Mama's got a brand new blog.

Oh hello there! Notice anything... different? 

THIS BLOG GOT A MAKEOVER, FRIENDS!! 

The Mr and I have been hard at work over the past few weeks trying to revamp this baby, and I am so happy with how it turned out. We decided to move to Squarespace for a few different reasons, and man, oh man... LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS. 

The Awkward Ambassadors have really made this possible. With a little bit of money coming in toward this blog now, investing in it (more than emotionally) has been at the front of my mind, so I asked The Mr if he would use his digital skills to help make this happen and BOOM: We have a fresh new look. 

So what do you think? Take a poke around and see what's different. Tell me what you like and what you don't like. I'd love to get your feedback! 

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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 exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Let's talk about goals, baby. Let's talk about you and me.

Happy New Year, friends! I know today is just another day and that nothing is really all that different from yesterday, but it's hard not to get swept up in the optimism of a new year, isn't it? Twice a year (January 1st and my birthday), I am reminded to check back in with myself and see how I'm doing goal-wise. Am I where I want to be? Am I going where I want to go? What about my life needs tweaking?

This morning, The Mr and I sat down and we talked about what we'd like to make a point of changing. What are our financial goals, our geographical goals, our lifestyle goals, are we ever going to own a bouncy castle and do we even want one anymore (obviously the answer was yes). I made writing goals and reading goals and, of course, blogging goals.

I want to grow this audience and take myself and this blog even more seriously this year. Whoa. That sounded grown up. Are you uncomfortable? I'm uncomfortable.

LET'S. NOT. PANIC.

I'm not saying that I'm about to start throwing my philosophies at you all the time or that I'm going to stop being a complete fool: that is never an option.

All I'm saying is that I really want to see where we can take this thing.

The whole point of this blog is to share all of my embarrassing stories and ridiculousness not just to make you laugh, but to also help maybe a handful of people out there realize that they are not alone. We are all idiots, and as long as no one is getting hurt, that's not a bad thing. Our foolishness is what makes us learn, it's what ensures that we are still curious and full of wonder. It keeps us human. It keeps us all awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.

So here's to a brand new year. I hope you'll join me in my adventure to keep the awkwardness alive. I encourage you to comment more on posts and share them with your friends - not just because it helps this blog (of course it does), but because I want to get to know you and your loved ones better. And because I can't do this without you.

Let's make 2018 the most awkwardly wonderful year yet.


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 exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

While I Have Your Attention, Overlords....

So earlier this morning, I was working on a new financial breakdown for the blog. It was very exciting, as I'm sure you can imagine. I'm pretty bad at marketing my own blog, compared to other people. Most of that is a time issue. I work full time and I do all of the social media for my day job, so when I get home, marketing my own stuff falls pretty far down on my list of to-dos after taking care of the dogs, attempting to cook dinner, doing laundry, and spending time with The Mr.

But now that I'm making a little bit of money via patreon, I've been thinking about making a bigger investment in this good ol' bloggy thing that I do.

I was discussing it with The Mr this morning:

Me: So I was thinking that 10% of everything I earn will continue to go toward a charity of the Awkward Ambassador's choosing and 10% would go towards advertising, like boosting posts on Facebook or whatnot, and then the rest of the money will go towards covering the other expenses like the domain fee and the web hosting fee and all that.

The Mr: That makes sense.

Overall, a pretty standard, boring, run of the mill conversation.

Until I looked down at my phone five minutes later and saw this email:

So... it's official. My new iPhone is listening to everything and Facebook is on the other end of the line, which is disturbing, but also I'm pretty sure there is nothing I can do about it, so I'm thinking that maybe I should just take advantage of this opportunity, right? I mean, why not turn a weird thing into a great thing?

So, Facebook, while you're listening...

  • If you know me so well, why are you always showing me weird pictures of myself right off the bat from like seven years ago? I don't need to see that awkward time in my life. It's a rude awakening in the morning. I don't need to be confronted with the fashion of the early 2000s.
  • Please create a no baby filter so that I can eliminate the endless stream of babies in my feed. Except my sister's  baby. He's great.
  • If you're going to show me everyone's political posts, please attach a picture or video of a cute puppy to make up for it.
  • In fact, please attach more pictures or videos of cute puppies to most things that you do. It would greatly improve the user experience.
  • If you run out of puppy pictures, pictures of otters will suffice.
  • Every time someone writes a mean comment, can you just reword to say "I love you and you look nice today?" I feel like that would solve a lot of problems. Until people find out about it... then they might start getting offended by compliments and things will get all sorts of screwy.
  • Maybe stop eavesdropping on my conversations? It's making you seem a little... desperate? No... evil? No... creepy? Yeah. Creepy.

In other fun news with social media... This Sunday is the last #SundaySupdates episode of the year and it's public for all, BUT -- we're switching things up and doing it on Instagram Live instead of YouTube! Sunday at 8pm join me on Instagram Live and watch me cook something Christmasy and answer your fun questions! If you need quick and cheap gift ideas, I'll help you with ideas! If you just want to say hi, I'll say hi back! The important thing is that you show up, because the party is so much more fun when your guests actually arrive! See you then!


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 exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Congratulations: You Make Me Sick.

Something strange is happening to me... I woke up this morning with a knot in my stomach. A metaphorical one, obviously. I didn't swallow one the of the dog's rope toys or anything, don't worry. It was more a general feeling of dread, doom, and overall anxiety.

And I didn't know why.

Normally when I wake up like this it's one of four reasons:

  1. I've done something terrible to someone, i.e. I ate all of The Mr's cookies or I forgot a birthday or  I remembered a birthday and then got that person a flock of opossums and I am only just now realizing how bad of an idea that was because my mother hates rodents.
  2. Someone has done something terrible to me, i.e. Someone stole all of my opossums.
  3. Something terrible has happened in general: Hello, 2017.
  4. My psychic powers have finally kicked in and something terrible is about to happen. This one is weirdly exciting and terrifying all at once.

But nothing out of the ordinary had happened this morning. (Except maybe option 4?) I don't even have a flock of opossums, so theoretically, they were all accounted for. The Mr was fine. I was fine. Everyone I knew was fine.

And that's when it dawned on me: I hadn't written in two weeks. Barely a word. I haven't even journaled.

I've never been one of those people who needs to write in order to live fully or whatever. At least, I didn't think I was, but maybe I am. All that I know is that I'm in a writing rut lately. Maybe it's because it's the height of the holiday shopping season and I work retail as my full-time day job and I'm coming home exhausted.

Actually yeah, that's probably it. I'm tired and it's the holidays and I spend a lot of time telling people what to buy for distant relatives they barely know and trying to explain that books are not for boys or girls because they are not operated by our genitals and if that's how you're reading then you're doing it wrong, but you're also really talented and I have A LOT of questions.

Either way, this isn't really a real blog post and I don't know where this is going, but I'm tired and I miss you, dear readers, so I just wanted to say hello and that I'm here and apparently not writing to you all makes my stomach turn.

I hope you're flattered.


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 exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Will you come hang out with me on Sunday?

I am terrified. I've decided to do a live Q&A on Sunday at 5pm EST via YouTube (I'll tweet out a link and stuff that day) and I'm so scared that no one will show up. Will you come? Basically, here is the plan:

It's a #SundaySupdate, and I only plan on it lasting an hour. I'll answer almost any questions you ask (books, life, dogs, math problems that I can't solve, questionable advice, etc) and in turn we'll get to know each other better because I don't just want this blog to be me shouting at you guys about my weird life. I want to build community, I want to start collaborating with you all.

And if you can't make it on Sunday, but you still have questions, you can totally submit them ahead of time. Either post them as a comment here on the blog or send them to me on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #SundaySupdate.

So please? Join me on Sunday? Don't make me into that lame kid who throws a party and then ends up sitting around squirting spray cheese into her mouth while crying and watching Planet Earth by herself because no one showed up.

To entice you a little bit, the dogs will also be there and maybe just maybe you'll get to witness the cuteness that is them playing together.

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What? It's not Friday, but HEY I'M BACK!! With NEEEEEWWWWWSSSS

Hi! Hey! Hello! I've returned from my honeymoon and I am now a wife! I have a husband! I'm a spouse! whaaaaaaat. Go check out the Instagram for photos and stuff.

I know. It's crazy and ridiculous and we're all concerned, but at the same time it's wonderful and amazing and everyone is super happy, so it's good stuff people, it's good stuff.

Speaking of the fact that I'm married now, Fiancé can no longer be called Fiancé because he isn't a Fiancé anymore, so I took to twitter and I asked for your help:

 

So it's official. Fiancé is now "The Mr," which I love and it sounds like he's a Doctor Who villain's cousin or something. I thought about going long-form and calling him "The Mister," but that made me think of those misting fans that they place in amusement park lines to keep people refreshed and happy and cool, and while The Mr does keep me refreshed and happy and cool, it just seemed like a strange version of objectification.

Before I continue, I want to give a massive thank you to all of my guest posts!! Weren't they amazing? THANK YOU all for keeping Awkwardly Alive, well... alive while I was away. You are wonderful. If you, dear readers, haven't gone and checked out my guest posters' work, please do so immediately. They are all amazing.

In other news, I've given a lot of thought to the blog and its future and I have fun news! First of all, I'm upping the frequency. I will now be posting twice a week (Mondays and Fridays), which I hope is a good thing. Second of all, if you support the blog on Patreon, your perks are about to get way better (I think?), but want your input: What perks would you prefer on Patreon? Right now, all the perks that are listed apply, plus I'm adding weekly vlog posts where I ramble at you on video exclusively for Patreon supporters, but if you have ideas that I'm not doing, I want to hear from you in the comments below. My goal is to build community and get to know each other better, and ultimately, I want to make you happy, so hit me with your suggestions!

Alright, I think that's all I have for you right now, blog followers. I love you. Thanks for handling my rambles.


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 from me, please click here

Humor or Beauty? Or Maybe Just Awkward and Peculiar - A Guest Post from Tom Lagasse

Hello, friends! Over the next few weeks, I am away for my wedding and honeymoon, so I've invited some of my favorite writers to keep you entertained in my absence! Enjoy!! 


When Emelie asked if I would post on her blog while she and Fiancé Husband were on their honeymoon in Scotland (re-enacting scenes from Braveheart?  Searching for Nessie?), I asked if I should focus on humor or beauty, since I noticed a slight shift from the former to the latter after she posted about how to live with dog hair – well, that’s not quite the way I wanted to say that.   

I’m afraid I’m not qualified to offer insight on either topic.  As a pudgy, middle-aged bald guy (and that’s assuming I’m going to live past 105), I am not licensed to provide the secrets of beauty – inner or outer.   And humor?  It’s one thing to be a smart ass.  It’s a whole other thing to put something in writing with a coherent beginning, middle, and end that consistently makes a total stranger recognize herself, find the humor, and laugh, let alone to amuse Emelie’s millennial audience.

My hope is I can string together enough paragraphs to complete Emelie’s request and fulfill my requirement, which sounds like I’m approaching this more like an assignment on the Peloponnesian War than how happy I am to help my friend.

So here goes:

Having known Emelie and subscribing to her blog for about a year, I not only read what it’s like for her to be awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar, but I witness it several days a week at the bookstore as her co-worker.

And, I have to admit – like most, although less publicly than Emelie – I, too, consider myself awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.  Perhaps this is why we get along so well.

Naturally, in trying to meet this life force, I had to ask myself - What have I done lately that was awkwardly alive or pleasantly peculiar or both?  

It’s been a little over a year since I was nearly literally (yes, literally) murdered by my cat (short version: he bit me; overnight the infection spread up my arm and traveled towards my heart; I went to the hospital and where I received a two-day stay), and the week following my release, I accidentally wiped my eyes with poison ivy covered hands (short version: I looked like I had been punched in the face by a mixed martial fighter).  And it’s been more than a couple years since I almost set the house fire:  Once by doing some electrical work I was ill qualified to do (obviously), and twice by trying to start a fire in the fireplace.  I’m now banned from both by the lovely Teresa (my version of Fiancé Husband who supervises Emelie’s use of the oven).

Sure, recently, I may have taken a Charlie’s Angels gun pose while wearing a promotional Captain Underpants cape on a bland Tuesday afternoon.  My surprise move made Emelie laugh.  The store was empty, and none of this was recorded.  You’ll have to take my word on both – except if Fran and Pat from the bookstore are reading this – then it’s a complete fabrication for the purposes of humor.

I may been more than happy to play with dinosaur hand puppets or read Dragons Love Tacos 2 to dragons, well, stuffed animals, at the children’s table.  And recently, Emelie and I posed for selfies in full Anthony Horowitz Magpie Murders in full Magpie regalia.  A murder of magpies?  I thought it was a murder of crows.   For the record, it’s a parliament of magpies.

However, I view these as neither awkward nor peculiar but as marketing – we’re fun people at the bookstore (just ask us) and not just complete book nerds (we may be those too) even if we’re reading Nietzsche or John Green in our off-hours.  

Otherwise, for me, I have nothing, nada, zip in my accounting for being awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.  The fact that I can’t recount a single other event of being awkwardly alive or pleasantly peculiar, signals to me I need to be more courageous and keep pushing towards authenticity.

However, it’s not that I’m advising everyone be more awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.   For example, I don’t think our President should be, although he seems to be not so much awkward or peculiar but just plain crazy.   There are certain places normative behavior would be greatly appreciated.

There is one beauty secret I can offer:  embrace your inner peculiarities.  There is nothing more attractive than people being utterly themselves.   However, I think a working definition would be helpful.  Being awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar is one thing.  Embrace that.  But when those unpleasant peculiarities like bigotry or misogyny or just plain hatred, we could all use a lot less of that from you and on behalf of the rest us, we ask you become more mainstream and vanilla.   

Working my way towards being a little more awkwardly alive and a little more pleasantly peculiar has been invigorating.  For that, I hold Emelie responsible.  I’ve learned Millennials can offer wisdom to us older folks besides simply showing us how to use the latest apps like podcasts, Angry Birds, and Pokeman Go.  

Thank you, Emelie and Fiance Husband for your help and friendship.  Best wishes on a long life together filled with all the love, awkwardness, and peculiarity you can handle!


I’m a freelance writer and work with Emelie at The Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington Depot, CT.  In July, I will have an article on climate change that will appear in Edible Nutmeg.  A short story “Beyond the Finish Line” was published by The Feminist Collective (www.femininecollective.com)  in March.   In January 2017, I was interviewed by Tracy Mumford for Minnesota Public Radio's segment "Ask A Bookseller."

I live in Bristol, CT.

 

 


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 from me, please click here

Do you write words? I need you!

First of all, thank you for all of your well-wishes over the past week! I'm happy to say that I survived the plague and everything except for my voice is back to normal. I did an amazing Fran Drescher impression the other day and I regret not capturing it on film now.

 

via GIPHY

This weekend is a holiday weekend, but it's doubly special for us, because it's also Fiancé's thirty-first birthday, which we are celebrating by pretending that we live in the woods like wild people... wild people who happen to have access to grocery stores and air mattresses. We're not exactly glamping, because we're still doing the tent thing and we do have to hike to our campsite, so I'm giving us a pass with the decadent sleeping arrangements.

Anyway, all of this is to say that this isn't really a real blog post as much as it is just an update, but also... a request:

I am getting married in less than a month and I'm also going to be going on a honeymoon for two weeks! Yay!

BUT I don't want to abandon you all, soo..... I need you! Specifically, I need guest bloggers. This gig does not pay in dollars, but it pays in gratitude, and hopefully some new fans for you, so if you're interested, please email me: samuelson dot emelie at gmail dot com.

That's all for now! Tata!

 

via GIPHY


his 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 from me, please click here

Help Me, Duckies. You're My Only Hope.

Okay, so Lisa Newlin has convinced me given me permission to audition for Blogger Idol. So now I need your help. Which post should I audition with? I've narrowed it down to these four:

Why Bachelorette Parties Should Never Happen On Mother's Day and Why My Friends are Amazing. 

And Then My Mom Gave Me "Medical" Advice.

Yes. All of This Did Actually Happen.

And My Mother Makes Her Debut... with Assless Chaps. 

Which is your favorite?? Please help!!

Thanks, duckies!

My Thoughts on the New Doctor.

Okay, so we FINALLY  know who the twelfth Doctor is and I could not be more excited. I mean, he's still not a ginger, but I'll do my best to get past that. For those of you that hate the internet (why are you here?!?!) or just happened to be in the Yukon yesterday, meet our 12th Doctor:

petercapaldi

First of all: YES. I think he will be brilliant. Look at that mischievous glint in his eye. It's wonderful.

So, most of the reactions that I've read and seen have been positive, which is wonderful, but to any of you out there who don't think this is the right choice, let me give you some bullet points as to why you're wrong:

  • You're wrong.
  • He used to be in a punk rock band with  CRAIG FERGUSON. Why wouldn't you want to know that about The Doctor? And what did he play?? When is he going to be on Craig Ferguson for a reunion!??!? Do they still jam or are they no longer on speaking terms? Is that why the band broke up? Can Craig be the new companion?? Think of the shenanigans!!!  SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
  • You're wrong.

Okay, so that's all I really have for right now, but I know there's a ton more out there. Another good one that I'm sure some of you will argue with me on is that we finally won't have a bunch of tween fangirls running around going "OMG he's sooo hott!"

Don't freak out on me. I know that the past two Doctors have been incredibly attractive in a way that makes me hate all other men in my life, but I think this new Doctor (who, let's be honest, totally has that salt and pepper goodness to him) will be a refreshing aesthetic change to what we've become so used to. It's also nice to see that they're not going for young, fit pretty boys for this. They seem to be going for personality and that's awesome. Way to go Doctor Who casting directors.

My hilarious friend, Jean, from A Wanderlust Guide had some different thoughts:

Jean: New Doctor Who... Who?! Not a Ging :(

Me: I know!! But I'm still really excited. A million tween girls are dying of agony right now.

Jean: Matt smith did anal job. Hmm. I don't know Peter Capaldi.

Me: ...Did you just use "Matt Smith" and "anal" in the same sentence?

Jean: Oh Jesus f*ck... I meant "amazing." Oh wow.

Jean: ...I'm going to end up in your blog, aren't I?

Me: You might.

Anyway, I can't wait until Christmas, you guys. It's gonna be good.