Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BlogHer For Introverts.

I attended this year's BlogHer conference in Chicago. As one of the Voices of the Year, I thought I should go despite my acute introversion. I thought being named one of the Voices of the Year would propel me out of my shyness. In hindsight, that makes me laugh.

My husband and I drove from Detroit to Chicago and enjoyed the sights along the way.

We contemplated doing some Christmas shopping at the numerous retail outlets along the way. 

The Lion's Den seemed nice.

I especially liked the logo.

We stayed at the Radisson Blu which I insisted on calling the Radisson Bleu with a French accent filled with ennui. I should have called it the Radisson Bleh. Or the Radisson Meh. It was clean and modern yet soulless. I should offer to write their advertising copy.

It wouldn't be a blogging conference without taking some selfies so I did that in the hotel mirror. This strapless top was in danger of falling down all night. But I think that added to the thrill of being in the big city.

It wouldn't be Chicago without taking a picture of my husband in a bib. I made him wear it and nothing else later on at the Radisson Bleu. Me-ow.

Since I don't have a decent full-length mirror at home, I checked out my ass in all my pants and skirts. Don't lie. You do this too. You just have the good sense not to take a picture of it and post it on the internet.

Later, I wore a Jockey Fit Kit cup on my head and sang "Hello, My Baby" like that ragtime frog on Looney Toons. I regret not making a Vine video of this. For that, I apologize.

Once I established that meeting new people amongst the throngs of bloggers at the conference still gave me hives, I ditched the Saturday sessions and went sightseeing with my husband.

We took edgy photos in front of the art museum and felt like Bonnie and Clyde without the guns or the bags of cash. Okay, maybe I wasn't being "edgy" so much as "hungover." I shared a bottle of wine with this lady the night before:

The beautiful and witty Lexa of Lemmonex.

If you don't know Lemmonex you should get yourself over to her blog and introduce yourself. She's one of my best blogger buddies and this is our third tour of BlogHer together.

I also had the good fortune to spend time with the adorable and charming Sara of Animal Crackers. 

Sara taunting me with a picture of Sparty. Go Blue.

My husband was particularly excited to get photo evidence of me Instagramming during lunch. 

Mark my words, this photo will turn up as Exhibit A the next time I tell him to put away his phone at the table. Aren't lawyers precious? Don't ever argue with one. Trust me. Now you know why I wear tops that look as though they're about to fall down. It's the only way I can win an argument.

We also went out to dinner with my beloved Turhan, one of my best friends since middle school. 

Imagine us with stringed instruments and braces.

Turhan and I met in orchestra. He was last chair of violas and I was last chair of the violins. It was screechy kismet. He was kind enough to drag me out of my introverted shell and insisted that we be friends. I never knew what this terribly handsome and popular boy ever saw in me, but I was grateful for a friend.

I still am.

I also remain the same introverted dork who's not particularly good at meeting new people unless they drag me out of my shell by force, preferably in an orchestra pit. Thus I'm still not great at blogging conferences. I accept this as something that is not going to change anytime soon. And this is exactly why I brought my husband and made plans to meet up with wonderful friends who don't terrify me.

Thank you, friends.

Thank you, husband.

I will say the one event at BlogHer that you can't miss, even if you are paralyzed by introversion, is the Voices of the Year readings. Hearing these talented women read their work aloud for an enormous crowd is both mind-boggling and inspirational. They absolutely rocked it. They made those of us in the audience laugh until we were doubled over. They made us cry. They lifted us up and inspired us to keep on doing what we love. Even if we look like fools in the process.

Or at least they did that for me. Which is why I'm here blogging again, trying to come out of my introverted shell and write a bit more. If you'd like to read some of the amazing Voices of the Year posts, I recommend these: 

Zakary Watson from Raising Colorado read her hilarious post:

JC Little from The Animated Woman read her disturbing and funny post:

Shannon Bradley-Colleary from The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful:

Ann Imig of Ann's Rants inspirational and also funny post:

There were some others I enjoyed as well but I haven't been able to locate them yet. As soon as I do, I'll post them. Enjoy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

We Must. We Must. We Must Increase Our Bust.

I'm at the BlogHer conference in Chicago. If you're not familiar with it, BlogHer is the largest blogging conference and it hosts 5,000 bloggers at what has become an annual event for the past nine years. I'm terrible at conferences. I'm a horrible networker. I'm not good at crowds. I have a strong compulsion to hide in my hotel room and eat Peanut M&Ms. In fact, I may be doing that right now.

However, I did wander over to the conference hall this morning to register, to take in the opening remarks and to attend a session or two. While registering, I received a bag with some free samples. In it, I found a bag with a bunch of strange plastic dishes in it. Much to my disappointment, they were not ten cat dishes for all the cat ladies in attendance.

Turns out it was a fit kit for Jockey-brand bras. The idea is great. You put the cup over your breast and figure out which of the ten cups is a perfect fit for you. Only there's one problem.

Ten beautiful cups all in a row! Which one will fit you, Cinderella?

Of the ten cups provided, even the smallest one, the humble #1-sized cup, is actually pretty large when you hold it up to a small-framed 5'10" lady like myself. See for yourself:

This is me, holding the smallest cup. Houston: We have a problem.

I swear to the titty gods that I'm not a completely flat-chested Sally. I usually wear an A or B cup, depending on my weight, my salt-intake and whether or not I'm ovulating. (RAWR.) I'm also not the teeniest tiniest person, either. I'm 5'10" (as I mentioned earlier) and clearly not a size 0 or a size 2. Okay, I might be a size 4 but I am not a freakishly tiny gnome-person is all I'm trying to say.

Meanwhile, the largest cup, the #10, is big enough to fit my big head. Are there really so many more #10s in the world than #-1s or #-2s? And what about the 11s, 12s and 13s of the world? I've never had a problem finding a bra that fit. I don't shop at Victoria's Secret because their bras are terrible and cone-shaped, but Nordstrom has no problem getting me into something that fits perfectly. And it's not a AA or a AAA or a My First Bra®.

So thanks but no thanks, Jockey. I'll stick with my lady fitters at the department store and skip the fit kit. Because apparently ten sizes do not fit all.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

That's Ms Award-Winning Humorist To You, Mister.

Self-promoting and putting yourself out there makes me extremely uncomfortable. In my little heart of hearts, I'm sometimes afraid that I'm just a no-talent ego-maniac who is so blinded by my own delusional ambition to be a writer that I can't see what a fool I'm making of myself. And then I alternate to not giving a damn and embracing the delusion. I mean, you can't write without an ego. So what if I'm an ego-maniac? I love me!

*Hugs self.*

This is my way of rather shame-facedly admitting that I entered a contest even though it pained me to do so. They announced the winners the other night and I rather forlornly clicked the link to scan all of the names that would not be mine. I braced myself to pour a glass of wine and curse all the talentless hacks who had won while my greater talent lay unremarked and unloved in the gutter of loser writers.

Only that didn't happen.

Instead I scanned down the list and holy crap I saw my own name. Seeing it coursed through me like a lightening bolt and I recoiled from the computer screen as though physically shocked.


Then I texted my husband who was upstairs to tell him I was a winner.

I know. That's not normal at all. I mean, I couldn't walk up the stairs and shout at him: "OHMYGOD I WON SOMETHING! I WON! I'M A WINNER! WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!" and then I could have done a small demonstrative jig or something. I totally missed that opportunity due to technology-induced laziness.

I almost never miss the opportunity to do a victory dance or to at least flap my hands about wildly.

Later, while we were lying in bed and I was still basking in the in the glow of my disbelief and genuine humility in the face of actually winning a contest of some sort, the significance of the moment finally hit me.

"Wait a minute," I said.

"What?" my husband said.

"Do you know what this means?"

"No. What?" he lay completely still beside me and waited for my great revelation.

"This means that I am an award-winning humorist. I won an award for being funny!"

"Oh god, no..." he started but I wouldn't let him steal my moment.

"It's official! The gods have spoken! I am the funny one in this relationship. Me! Funny! Decided on by judges and panels from around the country! Award-winning funny, motherfucker! Do you hear me?" I thrust my fists up towards the ceiling in a symbol of gracious victory.

"There will never be an end to this," my husband groaned.

"No, this is a good thing. We don't have to argue any more. There is no more grand competition of who's the funniest person in this relationship. It's been settled once and for all. We can go on with our lives with the peace of mind of knowing that the answer to this most-important question has been provided to us. It's a gift from god, really. I'm the funny one. And scene...." I did an elaborate flourish with my hands and pretended to bow towards the imaginary throngs of my admirers.

"Then I get to be the best arguer in the relationship," he said, referring to some legal career accolades bullshit.

"Fine, fine. Whatever," I said and waved him off with my hilarious hand gestures.

"It means I win all arguments ever."

"Fine. You win your little arguments. I'll just be hilarious while I'm wrong. It's cool."

He sighed heavily in bed next me.

"My god, you must feel so lucky to have such a hilarious wife."

"Oh yeah. Real lucky," he said.

"Yeah," I said and smiled in the dark, then dreamed the dreams of an award-winning humorist. Which is basically just like the sleep of angels.

* * *

To see the complete list of this year's BlogHer Voices of the Year, please click this link and read the hilarious and thought-provoking posts submitted by all of this year's winners.

* * *

All kidding aside, I am genuinely shocked and honored to be one of the BlogHer Voices of the Year. It's really quite lovely to share this little corner of the cyber universe with all of you. Thanks for your encouragement and kind words. I really appreciate it and am humbled by the time you take to spend with me here.