Monday, July 30, 2007

BlogHer? It Was FANTASTIC!

BlogHer is over, and I'm back home. I had such a wonderful time, I don't know where to start.

Registering people is a wonderful way to meet people. I'm volunteering again next year.

The conference was well organized, efficient, staffed by very nice, competent people, and just generally a very good conference. I've worked many university conferences and something always went horribly wrong. Not so with BlogHer. Oh, sure, there were a few glitches - nobody and nothing are perfect - and I have a few suggestions for next year - nothing major, just little things people brought to my attention while I was sitting behind the registration table- but all in all, it was the best conference I've ever attended.

I can't speak for all of the sessions, of course, but the ones I attended were great.

There is no way even a huge buffet will please everyone (whine whine whine, picky whiners!) but in my humble food-loving opinion, the only thing missing was a huge ice sculpture. I think the food was great! It was beautiful to look at, too.

Suggestion: Keep the rooms well-lit - bright, even. Otherwise, we can't read each other's nametags. The pre-conference party was so dark, it was scary to try to walk through the room, and people might have wondered about me if I turned my little flashlight on each person's perky boobage nametag. Lights, people. But perhaps some people prefer a very, very dark cocktail party; I am not familiar enough with cocktail parties to know. This is not really a complaint, ok? Party on. My little group had fun pretending to be washroom attendants and handing out towels to people.

I shall write for a moment about the schwag. Freebies. Dear hearts, the BlogHer schwag was fantastic! The bag itself was awesome, and its contents were GREAT! There will always be complainers, unfortunately; even when someone is handed something that is FREE, someone always finds fault. To those people I have this to say: (sound of loud razzberries) (Okay, so I don't know how to post a sound. Use your imagination. I'm sticking my tongue out at the fault-finders and giving them the raspberries. Loudly.) The BlogHer schwag far surpassed any loot I've ever been handed at a conference. I loved it. LOVE IT! Usually, conference schwag is pretty much junk and coupons, but not at BlogHer. We're talking serious loot here, folks.

Oh, and how about those AOL bags? Were those not the best tote bags you have EVER SEEN? I will use mine constantly. They're perfect for your laptop, if you own a laptop, which I don't, but I wish I did, and if I ever actually get one I have the perfect tote in which to carry it. . . .etc. In the meantime, I'm going to use it to lug my books and tests to school. Perfection.

That vendor room. . . . I felt like a little kid at the 4-H fair, filling my Marsh bag with freebie after freebie. T-shirts, pedometers, back massagers, books, manicure kits, retractable ethernet cords, magnets, brochures (good, helpful ones, not stupid ones) samples, puzzles, dvd's, candy, mints, those gorgeous Yahoo paper clips. . . and more, more more. Free ice water, free hot dogs, free pretzels, free, free, free! Complaints about 'free?' Shut up.

Suggestion: Next year, have a baggage check. Bloggers who had to check out of their hotel rooms Saturday morning had to lug their suitcases all over the conference. NOT a complaint, just a suggestion. I have no complaints. I loved it all.

If any of you have not yet discovered the fabulous Vicki of Outside In, by all means click over there immediately, for she really is as wonderful as she seems. She opened her home to Belle and me, and Michelle of ShellyNoir (Michelle of Seattle) (henceforth referred to as Sparky) (I know she didn't set fire to Vicki's kitchen on purpose, but it did still stink when I got home that night) and her home is like something from a magazine. Ask her about all those mirrors in the downstairs bathroom, and that absolutely enormous cat in her sink. The entire house - just simply lovely. Classy and elegant. I did not know Michelle before this weekend, but now I do, and I count all that time lost when I did not know her. She's great. She's also got pictures.

MommaK came over and had lunch with us today, and she's wonderful, too! Such a beautiful woman, inside and out. She's one of the "inventors" of the "Perfect Post Awards," and is responsible for a lot of the unity and friendship among bloggers today.

Amy Sedaris was at BlogHer this year, as one of four panelists on a crafting panel. She crafts the same way I do: with things she finds around the house, mostly. I've been a Sedaris fan (both siblings) for years, and meeting Amy was genuinely thrilling. For me, not for her; heck, she sees gushing old women all the time. She knows how to deal with them, too: she's nice to them. I bought her new book for myself, and then while I was in line to have it autographed I remembered that my Tumorless Sister is a huge Sedaris fan (both siblings) so I changed my mind at the last minute and as I handed it to Amy, I said, "I was going to buy this for myself but then I decided at the last minute to give it to my sister instead, because she's such a huge fan of yours." Amy laughed and wrote, "Diana, your sister Jane is driving me crazy" on the flyleaf. It was perfect. Merry Christmas, Tumorless; I can't wait that long so you're getting this the next time you come down to visit me. Incentive plan. Oh, and "Surprise!"

Amy and I are now best friends had another laugh together when she commented on someone's huge stack of one-dollar bills and I said they were for tipping the male strippers at the cocktail party later that night.

To the very nice blogger who looked somewhat thunderstruck at the insinuation that she might roll a dollar bill into a cigarette shape, put it in her mouth, and tip a male stripper with it in ways that our mothers know nothing about: I do apologize.

To all of you who might wonder where I picked up such a notion: never you mind.

I learned many useful things and had TONS of fun, the likes of which I hadn't experienced since college, but the best part of BlogHer, for me, was meeting so many of the wonderful people I've been 'reading' for so long that I feel I actually know them. And now, I really do.

Yes, sometimes a dream really will come true. BlogHer was that for me.

I think the only thing I regret about it is not getting my picture taken with my idol Yvonne. Maybe next year, Y?

Grace, my darling, I missed you terribly.

Now, I wonder where BlogHer will be held next year, for if I start salting back a little each month, maybe I can go again!
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:32 AM | |


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