Heading to BlogHer 2014 in San Jose and Things I’m Going to Con Brian into Doing

Guys, I am SO stoked to be heading to my second BlogHer convention. Last year, it was in Chicago–just 5 minute cab ride from my office, so I made my way over there after work on the first day of the conference. This year, I’ll be traveling to California for the first time ever and heading to San Jose to meet up with some of my bloggie friends, mentors and heroes for 4 days of joy.

Of course, I figured if I were heading out there for a conference, I might as well enjoy a few days of sightseeing before the big event. So Brian decided to join me on the upcoming adventure.

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This is Brian and I on adventures

We’ll be flying into San Francisco for a couple of days, then making our way up to wine country, and finishing our journey with BlogHer in San Jose (and flying out of San Jose. I REALLY love Southwest. Bags fly free and you can easily book one-way trips.)

While I’m conferencing with my bloggie friends, Brian will have a few days of down time to do…well…whatever he wants. Without me dragging him all over hell and high water.  Because that’s TOTALLY going to happen. I’ve created a little wishlist of things that I REALLY feel are an important part of our west coast journey.

1. Pictures in front of the Full House house. Yes. I know that people live there. But you know what? They moved into the Full House house. I’m going to be a covert creeper and make that shit happen.

2. Picnic in Alamo Square Park (bonus: Play the Full House theme song from a boom box.) This kind of goes along with San Fran goal #1. But seriously guys… FULL HOUSE. It was like…the epitome of childhood.

3. Sea-shelling on the Pacific coast. I read that one of the top ten shelling beaches in the United States is just north of San Francisco…so I pretty much HAVE to make my way over there to check it out. You know how much I love shelling!

4.  Visit the Winchester Mansion. If you haven’t heard of it, look it up. Sarah Winchester thought the ghosts of every person who ever died from a Winchester rifle was haunting her. So she built this crazy house and kept building until the day she died. Doors that lead to walls, hallways to nowhere, windows in the middle of the house…Crazy shit. I CAN’T WAIT.

5. Attend some blogger party or event. I don’t expect him to want to partake in the entire conference, but I think it will be fun to intro him to some of the bloggers of my “tribe.” (Hint: That’s you guys)

There are other things on the list, but those are my top 5.

Have you been to northern California? What would be on your don’t-miss list? Are you going to BlogHer?

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!

Life-Gaming: Trolly Want a Cracker?

I’ve finally arrived.

This past weekend was my birthday weekend, as well as my two-year blogiversary, and the blog was overloaded with visitors. Particularly visits skyrocketed to my copyright notice page. When I say overloaded, I mean it was a serious birthday gift of JOY to discover thousands of page views on my little ole blog.

Someone on Reddit came across pictures of me playing around in a cardboard box like a kid. Because it was fun. Apparently, that person thought that my blog was SO BAD that it wasn’t worthy of a copyright notice. I made it into the “delusional artists” subreddit. For those of you who don’t know what Reddit is, it’s kind of like…a message board version of Pinterest.

I chatted with some of my friends immediately upon noticing my recently-discovered infamy, and I realized quickly that being targeted as a “delusional artist,” put me in an excellent position to meta game the fuck out of Reddit and the trolls who think it’s worth their time to talk about how crappy they think I am. Oh, feel free to read about why I’m a delusional artist. If you agree, go ahead and join them. I won’t mind.

As you can imagine, with comments like, “You are not good enough” and I have never met this person and I already hate her on a deeply personal level,” I began my journey through Reddit in a state of confusion. 

I'm sorry, what?

I’m sorry, what?

Trolls are kind of like bullies, but they don’t have the balls to say shit to your face, using their real names. Wait, so you’re saying that strangers who are so proud of their work they hide behind screen names like “nilleftw,” “stormchaser” and (my favorite) “bangwhimper?”

Then I thought to myself, REALLY? Really? 

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me?

They couldn’t even find anything valuable to criticize. I could have done a better job of talking shit about my blog. Bangwhimper went to the trouble of creating an Imgur picture with a screen shot of my goal to read 16 books this year, commenting on my “gargantuan cultural appetite.” I, of course, had it removed from Imgur shortly thereafter for…wait for it…copyright violation.

At this point, I started to laugh.

Laughing at trolls

And laugh.

More laughing at trolls

And laugh some more.

Laughter is the best medicine

I was getting well over my norm for blog traffic, and 15 of the several THOUSAND people who came to my site could think of something negative to say…and even those comments made little to no sense.

Screenshot 2014-06-01 20.47.37

I especially liked the comments that talked about how weird I am…or that I’m chubby. I don’t think there has been a post on this blog in which I make any claims that I’m not weird or chubby. In fact, I’m pretty sure I own the fuck out of weird and chubby. That’s a part of who I am. I’m not offended, but I’m certainly baffled.

Oh, and then there was that one guy (or gal) who thought that commenting on my blog would be fun. He must not have realized that I had the power to edit anything he said and turn it into a lovely message.

I’m pretty sure that in the world of trolls and internets, I won this round. But you know, in case you ever want to feed the trolls, here are a few pointers to really get them going.

I was the victim of Reddit bullying. This is how I combatted them. Sort of. Really, it was just a way to poke them with a stick and get more views. They were mean and I cried...but poke poke poke.

How Trolls Win on the Internet

  1. Trolls make you sad. They want to feel better about themselves, so they aim to tear you down and make you cry the ugly cry.  And who’s crying the ugly cry? You. Who’s laughing? Trolls. They’ve won.
Cry the ugly cry

You don’t want them to see you like this, do you?

  1. Trolls make you angry. They want to start something. If you get angry and fight back, they think to themselves, “oooh, this is fun. Look at you squirm!” And then they have more to play with. They’ve won.
Angry Face

This might make you look bad ass, but does it really work?

  1. Trolls trick you into trying to please them. They want you to want them to love you, but they’ll keep moving the goal posts. Fix what they’re criticizing and try to chase their approval? Boom! They’ve won.
Trolls trick you into trying to please them

Please love me… (no, really…don’t love me. I don’t need your trolly love.)

How You Win on the Internet

Keep on keepin’ on. Ignore what some pimply kid or 40-year-old virgin on Reddit thinks. You’re the only you that will ever be. Whether you’ve got 2 followers or 20,000, there is someone out there who gets it. And gets you. Make friends and have fun. Forget about people who aren’t or don’t like you. They’re never going to be your target audience, and you don’t want them anyways. Continue doing what you’re doing and own it. You win.

Of course, if you ever have problems with trolls, feel free to repeat the following:

“So, this is what I say to fucking trolls. Fuck you. Douchebags.”

Then smile. Because you're fucking awesome.

Then smile. Because you’re fucking awesome. Even when you want to fuck around with a cardboard box.

Have you ever had problems with bullies? Cyber or real life? How did you handle it?

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!

Rocking the Vote and (MOSTLY) a Shameless Plug

So today is Rock the Vote Day here in Illinois. It’s the primaries, and we all know how I feel about rocking the vote. So I’ll be heading to my polling place after work today, because I think the primaries are important too.

Of course, I couldn’t let the rock the vote opportunity just fade away when you, too, can rock a vote.

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On that note, blog friends…I have to tell you something RIDICULOUSLY exciting…I haven’t mentioned it yet, and I feel kinda like a jerk for not telling you, because it’s a result of your awesomeness…

I’m a finalist in not one, not two, but THREE categories in The 2014 Weblog Awards. Best Writing, Most Humorous, and Weblog of the Year.

Last year, I was a finalist in Best Writing of a Weblog. And THE BLOGGESS offered to share her invisible trophy with me.

TheBloggess (TheBloggess) on Twitter 2013-05-22 22-54-19

I would LOVE for you to go and take a second to vote for me in the 2014 Bloggies. Several of my blogging besties have also been nominated, so if you would like to help them out with a vote, I know they’d appreciate it too!

Voting ends this weekend, so vote early, vote often!

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!

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love My Stats

Stats.

Fucking stats.

My stats fluctuate more than Oprah’s weight (or mine for that matter), and I’m not entirely sure why. That being said, I’ve decided Fuck that. Fuck that a lot.™ 

I no longer care about my stats. As long as there are more than 3 people (Mom, me, and me) reading my little blog venture (and I know you’re all out there), I’m a happy Chrissy. Actually, I’m more than a happy Chrissy. I’m ecstatic.

If you’re busy worrying about how many people view your blog each day…STOP. Because it shouldn’t matter. Are you writing for you, or are you writing for them? Do the stats make you panicky? Overwhelmed? Nervous? Excited? Pick you up then drop you down? Do you feel like it’s a rollercoaster that just. won’t. end? Get off the ride. When it comes to a rolling stop at the station, stand up and call it quits. On the stats. Not your blog.

Build your community. Focus on relationships, not numbers. Make friends in the blogosphere. Comment on other blogs. Make new friends. Troll the comments sections of blogs you like. If you like them, you’ll probably like others who do as well. Become active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or join a new social media platform altogether, like Triberr or Yappem. Join my social media communities. Connect with me. Connect with other bloggers. It’s all about networking, not numbers.

Do I actually love my stats? No. Because I rarely look at them anymore.

What’s your favorite part of the blogging community? Whether you’re a writer or a valued reader, how do you get involved?

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 Always Wanted to be an American Idol…so Maybe Blogger Idol is IT for me

I’ve spent my entire life dreaming of being an American Idol…Back when they called it Star Search and Britney Spears was adorable. My cousin Rachel and I used to practice our dance routine and sometimes we’d get crazy by doing the jitterbug…you know…before they called it swing dancing. Then we would get the whole family together and perform in front of them. We’d sing Kokomo like it was the greatest song on the planet and then we would get a rousing applause from our parents and our grandparents.

The things I do to win prizes

The things I do to win prizes

But we never did make it onto Star Search.

Of course, once I hit the teen years, I dreamed of joining Colin and Amaya in Hawaiian paradise known as The Real World. Unfortunately, I was too young. And my mom said no. (THANKS A LOT, MOM!)

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

Cool stuff just happens to me…

Then I wanted to be on Survivor, or partner up with my pal Cletus for The Amazing Race. But something always held me back. Whether it was the need for a job and money…or my penchant for injury, I just couldn’t make it work. Something about not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time made it almost impossible for me to be physically capable of the Survivor demands.

Shirtless Jesse Metcalfe Photoshopped

I can Photoshop like a boss.

So I gave up on reality TV. Thank God for that. I mean, with shows like Honey Boo Boo, 16 and Pregnant, The Kardashians and I don’t even know what else,  TV is making people dumber. And I’m not one to join up in losing my mind. Besides, I don’t really need help with that one. I’m doing a fine job of losing my mind on my own terms.

Chef Quirky Chrissy

I cook like a rockstar

And then I went the blogger route. If I can make it big in the blogging world, people will DEFINITELY love me. So here I am, auditioning for Blogger Idol. Like it’s my job. (You know, the one that doesn’t pay me.)

dolphin love

And finally, I find joy in the little things

So if you love me, and I know that you do…you’ll tell them that they should most certainly pick me. Choose me. Love me.

 

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!

Live Blogging from the Car…Because Brian Doesn’t Like to Talk Before Noon

We’re on our way to Gen Con. And I’m bored. So the plan is to live blog from my phone (so please excuse typos and autocorrect) until we get there. Or the vertigo kicks in. One of those.

Got any pressing questions for me? Readysetgo. (This won’t work without your participation, so help me out.)

Dressing up: I thought about doing it, but 1. Figured I’d go as myself and more importantly 2. Was too lazy to dig through Halloween boxes for one of my costumes.

I NEED a car this obnoxious:

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Wheelie Sneaks: nope, not wearing them…I don’t like wearing them for long periods of time, and that’s what gen con is…so comfy sneaks and sandals for me.

BTW, does anyone else hate the new Google maps app?

When road trips consist of flatlands and sky, we play my favorite game…find the penis shapes.
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Find anything?

So it’s now after noon. I know this because Brian started talking to me. “We’re coming up on the field of giants.” Referring to the crazy amount of windmills in this area. It’s actually scary impressive at night…like the last time we went to gen con and it was like 11 when we passed this spot.

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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!

525,600 minutes. It’s my bloggiversary golden birthday!

I woke up at 5:30 this morning. On 5/30. My 30th birthday. My golden birthday. And my bloggiversary. Almost 530,000 minutes of my life have happened in the lifetime of this blog. And that’s pretty darn awesome.

birthday dessert

Yes, Blog Friends, That is CHEESE in my dessert. Spring Fed Goat Cheese with Angel Food Cake and Pistachio Ice Cream. Holy Happiness Batman.

So, How Do You Measure a Year?

  • 266 published posts?
  • Stats in general?
  • Love?
  • Cups of coffee?
  • Days employed?
  • Friendships?
  • Laughs?
  • Nerd moments?
Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver

The sonic screwdriver Brian gave me as an early birthday present!

I could list the amazing things and people that have been a part of my life over the course of the last year since my first official blog post. To call it a journey seems silly, but that is exactly what I’ve had. A journey. Personally. Professionally. Emotionally. Physically. I have walked a thousand miles in my own shoes, and I have a year of blogging/reflecting to prove it. And I’m not done yet.

Because of YOU though, it’s been a very unique journey. One that only a blogger would understand. I’ve made friends around the world. I’ve shared personal stories. I’ve become a better writer because I read your writing. And you inspire me.

So today, I’m asking that when you comment on the blog, you share your own work. If you’re not a blogger or an artist, tell me something about yourself.

Mark Poulin Sloth necklace

A SLOTH necklace I received for my birthday! Our lovely friend Ava found this little guy on the interwebs from Mark Poulin, so I had to share his site with you.

Blog Friends, how do YOU measure a year?

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!

What? I’m Not Here Today? LIES!

Okay, maybe it’s not a complete lie. I’m guest posting over at It’s a Dome Life today! Lily has been hosting this beautiful Examining the Creative Mind Series, in which she asks several pages worth of questions about artists, their processes and their inspiration.

She’s brilliant I tell you.

So go read my guest post and send Lily some comment love. Because post hosts loooooove comments! And I might host a giveaway next month. And I might cry if you don’t. I’m not above bribery. Or threats.

If you’re stopping by from It’s a Dome Life, might I recommend the following favorite posts…

Adventures with The Bloggess

Because Search Terms Are Funny

Stormageddon: Dark Lord of All

The Tale of Olive Baby

Christmas Music

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!

Today’s Post is Brought to You by Shamelessness. And BlogHer. And Me.

Today I am shameless. Today I ask again for your help. You see, in July, I will be attending my very first BlogHer conference. And I’m STOKED. And nervous. And everything in between.

And there’s this miniscule TINY little chance that I could possibly maybe read one of my blog posts. The lovely Lily from It’s a Dome Life submitted one of my posts to Voices of the Year. And then I submitted a few more for fun. And if you have a favorite post, you can totally submit that too. But if you think that I am worthy, I would very much LOVE to have that speaking opportunity at BlogHer. So if you could please go vote for me…I would be eternally grateful. Again.

I will DEFINITELY go vote for you too! Just leave a link in the comments here if you’ve been submitted to Voices of the Year.

Here are the four links that have been submitted representing Quirky Chrissy.

I Make a Terrible Housewife

Two Years Seems Like Just Yesterday and Forever

Shit I’m Glad My Mom Didn’t Do

In Light of the Tragedy in Connecticut

Because this shameless post should not be ALL about me…

And by the way, yesterday was WORLD FREAKIN’ PENGUIN DAY. Now, I don’t really have a thing for penguins the way I do for dolphins, but Katie over at Words for Worms does…and she wrote about it. So go read a post about a penguin butler. Yes. I said Penguin. Butler. Just go there already.

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!