I’m back with a liveblog of tonight’s keynote speakers. This panel has been chosen by a committee to read extremely significant posts from their own blogs.
Hanging out in the giant ballroom waiting for the keynote to start. For pictures visit CityStreams (that’s me).
Introduction- This community keynote is about you and me and all of us. I’m really proud to introduce Eden Kennedy to kick us off.
Eden – Quick thank you to Elisa who was the real organizer behind this endeavor. I also want to thank Jes Ferris and Lori Luna, Angela, Polly, MooshinIndy and Megan Smith.
First reader- Bossy (I Am Bossy)
This is a little thing I like to call Dr. Seuss’s ode to a blog conference… (link to come).
“She’ll be the tall one in the back with a wine in each fist.”
Second reader – Issa (Issa’s Crazy World)
Uncle Marky (link to come) – “I have always given to bums… because each of them is a human being. Each one of them could be someone’s Uncle Mark.”
Third reader – Karen Waldrond
Racial skepticism – (link to come) – Even as I live my life and show that I judge people not on the content of their skin but on the character. It’s hard to live in a country where you live different. … In the ’90’s not everyone believed I was an engineer. Not everyone believes I am a lawyer. “Are you sure you don’t mean a paralegal?”
Fourth reader – Sherry (Sherri?) Reed
Amends – Part of staying sober is making a decision to be more postive…. (link to come) …The idea behind the first year of sobreity is to chisel away at the bad memories. It seems that there are so many “I’m sorries” waiting in the wings.
Fifth Reader – Julie D – I Do Things So You Don’t Have To
“Hi everybody, I’m JD and when I was a kid – I faked a concussion so that you don’t have to.” (link to come) Like all ten year olds, I was physically indestructible. “We’d probably go to McDonald’s on the way home.” “It never occurred to me that the doctor would think that I was lying.” “All of these questions were making me sleepy.”
Quick PS to this story – many years later I confessed to my mom that it was a big lie to my mom. I thought we’d have a big laugh about it. She was pissed. And to this day she brings it up at family gatherings to make me feel bad. And I do. Sort of.
Sixth Reader – Mike -
This is called, “Hello, Hello.” (link to come)
A lot of people think that cell phones were invented for calling or texting but I think they were invented to avoid people at parties on four hour pretend conversations. This is a big step up because before that I would lock myself in the bathroom.
Seventh Reader -Pam Mendell
I wrote this in a really crappy, generic strip motel outside of Tampa. (link to come) I loved the idea behind my three day junket to New York. This is another non-vacation. Lately it seems that my solidarity is with the road warriors. They stride through the terminals with a cell phone to one ear.
I find it extremely disconcerting to wing across three hundred miles of scenery to see the same landscape that I’d left behind. Concrete and strip malls.
Eight Reader – Amy Sharp – DoubleVeh
Sometimes I would stand in the stacks while practicing French at my high school job in the library. (link to come)
Madam died a happy woman I think. And that has made all of the diff-frahnce.
Black Hockey Jesus – from the internet -
I wrote this for my little girl when she turned five. (link to come) When I come to pick you up little girls run to kiss you and little gold stars twinkle around. Oh sweet face, you are five today. I want to tell you things…
There are people who will make you cry and you will want to wave your fist in the air and glare at happy people. Would you believe that these things can be changed? Edited by a future hand writing. All our yesterdays can be changed by a today. For you little girl are just this kind of past-changing thing.
I walked home that night oddly contented in a rain of little gold stars that twinkled and beamed.
Danielle – KnottyYarn.com
There’s something stuck in my vagina. (link to come) Day One – And then I get the sinking feeling. I think I just had sex with a tampon in me. I spend the rest of the day concerned, pressing on my stomach hoping that I can push the tampon out like a turkey timer.
Day Two – Seth, I think there’s a tampon in me. What? Wouldn’t you have felt it? I think you’re fine. Go to the doctor if you want.
I think I’m dying. (the audience is rolling on the floor) Going to the doctor is just a waste of money, paying someone to tell you what you already know – that you’re dying. In my family going to the doctor to have a foreign object removed from your body, is a total dick move.
Tanis Miller -
With the arrival of my new son, I was once again the parent of a disabled child. (link to come) I had forgotten how every time I traveled out with my child I became the traveling freak show for everyone to point and stare or worse yet, to just ignore. Then I learned the secret that most people never have the chance to discover – the joy of parenting a child with a disability.
There is a difference, a line, between what is funny and what is pathetic and rude. Please don’t make this harder for us … becauseone day someone you love could be the punchline to a joke. The only difference is that I promise, I won’t laugh.
“Well, you ask me to sing you a love song and I say, ‘Hold on’ and I think.” (link to come) You know this blog is your love song. I sing a love song of food. Just in case let me explain a bit more… Joseph says I cook because I love. I cook to woo. I cook to nourish. I cook to teach. I cook to love.
Meals can show off. Meals can feed people. … The recipe’s the love song.
Even the asparagus jello, which nobody liked the tune of, … is my love song.
Grace Davis – State of Grace
21 years ago I bought the book that saved my life, The Courage to Heal … the first book to help victims of childhood sexual abuse. I published this entry two years ago right before Mother’s Day. The two months from Mother’s Day to June and Father’s Day is a source of living hell for those of us who were abuse by our parents. (link to come) I have a message for you dear ones … it’s radical and some may not understand … you don’t have to forgive your perpetrator and forgiving your abuser is not neccessary to achieving healing. If there is forgiveness to be offered then extend it to yourself. Forgive yourself for being young and weak. Forgive yourself for drinking, doing drugs and being permiscuous. Forgiving yourself for having to be perfect, for alienating your body, starving it and excericising unhealthily. Forgive yourself for the bad break ups and bad choices. Forgive yourself for being afraid to be a parent. … Forgive yourself for hating yourself. Forgive yourself. You’re the one who deserves it.
Melissa Ford – the land of IF (infertitility) – Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found
Loss is inherent in the land of infertility. Mixed in with the loss is the physical pain, embarassment and the financial cost. (link coming) This is what baby making in the clinic is like. Someone else sets up the time and does the work. It can be daunting. Like stripping the love from the event of making a baby.
Pauline Karvoski – ClassyChaos.com
As an immigrant in America, I have spent my whole life stuck in between two cultures. (link to come) It did not take long for me to question my heritage. In grade school I would hide under my desk during Saturday’s Polish school when the soccer kids came inside for bathroom breaks. The best days were in high school when I was guiding those girls in Polish dance.
Through the eyes of my children I saw my country again. We stood in the same sandbox where I used to play. “Can we come back any time? This is our second home, yes, MaMa?” I realize through them that I fit perfectly in both worlds.
Wendy Adams – wendyaarons.com
Let me just say that when I wrote this I didn’t know that Pepsi was a sponsor of BlogHer. I love Diet Coke. It is my strength and my weakness. (link to come) My relationship with Diet Coke began many years ago when I broke up with Tab.
I’m a grown up so I know what’s good for me – fruit. And what isn’t – heroin. And I should be able to choose, right?
The post I’m going to read is about memories of and travels in Yugoslavia. It’s dedicated to my dad who gave me a love for Yugoslavia and wonky elbows. (link to come) “Do you want the ones with the obituary or without?” The cigarettes with the obituary weren’t smuggled into the country.
The snow turns the town white, transforming it into a secret and magical place. It is perfectly calm here.
Kelly – DonMillsDiva
I refuse to wring my hands or gnash my teeth. (link to come) I get that some people are truly conflicted about exposing themselves on the internet. But I’m sorted. I’m good. I’m a writer. In the lifestyle section of every newspaper there are columnists who routinely write about themselves in the first person and reference their families. I reject the notion that just because I do it on the internet I am more careless or taudry than people who do this for a newspaper. This is not a diary, it’s a column.
Corin – That Black Girl Blogging, RealSimple.com
This post is entitled When White Women Become Experts on Michelle Obama and Our Hair. (link to come) Black hair cannot be so narrowly defined or critiqued.
Catherine – HerBadMother
His name was William Frederick Hunter and she only saw him once. He was wrapped in a blue blanket. They asked if she wanted to hold him and she said, “No.” (link to come) She squeezed her eyes and tried not to see her heart outside her chest.
She says to me, “I’ve thought about that little baby every day of my lfe and I wonder …” Tears are streaming down my face and across my baby’s head.
His name was William Frederick Hunter. And he’s my brother. And I’m going to find him.
Heather Spohr – thespohrsaremultiplying.com
I wrote this post in April after my daughter died unexpectedly. (link to come) I’m just somebody else that doesn’t know your family. In the last two weeks, the internet has united to help a small family. You have grieved with us. There are so many blog posts dedicated to our Maddie that we are floored.