Category Archives: Optimist

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but lately I’ve been wanting to be more philanthropic. I don’t have a ton of extra money to throw at causes I care about, but I’ve been looking for non-monetary ways to donate my time and … materials?

I cut off all of my hair and gave it to Locks of Love. Because the more I thought about it, hair’s just hair.

I’m not going to lie, I feel like a shaved sheep or something. I don’t hate my new ‘do, but let’s just say I would never ever choose it over my formerly long and lovely locks. It takes so much time to do stuff to it in the morning, whereas formerly I’d just kind of dry it and think about some hairspray.

But hey! Hair always grows back, and I’m always grateful for a non-monetary opportunity to help out.

So here are the shots:



Apple TV, A Love Story

Apple TV, A Love Story

Apple products. Every time I get a new one, it changes my life and my credit card statement. This week? Apple TV.

Now, my boyfriend has had an Apple TV for a while. I’ve used it, thought “cool,” and then just assumed I couldn’t afford one, because somehow every time I walk into an Apple store my wallet is simultaneously ravaged. It’s a weird trend, but I try to keep in mind that correlation doesn’t mean causation.

Anyway, we were talking about it, and he happened to mention that it was only $100. Shit man, in Emily language that’s one trip to (Macy’s/Express/The Limited/Gap/Meijer). So I swore off the mall and got this little hockey puck type thing from Best Buy. In the picture, it’s that tiny black box next to the TV. That’s it.

But it’s so much more than a little black box, and so far I’ve used it for movies and music. If you’re a cheap ass like me, maybe you didn’t buy cable, and just subscribed to Netflix instead. And you have this decent flatscreen that sits around collecting dust and playing the three DVDs you own whenever friends are over and bored. Problem solved! Stream your Netflix or whatever iTunes crap you end up buying.

Now, there are devices that do this for half the money. But one thing I love about Apple products is how well they all integrate, so I always end up ponying up the extra cash.

This was a case in point. On the aforementioned devices you can stream Pandora… big whoop. Have fun with those commercials. The Apple TV streams music from anybody’s iphone through my TV speakers. I happened to have a small party shortly after purchasing this beauty and it was awesome, becuase I never felt guilty about not having the jam someone wanted. We took turns DJing from our iPhones, and the music mix was better than my library alone or a Pandora station could have produced.

Anyway, folks, I think this is one Apple product that is amazing for the price. If you’re in the market, make sure you do your research, because you could already have a device that’s capable of streaming movies and music. Newer TVs have Wi-Fi included sometimes, and many gaming consoles are capable of performing this function. But if you’re stuck a little bit in the past like I was, it’s a great option.

I know it’s cliche, but I’ve fallen just a little bit deeper down the Apple rabbit hole.

Furry Friends

Furry Friends

The other morning I woke up and was like “Rain? Shit, I’m skipping class.”

Within a snooze cycle I realized that a) I had no class (pun) and b) I actually didn’t have a class to skip and c) I had a job. You kind of have to go to those.

That brings me to my larger point: rainy days should only be spent cuddling with animals and reading books. I’m sorry, but it’s true. If I lived in a rainy-er place, I’d be a sadder person. So everyone go out right now and buy an animal. Or, just come back to this post next time it rains and look at the adorable animals my friends own.

This guy belongs to Marcus and Brian, and accompanies me running. Note: he poops out at three miles and is scared of bridges.


I haven't met this honey yet, but obviously Stuart looks like cuddliest of fellows. Owned by Jen & Jeff (whose arms are pictured).


I can't lie, I sent this to Amora's owner with a text that said "Good AMORAning!" Mel's kitty. One of two, actually.


THIS ONE'S MINE. Maverick. Adorable.


This is Mickie, Becca's cutie pie. We slept together on a camping trip once, and I knew he was a master cuddler.

Emily Lawler(s): double vision

Emily Lawler(s): double vision

It’s come to my attention that there are a lot of Emily Lawlers in this world. Don’t get me wrong, nobody’s me. Any of my friends will tell you quirks like a fear of apartments, throwing out Yiddish words, being a Cat Club member and the ability to work four jobs and go to school full time are uniquely mine. But the internet disagrees.

Here’s my problem; there’s an Emily Lawler in Iowa that’s a model. WHAT? I can’t compete with the model part. Not only is she gorgeous, but models are by virtue self-promoting entities. They sign up for websites and there’s tons of pictures and videos about them. They have to do social media for their careers, meaning even my articles are lost below shots of her looking gorgeous in a google search.

And this one is smart too. So here’s to you, model Emily Lawler. Enjoy your Irish surname.

I maintain that I’m the cooler Emily Lawler, mostly because I snagged this domain name.

My other consolation is that it’s Iowa.

The HOG gets fleas. Again.

The HOG gets fleas. Again.

To preface this, I live in the HOG. As in House Of Glee. No, I’m not in Glee club, but that’s a story for a different day.

Maverick pre-fleas. Also my bedding before I washed it daily.

I have a cat, Maverick, who up until a month ago has been an owner’s dream. He cuddles when I want to cuddle, is ok with being home alone if I need to work or go to class and is colloquially described as fricken’ adorable. That is, until he got fleas.

How, you ask? There are no less than eleven stray cats that hang around my house. Sometimes they get in. This was especially a problem when people were moving in mattresses and such at the beginning of the school year, because they’re so sneaky. Barbara Walters (male) is the worst amongst them. I’ve found him snuggling in my bed multiple times.

So Maverick has been through multiple combings, two flea baths, one flea drop and one flea collar. Not working. In fact, I think he’s pissed he now has to itch around the flea collar. It’s like the fleas are snuggling under there for safety, which is NOT what I signed up for.

But here’s what’s weird. My house has no carpet. Where are these fleas hiding? I’ve washed all my bedding, all my clothing, vacuumed all of my rugs and furniture, and yet they return. The HOG is infected, and it’s still a mystery.

Five presents, from me to you

Five presents, from me to you

I know what you’re thinking… what’s Emily up to this semester? Actually in all likelihood you weren’t thinking that at all. But now you are. And as a bonus, I’ll tell you all my (time saving) secrets.

Fall on campus... the joys of school again (photo by me).

This semester I’m keeping up with my usual schedule by holding down four jobs and taking a full load of courses. I have four “thinking” jobs, ranging from updating websites to covering legislative committee meetings. I work 30 hours per week. I’m also taking classes on Jewish Literature, Christianity, Accounting and Public Policy. A pretty typical school schedule for me.

But here’s something I learned in high school, when I did swimming and marching band and student council and theatre: I work better when I’m busy. How? When I know I only have  a couple hours free in any given day, I use each minute like it’s made of gold. Or platinum. My five tips on how to use time like I do are below.

1) Condense normal tasks. I have a routine where I can work out, shower and eat food (ok, cereal) in one hour. So if you plan when your power hour is going to be in advance, that’s three daily tasks you can get out of the way and not have to worry about sneaking into other parcels of time.

2) Claim class/meeting time. I’m a born multitasker, and it’s my belief that if you can serve two causes at once, it’s your right to do more than one thing in classes or group meetings. One thing I do is read for class during class. It’s great, because your brain hears stuff and sees it at the same time. And if you take notes in the margins of your book from the lecture you’re hitting three birds with one stone. Also, I’m writing this post in class.

3) Find your perfect point. In every class and activity, there’s a point at which you get the highest amount of achievement possible with the least amount of work possible. As in, if you can get a 3.5 studying 1 hour per week and a 4.0 studying 4 hours a week, it’s not worth it. Because unless you have that time lying around, you’re quadrupling your input for a relatively small increase in output.

Actually, my grandpa taught me this lesson. His pistol team was one of the best in the nation, and competed (and won, if memory serves) in the 1960’s. He said that with a little bit of practice, he was a good pistol shooter and could place at competitions. It took him four or more hours of practice per day to be a great shooter. And it paid off, and he got his title. But after that he settled for being a good shooter so he had time to do other things.

4) Use your friends. None of my friends really bum around with me. Sometimes we go out for a drink, and I sneak in a media conversation I want to have. Other than that, I try to eat or work out with my friends. That way I’m not gulping down dinner and running to hang out with a friend. We’re both doing something we would have needed to do either way, it’s just more enjoyable and less lonely.

5) Drive distractedly. Ok, not a good social policy. But if you live far away and have gotten a call from me recently, it’s probably been around 7 p.m. on a Friday. Because about once a month, I make a hour and a half drive back to my hometown, and that’s my call-and-catch-up time. As a rule I only talk to my mom on the treadmill, because she demands more frequency.

Alright my new time-saving friends. You can take these tips straight to the time bank. I have faith in your newfound abilities, and call me around 7 p.m. on a Friday if you have any questions.