Work: July 2008 Archives


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Last Thursday night I slipped on a black cocktail dress and grabbed my $10 clutch I bought at Forever 21 BEFORE I got home to read an email from Karin, who owns a boutique on Washington called Charm. I Twittered earlier that I needed to buy a clutch and she offered to loan me one, no strings. Why the internet is awesome, lesson 1. (I have one photo of the dress on Flickr and another Chris took of me with my award but I'm exceeding my tolerance for self-portraits, so maybe I'll upload the latter another time.)

I took the boys to the mall with me in search of the aforementioned clutch (you did know that there is a difference between a "clutch" and an "evening bag," didn't you? I didn't. However I do know that there is a difference between taupe and beige so give me points!) and as we passed Victoria's Secret Liam intoned to Ewan "That's where mom gets her boob holders." Yes. How observant of him. As we entered Forever 21 I said a tiny prayer and asked for God to not let me take the store's name literally and to allow a lightbulb to go off over my head when I officially become Too Old and Out of Shape to Shop There.

While there Liam looked for "pirate jewelry" and Ewan indulged his obsession with cheap ladies' handbags. He walks around the house in his hat with one of my purses, in which he stores his water gun, a Thomas the Tank engine, some stickers, and his half-eaten snacks which he always tells me he's saving for later. The sad thing is that the contents of my purse and the contents of his purse are exactly the same.

After all the preliminary gussied-up-ness was out of the way, Chris, my cleavage, and I arrived at the St. Louis Business Journal's 30 Under 30 awards where we met some incredibly cool people, including this local political blogger, a herd of lawyers, doctors, and PR people. While they talked and waved around their wine glasses and laughed about law school days I tried to forget how, moments before we left the house, Ewan pointed to my chest and laughed "A BUTT!" I must be as juvenile as him because I thought it was hysterical.

My friend Susan ran over to me, anxious to show off her über hot red dress, on which someone spilled red wine moments later. I accepted my heavy granite award on stage and hid behind my new bangs. At this moment I'm unsure of where I'll put my trophy, in my office, or worn as a giant belt buckle. After the awards we headed to Schlafly's with the people we just met and talked about fish and chips and being German. We were home way before my carriage turned into a pumpkin and I collapsed into bed and rested up for my early flight out to San Francisco the following morning. The end.

Due to the emails I've received over the issue I thought I'd clarify: I am NOT involved with, working for, or collaborating with Baby Talk magazine despite the apparent presence of my trademark in their latest issue. I don't know firsthand, I haven't seen it, only what you all have told me. Hopefully we can get the matter cleared up. Back in a bit.

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I'm not sure I could adequately describe the past four days in a word count that you would want to read. I was overwhelmed right after arriving at the hotel. The lobby was full of women. I admittedly went into this thing with a ton of preconceived notions, some of which were confirmed, others were not. A situation is what you make of it and I wanted to have a good time and meet people. I wasn't quite sure what to expect; I know that a whole lot of political jockeying goes on at these sorts of things and that sometimes, to some people, your value is determined by your traffic. When you meet people from the internet for the first time you are never sure if you're meeting the "real" person behind the writing or the carefully constructed persona. I don't think I ran across any of those folks in my padded corner of the conference.

I'd never before been to Blogher and while I know a lot of bloggers online, knowing them offline is a different story. Luckily, I was in Jersey for the Johnson's baby camp thing and I consider it a mock-run. There I'd met some women that I would hang out with in real life.

My flight left St. Louis at an ungodly hour on Friday morning. What I learned this weekend:

Barely coherent at this point

I'm still suffering from jet lag and am currently operating sans caffeine. Also my house is a mess and we have no food in our kitchen. I have a lot to share and will be back shortly.  

This morning as I got both the boys ready to go to their grandparents house my heart sank a little. They'll be with their grandparents tonight, during my awards reception, until Friday evening when Chris gets them after work. I won't see them until I get home from Blogher on Sunday. It's amazing how some days I feel so tired of their company, how some weekends I can't wait until they're at their grandparents' house so Chris and I can have dinner or go to a show. It's days like this that I feel bad for ever thinking it. The people who said that motherhood was hard weren't exactly honest. It's physically taxing, yes, and sleepless nights are the first thing new parents or childless people think of whenever they think about parenthood. No one tells you how emotionally difficult it is, how there's never one right way to feel, how everything, even something as simple as a three-day trip can turn into a heart-wrenching mindjob. Parenting exaggerates all emotions.

I rolled their little suitcases down the steps, each one carefully packed with coordinating outfits, pajamas, and extra socks. I gave them their breakfast and tried to ignore how this would be one of the longest stretches of time that I wouldn't see them. Liam is a trooper, always an optimist. His presence in my life has done away with a huge part of my cynicism. Ewan was good until it was time for Chris to take them, at which point he realized that I wasn't coming along. He didn't cry those mustered up "I didn't get my way" tears; he put his hand in front of his eyes and his little body heaved forward in one giant sob.

"I miss you," he cried.

I screwed my face up in an expression of determined happiness and beamed at him. I told him that I would miss him too, and that I will be back on Sunday, and how I was going to call him after he fished with his grandparents and ask him how many fish he caught. And I hugged both boys and with my head over Ewan's shoulder I mouthed to Liam "Take care of your brother," to which he nodded.

Then I waved at them as they drove away and when the garage door was safely closed the dam burst and I bawled standing there in my houseshoes and pajamas in the backyard. And I said a little prayer asking that we all be brought back together again safely on Sunday.

I admit now that I have a near-debilitating fear of flying. It's not for drama's sake: I break out into hives on my neck, chest, and upper arms; I get nauseous, and I have trouble sleeping the days building up to the flight. I researched plane crash survival rates and even practiced free-falling techniques. (SHUT UP.) I've always had Chris on the plane with me; last time en route to New Jersey Jaelithe and Lisa sat on either side of me and I was doped up on Dramamine and everything was cool, daddy-o. This time I'm alone. I get freaked out because, despite the laws of physics, it seems unfathomable that a giant metal bird can fly, but yet it does, people fly on them everyday. It's a combination of this, leaving the boys, and being around a herd of women I mostly don't know that have me out of my comfort zone and feeling on edge this morning. I'm sure I'll feel fine by this evening. I hope my guys will, too.

I won't update again until Monday, however I do plan to be active on Twitter and Flickr in the meantime. Now I have to pack.

If you're here from the Journal ...


I forgot that the piece about me in the St. Louis Business Journal was running today and thankfully remembered that a thousand new eyeballs would be stopping by right before I posted a totally irreverent piece of writing. It's best that I keep the poised and polished charade up for as long as possible.

You can get a tease of the article here, and I mean a tease; you actually have to purchase the print edition of the paper to get the full story. I may cheat and post a photo here if they don't run after me with pitchforks for doing so.

So for all the Business Journal readers, hello! I'm Dana, I'm a blogger writer and radio show host (among other things), and you can read more about me here and here. I enjoy long walks on the beach, movies, beef jerky, pop-culture, and I can use the southern pronoun "yins" correctly in a conversation.    

Today at 4pm CST

I'm doing a live interview on homeschooling and Blogher with the lovely Megan Morrone of Jumping Monkeys; you can listen here.

*Updated: Did I know that I would be on with Leo Laporte? No. I had a fangirl moment and was temporarily stunned but then my inner broadcaster gave me a shake. I was already amped about speaking with Megan; when Chris realized that Leo was also interviewing me he practically hemorrhaged. I am very envious of their setup over there on TWiT Live.

**Here's the episode if you missed it live.

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"