The Attack of Waspzzzzzzzzzilla

In Monday’s post, I enumerated a few things that I am good at.  I neglected to mention one very vital and important skill.  I am an experienced and brutal killer.

I am legendary.  Although you all are aware of my stealthy ninja-like ways with a camera phone, I am even more stealthy and deadly as a true assassin.  I have been known to kill multiple targets with one fell swoop.  And to rack up a list of kills made in one day that is truly impressive.

My children have even come to discover these skills of mine and have brought targets to my attention and implored me to “Kill him, mommy.  Get him!”  Ahh, my sons.  I am shaping their young minds to embrace the lifestyle of the ninja.  I will pass on to them my techniques and proficiency in the art of destroying the enemy.  Soon, my boys.  Soon.

But last night, my master ninja assassin skills were tested.  Nay, they were bested.  By an adversary that was never before seen or experienced by my expert eyes.

It was late in the evening.  The darkness had closed it’s arms around my home and I was closing up the house for the night in preparation for slumber.  I opened the back door to let the dog inside, and unwittingly opened up my abode to this frightening foe.  His voice was terrifyingly loud like a buzzsaw.  His image rose above me and he moved rapidly and frantically, trying to escape from my clutches.  I had never before seen such a massive specimen in my home before.  He was a giant.  A monstrous example of his kind.  I was fearful, but knew what I had to do.  I went to retrieve my weapons, keeping my eyes trained on his ever moving form, so as not to lose him in the shadows.  And that is when he attacked.  I ducked down below his reach and was able to out manuever his jukes and jabs.  Once he realized his first moves were thwarted, he retreated to a hidden nook for a moment to regroup.  But I would not let him rest.  “Come out and fight me, you coward!” I yelled out, as I used my weapons to prod him from his secreted space.  But he would not budge.  He merely shrieked at me angrily every time I thrust my weapons in his direction and disturbed his reverie. 

At this time I felt I needed reinforcements.  Greater weapons would be necessary, as this adversary was far more deadly and mammoth than any other previously encountered.  Ahh, but that was my mistake.  He had waited for my distraction.  A moment of weakness.  And this is when he made his move for escape, shrieking his loud war cry of freedom.  He flew from his safe house and fled from the scene.  And this is when I discovered my true fault . . . when he started ascending to the bedrooms above.  Where my children lay sleeping.  Their doors cracked open.  Safely snuggled in their beds, awaiting their mother’s kisses goodnight.  He was heading for their rooms.

And then it went quiet.  No more shrieking war cries from the intruder.  No sounds at all.  Complete silence.  Which was the most harrowing sound of all.  Without his buzzing voice, I could not find where he had escaped to in the upper part of my home.  I searched the children’s rooms, but there was no sign of him.  I examined all the places he could have hidden himself in every bedroom in the house, to no avail.  But that is his skill.  He can secret himself in the smallest of spaces, just waiting for his moment.  When you least expect it.  When you are resting, perhaps.  But there was no sign of him.

There was not much sleep that night.  My children slept soundly, as I can attest.  Listening most of the night, I laid there waiting for the sounds of the intruder to be vocalized in one of the bedrooms.  But no sounds were heard.  Just the sounds of silence.  Of my sleeplessness.  Of darkness.  And foreboding.

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Excuse Me, Ma’am . . . Your Suitcase is Buzzing

As I previously mentioned, I picked up lots of free swag at BlogHer this year.  In fact, I had so much newly acquired goodies that I had trouble shoving them all into my poor little suitcase to get them home.  Sadly, I was forced to leave the full sized bottle of Lysol cleaner behind.  Obviously I was devastated.  But I was able to cram most of the rest of the items into my luggage and bring it on home.  There were so many goodies, that once I unpacked everything, I spent a good amount of time reviewing and organizing all of the bounty.  And in fact, I had so much, that I felt greedy for not sharing with everyone who wasn’t at BlogHer this year.

That’s right, all my very fortunate followers . . . I am going to give away some of my freebies from BlogHer to you!!  Aren’t you just so lucky that I am such a giving, sharing soul?  The answer is yes, you are very lucky.  And I am very generous.  The end.

So, I imagine you are now wondering what lovely items I am willing to part with so that you can also experience some of the joy of getting freebies.  Well, I am actually going to give away two separate prizes!!  Here is the first:

Yep, that is exactly what you think it is.  There was a booth.  And they were giving these away.  And I am going to give this one to you!!  I mean, if you want it, that is.  No pressure.  And no judgement.

Here is the second (consolation?) prize:

So, what we have here is a sleep mask, a Jamba Juice pedometer, press-on nails, stress relief squeezer (the foam guacamole thing), lotion, travel mirror and sticky note travel notebook.

Ok, so what do you have to do to get these wonderful items?  A couple of things.  First, leave me a comment telling me which of these 2 prizes you want.  You can say you want them both and I will put you in for both, that is fine.  But if you only want to be included in one specific drawing, just let me know which one.  Also, you cannot win both items.  If I pick your name for one, you can’t then win the other one as well.  Clear?  Ok, then.

Next, if you have not yet clicked on that little button up top on the right to follow my blog, do that now!

And finally, click on the button right below the aforementioned button, to follow me on Facebook. 

See, isn’t that easy?  I am really not that hard to please.  You just have to give me your complete and total undying love and affection for the remainder of all of your days here on this earth.  No biggie!

Good luck to all!!

Empire State of Mind: BlogHer ’12 UPDATED

My second day in New York was the official beginning to the BlogHer conference (see here for Day 1).  I had every intention of going to at least one or two of the sessions offered, but it didn’t quite work out that way.  While I was blowdrying my hair in preparation for the day, Jen and Johi headed downstairs for the first planned session, promising to save me a seat.  Ten minutes later I received a text about how they were bailing because it was packed to capacity and people were merely pimping their blogs whilst asking dumb questions.  Instead, we decided we would meet at the Expo that was being held at the same time.  This was where all the sponsors and other companies had come to promote their wares and give away free shit.  We were all for that!  Plus, we had not yet had any breakfast, and we foresaw booths with food samples, so it was on!

Before we even entered the Expo Hall, we discovered a large furry orange guy was greeting all entrants.  Then, out of nowhere, a very tall yellow gentleman accosted our orange greeter and swept him up in a big hug, as if they were long lost mates.  It just got weirder after that.

I obviously recognized the tall gentleman, as I have seen him many times at breakfast, after stripping him down so that I can feast on his flesh.  But Mr. Orange was giving me some problems.  He seemed familiar.

Hmmm, some bells are ringing.  Wait, what’s that?  Oh, you want to give me an empty orange bag?  And it’s for collecting all the free swag I am about to get just past this doorway?  Oh, well thank you fine sir.  Much obliged.  Oh wait!  What do we have here?  The bag says right on it The Lorax.  Well well the pieces are starting to fall in place now.  You, my fine sir, are an oompa loompa, aren’t you?  I knew I’d seen you in a movie before.  You cannot get anything by me.  Sharp as a tack I am!

Once we entered the Expo Hall, we were able to sample many food items.  There was an entire refrigerator case full of different yogurts, there was a Dole booth with samples of homemade banana bread and full cups of fresh fruit, there was pudding and java juice and sausage biscuits and cereal bars and guacamole and cookies and cake pops and coffee and pasta.  There was even soy sauce ice cream.

It was actually quite tasty.  Sort of like a salty caramel flavor.  I was surprised and impressed.  AND FULL!  Needless to say, we did not need to eat lunch that day.  We were pretty jam packed with yummy samples as we walked through the numerous booths on multiple floors.  And although the food was abundant, there were also many other items that were being given away for free at the Expo.  There were teeth whiteners, hair dye, press-on nails, medication (generic and the real shit), huge pens for the kids from the Chuck E Cheese booth, full bottles of lotion, Bowling DVDs, flash drives, lip gloss/chapsticks and vibrators.

Wait, what?

Yep, you heard me right.  There was a Trojan booth there and they were giving away free vibrators.  They brought 400 and were somehow surprised at how fast they were able to clear their inventory.  Really?  You are giving away free sexual aids to a mostly female blogging population and the speed of distribution surprised you?  Ok then.  UPDATED:  I actually just got an email from the Trojan company, saying they read this post and enjoyed it, and just wanted to let me know that they brought 4,000 vibrators, not 400.  I guess that makes more sense.  And I can understand their surprise now.  That is A LOT of “personal massagers.”

But enough about the dildos . . . more on those at a later time.

Once we were done walking around and collecting tons of free shit, we retired to our room for a bit.  This is when the hair braiding and pillow fights broke out.  Of course.

Then we needed to get ready for the Voices of the Year speeches.  I previously detailed Elizabeth’s amazing reading and my subsequent bombtastic attempts to replicate that in this post.

After all the speechy speeches, us lovely ladies were off to an officially sponsored BlogHer party that evening.  Also know as . . . Sparklecorn.

My companions were all decked out in their finest sparkly attire, while I was not sparkly, but was wearing a cute dress and my new fancy shoes.

Sparkly!!

This was quite the party.  There were glowsticks in abundance, balloons twisted into unicorn horns and wrapped around people’s bodies, food, drink, and of course there was this:

I’m pretty sure that is a cake.  And apparently we were not feeding Jen enough, because she looks like she’s about to chomp down on that poor little unicorn’s tale.  Either that or she is trying to catch the unicorn farts in her mouth.  Is it true that unicorns fart rainbow Skittles?  Because if so, move out of my way, Jen!!

We started out on the dance floor and started moving and grooving and generally strutting our fabulous stuff!  We were having quite the fun time.  There was dancing.  And there was sparkling.  And there was laughing.

Here’s a picture of the three of us on the dance floor.  I look stunning and am positively glowing, by the way!

And then . . . and then we saw a sight that filled us with such glee, we hardly knew what to do with ourselves.  It immediately made us think of our poor little Bex, who wasn’t able to join us on our journey, our country being a big bag of dicks and not allowing her awesomeness to enter our shores.  But she was there in our hearts and thoughts, and now it was almost like she was there in person!

As we were leaving Sparklecorn (right about 9:30, because we are old and sad cougars), we ran into a couple celebrities.  Whilst I proceeded to make Justin Bieber into a man, Jen and Johi decided to become members of a band.

Unfortunately, we were too old to rock and roll ALL night.

The next day was going to be very exciting, because a few of my favorite bloggers were set to come in just for the day.  As my bloggy buddies were pending arrival, there was much texting and communicating amongst us as to where we were and when we would meet.  I came upon Jules at the registration area, and since I had seen her plenty on her blog, yet she had never seen my face, I figured I would fuck with her a bit.  As I do.

I walked up to her, and as I was about to pass her, I said pretty loudly, “oh my god, can you believe that chick wearing leggings as pants!!”  Then I looked right at her.  After her initial WTF expression passed, she realized right away who this rude and obnoxious chic must be.  Later she told me she knew who I was because I had that “Misty energy” about me.  I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I’m gonna go with good.  Don’t you dare try to tell me otherwise!!

Soon after meeting up with Jules, one of her friends joined us.  JM is a fellow blogger who actually works a couple blocks away from the conference hotel.  So, she took the train in early to go to the conference, and then planned to go to work that evening.  (She does tech for one of the broadway shows).  We had little time to chat at that point, though, because the sessions were about to begin, and damned if I wasn’t going to actually go to one of those things while I was here.  So, we went our separate ways, planning to meet up later in the day.

I can’t say much for the sessions I went to.  The first was mainly focused on putting drawings into your posts, and since I don’t draw, it didn’t really apply to me too much.  The next one was custom fitted for me . . . it was about legal issues pertaining to content in blogs.  I figured I would get a lot out of it, because I needed to know what kind of liability I was setting myself up for with all the pictures of the crazy people I post.  Turns out, I can get my pants sued right off.  Oh, and all those pinterest pictures that everyone puts on their blogs without having any idea what the source is?  Yep, you can get sued for that, too.  But mainly, most of the info they gave was pretty logical and self-evident, and a lot of it rang familiar from stuff I had learned in law school.  So basically, I could have done my own brief research and figured all of that out myself.  Not the best use of my time, but that’s ok.  I didn’t come to BlogHer for the information I would receive in the sessions.  I came mainly for the chance to meet my fellow bloggers and the opportunity to hang out with them.

And that is just what I got to do later that day.  After the morning sessions, it was lunch time.  This is where I met up with Jules, JM and my very own buddy and pal, Thoughtsy.  We ended up having lunch together and exchanging presents.  I was unaware that JM would be there, or I would have brought something for her as well (sorry JM!), but I think after the booze given to her by Thoughtsy, and the mustache glasses from Jules, she was pretty much set!

I know she looks villainous with those glasses on, but she was really very sweet!

Thoughtsy also got a pair of glasses as a gift from Jules.

And then of course, Jules had to wear hers so that she would fit in with all the fabulousness.  And she also showed off her most excellent phone case that some thoughtful soul sent her when she won it in the most coveted giveaway ever!!

And that was the end of all the gifts.  What?  Where were my mustache glasses you ask?  Well, of course Jules also gifted me with the most radtastic pair of mustache glasses as well.  The are mirrored.  And handlebarred!!  But sadly, I cannot model them for you, because then I would have to show you my face.  And that just cannot be done.  Nope.  Sorry.

Hmmm, but there has to be a way to model them in a way that both shows you the glasses and doesn’t show you my face.  But it has to be a way that is creative and, well, me.  Let’s see . . . let me think on this a bit.  What to do, what to do . . .

Hold on now . . . I think I’ve got it!

After lunch and mustaches had been consumed finished, Katie Couric came out on the stage.  Yawn.  Anyway, moving on.  Since nobody really had any interest in any of the upcoming speakers, we decided to hit the Expo.  I then acted as tour guide to show them where all the good swag was, and even show them the secret hidden room where they were giving out the vibrators.  I’m a helper in that way.

Once we were all filled up with swag, we decided that we were just gonna hang out in the hotel bar for a bit so that we could chat and have a cocktail (or 2, depending on who you were . . . ahem, Jules, ahem).  So we sat.  And we drank.  And we chatted.  Honestly, it was the best time that I had there.  Just being able to sit and talk to fellow bloggers, comparing ideas, tips and war stories about blogging, talking about our lives and families . . . it was just really nice.  I felt like I was part of a community of like minded people and like I found my home.  I know how cheesy that sounds, but it is truly how I felt while sitting there talking to these wonderful ladies.  This was why I came to BlogHer.  Thanks for the enlightening and enjoyable afternoon girls!!  Cheers!

While we were there, one of Thoughtsy’s bloggy friends stopped by as well.  Amy actually lives in NYC, so she just popped in to the conference for the day as well.  She was super sweet, and while she was there, she very helpfully suggested a sushi place for us to go to for dinner, and also shared with me her own whacked pictures that she had captured on a recent trip to Vegas.  She is such a kindred spirit!  Oh Amy . . . you blog, you love sushi, and you take random pictures of crazy people on the streets?  If it wasn’t for that whole Asian thing you’ve got going on, I would say we might have been twins separated at birth!!  😉

Eventually, Thoughtsy and JM had to depart, thus breaking up our little bloggy lovefest, which made me oh so sad.  Not just because I would miss them terribly, but because JM was taking my new love with her.  This fabulous bag!!

I kid, I kid.  Obviously I was just sad because they were leaving.  But Thoughtsy had a 3+ hour train ride home, and JM actually had to go to work, so leave they must and did.  Amy had also run off around this time, so this left just Jules and I to get into some trouble figure out what to do.  So we decided to grab Johi and make use of that sushi recommendation that Amy gave us.  And what a great recommendation it was!

And yes that is GOLD leaf on top of that sushi. We are nothing if not fancy!

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The drinks were even delish!!

Once our delicious dinner was over, we also had to say goodbye to Jules.  I hate goodbyes.  Why can’t we all just live in one big bloggy commune for ever and ever and ever?  Then again, we’d probably get on each other’s nerves within a week and it would become a Lord of the Flies situation.  Nevermind, let’s not do any of that.  Moving on . . .

I then got to do two things I have always wanted to do . . . finally get to spend more than 2 minutes with Elizabeth (she was leaving, but texted me before she headed out so we could meet up and chat for a few minutes before she left, which was so very sweet, just like her!) and I got to walk around NYC and experience the city.  I also got to buy some souvenirs for my boys.  If I had walked into that house without presents, I’m not sure I would have been allowed back in!  So, the M&M store it was.

Then, as I was making my way back to the hotel, I realized how dark it had become, and that I was walking around in one of the busiest cities in the world, in the dark, by myself.  Hmm, seems like a good idea, right?  It was fine, though.  I was in a very touristy area, and there were lots of people walking around with me.  Plus, I got to see the city all lit up again.  I also got a really great shot of Radio City Music Hall with 30 Rock in the background.

And thus ends the tales of my time in the big city.  The rest of that night, I pretty much just stayed in my room packing, and did not see anyone else until my quick goodbye to Johi the next morning as I ran out to catch my flight home.  Which, of course, left late enough so that I missed my connection.  In Philly.  And I had to sit there for 2 hours waiting for another flight.  Again.  Seriously, what is up with me and travelling?  At least I got one final drink.  Doesn’t make up for it, though.

I did finally make it home, to much hugging and appreciation from my family.  That is always nice, to return to your normal life with the people who love you.  And unpacking.  And laundry.  And bedtimes and dinner and lunches and . . . what was I saying again?

Stay tuned for Monday’s post . . . there will be a giveaway of some of the swag items I received at BlogHer.  Good stuff, too.  😀

If I Can Make It There: BlogHer ’12

I had never before had the opportunity to experience New York City.  That is not to say that I had never before visited the city.  The first time was when I was a very wee tot, maybe around 4 or 5, and I took a bus trip with my mother up to NYC to see the Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall in their annual holiday show.  I remember very little of the trip.  The next visit was in college when I took a trip to see one of the museums.  I can’t recall which one, but do remember that the buses that transported us were parked across the street and directly in front of what I assume was Central Park.  I also distinctly remember that when I glanced down into the park, the first thing I saw was a used condom and a used syringe laying on a rock.  I believe this was before the big clean up initiative that occurred soon after this time (around the mid-nineties).  I guess you could say that my previous interaction with the city was somewhat minimal.

So, I was super excited when I found out that the annual BlogHer conference would be held in New York City this year.  Finally!  My chance to go there as an adult and to see all the sights and sounds of the city that I had only previously seen in TV and movies.  I couldn’t wait!  (Except, as I previously detailed, I would be made to wait.  And wait.  And wait some more, before I was actually able to get there).

I also couldn’t wait to meet all of the other bloggers who would be attending the conference this year, especially the women whom I had formed relationships with through our blogs in the past several months.  Finally I could see them in person and say I had friends that were not only imaginary online!

When I arrived in New York, I discovered that the tales of a city that never slept were indeed true.  My arrival was late at night, after 1:00 am, and as I was travelling through the city streets in my cab, I saw people just casually walking around the city, as if it was a regular ole afternoon and they were taking a stroll.  It was somewhat bizarre to me, this small town girl, who is usually in bed by 10:00 every night.  The city also had this energy about it.  It sort of hummed and buzzed with life.  Difficult to actually describe unless you’ve experienced it.  And apparently, it was contagious, because I was also infused with a buzz of excitement by just being there.  Even in the wee early hours of the morning.  In fact, apparently the city was expecting me, because for almost the entire drive from the airport to the hotel, I received a police escort!  Wow, I’m feeling very famous.  Or is that infamous?

New York’s finest.

Once I arrived at my hotel, and discovered that they did not have the room I reserved available, I was given a different room for the night.  The good news, the check in girl told me, was that this room had a view of Central Park.  Well, ok, so at least there’s that.  Although, at 1:30 in the morning, there was not much of a view at all, unless you count the view looking down from the 40th floor.  Did I mention my ears popped in the elevator?  Yeah, I was pretty high up.  Good thing I’m not afraid of heights, nor do I suffer from vertigo or anything.

I also discovered a friend from home was waiting for me in my room.  How nice of them to consider my possible homesickness and try to combat that by having a familiar face there for me:

My B-more homeboy . . . Michael Phelps.

The next morning when I awoke, I opened the curtains to discover that I did indeed have a view of Central Park.  It was quite lovely.  Unfortunately, this would be the closest I would actually get to the park during my trip there.  Which made me very sad, indeed.  I would just not have enough time to see many of the sights that I so long to visit in this huge metropolis.  Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go back to see the rest of the sights!  🙂

My first full day in New York was a free day.  Meaning that there were no BlogHer activities planned on that day and that we were free to do as we wanted in the city.  It was also the day I planned to meet both Jen and Johi.  Jen and I met in the hotel lobby, and when we met, we apparenlty screamed so loudly that we were heard on the next floor below us.  This was according to Jen’s mom, who had travelled to New York with her.  So, once the hugging and squeeing and general initial excitement wore off, Jen’s mom went to try to purchase some Broadway tickets for her and Jen for later in the week, and Jen and I set off to explore this great big city.  At first there was just some general errand running to do (I forgot to pack my brush and Jen needed some earplugs), and then we were off for a quick lunch at a nearby deli.  The food was very good, but we were barely able to taste it but for the distraction that was staring at us from the display case.  Cupcakes as big as a newborn baby’s head.  Mmmm, newborn baby head.

STOP STARING AT ME!!

Once we had our sustenance, we were ready to tackle the city.  First stop . . . Top of the Rock.  So we headed over to 30 Rockefeller to mount this city and see the whole shebang.  Unfortunately, when we arrived, we realized that the price to get up there was a bit steep, so we declined that journey.  Sadness.  However, while we were there, we figured we might as well check out Rockefeller Plaza and see the famous statue and ice skating rink out there.  Being quite a large building, we got a bit turned around and couldn’t figure out where that would be, so we asked a very helpful page.  Who was then kind enough to inform us, “you know, there’s no ice skating rink right now, though.”  Gee, in the middle of a 95* day in August?  You don’t say.  Thank you so much for straightening us out, helpful page!  We did finally make it out of the correct exit and came upon the famous site.

They were having some sort of farmer’s market in the space formerly occupied by the skating rink, so that was sort of a strange sight, what with all the big white tents and all.  To be honest, I had seen this so many times on TV, that it was a bit anticlimactic.  I guess I really will have to come back when the rink is there, and there is a huge brightly lit tree as well.  I think that is my ideal of what this should look like.  The building itself is pretty massive, and was so tall that I couldn’t even get the statue and the entire building in one whole shot.  And every time I see this picture, I think of Tina Fey.  Wonder why that is . . .

So, of course, after seeing one of the major New York landmarks, and discovering that Johi’s arrival was imminent, meaning we needed to stay close to the hotel, what else were two girls to do . . . but shop?  Actually, Jen wanted to shop.  I just wanted to get into somewhere with air conditioning before I melted, so it worked out for both of us.  We went into one of Jen’s favorite stores and proceeded to the sales rack.  Unfortunately, there was nothing to her liking there, but we did discover this poor sad little frock.  I think we had this same design on the wallpaper in my family’s kitchen as a kid.

SHOCKED that this was on the clearance rack!

The store also had the most exquisite display of a macrame lighting fixture that I have ever beheld in my entire life.  And I was born in the 70’s, so you know I’ve seen some macramed shit in my time.  This thing was EPIC.

As we were heading back to the hotel, we happened upon the most fantastic store ever, just tucked into one of the side streets near Rockefeller Center.  It had some of the most kickass items.  We were enthralled.

Jen wanted this BADLY.

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They had a plethora of these. This one was my fave.

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They had THE BEST greeting cards.

Once we dragged ourselves out of this mecca of awesomeness, we returned to the hotel so that we could meet Johi.  Of course, there was then more hugging and squeeing, and they then wanted to do even more shopping.  This time . . . for me.  See, I had brought this new dress, but I did not have appropriate shoes to match, so these little fashionistas were on a mission to have me properly shod.  (In Jen’s words:  to get me something besides the lesbian gardening shoes I was currently wearing).  Although I am not a fan of shopping one bit, I did need shoes to match the dress, so I somewhat reluctantly went along with this plan.  Besides, I had seen an Aerosoles while we were walking around earlier, so I figured worse case, I could just run in there and get something.  The girls had other plans, however.

Our first stop was at The Loft, where I tried on a few torture devices, also known as footwear (I assume).  They were not working out for me.  It didn’t stop Johi from buying a pair for herself, though, so it wasn’t a total loss.  Although, I think Jen was a bit confused as to what the modelling feet were there for.  Bad Jen, no eats the feets.

On we moved to Aerosoles, which for some strange reason, they almost just walked right by.  Odd.  I found a pair that might work, but the girls were not enthused.  They said that being in that place made them very sad.  We finally decided on a pair that we both agreed upon, and told the well-meaning sales boy to hold them for me while we looked in a couple more stores.  So off we went to the Nine West next door.  Jen was overjoyed, and immediately found a pair that she adored:

And then miracle of miracles, I found a pair that actually matched the dress, were in my size, were affordable, and didn’t immediately cut off all circulation to my toes when I walked around in them in the store.  Not particularly comfortable, per se, but according to my shopping guides, comfortable is not a factor to consider.  At that point, I was pretty much shopped out and getting very weary and glazed-eyed about the whole thing, so I just relented and bought them.  They are quite adorable.  They are very not me, but they are now mine.  And they most definitely were not comfortable when I wore them the entirety of the following night.  But comfort and fashion does not equate, apparently.

Once I was able to rehydrate with a big ole latte from Starbucks (which just happened to be in the lobby of the hotel, Holla!!), I was ready for our evening excursion . . . meeting Noa (the original Funny Bitch) for dinner at Wolfgang’s near Times Square.  When I arrived and opened the menu, I realized that I was apparently going to be able to eat dinner there or pay my mortgage this month, but definitely not both.  But what the hell . . . who needs a roof and electricity, anyway!  It was great fun talking and laughing with those amazingly funny and charming ladies at that dinner . . . even if I might have to sell one of my kids to pay for it.  Pfft, whatever.  I’ve got a spare.

I’m not even going to go into the doucheface fratdick asswipe that called me FAT as we were leaving the restaurant.  Nope, gonna just let that one go.  What I will do is totally post his privileged country club fuckheaded ass on my blog, because he was in fact wearing magenta shorts with a button down shirt and a blazer.

Doucheface Asshead J. Turdlington, III

After we left the restaurant, we decided to take a little stroll around the streets of New York to experience the shitshow of humanity that was Times Square.

Amongst all the huge flashing billboards and millions of bright lights, there were some other interesting sights to see.  Including this:

Yes, you are in fact reading that correctly.  That says EVITA starring Ricky “Livin’ La Vida Loca” Martin.  What is happening here?  I don’t even understand.  When did Mr. Menudo become a broadway stage actor?  It’s a world gone mad, I tell you!

Next we saw some very interesting characters . . . there was the Naked Cowboy, who basically hand raped Johi:

Then, of course we have the requisite superhero:

Batman giving directions to this poor tragic soul, who feels it is appropriate to wear green tropical shorts sitting right below his nipples, white tennis shoes and a fanny pack.  Oh please Batman, save him!!

And then there were the 2 versions of Hello Kitty.  First is slutty kitty:

Then there was this tragic soul who was talking to herself in the corner before accosting greeting the general public:

Once we saw all that Times Square had to offer, we decided to call it a night.  It had been a long day, full of exploration, good conversation and a little (ok a large) dash of insanity.  We were beat.  But . . . this was only the first day!!

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

(Stay tuned for tales of dancing unicorns, grown men dressed as furry creatures, free vibrators and more meetings with bloggy friends!!  No, it was not a porn convention, why do you ask?).

You Dropped a Bomb on Me, Baby

Last week, I attended the BlogHer conference in New York City.  There were highs and there were lows, but mostly it was a lot of fun.  I got to meet some really great people, and spend time comparing stories and blogging tips with them.  I attended very few sessions, and found that the ones I did actually sit through, were not really all that helpful.  I got to go out and see the city, even though I only really got to experience a few places outside of the hotel, and was disappointed that there was not more time (and money) to sightsee.  I did get to see some incredible shitshows of humanity all packed into a block full of flashing lights, huge billboards, tourists and sad people dressed up as characters, hoping to be paid for their efforts, i.e. Times Square.  That was interesting.  And overwhelming.  And a little sad, not gonna lie.  But the entire experience left me feeling more homesick than I thought I ever would.  Weird.

One of the highlights of the trip and the most anticipated event, was the Voices of the Year extravaganza, wherein some very funny and very brilliant writers were chosen to present one of their submitted blog posts for the entire assembled conference.  The first speaker was my good friend and blogger, Elizabeth from Flourish in Progress.  I have decided that she is indeed my friend now because I actually got to meet her and talk to her for about 15 whole minutes while I was at BlogHer.  So we are besties now, of course.  Slumber parties and hair braiding to follow, I’m sure!

She was completely hysterical and wonderful reading her piece.  I know she was super nervous, especially since she had to go first, but she pulled it off like a pro.  It was fantastic.  This is the Video of her reading.  See?  Told you she was fantastic.  And in case you want to read the actual post for yourself, this is the blog post she read:  To the person who stole my Taco Bell Gordita savings fund.

Since I video’d the entire speech, I sadly was not able to get any pictures of her up on stage while she was actually reading.  However, I was able to capture a picture of her when they brought all the readers out on stage afterwards.  She’s the tiny Asian girl in the adorable pink/orange dress.  Isn’t she the cutest little thing?  Don’t let her sweet innocent face fool you though.  She is a bad ass gangsta chick that will shank you as soon as look at you.  You’ve been warned! 

After this big deal of a shindig, there was a reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres, wherein we were able to mingle with everyone.  Sadly (for me!), Elizabeth was the bell of the ball after her reading, and I was only able to quickly congratulate her, give her a tiny token of my love and fidelity, and then she was off mingling with her adoring fans.  I would not see her again until the next evening, where I was able to catch her for a quick chat before she took her private car off to fabulous times in far off cities.  She is just so famous and popular that frankly, I was honored and pleased to have been able to share her for just a few wee moments.

Once the reception was over, we headed off to an event that I had actually been looking forward to attending and even participating in.  Which is so very unlike me, I’m not even sure what got into me.  There was an open mic/karaoke type event, where any blogger there could throw their name into a hat and give a reading of one of their blog posts.  Ostensibly, it was to be a “Listen to your Mother” themed event, wherein you read posts either about your mother or being a mother, but most people didn’t really follow those guidelines, and pretty much read whatever they wanted.  Even though I do not have a mommy blog, I wanted to participate, and thought I had the perfect post.  My Dinner Time is My Vietnam post.  It’s an older post.  I wrote it in September of last year.  It’s all about my kids not listening to me at dinner, and I thought it would be funny.  I don’t know why I was so gung-ho on reading, up on stage, in front of a bunch of people I don’t know, this writing piece that I had created.  Just writing that last sentence, it seems like the most horrendous form of hell on earth ever.  But for some reason, I was all for it.  So, I submitted my entry, and then waited for my name to be called.  And waited.  And waited.  And . . . . waited.

During the wait, other names were called and other people got up on that stage and read.  Some were really great and funny.  Some were touching.  Some were long and torturous and depressing.  But none of them were me!  Yet.  Then it happened . . . they called MY NAME.  Oh man!!  I was so excited.  I’m sad to report that there was squeeing involved.  It wasn’t pretty.  While I waited to give my reading, sure of the fact that I would do so much better than those other readers that had already gone, a reader two spots in front of me got up and killed it.  I mean, laughing so hard you can’t breathe and tears come to your eyes kind of killing it.  She was actually a VOTY reader who had read a very serious and politically/racially charged post earlier that night.  It was wonderful.  But the piece she read here was a completely frivolous yet poop your pants funny reading.  (It was about pooping her pants, btw).  And I?  I had to go after her.  Uh-oh.

I was super nervous at this point.  Wondering to myself, “exactly why did you want to do this again?  What possessed you to think that public speaking all of a sudden was your thing?  Oh shit, I actually have to go stand up there and read this thing now, don’t I?  Oh no.”  But I did.  I stood up, climbed up on that dias, and read my piece. 

To silence.  That’s right.  Nobody laughed.  Nobody grabbed their sides from the pain of laughing so hard.  Nobody wiped their eyes from the tears of joy that came from hearing the hilarity I was speaking.  Nobody lost their breath because of the laughter coming so fast and hard.  Not.  A.  Sound.  It was deafening.

I exited the stage to polite applause, and was reassured by my friends that I did great.  I knew they were lying, but of course that’s what you tell someone who bombs, right?  “It was great!!”  No, no it wasn’t.  I have a good amount of self-realization, and I am also not deaf.  There was no laughing.  There was just silence. 

nq120721

But even though it was dreadful and nobody laughed at what I thought was a funny piece, it’s ok.  I still think the piece is funny.  Maybe it’s just not read it to the public and have them laugh funny.  Maybe my timing was off.  Afterall, I’m not really great with the public speaking thing.  I tried not to just read it from the page.  I tried to add inflection, pauses, all the things that good public speakers are supposed to do.  But it still fell flat.  But you know what?  I did it.  I got up there and did it.  And I’m proud of me.  A little disappointed, but still ok with it. 

And the bonus is that when we filled out our submission sheet, there was a space for “Prison Nickname.”  Now, being named Misty, I have never had a real nickname, so I was at a loss.  Luckily, my friends are much more creative than I, so I now have a nickname which I think fits me brilliantly:

NINJA SNAP

See?  This whole experience wasn’t a total loss.  I at least got a kickass nickname out of the whole deal.  I call that a win!  🙂

———————————————————————————————————

How are you at public speaking?  Have you ever completely bombed?  Do you have a great/horrible story about being on stage?  Or are you a total pro?  Any tips for me for the next time I get up on a stage?  (Pfft, who am I kidding . . . that ain’t happening again!).

The Travel Gods Hate Me

I have recently come to the realization that I am not meant to travel by myself.  My most recent drive down to the ocean to meet my family, who were already there, resulted in hours of extra and extremely frustrating traffic.  And then I compounded the situation by almost immediately turning around and taking a trip to New York for the BlogHer conference.  By myself.  Leaving my family behind.  Meeting my co-bloggers in New York.  The voyage did not go well.

The trip began as most of my trips do . . . completely smooth and deceivingly easy.  I was able to leave work at a reasonable time, get to the airport with tons of time to spare, check in and even got a great check in guy who told me to go ahead and get in the priority line . . . everything was going super smoothly.  So, I was ready to take off, even with enough time to grab a latte before the flight . . .

That’s my plane! Right on time. Yay.

. . . and everything was going perfectly.  Too perfectly as it turns out.  I even got a window seat beside a skinny guy who did not want to talk to me or rub up against me on the plane (Holla!!), which is like winning the lottery!  And I arrived in Philadelphia a little before 8:00, with plenty of time between arrival and my connecting departure.  I would even have enough time to grab some food before getting on my 9:00 flight.  Everything was going according to plan.  I was due to arrive in New York around 10:00 and should have been at the hotel before 11:00.  That would have given me plenty of time to unpack and get settled in before getting a good night sleep before the next day of blogger meet-ups and what was sure to be a flurry of sightseeing and activities.

Then I got a call.  From a mystery 888 number that I didn’t recognize.  When I answered it, I heard a recording.  An update on my pending flight.  And the info was doled out as if each word was physically being pulled out of the speaker’s throat by a large pair of sharp metal tongs.  And it was just about as painful to me to wait until the recording finally got to the point . . . that my flight was delayed.  And had a pending departure time of . . . wait for it . . . 11:45!  WHAT THE FUCK?!?! . . . is what I actually said out loud on the transit bus I was on, surrounded by other passengers who thought I had lost my mind.  Oops.

So yes, that would be a THREE+ HOUR DELAY.  So I scurried to the departure gate and spoke to the woman there.  She said that all 3 flights due to arrive in LaGuardia were delayed because of storms in New York, and that all would be leaving around 3 hours late.  Sigh.  Was there nothing that would leave for New York earlier than 11:45?  Nope.  Ok, then.  Well then, I guess it was about time to find myself a bar.  Because if I was gonna have to sit in this airport for 3 hours, I was going to get myself a drink.  And some food.  Which is exactly what I did.

Key Lime Pie Martini . . . yum!!

So I sat.  And I drank.  And I had a sandwich.  And I watched the Olympics.  And I caught up on some of my fellow blogger’s sites.  Oh, and did I mention the table at which I sat already had a lovely young woman who graciously allowed me to share the table with her?  Yep.  Might one think that her graciousness will keep me from making fun of her Hello Kitty credit card?  Come on, now.  Have you met me?  Pretty sure you know the answer to that:

No, she was not a 12 year old Japanese school girl.

After about an hour and a half of passing the time in the airport, I decided to check on my flight.  When I got to the gate, the sign behind the (same) woman said CLOSED.  Panic ensued . . . did the flight actually arrive and leave without me???  No, the lady informed me.  It just changed gates.  She was then nice enough to check on the status for me.  “Uh-oh,” she says.  Uh-oh?  What’s uh-oh?  I don’t need any more uh-ohs, thank you!  She then informed me that my flight, that was now due to leave at 11:45, was actually just then loading passengers in Detroit, and it would not be due to even arrive in Philly until 11:47.  Wait, what now?  If my calculations serve correctly (unload passengers/baggage, clean up plane, refuel, reload passengers/baggage), we would be looking at a 12:30 departure time, if I’m being generous.  Oh HELLZ no! 

It was at this time that I decided that it was time for action.  Are there any other flights leaving for LaGuardia, I asked.  She told me there was an 11:10 flight scheduled, but that I would have to go to that gate to get on the flight, as it was “gate specific.”  Thanking her for her help, I headed to that gate.  When I got there, the attendant told me that they could not change me there, and that I would have to go to yet another place (customer service) to get the flight changed.  By the way, in case you are keeping track, I probably ran or walked about 3 miles since arriving in Philly, just inside this airport, moving between all these gates (and the bar).  Once I got to the customer service desk, I think I was delirious with exhaustion and frustration.  I pleaded with the lady to get me on that other flight and promised that if she could, I would “be her bestest friend in the entire world.”  Yeah, surprisingly, she was not receptive to that offer.  Weird.  Even despite my craziness, she was able to switch me, so I guess I have a new bestie now, huh?

The plane, despite my presence on it, actually took off as expected around 11:10 (give or take) and I arrived in NYC around midnight.  If you can believe it, my luggage was even switched as well and arrived within a reasonable amount of time at baggage claim.  Things are looking up, yes?  Pfft.  Amatuer.

Once I caught a taxi, I realized that even though I was pretty tired, I was also kinda excited to be in New York for the first time and was snapping pics of the city all lit up as I approached.  And no, none of them are good, because I was in a moving cab and it was nighttime.  Oh well.  I was still super excited.  We made it to the hotel in good time and I approached the check-in desk at around 1:00 AM, ready for my journey to be done.  The check-in girl was very nice and professional.  But then she said she would be right back as she had to check on something.  Uh-oh.  When she eventually returned, her news was not good.  She informed me that even though I had booked my room in February, there was no room available.  They had overbooked my room with 2 double beds and only had rooms with one bed available.  Um, what?  So, the choice offered to me was that I could either just have a room with one queen bed (in which Johi and I would be getting very cozy and much more acquainted than we had expected), or they could give me a different room that night and then give me a double room the next day at some point when someone eventually checked out.  Well, obviously I chose to take the room that night (I just wanted a freaking bed at that point!) and told them I would switch the next day.  Johi wasn’t expected to arrive until the next afternoon, so I hoped to have the new room prior to her arrival.  And so, I looked forward to some fun room switching excitement in the morning.  Woo-hoo!!

The room was pretty nice.  And it had a view.  Not that I discovered this until the next morning.  And of course, even though it was about 1:30 in the morning by the time I got in my room, I was all wired from all the travel and excitement of being in New York, so I wasn’t even tired at that point.  But I knew I had to get some sleep, as I was meeting my girls the next day and needed some rest for the pending excitement.  Six hours is enough, right?  Well, it was gonna have to be.  Look out New York . . . despite your best attempts, I’m finally here!!

A Trip to the Beach: A Journey in Pictures PART 1

In my last post, I described my trip down to the beach and the beginning of my vacation.  Even though I got a slow and frustrating start, I eventually made it down there and was able to relax and enjoy my time on vacation.  But why would you want to hear about that?  I’m sure you would much rather hear and see the crazy, funny and ridiculous stuff I encountered whilst there, yes?  I thought so.  Here goes.

When I arrived on Friday night, the family was actually staying at a hotel.  The hotel was lovely.  It had a living room, full kitchen, rain shower and very comfy beds in a dark, tailor-made for sleeping, bedroom.  It also had three pools:  a lagoon-type kids pool, complete with slides and lazy river, a full olympic sized pool with a swim up bar (yep, you heard me), and an indoor pool.  Oh, and did I mention the Starbucks in the lobby?  Yeah, so it was heaven.  But it was also a temporary heaven.  The next day we moved on to the condo we would be staying in for the week.  And that is when the craziness began.

When I first arrived, I discovered a lovely greeting on the wall:

An illiterate welcome.

Although a well meaning sign, the creator was obviously not the brightest pelican on the post.  But then it got worse.  Because as I was starting to put stuff away, I discovered this in the kitchen:

Yes, that is the kitchen counter.  And yes, that is a hair and tons of food particles.  Yuck!  I was not feeling very WelOCmed, that’s for sure.  The places are all supposed to be cleaned by a cleaning crew before the turnover on each Saturday.  It seemed that our cleaning crew definitely missed a few spots.  So, I was forced to call the rental agency to complain, and they sent another cleaning crew over. 

Once the place was sufficiently cleaned, I was able to start unpacking and putting stuff away.  This is when I discovered a theme to the condo:  Pink Pussies.  Think I’m being crass and/or joking?  Nope.

PINK

.

PUSSY

.

PINK PUSSY

.

(Angry) PINK PUSSY

Even the view was pink:

Oh, and all the furniture was pink, the bedspreads were pink, the curtains were pink.  Basically, it was like living in a large pink vagina.  It was awesome!!

And of course, while I was unpacking the kitchen, my hubs was helpfully unpacking his stuff in our bathroom:

Helpful, isn’t he?  😉  This was of course after he peed around his favorite chair.  Gotta mark your territory, yo.

But enough about the condo . . . we did eventually leave the safety of our big comfy vag, and went out to the beach!!  Yep, that’s right, I ventured out onto the vast expanse of sandy shores and crashing waves.  Want proof?

Toes in the water . . .

.

. . . toes in the sand.

This is where we also discovered the tiniest blue crab ever known to man.  It was miniscule, but had the largest and creepiest eyes ever!

And then there was the rainbow United States cloud.  I’m hoping this is an omen for the future of America.

Oh, and did I mention the hot running men?  There were quite a few Baywatch moments on the beach . . .

You are welcome, ladies.  Here’s some more man-meat for ya:

Oh, and this one:

He wasn’t a lifeguard, but merely a scopes guy, but I’m gonna let it slide.  And speaking of hot mens: 

Oh, and for my gentlemen readers out there . . . there are boobs and slutty women pending, so you just be patient.

Since we were on vacation, there was obviously a ton of food (and drinks!) and the constant consumption of those delicious meals (and drinks!).

We start, of course, with the run to Fractured Prune, to get piping hot create-your-own donuts.

They are outrageously delicious.  If you have never had a Fractured Prune donut, I am very sorry for your loss.  If you have one near you and have yet to experience it, RUN to your nearest establishment and get a box.  I recommend the Strawberry Shortcake one highly!

Speaking of Strawberry Shortcakes:

This was a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shortcake from Harpoon Hanna’s.  Don’t judge, it was deliciousness personified.  But I sucked that thing down too fast, so I was forced to try another of their delectable concoctions:

This was also delicious.  This is what it was:

So very yummy!  Oh, I also had food there, but that is beside the point right now.  There was seafood though, just be assured.  And speaking of seafood, we had our obligatory Crab night:

Crabs and scallops . . . What could be better?  Well, except for the steamed shrimp, crab cakes, corn on the cob and crab soup which is not pictured but most definitely made it into my belly!!

And then there was the Mexican fiesta of food (and drinks!) we had.  Mmmmm, strawberry margarita!!

Soooo many dips.  Soooo much goodness.  After drinks and dips, we were almost too full for our entrees . . . almost.  I forced myself to power down most of my fresh Mahi fish tacos.  Yum.  Are you shocked that I gained five pounds on this trip?  Yeah, me too!

And I would be remiss from including one other special drink:

A toasted almond at Bahama Mama’s.  We ate out on the deck with a view of the bay and Assateague Island.  You know, of the Misty of Chincoteague fame?  Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was a good girl and finished all of my drink.  Both parts.

Mmmmm . . . all gone!

In case you were worried, I did not in fact spend the entire vacation in a drunken stupor.  There were lots of drinks, but no drunkenness.  There were non-alcoholic drinks as well!  Don’t look so surprised . . . there was ice cream involved, so hush!

That would be an ice cream soda from the famous Dumser’s.  Please note the fancy sunset in the background.  I got all picturesque and shit before I dug into that beauty.  For you.  You are welcome.

Ok, this post has become hella long.  Are you still there?  Hello?  Did I lose you about 12 pictures back?  That’s ok, I don’t blame you.  It’s a lot, I know.  But there’s more!!  Don’t worry, I’m going to give you a break, though.  I’ll break this into two posts so you have a chance to recover from all the gloriousness you have just experienced.  It’s a lot to take in.  It may need to settle for a bit.

So . . . stay tuned for pictures from the annual family night out of drunken and disorderly conduct and other various evidentiary documentary photos from my trip.  Oh, and there will be a whacked.  There was oh so much whacked.  My poor eyes will never recover from the things I’ve seen on this trip.  And I’m gonna share them with you!!  I try not to be selfish, after all.  😉

I will return after what is destined to be an epic trip to New York City to experience BlogHer with some amazingly cool women!!  I can’t wait to meet all of my fellow bloggers.  Wish me luck!  And fingers crossed that Jen, Johi and I stay out of jail.  (I would say we have a 50/50 shot of it).  See you all next week!  Toodles.