my summer vacation, part 2: BlogHer ’10

After my day of John Cougar Mellencamp moments in Virginia, I kissed my family goodbye, left them with my in-laws and boarded an Amtrak train headed for New York City. After the five hour, sublime ride in the “quiet car” where no cell phones or loud talking were permitted, I emerged from Penn Station amidst the humid hustle & bustle of one of the most eclectic, electric cities in the world, sweaty and filled with nervous butterflies.

I then hauled my 65 lb suitcase to the taxi stand and made my way via cab to the Hilton New York, site of the biggest estrogen-inspired popularity contest on earth, aka BlogHer ’10. (I hope that doesn’t come across negatively–nothing wrong with popularity contests in my book).

Feeling confidant and ready to rock the networking thing, I handed out my brand spanking new business card to the first woman I met in the hotel check-in line. Inner Monolgue: I got this! Bring it on, BlogHer. Though I’m sure my glossy biz card was left on the armoire of her hotel, along with the 30lbs of pointless swag she decided to leave for housekeeping, I had my A game and was ready for the weekend.

My swagger received a slight blow a few minutes later when I stood at my hotel room door, frustrated that it wouldn’t open, only to realize that I had been trying to open it with the mini-bar key rather than the standard issue card key nestled tightly in my left hand. Be-rilliant start to the weekend!

I could bore you with deets of the conference sessions and my meanderings of the Expo floor, but I won’t. Instead I’ll highlight my top 5 favorite moments of the trip:

1)   Ringing in my girl Melanie’s birthday with the rest of the San Diego Momfia (Rock On Mommies, Ooph, San Diego Momma, La Jolla Mom, Everyday Mama). Her big day was Friday the 6th, but at midnight on Thursday, after several hours of drinking, a slice of cake and a round of cosmos a la Sex In the City appeared on the table and took the level of inebriation to an entirely new high.  Detailed accounts & specific conversation topics are a little blurry but I do know that a late night pizza run was involved which is always a sign of good times.

Photo compliments of La Jolla Mom

2)   Being hijacked by my BFF Mern on the second night of the conference.

Our first stop was Casellula, a wine and cheese bar owned by my junior high crush Brian Keyser (the one who didn’t accept my friend request on Facebook but who I’ve found in my heart to forgive)

Sidebar: This place is a definite must on your next trip to New York. It’s charming and DE-Lish, and I’m not just talking about Brian. The wines and cheeses are good too).

After making a pit stop at a swanky NYC bar playing all 80’s music that made me feel old, we settled into a Korean karaoke bar where we sang everything from Sweet Child O’Mine to Dress You Up and I ended up bruised and hoarse for the rest of the weekend.

I think my big wheels are turnin'

3)   The “Humor Blog Writing” session led by the hawtness of Awesomely Luvvie, the fireball Jessica Bern, and the hilariously snarky Lizz Winstead, one of the co-writers for the Daily Show.

(L to R) Lizz Winstead, Jessica Bern, Awesomely Luvvie (photo compliments of A. Luvvie)

It was the last session of the conference, and they certainly saved the best for last.  The three panelists literally had me slapping my knee and holding in my pee with one quick-witted crack after another.

My favorite quote of the day was by Lizz…”Yeah, I’m writing a self-help book. It’s called Fuck You!” Thank you ladies, for ending the conference on such a high note!

4)   The Sparklecorn Party.

As you may be able to deduce from the title of the party, there were two key ingredients to this party: #1 Sparkle and #2 Unicorns. Argh! If you’ve been a fan of The Mama Mary Show for a while you may recall that I HATE Unicorns. Not only do I hate them, but they make me want to curl up in a little bawl and suck my thumb from sheer terror. It’s a condition I call Unicorniphobia and it is real. So needless to say, when the invite for Sparklecorn came through my computer screen I nearly stabbed my eyeballs out with Lil’s colored pencils. But when I learned of the prestige associated with this party I decided to look my fear in the horned face and rsvp YES. And I’m so glad I did. Despite the fact that my “friends” spend the entire night throwing unicorn confetti all over me, the party was a blast! The DJ got the party started right and I even made the Mama Pop video recap (I’m shaking it like a Polaroid Picture).

photo compliments of Angry Julie

5) Meeting some of my fave bloggy people, face to face, (like Rachael, Mary Mac, Ilina, Melissa and Alexis), having quiet time away from whining, diapers and sippy cups and just enjoying the sights, sounds, tastes and yes, even smells of New York City with old friends and new. Oh, and spilling wine all over my girl Theresa. That was fun too!

At least it was white wine

Overall, my first experience with BlogHer was a success. Though I didn’t find the sessions very informative, I did take away a few nuggets of good information about writing, blogging and publishing. Mostly I gained some fan-fricking-tastic memories with kick-ass ladies and am REALLY looking forward to BlogHer ’11 which will be held right here in sunny San Diego. Let the party planning begin!

PS Totally inadvertently left out Natalie, her friend Katie and Monica as more rock-star women I had the pleasure of getting to know on this trip. I’m sure there are others, I’m just still a little brain dead.



  1. 1
    Jill k says:

    I’m jealous of everyone who went to blogher. Hopefully I’ll be there next year and you can spill wine on me!

  2. 2

    Can I just say that your site looks “BADASS”, I love it….and I have a weird thing with unicorns too. Maybe that’s why I only eat unicorn, I mean unicorn cake once a year. It was soo great to briefly see you…we need to hang more, rather than a quick hello at Legoland, BlogHer, etc.

    • Mary says:

      So glad you like the new look, Julie! And yes, get your badassness down here and let’s have a GNO with some of the other SD moms!

  3. 3
    alexis says:

    dude, that wine spill was soooo funny, even to me, and i was stone-cold sober. i had so much fun chillin’ with your face at maison (that goat cheese tart was so effing good it should be illegal).

    also, your site looks hella sexy. good job.

    • Mary says:

      I LOVED hanging with you a your sassy self, girl! BTW, we had goat cheese tart? jk. kind of.) And glad you like the site : ) xo

  4. 4
    Sean D says:

    The new site is totally cool!

  5. 5
    jessica Bern says:

    It was so great to meet you! and I am still looking for Liz’s book. I’m pretty sure it has sold out many times over.

  6. 6
    Luvvie says:

    YESSS!!! Glad you dug our panel. Jessica and Lizz are AMAZING. They are FANTAWESOME (fantastic and awesome). This recap rocked!

  7. 7
    Marymac says:

    Dude. Totally amazing meeting you as well! I second you on your #3!!
    Perhaps there should be more sessions on how to deal with Unicornphobia?!
    Thanks for the shout out on your rockin blog!!

  8. 8

    Hooray! A picture from birthday! Photographic proof that it *did* in fact happen. :D Between us the alcohol content could have killed a unicorn. I’m so very glad I got to spend it with you!

  9. 9

    I had so much fun.
    I would like to do a BlogHer with you monthly.
    But I will settle for wine night.

    Love you.

  10. 10
    Ooph says:

    How fun it was to share it together. I loved every single second of my BlogHer experience. And you? As always. A highlight.

  11. 11
    Sean says:

    Nice triceps at the karaoke bar. And the Sparklecorn cake is my new desktop, phone background, and soon to be avatar & profile picture.

  12. 12

    Holy moly! Looks like you were the life of the party! Love the unicorn—any nightmares lately? hee hee

  13. 13

    Why did I miss SparkleCorn again? Loved hanging with you although, it seems like I only saw you for a few minutes :) Can’t wait to do it again!

  14. 14

    […] of you saw my Pre-Blogher Freak out here.  I also did a quick little Vlog while at Blogher […]

  15. 15
    melissa says:

    i loved meeting your hot self!! and next year, in san diego, you’ll have to just do karaoke a different night and come to barher!! or maybe, we’ll have karaoke there, hmmm….

  16. 16
    jenny says:

    I am surprised that “the Bums” did not make your top 5 list. I guess you did not appreciate your children being dropped from a high swing, scolded in the shower by hot water, and our attempt to try and kill you and your husband with bad crabcakes. Will try again next year. In all seriousness it was great to see you and your family. xoxo

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