Sunday, July 26, 2009

Three Questions for Tim Gunn

My exclusive interview with Tim Gunn is now available to view over on my new travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com. Yes, I'm being slightly sarcastic and humorous in that statement.

Enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

BlogHer '09 Day 1: Soaking it In

Note: I originally wrote this past midnight last night (this morning) yet didn't get around to doing so. Apologies for the delay...

It’s just past midnight here in Chicago and day 1 of the BlogHer experience is settling in. There are about 1,400 attendees, all with the same passion. I’m wrapping my head around all that was discussed during the informational sessions but one immediate thought I had about the experience so far is: I’m so far behind in blogging. Four years ago when I started this blog, I had no idea how far ahead of the curve I was. And, that wasn't even my first go-around at blogging, I had another site before before blogs were widespread.

Just after one day, BlogHer has been a validation and inspiration. Met a woman who read and complimented my Tallahassee blog which validated why I started it. I've been inspired by the creativity in blog topics and how specific women have been able to turn a hobby into an income stream. It's also been fun seeing and meeting other bloggers/Twitterers I read and interact with.

But, while I was ahead of the curve four years ago by beginning this blog, somehow I’m behind the times. Most of the bloggers I met started their blogs within the past 18 months and have major sponsors supporting them. Granted, most are running mommy blogs and/or frugal blogs, which with the current economic conditions, makes sense, but on the flip side, what have I been doing wrong to be stuck in a rut? Perhaps the attendance skews more towards new bloggers than seasoned? Who knows. But here are thoughts as to why I haven't been successful and ways I can get back on the right blogging track:

Inconsistency. There, I said it. I've been inconsistent since about April or so and I'll be working on that by creating a schedule to carve blogging and posting time.

Marketing, or Lack Of. Which seems silly since my career is marketing yet, I haven’t elevated myself with my blogs. That’s changing because I invested in business cards and actually handed them out here. I now have a promise to potentially new readers.

Hate Rejection. One gal I spoke to this afternoon said she’s been blogging for less than a year and had a sponsor who gave a computer to giveaway. She said she also receives free vacations because she contacts loads of PR people to ask. She said for every 10, she receives nine “no’s” and one “yes.” I need to be proactive in soliciting sponsors and advertisers.

Been Throwing Spaghetti Against the Wall. QuirkyKitschGirl.com has been all over the board with topics ranging from living single to emotional feelings and travel to roller derby. QKGTallahassee.com was successful because it was a targeted niche, a micro-travel site encouraging things to see and do in Tallahassee and encourage travel to the destination. Seems as though niche blogs do better than across-the-board ones. Hence, SoloTravelGirl.com was launched. Let’s see where that flies in the next six months.

I've Under-valued My Skills. My jaw dropped when I heard what bloggers are being compensated per post. Wow. I've under-valued myself for both sponsored posts and writing/blogging for others. That'll change for future ventures.

As the conference wraps up, I'm sure to have other thoughts and ideas on moving forward.

In the meantime, check out the my YouTube channel here for a couple of videos of Carson Kressley from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “How to Look Good Naked.” I've also started a BlogHer09 Flickr set on my account here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Am I Unreliable?

No, just over-extended. As usual, my 'in-box' is full, quite full. I'm embarrassed that I've hardly had time to reply to emails, Facebook emails/notifications and Twitter since the weekend. I have loads of photos to upload on Flickr, need to write8 articles by the end of August with two of those August weekends consumed with business conferences, need to keep up with blogging for the client and really, really need to get www.SoloTravelGirl.com off the ground. Was hoping to hold a launch party in conjunction with the release of To Japan with Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur (To Asia with Love) because I have at least two stories in it, but, the release date continues to be pushed back. Amazon is saying it's available Aug. 1. We'll see but if that's the case, I should've received my advanced copies by now.

Happy news, I'm heading to the BlogHer conference in Chicago this weekend, read about some of the celebs who'll be in attendance in 'Tide, Nikon Bringing Big Names to BlogHer '09.' Sunday is the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX), a room full of the who's-who of travel bloggers. Can't wait!

I'll be live tweeting for both events so stay tuned (@jenniferhuber). And, thanks to some Facebook friends, I have some pretty cool questions to ask Mr. Tim Gunn. No, I didn't win the personal style consultation with him but I'm usually pretty good at working my way to the front of something and should be able to get within ear-shot and ask him a question or two.

Back to reliability. I'll tell ya what's unreliable, the apartment I'm paying nearly a grand a month to live in. Now the air conditioning is out. *sigh* At least I'll be in cooler elements but hope the fur children don't roast too much and hope the complex will actually fix it while I'm gone.

Gotta run. It's after 10 p.m. and I still have packing to do. Flight's at 7:30 a.m. which means, need to leave home by 5 a.m. Maybe I'll get 3 hours of sleep tonight.

Summer Slam Jam Roller Derby Bout Recap: Bradentucky Bombers 150, Ft. Myers Palm City Punishers 80

Here's my first go around at writing a roller derby bout recap. I've passed this along to Gigi RaMoan, Mia Pyscho and ProseHack for their input but wanted to get something out on the net about the Bradentucky Bombers' July 19 victory. Congrats, ladies!

Enjoy!

~ Yankee Tripper

Summer Slam Jam was an opportunity for the visiting Fort Myers Palm City Punishers to redeem themselves after the Bradentucky Bombers defeated them 95 to 74 on their home rink during the June 28 Shove Her Solstice. While Fort Myers utilized the three weeks leading up to the bout for training, Coach Bryan Wilkes and his Bombers were doing the same and added not one but two secret weapons into Bradentucky’s arsenal, Poison Apple and Nikki Strick-9, both returning from maternity leave. These two roller derby girls combined with the team’s talented skaters resulted in a 150 to 80 Bradentucky Bombers victory during the Bombers’ last bout of the season at Bradenton’s Florida Wheels Skate Center on Sunday, July 19.

The first lap of the first jam was an indication on how the bout would end when the Bradentucky Bombers acted as proper hosts and kindly introduced the visiting Palm City Punishers to the track with blow after blow. The Bombers were in sync and getting the party started with the first jam Busty Bruiser whipped Signal 20 ahead of the pack into lead jammer status to capture 8 points compared to 4 the Punishers earned. From the Bomber’s perspective, speed and defensive blocking were the names of the game. Sixteen more jams later to the end of the first half, the home team roller derby girls were up 92 to 40.

The second half’s first jam set the pace for the rest of the bout and for the Punishers, it sure wasn’t pretty. The Bombers were up by two skaters because Heinz and the Ft. Myers jammer started in the penalty box. Heinz was serving time for hitting Bradentucky’s Kimical Warfare into a penalty box chair and into the rink’s back wall during the last jam of the first half. Without missing a step, Kimical quickly sucked it up and returned to the rink.

Signal 20 earned 5 points for the Bombers during the second half’s first jam which ignited a Ft. Myers mini-rally in the second jam when Jamsterella was lead jammer and racked up 4 points. This didn’t please the Bombers and from that point, the Bombers and particularly Julia Siezeher, Poison Apple and Snow Wipe U Out executed consistent hard-hitting blows on Ft. Myers skaters that were felt by spectators. Many jams left the Punishers scoreless thanks to the Bradentucky defensive wall.

Thanks to skillful Bradentucky Bomber blocking and lightning-speed jammers, the Punishers only claimed lead jammer status in six jams during the first half and five during the second. Heinz, Jamsterella, Lil’ Miss Slam Bags, Kannibal Kate and Klymaxxx. The 23 other jams went to Bradentucky with Gigi RaMoan, M.F. On Wheels, Signal 20, Ten Acious –C- and Yakuza Girl as lead jammers. Strategic blocking assistance from teammates Busty Bruiser, Esther Gin N’Juice, Heartbreaker Hilton, Julia Seizeher, Kimical Warfare, Mission Mary Position, Nikki Strick-9, Poison Apple, Snow Wipe U Out, and from the sidelines, captain Vixen da CrusHer, resulted in the Bradentucky Bombers victory.

Both teams competed with fierce determination but Bradentucky Bombers’ experience and fan support gave the home team an advantage. The Ft. Myers Best Blocker Award was given to Heinz 57 and Best Jammer to Lil’ Miss Slam Bags. The Bradentucky Bombers Best Blocker Award was presented to Poison Apple and Best Jammer to Signal 20.

The Nuclear Bombshells will take on the Gainesville on Sunday, Aug. 23, at Florida Wheels Skate Center. Visit www.bradentuckybombers.org for additional information.

Highlights of the First Half:

Just shy of 45 seconds into the second jam, Yakuza Girl quickly captured lead jammer status and scored 8 points for the Bombers;

It was as if Ten Acious-C- was wearing an invisibility cloak during the 4th jam because this little powerhouse jammer skated to lead status without any of the Punishers noticing, meanwhile Te Kill Ya Sunshine was welcomed to Bradentucky in Bomber-style with a little love tap into the center rink and into Bomber’s referee Viki Van Go;

The sixth jam belonged to Signal 20 since Klymaxxx was in the penalty box for 20 seconds due to bad behavior during the previous run yet, when she returned to the game, Bradentucky was in full jammer-hater mode and prevented her from scoring;

During the eighth jam, Mission Mary Position slowed Ft. Myers down with a powerful hit knocking a knee pad protector off an opponent while Gigi RaMoan demonstrated her cat-like agility and evaded a hit from the Punishers’ Flyin’ Da Brie who ended up gliding off the track;

Ft. Myers tried to derail M.F. On Wheels but she pushed and breezed through the pack making the sport look oh so easy during the 10th jam;

Highlights of the Second Half:

Making jamming look easy with her long strides, Gigi RaMoan surpassed the century mark in points for Bradentucky as she captured 4 points as lead jammer during the third jam (102/46);

Jamsterella was the sole jammer with M.F. On Wheels serving almost half the jam time in the penalty box for an infraction. With Poison Apple leading the blocking, Jamsterella never broke through the pack and the sixth jam was scoreless;

The eighth jam started with Snow Wipe U Out followed by Nikki Strick-9 in the penalty box and Ft. Myers was handed a power jam but didn’t know what to do with it. Gigi RaMoan fought her way through the pack and despite being bounced around like a pinball, Ft. Myers couldn’t stop her and she captured 8 points for Bradentucky;

Ten Acious – C- earned her lead jammer status with low blocking moves and prevented Ft. Myers jammer Kannibal Kate from earning it. In tag-team effort, Heartbreaker Hilton proved she was a jammer-hater and knocked the Ft. Myers jammer down. Ten Acious –C- was sent to the penalty box and Ester Gin N’ Juice showed Kannibal Kate the track belonged to Bradentucky during the ninth jam;

The 10th jam didn’t look good for Bradentucky with Nikki Strick-9, Heartbreaker Hilton and Ten Acious –C- all sitting in the penalty box. Jamsterella was the lead jammer but the Bombers returned by one back into defensive play. Snow Wipe U Out’s love tap sent Flyin’ Da Brie into the Ft. Myers’s bench and Busty Bruiser slowed Jamsterella to hold her to 8 points during a Punishers power jam.

Signal 20 began jam 12 in the penalty box which should have made it easy for Heinz to gain lead jammer status but Heartbreaker Hilton and Ten Acious –C- were on the track who took care of hitting and slowing the 57 sauce down. With 50 seconds left into the jam and Heinz still unable to break the pack, Signal 20 was dismissed from the penalty box and with what seemed as if it was with the greatest ease, she skated right into the lead jammer status.

Gigi RaMoan and Kannibal Kate battled for lead jammer status during the 13th jam. Snow Wipe U Out and Signal 20 orchestrated a series of beautiful hits on the Punishers’ jammer while Gigi skated to lead status;

Mission Mary Position made the night’s debut as the Bradentucky jammer during the 14th jam and although Jamsterella captured lead jammer status, Nikki Strick-9 cleared the way for Mary to advance through the pack and capture 4 points for the team;

M.F. On Wheels won the race for lead jammer in the 15th jam thanks to Poison Apple and Heartbreaker Hilton diligently playing their jammer-hater roles against Lil’ Miss Slam Bags;

With 30 seconds left in the game, the 17th jam set in motion with Yakuza Girl and Klymaxxx battling for the lead star position of the night. Ft. Myers threw blocks and hits in attempts to throw her out of the track, Yakuza displayed her amazing balancing and skating skills as she skated on one skate in order to stay within track boundaries and capture the last 2 points of the night.

Between jams 7 and 8 of the second half, Ft. Myers called a time out and the dance bug bit most of the skaters when “That’s Not My Name” by the Ting Tings infused the air. Even Coach Wilkes was infected with the groove bug and shimmied his hips with moves most haven’t seen.

Before the Bombers skated in their last bout of the season, roller derby fans kicked back cold ones during a lively tailgating party in the rink’s parking lot compliments of Bradenton’s The Distillery Tavern. Prior to the game’s 6 p.m. start, Nomads of the Nook infused the rink with its mix of avant-garde meets funk music.

Visit www.bradentuckybombers.org for additional information about the league.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tim Gunn & Tide Want to Know What My Style Will Be During BlogHer '09

I've never been more excited about attending a conference than I am about attending BlogHer '09, July 23 – 26, in Chicago. For three years I've attempted to attend but my work schedule and universe were never in synch until now. (Insert sound of angels singing here.)

With each update received from BlogHer Command Central (in the form of BlogHer Attendee News sent from Lori Luna) my excitement has grown and last week was the big daddy of them all (although, I'm pretty excited danah boyd will be presenting) Tim Gunn will be in attendance, brought to the conference by Tide (MY detergent – Tide Coldwater, to be exact). [Insert SCREAM here!]

You know who Mr. Gunn is, the suave, witty, fashion guru and consultant and star of "Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style" and "Project Runway." A lover of words, I adore Mr. Gunn's robust and vibrant vocabulary. (Makes me wonder, does he enjoy crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble? Would he play a round of Boggle with me?) He's the guy every single gal would love to have as a friend when she needs a bit o'fashion advice or a suit (or tux) to wear on her arm to a art exhibition opening.

And so Tim Gunn and Tide want to know what I'll be wearing at BlogHer (as well the other attendees). See, I have a chance of winning a private style consultation with Tim Gunn in the Tide & Bounce Laundry Lounge during the conference. And everyone who knows me knows I’m a bit fashionably challenged. I really wish Garanimals made apparel for gals like me. Come on fashion industry, make it easy!

So what am I wearing to BlogHer '09? Unfortunately, I won't know until the night before after my laundry duties are complete and packing begins. I'm initially thinking cute little skorts and colorful tops but a big part of me is thinking of bringing my punk and campy roller derby look to the BlogHer show floor (hence the photo). Hey, I'm Quirky Kitsch Girl for a reason ;)

Wonder what Mr. Gunn would say to fishnets and combat boots.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Some Photos Up from Denver, July 2009

I'm in the Denver area for the extended holiday weekend. I'm in the process of uploading photos so check back often but check these out to get you started. I've included my favorite one so far, that of a rainbow in the backyard of my aunt and uncle in Loveland, Co., and my uncle's shadow. Thought it was a different way to include a person in a snapshot. Enjoy!

Oh, I've also posted some photos via my Twitter account which you can find here: @jenniferhuber.