How Much Do I Love Americans for Prosperity? THIS MUCH.

Have I mentioned recently how much I like Americans for Prosperity? Because I totally do. The first time I attended one of their events was Right Online 2010 in Las Vegas, when I was still a newbie to this whole professional blogging thing, and probably in way more over my head than I knew at the time.

Being American-y with Pamela Gorman

On that maiden adventure with AFP, I got to meet so many fun people – AFP President Tim Phillips, fellow San Diego resident and former mayor Roger Hedgecock, Arizona State Senator Pamela Gorman, and poker superstar Johnny Chan. That last one wasn’t there with the convention, he just happened to be in Vegas. But I totally met him. And looked like an idiot doing it. Oh well, it all worked out in the end.

The next time I met up with AFP was the following January, when my friend Erik Telford, their Director of Online Strategy at the time tapped me to teach a training session on Twitter and Facebook at a regional event in San Diego. I’d given speeches at rallies before, but this was the first time I’d be teaching grassroots activists how to do something that other people believed I was good enough at to do. Eeeek! It ended up being fantabulous!

Around that same time, I drove up to Orange County to cover a School Choice Week event. There I met Hugh Hewitt and Dick Morris, and got a chance to chat with state directors David Spady (California) and Teresa Oelke (Arkansas). I was nervous as all get out, but the people at these things are so friendly that it’s easy to feel comfortable once you’re there. I ended up writing a pretty solid piece in support of school choice too (one of my pet issues) too, so yay!

That's Spark, not a mimosa. I'd probably look more relaxed if it were a mimosa.

A few months later AFP contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in covering the San Diego portion of their Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on a Government Pension tour. Basically, I’d be spending the afternoon in a limo with David Spady and Jen Jacobs, visiting various tax day tea parties around the county. Um, ok! Let’s roll. I wrote this about it, but I will always remember that afternoon for the most awkward photo ever taken of me in the back of a limo.

Last June, a year into my adventures with AFP, they asked me to come teach a podcasting class at Right Online 2011 in Minneapolis. I’d basically gotten my sea legs at my strange but wonderful job at that point, so I went to Minnesota with a bit more confidence than I’d had the year before. Plus I was teamed up to teach with Ed Morrissey, who is not only amazing at what he does, but also one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet.

Right Online 2011 was full of adventures, like finding the Target Mother Ship, eating the world’s most perfect sandwich at Hell’s Kitchen, and infiltrating a Netroots Nation event. Plus there was a piano bar, rooftop lawn bowling, and tons of friends to just hang out with.

After that was Defending the American Dream in November, where I spilled my blogging secrets with Erik Telford. I also met up with my boyfriend Abe at the Lincoln Memorial, met some real-life heroes, and made a ton of new friends like Melissa Ortiz of Able Americans, an advocacy group for handicapped Americans.

Occupy had taken some sort of force by then, and I captured this awesome video about shaking your booty for freedom, shaking it for peace, shaking it against the police. So frickin’ lame. Get a job, hippies!

She likes pina coladas ... especially in the pool at the Palazzo in Vegas.

Since then, I did another regional event in San Diego, this time with famed California blogger Jon Fleischman of the Flash Report, and last weekend I was in Vegas once again for Right Online 2012. Vegas was special this time because Leif got to come with me and meet all my cohorts.

Oh, and it gave me an excuse to see Ashley. And stay an extra day and hang by the pool with her drinking pina coladas.

So yeah, AFP and I are buds by now. I love their commitment to grassroots training and activism, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. There’s another Defending the American Dream summit coming up in August in DC. I highly recommend attending – it’s an experience you won’t regret.

Right Now

Empty wine glasses. Furbaby. Coke Zero. Pile of crap. #GlamLife

I’m eating scrambled eggs with pepper jack cheese while I wait for my last load of laundry to dry before I pack.

The sitter is coming in one hour.

I really hope she doesn’t expect the house to be totally clean.

We had friends over last night night until 2am instead of picking up.

Well, I picked up the main living area, since we had people coming over. Now the only messy thing about it is the dirty scrambled egg pan in the sink. Ok, and the dishes we generated last night entertaining. Oh, and the trash is full. And there are empty wine glasses on the counter. Ack! Crumpled napkins! And the pile of stuff that came in with my kids last night when Gramma and Papa dropped them off. Ok, it’s actually a mess in here.

I texted the sitter last night to keep in mind that I work from home, have a three-year-old with me 99% of the time, and don’t have a maid. She said she’d bring her white glove.

I laughed.

These scrambled eggs are soooo good. Have I ever told you how much I love pepper jack cheese? I’m rethinking polygamy, because I totally want pepper jack for a sister wife.

Plus Leif is deathly allergic to dairy, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the whole sharing a man thing.

But if I did have to share a husband, I’d consider sharing with pepper jack. That’s how much I love it.

I freaking love mornings when I get up before everyone else. It’s so … what’s the word? Oh yeah, peaceful.

I might get up an hour before everyone else on a regular basis.

Except.

I like sleep better.

Happy Thursday! I’ll see y’all in Minneapolis!

Right Online is Less Than a Month Away!

Here’s some info for yah!

This summer Americans for Prosperity Foundation will host the fourth annual RightOnline conference in Minneapolis, MN on June 17-18th.

This year’s conference will feature leaders in government, new media, and grassroots mobilization such as Governor Tim Pawlenty, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Fox News Contributor and best selling author Michelle Malkin, conservative commentator and author Andrew Breitbart, Fox News Contributor S.E. Cupp, RedState.com’s Erick Erickson, HotAir.com’s Ed Morrissey, TownHall.com’s Guy Benson, the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, and many more. Click here to learn more about RightOnline.

I’ll be there at RightOnline and AFP Foundation has give me the below discount code for my readers.

Click here to register with the discount code “fightback” to receive 25% off.

For the fourth straight year RightOnline will be at the same time and place as NetRoots Nation, the largest annual gathering of liberal bloggers and activists. The national media will converge on Minneapolis to report on the latest news from both events. If we don’t keep up the pressure at RightOnline it won’t be long before the liberals get to go back to their tax and spend ways.

RightOnline will also feature workshops and panels hosted by experts in their respective fields. The areas of focus will include Online Activism 101, Advanced Online Activism, Tools and Resources, Investigative Reporting/Citizen Journalism, Public Policy Issues, and Grassroots Activism.

This will be a great opportunity to network and meet with grassroots activists, influential bloggers, and other representatives of conservative organizations.

I hope you will join us in Minneapolis for this important event. Remember to use the code “fightback” for 25% off.

The Smart Girl Report – Episode 0038

Vegas Hangover Edition: I talk about Right Online and Carol Greenburg‘s infiltration of Net Roots Nation, plus Mike G. joins with hangover cures.

Who’s Johnny Chan?

Is he that action star guy? No? That’s Jackie Chan? Well then I’ve got nothing.

I was in Vegas this past weekend for Right Online, an activism training event put on by Americans for Prosperity. The weekend was winding down, and I was chilling in the casino with some friends. All of a sudden, one of them started practically buzzing out of his skin, and it wasn’t even the ADD one.

My friend Duke had eyes as big and round as those of a kid in a candy shop, and in shouted whispers announced, “That’s Johnny Chan! JOHNNY CHAN!”

“Heh?”

As if I hadn’t heard him, Duke excitedly repeated, “Johnny Chan!!”

“I heard you, Dude. Again-Who?”

“The poker player!” Duke went into more detail about the world tour poker player winner guy, but it was all Greek to me.

Famous poker player was all I needed to hear. Leif is a big poker fan. I had to get a picture with this guy.

“Which one is he?” I asked my posse.

Duke responded, “He’s right there; hands in his pockets.”

I glanced to a group of four Asian looking guys, and the closest one to me had his hands in his pockets.

Having not an ounce or shred of sensibility, I walked right up to the group, turned to the guy and asked, “Are you Johnny Chan?”

He laughed and said, “Some people think I am.”

“Would you mind taking a picture with me?” I asked politely with a plethora of smiles.

“Well, you can, but you might prefer to take it with that guy,” he laughed and pointed to the perturbed looking guy across from him. A quick glance confirmed that he also had his hands in his pockets.

It was obvious the guy was not happy with my interuption. They probably thought I was a silly white chick that thought all Asians look the same.

I turned squarely to Johnny Chan and said, “First off, I’m going to kill my friend over there that told me your friend was you. Second, I’m not sure if this make it better or worse, it’s not that I don’t know what you look like, I just have no idea who you are. Third, my husband is a huge poker fan, and he’d die if he saw a picture of me with you.”

There was a brief silence that lasted about ten years. Then Mr. Chan broke into a smile, extended his hand, and said, “Come here, Baby, let’s make your husband jealous.”

Some Famous Guy and Me

The moral of the story: Sometimes if you act like an idiot, you get your picture taken with celebrities.

Right Online

I just booked my room for Right Online this July. Eeek! I’m so excited to see some friends again, and of course meet some new ones.

And I have the greatest hubby evah.

No really, I do.

Need proof?

Right Online is July 23-24. Comic-Con is July 22-25.

That’s right. My uber geeky yet still totally sexy hubby is only going to one day of the Geek Mecca this year, so I can basically go to a giant Twitter meet-up in Vegas.

Now that is love.