Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday's good for bloggin'

My faithful readers and my two faithful commenters -- I'm sorry it's been so long since my last blog. The fact is, not much went on in my life this week -- unless someone wants to hear about my doctor's appointment on Wednesday! Didn't think so.

Yesterday was my second yoga class and the teacher seemed surprised I came back. Haha. I did much better this time with a handful of cheerios and an apple for breakfast instead of nothing. They still couldn't get the room that hot and I definitely feel sore again today, but not as bad as last week where I couldn't raise my arms for three days.

Immediately after yoga, I raced home to get showered and dressed and head up to Amherst where I was going to be a guest speaker in my coworker's Sports Journalism class. Steve, our part-timer is a journalism professor at UMass Amherst and wanted to bring in my boss, Matt, and I to talk about what it's really like in the journalism world.

So they put a spotlight on us and a cigarette in our hands ... well, no, not really. I was pretty happy to hear that there were four women in the class of 13, even though only three showed up. Matt and I ran through our career tracks, and then they started asking some questions.

What's it like to be a woman in the sports journalism world and do you face a lot of sexism?
Clearly, I was going to get this question, so I was prepared with a good answer, a lot of which I ranted about before. But I broke it down like this, (some of you  might have heard this before):

People would call the Boston Globe sports section all day long to ask random sports questions (Who won the Heisman in 1981? What is Paul Pierce's three-point shooting percentage?) I don't know why they called, or if they thought we had a giant book of answers, but they did, so we would do our best to answer those questions.

Eight times out of 10, it would go down without an issue. Then one time out of 10 it would be: 

"Sports, this is Emily"
"Can I talk to a guy?"

Umm... no, you can't. Sometimes, they'd give in. Sometimes, they'd hang up and take their chances that a guy would answer. Sometimes they'd yell at me, insisting I put a man on the phone. One day, I snapped.

"Sports, this is Emily"
"Is there a guy there I can talk to?"
"No, but I can help you"
"I don't want you to help me, I want to talk to a man."
"Why do you need a man, why won't you let me help you?"
"Because only a man would know the answer to this question."
"Well, you're a man, and you don't know the answer. So why don't you give me a try?"

I guess my angst had radiated throughout the newsroom as it erupted in cheers when I handed down my rebuttal. As you might suspect, the men and women I dealt with at the Boston Globe sports section were not sexist whatsoever, and if they were, they never exhibited that in front of me.

So that was one out of ten calls. What was the other call like?

"Sports, this is Emily"
Then came the question... and the answer.
"Wow. Thank you. Can I send you flowers? Will you go on a date with me?"

I told the kids this and then told them the truth: while there is a lot of sexism out there, it mostly comes from coaches and players moreso than the people you work with. In San Diego I was on a sports staff that consisted entirely of female reporters. (I think we might have been the only one in the country, honestly.)

Matt then jumped in and said that he tries to keep his staff diverse, but that it's not where it needs to be. Bottom line: things could be better, but are getting better. I believe that.

What was your coolest moment in journalism?
Most sports journalists you know, who cover professional sports, are completely jaded from meeting professional athletes. They've done it a million times, it's ho-hum for them. Well, I've only covered one professional sporting event (New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers, Divisional Playoff, January 14, 2007) and it's one of the top 10 coolest thing I've ever done. (You can stop if you've heard this one before...)

I told them how nervous and anxious I was. How I didn't want to leave my seat in the press box. How the game ended on a last minute field goal and I got my assignment about 30 seconds before I headed to the press elevator down to the locker room. How I was standing in the locker room corridor waiting for the doors to open, standing next to this woman who looked SO FAMILIAR, though I couldn't put my finger on it. (It was, of course, Gisele. I thought it was, but the news about them dating didn't come out until the next day, because apparently some 40-year old sports writer knows models better than me. So how was I to know it was really her? Also, why do we always think super models are so much taller than us regular folk? They aren't.)

Anywhoo, I told them, truthfully, that when the doors opened to the locker room, and I bolted in, the nekkidness did take me aback. Because there was a lot of it. And ... it wasn't pretty. But! Musn't dwell! Have a job to do! Find Reche Caldwell! Even though you really don't know what he looks like! And the lockers only go up to ... 60? Crap! He's 80-something! Is he around this corner? Nope, that's the shower! People do not want you in there!

Oh man, it was hectic. I finally found Reche in the press room, and got my story (
) you can hear me on the video at the 4:20ish mark too.

There's more to that story, including a bit with Tom Brady that makes most people laugh but I do not wish to type here... ;) The class seemed to enjoy it though. Because let's face it, it is cool, and it's what most of them are striving to encounter.

Later, I told the class about how my interview with the world wide leader was seven hours long, and they seemed stressed by that. Then I told them how little I got paid when I started, and they got even more stressed. Then I told them how I work weekend, nights and holidays, and they seemed apocalyptic. I tried to reassure them... see, it's a ring! I'm getting married! I kept a life, I have friends, you can do it! But the bottom line is, if they can't get past that, then they can't be journalists. (On the way out, one girl said: 'Well, now I'm discouraged.' Oops.)

We also drove into them -- hard -- about how important it is to make contacts in the journalism world. I hoped they would get the hint and ask for my card, but none of them did. I was so disappointed!!! And only one asked Matt for his card, although a few hung around after class to chat with us.

My favorite part, at the end of class, one of the kids hung around to ask a question. He says to Matt: "I didn't want to put you on the spot, but how exactly did she (me) get this job?" It sounds rude, but he didn't mean it that way. He meant, how did someone with her experience level impress you? So I got to hear him talk about how awesome I am. Kidding!!!

Then Steve (the prof.) took us out to dinner and I was headed home. Jeff and I are taking it easy tonight, entertaining trick or treaters (I hope!!). Tomorrow, I'm taking my bridesmaids on a dress and secret mission extravaganza! before I have to work at 6.

There. That blog post long enough for ya?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nine years since the last one...

Living in California was kind of rough around birthday time. As much as I love Jeff, and he's all I need sometimes, I craved being around my friends. The first year in California, it was just Jeff and I. By the second year we had made some friends, and had plans for a birthday dinner ... then SoCal started to burn to the ground. It's a story for another time, but the bottom line is I was evacuated from my apartment the night before my birthday, stayed up for 40 consecutive hours and spent my birthday 'night out' wondering if my apartment was burned to the ground.

So all in all ... not the greatest birthday.

This year I was secretly hoping for something more. My birthday was Wednesday, and I had to work until 8, so Jeff and I just got a quick dessert and a drink then headed home. Thursday night, I hung out with my dad and my brothers, going out to dinner then a movie (Side note: Eagle Eye... one of the most ridiculous movies I've ever seen. PS... why are Shia LeBeouf's lips always wet? Ewww.)

No, I don't know why my brother Mike is making that ridiculous face. (Side note #2: Mike promised, as a wedding gift to me, that he'd lose 75-100 pounds for my wedding. When I saw him from afar for the first time in a month, I almost didn't recognize him. He's doing amazing :)

The plan all week was for Jeff to take me out to dinner on Friday night. It seemed he didn't want to involve my friends, so I was trying to organize something for Saturday night. When all my friends shot down my "Wanna do something Saturday?" with a bunch of short "No"s, I was part hurt and part curious. This wasn't like them.

The clues started to trickle in from there. Jeff cleaning the house. Jeff being specific about times for dinner. Jeff checking his watch every few minutes. Jeff losing his keys. And most of all: Jeff driving 25 down a road he normally drives 50 down. I pretended not to notice, enjoyed my amazing dinner at this Mexican place where I got a huge margarita and an even bigger bowl of guacamole (ESPN, take note). I was ready to be either slightly disappointed or amazingly happy when I pulled into the driveway... and saw a head peaking out of my window. 

Jeff told me to go ahead of him into the house, and I didn't even bother putting the key in the door as I suspected it might be open. I walk into my living room and there are my friends, sitting in the dark with ... are those cardboard cutouts of my face? Over their faces? Is this the Strangers? I almost ran out ... but I flipped on the lights and got a big "SURPRISE!" from all my besties ... Justin, Pat, Katie, Meg, Troy, Grimey, my brother Mike ... and eventually Zach when he showed up a half hour later. (Andrew is in Cali ... I'm sure he would have liked to come!)

So after hugs and big smiles from me I was able to chat with my friends on how they'd been able to pull it off (Katie was the big schemer I heard). There were brownies (made by Meg), ice cream, snacks, gifts of wine, flowers and games (thanks Grimey, Katie, Meggie, Troy, Zach) and a bottle of vodka from Pat and Justin. Haha. There's more liquor in this house then there ever has been.

I showed some of the group my wedding dress ... and they were awed I think. Then after an hour or so it seemed we should probably 'do' something. Katie suggested charades, which got a collective "Ehhh..." from the group, but Katie and I know better.

Let me tell you something: if you are in a big group of your friends, charades is fun. It is never not fun. It is your friends acting out the ridiculous things you write down, getting confused, making fools of themselves. Still, we had to fight initial backlash. We split into two teams, Team Cranston East: Me, Katie, Justin, Pat, and Team: Not Cranston East (?), except for my brother: Jeff, Grimey, Zach and Mike (Meg and Troy had to leave early to drive to New York). Here are some of my favorite pics.

Thinking of clues. (I swear my living room isn't as small as it looks)

Jeff saying, "Close"

See Grimey, I told you charades was fun.

My brother was getting a workout.

Justin and I: Always on the same wavelength ... sometimes.

Katie played Happy Birthday for me on the harmonica.

He can plan a 25th b-day surprise ... can't he help more on the wedding? ;)

Now with scary adult baby Emily face ... that Justin drew on. Sigh.

Nine years ago, I had another surprise party. It was for my 16th birthday. Unlike last night, I was totally surprised and not expecting it. These three were there with me then, and still with me on my 25th. I'm pretty lucky to keep friends like that through almost a decade, different colleges, moving to California, in different states.

Once more with Justin looking at the camera, and Katie asleep.

Overall, we had an amazing time. It's pretty cool when you have a group of friends, none of whom live within 45 minutes of your house, drive all the way out to hang at your house for your birthday. I never take these people for granted. And I can't wait for them to spend another special day with me nine months from today!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Downward facing doofus

Alright, well Yoga was utter FAIL this morning like you all might have suspected. But like the opposite of what George Constanza might say, "I was NOT raised to give up!"

So I arrive all early and stuff and quickly realize everyone knows each other = everyone has taken this yoga class before. Like I've said before, I'm not really concerned about what I look like in front of strangers, but it was still kind of awkward.

The class starts and the heat lamps are blazing and I'm trying my best to balance ... and it quickly becomes apparent that my wrists are not enjoying this class. Not one bit. Every time I go down on them, I feel like they are being stabbed with knives. Not good. 

Getting to about the middle of the class, we're still doing arm stuff and breathing work, and I don't think I'm doing it right because I have the overwhelming feeling like I'm going to either pass out or yack. (The teacher of the class had sent out an email yesterday saying "Yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach." So even though I KNOW that I get sick exercising without eating anything, I go without anyway. I spoke to her after class and she said I could eat a banana or something, just not a FULL meal. Point taken) I get down on the mat and start swigging water, estimating how close the nearest trash can is ... woah. Eventually I felt better and got back in the swing of things.

The leg work was a lot easier for me, naturally, and I actually think I was OK on the balance stuff considering it was my first time. About 2/3 of the way through the session though the AC kicked on full blast to balance out the heat and I ended up cold by the end of class.

So positives: I think I can get better at this, the teacher is really nice, and no one seemed to be visably snickering at me. Also, there were only two "OMMMMMM"s and one Namaste!, which is always fun to say.
The negatives: Wrist pain, wrist pain, wrist pain. Mild embarrassment

Overall, I'll definitely be back. Also, it seems the teacher wants to extend the class to an hour and a half for what I presume is no extra $$ so that's cool as well. Bonus! I'll keep you informed of my progress.


Back to last night, my berfday. Well, I got a record number of facebook happy birthdays, I am clearly one of the most popular people on the internet. Bummer was I had to work until 8, but then Jeff an I headed out to Applebees (not a lot of options around here) for a big margarita and a brownie sundae. And those are really the only three things I need in life :)

Oh! And he bought me this superfly jacket I had spotted in the Barney's Outlet store at Wrentham a few weeks ago. Even at outlet price it was still too expensive... but ch-check it out!

Oh yeah, that's me in the jacket... and my yoga pants. Did I mention I'm a fashion FAIL too? Oh well, I think the jacket's great! Thanks babe :)

Tonight my dad and my brothers are coming up from Rhodey to take me out to dinner, so that's cool and Friday night is more margaritas with my hubby to be! (Oh by the way, he bought be a birthday card 'To my wife' and plugged in 'soon to be' before every mention. Needless to say, it was a big AWWW moment for me!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photos that crack me up...

So this picture (taken roughly... June 2001) was outside my friend Andrew's house before the senior prom. From left to right: Andrew (do you think I can convince him to cut his hair like that again -- Andrew I loved your preppy hair ;), Miss Rhodey Girl Tests (sabrina), Santino, Me, Some dude, Tricia, Sarah (who put these photos up on facebook), Paul, Megan and Ian. I've kept track of most of these people through facebook and the internet... but can someone tell me what's up with Tricia? If you're out there girl I'm curious what you're up to!

Just the girls... minus Sabrina, plus Julie. DidImentionIwasPromQueen?

Yeah, it never gets old.

The main thing I think when I look at this pic is... can I please be that size again? This is the goal. 277 days left to make it happen.... 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This just in: Weddings are expensive

So I'm using the knot's handy wedding budget calculator, thinking I'm doing pretty good. 

Free dress, I found a cheaper florist, getting Katie to make the invites, STDs for $30 ...

So when I plugged in the numbers and found out I was still over budget, I was a leeetle distressed.

Of course a lot is going to depend on how many people come. If we come in around 85-90 like I hope, we should be ok. Right now the guest list is right around 100, AND NOT TO TOP 115 (Woah, sorry I had to yell there, but I feel very firm about that.)

But the reality is, with tips and little things popping up, I'm going to need more money, and since I already upped the honeymoon ... it looks like the thought of moving to Boston when our lease is up in May is out of the picture.  Maybe after the wedding. Maybe.

I went through my finances, and for sure, I'm spending more money on stupid stuff than I need to. I'm going to try and cut back on the unnecessary stuff (mostly eating out). Jeff gets a lot of freelance work, and since he's almost erased all of his debt this year (I'm so proud) AND bought me an engagement ring (I'm so proud), he should have some "extra" money next year.

No, I don't want to use every penny I have on the wedding, but I really would like to add a videographer and uplighting to the budget. I also might need to provide transportation for myself or my guests. Oh, and hair, makeup and nails. And shoes. And alterations ... 

Something's gotta give!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend in Review: One minute you're up, the next minute...

Well. This "weekend" started off well on Thursday night. One of Jeff's coworkers came in from London for just one week. She had never been in the states before and I couldn't bear the thought of her flying all the way to America, being excited about it, and spending the whole week in Central Mass.

So we volunteered to take her out Thursday night, before I realized it was the night the Sox were on the brink. Ah well, I figured there'd be a TV in wherever we went in Boston. 

I called up my two friendliest girlies, Katie and Meg, to round out the group and we decided to go to the North End for dinner. Jeff and I used to have a "place" there, which served huge portions of the best Italian for really reasonable prices ... of course it closed.

So every time I've been back there I've wandered around, trying to find another good place. Thursday was no different and we wandered down Hanover, checking out menus and prices (When did it get SO expensive there?) and we settled on a place called Lucia. There was a 15-20 minute wait, so we went down to the bar in enough time to watch B.J. Upton put the Sox in an early hole. Whatever, I drowned my sorrows in a tasty Cape Cod. (Side note: I rarely order drinks when I go out, mostly because of money reasons. I'll know I'm comfortable financially when I don't feel guilty about getting a glass of wine with dinner. Not there yet.)

Finally we were seated, menus in hand and STARVING. I ordered something they called Amazzafame (Sp?) which was basically penne, sausage, sun dried tomatoes, shitake mushrooms, capers, broccoli. All  I have to say is: I found my new North End place. OMG, I can't stop thinking about how good it was! Oh, and the chat with my friends was fun as well.

Of course, you can't go to the North End and not stop off at Mike's, where I got a German chocolate brownie which we brought back to Meg's condo to eat and watch the Sox fall further into elimination... At about 10:30 we left to go back and the Sox were down 7-0 when I got in my car. But as I pulled out of the spot... all of a sudden it was 7-4 and I spent the rest of the drive home screaming at the radio and pounding on the steering wheel. I'm pretty sure Emma, Jeff's coworker from England, thought I was a maniac. Anyways, just as I was dropping her off at the hotel, JD Drew bounced one over the wall and the Sox were back from the brink. Almost more fun to listen to it on the radio.

Friday night we went back into Boston for a preseason Celtics game which Jeff's mom got me tickets for! She got me regular season tickets for my birthday and I'm definitely looking forward to going back for that!

Saturday morning, bright and early, we headed off to Rhode Island to meet with a new florist. They came in at under what our last florist who dropped out was and I think we'll go with them. Honestly, at this point, flowers are flowers! I'm sure they'll look beautiful.

After that appointment we swung over to Newport to watch my cousin, and beautiful bridesmaid Sarah, run in the Breakers Marathon. We made great time and got there just in time to watch her finish the marathon in a personal best time of 4 hours and 37 minutes. She's amazing! I could never do that, obvs.

Saturday night was work until late and Sunday was more of the same. Sunday night ... well, let's not talk about that.

I have some exciting things going on this week, including an announcement I hope to make on the blog about something I've been working hard on... but not yet. I have to make SURE. Stay tuned :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

From today's ridiculous comparisons file.

Found this in the Boston Herald today, in the letters to the editor. I'm 99.9% sure she's completely serious.

"Sarah Palin is like Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde” (Oct. 16). She didn’t set out to change the world. She studied hard to learn about the job she wanted. If life is about showing up, she was there.

Sadly, Sarah faced the same challenges as Elle. People couldn’t see past who she used to be. Why are people so quick to sit in the back of the class and criticize the people who try? Why have we let these people form the basis of our views? Yes, Tina Fey, I mean you.

Sarah is proof that anyone can become president. I can’t say she is completely prepared, but she can learn. She’s the character you cheer for at the end of the movie."

Barbara Daley, Tewksbury"

I don't think I need to elaborate much on this, but I sure am hopeful this person is a registered voter! (note heavy sarcasm).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debate the III

(This video is Obama's actual conversation with Joe the Plumber. I only wish it included Joe's response! Did Obama's explanation convince him? Did he think it was BS? I'm sure they'll hunt this guy down and find out ... if they haven't already. UPDATE: From Although Wurzelbacher wouldn't say who he is voting for, he did say that Obama's tax plan doesn't sit well with him.

"Redistributing the wealth, as far as my hard work, that upsets me," he said. "That's not right. That's not American." )

An unofficial poll of my facebook friends status messages showed that the numbers were significantly down for this debate. I'd say for the first debate, 80% of the messages had something to do with the election. Last night, I'd say maybe 10%.

What does this mean? Probably nothing, it's facebook statuses for goodness sake, but if I were to count them as a legitimate indicator of what my friends are thinking, I would say it means alot of them: 1. Didn't watch the debate or 2. Have made up their minds so they feel no need to comment further.

I do have a status lingering this morning from a facebook friend that says, "Finally! John McCain won a debate!" I don't know if this person is a supporter or not, but to that I say, 


The poll (with 400,000 votes) has Obama winning 72% to McCain's 22%. Now you could argue CNN is a more liberal outfit, but a quick google news search confirms much of the same, even if by a smaller margin (50-30 and so on). Even the Boston Herald has Obama at a whopping 80%.

Meanwhile, in the Werschaible household there was a lot of exasperation ... towards McCain. A lot of "Is he serious?" and "Why is he yelling" and "What is that THING on the side of his face, and is it growing?!?!?!"

The last thought is a low-blow and it surely wouldn't have any impact on my vote (but side note: don't Michelle and Obama, when they were up on stage hugging each other, just look more AMERICAN than John and Cindy McCain? I feel the strong family love there, the middle class roots. Meanwhile, Cindy McCain is on the Michael Jackson skin tone plan and I'm afraid if the two touch each other, they'll crumble.)

But again, looks are not important! (Ha!)

The issues: I felt like McCain was directly lying into the camera about Obama's policies. I get this tax break scenario and it doesn't mean Obama wants to raise "your" taxes. My taxes will be cut, something like $1000 compared to McCain's plan of about $300. That sounds good to me!

Heath care: I was wavering a bit last night, pointing out to Jeff that I don't pay anywhere NEAR $12,000 a year for my heath coverage, and I pay it all out of pocket. So was the McCain tax credit really that awful for someone in my position (even though I'll jump on Jeff's insurance in a year when we get married)? Jeff pointed out (duh) that I pay so little because I'm young. Right. $5000 isn't going to cut it for those out of my age bracket.

Joe the Plumber: Again, like I said during the VP debates ... this is insulting. I am not Joe the plumber, in fact, why are all these idiot analogies focused on the middle class man? Maybe I'm reading into it a little much but aside from the Lilly Ledbetter example, I didn't feel like we spoke AT ALL about women's issues. And maybe you don't feel like women's issues should be a focus. But if we're talking about children, and we're talking about Joe the Plumber and Joe Six pack, shouldn't the equal pay issue be a little more in focus?!

Sure, Roe v. Wade is a women's issue. One that both candidates only feigned passion for. I could feel it on both sides that this was a "this is what we have to say issue" as opposed to a "this is what we really believe" issue. And maybe this is a good thing, maybe the government is slowly realizing women don't like it that much when men decide what they can do with their bodies. And since I still can't really decide where I fall, I'll leave this at that.

Affordable college education: This seems like one of those issues that comes up as "yeah, we DEFINITELY need to do something about this," but no one has a specific plan. This is a HUGE issue in my life. If you were to combine the college loan debt Jeff and I had, you could buy a house! They touched on it, I heard something about "in-state schools" which would have done me a whole lot of good. 

Other thoughts:

  • CBS' Bob Schieffer did an AMAZING job with this debate. AMAZING. As disturbing as it was to once again watch three white men take the reigns AGAIN (was there not a woman qualified to moderate this debate?), Schieffer asked some fantastic questions that elicited the best responses of the three debates. I was very impressed. He asked a lot of the same questions, but the subtlety was in the phrasing. Kudos to him.
  • Was it just me or was McCain playing the world's smallest violin on the rally stuff? Get over it, like Obama said, campaigns are tough. I won't argue that there are probably some not so nice things said about McCain along the way, but it was at least equally awful for Obama. Get over it. I didn't feel bad for you at all, and I think you made yourself look stupid.
  • I was glad Obama got the William Ayers thing explained and, to me, squashed. I was more than satisfied with his answer.

My mom, an undecided voter, made a great point last night: "The qualities I used to admire in McCain aren't qualities I've seen him display recently."

One year ago, you probably would have found me saying something like "McCain wouldn't be that bad, he'd be WAY better than George Bush." McCain is a war hero, someone who does go against party lines, someone I honestly believe is a good person and four years ago he would have been a welcome change to Bush.

But I just can't vote for him. This country needs a uniter. Someone who is eloquent and poised. Someone who represents CHANGE with such an exclamation point! from his issues to his skin color. I'm ready to completely shake off the last eight years. I don't want marginal change and a slightly better guy. And I don't want THAT WOMAN a heartbeat from the White House.

I'm ready to vote.

Monday, October 13, 2008

... and hilarity ensued

Well, it's official.

I've signed up for yoga class.

(Pause for laughter.)

Most people that know me, know that I don't have an athletic bone in my body, never mind a flexible bone (well, I suppose that's a good thing.) But I've always wanted to try yoga, and with my weight loss stifled, I'd like to kick-start the whole losing weight thing.

I saw that my gym was offering a beginners class on Thursday's at 10 a.m., which is perfect, since I don't work on Thursdays. They say "beginners" but who knows -- fortunately, I'm not one for getting embarrassed in front of people I don't know. I have no shame.

Apparently, this is the kind of yoga where they heat the room to 90 degrees and the lady at the gym told me to bring THREE towels. I'm really hoping to see a difference in my body when I'm done with the 10 week class, if I don't, I'll really have to check to see where I'm going wrong (Sips creamy iced coffee).

It starts next Thursday, aka the day after my 25th birthday, so what better time to try something new? I think by the time you're 25 you should find out if it's actually possible to touch your nose to your knees.

But something tells me if I haven't figured that out already....


OK, so around the middle of last week I was up and couldn't sleep. It was about the honeymoon. I had heard back from a travel agent that day about the only place I was kind of interested in in Jamaica and it was going to be over the budget we had set aside for the honeymoon.

I couldn't do it, I couldn't pony up more money for a honeymoon I wasn't that interested in to begin with. So I started to cave: we could make Europe work right?

I've been wanting to go to London for a few years now. I've never been out of the country (I know, but when did I have the opportunity?) and I love all things Brit. Problem is, of course, that the dollar is worthless over there (roughly 1.8 dollars per pound) and London is the most expensive city in the world.

So I ran it past Jeff first thing in the morning (even though I was tempted to wake him up that night I couldn't sleep). He was down, but that's not surprising really. The way I figured it, we would each ONLY have to contribute another 1K to the honeymoon budget. That's not really THAT much is it? -- a few freelance stories, cut back on eating out a bit, and that's totally doable. 

So I went back to the travel agent, and she promptly dismissed the whole idea, quoting me way over the budget for something that didn't include half of what we want to do. We needed to go a different route.

Which brings me to this weekend, where I've pretty much been researching this honeymoon non-stop, trying to find the best deals without compromising. Some things I won't compromise:

1. The room. I don't need 5 stars, but I don't want to honeymoon in a hostel. 
2. The flight. It's not worth it to me to get $100 off a flight if it means I have 10 hours more travel time.

I started looking at hotels, and I found a pretty good one for a little over 100 pounds per night, but then I started looking at B&Bs and the prices crept down a bit... 

So right now our honeymoon itinerary looks something like this:

Three nights/four days in London at B&B just outside the city. Must do: London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Double-decker bus tour, Gordon Ramsay restaurant and maybe a show?

Day four/day five/day six: Day trip out to Windsor, pick up rental car (yes, Jeff has convinced himself he can learn the rules of the British road. I am very, very scared) and drive out to the Cotswolds, which is supposed to be amazingly beautiful. We found a good B&B there with great reviews, so we'll stay there for two nights in what Jeff is calling the "relax" portion of the trip.

Day six/night seven: Liverpool. This is about a two-hour drive from the Costwolds and here we'll do a perfectly cheesy Beatles tour. Fortunately, Liverpool is much cheaper than London so we'll save a bit of money going here.

Day seven/night seven/day eight/night eight: Edinburgh, Scotland. Jeff is most excited for this portion of the trip. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I'll sleepwalk through the whole thing. But yeah, castles, Braveheart, etc ... it will be awesome.

So I'm already 100% more excited about the prospect of this honeymoon than the one I had been thinking of before. The question now is when to book? Will flight prices go down or go up? Hate to book too early and then have prices go down, but does that really ever happen?

Anyways, I know there are some girlies getting married who read this blog. I think I've got to suggest you forgo money worries and go where you want. This is your first trip as a married person, and with the way life works sometimes, it might be the last for a while. Go somewhere you've always wanted to go.

I think I am. And I already feel better about it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Trifecta

Q: There had to be someone out there who was watching "Titanic" for the first time when TNT switched to the Red Sox-Angels Game 3, right? I mean, there was a half-hour left! Even if you already saw the movie you just sat through 2½ hours and got abruptly thrown to Ernie Johnson.
-- Mick, Sacramento

SG: That sounds like a strange euphemism: "Things were going great, and then I got abruptly thrown to Ernie Johnson." But you're right -- every time that happens, I always think of some 50-year-old housewife who spent the last 150 minutes getting sucked into "Titanic" for the 300th time, and suddenly, there's Ernie Johnson staring at her right as Leo was trying to fit on that little raft with Kate Winslet's big butt. I was trying to think of a Bizarro Situation for this and here it is: If you were watching "Hoosiers" on ESPN Classic, Flatch just got thrown into the trophy case and Ollie was coming in … and right at that moment, Pam Ward was staring at you and saying, "Sorry to interrupt, we're throwing it to Detroit for bonus coverage of the WNBA semifinals."


This is the Sports Guy's first mailbag answer from this week and for me, it hits the trifecta of his hatred for women (yes, I'm calling it hatred, but mostly because I hate it). He makes fun of 50-year-old housewives (rolls eyes -- whatever THAT'S supposed to mean), actresses that aren't fat but are called fat because they don't weigh 80 pounds, and of course his favorite, female athletes.

I used to love to read this feature from him. Yes, I used to love Bill Simmons. I thought he was funny and I really looked forward to his next piece, especially these mailbags.

Then things like this started cropping up ... and it started to wear on me. It's clear Bill Simmons wants nothing to do with the female sports fan. It's not surprising he married a woman who has no interest in sports because he despises women who do. 

If there is a female presence in his mailbags at all, it's to be either made fun of, be hot or be made a sexual object. I used to send questions to him all the time (yes, another admission) about the Celtics, the Red Sox, the Patriots. Yet the only questions he ever uses from women are things about how they should approach hooking up with a guy. Clever.

There used to be some legitimate questions from females in there, once upon a time, but those have disappeared. Invariably, Bill wouldn't actually answer the question but just say something along the lines of "I have (insert girl's name here) email address," as if asking an intelligent sports question required intellect above and beyond what a feeble female brain could produce.

I learned a long time ago that there is no trick to understanding sports and you sure as hell don't need to be a man to understand it. It's a subject, like math or history.... if you read about it, watch it and experience it, you will understand it. If it's confusing to a woman at the start, it's the same confusion a man or woman might have experienced the first time they tried to divide. But you got OVER it, you learned it, and maybe or maybe not, you enjoyed it.

It's that simple.

My sports knowledge hasn't been that long in the making. Most people know I really only caught on when I came to college. Since that I've tried to soak up as much as possible, and in relative male terms (I recognize most boys were subject to sports at a younger age, however I know many females who were sports fans at an early age) I am probably at the sports intelligence level of a 14 year old boy.

It's not a contest. It's about respect. It's about being in a group of guys (my life for the most part) and getting them to look at YOU when they discuss sports. This is one of the strangest occurrences of my life. I can be sitting at a table, full of men (this has happened many times before) and a sports convo starts. Ten out of 10 times, they will engage Jeff in the conversation, and never me.

Sometimes, I view this as a challenge and look forward to jumping in and offering my opinion. Sometimes, this is easy and I'm enveloped right in. Sometimes, I'm ignored.

It's fine. Throughout my career in sports journalism, more than five years now, I have NEVER come upon a male I respect who has treated me any different than they would a man. (Case in point is obviously Jeff, who loves that I watch sports with him.)

Clearly I have met some fantastic males in the sports industry or I never would have gotten this far. That's what I cling too. That the people who are really worth something look past their seething testosterone to see that, hey, she knows what she's talking about -- or at least that I'm working hard at it.

Sports Guy, well, he's not in that club. Or rather, he doesn't want women in what he sees as a strictly male pastime to be shared only with males. It's fun to treat women as outsiders, and I'm not sure why.

This is SO offensive to me now. I'm sorry if you think I'm hypersensitive but as an editor for this same web site, I would NEVER let one of the bloggers get away with this. Why does get to be an exception? Can we please take a step FORWARD into a world where men and women can share the same interests?

Or is it too hard for him to understand?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate Part Deux

Tonight I "reached across the aisle" to fellow online sports editor, Steve, of Steve (a fellow Cranstonite and Jeff's best man) is a bleeding heart liberal who, when he's not writing angry letters to the Bush campaign, enjoys coffee milk, Drew Bledsoe jerseys and 90s grunge.

Here are some highlights of our convo:

Emily: finally, a for realz journalist
Emily: f this pbs crap
Steve: and this means Brokaw impersonations on SNL which is fun

Emily: the question is: do you want your president to have a neck?
Emily: if so, you should vote for obama
Steve: haha
Emily: this audience doesnt look terribly diverse
Steve: what? lots of different types of white people

Emily: warren buffet as treasury secretary
Emily: hmmm
Steve: jeff Schaible as treasury secretary
Emily: Free electric guitars for everyone! To be bought for $800, then sold back for $200

Emily: wait, there's a minority in here -- what happened?!
Steve: sleek man
Emily: "I bet you've never even heard of wall street. So tough being from the inner-city, eh son?"
Steve: "DO you like basketball?"
Emily: "You've heard of regulators, I'm sure. You know Warren G. But he's a de-regulator."

Emily: This carpet is burning my retnas
Steve: true
Steve: and the blue background

Emily: I keep expecting McCain to put his leg up on his chair like bill kurtz
Steve: he'd rule at these debates
Steve: "Let me tell you a story when i was at the Marblehead Times"

Emily: I keep expecting mccain to jump over the bar and get in this lady's face
Emily: "You can trust me!!! Did you see this new spiffy tie I got. It's got stripes of pink. I'm really big softie!"
Steve: Did you know I'm a maverick?
Emily: is the theory that its better to not answer the question, even though that irritates people... than to answer the question and risk saying the "wrong" thing
Emily: ?
Emily: it's so transparent
Steve: saying the wrong thing is worse
Emily: of course one of those three things will take priority
Steve: that's just one person asking the question, they're speaking to the people on TV

Emily: I'm pretty sure McCain just turned around to talk to the empty wall
Steve: i didn't notice that
Steve: he hasn't walked this much in decades, i bet
Steve: 5000 dollars is not enough to buy health insurance, mccain
Emily: Our best days are ahead of us, John... Your final days are ahead of you...
Steve: ouch

Emily: we get it Brokaw... they're going long, it is what it is. this is important stuff.
Steve: Brokaw ANGRY!

As you can see, this isn't exactly blistering political commentary. Frankly, I blame Steve. But really, this debate was BORING. It got a little testy at the end. I don't think either candidate made major strides. I hope they can pull it together for October 15 to really give it something to think about.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hahaha ... *Snort*

Cheerleader gets creamed by football player. Please. Watch. I actually snorted.

I'm a good person

Title being a joke Jeff and I made a few times on Sunday (kidding of course.) It was the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk! I was able to raise $225, which was short of my $300 goal but still good! As a team, (team being a loose term as it was just me, Jeff and one of his coworkers) Thermo Fisher Scientific raised $1360! (With a lot of donations from Jeff's coworkers.) I want to shout out to those who donated to me: Mom, Jeff, Andrew, Katie, Beverly, Steve, Uncle Frank and Aunt Carol, Aunt Sue and Uncle David and Paul K!

I wasn't sure if Team Werschaible was going to make it to the walk: the night before Jeff got a migrane headache, and was physically sick all night. Poor guy :)

But he was up bright and early (7 a.m. -- did you know there was a 7 a.m. on Sundays???!?!) Sunday morning for the drive into Boston. The walk started at the Hatch Shell where we met up with Jeff's coworker, who had already completed the walk with his wife. 

Team Thermo Fisher.

Team Werschaible.

After a quick "team pic" Jeff and I headed off to the walk. Immediately, I was struck down with an epic case of the itchy leg. Now for those who aren't familiar with this debilitating medical condition, it occurs when I'm out walking in cold weather. My legs turn bright red and they itch like it's no one's business. Now, as far as I can find out, the itchy leg had no cure. The only way to pacify it is to keep walking and hope your legs warm up, or rip your pants off in front of a crowd and violently itch your legs. I used to think I was the only one with itchy legs, but if you google it, I have found I'm not alone. This doesn't stop Jeff from making fun of me.

So because of my ailment, I decided not to walk the 5-mile course, but instead the 3-mile course (no bearing on the donations, don't worry.) Still, it was a long three miles!! It was fun though, and we got a little snack bag at the end. After a quick stop at our old stomping grounds (NU) for lunch, and a stop at Jeff's old work (the New England Soup Factory -- yumm!!!) we headed back home, driving through the Brookline/Chestnut Hill area of Boston. As soon as Jeff said, "Yeah ok, we could live here," it was on, the apartment search is on. I really want to move back to Boston before we don't have that chance again. :) (PS -- Just have to wait ummm ... seven months til our lease is up).

Back home, we chilled out until I started work and we watched the Pats together. Before the game I was sure we'd blow em out. The Cassel INT to start the game didn't really help that, but glad to see us come away with the W. Three-and-one without Brady is nothing to sneeze at.

The Sox then disrupted my sleep as I desperately tried to stay awake while the game was on. They could have rewarded my persistence with a win, but I think we'll get that victory tonight!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just try to look away - Watch more free videos

It's ... the human slinky. No volume needed, just techno music.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Veep debate

Some live thoughts ... (Disclaimer: These are just thoughts that occurred to me off the top of my head, and despite my minor in Poli Sci, I'm definitely not an expert, nor do I claim to be, on political affairs. So ... yeah.)

9:00: Can I call you a hockey mom, is that ok? Good ta meetcha!

9:03: Sarah Palin's American flag pin is bigger than yours.

9:11: This is going to be a boring and pointless debate if Biden just recycles everything Obama said last Friday.

9:12: Sarah Palin thought she was dressing for a blackout. She's going to a f-in funeral! (that's a sports reference ma ;)

9:14: Oh boy, Biden just started laying the smackdown. Congrats to those with 14 minutes in the office pool. The moderator even cut her off to save herself.

9:17: I wish the candidates would treat it like they're in a team, rather than Palin citing McCain and Biden citing Obama... could we throw out a "we believe..." in there?

9:20: OK, I'll admit it. That's the third or fourth time I've heard the McCain $5000 heathcare credit plan explained, and it still confuses me. Maybe it's because I got a C in economics. Either way, it sounds bad.

9:27: We get it Sarah: Things are bad. How are you going to CHANGE it? We get it Joe: Obama pointed out the impending mortgage crisis two years ago.

9:31: Moderator: What are the causes of climate change? Palin: "I don't want to argue about it." Well then, thanks for coming ... to this DEBATE. Climate change is such a softball question to her anyway, given her area of expertise.  

9:33: On the other hand, Biden "If we don't know the cause, we don't know the solution." Well played.

9:35: Those Chinese and their damn dirty coal! 

9:36: Same-sex question. I'm excited and scared for Palin's answer. She keeps saying "choosing" ... it's not a choice!!! I wonder if her gay friend, who she constantly references, appreciates being a pawn in her little plan. 

Also, don't love how they just both said they agree that they don't support gay marriage, and then smiled. Glad you've made that "choice" for other people.

9:40: Where are the foreign policy questions? I want to get to the nitty-gritty.

9:42: I actually think Biden did a better job explaining Obama's Iraq War strategy than Obama did. 

9:44: Ohhhh Palin has been waiting 44 minutes to stick it to Biden about his conflicting and negative statements of/with Obama. And yeah, it still stings and is a fair point to make.

9:48: Score a few points for Palin pronouncing "Ahmadinejad" right. And yes, I did have to look up the spelling on that.

9:53: Biden is letting his passion for Israel get in the way of making a contrary point to Palin. He's attacking the Bush administration, which isn't the point right now. It's what the future administration will be. Get off the soapbox dude! I appreciate the fervor, but you're coming undone.

9:55: "I'm so excited to hear we both love Israel. Don't you love latkes and those funny little hats they wear?"

9:56: OK, he's bringing it back to the point by saying the policies are the same between Bush and McCain. But this debate is starting to level off. 

9:58: I could do without Biden referring to himself in the third person. It's confusing. 

10:00: I continue to be impressed by the mental endurance it takes to participate in one of these debates. No sips of water, no breaks. I give them both credit for that.

10:09: Palin needs to stop winking at me. Yeah, that's my only thought in the last nine minutes.

10:12: She did not just do a 'shout out' during a political debate. Is this a joke to her?

10:17: "Dick Cheney is the most dangerous VP in the history of the US." Here here.

10:21: Woah, Biden just summoned some tears. I felt that emotion. Goosebumps. They both have great family stories.

10:22: One of the only undecided voters I know, my mom, just said "If she says 'ya' one more time ... " Way to win 'em over with your sugar sweet accent!

10:23: Biden is bringing it home here. Yes, we're sick of hearing McCain being called a "Maverick." Finish strong Biden, Obama couldn't.

10:26: Did you know Palin's from Alaska? She's Curt Schilling's fantasy woman, eh?

10:29: I don't like being called average. I think when you call people "average" or "Joe Six Pack" (ugh), you fail to acknowledge the million different situations that people in this country have been in or will be in. It's insulting. You are not average, Gov. Palin, nor is Senator Biden. Don't assign us to a personality because of our income. Here are my issues, that have nothing to do with my salary: affordable heathcare, affordable college education, environmental solutions. Are any two people the same?

10:33: Well, that was interesting. Palin didn't flop as badly as I thought she might, but Biden was still a clear winner, bringing it home at the end. I'm sure I'll have more thoughts in the coming days. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Running of the Brides video

2008 Boston Running of the Brides from Mike on Vimeo.

OK, so before you watch the above video, I need you to understand a few things.

1. That's my group in the pea green shirts and me with my hair down. I wish now I had worn my hair up as I look like Mrs. Scruffy McScruffington because I hadn't gotten my hair cut in 8 months (no, really).

2. Yes, it was that nutty in the beginning.

3. I don't know that this video was specifically supposed to follow me, but I'm mostly in it at the end. And no, I don't know what that music is about.

4. Katie insisted I put my hands on my hips at all time to aid the zippering process. So, that's why I'm doing that.

5. The guy who is hugging me in the owner of Filene's. Nice guy, but he was just kind of standing there making for awkwardness, which I'm sure you can feel in the video.

6. Slo-mo dancing. Why slo-mo dancing? Why must this be on video for posterity for the rest of my life? I can't believe how ridiculous I look. Apparently, when you ham it up for the camera, you end up looking like you've hammed it up for the camera. So, yeah, note to self. 

Enjoy at my embarrassment. Many have been already.

(video by Mike Picard)