Road Trip with Chemo

Today I hit the road to San Diego with my best friend.  We've known each other since we were 15, but we've never done a chick road trip. (Not counting high school where too many of us, hyped on too much sugar, were crammed into minivans for weekend camping field trips. How our counselor managed not to kill every single one of us, I'll never know.)  I almost skipped BlogHer this year; thought about just blowing off the whole thing and staying home. But when it came down to it I had everything reserved and ready to go and I asked her if she'd like to get the hell out of dodge.  It's been kind of a rough year all around, you know?  She said yes, and I've been giddy over the girl bonding time since then.  I've had several knots of anxiety - over a couple of things - sitting in my gut of late and hopefully this is the beginning of their unraveling.  Or maybe just a slight easing.  One of those knots is reserved solely for my best friend.  I wanted to name that particular knot "Hank", but I figure it's only fair if my friend gets a say in the naming.  She's been diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder and has just started chemo.  Seems like a pretty good time for an adventure, doesn't it?  And we'll have plenty of time to name our anxiety knots in the car, pick up Brad Pitt, yell out Towanda, and do all that typical chick bonding shit.

Oh, but just in case you see either one of us running around crazy in the desert, apparently high on peyote or other assorted drugs... that's medical peyote, thank you very much.             - wg


There is cute done right and cute done wrong

I STILL have a pile of BlogHer 10 stuff to go through; the cards, the info pamphlets, the tchotchkes.  I was feeling guilty about it but I decided that guilt is unproductive.  See how healthy I'm getting (as I scarf oreos efficiently in front of the TV)?  Also, my office has been an oven with the heat so in general it looks, shall we say, uncleaned?  For several, ahem, weeks.  

Which is WAY better than the months it used to wait before.

Anyway, our kitten/half-grown cat for some unknown reason likes to hang out amid my dusty clutter and guess what was the one thing she decided to pull out of the BlogHer pile as a toy?

40th_soccer 021

Yeah. Stimey's mouse tape measure!

What? Did you think it was going to be something from the sex session?


40th_soccer 021

Perverts!

                        - wg


It is too hot. That is all.

Here are BlogHer 10 pictures in the lieu. I'm not listing who anybody is, you have to guess. That's part of the game.

All I'm gonna say is the balloons were part of the infamous sex session.

BlogHer 10 018

See?
BlogHer 10 018

Keep smiling. They're finally leaving.
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That's not really a sandwich.
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Our room was festive!
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Things got wild.
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And finally the Sunglass Mafia showed up.
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I was scared.


Middling tidbits

Today is the five year anniversary of this blog.  I almost missed it!  Because I'm not very good at things like dates.

Blogging is often a learning curve that... doesn't curve so much as it whips around turns like a mountain road. One of the juicy tidbits I learned at BlogHer 10 this year was to put a Google alert on my blog name or real life name.  Duh.  I've been doing this five years and that never occurred to me?  I only have Google alerts for Bigfoot, UFO, and monsters. (You know, important shit.)  Obviously, I've been doing this whole thing wrong!

Here is my very first ever blog post.  I still often feel like screaming, but I'm so much more prone to a sore throat now.  WTF age?  Hopefully, I have not stumbled into the pretentious fuck voice (although sometimes I wonder if that might not make my blog more interesting.  (Note to self: consider pretention?)).

No Apologies.              - the weirdgirl


Sew anyway

Now that Keen has lost so much weight he has this pile of clothes that are waaaay too big.  Literally, it's a pile because I was all, "Hey, can I have some of your t-shirts that don't fit anymore?!" And he was, "Uh, why?" And I was like, "Because I can cut up your shirts into tank tops and things!" And then we stopped talking like teenagers and he pulled out way more clothes than I expected into this huge pile of recyclable materials that I could dumpster dive into to my heart's content.

(OK, I didn't really stop talking like a teenager.)

So I've been really into the whole idea of recycling/reusing clothes. I've seen some amazing, creative work by other fabric artists (they're called that, right?) and I think it's a perfect solution when you get bored by your wardrobe (like I do) and it's environmentally healthy (bonus!) and you also increase the chance that you'll make a cool, unique article of clothing, which I love.  You know me, in general I really like clothes and designers. 

Except... I'm a little scared of sewing.

It's not that I'm terribly, horribly bad at sewing, but I'm not very good either and it makes me nervous.  Or at least, working up to the actual sewing makes me nervous, and threading the needles make me nervous, and cutting the material makes me nervous, but once I actually start working on a project I'm OK.  Sort of.  Kind of like doing math.  However, I'm also frequently gripped with an intense desire to MAKE something, with my hands, which usually involves materials other than, well, material.  Like metal, so it's OK.  I get my making fix elsewhere.  Also at the moment I am trying NOT to shop, because I want to save money for BlogHer (hello! New York!)

But at the same time I'm going to BlogHer.  Hello? Want new outfits!  (What? At least, I admit it.)

So here I am... trying not to shop, a little bored with my wardrobe, an itching desire to MAKE SOMETHING (and oh my god, this feeling is totally why Frankenstein was created) that just keeps building, and a big pile of usable material right in front of me. See?

  Keen's clothes 003

Sooooo... I'm going to try some projects, attempt some cute tops, maybe even wear them to BlogHer. Even though I'm scared (a little) that I will crash and burn.  That could be a totally new button for them... "I'm going to BlogHer in DIY clothes," or "I went to BlogHer as a craft project gone wrong."  Whichever.  I'm sure it'll be fine.  Even though I love clothes and designers, I have no pretension of actually being a designer. I was thinking more that I could cut down some of Keen's old tees into this shape...

  Keen's clothes 001

...which is a $15 dollar drapey tank from Forever 21 that I love! Seriously, it's all soft and flowy and versatile, and as you can see the material conversion should be pretty close. So I figure if I can get a couple more of these out of his t-shirts I'll be pretty happy.  Maybe I'll also try a tank I saw at Anthropologie that was the same shape but done in panels of different materials.  And then I'll get cocky from my success and I'll try something else that may or may not work (but I'll probably think it works because of my inflated sewing ego) and I'll keep tripping merrily down a path of textile danger and YOU will get to watch the whole accident-mesmerizing journey.

I'm sure it'll be fine.  

But if I come up with something really hideous for NY, you'll tell me right?

              - the weirdgirl


What happened

Thursday my car got broken in to.  But not really "broken" per se because the thief or thieves had an easy time of it as it turns out my car was left unlocked.

NOT. BY. ME!

*ahem*

So I'm taking inventory amidst the mess. Oh yes, they left a mess. For a minute I thought they took my insurance card and registration and I was all like, "What the fuck?  Is there some new identity theft scam involving registration cards that would totally not work because everything is run through license plates?" Yeah, I think all detective-like when my shit is stolen.  And for a while there I was more concerned with having to possibly deal with the DMV than with the police and robbers lurking around the neighborhood.  But then I found all my car insurance cards.  Whew!  Crisis averted.  Luckily, I don't keep much crap in my car (except for the unending supply of snack wrappers and Starbuck's cups).  They took some music CDs (jerks), my iPhone charger/FM tuner (damnit), and a bunch of purses I was planning on giving away that were in the trunk (and how did they know how to pop the trunk from the inside when I don't even know how to do that?) so I hope those went to a good home.  And you know, it's a bad economy so someone may have really needed to clean out my change dish.  In a way I paid it forward.  Or made an economic donation.  Or something.  They also left Chance's booster seat for which I was grateful.

Not too bad.  Irksome, but then again, there were no broken windows!

THEN... the next day I realized... they took my canvas grocery bags! 

That's when I got pissed.

I mean, seriously, what the fuck?!  They're grocery bags. You had to take my grocery bags?  I had worked up quite a collection of very nice canvas bags.  I mean, sure, right now I only remember to use them when I go to Trader Joe's but we're getting closer and closer to a plastic bag ban at grocery stores around here and I fully intended to use those bags regularly at some unnamed point in the future!  If you're bad off economically and need to steal, fine, but seriously don't you think I need to grocery shop too?!  Bastards.

Plus, a lot of those bags were from BlogHer!  Those were damn nice bags!  Not to mention the sentimental value.  *sniff*  I had at least one from every year.  Where am I going to find a Chicago '07 bag to proudly shop with at Trader Joe's now?  And have my poor BlogHer bags been turned to a life of crime?!

Anyway... if anyone going to BlogHer '10 this year wants to get rid of their bags... come find me, I'll take them. 

             - the weirdgirl


The bloggity blog hashtag of everything BlogHer (09 ###)

I suppose I could do a nice orderly list of everyone I met along with some thoughtful, well-composed insights of my BlogHer 09 experience. Or I could just start typing and veer off randomly every time I’m distracted.  I choose the latter.  (It's going to take me a while to get all this down anyway.)

FIRST! I had a roommate this year. Lori from Spinning Yellow, and it was just so much fun! We stayed up way too late talking every night. We bailed occasionally to get food or to search for the mythical Starbucks. I really wish we didn’t have an entire country between us because she is my long lost twin (I’m the crazy, bad influence one… BOOYAH!).

The List

Matthew of Child's Play x2 - SO nice meeting you, Matthew! We're old school, ya know.
Benjamin Jeremy - Matthew's brother and babbling blogger in his own right
Elke, local blogger extraordinare, of Elkit in Wonderland
Sarah Dopp, who has more blogs than I can keep track of
Amy of Pretty Babies - awesome!!
Andrea a.k.a. Heathen Mom
The Manic Mommies, Erin and Kristin
Renee at www.blogtheworld.com and www.travelinggeeks.com - so many people with multiple sites!
Ashley of Boss Sanders
249Smiles' Angela

Marius - who was completely charming on the plane (non-blogger notwithstanding)
Delora in D.C. at A Spiced Life
Heather of the Mother Tongue!  That girl can party!!  (Psst, if you're ever out in the SF Bay... call me!)
Also, for the awesome partying, Cara and Tara and Kelli

And speaking of the parties at BlogHer, might I mention that everywhere I looked there was fabulous cleavage.  Satin-enshrouded voluptuous valleys at every cocktail event.  I mean, really, the boobage here?  It was serious.  It wasn't even ME looking.  It was my girls.  They couldn't help it.  And they went a little flatter in defeat. Damn you, BlogHer bosoms!

Travel Savvy Mom, Jamie
Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, the lady who's publishing career I'm completely envious of (but I covered it well)
Amisha Gandhi-Lanier, Ivy Worldwide

Kim of Prosaic Paradise
Kevin Burke! - that's Kevin P. Burke, captain
State of Grace, Grace (thank you for organizing the debrief!)
Maggie of Magpie Musing - so nice to reconnect!
Jodifur! - I feel you, hon.
Lea and Rick of TinyPrints - I must have run into Rick about 20 times this weekend.  We hung.
Adam of Avitable fame
BusyDad Jim
Father Muskrat (sadly, I didn't get his real name)
Whit of Honea Express - such a cool dude!

I would have liked to have met Black Hockey Jesus (of the now defunct but out on a high note blog) but you know, there were a lot of male bloggers there and they all had the same sort of haircut and beardy shadow/goatee type thing a-going on and oval faces and I’m not saying all bloggers look alike, because that would be blatantly blogist (and I’m nothing if not subtly blogist), but it was about as easy to tell them apart as when I asked around for Schmutzie and she was described to me as having “short hair and glasses”. Well, turdburgers. Thanks.

Amanda at RocketXL - thank you for making apologies for me to the other Amanda

Ilina of Dirt and Noise
Deep Muck Big Rake, Becky Gjendem
Lisa at Condo Blues
Jennifer Wagner - who's website makes me wish I had a teen
Lisa at The Girl's Blog
Let's Go Strolling's, Melissa and Jo
Alice's Wonderland

BTW, was it just me, or did speed dating seem shorter this year?

Sara Lorimer of Lovely Listing - If you have never checked out her site, do it! There are some train wrecks in houses, I tell ya.
Nilsa of SoMi Speaks
Show Me the Curry! - (I'm so sorry, I forgot your names. It's probably the cooking block thing I have.)
Kathry of Mom Central Consulting
The Midwest Guest Dominique

Cara of Advocation.me

Kathy at Locate This

Jaime, the cab driver who grew up in my neighborhood. Represent!

Sarcastic Mom, Lotus

Summer of Blogfully Yours - I love that name!

Naomi of Attention!

Expateek Ellie

and Erin of Schlosser Designs - who handed out the sweetest cards!

I don't want to forget some of the lovely sponsors I met!  I walked the floor at the end of the show so I got to chat.  I like that part.  Especially with all the ladies at Picnik, SpringPad, and Disney.

Katin & Thereasa at SpringPad - it was great seeing you again! And give it up for Katin, soon-to-be mom!

Lisa of Picnik - fun on the Expo floor or at the Cheeseburger party!

Tracey at PBS Parents - a pleasure to talk to

Erin at Jump Start

Sara and Heather of Bill Me Later, and Melissa of Zappos

There was also the slew of folks without business cards that I got to see this year.  Katie the Motherbumper, Mom 101, BackPacking Dad, Motherhood Uncensored (too briefly!), Her Bad Mother, Mocha Mama, Polly a.k.a. LesbianDadSarah of the Goon Squad, Chicky Chicky Baby, and the Redneck Mommy. I shared a cab back to the airport with one of the international bloggers, Toyin Ajao, who is a sweetheart

Crap, I know I'm going to forget someone but you can yell at me in comments.

And finally, my Special Needs posse, who's support and commiseration have made going to BlogHer so worthwhile three years running.

Lori - of course, my good friend and who is also the first person who turned me on to SPD way back at BlogHer 07

Jaelithe - who has just started a sensory group for us all

Jean of Stimelyand

Janice of It's a Jan's Life and Autism Public Schools

Carissa of Faith, Hope & Love and Grown in My Heart

The lovely Kari - who is going to be partying with Project Runway! squeee!!

Christina at Hopeful Parents

Send Chocolate Now's Tina

Carmen, Mom to the Screaming Masses - one brave woman with six kids!

Christina of A Mommy Story

Ellen from Wiley

Nancy Shute - who is writing these issues, we need you!

Erin of Weber Shandrick

and Megan of Acorn Dreaming - who missed our Birds of a Feather but I got to chance to meet later at, of all things, the cheeseburger party.

Thank you ladies, for being there.

Wooh!  I'm tired.
               - the weirdgirl

Addendum ~

I knew I was going to forget some folks! Actually, I have a feeling I misplaced some cards altogether. (oops)  Anywho, I can always count on Jenny on the Spot to dance up a storm.  Now we may have to do Viking Fest together, too.  Andi and I met over lunch.  And I helped John Morisano of Powder Room Graffiti find his way to the gym. 'Cause I'm all helpful like that.  And I can't seem to stop talking to people.