Tuesday, March 29, 2011



I missed YET ANOTHER Tom Hanks-themed event in Chicago. EVERY YEAR, people. EVERY YEAR. How is it that someone can utter the phrase "Tom Hanks-themed event" and I'm not all, I feel a disturbance in the Force and then am IMMEDIATELY by their side with a volleyball and permanent marker? Hmm? HOW.

This time apparently it was International Tom Hanks Day, celebrated at Fizz Bar & Grill and endorsed by Tom Hanks via aution items and a tweet.

I discovered the news after my brother informed me that Tom Hanks will be guest starring on 30Rock (Possible roles? I'm hoping someone's brother. Jenna's, Jack's, Grizz's...I don't care.) which only slightly makes up for having missed the second Hanks event in a year. Tom Hanks and Liz Lemon. The names just fit, don't they?

In conclusion:

You look good with a puppy, have I told you that?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What What WHAT Are You Doing.

Dear everyone,

I am currently in love with the Second City's "Sassy Gay Friend" youtube videos. They actually get funnier the more you watch them, to the point where I went from "haha" to "LOL" to "ROFL!!!!11!!!!1!!!1"

And I am not even joking. I really was rofl-ing. Like, on my back, kicking my legs in the air laughing. NO BUT SERIOUSLY. ASK JOE.

If you've seen Black Swan, kindly watch this one (It's my fave):

Maybe! No.

If you haven't watched Black Swan, any other one will do, but may I suggest this one:

In other news, I have just discovered how spoiled Joe has made me. I was over at Carla's (of "Wait, you're not Jewish?" fame) eating chocolate & peanut butter ice cream and watching Modern Family, as one does, and I requested to split a particularly large chunk of peanut butter. And Carla's husband, Bryan, wouldn't let me! The nerve! I may or may not have thrown a small temper tantrum. Aaaaaand I may or may not have called him a fat whore.

"No, Emily, I am not Joe. I will not split things with you just because you don't feel like eating the whole thing."


It was the moment I realized: Joe basically does everything I ask him to do. Granted, I don't ask him to do much besides split peanut butter chunks and get me things when I can't get up because I'm busy snuggling with Regina Phalange. I came home later and asked him about it, and he said, "Well, yeah, I let you have stuff if it's something that will make you happier than it would me."

"Oh, so is that why you never let me eat the first bite of your pizza slices?"


That's real love. It's giving but it's honest, and it will always, always choose the first bite of pizza over you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You And Your Hobbies.

I'm at an interesting place in my life. An interesting, weird place.

I think it's called "my late 20s." WEIRD.

It's a time where I'm no longer massively entertained by the three Bs: Beer, Bars, and Boys (tee hee! Okay, maybe a little bit.) and I'm realizing that I actually need like...hobbies. Like actual things that I like to do. Because, as much as I want it to be true, "acting like Amy Poehler on a consistent basis" is not something I can put on my resume.

Actually, it's not for my resume this time. I have stuff for my resume, because apparently I do work-related things now and again. No, this time I actually want to do stuff for ME. What ACTUALLY entertains me? Why am I one of those girls who cites "hanging out with my friends" as something that I like to do, as if that is some kind of defining quality? Oh, really? Do you also think puppies are cute and do you like to eat good food?

(Husband and wife dream team. AmIrightoramIright?)

So I'm starting to go for some hobbies. I attempted to crochet already. But in my hurry, I decided that I don't need to count stitches so my scarf will probably become a really long triangle. I'm too far along to start over, though, and if there's one hobby I already have, it is frustrating, debilitating stubbornness.

I also think I want to make my own candles. I'm pretty sure it's insanely easy: you buy the wax & fragrance, you schmelt it, you toss it into a jar with a wick and VOILA, candles for the People.

I know what you must be thinking, "Wow, a girl who has a cat, no hobbies and believes KITTING AND CANDLES are going to add spice to her life? What a CATCH!" And I can say to you, sir: y'all don't know me. Y'all. Don't know me.

Sigh, but you do. Which is why I need your help. I need hobbies. I need things to do that will make me interesting and also do not involve competition. You know how I feel about organized exercise. Now that it's starting to get nice, my roller blading ideas may get enacted. And maybe I'll take a sculpting class? I like clay. I like making things out of other things. Or an improv class? I do need to work on my spontaneity. Sometime....eventually. But both those things seem really expensive endeavors just so I can feel like I "do stuff sometimes."

But seriously. I need some ideas for viable hobbies. I swear to God, while flipping through the newest Crate & Barrel catalog today I actually had the thought, "Maybe I could get into succulents."


Like, these:

Help me. Please.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Ways To Be Healthy And Not Go Crazy. It's Possible.

You know how some dogs will keep eating and eating until they die, as long as there is food in front of them?

That is me with junk food.

There is no switch in my brain that says “Alrighty, I think you’ve had enough, dear.” No. I will eat every french fry in my basket, no matter what. And I will eat any french fry I can then steal. I usually have the presence of mind not to lunge at the waiter when he takes away plates with fries still on them (Oh, the humanity!) but not always.

I have a problem.

Thank God I've figured out ways to keep myself healthy. Obviously, I'm not an expert. I've mostly just educated myself through the health sections of Cosmo. I'm also not crazy. I don't spout the ideals of whey protein and Omega 3 or scoff at breadsticks. (Mmmmmmmmm...breaaaaadsticcccccks) I'm just an American with a lot of daily temptations and a scary family history to keep myself in check.

That's why I'd like to share some basic thoughts with you, in case you are like me and have a little trouble going the Nancy Reagan route and just saying no. However, if you are one of those people who can eat one Reese's cup and then leave well enough alone, A) screw you and B) this might not be your bag.

Here we go. Ready?

1. Chocolate can be your friend.

Last week I was given a baggie of assorted chocolate. I have one word to describe that afternoon: massacre. I don’t know what it is about chocolate; sometimes it feels like the only way to properly end a meal. I could have apple pie, shortcake and a sugar cookie, but until I get an M&M, the meal is incomplete. I have three ways to combat this:

a. Brushing my teeth. I know a few girls who do this, and they always seem a bit like a crazy person, brushing their teeth in the middle of the day. But it works. Nothing like a little toothpaste to keep you from shoving more stuff into your gob. And when that’s not an option…

b. Chewing mint gum. Not quite as effective, but helpful.

c. Dark chocolate: “Oh really, Emily? You combat chocolate by eating chocolate?” Why yes. YES I DO. This was one of those tricks that I read that actually works: since dark chocolate is so much richer, it takes a lot less to satisfy me. So a quick bite of dark and I feel finished and ready to move on, only a few calories deeper.

2. Choke down that carrot.

You know you’re supposed to eat vegetables. But they’re gross. I mean, but really, veggies are gross. And anyone who says otherwise is either being snobby or lying to herself. They’re gross. Accept it.

The annoying thing is, you still have to eat them. You can’t just say, “I don’t like vegetables” and then not eat them. That’s like saying, “I don’t like brushing my teeth” and stopping that, too. You do it because it’s good for you and it will make you feel better.

So figure out which vegetables you like better than others, figure out how you like to eat them, and suck it up. If you hate cooked carrots, but you like them raw? Ain’t nobody forcing you to cook those things. Have a few next to your sandwich instead of chips. If you like green beans slightly crunchy? Make them slightly crunchy. Stir some vegetables into your marinara sauce (like mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, or onions) and you'll never know they're there.

And experiment. Two of my “favorite” vegetables are asparagus and Brussels sprouts. I’d never eaten either until I had graduated college because I was terrified of them. Turns out, if you cook them in a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt instead of boiling all the green out of them and shellacking them onto a plate, they're fine.

Another nice thing about veggies is that they make a good palate cleanser. Eat a few bites every once in a while, and it’s like coming back to a whole new hot dog.

If you aren’t used to eating very many vegetables, first try to get at least one serving into every dinner. Then see if you can manage one in your lunch, too. Once you’re more used to finding, cooking, and thinking about veggies, it’ll get easier.

Oh, and they say corn and potatoes don’t really count as vegetables because corn is sugary and potatoes are more of a starch, so...sorry kid. They're better than tons of other things, but you probably shouldn't count them as your veggie.

3. Keep It Lean

Don’t eat your meat fried all the time. Fried meat should be a treat, not a given. Look for words like “crispy” “crusted” and “breaded.” These are just tricky ways to make "fried" sound more appealing. Don't let Applebee's trick you like that.

When you buy ground beef at the store, look for the ones that say “96/4” or “90/10.” That’s the ratio of meat/fat and the more meat, the better. It won’t break up as nicely or be as tasty, true. But if you’re only going for what’s tastiest, just buy a deep dish pizza and call it a night. Eating healthier takes sacrifice.

Why not try ground turkey or ground chicken as a substitute? Hmm? Why not? Scared?

4. Don’t listen to what experts say about fruit. They’re idiots.

There are people that will tell you fruit is full of sugar or that it’s blah blah blah BLAH. I don’t want to hear it. Fruit is good for you. Eat as much as you want. I want to meet someone who says they’re overweight because they eat too much fruit. Worry about the heavy cream and the Italian sausage first.

5. Realize the things you binge on. And don’t buy them.

Crackers. Chips. Ice cream. Peanut butter. Gouda. When I pass these things in the grocery store, I lean wistfully toward them, a single tear rolling down my cheek. But I don’t buy. Why not? Because I have zero control. Some people can grab a handful of Wheat Thins and leave well enough alone. I, on the other hand, can eat peanut butter by the spoonful. And I have. So if you’re like me and your serving size of Doritos is “all the Doritos,” leave them at the store. Quit buying them. Force yourself to find something else to eat.

6. Find the substitutions that work for you.

I hate fat free cream cheese. I think it tastes like watery powder. It probably is. Low fat cream cheese is okay, but you can’t use them to make cheese balls. Laughing Cow wedges are great for snacking. And whipped cream cheese is great because it’s half air. You know how I know all these things? Because I experimented. I tried out my options until I found what worked best for me. You have to do the same, because those little changes matter. Why?...

7. One small thing won’t kill you. But all of them together might.

No, eating a white bun instead of a whole wheat one is not going to send you to the hospital. But eating a burger on a white bun with cheese, mayo, ketchup and bacon with a side of fries and cole slaw will. Switch out a few of those. This is the kind of thing you’ll realize if you track what you eat when you…

8. Keep a food journal for a few weeks.

There are a bazillion websites and apps that help you calculate your calories (including restaurant food and workouts.) Ultimately, food journaling drives me crazy because I eat too many potlucks and I have no way to document those meals properly. Sadly, "a few scoops of whatever I could fit on my plate" is not an option. But keeping track for a few days is super helpful for three reasons:

a. You can see just how much food = 2000 calories (And you can calculate how many calories you need a day. Hint: it's probably not exactly 2000.)

b. It keeps you from mindless snacking. When you have to enter every single pretzel you ate, you’re less likely to sit back and let them fall into your face. It really brings all your eating habits to light and puts them in check.

c. It makes you realize how detrimental a few drinks (and certainly binge drinking) is to your diet. Stupid internet and your knowledge. Why don’t you mind your own damn business?

9. Go to restaurants with a plan.

Yes. That is actually how many calories are in Cheesecake Factory's chicken salad sandwich. YOWZA. Like...is it actually made of BUTTER? How? Why? What is WRONG with you, CF? (I didn't mean that. Don't leave, baby. Come back. I love you. I HATE YOU! No. No. Shhh. I love you.)

What I'm trying to say here is: if you're going to a restaurant that has a menu on their website, especially one with a nutrition list, figure out what you'll get before you go. When you see that the bacon & tortilla salad has over 1000 calories but the roast beef sandwich (no mayo) has 350, guess what? Everyone wins, because you get to eat a roast beef sandwich with no guilt.

10. You don’t have to run a marathon, but you have to move.

The great part about burning calories is that it motivates you to eat better, too. When you know how hard you had to work to burn 300 calories, suddenly putting it back on with a tiny brownie hardly seems worth it. Here are a few non-crazy workout thoughts:

a. If you work out at a gym, the best advice I ever read was “Just go.”
See, sometimes you don’t want to go to the gym. You aren’t busy, you aren’t too tired, you just really REALLY don’t want to go. So the advice was: JUST GO. And once you’re in the door, if you still don’t want to work out, turn around and walk back home. I use this logic on myself ALL THE TIME. And there has only been one time where I walked in, worked out for a second and just went home. Usually once you’re there and you see other people working their asses off, it doesn’t seem like the horrible injustice it did when you were on your couch. But it’s a good reminder that...

b. No one is forcing you to do something you hate.
Working out is not junior high gym class. You’re a grown ass person and you get to decide your own health. If you hate the treadmill? Get the hell off it. Take a step aerobics’ class. Go power walking with your friend or family member or dog (life goal: own a cat that will go on walks with me. I have little hope for Regina Phalange.) Basically, find something that doesn’t make you feel like you’re in hell and go do it.

c. During cardio, watch TV or read an exciting book.
No one ever said that to burn calories you have to be aware that you’re doing it. If you have a machine at home, point it toward your TV and work out during your favorite shows. The thing that gets me to the gym is usually a certain show I can watch at the gym (which works because we have TVs on every machine. But if you don’t, you can always ask the gym workers to change a channel.) So I know that I HAVE to get to the gym by a certain time or I’ll miss whatever prank Jim is going to play on Dwight. Books and magazines can work, too. Anything that takes your mind as far away from your body as possible. I used to read Harry Potter on the elliptical. Yes, it looked ridiculous because it was an 800-page hardcover. But it got the job done.

d. Save something to eat when you are done working out.
Figure out your post-workout food before you start your routine. A handful of pretzels, a slice of bread...or save your dessert until after working out. Whatever. Just make sure you have a plan. Because when you’re done, your body is going to be all, “Um, you just made me burn calories and I WANT THEM BACK, THIEF!!” And your willpower will be hovering around zero because you just forced it to do a bunch of crap it doesn’t want to do. So you’ll get to the fridge and be like, “Giant slice of cake? Don’t mind if I do and don’t mind if I DO.” And you’ll gain back allllll the lovely little calories you just worked so hard to get rid of. So have a plan.

And those are my main points. Of course I have about a billion other tricks I've figured out over time. But I think those are the biggest; those are what I'd tell someone having trouble getting off the couch for anything but cake (and who DOESN'T have trouble with that at least once a week?) In the end, everyone's preferences are different, and everyone needs to decide how to keep themselves healthy, because no one else is going to do it for you.

So tell me, what have I missed? What other tricks do you have to stay healthy? Substitutions? Avoidance food? Food you know you shouldn't have but you keep around anyway for the sake of your sanity?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tears On St. Patrick's Day

Well I thought you should all know, there WERE, in fact, tears on fake St. Patrick's day on Saturday. But it had nothing to do with any exes and everything to do with the fact that SOME JERK played BUTTERFLY KISSES ON THE JUKEBOX.

And can I just say, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Are you the same person who played Freebird for the third time in as many hours?? Now, I am a reasonable person. And a song that was even cheesy in 1997 does not usually get me going, but put a few hours worth of Bud Lights in me and then BARRAGE ME with a sentimental song about a father's love for his daughter and you have a recipe for waterworks, my friend. And how dare you.

What's worse, the guys had all just gotten up to play darts, so the song came on while four girls sat at the table, staring deeply into their pitcher. Was it some kind of sick joke? Was someone running through the bar, seeing how many girls' nights he could ruin? Or did someone ACTUALLY think that the appropriate song to play after "Friends In Low Places" was FRICKING BUTTERFLY KISSES??

Luckily I didn't stick around for much longer so I didn't hear what was sure to be a round of The Freshman, Brick, and My Immortal. CHRIST.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Heartbreak Recovery

Not everyone has an ex who they are forced to think about one day a year. I do. So in honor of the early St. Patrick's Day celebrations tomorrow where I am sure to eat my weight in tots, as well as spew out a few bitter remarks, I thought I'd get serious for a moment and say how I feel without the aid of green beer.

If you’ve ever had your heart broken, you know how it goes: the world becomes a dark, cold place.

Nothing will be good ever again. Everything—BUT EVERYTHING reminds you of that person, right down to the type of cement they use to pave your sidewalks. When you brush your teeth, you remember the time you bought toothbrushes together and suddenly you find yourself bawling and brushing, bawling and brushing. It’s an awkward way to brush your teeth, with tears streaming down your face.

But eventually, just like they said it would, things get better. Even though you promised that this time things wouldn’t. And you don’t even know how it happened, or when it happened. But you find new music that doesn’t make your eyes brim, and you find new people that have no idea about your past. And one day you find someone that makes you happier—BUT HAPPIER than you can ever remember being, even happier than back when you used to buy toothbrushes together and you were sure that it was the best you would ever be.

You start thinking, why did I cry so much? How could I have thought there’d be no one better? You remember the stupid crap you put up with. You remember that you used to cry, even when you were still together. You remember that you were always a little in love with their best friend anyway, and you realize how disastrous that could have been.

You look back at pictures of yourself from when you were heartbroken, and your heart breaks all over again. But this time, it isn’t for the person you loved. It’s for the person you were. You want to reach out to your old self, gather yourself up in your arms and just rock. And rock. And rock. You want to say, “Oh my God you are about to meet someone so amazing and you don’t even know it.” And you want to say, “Get off of that couch. Brush your teeth like a normal person. Trust me, you don’t need to cry.”

But you did. Because you needed the world to feel colorless before you’d ever notice how blue the sky could be.

And it turns out, everything the other didn’t want, everything that made you question the choices you made and the way you spoke or stood or laughed, those are the things that make you and your new love fit just right. This must be how a lost puzzle piece feels, you think, when it’s saved from a vacuum or a dog's rogue tongue and finally finds its home. Your corner of bright green makes so much more sense when you see the whole grassy field.

If you’ve ever been in love, you know how it goes—the world becomes the most dazzling place.

Monday, March 7, 2011

No Offense.

This weekend Joe and I went to our first wedding together. It's a little strange that we've been together for two years and haven't managed to cross that one off the ol' list, but there it is.

The wedding was for Joe's godfather's son, so I had little to worry about but looking pleasant and shaking hands while saying "congratulations" a bunch of times. Thank God my level of awkwardness has gone down in recent years because I think I managed to pull off these simple tasks quite well. Five years ago? Forget it. "Oh so you're married, that's cool. I mean it's not cool, it's nice....or, fun? Oh this? It's a toothpaste stain mixed with a deodorant stain that I didn't notice until halfway through the vows. Congratumotions. Or whatever..."

The wedding was lovely. Everyone was very nice. The priest looked and sounded like a Super Fan, and I kept waiting to hear him give thanks for Ditka. The music all came from one pianist who looked and sounded like Michael Moore. There was giggling.

At the reception, we were placed with the other random young people--the boyfriend of a bridesmaid, a childhood friend of the groom, that kind of thing. Everything was going as expected, until we started talking about where we were all from. Joe and I announced that we were from Chicago. This caused a guy in his early twenties, wearing a plaid green button down and cargo pants, to say to us: "No offense, but you look like you're from Chicago."

"No offense, but you look like you're from Chicago."

Wh.....what? What?????1 What does that even MEAN? I tried to get the guy to clarify by joking, "Oh, because we're so classy?" Got a chuckle. "Because we look like a couple of douches?"...more chuckles. I AM SERIOUS, SIR. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Also, is there a better way to offend someone than by saying "no offense"? I didn't even know it was an offensable thing to look like I'm from Chicago. Maybe if he was from New York or Paris or LA and I was wearing a scrunchie, I would get it...but coming from a guy who looks like he took his wedding attire from a mannequin at Old Navy and lives in Morris, Illinois--the epicenter of, what, Steak & Shakes? I'm not sure exactly what you think someone from Chicago LOOKS like, but apparently it is this:

And YES, I spelled "cardigan" with an h for no reason whatsoever. WHAT.

But seriously, I don't know what that means. Because without the "no offense" I would have just taken it as: a little hipster, a little classy. But WITH the "no offense", WHAT? Can anyone clarify this for me? What is the stereotype of Chicagoans that we fulfilled so terribly?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Twin Bruises: Like Twin Peaks...In No Way Whatsoever.

Okay. I can do this. I can write you a blog post that is worth everyone's time, and it will not devolve into me declaring the demise of Advertising, either by the cold hand of modern technology or of my own.

*Deep breath...aaaaaand...*

So guess what guys??? I have two enormous bruises on my right hip. Things that I blame:

1. Booze
As Glee so deliciously put it last week, I mainly blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, baby. In that episode, they seemed to have a hard time coming up with a danger of alcohol as long as you have a DD. I am here to tell you (but I cannot SHOW you, as these bruises are in a precarious position and I'm a lady) that alcohol definitely has dangers, even when a car is no where in sight. Let me expound on this by telling you what else I blame:

2. Tommy Wiseau
A week or so ago, we went to see 'The Room'. For those who don't know, The Room is a newish cult-classic. And when I say "classic" I mean that it will burn itself into your brain so you will never fully be able to scrub it out of your memory, no matter how hard you try.

Yes. The Room is considered one of the worst movies of all time. Made in the same year as "From Justin To Kelly" and "Gigli", those movies become "Casablanca" and "Citizen Cane" in comparison. The Room was written, starred, directed, produced, and distributed by one man: Mr. Tommy Wiseau, who defied all people who said the movie was bad (and by that I mean: all people said the movie was bad) and used his own mystery money to get the whole thing produced.

Here is one classic scene. You guys are going to love it.

Yeah. YEAH. Do you feel that? That's the tingling of love.

So all this to say, they have showings of the movie, similar to Rocky Horror, where people dress up, bring props, throw things, and yell at the screen. And people may or may not COUGHsneakCOUGH COUGHalcoholCOUGH into the theater. Well, after the movie was over, we were walking slowly out of the theater. And I've decided there is nothing worse than trying to intentionally walk slowly while tipsy. Might as well have put me on a freaking balance beam. Aaaaand I slipped. Onto the side of a theater seat.


3. Joe
Were we walking next to each other? YES.
Is Joe a big strong man with a beard more powerful than Thor and He-Man combined? YES.
Did Joe manage to catch me? NO.
Game set match. Point, Emily. Gave over. End of game.

4. My Inability To Stand Like A Normal Person

5. Sand
Last weekend, I went to Tom's (Laura's boyfriend...'s) lake house. Where we proceeded to drink COUGHalcoholCOUGH COUGHlegally and safelyCOUGH but which left me slightly off-balance once again. And it was a lake house, so of course there was still sand in some places. Have you ever sprinkled sand on bathroom tile and then tried to walk across it? Well I HAVE. Slip number 2. Same side. Nearly the same place.

I kid you not, I look like I got into a fight with a baseball and LOST. I have two enormous bruises, side by side. BFFs. Just hanging out like it's no big thang. I think this is a new low, clumsiness-wise, even for me. It is, and I am not joking about this, one of my largest arguments against my ability to own children right now. That, and the fact that I refer to them as something I might 'own.'

Sigh. I'm going to go ice these bad boys down.