Category Archives: Musings

In Which I Commit a Cardinal Sin of Blogging

This post is dedicated to my girl Tina.  Ain’t she a beaut?

Tiner Bean


I’ve had this post idea rattling around in my head for while in which I would showcase all of the awesome internet celebs that totally make me swoon.  We all have those, right?

Oh, just me then?  Word.

Anyways, it is in this post that I would introduce you to Alexandra Franzen, who is a playalistic word pimp that I discovered last year and haven’t been able to quit internet stalking since.   There are plenty of reasons why this lady is the bee’s knees.  She’s wise beyond her years and has the uncanny ability to motivate you to put your shit out there and WORK IT.  But she also tells it like it is.  She ain’t gonna bullshit you, internet.  And we ALL need someone like that around.

One of my favorite pieces she published was about how to make your website/blog/internet clubhouse NOT SUCK.  Or at the very least, suck less.  I totally agree with her… smart cookie.

But sometimes a girl’s just gotta break the rules.  Please forgive me Ms. Franzen.

Friends, romans, countrymen… please excuse my extended absence.

I didn’t mean to leave you hangin for so long.  After 4 months of coding classes, building a wee little startup, and my new web job, I just couldn’t stand to look a screen in the face any longer that was necessary to receive my paycheck.

I’d had too much.  All that glaring, ticky-tackin on the keyboards, the eventual slump… my poor body just couldn’t take it any more. My eyes, my fingertips, my back.  I needed a break, mmkay?

But I’m back in the swing of things, and you can expect somewhat regular updates here at Awesomania once more.

xo Em



On Friends and Loneliness

Do you read Penelope Trunk?  Because you should.  It’s funny though, as a “career expert” she does very little writing that is explicitly about careers.  It all relates to careers somehow, but she mostly just writes about things we don’t want to acknowledge about ourselves and about life.  Like how you shouldn’t do what you love, you should pay more attention to sex than money, and no, women can’t have it all.  Despite sounding like something you don’t want to read, her blog is something you SHOULD NOT MISS.

Penelope Trunk has Asperger Syndrome and just about every other month or so she has me thinking I do too.  This is partially due to the fact that I have a slight case of hypochondria AND that people with Aspergers have a lot in common with introverts, which if you haven’t already guessed, I am.  In her latest article she talks about loneliness.  And about how difficult it is for people with Aspergers to make and keep friends.  Naturally my identification with this trait has me thinking that I’ve gone 31 years without anyone acknowledging that I OBVIOUSLY have Aspergers.  Damn doctors.

Really, though, it makes me want to admit to the internet that I am lonely too.  Cue the tiny violin, y’all!

Not lonely in the “I have no friends, I want to kill myself” kind of way, but rather in the “Make new friends? Ehhh” kind of way.  I already HAVE friends.  Great, wonderfully fantastic friends.  With fancy gang names–like the Gulf Coast Kooter Brigade–and a vast collective memory of good times and wacky aliases.  They just happen to be–with the exception of the hubs–living very far away from me.  And while phone calls, Facebook chats, letters, and care packages can take me pretty far, sometimes a girl just needs someone to hit a happy hour with, ya feel me?

Create your own video slideshow at

Here’s my problem: having a long-time, close-knit group of friends who totally and completely get me makes it HELLA hard to find new friends that can live up to my expectations.  Not to go all Virgo on you, but I generally have pretty high standards for the folks I spend my time with.  Must have smarts without arrogance, personal style without being materialistic, and one hell of a sense of humor–ALL kinds of humor.  No self-proclaimed hipsters, born-agains, or all-around douchebags. Anyone who watches The Bachelor on a regular basis or Jersey Shore without shock and disgust need not apply.  Last, but certainly not least, we gotta CLICK, baby.

While I’ve certainly come across a cool chick or two here in Michigan, it’s that last one that screws everything up. Making friends can be awkward, and I don’t play that.  I’m so grateful I’ve got Jeffrey… as long as I’ve got him, I’m good.  Just hoping one day I’ll come across some kindred spirits in Michigan who appreciate my nerdiness, can get down on a decent brew, and can tell a good joke.

What about you?  Have you ever had a hard time making friends–by choice or otherwise?  Where’d you score your posse at?

xo Em

On Giving Up

This is the face I make to myself in the mirror each morning.

Outtake - Nooo! [Overwhelmed]
CC BY-NC-SA Flickr user andres.thor

And I wonder why the wrinkles keep getting deeper.

So even though I anticipated feeling overwhelmed by all the crap I have to do while classes are in session, it never really keeps me from adding more to my plate.  Y’all, I’ve got a SERIOUS case of that’s-awesome!-sign-me-up-itis.  Allow me to revel in the narcissism of this blog and list out all of the things I’ve committed to this fall:

  1. Twelve credits of graduate coursework.
  2. Two group consulting projects.
  3. Two part-time jobs.
  4. One fledgling tech start-up.
  5. Two business competition entries.
  6. One neglected husband.
  7. Dozens of ignored friends and family.
  8. One precious little blog ;)

Well, shit.  Now that I’ve written it down, it doesn’t look so bad.  Maybe if I write out every single class assignment or work deliverable you’ll have more sympathy for me?

WHO AM I KIDDING!  Y’all got your own shit to worry about, don’t you?

It’s not really that unique to be overwhelmed by life, especially if you are a graduate student.  We all gotta work.  We all have relationships to maintain.  For those of us who are truly engaged in the world, there is no limit to what can find its way onto our calendars.  But there are only 24 hours in a day; and when push comes to shove, you gotta be ready to make some tough decisions about what really deserves your time.

I’ve always been a gut instinct kind of girl.  Whenever I’d start feeling like I’ve piled it on too high, I’d just shake off the heaviest burdens and keep on movin.  Deep contemplation… pro vs. con lists… who needs em!  Just make up your mind and keep on winning.

Alas, times they are a’changin.  For some reason I am struggling to decide what needs to stay and what can go.  Do I drop a class and add it to next semester?  But that might overwhelm me next semester–the one in which I plan to be doing some heavy job hunting!  Do I drop my web app business competition entry?  What if I never have another opportunity to gather a group together to see my idea realized?!  I could be the next Zuckerburg, damnit!

I fear the time has come for a pro vs. con list.  How else am I to decide?  How do you decide when to give up on something?

xo Em




Most Awesome Week Ever // 9.11.11

Today, I’m celebrating the most awesome week 2 weeks ever.

gckb tattoo

turning 31 // my new macbook pro!! // late nights on the porch, home-cooked meals, and lots o laughs with my BFF Jen // a new tattoo! // eatin a meat banana // the spectacle of full-contact jousting and watching our dude win // magic hat no. 9 // people watching at the ren fair // fresh corn chowder… mmmm // organizing my backpack for the first day of school // discovering the “campy b movies” section on netflix // larabars //napping with my puppy // singing songs with the hubs // kickin it with cousin Carolyn // coding // springing for omnifocus to keep me super organized // all my teams–LSU, FSU, Michigan–winning 2 weeks in a row

What awesomeness are you celebrating this week?

xo Emily

Happy Birthday to Me! And Hurricane Katrina.

Thirty-one years ago today, yours truly was dragged from the womb… kicking and screaming and covered in blood from where the doctor sliced open her head while sawing through the gut of her mother.

Birthday cake at work!

True story.  One with a happy ending, of course.  But true nonetheless.  I even have the scar to prove it.

I’m typically quite excited about my birthday, but today I’m feeling a little morose.  Not so much because I’m another year older.  Come on, getting older just means getting AWESOMER.  No, today I’ve been thinking about Hurricane Katrina.  Which, in case you don’t remember or have yet to be reminded, occurred 6 years ago today.  Thanks to some recent conversations and a timely NPR segment about a new Katrina documentary by Harry Shearer of Spinal Tap fame (!), my skepticism about what really went down in the Crescent City has been renewed.

As a gulf coast native, New Orleans has always held a special place in my heart.  Many long weekends of my youth were spent wandering the French Quarter, munching on beignets, and celebrating the music and debauchery of America’s most culturally rich city.  And don’t even get me started on Mardi Gras.  Meemmorriiiesss!

Anyhow, every time I think of Katrina I can’t help but remember the conversation I had with a bartender in New Orleans two years before.  In 2004 Hurricane Ivan struck the gulf coast and decimated Pensacola, my hometown.  It was a crazy storm, but we survived unscathed for the most part.  But after two weeks without power, my friends and I decided to drive over and spend some time in NOLA while they got everything back up and running at home.

Naturally, we spent most of our time there in bars.  While much of the trip was a blur, a conversation we had with a bartender still sticks out.  As we were explaining the reason for our trip, we got on the topic of how devastating a hurricane would be to New Orleans.  We tried to imagine how the historic downtown areas we loved would avoid the swells of the mighty Mississippi, but she interrupted us with “Oh honey, we don’t even worry about the Quarter.  Everybody knows they’ll blow the levees uptown to save the historic districts.”  Now, maybe she didn’t know what the hell she was talkin about.  But maybe she did.  Somewhat, anyways.

Enter the NPR segment: Harry Shearer was promoting his new Katrina documentary, The Big Uneasy.  In the film, Shearer explores the unreported (at best) reality of what caused our country’s most expensive “natural disaster” and how our government has failed to correct the issues that brought about the floods in the first place.  Complete with whistle-blowers!  I haven’t seen it yet, but as soon as I can get my hands on it…

So, although I’m deliriously happy and grateful to live another year… I’m still thinking about the thousands who weren’t so lucky six years ago.

xo Em



Dear Neglected Blog,

I miss you so!

I know I’ve been ignoring you since my fabulous trip to Chicago, but things have been quite busy here in Awesomeville.  The most recent development?  I gots my hurr did!

I got my hair did. Cut off 8 inches!

What do you think? I cut eight inches off that mop, effectively ending my husband’s reference to my tresses as “barbarian hair”. He had a point:

barbarian hair

I’m so glad I finally took care of that… I was beginning to look like–as my mother would put it–Maggie Scratch.  Don’t ask me where that comes from.

Anyhow, this was my first haircut of any considerable length in well over a year.  Frankly, I just haven’t cared much about keepin up with the do since I parted (geographically speaking) with my stylist and bestie, Tina.  My stylist sister-in-law did gift me a cut and some color for my birthday last year, but that has come and gone long ago at this point. So since I don’t care much about my hair, I went for the (almost) cheapest option–the Aveda school.

Let me tell you.  IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I HAVE MADE IN AT LEAST 11 DAYS.  If you’re an Ann Arborite (or anywhere with an Aveda school-ite) and don’t feel like paying for a $50 haircut, help out the wonderful cosmetology students at the Douglas J Salon/Aveda Institute.  Because they are learning, they friggin DOTE on you, dude.  It’s all scalp massages and fantastic smells up in there.  They ask approximately one billion questions before doing anything and they have supervisors checking their work, so you are virtually guaranteed a decent, if not FANTASTIC, result.  All for the grand ol’ price of $16.

You heard that right.  SIXTEEN DOLLARS.

Can someone please tell me how my hair could look better with a $50 cut?

xo Em