This year, BlogHer '11 gets this entry, and that's it, unless I'm lying, which I'm prone to do, although I always admit that I'm lying within thirty seconds of uttering a lie, because I usually feel a sense of pride in the lie I just told and want to share my accomplishment with you. I'm very modest.
I bought these Kam Dhillon glasses before heading to the conference, and it turns out that Drew Carey glasses make a person very recognizable. This helped, because if people hadn't recognized me and come up to say hello, I would have ended up standing around alone looking like Mr. Magoo. I am terrible at recognizing people from their Twitter avatars.
On Wednesday night, my first night in San Diego, the brilliant Suebob gave me a dog tag:
I attended the pre-conference day, Pathfinders, as an excuse to hang out with our session leaders, Gwen and Karen, where I had the pleasure of meeting Heather and managed to spend a scant few moments with Brené:
It's extremely hard to tell, but that's a very tiny, little Laura at the end of this picture taken outside our Pathfinders room:
I went to a MamaPop party thrown for writers past and present where I got to see Tracey and Charlie:
I hung dangerously far out a window at the Keating Hotel to get grainy photos of traffic:
I took moody shots of Catherine haloed in lamplight:
Have I lost you yet? This is the equivalent of those slideshows your aunt used to show of her trip to Honolulu.
Don't worry, though. I forgot to take photos throughout most of the conference. This will be over soon.
There was a lunch on Friday with my homies:
I have homies.
Alexis and I wo-manned the Serenity Suite, where I got to hang out with a number of fine folks, including Anissa, Katherine, and Robin:
There were sculptures made out of soap and cans and licorice:
I saw so many people I love that I can't even tell you who all of them were, but Deb and Loralee are some shining examples:
You're with me still, right? I feel like I need to check in now and again.
The Palinode ate rabbit at this little Italian restaurant called Buon Appetito:
I had no idea that rabbit was such a visceral dish until I watched him pull a surprising amount of rabbit skeleton out of his mouth and line the pieces up along his plate. The ick factor did not stop me from rolling my four-cheese and spinach tortellini in a creamy tomato sauce around in my mouth like I had a sexual fetish.
Little Italy tourist picture!
After our supper in Little Italy, we dipped into a tiny food boutique where the Palinode found his favourite drink of late, Kombucha Wonder Drink:
He did not pose for that shot. He really looks that pleased to see kombucha every time we run across it.
On Saturday, the last night of the conference, Aiming Low threw a fab party where we decorated each other with descriptive stickers and Sharpie markers and ate my favourite food of the entire conference. Rice Krispie cake will win me over every time.
Before our flight back home on Sunday, the Palinode and I had breakfast with Bon, Dave, Jen, Kyran, Kate, Neil, and Black Hockey Jesus. I am going to sound a little over-the-top here, but I felt honoured to be with each and every one of them. These people aren't just playing. They've been around blogging for a long time, and they're good at what they do.
Again, as I do every year, I started making plans for a semi-nomadic yurt community made up of my favourite people. It always starts out like a mass kidnapping, but everyone realizes that yurt living is the true way to happiness in the end.
And then we hung out in the airport with Jen, Tanis, Shawn, Katie, and Catherine, got on a plane, and went home, which is the most depressing part of the BlogHer conference every year. Not the hanging out part, but the hugging goodbye and knowing that it might be another 360-some days before I see them in the flesh again.
Goodbye all you bright, loud, creative, inspiring, thoughtful, discerning, and enjoyable people of the internets. I miss you already.
And now we're done! And because you're still reading this, I know you're not asleep! Punishment glutton.
PS. I completely forgot to mention that Karen Green and I were to lead a Birds of a Feather discussion group called Twitterholics on Saturday, only she couldn't come to BlogHer at the last minute, so I pulled in the Palinode and Tanis to help me keep it together, and it went swimmingly. The discussion attendees were smart, engaged, and generous with sharing their experience and know-how. Thanks to everyone who came out!