Strange as it may seem, since I am
such an opinionated blowhard somewhat assertive on this blog, I am actually very shy in real life. It’s difficult for me to walk into a room full of people and approach someone; I always assume that nobody would care to associate with a boring person like me. My panel went well, thanks to Shireen, Marilyn, and Monty; I knew that even if I flopped, they would carry on without me. They were so good.
At BlogHer, people spoke to me. People sat with me. People listened to me. Holy cow. I felt like SOMEBODY there.
Was it the other-side-of-the-continent atmosphere? Had I changed when I got off the plane? Are BlogHer people just nicer than other people? All of the above?
Possibly that last one.
Hanging out with Monty and Fausta and Kimberle did wonders for me, too. They are, all three of them, so very outstandingly wonderful!!! We traversed Chinatown and ate sushi and oysters and drank sake and took pictures of each other with dragons and in front of shop windows containing duck feet and beheaded waterfowl of various sorts, and tackled the crowds and the disco lights at Ruby Skye, and dodged all the Saving Grace misc, except for that one gigantic poster which we posed in front of and pretended we were part of. It was a marvelous lot of fun. I would kill to have Kim’s hair. It’s just simply gorgeous.
Food? There was food everywhere I turned, at BlogHer. I will have to say that the box lunches were not all that, novelty that they were, and for people on low carb diets, they were a disaster. Bread, bread, more bread, and pasta. They were all gone by the time I got to lunch on Friday, but as I’m too fat anyway, it wasn’t a big deal. As for breakfast? For once in my life, I had all the orange juice I wanted. It was just so delicious, and so COLD. I do love me some ice cold, and I mean ICE COLD, orange juice. Room temp? Can’t drink it. BlogHer orange juice was perfect. I couldn’t eat the doughnuts, etc, because I’m diabetic, but I got by. Besides, we were accosted (the good kind) by hors d’oeuvres and wine everywhere we went, and the bottled water and diet Pepsi were abundant.
My ability to make a hardship out of the simplest things reared its ugly head at Sunday lunch, when I bit into my really delicious sandwich and speared my lower lip with a concealed toothpick. Seriously, it went all the way through my lower lip and out again. It still throbs, but now it’s just funny. Who but me? I didn’t know whether to just sit there and laugh at myself through the shock and tears, or run back to Chinatown and buy a lip ring. I mean, the piercing was already there and all . . . .
It’s still there. How do you put medicine on the inside of your lip? I’m hoping the saliva will fix it, because I don’t have any other options. I’m sure it will be fine.
Don’t panic, Westin St. Francis. I’m not one of those people who sue. I’m a nice person. But after this, I’ll be feeling up all my sandwiches before I plunge into them with my body parts. So to speak.
I learned so much over that weekend that I’m really kind of disoriented sitting here and trying to remember it all in ways that can be translated to the written page. I know for a fact that my brain had to have grown a new section to store it all.
One thing I’m very happy about: so many websites and conferences and literature and whatnot that welcome women of, how shall I put this, a ‘certain age,’ are very condescending even when they don’t realize it. Yes, I’m over
the hill forty (a LOT over), but I am not remotely interested in a website or conference that talks to me of Depends and AARP and declining vision and Alzheimer’s and Ensure and velcro fasteners for my housedress and cell phones with one big button and ways to entertain the grandchildren and Big Band music and recipes for soft foods and electric grocery cart wheelchairs and great denture adhesives. I’m interested in writing and electronics and social media and marketing and books and makeup and purses and hanging out with friends and laughing out loud and eating in funky restaurants and navigating around Chinatown and computers, all about computers. BlogHer did so many things just exactly right, and one of them was that it treated all of us the same. There were people there from 18 to 80, and everybody did whatever she wanted most to do. Mixed groups? I’ll say! Isn’t that how the world really is?
As for the hotel itself, well, I was overwhelmed by its beauty, its accessibility, and its class. All the staff were gracious and helpful, the room was glorious, the shower was amazing, and nothing went wrong. Um, except for my credit card being declined and all, but that wasn’t the hotel’s fault.
Whoops, did I really confess that? My bad. It’s fixed now.
I loved the sessions and the food and the people and the vendors and the loot and the vicinity and the sights and the parties.
Sunday was perhaps the best of all. Small and intimate and with handpicked topics. People still sat with me and my self-consciousness melted away. Of course, that’s also when I pierced my lip with the toothpick. Sigh.
My adorable tiny pink computer was a real conversation-starter, too. Thank you, Asus Eee Pc! I love my little laptop – it does everything a big laptop can do, and it’s light as a feather and fits in my purse.
I had no problems whatsoever at the airport, and the fact that I couldn’t slow my brain down and get some sleep on the red-eye wasn’t anybody’s fault but my own. My daughter picked me up at the airport at 7:30 a.m. Monday morning and took me straight to the college, where I taught for several hours while trying desperately to stay awake. I could have used that toothpick for my eyelids!!! I am not a napper, but when I finally got home around 4:00, I gave in and took a four-hour nap. Then I got back up, wrote four articles, ate a sandwich (no toothpick), surfed the ‘net, read a few posts about BlogHer, and went to bed for real around 2:30 a.m.
I had more than just a good time. It was more than a great time.
At BlogHer08, I found myself, and discovered that I’m not such a bad sort after all.
And oh, my BlogHer people, I can’t WAIT to do it all again next year!!!