Weekend! and More About BlogHer

You know, on Mondays the weekend seems forever away. Then you blink and it’s Friday. Kinda neat how that happens, but unfortunate that an even quicker blink brings another Monday.

I made it through the examination part of my OBGYN visit, and I’m happy to report that all my parts are where they should be. Plus, there aren’t any obvious parts where they shouldn’t be. We’ll know for certain with test results and the completion of the mammogram. I’m scheduling that on Monday.

I’m excited that some of you are considering attending BlogHer ’09! Even a few fence-sitters have let me know they’re out there, and I’m looking forward to luring them in.

Anyone know how many calories nagging burns?

To answer some comment questions about my BlogHer experience:
My buddy Katschi asked which package I signed up for. Here’s a link to the various options. I signed up for the Full Conference pass ($198). You can also sign up for only one day. Also, I just noticed that students get a steep discount. There’s more info at the aforementioned link.

The lovely Lisa aka Water Nymph asked me (in a totally flattering and appreciated way) to tell more about my “take-aways” from BlogHer ’07, and what Lisa wants, Lisa gets.

As I mentioned before, I went to the conference not knowing a soul. I left not really knowing anyone, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I learned a lot at the panels, especially the geeky ones. I didn’t know much about the technical side of things, and the people who led those panels were awesomely generous with their time and talent.

Anyone know if ‘awesomely’ is a word?

The panels I remember most:

Our Bodies, Our Blogs, with Laurie Tobie Edison, who published an AMAZING book of nude photographs, Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes and Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes. Jenny Lauck was the moderator, and Wendy McClure (I’m Not the New Me) was also a panelist. Wonderfully spirited discussion, one of the few centered on bodies, diets, fitness, etc.

Blogging Workflow Tools led by Gina Trapani, who is the founder of lifehacker.com, one of my favorite blogs.

Taking Your Blog to the Next Level, led by Nelly Yusupova, one of the founders of webgrrls, and Jenny Cisney, a web designer for Eastman Kodak. I enjoyed their panel, but needed a lot more time to absorb it all.

The closing keynote speaker was Elizabeth Edwards, who was completely captivating. It was interesting to hear HER take on the world, as opposed to Candidate John Edwards.

In addition to the panels, the conference includes several meet-and-greet opportunities. There’s a “Speed Dating” exercise that’s totally fun, and what they call “Birds of a Feather” Lunch Seatings. There are clipboards at the registration desk with all sorts of categories (weight loss, bloggers from Iowa, pet lovers, people with tattoos, Left-handers, and so on and so on. There’s no way you couldn’t find some group with which to identify. You sign up for lunch with whatever group catches your fancy, and at lunch time you look for that table (there are placards.)

Needless to say, I chose the weight loss group. There were only about six of us, but my lunchmates were very gracious. I remember specifically Carmen from The Elff Diet, Shauna from DietGirl, and Jennette from Pasta Queen. At the time, I was 80 pounds heavier than I am now, so I was more than a little intimidated by the healthy women at the table. Intimidated and incredibly motivated.

I didn’t sign up for the second day’s AOL lunch (mistakenly believing you had to be on AOL), and I missed lunch with Jillian Michaels. From what I heard, she was very gracious and encouraging. And tiny.

In between all that, there’s an exhibitors’ hall, where various vendors, sponsors, and such have booths. You even get free stuff to put in the cute bag you get when you register. (I hope the bag doesn’t go the way of the economy.) You can check out the sponsors here.

At the end of each day, there’s a cocktail party, but I’ll admit to skipping those. I really wanted to spend some time wandering around the city, so I opted for that. (Until Saturday night, when my wandering lasted until about 8:00 p.m. , and I returned to the room. I was DONE. :)

Okay, so that’s what I DID. What I GOT from all those panels and discussions was a sense of community, of being a part of an increasingly vocal feminine force in the social, business, and civic online communities. I understood the ‘connectedness’ of the blogosphere. On the personal side, I met and talked with some very interesting women (and a couple of men) who inspired me to continue my journey.

I hope this answers the question, Lisa. It’s kind of hard to put into words, but I tried. I’ m hoping this BlogHer is equally enjoyable, but if it’s not, I’m blocks from Michigan Ave and a gajillion stores and shops. Or Grant Park and the bicycle rentals and sunny park benches. Or the Navy Pier and a boat ride. I won’t be bored.

That’s it for me today. I’m ready to start on household chores and check in on all of YOU!

Happy Weekend!