Monday, July 27, 2009

Blogher 09

Michelle did a pretty good job summing up our Blogher experience. I don't know if I would travel to go to such an event, but I could see how once you got to know a few people it would be a more fun girls-weekend-out experience. I was a bit sad that I couldn't really go to any after-parties (or even stay the whole day on Saturday) because of other obligations I had in Chicago - so I see how it would be fun to be in a different city without the responsibilities of home. And yet I don't know if for me it would be worth it to drop a grand or so to travel/eat/stay away from home. I don't know. But I could see it would be more worth it if you actually had a big readership and/or made money off of your blog.

When we first got there, we waited about 45 minutes for Michelle's name tag b.c the guy who first tried to find it for her couldn't, so he thought it had to be reprinted. Suck! Once we got to the front of the reprinting line, she figured out he just didn't know what he was doing. Oh well, it's not like we needed that hour of our life or anything. I was holding Sam while we were waiting, and people kept coming up to me and asking me if I wanted free stuff for the baby. I kept going, "She's my friend's baby, but I'm sure she'd be open to that!" So Michelle ending up scoring some Born Free stuff and a sling for Sam by just sitting around there for awhile. I can't complain, Sam is super cute and I had fun hanging out with her! After the nametag debacle we headed upstairs to drop Sam at daycare, where they slapped her name on her back and proceeded to love hanging out with her the whole day. Everytime we dropped in to check on her, someone was holding her and playing with her. The daycare workers seemed to sweet and fun, and they really seemed to enjoy hanging out with the kids.
Walking around the expo, we ran into Jessica and then we walked over to meet Rick Bayless. I asked if we could get a pic with him, and then the girls who were working the booth were all like "Let them through! Rick invited them back!" I felt Very Important for all of like 2 seconds, but Rick was super nice. I told him that I get my groceries and chop up all my veggies/prepare meals for the week while watching Top Chef so I feel like I'm in the middle of the action, and we discussed a cooking technique I'd seen on the show and didn't quite understand. I was so glad to have met him!

I told one of the girls at his booth: "You see all these bloggers that you read and you feel like you know and you don't want to be the fangirl, but I will totally be the fangirl for Rick Bayless." She laughed and asked if I wanted a pork tshirt. Uh, ok.

We also met Mrs. Potatohead. She was one cool homegirl. And Short!!!
I knew I definitely wanted to meet a few of the people whose blogs I read, but it was very rare that I ran into anyone in a manner that let me do so. I mean, I am NOT going to run up to someone out of the blue when they are talking to someone else. When I saw the people I wanted to say hi to, they were usually talking to someone else or on the move walking somewhere with a group of other women. But I did get a chance to say hi to Amalah, Leah, and Kristin. They were all pretty nice. Amalah's baby Ezra was even more adorable in real life than over the Internets, and so was Leah's baby Wombat. I got to tell Leah that I loved her talking about how they decided to have Wombat, and got to find out Wombat's real name (not for internet ears!). I walked up and introduced myself to Kristin at the cocktail party and she was so sweet! I loved even briefly meeting her and getting to chat! I was also glad to meet some people in person that I feel like I know because I've read their blogs for so long! All in all, I am glad I made myself step up and say hi. They all seemed like Good People.

On the second day of Blogher,
Michelle and I hit up a session that Workplace was sponsoring, which was interesting. Although Workplace hadn't sent anyone to man the booth they had with materials in front of the session. Weird. Oh well, I got some cool notebooks with the company logo for myself and a coworker!

We also heard that Paula Deen was going to make an appearance around lunchtime, so of course we got there around 45 minutes early to make sure we got good seats. And we did, first row, front and center. We were excited!

Then Paula's flight got delayed and we were a little less excited.
Finally she arrived and gave a short talk and took some questions. People kept asking her questions about recommended recipes for a new husband, for kids, for a vegetarian. What I really wanted to know was Where were the hot guys who carry out the butter on her show? I would have totally brought them along with me if I was her. Regardless of hot butter guys or not, she was HILARIOUS. One girl asked how to please her new husband in the kitchen and Paula told her to not wear anything under her apron. Her bodyguard/coordinator guy Hollis was cracking up as she answered questions, could barely look at her during some of her answers, and had tears rolling down his face. Let's just say he has a pretty fun job.
Of course I had to snap some random pictures. Paula had on jellies with bling-bling.
Speaking of bling-bling... she put her hand on Michelle's leg a coupla times to reach back and hand the microphone to someone in the next row. I had to take a picture. She got so many carats it's like she's a vegetarian (name that rap song!) The couple women around us burst out laughing when I snapped this one. Which was half the reason I did it, to entertain myself. And to show Andy how much Paula was hitting on his wife :)
We wanted to bounce after this talk, as Michelle had her father-in-law's birthday party to go to, I had a wedding to attend in the 'burbs, so when I realized that we wouldn't have time to stand in line and get a picture with Paula we started taking pictures like this:

So cheesy yet so fun.

Overall the experience was pretty fun. It was funny-odd for me, because as the resident event-planner in my group I felt the grand need to want to show everyone around and make sure they had fun - but it seemed like most of the women there had NO problem with that! So I wasn't all that helpful on that front, but threw in some random twitter advice when I could. I am glad that so many women seemed to enjoy our city and alot of what it has to offer, and share my opinion that it truly is a great place to be!


Kevin said...

The pictures of you and Paula made me laugh!

LMK said...

I would love to meet Amalah & Ezra!!

Mich said...

Great pics - I stole them :) - thanks!

Bayjb said...

First, that Rick Bayless picture is awesome. It turned out so good! I love how important we were, pushing our way back :)

OMG you got that close to Paula Deen! Holy cow!

Kristin said...

It was really nice to meet you April, I'm so glad you said hi, you're adorable, and I've bookmarked your blog for future reading.