Category Archives: Job

BlogHer ’08 Wrap Up

Of course I come out of BlogHer ’08 and find myself in a whirlwind of projects that slipped by and 3 colleagues on maternity leave causing a staggering amount of deadlines to keep track of.  But I wanted to wrap up some thoughts on this before the topic is totally irrelevant.

It was fun.  Overwhelming as anticipated, but fun.  And most of this is from a non-work perspective.  I felt by the time the conference rolled around, my work with the Dummies branding campaign and BlogHer Heroes contest was over so I enjoyed it from a personal perspective.  First day I was blown away by the number of sponsors picked up since last year.  And moving into the sessions (after those horrible ice breakers in the opening key note – hate those) I found it slow to start.  Everything seemed a little squishy at first – we’re so glad you’re here, thank you for coming, let’s share, I want to make sure this is about you.  And the sessions I went to were a little dry of content and people.  That’s when I realized the conference may be getting over sponsored, because everyone was getting their massage or makeover or having a cupcake with champagne at a sponsor suite instead of attending the sessions.  I read later on Jory’s blog (BlogHer co-founder) that some of those suites weren’t sponsors and well, some sponsors were just being rude.  But I’m glad she took notice. 

I went to the introversion session which I found hilarious because it was so QUIET.  And you know what I realized?  I don’t think I’m as introverted as I thought I was.  🙂 

The 20-something bloggers was fun, run by Zandria who I must have met last year because she was so familiar to me.  I saw some bloggers that I read, but really didn’t want to introduce myself.  Why?  Because I felt like some cyber-stalker because I read without making myself known.  I did get the guts to introduce myself to Jen of Semi-Charmed Wife because I do admire what she does on her blog. 

Day two rolled around with more interesting sessions I had to choose between and I wish all of those sessions were broken up between the 2 days.  The close of the event had me chugging a cosmopolitan and heading over to the Macy’s after party with a nice buzz and realizing after making a fool of myself that when buzzed I should speak to ONLY colleagues and people who know me.  I really wanted to go talk to my fellow 20-something bloggers, but honestly, I was so tuckered out and not trusting what rude non-sense would slip out of my mouth I just hugged the side of my fellow Wiley folks.  Safe zone. 

My favorite personal revelations – I’m not as scared as I once was to stand up in front of an audience.  I asked a few questions in the very full panels and had a lot more confidence than previous shows.  Mostly because I care less what people think about me.  Which is to say, I’m not as frozen by being self-conscious, still inhibited by it, but not frozen.  My director let me tease her the ENTIRE time that she works for me.  I didn’t really declare this to anyone seriously, but something in the fact that she let me do that made me feel really good about where I work.  Silly?  sort of.  But it is just nice to know that my job allows me to step back from the role of marketer to be myself, because I’m better at being myself.  The Blonde, a fellow colleague and one of my managers has more guts and composure than I ever hope to have.  She dragged me over to meet Heather Armstrong of Dooce knowing that I get super embarrassed when being all fan-girl about something.  And I’m glad she brought me over.  Heather is really nice and I was surprised so many people take liberty to be rude to her face – seriously, it’s weird.  And I now believe that I really do only know about 5% her life, if not less, because while I knew she was tall I had no idea she was that tall.  Easily the tallest woman I have ever met.  And I have a picture of the 2 of us, but I kind of looked freaked out.  Because I was.  Overall, I’m glad I went.  And still the highlight remains talking to Grover.

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Best part of BlogHer ’08

Meeting Grover.
Sesame Street had a suite where you could meet Grover and Abby Cadabby.  And I met them both.  And made a special video for Molly and Mason.
Now, this was my first time on video actually talking to the camera.  And I was super nervous.  I know – to talk to Grover.  But it’s true.  And do you know how hard it is to talk to Grover and not the guy with his hand up Grover’s ass?  At one point, when he repeated the question “and how old are Molly and Mason?” I looked down at the guy like dude, you just asked that and I responded with you just asked and I spent a good HOUR after the video thinking omigod I am such a bitch, I just snipped at Grover…
Lastly, I almost didn’t post this.  Why?  Because I am a retard.  Yeah, I gained some weight and I’m SUPER self-conscious about it.  Which is why I have been tending to post more pics of boy on flickr than me.
Anyway, that smile on my face, that huge grin, I couldn’t even take it down a notch.  Because standing on sesame street, talking to Grover, this was definitely a childhood dream come true for me. 
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Grover and Al on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

 

 

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a bad moment for food

My dream last night involved me needing a double mastectomy and my ovaries removed.  So I went about it by removing one ovary with one breast at a time.  I made it through the first operation and looked down at my stitched up chest with no nipple and started mourning my breast more than the missing ovary.  I know, totally weird.

So what does this have to do with anything?  I don’t know.  But here’s what I think it may be somehow related to, in a convoluted way that just shows how messed up I am.

I have been completely off routine the past 2 weeks.  Between birthdays, holidays, and a broken fridge I have been at boy’s for 2 weeks straight, not running a whole lot, not eating great, not doing a lot of homework (not good).  My diet is the worst.  I have been eating a lot of sugar and over-eating at meals and feeling really crummy afterward.  And then tonight, I had escargot.  yup, that’s right.  Boy and I have discussed my past love of weird foods – (I’m talking frog legs, pastrami, canned vienna sausages – yeah, I used to LOVE that stuff) – I thought I was over those days.  But apparently not.  I like escargot, really, I do.  But what upsets me most is that I had no qualms about eating it.  Nothing.  Not a stir.  And I’m having issues this evening about losing my convictions.  I used to feel passionately about eating well and responsibly.  Where’d that go?

So what does this have to do with losing a breast and ovary in my dream? (why yes I did wake up and grab my boobs first thing in the morning and was quite relieved.)  I have been eating crappy, I feel crappy about myself, wether it’s true or not I feel like I am putting on weight, so I feel like I look like ass, and in my contorted reality, feeling feminine involves being lean.  So if I feel like I look like ass, I feel like I am losing my femininity, hence losing my boobs and ovaries.

Hopefully next week will be quiet.  And boy is leaving to geek it out at comic con.  Just me and Jack and a whole lot of studying to catch up on.  I look forward to becoming a creature of routine once again.  And rejuvenating my energy level by being alone.  BlogHer hasn’t even started and I’m already drained by the amount socialization required for my job.

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let’s try this again

I had a very bad start to the week.  It didn’t help that most of the weekend I spent plastered to the bed sheets in my own germiness.  Boy went out Friday night with a friend and came back to find me drugged out in bed barely able to talk.  I woke up Saturday morning, walked into the bathroom, and took a moment to yell at boy because doofus was using my toothbrush.  Why was he using my toothbrush?  B/c orange is his favorite color, so why wouldn’t the orange one be his?  So after sleeping Saturday afternoon away, I picked up boy from work and he was of course feeling crummy.  So we both drugged up for another night of raspy gasping for breath germiness.  Poor Jack laid in between us until about 11am Sunday, staring, waiting for someone to wake up so he could relieve his bladder. 

Sunday I was fed up with the germiness so decided to get outside for a walk.  Boy and I went with a friend who just looked at me several times asking “are you sure you can do this?” because I sounded like Darth Vader.  I was like yeah, just get me out of this stale air pahhllllleeeeaaase.  So we went, and Jack was happy, but when we got back I was pretty incoherent and starving and barely peeled myself off the couch to go get some food.  And I don’t know about anyone else, but whenever I have a cold, my appetite is huge, and, well, everything seems to go right through me.  I blame all the cold medicine, but needless to say it’s not a good combination while sitting in a restaurant, feeling really loopy, and having eaten a bunch of tofu…  Yeeeaaah, I’m sure my friend is real happy to learn that little tidbit about me.  On the ride home boy and my friend were talking about how full they were and I all could think about was how I really wanted cake because it may have only taken 2 minutes but I’m pretty sure there was nothing left in my stomach…

So this morning I woke up to boy rolling over and opening one eye before asking “so, did you hack up both lungs or just one lung last night.”  I’m not sure because honestly I just ran to the bathroom and chugged much more than the recommended dose of Robitussin.  Feeling okay I headed to work knowing I had a lot to make up from Friday and not an hour into my day, that other lung was trying to jump out of my chest as I sat there and hacked away.  It was gross.  If I were listening to that, I would be pissed that that person had even come into work only to spew germs across the cubes.  So I asked my boss if I could finish up and work from home, swigged more than the recommended dose of Robitussin, and tried to finish my work.  But… my computer froze.  and oh. I. was. irked.  Just pissed that I was sick, pissed that I was hungry, pissed that no food would stay in my stomach, and pissed at my computer.  So I stayed until about 1 and walked to the BART refusing to blink because if I did the tears would fall down my face.  I called boy and grumped and hmphed and got really pissy and he just said “come over here.”  So we went out to lunch so I could get some food in me (yeah, didn’t stay there long…) and I could calm down before coming home and continue my work, which still isn’t close to a reasonable point and I’ll be finishing some stuff up tonight. 

So I’m at that point where i’m sick of being sick.  And yeah, it takes 5-7 days, I’m patient, really, I am. But other people?  Well, not so much.  It’s like e-mail and work won’t let you have 5-7 days to recover.  If they did, I would never have gone into work today in the first place.  But there’s this work hard, play hard mentality that seems to come with rising in the ranks, and I don’t like it.  I don’t want to work hard, play hard.  I just want balance.  So boy tells me this is a good lesson on what point of stress I can take and how to deal with it in the future, but if i’m unable to deal with it, then whatever it is that’s causing it isn’t worth it.  So I’ve calmed down for now, sterilized my apartment, will sit in the bath tonight and wrap up some work, mainly e-mail house cleaning, but I’m now approaching work with a new wary outlook.  Work hard, play hard?  No thanks.  I’d rather enjoy the day-to-day.

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a post for all wanna be writers

this is your fate, and the person on the other end of the phone is your marketer:

thx to my boss for passing along.  Because this, this is what a marketer in publishing does.

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i just got gossip-booked

Yeah, I’m on facebook.  Because I’m a marketer and the whole social media networking world is the place to be.  But I’m just a dabbler.  I sign up and just snoop around in other people’s profiles and toy with the applications so I know what people are referring to in conversation.  I’m not a great networker, mainly because i’m a total introvert and shy away from that kind of thing, but I have a presence. 

I receive application invites from those people who have graffiti’d pages.  Some I ignore, some I take just for fun, others confuse me because of weird in between pop-ups.  The latest one I did was a comparison test between friends.  Now, some of the people I have friended I don’t really know at all.  And then it kept asking would I date this person?  And yeah right.  I don’t want to date my manager.  Or my other manager, or my boyfriend’s uncle, or the friend of an ex-boyfriend.  Half-way in I realized this was a mistake.  I have no idea in what feed this will get published and I raced through it, skipped over half the q’s, and did I actually just click yes I would date this person by accident?  Crap. 

A day later I get a report back from the application in my inbox.  I open it to find this:

 

Your friends have voted on your strengths and weaknesses:

STRENGTHS: most absentee, most generous, toughest

WEAKNESSES: most creative, merriest

And because I was that over-sensitive girl in high school that never quite fit into a group and I’m still bitter about that whole prom experience, my first response was, “What?!  I hate you all!”

And then I realized, hey, it’s facebook.  Despite however professional these networks claim to be, someones always going to ruin it with the popularity contest.  And i’ve got a curtain to embroider, so I simply have no time for these shenanigans.

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sigh of relief

This project started with a networking event in December and has been the main item on my plate for months.  At times, I wanted to scream who’s idea was it to put a coordinator in charge of this?  (answer: ConfessionsOfAnITGirl)  And nearly everyday I came home with something I learned from working on this project, (which I will eventually get around to blogging about.)  It’s been overall good, challenging, but good.  So, here it is:

Who’s Your BlogHer Hero?

The idea is for you to nominate someone who has made an impact on the life of women through their blog and demonstrates passion, innovation, and the ability to inspire a community.  All the rules and regs are available for those who want to get technical via the link above.  Anyone can nominate any blog, male or female, doesn’t matter.  Just follow the links to the nomination form and let us know in 100 words or less about your BlogHer Hero.  Winning blog receives a trip for 2 to the BlogHer Conference in July.

So… yay!  go… have fun…

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on going for it

In college I had an irrational fear of going home for the summer.  Mainly because I knew I had left home for good and really did not want to return.  So after my freshman year, I stayed a few months taking an extra class and sculling on the lake.  Learning to scull is much different than rowing in an 8 boat.  First you have to learn to carry the boat out of the hold by yourself, balance it on your head to the water, flip it down into the water, then balance your way into the seat without letting it flip.  But then something about being on the water alone and hearing the rythmic motion of oars hitting the water followed by the silence of a slow recovery before the next stroke, it’s the most calming and focus-driven I think I have ever been.  And it made me want to push myself to the limit.  Until the day the oar caught on some algae and I flipped.  My coach came by to talk me through getting back into the boat, but he wouldn’t help. I was mortified.  You basically have to flip the boat so as not to leave water in the bottom and then throw your body over the center and spin yourself around until you are parallel with the boat and can pull your feet up under you back into the seat (trick about rowing is you can never stand on the bottom of the boat, the shell is so thin to keep it moving you will likely step through.)  This took me a good 15 minutes.  I remember wanting to cry from exhaustion and inhaling so much algae water.  Afterwards, a varsity girl came up to me and told me how the coach usually keeps his eye out for the novice that flips first.  This was a good sign, it meant that person wasn’t afraid to push herself.  I had been the first novice of the year to flip. 

I admire people who go for it and take risks because I know plenty of people who hide behind their comfort wall and never just say “fuck it” and make the step.  And I’m convinced that people who take risks are happier.  You know those people who just coast along and let life take care of them?  and all the better if they hook up with someone who will ensure everything will be taken care of?  or for that matter, the ones that cut opportunity short because the comfort zone is just too cozy to leave?  I don’t buy that those people are really happy.

Sometimes work feels like an endurance race, like I’m being judged on how much can I get done, how much can I trudge through, and still maintain pace.  I speak with my best friend on the phone and tell her what I am doing and she often says, “you know, I just try and get through the day taking on as little as possible.”  Lately, every time I talk to my mom she’s exhausted from work and seemingly lives in a constant state of sighs, a chaotic day repeated over and over with frustrations building.  I screw up a lot at work.  Sometimes I want to spend entire days hiding under my desk.  Sometimes I feel like all I do is apologize for my mistakes and it takes so much energy and sugar just to keep moving forward with a positive attitude.  But in the end I hope all my mistakes add up to the fact that I am taking risks and those risks will propel me forward.  At the very least, taking risks keeps me on my toes.

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Performance in the absence of commitment

I just cleaned my dishes and found moldy yuckiness that used to be hummus and lentils sitting in the sink.  I have clothes strewn all over my living room and I just dined on a bag of candied ginger.  Monday this week I received an umpteenth phone call from my mom asking “is something wrong?  are you mad at me?” and an e-mail from my best friend “are you hiding?”  I expect one from my grandfather soon, who I briefly got in the habit of talking to every Sunday and ashamedly let the routine slide.  And tonight I found a neglected medical bill from September of last year and did I mention I recently had 5 parking tickets out on my car at once?  5?!  Those of you who know me know that this is not me at all.  I’ve been emotionally absent from most things going on in my life and I should know myself well enough that the instant detachment from life is a sign of high stress and very bad things to come.

I got called out yesterday by my boss when she asked, “what capacity of work load are you at?”  And I gave her a blank stare.  She then asked “are you able to take on anything else?” And I laughed and shook my head.  She asked me what projects I need to drop in order to get things done and I told her and she let me drop them.  This was followed by a very brief but firm reminder that when this happens I need to let people know.  I was really embarrassed, but the truth is that I had no idea I was taking on too much.  I’ve been working on a project for months now that is about to launch and seeing the full picture has peaked my interest in the potential for other projects.  So while I’m trying to do basic admin stuff all I can think about is Trapani’s Upgrade Your Life that I was reading on the BART train and how this stuff should really be taught to anyone entering a new job b/c all my project files and inbox folders are shot to shit from bad methods of organizing when I started 2 1/2 years ago and really, why haven’t we signed Merlin Mann?  Why hasn’t anyone signed Merlin Mann, b/c there’s a market for him.  And oh look, right when I call him the “Dooce” of Mac fan-boys, she goes and blogs about how great his twitter stream is and this is how my day rolls away from those basic admin duties into the world of endless marketing possibilities and there’s so much to pursue.  Which I guess is a good thing, in a way.

But I worry I’m adopting an ADHD work ethic.  And I think it’s because I can’t commit.  While I’m enjoying work, I can’t commit to one aspect of it.  I dabble in stuff but I don’t usually delve into opportunities fully and see them through to the end.  It’s no secret that I want to go to medical school, 15 credits into the pre-med post Bach program and I have yet to formally enroll.  Because while everyone else is convinced I’ll be able to do it, until I can convince myself that I can go for it and won’t fail at it, I am unable to commit.  Maybe it’s a flaw in how I equate passion with success.  Passion should allow for failure.  And it’s times like this I want to quit everything, pack up my stuff, put Jack in the car, and move back home to Louisiana and enroll full time so I can focus.  Louisiana has to be the best place for me to focus because every time I go all I can think about is how do I get out, and if that means going back and leaving only upon entry into a medical school, chances are I’d wrap the prerequisites up in record time. 

Although as tempting as it is to run away, this is only half of my life.  The other half spent last night searching for coyotes at dusk with ex-boy and Jack.  And when 2 coyotes snuck up behind us on the trail just as we had given up because all light was gone and I could barely see Jack prancing in their direction, off leash, all of the above worries slipped from my mind and some from my bladder because I was so scared I very well could have peed in my pants and not even known it.  I froze, Jack froze, ex-boy froze.  In fear of Jack thinking I was playing chase, I didn’t move toward him to grab him, we all just stood staring at one another.  And when the coyotes walked off I screamed at Jack with a tone ex-boy couldn’t identify and hesitated to say it contained slight quiver but there was fear.  And it was awesome.

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on breathing

On the phone with a colleague, realizing what I must sound like to everyone in the office, like I’m talking someone through labor pains…

“it’s okay… i’m not worried… we’ll be fine… breathe…”

hanging up, thinking goddamn I need someone to talk me through it.  because all I get is ex-boy laughing and smirking telling me I am entertaining as all shit when I flip out and start laughing and crying at the same time because the benadryl (to calm me down) and coffee (to keep me focused) is wearing off. 

 disclaimer – Ex-boy is not an ass even though this makes him sound like one.

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