A woman I admire: Pamela Ribon (Back to Blogging: Day 4)
The assignment for today is to write about a woman you admire. In order to narrow it down, and tame my inner nerd, I decided to write about a blogger I admire. Also, I figured no one really wanted to read an essay on Sylvia Beach or my Great Aunt Gert.
To call Pamela Ribon a blogger is to do her a bit of a disservice, she is an accomplished writer and has worked on several tv shows, including Samantha Who. Hers is the first blog I ever really read and this is long before there were even blogs. It was the 90s. I think I found it through Television Without Pity, back when it was Mighty Big TV. I am really aging myself here. But more important that how I found her blog or how long I have read it (over 10 years! yikes!) is why I admire her.
I admire her because she sets goals and makes them. She put her life out for everyone to see long before it was common. I think she predates Dooce for god’s sake. She is a writer and makes me laugh. I wanted to be a writer for so long, writing short stories and a novel in high school, working on the school paper, I even chose a major/minor combo in college primarily so I could write. History/English for those keeping score. But I just let the dream fade. I gravitated towards culinary and retail jobs and just worked. And then I found her website.
The day I found pamie.com I started writing again. Knowing nothing of servers or html, I knew it was unlikely that I would ever have a “web diary,” but I started writing one. I wish I still had that computer. Every day when I got home from work, before I went out to the bars (oh to be in my 20s again), I wrote a post. Never did anything with them, but I wrote them and Pamela Ribon was my inspiration.
Now, I do think of her more as a writer than a blogger. Pamela Ribon is a blogger from back when most of them could write. It doesn’t seem to be a requirement anymore. (I am lumping myself in this writer with questionable writing skills category because I am so rusty. I used to be able to write, but it is not like riding a bike). She has 3 published novels (Why Girls Are Weird, Why Moms Are Weird and her latest Going in Circles) and they are great. Go buy them.
What I find most admirable about Pamela Ribon, however, is that she chose to use her web influence for good. A few years ago, she read about a book shortage in the Oakland Libraries and requested that her readers buy them the books on their Amazon wish lists and people did. It was fabulous to watch. This book drive became the annual Dewey Donation System book drive. It seems like so many people are using their websites solely for personal gain and if I ever get a sizable audience, I would like to use it for good.
If this whole piece came off as a ridiculous fan girl squee-fest, sorry, but it kind of is. I still have an email she sent me a million years ago because she said she liked my last name. The email was about deodorant, people. I have issues.
So I thought long and hard about not posting this piece; I figured what are the odds she’s ever going to see it. Although I did link to her website, so I will show up in her stats. And then I wondered if I said her name enough times to Aunt Becky it, and I laughed and decided to post it.