Well, another year has come and gone, and it’s time for us not to go to BlogHer again.
You might recall (if you’ve been paying attention) that we managed to not go last year. Instead, we created our own home-made Big Bloggy Extravaganza. Here are some highlights:
Opening night at not-BlogHer
Upon arrival in our sumptuous suites (Wendy’s upstairs study, Karen’s office/wool storage room) we sat around drinking margaritas, painting our own toenails, and toasting one another while chatting on Facebook.
In fact, we noticed that the halls of one of our favourite Facebook groups were almost empty, so we went over there and held a rather long and somewhat incoherent conversation, just the two of us. It did get a little echo-y, and at one point we swear we heard crickets chirping, but we persevered.
This might have had something to do with the margaritas.
This year we’re thinking of changing it up: instead of hanging out on Facebook groups and watching the tumbleweeds roll past, we’re thinking of hitting the Twitter. You’ll find us there under the hashtag #NotBlogHer14…and it’ll be totally BYO Jello shots and toenail polish.
Friday morning freebies!
On Friday, we decided to hit the virtual Exhibits Hall, where we encountered our first swag of the conference.
“Swag!!1!” We squee!-d in unison.
Wendy generously put together a Selfridges bag loaded with a lint brush (genuine lint still attached), a half-used mustard bottle, a cat satellite collar, paper towel and some paper flowers made by Wendy’s daughter 18 years ago, as a winnable giveaway.
She photographed the whole thing on Instagram, and said it would go to the first attendee to claim it. By sheer coincidence, this happened to be Karen, who was thrilled to bits.
Freebies this year? We had to wrack our brains, but here’s what we decided: we’ll have a draw, and the lucky winner will get a smooch on the lips from our intrepid and much-maligned mascot, Buckminster K. Beaver. Bucky is totally up for this…he loves smooches.
And just because Karen’s daughter Rachel calls him “creepy” is no reason to turn your nose up. He’s really very sweet, once you get to know him. Come on, give a beaver a break!
Friday afternoon seminar
Karen decided to present her award-winning seminar, “Laughing Our Guts Out: Fame and Fortune via Insane Childhood Reminiscences.” It was a huge hit, even though attendance was a bit sparse. To fill the seats, we rounded up our faithful animal companions—Maydeleh the loyal sheltie, Lyra and Blue the adorable ragdoll cats, Ralph the Siamese, and Stella the tabby.
The audience barked and/or meowed enthusiastically throughout her presentation, though, so Karen felt very appreciated.
We Instagrammed them, and now they have 492 followers—approximately 300 more than we have.
After the seminar, we decided to hit the trade show floor. Since we couldn’t make it to McCormick Place, we decided to do the next best thing: cruise the aisles of the largest grocery stores in our respective cities, waving our martini glasses in the air and yelling, “Fill ‘er up, Joe, we need another drinkie!”
To simulate the experience even more fully, we randomly sampled delicacies from the stores’ shelves…that is, until the managers apprehended us and threatened to ban us from their establishments for life.
How could we top this?
Oooh, tricky. We had to think hard, but we decided it was Wendy’s turn to give the Saturday keynote, and Karen’s turn to applaud.
And that’s why Wendy will be giving a talk titled, “Drunk on Aisle 3: The Hidden Perils of Getting Sloshed in the Grocery Store.”
We know many bloggers will be riveted by her story of personal sacrifice and the extraordinary ends to which she was willing to go, just to get fodder for our blog readers. She really is a trouper, if she does say so.
We tried to get the arresting officer to contribute, but he hung up when he heard who was calling. We can’t think why—we offered him a byline, and everything. People are strange.
The private party!
We’d heard that all the really cool bloggers were hosting private parties in their hotel suites, so we both took a bottle of our favourite cough syrup and locked ourselves in our own bathrooms. We donned party hats, toasted one another via webcam, and threw shredded toilet paper round the room. In lieu of confetti, you know.
To liven things up, we decided to hire a male stripper. Okay, actually this was just Ralph, and he didn’t strip so much as lie on the floor and beg for tummy rubs. But he was male.
Okay, he was formerly male.
For this year’s private party, we’re thinking of making it extra private: it’ll likely involve Skype, funny hats, and cough syrup. We can say no more, because then we’d have to invite everyone. You really can’t be too exclusive when it comes to this kind of thing. Sorry, but we must maintain standards.
All wonderful things must come to an end
Did we mention that before we left on our Virtual Bloggy Extravaganza, we scoured our wardrobes for just the right outfits to bring along?
As everyone knows, these Big Bloggy Blasts are all about the wardrobe…and the manicures, pedicures, haircuts, chin lifts, brow tweezings, and Spanx. Don’t forget the Spanx.
We wanted to really capture the spirit of the thing, so every hour on the hour we’d drop whatever we were doing and run back to our rooms to change outfits. Yes, it was stressful at first, but really, what price beauty? And of course, we had to Instagram each wardrobe change, because…well, just because. It’s what you do.
This meant that by the time the Saturday night gala rolled around, we were well nigh exhausted. But we’re troupers, so we retired to our rooms for a quick blink of shut-eye, a relaxing bath, and then one final change of outfits.
That’s when tragedy struck.
We opened our suitcases and realized, to our everlasting horror, that we had run out of clothes. What to do, what to do? We fired up our webcams and put our heads together to come up with a plan. And here’s what we decided: the only outfits we hadn’t already worn on the conference floor were our dressing gowns…so we decided to unilaterally declare that the gala would be a pyjama party.
Clad in dressing gowns, fuzzy slippers, and clutching our cocktail glasses firmly in our right hands, we sallied forth, heads held high.
Of course, we’ve learned from last year’s experience.
As much fun as that impromptu gala PJ party was, Karen got a little carried away with the cough syrup, and Wendy kept losing the tie on her robe…things got a little strange by the end, and we’re thinking it’s a good thing the memories have blurred with time.
This time, we think we’ll just unilaterally declare that the entire Great Bloggy Non-BlogHer Extravaganza should have a firm dress code: pyjamas only, from start to finish. Yoga pants may be worn, but that’s as formal as we’re willing to get.
Now, who’s with us? Come on, don’t be shy! You know you want to….
Karen and Wendy (and Bucky)