Archives for July 2013

Let Me Tell You a Little Story About This One Time at BlogHer…

As you may know are obviously aware, I was at BlogHer this weekend. As you may also know, I am. The world’s. Biggest. Flake.

Shit happens to me. I can’t explain how. Or why. But crazy things happen to me. That’s what you love about me, amiright?

Background story

So on Saturday, I was not feeling great at all. Friday night was a whirlwind of hungry, and I slammed 4 different sausages and some cheese fries (be damned what was in any of it…I was fucking hungry) at about 9pm. Then some wine and lamb chops at Queerosphere, and by midnight when I passed out, I thought all would be great with the world. I had a not-so-fun 4am “wake up call” from my body. Either there was gluten in the food or the mass quantities of greasy food were not thrilled with me.

I had spent the last 3 day exhausted.

I digress. On to Saturday.

I wore the worst bra ever, which I snuck off behind a curtain to remove at about 10:30 in the morning. I was bra-less. In Yoga pants. And happy. Sort of.

So I was tired. And not feeling great. And for some idiotic reason, I don’t think I drank enough water. So by 2:30 in the afternoon, I was BEAT. My head hurt. I had vertigo like nobody’s business. And I was done with the sessions and the expo floor.So I headed down to the bus to go take a nap. And got on the bus. Except that Walgreens tweeted me to say, “What’s up?! You won our bag o’ drugs!” Ok, not real drugs, y’all. Vitamins and pain reliever and allergy meds. HELL YES.  And I was a WINNER. So I climbed off the bus. Dragged my ass upstairs. And retrieved my prize. Which was TOTALLY worth it.

If I was smart, at this point I would have checked my spam folder to see if That One Other Company That I Signed Up to Win a Contest With was saying “What’s up?! You won something fucking sweet!” because I had been bugging them all day to win and they were scared of me. (The guy LITERALLY said, “You scarin’ me!” But he was joking and I wasn’t REALLY scary. I was just all, “I wanna win!” in a happy, cheerful, very non-scary way.) But I didn’t.

And I crawled back to the bus. Tired. Ready for a nap, some dramamine and some water. I got back to the hotel room, with 4 bags full of joyful swag. and my key wouldn’t work.

Motherfuck.

Instead of walking back down to the lobby, I called from my cell phone. I told the guy I wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to sleep. He even offered to send up tea, along with a new key.

Security came up. They checked to make sure I was me. And then I got into my room. I took off my shoes and my shirt (I had a white tank top on under it, though!) I called Brian, chugged a TON of water, laid down for a good half hour, waiting for my key and my tea. I checked my e-mail and my spam folder.

And Oh. My. God.

I had won.

I won the Grand Prize from That One Company.

I had to be there before 5 to claim it. I responded, I’m at the hotel! I’ll be there soon! The adrenaline changed how I felt instantly (okay, and the gallon of water I had been slamming).

I jumped up. I put shoes on. I ran out the door.

For those of you not keeping track, I was bra-less. I was practically shirt-less. And I was definitely key-less.

Yes. I ran out of the hotel room and didn’t realize until I started to run toward the elevator that my tits were bouncing around like nobody’s business in a see-through white tank top. Awesome.

I considered going anyway. Because it was now 4:30. And I had 30 minutes to claim my grand prize.

I asked the maid to let me in. She said no. But she called security for me.

At that moment, Katie arrived. And she sensed my panic and asked if everything was okay. I think words came out of my mouth to explain, but I’m not sure. I put a bra and a shirt on, and raced out. And then raced back in because I forgot my conference badge.

I raced to the bus. I told them that I had won the GRAND PRIZE I needed to get back to the conference center by 5. The lady sounded impressed and she said, “Well go now!” And she told the driver to leave. It was like a movie.

We left and had a lovely chat as I caught my breath.

I arrived at the conference center, just in the knick of time. I ran up the escalator. I ran to the booth.

It was the moment when I told them I was the Grand Prize winner and I heard them utter the words, “Caribbean blue,” that I knew…

I was about to receive something I didn’t want. Something I didn’t need.

An iPhone 5 case. For my Samsung Galaxy III. I told them as much. So they gave me the EXACT. SAME. Galaxy IIII case that they had given me earlier. Except this one didn’t come with the free matching nail polish.

I can’t blame them, because I mean…shit guys, it was free stuff. But maybe they shouldn’t label every prize as a GRAND prize. Regardless, they were really nice…and the humor of the story is HOW I got there…not WHAT I got there.

Tell me blog friends, what would you have done in my situation?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

BlogHer13: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As I’m still wrecked from this weekend, this will likely be the shortest of my BlogHer posts. A recap, even. But there will be more. So if you don’t want to hear about BlogHer, I suggest you return in August. When I start talking about GenCon. I know. Lucky you.

The Good

  • Queen Latifah emceed the Voices of the Year.
  • I got to spend some quality time with some of my favorite bloggers (and my best friend!)
  • I have a RIDICULOUS number of blog posts pre-written in my head. Including my very own interview with the glorious Dr. Travis Stork. Go ahead. If you don’t know who he is…Google him. But Google Image that shit, because DAYYYYUUUMMMM.
  • The Pioneer Woman, Pillsbury Doughboy, Optimus Prime and Me.
Pillsbury doughboy at BlogHer13

hee hee!

The Pioneer Woman at BlogHer13

I was SO much less obnoxious meeting her than I was with Jenny Lawson.

Seriously. Fucking Optimus Prime.

Seriously. Fucking Optimus Prime.

  • I got to meet Thoughts From Paris DJ. Who I can’t not call Paris. Because that’s his name in my head. And he (kinda) knew who I was. Which pleased me.
  • I got a LOT of free shit. I know it’s bad form to say I was all over the swag, but just like a pack of wild dogs on a 3-legged cat…I was AAAAALLLL up in the free shit business.
BlogHer13 Swag

That’s me…Hanging out with SOME of my free stuff. I went home with a double full suitcase, a duffel bag and 6 grocery bags full of stuff…which we then crammed into the car.

  • The best party? Queerosphere. They had cheese cheese and more cheese. And lamb chops. Best food I ate all weekend.
  • Somehow I made my way into the Disney movie party. And saw Delivery Man. A few months early.

The Bad

  • Queen Latifah was late.
  • I was almost always hungry.
  • I was tired.
  • I didn’t feel like I really related to a lot of the speakers that I saw. And then I couldn’t see them all because I had other places to be and things to do. It was a bit on the overwhelming side.
  • I was really hungry.

The Ugly

  • Queen Latifah was SO late that I was starving AND missed Austenland (though I DID still get the free bag and t-shirt)
  • OK, mostly I was always starving because of this gluten free nonsense. (Hey BlogHer, I’ve got some suggestions for next year! Actually, I’ve got a whole blog post about food coming up.)
  • Mostly I was Starving. With a capital S.
  • Did I mention how much I missed food? And eating on a regular schedule that included dinner?
  • The Best Buy Story. Tomorrow. You’ll see.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: I’ve Taken My Love of Cheese to a New Low (or High)

Guys, I have a confession to make. While some of you may be new around here (Shout out to all my new blog friends from BlogHer!), the rest of you loyal blog friends understand my cheese obsession…

Or do you?

It has come to my attention that while some people sneak spoonfuls of ice cream out of the carton, and that seems completely rational, logical and relevant…

I am busy hiding in the corner of my kitchen with my hand in the proverbial cookie jar (in my case, the cheese carton. With a spoon.)

slide-almond-swiss

This cheese carton. Photo from Merkt’s Cheese website.

I know. I’m a little gross. But really…who needs crackers at a time like this? Especially when gluten free crackers are expensive, yo.

So yes, confession Friday ends with me. Eating Wisconsin cheese spread. With a spoon.

Why?

Because I can.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Sometimes I Get Eaten by Snow Dogs and Carried Off By Vodka Fairies

So if you see me wandering aimlessly around BlogHer like a lost puppy…please rescue me. I may not even realize that I have misplaced my people…or my people have misplaced me. One of those.

(This is a true statement. I really do tend to walk off without a second thought and the next thing I know, I have no idea where I am. More regularly than I care to admit. Luckily Brian is on to my shenanigans.)

Since you’re here…and I’m not…Please visit the following bloggers I wish were hanging out with me in Chicago.

There are totally more. But I have to make another mad dash to the train. This time with a GIGANTIC suitcase. In a dress. Because that’s how I roll.

This is a free-for-all. Leave a link to your best post and next week when my life is normal again, I’d love to come visit you!

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Forgot to Show You My Day at Bristol Renaissance Faire

Bristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance FaireBristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance FaireBristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance Faire Bristol Renaissance FaireBristol Renaissance Faire

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

BlogHer in Chicago: How to Make Nice with the Natives (Commuters)

Guys, I’m SO excited for BlogHer. I KNOW you are too. Even if you’re not going, you can participate via your computer chair, your couch, your bed or naked on a bearskin rug in front of YOUR fireplace (I don’t want to see that shit.) But let me tell you a little secret. Most of Chicago…wait for it…

Doesn’t know you’re coming.

In fact, they probably don’t care. (I care. And my bloggy friends care. And you care. And YOUR bloggy friends care. And all of the lovely sponsors care. But, we have to be real about this.) Chicago is one of the major cities in this beautiful country of ours, and thus hosts fancy conferences more often than we attend them. More often than we would ever WANT to attend them. So you’ve got to understand that the locals (or natives) will just see us (yes, me too) as touristy conference people interrupting their daily routine. But we can avoid all that nasty nonsense.

I’m going to guide you through the life of a commuter and give you a few pointers on how to make them not hate you.

Between the hours of 6 and 9 am & 3 and 7 pm, public transportation (particularly the commuter transportation (Metra – Union Station and Metra – Ogilvie Transportation Center) is a circus. Walking near, to or from one of these hubs is going to be difficult at best and downright painful at worst. If you’ve got rolling luggage, just do everyone (yourself included) a favor and take a cab. That’s what I’ll be doing when I head into work with my luggage on Thursday morning. NEVER walk against the grain of traffic. Cross the street and avoid this:

train commuters train commuters

 

 

 

 

train commuters train commuters

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re riding one of these commuter trains, it’s important to follow the rules of etiquette on the Metra.

The rules of walking traffic are the same as driving. Walk on the right side of the walkway. Pass on the left. If you’re walking slow, stay as far to the right as possible. If you’re on an escalator…FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, stand on the right and walk on the left.

Also in relation to walking…we follow one golden rule: As a pedestrian, it is illegal for a car to hit me. So we play the daily Frogger.

But we're not this stupid. Image: from New York Daily News article in which some guy played Frogger and got hit.

But we’re not this stupid. Image: from a New York Daily News article discussing some guy who played Frogger and got hit.

If you’re driving, steer clear of driving through yellow lights, and you’ll be fine. We’re trained to walk the minute your light turns yellow.And sometimes we cross on a diagonal, so just be cautious.

I’ve told you about bringing an umbrella…but there’s an etiquette for carrying umbrellas amidst the commuters and the city-natives. If you have the largest umbrella on the block, and you’re walking past someone, lift that shit up. As high as you can. Knocking into people isn’t nice. If you’ve got a smaller umbrella, tilt to the side or lower it to your head. Be nice to people and they’ll be nice to you.

When you travel, how do you interact with the locals? If you’re a local, what tips would you give tourists?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Going to the Gym is Like an Atheist Stepping into Church

And guys…I didn’t spontaneously combust. We went to the gym last night. After paying for a membership for several months and going less than once a month. We went back.

And I took a chance on zumba.

And despite the fact that I am in TERRIBLE shape.

Despite the fact that I have 2 bad ankles, 2 bad knees and 2 bad hip flexors.

Despite the fact that I was the chubbiest girl in the room.

Despite the fact that I could BARELY keep up with the skinny bitches.

I lasted the entire 60 minute class. And lived to consider going back.

Once I stopped staring at my stomach in the mirror and watching myself bounce around like a bowl of jello going on a joyride…I kind of caught on. And caught myself…Smiling. Exhausted. But smiling. It felt good!

(BTW, I hate it when I use my best line in the title. But I’m too lazy to change it and put something else up there. I feel like I let you guys down. Wait. I can make it up to you. Keep reading).

I did all of this crazy zumba-ing while injured! So on Wednesday when we were getting off the train, I slipped on the metal stair. The doors were still closed, the train was still moving, and if I hadn’t been holding on to the pole/railing/bar thingy for dear life, I would have fallen into the door, which would have opened, and I would have fallen out of a moving train to my klutzy death. But I WAS holding on, so none of that nonsense happened. Except that in holding on, I pulled every muscle from my wrist to my neck trying to rescue myself from a very embarrassing death.

Brian’s reaction?

Or should I call it, Brian’s lack of reaction?

“Did you hurt your ankle?”

“No”

“OK, good.”

He’s immune to my klutzy. I suppose that’s only natural when the word “ow!” comes out of my mouth more than any other single word.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

BlogHer Conference What to Pack for Chicago Weather

So you’re coming to BlogHer in Chicago, eh?

I’ve already given you some of my Chicago insider tips.

And I told you all about some of my favorite Chicago snack spots.

As a Chicago (suburban) native, I thought it would only be kind to prepare you (and offer you a packing list) for the crazy Chicago weather.

We’ve got a saying around here, “If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait 5 minutes.”

And it runs ridiculously true to form.

The Crazy Seasons in ChicagoThis is from a Caribou Coffee in The Loop. Caribou is gone now, but Peet’s has replaced it. So you have option other than Starbucks.

The weather has been nuts (more so than usual) around here. Just last week it was 60 degrees with torrential rainstorms, this week it’s 90 degrees with humidity through the roof. I’ve seen the temperature drop 20 degrees over the course of the afternoon and spike by early evening. So you’ve got to buck up like a motherfuckin’ boy scout and be prepared around here.

Here’s some of what I’ll be packing for my 3 night stay in the city (a mere 30 minute drive from my home front). I highly recommend you consider the same.

Partial Packing List for BlogHer Chicago

  • Umbrella (one of those GIGANTIC umbrellas that doesn’t get turned inside out because it’s got a wind tunnel and all sorts of bells and whistles. They don’t call it the Windy City for nothing, guys.)
  • A second umbrella–one that packs easily into my purse, in case it starts raining while I’m out. Or the first one manages to break. That happens. A lot.
  • Weather Protective Bag for my laptop.
  • Good walking shoes that dry out easily. (Did I mention torrential rain storms?) Thank you Merrell and Skechers for being awesome shoes.
  • Zip hoodies. In case it gets cold. Because it might. Actually, bring a coat if it’s between October and April. Especially if you don’t do cold.
  • Dresses. Skirts. I like dresses because I hate pants. Don’t expect to see me in any pants that don’t start with “yo” and end with “ga.”
  • Yoga pants. Yoga shorts. Yoga crops. This is how I get away with wearing stretch pants without sounding frumpy. Yoga is trendy. Right? Also I wear yoga shorts under my skirts and dresses. So that my skirt doesn’t fly up in the wind and show you my lady parts (SERIOUSLY. They don’t call it the windy city for nothing, people). Because I am brilliant. And then my legs don’t chafe. Because I am brilliant.
  •  Short-sleeve and long-sleeve tee-shirts. Tank tops. Because you genuinely never know when it’s going to be hot or cold around here.
  • A cardigan or 3, in case it gets cold. Because it will. (If you’re from one of those warmer states or countries, you may want to bring your coat. Because it might get to like 30 degrees one night. You never know.)
  • Clean underwear. That shit’s important.
  • Deodorant. Because that’s even more important.

Next week, I’ll be bringing you some pointers on interacting with the natives. AKA How to Not Make the Commuters Hate You.

Anything you think I’ve forgotten, Chicago lovelies?

BlogHer attendees, when are you getting into The Chi?! Want to meet up?! Let me know!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m SO Off My Game! McDonald’s Monopoly is BACK

Guys. I’m totally off my game here. McDonald’s pulled a 360 and started Monopoly THREE FUCKING MONTHS EARLY.

Bastards.

I know. I know. You’re all feeling the same way right now. Abused. Used. Beaten. Bruised. Bewildered. Battered. You’re feeling like a victim.

I know.

Me too, guys.

But it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t obsess over the damn game.

Except…

I went gluten free a month ago. Almost to the day. Actually. Exactly to the day.

Bastards.

So my options are severely limited to say the least. Looks like all those stamps I accidentally bought 6 months ago are going to come in handy. Hello self-addressed stamped envelopes of JOY. Send me 84 cent game pieces. (Which if you’re counting is cheaper than ANY of the food items on the list.)

McDonald's Monopoly

I once told you how to win at McDonald’s Monopoly.This year, I’ll send you back to those tips and give you the quick run down of changes this time around.

This year’s McDonald’s food items with Monopoly peels (and which items are gluten-free. Drinks. Drinks are gluten free.)

4 Peels – Large Fries
4 Peels – 20 Piece Chicken McNuggets
2 Peels – 10 Piece Chicken McNuggets
2 Peels  -Filet O Fish
2 Peels – Big Mac
2 Peels – Medium McCafe Iced & Blended Drinks
2 Peels – Large McCafe Iced & Blended Drinks
2 Peels – Large Iced Coffee
2 Peels – Extra Large Orange Juice
2 Peels – Medium Drink
2 Peels – Fruit & Maple Oatmeal
2 Peels – Egg McMuffin, Sausage McMuffin with Egg, or Egg White Delights
2 Peels – Hash Browns
2 Peels – Premium McWrap
 

What’s changed in McDonald’s Monopoly 2013?

ONE of the two one-million dollar winners is in a Big Mac. So load up on meaty sandwich goodness. Because I can’t. Or maybe I’ll order a big mac without the special sauce or bun. Maybe.

As I did last year, I’ll be documenting my McDonald’s Monopoly winnings.

So good luck to you. May the FORCE be with you. And may you send me your game stamps.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Case You Were Wondering, I’m Not a Boy

Every month, it’s the same emotional rollercoaster. And I’m sick of it.

Me: I hate being a girl.
*thinks some thoughts*
Me: But I love you.
*thinks some more thoughts*
Brian: mmhmm…
Me: You know what? If I were a boy, I would totally be gay with you.
Brian: no. I don’t think that’s how it works.
Me: Yes it is. What? You wouldn’t want to be gay with me?
Brian: No.
Me: So you’re saying if I was a boy, you wouldn’t still love me. That’s not very nice.
*he pats me on the head*
Brian: But you’re a girl, so it doesn’t matter.
Me: Yes it does! Ok, maybe not.

So there’s that.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!