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Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Does This Stuff Always Happen to Me???

I totally planned to be all obnoxious and blog my way through BlogHer, even though most of you probably couldn't care less about it. I mean, even I didn't care about it until this year, and - to be honest - I didn't think too much about it until I began freaking out last week.

And freak out I did.

Because you know how those BlogHer attendees are.

Wouldn't you know that my fears were mostly unfounded... because I connected with some truly amazing people, many from the adoption community. Seriously, y'all, I can't wait to share the highs and lows of my weekend with you. And I would have done it even earlier, but I just arrived home last night. And - being the Total And Complete Nerd That I Am - I didn't blog at all during a blogging conference. Nor did I tweet, facebook, send or receive emails, text or otherwise communicate with anyone outside the walls of the Hilton on the Avenue of the Americas in NYC.

Why, you might ask? (And I totally know Patricia in NYC is asking, since I promised to call and then didn't.)

I was planning to... I really, really was. I packed all of the stuff that the BlogHer packing list said I should pack. You know, because I'm anal like that. I packed one suitcase full of clothes Completely And Utterly Approved By Our Resident Fashion Maven Dory, as well as an empty duffel bag ready for swag; plus I carted along my laptop bag filled with one beloved laptop, one amazing wireless mouse, several assorted life-saving charging cables, my brand-new and much revered I-Pod Touch, a vital list of phone numbers and a bunch of cheesy blog business cards that pretended to be professional.

I took the Amtrak train from DC to New York on Thursday... my first solo train ride, and to the Big City no less. I placed my suitcase in the overhead bin. And I placed my laptop bag and purse under the seat in front of me, right at my feet, just like I always do on airplanes. And just like everyone else around me on the train seemed to be doing. I didn't once get up out of my seat. Nor did I fall asleep. Nope, y'all... I am embarrassed to say that instead I simply became very, Very, VERY engrossed in a Washington Post crossword puzzle.

(And yes, y'all, I realize this totally and completely emphasizes my total Word Nerd Status.)

So - while I was racking my brain for a four letter word for a medieval buffoon - guess what happened to my laptop bag, filled with my beloved laptop, amazing wireless mouse, several assorted life-saving charging cables, my brand-new and much revered I-Pod Touch, a vital list of phone numbers and a bunch of cheesy blog business cards that pretended to be professional?

Yep, someone stole it. We think the person sitting directly in front of me simply reached down, pulled my bag forward, hefted it up and walked off the train in Trenton. Oh yes, she did. And oh my lands, yes, was I mightily upset. Everyone kept telling me I appeared really calm, considering the circumstances, because I kept repeating to myself and others - over and over - that no one was hurt, which is the main thing, and that things are almost always replaceable.

But photos?

Saved digital photos are not, y'all. Which is why I shall oh-so-secretly admit that I shed a tear or two in the Amtrak police station within Penn Station. And again on Friday night, as I sat remembering the precious photos I've taken of my Tongginator in recent weeks, ones I had yet to back-up. And all of my music, in its anal-retentive folders labeled "Tongginator Music," "Mommy Music" and "Tonggu Momma Music" to identify music that I deemed appropriate for little ears... or maybe not so much.

There were some large blessings as a result of my laptop-less state, however. I spent much more time connecting face-to-face with an amazingly wonderful group of ladies from the adoption community.

from left to right: Christine from welcome to my brain, Marcie
Grown In My Heart, Carrissa (above) from My Everyday
Miracles, Claudia (below) from Musings of the Lame, Judy from
The International Mom Blog, Kristen from Rage Against the
Minivan and Michelle from Gotcha Baby (and yes, the ever-camera-
shy, obnoxious Tonggu Momma - that's me, y'all - took said picture)

ALSO, the very first person I met at BlogHer was the lovely Megan, who is in the process of adopting from the Congo. I met her in the reprint line because - wouldn't you know it - my conference badge and tickets and all manner of important papers were (say it with me y'all) in my laptop bag. Which was stolen. By The Evil Person Who Got Off The Train In Trenton. What's amazing about meeting Megan is that she actually knows - in real life - the momma I know who just adopted from Ethiopia. Yes, it seems she attended high school with said momma's husband, in the middle of the country, far from Maryland. And I probably would not have connected with her if I hadn't been standing in the reprint line. And the only reason I was standing in the reprint line was because someone stole my bag.

God is good like that.

Even when someone steals something.

And someone else realizes that a four letter word for medieval buffoon is FOOL.


Kim K. said...

How awful!! I'm so sorry. What a terrible way to start the conference. I would have been so angry and crying for days about the loss. I can't wait to read all about your experience at the conference. Welcome home.

Aus said...

Oh TM - man oh man - I'd have to kill the person responsible!! I mean - how dare they touch your (or my) laptop?

But yeah - you can get a new machine - still - it's the thought....

Regardless - glad to have you back - in one piece - and all of that! And while you may be naive - you're not a fool!

hugs - aus and co.

Dana@AdoptionJourney said...

I'm so mad! Very sorry that happened.

Stefanie said...

That stinks!!! I'd have been so sad and so mad... I'd have definitely shed some tears as well, TM.
It's great to hear you had a wonderful time, in spite of that! Good for you for maintaining a healthy perspective :)

Buckeroomama said...

That's really awful!! I would have been fuming. But yeah, what to do. Glad that you made the best of it during BlogHer, though. Glad that you got to go!

Football and Fried Rice said...

I agree. TERRIBLE! I just don't get how people think they have the RIGHT to other peoples' things..I mean, I know it has everything to do with us living in a fallen world and people seeking their Independence (from God) - and there you have it - Independent people STEAL things from others. They think it is their "right".

I once heard a story about D.L. Moody (founder of Moody Bible College) - he was walking the streets of Chicago when a man attacked him - beat him and robbed him. As the man was walking away - Moody called after him, 'Wait - you didn't take my most precious thing! I have something way more valuable than my watch and my wallet - I have the spirit of God living inside of me!"

Imagine that guy's horror. I wish we could tell your thief the same thing. Yes, you lost something valuable - but the greatest gift of all - can't be taken from you...

AwesomeCloud and family said...

Glad to hear you had a good time, and sorry about your stolen laptop. Not that this helps any after the fact, but I never bring electronics to a con. I know a lot of people do, and that sometimes they even succeed at liveblogging, but liveblogging is actually very, very hard when there's so much other stuff going on.

Lesson learned, I guess. :( It's just too bad it was learned the hard way.

(It's also important to leave valuable jewelry and stuff at home. You just never know.)

Carla said...

Oh my gosh...that's so awful and terrible, and yes I'm glad no one was hurt physically. But TM, you WERE hurt...emotionally. I'm shedding tears over your lost photos as well.

I'm glad you had a good time, and got to meet some amazing people as well. I'm a little jealous over that. {HUG}

monica said...

That is unbelievable! I am not sure I would have been able to enjoy myself at all after that. Yes, it is a huge hurt to have such precious things stolen, and it's not about things. It's about what those things mean to you, and I must say, photos and music and phone numbers and personal laptops, those things are pretty darn important...and personal! For someone who needs her privacy, this must feel awful. SO sorry.

jen@odbt said...

What a nightmare. I'm so sorry. I'm glad blogher was a great experience despite how things started out.

Jboo said...

Oh no -- so sorry to hear that news! That really sucks! I feel for you TM!


pickel said...

I am glad you had a great time. :)

Patty O. said...

Oh, that SOOOOO sucks! I really admire your attitude, though. Many people (maybe even yours truly) would be infuriated and bitter. I like that you are focusing on the blessings and that no one got hurt.

I sure hope the person who got off in Trenton only stole your computer because she had no food at home for her 6 children because her husband left her and drained their bank account and she has no family in this country. Or something like that.

Glad you had fun, though!
Oh, and I would have been that engrossed in a crossword too. Bil and I started playing Scrabble online and I think of you whenever we do. And when Bil beats me, as he has been doing lately despite my ire.

Suzy said...

Well. That stinks.
You DO know you can file a claim on your home owner's insurance for these things, don't you? Perhaps not ALL is lost. Also, being anal might be your ally. Do you have the serial number for your things (ipod touch, laptop?)? Because I would totally want the police to know them & I'd call pawn shops around Trenton & let them know it. It's illegal for them to be sold & the pawn shops have to report it. And if you don't get them back? I hope the person who took them gets a nasty virus that renders them useless.

harding swing said...

oh! I'm so sorry about your laptop and all the things on it. I will pray for that person to Do The Right Thing and return it. (i'd have been all wrapped up in that crossword, too!)

But...so glad you got to meet those wonderful ladies, especially Megan.

Holly said...

Bummer!! You know what, I am going to pray for that person, that he or she will feel convicted and that somehow some way, it will make its way back to you or that God will supply the money to replace it. Is there any identifying info on the computer to trace it back to you??
God is at work for good even in the bad and what a great sport you were to look at the blessings in the midst of the theft.
Big hugs,

Denise said...

I am so sorry! I have missed your posts..time to catch up~

Anne said...

oh, crap.

prechrswife said...

Oh, no... I'm so sorry. :-(

Magi said...

Ugh! I'm so sorry. I am glad that you were still able to have a good time.

Cavatica said...

Steeling stinks. Sorry. Glad the conference was good, though.

Dita said...

OK, first thought was...you were RIGHT next to my office...and I mean, RIGHT next to me and I didn't know it (because I've been a blog slacker and we both know it) and the next is....

You poor baby! A victim of thievery RIGHT there at your feet. Oh, I wish I were there with you at that Amtrak office when you were crying your eyes out.
I am so sorry, TM....I can't imagine that you kept it together as well as you did. I know you're a better man than I.

I am so glad you had such a good time at BlogHer...I can only imagine meeting all these fantastic ladies.
I can't wait for details..and you know I want them!

Sorry again, for the irreplaceable things you lost...but knowing that your little T is safe and sound and you can take endless photos of that beauty somehow must make the loss a bit less.

Hugs, TM!

Patricia/NYC said...

OH NOOOOO!!!!! I am sooo sorry that happened to you!!! Awful, just awful...and a horrible way to start off your adventure.

Although, I have to say, I felt a little bit of the heat taken off since "the theft" did not take place within NYC limits...I mean, you know, I'd feel so guilty about that happening in my city & all ;)

Seriously, TM, I feel awful for you.

Kelley said...

OH NO! OH NO! OH NO! That is just terrible...I'm so sorry that happened. So sorry...

lmgnyc said...

Well, at least it didn't happen in NYC, especially after I told you how nice NYers are and all. So sorry. What an awful feeling.

Sharie said...

OK I just ordered a new Mac (which comes with a free iPod touch) and was planning to sell my netbook cheap, but now I'm thinking I need to keep it for traveling. I would not be upset at all to lose it and I don't store anything on it. If my laptop were stolen - YIKES! my entire life is on it. They'd have access to all my bank accounts, all of my school work, I'd die.
I'm glad you didn't let the the thief steel the fun of your weekend too.

Misty said...

oh, TM! i'm so so sorry that those precious memories were taken by someone so thoughtless and rude and just medieval. but still, the hassel and loss of personal effects, while no one was hurt, is still so frustrating.

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh! Oh! Well, that just...it burns. I'm so sorry. :-( Nobody was hurt....but still, gah.

Glad you still had fun, though...

Georgia Peach said...

what the....!! No way!!

Bless your heart, TM. That's just terrible. I am so glad you had a good time. I might have cried in Penn station too. But you're right...no one was hurt.


Michelle@BornInOurHearts said...

Hi TM! Or should I say, Howdee Stranger!! I have been SO bad about blogging this summer. I have missed you over here in Tonggu Country and had to come over and catch up on all that I have missed. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your spontaneous Disney trip - how cool! - and your trip to BlogHer. But oh so sad to hear about someone stealing your bag. How horrible!! I'm so sorry to hear that was the start of your trip. But, as you said, thankfully no one was hurt. I don't say "oh my lands", but you and I have a lot in common in the goody-goody department. LOL! I've thoroughly enjoyed getting caught up on your latest adventures. Enjoy your remaining time in Disney!!

Michelle@BornInOurHearts said...

Oh, p.s. I am having a fabulous giveaway to help spread the word about our 2011 COFCC Calendar. Stop over. I'd love if you wanted to help out. The calendar itself is not specific to Central Ohio, other than two very tiny logos on the second page and back cover. It is a great calendar for anybody AND includes a Chinese recipe every month. We're very proud of it!

Colin and Jill Canada said...

I'm so sad for you.

But, I know you're an amazing get over it kinda person. Really. Well your certainly write that way.

Hugs for the tears and the T's recent pictures that weren't backed up. That hurts. A lot.


CC said...

That sucks big time. :( But I'm so glad you got to go (and somewhat jealous). I think if I had gone I would have been one of those lonely "fools" that arrived by herself. And get free swag. And brag about my stats. Bwhahahaha!