Writer and photographer Heather Armstrong of Dooce was in Austin as a keynote speaker at the South by Southwest Conference and agreed to have dinner with me and Helen. Heather and her web designer/photographer husband, Jon, joined us at the hip Austin restaurant, the Iron Cactus, for an evening of great food and blogversation.
Yes, we had fish tacos. And for you, m'am? Fish tacos? A fine choice, my favorite. And you, sir? The same? Yes, they're our specialty. Sorry, kidguins are not allowed.
Actually, the evening went quite a bit better than that! Jon is a great conversationalist and regaled us with stories of their adventures traveling and in the trials and tribulations of professional blogging, which, I gather, is a lot like professional skateboarding but without all the contusions and broken bones.
I'm sure the Number One question you're thinking right at this very moment is "What's Dooce like? Really."
My abbreviated answer would be to pick a superlative and it would apply. I'll try a few just to get things going: charming, witty, engaging, direct, knowledgable, fun and delightful. I guess that makes me a member of her fan club, don't it?
Was there something about Heather that I found surprising? Yes. She's tall. In the blogosphere we are all dimensionless. We have no height or mass (which is playing into my new diet strategy, by the way). It's always a surprise to meet people you've only talked or corresponded with.
"I'm wearing heels," she explained.
"So am I," I replied, "and you're still tall!"
Heather and Jon are pioneers in the Blog World having both quit their day jobs to blog professionally. It's a bold move and not for the faint of heart, but the Armstrong's are anything but faint. They have a vision and a business plan, they have talent and if anyone can succeed blogging in the Brave New Internet World, they will.
Dooce has been an inspiration to me to continue writing and, you know, there's something about my day job that's starting to bug me.
Thanks, Heather and Jon, for spending some time with us in Austin, and for blazing the trail for those who are bound to follow.