the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Circle of Life: My Final Mention of BlogHer in 2008


The month began with me making plans to go to BlogHer with my free JCPenney/Dockers flight.   It turned out that JCPenney/Dockers found it easier to abandon their promotion, ruining hundreds of hard-working people’s vacations than commit to their deal.  JCPenney never returned my phone calls, and I ended up not going to Blogher. 

As I watched all the happy people in San Francisco wearing McDonald’s bags and eating cheeseburgers, I sat at my laptop and turned bitter.  I started ranting uncontrollably on my blog about this and that.  I stopped shaving and showering and eating.  Eventually, my own mother kicked me out onto the street, calling me a loser who can’t even get into the business or technology section of the New York Times.

But life has a funny way of turning things around!  Yes, it is the circle of life.  The two strands of the story have intertwined. The higher forces have found a way to unify. I now know the truth — the world is like it FOR A REASON.  While they too busy to answer my calls or compensating their disappointed customers, JCPenney has found time to give 20 BlogHer members each a $500 gift card  so these “BlogHer Reviewers” can shop the new Linden St. home furnishings line at JCPenney and write about it on their blogs. 

JCPenney and BlogHer — together at last!   …in the the circle of life!

More on the business of mommyblogging.


  1. holli

    But did you get your handtowels?

    I was really disappointed you weren’t at BlogHer – maybe next year? I think we should push for it to be in NYC.

  2. NYCWD

    And then they wonder WHY they are in the Style section of the NYT???


  3. kateanon

    You need a discrimination attorney for this blatant oversight.

  4. Sarcomical

    these types of scenarios are kind of why i often think if i just stay a safe distance from getting too involved in the social networking events, i’ll be spared any unforeseeable shit hitting the fan.

    it does suck that they screwed you. why do the biggest companies, who should be able to afford to follow through, seem to be the stingiest and/or least compliant at times?

  5. Poppy

    Um. I’ll believe it when the money is spent.

    (Is it spent yet? I refuse to click the link.)

  6. Finn

    *rolls eyes*

  7. Laura

    This will sound like a pessimistic, crotchety thing to say, but if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Not trying to start trouble, but isn’t BlogHer, um, mainly for “hers”?

  8. Mary Beth

    You’ve got to give up your bitter, yo! Okay, that’s much funnier if you could see me – whiter than white:)

  9. piglet

    i didn’t read this before you changed it, or did you really change it?

    i prefer you edgy since it is always a risk for a person, therefore maybe it’s more authentic.

    that’s just me and by golly the world doesn’t need anymore bad astrologers like myself.

    did i mention that i actually like your post? i think that’s important to add that. here, on your blog.

  10. Jill - GlossyVeneer

    I really wish they would have given you the money to show up at BlogHer. That would have been really interesting. Although, they’re getting plenty of wordplay from you without sending you there too…

    I just wish some big company would say, “We’re giving $500 to a BlogHer member who is running a marathon for a charity.” And that member should be me. Just saying… 😉

    Thanks again for putting me on your site.

  11. paintergirl

    men could shop at penneys, right? i mean doesn’t oprah give men and women gifts-in the “things i love”. Oh wait, does she ever have men in the audience.

  12. Neil

    Laura said — “This will sound like a pessimistic, crotchety thing to say, but if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

    That is true. It probably was my fault. And I do feel for JCPenney. Airline prices have gone up. The economy is bad. They offered this promotion back when oil prices were much lower. And they must be so busy this summer that they haven’t had a chance to call me back yet. I understand their problem.

    Wait a minute — didn’t they shell out $10,000 in gift money to some bloggers?!

  13. Eileen Dover

    JCP is a poor persons Macy’s.

    The last time I was there – yeah, colour me poor – the woman at the counter said my total was “thaytee-nahhn” and I didn’t know if it was dollars or cents.

  14. vodkamom

    Oh no they didn’t…girl, you been robbed….

  15. Neil

    Eileen, why do you think they are giving 500 bucks to talented women bloggers — to change people’s perception of JCPenney. Get some respected blogger to say good things about the place, and others listen. Of course, none of these bloggers have to deal with JCPenney customer service yet.

    Now I know some of these women — so I am going out on the limb here. I have no problem with them doing this. But if JCPenney can manipulate BlogHer for their own corporate advantage with cash payouts, my only recourse is to write about it on my blog, hoping to make JCPenney look sleazy until they keep their promises — or at least have the courtesy of calling me back.

  16. Noel

    There’s a poor person’s Macy’s? Every time I’ve been to the place, it’s crowded with poor people. And tourists.

    That was a very moving bit of animation, but the lyric contains a line,

    the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky

    that’s a direct steal from Ira Gershwin’s My Ship:

    My ship’s aglow with a million pearls
    And rubies fill each bin
    The sun sits high in a sapphire sky
    When my ship comes in

    which is a vastly superior song.

    I suspect you wanted to get your readership riled up. You have succeeded, sir.

  17. CharmingDriver

    ”Turned” bitter. You’re cute.

  18. Neil

    Noel, it’s part of the job description.

  19. Maria

    Next year – BlogHer. No friggin’ JCPenny’s.

  20. healthy man

    we should push for it to be in NYC.

  21. AnnieH

    Let’s boycott their sorry (and tackily clad) asses. For the hand written signs I am painting in my garage even as we speak do you prefer “Free Neil” or “Fly Neil.” I can’t decide.

  22. Veronica

    First, thanks for the linky love.

    Second, sorry that JCP flaked on you. And here I am toting around my new snazzy red work tote from JCP. Everyone’s giving me snaps and then I say, “JCP!” And their jaw drops. *shrug*

    Lastly…Blogher in Chicago. Way less expensive than NYC. And our Macy’s has a lot of kissing up to do, so maybe they’ll shower us all with gift cards.

  23. OMSH

    I live in a small town where JCPenney’s is the ONLY store we have to shop, so I guess that makes me a poor man (woman)?

    That’s crap about your flight though…sorry. 🙁

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