Monday, August 04, 2008

The Blogging Bonus

Blogging is about a lot of things...

...being creative, sharing information, using new technology, and one of my favorite side benefits - developing relationships.

A lot of blogger friends of mine get the opportunity to meet up and attend blog-based social events on a frequent basis, of which there are tons. For example, you'd have to be living in a refrigerator in your basement to not have heard of Blogher.

But bloggers in my demographic (married with children) don't always get the opportunity to take off for a weekend to Chicago or L.A. to chill with the peeps. Or more accurately in my case... never get that opportunity.

So when I do get the chance to meet up with a fellow blogger face-to-face, I grab it every time. And by pure coincidence, I not only got a chance to spend time with one blog buddy recently... but TWO - in as many weeks! This is indeed a good thing.

My first meet-up was with a fellow Minnesotan and long-time commenter known as Gette (pronounced "jet") from Sauce for the Goose. Gette was due to come up to St. Cloud to take some teaching certification tests at St. Cloud State University, and was kind enough to ask me if I'd like to join her for coffee. Here I am with Gette and her husband iPastor having a mega cup of joe at McDonalds.

And here is Roseanna with her darling kids, whose names I can't remember because I have the memory of a fruit fly, and I didn't take notes. D'oh!

We had a wonderful and waaaay too short visit that I didn't want to end. Gette and her husband are both musicians, are bloggers and awesome funny people, so we obviously have a lot in common. Heh.

Anyway, I'm glad to have met them and I'm looking forward to the next time she has to come up here to test for 8 hours. Probably a lot more than she is.

You can read her account of this meet-up here.

* * * * *

My next blog-buddy meet-up took place yesterday at Jennine's house.

Those of you who have been long-time readers know that Jennine and I have been friends since way back in '06, shortly after I started this blog. We've had the opportunity to meet up twice in the past - here and here - and I have cherished our visits each time.

But yesterday's visit was extra special.

Since it was my dad's birthday last Friday, Jennine and I conspired to throw him a surprise party. She pretended to invite Bill and Lois down to her house (about 2 hours away) for an afternoon BBQ for "no special reason" but without me and my family because we were supposedly going to be "busy" that day and not able to attend. And then when they arrived we were all going to jump out and yell SURPRISE and give Bill a heart attack and kill him on the spot.

It would have been great!

Except that when the time came to attend the party, we were actually LATE because of a traffic jam and an ironic lightning strike* that nearly killed US instead which technically worked out better anyway because Bill said he already knew we were going to be there because we "overplayed our hand" so he was actually MORE surprised that we weren't waiting there and then became EXTRA SURPRISED when we finally DID arrive later! Got that?


Anyway, here are some pictures of our awesome afternoon (courtesy of Jennine):

Bill - The mighty wind himself

Lasagna makes Brandon REALLY happy!

The dog whisperer

Nothing says "kids" like a water balloon fight!

So yes, we had a fantastic time. Jennine and her family are amazing and fun and welcoming and warm and just plain great people to hang out with. I truly consider them to be good friends.

The real deal.

p.s. You have a jar of my pickles Jennine and I want them back.

p.p.s. (*update) Read Jennine's denial version of this pickle-napping event here.

* * * * *

* Ironic because all the way to Jennine's house we were driving in a huge storm and discussing what would happen if lightning was to hit our car. I'm happy to announce that even though lightning actually DID explode right above our car, we did NOT get fried into crispy Cheetos-like critters like I told Roseanna I thought we would. In this specific case, I was OK with being wrong.

Meet new blog friends at this humor blog!


Karl said...

Looks like a good time was had by all. I love meeting other bloggers. It's the best.

JD at I Do Things said...

Aw! Your party looks fun. And I love your attitude about blogging friends.

Having said that, I'll be in Toronto from 8-18 thru 8-22. E-mail me if this coincides with your trip and you want to meet. I love mega McDonald's coffee!

JD at I Do Things

United Studies said...

I agree, the number one reason I blog is to meet people I would normally never meet in real life. It's fun.

I've never met any bloggy friends in real life, but I think it would be so fun!

Kathy said...

Jeff, can you swing by and pick me up if you're meeting with JD for coffee? It's only out of your way by a few hundred miles. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day with the Johnson family, Jeff, Charlie, their children, Rick, Lois, and the cute little dog. I wish all you bloggers could have joined us for the fun and food. And thanks for the picture you picked Jeff. No bloggers, I do not have the mumps!

Unknown said...

Hey look, I'm famous. Looks like the party was fun! Sorry to hear about the storminess, though. Lightning struck the road next to us on Excelsior Blvd once and almost made me wet myself.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

karl - And you speak from experience. At last count I have you at somewhere around a million.

jd - Ooh... you're just going to miss us by two days. Bummer! Of course you could alter your entire schedule to meet my needs. Yeah, let's do that.

jacki - It is fun. And you will, it just takes a little time.

kathy - Like you can't drive up to Niagara Falls to hang out with us. Meet with me first on the 15th and JD on the 17th. Then you can have the 16th all to yourself. No it's ok, you're welcome.

bill - That's a great picture, mumps and all.

gette - No kidding, it is scary. You never want to wet yourself in that situation though, it only helps conduct electricity.

cathouse teri said...

That's a lotta Furries!

Hey, Roseanna has a lot of kids, too! ;)

Mom Thumb said...

Looks like a great party! May be back in Minnesota late September, in which case I will definitely get up to see you. Any chance your band will be playing then?

MYM said...

I think that's great! I'd love the chance to meet some of the people I've met blogging. :)

Anonymous said...

That sounds like the most terrifying car trip evah'!

I also love your dad's face while blowing the candles out...cracked me up!

Heather said...

You don't seem to be jumping at the chance to meet me. I KNOW you've been to Rochester.

Ed said...

Sounds like fun. I think bloggers are afraid to meet me in real it doesn't help living in a corner of the USA. Oh, and I didn't meet a single one in Belize this year either!

Sarah said...

Your dad sounds like a hoot and it sounds like he had a very good "not suprise but really a suprise" party.

If I'm ever in St. Cloud I'll send you an email. How far is it from Mankato?

Doozie said...

You need to take up Drive-By water ballooning

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

teri - Good one! I had to read that a couple of times before I got what you were getting at. But you're right... you'd think I would at least know the names of my own grand kids!

mom thumb - At this time I don't know if we're book in Sept or not, but if we DO get a gig then I'll let you know for sure.

drowsey monkey - You should if you can. And with the size of your fan base, you have a LOT of possibilities!

noble pig - Yes, my dad's face often cracks people up.

heather - I don't think I've had any free time in Rochester since I've been blogging. I'm usually driving through there at 70 mph because I'm late for a meeting with my customer in La Crosse. The next time I have to go there I'll make sure to leave a few hours earlier and stop at your house and you can feed me. Careful what you ask for eh? :-)

ve - They're not afraid to meet you - they just don't speak your language.

sarah - I think Kato is about 2 1/2 hours south of us. Is that where you're going to school? That's a pretty crazy campus there... be careful! ;-)

doozie - You sound like you speak from experience. Sounds liberating!

Elizabeth said...

What a fun party! I'm glad you were late and didn't kill your dad;)
I met one of my best friends through my adoption blog when it was still a hopefull happy blog and not a bleak and depressing blog full of hatred and, anyway, we both live in Juneau so we see each other all the time!

Roger Miller said...

Sounds and looks like a great time, and maybe some day I will get over my acute introversion... It really is kind of cute, especially since no one believes it, but Myers-Briggs won't lie, right? :)

Happy Birthday, again to Bill.

Babs (Beetle) said...

It sounds like you had a great time!

I Don't think I know of any bloggers remotely close to where I live. I'll have to make do with the blogging ;O)

Anonymous said...

Jeff- PLEASE tell me dad didnt have peanuts right before he blew out the candles!!
Sorry we missed the party--looks like a great time was had by all--I especially LOVE the picture of you with your favoite thing on your lap! Now that made me laugh out loud!! Oh ya, dad said they're taking us all on a cruise, if they make it two more years for their
60th wedding anniversary! (Now mom will have to kill him!) sis

kapgar said...

Meeting other bloggers is fun. No question about it.

JD at I Do Things said...

Done! I talked Dave into taking Friday off work, rearranged our pet-sitting schedule, talked my author into hurrying up and getting me his edits by Thursday, moved a bunch of other stuff around, and voila!

Or not.

Too bad. But let's definitely do the sticker thingie.

JD at I Do Things

Anonymous said...

If any fans of View From the Cloud ever have the chance to meet with Jeff and his wonderful family, I highly recommend requesting Charli's lasagna at the get together. It is to die for!

Thanks for braving the nasty storm and for driving the bajillion miles to our home.

Your family...completes me.

Caron said...

For gosh sakes - we live in the same town. I'm missing out on this goodness! I'll try to make it to Bubba's next time you play.

April said...

I still have yet to meet a bloggy friend. I'm going to go sulk now.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

elizabeth - I've watched your adoption woes, so I don't blame you at all for feeling glum on your blog. But even through all that you still manage to keep hope and let a little sunshine leak out (which isn't easy in Juneau). Keep it up and hang in there!

roger - Acute introversion. Cute. :-)

babs - There probably is, but they're just blogging in different circles. Maybe you could join a Facebook group about your town and list your blog on that.

anon (aka my sister) - True story. We were joking about putting peanuts on Bill's lips when he's in his casket so he'll look more natural. No, nothing actually is sacred in our family.

kapgar - No question at all!

jd - Done. I'll explain this to the everyone else in a post before we leave.

jennine - No problem. Besides, Mr. Bingley needed a place to nap.

caron - And I'll try to make it down to the Paramount next time you show. Deal?

april - Yeah, there's hardly ANYONE in Burbank. ;b

Stephanie M said...

I've never met another blogger in person - it seems kind of scary.

Michelle said...

Oh how fun! But had you not labeled that as "Dog Whisperer" AND I not looked at it six times, I would have bet money that it was a bunny.

Whoo on the birthday surprise!

robkroese said...

I've never met another blogger IRL. I hope to some day.

It's impossible for a car to get hit by lightning. The tires keep it from being grounded.

Maureen said...

Wow, looks like a great time! Glad to hear the lightning didn't fry you. (That's what you get for proposing to give your dad a heart attack).

You are so lucky to have some bloggin' friends nearby... can't wait to be added to that list.

Did you get my email?

Do I have to bring my own pickles?

yoo hoo said...

soooo, when can we expect a visit to the great Northwest? hmmm? You and the whole family

Maureen said...

Okay, this is driving me crazy.

I swear I left a comment here but now I can't see it... or Diesel's, which mine was just after...

I had said at least you didn't get fried by the lightning, but perhaps that was what you got for trying to give your Dad a heart attack!

Did you get my email? And do I have to bring my own pickles????

Maureen said...

Okay, this is driving me crazy.

I swear I left a comment here but now I can't see it... or Diesel's, which mine was just after...

I had said at least you didn't get fried by the lightning, but perhaps that was what you got for trying to give your Dad a heart attack!

Did you get my email? And do I have to bring my own pickles????

The Ironic Catholic said...

Let me know when you're in Winona. You know, we have McDs too.

*lynne* said...

I'm feeling all bad & guilty because I just realised it's been forever since I last visited ya - not that I was ignoring ya or anything, but for some reason my blogroll doesn't indicate fresh/new posts for your blog, and I'm still in the dinosaur age of blogrolls instead of RSS feed readers, so bear with me!! I'll try to figure it out... that's next on my list, after "update template" :D

btw - I attended my first ever blogger meet-up this past weekend - it was Davecago3 - lots of fun :)

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