Most of the time when I begin reading a blog, I start with the most recent post and read forward as new things get posted. It's sort of like reading a novel by opening to a random page, which is exactly how I do read novels when I am standing in the middle of a bookstore. The cool part about a blogger meet-up is getting to hear the backstory, all the narrative that came before the blog.
At this conference, I am rooming with Timna, a blogging friend. We were talking one day over at Pilgrim’s virtual bar, and she mentioned she was coming to the CCCC, and I was looking for a roommate, and next thing you know, we had plans to spend five days together. The first thing we did when she arrived at the hotel is go out somewhere for lunch, so we could eat sandwiches, let my dramamine wear off, and talk non-stop. How great to see her in person and ask her all the questions I'd been dying to ask. She's got a fascinating history. By the second day of the conference, we were acting like friends who had known each other since childhood. And she is just as warm and friendly in person as she is on her blog.
We had a third roommate, Ecowoman, who is a friend of mine from the Green Conference that Scrivener and I went to last June. Ecowoman is a high-energy, funny woman with all kinds of stories to tell, like the time she took out the plastic mouthguard she wears to prevent her teeth from grinding, left it on a sink in a hotel, and the cleaning woman threw it away because she thought it was a used sex toy. There is a longer explanation to that story that I simply cannot repeat because this is NOT that kind of blog. Ecowoman is older than me and full of cheerful advice about how the body and mind just completely fall apart after the age of 45, which for me is in about another month. Since Ecowoman is still smart and beautiful herself, I know that she is lying about this.
The three of us were not together in the room long before Ecowoman noticed that Timna and I kept lapsing into Blog Speak. I mean, no two bloggers can get together without talking about Bitch Ph.D. or Profgrrrrl or Phantom. It's just inevitable. So we found ourselves explaining to Ecowoman that we knew each other through blogging, and that led Ecowoman to a startling confession: she is a blog virgin.
There was only one thing we could do. We sat her down in front of my laptop and ... how can I put this delicately? I showed her my blog.
We convinced her that to be one of the cool kids, to truly fit in with us hip and happening bloggers, she should pose naked and let me post the photo on my blog. I assured her that anyone who is anyone in the blogging world has appeared naked on my blog. I explained to her that since she is over 45, time is running out, and she needed to do this right away. As a bribe, I told her I would let her choose her own pseudonym, a privilege I have never given anyone else.
The photo shoot took a while because for some reason she wanted to pose naked in a small private bathtub instead of the public hot tub filled with professors. People can be sooo inhibited in front of their colleagues. And her call to the front desk to ask for bubble bath got confusing because there were unidentified bloggers in the room talking and laughing while she made the phone call. And we kept offering her pseudonyms that she didn't like. Bathtub Woman? Naked Woman? Biker Broad?
"You call me that," she said, "and I will hunt you down."
It is hard to make a small bathtub look like a big luxurious hot tub. I kept saying, "Try to look relaxed" and she kept saying, "Don’t get my boobs in the shot." But I took the photo, cropped it appropriately, and here it is. Ecowoman is a blog virgin no more.