Monthly Archives: July 2009

Sessions, looking forward and a meme.

What they say is true about BlogHer.  You don’t want to try and go to a breakout session in every single time slot.

Other than the “speed dating” exercise at the opening session, I kept busy all of Friday attending Leadership:  Owning Your Expertise (wrote about this over at Diabetes Daily), Identity/Passions:  Lifeblogging Outside the Lines:  When You’re not a Geek, a Political Wonk, or a MommyBlogger (yawn), and Identity/Passions:  PatientBloggers – You Are Not Your Disease, You Just Blog About It Every Day (more on this down below).  And of course, I laughed and cried at the Community Keynote.

Yeah.  My brain and soul were fried come Saturday morning.  I skipped the keynote and first breakout session in favor of a stroll through Millennium Park with Kerri and Julia.  In fact, the only breakout session I attended was Mommyblogging:  Healthcare by Committee.  I know what you’re thinking – Rachel is not a mommyblogger or even a mommy – I was there to support my friend Kim, who was a speaker on the panel.  (I took plenty of notes, but it remains to be seen if I’ll be able to complete a proper write-up.)  From there, after seeing that two different final breakout sessions were packed, Kerri and I decided to hit the expo hall.

Next year.  (Oh yes, there will be a next year, no way am I missing out on a first ever trip to New York City.)  I’ll hit two sessions each day, if the right ones interest me, and I will take naps.  I will avoid all swag because really, I don’t need more crap cluttering my study at home.


So, back to that PatientBlogging breakout session.  I’m not going in depth about what went on or what I thought about it, only because I know Kerri and Jenni too well, especially after this past weekend.  Besides, the link I presented to Lee Ann‘s piece over at Diabetes Mine sums it up pretty well.

As you’ve probably heard if you went to BlogHer or followed events closely at home, Ree took off her wig during this session to reveal her mostly bald head and to explain what it’s like to be a woman who has lost her hair to alopecia.  She’s not outwardly sick, but the emotional impact on her and her family has been tremendous.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with Ree on Saturday night.  I let her know how much I appreciated her voice and her actions in that session.

And now she has tagged me in a meme.


What is your current obsession? Finding things to do and places to eat in Washington, DC.

What is your weirdest obsession? Needing to look for the phone book and page through it for awhile upon entering a hotel room.  I didn’t do this at BlogHer and I didn’t sleep well at all.  Hmmm.

Recall a fond childhood memory? The musty smell of my great-grandmother’s house.

What’s for dinner? Buffalo burgers.

What would you eat for your last meal? Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

What’s the last thing you bought? Some groceries last night.

What are you listening to right now? The sound of rain on an unseasonably cool late July evening in Colorado.

What do you think of the person who tagged you? I felt comfortable with her immediately upon meeting her, something that doesn’t happen often.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished, anywhere in the world, where would it be? Flathead Lake, Montana.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Italy.

Which language do you want to learn? Italian.

What’s your favorite quote (for now)? “You cannot find peace by avoiding life” – Virginia Woolf

What is your favorite color? Eggplant

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? My black tight  t-shirt with “Women Who Behave Rarely Make History” quoted in white letters.

What is your dream job? A published novelist.

What’s your favorite magazine? Bon Appetit

If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on? A massage.

Describe your personal style? I don’t have any.

What are you going to do after this? Eat dinner, maybe finish the book I’m reading, spend (ahem) quality time with the husband.

What are your favorite films? Miracle on 34th Street, Dead Poets Society, Army of Darkness, High Fidelity, Dances with Wolves.

What’s your favorite fruit? Kiwis, strawberries, avocados.

What inspires you? People watching.

Your favorite books? There are so many, but here’s a few.  Prodigal Summer, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Bird by Bird, The World According to Garp.

Do you collect anything? Memories.  Books.  Test strips.

Any advice that’s come from bitter experience? Don’t take life so seriously.

What makes you follow a blog? Nodding and agreeing with the writer, laughing my ass off, crying my ass off, knowing I will learn something.

I don’t normally “tag” people on these memes, but if I met you at BlogHer, please consider doing this one so I can learn more.

Unlocking some doors.

Uncontrollably giggling like a teenybopper, about to fall off the couch or pee my pants or something else entirely embarrassing – that’s when I knew.  Late Saturday evening (or was it early Sunday morning?) is when I realized I was having excellent fun amongst people I’d only met anywhere from 48 hours to an hour before.

And I didn’t need a drop of alcohol in order to do it.

When I look back at the weekend at BlogHer, there were very few moments where I felt uncomfortable.  Thankfully, the moments that were indeed uncomfortable were detected by the women I’ve known from the blogosphere for years, despite only knowing each other in person a brief time.  All the social anxiety quickly subsided with their reassurances and kindness.

And I didn’t need a drop of alcohol in order to make it through the weekend.

Memories of making an ass of myself in social situations melted away.  Sure, I was still a klutz and still ran my mouth off a little too much, but it came naturally instead of as a result of a drink or two or six – or even better, a nasty hangover.

Now I’m going to share a little secret.  Because of this generalized anxiety disorder that I’m finally getting around to dealing with, I haven’t touched alcohol in nearly six months.  I don’t know how long it will be before I do again – or if I will at all.

Yeah, I miss a couple of glasses of red wine with a fabulous gourmet dinner and sometimes I just want to come home and have a beer after work.  If it means losing my sense of self, however, I’d rather have the diet Coke with a twist of lime.

Bad Taste in My Mouth.

I should be more excited about today than I am.  After all, it IS the beginning of NFL training camp.  This morning, all I could do is dissect the meaning of my dreams about Kyle Orton as of late – I didn’t think I had a crush on the dude – maybe they’re telling me that I need to give the Broncos a chance this season, I don’t know.   That doesn’t matter right now anyways because this evening, I have a bad taste in my mouth.

The NFL reinstated Michael Vick on a conditional basis.  He was involved in dogfighting operations and served time for doing so and even though the NFL has cracked down on off-field offenses, they’re letting him back.

That is, if anyone wants Vick back.  I have to believe that no matter where he ends up, there will be protests by concerned citizens.  I’m feeling pretty confident that both the Bears and the Broncos are stable in their quarterback situations, so at least it won’t be one of my teams allowing him to return to the playing field.

Animal abuse is not different from human abuse.  Admittedly, I’m not a card-carrying member of PETA.  In fact, I eat meat, though sometimes with a heavy heart.  I do cringe every time I hear of someone severely injuring or killing a cat or dog or other animal because they have control over said animal.  There’s more and more evidence that animal abuse may lead to child abuse or other violent crimes.  Plain and simple, it’s not right.  Michael Vick condoned dog-fighting and THAT IS NOT RIGHT.

(Oh, and the part of him doing his community service with  Big Brothers/Big Sisters Boys & Girls Club (thanks, Nick, for the correction)?  I don’t like that he’s influencing young minds, that these children look at him and think “wow, sports star” and don’t know/don’t care that he was integral to a dog-fighting operation.  Michael Vick should have served with an animal shelter, in my opinion.)

Official Exhausted BlogHer ’09 Post.

This one isn’t going to be about the sessions I attended or about the sights I saw or the level of social anxiety I experienced this weekend.  No, that will come later this week.

This one will be about the people I met this weekend.  Some I’ve “known” for four years, others I only heard of this weekend, and still others fell somewhere in between.

Kerri, Julia, and Lee Ann.  My d-blogger crew.   Kerri and Julia were two of the first diabetes bloggers I found when I went seeking information and support following my husband’s hypoglycemic seizure and my type 2 diagnosis in 2005.  Lee Ann came onto the scene about a year ago.   But as is the case with each of these individuals, there’s so much more than diabetes involved in our friendships.  More on that later this week, too.  (Man, I’m really committing myself to blogging this week!)

Jenni Prokopy, who runs ChronicBabe.  Wow.  Meeting her was an honor.  I discovered ChronicBabe through Kerri back in early 2006 when I needed a lift on dealing with the chronic conditions that had been thrown at me a year earlier.  I later found that her attitude towards chronic conditions assisted in my coping with long existing mental health issues as well as the newly discovered physical ones.

Through Jenni, I met Cinnamon, who makes absolutely fabulous bags and purses, and Veronica, who tries to “navigate and understand the intersection between being a feminist, a mom, and a Latina”.

Kim over at Emergiblog.  I began reading Kim’s blog about four years ago, too.  At the time I was convinced that I would attend nursing school and was taking all the pre-requisites necessary to do so.  In the end, I decided that maybe it wasn’t in the cards after all, but I continued to read Kim’s stories from the emergency room and the world of nursing.  She has been supportive of my journey with type 2 diabetes, as her husband has faced a similar one in recent years.  Oh, and we both love watching college football.   (Yeah, I love ALL football.)

It was great to room with Lynn at human being blog and to see other Denver/Boulder bloggers such as Bantering Blonde, Crazy Bloggin’ Canuck, and Crunchy Domestic Goddess.  Holly promoted The Blog Frog, while Tara was doing her thing for Lijit.  All of these women I had a pleasure of meeting last month at a local BlogHer meetup.

Those who left an impression with me during sessions, both speakers and audience members include Ree, Loolwa, Mr. Lady, Moosh in Indy, Katrina, Sarah Beckley, and Barbara.  OH, and I was beyond delighted to sit next to Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes and to see that she found an old high school friend by complete surprise, sitting right there in the same session.

Those who left a lasting impression at meals or parties (hardy har har) include Suebob (and her red stapler!), Shauna Glenn, Kim Swartz, and Marianne Thomas.

A huge thank you goes out to Poppy Buxom.  Because of her, I ended up with a great view of Venetian Night and the best city in the world for a couple hours Saturday night.

I’m sure I have forgotten someone somewhere, but you get the idea – BlogHer offered the opportunity to meet women from all walks of life.  Even after my hemming and hawing, I’m glad I went.

All the Best

Oh, how the Colorado Avalanche hockey club and their fans will miss you, Joe Sakic.

I wish you all the best in your retirement.  Keep doing good things for people less fortunate than you; enjoy the extra time with your children; cherish the memories of a brilliant career.

Thank you for the incredible years here in Denver!

To those who live in the United States, Happy Independence Day!!

July4-82 copy

Why, yes, that would be me back on July 4, 1982!


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