Friday, October 29, 2010


BEWARE BEFORE YOU READ: This post is intended for my lady readers. Men, feel free to keep reading if you want to have some real talk about bras. Otherwise I'll see you next week. You've been warned.

Yesterday there was a big Advertising Halloween party at an editing house. It was great! Free beer, free fun, loud music…OH, and once again I ended up on my soapbox about getting a bra fitting at Nordstrom in the middle of the crowded dance floor.

I am shocked—SHOCKED—that I have had this blog for almost an entire year and I have yet to write a post about bra fittings.

Here is the nub and gist of it: if you have only gotten a bra fitting at Victoria’s secret, dusted off your hands and called it a day, YOU ARE WEARING THE WRONG SIZE BRA. I will put money down on that fact to ANY of you.

Here is how I know:

Every SINGLE person who I know (and I know at least six off the top of my head) that thought they were wearing the right size according to Victoria and then went to Nordstom, found out that they were TWO whole cup-sizes bigger. And every person, once wearing the new Nordstrom bra, felt better, perkier, more holstered, and more comfortable than they ever had before.

And of course, me included.

I have known people to go in thinking they were an “unattractive” (and I use those quotes EMPHATICALLY) 36A their entire young lives, to come out finding they’re a lovely, enviable 36C. I have known people to go in thinking they were a droopy awkward 36D to come out finding they actually feel slimmer and more comfortable in their 32F.

Nothing makes me sadder than someone who looks like they feel awkward in their own boobs. Except maybe someone who laments that they’re an A when even I can now take one look at them and guarantee them that they’re bigger.

Oprah did a whole show and has online info on bra fittings, and guess who sponsored the whole thing? NORDSTROM.


And don't even give me the "I don't WANT to be 2 sizes bigger!" excuse. Because trust me, you do. You will once you feel what a difference it makes in the way you feel and walk and stand.

And speaking of big boobs--It annoys me GREATLY that people think enormous boobs are DDs. I remember a crass frat boy telling a story and saying "they were the biggest boobs I've ever seen in real life. They were like DOUBLE Ds, dude." Guess what. If they were the biggest boobs you've ever seen in real life? She was at least an H (That's five Ds). I guarantee that you see double Ds every day of your life. But because most stores, including VS, only go as high as DD, everyone assumes that's the biggest anyone could be, and anything higher would be a freak show. And anyone who is bigger is not told by the VS people that she is actually too big to fit their bras. She is simply given the wrong size and sent on her merry way, jiggling uncomfortably down the street. It's no wonder 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra. These people have probably been fitted by Victoria.




And even if you go and find out Victoria’s Secret was right (there’s a first for everything, I suppose), I have another reason you should get your bras from Nordstrom: they have the best return policy in the whole wide world.

Here’s a fun little story for you. Walk with me, won’t you?

A few years ago, I bought a bra from Nordstrom that didn’t fit me right (I tried sizing myself without help. I was wrong.) But I didn’t realize that until I’d worn it for an entire 90 degree day. As you can guess, things got a little sweaty up in here. Well I didn’t want to be The Girl Who Returned a Bra With Sweat Stains, so I washed it. Then I realized that I needed to dry it quickly so I could get to Nordstrom before they closed. But they say not to throw it in the dryer. So what did I do?

That’s right, I used a blow dryer. Face, I’d like to introduce you to Palm. You should be friends.

I noticed that the place I was blow drying was becoming a different color. I thought it was just the water drying. I kept going. Then I stopped. I looked harder. Oh yes. I had MELTED MY BRA. My bra that I needed to exchange for a different size.

I think I screamed. I definitely cried. And since my mom was at work, my poor dad had to be the one to try and console his hysterical daughter cradling a half-wet, half-melted bra in her hands. But he told me I should still try to exchange it.

So I did.

I walked up to the girl at the lingerie register, gave her the short version of the story, and (at this point I was basically on my knees with my clenched, entwined hands raised above my head in desperation) asked if there was any way she could exchange this one with a different size.

The girl, who was probably about my age, gave me a look like I cannot BELIEVE I am about to do this for you and said, “What size do you need?”

And that, my friends, is why you HAVE to go to Nordstrom. RIGHT. NOW. You HAVE to.

Please get a fitting. Even if you are old enough to remember Gandhi. DO IT. If you can go to Oak Brook, ask for Faye. She’ll help a sister out. If you have to go to the one downtown Chicago, then that’s probably better than nothing, but the suburban Nordstroms are best. Hopefully for those reading outside of the Chicagoland area, your Nordstrom is good, too. If not, hop on the next train and get over here. I am not exaggerating when I say that it will change your life.

Or at least it’ll change the way you fill out a dress.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not A Hot Time In The Old Town

Last night I was woken up by our fire alarm at 2 am.

Joe, who was just about to go to bed (he was studying) still had the clarity of mind of a person who had NOT been jolted out of REM into a cacophony of horror.

His reaction: "I'll grab Regina." *Puts Regina in her carrier* *Puts on shoes and jacket* "Ready?"


We walked down all 8 flights of stairs, Regina meowing all the while as though this was something that perhaps we were doing on a LARK, and could let her out if she just reminded us loudly enough that she was still in a cage. I sat by her as others filed out, strategically shielding her eyes from the St. Bernard. Soon, a fire truck came, nothing was found, and we all went back inside and upstairs. adventures for all.

Between last night and the night before, when I was scared the impending storm was going to rip the I'm-sure-very-stable roof off our apartment, It's become very clear: I need some renter's insurance.

I meant to get some. A few years ago. When I lived on the 1st floor in a sliiiiiightly ghetto part of Ghettoville, USA. I remember attempting to get a quote online. But they kept asking me all these questions, like if I had a smoke detector or a fire putter-outer thing. And they asked me to estimate how much my stuff was worth.

And I ask you, how the hell do you even start to guess that? I mean, you can figure out the big things I guess, like the TV and the couch and the bed. But how do you start measuring your old Ninja Turtle figurines' worth? Or howabout your VHS tapes you refuse to let go of? What about the clothes you've acquired over dozens and dozens of trips to Target for "necessary things only"? What about the drawers of lotions and shampoos? And how do you measure the worth of the contact lenses that I JUST picked up under great stress and hardship to me? How does my insurance give me those 45 minutes back??

In the end, I gave up. I decided to take my chances with the stealthy security system we already had: owning very little. But after the stress of the past two days, and the thought of seeing all my precious, precious stuff either flung to hither and yon by a tornado, burned into tiny piles of ashes and melted plastic by someone's renegade shrine candles, or drenched by the dangling water spigots that I just KNOW are ready and willing to ruin all the time I've spent slaving over Ikea catalogs, I think it's time for some renter's insurance.

So I'll get right on that. Right after I light all these candles on my bed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Single Most Stressful Day Of My Life

Well, Scrabble For Cheaters has come and gone. Dreams were crushed, PBRs were drunk in the middle of the day, and in the end,


AND!!! We all raised $10,000 total towards the impressionable minds of children! HUZZAH!!

So what does 2nd place mean? It means we played 4 games of Scrabble in 5 hours. And with only two minutes per turn, all of those games became down-to-the-wire, one-point-difference, oh-crap-is-FE-a-word-or-isn't-it-why-didn't-I-memorize-my-two-letter-words-better-quick-quick-just-play-something-for-the-love-of-GOD kind of games.

I think I gave myself about twenty ulcers on Saturday. I might as well have just stayed at home and chugged lemon juice straight from the bottle.

But NO! For then we wouldn't have raised all the moneys and helped all the childrens!

I have to give a special shout-out to my parents, who donated exactly enough money for us to purchase one of my favorite cheats: The Augment. The Augment lets you add 10 points to any letter. And how did we use it?

On the X in "EXITING." THAT'S RIGHT. All seven letters (50 points) plus a letter that's worth 18 points WHICH we were able to double up on another word. The word was worth almost 100 points and is absolutely the reason why we won that round.

*breathing heavily* Sorry, let me catch my breath from nerding out so hard just then.



........... okay all better.

So anyway, Adrienne and I would like to say thanks to the contributors. You helped us and the tutoring center out immensely. But I would especially like to thank my parents. I'm sorry, I like them more than you and you need to accept that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The 5 Common Grammar Uses Of "Like"

I have a problem. I am one of those. For as snobby as I can be about spelling and grammar (IF YOU PASSED THE FIFTH GRADE, YOU SHOULD KNOW WHICH "THERE" TO USE, NO EXCUSES), I am a "like" person. As in: I say "like" in probably almost every sentence. I don't know how, I don't know why. I don't know where it came from and I don't know why it can't stop. But I DO know when and where to use it. And I'd like to pass this info onto you.

See, I get very annoyed with non-"like" people try and fail to use "like" properly in a sentence. Believe it or not, there actually is a method to the madness. For example:

WRONG: "Oh my like God! I'm totally writing a, like, diary entry about Wes Z!"
RIGHT: "Oh my God! I'm like, totally writing, like, a diary entry about Wes Z."

Get it? Ehh? Ehhhhhhh? Okay, let me break down "like" into it's uses then. Maybe this will help.

1) Exaggeration

I think this is the closest way that "like" is used to its original intent of simile (It's green like a leaf.) But in its current use, it's really more about making it obvious to your listener that you are exaggerating.

EXAMPLE: He was, like, 12 feet tall. And he had an ox that was, like, blue.

2) Like = "said/thought"

"Like" is used to recreate dialogue. It can get very confusing, because "like" can mean three things here--that someone said it, 'I' thought it, or someone otherwise expressed it non-verbally.

"So Bob was like, 'What did you just say to me?' and Dave got all pumped and he was like, oh man someone is going to get killed here. And I'm like, If you punch me I will actually kill you."

In this scenario, Bob said something. Dave acted excited but didn't say anything, and 'I' merely thought that sentence. Usually stories like this require the listener to qualify, "Wait, did you actually say that or did you just think it?"

This one actually catches my attention the most because the phrase "I'm like" sounds surprisingly like "Emily" if you say it fast enough.

3) Like = "Here's the thing."

"Like" can ease you into some rough waters.

EXAMPLE "Okay so like...I don't have any peanut butter to give you."

4) Like = "For example."

This is either if you're explaining something, or if you just don't have a very strong opinion. You can find these phrases because they can usually be ended with "or something."

"Okay so like, say you're really good at the piano or something."
"I really want like a steak burrito or something."

5) Like = "Um"

Like has simply become a space-filler. It doesn't actually mean "um" exactly, but it's the kind of thing you say so that no one interrupts you, like "um" or "well."

EXAMPLE: "I that you cared."

This, I think, is actually the "like" that is used the most, and the one that I used in my very first example about Wes Z. Basically, replace "Like" with "um" and you can see why one of those sentences works and the other doesn't. "Like" doesn't break up phrases. It fills the space while you swing from clause to clause, or even fragment to fragment. Which is why it's also pretty subjective, in the end. It depends where you want to pause in a sentence. But in the end, it can pretty much go anywhere and feel natural, as long as it isn't coming in the middle of a clump of words. You'd never say:
"Merry like Christmas."
"I want some Chinese like food."
"I love Merryl like Streep."
"Let's watch Forty like Year-Old Virgin."

And that's it. I'm racking my brains trying to find another use, but as far as I can tell, they all can fit into one of those 5. Can anyone find another use?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Who wants to be charitable in a FREE kind of way?

I ask because I haven't requested any votes for Blogger's Choice in a REALLY long time.
So I'm asking! You've gotta make an account, but it's quick, painless, and free. And besides the fact that that's what she said, you will also get nary an email or spam.

So that button on the right that's turquoise and black? Click on it. And get voting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fears and Facts

First, I must start this post with a little about podcasts, although that has nothing to do with what I want to tell you.

In iTunes, there is a whole “podcast” section. Click on it. There are, like, 80 billion (rough estimate) awesome podcasts out there for all your podcast needs. I mean, really it’s like recorded XM radio. And I think they're all free. So go there.

WHILST you are there, specifically look for This American Life and Stuff You Should Know (or click those links and get there faster.) These are two amazing podcasts. The former is like what this blog would be like if it were informed and written by someone who took AH Journalism class and had connections and were much, much better.

The latter, Stuff You Should Know, is basically like nerdery for the non-nerds. AKA me. Examples of podcast titles:

1. How Food Cravings Work
2. How The Hells Angels Work
3. How Kleptomania Works
4. How Braille Works

And the list goes on. Practically forever, and/or at least until 2008. SO! Why am I telling you all this?

I am telling you all this because I recently listened to a Stuff You Should Know podcast about quicksand, and I feel like my entire life is turned upside down right now.

Yes. We almost have a “making ends meat” situation on our hands here, people.

Turns out, it’s basically impossible to die in quicksand. Amongst all the reasons is that quicksand is never as deep as a human being. And even if you stepped in it, you’d basically just float at the top, not get sucked into it.

The thing is, besides having the malady of a weak bladder, I was also a fairly paranoid child. And after a few movies where people got stuck in quicksand (OR WORSE, ATREYU’S HORSE DROWNED IN THE MUCK AND OH MY GOD I STILL CAN’T HANDLE THAT) I was convinced that I would some day die from falling in a pit of quicksand. I didn’t know how or why, but the idea terrified me to my very soul.

But no one ever brought me the facts of quicksand. They just said “Oh, Emily. You won’t die in quicksand.” And left it at that, with no substantial evidence to change my mind! And just telling me that there is no quicksand in Illinois would have helped not at all because NO ONE SUSPECTS THE QUICKSAND INQUISITION.

It reminded me of my fear of robbers. I was scared to go to bed at night because I knew a Bad Guy would break into our house and steal all our things and kidnap me and my siblings. And you know what convinced me otherwise? My mom told me that since she and my dad’s bedroom is in the basement, that the robbers would come in those windows and she and my dad would just beat them up.

Bam, end of that fear. I mean, when you’re four, who’s more badass than Mom and Dad?

As I walked around Chicago, listening to the podcast, I had to keep pausing it in order to reflect on the MANY things I was scared of, if only someone had given me good reason not to be.

Like fire. I was sure that a fire would start in our hallway and none of us would be able to get out. And all I really needed was someone to stick a fire detector up there, assure me that a fire would start in the kitchen far away from us, and I would have slept like a baby.

Or escalators! I had a late fear of escalators, spawned from the 90’s show, “Rescue 911.” The thing is, I didn’t realize that a show with the word “Rescue” in it might possibly mean that everything would be okay. So of course I turned it off right in the middle of the reenactment, here

Instead of watching the last two minutes (which I just did thanks to the wonder of YouTube. By the way, STILL SCARY.) when the boy looks all healthy and rosy-cheeked again:

But, see, if someone had just told me, “That boy was fine, and it won’t happen to you because you are not SITTING on the escalator” then the fear would have evaporated in seconds!

Cold hard facts. That’s all I ever needed. Or, really, looking at all of these fears, all I actually needed was the internet. SO GET ON THAT, 1992.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 5 Celebrities I'd Get A Timeshare With

Last weekend I dusted off Season 3 of Friends. And since I don't reference that show enough for you, here's some more!

It was the episode where Ross is trying to decide which 5 celebrities make his "list" of who he would be allowed to sleep with without Rachel getting mad. He takes the whole episode to decide, and at the end (10-YEAR-OLD SPOILER ALERT!) he actually meets Isabella Rossellini, who he had booted off the list for being too international.

SO! The episode got me thinking--who would my 5 celebrities be? But here's the thing: I'm raising the stakes. Any given celebrity is good looking enough to have one night in Bangkok with. The question is: who is TRULY worthy? That's right. What celebrity would you cherish for better or worse? Which would you roll your eyes at when they tell the same joke to different friends? The question is: which celebrity would you open a Google Docs to track your shared family plan bill with?

I'm curious what other people have to say. And to start you off on your journey, here are my five:

1. John Krasinski

Like this was a question. To me, people who DON'T want to marry John Krasinski are like people who don't like chocolate or cheese or happiness. These must be the same people who watch him on talk shows and don't laugh at his jokes. ROBOTS! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HIM LIKE I DO.

2. Paul Rudd

I decided that I would some day marry Paul Rudd when I saw the trailer for How Do You Know, which is coming out at Christmas.

Because how amazing is Paul Rudd ALWAYS? Or in I Love You Man? "Slappin' da bass"? COME ON! He can't help the way he is because clearly that's how he is in real life. And it's like we were made for each other! HE'S adorably awkward, I'M adorably awkward! (caveat: you must consider the fact that I run into walls 'adorable'...)

3) Mario Batali

Laugh if you will. The truth is, we all lose our looks one day. But Italian food is forever. As are orange crocs. ALSO, have any of you seen "Spain-On The Road Again" on PBS? It's MAGIC. Pure Magic. Mario Batali and some other guy travel Spain and learn about the country and say hilarious things and laugh and eat food and nap. And then eat and then nap. And then suddenly Gweneth Paltrow is there and things get very classy VERY quickly.

QUESTION: Is one of my life goals to travel, eat, sit, nap, and hang out with Gweneth Paltrow all at once?

So yeah. I'd marry Mario Batali. I'd marry him right nice.

4) Ed Helms

-We'd make amazing karaoke partners
-He can play the banjo
-That's about all.

So fine, I can't give you a true reason for wanting to marry Ed Helms. It's a gut reaction and I'm sticking with it.

5) Colin Firth

I could see Colin Firth and I curling up in matching sweaters in front of a fireplace somewhere in the English countryside. We'd be the most mature couple, and we'd only drink wine that costs over $20 because, yeah, we're fancy.

I want to take Colin Firth to a high-class event held in a museum and watch him make everyone feel inferior to him. But then when we're alone and I'm upset about something and I start crying, he completely falls apart and gets all flustered and doesn't know what to do so he gets all Bumbling British Person and offers me tea and cakes and runs his hands through his thick, luscious hair a million times. And even when he's old and in his wheelchair and I'm still in my prime, I will wheel him around and announce that I'm with The Guy Who Played Mr. Darcy so they better do whatever I want them to do. It will be a very stable, very grounded marriage.

So that's it. That's my current list. And yours?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Most Important Book You'll Ever Read

I have in my possession The Holy Grail. And, like Charlie's golden ticket, it is the kind of thing that one can only discover when one least expects it.

There I was, standing in an obscenely long line at the pharmacy. As my mind wandered, my eye caught sight of something strange. It was a book in the clearance bin. As I could see it, the title read, 'MEN WHO [$5.99] & THE DOGS". I stared, trying to figure out what the price sticker was covering up. Because, of course, my mind started going to all kinds of places.

Ahh, times were so simple back then (two days ago). So simple.

I reached for the book and removed the sticker. And this was what I beheld:

Sweet, sweet Lord. In case there was a question, God exists. God exists, and he is especially fond of me in particular. And by association, he probably likes you, too. But mostly me.

I flipped through this book with tears welling in my eyes, giggling and gasping at every page. I knew from the moment I read the title that this was the perfect gift to give someone. But when I opened the book I realized it wasn't a gift for someone. It was a gift...for the world.

I have been bequeathed a very real, very necessary item. And it would behoove me to share such an item with as many people as possible. Frankly, I can't think of a better way to reach the masses. So I give to you a sampling. If you'd like the entire thing, you'll have to come visit me, or buy it yourself. I highly suggest doing both. Because I'm not giving this bad boy away.

Here we go.

Are you ready?

Wait for it.....

Here we go for real. First picture.

Here is this book at its most basic: Man, sweater. Dog, matching sweater. "And, look, Barkley! Here's all the numbers I got from hot babes who love men that knit dog sweaters! Pages and pages of them!...what do you mean 'this is my mother's number written over and over again?' THAT IS NOT WHY I TAUGHT YOU TO READ."

Another great part about this book is the intro. I have this to say: Is my new dream to own a yarn/wine shop in small town Michigan? YES. ALWAYS.

This dog is such a trooper. Doing tricks in a knitted 'kerchief, and for what? A hand without a treat from a goony-looking man who is most assuredly in Dad jeans? You keep chugging along, lil guy. Don't you give up. Not on my watch.

Nothing like staring into the distance, surveying the land, and contemplating your two-level sweater.

Seriously, how ADORABLE is this picture? How adorable...and yet, how sad?

A) A man with a sleeve tattoo would absolutely knit his own socks, just as assuredly as he would wear one of those 90s hemp sweaters.
B) A man with a sleeve tattoo would rather die than be caught knitting just as assuredly as he would rather die than drive a tan Volvo.
C) I can't decide but how hilarious is it that they very clearly included the sleeve tattoo to try and make the book seem more edgy?

What? WHAT? .....WHAT?!! I can't even...I don't even...This doesn't even....

I'm sorry, but there is no chance in the history of America that this man knit himself this sweater.

I'm sorry, but there is a high probability that THIS man knit himself this sweater. And that last guy's. And every sweater in this book. Twice.

"Ha ha ha...We are laughing and we are very good friends. Good buddies sharing a special moment. Laughing and enjoying our friendship, and someday we'll look back on this with much fondness."
"Dude...why am I on a chair in the middle of the house?"

Really? Does EVERYTHING in your life need to be knitted? How about a knitted food bowl?

Emily: "Huh. This guy's not terrible-looking. I mean, despite the fact that he's wearing the Christmas sweater his great aunt made him--wait. WAIT. WHAT IS THAT DOG WEARING?"....

OH MY GOD. KNITTED. MUSCLE SHIRT. FOR YOUR DOG. When Joe finally adopts Arf Vandelay Vandely Industries, I WILL learn to knit and this WILL be my first project and it WILL be amazing.

Sir, sitting in a Jeep Wrangler with your sunglasses on your head does not make up for the fact that you KNIT YOUR DOG A MUSCLE SHIRT OUT OF MULTICOLORED YARN.

"Come on, man. Pull yourself together. You can do this tonight. You can DO THIS. You're a strong, confident, totally rad Maltese in a sweater. Why WOULDN'T she date you? Come on. Suck it up."

Boy, DO I?! Do I EVER!! (Here comes the picture in 5...4...3...2...)

I remember the time--this was after 'Nam, see--when I would go fishing. Just me and the guys, you know? We'd sit along the lake, them with their dogs, me with little Bubbles...they'd spend their time cursing over lost fish and touching unsanitary worms. But me and Bubbles? Why, we'd just sit and knit, sit and knit. All weekend long. Good thing she was in charge of carrying the extra yarn, or I don't know WHAT we would have done.

If you take away the matching hat and the dog sweater, this isn't such a terrible picture. Just a guy whose sister made him a warm scarf. But you CAN'T take away the hat and dog sweater. YOU CAN'T. And therein lies the majesty of this book.

How much money are you willing to put down that Ted would win the Most High Maintenance Gay Man Ever Award? Because I am willing to put down quite a bit.

At first, you may look at this picture and think, "Well this guy isn't so bad." True, he has that once-nerdy charm about him. But then you remember that the sweater he's wearing doesn't come from Kohl's, but from his own needle-bearing hands. And then you really take a good look at his face and you notice that it has a bit of a creepy come-hither-so-I-can-kill-you look. And that reminds you of the nice man in Grey's Anatomy who turned into a mass murderer and OH MY GOD, MIRANDA BAILEY, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE HE IS ON YOUR FLOOR RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!1

Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer but you're still creepy, dude.

"You know what I need? A hat with deadlock-inspired yarn coming out from the top."
"But Gerald! That technique hasn't been invented yet! You'd be CRAZY to try that!"
"You just watch, Francine. It'll be big someday. HUGE."
"That's what she said."
"Touché, Francine. Touché."
Oh, I'm sorry. Were you guys wondering about the matching dog sweater? Well, wonder no more.

Soak it in. Soak it all in.

And finally, here is one of the two authors. I'm curious...what does tongue-in-cheek mean?

Monday, October 4, 2010

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Breathe it in, guys. It’s October. It is the fall. It’s time for spices and blankets and brisk strolls and moderate-sized scarves. It’s time for everything to be flavored like pumpkin. Here is where I was going to insert something funny that pumpkin would be gross in, but I honestly can't think of anything. Pumpkin vitamin water? Might be delicious. Pumpkin mustard? Potential.

Squash, guys. Squash.


There are two distinct camps of people in Chicago: those who are like me, and crave nothing more than a light jacket and a cup of hot apple cider, and those who actually like the beach and the evil, evil sun. These people see fall as the gateway drug to winter. And, admittedly, winter in Chicago is what Hell would be, if Hell were cold. It gets so cold your eyeball goo freezes. Sometimes it starts in November, and lasts all the way into April. Admittedly, it’s terrible.

But it’s Chicago. No one will tell you to move here because of the weather. You live here. You know what will happen. Buy some long underwear and a real hat that doesn’t have large knitted holes in it.

And in the meantime, IT’S FRICKEN FALL. Open a window (but only a little) and enjoy it.

Joe and I have so much planned this fall. It’s awesome.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I started writing this post while watching last season’s Grey’s Anatomy finale, and I was so shaken up, I had to stop writing and focus all my nervous energy on watching the show. LOVE ME FOR WHO I AM, NOT WHO YOU WANT ME TO BE.

So but the thing I wanted to say is: I’ve realized that the best way to enjoy fall and possibly enjoy winter (besides the hat thing. Seriously, buy one of these and also ask Hannah to buy you a scarf for winter, because I swear by the one she gave me. I’m sure she’d oblige) Where was I? Damn me and my incorrect parenthetical asides. Ummmmm, OH! The best way to enjoy these things is to PLAN. Make a list of all the things you want to do this fall/winter/holiday season and then try to check them off a week at a time. Have I mentioned that I am an insane to-do list maker? Fact: I have two separate to-do lists in my phone. And really, these to-do lists need to be broken up into categories. But I’m resisting the urge.

On my personal fall/winter to do list:
1. Make a chili that is actually good. I’ve only made one once and it was terrible. Way too sturdy. No mush. I like my chili like I like my oatmeal: indistinguishable.
2. Go to a Second City show. Because I’ve lived in Chicago for 25 years and I’ve never done this. Hubba wha? I know. What’s wrong with me.
3. Go to the Detroit cider mill. It’s one of Joe’s yearly traditions and I have to say…apple flavored everything? Yes and yes.
4. Drink hot chocolate. Because if I don’t put things on a to-do list, sometimes I forget to do them. I’m amazed I don’t have to put “eat food” on a to-do list.
5. String cranberries for Christmas decoration. I live on the 8th floor in the middle of the city with a picky cat. This may be my only year to put fruit on a tree and leave it for a month without worry of varmints.
6. Make homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving. Here’s the thing: I judge people who use canned cranberry. Yeah, I said it. And you should be ashamed. Because real cranberry sauce is as easy as heating soup and WAY more fun. BUT. I am a Stove Top girl. So no, I have no place to judge. And yet I still do. Welcome to Emily.
7. Eat Turkish food. Never done it. Don’t know why. Especially if they are one of the wonderful groups of people who make good baklava.
8. Mmmmmm...baklavaaaaaa...
9. See more stand up at the Vic. Why? Because I have an entry-level job now. So I’m rich beyond my wildest dreams and I can afford frivolous things like figs and $20 stand up routines by moderately famous comedians.
10. Go to the zoo. “Did they go to the zoo? Supposebly...”

So this is all I’m saying. If you want to survive the fall and winter—even potentially ENJOY it, dare I say, you should make a list. Get a hat, and make a list. And whatever you do, don’t watch the final two episodes of last season's Grey’s Anatomy without someone to clutch.