This weekend I was in NYC for the Voices of the Year awards and BlogHer 2015 conference. (The photo below is from the awards ceremony, where the astute among you may notice that I’m wearing the exact same dress I wore to the Iris Awards. It turns out I only have the wherewithal to be fancy once in a calendar year, and the second time around I half-ass it by basically saying “ditto” and hoping for the best. I didn’t even remember my spanx this time, is what I’m saying).
For those of you who aren’t following “Blog Awards Season” closely (which I assume is all of you except maybe you, Mom), the “Voices of the Year” honors are given to individual pieces of work that have been standouts during the year.
That article was able to reach so many people, and hopefully open up some eyes to the real struggle that children in foster care face. I’m very thankful that it got the traction that it did, and a big thanks to all of you who shared it.
Here I am with my little trophy. It’s basically an Oscar and an Emmy combined, from what I can tell. Yeah it looks a little less fancy than those awards but that’s just because this photo isn’t super clear. If this were a sharper image you’d see that it wouldn’t be misleading to say I’m an Academy Award Winner! I think Gwyneth Paltow will agree. She (like me!) has won an Oscar and an Emmy. We’re basically the same person, Gwyneth and me.
Things I learned on my trip:
- You need to inspect your fancy “going out” pants carefully before you pack them, especially if you’re only bringing one pair of “going out” pants. Because sometimes your pants might be missing the button that keeps you from flashing your lady bits at the crowd. Sometimes. I’m not saying that happened to me. But it did. You guys that’s what happened to me.
- While you can pack all of your belongings (dresses, computer, charger, pjs, makeup, hair straightener, etc.) for a three day trip in a single backpack, you probably shouldn’t. It doesn’t look as cool as you imagine it will (like, “hey, I once backpacked through South America solo!” It’s more like “hey, I have a really giant bag on my back this entire weekend, even when we’re just getting a drink and it’s weird to be carrying such a big bag! Maybe I should have brought a purse and a suitcase like a regular person! I guess I’ll just carry my suitcase/backpack/computer case/purse hybrid on my back for days on end. I want to give scoliosis a head start!)
- Don’t go to the Hilton in Midtown and ask for “the cheapest red wine you have,” mainly because they don’t seem to like that at all, but also because the cheapest red wine they have is still $14, which is about 75% more expensive than what I was hoping for, so it’s kind of a waste of time to ask for the cheapest. Might as well spend like $17 and get something awesome, like a cup of straight vodka.
- I have zero stamina left for adult life. Zero. My first night out I was feeling pretty awesome, like Carrie Bradshaw minus the hair and good clothes. By the second night I was desperate for my bed by 10:00 p.m. I was too tired to even watch a home renovation program in my hotel room, much less stay out for karaoke. NYC took me down big time.
- Gwyneth Paltrow is quite appealing in person. And by “in person” I mean on a stage kind of far away from me. I didn’t get a chance to talk to her about vagina steam cleaning as I’d hoped to, but I got the sense that if I met her in a bar I would make friends with her. A vegan bar with purified air, probably. Not like a dive bar or anything. I don’t think she goes to dive bars.
- Christy Turlington is not only really hot but also really awesome. She is a leader of the non-profit Every Mother Counts, which is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. This is a great cause and I was very impressed with how thoughtful and engaged Christy is as a social activist.
- There are so many kick-ass writers out there! Here are some Voices of the Year winners that I found particularly good:
- Awesomely Luvvie’s The Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People
- Jill Robbins’ Shit Not to Say to Adoptive Families
- Denene Miller’s Meditation on Jahi McMath, Brain Death, Compassion, and a Black Mother’s Love
Other cool Voices of the Year winners: Do yourself a favor and check out this Kickstarter video called #twinsters. Seriously. Watch it. Such a cool story, and the video is under 3 minutes.
And for a good laugh in under 60 seconds: Deva Dalporto of My Life Suckers‘s “Male Pattern Blindness” video.
And that’s it! I’m happy to be back in suburbia, getting to spend time with this stud:
Good thing I didn’t bring him to NYC, because between the piercing blue eyes and monkey pjs he would have landed an agent in no time. And is that the life that I really want for my offspring? (We’ll table that question until we see how expensive college is by 2031).