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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It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!

Hi friends!

First of all, a massive thank you to all of you for your lovely comments, emails, tweets, texts, hugs, etc. after my blog post on Friday. I can’t say that I’m totally out of my rut yet, but your encouragement has helped me more than you can possibly imagine. I love you all so much.

And because I love you all so much, I wanted to do something fun.

So… I have a box of books. Books that I helped write, along with some really amazing writers that I know, and I want to send one to you.

Here’s how this is going to work: The first ten people to go sign up to be an Awkward Ambassador on Patreon will receive an autographed copy of This One Has No Name. I don’t care which tier you sign up for: $1 or $20 or anywhere in between. If you sign up, you’re getting a book PLUS all the awesome perks you get on Patreon for being an Awkward Ambassador anyway!

Sound like fun? Great! Now GO AND BE AWKWARD, MY MINIONS! GO!!!!

P.S. My dogs are GREAT models.

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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So maybe I’m not marketable. 

I’ve been feeling a bit low as a writer/person in the world lately, which is weird because the thing I’ve been feeling low about is the fact that I’m not angry all the time.

I am a feminist. There’s no denying it and I’m happy to say so. And I am angry about a lot of things. I just refuse to let those things make me angry all of the time. I refuse to believe that there are more bad people than there are good, and I refuse to believe that the world we live in right now is the reality we have to accept. If we start simply accepting that things are terrible, then we let the terrible things win.

It’s not that I’m ignoring the terrible things. I just don’t want to validate them. My goal is to give you just a small break and to remind you that there is still good out there.

I choose to believe in and acknowledge love.

But I’m not just a feminist, I’m also a writer. And while I love this blog, I’m also trying to “make it” as a writer and I’d like to be published on other websites as well. …except that most of the websites I find that I think might be a good fit for my style are, well, only publishing angry-feminist stuff right now.

So there’s a strange sense of loneliness creeping in… all because I’m refusing to be unhappy.

I turned to Bestbian today, who always knows what to say in these situations, and… well, she didn’t disappoint:


I’ve seen a few of my writer friends falling down this rabbit hole lately. “What do the readers/publishers/editors want to see?”

But I think we all need to remember that that’s not the question we need to be asking. The question we need to be asking is “What do I have to say?”

I have stories of my foolishness, my uterus, and love.

Maybe that’s not marketable.

And maybe 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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We can do this.

Today has been difficult — and it’s only weeks after some other really difficult days/weeks/months. I’ve been pendulum swinging between sadness and anger and wanting to just hug everyone.

Normally this is the part when I tell you all that I truly do believe everything is going to be okay. And I do. I just don’t think it’s going to happen tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or the day after that.

I’m not losing my optimism. I’m still recklessly optimistic and I refuse to change that, but I do think that how we react to this – how we’re already reacting to this terrible and tragic event – matters. It matters more than we can possibly fathom.

And this anger thing is the easy part. It’s taking it to the next level that’s going to make the difference. It’s where we direct that anger that will alter the course we’re on.

I wish I had better words than these. I wish I knew the right thing to say. I wish I had ideas of what to do next.

Let’s make a list, for ourselves and for each other. I’ll start with what I can think of, and then will you please add to it? Add organizations that we can donate to that can help, and whatever else you can think of to start pointing us in the right direction. I don’t have a lot of money, so can’t be one of those amazing bloggers who says that she will match a donation to something, but we can make this blog post a good source for people who have the cash to give. Also, though, we can do so much more than give money. We all have gifts and we all have love, so let’s gather together and flood the world with kindness. Ready? Here we go:

  1. Love. Above all else, before you do anything or say anything, ask yourself if love is the driving force behind that action or those words.
  2. VOTE. Make calls, do all the crap that everyone is telling you to do all the time. Your voice matters and it is heard, and your odds of that being true only go up when you actually speak up.
  3. HAVE THE TOUGH CONVERSATIONS THAT YOU’RE ALWAYS AVOIDING.
  4. Laugh. Comedy is SO important right now. I know it seems like I’m telling you to make a joke out of this, but know that that is so not what I’m saying. I’m saying that we need to find comedy in other places. We need to allow ourselves to take a break from the crap of this world for bits of time and just laugh. For example, as I write this, I am currently watching the latest Seinfeld comedy special, and I’m enjoying it, because that is okay. Taking time to enjoy yourself while terrible things are happening does not make you a bad person. It keeps you human. Because it’s all about balance.
  5. Ask people who are in the thick of it how you can help and what you can do. Don’t just sit there and say “How terrible, I wish there was something I could do.” We have the Internet. Find someone to help and help them.

Okay, that’s all I can muster right now. What about you?

UPDATE: Thank you Grace Helbig.

 

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