What is Camp Mighty? These are the basics.

My travel mates and I and I arrived at our hotel after dark (which is anytime after 4:45 in Palm Springs) and found our rooms. I noticed that my roommate had already arrived (her gear was there brushed was not) and that the room was hipster paradise.

*photo from Ace Hotel’s website

The whole dang hotel was hipster paradise.



The Ace Hotel is a mid-century, modern rustic hotel was converted from a retired Howard Johnson and an adjacent Denny’s. It is impossibly cool from top to bottom, inside and out. The Ace Hotel makes you feel cool like a rock star. It’s the perfect setting for Camp Mighty as you may need to pretend you’re a rock star and really good at everything to hang in a room brimming with (mostly) women who are rock stars and really good at everything. Bloggers, business women and/or badasses stacked to the rafters.

The first night brought a welcome party with nerdy pizza and salad. Team Mighty gave us a little ice-breaking Life List Bingo game to play. And open bar…which went a long way to making sure the evening was epic. It was totally epic. I think. It’s all a bit hazy. I do remember it ending in a nice, drunken soak in the Ace Hotel hot tub.

Good morning!

The next morning we gathered on the sunny, crisp patio for breakfast and more conversation. This patio was packed to the gills with beautiful, fashionable women of all sizes and ages. And styles. There was SO MUCH STYLE, y’all. It was like stepping into a live-in-person Mighty Closet on shuffle. Then we headed to the Commune to #gomighty and #gobing our faces off for two days.


The speakers delivered messages of confidence, overcoming adversity (whether that be external or internal), perseverance, personal bravery, risk taking, and all sorts of other things to get us inspired. Afternoons contained workshops and I even got to do a craft! The camp contained TWO Sheri’s, both with one R. The other one wrote a great post on Maggie Mason’s talk. Camp also contained lots of lovely ladies (and a smattering of men) with whom I had not only a good time but also forged friendships. And thank heavens for Twitter so that we can have some regular contact and interaction. I’m eager to see where we all are a year from now (besides, you know, at camp).

In the evenings there were social functions. The final evening was a nice, sit-down catered dinner with endless wine and endless conversation. The evening before, Friday night, was Space Camp. Oh, Space Camp…you were a good time.

And we danced. #campmighty #gobing

Festive decor, Tangtinis and dancing happend. So, so much dancing.

Dancing! #campmighty #gobing

And an animated gif photo booth. Because when there’s a Space Camp party, still images just won’t do.

The next camp post will be more specific and full of feeeeelings. Lots and lots of feelings. You’ve been warned.


Yesterday I jumped on a plane BY MYSELF like a TOTAL GROWN UP to head to Palm Springs for Camp Mighty. Can we have a moment for that sentence?

Flight #1 to Dallas was just like every other of the dozens of flights to Dallas I’ve taken. Ascend then descend. Over before it starts. I had *just* enough time to leave the plane, grab a sandwich and head to my gate to await boarding for flight #2.

So, there I was. Grabbed a sad looking hummus wrap and water from Starbucks then headed to the gate area to scarf it down in a certain level of shame that comes when you’re eating a Starbucks food product, which is about 2 steps above pushing 8 quarters into a vending machine for a cheese sandwich. I glance to my left and right to see if anyone is judging my hummus wrap, then slowly unsheath it from its crinkly packaging. I take a bite and realize there’s no hummus in this delightful ‘meal’ from the nation’s leading legal drug dealer. Oh well. I don’t have time to dispute the sadness in my mouth and at least the dang thing has pesto and gobs of arugula.

I tuck into another bite and look across the aisle where I’m sitting in the airport lounge. Not two feet from me, engrossed in a book on a tablet, is Jenny Lawson.

I texted the three closest friends who know who she is and said, “Holy shit. I just sat down to wait for my plane & Jenny Lawson is sitting across from me. #panic”

In return I got:

“Say hi!!! OMG”

“Go. Talk. To. Her.”

“Stfu!! Tell her you’re our friends! You have a shared love of dr pants ;)”

“And… She has a severe panic disorder, so she is way more panicky than you.”

Those last two are from a woman for whom I’d had a similar reaction 3 years ago.

“OMG. K.C. Clifford just called me ON THE PHONE to ask my advice…” It was sort of a full circle moment for me.

I snarfed down the rest of my lettuce sandwich while sneaking glances of The Bloggess and digging up some courage to say hi. Or anything. Our flight would board any minute and I would miss this chance to say hello to a woman who I greatly admire.

Finally, I looked up long enough to catch her eye. Probably like a creeper. And said, “Hi!” while I’m sure she thought, “Shit. This nice lady seems to know me and fuck all if I know her name.” My opening line was i m p o s s i b l y awkward. I know I said something about Camp Mighty. And something about having mutual friends. And that my friend played in her bathroom earlier this year. All the while she’s probably having that moment in her head of “Oh shit, where’s my pepper spray?”

The painful awkwardness was rescued by an overhead announcement that our flight was delayed. We chatted for a few minutes and in the middle of convo I got this text from a Team member with whom I was planning to share cab at the Palm Springs airport:

“Hi, ladies! I am stuck in Texas right now. Something about the de-icer on the plane. Maintenance will tell us if we can go anyway. ?!?!?! I’m trying not to think about that. Anyway, I will let you know but I might be late getting to PS. You might have to carry on to the hotel w/ out me. See you there. Eventually.

On the bright side, Jenny Lawson is also on my flight. Maybe I can taxi with her. LOL!”

We quickly realized that Anne Marie was literally sitting behind me. And once where there were two strangers chatting in an airport lounge, there were now three. And three is a party.

Good thing. Because, in the end, our flight was delayed for over three hours, including a false start in which half of the flight boarded before realizing that the repair to the plane uncovered another issue that put the plane out of commission. The three of us Mighty campers hung out and chatted for a few hours. We lamented many times at the frustration that the flight was delayed in 1/2 hour increments so we never knew if we had time for a beer.

Or maybe that was just me. I forget.

All I know for sure (besides how nice Jenny and Anne Marie are) is that when American Airlines derails your afternoon, there’s free wine and warm nuts on your plane.



A Mighty Brunch, Indeed.

This past Sunday I hosted a brunch to benefit Charity: Water. I’m heading out on Thursday to Camp Mighty and every camper is tasked with fundraising at least $200 for this charity so that the entirety of the campers can raise at least $20,000. Some people are selling wares or teaching workshops or drawing pictures. I decided to make 192 mini muffins and turn them into a tree.


We made other things, too. Here’s the spread…

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Kale and apple salad with poppyseed dressing, truffled deviled eggs, breakfast casserole, bacon roasted potatoes, The Source of All Bacon, fruit salad, muffin topiary (almond, pumpkin and cardamom pear) and Thank You Toffee.

I asked one of my friends to shoot pics as I assumed I wouldn’t have the attention span to do so. He did. Not that his attention span is much better.

Here’s one of me and his very patient wife, Stacy…

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Here’s one of just Stacy looking at him like she does…

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Here’s one of him (Andy) that I hope that she captured…

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I’m getting off track.

So, I hosted a brunch and lots of my friends attended. I was a little self conscious and didn’t want the party to be too big, in case I failed at hostessing. Mostly I just invited besties, people who have held my hair as I partied too hard and people who know my snarky side. Or any combination of above.

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Not a bad turnout, I say.

Greg and Moran came and brought their cherub of a son, Dashiel. Here he is with our fur baby, Shiro.

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Behind them you can see Dash’s mom alongside Casey and Marek. I think Marek is maybe driving the convo somewhat.

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My sweet puppy tried to scam my good friend, Megan, on whom Shiro could probably smell “total sucker for dogs.”

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My lovely beau, Clayton, offered his scrumptious breakfast sandwiches made fresh to order. Here’s a sample… Toasted sourdough spread with spicy mustard, topped with arugula, cilantro, bacon, sauteed onions and jalapenos…with an egg over easy. Or as I like to call it, “The Reason I am With That Guy.”

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There were endless Mimosas.

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Very adjacent to the donation bowl.

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And anytime a big, crystal bowl is at a party…someone has to make this joke:

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I love my friends. Thanks, guys, for helping me make my goal and giving me a most excellent send off to Camp Mighty. See you on the flip side!

I Love the Internets

There’s a lot of stuff I share on the Internet every day. Here’s a weekly round up of the things I most enjoyed last week by category.



Lady in red

Remember that time I went to go get my red re-redded and I got this?

I did not keep this color. Blog post coming soon.

I didn’t talk much about that on social media. Now, do not misunderstand me….the red was pretty. Bold. Sassy. (Though, I did kind of feel like I was hiding an Elmo under my hair.) But not what I had asked for and when I walked out of the salon I was hopeful I could live with it. When I washed it two days later it turned pink, which would have been fabulous if I had wanted that color. The pic below is a dead ringer color match of what my head looked like after that wash.


That’s the color of pink it was. Flickr pink. It was far too sassy to live with. I stopped by the salon to chat it out and make an appointment for a redo.

Today’s red is much more me. Here’s what it looked like the day it got colored and its been great since. Apologies for the blood. I was in a Halloween parade that day and our float was a guillotine prom. (That dress was so tight around the torso it felt like a cast, but it was $4 at my new favorite thrift store. Yay me!)


Just the right amount of sassy.

A fitting tribute

I forgot to add something to the list of things about my Grandma. Something significant. She ran the polling site in Warwick, OK, for many, many years. I can remember when I was little her having those big metal polling booths with the red, white and blue striped canvas curtains hanging from them set up in her back porch. I have no idea why, perhaps to clean them or something. But playing in them and pretending to vote is a fond memory. When my mom would go vote in Chandler, I remember my sister and I cramming into that kind of booth with her with the curtain shut. I loved those booths and the sacred space they offered to consider the major decisions we often consider in those spaces.

Today, nestled up to a pop-up, cardboard voting station I had to tune out a lot of noise to get the job done. The master of ceremonies at my precinct was obsessively rearranging the cardboard booths to create the perfect flow for voters. One of her assistants only talked to people at shout-levels. Another assistant was floating from voter to voter helping those who couldn’t read or couldn’t comprehend, saying, “It’s ok…you don’t have to vote for  all those items if you don’t want to.” People milled in and out. The whole place smelled like a thrift store (laundered clothes, dust and people). And there was a dog wandering in and out of the building….apparently he likes to hang out on voting days.




It didn’t feel very sacred. Focus was in short supply, but I did what I came to do. And I brought Grandma. She would have loved to have participated in today all the way down to re-electing our president.


Making a reclaimed dresser

I’ve been hunting for a dresser for my son for over a month. Visiting thrift stores and stalking IKEA’s website, while were fun, didn’t net anything realistic. On Friday night, as we rushed in to our 6th thrift store of the evening I saw a filing cabinet. Old, slightly beat up file cabinet. I wondered to myself if it would work. $25? Well, that and a few cans of spray paint would be cheaper than something I’d have to assemble from Target or IKEA. I left the cabinet there but while mind surfing the next day I thought to check the Interwebs to see if it really was as easy as it seemed.


I dropped a tweet and headed out on my mission, Instagramming along the way like a good little digital storyteller.

Step 1!

Step 2!

Sanded, taped, wiped down.

New dresser? Check! #pinteresting

It really was as simple as you’d think it was. Buy a cabinet (turns out it was 1/2 off, so $12!), buy some sandpaper and paint (I bought two spray primer/paint combos that were $6 a can, but you could buy those separately if you wish), remove all hardware you don’t want painted, protect the area your painting (and yourself) and spray away. This took about 2 hours but would have taken a LOT less time if I could have found my palm sander. Be sure to wipe off the sanding dust with a dry cloth, then a slightly damp one. That’s it.

A dresser for $25 that will hold a TON of clothing. It will probably hold toys, too.

I had a friend on Facebook chastise me for buying the cabinet because he has several unused ones at his office he would have given me for free. I think my bonus son wants to make one for his room, too.

Bike buying

I have it in my head that I want to own and operate a bicycle even though I have not owned and operated a bicycle since I was 12. This should end well. Bike buying is part of the constant self-improvement journey I’m always on. I figure since I live so close to work now that I could bike to and from on days when I don’t have my kids or any meetings that would require a car. I’d save gas, prolong my janky Honda Accord and maybe get a little cardio. Win, Win, Win.

I procrastinated on this shopping project for many months because I knew there was a lot I’d have to learn before I could even attempt a proper purchase of a quality, used bike. And I’ve been busy. I don’t remember what prompted the conversation on Twitter a few months ago, but a new-to-me person named Bill offered to advise me on bike buying.  I think I was checking out his Twitter profile and noticed he was a bike enthusiast. Perfect timing, Universe!

We exchanged emails and I was suddenly flooded with just the right information. Here are some excellent passages:

  • The ultimate goal is for you to find a bike that’s gonna be both comfortable and easy to ride. If it’s not, then it’s going to end up sitting in your garage collecting dust.
  • New or used, avoid anything and everything from Target or Walmart. While their bikes are cheap junk anyway, the bottom line is, they were assembled by an employee of Target or Walmart. If the goal is to keep riding, having a cheap bike that’s uncomfortable or always breaking down because of poor quality or assembly won’t encourage you to ride.
  • Don’t worry about buying what were traditionally known as women’s bikes with step through frames. Instead look for what’s called a hybrid bike.  A hybrid will give you the upright comfort of a mountain bike, but be better suited for the road with smoother tires and a more comfortable seat. You don’t want to bomb down mountains on it, but it’s light enough and geared to let you get up hills without blowing out your knees, and it will handle OKC’s delightful, pothole filled streets just fine.
  • Make sure you get a bike with enough gears to maintain a comfortable pedaling cadence regardless of the terrain.
  • Though they’re currently trendy, if you have *any* hills on your commute, avoid a single speed bike or beach cruiser. They’re fine for cruising with the kids and knocking around but, again, you want the ability to change gears to suit your terrain.
  • Craigslist will offer you the widest selection. Beware, as for every decent bike, there’s one that was liberated from the trash, cleaned up and sold as “gently ridden.”

During the planning stages of our vacation, I thought renting a bike on our San Francisco trip would be rad and figured bike ownership would help me not look like an idiot out there. Know what else I discovered about not looking like a bike-noob in San Francisco? Don’t rent bikes…which is what we did. Unfortunately, that means I’ll have to check off item #10 off on another visit to my fair city. (Darn…have to go BACK to San Francisco.)

Bill volunteered to review any Craigslist purchase I was considering. What actually happened, though, is that I triggered his inner bike junkie and suddenly I was getting emails with specific links. And not just links, Bill was cruising Craigslist for appropriate bikes in my size and price range, then asking the seller detailed info before passing the links along. He has relentlessly emailed me Craigslist bike listings for months, to which I am eternally grateful. Hoping that before it snows I will jump on one of those listings and just buy the bike already.

Anyone in the OKC area have a hybrid bike they want to sell cheap to this tall lady?