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BlogHer Book Club Reviewer
August 11, 2010

BlogHer 2010

For all I talk about loving having friends on the computer because they're friends I can always turn off, put to sleep, or set on hibernate if I get sick of them (sociopath much?), I hardly ever take advantage of that convenience. (And when I do it's usually because of me, not because of them/you.) On the whole, I don't want to turn you off or shut you down or mute your tweets (unless you're live-blogging the Lost finale or something) because, well, I guess because I like you, I really like you. Granted, I'm glad we don't all live on the same block, all however-many-hundred of us (can you imagine the noise?), but you are not a burden, not a swarm of mosquitos humming at my ears, not work in the way IRL friendships can sometimes be. (I swear I'm not a sociopath.) You are teachers, mentors, wise go-befores. You are foundation and audience. You are superstars, super-smarts, and beautiful, beautiful people. You are friends, and I am so, so glad to have you in my life.

I don't know how to say this without sounding like a namedropping douchelor, but my blogger friends are the bloggers everyone else goes to BlogHer to meet. Last week before I left for NYC, I was dancing around the kitchen because I knew I'd be seeing one of my favorite, favorite, favorite writers soon. Simon asked if I was excited because she was a big deal (aka "famous") or just because I liked her a whole lot. I hesitated then, because on the one hand this person IS a big deal, but on the other, the reason I adore her has absolutely nothing to do with that. In fact, some days I wish I were the only one who knew about her so I could have her all to myself (but not in a creepy, put-her-in-a-cage-under-my-bed way) (great; first I'm a sociopath, then a douche, now a creep).

I'm ridiculously, stupidly lucky that the people I most admire online are also people I call my friends. Their worth has nothing to do with popularity or traffic or brand affiliations and everything to do with their being wonderful, talented, kind people. This, hopefully, will convince you that I'm not dropping names here so much as tipping my hat to the people I love best.

First, a tip o' the hat to Angella, who was my roommate and the person I could always text in a moment of "OMG I'm alone in a crowd of 2,400 people SAVE ME." (If you ever go to BlogHer, have an Angella.) She has a heart of gold as big as the Ritz (apologies to you, F. Scott, sir) and she doesn't snore. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about Angella, and there's a good reason for that. All weekend I joked about spreading rumors that she was a raging bitch who talked smack behind everyone's back and smelled like poo, but no one who's met her would have believed me.

To Kristin, for telling me I was a "soothing influence." Just because no one has ever described me as anything remotely similar doesn't mean I won't take it and tuck it in my breast pocket and call it mine. Kristin and I started reading each other more than six years ago--before Simon, before Nolan--and nothing makes me happier than to celebrate her happiness with her in person. On Sunday, Kristin and Corey and I went to brunch with other longtime blogfriends Krissa and Stuart; we'd talked about doing this for SIX YEARS, and there we were in New York City eating eggs together.

long time coming
(Stolen from Krissa's Flickr stream)

To Linda, for being simply the best damn blogger out there, hands down, no contest, the crown is hers. She's an inspiration to thousands and thousands of people, but more important than what she does is who she is. I never know what Linda's going to say or do next, and being around her makes me feel like something exciting or challenging or terrifying (but in a good way) is always just around the corner.

To Kate, for being an extraordinary writer and an even more extraordinary human being. When I think of her, the folds in my brain rearrange so the creases spell out MAGIC, MAGIC, MAGIC.

To Holly and Sean, for being familiar faces so far from home. Whenever I'm in a room full of people with Holly, I kind of want to lead her around and show her off because everyone should be so lucky to know her, even if it means we'll all be forever less pretty, stylish, smart, and funny when standing next to her. As for Sean, whenever I'm in a room full of people with him, we inevitably end up tucked into a corner talking about cameras or web design for twenty minutes, which is quite generous of him considering I mostly have no idea what I'm talking about.

To Jonna, whom I saw across the lobby and ran screaming toward like a crazyperson. Happily, instead of flinching or going fetal to protect herself, she threw her bags down and her arms out and held me so tight I thought my head was going to pop off and confetti was going to shoot out my neck. I LOVE HER. She is exactly who she is on the Internet, so much so that I didn't hang out with her as much as I'd've liked to, in part because I kept thinking, "But I see her all the time," that's how familiar she felt.

To Lawyerish, who also hugged me like she meant it and also folded into my life like a long-lost friend--after I got over how tall and lovely and sparkly-eyed she is in person. (And her BABY, my god. I've been waiting to meet that baby for about three years.)

To Samanthajocampen, who, over lunch on Day 2, told possibly the funniest sad story I've ever heard. (There was puking! And pants-soiling! In a business suit! During take-off!) I laughed so hard I literally cried and almost came close to losing all sphincter control myself. She should have her own late-night show.

To all the gorgeous and kind ladies of Style Lush, but particularly to Jennie, who created a site and then a BlogHer gathering where everyone feels welcome and everyone has a good time. There are a lot of egos and politics and attitudes in the blogging world (as in life), and I'm so proud to be a part of something that is a perfect reflection of its thoughtful, honest, generous, and stylish(!) creator. (I still owe you a drink, friend!)

To Molly and tagalong friend Caroline, who now know all my secrets and like me anyway.

To Alyssa (aka soul-fusion), for being a stranger who was not actually a stranger (amazing story to come).

To HeatherB, for keeping it real.

To Helen Jane for keeping it classy.

To Ree, for somehow knowing who the hell I am.

To Amy, for being my date to Martha's party.

(To Martha, for having a party and showing up(!).)

To Lisa, for making me feel like what I'm doing matters, even if I still blog about my cats from time to time.

To Jenny (my dealer) and Jenijen (forever remembered as the first person to ever come up to me in a crowd and say "I read your blog"), for always having smiles on their faces that remind us this is not just work but fun.

To Kizz, for stopping me on the street; to Sarah, for being so completely sweet and sparkling; to Jennifer, for making my dreams come true by having an actual glass of wine in her hand when I met her all too briefly; to Laurie, for a hug so great my dress will never forget it (dude, it's FINE); to Whitney, for bringing the 510 to the 10019; to Yvonne and Isabel for grabbing the reins of a good thing and riding it to the top; to Metalia for being Metalia (she's got it all); to Ali and Slynnro and Carissa and Maura and Sara, oh!, to Alexa and Kristabella and Katie and JenB and Lylah and Catherine and daaaaaaamn this is getting out of hand.

(But also to people like Alysson and Katie and Karen and Alice and AndreAnna and Maria, some of whom I talked to and some of whom I didn't even though I was standing in a group with but didn't want to be all, "Hi, this is me"--pointing to my conference badge because it's less confusing than introducing myself with my real name, then explaining that I blog under a fake one--and then not having anything to say except "I think you're really cool!).)

Oh! And to Amalah! For being my first BlogHer blogcrush and still someone I get all jazz-handy about when I see her in person. When I yelled out to her in 2006 that I loved her blog and instead of saying thank you and running away she came and sat down next to me and showed me pictures of then-baby Noah's naked bum on her phone, I fell harder in love with this community than ever before. (Also, you should know that although we like her because she's funny and wise, Amalah's also SMOKIN' HOT, y'all.)

And to Liz, for remembering our first conversation, also at BlogHer06 (I was all "Babies! babies! babies!"; she was all "You have plenty of time; relaaaaaax"), but also for giving me a gentle push into the future with words of appreciation and encouragement and basically saying, "I'm listening. We're listening." She reminds me that kind words from people I respect are more valuable than traffic and comments and followers and sponsorships and swag and all of the other things we sometimes think are the goal.

Finally, to Deb, for catching my eye as I was escaping the CheeseburgHer party--the last party of the last day--and reminding me that one of the things I love about the community is that Wombat has hundreds of aunties looking out for him and loving him and aching along with me as he grows up too fast, just as I have looked out for and loved and ached for your babies too. This is what it's about. This is why I'm still here.

26 Comments

This gave me chills reading it! It was just so perfect! Like you!

Next year we must hang out MORE!

BEST RECAP EVER.

I love you, and miss you immensely. I want to take that lovely paragraph you wrote about me and hang it on my wall.

Also? "namedropping douchelor" would make a great t-shirt. :)

BEST RECAP EVER.

I love you, and miss you immensely. I want to take that lovely paragraph you wrote about me and hang it on my wall.

Also? "namedropping douchelor" would make a great t-shirt. :)

Wow, you do the recap well! I'm still so boggled by all the amazing folks I met I can't even begin.

You just made my whole night! Thanks so much for the too- short conversation, and I hope we get another chance to visit in future. {{hugs}}

I was already having kind of a sparkly unusually magical day but reading this? DOUBLE RAINBOW.

Now I want to come to the East Bay and hold your baby.

I didn't think it was possible to like you more than I did from this site alone, but indeed, I love you even more now that I've met you in person. You said it best, it felt (and still feels) like we've known each other for ages. I just think you're wonderful.

Also, every one of these pictures is amazing. Admittedly, I am partial to the one of my baby, but all of them are beautiful.

Awesome recap indeed!

i am now feeling very woozy from seeing sean SITTING ON THE LEDGE LIKE THAT. omg.

Don't forget yourself on that list of awesome bloggers there, lady. You're up there right along with the all-stars, yo.

I think this is my favorite recap so far. I'm just so happy for all of you that you are all such good friends, and I'm happy to be able to get to chat with y'all on twitter sometimes, even though I ain't got no BLAWG. I'm hoping that can just make me cool by association.

Oh Leah. OH LEAH. I have such strong feelings for you now, and I did before, so we're entering scary territory here. You were delightful and warm and so kind and I am so glad I was a good hugger! You deserve good hugs.

I really can't tell you how much I loved meeting you, and how thrilled I am to know you. Proud to know you is better put, I think.

God DAMN, you guys. I always write these recaps for the people who weren't there (and for myself, so I remember), and those of you who WERE there come and say nice things back at me and I feel like such a compliment-fisherwoman. An accidental one, I swear, but still. Let's stay on topic! It is YOU who are awesome!

Also, how weird you must feel calling me by my fake name here. Almost as weird as calling me by my real name there, I guess. Sorry for that.

I am so sad that I missed all the fun! I will definitely be there next year!

This was so well done, and you were so lovely in person. Really, the whole "soothing influence" thing is very true- you were just like this serene smiley *presence*. Fabulous seeing you.

I love so many of those people. It's a testimony to who you are that you have such amazing people in your life. I wish I could've seen you / them this year. Hopefully next!

I love (and naturally gravitate to) so many of those people up there too. It's so nice when people who you think must be wonderful turn out to BE wonderful.

Also, how pissed am I that I didn't run into one blogger in Manhattan this past weekend? Not one! I guess my whole "hopefully I'll miraculously see someone while walking to Starbucks or heading home from work or running in the park" plan was deeply flawed.

I love (and naturally gravitate to) so many of those people up there too. It's so nice when people who you think must be wonderful turn out to BE wonderful.

Also, how pissed am I that I didn't run into one blogger in Manhattan this past weekend? Not one! I guess my whole "hopefully I'll miraculously see someone while walking to Starbucks or heading home from work or running in the park" plan was deeply flawed.

Oops! I don't know why my work computer must embarrass me by making me think a comment didn't go through when it clearly did. Apologies.

Thank you for the wonderful recap!! I'm not sure I'll ever make it to blogHer, so I'm loving the recaps :)

I enjoyed the girl talk! It was really lovely to meet you.

You're as golden as your absurdly slidy hair.

I can count the bloggers on one hand that I consider true soul friends, the kind I'd do anything for. You're one of them.

Adore you and miss you and plotting when I can see you (and Simon!) next.

so, so, so amazing to meet you! I think you have inspired me to re-energize my blogging. And I have to tell you - I have totally stumbled onto your blog before! Can't wait to hear your telling of the crazy story :)

Oh man, I'm all sniffly and wistful now. Thank YOU for a beautiful recap, and the reminder why we do this thing, and why no one can quite understand it until they've been there.

About to change my Twitter bio from "Don't judge me. Just celebrate who I am" to "Keeping it real".

I love you, L.

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