Back in late 2002, there was a great Internet phenomenon known to many as the Star Wars kid. As some of you may recall, I was one of the first people on the Internet to find the Star Wars kid video; I decided to host the video on my web server, ozone-beast at that time--God rest that wonderful ozone spewing hulk of a computronium--and sent an e-mail out to random-hall-talk announcing its presences. Within a few days, ozone beast was being deluged with hits from all over the world. I also happened to receive an IM correspondence from a girl in Bakersfield, CA. Being a sophomore at the time and having way too much free time, I struck up a correspondence. McKenzie and I have since maintained an Internet friendship without ever having met in person.
After moving to the Bay Area, I had been planning to drive down California a bunch, meet Kenzie, visit people in LA and do the whole SoCal thing but then, as you may recall, I ceased to have a car. This week, however, Kenzie was in Monterey with her boyfriend, who had business; Monterey being reasonably close by California standards, I grabbed a Zipcar, ditched out of work early and drove down to say hi. We went to the Monterey Aquarium, which is fantastic by the way, hung out for a few hours and had a generally good time.
It's a rather interesting thing to meet in person someone that you've gotten to know through other means. The meeting and the hang out were surprisingly not awkward, though I've always felt that the best way to avoid awkwardness is to just not act awkward. Sure it was a lot of driving but it was very nice driving, the Monterey Aquarium really is great and it is really great to finally meet someone that you've known for over five years.