Time to Do Something Good.

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Hi MiCaela,

My name is Erin, I found your post from Stephanie on FB. I have a cat, That Jake.

https://www.facebook.com/smalljake

He is a story.

https://erinire.net/category/jake/

A few years ago, he got very sick. I thought I wanted to let him go – I was broke – but one of the vets at the hospital basically guilted me into treating his undiagnosable liver infection. (Undiagnosable without major surgery, which I really just couldn’t bear to put him through). Over the next 8 months of constant pills, carsick appointments, and blood tests, I wound up spending over $3,000. I wish I had GoFund me back then!!

It turns out, that was probably the best three grand I ever spent, with the possible ouster being my video camera and / or laptop (which are my livelihood). I am not in a much better financial position now than I was then, but I hope that my small contribution helps! I think I’ll post this on my blog. Maybe you’ll get a few more dollars that way.

Cheers,
E

(ps – in case you didn’t get it, guys, that image is a link to her GoFundMe page. Click it up!)


A secret confession:

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So the front door to our building hasn’t ever really shut properly. We’ve lived here for almost four years, and I can’t ever remember feeling the door slam CLOSED in that concrete way that doors are supposed to do. But that was fine, mostly, because I’m not good with locks.

Then, a few weeks ago, some guy got mugged across the street. We heard him screaming for help through our open window – B! called the cops while I flailed about, eventually bursting onto the scene, arms akimbo, yelling. The two dudes who mugged the guy had taken off up the street, and the victim seemed shaken but not really hurt. It was all of 10:30pm.

“We’re moving,” said B!, making a big scene of shutting the door behind him. “And we’re getting this thing fixed!”

I laughed.

Then, my key stopped working in the door that doesn’t close. And one day, inevitably, someone locked it while I was out at work. Luckily, I had arrived home in midafternoon and not after dusk – but that’s all it took to get me on the phone with our landlord making all types of demands.

“What is it that you need?” he asked wearily, finally returning my third voicemail.

I explained the situation, mugging and all, and the next day a locksmith was at the door. I gave him my sweetest smile and thanked him for his help, and my new key – magically! – worked just fine. It was a big relief, finally having a door that shut and a key that worked, because seriously the previous night I’d had to break in through the basement, climbing over the IKEA Wasteland of Broken Dreams that lives underneath our downstairs porch, IN HEELS NO LESS, to get to the rickety back door.

But, guys, here’s the thing.

I just realized.

My key wasn’t broken. I was just using the wrong one. For like, a couple weeks.

Hey, I SAID I wasn’t good with locks.


Coming to Terms.

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My sister is getting married in June! JUNE! EEE!!! I am SO excited. She has picked out GORGEOUS dresses for us to wear, BEAUTIFUL flowers to adorn the space, and, most importantly, has set about ensuring that the cocktail hour is a feast not to be missed.

But here’s the thing: The gown I had to order? WAS A SIZE ~TEN~.

10. one-zero TEN.

I think my wedding dress was a sample ten, and they had to cut that thing apart and make me a whole new dress from the refuse. And now, this thing that’s a size ten, this enormous tent of a sheath, it is STRAIGHT-UP FITTING ME. FOR REAL.

Part of me wanted to apologize to the salesperson, to explain how I used to be a size zero, how I used to buy clothes in the CHILDREN’S department at Target. But the larger part of me – the better part, pulled it the hell together, smiled, and agreed that the ten fits much better than the eight. I spent the ensuing months resigning myself to being the Fat Bridesmaid. You know, the bridesmaid who isn’t the CUTEST but has “spunk” and can drink most of the groomsmen under the table. That’s me.

I went for my first fitting the other Sunday fearing the worst, and you know, the thing doesn’t look half bad. My mom is not the greatest iPhoneographer, so I’m not sharing those images, but let’s just say I looked somewhat… regal. And with the hair and the flowers, I’ll bet nobody will even THINK to ask if I’m pregnant. And if they do? I’ll challenge them to a tequila-shot competition.


Roughing it:

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So last Friday night I stayed over at a friend’s house. It was later on in the evening when I got there – 8:30, maybe – and she and I had a great time eating delicious food, drinking delicious wine, paraffin waxing our hands, and dancing to music on her iPod. She passed out around 11 or 12, but I, ever the night owl, decided to stay up and do some work.

And finish the wine.

Whatever.

After about an hour or so of Lightroom and Pinot Noir, I decided to go outside for a cigarette. And you know that feeling you have, sometimes, right before something goes completely wrong? Like, that moment where you catch your breath and realize a mistake is in the works, JUST AFTER it becomes too late to stop the pendulum from swinging braggishly toward disaster? It’s a little hiccup, a certain slowing of time, before everything clicks back into place and you realize you’ve just locked yourself out of the condo.

Locked. Out.

The doorbell was no use – my dear friend, it seems, is a very sound sleeper – and anyway the buzzer is two floors down from her bedroom. To make matters worse, I could SEE her cell phone on the granite countertop just inside the door. My options were limited.

Inside the condo were my purse, license, cash, credit cards, laptop, hair elastics, and the rest of the wine. Outside, I had my car keys, a pack and a half of Camels, my iPhone, and a case of Diet Coke. Also a bottle of vodka and a jar of tomato sauce. But I didn’t see how those last two things were helpful.  I retreated to the car to think things through.

My parents lived nearby, but it was almost 2am. And I was kind of drunk. Plus I didn’t have my license. For the same reasons, driving home to Revere wasn’t a viable option. As if to concretize the situation, I turned on the Yaris and realized I was running on fumes – the gas light blinked eyelessly from the dash as my phone buzzed it’s 20% battery warning. I lit another smoke and contemplated my fate. I’d done this before, I thought, that time in the hospital, with less battery life and certainly less Diet Coke. People bivouac on the sides of mountaintops. Come on, we’re just in the suburbs here. We can do this. It’s like a vision quest, but without the peyote.

After a moment of rummaging I came up with an iPhone charging cable and my trusty DC converter with dual USB out, but the gas situation was problematic and it was really, really cold. Plus, I figured I wouldn’t be able to get inside until at least 6am. I browsed idly through my apps, trying to find something to occupy my mind for the next 4-6 hours. Music would be nice, I thought.

And then, it happened. I downloaded Spotify. And somehow, by some miracle, I got a free upgrade to a premium account. For the uninitiated, this basically means that not only did I have “some music”, I had *ALL THE MUSIC*. I mean, almost all the music. But still, SO MUCH MUSIC. Feverishly, I began to search. I found a Bassnectar remix of Underworld’s “Rez“, which led me through both their entire catalogues, which somehow led me to my old favorite Akufen, which brought me to a multi-disc mix called Up All Night, which brought me back to Bassnectar. And then, dear friends, then it was sunrise.

The snow was falling gently as I clomped through the drifts up to my friend’s doorstep. I rang the bell, firmly, once every three seconds until finally I heard her start to stumble down the stairs.

“What the – ”

I grinned like a moron, shaking snowflakes out of my hair.

“How long have you BEEN out there?”

Best night ever? MAYBE.


On Going Viral (which is happening):

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OH MY FREAKING GOD PEOPLE.

OH MY GOD.

So I work for this non-profit part-time, doing social media management and IT infrastructure. And today, this thing we made we went viral. Totally viral. We’ve front-paged on Grist, HuffPo, WaPo, GIZMODO, Reddit, Daily Mail, and on and on and on. I can’t even list the links, there are so many. Our website just reached 100,000 visits today. We’ve already had to scale up our servers once. Our Facebook fans are set to double, we’re seeing more action on Google+ than Google+ has probably ever seen, and I’m hammering out tweets like I’m getting paid for it.

Oh wait. I am.

The best picture ever

OK so whatever, anyway, this is completely overwhelming for me. One second I’m giddy with excitement, the next I’m ready to pass out, and the next I find myself out back on the porch, chain smoking and reloading my Pages app… not in a healthy way. So I’m just putting this out there, giving out some free advice for my peeps: this going viral business? IT IS NOT ALL FLOWERS AND ROSES.

Gleeful and nauseous,

Erin

 

 


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