19 June, 2006

Draw the blawger

I was just reading my daily dose of Jonathan Schwarz over at Tiny Revolution and it occurred to me that I had a mental image of what he looked like. This would be normal at a blerg like Bob Harris' or Saheli*'s, where there are photos of the blawgers, but I do it with everyone. When I saw Tom Tomorrow at a book reading, I was suprised at how little he looked like his characters. I expected him to be a white man in a plain beige suit with slicked down hair, sort of a much geekier Tom Wolfe, and to be a bit short and squat. I won't ruin the surprise for everyone, but let's just say I was right. He was white. Similarly, I met regular commenter Saurav, who to my eyes was much more hyper, rather than laconic, than I expected, and just generally more of a clean-cut New Yorker rather than a dreadlocked chain-wielding punk. Among other differences.

What about the rest of us? What do we look like? Describe your favorite blawger-you-never met. I want to know. Later I'll post my description of Schwarz.


I'm gonna go with Scruggs . I always pictured Ol' J. Alva as fifty-five-ish, graying, maybe with a beard that's a shade too long and somewhat mottled in coloration. Jed Clampett with stuff on his chin and a couple of extra pounds, less vinegar and more smarm. Maybe with a pensive way of wrinkling his chin when he's thinking about 'fecklessness'. 

Posted by saurabh

That's pretty close. If you want to meet me, I sent you an email the other day. Maybe we could work something out. 

This exciting mystery is resolved here . Of course, keep in mind that's actual size.

Also, before too long I'm hoping to branch out into funny video, or at least video that purports to be funny. Then once I've consolidated power I plan to have my 1000-mile high visage projected against the sky, laughing maniacally. Believe me, you'll miss the days when you didn't know what I looked like.

Posted by Jon

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Wow, that is so tiny it actually doesn't quite erase my heretofore abstract vision.

I usually have abstract visuals of writers until I see the photo. Sort of a shadowy silhouette superimposed on their name and any strongly-associated iconography. So Saurabh to me is just a man-shaped shadow, with skinny legs since he's mentioned them often, and a bit of a scruffy next-day shadow, since he's mentioned that too, super-imposed upon gigantic Sesame street style letters, "saurabh". Same with Jonathan. Until I met Hedgehog, he was very much a hedgehog--and that iconography is so strong that I still associate his writing with hedgehogs, and barrage him with photos of hedgehogs.

The second I see someone clearly, though, whether in person or in picture, that all snaps off to the side. It's there but much weaker.

I think that's why I put my picture on my blog. I didn't grow up using Saheli, even though it is my name, and it's odd to think of other people visualizing me as just Saheli.

For what it's worth I've been told I don't look like that photo.

Posted by Saheli

A larger version is concealed here . There are all kinds of things hidden away on my site if you know where to look. For instance, me at Legoland or me with my sister. Although to be honest, I'm told I've aged since then. 

Posted by Jon

Neener neener neener -- I'm not looking I'm not looking I'm not looking -- not until I say that Schwarz has black rectangular glasses, pale olive skin, looks good dancing even though he doesn't like to do it in public, probably very neat hair, probably kind of skinny from drinking lots of coffee and engaging in nervous tics like tapping foot or air-fingering the clarinet, and takes good care of plants. Which isn't a look except in that it can cause dirt under the fingernails.

OK I looked. And that's not Schwarz. His jaw is squarer than that and his smile is more crooked. Ouch, my small subterranean mammal brain is in pain from the dissonance. I wasn't sure if he compulsively cleaned the dirt from his fingernails (much as he cleans spam from his blergh) and now I'm confident he does. 

Posted by hedgehog

probably very neat hair

ha ha ha ha ha

Anyway, I'm sure we'll cross paths in person before too long. For one thing, I'll be visiting my Berkeley sister (who just sent me some Big Paw basalmic vinegar). At that point your last, desperate illusions will be shattered.

Posted by Jon

AWESOME! Does this mean we're going to go dancing too?

(notice how I just invite myself along.) 

Posted by Saheli

Perhaps because of your alias, Hedgehog, I envision you as a short man, with a slight paunch and a red sox baseball cap backwards on your head. You have an extremely devilish grin and are holding a newspaper in one hand and a karaoke microphone in the other.

Posted by Nikhil Mulani

Nikhil:  as they say in my country:
I wenk a nam oh dah a god,
Dna ognib saw sih mane-ee
Dan Ognib saw sih mane-ee.

Actually you're very close except that the red baseball cap, isn't a Red Sox item. It bears the archaic logo of a rowing club. And I almost never turn it around backward. Otherwise, I think you might have traced me through the internets.

My turn!
Saurabh is very thin and has prominent cheekbones. His forearms bear well defined muscles. His hair is shaggy and dark brown and persists across the full extent of its historic range and doesn't cover his detached earlobes, which are also brown. His bed is at the largest a double. Quite likely a futon. He likes to wake up early but rarely does so except when visiting family. He wears dark-colored shoes with soft rubber soles. He has many books, including some pride-worthy reference texts, and some of the volumes have literally gathered dust. The ceiling in his bedroom is 9 feet high. The house overlooks street trees and maybe gardens out back and there are whipoorwills tonight and a distant smell of lilac.  

Posted by hedgehog

Holy shit! So there IS a hidden camera in my room. I'll have to remember that when I'm prancing around naked next time. Although I'll have you know that's a queen size, not a double. 

Posted by saurabh

Otherwise, I think you might have traced me through the internets. 

You have a weird definition of paunch, Mr-I'm-Going-To-Do-Curls-While-You-People-Watch-TV. But yes, that devilish grin part had me cracking up.

He wears dark-colored shoes with soft rubber soles.

Huh. I think I would have guessed boots or sandals.

Although I'll have you know that's a queen size, not a double.

Aw yeah. Let's hear it for the gigantic mattresses.

Man, now I wish I'd never put my picture up. Oh well.

Posted by Saheli

=v= Now that I've read that Saheli doesn't look like her photo, I wonder what she looks like.

Posted by Jym Dyer

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