Internet Summit

A Bit of Hodge Podge from the Week

Just a random collection of thoughts and experiences this week:

  • I walked into the office kitchen today and smelled something foul. At first, I thought it was fish in the microwave again (just say no, people), but it turns out it was almost as bad: creamed spinach. WHY????? Ewwww.  Creamed spinach may be your favorite food ever, but some foods should be kept at home. And yes, I acknowledge that my red wine vinegar and cucumbers might not be the best smell ever in an open office environment, but surely they are infinitely better than fish or creamed spinach!!
  • Apparently every church in the area is having a holiday bazaar this weekend.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been to one, and I’m curious if it would be worth my time or crafty hell. Thoughts?
  • I’ve been reading Justin Cronin’s The Passage for about 3 weeks now. I started it (finally) the week of Halloween, hoping optimistically that I’d finish it by the holiday. Three weeks later, I’m about 30 pages from the end, and I think there is a sequel. It’s been a long slog. Not a bad one, but long. Can’t decide if I will declare myself done once I finish the book or go for the next one. Vampires (or virals as they are called in the book)!!!
  • I avoided the holiday music channels on Sirius XM for 3 days but succumbed today. Stick a fork in me; I’m done. I’ve fallen fully down the holiday rabbit hole. I want to decorate all the things! And my Christmas spirit is at stratospheric highs. I might even break down and watch White Christmas, my least favorite Christmas movie for complicated reasons.
  • Jimmy’s thumb is healing well, but we are babying it and keeping it bandaged since the thumb is, well, integral to a lot. Jimmy empathizes with chimps and other animals without thumbs.
  • We swear Daniel is taller. He seems sooooooo tall and taller than a few days ago. We think he’s going to be tall like my dad (6’7″) and grandfather (6’6″).
  • The Internet Summit happened in town this week, and I missed it. I have attended almost every year, but this year it just didn’t work out.  Steve Wozniak was a keynote, and I hate I missed that.
  • We usually write notes to Daniel each night for him to find. This morning, I asked him to write a note to his daddy, and he wrote “Mommy and me love you.” Melt. He has learned soooo much! So proud of that little man.
  • Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.
  • Jimmy and I are both counting down to our last working days of the year. We need a nice, long break.

How was your week?

It’s a Bird..It’s a Plane..It’s KeAnne Going to Another Conference

Today I felt like I had a split personality. By morning I was “Mommy,” dressed in ratty, stretchy, slouchy PJ pants and a t-shirt that had seen better days. I made Daniel pancakes for breakfast and tried to keep him entertained (because he felt 100% better and was frustrated that we wouldn’t let him go outside) while fighting off my own case of the queasies. By afternoon, I was Professional KeAnne, dressed in work clothes and downtown for the first part of a conference.

It felt really weird and for the first little bit, I felt like I was playing dress-up.  Sometimes after I take a day off – for vacation or for illness – re-entry is difficult. It is amazing how little time it takes for me to become enmeshed in the cocoon of home. It’s surreal. It’s like the real world doesn’t really exist outside of what I read on Twitter or my news sites.  We don’t have cable any longer, so any TV we watch is on demand and doesn’t include news. I’ve gotten better at not checking work email, so it’s like another tether is fraying.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; it’s just interesting how quickly being “off the grid” in a way takes hold.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I was at a conference today based on the number of tweets I made.  Feel free to mute me until Thursday night if you need. I won’t be offended.  The conference is the Internet Summit, an annual digital conference held in Raleigh.  This is the the 6th year of the conference, and I’ve been to almost all of them. I was at the first one in Chapel Hill in 2008.  That one was interesting because my cousin gave birth to her son at the same time, and his birth kicked off the Year of Boys our family was about to experience.  Four babies.  All boys. November 2008, February 2009, May 2009 and June 2009 (Daniel).

I like the Internet Summit because it is a good conference with a nice mix of topics that appeals to techies, marketers, innovators and everyone else.  After years of being on Twitter and going to local conferences and events, I swear that everyone looks like someone I know.  Some of the ladies I’ve met locally through blogging are attending professionally as well, and let me just say that it is odd when worlds converge.  To Beth Anne, Kathleen and Brandy, I apologize if I seemed overly stiff and weird!

In the past I’ve attended a lot of social media sessions since that was part of my job.  This year I justified going based on the “Big Data” and data analytics sessions.  It is all interesting content, and I’m sure I’ll have a post or two to write about it. I feel at home at this type of conference because I really “get” the content.  Last week’s conference wasn’t in my field exactly, so I felt more like a fish out of water.  It’s good to be with people who spend the conference tweeting and taking notes via laptop or tablet. It feels right.

Tomorrow all of us re-enter the real world again. Daniel will return to school and go on his field trip to the history museum.  Jimmy will have a full day at work.  I’ll try to accessorize well (you should see some of the outfits) and head to the convention center for day 2 of the conference.  It was already going to be a short week for me and Daniel because his school is closed on Friday and Monday for parent-teacher conferences, so after this one day of returning to normal, we’ll be home again.

Fingers crossed that our one day of re-entry is smooth.


What’s a Wazoo Anyway?

Y’all, it’s been a week.  I have had meetings and conferences out the wazoo.  What part of the anatomy is the wazoo exactly?  Do I need to worry about its rights being legislated away? No? Anyway, the point of all that is to let you know that while I have a cajillion slightly more interesting “genuine” post ideas rattling around in the pumpkin shell I call I head, it is not this day that you will get them (5 pts if you name the movie from which I paraphrased).  I am wiped.  So, more blather to fulfill the NaBloPoMo monster.

  • It turns out that at a conference attended by 2000 people, you will find people you know from unexpected places.  I discovered – quite by accident – that a high school classmate was in attendance.  10 minutes of frantic Googling, and I confirmed it was he.  By the way, our high school was two hours west of here, so it’s not like we both live in the county.  Small world!
  • I hope to post some of the stuff I learned at the Internet Summit.  I’m still mulling it over.  It was interesting to hear how “professional” tech blogs are now grappling with some of the issues we’ve faced in the mom blogosphere in regards to monetization, but it looks like the tech blogs are a few years behind because they are only starting to move to sponsored posts.
  • Today my husband received information from the American Legion thanking him for his military service and telling him what benefits he was entitled to.  The only problem is that my husband wasn’t in the military.  There must be some other person with the same name. The benefits are really awesome, though!
  • I LOVE this article from the NY Times: “In Praise of the Hashtag“.  I’m a very active Twitter user and find myself using hashtags snarkily, and I like the linguistic analysis of the phenomenon in the article.  Also?  “Octothorpe” may be the best word ever.
  • This post about writing from The Rumpus is amazing: Not Writing Is Your Alligator
  • I never fail to giggle from something on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Back from yet another globetrotting adventure, Indiana Jones checks his mail and discovers that his bid for tenure has been denied
  • Another oldie but goodie: Generation X is Sick of Your Bullshit
  • This post, Mompaganda, at PhD in Parenting is amazing and I agree with so much of it.  This paragraph uncannily sums up something I thought about yesterday and my fear of what happens to the blogosphere as we seek relationships with brands:

Instead of judging ourselves and each other so fiercely it’s time we turn our attention beyond the “mom wars” to the true battles of our era: battles over natural resources, economic disparities and the construction of truth in our media environment.

I apologize because I’ve got nothing else.  My brain is empty.  Better posts to come, I promise! I leave you with these pics:

Someone is happy b/c he gets ice cream because he took a nap at daycare!

Bit, our big cat, looks ready to flee at the first opportunity

How was your week?