Bloggers In Real Life

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There are lots of law professor bloggers, and law profs alone form a nice if somewhat insular blogging community. I know many of them in real life, and I always enjoy catching up with them at conferences. I have more in common with some than others, but all are relentlessly cordial in person, even the ones I’m tweaked a bit here or at Sivacracy.

Last fall I went to Drinking Liberally in Philadelphia, and got to make the acquaintance of a number of cool bloggers, including Roxanne Cooper, Duncan Black and Susie Madrak. I met some pseudonymous bloggers too, which was kind of weird, because it’s hard to try to get to know someone or carry on any sort of engaging conversation with a stranger when you feel like you shouldn’t ask them where they live, what they do for a living, what their hobbies or political actvities are, or any other personal and potentially identity-disclosing questions. The event was loud and crowded, and Roxanne in particular was mobbed by fans, so I didn’t get to talk to her as much as I would have liked, but it was still a great experience. This was before Feminist Law Professors existed, but I had been blogging at Sivacracy for over a year by then and it was fun to meet other bloggers I liked in person.

Early last spring, while I was in Portland OR for a conference, I got to have lunch with Barry Deutsch, a.k.a. Ampersand of Alas, A Blog, which was really terrific. He’s very smart, articulate and funny, and two hours flew by. I actually insisted we order dessert just to I’d get to hang out with him a little longer. Emboldened by that experience, I e-mailed Chris Clarke about joining me for dinner on Wednesday, as I am in the Bay Area for a few days, and I’m awfully glad I did. As anyone who reads Creek Running North, and/or his abundant and insightful comments at other blogs might guess, he is also a very fun and interesting person to spend time with. I’m pleased by his nice words about me, and especially thankful that he didn’t blog about the doofy pink skirt I was wearing. I’d purchased it very cheaply just a few hours beforehand because the casual clothing I’d brought with me was far too warm for the weather, and only after searching through the sale racks of half a dozen stores in absolute shock. When did clothing get so weird? I just wanted a simple short skirt or pair of shorts, but everything in my tiny price range had lace and/or elastic in unconventional configurations, or was “distressed,” or silkscreened with faces. I finally found a bright pink cotton skirt, which was clearly too young for me and probably made me look really silly but I studiously avoided mirrors after I donned it, so happily I don’t know the full extent of the fashion transgression. Chris just averted his eyes, and was a very charming and entertaining dinner companion. And, I look forward to reading his upcoming post about back hair.

Now I want to meet even more cool bloggers! So if you find yourself traveling to Columbia, SC, y’all should let me know.

–Ann Bartow

Update: I flew back to SC from San Francisco today, and I didn’t want to check my carry-on bag. so I purged my shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, perfume, creamy unguents, etc. only to find out that lip balm and stick deodorant constitute liquids and are also forbidden. You’ve been warned!

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