Thursday, July 28, 2011

Can't Talk. Busy Eating Rice-A-Roni.

Hey kids! I'm in San Francisco visiting Joe (yippee!) for a bit, so posting might be sporadic at best. I'm back to Chicago on Tuesday. Expect at least 1 post about how I am lost and alone in a new city (while Joe is at work) and trying to navigate a city that has a rather confusing public transit system.

Remember all that complaining I did about the el not going anywhere but into the city and back out again? No? Well I do. And anyway, I take it all back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Want To Live In A Giant Glass Box, Or: The MSI's Month At The Museum

FINALLY! I can tell you about the puppet situation. I knew you were all dying to hear about it.

So remember when I showed you the nerdiest thing I'd ever done: make a puppet and have it recite the Brady Bunch theme song? But I couldn't tell you why?

Well I can finally tell you why!

Last year, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry had an awesome idea: "Month At The Museum." They had someone live in their museum for an entire month. They decided to do it again this year, and applications were due on Monday so I can tell you about it now because it will be too late for you all to apply and beat me! BWA HA HA HA HA!



Facts about Month At The Museum:

1. There is a glass box in the museum where you are expected to hang out in for a bit every day. But you are also allowed to walk around the museum and talk to people and explore the exhibits. This is the girl from last year in her glass case of emotion:


2. You don't sleep or shower in the glass box, there are private rooms for such things. So don't worry, no one sees your bits.

3. Things you DO do (tee hee...doodoo): Talk to kids and strangers, blog every day, maintain a Twitter and Facebook account, sleep in exhibits, learn about science. Hi, SERIOUSLY? How awesome would I be at this gig? REALLY AWESOME. *Does the dancing banana dance to relieve nervous/excited tension*



4. You are cut off from real life. No personal Facebook or phone calls or nothin'. You are the museum's hamster for the month and I am fine with it. It'll be like living in 2002. You know, the Stone Age.

5. You don't go to work, so I would have to take a month unpaid leave. But you DO get $10,000! Question: Do I currently make ten grand a month at my job? Answer: Does Rory Gilmore make good romantic decisions? Clearer Answer: Heck no.

6. The girl who won last year, Kate, was AWESOME and totally hard to live up to. She was funny, adorable, energetic...everything I hope I would be but am terrified I would fall short of. A big problem, too, is that we seem really similar at first. Young white girls living in Chicago without a science background. I doubt the museum wants everyone to think they're type casting, especially since this second time around might also be the last time. "Hey, remember when the museum asked the same girl to live in the museum for two years?"....I get it. But I also think I would kick major tail at it. So the best I could do when applying was show off my differences (Like, for example, my puppet skillz), make sure they see how amazing I would be at this gig even if I am similar to Kate in some ways, and keep my lips shut when talking to friends so that no one else would apply and further ruin my chances. (Again with the evil laughter)

Last year 1500 people applied for the month. I think it's possible the numbers will go two ways: Either they'll be astronomically bigger because more people will have heard about it after all the press from last year, OR it will dwindle down to way way less people because Kate will make people doubt their own levels of coolness. Which, of course, would be very sad because I'm sure there are tons of people who would do really well. But of course I'm secretly hoping this is the case so they will be forced to choose me and my awkward charm.

For now, I sit and await the verdict. They won't notify anyone about the next round until mid-September, and the official month starts mid-October. They do phone interviews and then have people come in. AND they had us all create a 60 second video which they have everyone vote on. I don't think the voting determines the winner, but it might help sway them once they see who the public likes. So nothing to do but sit and wait for now and continue to live like the kind of person who would live in a museum without a second thought. But when the time comes and they post my video (because I'm nothing if not a positive thinker) you all WILL vote for me. Yes?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Business of Being Nauseated

I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking.

Due to rain and other cancellations, my busy day yesterday turned into a lot of me scanning my apartment for things to do. My eyes landed on Netflix streaming, as they do. I decided it was finally time to watch one of my instant documentaries I put on my list with the best of intentions. You know the kind. "Oh, it sounds so interesting! It's a tribute by the director to his murdered childhood friend!" But then a year later you still haven't watched it and you realize...when am I EVER going to be in the mood to watch that??

So it goes with this documentary I watched last night. It was produced by Ricki Lake. I mean, I don't think I need to add anything else, but I'll go on just in case that somehow did not convince you that this was a great idea. It was called "The Business of Being Born". I thought it was going to be about how insanely expensive baby stuff is and how they're trying to convince us to buy all this stuff but really all we need is our own breasticles and the baby will be fine.

So yes, I knew there would be babies involved. And while I am not about to have a child, I found the idea interesting. I have a niece, I think of these things. Very Fahrenheit 911 but with babies and consumerism.

Well let me tell you. This was not what the movie was about AT ALL. It was, in fact, about how women should not have babies in hospitals and we have it all wrong, and the women of northern Europe (the place where people always doing everything RIGHT, apparently) are using midwives and having babies the right way and they are not dying like apparently women in the US are.



THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS DOCUMENTARY:

1. Laying on your back with your knees to your ears is a terrible way to have a baby. It makes your pelvis smaller and makes it hurt way more. (Ich...bleck)

2. The epidural takes away pain but slows down the process so they add a different drug to speed it up, which brings the pain higher so they add more epidural which slows it down and they add the other drug and eventually your baby is like "EFF THIS NOISE" and gets very upset and you end up having to get a cesarean.

3. Having a baby is an INSANE process and whoever thought it up needs to have their BRAIN CHECKED.

I'm not really that squeamish about babies being born. Which is weird because I can't even watch fake people being fake cut open on Grey's Anatomy. But pull that baby out all white and covered in goo with a slimy chord attached to his stomach and I sit there, unblinking into the night.

But MY GOD, there were at least 6 babies born in this movie to show the process of at-home births and how "beautiful" it is and what not and like....CHRIST. One woman did it while squatting on the floor. ON THE FLOOR.

In the end, they've got me thinking about it. The most I'd ever thought about myself possibly delivering a baby was "let's avoid that whole situation as much as possible." But they bring up some very good arguments and now I've turned into another crunchy hippie, ready to climb into the bathtub and focus on my breathing. When the time comes, of course.

For anyone who is not squeamish about babies and is curious about what the deal is with midwives OR wants to see a lot of nekkid pregnant ladiez, check it out. But if you want an exposé on formula like I did and the idea of a newnewnewborn makes your insides feel like they're on your outsides...maybe sit this one out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Life List: The First 50


(Me, on the right, distinctly NOT seizing the day two years ago.)

So I've been inspired by other blogs to make a Life List. Otherwise known as a Bucket List, but I feel weird pulling a phrase from something I've heard Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson say in sync. So it is my Life List. And it is halfway done.

With Joe gone, some slow days at work, and my improv classes has sprouted a new feeling in me. A feeling that can only be described (and I apologize but it's true) as Carpe Diem. But like LEGITIMATELY feeling it, not just reading an inspirational quote from Dr. Seuss or Yoda on your friend's Facebook info section and thinking for one second that you SHOULD, in fact, live in the moment...before you realize that Say Yes To The Dress is on and WHAT THE WHAT, you're willing to spend five grand on a dress and you are worried you won't find something?? Also, when they say, "It only comes in one color: ivory" THEY MEAN WHITE so I don't want to hear you say that you don't want the dress because this is your wedding day and you deserve to wear white--grrrrrl don't MAKE me come over there *z snap*

Breathe.

Okay, I'm back. Sorry I had to turn into an offensively fake sassy black lady for a second there, but something had to be done. ANYWAY, lately I've been feeling a lot more in-the-moment than I usually do and I'm loving it. And I want that feeling to stick around. So I thought a To Do list would help me because I can look at it and challenge myself to become the person I want to be, and in very specific ways. I'm not just sitting around watching Parks and Rec, waiting for something awesome to happen. Not that Parks and Rec is ever a waste of time--SHUT UP EMILY, NOT THE POINT.

I want to take more responsibility for my life and what I'm doing with it. Because (uh-oh, here comes another cliche) I'm not getting any younger. The time is now! Six of one, half a dozen of the other! Wait, crap, that last one doesn't work here. WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY is that my life isn't going to make itself happen and I don't want to wake up all wrinkly and realize I never did anything. I think that's the way I've been living lately. And here are the first 50 things I want to do to change that.

There are 50. I want to get to 100. Some things I could do tomorrow. Some things I could do this year. Some things I could do in five years. Some maybe not for a few decades. It's not so much about the timing, it's more about the fact that I want to be the kind of person who does it...eventually.

Life List

1 Grow vegetables in a garden
2 See my ancestor’s castle in Scotland
3 Swim in the Mediterranean
4 Go anywhere in Asia (But not Russia because that’s not what I mean)
5 Eat lobster in New England
6 Visit Lake Winnipesauke with Michelle
7 Watch enough Dr. Who to know what other people are talking about.
8 Write a script
9 Write a book for young adults
10 Win an advertising award
11 Go on a production shoot outside the city I live
12 See a whale in real life
13 Snorkel
14 Join a funny-women-bloggers community or create one
15 Make baklava
16 Have a fruit tree
17 Send my parents on a vacation
18 Do good in a 3rd world country
19 Help change a struggling school.
20 Go on a girls-only group vacation
21 Be a bike rider
22 Own a vespa-esque scooter
23 Create art
23 Make something funny or cool out of snow
24 Write a new graduation speech for my high school self and friends
25 Become an improv pro
26 Paintball
27 Stay classy in wine country
28 Go to a Gay Pride Parade
29 Sing unconventionally-themed Karaoke (like show tunes)
30 Adopt a dog or two
31 Make a main dish from the Julia Child cook book
32 Get a tattoo
33 Eat at one of those raw, vegan, crunchy restaurants
34 Become a regular at a bar or restaurant
35 Go to an outdoor movie by myself
36 Go to a restaurant by myself
37 Go to a movie by myself
38 Take a sculpting class
39 Buy a nice camera
40 Take a class to learn how to take good pictures with said camera
41 Create a quilt (with help)
42 Crochet a scarf
43 Re-certify for CPR
44 Create a reading nook
45 Stand behind a waterfall
46 Do something cool at a spa, like a mud bath or seaweed wrap
47 Get Lasik
48 Get wisdom teeth out
49 Start a 401K (shut up shut up everyone)
50 Act in something again


So those are the first 50 I've thought of. I challenge you all to make one, too. You'd be surprised how quickly you use up the ones you've wanted to do (like travel) and you'd also be surprised by the things you come up with to challenge yourself.

Friday, July 22, 2011

10 Things To Know If You're Moving To Chicago

I've lived near or around Chicago my whole life, and specifically in the city for four years. At this point I think I get it.

Here's what you need to know about Chicago before you come here.


1. WEATHER


Learn how to complain.
People in Chicago have two jobs: the first is the one they get paid to do, and the second is part-time complaining about the weather. Rainy. Windy. Cold. Hot. Nothing satisfies the people of Chicago and they are always baffled by anyone who moves here from a warmer climate. Of course if anyone from that warmer climate DARES TO INSULT THE GREAT CITY OF CHICAGO we know how to passive-aggressively tell you that we just love the change of seasons and we don't think we could ever live without it.

Chicago is not the end of the world, weather-wise.
I drove from Chicago to Wisconsin in January and I will tell you, Chicago doesn't even know the MEANING of the word snow. "Oh but what about that snow storm we had that one--" --PUNY NONSENSE SNOW, I will interrupt, COMPARED TO WISCONSIN. Wisconsin eats snow for breakfast. And I imagine so do many other northern states and that place above Wisconsin, Ol' What's-Its-Name. Yeah, it gets windy and snowy and horrible here and it makes you want to curl up inside a Tauntaun. But at least we have salt for the roads and trucks to distribute it. Do you know what Wisconsin uses to keep their billions of feet of snow off the roads? SAND. But like, a child's sandbox amount of sand. What are you, Houston? Wisconsin, you care just a LITTLE too much about those lakes of yours. If your fish refuse to adapt to the salt, just buy something more tropical. I'm sure they'll adapt.

The secret to surviving winter

Two things: Preparation and not bothering to care what you look like. A coat from an authentic sporting goods store. Multiple gloves at once. A hat that is so big and fuzzy that it is possible it's still alive. Large, weather-proof winter boots that can trudge through dark grey slush. Basically, the closer you are to looking like an Inuit, the better. They know what they're doing. If you can wrap yourself up in an actual polar bear, you have done your job.

It always snows once in April.
I am telling you right now: there will be a day in March. Maybe even a few days. On that day, it will seem magical. It may even be 60 degrees outside, dare I say 70. Every year this happens. And every year on that day I tell people "It always snows once in April." And they laugh. Oh! How they laugh. "You fool!" they say. "Weather cannot change!" They put on shorts and flip flops and wonder why no restaurant has put out its outdoor cafe seating. But the restaurants have learned. And so have I. I have held this "April" theory since college. Chicago has never let me down. Every year it comes back. Usually not too harshly. But it snows. Oh! How it snows. And all the idiots who vow that they'll never go back to pants have to walk around, their teeth chattering, pretending they never heard my warning. But they heard. They heard.

The summer is freaking awesome.
Because of our deathly winters, Chicago comes alive in the summer. There are literally festivals on every weekend. Free concerts, movies in the park...all kinds of things. Check out metromix.com to find fun stuff.


2. ROADS


We're on a grid.
After the Chicago fire, this city had a chance to rebuild itself smartly. One thing they did was put everything on a grid system, where almost every street goes either north-south or east-west. That makes it easy to get around. However...

Some roads go diagonally into the city.
These roads are generally annoying because they mess with intersections. The worst of them being Elston Ave...Ohhhhhh Elston, how I loathe thee. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Stick with the grid and you'll be fine.

Some Chicagoans understand location based on the address numbers.
They say things like "Oh, 1400? that's really far north" or some nonsense. These people are freaks. Most of us just give main cross streets. "Broadway and Foster" "Damen and North." Eventually you'll learn these roads too and these intersections will mean something to you as well.


3. FOOD


A proper Chicago hotdog
If you don't know, the Chicago dog is piled with everything besides ketchup. I don't know why we are so opposed to ketchup on our sausages but it is just our way. Most places won't blink if you order ketchup, but I suggest you try the true Chicago way just once. There are plenty of places for them. Check Yelp, or go to Portillo's.

A proper Chicago slice
Chicago pizza is usually served deep dish. It is intense. One to two slices will suffice, and you have to eat it with a knife and fork because it weighs about 80 pounds. Giordano's is well-liked and there are tons of them around, although I'm partial to Lou Malnati's. Lou's isn't for everyone--the sauce is chunkier and less sweet, and the crust is buttery and crunchy, not bready. But it should be tried. Stay away from Uno's. It's not worth it.
Thin crust pizza in Chicago often comes cut into squares, not large triangles like New York. It's good that way; you have no idea how many you've had and can pretend like it wasn't much.

Groceries
In order of expense: Whole Foods, Dominick's, Jewel, Trader Joe's, Aldi. I'd personally stay away from both end caps. But that's the Middle Class Girl talking.

Restaurants:
We have them. To say Chicagoans only "like" food would be doing us a great injustice. I mean, sure, our winters aren't as bad as some, but they're enough to keep you indoors for 9 months. We've got good restaurants, and all the kinds you want. We also have been home to immigrants from all eras, which means delicious foods from around the world: Polish, Ethiopian, Irish (Fadó is Irishman certified), Turkish, Mexican, Detroitian...we have it all, and it's all good. There are tons of independently owned restaurants if you get away from the city, like in Wicker Park (Division and Damen) and in northern Andersonville (Clark and Foster). Again, Yelp that shizz.


4. NEIGHBORHOODS


Where to start:
If you're looking for a good place to move to in Chicago and you don't know the area at all, I suggest you check out Lakeview. Unless you consider yourself a little more Indie/Hipster, then I say Wicker Park. Both these places are pretty generally well-liked. They have a lot to offer, lots of shops and restaurants and they're close to public transportation. From there you can do research into the other neighborhoods, but here's a small list to get you started:

Neighborhood Breakdown:
This is insanely stereotyped and obviously not the final word, but here's who tends to live in some of the neighborhoods you'll hear about, in no particular order:

Streeterville: Newbies, Rich people
Gold Coast/River North: Old Rich people
Old Town: Young rich people
Lincoln Park: Newly college grads
Wrigleyville: Frat guys
Boystown: Young gays
Lakeview: Yuppies
Pilsen: Hipsters, Mexican-Americans
Wicker Park: Rich hipsters, Mexican-Americans
Bucktown: Richer hipsters
Logan Square: Poor hipsters, Mexican-Americans
Ukranian Village: Reformed hipsters
Chinatown: Chinese-Americans (surprise!)
Uptown: Crazy people and corporate gays
Andersonville: Lesbians, Sweeds
Edgewater: A melting pot of immigrants
Rogers Park: Rich college kids
Roscoe Village: Dinks
Lincoln Square: Saxons
South Loop: Couples with dogs
West Loop: Greek-Americans
Humboldt park: Puerto Rican-Americans
Hyde Park: Obama


(Most of these are north side, because I don't know much about the south side. You'll have to sleuth on your own if you want to move there.)(Also, there are SOOO many more than these but I ran out of brain power.)

I've lived in 4 different neighborhoods and I still haven't made up my mind about my favorite neighborhood. They're all pretty great in their own ways.


The neighborhoods are still very segregated.
If you couldn't already tell based on how I just described the above. But I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. Check out this map.


5. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION


All the information about the CTA is here. But let me break it down.

Cards:
There are three kinds of cards.
1. Unlimited paper cards. You can buy these at grocery stores and you can ride as much as you want for 1, 3, 7, and 30 days.
2. Pay-per-ride cards. You can buy these at the el station with cash. Each ride is $2.25 per ride, no matter where you go. Put as much or as little as you want on these cards.
3. Magic plastic CTA card that automatically refills with money. You can get that online.

Train:
The el, which we also call "the subway" or just "the train" (or at least I do because I'm too lazy to remember words), runs like a spiderweb into the city and back out again. A lot of it does run above ground, but the red and blue line run underground once they get to the city. These two are the fastest lines and the only two that run 24/7. These are the only two lines I've lived along, so I know them the best.
All the el lines transfer to the other lines at some point or another, although it's not always the fastest way to get around. Often the best route is to transfer to a bus. I always check Google Maps for the fastest transit directions. Gmaps is your friend. Use gmaps.

Buses:
I hear people say that they're too scared to ride the buses all the time, but they're harmless. They basically just run up and down one street. If it runs up and down Grand, that bus is called "Grand." It's really hard. Again, Google Maps will help you figure that part out anyway. As for paying, if you already have a card, there's a place by the driver where you use it just like on the el. If you only have cash, you can put that in the little machine and it sucks it up. But there's no cash back so pray you have quarters.


6. PARKING


I've never had a car in the city, but I'll tell you what I know.

Parking downtown is insane. Avoid! Avoid!
It's near impossible to find street parking, and the parking garages cost more than a Donald Trump haircut. If your destination is downtown, a taxi or the CTA is your best bet.

Street parking elsewhere in Chicago:
Some places you pay. We recently replaced coin meters with ones that'll take credit cards, which is clutch.
Some side streets are free, although these ones are usually pretty full, of course. Some side streets require a permit.
No matter what, you're going to need to learn parallel parking. It's the only parking you'll do for a while.

Parking where you live?
Your apartment may have a spot that you'll probably have to pay for, although some places give it to you for free. That one's a toss-up. Just like whether or not they make you pay a move-in fee (BAH, don't get me started), it depends on your landlord. If you're living in a walk-up (an apartment with 3-4 apartments stacked on one another) you're more likely to get cheap parking. The high rises will cost you. If you can live without a car, I say go for it. I've survived so far on borrowing others' cars, renting cars, and taking public transit. Although I have a few friends who have used zipcar.com, too.

Dibs
In the winter it's hard to get a spot because the street cleaners are not particularly precise and snow covers a quarter of the spots. Once you finally dig yourself out/into a spot, some people find that spot hard to let go of it. So they put old lawn chairs out to save their spot. It's pretty much crap and a point of contention for Chicagoans every winter. In the end, it persists because people are afraid if they move the lawn chairs, they'll be keyed.


7. ENTERTAINMENT:


(Look familiar?)

This is a big city, so of course there are tons of places to see regular concerts and plays and stuff. Here are a few slightly more underground:

Second City: Improv
Steppenwolf: Weird theater
The Neo-Futurists: Weirder, smaller theater
The Vic: Smaller concerts and stand up
Music Box Theater: Film festival type movies
Landmark Cinema: Film Festival type movies...but the ones with Sean Penn in them
Buddy Guy's Legends: Authentic Chicago blues that will ease your soul.


8. SAFETY


You know all those jokes New York people make about homeless people pooping in boxes? Yeah, we have those people, too. I've seen some crazies. I've HEARD some crazies. I've been approached by crazies. But I have never been hurt by a crazy. They smell like the pachyderm house at the zoo, they ask for any food you can spare and then get mad when you give them your sandwich because they wanted Wendy's (*true story*) they sing loudly. Everyone has a few stories about crazy/drunk people on the el. My personal favorites:
1. The guy who announced everything the P.A. voice did, with the exact same timing and intonation.
2. The guy who kept yelling "MATA LA GENTE" which I confirmed via phone meant "kill the people." That one was by far the scariest. But he got off the el without touching a soul.

There are stories. People being beaten or jumped. And apparently lately there have been these mob attacks where a bunch of kids jump on a bus, take everyone's stuff, and jump off. And the morning news is not exactly the best time to look for feel-good stories. Almost every day, a child on the South Side has been killed and someone was found in the lake. Safety is not to be taken lightly, for sure.

All I can tell you is, I've never had anything stolen from me (KNOCKS ON ALL THE WOOD) and I've never been hurt (AGAIN WITH THE KNOCKING). Keep your headphones in your pocket at night, and stay alert. But we're still Midwesterners, and most of us still have the decency to keep our hands to ourselves. We're also a city, so the streets are well-lit and well-populated. Use those to your advantage.


9. YOUR APARTMENT

Nine times out of ten, your apartment will look like this:



It will be a walk-up, huge, with tiny bedrooms off to the side. It is the Chicago way. A landlord told me that this was because, before central heating, people did nothing but sleep in bedrooms because they were so cold, so they didn't bother making them very big. So if you go looking at apartments, expect this general look.

If you've never lived in cold weather:
Go to a hardware store before winter sets in and buy this stuff to go over your windows. Especially if you have old windows, this will cut down drastically on your bill and cut out drafts.


10. SPORTS



Yikes. I am the last person to tell you about sports in this city. But it's important for you to know the basics if you want to live here. We are REALLY into sports in Chicago. So for those in the dark, here is the breakdown. If you want deeper info than this...you're in the wrong place.

Basketball
The Bulls. Red, Black and White. We used to have Michael Jordan and once he left, we were only okay until this year.

Football
The Bears. Navy and Orange. We used to have Ditka and once he left, we were only okay until we got Urlacher, a white dude with an insanely large neck.

Baseball
Cubs: North side. Blue and red. The stereotypical fan is white, rich, and a prat. We are infamous for having a 100 year losing streak, and famous for Harry Carey and an analog scoreboard.
White Sox: South side. Black and white. The stereotypical fan is...well, the opposite of a Cubs Fan. The Sox won the World Series in like...2005?

Hockey

Blackhawks: Red and black. This is the jersey they wear in Wayne's World. Everyone forgot about hockey around here until last year when we won the Stanley Cup and suddenly everyone became enormous hockey fans. I found it annoying, but I guess good for general morale.

Soccer
Chicago Fire: Navy and red. One time, two players from the Fire came to our junior high and played Keep The Ball In The Air with one of my classmates, Paul. Paul won.


Okay! That's what I have to say about Chicago. Hope this helps any newbies (or potential newbies who are thinking about making your way here). Any other Chicagoans make it all the way through this thing and have anything to add? Comments welcome and requested!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

And Thank You, Lambies

This past week I've been very very tired. Things it could be:

My thyroid.
Ever since I discovered that thyroid issues probably run in my family, I've been on the lookout and any time I get tired I race off to get my blood tested. In college the first test came back hyperthyroid. The second came back hypothyroid. I was excited to tell people I was a hyper-hypo, until the third test came back normal. Well, if I can't constantly quote Mike Myers then what is the POINT? I took that normal and ran with it. I would also like "thyroid issues" to be the reason for my 10 pound weight gain in the past year, and NOT, in fact, on my reinstated two dessert (per meal...including breakfast and snacks) minimum.

Mono.
If Junior High health class taught me anything (and it did not) it's that Mono is not just a kissing disease. I mean, with Joe gone, I haven't kissed anyone except the occasional mustachioed cat in the past three weeks anyway. So that's a moo point (like a cow's opinion). So I could have it from general germiness. Or trying someone's drink or however the hell else you get Mono. My roommate in college went in to see if she had Mono and found out she'd already had it a few months earlier and had just thought she was tired from all-nighters. I wouldn't put it past me to be that oblivious as well.

My middling addiction to caffeine.
Some days I can wake up, walk out the door and be about my day without a single thought about a brown beverage. And then some days, like today, I stare daggers into my teapot, willing it to steep faster and wondering how my life has turned to shambles.

I went to bed at 2 am yesterday.
But I had a very good reason. I had to finish the movie I got from Netflix so I could get my next one on Saturday and watch it over the weekend. PRIORITIES.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Life Goal, And It Involves Me Becoming A Crazy Pet Lady. Which I'm Fine With.

I need to ultimately own four pets, purely for the names I have devised:

Regina Phalange (check)
Arf Vandelay, Vandelay Industries
Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration
Anastasia Beaverhausen

And if any of you can tell me which one of these things is not like the other, you win the prize of my adoring affection.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Improv

So I've never mentioned I'm taking an improv class! At my work, once you've been there a year, they'll pay for 75% of any classes taken that are relevant to your profession. Since presentations and thinking on your feet are huge in copywriting, improv is a legitimate class to take. So as soon as I'd been at my agency for a year I signed up!

Here's the problem: I had a Mr. Tanner experience last week.

And sadly, not this Mr. Tanner.

And yes, that is the second time in nearly as many posts that I've mentioned Bob Saget and DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT ABOUT IT.

No, not the Great Danny Tanner. I'm talking Mr. Martin Tanner, baritone, from Dayton Ohio. He's a man in a song by Harry Chapin, who wrote Cats In The Cradle. This song was about a man who is a really good singer and all his friends tell him he should perform in public. When he does, he gets a really crappy review and goes back to just singing to himself again. Take away from it what you will. Harry Chapin was a deep man. He also wrote a song called "Thirty Thousand Pounds of Bananas."

What I love about my own family and friends is that they seem to be convinced that I could be famous. I'm not exactly sure for what, and neither are they. But apparently according to them, if I walked around L.A. long enough, someone would find me in a grocery store, grab me by both shoulders and say, "Young lady, the joke you just made about shampoo is a riot--A RIOT, I SAY! Now take your weak chin and weaker hips and follow me to the land of The Famous!" In all honesty, it makes me feel like I'm on top of a mountain to hear people tell me they believe in me. And I was starting to become convinced that maybe one day I really would make it.

And then I did my first improv scene last week. YOWZA.

In our actual class, we haven't done a real improv scene yet, mostly games and other things to make us comfortable with the ideas and basics behind improv. But then AFTER class, there's a for-students-only thing where we watch a couple scenes done by legit people who have been through the program, and then they take volunteers and do scenes with them.

Everyone was really gung-ho about me getting up there, even though I wanted to just watch and learn. But eventually their egging paired with me watching someone who I KNOW I would have been better than wore me down. So I finally raised my hand. The dude in front of me thought they had picked him even though he hadn't raised his hand (*eye roll, eye roll*), and he jumped up, too. So there were four people in the scene.

They decided to do "Sit Stand Lay" (in which you do a scene as usual but at all times, someone has to sit, someone has to stand, and someone has to lay down.) But because of the extra knucklehead who stood up, we had to change it to "Sit Stand Lay Lean." And in my head I'm going "Sit Stand Lay Lean Sit Stand Lay Lean Sit Stand Lay Lean..." while the other people in the scene were beginning to perform.

We were supposed to be on a beach.
Sit Stand Lay Lean.
We were teenagers. I made a terrible joke about how I was excited that my boobs had finally come in. BLUGH.
Sit Stand Lay Lean.
Suddenly we were people that came back to the same beach house every year.
Sit Stand Lay Lean.
Someone wanted to kill someone else.
Sit Stand Lay Lean.
WAIT, WHAT?!?!
Sit Stand Lay Lean.
They were pointing at me. Someone announced that I was going to jump the guy they wanted to kill. Oh God, what is happening?! I didn't even know if they meant jump like "fight"? Or jump like "sexually advance upon"? I had no idea. I couldn't jump in because I had no idea what anyone was talking about. The three other people up there had moved so far past the original beach scene while I was busy trying to either sit, stand, lay or lean, that the scene had completely gotten away from me. Suddenly the guy laying down got up, and I lay in his place. I did the sexiest pose I could (read: writhed awkwardly) and said the only thing I could think of, "Wait...which kind of 'jump' did you mean?" People laughed! It worked! But the scene was moving on, and I lost it again. At some point I was put out of my misery by the lights briefly going down to signify the end. I grimaced as I went back to my seat. People high fived me and I felt like a sham high fiving them back. Two lines. I said two lines, and one was a cheap shot about boobs?! Aaaarrrrrrgguuuuuggghhhhhhh.

I know, I know. It was my first time. And I learned an important lesson: don't worry about the rules of the game, focus on the scene. But I was so overwhelmed, so caught off guard by how much harder it was on stage than from the audience (even though of course I knew it would be, it's something you only truly know when it's happening to you.)

But that night, I lay motionless in bed thinking about it. Boobs. One half of the things I said was a cheap boob joke. And 100% of the things I said were Stupid Sexy Flanders--I MEAN Stupid Sexy Girl character jokes. BAH. And who stays silent on stage for that long? I must have looked like a doofus! Just some person from the audience who accidentally walked on stage but still expected to watch the show from within it. I'll never be a comedy writer! I'll never be a Tina Fey prodigy! I'll never be....whatever the hell it is I want to do because GOD EVEN KNOWS ANYMORE.

This was how I spent the night. And the next day. And despite others' reassurances that I had done fine, that my one joke had gotten the most laughs, and that it's hard for everyone the first time, I was still disappointed. My ego had been inflated too much by my friends and family telling me that I could be a rock star. I was Ms. Tanner, reading her bad review and moping back home to perform sketch comedy for her mustachioed cat, who would meow back out of disdain and/or hunger.

I'm glad it happened, though. And unlike Mr. Tanner, I refuse to let my first go defeat me. Sure, my presentation may not have been up to contemporary professional standards, but the class is fun and I think I'm generally doing pretty well. And anyway, if I ever have any hope of being Amy Poehler, I'm going to need to start somewhere.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Brief Punk Rock Adventure

Before I get into today's post I want to correct something I have overlooked for nearly nine months (NOT PREGNANT. JUST AN UNFORTUNATE COINCIDENTAL NUMBER. I WILL NOT BE ON TLC LATER. WHY AM I TALKING IN CAPS LOCK STILL?)

If any of you remember, a while ago I shared with you my list of potential celebrity husbands, at the top of which is of course Future Husband John Krasinski. But I forgot one crucial celebrity, and that is probably because he is not yet...well, a celebrity. He is this guy:


And he was in this T-Mobile commercial.

His name is Kyle Bornheimer. You may also know him as Advertising Guy from the Office episode, "Local Ad" or you may know him as Main Character Guy from That Show That Was On Some Channel Probably NBC That Was Almost Good But Not Quite And Oh Wait Wasn't Olivia Munn In That? Yeah Yeah I Think I Saw An Episode Of That Show.

But I know him as T-Mobile Voicemail Guy SLASH Future Husband. I mean, look at him in that ad! He's so nervous and snuggleable! I want to do crosswords over breakfast with him and then later go out to dinner at Benihana.

What can I say? I dream high.

ANYWAY, now that that's out of the way, let me tell you about my adventure yesterday. I went to a punk rock show at a bar in Logan Square. As someone who openly admitted to liking Maroon 5 and Avril Lavigne in high school, you can imagine this was a typical night for Emily.



The reason I was there was layered. At the top layer, I am friends with a band member's older sister. On a layer underneath that, I am trying to go do more fun things with a variety of people instead of being a Netflix-watching hermit in my apartment with my cat at all times. When I went, I didn't know it was a punk rock show. But I figured it out when I saw people with mohawks/pony tails/worn black t-shirts. I won't lie. I was scared. The last experience I had with Punk Rock was the video I watched of a mash-up between Slipknot's "Psychosocial" and Justin Bieber's "Baby", which had the affect of a child singing in a horror movie. If this was the night I was in for, I was going to need someone to hold my hand on the way home.

We stood in the back, so as not to offend the true punk rockers. Our colorful clothes and chipper attitudes really would have killed the mood. However, this meant that my view was obstructed by a man who was roughly 6'6", 300 pounds. His pony tail fell to the middle of his back. Jean shorts. He was the kind of guy you'd want with you at Six Flags purely because you would never lose him in a crowd. He probably either knows everything about either Star Wars or Star Trek but definitely not both. You get the picture.

He was the only one dancing. And by dancing, I mean nodding his head. There was no swaying or bopping in this bar, only diligent listening. Each band seem to be in competition with their own bandmates for how fast they could play the song, which led to songs so fast that each one lasted thirty seconds. No real words ever came out of the singer's mouth, just a gutteral string of vowels with the occasional f-bomb. Think "Master of Puppets" but without the genius talent and ten times faster and louder.

I loved it.

See, since Joe has left, I've quickly developed an eff-it attitude about what to do with my time. There's no longer a "Why am I here when I could be snuggled up on my couch with Joe?" thought running through my head at all times, pulling me back toward home.

So I was there. And I was determined to enjoy myself. What I found was that even with this loud, Adderall-filled music you begin to hear the nuances. So, you know when you turn on the radio and it's the middle of a Lady Gaga song or some such nonsense and at first you're like, "What fresh hell is this ruckus?" But give it a second of listening and you get into the rhythm of it? That was the deal with this music, too. You start tuning out the screeching and reverberations of too-much drum bouncing off the matte black walls and you start to hear the melody. And it's not that bad. But then you try to listen to the lyrics. And that's where it all goes all downhill.

My particular favorite song was from the opening band, a song we dubbed, "F-ck the bullsh-t" in which the lyrics were "F-ck f-ck f-ck, f-ck the bullsh-t." It was a deep song. I was amazed that we made out those words. Otherwise, words like "instigator" and "mashed potato" were completely indiscernible from one another. My second favorite song was the one about Mayor Rahm Emanuel being a mashed potato.

The singer for the opening band also kept dedicating his songs to other dude friends, with names like Kyle and Scott. You could tell he had never gotten a girl to listen to more than a second of his favorite music, let alone request a dedicated song to her.

I spent about an hour and a half listening to this music, observing, chuckling, legitimately enjoying the music at 4-second intervals. It was the kind of night that made me realize, I really need to let go and do stuff. Without that nagging thought in the back of my head that I would be happier at home. Sure, I was yawning despite the in-yo-face music because it was 11:30 on a school night and I am old. But I had a good time. I didn't need to feel like I fit in or like I was doing something accomplishing (although I knew I'd get a half-assed blog post out of it--AND HOW!) in order to have a good time. When my time lately has been spent watching movies and drinking wine or WISHING I was watching a movie and drinking wine, it was nice to remind myself that it's not the only way to be happy. I needed that.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who I Think Will Win The Emmys

Well the Emmy noms have been announced and I know you're all wondering, "Yes, but what does EMILY think about all this?" Because, yeah. I should be your go-to for all things celebrity. I know SO VERY MUCH about them and the lives they lead. Oh, the things I know. My stars.

In all seriousness you might find my opinions about as necessary to your life as stories about where Freddie Prinze Jr. is now (Actually...wait a minute. Where IS that guy?! Bad analogy, now I find myself INCREDIBLY concerned about the whereabouts of FPJ.)

But it's my blog. And in the wise words of Cartman, I do what I want. So here we go!

BEST DRAMA SERIES: Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, Mad Men.

I don't watch any of these shows, but if B.E. is the show that's supposed to knock Mad Men off its high horse, so be it.

BEST COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation.

Except for the BBT (CBS shows and I...we just don't get along), I watch all of these shows with a blind fervor. And while I loves me some Office, anyone who actually watches Thursday TV should know that in 2011, Community, which wasn't even nominated, was head and shoulders above the Office and that is a scientific fact.

DRAMA ACTRESS: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU; Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law; Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights and Mireille Enos, The Killing.

Elisabeth Moss, you're not all that with your short bangs and your lipstick ads (okay, fine, I haven't watched Mad Men since Season 2 and I have no idea what's going on in that show even though I am in Advertising and should definitely watch it. GET OFF MY BACK ABOUT IT, WHAT ARE YOU, MY DENTIST? I'LL FLOSS WHEN I'M GOOD AND READY TO FLOSS. Is it so wrong to want Kathy Bates to win because you think she'd be the kind of straight-talking aunt who tells it like it is and isn't afraid to tell off your new boyfriend at Christmas when she finds out he has no plans after college? IS IT?) Oh my God, where am I?


COMEDY ACTRESS: Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation; Laura Linney, The Big C; Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope; Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly.

Oh but Melissa McCarthy! Sookie. I love you. I even love you when you are pooping in a sink, THAT is how much I love you. But Amy Poehler winning an Emmy is as close as I will ever get to winning an Emmy.

DRAMA ACTOR: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire; Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights; Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Hugh Laurie, House; Timothy Olyphant, Justified.

Whatever you want, Jon Hamm. I'll just....it doesn't...whatever I can do to make you happy. You look like Superman.

COMEDY ACTOR: Steve Carell, The Office; Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Louis C.K., Louie; Johnny Galecki, Big Bang Theory.

Although I think it would be awesome if Louis C.K. won it, The Emmys has become as predictable as an SVU episode. So yes, I think Michael's last season will win him the Emmy. Also, aw! Joey! *Pats Matt LeBlanc on his now-silver head*


SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR: Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age; John Slattery, Mad Men; Alan Cumming, The Good Wife; Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Josh Charles, The Good Wife; Walton Goggins, Justified.

One time I had a dream about some actor but I couldn't even remember his name or what he was in, I just remembered he was the guy who kind of looked like Pee Wee Herman. Joe suggested "Alan Cumming" and I realized that was it. We went out to breakfast. Who was on the TV at the restaurant? Alan Cumming. That is all.

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR: Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family; Ed O’Neill, Modern Family; Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family; Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men; Chris Colfer, Glee.

I don't know guys...I just have a feeling about this one. And can I get a HECK YES to the Modern Family love? *does the Baby Mama exercise ball "Oooh-OOOOOOH!"* Oh my God, I can't even talk about OTHER CATEGORIES without mentioning Amy Poehler.

SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS: Julie Bowen, Modern Family; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Jane Lynch, Glee; Betty White, Hot in Cleveland; Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live; Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock.

Was that...was that a question?
But GOD I seriously want to awkwardly hold hands with ALL these women.


SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife; Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire; Christine Baranski, The Good Wife; Michelle Forbes, The Killing; Margo Martindale, Justified; Christina Hendricks, Mad Men.

She deserves some recognition besides "YOWZA, HAVE YOU SEEN THE GAZONGAS ON THAT THING?!" But I also want her to become a spokeswoman against Victoria's Secret

MOVIE OR MINISERIES: Mildred Pierce, HBO; Downtown Abbey, PBS; The Kennedys, ReelzChannel; Cinema Verite, HBO; Too Big To Fail, HBO; Pillars of the Earth, Starz.

I don't know...whatever. I don't mess with Scientologists. I have seen their Hollywood compound.

REALITY COMPETITION: So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Project Runway.

My biggest reason for choosing this show is because I am currently very hungry. But it's also the only show of these that doesn't make me do the Liz Lemon eye roll.


REALITY HOST: Jeff Probst, Survivor; Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance; Phil Keoghan, Amazing Race; Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars; Ryan Seacrest, American Idol.

Tom Bergeron, you will NEVER be Bob Saget. NEVER. (wait for it) NEVER. That's all I wanted to say. Otherwise whatever. Because WHY is this an actual Emmy category? Who cares??

VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY SERIES: The Colbert Report, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, Conan, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Again, just a feeling. Don't have a good reason. I just gots me that tingly feeling about it.

Okay, that is all. Anyone want to fight me about it? What are your opinions? Who do you want to win? I want to know!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Question About Your Childhood



Okay guys, this will be quick and painless. So the other day I met a cool group of ladies and upon shaking my hand, one girl said, "Emily! That's the name I would use when I was little and I'd make up a fake name for myself!"

And right here is where I'm assuming every guy is going, "Wait...what now, crazy?" and every girl is going "OH MY GOD YES!!!!1"

Thing is, not only could every girl remember making up a name, but we all still knew that name right then and there.

Mine was Brooke, in case you were wondering. Michelle's was Kathy, which is never not funny.

I don't really know what situation it was that we were making up names. I guess "House" or "Dolls" or "Barbies." For some reason you couldn't just be your OWN name. And you couldn't use the name they gave on the box. You had to have an entirely new persona.

I will also tell you, and this is only because I know Michelle would tell you in the comments anyway, that my alter ego was also usually physically disabled. What can I say? I wanted a challenge. Skipper and Barbie going to work in evening gowns? BORING. Brooke and Kathy trying to collect enough berries to make mud soup with only the use of one leg? ENDLESSLY fascinating.

So I'm curious:
Ladies, what was your fake name? Don't be that way, you know you had one.
Dudes, did you make up fake names, too? Or were you just "Batman and Michelangelo" or "Red Guy and Green Guy"?

Let's hear it in the comments!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Unrelated Things That Are Too Pointless For Their Own Blog Posts But Too Long For A Facebook Status Message



1. You know the saying "dress for the job you want, not the one you have?" Well I read somewhere long ago (likely YM or Seventeen Magazine) that you should dress as though you'll run into your ex that day. It was probably some article about how to move on after a break up, but I think about that concept every day that I ACTUALLY feel cute enough to run into my ex.

I especially think about it now because Monica told me that Teenage Boyfriend works within a few blocks from me. I don't know exactly where or what his schedule is, but I know he takes the Water Tower Express Bus, because she sees him on there all the time after work. I'm going to be straight with you: one day I was looking particularly awesome and I could have taken that bus, although a different route was shorter. I sat at work for like half an hour pondering if it was worth it. I finally decided to NOT be a crazy person--possibly for the first time in my life--and went with the other bus.

The thing is, I would LOVE to look cute enough at all times and feel confident enough to run into my ex. But that would be exhausting. I just can't be arsed (YEAH, I SAID IT) to care that much about how I look at all times. And sometimes, even when I'm trying to look good, I just don't. Sometimes my hair is doing a thing. Or I thought the shirt didn't have pit stains but in natural sunlight it most DEFINITELY does.

It is my lot in life that when I look in the mirror and think, "Daaamn, grrl. MMMMMnnn!" I will see no one of consequence that day. But the day when I go to the gym with no makeup, in bike shorts and a shirt from our college newspaper barcrawl where we decided it would be hilarious to write "Putting Out For Free 5 Times A Week" on the back...THAT is the day I will run into my ex. Him or Future Husband John Krasinski.

GOD, that shirt. WHY DON'T I JUST THROW IT AWAY?!?!?! (Oh right.)




2. I hurt. And I don't know if it's because I'm getting old or if it's some medical condition where my muscle is slowly all turning into bone like that one lady on Grey's Anatomy/House/whatever the hell doctor show that was on. But seriously, I cannot sit on a picnic blanket anymore. Actually, really, I cannot sit in any position that isn't either 90 or 180 degrees.

What the what?

I'm 26. And YOU ALL keep telling me that I'm in the prime of my life! I'm young! I'm healthy! I should be skydiving off of cliffs whilst doing jumping jacks! And yet...half an hour sitting cross-legged and I'm pretty sure all the cartilage in my knees have left and moved to my lower back. Also, I have an eerie amount of grey hair. I'm talking ER-era George Clooney, and in the same place, right at the temples. On him? Sexy. On me? Wirey and awkward. It used to be funny, all, "oh haha! A grey hair?! That's crazy because I am ever so young." Not anymore. It's time to start dying. And I do not have the money for this crap. I'm too young to have to constantly dye my hair! I don't even have a stable job yet!

Is this the way our society is moving? We'll finally have steady jobs and be moved out of our parent's basements and ready to have kids at 60? WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?! *shakes fist at neighborhood kids and puts dentures back in*

Honestly, if I'm supposed to be as malleable and springy as people older than me keep assuring, I think I may have a CONDITION. Like, I should go to the doctor or a masseuse and DEMAND that they make all these ailments go away. I bet Beyonce doesn't have to deal with this kind of thing. Then again, she run the world.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's With The Hipster Hate?

I'm going to say something that no one has ever said out loud: I wish I were a Hipster. Let me back up.

See, I found this online:



via Samantha Hahn

And I thought, "But I LIKE all those things. (Except the girl in the middle in the orange drapery but that's really more because I just can't pull that look off.) And I'm not a Hipster. Wait...is being classified as a Hipster really such a bad thing?"

And then I went off into this whole inner struggle where it's like, I like indie things but I don't feel like a Hipster but I have friends who are Hipsters but they don't think they're Hipsters and some people are more Hipster than others or really is that possible and WHAT THE FRICKEN HELL I CAN'T EVEN TELL IF BEING A HIPSTER IS GOOD OR BAD AND IF I AM ONE OF THEM!!!!1g

So then I sat back and thought about it.

Maybe the issue is that there are different classifications of what makes someone a Hipster and it's become so broad it sometimes seems to include anyone who does anything against the norm. We'll come back to that.

There is definitely a type, though. An I'll-know-it-when-I-see-it kind of person who is truly, undeniably Hipster. But not just Hipster. Annoying Hipster. These are the people who try too hard to be part of the counter culture, get really snobby (hence the "you've probably never heard of it" meme) and it makes them annoying. Like such:


(via latfh.com)(Granted, I do not know this person. He might be hilarious and awesome. But you get the point of the kind of people I'm talking about.)

Don't be weird for weird sake. Be weird because it's legitimately who you are...within the boundaries of being a functional human being. I think we can all agree: people who do things JUST to either be pretentious or for attention are annoying. And yes, this is coming from the girl who regularly wore rainbow knee-high toe socks in the 8th grade. But guess what? IT WAS THE 8TH GRADE. I'm an adult now.

But there's still all this Hipster Hate out there, besides toward this outlying group of individuals. It's like leftover anger. Just because the people who crochet their fixed gear bike out of vegan hemp are stupid, all people who do anything against the norm don't have to be stupid.

There seem to be two kinds of Hipster Hate: People who hate Hipsters for going against the norm, and people who hate Hipsters for going WITH the norm.
a) You can't find pink hair in J. Crew so YOU'RE A DAMN HIPSTER AND I HATE YOU.
b) Why are there so many people with pink hair nowadays?! YOU'RE A DAMN HIPSTER AND I HATE YOU.

Why don't you people swallow the fire coming out of your throat and let the girl/boy have pink hair if they damn well want to have pink hair?

My two problems with this entire Hipster hating ordeal:

1. The Hipster classification

It's like, if you don't shop at big-box stores and you do enjoy farmer's markets, that's enough for people to throw you into one giant category: Hipsters. And then "Hipsters" all classify everyone else as "Yuppies." Why are there only two categories? THIS ISN'T THE GOVERNMENT. Sure, people try to weave in new categories, like "twee" or reclassify "hipster" as "indie" so that it won't sound so offensive. But if a girl in a funky floral dress and thick-rimmed glasses almost ran over you on her vintage bike, you'd spit, "F--king hipster" under your breath and don't say you wouldn't.


2. The Hipster denial.

So if we can't break the Hipster classification, if everyone with a fauxhawk has to be Hipster, let's at least just suck it up and admit it. Say it with me: "I'm a Hipster."



Let's stop this. Let's quit hating on Hipsters when we probably are all a little Hipster ourselves. It's starting to feel like the study that found homophobic people are most likely gay. I call it "The Whoever Smelt It Delt It Theory." Or possibly the "Steve Mandarino Theory." (Steve Mandarino was a kid in 7th grade who made fun of my nerdy hair in math class because he was roughly 4 feet tall and had a serious need to compensate in order to feel cooler.) Hating on other people just reflects poorly on you. Regardless of the god you may or may not pray to, it's just good sense to love one another without judgment.

And really. Is it such a bad thing to be a Hipster? Can't I wear funky sunglasses without being scoffed at? What if I legitimately like Hemmingway? Why does riding a bike have to be for "image" and not because it's cheap, good exercise, and environmentally friendly? Can't we just let people do things they want to do without snarling?

So I'm here to say: YEAH. I'm a little bit hipster. And I wish I were even more so. I'm not saying I want to see my face on Look At This F--king Hipster Dot Com. and I don't want Fred Armisen to mock me in a sketch on Portlandia. But if doing and owning things you can't find in a mall makes me Hipster, then FINE. I accept your overarching, slightly-cynical classification. Call me a Hipster. And call me a Hipster Wannabe. I'm a little of both.

Things I do That Classify Me As A Hipster
- Get short/asymmetrical haircuts sometimes
- My sunglasses have an extra bridge over the top
- Lived in Wicker Park
- Own vintage luggage
- Tweet? Is that hipster?
- Drink PBR cans at bars to save money
- Complain about cheap American lagers while I do it
- Go to shows with audiences under 50

Things I Wish I Did That Would Classify Me As A Hipster If I Did Them
- Take fashion risks
- Support more local (artists, bands, restaurants, food, etc.)
- Ride a moped
- Ride a bike
- Read a lot of smart books and talk about them with my friends
- Listen to music by people who do not make bank
- Wear no makeup/tons of makeup/risky makeup/make art on my face and feel comfortable with it all
- Get a big tattoo in plain sight and f--k worrying what I think about it when I'm 80
- Knit
- Get crafty
- Decorate my whole apartment with vintage-y things
- Hang out in coffee shops
- Wear big, seafoam green headphones
- Shop at Whole Foods (Some day, Whole Foods...some day.)

Basically I want to be Zooey Deschanel in the Cotton commercial and I don't care who knows it.



And are those things so bad? Why? I'm not ruining lives. I'm not hurting myself (well the tattoo would sting a little but otherwise...) Let's all back off and let people do things they like. For once. I know it's human nature to lash out at people who are different from you because they make you question your own choices. But maybe other people don't do things SPECIFICALLY to fit in/stand out/annoy you. Maybe they made choices because they know who they are.

And what kind of choices do YOU make?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Life Update

Wow, this week has been very...different.

So if you can recall, I moved this week. Still within the city limits of Chicago, but BARELY. I took off work on Wednesday and Thursday, moving my stuff from our apartment in the South Loop up to a studio in a neighborhood called Edgewater, which is North Side to the xtreme. (Yeah. No "e". THAT'S HOW FAR NORTH I LIVE NOW.)

The second day, we moved the rest of our stuff-we-don't-need-for-four-months-which-makes-me-question-if-we-REALLY-need-it-at-all-and-then-I-remember-it's-stuff-like-a-couch-and-a-blender-and-I-don't-feel-SO-bad-but-really-I-still-question-it-and-then-I-watch-Hoarders-and-think-"well-at-least-it's-not-mummified-rats-and-old-toothbrushes"-and-I-feel-a-little-better-but-seriously-do-we-REALLY-need-this-chair? into a storage unit.

And the rest of the week was spent unpacking and learning about my new neighborhood. It is seriously bizarre how much I feel like I'm in a totally different city right now, to the point where it felt odd coming into work because, well, shouldn't I WORK somewhere else, too? Something consistent in my life?? HUH??

NEW THINGS: I live walking distance to the beach (WHAT?! AWESOME), there are trees everywhere instead of cement covered in dog pee, and the woman working the cash register at Dunkin Donuts is best friends with everyone and calls us all "My Friend." It might just be the most glorious thing ever.

The sad thing that comes with all this is that Joe is gone to San Francisco. His zip code starts with a 9 instead of a 6. It is sad. And quiet. But I've been preparing for it for so long, it doesn't feel that horrible yet. I'm emotionally prepared AND physically prepared: I've been waiting to read Bossypants for a month so I'd have something to do. And we've already done a Skype video call in which I spent most of the time looking at my own hair and wishing I'd put on a little eyeliner.

ALSO, I'm making a puppet but I can't tell you why!! I wish I could but I can't for like two weeks. I'm making it for a contest and if I tell you what contest it will mess with my chances. But I can show you the puppet! And I can show you my test run with him. I'm trying to get a hang of his personality and voice, so I just started talking...and out came the Brady Bunch theme song. And yes, THIS is officially the nerdiest thing I've done since the time I memorized all the words to the Black Knight scene in Monty Python.

video

So that's basically where I'm at. Studio, Reading, Work, Puppet. I'm cool with it.