My conference session is over and I'm re-ensconced at my posh hotel, where I'm nibbling sushi and sipping Pouilly-Fuissé and listening to a guy bang out "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" on the grand piano. The question for me now is do I know the way out of San Jose and what kind of meandering route home am I going to take? I came via the southern route, and I'm circling back home through the north. I've got one really excellent posh hotel stop on the way home, and I've got two national parks I intend to see by car. Yes, I'm one of those ridiculous people who love the national parks but barely -- eek, bears -- get 200 feet away from our cars.
Anyway, how was the conference session?
Well, they'll have a podcast for you in about a month. I may have a couple audio clips of myself for the next podcast. I'm deeply troubled by letting more than 7 days go by without a podcast, but some podcast fans would welcome a return to the old Sunday pattern.
But the session, the session, how was it?
Well, first of all, I was way older than the other four bloggers on the panel, old enough to be their mother. And they were all progressive/lefty/liberal, and I'm basically not. But my main theme was one you regular readers must know too well: I'm in this blogging game for the intrinsic value, for the real love of self-expression and expressive community. But the other women were into self-expression too, even if they had more focused political goals.
I have a lot of admiration for the hyper-local bloggers. Lisa Williams, who emcee'd expertly, blogs all about Watertown. Courtney Hollands is all about Plymouth, and she's fabulously excited about her town. I mean, I love Madison, and a lot of what I do is in some sense celebrating Madison and also seeking to reach out beyond Madison for some counterbalance to Madison, but I wouldn't want to just write about Madison. I almost never mention the mayor or the the city council, but I'm impressed by people who love to provide that coverage, much more than mainstream media will.
Jarah Euston is devoted to Fresno. Fresno! And she really cares. That's beautiful!
Kety Esquivel's concentrated place is not geographic but spiritual. She's progressive. And she's Christian. For her, to be Christian is to be progressive. You might feel insulted if you're a conservative Christian, but she's passionate about wanting to counterbalance the political weight you know you have.
Lindsay Beyerstein, who looks exactly like the picture on her blog, is more like me, blogging in a somewhat similar fashion, but much more politically committed. See, she's bitching about the Comtrex just like me and wants more cool gadgets. I imagine she hates to think we're alike, because, after all, I voted for Bush. I even mentioned it in the session. I think she's insulted me a couple times on her blog, but what the hell? She's a passionate, serious blogger, and I wish her well.
There were great comments from the audience, including one from a woman who impressed me terribly by saying she came up first on Google if you searched for her first name: Betsy! Wow! How about Ann? I'm sure I'm not first, but am I at least on the first page? Yes! Oh, how I love the internet. All my life, I've felt that Ann was an absurdly plain name. It's practically like not even having a name. Ann? It's like, the. An article. An Althouse. Yeah? Which one?
Just this little woman hiding out in the lobby of a posh hotel in San Jose, listening to the piano player murder "Don't Get Around Much Anymore."