Obligatory BlogHer '12 RecapI have survived my first BlogHer -- the super-sized blogger's conference -- and am happy to report it was everything I expected, and more.
- 5,000+ bloggers
- 130+ brands
- 1000's of goodie bags
- sessions shedding light on every facet of blogging and the blogosphere
- smiles, handshakes and hugs
- a forest of coupons
- lunch with Martha (Stewart)
- mountains of swag
- three, four, five parties in one night
- Geek Bars and Writing Labs
- a blizzard of business cards
- connecting with old and making new friends
- lunch with Katie (Couric)
- and more parties, parties, parties!
What Goes Up, Must Come DownSaturday night, blogging buds at my side, I headed out of the air-conditioned hotel onto the steamy, sticky, stinky streets of New York.
Heading down 6th Avenue, weaving our way thru the sidewalk tsunami of humanity, my bangs were soon plastered to my forehead, while my maxi dress trapped the heat radiating up from the sidewalk.
Sweat was soon running down my belly, while twin trickles ventured down the insides of my thighs - I could have steamed dumpling under that dress.
Trapped in my personal maxi-sauna hell, I looked at my dewy, but not dripping, compatriots with envy.
Strategizing my next steps through the never-ending pedestrian onslaught, I did not see it coming.
I'd been hit by a dead pigeon.
The cartoon flashed in my head -- the pigeon's chest swelled, he touched wing to breast, took a last ragged breath, then plummeted 12, 21, 34 stories. He struck my lower back, ricocheted off my right calf, then slapped onto the sidewalk.
But when I looked back at the sidewalk behind me there was no twitching sky rat.
Instead, there was a large, black, double-ended "toy" laying on the sidewalk.
Then I spotted them -- two doughy 30-something guys in matching white t-shirts.
One teetered along, scooped up the "toy" and flung it up into the air, while the other continued to capture the scene on a palm-size video camera.
They loped on up the sidewalk past us, meeting their matching tee partner, who also appeared to have a camera of some sort.
My friends quickly closed in around me, was I alright, they asked. There was no bodily harm. I twisted around to asses any damage to my dress, relieved to find none.
The only injury was to my dignity.
This CA gal did the NYC thing for a few years way back in the 90's -- leaving before it made me hard, so the song says, but sufficiently jaded -- so I was furious with myself for giving these knuckleheads the satisfaction of my startled yelp. And incensed that my yelp had been digitally captured for their friends future amusement.
We resumed our walk, but the trio seemed in no rush, walking just a few yards ahead of us, all the while flinging their "toy" up into the air, tossing it to one another, kicking it along when it landed on the sidewalk.
"There are ladies and children back here," boomed forth from the crowd behind us.
The crowd thinned and we spotted our champion -- an imposing, smooth-headed gentleman in a coral Tommy Bahama silk shirt.
The tipsy trio seemed unfazed as my friends and I, our gallant protector, his wife, and two sons gained ground on them.
When his youngest son asked what the "black thing" was on the sidewalk, Mr. Tommy Bahama Shirt barked something at the threesome again, they scooped up their "toy" and darted off down a side street.
We thanked our gallant champion, then continued on our way to a party at Bryant Park for more bloggerly chatting, cocktails & nibbles, doorprizes and swag.
BlogHer '12 was Full of SurprisesI was close to calling it quits, exhausted and sticky and yearning for A/C, when they started drawing names. iPhone lenses, Keen gift baskets, then they announced the next door prize, an HP Notebook PC.
I paid little attention to the calling of names, 'cause when it comes to games of a fortuitous nature, this Housewife rarely wins.
"The Fortuitous Housewife," our 70's costumed hostess called out.
My friends clapped and cheered, but it still took several seconds for this fortuitous moment to register in my heat-addled brain.
A computer? A laptop computer? I won? I won!
New friends, new connections, information, insights and inspirations -- there will be a plethora of posts recounting them all -- but for me, my first BlogHer will always be defined by the night I was smacked in the back by a large, black, doubled-ended "toy" and won my first ever "real" door prize.