When you write a good blog -- if I do say so myself -- and it becomes popular, chances are it's going to result in the eventual "meeting of the people." Whether you're using your site to actively solicit these encounters, or they happen during the course of some newfound literary business attention you're receiving, you're bound to start forming relationships with people. I've met some seriously cool folks because of this blog, and I'm (almost) as fortunate to have had the opportunity to do that as I am to have received a book contract. I'd be a hypocrite to claim that the people are as important as the money, but the race is likely closer than you might think.
Occasionally, however, these relationships go bad, just like they do in the "real world." You don't get along, or someone does something stupid, and things take a turn for the sour. It happens. The difference in Blog World, though, is that one or both parties are eventually going to write about it. You can't help yourself. When you write a blog for a while, it naturally becomes your outlet, and that's where you turn to get the shit off your chest. When this becomes the case, as it has on a few occasions since I've become "known," I've chosen to ignore the problem and handle it privately. If I meet you in person, and we become friends, we're no longer "blog pals," and I will deal with you, from that point on, as someone I know in the "real world."
The rest, to me, is crap. If someone wants to write about me on a blog, I take it from whence it comes. Big fucking deal. Anyone blogging about me can only claim to have known me for six months or less, so I couldn't give two shits what manner of drivel they choose to put out. Same goes for blog commenters, and I'm not referring solely to one person's comments section. Check Technorati. I get mentioned all the time, and people tend to comment in the most absurd possible ways. "I don't like Rob." "Rob is an asshole." "Rob is a dick."
As if any of these people actually know me. If you've never met me, yet call me "arrogant," or "mean," or say you "hate" me, it makes you look like a delusional jackass. Seriously. I used to engage these types of people in email flame wars, and I'd get, in reply, idiocy like, "I've been reading your blog for several months. Writing is what goes on in a person's mind, therefore I DO know you." You think so? Really? Then I'd suggest you go seek professional help, because you're living in a reality with which I'm not familiar.
So, in the long run, I don't give a shit. It's irritating, but the feeling is fleeting. I honestly don't care. My complaints make for good blog copy, though, so there's that. The one thing that DOES bother me, however, is to have the notion spread around the internet that I'm overweight or obese. Yes, this is exceptionally vain and immature on my part, and when the book comes out, you're all going to see what I look like anyway, but I wanted to clear this up for the time being. I'd like to get a few points across here, so bear with me. Fuck it, right? We all have our foibles, and this is one of mine:
1. I went to college on an athletic scholarship. I played football, but was neither an offensive nor defensive lineman, so my weight was nowhere near three-hundred pounds. (For purposes of anonymity, I'm not going to narrow things down and mention my former position.) Right now, I weigh approximately fifteen pounds more than my college playing weight, a total which leaves me well under the magic three bills. I'm lucky if I'm 250 soaking wet. I'm also 6'2", and hold it fairly well.
2. I am a competitive weightlifter -- powerlifting -- and train, seriously, in an extremely hardcore gym, 5-6 days per week. I'm also an NSCA certified personal trainer -- a certification widely recognized as the best in the industry. I'm fairly certain I know what I'm doing. I can also dunk a basketball, a feat that's hardly the province of the obese.
3. As I write this, if I glance to my right, I see a table filled with supplements, cans of protein powders, and bottle upon bottle of amino acids and vitamins. I know how to diet, am careful about what I eat, for the most part, and have never let myself go. I'm not claiming to look like Mr. Universe, but I've been an athlete since toddlerhood, and I work too hard in the gym to allow shit like this to pass without comment.
Several people have met me through this blog, and if you need a credible source, I suggest contacting one of them. Any of the following will verify anything I've said about my physical appearance: Trix, Melissa Lafsky, Pat Stack, Jason Mulgrew, and Shannon.
This post has been pretentious, somewhat boring, entirely self-serving, and kind of gay, but I thank you. And yeah, Guy-Who-Just-Emailed-Me, I'm "rising to the bait," but who cares? I got a day's post out of it, didn't I?