Thursday, July 30, 2009

If Friday night's all right for fighting, what's Thursday night for? (yes, it's another BlogHer post)

Can you stand another post about Blogher? No? Well, here are some cats that shoot lasers out of their eyes instead... still here? Alrighty, then. I'll carry on.

I went to BlogHer last year, and didn't know a soul, except for some I knew from twitter. I figured it was San Francisco, I knew the city, I had to go. I wrote about it here, and here and here...and oh yeah, and here, too.. about the friends I made, life-long friends that I see and talk to throughout the year, on twitter, on their blogs, In Real Life. So with a successful BlogHer08 behind me, I knew I had to attend Blogher09, come hell or highwater. I said I would sell a kidney to get there.

Fast forward a year...I didn't sell anything, but I still managed to get to Chicago. I am so glad I went. It wasn't the sessions this year, for me it was, the people. People I already knew, I got to know better. People whose blogs I marinate in, I finally got to meet. And new discoveries abounded. Like carrots with ranch dressing, I discovered people I didn't know I couldn't live without until I met them.

I saw you. And we squee-ed, and I told you how hawt your shoes were and how gooood you look. And you said the same to me, and we hugged and squeeed again. We hit the parties, the People's Party, with the unfortunately placed apostrophe that my homeschooling teacher's brain tries unsuccessfully to ignore. We saw Jenny, the Bloggess, in her anxiety wig, hiding in a corner, eyeing the door, wondering if she could make a beeline for her favorite place, the bathroom, before she gets stopped 30 times on the way there. We ran into Chris (da) Mann, that hot hunk of manhood who not only is good looking, he's uber-sweet and can sing his butt off. The party itself was way too noisy and crowded, so we headed to the lobby outside, and met some wonderful people. With amazing shoes. No, I am not obsessed.

Then we went downstairs to the @Room704 party and stood patiently with a bunch of women who were way more insistent than we were that they neeeeded that swag bag. Luckily, @VDog, whom I love, made sure that those who had advertised in the catalog (to help pay for the booze, yo!) got their swag, first. After that, it calmed down a bit, and there was less jostling. And that's also how I ended up the owner of a mini bunny vibe. I would take a picture, but then my daughter would swallow her tongue, and I do say this is a PG-13 blog, after all. ::waving to teenage daughter:: Those Room 704 women are beyond the shit. (kiss, kiss)

We went to drop off our loot in our rooms, then headed to the lobby, just to hang out. The lobby is our favorite after-hours place to congregate, and with the $10,000 table to play with, well, hey, what's not to love? Around ...late, @highimpactmomand @ComplicatedMama decided to head to McDonalds and brought food back. Turns out it was further than they thought, but they still came through. @ComplicatedMama got blisters on her tootsies, just for us. And after that? Those french fries tasted really good. Who would have thought chopped potatoes fried in god-knows-what would be so yummy? But, I think everything tastes better at BlogHer.

Eventually, when we couldn't keep our eyes open anymore, we went to bed. Around 4-ish, I am thinking? I slept until 8:30, then got up and had some coffee, some breakfast (but not the egg-muffin thing with cheese, ham and whateverthehellthatwas...cheese and ham melted together make me want to barf). And, just like that...Friday started with, if not a bang, at least a whimper. The first day was over, too fast, too soon.

coming next: Friday and more parties!

T, who misses all y'all already

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Anyone know what the MPG for a llama is on the freeway? How about in the city?

What's that? You are tired of BlogHer posts, you say? But...but, I have so many more! What about the parties?? And my friends that I get to see once a year?? Huh? You want a break from the BlogHer posts? You're feeling a bit jealous unhappy with the lack of variety? Ok, fine, let's talk about my car. Or rather, my piece of crap CAR(s).

We have done well by paying off both cars, so we have no car payment. The downside is that the cars are well, they are Not New. And by not new I mean, they are pretty much P.O.S. in some respects. They run well, they just aren't beautiful. Would I like a new car? Sure! If someone wanted to give me one! I just don't want the payments. Mine works just fine. Or rather, it did, until Sunday. But I am getting ahead of myself... let's talk about JNerd's car, first..

Jnerd's car, which is as old as our oldest daughter. (Quick! do you remember how old she is? If you said, "What is fifteen, Tina?" You WIN. ...nothing. sorry. I mean, yeah, you win, but I got nuthin' but love for ya baby.) So, we have ascertained that JNerd's car, a rather long-in-the-tooth Kia Sportage is almost as old as our oldest child. And, two weeks ago, the car up and died. I mean, the hose blew off. Resulting in a big hole in the radiator. JNerd tried to pull over, but evidently was not fast enough, because he cracked the fargin' head gasket. Luckily we have a mechanic who I think was trained in the Dark Arts, because he is amazing, and costs us about one-third what the dealer would, because he knows how to order just parts of parts, and not the entire engine for one bolt. (the dealer is notorious for selling more than is absolutely needed, because parts of parts aren't sold new.)I am thinking our mechanic might be part Jedi: "These aren't the parts you're looking for.." He always says he can rebuild it...and I add, "You have the technology," ala The Six Million Dollar Man. For the 4 people as old as I am that read this blog, you totally got that reference. The rest of you are scratching your head and looking confused. Yeah, well, forget you. Back to the car. We have not had his car for over two weeks. And having one car is frustrating. But, at least there IS a car.

Well, there was another car. It is as old as my youngest daughter. Which means it is almost eight. And? The car died on Sunday, before BlogHer. JNerd bought a new battery and everything was fine. Until Wednesday night when the car wouldn't start again. Turns out it was the alternator, baby. We had to rent a car to get me to the airport on time (sing it with me...airport on time...makes me party...) and we have had the rental now for about a week. .That's right, beeshes. We ARE hemorrhaging money! Let's not even talk about the fact that I had to change my flight reservation later due to an emergency, and Southwest dinged me for almost the amount I spent on the ticket in the first place! Oops, sorry, I wasn't going to mention BlogHer, was I? Well, suckit sorry.

Yesterday, I sat at the mechanic's while he fixed my poor van. $610 runs fine. But I tell you what. I was immensely grateful, even though I hated paying that bill. Cars are wonderful. Especially when you don't have one. Makes you appreciate When They Work.

I am thinking I need a llama. That's what people in Peru use to get from Point A to Point B. I wonder how fast they can move on the freeway? And I hear they spit, but it seems like a good defense against sign-wielding homeless people on freeway on ramps. "Stand Back! I've got a llama, and I'm NOT afraid to use it! NO I don't have any spare all goes to the money pit that would seem to be my piss-ant cars these days.. Wait! Where are you going? I have a left over brioche in the car...!"

Come to think of it, maybe I need a sign...

. Yeah, I definitely might need that.

T, who is serious about that llama thing...

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The one where they try to buy our souls (and it kinda works!)

What does a Laundry Fairy, Mrs. Potato Head and a crap load of recycled bags have in common?

A: They were all part of the Exposition Hall at Blogher this year, along with some great exhibitors. Here is a list of my favorites:

Picnik: I LOVE YOU. I use Picnik every single day, it is easy to use and intuitive. Best tool out there. Thanks for the 3 month free premium sub, I appreciate it!

Pepsi: I pink fuzzy HEART you. Thanks for putting my two favorite things together, Pepsi and Blogher. You get it. Your large presence there was noticed, thank you. I love you at home, and love you even more here! Thank you for providing my favorite refreshing ice cold drink!

Playskool: thanks for the Potato Head, HUGE hit with my daughter, she loves it. And for the Playdoh.

My daughter, Picasso on Twitpic

All: the Laundry Fairy was inspired, truly. and dark chocolate suckers? ::drool:: bonus points for coupons and All Free & Clear samples, the only detergent I can use in my home.

Blue Avocado: your green bags are gorgeous, and the 40% card is enticing. Expect an order from me!

Clorox Green Works: thanks much for all the cleaning sponges and such. Love that they are green, but now I have to actually CLEAN my house, dammit.

BrotherUSA: thanks! I am told I won a P-Touch, so I am trying to get in touch with you!

PearlsofWisdom: you moved me. I will be doing a PAP ASAP, thanks for the kick in the vagina butt.

Microsoft: we don't have the best relationship, you and I, due to your past business practices, but you went a long way towards improving it with your Relaxation Lounge. Nicely done. Healthy food, coffee and massages. What's not to love??

And to the rest of the sponsors (3 pages worth) thank you for supporting BlogHer. I notice and I patronize you. You are awesome. I am not singling sponsors out to get ANYthing from you, that's not the way I roll. I simply want to give credit where credit is due. You did well. My suitcase was 6 pounds over the weight limit, as a testament for the swag!

T, who needs to take a pic of all the swag!

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

The one where I take you to Blogher '09

This year, a ton of L.A. bloggers all took the same plane to blogher. We had a blast, and Southwest Airlines was really good to us.

@justonemiss, @redlotusmama and @laprimera @houseofprince, @overflowinbrain and @suebob

So I got up to head to the airport, apparently I was running late and had no time to eat... I got on the plane, with NO food. I had my coffee with Bailey's Irish Cream (did you expect anything less) but I can't drink much because my stomach is upset. Adding to that, is the fact that I did not have time to eat breakfast this morning... in fact, I barely made my freakin' flight! I was literally the last person on the plane, Group C, seat 24. (It only goes to 30!)

So I get on the plane, and thank goodness some of the wonderful LA bloggers saved me a seat, we got to the airport and Megan, @undomestic diva on twitter, contracted for limos to the hotel. There were supposed to be two stretch limos. Instead, there was one Hummer limo and one van. We crammed TWENTY people in the Hummer limo and I thought that traffic in Los Angeles/Orange County was hell? The traffic wasn't moving at all. It was slightly raining, and it was just dead. (turns out later found out President Obama was at neighboring hotel last night and they shut the freeway down for him. And we? Were stuck in that. Missed a major swaggy party, but I guess I didn't need the crap, anyway.

I get into the hotel and I am starving. Remember, I haven't eaten all day, with the exception of animal crackers. So at 7 p.m. Chicago time, I am sitting with my girls, especially @califmom for $9 hamburgers, which were delicious! AND after that, I was fortified and ready for the drinks at the People's Party. Well, what passed as drinks. There was little alcohol in them, but hey.

me and @laprimera in the very back seat of the Hummer limo. Beats the airport shuttle, woot!

The bloggers I ran into at the party, as well as the @room704 party and the swag, baby....oh the swag.. will be another post. The wireless here in the hotel is spotty, and it is really hard to get posts to publish... I may have to wait until I get home, sadly. I will keep trying!

T, who wishes you were here

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Here is who I me at Blogher and everywhere

Just in time for BlogHer, thought I would tell you a bit about me, so you know everything there is that matters, and we won't have to make small talk (which I am not good at). I am coming all the way from The O.C. just to meet with you! And can't. wait. Here, without further ado, is more than you ever wanted to know. Also? I am a hugger, so if you want to hug me, make sure you come up and do so! I am @sendchocolate on twitter and most everywhere else..look me up.

I have two children with autism. But I don't define myself by that, even though I list it prominently. I also have a brilliant teenager, and am married to a great guy, my best friend. I don't define myself by them, either.

So how do I define myself? I hate labels, but I guess here's a start:

I hate injustice. Want to piss me off? Pick on the underdog. I don't care who it is, or why.

I love shoes, but don't love paying high prices for them. Still, want to turn me on? Show me some sexy shoes, and tell me they are MINE

I think that morning should be spelled "mourning" because I lament the fact that it I have to get up. I am allergic to the sun before 11 a.m. My family teases me that I am part vampire. Since I am a Christian, I am pretty sure this isn't true. I MUST wear sunglasses when I go outside. Period. I have been known to exclaim "Gah!" when I enter the light for the first time.

I am very much nocturnal. Would love if my day started at 11 a.m. and ended at 3 a.m. Sadly, this is no way to raise children, so I have have had to adapt. Perhaps you see me on twitter late at night... @sendchocolate. Tweet me if you are bored. I will respond.

I am really not that interesting, but if you want here is the obligatory junk about me.

  • 1. I have always wanted to be a writer I kept journals throughout my childhood and through the years until I had kids. They were destroyed in the fire of 2006.
  • 2. I fancied myself a poet, but haven't written poetry since before my kids were born.
  • 3. I have a perfection streak and a fear of failure= terrible combination
  • 4. I was an editor of both my high school newspaper and college, as well.
  • 5. I was once going to run for school board. I decided to put it off a few years, and now I homeschool. I am better off. So are my kids.
  • 6. I was an Army brat until I was a teenager...then we settled in a small town. Wish we'd kept moving.
  • 7. I lived in Alaska for a few years in elementary school; my brother was born there.
  • 8.My parents were asked to let me enter a study on giftedness at the University of Alaska when I was 5. They refused.
  • 9. I never lived up to that hype.
  • 10. I'm ok with that.
  • 11. I am a lifelong learner, I am happiest when I am learning something new.
  • 12. I was a voracious reader as a kid. Now I read when I can. I rarely read fiction, but am always reading for new information.
  • 13. To shut up the "Why?" questions, my parents bought me a set of encyclopedias. I was in Heaven.
  • 14. I used to keep a running list of topics I wanted to look up in the library.
  • 15. Now I keep a list by my bed, or just get up and Google it. I am not as obsessive about Google as I used to be...I actually would get up and look things up in the middle of the night. Not anymore.
  • 16. The Internet is a dream come true for me.
  • 17. I was once told by my crush in high school, "The trouble with you is that we want to talk about what color the car is, and you want to know what the paint is made of."
  • 18. At the time, it broke my heart, but I had to admit he was right.(I still love sexy cars, though)
  • 19. I still want to know what the paint's made of.
  • 20. That quality has served me well.
  • 21. I have been married almost 20 years.
  • 22. I was attracted to his brain. The sex was a fringe benefit...
  • 23. I went through my stage of dating jerks, but found I really like geeks.
  • 24. I am seriously attracted to a large IQ.
  • 25. I realize this is truly pathetic, shallow (can it be shallow?) I'm ok with that.
  • 26. Talk nerdy to me... I'll be putty in your hand. TED? W3C? Extreme Programming? Java? Ubuntu? Ooh, baby. Don't stop.
  • 27. I have an affinity for tech, an intuitive understanding of how it is supposed to work...but cannot troubleshoot at all. Or code. I am getting better, though, at fixing my screw ups.
  • 28. I have a very understanding partner who if I get stuck, comes behind and fixes what I screw up.
  • 29. We have had more than one screaming fight late at night because I have messed up my template and am frustrated.
  • 30. I usually write after the kids are in bed; I concentrate better that way.
  • 31. I thought about not having children, I had cats. I thought it was enough.
  • 32. We said our lifestyle wouldn't change after kids. We would still take weekend trips. 14 years later...ONCE. We do have a weekly date night, and run errands together.
  • 33. I loved being pregnant, and thought I'd never looked better. Birth was easy. The first two times.
  • 34. My third child, JBean, was 10 weeks early. She was in the hospital for a month.
  • 35. I read piles of books, cover to cover, on prematurity. I taught the nurses.
  • 36. My motto: Knowledge is power. (and control, thank you very much) Also? Foreplay.
  • 37. When I found out my son had autism, I locked myself in my room and cried. I did the same thing when my daughter was diagnosed.
  • 38. Then I started googling. Both times.
  • 39. I already knew a lot based upon a Wired magazine article years ago called The AQ Factor. My husband is an engineer. 'Nuff said.
  • 40. Now I feel like I have a handle on this autism thing. And that's usually when I fall on my face.
  • 41. If it doesn't kill me, it just makes me stronger. It is what it is. My six words: Plan B Now, but it's ok.
  • 42. I am a closet Emo fan. Panic at the Disco, Evanescence and My Chemical Romance rule. And honestly? My music is eclectic. About the only thing I don't like much is Classic Rock, Jazz or hardcore rap. Everything else is negotiable. Rock, Country, Classical, you name it...I listen.
  • 43. My 14 year old believes I should be the teenager. She is more conservative than I am. Currently, she is highly pissed at me because I am seriously thinking of a tattoo, and she is offended.
  • 44. I am a night owl. I rarely am in bed before 1 a.m. I need two solid hours to decompress after kids are in bed. I have a 15 yr old who won't go to bed.
  • 45. I am bipolar, but mildly so. This is part of why I don't sleep. But I also just don't like to sleep.
  • 46. I haven't had a major manic episode in 17 years. I am hypo-manic. Creative, feel good, less sleep needed.
  • 47. I don't talk about it because I don't feel like it affects who I am. I definitely don't hide it, though.
  • 48. I have, in the past, been on meds, and wouldn't hesitate to go on them again if needed.
  • 49. I'm not a bitch, I only play one online...sometimes. I do tend to go hard on ideas, soft on feelings. Though really not that hard on ideas. Usually.
  • 50. I seriously see the Internet as a community; a way to connect people and provide support. It is the 21st Century Kaffeklatsch, and I am privileged to be a part of it.
  • T, who can't wait to meet you!

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    Friday, July 17, 2009

    I said no, and I meant no and that's final.... OMG how cuuuuute!

    My littlest daughter has a new love. She wants a chinchilla. Yes, if you said the thing they used to make coats out of, you win! But, it is very cute, and it even made me squee. And they are relatively low-maintenance. I once had a friend who had one. They take dust baths, to keep their fur clean, and they don't ever get fleas. So, there's that. (but it is still another pet, something else to feed and clean up after...NO) Ahhh! Did you hear its wittle squeaks?? Oh, halp and bother.

    I could be in trouble here. See what you think?

    T, who wants no more things to take care of

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    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    I'd like to buy stock in hand sanitizer? Or how about a body condom, got one of those?

    Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand woooooords. Poor kid. Yes, I snapped this after hour #6 of her being sick, I am so mean. But I am not that mean, because it's after 2 a.m. and I am sitting here with her on the couch next to me, in case she needs me. She hasn't thrown up in over an hour, we may have turned the corner, thank God. Needless to say, I have been a bit preoccupied the last few days, as this crud makes its way through my house.

    Tomorrow, I will tell you how JNerd (who rocks our socks) explained throwing up to a scared child with autism who hasn't thrown up since she was TWO. Think: Spongebob Squarepants. He is amazing. That is all.

    eta: guess I spoke too soon..she was just sick again. :o/

    T, who likes to stay up late, but by choice, not when I have to

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    Wednesday, July 08, 2009

    You would have an iCrush too, if it happened to you

    So you want to know where I have been, right? I mean, you love me and miss me and you have to know what I am doing with myself, yeah?

    Sadly, my computer, he went boom. Or rather, crash. Or Floop. Or a ton of other onomatopoeias to describe, "Rip out my heart and stomp it into the ground while losing ALL of my data." It was ugly.

    On July 4th, my computer, he wouldn't boot, he was slow. So I called tech support at Apple (after trying to repair and verify the disk on my own.) The tech took me through a few higher-level fixes, and finally, after two hours, I got this message:

    could not repair disk after three tries. Disk fail.

    It was ugly. BUT, it was under warranty...Well, there was nothing left to do but make an appointment with the Apple Genius and see what could be done.

    His name was Jordan. He had sweet, dancing eyes. And he was quick to smile. Had I been about twenty years younger, I'd have fallen for him. As it was, I was at his mercy. He had my baby. I brought him (ok, it) in, laying him it on the bar, taking my place at the hipper-than-thou counter. There was my name, up on the screen, it was my turn. Time for him to work his Apple Magic. I raised my eyes anxiously, as I handed him my Macbook. Be gentle. "Tech support said hard drive, " I said. He smiled and said, "Yes, that's what it sounds like." He licked his lips. Eying me seriously: "It can't even find the partition. Definitely the hard drive. He clucked his tongue, sucking it a bit. Needs a new one."

    I looked down. "Can you fix it? I need it by the end of the month, I am due to take it to Chicago." He winked at me. "Oh we will definitely have it happy by then! It will be done in 4-6 days. We'll get you all fixed up. You can't be without a computer longer than that!" I stifled my cougar impulse. It was natural to be grateful. This was my computer, after all.

    "Just be gentle with it, it is pristine, it has been in an after-market case." "His blue eyes twinkled, "I noticed that, clearly a lot of care is taken with it. Not a fingerprint on it. We'll put this baby straight into a foam sleeve, don't worry. I'll take care of everything. He flashed me a reassuring smile and met my eyes across the top of the bar. I'll be gentle, I've done this before."

    And just like that, I fell in love with an Apple Genius.

    P.S. Ok, so I can't really be in love with the Apple Genius, because I am in love with my husband. The paper in my birdcage, my man, JNerd, he saved almost all the data that my computer tried to eat as the hard drive went south. He saved the pictures, and the Keychain, (which means I can find all my stuff and passwords from like forever). He saved my blog posts, and my writing and images and most everything else. So, there really isn't room for the Apple Genius. Just don't tell him that...I want him to want to do good things for me.

    P.S.S. well, not for me, for my computer.

    P.S.S.S. which really, when you get down to it, the two are the same.

    P.S.S.S.S. me and the computer.

    P.S.S.S.S.S. I am not really a Cougar, I just apparently play one on my blog.

    T, who is counting the days

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