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that conference thing (friday)

The actual conference was Friday and Saturday. My official, stated goals were to: not sleep through breakfast, meet people I didn’t already know from the internet, attend sessions, and nerd out as much as possible.

Struggles that I Overcame:

I realized that whatever lingering childhood shyness that I used to have that would cause me horrendous anxiety when thrown into a group of strangers has all but disappeared. If anything, it’s made me more empathetic to people who feel the same way. Look at me! Growing! Changing! Not mumbling into my oatmeal and avoiding eye contact or eschewing society all together to tremble in the ladies’ room!

The handful of people that I sat with at breakfast were lovely and we had no trouble chatting. After the opening keynote address, there was a “speed-dating” session that sounded like it would be chaotic, but I managed to just remain in my seat and allowed people to come to me, like I was the Godfather or something. The key to these things is to act like you’re super important. Next time, if there is a next time, I’m hiring somebody to stand behind me and look like Secret Service. Then watch the business cards pile up. That’s how 50 Cent got where he is today.

My other struggle was referencing American Psycho when I went to lunch with several MamaPoppers at this place called Johnny Utah’s. It was suggested that we go there because there was a mechanical bull. But I guess lunchtime on a Friday isn’t prime bull-riding time, because it just sat there like…well, like a giant inanimate bull in the room. I mentioned that the restaurant reminded me of the no-longer-popular restaurant that Patrick Bateman takes Paul Allen to in American Psycho and everyone got kind of quiet. Like, maybe referencing a misogynistic serial killer that was dreamed up by a bougie misogynistic a-hole is a faux pas in the midst of a women’s conference. I don’t know, I’m not always in tune to these subtle social cues.

Sessions that I Attended:

The first was a session on resume-writing and social media profiles and it was really, really good. My internet-writing experience is not insignificant. Far from it. But I really don’t know how to incorporate that into my resume and I don’t know how to get over my fear that people will see that and read, “I WRITE INAPPROPRIATE THINGS AND SHAME MY EMPLOYERS! CALL ME! LOL!!!ONE1 twitter.” So it was really helpful to hear from people who have done so successfully and see examples of resumes that do this in a professional way.

There were a couple other social media sessions that I wanted to go to, but I ended up lugging my camera to a photography session that ended up being more about composition than actual, hands-on technique. And I kind of already know a little bit about composition from taking a couple history and theory classes about photography in college. I was hoping for more practical advice on getting comfortable with adjusting manual settings for various shots. But I have a book for that, I just need to find it.

Parties that I Attended:

The MamaPop writers spent some quality time together, drinking, eating burritos, and doing karaoke. Funny. Drunken karaoke sounds a whole lot like shouting and giggling. This was actually my first foray into karaoke and Laurie and I belted out “Me and Bobby McGee.” I got a little too into it, I think, because after I handed off the mic, Amy looked at me and said, “That was…something else.”

Injuries Sustained:

I banged my knee on something getting out of a cab and got a small but healthy scrape. I dramatically declared that I would soon be coming down with hepatitis in that knee, but so far it seems okay.

People on Whom I Mouth-Breathed:

I know for sure that I met these people at breakfast or during the speed-dating: Pine Creek Cottage, Hide the Cheese, The Bellini Bunny, Dana from Rodale, and Naomi from Ketchum. I know I’m missing a few but I’ll do a round up of all of the cards that I’m having trouble placing with memories later. I also bumped into Jason and TwoBusy in the morning who were in search of that fine lady Mrs. Potato Head. Pimp! Adam P. Knave met up with us for drinks before the MamaPop party and I talked to him and his friend for exactly 2.5 seconds. I finally met Melissa and called her Christine.

Pictures that I Took:

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This was the view from our hotel room. When we first walked past that LOVE sculpture, I pointed and yelled, “HEY! IT’S THIS THING!” I should be a tour guide.

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Adam, Friend of Adam, and Palinode

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BHJ and Amber

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Schmutzie!

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Jodi, Tracey, Palinode, and Ryan. I don’t know why there’s so much bending in this picture.

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Kelli, Laurie, Schmutzie, Sarah, and Marilyn cracking up over something with a cardboard cutout of somebody. Based on the direction of their gaze, I imagine it’s something PG-13. I don’t remember taking this picture or what was going on, which is weird because I really didn’t even drink that much.

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Karaoke action with Palinode, Tracey, Amy, Catherine, Schmutzie, Amy, Amber, and I believe Miss Banshee is back there, too.

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This picture doesn’t do them justice but Jodi and Amy are, like, radiantly beautiful in real life.

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