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.

D9B615D9-412F-4680-85C8-EF905EBDE88D.JPG

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:

IMG_4215.jpg

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.


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.

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?

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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.


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.

Adventures In Bathing: A Sequel

Okay, so this is sort of a part 2 to my last blog post, so if you didn’t read that, click here to do so, because this won’t make that much sense if you don’t. Or maybe it will be more interesting that way. It’s up to you.



I received MANY offers to come and bathe in people’s homes over the past two weeks, which is weirdly lovely because I’m choosing to believe that these offers were politely humorous and not at all creepy. Life is better that way.

But one of my favorite reactions came from a girl we’ll call Bertrude (because she wanted a pseudonym that is “old and makes you think of hand knit scarves and fresh baked cookies”) who I met recently and am now mildly obsessed with for reasons that I feel should already be obvious.

Anyway, I was at work when I heard someone come in and say that she needed to speak with me.

Disembodied voice from behind me: Emelie…

Me: ….yyyyeees?

Bertrude: Hi! So… I’ve had it on my to-do list to come in a talk to you all week because I’ve been mildly stalking your blog since we friended each other on Facebook, and now I need to make sure you know about THIS:

FRIENDS. THEY MAKE INFLATABLE BATH TUBS.

Do you realize what this means???

  1. I clearly need more friends like Bertrude.

  2. I COULD BATHE ANYWHERE.

  3. LIKE OUTSIDE

  4. IN THE MEADOW

  5. ON HILLSIDES

  6. AT THE PARK

  7. ON THE ROOF

JUST THINK OF ALL THE POSSIBILITIES!!!!

The Mr, surprisingly, was not as thrilled by this discovery. He was all “This feels like a bad investment and also if you try to bathe in an inflatable bathtub you’ll probably get arrested, but also where would you get the water?”

So… I think we’re at a stalemate. Unless… we could convince him that this is actually a GREAT IDEA.

What do you think? Leave a comment down below with your vote. Unfortunately the bathtub pictured above is out of stock, but I’m sure we could find others. In fact, if you know of one, please drop the link in a comment when you vote!

BATHS FOR ALL!!!!!

P.S. I also just realized that there is a narwhal on that bathtub and now I need it even more.

P.P.S. Bertrude’s boyfriend has entered the scene and apparently while he was in Sweden this summer he found THIS bucket posing as a bathtub and now I don’t know what to do.

Hooray! I have a disease! (Probably)

No, really, this is a good thing. I'm not being sarcastic or just trying to smile in the face of something scary. I am ecstatic about this news. This possible news. I guess I shouldn't be too excited because nothing is official yet, but the thing is that I'm one step closer to being sure about something and there are actual steps that I can take now. Hopefully. 

Twelve years a frustratingly long time to have a problem without finding any real cause or solution. 

As many of you know, I've had recurring migraines for over a decade now. For a while, we always thought that these were caused by my spina bifida (I have an extra vertebrae in my spine and it's caused quite a few weird issues, if I'm being honest), and I have tried so many things, friends. I've been to acupuncturists, chiropractors, good ol' fashioned general practitioners and one by one they've all shrugged and said various forms of "That sucks," or "it's probably linked to your cycle."

Me: But... the migraines don't consistently happen during my period."

Doctor: Yeah, but they usually do?

Me: I mean... this past one was on the last day of my period, but -

Doctor: Yup! The uterus, man. It can be a real B. 

Or this other conversation I had during which the doctor told me that she couldn't really do anything to help me unless I was having migraines for 15 days out every month, so she suggested that I just start taking ibuprofen every six hours three days before each migraine hits... which could be at any time. 

I shouldn't mislead you. They've all tried to help in some way shape or form, but the reality is that none of them have been able to figure out how to keep these migraines from coming back. 

And I will say that my current chiropractor has actually been amazing so far. He's taken the time to understand the skeletal structure of my screwed up body and how it moves. He's listened to me when I explain that it's not just hip or back pain, and then random isolated migraines. 

You see, the thing is that these migraines aren't just really bad headaches. By the time the headache actually hits, the pain will be almost rippling out from my right hip until the pressure builds up in my head, behind my right eye. My right sinuses will get clogged, my right ear will feel plugged, even the right side of my jaw gets sore and tender. Then that pain will continue down the right side of my neck, into my right shoulder, down the right side of my back, through my right hip, into my right hamstring, all the way down into my right foot. 

I have full-body mother-effing migraines, y'all, and it sucks. 

So when this chiropractor sat down and actually heard me describe all of this, for the first time in twelve years, I heard someone say something other than a dismissive comment:

"I'd like to send you in for some tests." 

Cut to a week later, I sat in a lab while they drew seven vials of blood from my body and sent them away to get analyzed. I was tested for various things, including two different types of Lyme and Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is what seemed to be the most likely diagnosis. Weirdly, however, when I got the results, it wasn't either of those things. 

The results said I was all good for almost everything except for two odd results: I'm severely lacking in Vitamin D (but I'm also a pale redhead who loves the rain, so... this felt a little obvious), and that my blood work came back positive for the gene HLA-B27. 

After some quick googling, I found out that this gene is linked to all sorts of autoimmune diseases, including Ankylosing Spondylitis

Not only does it sound fancy, but it's also LIKE WORD FOR WORD WHAT I HAVE. Seriously, friends, when I was reading the article about this disease it felt like I was reading my body's memoir. In a nutshell, AS is essentially arthritis that attacks the spine and large joints. Like hips. Or shoulders. People with AS will experience flare-ups that cause a lot of pain throughout the body and then go into short periods of remission in between flare-ups. 

There is a huge amount of potential relief that I'm feeling right now. I still need to go see a rheumatologist (I have an appointment on October 15th) to know for sure, and while this might not be my diagnosis, I feel so much closer to having an answer, and it's because someone finally took me seriously. Someone finally listened

Twelve years is a really long time to be in pain without ever having any idea why or how to fix it. 

And I've never been happier to potentially have a lifelong disease. 

Oh, and if any of you know anyone who has experienced these symptoms or who has AS or has anything to offer, I am all ears. Tell me everything!! 

 

Geography Makes Me Angry

Last weekend, The Mr ABANDONED ME and went to visit his family in Almost-Canada-Northern New York for the weekend and a lot of weird stuff went down while he was gone, but I'm still working on getting all of the words down, so instead I'm going to tell you about a ridiculously traumatic series of conversations we had. 

While he was on his way to visit his family:

Me: Hey, have you arrived yet? Call me when you get there safely please! 

The Mr (hours later): We're still on the road. Service here is really spotty. We're in Lake Placid. 

Me: Uh oh. Don't get eaten by a giant alligator. 

The Mr: Wrong lake. 

Me: What? No! That movie was totally called Lake Placid and a giant alligator lived in the lake... it was like a knock-off of the Loch Ness Monster and it was hilarious. Plus Betty White is in it and she's amazing even though she does some serioulsy insane things in this film.

The Mr: I know, but that's based on a different Lake Placid. The Lake Placid in that movie is in Maine. 

Me: WHAT. THERE ARE TWO LAKE PLACIDS??

The Mr: Maybe more.

Me: NO. THAT IS RIDICULOUS. 

The Mr: It's basically like high street. Also, I'm losing service again. 

Me: NO. It is NOT like High Street. Every town has a High Street and kids always go around stealing the street signs so that they can hang them in their basements where they smoke weed. LAKE PLACID IS NOT LIKE HIGH STREET. Lake Placid is too iconic! There cannot be two Lake Placids! 

And then APPARENTLY The Mr lost service because he stopped responding, but he called me when he got to his parent's house and I was already basically asleep, so I don't even remember the conversation. 

The next day during my lunch break at work: 

Me: I'm still upset about Lake Placid.

The Mr: What do you mean? 

Me: What do you mean? There should not be two!! 

The Mr: Well... I don't know what to say... maybe get a petition going to change it?

Me: The damage is already done...

And then later that night, we FaceTimed... 

Me: I feel like you're not taking this seriously.

The Mr: What?

Me: This Lake Placid issue! Why are there two lakes called Lake Placid? 

The Mr: I mean.... I'm pretty sure Lake Placid isn't even a lake in New York...

Me: WHAT?!?! 

The Mr: Yeah... I think it's just the name of the town.

Me: But your brother swam in the lake there!

The Mr: That lake is called "Lake Flower"

Me: I HATE GEOGRAPHY. 

But here's the thing... I googled it and it turns out that Lake Placid, NY is actually near a lake of the same name, so there is some justice in the world, BUT the movie Lake Placid? The lake in that movie is actually just called Black Lake, so.... WHY WOULD THEY CALL THE MOVIE THAT? 

Clearly this issue is still not over for me.... But am I alone here? Please comment down below.


Things I loved on the Internet this week:

This Seth Meyers interview with Beth Ditto because she is just delightful and we should all aspire to have her joy. 

Man Breaks Guinness World Record for Slicing Watermelons on His Stomach -- WHY IS THIS A THING?? 

All Bloggess posts are fabulous, but her cross-stitch project in this one is fantastic. 

Speaking of The Bloggess, she's featured on this list of hilarious female writers

 

Mind Over Bladder.

Customers often come into the bookshop asking to order a book they just heard about on NPR or on TV, and because our job is to sell stories, we often end up in long conversations with these customers about the things we've read or learned. 

And sometimes I walk away from these conversations unable to stop thinking about them.

Or really having to pee. 

Yesterday a woman came in after having heard about a study that a group from a prestigious university about the differences between European brains and American brains and apparently they found that European brains are way healthier and way less likely to develop alzheimers or dementia. 

I feel like at this point I should tell you two things:

  1. I was not actually a participant in this conversation. I just eavesdropped on it from my desk about 25 feet away. 
  2. I did absolutely ZERO research to find out if what this woman was saying was correct, but she was mega confident, friends, so... I went with it. 

Okay, so now that that's been covered, here's the rest of the story...

The other customer that my co-worker was chatting with asked if this study mentioned what they thought the cause was.

Study Lady: Well, yeah, diet. Mainly their water intake. 

Lady 2 + Co-worker: Mmmm yessss of course.

Study Lady: They actually drink the amount of water that we're supposed to be drinking and most Americans barely drink any water in comparison. When you think about it, you don't just need to hydrate your body, but you need to hydrate your brain, too... and most people don't realize that caffeine actually dehydrates you, so tea or coffee doesn't count.

Lady 2 + Co-worker: Well, of course. 

Me: 

Y'all. I drink almost exclusively COFFEE. 

And before you freak out, I'm not an idiot. I knew before this moment that wasn't the best health choice in the world, but I was always defending it because it helped me be me. It kept my energy up and made me all sunshiny and happy. In other words, IT WAS GOOD FOR MY BRAIN. 

And if there's one thing that terrifies me, it's losing control of my mind. 

So, without hesitating, I went into the back room, grabbed the water bottle that I bring with me to work to pretend I'm a healthy person, but never actually used, and STARTED CHUGGING. 

And I continued to drink water (in addition to coffee - I'm not a monster) all day. 

Which means that I had to pee. 


ALL.

DAY.

At this point, my memory will be amazing, but it will ONLY CONSIST OF BATHROOMS. 

But still, I'm determined to better myself based on this anecdotal evidence that water will keep me from scrambling my brain. 

I'm not giving up coffee - as I said, I'm not a monster - but I am going to legitimately try and consume at least 64oz of water a day. 

And who knows? Maybe this means I'll have a strong mind... and an even stronger bladder? 

Plus, this could turn into a whole travel blog series: Bathrooms Critiques by Emelie. After all, I'll be spending most of my time in them now. 

What about you? Do you feel like you drink enough water? Do you make major life changes based on information you overheard someone who probably has no qualifications or scientific background say? 

Tell me in the comments below, because I really have to pee, so I need to stop writing this blog post!