February 2012 Archives


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Here are some things I am enjoying about today:

1) Leap Day!
2) THIS WEATHER! My God, 55 degrees is like liquid sunshine. I am wearing a skirt with NO TIGHTS!
3) We went for a run this morning! BEFORE work! We got up at 7am and ran 1.45 miles! I am sore as a mofo from my Bob Harper Kettlebell Extravaganza, but it felt good to get moving. Though, I need to remember that I need to eat before I run.
4) I desperately wanted huevos rancheros for breakfast, but all the taquerias on Clark were closed on my way to work. So I am getting Mexican for lunch!
5) When I got to work, I noticed that one of my eyes had a think coat of eyeliner on it, and the other had almost none. I was getting prepared to be a half panda all day, when I remembered that I had previous taken an eyeliner pencil to work for days that I go swimming! Go Erica from the past!  So I fixed it and feel like a normal person.
6) This shirt that Fuzzy gave me last night. It was all a dream... (with bonus boob shot!)

It was all a dream

7) This email exchange with my brother:
     Me: How's your day?
     Christopher: UH, how's my day? A monkey and a chameleon in the same day?

This exchange happened 2 minutes ago

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It is 11:27pm Tuesday night.

Me: I just wish I was funny.
Fuzzy: You are funny...looking.

My Current Obsession

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Fuzzy and I are lucky enough to live close to Metropolis Coffee, a local roaster, and in my opinion, the best coffee/ coffeeshop in the city. On special mornings, we drive down to Granville, get coffee, and then Fuzzy hops on the train south and I drive north to Evanston. On special nights before bed, I will ask Fuzzy if the next day can be a Metropolis Morning, and that will be my motivation to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. I love everything about it--the baristas (they know our names and when we aren't there for a while!), the coffee, the food, etc. For years, my favorite thing they had was Ginger Coffee, which was their regular brewed coffee with fresh chunks of ginger in the cup, so the hot coffee would steep the spicy ginger flavor. It was so good! Then one sad and tragic they, they stopped making it.

So, I toodled around for a while getting iced lattes and Americanos, etc etc, until one day, they had a special drink of the month.

It was called something French and beautiful, like the l'frene or something. It was a 12oz soy latte with homemade lavender and rosemary syrups.


I was in Heaven.

I was happy with the l'frene for a while, but one day, I decided to be a little kooky and order it iced. The barista at the counter didn't know how to enter it in, since there was just a special "drink of the month" button and he couldn't delineate that I wanted it iced. So I ordered a 16oz iced soy lavender and rosemary latte. And my life was forever changed.

The best way for me to describe this beverage is "soft." (And that, Greg, is 'soft.") Or "sweet," but not the sugary meaning of the word, but more in the Holly Hobby Shabby Chic White Eyelet Baby Kittens type of way. It was like a soft breeze. Like curling up in a bed with a crisp down comforter...like walking barefoot through a field of dandelions while wearing a long flowing white dress.  This drink was unlike anything I had ever had. I wanted one every day. I told everyone about it.  In April last year, when I was in NYC with Shannon, one night before bed, I told her about it like I was reading her a bedtime story. I couldn't stop thinking about it.  I called this drink "my best friend."

We tried to recreate the syrups at home (Fuzzy is a master simple syrup maker) but didn't have a lot of success. Eventually, the l'frene wasn't the drink of the month anymore, but I kept ordering my special beverage. One day, they ran out of rosemary syrup, and I just had it made with the lavender. It was wonderful.

Then the saddest of days arrived. They stopped making their own simple syrups. And they were out of lavender. If I had had a camera following me around, it would have cut to an overhead spinning shot above me and I would have yelled "NOOOOOOO!" with my fists in the air.

The last few months have been fine...I've been mainly kicking some iced soy lattes, etc etc, and that's great, too. But yesterday....I saw something special. On the handwritten syrup board was the most glorious vision to my eyes....like a whisper, it said "lavender."


It's like a reunion with an old friend.  It was like not a day had passed since we'd been apart.

When I have this latte, I cannot describe what happens to me. I become a weirdo drinker. I don't EVER take it for granted by just slurping it down with a straw. I take my time with it...get to know it a little bit. I take a sip through my straw very slowly, blocking off most of the straw with my tongue, so that it lasts longer, and then I sort of just hold it in my mouth for a second and swirl it around in there before I swallow it. If that sounds sexual, well then, so be it. It's a damn amazing latte....I just can't express that enough.

I had a 16 ounce yesterday, and a 20 ounce this morning, and I kind of want to order TWO 20oz tomorrow.  It is never enough. I wish I had it as an unlimited latte...always cold...always full. Like a cornucopia of iced latte. That would be a dream come true.

And then, Fuzzy and I can go on vacations with it...walk on the beach together...grow old together...and...and...

Ok, I'll stop.

Thank you, Metropolis. Thank you for the iced soy lavender latte. I am forever changed.

Well, well, Bob Harper...we meet again.

I've been feeling a bit jiggly lately ("May I call you Jiggly?") and with my stamina not up to where I want it, I need to get back into my hardcore workouts. I am ready to be ripped and strong again! On cold days that I don't want to run and days I don't feel like stinking of chlorine, it's easy to just use my lunch break at work as an excuse to waste time. But today I decided NO! I am going to WORK IT OUT. So I suited up and pulled out my old friend Bob Harper's Kettlebell Workout (introduction.)

HOLY SHIT. I forgot how hard these workouts are.

I need to make sure that I stick with it. My legs are really shaky, and my balance is shot, so I need to get my core strength back up. That will only help with my running, biking, and swimming, too. The kettlebell workout has a lot of squats, so I had some knee pain twinges, but nothing too major. I didn't go as deep as probably recommended, but, you know, safety first.

It was nice seeing Bob again--I really like his workout style. And of course, who can forget about Becky?! Oh, Becky....

So! Now, I can barely walk up and down my stairs at work, and I know I am going to be hella sore tomorrow....but that's a part of the fun, no?

Accidental Groupies


It was January of 2004. A group of girls were gathered at a hotel restaurant on Diversey to celebrate Rebecca's birthday. We ate, drank and had a great old time, and before long, the check had arrived and it was time for us to leave. Some girls chose to head on home, but four of us huddled outside in the cold trying to decide if we wanted to keep the party going.  While we were deliberating, a handsome fella with long blond hair exited the hotel and started up a conversation with us. We chit chatted for a while about what we were up to that night, and when we asked about him, he said that he was in from out of town, only staying for a night. Now, I am a very music and concert-oriented person, especially back then, and I always knew who was playing in Chicago.  I recognized him almost immediately, and enjoyed pretending that I hadn't.

"I'm actually about to head over to play a show at the Double Door in a few minutes." he said.  A couple walked by us on the street and gawked.

One of the girls in our party's jaw dropped. "Wait...are you Evan Dando?" She said.

"Yep" he grinned. "You guys should come out." he said. His tour manager shuffled out into the cold, and told us that he would get us tickets.

I looked at my watch--it was 9:00pm. "Isn't your show supposed to start right now?" I asked.

"Yes," said the tour manager, "so we've got to get going. Why don't you guys meet us down there, and I'll come let you in at the door. The show is sold out, but that shouldn't be a problem."  Giddily, we all agreed, and the four of us hopped into a cab, while the two of them drove off.

Now, I should point out that Rebecca and I look a lot alike, so much so that back in the day, people thought I was her all the time. And the other 2 girls with us were twins. So we must have been quite the sight.  What a cliche, too-- 90's indie rockstar invites 2 sets of cute young twins to his sold out show at one of Chicago's best music venues. Oh boy.

In the cab on the way across town, we laughed about how crazy our luck was to run into Evan Dando on the street, and then laughed at ourselves for thinking that they were actually going to let us into the show. We were convinced that they were going to forget about us, and we would be the idiots who fell for it.  As we crossed the street towards the venue, the tour manager drove by with his head out the window of his car.

"Hey girls! Go ahead on over. I am just parking the car, then I'll meet you in the lobby and get you in!" We couldn't believe it. We arrived at the Double Door, and entered the vestibule.

"Sorry, girls, the show is sold out." said the bouncer.

"That's ok, we know Evan Dando's manager, and he is going to let us in in just a second." said one of the twins.

"Not gonna happen. The guest list has already been turned in, and you're not on it, so there's no reason for you to hang out." he said.

I'd been working in ticketing for several years at that point, and I knew how guest lists worked, so I cockily told him, "Look, I know you don't believe us, and that you have to tell us that we can't get in, but we know that in a minute, we're going to be let in, so can you please let us stand here in the vestibule until then? It is freezing outside." He acquiesced, and moments later, the manager popped his head out and said "These four girls are with me."

"Have a great time at the show," the bouncer said without batting an eye while checking our IDs and stamping our hands. We were on cloud 9.

The concert was packed, so we got drinks and pushed our way to the front of the stage. The show was great fun, though admittedly, I didn't know any of Evan's solo work. However, we danced our asses off at all the old Lemonheads songs...I was a teenager in the 90s, after all. He made eye contact with us and sang some of his verses to us during the show, and we cheered like good front row fans should.

When the show was over, we decided to hang around for a bit to thank him and his manager for comping us into the show. We called Evan over to the front of the stage, thanked him for the tickets, and told him how much fun we had.

"Oh, you guys can't leave yet. Stick around and party with us!"

How could we say no?

The 4 of us were admitted into the green room underground, where there was a spread of food and a fridge full of beer. We settled in on one of the couches, along with Evan, his manager, some other friends of theirs, and the girl who I think he said was on the cover of It's a Shame About Ray. We sat around, drank his beer and sang songs that he played on the guitar, including some Cat Stevens songs. We took photos together.  It was a chummy good time.  Eventually, it was early in the morning, and Rebecca and I were ready to head home. The twins decided to stick around a bit longer.  Rebecca and I stood up and started saying our goodbyes.

Evan jumped up, "You can't leave now...the blow is about to arrive."

Rebecca, ever the smartass, replied "Oh, no thanks...I did a TON earlier today at lunch."  Evan didn't seem to notice the dig.

We hugged everyone goodbye, and then exited into the cold morning air, in a haze about the completely surreal night that we'd just had.

Our night as accidental groupies.


Warm Your Heart 5K

Yesterday, Fuzzy, Shaun and I ran the Warm Your Heart 5K, Chicago's first indoor 5K at McCormick Place. It was a super cold day yesterday, so I was happy to be able to run indoors.  I was also stoked--it was my first attempt at running a 5K since my accident last July. I suited up with my "robot knee" and was ready for the challenge. At the starting line, Fuzzy and Shaun moved up to the 9 minute mile pace group, and I decided that I was a best fit in the 11 minute mile group. I put some Soundgarden on my ipod, and took off. The race was set in McCormick's huge convention halls, with the route taped off in sort of a zig zag pattern. The lanes were super wide, so it was nice to run and not be crowded with other runners, and it was so nice to not be FREEZING cold (granted, I was cold for most of the race, and sweaty, which made me colder, but I was rocking my tank top.)  The first 2 miles were great--I maintained an 11 minute mile pace, but I don't quite have my stamina where I want it to be, so that last mile was really hard and I had to walk every now and again. I saw Fuzzy and Shaun in their homestretch right before I got to my 2 mile marker, so I got to cheer for them. When they finished, they came and found me, and so that kept me accountable, too--I wanted to make Fuzzy proud! I tried to only walk for minute long stretches, and I ran the homestretch in as fast as I could. I am happy to report that my knee did great! It only had a few twinges and today is feeling great! I just need to keep pushing myself, keep working out, and keep listening to my body. Today I am really sore, but I like that feeling. I am really proud of myself!

Warm Your Heart 5K - Erica!

(This is me giving Fuzzy thumbsup for almost being finished! It might not look like I was running here, but I was.)

I am also really proud of Fuzzy! He beat his personal record, finishing the race in about 28 minutes! Go Fuzzy go!

Here are my offical results:

Time: 37:42
Pace: 12:10
Overall place: 1456 / 1778
Place in division (F, 30-34): 165/ 218

Parker in a box Parker in a box Parker in a box Parker in a box Parker in a box Parker in a box Latte in a necklace Latte in a Necklace

Live blogging Project Runway

As much as I love Tim Gunn, I love Joanna Coles for being a straight shooter, and also I love her realistic concern for the designs and a woman's ability to wear a bra with it. Only the ladies are thinking of ladies wearing bras. Austin's model is the absolute worst. She looks miserable every week. You'd think anyone paired with Austin would be joyful. Is she tired? Hungry? Depressed? All 3? I (heart) Mondo, and he is making me want more tattoos. (note: everything makes me want more tattoos.) Kenley--what the hell? Mondo forever!!!! Gorgeous! I'll stop here. No spoilers! Xoxo

Thursday RoundUp

Whew! Today was a busy one! Here are some random things from today:

*Reason # 1000000000 why I love my friends: I got an email from my darling Rine-Stone today, in regards to yesterday's blog post, that read: "I was at that Becky Drysdale show with you!  It was the eyeglass bit that sent you over the edge to the point of no return." Hilarious! I had no memory of what it was that was making me laugh so hard, but I love that Rebecca not only remembered the massive spectacle I made at the Second City, etc (seriously, y'all, I was laughing so hard I almost vomited. I was coughing up a lung), but the actual content of the sketch! And once she said that, I had a clear vision of it in my head. Oh man, good times.

*I seriously rocked at my job today. I love that feeling!

*I got 2 major things checked off of my personal to-do list today! I am still getting things done!

*I am on day 3 of wearing a skirt, tights, and knee high socks. It's my jam for the week.  I meant to take a photo yesterday so I could document each day, but I forgot.

*I have this black Banana Republic skirt that I got at the outlet mall in Austin 2 years ago, and I wish I had 100 more of them.  I could wear it every day. I want one in every color. I've worn it 2 days in a row.

*We got in new Fuck Cancer bracelets today! Expect them for sale soon!

*All you Mississippians are getting 80 degree weather today...we got crazy snow.

That's all for me today! I am off to my 5K packet pick-up!

Good Comedy

I have very strong opinions about comedy and what makes it work. I have almost no tolerance for easy humor, cheap humor, and especially not misogynistic humor. Which isn't to say, I don't love dumb humor...I certainly do...but mostly when it is done smartly (Beavis and Butt-head being the best example). I've been known to stop watching shows because the humor has gotten too base, mean spirited or misogynistic (I'm looking at you Tosh.0 and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job). So when I find a show that genuinely makes me laugh out loud and is done WELL, I get really excited. That's why I am excited about Key and Peele!

Key and Peele is a new Comedy Central show featuring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, 2 former Chicago comedians who spent several years on MadTV. Keegan was performing at Second City when I worked there, and he was just about the nicest, most approachable guy you'd ever meet. Jordan was one of my first friends here in Chicago--I met him before I even moved here. We even went on a date once back in the day, probably in 2000. (We went to El Jardin and sat on the patio.) Jordan was also part of one of my favorite groups, Two White Guys, with Rebecca Drysdale, who once made me laugh so hard in a show of hers, that I coughed violently and just about lost my voice.

Keegan and Jordan have great chemistry together, and their comedy is really smart and well thought out. The humor is also very surprising, which I love. I enjoy each episode from start to finish.

First they start segments with some banter: 

Key and Peele Tuesdays 10:30/9:30c
Violent High-Fiving
Key and Peele Tuesdays 10:30/9:30c

And then they have some sketches. Here are 2 great ones from recent episodes:

Auction Block

Comedy Central Funny Videos Funny TV Shows
Comedy Central Funny Videos Funny TV Shows


Key and Peele Tuesdays 10:30/9:30c
Key & Peele: Movie Hecklers
Comedy Central Funny Videos Funny TV Shows

(Sorry for all the ads.)

It's also fun to watch and play "find the former Chicago comedian." (How's it goingBrian Shortall?!)

Another fun fact: Fuzzy and I both figured out last night that their opening credit sequence is Freeze Tag. Clever.

It is so refreshing to see GOOD comedy shows on the air, with talented people who deserve the recognition. Go Jordan!

Key and Peele is on Tuesday nights on Comedy Central.


If I Had Twitter #734

When you wake up in the middle in the night with a song in your head, have you been dreaming about that song? Or did the song pop in the second you woke up? I wake up with a song on my mind every night, and the song is almost always different.

Mardi Gras!

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Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all!

King Cake Parker
I found the baby in the Parker!

Today was one of those days where I felt like a rockstar, cause I got so much done, and I just have to brag for a second.  I did the following:

*Sent some correspondence.
*Showered (y'all know that's an accomplishment sometimes.)
*Filled the car with gas, wiper fluid, and coolant.
*Took a vintage dress to the dry cleaners to have the zipper replaced and a new hem put in.
*Bought a gift.
*Went to therapy.
*Got good news from Mom's test results (praise the Lord!)
*Bought office supplies.
*Mailed 4 packages, including one to Canada and one to Tanzania (yay C&K!).
*Bought coffee for the house.
*Went to Fuzzy's office (and then slept on his couch for an hour while he was on a conference call.)  His office had a King Cake! So although I did not get to make one, at least I got to have a slice. Yum!
*Window shopped with Fuzzy at Topshop/ Topman.


I also wore a lot of purple and green today, and a really short skirt. I got a lot of odd looks from passersby.
Mardi Gras Legs

AND to celebrate Fat Tuesday....we had a classic cajun dinner at...Popeyes!! We were fancy and ate it there.  I know how to treat my husband right.

About a week ago I thought to myself "I wonder where I can get a King Cake Baby in Chicago." and then I pretty much assumed that it was too late to order one. TODAY I remembered not only that I had one, but exactly where it was.

King Cake Baby

Here's an awesome Laugh Out Loud Cats comic from 2009:

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #1067
(Those of you who know us and have to been to our house know that we are fans of Adam Koford and have quite a few original Laugh out Loud Cats comics, as evidenced by this link on his blog of a photo of Fuzzy and the comic that I had custom made for him. But I digress...

Laissez les bon temps rouler!!
Spukey Trix found the king cake baby

Reality Show Roundup

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For all interested parties, here is who I am rooting for in my reality competition shows:

RuPaul's Drag Race--Sharon Needles. 2nd Fave: Latrice Royale

Top Chef Texas--Paul (though I guess it would be cool if another Chicago woman won, but we were Pro-Bev over Sara. I mean, Tiny Tinis at Aria!)

Project Runway Allstars--Mondo! Always Mondo.

Ink Master-- Josh  (Sidenote--did anyone else think it was funny that all the tattoo artists were nervous about painting on the prosthetics for fear of messing them up? When tattooing something ON SOMEONE's SKIN they seem to be less concerned?)

Amazing Race-- Kerri and Stacy.   Mississippi Represent Represent-sent!


Today's bike ride:  40 minutes. Yeah!

Well, there's that

Last night, while looking through the newest issue of Vogue*, I saw an ad for this gorgeous Carolina Herrera green sparrow printed shirtdress.

Carolina herrera

Carolina herrera (clipped to polyvore.com)

Swoon!! And I am always looking for fun dresses to wear to either my annual work event in NYC, or at one of the weddings that I am attending or officiating this year. I knew that Carolina Herrera is a FASHION BRAND, and that I probably couldn't afford it, but I love the dress and thought that it might be worth the splurge. So I looked it up and found it at Neiman Marcus.

Yeah, it's $3,000.


So yeah....I'll admire it from afar, and use it for INSPIRATION.

*Note to Vogue from my feminist comedy brain: In that article about how amazing Kristen Wiig is, why did you have to photograph Seth Myers with her? Isn't she amazing enough to stand on her own?

Presidents Day Cleaning

To celebrate Presidents Day today, I am cleaning out, purging, and organizing my closet. I am trying to purge myself of the things that don't fit, that I don't wear, and that don't suit me anymore. Some things are hard to let go of (why do we put so much emotion into material possessions?) but others I am ready to let go of, so that everything I own is something that makes me feel like a million bucks. I'm also going to reorganize my chest of drawers. Yeah!

Of course, right now, I am blogging, which means procrastinating...so yeah.

Update: I completely reorganized my closet and 3 of my 4 drawers. Yeah! I got rid of an overflowing box of stuff. Now I just need to put away the 3 baskets of clothes, and I am good to go! I should have taken before photos of the closet, cause the after is glorious. And I reorganized my drawers so that now I have 2 dedicated to work out clothes. Not too shabby!

Uh, yeah...

...about that. I've changed my mind. How about a Mardi Gras pear crisp instead?

Update: it turned into a key lime pie, but completely from scratch! Yum!

Win Some, Lose Some

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If we win some, how come we always focus on the lose some?

Things are trucking along in training-land, and I feel good about that. On Tuesday, I rode the bike (indoors) while watching a special on fashion in film, and I rode it for 30 minutes. Not bad--it is 10 more minutes than last time. Biking is really hard for me, and I am trying to get up to 2.5 hours, so I am slowly adding on time when I can. I'm looking forward to when I can start commuting to work on the bike again and going for long weekend rides with Andrea and Fuzzy. But I feel ok with where I am there. 

Yesterday, I went for a swim, and I swam 32 laps in about 40 minutes. That's .9 of a mile, so I am almost up to distance there. I keep getting sandwiched between this swim racer and an Iron Man, which is a little intimidating, as they whoosh past me all the time. But oh well, I did it, and it went well. I probably could have swum longer, but I had to go to a meeting. 

Today, the weather is a little warmer--mid 40s--so I decided to go for a run. My goal was to run for 30 minutes. Problem #1: My knees have been hurting all week--both of them. They've been cracking a lot and just hurting to walk. I haven't done my PT in a while, so I take responsibility for that. Problem #2: I didn't take my sunglasses. Problem #3: I decided to not take my iPod and just listen to nature. So I started my run, and the trail was really really muddy. I slipped here and there and my stride was askew. My knees started to throb--feeling like there was no cushion in there, only grinding. I was wearing my knee brace and everything. It hurt badly. Since I didn't have music to distract me, I kept thinking about the pain and how hard the run was, so I decided to stop. I looked at my watch. I had run a grand total of 3 minutes and 16 seconds. You read that correctly. A little over 3 minutes.

On the walk back to the office, I passed the paved park path near the parking lot, so I decided to buck up and run to the end of the path and back. Surely I could do that! So I took off, and the pain was bad again, so I stopped. I checked the watch. 1 minute and 15 seconds.  I was too embarrased to walk past the line of cars in the road waiting for a car wash (I know none of the drivers probably paid any attention to me or how long I was gone, but my ego was bruised) so I went in the back door to save face.

Back in the office, I decided that I was going to try a DVD workout--it's been a while since I've done that. So I chose my pilates DVD and put in the cardio pilates routine. Aaaand the warm up was all jumping. Front jumps, lunge jumps, high knees, etc. I attempted about 4 of the jump progressions and then my knees said "are you freaking kidding me?!" So I gave up on that, too.

After that, I did some simple floor exercises and some of my PT. Looks like I need to keep on that PT after all.

I'm disappointed, but I am ok. I love running and I'm so glad I am able to try it again. But I am also overtired today (twice this week I've gone to bed past midnight, and that just wears me out. I need a lot of sleep.) and I don't think I ate enough lunch. And I need to remember that I am a work in progress. I am not a robot that can just be fixed and be better overnight. Sadly.

My first 5K post accident is just around the corner (Feb 26th) so I am going to try to go on at least one more run before then. We'll see how it goes!

Valentines Memories


At my high school on Valentines Day, the office would be inundated with flowers for the students. Parents would send big balloon bouquets, et al to their kids to make them feel special. When a delivery was received, the office would make an announcement over the loudspeaker to the whole school for that student to come to the office to pick up their delivery. The kid would then come back to class with their treasure, showing it off for all to see. However, so many kids would get deliveries, that these announcements would be constant and very disruptive to class. Also, it had a great way of making those of us who would never get a delivery feel really inadequate and sad when our name was never called. Eventually, they changed their methods, putting all the deliveries in the gymnasium with a list on the door of who had flowers for pick up. Kids would crowd around the door, looking for their names, and those of us who knew we weren't on the list could avoid it completely. I knew that we didn't have a lot of money growing up and that flowers for me were saved for dance recitals, Nutcracker performances, and school plays, but still, the sting of Valentines Day would hit deep.

But my mom would always find a way to make the day special for us. One year, she picked us up from school--I must have been in 9th or 10th grade cause Christopher was there, too--and in the car she gave us these little bundles of Tootsie Roll pops. The bundle had all the flavors, and probably about 8 in the bundle. I loved (and still love) Tootsie Roll pops, and the sweet and simple gesture meant the world to me. I knew that it was what she could do, and that made it way more special than any vase full of roses. To this day, I look back on that moment and that gift with so much love and gratitude. It was one of the most special Valentines Days ever--one I will never ever forget.

Thanks, Mom.

A Love Letter To My Husband

Dear Fuzzy,

Back when I was younger, I used to daydream about what my life would be like when I was in a relationship. I wanted a good relationship, with love and laughter and fun and chemistry between us. Little did I know that one day, I would have all of that, and SO MUCH MORE and that my skimpy little daydream would pale in comparison to the true love and happiness that I would experience with you. You make me laugh harder than anyone in the world, you make my heart flutter every time I see you and think about you, you can bring me to tears with your sweetness and love, and you are the sexiest man in the whole wide world.  You make my life so amazing and complete, and I can't believe that I am so lucky and so blessed to get to spend my days with you, and that you love me back. Here I am, just this freak job weird scrappy woman, and yet, you want to come home to me every day, and you still want to kiss me after all these years. How lucky am I?

The two of us have a gift. I can't tell you how many people say to me that what you and I have is special, and so many people have told me that you and I are a model for what they want in a relationship. When we are together, the love between us is palpable, and we really are a match made in heaven. It's hard to imagine what my life was like before you, and I don't ever want to imagine life without you. You are my best friend, and you make my life better and better with every day.

I know we have a lot of changes coming up in our future, but I am not scared--I am excited. Because you and me can take on the world together and face anything. No matter what, we are going to be great. We have each other, and that is all we need.

I love you more than anything.  I look forward to growing old with you and becoming little robots that rust together on a park bench.

Happy Valentines Day, my love.




Yesterday, we attended the memorial for our friend Mike Enriquez, an amazing performer and the Nicest Guy on the Planet, whose life ended too soon last month after a year-long fight with cancer. It was so nice to be in a room full of old friends and loved ones, who were all grieving, yet laughing in celebration of the joy Mike brought to our lives. The speakers all were amazing, each one making me laugh loudly and cry uncontrollably. It was a beautiful tribute. The theatre was packed, videos were shown, and we all did a jello shot together in his memory. It was a loving tribute.

There was lots of talk about the love of the improv community and the "families" that we create within in the community, and it really got me thinking about how lucky I am. For those of us who moved away at a young age (21 for me) to go to "the big city" to chase our dreams, it was all at once scary and exciting. We left the safety of our hometowns and our parents and siblings to chase our dreams. Sometimes we would only get to go back home once a year, if that. Any city can be a lonely place, so it was such a comfort moving to Chicago into a community where agreement and group mind was not only admired and encouraged, but taught. When trusting your partners on stage, you form bonds with them off stage, too, and little families are formed.

For me, I was blessed enough to move to Chicago with friends already in place, and I went quickly into a class structure, with whom I performed for over a year. My first (and only) IO team was lucky enough to be together for a year and a half, and when that fell apart, my group KOKO came together. KOKO was and still is one of the best things that has happened in my life, thanks to Sammy Tamimi, the mastermind who put us together. KOKO was composed of 6 women and 2 men, and we dominated Chicago for a while, under the direction of Abby Sher. A few years later, the 2 men and one of the women left the group, making us 5 women strong, and we were unstoppable. The best improv I have ever performed was with this KOKO. I became a better performer and person working with these women. Even more special, is that off stage, KOKO became my family. I don't know what I would do in my life without my best friends Rebecca Hanson, Megan Hovde and Andrea Swanson...the 4 of us helping each other not only in times of grief and pain but also joy and happiness. I can spend all day with these women, and it will only feel like a second.  They know me in and out, and we are always there for each other.  In fact, at the memorial yesterday, the 4 of us (and Fuzzy) all went together, so we could be there for each other. In the lobby, a friend of mine said "I hear that KOKO is still going strong" and, although we haven't performed together as a group in years and years and years, I said to her "Always, always. KOKO is together forever."

Of course, through my improv world, I also gained my family family, my flesh and blood family, my one true love--my husband. It really was destiny that I moved here when I did, cause 4 short years later, I started dating the man of my dreams. How lucky am I that our lives brought us both to the same place, with the same goal, though from different worlds. My life hasn't been the same since, and every day with him is the best day of my life.

I think the biggest talent that I have in life is that it is very easy for me to make friends. I love people, and I am fascinated by the journeys and paths that people travel and how it affects who people are. I have been in Chicago for almost 12 years now, so my family is quite large, and it extends well beyond the improv community. I am blessed with SO many friends, all of whom I love so very dearly. I don't know what I would do without them. I talk a lot about how I am ready to leave Chicago and explore something new (and live somewhere warm), but the truth of it is, Chicago is my home, and my heart lies with my friends and Chicago family. It would be devastating to leave them. Some of my friends have taken the leap and moved away, and I still remain close with them, so no matter what happens in any of our lives, and if Fuzzy and I eventually move elsewhere, I know we will be forever bonded.

But not everyone can stay in your life all the time. Lives change, and people grow apart. Priorities change. People pass away.  But every person who has been in my life has given me a special gift and hold a special place in my heart. At Mike's memorial, it was like an improv Time Machine. So many people from all walks of my Chicago life were there.  Each was a happy reunion, under a sad circumstance. For those people I hadn't seen in 8, 9, 10 years, etc, it was like not a day had passed. All that needed to be said was just a look, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, or a nod of acknowledgement of life and how painful and beautiful it can be.  I've been out of the improv scene for several years now, but in that room, in didn't matter. We were all one big family.


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Drunk Monkeys Season 3

Normally, I would only post this over at Four Squirrels, but to commemorate that Drunk Monkeys is now available on iTunes (!!!), I am going to post this here as well!


Drunk Monkeys - Episode 17 - Girl from Fuzzy Gerdes on Vimeo.

Here's how to subscribe! To subscribe with iTunes, click this link (if you wanted to rate us in iTunes, that would be awesome -- we'd love to bubble up on the listings there).

To subscribe manually in iTunes or with another podcast software, here's the feed URL: http://foursquirrels.com/dm/drunkmonkeys.xml

(Thanks to Fuzzy for setting this up! Look out, world! Here we come!)

I'm Not Afraid to Say It

I like Lana Del Rey.

Hair Show!


Y'all know me. I like to have super short and super edgy hair, that I grow bored quickly with any one hairstyle, my hair grows fast, and I like for my hair to look severe or even sometimes fake (or not found in nature). So yesterday, when I went in for the chop, I said I wanted "short and edgy" and "something that won't look weird when I take off my hat."  We went for a take on the style I've had the last few months, but a little more extreme--super short sides, messy top. I love it!

Hair 3.JPG



Also, this is random, but I think I am slowly becoming a club kid as I age....I am finding myself really loving Skrillex these days, and I can't get enough of this new Rihanna song. And now with this hair....I told Fuzzy to look out, or one day I will come home in giant pants and huge fur platform boots. Not to worry, though--I only am listening at home and at work. I am asleep by 10:30 or 11 most nights, so there's no clubbin for this one...

I Love Ellen

The two things in the world that make me emotional more than anything else are anything cancer related and the fight for Gay Rights. Specifically Marriage Equality Rights.

So I must first say Hooray for California for declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional! 

Secondly, I need to talk about Ellen DeGeneres for a second. I love everything about Ellen. I think she is one of the funniest women who has ever lived. I watched her stand-up when I was a kid, we watched her sitcom as a family, and I keep saying that I need to start TiVoing her talk show cause every time I see a clip from it I laugh until I cry. Seriously. Have you seen this yet?  I'm even reading her new book now, and I am loving it (and am thirsty for tequila*) and anyways, I just love everything about her.  So when JCPenney made her the new spokesperson and people started to protest, I was offended. How could this all-around wonderful person be a threat to traditional values? Ultimately, I would assume that people who shop at Penneys are the people who watch and love her show...

Here is a clip of Ellen discussing this and other things.

God Bless Her.


*you have to read the book.

I don't know what this means

When my hair gets too long, I always pull the front back with bobby pins. My hair is out of control now, so I've been rocking the pins lately. My card of them is super old, and just now, I noticed on the back of it, in my handwriting, is the phrase "Org 2% shredded cheddar." Was I using my bobby pin card as a grocery list? Who knows. I am weird.

This blog post is brought to you by worthless information.

If I Had Twitter #301

I am vowing this Mardi Gras to make a King Cake from scratch. Now, I just gotta find a baby...

If I Had Twitter #765

I would like that new Madonna song a lot better if it were by Avril Lavigne.

Drunk Monkeys Season 3!

We're back baby! Ready for all sorts of drinking fun. 2012 is going to be a good year for Drunk Monkeys...just you wait.

Here's a teaser!


Drunk Monkeys - Episode 16 - Season 3 Teaser from Fuzzy Gerdes on Vimeo.

(No, I am not sure what my hair is doing, either.)

A Perfect Weekend

This past weekend was the kind of weekend that dreams are made of. It involved a ton of friends, food, cocktails and laughter. Friday was Fuzzy's birthday (woohoo--42!!) and we just played and partied all weekend. Highlights included dinner at Acadia (really an amazing experience), making 6 pies for Fuzzy's birthday shindig (1 key lime, 1 sugar cream, 2 chocolate chess and 2 flat apple pies), drinking lots of cocktails, and zoning out in front of the Super Bowl. We were surrounded with amazing friends Thursday through Sunday nights, and you really can't ask for more than that! I love nothing more than chilling with my loved ones and celebrating the life of my husband. I am happy he was born!

Also in birthdays, my Mom's birthday was Saturday! 58 is looking great! I am happy Mom was born, too, cause without her, I wouldn't be here.

I really have the most amazing life. I cherish every moment!


Go Go Go

With 7 months to go til the big triathlon, I've started getting my training on. I'll post some progress and stuff here, but I don't want to bore anyone with running stats and blah blah. But I will say that I started swimming again last week (the lifeguard gave me a hard time about only swimming while training for something, but she was sweet about it and asked when I would be back) and I did 25 laps in a half hour. Not bad for my first swim since August! My shoulders/ uppper arms were hella sore the next day. And I am back running again! I am scheduled for a 5k at the end of February, and my goal is to be able to run the whole thing. Fuzzy and I tried to run last Saturday, but it was too damn cold, so it was a big disaster for me. This week has been a lot warmer, thank goodness, so I ran 20 minutes on Monday with a quick break halfway through. Today, I ran for 27 minutes (yay 7 more!) but with little breaks of 30 seconds or a minute every 6-9 minutes (I would stop the running clock--I only counted time that I was actually RUNNING). From my rough Google Maps calculations, it looks like I ran about 2.8 miles, but that seems like too much for the time that I was running. Hmmm.  It was a little too cold for me, though---45 might sound warm (that's the most midwestern sentence I have ever written), but it is hella cold when you are a dummy and left your gloves and hat at home. But it was lot easier today--I just kept trying to think "lighter lighter lighter" cause this week I am an exhausted heavy slug of a person due to lady cycle things--gotta love it (not.) I am going to try to swim once or twice a week, too, so I am going back on my lunch break tomorrow.  The biking...well, thats going to be the hard part. Getting up to 25 miles? Yeesh. So I HAVE to start getting some bike training time in a few times a week to make it not be so hard. Will keep you posted.

My hardqore amazing husband has signed up for The Triple this year: the Super Sprint, Sprint, and International. DAMN! Go Fuzzy Go!

Also! Today's running soundtrack was Radiohead's The Bends. So great. I am seeing Radiohead for the 3rd time in March (Fuzzy's 1st!) and I can't wait!

Song of the day: Just. One of the greatest and creepiest videos ever made:

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Thanks to Leigh for the photo!