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My two social life days | August 22, 2011

So, the past two days, I’ve actually been social. My good friend, Glenn Walker, and his short wife, Jen, came down on vacation (well, they came down, they got on a boat, went in a big circle or something, then came back.)

Glenn, amongst many other things, is the proprietor of a blog called French Fry Diary, and has been espousing the fries (er, chips) at Cookes of Dublin at Downtown Disney as being his most favourite. He knows that I share his love of things potato-ey, so it seemed like the logical choice for our first in-person meeting.

(Note that, though I did not refer to Glenn as an ‘online friend’, we have never met in person. I do consider Glenn a friend, and a very good one at that – we’ve known each other for approximately eight years, by our best reckonings, and we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. We have a lot in common – similar tastes in music, comic books, books, tv and movies, roleplaying and the list goes on. I consider him to be as good, if not better, a friend than most people I associate with in person.)

But, I digress. (Yes, I do that. I’ve been called a “very rambly dude” on more than one occasion, and with good reason.) So, we agreed on Sunday evening, allowing them time to relax/explore Disney/etc before meeting. I left way earlier than I should have, fully aware that this was likely the case, and got to Downtown Disney almost an hour before our 7pm scheduled meeting time.

I decided I’d walk around, not having been to Downtown Disney in approximately ten years. (I had a friend who used to work at the Virgin Megastore back then and met her a couple times there back in 2000-2001.) I did so, even caught the water taxi from West Side to Pleasure Island, and then walked back. I moved my car closer, and by this time it was almost 7pm, so I made sure I got over to Cookes of Dublin.

While there, I people-watched (another thing in common Glenn and I have – we’re both writers and we like to people watch and file things away.) They were running behind (a common enough happenstance in the occasions that we Skype – Glenn runs a superhero roleplaying game in his house and I Skype in, since the 900+ miles is a long commute) and while waiting, a very attractive young woman who worked at Cookes saw my shirt and got my attention and we started talking Doctor Who. (I was wearing my You Never Forget Your First Doctor shirt from ThinkGeek.) She was entirely charming and VERY attractive, but sadly she has a boyfriend, but it was good to chat Doctor Who with a new Whovian.

I kept looking for a redhead, as Jen is of that particular persuasion… do you know how many redheads are at Pleasure Island on a Sunday evening? I don’t know the exact number, but it’s a lot!!!

I finally caught sight of Glenn, who waved, I waved and we met. There were hugs and handshakes (hugs for the Walkers, handshakes for their friends) and the seven of us went to dine.

The food was phenomenal. Glenn is absolutely dead-on when he says Cookes has perfect fries – light, cripsy outside, fluffy inside – hot, fresh, tasty, not too oily. Their fish is most excellent, and everyone else seemed to enjoy their varied dishes. And the deep fried candy bar (the ‘doh’ bar) was decadent and gooey and sugary and wonderful.

Conversation was good, but children and adults were tired, and ways were parted, with plans to meet with Glenn for some laid back hanging out the next day.

That day was today, and after running some errands in Orlando in the morning, I met up with him for several hours of sitting in the ginormous lobby of the Wilderness Lodge. We talked comic books, books, movies, e-readers, downloads, piracy, football, baseball, fathers, spouses (ex and current), writing, reading, Stephen King, Brian Bendis, hurricanes, weather, vacations, tv shows, and more topics than you could shake a magic wand at.

Jen made an appearance, first ignoring us as she walked by with her tour group as they went to the restaurant there for lunch, then text messaging and waving at us, and then hug-bombing us before departing with her group for more touring.

It was great to spend time with Glenn and just shoot the shit. The time with Jen was great, she’s fun to talk to, even if she is much shorter than I expected.

I’m hoping that we don’t have to wait another 8 years or so before meeting in person again. 😉

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