Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Procrastination Brought to you by: Others!

Sorry, guys. Today looks like another light post day. I have things to do, what can I say? It's a strange thing for me, too.

But you all really pulled through on the mustache donations! Sadly, we didn't win any prize--either for most money earned or most creativity, though it's generally acknowledged that we WERE the fan favorite. And the important thing, especially, is that it's for the children. Who WILL benefit from your help.

So it appears that next week will begin my quest to post about all you lovely people who donated! (And Adrienne will be starting on a few logos as well.) Who to start with? Who to start with? Hmmm....let me mull it over. While I do that, check out these random links from my Bookmarks. Because, frankly, someone's got to waste away your day, and it can't be me today.

Plants can tweet!
Your new daily webcomic, Natalie Dee.
What to do with that organic, cage-free Greek yogurt sausage from TJ's
Barcodes, but FUN!
Who knew organs could be so cute?
And last but not least (trust me on that):
Everything you need before embarking on a potluck.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poems About Mustaches. For the Children.


Okay, none of that is true, just wanted y'all to LISTEN UP.

Today is the last day of the Mustache-a-thon! Get pumped. Do the mashed potato. Now the twist. Now the monkey. Okay now stop.

I have spent multiple times explaining what the M-a-thon is, but here it is one more time:
-Doing mustache-related things.
-To raise money.
-For an inner city children's tutoring program, called "826."
-If you donate $5, I'll write a blog post about you.
-If you donate $10+, I'll write the post, and Adrienne will design you a personal logo.

Where to donate? RIGHT HERE. scroll down until you see pictures. Adrienne and I are Collabostache (four over, two down). Donate away! This is our last chance! (Technically you can donate for one more week, but if you do it by 7pm (central kids in Boston get until 8.) then we get all the glory at our meeting tonight. After that, no glory. But the children will still appreciate it.)

Still need a reason to donate? Well, our challenge for tonight was to do something mustache-related in a performance kind of way.

So I wrote a "that's good/that's bad" poem (Like: "I went to the store." "That's good!" "But they were out of milk." "That's bad." etc) and it's all about the 'stache.

And Adrienne has made mustaches for people to attire themselves with when bad or good things happen. See?

And here is the poem to accompany them. (Ahem ahem ahem):

Today I wore my brown mustache
It’s crooked on my lip.
But when Da Bearsss scored seven points
It did a stache backflip.

Today I wore my thick mustache
That curls up at the ends
It makes me look so very bad
Bad-ASS that is, my friends.

Today I wore my little stache
That makes me say Oui, Oui!
I look just like a rich arteest!
But, also, a pansy.

Today I wore my blonde mustache
That reaches to my jaw
It put me in the perfect mood
To promptly break the law

Today I wore a small mustache
To look like Chaplin’s Tramp
But once I lost my bowler hat,
It turned to Nazi stamp.

Today I wore no stache at all
And that is just the pits
But luckily I raised some dough
For kids at 826.

So go here, donate, and wait for your lovely, lovely blog post.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Adventures in Gas Pumpery

I love living in the city. I do. Mostly because there are people EVERYWHERE. I grew up in a small house filled with people. So, while this bothered me growing up ("Emily, here's your first bra. Please try it on while your six-year-old sister sits and watches.") I've come to realize that I can no longer live without people constantly bumping into me. I don't even like when my roommates are gone. What, the TV all to myself?! What am I supposed to do with that, watch whatever I want? Laaaaaame.

But here's the other thing. I hate living in the city. There are people EVERYWHERE.

I borrowed Monica's car yesterday to go to my interview (and thank you all for your non well wishes, it went well) so last night when I got home, I went to fill up the tank. As soon as I got out of my car, another car pulled up behind mine. That's weird, just seconds ago, there had been open fuel stations all over. But I try not to think about it and get going on my gasoline adventures.

I swipe my card, it asks for the zipcode, and of course, it doesn't read my frozen fingers' 666001112266 as a proper zip code. So I cancel and start over. Then it doesn't read it. Then it reads it, but the nozzle won't fit right into Monica's gas tank. And it's cold as shit so I'm talking to all of these items as if they are my misbehaved children. "What's wrong now? You don't want to fit? Come on, I don't have time for this. I am telling your father about this when he gets home." etc etc etc. So finally all is going well...and a man walks up behind me.

"Excuse me, Miss." I turn around. The man is showing me his drivers' license and some other card. Oh, God. I'm trapped. But I'm also highly on edge from the whole commute + misbehaving gas experience. So I interrupt him and just say, "No. Please don't talk to me." in a very authoritative, I-didn't-know-I-could-be-that-aggressive kind of way. Which was pretty stupid because, as previously stated, I'm trapped. The man does a bit of a double take. I don't think he was expecting guff from the white girl with the Sebring. "Whoah, girl, is everything alright?" So at this point I almost want to apologize because I really didn't mean to come across that cruelly. "I'm so sorry, sir. Please, take whatever you want. My iPhone? Here. I have some whole wheat crackers you can nibble on as well. Would you like my subscription to I'm Awkwardly White Weekly?"

But I've got a whole act going, and it seems like it might get him to go away, so I just go with it."No, I'm just having a REALLY bad day so if you could please just leave me alone."

"I'm sorry, Miss, something something two-year-old something something so if you could just help put a few dollars worth of gas in our car something something."

"No, sorry." So the man leaves. ICE COLD. That's me. ICE. COLD. All this nonsense about me being a good person because I volunteer? FALSE. I am a bad person who wishes harm upon 2-year-olds in the dead of winter.

So at this point I am dying to get out of there. I had put five dollars worth of gas in the car, which is about how much I had used, so I put the nozzle back, screw the thing back in, and I'm set to go. And the little credit card reader thing tells me, "Cashier has receipt." Oh HELL NO. I am not leaving this car. There are spurned people behind me and I don't know what they are like when spurned. Luckily, the words change to "Welcome" and I get my ass out of there. Then I irrationally start hyperventilating, thinking these people could follow me! They could break my bones! They could steal my subscription to I'm Awkwardly White Weekly! That's when I look down and realize--Monica's gas gauge has not changed AT ALL. I might as well have put nothing in it. That puppy is in the exact same spot it was when I got there.

And all of a sudden, I am sobbing. Just sobbing. The stress from the interview, plus the commute, plus that man, plus an earlier incident I saved you from involving my period--it all just came out in one giant sob fest while I turned Monica's car onto our street and attempted to parallel park through the snow banks.

Luckily, the night ended with Joe, Lost, Girl Scout cookies, and me singing "Chin Up" from Charlotte's Web, complete with dance moves and lunges.

So...pretty normal day, all in all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Automatic Voice Message System, You're My Only Friend.

I am having some insurance issues over here and it's freaking me out. I am of the general opinion that The Man knows what he is doing. I don't know why. But The Man makes my knees shake. I am terrified of authority. Because, I'm sorry, I was raised in a civilized community where people respected their elders.

But I'm pretty sure no one over at Unemployment Insurance, Inc. knows what the hell is going on. I am receiving bills for all SORTS of amounts of money, none of which make any sense. They especially make no sense because I CANCELED MY INSURANCE THREE MONTHS AGO. So you can imagine my chagrin each time I receive a new bill (every week) for a new amount of money which is completely different from the last amount.

What makes it really swell is that the call center is one of those voice-activated machines. Which usually are not terrible. She tends to understand the words I am trying to say. However, today I am sick. So this is how it went down:

Automatic Voice: Welcome to--
Emily: *clears throat*
Automatic Voice: --I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. Please say your name.
Emily: Emily *cough*
Automatic Voice: Did you say Robert?
Emily: *ack, ack*...EMILY
Automatic Voice: Hello, Robert. Please say your account number.
Emily: Oh crap, I don't have that anywhere. Um...four?
Automatic Voice: I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. Please hold for eighty hours while I transfer you to a real person who can interpret your sick mumblings.
Emily: Thank you!
Automatic Voice: You are quite welcome. Feel better.

Anyway, no time for a real post today, folks, for I have an interview/chat/who knows with a company out in the burbs! Let's all get excited! But not too excited because who believes in jinxes? This girl. Hence, I am wearing my lucky interview outfit and have tossed aside my once-lucky-now-unlucky necklace. And I'm already starting from the bottom here, what with The Sickness and also the weather, which may have been one of the plagues I forgot to mention here.

So off I go! Wish me luck! But not really, because that's one of the jinxes. Wish me NO LUCK!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Talking Derby

Question: Did I spend most of my weekend watching Gilmore Girls and eating butter cookies?
Answer: Did you REALLY need to ask that?

Question: Did I also have a rockin' weekend?
Answer: Why yes! Yes I did!

On Saturday I had an awesome date night with Joe, which you do not need to hear about EXCEPT for the fact that I have learned something viciously important to your lives: Nutella-flavored things are disappointing--HEAR ME OUT! Please, everyone, put down your pitchforks and your barraging tree trunks. Now, obviously, Nutella in the raw is the single greatest thing in existence. But Nutella cheesecake? Just tastes like chocolate cheesecake. It's a sad, harsh reality to just have thrown upon you, I know. But those are the facts. And sooner or later, you're just going to have to face them.

But enough with such trivialities!
For a solid fourteen-or-so hours now, I have had a whole new take on life, Nutella be damned (Yeah, I said it. WHAT.) Guys. I am in love with the roller derby.

Ever since my time as a tomboy, I have longed for such a lifestyle. My inner self actually has a slim, boyish figure, short, wind-swept blue hair, and tattoos up and down my arms. Of what? I don't know. But there they are.

I never really embraced my badass, blue-haired tomboyness, though. For one thing, I am not actually badass at all (see previous Gilmore statement.) Also, I just don't have the strong jaw/flat chest combination that I feel the look truly requires.

But yesterday I saw my first roller derby, and it has given me new hope for my inner blue hair.

First of all, these girls wear spankies. And I'm sorry, but I would look HOT whipping through time and space in a pair of those bad boys. What can I say? I've got good legs. Even if I gained 50 pounds, my legs would still be nice. Granted, I would look like a giant potato on toothpicks, but for some reason, the legs would still be intact. Thanks, genetics!

Secondly, cool names. In roller derby, you get to have a hardcore, kick ass new name! All you do is take your name and you use a pun to make yourself sound totally badass. Like Juanna Rumbel, Mel Content, or Zombea Arthur. I haven't quite decided on what mine should be, but I'm leaning toward Emily Killjoy or Death Shepard.

Thirdly, hip checks. So here's how roller derby works: There's an oval rink. Most girls on both teams are in one pack going in one direction. There are two girls in the back who have to fight through the pack and get to the front. They get points for passing girls on the other team. Basically, it's football going in one direction. (...With girls. On skates. In spankies.) So to be good, you've either gotta be wiley and fast and get through a pack of rock star girls, or you've gotta be one of those rock star girls.

I always thought that I would be good at football if a girl's team existed (do NOT suggest "Powderpuff" to me unless you want a knee to the groin.) I considered for one second joining girls' rugby in college, but I didn't like the idea of no padding and flesh being bitten off. But roller derby! Roller derby is my calling! There are hip checks AND elbow pads! There's light pushing! There's butt bumping! There's the speed of skates without the instability of aligned wheels! And there are girls with tattoos on their thighs! I could be one of those girls!

I've been loosely researching derby things all morning now--where rinks are, how to get in, blue hair dye...most likely I'll put Whip It into my Netflix queue and call it a day. But there is a chance I will actually put my mind to something for once. Granted, I haven't been on a real sports team since tee ball in the first grade. But maybe this is my second chance at tomboyness! You know, in a...spankies and cleavage kind of way.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Whoring My Blog Out...For the Children.

Note: if you're not exactly 'the reading type,' I'd suggest scrolling on down to "RECAP" where the most important info lies. The rest is just life.

Happy Friday to all!

So check it, check it. BOY am I glad I got up the gumption to put on pants yesterday--TWICE, might I add.

Baby steps.

I'm glad because Adrienne and I pulled out a rock star performance yesterday at the weekly Mustache-a-thon meeting.

Summary of what the hell I'm talking about:

- I tutor at a place for inner city kids.
- To raise money, they are having a mustache-growing contest.
- We meet at a bar each week to check in.
- For the upper-lip impaired, a creative, mustache-related project is presented each week.
- Adrienne and I cheated slightly and have become "partners in mustache."
- Last week, we took pictures of cupcakes with mustaches traveling through the world.
- The point of us doing these projects is to inspire people to donate to this tutoring center. Yes, it does make a lot more sense to donate to someone's mustache-growing than two girls playing with cupcakes. But IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN.

SO! Yesterday was our second check-in with a whole new project. This time, they challenged us to make something mustache-related to sell in their store.


Forget what I said.
Let's start with this backstory:

When the first tutoring center opened in San Fran, they set it up in a storefront. Everything was going well until they found out that in order to be in a store, you had to actually sell things. So they did! They set up the tutoring center in the back, and created a Pirate Supply Store in the front. I imagine there were eye patches, fake parrots, lessons in "Yarr," etc.

Since then, they've set up tutoring chapters all over the US, with different-themed storefronts in each city. Chicago's theme is Spy Supplies. So it's actually called The Boring Store, but when you walk inside, you discover all kinds of spy supplies, like bananas to hide your cell phone in, sunglasses that help you see behind you, that kind of thing. Check it out. Cutest website ever.


Our challenge this week in the mustache-a-thon was to create something mustache-related that they could sell in The Boring Store. Adrienne and I came up with a Mustache Flowchart, to learn what kind of Mustache is right for you.


Sadly, we did not win "1st place" and therefore the "prize" for the night, which was a copy of McSweeny's. But we did win the prize that is Winning At Life. The MC of the night, who is also in charge of The Boring Store, came up to us and asked if he could take the poster, because the store actually wanted to sell more posters, and he thought ours was a good idea. So that's all we know right now, but it means that in theory, I could have something I wrote (and Adrienne could have something she designed) for sale in an actual store! With a cash register! And price tags! And a website! Not too shabby!

So now I'm all hyped up on mustache endorsement. Which brings me to my next request: Sponsor us.

I've decided that it's not enough to just get a warm, fuzzy feeling from donating to tiny children who look like this:

You people need something more. And here is that reason:
If you donate $5 to the cause, I will write a blog post about you. And you alone.

Q: How will you know I donated?
A: These donations aren't exactly private. As long as you leave your name, I'll know!

Q: Emily, you do not know me.
A: Don't I?

Q: No, you don't.
A: Oh. Well, it's called Google, my friends. Or I will write a poem about you. Or you can tell me something about yourself in the comments here, and I will base a lengthy, made-up story about you and post that.

Q: What if you already wrote a post about me?
A: Well aren't you just the luckiest thing in the world. Tell ya what. I'll write another one. And it'll be better than the first! Eh? How's that for unachievable expectations?

Q: What if we haven't seen each other since high school?
A: In that case, PLEASE donate and I will give the world another magical post about my youth, your youth, and the weird, awkward things that happened during that time.

Adrienne, as a graphic designer extraordinaire, will also make you your very own logo if you donate $10. Think of it! $10 from you, and you have your own personal logo to sign off your emails! IT'S LIKE MAGIC! INTERNET MAGIC.

Go here. Scroll down until you see Collabostache (which is now a picture of two cupcakes in front of the Epcot center...of course) and put in however much you want to donate.
Donate $5 to this place: Receive your very own dedicated blog post right here.
Donate $10 to this place: Receive your very own blog post AND your very own logo.

What have you got to lose?! ...I mean, besides ten bucks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

8 Things I Have To Do Today That Have Come Between Me And JTT

You guuuuyyyys...I have things to do and it's harrrrrrd....

Seriously, I've been mostly unemployed for a year and my tolerance level of doing simple, everyday tasks has slipped its way on down to empty. If my motivation had a face, it would be Bruce Vilanch.

The simple fact is: the things I need to do today are all either fun, simple, or all of the above. But the mere fact that I have to do them is just a huge inconvenience, considering what I'd LIKE to be doing: curling up with Charlie the cat, eating a bowl of mac and cheese and watching a marathon of one Mrs. Jill Taylor being exasperated-yet-forgiving in a way that gives me comfort and hope.

But instead, here is my HORRIBLY INCONVENIENT to-do list:

1. Wake up at the ass of dawn (aka 7:45 am, when the sun is nearly mid-sky.) Eat a bowl of cereal.
Ugggnnn, why meeeee?

2. Get on the el, transfer to a bus.
BOTH? At easy, safe locations? Why don't you just rip open my chest and pull out my heart?

3. Read picture books to kindergarteners on the South Side.
Hey, you know what's awesome? Eager Kindergartners named Raphael who think you are the bees knees. You know what's NOT awesome? Reading Green Eggs and FREAKING Ham three times on the day you forgot your coffee. Also, I am sorry, but "I would not, could not, with a goat" is the dirtiest sentence ever, and you should be ashamed, Dr. Seuss.

4. Travel back home.
Argghhhhh...sitting and letting other people transport you places is such a terrible endeavorrrrr.

5. Immediately rip off comfortable, baggy, 5-year-old jeans for pj pants from Aeropoastale that are so old you got them FROM AEROPOSTALE.
That one isn't so bad, but they're under this pile of clean clothes...what if I never get to them?

6. Sit in said pjs, nom a sandwich, and edit sentences so they are simple enough for a 9-year-old.
But I can't do that AND play Facebook Scrabble! This is like torturrrrre.

7. Create a hilarous flow chart about mustaches so you can raise money to help inner city kids learn to read.
Ugn, the stress of my life is making me whither away into nothingness.

8. Go to a bar where there are free drinks to hang out with nice people and Adrienne and laugh about mustaches.
More traveling? And putting on real pants again? What kind of life do I LEAD?

God, life is so difficult. But this is one cross I'm going to have to bear if I want to be a productive, helpful member of society who one day DOES have a job and works hard to keep things as such. So here I go with the work and the things and the stuff!

After this nap.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Poor White Albino Cookatoo.

I have all kinds of work to be doing right now, but instead I am blogging. That is how dedicated I am to all of you. All...ten or so of you.

So since I have so much to do, I'm going to leave you with a funny story from my phone conversation with Laura.

First, she informs me that her Valentine's Day was "interesting." And I'm thinking, oh, no. Someone called. Someone showed up at her door. Someone sent her a Valentine and it's her morbidly obese, mouth-breathing boss (who I just made up.)

She takes a breath and tells me, "...I was pooped on."

Three things:
1) Phew.
2) HAR!
3) Wait...what?

Apparently she was at an "aquarium" in Dallas (and by "aquarium," obviously this means an enclosed building for all animals, including a jaguar. In the North, we call that a zoo. Moving on.) While in some sort of open space area with animals, Laura was pooped on by a bird flying overhead. Bird poop for Laura is now a biannual occurrence.

Luckily, Laura is an old woman who keeps used tissues in her purse, and managed to get the poop off. The best part of this story, to me, is just how Liberal Laura is. Because to a Republican (or anyone else, probably,) I believe the proper response is, "I am going to kill that damn bird."

Not Laura.

Laura says to me, "I'm going to have to find what organization supports that bird and then NOT DONATE TO IT."

So this prompts me to imagine this poor, diminutive person knocking on her door, sniveling, "Hello Miss, I'm from the Department of Zoological Bird Conservation. I was wondering if you'd like to donate a few dollars to support the white albino cookatoo bird?" and Laura just yells, "Oh HELL NAW! F--K THAT BIRD!" and slams the door in the poor person's face.

I expressed this image to Laura, and she of course found it more funny that I used the phrase "white albino" and also perhaps the fact that the "cookatoo" is most certainly not a real bird.

Anyway, it was conversation for the ages, and I just had to share it with you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As I Recall: All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kinderjesus.

Enough with the Old Testament! I've decided to skip ahead. We’re going forward by 80 jillion years (no, not really. I don’t know how long it is. A few thousand? Hundred? Stop guessing, Emily, stop it.) We’re going from David to his descendant, Jesus. Well, half descendant, half-deity. More specifically, we’re going to talk Jesus Stories! Huzzah!

For those that don’t know, Jesus was big on metaphors and similes. And he sure liked him some story morals. Since this is my first Jesus post, let me break the man down in a simple timeline.

1. Born. Donkey, manger, swaddling, shepherds, baa. (Details next Christmas.)
2. Child. “My father is God, I don’t have to listen to you, wahh.”
3. Adult.
a) Collects followers made of fishermen, tax collectors, other unlikely dudes.
b) Teaches his followers about peace and love through stories.
c) Heals a whole crapload of people.
d) Betrayed.
e) Killed.
g) Goes to Heaven.

Today we’re going to go over a few stories that Jesus tells (refer to section 3b.)
Once again, I’m going from memory on these bad boys. So I’ll need a bit of poetic licensing.

1. The Good Samaritan

Now there’s this Jewish guy walking along, minding his own biz, when a group of robbers come over and steal all his stuff; his gold, his donkey, his pride, etc. They leave him for dead on the side of the road. He’s laying there, writhing and everything, when I think a judge comes by? Maybe a doctor? Some professional of some sort who should theoretically be a good person. Sandal maker? Whatever. But he just passes on like a fart in the night. Next, a priest comes along. He also sneers and walks on. (Jesus, you will learn, is not a huge fan of priests.)

Then finally someone from Samaria comes along. This is actually quite the “OH SNAP” situation, because Samaritans are supposed to be the arch nemeses of the Jews.

(Side note: I'm not sure who ISN'T an enemy of the Jews...for some reason they really rile people up. Is it the yarmulke? It's probably the yarmulke.)

Now, you’d assume that this Samaritan isn’t going to stop. Well, hold on to your pack mule. Not only does he stop; he takes the guy to a nearby Hilton AND pays for his hospital bills. So moral of the story: love your enemy, don’t listen to what society tells you, and get a good insurance plan that covers helping thine enemies. CLASSIC Jesus.

I'm not pushing any ideals here, but I think it's important to your Bible In Pop Culture knowledge to know that the phrase "Good Samaritan" has become pretty general, and usually means "a stranger who helps someone." But this parable stresses giving help no matter who the person in need is. Even enemies.

2. The Prodigal Son

(This picture is from the site called It's A Black which makes me so happy on so many levels.)

This story starts with a man and his two sons. One of these sons works hard and is awesome. And the other one is a pretty big jerk. He makes his dad give him a bunch of money, and then goes off and gambles and spends it and ends up sleeping with pigs. The son realizes he has no idea how to handle money, and crawls back home, begging forgiveness.

The dad is all “Oh, my son! You’re so awesome! I’m so glad you’re home!” To which the good son calls bull, of course. But the dad’s all, “Don’t you understand?! It’s my son and I love him!” So here we learn two things. One: parents are suckers (PS. Hey mom, I might have to come live at home for the month of May. Tell you about it later.) and Two: Forgive and forget those who have wronged you.

3. Rich Dude v. Poor Dude

As far as I can tell, that man is either knocking himself out with ether, or drinking a can of High Life in Heaven. I'm not sure which to root for.

Jesus is big into telling people that they have to be poor to get into heaven. Which helps, since everyone he’s preaching to just so happens to be poor as dirt. Now, I don’t really remember which parable is which, because Jesus is so into this moral. So I’m going to go ahead and combine them into one giant Rich v. Poor story. OKAY. SO. This rich guy is SO rich, he has to buy more and more storehouses to fit all his grains. And every day he passes by this poor guy begging in the street, but he just snarls and snatches his fancy robes away from him.

Eventually, both men die. The poor man goes to Heaven and the rich man, who doesn't get to take his grains with him, descends into Hell. The rich man’s all, "I'm thirsty. I'm hot. Fire hurts me." He calls up to Heaven for some water and gets a Soup Nazi NO HELP FOR YOU response.

The. End.

Moral of the story: Don’t be a dick. Also, Jesus tells people that it’s harder for a rich person to get into heaven than for a camel to get though the eye of a needle. “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”

Best part of this: tie between the camel's face and the plunger.

I’m pretty sure that the importance of the Rich v Poor stories (and why there are so many iterations of them) is that before Jesus came along, it was pretty well accepted that the richer, the holier. Like, you probably couldn’t get into the temple without paying alms. And if you couldn’t get into the temple, you couldn’t know enough about God. And if that’s the case, you can’t get into Heaven. So Jesus is all--BAM! FALSE! And blows everyone’s minds. Also, this pisses off all the priests. (Spoiler alert: Don’t piss off the priests, they will hunt you down.)

4) Sand vs. Rock

This one's short and sweet: Jesus tells everyone that basing their lives on his would be like building their house upon a rock. And not basing your life on Jesus would be like building your house upon the sand. The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came up. The rains came down and the floods came up, and the house on the sand went *SPLAT!!*

Ahh, nothing like an interactive Sunday School Song to jog your memory.

Now those are the stories I remember, and those are the stories you’re gonna get. And you’re going to like it! Don’t be ungrateful, or I shall throw you out to the pigs.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Post-Valentine's Day Rewind!

I spent a little time yesterday looking through my old journals from junior high and high school, hoping for some good Valentine's Day memories. Sadly, I found none. But I did find a gem from the day AFTER Valentine's Day.

Let me set the scene for you. It's the 8th grade. I'm fourteen. I look (more or less) like this girl here. My best friend, Emily H, and I spend all day writing notes to each other about boys. When we get home, we immediately get online. To talk about boys. I am currently in love with a boy named Scott N. I have never spoken a word to him, nor do I know a thing about him except that he is gorgey beyond all--in a quiet, blonde and mysterious kind of way. Valentine's Day has come and gone, and I received zero Secret Admirer cards. So it's time to lay it on a little thicker. Here is the email that I sent to Emily that day (which I then printed out and put in my journal.)

FROM: Mily55
TO: Piper767
SUBJ: re: P.S.

ohmygosh. Here's what I've decided. I am not going to sit around on my fat butt anymore. I will get Scott to notice me if it's the last thing I do. Here's my plan: since I still don't think it would be right to just go up to him and start talking, I'm going to look at him. "Oooh, look at him," you say. But wait! There's more! Sometimes when I am looking at him (which is usually one HECK of a lot because I am NUTS) I catch him looking at me. Usually I turn away really fast cuz I'm the biggest chicken in the world. Next time it will be different I tell you! I'm going to take one giant leap. I will look at him, he will look at me, and I will smile. Yes smile, ladies and gentlemen, smile. I can do it, I know I can. It may take some practice, but I've got 3 pictures of him to work with, so by tomorrow I'll be ready.

I hope. Sigh. I can't do it. I need help. You know how crazy I am? I went as far as wishing I was in the hospital for some reason or another, and our homeroom had to send me cards. So he would have to give me one. And then I could treasure it forever. EMILY H. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?!?! I WISHED BODILY HARM UNTO MYSELF SO I COULD GET A DUMB CARD FROM SCOTT N! This could be it! I may have just gone past the line! I'm way out of wack! I may be at the point of no return! Help! I'm slipping away to a mere nothing! There is a boy at school who I know nothing about (except every inch of his physical features and clothing,) and I am becoming obsessed! I need help! I can't even DREAM about him any more because I think about him so much at night, my brain no longer feels the need to dream about him! I have to dream, instead, about gold jewelry and relay races (don't ask)! Emily H, you are my last hope. This is my final cry before I go fully insane. DO SOMETHING!


(That's Emily S, Official Member Of The Emilys)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Say hello to your new Big Brother.

I don't know why people keep telling me that they are "stalking" me by reading this blog. That was the point of my writing it...for people to read. These are not my innermost thoughts. My innermost thoughts are WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more boring. They sound something like this:

"Dear Diary: The locker room in the gym smells like poo. It's terrible. Chicken sandwich was good today. Put ranch on it."

That's why this thing is public. To encourage me not to talk about my chicken sandwiches. Which, was pretty good.

But anyway, no need to worry about whether or not you are stalking me, for I am stalking you right on back. PHEW! That feels good to get off my chest. See, I finally started to track my blog last week and I have found so many ways to interpret my visitors, it’s taken internet time wasting to a whole new level for me.

I mean, mostly I don't know who you are because all it tells me is the city you are in, and then a bunch of other pretty useless facts. Unless, that is, you were wondering just what version of Javascript most people have. Because I've got some cold hard facts about that. But obviously I don't have your names or email addresses. Because then any website could know those things. And if that were true, every time you went to, you'd start getting emails about legalizing marijuana.

I do like that I can clock you by city, though. Because sometimes I know who you are. Well, rarely. But my big sister is (I’m pretty sure) the only one who lives in her town. I think it’s just her, the hubs, Libby, and the cat. So I know when she reads my blog.

Mostly, I get excited when I DON'T know who you are. Who cares if Hannah reads my blog? Not me! (Just kidding, Hannah. I care.) But someone out there in Kentucky is reading me and I can’t figure out who--yet I love you regardless. I've even got international readers! Someone in England from Warwick, Warwickshire looked at my blog once! Of course, I mostly share that because COME ON. That’s like being from Yemen Road, Yemen. That is a made up place, my friends.

Also, occasionally, Canadians read my blog and it makes me nervous. Am I proving to them that Americans are lazy, uncultured, embarrassing idiots? Or am I showing them our negative side?

Zzzzzing. Kidding.

There is one way to analyze things which consistently manages to blow my mind, and that is by "referral," or, the website that people clicked on to get to my blog. And almost always this is either Facebook or "unknown" so it really does nothing. But then sometimes it's a total mystery that makes no sense!! One time, someone got to my blog from an Always Sunny episode on Hulu. What? I mean, I'm flattered to be somehow connected to the magic of Danny DeVito, but I just don't understand how this happened. Which could also be because I don't understand computers.

Anyway, I just thought you all aught to know, there is mutual stalking going on. So feel free to read. Especially you, visitor #685 from Allendale, Michigan with the Mac OSX whose monitor has a resolution of 1280 x 800.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cupcakes With Mustaches. It's For The Children.

So the other day I was walking to my gym and one of THOSE people was standing in my way. Looking at me. With a clipboard.

Oh, GOD.

Usually, these people are standing in groups in the middle of downtown, and they are easily ignorable because I am listening to my headphones and walking eighty billion miles an hour. But not this time, for I was fumbling to get out my membership card, take off my hat (so as not to appear unattractive to Cute Gym Worker Man) and turn off Britney Spears' Drive Me Crazy.

Suffice it to say, I was powerless. And then she caught me with a double whammy. She said, "Hello, do you have time to support same-sex marriage?" Why yes, ma'am. I always have time to support same-sex marriage. Especially because supporting same-sex marriage is something I usually do while also doing other things. Why, just the other day, I was eating a sandwich, watching TV, and supporting same-sex marriage all at the same time!

So I stopped. I figured: the woman had a clipboard, she wanted my support, I believe in all the same thing she believed...why, we may even become best friends. At best, I'd sign her little doohickey and then be on my way to Elliptical Hell.

This woman starts talking a mile a minute, and when I take a look at her little clipboard I notice--wait a minute. There is no list of signatures here! What have I gotten myself into? Oh my god, they're going to try to scare me straight. But I AM straight! Oh no wait...she just wants money.

I said, as nicely as I could, "Oh, do you want money?"
And, if I remember right, her response was something along the lines of "Blah blah at least $20 blah blah blah. PS. Blah."
And my response was, "Oh, heh heh....I don't have...well I mean I have, but I don't want...but I mean I support...but I just can't afford, but again with the support...well-wishes...proposition BYE! *Zzzzip!*" (That last part was me frantically running into my gym to get away from her.)

All this to say, I hate when people ask me to donate money. Even places where I know things are going to a good cause. Because on the one hand, giving money to people who need it is a good thing. Salvation Army at Christmas. Boys and Girls Club Toy Drive. Red Cross. ASPCA. This American Life podcasts. All good places to donate money. But with my bank account on a constant spiral downward, I just can't help that much--unless you want me to actually be one of the people ASKING for the money in about a week.

Thus, I give my time instead. Hence all the posts about volunteering. And lately, Adrienne and I have been involved with one such activity: a mustache-growing contest. Now, clearly since we cannot grow mustaches ourselves (if only...) we are given a weekly creative challenge while the natural growers do their thing. And the point of both is to get people to support your mustache growing/creating endeavors. This week, we were challenged to make a mustache out of any material we wanted and take pictures of it.

Adrienne and I are weird.

Let me get that out of the way right there, if you didn't pick up on that here. So instead of just cutting a mustache out of cardboard and taking pictures of it on statues, our cats, etc etc, we created a whole challenge for ourselves. We made little mustached cupcakes, and then sent them on adventures around the world.

Check it out.

Our goal is to be the most creative mustache team, have some fun, and also--you guessed it--to raise some money.

Any money donated to our cause goes to the place I tutor at. It's a non-profit writing and tutoring center. It's the place where a boy wrote this:

Which is, undisputedly, the single best piece of writing in existence.
These kids are from inner city schools, working off the public school system (which does not always do super well for them.) I've tutored a few kids now who come because they literally don't WANT to go home. Including a seven year old girl who had had a rock thrown through her living room window by a gang member. And yes, I tell you all that for pure and utter guilt factor.

What I'm telling you is this: I hate donating money. And I hate when people ask me to donate money. Because there are just so many good causes out there, I can't possibly give to them all. And anyway, I can't give money because I am piss-poor broke.

But maybe you are different. Maybe you have money. Or like to donate. Or just really like mustaches. Or cupcakes. Or...cupcakes with mustaches perhaps?

To donate money (any amount) you can go here. Scroll down, find Adrienne and I (second row, fourth column) and donate away! And remember: it's for the children.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You make me feel awkward. Let's get a drink.

Blarg, I think I have a serious problem.

So, like I told you, I'm a volunteering machine. And another thing I've been doing is TA-ing for a songwriting workshop for kids. Being a "TA" really just means I spent my Fridays corralling three 9 year-olds, forcing them to write lyrics to a song called "Pillow Fight." (And yes, it WAS adorable, athankyou.)

So the leader of this seminar was this guy who was...awkward. I don't even know how to describe HOW he was awkward. He just WAS. He was the kind of guy who you know is either married or very single, because I just couldn't see being that uncomfortable on a dating-basis. Like...he has short, curly hair. Are you with me now? Okay, just pretend you are and empathize with me while I tell you that I felt awkward around him as soon as there weren't a bunch of fourth graders nearby, jumping up and down and making confetti out of paper towels. He'd start talking to me and I'd be like, "Oh really?! That is soooo interesting..." while I'd run around, frantically trying to look busy by riffling through papers and matching pen caps to pens. ("These two don't match! This is red, and THIS is black! Oh, Emily..." etc etc)

So Friday was our last day, and this guy came up to me and was like, "So I was thinking about just grabbing a beer afterward with the other TAs and stuff, if you're not busy."

And in my head, I'm going, "You're busy! You're SERIOUSLY busy! Oh, man. The busy things you have to do. My my. Busy, busy, busy."

So I said, "Yeah, sounds good."

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! EMILY!!!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! But I honestly could not think of a single excuse. Because, in all honesty, no. I wasn't busy. But HOW HARD would it have been to lie?

"Sorry, I've got to get home." <---VALID. He wouldn't ask questions. I could have sprinted to the door and never looked back. Did I say those words? NO. And even when I realized that I actually DID need to get home to email my timesheet for my freelancing gig, I couldn't bring myself to tell him. I just went on acting like it was all cool and getting a drink is The Priority #1 Thing.

And that's when I looked around and realized--wait a minute. "The other TAs" he mentioned meant...ONE other TA. There should have been two, but one was out that day. Which means, if that ONE other TA had something better to do, I'd be "grabbing a drink" with Awkward Curly Hair--ALONE!! BAH!! Get out of it. Get out of it. Just put on your coat and walk out the door. No one will notice. Say you can't. Say you have that timesheet thing. SAY ANYTHING JUST GET OUT!!

"Okay, ready to go?"


In the end, THANK GOD this other TA actually DID come along. And things were...1/3 less awkward. We talked about volunteering, and what we do for a living. And then went home. Ick, but not nearly the horribleness I was envisioning.

Although when I got home, I realized I was still wearing my name tag. And I know no one said anything because they didn't want to admit to looking at my boobs, but come on. I'm in a dive bar full of sneering old men, wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt and a name tag that says EMILY in thick, permanent marker. You gotta help a sister out.

I don't know why I am like that. Why I can't just say NO. I mean--Hey now. I've said no. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. D.A.R.E. did teach me things. I'm not talking dangerous (or whorish) things. Just regular things. Like awkward songwriters inviting you out for a beer. But when there is technically no valid reason why I should lie, why I should just back up and walk away, I am putty in your hands. An innocent drink as a thank you? Why yes. I will go to that, no matter how mysteriously weird you make me feel. I can't stop it! Is it that I'm incapable of being a bitch? Is it that attempting to lie makes me EVEN MORE awkward than I already am? Little of both?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

As I Recall: David Does Everyone's Dirty Work

Bible stories are back!! It’s been a long time. I’m going through withdrawal. Withdrawal from my exponential descent into Hell.

Where to next, my friends? Well, my plan was to finally do a story about a woman who is not terrible. I considered Ruth. But after a quick read over her story, I discovered: nothing. Absolutely nothing. She was a widow who worked hard in a field and then got married. The End. Actually, the most interesting thing about Ruth is that her sister’s name is Orpah, which is what Oprah was supposed to be named, had her mom not messed it up. And ironically, I’m getting a little squiggly red line under Orpah and not Oprah. Which….I love.

So screw Ruth. I don’t need to hear about some namby-pamby goodie-goodie. I want someone who stirred up some shit! Someone who fights lions with his harp (or whatever.)

I want a man with stones. I want David.

Yeah, that’s right. This kid’s hardcore.

Of course we start this story a little before David: Currently, the king of Israel is this guy Saul. And God is none too happy with him. I guess God is able to regret decisions because HOOOO boy, was this a sloppy one. For one thing: Saul doesn’t kill enough people. I mean, I think that’s reason enough there to knock him off his throne.

So God sends this guy, Samuel, out to search for the next king. I’m not exactly sure who Samuel is or what his job is, but I’m pretty sure it’s a whole ‘nother story considering he has two books of the Bible: 1 Samuel, and Samuel The Sequel, Samuel Takes Manhattan.

Samuel goes out searching for the next king. God tells him to go to this guy, Jesse, because God has chosen one of his sons. If you’re wondering why he doesn’t just straight up tell him WHICH of the sons, welllll it’s all part of the story. Suspended reality, people. Because God also warns Samuel not to be looking for size or strength, but for heart. Of course, Samuel ignores this and asks to take a look at Jesse’s seven sons. Here, I imagine him like Bugs Bunny at the greyhound race, rubbing his chin and lifting their haunches for meatiness. But none of Jesse’s sons are given the go-ahead by God. Samuel asks Jesse if those are all of his sons, and Jesse replies that he has one more, David, the youngest, out with the sheep. Samuel demands he be brought in, and he’s the WINNER! Bells and whistles go off and a big blinking arrow is pointing toward David that says, “KING.” So that settles it. We’ve found the One. Now how to overturn Saul?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Because meanwhile, Saul is being tormented by an evil spirit from God (this seems a little “stop hitting yourself” to me, but...moving on.) His servants, in all their wise servantness, suggest he find someone to play the harp for him to calm the evilness. So they find David, who is one hell of a harpist, and make him come back to Saul to play for him. This pleases Saul, so he commands that David stay with him to calm his spirits whenever they arise.

Some time later, a great battle is a-brewin’. The Philistines (seriously, when will we get rid of these guys?!) are on one mountain, and Saul’s army is on the other, with a valley between them. Seems simple enough. But there’s just oooooone problem. The Philistines have Shaq. Uh, I mean Goliath. Goliath is “six cubits and a span.” Which I immediately looked up because I was really hoping that meant he was, like, 5 foot 10. But no. This guy is 9 foot 9. Yikes. The tallest man in modern history was 8 foot 11, if you were wondering.

Goliath comes out and he’s covered in armor and he has some seriously heavy weapons on him. And he taunts the Israelites, “Alright, which one of you pansies has the balls to fight me? Tell you what. If he manages to kill me, we’ll become your servants. But if I win, you have to become ours.” Which, in my opinion, is a selfish promise because if he dies, he’d never have to become anyone’s servant.

So the Philistines waited for someone to come forth. They waited for forty days. (If you are ever on Cash Cab and Ben Bailey asks you a Biblical trivia question with a number for the answer, SAY FORTY. Don’t think; just scream FORTY.) While the Philistines wait, David brings food from home to his brothers who are there. David hears Goliath taunting them, and then overhears some men saying, “Oh man, if someone defeated Goliath, the king would probably make him rich and give him his daughter.” David whips his neck around. “Say what now?”

David marches on over to his buddy the king and announces that HE would fight Goliath. Saul laughs him off, of course, because David is still just a boy. But David responds, “Look, Homes. I’m a shepherd. And whenever a lion or bear comes after my sheep, I punch them right in the mouth. So no two-bit, uncircumcised asshole is going to trash talk me and my family, you got it?” (Seriously, he did use “uncircumcised” as an insult. Feel the burn, Goliath. Feel it.)

Saul’s like, “Okay then! Peace be with you, my boy.” He gives David a bunch of armor, but it's so heavy, David can’t even walk in it. So, hardcore move #2, he refuses any armor. Instead, he picks up five smooth stones, puts them in his pocket, and walks on up to the Philistines.

Goliath, of course, laughs and makes fun of David. And David gives it right on back. It’s pretty great. He’s like, “You’ve got a sword, but I’ve got a bad ass God, motherfucker! Hiiiiiiii-ya!” And he slings one of his stones at Goliath. It hits Goliath right in the middle of the forehead and kills him immediately. Hardcore move #3: David runs over to Goliath and cuts off his head with Goliath’s own sword.

As the Israelites chase the now fleeing Philistines, we cut to Saul, brooding over David in the distance. Turning to the commander of the army, he asks, “Whose son is this young man?” (Uh, hello? It’s the boy who played away your evil spirits?) The Commander in chief shakes his head. “I don’t know, sire.” A shadow falls over Saul’s eyes. The dramatic music rises and we cut tight on Saul as his face darkens.

“Bring him to me.”


Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Ads 2010: Naked Men. ...thanks?

"Emily," you are wondering, "you are the end-all be-all in the advertising world [how true]. What did you think of the Super Bowl spots?! We HAVE to KNOOOOWWWWW!"

I'm glad you guys asked. Overall, I actually thought they were well done. Some ads were hilarious or moving (I give sole credit to the copywriters) and some ads fell flat (I blame clients and clients only.) But in the end, everyone tried their darnedest. I've gotta say, it's not easy to make a good ad, no matter how much money you throw at it. Especially after you hear, "Okay, it's gotta be great, and it's gotta be seriously funny. Oh, and millions of people will criticize it when you're done...even the ones who know nothing about it."

Of course, my favorite ad was done by the best agency in the whole wide world: Goodby, Silverstein and Partners *cue angelic music*. They did the Denny's spots:

Aren't they the best? I want to take GSP to a romantic location, whisper "I love you" in their ear, brush their hair back, and softly kiss them.

Anyway. This season I noticed the ads leaning in two ways: Men who hate women, and men who love men.

First of all, men who hate women. There were at least four ads this year that were based around emasculation. I guess it's true, that some (maybe most) women are just the worst. They're annoying, they make you do things you don't want to do, they try to change you. And that would suck. So...I'm with you. Women are terrible and we'd be better without them. Got it.

Then there was the plethora of half- to mostly-naked men this year. What a crazy, random happenstance. The thing is, I read this Twitter post during the game: "It's official. Theme for this yrs SB Commercials: Men in their underwear. #brandbowl (Suppose it's time after years of half dressed women)"'s the thing. After years (meaning "decades," right?) of half-dressed women who look like, I don't know, THIS perhaps?

You're saying we should feel vindicated by ads that look like THIS?

Yeah, that's the same. That's exactly, exactly the same. Now, this guy just tweeted that really quickly, and I'm not going to start putting all of women's rights on his shoulders. All I'm saying is--I'm all about men in their underwear. All about it. Even when they look weird, at least it's funnier than weird-looking men in clothes. But come on now. The men in their underwear clearly weren't for us women and gay men. So they must have been for you. You touchdown-dancing, chest-bumping, crotch-grabbing, pile on-inducing, butt-patting, women-hating...

...straight men?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friend Week: The Entertaining Erin

Last day of Friend Week, and I've got facial tics about it!

This whole ordeal was supposed to be much simpler than it turned out to be. Because now I am realizing that I haven't told you about many of my other friends (for example, the ones that I actually see on a regular basis.) So I'm just going to have to do mini friend bios when they come up. You already know that Maggie can get into some fisticuffs. And you know that Carla is preggo and thought I was Jewish for an entire year. And if you want to know more about all the lovely people I surround myself with, well, I suppose you'll just have to keep reading about my shenanigans.

Because now it's time to put on a Russian Spy coat, hold my hand, and get funky. IT'S ERIN DAY!!

Here is Erin in my old apartment, cooking breakfast in an Erin kind of way: red suede heels, vintage coat, wine glass. That's Erin for you: an anomaly that can't really be explained in only a few paragraphs. But I'll try.

Erin and I met through Laura our freshman year of college. We didn't really become besties, though, until Senior year, when we became gym buddies. We kicked some serious gym ass, I'm telling you. Or rather, Erin seriously kicked my gym ass. She is great at tricking you into doing five more crunches. Damn you, Erin. And God bless you.

Erin (and Laura) also introduced me to the world of red wine. It was a scary road to travel at first, but somehow I came through it. It was an easening, filled also with brie and manchego and girl talk that somehow became much more personal, 2 bottles in.

Erin has style, and so much so that I will never be able to keep up with her. Classy brands I've never heard of roll off her tongue like butter. Erin is the girl who, on her visit this summer, brought 4 dresses for two nights of celebration. And one of those nights she wore a bridesmaid dress. But, you know. Options. But the great part about Erin is that she isn't some exclusive, snobby, heiress-type. She has more important things to do: like be an intelligent, professional woman who will cook you enchiladas, call someone a douchebag, and then dance the night away in 4-inch heels.

I'm not sure that there is any way to truly describe Erin. So instead, I will give you my list of Erin Quotes from the past year, which I keep lovingly in my phone:

(After a gust of wind nearly blew a vendor cart onto us) "That was like, falafel in yo' face!!"

"Weddings are meant to be hookups." (Said to a future bride and groom)

"I have a lot of clothes. It's an issue. But all I want are babies and a career." (Erin does not remember saying this, and insists that those are not ACTUALLY the two things she wants. We'll see.)

"So my uncle couldn't find a good burger and he was like, 'Fuck it,' and bought an organic farm."

(Pouring beer) "Carmen! Tip your glass like a lady."

"I always think balls are like the scales of justice. 'Yes or no? Let's ask your balls.'" (I don't even know about this one.)

I doubt that cleared the air at all. But suffice it to say, Erin makes me laugh. And she makes me feel classier and smarter and more confident, just by being near her. She always has fun ideas up her sleeve, and she is one heck of a hostess.

It is very sad that she lives in New York City and therefore far from me. But we have new plans to move to San Fransisco some day. And perhaps then we will again drink wine, eat cheese, and make ball jokes until the wee hours of the morning.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Friend Week: The Rambunctious Roommates

Day four of Friend Week is a DOUBLE WHAMMY!!

"But, Emily," you might say. "Isn't that cheating?"

Yes. Yes it is. But the more I thought about these two girls, the more I realized how much they have in common, in relation to my life.

Today I introduce you to Sara and Monica!

Things that make Sara and Monica the same:
- They are my two roommates since college (Sara the former, Monica the current)
- They are both "high school friends."
- They both went to the same college and came out as snooty arteests.
- They are both social butterflies.
- They are both badasses who lift heavy things and screw them into walls.
- Um...what else? They both like tall, hairy men? Okay, out of ideas.


Sara is, what you call, a Theater Nerd. This picture is the first image that comes up when you google her name, which I did out of curiosity. Joe and I are going to see her play on Saturday. I am terrified. I mean, look at that picture! LOOK AT IT!!!

Sara and I had gone to the same school since kindergarten, but didn't become friends until her family started going to the same church as ours around 6th grade. Then we were BFF^maxpowerextreme. We were in every junior high play together (we even played the same part in a double-casted Annie. Extraneous orphans wut wuuuuut) and in Algebra Trig, we wrote musical parodies about how much we hate--what else--Alegbra Trig. Good times/worst class ever.

Sara and I parted for college (are we getting a theme here with my besties? I tend to hold on to them for a while.) Sara became a Theater Jack-of-all-trades. She acted her pants off--literally once, ooer--and became a badass drill-wielder backstage.

Soon after college, she called me just to catch up, and we realized we were moving into the city at the same time and both needed a roommate. And voila! Since Sara was still in PA, it was my job to find us a nice, cheap apartment. Which I did. It was lovely. It was huge, it had TWO bathrooms (count em, two), new appliances and a washer/dryer IN UNIT. Aaaaaaaaaaand it may or may not have been directly under the el. YIKES. But it was cheap, and they guaranteed me you wouldn't notice it after a while. And it's true. After a while, I didn't hear my wine glasses clattering every five minutes. But I DID have to sleep with earplugs. So after our lease was up, Sara and I hiked out of there and found new places; hers close to the theaters she works at, and mine near some of my newly-acquired friends. And that is when I moved in with Monica.


Monica and I met in Biology, Freshman year of high school. I believe the first thing she said to me was, "Your name is Emily? HER name is Emily! *points to another Emily*" And I'm pretty sure we were best friends ever since. It doesn't take much.

Monica and I bonded over boys. There's no way around that statement. Monica knows every crush/semi-crush/obsession that I had in high school *coughWescough*. And, likewise, I knew hers. We passed notes to each other every day, giggling about how That Boy looked at me and This Boy said this, and plotting our next plan of attack. We visited them where they worked. "Oh, you work here? That's so weird! We were just thinking how much we were craving...prescription drugs...SO what are you doing this weekend??"

It was a bond that could not be broken. Except by college. (DIDN'T SEE THAT ONE COMING, DID YOU?!) No, no, college didn't break us. In fact, we stayed pretty close throughout it. And when she told me she was moving into the city, it was perfect timing, for I was looking for someone to live with me in Wicker Park!

Monica is in grad school, learning how to be a Museum Goddess: planning exhibits, installing things, commanding others to plan and know. Things Museum Goddesses do. She works at the Museum of Contemporary Art. That's where that picture up there comes from. She has managed to convince me that not all modern and contemporary art is bullshit, and that a wall covered in moss is actually possibly the coolest thing ever. And that it IS art.

Sara and Monica are both amazing people, and seriously badass. And everyone else knows it, too. That's why they are always busy, always with something to do or somewhere to be or someone to meet up with. Which I am always visibly jealous of. They are also every boy's dream: Sara, who is gorgeous beyond all AND plays bloody video games in her spare time, And Monica, who turns heads on the street but will join your midnight game of dodgeball at a moment's notice.

They are fun, they are spunky, and they are genuinely great people who care. ALSO they will kill my spiders for me. And you've always gotta have one of those around.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Friend Week: The Marvelous Michelle

Friend Week, Day Three. Who shall it be? WHOOOOO?

Today I introduce you to my childhood best friend, Michelle. I don’t have many stories to tell you about current Michelle because she lives far away (sad!) and even though we email and talk often (happy!) I can't say our current, mature-ish relationship is quite as interesting as our childhood one.

Michelle and I met when she moved in across the street from me, the summer before the 2nd grade. So yes, we were seven. At the time, I had spiked hair and a tail (HAR!!) and was most likely rocking my sweet t-shirt with the surfboarding T-Rex on it.

*a moment of silence for that t-shirt.*

So, naturally, Michelle thought I was a boy. And I was too shy to open my mouth, so I'm sure she went on believing that for some time. Eventually we got it all sorted out, though, and our friendship bloomed.

The one thing that baffled everyone about our friendship was our secret language. Even WE don't know how it came to be (although we know her dog was involved?... *shrug*). But when you have snoopy parents and siblings around and need a way to talk about American Girl Dolls without them all up in your BIZNASS, you've gotta come up with a secret language. You just do. And ours was the Srados language. The secret is out, but not really. Because I guarantee you it will make no sense to you. Let me see if I can explain. Shorthand Srados dictionary:

Michelle: Sra
Emily: Rah
How are you: Howsarsyou
I don't know: Ahs duns snuh

Etc etc etc. It was secretive, and if you didn't know it, you couldn't play our card game, sorry kid.

A List Of Fads Michelle And I Lived Through
- Trolls
- Marvin the Martian
- Smiley Faces
- "Awesome" blue (which would be the color of the fort we never made)
- Pogs
- Titanic

Michelle and I were (and are-who am I kidding?) quoting machines. If you would ever like a line-by-line retelling of not only Titanic but also Ever After, Friends, Armageddon, or What About Bob?, please feel free to ask.

To recount to you every memory I have with Michelle would be an insanely enormous blog. It would just be an autobiography, because basically every memory I have involves her. Michelle was the one to pass along secret notes to my first-but-not-really-at-all boyfriend. She was there when I called my second-but-still-doesn't-actually-count boyfriend to go on my first date. She was there when I had the glasses and the braces and the hair and she loved me through all those times. She's the one that I laughed with until it hurt (along with her mom, who has THE most contagious laughter ever) and the one that made me feel normal when I definitely wasn't. She taught me that possums are terrifying, laundry is seriously not that hard, to hold my head high, and to have another brownie already.

Without this turning into one big gush fest, I do need to add that current Michelle (aka Sra) is still one of my best friends, and a great person to boot. And she may also be clinically insane.

But so am I. That's why we work.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Friend Week: The Amazing Adrienne

Second day of Friend Week, y'all! Get excited!

Today I'd like to explain to you the phenomenon that is my friendship with Adrienne. It's not really a phenomenon, I just thought that sounded catchy. But it is pretty fun. And here is why:

Adrienne and I both have some time on our hands, what with being unemployed/rarely employed/underemployed/whatever the hell it is we do that means we spend most of our lives emailing each other ridiculous links. No subject, no explanation. Just the link.

For example:
FROM: Adrienne
TO: Emily
SUBJECT: (no subject)


Passions We Share:
- cat things
- cupcakes
- really, all baked goods
- making fun of my fear of whales (Once, she sent me a postcard from Canada with a picture of a whale on one side and on the other it just said, "WHALE IN UR FACE <3 adrienne")
- things that are cute but random and therefore awesome
- in that vein, anthropomorphism.
- Pretty much every television show on prime time, especially Lost (ARE YOU GUYS PUMPED OR ARE YOU PUMPED?!)


Anyway, back to Adrienne. Adrienne and I met in high school, and bonded our Junior year over the premiere of Harry Potter 1 and a shared love for Oliver Wood and the boy in our grade who looked like him *coughWescough*. We spent most of English class sharing snacks and drawing in coloring books. We split in college (though stayed friends) and both moved back north after graduation.

Adrienne is great. She is one of my best friends (and certainly my best Chicago Friend). She's funny, she's fun, she's creative, and she is willing to consort with me when I think someone is out to get me. If you would like to hire her as a photographer/graphic designer, I will hook that up. Also if you are a quirky slightly hipster male who needs someone to watch Ace of Cakes with...I can hook that up, too.

Also she is big into capitalizing phrases when necessary (read: NOT NECESSARY.) She also lives in the city, which makes her doubly awesome because I get to see her all the time. Which means you get to hear about her all the time.

To get a firm grip on who Adrienne is, for my birthday, (without my knowing it) Adrienne sent my resume in to a cupcake store that needed a marketer, complete with a funny, endearing cover letter about why they should hire her friend. The woman responded that it was the most awesome recommendation letter she'd ever read.

For Adrienne's birthday, I got her a bedazzled hotdog necklace.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Friend Week: The Lovely Laura

This weekend I started working on tagging my posts, so that you guys can read every post that mentions whales at your leisure. Which obviously you want to do.

While doing this, I started putting in tags for the friends I've mentioned, and realized you've had no explanation of who these people are or why you should care. So I'm introducing Friend Week! First on the roster is best friend Laura.

(rough sketch)

Laura and I met Freshman year of college, due to one of many series of events that have led to us being the same person. Laura and I were both idiots when it came to choosing our dorms, and ended up in the furthest, ruddiest, lamest, hottest dorms at the University. We bonded over our mutual loud sarcasm in dealing with this hardship. We also bonded over singing while filling our cafeteria trays, an unexplained phenomenon.

Other things that Laura and I have in common:
- We began college with long-distance, long-term boyfriends who were our soulmates to the extreme.
- We ended college like two Flirty McFlirts who knew their way around Flirtville.
- When I introduced her to spaghetti & ranch, Laura took it to an entire level I never knew existed.
- We tend to make noises at the sight of animals. Cats get a high-pitched, "MEER!!" and dogs get a similar, "REER!" It is a force within us which cannot be contained.
- Youtube videos of kittens are our downfall.
- Throughout our histories, we tend to choose celebrity crushes on those who are usually labeled, "the funny one," or "the weird one."
- We both judge others based on how well they receive our jokes. No laughter: Lame. Appropriate laughter: Let's be besties. Too much laughter: What's wrong with you? I just asked you for copy paper.
- Our goal in life is to make an entire group of people laugh.
- We are the only two people in the world who "get" John Krasinski. It's science.

Okay, seriously, that list could go on forever. This will be easier:

Things that make Laura and I different:
- Laura is a pickier eater than I am, but likes sushi.
- Laura has class.
- Laura is an only child (though almost all of my BFFs through history are only children. This is probably because they demand attention and the one thing middle children excel at is letting others have the spotlight.)
- Laura can put on her professional hat. I can accidentally make fun of people interviewing me, resulting in not getting that job.
- Sometimes Laura gets more angry than I do. But then I trip up the stairs and it evens out.

I am very sad to announce that Laura now lives far away from me. But it does mean that we have some pretty great random texts. A sampling:

Emily: New plan: you and I practice a two part karaoke song. We go alone to a karaoke bar, blow them away and walk out without a word. "who the hell was THAT?!"

Laura: I just said y'all for the first time.
Emily: Gasp!! Baby's first y'all!

Laura: Okay, I'm awesome. Stanley Tucci does the AT&T commercials.
Emily: I tell strangers about my friend with the creepy ability to pick out voices from commercials.
Laura: And they say "Such a person cannot exist!" and you say "oh but she DOES"

Emily: I've made my decision: choosing one male actor from old times that I would want to be with. Dick Van Dyke
Laura: What???? No. ....Danny Kaye.

Laura: You know how Pikachu gave kids seizures and stuff? That's what Cameron Diaz does to me. I'm twitching.

Emily: Just passed a woman whose shirt said I hate haters, and in the middle it said "no hating" with a line through it. Hollerrrr

Laura: There is a woman sitting next to who I assume is her husband. And she is reading a book called: Building an affair-proof marriage."

Emily: Goal for the new year: to be one step closer to us being the Golden Girls.
Laura: Yessssssss! I'm Dorothy. You are Rose. Go.

Laura has great potential as a co- or guest-blogger. But I have two trepidations about this:
1. That this blog starts looking like the poor mans 2birds1blog. Which I am in love with, but would like to be different from.
2. That Laura will be infinitely funnier and wiser than me and you won't want me to post anymore.
I think I will have to take these chances and ask her to give you all a piece of her mind. Because, oh, could she.