My Mir went to BlogHer and all I got was this lousy synopsis

By Mir
July 31, 2006

I am home! I am exhausted! And I am (apparently) still on Pacific time, so here I am.

I am RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT licking my cable modem, because it’s just so goshdarned nice to, you know, HAVE INTERNET. (My favorite internet-connectivity—or lack thereof—moment from this weekend: Someone leaning over to me and saying, “You know, even at a conference that isn’t ABOUT THE INTERNET I can CHECK MY EMAIL.”)

We brought the system to its knees, I guess, and it turns out that I really CAN live for a few days without checking my email or blogging, though it was touch-and-go there for a little bit.

Anyway, I must SLEEP, but there are a few things to say, first, before I burst into flame what with all the unrequited blogging energy.

Just getting it out of the way up front, or Worst Allegory Ever. So, once upon a time, we had this dog. Loveable, sweet, etc. Not terribly bright. This dog, he had a barking problem. He barked all the time, at everything, and he WOULD NOT STOP. It was incredibly annoying. And loud. One of the things we tried was one of those collars that shock the dog when he barks, and theoretically it conditions him not to bark.

It didn’t work. Know why? He was barking because he was too stupid to control himself. When he got shocked, know what he did? He barked more. For the week or so that we used the collar he barked twice as much as usual. Then we couldn’t stand it any more and we took it off of him and left him alone. Then he barked less.

Moral of the story: Don’t shock stupid dogs. (Or, please stop talking about the Dumbest Controversy Ever and giving mean people so much attention. Thanks. Smooches.)

Freud said there were no such things as coincidences. What are the odds, at a conference of over 700 women, of walking into the opening keynote and sitting down next to someone I went to elementary school with 25 years ago and 3,000 miles away? I mean, SERIOUSLY. And she looks exactly the same, too. Well, her boobs are bigger. (C’mon, we were 10.) But that pretty much blew my mind right out of the gate.

Best part: What I remember about her was that she always had everything Hello Kitty that I totally coveted, and what she remembers about me (and this is funny because I have no recollection of it AT ALL) was that during some reading group discussion of what age we’d like to be frozen at, if we had to pick an age to be for the rest of our lives, apparently everyone else said 18 and I was completely adamant that I would choose 30 because I would have my own house and car by then. Um. God, I was a weird little kid. (Yeah yeah yeah… not much has changed. Other than my boobs being bigger.)

I hope I can afford one when I have my mid-life crisis. I took 5 years off of Christina’s life when I talked her into taking a test drive with me. She drove a Saturn Vue hybrid (you can see me sitting in the back in the picture there) but I went straight for the silver convertible, baybee. And I FLOORED IT out of the hotel parking lot. I mean, really, WHEN will I ever get to do that again? It had nice pick-up. And Christina’s still speaking to me (I think), so it’s all good.

I eagerly await the Flickr set. Most of us walked around BlogHer chatting and giving out business cards. Suebob asked people to pose with her red stapler for pictures. She is badass, people. Walking around with a red Swingline in her purse just as casual as you please. It’s going to be a hilarious picture set, if the few people I saw posing were any indication. I very much enjoyed my turn fondling it (the STAPLER; stay with me here).

I am a delicate flower. Friday morning, I shaved off one of my kneecaps and was rescued by Kathryn, who happened to have some Care Bear band-aids handy for just such an emergency. Saturday, I wore some very pretty shoes and then my feet enjoyed the nice warm temperature and swelled and started being sliced to ribbons. Because less than a week before I go walk 60 miles would be an excellent time to put fashion ahead of practicality. I AM SO SMART. Anyway, I was rescued that time by Suzanne, who happened to have an entire box of band-aids in her bag. They weren’t Care Bears, but still, I was impressed.

But since no one else remembers it either, I guess it was okay. I’ve already seen several synopses of the Mommyblogging is a Radical Act panel which aren’t very accurate (I especially like the one where my words are attributed to Alice, because it makes me feel smarter somehow), and at some point I’ll work up the courage to listen to the podcast, maybe, but mostly I walked away sort of disappointed. It wasn’t BAD, but it could’ve been a GREAT session and I don’t think it was, for a bunch of reasons. Meanwhile I was missing what I heard was an awesome session on Identity and Obligation, so I think I’ll listen to that podcast first.

So, yeah, there was good stuff in unexpected places. Let’s ignore the things that didn’t go as well as I’d hoped and say OH! YAY! for the sessions that were better than I’d expected. Like the closing keynote. This does NOT mean that I thought it was going to be awful, or anything, but I was unprepared to be as impressed by it as I was. More specifically, Arianna Huffington rocked my socks off, which I SO did not anticipate. I’m not even sure I can explain why. I was just very impressed with her and the panel as a whole.

There were also bimbos! Vendors, vendors everywhere. I think they were sponsors of some sort so I won’t name them or say too much but there’s a home improvement for women thing where a couple of spokesmodel types got up and tried to convince us that, like, OHMIGOD, single women sometimes own houses! And, like, want to fix things! I felt my IQ falling as they spoke. It was the ONLY time all weekend I got up and walked out while someone was speaking. Ugh. Maybe I was missing something. Maybe it was hiding behind their gigantic breasts?

Kira needs to stop making me cry. So I got this mail from Kira this morning during the .3 minutes the Hyatt internet was working, and it was all about how she’d been thinking about how it was just about 2 years ago that she and I became friends, and how back then I was floundering (in so many ways) and LOOK AT ME NOW and I don’t know, there was more, but I was already hitting reply and typing “STOP MAKING ME CRY” so I may have missed part of it. But, um, yeah. An awesome reminder that things do have a way of changing.

She’s even prettier in real life. I did get to have my sushi dinner with Karen, which made me very happy. It involved a perilous trip on the light rail and a near-poisoning of Chris, but we did it. (Chris ordered Beef Udon because she is ALLERGIC TO FISH and it came with a piece of… FISH floating in it. Which our server then tried to convince us—with all 12 words of English that she knew—was not actually fish.) I was sure this would be the highlight of my time with Karen. But NO! The highlight was watching her and Liz discuss this (link NSFW). I thought I was going to wet my pants, I was laughing so hard. Here’s Karen, looking even more statuesque and gorgeous in person, impeccably coiffed and outfitted, waving her hand in the air and saying things like “Girl, I saw ALL of your SUGAR. I did not WANT to have your pubic hair in my FACE. No. There is nothing you can say here. NUTH. ING.” Maybe you had to be there to appreciate it, but it was one of the highlights of the conference for me.

Still no brain-to-mouth filter. I managed to lodge my foot firmly in my mouth MULTIPLE times this weekend, and it’s really amazing to me that anyone was speaking to me at all by the time I left. The perhaps LEAST offensive thing that I kept doing was launching into the story of my awesome laptop bag whenever anyone complimented it, rather than just saying “thank you” and moving on. My favorite was when Chris walked up and said, “GOD, are you telling that story AGAIN?” Truly, I was the life of the party.

Edited to add: Doppleganger moment! I did a double-take when I met Liz and then explained that she looks, sounds, and even acts like my ex-sister-in-law. She looked really worried until I assured her that said woman is my favorite person in my ex’s family, and in fact, I like her better than my ex, even.

Like yawning, it’s contagious. Both of my roommates missed their flights, for different reasons. It all worked out (I hope). But at breakfast this morning one woman got sort of teary over wanting to get home and then another one started tearing up and then a third started crying and I felt oddly cold and emotionless, cracking a joke about not missing my children in the slightest. I didn’t get that huge welling up of Missing Them With Bonecrushing Sadness until my plane started descending, and oddly enough it was the wondering if Monkey lost his first tooth while he was away that set me off. I’ll be seeing them in just a few hours (eeep) and I shall love them and hug them and squish them and call them George. Well, probably I won’t call them George. But you never know.

And they were soooo great in person, and we braided each other’s hair, and also I grabbed Yvonne‘s boob for a picture, I think. I just don’t have it in me to list off people and be all OH SHE WAS SO AWESOME, because part of me really wants to do that, and the rest of me wants to slap that part of me. Honestly? Just about everyone I met was so awesome, and several people I didn’t expect to meet I really clicked with, and several people I knew I would meet but hadn’t really expected to click with were cooler than I thought they’d be, and for the most part I never found myself in the same group twice and everyone was lovely. If I talked to you, chances are I think you’re totally pretty (and that I told you so).

But there’s no place like home. I was ready to come back. Someone called me an introvert there and I laughed, but you know, I think the older I get, the more reserved I’ve become. I’m not saying that’s good or bad. But I had reached maximum saturation and was VERY happy to get home to my nice quiet house and my own bed. (I called Otto from my connecting airport and he offered to make me dinner if I diverted to Atlanta rather than coming home, which was a very tempting offer, but in the end I had to decline. I had that supa-hot A boarding pass already, you know.)

Many, MANY thanks to everyone involved in making BlogHer happen for all of us. It was truly an experience I will never forget.


  1. Mary Tsao

    Great recap, Mir. If my head wasn’t so fried, I would have written something just as good.

    In my dreams.

    I’m so glad I got to meet you! Now when I read your posts, I hear your voice and see your face and it’s just so much better.

  2. Mary Tsao

    P.S. To clarify, it was great before, but now it’s even better.

  3. Marvo

    I’m glad you had a wonderful time at BlogHer. I wonder if there will ever be a BlogHim? Or a BlogIt?

  4. Lady M

    One more thing – I agree with you on the MommyBlogging panel. It was fine, but it could have been terrific! I was hoping to you hear you and the other panelists get to talk more, but we kept on getting “questions” that were really commericals or announcements that would have been better suited for a BOF.

    Next time, I’ll get a chance to ask you about protecting children’s privacy as they get older. Q is only 16 months now, but I’m sure it gets more complicated once they kiddos learn to read. ;)

  5. Mom101

    Great recap and I loved meeting you too. I’m still bowled over by the fact that you’re all young and pretty with a glowing complexion and smart hairdo and pearly white teeth.

    I thought you were great on the panel btw, Alice.

  6. Y

    Oh, you TOTALLY grabbed ma’boobs. Check your email for the proof, woman. (I’ll post to flickr when I’m actually awake and not sleep walking.)

  7. Ben

    so jealous of everything you got to do. (up to and including groping Yvonne)

    Welcome home…

  8. Patricia

    It was AWESOME to meet you in person — even if I think I might have scared you a little (for which I’m horrified and sorry). You are a delight and I love you a little more now (but not in that pedestal way that is frightening, ok?)
    But I have to ask — did I mis-quote you? I was trying *SO* super hard to get the important stuff down, I wanted to make sure I hadn’t screwed the pooch when typing.
    Oh and your shoes were awesome!

  9. dad

    Welcome home.
    Take a deep breath.
    Continue with the rest of your life.

    Will call.

  10. Suzanne

    The Girl Scouts (of which I was never a part of) say that you should always be prepared. (Or maybe that is the Boy Scouts? No matter…) I am glad that my boring bandages were helpful (and to think, I had almost bought these funky Nemo “tattoo” BandAids a week ago, but got cheap at the last minute), and even more, that I was able to meet you.

  11. Daisy

    The Girl Scout in me must comment. “Be Prepared” is both the Girl Scout and the Boy Scout motto. The Boys (darn) had it first. When Juliette Lowe founded the Girl Scouts, she used a lot of ideas that the Boy Scouts already had in place. Why reinvent the wheel, anyway? She just made it better.

    But I really think it’s just that the moms at BlogHer must have been awesome and smart and pretty and always prepared, scouts or not.

  12. Heather Cook

    I wanno know what the “Dumbest Controversy Ever” is… am I missing something? I hate missing things.

  13. Karen Rani

    Like you, I was all over the place. Glad I got to kiss you! :)

  14. Mamacita

    If you’re not in Chicago when I get there, I will cry in front of everybody.

  15. InterstellarLass

    I’m exhausted just reading this! When did you sleep? Did Monkey lose his first tooth? Come on! The people want to know!

  16. Stayathomemotherdom

    Oh, I too thought those MSN chicks were goofy..and that water from the sponsors was crap.

    It was nice meeting you in the hallway.


  17. Jenn2

    oh man…Blogher was in my backyard this year and I missed it. Stupid pregnancy!

    Sounds like a fun time…maybe next year.

  18. Mom101

    Comment edited to add: Thank you! I guess it’s better than looking like your ex father-in-law.

  19. Belinda

    Oh, I think this is my favorite update so far! And thank you for visiting my site, and your sweet comments. OH–and I did figure out how to get those danged labels off our luscious Corningware dishes, finally, in case yours give you trouble, too.

  20. Dorothy

    I can’t believe you left off the part about 23-year-old single moms.

  21. Susan

    I saw those shoes, in Mary’s Flickr photos. They’re hot.

  22. Her Bad Mother

    I looooved meeting you. You make-ah me laugh.

    I agree about the Mommy Blogger panel – could have been so much more. But you and the other panelists were wonderful, and the panel sparked many other wonderful conversations. So, all good.

    And hear-hear on dumb controversies. There will always be whining and griping and snark-hunting. Let it die, and grow something nice in its place.

  23. Christina

    Do I still like you after that convertible ride? Of course! I couldn’t think of anyone better to give me my first ride in a 2-seater convertible. The Vue was practical, the convertible was all “I am woman, hear me go screeching down the street in a hot car!”

    I’m glad I got to meet you, and if they offer us cars next year, I call driver this time!

  24. Kathryn, DYM

    I love this synopsis. I think I’m gonna try and do some sort of what-I-learned-about-stuff-I-already-knew-but-still-felt-somehow-enlightened post. I hope your injuries are healing nicely and that people stop calling you Alice, not that she isn’t fabulous, because she is. We just all know from your business cards that your real name is actually Mirabellous (accent on the “a”). I’m glad to hear you have a soul and missed your kids. That makes me like you more. :)

  25. Genie

    I went to BlogHer and one of the women giving away Contrex water went to my high school and lives maybe 10 miles from me (all the way back in Virginia). So I can empathize with that whole meeting up with long lost folks. :)

    Yeah, and, ohmygod the boobie twins were tiring to listen to.

  26. Shash

    I wish I could have gone, but I plan to go next year.

    Glad you had a great time!


  27. Chase

    Out of the zillion people I met, you weren’t one of them! Ack. I saw you in passing many times, but my mouth was probably too full of Yahootini to say hello. Next year. :)

    ps. Was I the ONLY one too sissy-pants to test drive a car??

  28. Jenny

    Oh. My. Gah.

    I am so glad we managed a few stolen moments in there, my dear. I’m thinking we need a vacation to recover from all this. Whew!

    Great recap. You’re pretty!

  29. Wag

    I cannot properly express what a highlight it was for me to meet you. You don’t know what a fan I am of all your many talents. Great recap! You are so pretty!

  30. Shiz

    Maybe I should come next year …

  31. Wendy

    Mir, I think Guy took a snap of you – that’s you in the mini-film loop on his site, right? (You have to wait about 30 seconds to get to the photo.) Either that, or it’s a Mir-lookalike at Blogher. ;-)

  32. Very Mom

    Oh to what the Mommy Blogger session could have been. But what was said by you intelligent panelists was fab. Fabu, even.

    It was nice meeting you (albeit briefly) with Genuine.


  33. jennster

    i am SO glad you said about the twins up there with single women and home owning.. i was shooting darts at them with my eyes they were so terrible. and their voices. good god, their voices.

  34. Krisco

    Miss Woulda Coulda,
    What can I say. I miss you already.

  35. Krisco

    I *totally* gave you the wrong email address above. Can I still be jetlagged? Oh wait, I’m only an hour away timezonewise. Some other excuse will come to me soon I’m sure.

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