July 2011 Archives

I Do!

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Five years ago, I married the most amazing wonderful gorgeous perfect hilarious man ever. It was the BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. So many things have happened over the years, and Fuzzy has been by my side the whole way. There is no one that I would rather be with and no one that I have more fun with. Here's to a lifetime of more anniversaries in our future.

I love you, Fuzzy!

Bastille Day 5k 2011

Drunk Monkeys Episode 2!

Episode 2 of our new web series Drunk Monkeys is live now over at Four Squirrels! Check it out, why don't you? Today we taste 360 Cola Vodka....yum?

I Can Walk!

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I am happy to report that I can walk! It hurts like heck, I am really slow, and my knee is still a little swollen, but I am walking without the crutches! How liberating. I am wearing my old knee brace from college and that gives me some support. I am seeing an orthpaedic doctor on Tuesday, so we will see what she says. I am happy that I am recovering so quickly! Thank you all for your well wishes!

Thursday Update

Today is better! I still can't put weight on my leg, but I slept without the immobilizer and that was great. I am able to bend my knee very slowly, which is such a relief! It hurts like crazy, and I need assistance to do so, but my biggest fear was that I wouldn't have control of it for a while, so so far so good. I also just took a bath, which was awesome and I feel a lot better now. It had been a while...

I had some great company today and I am in a lot better spirits than yesterday. I am looking forward to getting out of the house tomorrow with Fuzzy--I don't know if I will be able to walk, but the nurse said I could try to walk on Friday. We'll see!

Another Thank You!

I wanted to publicly thank our friend Shaun, who came and picked us up from the hospital on Tuesday and transported me and my bike safely home. Thank you so much, Shaun! You are the best!

I wish my cats could make me coffee

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and bring it to me.

The Sweet Smell of Irony

Oh, life...always tricky. Always keeping you on your toes.

Yesterday morning, I biked to work. It was really tough for me--I don't know if I didn't eat enough food, or if I was too tired or what, but I really had to push myself. I thought I was going to be really late, but it turns out that I still kept my regular commute time of 50 minutes, and I rolled up to my office door as my clocked flipped to 9:00am. Not bad!

On my ride home, everything was in my favor. The weather was perfect, I felt great, I was listening to great music and traffic was great--I got all green lights on the path.

I used to be scared of getting off the path and onto regular streets, but yesterday, I was a pro. I was thinking to myself about how confident I felt, how I was having my best ride yet, and how blessed I was to have my strength and to be able to experience such a beautiful day with perfect weather. I was proud of myself and filled with joy.

Then I came to a 4 way stop, where there was a car perpendicular to me. I tried to slow down, since I didn't know if they were turning or going straight, and I guess I hit my brakes in a poor way (Fuzzy had told me to not brake with my left hand on the new bike cause I could flip over, so I always brake with both hands. The kicker is that the left hand brake squeezes in all the way, while the right one barely moves, so it feels uneven when I brake.) Suddenly, I am skidding, and trying to stop myself, and I sort of maybe flipped over the bike and landed with all my weight onto my left knee. In the street.  My bad knee, too, with the history of dislocations and knee braces.  Everything went flying off my bike, and I couldn't move my leg. A woman in a car asked if I was ok, and I answered "Maybe not." Next thing I knew, she was gone. Luckily, the cars behind me, weren't that far close, so I was not hit by a car or anything. It was all me.

A nice man named Tony came and lifted me out of the street and onto the sidewalk. He collected my things and locked up my bike for me. He said that he saw the fall and thought to himself "Oh, she'll get up any time now. Ok, now. Any time now." and when I hadn't, he came over to help. Bless that man!  I called Fuzzy and decided that I needed to call 911 in case my knee was broken. I kept my calm the whole night--I was mainly in shock, but I was able to keep my wits about me.

Tony stayed with me until the ambulance came (my first ambulance ride!) and when the firefighters (Kevin and John) arrived, they asked me if I was wearing a helmet (yes), if I hit my head (no), how old I was and if I knew what day it was. "Umm...July 26th?" I said, and they were like "whoa! I didn't even know that! We were looking for 'Tuesday' so good job!" They lifted me into the ambulance and decided which ER to take me to.

In the ambulance, I was able to give them my ID and I also showed them that I was wearing my Road ID and they were really impressed. The pain was starting to set in really badly, so they gave me a cold pack. I couldn't straighten my leg. I also kept saying stuff like, "Guess what? I am a choreographer and I am supposed to teach 2 dances tomorrow!" "Guess what? I am doing a mud race on Sunday!" "Guess what? My wedding anniversary is Friday!" and "Guess what? I am doing my first triathlon next month!"  The timing of this crash is just hilarious, isn't it? I am so proud for keeping my composure.

Someone along the way had asked me if I had broken anything before and if it felt like that. Yes, I have, but when I broke my wrist in high school, it was an impaction fracture, and it took 4 doctors and 2 months to find the break. So yes, it did sort of feel like that.

Fuzzy took a cab to the ER and he was such a vision to see. I wasn't treated right away and I certainly wasn't given any pain killers for a long time. I had some x-rays done (a brusk radiologist kept wanting me to move my leg and got frustrated when I wasn't able to. I cried and shook a lot while he was x-raying. It felt like my kneecap was going to fall off.) Finally, I saw the doctor, who told me that nothing was broken, but that the soft tissues were probably strained. She gave me pain killers and a prescriptions and orders to follow up with an orthopedic clinic for the next steps. I had help straightening my leg and was given crutches (my first crutches! Even with my previous injury, I didn't have crutches) and a crash course (pun intended) on how to use them. When the nurse came with my discharge papers I asked a series of questions, such as: What about my dance rehearsal? (keep off leg for at least 2 days, so no rehearsal), What about driving? (our car has a clutch--no go.), what about the Muddy Buddy (see how I feel in a few days--I can try to put weight on it on Friday) and can I drink with my pain meds? She said yes, that she had done it before and it just got her drunker quicker. When I said that I wanted to go home and have a shot of whiskey, she said "In fact, that is definitely what you should do." Good nurse. My crash was at about 5:15, I was in the ER about 6:00, and was discharged about 8:30 or 9pm.

All in all, I am ok! I laughed all night and was in great spirits. I am thankful that I wasn't hurt worse (I kept thinking to myself that I had been there before and recovered, so I can do it again.) Today, I am really weepy and emotional. My neck and shoulders are really sore, as is my knee, of course. My head hurts. I can move my leg around more today than last night, though I have not yet tried to see if I can bend it. I hope the swelling has gone down. The crutches are annoying, but I am getting better at them. My arms are going to be really strong when I stop using them. I'm having to be creative with how to carry things--I put a travel cup of coffee in my water bottle holder with some snacks in it and carried it around my neck like a pack mule. I wish I could carry a plate, cause I am really hungry--I might just have to eat standing up in the kitchen.

We've learned that our house is not set of for injuries or crutches. Everything is sort of an obstacle course. All the more reason to keep cleaning and purging!

I am really bummed that I will have to not run for a little while. I really want to. Next week is the Terrapin 5K and I was REALLY looking forward to that (I wanted to run it as Bob Weir). I think I will try to walk it and maybe see how much my leg can handle. I hope to be free of immobilizer and crutches by then!

I think this is my 6th visit to the ER in my 32 years: 1-knee dislocation at 17, 2: when my throat closed up at 21 or 22, 3: kidney stone in 2003 or 2004, 4: kidney stone in 2005 or 2006, 5: kidney stone in Hawaii in 2010 and now this. Christopher said that I've been so much that it is my schtick.

I am grateful that I was able to get up to my triathlon distances this month early on, cause I will probably take a week or two off from training so I can heal, and then will try to punch it as much as I can in the 2 weeks before the event. I am more fired up than ever for it--now, it will TRULY be an accomplishment and a comeback story when I cross that finish line.

Also, I am pretty sure that I was the best dressed person in the ER. I was wearing my new Danskin Now awesome pants I got in SC (now they are ripped), my awesome new Gap Body cute 3/4 length gathered sleeve top, and some new Smartwool baby blue running socks that were very aesthetically pleasing, which was nice since I had to look at my feet all night. It's the little things.

Now, some photos!

ER in the ER
 ER in the ER
Sad Cry Face
ER in the ER
Swollen close up
 ER in the ER
But whatareyougonnado?
 ER in the ER
Oh Brother.
ER in the ER
But nothing's Broken!
Erica, in the Gladiator, in the great outdoors.
"You're my Blue Sky, You're my Sunny Day" Sexxxy!
Lookin' Good!

Fuzzy and Erica Me and my best friend, my darling sweet wonderful husband Fuzzy. I'm so blessed to have him. I would be lost without him.
Happy almost 5 years of wedded bliss, my love! Thank you for everything!!

Always Learning


What a big year this is! This is by far the most epic summer I have had in a long time.  It is super busy, but also super amazing, and I am loving every second of it. I am mega tired today, so here are some random thoughts I have in my head:

* I am still doing great with my non-stress, calm zen mode I am in these days. My life is amazing. I am so happy. I can handle anything stressful. There's no room for anxiety in my life. It feels good.
* Apes took it out of me last night. It sort of made my brain shut down. But it was great--such a fun challenge. I am loving being on the show.
* Have I said this here? Apes closes the day after the Triathlon. MEGA IMPORTANT WEEKEND. Come August 30th, I am both going to be filled with glee and not know what to do with myself.
* With this triahlon training, I need to eat more than I am used to. Gotta force the calories.
* At the same time, I have to remember that if I try to eat a lot when I get really hungry, I get kinda sick feeling. Need to go more for small frequent snacking.
* I cannot for the life of me get enough sleep. I got a hard 8 hours the other day, and it wasn't enough. I need to sleep. All the time.
* Even when you don't feel like biking, swimming or running, it is good to do it anyways. The days you don't want to are almost always the days you surprise yourself with how awesome you are.
* I unpacked 10 (TEN!) boxes last week! Amazing! This is really huge for me--I've been avoiding this for over a year. I pulled out a bunch of photos and things I want to scan and share, so once that begins, expect some super cool and fun blog posts. Photos are in boxes, and I am going to start some light scrapbooking for the newspaper clippings. I threw away a bunch of stuff the other day, including all my certificates of achievement (you achieved it!) from 0-12 grade, cause really--those things mattered a lot then, but are really just pieces of paper with words on them now. Not important. 
* I'm excited about this weekend--Friday is Fuzzy's and my 5 year wedding anniversary (yay!) and this Sunday is the Muddy Buddy!
* It bugs me when bands have a live version of a song and they have the audience sing the words. It's cool for them, and fun for the people that are there, but I don't want to hear thousands of people singing--I don't get anything out of that. I want to hear the singer sing it.
* In the "Whoa" files, Nirvana's Nevermind is celebrating its 20th anniversary this September. But that just keeps fueling my mega 90s kick I am on right now. I can't get enough Soundgarden ever, I've been listening to the 90s grunge station on Sirius non-stop, Beavis and Butthead is coming back, etc. It's been really fun getting excited about these things again and feeling like a teenager. I am loving every second of it.


* What about this guy? Rebecca Hanson says he lives in a tree.
  Neville Knurd Phfunckhauser


Drunk Monkeys!

The premiere episode of our new web series Drunk Monkeys is online over at Four Squirrels! Go check it out, please!


Just Call Me Dara Torres*

I feel like a badass today!

I knew I needed to go swimming today, and I wasn't super jazzed about it. But I didn't allow myself to stall or talk myself out of it, and instead I just went without thinking. The pool was a little more crowded than normal--who knew Friday was such a big a swim day?--and the lifeguard/swim instructor on duty said I could sneak between these 2 older gents that were sharing a lane to start. After a little while, it thinned out, and by the time I left, there was only me and one other person in the pool.

I think the last time I lap swam, I was pleased with my 25 laps...

AND TODAY I DID 40** !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLY MOLES!! I just was just doing the conversions of distance (my pool is 25 yards long), and my triathlon distance is .75K, or 820ish yards. My swim today was 1.8K, or 2000 yards! That is WAY over my distance! WOW! I am super proud of myself!

Other noteworthy things:

*Up until today, I have varied my strokes. After swimming in the lake on Sunday, I realized that nothing but the front stroke works. So today I did only that. 
*I've gotten way better at breathing and hitting a rhythm.
*I tried to not allow myself to stop or rest that much, as I won't be able to, really, in the lake.
*I found the best ear plugs that work for me. The other ones I had been using hurt a lot, so the softies are better. I also am a nerd with a noseplug, goggles and a swimcap. Sexxxy!
*The lifeguard/swim instructor said I did a great job! She's been watching me swim over the weeks, so that is a nice complement.
*Sometimes she coaches the other triathletes that train there,*** and I will watch for a second and then try out what she is showing them.
*Today was my easiest swim yet. I'm getting stronger!

This is my power song for the week, and I ran it in my head the entire time I was swimming:


* Dara Torres is a badass swimmer.
** Or more--it is hard for me to keep track of what lap I am on, so I have to concentrate on it a lot. Whenever I would lose count, I would go to the lowest number that I remembered doing.
*** One guy has an Iron Man tattoo.


My 'Erica Reidness' is Lagging

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GAH! The famous Erica Reid has pushed me off of page one on a Google Image search! I MUST FIGHT BACK! MORE TAGGING!

But how much do I love that the first photo of me on page 2 is this awkward one with Judy Tenuta?

Judy Tenuta and Erica Reid

(I know, this is like the 10th time I've posted this photo on my blog. But come on, do you blame me?)

Something Exciting is Brewing!

This week over on Four Squirrels, we are premiering a new web series about cocktail mixers and odd liquors called "Drunk Monkey(s)" It features me, Jen Ellison, Dave, the "off stage presence" and it's filmed and edited by Fuzzy. The intro is online now, with more episodes to come! Please go check it out!

April May

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There's a new judge this season of Impress These Apes, and she is pretty cool. She's no-nonsense and tells it like it is. She's beautiful, too--she doesn't look like the other Apes, cause she's had to have some work done to keep her youthful appearance. She twitters here, and if you don't live in Chicago, you can watch from home on the livestream Monday nights at 8pm Central on ImpressThesApes.com

Impress These Apes Season 6 Show 1 Impress These Apes Season 6 Show 1 Impress These Apes Season 6 Show 1 Barry Shirley, Captain Apehab, Bushmeat, and April May Impress These Apes Season 6 Show 1 Apes for the Memories!

How Amazing is this Photo?


Juanita and Laura Burns
This is a photo of my grandmother Juanita (Memaw Bane) and great-grandmother Laura (Memaw Burns). I love everything about this photo--I love that Memaw Bane is working it and serving her best model face and pose and that Memaw Burns is HOLDING A PUPPY.


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I just found my Memaw Bane's High School Diploma. Helen Juanita Burns graduated May 31, 1946 from Carr Central High School in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her class flower was a gardenia, class colors were blue and gold, and class motto was "It matters not how long we live, but how."

Interestingly enough, on the last page of the booklet, there is a list of the entire graduating class, which Memaw, apparently some time later, color-coded according to "still V'burg" and "not living."

Multi Platinum

When Fuzzy and I consolidated our music collections, we realized we had a lot of duplicates. Music compatibility is important! Now that I have all my bro's CDs, it's like someone just cloned my collection. It is basically my cd collection, with added punk and world music...
I'm listening to African music (C, my first selection is Oliver Mtukudzi: Tuku Music) while eating leftover Ethiopian food and drinking a Piggly Wiggly brand beer (Pig Tail Ale) with a Piggly Wiggly brand beer coozie. Life is good.


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I am really good at hunkering down and getting things done. I am great at accomplishing things. But yet, today, when my goal is to put things away, organize the family photos, find a place for stuff from mom's, memaw's and Christopher's houses, I am instead emailing everyone I know, blogging, looking at crap online and petting the cats (having group counseling with the cats, actually--trying to make them like each other). WOOO PROCRASTINATION DISTRACTION LAND! Here is where I need an organizer to help me. The personal stuff is just hard. 

And it will be lunchtime soon, so I will need to eat.
Ooh, look how cute Parker is....

Books Books Books

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I'm unpacking boxes today, and trying to find a place for all our books. Fuzzy's books, my books, Christopher's books that he gave me, books from our childhood. There's not enough room!

It will be a big event, and one probably best reserved for the Labor Day weekend, but I forsee a giant book organization party in our future!

Also, is it wrong to donate books that I wanted to like, but didn't like enough to finish reading?  Like this one or this one? Anyone want them?

Great Lake Swimmer

Yesterday, I had my first open water swim! it was so nice to just conquer the unknown. My wetsuit worked great! It was the first time I had put it on--when we bought it, I got frustrated in the dressing room cause I was sweaty and didn't have any Suit Juice, but yesterday, it slipped right on! I didn't swim as far as I could have, because there were so many new variables--lake water, light waves, no pool walls to stop and catch your breath on, and the hardest for me--zero visability. Man, that lake is murky! But I am proud of myself for what I did, and as long as I swim in the lake at least once a weekend, I will be fine. 


Oh man, y'all. Mutha Effing Soundgarden! I can't believe I've seen them twice now in a year! They played a long time, and played a lot of old stuff, and it was just incredible. Chris Cornell had a beard now (purrrr) and said that they are working on a new album. Hooray! They played all their greatest songs, and some lesser known songs that I never thought I would hear live. I mean, really, Chris Cornell is the epitome of a rock star....you can't get any better, in my opinion.

I got to experience the show with my lovies, Hanson and Hovde. Here are some photos!

Megan is serious, and Rebecca is pleased.

Megan and Rebecca contemplate the awesomeness ahead of them.

 Hanson and I rock out!

Rocking out!

Excited faces!


Megan, Rebecca and I are ready to ROCK

For those about to rock...




Oh man, this photo gives me chills!


This is blurry, but awesome.


Even small and blurry, Chris Cornell looks good.

Chris Cornell

Coming over to the side near us.

Half of Hanson, Hovde, and me, post show

Feeling good before the encore!

Me, in the glow

In the glow!

A Funny Exchange from Last Night

Me: On my way down here, I saw these two guys who were sitting in the facing in seats on the train. It was weird, I was trying to figure out if they were twins--they had the same face, same haircut, they were both reading cta maps, and they were both wearing beer t-shirts. They never looked at each other or talked to each other, so I was trying to figure out their story.

Megan: That's funny. Though next time, when you are trying to determine if someone is a twin, you can probably stop at "same face."

oh yeah, and...

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...i'm seeing soundgarden tomorrow.



Alright, Chicago, I get it


I have a real love/hate relationship with Chicago. When I moved here I said I would only be here 10 years. Well, now it's been over 11. Crazy, right? I get the Wanderlust really badly, and I often spend my days and nights thinking about moving and where we would move and what we would do. After Skyping with Jeremy recently, I became obsessed with moving to California. The weather! The beach! I also was daydreaming about working in Gay Rights. That is a fun daydream. But then, I always think about the family and friends and support system that I have worked so hard to build here in Chicago, and I convince myself that we should stay. But I always still want to move.  I do love living in a city, but I miss being around nature---dirt and grass especially. And you know how I feel about the cold--I hate it. Hate. It. Last night was super chilly for me, too--I was sweaty, and it was in the high 60s or low 70s and everyone was marvelling and the beautiful weather and meanwhile I was shivering.

Then, on the bike ride home, we stumbled upon the Full Moon Jam! It's been a long time since we've been to one, and boy, has it grown. I love it. We stopped and watched for a minute (If we weren't so tired and hungry I bet we would have stayed longer) and in that moment, I really appreciated and loved Chicago and the quirky uniqueness that it supports.

Thanks, Chicago. I love you.

Going the Distance*


Yesterday was a big day! I biked roughly 27 miles total in the day (spread out into 8.5, 14 and 5.5 distance chunks) and also ran a 5K. Which means that yesterday I did 2/3rds of my triathlon! My bike distance for the tri is 13ish miles and run distance 5k. I am 2/3rds there! Just add some swimming, and I've done it! I can't tell you how good that makes me feel...mentally. Physically, it makes me feel like shit. I can barely walk today. My butt hurts. My legs don't like the large spiral staircase in my office.

(here is a photo of the office, so you can get a visual. Christopher took this one)

visiting erica's office

I want to lie down.

The 5K was a lot of fun! We saw some friends, and although my legs were tired and I had to walk every now and again (I wasn't able to run at the day before's pace) it was fairly easy! We then enjoyed some Bastille Day cupcakes (note for all that were curious--they were little tiny and not that flavorful...sorry Swirlz), French beer, and an adorable cover band that played Gaga, Ke$ha and Outkast, etc. I mean, they were precious and so sincere. I had a moment where I just went into the dance area and bugged out with my French flag all alone during "til the world ends." An official photographer took my photo dancing--that should be fun. Then, when we were about to leave, we realized that there were merchants selling bread and cheeses, so we picked some up for dinner.

We are also in a closet debaucle currently, so our bedroom is off limits for sleeping. Lucky for us, though, we have a futon in our sunroom, so we've been sleeping in there. So I've been sleeping hard and solid. I feel like I am drugged today.

BUT! I am feeling pretty awesome otherwise. And I neglected to mention yesterday in my post about the North Shore Trail is that I see at least one bunny on the trail every day. BUNNIES! Yesterday, I saw 3! Gotta love that.


*for the next month and a half, I am going to be writing a lot about the triathlon.




I told my brother last week that I wasn't in as good of shape as I would like to be for this triathlon, but this week I feel like I am right on track.

This morning, I biked to work! And this afternoon I am going to bike a farther distance to get to the Bastille Day 5K after work. I was really tired and out of it this morning, but once I ate a snack and got on the bike, I just zoned out. It is definitely getting a lot easier for me--getting ready, getting the bike outside, getting down Granville to the bike path, it is all becoming second nature. And once I get on the North Shore trail, it is just so relaxing and lovely. The smell of the trees, dirt, flowers and river can make you forget that you are in the city. And I am pretty sure I shaved 4 minutes off my regular commuting time. Not too bad!

This morning's soundtrack was Blind Melon's Soup. It was a nostalgic listen, as I love this album very much, but it really struck me this morning how many songs were about death. Other than that, it was a great vibe to start the day with.

Today I went for a gorgeous 3 mile run, in preparation for tomorrow's Bastille Day 5k. The weather is perfect, and I did the run in 32 minutes and 33 seconds. Not too shabby! My favorite soundtrack for running these days is K'naan's Troubador. If you haven't heard this album, I cannot recommend it enough. Christopher introduced me to him last year, and I instantly fell in love with his music and story, and when we saw him at the Metro later, I just wept and wept. Much like my run today.

The run was easy for me, the weather was gorgeous, and I focused on the lyrics of the music and felt so inspired and overwhelmed. It really got me to thinking--thinking about my brother and his upcoming adventure to Africa. My family is very music-oriented and the thing we have the most fun doing is sharing new music with each other, and last week I brought back 3/4 of Christopher's beloved music collection. I am looking forward to discovering more of his African music (especially if there is good running music in there) and I feel like the more and more I learn about the region and hear the music and see photos, the more I understand their calling to go there.  It is so amazing to me that he and Katie can read things like this and instead of turning a blind eye, they take action to help those in need. It makes sense to me now--I have been afraid for a long time, but now am just awe-stricken at the choices that C&K have made.  So in my runners high today, I was filled with love and admiration of my big brother and everything he has taught me over the years, and I wept slightly while pushing myself to the limits physically, and also mentally. I thanked God for the beautiful day, for my health, for my life and for the people in my life who I learn from and who make me a better person. I thanked Him for my family and my husband and for making me who I am.

I used to think that I could never run. But I took a risk, started small, and now I love it and am going to do a triathlon. I am going to dedicate that triathlon to my brother and sister-in-law. I am taking a risk, as they are, with the way I am choosing to live my life. We're just doing it in different ways.

Everything is scary when you don't understand it. But when you take a leap of faith and open your heart and reach out to try to learn and understand and connect with others, you gain so much. So so much. And we should always strive to keep learning.

Chick-Fil-A Challenge

Yesterday, Claire accepted the Chick-Fil-A Challenge* and wrote about her experience here.

(*The Chick-Fil-A Challenge is something I made up cause I can convince anyone that CFA is good food.)

Fun with the BOOKMOBILE!


Our library branch is closed for renovations, with no reopening date in site. In the meantime, they've given us a BOOKMOBILE!


Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

For some reason, I'd never seen a BOOKMOBILE with my own eyes before, so when I did, I marveled. Fuzzy did, too! Let's take a look at the fun that Fuzzy had with the BOOKMOBILE!!

Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

Fuzzy shows us the BOOKMOBILE!

Then what happened?

 Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

He smelled a flower!

 Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

He climbed a tree!

Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

He held a dragonfly!

Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

He ate an apple!

Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

He hugged a squirrel!

Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

A butterfly sat on his finger!

Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

He was almost stung by a bee! (Don't worry, he wasn't!)  He said hello to a bee while doing a weird dance!

And finally...

Fuzzy and the Bookmobile

He was pooped on by a bird!

As you can see, there is never ending fun at the BOOKMOBILE!

But you don't have to take MY word for it--read the book!


Ooh y'all, life is good! Apes was awesome last night! I had a ball being on the judging side of things. It came to me really easy. It's nice to be actually able to give the feedback to the performers that I want to give them every season. Such fun. It's neat to have been a contestant, a producer, a contestant liason, and now a judge on the show. And with the livestream, C&K were able to watch in South Carolina! This morning, I spent a few hours on the beach with a dear friend who will soon be moving and her son. I mean, what kind of amazing life do I have where I can really take a morning to be outside, on the beach, in gorgeous weather. I love it. And now I am heading downtown for 4 more appointments in the day; 2 business and 2 social. I'm maintaining my zen post trip nature, too, so no stress or anxiety here. I'll post some photos of our trip soon! In the meantime, I hope that everyone can take at least 2 minutes today to stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment. Xoxo

Impress These Apes!

Apes 6 (!!) starts tonight! I am so excited. There will be lots of fun surprises!

For you readers who don't live in Chicago, we will be LIVE STREAMING the show at www.impresstheseapes.com! It starts at 8pm Central!


April May

Let's Talk About Chicken


You guys--there is a lot of important things to discuss today. But let's not talk about them now. Instead, let's talk about chicken.

We spent most of Tuesday this week in Kentucky, a beautiful state that up until now I have mainly associated with the chicken pox (in a not fun family vacation when I was little. All I remember about it is mom showering C and I at the same time and it being so painful that I screamed and cried.)  [WHOA! I just realized this---CHICKEN pox! And here I am talking about how KY loves chicken! CRAZY!!] But as an adult, I can tell you that it is a GORGEOUS state and I highly recommend takeing a drive on the scenic byways instead of the highways. In fact, that is how I would like to travel from now on.

It's no surprise that Kentucky is proud of it's chicken. I mean, it's mainly just known by the initials now, but everyone knows that KFC means Kentucky Fried Chicken (their website has no mention of those 3 words together, only KFC. They do use "Kentucky Grilled Chicken", though). And KFC stuff is everywhere--I even saw grafitti taggers/ gang symbols from the "KFC Krew" (which a quick google search makes me ask--are they not American?) At a tourist info stop we made, there was a giant Colonel Sanders that you could pose with (sadly, the camera was in the car, but the lady that worked there told me that everyone from age 2 to 92 poses with him. I mean, how could you not?) A chicken truck in the parking lot talked about a chicken festival. We saw many other fried chicken chains.  Chicken chicken chicken!  But I guess, what can you expect from a state that is shaped like a chicken leg?



Sidenote: I have this chicken leg pencil sharpener, that I probably got in elementary school. This pencil sharpener has followed me around my whole life. Even as an adult, when we would stay at mom and dad's house and the cats were allowed in that bedroom upstairs, Allie would always find it and clunk it around the room all night. I've not yet unpacked everything that we brought home from that house, but I bet that I tossed it in a box and it will surface yet again.

Now, everyone who is from the South and now lives in the North knows that the most exciting signage you could possible see when you are hungry and it is now Sunday is the Chick-fil-a logo. Oh, what a dream! It is like a beacon in the night--an oasis in the desert. But how many times have you been thwarted by the color scheme and same font as the Peterbilt logo? You know what I'm talking about. False excitement, sheer disappointment. It happens to me every time, even when I know that Peterbilt is there (I'm looking at you, the one near the Jackson airport.) See?




Separated at birth, no?

Finally, I am wondering if the fact that we now have a Chick-fil-a in Chicago will make it less special to me, since I will be able to get it whenever I want. Part of the glory of the C-Fil-a is seeing one on a roadtrip and knowing that you are approacing the Bible Belt (I am aware that there are some in IN, WI, etc, but in my experience, it is a Southern roadtrip thing.) Will it just become a fast food joint? I've already been twice since they opened and I am going again next week. Fuzzy doesn't think so, since I am barely downtown. But I am concerned. I might need to just not go ever again (after next week) so that I can keep it sacred. We'll see. Only time will tell.

(photos found on the internet via ntu.org, paleoperiodical.com, and then Chick-fil-a and Peterbilt or something like that.)

UPDATE! I call this portion of my tattoo my "chicken leg." Sorry for the blurry photo.


chicken tattoo

Fake Twitter

Why yes, I am having a cup of my kidney stone prevention tea. Thank you for asking. #noonewasasking

Brick Day!

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I biked to work this morning! And then went swimming! I swam more than my last swim, and I hit a really great stride towards the end. And I walked to and from the Y! I am feeling pretty great about it. Less than 2 months to go til the tri!

The Best

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Christopher and Katie introduced Fuzzy and I to this this weekend, and I think it is just the best thing ever. Best. Thing. Ever.


...the only thing sweeter than getting to sleep in your own bed after 4 nights away from it is having your purry fat kitty snuggle up and sleep on you all night. Heaven.



Wow, what a weekend. I have many stories and photos to share that will probably trickle in here and there, but ultimately, the weekend was amazing, fun, lovely, funny, sad, bittersweet, scary at times, delicious, adventurous, mosquito ridden, family awesome, roadtrippy, great. Ultimately, I gained a greater understanding of myself and how happy I am in my life and how lucky and blessed I truly am. I mean, I have this realization fairly often, but it just felt different this go round. I feel more mature. More adult. And I have a newfound desire to keep stress out of my life and not deal with any unneccesary drama. Life is beautiful, fragile and ever changing, and we just have to take each day and go for it. Be present in it. Live it.

Cause man, it is beautiful.