New York Times Best Boob Is Too A Thing

I know some Jennys. One lives near me, and we amuse each other greatly. Occasionally we amuse other people. 

Last week we made the trek to Corte Madera to see our other friend, also a Jenny, at her book signing because, HOLY FUCK WE HAVE A FRIEND WHO WROTE A REAL LIVE READABLE BOOK. Also, we love her. And it's rare to see this particular Jenny outside of a bathroom.

Waiting to get my book signed by Jenny.

Seriously. It is. That's where I first met her. In a bathroom. It's less abnormal the longer you know her. I've now spent more time with her in a bathroom than out, I think, and this seems completely normal to me.

Private Party with The Bloggess

Hanging with @TheBloggess and my girl. #awesome

Anyway, when Jenny and I got back from seeing Jenny at the book signing, we sat down to make a video homage to our friend, her book (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir), and our road trip, but this happened instead. 

 

I think Jenny will understand. Also, you should totally buy Jenny's book because The Bloggess is a seriously funny person, and it turns out that we aren't the only two people on the planet who think this. (You need to understand that this totally makes my autographed boob incredibly important by association, like New York Times Book List important. That's really important. That's more important than that stupid Who's Who crap they try to get you to pay for in high school, which it turns out is just a giant scam that anyone can do, so I'm glad I didn't do it.)

Taking my @TheBloggess boob to the pool. As you do.

Oh, and Jenny is one of the few people who spells my name correctly. I think that's important in a friendship.

Finally, somebody spelled my name correctly. Figures it'd be @TheBloggess

 

News Flash: I’ve Changed

grief

Image by califmom via Flickr

While I was at BlogHer, the panel that was easiest for me to attend, even though I cried, was the grief panel. I felt my story being told by every person on the panel. When Loralee talked about how hard it is to be the friend of a a grieving person, I knew what she meant. We aren’t easy people to be around, especially if you were our friends before we suffered the loss.

It’s not easy to be my friend, especially right now. I am unpredictable in my needs and what I am able to give in a friendship. I often take and take because I have nothing to give. Or it looks like I’m giving everything to someone else, but not to you. I am inconsistent. My energy is fickle. My attention is scattered. And worst and most offensive to those who’ve known me before Bob died, I’VE CHANGED.

Holy shit. Who would have thunk it. The death of my husband changed me. I am not the same person I was before Bob died. I never will be. Can’t be. Won’t be. And I’m quite sure I’m not done changing. Change makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Not much I can do about that, but it’s one of the reasons why it’s hard to be my friend. It must be hard to watch me become a different person.

I think that’s why it’s easier for people to be my friend who’ve met me after Bob or who don’t need me to be that same person. People who understand I’m going to change have been okay with me, this process of changing, and the bumpy road I’m on. Thank God, because I need my friends. You all have been an absolute blessing.

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Judged: Sisterhood Of The Traveling Louboutins

Walk in my shoes. Walk in the Louboutins I bought to celebrate my life. IMG_6911

I rarely wore heels with my husband. I never wore stilettos. Now, I want to have a presence in the world that says I survived, I will persevere, I will not be knocked down nor held down by what life has dealt me. @califmom and @thebloggess

And the women who try on my shoes, and there have been many, they get that same look in their eyes, that look of confidence, joy, something magical—from a pair of shoes. They stand taller, look prouder, can’t believe they’ve done it.

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Shallow? Yes. Judge us? Go ahead. We’re used to being judged.

I get judged for everything. I get judged for the clothes I wear, what I feed my kids, when I feed them, what’s in my refrigerator at any given time, what my children wear, what hours I’m home or not home, my travel schedule, my friends, my iPhone usage, my internet habits, my sleep patterns, my garden, the content of the obituary I wrote, how I carried myself at the funeral, whether I cry enough, my financial habits, whether I write enough about how much I loved my husband, my parenting, my mental health, and on and on and on.

So, judge my shoes. They can take it. So can I. I obviously put up with far worse.

And if you see me wearing my Loubi’s, don’t be afraid to ask to try them on. I will always say yes. I want you to know what it feels like to stand tall.

If you have a picture of yourself in my shoes, add it to the flickr group I created for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Louboutins: http://www.flickr.com/groups/louboutin/.

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BlogHer Or BUST

Well, there are going to be a lot of busts there, actually. A couple thousand, to be exact.

IMG_6391Today, my butt (and my bust) will be boarding a flight for New York City. (Please say that with your very best Pace Picante Salsa commercial voice. It makes me feel special.)

And, if you see me in NYC, be sure to ask for one of my GORGEOUS new cards, made by the talented Alina Smith of alinasmith-art.com. (psst…you should have her do your design stuff. She’s the shiznit. And, like, affordable…cuz that’s how I roll.)

Let’s do this!

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BlogHer '10: Ready Or Not, Here I Come

It’s that time of year. Oh, yes it is. I’ve been fashioning tutus for the 5K. Tina, Jenny and I are going to be smokin’ hawt for the Tutus for Tanner/BlogHer 5K we’ll be walking/running in NYC.

IMG_6330 But, a bigger part of BlogHer ‘10, especially this year, will be seeing the people who’ve been such a huge part of my life this past year. Holy hell. Y’all have been the shit! I wish there were twenty of me to do all of the hugging I want to do when I get to New York. (As an aside, I suck butt at remembering names with faces or even just the names. So, please don’t take it personally if I look at you like a wall-eyed freak when you tell me who you are. I do the same thing to people I’ve known for ten years. Seriously.)

The BlogHer community continues to be a huge source of support for me and my family. Devra Renner’s piece on BlogHer today was just another example of how BlogHer has been a part of my life this year. While she talks in the article about me being an inspiration, the greater message is the one I want people to take away—we need to talk about death. We need to make it part of our culture in the same way that we talk about birth. It doesn’t have to be taboo. Death happens. It doesn’t have to be shoved in the corner.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a unicorn horn to pack.

@califmom and the @go_girl

(But, I’m totally leaving that sack of a top at home. Who the hell let me wear that?)

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Get Your Shoe Porn Here: The Shoes of BlogHer '10

Mama's First Louboutin's

For the past two years, I’ve managed the Flickr groups for BlogHer Shoe Porn because, OMG SHOES! This year will be no different. The women (and men) who attend BlogHer wear some intriguing, hawt, sexay shoes, and we like to show them off and share them with y’all.

Be sure to add your shoes, your friends' shoes, you know, the shoes you see when you attend BlogHer ‘10 to the Flickr pool. I don't care if they're flip flops, running shoes from the BlogHer 5K/Tutus for Tanner participants, the stilettos at the parties, or everything in between. We want to see it all. Even your Crocs.

Bring on the SHOES!

To check out more, you can see the Flickr badge in my sidebar under Flair.

Lest you think this is all BlogHer is about, pry your head out. It's not. But, walking up to someone and asking if you can take a picture of her shoes is an excellent way to start a conversation. So, unstuff your head and get ready to have some fun!


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Bittersweet

One of my posts about my husband's cancer has been selected for syndication on Blogher. It appears at http://www.blogher.com today and can be found at http://www.blogher.com/denial-or-optimism-blurring-line-survival, as well. You'll have to pardon my low-tech links. Once again, I'm blogging from my phone.
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I Got The Weirdest Swag At BlogHer

I don’t know what conference y’all went to, but it was not the same one I attended. That’s for damn sure. First of all, the swag I brought home looks nothing like the swag I’ve seen in everyone else’s posts.

Did anyone else get one of these unicorn horns?

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It was a bitch to attach to my headband, and I have no idea why they put a hole in the end of it. Seems totally unnecessary for a unicorn to have a hole in the end of its horn. The company giving them away kept telling me I was using it wrong, but they refused to demonstrate it themselves, so whatever. They kept saying they had to go pee outside and I kept telling them that was unnecessary, that the Sheraton had perfectly fine bathrooms inside that they were welcome to use. They were also obsessed with standing up to pee, which I also found strange. Must have been some kind of penis envy.

Or what about this battery operated bunny?

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My kids are still trying to figure out how to make it hop. Damn thing acts like it’s got epilepsy, but won’t hop for shit. And what kind of children’s toymaker puts a hootchie mama on the box front of a toy? That’s just tacky. Honestly, I don’t even think it looks that much like a bunny, unless you bred a turquoise blue bunny with Mr. Bill, then maybe. Either way, the kids are not impressed. They’re trying to steal my unicorn horn.

In addition to the swag, I also got to talk to a guy claiming to be a journalist for a newspaper called the Chicago Tribune. Some local rag, I guess. He either really does work for this alleged newspaper, or he fakes a good website. Slightly less embarrassing than that time I was featured on the Discovery Channel talking about the taste of breast milk, but not much. Again, I blame the editing. Some day, I’ll do my mama proud. I hope she’ll live to see it.

I did manage to score a corner to work my magic at the MamaPop shindig. I was able to demonstrate to the young folk just what the Beastie Boys meant when they said, “I did it with a Whiffle Ball bat.” I considered it my public service, my way of giving a little something back to the community, something to the younger generation. I was even given my first taste of unicorn booty at this bash, and boy was it teh yummy.

@califmom 's mutha flippin adspace, beeshes.

Saturday night, I macked a (shh, don’t tell my Fast Food Nation reading children) McDonald’s cheeseburger at the 3rd annual CheeseBurgHer party while donning my custom headwear and hanging it the presidential suite bedroom & pisser with some seriously cool peeps. I even spotted The Faux Monty in the shower in all his inflatable glory.

Just like last year, I made new friends. I learned new things. I laughed. I cried. And, I made plans to come back again next year. Because this BlogHer business, it gets under your skin in the best kind of way, not like those bad rashes that require both a topical and an oral medication. See y’all in NYC baby!

 

 

 

 

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Please Hold...and Shoe Porn

Business Time

Image by califmom via Flickr

It’s that special time of year when I pack my bag, my laptop, my stack of business cards, and my sexy comfortable cute shoes, and head off to BlogHer’s annual conference.

Last year’s conference was in my own back yard, San Francisco. This year, I get to ride on an airplane all the way to Chicago. The last time I was in Chicago, it was the coldest winter they’d had in decades. I was there on business, just flying in to rent a car and drive to Joliet, where I spent a week in a motel that offered a delicious room service menu offering of chicken fried steak. Mmm, mmm, good. The driver’s side door of my rental car kept freezing shut. So, I had to climb in through the passenger side to kick it open. Fun times.

This time, I’m going to have more fun. Way more fun. Boat loads more fun. So much fun, I’m going to take pictures of the fun and post them right here for y’all to see. I’ve already started taking pictures of some of the fun. See, it’s my personal project to take pictures of all the sexy, cute, comfy, and downright adorable shoes that make there way to BlogHer. Then, I collect them all into a Flickr Group called BlogHer Shoe Porn. Here’s what’s been uploaded into this year’s group, so far:

If you’re going to BlogHer ‘09, you can upload your shoes to the photo pool by clicking here.

One thing I won’t be doing much of while I’m at BlogHer ‘09, ironically, is blogging. No time. I will be microblogging—Twitter and Tumblr, mostly, maybe a little Facebook. Otherwise, I’ll “see” you when I get back. No wild parties while I’m gone! That’s my job.

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BlogHer: What it's all about

I had a call from a friend today--a BlogHer friend. We met at last year’s BlogHer Conference (feels weird to call it a conference) in San Francisco.

Within the span of a weekend, I considered her to be a dear friend. She is part of my BlogHer posse, and I am part of hers. It’s not a clique so much as it is a group of amazing women who became close friends within hours of meeting IRL (in real life).

That’s what BlogHer is really about.

I decided to attend last year’s BlogHer rather late in the game, and decided to arrive a night early just hours before adding another night to my hotel reservation and shlepping my butt to the BART station.

I knew no one.

No. One.

Prior to BlogHer, I read quite a few bloggers, but my own readership was low. So, I knew I wouldn’t be having any “Oh, I read your blog!" moments.

I am shy.

I know, hard to believe. My friends are spitting shit on their keyboards right now. My shyness quickly departs once I feel I know you. Then, I transform into a table-dancing freak. Even without booze.

But that first night, as I wandered in and out of the welcome parties, awkwardly making my way through the tables of schwag, I started to meet a few people.

I met BlogHer women in the elevator who had a penchant for pushing all the buttons. Great comic relief when in an awkward social setting. I highly recommend it.

BlogHer08

I met women in the bathroom who had some stage fright of their own going down.

The Bloggess Holding Court in the Pisser

And, I met the beginnings of my posse.

Geekmommy Sniffs the Sprout Bouquet

On the floor.

Outside the bathroom.

We added to our tribe during our late-night/early-morning lobby fests.

We never really stopped adding. BlogHer is cool like that. There are no boundaries to finding friends, unless you make them yourself.

What BlogHer isn’t?

  • a place to force your ideas on others
  • a place to market without creating relationships
  • a place to show up thinking you are better than anyone else
  • like any other conference

What BlogHer is?

  • a place to be yourself
  • a place where you are not alone in your shyness
  • a place to meet and make lifelong friends
  • a place to learn
  • a place to share
  • a conference like no other—a vacation!

Needless to say, I’m going back to BlogHer this year. It’s my beacon of light right now. The thing that keeps me from jumping off the bridge. I need that. A lot of us need that.

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Meeting Strangers

In April of 1996, I was in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. I was also on bed rest. I had unexplained bleeding and though they told me bed rest probably wouldn't help or hurt, I sat my ass down for 6 weeks and tried not to go insane.

Part of what helped me stay sane was signing up for an email group composed of women due in December of 1996. This was before the days of Baby Center or mommyblogging. With email address at the ready, I had signed up and instantly became connected with a group of women more diverse than I'd ever met in my life.

There were over 300 of us in those early months. All we had in common to bring us together was a month and a year. A truly random thread to connect our lives. Some of us were first-time mothers, others had grown children and were starting second families with new spouses. There were mothers of 5, mothers of special needs children, single mothers, Jewish mothers, feminists, conservatives.

We were a group of women who never would have met any other way.

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BlogHer08 Irony and Sleep Deprivation

I couldn't stand the thought of the party starting without me. So, Thursday afternoon, at 4pm, I called the Westin, begged for a room for the night, farmed out the kids, showered, packed, and raced to the BART station.

BEST IDEA EVER

The biggest irony about BlogHer is the lack of time to blog. Well, the more disciplined manage, but I'm not exactly known for my "discipline."

The second thing about BlogHer: it's like the night before Christmas. Santa is going to come, and I am NOT FALLING ASLEEP JUST TO MISS SOMETHING! I got to bed just after the morning copy of USA Today had been delivered to my room. That means I'm working on 3.5 hours of sleep. Okay, let's be honest. It was 3 hours of sleep. And it wasn't because I was out partying all night. There are just so many cool people and so little time. I'm thinking this needs to be a 4-day conference next year to alleviate some of the go-go-go pressure.

With that, I'm back to hanging with the ladies, heading off to the evening's events, and hoping to get to bed BEFORE the sun comes up. Wish me luck. Wish you were here!

I'll apologize for my excessive use of exclamation points, but they are all well-deserved. So #suckit.

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Near...And Far

This week's installment of Near and Far is brought to you by: My Toenails. They are so happy to be going to BlogHer '08, and I am thrilled to accompany them. Have I mentioned the BlogHer conference? Yes? Did I also mention that the BlogHer made a serious deal yesterday? No? I didn't? Well read about it, because it's pretty damn impressive. Way to go ladies. Shatter that glass ceiling! Break it the fuck down.

Near:
Near_week3

I have another winner of the Near category from Hayward, but it's not the same reader. So, welcome Hayward user of Internet Explorer 7.0. You also run NT, which tells me you might be a bit of a geek, but not a total geek. I mean, it's not like you're running Ubuntu. (If I can't get the Hubs to buy me a Mac, the least he needs to do is get rid of this damn Windows OS. I think I was meant to be a Linux girl.)

Far:
Far_week3

This weeks farthest reader is not from Asia. Amazing! Finally, my friends Down Under held their own and outdistanced their Northern neighbors. This week's farthest reader comes from Melbourne. We may share a language (and O/S and browser preference with the nearest reader, it seems), but we are many miles apart. Many, many miles.

Thanks for stopping by, and tune in next week for another round of Near and Far.

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BlogHer Shoe Porn

Because I just can't stop talking about BlogHer, I'm going to do it again today. I live a simple life, don't get out much, and this may be the highlight of my year. Deal.

During Sunday night's broadcast with the Queen of Spain, Erin Kotecki Vest, there was much shoe talk. And shoe modeling. And shoe analyzing. So much shoe talk, that I decided we needed a Flickr group to showcase the shoes of BlogHer.

So, if you have some fabulous kicks you'll be sporting at BlogHer, share them with the group. Likewise, if you see snazzy shoes at BlogHer. We are an equal opportunity group, premitting both the comfy Keds and the fuck-me pumps. Don't forget the bling. It's all about inclusion at BlogHer.

Show us some shoe, ladies (and gentleman...come on Micah).

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Counting it Down

In a matter of days, I will be going to my first BlogHer. Can you tell I'm excited? Can I shut up about it already? Probably not. I'm sure it will be even worse while I'm there and after I get back. Deal. Here's a little kickoff to the event by Katie Couric. Yep, that one. The one. Check it out. Shoes are involved. Cute shoes that would kick my ass and give me blisters (on my feet, not my ass). I'll be sporting a more down-to-Earth pair for at least one of the days. I may resort to the ol' flip flops day on day two, especially if the blisters win.

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BlogHer Shoes

I caved to what appears to be some mounting peer pressure to wear Cute Shoes to BlogHer. Not that I need a lot of coaxing to go shoe shopping, I just love having an actual event to blame it on. Thanks, ladies. Yet one more reason why I love y'all.

My shopping netted 2 pair o' Cute Shoes, well 1 cute pair and 1 Cute Pair. Here's a pic of the Cute Pair:

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Yes, Mom, I know they look like a pair of worn out ratty sneakers. That's the point. Think of how hard it would have been to achieve that look and still have the sneakers be white.

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