August 2009 Archives



Yay Fuzzy! My hero!

Sunday morning found us up bright and early at 3:45am to get ready for the 2009 Chicago Triathlon.

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Sleepy Fuzzy.

Shaun picked us up, and the fellas headed off to set up their gear in the transition area.

Chicago Triathlon 2009

It was beautiful being down at the lake at sunrise, though it was super cold. I felt bad for the 6am Sprinters who were walking around barefooted and half naked in their wetsuits.
Chicago Triathlon 2009
Sunrise on Lake Michigan at Monroe Harbor

Fuzzy's race didn't begin til 9am, so we got familiar with the swim route, then napped in Shaun's truck til it was time for them to suit up and take off.

Chicago Triathlon 2009

I met up with my friend Jodi, and we met up with Scot and Holly to look for and cheer for Fuzzy. Scot had completed the Sprint that morning. Go Scot Go!

When Fuzzy's little face popped out of the water, it was the most amazing moment! I screamed and cried and cheered him on the rest of the way. He looked great!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
There he is!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Swim, Fuzzy, Swim!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Hey Babe! He saw us and waved, too!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
This is my favorite photo of the day. Look at that stroke!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
He's out of the water!

After the 1.5K swim, he set off for his 25 mile bike ride. I wasn't able to see him, but I hear the bikers on Lake Shore all looked great!

We camped out on the grass for the next couple of hours. To help cheer him on, Noah and Stephanie came out, too, just in time! When Fuzzy ran by, again, I was over the moon. He looked so good!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Can you see him?

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Lookin' Good!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
There he goes!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Check out this dog and this baby.

Then it was off to the finish line! After Shaun finished, he went back to find Fuzzy and run the rest of the way with him. Fuzzy had some problems with his IT band, so when he rounded the corner for the final stretch, he was hobbling pretty badly, but he still looked great!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Shaun and Fuzzy working it.

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Almost there!

Chicago Triathlon 2009

Chicago Triathlon 2009
Look at this big winner!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
They did it!

Chicago Triathlon 2009
I love my triathlete!

Other things of note:
Fuzzy finished in 4 hours and 27 minutes.
This was the largest triathlon in the world, with 9300 participants.
I saw both Peter and Sarah from season 10 of The Amazing Race.
I got super sunburned on my nose and around my mouth.

Fuzzy wrote about his experience here!


He did it!!

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Fuzzy finished the Chicago Triathlon and did an amazing job! I am so damn proud of him. He's an inspiration. He finished it in about 4 1/2ish hours. Photos to come tomorrow. Yay!



The New Faces of Urban Decay

Yesterday, me, Rebecca, Brandi, Marla, and I were spokesmodels for a major cosmetic company's (let's call them UD) new Fall/Holiday line of products. It was amazing! I've been a fan of UD for years and years--when I was in my early 20s, new to Chicago, and super broke, I would spend hours looking at all the beautiful and glittery colors that I could never afford. Now, I'm 30, better than ever, and here I am modeling the new line! Crazy!

The video is for Ulta stores as an introduction to the employees on the new products. My friends Matt and Brandi were the producers of the event, and they brought me and some other friends on to do the job. We each represented a look--I was "Dangerous," Rebecca was "Feminine" and Marla was "Fun." We brought our own clothes and shoes, and they did the rest. We had key talk points that we had to learn, that we could deliver in our own style.

The day started at 9:30am, and we arrived at the shoot location at 11:00am in Aurora. We had to start the day makeup-free. Here is me looking over my lines and drinking a wee bit of coffee so that I could feel more human.
Looking at my script and having my coffee

After that, I was sent to the primer room. UD has all sorts of amazing primers, for eyeshadow, lashes, etc, to keep your makeup in place.

Urban Decay Makeup--Fierce!
Fun UD makeup.

Aaron and Kim
Our amazing makeup artists, Aaron and Kim, both whom I adore.

Me with Primers
Primers and blush!

After that, it was time for hair, and then taking our "Before" shots.
Me and Katie
The awesome Katie makes me look fierce.

Rebecca, Marla, Brandi, Me, Charneice
Pre-Makeup Rebecca, Marla, Brandi, Me and Charneice. We met Charneice at the shoot and I instantly loved her.

Time for Make-up!
Kim and Rebecca
Kim and Rebecca

Aaron Hard at Work
Aaron and Charneice

Marla and Kim
Kim and Marla

I had the honor of having my makeup done by master makeup artist and UD's Global Retail Director, Eric J. I loved him! He is so fun and sweet and it was wonderful working with him and being one of his models.

Me and Eric in Action
Eric making me "dangerous."

Erica and Eric
Aren't we cute?

Urban Decay In Action
I love this photo.

I also received one of the best compliments I have ever received in my life from Eric. He said I looked like Linda Evangelista, at least from the eyes up! Holy crap! She's only one of the most famous and gorgeous supermodels in the whole world. A few people agreed with him--I was floored. I am still walking on clouds.

I am "Dangerous"

I loved my look!

Best Makeup Job Ever
I wish I had gotten a photo of my eyes closed. It was really beautiful.

Charneice, Me, Rebecca
Sassy Ladies

Then it was time for the shoot! We filmed the 25 minute video in one take. It went so quickly! Eric talked about all the new products, and then brought us up one at a time to talk about our looks and experience with the product. Brandi was a live "before and after" starting the video only in primers and ending the video completely made up. Aaron and Kim got her gorgeous in no time, and the poor girl had to run in heels while being super pregnant!

The New Faces of Urban Decay

We finished the day's work at about 3:00. The awesome and amazing Kim was so sweet and let us keep the blinged out accessories that we wore in the shoot. She said she picked out the bird necklace just for me because it matched my tattoos--how sweet is that?

The fabulous Kim gave me this gorgeous necklace.

After the shoot, we were all starving. To celebrate, the party car went to a place where we could be our glamorous bad selves.....Buffalo Wild Wings! I swear, they didn't know what hit them, and BWW has never looked so good...

Buffalo Wild Wings has never looked so good

I have to say, the make-up is amazing. The colors are so rich and beautiful and feel really good on. I loved everything I was wearing, and I can't wait to experiment with all the new shadows and liners that I have at home. I can tell I am developing an addiction with glitter eyeliner... that being said, they have a new customer for life! And hopefully they have a new model that they want to work with again!

It was a magical (and glittery) experience that I got to share with some of my closest friends. You can't beat that!

America's Current Top Spokesmodel

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Today I am shooting that industrial...hopefully stories and videos will come soon.


We all could use an Angel

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I'm totally smiling today, giddy with anticipation.

After we got the cancer diagnosis for Dad, we depended on the kindness of our family, friends and surrounding community to keep going and keep our spirits up. Little things make a huge difference: a shoulder rub, a quick note in the mail, an email just saying that someone was praying for us. All of those were blessings and our lifeline to maintain hope, Faith, and strength,

Today, I was reading my friend Diane's blog, and she linked to this website--Chemo Angels. Through this site, you get paired up with someone going through treatment, and you send them weekly cards and presents to keep them going. It's not a pen pal situation--sometimes picking up a pencil is the hardest thing to do, so they don't put that pressure on the people receiving the cards. You just send, and keep sending. I like to send my friends cards and gifts anyway, and if I can do that for someone with cancer, then all the better. So I signed up! There is a screening process since it is such a big committment, but I am excited to hear back. Really excited.

Thanks, Diane!

Oh yeah, and I also grew a mustache.



Thanks to Fuzzy for taking the photo.

Go Fuzzy Go!

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This Sunday, August 30, my amazing husband will be running in the 2009 Chicago Triathlon. I am so proud of him! He's been working really hard and the work is paying off. Now, all he has to do is swim 1500 meters, bike 25 miles, and run 6 miles. Go Fuzzy! I am going be be there cheering him on on Sunday--if you would like to join me, I'd love the company!


The Event starts at about 6am--we're getting there at 4:15 for him to check in and get ready. The Schedule of Events is here, bike route is here. If you want to track him online, we'll have his number on Saturday, or you can look under "Erik Gerdes."


New Hair!


I'm shooting an industrial this week for a well known, super awesome funky cool high end makeup brand, and the client wanted me to go red. Actually, they said something like "Wouldn't it be great if you had red hair?" or something like that, and I, never being one afraid of changing my hair, jumped on the chance for a new color. Besides, it had been about 3 years since I had colored my hair, and that was just plain weird for me. They hooked me up with an awesome colorist who chose what she thought would look good, and BOOM! New Hair!

New hair!

New hair!

I love it! I feel super sexy and quirky and cool. Of course, it isn't an easy color to pull off--gone are the days of rolling out of bed and going to work with no makeup...which give me all the more reason to use the product I'll soon be representing! Rebecca had a good point when she said, "Welcome back to dye land b/c I know you're not going to be able to stop now!" So, so true.



That's A Good Enough Reason To Live

What a night.

Fuzzy and I arrived at Evanston SPACE last night at about 8pm to see the Wood Brothers perform live. I've been a fan of theirs for a few years now, with their album Ways Not to Lose being one of my alltime favorite albums. I was giddy with excitement.

Evanston SPACE is a beautiful venue--table seating, general admission chairs, a nicely stocked bar, amazing acoustics, beautiful stage lighting, a nice plain brick wall, space for 250--add in folky bluesy Americana music, and I am in concert Heaven. We managed to get the last 2 chairs together in the general admission seating section, which was nice since we didn't pay extra for table seating, and the view of the stage was great.

The opening act was a young female duo, with the main artist being Tristen, though I wish they'd been billed as Tristen and Larissa, because the other girl was talented enough to split the billing. They had wonderful harmonies and good songs and a really cute energy. They were really young, so I know they have a great career ahead of them. And with a voice like Tristen's, we'll all be lucky for that. We bought both her albums.

BABY DRUGs on the front porch

Then the main event--the Wood Brothers! I believe that Chris Wood (of Medeski Martin and Wood fame) is one of the most amazing bass players around, and I thrilled I got to see him perform live. And perform they did--the two of them rocked out for about an hour and a half, playing songs from both their studio albums and their new EP of cover songs. It was amazing, and everyone in the room was loving what they were hearing--you could tell. Sometimes Fuzzy and I would just close our eyes and snuggle next to each other just so we could experience the music and each other--it was a beautiful night.

One of the covers that they performed was the Allman Brothers Midnight Rider. I cried, overwhelmed with everything--the wonderful music, life, what we've been through, the fact that we are still going, missing Dad. It was a beautiful moment.
It was a beautiful night. And one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

The title of this post is from the lyrics of the song Chocolate On My Tongue. Check it out.


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Last year for our anniversary, Fuzzy gave me the domain name, which was a long running joke that started between my friend George and I about 'where can you buy a good waffle iron?' and later became the website that you go to when you are looking for anything. Fuzzy put some sweet videos on there, and Noah wrote a theme song for the site.

This year for our anniversary, Noah and a bunch of awesome folks made a video to the WWW theme song. Get ready for some awesome:

In other fun times, this was Fuzzy's cartoon of the day yesterday. It is so true to life!
366 Cartoons - 197 - Schmuzzy and Schmerica
Large Size

One for One

Last week, I treated myself and ordered some Toms Shoes. For every one pair your order, they give a pair to a shoeless child in an impoverished country. I always need slip on shoes, plus, I feel guilty when I buy things for myself, so I felt this was a good compromise!


They are so comfy! And cute, too! The color will be good in every season, and I know I will wear the snot out of them. It is hard to do, but it really makes a difference when you think about where your money goes--if it can go to help people, or to support your friends, all the better. I am really trying to be more conscious with my life and spending. Knowing that a child will now have a pair of shoes to wear, maybe even their first, makes me really happy.

If you want to buy a pair, enter the code shareTOMS in when you order for $5 off! They have vegan shoes, too!

Heck Yeah!


Hey guys! Yeah! Today is looking pretty great, wouldn't you say?

I am finding myself in the wonderful place where I am actually doing really well. I am happy, I am feeling good, and when people ask me how I am doing, I can say "Good!" and mean it. That feels great.

I am getting some really fun gigs, both choreography and other, and that is exciting. Apes is gearing up, too, and we have lots of surprises in store. We've announced our cast, with videos and photos to come soon. Check them out at!

I've really be listening to myself lately, and my needs. I am not taking on too much. If I don't want to talk on the phone, I don't. If I can't follow through with the plans that I have because it is too much, I don't. It feels good to get to a place where I don't feel a lot of obligations--I do things if I want to do them, and if I can't, that is ok. There is no pressure on myself. I am my own person, an adult, capable of making my own decisions, and able to listen to what my body and mind needs. Things that used to stress me out? Gone. (or at least, I try to get them out of my head.) I am cognizant enough to know that this won't last forever, and it is a part of the ebb and flow, so I am going to live in it and enjoy it while it is here.

The weekend was very eventful--I went horsebacking riding again on Friday with a friend, hung out with a friend that night, Saturday we went to Indiana to see some of Fuzzy's friends, Sunday was kind of rough, but we stayed in and did a lot of talking and purging, and yesterday I hung out with a friend who doesn't live in Chicago anymore, but when I see her, I always feel like my health and sanity meter is refilled, much like my heart level in Zelda. Last night I worked with the Apes on a new intro dance. I am blessed to have so many friends who are willing to share their lives with me.

This week proves to be super exciting as well--tomorrow night, the Wood Brothers are playing in Evanston and I am excited for that! This weekend, we'll be seeing more friends and doing more Apes stuff and seeing more shows...good times.

And finally, Bryan introduced me to this video, and I think it is one of the best things I have seen in a long time. I can't stop watching it.

A Few Short Updates

Hey hey!
I haven't been around my computer much the last few days and today is no exception. Here are some random updates on some goings on.

We didn't win the Roommate of the Year Contest. Thank you to all of you who voted and watched our silly little video!

Lots of cool things and gigs going on...more details to come later. But I must say that my friends Brandi and Matt are awesome and I totally owe them one.

Quick Movie Reviews:
(500) Days of Summer--Love love loved it
I Love You, Man--Hilarious and awesomely written
Adventureland--We didn't make it past the first 30 minutes. Bad.
Burn After Reading--Awesome

Operation Clean and Purge is going well!

Today I am hanging out with a friend I rarely get to see. That is wonderful.

Have a great day!



We made!


Thanks to the bro for showing me the site.

Dear Sexy Walgreens Pharmacy Technician,

You're good.

I'll admit it. You are good at what you do. You remember peoples names, you notice subtle differences in people's appearances, you make patrons feel special. You are good at small talk. And you make it impossible to look at you in the eyes without getting completely flustered.

It's not just to women. Oh, no, you charm the men just as much as you do the ladies. In fact, I was there on a day you were flirting with/ charming three patrons of various ages, races and genders all at the same time.

That takes skill.

But look, I'm married. See my rings? And not only am I married, I am madly in love with my husband. I do a great job of appreciating a handsome man, while not swooning. I only swoon for my husband. I don't care if you look like Djimon Hounsou.

For the most part, I am great at strictly doing business with you. I'm in, I'm out, I don't make eye contact. But today--you remembered by name, talked about how we were almost neighbors and then wanted to talk about my tattoos. Damn you!

I even brought along a friend so she could witness your charms, and she was all atwitter and giggly. ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO NOT BE.

And the thing KNOW it. You KNOW how charming you are, and how irresistable your charms are.

And you are goooood at it.

I am sure you have a lady that you go home to at night, and I have no doubt you treat her right. She's a real lucky lady.

But damn, Dude. Ease up. You're killing me, here! Don't make me go to the Walgreens next to my house.

See you next month...

Breast, I mean best,

1) I am so freaking sore today. I have muscles where I didn't know there were muscles, and those muscles are all in pain. I want to go to bed and stay there.

2) Today is one of those days where everything is coming really easily. Work stuff? Done. Show stuff? Done. Check that shizzle off the list!

3) All I want this week is another ice cream sundae. Yes, I had one last night, too, and I plan on having one tonight.

4) I was over at Megan and Charlie's last night. The previous night, they had stayed up all night trying to get a bat (yes, a bat) out of their apartment. Charlie was at work, and Fuzzy had to work late, so Megan and I worked on stuff and at about 11pm decided to turn the lights out to see if he would make an appearance. I was all like "I bet he's gone" and "there's nothing to worry about" until we heard a chirp that sounded like a muffled fire alarm running out of batteries. Holy crap! Then we heard it again! Thinking it might just be the fire alarm, we waited for a third chirp. Nothing. I totally got the heebiejeebies and the two of us jumped and shrieked like little girls for the rest of the night, especially when my phone rang--it is set to chirp instead of ring. Charlie got home and I had to leave, but Megan reported in later that our bat friend came back out to play. They stayed elsewhere so they could sleep. EEEEEEEE! It was creepy! But interestingly enough, Megan and I are working on a project that involves Vampires, so maybe it is a good sign? Right?

5) Whoomp, There It Is is on the radio right now, and that is one of my favorite songs in the whole world. Really, how can you hear this song and not be in a great mood? I once did a jazz dance to it in high school for my dance recital, and halfway through, the music just stopped and all we could do was take a bow and walk off stage. I didn't get to "slam dunk it, stick it, flip it or grind" my "b double o-t-y, oh my." But hearing it just then took me back to the old school cause I'm an old fool who's so cool.

6) This is one of my favorite sentences in the whole world, written by our friend and awesome comedian Dan Telfer: "We all knew you were a bunch of buttbutt parades who could make things on a choochoo. But how are you with farts and beavers?" I could tell you the context, but it wouldn't make much more sense.

7) Cheese! There, I said it.

Update! Update! The day is half over, and so it is time for an Update!

8) You know that it's a good day when your boss comes in with 2 bottles of vodka from Russia, and those bottles of vodka are for you.

9) Coconut M&Ms are really really good.

10) Fuzzy made a comic about the Bat Antics of last night. Read it Here!

11) The 90s had a lot of great music.

12) My muscles are also sore to the touch.

13) Beets do weird things to your body.

14) I wish I had brought Parker to work.

I am a strong believer in the idea that you should do things that scare you, otherwise you'll only live a portion of your potential life. Risk taking is the only way to know your true limits, yet it is so hard to do! Everything is scary the first time you do it--try to think of something that isn't. Growing up, everything is new and exciting, but also so terribly overwhelming--they don't call it growing pains for nothing. As adults, we often shy away from taking risks or trying new things because it puts us out of our comfort zones, and God forbid we do something that might be hard or embarassing. Sadly, we end up in the same patterns again and again, not knowing what amazing adventures are out there waiting for us!

Last night, I took a risk. I went to my first dance class in somewhere around 5 years.

I almost didn't, though! After my sad day (which continued to be sad--everything made me cry and the book I am reading now isn't exactly light summer fare), I went home, napped, and made a big dinner. Fuzzy came home, and I suggested going for a walk to the Deluxe Diner for an ice cream sundae instead of my going to class. We ate, and Fuzzy worked his magic. He told me that if I could take this class while feeling a little off and after having a sad day, it would make every class from here on out a breeze. It would be a great accomplishment. He had a good point, and one I couldn't argue with.

I suited up--it was a hip hop class I was taking--and he walked the 4 blocks down to Joel Hall with me, holding my hand and encouraging me the whole way. I was terrified, but also excited. I went in, signed in at the desk, and hit the studio for some pre-class stretching.

Hooooboy, that shit was hard! The class didn't have any level listed with it, only "Hip Hop" on the schedule, so I knew it might not be a beginner class. The teacher was a tall, muscular, and dreadlocked man who is exactly who you would expect to be an amazing hip hop dancer. The warmups were great--I kept up with almost all of them, the across the floor work was good--a lot harder, and the floor routine--my God, the floor routine. It was so fast and intricate and it really made me appreciate the dancers I work with when I teach a new routine. He would dance it full out and fast, then shrug and say "See? Easy." Easy, indeed. I floundered a lot, and laughed a lot, and was no where near getting the routine by the end of the class. I was able to keep up with the counts, and I was proud of that, even if the moves themselves didn't make it out of my body. I thought about leaving in order to save face, but figured walking out would be more shameful that sticking with it and trying. And I would hate to give up on my first attempt. After the class, I thanked him for kicking my ass on my first class back in years, therefore acknowleding that I was out of my league. He was a great sport about it.

Walking home those 4 blocks was one of the hardest walks of my life. I was drenched with sweat, out of breath, and unbelievably thirsty. When I got home, Fuzzy was my biggest cheerleader--he was so supportive and excited for me. I chugged 3 glasses of Gatorade, which took me back to my teenage days of keeping the fridge stocked with Gatorade for post-class hydration. And then I noticed something on the counter--as if Fuzzy wasn't wonderful enough, he had gone to the store while I was gone and gotten waffle bowls, hot fudge, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, nuts, and maraschino cherries, so that he could make me a celibritory ice cream sundae!!

Seriously--my wonderful husband, who got me the gift certificate to the dance classes I have wanted to take also made me an ice cream sundae after class because he knew I was craving one. I know how lucky I am.

Today I am super sore, but I am so glad that I went. I am proud of myself for doing something I was nervous about and for getting active again. Next, I am going to try a Modern I class and a Jazz I class, and hopefully even ballet soon, too. Now that I've taken that first step, I am not afraid of anything. In fact, I am really excited about it.

Life is a Good Kind of Sadness

I am having one of those days where I just want to listen to sad music all day and mope. You know what I am talking about--there is absolutely nothing wrong today, and I have nothing to be sad about, but I find myself being drawn inward with Elliot Smith, Neko case, or any of the other hundreds of sad songs I keep around me at close range, with the desire to just sit and do nothing but think and process. (My brother once put my iPod on shuffle, only to soon change to his own music, because "Oh, right. You listen to 'that kind' of music.") The sun is shining its little heart out outside, but in my office, with the shades drawn, I am none the wiser.

Why is it so appealing to be sad? I believe that it is easier to be sad than happy, and that you can also be sad and happy at the same time. Good ole melancholy. Christopher once said that "Life is a good kind of sadness," the sadness that is comfortable and warm. Safe. Familiar.

I think that for people coming out of a traumatic time or life change, it is hard to be ok with being happy. The misery was so present for so long that it is hard to imagine a time without it. Sure, there may have been fun times within the pain, but the lingering dark cloud was still there. When the event has ended or you've moved past it, those first days of joy or lifted weight seem so foreign or scary. You don't trust it, and you don't know what to do with it. So often we find something to be miserable about--an object that you can't find or control, an exchange with a stranger, anything that you can place blame and negative energy on to, because that is what we know and we have to put those feelings somewhere. As humans, we don't gravitate towards contentment naturally. We have to really work for it and live in those moments when we have them.

It's so appealing, isn't it? The lull of misery, being the struggling artist, never to be understood, constantly searching for any sense of self. Listening to the chant of "I could nevers" in your head. Should I fight it? Or should I let it take me away so I can live in it and process it and let it move on, leaving me stronger and wiser in the sand.


And yet, as I write this, I get a simple message over the internet from the love of my life who is also sitting in front of a lit up box but in a different town, and I smile and realize that I really am happy. And so I switch my music over to something a little more upbeat.

Erica: Oh, man, I am a mess.
Fuzzy: Yes, but you are a HOT mess.

So Saturday night when we got to Erica's house, we stayed up chatting for a while and watching cat videos--I mean, what else did you think we would do? If we all didn't have to be up the morning, we could have easily just stayed up all night long talking and laughing and catching up. I am going to go back for another visit later this fall, and I look forward to all night gab sessions, catching up on life and the journeys that we are on. Sunday morning came, and we headed our separate ways, with Fuzzy and I hitting up a restaurant up the street. While there, Fuzzy checked his email and found out that our 1:30pm flight was canceled. We were excited about having an early flight so that we could have some downtime at home before starting the new workweek. Instead, we were booked on an 8:30pm flight. Not to fear! We were in NY!

First we called our friend Alex who lives in Brooklyn to see if he was home. No answer. Then we google mapped an art store that Erica had told us about and walked a while to find it. No luck. My feet were covered in blisters (I still have them--I think each toe has 2-3 blisters on it) and we had only gotten a few hours of sleep, so we were slow moving and exhausted. But while in Brooklyn, we saw some amazing graffiti.



We decided to just head back to the city. Once there, we didn't really have an agenda--we could go to MOMA, but museums are exhausting enough as it is. We could go shopping, but we were running out of funds. And on top of that, it started to pour down rain. We stumbled upon a chocolate shop, Max Brenner's, but were scared of eating anything that would make us bloopy in the tums, so we bought a small box of chocolates. Then we browsed Forbidden Planet and Strand Books, and hopped into a little French cafe for some lunch. We thought about seeing a movie, but were so tired and cranky that we just decided to go to the airport a few hours early. Since we were flying Jetblue, we got to watch TV on the plane, and on the way in, they showed a snippet from an episode of The Next Food Network Star in which they had to cook for the schmancy restaurants that are in the Jetblue terminal at JFK airport. So we figured--let's see what this is all about! We went to the Mexican one, Revolucion--I had wine and Fuzzy had beer, he had the fish tacos and I had the crabcake pita. It was delicious! The wine, the food, everything. We just relaxed and took our time with the meal, and when we were done, I bought some magazines and we settled in at our gate for a few more hours.

Of course our flight was delayed.

We didn't take off until about 9:30, and when we got on the plane, there was cold water dripping on us. We were in the last row of the plane, and when the people in front of us complained, the flight attendant's response was "yeah, the last two rows in these planes do that." Jeez. So we decided to buy the pillow and blanket that they advertised being for sale (we had even passed up the pillow blanket combo for sale in the termincal cause we could just buy one on the plane). "I'm sorry, we aren't selling those anymore." O-k. So they stuffed some napkins in the cracks above me and turned the air down so we wouldn't freeze. Some horrible turbulance that made me feel like we were about to die later, and we were just ready to be back in Chicago. Flipping through the tv channels on the plane, I flipped to Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, which was showing the pizza episode. All the food porn was killing me, and then Aaron Sanchez started talking about the chocolate pizza guessed it--Max Brenner!! I could have cried I had so much remorse for not getting a slice. I saw it, and it looked amazing, but nooooo, I had to pass. But don't worry, chocolate pizza. You will be mine. Oh yes. You will be mine.

So there you have it! It was an amazing anniversary getaway that felt like a week crammed into 3 days. Traveling with Fuzzy is my favorite thing to do in the whole world, and I can't wait for more travels in the future!

Fuzzy, how do you feel about that NY trip?

Erica? How about you?

* Michael Scott from The Office

New York State of Mind (pt3)

Saturday morning, we slept in (to a whopping 10am, which is 9am our time, much earlier than I usually get up on a Saturday), and took our time getting ready.

Here is a photo of the Dorothy Parker quote on our hotel door:
Dorothy Parker quote on our room at the Algonquin

We hopped across the street to a coffee shop for a small coffee and a pretzel croissant (it was good--dryer than a regular croissant, but good) and then started walking. We walked through Times Square and the bazillion tourists and then on down to the Village. Erica had told me that the restaurant she works at is near the Magnolia Bakery, so we "hit up Magnolia and macked on some CUPCAKES" and banana pudding. The pudding was awesome and the cupcake was amazing--even Fuzzy liked it, and he doesn't like cake! Then we strolled on down to Hudson Street, to Fatty Crab. It was so exciting to see Erica, and she totally treated us like rockstars with amazing food and cocktails. Just look at this menu! I think the Watermelon Pickle and Crispy Pork salad almost did us in with awesomeness. When Erica was here at New Years, we gave her a bottle of Malort to take back with her. The moment we got there, she poured us a couple of Malort cocktails that the bartender had made especially for us, along with the recipes for when we want to make them at home. They were really good!

Malort cocktails at Fatty Crab

Fuzzy at Fatty Crab
Fuzzy at Fatty Crab.

After we had been there for a while, Andrew, Ariel and Chuck showed up, so we moved to one table and just started the party. We hung out until Erica was done with work, and it was so nice to just laugh, eat, drink and relax for hours at the restaurant. I met some of Erica's wonderful friends and we all had a great time.

Erica in Action

Of course, we had to make our friends try Malort. That's just what we do.
Chuck's Malort face
Devon's Malort face
Chris' Malort face
Chris (this one cracks me up.)

After Erica got off work, we split off from the pack. Fuzzy, Andrew, Chuck and Ariel went to Coney Island, and Erica and I jetted off to see a one-man show written and produced by John Clancy. While I can't say that I enjoyed the show, it was worth every second for the time I got to spend with Erica. Erica and I met a couple of weeks before our first year of college--we were both theatre majors in the Honor Program at our school, and of course, we were both named Erica. At first, we thought the other was weird and wanted nothing to do with each other, but we had so many classes together and were in the same crowd, finally we just talked to each other to see what the other was about, and the rest is history. Insta-best friends! Over the years, we've done shows together, worked together, lived together, and for the whole time we lived in Jackson, we were inseparable. Sadly, I don't get to see her nearly as much as I would like, so the little time we had to talk and catch up was priceless and a blessing. Amazing.

We met back up with the fellas and Ariel at Coney Island. I had never been, and it was quite the experience.

We had some hot dogs, lemonade and beer from Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, where they do the hot dog eating contest. I am no Kobayashi.

This photo needs no caption:
Bump Your Ass Off

Then we saw the most amazing thing in the whole world. A Tshirt booth. Oh how we could barely contain ourselves! Erica and I ran to an ATM to get cash, and then the magic happened.

Are you ready for the world's greatest Tshirt? I don't know if you are. Ok, here goes:

Erica and Erica

Let's get a closer look at that.
Tshirt Closeup

That's right. It is the Ericas in front of a cartoon Coney Island backdrop, with a rainbow, pot of gold, 2 unicorn pegasuses and the phrase "What dreams are made of." Indeed. It goes without saying that I will treasure this shirt forever and ever. Erica said that we need to wear it when we are old so we can remember when we were young and had good boobs. I agree.

You might think at this point that it would be impossible for our night to get any better, but you would be wrong.

Erica Shot the Freak.
Shoot the Freak

Then we went to the ocean. It was 10 or so at night, and the beach was a messy disaster, but we walked out to the water. Ariel was fearless and went out in her jeans up to her thighs. I hadn't seen Ariel since she was a little girl and now she is a full blown teenager--it was wonderful hanging out with her and catching up. When she resurfaced from the water, I realized that I was wearing a dress and could easily hike it up without getting too wet. Ariel said she would run in with me if I did it, and we could hold hands! How could I turn that down?! We took each other's hand and ran into the water (me up to my butt), shrieking into the dark night, afraid of nothing. It was a once in a lifetime moment that took at teenager to get me to do, and I am so thankful I did. I will never forget it.

Once we were back on the boardwalk and Andrew danced with a drag queen, Erica mentioned that at the end of the boardwalk there was a historical building that had been turned into a roller rink, and she loves skating there. Seriously?! A Roller Rink! Oh my God--it was the cutest thing I had ever seen. So pink and cute! Lola Staar's Dreamland Roller Rink. Lola Staar is this adorable redhead who makes amazing Tshirts and has lights on her skates. Though it was 21 and up, they let Ariel skate since her parents were there, and I don't know if it was fate or what, but it was Prince Purple Rain Night. (some of you may or may not be aware of the significance of this fact. Let's just say it is significant.) I am a crummy skater, but it was so much fun. Here are the photos to prove it.

Erica and Erica at Lola Staar's Dreamland Rollerrink

Ariel and Erica at Lola Staar's Dreamland Rollerrink
Erica is an amazing skater. So freaking cute, too.

Ariel and Erica at Lola Staar's Dreamland Rollerrink

Erica and Fuzzy at Lola Staar's Dreamland Rollerrink
Fuzzy didn't skate, but he looked adorable not skating.

Erica, Ariel, and Erica at Lola Staar's Dreamland Rollerrink
What's not to love about this?!

Still more to come! Stay Tuned!

After walking all day on Friday, we went to our hotel to check in and get ready for the show that night. After seeing their previous show De la Guarda, Fuzzy was excited to see Fuerzabruta, a new spectacle performance art Argentinian amazing crazy explosion. There is no possible way for me to describe it--people running on walls, through walls, breaking walls, lots of dancing, yelling, water, a giant clear bottom swimming pool that is above you and then right on top of you--all set to an amazing soundtrack. You have to move around in the space so that all these giant set pieces come out, and the whole time I stood there slackjawed. The only way to describe it really is to just watch the title page on the link above. It was amazing and insane.


Fuzzy and Erica at Fuerzabruta

Fuerzabruta aftermath

Erica at Fuerzabruta
This is me really overwhelmed.

Friday night I got a discounted rate at the famous Algonquin Hotel, NYC's first functioning hotel and the home of the Round Table of the 20s and 30s. The hotel was beautiful and comfortable, and we declared it our official NY Hotel for the future.

Our room at the Algonquin
Our door had a quote by Dorothy Parker on it.

After the show and dinner, we went to the lobby lounge for a drink.
The Algonquin lobby
Fuzzy had a vodka gimlet.

The Algonquin lobby
I had a vodka martini.

The Algonquin is also known for The Algonquin Cat, Matilda, a former show cat that has a lot of press, a big birthday party every year and greets guests as they come in. She was so soft and pretty!

Matilda, the Algonquin cat

More to come! Fatty Crab, Coney Island and more! (to be continued)

To celebrate our 3rd anniversary, Fuzzy and I jetsetted our way to the Big Apple for a weekend getaway. I apologize to my NY friends that I didn't call or tell we were coming--part of the fun was keeping it a secret and doing what we wanted to do while not being on a schedule. The whole motivation behind going was to see the show Fuerzabruta and see my bestie, Erica and her family, and we successfully did those things and soooo much more. It was a blast, and it felt like we were there for a week!


Ok! So!
The first thing we did when we landed in Manhattan was hit up the Ess-a-Bagel, the best bagel place in the world (thanks to Alex for introducing us to it so many years ago!). After some delicious everything bagels with smoked salmon and scallion cream cheese, we headed over to the Highline, a new park opened up on an old train track that ran through the city and buildings in the 30s.

The Highline

It was beautiful! Wildflowers, train tracks and an amazing view of the city.

The Highline

We walked the whole distance from end to end (not too bad--just a few blocks.) Insert adorable photo here:
Fuzzy and Erica

In the distance from the Highline, you could see the Statue of Liberty. In all the time I've spent in NYC, I've never seen the Statue with my own two eyes. Fuzzy suggested that we walk down to the Staten Island Ferry to go see it, and since we were on no schedule, that was the best idea ever. We walked down the Hudson River for miles and miles, and it was such a gorgeous day--it was perfect and a great way to see the amazing culture, art, and melting pot-ness of NY.

Fuzzy points to the Future (and also New Jersey)
Fuzzy points to the fuuuuture (and New Jersey)

Erica and her PoCampo bag in NY
Here I am modeling my new PoCampo bag. I am proud of us for packing light--all my stuff fit in my PoCampo bag and all Fuzzy's fit in a backpack! Usually we have suitcases and suitcases.

I found some boobs on the riverwalk, so I had to pinch one. Ok, so they were supposed to be eyes, but come on.

After walking forever, we stopped for some sushi and an ice cold Victory Beer in a beer garden.

Fuzzy enjoys a Victory Brewing beer
Righteous beard, Fuzzy! (a waiter told him that in NY)
Erica enjoys a Victory Brewing beer
Sometimes when I smile, it looks like I'm in pain.

Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is free and so fun! It was a great way to spend an hour. I even dozed off on the way back.

Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty herself.

(to be continued)