Saturday, 18 September 2010

Notes from BlogHer 2010 - Part One

Why is it Saturday and I haven't posted for four whole days? This life, man. Always running to catch up. So I'm just going to spill what I've been waiting to do "properly" for over a month now, my BlogHer 2010 Recap. I keep waiting for the perfect day where I can write it all out amazingly - not going to happen. Newsflash: There is not, nor has there ever been, a perfect day where everything runs smoothly. So here it is, all jumbled up and tangled. Like my hair. While Spongebob is on and the boys give me 5 minutes reprieve. (Spongebob is HILARIOUS! I wonder what a Krabby Patty would actually taste like?) ....

So I flew all the way to New York, and had not yet met another blogger in the flesh. My first day I went on the Kodak Bus Tour. We all met at 12pm at Carolines Comedy Club, near Times Square. I walked up, and suddenly got PETRIFIED. I wanted to keep walking past the entrance. It felt so odd - like, where's the frickin rose in my lapel?? Despite myself, (I do most things in my life these days despite myself - it's the key to good living I tell you) I went inside and walked down the dark stairs feeling like the worlds biggest MORON.

And stood behind some people and was glad it was dark because I was blushing. And then I hear this, "Eden!" And it was Brie from Capital Mom. And we hugged, it was so nice, that hug. I pulled back and held her arms and squealed "YOU'RE THE FIRST BLOGGER THAT I EVER MET!" She was like, really?? She is so so beautiful, and she writes magnificently. Some of her posts leave me with tears in my eyes because she just writes about a mundane, nondescript thing in the most amazing, heartfelt way. I sat with her and her group of friends. I was SO self-conscious, but not enough to load my plate up with food. Starting with a cupcake, which I ate and said out loud, "Wow. These cupcakes are REALLY nice." And then I felt like an idiot - but later, the lovely ladies at Kodak announced that the cupcakes were made from Magnolia Bakery. (As in, from Sex and the City) So everyone made a beeline for them and I felt pretty cool that I discovered them first. Then I joined the line to get another one, pretending I hadn't had the first.

We spent three hours on top of a double-decker bus, driving around New York, snapping photos with brand new-cameras that we all got to keep. And I got to keep TWO because I was from Australia. (Thank you, ladies from Kodak.)

The whole time at BlogHer, as soon as I started talking, people would start looking at my lips, trying to lipread. Then they would say, "You came ALL the way from Australia for this?" And I laughed and said yes, but I combined it with a second honeymoon with my husband who was back at our other hotel. I liked being the token Aussie - it made for great ice-breaking in awkward conversations.

That night, I went to the Hilton to register and pick up my conference pass. I was waiting at the lobby, and out walks Lori from the lift. We SCREAMED in delight and hugged and hugged. Then hugged more. Lori blogs at Weebles Wobblog. She lives in Colorado and I call her Lozzzzzaaaaa. Years ago, the week I fell pregnant with Rocco, she held a limerick competition so I clicked over and introduced myself and submitted my limerick. I didn't win - RIGGED - but we have become friends for life. Sisters, even. She has light and love in her heart and she shines. She's taught me a lot. I love her.

Next I met my roomie, Katiepie. I was kind of crouched down in the lobby, deciding what to do. SO jetlagged. She came over, and again with the screaming fest.

She is so pretty and funny and tall. "You didn't tell me you were so tall!" "Well. SorEE." I was meeting my friends - by this time, there was nothing strange about it. Women bloggers were EVERYWHERE. And they were on their phones tweeting ... in corners on their laptops ... laughing in groups. Dave who?

We went to the People's Party, and I had to go to the loo. Oh, who should be in the toilet at a major blogging conference, holding court? THE BLOGGESS.

I said to Kate ohmygodthat'sjenny. I was so starstruck. I had to go up to her. So I did. "I just wanted to say hi - ummm, hi!" She was very gracious. She saw my big snakeskin bangle, and said "Wow, is that real?" And I said "YES - it is from a REAL fake snake!" And she laughed - I made the Bloggess laugh. My work was done so I flew straight back to Sydney right then. Not really - she hugged me then I walked off, a bit dazed. She has class, and wit and a hilarious humour. She recently blogged about a guy in an antique shop showing her some special "antiques" .... McDonalds play equipment from the seventies. Rocco's highchair could be worth a small fortune!

I walked back to my other hotel, at 10.30pm at night. In heels, and I got lost. I wondered if I would get mugged, but then I found another yummy cupcake shop - Fluffy's. I ate a white buttercream vanilla cupcake, walking along, looking for my hotel. Thinking well, I won't get mugged now because I'm eating a cupcake. Made perfect sense in my jetlagged brain.

The next morning, I hit BlogHer with a vengeance. I found my new room, with Kate. (Mate - I DID steal your mascara I am so sorry!! I found it the other day ... *sniff*).  Hit the breakfast buffet, then the expo halls. Everything was big and amazing, and catered specifically towards bloggers. I was in heaven. There were of stalls, gifts, swag.  It was so bloody fascinating. We entered competitions and talked to sponsors and learnt a lot of networking tips. That was in the first ten minutes. You Americans don't do things by halves, do you?

Later on, Kate and I were in our room, writing out which workshops we were going to attend. There were so many to choose from, I ended up going to the "Blogging through Grief and Personal Tragedy" one, as well as a few others. Somebody should start organising some conferences in Australia - OH WAIT THEY HAVE. The Aussie Bloggers Conference and the Sydney Bloggers Festival. And so it begins. YES.

So sitting in our room, I saw on twitter that Heather was in the building, so I tweeted her my room number if she wanted to come up and hang with Annabel. Soon there was a knock on the door. I jumped up. "IT'S HEATHER!" Opened the door .... it was frickin' ALEXA. From Flotsam. Alexa who I adore. We did IVF at the same time, her with her beautiful twins and me with Rocco. Our due dates were a few days apart. She is the wittiest, most exquisite creature. She was all, "Umm, I saw your tweet and we're on the same floor, so I thought I'd come and say hi." I hugged her and ushered her in and Kate reads her blog too and Kate and I were trying to act all cool but we were like, Alexa is in our hotel room right now. I was pretty starstruck - I had no idea she still read my blog. She's pretty much a big deal - she wrote a book and launched it at BlogHer. We talked about blogs, trolls, writing, and neuroses. I never knew she was in a psych ward - SO WAS I SNAP! It made me love her more. I sat there at her feet, a fawning sycophant trying to keep composed.

I take meeting my blogging idols Very. Seriously.

And here she is the next day, signing my book! Well, it's hers because she wrote it, but it's mine now. It's called Half Baked. Best book I have read in a long, long time. Hands down. I haven't finished it yet - I don't want to, it's that good.

As I sat gazing up at her adorable curly hair, I told Alexa how I was at my sisters house one day when I checked on her blog .... when she wrote that Baby A had no heartbeat.

Her Ames. I was sitting in my sisters kitchen, on her laptop, 22 weeks pregnant myself, crying softly. I told Alexa it was the first time I had ever felt somebodies loss on the internet so keenly. She wrote through it. She may have even wrote herself out of it. She's pretty gifted in the "word" area of life - and I'm not even jealous, so much do I love her.

(NOTE: Last night I was in bed, Dave asleep next to me, and I heard a mouse in the room. Or, a rat. I was frozen with fear, so did the only thing a middle-aged woman with kids and a blog does these days - tweeted it. THERE'S A MOUSE IN  MY BEDROOM FREEEAAAKKOOOUUT. Alexa tweeted me straight back - "Get out of the house. Burn the house." I said that I couldn't, it was near the door and had me trapped. She wrote "Ok. Make a ladder from sheets and jump out the window.")

I was laughing so hard the bed was shaking. This morning I told Dave what happened, how I went on twitter, and what Alexa said. He's all, hon, what's twitter? Why would she say to burn the house? I gave up. THEN he said - oh look it's ok .... it was probably just a bush mouse in the walls. Riiii-iiiiight. That's so much better! All day long I will have have the immortal words in my brain: BURN THE HOUSE.

Back at BlogHer - Friday night was the keynote. Dave was allowed to come because I was a Voice of the Year finalist. We sat next to each other, listening to all amazing, wonderful speakers.  Fascinating people, amazing posts. Jason from Out-Numbered spoke - he walked up to the podium and before he read his post, looked out at the crow. "My penis is so confused right now." Then he launched into his piece - "Valentines Day is a Greedy Whore."

Dave enjoyed them all - I think. He did ask, after a while - 'Um, hon, how long do I have to stay?"

I let him leave, introducing him to a few peeps along the way.

I never wanted to leave - I was so at home. And open - still with the open! I wanted to talk to everybody I could. Strangers, aquaintences, everybody. Waiting in line at the dinner I was behind Schmutzie. "Excuse me, are you Schmutzie?" She was so gracious, putting her stuff down to shake my hand and give me a business card. She even explained to me *exactly* what half-and-half was.


I just changed THE BIGGEST stinky nappy. And now I have poo hands. Like, jazz hands for mums. No matter how much handwash I use, the smell is ingrained. I must shower immediately. Tomorrow I will be back - pinky swear. I need to tell you about how I actually finally did meet Heather. And how I boldly went up to BHJ but ended up feeling like an total idiot. Hugging Mel. And more.

Oh - and I met the Bloggess again, properly.

Goodbye from the poo man hands for now.

(Poo man hands ... is that like the Wu Tang Clan?)


  1. That sounds so awesome! And I'm now closer to being interested in Twitter...

    I was wondering why you wouldn't have just woken Dave up to deal with the mouse, and then I read further and realized that he would have said the same thing. Useless! I'll send you my husband, who would chase the mouse down until he could trap him or smash him into oblivion with a blunt object. That's why I keep him around.

  2. Poo Man Hands, I sense the title of a new v-log song right there!

  3. I second areyoukiddingme...I've never seen the appeal with twitter before, but you actually make it sound more interesting :).

    I love the idea of so many bloggers in one place all at one time. I've loved every time I've gotten to meet up with bloggers, or even just talk to them over the phone. Having faces and voices to go with writing that I've loved for so long is a wonderful thing :).

  4. At this very moment I am flashing back to middle school, on a Monday morning, when EVERYONE is talking about how great the party was.

    And I wasn't invited.

    If I had been there, you would have liked me bestest. Uh-HUH! YES YOU WOULD!

  5. It all seems so long ago - for real, like another lifetime. I still wish we could have a do-over, with MORE TIME, more time to just be together.


    WHAT THE FUCK, YOU SNEAKY MASCARA THIEF!!! Is it the Fiberwig? Tell me it's not the Fiberwig.....

  6. WOW! You had such a wonderful time! I would be a blubbering idiot if I ever went to a conference. I've met two bloggers and both times I felt like such a fraud. It's so funny how we think of ourselves. I am SO glad you had a great time! Can't wait to read more!

  7. Okay, I know I'm organising the Aussie Blogging Conference, but I still want to attend BlogHer. Badly.

    One day. One day.

  8. Oh! I meant to agree - Half Baked? Brilliant book. Yay for Alexa!

  9. Talk about gifted in the "word" area:

    "And now I have poo hands. Like, jazz hands for mums."

    YOU were one of the main reasons I was keen to attend BlogHer10.

    YOU are an amazing writer, mom, spirit. I bet all these people, like me, count a hug with Eeeedz as one of the high points of the conference.

    I'm glad I didn't shake your jazz/poo hands, by the way.

  10. YOU MET ALEXA!!!!! I am so freaking jealous. Her book and her blog is so brilliant. And now I will get to meet you in March. Awesomeness!


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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