There are times when there just aren’t words to describe the sense of loss, heartache, and sympathy we feel and want so desperately to eloquently express.
This is one of those times.
Good journey my friend.
categories: Blogging Blogger Meet-Ups TequilaCon 2008 Personal Memories
For those of you who may not have had the patience or stamina to read my TequilaCon recaps… well here’s a little video I mixed up to remember the occasion. Unlike my posts… I kept the action to 120 Seconds…
So that I think is as comprehensive as I can get.
Thanks to everyone for the good drinks, great time, and best memories.
categories: Blogging Blogger Meet-Ups TequilaCon 2008
The morning after. Believe it or not, I did not have a hangover anywhere near as badly as I should have. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Poppy. I went downstairs to make out with myself, then went back up to shower and then pack since we had a noon checkout. Once we were all set, Poppy checked out of the room using the remote control and got stuck on some stupid screen trying to enter her e-mail address with numbers only. It’s moments like that when you miss the simple things… like a keyboard.
Once we cleared things up with the front desk, we went down into the depths of the parking garage and dropped off the baggage. Then we returned to the lobby to wait for Avitable, Britt, Hilly, and Hellohahanarf to come down to checkout as well. Apparently it was quite a bit to handle, because as they walked through the lobby I noticed they had brought in Shiny for some baggage back-up. Once they got done downstairs we all went into The Terrace Restaurant for breakfast/brunch/lunch.
When we got into the restaurant Karl, Jan, and Christine were already there finishing up their own breakfast. So we all slid into the tables next to them and perused the menu. The waiter, who reminded me of Mr. Magoo, came over and told us the breakfast buffet was still open so we could have that instead of ordering lunch. While we were perusing the menu, Avitable filled Poppy and I in on the details about Karl‘s after party. Most people may have lost their appetite thinking about squishing carpet… but instead we all decided to do the buffet where I proceeded to consume around two pounds of bacon.
This meal however, was different. Besides Hilly holding her head in her hands for most of it, the addition of Shiny, and Britt‘s unusual quietness… there was almost no twittering. Literally… it was as if their thumbs had finally given out under the strain. It was a meal that remained MOSTLY untwittered. Mr. Magoo was really cool, and he only charged the 7 of us for 2 buffets. I guess they wanted to get rid of that bacon… which I was more than happy to assist them with.
After breakfast/brunch/lunch we all piled into our respective cars and headed over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art… also known as the home of Rocky Balboa’s Steps. The drive over was pleasant enough… although while turning into to parking lot someone must have misread my license plate and didn’t realize I was from New York. I was going to ram them… but Hellohahanarf was kind enough to let me into the other lane. Now the Museum sits ontop of a hill overlooking the river on one side and the city on the other. The odd thing about it was that to park, you literally drove up the hill into the back of the museum, and then drove around it… including across the top of the steps at the front of the museum. Needless to say… it made for a very interesting parking spot.
Once parked at the top of the museum, well we actually had to go down the steps to see the statue of Rocky. Apparently there had been some sort of argument by artists and their fans that the Rocky statue didn’t belong at the top. Of course, the Rocky fans said it did. In the end, off the the northern side of the staircase at the bottom is the Rocky statue.
Now there are two important things to note about these photos above. See, Hilly and Shiny got separated from us… so originally they went to a different statue. Apparently, in the versions of Rocky they saw, Rocky rode a horse and wore a big floppy hat… so they missed the group photo. Also absent from the group photo with Rocky is Avitable. The reason why is because apparently Rocky has his own photographer. There was a guy at the Rocky statue who would take your picture with your camera… and of course he accepted tips. Apparently not everyone comes as prepared as I am with a tripod… and so Avitable decided to stand guard should Rocky‘s photographer have an emergency and needed to run… but forgot to give back the camera. Yes… we bloggers are trusting… but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re completely naive… or at least Avitable isn’t.
After that we gathered around the bottom of the stairs to cheer Hilly and Britt as they ran to the top of the stairs a’la Rocky style. They both not only made it to the top running, but Britt did it in heels. More impressive is that I was also able to walk to the top without the aid of either oxygen or an external defibrillator. Once up there, we admired the view of the city… and at this point… we parted ways to each go back to whence we came.
TequilaCon had officially ended for us.
Of course, one cannot visit the city of Philadelphia without partaking off their contribution to Americana in the form of a Philly Cheesesteak. So Poppy and I, before leaving the city, went over to Geno’s Steaks. There we got 5 Cheesesteaks with onions and American cheese… and I have to tell you… they were DAMN good. We briefly considered going across the street to Pat’s so we could have a cheesesteak competition… but Geno’s just happened to be decorated in the right colors. So, by default, Geno’s wins.
Yes folks… orange is the new pink… and tequila is the new coffee.
Get used to it.
Pictures are reportedly worth a thousand words. Well I think the photos from my Flickr set and the TequilaCon Flickr Group are worth a little more… but you can be the judge. Photos for this post were culled from Poppy’s Flickr Set.
categories: Blogging Blogger Meet-Ups TequilaCon 2008
The moment that we have anticipated for months had finally come. Poppy and I had returned from our historic jaunt through the city, and upon our return we took a quick catnap and then I showered and started to get ready. So for all of you who always complain about how long women take… for the record… I was the princess who held us up by suddenly having a NEED to shave… and running downstairs for cheap two bladed razors… and literally using all three of them to get the job done without knicking an artery. Before I knew it… it was 6:30pm and we were late!
Rushing downstairs we jumped into the first cab we saw. Now thus far, with the exception of actually getting a cab off the street, we had a good experience with this mode of transportation in Philly. Until this driver that is. I have absolutely no doubt that this guy was a New York transplant… accelerating… braking… accelerating… screeching tires… braking… accelerating… and you get the idea. I had serious doubts he was going the right way… and those doubts were verified when he went over and then under the Expressway twice. Luckily though… we arrived in once piece. When we walked up we found Britt, Karl, and Hellohahanarf making out on the wheelchair ramp. Once I made out a little myself, we all went inside and ascended into the loft.
Now to be honest… I was kind of stunned into silence. I was a bit nerve wracked and distracted by all the blinking lights and sounds. Then, suddenly, there was a squeal. The squeal came from none other than Lisa from Clusterfook. Now, what I don’t think a lot of people realize, is that I have been reading Lisa for a long time. I read Lisa when she was The Rock Bitch. Every blogger can point to who they consider as blogging pioneers (their first reads) that inspired them and helped them evolve into the blogger they are today, whether it be writing style or template. Lisa was one of those pioneers for me. Both her no nonsense style and her kick ass template are things I tend to think I carried over… especially the sunglasses.
One of the groups of people that rarely get spoken about are the Blogger’s Spouses. I myself am very lucky, because as you should all know my Poppy is a blogger herself. I don’t know what it’s like to try to explain the phenomenon to someone I should be sleeping next to while I read blogs instead. Now I have to be honest, Lisa’s Dude was the second Blogger’s Spouse I met (Geeky Tai-tai‘s Mike was the first)… and he proved that they are not only as unique as their spouses, but they are also just as awesome. I highly doubt he knows anything about RSS Feeds, Flickr, or Podcasts. I don’t think he worries about bandwidth usage, keyword searches, or trolling commenter’s. Irregardless, Dude seemed to fit right in with the rest of us. He is definitely one righteous Dude.
As I was talking with Lisa, Poppy came over with my lanyard and said with an ear to ear grin, “Look what I got for you! Guess who gave it to me?” I looked up (literally) and there coming towards me, in classic Mr. Roboto form, was none other than Dave from Blogography. Now I know right now there are both female and male bloggers swooning and thinking, Oh that Dave from Blogography, what a tall cool glass of water he is! Well allow me to assure all of you that he is in fact NOT a glass of water. Dave is in fact a YARD GLASS of ultra-cool water. Remember that whole height thing I had going with Karl (I told you it would play a role)? Yeah, Dave was totally way taller than I thought… which now in hindsight makes sense since ‘Lil Dave is about what, three apples high? Well Big Dave is at least 369 apples high. Other than that, I can honestly say, he is just as awesome in person as he is on his blog. We spoke about a bunch of things including New York, the Iron Man movie, and that when he comes into town he wants to do a Cereal Wednesday. The only thing I didn’t bring up to the man responsible for 29% of my weekly wardrobe was when The Artificial Duck Store was re-opening so I can get the Summer 2008 collection. To be honest, I’m not worried. In Dave I trust… and not just because he has a really awesome name.
So by now, I was quite the thirsty blogger. My choice of drink for the night was a salted Margarita. Poppy got the munchies, and after being inspired by seeing what Dave and Avitable had ordered, she went with the corn dogs and the tater tots. Normally, I try not to eat greasy food when I drink… but those tater tots… they were calling me by name… Dawg… Dawg… eat us Dawg… so I did. While I was popping them down my gullet, Jenny from Run Jen Run came over and introduced herself. In case you didn’t know, Jenny is one of the few other bloggers I know with an orange blog, so you know we hit it off talking about tater tots, expired passports, and overcoming the challenges of organizing such an event. She really did a great job pulling it all together, and while she is always quick to point out that she had help from Dave, Vahid, and Dustin… she is the driving force behind TequilaCon… and for that I whole heartedly thank her.
So while the drinks were great, the tater tots were awesome, just what would TequilaCon be without meeting bloggers you otherwise may never get the chance to meet? So I got to meet Vahid by the bar. Apparently he was taking a break from inking bloggers for a much needed beverages. I also got to meet the awesome MetalMom and her blogger spouse! I honestly had no idea she was going to be there… so that was a very pleasant surprise. Mr. Shiny came over and introduced himself to me. I have to be honest, I’ve only started reading him since his appearance on a few of the blogger radio shows. He apparently had been following me on Twitter, but I didn’t realize he was a real person until either the radio shows or a reply on Twitter… I’m not sure. Still, he is a very cool guy to hang with and I was glad to meet him. Another blogger I got to meet was GreenEyezz, who is a relatively new read for me. We talked about a few things, one of them being RSS Feeds, but luckily I didn’t throw her under the bus and at Karl because she is currently using truncated feeds. Hey, she’s really nice! If she wants to truncate her feeds, then it’s okay with me. I was able to pull Delmer away from his beer for a quick picture. Oh, and if your wondering, Delmer is bigger than Dave… but not by much. Of this, I assure you… or at least my Margaritas did. I think at this point, Britt was gathering a posse for a make out session outside… so out I went.
So there I am, outside making out with Britt, Bre, Geeky Tai-tai, Finn, and Shelli. We’re talking about, of all things, cereal. Suddenly, my phone rings. It’s my Poppy. I answer it and she says, ”Delmer told me you went to go outside to make out with some girls. Where are you?” So I said, “I’m outside smoking. Come outside and you can make out too!” So Poppy came out, and we’re all standing there laughing over the misinterpreted code. Suddenly, Britt grabs my Poppy and kisses her firmly on the cheek! For those of you who don’t know… there is a standing rule when it comes to the Poppy. No touching the Poppy. This also means NO KISSING THE POPPY (unless you’re Dawg)! So yes… if kissing on the cheek counts… there really was making out going on outside when everyone was “making out”. Aren’t you all glad I had my camera now?
Of course, kissing the Poppy was not enough. The next thing I knew, Britt was telling some girl how she just wants to, “Borrow your boyfriend for a picture! Don’t worry, I’m married, I don’t want to take him home!” This was how we met Duff. Yes, Bre and Britt got hugged up on by Duff with the straw cowboy hat. I have to be honest, I was impressed that his girlfriend let him do it. This is one more example of the power of Britt. It compels you. There was also some drunk dialing going on, and Britt was on the phone with both Jester and Amy D who were unable to attend. Well… at least they got to live vicariously! I also have to tell you, Shelli and Finn are party animals too! Hugging up on Q The Bouncer and trying to explain to drunk non-bloggers what blogging is while being a little tipsy themselves. The blogosphere could ask for no better ambassadors to the offliners.
Back inside, Britt and Hilly kept the hugging up going on by molesting Dave! Right now… half the blogosphere is jealous of Dave… and the other half jealous of Hilly and Britt. Do you guys see what you missed by not coming! There was a lot more dancing, drinking, and a good time for all. There was too much for me to go into further detail since I’ve already been writing this post now for 3 hours, which is what I was afraid of. Yet, there is one more tale I must tell…
So that night… while I was laying in my hotel room bed like Ralphy from a Christmas Story the night he got his rifle… I felt a poke. “Tell me a story,” whispered my Poppy.
“A story? Like a bedtime story? Are you kidding me? I’m basking in the glow of blogger greatness and you want a story?” I asked, astounded at this request.
“If you don’t tell me a story, I’m going to puke all over you,” she replied… and then as if to prove it… she burped.
So, I did what I had to do to avoid being slimed. “Okay, there were these three bloggers…”
“No!” she shouted (quite loudly I might add), “I want a real story!” *POKE* *POKE* “Tell me a story!”
“Okay, quit the poking. There were these three bears… and they happened to have blogs…”
“I wuv this story…”
And that’s all I remember because at that point, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep. I didn’t wake up in a pool of vomit… so it must have been a good story.
An epic unto itself.
Pictures are reportedly worth a thousand words. Well I think the photos from my Flickr set and the TequilaCon Flickr Group are worth a little more… but you can be the judge. Photos for this post were culled from Avitable’s Flickr Set and Poppy’s Flickr Set.
categories: Blogging Blogger Meet-Ups TequilaCon 2008
So Saturday morning I woke up, threw some pants and a sweatshirt on, and went downstairs to the front of the hotel for my early morning make-out session with myself. If by now you haven’t figured out that “making out” really means “smoking”… well I really don’t blame you. I’m kinda dense that way too. Once I’m downstairs and outside, guess who I see? Yep… there’s Karl doing the exact same thing I’m about to do… in the exact same spot that I left him the night before. He has that early morning “not quite awake but conscious” look going… the same one I’m pretty sure I had. So I light up and we talk for a few minutes about last night (he seemed upset with himself because he apparently snores, but didn’t realize it and his roomies were light sleepers) and plans for the day (we both had historical stuff on the agenda) with the crummy overcast weather. Of course… there was also the matter of breakfast.
So I went back to the room and jumped in the shower. Then Poppy and I went down to the hotel lobby to eat breakfast in their OTHER restaurant, The Terrace, at around 11:30. While we were sitting there, Avitable walked into the lobby. We had thought he had already left for the 10:00am showing of Iron Man, but as it turned out he was just getting ready to go then and wanted to know if we wanted to go. So, in hopes that by the time the movie was over the skies would have cleared a bit to go get historical, we decided to go see Iron Man.
The movie theater we went to was the United Artist Riverview 17. As I settled in with my Twizzler’s and nacho cheese I noticed that while the floor was not sticky, the seats not only didn’t recline but the armrests with the cupholders were locked into the down position. Is this the dark ages? Philadelphians, rise up and throw your tubs of popcorn at them until they give you true, proper, reclining, arm-rest raising, stadium seating! Other than that… the movie itself was INCREDIBLE. While I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who may not have had the opportunity to go see it, let me just assure you it is well worth a full price ticket. Also, be sure to stay until after the credits for the bonus scene. I expect a similar scene at the end of The Hulk movie in July.
Once the movie was over, we were then faced with getting back to the hotel. Having taken a cab over, we just figured we would take one back. The big difference though is that the cabs park at the hotel. The movie theater… cabs don’t park there so much. Needless to say, after a few calls to cab companies went unanswered, we jacked one on the parking lot in almost true GTA IV fashion. The only difference was we let the driver stay in his seat… nice of us, right?
Once we got back to the hotel, Poppy and I strapped up with our cameras to go see some history. We hopped into a cab and took it to the Liberty Bell. I’ve seen the Liberty Bell a few times, but never in it’s newly built exhibit. While waiting on line for entry we were able to watch a Free Tibet rally that was being held on the Independence Mall lawn. There was something very… right… about seeing it there. Poppy commented that while the speakers were energetic and “clicky”, their translators weren’t quite transferring that enthusiasm.
Sadly, while entering the building to the Liberty Bell, a girl who I can only imagine was in high school turned to us and said, “I didn’t even know Tibet existed. Did you know it existed?” Of course, Poppy in her benevolence told her nicely that, “Yes, I know it exists and it has for quite awhile.” My non-verbalized thought was, Another fine example of social promotion in our school systems. Yeah… I was more than a little annoyed at it.
So after visiting the Liberty Bell, we walked past Independence Hall. For those of you who have never been inside because the tours are sold out a few months in advance, well let me just say that while I have always found the art in the building impressive, never the tour. In fact, as far as historical sites go, I think Independence Hall is one of the worst. The best one I ever went to is a toss up between the 10 mile hiking tour of Gettysburg and Colonial Williamsburg. Still, Independence Hall is where the Declaration of Independence was signed and that eventually led to just about everything else. What I always found more interesting was the actual writers of the Declaration. As I previously mentioned, after a quick photo-op in front of Independence Hall we went to go see the Originator of the Meme and Editor of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin.
So we arrived at the Christ Church Burial Ground at exactly 4:01pm. Guess what time they close? Yeah… 4:00pm. However, what some people don’t realize is that even though the burial ground is surrounded by brick wall, there is a wrought iron gate by Benjamin Franklin’s site for latecomers just like me. How do I know this? Well, I’ve been late to see Ben before. In fact… I don’t think I’ve ever been on time… and this trip was no different.
So standing next to Ben wasn’t enough. I had to touch the stone and say a small prayer… which I did just like last time. Ben and I have more in common now than during my last trip… so maybe I pushed down to plant my hand a little more than I should have. Maybe my arm is just plumper than last time. In any event… well… for what probably was a few seconds but felt like years… I was stuck with my arm through the wrought iron gate and my hand on the tomb of one of our Founding Fathers.
Finally, I was able to free myself from the predicament just as a few other tourists started to get ready to snap a picture of the fat guy with his arm stuck through the gate. Yeah. Good old Ben. Always a prankster. From there, Poppy and I walked across the street to the U.S. Mint. I was tempted to ring the doorbell and ask if they were giving away free samples, but I thought that would just be pushing my luck WAY over the edge. One last photo-op on the lawn of the Constitution Center where Poppy discovered just how hard of hearing I really am… and then we began the odyssey to once again find a taxi to go back to the hotel.
Luckily it only took two blocks walk, her showing a little leg, and finally me throwing my body on the hood of a taxi to get it to stop. Seriously… people think NYC taxis are messed up? Philly’s aren’t that great either. So we got back to the hotel and prepared for the whole purpose of this trip… because our next adventure was taking us to North Bowl… to the main TequilaCon 2008 party…
categories: Blogging Blogger Meet-Ups TequilaCon 2008