Dog Vomit & Vibrators

So I attended the BlogHer ’12 conference in New York City last week. I decided to go at the last minute and could attend only Saturday. The hotel was about four blocks from where I work, so it didn’t really change my commute. Just had me getting up godawful early on a day that I normally don’t have to.

Somewhere around 4:30am I awoke to the unmistakable sound of a dog throwing up very near me. I cracked an eyelid, saw Jack hurling away on top of the covers, stumbled out for paper towels, cleaned it up and went back to sleep for forty-five minutes. Then I hit snooze for- I don’t know, a while, until I was coherent enough to remember I had to get up. And then stepped out of bed right into a bonus pile of dog vomit Jack had thoughtfully left for me as a surprise.

I went for the shower.

I got to the train station in time to catch the train that I had checked on three times before I left, but- as hard as this may be to believe- New Jersey Transit provided erroneous information and that train didn’t exist. Killing forty-five minutes at Seacaucus Junction isn’t nearly as sexy as it sounds. And believe me, I know exactly how unsexy it sounds.

There was a brief shining moment during a text exchange with Jules from GoJulesGo where we thought that we might end up on the same train as it came through, but alas, it was not to be.

Speaking of Jules, she’s pretty and funny and likes to hand out moustaches to people.   Click here to see me in a moustache. With sunglasses.

Do you want to know, or want other people to know, How Not to be an Asshole in New York City?

Our afternoon. The Perrier is mine. None of these people drank as much as I expected them to.

Go click on that link. Do it, or you’re an asshole. I met Jen, the author of that post, twice for about thirty seconds and loved her right away. I wish they handed this post out at the airport with the pamphlet about the taxi fares. I wish I wrote it.

I spent slightly more time with Johi, enough to know that I covet her boots and I want to be her when I grow up. Although that implies that Johi is grown up, which she totally isn’t. I mean, she’s an adult and all, but she’s not, like, boring. She probably pays her bills and stuff and doesn’t let wolves babysit her children. Or Ted Nugent. Ted babysitting her children, not wolves babysitting Ted.

Though she might play her kids a little Wango Tango every now and then, I mean I do. Doesn’t everybody?

Anyway. Johi freakin’ met The Pioneer Woman!  She almost died getting into the city. Johi, that is, not The Pioneer Woman, whom I cannot speak for and didn’t meet. Twice, if you count the cab ride out of the airport, which I totally do. Twice Johi almost dying, not twice me not meeting The Pioneer Woman. *sigh* I’m not doing well kicking coffee this time around. Go read Johi’s blog because she’s freaking cooler than The Pioneer Woman. Do You Remember That Time I Almost Died?

OH MAN!!! I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THE CAKE!!

What would be better than a cool policeman cake for a six-year-old’s birthday party? An Axe Cop cake, that’s what. Yeah, with severed bad guy heads and comic panels. Leigh Henderson’s edible art blog: Axe Cop Cake. If you don’t click on the link, I’m quite sure you’re breaking a law somewhere and you’ll have to deal with Axe Cop on your own, in a dark alley, when you least expect it.

I met Thoughtsy from Thoughts Appear. She hauled ass on a train from a long way away to get there for just Saturday.  She had candy-infused vodka and if I could have done it without being creepy, I would have cut her arms off and sewed them on to my body because they’re so buff. Thoughtsy, don’t fret; I totally would give you my arms in exchange. I wouldn’t leave you armless. She recently moved in to a house full of boys and is learning a thing or two, like about The Pee Splash Zone.

Misty from Misty’s Laws was a joy. Completely anonymous on her blog, she’s witty and snarky without being a jerk. How the hell does she do that? I loved her. I loved her necklace.

I loved that she showed us where all the good swag was at the Expo, like the free vibrators. Misty’s nickname is Ninja Snap. She does a Weekly Whacked series on her blog with pictures of the badly dressed of Baltimore (or wherever she happens to be that week). She almost never, ever gets caught snapping. I’m linking to this post because it includes the Squirrel Car, and a unicycle.

What?

Why, yes, I did mention vibrators. Even if you live under a rock like me, you’re probably aware that Trojan (the condom folks) have come out with a line of vibrators. I think you can buy these in the drug store? Thanks to the best twelve bucks my husband ever spent, I don’t spend any time in the condom aisle anymore. Anyway, Trojan had a booth in the secret room of the Expo where they were displaying their line, so to speak. Those of us that got there on Saturday were lucky to get the last ones.

The representative (male) was heard to remark “Yeah, we brought like, four hundred of these, I can’t believe they went so fast!”

Really. At a conference of close to 5,000 largely female bloggers. I’m shocked, too.

So I did what anyone else would do and took my vibrator to work that night.

I wasn’t expecting it to be a community effort, but it was remarkably difficult to get into the packaging, and then figure out where the (included! Thank you, Trojan) battery went. Luckily help, and an instruction manual, were available.

Follow this guy on Twitter. @Dominic1110

What you can’t see in the picture are the six other people in the office shouting instructions to us. We ladies were a little suspicious of the 1-AA battery design, but after loading it up and testing it on our temples to relieve headaches we figured it probably would do the job after all.

I met some other excellent people, like Amy from Adventures in Babysitting Men; Rachael from The Variegated Life who was wearing her very well-behaved baby; Jill Vaughn at Terra Savvy- Your Resource For Living Well; Dominique at Mixed Threads Blog– Living, loving and eating well- all in the heart of Chicago; Robin from Sunbonnet Smart– Depression Skills for Recession Setbacks, and the beautiful Jenny Gill who wrote this really excellent post called The One About Breastfeeding.

And that was One & Done Sunday, with extras. Happy Sunday.

50 Shades of Ruby Vibes

If you are a woman who wears lipstick, or if you have ever lived with such a woman… or worked with one… or sat next to one on a bus… or passed one in the street… you know that at some point, lipstick tragedy occurs. The arch-nemisis of every perfect shade of lipstick is one word- just twelve letters that fill the aforementioned lipstick-wearing women with fear and rage:

DISCONTINUED.

Every time you find your new perfect shade, you think this time will be different.

It’s never different. You may be lulled into a false sense of security for a bit, but after you’ve used up and re-bought that lipstick a maximum- yes, maximum, and that’s only if you’re very, very lucky- a maximum of two times, it is always discontinued. Always. And the hunt begins again.

You may start your hunt on eBay or Amazon, but if you’re like me, you’ll be late to the party. Everybody else already knew it was going to be discontinued because they followed that shade on Twitter, while you were trying to keep Twitter “professional”.

You have no choice but to continue the hunt in the field. It’s scary and uncomfortable and you don’t like to do it, but you do it anyway.

You put on pants and go to the mall.

This is precisely how I ended up with the most expensive lipstick I’ve ever bought. I took my sad, empty tube of Ruby Vibes into the supermegafacepaint store and pleaded for help.

“It was perfect,” I said. My eyes were welling up.

“Oh no! Discontinued,” the lady said with an empathetic nod. She handed me a tissue and I dabbed my eyes. “I’m so sorry, honey.” Then she took me on a tour of 50 shades of almost-but-not-quite Ruby Vibes.

Touring lipstick shades involves getting many swipes of testers on the back of your hand. Depending on the shades you’re testing, you start to look like either you’ve gotten into an altercation with a feral cat or else you really need to go see the dermatologist, like yesterday.

Somewhere around shade 36, my sales lady showed me a great color. I dismissed it immediately because of the price, and carried on through the rest of the tour. But it stuck with me.

It was wine, but bright. The tiniest bit of iridescence in indirect light, but not a shimmer, not a sparkle. A hint of berry. It was, dare I say it? I do. It was better than Ruby Vibes.

I pointed to the slash on my hand. “This one? Can I see this one again?” She knew right where it was and led me back.

I made another line on my hand and held it up by my lips and looked in the teeny mirror. My hands looked like I’d been fondling barbed wire and razorblades but this one stood out.

She opened a brand-new tube in right in front of me and dialed it up so I could see that sharp, slanted edge that always gets me more than a little too excited about a lipstick. Completely seduced, I bought it.

Daisy Plum. Thirty-two dollars.

I have a friend who is the kind of friend everyone should have. The one who is always on board with your impulsive, extravagant purchases; your perhaps not carefully-thought-out schemes; your bold decorating ideas. I once called her in a panic because I found myself in Nordstrom’s shoe department seriously considering buying either a pair of peep-toe calf hair Kate Spades or a pair of sueded art-deco Marc Jacobs mary janes.

She talked me off the ledge. I bought both. (This was before I had children. Duh.)

Naturally, the first thing I did after buying a $32 lipstick was to hit the Godiva store and text her.

Me: I just bought a $32 lipstick.

Her: You’re insane.

Me: Wait til you see it! It’s awesome!

Her: You’re insane.

Me: It’s called Daisy Plum.

Her: You’re insane.

She’s just jealous because Daisy Plum is not her perfect shade. Besides, I know for a fact that she has spent $28 on a lip gloss, and I don’t see what the difference is. (I mean beyond four dollars. I can do math.)

I stand by my purchasing decision. This is the kind of lipstick that when I wear it, people ask why I’m all dressed up when I’m actually just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Also, it opens doors. Observe:

I work in a theater next door to a concert venue. Sometimes when a band plays there they’re trying to use the same frequencies we do for our wireless mics in our show. We have to go talk to them and get them to change frequencies to avoid disaster (picture, if you will, a touching dramatic scene of a father mourning his dead daughter interrupted by a crass and loud CHECK ONE TWO!!”).

It’s a touchy operation, because most rock and roll sound guys aren’t used to having to do frequency coordination; they’re used to being the only thing happening in town that night. They’re usually behind schedule, understaffed, and haven’t had enough sleep.

The day Guns-N-Roses played next door, it was deemed my turn to go tell them they had to move their frequencies. I’d been working in the shop all day and was dirty, tired, and decidedly uncute. But I did have Daisy Plum in my tool bag.

I used the $32 lipstick/walkie talkie/work boots approach. (It’s highly possible I may have used lipstick to get backstage to a GnR show in the 80’s, but that’s a little fuzzy.)

I talked my way right in, smiled at everyone and got to the right guy. They were all friendly. They got off my frequencies. They moved their shizz and were nice about it.

About ten years ago when I was on the road, I remember a waitress I had in Rochester whose only adornment was her lipstick. She wore no other makeup, her hair wasn’t anything special, she had no jewelry; but her lipstick was perfect. I’ve never forgotten her.

Though I’ll bet you $32 her shade has been discontinued.