The sacrificial atheist? »« Welcome to Seattle, Mom & Dad

Well, this was an odd day

Today was the last day of my parent’s visit to Seattle. We were walking down to grab some Piroshky Piroshky for lunch, when a young man came up to me.
Guy: Excuse me, but… were you the one who did Boobquake?
Me: …Yes.

He sheepishly waved hi and then ran away. And then tweeted at me that he was a blog reader and was sorry for being creepy. My parents thought it was fantastic, and wouldn’t stop talking about how famous their daughter was.

I wondered what the odds were. I’m used to people recognizing me at godless or nerdy events, but randomly on the street seems way less likely. It had only happened once before, when I was on a terrible OkCupid date at the College Inn pub, and a random guy came up and asked if I had ever been on the Savage Lovecast. A potentially confusing question if the answer was “No,” but he ended up being a fan of the blog.

Of course, Seattle is pretty godless and nerdy in general, so maybe I should just expect it.

After lunch, my dad and I wandered off to the Underground Tour and left my mom to spend an hour taking photos of the stupid fish throwing. Our tour guide was really funny, and I thought the tour was super interesting. About half way through as we were walking through some of the underground tunnels, she turned to me:

Guide: Have you been on the tour before? You look really familiar.
Me: …No, but I live in Seattle.
Dad: (to me) I bet she reads your blog too!

Sure enough, at the end of the tour she very excitedly said she figured it out, she reads my blog, and omfgwtfbbq could she have my autograph!?! My dad couldn’t stop talking about it – he thought it was the coolest thing ever. I assured him I wasn’t paying these people off to make me look good while they were visiting.

Anyway, these little things totally make my day. Don’t be shy if you ever see me roaming around. I’m happy to say hello!

On the flip side, they make me feel extra guilty when I realize I just spent another weekend not updating. Whoops. I’ve been having a life lately, which is a bit unusual. I’m sure I’ll go back to my boring internet-fueled existence soon enough.

Comments

  1. breadbox says

    I wondered what the odds were. I’m used to people recognizing me at godless or nerdy events, but randomly on the street seems way less likely.

    I’m pretty sure I would recognize you if I saw you on the street. Assuming I saw you, that is — I often don’t notice the people around me when I’m on the street. And of course, in order to see you on the street I’d probably need to spend some time away from home and work….

  2. Oiram71313 says

    I stumbled here thanks to a link and have been hooked ever since, you have that kind of power.Since you have been busy I was hoping to help with an idea for a post. I think it would be fun to read about a subjet or issue where you have changed your mind, specially if it is something you have blogged about and can quote and correct yourself.Thank you, mario.

  3. says

    Yep, your’re a genuine celebrity in the atheist/feminist/freethinker sphere, and I’m positive I would do the awkwardly polite Canadian shuffle in your direction if I saw you in public. When PZ was at the UofA in Edmonton AB, it took me twenty minutes to work up the nerve to introduce myself. The other pharyngulites were all at a table in the university pub, and I dared not ask to join them. I think my take on academic celebrity is two steps above that of a movie or television personality. My friend and brother probably thought I had lost it. You rock, Jen, and your parents have every reason to feel proud. What a great day!

  4. PDX_Greg says

    I started to follow this blog when your Boobquake post became famous, and it is now in my read-all list, because I’ll confess it has taught me a thing or three about the female perspectives and experiences on atheism, science, and academia communities thaht I frankly would likely never even have considered.   Now the reason for my comment:  we passed in opposite directions once many months ago, and I recognized you immediately, but you did not make eye contact and I did not want to make you feel uncomfortable.   Plus, I was late on  my way to my destination so I would have just had to blurt something out and keep going.   In truth, I couldn’t remember your last name and I didn’t want to shout “Blag Hag” and I especially did not want to yell “Boobquake”.   I couldn’t bring myself to just say “Jen” either, as that would be creepy from a perfect stranger quickly walking by.   So now you get to settle for this creepy post instead.  Funny, I had the same thought that you had — except that in my case, it seemed even more extreme.    I read only three blogs in entirety, and it was a bit unreal to encounter one of the bloggers I follow on one of my business trips out of town (I travel to Seattle on a regular basis, but still, the odds were astounding to me).  So now you know that you have been recognized by another at-large blog reader.

  5. says

    Ha, how odd! Well, on the off chance you randomly run into me again, feel free to shout Jen or Blag Hag or whatever. Others have done it, and I don’t mind a quick wave as you run off to whatever you’re doing :)

  6. says

    Enjoy stardom. This is only the beginning for you! You may regret inviting folks to stop you and say hi. If I ever find myself late at night in an elevator and you walk in I’ll certainly strike up a conversation.

  7. Callie Leuck says

    It’s embarrassing asking people for their autograph. I’ve done it, of course.Did it make you feel famous?

  8. Ratshag says

    Spiffy! I ain’t surprised what yer dad thought it were the Coolest Thing Ever(TM). I would too if it were me daughter.I writes a much smaller blog, but I also lives in a much smaller universe, so I occasionalies bumps inta someone what sez “Dude! I reads yer blog!” and that gives me warm and fuzzy feelingifications inside fer a bit.

  9. says

    Jen, when we met briefly, I thought you looked familiar, but my hypothesis is that people I think I would like look familiar to me. I wrote you a note and *then* found out you were a freethinking celebrity. (Way to blunder in without doing my research first.) I’m glad to read your blog now, and I’ll wave to you at GeekGirlCon.

  10. Reverse Polarity says

    I’m a regular reader, and a Seattle resident, so there is a fair chance I could bump into you some time. But I tend to be completely oblivious to strangers on the street, and wouldn’t likely recognize you. And when I do occasionally run into minor celebrities (I’ve encountered Dan Savage at a few events, things like that), I almost never say anything. I’d feel like some weird stalker, and I’d probably stand there dumbly, not having a clue what to say. The only time I do is at a book signing or something like that where they are there for the express purpose to be harassed by fans.

  11. Carlie says

    “omfgwtfbbq” : I think I’m old, because I don’t get it. omfg – I getwtf – I getbbq – um…  bar-b-que?

  12. Old Fogey says

    Yes Carlie, it stands for bar-b-que – for no good reason whatsoever.Jen, you’re going to have to get used to this. I had a brief period of semi-celebrity a couple of decades ago (before the internet FGS) and it was always weird having people come up and talk to me as if I was an old friend, with me trying to figure out whether I really knew them or not; I have a good memory for names, same for faces, but unfortunately they are in non-relational datasets.Nevertheless, it’s often unavoidable, and always great for the egoboo.

  13. says

    Never feel guilty about living your life!Just because I check the site every day doesn’t mean I expect it to be a 24 hours news site, though I suppose if you wanted to go that route you could get a few people to join team Blag Hag (I’m sure you could find people who’d like to write the odd article but don’t really want to be full time bloggers).The point is though, if you don’t live your life you’ll have nothing new to talk about and I happen to like reading about all the nifty new things you like to talk about, even if it does take you a few extra days to talk about it.  :)

  14. Mitchell Lee says

    Umm Jen your check bounced, and if you want to look popular again when your parents come back.. you have to clear it up.. OK?JK,  I’d love to meet you in person too some day. I’d love to shake your hand and thank you for your courage to speak out and exercise our freedom from religion and stifled thought.

  15. J. Mark says

    Your parents are really cool, I know it……they love you, and you enjoy seeing them, and doing things with them, that’s wonderful.   Those things about your life are charming to me, and make you even more interesting.   The first thing a lot of “godly types” want to insinuate to an atheist, is how empty ones life must be without the lord…maybe I just prefer light reading, but I like your family entries….

  16. Annie says

    What a great day!  If I ever saw y0u,  in my excitement, I would forget that you know absolutely nothing about me and act like I was bumping into a favorite second cousin.  I would come to my senses quickly enough to refrain from hugging you.  That’s awesome that your Dad witnessed your autograph request… you know the passenger on the plane next to your parents going home got an earfull. ;-)

  17. PZ Myers says

    Fish throwing is not stupid. Some of us love the sight of big ol’ salmon flying by, especially when you’re stuck in the midwest.

  18. Elizabeth says

    This reminds me of when I went to a speaking event Hemant Mehta was at – it was a small group, maybe 20 people. I was actually all giddy and had butterflies when I went up to say hello!It was surreal to meet in person someone I read everyday…I’m sure I’d be all giddy and stupid if I met you too – I would probably just clam up.Awesome!

  19. kittie says

    i moved to seattle at the beginning of july (from purdue) and about 3 weeks or something ago you got on the 511 bus towards seattle as i was riding back from worki thought about saying hi but you were way up in the front and i was feeling particularly lazy

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