Thursday, August 05, 2010

Primed, In A Couple Of Ways

Blogher starts today. In many ways it started yesterday. For instance Sueb0b has been here 12 hours or so already. For my part, though, I've been living my "normal" life and that has included some intensely frustrating setbacks in the bathroom flood category. While we seem to be on track for making my bathroom even better than before, the work I've had to do to get us to that point has meant that my brain is split into two equal halves, one worrying that I will be improperly nerdy at Blogher and the other that I will never reclaim the bathroom I worked so hard to have renovated six short months ago.

Which is all to say I didn't sleep very well last night. One of the more lucid dreams involved a phone call from someone who I couldn't quite hear. Every time she said her name the connection cut out. And then she and two other people were in my house sitting at my (nonexistent in real life) kitchen table. They said they'd gone to college with me but I didn't recognize them at all and it was taking every ounce of energy for me to appear to be taking part in the conversation while peering into their faces hoping for a glimpse of recognition that never came.

Yeah, it was a stress dream. I'm worried I won't recognize people and no one will care to talk to me and that they'll be right. It's not new or unusual it's just true. One thing I think I have done right on this account though was a complete accident.

Let me go back. A long while ago Eden Kennedy, proprietress of Fussy and founder of NaBloPoMo, recommended a movie called Strangers in Good Company. As I do when something like that happens, I put it in my Netflix queue and let it make it's long, arduous way to the top, negotiating my needlessly complex algorithm of DVD heirarchy to get there. It arrived yesterday and it was less than two hours long so I thought I'd watch it and send it on so Netflix can process my DVDs while I am processing Blogher.

I don't remember what Eden said about the movie but I have no recollection of any description of how it was made. There was something about a group of women whose bus breaks down and they wind up staying overnight together and getting to know each other while a solution is devised. While all of that is perfectly accurate it doesn't even begin to explain what this movie is or why it's great.

I thought I should save this topic for Please Pass the Popcorn but if I did I'd want that to be a movie review. Movie reviews tend to give you plot and background information and I'm reluctant to give that to you because I want you to have the experience of discovery that I had. On the other hand if I don't tell you anything why would you decide to just see it? I have to tell you something.

Let me see if I can find a balance. Strangers in Good Company is a small budget Canadian film set in the wilderness of Canada. It features not actresses but regular women as themselves and yet it isn't a documentary. Falling somewhere between Young At Heart and Waiting For Guffman we get to know a group of 7 elderly Canadian jewels in their own words and at their own pace. They don't even know each other very well when the movie opens.

Which is why it felt like such a perfect Blogher primer. There's something extraordinary about everyone who is attending this thing. All 2400 of us. Our mission, and we've already chosen to accept it, is to discover those extraordinary things. I can't take the lessons of Strangers literally, you don't get much call for a fish trap made of pantyhose in Manhattan, but I can take their larger message of acceptance and curiosity and freedom of expression and, I'm pretty sure, it'll carry me over my sea of nerves and right through this weekend ride. It's not about what other people can learn about me as it is what I can learn about them.

If you're not at Blogher and you're sitting at home wondering why 2400 blogs have gone relatively quiet for the weekend I recommend watching Strangers in Good Company. Heck, even if that's not what you're doing I recommend it. I'll get back to you later to tell you if all these assumptions I've made were correct.


  1. Anonymous2:38 PM

    Have an insanely wonderful time! And Strangers in Good Company just got penciled into my "must see" postit that's permanently next to my computer. I look forward to hearing about it all!

  2. I might need a drink on the stoop to decompress when it's all over. Definitely can't wait to hear what you think about this movie!

  3. Miflohny3:01 PM

    Have a fantabulous time!!!! You're many steps ahead of me when it comes to being in a group of people you don't know - you actually try to talk to them and come prepared with things to say ... I basically sit around and don't say anything! So go you!