Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Still Getting There

Yeah, I have a lot to talk about. But DANG, I'm tired. For now, I'll point you to some pictures. If you want to see the few people I photographed (I was usually too busy carrying crap around to take pictures of the other attendees), visit this photoset, by clicking on this very flattering shot (which made Explore at #239, by the way) of Chris:
The funny thing is, she wasn't posing

To see what I saw in the very little time I had available to wander around Chicago, visit this set, by clicking on the headless torso:
lost her head

To see a truckload of Amy Sedaris shots, Visit this set by clicking on Amy:
more faces than anybody

I'll let someone else talk about the Dinner of Ridiculousness on Friday night, that lasted 5 hours and whose bill included a COMMA in the number, and I'll let someone else describe the French farce that was our quest to gain a hotel room to sleep in Friday night, and the rags-to-riches result of that experience.

The very quick version of my BlogHer experience, aside from the few physical difficulties discussed previously? My experience was pleasant. I did not meet, nor was I made to suffer, anybody yucky. The panels I attended were absolutely fantastic. My favorites were "It's Your Passion, Not Your Size That Matters," or "Small is Beautiful," and "Blogging is More Than Words," (this was my SUPER-FAVORITE, and the artists on the panel are all my new heroes) and "The Art of Crafts," which also has a podcast available. You can hear me on there, somewhere between 1/3 and halfway through, talking about soapmaking, and then poodles, at which point Amy calls me "cuckoo," which I think was the best part for me. Then later I read on a fansite a list of "Amy's dislikes," which included..."HOMEMADE SOAP." Wheeeeee! But she still signed my book.
I love how the title page is already in past tense

I picked up my share of swag, including a DVD of a new PBSKids show, "Word World," which Bella LOVES, so if your kid is "of that age" and words are fascinating him or her, be sure and check this show out. Maybe there really is something modern that can compete with the classic episodes of The Electric Company. It's about time, I say! The only things I bought were a Land O' Lakes butter squaw who flashes her boobs, crafted by Amy Sedaris (and the delightful Karianna bought, also from Amy, a golden glittery "magic wand" for Bella!), and...an American Girl doll that I had promised my daughter.

Don't judge me too harshly for the doll. We almost never buy anything "major" for Bella, having figured out early on that it's much smarter to leave that sort of thing to the grandmothers, but somehow, an American Girl catalog infiltrated this house (I blame the previous owners), and she had a fit over the "Just Like Me" doll that looked like her (natch). And THEN, when Kelly and Shash, my fabulous roomies, sent me a link to the downtown Marriott where we'd be staying, Bella happened to be looking over my shoulder and saw the whole "American Girl Place Room Package" that the hotel offers, in which they set up tiny accommodations FOR YOUR DOLLS, and, well, as they say, the rest is history.
Yet another "I'll never do that when *I* have kids" oath BUSTED.
If you want just a taste of the insanity that is American Girl, start with the photo above, and work your way backward. I think there are a total of 8 shots, including some in the DOLL HAIR SALON. What a world. I was so NOT a "doll kid" that this place was like a foreign planet for me. Not a Tonka truck or a Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robot in SIGHT. Oh, and if any of you have girls who have outgrown their AG phase, and would like to sell off their collections (cheap, of course), drop me a line. I have a 5th birthday to plan for way too soon.

Kelly had to flit off and leave Shash and I on Saturday night, but the two of us had a fine time, and Shash did not complain one bit when I began to crumple in a heap of crippled, blubbering goo. She just went and got me a Co-Cola, and in the meantime I was consoled by a delightful young woman I'd never even met, who saw me crying by the bathroom and spoke with me for several minutes, seeming genuinely concerned for my welfare. That blogger was Casey from Indianapolis (lots of great things come out on Indy, don't they, Sue?), and you should check her out. The incredible sweetheart of a woman who sat on the "cripple bench" (she had sprained her ankle pretty badly) with me at the final reception is also very much worth knowing. Her name is Cynthia. Go visit.

I did hear a little bit of griping here and there, but I've just about decided that with an event like BlogHer, you're going to take out of it pretty much what you bring into it. If you're bitter, jealous, shallow, judgmental, petty, or just a general malcontent, well, then, you're going to have plenty to complain about. If you go in with an open mind and a welcoming heart, you're going to have the time of your life...even if it nearly kills you.

Oh, one more thing: JenB was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. When I look back now, at all the trepidation and anxiety I felt about meeting so many intimidatingly wonderful women (and men--the men were representin' this year!) this time last week, I laugh. People were just as happy to meet me as I was them, a fact that still has me in somewhat of a state of wonder. And in that vein, I will pass on to you a piece of advice that my mother's been giving me for YEARS. When someone pays you a compliment (in my case, it was usually some variation of "I really love your writing."), instead of sputtering and spitting out self-deprecating drivel for half a minute, just STOP, take a breath, SMILE, and simply say, "THANK YOU!" They almost assuredly meant the compliment if they took the trouble to speak it. So to everyone I sputtered at because you said something nice? Sorry about getting spittle on you, and THANK YOU. I enjoyed you all so very much.

And thank you to my husband, who did a fantastic job with his "daddy-daughter weekend," even though it took its toll on him, which he's paying now. He was Bella's dream-date, and if you don't believe me, check out what they spent an afternoon making (speaking of CRAFTS), following the instructions from the end of the Disney "Sleeping Beauty 2" DVD--this princess was once a humble plastic bottle and a sock.

daddy daughter craft time

Oh, and before I forget: A very special and heartfelt thanks to Elisa Camahort, firstly for giving me the opportunity to come to the conference at all by letting me earn my way via live-blogging (which was HARD, for any of you that may be considering it in the future--take it seriously), but mostly for assigning me to the "More Than Words" session, which turned out to be the one session that meant more to me than any other, even though I THOUGHT I wanted to be at the "Momosphere" session instead. God moves in mysterious ways...sometimes through Elisa. ;-)

13 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a great time, so glad you could go.

    The PBS show sounds really neat - hopefully I can catch it with Alan or show him the DVD.

    I work near the American Girl store in NYC - I browsed it once, but had no one to shop for there - there's nothing similar for boys :(

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  2. That was my favourite session, too, and it has left me thinking about art and creativity in new ways.

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  3. I'll write about the farce that was getting our hotel room...but honestly? I wouldn't trade it for anything with the outcome we got. Also, you were such a delight to spend time with the entire weekend. I'm SO looking forward to seeing you later on this year, I might make you stay (and Alex and Bella too!!).

    Thanks for being my roomie. Thanks for everything.

    Shash

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  4. You are very welcome, Belinda...it was entirely my pleasure :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the More than Words panel (even though that title makes me think of that cheesy "love" song from the 90s that was basically an ode to getting a girl to put out to prove she loves you...anyone else remember that? Anyone?)

    Thanks for being a BlogHer volunteer this year, we couldn't do it without you.

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  5. Ok, you've convinced me, I'm SO going next year. (Well, I hope.)

    There was a lot of negativity after last year's, so I've been kind of, I don't know, "I hate drama so I'm not going and it's your loss (even though nobody knows who I am, snort)" kind of thing, haha, but I want to go, after reading this.

    Wow, that's kind of a weird sentence.

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  6. Michelle- I stand by what I said. If you bring negative energy, that's what you're going to receive back. Personally, I just didn't get any of that. There are SO many people there, that it's a breeze to encapsulate yourself in like-minded beautiful people who reflect "goodness and light" on each other! Now I must clap my finger-cymbals and chant. ;-)

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  7. I'm so glad that you got to go and enjoyed yourself!! You deserved it. One day I will get to meet you in person:o)

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  8. Oh, Belinda...you were so close to my little town. But, it sounds like the conference kept you BUSY. You are definitely the most "professional blogger" I "know."
    American Girl Place is a trip. My friend Joe who lives in Chicago walks by there every day on his way to work...he said he once heard a mom saying, "you know, they should really block off the sidewalk in front of the store." (apparently forgetting their was a whole city of commerce around the AG place).
    Natalie got the bitty baby and Kirsten from my mom for her first Christmas. She could care less about either one. My coworker's wife is a designer for Mattel/AG and gives us all these clothes and AG things...since my niece is into them MAJORLY...she uses them. My niece is so cute on Chicago trips, walking around the city with her American Girl backpack holding her doll and spending her $40 in vacation money all at American Girl Place...Natalie just patiently waits until we can go down to the rides at Navy Pier or go to the Aquarium. LOL.

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  9. You are getting far too much pleasure out of posting that photo, aren't you???

    My daughter has not seen the American Girl Store yet. I am afraid for the day that she does.

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  10. Belinda it was great to meet you, and I totally agree that if you're a negative person -- well, you're a negative person and such will be your experience at BlogHer, not to mention your life!

    I had never met ANYONE and I'm not a famous blogger, yet I was accepted graciously at every table, conversation, circle, etcetera into which I inserted myself. Of course if you're a very shy person, it will be kind of a challenge.

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  11. I was just hoping you were Canadian and in possession of the good drugs. Well, that and the ninja poodles thing, drew my in like a redneck to a shiny bass boat.
    Kisses. -Casey

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  12. it was lovely to meet you. even though it took your being outed while liveblogging the craft panel for me to realize you were you.

    missing everyone this weekend.

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