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What Happens at Blogger Interactive Doesn’t Stay at Blogger Interactive

In case you haven’t been able to tell, I’m all about meeting people from the internet. Naturally, I would be the one to organize an event based off of the very idea. I am just glad that Jen agreed to be the backbone of my crazy idea. Even through all of the planning, it never really hit me that it was actually going to happen until I filled up my tank, stocked up on smokes, and hopped on I-10 heading West. A direction I have never driven before. I even made a Vine on the road.

I arrived in Austin, TX alone after a long, but enjoyable 6 hour drive. I love to drive. It’s relaxing to me as long as I don’t get lost. I take one wrong exit and you would swear I just launched myself into outer space without an oxygen tank. I don’t think the La Quinta Inn was ready for me. As I stepped out of my SUV and started to unload my stuff onto a luggage cart, shoes, lanyards, and toiletries were falling everywhere. It was like my luggage sprung a leak.

blogger interactive austin

“Well, I’m here.” I thought.

I didn’t waste much time doodling in the hotel room, as I was ready to meet up with Jen so we could slap each other in the face as a reality check ritual. Little did I know, she had already explored Austin, met up with one of our speakers, Julian Gallo, and played with some bats. Cool. I’m late!

This would be a recurring theme. For some reason I felt totally under prepared the entire weekend.

Walking down Congress, I was looking around waiting for Jen to pop out of the woodwork, or one of the many hipster shops rather. Soon, I came to the restaurant we were to meet. I was right across the street from it. And there they were. Jen and Julian, and in deep conversation too by the looks of it.  I thought about jay running directly to them, but I figured it might be best for me to refrain from breaking laws before meeting the rest of the attendees. A few times I actually waved thinking I had made eye contact, only to embarrass myself when I realized I hadn’t.

blogger interactive

Left to right: Chiara Mazzucco, John Whitney, me, Jon Hagar

Too be honest, I was a little more nervous about walking down the wrong street and getting lost, than meeting everyone in person. I’m awkward as fuck on the phone, sure. I don’t enjoy giving speeches, no.  But I don’t get nervous to meet people one on one. I’m totally cool and put together. Unless they are nervous. Then it’s like catching poison ivy when you haven’t been outside yet. Confusing.

Regardless of nerves, when I saw the set up that 508 Tequila Bar created for us, I got a huge surge of proud feelings. I knew we had done it right. It only got better after that first night. I don’t think we could have planned this thing better, and I think everyone there meshed in an amazing way. Friendships blasted into hyper mode. It went a step beyond networking. I think they call it bonding.

Jen’s composure and eyebrows wowed me. It was mesmerizing to listen to Jullian talk about pretty much anything. I enjoyed giggling in the bathroom with Michelle as she nonchalantly wiped the counters after washing her hands. Chiara and I snuggled in our La Quinta bed after the speaker session, entertaining ourselves with nothing but some 711 candy and lottery scratchers. I fell in love with John and his wife Lisa who have to be the cutest couple in the history of the internet. So many moments go through my head when I think of the weekend.

blogger interactive 2013

Unfortunately, I did have one hang up about the event… me.

I recognized the fact that I had lost touch with much of the blogging community well before BI but way too late for my liking. When I was buzzing around during BI, I felt a bit intimidated. I hadn’t read anyone in so long. Since the beginning of the year when we started planning BI13, I have been so caught up in… well… planning. Blogger Interactive, Kickstarter projects, moving and moving some more, Bachelorette parties, Bloggers for Movember, and a million other things seemed to keep me from participating in the one thing that started it all. Blogging.

When I asked Lauren and Michael of Key + Arrow who they were, I felt like an idiot. Their blog was right there on our Facebook page. Dur. Yet, my mind felt blank. I didn’t get to have the depth of conversations I wanted to, because I wasn’t leading conversation like my normal self. I felt scattered. I felt intimidated. What?!

Luckily for me Vyvy of Vyvacious reminded me of something. Vyvy expressed the same concern to me over Brussels sprouts and calamari before the event even began, yet there at the Hangar Lounge on the second night she was sitting on Red’s wife’s lap, taking pictures, dancing, and chatting up a storm. She reminded me that having everyone memorized wasn’t what mattered. What mattered is that we were all there. We were there for each other. We were there to continue to get to know each other and learn from each other. And most of all, I think we all gained a new excitement and buzz for blogging, writing, and our virtual community while we were there. And I am more than okay with that.

Thank you Jen for ALL of your amazing hard work on this with me. Thank you Julian and Chiara for sharing your sexy brains with us. And finally, thank all of you who came out despite the distance, schedules and nerves. I love you all.

Look out for the official post event write-up on the BI page along with a slideshow of photos that have yet to be shared!

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I Never Liked Country

The one that got away. Do we all experience it? That one ex that you didn’t know completed you until you left?

The longest relationship I have ever had took years to build and only two to demolish. All of the memories, the places, and the laughs. Our relationship was fickle and tumultuous, but extremely passionate.  We would bitch endlessly over the thermostat one minute and then bask in the balmy humidity the next. We loved to savor our food together and never shamed each other for drinking a little too much.  Occasionally, I would grow tired of lazy ways and become jealous of friends that were driven away, but then the radio would come on. Everything was butter. I never liked Country. The songs never sounded good with anyone else.

You see he wasn’t like anyone. He was one of a kind. And not in the cliché kind of way that people might describe a cheap pendant on QVC. He owned the phrase one of a kind, and he knew it despite the fact that I sometimes didn’t.

He loved the water, and even looked great covered in moss. When I was in his presence I felt I belonged to something special. We were our own little secret club. It’s weird though, because we never really had a honeymoon phase. As long as I could remember we had always just been together. There was no one before him.

Regardless, I knew ultimately something would happen to our smooth cruising. We eventually began to take each other for granted. This would be the beginning of the end. The more possessive and predictable he became, the more indifferent and unimpressed I was. I convinced myself that his simple ways were holding me back.

Eventually, I started refusing to go out on the water. The special meals we cooked tasted bland, as if my taste buds had become tired of the repetition. We didn’t drink together anymore, but I drank alone. I had built up so much resentment, though he really hadn’t done anything wrong. Then my eyes began to wander. I would leave town for weeks and see other people. I didn’t even try to hide it. Funny thing is, he must have known but didn’t seem to care. Maybe he secretly knew I was too far gone. He was intuitive like that. And one day, sure enough, I was gone. For good.

Read Part II Here

Blogger Interactive is next weekend! I can’t wait to meet everyone who is coming. You can keep up with all the festivities by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram (@bloggerinteractive)! Be sure to use the hashtag #BI2013 for posting! 

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Modern Nomad

There is something I have to accept about my current self. It is something that, surprisingly, I don’t know if I enjoy or hate. Or hate that I enjoy. Or even enjoy hating. I am a modern nomad.

For the past five months I have had no real home. Not physically anyway. At first, the rush of stripping off lease shackles and wiping my name off of the grid gave me a high.  I felt like I had beat some sort of system. The one that says you have to follow a certain progression. The house you grew up in – college dorm – apartment with one too many room mates- apartment with no room mates – rent house – mortgage – death.

I wrote about how fantastic it felt to let go of old crap, the cleansing of de-cluttering, and the excitement of the unknown. I have traveled to so many new places. I lived in a new place. I stayed in so many Holiday Inn Expresses that I am now opening a shop on Ebay selling tiny lotion bottles that are easily mistaken for conditioner.

It’s true. All of that it is exciting. But exciting doesn’t always necessarily associate with words like fun, easy, or stress free. In fact, it has been written that acute stress is what actually brings about excitement. It isn’t always clear, open roads with your favorite song on the radio, and a large Icee in the cup holder. Sometimes, it is bumper to bumper traffic, nothing but radio interference, and a watered down Sprite when you asked for a Coke.

It turns out that being or feeling stuck and confined is often equally as terrifying as being locked out or feeling afloat. I’ve been a creature of habit. I’ve been a hermit, and now I have been a nomad. I have no idea what I will try out next, but I will be something. Sometimes I just don’t know what I want, and I’ve accepted that that probably means I will continue to change forever. And you know what? I am inexplicable okay with that. Actually, I love that about me.

In honor of my nomadic life, check out my second installment of hotel room ramblings: Hotel Room Perks

Winners of my contest for Blogger Interactive will be e-mailed this month, hang tight! I haven’t forgotten!

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“1”

For ten years now, or so it seems, I have had an unfinished, untitled post in the dusty cupboard of my dashboard. Actually, it was titled,  no title, which WordPress automatically assigns to all of those posts you begin to write knowing that you have no intention of finishing but that you begin to write anyway to make yourself feel like you gave it a shot.

The only text it contained read:

1.

This could only mean “1” of “1” things.

In my desperation, I attempted to write a list post. I know what I must have been thinking, “I can surely rattle off quickly, raise a few chuckles, and get my groove back”. Yet, apparently I went into the scheme unarmed, save for the numerals that would keep the words in queue. Well, “1” numeral at least. Today, I finish this list once and for all so that the uncapitalized no title will stop making my brain vibrate with discomfort.

Things That Come In “1’s”

1. 40 oz. beers in paper bags

2. The gummy vitamins that mutated into 1 whole gummy vitamin after I left them in my car in the middle of Summer

3. Kickboxing class

4. Cream cheese packets at Starbucks

5. Becca Cord

Things That Never Come In “1’s:

1.  People who play scratch off tickets at the cash register like it’s the casino

2. Gnats

3. Pomeranians

4. Overly enthusiastic, borderline creepy smiles at Starbucks

5. 5 for $25 panty deals at Victoria’s Secret

Whew! I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have conquered this post. Finally! I can move forward. I’ve been dying to write about so many things, yet I couldn’t stop staring at no title  and knowing that there was a list I needed to purge from my brain. I hope we can all get back to normal around here now.

I’d like to get back in the loop a bit, especially with Blogger Interactive right around the corner, and in hopes that it will shake up my creative juices again now that I have a bit of time freed up. If you comment, send me a link to something you have written in the past week, month, whatever. Something important or something you wrote just for fun. Laughs are encouraged. Thanks Flysters.

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Blogger Interactive Give Away Winners

The 25toFly Blogger Interactive sharing contest is now officially closed. As mentioned in the original post, the likes and shares between August 7th and 21st will be tallied to determine the winners, but I need a little help. If you participated in the contest, please let me know in the comment section how many likes, shares, reblogs, or original posts that you dedicated to Blogger Interactive. From there, I will double check the tallies and work on getting the lovely prizes to the winners.

A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in helping us to spread the word about our groundbreaking event! As the date draws nearer, we are preparing to blow everyone out of the water. From our speakers, to our venues, to the incredible swag we have to give our attendees, the first annual BI is already a huge success. We can’t wait to share the experience with everyone and develop what is next to come.

Speaking of venues, we have a slight change in the event itinerary. The original welcome mixer will be held at a new location, so be sure to head over to the BI blog and read all about it! Later this week we will let attendees know about a special gift from one of our sponsors as well. Excitement!

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Who Doesn’t Like Giveaways?

The correct answer is no one.

Yesterday many of you out there helped Blogger Interactive reach over 100 likes on our Facebook page, which means you earn a standing ovation and loving smack on the bum. It also means that this is the perfect time to give back to those of you who are devoutly supporting this event! I have been teasing about some very special goodies for a week or so now, and it is finally time to reveal what’s going on. The 25toFly official BI sharing contest!

share

How to Qualify

1. Like Blogger Interactive on Facebook or follow us on our blog or Twitter @bloginteractive (if you already have done this, you can qualify by referring a friend!)

2. Write a unique and clever blog post of your own about a time you met up with another blogger, a special blogging connection you made, what you would like to see of the event in the future, or simply anything in relation to the event and link to our spiffy site (http://bloggerinteractive.com)

3. Tally the MOST shares on social media. You can share the site link, a specific BI update post, our new store link, our logo, or anything related to the event! (NOTE: social media includes Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest but be sure to use the hashtag #bloggerinteractive on relevant platforms)

What You Will Win

1. All of the people who like our Facebook page, or follow our blog page or Twitter handle will be entered into a drawing to win one item from our new BI swag store! I will pick one winner.

blogger interactive journal

I want your pen on me.

2. Out of the unique posts devoted to Blogger Interactive, I will choose the best submission. This person will win a 30-day free ad space on The Indie Chicks (one of BI’s fantastic sponsors) website! It will look something like this:

indie chicks ad

Fame is yours!

3. This is the big one! The person who tallies the MOST shares of this post and/or Blogger Interactive related content will win a spot as one of our official sponsors, introduction as such on our page, and a specialized Sponsor T-shirt!

Blogger interactive ad

Prestigious indeed.

This contest will run for two weeks. That means the contest will end on August 21st at 12:00 noon (Eastern). So get to sharing Flysters! Please be sure to keep track of your likes, follows, and shares. At the end of the contest, please be sure to come back to this post and leave a comment with your tallies so that I can check them! Don’t forget to RSVP to the event while you’re at it.

Most importantly, thanks for making this possible. BI and I love you and that means that you win the internet.

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25toFly on The Petecast

There isn’t a post that is better fitting to come after my last one on the Blogging Bureaucracy and doing whatever the hell you want with your blog than today’s. I’ve been yammering about it long enough, and now here it is. My first ever Podcast with Peter Dewolf on the Petecast. It was such a cool experience.

We discussed everything short of the meaning of the universe: Blogger Interactive, favorite parts of blogging, walking your cat on a leash, Myspace, internet projects, video editing (big dreams), VEDA, logistics of podcasting, dating Hanson, meeting boyfriends/girlfriends online, Long Distance Relationships, Skype booty, online dating and more. But then again, I guess these things make up the meaning of my universe.

Listen in HERE

Spread the word. Next week I am going to make an announcement about a give away, but what and why?  Guess you will find out in give or take seven days. Cheers.

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Versus: Part Two

Hello Flysters! It has been a hot minute, right? Well, I promise I have a good excuse. Probably the best, most relevant excuse in the history of 25toFly. I MOVED.

backseat tetris

I can finally add “experienced in backseat Tetris” to my resume.

A whole month before the deadline I set for myself a year and three months ago, I finally moved. In light of the exciting news, I have revamped my about page, lined up some surprises, and launched the Boost YOUR Ideas page. Thank you for coming along this journey with me. I couldn’t have done it without your encouragement. Now on with the stuff that kept you reading in the first place…

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If you aren’t up to speed with my versus experiment, you can check out Part One here. Basically, I have discovered that humans have absolutely no idea what we like or don’t like or why. My first set of versus observations involved food and beverage. Today, I have a few other categories to explore. Get a napkin before I blow your mind.

Broadcast Entertainment Vs. Owned Entertainment

My DVD collection isn’t exactly vast, and I cringe every time I see the face of Kristen Stewart blankly staring up at me from the special edition case of Twilight that my mom gave to me as a gift three years ago. Out of the few movies I do own, 99% of them were given to me or accidentally stolen mysteriously manifested themselves on my DVD rack. This is because I do not buy movies. The only movie I have ever purchased in my life is Bridesmaids. This is because I do not watch movies more than once. And you can’t beat Maya Rudolph shitting in the street.

I don’t watch a movie more than once, unless of course it has carefully been selected by network television and airs back to back over a weekend. I’ve seen the movies Ghost and Dirty Dancing approximately 1,456 times… each.   The Notebook is on FX you say? Get the fuck out of my chair and don’t touch my popcorn or else you will be the one with memory loss after a swift elbow to the noggin. If any Adam Sandler movie is on, you can basically assume that the TV has absorbed me like that little girl from Poltergeist. Oh yeah, poltergeist, that’s another one.

poltergeist

Jack is obsessed with Tom and Jerry. How adorable.

Had I owned any of these movies they would be collecting cat nip dust on a shelf. I guess I just can’t enjoy my movies without the painful interference of bad commercials and censored words like “BLEEP” and “BLEEP”.

Radio Vs. Ipod

Here we have a similar phenomenon. With an Ipod and Pandora Radio app on my Iphone, you would think I’d never run out of something to jam, right? Wrong. About a minute after I urgently cough up 99 cents for a must-have song that I will out play to the point of nausea, I am just as soon shuffling to the next crappy song to avoid puking on my steering wheel. Repeat cycle.

Pandora is a whole other beast. Whoever decided that you only get five skips within the hour is obviously the type of person who eats the same bowl of cereal for every meal. Gross.

Recently I bought and downloaded that song by Mumford & Sons and accidentally fell asleep with it on repeat. When I woke up, I felt as though the hemispheres of my brain had fused together and every time I tried to form a sentence all that would come out was, “I will wait, I will wait, I will wait”. Needless to say, I swore off the song forever. Ten minutes later, as I was driving to grab a smoothie, I realized I was beaming rays of kitten kisses out of my ears as I giddily sang along with the very song I had just banished from my life.

What gives?

Your Cat Vs. My Cat

Speaking if kitten kisses, I will leave you with this last enigma. As everyone must know, I have a cat. He is quite famous actually…

DWIGHT CAT MEME

Cat and snake = cake

Sure, I enjoy petting my cat (shut up), but for some reason it never compares to petting someone else’s cat (shut up!). Maybe it is the uncertainty of whether or not the unknown cat will enjoy my advances or try to slit my wrist with its claws. Maybe it is the excitement of newness and the unknown. Maybe I am just secretly resentful of Jack’s fame.

What kind of weird versus situations do you find yourself in?

Everyone do me a favor and follow @BlogInteractive on Twitter for updates and information on this year’s big meet up in Austin, TX. Even if you do not plan to attend, you can still live vicariously, or even organize a meet up of your own. We will feature it on the official site which will be launching SOON. Thank you!

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