Monday, July 21, 2008

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Dude, I did it. I went to BlogHer. Okay, okay. I went for 4 hours on the last day. Still. I heard the undertone to your comments on Friday: I was pussing out. I knew it, you knew it. So I did it. I went, I saw, I attended.


And what I learned most in those four hours is that I am just not a joiner. I want to be. I try. I pay and I show up and there I am, my name on the list, my car parked safely in the garage, a plastic badge of honor pinned to my lapel. And yet. There is that voice in my head that constantly critiques. That mean little voice that asks me what the hell I think I'm doing at The St. Francis Hotel on a Sunday morning at 9am all by my lonesome and without knowing a soul. What the fuck are you wearing? the voice wants to know. That pink scarf? Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And your glasses? it says, Your glasses are on crooked and wait, is that your bladder? Do you have to go to the bathroom? Now? Like right now? And just what do you think you're going to do with that plate of cantaloupe? Bring it into the stall with you? It just won't let up, the voice. You have to go poo now, don't you? You filthy girl. Why nobody else here poops! Ever! It's true! You're the only one! You're sick! And you're standing all alone in case you haven't noticed. Quick! Look busy! And don't poop! I'm telling you, that voice is a real meshuganah.
To be fair if I were part of a group that had somehow solved global warming and attended a conference on "The International Committee For Good Job Everyone! The World Is Saved And Now Go Enjoy That 95% Off Sale At Anthropologie Exclusively For Members Of The International Good Job Everyone Committee!" the voice would critique that, as well. What? Don't you like Indian Summers? It would say. Don't you want your house to someday be zoned coastal? Do you honestly think the world actually needs polar bears? Do you really think you can pull off that block-print skirt even if it IS only $9??? It's mean, that voice, the way it seems to breathe just a little harder onto the zit on the side of my nose so there is no way I could possibly forget it is there, both the zit and the voice.
But I went. I sat through two round-robin sessions where what I would like to be my peers (but who are we fooling?) spouted off terms like analytics and algorithms. It wasn't until just now that I googled the word "algorithm" to find out what it means that I realized it is not, in fact, spelled "algorhythm" and has little to do with rhyme and meter and everything to do with data and mathematics and arbitrary finiteness, words that mean nothing to me except that they feel pretty inside my mouth. The arbitrary finite. See? Such a poetic concept in the abstract, but in reality? In reality there are integers and equations and variables, all words that chip at my teeth. Oh my!
So I went. I ate what ultimately amounted to a $348 croissant and learned that I should maybe join Kirtsy. BlogHer Ad Networks. NaBloPoMo, Google Reader, Stumble Upon, Blogburst and Twitter. And I learned that people following my tweets is not as pornographic as it seems but really quite wholesome.
And then I got in my horse and buggy and clip-clopped back home where I have been ever since, churning butter and crafting Zoey some shoes out of banana leaves and deer meat.
Next year? Next year I either go big or stay home. Next year I'm going to drown out the voice with some cocktails and see if I can't interest anyone in an algorhythm, a poem that says, fine, "I'll go."

15 comments:

The Lil Bee said...

You so took the melon into the bathroom stall, you little piglet. ADMIT IT. I love that you thought algorithm was spelled algorhythm. I mean, one could easily mistake it for Al Gore Rhythm, as well. Especially if you had been at that other conference for Really Smart People Who Are Saving The Ozone Layer.

corine said...

Or next time go with an equally puzzled blogger such as myself.

benson said...

it's good you went- so now you know. I deal with the same thing at first of the year teacher's conferences. I don't like to pat myself on the back, cheer like I'm psyched to be back in the trenches, or wear those sweaters with embroidered apples on them-I feel like I don't fit in as well.
The convention sounded so businesslike--are we supposed to be saving the world, creating a cash cow with our blogs? I didn't get that memo.

amber said...

oh god, I forgot completely! well, it sounds like I didn't miss much, maybe you can give me a tutorial of some sort and i can provide a most delicious flaky croissant in return?
xo

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I'll be there, right by your side. I'm skeered too.

zakary said...

Count me out. That sounds dreadful. I would rather hang out at the beach and drink Sangrias.

Sorry I said you should go.

beachbungalow8 said...

thanks for going and reporting back. mean while i was nursing a hangover at the lovely hotel healdsburg.

Misplaced Country Girl said...

Had I known the voice was so mean I would have suggested you stay home and get under your bed. That doesn't sound like any fun at all. I still think you should start your own conference. I would totally become one of your loyal followers. Oh, wait I think I already am! Now get back to making those shoes and don't forget to bedazzle them.

Visual Vamp said...

It's my birthday and I'm treating myself by reading my favorite blogs...girl you could have stayed in your PJs at home with a nice huge Bloody Mary, and just asked All Things Bright And Beautiful any blog twitter critter question. But then your mean voice would not have had such a fun day out.

I wish I were a ballerina... said...

Thanks for unabashedly talking about poop. Your honesty is refreshing and I love it.

sarah said...

algorhythms and tweets?! I have no idea. I just like to write mah blog. I'd probably be even more out of my element than you felt.

I have that voice, too. She's a bitch, huh?

I wonder how many other bloggers felt the same way, though? I bet you weren't alone in feeling fish-out-of-water-ish.

Petunia Face said...

Lil Bee--you made me laugh outloud. Yes I took the cantaloupe into the bathroom stall because feces germs are less scary than a fellow Blogher attendee slipping Roofies into my melon!

But I think I need to clear something up--I don't mean to slight Blogher. I believe in the blogging community like some believe in god or dog or miracles. I just did it totally ass-backward and without a modicum of courage. Next year, if I go, and after reading everyone else's recaps I really want to go, next year I am getting a hotel room and drinking if need be and generally just putting on a brave front.

Kia said...

That voice in your head sounds like it's the twin sister of the voice in my head. Weird. They say all the same things. Maybe they went to the same school? ;)

Adrienne said...

I'm glad you came on Sunday, at least I wasn't the only one feeling so damn overwhelmed.

and I Lurved your DIY business cards.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

You should have brought the canteloupe into the bathroom. I was hiding there most of the day and could have done with a snack.