I’ll probably only be happy if I’m naked and living in the forest at this point: A rant.

I’ve been trying to shop more ethically lately and to also stop wasting as much because the world is on fire and I can feel better about myself and my choices when I see that my face wash is “cruelty free” (which means that it doesn’t test on animals, not that it doesn’t perpetuate the idea that if I don’t wash my face every goshdarn second of every goshdarn day, I might break out with a pimple OR GOD FORBID HAVE A WRINKLE) or that my clothing is made by single mothers in some far off country who are now empowered by their jobs (or so I’m told) and when whatever it is that I’m buying is also ALL ORGANIC then I am A FLIPPIN’ HERO SHOPPER.

via GIPHY

Of course, it’s hard when you’re on a budget, so I end up doing a lot of this type of shopping at Walmart, which sort of neutralizes the mission a bit maybe? It’s the lesser of two evils (lookin’ at you, Amazon) in my mind. I mean, I support local and independent businesses in my community as much as possible, but this girl’s got rent to pay.

Which is why I found myself rapidly pacing the beauty aisle at Walmart, furiously googling on my phone to find the most ethical beauty brands for sale that weren’t owned by companies that are pure evil, and I quickly started to have the same levels of anxiety that I have at grocery stores. In fact, the anxiety got so bad that I started to have to pee really bad, but I didn’t want to go to the bathroom at Walmart because it’s Walmart, so instead I just danced around a bunch in the beauty aisle and waited for the moment to pass while I held my phone in one hand and four different facial cleansers in the other.  ALL I WANT IS A CLEAN FACE AND A CLEAN CONSCIENCE. WHY IS THAT SO HARD?

Finally, I settled on one that had bees on it and prepared to leave when I remembered that I needed yarn for a new crocheting project, so we headed over to the craft section, where I entered yet another dilemma because while I found the perfect looking and feeling yarn for less than three dollars a skein, I was confronted by all of the following thoughts:

-IS IT ORGANIC?

-IS IT ETHICALLY SOURCED?

-HOW WERE THE SHEEP RAISED WHO MADE THIS YARN?

-WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THIS COMPANY?

-IS IT MADE IN AMERICA? DO I CARE IF IT’S MADE IN AMERICA? WHY DOES THAT MATTER?

And all of this is good, but also exhausting because at the end of it all I end up feeling like nothing that I can buy is ever going to be good enough. In fact, it’s gotten to such extremes that I’m starting to maybe go overboard?  For example, this conversation that I had last night with The Mr:

Me: So. I had an idea.

The Mr: …uh oh.

Me: No, it’s a good one!

The Mr: …okay.

Me: So you know how the dog chewed a hole in this piece of clothing? *holds up clothing*

The Mr: …yeah…

Me: WELL — one might think that this piece of clothing is now ruined and should just be thrown away, but WHY ADD TO THE LANDFILLS when I also have EXHIBIT B!

I held up a pair of cotton leggings whose elastic had busted that were also in a to-be-tossed-or-donated pile.

The Mr: 

Me: I’m going to cut up the leggings and patch up the hole that the dog made!

The Mr: …those fabrics don’t match.

Me: I CAN’T BE SO VAIN. THE PLANET IS AT STAKE HERE.

 

via GIPHY


Side note: while I was writing this, I found this episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast and it was ALL THE RELATABLE

 


What about you? Do you try and shop ethically? How do you manage it?


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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It’s official: I’m becoming my father.

My parents are lively and active people. The word ‘retirement’ is akin to the most offensive of curse words in their eyes, I think. Over drinks when my dad was in town, he said: “I hate that word.” And I swear he was this close to spitting on the ground to show his disdain.

All I know is that my parents never stop working, never stop moving, and never stop partying. My dad is in his seventies and he still travels for work all the time – not because he has to, but because he wants to.

And my mom is basically Wonder Woman. She’s a very successful real estate agent, she teaches six jazzercise classes a week (the majority of them at 5:45 in the GD morning!), she has two horses that she trains and takes care of almost every day, and she cooks dinner every freaking night.

 

via GIPHY

And yet, I manage to be surprised if they don’t answer the phone when I call.

Me: I think my parents find me dull.

The Mr: Why?

Me: Neither one of them is answering their phone! Do I call too often? Are they sick of me? You know, most parents would love it if their kid just called to say hi as often as I do, but they’re totally ghosting me! Do they think I’m boring?

The Mr: Maybe they do.

Me: …thanks, babe.

And then later that night, my dad called me. HE CALLED ME.

Me, too excitedly: Hi, Dad!

Dad: Hey, how are you?

Me: Great! How are you?

Dad: Well, I’m okay. Your mom is in Chicago visiting your sister and the new baby, so I’m just sitting in the parking lot of <LOCAL RESTAURANT>, trying to decide whether or not to go in and get dinner… there are a lot of cars here, so I don’t know… or maybe I should call Nick and see if he wants to meet…. I don’t know, we’ve been hanging out a lot this week since both of our wives are out of town… maybe he’s sick of me.

The Mr: Did you see that apple just fall from that tree?

But maybe this is a good thing… because maybe it means that I’m also going to be a superhero who travels the world!

Or maybe this means my future just involves a closet full of leotards.

 

via GIPHY


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Ten minutes.

I’m actually writing this on Thursday, but it’s being published on Friday so let’s just all pretend that when I say “today,” I mean “Friday” because that reality is easier for all of us to accept. Or maybe it’s just me that cares.

Either way, I’m using today to be lazily productive. Most of my writing days fall into this category because I never really get dressed or shower, but I do get things done, and today is a writing day, as most “todays” are, but especially so right now because it’s NaNoWriMo and like the fool that I am, I decided to participate again. I’m very behind on my wordcount, but I’m perservering because that’s what the point is (for me at least), to perservere even when I know that getting to the 50k by the end of this month is possibly not going to happen, but instead I have to believe that it definitely will happen because I have to believe that future me is going to muster the motivation to put the words down even though current me is struggling.

The way that I manage it is ten minutes at a time. I sit down and I set a timer on my phone for ten minutes. Then I hit play on my laptop so that loud music is blasting and I start typing and I don’t let myself stop typing until that timer goes off. As soon as that little annoying sound starts playing, I stop typing – even in the middle of a sentence -, I hit pause on the music, and I go do some other task on my to-do list (i.e. putting in another load of laundry, working on a patreon reward, taking the dogs for a walk, or arguing with the ghost in my bathroom). As soon as that task on my list is done, I do another ten minutes, and then repeat until I have finished my to-do list. I’ve found that it takes me ten minutes to get about 350 words out of my brain, which means that I only need to do six writing sessions to surpass my daily goal. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

This method is by no means an original or universal one, but it’s the one that works for me. I’m not a person who can sit down at my laptop and write from dawn until dusk. I get distracted or discouraged when I start to run out of steam and then depression and self-loathing sets in, and frankly, those are demons that I’d like to not wrestle with if I can help it (The ghost in the bathroom isn’t so bad, even if its sense of humor can be gross), and I’m thinking that maybe the reason this works is that those demons need just more than ten minutes of travel time to make it to the front of my brain, but if I don’t give them more than ten minutes, they miss the train and they have to wait for another one, and then I just end up never letting them catch the train and they’re stuck on a platform deep in the recesses of my mind for most of the day. I’d feel bad for them if they weren’t such jerks when they came around.

Anyway, I’m not sure if any of you are slogging through something this month, whether it’s a wordcount or some other daunting task, but if you are, I hope you have something like my ten-minute system to make it less scary. If you do, leave a comment down below and tell me what it is, because it took me a while to find mine and maybe someone else reading this is in need of one.

 

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I’m Living with a Poop Ninja.

I just got home from work and I am so tired I can hardly move, not because it was a tiring day at work, but because I barely got any sleep last night.

Because somebody won’t stop pooping on the carpet.

IT’S NOT FUNNY, ALOY.

We’re not sure what the real problem is. Last night was definitely abnormal in that she was clearly not feeling well and woke us up with stink bombs every hour or so. Is she sick? Is she stressed? Is this just part of her rebellious stage?!?

The thing with Aloy is that she’s really smart, but she’s also a freaking ninja when it comes to anything bathroom-related. Throughout the day, she’ll chat at you and bark at her toys or at Gio, but when it comes to going to the bathroom, all she does is quietly walk over to the staircase that leads outside, stare down it briefly, and then walk away, presumably assuming that we just can’t be bothered to respond. EXCEPT SOMETIMES WE AREN’T IN THE ROOM SO WE NEVER SEE THE SIGNS.

We’ve bought the bells and now every time we take her out, we ring the bells. She still just stands there.

So we’re at a weird loss and I’m kind of hoping that patience will win out here, but also what if our life is just filled with poop forever? Whatever poor NSA agent that is forced to read my google history is just like “my god, woman, why do you keep googling stuff about dog poop?” But then again, maybe this agent is also having dog poop problems and I’m helping her while also helping myself, so… it’s a win/win? Or a lose/lose? Seeing as how we’re both having to research the causes of dog poop, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter, but who knows? Maybe this is how I end up meeting an NSA agent and then I’ll be hired to be a secret agent who fights crimes! Against dog poop! Wow. This really took a turn, didn’t it? Did I mention I was tired? Where am I?

Oh, right. Aloy keeps ninja-pooping and it’s terrible. But I do recognize that it’s also kind of hilarious when it’s not happening to you. For example, while I was at work today, I received a text from The Mr, who had closed Aloy in his office with him so that he could keep an eye on her:

Him

Me: Oh no. What happened?

Him: <photo of dog poop on his office floor that I will spare you from looking at, my dear readers>

Me: 🙁 …but it looks solid, so… yay!

Him: I was giving a presentation to a client.

Him: and she just ninja-pooped halfway through it.

Him: So I had to sit in my office for 30 more minutes just smelling her poop.

Me: 

via GIPHY

I’m a good wife.

So now I’m spending the rest of my evening reading up on what to do when your housetrained dog just decides to throw everything she’s learned out the window.

But at least I’m doing my part for the country by helping out a government employee along the way.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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The Titanic Was a Thing and A Movie Theater Is a Place.

I wasn’t going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I had a long list of perfectly good reasons not to do NaNoWriMo this year:

  • Writing/editing 1 essay a week for submissions
  • Editing two novels
  • Updating this blog twice a week
  • Keeping up with the Patreon Page
  • Working full time
  • Running a Youth Group twice a month (which requires way more planning and organization than one would think!)
  • Running a weekly teen writing workshop
  • OH and maybe some personal time to spend with The Mr, our dogs, our friends and maybe sleeping sometimes too?

See? Those are all really good reasons not to do NaNoWriMo.

And I was also feeling really comfortable with this decision. I wished all my friends who had decided to dive in good luck and told them that I was cheering them on.

But I had one friend who decided to email me. On November 1st:

Subject: NaNoWriMo

Body: I’ll race you to the 50k 🙂

And I responded with my whole “Oh, I’m not doing NaNo this year because <see reasons above>, but good luck!”

And he was all “Hey, we all have shit to do. Here’s my laundry list of reasons why I shouldn’t be writing a novel this month either.” And then he essentially was like “do it anyway.” I’m totally paraphrasing here, but that’s basically what he said.

And I was all “Even if I could, I don’t have an idea! I don’t even have a character in mind that I could just start following around in my brain!”

But then I talked to another friend – a friend you only talk to when you want to be talked into writing – and she gave me a pretty great idea…

So suddenly I had an idea… and a laundry list of reasons still not to write the book… that I decided to ignore. Not ignore, exactly because I’m still doing all of those things… I just decided to add to it? So now here I am, waking up every day at 5am to put words onto the vomit draft of a new novel. And one of the best things is that I’ve got this weird husband who was all “Alright. Let’s do this.” instead of being all “EMELIE WHY?” For example:

So as of this blog post on November 3rd I am 2,201 words into a strange novel. And I can’t wait to see where it’s headed.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Buddy me so that we can support each other.


And now, for some business:

 

I’ll be performing at this open mic night on Saturday Night (November 4th) with some really amazing people. All proceeds go to the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in New Milford, CT. If you’re able to make it, please do! I’m reading one of my most awkward pieces I’ve ever written, and everyone else will be reading really incredible stuff, so it should be a good time for us all.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Fred Flinstone Is Missing and Now My Dog is Possessed.

The other night, we received our PupJoy box, full of goodies for the dogs, and one of the toys was this GIANT rubber squeaky bone covered in cloth that kind of looked like it was stolen from Fred Flinstone’s closet?

 

Yes. The fabric looked exactly like his… dress? That’s a dress, right? Fred Flinstone: Man of Confidence. Wait… was Fred Flinstone poached to make my dog’s toy?!?! WHAT ABOUT BAM-BAM?!?!

I can’t think about this right now. THIS WAS NOT THE POINT OF THIS STORY WHEN I STARTED.

Let’s focus, people.

So my dogs got this giant, rubber, squeaky toy and Aloy was in love with it right away. So she was all “IMMA SQUEAK THIS THING SO MUCH.” And then she did for like 45 minutes before she got distracted and then Gio was like “I shall skin it.”

 

And so he did that and then when Aloy came back she was all “WAIT, MY TOY HAS CHANGED THERE IS A NEW PART THAT I DIDN’T SEE BEFORE.”

And then she proceeded to INGEST HALF OF THE RUBBER BONE WITHIN THE FLINSTONE SKIN.

Of course, The Mr and I didn’t notice that she was actually EATING the rubber until half of it was gone and we were like “Well, crap. Now what?”

And basically the only answer to that is to just… wait it out.

 

So fast-forward to 4am. I woke up to what I thought was The Mr screaming. And so I said “What’s wrong, why are you screaming?” and he was like “I’m not. THAT WAS ALOY.”

Our dog SCREAMED LIKE A HUMAN. And not like a blood-curtling shriek. She just screamed like “AHH”

 

It was like she was possessed by some weird Rubber Ghost.

But then she puked up a bunch of rubber and everything was fine.

 

Okay, now let’s get back to the important thing. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ANY OF US SAW THE FLINSTONES ALIVE?


And now, for some business:

 

I’ll be performing at this open mic night on Saturday Night with some really amazing people. All proceeds go to the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in New Milford, CT. If you’re able to make it, please do! I’m reading one of my most awkward pieces I’ve ever written, and everyone else will be reading really incredible stuff, so it should be a good time for us all.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.


Last night was the October Public #SundaySupdates. “What is #SundaySupdates?” #SundaySupdates is a show on which I answer your questions while preparing supper on a Sunday. On the last Sunday of every month, #SundaySupdates is public! Yay! All other episodes will only be available to the Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. To become an Awkward Ambassador, click here: https://www.patreon.com/awkwardlyalive

Check out last night’s episode here and then go sign up on Patreon to join in the fun every week! It only almost always starts and ends in disaster.

 

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Awkward Bodies, Big hearts.

The church I attend has been leading a non-violent communication workshop in response to all of the social and political tension that has been percolating/boiling over/erupting in the world lately. The workshop sadly conflicts with my work schedule, so I haven’t been able to attend, but The Mr and I went through a mini-version of the workshop during our pre-marital counseling. Not that we showed signs of violent communication, mind you. I feel like calling it “non-violent” communication makes it sound like it’s just teaching people how to talk without smacking each other. It’s more about the ancient and near-forgotten practice of having a conversation with someone you disagree with without resorting to dickish behavior, I guess? It’s kindness. That’s what it is. It’s just relearning how to be kind to each other even when we don’t believe all of the exact same things – or even when we believe completely opposite things.

 

via GIPHY

And since I’m all about that kindness and love stuff, I was really excited when the administrator at our church reached out to me and asked for a favor.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, it’s no secret that I adore giraffes. Afterall, we have a lot in common: we’re both tall and awkward, we both have knobby knees, and we both make weird faces on a regular basis.

But recently I learned something new about my favorite animal: Giraffes have the largest heart out of all land animals.

And for that reason, the giraffe is now becoming a symbol of non-violent communication.

And I just so happen to crochet stuffed animals for a hobby (if you want one, you should check out my patreon page), and the administrator at the church knew this about me, so she put in a request.

He’s certainly not perfect. He’s been chewed on in some places (an inevitable fate with a puppy in the house) and patched back together (but then again, haven’t we all?), and in spite of all of his frays and lopsidedness, he has a permanent smile.

And a really big heart.

So his new home will be at the church, as the official representative of non-violent communication, and apparently, whenever someone has something to say, they have to hold him when they’re speaking, which I think is amazing because who could ever be angry while holding this guy? And who could ever be angry at the person holding this guy? It’s basically impossible, right?

I think so. And if you disagree with me, that’s okay.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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Being sick sucks. 

As a kid, it was weirdly exciting to be sick. You got to stay home and watch tv all day and it never mattered that you didn’t feel good. As a grown-up, it’s the worst. I still got to stay home and watch tv, but nowadays, I only stay home when I really feel awful. I’ve had a migraine, I’ve been dizzy and nauseous all day, and as much as I love The Golden Girls, I’m burning out here.

There are two good things, of course: I have a really nice husband who is currently making me soup, and a dog who won’t leave my side. Seriously, Gio won’t leave – and he gets mad when Aloy, our other dog, comes near me. It’s kind of endearing.

The good news is that for the first time all day, I can write without getting dizzy or nauseous. The bummer news is that I don’t really have a ton to say since I’ve been bed-ridden and loopy all day. Apparently, I had a fever dream that my dog jumped out the window (he survived) and that I went back to high school and got lost on my way there. I’m pretty sure those were two separate dreams, but both equally disturbing.

Either way, here is a cute picture of Aloy trying to choose between her favorite toy and a chocolate chip cookie. Don’t worry, she picked the toy.

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I’m not even allowed to think about watching Mindhunter.

Last night I took Gio out to go to the bathroom, but it was really dark and I got scared, so I only let him pee, which makes me a terrible dog owner, but in my defense I took him inside so that I could tell The Mr that he had to take Gio outside again to poop because I was pretty sure there was a murderer hiding behind the tree in our yard and I knew that if I stayed out there any longer he would sneak up on me and stab me, you know right in the base of my spinal column or something? That way I’d be paralyzed and unable to move or say anything and The Mr would never know. So I ran inside.

The Mr basically just looked at me like this when I explained everything:

via GIPHY

Which is justified.

It should be noted that what spurred all of this on was Kate McKinnon’s SNL IT sketch in which she was Kellyanne Conway/Pennywise/Kellywise. This was a comedy sketch. I had nightmares.

 

via GIPHY

I mean… I also laughed. But mainly because I was terrified.


And now for some business:

  • I’ll be volunteering at the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest today and on Sunday in Kent, CT! Come say hi! I’ll be the one in a volunteer shirt who looks like me. The Mr will be there on Saturday. If any of you are there and you see him, take pictures and tag me. It’ll be like a fun scavenger hunt!
  • The giveaway is still open (because am I really not popular enough for even 10 of you to want some free books and patreon perks? Maybe that means you’d be ahead of the trend by becoming an Awkward Ambassador so early… Think about it.)

This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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But then I realized that it was Friday the 13th and all of this seemed normal

Well hello there, friends! I’m sorry for my bloggy absence this past weekend, but activities took over and my brain couldn’t handle putting words out by the end of it all. Sometimes we all need a little, unplanned break, don’t we?

One of those activities was a visit with my good friend, The Delightful R, who took the train in from Manhattan to New Haven where I met her. We hadn’t seen one another since my wedding, so we were long overdue for an actual conversation.

Three ridiculous moments happened:

1. While eating a slice of Avocado Toast I stated without any irony at all, “We just want to own a house. That is seriously all we want right now.” In my defense, that Avocado Toast also came with a fried egg on top and it was only $4.50, so… #MillennialMoment

2. We went to a restaurant, and our waiter came out and handed us the wine list and I said “Thank you so much” just as he stated what his name was, so all I heard was “My name is Zafefefefefe whenever you need anything else.”

Because R and I knew that this couldn’t really be his name, we were never really able to flag him down without just doing that awkward maneuver where you just wide-eye in any direction trying to make eye contact with anyone in an apron so that you can get more bread because WHY IS THE BREAD TO CHEESE RATIO ALWAYS SO OFF???

via GIPHY

And at one point, we tried to flag Zafefefefefe down, and we literally saw him FLEE THE RESTAURANT.

We eventually did get more bread and Zafefefefefe did return, but when he handed us our bill, it turned out his name was Anthoni.

3. Because we’re ladies who had long journeys home after our wine and cheese, we needed to use the restroom at this restaurant. The restroom was down the hall, right next to the kitchen, and it was a single, so I let R go first while I waited patiently outside the door. Like a normal person.

THREE TIMES, different dudes came out of the kitchen and asked me “Did you try the door handle?” and then they would jiggle the handle as I said “YES I DID THERE IS SOMEONE IN THERE I KNOW HOW TO USE A DOOR,” but in a slightly more polite tone maybe? Maybe not. It became increasingly frustrating.

By the time R came out I was like “I SWEAR THAT WASN’T ME TRYING TO BREAK DOWN THE DOOR,” and I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that bizarre level of mansplaining before… Either way, I almost forgot entirely about the weird door behavior because as soon as I entered the bathroom I was HORRIFIED. The wall opposite the toilet was just one giant mirror, so I was forced to just stare at myself while I peed. LIKE A NIGHTMARE.

And this isn’t even including the bit where we got kicked out of a cemetery… sigh… other stories for other times.


In other news, the giveaway from last week’s blog post is still going on. You should partake!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

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