Suddenly there were people

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If you ever have the opportunity to meet someone you blog with, I’d recommend meeting them for a shawarma.

My girlfriend and I needed some time away from the village, and she had been having shawarma cravings for weeks, so we thought a trip to Ottawa was in order — best shawarma in Ontario is on Bank Street, near James.

I also thought it would be an opportunity to meet with a blogger I’ve been following for a few years now. ‘Zoom‘ and I met once a few years ago at one of the first ‘Ottawa Blogger’s Breakfast’ meetings. Unfortunately, it was the only meeting I have been able to attend… mostly because it’s a three hour round-trip, $40 bus ride for me to get to a restaurant where I’m going to spend $20 on eggs and coffee.

That’s pretty much an entire weeks milk and pop budget for me.

I did have the opportunity to meet other bloggers at the Breakfast, which was not something I had not been able to do before… at the time I’m pretty sure I was the only one within twenty miles of my computer. Plus there was the whole ‘anonymity’ thing.

I know there are now two other bloggers in my village, one’s mostly a work blog and it’s kind of boring, the other is a hobby blog, and his hobbies are hunting and shooting. It’s actually pretty good.

I have met other blogger’s for a meal. It’s a strange thing meeting someone, after you’ve read their intimate thoughts for a few years. It’s even more strange when they’ve been reading your intimates for a few years.

I once met the always spectacular ‘Patient Anonymous’ for ice cream in a downtown Toronto restaurant. I had just gotten off a five hour bus ride from Ottawa, and recovering from six hours of carsickness.

A few days later, Claudia — who has disappeared — and I got together at a Toronto diner, and carried on our conversations of recovery and manic depression downtown to a sushi place. Which is where I picked up a case of food poisoning… or had a relapse of the bus-sickness thing.

When Justin, my friend from journalism school, and a long time blogger as ‘Bitter Guy’, came up to Ottawa last year we got together, along with my girlfriend, at Shawarma King… which was the first time my girlfriend had shawarma, and also where she became addicted to halal meats.

So on Saturday we met Zoom and her boyfriend (GC) at the same restaurant, which is worth finding… especially if you like a plate of Lebanese food more than a foot high.

I’ve liked Zoom, pretty much from the first time I met her. She’s a ‘miscellaneous blogger’, but mostly she writes about social issues and her pets. She reminds me of a younger version of the mother of my two half-sisters (there has to be a better way to write this sentence)… in that she looks adorable, kind of like a koala bear with a social conscience.

That analogy only works if you know koala bears will rip your face off if they decide you’re messing with them… so there you are. I also like Zoom because she has been very encouraging in her comments here, and on my other blog.

Zoom and I did discuss my recent posts on Salted… which, for the past six months, have been almost entirely about my ‘strained to the point of breaking’ relationship with my mother and grandmother. So that was weird. She did refer to the posts, I’m sure innocently, as a “soap opera”… which has me thinking that maybe I should start writing about other stuff as well, maybe a six month journey into the damage diabetes has wreaked on my legs and feet. It’ll be fun, I swear.

Discussing blog affairs in public still feels very foreign to me. I don’t normally talk about myself, period. Not out loud anyway. Generally, in a personal conversation, I’m the listener. So having someone at the table who knows stuff about me even my girlfriend, and mother of my son, doesn’t, was a little awkward.

We did talk about her new pet parrot… he’s thirteen-years old, and will probably die a healthy sixty-year old parrot, which always feels weird to me. Parrots and turtles, they’ve got such incredible lifespans, but all they do is eat seeds, repeat sounds and try not to get trapped on their back. Their lifespans just seem kind of… useless.

We did talk about a few other things, but mostly we all stared at my son and felt joy. He turns one-year old in a few weeks.

I’m pretty sure the five of us will be getting together again.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, crazy people with no pants, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, Ottawa. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Suddenly there were people

  1. Melanie says:

    Sounds like a wonderful time. I’m happy for you. Wish Little V an extraordinary birthday for me. 🙂

  2. zoom says:

    Gabriel, it was a pleasure seeing you and Diane and basking in Victor’s glow. He’s such a gorgeous and happy baby.

    As for feeling weird about how much I know about you from reading your blog, remember you probably know just as much about me as I do about you, since I blog pretty openly too. 😉

    Anyway, it was fun and I’m looking forward to the next time we all get together. And thanks again for the Beau’s – we haven’t cracked them open yet because we’ve both been sick, but we’re going to celebrate our good health with them soon I hope. (Speaking of being sick, I hope we didn’t spread our germs to any of you.)

  3. “…always spectacular…” *blushes* Thank you nin-JAH. I loved the time we spent together, too. Albeit, brief?

    Also, happy anniversary to your blog? Sorry I didn’t come around earlier. As you are aware, I’m pretty out of it right now. However, if I remember the birth of my blog, I remember yours, as well! They were born so close together!

    Purple nin-JAH

  4. IfByYes says:

    It’s weird meeting bloggers. It’s like “Hi, we’ve never met but I know intimate details about your life…”

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