Friday, August 29, 2008
Ish and I arrived in Massachusetts last night, and we're currently staying at my sister's place with her husband, Brian, and my nephew, Charlie. On the surface, I have adjusted to Healy not being 12 anymore, but her having a son who speaks? Whoa. Last night, she walked into the house wearing a very nice outfit and heels, with her hair cut and styled in a very grown-up way. Apparently, Healy is also a professional. Hmph. I mean, while I am well aware that my sister has a very busy and important job, I still sort of expect to see her with lopsided pigtails coming up with new names for her pet log and singing songs from musicals where she pronounces words wrong and with much gusto, such as singing Joseph (from The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) JO-FUS!
Anyway. We're leaving any minute now to drive up to Maine, where my youngest sister is getting married on Sunday. The ceremony and cocktail hour(s) is taking place on a ferry, and the reception is taking place at the wharf. All kinds of traditional and New Englandy.
It will be fantastic to get to see everyone. The Sammis "family" is less about blood relations and more about the fun, silly, wonderful group of people who have graced my and my sisters' lives since my parents were young. And it will be even more fantastic to see them all for a happy occasion. It's been too long, and it's been too sad.
So...I probably won't have an opportunity to blog much over the next few days, but I will do my best to at least post photos.
(Note: I do NOT promise to post any photos of me in a bridesmaid's dress. Just want to manage your expectations.)
Friday, August 22, 2008
I don't know if you're on Twitter yet.
(Isn't that obnoxious? How I used the word "yet" as though your Twittering were an inevitability? As though I'm partaking in something so wonderful and enlightening that eventually you will have to give in and be cool like me, except because you aren't doing it yet you will never be as cool as I am, because I was doing it before you? Yeah, let's start again.)
I don't know if you're on Twitter. But if you are, please feel free to follow me. I will reciprocate, assuming I don't get the Fail Whale.
(Ooh! Now I'm using fancy Twitterlingo!) (Well, except I made up the word "Twitterlingo.")
As I have mentioned, I'm there as "kristysf."
Also, Ish is there. Uh, as Ish.
Along with many of our friends.
It's a good
Or, in my case, it's a perfect opportunity for your boyfriend to out you and your pantsless, martini-drinking behaviors.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I've been particularly moody today. In addition to not feeling "right" (physically or emotionally), my sister's wedding is in about a week, and I'm totally under-prepared for it. I have no doubt it will all go well, but I feel very un-useful and lame. Especially since I haven't finished unpacking my suitcase from when I went to Tahoe. IN JULY.
All of this is to say, mope mope mope blah blah blah, I drove home to my apartment today to find a car parked in front of my building's garage entrance. And this did not make me any happier.
In fact, I came into my apartment and called the number Google told me to, and now I have some Meter-Person (is "MeterMaid" un-PC?) coming to ticket or call in or whatever it is they do to cars that are illegally parked. Note: I'm supposed to be down there waiting for the Meter-WhosieWhatsit. I am instead writing this.
The truth is, there was a (street) parking place available directly in front of the dumb person blocking the garage entrance. So I am technically parked next to my building. Which means that, all in all, this isn't the greatest inconvenience for me.
Or rather, it wouldn't be. But because I'm me, all the way up to my apartment I was envisioning how angry I'd be if I came down to my parked car tomorrow and found it had been broken into. And then for the next several minutes, I ran through all the worst-case scenarios in my head, until I was convinced that if I didn't get the car towed and get my car safely parked in the garage, I would go downstairs tomorrow to find a band of homeless people smoking crack in my backseat, and using my front seats for firewood.
This is how it came to be that I have to go meet the PC-Meter-Attendant downstairs right now, to follow up on my phone call.
Especially because I did not know the street numbers for the alley behind my building, I did not know the make or model of the obstructing car ("it's red, though!"), and damn it. If I'm going to go through the effort of calling someone to my apartment to move an errant car, I'm going to do it right.
* * * * * *
I have returned.
While I waited for the MeterLady to arrive, I sat in my car and read a book, appreciative of the fact that this evening, there was only one homeless person outside my building. Tonight's lone sidewalk-sitting dude was very hippy-esque and kind of well dressed, and quite possibly a college professor. He was sitting cross-legged against a wall and had a backpack. I was trying to figure out if he was a nearby resident or homeless...until he pulled out a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag, and began sipping from it manically.
Definitely a professor.
Eventually the MeterLady did arrive. She took down some numbers and then asked me to open the garage door. I believe this was to prove that I am a resident and therefore calling with a real complaint, not just to be a bitch. (Uh, not just to be a COMPLETE bitch.)
I opened the garage door. She said I could go.
I do not know how long I am supposed to wait before seeing if the car is towed (so that I can safely-ish park my car), but here I am in my apartment again. Blogging this most uneventful story.
For the record? I didn't know this story would be so boring. I thought that I would go out and the MeterMaid would be some hot MeterDude and then I'd have an unfortunate flirting accident or something. I would be humiliated, and then I'd have a great story to tell you.
Instead, I give you:
PICTURE OF CAR HALF PARKED IN FRONT OF MY BUILDING'S GARAGE. NOTE THAT IT IS "RED." NOTE ALSO THAT THE FACT THAT THIS PHOTO IS TAKEN FROM INSIDE THE GARAGE MAKES IT 0.002% MORE INTERESTING.
If I were to try and make a real, actual point, I might say that WOW. I am climbing the San Francisco Rites of Passage ladder with alarming speed. Because Rookies? They have their cars towed (I had my car towed twice in the first four months I lived here). But the Experts? They have others' cars towed.
And then they blog about it.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I also managed, finally, to eke out a post about Project Runway even though this season has been a big fat disappointment.
God, I hope next week's drag queens help.
Anyway, you can find my recap here. I liken Joe to David Brent from the British version of The Office. I decide that Kenley reminds me of the Queen of Hearts from Disney's Alice in Wonderland. (Okay, so it's a stretch, but the designers are not exactly producing much blog fodder.) And I don't know what else. Just go man up and read it.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I could probably write three novels about this without even once coming up for air, but I'll save you from that. (You're welcome.) Here's what I think it all boils down to:
I never liked going to the doctor growing up because it's boring and uncomfortable. From the first time my pediatrician had a conversation with my mother in front of me about how large my breasts were for my age and don't worry if one grows at a different pace than the other, that's perfectly natural, I have felt like the doctor's office is the place to go to feel bad about yourself. I was only nine or ten then, and wanted to pretend I didn't have boobs at all. Hearing that not only would they continue to grow, but that one might outgrow the other made me fear for dear life. Because, sorry, there was no way I was going to leave the house with oversized, irregular breasts.
God, wasn't middle school the best?
Not a couple years later, the doctor's office is where I would go to be reminded that I needed to watch my weight. Nevermind that I had the hormones of a girl five+ years older than me. Doctors and nurses would look at my age and height and see that I weighed more than I "should" and tsk at me and discuss the merits of not eating sweets. It would have been nice if they'd also looked at my boobs, hips and ass, because that might explain a thing or two (or three). "Sweets" wasn't exactly the core problem.
I've just had a lot of doctors I haven't liked.
For this reason, along with my general life philosophy, by the time I became an adult, I'd developed a keen sense of how to fix any bodily ailment: ignore it till it goes away.
Oh, sure, maybe this isn't the most effective form of treatment. But I'll have you know that my "ignore it" approach is actually quite balanced out. Because while I'm busy not going to the doctor, I am also filled with a super keen sense of: whatever it is that's bothering me is probably huge and horrible and going to kill me.
I am afraid that if I go to the doctor, I will be diagnosed with something awful. That scratch on my leg? Probably ebola. Heartburn? Most certainly a heart attack. (I did force Ish to rush me to the hospital for that once. I can laugh at it now, but clearly I have issues.)
And to be fair, I have issues for a reason. Everyone thinks you're a hypochondriac until you get cancer.
Whoa, way to drop the bomb on this post, K.
Sorry, I know. But let's just say I'm not so much with the perspective.
My mother was a classic hypochondriac, if there is such a thing. She always had these mysterious issues and pains and fatigue and hormonal imbalances. (She also drank coffee all day long and smoked and drank.) Regardless, I don't think she ever got one single helpful diagnosis. I know they didn't take her very seriously when she started complaining of weird digestive issues, which turned out to be the tip of her cancer iceberg.
So when I hear myself complaining about random ailments and worrying about stupid stuff, I want you to say, "I'm sure it's nothing," and I want to believe you. But the truth is, that phrase has a pretty hollow ring to it given that my mom died of cancer at age 53 (followed four years later by my dad). In fact, I want nothing more than to believe it's nothing. I'm just... I will forever be haunted by the time it wasn't nothing, by the times it was something, something big and bad and ugly and worse that never went away. I'm scared to go to the doctor and have my own personal worst fears confirmed. Again.
I haven't been feeling "right" for a few months now, especially as "right" pertains to some of my girl parts, and I'm finally seeing someone about it. I have a doctor's appointment today with a new doctor. Just a "routine" check-up, just to see what's going on. (The nurse I spoke with to schedule the appointment said, and I quote, "That sounds like it could be nothing, or it could be something." Uh, yeah. Here's to hoping it's "nothing.")
But I'm finally opening up about my great, (somewhat) irrational fears here because I honestly don't know and want to hear from people outside my own head: Is this the kind of thing normal people do all the time? I mean, if something bothers you, do you just call the doctor, get checked out, and go about your life? Is that really how it works?
I can't even fathom that.
If something bothers me, I try to ignore it completely while my subconscious works on coming up with a list of all the devastating diagnoses I could end up with, I fret endlessly, I eventually mention my ailment/concerns to Ish, he reassures me, and it either goes away or I eventually, reluctantly and with great trepidation call a doctor.
So I get that I'm crazy, but I'm curious -- how does it work for you?
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Update: Diagnosis? Normal, boring. Still need a few test results "just to rule some things out" but my new doctor says my lady parts are seem a-okay. (Well, except she didn't use the term "lady parts.")
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I remember pouring over those stupid catalogs when I was little, the ones that sold t-shirts and balloons that can be PERSONALIZED! ("customized" wasn't a big word then) to announce that [your name here] is over the hill! I distinctly remember a series of products that said, "Lordy, Lordy, Edward's 40." (For the record, I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but that? That will be lodged in my brain forever. Awesome.)
Anyway, it's tough. I can't speak for Ish. I don't know what he's feeling exactly because I am not in his shoes. But I do know he's not feeling very excited. He is not throwing any parties with PERSONALIZED! balloons. He is not whooping it up and shouting from rooftops the way his, uh, girlfriend might. He didn't even take a day off -- in fact, he got up early to go to the gym before work.
And of course, I have to let him have his time and his space and his celebration however he wants it. Or doesn't want it. It's his to choose.
But I do get to say a few things here, from my perspective, as me. Because today, my boyfriend -- my friend, my partner, my laughing buddy, my lover, my love -- turns 40. And I think that's pretty fantastic.
It isn't easy starting over. I'm not sure that he thinks of it that way, but that's pretty much what Ish did. He took the safe, warm, comfortable life he was living and he rattled his cage. (Rattled it but good.) The result was painful and scary and lonely.
But I don't know the half of it. It wasn't just the gut-wrenching demise of his marriage, of course; it was all that came before and after. Things I don't know and can't know because they were his, and they were then.
We all have our thens.
I just know the now. The since. The Ish with battle wounds, who's learned a thing or two or twelve million.
And I really, really like him.
Speaking from my own experience, though, it is kind of bullshit.
It takes us a whole long time to live and learn and get to know our real selves. It's so unfair that we can't stop the aging process in the meanwhile.
If you're going to start over, if you're going to take what you've learned and apply it to the aftermath of whatever disaster it was that taught you damn near everything, you should get a reset button. Do over. Subtract that last year, please. Or five. Or you know what? Let's just do our twenties over again -- once more with feeling!
Because now you know better, and I get it. You want to take your battle-wounded self and stay in the body of a dashing 28-year-old forever.
I get, too, that Ish can't help but look back on all he's done and marvel, albeit with a dose of melancholia, at his life's ever-windy path. I know he's pretty happy with where he is now, but I also know he didn't see "here" coming. (Jesus, who ever does?)
I think Ish is trying to figure out how it's possible that he's done as much as he has, and still feel like he's just at the beginning. Age 40, sans reset button.
And I feel like shouting: Hey buddy, this IS just the beginning! This party is just! Getting! Started!
That's how I feel. That's what I believe.
We ventured out and traveled and got jobs and tried things on and lived and loved and hit a few (thousand) bumps in the road. And we picked ourselves up and brushed ourselves off and what do you know? Things (eventually) got better. And better. And there's no reason to think they won't keep winding and changing and uh, bettering.
Look. 40 isn't what it used to be.
40 is whatever you want it to be.
Like a giant, wonderful stepping-off point.
Ish can take all that he's learned and all that he is and walk comfortably into the next phase of his life, ready to take it on. He is a genuinely good, genuinely whole human being. (Who, by the way, could give any dashing 28-year-old a run for his money.)
I don't doubt that his next 40 years will be amazing.
40? Totally PWND! by you.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
except I think it's totally worth reclaiming.
According to dictionary.com, hussy is:
1. a brazen or immoral woman.
2. a mishievous, impudent, or ill-behaved girl.
Man. All this John Edwards' bruhaha makes me sad, and not for the reason everyone else seems to be. I'm disappointed in him, of course. The hypocrisy is painful and hubris undeniable. I do not think what he did is totally okay.
But um...Do I think it's a little bit okay?
Well, yeah. Kinda.
I mean, it doesn't make me think much less of him politically (meaning, I still believe in his platforms); it doesn't make me hate him; it doesn't make me think he's less of a human being. He gets moved down a few pegs in the "I think he's a great guy" category for sure. But it doesn't remove him from the "good guy" category altogether, not in my world. And I certainly don't throw his peg to the ground, stomp on it, spit on it, and curse the day he was born.
I seem to find myself in the minority on that one.
When I first started this blog, I wrote about my dating life but not about the sex part. I did this primarily because everyone in the world who I am related to reads this blog. And also the people I worked with. Plus friends I didn't know so well. And three-plus years later that's all still true, except occasionally Ish's mom and sister (Mish and Sish -- I know it's cheesy, just go with it) read too.
I can't say from personal experience, but I can pretty well guess that I would not want to read details about my son's sex life on his girlfriend's public blog. Heebie-jeebie city.
But there is an also, also.
I also, also don't write much about sex because I think it's every bit as controversial as politics and religion. Or rather -- I think that my views on and experience with sex are controversial. And while I'm pretty okay with talking about those things (my views and experience), opening the door to talk about one's sexuality seems to mean opening the door to alllll kinds of judgment. At least in the blogging world.
ON THE OTHER HAND. When things like the Edwards affair happen, I am always shocked at the response. There is almost no discourse. It is an open-and-shut case of him being a sinful man whose scarlet letter may eventually fade but will never disappear. And I don't totally get it.
So before I get on with some of my finer hussy-ish points, I do want to give a big ole' bloggy eyeroll to Mr. Edwards. You cannot be that high-profile and not get caught. I don't agree with a lot of the disgust and outrage over his affair, but DUH. Of course there IS disgust and outrage. And that is what disappoints me the most: Of course it was going to go down like this, down in flames. He could have brought the party down with him.
Anyway. Why I'm a hussy.
I don't actually know how I feel about pure, straight-up monogamy. I'm not even sure what I think "monogamy" is.
[For the record, I also don't think that polyamory works in the long run. In my experience (hussy!), it creates more problems than it solves, someone always gets hurt, and at the end of the day I just want to be with my one partner, in as close to a monogamous relationship as possible.]
My sister and I got into a huuuuuuge fight once about strip clubs. Healy's view (shared, I should point out, by several of my female friends) is that men who are in a committed relationship should not go to strip clubs. Moreover, they should not even WANT to go. Men should want only to see their partner, the one they've chosen, the one they love, the one they have selected to be intimate with.
I think you can sign up to only be with one person forever. But I do not think you can only ever think about being with one person forever. So the issue becomes: what do you do about that "thinking about other people" part?
My personal approach is to be as open, honest, and understanding about it as I can be. I believe in leeway. I believe in exploration and fantasy. I try not to think in black-and-white terms. I try to talk to my partner about everything.
Personally, I'm totally down with porn. (Hussy!) Okay, sure, most of it SUCKS, but that's not the point. Neither is the point that so much porn is degrading to women. For what it's worth, I don't think the solution is to eradicate porn; I think the solution is to open the discussion and produce better material. (I have the same contention with the video gaming industry. It's not that women don't like or want to play video games as much as men, it's that the games are made for men on quests to kill things. I wish the industry would stop being so myopic. Why do you think The SIMS and the Wii are so friggin' popular? If only they'd come out with the porn equivalent of the Wii...)
I also think strip clubs are um, interesting. (I do think they're more silly than sexual, a la Here is some cash for having pretty, naked boobs! Can I have another $12 beer now?)
Perhaps most importantly, I don't think that any and all physical contact between my partner and another person is strictly off-limits. The only super important qualifier is that anything he does must be with my consent. In return, I get the same leeway.
(Is that shocking? Is that normal? Living in SF has kind of messed with my baseline understanding of how most relationships work.)
It's hard to give examples of how this has played out without getting too personal about me and Ish. But a few fictional examples come to mind.
I mean, I suppose there was the movie, Indecent Proposal. Remember that? I was in high school at the time, but my thinking on the subject has not changed. If someone is going to offer me a million dollars to have emotionally unattached sex with a fifty-something Robert Redford, I am going to take it. (Hussy!)
Not that this has ever happened to me and Ish, mind you, but if it did, I'm fairly certain we could go merrily about our relationship a million bucks richer.
Another example that comes to mind: Ross and Rachel were on a break. I mean, seriously. If you dump me, and I immediately go out and have meaningless sex with someone, then you change your mind and then get mad at me for how I behaved because you broke up with me, the issues are on your side of the table.
Then there was that scene in Love Actually. There's that one guy who's in love with his best friend's new wife. And the guy tries to hide it, but he eventually comes to her door and confesses. And while she does not return his feelings and stays with her husband, she runs out after the confessor and gives him a kiss. I thought nothing of this except, "Aww, that's sweet." But one of my friends thought it was an infuriating act of infidelity on the woman's part. That gave me pause. So I thought about it, and decided it depended on what she did when she went back inside.
I think it's perfectly okay if you go back to your husband and explain the situation.
Because here is my point I think.
We are lusty creatures and sex is fun and great and wonderful and it's barely arguable that it's in our nature to want to hump pretty much all the time with lots of other people. And while absolutely some folks seem more hump-inclined than others, you can't deny there's also all kinds of unhealthy repression going on. Why all the sex shame? I just don't get why we work so hard at trying to pretend we don't have sexual desire, or why such desire is bad.
But that's probably because I'm a hussy.
However. No matter how "loose" my physical rules are, I draw the line at emotional infidelity. I don't want to be with someone who has real, competing feelings for someone else. I mean, if you don't want to be with me the most, why would I want to be with you? But running out into the street to give a good-bye kiss to someone you care about as a friend is, to me, perfectly acceptable.
Whereas I think affairs are horrible and divisive. Not because of the physical part, but because of the emotional part. The decision the adulterer makes to hide something important from his/her partner. Where does that come from? What led up to it? An affair is never the root problem; it's an expression of the root problem.
And so, if you address the root of the problem and fix it, does that make the affair okay? I have no idea. Maybe sometimes, for some people. Maybe never for others. I don't think there's one rule.
And ultimately, I wish we could talk about that. I wish that the conversation could get beyond the scarlet letter handbook. I would like to acknowledge that couples can define their commitments to each other differently, and that "differently" doesn't have to mean "immoral" or "indecent."
No matter how much I like the term hussy.
This entry turned out to be far less juicy and confessional than I had expected, but I guess it's a good starting point. I suspect you have lots of thoughts on the matter anyway, yeah?
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Alright. So my posting every day thing for 30 days was a pipe dream. I have been blogging every day, I just haven't created a finished product every day. The point is that lots of posts are in the works.
This takes precedence.
Please click on the link, please read the site, please contribute if you can.
And please please pass this along. Because these crazy intertubes can do amazing good sometimes.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
How are things with you and Pete? you, they, everyone asks.
They're great, I say, knowing it to be true. Mostly. Definitely. Probably. I think. I mean, I know. I think. I hope.
We have a good relationship and we talk a lot about everything. We discuss our future. We discuss marriage and kids. But you know? We also discuss not getting married, not having kids. We extol the virtues of our current jobs and career prospects in the Bay Area in the same breath we discuss moving to Chile or New Zealand or China. We discuss saving enough money for a down payment on a home in the same conversation that we discuss Ish quitting his job to work on comedy full-time.
You'd think we were in our early twenties to hear us talk.
Except we aren't and really, what are we doing?
He is not ready. He is not ready to sign up for it all over again. Not now, not yet. Not ever? No, someday.
I want very much to be brave and independent and not care and be my own woman -- I am my own woman -- but I cannot pretend I don't think about commitment. Of course I do.
Is it going to happen? I don't know. And in the meantime, what is there to do but talk about it, ask about it, discuss possibilities, and -- ultimately -- wait?
I'm older and wiser and independent and strong and still, the only thing for me to do is wait. How crazy is that?
Well, okay, no -- I guess "waiting" isn't the ONLY thing. There is The Other alternative. You can come to this point in the relationship and say, "Enough." You can say, "You must." You can give a time frame, "By _____ or else."
Yes, my invisible friends. You can be Scary Ultimatum Girl.
But good lord. No one ever, Ever, EVER wants to be Scary Ultimatum Girl. I do not want to be Scary Ultimatum Girl. Why would I be Scary Ultimatum Girl? I don't have a need to be.
And so if it all boils down to "wait" or "don't wait," (aka "stay" or "go"), I will wait and stay.
I guess I'm just putting this out here to see it in writing. To preempt the questions I'm fielding with more and more regularity, from friends and family and coworkers and strangers but mostly my own head:
I don't know when. I don't even know if. But I choose stay.
Monday, August 04, 2008
As you might know, I occasionally help my friends at MidSeason Replacements with some recapping. Now that work has settled down just a wee bit, I am recapping Project Runway every other week, starting with episode 3.
My summary is entitled:
I sat down to do my first Project Runway recap and realized there are like three hundred contestants this season. Every time there’s a group shot I’m all, “Wait, who is THAT?” I mean, you’ve got the sun-tanning maniac, the leather fetishist, third-person Suede, Bettie Page, two girls who are indistinguishable except for one has bangs, and then I don’t know. Like 72 others.
This makes it very hard to keep track of who’s good, who’s sucking, and who I’m supposed to hate. Still, I’m willing to try.
Holla atcha boy.
Episode 3 begins with someone named Daniel talking about how he’s sad Wesley is gone. And I’m like, yeah, it’s too bad Wesley is gone becaus–HUH? WHO IS DANIEL? I swear I have never seen him before in my life.
Hmm. Moving on...
You can read the rest of the recap here.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Can't. Stop. Looking.
DailyKos Commenters Discussing BlogHer '08 (And Getting Almost Everything About It Wrong And Making Me Very, Very Crazy)
and pleasant and not screechy, unlike my rant below.
You can read her response here.
It is very hard to straddle the personal/professional blogging line. I don't specifically blog here, on my personal site, as an Official BlogHer Representative.
Except by nature of our company and my job and who I am and how I define myself, I am always an Official BlogHer Representative. I don't ever really take the hat off (Web 2.0+ just doesn't work that way). If I don't blog/comment anonymously -- and I don't -- I can always be linked to my professional persona and so.
So when Kos goes and writes a pretty darn interesting post about the current BlogHer '08 NYTimes coverage and its backlash, I watch the comments roll in and try not to have a stroke.
I do not comment there for lots of reasons, mostly because I don't want to fan the flames. I don't want to come across as defensive (which I am, though arguably with reason). I don't want to shout into the void. And also I don't want to say the wrong thing and piss the wrong person off.
But I can spout off here, as me. Right?
Please take my words as my own, and (as much as possible) not those of someone who works for BlogHer.
(Or, you know, as someone who spent the last year of her life planning this event which several commenters are now waxing philosophical about without having the slightest idea of who we are or what we do.)
* * * * * * * *
The gist of what's going on is this: BlogHer had a conference. (Perhaps you heard about it?) It got all kinds of media coverage, including a piece in the New York Times. The New York Times article was written by a Styles editor, and so/then/therefore the article appeared in the Fashion & Style section of the paper.
This suggested that the Times didn't take BlogHer '08 as seriously as it could have.
BlogHer '08 happened during the same weekend as the Netroots Nation event. Netroots Nation is a progressive, political blogging convention that took place in Austin. (It used to be called YearlyKos.) Given that it is a popular, liberal political event, Netroots Nation had bigger-named politicos in attendance than BlogHer did.
It was interesting then, to compare the New York Times' coverage of Netroots Nation to the New York Times' coverage of BlogHer.
- Comparing the Netroots Nation event to the BlogHer event is comparing apples to oranges.
- Comparing any media coverage of the Netroots Nation event to the BlogHer event is also comparing apples to oranges.
HOWEVER, and also OH MY GOD, here is where this discussion takes a bad, unfair, maddening and downright condescending turn -- when the "discussion" about the coverage of the events goes something like this:
Netroots Nation is important because it's political. BlogHer can't expect to be taken as seriously because it's about women bloggers or something.
Thankfully, Markos himself seems to suggest (and I'm paraphrasing liberally) that a political event is easier to cover "seriously" because it is a political event. It gets written about by political journalists. It goes in the politics section. Done and done. BlogHer '08 has many a purpose and many stories within it; some are, in fact, about "trends." But some are also about politics or parenting or business, and that's --arguably-- just not as easy to capture in a headline.
But the comments on Kos are making my eye all twitchy and my heartburn all flarey.
My overall frustration and disappointment is that many of the commenters are making these horribly ill-informed assumptions that, while intended to be kind, are the very root of the problem. They are assuming we're small, under-represented, in need of help.
None of these things are true.
So let me ask: why do you think they think so?
Ultimately, the comments do a great job at illustrating the extent to which the foremost community of women bloggers is not taken seriously. Several well meaning, well intentioned, progressive, liberal folks -- even self-proclaimed feminists -- are commenting in defense of BlogHer, and still demeaning the organization. They are making assumptions that stem not from fact, but from their own interpretation of Kos' post...and their own personal, embedded beliefs.
* * * * * * *
It's too bad BlogHer planned their event for the same weekend as Netroots Nation. Maybe next year they'll learn.
- BlogHer and NN were in discussions about our respective proposed conference dates well before either date was set. BlogHer announced its dates and location six weeks before Netroots Nation. NN knowingly hosted their conference on the same weekend as Blogher did, due to some unavoidable venue/logistics issue on their end. It is amazing to me how many people assume BlogHer was clueless about when NN was going to be, and/or that we planned our event after they did. Where does this assumption come from?
If only BlogHer knew how to market themselves, they'd have more people interested in attending...
- BlogHer's event is not exactly a cute little undertaking, eclipsed in size by the giant Netroots Nation. NN, from my understanding, had about 2000 attendees. BlogHer had well over 1000 attendees registered, and a wait-list of close to 250. We were turning people away at the door. (Side note: WORST FEELING EVER.) Our venue simply couldn't hold more people. The point is that we are far from hard-pressed to get people to come to the event. (Why would we be?)
- Market ourselves?
- Market ourselves?
"Politics" is simply more "interesting" and "newsworthy" than whatever it is that goes on at "the BlogHer..."
According to what or to whom? And, uh, why?
- BlogHer is not a political event per se, though politics is certainly one of our focuses. (And sure, I think a grassroots assemblage of any
- The event is also not specifically for MommyBloggers (although let's not even get started on the "mommyblogging isn't as serious as political blogging" debate). Lots of moms attend (and several dads, too) and we have sessions related to them. We also have lots of non-moms, politicos, geeks, singles, etc etc etc etc. in attendance. Of the 30 -- yes, THREE-OH-- break-out sessions and four keynotes plus a full-day of OpenSpace, a whopping total of FIVE sessions were devoted to issues under the MommyBlogging umbrella.
- The BlogHer organization/founders did not bring about this comparison of news coverage. In fact, no "official spokesperson" for BlogHer did. The coverage issue was brought about by the community. I do, personally, think we should have gotten more/better press, but it's not like we didn't get any -- there was plenty of media covereage, and much of it was wonderful.
- LASTLY, I just want to say that it is beyond frustrating to me to read comments from folks who think BlogHer is purposeless, without an agenda, unfocused and/or floundering as an organization based on the "fact" that they have never heard of us. I will bet you dollars to donuts that for every member of the Kos community who's never heard of BlogHer, there is a member of BlogHer who has never heard of Kos.
I did appreciate the commenters who took the time to post our mission, to explain what we're about, to help keep the conversation civil.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Friday, August 01, 2008
The internet is kind of magical, and also mysterious and crazy. (I can well vouch for the crazy part, hi.)
And so through its magical, mysterious ways I was given an opportunity to buy furniture from JCPenney.com and review my experience. Except I can't do it here because I'm running ads from an Ad Network that I'd prefer not to piss off. *cough*
(Hi Jenny! I'm following the rules!)
So now you HAVE to go over to my ad-hoc review site, which hosts all of ONE review, but involves LOTS AND LOTS of pictures, and cats, and photos of my apartment, and the grossest thing I have ever done for the sake of blogging and shopping.
(And learn about bunching cubes!)