I’ve been a big time, grade A, first class blog flake lately.

Not exactly news for anyone who has been keeping track of my update schedule over here, to be sure.  But I’ve also been a flake in keeping up at my friends’ blogs.  Now THAT is pretty sad.  This knitting obsession of mine has taken over.  Any spare time is spent knitting.  And while I will often compose pithy and humorous blog posts in my mind while I’m knitting my bazillionth pair of baby pants, composing something in your mind isn’t quite the same as putting the knitting needles aside and typing it up on the laptop.  And Google Reader is literally starting to get cobwebs around the corners.  I used to do the bulk of my blog reading while I was nursing Evie, via my iPhone.  But lately I’ve been sucked into some stupid iPhone games and that is generally what I’m doing when I would normally be reading blogs.

What is my excuse?  I don’t have one.

And I feel bad, because I feel like I’ve missed out on some things with some of the bloggers I consider myself closest to.  What does it say that I just found out like two days ago that Brit’s blog was busted?  Something I could have helped her with, I’m sure, but I was a flake.  So I didn’t.

That’s not cool.

Shoot, I spend more time on Facebook, reading up on people’s statuses than I do reading their blogs.

This has to change.  I don’t want to be “that blogger”.  The one who is completely out of the loop and detached from the community.  I know notgoing to BlogHer this year has affected me this way.  Why bother to connect to the community when I’m not going to BlogHer?  What’s the point?  Of COURSE there is a point.  But when you’re a) lazy and b) occupied elsewhere, well… excuses come easy.

There’s no reason why I can’t keep up my blog and read my favorite blogs though I’m not going to BlogHer.  And there’s no reason I can’t do this while I continue knitting.  I just need to get my act together.

I hate being a slave to stats, but the stats don’t lie.  And they show a significant drop in the last six months.  Again… NOT COOL.  I’m letting people down.  I’ve become BORING.  GAH!

So I gotta knock that off.  Anyone have any helpful suggestions?  Wanna come over here and kick me in the pants?  Anyone? (Is anyone still here?)

Sucker Punch

I did something unwise as we were going to bed last night. I fired up Safari on my iPhone to catch up on a couple blogs while Kile tucked the boys in and got into bed himself. This was a poor idea because I read something that brought me to my knees. That sucked the air from my lungs. That made me feel like I was going to throw up. That caused me to cry and ache and alarm my poor husband.

Maddie died last night.

If you haven’t been reading Mamasphor, you may not know Maddie. But I’ve been reading about her and her family for quite a while now. And while I knew that her prematurity gave her a lot of health issues, she was still a vibrant, happy little girl. Not too much older than Evie. I would get nervous whenever Maddie was sick, particularly this last fall when she was hospitalized. But she recovered.

And now? Now…

I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep, think of this beautiful little girl and her poor parents. Kile tried to distract me, and it sorta worked. Instead I found myself all upset and enraged about this kid who has been stealing food out of Harry’s lunch at school.  That’s productive, huh?

And when I heard Evie cry and moan over the monitor? Instead of willing her to fall back to sleep like I normally would, I leapt out of bed to retrieve her. I held her tight, reveling in her weight. In her health.  I kissed her head and stroked her hair and cried for a poor baby girl and a mama who won’t get to do that with her daughter ever again.

It’s not fair.  It’s not right.

There isn’t much I or anyone else can do.  But what I can do is donate the paltry amount currently residing in my PayPal account to her March of Dimes campaign and join the walk.  And I shall do both.   How about you?

UPDATE: Heather’s (aka mamaspohr) blog has been down for the better part of the day.  To hear why and what has been done about it, read this.

I continue to be just heartsick about this.  I cannot concentrate on anything.  I weep for a child I never knew.

Chuck it all

I want to say for the record that I HATE posts like this.  Nothing bugs me more than a blogger who threatens to pack up her toys and go home.  Are they hoping people talk them out of it?  Are they being overly dramatic?  And no one wants to see someone leave, especially when you’ve gotten used to following their life day in and day out.

That said…

It’s no secret that I’ve been a baaaaad blogger lately.  And that’s mostly been due to being busy and wholly unable to properly juggle my activities.  It’s hard to blog and knit at the same time, after all.  I’ve been trying to remember to come here once a day, but it’s been hard.  I figure in my current state, if I’m blogging at least three times a week, I’m in good shape.

But lately I’ve noticed some other things too, things that more of a threat to my blogging happiness than knitting even (shocking, I know).  It’s attitude.  It’s snarkyness.  It’s pettiness.  It’s anger, judgement and DRAMA.  It hasn’t happened all at once, of course.  Little by little.  Bit by bit.  Comment by post by overtone.  And it’s built up in my heart.  And it makes my heart ache.

I don’t get a lot of drama directed at me.  I’m just li’ ol’ me, eeking out my existance on this small corner of the internet.  I’m pretty grateful for that.  But neither am immune from the drama directed at others.  Whether I know them personally or not.   Should it matter if I KNOW someone, to feel bad for them when mean things are directed their way?  No, it should not. And it does not.

Why are we as people so MEAN to one another?  Why do we say things that we know will hurt feelings?  Why do we judge others choices when those choices have absolutely NOTHING to do with us?  I don’t understand this way of thinking.  I don’t get it at all.  How does snarking at Dooce or any of the other “big name” bloggers improve me and my life?  How does it improve others?  IT DOESN’T.  But people do it all the same and it just DON’T GET IT.  Do people think that if you are a big name that you don’t feel hurt when people snark on you?  Or worse: that if you are a big name, you ASK to have people snark on you?  If you disagree or dislike a person or blog or whatever, then doesn’t it make more sense to turn your attention elsewhere?  Read a blog that you DO like.

I’m so tired of this.  This goes on and on and on… and I hear stories that make me ache.  I see things firsthand that make me scratch my head.  And finally it gets to be too much.  And before you know it, I’m writing a post like this where I wonder aloud if maybe it is time to pack things in.  That maybe the world of blogging has changed so much, TOO much, and that there is no place anymore for someone who wishes to perpetuate kindness to others in the community.

I’m not the sort that takes breaks.  For one thing, they don’t work for me.  If I take a break, then that means I’m that much more likely to just not ever return from a break.  I’m a slacker, remember?  And the laws of inertia are strong with me.  A body at rest tends to stay at rest.  A blogger on break tends to stay on break.  So I know that’s not the answer for me.  Either I blog or I don’t.

I still don’t know.  I’d like to think that there’s more good then bad out there.  I haven’t seen a lot of evidence of that lately.  I don’t know what to think.  I would hate to lose my blog.  I would hate to lose the lovely people who come out to read even when I’ve posted nothing but drivel for the better part of a month.  But I hate to surround myself with negativity too. Maybe the answer is to delete my Google Reader.  I’d hate to lose some of my most favorite blogs, but I have to admit, I think this would definitely help.

Time will tell.

Truth and Consequences

I’ve been doing a lot of introverted-style thinking about this blog and the blogging community at large, social responsibility and blogging responsibility.  I think we all know that I tend to approach blogging and the internet community at large rather naively.  This is not a big surprise.   I tend to credit people with decency that maybe they don’t always deserve.  However, I still continue to think the best of people.  See?  Naive.

This is why when I discover a blog that spews forth nothing but hate, derision and judgement, I am stunned.  Floored.  Agast.  I found out about just such a blog yesterday.  And I think I knew about this blog before, had heard several people mention it, but never looked any further into it.  I don’t think I really wanted to know.  But yesterday, just such a blog said some very hurtful things about a friend of mine and even now I am still reeling.

I don’t understand where this mentality comes from.  I don’t get the need to call someone out who operates some other way than yourself and point and laugh, encouraging others to point and laugh with you.  It’s that whole “bully” thing we used to see in junior high.  I didn’t get it then, either.  How does that make you feel better, as a person, to pick on people like that?  How does that improve your life?  How does that improve the community, at large?

There’s the standard response line of “if you put it out there on the internet, it’s fair game”.  That’s a load of bull and it’s a poor excuse.  Simply because someone posts something on the internet, why does that mean then that people have to disparage it?  What would happen, say, if people just left it alone?  Ignored it, if it bothered them?  Went on with their merry lives and focused their energies on a more positive endeavor?  Would the world stop spinning on it’s axis?  Would the moon crack open and fall into the sun?  WOULD LIFE AS WE KNOW IT CEASE TO EXIST?  Hardly.

Another response I hear is “it’s in the interest of truth and exposing hypocrisy!”  Really?  Who CARES?  This particular site likes to go after The Pioneer Woman and Dooce fairly regularly and insists that while they don’t dislike PW, they need to expose that this idyllic life she puts forth isn’t exactly the truth.  Again I’ll say: WHO CARES?  I love to read PW’s sites.  I like her photos, her recipes and her stories.  So what if she’s not telling the whole unvarnished story?  So what if she’s richer than God because of her successful family/site/what the heck ever?  How does that impact me?  Unless I were to win one of her fantastic giveaways, I don’t think it impacts me at all.  And then, it would only impact me positively.  So why would I want to rag on her or her site?  I wouldn’t.  That’s the point.

Same thing with Dooce.  I don’t ever hold any dillusions of being BFFs with Heather, with her ever knowing me from a hole in the ground, even.  But yes, I do read her site and enjoy her photographs.   I don’t buy into the whole “she’s exploiting her child” and “her husband is an automaton” and “she is a drama queen!” thing.  Why?  Because I don’t really CARE.  It doesn’t affect me.  I wish the best for her, of course, and am interested in what goes on with her but beyond that, what difference does it make?

It makes me wonder if I shouldn’t rethink my own site.  Remove names, photos, details, etc.  That would be one step before not blogging altogether.  And in light of what I posted a few days ago, I am loathe to let that happen.   I may not have a lot of traffic or draw a huge crowd of readers, even enough to warrant a hate-filled site to target me, but I love my blog and I love blogging.  It brings me peace and joy and community and most of all, a place to put my feelings.  If I didn’t have it anymore, I would miss it terribly.  And I wonder if I could have it if I started worrying about censoring myself more than I already do (yep!  I do censor myself, believe it or not!).

I don’t know if I really have a point to this entry (and how is this different from any other entry?), but I want to put out there a little, “Can’t we all just get along?” and some “Try a little tenderness”.  With the world going to pot the way it is, we could use a little more positivity and a lot less negativity, don’t you think?

Grieving and Blogging

I’ve made no secret that I started this blog four years ago during one of the saddest periods I’ve experienced in my life so far.  2004 became something of a dark tunnel to me and I was having a hard time finding a way out.  Blogging became that way out and I’m forever grateful for that.

I went through the grief riggamarole again in August of 2005 when I miscarried.  And it stung, to be sure.  In some ways, the sting was a lot more bitter than that of losing Jackson.  But I also had something that I didn’t have in March of 2004.  I had my blog.  (And a whole lot of alcohol, but let’s just stick with the blog, mmkay?)  And I had a lot of lovely comments from lovely people expressing their sadness over my loss.  And I had an outlet that I could pour my hurt and frustration and despair into.  I’d be hestitant to say that having the blog made that whole experience “better”, but on the other hand, I would hate to have experienced it without the blog.  I think it softened the blow, somewhat.

There are a lot of blogs that I have found through the “Loss Grapevine”.  Bad news travels fast and hearing about someone’s heart-wrenching grief often draws crowds.  And it’s very easy to find these blogs and let yourself get swept up in the unbearable sadness of their story.  This is particularly dangerous if you happen to be pregnant at the time (obviously, only if the loss in question is related to pregnancy), because it’s all too easy to superimpose your circumstances onto that of the blogger.  And the next thing you know, your husband is having to peel you off the floor with a spatula.

I don’t know what point I’m trying to make here.  Maybe there isn’t any point.  Other than the act of blogging and the community surrounding it is incredibly helpful when going through loss.  And coming up on my four-year blogging anniversary, I’m more glad than ever that I started this and that I stuck with it.  As unhappy as I may get sometimes, I know I would be infinitely more unhappy without this outlet.

Days of Grace

Like a lot of good ideas, this one started over at Schmutzie’s place.  The idea here is to embrace the good things in our life, especially when we’re feeling rather grinchy.  Since my grinchy feelings are taking more of a front-seat these days, I think I could use this excersize.  So what do you do?  You post daily, for 365 days (that’s a whole year, yo), a list of five things (more or less, but hopefully more) that have graced your life.  

While it would be more poetic to start such a project on New Years Day, I’m not going to put it off because that would raise the liklihood that I will a) forget to do it altogether and b) not be able to feel the benefit of such a project during the Christmas season, when grace and simple joy are all too easy to put aside and forget.  So without further ado… here goes! 

  1. My super-fabulous mother in law.  
  2. That even though I forgot “True Blood” was on last night (GAH!), it was rebroadcasting at 11pm so I was able to DVR it.  We’ll watch it tonight (don’t spoil me!). 
  3. Robert Pattinson.  *wipes drool off chin*
  4. My uber-awesome family that is now complete in more ways than I could ever have imagined. 
  5. That in this trying economy, my husband still has a relatively stable job.  Whew!
What is gracing your life today?

Oh, grow up already

So we’ve already established that Marilyn (which is me, I’m talking about myself in the third person, apparently) is in something of a mood this week.  But even if I weren’t, I would probably STILL write this post which is why I’m going to go ahead and publish it, even if it does push the boundaries of the sort of cattiness I prefer to talk about on my blog.

I guess my point here is: There are a LOT of whiners out there.

Honestly, I think BlogHer is almost just an excuse at this point.  These are feelings that course through the community in general and the mommy blogging community in particular all year long.  The jealousy, the bitterness, the snarking and complaining.  And I am SO SICK OF IT.

Let it be known that I am most definitely NOT a member of the “a-list” (whatever the heck that even MEANS).  I never have been, my entire life.  Shoot, according to that one website, my blog is “c-list”.  So it’s not like I’m sitting up here on some magical perch looking down on the minions or anything.  Growing up, I was never at the “bottom of the pack” but neither was I ever at the top either.  I always had a solid group of friends and was pretty content with my status.  GEE, kinda like I am now, huh?

What I’m sick of most is the people who are complaining who didn’t even GO TO BLOGHER.  But they’re blaming not going on… what… that they don’t think the a-list will like them?  WTF?  Or that they feel like the conference is one big “clique” (it’s called a spell-check, ya’ll) and they’ll be hopelessly on the outs.  OH PLEASE.  Feeling this way is one thing, but whining about it on your blog is another.  Then there’s whining about it on your blog and then inviting the “a-list” over so you can, what, get traffic?  Or something?  WTF??

What you perceive as a clique might actually be a group of friends who are happy to see one another after an entire year has passed and they are excited to spend time with each other over the course of a two-day conference.  Just because they are “a-list” doesn’t mean they don’t have their own group of friends.  They don’t HAVE to want to hang out with you.  That’s what doesn’t make sense to me.  We can’t get on these bloggers for not spreading themselves around when we do the same thing with our own little groups of friends.  No one is trying to make anyone else feel bad.  Which means one thing:  If you feel bad it’s pretty much due to your own insecurities.  Sorry to have to break it to ya.

I think T at Send Chocolate said it best in her post from earlier today:

I guess what I am trying to say is that there were over a thousand women attending BlogHer. And you couldn’t find anyone to connect with? Really? Or you just couldn’t be part of the A Crowd, and it felt too much like your experiences in high school so you sat in a corner to pout? If I see one more post that compares BlogHer to high school or college, I swear, I am going to lose it.

AMEN, sister.  Preach it.  I feel 100% the same way.  SO WHAT if the big names didn’t give you the time of day (did you even try to say hi?)?  SO WHAT if they don’t visit your blog and leave you comments and follow you on Twitter respond to your @ replies.  SO WHAT.  There about a bazillion other blogs out there authored by equally awsome women that you could always fit yourself in with. That’s the way I feel about it.  I don’t go to BlogHer harboring any notions that I’ll sit down for lunch with the Big Wigs.  But I do expect to find a bloggy friend or two, someone I know I can connect with.  And I do expect to meet new people and make new connections.

Some people want it easy.  The fame, the popularity, the respect, the admiration, the traffic, the money… Being friends with the “a-list” is a fast pass to that kind of life, isn’t it?  It just doesn’t work that way.  I don’t know why some bloggers are “popular” and some aren’t.  I imagine a lot of these “a-listers” would tell you the same thing.  They don’t really KNOW why they’re popular.  You can’t always say it’s because they’re good writers because there are plenty of awesome writers out there who haven’t been discovered.  You can’t always say it’s because they’re friends with so-and-so, because someone else is too and no one hardly ever comments on their blog.  It just is what it is.

And really.  WHO REALLY CARES.  We’re all bloggers, and if we’re mommy bloggers then we all have someone’s butt to wipe at the end of the day (and the beginning of the day, and the middle of the day… ).  How about instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you pull yourself out of your Pity Rut and engage in the community.  Find peace with yourself and with your blog and your own little niche of blog friends.  You will be MUCH happier in the end for it.

BlogHer 08: Oh. My. Stars. The LINKS.

I hope you all enjoyed the virtual landslide of photos I had from BlogHer this year (*cough*).  I’m really rather upset with myself that I didn’t take more.  But it was SO hard to do anything when I had Evie with me besides just deal with Evie.  See, looking back, it would have totally rocked to have had a personal handler with me the entire weekend.  Someone to help me deal with Evie, to bounce her when she was fussy and work their voodoo on her, make her calm down.  I could have handed Evie off to said personal handler and maybe even taken my laptop out.  Shoot, forget the laptop, I could have actually gone to sessions!  But if I had had this mythical other pair of hands, I could have also taken out my camera and taken pictures.

Oh, hindsight.  Why are you always so clear?

Business cards!

Anyhow, the point of this post is to highlight everyone that I got a totally awesome business card from.  I have a respectable pile (as you can see), but I wanted MORE.  Next year, I SWEAR.

  • We’ve got a beautifully designed card from Christine at watchmenowatchme.com.  I didn’t know her before BlogHer, but after a lunchtime interlude where we got to watch her bitch out her bank on the phone, I feel as if we’re bonded somehow.  She truly was a cool gal and I’m totally stalking her now.
  • Then there is Dawn from kaiseralex.com.  Like Christine, I didn’t know her before BlogHer but I know her now and I think she’s pretty spectacular (and not just cuz of the bewbs on her card).
  • I have an adorable little card for Carly of andsosheblogs.com.  I knew her beforehand, even met her at last year’s conference but I was so glad to spend some extra time with her this year.  She is truly a wonderful, beautiful gal.
  • I also got to meet Mary Ostyn from Owl Haven.  She is one of the people who says she recognizes me (or rather, my blog) and I get all bashful-like.  Shucks.
  • I got to briefly meet Minnie from screamything.com and thankyoufornotbeingperky.com.  She was absolutely beautiful.  What is with all the beautiful women at BlogHer?
  • I also ran into Fausta at BlogHer and got her card which went into my pocket and got totally wrinkled up but I flattened it as best I could because I like order that way.
  • Who can forget the incomparable Loralee of Loralee’s Looney Tunes?  Everyone is talking about her, post-BlogHer.  I’d say she was a hit.  And you know what?  She was even MORE wonderful in person than she is online.  Which is quite a feat, mind you.  LOVE HER.
  • I met Christine (aka YoungMommy) from From Dates to Diapers and almost didn’t realize it was her at first.  And she?  IS BEAUTIFUL.  Why I’m surprised at this point, I don’t know.  But also a total sweetheart.
  • I have the most adorable card from Sizzle and can I just say she is STUNNING in person?  And I can tell she’s the sort of gal that everyone must love to be around.  She’s got a gorgeous smile and she seemed to be everywhere at this conference.
  • Of course, I have an adorable pink card from Rhi in Pink.  She was absolutely awesome to me at the conference and even gave me a pair of pink sneakers (I wear them all the time now).  I’m proud to share Mini Owen with her.
  • I even managed to score a card from Megan from Velveteen Mind (who is just such a sweet and lovely woman in person, even moreso than on her blog).  She had a lot of balls in the air this conference and she seemed to handle them with the utmost grace.  I want to be her when I grow up.
  • Another absoutely gorgeous woman, Stephanie from metropolitanmama.net.  If I’m remembering correctly, she sat at my table at one point and I had to make a point not to stare because she was seriously GORGEOUS.
  • I got the cutest little card from Nicole from Apron Strings Aflutter.  I didn’t know her or her blog before, but I’m definitely checking it out now.  And that is the power of a sweet woman and a cute card at BlogHer.
  • I met, thanks to Carly and Rhi, Sallie Boorman of APCO Worldwide at our table (I think it was breakfast?).  She was so sweet and so pretty (are you sensing a theme here?) and so not one of the Evil PR People you always hear about.  She truly was a fabulous person.
  • Speaking of PR and Sponsors, I also talked to Shannon at the Sprout booth and she was so sweet.  Sometimes these conversations can feel so manufactured, but I got the feeling this gal and her co-workers were nothing but genuine.  SO SWEET.  AND SO PRETTY.  (and I totally want Sprout now)
  • On Day 1, at breakfast, I met Julia from idealist.org, where she’s a community outreach coordinator and blog manager.  She was very apologetic about her corporate card and made sure to jot down her NYC blog on there as well.  I’ll definitely be checkign her out, she was a super nice gal.
  • I got an adorable bookmark from a lovely gal known as “Sugar” (how sweet is that!  pun is TOTALLY intended, btw) for her blog Living… In Theory.  She was seriously a darling gal and (do I even have to say it?) totally gorgeous.
  • I scored a card from the fabulous Michelle Mitchell of Scribbit.  She is seriously stunning in person, with her blonde hair and tallness and just simply oozing grace and professionalism.  Another gal I wouldn’t mind becoming when I grow up.  I need to take notes from her, seriously.
  • I briefly met Annette Tonti who works for a company called mofuse and I’m seriously going to look into it because now that I’m getting an iPhone (details to follow), I’m extra interested in having a mobile version of my blog.
  • I got to meet Missy!  Seriously, I was so glad when she hopped down from her makeover chair MID-MAKEOVER to come over and say Hi to me.  That was so awesome.  And her accent?  ADORABLE.  And she?  GORGEOUS.  I think I pretty much adore her.
  • Surely by now you’ve all been hearing about Brian at papatv.com.  He was pretty awesome (and hot) and his card made me laugh.  I wish I could have hung with him more like Carly and Rhi got to.  But seriously, there were a LOT of guys there this year and I thought that was awesome.
  • Kelli, aka Cagey, handed out the most adorable business cards, which were actually bookmarks, styled after her blog.  This was in order to hand them out with the “Sleep is for the Weak” book in which she is featured (*coughbuyitcough*).  I love Cagey.  I love her and I love her adorable little daughter and intensely wish I lived closer to her so I could go over to her house for playdates.

And then there was my most favorite “card” of all:

Brit's "business card"

This was from Brit at Running Stitch and she MADE THEM HERSELF.  Seriously, she had a whole stack to pass out.  And I thought that was the coolest thing EVER.  She even had the url to her Etsy shop on the back and I thought that was just damned genius.  She is mad talented and has made me so many wonderful things I can hardly keep track.  I love her.  She is a salve on my soul.  And she makes me laugh like no one’s business because she’s funny as hell.  It would NOT have been BlogHer if I hadn’t gotten a chance to hang with her for the short time that I was able.

Then there were all the people that I talked to that I didn’t get cards from (and, one can safely assume, I didn’t give cards to either.  Like an IDIOT.).  But I want to mention them because I did meet them and they do deserve a link.  I’ll just have to see if I can remember them all!

There was the lovely Kerry from Crunchy Carpets who I happened to see walking down the hall while Loralee and I were chatting and I hollered out to her (as if I have confidence or something!).  This was on Saturday, shortly before I had to leave so I am SO glad I got a chance to talk with her.  And her accent?  DARLING.  Scottish AND Canadian.  Too cute.

There was also the amazing Kristen from better now.  I’m sure I never would have had the guts to speak to her had I not been with Loralee at the time.  This woman is drop-dead gorgeous and so sweet and tall and lovely and smart and… well, even her beautiful blog doesn’t do her justice.  And her blog is beautiful.  So go read it.

Let’s not forget Michelle (aka sparksfley) from Sparks and Butterflies.  She watched my baby for me during my panel and didn’t even miss a STEP with it.  She also started the whole “disclaimer” thing pre-BlogHer to prepare people for the real thing and can I just say?  I think she exaggerated.  She is a lovely person, beautiful and sweet and I’m sure I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked.

I also (almost literally) ran into Y just before we left on Saturday.  I got a chance to hug her and tell her that she made me cry during the community keynote the day before and can I just say?  Y is simply lovely in person.  I know she’s lovely on her blog (which I enjoy like no one’s business), but in person?  SO MUCH MORE.  She is a true, genuine heart.  Take it to the bank, people.  It’s true.  I adore her.

I spoke with Monty and Mamacita on Friday morning and never got their cards!  Shame on me!  Well, I’m here to tell you that besides being completely lovely women, they are funny and sweet to boot.  I am so glad I got a chance to interact with them while I was there, because now I sorta love both of them.

I also (so briefly) saw Califmom and she was awesome.  I mean, I sorta knew she’d be awesome from all her Twitters pre-conference, but in person?  Awesomer.  It’s totally a word, look it up.  I didn’t get to talk to her long, but trust me.  She was awesome.  I’m sure someone else can back me up on this.

I did meet Backpacking Dad on Friday morning.  He was talking with Loralee and I managed to get to say hi, but neglected to give him my card.  This guy was a total rockstar of the conference.  I think I can count on one finger the number of times I saw him NOT surrounded by adoring women.

I got to say hi to Redneck Mommy too!  OMG.  She’s so pretty.  And so nice too!  I was pretty much entirely intimidated because she is so… well, COOL.  But she really came off as entirely approachable and sweet.

It was very brief and totally in passing, but I also got to say hi to Crystal from Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper.  Another gal who was completely beautiful and so sweet and friendly.  I wished I could have gone to her session, so I could have heard more from her.  I really admire her quite a bit.

Whew.  I think that’s it.  If I missed ANYONE, please let me know.  See, even with all these people I got to see and say “hi” to, there are so many that I didn’t and that is what haunts me.  I am starting to wonder if it is even POSSIBLE to see everyone you want to see at BlogHer.  I’m starting to have my doubts.

But at any rate, this is my list of Awesome People I Saw at BlogHer.  Now go visit their sites!  Because they are Awesome!

Excitement and Dread, BlogHer Style!

First: If you aren’t going to BlogHer this week then I will have to apologize now.  I’m not guaranteeing anything, I doubt I’ll be posting about much else for at least the next week.  I’m not wanting to rub anyone’s nose in it or anything or say, “Neener, neener!  I’m going to go have a great time and you aren’t!”  But I also realize that when you are on the outside looking in, it’s very hard not to feel like everyone is saying that.  So I understand where you all are sitting, as long as you can understand where I am sitting.

And where I’m sitting?  Is EXCITED.  And also?  STRESSED.

And since it’s a Sunday and it’s hot outside and I’m lazy, let’s do some bullets, shall we?

What I’m stressed about re: BlogHer ’08:

  • The drive down to San Jose itself on Thursday.  We’re going early, and though we’ve traveled with Evie to Elko, I’m still nervous about going over the mountain.  We haven’t made this particular trek yet.  Am worried my brain will explode when we hit Donner Summit.
  • Wrangling Liam at my parents’ house.  If it was stressful to contain him in Elko, it will been ten times worse at my parents’ house.  Just trust me.  I grew up there, I know how my mom works.  The only upshot here is that with the conference and all, we’ll only have to deal with less than 12 hours of Liam Roaming Time.  Still.  I’m scared.
  • Let’s backtrack a bit.  What are we going to do with our dogs?  Hmm.  We should probably figure that out, huh?  (For those just joining the program, my mom decreed that our pets were persona non grata a couple years ago so we have to leave them behind when we visit.)
  • Driving up to San Francisco the day of the conference.  I’ll have to wake up at HELL o’clock and leave at an equally ungodly hour.  And deal with ungodly traffic, I’m sure.  HELP ME.
  • I have an ugly nose.  And a stupid voice.  (And Kile just gave me a gin and tonic and I’ve had to retype this sentance no less than five times.)  And people … (wait… where was I going with this?  Oh yeah!) might think I’m a complete dork.  And they won’t want to sit with me.  And they’ll actively try to ditch me.  And I’ll look stupid.  Cuz I am.
  • (gin and tonics are awesome, remind me to order one or two or ten at the cocktail party, kay?)
  • I forget what else I was stressed about.
  • Oh yeah!  Footwear.  Since it has been decreed that jeans will be worn in lieu of shorts, I probably can’t get away with wearing flip flops with those, right?  SO WHAT DO I WEAR?  See, here is where I wish I was able to get those Chuck Taylor knockoffs at Payless last weekend.  Damnit.
  • I think I’m speaking or something.  Kinda nervous about that.  GULP.
  • Dealing with Evie during the entire conference.  Seriously, she will be where I am 100% of the time (maybe 90%, but, eh, who’s counting?) and I wonder if my back and my nerves can take it.
  • I wasn’t invited to any super-cool events this year (like last year’s Real Simple dinner).   That sorta makes me feel like a bit of a loser.
  • I can’t go to the People’s Party on Thursday night.
  • I may not even be able to go to either of the cocktail parties.  At most, I’ll be able to hang out for a half hour before I have to go tend to my children.  BAH.
  • At least one awesome betch isn’t going this year.  That sucks.

What I’m excited about re: BlogHer ’08:

  • More of these gin and tonics, that’s for damn sure.
  • Meeting all of these absolutely wonderful women that I am SO EXCITED TO MEET that I can hardly stand it.  (okay, who’d I miss?)
  • Seeing some of the internet’s biggest rockstars and while I’ll be way too shy to actually, you know, SAY HI, I will get to see them and perhaps even take stealthy pictures of them.  Sweet!
  • The swag.  I can’t wait to see what the swag is this year.  Every year, it seems to get better.  Bring on the goodies!
  • I’m going to probably meet EVEN MORE fabulous women just like I did last year.
  • (am starting to wonder if I should eat something to soak up this alcohol since it’s been a good 5 hours since I ate and I’m starting to see double here.)
  • (this is off of ONE gin and tonic, ya’ll.  I am officially a freakin’ lightweight.)
  • Going to San Francisco.  We haven’t been up there in literally AGES and I’m sorta excited to see the city again.  We go to San Jose regularly, but it just isn’t the same.
  • Seeing some old friends that I love dearly.  You guys so totally rock.
  • (OMG, still not finished with a) this post and b) this drink)
  • Staying at a hotel.  Sure, we’ll have two small children with us, but it’s still the best vacation we’ve taken in YEARS.
  • I am officially too drunk to finish this post.  SRY. (ONE GIN AND TONIC, ya’ll.  THAT AIN”T RIGHT.)

Here's the thing

I literally cannot believe the blogosphere (in particular, the momosphere) is still buzzing about this whole Sweetney/Mrs. Fussypants thing.  I mean… STILL?  Has it been a slow news week or something?  Are we all bunged up because BlogHer is looming and we need to have some sort of drama in place BEFORE the conference this year (we’re total overachievers if that’s the case)?  Yes, I may or may not have alluded to this in my “compassion” post, but I want to make it clear that that post was inspired by the story I saw on The Today Show on Tuesday morning.  The whole hubub over this was merely a reminder of how the internet plays into this whole “I don’t have to be nice if I don’t want to” mentality that we are seeing more of in our day to day lives.

I’ve seen this blown out of proportion from all angles and it just boggles my mind.  I’ve seen the “shame on Sweetney!” posts, the “yay for Mrs. Fussypants” posts, the “give us our free speech!” posts and the “what’s the real issue here that no one is paying attention to” posts.  Whew.  There’s a lot out there right now about this.  And… you know, whatever.  At this particular point in time, after a night of getting jabbed in the ribs by little baby toenails (I totally need to clip those TODAY), I’m just tired of it.  All of it.

Here’s the thing:  I read and enjoyed Sweetney before this all went down.  I’ll continue to read and enjoy her.  This doesn’t really impact how I feel about her.  I didn’t learn anything about her that I didn’t already know.  Nice or not nice, this is just how she is.  I hesitate to say, “she can’t help it,” because of course she can.  Just doesn’t want to or see the need to.  And that’s fine.  Whatever.  Whatever works for her.

I also read and enjoy Mrs. Fussypants.  She’s a nice lady who tends to like to do about a million things at once.  Seriously, sometimes i need to look away or I’ll get a migrane from all that this woman tries to juggle at one time.  I can barely remember to trim my daughter’s toenails.  She has FIVE boys.  Do I agree with Sweetney’s statements about her?  Eh… doesn’t really matter what I think, does it?  I doubt anyone really cares what I think anyhow.  I don’t think Sweetney was looking for people to agree with her in the first place.  Or maybe she was.  See?  I obviously have no idea.

I’m having a hard time getting my thoughts out here.  I don’t think I’m stating myself very well.  (Wouldn’t be the first time.)  I guess my big point here is: can’t we all just get along?  Let’s bury this hatchet and move on and let the bygones be bygones.  BlogHer is in a few short weeks and I would love for this to be all but a distant memory by then.  I don’t want to get there and have the room divided into two factions: those who are on Sweetney’s side and those who are on Mrs. Fussypants’ side.  Feh.  How about MY side?  Is anyone on my side??


Fine.  Whatever.  Let’s just let this go and let the immediate parties concerned work out their issues, mmkay?  No hard feelings.  Sound good?