I shall begin by apologizing for the recent famine portion of You Must Take Your Chance. Yes, first I was busy getting ready to go to Blissdom '10 (bloggers conference this past weekend). Then, I was busy at Blissdom '10. Then, I was exhausted after returning home from Blissdom '10. And finally, I think I was a little "tweaked" out by Blissdom '10.
Let me say it was an amazing experience.
Andi of Misadventures With Andi and Alisa of Project Happily Ever After and I were the three amigos at Blissdom '10. Andi and Alisa being infinitely more knowledgeable than me, way more "connected" than me, and inexplicably kind and patient with me. Here's a cute example of what I'm talking about: one of the first things you do upon arriving at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville is to toddle over to the Blissdom '10 registration counter to register that you have arrived. Upon registering you receive I swear the nicest canvas bag Land's End has to offer (which is going to become my favorite beach bag this summer) filled to the brim with stuff! Make-up, bags of chips & candy (Bliss Chocolates, of course), a sweet necklace with a freshwater pearl & a silver charm embossed with "bliss", facial products from my super-fave facial products company, Bliss! A pair of nice socks, an aluminum water bottle, etc. You get the idea. The bag was overflowing with cool stuff. Swag. So I exclaim to A & A, "It's like a swag bag!!!" And A & A who did not flinch and were sweet as could be said, "Yes Laurie .....it IS a swag bag". In my defense, I was referring to The Night At The Oscars-variety of swag bag because, until now, I didn't know people besides celebrities ever received such things. Ultimately I had to leave half of the swag there because I couldn't fit it all in my suitcase. But that's ok because I left the baby pacifiers and the salty onion strings that give me canker sores and other swag that I wouldn't use anyway. Hopefully the hotel cleaning staff can use such swag.
My emptied out swag bag--nice huh?
But I obsess. Here's something else at the conference I obsessed about--the attendees and their laptops. Ok it's a bloggers conference. There are going to be lots of laptops. There were. At one point during a session with distinguished panelists
Eventually I counted sixty-seven laptops in view; fifty-five on Twitter and the remaining twelve appeared to be shopping. Nobody was blogging. And apparently no one was listening. Including me (too busy counting and getting creeped out, imagining if I peel back their skin, I will discover androids as in the "Ash"-variety from Alien).
At one point, in the throes of all this, both Andi and Alisa agree that there are far fewer laptops than they've encountered at previous bloggers conferences!!!!!!! I'm speechless. Up on my buggy.
There is more to tell which I will elaborate on in future posts: my moment with Harry Connick Jr. in which he has his arm around me (of which there is a picture and of which I'm only one of the five hundred or so attendees of the conference that he (poor guy) eventually had his arm around for what must have seemed like ten-thousand pictures); my night out on the town in Nashville; the best southern food ever eaten at what must be the best southern fried food restaurant in the world after what must be the most nerve-wracking and expensive ride around the Tennessee countryside after dark ever; and the pièce de résistance ......the fact that during the entire weekend of the conference I shared a hotel with the First Annual National Tea Party Convention where the keynote speaker was Sarah Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keeping my snarky comments and opinions about this fascinating "opportunity" all weekend long was a study in serious self-control.But finally, I must comment on why I believe I may have a been a man in a previous life.
This conference conjured up a number of past experiences, none of which I count as I my favorite ones, and none of which I've lumped together until now. And let me say first that I'm the weird one here--but there is something about a bunch of frenzied, weepy women all obsessed on the same thing that makes me very uncomfortable. (As in how I imagine a man might feel in similar circumstances) My dear sorority sisters can attest to this. I always had one foot in and one foot out of that sorority house never quite completely committing to the Tri-Delta way-to-live-college-life pledge. My dear PTA friends will concur. Once I received Volunteer of the Year, they never saw me again! (my kids were literally begging me to "not do PTA"). And my friend Lisa who's helmed a very successful scrapbooking business for at least the past fifteen years knows by now that I will almost always say I'm going to attend the next big scrapbooking bonanza, I always pay for it, and I almost always never show up!! (I'm sorry Lisa)
So what is it about a mob of super-organized, super-estrogened women all focused on one common goal that freaks me out? I don't know. You can't complain about the literally "excessive" organization--it's WAY better than a strictly male-organized conference which would likely be a mess of monumental proportions. I'm more of a girly-girl than a not-girly-girl .......so god knows I can be emotional. I don't know. I just wish this conference wasn't so strictly a woman's conference. It's not the sexual tension that would probably exist in a conference attended equally by men & women that I miss. I think it's just a balance I'm craving--not too much estrogen. Not too much frenzy. Not too much weeping. (Yes there was a fair amount of weeping!) Not too much female point-of-view? Ugh. I don't know. Girls’ rock! Maybe it was just my first bloggers conference and I felt a sense of being an outsider looking-in? Or being a man in a previous life?? What? Ok this post is getting ridiculous and making no sense.
I shall wrap up by reiterating (just ignore previous negatively-toned paragraphs) that the conference couldn't possibly have been lovelier. Or better organized. It was fantastic. I learned a lot. I had so much fun with Andi and Alisa. I met a lot of other great women too. Harry Connick Jr. had his arm around me (for a millisecond). And I got to see that Sarah Palin supporters are people too (people who wear baseball caps with white George Washington ponytails attached to the back and who carry around giant head-shot posters--of the ex-presidential candidate and the ex-Alaskan governor and the ex-mother-in-law-to-be to Levi Johnston--on sticks.)
As for my conclusions, I will just have to stick to blogging when I'm inspired and hope that I'm inspired on a fairly regular basis; and I'll bet that I was a man in a previous life who got stuck at an all-female bloggers conference and hope that I can get past this odd sentiment to completely enjoy myself as a female in this life at the next one.
Cute Picture of cute friends who are NOT the weepy females
I was referrring to!
PS--be sure to check out Andi's and Alisa's blogs. They are both very smart girls with very cool blogs who couldn't possibly be nicer. Andi's blog Misadventures With Andi is simply fun and topical and very professional. And Alisa's Project Happily Ever After is a wicked, laser-insightful blog on making marriages/relationships work (her book Project Happily Ever After will be out later this year!).