Blogging Travels

jet-setter muskrat or how i learned to stop worrying and love the mommyblogger


I decided I wanted to go to BlogHer last week, because the cool kids I already knew were going, and I wanted to meet a couple people whose words I liked, and one person from my hometown I’d been trying to meet for months, and I figured I could write it off, now that I’m self-employed, if I attended an SEO class.

So, I called on Delta skymiles and Twitter to make it happen.  Shit works, too, ’cause within a few hours, I had a lobby pass, then a “full access” pass, and then lodging with two wonderfully kind and patient folks whom I only knew online.  All the while, there was a large-mongous wait list for the tickets I was able to find in a few hours by asking online.  As soon as my firm turns a profit, I’m buying the internet a white house with a walk-in closet.

Within seconds of stepping into the hotel, Adam texted me about lunch with Neil and him.  At the table next to him, I finally met Kristen, who took this picture:


That night was the SocialLuxe Kick-off Party.  On the way, I passed a line of well-dressed folks going to a party to meet the President, so, that was something.  I met Sarah, who redesigned my blog.  I made plans to meet Chicagoan Literal Dan.

Then I saw a tall, lanky dude with a beard whom I thought could be Black Hockey Jesus:

Me:  Jon?
BHJ:  Yes?
Me (reaching out with right hand) I am the Muskrat.
BHJ:  I thought you’d be taller.
Me:  Why is that?
BHJ:  Because you threatened to kick my ass when I made fun of Elvis.
Me:  Yeah, well…
BHJ:  You know what Jenna said when I told her I was going to meet you?
Me:  No.  What?
BHJ:  She said, “You mean the guy who can’t let Vincent go?”
Me:  *laughing my ass off* I guess I do mention him in just about every comment I drop on your blog.
BHJ:  What’s up with your blog?  You never write any more.


Me:  Hey, there’s Maggie!
BHJ:  Dammit?
Me:  Is there another one?


We ran over there and gave her a hug.  I could’ve left right then and been content with my weekend.

I met Maggie’s friend, Amy, and others.  I saw a standing-by-herself Jenny and introduced myself as “the guy who drops profane comments on your blog under the name ‘Muskrat’.”  I talked to the Mama Pop writers.

I saw Bossy and greeted her with, “Remember that dumbass who asked if your road trip would include Atlanta, about a year after you’d already taken the trip and returned?  That was me.”

At some point, I went into the ladies’ room with Her Bad Mother, The Bloggess, and BHJ:


I have no explanation for this behavior.

Next was the People’s Party.  I finally met Dan and his wife after texting for a few hours and never finding each other (he has got to get on Twitter already).  Tanis explained blogging to my highschool friend, Monica, who works at the Chicago Public Defender’s office and has no interest in blogging whatsoever.  But we tried.

The conference the next day was great, as was lunch at Giordano‘s with some folks who were Facebook friends I’d never met, and others.  We heard some great blog posts read aloud at the keynote session, including “5” by BHJ, which resonated with me a little more than I would have publicly wanted at the time:

That night was the BlogHer cocktail party where I performed karaoke captured on You Tube.  I’d met the Coal Miner’s Granddaughter earlier that day, and she was “kind” enough to record it.  Then it was to the House of Blues for EA Sports‘ event followed by several hours of dancing at MamaPop:


There are also pictures with Maria, but you’ll have to catch them at her blog.

Judging by my tweets, I stayed up til 4.  I know I was talking to some folks from the Pacific time zone.  Getting up for breakfast around 7 was not the best feeling I’d ever had, but sleeping in is for neutered dogs, and I am no neutered dog.

The next day had some more great sessions, including the male bloggers one led by Adam, Jim, and Matt.  I met humor-blog friends Kathy, JD, Margaret, and Meg.  Meg thought I should be taller, too.

That night was another cocktail party, BowlHer with Amy, and the CheeseburgHer party with Tina, CalifMom, and others before spending all night in the hotel bar or lobby and watching the sun start up over Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.  I think Lex, ZoeyJane, Avitable, Britt, Weasel Mama, and some of the other aforementioned were there.  Jimmy Hoffa and Carmen Sandiego may have been with us, too.

I remember setting down a doll another blogger had given me for my daughter, so that I could run into the restroom for 2 minutes, and it was stolen from underneath my stack of pictures.  That pissed me off big-time was a little frustrating, but good people like Tina and Deb helped send out distressed calls for its relocation (that, unfortunately, failed).

Rode back via a cab with Tracey and flew home with Carolyn, whom I was able to convince to get on Twitter!  I love making a difference in the lives of others.

I got home and waited on the little ones to get up from their naps, which was a lot like staring at the clock on December 25th at 4am as a 10-year-old boy.

By Monday, I was already missing Britt and Adam.  I went online to see what would be involved with taking the Florida bar and moving to Orlando.  Fuck that; we can just read each other’s blogs.

I’m glad I went, although I did get tired of explaining why I’m not as tall as everyone expected.

Would I go back?  I’d love to–and NYC is probably my favorite city to visit in America–but I’ll likely bring Pretty Bride if I do, since I came home to concerned DM’s letting me know of rumored speculation that my late nights had untoward motivations.

Which is why when I go out in Atlanta, I almost always stick to gay bars.  I can be as boisterous and pretty as I want at Mary’s, and nobody whispers about it.  They just come up and ask to touch my balls.

I’ve already received an invitation to be roomies from Kathy, which might work great, since she seems to get up when I’m getting in.

If I have any readers who didn’t go and are on the fence, I highly recommend you take the opportunity to meet folks whom you enjoy online in “real life.”  It’s wonderful.  And as Morrissey taught us:  shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you want to.  Don’t be stopped.

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  1. people whispered?? about you???

    they obviously didn’t know you. 😉
    .-= churchpunkmom´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  2. You were a highlight of the weekend for me.

    And I mean that.

    Rumors be damned.
    .-= Miss Britt´s last blog ..Miss Britt Goes To BlogHer And Makes An Ass Of Herself: Part One. =-.

  3. It was great meeting you as well.
    .-= Nancy at Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas´s last blog ..(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: The Men of BlogHer ‘09 =-.

  4. I wish I could have been able to go to meet all you fine folks — um, yeah, you too Muskrat. 🙂 Maybe next year, it’s in New York. That’s a little closer to Pennsylvania.
    .-= unfinishedrambler´s last blog ..Too much, the Wooden Bus =-.

  5. you seriously rock and you make me nervous all at once. it was awesome to meet you.
    .-= Karen Sugarpants´s last blog ..Four Minutes At BlogHer Changed My Life =-.

  6. Rumors be damned, is right! How outrageous that anyone would say anything about you…. especially if they could’ve seen you at 2:30 am with a pink boa around your neck shouting at someone about their vagina in front of a startled-looking group of elderly wedding guests. Oh, yeah. THIS guy is definitely trouble, I thought to myself. 😉

    p.s. I also frequent gay bars so I won’t find myself in trouble or the object of rumors or stupid innuendo. And SHEESH, I figured that with 1400 women and just a handful of men around there was no WAY that I could get myself in trouble at BlogHer….

    p.p.s. YOU are freakin’ awesome.

  7. What a star-studded post!

    So cool to meet you. I thought you’d be sweary-er.
    .-= JD at I Do Things´s last blog ..I “Read” at BlogHer (Drugged) so you don’t have to =-.

  8. It was a pleasure to meet you!

  9. I’m so glad you came up for BlogHer and it was great seeing you again. Now Britt and I just need to make an Atlanta trip one of these weekends.
    .-= Avitable´s last blog ..The Bloggers of #BlogHer09: Limericks are Hard =-.

  10. I’m jealous as hell you got to meet all those people. Were you, by any chance, one of these guys – ?

  11. It was great to meet you. But until I see you in that snuggie I’m not really convinced it was the real you. 😉
    .-= prefers her fantasy life´s last blog ..The Time I Crashed Blogher and Slept With VodkaMom =-.

  12. When I’m on the A-list, will people make up shit about me? I never get any damn rumours. {is SO a word}
    .-= Zoeyjane´s last blog ..On gasping for relief =-.

  13. nice recap. If Pretty Bride needs proof or is worried I can vouch for you, since you were in the lobby with us until after 4 Fri and Sat. Public place, very married women, dude, you are safe.

    .-= Tina@SendChocolate´s last blog ..Anyone know what the MPG for a llama is on the freeway? How about in the city? =-.

  14. avatgardener

    Muskrat makes many marvelous memories mixing with mostly moms.

  15. You were even cooler than I expected you to be. I didn’t call you short, did I? It’s just that you look so tall when you’re pissing on the man. *fist pump*

    This is my favorite line: “Judging by my tweets, I stayed up til 4”

    I’m also grateful you brought Carolyn…TRULY…Online, you are most definitely making a difference.

    Seriously, I felt this nice calmness every time I saw your smiling face. It was a real pleasure meeting you.
    .-= maggie, dammit´s last blog ..I’ve looked at life from both sides now =-.

  16. @CPM- I reckon. Not like y’all do, now that we all shared a room!
    @Miss Britt- Well, same to you, then (no surprise there)!
    @Nancy- Thanks! Might see you in a few days out in NV.
    @UR- I’d love that! Talked about your blogging family’s coming over to NY when I was with Nanny Goats and Junk Drawer!
    @Karen- Nervous? Uh oh. Is it ’cause I like fire so much?
    @Amy- Don’t diss the pink boa. Feeling will be irreparably hurt.
    @JD- I’m a choirboy in real life. Pure as the driven snow.
    @SAMomma- You too! Hope to see you down in Atlanta sometime…you’re not too far away, you know.
    @Avitable- Absolutely. Although I’m worried you wouldn’t want to go to the myriad bbq joints I like around here, now that you’re all healthy and stuff.
    @Countessa- No need for jealousy…you can come next year! And no, I was not one of the dude with funny t-shirts. But Avitable was!
    @PrefersFantasy- If it weren’t July, I might have brought the Snuggie. It’s just so warm and fuzzy.
    @ZoeyJane- I have trouble believing that (about your not being “A-list.”)!
    @Tina- Can you come to Atlanta and follow me around every night? You’re a great chaperon. How well can you hold up on cross-examination?
    @AvatGardener- Tries to tally telepathy to tell tales; taps out.
    @Maggie- Thanks so much! I actually had to open two extra browsers while typing this post-one with my tweets, and one with @ tweets to me-in order to figure out where I’d been, when, and with whom.

  17. This is all terribly impressive and exciting. I kinda feel that until I can attend one of these social soirees, I’ll never be taken seriously. Like it would be so hard to have this thing in Mpls. Sheesh.
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..I hate it when that happens =-.

  18. As long as I don’t have to eat food with bones in it, I’m good. 🙂
    .-= Avitable´s last blog ..Anatomy of a Post #BlogHer Avitable =-.

  19. It was awesome finally meeting you, hon! And you singing about Medina? The highlight of my weekend. 🙂
    .-= Coal Miner’s Granddaughter´s last blog ..About =-.

  20. Sounds like you had a great time meeting all those bloggers. The speech was wonderful.
    .-= SurprisedMom´s last blog ..Pull Over! Pull Over! =-.

  21. First off, I’m totally miffed my keynote speech didn’t alter the course of you life forever. Dammit. I knew I should have spoke topless to get you to pay attention.

    Secondly, you can be my roomie any time you need one. You had to be the most charming and respectful dude I met that weekend. Your wife is a lucky woman.

    Even if you are short.


  22. I didn’t officially meet you, but I was at the MomPop party and remember you. Maybe next time:)
    .-= Courtney Velasquez´s last blog ..Why I Love ZooLoo (video) =-.

  23. It was a good fucking time, my friend. We make whiskey better.
    .-= Whit´s last blog ..The Middle of the Moon =-.

  24. I think BlogHer needs to put you on their agenda next year. A whole session “How to Make the Most of BlogHer” because I sure as hell didn’t meet that many people. And, yeah, I get up at 4:00AM. If we room together, I’ll tuck you in as I’m leaving for the day. What bedtime story do you want read to you?
    .-= Junk Drawer Kathy´s last blog ..10 Things I Learned on My Chicago BlogHer Trip =-.

  25. That was a great recap. Now I know where you were all weekend. Maybe if we had flown TO Chicago together I would’ve been on Twitter already and could’ve found the cool kids more easily. Oh well.

    GREAT to meet you in person. And I’m glad my husband didn’t see us get off the plane together b/c there would’ve been a lot of, “You went to Chicago for blogher and came back with a boy?”
    .-= Carolyn Online´s last blog ..Because I can’t fully get my head around the Blogher conference I’m posting this video of my dog. =-.

  26. @Jeff- You should come next year! I need more male companionship. Avitable doesn’t stay up late enough.
    @Avitable- BBQ without bones is like drinking non-alcoholic beer. No.
    @CoalMiner’s GD- Highlight? Really? Glad to hear it…enjoyed seeing you in real life, too!
    @Surprised Mom- It was wonderful. Most of the other 19 or so were good, too, but I picked this one to showcase, b/c he had to take his blog down.
    @RedneckMommy- I’m not sure if I should be flattered or angry. Thanks, I think!
    @Courtney- I met a bunch of folks whose names and blogs I couldn’t remember well enough to link to this post…sorry about that! Next year fo’ sho’!
    @Whit- Absolutely. Your comment made me laugh out loud last night.
    @Kathy- That sounds awesome. How ’bout “Good Dog, Carl.”
    @Carolyn- Me too, I think. Although, a t-shirt saying “I went to BlogHer and all I gave my husband was a furry rodent” might be fun.

  27. Very glad to have met you, even if you are a friend of Freaky Weasel 😉
    .-= Busy Mom´s last blog ..Meet Edward and Bella =-.

  28. What about pulled pork or pulled beef?
    .-= Avitable´s last blog ..How to make dinner reservations =-.

  29. It was great meeting you! You are a brave man…

    😀 Anna
    .-= Anna Lefler´s last blog ..Thank you, Chicago! Good Night! =-.

  30. It was a whirlwind – but so much fun! It was wonderful to meet you!
    .-= Twenty Four At Heart´s last blog ..Get Ready, Get Set =-.

  31. It seems we a number of mutual friends and yet, we haven’t met online or otherwise. Not-so-small world, huh?

    Do you read Mayopie? ( He’s from the ATL area, too.
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..She Got the Scary Asscam Baby Denial Blues =-.

  32. Okay, we didn’t officially meet, but I would see you here and there having a great time, and I wish I’d just extended my hand to introduce myself! I heard about the Moxie girl kidnapping and was very disturbed.
    Your funky medina RAWKED, BTW.
    I’m so glad you had a good time and weren’t too intimidated by wayyyy too many shiny, happy, drunk bloggers :).
    .-= Karen MEG´s last blog ..Happy to be home =-.

  33. @BusyMom, He is pretty freaky. But in a good way.
    @Anna, Brave? Perhaps. Glad to have met you, too!
    @24, You too!
    @Janet, We do! I’ll stop by your blog directly.
    @Sarah, But of course you agree with me. Everyone agrees with me.
    @Karen, I’m so glad to finally “meet” some of the folks in the audience during that performance. Thanks for your support!
    @Literal Dan, Everyone should take Morrissey quotes to heart. They’re like scripture with crescendo.

  34. We had a great time hanging out with you– if I’m ever down your way, I’ll definitely stop by. And I’ll be sure to stir up a class-action lawsuit of some kind while I’m there.

    This is a great recap, and your Morrissey quote is a good one I should take to heart, for sure.
    .-= LiteralDan´s last blog ..Amusing searches, Vol. 1 =-.

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  38. And all this time I thought Blogher was just for women. Huh.

  39. keep these great post coming

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  41. Wow nice info you have here. I hope this will help a lot of people. I will tell my friends to read this. Thanks!

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