Feeling Excited

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So remember that audition I had last week? That audition that had me questioning my life in general just because I was so nervous about it and so nervous about why I'm choosing to attempt to pursue a "career" (I'm using that term lightly here) in a world that is so unknown to me, and so uncertain, and just all around so very scary...Well let me go into a little more detail about what that audition entailed. There was basically a group of sixteen of us (in my audition group, overall there were probably about eight groups)  who walked on stage with our biggest and brightest smiles, introduced ourselves to the judges as confidently as we could, and then were divided into groups of three. At that point we had roughly two minutes (in our groups of three) to get a suggestion from the judges and then act out a quick improvised scene based on their suggestion. It was terrifying. It felt like we basically had one hundred and twenty seconds to show the judges everything we had been studying for the past year. Because I tend to blackout on stage and start word vomitting all over the place while just being overall a little too excited, I knew it would be in my best interest to just get out there and act confident and listen. It was really all I could do. Listen listen listen. I've learned that working on this skill in improv has also helped me a bit in life as well. Who knew.

The scene went okay... I'm sure to the average person it wouldn't sound that hard to act out a completely improvised scene with two strangers you've never met before, but it actually kinda is. I can barely remember what the scene was even about, but I do recall my two partners were speaking with proper English accents and I was talking like an insecure American teenager. Again, I'm not always confident with my choices on stage, but you just have to roll with them. So that I did. 

Following our scene we had to play freeze tag with the entire group. I don't even want to describe what freeze tag is because I loathe the game so much and am just so bad at it. Let's just say I didn't think it went well. 

I left the audition relieved it was over, but still completely unsure what the outcome would be. Unsure, nervous, scared, sick, pretty much all of the standard emotions that go with the world of acting. We were told we'd hear via email by the following week if we got into the Conservatory or not. And thus began the email games. I think I checked my email no less than 10,000 times from Friday until Tuesday. Each time a new email came through I was certain it was going to be the one. I didn't even care what the outcome was (I told myself) I just hated not knowing. Again, I should note I'm probably just a little more high strung than the rest of my comedy pals, I'm sure no one else was nearly as obsessed as I.

By Tuesday afternoon I hadn't received anything and had accepted the fact I didn't get in. I was already looking up writing classes I was going to take until I could audition again and was ready to try to better myself in other areas. After all, it really wasn't that big of a deal. I know so many awesome improvisers who didn't make it their first go and have gone on to do great things.

But at 4:30 p.m. yesterday I got the news I was accepted. And I proceeded to read the email about ten times because I kind of thought it was joke. disclaimer: I was once "asked out" via a folded note in third grade only for it to be followed up with another folded note that said "kidding! who would want to go out with you, ya foo?" Thus the reason I am still always a bit insecure with always thinking someone is playing a joke on me when I receive good news.* end disclaimer. 

So yea, I got accepted into the Second City Conservatory. It's undoubtedly a much bigger deal to me than it really is, but I'm okay with that. I'm going to let myself be excited for the moment.

And so we proceeded to celebrate at my favorite little French restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi.

It may be blurry but if you look close enough you can see my mom and I are coordinating in our polka-dots.

And now I need to get back to this sales meeting I'm attending in the "Cowboy Room" at the lovely Candlewood Suites in Denton, Texas. Isn't life grand? I'm just living the dream one day at a time.


10 Of My Greatest Blogging Fails

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oh hey guys! Just stopping in from my senior photo sesh to talk about ten of my greatest blogging fails. In no specific order...

#1. Not posting photos for three-ish years. 
If you don't believe me check my archives. I truly did not post one single photo for almost the first three years of my blogging life. Think of all the food/Harlow/model shoots I missed out on! I think I just wanted to keep my identity on the DL, which is ironic considering only friends and family were reading in the beginning. Then again, it probably had more to do with me "butting heads" with my previous boss, check out an old post called "The Devil Wears Kohls" if you'd like to read more about that wonderful woman.

#2. Posting novel-length posts for the first three years.
Again, the proof is in the past. If I didn't write at least six-eight blabbering paragraphs about my day to day activities I didn't think it was worth hitting publish. 

#3. That one time I tried to start a really bad link-up and no one joined. 
It was awful. I definitely had the "I'm having a birthday party and no one is coming" feeling. But looking back, I think I'm comfortable enough to share it now. It's just too good not to. It was called the "Wait, is this bad?" link-up, and the button looked like this: 

And then I posted things like, "I like to drink the bottom of my Dorito bag," is this bad? Told you it was awful.

#4. When I tried to design my own page.
And I thought it was super fancy because it had one main photo that stayed on the homepage for ever and ever and that was it. I still never forget the excitement when I discovered I could cross out words like this -->  I'm an idiot. You've probably noticed I still enjoy doing this. It's the little things when you are as graphically-design-challenged as I am. (see photo above.)

#5. When I used to think anyone who left a comment was making fun of me.
When you blog for three years and your main readers aren't bloggers themselves, you don't exactly get a lot of comments. So when I first started getting comments from {GASP} people I didn't know I was certain they were just being sarcastic and making fun of my blog with all of the "great post!" and "just found your blog, it's so enjoyable" comments. You aren't though, right?

#6. Thanks to #5, I didn't respond to comments for the longest time.
Mostly because A. They didn't come through to my email so I didn't even see them coming in until my mom would call and tell me "you just got a comment!" And B. I just didn't get it.

#7. That time I got way too excited to start having sponsors and posted a new guest post every other day.
Finding a happy medium in the beginning is hard. I do apologize for that time.

#8. When I got kicked out of a bar in Lincoln and threatened to "ruin their reputation" by blogging about it. I also may have threatened to burn it down. But really, of all things I was going to "blog about it?" You know, because so many people take bloggers seriously and all. In my defense however, I was just a child then and it was after football game... And thus I didn't return to Lincoln for roughly ten months after that incident. 

#9. When I accidentally care too much about this little page.
Don't get me wrong, I care a lot about this little blog of mine. But every once in a while I'll accidentally get a little too involved with the whole blogging world and that's when I remind myself to chill out, it's just an online diary. I'm not trying to "lessen" blogging by saying that, just lessen my blogging is all. While I'm a huge fan of the online world, I'm an even bigger fan of the real world and that's where my priorities lie. Unless I'm hungover, bored, or distracted....

#10. When I let the fun slip away.
Usually because of #9, but also because of pride, embarrassment, fear, humility, and a slew of other 
Dr. Phil-esque words. I sometimes forget that I chose to start this blog, and I choose to continue it. Because I guess I kind of enjoy doing it. 

Boom. And that's my Tuesday tid-bit. 


Que Sera Sera

Monday, July 29, 2013

And another Monday of Post Weekend Depression is in full force. 

My parents came to town last Thursday evening and it's been a whirlwind of eating and drinking ever since. Needless to say, I'm feeling a little weighed down today- mentally and physically, four days of bloody marys and pasta tends to have that effect. So I'm going to use a cheat card today and just post a bunch of photos.

Let's start with Friday, yes? Yes. I should note that when I have guests in town I'm a super good hostess and drop everything I have going on in order to pretend that I am on vacation, as well. So I basically go on vacation in Chicago about every other weekend, it's a whole lot of fun.

Naturally we started the day with breakfast and bloodys at Frances's deli.

And then we headed over to the Lincoln Park Conservatory to look at some plants and stuff.

Impromptu fashion blogger photo shoot? You betcha!

Next stop: downtown to do touristy things like take photos of the "Chicago" sign and a few quick river shots.

Married thirty five years and going strong! (It's the Nebraskan way.)

Friday evening drinks on the patio before heading to Chicago Q for dinner.

After dinner we thought we were pretty cool and tried to use the self-timer app on my iphone. I don't think it worked. We were amused with ourselves never the less.

Saturday we jumped in the car to drive to the Botanic Gardens just north of the city.
In case you haven't caught on, my parents kinda love plants. 

Although it felt like it was the middle of November outside, it was a pretty great day anyway.

Saturday evening entailed drinks at Old Town Ale House before heading to a show at The Second City.

Look at this dapper dad of mine. And that cheesy smile he's rocking...

And Sunday was just a lot of eating and a lot of couch lounging. 

If you don't like photos I apologize for this post. It won't happen again for a few months I promise. And now I'm off to a sales conference in Texas for a few days and then heading to a wedding in Nebraska. It doesn't seem like life is going to slow down any time soon. 

So perhaps I might break my promise sooner rather than later about not posting a photo-heavy post again. That could very well happen again next Monday. On that note, I need to get this day going. 

Thanks again for all of the positive thoughts and comments about my audition last Friday, it really did mean a lot. I'll hopefully find out the outcome in the next few days. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath, I uh... I got a little nervous/jittery on the back line and may have over done the advice we were given to "look like we were having a great time in the background."I'll just leave it at that and let you imagine the one crazy girl in the background bopping off the walls and cackling like a crazy old lady for no real apparent reason...

Que sera sera.


The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever- Anthony Weiner Edition

Friday, July 26, 2013

You know when you get halfway through a really hot summer and you kinda start to think about the idea of fall, and it doesn't sound so bad? Yeah, I'm not there. Because it hasn't been a really hot summer. And this entire week it's felt like fall because it's barely hit above 75 degrees. And I'm not okay with it.

But I don't have time to talk about weather. With the news this week I really have no choice but to bring back another update of The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever,

Anthony Weiner Edition.

Thanks to Mr. Weiner, a lot of people are having the best week ever. Like for instance, 
news anchors. Because never have they got to say "Mr. Weiner" and "sexting" in the same sentence as many times as they have this week, all while showing photos like this in the background.

And also this.

Which obviously leads to 4th graders having a pretty solid week, as well. Because never before have they heard news anchors say "Mr. Weiner" and "sexting" in the same sentence as many times as they have this week. 

And I think it's pretty safe to say we all just might owe Mr. Weiner a big thank you for saving the 
newspaper industry in one week alone....

Should I have stopped at three? Yea, I thought so too. But I just couldn't resist the "Meet Carlos Danger," which for those of you not following this story (and also therefore with a more sophisticated sense of humor I imagine) Danger is Weiner's screen name allegedly. Personally, I think he should have gone with Dangerous Weiner. But what do I know? I haven't frequented a chat room since the 90s.

So of course college guys have to be loving this week. Because they no longer look like such creepos sending snap chats of "themselves" to the girl they just met last night at The Rail. I read in one article that Mr. Weiner, I mean Mr. Danger, was sending (and I quote) "full monty crotch shots." I think the article was written by my grandma. 

Which also means grandmas are having the best week ever. I don't think I've ever heard my grandma giggle so hard when hearing her try to tell me about this story. 

If you're tired of Weiner jokes I'm not going to apologize. I only get the chance to write a post like this once in my life, well I guess Weiner did this same stuff back in 2011 but I didn't capitalize on it then and the decision has haunted me ever since. I think at the root of all this what excites me about this case the most is the fact that I've finally got to see one of my favorite animated characters come to life, giggity giggity giggity.

For the first time ever I'm linking up with Yoga Pants and her #backthatazzup Friday thingy. I don't think there was really any other song I could use for today. Enjoy.

My Dick In A Box by Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark

This has been another edition of The Daily Tay's Best Week Ever, Anthony Weiner style. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'm off to find a bloody Mary and show my parents the city.

Follow along on Instagram @taylorgracewolfe as I take photos of brunch and Harlow looking cute.

Why I'm Nervous As Hell

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I don't know what's wrong with me today but I've got the Debbie Downers following me everywhere. I just have that nasty feeling of uncertainty hanging over my every more. And that is so unlike me. I'm always the glass is half-full kinda gal, but for some reason today the glass is empty. Don't start hiding the razor blades I'm not depressed or anything, I just have this weird feeling of nervousness. Ohmygosh is this called anxiety? Am I experiencing my first bout of anxiety today? If so, I don't like it. Or perhaps I just drank too much coffee again? I'm pretty sure I've confused being over caffeinated with having anxiety a time or two before. Or perhaps it could still be the aftereffect of the six cans of Surge I drank for lunch in 1998?

Regardless, I'm in a weird mood today. And I'm pretty sure it's all because of tomorrow. Up until just now I wasn't going to mention my audition tomorrow, mostly because it seemed like the safe thing to do. In the big scheme of things, what I'm auditioning for isn't really that big of a deal, it just is to me. Tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. I have an audition for the Conservatory at The Second City, which is basically just the next level of improv. Tina Fey had to audition twice to get in, rumor is Rachel Dratch had to audition nine times, and Amy Poehler got in on her third attempt. Again, this could all just be Second City urban legends... Improv students tend to get a little dramatic if you can imagine. Whatever the case, just typing that out makes my stomach flip. I figured that if I didn't blog about it, then I wouldn't have to follow-up blog about it in case I don't get it... but that's a cowardly bullshit move I feel like. So whatever, I'm just going to put it out there. I'm nervous as hell to audition tomorrow because I just want to make it in so bad. If only just to prove to myself that I can I suppose... And also because I'd really like to take classes in the Conservatory.

It's days like today when I wish I wasn't such a damn dream seeker. Why couldn't I have chosen a path in accounting or mortuary or something? I never took an accounting class because I heard they were super hard, but I feel like there's always a need for accountants. Same with mortuary owners. Death and taxes, the only two certainties in life. I swear I wasn't intending to make that awful joke just now with those two lines. I was just literally trying to think of two jobs that seem pretty stable and for whatever reason those two sprung to mind. 

I digress. 

I had originally intended to link up with Helene and Sarah today for this awesome link up they posted yesterday, but clearly my mind had it's own intentions. So today anyway, what inspires me to write is fear. And hope. And wonder. And excitement. And nerves, maybe a little bit of anxiety. But mostly hope.

Lots and lots of hope.


The Day My Apartment Got "Scouted"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

guess this iconic apartment set...

You may or may not have noticed I'm typically a morning-post kinda gal. So this whole "posting blogs" at 4:00 p.m. this entire week is really throwing me off. You'll have to excuse me, I've been kind of busy actually "working." And it sucks.

But let's move on to more important things, like the fact just an hour I was hiding under my table because I thought Jenny Jehovah Witness was knocking at my door again and I didn't want her to know I was home. I should clarify and let you know that when I sit at my front table by the window, Jehovah Witnesses can definitely look in and see me ignoring them, thus the reason I was hiding under my table. And it's pretty much a life rule of mine that I won't open my door to strangers. It doesn't help the fact I've been feeding a homeless lady lately, even though my parents taught me when I was young I shouldn't do this because we all know "once you start feeding a stray, it won't ever go away..." The last stray I fed was a cat named Chula who gave me ringworm (allegedly) and yet I still didn't learn my lesson! Anyway,  apparently the saucer of milk and cat food I've been leaving out for Homeless Sherry hasn't been enough lately because she's been creeping closer and closer to my house, she's harmless I'm sure, but just to be safe I don't answer my door to strangers.

Back to my story though, when I peaked my head up to see if the mysterious doorbell ringer was gone, I saw she was now taking photos of my house and front yard. At this point I decided to walk outside and offer a cordial "can I help you?" And why the hell are you photographing my place?

Turns out her name was Lisa and she's a "set scout" for ABC. Lisa liked our apartment and neighborhood and asked if we'd consider letting them use it as a location for a new television series being shot in Chicago. Reason #85 I love living in Chicago, you never know when someone is going to ring your doorbell and ask if they can use your apartment as a "set location." Naturally I let Lisa come right on in. I gave her a tour of the place and we chatted for a bit about "the biz" but of course Harlow had to be the spotlight of it all. I kid you not, in the short five minutes Lisa was here Harlow presented her with at least twelve different toys. "Like my rope?" "Look at my bone!" "Have you seen a Kong before?" "Look at this shoe!" "Lisa, grab this rubber duck!" Want to see my leash?" "Want to see how I can jump on the couch?" The list goes on but I think you get the point. By the end of it, Lisa jokingly asked if Harlow could be considered for the role of the dog for the series. I "jokingly" said of course.

Moral of the story- always make your bed. You guys, I am super anal about making my bed. I do it everyday. But the ONE day I didn't do it because I was running behind when I left for an appointment this morning, is the day a scout from ABC came into my house and asked to look around. I'll keep you updated if Lisa calls back...

And on that note, I need to go make my bed. So I'm going to leave you with a fellow Chicago blogger/writer by the name of Rachel from Raves and Revelations. When you head over to her page I recommend starting with this post.

Rachel is a wonderful writer (check out her advice below, I wrote it down to stick above my desk actually) and she has an incredible blog that you should all be reading if you're not already. (Make sure you check out her hilarious bachelorette recaps as well!)

What do you love most about Chicago in the summer?
What's not to love? Beer gardens, street festivals, concerts, al fresco dining, beer gardens, sunshine, the beach, boating (still looking for friends in Chicago with a boat, by the way). Did I mention beer gardens?

What do you recommend for people to do who are just visiting the city?
I not-so-secretly love the touristy stuff in the city—most of it anyway. My personal faves are architectural boat tours (I go on these all the time, even as a resident!), Cubs games and Navy Pier. Definitely check out Sears Tower (don't call it Willis Tower, either, no one else does) and the glass skydeck. (I can't vouch for this one—you couldn't pay me to go on that).

And EAT while you're here! Chicago has amazing food, from pizza to steak to burgers. Downtown has super nice, trendy places, but all of my favorite restaurants are hidden in neighborhoods throughout the city. Half Shell in Lakeview has the best (and cheapest) crab legs in the city, Bad Apple in Lincoln Square has phenomenal burgers, and Volo in Roscoe Village is the cutest wine bar ever. 

What I would NOT recommend doing is canoeing down the river with your significant other. It's grounds for D, as in, divorce.

Favorite summer meal?
Typically, I like to eat light in the summer, but I also love anything associated with grilling. I'm always happy with a cheeseburger, potato salad and fresh fruit. And a glass of champs, of course. So much for eating light. 

If you had one day to do anything you want, what would you do?
Let's assume that on this one this day, I had super powers, such as time travel. There's little I love more in the world than traveling, so I'd hop around the world to all my favorite places, and all the places I want to go: Bora Bora, Australia, Curacao, South America, Spain, Hawaii...how many hours exist in said day?

If I have to be realistic about this one day, I would be on a lake. I can be on the dock or in a boat. I only require that the sun is shining, I have a beer in my hand, and I'm surrounded by friends and family. This is my happy place.

What's one favorite summer memory from your childhood?
I have family who lives up in Lake Okoboji (in Iowa) and every summer, my parents, sisters and I went there for the 4th of July. We'd spend the week tubing, water skiing, putt-putt golfing, going to the amusement park...and as we got older, we spent many days at bars on the lake. 

If I have to pick one memory, it's taking the boat out on the 4th, anchoring up in the middle of lake and watching fireworks overhead. (See earlier reference to "happy place.")

Let's talk about your blog for a second...

What inspired you to start blogging?
First and foremost, I love writing. It's my passion. I do it for a living, and I do it for fun. Call me crazy. My dream of all dreams is to be an author, so I started my blog in hopes to spark the process of starting my first book. Think Jen Lancaster: She's my author idol. 

My friends and family have always said that I have the best stories, mainly because I've had a lot of crazy things happen to me in my short 29 years. These include, but aren't limited to: losing my engagement ring in a bar (and finding it), being in a coma, having a rib removed, breaking my nose in a cab accident, piercing my own nose and tongue, marrying my high school sweetheart, getting 6 underage drinking tickets, and my dad marrying my sister's husband's mom. I figured a blog would be the perfect place to write said stories down. I haven't even scratched the surface with sharing my tales of truth, so stay tuned.

What keeps you blogging?
I just love being able to write for myself. Not for my job—just for me, and the people who like reading what I've got to say. I've been making excuses for years about why I haven't started my book, or why I hadn't been blogging. After reading one of Jen Lancaster's books, I went to her website to write an email to get advice about becoming a writer, and this is what I found in her FAQ section:

Do you have advice for someone who hopes to be a writer?
If you want to be a writer, write. There's no secret formula or hidden cheat. Just write. Write all the time, not because you have to, but because your world simply won't make sense if you don't...(P.S. If you go around saying you'd love to write but you can't find the time, then you're not ready to be a writer.)  

It was that last line that really got to me. That day, I wrote my first blog post and then let everyone know I had a blog to keep myself accountable. This a long way of saying, I keep blogging because I love it. My world doesn't make sense if I don't. And if others love reading it, even better.

What do you find most challenging?
A couple of things: Finding the time to write gets challenging, especially because I have a full-time job where I spend much of my time writing/sitting at the computer. To get home and do it all again is something I struggle with. I also feel like I try too hard sometimes. I see other awesome bloggers out there that I admire, and I see what they're writing, and immediately, I start to compare myself to them, or feel like I could never be that funny, that honest, that [fill in the blank]. I just gotta remember to keep everything in perspective.  

Most rewarding?
I love the comments I get from people I've never met before. It's validating to have someone other than your mom or best friend tell you that you're funny, or a good writer, or that they enjoy what I'm writing. It's validation and praise, and we all like that from time to time!