California Adventure – VidCon 2014

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The last 3 days of our California vacation were spent taking the kiddos to VidCon. For those who don’t know, VidCon is the year’s largest convention for artists that publish videos and entertain on YouTube.  YouTube has become a modern day phenomenon.  My kids, for example, don’t hardly even watch regular TV anymore.  They watch YouTube!  Going to VidCon for them is like one of us going to the Academy Awards and mingling with the celebrities.

We really didn’t know what to expect on the first day so we just got up early and headed out. We were lucky enough to find a parking spot not too far into the convention center parking garage.  When we walked up to the doors, the crowd was ridiculous.  A line winded around the building and curved about 1 million times.  Doors had not even opened yet and there were at least 3000 people in front of us. I got on Facebook from my phone and read tons of angry comments from fed up parents who had spent lots of time and money just to sit in line and have their kids cry because the disorganization led to them missing a signing or picture with their favorite YouTuber.

We really didn’t have a plan in place so when they opened the doors to the arena, we ran inside to watch the opening celebration.

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It was actually pretty fun and really set the tone for the rest of the convention.  Inside the convention hall, it was pure madness.  Everyone trying to figure out how the process worked to line up for signings and autographs was pure hell.  I felt as if I was in a teenage mosh pit.

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Since we did this over a year ago, my memory is a little spotty on what exactly we did our first day so here are some pictures to help me remember:

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Tyler Oakley

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That guy from HGTV

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The mobbing of a guy who does videos on Vine

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The only YouTubers that my husband and I watch are the ShayTards.  I’m amazed that one video of Shay Butler romping around like a dork in a unitard has turned his family into millionaires over the course of 5 years.  They have over a million subscribers and their company Maker Studios – was just bought out last year by Disney for over 500 million dollars.  Talk about success!  I was bummed I wasn’t able to go to their signing on the first day because of the crowds.  We did get to meet them but more on that later.

The next day my daughter wanted to meet one of her favorites, Joey Graceffa.  This kid is a beautiful boy, no wonder the line we waited in was 6 hours long.  Yes,  SIX HOURS. At least the end result was worth it:

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His was a traditional signing, so that meant no pictures.  Just a high five and a handshake.  We made up for that earlier this year when Joey came to our area to do a book signing.  My daughter finally got her picture!

While we were standing in that 6 hour line, my husband texts me this picture:

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Apparently Shay Butler was waking through the center and was nice enough to take a selfie with my husband.  Ugh, I was jealous!

My son went on his own little adventure and attended a few YouTuber panels.  During one, he was able to get a picture with Chris Hardwick aka. The Nerdist…aka…that guy who hosts the Talking Dead on AMC.  Yep, that’s me being jealous again!

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The last day we were there, I was able to get into the ShayTards family panel.  That was a ton of fun.  I was able to ask them a question over the mic – I think I asked Collette how she stays so calm, being the mother of 5 children and the wife of Shay!

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While I was at the panel, my daughter got more pictures with a few of her faves:

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Alfie from Pointless Blog

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The hilarious Tobuscus

Finally on our last afternoon the ShayTards called a pop up signing for those who didn’t get to see them on the first day due to the crowds.  We waited about 1.5 hr and had a great meet.

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Overall VidCon was certainly an experience.  It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be and I know the kids enjoyed themselves.  I’m not sure that we would do it again, but maybe….

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Let’s Not Call Them Resolutions

2011-year-resolution-400x400I’ve been lurking around WordPress and have seen so many blogs with posts regarding New Years resolutions.  I don’t believe in resolutions.  We make these up on the first day of every year just to be forgotten quickly afterwards as one settles back into the humdrum or daily life.  I mean, we rattle these off while still on holiday vacation from work, drunk off champagne and high from sugar cookies and hot chocolate.  Why wouldn’t we think we could rule the world in the upcoming year?  The second week of January arrives, we get busy and complacent and most of us are like “Aw, F-it….at least it was a good idea!”

What is the actual meaning of the word “Resolution”?  This is what google told me:

res·o·lu·tion

ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən/
noun
  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
    “she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”
  2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
    “the peaceful resolution of all disputes”

If you notice – the definition actually has a negative connotation.  It has to do with deciding to not do something or resolves around the basis of problems.  .

So, let’s not call them resolutions.  Let’s call them accomplishments….let’s call them goals. What’s the difference?  Goals and accomplishments are positive things.  They don’t have to be about solving a problem or resolving not to do something.  Goals and accomplishments are about doing something new, something worthy….something fulfilling.  They don’t have to be world-changing.  Hell, they don’t even have to be life changing but if I can reach at least one realistic goal that I set for myself in 2014, no matter how small or insignificant, then it will be a good year.

After all of this thought, I actually only have a couple of goals I would like to reach this year.  There’s no need to have a long list and the fewer I have, the more time and effort I can dedicate to reaching each one. I’ll share my list with you and at this time in 2015 you can ask me how I did.

1. Start and maintain a food blog.  I’m always telling my mother she has so many recipes that it would take years and years to possibly make everything she is an expert at making.  She makes a lot of things from scratch and even the things she uses recipes for – she changes and tweaks into something of her own.  Why let these jewels go without sharing?  When I was young, we didn’t have internet, blogs, Facebook, twitter etc. She would write the recipes down and hand them to people.  Now there’s a new world out there for letting everyone else know what a great cook and baker she is and I intend on doing it.  So, after a bit of research and time – this year, I will launch a food only blog and make it official.

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2. Move the family into a bigger house.  We’ve been renting a really nice home for going on 6 years now and we have the world’s best landlords.  They never bug us, never raised the rent, never pop up unannounced, fix anything that breaks and even send us a Christmas gift every year without fail.  But with two kids that were only 10 and 8 when we moved in – who are now teenagers – we’ve outgrown it three times over.  Since the kids have made several friends who live in the area,  the front door mimics the madness of Grand Central at times and it would be really nice to have some extra room where my husband and I can retreat to and actually watch a full length movie or our favorite TV show without being interrupted.  Our lease isn’t up until the fall and I say this every year, but we will move this year.  

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3. Take a “different” summer vacation. This is one is already in motion.  We have been visiting some area of Florida for every single year except for 2012 when we went to Hawaii.  Even then, it was the same type of vacation…we hung out on the beach for a week.  This is what we do.  Beach, theme park, beach, theme park, beach, theme park on and on…  We wanted to do something different in 2014.  Go somewhere we have never been and do something we have never done.  So California is on the agenda this year thanks to my social media loving children who asked to attend VidCon, the annual convention for YouTube-ers.  We will combine the 3 day convention with a four day driving tour of Los Angeles, Malibu, Hollywood and wherever the road leads us.  It should definitely be an adventure and we are really looking forward to it.

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That is it for now.  Three goals, three very realistic and tangible goals for my 2014.  I knew way before Dec 31 what my plans were and this is a big reason why I started blogging here again.  It’s always fun to share the ride with others and have a way to document it along the way.  Maybe several will go along with me on this journey, maybe nobody will but sharing it makes me accountable.  I hope you will visit often and see where it goes.  I look forward to good things coming in 2014!

A Nose by Any Other Name…

Which is loveliest in a nose? Its coy beauty when it’s budding, or its splendour when it blows?
George Barlow

Or maybe it didn’t quite go that way…..

I’m having issues this morning.  Not only am I posting on  Sunday, which I never do, but this blogroll contest has completely taken over.  I think I’m in the early stages of delirium and like West Nile….there is no cure.  With every glance and every look I saw clown noses….this were starting to creep me out when I looked around the house and saw this:

And this:

Then I turned on the TV:

Even the NJ girls have it

Is that a clown nose their kicking around?

Oh no, not you too Paula!

Then I thought “I’ll settle this…once and for all…” and went to google.  I typed in “He who must not be….”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need to be de-clowned!!

Today’s challenge conjured up by Saradraws was to post a truth or dare for Le Clown to partake in.  This was most difficult.  It is the final challenge.  Yes, I said FINAL.  Meaning tomorrow all the fun will be over and I will learn my worth in this world by measure of whether or not I was granted a spot on the blogroll.  Ok, maybe I’m not quite that obsessed but it sure would feel good!  If you have a great dare you can think of, read the rules first, then post away under the comments!

Thank you for supporting me this week and watching me go slowly “clowny”.  I have a strange urge to put on face paint and big shoes….but…oh well, there’s nothing wrong with that right?

Wanna Play?

Happy Friday everyone — are you as excited as I am about the fact that we have a THREE day weekend?  Anyone got any big plans?

I’m having a ton of fun with Le Clown’s blogroll contest and thanks to Madam Weeble’s Mad Libs challenge yesterday, I’m moving up in the ranks.  However, I’m still getting beaten by a long shot.  It’s ok tho because I’ve met so many interesting bloggers and this experience is helping me open my mind and find my creative voice that has been in hiding somewhere since high school English class!  (which was ages ago).

That doesn’t mean that I’m not still fighting….and if you like, you can help me!  Today’s challenge is posted HERE.  Brought to us by Rollergiraffe, it is a very flattering picture of Mr. Le Clown himself enjoying what seems to be some sort of Panini sandwich.  He is deep in thought.  Can you tell us what he’s thinking??

If you decide to play along, leave a comment on the challenge thread and the “noses” you earn will be credited to me.  It’s all in good fun and it’s really interesting to see what everyone comes up with.  There are so many talented minds out there!  I even vote for my competitors.  It’s so hard not to!

So, put your thinking caps on and join the fun.  Have a great weekend!

“Like” Me or “Like” Me Not..Will You Support My Blog?

Hello blog friends!  Thankfully the office is a bit quieter today so I am able to write today.  Yesterday was a cluster “F” and I think one of the first weekdays I haven’t been able to post in a long time.  I’m breathin easier today and it’s Wednesday so all is good.

Today I want to bring your attention to this clever little “contest” I was entered into so that I can get a spot on the coveted blogroll of the infamous Mr. Le Clown.  If you have been around WP blogland very long, you will surely recognize him:

Oops…no wait….here he is:

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I found Mr. L’s blog through another blogger’s page and was instantly drawn to it.  He had me at “Dick In A Box”.  The author of “A Clown on Fire” Eric, isn’t so bad either…creepy how much they look like each other isn’t it??

Weird.

Anyhoo– Now, I’m what you call a blogging virgin.  My blog hasn’t been around very long but I’m convinced the Clown is stalking me because yesterday I was invited to participate in his blogroll contest.  Please see the details HERE.

I gratefully thanked its creator for the invitation but graciously bowed out….I am not blog-worthy enough to participate in such a widely recognized battle of the minds!  I tried to get out….but he pulled me back in (yes, that was a Godfather reference).

So this is where you come in.  I would absolutely be forever in your debt if each one of my 100+ followers visited my friend Le Clown’s blog to support me.  Go to: http://clownonfire.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/blogroll-contest/ then look for my entry comment on there…about halfway down.  I’m contestant #12.  Look for this pic:

Just reply to my comment with another comment and write “LIKE”. That will get it counted.  The more LIKES I get, the better chance I will siege one of the coveted blogroll spots.

While you are there, take a tour around “A Clown on Fire”.  Chances are, you will leave with your eyes and brain on fire too but you will have enjoyed your time there, I guarantee that.  Eric certainly is a poetic genius!  (And Le Clown, if you are reading this…no, that wasn’t sucking up…I’m stating fact.)

Thank you in advance, loyal blog followers…this is a race to the finish line and I appreciate all the help I can get!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

Awards of Plenty

Once again I am blushing and thankful that a fellow blogger has recognized me and nominated me for two more awards.  Thank you Jackie @ A Change For a Better Me blog. I think you are much more deserving of the “Inspiring Blog” and “One Lovely Blog” awards than I.  However, I will gracefully and with a smile accept them and pay it forward.

I’m having a real hard time thinking of seven more things about myself but here goes:

1. I started playing piano at the age of 5
2. I played Kim McAfee in my high school production of “Bye Bye Birdie”
3. My hair is 75% gray at the ripe old age of 35….I dye it and blame my kids
4. I believe in ghosts and have seen an angel
5. I hate loud music, especially in the car
6. I’ve ridden an elephant but never been on a horse
7. I hate crowds and prefer solidarity to being around a lot of people

OK– Now to pass it on…sorry but I’m running out of time and am only going to list 5 instead of 15…don’t hate:

Emily Cooks Vegan

Misty’s Laws

Life of Bun

Miss Four Eyes

Me Myself and I

Thank you again for the recognition, I’m truly not worthy of the time you all take out of your day to read my ramblings but I sure do appreciate it!