Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I laughed, I cried. Seriously.

Saturday morning. Mamma Loves and I decide that breakfast was so yummy Friday morning that we would stay in and eat again. Lounge about. Rest. I thought I would straighten my hair. She caught up on some news on CNN. We had a lovely morning and thought we missed nothing.

I am a complete tool. The session on messing with your blog template? The one that I didn't think I would go to because I'm not using a default template, I'm using one of Zoot's? That session? Was totally led by Zoot. I could have easily gotten an answer to the mystery of the disappearing header and footer. I could have learned how to put sidebars on both sides. I could have gotten a chance to chat with Zoot a little more. Stupid description of the session used her real name. There you go, my one Blogher regret. And I regreted it. Banged my head against the computer when I realized it. Oh well, I'm getting a new design soon anyway. Still . . .

Lunch was my own little slice of hell. Mamma Loves had turned me onto a special luncheon that she was attending held by AOL Body. It was led by a life coach who shall remain nameless. She was going to teach you how to organize your household and family. Great. I just wanted to eat lunch with Mamma, so I signed up. I meet Jenny on the way in, and as we are heading to the tables, I look over the railing down into the main ballroom and see Mamma sitting down there, having lunch not with the life coach. It was too late to turn back, and I had to just sit. Jenny had a place saved for her at an otherwise full table, so I took a seat between some other people I didn't meet. For the next 45 minutes, which felt like 18 hours and 24 minutes, I sat and listened to a very excitable woman tell us that we need to have a family meeting. Children need to do chores. You need to be organized. Running a household is like running a business. The worst part though was that I was the only one who looked bored. Not bored. Tortured. Like little shrimp forks were being poked beneath my fingernails. Until Jenny's table began chiming in that they already do everything that Mrs. Excitable is suggesting and yes, it all works smashingly well, thank you. Then it was like the little shrimp forks were poking out my ears. Mamma claims it was payback for Slackermommy and I ditching her in the Storytelling session since she was all the way in the front and had no exit route. Dirty dirty pool, Mamma.

After lunch, we all headed to the Art of Crafts. I'm such a non-crafter. I can make nothing. I find scrapbooking to be a huge waste of time and space. Knitting makes me want to poke my own toes with the needles. Crafting to me means making a bunch of stuff that you have to dust later and will fall apart in a few months. No thanks. Other people's crafts though? Delightful. I'll shop on Etsy all day long and dang if Girl can't make miracles out of paper and fabric. The point though, is that Amy Sedaris was going to be on the crafting panel. Amy Sedaris.

Sitting all in a row were Lena, me, Slackermommy, and Izzy. We were not good girls. On the crafting panel were Smiley, Girl Who Made Her Own Dress, Techno Crafter, and Amy Sedaris. I have to admit, that by the end of the session, Smiley made me smile just by looking at her. She is the most genuinely infectiously happy people I have seen in a long time. But to start off, it was all too funny.

About 5 minutes in, Slackermommy leans over and says, "This is just like that Saturday Night Live skit . . ." and that was all it took. From that point on, everything was freaking hysterical. The seriousness of the crafters and the people who commented (ah, the glorious mic passing) juxtaposed with the obscure, offensive, and absurd Amy Sedaris was, in fact, just like a fabulous SNL skit. Except that we weren't supposed to be laughing.

Then Girl Who Made Her Own Dress tells us that her boyfriend taught her how to knit. Lena and I can't help ourselves.

"Did she say boyfriend?"
"I'll bet he did teach her to knit"
"Think he has a lot of nights out with the boys?"
"Yep. Lots of knitting circles."

I'm wondering about now when we are going to get kicked out. At one point, when the panel was answering a question, Amy simply repeated everything that Girl Who Made Her Own Dress said, except messing up all the technical jargon. I needed a tissue I laughed so hard. Except when the sweet Girl Who Made Her Own Dress began to explain the Creative Commons, and five minutes later when she was still listing off the variations of the protection (you can have this but don't sell it, you can have this but only borrow it, you can't have this, you can have this and only sell it on Tuesdays, you can have this and sell it if you donate the proceeds to the Make Stuff Out of Cans Foundation), I wanted to chuck my shoe at her.

At this point I feel it necessary to let Whymommy know that she wouldn't have approved of any of this. We misbehaved. We laughed at innocent panel people. And Amy Sedaris made her standard racial jokes and talked about pot a lot. It was the only fraction of the day that I didn't miss you. Because you would have totally kept me in line.

The last session was The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Online Communities. That about covers it. Yep. Maybe I napped. I can't remember.

Elizabeth Edwards gave the "keynote" that evening. Which means that she answered questions. More pass the mic. And more overtones carried through the sound system every time someone spoke. I must have looked completely spastic with my hands flying to my ears every 3 minutes or so for fear that my eardrums would bleed any second.

I really like Elizabeth Edwards. I would like to have heard her speak more than answer questions. I'm not even kidding that someone asked her why search engines made you use a pull down menu to search blogs. The look on her face was priceless when she realized that she was supposed to make up an answer to that.

My favorite question of the night though was from Kelly who blogs at Reclaiming the F Word. I'm not even going to try and quote it because I will get it wrong. However, the "F Word" is faith, and she is all about the religious left having a place in politics. Amen, sistah. I could go into a whole post about how sick I am of religious equaling conservative and Christian equaling Republican. My own denomination is splitting themselves apart over what fundamentally are socialital issues, not spiritual ones. It makes me sad. Instead of me talking about it though, you should really just go read Kelly. She rocks.

The cocktail party on Saturday was far superior I thought. Mainly because I had plenty to eat. Yummy appetizers. Canapes, if you will. Because I was wearing my Team Whymommy shirt all day, more people just came up and spoke to me. I couldn't believe how many people knew what it was. I thought the shirt would give me the opportunity to tell people about Whymommy and her website, instead, everyone I talked to already knew. Amazing.

I did have a moment that usually follows copious amounts of alcohol, but I can only blame on hormones this time. When I met Karen, I tried to thank her for all the time she spent making sure Whymommy was comfortable in Second Life so she could participate in Blogher. I did thank her, and then burst into tears. That about summed it up though. Brimming right there on the surface, all weekend was the absence of my friend. And I missed her. And I hated why she couldn't be there.

So if I seemed a little distant, a little standoffish, or a little hard to reach, just know that you might have just talking to the part of me that wasn't there. It was hanging out with my bud. In spirit.

I left the cocktail party and walked back to the hotel alone. It was a beautiful night, and there were fireworks, which made the end all too perfect.

All in all? Fabulous weekend. Fabulous women. Fabulous roomie. I would love to go again next year. Me, Little Bird, and Momma (not to be confused with Mamma Loves who is the fabulous rommie). My momma. I think she would really enjoy the conference, and heaven knows I'll need help with Bird.

I'll have to get one of Kristen's way cool slings. And there will have to be pumping and dumping. And I will remember to pass out my damn cards. And Whymommy will be there.

I'm already counting on it.