Heather Armstrong purchased a new washing machine which promptly broke. After several attempts to get it fixed failed, she registered her displeasure on Twitter to her 1,000,000+ followers. The rest of the story is amusing but I enjoyed it for more inside-baseball reasons, i.e. this is how you fucking blog. Take notes.
This is where some of you are all, WTF? You spent how much on a washing machine? Don’t you know that some of us don’t even have washing machines? Don’t you know that some of us have to drag our five loads of laundry AND our three kids down to the laundromat every week? HOW DARE YOU EVEN WRITE AND/OR COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PRECIOUS LITTLE WASHING MACHINE.
And you can give me a goddamn break. It’s not like we said, you know what? Let’s just go spend fourteen hundred dollars today! It’ll be fun! Where can we go? An appliance store! Hurry, let me change into my diamond-studded panties and climb into our golden chariot! Have the local police shut down traffic so that we don’t have to maneuver around the little people! Also, where is Clive Owen and that blow job I paid for?
Heather Armstrong, on meeting her new neighbors and having to explain what she does for a living:
Over the last few weeks several neighbors have stopped by to introduce themselves, and invariably they are older than we are, more established, and have careers in medicine or law. And when they ask what we do, both Jon and I sort of flinch and exchange a quick look that says IT’S YOUR TURN TO LIE. We’re web developers, we say, and that is never enough, they just can’t leave it alone, and one of us will try to explain that I have a website. This thing. That I do. And because we’re being all coy about it I just know, from the very worried expressions on their faces, that these neighbors think that we run a porn site.
This is the exact interaction I have with most people that I’ve met in the past couple of years, right down to the “we’re web developers, we say, and that is never enough, they just can’t leave it alone” part. I imagine professional mimes, phone sex operators, and people who make a living selling other people’s stuff on eBay have the same sorts of awkward conversations with their new neighbors.
Some dreams deserve to be immortalized on tshirts:
He can feel the anger in my voice, so he immediately tries to calm me down. “I’m trying to explain the differences between MySQL and Perl to my friend,” he answers as if that were the most logical thing to ever come out of his mouth.
“You’re friends with Gisele Bundchen?” I ask.
“Well, yeah,” he says. “I met her on a WordPress message board a few months ago.”
My whole world does a sort of belly flop, and I start to get a little dizzy because what I used to think was right-side-up is now turned on its head. “That’s not okay,” I say to him.
“What do you mean it’s not okay?” he asks. “We’re talking about databases, for crying out loud.”
Apologies to Mike for beating him to the punch.
ps. Sorry, you can’t actually order the shirts. I’ve offered Heather the design if she wants to do so at some point.
Through an improbable series of clerical errors, I am scheduled to participate in a “keynote conversation” about professional blogging with Heather Armstrong at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month. Armstrong, so the story goes, got fired for blogging at work and was rewarded with a loving husband, cutie-pie daughter, photogenic dog, several television appearances, hundreds of media mentions, and a new job — talking about poop all day — that supports her entire family. And so but by the way, she’s also headlining the entire SXSW Festival along with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young. Which makes me approximately chopped liver. When I told Meg about the headlining thing, she said, “boy, that conversation had better be good”. Pressure’s on, Heather.
To sum up, a piece of chopped liver will be having a chat with a nice lady from Utah next month about blogging for groceries. Should be fun.
Dooce puts ads on her site to feed her family (she’s supporting them *entirely* by writing her personal web site) and gets an earful of complaint in return. Thought this was particularly insightful about why no subscription fees or donations instead: “By using ads I’m making my livelihood my problem and no one else’s.” I’m not sure if that’s strictly true, but it resonated a lot with me.