Tuesday, August 07, 2012

New York: My BlogHer Babes

The photo above is an official BlogHer '12 photo of my sister Dorothy and me laughing hysterically at a post read during the Voices of the Year Ceremony. To read what were snorting about (although I SO wish you could hear her read it), check out Shari Simpson's (Dusty Earth Mother's) post The Best/Worst "Female" Story You Will Ever Read. I'll wait.


You're welcome.

That photo perfectly captures the joy of the BlogHer conferences. You get to meet new friends, hug old ones, and be with your tribe. We are the bloggers, and we're filling the Internet with our hopes, dreams, fears, talents, joys, sadness, and love. All around the hotel, I heard the Other People b*tching. Who are all these bloggers? They're taking over the elevators. Oh, them? They're the bloggers. Sigh. Groan. But whenever I heard someone say something like that, I thought: You're just jealous that you don't have this many incredible, awesome, intelligent, savvy, beautiful friends. SO THERE.

My BIL kindly and wonderfully (thank you again, BIL) stayed home this year so I could share a room with Dorothy. If it were not for Dorothy and the sponsors (whom I will shower with praise when I get a new camera battery charger -- left it in my hotel room) who make the BlogHer tickets so affordable, I would not have been able to go to BlogHer '12, and I would have been a very sad Blondie indeed. Instead, I was able to rock it out with Sis Big:

And FINALLY meet FireMom, who is so freaking adorable in Real Life that I almost ate her:

Firemom and Sassymonkey were dancing fiends at the Sparklecorn party. I could not dance because I blew out my back leaning over to get the soap in the shower that morning. And yes, I thought I was dying. Which is why I look Not All the Way Happy in most of these photos. I was in a LOT of pain, and I'll be going to get a back shot this afternoon. But the girls? Seeing them made it all worth it:

I love meeting the people I've been reading/ emailing/ tweeting for years in Real Life. I finally got the chance to chat in person with AV Flox. At some point, my sister told me AV's real name, and I just stared at her blankly. I can't identify ANYONE by their real names. AV will always just be AV. She and Sassy posed for me:

The whole first day of the conference, my camera was in my backpack, but my camera battery was in the charger in the wall in my hotel room (where I left it, which makes sense because I couldn't have crawled under the table to get it anyway). So this means I missed the opportunity to take a bazillion photos of all of my other bloggie friends. Boo hiss. However, I did take a few crowd shots at Sparklecorn. This is only maybe 1/3 of the room. So here are a bunch of my other bloggie friends somewhere out there in the crowd. Rock on with your bad selves:

And of course, I have to show you the famous Sparklecorn unicorn cake, right?

But about an hour into Sparklecorn, my back was hurting SO BADLY that I realized I was going to have to bail back to the hotel room. I was very sad to leave, but when you can't dance at a wonderful dance party, you just feel like an idiot. A slightly drunk idiot. The unicorn looked deep into my eyes and said, "Blondie, go back to your room. You've done enough here. Your body needs you to rest."

This shot is specifically for Momo, who I complained to about my cankles multiple times (Note to Self: Next time you see Momo, talk about ANYTHING other than your cankles). The edema tights work well when you wear them, which I chose not to do because if I dragged pretty shoes all the way to New York from Iowa, I was going to WEAR THEM TO SPARKLECORN DAMMIT:

But enough about my cankles and horrible back already. Despite these physically problems, mentally, I was in tip-top condition at the conference. I talked to a huge amount of strangers. I took and gave out business cards to my new friends. I laughed and cried and felt proud of BlogHer, my sister, and myself. We ruled New York. Last week, it was Our City:

And seeing the photo of Dorothy and me flashing on the jumbotrons in the Grand Ball Room? Priceless:

Denise and TW were in the hotel room next to us. When I would come or go, I often heard giggling coming from their room, which always made me smile. I also ran into them a billion times, and I loved it because I feel a strong personal connection to both of them. It was like having extra family members just beyond the connecting room door. In fact, when I blew out my back, Dorothy was in a session, so she texted: "Do you need Denise to come help you?" I was OK on my own, but I loved knowing that if I did need Denise or TW, I could have just crawled to the connecting door and good people would be on the other side. Sadly, I honestly can't say the same thing about my "connecting doors" in Real Life. But at BlogHer, I scored BIG. Also in the photo is Sarah, who is another new friend (and one of TONS of redheads I saw at the conference -- I had a whole Redhead Tribe this year):

Speaking of redheads, Sassymonkey and I had a great time together. All of the Canadians I hung out with reminded me that A.) Canada is awesome and B.) Canada has great health care:

I could have used that Canadian health care while I was flat on my back with my cankles up watching Jason Bourne on TV while a FABULOUS fashion show happened downstairs. I was crying, so I couldn't make it. Evil back:

But once again, I mustered up some kind of superhuman strength and went for a rickshaw ride with Dorothy past Times Square. Oh, so THIS is where all the people in New York are! It was FULL BRIGHT INCREDIBLE! Almost all of my pictures are blurrymess from the bumpy rickshaw, but this one is pretty good:

And I somehow got a not-so-blurry one of me along the way. I'm not even drugged in this picture. Can you believe I went to Times Square without taking a Xanax OR drinking alcohol? ME EITHER!

So many people suggested that I spend my Empire State Building money on a superfly snow globe for my collection instead that I went for it. I bought this puppy in the gift shop of the Hilton New York (which was a fantastic hotel -- thank you, Hilton, for putting up with us). It has all of the buildings, the Statue of Liberty, and the bottom part is a little train that moves around in a circle because it's also a MUSIC BOX. It plays "New York, New York." It's true that if I can make it through New York with a blown back, cankles, THE WORST AIRPORT TRAVEL EXPERIENCE EVER (BOTH WAYS), lost luggage, and 4,500 bloggers in one conference, I can make it anywhere:

A HUGE thank you to Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins, and EVERYONE who works at BlogHer. I will carry these wonderful memories with me -- until NEXT YEAR!


Momo Fali said...

I think you tiptoed into my room and took a picture of MY cankles! We have twin feet.

It was so good to meet you FINALLY, after reading your posts for years. I already can't wait to see you again in Chicago!

sassymonkey said...

I find it hilarious that I look just fine in the Sparklecorn photos but in the CheeseburgHer photos that people took I look totally drunk. I didn't even drink on Saturday night. I was just exhausted.

I did not get to see you enough. Next time I'm kidnapping you. Or invading your room. Or something.

Rhea said...

Seeing some of my favorite BlogHer blogger's commenting on your post (Momo Fali and Sassymonkey) has made me so jealous, and I want to go next year so I can see all of you!!

TW said...

I would have totally handed you some Aleve and slapped a thermacare or salonpas patch on you.

Jenna said...

SO, I totally forgot those pictures were taken. Hahahaha. I, uh, had fun on Friday night! LOL

Love you and it was a pleasure to meet you. Seriously. I'd give you muscle relaxers any day. :)

dusty earth mother said...

Oh Blondie, I seriously treasure that photograph. Thanks for the shout-out and many xxxooo's to you!

Florinda Pendley Vasquez said...

I feel like BlogHer's gotten too big for me, but you got to hang out with some great people! (I got my time in with Sassymonkey during Book Expo, at least.) Sounds like you had a great time, and I may have to brave the bigness of it all to meet you one of these years!

Blondie said...

@Florinda: Yes, BlogHer HAS gotten very big, but I actually had a lot of intimate time with just a few people. The ones in the photos are the ones I saw and talked to the most. I also spent a lot of time soaking it in alone. I TOTALLY understand it being too big for some (and it would probably would have scared the crap out of me if it was my first time), but it somehow still felt small... It's hard to explain, but I felt like... I don't know -- still small and intimate. Interesting... I think you have to get it in your mind ahead of time to Be Present with whoever you are with. Then it seems less intimidating to be surrounded by so many people.

terry said...

i adore, absolutely adore, that picture of you and your sister laughing. you should frame that.

and i'm jealous of everyone who got to meet and hang out with you!

i'm so glad you had fun, despite the agony of the cankles and the trauma of your back.

AV Flox said...

It was so very good to meet you!

Katie said...

That is maybe the best photo ever -so happy! And so true - I'm pretty sure I looked exactly like that during her reading. So glad BlogHer is such a joyful event for so many people!

Taryn said...

Love the picture of you and Dorothy. Frame it, for sure! One of my favorite pictures of all time is my sister and I cracking up before my wedding. The best.