05 August 2006

Random Saturdayness

Alert, alert: I formally apologized to Karl from Secondhand Tryptophan about my posts complaining about men being allowed at BlogHer. (Post #1 and Post #2) I WAS WRONG! So sue me.


I said (several times) I wasn't going to mention BlogHer anymore. But I lied. I am a big fat liar. Again, sue me. ANYWAY, what I wanted to say was that I am now in serious Bloglines trouble because of all the new blogs I have to read. I literally have no time to do anything but blog and read blogs.

A couple of my just-discovered blogs deserve special mention.

Roo the Day is a blog I wish I had discovered a long time ago because Roo is such a good writer. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Roo, who happens to be absolutely gorgeous, have fantastic clothes and can sing like an angel. This is why we all must hate her. Joking. I wish she were my little sister.

Then there's Mom-101, a blog I had read before, but not enough. Liz is a fantastically interesting, talented and passionate person. She handed out buttons that said "I swear I am funnier on my blog," and stickers from her other site, Cool Mom Picks that said "I'm too cool for stickers." THAT's funny.


Mr. S and I saw "Talladega Nights - the Legend of Ricky Bobby" last night. It isn't a great movie but it was a great movie for us because we really needed some stupid laughs last night, especially Mr. S. If I listed all the rottenness he is going through right now, you would just start packaging up your spare Wellbutrins to send to him. I am not going into details because he has his own blog if he wants to spew.

I wanted to go see the movie because I am a big fan of Sacha Baron Cohen, (Da Ali G Show) who plays the bad guy.

Here's my issue with his part: the traits that make him a bad race driver are that he is 1) gay and 2) French. And that's it. Other than that, he doesn't have any dirty driving tricks up his sleeve, he's not evil - he just wants to win (while drinking Macchiato and reading L'Etranger, but still...). Is being gay and French enough to cause automatic loathing? You'll have to tell me, because I am from California, where those two things don't necessarily cause fear and hatred.

So he wasn't a very interesting villain to me. I don't know what the rest of the audience thought. But when Will Farrell gave him a big long smooch at the end, the Simi Valley (home of the Reagan library) crowd collectively gasped and cringed. I wonder how it will play in the red states.


I was in the county fair parade today with my church. We had a 1947 fire truck and were out saving souls from the eternal fire. Not really, since we don't hold with that sort of thing. We were getting sunburned and sweaty and waving at people.

I complain a lot about the government and how this country is going down the tubes and how it ain't like it used to be and that people are mean-spirited and awful and wah wah wah...

But there's something about a parade that brings me to the verge of tears...the sweetness of people gathering to all do a happy, silly, fun thing together. People of all races sitting on the curb side by side eating cotton candy and waving and singing along with our our group as we warbled "This Little Light of Mine," clapping and smiling.

This is the America I love. For a while it was just all good. A sunny day, happy people kicking it in the sun. God bless us, every one. And I mean that.

04 August 2006

Why we love Mr. Stapler

One in a continuing series.

Mr. S: "Did you see that there's some controversy about a picture of a breastfeeding mother on the cover of a parenting magazine?"

Suebob: "Mmmm, Motherhood, yeah."

Mr. S: "Motherrrrrrrhood. That's it. It was on the news and some woman was saying she was appalled. I found it and showed it to 2 people at work. One said he didn't care and the other was appalled. Appalled? What is wrong with these people? It's not sexual content. I mean..."

Suebob: It's ok for other magazine covers to show women with their skirts up to their heez and their plastic boobs covered with 2-inch wide fabric strips..."

Mr. S: "Yeah. And this...It is someone EATING. It is a baby. It is the most natural human thing on earth. If people can't get that, if they can't get past that it is a breast, God help us all. I mean seriously. If they can't get past that, we have no hope. No hope."

02 August 2006

In which we thank our sponsors

I know I said that I had written all I was going to write about BlogHer. This is tangentially related, but it is really just a typical daily Suebobian rant that happens to mention BlogHer. See how tricky I am?

Sometimes I am amazed at the stupidity I will sit through. The Evil Empire (the world's largest maker of software) put on a short presentation on the second morning of BlogHer that went down like the Titanic, and just about as quickly.

I have read bits about it all over the internet - that it was the marketing loser move the year, pretty much. I agree.

Let me set the scene: about 400 bleary BlogHers tired from a night of non-stop partying filled a vast, shopworn hotel ballroom, slamming bagels and trying not to spill coffee on their laptops as they struggled with spotty internet connectivity.

Two young, seemingly identical women (model-thin, skin-tight jeans, high-heels, long dark hair) in "Be Jane" t-shirts took the stage and began chirping (they chirped! I swear! Chirping!) about home improvements and this thing...I guess a website, but I wasn't really listening because my tablemates were so funny...called Be Jane that was going to be for all us women who were too scared to go into Home Depot and ask the guy in the orange apron what size PVC pipe we needed. Because he wouldn't be nice to us if we went there because after all everyone knows women don't do home improvements because they are intimidated by home improvements and home improvements are hard and you might, like, break a nail. Or something like that.

This was all said faster and faster, with voices gaining pitch and speed until the two "Janes" sound like the movie effect of reel-to-reel tape fast-forwarding.

The room regarded them with first amusement, then disdain, then just ignored them to keep blogging and talking to the women around them, you know, the ones who actually have a brain in their head and make sense.

Let me take this giant turd-in-a-punchbowl apart for you because no one else has put on the mental latex gloves to want to go there.

First of all "Be Jane". Has no one at The Really Big Software Company ever read any feminist history? I mean, "Jane," come ON, people.

When I heard the name, I first thought that it was perfectly reasonable that underground abortion providers were coming back, given the political climate, but I couldn't figure why they were printing t-shirts, since secrecy had to be the essence of the whole thing.

Second, if you are going to come to where the smart women are, treat us like smart women. Ask us to work for you or comment on you or let us do some demos. Don't just slap your site up there as if we are going to fall down and say "At last! NOW I can do home improvement! And I had been waiting for permission!"

Because, third, it is 2-freaking-thousand-oh-six, people. Women do home improvements. Women go to Home Depot. Women can converse freely with the men making $8 an hour in the orange aprons just as easily as they do with the attorneys in their courtrooms, with the other crew in the cockpit and with the troops under their command. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Fourth, are home improvement projects that women do so significantly different than those that men do that women need a whole website set aside for them? Aren't there OTHER really fine home improvement sites that fill the same niche?

I mean, I argued vociferously (or at least wordiferously) for BlogHer to be all-women (and since I have been there, I have relented a bit), but I think a forum where you are hanging your whole soul out for everyone to see is a bit different than a forum where you are learning to hang wallpaper.

Fifth, when you visit the site (which I had the misfortune to do), you can "Meet the Janes."

Which wouldnt be a problem, except the Janes are dolled up in these cute little high-heeled work boots - see, they are rugged suede just like mens boots, but high-heeled, so the gals like them too! Way Cute!

No, Way Gag.

This is probably the thing that stuck in my craw most. High-heeled work boots. Total insult. What kind of idiots do they take us for? Were so stupid that we will climb up a ladder to rewire the attic wearing four-inch heels?

Even the most fashion-conscious among us might remember to slip on a nice pair of non-skid athletic shoes while working around the house, right? So as not to KILL oneself while installing crown molding. Grrrr.

I appreciate that The Really Big Software Company sponsored part of BlogHer. I would be interested to learn about opportunities to make money for them and off of them. I might even be interested in a home improvement website. But please, folks, before you come to meet us, do your homework. Don't make us hate you more than we already do because we have to use your other, barely functional products.

Ironic footnote: This was written in Word on a PC machine without punctuation, because I have to transfer it to a Mac later and don't want all my punctuation to turn into weird symbols. So I will add the punctuation after I put it on my Mac. Another convenient feature from the fine folks who brought us Be Jane.

BTW, Linkateria is back, now with some fine bloggers I have just discovered lately.

And if you haven't checked out the "Red Stapler Project" Photos of your favorite bloggers, here they are.

31 July 2006

The last word on BlogHer 06 (from me)

Update: The very cool Mary Tsao wrote up a little piece about what is now called The Red Stapler Project at BlogHer.org Take a read! I'm so flattered.

I also came in tonight to find my computer infected with some hellish virus, which is a new one on me, because I have a Mac. If you get email from snackishblog@yahoo.com that is more than a few K in size, please delete it. I bought the Norton and shouldn't have any more incidents.

I was going to write a big BlogHer '06 wrap up, but so many have been done already that they are already beginning to melt into a large amorphous BlogHer! Was! Wonderful! blob inside my tired head.

I figure writing about it even more would be redundant to those who were there and a crashing, self-indulgent bore to those who weren't. (I know, I know, being a crashing self-indulgent bore has never stopped me from posting before.

My real statement on the subject is my 95 extremely fabulous (the subjects, not the photography) Red Stapler Photos and comments at Flickr. This was the project that ended up consuming my every waking moment (except for standing in line in the bar and sometimes even then) and which allowed me to walk up and bravely talk to almost 100 heretofore-unknown-to-me BlogHers.

In reality, I am kind of shy. Friendly, but shy. Due to my journalism background, however, I feel comfortable walking up to almost any random stranger if it is for the sake of the story. So I assigned myself a story. I took the stapler to allow me to worm my way inside BlogHer. It let my inner journalist geek come out.

Talking to such a mass of interesting, smart, talented people made my heart pound with happiness. My only regret is the people I missed, almost 600 of them. There are a few I spent a lot of time with and whom I am shocked that I forgot to photograph. I guess I was having so much fun that it slipped my mind. MaryBeth from Supafine, Amy from Piece of Work, Liz from Mom-101 and Average Jane are all ones that didn't get taken, which makes me sad. Maybe next year.

Thanks to all my subjects for indulging my compulsion. Those who appear may use their photos however they wish. I am thinking of designing a calendar using some of the photos, however. Whaddya think?

It was a good time. Didn't learn much, but I am a bad student. After a few false starts of going to workshops, I began ditching and hanging out with the Bad Girls Club (you know who you are) by the pool instead of going to workshops. Next year I will skip the pretense and just go to the cocktail parties.

My only complaint: not enough guys. That's a joke, y'all. The few guys that were there didn't bother me much (except for Karl of Secondhand Tryptophan, who I assaulted with the Stapler - Taste the World has photographic evidence) and I am truly chagrined to have missed Mac Guru Guy Kawasaki, despite the fact that he has testicles, not ovaries. I forgive him because he is a genius.

Next year in Chicago.

30 July 2006


Still writing the BlogHer 06 post but I just wanted to say there are some cool photos over at Flickr, including the first 60 75 Red Stapler photos. More editing tomorrow.Working on it right now.Done.

I'm cooked. G'night.
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