you can’t admit that here. Go to BCC, I think they watch the devil’s movies.”

    It was a fun time. Everyone was extrememly friendly and I never once engaged in a conversation about SSM. Too bad not more of the bloggernacle could have made it.

  6. October 30, 2004 at 3:53 pm

    I was a good time for all. Here were my impressions of people, in brief:

    Bob — I don’t really get the innocent thing, but you sure have everyone else snookered! Bob is much more ascerbic in person than online — which I liked.

    Logan — I will hate him forever for forgetting his CDs. Thanks, buddy. But good conversations, since Logan has extremely cool taste in music and pop culture (which of course I worship).

    Kristine — She did indeed look fabulous, and was fabulous to hang out with. Kaimi left a little earlier than others, and when it was just a few groups left Kris started to cut loose a little more. Around 2:30 we were having a total blast. Too bad she had to go back to Boston early.

    Davis — Adjectives like ‘cool’ aren’t very helpful, but Davis was an understated cool and was funny and enjoyable to talk to. I wouldn’t label him “life of the party” but he was definitely great to be around.

    Rusty — a little more quiet than I was expecting, but thoughtful and interesting. Rusty, along with Bob and Logan, and the guys you go to the R-rated movies with. Davis will also go along if he doesn’t have a date that night.

    The evening filled in a lot of blanks for people, esp. I think regarding Kaimi, whom nobody can figure out until you meet. A lot of people seemed surprised at how they could actually get along with me in person, while online I’m apparently abrasive (who knew?). But George Costanza???

  7. Aaron Brown
    October 30, 2004 at 4:03 pm

    Steve said:
    “I was a good time for all.”

    Perhaps you were, Steve, but isn’t it a little unseemly for you to set forth everyone else’s impression of you? And exactly how, may I ask, were you a “good time” for everyone? I’m not sure I wanna know!

    Aaron B

  8. October 30, 2004 at 4:08 pm

    Sorry that should’ve been “it”. Way to read into a typo, man! Was I a good time for all? That’s a little more doubtful, but I did play a mean game of Twister.

  9. Aaron Brown
    October 30, 2004 at 4:14 pm

    With the exception of Kaimi (whose picture I’d already seen), none of you look anything like what I expected. My dilemma at this point is to decide whether I will now alter my mental picture of you all, according to your photographs, or whether I will retain my prior mental images intact. I think until I meet any of you in real life, I’ll stick with the old mental pictures, thank you very much. This is just all so disorienting.

    Incidently, I think it would have been more fun for everyone to describe what they think other Bloggernaclers look like, or would be like in person, prior to actually meeting them in person. Alas, too late. But wait … you could all still do this with me! So, just to satisfy by burning curiosity … what do I look and act like, in your minds? Am I fat, thin, tall, short, sexy, homely, sexy, talkative, quiet, fascinating, boring, sexy, long-winded, pretentious or sexy? Let me have it!

    Aaron B

  10. Kaimi
    October 30, 2004 at 4:25 pm

    Steve and everyone,

    What time did it break up? And how crazy did it get, anyway? Did Steve get to show off his lip tattoo? Or his karaoke skills? (I hear that he does a mean rendition of “I will survive”).

    Hmm, the evening filled in blanks regarding me? Ahh, well. That’s one disadvantage of real-life meeting — I’ve probably laid to rest any illusion of coolness that others may have had from reading the blog. At least they can confirm that I have cute kids. (If a tad bit energetic).

  11. October 30, 2004 at 4:33 pm

    Ummm. yeah. Cute but ENERGETIC is the appropriate description.

    It probably finally broke off around 2:30-3:00, Bob and Logan left about 1. Then, it was Kris, me & Sumer, JWL, D., Christina and Manahi. We wandered the streets a while afterwards, going through people’s trash. It got pretty crazy. Karaoke almost showed its awful face. Some hilarious stuff, such as titles for Mormon Pr0n Movies.

  12. Kristine
    October 30, 2004 at 4:48 pm

    I decided that I need to work on my online persona when Davis confessed his surprise/disappointment that I didn’t really look much like an Amazon warrior-princess. Yikes!

    Aaron, I think you’ve mentioned that you’re tall, but I definitely have you pegged as spectacularly handsome and charming as well. If I weren’t married I’d have a crush on the guy I think you are :-)

  13. JL
    October 30, 2004 at 5:41 pm

    Hi guys,
    It was great to meet some of you people. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay longer and actually get to know more of you. Maybe next time? My sister only went for my benefit so I was lucky to be there at all.

    Kaimi, You are henceforth forgiven for your “she’s reputedly at least moderately cute” comment over on my blog. I’d also like to see your optometrist so I can get a prescription like yours. ;-)

  14. October 30, 2004 at 6:44 pm

    Bob says: “And Davis was the life of the party, huh? I missed out on the Davis action.” Yes, you did Bob; while I’m known to be easy, married men don’t do much for me (except for that Steve Evans, who is dreamy.)

  15. Chris Williams
    October 30, 2004 at 6:54 pm

    It was nice to meet many of you. I had to duck out early and my 2-year-old was particularly clingy last night, so I didn’t talk to as many of you as I would have liked.

    Kaimi, there’s a great reason why you don’t remember my wife’s name — she wasn’t there!

    Davis, great to meet a fellow IR guy. You reminded me a lot of Tom Friedman. ;)

  16. October 30, 2004 at 11:20 pm

    Sounds like a fun time! :)

  17. October 31, 2004 at 3:29 am

    Steve, do you think we could reduce that whole “hate forever” thing (you know, like maybe forever minus one day at least) if we still got together soon for a CD swap? We could also discuss, you know, that one thing a little more while we’re at it. We could meet on the street corner somewhere (if we time it right I could line up the meeting with my crack dealer at the same time, too, killing two birds with one stone) and do the deed.

    Oh, and did anyone suggest “Laurels Gone Wild”?

  18. October 31, 2004 at 3:47 am

    “Bob – I don’t really get the innocent thing, but you sure have everyone else snookered! Bob is much more ascerbic in person than online…”

    Way to go, Steve. It’s a good thing no one can take you seriously while they are all more likely to believe whatever Kaimi says. Because otherwise, you could have potentially ruined a good thing I have going here. As it stands, I think we’re ok.

  19. Greg Call
    October 31, 2004 at 11:47 am

    On the other coast last night, I finally met William Morris at a joint-ward Trunk or Treat. I won’t offer any evaluations of his looks, but he’s a nice guy and he’s got a gorgeous little baby girl named Ruby.

  20. D. Fletcher
    October 31, 2004 at 1:49 pm

    Those pictures are fantastic! Particularly the ones without the flash — they really caught the ambience of the party. You can clearly see the design of the rugs (in that one picture). Thanks, Rusty!

    I’m really, really happy about the event; everyone seemed to have such a nice time — it’s what I live for.

  21. October 31, 2004 at 3:27 pm

    I have decided that I am going to allow some of the commenters to now be associated with their real faces. On the other hand, I have built up such detailed mental images of what some people look like, that I simply refuse to modify my perceptions of their appearances. I don’t want to lose my investment, you understand. For example, despite the evidence of the pictures, I will continue to think of Steve as being shorter and chubbier than he appears in his pictures.

    I me Kaimi in person for the first time a week or two ago, and I confess that he ended up being quite a bit stockier than I had envisioned him. I was particularlly struck by the size of his neck and head. It takes more flesh to hold up that enormous brain than I had really envisioned.

  22. Jack
    October 31, 2004 at 4:29 pm

    I’m not nearly as intimidated as I used to be by the T&S perms after looking at the photos that accompany their bios. (which I just got around to doing last week) You’re all a bunch of kids! (with the exception of Jim of course, who’s young at heart) :)

    Actually, your youth makes you that much more impressive. I was a moron when I was your age and now that I’m a little older, I’m still a moron.

    You guys are awesome!

  23. October 31, 2004 at 7:31 pm

    Shorter & chubbier??? WTF? Why? Do I use “chubby language”?

  24. Mardell
    October 31, 2004 at 9:48 pm

    I agree it was a great party. My kids are still recovering from getting to bed at 1:00. Then I let them go trick-or-treating tonight, what was I thinking? D, you were a great host thanks for dealing with my kids so graciously. They had a great time and are wondering when they get to come watch your home theatre again.
    It was nice to meet all of you. I don’t post a lot but I hear a lot about everyone and it was nice to see everyone.

  25. Nate Oman
    November 1, 2004 at 12:26 am

    Steve: I suspect it is the fact that I have images of you eating fattening French (aka “Freedom”) food with Jim Faulconer. I also always assumed that there was some short person Napoleon complex behind your occasional flights of rhetorical overkill. Hence, short and chubby.

    I have also always imagined that your hair was purple, but I have decided that in the face of the photographs, I am willing to abandon that particular detail.

  26. Rob Briggs
    November 1, 2004 at 4:13 am

    Steve Evans: “WTF?”

    Translation, please? No, wait, I just got it.

    A nice piece of code.

  27. D. Fletcher
    November 1, 2004 at 10:07 am

    Um, I guess I answer to the description “shorter and chubbier.”

  28. November 1, 2004 at 12:58 pm

    For the record: both Greg and I are very manly yet sophisticated-looking men with gorgeous wives and the cutest kids in the world.

    And I guess I should also give fair warning: Ruby has pretty much conquered this coast — her fan base is huge (and rabid) out here — so it’s just a matter of time before the East succumbs.

  29. Kaimi
    November 1, 2004 at 1:04 pm

    Yep, that’s the Greg Call I know — a sophisticated-looking man with gorgeous wives.

    (Ingredients: Ambiguous English-language plurals and a history of polygamy. Instructions: Combine. Result: Endless fun!).

  30. November 1, 2004 at 1:16 pm

    Kaimi: What can I say? It’s the Bay Area. We are proud to have the only Mormon fundie hippie commune currently in operation.

    Yep, it’s all about the granola-eating, Birkenstocks-sporting, Gingham-dress-wearing plural wives.

    We’re trying to both save the planet and bring about the Apocalypse. We believe that the inner vessel must be cleansed and filled with hummus. Our kids have such names as Orson Rainbow and Eliza Ahimsa.

  31. John H
    November 1, 2004 at 1:22 pm

    Well this officially sucks. For once I feel like I’m in the mission field and New York is the center of the universe.

    Even though I couldn’t be there to meet all of you (though I met D. and Kris at Sunstone), I did meet a couple of members of the bloggernacle in Seattle this weekend. Matt Jacobsen made an appearance at Sunstone Northwest, as did Nate’s mom, the great Susan Staker. We were also able to share in a wonderful meal Friday night with John Sillito, Susan, Phyllis Barber, and a few other Seattle-ites that, to my knowledge, aren’t a part of the bloggernacle.

  32. CB
    November 1, 2004 at 1:42 pm

    In following these comments, I have noticed that nobody has mentioned shaking hands with Steve E.

    There can be no doubt that you all had section 129 in mind, and I commend you for your wisdom in not offering to shake his hand.

  33. November 1, 2004 at 2:26 pm

    CB — LOL. I didn’t know Claudia Bushman had such a sense of humor.

    As for shaking my hand, I think people were too distracted by the fiery salamander on my shoulder.

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