Pennsylvania Bloggerpolooza 2009: What Really and Truly Happened


Ah, there and back again! I return to you all fresh from my three-day roadtripping journey to meet Pennsylvania blogging friends... And do I ever have some tales to tell! Yes, here you'll get the real skinny on some very talented bloggers. Because I would never, ever, ever lie to you folks.

First, let me tell you a little about the area to which we forayed... We wound our way to a mystical, magical realm, where the men are men, and the dogs enjoy a good pipe after dinner...


Where the turkeys and bobcats find happiness and harmony...


(Also sawdust stuffing.)

Where giant robot frogs run wild and free...


And where some of us end up looking at the world from a slightly skewed angle...



And here, we meet two of the stars of this weekend's adventure... Shieldmaiden, and her husband UnfinishedRambler...


Yes, I know, the RamblingDude looks a little stiff, but really, he's a very nice, friendly guy.

In fact, here, he's just finished his set at the local Chippendales where he moonlights, and took the time for a few pics before he got changed. That's the kind of guy he is!

Not to be forgotten, I also met Lisa of Boondock Ramblings, and Carmelita-- er-- Kathy, of the Junk Drawer. Kathy. Regrettably, because Carm- er- Kathy is actually in a Witness Protection Program, no photos of her will appear today. It is important to ensure the secrecy of her identity, lest certain persons get wind of her locale. You can never be too careful. This sort of thing is to be expected, of course, when you're a former gun maul for a fat cat in the Eastern Pennsylvania underworld.

I guess, it might also be a good idea for her to keep a low profile after we enjoyed an afternoon stealing a pair of fire trucks and cruising them around the city.


I'm not really good driving automatic, so it was only a matter of time before those lights were flashing in pursuit of us...


Fortunately, Kathy is an amazing driver. I mean, you should have seen her peel out and plow through those barricades! The coppers certainly weren't expecting that.

Ah, we gave the rozzers the slip. Afterwards, though, we were fairly tired out. So we ditched the firetrucks, got in an inconspicous car, put on fake noses and mustaches, and headed to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon to do some bungee jumping.

Now, Shieldmaiden bungee jumps regularly-- in fact, she's got the world record for most boings per dive. But this was the first time for Kathy and I.

I have to admit, I don't think I have any talent for it-- the gabounce in my bungee was all over the place. But Kathy, she's a natural! I think with a little practice, she could beat Shieldmaiden's record.

After that, we were hungry. So we decided to do a bit of hunting, and bagged ourselves a large juicy oppossum, which Shieldmaiden did rotisserie style.... It's amazing what that woman can do with marsupial.


What? The snow you see there? Oh, yes, we had a freak snowstorm in between the bungee jumping and the wild game hunt... You mean you didn't hear about that on the news?

Funny. Must have been really localized.

Well, after dinner, we headed back to the hideout-- er, Shieldmaiden and RamblingDude's house-- and played a few games of Twister. Unfortunately, RamblingDude pulled his back, so he's got to take a break from Chippendales for a few weeks. Doctor's orders... Get well soon, Rambler.

And that about sums up the weekend! I managed to slip out of town without the Smokies realizing I was involved in that firetruck theft, so I consider it a really eventful weekend.

But, you know, it's funny how bloggers project a certain sort of persona online, and then you meet them and find out they're totally different...

I mean, you'd think Shieldmaiden, Rambler, Lisa, and Carm-- er, Kathy--- were these really super-stable, kind, self-deprecating folks from their blogs. When actually, there's so much they do every day that we just never hear about...

(Shrugs.) Oh well. Gotta go now and dispose of my fake nose and mustache. Best not to leave evidence behind.

Tell me- how was your weekend, folks?


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34 comments:

ettarose said...

Through all your vivid descriptions I can tell you had a great time. I would be nervous I think to meet someone in real life. We have all these certain images in our heads on what the others would be like. Glad you did it.

Jenn Thorson said...

EttaRose- I would be too if I hadn't been chatting with these folks for so long, and had a good idea of what they'd be like. I've been lucky enough to meet six of my fellow blogger friends so far, and everyone was really nice.

Jaffer said...

You guys sure had an awesome time !
You drive a stick shift ? Welcome to the Kool club ! ;-)

And you guys went bungeeing ? I am way outta that club ! LOL !

Canadians have a day off today thanks to Queen Victoria.
So I am resting up after my trip before things go back to abnormal tomorrow.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- Happy Victoria Day! I like her because she helped inspire my favorite house style-- rockin' lady! :)

Sure, bungee jumping, eating possum and stealing fire engines-- we did it all-- would I lie to you? :)

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

I think my brother actually looks better in that photo than in real life.

Jenn Thorson said...

Lisa- It's the hat, I think. :) PS-- It was wonderful getting to meet you finally, Lisa!!

Skye said...

Sounds like you guys had yourselves a right fine weekend, Jenn.

JD at I Do Things said...

I was jealous of your get-together until I read about the robot frogs. Now I don't feel so bad.

Jenn Thorson said...

Skye- Indeedy-do. Unless the cops catch up with us. But... you know how that goes.

JD- What, you mean your roadtrips aren't enhanced by robot frogs?! Impossible!!

Babs-beetle said...

Now I need to hear Kathy's side of things. So far we have, ever so slightly, different stories as to how the weekend went ;)

Either way, I hear you had a great weekend!

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- You have? Oh, I can't imagine! :) I mean, I have photographs to prove it and everything! (snicker)

Greg said...

I've met a few fellow bloggers so far and it's been a treat in every case. Certainly, though, you must be prepared for the Unexpected.

I'm calling BS. The fire trucks and the possum I think are totally legit. I'm just having a little trouble picturing you swinging on a bungee, though: it sounds too much like your workplace for a weekend pursuit. ; )

Hey, I hate to ask: I know the dog's smokin' a pipe, but what is that in the cowboy's hand, anyway?

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- BS? Moi? Nahhhhh, never! :)

Re: the cowboy-- you know, we have no idea. We also questioned whether it's really a pipe. It was just too funny not to take a photo of. That whole display was entertaining. Shieldmaiden does a nice, accurate imitation of one of the taxidermied animals, too.

unfinishedrambler said...

Wow. I never realized how hot I am. Hell, I'd do me if I knew. ;)

Jenn Thorson said...

Rambler- You are pretty buff there, aren't you? :) Probably a result of all the bungee jumping.

Da Old Man said...

Good thing you took pictures to document everything.

Who knows how much they would try to deny otherwise?

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Oh, I KNOW! And I'm surprised how varied the stories from my fellow bloggers seem to be about what happened this weekend... tsk, tsk... :)

Kathy said...

Carmelita here. Oh, Jenn, this post is hysterical! I wish I had an ounce of your creativity. You rock, sista!

I'm blaming my weekend weight gain on the opossum. I read they are the fattiest of marsupials. And it doesn't help that I'm still sore from bungee jumping. That last boing almost pulled my legs off! Next time, can we just relax a little? Geez.

After we parted at the Exxon gas station, a cop pulled me over and questioned me about the fire truck. Asked if I knew a crimson-haired humorist who they suspected of theft.

I lied and told him I hadn't seen you all day, but that if he found you, to tell you thanks for the chocolate-covered pretzels. They got me through the last stretch of Rt 15. That, and the Praise Jesus radio stations. You were right. They got plenty of 'em. Can I get an amen?!

Jenn Thorson said...

Kathy/Carmelita- MY creativity? Erm, I think you're doing just fine in the genre there, dearie! :)

Yes, it could be the oppossum that caused the weight gain-- or it could be my fault with the chocolate covered pretzels... I'm sorry it cost you half a Stinky.

(Really, folks, that sentence DOES make sense-- See Stinky is her six-pound cat and... Oh, never mind....)

Still you'd think that bungee jumping would have been exercise enough to balance out the possum and pretzels.

Thanks for covering for me with the cops... You are a true friend!

Oh... and HALLELUJA! HEAL!

Haley said...

Nice to hear that you have a friend in pennsylvania. ;) Our Keppel family originates from Pennsylvania - good people there - some are bit backwards and scary but good people nonetheless! I'm glad to hear you liked it. I don't think PA is appreciated as much as it should be - it did bring us the Hershey bar after all.

Jenn Thorson said...

Haley- Heh, ah, I recall that slogan! I'm actually in PA myself-- just a different part of the state-- so now I have friends sprigged ACROSS the state, which is pretty darned cool.

Babs-beetle said...

I must admit, your photographic evidence does weigh things in your favour. Though Kathy does have the photo of a drooling deer :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- I acknowledge the truth of Kathy's drooling deer... I'm actually glad I didn't have my window/drapes on that side open, or I would have suffered a similar fate. :)

Chris said...

Glad you all had a fun time. Blogger unity is a good thing!

jay said...

Hahahaha!! Sounds like you had a good time.

Interesting - up in Scotland, a 'smokie' is a kind of preserved herring. You were running away from fish?

Jenn Thorson said...

Chris- Indeed it is. Blogger Solidarity HO!! (Oh wow, I think I just channeled the Thundercats there for a minute...)


Jay- Well, that does put a new spin on it, doesn't it? Heh, it also makes the Burt Reynolds film, "Smokie and the Bandit" about some fish thieves... :)

Shawn said...

I didn't even know there was such a thing as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Or that dogs smoked pipes in some areas of the country. I'm so sheltered.

Jenn Thorson said...

Shawn- Yes, indeed there is.

Though I suppose for comparative standards, it could possibly be called:

"The Grandest Canyon in Pennsylvania Though Somewhat Smaller than the GRANDER Grand Canyon Not in Pennsylvania"

Though I don't see that name catching on.

hindleyite said...

AGH! Giant robot frogs! Seriously though, what the heck is that thing? I thought it might be a bin at first but it looks more like an... I don't know what.

Jenn Thorson said...

Hindleyite- I understand it's made out of car parts and a couple of wheelbarrows. There were other animals made out of these pieces of junked metal as well-- a giant ant, a... well, I don't know what the other thing was, but it had a hat.

It was at a little fast food/ice cream place called the "Frog Hut."

Nooter said...

say, whats in that pipe anyway? maybe i will ask for one for christmas

Jenn Thorson said...

Nooter- I don't know, exactly. It wasn't mentioned in the caption with the photo, strangely.

Once you get a pipe, you should get some other dog friends together and play a game of poker.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Hee hee. I feel like a slacker for not doing a post about our visit. It was the best part of a very emotional week.
...and I think I have to take the blame for sending everyone off with an 'extra Stinky'.....what with the bread and the manicotti and all.

And anyone who wants to see the splendor that is the 'Pennsylvania Grand Canyon'....aka the 'Pine Creek Gorge'....its not to be missed. At least, that's what all these folks hanging around with the Jersey tags are saying.

Jenn Thorson said...

Shieldmaiden- Well, you did have kind of a lot of OTHER things going on to talk about... :)

And as for the bread and manicotti and.. don't forget the soup-- oh! The soup... I was willing to gain that extra half a Stinky because of it. Well worth it!

Plus, and most plus of all, it was great to meet you and Bryan and Lisa and Kathy.

PPS- I did more of a food and decorating and scenery post on my thrifting blog, if you get a chance to check it out. Great pictures of you, Bryan and Seamus! :)