Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 Things I Learned About Los Angeles

Hey guys! I'm back from LA! Had a great time. Saw a lot of stuff. Took pictures next to Tom Hanks' AND Aunt Meryl's hand prints obv, and did a lot of nice-weather kinds of things. Drove past the Scientology...compound. CRAZY.

So now that I know a little more about LA than I did, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.

1. It's Always Summer.

I cannot explain it better than that. I mean, I knew it was nice all the time. But it's a whole new thing actually seeing it in action. Everything is...clean. And not because they actually bother to clean it. No. It's clean because the city is not covered from skyscraper to sewer drain in rock salt once a year. The roads seem newly-paved and smoother than a baby dolphin. Which I imagine are VERY VERY smooth.

Also, people just have this air about them they do this kind of thing every day. Like 75 and sunny ISN'T God's greatest gift to humanity (which, hi, it is) it's just another day. Do you have any idea what people do in Chicago when it's 75 and sunny? They stand around outside, marveling at how nice the freaking weather is. In fact, I think 99% of any given Chicagoan's time is spent talking about the weather. It's not a small talk nicety here. It's a way of life.

2. Driving isn't so bad.

That is, as long as you don't accidentally get into random, non-sensical rush hour traffic. Joe and I spent four days driving around LA and we were never particularly inconvenienced by bad traffic. BUT there were a few times that we just got lucky. We'd look over to the other side of the highway, packed with cars. Going into downtown mid afternoon. Like...where are you people going? Go home. Go longboard.

3. Celebrities are not that easy to find.

In our whole trip, Joe and I noticed one celebrity, and it was a That Guy that neither of us can place. All I can say is he's white, curly brown hair, middle-aged, possibly an angry comedian? Damn it, now I have to go back on Google and see if I can find him again. GAH, NO IT WAS NOT GARRY SHANDLING, GOOGLE. GOD.

OH MY GOD I just accidentally spent 40 minutes looking at pictures of photo bombs on College Humor after searching for pictures of "that guy". WHERE AM I?!

4. The Venice Boardwalk is full of crap I would have bought in Middle School.

In the movies, the boardwalk is an open, populated area full of blond women in neon bikinis rollerblading. But in real life, it's just a big paved road with shops on one side and burn outs on the other, playing the only Hendrix song they know and selling things ranging from "palm leaf art" to "hemp hats" to "give me weed and I'll let you pet my dog." The entire outdoor area smelled like patchouli and vegetable oil and there were multiple booths selling chauvinistic novelty tees. I had been warned, of course, that the boardwalk was not All That, but I guess I had to see it to believe it.

5. LA is where 'Nam era hippies go to live out their days.

If you think your parents were former hippies, guess what? They still could have been, if they'd just COMMITTED TO THE ROLE. The only thing we saw more than Priuses (We invented a game, btw, called "If you don't see a Prius in five minutes, you lose.") were old hippies. These are people who have not changed a single thing in their life since Lyndon B. Johnson was president. And why should they? The weather doesn't change from day to day, so how is anyone to know for certain that time itself isn't just standing still? It's like Groundhog Day over there, seriously, except instead of a horrible Punxsutawney February, it's just like...June 10th. June 10th, 1968. For the rest of your life.

And whether or not it really is, hope you like Hendrix.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Short Blog break

Joe and I are going to LA for the rest of the week, so I won't be around on the ol' bloggy blog. Not that it would be that noticeable considering my posting has shortened as of late (I'm trying to be a No Excuses kind of girl, but to be fair, I got an extra-ten-hours-a-week-for-no-extra-money project tacked onto my job in the past month, if that helps explain the lack of posts. So unless you guys would like to talk about branding strategy up in here [up in here], you've gotta give me some slack for a little bit. I have a lot less time to make jokes about how often I run into things. WHICH I STILL DO, DON'T THINK I'VE IN ANY WAY MATURED JUST BECAUSE I HAVE MORE WORK TO DO. Although I did wear heels for the first time in a year and I didn't fall down ONCE a-thank you. Wow this is a really long parenthetical aside. I probably should make this a new paragraph. BUT WILL I? No.)

Moving on.

So anyway. We're going to LA. I'm pumped for a vacation, but I've had two things dampen my spirits in the past hour and they're really harshing my mellow.

1. The weather is going to be in the 60s. Which, considering it actually snowed in Chicago this morning, is pretty great. But I was planning a week of beach laying, flowy skirts and flip flops. Now I'm going to have to stalk Tom Hanks and Aunt Meryl in pants and a light jacket and I'm BITTER.

2. I didn't know they jack up car rental prices the day before I need them. I'm not SURPRISED, I just didn't know it. I am a stingy old miser and am therefore disproportionately pissed that I missed my opportunity to pay $15 a day for a car. RUDE.

So yeah. That's all. Finally getting my ass to LA. Um...I have no way to end this post. So I'll leave with this.

Here is the reason I am taking a vacation.

Friday, April 15, 2011

That Is Not Art.

I just watched the scariest music video known to man: A mash-up of Justin Bieber's "Baby" with Slipknot's "Psychosocial". It is so scary, I kept turning around and looking over my shoulder toward the door, until I finally just situated myself so that no one could sneak up behind me with a butcher knife. I am 100% serious.

It's weird, because the actual Slipknot song is not that scary. Possibly because their brand of music makes me automatically dismiss the band as crazy-suburban-screwups-with-daddy-issues (whether or not it's true doesn't matter, it's just what I tell myself so I can move on)(But they ARE from Des Moines)(Just saying) and I don't feel so affected.

But the video combined with the pop beat and the innocent, flaxen Justin just makes my skin absolutely crawl. I'm going to embed it here, but I warn you: if you're the kind of person who, like me, has to shut your eyes during horror movie previews, you're going to want to skip it and I am in no way joking.

RIGHT?!!?!?!? JESUS.

The problem I have with heavy metal is the same as with modern and contemporary art: It's that whole, "THAT IS NOT ART/THAT IS NOT MUSIC" mentality. I have a really hard time accepting that you GROWLING into a microphone is still allowed to be called 'music.'

I guess this happens through every period of time. A new wave of music comes out, and everyone scoffs. My mom loves telling us about the time her grandma heard Bob Dylan and demanded, "Who told that man he could sing?"

So I guess that's it, is it? Just because a lot of people probably hated "I Am The Walrus" once, I'm supposed to accept that screaming into a microphone is classified as music now? And if so, how about the guy with the portable mic outside Old Navy, informing us that God hates when we put things in our butts? (Yes, I have actually heard him say that.) Is that music too, now?

I actually consider myself pretty open-minded about what classifies as art or music. Sometimes things are more about experimenting or about ruffling up your ideas, not about emulating beauty or realism. I get that. Monica, who works at the Museum of Contemporary Art, has had to educate me now and again in WHY something is art. And I think I generally get it.

Why I believe weird modern/contemporary art can be defined as "art":

1. The Overly simple
You created a completely green canvas and sold it for millions of dollars. You showed that you can put paint evenly on other stuff. ART.

2. Social commentary disguised as art
You put a dress in the middle of a room and shellacked newspapers to the wall. I didn't think to do that exact thing, so it must be original. ART.

3. Found items you didn't make
You put a toilet in an art gallery, forcing thousands of snotty people who think they know everything about art to harrumph (like this: "rubrubrubrubrubrub"). ART.

And so in that same vein:

4. Yelling instead of singing
I can't imagine being able to do that for more than 5 minutes, let alone doing this for an entire concert multiple times a week. You have vocal chords of steel...ART.

It's the only thing I can think of. It's the only thing that makes it acceptable in my mind. I guess to me, in order for you to create true, popular, notable music, you have to be able to do something that I couldn't do. And I couldn't yell that much.

Unless maybe someone forced me to watch that mash-up again. Because I think that might make me scream for a REAL long time.

(I'd love to know: What do YOU think? Art majors and Slipknot fans, I know I'm wrong. But just HOW wrong am I?)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Potential Life Changes

I haven't really talked about what is going on in my life recently. This is because it is so MIGHTILY up in the air right now.

The deal is, Joe graduates in a few minutes (or like a month or two but you get it) and he's looking for work. And APPARENTLY the job market is a little touch-and-go at the moment OR SO I HEAR. So it's not a very stress-free process. And then throw ME into the mix and what do you get, boys and girls? Seven ulcers. That is what you get.

In my opinion, we've both been really good about taking each other into account when it comes to next steps for his job. Open-minded. I told him that if we have to move, we can. I'm not going to keep us cooped up in Chicago if that's not the right option--just because I'm afraid to leave. And in exchange, he gets to continue to date me. NO, no. ...Yes. NO! In exchange, he has to make sure we both approve of the city, and that it has good Advertising gigs so I don't have to become the next Real Housewife of Boise or something.

At first, the motto was "Chicago first, but if we must, maybe another city." But the more and more we talk about it, the more the motto changes to "F*ck it, let's do this."

Obviously nothing is set AT ALL. And Joe is trying hard for Chicago-based places. But if it has to happen, here are some of our current options, and why I'd be happy to move to any of them:


1. Francisco! That's fun to say.
2. Apparently the weather is constantly 50-70 degrees. SIGN. ME. UP. Plus, I can rock the light jacket like no body's BEESWAX.
3. It seems really laid back. And everyone I know there is really awesome. It must have some connection to the weather. People don't get cooped up for months on end, nor do they get irritated by constant boob sweat.
4. I do not have a Sassy Gay Friend. Maybe I could finally find one in San Fran.


1. Again with the laid back attitude.
2. I see your "it rains too much" and I raise you "It rains while you sleep or while you enjoy a nice cup of tea and a book on a lazy Sunday afternoon." Game set match.
3. Two of my aunts live near or around there. My aunts are super adorable.
4. Fresh fish at the fish market MIGHT mean I am able to choke down seafood.


1. I feel like Portland is like Seattle, but with less water and more hipsters.
2. In preparation for a potential move, I watched all the Portlandia episodes on Hulu and I have to say, Portland might just be the rich man's Wicker Park. And I love Wicker Park.
3. I could get a bike. I could get a bike and ride it around everywhere. And since everyone else has a bike, it would be way cooler and I would not fear for my life because people actually WATCH for bikers unlike SOME cities coughCHICAGOcough.
4. Joe and I could recreate the Oregon Trail and, as always, Hannah would get dysentery.


1. The constantly nice weather means I could get a scooter instead of a car and be like Jason Segal in I Love You, Man or like Zooey Deschanel in Yes Man. Basically any movie involving a scooter and ending in Man? That could be me.
2. I would be SIGNIFICANTLY closer to Future Husband John Krasinski. A plus for me, a negative for Joe. But these are the sacrifices we must make.
3. Higher potential for becoming famous. I assume everyone who lives in LA is famous, right?

So that's it. That's what's going on right now. Yes it is crazy. Yes it is frustrating not knowing for sure what city I'll be in within a few months. Yes I would be moving far away from my family and friends. Yes I have never lived outside Illinois. Yes it is creeping dangerously close to the end of our lease. Yes I need to go chug some Maalox right now.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Ranting About Bras

I will only say this ONE MORE TIME, PEOPLE. (Okay, that's a lie and we all know it...I will probably tell you this at least twice more by the end of the week.)

GO. GET. YOURSELF. AN ACTUAL. BRA FITTING. And not from Victoria's Secret. I'm talking Nordstrom, I'm talking Soma, I'm talking Intimacy, I' m talking Bravissimo for my large-chested UK readers (Oh did I not mention how international I am? Because I sooooo am.) Just for the love of GOD go do it.

Sorry, I'm having a mental breakdown this morning about this. But they had "The Bra Whisperer" on WGN this morning and she's showing before and afters of women in bras, and she said "We've switched her to a 32E" and the news lady was like "32 EEEEE?!?!?!?! DOES THAT EVEN EXIST?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? KJSGI{ONG"RLSNJSGI:JSEFPJWERLJN" And the woman just ignored her and moved on. No. NO, BRA WHISPERER. You should have whipped around, smacked that woman in the face and set her straight.

I'm talking one of these:

This is the problem with the world right now. Screw religious zealots and global warming--THE HUMAN RACE HAS A MISCONCEPTION ABOUT BOOBS AND WE NEED TO FIX IT BEFORE WE CAN MOVE ON.

FACT: 85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. If you are not 100% confident that you are wearing the perfect size for you, guess what? You are one of the 85%. You are wearing the wrong size. You.

The thing about the woman who was the 34E? She didn't look "big chested." Joe and I were both watching (torture for Joe, I'm SURE) and as my face turned a nice shade of FIRE, I said, "See? THAT girl is an E! And does she look big?" And Joe said, hands down, NO. She did not look big. Granted, he also probably didn't want to be clawed into a million tiny pieces, but I'm pretty sure he ALSO agreed with me.

But when you hear anything DD or above, your mind goes here:

When it should actually go here:

That is a screen grab from the video of the Bra Whisperer, which you can watch in full here. And do you see what I'm talking about? THAT is a 32E. THAT, you guys.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why I Love The Thesaurus

I thought of a hilarious word that I needed to share with Hannah (we do this now and again) but for the life of me, I can't think of what it was. I keep coming back to "hullabaloo" or perhaps "brouhaha" but neither feel quite right. So of course I have resorted to the internet, which entails scrolling through lists of unusual words, hoping a synapse will explode in my brain and I'll remember what it was. Nothing is coming to me, although I have found some awesome words in the meantime. Here are a few:

frowst: to luxuriate in hot stuffiness and stupefaction
fructuary: person enjoying the fruits of anything
fulvous: dull yellow

Which is quite the coincidence because as I currently frowst, I have become a fructuary of fulvous citrus.

The root of this problem is, of course, that I have a terrible memory for words. BREEEEH, correction: a terrible memory for the CORRECT word at the CORRECT time. Which may make you curious (you see), because I am a writer by profession and quasi-maintain a word-filled blog. True. But what is constantly open in my other browser? What is the first thing I bookmark at a new job? What is my lifeblood, my lover, and my friend?

That's right.

Because there are times when the only other synonyms I can think of is the Spanish translation. And there are times when I forget how to spell the world "what." And there are times when the only word I can think of is "matriculate" and I'm pretty sure no normal person knows what that means. Oftentimes including me.

Usually what trips me up is...actually, myself. Because I get one thing stuck in my brain, and for some reason I just CAN'T let it go. "What's that guy's name? Is it Danny? No, that's not it. OH! I got it. Danny. No. How about Danny. No. Danny? No.




...Danny? GOD!!!"

So if you were wondering why I'm not signing my name up to start asking Akex Trebek the questions to his answers, that is why. I'd be the one screaming 'BABY FISH MOUTH!!!!!1' for every answer.

Is it brouhaha? Brouhaha? Howabout brouhaha? Maybe brouhaha? Let me think about it brouhaha.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Emily's 4th Grade Journal: Excerpts

(Prequel: No, this is not an April Fool's joke. Y'all know how I feel about those.)

Wow. Let me just say, wow.

When I went home a few weeks ago and found my fourth grade journal (which was a class-enforced activity), I knew there'd be some gems. But I've landed on a goldmine here, guys. Originally I was hoping for some hilariously baffled Mini Emily entries about "A Wrinkle In Time." But it turns out, I was probably so embarrassed by said bafflement that I hardly mentioned it at all. And what I did say was, frankly, pretty smart. NOT FUN, EMILY. NOT FUN AT ALL.

Luckily for you, me, and the state of this blog, there are other entries in here that are RIFE with comedic gold. I don't want to delay you any longer. Here we go.

Oh but first, assume [sic] for any journal misspellings.

Here we go for real this time.

If I could go any where in the world I would go to Florida because I could go to Disney World and I could get a good tan. Or I would go to London but I don't have a reason why.

(Good God, I'm just imagining poor little 9-year-old Emily...bowl cut, wire-rimmed glasses as big as her face...laying out among the palm trees drinking a Shirley Temple.)

This weekend I went to a polo game with my friend. We did everything we could do exept watch the game. We colleted beer bottle caps, looked at the horses, watched around a week-old puppy and shared a cheeseburger & fries.

(I remember that entire day. That. Entire. Day. And can I say? Those are STILL my preferred pastimes to polo.)

If money grew on trees, every one would want one. When they got one they'ed all go shopping. Then the stores wouldn't have anything so we'd starve. Everybody would move, then those stores wouldn't have any thing. Soon the whole world would starve and the world would come to an end sooner than we thought. THE END.

(Wow, Mini Emily. Get a little more pragmatic, could you? Christ, I feel like I need an antidepressant now. But on. BUT ALSO, kudos for already knowing then vs. than. That's m'girl!)


(I'm showing you guys this one to prove WHY I am an advertising copywriter. That is me, scrutinizing a car based on the words in its TV ads. See?)

(I was an advertising whore, even before I knew was a whore was. Or what advertising was, actually.)

If Santa Clause came every day, my family would suddenly become poor, I wouldn't have any room too put my toys (I barely have any room now)and I'd be spoild.

(For a kid with a rampant imagination, I'm really hitting them out of the park with these "what if" prompters. Also, Mom and Dad, I hope you're seeing the responsible, selfless child you raisd.)

Last night we went to pick up my dad at the airport. My mom is just as near-sided as I am, so she wore my glasses. I couldn't see that the man in the gray jacket was my dad until he was 1 foot away from me! On the way home my sister and I started spitting at eachother.

(HAR!!!1 I don't remember this at all. And how surprised am I to learn that my mother used to steal my glasses in order to drive? I'll give you one guess.)

If there was no elavators, it would be very tiring and it would take alot more time. They wouldn't have one of the "Perfect Strangers" shows either.


Red Ribbon Week is,
To teach you the're erresponsable.
If you're old enough, limit them,
(If you're not don't do them.)
To tell you the're not cool.
They won't help you relax.
It could give you cancer.

What are:
they, and
DRUGS! (don't do them)

(Well move over, Walt Whitman. Also..."LIMIT them"? Wh...)

Seriously, guys, I could do this all night. But I imagine I should span these bad boys out. But I PROMISE there is more to come if you want more.