By the time you read this, I’ll be fulfilling a long-cherished dream: going to a conference in Dayton, Ohio.

But not just any conference:  I’m attending the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, a biannual humor and human interest writing seminar.

I don’t know how you felt about Erma, but growing up as a kid I just adored her. Her humor appealed equally to my mom and me, and her deadpan delivery on her Good Morning America cracked me up. A few years ago I bought an Erma anthology and left it lying on the coffee table, and was tickled to see my kids giggling as they read through her timeless columns.

So much of her writing was memorable: the one about how she prepared for her Weight Watcher’s weigh-in by first removing her coat, then her shoes, and on down the list until she was taking out her own fillings and stray navel lint. Her husband’s ambitious but failed attempts at being handy, or her kid’s bizarre accidents and the ensuing awkwardness of filling out insurance claim forms.

Erma was funny, but she was never mean. And there was a streak of compassion in her work about a mile wide. On my best writing day, I can only hope to touch the hem of her housecoat.

Speaking of memorable writing, I’ll be converging at EBWW with some of the funniest female bloggers who have ever obsessed over Google Analytics. For your Friday procrastination and reading pleasure, here a but a few of my favorite posts from but a few of the ladies with whom I’ll be sharing rubber chicken dinners, and, by advance arrangement, any bail payments required by the Dayton Police Department.

  • Wendi Aarons, Memories of a Fanilow. I may never get to a Barry Manilow show, but I can live vicariously through a woman who carries Fanilow Credentials in her purse.
  • Peace, Love, Guacamole, Sibling Revelry. Liz is a double threat photographer/writer, and after reading this beautiful essay I actually thought for 8 seconds about having a third kid.
  • Ann Imig, Third Blogiversary “Mazel Tov.” I don’t know how she makes these videos, but I can’t get enough of them.
  • I’m Gonna Kill Him, Dead Vagina Walking. I had the ridiculous good fortune to hear Erin read this live last year at BlogHer and she had the audience on the floor. Open mic night in Dayton, y’all!
  • Good Day, Regular People, Guide to an At Home Fun Spring Break with Kids. The counterpoint to our education vacation on the road, Alexandra attempts to liven up spring break by having the kids compete to sit in front of her Seasonal Affect Disorder lightbox.
  • Anna Lefler, In Which I Sprain My Dominant Boob. Really, do I need to explain the appeal of this one further?

And one video, dedicated to my support team at home who wished me well – miss you guys and see you Sunday!

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