Flying High on Bad Ideas

So yesterday The Mr had a D&D craft night on our calendar. He had mentioned it a few weeks ago as something he wanted to attend at a game shop we frequent and I thought “Great! What fun for him!”

And then yesterday, I put on a dress I hadn’t worn in a while in the morning and The Mr was all “Cute! You look so nice! I want to take you to dinner before we go to the game shop tonight!” And while on the one hand I really like being told i’m pretty, on the other hand I was kind of confused for a few reasons:

  1. I didn’t think we were going to D&D craft night… I thought he was going to D&D craft night. I mean, I like D&D and I am crafty, but I don’t generally combine the two. I mean, one time I crocheted a beholder for The Mr, but I’ve never painted a mini or built any dungeon terrain. That’s The Mr’s department. But, I thought, maybe it’ll be fun.

  2. On our calendar, D&D night started at 6. And wanted to take me out for a nice dinner beforehand? What are we, 82?

  3. Okay, so maybe it was just those two reasons, but still, those are valid!

So because I’m me, I had a lot of questions. And he was being really vague in answering all of them.

Me: So you want me to come with you?

Him: Well… yeah!

Me: But I don’t do D&D crafting…

Him: It’ll be fun!

Me: Do I need to bring my own stuff? Because I don’t have stuff.

Him: I’m not sure.

Me: They didn’t say on the website?

Him: I just saw D&D craft night.

Me: And what about dinner?

Him: Yeah. I want to take you to dinner. You look nice.

Me: …. beforehand?

Him: Yeah!

Me: ….okay…..

Clearly I wasn’t getting any answers from him, so I decided to hop on the the game shop website and see if I could find out some details about this craft night. Would there be a teacher? Would supplies be available? Was it BYO?

Answers to all of those things: No.

Me: Babe…

Him: Yeah?

Me: Are you sure there’s a craft night tonight? There’s nothing on their calendar about it…

And then he sighed, stood up, and went into the next room, only to return and toss these at me:

If you’re not familiar with Tessa Violet, I highly recommend you fix that in your life because she is an absolute delight. I’ll admit I’m late to the party on her, but she started vlogging on YouTube back in 2007, but only recently started doing music and music videos. Now she’s on her very first headline tour and I’m weirdly proud of her. Anyway, check her out. Her music is so good, her lyrics are so genuine, and gah, I just adore her. I’ll put a video of hers down below. Anyway, back to the story…

If you’re not familiar with Tessa Violet, I highly recommend you fix that in your life because she is an absolute delight. I’ll admit I’m late to the party on her, but she started vlogging on YouTube back in 2007, but only recently started doing music and music videos. Now she’s on her very first headline tour and I’m weirdly proud of her. Anyway, check her out. Her music is so good, her lyrics are so genuine, and gah, I just adore her. I’ll put a video of hers down below. Anyway, back to the story…

Him: Why do you have to ask so many questions all the time? Happy early birthday.

He then informed me that not only did he get us tickets to go see the concert, but apparently he also bought the VIP tickets, which got us a meet and greet, photo, and private acoustic concert before the actual show.

I was freaking out on two very different levels. On the one hand it was exciting and unexpected, but on the other hand this was a gift for my upcoming 29th birthday and I was pretty sure that the average age of her fanbase was 14. Obviously, I know that shouldn’t matter. We should all love the things we love and be passionate about those things, but lately, for the first time, I’ve started to feel… old? And kind of boring? In fact, I had been planning on writing a blog post today about how dull I am and how I feel like I have nothing of interest to say anymore and that’s a really difficult thing for a humor writer to feel or embrace. And now I was about to go to a concert where I’d be surrounded by young, energetic, fun people who would look at me weird because I’m so obviously old enough to drink that it’s sad. Like… why even bother carrying my ID anymore?

Also, the dress I was wearing was completely wrong for this kind of evening.

So after trying on multiple outfits and putting on and taking off more makeup than I usually wear in a month, we were on our way to meet a famous YouTuber. I felt weird and excited and nervous, all of which kind of made me feel like an idiot, but all in the best way possible.

But when we got there and saw the line of maybe 20 people in line to meet her, it was a steady mix of 14 year olds, college students, 20-somethings, and even a few grown adults that were older than us. And when we went in and met her and got our photos taken, it was definitely weird and exciting and I was nervous and awkward. But all in the best way possible. Don’t believe me? I’ve got receipts:

And then she sang songs and answered questions (mostly from the 14 year olds who wanted to know her relationship advice and which hair dye brand she uses. They were adorable.) I felt out of place and weird, but at the same time I kept reminding myself to enjoy this moment. Here I was, at 29 years old, in the VIP section of a concert with my husband, who clearly loves me and understands that I’m still a teenager at heart.

Or maybe I’m simply a 29-year-old. And I like what I like. And what I like is poppy, sometimes angsty, fun music sung by a quirky, yellow-haired peer, who like me, has built a career off of the thought that much of her life is the product of Bad Ideas.

Thanks for an awesome night, Tessa. You rocked it.

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But the big thank you goes to The Mr. For all of my bad ideas, you’ve had some of the best ones. You made me feel young and beautiful last night.

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Like I said, if you’re not familiar with the delight that is Tessa Violet, here’s the music video to one of my favorite new songs of hers, although, they’re all pretty darn fantastic:


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Plus, all of my Patrons are receiving a birthday gift from me this month, so now is the time to join!!

Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., Grace V., and Katie G.

Bloody Hell

I wanted to do a lot of things today. I wanted to write a blog post, do laundry, start working on a new novel I have an idea for, take the dogs to the dog park, etc.

I’ve done laundry.

And I’ve laid in bed and watched a lot of Love Island.

Because my uterus (aka “Judy”) decided to rage out today.

It’s incredibly frustrating because on the one hand I don’t like when Judy renders me immobile. It’s not only physically a nightmare, but it also makes me feel like I’m a bad feminist. Which is ridiculous. I have a period and sometimes it means I’m in pain and that I just want to lay down.

But then I also feel like I should be like “I AM WOMAN AND I CAN DO ANYTHING. MY PERIOD IS NOT A PROBLEM” when in reality I’m feeling like shouting “I AM WOMAN AND SOMETIMES IT’S BLOODY TERRIBLE AND PLEASE BRING ME CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE AND DR PEPPER AND ALSO A BUCKET IN CASE I VOMIT.”

So right now The Mr has taken the dogs for a car ride while he acquires several snacks and I am at home watching attractive British people call each other muggy.

Here’s to us, ladies. At least we know my birth control is working.

Don't Box Me In Bro

I was facetiming with my seven-year-old nephew the other night. We were talking about the show he had just performed after a few weeks in theater camp, a thing I found particularly fun because I, too, was a theater kid. But he’s seven, so after a few minutes, he was kind of done talking about it. So I asked “What else is going on?” and he said, “Well… actually, is The Mr there, because I want to talk about a videogame.”

Me: I mean, yeah, he’s right here, but… you know I like videogames, too, right?

Him: Really??!?

Me: Yeah, dude! I play videogames all the time!

He was so pleasantly surprised that it was almost concerning, but also, I’m used to this reaction. From him it was because I’m a girl, and I don’t really think this is anything that has been necessarily said to him, as much as he just happens to be a part of a family in which only the boys are into videogames. I don’t think anyone actually said “Hey, kid, only boys do this,” but that’s all he’s known. And to his and his family’s credit, it’s not like he argued with me when I was like “girls can like video games too, you know?” Instead he thought about it and was like “Huh, I guess…. cool! So lemme tell you about War Robots. I’m a level 23!”

But most other times that I get the shocked reaction is because I’m a bookworm who works in a bookstore and therefore couldn’t possibly and absolutely should not be into video games. No way. There’s no way that I could simultaneously value the written word and the pixelated, silly world of games. NO! BECAUSE BOOKS! BOOKS ARE THE ONLY PURE FORM OF STORYTELLING. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE.

Guess what, I also watch some reality tv.


And I like folk music and classic rock and punk and even some heavy metal and yet I also played classical cello and french horn for 9 years.

I’m a writer and a bookworm who barely graduated high school by the skin of my teeth.

I am so much more than the one thing some people want me to be and I have multiple interests.

And I’m sure you are too, aren’t you?

Let’s all be like a surprise lady in a cake and bust out of our spongey, frosting-covered prisons! Tell me all of your contradictions in the comments.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.

Brain Break

I’m back!

I mean, I wasn’t really gone gone, but I kind of went digitally MIA this past week because of some work I was doing on a fundraiser, and then I had a chronic pain flare up and it was all just a blur, really.

But hello! I’m here! Alive and well and awake! It feels good.

I sadly don’t have much to report because in my downtime I’ve not done much living… I’ve been working with dusty books, sleeping off the pain, and then in between I’ve been binge watching Stranger Things and UK’s Love Island (go on and judge me all you want, I love it.) like it’s nobody’s business.

And normally I would feel really guilty about that, but you know what? It’s been great!

Because sometimes you need stuff like that, right? You need to allow yourself to just veg out for a minute while your body and mind recovers from all the stuff that’s being thrown at it day in and day out and if watching a teenager fight paranormal goo or watching sixteen super fit people try and find love on live television for almost 50 hours straight is what’s going to help you through that, then freaking go for it.

And that’s all I really want to say this week. Today I returned to my journal and I’ll hopefully have a blog post of substance next week, but until then, here is an absolutely adorable video of Aloy dreaming:

Too much.

When I was seven years old I got in trouble at school for asking my classmates if I made them horny. I didn’t know what it meant, but my family had just watched the movie Austin Powers, a new release that year, and all I knew was that he kept saying it and everyone in the room was in stitches with laughter.

I liked making people laugh, even back then, and I was learning that I was pretty good at impressions, so… why wouldn’t I test out this newfound material on all of my classmates the next morning?

My teacher did not find me nearly as amusing. Nor did my mother when she got the phone call from my school.

Or at least that’s how I remember it. Honestly, if I was the teacher in that situation I would have a really hard time hiding my laughter while also trying to discipline an obviously hilarious star in the making.

That’s the first time I remember feeling like I was too much.

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It’s a long story. Link in bio.

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I’ve been listening to an episode of The Guilty Feminist (one of my all time favorite podcasts) on this very subject - not weird kids who impersonate Austin Powers, but women who have been led to believe they are too much - and while I generally relate to every episode of this podcast, this one hit really close to home for me.

I’ve always been too much.

All my life I’ve been too loud, too chatty, too tall, too colorful in my appearance, too childish, too nerdy, too skinny, too emotional, too goofy, too open, too curious, too messy, too enthusiastic.

How the heck can anyone be too enthusiastic, by the way? If anything, we should all be enthusiastic about whatever we’re doing, shouldn’t we? Even if I’m planning a funeral, I want to be enthusiastic. It shows that you care. That you’re invested. The same goes for being too emotional. I remember being told once that I was letting my emotions get in the way of my voting choices during the presidential election. I was too emotional about human rights and too emotional about feminism.

I’ve been told I’m too emotional about animals because I’m a vegetarian and I spend money on my dogs’ healthcare.

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Family portrait (Mr not included)

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I’ll allow the too messy thing. I’m a terrible housekeeper, and to be honest, that’s not something I can be proud of. I’m very lucky that The Mr cares about having a clean home and reminds me to get off my butt and do some laundry. It’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t notice the mess, it’s just that I’m, well, too easily distracted.

I’m sure we all have our own lists of too much for ourselves. Some of you have been told you’re too quiet or too heavy or too sexually open or too easily persuaded. Maybe you’ve been told you’re too desperate or too bossy. Too old. Too young. Too nice. Or maybe you like horses or Harry Potter too much. You watch too much tv or spend too much time on instagram. You drink too much coffee or you’re too spiritual.

Maybe you look too much like your dad.

Am I going on about all of this too much? Too bad.

Maybe like to dress up like a centaur and gallop around your yard with your best friend. As long as you’re both happy, I say neeeeeeeigh to the nay-sayers!

Maybe you like to blog about your life and tell funny stories on the internet and there’s some person in your life that thinks you are way too open with your personal life to the general public. Well, maybe they’ve missed the fact that you’ve found a real community of people on the internet who get you and who like your stories and that you’ve been growing as a person both mentally and creatively because of how open you’ve been. Hypothetically.

Obviously all of this too-much stuff is malarky. We’re all exactly as much as we’re supposed to be. Sure, we can all grow and change and none of us are exempt from criticism every now again, but I say that as long as we’re not intentionally or knowingly causing any harm with our too muchness, we’re doing every just fine.

All I really want to say is this: You are magical. You’re not perfect, but you are magnificent. And you, my darling reader, are, if anything, just right.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.

Here’s Looking at You, Canoe.

There are a lot of things that I love about the town I live in, but one of my favorites (and I would argue our biggest claim to fame) is that we are the town that was the inspiration for Stars Hollow, the quaint and idyllic setting of the show Gilmore Girls. In truth, the town doesn’t really look that much like Stars Hollow, but it is tiny and adorable, and everyone knows each other. There are quirky and endearing characters who drive each other crazy over the smallest of things, and yes, we have festivals. Maybe not a festival for every month of the year, but we do have festivals.

In the winter time, we have “Holiday in the Depot”, with horse drawn carriage rides, carol singers, and Santa. In the fall we have “The Harvest Festival” during which there is a scarecrow building competition. This year, we had our first ever “Community Block Party,” to kick off the Summer season, and it was delightful. It also turned out to be the event during which I had my most Stars Hollow experience ever.

I spent the day of the Community Block Party working at the bookshop, and then when I got off of work, The Mr and I walked around the town with our dogs, enjoying free ice cream and performances from local musicians before stopping and hanging out at our church’s tent where we gave out free hugs (the dogs were way more popular than the humans for that) and promoted our summer programs. One of the things we were promoting was our huge annual tag sale that the church puts on as a fundraiser, and we were doing this by featuring a gorgeous canoe that was donated to the church so that it could be auctioned off at the event. It’s a beautiful boat, with two wicker-backed seats inside that face each other, and enough space for a little picnic basket. It basically requires one to wear a long, flowing white dress with a matching parasol. It also wasn’t very heavy, which would come in handy later, but I’ll get to that.

The family that owns everything we were using that day (the tent, the popcorn machine, and the signs) were also the keepers of the canoe. So they were there for the first half of the block party, but they had to leave in the middle of it to go to some awards thing for one of their kids because she is amazing and they love her or whatever. That was fine, though, because they were so sure that they would be back before the end of the block party to pick everything up.

So the block party was scheduled to end at 9:30, I think, but all the vendors were packing up at 8:30 because that was when an outdoor screening of the movie Casablanca would start in the park (yes, seriously, Gilmore Girls fans. It was so Stars Hollow that I’m actually disappointed there wasn’t a barbershop quartet there to sing about the lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer), and so we followed suit, us and our pastor tearing everything down and waiting for the family.

None of us had anywhere we needed to be, so it wasn’t really a big deal, but the dogs hadn’t eaten dinner yet, except for maybe the ice cream and popcorn they’d mooched off of several people, so The Mr decided he would take them home, feed them, start cooking dinner for us, and then I’d let him know when the family showed up so that he could come back and get me. I’d had plenty of free glasses of sangria at this point, so all plans sounded great to me.

So my pastor and I sat and chatted and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

At one point I looked over and saw a kid (old enough to drive, but probably not old enough to drink) trying to load a very large table into a very small car.

Me: Do you need help?

Him: Um… maybe? I had a ride coming to help me, but they got into an accident, I guess, so now they’re not coming and so I’m trying to figure out how I can get this stuff from here back to my church, but-

Me: Oh my god! Okay, better plan, I have a Jeep Wrangler. Where is this going?

Him: Right up the street to <insert location here>

Me: Cool, I drive by that place on my way home. I’ll take care of it. You go and make sure your friends are okay.

Him: Oh my god, thank you.

So now my pastor and I had a tent, a popcorn machine, a few signs, a very fancy canoe, and a very large table.

And no vehicle. Well, that’s not true. We had her Prius. But my point still stands: we had no vehicle.

At this point it was about 9:30 at night. The sun was officially down. The bugs were officially out. We had texted the family who owned all of the things (minus our new table), but the texts weren’t going through because I think they were in a school where the reception gets blocked. It was well after dark, and the only people left in town were all watching Casablanca in the park across the street, so I texted The Mr.

Me: They’re still not here.

Me: Please come.

Me: Also, we have acquired a table. Long story. I’ll explain when you get here.

Him: On my way!

He arrived and we started loading everything into the Jeep, but the table was actually too big even for our car, so we had to remove the windows from the back (yay Jeeps!) to get it all in there, but we did it, by golly!

Now all that was left was the moneymaker for the tag sale that we definitely couldn’t just leave sitting in the middle of town: the very fancy canoe.

The Mr: I mean… it’s not that heavy….

Me: …no… it’s not…

The Mr: And has wheels that hook onto it.

Me: …where are you going with this?

The Mr: Well, they live right around the corner. Why don’t we just… walk the canoe to their house?

So… after we assured our pastor that it was all fine and that she could go home, because at this point it was almost 10pm and she’d been there since 3, we attached the wheels and… started walking. The Mr with the canoe, and me with my camera.

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I’m honestly upset that I didn’t think to take a video of this because what made it truly great was that one of the wheels was super squeaky, so as we walked through the center of town, no one could really see us, because we were hidden behind the screen that was showing the incredibly romantic and beloved film Casablanca, but everyone could definitely hear the squeak, squeak, squeak, of us walking by.

I also considered sitting in the canoe one point during our journey, but the sangria was wearing off at that point and the look The Mr was giving me for even having the thought made me decide I better not. I only mildly regret this.

As we were squeaking our way around the bend, the mother of the family came whipping around the corner in her car to come and meet us at the tent. She saw us, stopped, laughed, and then turned around and drove along side us while she explained everything that had happened.

I won’t go into all the details, but needless to say, the story checks out and this family is more than forgiven for abandoning us with a canoe.

And a tent. And a popcorn machine. And some signs.

Actually, come to think of it, it was a nice night, and we were even stranded right next to the coffee shop, so we kind of had everything we needed to survive… The Gilmore Way.

P.S. If you’re interested in a very fancy canoe, here is a link to all the details about the tag sale. It’s very easy to transport.

P.P.S. We also did return that table, but I have no idea what happened with that guy. Send good vibes!


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.

I Quit!

I normally always try and find the good in things. This is not to say that I don’t have my fair share of complainer moments, of course, but when one of the things I love about writing this blog is that I never like to go negative, so as long as I keep writing for it, I generally have a pretty sunny outlook on life.

In my last blog post I wrote all about how much I loved freelancing.

Since then I have quit freelancing.

Or rather, I’ve paused my freelancing career.

“But Emelie,” you’re maybe thinking, “You were just raving about how freelancing has been pushing you as a writer into fun a new territories, forcing you to write about things you didn’t think you’d ever want to. What changed?”

Well, my darlings, that’s just it: freelancing was pushing me to write so much about the things I didn’t want to write about that I no longer had time to write about the things I do want to write about.

I posted about this on my Patreon (thank you to all of the amazing Patrons who keep this blog running, by the way!) a few days ago, and I was telling all of them that freelancing was supposed to be another side project that could help keep this blog and my book writing afloat. Instead, it became the thing that was drowning these projects.

I was constantly cancelling plans with The Mr and our friends because I had deadlines to meet. I was freelancing through Fiverr primarily, and on there you don’t really get the option to accept or decline a job. You can request a cancellation once someone has hired you, but that will negatively affect your stats, which lowers your visibility, therefore harming your chances of getting future jobs. It kind of sucks.

But I’m fortunate to not be totally relying on that money. I work full time at the bookshop, and The Mr works full time from home, so after almost a year of stressing out over projects that were more hindering than beneficial, I decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore. I’d rather pour my energy into this blog and its Patreon page, which is how I pay for the web hosting fees and any advertising expenses, or the travel blog that The Mr and I launched last year and that we’re reviving now (please give us a follow if you like travel and dogs!).

Money is important, yes, but I’ve never wanted it to be what drives me.

So I’m turning back to my passions where I get to explore what it means to truly be awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.

You’re about to see a lot more of me, I think, and I hope you’ll stick around and even join in on the ride.

If you’re interested in supporting the blog, please do consider visiting my Patreon and becoming an Awkward Ambassador. It’s $5 a month, and 10% of everything I earn goes to a charity of your choosing. If you don’t want to do that, or if $5 a month isn’t in your budget, that’s okay! The fact that you’re here, reading the words that come out of my brainspace, means the world to me.

Here’s to living the dream.

Stay weird, friends.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O.. Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.


P.S. I need to give a shout out to my friend Katie who just launched her travel blog, Open Atlas. Go check her out and follow all of her adventures. She’s amazing and I promise you’ll adore everything about her.

Sure, why not?

Freelance writing is a weird thing.

I currently freelance through the website Fiverr, which has its ups and downs. On the one hand, you can find tons of jobs. On the other hand, tons of jobs can also find you and sometimes you get asked to write really strange things. Things you have not said you were qualified to write about.

One of my most popular gigs is simply “uplifting and humorous content,” and through this gig I have been hired to write a series of educational youtube scripts about microbiomes and gut bacteria (which I’m pretty sure never saw the light of day, but hey, I got paid), a blog post about a woman whose husband lit his dinner on fire, an article about why free-range hens make the best eggs for an omelette restaurant, and a 4,000 word article about “the soul of metal working from past to present.”

Every time one of these weird gigs dealing with a subject about which I know literally nothing comes my way, I am filled with a small feeling of dread.

How can I make gut bacteria funny?

What the heck does he mean by “the soul of metalwork?”

Are people seriously still questioning whether or not free-range eggs are a good thing?

But then I dive in, maybe have a small panic attack along the way, and get to work…. and weirdly, it starts to become fun. For those bacteria videos, I essentially went to science class every week, took a bunch of notes (way more about poop than I anticipated, which always makes for great comedy), and then wrote a funny essay about what I learned. And I ended up working for that guy for, like, 7 weeks. It was awesome.

And for this metalworking gig I’m working on now, I’m discovering this whole entire new-to-me world of people who make our world way prettier with metal by hitting it with a hammer or spraying it with fire. It’s insane.

Of course, not every gig pushes me completely out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I get gigs where I get to write about books or my dogs, but most of the time it’s these kinds of jobs.

One day, I hope to be able to get more of my own ideas pitched and published in proper magazines, but until then, I’m enjoying pushing myself further and further with my writing. Without these gigs I doubt I would have ever written about these subjects, and now I’m not so scared of saying “yes” when people ask. It’s a nice feeling.

I guess the point is that we don’t know what we don’t know, but what I do know is that I can at least try to figure it out. I never thought I’d be writing bacterial comedy, but if I had said “sorry, not my area of expertise,” I’d be a lot poorer and know a lot less about what’s happening in my own body.

So thanks, weird Fiverr gigs. Keep ‘em coming.

We Really Need to Get Out More…

I don’t watch Game of Thrones (don’t @ me), so it’s been a relatively slow week for me, but today two adorable things happened and I need to share them with you all.

First, a dear young friend of mine emailed me and told me to search for “Turtle Chases Rabbit” on YouTube.

It was easily the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Until I moved my gaze over just a few feet and saw this:

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Apparently she really loves turtles. Or bunnies.

It’s actually not the first time we’ve caught her watching TV. She absolutely loves it when we watch nature documentaries, so sometimes when we need her to sit quietly for a bit, we’ll do what all parents do: pop something on the tele. While for some kids it’s Peppa Pig, for Aloy, it’s Planet Earth (and now Netflix’s Our Planet). We hit play and before we know it, she’s up on the couch, chin on the armrest, and she’s focused.

We’ve learned that she loves chase scenes (which is probably why this one, even in its slow nature, caught her eye) and birds, but fish and bugs don’t do much for her. Lizards and snakes are hit or miss.

Either way I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed? On the one hand, it’s kind of a cool party trick, right? On the other hand, have we domesticated our animals so much that they’re even learning to become tv-watching couch potatoes who are more likely to experience nature on our televisions than in real life? One of the big benefits of having a dog is that they get us outside, right? Now all of a sudden, nature is just her toilet. And now that I’m thinking about it, I woke up this morning to find a giant poo on our kitchen floor, so maybe I’m not even doing that right…

In all honesty, though, I think this is the perfect solution for when the weather is crappy and we can’t spend a lot of time outside. While the dogs and The Mr and I all love the snow, we all tend to agree that winter camping isn’t for us. So… we go out for an hour or two to play in the snow, and then we come inside, snuggle up with tea and a bone, and watch the world from safety and comfort of our homes and internet connections. And at least we’re all learning more about the planet, right?

Now, of course, the days are getting nicer and the ability to get out and do stuff is growing, which thankfully means that our couch time is shrinking.

But I have to say, on rainy days, I’m really grateful for this amusing party trick.

And let’s be honest, she doesn’t seem too upset either.


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I love you, you fools.

I don’t have kids, but The Mr and I go to a lot of high school plays. It’s not as creepy as it sounds, I promise. We’re actually the leaders of our small-town church youth group and so we always try and show up to major things that the kids are doing, like track meets, soccer games, and musicals.

We had two weekends in a row of being supportive mentors this past week, and while I’m sure a lot of you are thinking that this sounds like some sort of self-inflicted torture, both shows (Young Frankenstein and Footloose) were pretty incredible.

I was in drama club in high school, and there really is nothing like theater when it comes to formative group experiences. There’s a strange familial bond that occurs between you and all the cast and crew and you’re all doing some ridiculously embarrassing things for hundreds of people, but for whatever reason, those embarrassing things become awesome things. You hope.

When I was in elementary school, I played Little Red Riding Hood in a community theater production in which all these fairy tale characters ended up together for some reason. The only problem was that I had cut off all of my hair before the show, and in the ‘90s in Suburbia, Ohio the costume mom certainly couldn’t let a small pre-pubescent girl who might pass for a boy go out there to play a female character, so I was given a brown, shoulder-length wig.

The costume mom and the choreographer should have talked, though, because community theater wigs and somersaults do not get along too well.

It’s all on camera somewhere, that moment when I went head over heels and my wig flew off and slid across the stage….

But the show must go on, so I smiled, retrieved my wig, tugged it back onto my head, and flashed a quick set of jazz hands before stepping back in line with the rest of the cast to finish the song. It was embarrassing for a moment… but then it was awesome.

Because while I was up there, and even in later years when I found my place with the set and lighting crews, I was with my weird, temporary-but-it-didn’t-feel-like-it family. And as long as they were singing with me, nothing could embarrass me.

I’m always so unbelievably proud of every single kid that I see up on stage during a low-budget, not always in tune, musical production. It’s a really hard thing to do, even when you’re “just” a chorus member or a stage hand. I was one of them and I remember how hard I worked just to be a wig-wearing Little Red Riding Hood with no lines, or a dead woman in Our Town (ironically with more lines than Little Red Riding Hood), or the one who had to cue the black out at the end of the show.

My drama club teacher always used to tell us that the person in charge of pulling the curtain is just as, if not more important than the lead, because if that curtain doesn’t open or close at the right time, the whole scene is ruined.

Each and every part carries the show. If your wig falls off, people notice. If the dead woman moves, the magic is gone. If the spotlight fails to follow the actor, your show is suddenly for radio.

And that’s why I give a standing ovation as soon as the curtain call starts, when they send the minor parts out to bow. They worked so hard just to be on that stage and to make you truly believe that you were in a small town in the ‘80s where dancing was outlawed by a crazy preacher, or in an old, mad scientist’s Transylvanian castle watching a man revive the dead, instead of sitting in a high school auditorium where just last week a recovering heroin addict probably told all the students to stay off drugs.

New Jeep, who dis?

A post shared by Emelie Samuelson (@awkwardlyaliveblog) on

Today is April Fool’s Day, a day that a lot of people associate with trickery or being fooled. I, however, like to think of “the fool” or “the jester” on this day - the person who worked tirelessly to keep everyone else entertained, offering even just a few moments of escape from whatever was happening in their daily lives. They let themselves do ridiculously embarrassing and silly things just to see the world smile.

So here’s to the fools. May we all have even an ounce of their bravery.


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