April 2009 Archives


Talkin Funny Dorks.JPG

Talkin' Funny

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The premiere of Lucy Silver!

Warning: some of the callers say mean things and things that are not suitable for work. But most of the calls are hilarious.

Inked Up--a Photo Journey

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Esther Hard at Work

I am in Day #3 of having the tattoo, and so far so good! It is in the itchy scabby phase now, so I am having to show considerable strength not to touch it.

So! The whole experience was wonderful. I was really nervous the morning of the tattoo, but once I picked Fuzzy up from work, I felt a lot better.

Esther of Butterfat Studios works out of her home, with an adorable tattoo studio in the back. It was so nice and homey and so much better than the traditional tattoo parlor vibe.

Weighing the Options

Together, Esther, Fuzzy and I picked out colors and tones for the tattoo, and decided on 2 shades each of blue, green and reddish/purple.


Esther took the transfers and placed them on my arm and shoulder, following the contours of my body with how the birds might actually be flying together. While the birds are bigger than I pictured them in my head, it quickly became clear that that was a much better choice. The brushstrokes and subtleties of each bird are a lot more visible that way, and there is much beauty in the negative space around them. Once they were all placed, we decided that there needed to be one more in my inner arm, a little separated from the rest. Esther drew that one on with a ballpoint pen.
Esther drew this one on with a ballpoint pen

Then it was time to start! We began with the inner arm one, because it was the most painful spot. That was a great idea, cause the rest was cake. Well, pseudo cake.

This one hurt the most
Close Up
All Done!

An hour and a half later, we were all done! I am so thrilled with the results. I love it more than I ever thought that I would, and considering I've wanted it for 7 years, I knew that I was going to love it. I think it is beautiful and sexy, and very ME. It means so much to me. It is all mine, and no one can take that from me. It is a little piece of art that I wear everyday!

A Happy Customer and a Great Artist

Working with Esther was amazing and I am so glad that I contacted her for the tattoo. She doesn't accept every project, so I was honored that she took this one on. She made something that was already special even more so. And having Fuzzy there with me to hold my hand the whole way was amazing. I am so happy and blessed.

See the full Flickr Set Here!

So when you see me this summer, not only will I be sporting a tank top to show it off, but I'll probably be glowing. I feel like a new woman.

Thanks to all for your amazing comments and support!

Fuzzy's Microsoft Commercial

It was a big day for Team Gerdes yesterday. After the tattooing, a nice lunch at Cleo's, shopping at Rotofugi, and a delicious iced soy latte from Atomix, we headed over to Best Buy to pick up an antenna for our car radio. For those of you who don't know, last year, Fuzzy filmed an ad for Windows Live that is being shown at Best Buys nationwide. All of our friends have seen it, but yet, we hadn't. So yesterday, we walked into the store, and there was my sweet Fuzzy on a million computer monitors in the store! Our mistake had been that we looked for it in the tv section, when in fact, it is in the computer monitor section! The commercial is awesome! Fuzzy is adorable, wearing a headset and playing a computer game. Swoon! They show him more than anyone else--he is the base footage in the commercial, so it cuts back to him every few seconds. If you find yourself in a Best Buy anytime soon, go check it out! The store we were at had about a 10 minute loop of ads, so we watched it 3 times--it was worth the wait.

It also took everything I could to not announce to the whole store that my husband was in one of the in-store commercials. "Hey, couple looking at monitors! Wait 5 minutes and you'll see THIS guy!"

Yay Fuzzy! I am so proud of him!

Here it is!


I love it. It is gorgeous and even better than I ever imagined it would look. Esther at Butterfat Studios is amazing and sweet and I had the most wonderful experience. I am over the moon.
New Tattoo
New Tattoo
New Tattoo
New Tattoo

I'll post more pics and tell more about the experience tomorrow, but for now, I am worn out.

(but thrilled!)

So Much Better!

I am happy to report that I am feeling a whole lot better. My throat is still scratchy and my nose is really runny, but other than that, I feel great. Honestly, I am feeling confident and happy and full of energy. I love it. I love it. I love it.

I spent a lot of time with the TV this weekend. Watched a couple movies: Baby Mama (dumb, not funny, and I even did a mental "Come On." Which sucks, cause I really wanted it to be good.) and What Happens In Vegas (Which I thought was going to be dumb, but I actually loved it and laughed out loud a few times.) I watched The Biggest Loser makeover show and cried and then did a bunch of sit-ups. Watched a lot of MTV Hits and got irritated that all the different artist's "Hitlists" (N.E.R.D., Asher Roth, Oh3Oh) had the EXACT SAME VIDEOS in them (Paper Planes, Blame It, everything from MTV Spring Break). But dammit, I watched the videos everytime.

I don't think I have ever posted this before, but when I am on my computer at home, Parker sits on the heat vent next to me, and she gets so cute and so pluffy that I cannot resist scratching her little head over and over. Sometimes, I lean over too much, and my rolly chair tumps over and I fall on the floor. But could you blame me? This is the view from my chair:

AHH! Now look what she is doing!

I'm not even kidding--I have taken these pics in the last 10 minutes. It's like she is USING me:

Ok, that has been my official cat post of the week. Thank you for playing along.


Five Amazing Years

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This weekend, Fuzzy is in Phoenix for the Phoenix Improv Festival. I am home sick in bed with the worst cold I've had in a long time. I literally slept all day yesterday, with the exception of nighttime, in which I tossed and turned all night.

Friday was our five year anniversary of being together. Five wonderful years! There is no way that I could have made it through the last few years without Fuzzy--he is my joy. He is amazing and hilarious and talented and gorgeous. He is more wonderful than I ever knew love could be. And yesterday, he sent me a dozen roses:


I love this man. Here's to millions more wonderful years.

My Big Bro

My brother is brilliant and amazing and I am so proud of him.
Yay Christopher!

Thinky Dinks

Yo Dawgs.

My back is better today, but I am sitting with ridiculous posture to help prevent the aches. And by "ridiculous," I mean "good." It is hard.


The CIF Puppet Cagematch last night was awesome. Our team, the Noah Ginex Puppet Company delivered amazing scenes and huge laughs. They blew it out of the water, and I was so thrilled and proud that I was a part of it. Those are some talented folks (Amanda, Regan, Scott, Noah and Fuzzy.) Felt was hilarious and raunchy and tore the place up. Felt took home the prize (a sock monkey) but both teams were huge winners. (whoa--that was cheesy). Plus, we packed the house! Nice work!

It is always so difficult for me to be in groups these days, especially around old friends or aquaintences, but even seeing good friends. I really can't handle more than a few people around me at a time. Last night was especially weird, cause the show was at IO, a place that I used to spend hours and hours at each week and was a major part of my life. I come across as such an awkward dork. I was a little insecure about it last night, but then pushed through it, coming to terms with the change that happens in life and that I can't be everything for everyone. I have friends that accept my awkward dorkness, and that is all that matters. Everything else is peripheral.

It also really hit me that the first time I came to Chicago was 10 years ago this past weekend. I have lived here for almost 9 years. I came to Chicago for the Improv Fest at the tender age of 19 (it was my birthday weekend when we came up) and I thought I knew everything then. Oh, silly little teenage Erica. When I think back, I am really happy with the path I chose and where it has taken me. I like who I am and what I am now.

But that doesn't make me any less awkward in public.

Sometimes I think I would make a really good cat. I love sleeping and eating and am kind of snuggly and I whine a lot. I wonder what cats think about in a typical day. I'm not longing for the problems of a cat or jealous of them or anything, I am just saying that if I WERE a cat, I would be really good at it.

Whoa, check out this dork. LASERS!
Erica Spring Pic 92?


My back is aching today and I have no idea why. A minute ago, I dug my thumbs in to my back to help relieve some pressure, and the room started spinning. Weird.

The best card I ever received

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I meant to post this earlier, but I forgot.
This was from Mom and Dad 5 years ago. What a hoot they were:

Erica Birthday Card Pg1

Erica Birthday Card Pg 2

Erica Birthday Card Pg3

Erica Birthday Card pg4

Dirty Thirty


Well, I did it. I'm now the big 3-0. And you know what? It feels great.

I remember when my mom turned 30. My aunt Linda cross-stitched her a picture of a redhead lady wearing blue jeans and holding a bouquet of flowers. The caption said "Be nice to me, I'm over 30." It hung in our hallway in the house I grew up in until my parents moved about 14 years later.

It seems like the bad birthday curse might have been lifted, too! No one was murdered, no one was in the hospital, and there were no tears! Success!

The weekend was perfect. Thursday night, Fuzzy took me to see Andrew Bird at the opera house and it was amazing. I have probably seen him perform no less than 25-30 times, but it had been about 2+ years since the last time I saw him. The concert was beautiful and amazing and, with the exception of being accosted by an extremely drunk woman in the lobby (who later disrupted the show), it was a perfect night.

Friday afternoon, my BFF since I was born, Melissa came into town to help ring in the new decade! We took a tour of the Bunny Office Where Fuzzy Works, and then ate our faces off at the Best Restaurant In The World, Ras Dashen. Then we stayed up talking and listening to music and watching tv and giggling, just like old times.

Saturday we had breakfast at Metropolis (so that Melissa could be even sadder that the coffee shop next to her office in Starkville is sucky) and then did a little shopping. Then we, along with Fuzzy, made the infamous Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (Ho-ly Crap they are amazing) and other awesome things like brie with pecans, brown sugar and Kaluha, seared scallops, BBQ sausage and garlic cheese grits. Amazing. That evening, a couple of close girlfriends came over to eat and drink with us, and it was full of laughter, memories and great stories. It was such a blast.

Sunday morning, we had breakfast at M Henry then sent Melissa back on her way to MS, sadly. It was such a blessing having her here. Thanks, Melissa!

The rest of the day was very restful--napping, cleaning, talking to family and wishing them a happy Easter. I even got a nice long talk in with my brother, which is a rarity these days with him being in his last 3 weeks of grad school. It was lovely. I even got to wish Memaw Bane a happy birthday, too, because she was awake! That made me so happy. It has always meant a lot to me that we share a birthday. I'll always carry her with me.

This morning I woke up refreshed and happy to start the new decade. I am feeling pretty good.

Just be nice to me, I'm over thirty.


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Let's Talk Tattoos!
With the big tattoo less than 2 weeks away, I thought I should reflect on body art and the meanings behind the ones that I have and that I will get.

My first tattoo I got in June of 2001 in New York City. I was visiting the dear sweet and wonderful Erica Livingston (Peninger at the time) and we had decided going in that we were going to get tattoos to commemorate our tight knit cirlce of friends that we had in Jackson before we moved to Chicago and NY. We were the Forces of Nature, and we assigned colors to go with each person/force/point on a star. We looked a bunch of tattoo parlors before we found one we felt comfortable in, and met a nice artist (I think his name was Eric, which made us like him more.). He helped us pick the colors and design and we made an appointment. He was impressed that we spent so much time making sure it was right before we got it, instead of just coming in drunk off the street. I opted to get mine on my middle back, on the right:

Tattoo Back.jpg

Here is the rundown of the points--My point, Wind, (purple and grey) is on top, I am in between Christopher, Water (light blue and dark blue), and Erica, Fire (orange and red), Erica is next to Aubrey, Life (pink and yellow), and Aubrey and Christopher are next to Sara/ Scoot, Earth (brown and green.) I love it.

[side story--cut to 3 years later...Fuzzy got the same type of star tattooed on him, with the colors being purple and grey, the colors representing me on my tattoo. It was the sweetest gesture in the world, and although we had only been dating about 5 months at the time, we had no doubt that we would be together forever.]

My second tattoo is a tribute to my dad. In September of 2004, he underwent a permanent colostomy. He took it like a champ, handled everything well and never complained. To show my solidarity with him while he experienced this life and body altering change, I got a star tattooed on my stomach in the location of his stoma to carry his pain with me and to also make it beautiful. Now that he is gone, I have thoughts about altering the image a little bit--maybe outline it in red or gold. I am thinking about it.

Tattoo Dad.jpg

I love both of these tattoos so much, but I have always wanted one that was visible. After my surgery in 2001, for Christmas my parents gave me a beautiful calendar from Brush Dance that featured inspirational sayings with calligraphy art by Renee Locks, including these birds:

birds .jpg

I have carried this image in my wallet with me for the last 7 years, because I have always wanted to get it as a tattoo. And now it is time!! I am getting tattooed by the amazing Esther Garcia from Butterfat Studios. She specializes in large feminine designs, and I am excited to see what she is going to do with it. I am going to get this style of bird tattooed in 4 rich colors (blue, maroon, etc) on my upper right arm, with a few birds flying down my back. It will be art. It will be gorgeous. I can't wait! I have saved up for it for months, and it will be my 30th birthday present to myself. I am nervous, of course, but more than a little excited. To me, the birds represent freedom--back then, it was freedom after my surgery, and now, it means so much more to me. It is something I am doing for ME, to sort of reclaim the parts of me that have been lost over the last couple of years. Freedom from pain and grief and being in the mud. Freedom in spite of the hardships that fall on us every day. And I also feel like, I've been to hell and back, and this is how I will show it.

I know I've been saying this a lot lately, but it is how I am finally able to see things--Life is short--do what makes you happy. Don't wait! We don't know what will happen a year from now, next week, or even tomorrow.

So for me, it is time for a new beginning! The new chapter is starting!

Pictures to come in a matter of weeks...

What is Up?

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Below is a fairly accurate look at my shopping list from the last 2 days:

Unsalted Butter
Salted Butter
Heavy Cream

It's going to be a good weekend.
(I bought more than just that, but that was the bulk of it.)

God Bless the Green Movement, because those reusable Dominicks shopping bags are the BEST EVER! I can carry so much in them and it is so easy!

What's up with me today? 6 posts in one day? So many that yesterday's posts aren't even on the homepage? Wow. I think this is a sign that I am feeling better.

Must be all the beer.

Happy Birthday Parker!

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Ten years ago, my dear precious darling Parker was born.
Parker Tie.jpg
(she got all dressed up for the occasion)

The events of her early life are unknown, but somehow, she was abandoned as a wee little tiny kitten in the Vicksburg National Military Park at Tour Stop 14. My aunt Susan and cousin Jamie were in town visiting, and found this tiny screaming kitten in the rain. They did the only thing they could think of--took her to Mom, who was working in the park. The next day Mom called: "We have a kitten for you." Me: "I only want her if she is tiny." Mom: "Oh, she is tiny alright." And the rest is history. (That's how she got her name, too)

(somehow, this...)
Baby Parker

(...turned into this:)
Parker belly.jpg

Parker has been with me through thick and thin. She is one of my best friends in the whole world. She knows when I am sad and is always there with snuggles and purrs. She made the move with me to Chicago 9 years ago without a single complaint and has always made a home out of the 7 apartments we have lived in together. She is hilarious and I don't know what I would do without her.

She also loves dressing up:
Parker Wig.jpg
Parker Bee.jpg
Parker Headscarf.jpg
Parker Jersey.jpg
(And that is just a few. Full set of Parker Pics Here)

I think it is hilarious that she would be in 4th grade now, if she were a human. Here's to many more years with my little kitty!
Parker Angel Devil.jpg

EDork Senior Pic.JPG

Don't Worry


What's that, Christopher? You are feelin' kind of blue?

Here, let me rest my hand on your shoulder.
Christopher and Erica Photoshoot
There, There.

Isn't that better?

What's that?

You are still sad?

Here, have two...
Christopher and Erica Pink Dress

Where is Spring?

I am wearing lime green eye shadow and listening to Pussycat Dolls' "When I Grow Up" on repeat today in denial of the fact that it is still in the 30s today. COME ON SUMMER!

Happy Midday

To Scoot!


I wish we could just hop in the car and head on down to New Orleans.
In case you forgot, this is what the women's hairstyles are like in America.


Some more random crap

Why is my head throbbing today? You can call me ole Left Eye or something, cause the throbbing is unbearable. Come on, drugs--get to it!

I was just putting together a menu of some of my favorite foods, and I realized that my preferred palette is basically a glorified casino buffet in MS. Classy.

My prediction for Rock of Love Bus is Mindy, and she was my pick weeks ago. Glad to see she is in the final 2. Sad to admit that I am still watching that damn show.

I am getting my tattoo 2 weeks from today. How exciting!

My old church's music director (who was lovely) used to always slow down the hymns we would sing to almost durges, especially on the last verse (which he would always announce "Number Four!" to note that we were skipping verse #3. I don't know if we ever sang a verse #3, yet he always would announce "Number Four!" no matter what.) Anyways, this version of Foolish Games by Jewel that is playing on Pandora is so slow, Bro David might have had something to do with it.

Head. Ache.

I Love Thee


Mine and Fuzzy's 5 year anniversary of being together is the week after next. He is going to be out of town that weekend, and this upcoming weekend is my birthday, we decided to go ahead and celebrate this past Saturday.

We got all pretty for each other:

Erica and Fuzzy.jpg
(lookin good!)

and then treated ourselves to a romantic dinner out at ...

M Times.jpg

Fuzzy had never been, so I wanted to take him. I had the pleasure of going years ago for my friend Tabitha's birthday, and it was a mega super blast. Where else can you just go and be a kid and a giant dork and drink beer and cheer and see horses and falcons and a JOUST? Nowhere, that's where. This trip did not disappoint. I think I laughed the entire time we were there. We had a "free royal upgrade" so we were on the front row in the Green Knight Section, and we got a commemorative program and a behind the scenes DVD. WE ARE SO FANCY!

The Green Knight even threw me a carnation at one point--whoa there, buddy...I'm taken.

This is me about to Go Medieval:
E going Medieval.jpg

The food was tasty and we pretty much have gotten 4 meals out of the massive amounts of chicken that they serve. The horses were so pretty and the falcon made me cry a little bit. Those animals are so sweet and smart.

I was especially giggly thinking about how googily eyed the teenaged girls must have been over the long haired knights--swoon! If they had a Medieval Times in MS growing up, I am pretty sure I would have gone every weekend just for the eyecandy. And I can only imagine that it is the perfect job for fantasy game playing teenagers...and adults.

We of course bought the photo of us in our crowns posing with the king. How chic! It has a proud place on our mantle--where any good cheesy carnival photo belongs.

Needless to say, it was pretty much the best (k)night ever.

If you need a giggle

Hop on over to www.pushbutt.com. It is safe for work, and hilarious.

The Roadtrip of Life (updated)

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It occured to me that I haven't properly boasted about Fuzzy's and my amazing vacation that we have planned for next month. Oh man, I can't wait. We haven't had a proper vacation since our honeymoon, and we haven't had a trip that was over 2 days in the last few years that didn't involve some sort of medical emergency, so as you can probably imagine, I am excited.

SO! Next month, we will be driving down to Biloxi, MS, for my dear Chad and Elizabeth's wedding. I will be officiating the ceremony, which means the world to me because of my love for these 2 people. Chad is my step second cousin, but he is more like a close friend, and Elizabeth is just a ball of awesome. We'll be in Biloxi for a couple of days--come on Gulf of Mexico! My swimsuit is all ready to go. From there, we are driving to Columbia, SC to visit my brother and sister-in-law. Christopher will be graduating from grad school the same day as the wedding, so we'll have to miss that, but we'll be there the next day to help celebrate. I'll even get to see my mom for a little while, as she leaves the day after we arrive. After a few days in SC, we'll then be driving up to Baltimore, MD to explore, visit DC, and more importantly--eat so much crab that our faces fall off. I managed to score a nice hotel room for 4 nights in downtown Baltimore for only $64 a night thanks to hotwire.com. What a bargain!

This weekend, I also did a little discount shopping and was able to assemble this awesome outfit to wear at the wedding.

Imagine this dress in Navy Blue (thanks Schaumburg sale rack at J Crew!):
black dress.JPG

paired with these adorable (and super cheap) shoes from Payless:
yellow shoes.jpg

And this belt that I just got (also on sale!) at Urban Outfitters:
yellow belt.jpg

Ha Cha Cha! I've never been so fashionable! And for so cheap!

It is really nice to have some things to look forward to, and to start doing things that I want to do. I am starting to feel more confident than I have in several years now, and I can feel myself getting to a good place mentally and emotionally. The house is coming together, and things are starting to calm down a bit and get more settled. That might seem weird to say, because as I type this, my sweet grandmother is in Vicksburg struggling to hold on, and as painful as that is, it is also a beautiful thing. I am part of who I am because of her, and I carry her with me in my heart. I just hope she is peaceful and calm and able to look back at her life, happy with how it turned out. Especially because life is so fleeting and short, Fuzzy and I are trying to work on living now to the fullest and enjoying every moment. If we say that we should do something, then we need to actually do it. One day, we won't have that chance.

So! I challenge all you readers to take a risk this week--do one thing that you've been wanting to do, but just haven't gotten around to it. Whether it is take a dance class, go for a run, try a new restaurant, or even just treat yourself to something small to make you smile, Do It. Feel free to post your results in a comment! Good Luck!

(update--I just got to talk to Memaw on the phone! I told her how much I love her and that I am turning Papaw's story and her old photos into a book so that their lives can be shared with generations to come. I also wished her a happy early birthday and told her she was beautiful. She was actually awake, and when Mom told her to say hi to me, she said "hey Erica." What a blessing!

Happy Accident?

I just accidently put cayenne pepper in a bread recipe instead of ground pepper. Will this be bad or awesome? We will find out in 3 hours...

UPDATE--Turns out, it isn't that bad! The pepper didn't add much heat, but it added a little flavor. It was especially tasty last night dipped in chili con queso...


I learned today that those "just add water" packets of muffins that say they make 6 make 2 large ones if you have oversized muffin tins. Convenient! I feel like I have my own coffee shop today!

Latte is trying desperately hard to tell me something today. BUT I CAN'T SPEAK KITTYCAT!!!

If I had Twitter


WTF Pandora? We are bee bopping along to Britney, Christina, Pussycat Dolls and Justin Timberlake, and you play...Billy Don't Lose My Number by Phil Collins?!?! Freak.

Update! Our friend Jamie figured it out. Maybe Pandora April Fooled us...

Update Update! I love Phil Collins, just not when I am getting my top 40 Pop on.

Happy Birthday!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful sweet sister-in-law Katie!

It is a blessing to have you in the family. Thank you for being you.

Also, a very special happy birthday to my Raunch, Laura Sue! Wooo 30!