The Blathering: Part Deux

So Chicago?  Was a MAJOR whirlwind.  I truly can’t believe that less than a week ago I hopped on a plane and flew halfway across the country to hang out with a few people that I had met once before, and some that I had never met at all.  Does that sound strange to you?  Because when I actually write it down it sounds strange to me.  But in reality, it made so much sense it was scary. 

About a week before the trip I started telling friends and co-workers that I was going to Chicago to hang out with my “friends inside the computer” when they asked about my trip.  We’d all have a little chuckle but there would always be a pause because, “Wait…what? Was she serious?” 

Yes, totally serious. 

But you see, that’s the thing about the blogging and the internet — if you’re not that into it, it kind of does seem totally strange and abnormal — like football or boxing or Snooki.  But when you really get into it — it totally makes perfect sense.  For me, I think my attitude about blogging and the internet all changed at The Blathering last year. 

I’ve been blogging since 2006, and reading blogs since, well..forever, it seems.  Being a person who loves to write, it’s just kind of hobby that makes sense to me.  But I had never really embraced “the culture of blogging.”  Yes, I know that was a totally douchey phrase.  What I mean is I had never gone to BlogHer, I wasn’t dying for Dooce to send me a tweet,  I didn’t consider Maggie Mason my mentor.  I was just a blogger, I wasn’t a Blogger…you  know?  And then along came The Blathering – 2009.  Being that it was in Sacramento, I told myself that I was just meeting up with some other writers in my hometown, no biggie.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Sure it was a bit anxiety inducing, but I was mostly in my comfort zone.  I was at home and if it was awful I could just hop back in my car and drive back to my house rolling my eyes at all the weirdos I left behind.  But then, the exact opposite happened.  

Every single person that I met in Elizabeth’s backyard last Fall was a delight, and after that weekend, opening my Reader and following the happenings of all of their lives last year made me absolutely fall in love with the way this silly blogging community connects people.  It’s more than stats and traffic, drama and popularity.  It is extraordinary people living ordinary lives and sharing their stories with each other, something that happens so infrequently in our busy everyday lives.  Really sharing.  It tugs at my heart strings a little when I think about all of the experiences and changes that this small group of women went through this past year, and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I got to be a part of it all just because of this little blog right here. 

So this year, when the opportunity presented itself to buy a stupidly expensive plane ticket to Chicago, and fly half way across the country to spend a weekend with people I didn’t know at all in the hopes that there would be that thing — that intangible element of humanity and friendship and connection that writing this blog has introduced me to before — I obviously jumped at the chance.  And because I did, I met some delightful, intelligent, hysterical, and exciting ladies whose lives I cannot wait to watch unfold this year.  Friends that I’m excited to share my own stories with.  Women who I know will provide fantastic advice.  Ladies who I know will cheer me on through the highs and lows of this coming year — and for which I hope to do exactly the same.  

So as much as The Blathering was about this past weekend — eating deep dish pizzas, navigating public transportation, searching for the perfect pair of jeans on Michigan Avenue, having late night conversations in bars listening to David Bowie, drinking one too many cocktails, laughing until my stomach hurt over the stories of our lives — what makes me the most excited is the future.  Where will we all go?  What will we do?  How will our lives be different a year from now? 

What will happen because of this one strange weekend with a bunch of friends from inside the computer? 

I’m so incredibly lucky that I get to find out.

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I know I’ve been a blogging slacker lately but after this weekend, that will all change I’m sure.  I’m off to The Blathering this weekend in Chicago for 48 hours of fun and fabulousness, and aside from the fact that my plane leaves in about 12 hours and I haven’t packed, I couldn’t be more excited. 

See ya on the flipside!



13 Things You Should Know If You Have Never Met Me

Do you know what is scary? Making friends as an adult.

You move to a new place, don’t know a soul — I mean, who do you invite over to watch Real Housewives of Atlanta and then discuss how trashy Kim is? Who gets you motivated after you fall off the fitness wagon and skip the gym for the frumdillionth time? Who do you talk to about the crazy people that you just spent 5 hours with in the waiting room of Kaiser’s Urgent Care?

I’ve been lucky enough, since moving to Sacramento, to make some great friends at work, through Junior League, and of course some of my besties have ended up moving to this area. But do you know where I did not expect to make friends?

This blog.

When I started this blog in 2006 I did it to have a space to pour out all the crazy drivel brewing up in my head throughout the day. But instead, I have had interactions with people from ALL OVER THE PLACE, and I never would have guessed how meaningful or exciting that would be.

That being said, I am meeting a bunch of fun bloggy peeps this weekend at The Blathering. I still can’t believe someone organized something here in little ol’ Sac and can I tell you, the roster is chock full of some of my favorite people to read. I can’t wait to meet these ladies in person. And with that in mind, here are a few things you should know about me, if we have never met:

1. I am loud and obnoxious. I’m telling you this because whenever I meet people at first they think I am really quiet and polite. It’s cute.

2. I don’t shy away from discussing polarizing issues, so I’m just going to come out and say I like Rachael Ray. I don’t always like her food, but I think she is a pretty inspiring entrepreneur and certainly likeable to the vast majority. That’s about as polarizing as I get, so if you want to have a heavy conversation that involves lots of healthy debate, maybe talk to the gal sitting next to me?

3. I’m happy to be in my 30s and I don’t at all feel any sort of dread about aging, but the other day I looked an LL Bean catalog and thought everything was cute. I immediately ran to the mirror and looked at myself and said HOLY SHIT, I THINK I MIGHT BE GETTING OLD. Also, after many years of saying “I don’t know if I’ll have kids,” I am officially on the baby crack wagon and I want one. Like, Now. I guess I’m just saying I might be having a little bit of an identity crisis, so who knows what will come out of my mouth. Watch at your own risk.

4. Nothing really embarrasses me, so I freely make an ass out of myself on the regular. This is especially true once I get a cocktail or two in me. That being said, I pretty much want to crawl under a pillow when I watch the audition portions of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Earnest effort (when the byproduct is awful and all of America is laughing) makes me turn fuschia!

5. I like to do things that scare me a little. If I’m not challenged, I get bored.

6. In the past I have been prone to snap judgments. If you would like to read about what a bitch I was to my boyfriend when I first met him, solely based on his previous employer and the amount of gel in his hair, read this. It almost didn’t work out because I was all Judgy McJudgerpants and let me tell you, that taught me a valuable lesson.

7. Speaking of that boyfriend, he hates that I write about him on the internet. Yet he loves that I do arbitrary things like go to bloggy events where I meet strange people from the internet. He’s a contradiction, that fellow. But I guess that’s why I love him. Another reason? He looks a little bit like Penn Badgley and I have a baby crush on Dan from Gossip Girl.

8. I know I called you a strange person from the internet, but I don’t really think you’re strange. Actually the fact that are even going to The Blathering already makes you cool in my book because — hi, large groups of women you don’t know can be scary! To this day I still can’t believe I survived Sorority Recruitment.

9. I hate my hair right now.

10. My toes look like doll toes.

11. I have a sink full of dishes calling my name right now and I just told them to Eff Off! This is why I don’t work from home very often because I end up talking to the silverware. Also, I was serious when I mentioned in that questionaire how much I HATE doing dishes. I need a dish fairy!

12. I LOOOOOOOVE tomatoes. For a while I used to tell people that if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be tomatoes. But then I discovered sushi, and amended that answer quick!

13. My car does not have air conditiong. It is 900 degrees outside in Sacramento and I am delicate like a flower (ha!). The weather here does not really promote driving in a car with no air conditioning so if I show up somewhere and I’m hot as hell, and everyone else seems fine, it’s not because I have weird temperature control issues, it’s because I just drove through the fiery flames of hell to get here. I like to think of myself as dedicated, but you just may think of me as sweaty.

You’re excited to meet me now aren’t you?

Related: Things You Might Not Know An oldie, but informative and still true.

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