Wednesday, August 22, 2012

All in All You're Just Another Chick in the Wal(Mart)

Many of you have heard me pontificate at great length of my seething white-hot hatred for most of humanity. I am something of an anti-social personality and the thought of being trapped in an enclosed place with the general population makes me want to run like I'm being tailed by the Khmer Rouge.  However, my fear and loathing of social interaction is only outweighed by my love for acquiring shiny, pretty things at discount prices, so on occasion I am forced to put on my big girl panties, pop a Xanax, and venture out to Target.

I love Target.  Along with H&M and Starbucks it makes up the Holy Trinity of my retail experience and I will be faithful to its red-shirted army until death.  This is why it was with no small amount of vitriol that I learned of an enemy in our midst. . .yes, the neighboring city of West Linn had drank the Sam's Choice Kool-Aid and opened a Wal-Mart.  But not just a regular Wal-Mart, laws no! It was now home to a SUPER Wal-Mart, for a regular Wal-Mart wouldn’t have been near majestic enough to house a veritable bounty of questionable luncheon meats and flammable children’s wear.

Although, maybe it was time for the citizens of Portland to embrace Sam Walton's vision. We were in dire need of such a place.  Why, only the other day I said to myself, “Self, do you know what this town needs?  We need a place where you can do your banking, buy some tube socks for $3.99 and eat an Egg McMuffin at the same time.”   Ask and ye shall receive, my friends.  So, I decided to check it out. . .do a little recon, if you will.  Besides, I had seen the photos on the 'People of Walmart' site and was desperate to know if such aesthetically challenged individuals truly did exist outside of captivity.  Huzzah!

As I am never one to undertake a new venture without back-up, I called upon my friend, Max for reinforcement.

"Why the hell would I want to go to Wal-Mart?" he mumbled sleepily over the phone.

"Because it'll be fun!"  I chirped happily. "C'mon, we can mock people AND buy shitty food.  Just tell whatever unfortunate member of the Skank of the Month Club you have stashed over there to get dressed and start making the walk of shame."

Max was silent for a moment.  "How did you know that Tracy's here?"

"Because you're a slut.  Seriously, Max, time's a-wastin'! The early bird gets the 99 cent gummy worms!  Besides, you owe me."

He snorted indignantly.  "What could I possibly owe YOU for?" 

"Umm, how about picking your drunk ass up last week. . .twice?"  I said.  "I mean, I'm happy to help you out now and then but if you're looking for someone to be your 24/7 designated beck-and-call girl then I suggest you start patronizing the Mormon temple down the street. Those Elizabeth Smart types will be a hell of a lot more benevolent than a 41 year old alcoholic when you wake her sorry ass up at 2 a.m."

Max sighed deeply.  "OK, fine.  Let me just get rid of Stacy."

"I thought you said her name was Tracy."


Two hours later a grumpy and reticent Max pulled up outside of my apartment and we were on our way.  I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by the clientele at this particular Wal-Mart; there were no visible track marks, no gratuitous exposures of flesh, and only a handful of Winnie the Pooh sweatshirts.  At the very worst, they were a sketchy, edgy lot. . .most of them had that gaunt heroin-chic look that only comes from a lifetime of adhering to a strict diet of abject poverty and Mexican Adderall.  So, I tried to avoid direct eye contact and attempted to move stealthily among the patrons, using care not to alarm or anger them.  You see, one can’t be too careful at Wal-Mart.  Target sells Archer Farms trail mix, K-Mart sells kicky Jaclyn Smith separates, Wal-Mart sells guns.   Guns.   You don’t want to mess with these people.*

*Although I am still puzzled that they have the guns readily at hand while the condoms are locked behind the counter.  It seems to me that this is a population one would encourage to remain childless while DIScouraging a reenactment of Columbine, but I digress…

As I am not currently in the market for any new firearms, I made my way to the cosmetics section to stock up on travel-sized shampoos and conditioners. I'm not actually going anywhere, but I love tiny toiletries. They make me feel like I’m on vacation without all of the unpleasant hassle of actually leaving home.*

*Travelling?  Oh HELL to the no.  For someone who possesses both crippling agoraphobia and the social skills of Boo Radley, I avoid travel like a blonde avoids the Bates Motel.

"Are we done yet?" Max whined.  "I'm fucking starving and this place smells like WD-40 and poor people."

"Patience, Grasshopper."  I smiled, taking a whiff of some sparkly body lotion (Ooh!  Peachy!)  "Ten more minutes and then I'll let you buy me Taco Bell."

Knowing that I had only a narrow window of opportunity before Max started killing hostages in an attempt to procure a gordita, I gathered up my glorious bounty of Fisher Price "My First Hair Product" bottles and we made our way to check out.  I did not, however, account for two things that are apparently de rigeur when shopping at Wal-Mart.  One, that the average checker is about ten days older than God, and two, that every person in line coupons like it's an Olympic sport.  I plunked my precious little miniature toiletries on the belt and watched in awe as the woman before me was rung up by a man that was most likely in the same fraternity pledge class as F.D.R.

I understand the necessity of waiting in line.  Truly, I do.  As unpleasant as it may be, we all need a certain level of bureaucracy in our lives or we would all descend into madness.  But while I do not particularly mind waiting in line, I DO mind waiting so long that the people behind me begin to develop their own regional dialect.  Now, generally my ability to find the humor in absolutely everything on the fucking planet has more rewards than a Discover card, but after about 15 minutes of watching Methuselah attempt to ring up one basket of groceries I was close to overdosing on a lethal dose of pure, uncut hatred.

Of course, Old Man River wasn't entirely to blame.  Apparently the woman who was purchasing said groceries was doing so with the entire Sunday Oregonian's worth of coupons.  I get the need to save money...*

*I get it, I just don't do it.  Baby steps, y'all.

...but Sweet Baby Jeebus in a Hot Pocket, if you are going to block the Express lane like a defensive lineman in your attempt to save 12 cents on that box of Rice-a-Roni, then I am fully within my rights to go all Naomi Campbell upside your damned head with my cellphone.  And this woman didn't play.  Oh no.  She stared down that checker and questioned every price like a Russian bronze medalist demanding a recount.  God knows I am a pretty patient person...*

*What?  I said "pretty" patient. . .shut up.

...but even I have my limits. When did the simple process of purchasing shampoo become as nerve-racking as an Iraqi bar crawl?  When did basic respect for others disappear faster than a pack of smokes at an A.A. meeting?  And when did this woman POSSIBLY find the time to cut coupons with the same ferocity the Nazi's used when destroying France!?!?

"Wait!"  she cried, "You're charging me too much!  That tuna should only be 49 cents.  I have a double coupon!  You didn't ring in my double coupon!"

"Oh for Christ's sake!"  I cried, throwing a handful of coins onto the belt.  "Here's a dollar-fifty.  It's on me!"

The woman stared at me in stunned silence, then s-l-o-w-l-y edged her way to the end of the aisle, gathering her newly acquired discounted bounty and inching toward the exit.

Nice!"  Max grinned, slapping me on the shoulder.  "I wondered how long it would take you to lose your shit!  So, is it safe to say we'll be adding Wal-Mart to the list of places where you are no longer welcome?"

"Pfft, please."  I countered. "She totally had it coming. My actions were completely justified."

"Oh, sure"  Max conceded.  "Now, putting flowers in a soldiers gun in peaceful protest. . .that would be crazy.  But throwing money at some old lady like she's a Mardi Gras hooker?  Totally understandable."

"Boo, whore."  I waved my hand dismissively, swiping my debit card and gathering my bag from the checker's withered and liver-spotted hand.  "I got us through the checkout line, didn't I?  And I totally scored on these twee little lotions!"

Max nodded sagely.  "I'm sure God will take your smooth and fruity scented hands into consideration when he's choosing your room in Hell."

"Oh, Sweetie"  I said, gesturing to the hallowed aisles of the Wal-Mart, "Look around. . .we're IN Hell."

"Huh," Max gazed around the store. "somehow I pictured Hell as being warmer, you know, more fire and brimstone and fewer scooter chairs and Hello Kitty sweaters.  But there is one thing here I was sure would be in Hell."

"Yeah?"  I asked,  "What's that?" 

He grinned broadly and slung an arm around my shoulders. "You."

*6 mini bottles of hair and skin product:  $5.94
*Cost of scaring off coupon lady:  $1.50
*Friends who are willing to follow you into eternal damnation:  Priceless


Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Movin' on Up! To the Eaaaaaaast Side. . ."

I moved into my apartment after I got divorced, along with (apparently) every other newly-divorced person in the Portland metro area.  As it was situated in an impeccable school district and had a shit ton of storage space. . .*

*Not that you have all that much stuff to store after a divorce, but I digress.

. . .my apartment complex is a veritable mecca for single parents.  So much so that it is fondly referred to as "Alimony Alley".  Apartment living was a reasonable concept while I was in graduate school and getting my feet firmly planted in reality, but that honeymoon period is over and it is time to jump ship.  First of all, there is never any available parking and I invariably find myself schlepping six bags of groceries, two backpacks, and a gym bag across two counties like a deranged Sherpa.  Secondly, my downstairs neighbors have a particular penchant for standing under my window and chain-smoking, so if I dare to open the door to my patio my apartment becomes flooded with enough second-hand smoke to suffocate a French poker game.  And last but not least, every month I write a hefty check that goes. . .nowhere.  No equity.  No investment.  Just. . .WHOOSH!  Gone. Basically, apartment living has become akin to living in the primate house at the Oregon Zoo:  there's a lot of high-pitched screaming, excessive nit-picking, and sooner or later, some shit will get flung.  It's time to move on.  So, I gave notice at my apartment and called my old high school friend (and uber-realtor) John and began the hunt for a new home.

After a good five minutes of hugging, "squee-ing", and general "Oh my God, I haven't seen you in AGES!" we settled in at Starbucks to peruse some possible homes.

"Okay,"  John said, clapping his hands together officiously "we have about seven places to see today.  Some of them I'm psyched about, some of them. . .not so much.  But you never know, you might like them better than I do."

I raised my eyebrow dubiously.  "Thus implying that your taste is somehow superior to mine?" I asked.

"Oh, I'm not implying it, Sweetie," John said, taking a sip of his latte "I'm stating it outright."

"Pfft!"  I snorted.  "Fine.  I'll see these 'inferior' dwellings, but I won't be happy about it."

"So, business as usual?" 

"Yeah, pretty much."

John sighed and gathered up his folders and we made his way to the car.  "Let me clear out the front seat" he said, shoving aside a stack of papers.

I stepped around his and climbed into the backseat instead.  "Never mind, I'd rather sit in back.  That will make it easier to choke you if you show me some ghetto crackhouse."

John sighed dramatically.  "Oh, I can tell right now it's going to be hell trying to make YOU happy."

"Greater men than you have tried and failed, my friend." I replied, clapping him reassuringly on the shoulder.

The first condo we pulled up to was nondescript; a three bedroom unit with a fabulous view of Mt.Hood.  "This one just came on the market" John told me as he jimmied open the lockbox.  "The couple who own it are VERY eager to sell."

"Why so eager?" I asked.

John's mouth twitched as he attempted not to laugh.  "Apparently the wife came home to find her husband taking a culinary tour in the 'South of Pants' with her brother.  Suffice to say, they're splitting up."

I laughed until I was shaking like a spastic colon but still couldn't rid myself of the niggling doubt that some negative marital ju-ju might be hovering around the condo.  As it were, ju-ju was the least of my fears when I discovered the appalling lack of closet space.

"How could this place POSSIBLY have been owned by a woman and a latent homosexual man?"  I cried in horror.  "Sweet Jesus, where did they put their SHOES!?!?"

John shrugged dismissively.  "I guess you'd just have to keep some in storage.  Or. . .you know. . .get rid of some of your shoes."

"Shut your whore mouth."  I gasped, leveling him with an icy stare.  "Forget it, Babe.  Those closets are a deal-breaker."

John sighed and we walked out to the car for round two.  "Not a chance."  I stated firmly the moment we pulled up.

"Don't you think we should, you know, actually LOOK at it before casting judgment?" John remarked drolly.

I snorted indignantly. "It's got a hoopty Home Depot door, the color looks like the inside of a diaper, and I swear to God I saw that dude next door on 'To Catch a Predator'.  HELL to the no!"

"You're acting like a princess."  John countered.

"I'm NOT acting!"  I cried.  As John has known my family for approximately a quarter of the century, he was smart enough to remain silent and put the car in reverse.  The next town home we visited was in a lovely tree-lined neighborhood and had a twee little patio in front.  OK.  So far so good.  Then we went inside.  Ho.  Ly.  Shit.  The walls were plastered with obscenely large cabbage roses, the exposed brick had been painted a garish yellow and the cabinets hadn't been updated since the Nixon Administration.  

"Well?"  John ventured, watching as I trailed my fingers over the silver-flecked harvest gold counter tops. "What are you thinking."

"Oh, not much" I replied, taking in the burnt orange ceiling fan and avocado green linoleum.  "Just wondering when Mr. Roper will leave the Regal Beagle to check on our wild shenanigans."

John sighed.  "Just make sure you take off your shoes before walking around."

I looked at the stained and threadbare carpet in amazement.  "Are you SERIOUS?"

John pointed to the 'PLEASE REMOVE SHOES' placard by the front door. "Didn't you see the sign?"

"Yeah, I saw the sign"  I said  "but after I saw the carpet I assumed the sign was just being ironic.  You know how signs can be."

John simply shook his head and walked slowly out the door with me trailing (shoes firmly in place) at his heels.  The next location looked promising; three bedrooms, good location. . .and a lockbox that wouldn't open.  John spent a good fifteen minutes cursing, yanking and attempting to McGuyver that little bastard with a ballpoint pen and some nail clippers before finally jimmying open the kitchen window and dive-rolling into the unit.

"Huh"  he said with disappointment as he opened the front door "that always seems way more bad-ass when Stephen Seagal does it."

"Probably because Stephen Seagal is a 7th-dan black belt and not a gay real estate agent."  I replied, judiciously ignoring John's raised middle finger.  "Oh, I'm kidding.  Lighten up, Francis."

John smirked dismissively.  "Chicks dig me because I rarely wear underwear.  And when I do it's usually something unusual."

"Do you have something in a low-rise bikini?"  I countered. "Mesh, if possible."

"My name's Dewey Oxburger."  John continued seamlessly "My friends call me Ox. You might have noticed that, uh, I've got a slight weight problem."*

*OK.  This?  Right here?  Is why children of the eighties are rad as shit.  At any given point in time we can burst into obscure 'Stripes" quotes with amazing alacrity.  Huzzah!

"All right then" I said, walking through the foyer "Now that we've had our little ABC Family bonding moment let's start ripping this place apart."

We walked through the home in abject silence.  The layout?  Awkward.  The spiral staircase?  Ungainly.  The locations of the bathrooms?  Haphazard.  I turned to John and simply said "No."

John gaped at me in shock.  "No?  Just. . .'no'?  Where is the snarky rejoinder?  Where is the obscure reference?  Where is the cleverly fashioned retort?"

I heaved a dramatic sigh.  "My apathy is dramatically inhibiting my ability to form hyperbolic and comedic analogies.  Please take me away from here before I start speaking in cliches."

Suffice to say, the remainder of the afternoon was not a success.  We saw homes that had mildew, homes that had dry rot, homes that stank of old lady and despair, and most disturbing; a home that looked like it had been decorated by Ann Rice.

"I think we've officially found the home that would make Edgar Allen Poe pause and say 'Damn, that's some creepy shit, yo.'"  I mumbled to John as we made our way to the car.

He nodded solemnly.  "I'm relatively certain Edgar Allen Poe wouldn't say 'yo', but I get the sentiment.  The red velvet drapery was a particularly interesting touch."

"Oh yeah!"  I snorted with laughter "All I'd need is a dancing midget and a pair of bobby socks and we'd have an episode of 'Twin Peaks' on our hands."

John chuckled and tossed me the flyer for the final place on our list.  "OK, Kid.  Last one."

I looked at the flyer and gasped.  "I know these places!  Oh my God, I've always LOVED these!  I actually went to a dinner party in that complex; the townhomes are gorgeous!"

"It's an end unit.  The owners had been renting it out but they really want to sell."  John said as he navigated his way through the traffic.  "Three bedrooms, completely remodeled last year, gas appliances, built in 2005. . ."

"Wait, wait, wait."  I cut him off  "Why hasn't this beauty sold yet?  Someone died there, didn't they?  Someone died and they stashed them under the floorboards and they're still trying to air out the stench of decaying flesh, right?"

John gave me his patented 'you're bat-shit crazy' stare.  "OK.  Seriously?  You need to lay off the 'CSI: Miami', Babe.  It hasn't sold because the last few offers were low-balls.  It's on the higher end of your price range but you can swing it."

I wriggled in my seat with excitement as we pulled up to the town home.  Oh.  My.  God.  It was bright, airy, sunlit, and the kitchen glowed with warm cherry wood and brushed steel.  As I walked through the unit I could envision every couch, every bed, and every other little treasure I intended to procure at IKEA place lovingly within its homey walls.  This was it.  This was the one.  I whirled around to grab John's arm, grinning madly.*

*I may have also bounced up and down. . .and squealed. . .and maybe kissed him.  Don't judge.

"So, is it possible?"  John asked with a smirk.  "Have I actually found the home that could render you speechless?"

"Oh, John!"  I gasped breathlessly.  "The closets. . .you had me at the closets."

John grinned smugly.  "And did you happen to notice what's across the street."

I walked over to the living room window and peered through the trees.  And there it was.  A mere four hundred paces from the front door, gleaming like a beacon of hope.

"John,"  I said, turning to him with a smile.  "Get the paperwork in order.  Mama's comin' home."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How to Not be an Asshole in New York City

Many of you know that I was in communicado this last week...*

*And no, 'communicado' is not a quaint Mexican village I was communing with the raddest group of badass mofos on the planet: my blogging sistahs at the BlogHer 2012 Convention in New York City.  

While my hotel was mind-blowingly fabulous and had the dual distinction of being walking distance from both Times Square and the State Parole Offices, it was sadly equipped with a phalanx of PlaySkul "Dora the Internet Explorer" PC's that did not support my blogging site so I was forced to scuttle around NYC jotting down events and anecdotes on a little notepad like I was Lois fucking Lane.*

*Although I doubt Lois Lane used an Avengers notebook. . .I'm just saying.

Now, let me state for the record: I love New York City.  L-O-V-E it.  New York City is the biggest, brashest, boldest son of a bitch in the country and it doesn't care who knows it.  In fact, if the United States were high school, New York would be making out with Las Vegas behind the bleachers, smoking in the boys room with Chicago and L.A., and beating the ever-loving shit out of Seattle during study hall.  And in New York City, anything goes.  You can be waiting in line at the Times Square Office Depot wearing go-go boots and a unicorn head, dancing to Demi Lovato and snapping nipple clamps on your eyelids and everyone will walk right past you on the way to the copy paper.  This is my kind of place, folks.

Although most New Yorkers have a laissez faire "live and let live" mentality, it legitimately jacks my jewels when people accuse New Yorkers of being assholes.  In my experience, the exact opposite has been true.  Most New Yorkers, like most people everywhere, are kind and respectful when they are treated with kindness and respect.  Let's face it, when you're living in an environment where most citizens leave the subway with about as much decorum as Motley Crue leaves a Holiday Inn, and crossing the street can be considered an extreme sport, your tolerance for bullshit is going to be considerably lower than the average American.  As long as tourists understand that basic mentality, there is absolutely no reason why we all can't peacefully coexist in the Big Apple.  Sadly, most tourists appear to be ignorant to this fact, and are capable of turning your average happy-go-lucky New Yorker into a seething pit of fiery white-hot rage.  And I don't blame them, as this week I saw such acts of idiocy and general cluelessness that it made me want to run to the Statue of Liberty and scribble over the plaque with a Sharpie until it said: "GO THE @#$% BACK HOME!!!"  So, out of respect to the city that I love and all of the amazing men and women of New York who made our stay so positive and memorable, I have included a handy guide that I have chosen to call:


1. New York City smells.  We know.  On any given day you will pass through streets that hold a heady miasma of funk that can best be described as the scent of a syphlitic badger with a urinary tract infection eating Gorgonzola cheese while getting a permanent inside of a Port-a-Potty at Burning Man.  This is what happens when you have a few billion people living in a single metropolitan area so get used to it, New York has.  No matter how bad the stench may be, at no time is it appropriate to make "gaggy" faces, pinch your nose, and cry out "Euw!  What's that SMELL!?!?"  That smell is New York City, damn it, so take a big whiff.

2.  When walking through the busy streets of New York City, alacrity and efficiency are key.  You can spot the natives at a glance as each one of them is bobbing and weaving like a Uruguayan soccer player and tearing down that sidewalk like Rosie O'Donnell on her way to rib night at Applebees.  Walking in New York is just like driving:  slower traffic keep right, and if you need to consult your map or ask for directions, pull over to the side before someone goes all Michael Oher on your sorry ass.  And if you decide to go striding down the sidewalk in a row all hand-in-hand-in-hand then get ready for some high-impact 'Red Rover, Red Rover', motherfuckers.

3.  If you have particular biases against any specific race, creed, color, sexual orientation, or religion,  I suggest you check that shit at LaGuardia.  Guess what, Racey McJudgerton?  In New York City a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant IS the minority!  Blowing your mind yet?  Good.  So, I suggest you set aside your "Welcome to America, Now Speak English" t-shirts and your thinly veiled "Osama, Yo Mama" hatred of all things Middle Eastern and accept the fact that part of what makes New York City great is the fact that it is a steaming hot mess of variant cultures, mores, and lifestyles.  Let's face it: black, white, tan, straight, gay, bi, Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, or Jew; we are all equal pains in the ass in the eyes of the Lord.  L'Chaim.

4.  Don't think that your preconceived notions of "rude" New Yorkers gives you the right to treat them like they just farted on your best suit.  New York City is like Washington D.C. with ADHD; they have very little time, very little space, and dealing with psychotically aggressive tourists all day that have the attention span of Boo Radley and the social skills autistic wolverines is enough to make anyone lose their shit.  New Yorkers are human beings.  They have hopes, dreams, ambitions, and a base sense of decorum like (almost) every other person on the planet.  Treat.  Them.  That.  Way.  You'd be amazed how far a smile and a kind word can get you when asking for directions or recommendations to a trendy restaurant or Broadway show. But if you go in like Dick Cheney on waterboarding day at Gitmo, don't be surprised if you find yourself with front row seats to "Fuck You: The Musical".  You've been warned.

5.  New York City is home of some of the most amazing galleries, museums, and historical buildings.  It was also Ground Zero to what is quite possibly the most horrific act of terrorism the world has ever known.  But true to form, New York; like the rest of our great country, pulled itself from the rubble and rebuilt.  I had the very distinct honor of visiting the 9/11 Memorial site on Monday and was deeply moved not only by the memorial itself but by the love and respect shown to each and every visitor by the staff, security and volunteers at the site.  I was not, however, deeply moved to anything but sadness and disgust by some of the behaviors I witness by my fellow tourists.  Pardon me if this is somewhat less than humorous; let me simply state that the following behaviors were observed at the 9/11 Memorial site and that they are NOT okay:

  • Two boys attempting to skip rocks in the North Fountain.
  • Sorority girls posing with duck faces and Rockette-kicky legs in front of the Survivor Tree.
  • Some asshat with a beer gut and an I <3 New York hat yelling "Look out!" and "Oh no, they're back!" every time a plane flew over.
  • A guy in a Kenny Chesney t-shirt telling his wife to "Take a picture of me with that 'Let's roll' dude!"  then posing with a thumbs-up and a shit eating grin next to. . .the wrong name.
  • A family travelling with two small children who were laughing and making fun of the names etched into the fountain's rim.  Particularly horrifying was the hearty laugh they shared at the expense of two of United Flight 93's victims, Rodney Dickens and Zoe Falkenberg.  Rodney Dickens was 11 years old the day he died.  Zoe was 8.

New York City is a crazy, vibrant, manic city filled with crazy, vibrant, manic people.  It is the one place in the world where you can dance with a naked cowboy in the street, eat sushi three feet away from Katie and Suri, watch a musical comedy version of "Silence of the Lambs" and have your photo taken with a seven-foot tall Hello Kitty wearing glittery pink gogo boots.  All at the same time.   At three o'clock in the morning.  For some (like myself) the thought of a single metropolitan area that is simply replete with blog fodder and opportunities for inane dickery fills  the soul with childlike wonder.  For others, New York City is loud, fast, dirty, and chaotic.  Well. . .yeah. . .it is. . .but that is the very heart of what makes me love new York City.  So.  Damned.  Hard.  For me, I love New York for all the same reason I love my special needs child:  it marches to it's own drummer, colors outside of the lines, and doesn't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks.  

Walk tall, New York.  ((fist bump))


P.S.:  Fear not, there will be many more Blogher tales to come.  SPOILER ALERT:  Someone drunk texts from behind the curtains, someone else gets hit by a garbage truck, and more than a few people dry-hump a unicorn.  It was magical.