Tag Archives: friends

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.

Advertisements

The Obligatory Love Post

I’m one of those people that forgets that Valentine’s Day exists. I’ve never had any reason to celebrate it and I’m genuinely of the opinion that if you feel like you have to go all out on Valentine’s Day to make sure that your lover, spouse, partner, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, fuck buddy or what have you truly knows you love them, then you’re probably doing it wrong all the other days of the year.

But Valentine’s Day doesn’t really bother me. I see no reason to get worked up, bitter, depressed or lonely and say things like I hate it or it’s a greeting card holiday, since I honestly don’t really ever remember it’s happening until someone reminds me.

Maybe it’s because I’m relatively secure in my singledom? Sure it’d be cool to date someone but it’s not a requirement in my life right now. I only really ever feel like I’m missing out on something when I’m working a 16-hour day and a co-worker’s boyfriend stops by to bring her a sandwich. So basically, I only want to date someone so that he can bring me food.

Plus, I’m not necessarily emotionally equipped for the kind of things that guys pull on Valentine’s Day. The one time I got roses from a boy, I panicked and later that night ended up with him crying on my couch and me pretending to know how to comfort: a) people who are crying, b) boys who are crying and c) people who are boys who are my boyfriend who are crying. FYI: making jokes is not how you comfort the last of those three.

So maybe what I’m saying is that the “grand gesture” isn’t really for me. If you love someone, then make it clear every day. I like to think that my actions every day tell my friends and family how much I love and appreciate them, so why shouldn’t that be the same with anyone I date or marry? Why should a lover, spouse, partner, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend or what have you not just be a best friend with added benefits?

So, to you couples, I hope this Valentine’s Day reminds you to to keep up all that lovin’ every day of the year. And to everyone else, remember that being single is not the same as being alone. Plenty of people who aren’t single wish they still had that independence and ability to do what they want whenever they want. So take joy in the lack of obligation, forget about being bitter and depressed, celebrate Leslie Knope style and listen to Chelsea’s advice and learn how to love yourself (not like that, actually, yeah like that too).

And maybe hire someone to bring you food.

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>

Why My Friends are the Best

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of rage. I’m not going to go into the possible triggers because, well, rage blackouts are just so passé. This rage is often manifested in angry rants, fist pumping pounding, yelling and heavy sighs.

Despite the relief these actions bring me, my friends are getting concerned about my well-being, as well as that of my furniture, walls and those around me. You only have to tell somebody once that you think stabbing someone in the jugular with a ballpoint pen would be very satisfying (because of the “pop”) to cause some serious concern.

Although most people might simply tell me get therapy and abandon me, my friends decided to get proactive in my rage problem. Nothing says true friend like getting your hands dirty when your someone is full of rage.

So my friends set out to re-direct my rage and started with my birthday gifts. Did they get me a pass to a yoga studio? Or a spa day? No, they know me better than that.

My first new rage-reducer: a hand mixer, which will bring me peace through cooking and baking. I’m starting to find the serenity contained within the kitchen and having a hand mixer can only help increase that serenity.

punching bag kit

This is how Ali started right?

My second rage-reducer: this lovely punching bag kit. What better way to get rid of your aggression than to punch it out on something that can’t call the cops or press charges?

My third rage-reducer: movies and TV on DVD. If nothing else, sitting me on the couch and letting me pretend I actually am on ‘Psych’ or that Hogwarts is real can at least make me forget whatever it was that got me all worked up in the first place.

And this is why my friends are awesome. Seeing me full of rage would scare others off for fear of stabbing or a black eye, but here they are, letting me punch, bake and couch potato it out. They’re in it for the long haul, even if that’s just to reap the benefits of the baking.

Will it work? Unclear. But at least they know me well enough to know, if all else fails, there’s always booze (possibly in the form of beer pong or a tall boy in my purse).