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No, the Red Stapler is not covered with spit

July 29, 2014

Thanks to my post mentioning a well-known blogger as my BlogHer roommate, I suddenly got lots of blog traffic. Hundreds more hits than usual, which is saying something, because my stats usually show low double-digit daily visits. If I made money off this blog (which I don’t), I’d be rolling in nickels!

Apparently She Who Shall Not Be Named (SWSNBN) is the focus of much internet criticism, and, due to my brief proximity in her presence, I became, briefly, a target as well.

I found the gossip site weird and hilarious. No detail was too small or too insignificant to be teased apart and analyzed. The commenters were especially thrilled to think that SWSNBN and I spent our time together discussing THEM, the almighty Hive Mind of Bloggy Gossip (in answer to that – no, not really. Sorry to disappoint).

The wild speculation made me laugh all day, though, so thanks for that. The only thing that pissed me off was that they spelled my name SueBob. Damn it! I hate intercaps! I guess this proves I am a diva – that I am most concerned about my name being spelled correctly.

Here are some of the wild assertions,debunked just for fun:

Is SueBob feeble minded, unable to think critically, or demented?
Absolutely not. Yes. I mean no. I’m not sure. Let me think on that.

Is SueBob under the mind control of SWSNBN?
I don’t think so. I gave her all my banking information and the pink slip to my car just to be nice, though. Was that a mistake?

Who spends 4 days in a hotel room with a complete stranger?
Well, not a complete stranger since we had spent time together before, but apparently two people who want to save about $400 each. And we didn’t really spend all that much time in the room. We were mostly out kicking kittens and pushing old people off bus benches.

SueBob changed critical comments and deleted SWSNBN’s name. Is she under the control of Brand.com?
I don’t know what Brand.com is, but if they’ll pay me enough to support me in the style to which I’d like to become accustomed, I will not only modify comments, I’ll paint myself pink and post video of the process. Maybe. Let me ask my lawyer first.

Why does she carry that stupid stapler around?
Good question. If you find out, please tell me.

I mean, I saw The Jerk and I don’t carry a thermos around.
Thermos!! That’s a great idea. So much lighter than that stapler, which is a real hunk of metal. I’d pick up my purse and think “Why does this weigh 25 pounds? Oh, yeah, STAPLER.”

Now, thinking of a shiny new Thermos as a prop, I can’t wait for next year’s BlogHer. (Seriously, if I ever get married, and that chance is looking increasingly remote, being as how I am both Very Old and that I hate most people, I want “I’m Picking Out a Thermos for You” from The Jerk as my walk-on song. Wait, that’s baseball. Do weddings have walk-on songs? Maybe I should know that before I plan my wedding.)

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Eeeew, people LICK that stapler, don’t they?
Here’s a little secret: those stapler photos are staged. It’s crazy how that works. It’s like ACTING. As far as I know, no one has actually salivaed the stapler, at least not on purpose. Gwen Bell did balance it on her skinny butt, but she was clothed, more or less.

I am so OVER SueBob.
You and me both, sister. You and me both. At least YOU can click away.

Freaks and Geeks

July 28, 2014

Things I Learned, Noticed, or Was Reminded of at BlogHer This Year:

1. We’re all freaks and geeks. All of us feeling like third-graders with a rip in the butt of our pants. We all feel like everyone is doing it better than we are, is more confident, prettier, more together. We’re all a little insecure, a little afraid, and sometimes lonely. Elan said she was feeling particularly alone when she overheard some women whispering to one another “There’s Schmutzie!” She was wishing they would talk to her, but they didn’t approach.

2. Letting others see our true selves can bring us closer together. In a small group, I admitted, even after 10 years, I still felt intimidated sometimes. A newbie thanked me profusely for admitting that, because she had been feeling the same way. Then Elan told the story from item 1 and I didn’t feel so bad about feeling like I was being too much of a loner so much of the time.

3. Hotel soap and shampoo is often stanky.

4. People who are true experts are often very generous with teaching what they know. It’s the bullshitters who act like they’re too good to share with others.

5. Giving someone very specific thanks is far more valuable than just saying “You’re awesome!” I told Awesomely Luvvie that she had made me laugh more than anyone else this past year. She just lit up. It would be easy to say she’s awesome (bcuz, obviously – Awesome is in her NAME) but calling out the thing she is best at was what made her happy.

6. Jenny Lawson can’t help but be funny. Dang.

7. The country song is pretty sappy, but I really do think you should dance.

8. Taking the Monday after BlogHer off is an excellent idea.

9. Swag is rarely worth taking time away from talking to your friends.

10. A granola bar in your purse is your best insurance policy in case of hummus wraps.

11. (Because this blog goes to 11): Taking red stapler pictures will never get old for me.

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Heather of Rookie Moms.

That’s a Wrap

July 27, 2014

As usual, not enough words to describe BlogHer 14. I didn’t go for the past 2 years and I didn’t miss it, other a few pangs of jealousy. I was glad I went this year, but I’m not sure if I will go again. Maybe there will never be another one. It feels sort of complete after 10 years. Who knows?

I roomed with A CERTAIN UNNAMED BLOGGER, whom I had only met once before for more than a moment. We had chatted for a few hours by the pool at Mom 2.0 last year, and she seemed nice enough. These things have always worked out well in the past, so in the interest of saving a couple hundred bucks, I chose a roommate over my hermithood. As has always happened before, we had a great time and ended up talking late into the night every night.

Just from being around blogging, I already knew THE CERTAIN UNNAMED BLOGGER was subject to a lot of internet aggression, but I was surprised to learn how much. She shared some of the details with me, and they’re vile and ugly. I won’t recap here, because I don’t like to give a thrill to the haters.

Talking to her, we found we both share the same philosophy – we ask ourselves at the end of the day “Was I kind? Was I helpful? Did I try my best?” If we can answer those three positively, we can sleep in peace. I don’t know what the haters do.

Good night.

[Edited to make less fun for haters.]

Thanks again

July 24, 2014

Last night I went to a tiny vegan cafe for plates of brown and odd-looking but tasty food with Elisa Camahort Page, one of the founders of BlogHer, and Cecily Kellogg of Uppercase Woman. (Cecily didn’t eat vegan food. She had had a steak earlier, being more of a meat-and-potatoes and less of a “something sort of made to resemble beef” type girl).

We’re in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley, at BlogHer, a tech conference. The motherland. I feel right at home. Here in the valley, I am kind of tech-lite, where in normal life I am more techy than 90 percent of the people I meet.

We talked and ate and then walked through downtown San Jose in the golden twilight to the Fairmont Hotel.

As we stood in the elegant lobby next to dueling grand pianos, we were approached by a woman in a maxi dress who was practically jumping with excitement.

“Are you bloggers?” she asked. “I’m at BlogHer and I’m looking for bloggers and just getting a little drunk!” she said.

She told us her name was Misty and she was from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We told her our names. Elisa modestly held back from telling Misty that she was the COO of BlogHer.

We listened as she told us the story. How she felt alone and had been a new mom and overwhelmed and how she just fell into blogging and found her tribe and her voice and now here she was, taking a risk and away from home and so, so excited about meeting everyone she loved and the whole big experience of a conference and and and…

It was like peering through the looking glass backward to nine years ago, to my first BlogHer, and it was so cute and so dear that I got a catch in my throat to see it all over again.

Misty’s blog is lovely – Life Where We Are. And she is the subject of the first Red Stapler photo this year:

photo 1

Before Misty had approached us, I had been trying to tell Elisa thanks for BlogHer and to express my admiration for this remarkable thing. Of course I ended up getting teary and not expressing myself well. It’s hard to express everything BlogHer is to me and the gratitude I have.

I just remember that second year (the first year I went), with 300 people, sitting around the pool. At the book sale, there were one or two books people had written. There were mmmmmmaybe a couple bloggers in business with one another.

Now I look over the past 10 years and see the successes. How many businesses has BlogHer launched? How many books have been written? How many creative projects have taken off? And all because of this remarkable container where brave, smart, enthusiastic women (and a few cool men) meet to encourage each other and to learn from one another.

This is an amazing event. No wonder I’m verklempt. So welcome to all the enthusiastic newbies like Misty. And thanks again to Elisa, Jory and Lisa. I’m, for the seventh time, thrilled to be here.

Onward!

July 18, 2014

I turned 53 the other day, which seems fairly horrifying to the 20-year-old who lives inside my brain. High school was more than 30 years ago.

I am, however, encouraged by something I heard the other day.

Some senior citizens were asked what surprised them most about aging. They said that they were amazed at how much they keep learning as they get older – that their new knowledge builds on all that had come before, in an exponential manner.

I thought about it. From 40 to 53, I grew and stretched in ways that would have been unimaginable to myself at age 20. At times, I even feel like a fairly functional adult human being.

If I learn more from 53 to 66 than I did in the past 13 years, I am going to be one genius of a senior citizen. Hold on world. Here I come.
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Birthday

July 8, 2014

It has been humid lately, the kind of warm damp that makes the bedsheets stick to your legs and get all wound up. The late sunsets make me never want to sleep.

I’m full of nervous energy all night and drowsy during the day. My dreams are about traveling, looping back again and again over the same old familiar territories that exist nowhere but there – the dream lake, the dream bridge, the dream island where the airport is, where I’m always missing my flight.

My birthday brought back memories. One night I had dinner with old friends and a woman who asked uncomfortable questions that made me laugh to try and keep from answering. The next I ate fancy tapas with newer old friends and held a study group during my birthday meal. We stopped studying long enough to eat chocolate souffle, though.

My birthday is over but I still have memories buzzing around my head. I try to wave them away, but they come back again and again.

Ban-nanas

July 1, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg, the author of “Lean In” and Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, says she wants to improve the lives of girls. She has gotten a lot of people on board with her – Beyonce, Condoleeza Rice, Jennifer Garner, Jane Lynch – and even the Girl Scouts.

So what are this illustrious collection of people up to? They have a website with some resources for leadership, but their main campaign – their raison d’etre – is a campaign to ban the word bossy.

Whaaat? You have the power of Facebook behind you, Sheryl. You have important friends. You have one zillion Girl Scouts. And your Big Idea is “Ban Bossy”?

Help me. Is it getting hot in here, and not in a “so take off all your clothes” kind of way? I mean seriously. This whole thing is making me talk like a parakeet.

This makes girls look weak, like they can’t handle a little word. You know how you handle girls being called “bossy”?

Say “It’s ok if people call you bossy. Being bossy is fine.”

Then you’ll have to have other talks about boundaries and taking people’s feelings and needs into account and so on but yeesh. It’s nothing to base a movement on.

How about fighting for educational opportunities? Or equal pay? Or better representation in legislatures? There are lots of things you can do for girls, Sheryl. Banning a word isn’t one of them.

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