BlogHer Part One But Not Really
All Is Love (And Really Freaking Attractive Conference Attendees)

BlogHer Part Two Kind Of

My best story from the conference, other than hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones and also MOJITOS, occurred about three hours prior to Sparklecorn. And like ALL of my best stories, this one predictably involves me going to pieces over something trivial. Basically, CAPS LOCKing all over the place, but live and in real time. 

I was trying to figure out how to get five rather large boxes from the package room at the hotel over to the party location next door. These five boxes contained about 4,000 multi-colored glow necklaces and bracelets, which are a Sparklecorn tradition, as everybody uses them for everything from jewelry to belts to tiaras to elaborate full-on glow-in-the-dark costumes. I'd shipped them to myself at the hotel, not realizing that BlogHer had outgrown its quaint days of underground hotel conference rooms and was now taking over gigantic convention centers, because blogging, apparently, is quite a thing with the kids these days.

And it turned out that the hundred yards or so of sidewalk between the two locations were guarded by an old gray wizard screaming YOU SHALL NOT PASS to anyone working at the hotel, because of unions and balrogs and shit, and no one there could help me carry the boxes. 

Now, okay, you should know that in the months and weeks leading up the the party, every year, I probably talk Tracey down off the ledge of planning-related hysteria on at least a weekly basis. It's okay! We have time! Things will get done! Even when we're down to the last-minute wire, I'm actually pretty calm. BECAUSE THIS IS WHY GOD INVENTED OVERNIGHT SHIPPING.

And then, every year, like clockwork, we arrive at BlogHer and promptly switch roles: She takes the "welp, what's done is done, we did our best" zenned-out stance...while I proceed to freaking lose my ever-loving SHIT over every possible detail that could go wrong, because now there is no time to course-correct, no room for error, the people shall not dance or eat cake or get to pose next to life-sized characters from popular young adult fiction and WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. 

You know, it's really just one of the reasons we work together so well: carefully choreographed panic attacks. 

So anyway, this minor hiccup at the hotel package room is like, EXACTLY the sort of thing that causes my brain to liquidify and leak out my tear ducts. I had less than 45 minutes before they closed to figure out a solution, and the only two I could think of were SHOCKINGLY, not working.

(Solution #1: Attempt to pick up one medium-sized box to see if maybe I could carry them myself, one at a time, back and forth, right before dropping it and nearly breaking my fool foot.)

(Solution #2: Call a couple BlogHer people who were clearly busy with 1,500,000 more important details and shriek into their voicemails, then send a text message 30 seconds later like a total asshole.)

I did finally talk to someone at BlogHer, who promised to make a call and send some BlogHims over to help me, but as the minutes ticked by I stood outside the package room and proceeded to quietly -- and with great dignity -- shrivel up and die from the stress of it all. 

Enter Tracey and Charlie, on their way to the convention center, and then enter Me, Again, with a whole heapload of bad language and over-the-top hand gestures about THESE BOXES. THAT ARE GOING TO BE THE END OF ME AND EVERYONE I LOVE. 

(Oh, and I should probably have included the detail that since I did not want to put my highly impractical and sort-of miniature party dress on yet, but neglected to pack anything well-suited for the possibility of manual labor, I was standing around in cut-off shorts and that "Born to Blog" t-shirt from the BlogHer swag bag of 2009. It's...a nightshirt. I sleep in it. So...I'm technically in my jammies, which is basically ONE LAYER AWAY FROM THE NAKED STRESS DREAM.)

Anyway, Charlie is all, "I got this." And I'm all, "No, I don't think you do." And then he hands me an alchoholic beverage that appears from thin air and marches into the package room and starts negotiating for a hand truck, which they will not give him. 

I think Charlie maybe just intended for me to hold his drink, but we all know how that turned out. I am sucking rum off the ice cubes when he suddenly shows up with one of those fancy luggage carts from the hotel lobby.

"Did they say we can borrow that?" I am delighted.

"I didn't ask," he says.

My delight turns to fear. 

Now, if you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I live every minute of my life in dread terror of the Imaginary Authority Figures. You just...don't do shit like that, because it is MILDLY NOT RIGHT, and therefore you might get into MILD TROUBLE.

Basically: I get incredibly nervous and embarassed when Jason takes our stroller on the escalator. Which means I had absolutely no mental coping skills for what was about to happen next.

Charlie loads up the boxes and heads off, while I mew in horrified protest because SOMEONE IS GOING TO YELL AT US (while also looking for an acceptable place to deposit the empty cocktail glass, finally settling on a random table that looked like the glass might get cleared and sent to its proper home because I was not adding STEALING TABLEWARE onto our list of hotel crimes).

But then...we all realize we are kind of trapped. To get to the convention center (while avoiding the hotel lobby with our stolen cart), we needed to go down an escalator. Well, that's not going to work. 


I run around in search of an elevator -- there IS one, but there's a crazy line for it and I can't tell if it even goes down to where we need to go or just up the guest rooms and while I'm standing there trying to figure it out I realize Charlie is totally taking that motherfucking luggage cart down the escalator.

"WHAT ARE YOU OH MY GOD NO HOLY SHIT," I start shrieking. Or something like that. Maybe in tongues. Anxiety tongues.

"THIS IS HAPPENING," Tracey yells at me. 

I ride down the escalator sitting down, trying to breathe with my head between my legs because this. This Right Here. The sight of a stolen luggage cart stacked with boxes of 20-cent party favors that I was unsure if we had any right to carry ourselves in the first place, precariously and illegally riding down an escalator: This is what broke me

Dear readers, that man got that luggage cart down the escalator and out the door without so much as jostling a single package. 

And what's more: NOBODY YELLED AT HIM. I mean, besides me. I don't know if I ever shut the fuck up. 

We got outside and of course I continued to be a complete non-believer. "STAAAAAIRS!" I wailed. "THERE ARE STAIRS!" 

Yes, there were stairs. But there was also a windy sidewalk ramp through a decorative garden. Charlie, who by this point is pretty much my personal lord and savior, treks the cart up the ramp and into the convention center, where Tracey and I finally manage to regain some control of the situation and insist that HE TAKE THE ELEVATOR, instead of trying his hand at riding an up escalator, you know, for kicks.

At some point, I manage to chill out. Probably once I realized we'd gotten all the packages delivered to the ballroom before the Voices of the Year keynote was even over, so we had time to go hit the cocktail party and pour more liquor nerve tonic down my throat. 

And that is the story of how Tracey, Charlie and I faced challenges and overcame obstacles and saved Sparklecorn with a single stolen luggage cart and only a couple small safety violations. The end!


PS I have no earthly idea what ever happened to the luggage cart. 



My money's on "he brought the cart back to Baltimore. As a carry-on."


"THIS IS HAPPENING," Tracey yells at me.
That is my favorite part.




Loved seeing you. Best party eh-ver.


I'm with Sonja, above. THIS IS HAPPENING.


You make me laugh so hard. Finding your blog is one of the best things that's ever happened to me on the Internet. That and when I stumble upon free shipping.


OH EM GEE. That is pretty much my life, every damn day. I just have random alcoholic (nerve tonic) drinks handed to me mid freak. I love your blog. LOVE IT.


Amy, I say this an uncreepily as possible, I love you, lady! Laughed until I cried. Thank you for making my day a little better. The next round of nerve tonic is on me :-)

the grumbles

this is would explain why the next day one of the bell hops leaned over and whispered, "There are people trying to STEAL these carts." i am not even kidding.

the grumbles

also, i was talking to you right before you ate that cake's ass. i was pretty drunk and my purse fell apart all over the floor. you were adorable, i was ashamed. kiss kiss.


Awesome, just freaking awesome.


"This is happening" is making my day. Also, I am of the firm belief that whenever you are mildly breaking a rule (or lifting something from the storage are at work that nobody is ever going to use anyway, ahem) all you have to do is look like you know what the fuck you are doing. People are way more timid about calling someone out on their shit then you'd think.


"This is happening" is making my day. Also, I am of the firm belief that whenever you are mildly breaking a rule (or lifting something from the storage are at work that nobody is ever going to use anyway, ahem) all you have to do is look like you know what the fuck you are doing. People are way more timid about calling someone out on their shit then you'd think.


And Charlie saved Sparklecorn and it was good. Amen.


I can't believe you wrote about this ON THE INTERNET. They're coming for you, Amy! The mildly upset authorities are comiiiiiiing!!!!!


OMG, HE TAKES A STROLLER ON THE ESCALATOR?? says NOT to do that! And someone might...SAY SOMETHING about it! *quakes*


It is SO embarrassing to LOL at work.


I third or hundredth the "THIS IS HAPPENING" hilarity. OMFG. Crying.

ALSO: I fully witnessed someone getting a lashing for taking a luggage cart into the UPS store. Which is RIGHT IN THE LOBBY.

You narrowly escaped death, is what I'm saying. And becoming a star on that Locked Up Abroad shows.

MFA Mama

AHAHAHAHA! This slayed me. I only know Charlie from Twitter, but I can so totally picture him doing that. Also TwoBusy's comment made me LOL.'s CHARLIE! MAYBE HE DID!

Jurgen Nation

My favorite part: "'THIS IS HAPPENING,' Tracey yells at me." It's like a Real Life Episode of Great Space Coasters or a TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL HILARIOUS ACID TRIP I HAVE NEVER TAKEN.

Also? Charlie and the mysteriously appearing alcoholic's like he's magic, or a black unicorn or something. PURE GLITTERY LOVE AND MAGIC PANTS.

Christy S.

I am laughing so hard at this - because it's totally me. I too am very, very afraid of Authority, no matter how minor the crime. My husband, on the other hand, firmly believes in asking forgiveness rather than permission and goes ahead and does whatever the hell he wants. It causes untold stress for me. And you know what? He NEVER gets in trouble.
Great post!


I'm sad I missed this, but thanks to this recap I feel like I was there. Although your hand gestures as you told the story were even more descriptive.


I cannot tell you the amount of comfort it has given me over the years of reading your blog to know that I'm not the only one living in fear of the Imaginary Authority Figures.

PopMommy Pam

You always tell the best stories. I just laughed so hard. I hope to one day get my bum to a Blogher. I would have offered to help carry a box just to meet you.


This made me literally laugh out loud until I cried! I am the EXACT same way. Total rule follower. So glad we have that in common :)


The part about Charlie being your personal Lord and Savior just made me snort my coffee across my desk. Sooo worth it.

Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey

Loved this. You have the bestest stories, EVER. :)

"THIS IS HAPPENING"... love it!



I just sat at my desk and laughed until my boss came in to see what in the world my problem was!! So funny!!! Thanks for the pick me up!

Jill (mrschaos)

This has got to be, hands down, my favorite BlogHer story EVER. Yes, I said ever.

That is all.


Awesome. In this story, I am Tracey/Charlie (Damn the Man, Save the Empire) and you are my sister (RULE FOLLOWER OMG!) Can totally relate, and love. Also, we too have choreographed panic attacks. It is what makes for a successful relationship.

Jessica Wagstrom

I'm just imagining Charlie blithely pushing along this towering cart up and down every escalator he can find, without a care in the world, probably even whistling, while you race behind him screaming nonsensically.


I plan on going to the blogher conference next year for the sole reason of meeting you. YOU. ARE. HILARIOUS. also i want to go to sparklecorn!


Hysterical story. I loved it! I laughed so hard.


I am a Fear of Anonymous Authority Figures type of girl also so this whole thing was hilarious to me. I just yelled at my husband for taking the shopping cart at the grocery store on the escalator. And that damn Leo meme is awesome.


This is why I love the .59 cent blue IKEA bags. I travel no where without them any more.

But High Five on the luggage cart caper of 2011!


I'm liking Charlie and his "I didn't ask" approach very much.

Jennifer R.

Just because this story involves both a Charlie and a unicorn, I felt I had to share this:


You were the sidewalk supervisor and didn't even know it.


I love you, and this, and that is all.

Erika Mitchell

I predict that one of these days the rule-following part of your brain is going to be overtaken, just for a few days or so, by your atrophied rebellious side. You'll rip tags off pillows, change lanes in intersections, put your elbows on the table, and wake sleeping babies just for kicks. Should make for good blogging material.

Christy Thomas

I'm so glad someone else has the fear of Imaginary Authority Figures besides me! Makes me feel a little more normal.


This is quite possibly the funniest post you've ever written! I'm crying from laughing so hard haha legendary!

Andrea Hogan (in Australia)

This made me laugh so so hard and so so so more determined to come to Blogher one day!


Well, I'm glad you guys figured it out (by "you guys" I mean "Charlie") because those glow stick thingies make the party FABULOUS. :)

Suzy Q

Awesome time a million! I only wish there were pictures. Are there pictures?

Jill @BabyRabies

I AM FREAKING FOR YOU! Because the man, and the people, and you should never abuse the luggage cart! I am so that person, too. I would be slightly petrified of hotel jail. Surely, that's where you'd end up if you were caught, right? In a sullen room, devoid of fluffy things, stuck there to think about your inappropriate use of hotel property. This is where my mind goes because, yes, I am that person, too. So glad it all ended well and you didn't have to blog this from hotel jail.


This is the most adorable thing I've read on your blog in quite some time.

.. I say that as a person who also suffers from Fear of Imaginary Authority Figures.

Amy Jo

That was a good story.

Also, and this has nothing to do with the above story, I think that meme about no fucks being given would work well with a picture of Tim Gunn in the middle. If I gave any fucks then maybe I would try and fashion one. But sadly, no.

Nancy R

I've never met Charlie, but I think he's good people.


Wow, you might say that the technology is very good! Photo, so beautiful, very clear, wish you good luck, create the future together! And I share my blog


THIS. YES. This is why I adore your blog. Because you see, I react the exact same way in similar situations. So I can laugh heartily at the posts you write, knowing full well that if it were me, I would also be freaking the fuck out and screaming obscenities at anyone who dared cross my path. This may very well be one of my favorite posts EVAH, and I've been reading your blog since well before Noah was born.


It was so great to finally meet you at the PARTAY! You know, if you remember meeting me!!


HAR! I'm totes the same about authority figures and mild-trouble-causing.

Karen Sugarpants

Hahahahaha... so funny - I can totally picture the whole thing. And I'm right there with you on the Authority Figures. I don't even jaywalk.


This is hilarious. I too have the irrational fear of minor rule breaking, like when people want to cut through those 'employees only' hallways to get out of a mall. Also, "THIS IS HAPPENING" might have made me guffaw. Maybe.

Courtney from FL

I love you. The End.


This story? Is why I have read your blog for years. Good lord you make me laugh.


And the party was the shit!


I loved this post and I loved Sparklecorn. And I am exactly the same way about imaginary authority figures. Thank you for risking your life for the glow sticks - they make pretty necklaces.

Redneck Mommy

You just need to mention Charlie and I turn into a pile of mush.

Tracey is a lucky girl. And she may kick my ass if I drool on her man any more. I CANT HELP IT.

Ashley Fitting

This is the very reason why I made someone find you in the middle of Spaklecorn so I could hug you. And that dress was killer btw. Next stress ball moment? Tweet me. I'm great at defying authority.


And, I bet you are going to break my heart and tell me that no one got a video of the luggage cart on the escalator.

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