I have had people
ask request demand that I give my take on BlogHer. I have been debating whether to give you a detailed account–like I am known to do–or to bullet it–as the techies are known to do– or just give the conference informative side and then throw in the personal here and there. I am telling it as if you were there, but without making you sign a legal agreement to prevent you from selling it to the tabloids. I will start on Friday. If I run out of time or bandwidth, I will continue in another entry.
Friday (as I am trying to get things together before I leave for the airport and am working on only 3 hours sleep) I look at Clint and tell him I changed my mind. I am not going. He told me I was going and that I needed to get a grip. The only logical response to that was, “Fine! I’ll go! But you can prevent me from vomiting!” (I didn’t vomit at all!)
After finally boarding the DELAYED plane, I thought I would stress the entire trip. Instead, I slept like the dead. I just may have drooled on the gentleman beside me, but he was too kind to admit it. (Sorry, sir. I was just so damn tired!) After reaching Phoenix–even the airport was hot– I had to run to make my flight. Of course, being who I am and after having too much coffee already, I made the decision to risk missing the entire flight to take the time to pee. (Priorities, people!) Having had a wonderful, drool-filled nap on the first half of the trip, I was able to stay awake to stress the entire second half of the trip. “What if…?” about had me insane before we landed.
(Sidenote: You see, the reason I was so very, very stressed about the weekend is because I went through a lot of shit before the conference. Stuff that I did not make public and will not. Not just the health of my Mom, but in regards to the conference itself. Had it not been for the amazing and incredibly kind Lisa Stone, I may not have even attended. I would go through the conversations we had and the emails flying back and forth, but I would start to cry all over again. I didn’t propose to her this weekend (at least I don’t think I did) but I did gush and profess my love for her. (What?!) And let us not forget, she did introduce me to my girls way back when this all went down.)
So, I arrive in San Jose and grab my bags. I search the faces of all the women I see for any woman with a laptop to see if they were at all familiar. Not so much…at first. So I went to wait outside for the shuttle. To the Westin. That does not exist. As I sit in my stupor waiting, I see this woman sitting nearby. Have you ever seen someone and just been able to tell by the way the hold themselves that they have an amazing presence in this world? That was this woman. Only, she was a bit hot under the collar. Having the let me help everyone in the world that I can personality that I do, I walked over to see if there was anything I could do to help. Apparently, her luggage had been lost and was going on it’s own vacation in LA. I offered sympathy, but seeing as there was nothing I could do, I stepped back. The bus driver she asked for help, he wasn’t so smart. He was in fact a total jerk. I give her kudos for not being the crap out of him right then and there–especially when this woman had NYC attitude with a bit of Latino flair. When she whipped out her laptop and her cell phone simultaneously, I wondered if she was a BlogHer woman, but said nothing. A woman. At a conference. With none of her carefully chosen outfits arriving with her? Nope. Not gonna rock that boat. Who was this woman? The incredible (and hilarious!) Liza Sabater We were able to talk at dinner that night and I got the whole story. If you see images of her at BlogHer (and you will) know that she whipped together her outfits in a matter of moments at the Gap under pressure. Amazing!
So, finally, light dawns on my dense head and I realize there is no damn shuttle to the Westin. I frantically called Meghan to find tell her that I would be on my way soon. After getting a cab and trying very hard not to vomit in the back of it, I make it to the Westin. I willed the elevator to get stuck, but it went straight to the correct floor. As I hesitantly knocked on the door to our room, I hear from inside the squeal and shriek (in stereo) of “JENN’S HERE!” As Meghan and Jenny threw open the door we all embraced as if we had known each other for years. It was never awkward. Okay, maybe when the first thing I did after the hugs was to look at them and said, “Do I stink? No, really, smell me. Do I stink?” (“Smell me” does not fall into the top 10 ways to make a good first impression. Just so you know.) Of course, when the next words out of my mouth were, “Let’s go to the bar and get a drink!” we all knew it was going to be a sweeeet weekend.
Heading to the planning session we discussed our expectations, concerns and first impressions. (Can I just say here that my girls made me feel so at ease and helped heal my heart so quickly that even as I write this, I am brought to tears thinking about it. The connection was just that fast and that strong. I just love my bitches!) As we walk up to the meeting room for the pre-conference session, we are greeting by the MOST amazing smile attached to a beautiful woman. Before I knew it, I was enveloped in a huge hug by none other than Lisa Stone herself. I didn’t propose at that point, but I wanted to!
I grabbed some coffee (yes I really drink it) and sat down. But not for long. Every time I turned around I was meeting amazing woman whose blogs I have been reading. There was the gracious and warm hearted Grace who made everyone she meet melt in a puddle at her feet from her kindheartedness and generous heart. She made everyone she met feel adored and admired. (Not nearly as much as she was adored and admired. I promise you that, though!) Although, she sure does know a LOT of gang signs. (And said agreed to try to get the single boob grabbing Mommy Blogger gang sign some street cred if she could.) I was also blown away by the quiet, yet completely adorable and sweet SoCal Mom Donna . But trust me, this woman was perfectly at home with the foul-mouthed Mommy Bloggers. And then there was Jory who is so damn cute and sweet that I seriously just wanted to fold up in my suitcase and take her home with me. (She said no to that, though.) Then, I heard a laugh to rival my own and looked over to see none other than Elisa Camahort. Again, yes, I did have to hug her, too. Each of these women that I had gotten to know in the weeks leading up to the conference. These amazing women who put this together from a single idea. I did not bow down, but I should have.
*meeting meeting be respectful blah blah insipid idiot not good choice of words blah blah*
Skipping the details of the meeting, we head to dinner. (This is still FRIDAY people. I haven’t even gotten to the conference part. I am seeing a multi-post thing going on here.) I cannot even begin to describe the NOISE level in that restaurant. OH THE NOISE of that many people all excitedly talking and meeting and sharing and (yes) squealing. Very exciting and very overwhelming. We had the most excellent viewpoint to watch people coming and going. Finally, they let me loose to go to the beers. (Mommy needs beer, too, you know.) Standing in line I hear a voice behind me say, “Jenn?” I turned to see none other than the incomparable Melissa of Suburban Bliss and her awkward hug fame. (Anyone want to guess what I immediately did? I’ll give you a hint. I have known her for four years, yet this is the first time we have ever met.) Yep! I grabbed her in huge hug. (It wasn’t until later that I thought about it and realized I did it.) Sitting back down, I began to talk to a woman who for the life of me reminded me of someone and I cannot place her! She was so engaging and made you feel like you were the only person in the room when you talked. I came to find out that I have read her but didn’t connect the name. I am sure that Ms. Post Hip Chick will forgive me, though. She is just that damn cool!
As I turn the other way I realize I am face to breast with another woman. (Not an uncommon occurrence this weekend, let me tell you!) I made a smart-ass comment about not needing to breastfeed at the moment when she came back with “Well, I am lactating!” I immediately fell into deep adoration and vowed to follow her anywhere. Figures her name is Jen! All the great smart-asses are.
After enjoying the air outside, we decided to head back. The way too cute and so very generous Katie offered to drive us back to the Westin. Sadly, none of us had a very good sense of direction. Though, we did get to see quite a bit of San Jose and laugh a bit more.
Thinking we would “see what was going on”, we headed for the lobby bar to see who was there. That was where we spent the next few HOURS. I even got to sit outside and meet and talk to the hilarious (and not as edgy as you might think) Tracey. She was so nice even after getting totally screwed travel-wise.
I know there were more people I met and will link to. I have not forgotten. But holy hell are you people STILL READING THIS? If you are, god bless your little souls.
staggering strutting walking back upstairs to compare notes, I finally fell asleep to the soothing sounds of Meghan and Jenny laughing and talking.
It was good. All was well with my soul that night.
Bloghercon, BlogHer, dailyblogher
Tune in tomorrow for recaps of Saturday and find out exactly why you keep reading about the Mommy Bloggers being foul-mouthed and partying like rock stars. You won’t want to miss it!