Monday, November 29, 2010

Get In The Christmas Spirit, Emily Style

Guys, it is very likely that I will have no posts for you at all this week. Occasionally at work we have these things where we brainstorm for a week straight, basically doing nothing but working and sleeping. And starting today, that's where I'll be. So, no time for blogs. But in the spirit of the season, I give you some of my personal favorites:

I hope that helped. What clips mean Christmas/Festivus to you? Send me them in the comments! I'm curious to know if I'm missing anything important.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Blogaversary!

Wow, today is this blog's one year anniversary. That is CRAZAAYYY! It seems like just yesterday I was dragging my laptop to Lovely to force myself to finally make a blog, even if I had no idea what I wanted to do with it.

I tried to write a little somethin' somethin' along the lines of "here are all the things I did this year" but it just sounded so Dullsville, USA, population me. So what do I do? I turned it into another story in pictures, of course.

So here it is, a bit of the past year, as seen from EJS IS ME:

Here is essentially what the Cheese Knives debacle looked like.

In which I realized that not everyone remembers classic Bible stories in the same way.

If you haven't caught on yet, whales are the bane/joke upon my life. But the original post about them was not all fun and games.

I really did want to become a Roller Derby girl. For now, I'm going to settle on buying myself some roller skates next summer.

This is a bit of a random one, but it pretty well represents my time as a true Freelancer.

What a disaster. For the entire story in pictures, go here.

Here is a good representation of the place I sat when I first started the internship that turned into a real job. That window was like God shining his love down upon me.

My most crass title to date, but I still don't take it back.

I don't think I ever got around to explaining the 3rd disaster of our camping experience: besides the fact that it was a ghetto piece of land in podunk Michigan and the showers probably gave me smallpox, there was also a nearby group of Russians playing and yelling Hotel California--and nothing BUT Hotel California--for 24 straight hours, including those times most people reserve for sleeping. What was crazy was that when they first started, Joe and I couldn't figure out what song they were even trying to play or sing. And by the time we left, they were singing in perfect harmony and even playing the crazy bridge part.

Two days after I got a job, I got a cat with a mustache. She likes it with us.

And I really mean that. Thanks to everyone who's shown support for me or for this blog by reposting, voting, becoming a facebook fan, commenting, or even just telling me that they enjoyed what they read. It's the reason I kept going, blog-wise, and life-wise. Your support has honestly changed the way I've been doing things lately. For the better, obv.

Oh! And I didn't include SO SO many posts, like the dogs in sweaters, a bunch of Bible posts, the one about Advertising that got a gazillion hits, anything involving Muppets or my embarrassing childhood, my disdain for sports, my British teeth issue (in which I got a few angry comments from British people who apparently only understand sarcasm if it's coming out of the mouth of Ricky Gervais)...the list goes on. Feel free to go back and read as much or little as you want!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Synesthesia: I See Dead People (In An Oddly Specific Historical Timeline)

I think I have a condition. For real, guys. It's not a disease, it's not a disorder, it is a condition, and it's called synesthesia.

They don't know a whole bunch about it because it's neurological and since scientists are only a few years out from "you wish you had a penis, now bite down on this bar while we pump you with electricity like you are in the Pit Of Dispair," there isn't much that anyone knows about the brain. But basically the condition has to do with pathways in the brain getting crossed, leading to people assigning colors to numbers, or personalities to letters, that kind of thing.

So yes. I am self-diagnosed with at least mild synesthesia ever since they featured it on the Stuff You Should Know podcast (which I told you about here and here). But, if podcasts and Wikipedia are always correct and accurate, and I'm pretty sure they are, then I have it. Specifically I have number form synesthesia, which is when you see numbers or dates spatially. There's a little description of it on Wikipedia, along with two people's drawings of what they see. Check it out.

For me, I see years spatially on a timeline--but the timeline isn't always straight, and different decades get more space than others. It's weird, I've never actually drawn it out, but I was trying to describe it to Joe and he wanted to know what I saw. So I drew it, here:

(also I'm considering throwing dyslexia in the mix for my inability at writing numbers in the right order) (and in case you can't read my handwriting, that's the nineties popping out in 3D)

After I looked at it and not just in my mind, I could see pretty clearly why my timeline looks like that--the years that seem to have had more going on, or that were more important to me, get more space on the line. The forties tend to just hang out with the fifties because I know next to nothing about the forties, but the eighties get all kinds of space--maybe because I need room for all the important dates, like when I and two of my siblings were born. Then the nineties had more significance to me because I actually remember them better, and they start coming toward me.

I told Joe that 1899 would start again on the right, like on new piece of paper. He asked if 2000 then is on the left. And I said "Yeah. Well, no's not...I actually don't know where the 2000s are." Finally, I realized that it's because I have different visuals to remind me of the 2000s: places in my high school, teachers, my hair, my clothes, Teenage Boyfriend. I actually had memories, so I don't have a timeline for those years. But anything from 1999 and earlier, and especially the 20th century, has a very specific place in the line. If someone says "Yeah, that happened back in 1973," I visualize it in a place on the line--in this case, right in the middle.

Another thing they're connecting to synesthesia is the ability to feel touch when someone else is touched. Which I don't have. OR DO I?! Because I cannot handle watching people in serious pain. From people falling off trampolines on AFV to movies with torture or serial murders or scalping *SHUDDER, SHUDDER, MASSIVE SHUDDER* I know this is true of a lot of people--people like me, who can't handle scary movie trailers, and take issue with the Last Of The Mohicans. Maybe it's synesthesia? *shrug*, Wikipedia didn't dive into that one, so I have no answers.

Anyway, I know this wasn't a knee slapper, but I thought I'd bring it up. You know, in case we've got a meat v. meet situation on our hands, and there's anyone else out there who's realizing that not EVERYONE thinks seven tastes like bananas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Quick Apology

Because I actually started writing a whole post yesterday, and it was by far the most boring thing I've ever written. I was trying to explain what I do with my life lately and then make it funny and quirky and filled with OH, EMILY kind of moments, but it dovetailed into "and then we do fun stuff or sometimes I play Facebook games" and "I have a kitler and she finally started snuggling" and "I need to organize my sock drawer." So I gave up.

But I'm determined to impress Tim Gunn and MAKE IT WORK and not be such a bad blogger who loses all her precious, lovely, wonderful, smart readers (And did I mention that is an adorable blouse?)

This weekend, Joe and I take a trip to Michigan for the first time since our camping disaster, although this time it's for pleasant things like drinking cider and eating doughnuts and not horrendous things like showering with a two-to-one water-to-mosquito ratio, so I'm hoping I'll either have something to share with you, or at least some time while we drive to brainstorm and write and come up with genius stories.

And if you'd rather not have to do difficult things like "remembering the name of this blog", you can "like" the Facebook page and when I update, it'll show up in your News Feed. That way, you don't have to get increasingly frustrated when you come back here and it's still the damn post about how Everybody Loves Whales (*shudder*)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


As I was searching through IMDb for actresses I could reference for an ad, I came across this pretty little number.

THAT'S RIGHT. Future Husband John Krasinski (and some other people but who cares) is going to be in a movie called "Everybody Loves Whales." [EDIT: It's now called "Big Miracle". That does not change the horror I feel.]

WHALES, people.


b) After I found this, I typed the word "what" so many times, that the word lost all meaning and I literally had to google it to make sure I was still spelling it correctly.

I don't know how to feel or what to do. I need to think about this. Carry on. Carry on.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3 Reasons Why Follow That Bird Scared Me and 3 Reasons Why It Was Awesome

I'd like everyone to come in a little bit closer today. Gather, gather. Sit up front. We're all a happy family. For we all have one common thread.

And that thread is: all of us--you, me, that guy over there--were emotionally scarred by the both terrifying and terrific epic film, the 1984 classic, Follow That Bird.

A refresher:

There were three things that made this movie terrifying:

1. My friend and confidant, Big Bird, is on the run. By himself. With no parents to lead him, and Stranger Danger at every corner.

Big Bird is supposed to only be 6 years old, by the by. What if that was me?? What if I had to start a life with a new family and they were terrible so I had to run away all by myself! It happened to Big Bird, it could happen to ME!

2. When Big Bird is blue.

Big Bird. My friend. My confidant. He is in a cage, and he is SO SAD, that he has TURNED A DIFFERENT COLOR. I didn't even know that was possible, but if Sesame Street says it is, THEN IT IS.

3. Do I have to say it? DO I EVEN HAVE TO SAY IT.

Miss.....Finch. If a scarier Muppet exists in the world, I have yet to see it.

Nope. Not as scary.

Not even close.

Nice try.


Still no.

Close, but not them either.


Miss Finch was perhaps the first villain I ever encountered in my young life. And I have been scarred to my soul. First, she rips Big Bird (friend, confidant) out of the warm embraces of Maria and Luis, then she plunks him down among a horrible, vapid family, and then when he tries to escape, she and her dark, soul-sucking eyelids chase him across the country! It's not enough that he is a child on the run, but he must be a HUNTED child on the run.

And I know I'm not the only one who has felt this way. Anyone young enough to have encountered this movie as a small child was petrified of this woman.

There are two things that are great about this movie, however. Scratch that, three things. The first is Canadian actor Dave Thomas. The second is the music. Specifically "Easy Goin'", the feel-good song of the bird, the children, and their farm.

Question: Did you and Laura figure out the harmony to that song and teach it to your friends so you could belt it out while walking through the nighttime streets of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois?

Answer: DID. WE. EVER.

Question: ...Wait, why were you singing this song in college?

Answer: Because I bought the movie for Laura's 22nd birthday, and (the third and final thing that is great about this movie) we made up a drinking game to coincide with it while we watched.

Question: Oh PLEASE tell me you still have the rules.

Answer: .....

Question: Emily?

Answer: ....

Question: You got distracted looking at the drinking game rules for Cash Cab online, didn't you?

Answer: Hmm? Huh? What? Oh, right! Follow That Bird drinking game. YES! Of course I have the rules. They are simple, and they are awesome. Here we go:

1. Drink every time they say "bird."
2. Everyone pick an extraneous and beloved Sesame Street character to follow throughout the movie, such as Grover or Cookie Monster. Whenever that Muppet is in a scene, you drink.

We may have had other rules, such as "drink every time you are so scared of Miss Finch that you can neither look away nor blink," but for the life of me, I can't recall any other rules being necessary.

So yes, perhaps I have been able to overcome such fears as becoming separated from my family and being forced to walk home. Now I can focus on the important things, like togetherness of friends and drinking alcohol while watching beloved childhood movies. I'd like to think I've become a real grownup.

On a separate note, does anyone want to create a Mary Poppins drinking game with me?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I have been thinking a lot lately about STUFF.

Like, not that I've been generally thinking about all sorts of things, but I've actually been thinking about all the junk that is acquired in life. That kind of STUFF.

I think it started when I remembered that my Christmas tree is down in our "storage unit" (the quotation marks because it is rather more like a dog kennel than a storage unit, but there it is nonetheless) and I got to thinking: what ELSE of mine is in the storage unit?

And the answer? I have no idea. No. Idea. I assume I put more than a Christmas tree down can't ALL just be Joe's action figures and golf clubs, can it?

And that got me realizing--what if all that stuff disappeared? Would I even remember it existed? And why do I continue to schlep things around from apartment to apartment and then shove them into closets? I mean, besides the awesome surprise factor you get when you open a box and see all the things you forgot about. "Oh YEAH! The lease from my apartment two years ago and magnet backing! Well, I've got to keep this around just in case. Just gunna shove this on in next to the neon green slinky here aaaaaand perfect fit."

My need to collect STUFF was diminished greatly when I lost my job in '09. Suddenly my money was better spent on annoying things like shelter and sustenance and The Internet. At first, I wandered through H&M, listless and woebegone, a single tear rolling down my cheek. I'd touch dresses fondly, as though they were from a distant, happy memory which I could no longer quite remember. I floated through Borders like a ghost too depressed to do anything but to breathe a long, drawn out sigh. Oh, if only I had a true income! I might do more than weep over my DVD collection, now riddled with holes I had once intended to fill.

Cut to a year later. Still unemployed but now ruthlessly hardened to marketing schemes, I became the Clint Eastwood of shopping.

Did I NEED this throwback April O'Neil figurine? NO.
Did I NEED this wheel of extra creamy brie? NO.
Did I NEED this entire store of Crate & Barrel? .....But...but I...what if....NO!

Nancy Reagan would be proud. Also, Lady Bird Johnson. Not really Lady Bird, I just wanted to bring her up because SERIOUSLY who is named Lady Bird? I'm sure they covered all this in the 60s but I wasn't around then and COME ON, Shelly.

Anyway, I just said no and became hardened to the Call of the Stuff. No longer did their siren song affect me. I had bought roughly 4 articles of clothing in a year and a half. I forgot all about Baby Bel and their amazing tiny red wheels of love. My preferred brand of choice had become "store." And I was fine with it.

And then the Man came knocking. And I answered his call and got a job again. Yes, at the first opportunity, I dropped my hard exterior, hitched up my out-of-style pants and marched on over to American Eagle. I slapped my credit card down on the counter and said, "How much will THIS get me?" "Miss, that is a credit card. I have no idea." "RING 'ER UP!" I yelled to no one in particular.

No, not really. But when I finally got to the counter with what can only be described as a PLETHORA of clothing, the guy laughed and asked if I was on a shopping spree. Seriously. He then asked me if I shopped at American Eagle often. I paused and said, "Well, I COULD."

So yeah. I could buy stuff again. All the stuff that an entry level position could buy! *throws $1 bills into the air and laughs maniacally*

But, besides the confidence that I can pay my bills each month, what do I really have? A few new shirts and name-brand cereal? How long does new stuff make you feel like anything is actually different? It seems a lot like when I finally got contacts in the 8th grade and assumed every guy would immediately fawn over me. I got to school and I believe one person said, "Did you get contacts?" "Yep!" "Oh." It's that same empty feeling now, after I buy something shiny, get a compliment or two, and then realize that nothing has REALLY changed. Am I any better than my neon-green-note-passing self?

I just got an email for Crate & Barrel Outlet Christmas stuff. And at first I thought "Ooh! Pretty! Snow pups on oven mitts! Twelve dessert plates for $20!

But then I immediately thought, NO! You don't need it!! And to be honest, I'm not sure if that's my old stingy, unemployed self talking...or just reason.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Plea Before You Vote

So mid-term elections are tomorrow. If you are one of the unlucky ones like me, who suffer through garbage campaign ads, you are well aware: Everyone is terrible, the world will crumble if anyone is elected, and no one is looking out for your interests but only their own.

So if you're voting tomorrow, please use your head. Vote for people that agree with your general interests and pray that, if it turns out they ARE the terrible, money-laundering, black-and-white photo the ads say they are, pray they'll be a hilarious one like Rod who you can at least make jokes about on the interweb, while the smoke slowly plumes from your head.

My only two personal interests, if it weren't obvious from the fact that I mention them all the time, are education and gay rights.

For the former: I have no idea what needs to be done or who should be elected in order to fix it, all I have to say is FIX IT.

Just someone for the love of God, fix our education system so my dad can read aloud to his students again, and doesn't have to stick to the "if it isn't tested it doesn't matter" mantra that has become The Public School System. My personal idea: why don't we just ask Switzerland (or whatever blonde country it is that's doing so well) what they're doing and then just copy them? They're pretty AND smart AND rich. I say, screw the American Dream. I want the Swiss Dream. And I want it to start in our schools.

And as far as gay rights go, I have tried and failed many times to write a gay marriage-centered post that doesn't end with me spitting out half-formed sentences of anger and bewilderment. And then I found this article from Newsweek, "The Conservative Case For Gay Marriage" which was written before Prop 8 was overturned (can I get a WHAT WHAT) and it's perfect. This is the most comprehensive articulation that I've seen of what people are saying against universal gay marriage and the logical arguments to refute them. So for today, I direct you there with a slow bow and a "namaste."

So if you vote tomorrow, I just ask you from my personal heart to yours: be nice to the kids and the gays. In both cases, they just want to have the same opportunities as you and I.