Wednesday, April 2, 2014 Posted by

It is Spring Break.

I have accomplished…both nothing and many things, bizarrely.

Brandus and I saw Divergent, which I enjoyed but wouldn’t write home about..or bother reviewing. I love a good dystopian movie, basically, but this felt too simplified in some ways. I also saw the preview for The Giver, which made me throw things at the screen in irritation, because I really don’t think there is any way possible they will do the book justice. The whole feel of it is wrong to me.

Otherwise, by some bizarre stroke of insanity, I’ve decided to teach myself to quilt. I’ve pieced a tiny crib-size quilt, quilted it successfully (although dont look at the back, it’s a mess), and am currently scowling at directions for how to bind it. Then somewhere in there, I pieced a twin size quilt. It’s upstairs awaiting my husband’s ability to figure out spatial problems so he can help me determine how to cut and turn the pieces of the backing to actually..you know, back the quilt.

I think I might be slightly addicted already, which isn’t good, because fabric takes over your life and we just redid the spare bedroom into a shared office/sewing room/family game room, so Brandus will notice if fabric starts piling up.

I have 4 more days of break, and (other than a dr appt on Friday to determine why I am sleeping like crap) I plan to continue to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It is AMAZING.

With My Mouth Shut

Thursday, February 27, 2014 Posted by

I feel…wordless. Which is strange, because Percocet usually makes me chatty, and wow, am I on a lot of Percocet. And antibiotics. And..some other thing or two that I can’t remember, which is probably also due to the Percocet.

See, that whole UTI thing I was stressed about? Or maybe I didn’t mention it here. Regardless, I had what seemed to be 3 different UTIs in less than a month. But turns out they weren’t UTIs, because the initial dip came back showing issues, but the actual culture showed nothing.

So, with great reluctance, my GP set me up an appointment with a urologist, and gave me a bunch of information on cystitis, which is basically a bladder issue that means it will always feel like you have to pee and it sucks to be you, because while there are things they can try, they have no idea if any of them will work or why any of them work.


They also set me up with an ultrasound of my kidneys/bladder, to make sure there weren’t any other issues.

As luck would have it, I woke up the day of the ultrasound in extreme pain. It’s called flank pain, which means that one side of your lower back hurts like a bitch and leaves you, if you’re anything like me, trying desperately not to puke.

The man called the doctor to see if the ultrasound could be moved up from the afternoon, as I needed it NOW, and the doc sent us to the ER.

HEY GUESS WHAT? I HAD A KIDNEY STONE. You remember the one I had right after Christmas? THIS WAS THE SAME ONE! IT WAS CAUSING ALL OF THE ISSUES AND EVERYTHING SUCKED UNTIL THEY GAVE ME LOTS OF DRUGS! I’d like to point out that this was the end of January. But wait, we aren’t done yet!

On to the urologist, who wanted so little to do with me that he barely even let me finish a sentence, much less the whole story. Verdict: Surgery! They were going to shove a scope up my urethra and blast that kidney stone with a laser and then I’d be back on my feet and fully recovered in 24 hours!

Oh, how I laugh at that thought now..

Surgery happened on Feb 14, which made for an awesome Valentine’s day for both myself and Brandus. Nothing like being taken to the hospital for a romantic gesture!

When I woke, I was..uncomfortable.

Come to find out that the doctor, who had originally told me I would have a stent for 2 days, discovered the kidney stone was much more implanted in the lining of my ureter than originally thought.

I would need the stent for TWO WEEKS. And while it was in, I was to expect pain, blood in my pee, increased urge to pee, and general irritation. And if I resumed my normal activities, it would make all of those things worse.

Awesome. But I’d already missed a week of work due to pain and then surgery, so back to work I went.

It was fine for a week. Kind of irritating, and not exactly comfortable, but I didn’t need the percocet often, just when I overdid things – like doing my job or wrestling with the 3 year old who had just smacked a kid in the face with a block.

But then, of course, something went wrong. Things..hurt. Badly. I’ll let you use your imagination to decide exactly what hurt, but it lead to me calling the doctor in the middle of the day. And being told that some pain was normal with a stent.

Brandus called, as he was at home and I was at work, and at this point we were just trying to get the stent removal moved up a few days, as I didn’t think I could last another 5 days. They kept blowing us off. So when I got home from work that day, Brandus asked me how I felt. I said, “Shitty,” and he said, “Get your stuff. We’re going to the ER.”

After 5 hours, 4 vials of bloods, an injection of the good drugs, and peeing in a few more cups, the doctor came in and told me he was going to personally call my urologist. As my stent was infected, and needed to come out sooner rather than later.

That was Tuesday. The stent finally comes out tomorrow. And if, after two months of being in pain, the removal of the damn thing doesn’t finally make it stop hurting, I’m planning on crying at the urologist until someone does something to make me feel better. And then maybe quitting my job and spending the rest of 2014 in bed, because clearly, this year hates me.

I’m going to cross stitch this on your forehead

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 Posted by

Me: Hey kid, what are you about to do?
Voldemort: Create. Isn’t that what kids do?

Challenge Clearly Accepted

Monday, January 27, 2014 Posted by

Dear 2014,

When I said it would be hard for you to be worse than 2013, I didn’t mean for you to take that as a CHALLENGE.


I mean, if the mental health fun for both myself and Brandus weren’t enough, adding in root canals and a tooth extraction plus bone graft for brandus and some bizarre UTI issues that aren’t UTIs that have resulted in referrals for ultrasounds and urology appointments for me, just isn’t fair.

It’s only JANUARY. Come on, 2014. Can’t you at least spread out the medical issues?

No love,

PS Dont think I didn’t notice the dentist’s concern for the fact that Voldemort has a permanent tooth that is coming in SIDEWAYS – I’m just ignoring it for the moment.

I’ll Bake If I Want To

Saturday, January 11, 2014 Posted by

It’s my birthday today, and due to a variety of reasons, it’s just me and the kid. I’m heading up to hang out with my favorite awesome ladies of the Vagina Monologues tonight, so it’s not sad and pathetic and mopey, but someone needs to make me cake, and that someone is clearly going to be ME.

Ordinarily, if I were in Georgia, I would have gotten a cookie cake from Great American Cookie, because they are awesome and amazing and my favorite.

However, I am not in Georgia. I am nowhere in the South, and compared to the THIRTY FOUR Great American Cookie places in Georgia, there is a whooping TWO in Colorado. Both of which are almost an hour away. We have experimented with other cookie cakes from other places, but they’re just not nearly as good.

So, because I am BRILLIANT, I decided to look online to see if anyone had a copycat recipe I could try.

I found two!

One of which advised me to take the regular toll house cookie recipe but sub this and add that and don’t forget to do these other arcane rituals to make it come out perfect.

The other said to take a thing of refrigerated Pillsbury cookie dough and add a fourth of a cup of corn syrup.

Guess which one I chose?

So! Let me walk you through this, for no other reason that I need to document whether I can reproduce anything resembling the best cookie cake in the world.

I used:
-An extremely old bottle of Karo* syrup that I don’t remember ever buying
-A regular size thing of refrigerated Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough**
-A flimsy disposable pizza pan for ease of travel

Step one:
photo 2

Step two:
photo 3
Smoosh into greased pizza pan with wet hands

Step three:
Shove into oven at 325 for 25 minutes. The recipe said to line the rack below it with foil in case the cookie tried to crawl over the edge and escape, but I didn’t.

*This is the one word more than anything else that makes me sound Southern. It is pronounced KAY-ro, and my husband laughs every time i say it.
**I’m not sure why Pillsbury, but I didn’t want to offend the recipe gods.

And then, because it’s my birthday, and I figure at 35, I might should practice being a motherfucking adult, I actually stopped licking the cookie dough out of the Pillsbury thing to WASH THE MIXING BOWL. And by wash, of course I mean I actually remembered to put soap in before running water and leaving it in the sink.

Step four:
Hmmm. That doesn’t look…quite right. Mildly (I hope) overcooked except for that bump in the middle, with bonus over-overcooking on the edges where the cookie tried to crawl over the edges and escape.

Nonetheless, we shall proceed. Onward! To the decorating!

I didn’t even try to recreate the Great American Cookie frosting, although it is yummy, because I am lazy and frosting comes in a can.

I let Voldemort pick it out, which was probably a mistake. And then, to compound the mistake, because I have no problems making my own cake, but I feel really weird about writing “Happy Birthday, Alia!” on my own cake, I let Voldemort decorate.

photo (1)
I have been informed that it says “Happy”, “Mom,” and that is a happy face at the bottom. I know the 0 in “Mom” originally started out as a 6, because he wanted to write “65″ on the cake for how old I was. At which point I gently informed him that I was, in fact, 35, and shouldn’t he go do something somewhere else before he accidentally wrote 105?

Taste test still to follow. Will let you know tomorrow if I will be going into competition with Great American Cookie.

New Year Means New Posting

Friday, January 3, 2014 Posted by

Ah, 2014. I would say I was counting on you to be better than 2014, but seeing as 2013 ended and you began with me dealing with strep, a UTI, and a kidney stone, I would be lying, because you are already well on your way to sucking.

Admittedly, it’d be pretty dang hard to be WORSE than 2013, which included, among other things: pancreatitis, hospitalization, gallbladder surgery, an episode of severe depression (none of which were me), moving to one income, and dealing with a few crazy people in conjunction with dealing with brandus’ mom’s estate/house who might possibly break in and steal everything and/or squat there.

There were some bright spots. We got a puppy. I got am awesome new nephew. Voldemort continues to be hilarious and weird and doesn’t give many fucks about people who don’t get that boys like My Little Pony and headbands. I won NaNoWriMo for the very first time, even though my sign up and pursuit of winning had much to do with avoiding the negative shit that was coming down at that point.

So, really, 2014, I’m not asking for much. I’m asking for less medical visits. I’m asking for mental health support. I’m asking for more time to write, and more time to cook, and someone to come in and clean my house on occasion. I’m asking for my kid to continue to be awesome and ignore the haters and stick with piano. I’m asking for my husband to find a freaking hobby already.

Is that a lot? Is it too much? I’m just asking for some breathing room, really. Can we do that, 2014? Please?

Up, Down, and Sideways

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Posted by

Family, lately, has been very stressful. I’m not going to give details, because no, but really, things have been really up and down.

The ups have resulted in Brandus installing a new kitchen sink to replace our perfectly adequate kitchen sink, and installing a new bathroom sink to replace our cracked and leaking one.

This has resulted in some downs, namely that all of the crap he used to replace the bathroom sink is still all over the bathroom and nothing has been put away. And it’s really not fun to step on a caulk gun when stumbling to the bathroom first thing in the morning.

The other main up is that he’s been getting up with the kid on weekend mornings and letting me sleep in, which is AMAZING and WONDERFUL and i love him dearly for it.

The other main down is that i have no time to clean the kitchen and he has no energy, and so we drown underneath dirty plates and we’ve been out of spoons for long enough to have Brandus go out and buy a new silverware set from Walmart.

This last situation has resulted in approximately two fights, three sulks, and one storm out of the house.

Status quo has been upset, and we have not yet settled into the new normal.

Wake Me Up When November Ends

Saturday, December 7, 2013 Posted by

November left me a little dazed and off kilter. It was a busy month. As mentioned earlier, I was taking 3 classes on English Language Development as well as one Masters level class on Early Childhood Special Ed, and that took up a lot of busy work time I could have been using to pick my nose or drool into a cup. And in October, we had a severe family crisis that took up much time and stress and we’re still dealing with the fallout of that, so naturally, I decided i should TOTALLY take on Nanowrimo again, which was another level of time suck and stress.

So, now it’s December, and while I won nanowrimo, I think I might have run out of words. I stare at the blinking cursor on the Spiral’s dashboard and try to think my way through things to find something to talk about.

I go to movies and compose mental essays and comparisons on how female characters are treated but when I go to write them, I don’t have the wit or the energy to be able to summon either the enthusiasm or the vitriol to deal with it.

Movies in short:
1) I loved Pacific Rim, Mako Mori is a BAMF, and the giant robots are RIDICULOUS and AWESOME, and the movie that sets itself up to be all about a white male’s manpain ends up being about how awesome and badass an Asian woman is.

2) Catching Fire was fucking AMAZING and Katniss continues to be irritated by people trying to make her choose between guys when all she wants to do is NOT DIE. I know what’s going to happen in Mockingjay and I’m already crying in anticipation.

3) Voldemort’s school had a movie night and we went and watched The Polar Express with a bunch of other kids in their pajamas, and on our way home, I pointed out that there was really only 1 female character in the entire movie. ONE. Tom Hanks is the conductor, the random dude on the roof of the train (is hobo a derogative term? honest question), an elf, and Santa. The waiters and the chefs and all of the elves we saw were ALLLLLL male. Even if you count the boy’s mom and sister, you have a ratio that looks rather like 2000:3. Which is not cool. At all. I pointed this out to Voldemort, who until this point had been rambling about the bell they gave him at the end (which he slept with, and is currently obsessively ringing while he watches…something), and when I said it, he got really quiet and then he said, in a very tragic, choked voice, “That’s so sad.”

4) We’re seeing Frozen this weekend. I’ll let you know. Maybe.

Author in Training

Saturday, November 9, 2013 Posted by

I have taken on NaNoWriMo again this year, after a several year hiatus, and I actually feel confident (today, at this very moment) that I will finish this year.

I can’t be positive I’ll finish, of course, but it’s coming so much easier this year, and I’m not sure why.

I think in past years, part of the reason I struggled is because I had this set idea in my head of what kind of space I needed to write.

Silence, no interruptions, writing music, whatever.

This year though, I’m writing on my lunch break at work, on the floor with my laptop balanced precariously on a chair in front of me (don’t ask me to sit in the chairs – they’re designed for preschoolers and are therefore teeny), at home with the puppy licking my elbow, and like right now, at the library while Voldemort runs back and forth from the kids’ area with pretend food and special things he built out of legos just for me.

And I’m writing.

And my plot is moving along, and my characters are developing, and I’m not getting too hung up on certain details. I’m just making notes to myself within the text of stuff I’m not sure of and moving on.

This is a cool feeling. And it’s been even cooler to look up and realize that, while I’m not completely on word count, I’m close. And more importantly? That I’m writing a book.

Letter of Rage

Saturday, October 12, 2013 Posted by

Dear makers of women’s clothing,

I know this probably comes as quite a shock to you, but I don’t actually WANT pants that are “perfectly slimming.” I also don’t want skirts with “tummy control,” “hip minimizer” swimsuits, or “control top” tights or leggings.

I don’t want anything that involves the word “shaper” or “waist nipper” or a “torsette,” which I’m not even sure is, but it doesn’t look nearly as awesome as a corset and sounds like it stands for TORTURE. I don’t want anything that claims to be able to mold my perfectly fine body into a brand new slim shape that reveals the new me.

Because the old me is perfectly fine. I like my shape. It doesn’t need to be squeezed, squashed, or shoved into some sort of compression garment designed to make my body look the way YOU find attractive.

I’m pretty damn attractive as is.

And it’s all of you. Clothes that are made for petite women involve “shapers” and “minimizers” and “tummy control.” Clothes made specifically for big girls seem to think that all we do is worry about how best to squeeze ourselves into different contortions in order to make our clothes look better.

How about you make better fucking clothes? Make clothes that show off the shape I have?

Because you know what I do want? I want jeans that flatter my ass, not shape it. I want tops that keep the girls tucked in at work but still show off my awesome waist, and I want a fucking pair of brown leggings that actually fit in the crotch but don’t leave compression marks on my stomach.


There is nothing wrong with me.

There is a shit ton wrong with the clothing you sell.


Friday, October 4, 2013 Posted by

I feel like my brain is melting.

Not only am I currently working full time, I am also trekking the kid back and forth to soccer practice (which he adores, which makes 1 sport he doesn’t hate), taking 1 class for my Masters program, taking 3 classes for my English Language Acquisition requirements, AND getting revved up for 2014′s performance of The Vagina Monologues, which I will be DIRECTING along with a friend.

The working full time is going shockingly well (my principal asked me in to a meeting so she could ask me how I liked the school and if I needed anything and to tell me she loved coming in to my classroom I DONT KNOW WHATS GOING ON), the soccer will be over next week (to be hopefully replaced by piano lessons) but he has such a blast that I don’t mind the schlepping him there twice a week, and the Vagina Monologues is just AWESOME, so really the only thing that is overwhelming me in an irritating way is all of the education I’m being forced to get.

See, my district says I can teach what I teach (Early Childhood Special Education), so long as I get my Masters in Early Childhood Special Education. This would be fine. Except for the fact I have my BS in Special Education, and several add on class in Early Childhood Development, not yo mention that I have six years of experience in Early Childhood Education. So the classes I am required to take have yet to teach me anything new or shocking, and so far all I’m learning is irritation at having my time wasted by sitting through classes I’ve already taken JUST NOT AT A GRADUATE LEVEL.

The district also requires all teachers new to the district to be a certain level of certified to teach English Language Learners. I’m ELA-E, which means I teach in English, but have to understand language development.

Now, guess what one thing we REALLY focus on in Early Childhood Education is? Why, I do believe it would be LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT. So I’m being forced to sit through 3 classes this semester and another 2 next semester, all with hours and hours of busy work, NONE OF WHICH ARE TEACHING ME ANYTHING EXCEPT FOR RAGE AND IMPATIENCE.

At least my GPA is awesome.

Someone I’ll Always See

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 Posted by

We were kids when we met – I was barely 15, and he was 16, and we were young and head over heels.

We broke up the night before my college graduation, sitting on a bench close to the tiny lake on my college campus, and I got up the next morning and tried to act normal around his family and mine.

We were kids then, and we grew up a lot in those years together, but shared interests at 15 remain entrenched in your memories somehow, because there is something about a Renaissance festival that always makes me think of him.

We’re in different states now, and it’s been years since we have even spoken to each other aside from the very occasional email, but it doesn’t matter.

Because there is a part of me that so deeply associates him there – in hand embroidered vest or a kilt, in devil horns, with a sword – that I always expect it.

I look for him around corners. I see him in the young man in leather armor across the way, and in the boy buying a flower crown for a girl. I see him laughing at the shows and humming Greensleeves.

I walk the Faire, and he’s alway waiting around the next turn.

And I wonder – does he see me there, too?

I’d Like to Buy a Vowel, Please

Sunday, September 1, 2013 Posted by

Things I would like to know, now that I am back at home:
1. Where are Voldemort’s fish?

This is the entirety of a post I have saved in my drafts, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what else I wanted to know.

Or where I was.

Or when I started this post.

Where am I now? Help me, I’ve lost myself!

These are questions I might even be able to find the answers to (with the exception of what happened to Voldemort’s fish, because one day there were fish, and then the next day there weren’t. And it wasn’t the cats), except that while I am writing this, I am writing it in my writing software (which is different from my word processing software, and yet again different than my editing software) instead of the spiral’s dashboard, because my computer says there is wi-fi in my house, but nothing will load, and so I have 5 windows and 55 tabs all staring at me with Chrome’s “this page will not load” sadface icon.

Which sucks, because I have important fanfic to read, people.

Speaking of fanfic, one of the other teachers who are new to the school that I am new to (…go with it, pretend it made sense), is a geek.

That isn’t an insult, it’s a JOY. She’s a GEEK! A cos-playing, con going GEEK who reads fanfiction and participates in fandom and understands my references.

And it’s so awesome, but it’s also SO BAD because I want to start yelling obscure references at her to see what memes she knows and talk to her about why I can’t stand Cassie Claire’s writing and ask how she feels about the new Doctor and doesn’t she think Amy Pond has the prettiest hair and has she watched the last Teen Wolf and I HAVE OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO TO ENSURE I ACTUALLY HAVE THINGS TO TEACH.

For now, though, I shall leave my poor new geeky teacher friend alone and not pester her to death with fandom, and i shall ignore what i need to get done, and I shall roll around in my 3 day weekend joyfully.

Happy Labor Day, Americans!

Cool Stuff, Instead of an Actual Post

Friday, August 30, 2013 Posted by


Cups, with amazing dancing


The first time I saw this commercial, I didn’t realize it was selling potato chips, because I was too busy being amazed that they put a woman clearly lusting over another woman on a commercial.


Disney getting feminism right in Teen Beach Movie. “Don’t dress for him. It’s better that you dress for yourself.”

I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.”

Reddit posted a question: What’s the best horror story you can come up with in two sentences?

I may never sleep again.


The Camp Gyno. *cackles*

Why I Teach

Saturday, August 10, 2013 Posted by

A fb comment, that I’m reproducing here so I can read it whenever I need to remind myself of why I do what I do:

You helped rub sucker off my forehead..taught us both to let him pull his pants up..and made me realize I was going to ruin his life if I kept babying him lol never doubt your impact on people. Trust me! You were the reason I realized…oh..we can totally do this..my son has a future outside of our little family.

Tell people if they have an impact on your life. Tell the teachers why they matter. You have no idea what it means to us to hear.

Back to NO

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 Posted by

Ah, it’s that time of year when most parents are exhaling in relief, dancing down the school supply aisles, and gleefully plotting how they’ll spend the day after waving their baby off in the bus in just a few short days or weeks.

Yep, it’s Back to School time.

I’m not exhaling. I’m not dancing (although I do love me some school supplies), and my baby doesn’t ride the bus because we have to leave the house way before pickup.

Yes, for a family of teachers, it is Back to School time.

And we are HARD into denial.

Back to School, quite honestly, makes me want to curl up in a ball under the covers on my bed and call in sick for the rest of my life.

It takes me an entire month after school gets out to even start feeling like a normal person – I finally have more time to read, to blog, to write, to hang out with my kid. And sure, Brandus abandoned me (AGAIN) this summer, this time to travel the Trans-Siberian Railroad for TWENTY THREE DAYS, and some of those days solo-parenting left me weeping in a bucket of ice cream, but still, we had fun. We spent time at the library, went to Michaels for their Passport to Adventure, took cooking classes at the botanic garden.

But here it comes again.

From days where my kid would let me sleep in while he went downstairs and ate half a jar of Nutella smeared onto graham crackers, his face, and the counter and we spent long lazy days coloring, building with trio blocks, and baking – to days where we bolt out the door at seven am right after breakfast with no time for Phineas and Ferb and I don’t see him again until I slide in to pick him up from daycare at six – where it’s then time to make dinner while attempting to supervise homework*, bath time to scrub the playground off of his knees, and to dump him into bed no later than seven thirty (my child is a fragile flower, and this strange thing called a “morning person.” I don’t know what to do with this most days, except getting him to bed before eight is a VITAL PART OF MY EXISTENCE), and somewhere in there I should do dishes or laundry to put patches on the fourth pair of jeans that he’s ripped this week alone.

By then I can generally manage to stare aimlessly at tumblr and watch all the pretty pictures scroll by and Thor help you if you interrupt me.

This year decided to get even more entertaining, as I’m changing schools (my old classroom was closed, and I was transferred), Brandus’ school has new extended hours, AND we’re still in three different school districts, which means three different school schedules.

For example:
Brandus returns back to school for teacher prep on August 7th.
Voldemort returns back to school for first grade on August 14th.
I return back to school for teacher prep on August 20th.

This also leads to three different holiday schedules, which was so much fun this past year, when Voldemort and I had 1 week off together, then all three of us had a week off, then Brandus had a week off. By himself. Without a child to entertain when all you want to do is lay on the floor and make dying whale noises of exhaustion.

So, no, I’m NOT looking forward to Back to School time. I’m sure as hell not dancing in the aisles of school supplies, and the next commercial I see with smiling children eagerly crowding around a teacher, I might throw something at the television.


Today’s Secret Word is AWESOME

Friday, August 2, 2013 Posted by

My recap of BlogHer ’13, in many more words than needed, probably.

BlogHer was amazing, first off. I was a newbie this year, as were about 53% of attendees, according to the stats they threw at us the first morning.

I met tons of really awesome people (and absolutely no one asked what my site stats are, which is good, because
1) i have no idea, and
2) if I have to guess, I’m going to go with 5. 5 people who visit here most months without running away screaming. 6 on a really good day! also, i probably would have been incredulous and rude if someone had asked me. I’d rather you asked me what type of panties I’m wearing, to be honest).

The tons of awesome people gave me tons of awesome cards, which are currently sitting in an intimidating pile of awesome that I keep trying to go through but haven’t managed yet.


These cards have useful notes written on them based on what I remember about a person, which includes details such as LEAN IN HARDER BITCHES, Crotch-fruit!, that one chick, and Nature+Kids=YAY. Which actually works for me and I remember who ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE.

There aren’t notes on more than half of the cards of awesome, so it could be months before I figure out who everyone is and why I kept their card, because in all honesty, if the blog subject isn’t an interest area for me and the person and I didn’t click REALLY HARD right away, I probably threw the card away.

Don’t judge – I’m sure there are multiple silverspiral.net cards sitting in other people’s trash cans because they either didn’t embrace the awesome or didn’t give a damn about yet another blog about whatever-pops-into-someone’s-head.

SO! It was, overall, completely awesome.

I met Ree Drummond, who talked specifically about the early days of Pioneer Woman and how it evolved into cookbooks and a tv show:


I got ridiculously, stalker-ly close to Queen Latifah, who was the emcee for the Voices of the Year awards, and she was gorgeous and amazing and then got whisked away before I could meet her or propose or do anything more than stare up at her with hearts in my eyes, which was ok, because I probably would have lost the power of speech and just made vowel sounds before running away:


I skipped out of Guy Kawasaki’s lunch keynote, so I missed both the good and the possibly bad, including where he evidentially said something along the lines of “You woman bloggers have the cutsy-est names for your blogs!”

If that’s true,
1) I’m offended because FUCK YOU, I think you mean, “you bloggers”, and
2) silverspiral.net will now be known immediately as DEATH-METAL-WOODSHOP, which sounds nice and masculine, don’t you think? Not that I’m into gendering anything, up to and including words or colors.

The keynote by Sheryl Sandberg was amazing, and she was well spoken and articulate and strong, but the Lean In activity, my table agreed, came off as vaguely condescending (they gave us a list of “feelings words” to pick from! Questions like, “What was your proudest moment?” were asked, which isn’t bad in itself, but all of the questions were like that) and then my table broke all the rules and did whatever we want and had a wonderful time and I hardcore love all of those ladies, the end.

The Voices of the Year presentation blew me away, and I laughed and nearly cried at how you should never ever make a pine cone wreath, how to best use the phrase This is Unacceptable, and how much it sucks to realize you’re gay when you know your church family is probably going to reject you.

I loved some of the panels I ended up attending, and the Expo Hall was insane amounts of fun.

So, to wrap up, what have I learned for future BlogHer attendance?

1. Either pack fewer clothes or bring a bigger suitcase

I took my little rolling suitcase because I hate having to check stuff, which would have worked better if I had taken less clothes – many of which I didn’t wear. I packed 2 dresses, 4 shirts, shorts, capris, and a skirt, flipflops, tennis shoes, and cute sandals (to be fair, I was packing for the entire week because I went to my sister’s house to visit after). I wore a dress to VOTY, but otherwise lived in my capris and flipflops. Packing up all of the swag received was frustratingly entertaining due to this. AND THE SHEER AMOUNT OF SWAG. And I had to check my suitcase on the way back anyway or else TSA would’ve taken some of the swag.

2. Pick up your swag bag on the way OUT of the hall

Skye stopped me from getting mine on my way into the Expo and I’m so glad she did, because my arm was about to fall off just with all of the OTHER swag being given out by sponsors.

The mostly complete collection (and almost all of this I managed to squeeze into my suitcase somehow:


And, go on and enter the giveaways, even if the person you’re walking around with can’t due to working for BlogHer. I won a 3 month subscription to Love With Food, 20 instagram prints from Walgreens (pity I don’t instagram), and a vibrator from Trojan that I’m really glad I didn’t have to buy, because vibrators are expensive.

3. Sit with people you don’t know

Seriously. As awesome as Skye is (and she totally, totally is), if I had attached myself to her arm like a barnacle all weekend, I wouldn’t have met nearly as many people (I did get to know Sarah and Christina through Skye, and they are also amazing and fabulous). So, I got in the habit of plunking myself down at a table with people I thought looked vaguely like they could be kindred spirits and introduced myself.

This only backfired once, when I ended up sitting at a table full of beauty and fashion bloggers, all who knew each other, and I had very little to say. They were very nice, I just have no interest in beauty/fashion stuff, and that’s what they were discussing.

4. Pick your panels, but leave if it ain’t working for you

This is one I struggled with. I went to mostly very interesting panels, but there was one or two where I was bored and should’ve left to find something that was a better fit.


This one is focused towards others like me who are very picky food-wise.

Or are gluten free, vegetarian, or whatever.

Lunch on Friday was really good, and I was stuffed, but the reception after VOTY featured 4 different kinds of hot dogs (which gross me out) and multiple kinds of potato products, so I had tator tots for dinner. The following morning, I had bacon for breakfast. All of the bacon. ONLY BACON.

So, next time, I shall pack sunflower seeds and granola bars, just in case.

6. Join Twitter

I didn’t tweet, but now I do, because that is how everyone connects with everyone else. Plus, each panel had its’ own hashtag, so you could follow other people’s thoughts during the session. Which was a little trippy for me, because I have a hard enough time focusing my attention on speakers while doing something else, and now you want me to listen, read twitter, AND type and post? Impossible!

None the less, I did give in and I am now a twit. Follow me at @tasteslikefail, if you have nothing better to do with your life. Warning: I mainly retweet junk I want to remember.

That’s that! I had a great time, and I’m definitely going again. I’ll be checking out people’s blogs as I sort through massive amounts of cards and stuff, so feel free to drop me a line here or on twitter or SOMEWHERE if you want me to get to you sooner! Or if you weren’t there, didn’t have cards, ran across me randomly and think I’m cool*.


Line It Up

Sunday, July 28, 2013 Posted by

A series of recollections of BlogHer 2013, in one liners:

-It’s a vibrator!
-You..you read my blog?
-A lot of smart women with a lot of smart phones
-Don’t kiss up or kick down
-Fanfiction is a gateway drug to writing
-I don’t tweet
-I’m not currently angry enough to go to a political panel
-We’ll Lean In, but we’ll break all the rules
-’Pedantic Vagina’ would be a great band
-I need no more swag, but let’s go through the Expo again
-it’s like the most frustratingly awesome game of Tetris on the planet

Dude. It was awesome.

The Inherent Difficulties of Giving a Shit

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Posted by

I go to BlogHer ’13 tomorrow. Other than the fact I’ve painted my toenails, I have done nothing to prepare.

I’m planning to meet up with Skye of Planet Jinxatron and Maud of Awfully Chipper, WHICH IS SO EXCITING, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll meet lots of very cool people and do many many fun things.

I am not packed, I haven’t showered, and I’m honestly wondering if I should tweeze my eyebrows, which should show you exactly how insane I’m feeling, because I don’t ever tweeze my eyebrows. I even found myself standing in the makeup aisle of Walgreens today when I went to pick up toothpaste, and y’all, I DON’T EVEN OWN MAKEUP, MUCH LESS WEAR IT.

Clearly, I am not emotionally ready for this.


Sunday, July 14, 2013 Posted by

I can’t today. There is too much going wrong in the world right now.

Treyvon Martin.

Anti-choice legislation passing in Texas, followed by some republican asshole tweeting for liberals to go and stock up on coat hangers.

Orson Scott Card calling for LGBTQI people and allies to have “tolerance” for his homophobic bullshit and go see Ender’s Game.

Cory Monteith.

There is too much bullshit for me to deal with today.

Fuck everything.