Sunday, 29 August 2010

I am a BlogHer Voice of the Year. (Even with no kittens.)

I wrote a blog post ... about blogging. It was called "Blogging Out Loud" - on why I blog, why you blog, why everybody in the world should blog. It was chosen as one of the finalists for this years BlogHer Voices of the Year. They did something a little different this year, and made all of the posts into really cool works of art, to be auctioned off on eBay. 100% of all funds raised goes towards the Nature Conservancy in the U.S. .... aiding in the Gulf cleanup.

There are so many amazing pieces — tons of photos (framed and ready to hang), original drawings and paintings. The eBay auction site is here, my piece goes up for auction on the 7th September. (Plenty of time for me to make up ten different eBay identities and create a frantic bidding war.)

Dave got a special wristband to come with me on the Gala night. It was amazing, to walk around the NYC Hilton ballroom and try to find which one was mine.

We found it.

A few days after the gala, I received an email from Alex Asher Sears - this ridiculously talented and gorgeous photographer, who lives in Los Angeles. I know she's gorgeous because I just googled her webpage, ummmm hottie. But she's already taken, because I checked out her ring finger.
She introduced herself and told me that she was the artist who turned my words into this amazing creation. I then thanked her for what she did with it. (Put my words between the words of Bob Dylan and Emily Dickinson. Way. Cool.) Umm, Alex - how did you know my desk and life and brain is always this cluttered?

I'm *pretty* sure she's a shaman. A hot one.

Her last email to me made me laugh out loud, for a really long time.

She said, when she was creating the piece, she didn't know what kind of a blog I had ... but she was really struck by my words and hoped to do a great job that kind of portrayed who I was.

"But Eden .... imagine if I came to your blog afterwards and it had .... kittens in the header??"


Unrelated: in the time it took to write this blog post, I have put Rocco to bed for a nap three times ... failed three times ... helped Max with his homework ... stolen Tim's piece of carrot cake and owned up to him .. and hung out four loads of washing. Mummyblogging For The Win!

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Jolly Swagman

"Imagine having to carry everything you own." - Unknown

Today was the best day in the history of Rocco.

He ordered, marched, divebombed and did messy poopies. He sent Max off to school with a kiss; Didda and Tim off to work with a cuddle; and turned to me with the bluest eyes and shaggiest blonde hair, expectantly.

I love him so, this teeny Boy of Big Things.

We schlepped around the house. I played with him - not stopping after five minutes, but really played. It was pretty saccharine sweet. I even took him out to lunch - without a stroller. And he behaved. He let me cuddle him and smoosh his cheeks. He keeps saying: "Mummy was in BARLEEE." And I promise him that one day, he can come to Bali too.

I wonder if the Swagman went to Bali. If the Swagman's mum smooshed his cheeks and held his hand and taught him how to skip.

On our last evening in New York, Dave was annoying the bejebus out of me by worrrying about our luggage, luggage, too much luggage. It was all his fault - the man is a shopping MACHINE. We bought extra suitcases to stuff our heavy loads. He fretted - something had to give. Obviously that something wasn't going to be his new suit .... I realised my BlogHer swag had to go. (You get a heap of free stuff at the expo halls at the conference, from eager sponsors, savvy marketers, etc. HEAPS.)

I left with a moderate amount of stuff ... but it seemed crazy lugging it all halfway across the world just because it was free. I couldn't even tell you what was in my big heavy swag bag - magazines, cookies, containers, drink bottles. An alarm clock, a cool faux egg filled with dirt that, when you cracked it open, would grow a real basil plant. (I was going to risk Australian customs with that one.)

We discussed where to put the bag. I suggested leaving it for the maid the next day. Leaving it in the Shake Shack at dinner. (Thank GOD Australia is not wise to your burger ways, America. I'd have to be forklifted from my house for Max's wedding.)

I told Dave that I'd just dump it somewhere.

So I walked around the city with that heavy bloody bag, for over an hour, realising I couldn't dump it because New York probably has cameras everywhere and will think the jiggly redhead is planting a bomb somewhere in their fine city GREAT.

I almost gave up and put it in the trash, but Dave wouldn't let me. So he carried the bag.

He carried that bag for three hours, all over town. At dinner, walking up to Fifth Avenue, at coffee .... he carried the bag. It annoyed me. It had become a cumbersome object, weighing us down. "Seriously hon, just go put it in the dunny or something."

He refused, and soldiered on. I told him to look for a homeless person to give it too - he thought that was a great idea.

But we couldn't find any homeless people. Suddenly we stood outside the Rockefeller Centre. "YES! Look where we are - hon let's go up and take a look!"

We did. We took it in turns holding the bag while the other went to the toilet ... this stupid, annoying bag. Felt like a bag of bricks. Free, forgettable swag is heavy.

Then we had to go through a security checkpoint .... the swag bag had to be X-rayed. I kind of distanced myself from Dave a bit, in case he got stopped and asked exactly what was he planning on doing with this 6-pack of playdough when he reached the Top of the Rock?

Thankfully we got through.

Here is Dave ploughing through the streets - carrying the bag!

Dave carried the bag through all the crowded people, in the hot lift, checking out the sights of the city. Sunset came - we needed more coffee. And surely the homeless came out at night?

They did. I was carrying the bag at this stage. Every homeless person I saw - they just didn't feel right.

Until I saw him.

He pushed a trolley of all his wordly possessions. He was scruffy and dirty and didn't look anyone in the eye. I boldly walked over and startled him, forcing him to look me in the eye.

He was about 40 years old, a dark beard, scared little raccoon eyes.

I held out the infamous bag to him. "Oh, excuse me ..... I went to a conference recently and got all this free stuff. Do you want it?"

His gratitude was embarrassing. "Well sure! Wow! Thanks! Thanks a lot!" He looked incredulous that somebody was actually even talking to him. (Recently I saw an Australian documentary on the homeless .... one person living on the streets said, "Just a smile. One smile - can make all the difference. Makes you feel like a person.")

The swagman took his swag, graciously, thankfully. We kind of bowed down to each other, and that was that.

Dave and I walked down the street, silently. Overflowing with money and stuff and life. I'm sure that swag bag would have made him happy, that one night. I've thought about him often .... he would have appreciated the waterbottles and soda and food ... but probably not the set of speakers for his non-existent iPod.


I wondered about the swagman today, as I was playing. Did his mum laugh with him when he was a little boy? Push his curls back, and teach him how to skip? Probably. Maybe. I hope so. We are so lucky.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Here's some I prepared earlier.

Not feeling so hot today, for a multitude - a cacophony - a silhouette - of reasons.

Here is a distractionary picture of the world's best toilet, according to Dave. I liken it to why I love blogging - turning all the crap into beautiful things:

Also, here is a picture I snapped of Buddha after he *just* hopped off his motorbike:

See how this field is greener than green:

It's what's know as this:

I miss feeling free.

Life is a conundrum - and I don't entirely know what a conundrum means and I'm too depressed lazy to google it. Check out how free this chick looks .... I'd give anything to be her right now:

(Except without the burger flab.)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Returning

We cruised into our driveway on Sunday morning - clutching imperative coffees.

Three weeks of uninterrupteed sleep, *actual* conversations, no dirty nappies, no mundane chores. Did I even really have children? It didn't seem so. Our last few days on holiday resorted to me going up to strange women in the street, cooing over their kids. "I have some at home, you know!"

They had been waiting for us all morning - balloons and a big "Welcome Home!" banner. Rocco came running right up to the car - Dave and I spoke at the exact same time:

Dave - "Look how big he is!"
Me - "Look how tiny he is! Oh my God he's so little - I left him!? How could I leave him for so long?"

And so it began ... the returning, the homecoming, the gifts from strange lands. Max confided to me that he started crying on the second day we were away. "I just missed you so much mum. I kept asking Rocco did he miss you too, but he wouldn't answer."

He looked at some photos of New York, and noticed the golden arches. "MUM! IS THERE A MCDONALDS IN AMERICA??"


I believe I am more culture-shocked being home then I ever was while I was away. The streets are a little - boring. And quiet. No yellow cabs, no crazy markets to haggle in. Not even ONE rice paddy, or street spruiker.

It's fucking FREEZING.

I must have stared into the pantry for a full ten minutes this morning, before I forgot what I was looking for. (What does an 8-year old boy eat for his school lunch? I have absolutely no idea.)


Before it all fades, I may have to write here every day for a while. The Real Bloggers of BlogHer. What happened in Ubud. Dave and the Bag up the Rockefeller. The Toilet Story. The Day my Online Friends walked out of the computer and became my IRL friends. How, if you get a heavy period in Bali ... you go to buy tampons but after looking at the dead flies in the toothbrush packaging you buy pads instead ... and walk around feeling like you're 14 years old again.

(I probably won't write a post about that last one, because that would just be crass.)


On the day we flew back into Australia, Bono kindly softened the blow of the holiday being over ..... announcing tour dates in Sydney this December. I'm meeting him this time, oh yes.


Rocco is a tornado. FULL ON. And I have absolved all parental rights for a while, because of the huge guilt at leaving him. Every night while we were away, he crept upstairs to Max's bed and snuggled in with him. Now he runs in to us, standing one inch away from my face at 5am - "TV MUMMY?"

Some re-adjusting is in order.


It's back to mounds of washing and cleaning up toys and shitty nappies and juggling work and meals and kids and overdue school projects. I lit some incense this morning, to remind myself of the seething mass of humanity that is Ubud. And I placed my $12 Statue of Liberty on the kitchen table - it's not even broken yet!

One thing I didn't have time for in New York was the Guggenheim:

So I brought it home and Max built it for me instead. He made me promise I will take him there one day ... and I will:

On our first night home, Rocco fell asleep as I was dressing him in his pyjamas. I held him and rocked him for ages, whispering amazing tales and professing overflowing love:

Was I ever really there?

Last night, I was too tired to even heat up the yummy leftovers. So I ordered pizza. And watched the best Broadway Show of all .... "The Max and Rocco Comedy Revue, " starring Max, Rocco, and their respective boogers, farts, burps, and shaggy hair:

I would sell tickets, but I can't - priceless.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Pilgrimage: "A long journey or search of great moral significance."

So now Dave and I *really* won't ever be the same again. We both feel it and we both know it. We're planning when we can come back - I can't wait to show the boys.
Bali is more than anything I could have imagined - and I imagine big, you know.

Here's an inkling of what it's like:

Our last day is tomorrow ... I'm planning a visit to the orphanage. To take toys and food, especially bread and fruit. I can't just come here and take and leave - the Balinese people are so friendly and warm. And poor. And grateful. It makes me grateful that they're grateful, and so on.

Back in America, I would tell people I was going to Bali and they were all like, OMG BALI and I ppffffffffttttttted at them because it's no big deal for an Aussie to come here, it's so cheap to travel.

And now I'm all OMG BALI!!!!!


PS Leigh, Linda, Mum, Jim, Cam ..... we're all coming together. I mean it. Yes Cam that means you, you can have your own villa so we don't all annoy you with our manic sisterly ways but secretly you LOVE IT.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

I'm on a boat.

Well, not actually on a boat ... but I *am* in Bali. We made it here late on Monday night, after flying from New York to Sydney, Sydney to Denpasar.

It's ridiculous. The scenery and the weather and the smells and the people. THE FOOD. Local time is 6am now - 8am in Sydney. 11pm in New York.

I've stopped eating burgers.

I miss my boys so much that I can't believe I even actually have any children. Max has had a tummy bug, vomiting - Rocco is on antibiotics from a really dreadful cough. And mummy is staying in a luxury villa in a third-world country, wearing luxury shoes.

Yesterday, we were in the street market and kept walking past a beggar woman holding her baby. She was saying "Baby hungry. Baby hungry." We ended up giving her some money. I knelt down and cooed at her baby. She pointed out a rash on his wrists and arms. I asked if this was her baby and she said yes.

I hope so , hope she wasn't using it to make more money from begging. I put some money in her hand, her eyes wide, she quickly got up to leave because she didn't have to beg any more that day.

Dave thinks she will be back today.


Amazing as it is, something doesn't sit well with me about being "served" by the local people. It reminds me of when I lived in Fiji as a child .... even at five years old I felt guilty, that it was their country but they were so submissive. I asked Dave what he thought of the local population being so dependent on tourism - should they not grow and develop on their own? He laughed and told me that even Australia is dependent on tourism .... most countries are.

I guess. I just keep thinking about that babies beautiful brown eyes, how he wasn't wearing a nappy ... and the mother grabbed his little hand and waved it at me.


My mum is back at my house, manning the fort. I keep ringing her, to see how the boys are. I stood at Sydney airport the other day, crying on the phone, not wanting to come to Bali at all. But Dave wouldn't let me cancel, and mum has it under control.

Every time I have been away these past few weeks .... seeing children has made me stuff my feelings underneath inside somewhere. I can't wait to kiss them and hug them and promise to be there for them forever. To be present and patient and not yell and make them read more books and let them run free.


Soon we will be home and this whole holiday will be over. I have so much to say, so much that I learnt and saw and realised. But right now, Dave just crept up and jumped in the pool and scared the SHIT out of me. Now he's singing .... "On my own .... in Bali. Yeah my wife's on the computer and I'm on my own ..... in Bali."

So I better go. One more hour until breakfast is served - I'm on a strict diet now. The memory of Five Guys Idaho hand-cut-never-frozen-cooked-in-peanut-oil-fries taunts me, softly.


There are so many beautiful carvings and stone sculptures and paintings .... the ones that really caught my eye yesterday were ones like this:

Freaky and weird and red and crazy.

The picture is too.

Monday, 16 August 2010

The Burgers and the Lovers

The sun
that warms me
warms you

The food
That keeps me
keeps you

The air that we breathe
The webs that we weave

The sea that I see
sees you

I wrote that on the back of a boarding pass as we touched down in San Francisco from Sydney. The sun was coming up over the horizon ... the same sun that warms me back at home. I thought of all my friends I had met in the computer, continue to meet. We have the same sun. It was sad to leave today, just knowing I was in the same country felt really lovely, even if we didn’t meet up.

Coming to America was one of the boldest things Dave and I have ever done together. He’d always resisted going; especially since 911. He also thought he wouldn’t enjoy himself that much ... his curiosity piquing his interest when I finally told him I was going and I meant it – with or without him.

So we saved up, bought our tickets on the day he got the all-clear from cancer again .... and we went to America. Just like that.

We explored, shopped, ate, walked, laughed, cheered, fought, slept, and tried about fifty different coffee houses. Dave had been saying for ages – years – that he wanted to buy himself a really good suit, once in his life. He bought it from Fifth Avenue. Yves St Laurent. I’m too embarrassed to say what it cost. He told me a number and I said “Hundred?”



I went with him to go and pick it up, walking into that shop with a camouflage tank top on, black shorts, and thongs. I felt RIDICULOUS, Dave couldn’t care a less, introducing me to Fun Fun, the sales assistant who thoughtfully helped him buy the suit .... the shirts .... the two pairs of shoes. She looked through me and squeezed my hand so hard when she shook – game on, bitch. I stood there, eyes blazing, crunching her hand back for about five seconds after the shake should have finished. Dave didn’t notice. I felt victorious.

She got all of his stuff together in a bag and tied it with a big white ribbon. I took photos of the interesting juxtaposition of my thongs on the rug in a high end fashion house. If a woman in black Havaianas stands in the middle of a forest of exquisite clothing .... is she really even there?

No. But she’s there enough to remind her husband to query the bill. Dave had paid for it a few days before, but it just didn’t add up to him. The three of us stood there with Fun Fun in her six-inch stilettos, telling me I should come back and shop for me next time. Umm, I don’t think so. Dave hesitated, so I jumped in. “Actually Fun Fun, we wanted to ask you about the total amount.”

She good-naturedly humoured us, the hick Aussies, and read the receipt. And read it. And excused herself while she went to the back room. By this time, a lovely dress had caught my eye, the flowing material stitched in such a way that it fell like a golden statue. “Try it on hon!”

“No WAY. I need to get out of here it makes me angry.” Dave just laughed.

Fun Fun came back, not so full of the fun fun. “Ahhhh, Mr Riley I am so sorry ..... it must have scanned twice, ummmmm .... I have refunded your card straight away.”

She told us the number she refunded.

“Hundred?” I asked.

“Thousand.” She replied as she stuck her hand out (again!). I crunched it good.

Dave felt so bad that he dragged me into Chanel . Come on hon! Try a dress on! I told him no, I can’t. I have thongs on for goodness sake. So he went up to the shoe section, picking up these dainty black quilted sneakers. Like, a Converse for the filthy rich.

I couldn’t do it – I didn’t like them anyway, so there was no point trying them on. Plus, the security guard was literally following us around the store.

But then .... I saw the coolest black summer sandals. And I tried them on and fell in love and bought them. They were the cheapest shoes there ... I’ve worn them every day since and by GOD do I get comments on them! I had no idea so many women looked at each other’s shoes! Even the customs lady at JFK came running over. “Are they what I think they are? Oh, they are my size!” I asked her if she was going to confiscate them.

“No – but I’m goin’ tomorrow. I am buying myself those shoes. Mmm-hmmm, yes. Yes I am!”

I have them on right now, as I’m typing this, eleventy-something miles up in the air on the plane. The flight attendants formed a semi-circle around me outside the toilet – no shit – for a viewing.


So we are gone, America. Thank you for sharing New York with us. I asked Dave to tell me some adjectives to describe it. He thought, then said, “What’s an adjective?”

I love that man. He was the one who learnt where all the streets were. I had no idea. We balance each other out like that.

Now it’s all just a memory. Crossing the street in the heat and the mayhem and the chaos. The burgers and the lovers. The accents, shopping, the greenbacks and the views. Discovering things on every street – every street has a story or a shop or a park. Going up the Rockefeller Centre on our last day. Discovering Little Italy by accident. Drooling at the vintage clothes shops. Getting sore necks from looking up at all the buildings in the city, making people behind us annoyed but they are just so tall!

On the infamous Fifth Avenue day, we decided to get our hair cut. “Let’s just go in here hon.”

We went in, (again I felt like breaking into a rousing rendition of ‘Folks are Dumb/Where I come from.’) I sat there, in the gold-plated chair, taking photos of Dave in the mirror.

I shed a tear – just one. Because he had hair to cut. Not that long ago, he was bald as a badger from chemo and half-dead. Today, he has hair to cut.

And that is why I didn’t foam at the mouth and spin around the room when he told me the price of his suit.

He has hair to cut.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

America, I Salute You.

America, you don't have any burgers left. I ate them all.

I ate them from the Shake Shack and I ate them from Five Guys and I even sniffed them out from the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel over on 56th.


Australia just does not make that caliber of burger. I believe it's a combination of your potatoes (Idaho), your buns (perfect) .... and whatever it is you feed your cows coz the patties are ridiculous. And made to order. Perfection. I've put on five kilos - my tummy jiggles when I walk. Because we're around the corner from fricken Hershey World and M&M Land as well. Dave and I are eating and shopping machines. I hate myself but I just can't stop. You know when you overeat so much that you can't remember what it's like to feel hungry anymore? Yeah, I'm there.


So I wanted to be all Writer Writerly and write amazing vignettes and swooshes of words that amaze and delight, but I can't. I'm too scattered and jittery. And unorganized, driving Dave nuts. It takes a lot of energy to be a burger-guzzling-manic-inducing-tourist. We are SUCH tourists here! Looking up and making people behind us annoyed. Counting money at the till and then people bank up behind us so we just say fuck it and hand over another note, all the shrapnel untouched in our wallets. Gazing stupidly at all the buildings. Running up to random hispanics in burger places saying "Mate! I thought I had the best burger yesterday until I tried THIS. This burger wins my Best Burger Award!"
And they grin and tell me where the toilet is.

So many things have happened. I have learnt that my husband is a *teeny* bit co-dependant. Like, go away so I can miss you hon, PLEASE.

We had a big fight one day, I was crying and so upset. About the same shit we do at home - respect, child minding/domestic issues, who earns what money and at what cost to the other one's career because SOMEONE has to cook and clean and wash and parent and run the holiday houses but that SOMEONE doesn't get actually *paid* for any of that so apparently it doesn't count.

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yeah - NYC baby, all the way. We leave tomorrow. How am I going to say goodbye to her, this most beautiful Manhattan? I have grown accustomed to her face.

It's been a wild, hectic, fucking crazy ride. But I realised something today - I'm not changed forever. I'm still as fucked up as I always was. Still unkempt and sweaty and loud and gluttonous. Still constipated and hairy and not perfect. Not as good as I wish I was.

I guess it'll have to do.


I'm behind on emails, tweets, DMs, and smoke signals. I don't know why I blog. It's fucking strange. i can't think about how much I miss my boys so I try to push them out of my brain because it hurts too much.

Reminds me of Max's first day at school .... I didn't cry dropping him off, but when I picked him up later that afternoon, I bawled like a baby.

We fly out tomorrow ... to Bali. This is after another stopover in San Francisco - hopefully we'll actually *find* the Golden Gate Bridge this time, instead of finding the Bay Bridge and then wondering why it's not golden.

So that makes another four planes to travel on. What are my odds on surviving?

Goodbye. I can't end this properly because Dave is asleep next to me tossing and turning over the clickety of my computer keys while I'm typing....


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Memos to the World - BlogHer 2010

"A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world."

- Unknown

Today I watched my husband fly in a helicopter. We then jumped on a ferry to Staten Island, watched a baseball game while eating a chilli hot dog, posted a big fat box of gifts and American candy to my boys back home in Australia. Then we walked to the World Trade Centre site and took a tour of the memorial centre .... wow.

Walked to Chinatown and got massages. Got pulverised. Walked to Little Italy and ate a whole pizza - Dave ate the best Lobster Pasta he has ever had in his life. (Say 'little Italy" over and over ..... Liddleiddleee. Liddleiddleee. Liddleiddleee.) 


This city is so amazing ... and last weekend was hands down was probably the best of my life.

I went to my first BlogHer Conference, after vicariously living through them using the blogher hashtag on twitter for the past two years.

It was like, 2400 Harriet the Spy's converged in a hotel in the Big Apple, filling networking sessions and talking and laughing and crying. I met some amazing people - even caught a glimpse of myself.

So, what the hell is a blog? The word is an amalgam of  "web browser" and "log files" ..... literally meaning, a log of events and thoughts on the web. A weblog. A blog. Such a funny sounding word! Not at all onomatopoeic. "Blog" sounds like a word describing a thud of something ... like a heavy branch falling on a roof.

Blogs are actually these amazing portals into other people minds, and hearts, Sometimes, even their souls.

They are amazing beasts, these "blogs." These feather songs, these sprinkly peppers. These winds of rhyme and reason.


"A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list."
- Unknown

Contrary to what I thought at first, you don't need permission to blog. You just do it - just write some words on a blank screen and press "post." Simple. These words can be as deep or as shallow as you like. They can be written with the darkest blood of your deepest pain, or the ink of your sweetest joy.

My biggest discovery I made, this BlogHer .... was the uniting of womens voices, and learning how to harness that power. Shining inwards AND outwards - like being your own lighthouse, going around and around. Simultaneously lighting up yourself and then the sea, self then sea.

I was so jetlagged and delirious, I had no energy left to be self-conscious or anxious. SUCH  a nice change. I was open and friendly and smiling, everywhere I walked. Most people responded to me in kind .... after they tried to lip-read what the hell I was saying because out came a heavy Australian accent from my mouth. Oh, and when I said my name, a lot of Americans did not hear "Eden Riley."

They heard "Aiden Rowley."

(I made the mistake of telling Dave that .... now he will call me Aiden Rowley til I die GREAT. At least it's better than Eddie, hey Palemotherf*cker? ;))

"Blogging is an art, same as any other method of self-expression. Some are better at it than others."
- Hugh Macleod

I saw big bloggers in the flesh. Bloggers I have admired from afar and would never go up to .... bloggers I love and know so dearly that I could not stop hugging them. My friends, my online Angels, my sisters-in-arms. My tribe. My 2399 fellow-Harriets.

I saw big bloggers ignore small bloggers. And I saw small bloggers not give a SHIT. I saw a few cliques, a couple of tantrums. This is not a "blogger" thing - this is a human nature thing. Meh.

Dave came with me to the Opening Keynote .... he looked around, limp in a sea of strong vagina overlords of the manor. He remarked how everybody was typing on their phones or laptops. YES!

You know what I love about a huge conference like this? Even the bathroom attendants were on social media. (Checking facebook on her phone.)

"The first thing you need to decide when you build your blog is what you want to accomplish with it, and what it can do if successful."
- Ron Dawson

Yes there was swag and parties and PR and marketers and advertisers and reviewers. But the best thing for me was noticing my own voice, in this chorus of strength. Realising I'd like to start doing things that mean something .... and I'm actually halfway there. An amazing friend and I have been working on something for months now, hopefully it will be ready to launch soon. I'm pretty excited about it - and I actually believe in it. I don't often believe in things in life - I mean good, solid believing in positive change and power.

But I'm willing to give it a go.

I'm still sifting it all in my head - but there is one thing that is crystal clear: Women are online with a passion and a vengeance. I'm a part of that. The possibilities really are breathtaking.

One of the parties. I took this photo after my friends had long gone to their warm beds - I didn't want it to be over, so I stayed for a few hours.


The ironic thing was, during the flight over to America from Australia last week, I had my biggest blogging crisis ever. A few weeks before, this blog had been featured in Australia's major Sunday newspaper, the Telegraph. An article was written about the rise of mummyblogging in Australia, and I am now known as the mother who compares her son to the antichrist. Awesome. I rang my sister in a fit, freaking out about what people would think of me. I DO write in a very confessional tone here, this strange public place. I know I must own my words .... and I do, but it was very strange ... like I was painted as the controversial one. (I accidentally naked-blogged before I even knew what the term meant. I'm learning as I go.)



I must go right now, as they are vacuuming around me in my fancy hotel lobby. Hopefully Dave is asleep by now, and has no computer issues for me to fix. America, your burgers YOU KNOW I WANT THEM. I have a few more days left in this town. I will carry the sight and sounds of it back with me in my pocket.

Maybe until San Diego next year? Who's with me?

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Mummy. Mummy Who?

- Photo taken by me the other night. A hotel foyer in NY. I stood there clicking and told Dave it reminded me of me and my two boys and I shifted around to get the band of vertical metal separating us, symbolising being parted from them. Dave stared at me.

Tomorrow I will write my BlogHer recap. It's still settling down, in my head. Tonight Dave and I went to see Fela. Over on 49th Street. I understand the streets here now - but I will never get used to the cop uniforms. They just look so fake and I want to laugh out loud, but I don't.

We finally went over to SoHo, and Greenwich Village .... I bought three dresses at a vintage shop for a hundred bucks. I want to do a fashion shoot and blog them to you. The shopping is a feast - ideal for us actually, as America is soon headed into fall and Australia will be almost spring by the time we get back. So we are getting all the summer sales.

Tomorrow morning Dave is having his helicopter ride, then we will go sightseeing. He has a strong desire to go to Brooklyn. I have a strong desire to go to a gallery or museum. Probably the MoMa. Maybe the Guggenheim. Or BOTH. We can do whatever we want. Whenever.

Man I miss my guys. I rang Max yesterday with a huge lump in my throat - until I spoke with him and heard how totally fine and unfazed he is. Crunching on something down the phone. "What are you eating sweetheart?"

A crunchy pause, then,

"Burger rings. For breakfast."

Laughing, knowing there was nothing I could do about it.

We haven't spoken or skyped with Rocco, didn't want to confuse him. He is going really well, apparently. There is a changing of the guard today, Dave's mother is handing over the baton to my mother. I just spoke to her and it was a relief, to hear her voice and know that the kids are ok. I'm so grateful for that.

I just found this on my computer, tugging at my heart.

Man that booger he pulled out was a big one. I remember watching him wipe it on the floor. I don't remember cleaning it up.

(I look so tired and haggard in this video.)

I miss his disgusting little boogers, and poopie nappy explosions. I might even be nearly close to missing wrangling a small child in public.


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Welcome to Planet New York

Not exactly sure I can even narrate this, huge journey. While I'm still going through it - but I can try.

Attending my first BlogHer conference, having my mind blown wide open ..... connecting with other women, looking deeply into the business and nature of blogging and our "virtual" worlds, the good we can do and the meaning we can create is only limited to how far our brains can think. Women are connecting through social media like never before, it's a wonderful thing.

Finally meeting friends and women bloggers I have admired and known online for years. Hugging them tight - "You're real!" I kept saying. "You're really real!"

Being the only Australian in a sea of Americans - loving it. Feeling like an ambassador for my country, and excited because I believe blogging is really going to start taking off more in Australia. Years ago I would google over and over different versions of "mum blogging", "Australia", "Aussie women online" ... and not finding much. These days they are sprouting up everywhere - Brenda at Aussie Mummy Bloggers, I can't wait to meet you!

Sitting next to my husband during the opening keynote, listening to a diverse group of bloggers read out some of their most amazing posts. Laughing as I read his thoughts .... "Um, how long do I have to stay hon?" Estrogen FTW!

Taking photos of Martha Stewart's cupcakes at the party in her offices overlooking the Hudson River.

Leaving the same party almost as soon as I got there because I felt SO uncomfortable .... sharing cab rides with complete strangers who were new friends after five minutes.

Ordering two burgers from the Hilton at 11.30pm one night because me and my roomie Kate were too lazy to go buy a slice of pizza ..... and trying not to flinch when I signed the bill of SEVENTY-EIGHT dollars. (They were very good burgers. They'd wanna be.)

This is Kate - she's very shy.

Walking the streets of New York with Dave - never will I forget that first night when we stepped into Times Square. I gasped, my mouth literally dropping open in amazement. I was so very shocked. Times Square is the future, baby. It takes a lot to shock me these days .... New York, I have met my match.

Meeting Fadra in the last hour of the last party ..... Fadra I love you! Be mine!

Feeling so free and open and friendly, I never want this to end, but knowing it will at some point. Because, you know, MY CHILDREN. Thinking about them all the time .... so much so, we told them on a billboard.

I will never be the same again.

Hailing a cab by myself and running into the traffic to try and open the door - the front door. I was pulling and pulling and all these cars backed up and the driver was motioning me to sit in the back and when I did I said, "Oh ... you can sit in the front in Australia, sorry." And he laughed and laughed so hard at me.

I'm onto you, America - I know why you invented half-and-half. Because the full richness of the cream distracts from the crap crapiness of your coffee.

So ... this is all just for starters. I may need to post twice a day to catch up to myself, I have so much more to say. In fact I'll try ... even though Dave is having jealousy issues with my laptop. (Mmmmm, my beautiful sleek laptop.)

I will be back. Bottom line for now - the world can be an amazing place, if you let it.

(All photos taken by me. Except the ones OF me, because that would be impossible unless I was Inspector Gadget.)

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