blogs, the complete irreverance thereof

How did it come to this?
How did the blog become such a contentious place?
I am weeping like a ill-wrapped wound.

Maybe it's cause we bloggers are, by nature, abrasive and crispy characters. Who else would come up with some idea, think it's good enough to write about, and then get offended when flaws are pointed out by other bloggers? Yet we don't think twice when we're the offenders.

Somehow, this has crossed the fun line. You know, the fun line.

I propose a cyber-space peace treaty, whereas you and I don't feel the need to say how dumb the other person's blog is, or how it's false, or how my topics and postings aren't that great (when compared to yours), or how you erroneously spelled stegosaurus.

Unless this actually is fun to you.

Who's with me?

If this is silly to you--or simply not your bag--just stop navigating to my page and we'll leave it at that.

But I'm done, cause this is stupid.
And my feewings are hurt.



Today I spent about four (4) hours researching sheepskin boots. (Yeah, and I got paid for it, too.) This kind of detailed and obsessive shopping is not uncommon for the female gender, as recently demonstrated by Mer Bear. And it's certainly not uncalled for given the fact that there are literally ba-gillions of sheepskin footwear out there! Luckily I had somewhere to start; a solid foundation upon which I could rely; something we used to refer to in 'Nam as an "OBJ," or Objective Rally Point:
the Ugg boot.

I once was blessed with the opportunity to slip my feet into these soft, woolen foot-wombs (OK, Mer Bear's rip-off Uggs, but still...) and was immediately returned to my fetal days. The only thing missing was the uterine fibroids that are so popular now. Nonetheless, I wanted to stay there. I feared the time when I had to return this furry footwear to my dumb friend Meredith who didn't need them anyway so she should just give them to me.
We had had such a good time together, me and the boots. We made love in the meadow. We milked the cows and darned the chickens. We even bought a Sealy Posturpedic mattress together!

But there was Merideath, glaring at me as I lay on the floor in a suffering ball.
"Gimme back," she demanded, the spittle forming in the chapped cracks of her thin little lips.
As I slowly pulled my feet back out into this cruel, cold world, a single salty tear trickled down my sad face, gently bounced off my pouting lower lip, and splashed onto her Pergo floor with echoing poignancy.
"Here," I weeped.
"They weren't even real Uggs anyway."

So that was last weekend, biotch, and I'm all better now because today I ordered my own sheepskin boots. I spent four (4) hours researching them. Oops. Did I already say that? I don't care because I don't feel like backspacing that much today. (Today's an "Enter" day). There was a lot of material to go through, let me tell you.
Not only do we have Ugg brand, which offers a copious selection of traditional and cutting-edge Australian-style footwear and handbags for men, women and children, but we also have other brands with an equally-wide variety. And, of course, a lot of really ugly shit I would never be caught dead in. As you can see so far, four hours is the minimum I should have spent given all this data.

At first I had my heart set on the Classic line by Ugg. You've probably seen this sand-colored boot on many a fashionista in your local viewing area. With little regard to trend, I really just like this boot's comfort, durability and classic look. You've got a 100% genuine sheepskin-leather upper which can resist the wear and tear of metropolitan life. With the Classic Short, you'll get 8" of above-ankle warmth for even the chilliest day.

Or not! These boots are great for even summer weather, as the sheepskin interior is a natural and dually-functioning insulator. It's completely up to you! And me, too, which is why they tickled my fancy so.

Whilst researching the Classic line, I came across its secondary line called the "Classic Essential" line. I was definitely not ready for sub-stratum shoe research, but I took it like a big girl and looked at the features. Not only did the Classic Essential line offer the classicness of the Classic line, but also added essentiality to it! This essentialness is in the form of a more rugged, durable and grippy sole. Before I just wanted classicity, but now I needed this newfound essentialitism.

I was on a shoe safari and that new fax was just gonna have to be patient. OK? Cause I'm busy.

I spent hours on the phone. I called Arizona, North Carolina and probably India looking for the Classic Essential Short in Sand in a size 7, but to no avail:
"We only have that color in a size 10."
"We only have a size 7 left in Baby Pink or Baby Blue."
"I can offer you the Essential Tall in Sand. Would you like me to offer that to you? Oh, OK. Bye."

I decided that I didn't need a more rugged sole. A normal sole was good enough. I mean, I don't live in the outback or anything, right? Right? Shut up.
Back to Plan A: The Classic line. But again, no luck.
"We are completely sold out in Sand. Would you like Chestnut?"
"Unfortunately we won't be getting another shipment in until April."
"I'm sorry, ma'am, I don't know who Meredith Andrews is."

Dear God, are you there? It's me, Emilie. If you help me find a pair of comfortable Australian-style, mid-length, sand-colored bootsies, I will...well, I can't think of anything right now but I'll try to think of something good to do soon.

That must've done the trick because Voila! The nice lady at shoesurfing.com suggested another just-as-cool brand of said footwear: Koolaburra. I did the research and found them to be much more suitable for my needs. Like, way more suitable than Uggs. See:
Plan A
Plan B
Plan Meant-to-Be

I like them way better. They will certainly last me for the rest of my life. I am so happy and my mind hearkens back to that day last weekend when I lived a day in the life of Boot Bliss.
But the best part is that by choosing Koolaburra, I've avoided the Ugg bandwagon and have retained my unique sense of style.

Not to mention my original personality to boot!



As I mentioned earlier, I'm currently only using chopsticks to eat. So far it has made eating way more fun and has, along with a few other recent things, made me think a lot about eating and what exactly it means to me.

Eating is weird. Not the fact that we eat, but the ways in which and the reasons for which we do so.
We eat alone, with friends and family, with lovers, while reading, while being entertained, while talking, while focusing, while thinking, while having sex. OK, maybe that's only George Costanza.

And we eat because we are sad, are lonely, are happy, feel hungry (or at least we think we are), are starving, are full, are mad, need comfort, are bored (+ many more).
To me, this is starting to seem like way too many reasons to eat! I, for one, feel a strong desire to break all this down and find the one true reason for my rumination.

I recently read (about) a book called "French Women Don't Get Fat." The author, French, but now living in America, talks (albeit pretentiously) about American gastronomy compared to that of her country. Her main point is to answer the question "why don't French women get fat?"
It's a good question since French food is rich, fatty and indulgent. Her answer hinges on the fact that eating in France is the joy d'vivre.
French people are always looking forward to their next meal, there's no snacking, and when they do eat, they are "eating with all five senses." In a sense, they are more aware and present when they eat. Additionally, they are eating for the simple reason that they are alive.

I observed this first hand when I worked at the not-so-pleasant, but authentically French, Bistro d'OC.
The owner family--Chef Bernard Grenier, Manager Benoit Grenier and their respective wives--would sit down to this huge lunch after every shift. Lots of baguettes, creamy meat dishes and lavish desserts supplemented by wine and espresso was their daily fare; yet they were lean and healthy looking. Of course, I really was starving and what they made me was some crappy butter-sausage-egg-poop casserole which I ate in the back of the restaurant in the dark by myself.
But still, I witnessed how at least they appreciated food and how their personalities changed when they were eating. (Most of the day was spent referring to customers as "fucking assholes" until it was time for their family lunch.)
Yeah, it was like that meal was all that mattered in the entire world. I can't believe I have to eat this crap.

So why weren't the Greniers severely obese? The author of the book talks about the logistics of this lifestyle. For starters, completely immersing yourself in a rich and tasteful meal will mean you will eat less than you would if you ate an oversized, bland meal while watching TV. Also the appreciation of every taste, smell and texture heightens your awareness so you will be both sentient and satiated: no more eating beyond the full point.

My new misguided Lent-challenge is also helping me be more aware of what's on my plate: rather than stabbing at my food like it's some wild beast, I must precisely tweeze it from its source, plucking it gently from where it lay and placing it directly in my mouth.
Mmmm. That bite was good. Can't wait for the next one!

And so, kind bloggers, the point of this palatial post is this:
Experiencing (from a peasant's point of view) the Greniers' meals, reading about that book and now simply using these chopsticks is starting to change my outlook on eating.
I think it will be easy, now that I've digested (I know) all this information, to figure out why it is that I eat.

One thing will never go, though. Chipotle burritos. But at least I'll use chopsticks.


In light of the recent and irrelevant President's Day, I have some observations about stuff:

-This morning on the bus I take from the Metro station, the stop-indication mechanism was broken (you know, the cord-and-chime thingy). My bus driver had displayed a hand-written sign that read:
"Bell don't work. Plese call stop out."

-Apparently Britain realizes that either it needs to find another source of soldiers or that people are equally capable of serving in the military. Those canvas pants are fabulous!

-Meanwhile, our (mostly-straight) military isn't exactly rakeing in the blue ribbons.
Re: Afghanistan. I know, I know, there are good things being done (like Molly's friend Trish who helped start an Afghan youth soccer league!) and the place has come along way since it was ruled by Soviets and then terrorists. But is 173rd out of 178 really acceptable after spending billions of dollars and hundreds of lives? Mmhmmm.



During my senior year of college I successfully completed lent*. My decision to participate in this self-deprivatory, silly season can be attributed to my overly-Christian friend Becca, who urged me to try giving up the use of swear words.
My first response was "fuck no!"
But after giving it some thought, I decided to throw my hat in the Proverbial religious ring. In fact, I then decided not only to give up swearing, but also refined sugar and instant messaging**.

It was tough at first--I had a bad habit of going to the campus bookstore, buying a whole pack of Mambo candy, and devouring it in under 5 minutes. And as anyone in college knows, deleting IM from one's social life can be both difficult and dangerous.
But I did it and it felt good.

Last year I saw The Passion of The Christ on Ash Wednesday. Needless to say, that in itself was like 40 days of hell.

Although it's a little late, I've decided to "do" Lent this year. I wish I could give up something I'm addicted to, like my morning cup of coffee, reality TV, or going to church, but that would be so cliche. And also, like, stupid.

Instead, I'm giving up Occidental eating utensils. From now on it's either my hands or chopsticks.
See you in April, fork & spoon...
or maybe not.

*Thanks in part to Meghan Riley, who also gave up swearing and who, with me, developed a list of substitute phrases such as "dag nab it" and "oh, fiddlesticks."
**I thought about drinking, too. So I did.



Unexpectedly, I've become a huge fan of reality TV. This is abnormal because 1) I don't even get cable, so I have to find other places to view it and B) I used to think it was a crock of crap.
But I'm really starting to see the beauty in it:

Besides offering me an escape from this horribly wretched life of mine (and I mean wretched--I mean, come on. I once had five (5!) knee surgeries and in addition to that, my garbage disposal was recently malfunctioning), reality TV helps me learn about how to be a better human being. It teaches me life skills such as patience, critical thinking, confident decision making and effective communication.

For example, if I am one day in a dark, board-like room with a famous rich guy who's intensely questioning me, I know not to whine or admit that I did a "bad job" because then I could be fired

Or if I am a gay guy dating an on-the-go flight attendant, I should really be upfront about that relationship with any other guy I might meet/dance with/sleep with from the local Gay Guy Hooking Up Club!

Or if I'm racing around the world with my piss-ant boyfriend to win a million dollars and we get stuck in a slow moving tuk tuk (Ethiopian taxi-rickshaw), then I shouldn't lose my cool when a herd of goats crosses the road and/or the driver takes us to the wrong field in order to slather mud on the side of huts like the natives do!

Or if I sing like a stopped up toilet, I shouldn't be disappointed when a mysteriously-famous, yet dick-headed talent judge calls me "absolutely horrid"!

Or if I'm walking down the street in the dark and some homeless guy comes up to me and begs me to give him money and I say I don't have any money and he says, "can't you just go get some" and I think about it and decide, OK, I'll go get some. Come with me to that convenience store to go get some money so we go and when we get there I realize how dumb that was of me to do that so I end up retracting my offer and he gets sad and mad and then I have a disappointed and angry bum on my hands and oh wait, that actually did happen



-Mischa Barton is hot! (and yes, I would say that anyway)
-I might move to the Bay Area in the fall to help my friend start a non-profit organization and a radio show. What the hell? I was just about to be either a docket clerk or a DC teaching fellow!
-I want to become a Nationals fan but I don't support the current stadium project plan. I also don't like the "W" logo.
-I wonder if these vitamins are still potent. It says "fresh until Aug 2004"--but vitamins are really expensive and this bottle is still more than half full.
-Today I'm going to try the daily crossword on the "master skill level" setting.
-Why don't my bosses ever invite me to lunch? I look pretty today. They went to McCormick & Schmicks.
-On a similar note, I wonder if my bosses will notice a missing portion of their Belvedere vodka.
-I believe in myself today, but don't know what to do about it.


I could obviously insert a funny caption here, but I won't. This is the only picture of Brad available at this time. In real life, Brad really is quite huggable, has nice/shaggy hair and does not look like Keifer Sutherland.Posted by Hello

Cheers to BPD!

A few weeks ago I kicked off a "series" of posts titled
"Cheers to _____!"
As the second posting under this title, I present to you Bradley Paul Decker.
If ye sippith alcohol this fine February day, do so in honor of this delightful human you see above who today turns an irreverant 24-years-old.

Brad, "Paul P. Paul" (thanks, Kelly) or "Cranky Mickshaw" as, well, only I like to call him, has been one of my best friends since the day I hated him on a high school ski trip to Killington, VT. Unnecessary hatred? You be the judge:

-You've been skiing all weekend and are heading back home that Sunday evening on a fully-packed coach bus. The bus stops at a rest stop and you exit for fresh air, bathroom relief and a good stretch. You get back on the bus and find that this smarmy character has taken your seat. Your attempts at politeness fail in fructification. (Also "you" are actually me, Emilie, who has a hard time accepting the "move your feet, lose your seat" rule, which you think doesn't apply to you...ever.) Disgruntled, you refuse to laugh it off and find the only seat left (indeed, this shifting has caused a domino-effect with regards to bus seating) is in the back with people you don't know/don't really want to get to know. You hate Brad for the rest of the trip/week/month.

Boom! A friendship is born!

During the next 3 years of high school, Brad and I tried "to go out," but I think we both realized we'd rather stay in and make fun of stuff--stuff usually being myself. Upon graduation from HS he kicked me in the already-hurty knee and still refuses to apologize to this day.

In college I missed Brad a lot because there's really noone else like Brad in the world. Or at least at Syracuse. But there are a significant amount of people at Syracuse, so that hyperbole is applicable.

After college we lived far apart--me wherever and him in DC. At first he worked for an angry Indian-American from Texas named Soobash who wore a ten-gallon hat and told him to do unreasonable things. I worked somewhere doing nothing important. Now he works at the Federal Elections Commission telling people to do unreasonable things.
I still work somewhere doing nothing important.

My friendship with Brad has become even stronger as I currently live around the block from him, which allows me access to this character in a pretty much unlimited manner. I frequent his abode in order to converse, drink good beer and watch mindless television. Except for The OC, which is not mindless at all and, in fact, made me cry last episode. As the tears streamed down my face, I asked Brad to get me a tissue. His reply:
"They're over there." He then told me he wouldn't get me tissues unless my tears were "legitimate."

Oops. I hope I'm not painting a negative picture of this wonderful man.

Good stuff about Brad:
-He's smart
-He's liberal
-He's unique
-He's funny
-He likes stuff
-Come on, don't make me go on forever

Also he just read the 1260-pager, "The Decine and Fall of the Roman Empire."
Have you done that??? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Cheers to Brad Decker!



Today is awesome and for no particular reason!
Nothing happened, I didn't have a noticeably positive experience with any passers-by, and no, I did not eat a burrito. At least not yet.
Nay, on the surface this day seems like every other day.
But how it's not!

Today is different because I started it out with music. You know, like music. This is something I used to do but has ceased in the past two years. In fact, ceasing, along with desisting have been overall themes in this netherworld, post-grad life of mine.

Up until today.*

This morning I listened to one of my favorite songs on the way to work: "the Obvious Child" by Paul Simon (the live, in-Central Park version). If you've ever been present when I listen to this song, first of all, I apologize and secondly, you might know what I'm talking about. (Some of you have even participated).

This song begins with a simple snare drum hammering out a few repetious beats leading into huge African bass rythyms, which are soon complemented with syncopatedly-blaring horns, a bass vocalist, twinkly triangles and a harpsichord-like guitar swish.
Oh, and a swelling feeling in the chest.
Indeed, the introduction quickly becomes an all-out party for both ear and soul (all the while you've got a 100,000+ crowd with an amazing roar). Even before Paul comes in with the first line ("Well I'm accustomed to a smooth ride..."), I feel like I can do anything.
Point: this song lifts me off my feet and today I wanted to do some jumpy, tribal dance all the way down the Connecticut bridge. In fact, I kind of did.

Many of you may have observed, and have sometimes quipped, that I seem different than from a few years ago: more stressed out, more edgy (not in the artsy way)--perhaps even kind of lame.
I completely agree with you, dear friend. Although it's not without cause--a lot of my life has been switched around--it's also not without fault. Mayhaps it's even possible for someone as great as Emilie Cole** to become a reactor--a player--in her own life!

I'm not advocating some dramatic "taking the bull by the horns" kind of awakening; sometimes it's good to ride the bull. I can't believe I just said that. However I feel like I'm leaving one state and entering another. And NO, it's not Maryland and DC.

All in all, I feel like Sonny from the song:
"getting sunnier day by day by day by day...."
(or is it Sonnier? Hmmm...)

* "today" refers to the past few days, similar to how "seven days" in the Bible actually means millions of years.
** This is a sarcastically-put statement intended to satirize my self-realization that I'm not really "great" yet I am, and that neither are you, yet you are.

Full lyrics:
Well I’m accustomed to a smooth ride
Or maybe I’m a dog who’s lost it’s bite
I don’t expect to be treated like a fool no more
I don’t expect to sleep through the night
Some people say a lie is just a lie
But I say
Why deny the obvious child? Why deny the obvious child?

And in remembering a road sign
I am remembering a girl when I was young
And we said
these songs are true
These days are ours
These tears are free
And hey now
The cross is in the ballpark, The cross is in the ballpark

We had a lot of fun, had a lot of money
We had a little son and we thought we’d call him Sonny
Sonny gets married and moves away
Sonny has a baby and bills to pay
Sonny gets sunnier day by day by day by day

I’ve been waking up at sunrise
I’ve been following the light across my room
I watch the night receive the room of my day
Some people say the sky is just the sky
But I say
Why deny the obvious child? Why deny the obvious child?

Sonny sits by his window and thinks to himself how it’s strange that some rooms are like cages
Sonny’s yearbook from high school is down from the shelf and he idly thumbs through the pages
Some have died
Some have fled from themselves
Or struggled from here to get there
Sonny wanders beyond his interior walls,
Runs his hand through his thinning brown hair

Well I’m accustomed to a smoother ride
Maybe I’m a dog that’s lost his bite
I don’t expect to be treated like a fool no more!
I don’t expect to sleep the night!
Some people say a lie is just a lie, but I say
the cross is in the ballpark!
Why deny the obvious child?