Category Archives: Technology Rules

BiSC 2012: The One with ALL THE DANCING

As you probably know, I spent the weekend before last in Las Vegas with 59 other bloggers at Bloggers in Sin City (BiSC). When I first sat down to recap what was an amazing weekend, I didn’t know where to start, which is why it’s been over a week and I’m just now posting this. Also, apologies for the novel but it was just SO MUCH EVERYTHING.

The People
From the moment I walked up to Dominique and KlutzyBallerina outside McCarran the awesome, hilarious and high quality conversations never stopped. You know what else never stopped? The dancing. I’ve never seen a group of people dance as much as we did over a four-day period. Dancing in clubs, dancing in bars, dancing in buffets, dancing while eating, chair dancing, dancing on the backs of booths in the VIP section, dancing while waiting in line for roller coasters, dancing on the street and it was the best (and this is coming from an only semi-enthusiastic dancer). You name a place, we probably danced in it and we definitely won at dancing. Especially Mikael, who actually has the most booty-shakin’ booty in all of Vegas. The Flamingo Pool crowd says so and that’s basically like a Supreme Court ruling, right?

And as we were dancing and discussing horse porn and spending too much money to see the inside of a Vegas strip club (honestly, if I were there for the boobs, I would have demanded my money back because they were lacking), it became clear that these bloggers are just as funny, smart, caring, kind, quirky, energetic, interesting, geeky and talented as they are on the internet. I know it sounds surreal and it was, but I’m pretty sure that I could have a great conversation with every single one of the BiSC-uits (and I tried to do that too). I also loved that, despite the fact that some people knew each other already or were having their own mini-reunions, no one was surprised or offended when I elbowed my way into a circle or yelled my way into a conversation.

Oh and did I mention how fucking gorgeous everyone was? I mean, go out right now and gather 60 people off the street. You’re bound to get a few odd-looking ones, right? What about the first 60 people you can find who spend a lot of time on the internet? Yeah. Yet, somehow this group was so ridiculously good-looking. And not only that, they were also generous about complimenting everyone else. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t really need anyone to boost my confidence any further, but yet, there I was on both the giving and receiving* end of some genuine compliments (it’s really amazing that I was able to fit my big head through the front door when I got home). And did I tell you how we fucking killed it at Mad Men? You know that you’re doing it right when people yell your party theme at you as you walk down the street. The dresses, the suits, the pearls, the heels, we BiSC-uits clean up reeeeeeeal nice y’all.

The Places

View of Eiffel Tower from the VIP area

VIP…NBD

Vegas is the place to do all the things you’ve never done before or don’t usually do back home and I can’t think of a better place to let loose 60 bloggers for a weekend. Whether it was eating a dinner of mainly AMAHZING homemade meatballs at Spice Market buffet at Planet Hollywood** or guiding Katherine down the sidewalk while she closed her eyes to avoid the people dressed as creepy characters (like Hello Kitty, whose hands belonged to a man and seemed to constantly be texting) or running down the strip at 8 a.m. past still-drunk revelers, Vegas is the only backdrop you want for one of the best weekends of your life.

Not only were there TVs in the bathroom mirror, pink lighting and striped wallpaper in the Flamingo Go Room the delightful Laura and I shared, but we could also see the Bellagio fountains from our window, and, most importantly, the drapes were controlled by a wall switch which we took great pleasure in utilizing every time we were in the room.

I also can’t forget the 24 hours of buffet that we were provided, all of which included cotton candy at all meals (sorry Jenn for forcing myself onto your cotton candy because I was too stupid to get my own). And of course, the sundae bar and booze at Serendipity3 which gave us the energy and loose muscles to tear up the dance floor at Margaritaville. We also owned the dance floor at Diablo’s (where I noticed they have an all-you-can-drink daytime rooftop deck bar beer special that I’ll need to check out next time) for about four hours after an INCREDIBLE Zumanity show that was funny enough that people in the audience weren’t uncomfortable with the fact that people were rubbing their genitals together and wearing glitter g-strings on stage.

And the last place I’ll mention is the spectacular rooftop VIP section at Chateau in Paris. Nothing beats the view of the Eiffel Tower, the roped off dancing area, space for dancers atop the booths or people dressed as odd creatures and characters (see also: real life horse porn?).

The Things

Stunner of the Month koozie

Shades + koozies = love at first sight

If you want the greatest gift bag of your life, go to BiSC. I can’t name ALL of the sponsors who donated ALL of the awesome things, but I’ll give you an idea. The first thing I did when I took my gift bag back to my room was try to take a photo of my Bitter Baking Co. cookie but once I got it out of the wrapping, it was in my mouth (TWSS), which tells you how amazing it was. My pre-Mad Men drink combined my Vita Coco with my Skyy Coconut Vodka and I look forward to spending the summer rocking my Livefyre shades while keeping my beverages cold in my Stunner of the Month koozie. The Z Confections Salted Caramel Sauce is nearly gone (and tastes awesome with apples, because that makes it healthy right?) and it took less than 24 hours in Vegas for me to finish of all of my Le Bon Garcon caramels. And lastly, if anyone can either tell me where I can get more Relax & Refresh Balance Water (checked three local Whole Foods & Amazon with no luck) or just ship me some, my body would greatly appreciate it.

The People (Again)

Lauren in the Flamingo fountain

Just hanging out with some flamingos at 4 a.m. Classic BiSC

I can’t name everyone who I loved meeting because that would pretty much just be a list of all the attendees (who you can find here) but I can say that I was glad to let Caryn sleep on me in a strip club, thoroughly enjoyed being able to finally meet Amber, Drea, Sara, Rachael, Doni and Nicole in real life, loved talking whales and pups and life with Nic and am grateful that Laura was such a good sport and good sleeper when I wandered into our room every night at 4 a.m. I also probably owe Brad money, enjoyed watching Adam pick up all the small people, regret not spending enough time playing in the flamingo fountain with Lauren and Bob and can’t believe that I’m going to have to wait a year for Mikael and Berto to sing “Belle” to me at the Paris buffet again. And if I ever need someone to find me seats at a crowded In-N-Out or recommend the best legit Spirithood for my needs, Tiff and Nick are my first call.

I am grateful to the BiSC Run Clubbers (Nicole, Jayme, Terra & Swapp) for coming back to make sure I hadn’t died and for making me feel welcome despite my lack of speed and endurance and especially to Jayme for telling those guys that we were from the U.S. Women’s National Team. Oh and I can’t forget to thank Tara for also getting lost in Planet Hollywood and for introducing me to the Cat Paint app and Katherine for being the only BiSC-uit I met before the event and to both of those two for rooming with me on Wednesday night. And my trip wouldn’t have been the same without discussing the meaning of #bearclawvagina with Amanda, seeing shirtless photos of Brandy‘s dad at the Calgary Stampede and talking Georgia (the country) and sharing a love of all things T.J. Maxx & Ross with Jen. Also to everyone else who was awesome and I didn’t mention, I love you.

Very, very lastly, I have to say that without Nicole, Doni and Rachael, this event would be nothing (and also wouldn’t exist). Thanks for being fucking rockstars, I want to dance all up on your sponsor-grabbing, event-planning, energizing, inclusive, loving, hilarious souls.

BiSC-uits, let’s do it all again next year (or sooner). I can’t wait to touch you all in real life again. Not in a creepy way. Unless that’s how you want it.

Everyone else, if this wasn’t enough for you, check out the #BiSC hashtag (especially on instagram) or any of the BiSC-uits’ favorited tweets to view a blogger unconference in all its glory.

* You guys, I honestly had to play it cool when my hero Nicole told me that she reads my blog comments out loud to her boyfriend. I mean, I hope I played it cool because I was having a total internet geek girl moment inside while sitting in a room of like 20 other genius bloggers. Nicole is my spirit animal and if she didn’t know it before, it’s now out there for the world to see.

** If someone can hook me up with the recipe for those meatballs, I could die a happy woman. The breadcrumbs on the outside weren’t mushy, the meat inside may have been ground turkey. I don’t know, I just dream about them every night.

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What Happens in Vegas, Will Probably End Up on My Blog

Hi Vegas! You look fab! See you soon!

If you haven’t heard, I’m all signed up to go to Vegas for Bloggers in Sin City this May. If you don’t know what Bloggers in Sin City (BiSC) is, basically, 60 bloggers, 4 days, awesome sponsors (like Paper’d – so excited for this app), fountain jumps, glitter and sparkles, buffets, parties, pool, booze guitars, turning your bloggy friends into your real life friends and having an unforgettable time. If that doesn’t tell you how awesome it’s going to be, check out the video and agenda. Plus, this event is so awesome they are running a contest to give one lucky BiSCuit their registration fee back! Hi, sign me up and also thanks Paper’d (for reals you guys, I’ve been anxiously awaiting this app for months).

Since I haven’t been to Vegas in over a year (and I’ve been dreaming of BiSC for 3 years), I’m beyond excited and after spending several hours reading up on all of the attendees (eight spots left as I write this aka REGISTER!) I’m fucking ecstatic, y’all. I have decided to spend the next 5 months reading blogs, tweeting at all the awesome bloggers and generally avoiding all productive activities. Basically what I’m saying is: ALL THE EXCITEMENT! Please be May NOW!

Thinking about this spectacular trip also reminds me of the three times I previously headed to Sin City for fun. As a result, I thought I should share with all my new best BiSC friends and anyone else, the amazing, ridiculous, gross and outrageous things that have happened to me in Vegas. BiSCuits, this is the bar that we’re aiming for and I have no doubt that we will blow so far past it that Vegas without BiSC will be much paler in comparison.

One of my many Vegas faces.

What Happens (to me) in Vegas:

  • went when I wasn’t yet 21 and got thrown off the casino floor within 3 minutes of arriving
  • shared two rooms with more than 40 coworkers from the student paper
  • slept under a desk (for safety – turned out to be smart)
  • snuck around multiple hotels stealth-drinking beer
  • rear ended someone in traffic after being ordered to kill a spider by my screaming passengers on the way there
  • had a stranger tickle my sweaty armpit in a club (THE ACTUAL WORST)
  • wore my first pair of heels and then promptly was forced to run across cobblestones outside of the Venetian in them
  • complained that my feet had actual holes in them
  • slept in my dress with sweatpants on and my legs halfway under a bed
  • got a speeding ticket on my way there
  • stayed in a suite for a bachelorette party where there was a TV that came. out. of. the. desk.
  • requested the huge whirlpool bathtub as my bed
  • wore the most painful shoes of my life and later became that girl walking through the hotel lobby barefoot
  • went to Chippendales, which had a high level of unintentional hilarity
  • wore a whistle around my neck and attempted to yell “Last chance fellas!” every hour on the hour, while pointing at the bride-to-be
  • ventured into the lazy river at MGM and somehow came out without any diseases
  • nearly missed our flight there

BiSCuits, your challenge has been laid out. Let’s do this shizz.

PS – Any BiSCers in the Bay Areeeeeaaaaaa who want to meet up between now and May: let’s do it! Email me, tweet me, comment, something! EXCITEMENT!

Internet Hypocrisy: A Rant

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t blog or tweet or do almost anything on the internet or social media to make money, get thousands of followers, have every tweet retweeted or become famous. I do it because through blogging and tweeting and all that jazz, I found out there are some AMAZING people out there who I never would have “met” without social media and the interwebs. People who can be my friends, my mentors, my sounding boards, my personal chefs, my gif providers and my drinking buddies.

Despite having never met most of these people IRL, they interact with me, reply to my comments, have full-on twitter conversations with me and stop by to read blog entries like this one. These smart, funny and entertaining people, regardless of how many followers they have or how “big time” they might be, still take time out to connect with me and hundreds or thousands of other people (who they also haven’t met) on an individual basis because that’s what social media and the internet is all about for us.

All those lovely people make my day, every day. But then there’s the flip side. The people who use social media to “get theirs” and, no matter how well they disguise it, are determined to only let a few people in to their not-as-hilarious-as-they-think-it-is inner circle of social media. These are the people who “embrace” social media by turning it into a high school clique where only some kids are cool enough to warrant a reply.

They are also the people who will do whatever it takes to get a laugh, a retweet, a favorite, or a follow, even if that means stealing other people’s tweets. I see it in my timeline every day, a funny tweet and then later, the same funny tweet with no credit given to the original jokester. It happened yesterday to my brother and I’ve seen it happen to a lot of other equally funny (seriously @petebeat is hilarious) but slightly more famous twitter users. I’m not saying we can’t all try to be funny on the internet, I’m just saying if you see something funny and you want to share it, give a little credit.

I find it especially infuriating when these people are those who champion social media and the internet as a great connection tool and, even, have careers based on the interaction that social media creates and encourages. Isn’t it going against all the things that you preach when you steal a tweet, or ignore all the @replies from people you’ve deemed unworthy? Isn’t it hypocritical to demand credit for everything you do on the internet but not give that courtesy to others, even if it’s just a silly joke?

I’m not writing this to get sympathy comments or anything, I’m just filled with RAGE most of the time and writing this seems like an appropriate alternative to stabbing people. I also know that it might sound like this is just coming from the bruised ego of an outcast at Internet High School or maybe a place of jealousy, but really it’s not me these hypocrites are hurting (because I’m awesome), it’s social media itself. Every time they ignore someone who thought they’d built a rapport with them or steal somebody’s tweet, it just creates another outlet for tunnel-vision, cliques and ignorance rather than what social media is meant to be: a big internet party with hipster cats, Ryan Gosling memes, someecards, ranty blog posts and friendships based on a shared love of those things.

I don’t care who you are, or what kind of fake social media superlative you give yourself (I’m pretty sure real ninjas are trying to come up with a new brand since theirs has been disgraced), or how busy you might be (cough::auto-DMs::cough), repeatedly ignore the basic premise behind social media and all it’ll get you is a big, fat unfollow from me.

</rant>

Go Go Gadget Gadgets

Cher/Jenna

If only it were this easy.

Paul: Do you think it’s possible to love two women at once?
Jack: I know it’s possible. But at some point, you have to choose, Paul. You can’t delude yourself with thoughts like, ”Maybe they’d be into a group marriage,” or ”What if I could somehow combine them into one perfect woman, like a s’more you could take a shower with?” -30 Rock, “I Do Do”
 

Is it possible to be in love with two gadgets at the same time? I know it’s possible. Last year I got a Roku Player. What’s a Roku Player? It’s a magical little device that let’s you watch streaming video from the internet on your TV. Netflix instant? Done. Hulu Plus? Damn straight. Amazon on Demand? Totes. Pandora? Fo sho. YouTube? YouGotIt. This little piece of heaven has brought me the joys of “Doctor Who,” “Top Gear,” “The League” and “Parks and Recreation” any time I want.

I joke (in a very serious way) that my relationship with my Roku is the longest I’ve ever been in. This probably causes much concern amongst my friends and family. Sure we’ve had disagreements (as you do in any important relationship) when the internet was acting up, Hulu Plus wouldn’t load or Netflix wasn’t feeling up to it, but nothing can top watching the UMass Amherst a capella group doing their Disney Medley or seeing Andy tell Ron about the meat tornado on your TV, any time, day or night with just the click of a remote. Right?

I thought so, until last week when I got a kindle for my birthday. I never thought I’d be one for a kindle, until I realized that my propensity for literary ADD could be easily managed with a device that kept several books in one lightweight package. I’m not saying I hate physical books or that I don’t like the feel and smell of real books and the memories that come with them. But, the convenience of my kindle already has me reading more than ever.

I’m finally starting to work my way down the very long reading list I’ve been putting together ever since I started my current job that doesn’t always allow much time for reading. Now I’m wishing I could read all day. I can’t get enough. I’m already deep into Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (my favorite), underway in The Atomic Times by Michael Harris and getting started on Beer Is Proof God Loves Us by Charles Bamforth (I may be slightly obsessed with non-fiction works).

And now I’m posed with a dilemma. Which do I love more? The more I watch shows and movies on my Roku, the less time I’ll have to read on my kindle. And vice versa. Looks like the only solution is to follow in Paul’s footsteps and live the dual life. Roku + kindle + kelly = best friends forever.

What gadgets are you in love with? And what are you reading (kindle or not)?

Note: Nobody paid me to write nice things about the Roku or Kindle, but if they wanted to, they totally could (wink, wink). I just really love my gadgets. Also, if you’re Mary Roach and you want to hang out, teach me things and be my new best friend, I’m okay with that too (sorry to all my old BFFs, it was nice while it lasted).