A highlight of my trip to Pittsburgh was the chance to meet Emily in Real Life. I've been reading her journal since 1996 (when she was a freshman in high school; now she's finishing her freshman year in college) so she seems like someone I've known practically forever. Thursday night seemed to be the best choice, given the way our schedules were running. Paul (her boyfriend) and Emily picked me up at the Marriott (in Paul's white VW new beetle) and off we went in search of the Spaghetti Warehouse (I've been to Spaghetti Factory restaurants in Toronto and Honolulu; the Spaghetti Warehouse is similar, although I don't know if it is a stand-alone or part of a chain.)
I really enjoyed talking with Emily and Paul. Paul, probably part of Emily's influence on him, had become familiar with the world on online journals, although he doesn't seem inclined to putting up his own. Emily and I read many of the same journals so this was probably a rather surealistic conversation as we talked about people whom we've never met. (Wishing we could have been at Jen Wade's recent birthday party, babbling on about Pamie and Stee and Dave Van and...etc. -- no, I'm not going to type in a zillion links -- check out my page of online journal links) We talked though dinner and continued long after our dishes had been cleared away. Fortunately we had not arrived at the restaurant until past 8:30, so there was no big demand for tables and we sat and talked until we looked around and realized that the restaurant was almost empty and it was eleven o'clock.
Paul drove us around Pittsburgh and Emily pointed out various points of interest around the Pitt campus. I finally had to plead exhaustion and a 5:30 a.m. setting on my alarm clock to cut the evening short. If not for my schedule I think we could have found a coffee shop and continued talking into the small hours. (As it was, it was almost midnight by the time I got up to my room.) There's apparently an online journaler convention in Pittsburgh this fall; if my business schedule happened to bring me to town around that time I would love to drop in.
I had one of those single-use cameras with me and took a picture of Paul and Emily and then Paul took one of Emily and me. There are about a dozen shots left in that camera; I will have to take them and get the film developed.