The side effects from spending even one day at Disneyland in the summer typically include constipation (from consuming mass quantities of Kid Crack sugar), headache (from spending enough money on one ticket to fill a gas tank), kinetosis (from going on Space Mountain again after swearing every previous time never to do that again), and enochlophobia (from the repeated infiltration of one’s personal bubble). Southern Californians and visiting tourists alike might consider simply referring to this state as Disneyland Induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“DIPTSD”). So, then, you might be wondering why “someone,” who shall remain nameless, in the acute stages of DIPTSD from spending three days and nights at Disneyland would haul her sorry butt back up to Anaheim only two days after she’d fled the scene made it out alive returned home. It turns out that “someone” may or may not be like a 47-year-old groupie, and she’ll do anything to meet someone else whom she considers to be something of a celebrity.

Blogging and bloggers have been compared to many things by many people, so my comparing reading blogs to watching a good television show may or may not be a novel idea, but if you’ve already read it or said it elsewhere, then leave a link in the comment section for extra credit. (If I were to start finding and adding hyperlinks to some of the bloggers who have written about the multifaceted phenomenon of blogging relationships, there’d be a long list of links to posts better than this, and I want you to stay here and comment, okay? Because today? I’m feelin’ like a comment ‘ho.) What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Blog reading is like watching a good television program. There are funny posts (like sitcoms), posts about travel, art, environmental issues and animals (like documentaries), posts about movies, cooking, parenting, social issues, and books (like talk shows), posts about dieting, gadgets, and laser hair removal (like infomercials), and posts about sex, marriage, and relationships (like cable). But reading blogs is really better than watching a good TV show because the characters are real people (even if some have a nom de plume). And yet? Just because the stories are about real people, it isn’t like reality television. The challenges aren’t staged, the audience is likely to be nodding in understanding because the experience posted about is shared, and there is no big cash prize at the end – unless there is a book deal, of course.

When I first started blogging (in June 2006) I. Had. No. Idea. that there we so many other bloggers out there blogging. Prior to Blog This Mom!, my writing mostly stayed in Word files, although sometimes I emailed stories to close friends or relatives. At the end of every year, I would spend a ghastly amount of time culling my favorites from those stories and would package them up in some sort of holiday greeting newsletter, comic strip, photo essay, or similar. And then I would spend another ghastly amount of time printing, folding, stuffing, sealing, stamping, and mailing envelopes. Every year. For the last thirteen years. Tom loved it. Then Blog This Mom! came along and gave me a place to post stories, thoughts, photos, and Other Stuff. And? It’s free. No postage. But I didn’t realize just how many other people were doing the same. I read a few blogs, and I mean a few. But this one time? I stumbled out into the Blogosphere, and I found myself intrigued, amazed, and, well, downright entertained. So I kept going back for more.

When the opportunity came up to meet some of these entertaining bloggers in person, I was all over it. And it was good. Last April, when Bossy came to town, a bunch of San Diego bloggers gathered and began a girl-love affair, started a group blog, held BitchHer 2008, and are currently looking for a parcel of land in a rural setting (near many fine restaurants, theaters, spas, shopping, and a with a very reliable ISP) on which to build a compound where we can reside happily ever after.

A couple of weeks ago (pokey posting is another documented side effect of DIPTSD), I found out that one of my favorite bloggers, Kalynne at The Philosopher-Mom would be in Anaheim. So I put dealing with my DIPTSD on the back burner by repressing only the painful memories of Disneyland. I grabbed my camera, but suppressed the urge to bring an autograph book, although I felt like I was about to meet a star. Because? Kalynne is a star to me. In fact, I think that about all of the bloggers whose posts I read regularly. ‘Cause, jeepers, if I didn’t think they were stars at what they do, I wouldn’t be reading them regularly.

After reading The Philosopher-Mom for many months (and going back through archives too), I expected an intelligent (like, yo, totally smart) woman with boundless energy (she totally does everything) and beauty (yeah, she’s totally hawt). But I also expected someone who had just traveled across the country, spent the day at a conference where she had a slew of academics dancing in the aisles as she presented a paper, and who would be traveling home the next day to prepare her nine (yes, nine) children for the start of the school year, to be a bit, I don’t know, distracted. But she wasn’t. She was fully in the moment, with a manner as warm as her accent.

And it was nice to also meet in person that petite powerhouse of a woman who’d arranged this gathering, JCK at Motherscribe. I’d only recently been introduced to her blog. She’s elegant, but not stuffy. She’s accomplished, but unpretentious. She’s sweet, but not ooey gooey. She’s cultured, but can rock a pair of Levi’s like no other.

Although I’d already been up close and personal with her, the evening was really a three-for-the-price-of-one if you count Jenn at Juggling Life, who rode up with me. And who wouldn’t count the level-headed, big-hearted, perfectly coiffed Jenn?

What happens at blogging gatherings stays at blogging gatherings, unless bloggers are there. All I am saying about the conversation between these folks who’d never laid eyes on each other before is that the range of topics included everything and anything. If you haven’t already, click over and check out The Philosopher-Mom, Motherscribe, and Juggling Life, where every episode post is sure to entertain.

Note: Blog This Mom! will be unplugged until September 1 or so as she actively pursues treatment for her DIPTSD gets leid vacations with her family in Maui. Stay tuned . . .

35 comments on “Can I Have Your Autograph? Yes, I Mean You.”

  1. meeting with bloggers after regularly reading their posts is such a joy! It feels like you are continuing a long conversation in person rather than in words.

    have a very happy vacation in Maui. Will miss you!

  2. Though blogging has helped me keep in touch with “the real world”, it has also (at a few times) made me feel even further away than ever…all the meet-ups and get-togethers have made me really want to come “home” and join in the fun. I’ll have to take about 2 extra weeks next year just to meet the people I want to!! (If I come there, can I have a bag?!?! 😀 )

    Have an incredible time in Hawaii…do a hula for me…take some hawt pictures (you know what I like!)…and enjoy the hell out of the whole place!!

  3. Oh, I’m so glad your DIPSHI — er, I mean, DIPTSD prevented you from posting this until now. Because it brought back all my fond memories of our gathering. AND you gave me more material for my next paper on the ethics of online relationship. AND I got a fresh angle view of my ridiculous effort to stuff my double chin into my jaw line.

    Have fun in Hawaii (*jealous sigh*). Oh, and your comment-in-the-mouth over at my place made me laugh…I had been about to link you back to the post wherein I describe how the kid got kicked out of military boarding school.

  4. First off, I am the ultimate comment whore. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can say that I’m scared to meet other bloggers. Not because I’m different on my blog than in person. Oh no, more because I’m the same in person as I am on the blog. That is, obnoxious, snarky, and with big bewbs. I say meet me at your own risk.

  5. OH MY GAWD! “Does Quentin Tarantino have a theme park?”

    MAUI!!! Bioootch! You get to do everything! I never get to meet any bloggers out here in the Midwest- the Heartland- where is everyone? California? Seattle? Gotta be some cool bloggers here in Nebraska. I am here after all 😉

  6. You are too funny! Loved all the comparisons between blogging and watching TV!

    Great photo. You are all HAWT!

    Have fun in Hawaii!

    See you when you return!

  7. I also had no idea there were so many people blogging when I started a few months ago, and I’ve been astonished by the sheer numbers, and pleasantly surprised by the community.

  8. Hey this is a fun post. Disneyland and more. I’ve never been to any Disney Park – not sure if that’s a bad thing, but I do like a good rollercoaster.

    Enjoy your haitus.

  9. You are a gem! How GREAT was it to get together. So…great that I managed to have fun despite the fact that I was rear-ended on the way to meet y’all!

    I am imagining you in Maui now. Hope you are having a wonderful time.

    You’ve got to write a book – memoir, something. You’ve got such amazing stories to tell.

  10. I would love to go to one of the Disney places…never been there and recently found out that we are 7 hours drive away from World!

    Yes, this whole blogosphere is crazy! But i’m really enjoying it! 😉

  11. OK – here to feed your comment HOORDOM.

    I love reading about the chick-on-chick bloggy love. We have a regular blogger meetup here in the East and the turnout we get is so cool – everyone from a twenty-something hip hop writer to, well, me. People who would NEVER sit down together normally, brought together through an appreciation for each other’s bloggyness.

    I am a big fan of you, and Jenn, and JCK, and Kaylenne too… and I would love to meet up. I am probably not getting to southern cal anytime soon but if you are in the NY area, send me a holla.

  12. What a great event! I have only met one blogger, and although that involved a stroll around London, I would love to meet more, even if I have to go to Annaheim to do it.

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