bloggers in sin city, phone calls with my mother, and a few quiet weeks

When I called my mother this morning, it took her about a 1/4 of a phone ring to pick up and yell, “HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!”

I’m all, “Today’s the first day of spring?” and she’s like, “Well no, it was yesterday, but I forgot to call! I forgot! I’m sorry! I’M SO SORRY!” and I’m all, “You’re sorry? When did we start celebrating the beginning of seasons via phone in this family?” and she’s like, “Well, it was 90 degrees here last week but now we’re getting a rain storm and it’s going to cool down to 60!” and I’m all, “Is this the same conversation we were just having?” and she’s like, “Today is my pastor’s birthday!” and I’m all, “You don’t even need me on the other end of the phone, do you?”

A few minutes later, once we’d regained some sense of conversational normalcy, she asked me what’s been going on. I was all, “What do you mean?” and she was like, “You know, what’s up! What’s new! What’s happening!” and I was all, “Huh, well… nothing.” That’s the thing, the past few weeks have been the kind of weeks where time passes, and it’s good time, but nothing really happens. Do you know what I mean? It’s like somehow, in the absence of Big Things going on, you just settle into the details of your life and hours and days and weeks go by without your attention being pulled toward any one particular or noteworthy thing.

After I got off the phone with my mother, I decided that that was impossible. I couldn’t have spent the past few weeks doing nothing, so I sat down to make a list of everything that has happened lately to prepare for our next phone call in which I’d be able to give her a better answer. I spent about five minutes thinking back over the past few weeks, and this is what I came up with:

1. I made myself learn how to spell vinaigrette
2. I scratched the hell out of my car by getting it wedged up against a pole in our garage
3. I baked whole wheat bread from scratch
4. I had my teeth cleaned by an exceptionally hot dentist
5. I debated dying my hair red
6. I ate a lot of mustard
7. I obsessively Googled photos of people who have dyed their hair red
8. I listened to my mother brag about how much more often she wears a bra these days
9. I watched an inappropriate amount of The West Wing

That’s it. That’s what I’ve done over the past few weeks. I feel like I’m living in a little bit of a soft lull right now, with lots of upcoming plans but nothing pressing in the immediate future. Once March and April turn to May, though, I’ll be manic levels of busy. May is when James Bond’s parents visit from Washington and when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bay to Breakers by wandering the city in costume and drinking liquor at 7am (luckily, these two things don’t fall on the same weekend). May is also when I’ll head to Vegas for the third annual Bloggers in Sin City, the social meetup I founded to make it easier for all of us who love each other on the internet to love each other in person (while jumping in fountains and drinking ginger vodka out of penis straws). Which reminds me: if you’re a blogger, or a Tumblr-er, or even just a Twitter-er, and if you like meeting incredibly warm and wonderful people, and if you like being surrounded by the absurdity that is Las Vegas, you should sign up for BiSC. I’d love to meet you.

Meeting people is what Bloggers in Sin City is all about, it’s a chance to turn our online lives into our offline lives, and in truth this event is the sole reason I’ve continued blogging during many of the times when I’ve thought, “THE INTERNET IS TOO MUCH PRESSURE! I WANT TO DISAPPEAR AND LIVE IN A YURT!” Do you ever feel like that? Like social media and Life 2.0 or 3.0 or 9.0 or whatever point-0 we’re on now are overwhelming? Sometimes, I want to crawl into a hole and never hear the words “status update” ever again. I think, “No more internet! Bye bye forever!” but then I remind myself that I am who I am because of the people I love, and that the people I love have almost all come my way because of this ridiculous pink blog. The internet can be overwhelming, sure, but we’re all real people, with real lives and real feelings, and isn’t it all so much better when we can experience that first hand?

So yeah, come to Bloggers in Sin City. I’ll be there, possibly as a red head. And all of these amazing-ass people will be there too, with whatever color hair they decide to have. Unfortunately, my mom won’t be there, but maybe I’ll call her on speaker phone or bring my favorite photo of her with me, the one that was taken a few years ago by the Arizona police camera when she ran a red light and made the best, guiltiest facial expression in the history of the world.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Bridget March 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

The thing is, I can see myself having similar conversations with a future daughter if I ever decide to be a mother. Why? I often need no one else to actually talk on the other end of the phone. (My own mother knows this… “Mom, I nearly killed myself today. No, really. Just listen.”)

As for your hair, do it. I went red(dish) in December and love it!


Susan March 22, 2011 at 5:22 am

I love my mom, but on a recent call that was 45 minutes long, I got to speak maybe – maybe – 10 minutes. I’ve been very bad on multiple occasions and put the phone on the table/next to the cat because I don’t even need to be listening.


Josef March 22, 2011 at 5:57 am

Are you going Rihanna Red? Such an artificial color but it definitely turns my head. I can’t get enough of that photo with your mom. Maybe I will make it my laptop’s wallpaper…I long for the time when life was slow. It seems the older you get the more things you have to do and events to attend.


A Super Girl March 22, 2011 at 6:47 am

I, too, have been watching an absurd amount of West Wing lately. I go through phases where I won’t touch it for months, and then I’ll randomly watch an episode and get sucked in. For the millionth time.


Elly Lou March 22, 2011 at 6:49 am

Dude. I could be wicked into a blogging conference that doesn’t involve…you know…the conference part.


JRM March 22, 2011 at 7:39 am

OK, 2 things. 1) Why have you been eating a lot of mustard? That’s pretty random, even for random people. And, 2) I wrote about a yurt once, so I know what you’re talking about, and it’s surprising to see someone else mention it. AWESOME! http://www.workspacewritings.com/2010/08/yurt-and-strawberrt.html


Angela March 22, 2011 at 8:05 am

I am also confused about the mustard. I am spending inordinate amounts of time wondering what my next move should be with my hair. I bought a $12 hair magazine. I can’t even afford to get my hair cut and colored right now but I bought a $12 hair magazine. How pathetic is that?

Your mom makes me laugh out loud. “It’s my pastor’s birthday!” was my favourite part.

I would love to come to Vegas but given a hair magazine nearly blew my budget, I’ll just read about it afterwards.

I don’t watch West Wing. I do watch obscene amounts of Chelsea Lately and can’t get enough of Shameless though. So there’s that.

Yep. Lull-time here too!


Corie March 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

I dyed my hair red once in college. It didn’t turn out exactely as planned. Instead of the auburn/red highlights I was going for my whole head turned completely, well, RED. It was awful.

Now that I read that back I realize I’m totally raining on your parade. I really hope your red hair experience goes way better than mine!


Garnet March 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

I’ve never seen the West Wing but I was just telling Brandy that as soon as this semester is over I’m going to have summer marathons. The plan is that we are going to watch them and discuss espisodes via email. Kind of like our own little West Wing TV Show Club. So YEAH, you should join our club.

: ( No BiSC for me this year. Tear.


Holy City Sinner March 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

Stories about your parents are always comedic gold.
I wish I could make it to Sin City, but work is going to make sure I won’t. :(


Stacey March 22, 2011 at 9:54 am

OMG can you please call your mother on speaker phone during #BiSC?! All these stories I’ve read about her…I just…I have to experience this for myself!



Skinny Dip March 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Of all the hair colors I’ve had I think I had the most fun (read: got into the most trouble) as a redhead. Everyone needs to go read at least once.

Sometimes the pressure of living life online totally gets to me as well but, then I think of all the lovely people I’ve met & that’s what keeps me coming back.

I second Stacey on the speaker phone :)



neurotic notes March 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I just had to comment to give you some love for your “mother being caught running a red light” photo. Do they send you the picture to prove the traffic crime now? Is that an American thing? Wouldn’t it be the best website ever if someone compiled all those photos? It would be like Facebook, but for bad people.

Also, your list reflecting how nothing ever happens to you is actually my life. Your list of nothingness is the best my life gets. I need to get out more, obviously.

p.s. am only a recent reader of your blog, but I love it already!



katelin March 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm





Rachel Lee March 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Croutons and Ranch for breakfast EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

I learned how to get Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song out of my head.

AND I found my Vagina Crane. Which is actually just a paper crane that’s supposed to be my vagina. Well not my vagina, all vaginas. Because vaginas are strong like cranes….the real ones, not the paper ones. The paper ones are as flimsy as hell. Whatever, I got it at Vagina Monologues like a month ago and I lost it but now I found it and it’s still intact so maybe I don’t give paper vagina cranes enough credit.

You didn’t ask for any of this information.

Btw this was supposed to be a list of things I’ve done.
Maybe I should have mentioned that first.


Mary Sue March 23, 2011 at 8:53 am

I have a hard time writing my blog weekly. I love it, but sometimes it feels like more of a chore than something I do for fun. When I don’t update though, I just feel more guilty so it is good to get it over with. I guess.

Also, I have red hair – natural, beautiful red hair – and it IS fun. Do it.


Annie March 23, 2011 at 9:25 am

In your red head search, did you happen to come up with the PERFECT color to dye your hair? I have been searching the exact same thing for the past 2 days and haven’t come up with shit.


Arielle March 23, 2011 at 10:37 am

The thing about Bay to Breakers is that this is something I desperately need to attend. Dressing up and day drinking are pretty much my 2 favorite activities.


Becca March 23, 2011 at 11:09 am

My family does this all the time and it drives me nuts!!! It’s gotten to the point where they’ll have full conversations with my voicemail. “Oh, hi honey! Guess you’re busy…” and then launch into a 10 minute diatribe about the dogs, and the neighbors, and what’s on sale at the grocery store. Thank god for visual voicemail.


Sasha March 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I read blogs about and by people who live in a Yurt…..no escape there.


Jessica March 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Oh my god that is the most amazing photo ever. Mine would be me mouthing “motherf*cker” because that’s what I would say. I’m so sad I won’t be in Vegas this year but I will be with you in spirit!


Kelly L March 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm


Also, I had to look up what a “Yurt” was. Mostly so I didn’t have to feel stupid by asking in the comments what it was. Instead, I decided to look stupid by merely announcing that I didn’t know what it was. Whatevs.

I plan to arrive in Vegas with red hair. Mostly because I’m terrified of what will happen if I try to go from its current state of red back to the blondish-color it was before. I’m guessing… orange. And that’s just no good for anyone.


Lisa March 24, 2011 at 11:06 am

Since you were the person who inspired me to blog, next year I am certainly coming!!!! I can’t wait to here how it went this year.

As for mothers… mine is completely random.


terra March 25, 2011 at 9:19 am

That picture is fabulous. Your mother is a rock star.


Prude and Confused March 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Have fun in Vegas!! Wish I could make it!
Mom’s are silly, but you’ve got to love them!! :)


Nomadic Matt March 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm

red head? Yes please


Gina March 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Oh man, I remember that picture from blogs past. So epic!

I’m so bummed I will be missing BiSC this year, but next year FOR SURE.


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