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7.28.2009

I'm Naming This Post Shut Up Because...You'll See

I quit my job for this.*

Blogher wrap-up posts must be so boring to read if you weren’t there. They’re kind of boring even when you were. Especially when this year they all seem to share the same sentiment “It’s fine to like free stuff, but don’t be an ass about it”.

But, this post will be superior because it involves a butler and dinosaurs. Beat that, internet.

First off, you’ll be happy to know that I did not in fact perish on the flight to Chicago. Although at one point I did say “Oh, God save me” out loud and reached out for the lady next to me.

In a nutshell (doesn't that phrase always make you think of Austin Powers? "Help! I'm in a nutshell!") my experience at Blogher was that it was probably one of the best weekends of my life.

I wasn’t sure what to expect this year seeing as I’ve missed the last two Bloghers. I wasn’t sure if anyone would know me anymore or even care to, especially considering my spotty posting. I thought I knew for a fact that none of my loyal readers could possibly be there. I based this on insecurity and sense of doom rather than actual research. (small voice) Also, my sitemeter.

But, I didn’t really care. I was going with someone who I love and adore in real life and was fortunate enough to be involved in three kickass parties, so I was happy to come as The Help.

Imagine my surprise when I spent the entire time being punched in the face with love and support from brilliant and funny people.

Yes, what you read is true. There were total swag hags (credit: Lindsay) and they were pretty intent on getting their lip glosses and kiwis. I was even chastised by one woman when I picked up a keychain out of curiosity and was frantically told “I was reaching for that!”. I put the keychain back down in shock and made it a point not to look at her Blogher badge. I didn’t want to know who she was. What if I loved her blog? I didn’t want to know who she was. Awesome.

It’s true that some people were grabby and greedy and downright criminal about the...things. And you know what? I feel bad for them. I feel bad that they will never know what Blogher used to be, and what Blogher still is to those of us that have been here awhile. Blogher was an extension of the blogosphere, a continuing conversation. Not a vulture fest.

I feel bad that they will never know the feeling of walking away from Blogher with a fistful of new blogs to read, a camera full of memories, your mouth aching from all the smiling, your voice hoarse from all the laughing. I pity those that think Blogher is about free detergent. But, I comfort myself with the knowledge that I can choose MY Blogher experience. I refuse to let the swag hags take that from me.

Pretty much any swag I received had my name on it. I never felt entitled and I honestly would not have minded if those bags intended for me went to someone else. I got what I wanted: friendship. I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelming it was to have people tell me that I’m the reason they started blogging, to have people whom I admire and respect the hell out of tell me that I have talent, to laugh until I cried with Yvonne and Amy and Lindsay and Isabel and Jenny just to name A FEW and all of these you-just-had-to-be-there-funny people.

I left Chicago thinking “How lucky am I?”. How fortunate am I that I get to leave Orange County with no money in the bank and spend four days being ME. How fortunate am I that I can meet someone who reads my blog and know immediately that I don’t have to pretend. They already know. They know I rent. They know we struggle. They know my failures. They already know me.

I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and whispered “We were almost in foreclosure too” or “My dad died of cancer too” or “I can’t have another child either”.

Where else do you have conversations like this within minutes of meeting each other?

I know I’m being self-indulgent and cheesy, but I don’t care. This weekend was a life-saver. It was an ego-saver. It was emotional salve for my battered spirit.

People who elbowed babies in the head for stickers will never understand that. And I pity them.

I pity them with humor.

Getting Blogher: FAIL

Blogher is about supporting each others’ writing. And for most of us it still is.

As I told Chris in comments, the good writers will win out. They have to.

Now a word about sponsors. I L-O-V-E that there are big name sponsors at Blogher now. I am so freaking appreciative that huge brands have realized what a valuable market we can be and are willing to trust us with thousands of dollars to have a good time with our friends while incorporating their brand into our warm memories, NOT our conversations.

I’m so appreciative that major brands are willing to trust their reputation with our vision to create top notch events like this:

The CheeseburgHer Party

And this:

SparkleCorn Party

(How many brands should be OK with me riding an invisible horse across the dance floor clutching a string of drink tickets in my teeth? All of them.)

And may I also mention, the parties I was a part of had zero swag. The wave of the future? We shall see in New York 2010. Because I will so be there.



*Pic credit: Angella (thanks yous!)

Update: Telling Dad is my new hero.

7.10.2009

Flying and Parenting: Both Defy Logic (I Declare That the Theme Of This Post)

I’m all kinds of excited about flying to Blogher in two weeks. Alone. With nothing between me and the ground but 30,000 feet of bad thoughts.

My mom came back from a trip recently and tried to tell me…hold on, I need to laugh some more about this. She tried to convince me that I wouldn’t be afraid to fly if only I “flew first class”. Does everyone have their own eject pod in first class, mom? Yeah, I didn’t think so. A complimentary neck pillow while I lean back in a chair is not going to distract me from the LAW OF GRAVITY. We went back and forth for awhile before I finally told her that the ONLY way I will EVER feel comfortable flying is if they invent a plane that has really really really long legs that extend all the way to the ground with wheels.

That settled that.

Also making me anxious is that I cannot find the cable to my laptop, someone to do my highlights for under $100, or a decent tote bag. Preferably one that fits my computer, a good book, my iPod, and a small parachute.

So, I guess I would be worried about the social stuff at Blogher like other bloggers seem to be, but the whole “fear of death” thing puts the fear of “standing alone against a wall with a handful of free keychains and mousepads” thing into perspective.

I think it’s reverse psychology. In reverse.

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On a different note, Savannah is seven now. And while I’m sure there are some lovely things to say about seven, I sort of miss six like crazy. Also, one through five.

I don’t know what it is about seven, but all of the sudden my daughter has become my mother. And not in a cute way like I wrote about before which leaves you chuckling, but in a way that leaves you feeling like you’re getting smacked in the head with a sock full of quarters most days.

Take yesterday for instance. I’m getting my brows* waxed and my friend was introducing me to some other women who are of the same religion, but go to a different congregation. Since Chris and I are not the most “active” in our congregation right now, I immediately feel uneasy when one of the women asks “Oh! Do you know the Festersons?”.

I pretend like I’m thinking. “Uuuuh, no. I don’t believe so”.

“How about the Wobblebottoms?”

I’m scrunching my face up into what I hope is a searching expression when Savannah says loudly and clearly “The only person my mom knows there is my dad.”

And dare I claim that she looked a little self-satisfied? Even smug?

Yeah. So, I’m returning seven. It just isn’t what I expected. I’d like to exchange it for a five and a two. Thankssomuchthat’dbegreat.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I have already downloaded all of my favorite pictures of Savannah to my phone so that I can stare at them as I hurtle toward Chicago praying that God lets me see eight.


I'm not all that fond of 31 if you want to know the truth.


*Also maybe three other areas of my face. I’m Italian. If I don’t wax my facial hair will all grow together meeting in the middle until I can pull it into a jaunty front ponytail.

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