Blogging Travels

mom 2.0 and a streetcar named “four loko”

Thursday evening at 5pm, I landed in New Orleans to finish what I started at Mardi Gras.  Or to live blog a mom blogging conference.  Or maybe it was to meet the last blogger I’ve enjoyed reading for years but had yet to meet.  Or I felt obligated to rejoin the friends I’d made at the M3 Summit.

Regardless, I went.  And, within 10 minutes of leaving my house toward the airport, realized I’d left my glasses at home and would be without them for the first time in nearly 30 years.  But no matter.  Vision is optional in New Orleans.

I grounded my gear in John Cave Osborne‘s room while waiting on the guys with whom I was sharing a timeshare to arrive.  JCO went to the gym with a stern “Don’t do any…MUSKRAT SHIT…in my room while I’m gone for 30 minutes.”  I don’t even know what that means, but I respected it.

That night was full of cocktails, catching up with old friends, meeting a few new ones, and exploring Bourbon Street until 3:30am.  Dinner was burgers at Port of Call.  At some point, I sneaked over to Cat’s Meow and put my name on the list before the rest of the group entered the bar.  An hour or so later, the dirty talk began:

I’m not sure who the short girl with curly hair is, but she certainly was NOT invited on stage.

The next morning, I was to “live blog” the Mom 2.0 blog with the “dads track” sessions, which was more difficult than I thought, so I was glad to have gotten 4 hours of sleep.

As was mentioned above, I had really looked forward to meeting Jim from Sweet Juniper and Heather/Jon from for the first session, and I was not disappointed.  All were as cordial and as interesting to talk to about the craft as I had hoped.  Turns out Jim went to law school with one of my best friends from high school and college.

Here are Jim, Doug the Laid Off Dad, and Jon:

That night, we spent a great deal of time eating Cajun and then consuming an amalgamation of beverages we affectionately (at the time) named the Louisiana Purchase:

Four Loko and Maker’s Mark?  Don’t mind if we do.

You know you’re a scintillating conversationalist, when the table is reacting like this:

Thanks for the attention, Georgia, Tania, and Karianna!

Judging by my FourSquare updates, we hit Igor’s Bar about 5am, where four of us stayed until sunrise, leaving only when a man with a dog came in for breakfast.  And some private time.

Man gets intimate with dog in Mardi Gras beads.  That shit don’t happen in Atlanta, y’all.

Here we are a few minutes before I tapped out and crawled next door to the hotel:

Saturday, I didn’t quite make the morning sessions, but did have lunch at the conference, and enjoyed a Jazz Tour sponsored by PBS that was absolutely excellent.  Even for a cracker who doesn’t really listen to jazz.

Here’s some outstanding musicians schooling us on ragtime and jazz funerals at Preservation Hall:

You can’t NOT have chills and permanent grins while sitting this close to a bunch of guys doing what they love and doing it well.

And, I got to visit the 2nd most visited grave in the U.S., which was cool, since I’ve been to Graceland three times:

Queen of the Voodoos?  I’ll never know for sure.

That night, it was more parties and some readings by 11 writers.

From the roof of the Ritz Carlton with Pauline (who was part of a rooftop group with me in Manhattan last summer):

But it wasn’t all debauchery.  Unlike the BlogHers I’ve been to, I actually spent a fair amount of time discussing this hobby (or job, to most attendees) of ours called blogging.  Is it dying or growing?  Does it matter?  Will dads ever have the prominence and clout with markers that the moms have?

And one of the many great benefits of late nights and free flowing Louisiana Purchases is that people don’t have a problem being candid about such topics outside the sessions themselves, even when the feedback is personal.  Am I a dad blogger?  I wasn’t on any of the panels, but I’ve been writing longer than most of the folks who spoke.  Is it because I don’t take this seriously?

Doug asked me after announcing the brand spanking new Dad 2.0 Summit coming out in March 2012 if I pictured myself reading a post on stage like he and Ron did this year.  Or leading a panel.  And you know what?  I do.  I gave him several ideas about topics I think dad bloggers would be interested in–topics I can actually educate others about regarding online marketing, building a brand through humor, etc. — all lessons I’ve learned from blogging that translated to marketing my “real” job.  And if Doug wants my assistance, I want to give it.  I like the guy and respect the hell out of him.  The same can be said for the other guys with whom I spent several hours after all the normal people went to sleep.  This might be surprising to those whose acquaintances are only seen at work or the monthly HOA meeting.

So between the conversation with Doug and the few I had with Britt and other mom bloggers about how I’m “not nearly the asshole portrayed online in real life” and should “write more of my serious posts,” I may veer into some more honest, traditional “dad blogging” posts from time to time.  Keeping it real.  More to follow on that.

As long as I don’t abandon my cowboy status or turn into a loser.

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  1. I wish I was there! I’ll excited for San Diego, but also thinking I should go to Mom 2.0 in Miami next year. Rooftop patio in NYC was a blast. 🙂
    Also, love John Cave Osborne!
    Seems like everyone had a blast…

  2. Will I have to get me some kids in order to understand these “dad blogging” posts? I see them hanging around schools all the time, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to acquire some if your blog becomes children-required.

    • @Dave2, Just think back to when you were a kid, and imagine instead that you’re in Atlanta with 3 other kids and that your dad likes to type on a MacBook after you go to bed.

  3. Glad to have met you! (I’m the third gal in the photo w/ Georgia & Tania “ignoring” you by tweeting.)

  4. I think you win in the “go big or go home” department. You New Orleaned the shit out of New Orleans.

    Was nice to finally meet you.

    • @Kristen, Thanks. We like to say “come strong or don’t come at all” in our household. This could be part of why I got arrested 4 times before I was 21. Glad to meet you as well!

  5. Good times!

    I was thinking about submitting something for a reading, too. Maybe we could do an original song.

  6. Doug hasn’t asked me yet, but I think I might submit a performance piece where I build a playhouse and then burn it down.

    I’m a little worried that this was my first conference. How can future conferences hope to compare?

    Also, I agree that you are not nearly the asshole you portray yourself as online. That’s how I say, “it was a pleasure hanging out with you.”

    • @Beta Dad, That’s deep, dude. Fire. It says so many things.
      And, it is hard to top New Orleans as a venue. I’ve had a great time at every blogging conference I’ve attended, though…I’m sure you will, too!

  7. I may not have been invited, but I was fabulous.

    Also, you have convinced me to reroute my entire trip just for a stopover in Atlanta. Be prepared to make it worth my while.

    • @Miss Britt, Yes, you were a great contributor. I usually prefer to work alone on stage, but you done good, as we say ’round here.

      You’re coming to Atlanta? Hooray! I’ll get all the Ewoks to sound their horns from the trees.

  8. No, daddy bloggers will never have the relationship with marketers that mommy-bloggers have.

    But MALE bloggers have quite a considerable clout with marketers. Of course, manly-bloggers don’t identify themselves like mommy-bloggers do. They call themselves tech-bloggers, automotive bloggers, economics bloggers, engineering bloggers, science fiction bloggers, or whatever.

    And believe me, marketers of cars and gadgets (to name but two product categories) desperately want to engage this (mainly) male online community.

    Are men more discreet about our personal experiences and family? Are we less likely to throw our heart and soul behind, say, a brand of shampoo? Does that make us less valuable? Does that make us harder to squeeze an endorsement out of?

    There’s also a difference in the level of income moms and dads expect to get out of a blog (or any other activity) before they call themselves “professional”. Blogging is labour intensive, and perhaps many in the mommy-blogger community underprice their labour. That makes them attractive to marketers, but perpetuates the sad, sexist history of undervaluing “women’s work”.

    • @HHusband, I’ve actually discussed several of the points you’ve made here offline with male bloggers and with my bride. Certainly, the part about income expectations is true: i.e., before I could do this full-time, the expectation for revenue would be tremendously higher than it would be for a woman whose husband works full-time as an orthopedic surgeon, for example. And you’re right about the gender v. parenting role difference. Are you in marketing?

  9. I like your assholery. Don’t ever change.

  10. I imagine “Muskrat Shit” being you, drunk, in the buff except for Mardi Gras beads and a cowboy hat, riding a goat on the hotel bed, “Yee-Haw”ing and swinging said cowboy hat around your head, while a chicken and a toddler sip on the “Louisiana Purchase” in the corner. “Fast and Furious” is playing on the hotel TV and there some homeless guy using the toilet, bitching about the lack of free shampoo.

    Yep. I’ve put some thought into this.

    Glad you had a good time!

  11. I have to say you were SO CHARMING in the ride to the hotel I would have never guessed you were that party guy. So glad to meet you!


  12. I really like your stuff man. You’ve got the btter lawyer/struggling husband/non-coping father thing going on. Not sure whether I want to tell you to stop stealing my shit or embrace your status as my brother from another mother

  13. I’m thinking your panel should be sponsored by Four Loko. Wish I could’ve hung with you that last night, but I am not the Muskrat. That’s like, your personal brand. NOLA–Good times all the way around.

  14. “Not nearly the asshole portrayed online in real life?” I think that pretty much applies to all of us.

    It was great getting to hang out with you a bit – even if I wimped out and went to bed before the sun came up.

    And also – your age estimating skills are uncanny.

    • @Caleb, Thanks (on all counts)! Of course, I can’t recall where I put your age now that several days and several drinks have been put between that conversation.

  15. Sounds like a great time. Wish we could’ve been there. Judging from M3 … I’m thinking NOLA underestimated the impact you would have on the city. Go grab a spot at Dad 2.0 and we’ll look forward to being there for that.

  16. Pingback: my review of the 2012 dad 2.0 conference | The Muskrat

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