Hi! Here are the pictures I took at The Blathering:
AWESOME, right? They are awesome. Very beautifully composed, I think.
Ahem. Listen, it’s hard for me to recap this thing, because I think the only people who really care are the people who were there, and I loved Emily‘s recap, because it sums up my feelings as well: I don’t want anyone to feel left out, because I hate to seem like I’m playing favorites, especially since I can say with total sincerity that I had a great time, and would have GENUINELY, NO BULLSHIT, been thrilled if it went on for MANY DAYS and for each meal, I got paired up with one random person for a one-on-one session. In fact, I would LOVE that, because I really did enjoy everyone I met—something I cannot remotely say for other similar events I’ve been to—and there was NO drama, NO crying, NO posturing, NO climbing and it was just NORMAL. A bunch of normal, good-hearted, fun people with something in common (each other and/or the internet) and it was just an honest pleasure.
I will call one person—Here We Go A Jen—out, only because it was EERIE how alike we were and EERIE that in all the years I’ve been doing this (SINCE 2003, OH MY GOD), I’ve never run into her and she never ran into me, and we had NO IDEA who the other one was, but when we met and talked, it was like, um, MAGIC, and now I want to move in with her, the end. And I’m saying this, because if you read ME, you probably don’t read HER, unlike most of the other Blathering people there, who I mostly already knew and you might, too, and you’re welcome, now go read her archives.
And Natalie, because COME ON, the woman let Natalie and me stay IN HER HOUSE, which, if you didn’t know, is this weird little magical land of perfect design and flow, and I found myself wanting to submit it to magazines without telling her. Also, she is charming and wondrous and her family is just so great and SHIT, I am FAILING at calling people out, but the thing is I LOVED EVERYONE AND I AM GOING TO BE SCREWED BY LEAVING THEM OUT. Here. Here is the list of attendees. I loved them all, no kidding.
(I did come to the realization that Jennie and I are like sisters when I unapologetically stole her ice cream sandwich, because you guys, I DO NOT SHARE DAIRY PRODUCTS WITH ANYONE.)
I had a great time. And it was super-comfortable and like I said, not at all dramatic or climbey and branding-like or pretentious and no one commented on my janky feet that I INTENDED to get pedicured on Friday, but didn’t. Also, I forgot to pack a black bra and wore a white one under a sweater dress and NOT ONCE did I catch people giving me the side-eye, even though I’m fairly certain it was obvious at times. They just hugged me, and the best part was that I saw everyone being as welcoming to other people as they were to me, even when they thought no one was looking, so it was utterly genuine.
And with that, I’ll tell you that I started reading the Jaycee Dugard memoir, which is CAH-RAZY and I know I tweeted about it, but you guys, IT IS SO CRAZY. THIS HAPPENED. TO A PERSON. WHO IS STILL ALIVE. I laugh because when I talk to some people who are all, “I’m not a memoir person!” I’m like, UM, ME NEITHER. But it’s one thing to talk about your (totally universal) experiences with parenting as though they are unique snowflakey, but quite another to write a memoir of being IMPRISONED FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS AS A SEX SLAVE, AM I RIGHT?
I’m totally right. Also, Sam is having a GPS implanted in her brain stem this weekend. No big! Just an outpatient procedure!
So, because I am lazy and also do whatever Jennie does, I jumped on the bandwagon and did the, uhhh, vlog thing. But ONLY to demonstrate what I actually look/sound like for people who will be meeting me for the first time. And also, to make me easier to recognize in Target.
I also think that’s a KICKASS screen shot, don’t you? It is also VERY LONG and I am VERY SORRY. I am TALKY.
Here are the notes:
Say the following words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught
And answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?
Well, then. I don’t like to overly explain absences, but I’ve been working a lot, which is great! Really, it’s great! Who doesn’t like money? I LIKE MONEY. But I was super-busy every night and every preschool session and every . . . well, EVERYTHING.
I’ve been working more in books, and man, that’s a lot of fun. Also? It’s a lot of reading. A LOT of reading, which doesn’t leave much leftover time for PERSONAL reading, which is why I’ve been sitting with Maggie Steifvater’s “Forever” on my night stand for two weeks, and it’s due back to the library on Tuesday, so I’d best be HUSTLING UP IN HERE to whip through that last, miserable book in the most ridiculous trilogy ever written in the history of YA trilogies, AMEN.
It’s awful. There is a lot of soul-gazing among teenagers and a not-insignificant number of heartfelt SONG LYRICS written out by one of the protagonists, and it’s not meant in an ironic way. Basically, I read this entire trilogy from behind my hands while making this face:
I … God, let’s see. The last two weeks have been VERY BORING and involved me staying up late with a red pen (have you tried these?) and writing some stuff for other people and working on multiple books for children and young adults and . . . um, that’s all I’ve got, because THAT IS ALL I HAVE DONE FOR MANY DAYS.
Oh, not really, but that’s what it FEELS LIKE, and you can ask anyone who’s expected a phone call or an email from me, because AIEEEEEE, freelancing is fun, but it is also very time consuming.
In the interim, I missed you guys, and feel like a loser for saying that, but I DID (do!).
I can’t stop thinking about Swistle’s post about sociopaths, because once you encounter a sociopath, you don’t really forget. It’s CRAZY. It’s crazy. I am exceedingly nice to sociopaths if I can be, because as Swistle and I discussed separately, it’s amazing how FAR a sociopath is willing to GO in order to play a game with you. SO FAR. FURTHER THAN YOU EVER DREAMED. Because remember, they do not have any feelings. None. Zero. They don’t care about you and yours. They’re bored, they’re egomaniacs, they have no conscience at all. They don’t even love their CHILDREN. They CANNOT. YOU WILL NOT WIN. So if you see someone being nice to a person YOU KNOW they know is crazy, maybe they know they are a sociopath, and just don’t feel like having their LIVES RUINED.
I don’t need to tell you (BUT I WILL) that this led to a panicked spiral as I considered how awful it would be to be the MOTHER of a sociopath, given that most rudimentary research leads one to believe that they are BORN NOT MADE, and what do you even DO? Fortunately (oh my God), my research also indicates that, as suspected, my current offspring is rather far from the picture of a young sociopath (highly empathetic, very into physical affection, likes animals and doesn’t set them aflame, ETCETERA) and I no longer need to consider 20/20 appearances as part of my retirement plan.
In other offspring news, she is naked pretty much 24/7, and today at the park, just before plowing into the sandbox, politely asked for her shoes & socks to be removed (reasonable), then requested that her pants and diaper also come off (not reasonable). So while I may not have a sociopath on my hands, it IS true that I might be dealing with an exhibitionist, and perhaps by the time she is of age, Times Square’s Naked Cowboy will be retired, and Sam can take over as Pantsless Percussionist. She does a mean “Got a Bunch of Bones” from the Bubble Guppies while drumming in time, and hot damn, she prefers to do it in the buff.
Now if you’ll excuse me, now that I can check sociopath fears off of my list, I am off to ruminate about pancreatic cancer. Because this is what I DO every time a famous person dies of a disease. I PANIC ABOUT IT.
Feel free to imagine what I’d be like if I wasn’t medicated for anxiety. BECAUSE SERIOUSLY.