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Off to the conference that I shall not name

I’m riding the bus up to Chicago today to go to That Conference that I shall not name. Some of you are probably furrowing your brows and wondering, “Huh, what conference?” while the rest of you are thinking, “Oh dear Lord, would people shut up about that stupid conference already?” When I think about all the hullabaloo that arises around That Conference, I feel like Samuel L. Jackson at the end of the film Pulp Fiction where he’s yelling at Hunny Bunny to chill the fuck out while she continues to screech and prattle on hysterically. (See here, 2:50 mark. Beware massive profanity and low video resolution.) So, everybody, be cool, ok?

I have this odd sense of dread about attending That Conference this year and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I suppose it’s because at its worst, That Conference is a place where people claw each other’s eyes out for the chance at free iPods or laptops, all while screaming, “Look at me! Look at me! Are you looking at me and my free swag yet?!” It’s a place where there are massive egos, secret parties, cliques, and a room full of corporations who are sponsoring every second of breakfast, lunch and dinner, making me wonder if I’m going to meet any people at this thing or if I’m just going to be chatting with the Michelin Man and my old friend Larry, the Quaker Oats guy. It’s also the place where last year I started to spiral downward into my period of depression and binge eating due to the constant pain of my headache, using vacation as an excuse to stuff my face with as many cookies and Big Bird or Elmo cupcakes that I could find because, as I said, “Vacation calories don’t count!!!” *Nom, nom, scarf*

Mmmm, cupcakes

However, that is a pessimistic view to take and if I go there with that attitude I am bound to have a bad time. So I will try to remember what That Conference is at its best, which is a place where I meet people who blog about all sorts of interesting things like crockpots or international politics or infertility or living in Australia. It’s a chance to learn new things and hear interesting discussions at the sessions. More importantly for my business, it’s a place to make new contacts and clients. Really, it’s an opportunity to have a good time if I am open to it, so I will try to be open to it.

I will also try not to eat everything I set my eyes on. I know that no matter how hard I try not to, I’m going to overeat because that’s what I do, but I’ll try to restrain myself from eating five desserts a day this time.

BTW, if you follow me on Twitter, you can assume that the next 3-4 days of tweets are going to be really annoying if you too are not at That Conference. Consider yourself warned and read at your own risk.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Dyan • July 23, 2009 at 9:35 am

I say grab all the swag you can then give it away to your loyal readers!

I did indeed purchase a cup of coffee for the woman behind me at the unemployment line as promised.

OH! Don’t forget! You can take this entire trip off of your taxes! Save ALL of your receipts!


Rhonda • July 23, 2009 at 9:51 am

Pasta Queen- It’s a different year and I am guessing you will have a good time this year. If nothing else, being entertained by the antics of other people!

And vacation eating is just that- vacation eating. You can get back to the real world eating when you get home- you have in the past and you will again.

I feel the same way as you do though- I think I am getting crankier in my old age (47), but hey- at this stage in my life I can pretty much feel the way I want- right?

Have fun- at least for the rest of us stuck in a 8×10 office in front of the compooper!


Jess • July 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

I would love to go to BlogHer but I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet with my blogging. Maybe next year?

Enjoy yourself – you’ll have a good time and just think of it as part of your new job!


Jean • July 23, 2009 at 10:22 am

Are you riding the bus that costs like $20? One of my aunt’s friends who lives in Chicago told me about it, running from Chicago to Cincy w/a stop in Indy. If that’s the one, let me know what you think! Hope you have a great time at “that” conference. Like the others said, enjoy the food and save your receipts – maybe that will help. :-)


PastaQueen • July 23, 2009 at 10:34 am

@Jean – Yeah, I am. It’s called the Megabus and I got my reservation early enough that I’m only paying $10 round trip. I’ve ridden it before and it’s great. Clean and comfortable. It can be a bit late picking up sometimes, but you can’t beat the price. The wifi they advertise is a bit slow, but if you HAVE to check your email you can.


Contemporary Troubadour • July 23, 2009 at 10:54 am

“Vacation calories don’t count” — I fall for that one every time. Especially when I’m somewhere I don’t want to be. “Hmm, well, since I’m unhappy about being here, I might as well make it more enjoyable …”


Karen • July 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Hey PQ, Good for you, enjoy the enjoyable parts of That Conference. Don’t worry too much about food, and hey, vacation running counts if you get to do any of that!


Leslie • July 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Hi Jennette,

Unrelated to The Conference, I just want to tell you that I finally got through your entire archives and can now read you in the present moment! You are likely unsure as to who the f*#& I am, but I wrote you a few weeks back to tell you how much you’ve helped with through your blog, and you kindly wrote me an encouraging email in response.

Good luck in your new endeavor. As soon as I finish the trashy beach novel I’m reading, I’m starting your book.

Hope The Conference provides many surprises – good ones!


Andrea@WellnessNotes • July 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Have fun at That conference! That conference seems so above and beyond my little blog that I’m very happy (and excited) reading all about it from afar… :)


She-Fit • July 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Awh, Im so jealous. I really wanted to go. Hope you have a great time and take tons of pics!


Lesley • July 24, 2009 at 5:32 am

Have a great time – one day I’m going to go to That Conference. I’ve decided.


Bry • July 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Hi! Your book was recommended to me on a weight loss forum I’m on, and I just read it in two days and loved it. I have lost 50 lbs and counting. So glas to have found your blog!


Trenches of Mommyhood • July 24, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I quite like your honest take on it. Glad to know it’s not all squeeing and BFFs and unicorns and rainbows. AS I SIT HERE AT HOME FEELING TOTALLY LEFT OUT.


deanna • July 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Your honesty is what makes us all come back for more!!! Try to enjoy the conference!!


amani • July 25, 2009 at 12:59 am


Love your descriptions juxtaposed against everyone else’s. Love your honesty. I was just thinking going to BlogHer 2010 might be my goal for next year. Now you have me reconsidering it. Well, hope it is better this year than it was last year. Have fun.


kat • July 25, 2009 at 9:42 pm

It was so nice meeting you at That Conference! Next time in Indy!

Congrats on your book deal!


lynne • July 26, 2009 at 6:10 pm

BTW – Those are ZOE cupcakes you scarfed… not Elmo — unless you ate all the Elmo before you took the picture! Not much for cliques… steer clear, have fun! (You know it’s fun…)


Charlie Hills • July 27, 2009 at 9:53 am

@PastaQueen – That reminds me of the movie “The Big Bus.” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074205/) Now there’s something I hadn’t thought of in a long, long time.


Andrew@ Healthly Living • July 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

You are truly inspirational to many, keep it up. We need more people like you out there. Thanks for all the effort you put into your site and information.

Good luck with book. I will add it to my collection.

Thanks again,



Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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