This is why I don’t shop at real stores.

First of all, thank you to all of you who responded to my post my last week. Thank you for the comments, the text messages, the tweets, and the emails. It was awesome to receive so many messages of encouragement. Especially this one:

Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom.

I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but I feel like every time I write a post or even just talk to a friend about an issue I’m having, that issue almost immediately starts to go away.

After hitting “publish” last week, things started to happen that I felt like I could blog about and I started reading posts from bloggers who seemed to be going through exactly the same thing. It’s like there was something in the air. Or everyone was watching Orange is the New Black and therefore couldn’t muster the emotional energy to sit down and write.

Anyway, on to blog-worthy thing #1.

This guy, who was just hanging out so nonchalantly at an antique shop that I didn’t even notice him right away:IMG_3591

Now you might be asking “How the hell do you not notice a 15-foot-tall alien statue, Emelie?” and to that I say “I DON’T KNOW. MAYBE BECAUSE HE HAS ALIEN POWERS AND CAN BE INVISIBLE WHENEVER HE WANTS TO BE.”

But that’s just a theory.

The other logical reason is that there was so much stuff (weirdly none of it made it into this photo, so please just trust me.) outside of this antique shop that my brain was overloaded and I spent a lot of time looking down to make sure I wasn’t going to trip on something and subsequently fall straight into, oh I don’t know… an alien’s crotch.

I think one of my favorite things about him though is that he seems to be listening to all of your problems. Look at him, with his hands folded so peacefully, and his head tilted so understandingly as if to say “Yes, I can see why you’re so upset about that.”

Or maybe it’s a bride!

"I do!"

“I do!”

The possibilities are endless, you guys. ENDLESS.

P.S. I sent that alien-bride image to Boyfriend and apparently it is absolute nightmare fuel for him, so…. this can only get more fun.

P.P.S. I invite you to photoshop your own version of our new comrade here and post it in the comments section below or tag me on Instagram.

 

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Someone please get me to motivation station.

I get into these slumps every now and again where I lose complete motivation to do anything. I’ll cook dinner and then I won’t eat it because I’ve stopped being hungry. I’ll tell myself to write for half an hour and then instead I watch Archer for two hours… And then all of things that I need to do, like laundry, dishes, blogging, vlogging, and editing my book, pile up and I become so overwhelmed that I just end up saying “screw it” and I just sit on the couch and do nothing because I can’t for the life of me figure out which thing to do first. And then this spirals even further because I’ll realize that instead of doing something, I’ve done absolutely zero things, and that makes me mad at myself, so then I just sit there and distract myself by watching more Archer just to keep myself from yelling at my brain.

I am just now coming out of a 2-day slump of that very nature, and I’ve gotta say that the coming-out-of-it part feels awesome, but the getting-there part sucks, and then I’m forced to ask myself what it is that gets me there in the first place. Have I taken on too much or is the lighting in my apartment, while environmentally conscious, just so dim that it makes me sleepy and sluggish? Should I just start making another pot of coffee when I get home from work so that my energy stays up high enough to do all of the things that I want to do? Or should I start going to bed earlier so that I can wake up earlier so that I can do more things in the morning before work so that when I come home I don’t have to feel bad about being a sluggy slob?

Basically what I really need is a plan. I need a motivation plan to do all of the things that I want to do because I’m not really willing to give any of them up… So if any of you out there have really good systems for juggling all of your responsibilities, please let me know in the comments section below. And if any of you are also going through a slump right now, also let me know in the comments because it’s nice to know we’re not alone, and who knows? Maybe we can help each other.

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#Karen

So Boyfriend and I are about to embark on a 15-hour road trip to spend an entire week with my family. Fifteen human beings and one labrador will be spending one week straight with one another in a house that comfortably fits a maximum of ten people.

This can only go well.

Alcohol will be required.

But first, the journey there. We’re driving from Connecticut to South Carolina, which basically means we’re just going to be on the I-95 for all eternity, and I have prepared for all things.

  • Water? Check.
  • Audiobooks and podcasts? Check.
  • Coloring books? Check.
  • Apples? Check.
  • The biggest box of Goldfish possible? Check.

Okay, so that’s the material supplies. Now for the sights. This is where you all come in. We’ve found a ton of sights along the way. We know we can’t stop at all of them because of time, but we figure that whenever we stop for food or gas, we’ll see which sight we’re near and then we’ll go check it out. The most interesting ones that we have found on the internet are:

  • The grave of the ARM of Stonewall Jackson. I’m not kidding. Just his arm is buried there and it’s a tourist attraction OBVIOUSLY.
  • A Whirligig Park. Enough said.
  • An abandoned renaissance fair. I basically just want to run around here and shout “HUZZAH!” at the top of my lungs, but let’s be honest, I’ll probably just get murdered.
  • And a two giant statues: one pink elephant and one grey one. I don’t know why this intrigues me, but it does.

Anyway, I figure some of you might know of some pretty cool sights along the I-95, right? Any ideas? Also, boyfriend and I will be all over this on instagram and twitter, so if you want to follow our road trippy adventures, we’ll be using the hashtag #Karen because that is what we have decided to name our trip. Why did we decide to name our trip “Karen?” Well, the answer is simple: We couldn’t think of a clever name for this trip that would make a suitable hashtag, and so after much debate and many terrible ideas, I decided that we should just name it Karen. So… follow the hashtag, #Karen.

Anyway, I’m writing this at 4am and with very little ability to tell myself that naming our trip #Karen is ridiculous, so I should probably walk away before someone puts a stop to my undoubtable genius.

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No one knows what’s going on up there at night, you guys. Not even me.

So I’ve been having really bizarre dreams again lately, which is always a strange combination of exciting and terrifying because when the weird dreams happen, it usually causes me and those around me to wonder what the frak is actually wrong with my brain and if I should start seeing a professional sometime soon about all of this, but in the meantime, I think I’m just going to turn to all of you guys here on the Internet because I respect your opinions enough to last me a while longer, I think.

Anyway, so my brother and I were playing volleyball, but instead of using a standard volleyball, we were using a beach ball. He and I were on the same team and we were playing against a team of two robots. These robots were not “Ex Machina” robots, but more like primitive versions of R2D2 types of robots. Very non-flashy and very able to pop beach balls, which was a huge concern of mine. Maybe if they popped it, we would lose? Or the game would have to end and they would kill us? I’m not sure, but I remember feeling like the stakes were high. Either way, my brother and I both dove for the ball and one point and the robots failed to respond in time, so we won, causing them to break down in a smokey and mechanical sounding death. My brother and I high-fived.

Then my brother took Boyfriend and me aside and started giving us life advice. None of it was making any sense so he finally said “Look: Life is like Noah’s Arc, right? I just don’t want to see you sink the ship,” and then he walked away.

When I told my brother about this in real life, he said, “Hey, that sounds like good advice.”

“Sure,” I said, “but I think the more important takeaway here is that we can defeat robots.”

 

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In honor of Mother’s Day…

Because this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to revisit all of my mother’s appearances on this blog, of which there are quite a few and they are all golden. So,  here’s one of the latest and greatest. And don’t forget: MOTHER’S DAY IS ON SUNDAY!!

And Once Again, My Mother, Ladies and Gentlemen…

So last night I was sitting at home and relaxing with some Netflix and my dog. It was perfect.

And then I went to wash my face.

“Why do my eyes look different?” I thought to myself. And then I realized that it wasn’t that my eyes look different, it’s that MY FACE IS FRAKING SWOLLEN AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.

So, I immediately texted my mother (because that’s what you do in any emergency, and yes I count this as an emergency.), who is visiting my sister and niece in Chicago, which prompted this phone call:

Me: Hello?

Mom: What happened?

Me: I have no idea.

Mom: Is it allergies?

Me: I’ve never had an allergy! Why don’t you know that? All I did today was go to work and eat mac and cheese!

Mom: Weird… Do you have some Benadryl?

Me: No…and everything’s closed right now.

Mom: Alright, well… if it’s still like that in the morning, go get some Benadryl and go to the doctor.

Me: I don’t even know where there is a doctor… I’ve never needed one out here. I’M A CHILD.

Mom: Good God, Emelie…

Me: Anyway, how is Chicago?

Mom: Good. The baby has a fever.

Me: WE’RE DROPPING LIKE FLIES!!

Mom: Well, your sister and I are fine. We’re just hanging out and drinking wine.

Me: Oh, maybe that’s my issue. I was out of wine tonight. Maybe I’m having an allergic reaction to not having wine.

Mom: You’re out of wine?!?!

Me: I know… I have failed you.

Mom: Well, that’s obviously the problem. You need to fix that. Put that on your shopping list for tomorrow, too: Wine and Benadryl.

Sister in the background: What??? DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!!!

Me: Mom, you give the best advice.

 

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Vomitoriums are not what we think they are. Also, I’m too weak to think of a real title.

I am not in shape.

I’m thin, yes, but I’d still be one of the first to go in the zombie apocalypse. I just don’t have the stamina.

It’s also that time of year when I’m cleaning out my apartment and my car and I think to myself, “Why not just clean up your whole life! Let’s start running and working out all the time!”

I contacted my sisters. One of them is a former marathon runner. The other is basically just a beast. Seriously, this woman works out more than I thought a mother of two could ever work out. I’m pretty sure that professional fitness trainers don’t work out like she works out. Her arms are gifts from Athena herself. And the weirdest part is that I think she actually genuinely enjoys it… My mom is also a fitness instructor… I’m starting to question my biological connection to these people again.

Anyway, the marathoner has me on this schedule where I sprint up hills in the morning and go on longer distance runs on flat surfaces once a week and then the other sister tells me all about these great 30-minute workouts she does, which she loves and says are the reason for her Athena Arms.

Guys, I just tried one of the 30-minute workouts. I lasted 12 minutes. And that includes the time I took to stop and go get water and use the bathroom before looking at the British dude with the bleached mohawk on my screen and shutting him down.

And then I texted Boyfriend.

Me: I… am not in shape. (I had to add the ellipses to account for the heavy breathing)

Boyfriend: Me either, my legs are so sore from yesterdays morning workout. (Apparently he’s on this must-start-working-out-again train, too?)

Me: I just tried to do one of my sister’s (aka THE BEASTHULKWOMAN) 30 minute workouts and I didn’t even make it halfway through before feeling like I might die in a vomitorium of sweat and sadness. And inside this vomitorium, there is no oxygen, oh no. Lungs collapse upon entering the vomitorium. The only thing one can inhale inside the vomitorium is failure and shame.

Boyfriend: Oh gosh babe, that sounds like a rough neighborhood.

Me: There’s lots of gang violence.

Boyfriend: Countless assaults on life and limb.

Me: Housing is pretty cheap, though, so that’s nice. You just pay in tears.

On a separate note, I just googled “vomitorium” (risky move, I know) and it’s totally not at all what I thought it was… I expected so much puke, but all I got was a bunch of tunnels because I guess a vomitorium is basically just the giant tunnel that you walk through when you’re leaving a stadium at a sports thing, which I think it weird because that’s like the stadium is puking you back out to society? That being said, though, it totally still works with what I’m saying because when you watch sports you’re never in as good of shape as the people playing the sports so then you could go to the vomitorium to reflect on your fitness failures in life, right? No? Am I still doing this sports thing wrong? I might be doing this sports thing wrong.

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I’m basically an expert on keeping relationships interesting.

So last night I was on the phone with Boyfriend while he was cleaning out his car.

Me: Hey! I’m planning on doing that tomorrow too!! I can’t wait. It really needs it.

Boyfriend: I know, so does mine.

Me: What are you talking about? Your car is always clean. I’ve literally never seen anything in your car that shouldn’t be there… except for dog hair, but that’s usually my fault because it’s on my clothes.

Boyfriend: That’s because all the messy stuff goes into the trunk, and today I had to find something in there and now it’s just an explosion of stuff all over the car.

Me: That’s so weird. You want to know what’s in my trunk right now? One pair of shoes – and they’re not just haphazardly tossed back there. I opened the back of the Jeep the other day and all I saw was one pair of blue shoes, sitting neatly lined up next to each other, ready for me to step into them. Meanwhile, the back seat of the Jeep, there are ice skates, a weird Hobbit banner for some reason, a Where’s Waldo costume, more shoes, a poker set, and some towels that are all balled up in the corner of the seat. Do you know why those towels are all balled up back there?

Boyfriend: Because…

Me: Because I thought it would be nice to put some towels down for the dog so that when we go to the dog park he doesn’t get the back seat all dirty.

Boyfriend: Well, that makes sense.

Me: Except for the fact that when Gio got into the car, he looked at the towels and balled them up and moved them out of the way!!

Boyfriend: But see, you just described my trunk! I promise that I’m messy, too! We’re just reversed!

Me: Yes, but the difference here is that your mess is contained in a place where it is rarely seen. People aren’t sitting in your trunk I HOPE.

Boyfriend: That only happened once.

Me: Really? How strange…

Boyfriend: I can explain.

Me:  No, I’m saying that it’s strange because you’ve only had someone in your trunk once and I’ve only ever been in the trunk of someone’s car once…

Boyfriend: …I’m intrigued. I’ll explain mine if you explain yours.

Me: No.

Boyfriend: No?

Me: Let’s just agree to never explain those two scenarios to each other. That way we’ll never really know. It’ll be our way of keeping some mystery in this relationship.

Boyfriend: Fine, but I have a feeling that our stories are pretty much the sa-

Me: Shhhhh…

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Nothing can ever prepare you for this.

I lost a friend to suicide this week.

It’s not that I thought I was ready for this or anything. No one is ever ready for something like this. I just thought that maybe – just maybe – I understood it a little bit. I have read so many memoirs and blog posts about what it means to be depressed or suicidal. I have always been drawn to stories about people who suffer from mental illness and I think a huge part of that is because I wanted to understand. I had friends growing up who suffered from depression and hurt themselves, so I started reading and reading and reading, and while I knew that I could never understand on the I’ve-Been-There level, I thought that maybe all of this reading was helping me to get it on a cognitive one.

I will never understand this. Not that I’ll stop trying to, of course. I’ll keep reading and I’ll keep obsessing and I’ll keep reanalyzing every detail that I can to try and understand so that when I see the signs, I can stop it, but I don’t think I will ever fully understand. And I don’t think I really want to.

I don’t want to know what it’s like to be in that much pain and to feel that alone.

In a recent blog post written by Jenny Lawson, she talks about her “folder of 24”. It’s a folder full of 24 different letters she received from people who were actively planning their suicides when they read her “coming out” post on depression. More importantly, they read the comments section, which was flooded with me-toos and I-thought-I-was-the-only-ones. These messages saved at least 24 lives. I say “at least” because she goes on to say that when she would be out signing copies of her memoir, people would come up to her and whisper “I was number 25.”

There were so many 25’s,” she writes.

Why couldn’t he be a 25?

I know it’s not fair to ask that question, but I’m in a lot of pain and I’m not really in the mood to think about whether a question is fair or not, if I’m being honest. My friend took his own life and I wish he hadn’t. End of story.

So now, all I can do is hope that he is at peace, wherever he is. I have to hope that if he was in that much pain, that now he isn’t anymore. I have to hope that the solution that he came to was at least that: a solution. Was it the right solution? No. Not in my opinion and not in the opinion of anyone who knew him. The world would be an extraordinarily better place if he were still in it. I just wish he would have known that.

Garrett Janos and I met at church. He was drumming in the band and I was doing techie things. We clicked pretty quickly and I soon discovered that Garrett was so many things: kind, hilarious, and an amazing drummer. He always showed up when you needed him to, and he was never one to turn down an adventure. In fact, there were very few times when JH and I drove around with him in the daylight, now that I’m thinking about it. It was always about midnight runs to places, even if that place was the video store, where the three of us would come to befriend the manager and get free DVDs for the week, just for the love of movies. Garrett loved movies. He loved any form of creativity. And he was generous with his abilities.

My ButtonThe very first logo that this blog had was a black-and-white image of my face with a giant old-timey mustache and buckteeth. Garrett created that image one day when he was bored. He made different ones for a few friends and sent them off to us with a smile. When Awkwardly Alive and Pleasantly Peculiar was born, I knew there was no other image I could use for my logo. Since then, it has been revised and spruced up a bit, but the theme has stayed the same.

When my YouTube show, Page Break, was created, Garrett loved it so much that he sent me a sketch he started working on just out of the blue. That sketch became our logo for the show. Garrett wouldn’t let us pay him for it. That’s just how he was.

pagebreaklogo

Garrett was loved. He was important.

And so are you.

So please, if you’re considering suicide or if you’re suffering from depression, please reach out. Call a suicide hotline. Tell a friend or family member. If you’re in school, it’s likely that there is a free clinic where you can go and talk to someone. Go read Jenny Lawson’s posts on how depression lies, because that’s what it does: it lies. It’s really good at it and it’s incredibly convincing, but you have to remember that depression is lying to you.

You have to remember that you are loved. You are important.

And if you’ve ever lost someone to suicide before… how did you manage? What do I do?

A foundation has been started in Garrett Janos’s name to help fight mental illness. Donations can be made and more information can be found here. If you have anything to give, we really, really appreciate it. Let’s see if we can grow a few flowers from all of this dirt.

The mustachioed images he created of me (top), "John Hamm" (bottom) and himself (right).

The mustachioed images he created of me (top), “John Hamm” (bottom), and himself (right).

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The art of taking care of yourself is an art I have not-at-all mastered.

The other day I was sitting around reading the paper and drinking my coffee (like a real live adult!!) when I got bored and decided to text my best friend, John Hamm (not her real name (also not the actor), because privacy and whatever).

Me: The obituaries are boring today.

JH: I’m sorry no one interesting has died.

Me: Actually, this one guy was a cartoonist for disney and served in the Canadian Navy… So maybe I spoke too soon…

Me: And it’s not that the people weren’t interesting, it’s their obituaries that aren’t interesting.

Me: When I die, please write an awesome obituary for me.

JH: Why do you assume you’re going to die before me?

Me: Let’s be real.

JH: I smoke and I am in a high stress field. I am going first.

JH: My blood veins are going to look like linguini from stress shredding them.

Me: Yeah, but I’ve sustained three injuries this morning alone.

JH: Oh god, what did you do?

Me: I sliced my hand on the cheese grater while doing dishes.

Me: I tripped over the phone cord and smacked my knee.

Me: And I almost slipped outside and could have cracked my head open.

JH: Living alone is such a good choice for you.

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This totally counts as productive… right?

I’m supposed to be cleaning my apartment right now, but I got as far as clearing off my desk and putting some of my books away and then I was like “What’s happening on the internet?” and now I’m stuck to my couch and since Boyfriend has already called me once today just to give me a cleaning pep talk, I have decided that all hope is lost and that maybe I should just accept my fate and never move again.

It also doesn’t help that it’s snowing like crazy outside. I mean… this weather basically just begs you to be lazy. It’s all “Hey, LOOK: Everything is frozen! Nothing is alive! FOLLOW MY LEAD. FALL TO THE GROUND AND STAY THERE FOR SIX MORE WEEKS. IT’LL BE GREAT.”

But I really need to vacuum and there are still some dishes to do and stuff, so I thought I’d text Boyfriend one more time to see if he could help because the dog is all sorts of sheddy right now and this laziness and inability to adult is kind of unacceptable.

Me: I took a break. I can’t get up.

Boyfriend: Hehe

Me: I’M A USELESS BLOB OF LAZINESS

Boyfriend: But you’re still cute.

Me: CUTE DOESN’T CLEAN.

Boyfriend: That should be an inspirational cat poster.

Me: On it.

Boyfriend: Wait, did I just assist you with procrastinating?

Me: What? No.

I found that kitty picture here: http://www.buypetmedicine.com/pets/general/cute-kittens-and-cats-pictures/

I found that kitty picture here: http://www.buypetmedicine.com/pets/general/cute-kittens-and-cats-pictures/

***

In other news, I got an email the other day informing me that I have been nominated for the Funniest Blogging Award over at My So-Called Chaos’ Best Blog of 2015 Awards, which is insane!! I didn’t even know I was in the running to be nominated, so I’m seriously floored here. Thank you to whoever did this (I think I know who you are!).

This whole contest is based on votes, though, so this is where you come in, you awesome nerds. Click either on the link above or on the graphic below and head on over and cast your votes! Everyone who has been nominated (especially in the humor category) is amazing, so I know this will be tough for some of you, but I believe in you! YOU CAN DO IT!!! YOU GOT THIS!

2015 My So-Called Chaos Best of Blog Awards

 

And THANK YOU!!!

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