July 28, 2006

Convention, Convertible, Contrex, Chardonnay, Condom.

Stumbling into the BlogHer conference, completely late for Day 1, I go first for the test drive. There's a bunch of cars, including a line of Saturn Sky Roadsters, but I know the one I want to drive. This red one:

Saturn Sky Roadster

No, not because it's red. Because it's the only one with a manual transmission. I wonder if they got it right about the proportion of women who are interested in sports cars and have the taste and skill to want a stick shift.

How does the Sky compare to the Audi TT Coupe I just drove 2400 miles? The seat doesn't adjust, so I couldn't get myself into the ideal position. That's my biggest criticism. But it was fun to drive, and it looks really cool -- all curvy. My TT isn't a convertible, but maybe when I buy my next car -- probably another TT -- I'll think about getting the convertible. It was awfully hot and bright, but the wind-in-the-hair effect is sublime. (When I was in high school, I drove a 1961 Chevy Impala convertible. Sea Foam Green.)

I went to the writing workshop, already in session. In the part I heard, they were talking about how to title your posts to best attract the kind of traffic you want. Am I following any rules about titles? I wonder. I do whatever amuses me at the moment, but maybe I could extract a set of rules from my behavior. I sort of hate to hear the "official" rules, because now I have to think about whether I'm following them, whether I should, whether I ought to want to break them on purpose, and whether I want such thoughts in my head. As opposed to tripping along on instinct, my usual approach.

Conference

All these bloggers are overloading the Hyatt's WiFi and even their Ethernet connection. (I did remember to bring an Ethernet cord.) Connection is spotty. I'm a little frustrated. I'm drinking from a freebie bottle of Contrex. Did you know there was special water for women? It tastes awful, and within the hour, I start to feel sick to my stomach. Possibly a coincidence.... I remember I have an over-the-counter remedy stashed in an obscure pocket of my computer case. I swallow it... without water.

I light out early, taking the light rail back into town, where I nestle into a banquette at my posh hotel.

Hotel lobby

The remedy has restored me. Along with that big glass of Chardonnay...

Sushi

And that lovely tuna roll...

I'm getting good WiFi, so I download my photos, and work on this blog post. I pause to browse through the goodies in the Six Apart tote bag I got earlier in the day. What companies got in on the BlogHer action? Trojan! What condom was selected for the lady bloggers? Elexa! I see it's a condom with "a woman's perspective."

What else have I got here in this bag?

IN THE COMMENTS: I throw down the gauntlet:
I want a fancy-schmancy post modernist to deconstruct this post!
Sippican pens an awesome entry. Is there thermite? Of course. Elizabeth says one perfect thing. And XWL flings himself into the exercise -- over here on his blog -- and writes a whole essay on the title alone -- and don't forget this post has a passage about titles -- before declaring deconstruction crap. But he said such cool things that I can't believe it. Like this:
Convention: intentionally ambiguous meaning here, both in the sense of a 'convention' as meeting, and 'convention' as accepted method of doing things, this double meaning (with a third less obvious, but nevertheless informative meaning of 'convent'ion, given the 'sister'ly nature of the BlogHer conference, this particular 'convention' could be seen as a modern descendent of a 'convent' and therefore 'convent'ional in a secular imitation of the religious 'convent') serves to inform every aspect of the rest of the post. Next the concept space suggested by the term 'convertible', a (no doubt) intentional mimicking of the c-o-n-v-e- of the first word in the title, but with the changed ending a change in inference.

"'Convent'ion" ... that rules. If only the Saturn had been an Ion my head would have exploded.

35 comments:

Rick Lee said...

You had a convertable in high school? It's unfortunate, but now I must hate you.

Ann Althouse said...

It was my father's car, passed down to me when he bought a new one. And it wasn't just a convertible, it was a 1961 Sea Foam Green Impala!

Chrees said...

So that was you on North First today?

And my first car was an Impala to. Unfortunately is was a '73 with a huge engine. Surprised I'm still alive after that.

Anyway, fortunately you have much better weather right now, so enjoy it here!

sparky said...

"Includes bonus condom to encourage increased compliance"

another Orwellian conspiracy in the offing?

Ann Althouse said...

Chrees: Probably, if you saw fabulous blonde hair whipping in the wind and large black sunglasses.

Ann Althouse said...

Someone took my picture as I was getting settled into the driver's seat. I'd like to see it.

Johnny Nucleo said...

A mere mention of Elexa and you get an Amazon ad showing a half-naked chick and another one for Durex vibrating rings. Filthy Amazon!

I just checked again. The Durex ad is gone, but now there are more half-naked chicks. I am beside myself with disgust! I better check again.

Now they got an ad for a book called "Bitch". Bitch! That's the title. I am flabbergasted and outraged and my disgust level is now even higher. One more check.

Now they got an ad for a Dion album. I have no idea what this means. I am now very confused.

Ann Althouse said...

Johnny: Your behavior is factored in. I'm not seeing anything like that!

Ann Althouse said...

I'm sure Dion's there because I've written about him.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Outrageous! What a second, that explains it.

Ann Althouse said...

I want a fancy-schmancy post modernist to deconstruct this post!

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny Nucleo said...

I am fancy-schmancy, but I am not a post-modernist, so I can't do it.

Instead, here's the description from Amazon of "Bitch" by Deja King:

"Precious Cummings came from nothing but was determined to have it all. Using her most deadly weapons - undeniable beauty, body and street savvy brains, Precious sets out to change the cards that she’d been dealt. After meeting Nico Carter, a man who can help her achieve her goals, virtually overnight she is on her way. Precious quickly transforms from Project Chick to Hood Queen and is determined to hold on to her position even if it means crossing the man who made it possible.

"Set on revenge, Precious gambles it all in her quest to gain everything. Just when she believes the dice have rolled in her favor, Precious has to answer for the web of deceit that she has set in motion."

Awesome!

But that's not all. When I clicked on the "Bitch" link, Amazon showed me a whole bunch of even cooler books, the coolest being a book called "Hoe-zetta," the greatest freakin' book title ever! The cover has two hot gangsta-chicks on motorcycles. Amazon kicks ass!

Patrick Martin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Patrick Martin said...

Would someone please tell Amazon that certain products just should not be promoted by how many "Used & New" are available? Is there a market for used Elexas? Ewwwww....

P. Froward said...

Dude, man: Red convertible, manual transmission. Right on!

I can't understand automatic transmission people at all. Except in stop-and-lurch traffic on a hill. That's a drag.

Can't say I'm really hot for the Sky, though. The Solstice, either; I finally saw one in the flesh, and it's just... overdone.

Elizabeth said...

Only a postmodernist would describe a condom as having a perspective.

XWL said...

Not that I'm engaged in a 'anything you can do, I can do better' contest with Sippican Cottage (his is more what an artist would do with it, mine is more English Major-ish), but I thought I'd do a more 'dissertation-ish' deconstruction of the post.

(only made it as far as the post's tite, though)

Here's the link to the piece at my site (to post it here would be abusive to everyone's scrolling finger)

Just a small taste to whet y'all's appetites, "Convention: intentionally ambiguous meaning here, both in the sense of a 'convention' as meeting, and 'convention' as accepted method of doing things, this double meaning (with a third less obvious, but nevertheless informative meaning of 'convent'ion, given the 'sister'ly nature of the BlogHer conference, this particular 'convention' could be seen as a modern descendent of a 'convent' and therefore 'convent'ional in a secular imitation of the religious 'convent') serves to inform every aspect of the rest of the post. Next the concept space suggested by the term 'convertible', a (no doubt) intentional mimicking of the c-o-n-v-e- of the first word in the title, but with the changed ending a change in inference. Convertibles in many ways are the complete opposite of 'convention', 'convertible' means changeable, indeed even 'convert-able'. With the choice of this word, the author signals her flexibility and openness (just like an 'open top' car). Next we have the word, 'contrex', a made up word for a product, yes, but when put in con-text along with the first two con-words, it suggests that what will follow is both a 'con' and is full of 'tricks' as well as represents a series of 'treks'."

XWL said...

Hey, unmoderated comments again. Hope everyone's respectful enough to allow this to last.

Ann Althouse said...

XWL: Shhhhhh!

Patrick Martin said..."Would someone please tell Amazon that certain products just should not be promoted by how many "Used & New" are available? Is there a market for used Elexas? Ewwwww..."

Hey, it goes with the red car, I'm thinking: "I guess I must be dumb/'Cuz you had a pocket full of horses/Trojan and some of them used." -- "Little Red Corvette."

XWL said...

Woohoo, it's Prince day.

(my own posts on Prince, all from earlier today, here, here, and here)

So why not a Little Red Corvette for yourself, Professor?

XWL said...

Hadn't even noticed the link in the update of the post, thank you much.

(scary part is, I'm only half joking about turning that into a 40 page dissertation, now I'm going to have to post the paper I wrote regarding the ad campaign for an Angelina Jolie picture)

XWL said...

Furthermore, you should be angry that I use such 'martial' and 'patriarchal' language when describing your suggestion about 'deconstructing' your post.

Being at the BlogHer conference you should know that the patriarchal hegemony embedded in so much of our language must be fought at every level and at every instance.

(I scare myself sometimes how easily that stuff flies off my fingertips)

Ann Althouse said...

XWL: I think there's plenty of material. At the rate you were going, you could do a book on this post. I, for one, would be fascinated, having written the post. I think the ease with which you can spin out ideas, once you have the knack, is really scary. It's madness. But it demonstrates the wonderfulness of the human mind and it's quite amusing and charming (which it's not annoying).

Why I don't get a Corvette? I have old posts on this. The main reason is that it isn't good for winter driving.

Ann Althouse said...

XWL: I think there's plenty of material. At the rate you were going, you could do a book on this post. I, for one, would be fascinated, having written the post. I think the ease with which you can spin out ideas, once you have the knack, is really scary. It's madness. But it demonstrates the wonderfulness of the human mind and it's quite amusing and charming (which it's not annoying).

Why I don't get a Corvette? I have old posts on this. The main reason is that it isn't good for winter driving.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Sippican and XWL, my head is spinning. I enjoy that sensation, so thanks.

Ann, I like the idea of speedy little roadster marketed to women. Something fast and loud, with a hood scoop. Men, rev up your litte red Corvettes. Women, start up your little deuce Scoops.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Elizabeth: LOL. I'm working on my play "The Scoop Monologues."

Ann Althouse said...

Welding is in the ads because there's a co-author named Althouse.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Coincidence? No, convergence.

Elizabeth said...

The Scoop Monologues? Ann, please design a logo posthaste. I want a T-shirt!

Ann Althouse said...

Elizabeth: Yes, I need to merchandise something! (Any other suggestions?)