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Archive for the ‘advice (requested or otherwise)’ Category


Thursday, April 7th, 2011

If this blog were a baby, some court would have deemed me absentee sometime in the last couple of weeks.

It’s not that I’ve been busy. I have been, but I used to write every day while I had a whole buncha shit to do. It’s not that I’ve been lazy. I’ve been doing stuff, left, right, and sideways. It’s that I haven’t had anything to say. I’ve been all conflicted, and blahblahblah, and just insert Charlie Brown’s mom here for awhile, ok?

For about a year now, I’ve been writing for a collaborative blog called The Road More Travelled. The bloggers are me and the mindblowingly  fabulous woman who has been my best friend for 17 or so years.

Last week, I told her I had to cut back on The Road posts.

I expected anger, or something, but she was all ‘dude, of course – whatevs’. Ok, not really. She doesn’t say ‘whatevs’. She’s classier than me.

The thing is, I feel like I have to be all smart on The Road. We’re making a point. We’re experiencing and we’re writing about it. We’re blogging about our quarter-life crises.(Yes, I am going to live to be 120 – you want to fuck with that?) We’re saying REAL THINGS.

I feel obligated to be smart.

I also have a food blog, called Mangled Baby Duck. (You know you wish you owned It’s a cross between a recipe blog and a diary. It’s a pain in the ass, to be clear. I take pictures. I upload them and edit them and then write about what’s in them. The lemon asparagus risotto recipe I just posted took me almost as long to write down as it took me to make (which was a long fucking time, thankyouverymuch).

I feel obligated to make, eat, and do interesting things.

Here, though?

I don’t feel obligated to do jack all.

I feel obligated to be myself. To yap at whoever happens to land here, from the wide world of the internets, if that whoever feels like reading. Basically, to yap. I feel obligated to curse if I feel like it, but not to curse if I don’t feel like it. I feel obligated to show my cranky pants when they’re what I’m wearing, and to show my enthusiastic pants when they’re what I’m wearing.

I like it here. For some reason, that has made me feel bad lately. I feel bad because I don’t feel bad about being not-always-interesting, or not-always-smart.


It’s, what, a blogger thing? A girl thing? An Emma thing? A person-under-5’2″ thing? Who knows.


I’m back.

Feeling bad is for chumps.

stuff, and stuff

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Remember last semester when I spent a whole crapton of time filling out applications for the National Science Foundation fellowship, even though I’d never heard of it before my advisor asked me to apply?

I didn’t get it.

I planned on using this as a decision point. I kept telling people that if I got the fellowship, I would stay in school, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t.

I’m not particularly fond of the major I picked (dear everyone who looked askance when I announced I was getting my masters in computer science – you were right, ok? YOU WIN) and I don’t necessarily have any alternative ideas for something I’d like better.

I have to finish the semester, because otherwise some NSF knee breakers will be after me for the money I got paid this year (totally unrelated to the fellowship.) I’m not going to pay to continue school if I don’t have any genius ideas about what to major in. Waste of time and money, yo.

Fake rap slang is not  major.

Don’t worry, yo, I checked.

So. What should I do instead?

No, I’m really asking.

What should I do instead?

The revenge date

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

As far as I can tell, there are three reasons that people start dating again after a breakup.

Reason 1

They’re ready.

This is obviously the least interesting reason.

Also, if you’re looking to get back on the market, this is the reason you should wait for.

PSA over.

Reason 2

They’re looking for help getting over their ex. Perhaps this new love will be awesome in all the ways that the old love was not. Maybe the new love will NOT talk about work at dinner, and our theoretical dater will be able to spend all evening mentally comparing the old love to the new love, to the old love’s detriment.

The problem here, of course, is that our theoretical ‘new love’ is getting screwed here, because instead of being appreciate for his or her actual awesomeness, he or she is only a canvas for comparison and complaint.

This is, of course, only a bummer if the ‘new love’ actually likes our dater. If, perhaps, our new love is getting a delicious dinner or something out of the deal and is ok with that, then by all means our dater should use someone more fabulous to forget about their old love.

Reason 3


This is the whole reason I’ve been thinking about this. I’ve been watching an ensemble tv show and I noticed that every time someone in the group started dating someone new, the new person was inevitably paraded in front of the ex, usually sooner rather than later.

The revenge date is based solely on that concept. Our dater picks someone new and goes somewhere the ex may appear, or somewhere the ex will hear about – or if all that fails, posts pictures of the date on Facebook.

Don’t do this.

The revenge date is mean.

So to review – if you’ve recently been through a breakup, you can date if you’re ready. If you’re not ready, you can date people who know you’re not ready if you’re able to provide good company

You can’t go on a revenge date.

It’s just not allowed.

so there’s that

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

I recently learned two interesting things.

  1. We – we being people in general – are not good at guessing what will make us happy.
  2. We are unable to discern actual happiness from simulated happiness.

#2 doesn’t mean the kind of happiness you get from beer. It means the kind you get from embracing something in your life that isn’t great, from saying over and over again that you don’t mind, from, basically, faking it until you make it.

The upshot of these two things is that agonizing over choices is truly pointless. You suck at knowing which of two things will make you happier, AND you’ll just make your own happiness if you do chose the wrong thing.

Yesterday in the car Crockett and I were talking about some folks we know. Both of these people take their lives very seriously. They’re not without humor, of course – one of them is the funniest dude I know – but they’re incapable of lightheartedness when it comes to their own situations. Crockett and I think we both tend towards the alternative, particularly when it comes to careers. We both have sort of an ‘eh’ attitude when it comes to deciding how we’ll spend 40+ hours a week. “Well, try it. What’s the worst that can happen.” Perhaps it will be hilarious and I’ll get blog fodder. Perhaps it will be so terrible even fake happiness won’t cut it. Won’t know unless you try. Etc. Etc.

This commentary is leading to a specific event.

I’m interviewing for a job.

This afternoon.

I’m not giving up on school, don’t fret. (At least not yet). I don’t have a good sense of what the next six months looks like. This is sort of a out-of-the-blue-left-field opportunity that hey, what the hell, amirite.

The thing is, if I’m going to get real happiness one way and fake happiness the other, and I won’t be able to tell the difference, and I have no good way of knowing which is which, how on earth am I to decide anything?

In general I veer towards new as opposed to old. As in, something I haven’t tried before something I have.

How do you make big decisions?


Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Actual quote from a Shane Co radio commercial.

A few years from now her ears won’t have grown, but her desire for a larger diamond will.

What does that mean? No, really. I know it had a little more context than that. It seemed to have something to do with earmuffs, of all things – like, you can buy her earmuffs but is that a gift that has the potential to keep on giving?

This is a season of endless jewelry advertising. There are gifts to be given and there is the potential for romance. Any man with a woman in his life is told that sparkles are de rigueur. Any woman with a man in her life who ends up without said sparkles is left wondering if maybe her man doesn’t love her as much as that cute foreign guy in the Jared commercial loves his lady.

I’ve grown accustomed to said advertising. I don’t particularly like it, and that’s mostly because I’m not immune to a little emotional manipulation, but I can usually tune it out (or change the station).


Now? Not only are diamonds required, now you have to give/get jewelry that can be upgraded every couple of years?

Last season, women were superficial folks who needed glittery gifts to be happy.

This season, not only do our gifts need to be glittery, they also need to be able to grow as our desire for larger diamonds does?

Why will I want a larger diamond next year?

Because Shane Co will tell me I do.

It’s a diabolical plan, really.

Diamond Company Four Part Plan:

  1. We say women want diamonds. We say it loudly and enthusiastically and A LOT and eventually you will believe it, so you might as well just accept it. Women want diamonds.
  2. The diamond you’re buying now, person who is shopping for a woman, is fine for this year, but next year we’re going to tell her that it’s too small. We will say it a lot. You will hear it in your dreams. You might as well just accept it.
  3. Instead of buying something that will just languish away in a jewelry box embarrassed by it’s  tininess, buy jewelry that you can put bigger diamonds in! We’ll take your old diamonds back (probably) and sell them to someone that you’re clearly better than!
  4. Repeat.

I have an alternate plan.

  1. Men: hop on the first plane to Bangkok, because that’s where the Golden Jubilee Diamond is. It’s 545 carats, so whichever one of you gets there first will probably be able to keep your diamond needing lady happy for quite some time. Spare no expense and probably bring some machine guns, because I doubt it’s actually for sale. Based on what I’ve learned from advertisers, a diamond larger than her fist will probably lead to tears and also sex. (It’s not 100% clear if those two things will happen at the same time, but since you probably just killed a bunch of guards to get the damned diamond, do you really care?)
  2. Um… yeah, I covered it all in step 1.

P.S. Crockett, I don’t want diamonds – upgradable or otherwise. Unless they’re brown. Because those things are fucking gorgeous.

P.P.S. Ok, I’m kidding about the brown diamond thing.

P.P.P.S. Probably.