BlogHer and Perfection Salad

So, I mentioned celery recently. It actually was in the discussion of Perfection Salad. (Not my recipe, but there is a picture) Yes, I have picked up another cookbook with a version of Perfection Salad. Yes, the recipe is probably the epitome of bizarre foodstuffs. I will confess something: I like the idea of Perfection Salad and a well done execution. Why? Because all sorts of different things that you don’t expect to go together, do. It may not be your thing. You may recoil reading about it. You may not even like it when you taste it. You might look and not want to start to try. It can be an acquired taste.

BlogHer conferences are the same way. Huh? I dare compare jellied vegetables and fruit to a conference? HERETIC! A beloved conference even!

But wait a minute. Here is the thing: BlogHer is perfection salad.

  • Invented by a woman
  • Improved upon by women
  • Makes use of things that others scoff
  • BlogHer elevates women–all women–in a way that is near perfection
  • BlogHer takes a mixture of women and puts them together to make a whole.

Ok, ok. It is a strange metaphor; go with it.

This year, BlogHer 2014, was back in San Jose. It was the first time back there since 2006–my first BlogHer. I am still muddled by the landscape of San Jose. It really could be some foreign habitat. I have trouble with California towns. (Though I did like San Diego a lot) There is a persistent unease I feel on the west coast. I blame my east coastal upbringing.

The hotel was ok. I was glad that we stayed in the Hilton connected to the convention center. The lights are long in San Jose.

The convention center seemed very nice and the staff was nice for the most part. I gave up dragging my laptop to the conference this year, but it seems that Team San Jose’s wifi upgrade really worked wonders. I didn’t hear any complaints about wifi in the conference center. NONE.

The Sponsors were by and large fabulous. I was not particularly pleased by the Hairfinity people who seemed to think that my young adults would not benefit from their product. I also have mixed feelings about sponsors who wanted me to spend precious conference time doing an “experience” or tweeting something in order to win/get swag/whatever. Some of it was fun. Some…gah…don’t put me on the spot.

The speakers–especially the 10×10 speakers knocked my socks off. Really. The VOTY, of course, was awesome (and the PHOTY) Morning and closing keynotes: YAY!

The women–so wonderful. I really took steps this year to talk to other women. Learn. Listen. It made my conference! I sometimes forget in the hustle to see, learn, do, that the WOMEN of BlogHer are the best. I stepped away from sitting with the same women I always end up with. I wasn’t the hanger on with the oldie BlogHers and staff. (I love them. But, it was awesome to not ponder a lot of what passes every year during conference season.) I didn’t spend the conference looking for my children, worrying about my mother (iPhone and texting for the win), or trying to locate Denise. If she was there, she was there. If not, we could find each other relatively easily. I think there were only a couple of “where are you?” texts. Oddly, I think we spent more time together and happier time together at this conference than other ones.

And the closing party? LOVED IT. Fresh McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries? YES. A party area that wasn’t mind-numbingly loud to prevent conversation.  Rev Run! (yes that part was very loud but VERY entertaining and I danced.)

So, it was a really good BlogHer. It was the sort that reminds me why BlogHer still matters. It reminded me that nowhere else will I get the sort of “summer camp” where I meet new women, really get to know women who’ve attended in the past, and renew relationships with veterans. Yes, one can say it is an expensive party weekend. But, is it really when it makes you think about what you are doing? Where you want to focus? And just what doesn’t matter anyway?