No Fancy Name
Sunday, July 31, 2005
"is that....profgrrrrl?" or: our day at BlogHer
For the record: after spending twelve consecutive hours with the woman, I can report she had only two diet cokes, we went to sbux only once, and she checked her non-crackberry phone perhaps four times, if that. It's not because we were running around participating in a crazy amount of BlogHer sessions, because we weren't. Such bad, bad conference attendees!

My recap follows...I'm sure hers will be much better, but she's on a plane right now. I know this for a fact because I took her to the 4:30 in the morning.

Breakfast, 7:30am, Stacks. We are both big fans of the breakfast food. After breakfast, walked the block or so to sbux. This was the only sbux visit, lest you think either of us can't live without the stuff (we can). As we drove back to the freeway, I pointed at my Whole Foods and said "That building across the street and to the right? That's eBay." Since we knew we were going to miss the BlogHer Welcome session (but come on—breakfast trumps all) we then drove past Netflix. Later in the day I almost drove her by Apple HQ but I forgot. Google and Yahoo were out of the way, too. I know, I know, geeky tour of the locations of companies whose products enhance your life, but any other special trips would have resulted in never even going to the conference at all, and that's not cool.

We made it back to the conference center and checked in after both the welcome session and the debate about women playing by the rules or changing the game were over, and the birds of a feather meetups were starting. We checked in, got our goodie bags, and promptly took our crap to the car—I don't like carrying shit around with me unless I have just the right bag, and this wasn't it (and my new non-computer-carrying messenger bag hasn't arrived yet). As the BoF sessions were still going on, we sat in the wireless access area and wrote this post and took photos of...things.

Since there wasn't any session in particular we wanted to attend during session slot #1, and since profgrrrrl's feet had blisters, it was decided that shoe-shopping was in order. So off we went to the mall, but on the way to the mall she spotted a DSW and in we went. She bought a pair of sparkly pinkish/purple sandals, and also these lovely fish sandals. Neither of us purchased these shoes.

After a not-so-quick pee-and-diet-coke stop at McDonald's, off we went to the sessions. Oh yes, we also missed the Flame, Blame & Shame working lunch session. Oops. But because it ran a few minutes over and we were already in the conference center, we actually got a prime seat (in the back) for the How to Be Naked session. Heather Armstrong (dooce), Ronni Bennett, and Koan Bremner were the panelists on the topic of identity blogging. They could have done an entire day on just this topic alone.

The third session slot included a session on "Blogs in Academia"...except of course you can split this into at least four different different subjects: using blogs in the classroom, blogging as an academic on research topics under your own name, anonymously blogging as an academy-associated "life" blogger, getting support from your field-specific (or field-independent) blogging community, etc etc etc. Since these sessions were so short, I dare say they were little more than ways to measure interest in topics for future conferences. Panelists introduce themselves, a few very high-level questions are put on the table, time's up. In the case of the academia panel, the mommybloggers were up next and were very good at kicking us out of the room and telling us to be quiet as we milled about in the hallway, still discussing things. If you want a general idea about the academia panel, read badgerbag's post.

The academia panel lacked an actual professor until I nominated Profgrrrrl. "Nominate" isn't the correct word. It was more like "dude, they said they need a full prof to sit up there, do you want to do it?" and she said "sure, but they can't use my name or take any photos without pixellating my face" so I went up to the table where panelists badgerbag and Grace Davis were sitting and relayed the message that indeed profgrrrrl would professorize the panel given aforementioned requirements.

[I should probably mention that I'm built like a short offensive lineman (that is, like a brick wall, but fat) and I have seven visible tattoos when wearing shorts/tshirt/sandals. Hence the reference to me being Profgrrrrl's "muscle". Oh, and I'm Italian. Make of that what you will. I thought it was funny.]

Before the panel, a woman (whose blog URL I do not have handy, sorry) came up to me and said "is that....profgrrrrl?" to which I said "maybe" and then "yes" because I figured what the hell, she's on a frickin' panel now. During the panel, there was one question along the lines of "is anyone using blogs in the classroom (in comp or lit or journalism) and if so, how." Given that I could rattle off the names of four or five people without even blinking twice, I actually said something (I'm not a big talker) and then mentioned the book because one of its purposes is to alleviate the need for teachers to make their own "how to use blogger" handouts for students when blogs are required. Point them at a $15 book and use your time for actual teaching, I figure. Anyway, so if scribblingwoman or scrivener get messages from people referencing this panel, you'll know why. After the panel, had hallway discussions with people including Lilia from Mathemagenic who is currently interning at Microsoft Research, then decided we should go off to our sushi extravaganza since profgrrrrl had an appointment for "drinks with a mysterious tall, dark and handsome gentleman."

So off to Los Gatos we went, to Kamakura Sushi & Sake House (aka "where we have our company christmas meal every year, despite the fact that only one of us likes sushi, one other likes sushi rolls, and the other three don't go in for that sort of food at all") where we ate a lot of sushi. Mmmmm mmmmm good sushi. We then went across the street to Williams-Sonoma, whereupon I purchased a set of egg fry rings and smidge, pinch, and dash measuring spoons and profgrrrrl got some pink utensils.

Having now lost all of my "muscle" cred, I took her back to her hotel and came home to crash in front of the TV. See what you all missed???

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