How To Have An Amazing New Years Eve

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The worst possible thing to strike our cozy little home has happened; the man-flu. And we all know the man-flu is the worst kind of flu there is. It brings grown men to their knees in anguish, wipes them right off their feet for days on end. It's even been known to cause "little guy moaning." As in "who's the little guy moaning in the bathroom?" Sadly it's no little guy, it's a big man struck with the man-flu. It caught Chris yesterday and based on his Sprite intake I don't think it's going away anytime soon.

Thus we might have to sit this new years eve out. And oddly enough, I'm pretty okay with it. I've got a nice bottle of champagne, some good cheese I stole from my parents (kidding, mom!) and Harlow to keep me warm while the snow continues to fall outside.  So take that, 2013, you can't keep me down.

Now because I'm feeling extra generous I'm even going to offer some tips to all of you as to how you can have the best new years eve possible.

First and foremost you have to set the bar high.  Make sure your expectations for the night are as high as they can get. You have to make sure under any circumstance that tonight is a night you will never ever forget! Because if you don't have an absolutely amazing evening on this one specific night the rest of your 2014 is doomed. Doomed I tell you! You know how the saying goes, a great night is what happens when preparation meets expectations and exceeds all disappointment.

If you haven't got something to wear now is the time to PANIC! Because everyone will be looking at you and judging what you've got on. And I mean everyone. I don't care what the weather is like outside, if you're not dressed for a chic black leather party in the Caribbean you will look ridiculous. Coats and scarves are for losers. You need to suck it up and face the cold like a slutty college girl would.

When in doubt just cry. Girls, guys absolutely love this! The less reason you have to cry, the better. If you see a moment to grab some attention then you better seize that moment! I recommend grabbing a girlfriend and taking her to the corner of the room, or locking yourselves in a bathroom or a bedroom, and just hashing everything out until you feel better. Or until you feel worse. Whichever you prefer. Just make sure to choose the most inopportune moment possible to shed those tears.

Don't waste a minute not being on your phone. You guys, this is new years eve after all. What is happening on your phone to people you probably don't even know is ten times more important than what is happening with the people around you. You know what's more important than truly being in a moment? Truly not being in a moment. So forget the party you're attending, just play on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all night!

You don't actually need to have fun to make it look like you're having fun. Just smile and choose a great filter and everyone will think you're having the most amazing time, anyway. Cheers!

Be the first to start the count down.  Spoiler alert- everyone knows it's coming. So why not be the first to start it? I suggest playing it safe and starting it a good five minutes before the actual time. A few people might catch on, but everyone else will just want to make sure they don't miss the fun and I guarantee you they'll jump right in. So be that girl who starts the countdown way too early when no one is expecting it, it'll be a hoot I promise.

The kiss. If you're a single gal on the hunt for the one to kiss make sure you start hunting early this evening. And when you find your prize you better hover over that shit. Hover hard! If he takes three steps forward you take two and a half. Think of yourself as the cute little shadow in Peter Pan. If the shadow in Peter Pan had breath that smelled like a combination of desperation and vodka sodas.

And if all else fails start Tindering. Tinder was made for nights like tonight.

Happy new years, everyone. Forget everything I just said and simply enjoy a night that represents a clean slate and new beginnings. XOXO T Dubs.

been party rockin on this night since the early 90s.

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The Year That Was- 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tomorrow is the last day of 2013. How in the hell did that happen? It feels like it was just yesterday I was trapped in Topeka, Kansas "celebrating" the last day of 2010 alone on the couch while Chris had the flu and was fast asleep by 9:00 p.m. I vowed to myself that night I would never have another new years eve in spent alone in Topeker.  My how much things can change in just three years...

Yesterday on the eight hour drive from Nebraska to Chicago (with a sixty pound dog on my lap the entire way) I got caught up in the sensation that is Flipagram. It's the app that makes a quick little video of some of your favorite Instagrams from the past year, you can see mine below. 

After going through all of my photos from the past year I felt inspired to take a look at last year in general. So here you have it, a look at some of the highlights (and not so highlights) of 2013. But mostly the highlights because I'd rather not dwell on the low points of 2013, I'm going to keep them in the past where they belong.

We rang in the new year on a cruise ship in the Bahamas. We ate too much, drank too much, and after the balloons fell from the ceiling I told Chris 2013 was going to be our year...

Chris went to the hospital after having hours of terrible stomach pain. I went to Walgreens and bought an enema and a frozen burrito.  We met up in the middle at the Chicago ER on a Saturday night and sat around for five hours before we learned that his appendix had almost burst. I started to second guess if 2013 was going to be our year after all...

I performed on stage at the Second City for the first time. I wasn't happy about my performance or my awkwardly fitting dress. But a goal was met never the less.

After years of watching comedians while always secretly thinking to myself I want to try this... I finally said enough is enough and got the nerve to just go for it one chilly night in April and try it for myself. I figured it was now or never. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever done and also the most gratifying.

I celebrated twenty-six years of life at a little corner bar of heaven I like to call Burwood Tap.

I joined the ranks of some of my idols and graduated from The Second City training program. Before I moved to Chicago I told Chris "I have to at least take one class at Second City just to see what it's all about it." It took me over a year of living here before I finally got up the guts and decided to give it a go. One of the reasons I was so resistant in the beginning was because I'd heard it takes up so much time and was almost like a cult, and now I understand why that is. Because it's just the best cult ever.

We enjoyed the 4th of July at Chris's favorite place in the world; Summer Haven, Nebraska.

Chris turns 2-7! Woo hoo! We celebrated at my friend, Steph's, wedding and Chris ended the night by doing the worm on the dance floor. And Chris can't do the worm...

Husker football season begins and one too many afternoons are spent at Kirkwoods.

My mom, Jade, and Lola made the trip out to see me for the first annual "Lola Does Chicago" girls vacation. And this was also the time I threw a fit at the Laugh Factory because my mom was embarrassing me in front of the door guy.

Home sweet Cabo.

Zoo lights, performing at iO, more stand-up, being accepted into the 3rd level of conservatory at Second City and yet another wonderful Christmas (minus the whole flu thing.) What a month.

So that was 2013. It's interesting how you don't realize the small things when they're happening will actually turn into the big things when you look back on them. I guess that's just life for you.

I've got big hopes for 2014, real big. I'm expecting it to be a life-changing year. Then again, what year isn't?

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Telling Jokes at the Shark Club

Friday, December 27, 2013

Last weekend I performed stand-up for the first time in front of people that I actually know. To say I was a little intimidated would be an understatement. My seventy-seven year old grandpa even came down from South Dakota to watch... And here's the thing, in the comedy world my stuff is PG, but in the real life world my stuff might be a little more than just PG. It's not "naughty" by any means, but it's also not exactly the kind of stuff I would normally get into a conversation with my seventy-seven year old grandpa with, if you catch my drift. So yeah, I was a little nervous for how all of that would go down.

Here's just a few of my pals that braved the cold to come out and see me.

Through out the week I'd had several people text or email saying they were going to come watch, but at the same time I knew it was going to be on a Sunday night when the temp was well below ten degrees outside so I wasn't going to be too shocked if people decided to stay in. I'm not exactly the best at going out in the cold so I didn't expect others to be either.

So when I walked through the front doors of the ever so fancy Shark Club and saw so many people had actually come I was incredibly surprised and incredibly grateful. The kind of turnout I saw last Sunday evening doesn't happen a lot, so it's something I won't forget.

Because Omaha is on a bit of a smaller scale than Chicago I was going to have my longest time on stage to date. Ten whole minutes! At the Laugh Factory in Chicago I usually get three. Ten minutes on stage with just me and the mic and a crowd full of people staring at me with that look in their eye that says dance for us, monkey! I'd be lying if I didn't say I was excited as hell.

I usually try to write jokes for my crowd, so I was bringing mostly all new material that was specific for Nebraska. But I was also a little nervous that I might forget my routine or get tripped up a bit since a lot of it was so new. Some comedians bring their phone or notebook on stage with them to help them remember, but I'm the type of person who prefers to memorize my stuff. When the host called my name to get on stage I immediately jumped into my bit without a second thought, but then as the lights shined down on me and I looked into the crowd and saw faces of people I actually knew I suddenly had about two seconds of blackout where I was still talking, but at the same time I was thinking I have no idea what I'm saying or where I'm going with any of this... Luckily, I snapped out of it pretty quickly and just continued on like I had practiced.

And the feeling that follows that first initial wave of shock is a combination of adrenaline and excitement and pure joy. I imagine it's because of that feeling that so many amazing comedians continue on in this business for years and years without ever gaining the recognition they truly deserve. The feeling is addicting. Once you experience it one time you'll do anything to have it again. As I've said before, if I ever want to start doing this seriously I need to step up my game. The good comedians in Chicago are telling jokes five times a week, several times a night. I'm just not tough enough for that yet.

But anyway... after my set was finished and I had come out of "Taylor on stage" mode I had just brief feeling of oh shit when I realized what I had just done. I had just told weird stories and jokes and used my odd voices and impressions in front of a room full of people that I will actually have to see again. What would they think of me now? Will they go home and say oh it's cute she's trying something new, but I just don't think she's very good... Perhaps. But if they did they never let on to it. So cheers to that, damn it! The host of the show even told me that if I ever come back I can even have a longer amount of time if I would like. How fun would that be?! Maybe I could have my own Taylor variety hour. I could dig up my old tap shoes and hula-hoops and really put on a show.

So there you have it, that was my first time showing my friends and family what it is I like to do in my spare time. I guess it's better than Candy Crush.  And now I'm going to leave you with a few photos of what I did yesterday. It's a little something I like to call "Battle of the Bear." If you're not a fan of children playing with toy guns well then you might want to click away now. I'm sorry but I'm from Nebraska, it's just what we do here. I grew up playing with fakes guns and knives and grenades and yet I still cry if I almost hit a squirrel in the street with my car, so I think I turned out okay.

So here you have it : Battle of the Bear. 12.26.2013 a day that shall live in infamy.

 sweater can be found here. 

Rip Bear. I think it's obvious who won this battle.

Lola. The girl who made off with the Hummer and my witch hat.

I'm think I'm delirious. It's time to head back to the city. Enjoy the last weekend of 2013. Follow along on instagram @taylorgracewolfe as I take more photos of Harlow and battles with Knox.

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The Christmas That Was

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Is blogland still running this week? I kind of hope not. I'm just popping in for a second because I'm trying to put my life back together today and get back to feeling like a human being- at least for a few minutes.

Just a few hours after I snapped this photo on Monday evening I was hit with one of the worst flu bugs I've felt since 2009 when I had H1N1.

*sidenote: doesn't Chris's hair look like someone drew it on with an Etch-a-Sketch? It's actually a beanie. But I like to pretend it's fuzzy Etch-a-Sketch hair. 

I always joke that I wouldn't mind getting the flu because it would be an easy way to drop five pounds and kickstart a diet, that is until I actually get the flu. From 8 p.m. on Monday night until roughly 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning I was in such agony I can't even begin to describe it (and you don't want me to.) There was a point when I was lying on the bathroom floor around 3 a.m. with sweat dripping from my face while still shivering from head to toe in which I literally thought I was dying. So if you're one of the many people who has been struck by the flu in these past few weeks just know that I feel for you, I feel for you so hard.

I was finally able to start drinking Gatorade around 4 p.m. on Tuesday and thought I had turned a corner. I attempted to shower and get ready for everyone to come to our house for the Christmas Eve party my parents host every year, but I was wrong. I lasted about three hours downstairs before I went back up to my room to "lay down for a minute or two." The next thing I knew I woke up and it was 8:00 a.m. on Christmas morning. I had slept through my favorite night of the year. Talk about a ten-year-olds worst nightmare.

I haven't exactly nailed the holidays this year. If you remember I was also sick on Thanksgiving. But I swear I'm not a sickly person, 2013 just wanted to go out with a bang I suppose. I feel like your health is one of those things you don't really appreciate until it's taken away from you for a day or two. But since I'm almost back to 100% today, I appreciate it fully.

These are the few photos I managed to snap over the few days. This was my "big Christmas meal" yesterday- a cup of Miso soup.

Pretty little Lola on Christmas Eve, she's luckily one of the few who wasn't taken out by the flu.

Harlow singing Christmas carols. Have you played doggy jingle bells before? If you haven't, you should.

And that's all I've got today. Hope you had a wonderful flu-free Christmas! Cheers to a new year just around the corner!

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Merry Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2013

Chris/Tay/Harlow Christmas card 2013...

Last night I made my comedy debut in Nebraska in front of nearly forty friends and family members. It was terrifying. But also pretty cool. I was just so damn tickled to see everyone that showed up. Yes, I just said tickled. So if I didn't say it to you last night and you were there, thank you so much. I appreciated it more than you probably know. 

The full recap/photos about it will have to come another day because right I am attempting to wrap all of the gifts I have been refusing to wrap for the past two weeks. Merry Christmas pals, enjoy the next few days. 

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Home is Where the Harlow is

Friday, December 20, 2013

Anyone notice who's been missing around here? The one and only Harlow.

I haven't seen my Har-Har since November 12th when I dropped him off in Nebraska for camp at Chris's parents house. And the reason I haven't been talking about it you might wonder? Because it makes me miss him too damn much.  I simply won't let me mind go there because when I talk about him or post photos I get way too tempted to jump in my car and make a seventeen hour round trip in a day just to get my little guy. But that's not exactly the most practical thing to do, so instead I just block it from my mind and focus on other things completely.

But now that I'm only 24 hours away from grabbing my little Harvey's ears and holding him on my lap I am officially letting myself get excited. I took Har to Nebraska the week before we left for Cabo because he simply can't do doggy hotels in Chicago, we've tried. We took him to one for three days and when we came home he was a different dog. For the following week or so after I picked him up he wouldn't leave my side, even more so than usual. I think that if I would have offered to put him in a baby bjorn and carry him around 24/7 he would have agreed to it. I tried to take him to the same place roughly six months later just for a day visit while we were moving (I don't know what I was thinking) and he absolutely freaked out and refused to get out of the car. And so I didn't drop him off that day and I said I never would again.

And then there's also the fact that Chris's parents absolutely spoil him in Nebraska. Harlow eats better than I do when he goes to camp. Chris's mom has him eating some special dog food that has to be kept in the fridge that you can only buy at Whole Foods and probably costs more than the chicken I buy at Trader Joes. I wouldn't be surprised if she's taught him to actually ask for it he loves it so much. She also sends us updates all the time of what Har has been up to with his cousin, Vandal. Vandal used to be the naughty one, now it's pretty clear it's Harlow. When they are together they are literally like two ornery cousins who drive each other crazy but also have the best time in the world together.

What could be more fun for a dog than running through open fields of snow chasing birds and deer? I think he might miss me, but then again I bet he's probably too busy being a dog to even notice.

Would you look at that smile on his face? He's happy. So even though I miss him terribly, I know that an extended stay in Nebraska is probably good for him to stretch his city legs a bit. But after being away from him this long I've realized that a house without a dog just feels empty.  So Harlow I'm coming to get ya, it's time to make this house whole again.

Happy weekend and happy holidays!

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Give Me a New Face

Thursday, December 19, 2013

So about those head-shots yesterday... The studio was in a cool old building in Wicker Park and I truly felt like a princess as I sat in the makeup chair while the makeup artist tried to cover up my sun-spots (or big freckles as I like to call them) and caked on layers of something creamy under my eyes. I never thought I had dark circles under my eyes until I saw the amount of product used on them. As it turns out, I don't wear enough makeup. 

Anyway, I absolutely loved the photographer as well as her stylist and am so excited to see the final pics. Out of 500 shots there's got to be at least a few decent ones, right? Here's a sneak peak...

The quality might be a little blurry, but hey this is the 90s what's it matter? Okay you caught me, I'm kidding. This was immediately after I got done and I was so excited that I survived I gave myself a candy cane. Here's a real one-

Would you look at that hand on the hip? You can't teach that pose. You may notice this photo is more than just my head, well that's because the photographer told me I have a great "Midwest look" so I could probably pick up some "small print ads." Translation: I'm homely looking and might fit in well in a Wal-Mart or Aldi advertisement playing a trashy aunt or young mom. Yessssss! I'll show you a few more as I sort through them. In the meantime, if you're one of my actor pals I highly suggest checking out ZoeMcKenzie Photography, everything about the experience was absolutely wonderful. 

Anyway, I really don't think we give models enough credit. I thought this to myself yesterday during my second hour of posing for head-shot photos as the hip photographer yelled things like "just relax and have fun" and "give us more movement" and "stare down the camera." Think about all of that for a second and then imagine what you would do. Wanna know what I did? I went into dog-in-a-costume mode and just completely froze. I was fine when she would tell me how to sit or stand or where to place my arms, but when it came time to "switch it up on my own" I panicked and acted like I'd never seen a camera before in my life. And then I put my hand on my hip.

And then there was the whole "give me a new face" request. When the photographer said this to me I wanted to reply, I've been trying to do that my entire life, but this is all I've got. And it's true. I can only smile and occasionally half-smile. I really need to work on my serious face. But like I've said before, I go into Stephanie Tanner mode and my jaw gets all stiff and suddenly my chin looks extra huge. Maybe when I'm feeling more self confident and am ready to laugh at myself I'll show you some of my more serious Zoolander photos.

And now I've run out of time. Have a great Thursday!

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Things I've Always Wondered About Home Alone

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let me just start by saying I truly think this is one of the best Christmas movies ever made. So much so that I make a trip to the Home Alone house in Winnetka about twice a year simply to pay my respects.

That being said, there's still always been a few things I've wondered about...
First of all, what exactly does Kevin believe has happened to his family. "I made my family disappear," I get that and all, but I can't help but wonder how an intelligent kid like Kevin, who knows how to throw together an elaborate holiday party, rigged with all sorts of gadgets and a dancing Michael Jordan mannequin in just a few hours, would simply accept the fact that his family has "disappeared." Wouldn't he be a little more freaked out?

Furthermore, the kid is scared shitless of a furnace and yet we're supposed to believe that the thought of two child groping burglars breaking into his house doesn't seem to bother him at all? This just doesn't add up to me.

And speaking of things that scare children, is the creepy old snow shovel man from next door the same creepy old man from Now and Then? Because this guy just always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Remember when he pulled Samantha from the flooding sewer? I didn't play in sewers for almost two years after that scene.

You know what else has always bothered me? The police in this movie. Why on earth aren't they more helpful? They're willing to bust their ass to catch a kid who just stole a toothbrush, but not for a panic stricken mom who calls 911 to report she left the country without her youngest child? That conversation with the donut-eating-cop who drops frosting on the phone angers me every damn time. They should have done a lot more than just send one cop over to ring the doorbell one time if they knew there was a young child home alone in the house. This is Chicago people, scary stuff happens here.

And what about those Wet Bandits? Why were they so dead set on the McCallister house? Did they not realize Michael Jordan's mansion was less than ten miles away? I just feel like they probably should have turned away the moment they saw the fake party, maybe just head down the street to the other mansion. Didn't they even consider for a moment that the McCallisters might have had a house sitter? Maybe Uncle Buck was there holding the fort down.

Or why didn't Kevin just call the cops in the first place if he knew the whole scheme was to eventually call them from the neighbor's house anyway?

And why wasn't the mom more pissed she had to go to hell and back to get home, and then no more than five minutes later her entire family walks in through the front door smiling and giggling with each other like it's no big deal?

And are all of the McCallister kids adopted or why do they all look so different? And why is Pete's brother, Pete, not in the movie, as well?

And did Kevin really clean up the entire house except for Buzz's room? I just don't believe that. And what about Buzz's spider? And his girlfriend? Did she get made fun of after this movie came out?

Like I said, there's just always been a few things I've wondered about... I could go on and on but now I need to get ready for my head shot session. Don't be jealous, but I'm about to get my hair and makeup done by "professionals" so I can sit for two hours of photos... I know, it makes me want to throw-up too. They said if I use any "special hair products" I should bring my own. So I guess that means I need to bring my $7 TRESemme hairspray.

Wish me luck. But seriously, wish me luck, I am going to need it. A beautiful patch of dry skin just showed up on my face today that looks like I burnt a cigarette into my cheek last night. I guess it gives me that rugged look that I'm going for. Watch out Charlize Theron, there's a new gal in town ready to go after all of those Monster roles.

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Monday Night Live

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Last night I was in a small show at iO called "Monday Night Live," which if you haven't guess it yet is basically their own little version of SNL.

*it was a very low budget "production." so low in fact, a second grader created the program. But hey "starring" is a hard word to spell regardless of how old you are I happen to think.

And I'd be lying if I didn't say I had an absolute blast doing it. We only practiced for a couple of days leading up to it and like I've already said it really wasn't a big deal for the actors (it was more for the awesome writers) but I'll be damned if I didn't pretend it was going to be my breakout performance of 2013! I was nervous and excited and was completely prepared to see Lorne Michaels sitting in the front row when the lights came on. Jk. But seriously, because I'm just huge a loser like that.

The theater dork inside of me that I have been trying to keep quiet for almost thirteen years now is fighting her way back to surface begging to do something obnoxious (and probably in a New Jersey accent) on stage. Let's take a look at the many creepy faces I make while in front of an audience, shall we? (I apologize ahead of time for the quality of photos, stage lighting isn't very forgiving. I don't actually glow in person.)

This is definitely my "I'm not a big deal, but actually I really am, so pour me another scotch, bartender" face.

And this is my "Oh really? That's super interesting, but I'm not actually listening to anything you're saying," face.

Then we have my "deer in the headlights pretending to sing Christmas carols while staring into the dark audience wondering if the guys behind me are also staring into the dark audience" look. As you can see they weren't.

"You know the thing of it is, I was just gonna suggest... Oh shit I'm losing my train of thought" look.

"I'm falling asleep while looking disgruntled" look.

I saved the best for last. This is my "little dancing Jewish boy from the Ring" look. 

Jk. I have no idea what happened with this photo. But we can all agree it's the best, right? If there was a talent agent in the audience last night I am definitely expecting a call today.

That's all I've got. Don't forget that Christmas Eve is officially one week from today. I hope you're all ready, I know I am. See you later, or as highschool-me used to sign all of my diary entries,

"Later Daze- Tay #22"