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BlogHer Book Club Reviewer
August 2, 2009

Worn

Oh, you guys. YOU GUYS. BlogHer. Just as wow as it ever was, only this year with more crippling neck pain, both literal and figurative, mostly from the strain of an extended weekend wearing an eighteen-pound STAIR-CLIMBER* on front as well as a backpack that would be nearly empty when I left the room at eight o'fuck in the morning but then at least eighteen pounds heavier by lunch. (The swag was flowing like wine Templeton Rye at the MamaPopRocks Sparklecorn Extravaganza**. Example: On Day 2, I stepped into the elevator to head downstairs for breakfast and some lovely ladies from The Bomb Mom thrust upon me a bag full of goodies including two pairs of to-die-for BabyLegs (woo!), and then I sat down at a table for the morning keynote and found myself the proud owner of a Valco Baby Universal Cup Holder, a Melissa and Doug worm, and a blue rubber ducky and a $10 coupon card from Alice. Free stuff before a free breakfast!*** It's a dream come true.)

So yes, to answer the question approximately two of you were asking, BlogHer is different when you go with a baby. You trade out your cute shoes for comfortable ones, your clothes are all ill-fitting but nursing-friendly (I don't have enough digits to count the times I performed an Agirlandaboy Nipple Slip; where were the paparazzi?), and instead of a stylish purse you're lugging a backpack which, as I noted above, is great for carrying swag unless, in anticipation of the swag to come, you decide to lighten your load by not packing a clean diaper and then have to go all the way up to the twenty-seventh floor in the middle of a packed panel to dispose of some poop in a hotel bathroom garbage can that does not feature the patented Diaper Champ technology we've come to rely on. (Not that I'm complaining, because poop in a panel/hotel bathroom is vastly preferable to poop on a plane, which was a scenario we so virtuously avoided, praise be. Five hundred gold stars for Wombat!)

So about the panels...yes, I somehow got into all the sessions and parties I wanted to despite what my earlier desperation and despair had us all believing. (When I got to the cocktail party on Thursday night, straight off the plane and already dewy with Midwest sweat, I ran into Jenny and Jen, two of the BlogHer contacts I find myself most often thanking profusely for always being gracious in the face of my technical ineptitude. (Housekeeping sidenote: I'm going to be working with Skye, another BlogHer fairy godmother, to finally update my blog template on this, the third anniversary of saying I'm going to update my blog template. If my site goes down or looks wonky in the coming days, that's why.) Anyway, so Jenny and Jen, being 100 percent awesome as per usual, not only gifted an overwhelmed Wombat a Gerber teddybear from the first swag bag of the weekend (the one people were clocking babies over) but swore up and down that they'd seen a conference pass with my name on it, and not the LobbyCon pass I'd settled on but the full, two-day, whole-enchilada pass that I'd lost sleep over and then miraculously bought and then tearfully sold again. I never actually saw this pass--when I tried to retrieve it at the registration desk the next morning, I was sent to the line for "problem children," where I found Chirky and Jeanne, who also swore they'd seen my badge although they couldn't locate it either and so they just gave me a blank one and a sharpie and welcomed me to the conference--and so I don't know if this mythical badge ever even existed, but hell if I'm going to ask too many questions, right? In conclusion, all BlogHers must be magic. (I already know that Kristin is, and so are Jenny and Jen and Lisa Stone, the last of whom always seems to know who I am, by name, which I find so flattering as to be impossible because Lisa is Big Time and In Charge and all about celebrating blogs as vehicles for Important Things, and as anyone who reads this site knows, my archives are too much littered with kitties to ever be taken completely seriously.****

Which brings us to my overall reaction to BlogHer, which is much this year what it is every year: Blogs can be so much more than what I do here. People are using their sites to start movements, build communities, change their own lives, change the world. Between fishing floor detritus out of my kid's mouth during two days of panels, I sat in awe of what people are writing, saying, doing. And here am I, not even capable of providing a recap that can do the experience justice.

BlogHer is what you make it, though, and to say that I left feeling inadequate--my blog as shabby as my weekend wardrobe--would be an injustice. For me, BlogHer is about enjoying (free!*****) lunch with my far-flung friends and realizing over and over that the people I admire most online have become the very same people who are sitting at my table (my link fingers are tired!) discussing whether its okay to go back for a second cannoli and then deciding unanimously that yes, it is.

Kristin said it best: "If you can come next year, do."

Some photos from other people's cameras:


Photo by Kristin.


Photo by Kristin.



Photo by Angella.


Photo by Angella.

Wombat and Margot

And this one is for this one is for my dad, and also for the lovely, brave, and gentle woman, who came up to me during a panel and asked (1) if I was Amalah and then (2) if that was Amalah's baby I was holding. Not as crazy as actually being Amalah and having someone mistake me for a newscaster, but still pretty funny.

My photos are all here.

*My life is over. First with the stair-climbing and then a few days ago with the CRUISING. My child is a stair-climber and a cruiser. It sounds like he belongs in the garage with the rest of the equipment.

**Keep an eye out for familiar faces in the slideshow, and for even more caught-in-the-act questionable parenting, check out the photo accompanying this story in the London Fucking Times. (Heads up courtesy of longtime reader Suburban Misfit!)

***People have had a lot to say about the swag and the amount of swag and the way other bloggers reacted to the swag, but as far as I'm concerned, collecting swag should be like choosing which blogs to read: if you don't like what you see, go somewhere else.

****Speaking of kitties, yesterday was Linus's birthday (observed), and by way of securing my status as a loser "personal blogger" and nothing more, I've produced a short music video for the event. I bet you can't wait!

*****One of the best parts about my magical full-conference pass was that I was allowed to partake in the free food. Oh how priorities change when you're poor. Plane and hotel tickets aside, Simon and I spent about $60 for the whole five-day trip.

******Special shout-outs to people I met for the first time, however briefly: SamanthaJoCampen (all one word, just like that, don't let her convince you otherwise), Rhiannon, Stephanie, April (I don't know if you have a blog, but you and your friend were very nice!), Mir (my colleague!), Dana, and the woman who had no idea who I was but recognized my kid from Holly's site! I should also note that I met Ali for the first time AGAIN, because I totally didn't recognize her with her new brown hair and I actually stuck out my hand and introduced myself to her and she was all, "Um, I'm Ali. We've met." Am such a dork.

9 Comments

I'm sure that I sound like a broken (annoyingly broken) record, but I love you guys.

And miss you like crazy.

You better be in New York, or I honestly don't know what I'll do.

(Smooches)

Um. That comment was by ME.

Oy.

It was so great to see all THREE of you. Wombat is such a gorgeous perfect baby. It took all my self control not to nibble on him.

I very much enjoyed meeting you!

if it makes you feel any better...I totally introduced myself to people I already knew who didn't drastically change their appearances. haha.

The actual picture in the actual paper (on it's way to you now!) doesn't cut off your (actual) head, FYI.

I just want to say you looked beautiful and your son is spectacular
and I tried to get to you easily like ten times over the course of the weekend. You'd be standing next to me and I'd finish a sentence then turn back to you...and you were gone!

I just wanted to give you a hug, one of the first bloggers I ever met back next to that pool in San Jose when you drunkenly confessed your childbearing dreams...and now here you are with a perfect one of your own. Sigh.

Just wanted to say hi! Very nice to meet you :)

It was great meeting you too, however crazy I made myself seem to Simon. And dude, it's SAM. SAM JUST CALL ME SAM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

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