Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Any Colour You Like

Happy Pride, Ladies!!!

This Sunday was my second appearance at Chicago's Gay Pride Parade. Last year was awesome, but I knew this year was going to be even better with me living not far from Boystown (area in Chicago where the parade was, I think you can guess why they call it that). It was especially refreshing for me to be able to walk to a gay pride event that attracts hundreds of thousands of people.  I lived in the suburbs for eighteen years and then went on to a conservative college in Indiana. Needless to say, my old neighborhood never looked like this:

or this:

I was lucky enough to know someone who knew someone who had an awesome apartment looking over the parade. It looked crazy down there!!!

Of course, I had to dress up. I am the Queen of Costumes. Unfortunately, I had left all my costumes at my parents' house. I was worried about it all week but then I remembered that my Mom is the best and she brought some fun stuff down for me.

I admit, not my best work. It would have been a lot better if I hadn't chickened out and had worn my lime green snake skin spandex pants. I wouldn't be surprised if I offended people with this lame attempt. Only cool part is my shirt says "Material Girl" and the mushroom hat was purchased when I was twelve and on a family vaca in San Francisco.

So Pride got me thinking. Can dressing goofy, drinking all day, and accepting free hugs from everyone who offers be a good way to show your support for the gay community? Some people may see it as an excuse to drink on a Sunday, or an excuse to flash your chest, but I definitely see the Pride Parade as a celebration. Sometimes it's good to not be so serious about serious causes. It's important to celebrate how far the world has come even though we have a long way to go.

And of course, everyone celebrates in his or her own way. Whether it's Gay Pride, Saint Patrick's Day, or Mardi Gras, there's always going to be that chick (or dude) that ends up drinking too much (or maybe that's just how she is sober) and taking off her clothes in public and losing her job the next day. Just glad it wasn't me.

New York!!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Gnome

One of my older sisters called me out over the weekend about my last blog post (I know, it was ages ago). I had stated on the post that I avoided blogging about serious subjects. She pointed out that in actuality, all of my posts are about very serious subjects. I guess she's right. I've talked about my mom, money, growing up, terrorism, my take on monarchy--all very serious stuff. So today, I've decided that the purpose of this post is for one reason and one reason only--to embarrass myself:

This is me. 

I "modeled" for a Dungeon & Dragons playing card (it was for a game that was like a poor man's Magic the Gathering). My name is Aliki and my race is Halfling. Yes, you could buy these cards in stores. Yes, my parents spent a lot of money buying those big boxes of cards so that I could get as many of my card as possible. But just imagine how great it feels to rip open a fresh pack of cards and find one with you on it! Yes, that face paint took forever to get off. 

I was a part of the community. I made friends with guys with mullets and Big Gulps. I signed autographs,  a ton of them. This card is currently worth $17.99. I'm proud of that. I'm not ready to share any more.

I always thought of this as some BIG SECRET (whoops I think I'm getting serious again, whatever). I recently shared this picture to a bunch of my friends over email. I expected a lot of comments and WTFs?, but no one said anything. Is this just not that embarrassing? Or did my friends just expect that I had a past that involved realms, elves, and magical artifacts?

So please. Mock me. It will make me feel better. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk

June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month! Although I really don't like to get serious on my blog, or really serious about anything in my life, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about scoliosis for all of my homies with this medical condition.

Two weeks ago Princess Eugenie (the one in blue at the wedding, not in the ridiculously fabulous pink hat) came out to the public about her experience with scoliosis and surgery when she was 12 (Scoliosis Talk in Us Magazine!). It just makes sense that I should follow Princess Eugenie's lead and share my story with the world.

I first started to read blogs when I was 12 years old and was just diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis. The curve in my spine was severe, and I was scheduled to have surgery a few months after to correct it. I was terrified. I would spend hours reading blogs on the internet dedicated to support for scoliosis and spinal fusions. It was extremely helpful.  I hoped to one day have a blog of my own dedicated to scoliosis. However, now that I am old enough to blog, I can no longer blog exclusively on scoliosis because it isn't a big  part of my life anymore, which is a very good thing! My surgery and recovery were extremely long and painful, but I got through it!

There was a time when I never thought that a day would go by when I didn't think about my scoliosis; but now it happens all the time. Here are some of the only times I get a friendly reminder that there are two metal rods fused to my spine:

Picking things off the floor: My back doesn't bend in a way that I can pick things off the floors without either bending my knees or sticking my bum in the air.
Driving: I can't slouch at all, my posture is so that I am most comfortable sitting upright. I drive with my seat extremely close to the steering wheel because it's most comfortable. I was once called out for this by someone I didn't know driving a car right next to me. I screamed: "I have scoliosis you freak! Don't comment on random people you don't know. What the hell???"
Metal detectors: I am told that Israel is the only place that has metal detectors strong enough to detect my rods. But I get scared every time I go through airport security that my back is going to go off.
Swinging from chandeliers: When I had my surgery I was seriously told that the only things I wouldn't ever be able to do were bungee jump, and swing from a chandelier. Fortunately, I have no desire to bungee jump and I have not yet found a chandelier that looks fun to swing from.
Bathing suit season: I still have a long scar that spans the length of my spine. Luckily, I live in Chicago and it's freezing here, and it's June.

Those reminders of my scoliosis really aren't a big deal. But when I was 12, I was terrified and upset because I had a medical condition that I would have my entire life. What really got me through it all, besides reading blogs, was this quote by my ideal man (who had scoliosis):

"You can't really correct scoliosis, because it's a growth in the spine. [...] It gives me a back pain all the time. That really adds to the pain in our music. It really does. I'm kind of grateful for it."~Kurt Cobain

So basically, without scoliosis, the 90s would have sucked. Kind of makes me proud.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Your Possible Pasts

I revamped my blog today. Not sure I like it, just thought I should change it from one of the blogger defaults. I want to do this right.

I was trying to find pictures of myself to post, but I realized that the best pictures of myself are from when I was 2-6 years old. Those were my golden years. I was once even asked to model for McDonald's, but I wasn't able to do it because I was too crabby that day. I was way high maintenance and thought I was too good for Mickey D's. Oh how things change.

It got me thinking, what would the supermodel six year old Emmy think of twenty-three year old Emily? Would she be proud of me? What would it be like to meet the six year old me and give her a tour of my apartment...Let's see!

First stop, the living room: When I was younger, I really wanted to go to Notre Dame. So I'm sure the 6 year old me would love to see the Notre Dame paraphernalia everywhere!

6 year old Emmy: You went to Notre Dame!? I got in!
23 year old Emily: Yeah. Eventually...
6 year old Emmy: Eventually?
23 year old Emily: Look, I graduated.
6 year old Emmy: Were we a cheerleader???
23 year old Emily: Not exactly. But you get to be a tranny and you'll love every minute of it.
[sidenote: every little girl whose dad went to Notre Dame wants to be an ND cheerleader when she grows up.]

6 year old Emmy: We're engaged!!!
23 year old Emily: Nope. That is not yours.
6 year old Emmy: Well, are we--?
23 year old Emily: No.
6 year old Emmy: Why?
23 year old Emily: Look, being a bridesmaid can be fun too.
6 year old Emmy: But when Mom was our age--
23 year old Emily: Moving on...

Second Stop, the bedroom: My favorite thing to do when I was younger was paint. I thought I would grow up to be an artist, but I stopped art for a long time. In college I started up again just for fun!

6 year old Emmy: Where are the rest of our paintings. Is this it?
23 year old Emily: Hey, I work.
6 year old Emmy: But isn't that our job? 
23 year old Emily: Painting? Not exactly.
6 year old Emmy: Cartoonist? Ballerina? Orthopedic surgeon? 
23 year old Emily:  Not exactly.

Third stop, the kitchen:

6 year old Emmy: What are all those bottles for? 
23 year old Emily: Moving on...

Fourth stop, the balcony:

6 year old Emmy: Is that the Sears Tower?
23 year old Emily: Well, the Willis Tower. 
6 year old Emmy: The what? That's stupid.
23 year old Emily: I know.
6 year old Emmy: I can't believe we can see the Sears Tower from our apartment!
23 year old Emily:  I know. You kind of have to squint a little bit, but it's pretty cool.

I've always wanted to live in the city. I love big buildings and bright lights. I think the 6 year old me would think it was pretty amazing that I made this dream come true. I always thought I would live with my parents after college, so I'm so proud I was able to move out.

I haven't accomplished everything I wanted to, and a lot of my dreams have changed. But I think I'm off to a pretty good start!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Young Lust

I recently told one of my friends that getting phone numbers was the new hooking up. I stand by this belief, and to demonstrate it, I’ve created a Mad Libs-Like activity for you all to enjoy.
Directions: Read the story first using the first words in the parenthesis for the blanks. Then, re-read the entire thing using the second words. Then of course you can mix and match!

Back-story: A dude is talking to another dude
“So I need some advice. I was at this awesome ____________________(house, dinner) party last night and I met someone. She was so cute, we starting talking right away. She immediately explained that she was dressed the way she was because she came straight from _____________________(dance team practice, the office). Man, you know how much I love ________________(short, pencil) skirts.  So anyways, we start drinking our fair share of _____________________(Nattie Light, Pinot noir) and one thing leads to another. We start getting into heavy _______________________ (making out, conversation).  I decided I liked her, so at the end of the night, I ask her _______________________(to come home with me, for her number).
Now comes the hard part obviously. I don’t really know what to do. Of course I should assume that she likes me because she ____________________ (hooked up with me, gave me her number). But you never know, maybe she was just being nice and likes the attention. I don’t know. I hate to say it, but she kind of seems like the type of girl who _____________________________(hooks up with, gives her number to) any guy who asks. So what should I do? Should I _______________________(acknowledge her next time I see her, call her)?”

See? It’s all the same.

Monday, June 6, 2011


"Well, I'm a big fan of money. I like it. I use it. I have some. I keep it in a jar above my refrigerator. I'd like to put some more money in that jar. That's where you come in."~Adam Sandler, The Wedding Singer

One abnormal thing I’ve noticed about myself lately is my relationship with money.  It seems natural that as you get older and have more responsibility, you should start getting more serious about money, you should start to realize just how important it is. It seems like just the opposite is happening with me.  As I fall more in love with things that either don’t produce or involve money, I’ve come to find that I’m just not that into it.

It wasn’t always this way. When I was younger, I was a lady who appreciated the finer things. I wanted to be an investment banker when I grew up, my dream was to have filet at Tavern on the Green (I got to go before it closed!), and I planned on getting a purebred Pomeranian and naming it Dow Jones.

Things changed slowly. In college, I was horrible with money. I have no idea how I managed to spend so much and look so trashy 24/7. I got a job junior year though and learned the value of a buck. The real change came this year when I was finally supporting myself. It was really hard going from student to full-time work. I was shocked to find out what a large part of one’s life is spent at work, and how accomplished and fulfilled a full day of work can make you feel. 

I began to think less about what type of job would make me the most money, and more about what type of job was going to allow me to feel like myself while I was doing it.  And that’s how I decided to devote my life to the short story….I know, weird.

I remember talking to my mom after I moved into my apartment. It’s not a dump, but it’s an old city place where the windows won’t open, there’s no real dishwasher, and the doors have been painted over so many times that they will hardly close. I told my mom that I thought I could live in a place like this forever. And if I fulfill my dreams, I just might have to.

Top Ten Ways I Save:
10. youtube>itunes
9. McDonald's Dollar Menu=go to for any time you need a pick-me-up
8. Suave Shampoo and Conditioner-my parents tried to convince me for years that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and John Frieda. They're wrong, I can tell the difference, but not $12 worth of difference
7. Check groupon, livingsocial, couponcabin, restaurants.com everyday.
6. Yes...wire...hangers!!
5. Forever 21...22...23...am I ever too old?
4. Say yes to every time my parents ask me to dinner. Every single time.
3. Miller High Life
2. Taking vacations to my parents' basement or South Bend, IN
1. Make friends with the rich and fabulous