A Camp Letter From Harlow

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I usually never click "play" when songs are on blogs, but trust me, this one really adds something.
Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! by Allan Sherman on Grooveshark

(The war would be referring to the fireworks currently going on at the lake. The poor boy hates them.)

As of tomorrow it's officially been two weeks since Harlow's been away at "summer camp."
I am dying here, I miss my buddy so much.
Harlow's summer camp includes staying at Chris's parents' cabin in Nebraska where
he can chase deer freely, fish as he pleases, and roll in the sand as much as his heart desires.

He's basically living in dog heaven right now and I get that, but still...
it doesn't stop me from missing him.
So if you're not in the mood for a dog-loving post today I suggest you click away now because I'm about to lay it on you.

5 Things I Miss About Harlow
(besides just everything)

1. I miss him greeting me at the door.
Do you know how lonely it is to come home to a house without a dog? It's awful.
It doesn't matter if I've been gone five minutes or five hours, Harlow treats my homecoming like it's the best thing ever, every single time. I'm talking tail wagging, tongue licking,
he can barely contain his excitement he's so happy to see me, and it's just the best.
And now it's just sad.

2. I miss my cleaning buddy.
I hate that now when I drop food on the floor I actually have to pick it back up.
And these past few weeks have made me realize I drop a lot of food.
A Dorito will accidentally land on the floor and I just instinctively tap it with my foot only to remember Harlow is not around to help me out.

3. I miss my shopping partner.
Chicago is a city where dogs are not only allowed places, they are truly welcome.
On any given day Har and I will run numerous errands together. When Chris walks with us down Clark street he can tell which stores are Harlow's favorites because he always tries to nudge his way in the door. This can include but is not limited to Urban Outfitters, Akira, Home Depot or a cute little asian plant store where they give Harlow more than a few treats.

4. I miss his wiggle dance.
Harlow doesn't just wag his tail, he full on wiggles, and it's the cutest thing ever.

5. I miss the way Harlow greets Chris at the door.
All I have to say is "Chris is coming" and Harlow immediately drops whatever he is doing
(usually chewing a bone or chewing a shoe)
and he immediately runs to the window and looks for Chris. And he will sit and wait there until he comes home.

I just really miss my pal. Two more days.... Just two more days.



Hey guys.
I'm just popping by for a hot second to say RIP to Google Reader.
To be honest with you, I have no idea what that ever was, anyway.
I never used it, therefore I'm not going to miss it.
I follow blogs the old fashioned way, by actually typing in the ones I want to read for the day in my search bar. Weird, I know.
But just in case you all like a little reminder when a new post pops up on here I'm about to list twenty other options, because I'm just down with social media like that.


Subscribe via email -->




Carrier Pigeon

And on that note, I'm heading back out to enjoy some Chicago Pride.
Happy Sunday!


That's What She Read

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Introducing the very talented Jen from That's What She Read.
Jen is a novel reader extraordinaire (basically she reads a book a day)
 which obviously makes it no surprise she is an incredible writer,  as well.
Did I mention Jen is the one person I've sent the first thirty pages of the book I've been working on to review/edit/give me some direction? It's true. If that doesn't tell you how much I respect this girl's opinion I'm not sure what does.
I've never met Jen in real life (yet!) but her writing is so personal I really feel as if I have.
Without further ado, meet her for yourself...

1. You're a wonderful mom of two beautiful babies, and an avid reader and writer, 
so what took you so long to finally decide to start a blog? 

Funny you should ask that...please don't think I am a creeper when I answer this. But The Daily Tay is the first blog I ever read. I found it through a mutual friend of ours from UNL and was just hooked and started noticing all the fun blogs on the sidebar, where I read about someone's book club and I thought, hey, I have one of those! At that point in my life, I was in serious need of some creativity and positive vibes, so it started out as a project and has now ka-boomed into a wonderful part of my life that I love! The longer I blog, the more I meet others who dream of writing and I have had great opportunities to bounce ideas off of them and be inspired by others so it all comes full circle.

2. What is one lesson you've learned since you've started broadcasting your
 life and thoughts into blogland?

 I've learned that the bravery and nervousness I feel right after I hit publish on a post that means a lot to me is addicting. I like testing myself, my writing and my willingness to share about my life and I kind of like the person I am when I write. Everyday, bloggers are sharing things about themselves that scares the crappies out of them, so why shouldn't I?

3. If you could be any character from a book you've read, who would you be and why? 

Either Jo March from Little Women or Skeeter from The Help
(mostly because she has a kick ass name and gets revenge on the best literary mean girls ever created) Without meaning to, I just realized my two favorite literary characters are fellow writers. I guess you can tell I've got the itch, huh?

4. If your life was a book what would the title be?

Oops: A Series of Unfortunate Events I Didn't See Coming But Ended Up Being Pretty Okay. Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental...except my mom. She totally did all the things in this book.

5. What's the best book you've read this year? 

Easy. Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless. It's a memoir about Wendy's crazy ass mom, which I can relate to ( I kid, my mom is my BFF but we've gone through thick and thin together so there are plenty of stories to tell! ). Plus Wendy and I are Twitter buddies. She read my review of the book and told me it was "fantastic." I cried. Telling authors personally how much I love their stories is the greatest opportunity!

Head on over!

The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Friday, my friends!
I am sad to say my mom and Knox officially left town as of yesterday.

The three of us sure had a fun time together... I'm already counting the days until he returns!
(Permitted he works on his "hitting" issue.) He doesn't hit everyone, just me.
Really though Knox is a funny kid. Sometimes I think he's two going on eighteen.
I asked him if he was excited to go home to his baby sister and his response was,
"no, pink baby's working."
He doesn't call Lola his sister, just "the pink baby."

But anyway, before I get into another edition of The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever,
I've decided to buck up and share a brief clip from my improv show because a few friends have asked to see it... And because it's just too bad not to share the humiliation with others...

However, per the usual, I need to preface it with a few things/lay out my insecurities for you to judge.

1. You can go ahead and make fun of me, just know that everything you want to say/think
I've probably already thought about myself.
We're not professionals, we're just a bunch of improvisers having a damn good time.

2. Improv is scary as hell, posting a clip of it on a blog might be even scarier, however.

3. This is not my normal voice. I wish it was, it would probably make life a little more entertaining.
Sadly those are my facial expressions...

4. What you're about to see is the middle of our "Jeopardy" game. We are holding onto imaginary podiums, as well as imaginary buzzers. We get suggestions from the audience and then have to work them in.  It probably won't make any sense to you, most times it doesn't to me either.

And lastly, this is one of the weirdest things I've done. But I had a stupid amount of fun doing it so I guess the saying is true, sometimes you just gotta get a little bit weird.

Without further ado, meet "Donna McNally, owner of Doing It Donna Style."
As well as Melvin and Father Fitzpatrick.


Now let's move on before I get cowardly and take it down.
Time for another edition of The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever.

I'll tell you who isn't having the best week ever,
Only because their fairygodbutter, Paula Deensy, has been through the ringer thanks to the fact
it was released she likes to throw around racial slurs.

For the most part I like Paula, but c'mon. Just because you're big and blonde doesn't mean 
you're allowed to speak like an old Southern racist. Get a hold of yourself.
But I guess this means Giada and Rachel Ray are most likely having a pretty great week.

This next one on my list is really cute, I'm talking about 
Rusty the Red Panda.

Rusty is the sweet one year old Panda who escaped the Washington Nation Zoo earlier this week.
He was gone for almost twenty four hours.
Can you imagine what he did in those 24 hours? I certainly can.
And now if I were good at making videos I would insert a cute little montage of 
"Rusty's Day Out" featuring him all over the city, popping in and out of places just after the Washington police were there looking for him.
But I'm not good at videos, so instead I'm just going to imagine him day drinking red beers on a 
patio somewhere, because I'm mature like that.

And currently in Chicago we've got the 
Stanley Cup Parade going on.

And I'm watching it from home like the 85 year old grandma I am.
It just looks like a lot chaos I'm not in the mood to deal with, it's predicted over two million people are currently in attendance.
The only way I'd like to be at the parade is from on top of one of the buses. Who's a girl gotta know to actually be in the parade? That's always more fun. 
I don't mean to boast, but back in Nebraska I've been in my fair share of parades, what with my mom owning a Jazzercise and my aunt owning Ricardos mexican restaurant.
Let's just say I've roller bladed down the main street as I held onto a huge blimp while simultaneously tossing out tootsie rolls.
No big deal. (But it kinda was.)

I'm going to wrap it up with the most important thing having the best week ever, and that's
I'm talking about the historic win for gay marriage on Wednesday in the Supreme Court.
If you don't agree with me on this one read this letter from a father to his gay son.

And if you still can't wrap your head around this please click on this post-->
I may not be guilty of getting married to a woman, but I am guilty of eating seafood,
and a ham sandwich (but only after Easter leftovers.)

Cheers to the weekend!
And cheers to taking risks like posting a video that literally makes my palms sweat when I think about all of you watching it.... Do something that scares you today, it's a cheap high I gotta admit.

*Follow along on Instagram @taylorgracewolfe as I do fun stuff this weekend.

It All Starts Right Here

Excuse my absence yesterday,
Knox insisted we see the sights of the city and didn't allow me a spare minute to myself.

Naturally, he wanted to go to the zoo for sixteen hours.
He's a pretty organized kid, so I think he must have stared at the zoo map plotting out his plan of attack for at least twenty minutes before he decided he wanted to go to see the "moo moos."

Always a good call to start with the exotic animals first, well played.
You can take the boy out of Nebraska, but you can't take the Nebraska out of the boy...
After the moo moos we rendezvoused over to the seals for a bit.
I love seals because they remind me of swimming Harlows.
Speaking of, have I mentioned Harlow's been away at summer camp for over a week now?
That will have to be a post for another day, it's a good thing he's gone (for him)
because I know camp allows him to really stretch his legs and run like the country dog
he was meant to be, but I'm not going to pretend it's not a hard two weeks for me.

But anyway, we concluded the zoo day with some ice cream.
Which by the way, don't ever let someone tell you ice cream can't be eaten with your hands.
Because it definitely can.
Ice cream can be eaten as easily with your fingers as say ranch, ketchup,
or barbecue sauce can be eaten.

After the ice cream escapade, my mom and I thought it was only right we treat ourselves to some
beers and oysters at Fish Bar while Knox listend to the trains go by across the street and liked to mimic the recording of "doors closing" every time one stopped.
Mind you this was around 5:00 p.m., so rush hour was in full force. I think he shouted "doors closing" about forty times in the short twenty minutes we were there.

All in all, a pretty solid day.

Now I'm not sure how I got so off topic, but my intention today was originally to talk about my graduation show at The Second City on Tuesday.

Truth be told, I hate being bad at something. Like it drives me nuts.
As opposed to all those people who love it...
And I know I'm still pretty bad at improv, and it kills me. It downright pisses me off.
So I've never been super pleased with the performances, mostly because I get out there and just start
word vomiting all over the stage only to stand back and think of one hundred better things
 I could have, and should have said.
The coulda woulda shouldas are the worst in improv life.

My part was to be a contestant in Jeopardy, so as I looked out into the dark audience and the lights shown bright in my face and I had literally one second to think of a character, the first thing that sprang to mind was to introduce myself as Donna McNally, from Omaha Nebraska,
who owns a dog grooming business called Doing It Donna Style.
But that's not even the worst part, the worst part is that before I could help it I realized I was doing the
"Target Lady" voice from SNL.
So I was basically doing Target Lady, as Donna McNally, as myself.
Real original, I know. As soon as I pronounced Omaha, as Ermerha, I knew I was done for.
I just had to go with it. In improv, it's go hard or go home. I should have chosen home.

Luckily I know you're going to fall on your ass about 900 times before you get something right,
so que sera sera.
It sounds weird, but my favorite part of the show was probably the backstage area we had to wait in before going on.
If you look in one of the photos above you can see it's just a tiny blue room
with chairs hanging on the wall,
but what you can't see are the thousands of signatures and one-liners plastered all over from every actor that has graced the stage in years past.
The one that stuck out the most to me was written right above the door before heading on stage,
"it all starts right here."
What that is, I'm not really sure because it's different for everyone.
But I took it as a good omen regardless.

So there you have it, it all started at The Second City with my first improv group known as
"My Friend Matt."
Cheers to figuring out what "it" is.


When Chicago Blew Up

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

So last night the Blackhawks won the cup.
And then Chicago just lost its mind.
I was told the city would go nuts, I was told it would be absolutely crazy, and I thought I was ready.
But I wasn't.

It didn't help we were right in the heat of the action in Wrigleyville where the streets were flooded.
Let me just say this, if Chicago ever riots for a bad reason, I am screwed. The city is screwed.
Because while it was exciting to be a part of something like this, I was also a little intimidated by it.
People in large groups are scary. And also bat shit crazy.
At one point I witnessed a Jeep drive through the crowd and watched two guys tear the bumper off of it in the process.
People were screaming, spraying champagne, taking their clothes off, climbing street signs,
the madness was just ridiculous.

It was all fun and games until the riot police showed up,
because when people started throwing beer bottles and firecrackers at the horses, I lost my shit.
I don't tolerate throwing stuff at animals.
The police men were able to duck and block themselves from crap being thrown their way,
but the horses had no choice but to take it and that's when I said I'd had enough and was ready to go.
What kind of ass thinks it's cute to toss a firecracker onto a helpless animal?
It may just be the nature of the beast being in a riot scene like last night, but never the less I was still pretty pissed about it.

I don't want to end on a bad note, because beside the whole police thing,
it was a pretty incredible night.
If you ever get the chance to be a part of something like this, I highly recommend you do so.

And now I'm just going to do a full 180 and leave you with a few photos from this past weekend when Chris and I ventured off to see Garden of the Gods before flying back to Chicago on Sunday.

If we ever get over Chicago, I'm thinking Colorado might be our next stop...
In the meantime,
Knox and my mom are in town for my graduation show this evening at The Second City.
It's about to get real weird tonight, full recap to come tomorrow.



Monday, June 24, 2013

The Monday after a really great wedding is always a very hard day for me.
I miss waking up to Mimosas with my best friends, I miss seeing all of the wonderful new family members I met of the bride and groom, I miss being skirted around in a limo,
and I really miss cocktail hour in the mountains, and bacon wrapped appetizers.
I wish everyone could have a honeymoon after a wedding,
because I don't know about you, but I could sure go for a trip to St. Lucia right now.

In other words I just really love weddings.
I like to think I embrace them full on, last weekend especially.
I danced a lot, I ate a lot, I drank a lot, and by the end of the night the groom's Spanish uncle invited Chris and I to come stay in one of his homes in the Canary Islands in Spain.
Although I can't take any credit for that one, luckily for me Chris loves weddings, as well.
And since he lived in Spain for awhile, he especially loves Spaniards.
The first night we arrived Chris was the last one up drinking and speaking Spanish with all of the groom's family like they were old pals.

Here's a photo of the lovely bride and groom, Codi and Domingo.

Domingo is in the Air Force, thus the uniform you see above.
I obviously understand the importance of the fact those in the Air Force protect and serve and country and find that in itself incredibly admirable, but on a more superficial level I also find those uniforms
to be incredibly attractive.
Well done, Mrs. Astiasaran (ah-stee-a-ser-en.)

A few of the bridesmaids "rehearsing" the night before the big day.
Sadly, we messed up our one and only big part and forgot to stand when necessary.
Sorry, Debbie Donna about that one.

The day of the wedding we were all whisked away to Codi's parents house to get ready.
Although once I found out that Mountain Lions have been spotted on Codi's land before,
I more or less spent most of my time in her backyard looking for cats.
I have a very weird obsession with wanting to see a Mountain Lion, like I am seriously dying to see one. I also had fun playing with the family dog, Rocko, as well.

 Codi was super sweet and gave us all cute little navy dresses to get ready in,
while professionals worked on our hair and makeup.

Although I opted to do my own makeup, only because I'm super picky about the type of products
I use and I wasn't sure the makeup artist would be using last night's mascara as a base,
followed by Target brand bronzer and Dr. Pepper flavored chap stick.
I did get extra fancy and let the stylist do my hair though, I let her do it twice in fact.
And I took it out twice... But I loved the way she curled it.
I'm just weird and never seem to like how someone else does my hair, unless of course they french braid it, I'm always down for a good french braid. Same goes for cornrows with beads on the end, especially if it's 1998 and I have a summer soccer tournament.

We finally slipped into our little pink dresses right before we left for the church.

For the actual ceremony, I was the bridesmaid who stood on the end, closest to the flower girls.
And I gotta tell ya, sitting by flower girls is AWESOME. I was entertained the entire ceremony.
It was completely quiet in the church and one of the flower girls (they were Domingo's twin cousins) suddenly asked me, "what is the right age to have a baby?"
After the kiss she also said to me, "that's the only reason I wanted to come today!"
As well as, "Domingo said he was going to stick his tongue down Codi's throat!"
But this one was my favorite, "someday Domingo said that's gonna happen to us,"
(regarding getting a tongue down their throat.)
I miss those girls already.

I'm already starting to get nostalgic rehashing this, so I'm going to wrap it up here with just a few more photos of the reception.
The venue was Spruce Mountain Ranch in Colorado Springs, it was probably one of the most beautiful places to host a wedding reception.

I wish I had taken more photos of the ranch because it was simply amazing,
but at this point in time I was in full on wedding mode and couldn't have cared less about snapping a few shots.

We got in the limo to head back to the hotel around midnight, and I'm pretty sure that limo ride might have been the most fun thirty minutes of my life.
Which may or may not have led to this, dancing in the bathroom in my suit coat and TP covered shoe.

Man, it was a great night. Followed by a not so great morning.
My only saving grace was grease. And lots of it.

Codi and Ming, thank you so much for having me a part of your amazing weekend.
I am obsessed with both of your families and all of your friends, I now completely understand why both of you are the way you are.
(And I know you're not reading this because you're currently on the white beaches of St. Lucia.)
And I kinda hate you for that.

On that note, let's call it a day.