Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do it Afraid

Time for a serious post. So if you’re not in the mood for some soul-bearing introspective nonsense, you might want to skip this. Who am I kidding? Absolutely no one reads this . . . Yet. (I’m working on self-confidence). One day, when I decide to start actually revealing this blog, I will have readers.

After a fairly dramatic crying jag and furious thumb-flying text message conversation with my husband, I took to Google for solace. It was just you run-of-the-mill breakdown. I’m sick of people promising me work and then just disappearing. If they knew how much hope and celebration goes into each prospective job for a freelancer, they wouldn’t be so quick to make empty promises. So I Googled, “motivation for new freelance writers” or something along those lines. I came across this gem of a blog post on

She basically explained that every new writer is afraid. You just have to accept that fear and do it anyway. As a person, I bring fear to a whole new level. Besides being a somewhat under-confident, I also have a lot of anxiety issues. Like “had to be medicated for seven years” kind of issues. Don’t worry, I’m not crazy. I just tend to worry endlessly and I generally expect the worse thing to happen. For instance, a positive Emily would submit a response to a job ad and think, “I think I have a good shot at getting this. I have some great published clips, a writing degree from a good college and the skills to succeed at the job.” My normal self would read the ad and think this, “Why should I even bother applying for this? Someone who has been published in the New Yorker, has a master’s degree from Harvard is going to get this job. Even if I did happen to get the job by mistake, I would probably disappoint the employer somehow. I just shouldn’t apply.” My personality obviously isn’t very well cut out for this.

But I get what she’s saying and I really hope to embrace it. Yeah, I’m afraid to apply for that job, send in that query, email that contact. So what. I’m GOING to be afraid, until I have done it enough times to not be afraid. Deal with it. It’s part of the job.

I’m a good writer, I’m educated and I’m a responsible worker. What I’m lacking is self-confidence. To say that I’m going to try to be a more confident person is unrealistic. Self-confidence is not going to develop over night. I’m just going to have to forge on without it.

Okay, off to apply for some jobs.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hugs and Kisses

I’m not a hugger. I don’t have any kind of weird aversion to human touch or anything like that, its just not my first instinct to hug people at random. For the first couple decades of my life, this was never a problem. Then I met my husband. He comes from a lifestyle of wreckless hugging behavior. I think it was the fault of his small catholic high school.

Oh hey! I haven’t seen you in two days . . . how bout a hug?

You’re leaving the party so soon . . . we must hug!

I just saw you on the street . . . awkward public hug time!


I save my hugs for meaningful situations. I hug my parents when I haven’t seen them in a while. I hug my husband when he’s especially sweet. I hug babies when they do cute things. I hug friends when they are sad. When a hug becomes a normal part of a goodbye routine, it loses its meaning.

We had our typical Tuesday night of 25 cent pizza slices at our favorite local bar. This usually happens once a week. Not seeing someone for seven days does not warrant a hug. But of course, when its time to leave, my husband has to initiate the hug train.

We announce that we will be parting ways and we start to get our coats on. This is when the awkwardness begins. For me, anyway. I start walking towards the door, bidding my farewells, hoping my husband will follow suit. No such luck. He makes his rounds, hugging each friend. Then I look like the cold-hearted bitch, standing at the door, waiting for him to finish his hugs. What do I do? Do I come BACK into the bar to dole out hugs?

And then there are the people that you’re not yet at hugging status with. People you have only met a few times. But what are you supposed to do, hug everyone at the table and just skip over that one person? Like some cruel game of duck duck goose? No, it always ends in an awkward loose hug.

So for anyone who might feel snubbed by my non-hugging approach, rest assured that I do love you. I’m just waiting for that perfect appropriate moment to bestow my embrace upon you. When the moment comes, it will be all worth it.

(Unless I’m drunk. Then I will hug total strangers, homeless people, gyros, toilet seats. )

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Love/Hate Affair with Hipsters and Cupcakes

Let me introduce you to my boyfriend:

This is the most delicious cupcake I have ever eaten in my life. And I have eaten lots. I think my love of cupcakes stems from a longing for simpler times. Remember the times of elementary school birthday parties, with homemade funfetti cupcakes in cartoon character paper cups, with sloppy hand-spread frosting? Wash one of those babies down with an electric blue Huggie (which were oddly shaped like barrels, I still don’t get that) or a half pint carton of “orange drink” and that, my friends, is love in food form.

Lets fast forward about 18 years shall we, to present times. Now kids get organic apple juice and homemade granola bars for their birthday parties. People have tried to take the simplistic perfection of a cupcake and turn it into profit, adding things like vegan ingredients, just to justify charging $4 for a cupcake.

I fell victim to this scheme last weekend. We were out and about in a trendy little section of the city. All of a sudden, right in front of me, is a cupcake bakery. An entire restaurant that serves cupcakes! If they sold Miller Lite drafts, I would saddle up to this pony every night of my life!

Giddy, and a little bit turned on, I checked out the selection. Carrot cake cupcakes, mimosa cupcakes, black forest cupcakes. Where the hell were the funfetti cupcakes? The Duncan Hines chocolate frosting? The cupcakes with frosting shaped like Elmo heads with dangerous levels of food coloring? Whatev. I settled on a chocolate cupcake with a cream center and chocolate ganache frosting. It vaguely reminded me of a Hostess cupcake.

I was not impressed. The overly priced cupcake was incredibly dry and the frosting just didn’t do it for me. Never one to waste a grain of sugar, I took one for the team and finished the last bite. Nothing could cheer me up now. Until I heard the little bell on the door ding and in walked some grade-A hipsters. Bonus!

Me, trying to be hipster one time. Don't be jealous.

Now let me get one thing straight. I’m not hating on vegan, converse-wearing, indie-music loving kids. To tell you the truth, if I had to pick one stereotyped group to belong to, just for a day, it would be the hipsters. Sometimes I stare longingly at t-shirts with ironic sayings. I secretly pine for a tattoo, but fear the pain. I like to hang out at coffee shops and I’m pretty liberal. I usually end up having a crush on true hipsters. The problem is, there are so many imitation hipsters, that are really giving a bad name to the ultra-cool independent types.

So, in walks hipster chick (HC), squat little hipster boy (SLHB) and lanky awkward hipster boy (LAHB). I see the twinkle in my husband’s eye as he takes a sip of his organic free trade coffee. (My husband and I have the uncanny ability to have an entire conversation without saying a word. Before you throw up, I’m not talking about the sentimental “we’re so in tune with each others feelings,” kind of conversation. What I mean, is that we can look at a person and know exactly what each other noticed about that person right away. We can mock them, using only minuscule eye movements. One time, we judged an entire family inside of Walmart, for a full five minutes, with no words spoken between the two of us.)

SLHB orders first: I’ll have a scone and an organic birch beer.

(Oh, this is beginning magnificently.)

LAHB: I’ll have a coffee and a cinnamon roll.

(Not bad . . . )

HC: Do you have any vegan cupcakes?

(A smirk in the general direction of my husband. This is just so predictable.)

Cupcake lady: No, sorry. We just sold out of the vegan cupcakes.

HC: Ok well I’ll take a cream-filled chocolate cupcake then. And a diet coke.

Nothing is more glorious than the selective vegan. Those people that order the organic/vegan/free range whatever just because it sounds cool. But when it comes down to it, they will settle for something that is loaded with eggs, milk and a million other ingredients that were shamelessly stolen from animals. And I’m sure that diet Coke is loaded with all-natural ingredients. We continued to sip our coffee in glee as we listened to the rest of their conversation, the highlights of which include salvation army shopping, comparing skinny leg jeans and hating all things mainstream. Yawn.

About a year ago, I tried to be a vegan. I found a flyer from PETA, checked out their website and was disheartened when I learned about all the cruel ways that animals are treated. For two solid weeks, I had no animal products. Then, my sister in law grilled a steak, I caved in and have never looked back. Maybe some day I will try it again. I greatly respect those that are dedicated vegetarians and vegans. I am ashamed that I am not disciplined enough to succeed at it. But when you make a big show of shoving your ultra-cool veganism in the face of everyone else but don’t actually stick to your guns, I am going to laugh at you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Remember how a few days ago, spinning was the love of my life? Well, now it is responsible for my broken body parts. Seriously, I’m falling apart over here.

It all started when I was laying in bed, the night after a particularly grueling session of spinning. Wilbur was laying in between F and I, snoring and being all kinds of cute. I kind of twisted around and tried to lift him so he would be on the other side of me, for optimal spooning (the dog, not the husband), when I heard something pop. Okay, so he is a 20 lb beagle and not a 200 lb german shepherd, but still awkward to lift when you are twisted into a backwards spooning position. That’s when the neck and upper back pain started.

According to my doctor,, I pulled a lat muscle. Just ice it, rest it and no vigorous neck straining exercises. Fast-forward a week later and I re-pulled the stupid thing while trying to flat-iron the back of my hair. Add in another spinning class and my knee keeps giving out and I have pain radiating from my hip all the way down my ass and leg. Why do I have the body of a 90 year old woman? I’m about to call up Betty White for some osteo-biflex cocktails.

The good news is, I lost about five pounds since I started the spinning. The bad news is that I’m sure thats going to skyrocket back up once I take this break and let my geriatric body heal. But I have to come clean. I am ALL about clean eating, healthy cooking, etc. I read all the magazines, check out the fresh organic produce at the hippy grocery stores, etc. The problem is that I don’t actually . . . do it. If a 25 yr old could be the face of childhood obesity, I would be it. Check out yesterday’s menu:

Breakfast – Vanilla cupcake

Lunch – Wendy’s single combo meal

Dinner – Fish sticks and a cupcake

REALLY?? WTF? Now let me clarify, this isn’t a typical day for me. Its just that I’m totally inconsistent about this whole healthy eating thing. I’ll be eating great for a few days and freak out if I spy so much as a crouton in my salad. The next day I will polish off a fast food value meal without even looking back. And now I can’t exercise, GREAT.