Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Random Thoughts - The BlogHer'13 Edition

Traveling to Chicago from Tucson is easy, for the most part.  Tucson International Airport (you can fly to Mexico) is teeny and I didn't have to worry about parking because TBG dropped me off at the door.  I checked my bag, for free, at the Southwest counter; there was no line and I was through security ten minutes after I left my sweetie at the sliding glass doors.  The TSA agents were friendly, and I must have been walking very well because no one offered me a loaner cane to help me step through the x-ray machine.

And then, I saw her.  A slim, black, woman with a maternity TSA uniform. I was not allowed to photograph her, for security reasons, I guess, but that couldn't spoil my joy.  There was a tie in the back of the blouse, to allow for her ever expanding girth. Her pants were stretchy. TSA provided it all.

I am so in love with my government right now. What a change from 1951, when G'ma was forced to resign from the NYC Public School system because I was growing in her womb, and the kindergarteners she taught had to spared the sight of her blooming belly.
I sat in a line of readers as we waited for the plane to arrive.  Three girls to my left, a woman and her husband to my right, another, older, woman to their right, and none of us had anything electronic in our hands.  No cell phones, no Kindles, no iPads or pods.... just magazines and paperbacks and hard covered library books (that would be me).

It gave me hope for the future of print media. It also made me smile, since I was on my way to a mecca of the electronic transmission of ideas.
I tried The Geek Bar, because I wanted to learn about SEO's and meta-tags and categories.  All the other bloggers at the table used Wordpress as their blog platform; I'm on Blogger and there's no connection between the two.  I didn't stay long.  Little Cuter and I went back to the Expo and collected some more swag.

I did get one take-away, though:  Reboot - a good computer lesson, a good life lesson
Guy Kawasaki was one of the original Apple evangelists, spreading the word and growing the flock. He's moved on, telling us on Friday that Android is beautiful, that "editors are like buffalo; they run in herds and keep their heads down," that Google Plus is the place "for your passions."

He likes the phrase "artisanal publisher" rather than the more prosaic "self-published" book.  His newest artisanal work is APE - Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. It's a daunting task, promoting and selling a book.  All along, I thought creating the content would be the hardest part.
Sheryl Sandberg's has 250,000 members. That's a lot of women who are trying to conquer their fears. Men rule the world, she confirmed, as she explained, her voice dripping with sarcasm, how her feminist perspective was received by those in charge:
They love being told that the world they've created is broken.
She asked the audience of women (and 4 men, who, she says, will get a pass when the revolution comes), if we had ever been called bossy. Two thirds of the hands went flying into the air.  None of the men, none of our sons or brothers, were reviled in that way.  She encouraged us to approach the subject this way: your daughter is not aggressive, she has leadership skills.
I was across the street from Barnes and Noble in Naperville today.  I thought of going in and buying Lean In.  I drove away.  What does it say about me that I am unwilling to buy the book? Am I really that afraid?
I want to be Majora Carter when I grow up. She has redefined the notion of environmental equality, creating the first waterfront park in the Bronx since the 1960's.  Her twitter motto reflects her goals - "You don't have to leave your neighborhood to live better." She's trying to keep the best and the brightest at home in their communities.

She's made enemies as she's gained notoriety since, as the dean of a high school in Hunts Point says of her critics, "it's easier to run your mouth than run a business."  She is obviously not afraid.

I want to be her, and not just because of her MacArthur Foundation grant.
GRIN will be fundraising soon, now that we have our 501c3 status.  Kerryn Gerety led a panel which covered Kickstarter, Indigogo, and her own firm, She's promised to help me, and just those few words made me less afraid.

Am I starting to lean in already?
At the end, before SIR came to whisk us away to Greek Islands for saganaki and taramosalata and chicken riganati and more bread than any three people had any right to finish, there was Gale Ann Hurd. She was the executive producer of Terminator, Aliens, and, now, The Walking Dead.

She started out by moving past her fears, as she learned that, in Hollywood, you cannot be liked and respected at the same time. Roger Corman, king of the B-movie, taught her the business, allowed her to produce, and never made her type.  He did start her out at the bottom of the ladder when she was ready to move toward producing her own film; she emptied chemical toilets and made coffee and learned an important lesson: Never kiss up, or kick down.

Her production company does not carry her name, as do those of most of the men in the industry. Time has passed and some change has occurred, but it's still tough to be a woman in Hollywood today.
"Girls can do anything."

"What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

"Give yourself a break."

"Be proud of what you do."

"Find your inner super hero."

I am going to repeat all of that to myself every day. Perhaps some of it will even sink in.


  1. Love the recap from BlogHer. She make it almost like we are there. My favorite take-away is "Find Your Inner Super Hero". So awesome!

    IF you do decide to ever go over to WordPress, I'm here to help you with the move and get it all setup for you. I've had to do it several times for work sites. I can do it in my sleep now. One thing I love about WordPress is how easy it is to use and add on plugins and widgets. There is a lot out there. So just let me know. :)

    Thanks for doing these recaps. I absolutely love them.

    Sending hugs,

    Megan xxx

    1. Hmmm.... we may need to discuss that change, Megan. Your offer makes me smile!

      Now, go channel your inner super hero.. I know she's lurking there for you!

  2. Some of The Big Cheese's research is cited by Sheryl Sandberg in Lean In.


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