post BlogHer – barely coherent thoughts

I’m still trying to wrap my head around that which was BlogHer. First of all, I had an absolute blast. There’s just something about having friends who normally live in the little box on my desk suddenly come to life that is surreal, and wonderful, and crazy all at once. Have you ever read a book you really loved and wished you could jump into into so you could meet, and hug, and talk with those characters? It’s pretty much exactly like that.

So the experience was amazing, as was visiting NYC for the first time, but I’m having mixed feelings about the conference itself. I absolutely love and respect the people behind BlogHer. The founders, their staff, and the many volunteers do an incredible job and I appreciate them so much for their hard work.

That said, in my opinion it was just too BIG  for me. I am someone who is very comfortable in crowds, and have no problem walking up to anyone and introducing myself, there were overwhelming amounts of people around every corner. Every session, keynote, party, (elevators!) everything everything was packed to the gills and people had to be turned away from events that were supposed to be open to everyone (Martha.)

From my understanding they are dealing with that situation next year in Chicago by having the sessions and expo in a different venue than the hotel and they will bus everyone in between. Honestly, I’m not really sure that’s the solution. I’ve already made up my mind that I’m probably not going to go unless something drastic happens that I feel like I can spend the money on it again. The enormity of it just doesn’t feel right to me – just me – anymore. I may look for a smaller conference that focuses just on writing and photography so if anyone has a suggestion for such I’m all ears.

The ONLY bummer for me all week was the BlogHer 5K. If you follow me on twitter you know that I trained really hard for this and it was supposed to be my FIRST REAL 5K. I wanted it to be special, and it was most definitely not. We arrived downstairs that morning to find complete disorganization.

We had no official map, just some suggested runs that the organizers were unable to share with us via any electronic means. I looked at the routes to see if I could just program my own GPS and lo, they were only 2.5 miles. That is not a full 5K. The friends that I had agreed to run with and I went out on our own, knowing a vague route through Central Park, and knowing two out of the three of us had a GPS. We were fine and we did it.

It was fabulous in that I RAN in Central Park. ME. And I made two new friends. BUT. It was not a real 5K. There was no number on my shirt. There was no one to greet us when we got back. No one to hand us water and say congratulations. There was no finish line.

If you are BlogHer staff and you are reading this, I have some pretty specific ideas on what simple changes you should make for future 5Ks and I would love to talk with you about it. At the very least, if you can’t have a greeter with water at the end, you probably shouldn’t have a 5K at all.

Okay! Moving on. There were far MORE things about the conference itself that I loved than not. OMG the President spoke to us. I was trying not to bawl because it was so awesome. And Katie! I always liked Katie Couric but I was never a fangirl. I’m a fangirl now! She was so personable, and smart, and funny, and real. Then there was the Serenity Suite and the people I connected with there. My heart, they were fabulous.

I had favorite sessions too, there was one about technology and fitness during HealthMinder Day, and the one I was really looking forward to on iPhoneography on Friday was a good as I hoped, and the very last one I went to on Saturday was just a big meta conversation about blogging. LOVE. So good to hear so many perspectives. The best thing I took away from all of it is that no matter what you’re doing, as long as it works for you, it’s all good. There is no doing it wrong when it comes to blogging.

I know what you really want to hear about is the parties, but I have to be honest with you. I went to all the parties, went in, hugged many people, and left again. (SO MANY HUGS!) I only left because I can’t stand how loud the music is and I hate having to shout and strain to hear other people talk. (I’m OLD – what of it?!) So if you saw me sitting just outside the parties? That was not me disparaging them or fearing them, that was just me hanging and chatting with friends and enjoying every minute I could.

I have so much more to say, about the city itself – photo post to come! – and about the people. It always comes back to the people. I fear doing a linky-love post because I know I will miss someone but I also really want to shout out to those who I had so much fun with. I have to think about that!

If you’re thinking about going to a BlogHer, know that it is really an incredible experience and it’s indescribable and of course different for each person. You just have to do it and remember that what you get out of has everything to do with what you put into it, and not all of it will be perfect. If you hide in your room, you will regret even bothering, but if you make an effort, it will come back to you ten-fold. On that note, I’m going to take another nap. Re-entry is hard yo. xoxo

a different kind of year end post

So. I just can’t bring myself  to do one of those year end wrap up posts linking you to all of the so-called interesting things I wrote this past year. Yeah right.

First of all, I’m almost a full week late now. I’ve been planning to write this for two weeks but I have like 3,000 work deadlines this month and we all know this blog is the first thing to suffer the consequences of me having to earn actual money. (The second is housework. Or is it the other way around? Seeing as I’m sitting here writing in a very dirty little house. Ahem.)

Honestly though, nothing in my 2011 archives was all that entertaining and well, I just didn’t write nearly often enough to bother. Bad, bad, blogger I am. Lucky for me I’d rather read blog posts than write them! There are gazillions of good bloggers out there writing fabulous stuff every day. Lucky for you I’m going to tell you about a few of my favorites. 🙂

These are women who write about anything and everything; work, relationships, kids, funny stories, heartache, whatever the topic, if they’re writing about it, I want to read it. Some of them you’ve surely heard of and others you might not have. Popularity doesn’t matter to me, good writing does. These are the blogs that when I spy a new post in my Google reader, I skip over everyone else to read them first!

I’m kind of a terrible commenter, so this is my way of saying thank you to them for being awesome. In random order here are some of my favorite bloggers of 2011:

So seriously, if there is ANYONE on this list you’ve never read before, GO RIGHT NOW!!

BUT WAIT! Before you go, tell me your favorite blogs? I’d love to find some new good reads. 🙂

 

just give me something to blog about

(Disclaimer; If you aren’t blogger, most of this won’t make any sense to you. So don’t even bother!)

Somehow it’s been two weeks since I last blogged. As so kindly pointed out not only by the lovely folks behind the BlogHer ads, and by a real life friend who I didn’t even know was reading here but apparently is tired of looking at my last soup post. ~ahem~ So this one is for you Jen, such as it is. 😉

Anyway, two weeks. There was a time, for a long time, when I couldn’t go two days without writing, much less two weeks. Heck, there were days when I posted twice! I know! What happened that I no longer feel like posting the exciting events minutiae of my day, every day??

Those were the days when I obsessively checked my stats, hoping for more than a handful of hits. I lived and died by how many comments I got in a day. I pimped my posts on twitter and commented like crazy on every blog in my expansive feed reader.

I got my own domain, and a unique design. I thought hard about branding, and niches. I got ads!! (A year and a half and $45 later…) I even started a second blog! Because one was not enough?!!

I envied those going to all the conferences and meeting each other in person. So I went to a conference, and I hugged people I never thought I would meet. I made real-life completely awesome friends. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,* and I loved every minute of it.

But my life got busier in so many ways, and twitter got boring and celebri-fied. I stopped checking Feedburner, and forgot my password to Google Analytics. I stopped using Stumble or Digg, forgot about Technorati, and I haven’t looked at my Page Rank in forever. Heck, I even forgot how to check my Page Rank. And Alexa, wha?

It’s the typical evolution of a blogger. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. (And don’t we all just love these posts?) I know I have, but I never thought it would happen to me! D’oh. and? Duh.

My kid is growing up, and doesn’t really want me telling stories about him here. Posting family pictures in public is getting awkward. One can only blog about a cat so often. (Unless I become the Crazy Cat Lady, and frankly there are too many doing it better.) Weight loss? Heh. Only if it was happening! I have no idea what to blog about. Or even if I want to bother figuring it out. Meh.

And yet, I’m not thinking about shutting it down. I haven’t lost the will to write, just the impetus; that driving force that can turn the smallest moment of the day into a great post. I’d like to be able to do that again.

* Yes, once-in-a-lifetime. I’m not going to BlogHer ’10. As much as I would love to go, I just can’t justify the expense. Sorry peeps. 🙁

dregs

Dudes. My blog is depressing. Maybe that’s why I don’t come here so often anymore.

I seem to go to a lot of funerals. Another one of my Aunts died this week, another of my father’s siblings. And another funeral to attend this coming Tuesday.

I’ve seen so many people do this great “best of 2009” round up posts so to cheer myself up I thought I would take a look at my archives and see what I could link to as my “best of.” Except all I can find are “not the worst of 2009” posts.

I wrote far too much about trying to lose weight. I posted far too many pictures of my cat. I became a quintessential mommyblogger, (even though I hate that term.)

My one shining moment of true hilarity was cause I was doped up on pain meds. Honestly, I haven’t written anything humorous since them because I just can’t compete with myself. Ooooo, I last saw my funny at the hospital!! Maybe it’s at the lost and found! ~sigh~

See? My best posts are the pathetic dregs of the blogosphere.

Dear 2010,

Bring back the funny.

xo

Annette

ps. Rest in peace Aunt Lee.

ditching catnip

Just a note on comments – my own comments that is. I’ll be changing from commenting as Catnip or Catnip35 to AnnetteK on everyone’s blogs. (Although I’ve already slipped up today!)

I’ve wanted to ditch the Catnip alias for some time now, and have the same commenting name as my twitter account. Having different names has been confusing to everyone – including me! I’m crazy enough as it is, I don’t need to make this harder for myself.

Hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo

The continuing saga of Batman in Vegas

(See part one of the saga here.)

So Josh and I are surviving Damon’s absence but it sure hasn’t helped that the weather is really cruddy this week.

The only things entertaining us are Josh’s extremely loose tooth, and the random photos of mini-Batman that Damon’s been taking all over Las Vegas the conference hotel. Note to hubby – more actual VEGAS please. Ahem. I’m trying to live vicariously here.

So apparently Batman really can fly:

Oh wait, he’s just stuck the window with gum. Nevermind.

Batman prefers Macs. So do I, I just can’t afford one!

Are all photographers generally messy or just the ones I know? Not that I’m judging mind you, after all, they are my kind of people.

I think Batman is a bit anti-social, turning his back on our friends and all.

Hey Russ, long time no see!

Batman is tired and needs a nap. Ooooo, let’s ride the escalators first!

Good night Batman, I’m sure we’ll see more of you soon. Especially since I have nothing better to blog about.

PS. to Damon, Happy Birthday babe. Love you, miss you, and hate that you’re gone on your birthday. We might have to have cake in your honor. Heh.

for Maddie

There is something about this blog community that makes us feel like we really know each other. Even though I’ve never met Heather in person I feel like I’ve known her for some time, especially since we’ve both been Blog Nosh editors.

I also felt like I knew her sweet 17 month old daughter Maddie with the blonde curls and big blue eyes and beautiful smile. You couldn’t see a photo of her without loving her and I’ve always looked forward to reading Heather’s posts about her.

Maddie passed away at the hospital last night. This is unfathomable to me. 17 months old.

Heather has asked that in lieu of other gifts or flowers that a donation be made to the March of Dimes in Maddie’s name.

Heather’s site The Spohrs are Multiplying is still down from all the many new vistors but her wonderful friends are working to get it back up. In the meantime you can find updates at A Mom Two Boys.

Maddie, you will be missed. Heather and Mike, words cannot express how sad I am for you.

hello out there

Is anyone there? Hellllooooooo. Tap tap. Is this thing on?

Are you a lurker? Lurkers are blog readers who don’t comment, so we never know who’s out there.* I was a lurker for a long time. I was reading blogs for a good two years before I started my own, and I always lurked.

I thought that the blog writer didn’t really want to hear what I had to say. That my comment wasn’t that important. Oh, how wrong I was!

What I didn’t understand, because I wasn’t writing myself, is that bloggers live and die by their comments section. I never imagined that bloggers might desperately check their email a thousand times a day, just to see if a comment notification has miraculously appeared. (Uh, well, that might only be me, not all bloggers…ahem.)

Now I write comments on blogs far and wide. I figure if it makes my day, it will probably make their day too! Although I’ve commented on some enough to qualify as a stalker, I swear I’m not, I just can’t shut up!

Anyway, all this is to say, somehow I missed that this was National Delurking Week, and today is the last day! So delurk won’t you, and make my day? (Unlike yesterday, which was a very very sad day, because no one, no one, commented on what I thought was a pretty dang good post! ~sniff~ Can someone hand me a tissue? Updated to add: Okay well there are comments now, but only because I guilted my twitter peeps into it! Just like I’m guilting you! Ha!)

* I really love my lurkers, because I can see that someone (!) is reading, but I sure would love for you to say hi! 🙂

not much today

I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna write today!

</end whine>

I’m in Maine. ~happy sigh~ My mom cooked dinner and it was lovely. My boy painted with my father. We chatted and chatted. Now we’re about to have a scrabble game. All is well in my world. Tomorrow will be even better. 🙂

See ya then.

xoxo

kitty linky love

Well, we’re on sick day #2. He coughed all night long so I let him sleep in, and now he’s upstairs tucked into my bed watching Sprout. It’s the longest I’ve ever seen him be still.

This post is just for my cat lover friends. You know my cat is like my other kid, and my kid loves cats as much as I do. We love to get online together and look at all the cute cat sites out there. Some of them you probably already know, I mean, who doesn’t know Lolcats?? But there are lots of other cute cat blogs that I love and I wanted to share with you.

Okay, now you know my secret blog lurking habit – it’s all about the cats. Got any other good ones for me?

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