04 August 2007

Getting all meta on you

Some questions - and I would love to have your answers, too:

Do you read blogs that don't allow comments?
I don't, usually. Dooce is an exception. For me, it is a huge step backward in communications - it takes me back to the days of reading great columnists in newspapers. They would inform, inspire or madden me and then I would have to write a letter and mail it if I wanted to say something back to them. I am kind of done with one-way conversations.

What do you do if you leave comment after comment on a blog and they never respond or reciprocate in any way?
I am probably more guilty of this than I like to admit. There are so many blogs in my reader that I am kind of reluctant to add more, so it might take me a while to get over to a new commenter's blog.

But conversely, if I am one of less than 10 readers a blogger has, I can get pretty cranky if they don't ever reply or comment on my blog. I'm all "Dude! How self-centered can you BE??" And then I delete them. Because I am self-centered, too.

WTF is wrong with your google feed, Suebob??
I don't know and I wish I did. I had a word with them at BlogHer, and they promise they will get back to me in a week or so.

I love that they told me earnestly "You need to click the box to enable feeds." I am no computer genius, but even a dumbass like me can figure that one out.

I almost started shouting "I was writing CODE when you were a FETUS," but then I remembered what kind of code I used to write, and I thought I had not better go there. Let's just say it was enough to earn me a C in Computer Science in the 1970's, back when they were handing out Bs just for showing up and not being too stoned in class.

Proof that I actually worked at BlogHer

02 August 2007

On the other hand...

After yesterday's much bleaker post, I must also say that I love this crazy blog world.

Mrs. Chicky has had a death in the family, and her commenters include Her Bad Mother, Kevin Charnas and Blog Antagonist among other bloggers I "know" and love.

It's nutty, isn't it, this virtual space we have created for ourselves to say what we need to say and to be who we need to be.

Kevin Charnas hates his neighbor and that's okay. Christina's daughter melts down and her mom can't do anything to stop it and no one says she is a bad parent. Suburban Turmoil decides to ride out a bad situation - because she knows it might make good blog fodder, and it does. Oh, how it does.

What I love about blogging is this: alchemy. The old alchemists sought to turn lead into gold. Blogging turns the horrible dross of life into comedy gold, into a meaningful narrative.

When I was on the phone with Dollar Rent-A-Car for 2 hours, the only thing that made it bearable was knowing "OMG, this is going to be a fun blog post. (Getting $175 in credit afterward worked for me, too).

Now when anything bad happens, I have a seed of joy in my heart. Because in blogging, the bad turns to the good, and it makes everyone happy. Given lemons, blogs make lemonade. THAT is why I keep doing this silly thing.

There is also a new post up at Linkateria

01 August 2007

Mea culpa

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.

31 July 2007

The afterparty

I stayed in Illinois a few days to see family. Today I got to see my 2 nieces and six of their seven children (Skyller is still in hospital).

I took tons of photos, and most of them were cute. This is my favorite:

30 July 2007

What are you doing here?

The real action is over at Flickr, where I have been posting this year's Red Stapler portraits all day. I think I am almost done.

I apologize for the people whose names or blogs I couldn't remember. Hey, I took about 150 portraits, I think - YOU try to keep track of all those details. My brain reached max capacity by the second day and it was all fuzzy after that.

For BlogHer 07, I stayed at the W Hotel, where I instantly felt Not At Home.

The chic design, the herds of beautiful people prancing thru the lobby and the extremely loud music everywhere all combined to tell me "you don't belong here." I have seldom felt older, frumpier or crankier.

Those feelings were compounded by the $8 water in the rooms. I can't imagine what kind of drugs make people spend $8 on water, but they must be strong.

Then there is the shuttered opening between the bathroom and bedroom. "Hello! I'm POOPING in here! Can you hear me?? GOOD! I LOVE THAT!"

And anyone over 40 probably can't read the 4-point type on their incomprehensible menu of services (housekeeping is called "styling" and the gym is called "sweat").

I'm not saying it wasn't nice. Quite the opposite. It was way too nice for a white trash girl like me.

Now I'm snuggled up in a suburban motel, the kind close to the highway where moms in sweat pants lead troops of grubby children to play Marco Polo in the pool. Harried-looking businesspeople in cheap suits arrive late in the evening and leave before sunrise. Trucks with their reefer units running are out in the parking lot.

Parking is free, wireless is free (it was $15 at the W), coffee is free ($4 at the W), breakfast is free ($12 and up), there is an in-room coffeemaker, fridge and microwave.

The TV is not a flat-screen beauty, the bedspreads are a hideous green and pink floral polyester, and I don't even want to see what a black light would find. But it is perfect.

The dollar-menu yogurt parfait from McDonalds across the street was 1000 times better than any of the artfully arranged crap I got at "Wave," the W's restaurant where salt seemed to be the primary seasoning and the music was rocket-engine loud even in the "quiet" area.

I'm glad to get back to my roots.

29 July 2007


I am digesting blogher slowly, like a meal of Northern Indian food.

Until then, photos are beginning to go up at Flickr. I tagged mine all BlogHer 07 and Red Stapler. You can click on the little flickr badge to the right if you want to get there all easy-like.
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