Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Dinner with Andre Dooce

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.


Professor Salt said...

Thanks, Bill. I found your blog through Dooce's, and enjoy both of your writings every week. You're both inspiring to me; keep up the great writing!

Dr. J said...

Living from blogging would be a dream come true. Of course, that would undoubtably mean pressure to use the spell checker and I´m not sure I´m that advanced yet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I found you through Dooce too, and have been reading ever since, so I feel like we've come full circle.

Antique Mommy said...

Dooce is responsible for turning me on to your site and for inspiring me and women likeme across the blogosphere to write love letters to their children. If she never did another thing, that would be enough.

Bret said...

I was reminded of an old shaggy dog story's punchline when I saw the picture: "Who's the girl with Bill?"

Heather's talk got written up in eWeek, although the historic dinner confab with 1222Fondue did not. Pity.

Anonymous said...

Bill- That shirt is atrocious ... I love it! Glad your blog, which is a joy to read, was noticed by someone with the e-clout of dooce ... there are a lot of us who found you through her.

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Bill! A real photo of Bill!

And who is that next to you?

Bill - if I come to Texas, you'd better make time to have dinner with me, at the University Club, Houston. I hear they have decent Caesar Salads there.

I'm no Dooce, but I AM 5'11", dammit.

Vetmommy said...

Ditto me reading you and Dooce everyday. I can't believe I missed her while she was in town, but it was Spring Break for us - ironically we were in your neck of the woods (Houston). Thank you for posting that great picture of the two of you - you both look giddy!

schmims said...

Awesome shirt! I can't access The Dooce anymore. Stupid block on the server! Grrrr!

Margalow said...

Hey, nice blog. Check out my blogs:
Restaurant Recipes
Top Secret Recipes
Food Network Recipes

Sandra said...

At last! A photo of Bill!
Your shirt is marvellous.
Dooce is how I found your blog as well - and I am very glad that I did!

Anonymous said...

I found you through Dooce as well. Two of my favorites...

s'kat said...

With the three of you meeting up for dinner, I'm surprised that the world didn't evaporate in a puff of indredulity.