May 22, 2013 | Comments Off

Mark took off of work from Thursday thru Monday so that we could run some errands, he could ride his bike a few times, and we could attend BlogPaws in Virginia.

On Thursday we both got pedicures, which is always more fun for him than it is for me. I hate when they rub my feet and massage my legs, but Mark thinks he’s in heaven when they do that stuff to him. I’d rather just do my usual thing of getting my toes cut, filed, and painted, but I did the whole thing so we could sit together. As much as he just loves it, he rarely gets them, and he never does without me by his side.

Late Friday morning we finished packing and waited for the cleaner to get here. She had her kids go with their dad, and she stayed here to petsit my furbabies. The only one I really trust is my mom, but the cleaner does come in a close second. I hate leaving them to begin with, and it makes me nervous to announce that I’m away from home. Unfortunately that’s part of the convention thing – to tweet the event to death. I both called and texted to check in on them numerous times, and they did do some weird things that they normally don’t do when we are here. But they were all fine and well taken care of. And, of course, now I don’t want to leave any of them ever again.

On the drive there some guy beeped at our vehicle. Turns out he saw Mark’s Steelers decal and waved his Pittsburgh cap at him. The next time our cars were side-by-side, the guy still seemed giddy. I waved, and he was smiling and giving us a thumbs-up. I made a “you guys are so stupid” comment to Mark, to which he replied, “It’s a brotherhood, honey!” Speaking of, one of my online friends lives like five minutes away from where we were going to be, and there was talk about us meeting up while our husbands watched a Penguins game together. Unfortunately, I was in way too much pain to do anything more than the basics, those of which I could barely even manage.

After we arrived at the hotel, we went up to our room to unpack and to give me some time to rest my back on the heating pad. I quickly realized that if I didn’t keep moving while I was already up that I wouldn’t be able to get back up. We skipped the heating pad, changed clothes, got our convention tags, and hit the Cat Lounge first. Anyway, as for the hotel, we got our two separate beds as requested, unlike what happened at the Hyatt Place with those rude assholes (search this site for more info). I prefer for us to sleep in separate beds because of my back; Mark jerks his legs all over the place, and I like to stretch out and then be as immobile as possible when the pain is most intense. The only thing I wasn’t happy with was the typical noon checkout time. I really wish we had the ability to use the room for a few more hours so that I could take breaks between exhibits and sessions to rest. I guess we should just have booked the room for two nights if we had thought about it enough beforehand. Also, whoever designed the rooms wasn’t very smart because they put an overhead light five feet away from the wall mirror, thus making the mirror itself virtually worthless.

After seeing the Cat Lounge, we entered the raffle for the items in it and then went into the exhibit hall. Though I thought it’d be larger than it was, it still was too big for my back to deal with. As planned, we did a little over half of the hall before going back to the room at 5:30pm for the night. I had my speech down pat that I said at each table we stopped at, and I’m grateful for that. I’m over sounding like a bumbling idiot at conferences, trade shows, and cat shows. On the way back to the room, Mark told me he could see on my face and in my eyes that I was at my limit, and I pathetically was. The drive and schmoozing had worn me out. I changed into pjs, and we ordered in a disgusting dinner from room service. I was in tremendous pain, so we settled in and watched two episodes of Shark Tank before I crashed.

I woke up Saturday morning thinking about skipping the rest of the exhibit hall and just leaving. The pain was that intense. Mark went to a morning session and grabbed the free breakfast whereas I slept in and then ordered a so-so waffle from room service. I thought I’d really hate myself if I didn’t finish what I had come for, so I drugged myself up and went back down. Mark took out bags of swag to the Xterra and met up with me. After we finished the rest of the exhibit hall, we went up to the buffet lunch. Mark ate while my fussy butt waited to eat at the hotel’s restaurant after he was done. We were basically killing time until the Cat Lounge raffle was drawn. I thought they were going to give the entire contents to a single person, but they gave away one item per person. We didn’t end up winning anything which sucked because that’s why we stuck around for an extra two hours! Then we left and arrived back home right at dinner time, and I could barely move. Now I’ve been home for four days, and I’m still in such excruciating pain.

Why did I bother going if I knew I was going to suffer while there and after coming home? I guess I hoped that it wouldn’t have ended up being as intense as it was and is. This pet blogging convention is only on the East Coast every other year, and I thought it’d be cool to meet people I’ve only read about and make possible product reviewing connections with companies new to me. It’s not something I’m going to make a habit of. There’s a trade show near me next Spring that I’ll see if I can get invited to, but beyond that it’s too physically intense for me to be a conference hopper. Besides, I’m not very social, so I didn’t go around passing out my business cards to other bloggers, only to companies. I know that’s not the best way to be, but I’m too antisocial to make that much small talk. FYI – whenever it is that I end up talking about products we got at BlogPaws or if I end up doing reviews for companies I met there, you’ll see a BlogPaws mention at the very bottom of the post in an italicized sentence.

Now here are some other things. I was really disappointed that I missed out on the Caricaturist. Apparently his list filled up Thursday night for the whole entire weekend, and I didn’t get there until Friday! Had I been following the company who set up the appointments on Twitter, I may have had a chance. I really wanted a picture of me and Kip. Another thing is how clique-ish the whole event felt to me. Even before we got there we got an email from BlogPaws itself about how apparently some people were invited to attend an off-site event and they wanted everyone to know that it wasn’t an event sanctioned by them. I had no idea what was going on because I never knew of this other activity, not that I would have physically been able to go anyway. Speaking of that, apparently there was a dog wedding I didn’t know anything about and a birthday party whose guest-of-honor and sole attendees were members of a Facebook group I’m in. Ouch. I actually introduced myself to a lot of those members over the weekend because I was so excited to actually meet them in person, so it sucked that like all of them got together without me. I mean, I know I’m antisocial and I avoid people, but I doubt any of them knew that. Also, they all hung out at a table in the Cat Lounge, and aside from simple hellos, I felt like the table was unapproachable. Perhaps I could have tried harder to make connections, but whatever. I was in too much pain anyway to do anything other than the basics. Saying hello and standing there takes a lot out of me, both physically and emotionally. I guess I just wish I felt like I had the option to decline hanging out. Anyway, also, a woman there introduced me to the Marc Jacobs cat iPhone 5 case which I have bookmarked for when I upgrade my iPhone this coming fall. It is sooo cute! Also, I bought some – new to me – Almay smart shade mousse makeup to help with my dark circles for the convention. Well, it made them so red and puffy instead that I considered going to see a doctor. It was horrible to have my already dark eyes bring even more attention to themselves!

So my birthday is Sunday! Have you been to my wishlist lately? Anyway, Mark kept asking me what I wanted, and I had been saying nothing. I just spent a lot of money on my site’s new images, so it didn’t feel right to me to spend additional cash. Then it hit me. Though the reviews aren’t the best, I’m predicting this will be the best birthday gift ever in the whole wide world for me, if it doesn’t break! I think it’ll go a long way in helping me with my curls! I usually love the way my hair looks when I leave the salon; my main issue is with how much product they use. It’ll be far easier on my back to sit under this than to twist around with a diffuser and far easier on my hair because it won’t be drying on top of my head in a hairband. So yay! Fingers crossed!

Monday I had two errands to run, and I was already in quite a foul mood from being in so much pain for so long. What was interesting to me, though, is how stupid I was with only one pain pill in my system! When I was getting my mammogram, the secretary asked me for my insurance card. So a few seconds later I was staring at my opened wallet but with no idea what I was even looking for. I had forgotten that fast! Then the woman who performed the mammogram was giving me common sense instructions (bra off, gown open in front), but I had to ask her to slow down because I was just so out of it! My dentist appointment also annoyed me to death. They call three thousand times to confirm visits. I’ve never not shown up, so I feel like that’s an irritating office practice. I bet there are assholes who leave them hanging, but they’ve cancelled on us more than we have on them. They moved my 6:00pm appointment to 6:20pm without telling me, so that really pissed me off. Even though I went in after Mark, I was done before he was. I grabbed his keys so I could lay down in his car, and I told them that he’d take care of setting up our next visits. I just had to get flat because I was hurting so much – and then I promptly walked into a pane of glass that I thought was an open door. Yay me!

So that’s that. I’m building out my calendar into August for product reviews. I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping when I’m not watching tv. I’m really bummed out that they’ve shortened the number of All My Children and One Life To Live episodes they’re showing in a week from four to two; I hope that doesn’t signal more bad news to come. But the main thing consuming me is the amount of pain I’m in and how uncomfortable it’s making me! It’s also really emotionally wearing me down too.

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