In continuation of my series on sidebar links, here’s why I link to the people in the Friends category:
When I lived in New York, I worked with three guys who I refer to as my geek friends. When I first started calling them that, they adopted it as a group name for all four of us, though my geek qualifications don’t hold a candle to theirs. It seems that no matter where I go, I end up being friends with the weirdest people around. I like to think it’s because I choose to hang around with the most interesting people (and the weirdoes are always the most interesting folks in any room), but the truth is probably just that they’re the only ones who care to talk to me. Anyway, TheWriteJerry is a fellow writer, and the first of the gfs to insinuate himself into my life. He has actually written stories that were published in Superman and The Incredible Hulk comic books, among others, and served as writer for the graphic novel Samson: Judge of Israel. He even wrote a few Hardy Boys novels in his younger days. Jerry is the one who suggested to me that I try writing a regular newspaper column about marriage. I liked the idea, but it sounded like a whole lot of trouble, so I started a blog instead.
I once wrote that “The Mysterious Cloaked Figure and I went to a local cinema to see the movie Elektra.” I spoke to my friend the next day, and he told me he prefers to go by MCF because when it’s spelled out it “sounds kinda dorky.” I said, “I have an overweight friend who complains when he thinks that a particular pair of pants makes his butt look kinda big, but I just tell him, ‘Dude, you’re 5’6″ and you weigh 230 pounds. You’re butt’s gonna look kinda big.’” MCF responded either with a blank stare or a vulgar epithet—I can’t remember—but that’s why I love him. He channels his dorkiness into creativity, poignancy, and hilarious storytelling on MCF’s Nexus of Improbability. It’s one of my few daily reads.
Rey is sort of an exception to the rule that geeks are lonely outcasts who can’t make friends. Even though he can debate for hours about whether Green Lantern or Quasar would win in a fight—and how the various Green Lanterns would fare in that battle—he still manages to carry on normal conversations with normal people. On The Bible Archive, he plunges into Biblical texts and comes out with sound interpretations that regularly draw accusations of heresy from people who disagree with him. Funny thing is, even those people can’t help but like him because of his easygoing manner and winning personality. Or it could be that in real life he looks pretty menacing and unstable, so people may actually be afraid to cross him. Either way.
I met Messy Christian and Adrian Warnock in Manhattan a couple of years ago while they were both in the States on business. MC was still on Blogspot at the time. She had been blogging only a couple of months, but had gained notoriety quickly due to her unabashed honesty in journaling her spiritual struggles. Adrian, on the other hand, is sort of the godfather of the Evangelical Christian blogosphere (his links have boosted traffic to THH quite a bit), and his blog is a clearinghouse for hot topics among Christians. He’s a calm, evenhanded blogger who still somehow ends up in the middle of every controversy that arises among blogging Christians.
As a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, it seems unnatural to include a link on my blog to anyone coming out of Texas A&M University. Aggies are not known for writing ability or coherent thought. Amy, Mrs. Happy’s friend for something like a million years, is an exception. Her World of Random Thoughts lives up to its name with musings on politics, entertainment, personal stuff, and…well…random thoughts.
There’s a long, pointless story about how my college roommate came to register a domain for the town of Peachwater, Texas. Suffice it to say, it’s legendary among my circle of Austin friends. The web site has evolved into a journal and pretty cool photoblog. Lately, he’s been abusing his power as Peachwater’s webmaster by posting personal stuff rather than town stuff. If he doesn’t watch out, he may get fired.
IreneQ is another Malaysian blogger, and the attention she’s given me on her site goes a long way toward explaining the number of Malaysian readers who visit The Happy Husband. I can’t say enough about Irene. She’s the only person on this list I haven’t met in person, but this blog owes more to her than the rest of them combined. I started reading her blog before I began my own, and she offered more advice and linkagery than anyone else, which is why I think of her as my bigblogsister. I think it was back in 2004 that she decided to think up a better word for blog, and I vowed to help her. The best thing I could come up with was porkpie. It never really caught on.