I did BlogHer all wrong this year. I wanted something totally different and because of poor follow-through, I got a big freaking headache and a small existential crisis.
My original plan was to go, miss the conference stuff, and just basically hang out and chat people up as they meandered by. This fantasy also involved a rooftop pool area with cabana boys and fruity drinks.
Then I was possessed by demons and decided to volunteer at the conference, so I had to be there at least half a day each day (beginning at 7:30 AM -- 5:30 Cali time -- on Friday, ooof).
And there was no rooftop pool and certainly no cabana boys.
So, like last year, it ended up being a manic rocket ride, chatting with 300 people for 30 seconds each. Meeting everyone is always good (well, not everyone - there were a couple people I could have lived without) but the frenetic pace was just so wrong for me. I also got on the red stapler portrait train and couldn't get off. I am like a border collie with a tennis ball when I get a project going.
Ironically, the best times I had at the conference were not at the conference.
My favorite memories:
- Wandering the streets of Chicago with Vodkarella herself, Karen Rani and then riding the speedboat with her and the Kaiser on Lake Michigan . I came close to peeing myself when Karen pointed out that the guy in front of us had earlobes that flapped in the wind...it was like being 12 years old again.
- Sitting on the lawn waiting for the lighted boat parade (we missed it - oops) with Suzanne of CUSS, Count Mockula,Alex Elliott, and Super Des. It was so good to be out of the screaming noise and confusion, just enjoying a summer night on the lakefront and bullshitting like old friends, which is what it felt like. Then there were the world's best fireworks. Even I liked them.
- Hanging out on the pier with Devra of Parentopia, Goon Squad Sarah and The Kaiser, just feeling like tired tourists instead of manic conferencers.
If it wasn't for that stuff, the real stuff, I wouldn't go again.
It's not BlogHer's fault, but the event makes me question what the hell I am doing with blogging, and some of those questions aren't terribly comfortable for me.
Am I hiding from real life behind my keyboard?
Am I using the excuse that I have "blogging friends" to keep from interacting with real people?
Am I commenting on people's blogs and linking them just to get them to like me?
What the hell AM I doing?
What IS this?
And I hated the emphasis on celebrity - ooh, Amy Sedaris! Everyone gushes over her even though her crafts are something any 8 year old could do and she said she likes to use "ching-chong" googly eyes to decorate with.
There were 50 crafters in the room who could have kicked her ass at creativity and who could have gotten through 75 minutes without any racist slurs, but whatever, she's semi-famous, so we should just appreciate that she showed up to see lil' old us. Feh.
Can you tell my PMS is kicking in? Yikes.