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pittsburgh to manhattan

Last year, when I went to BlogHer, I didn’t feel like I had really taken in the conference. This was mostly my fault, as I cut too loose the first night that I was there and spent the first day of the conference recovering. The rest of the time, I mostly focused on soaking up as much time as possible with people that I had been friends with online. It was fun, of course, but not really the best use of the hundreds of dollars that I had spent to go there.

This year, I was determined to get my money’s worth. See, I had bought my ticket back when we thought the husband was about to start a job, so I nearly burned a hole in my MasterCard, reasoning that we would be paying it off within a few weeks. Then the job evaporated and I agonized over whether or not I should move forward with this trip that we definitely could not afford. But, obviously, I decided to go, resolving to squeeze every last drop, knowing that I probably wouldn’t be back.

But my experiences of every day that I was there can be summarized into one of a few categories: Struggles that I Overcame, Parties that I Attended; Sessions that I Attended; Injuries Sustained; People on Whom I Mouth-Breathed; Pictures that I Took.

Let’s start with Thursday.

Struggles that I Overcame:

I screwed up planning my flights and landed at JFK at 4:30. I nearly fell off the airplane because they let us off right onto the tarmac and I didn’t know you could do that unless you were the Beatles or on a private jet. Amber swooped by in a taxi and then I got to experience rush hour in New York City. My jaw is clenching just thinking about it. About two hours and countless brushes with death later, we burst into the hotel looking for our fellow MamaPop writers, who were in the lobby bar last we’d heard. And Amber was all, “I HAVE TO PEE!” and I was all, “NOBODY’S HERE AND THEY’RE NOT ANSWERING THEIR PHONES!” Eventually I got a hold of Danielle, who told me they were at the SocialLuxe party. I apologized to Amber as I ditched her around the taxi line because I really wanted to go to a party that I’d been invited to at the Martha Stewart offices.

Parties that I Attended:

The aforementioned Martha Stewart thing, which was…well…I don’t want to say it was bad. It wasn’t. But it took forever to get there and then we stood in line so that we could stand in another line so that we could shuffle through the hallway and then squish into a tiny room with an admittedly amazing view. And I’m not complaining about that, really, I was just worn out at that point and gripped a glass of Prosecco and kept an eye out for the male model that was dispensing refills. At one point, we called him over and his eyes widened in alarm. Whatever, dude, just stand there and look pretty with a heavy hand while I veer into baby-cougar territory. Kelli then asked him if he watched Party Down and he got all irritated. But maybe he just doesn’t have cable.

When I told my mom and grandmother that I was going to this thing, their eyes rolled back in their heads and they clutched their pearls and asked what I was going to wear. (The correct answer to that, by the way, is a black shirt and white and black skirt and thirty buckets of sweat and angst.) But rumor was that Martha was in and out promptly at 6 leaving us to mingle with the staffers who were good sports but who were obviously thinking, “I’m so glad I could stay at work until 8 on a Friday so that this chick from Pittsburgh could stare at me.”

On our way out, I noticed the test kitchen and pressed my nose up against the window. And then I tried the door and the security guard made a move toward me. It was locked, but I guess he was concerned that I was going to try to take a refrigerator with me.

I was glad that I got to see the offices, but my first private party left me with the impression that they aren’t really worth the strife that they seem to cause. They’re just parties, man.

Sessions that I Attended:

Nothing official was happening that day but we did have an impromptu panel in our hotel room. I don’t remember what we talked about.

Injuries Sustained:

Four insect bites of unknown origin that are still red and angry looking nearly a week later.

People on Whom I Mouth-Breathed:

At Martha, I met the Bitchin’ Wife, KBestOliver, Tall Tara, Always Home and Uncool,
Cagey and two of her lovely friends (we shared a cab over there and I’m so sorry that I didn’t get their names), and got in Miss Grace’s faces who had the stunning Califmom with her. I also met Charlie for the first time, who gave me the fiercest hug ever.

After our hotel room session, we ventured about two blocks away from the hotel to find food and managed to find the one diner in New York City that closes at like 10:30. Part of the closing process includes glaring at the table full of bloggers who are shoveling food into their faces and having a cook pointedly punch a pile of meat. I don’t know, man.

Pictures that I took:

Just these two, with my phone.

Vintage Heimlich instructions in 10 point typeface posted in a corner of the room that will surely be of great use should someone start choking.

Tracey is not falling asleep at the table but taking pictures of our dinner mates from an artsy angle.

I know multi-part BlogHer posts are obnoxious but that’s too bad for you. More tomorrow

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