Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Disconnected and Random Stuff from BlogHer

Aw, friends. You all are my favorites. All of you make being me so easy. I'm sure I will have more to say on the subject, but I want to tell you more about BlogHer and New York.

Algernon tore that town up.

Those are his drink tickets.

There is absolutely no way to fully explain what BlogHer conferences mean to me. I could try. I could try to tell you about the people and the joy. I could try to tell you how I was inspired by speakers and panelists. I could try to tell you how I met some new favorite people. I could try to tell you all the practical information I picked up in some of the sessions. I could try to tell you how I missed Susan. I could try to tell you about some of the very valid criticism of the conference that I heard and how most of it didn't matter all that much to me. I could try to tell you about how much fun I had.

I could try to tell you all that, or I could just tell you about some of the silly things that stick out in my head, because it is way easier that way and the post will be only a million years long instead of six million years long. Also, maybe tomorrow I'll tell you how Algernon got along in New York.

I got to New York on Wednesday evening because even though the conference officially started on Friday, they had a HealthMinder Day on Thursday that had a special needs track full of my people.

But before Thursday, I had to get to my hotel. I walked out of Penn Station only to find a horrifically long taxi line. And it was raining. And I was all, "There has to be a better way," but I didn't know how to use the subway, and I was afraid that I would annoy New Yorkers if I tried to walk down rush hour sidewalks with a suitcase, and I worried that if I walked a block away to try to get a cab, that I would self-destruct and spend the weekend curled in a ball in a doorway under my suitcase instead of at the conference.

So instead, I stood in line for an hour, which gave me a lot of time to practice saying, "I am going to 6th and 53rd. I am going to 6th and 53rd. I am going to 6th and 53rd." Which I did. And it worked! I made it to the hotel, just in time to meet part of my gang of autism moms (and we ARE a gang) and go out to dinner at John's Pizzeria—NO SLICES!

Eventually I ran into my roommate, Annette, and we had security called on us because we were apparently talking too loud in our room. I'm going to put that on third roommate, Algernon.

He's a loudmouth.

HealthMinder Day was wonderful, mostly because I got to hang out with my special needs blogging friends, who mean so very much to me.

From there I headed with some friends to the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge. I hadn't known about this facility before, but the Lodge is a place for cancer patients who are being treated in Manhattan to stay free of charge. It is beautiful and such a wonderful resource.

We were there to remember Susan by painting tiles for her that will be put together in a larger art piece in her honor.

She is so beautiful in that photo.

That is also where I got to start hanging out with Susan's best friend, and one of my personal favorite people, Marty, a.k.a. Canape. I adore that woman. She's fun.

And preeeettttyy.

I didn't go to any fancy parties this year, but I did get out of the hotel to go to restaurants and to see some of the city with friends. It was perfect and relaxed and fun.

One of my high points was the Nintendo World Store, which I went to because I got a gift card to spend there because I am a Nintendo Brand Ambassador. More on that and the joy it brought my kids later. For now, this:

And, yes, this DOES make me the coolest mom.

Also, I might have gone to the Nintendo store and bought a chess set for my kids, but Bowser is the king, so I think it's still okay.

The Voices of the Year reading is always one of the best events of the conference, and this year was no different. We listened to 15 amazing bloggers read their work and then there was a reception to honor them and the other hundred or so bloggers whose work was being honored.

Hmmm. I wonder who those hundred bloggers might be?

Why, look! One of them is me!

The expo hall was huge this year and I definitely made my way through it, although it was Algernon who made the most of the exhibits. I don't do much work with brands anymore, so it's not all that relevant to me. There was one piece of swag though that I walked all over the hotel to find.

It's okay to scream in terror.

I love my stuffed Hot Pocket with sunglasses, arms, and tennis shoes. I will call him Percival.

There is one more place in the expo hall where I caused a HUGE scene and that was at the Jimmy Dean booth. I don't know if you remember two years ago when I ran into the Jimmy Dean sun in a 29th-floor hallway at BlogHer, but it was a big deal to me.

So, when I rounded a corner in the expo hall and saw him again, I may have shrieked a little bit. I reminded him of our meeting in 2010, but I don't think he remembered. Then I made him take his photo with me again.


And then I made him take his photo with Algernon.

It gets even more degrading from here.

I think the Jimmy Dean people loved it. It was like there were paparazzi, all for Algernon and the sun. I may have done some extensive jumping up and down and clapping.

Thanks for humoring me, friends at Jimmy Dean.

Then, they wanted to interview me because I probably looked like someone who ate a lot of Jimmy Dean and they were all, "How does Jimmy Dean fit into your life?" and I had to say, "Um. We don't eat Jimmy Dean products, but I really love your commercials."

By the time I left on Sunday, I was ready to go home and see Alex and my munchkins. I successfully navigated getting to Penn Station with Annette and got on my train and found a seat all by myself. And then at some point, I got off the train with my luggage at the wrong station and had to re-board in shame.

It was awesome. (<—sarcasm) And a very Stimey thing to do.

But at the end were these little dudes, which made the re-boarding instead of living in God Knows Where, Baltimore worth it all.

Now do something funny for blog fodder, mmmkay, kiddos?


I wrote about what it is like to be away from my kids at White Knuckle Parenting this week. And last week I think I forgot to link to my column there in which I wondered if my kids would have survived in Olden Times.


  1. "because I probably looked like someone who ate a lot of Jimmy Dean"
    Good god woman, I love you. 

  2. best part is when you confess you just love the commercials...that would be me. so sad to have missed you and Algernon this year. OMG, Nintendo World Store? My son would die knowing that I missed that. Please don't tell him.

  3. "I love my stuffed Hot Pocket with sunglasses, arms, and tennis shoes. I will call him Percival."
    You know, I'd be willing give up a bag of shampoo bottles and snack-food coupons just to get one of those. No kidding. The only swag item I wanted last year when I went to a Canadian blogger conference was a soup bowl. It was equal parts embarrassing and entertaining watching the other women swoop down on the freebies like vultures on a carcass. I cannot imagine what being at BlogHer was like in that respect. I probably would have hidden in my room.

    P.S.: Algernon rocks.

  4. It sounds like you had a great time! I wish I could have been there!

  5. Yeah, it was all ALGERNON'S fault! *hangs head in shame* Oh, but we had so much fun, and damn I miss you.

  6. You know it is a good time when you get security called to your room.

  7. Those hot pockets are creepy!  And I totally remember the Jimmy Dean sun from your post about BlogHer, how funny! 

    So glad that you had a wonderful time!  I saw your mention in the Express--congrats!!

  8. I miss you so hard.

  9. How does Algernon feel about 

    Also, I totally understand that almost getting off the train at the wrong station, because, hello? They don't announce the stations? WTF?

  10. my fave stimey memory is from my (only)blogher '09 in Chicago. You recognized me in the hallway and made of point of saying hello and giving me a pen which I think I still have somewhere!  Also, because of you and your kindness, you included me in your DC bloggers dinner plans on the last night and I got to meet Susan.  Will ever be thankful for that.  No matter what is going on in your life, you always return to joy and humor and that is what I love about you.

  11. Reading this I'm sad I don't see you more there, but there is no way to see or do anything different there than what unfolds for us, I'm coming to understand. 

    I'm just really glad I get to have you up the street, because you are the best, most fun, most supportive person. Let's have lunch soon. 

  12.  Does your son have his own phone number where I could call him? No reason. You know, just to say hi.

  13.  Yep. I have come to realize that most of the stuff people give away is not stuff I want anyway. But some people so, so more power to them. I suppose it is possible that some people would think it is weird that I was so driven to get my plushie Hot Pocket.

  14.  How does Algernon feel about Percival?

  15.  That dinner was so much fun! It is one of my BlogHer highpoints of all time.

  16.  I love you so much. Let's definitely have lunch. It's easier once my kiddos are back in school, which happens in 18 days.

  17. I lurve you too. Always. And I can't believe how much I miss you already. Okay, I can believe it.

    I am grateful you didn't share the picture of me eating vegetables. We don't want people to get the wrong idea that I actually enjoy them.

    And that hot pocket picture is priceless. That may get me to another conference.

  18. And just a note...autocorrect hates the word lurve. I will now type it 1000 times so it begins to recognize it. It does, however, recognize Stimey. So there's that.

  19.  I SWEAR I commented on this already, but I think my phone hates me. We are totally blaming the noise on Algernon, and not on my high pitched squeal when I saw you. :) Damn I miss you.

  20. Sigh.  I wish I could tell you how many times I have gotten off the train at the wrong time I had to race across the city in a cab to catch it at the next station...good times.

  21. I lurves you too. Tell Algernon I need another smooch. LOL

    See you soon!!!



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