Mom the Early Adopter

I just posted a comment on the first post of my mother's blog. She's blogging as a marketing tool for her new business (she's a life coach). If you're interested, you can find the blog here.

My mom is something of an early adopter. We had a personal computer, complete with a black and orange monitor and that paper with the edges that had to be neatly trimmed off, before most folks in our income bracket. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on it. I'm pretty sure my dad typed his on his type writer.

I'm not sure which of us discovered email first. I know I'm more addicted to it (I check it hourly, and worry about it during camping trips). Mom had a cell phone first. I resisted, based on the idea that I would be giving up my freedom and privacy. Now I can't remember how I lived before my phone. My wife and I call each other from opposite sides of a Target in order to meet up.

I do know Mom beat me to Facebook. I resisted that one, too, on the grounds that it would be as lame as MySpace. I beat Mom there, but that's nothing to brag about. It's like saying "I discovered that farts smell bad before you did. So there."

I certainly wasn't on the cutting edge of blogging, and I still enter into it fully cognizant of the narcissism inherent in the medium. But that's where I think Mom has me beat once again: I blog for no justifiable reason. Mom blogs for her work. Point for her.

I have beaten Mom to Twitter, which has all the drawbacks of blogging and only one discernible benefit. It's an education in brevity. And, speaking as a teacher, I can say for certain that an education does not necessarily lead to an educated student. But I've put that too succinctly to make my point. Let me drone on about that for a bit... Oh, nevermind.

My latest salvo in the early-adopter war with Mom is my itouch. This is, frankly, the coolest thing I own. I love it, and it's a portal to another medium I've discovered: the podcast. My mom has an itouch, but, for the first time, approaches the technology like your grandma did the VCR. She claims it's too complex, that she can't keep it charged, that she can;t figure out how to adjust the setting so that it will update the podcasts she might be interested in.

I am going to enjoy this slight edge for as long as I can, because I expect that she'll soon realize that she can not only market her business with a blog, but also with a podcast, at which point she'll be creating with a purpose while I dink around pointlessly.

Thank you for reading this post which argues against its own existence. Again, here's my mom's.

Stop Podcasting Yourself: Literary Bloke

I love podcasts. It's become something of an addiction. One of my favorites is "Stop Podcasting Yourself". I highly recommend it.

On this week's show, the hosts, Graham Clark and Dave Shumka, asked listeners for suggestions for a literary figure to be a part of the League of Extraordinary Blokes. If you're not sure what a bloke is, think of Jason Statham.

Crank2 poster - Share on Ovi

Anyway, Graham and Dave started out just creating a list of blokes, then it morphed into creating a musical band composed of blokes, then blokey scientists, and now a shout-out for blokey literary figures. As someone with literary aspirations (failed, heartbreaking, soul-crushing, just-got-another-polite-rejection-letter-this-week kind of aspirations) I thought I'd share my two cents. Now, I'm not a bit blokey. I don't cheat on my wife, I rarely get a chance to drink, and I'm a pacifist, so bar fights are kind-of off limits. In fact, take Jason Statham, give him some glasses, remove his muscles, and take away his everything-that-makes-him-a-bloke, and you've got me. Basically, we share a hairstyle. But I can think of some writers who are blokey.

And alive. They have to be alive.

My first suggestion is Max Berry. He wrote Jennifer Government, a fabulously blokey book that will crack you up while it gives the middle finger to multinational corporations and the free market utopia they'd like the create. And how do I know Max Berry is a bloke? Just look at him.

Max Barry - Share on Ovi

My second suggestion is Salman Rushdie.

Salman Rushdie - Share on Ovi

This guy is so blokey he pissed off the Ayatollah Khomeini and had to go into hiding, where he hung out with guys like Bono from U2. Meanwhile, he married a supermodel, got divorced, and is rumored to have moved on to some other Bollywood starlet. This guy has won a Booker Prize, and I'll bet he would also headbutt you if pushed to it. Super-blokey!

The most blokey writer I can think of who wouldn't qualify isn't Earnest Hemmingway. He was just a dick. Sure, he was a genius, but he was a jerk, which isn't the same thing as being a bloke. No, the most blokey ex-writer is Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Douglas Adams - Share on Ovi

He reportedly thought of the idea for the brilliant, absurdist five-part-trilogy when he got drunk and passed out on a hilltop. When he woke up and looked at the stars, the premise came to him. Now that's blokey! Unfortunately, he died at 49. Was his death blokey? A bar fight? Headbutting a member of the paparazzi? Sleeping with a supermodel he'd just rescued from an evil gang leader? No. He got off the treadmill at the gym and had a heart attack. Not blokey. Still, when he told the story of his moment of inspiration, he originally said it happened in Australia, then changed his story, claiming it happened in Spain "because it's easier to spell." Now that's a bloke!