I arrived at a bay area blogger mixer hosted by CBS5 Eye on Blogs and got great parking. When you’re in San Francisco and you get a free parking place around the corner from your destination, you just know it is a great omen that fantastic things are to come. For the most part, it was fantastic. Except that I’m a total dork.
First let me say that I hate big crowds and big parties. Most people who meet me think I’d be a lot of fun at a party. I’m not. I don’t even drink. I prefer what I call “Intimate Gatherings with a few Friends.” I don’t even go to concerts because I think everyone’s looking at me when I’m dancing and judging me by how well I lip sync the words to Roxanne. In other words, if you want to have a cup of coffee with someone for two hours and have an in-depth discussion followed by laughing so hard you have to run to the bathroom: I’m your girl. If you’re looking for someone to go to a mixer: I’m not it!
I needed to take a grown-up with me. Luckily I had Alison St. Sure of surefoodsliving.com to accompany me. She’s one of those people who’s not afraid of parties and is probably well-connected. Her website is all about living gluten-free and also focuses on food allergies. Since my daughter has multiple food allergies, we always have a lot to share. I’ve sent so many people to her with stomach problems that she probably is starting to think I’m making people sick. I might be, but most likely its something related to what they’re eating. So she’s my “Go To” for food information.
This is why the Blogger event was so amazing to me. I really enjoyed myself. The host Brittney Gilbert went out of her way to go around the room and talk to us Bloggers. She seemed really interested in everything and everyone. That’s her job, to learn about Bay Area Bloggers and aggregate that information on her blog. This is an excellent source for people who want to read blogs, but don’t want a bunch of boring shit. Apparently CBS5 had some blackmail material on the newscasters because they were mingling around making small talk with people like me instead of going home to their families. Or maybe it was the free food and alcohol. In any event, I was like a little kid. I’m such a dork that all it takes is being on television and I’m all “Oh my God, I’ve seen you on T.V.!” If I had an autograph book, I totally would have had them sign it. Thinking back, I could have had them sign my arm. Shit!
The first people I recognized from television were the Muni Ladies who were recently unmasked on another local news program. Until then, they were blogging anonymously but they’ve become such a huge world-wide hit, that they decided to come out. So when I spotted them across the room; it was sort of like when my daughter spots Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland. I just couldn’t wait to meet them. I probably wanted them to hug me and have a picture taken. Then, Oh My God, Joe Vasquez, one of CBS’s anchor newsmen came up to Alison, the Muni Ladies and me and asked if we’d like to see the newsroom. I know I was too rambunctious and chatty but I just couldn’t contain myself. I played in the newsroom and stood in front of the green screen where they shoot weather reports and pretended that I was doing a forecast for a hurricane. I love playing pretend.
After I returned from my make-believe world of newsroom reporting, I made myself meet people. I told me that I had to be a grown-up and start making friends. I remembered something I read in a book called “How to Make Friends and Influence Others.” Dale Carnegie suggests you ask people questions about themselves. This is pretty easy to do at a blogger mixer since we all had our blog names on our name tags. It was easy for me to chit-chat with Biggie from lunchinabox.net because I have to pack creative lunches for my daughter with food allergies every single day. No hot lunches for her, ever. The thing about Biggie is that she is completely and totally devoted to her site. One might even say …. Obsessed. But, that’s not a bad thing. I wish I could be that focused on just one thing for more than a week.
My favorite person was Desiree with lookiloos.com. She would be someone I’d hang out with. She laughed at my jokes and that made points with me. We hit the room and decided to meet people together. That’s when it happened. I just knew there’d be a camera there and I’d fuck everything up and it must have been a self-fulfilled prophecy. The man with the camera said “Say your name, your blog name, and why people should visit it.” Oh but I just couldn’t keep it that nice and clean, could I? So it happened, I became the Dutchess of Dork. This is the video that represents what happens to me when I panic. I don’t cry, or shrink, I … well I kind of spaz out.
If you watch the video, you’ll see about 20 bloggers calmly giving simple messages. I’m in the last chunk of interviews. You’ll recognize me because I’m pretending to cry and announce myself as an alcoholic. You have to realize that I had about one minute to prepare and I was “trying” to be funny. My husband cracked up when he saw it. My friend Leslie seems a little concerned about my reputation. But I have to say this: Its the real me. Take me or leave me.