This is how the Internet works (if you’re very, very lucky)

Sometime in late 2007 or early 2008, I followed a link from the blogroll at The Sneeze.1 It led me to BeTheBoy.com, which soon led me to The Slack Daily. Nina (the Slackmistress) was out on the picket lines with the WGA, and Will (Be the Boy) still had his appendix. They were newly married, thoroughly awesome, and I developed an instant, irrevocable Internet crush.

Not long after I starting reading, though, Will got sick. “Stomach flu,” he said it was. (I’ll let you guess what I just typed into Google to find that post just now). It turned out to be a bit more serious. After 10 days of remarkably unpleasant symptoms, he finally went to the emergency room, and then into surgery for the most grotesquely swollen appendix anyone at Cedar Sinai had ever extracted from a man’s body. Just to make things even more interesting, Nina’s younger brother, who usually takes care of Daisy J. Dog when Will and Nina are out of town (or in the ER), hurt his elbow and landed in Cedar Sinai, too.

"You should email Nina," I told myself. "You don’t live that far away."

"She’ll think I’m a stalker."

She didn’t. She also didn’t accept my offer to walk the dog, bring her chicken soup, or name my firstborn child after her.2 In October, though, she and Will invited NovySan and I to join them at the Figueroa Hotel for Nina’s birthday party.

And so we did.

Thus.

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And also thus.

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Will and Nina quickly became the kind of friends you can’t believe weren’t in your lives all along. Over the past four years, they’ve shared vacations and holidays with us, mourned the loss of friends with us, and inspired one of us to sign up for the Tough Mudder.

One of us, in this case, would be me.

I’m not running the Mudder alone, though. I’ll be sharing the course with a team currently comprised of myself; Kasia Hayden, who is one of NovySan’s Media Lab classmates; Chelsea G. Summers; and Chelsea’s friend Valerie Carullo.

Note that Kasia is the only one of these women I’ve met in the flesh. Chelsea introduced me to Val via email, and I met Chelsea… Well, I first became aware of Chelsea when Susie Bright linked to her blog back in 2007. I didn’t start reading her regularly until 2009, though, when Neil Gaiman linked to her (breathtaking) post about the graveyard she grew up in. I followed her on Twitter, and she followed me back, and I developed another irrevocable Internet crush. And when I said I wanted to run the Tough Mudder, she was the first to say:

So when I see a post like this one (retweeted by my friend J. Nathan Matias):

I say “Damn right!” Because the Internet is made of people, and this is how it works.


  1. A site I discovered when somebody, somewhere, linked to Steve, Don’t Eat It

  2. I only offered to do two of these three things. 

betheboy:

At 6:35 this morning I was trying to shovel a dead rat into a garbage can. This is a lousy way to begin a day. My dog, who had found the already dead rodent, watched me stare at it.

There are very few things I dislike more than rats, this is not their fault though. Intellectually I understand…

This is a story about a dead rat, but it isn’t really about a dead rat at all. Will’s stories are always about people, and they always remind me how lucky I am to know him.

ayearofbillyjoel:

If you’ve been following this project since January you already know about the thing I’m about to discuss hits but since people have been getting on board as this thing has been rolling I periodically have to restate things so here goes:

I think Billy Joel and I should sit down and talk over…

I’ve had lunch with Will. I’ve also had breakfast, dinner, and cocktails with him. He’s got nice table manners and he isn’t an axe murderer at all.

betheboy:

In mid February, a month before what I intended to be my first marathon, I strained a muscle which sidelined me for what I expected to be two weeks. I thought this wouldn’t be a problem, I’d rest and then get in two short tune up runs then run all 26.2 miles of the LA Marathon. I had to do it; I…

Will is awesome.

betheboy:

In about 32 hours I’m going to be waiting in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium for the LA Marathon to start and when it does I’m going to try to run it. I have never done this before but I have worked hard to get in shape for it so I’m giving it a go even though I’m dealing with a muscle strain…

Waking up early this morning does mean I’ll get to track Will’s entire run.

My friend Will’s got a lot of stories about his family. This is one of my favorites.

betheboy:

This very short story I wrote a few months back is part of a larger collection that I am working on at a frustratingly slow pace. Today I feel like telling this one, the others are literally stories for another day.

When I went to sleep on Thursday the last place I expected to be three days…