Category Archives: family

what’s been going on

Just a recap of what I’ve been doing/things that have happened lately:

The Berens Family + some Powers + some Herrons got together at Grandma and Grandpa’s. It was the usual good time when Uncle Tim made inappropriate comments that made the older cousins laugh too hard, and he was found out, my mother told the family personal information about me that I then had to explain while she laughed hysterically, and someone made my grandmother blush more than a few times. Easter lunch discussions included: Bioterrorism, spitting on the sidewalk, farting, my trip to LA, cockroaches, drinking, and politics. My family is wonderful. Grandpa also made me a CD full of pictures of myself as a child (only me, not anyone else.) Gems include: Eye-patch fishing, hot hair balloon outfit, and sleeping fairy princess.

Watched a drunk girl make her own parking space by backing her car into the car behind her until it moved enough for her to parallel park in front of our building. Before she did this, I saw her circle the building twice. We turned off the lights and watched through the blinds, and eventually Marie yelled out the window “Hey, did you just hit that car?!”She responded a slurred “No!” and Marie came back at her with “You’re a liar!” She had a zinger, though: “I didn’t hit that carrr!” This apartment rules.

UFO got funding!
SBC statements finally came out yesterday. Of the roughly $8000 we asked for, we were allotted $5,550. This is actually pretty good. So I’m happy.

I’ve been sucking
I’ve not been good about my school work. This morning at 8:30, a research paper on the effects of suburbanization in Ohio was due. I’m not finished. I also slept through the aforementioned class, and did not go to History of Dinosaurs, as it was snowing. My focus on anything school-related is just about gone. I am too excited about the summer and living in LA and working for a production company that I cannot seem to care about my classes (except for Writing for Electronic Media, which I adore.) Also, it is 11:00, and I am still in my PJs. I spend way too much of my day looking up hilarious pictures of cats with ridiculous captions, and Google Image Searching “puppies.” I suck.

Sweeeet. It was just a very enjoyable (and gruesome, and explicit) movie-going experience. I am not a big Tarantino fan, so I didn’t enjoy a lot of Death Proof. Planet Terror, on the other hand, was a delightful gore-fest. I like to see things get blown up, and I think that there should be more mustaches in movies.


I’ve been “working” on my history assignment for about an hour now. I have one question answered. One of eight isn’t too bad.

Home this weekend was good. My father, even though he somehow hurt his back, was in good spirits, and as usual acted like a child. When Michael or I would ask a question, he would respond with either saying something outlandish (“Michael. You should be a preacher!”) or singing (“Emma-lyy, Emma-laa, Emma-lee, Emma-laa-ha-ha-ha-ha!”) I also got to see Amy and Nichole (and Nichole’s new puppy) both of my brothers, my mother, father, and dog. I also saw some other old friends. Mom told me her Hep is gone after a year of treatment. That made me very, very happy.

On the drive home, I listened to some Sounds Eclectic, and also some songs from the mid-90’s that I really liked as a kid. I still like them now.

Corey and I talked for a while tonight. We discussed living up to our potentials. The sad fact is: I’m not. That’s something I need to work on. That always reminds me of a framed saying my Aunt Becky had in their bathroom:

Isn’t it strange that princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people like you and me
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools,
a shapeless mass, a book of rules.
And each must make, before life has flown
a stumbling block or a stepping stone.

I’ve been given an opportunity to do some free lance video work with E103 Productions. Hopefully I’ll get some work with them to start living up to this apparent potential that I might have welled up inside. I sent my resume their way, and John remembers me from Building Dreams, so I take that as a good sign.

Right, back to answering questions about the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. I wish I had a desk in the apartment, I feel like I’d be able to focus better. I’ll just have to wait until next year.

6:40AM: Ew.

Ohh, I have not woken up this early in a while…I am covering Jess’s shift at the VIC, so I have four hours to sit around here, drink coffee, read the paper, read my Amy Sedaris book, listen to music, read blogs, and dance like no one’s watching (erm, no one is watching…)

I’m starting to have a real bone to pick with Tim Hortons. Now, I want them to be good. I want them to be as great as the SR725 location. That Tim Hortons always serves me my food piping hot and right on time. I have visited the Bowling Green TH’s a total of five times since it first opened in late November. This morning was probably the speediest time, but when asked if I wanted cream in my coffee, I said “Yes please, some half & half.” I think she thought that meant I wanted a half cup of coffee, and a half cup of creamer. This morning’s cup of coffee was a very creamy light brown. Is it really that hard, Tim Hortons? Really? Tim Hortons, listen, I’m not trying to make fun of you. I just want you to be the best speedy bakery that you can be. I know you can do it. You can!


So, I got The Virginian by Neko Case and Her Boyfriends (great band name, by the way.) It’s lovely. It’s interesting to hear her voice being backed up by male vocals with the thick, twangy country music. It’s a nice medium between her work with The New Pornographers and her solo work. I kind of want to be friends with Neko Case, in my mind she would be a really awesome friend. Here’s a really great performance on World Cafe. And once again, I think that is a pretty great service. I never thought that I would subscribe to a pay service for music, but I get 40 downloads a month for only $10, plus most of the music on the site is released on independent labels.

Tomorrow evening, our group of friends is having another potluck. I really love these potlucks, because 1. I get to hang out with all of my friends, 2. I get a home-cooked (sort of) meal, and most importantly, 3. I get to show off some recipe that has been recently handed down to me. I feel very blessed to come from the family that I have. The women in my family are caring and passionate, they are wonderful cooks, and most importantly, strong women. I am so lucky to have been raised among these hard-headed, intelligent women. My mother, grandmothers, aunts, and older cousins are all well-educated in both areas of the home, and in academics. How many women can say that they are the fourth generation of women to attend college? I am so privileged to come from a family that has taught me the importance of being a strong woman.

Corey and I took a drive yesterday afternoon. We went out to see the windmills, and as always, I am in awe of their size. On the way back, we talked about future stuff–something that I have been notoriously known to try to ignore. The more I thought about it, the more scared I got, until I was literally nauseous. (See why I usually ignore it?) As Seth always tells me, “things will eventually come crashing into place.” I can only hope.

end of the year list, clarie’s, guns

As promised, Uncle Tim took us to the shooting range. We all had a pretty rad time. If we were not shooting, then we were sitting in fear watching a man two tables down shoot round after round after round from his handgun, and being on target every time. Normally he would not have phased us, but he just looked so angry. There was also a man in an electric wheelchair who was exercising his second amendment right. I never thought I would ever see a man in a wheelchair carting around a rifle. The most impressive thing about him was watching him drive a minivan. Tim also took us out on the shotgun range, which was also pretty fun. I was sore for almost two days from the kickback on that gun. Yay guns!

Other things I have done over the past few days: drank coffee and dogsat.

Candice came down on Friday night to hang out and get some free Subway and walk around The Greene. At The Greene (or, as I like to call it, Easton Jr.) we dealt with a very obnoxious assistant manager with a staring problem at Claire’s. While in the store for about fifteen minutes, I was informed no less than three times that all earrings were buy two and get the third pair free, and that “the sale” included all earrings in the store, earring backs, and rings. For anyone who is not a frequent shopper at Claire’s, that isn’t a sale, that’s just actually the way they are always priced. She did not appreciate that we pointed out the ridiculousness of many of their items. ie: felt reindeer antler headband with stringy black curly fake hair attached, although I am starting to think that this accessory was just a wonderful dream, I cannot find a picture of it anywhere.

It’s the last day of 2006, and as always, it hasn’t hit me. Because every year I seem to be missing this feeling that so many people apparently have about the new year, I am starting to think that I should pay less attention to the actual date of January 1st. Over the past few years, I have really come to love CBS Sunday Morning, especially their end of year special. I think it has fantastic commentary on the year. Every year they do a “Hail and Farewell” as Charles Osgood pays homage to many of the great people who have passed on over the past year. I watched this this morning and wept.

Anyway, my end of the year list. I’ve been reading a lot of these on blogs and message boards, and I’ve always had a hard time with listing things in order, especially when they span the past 365 days. So, you will not get to hear my picks for music of the year and movie of the year. Here is my list:

Best Times of 2006:
(in sort of chronological order)

  • Seeing The New Pornographers open for Belle & Sebastian with Matt in Louisville
  • Trying to ride all of the elevators on campus in one night
  • “Hot Summer Days”
  • Spending the night in Candice and Meg’s room on the last night of school in May, listening to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in the dark, and singing every word, and Leaving my no-good futon in the courtyard of the Rodgers Quadrangle with a sign that simply read “FREE: JUST TAKE IT”
  • Working as a camp counselor for the Girl Scout Challenge and Change program
  • Several trips to Athens
  • Quitting my job at DSW
  • The Ohio State Fair (this one always makes the list)
  • Riding in the back of Mike’s truck late one night in August, realizing the majesty of Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Decorating my first apartment in the most ridiculous way
  • Riding in the back of Mike’s truck late one night in August, realizing the majesty of Bowling Green, Ohio
  • The rise of themed parties (This includes Trashy Prom, BisCasFri, The Rock and Roll Party, The Red Party, Party at the Moon Tower, and Halloween)
  • Finding out that Grace was going to be alright
  • Seeing Ben Kweller four times
  • Making the BITCHSLAP movie
  • Two trips to Grand Rapids
  • Realizing that I have created a new family from my friends, and feeling loved by all of them
  • Family get-togethers
  • A trip to Delta
  • UFO Benefit show
  • The lights at the zoo
  • Winter breaking with no real plans

There you have it. My most memorable times of 2006.

Now I am going to eat some Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese, as recomended by the ladies of Heat. Eat. Review.

Break: Days 8-11

I found a new Wikipedia article today to add to my “Favorite Wikipedia Articles.”

List of Objects Dropped on New Year’s Eve


Fan Death (My #1 favorite, I go back and reread it a lot.)
Ohio State Fair

On to more “What Emily Does Over Break” updates:

Day 7, Christmas Eve:

  • Sat and read at Starbucks for a while (#1 activity of the break)
  • Braved Best Buy and Borders for the second day in a row
  • Saw The Pursuit of Happyness with my family and grandparents. Got dinner at the Cheesecake Factory afterwards. We were all stuffed, and almost everyone brought home a big box of food with them.
  • Opened presents (I finally have my own suitcase!)
  • Watched more songs scrobble on my page

Day 8, Christmas:

  • Sat around with my parents and enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada. The weirdest thing about that is my dad was the one who insisted that we watch it, and he also enjoyed it the most.
  • Headed to Al and Lydia’s house, where the Berens clan gathered.
    • Watched the “little” (everyone under college-age) cousins open gifts
      • Annual wrapping paper fight happens at this time, while the kiddies open their presents.
    • “Adult” gift exchange (not adult gifts, the adults gave gifts.)
      • I got a mug with a quasi-creepy face on it. I like it a lot, and it will hold pencils on my desk.
    • Second cousins came, including Brian and his new wife, Heather, who were in from Colorado. I like her a lot, I’m glad she’s family now.
    • Listened to two unnamed uncles talk (in all seriousness) about how when/if there is a nuclear strike against the country, the family will gather together at one of these unnamed uncle’s home. Also that ammunition will be used as currency. This was my favorite part of Christmas.
    • Listened to an unnamed drunk aunt carry on about how “smokin’ hot” George Clooney is, and how sad she was that his pet pig recently died.
    • Looked at photos with my BFF cousin, Sarah

(Anyone wanting more information on the Berens Family Christmas Freak Show, just ask.)

  • Drove to Athens with Amy at 11PM to turn her heat back on.
    • This was a delightful little trip. Amy and I got two hours of quality time on the way to Athens, then sat and watched a few episodes of Next and played with her new computer (mostly with Photobooth.)

Day 9, Boxing Day:

  • Drove back from Athens, more quality time with Amy
  • Sat around for a long time, watching scrobbling
  • Went out to see The History Boys with Amy. I enjoyed this flick a lot. I’d like to see it again sometime soon.
    • I thought that Samuel Barnett was fantastic. I hope to see him in many more roles.

Day 10, The day after Boxing Day:

  • Sat and read some more.
  • Walked around the mall for a while, ran into Danetta and chatted
  • Got some lunch with Ratie
  • Had to deal with Bandit, the Devil Dog.
    • I am currently dog sitting for a family, and their 5 pound Yorkie mix is one of the meanest things I’ve ever dealt with. After more than an hour, I got him to go outside to go to the bathroom, but not before getting bitten…a lot.
  • Val is in town. We went to Skyline in her honor.
  • Got an unexpected phone call from Matthew Wagner: they were coming down from Lancaster to visit. Two hours later, April, Matthew, and Seth were in Dayton. I had not seen any of them in a long while, and it was a very pleasant surprise.

Tomorrow my Uncle Tim is taking the older cousins out to a shooting range to play with his guns. Had the invitation come from anyone but Tim, I would have politely declined. Jazz musician + guns + nature + my family = a good time.

Break: Days 5 & 6


  • Lunch with Grandma and “The Grandgirls” (Josie, Sarah, and I)
  • Nice, long nap
  • Dinner and gossip with Centerville Woodbourne Troop #1087
    • Congrats to Laura and Jenni on their engagements!


  • Braved the mall area (Dayton Mall, Best Buy, Circuit City, Half Priced Books, Target)
  • Had Taco Bell for the first time in months with Merek
  • Ran into an old friend from church
  • Hung out at my cousins’ for a while
    • Aunt Becky gave me a sneak-peak at the cookbook my grandmother has been putting together for the past six months. It is a large compilation of our family recipes. Also included was a short history of my Great Great Grandmother.
  • Ventured back to the mall area for a trip to Borders
  • Contemplated having the words “FAITH, FAMILY, COUNTRY” tattooed somewhere on my body; it was quickly ruled out
  • Saw The Good Shepherd with Amy
    • Matt Damon’s performance was excellent. I wish he would have been a little bit older.
    • Lee Pace (of Wonderfalls fame) was also very, very good.
    • Alec Baldwin did not charm me as much as he did in The Departed, or his role on 30 Rock, but I enjoyed him nonetheless.
    • Joe Pesci’s age shocked me. I think that he had some great dialogue, though. He said: “We Italians have our families and The Church. The Irish have their homeland […]”

And so tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Merek and I discussed for a little while, and we both agree that it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas this year. Both of us are unsure why. I think by tomorrow we will both be a little more in the spirit.

I apologize for these somewhat boring entries. I know that I simply compile the things I’ve done over the days. Maybe I’ll make some “Best of 2006” lists.

Break: Day 3

Today was much more busy. The run-down:

  • Woke up early and finished Queen of the Oddballs by Hillary Carlip. Funniest book I read all year. As I was reading it yesterday at Starbucks, I laughed out loud multiple times while reading. I recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs about ordinary people with extraordinary situations arising in their lives. I sent a message her way, and have already received a response. I like her. I want to be friends with her. I’m a creep.

  • Started into The Screwtape Letters.
  • Headed over to CHS to see Mr. Barry Peters. We chatted for a while about what I was up to, his classes, what movies we have seen. Both of us agreed that Jackass 2 was very entertaining. He almost started crying he was laughing so hard just thinking about it. I recommended that he see The Departed, and I told him that I thought it was the best movie of the year. He says he will see it.
  • Noticed that there is now a mirror in our garage that used to be in the bathroom. Took a picture of myself in it.
  • Got coffee with Daniel. There’s a new cafe open down by UD, and they have reasonably priced coffee and free popcorn.
  • Went to Trivia Night at Harrigan’s with my father and little brother. Dad drank a few beers. Let’s not forget how fun Alan is after a few beers. (File Photo) Eventually would do anything Merek and I told him to do. This includes an acapella version of “Dog Pound Hop” (the Ren and Stimpy theme song) that sounded nothing like it, and also the Pee Wee Herman dance when the DJ played “Tequila.” For anyone unfamiliar with this dance, see below:

I wonder what great adventure will be in store for me tomorrow afternoon. Target maybe? More sitting at a coffee shop alone reading? I can only hope.