OK, so one week ago tonight.......
I arrived at BWI just before 6 pm. Mary Ripley, Media Marketing Director at USNI and the other half of "Team M" (Mary & Maggie) picked me up and we were off to the Conference.
We arrived at the Westin will just enough time to throw our bags in the room (I was Mary's roomie) and head down to the YouServed broadcast happening in one of the conference rooms.
In the lobby I ran in to TSO & Caro of the USO Girls! I did not hug TSO, I know how he feels about this. (See, I can be nice.)
Then I spot LL of Chromed Curses and she tells us which suite we will find the guys in. She and the Domestik Diva (who doesn't blog but is the most ardent troop supporter I know) will find us later.
Bags in room, hair and teeth brushed, we head off to cause trouble.
As we approach the room the show is being broadcast from, I hear their voices and yell "Bouhammer"! They start laughing because surprisingly, they somehow know just from my voice that it's me......(You can hear my entrance at the 46 minute mark or so of episode #83 on Youserved Radio)
First up...presents! Greta had a set of Navy beads that she caught herself, just for me during the Saints celebration parade. Pretty smart of Navy recruiting to come up with this idea.
Marcus and Troy are in person from the usual crew (CJ would be calling in later) and standing in for CJ was the lovely and talented Greta from Kiss My Gumbo. They were interviewing JP of Millblogging.com. JP couldn't get out of his seat fast enough, he was happy to be out of the spotlight.
I was interviewed, Mary was interviewed and Wendy from My Military Life & Navy Wife Radio. Wendy is also a Tweep (friend of mine from Twitter).
Troy and I discussed blogging, what I hoped to get out of the conference, my Milbloggie nomination in the "US Military Supporter" category, my "Black Cloud"...and my massive ego! They were equally astonished that I was going to be allowed back in the Pentagon on Friday.
When Mary was being interviewed about the US Naval Institute blog, we had the Milbloggie discussion. As you know USNI blog was the WINNAH in the "US Navy" category. Between the two of us we were trying to name all the people who make the USNI blog what it is. There is a whole list of guest bloggers. If we left you out, we are sincerely sorry...you are all important to us!
Then something really bad happened. Something I never imagined in my whole life could happen to me.
Marcus said "You owe me a pledge." He meant to have me recite it for them to record for future use. Yeah, ok. Sure. Everyone should hear someone with perfect Boston diction recite the pledge.
Marcus asks if I need the words. Words? Are you kidding me. When I was in school we said it every day. I was a Girl Scout from Brownies through Juniors. I was a Cub Scout Den Mother. I am the Goddess of the Naval Blogging Strike Force. Good. God. Who do you think you are talking to...words! Please!
So they start talking smack about stage fright. And I decide to turn my back on them in case they make funny faces. Just as I turn Bouhammer says "Can I pinch you?"
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation......(did he say on the air that he was going to pinch me?)....Oh my God!"
I turn around and gape at the assembled group. Besides everyone I have named, we also have people wandering in and out. Ponsdorf, Mrs. Bouhammer and others.
How can this have happened to me?
Marcus says they are going to cut it and start again. He hold his Blackberry or IPhone or whatever he's got up in front of me. Of course, I can barely see it, thanks bifocals!
So I start again -
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
and make it through.
Boy! I needed a drink at that point! You can go to the YouServed broadcast and listen at around the 100 minute mark. I have the Mp3, but have no idea how to upload it here.
So it was off to the bar where we found other bloggers including Toby Nunn.
Mary said she was hungry and I said "ME TOO!! Let's get food." We had margarita pizza and calamari. People were teasing me and questioning. Cause you know.....it's kind of ironic for the GODNAVBLOGSTRIFOR to eat squid....or is it?
Everything was better after that and we toddled off to bed once they threw us out at closing time.