Monday, January 31, 2011

One Small Step For Man (And His Partner)

And woman and HER partner.

Today, Illinois will be recognizing Civil Unions. I'm happy. It's a good step. But why stop there? Let's get equal up in here, up in here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Some of My Favorite 'Staches Thus Far

Think you can do better? Send yours to We only need 10 more!
(To know why, check out this blog post from Monday.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

10 Steps To Making A Man Fall In Love With You

Okay, fine. I’m no expert. I have no degrees or training in relationships. Hmm, what would that look like? Girlfriend 101: Be Nice...Girlfriend 350: Dealing With Farts?

But I do think I have some idea about how to snag a fella. Not only have I done it, but I have also done it WRONG many, many times. Which means I have learned. I have done just about everything that ACTUAL relationship experts tell you not to do. And I have taken those learnings and put together my own list of the ten basic things you need to be able to do if you want to make your man fall desperately, madly, slightly embarrassingly in love with you.

Of course, this is assuming you’ve found a guy who’s worth falling in love with. Don’t just pick some schmo off the street and try these tactics out. That’d be creepy. I don’t want any of you citing me on Cops, because I will NOT defend you.

All I’m going for here is this: maybe you’re really good at snagging guys. Whether they fawn over you at the bar, or you have some kind of award-winning OK Cupid profile, you’ve figured out how to make a gentleman raise one eyebrow and stroke his beard. But maybe you have a harder time holding onto them. For some mysterious reason, they just don’t make it past the 1 or 2 or 6 month mark. Well, here’s what I’m thinking:

By Emily

1. Don't make him do lame stuff.

Don’t take him shopping. Don’t drag him to movies with Jennifer Aniston or Ashton Kutcher. Don’t make him sit in the corner while you and your girl friends scream “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” at karaoke. Go do your girl thing and leave him at home. You’ll both be happier.

2. Speak up.

If there is one phrase that is unanimously hated among boys, it is “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?” Buck up. Make a decision. The great thing about guys is, they don’t have secret hidden layers like girls do. They tell you what they want, and they tell you what they don’t want. I know, right? It’s baffling. As the great Kelly Kapoor once said, “I mean, who says exactly what they’re thinking? What kind of game is that?” But it’s not a game! They’re just that low-maintenance! And all they want in return is for us to be blunt and honest when we know that we want to get a burrito and go dancing. Or eat a burrito, buy some Maalox and rent Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls.

3. Make him a sandwich, woman.

I’m not saying you should be his slave. But when he’s at your place, be a good hostess. Offer him a soda. Grill him up some cheese. Show him that you’re a giver. Then when you’re at HIS place, he can make you things. Because relationships are a give and take. Just because you make him a meal does not mean that you’ve lost the Women’s Rights battle. If you expect him to always bring YOU presents and give YOU massages and buy YOU meals, you’re going to see a boyfriend-shaped puff of smoke where he once stood. So grab a palm frond, peel some grapes, and show some love.

4. Realize when you've been talking for an hour.

The easiest way to figure out how much you’ve been talking is at a restaurant: If he has practically finished his chicken carbonara and your meatballs are untouched and cold, maybe you need to slow it down there, lady. Take a breath. Ask him a question and shove a little food in your gob. Don’t you love those people who you see after a long time apart and they seem legitimately interested in the things you’ve been up to? You could be one of those people! How was his day? What are his thoughts on Palestine? Whatever! Just ask!

5. Take care of him when he’s sick.

This one’s a little tricky because you have to wait around until he’s under the weather. But when he is, SWEEP IN! Let those mothering instincts take over. Cold compresses, chicken soup, medicine. Read a book nearby while he sleeps. And importantly: ask nothing in return. Don’t be that girl who’s like, “Back massage, Baby? Try not to get any phlegm on me this time.” Basically, be the person you wish you had when you were sick.

6. Stop complaining.

Honestly, I am taking this one out of Men Are From Mars. But here’s the deal: women bring their problems to other women because we like to share. That’s how we show love. But dudes only bring their problems to other dudes when it is A Problem That Needs Fixing and he can’t do it on his own. So basically, when you spend half an hour talking about your terrible experience at The IHOP, all he hears is “Help me with my strawberry syrup problem! What can I do? What did I do wrong? Fix it!” And if you keep riding that complaining train, he’s not going to stay on it for very long because it’s grating and stressful. You’ll end up at Alone Junction. And probably DoubleStuffOreoville.

7. Get a good-fitting bra.

Nothing makes you look sloppier than a bra from Victoria’s Secret. Go to Nordstrom and do it now. This actually won’t make him fall in love with you, it’s just my personal quest. But you know what? No. It WILL make him fall in love with you. Because you’ll look better, you’ll feel better, and he’ll want to be around someone who looks and feels like a million bucks. Which you will. If you go to Nordstrom. Stop it, Emily, you’re scaring them.

8. Learn how to do something for yourself.

Like change a tire. Or unplug a toilet. Whatever self-help level you’re at is fine. It's amazing how impressed guys can be by the littlest thing that girls ‘aren’t supposed’ to do. “Whoah, you aren’t afraid to kill spiders? You’re so cool.” “Whoah, you can chop wood? You’re so cool.” “Whoah, you built a house using nothing but hair ties and a can-do attitude? You’re so cool.” Whatever it is. Guys want a girl who can hitch up her pants and get things done.

9. Have a conversation with his friends when he’s not around.

Whether your boyfriend’s in another state or just in the bathroom, show his friends that you can be a cool person without him backing you up. The thing is, his friends just want to know if their bud’s gf has his best interests in mind and makes him happy. So be the supportive, fun person you are, and hopefully you’ll win a few hearts over.

10. Be interested in the stuff he loves.

I mean, you don’t have to become a die-hard Lakers fan or learn the ins and outs of the Lamborghini or pick up the keytar. But if he’s a woodsman, go camping with him for a weekend. Watch a couple soccer games. Go see his band play. Be supportive! And if you hate the stuff he loves? Um...why are you dating him?

Really all I'm saying here is to be the other-half you wish you had for yourself. Do you want a mean, complaining, uncaring boyfriend? No. And he doesn’t either. So please, ladies, take my advice: be the person you’d want to date. Be nice. And deal with farts. I’m just saying.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fifty Mustaches

Soooooooooo, you know how Adrienne and I like to do weird things to raise money for the children?

Well we're at it again! This time, it's back to Mustache-a-thon, because OH YES, it's been a whole year since we did that. Time flies when you're keeping kids off the street. Am I right or am I right? Right? Right. Right. #groundhogdayreferences

So, for those new to the Emily's Blog Scene, the Mustache-a-thon is a fundraiser. Dudes grow mustaches, and people pledge money to them to keep them going and make them feel less like Stanley Tucci in Lonely Bones. And the money goes to a tutoring center in Chicago. It's a great idea...except it discludes (unincludes? uncludes? MOVING ON) half the world's population from being able to raise money. So they have a separate category for "prosthetic" growers, who have a mustache-related challenge to accomplish each week. And people can donate to them as well.

To extra complicate things, Adrienne and I formed a team called Collabostache and we try to raise money and awareness together. A little extra fun for us, a little extra money for the childrenz.

Obviously if you would like to donate to the worthy, worthy, WORTHY cause, you can go here, find Collabostache (which, coincidentally is a picture of me holding a fake Adrienne that I constructed out of a pita chip, carrot, hummus, and pretzels because she had to work) and donate.

If you have no money but still enjoy helping disadvantaged kids learn to read, you can do something that costs nothing but would help us out a TON. See, our challenge for next week is to collect/create/find 50 mustaches, in whatever way we see fit. Adrienne came up with the idea of finger mustaches. SO ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS: Take a picture of yourself holding up a finger mustache and send it to me. I have a handy-dandy email address over there to the right that'll work just fine. Or if you like Adrienne better (as we all truly do) you can also send it to her, given that you know her. Otherwise, please don't send her things. That'd be weird. Don't be like that.

So that's it. Money or mustaches. OR BOTH! GET CRAZY WITH IT!! Hey, I'll sweeten the deal. Best mustache gets a dedicated blog post. Here's mine; think you can beat it?

I tried to get Future Husband John Krasinski with "GOALS" written under it into this pic, but it was a no go. You'll just have to picture it in your minds. Also, we will discuss those bangs ANOTHER DAY.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chicago Vs. Wisconsin, And Not A Football In Sight

Well this weekend was an adventure. And by "adventure," of course I mean "near-death experience."

If any of you are wondering if you should drive from Chicago to northern Wisconsin in January, I'm going to say NO. And if you any of you are then wondering, "But what if--" I'm going to say, "SHHHHHHHHHHHH. Shhhhh. Shh. No."

Yes, we took a trip up to Mercer, Wisconsin. Lovely, lovely place. Wonderful, wonderful snow. Terrifying, terrifying drive. We actually had to pull-over on the way and spend the night in a hotel. So, awesome. One more Never Have I Ever that I can no longer use. "Never have I ever been so afraid of my life that I had to pull over and spend the night in Mosinee, Wisconsin--damn it, I HAVE done that."

It's a good thing that I had such a great weekend while there. Because if it had been anything less than awesome, 18 total driving hours in a snowstorm (that's right; snow storms both there and back) would have been juuuuuuust enough for an Emily Smash situation. I mean, I know Wisconsin natives hate Chicagoans who drive up and stay at their lake houses, but a) get over it, we're the reason you have tourism and b) you didn't have to create an entire state-wide avalanche to keep us away. Christ.

Luckily, once we were there, there were comfy beds, good friends, warm fireplaces, rocking chairs, homemade breakfasts, and lots and lots of alcohol.

...And a lot of stuffed animals on the walls.

Also, there was Bananagrams, which is like individual Scrabble. I'm no longer allowed to play because apparently I am the Bobby Fischer of Bananagrams. Also, at one point we decided to play Dirty Bananagrams...let's just say one of my words was SEXROBOT and leave it at that.

Then there was cross-country skiing. Which I have never done. And here is my ultimate conclusion about it: screw YOU, cross-country skiing. SCREW. YOU.

They should change the name from "cross-country skiing" to "Here, NOW try to walk."

To be honest, I really liked cross-country skiing. Until it stopped being fun and started being "Damn it guys, WAIT THE HELL UP." I recognize that I'm not a physical specimen in athleticism. I get a little wibbly round the mid-section and YES, I strained a muscle while bench pressing 20 pounds a few weeks ago. But you know what? I get up. I move. I burn some calories, and I do it for ME. And when I'm suddenly thrown into an athletic team effort, it stops being for me, and starts being about either keeping up or trying to not look like an idiot. And if anyone remembers the Falling Down The Stairs On My First Day Of Work incident of '07, I am especially good at looking like an idiot when I am trying very hard not to.

Of course, the extra long, extra skinny pair of skis I got matched with didn't help. It was very reminiscent of the group bike race I did where I was a block behind everyone for hours until I switched with someone for a bike where the wheels actually had air in them. It's like the malfunctioning equipment FINDS ME. "Hey look, that girl looks like she has no natural coordination whatsoever. Quick, make yourself look usable."

Then there's also the fact that my right foot turns out a little when I walk. Which is not a huge deal on a day-to-day basis, but when you emphasize it by attaching a big stick to each foot, yeah. Things get a little sloppy.

And thus ends another athletic activity that I cannot/will not be a part of. Ah well. Somehow I find myself trapped in the middle, between Girls Who Go To Spas and Girls Who Do Outdoor Things. I'm not exactly sure where I sit, but I think it's somewhere near the fireplace with a glass of wine and a book.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Becoming Boring

Last Saturday, I was grating cheese and apparently it was making a weird noise. From the living room, Joe asked, "What's Regina doing?" And I said, "It's me with the cheese."

And for some reason which neither of us understand and yet both of us understand completely, "It's me with the cheese" is actually the funniest sentence that can be uttered in the English language, especially in a 1920's gangster accent. "Mrah, it's me with the cheese, see?"

So naturally I drew a picture to commemorate the event with the fancy new colored pencils my mom--UH, UH, SANTA--put in my stocking.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what I accomplished last weekend.

Other things that happened last weekend:
1. I sat on my couch
2. I complained when the music was too loud at the bar (except during Call Me Al, which I think is acceptable at any level and I will fight you if you say otherwise. Also, Call Me Al is the first music video I ever remember seeing. I was at my preschool husband/big wheel cohort's house and I remember it being on in his front room TV and being like, "What is this magical thing presenting itself before me? I want to touch it." Wow I didn't realize I had this much to say about Call Me Al. BACK TO IT)
3. I left the bar early because of how loud all non-Paul Simon songs were.
4. I sat on Taylor and Jess' couch and watched a movie.
5. I sat on Michael and Lindsay's couch and watched sporting events.
6. I entertained a baby for a few minutes by saying "ba ba ba ba" over and over.

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am an old, boring person. And I'm okay with it.

I mean, at first I thought my weekend overview meant that all fun had been sucked out of my life and young hooligans would point and laugh at me for being so ver, ver boring. And then I realized that what I used to call "boring" was actually just "sober." And really all I've become is a more mature version of a teenager. Because what do I do now? I get together with friends and watch movies. I go out to eat. I find things to do with people I enjoy which may or may not involve alcohol. I sleep when it's dark out. I sing Cher "Believe" whenever possible. I complain about how adults JUST DON'T GET IT, MAN.

Okay, not the last one. And I don't think I ever said "man" because I was not a teenager in the 60s nor did I smoke peyote. But the rest is true. And that doesn't have to make me boring. Not if I don't let it. So fine, I currently have three forms of antacids in my purse. But it's only because I might get a little CRAZY and order some french fries! You don't know! You don't know what I'm going to do next!!

GOD, there is a really good Friends clip where the guys come back and they're all tired and old and it is SO PERFECT, but my Googling skills have failed me. So take this and enjoy, preferably in a t-shirt and sport coat.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh, A Post About Sarcasm. That's REAL Creative.

Laura and I used to joke (in a "no but really" kind of way) that we loved nothing better than making a group of people laugh. We'd come home from class and shrug off our coats, beaming from the class we just had.

Example Conversation:
"How was class?"
"Oh my God it was AMAAAAZING. I tripped walking in, I failed the test, had no idea what the professor was saying the entire time, and on the way out I made a joke about Fergie being not-so-licious and like SEVEN people turned and laughed!"
"Ugh, you are so luckyyyyyy!"

We will also admit, point blank, that we often like people based solely on the fact that they think we're funny. "Oh, she's great. I love her. She thinks I'm hilarious." "Say no more."

Not that you have to laugh at every thing I say in order to be my friend. In fact, the always-laughers can get a bit annoying. All I said is that I want soup! There is nothing funny about that!! Unless it's Monkey Ninja Zombie Pirate soup, you should not be laughing!

And I'm not trying to be like, "Oh, I'm SOOOO funny, everyone loves me SOOOOOO much, this blog is SOOOOOOOO perfectly humorous." I'm just saying, sometimes I make jokes. And sometimes they're funny. And I enjoy when people laugh at said jokes.

So it will come as no surprise to you that people who think Laura or I are markedly NOT funny make us...uncomfortable. My freshman year of college, there was a girl in our group who, for some reason, never heard anything I said. I would make a joke, people would laugh, and she would turn and say, "What?" I would repeat it and she'd just say, "Oh." Even when I said regular things, for some reason she always acted like she didn't hear me. I swear, if the two of us were in a vacuum (shut shut up work with me here) and I was enunciating every word perfectly, and she became some kind of magic lip reader, as soon as I would finish speaking, the girl would probably say, "What?" It infuriated me. She was my first adult nemesis.

Since this girl, I have met a number of people who haven't found my brand of humor particularly alluring. Obviously this is not MY fault. Either they have been raised incorrectly, or they must not get it. There is no possible way that there are people out there who just don't like me. Right? RIGHT?!?!

Anyway, I don't know if you guys know this, but I'm SLIGHTLY sarcastic. And there are some people who just can't grasp it. Like, I'll make a joke that I think is just painfully obviously a joke, and they look at me like I'm from outer space. Which makes me have to do the "Just kidding!" paired with the arm touch. Which, for me, is the sarcastic person's equivalent of "JK LULZ!!!!!!~~~!<3<3<3<3<3 ;-) ROFL :-* LYLAS KIT!!!!"

And it is EQUALLY as painful.

I'm not even one of those dry British humor types who can pull off something that COULD be serious with a straight face. Mine is exaggerated and with a smile. Something you should EASILY understand.

(To be said in a Ricky Gervais accent, it helps drive the point home) "Oh, I wouldn't go over there, there's a dead cat over there." *straight face, straight face, straight face* "I'm only joking."

"Let's just forget about work and become squirrel mimes!" *smiles, eye roll*

See the difference? But lately I'm starting to think I've accidentally crossed over to the serious, straight-faced humor. Because there are some people who, no matter what I say and how I say it, are NEVER aware that I'm telling a joke. And they look at me like I'm crazy. EVERY. TIME. I'm trying to find it in my soul to still like these people. To go on with the show. To turn the other cheek. You know, like Jesus would do. But I'm finding it harder and harder to feel comfortable in my own skin. As I see it, I can either think of a hilarious joke but then let it just stew inside me like The Bog Of Eternal Stench, or saying the funny thing, watching the "Huh??" reaction, and risk it being the straw that breaks the camel's back and me exploding in a "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IT WAS A JOKE! IT WAS A JOKE! WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOUUUUU?"

So I try to tread lightly. Pick my battles. Say only the jokes that are SURE to be funny. Problem is, you never really know what's going to get a good laugh until you say it. So for now, I'm trapped in humor limbo. Possibly forever. JK LULZ!!!!!!~~~!<3<3<3<3<3 ;-) ROFL :-* LYLAS KIT!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fail Year's Eve

Joe and I spent our New Year's Eve in Galena, Illinois. It was my birthday and Christmas present to him. He's a fan of small town charm. I'm a fan of him. Generally, it was nice! Sadly, our New Year's celebration were an utter failure. Of course, because it's me, and God forbid I let something go awkwardless for a day.

We started the night at the Galena Brewing Company. It seemed perfect: microbrews and a Beatles cover band called the Wheatles? WHERE DO I SIGN.

We told the waitress we'd wait a bit before ordering, and she took off to serve people on her harried, busy night of 20 people. At 10:10 we finally asked to order. She told us the kitchen had closed 10 minutes ago. At first, I was convinced it was our fault for not asking, or paying attention, or waiting so long to eat. But the more I consider it, the more I wish I had stood up, flipped the table over and breathed fire into that waitress' eyes. POSSIBLY an overreaction, but still. I wanted that fricken flatbread. It had caramelized onions, y'all.

So we left, out onto the streets of a tiny town after 10pm, looking for dinner. Shyeah. Likely. Besides the Sushi place (raw fish at 10pm in northwestern Illinois? Hand me some chopsticks, would ya?), we found one restaurant. It's name? Fried Green Tomatoes. "Oh," you may say, "that sounds like a fun late night diner."


Fried Green Tomatoes was the fancy Italian restaurant in town. Because the name has such a classy ring to it, I suppose. I had already passed it by, assuming it was a overpriced, mediocre Italian food. Oh, was I wrong.

It was overpriced, TERRIBLE Italian food. First of all, people, you do not give me a soft loaf of bread covered in butter, hand me a dull butter knife to cut it, and then wish me godspeed. Oh, but I appreciate that you poured the flavorless olive oil for me. That was most instructive, as I have never poured oil before.

After that, I was served undercooked potatoes and Joe got overcooked pasta. But he was determined that we have a good time and appreciate that someone was open and willing to serve us food. I tried to cover my scowl with a smile, which sadly came across as an "I told you so" smile with just a TOUCH of the crazies. Finally, and because we both wanted to end on a high note, we ordered the creme brulee. "You can't mess up creme brulee!" we both agreed. Yeah...I wasn't aware that you could separate yolk from cream after you'd mixed them, but I now know it is quite possible.

So we paid our bill and went back to The Wheatles just in time for them to realize the TV wasn't counting down for the central time zone and it was 12:01. So "Paul" played Auld Lang Syne as "Ringo" counted down arbitrarily from 10. We fished out our party poppers for the occasion (neither of them popped) and we kissed heartily, ringing in the New Year.

So what I'm trying to say is: Happy 2011 everyone!
May your year be more successful than our night.