Monday, April 19, 2010


The Prize: My BlogHer Ticket!

Here's the deal:

As you may know, I'll be speaking on the humor-writing panel at BlogHer '10 this summer in New York City.

One of the perks of being a speaker (in addition to the floor-length sequined cape and unlimited use of a personal, en suite cotton-candy machine while in NYC) is that my conference ticket is comped. (
Thank you, BlogHer!)

Which means I no longer need the ticket I purchased months ago. Hence...

Le Big El Contesto Grande!

Just think - this could be YOU this summer:

(Except the badge would have your name on it. And it would read "BlogHer '10." Oh, and make that "New York City" instead of "Chicago." Plus you're probably not a paper monkey. Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

You get the picture.

You + Ticket to SOLD OUT BlogHer '10 = Quivering Mass of Joy

All righty, then.

So Here's What I'm Thinking

If you would like to win
my full-weekend ticket to BlogHer '10
with all the rights and privileges thereof:

First, you must answer the Insanely Difficult Mystery Question.

Study the photograph below. In it, I've cleverly hidden clues to the TWO tourist traps cultural epicenters we visited on our recent Spring Break road trip. Can you find them?

Think you have uncovered the two destinations? Great, write them down here. Quick, before you forget!

#1: ____________________

#2: ____________________

post your answer (both destinations!) to the Insanely Difficult Mystery Question in a comment. You can comment as much as you like, but an individual may only enter the contest once.

Of course, it's all right to leave more than just the answers in your comment. You may want to shout out to the folks back home ("Look, Ma, I'm on the Internet!") or suck up to contest officials ("My, Anna, your mustache is less musty today than usual.")

each individual who correctly answers the Insanely Difficult Mystery Question in their comment will be entered in a drawing for the BlogHer ticket. The drawing will take place in this hat which belongs to me and is impartial:

(Gomez has graciously agreed to vacate the hat prior to the drawing.)

please note that all valid contest-entry comments must be posted by this deadline - as recorded by the Blogger comment time stamp:
(Hang in there, we're almost done.

Fifth, the drawing will take place the morning of Friday, April 23. Once I successfully contact the winner, I will make an announcement in my next blog post and on Twitter. In the event I can't contact the winner by Noon PST on Monday, April 26, I will instruct one of my legion of minions to draw another winning entry from the hat.

For obvious reasons, PLEASE make sure your contact info is available, either through your Blogger profile or in your comment. I will do my very best to find our winner, even if I have to go into full Daniel Day Lewis/"Last of the Mohicans" mode.

Once the winner is contacted and confirmed, I will pass his/her info, etc. on to BlogHer and they will transfer my ticket into the winner's name.

Revelry will ensue. (I've also made some calls about releasing a flock of celebratory parakeets, but I can't guarantee anything at this point.) And voila!

Thanks for playing, everyone!


B. Freret said...

Must I have ovaries to enter?

Anna Lefler said...

No! The contest is open to all, whether packing ovaries or not!

(I have seen quite a few actual, real-life dudes at BlogHer...and they looked to be having a grand time.)



Cheryl said...

Hearst Castle
Monterey Aquarium

Cheryl said...

Oh, crap. I wrote really fast thinking I might actually be the first answerer then realized you've got comment moderation going on here. What fun is that? I was going to put little blinking lights around my answer; each letter was going to be a different color and font; and there were going to be at least two spotlights sweeping back and forth across the page. *sigh*

BECKY said...

OOOhhh....OOOhhh! Enter me!! Enter me!!
Here's my answers: Hearst Castle, California AND Monterey Bay Aquarium!!!!

playgroupwithsylviaplath said...

Being the winner of a "major award" (although not FRAGILE a la a leg lamp) could be just the momentum neceessary to win the war over intertia and make it to BlogHer.
Hope your crew enjoyed the trips to San Simeon's Heart Castle (better than a White Castle) and The Monterey Bay Aquarium, although some small part of you must have been secretly wishing to have been in the presence of the trainer-ragdolling killer whale at Florida's Sea World instead.


essbesee said...

oooooh I wanna win! And I'm willing to bribe in-laws to help with child care if I do.

here are my answers-
Monterey Bay Aquarium
and Hearst Castle, California

quite the giveaway. :)

Stesha said...

I'm so excited! I hope I win. I hope I win...and I click my heels two times!

1. Hearst Castle...and 2. Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Hugs and Mocha,

Stesha said...

I went back and looked at the socks/clues...and I forgot CALIFORNIA! Is it too late?

1.Hearst Castle, California....AND 2. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Hugs and Mocha,

essbesee said...

i forgot to leave my e-mail

sherri b carter (typed as one word) at bellsou th dot net

pick me (cough)

Unknown said...

OK, you told me to write answers and now I am cleaning magic marker off my monitor!!

*rub rub rub*

Ok...if I must TYPE. (Ugh. The ignominy of it all.)

I'm going with....Disneyland and The Wax Museum! Wait, no...that's not my final answer. The Port of Oakland and Blondie's Pizza. WAIT!! I didn't take my fingers off the keyboard yet...that doesn't count.

OK, accessing amazing psychic powers now....buffering, please wait....



And just in case, 'cause I don't always trust things that SAY they have my contact details when the prize is JUST SO DARNED JUICY...

Deb Rox said...

Cotton Candy Machine??? So you can do up your hair like Marge Simpson? Excellent! They think of everything.

Hearst Castle
Monterey Aquarium

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

monterey bay aquarium and hearst castle!

awesome contest, anna! if i win, we just have to change the last name.

Beth Kephart said...

I want to point out here, firstly, that I did not read everyone else's entry that reported Hearst Castle (California!) or Monterey Aquarium (I believe that this, too, is in California, but, well, you know, I'm weak on geography).

I have come to those conclusions entirely on my own.

And: I have ovaries.

dilettante07 said...

1. Hearst Castle
2. Monterrey Bay Aquarium

Obligatory suck up - Gomez looks just like you!

Pick me!

amanda_lonsdale at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

This is a hard one... I'm not good at getting hints but I ill guess... 1)Hearst Castle in California
2)Monterey Bay Aquarium

:) Thanks for the chance. Oh and my email is aliciamarie112 at hotmail dot com

Cap Spartelle said...

Rosebud lived there with Tania's grandad: Hearst Castle, San Simeon. Further up the Pacific Coast Highway, you will find the Monterey Aquarium. Connection between the two: a really big fish made a movie about Hearst Castle and those who lived there: Orson "Big Whale" Welles.

K A B L O O E Y said...

1. Sock Hut
2. Sox R Us

Did I win? Did I win? If I win can I wear your old Chicago badge with the moustache? Wait, I already bought a ticket, so can I be put into the consolation prize bracket and actually win the old hirsute badge?

tera said...

As much as I'd love to go...sigh...the asylum where I work will never give me the time off.
I really need a new job. Or no job. No job would be much better.
Think Obama will pay my mortgage?
! :)

Little Girl::Big Glasses said...

From this point forward, I only buy socks as souvenirs. Genius!

So My Very Official Answer Is: Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hearst Castle.

PS- When you put my name in the hat, could you please put a couple of folds in it so it sticks out more than anyone else's and you grab it first?

PPS- Please notice that I called your sock idea "genius."

PPPS- penne pojar at hotmail dot com

Pearl said...

Fervently entering, that's what I'm doing!

1. Hearst Castle, CA
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium

And yes, I'm playing that straight.


Wanderlust said...

OMGeeeee! You went to:

1. Easter Island AND
2. Tierra del Fuego

on your Spring Break. So freakin' jealous. We only got to go to Hearst Castle and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Life not so rich.

Hope you had fun. - Kristin (Wanderlusssssssst)

Heather said...

I was totally psyched thinking I was totally going to win this giveaway all easy-peasy, lemon squeezy - I mean, after all, I *did* appear on Jeopardy back in the day before I became a parent and therefore had all my brain cells replaced with the backstories and love interests of all the Disney Princesses and the ever-expanding catalog of Littlest Pet Shop figures scattered about my family room floor. And then you went all INSANELY DIFFICULT on the question. Humph. Did I mention I'm no longer in possession of all my brain cells anymore? I can, however, recite for you the lyrics to just about any VeggieTales song and know by heart the words to every one of the SkippyJon Jones books... I also can do a dead-on perfect rendition of any of the Wiggles' vast body of work, including the choreography, even though it's been almost 4 years since my kid actually *watched* the Wiggles.

Anyhow, I was stymied, so I did what any self-respecting teenager who hates physics would do on a physics exam (I mean, if you were Meant to Be an English major and therefore Fearsomely Hated All Things Relating to Math and Physics and thus found Physics to be INSANELY DIFFICULT, not just because as you suffered through each and every physics class in high school, you were distracted by the eternal question: "Does Doc Ross wear a toupee or not?" - a question also insanely difficult as no one beyond Doc Ross, Mrs. Doc and his hair stylist/wigmaker knew for sure, and they all took that answer to the grave, so really, doesn't the Doc Ross toupee question *really* therefore become the most insanely difficult question to answer? At the very least, it was distracting enough to cause one to not learn very much actual physics in physics class beyond what principles kept the hair on Doc's head in that formation) anyhow I did what any self-respecting teenager would do and I cheated.

I have it on good authority (thanks, responders before me) that the answers are either Hearst Castle, CA and the Monterey Aquarium *or* Easter Island and Tierra Del Fuego. Since I just mentioned both options, I figure I'm covered either way.

Whew. That was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I need a cookie. And a nap.

Oh, one last thing? Your 'stache? It's looking fantabulous today!

Bossy Betty said...

Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hearst Castle!! May I say you have lovely legs???

Unknown said...

My fingers are crossed and my eyes are closed...please God let me win, please God let me win, please GOD LET ME WIN...Oh, the answers are Hearst Castle and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

um, Hearst Castle and the Monterey Aquarium

Be forewarned - if you go into full Daniel Day Lewis/"Last of the Mohicans" mode and it is me you find I WILL do unspeakable things to you if you actually look like him because he was oh-so-hot in that movie. Before he got all effeminate or super greasy-haired in his later roles. Am I mistaqken or did he used to be taller? hmmmmm...

Pop and Ice said...

I'm entering for my hubby who is accompanying my daughter and me to BlogHer this year, but he only has the Cocktails tickets :(

Hearst Castle, California
Monterey Bay Aquarium

You can reach me at or PopandIce on Twitter. I now have a 7-5 job, so be persistent in trying to reach me!

Alexandra said...

I wouldn't be able to go, but I want to tell you that that is the most insanely difficult contest EV-ER!

Loved it, thanks for the hilarious paper monkey with sequin moustache.
Made my overworked day better...xoxoxoxo

Sherrie Petersen said...

Get out! You're giving away a ticket to New York? Wow!

Okay, so you drove right by me on your way to Hearst Castle and Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Next time stop in Solvang for some Danish. My treat :)

Juli said...

This is the most impressive giveway I have ever seen. (I am sucking up. I know, I kinda need to work on it.) xo's

P.S. I have been on that same road trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Hearst Castle.

When Pigs Fly said...

Never been to Hearst Castle but I do love the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Oh, pick me, pick me! Can I still be you at the conference? You are infinitely more funny. Don't you love all this sucking up I'm doing?

Adrienne said...

you went to two of my all time favorite places, Hearst Castl;e in San SImeon, Ca and Monterey Bay Aquarium in Moneterey Ca.

I can haz ticket nao?

@Adriennevh on Twitter

Megan said...

My guess is Hearst Castle and Monterey Aquarium.

I'm weirdly concerned I've gotten one of them wrong, which given the contest, would be beyond humiliating.

Please, if I have, just quietly look away and pity my family, while feeling no need to point out my embarrassment and shame to all.

melissa said...

I lived in SoCal for 4 years and drove by HEARST CASTLE once on our way to Solvang. I have sadly never been to MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM, though my hubsand went and brought me back a sweatshirts with jellyfish on it.

I really really want to go to BlogHer! Twitter: melissius

mosey (kim) said...

Hearst Castle
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Please and thank you.
And may I just say it would be a tragedy for me not to attend since apparently one of my posts has been submitted in the Voices of the Year.

So, y'know, please?

Sheri said...

I have never been to Blogher,and would do many odd and strange things to get to attend. Pleasepleasepleaseplease pick me.

Oh yeah,

Hearst Castle
Monterey Aquarium

Carrie at Tiki Tiki Blog! said...

Love the socks!

Hearst Castle
Monterey Aquarium

I would love to win and meet you.


Erin said...

1. Hearst Castle, California
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium


And dearie me, Anna! Your alien spaceship looks especially beautiful in this lovely spring weather!

Jana said...

Hearst Castle
Monterey Bay Aquarium

That was truly, insanely difficult.

I'm Jana. My contact info is
My blog is An Attitude Adjustment! (

Leian Elizabeth Welch said...

Wow. This is insanely difficult.

Hearst Castle? Wild guess, I know.
Monterey Bay Aquarium? Have no idea if that's even CLOSE.

Did I win? Please tell me I won. If I win, I will, wait, I'm trying to think of something. Something fun that doesn't involve money or sexual favors (seing as how I'm a, broke, and b, heterosexual). Tell you what...if I win, I promise I will do something incredibly awesome, like stand up and clap REALLY LOUDLY whenever you speak on your panel. Or shush everyone around me very loudly so that they understand how important your words are. Something to show how goddess-like you are.

La Belette Rouge said...

Ooooh!!! Do I get bonus point for actually having been to Hearst Castle and the Monterey Aquarium?

Elizabeth said...

Hearst Castle & Monterey Bay Aquarium, both in California!

Does it help if I know trivia about Monterey Bay Aquarium, like how they have the only living saltwater sea weed tank in the world, which is run on sea water taken in through a massive series of tubes (like the Internet!) and run through filters and stuff before being pumped into the tanks?

I've also watched the Nature movie about the Great White Shark that the Monterey Bay Aquarium had on exhibit a few years ago about one MILLION times. Just, you know, for brownie points and all.

Alex@LateEnough said...

Hearst Castle California
Monterey Bay Aquarium

And I appreciate the difficulty of these question since I am oh so slow and tired today.

Denise @ Shopper Strategy said...

Whoohoo - hot dang, thanks for the chance! You went to:
Hearst Castle California &
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Paula said...

California, Here We Come!

Hearst Castle California &
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Both of which I visited on my honeymoon.

Diggin' the Stach, btw.

Wendy said...

What in the world would possess me to go to BlogHer when I could go instead to the Mystic Aquarium and Windsor Castle? Well, I guess even better would be to go where you went: The Hearst Castle, California and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Congrats on being funny enough to get to go for free.

Anonymous said...

Hearst Castle
Monterey Aquarium

(fingers crossed)

ConnieFoggles said...

Midnight when? It's after midnight here, but I'm taking a chance that you meant midnight California time (my detective skills are working already)...

1. Hearst Castle
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Both in California

I'm in Florida so that's why it's almost 1 AM here now.

I promise to hear you speak if I win.


Jones - Keeping Up With M.O.M. said...

Hearst Castle, California
Monterrey Bay Aquarium


I hope I win! Can't wait to hear the humor panel! :-)
keepingupwithmom @ gmail dot com

Mouthy Housewife said...

You went to Legoland on Springbreak? How fun!


Laura said...

Here are my answers...wish me luck!!

Hearst Castle, California
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Barbara Younger said...

Hearst Castle, California and Monterey Bay Aquarium

Amanda said...

Hearst Castle and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Crossing fingers that I have cause to unleash the squeal muy gigante to celebrate winning this her(e) ticket for mi amiga Amy.

I am at: or amanda at designtramp dot com (Yup, I'm a tramp.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna

love the moustache and the complicated competition...which I think the answers are The Hearst Castle, California and Monterey Bay Aquarium

this entry may not make the deadline but as Charles Schultz once said it's never the end of the world - it's already tomorrow in Australia - so I'm really wanting to test that theory as I'm in Australia !

thanks daisy :)

daisyandjack (at) hotmail (dot) com

CaraBee said...

*Hearst Castle (I've always wanted to go there. Oh no wait, that's the Remington House. Whatever. I'm sure it's still cool.)
*Monterey Bay Aquarium

Fingers crossed!

Sarah Doyle said...

1. Hearst Castle
2. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Both in California

Unknown said...

Funny contest!
Talking about "tourist traps" you should visit this page I recently came across:


Scary Mommy said...

This is awesome!! I already have a ticket, but cannot wait to hear you speak. And I want to hang out for longer than last year next time!! xo

Vodka Mom said...

Sweet jesus I'm dizzy AND exhausted. Thank GOD I don't need a ticket- because I need to hold onto the wall for a minute just to catch my balance.

And tell B.Freret that if I can locate those ovaries they removed two years ago- he's welcome to them.