Monday, July 27, 2009

BlogHer, SwagHer, BlokeHer, and PokeHer: Recap and Swag away

Well, I think it might be best for everyone (or just me) if I don't tell you all about this past weekend in Chicago because my head might explode from the awesome of it all. BlogHer was everything I hoped for and more. WAY more.

(Well, way more in the area of meeting amazing women writers and discovering tons of new people that I want to read and become an apostle of. The “educational” aspect was underwhelming, but that is simply because I made the choice to attend mostly panels that were entertaining, not geeky. My bad, not BlogHer’s.)

As you know, though, I was really there to party, so I got my game face on(which takes awhile because it involves lots of eyemakeup) and we headed to the SocialLuxe party. We got signed in and they gave us a “swag collection” bracelet needed to get your swag on, a drink ticket, and raffle ticket. I saunter into the room and belly up to the bar. No Maker’s Mark, but oooh! they’ve got Crown Royal, a more than acceptable alternative. I delicately sip my drink and turn around to catch up with Rants and Anna Lefler (I’ll apologize now for being a hideous name-dropper so if you hate that kind of shit,… Adios! Don’t let the doorknob hitcha where the good Lord splitcha.), who turn out to be nowhere in sight.

I wander around trying to figure out what the heck I’m supposed to do now. Schmooze with the venders? Eat? Wait in line for a mini-manicure? Suck down my drink as fast I can and then indelicately sway back to the bar for more?? I was okay with that last option, but then Ann and Anna came back carrying these two enormous bags that looked to be pulling their shoulder joints apart. I was like, where’d you get those? They were like, around the corner, outside, you have to go get your swag from that room, it looks like they might….

I didn’t catch the rest as I was practically sprinting out the door. Figures that I'd be too preoccupied with getting my drink on to miss the swag. Hmph. But when I got to the room, all was well, they still had bags, andI collected mine. You wouldn’t even believe all the stuff that was in there! You wouldn’t believe how much it weighed!! You wouldn’t believe me if I told you that there was actually some pretty awesome stuff in there along with the really random stuff that only a misguided team of PR people would think was a good idea!!!

Ann was not injured making this photo.

And you know what I’m gonna do? Because I love you so much for being here reading.... Because I am going to test you to the very limits of your patience with stories from this past weekend (because one post just ain’t gonna do it)…. And because I already own way too many cameras...

I’m giving the very best swag of the weekend to ONE LUCKY READER.

The coveted SocialLuxe swag bag was a bit overstuffed, but among the many lovely things that were included in the bag the standout was the extremely generous gift from Kodak that had everyone pretty excited (or bummed if it wasn't in their bag or if they got there late and didn't get anything). The Kodak Zi6 pocket HD video camera. (And yes, it really is pink.)

So, one lucky person who comments on this post and then tweets me (@theBitchinWife) one tiny moment from your life that you wish you’d had a pocket video camera on hand to film (put #kodak on the tweet, too, or if you run out of room, then leave me the URL in the comment section) will win the ultimate swag of the BlogHer ’09 weekend. I will also throw in the awesome black and white tote bag that it came in (seen in the above photo with the uber-hot Ann of Ann's Rants fame), a Kodak 2-GB SD memory card, and a Nikon memory card holder (that I picked up at the sensational Nikon party at the Flatwater).

So to clarify, leave a comment for me on this post for one chance to win. Then tweet me on twitter for a second chance. You need to include my twitter handle @theBitchinWife and you need to include the hashtag #kodak .
I will select the winner 100% subjectively. There will be nothing random about it. I'm going to give the person with the best tweet (or comment that fills the required "filmable-moment memory") the video camera and goodies. I can't say what will work better, humor or sincerity.... I'm a sucker for both. So, give me your best moment and keep it short. I will announce the winner next Tuesday (Aug. 3rd, right?).
I hope that you will refrain from entering the giveaway if you were at the SocialLuxe party and already got one of the video cameras or all that other stuff, but I will let your own conscience guide you. I know what I would do, but you may have special circumstances that I don’t know about, so I’ll try not to judge. But I will, so be warned.

Tell your friends about it, or don’t to keep your odds better. ;-)

I know that I didn't give many details of the weekend... they will be forthcoming. I will let my pictures do the talking for now.... click over my flickr widget or here to see all the pictures from the weekend. Also, I am honored to have my picture up over at Pacing the Panic Room today! Ryan is an incredibly gifted photographer and the wise and hip scenesters of MamaPop cannily flew him in to document their Sparklecorn Extravaganza (which, in my opinion, was a highlight of the weekend, despite a certain amount of grousing that their 500-person RSVP limit was too snobby pr something.... pffffttttp, get over it). His talent is such that he made me look freakin' awesome despite it being the second night of parties, 1am at night, my third social engagement of the evening and 4 hours of sleep. Nicely done, Ryan, nicely done.


  1. I love you! and I am not even trying to win the damn camera! I just freakin love you!

  2. DUDE. And I can't believe you "pantsed" my dress while I was holding those bags... so unkind to show all those innocent bystandards by sunny-side-downs...

  3. Sounds like you had a blast. Wish I could have been there.

    There are many times when I wish I had a video camera to catch all the cute things my kids do. My youngest makes me laugh everyday. If I had a video camera, I wouldn't be so worried about my mommy brain loosing it all.
    Also, I could participate in the new Vlogging trend.

  4. I've tried really hard not to be jealous of all the BlogHer talk. But this just does it. I'm biting the heel of my hand and stamping my feet under my desk

  5. I wish I had that camera when I'd met you. Because the recording that I am replaying in my mind is getting old.

  6. I kind of wish I would have had a camera 2 years ago, then I would have wonderful piccies of my doggies that passed away.

    Now I need a new camera and new doggies, are there any doggies in that bag?

    I'm soooo pleased as punch that you had such a fabu time! I wish I could have gone myself!



  7. Lovely!!

    And when I say that, I mean YOU and then the camera!

    From your tweets, it sounds like you had a blast. I weep - WEEP, I SAY! - that I didn't get to go so I could have met you.

    Also, did I mention sexy?


  8. green i am with envy but tickled pink i'd be to win that camera!

    thank you! and thanks to whomever got Ryan to shoot photo's..they are spectacular!

    Peace - Rene

  9. i wish I would have had a video camera the day I got a positive pregnancy test. We tried for 12 years and went through 6 doctors and several meds before I finally got pregnant. I have PCOS and it was so hard. I always wanted to be a mommy and could never feel quite like a real woman ya know? Anyway, it was the morning of Dec 4, 2006 and I knew it was the day to test but didn't want to be disappointed again so I peed on the stick and jumped in the shower. I washed my hair and cleaned my body and shaved. I was really dragging out my shower because of the fear of what I was going to see on that stick. Or really what I wasn't going to see. I got out, grabbed my towel anddried off and slowly walked to the counter but couldn't see because I didn't have my glasses on. I put them on and screamed bloody murder, dropped my towel, slammed the door open knocking a hole in the sheetrock (oops), knocked over a floor heater and jumped on the bed holding my peacefully sleeping hubby and screamed in his face..."DO YOU SEE 2 LINES???" He calmly says," Yeah, what's that mean?" I said,"Holy S**&%, it means it worked!!" Then I screamed like another 48628645 times and when I finally calmed down hubby said, "What worked?" Did I hit him or did I not? Nobody but me and him will ever know because I didn't have a dang video camera!

  10. There's no such thing as subjectivity.


    Didn't see that coming did ya?!

  11. Amy, I am really jealous of all the fun it looks like you had in Chicago. God.. I wish I had the time to keep a blog up. I haven't written in mine for over a year. *ouch.
    Anyway.. I would love to win your camera. When I was 18, I was in England for 6 months. For a large chink of that, I had this camera... old style that you had to manually advance and make sure the film caught before closing it up. Well. I imagine you can guess where this is going. The damn film didn't catch! I think I am missing a lot of memories now because the pictures I thought I was taking never happened! Man, I'm all upset just thinking about it again.


  12. I didn't even have a clue what the F BlogHer was till I started twittering. And it's been great reading all about it.

    ANYWADDLE, The one time I wish my video camera was close and easy to use? When my at the time 3 year old was potty training and decided that instead of pooping on the potty, he'd poop on the deck. He was so proud, and to be able to catch the pride on his face...well, a still camera just wouldn't do it justice...

    Thank you for letting me play :) I'm tweeting you, too, Bitchin Right!

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. You really must have had a lot to give this beauty away!!!...but hey...I'm not going to complain...nope not me...

    Oh boy...most memorable moment? pick just one?....

    Well Geez put me on the spot will ya?....

    I might have to say it had to be a couple of weeks ago...I'm in Michigan at my in laws...the day before my brother in law's wedding...and my poor son falls, tooth goes through lip...and we spend the next 4 hours in the ER to get two nice little stitches... we return to the hotel...and start walking down the hallway...I look up...and think...hmmm...that guy looks like my dad...then a few steps REALLY looks like my dad....then it hits me..."DAD?"....My parents while on a hush hush trip up to Canada from OKlahoma...decided to totally surprise me on their way back...and be my dates to the wedding as my husband is deployed....

    They all say my face was priceless....And they totally couldn't have picked a better day...more granny and grandpa kisses make stitches feel oh so much better....

  15. See now, if I had that video camera, I could have taped meeting you.

    It would have been beautiful...we could have sang Don't Stop Believing. Who wouldn't want to see that?

    Wish we could have hung out more girl!

  16. I'm glad you had a good time, because you really deserved it. And I haven't mentioned this before because I didn't want to make anyone else jealous, but I've always thought that you were, by far, the sexiest blogger out there.


  17. Every time I open your page and see you looking back at me from your header picture... it's like your eyes are burning into my very soul...

  18. Her eyes are burning your soul: she's the bitchin' demoness wife.

    Ahhh, it's why we love 'er....

  19. I am so jealous that first of all you got to go to blogher, but that you also got all kinds of awesome swag. Being over here in England on a military salary, there is just no way I could afford to go. Anyhoo enough of my own personal pity party.

    If I win, I can promise you:
    1. A video tour of the bungalow.
    2. Personal video messages from LaLa and KiKi.
    3. Video of The Man rockin out to Guitar Hero.
    4. I might even let The Man video me singing my little heart out when playing Rock Band. We so need to go do Karaoke when you get to England.

  20. Ah, but Amy, you missed the best part of the SocialLux party, the absolute anarchy going on outside the swag suite when some RSVP'ers got in the faces of the clueless, but cute staff at the front desk after too many bracelets had been handed out to too many non-RSVP'ers. The bar should have been OUT THERE! Glad you got in on the swagaliciousness, and no, I don't need a camera, but the pink is just awesome in itself.

  21. I got one of these myself at the SocialLuxe lounge, so count me out of the contest. I just wanted to say that I think it's awesome that you are doing this! Very cool!!

  22. Once upon a time there was a girl named Amy and I loved her the end.

    Also, I had this brilliant idea last night: How about you don't move to England! I think it solves everything.

    Don't thank me, in fact don't say anything at all yet. Think it over.


  23. This is a no brainer for me; it would definitely be the time our landlords dog left a present for me at the bottom of a hill in the yard when I was on my hippity hop. I was 6, the meadow muffin was fresh-do the math. My Mom could have used the camera to film my sister hosing me off with a high pressure nozzle. Here's the full story if you want to read it: Glad to hear you had such a great time!

  24. What a brilliant give-away!

    And sheesh - why are those bags so big? I'm referring to the swag bags, not to the people holding them! ;-)

  25. I missed ALL of the good swag. Really. I didn't get a camera or anything, even though I was registered for all of those parties. :(

    Oh well. Didn't have space in my bag after 6 Strawberry Shortcakes, anyway. Just as good, right?!?

    Nice meeting you this weekend. Even if you WERE following me around. ;)

  26. I totally want that camera. We picked up a friend at O'Hare and it took us two hours in Chicago traffic, so I missed the Social Luxe party. Then, I lost my camera the first night we were there and my video camera is 12 years old. It's like driving a pinto when everyone else has a Saab. I'll tweet my moment.

  27. Holy Goodie bag! Now I am kicking myslef for not going. Not only did I miss out on meeting all you wonderful people I missed out on some major giveaways. I need a video camera (for next year of course)!

  28. I love you too. And that's saying a lot since I just met you and didn't know I was going to meet you. There were a few people that I had no idea I would meet that made my weekend and you were one of them! Thanks. Hope next time you won't mind if I throw my arms around you and act like I've known you all mt life?!

  29. I heard that this Kodak Video Camera was a majah swag item. I want I want!

    I don't own a video camera and as a single mom I won't have the $$ to buy one anytime soon.

    This little pink marvel would be sweet to have every time my 6 year old daughter busts out singing "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus. Or dances to that crazy Hoe-Down song. Or makes funny faces and creates dances to make me laugh when I've had a crappy day.

    Before I know it she'll be a teenager and doing anything in front of or with her mom will be like so lame. She's growing up so fast and the pictures I take don't capture it all.

    Besides, video evidence is necessary for blackmailing and embarassing her (with love) when she gets older.

  30. And I thought the SWAG was the thing hanging on Vodka Mom's window!

    Could you please help bring me into the 21st Century????

    And now I'm headed over to my Twitter page for the first time in like 58 days. . .

  31. Awesome pictures on Flicker! Thanks for sharing with those of us who were unable to attend the festivities! (I'm still smarting from the fact that I couldn't attend---WAH!)

    Loving the camera because it is pink and also because it is COOL! I knew I could rely on you to spill BlogHer details! MWAH!

    Okay---off to Tweetfor I have no shame!

  32. So bitchin' awesome to meet you this weekend in Chicago!

    And how can anyone bitch about not getting swag when they can come right over here and win it without tripping over themselves and putting all kinds of make-up on?

  33. I'm going next year. I promise to myself, I'm going next year.

  34. Wow, they give swag like THAT away!! Truly awesome you are sharing it with the rest of us non-bloghers!

    So, I wish I had had a video to capture the moment my sons greeted their dad again when we came home from our trip! It was priceless . . . and especially after the hubby cornered me and asked if I had told them to do/say that!

  35. I wish I had had the camera the day I went on my first date with my wonderful fiance, because I will never have a first date again. Would have been fun to look back at a picture from when we barely knew each other!!!!

  36. I got their so late I came home with playdoh and some deodorant.

    Too bad about your crusty burger.

    I still thought you were funny.

    Hey! Hi! Nice to meet you!

  37. IM new to your blog and glad I've found it. You will be my new blog crack.

    The memory I wish I could have captured until the disk filled up and the tears went dry, was the day my daughter walked for the first time. White cane be damned, she walked all by herself and didn't stop until the sun went down. Unfortunately, my camera stopped much sooner. I'd love to film her memories at great length so that she has the chance to hear them, if not see them one day.



  38. You crack me up! Sounds like you had a FANTASTIC weekend in Chi. I want to know how you do all you do with 3 kiddos - because I also have 3 boys. A bit younger than yours so I'm counting on the hope that I'll figure out where "I" belong and what I'm meant to do as they get older. In the meantime, maybe I can take some really cute videos of them while they are still cute!

  39. It was such a blur - so many faces and names and cards. I'm glad we met, though. Some faces, it seems, have found better places in my memory than others. I'm glad yours is in there.

  40. WOW - I would adore this one!

  41. I have an ex husband that I'd be happy to give away on my blog!

  42. Dude - awesome post. I kinda want that camera but I don't know - all of the memories I took away from BlogHer were good enough swag for this chick....

    BUT - if I can think of a tiny moment that would make you smile a bit, I may just tweet ya. Hmmmmm......we shall see.

    LOVED hanging with you....


  43. All these people are just pretenders, Amy. They don't love you for the hard working, dedicated mother, gifted photographer and truly beautiful woman that you are like I do. Daddy 007 is a lucky, lucky man.

  44. If I had a pocket video camera at the ready, it would have been to videotape my "Big Guy" when he won the "Biggest Splash Contest" at the pool on July 4th. He was practicing all week for the big day. You can imagine the look on his face when he learned that he had won! And he couldn't wait to weave in and out of the crowd of bystanders until he reached me to proudly hold up his prize so that I could take a photo: A Nerd's Rope Candy! His chest was all puffed out and he was grinning ear to ear.

    Now, you are probably thinking, cute that her son won! But the prizewinner was not my son, it was my 45 year old husband who was the winner. I know that he would have loved to have seen his biggest splash jump on replay on a video camera, since he kept asking me how high the splashes went. Beaming, he told me that he had always wanted to win a Biggest Splash Contest since he was a kid at his hometown pool :-)

  45. Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Amy the Bitchin Wife
    Is hotter than you!

  46. I would love to have the camera from the time we made out at BlogHer....oh damn, was that wishful thinking, i guess it was because I didn't even get to meet you...did I mention I cried many tears over that.


    I loved blogher this year and can't wait until next and we for real shall meet ;)

  47. I could have totally done with that camera when my 17 year old, affectionately known as The Damn Emo (well mostly affectionately) told me in VIVID FREAKING DETAIL about goings on with her boyfriend.

    The varying looks on my face could be used as a warning on what NOT to do when your teenager bares all. So to speak...

  48. what? we have to enter here? I am so confused! Aye corumba is something youw ill not here in europe!

  49. And it comes in Pink! The possibilities for that are endless. I am moving into my very own house in three weeks. It would be awesome to record how hard everyone is working to help me I "supervise" and giggle from the sidelines :) Just kidding, of course I will help move boxes, the light ones.

  50. Oh, btw...did I ever tell you that pink is my signature color? I'm like Shelby in Steel Magnolias, minus that really unfortunate part near the end where she's not in the movie anymore.


  51. A Deer riding shotgun in tiny 80's cavalier. Drove right by my house as I sat on the porch. Had antlers, barely fit. #kodak

    That was my tweet, but I swear it happened. A freakin deer in that tiny car! As beat up as the car was, I wonder if the poor creature was alive when it went in. (ooh, maybe not so funny? yeah, yeah it is). Alas, nobody believes me! I'd give my right nut to have it on film. So what if I don't have any nuts. Okay fine, I'd give someone else's for the deer/car film. They wouldn't mind as long as they got a copy of the video. Right? Hmph. I'm sure they're safe (whoever this person is whose nuts I'm volunteering). You already have a husband, after all. ;)

    I've said nuts way too many times. The deer in the car, though.... wish I had it on film.

  52. What I most wish I'd been able to record in my life is my father. I was 8 when he died and he was 43. His health had always seemed so robust which made his death particularly unexpected. There was no time for goodbyes, no time to record anything. One day he was here and the next he was gone.

    For twenty years I've lived with his loss, and while it's no longer the gaping, howling thing it once was I still ache for his absence from the world. But most of all I ache that I will never be able to show a video of him to my son and say: "Look, that's your grandfather. That's whose eyes you inherited."

    All I have is a handful of photographs, but they don't show the living, vivid essence of him. His deep laugh and sharp wit or the pranks he loved to play. And most of all, none of them contains his voice.

    My father lives in me and the stories of people who knew him, but each year a little more he fades away. People die, or forget, and one day no one will remember but me and it's the thing that makes me most sad. That someone can be so erased from the world, that he's been dead so long and the world has gone on without him and that all the people I have met since his death will never know this man who I loved and that they will never hear him sing.

    He had an incredible voice, my father. A bass baritone that appeared unaffected by his drinking and 40 cig a day habit. It was a voice that drew people and I have vivid memories of people weeping at the sound of it.

    I hunger for his voice and sometimes when I catch a snippet of opera on the radio, just for a second it sounds like him and it stops my breath, but then the person sings on and it never is.

    Trying to remember the sound of it is like trying to paint someone from the image in your mind. Sometimes I hear it in dreams, or in times of intense joy or loneliness, but most of the time it is gone and I ache for the loss of it.

    I remember fragments of lullabyes he sang me to sleep with, and I remember how listening to him always felt like such a gift. How his voice would swell in him, and surge from him. I remember the way his music flowed through me, the shivers it sent down my spine, how it whispered to close your eyes and let yourself be carried away by it to a dream of a better world.

    And if I shut my eyes and laid my head against my father's chest I could feel the vibrations of the song in him, and could imagine that he was not flesh and bone but made of smooth dark wood like the insides of Orthodox Churches, that inside himself my dad had not griefs and frustrations and hypertension but immense rooms of light and air filled only with the smooth, cartwheeling, endless notes of song.

    And it makes me feel so sad, that this man who I loved, who was larger than life and funnier than I can tell has been so thoroughly erased from this world, reduced to a hologram that lives in me.

  53. Wish we'd hung together in Chicago. Clearly, you rock. And thanks for dropping by my blog. :)


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.