Thursday, July 31, 2008

Before I Get To The Post Where JCPenney Inadvertently Gives Me $500 To Lick Ish's Sweaty Head, A Word About BlogHer And Dooce

Okay, so there is oh-so-much to say about the BlogHer '08 conference that I have to abandon ever doing a thorough job, or ever doing it in one post. Let's just recognize that it'll come out here and there in bits and spurts and go with it.

Two posts down, there were two comments about Dooce:

Bets said...
Can someone please elaborate on the Dooce bitchery of Blogher 2008 for those of us who weren't there?

Anonymous
said...
There is a backlash against Dooce and hate sites on her. At Blogher she was (allegedly) rude to someone at the keynote. K - what is your take on all the hate among female bloggers?


I hate to disappoint, but one of the unavoidable downsides of being responsible for the conference is that I don't have time to attend any of the sessions. So I was not there for the Dooce incident and only have second- (and third- and fourth-...) hand recounts.

My understanding -- and again, I could be entirely mistaken -- is that Dooce/Heather was discussing how she reads every single comment and email she ever receives. She was also discussing how it is (and sometimes isn't) difficult to let the hateful/hurtful/spiteful things said about her roll off her back.

Then she cited a particular blogger who had recently called her a Hobbit.

And, sure, no one wants to be called a Hobbit.

So...when it came time for the question-and-answer part of the session, you can imagine how things got a little uncomfortable when a woman got to the microphone and said something along the lines of, "It was me! I was the one who called you a Hobbit. But I called you an AWESOME Hobbit!"

I am not sure what happened next, but the Tweets were a-flyin. (By the way, did you know you can search what people are Twittering about? Go to www.summize.com and put in #blogher and you'll see all the Tweets from people who were live-Twittering from the event. You can search on "Dooce BlogHer" too.)

I don't think that Heather was very happy about a confrontation with a Hobbit-caller, which makes perfect sense. How do you respond to a personal confrontation while in the spotlight, while all eyes are on you? I don't know. I don't know what she did, exactly. I think she just moved on.

In context, it does seem like it was supposed to be a very flattering thing to say. The blogger -- one of the funniest bloggers I have ever read aside from Dooce and who I will link to now with the understanding that you will never return to my blog because she is just that hilarious -- is Jenny of The Bloggess.

(I have since read Jon Armstrong's post on this situation and find his perspective fascinating, and it kind of makes me wish I'd never opened my mouth on the subject, because my read on what happened is stilted at best, incomplete for sure. Read what he and Heather actually experienced here.)

Anyway... You asked what I think about all the hate among female bloggers.

I don't think there's any more hate among female bloggers than there is among male bloggers. I think women are maybe more transparent when their hate comes from jealousy.

Still, here's my take, for what it's worth: Blogging is SO personal. And so when someone gets more praise or readers or money or opportunities than someone else, it's hard. Especially if you're a super-personal blogger. Because when someone's personal blog is more popular than your personal blog, it can feel as though that person is more popular than you. And then that brings out all kinds of adolescent insecurities. Why do people like her more than me?

I have all kinds of blog envy, but I try and handle it the way I handle envy of anyone's anything. I try and figure out what I can do better, what I'm not doing enough of, what I can change. And then I also realize what I can't, or won't.

I sincerely believe that I would be a better and more popular blogger if I spent a lot more time blogging. But that would require one of two things, if not both: getting a less demanding job, and/or giving up most of my free time. Until I'm willing to do one (or both) of those things -- and suffer the consequences that result -- I am where I am.

And no amount of resentment or bitterness or jealousy on my part is going to change that.

Am I answering the question?

Women bloggers who are hateful of other women bloggers aren't any different from women who are hateful of other women. The internet just makes the hatred easier to spread quickly and anonymously.

Hmm. I don't think that was helpful. Sorry! Maybe you should stick to asking me easier questions about the conference, like Did any attendee make you cry? (yes) or Did you do shots of tequila in the on-site BlogHer office in-between sessions? (sadly, no)

MOST IMPORTANTLY, here is the post about licking my boyfriend's head for the sake of all blogkind. You're welcome.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm Sorry. I Hate Me Too. I'm Sorry.

I have started three entirely different recap posts of The Conference, and none of them are making me happy. So they can wait.

Also, I am going to try to blog EVERY DAY for a month! Let's see how THAT goes, huh?



Right now I am sitting in the lobby of my building. There is no wifi here, so I'm writing this in a text editor. I don't know why I think you care about either of those things, but whatever. This is what happens when your blogging mojo gets rusty.

Anyway, I should re-phrase. There IS wifi in the lobby, except all of the connections are password protected. There's like 12 of them, and none of them are from our apartment. I don't know why this is. One of the connections is from the apartment above ours, where the assohole/douchebag lives, so I did totally try to use his account. Unfortunately, none of his passwords are DOUCHE, douchebag, douchebaggery, ISUCK or duuuuuuche. I feel good for making the effort to try those, though.

At this point, you might be wondering why I'm sitting on my laptop in the lobby of my building, what with my apartment being two flights away, and that would not be an unreasonable thing to wonder. The truth of the matter is, Ish and I made the leap of all dual-income-no-kids, urbanite, god-we're-getting-old leaps: we hired a cleaning service.

Now might also be a good time to mention that I am very very not good at having service people come to my residence. When someone comes to my door -- repairman, exterminator, landlord, UPS, super -- I find myself wishing I was six years old so I could hide in my room until the scary stranger leaves my house. I don't know why this is, exactly, except that my natural tendency when someone comes to my place is to want to entertain them. Like I should be a good hostess.

Do you know how piano tuners react when you offer them a cocktail? That's right. They think YOU ARE CRAZY. I'M SORRY, DID YOU SAY YOU LIVE WITH FOUR CATS?

And while I have never offered to make dinner for any repairman, that is simply because I am afraid I wouldn't do a good enough job.

Beeteedubs, Douche just walked by wearing sunglasses, because apparently there is a glare inside our building I was unaware of. See how cool he is?

The point is, I feel terribly awkward about having anyone over to my home to do anything. (Well, anything other than eat and drink and maybe play American Idol Karaoke on the Wii. Her name is Rio and she dances in the saaaaaaand...) Paying people to come to my home to clean? Oh, how the awkward is compounded.

Please know that I am fully aware that this makes me the worst human being in the entire world. Woe is me, complaining about how having cleaning people makes me feel too awkward to be in my own home. Feel free to hate. Just know that it is true.

And is why I am sitting in the lobby of my own building.

Because -- right -- when I got home from work, I walked to my apartment door and heard them still inside and so I did the only reasonable thing I could think of: I fled, full speed, back down the hall again so that they wouldn't see me.

I don't know what I think they would do if they DID see me, but it goes something along the lines of being perfectly kind and polite while secretly hating my spoiled ways and disapproving of all my dust and cat hair and unopened mail. It makes perfect sense to me that I should hide.

Well, and but now things have changed yet again. (Aren't you grateful for running commentary? La la la...) After 20 minutes of sitting on the industrial concrete lobby "bench," I decided I wanted a chair and also maybe wine. There is only one cafe within comfortable walking distance of my building, though, so I had to debate whether to go there or wait out the cleaning people. Ultimately, my desire for creature comforts (chair, table, wifi, wine, warmth) won, and I decided to make the trek.

Again, the distance isn't long, but my neighborhood is...how do you say..."unsavory"?

Yeah, "unsavory" works. Also "colorful." Or, if I want to be totally SF about it, I'd call it "up and coming." In all cases the translation is SO MANY CRACKHEADS OHMYGOD.

I don't usually come here for lots of reasons, all of which I have been reminded of since I staked out my place in the corner.

For one, the place is very window-y, which would be nice except they are always open, along with the door, and I don't know if you know this, but July in San Francisco is basically winter. The fog is blowing through and it's got to be 49 degrees outside. I do not have my coat with me (my coat is is busy laughing at me while it hangs in my warm, clean apartment). So yes. It is cold and windy INSIDE the cafe.

Also, the clientele here is so overly hip I feel like Lois Griffin at a KISS concert. I don't know the music. I don't understand anyone's t-shirt. I thought the counterperson was a boy. (She isn't.)

I was able to access the free wifi, but it took me like four really involved tries.

But the worst, worst was that I ordered wine. No one orders wine here, but I did because if I order beer -- which I love, seriously -- I have to pee more than I already always do, and so it's just not a feasible proposition. So I ordered my favorite summer wine (pinot grigio) and sat down and wrestled with logins and got up and running, goosebumps and all, and held my non-hip-head high, and took a sip of the wine and almost spit it out.

It had turned.

On principle, I was going to have to bring it back to the counter. Not because I had paid a whopping three dollars for it (happy hour), but because it was, quite literally, undrinkable. And, well, I wanted wine. I really, really didn't want to be the girl it was going to make me, though: the tragically unhip, white, chubby yuppie hiding in the cafe from her cleaning people who shouldn't have ordered a glass of wine in the first place but who did and then had to return it because it wasn't good enough.

Oh good lord. Now the acoustic band has arrived.

Ultimately, I did what I had to do. I waited until everyone else in line had placed and gotten their orders before quietly going up to the now-that-you-mention-it-kinda-cute counter girl and began apologizing for having bad wine. She graciously opened a new bottle and told me it wasn't my fault, but I know the truth. Of course it's my fault.

Next thing you know, I'll be wearing sunglasses in my lobby.


* * * * * *
Addendum: this actually was written in real time. I'm sorry. Also, Ish just texted me that he'll be here in 8 minutes to pick me up (YAY! SO COLD!) but when I went to reply to him, I hit the wrong buttons. I meant to write "I am in THE window" but accidentally started punching "I am in RHE..." at which point my phone auto-completed the word. It thought I was trying to text the word "RHETORIC."

Um?

Seriously, I love language as much as the next English major, but does anyone out there really use the word "rhetoric" in TEXTS? Like, enough to warrant it being an auto-complete word? What sort of secret literary texting is going on out there, anyway?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recycling, Lube and the EFF - Behind the Scenes at BlogHer '08

At least, that's what I would call my post about alllllllllll the stuff that has gone on behind the scenes. If I could.

But I can't. Because I am barely coherent.

The OpenSpace is going on right now and I am sitting outside it doing my best not to drool or cry. (Cry because I am running on what's left of my body's adrenaline reserves, caffeine, and the two cold hors d'oeuvres I ate about 47 hours ago. Drool because, well, I am just that tired.)

Tomorrow Ish and I are going to Tahoe for a week, after which point I might be able to remember my name.

And have some stories to tell.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Because It's Still Me

I got my period this morning, a good week-and-a-half early.

This is really quite fantastic for many reasons. Not the least of which is additional hormonal instability during my busiest week of the year. But of course, I can also look forward to meeting my fellow bloggers and sponsors with extra water weight and acne, plus with the back pain and propensity toward weeping...? AWESOME.

Friday, July 04, 2008

My Jesus Year

Hey, remember that time I had a blog?

So, today's the 4th of July and also my birthday. I am 33. This seems totally implausible to me, seeing as I don't really really believe I ever turned 30, and am still kind of amazed I'm even of drinking age.

Ish bought me the Flight of the Conchords DVD and the complete third season of Columbo. You may not think this is romantic, but I am absolutely tickled by Columbo (bad hair, crazy lip gloss, hilarious dialogue, smoking in offices, rich drunk people, and a certain kind of objectification of women you just can't find on tv these days -- what's not to love?). He also got me Rock Band for the Wii.

Our only plans for the whole day are to enjoy these gifts, perhaps with some booze.

This was never how a younger version of me would have expected me to spend my 33rd birthday, but -- save for being a little closer to my family -- I really couldn't be happier.

Happy Fourth!