Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BlogHer '08 Recap

OK, I'll try to recap BlogHer here. I've been putting it off because I didn't think I'd really be able to sum up the weekend accurately and because I kept forgetting to pull my camera out and take pictures, but here goes nothin'...

I got to San Francisco at noonish on Thursday. On the drive to the hotel, I was surprised to see the ocean on one side and hills on the other. It's so nice to see such scenic landscapes. I told my friend Julie, "There are hills! It's so cool to see hills!" She answered with, "You mean the whole world isn't just a giant cornfield?" Seriously, I think the greatest change in elevation in the entire midwest is like 5 feet.

As I was checking into the hotel, I ran into Liz from This Full House. I'd met her at Johnson & Johnson's Camp Baby back in April. She's such a sweetheart! She always has this great smile on her face! I ran up to my room, dropped off my luggage and ran down to where Janice and Susan from 5 Minutes For Mom were doing interviews.
There I was treated to a make-over by a professional make-up artist. When I walked into the room, the make-up artist scrutinized my face and said something along the lines of, "Oh my gosh! How much time do I have until your interview?! I don't think there's enough foundation in the world to cover up those bags under your eyes!" OK, so maybe she didn't really say that, but I'm sure she thought it. The interview went pretty well, I think. Janice and Susan are both so outgoing and friendly that they put you at ease instantly.

After that, I went to the speaker training where I met a few fellow bloggers, another speaker on my panel, and Elisa, Jory, and Lisa. Following the training, I went to a cocktail reception hosted by Johnson & Johnson. I met up with Lori and Edwige there.


Then I went to a reception for the speakers. That was fun - open bar, appetizers and a Wii boxing tournament. The prize for the winner of the tournament was a Wii, so I signed up. I figured my kids wouldn't be around to make fun of me if I accidentally hit myself in the face while Wii boxing. I was eliminated in the first round. Oh my gosh am I incompetent! And here I was thinking of getting a Wii Fitness so I could get a fun workout at home. With my complete and utter lack of coordination, I may have to rethink that. I think, if I remember correctly, that Jenny from Three Kid Circus won.

From there, I went to the Newbie Party where I met some more bloggers: Kellan from On The Upside (she looks and sounds like a pretty, young Suzanne Pleshette), JCK from Motherscribe, and VDog from VDogBlog (She took a picture of me with a fly swatter named Henry, Phil, Charlie, Bob, something, I don't remember. Yeah, I have no idea what that's about.) to name a few. And then it was on to the People's Party where I picked up a tote bag o'swag and a couple more drinks. About 10 minutes after I got there, the lack of sleep, travel, and rum caught up to me and I decided to call it a night.

The next day, as my phone rang with my wake-up call, I realized I couldn't move my arms. I tried to grab the phone, but no dice. I kept thinking, why can't I move my arms? What the heck? They worked last night! Then I realized it was from the Wii boxing. I have GOT to make more time for exercise!

Friday, I met a whole slew of people like Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer (actually, I met her on Thursday) and Crystal from Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper.
I went to panels on Privacy, Video Blogging (NEED TO GET ME A VIDEO CAMERA AND DO SOME OF THIS!), and Taking Care of Business.

Friday night, there was a party at a local nightclub, Ruby Skye. Oh. My. Gosh. I am so old. There were 1000 bloggers crammed into a hot, LOUD nightclub with really LOUD music and so many people you couldn't even move and really LOUD music. Did I mention it was loud? I kinda shut down and hid out in a quietish corner. I met some more bloggers there like Biggie at Lunch in a Box (check out her cool bento lunch ideas!) I was so thankful when Susan from joined me in my isolation. We had a nice conversation until we decided we couldn't take the loudness anymore so we left so she could nurse her baby and I could could on to another party go to bed because I'm old and don't do loud nightclubs anymore.

The next day, I spoke on a panel, The Commercial Momosphere: Policies, Ethics and Outreach with Lotta from Mom-O-Matic,
Devra from Parentopia and Kristin from Motherhood Uncensored. I don't feel like I had too much of value to add to the conversation because I'm still figuring things out myself. There I also met Liz from Mom 101 (which just happens to be the first blog I ever read.)

Saturday night ended with the Macy's Extravaganza. Macy's closed off the handbag section for a private BlogHer party where we enjoyed champagne and Hors d'Oeuvres. (Do you have any idea how long it took me to spell that?!) A woman from the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed me there. Then the party moved on to the shoe department where we had wine, and some really delicious food. After the shoe department, we went up a few floors to lingerie where they handed out KY samples, cookies that tasted like perfume and the nastiest shots I've ever had. Who ever thought that chipotle vodka and white chocolate would be a good mix? It sounds like a combination my kids would come up with! Finally, we ended up on the top floor in the furniture department where snacks, sandwiches, icecream and drinks were served as we lounged on living room sets. Handbags were raffled off, authors signed copies of Sleep is for the Weak, and people danced to music from a live DJ. "A live DJ"? Does that even make sense? Of course he was live. A dead DJ probably wouldn't play very good music.

Once again I was the life of the party and left early to go back to my hotel room. I know, I'm just a barrel of fun. In small groups I'm never at a loss for words and I enjoy myself immensely. There's just something about being in such a large crowd, especially when you only know a couple people, that's a little intimidating.
nasty shots in lingerie department
"Does my hand smell weird to you?"

And of course, you know all about my day of sightseeing on Sunday.

I'm sure I forgot some stuff and some great bloggers that I met and for that I'm sorry. I just can't remember everything that happened there. But here are a list of blogs from people I met... (Thank God for business cards!)

Jessica from It's my life...roses life her nimble fingers did some serious live blogging this weekend! You can check out live blogs of the sessions HERE.
Jean from Stimeyland
Vivien from Cool Moms Rule
Jenifer from notcalmdotcom
Debra from messylife
Mary from Refresh Moments - I had a nice talk with her right outside the elevators where we continuously directed people to the parties.
Alex from Flexible Parenting - she has a nice, clean blog
Jenny from Jenny on the Spot - so funny
Violet from Verbosity Abounds
Elizabeth from Table4Five
Andrea from Sweet Life Site
Fran from Merlot Mom
Nicole from Not Just a Working Mom
Glennia from Momocrats
Vanessa from On Teens Today
Melanie from Blogging Basics 101
Arianne from To Think is to Create
Stephanie from Adventures in Babywearing
Jennifer from Preteens, Toddlers and Newborns Oh My!
Nancy from Marie Millard
Jennifer from Free and Flawed
MJ from Sugar my Bowl
Tarrant from Retro Food
Jessica from Everyday Adventures in the City
Jamie from Oh How Lovely
Carrie from OpMom


Brenda said...

How fun to meet so many bloggers. Very cool.

Coffee Bean said...

Oh my gosh... that all sounds like... totally NOT my cup of tea! I'm tired and overwhelmed just from reading it!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Boy, all you jetsetting bloggers make me feel so boring. Here I am, documenting the contents of my refrigerator (to the delight of German au pairs everywhere), while you are getting makeovers, doing interviews, and having blogging parties at Macy's. I think I need a new life. Or at least a new refrigerator...

Michelle said...

Wow, that's an action packed weekend! It sounds like you had fun, and I can imagine the loud music must have been a little... much. But good news: CA is no smoking, too, so at least you weren't shocked by noxious fumes in addition to the music! (I forgot about that the last time I went to WI for a Brewers game.)

I so wish I had known about this prior earlier ... and that I'd started blogging earlier. But next year, right? I wonder how fast it will sell out given the great pub it's gotten thusfar!

And I'm still waiting for the pics and details of your swag! ;)

Jamie said...

It was great meeting you in the Chicago meet up and talking in the shoe department. I love your blog so it was pretty awesome meeting the person behind it!

Persnickety Ticker said...

I am SO glad you got to meet Crystal from Boobs, Injuries & Dr. Pepper! She is an awesome writer and hilarious to boot! It was really cool to see a picture of my two most favorite bloggers meeting!! Silly as this may sound, but that just made my day! I highly recommend to anyone to go over and take a look at Crystal's blog! She is just as funny as Dawn! Thanks for sharing, Dawn!

Anonymous said...

Umm. I think these stupid, fake fingernails screwed me over. I was also going to say that you were much more outgoing than I was and I hope that I didn't come across as withdrawn. I was TERRIFIED of that panel shit. Women skeer me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn!

It sounds like you had a great time at your conference. Good for you! I'm the same way about all the noise and activity. In fact, my idea of an excellent time after a day of workshops and human interaction is room service, a pay movie and cross stitch! No parties for me, not if I want to be civilized the next morning.

And this is for SuburbanCorrespondent. If it makes you feel any better, my fridge looks almost exactly like yours, and it's only my husband and me. I think it's because he used to be a farmer and so likes to stock up, and because I'm big into impulse buying. Sigh. We even have a separate chest freezer that's full, and a fridge on the back patio just for beverages.

Sandy in Tucson

Alex Elliot said...

It's so much fun to read about your experience at BlogHer. I've been trying to describe to my friends how truly big BlogHer was and how there were just so many sessions and activities to choose.

I really enjoyed meeting you! I know I told you this, but I thought I would write this next part for your readers. I kept on seeing this smiling, happy, nice woman passing by me in the halls of BlogHer. I was so not surprised when I realized later that it was you!

VDog said...

Thanks for the linky love! It was great to meet you, and I was honored you decided to post with *Carl* the roaming flyswatter.

You and Carl were on my blog on Sunday and will be again tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

hmm... so what is the point of the conference? Just curious, I'm still pretty new to the blogging world, but what's the reason for such a big event?

my3boys said...

Here's a possible SSO question:

In today's recap of the BlogHer conference, you made a list of blogs to check out. Here is a quote:
"Alex from Flexible Parenting - she has a nice, clean blog"

So are we to assume that many of these blogs are not "clean"?

Robin said...

Your caption under the mannequin photo cracked me up!! For some reason it hit me just right and I'm still laughing about it. I'm glad you had a good time except for all the people and loud noise. I get that way in big crowds too....sensory overload!

Laura said...

It sounds like you had a great time in SF. I'm only sorry that you couldn't spend more time seeing all that there is to see in the Bay Area. I'm a born and raised "Crazy Californian" and sometimes take this great area for granted. By the way, Dawn, you actually remind me of me personality wise; perhaps it's that Pisces birthday? I'm March 11. It's nice to know I'm not the only one like me. Well, on second thought, you probably aren't as goofy as me--just ask anyone that knows me! ;)


Rick said...

Okay, let me see if I got "Recap" right...

Blah, blah, blah... "There are hills! It's so cool to see hills!"

Blah, blog, blog... "I went to a COCKTAIL reception."

Blah, blog, blog... "Then I went to a reception for the speakers. That was fun - OPEN BAR."

Blah, blog, blog ... "I went to the Newbie PARTY."

Blan, blog, blog... "Friday night, there was a PARTY at a local nightclub."

Blah, blog, blog... "Who ever thought that chipotle VODKA and white chocolate would be a good mix?"

Blah, blog, blog... "...sandwiches, icecream and DRINKS were served."

Blah, blog, blah... "I'm sorry. I just can't remember everything that happened there."

And I'm saying. "Is it any wonder?"

merlotmom said...

Thanks for the mention. It was great to meet you. And remember, you're the reason I'm blogging in the first place - not sure if that's a good thing or bad...

JCK said...

It was really lovely to meet you, Dawn. Forget makeovers. You looked fabulous. Just reading your post made me tired - so many cool events. Definitely loved the smaller groups, but what a great venue BlogHer provided for all of us.

And the caption you added to the mannequins...too funny!

Katie said...

I think it's HILARIOUS that each and every one of the links I clicked on was a blog about how behind, tired, relieved and overwhelmed the blogger is after returning from BlogHer. LOL!!!

RefreshMom said...

I think you're still jetlagged from the trip or something. Love the stream of consciousness descriptions of your trip, especially the Live DJ (because a dead one wouldn't play good music).

I thought about my camera in my bag a couple times while we chatted between giving directions. The chairs were kinda far apart and it seemed too groupie-ish to ask one of the lost Newbies to take our pic (especially after hijacking you in the elevator)!

thumper6423 said...

Get the Wii Fit if you want one. One of the things you work on within the exercises is balance and posture. That's why I got it. I constantly trip over my own feet and walk into walls. And, you can password protect your data, so no one else in your house can see your results if you don't want them to. Can you tell I love my Wii Fit? My camera's getting jealous.

Mom101 said...

Phew, after reading this recap, no wonder we're all still so exhausted.

It was great meeting you if only for a brief moment. I figure if you took all the free time at the conference and divided it by the 1000 women you get like .06 seconds per blogger.

Always Home and Uncool said...

If you are going to talk that much about alcohol, you should have brought enough to share with us in class. Interesting read.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

It was SO GREAT to see you, again - what a whirlwind weekend of events, huh?!?! - would you believe, I STILL have not, you know, unpacked!?!?

Melody said...

It's Carl (the flyswatter...) He's been on a national tour (Kinda like Flat Stanley)

I think I am MOST jealous that you got to meet Crystal (@ B, I & DP). I LOVE her!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I am so impressed at what you've accomplished since BlogHer with this recap!! I can't wait for next year's BlogHer!! : )


Biggie @ Lunch in a Box said...

So nice meeting you and hanging out in the back corner at Ruby Skye, Dawn! What a madhouse that was -- I was fortunate to stumble upon you and have such an interesting conversation. Best of luck to you with your book and blog. :-)

Mandy said...

I think the drinks were inspired by your sandwich cook book post!


Fun weekend!!

jenijen said...

it was SO GOOD to see you again!

Owlhaven said...

Hi Dawn, It was nice to meet you!

Mary, mom to 10

Bayjb said...

Hi Dawn -
It was great to meet you at BlogHer in the Chicago meet-up group. I was bummed I had to jump out for our break because I would have loved to chat with you more! We'll catch up again soon. Jessica

Marian Merritt said...

It was so exciting to meet you at BlogHer. I felt so "celebrity-stalkery" when I jumped at the sight of your name tag. Sorry if that was weird. BlogHer was one of the best conferences I've ever attended. The positive, supportive energy... (not to mention parties in department stores are odd but good inventions.)

It was just great to meet you and put a face to the blog!

Jkhb said...

You mean they didn't serve kool-aide pickles with the nasty shots? I think that would be a fab combo to me! I had a nasty shot they other day and It didn't even have liquor in it. It was a vitaman shot, suppose to be good for you but it taste like you dissolved a vitaman in your mouth. EWWWW! I wanted to do what Tom Hanks in Big did when he ate caviar!

jennyonthespot said...

My gosh - it was so great to meet you... one of my long-time reads! Such an treat to meet ya... Looks like you got lots of pics... I was so wide-eyed, I couldn't manage to get that camera open. If I get to go next year... I am gonna take more pictures!


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