#225-231. 7 Scary Things I Did Before My Wedding.

The husbeyonce and I at our Chino Latino rehearsal dinner. It was real good, son.

The husbeyonce and I at our Chino Latino rehearsal dinner. It was real good, son.

Dress shopping, makeup consultations, selecting signature cocktails . . . there are a lot of beautiful, fun things that happen in preparation for your wedding. There are also quite a few scary, moderately unpleasant things I found myself tackling. Without further ado, here they are. (In list form... surprised? Didn't think so!)

1. Pre-marital counseling (#225)

Can't tell if this couple is happy or not, but they would probably be happier if they took Rooted Together.

Can't tell if this couple is happy or not, but they would probably be happier if they took Rooted Together.

Josh and I were getting married by a judge, so there was no mandatory “pre-marital” class. We decided to try it anyhow.

I found Amanda Nephew through a very thorough Googling. We signed up for her Rooted Together package—four hour-long classes where we took an in-depth look at our relationship, identifying our strengths and where there was room for improvement. Amanda talked us through ways to de-escalate arguments, best practices for conflict resolution, and even moderated a discussion about why I want my own checking account. It was super helpful. In fact, we actively used her methods the other day when we started bickering over something really, really stupid.

Regular readers of this blog know I don't have a huge issue airing my dirty laundry (Exhibit A), but airing our dirty laundry together was new for Josh and I. He's quite a bit more private than I am, but as it turns out, it wasn't weird. It was kind of fun and very helpful. 

2. Saying No (#226)

Hey, clock: Could we add a few more hours per day? Thaaaaanks. 

Hey, clock: Could we add a few more hours per day? Thaaaaanks. 

I'm one of those people who hardly ever says no, even to my own detriment. Between wedding planning, work, and life commitments, I’d basically double booked myself every night from March through mid-May. The stuff I was doing was mostly “fun,” but I couldn’t even enjoy happy hour with friends because of my expansive to-do list.

A month before our wedding, I stopped making plans, aside from the essentials. I took it one day at a time, which meant I could still do an impromptu shopping trip or squeeze in a yoga class—I just had to decide day-of. My stress level was obliterated! One of the best wedding planning decisions I made.

3. Facial Peels (#227)

A light shoulder massage, gentle steam on the face, Enya playing softly in the background. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Well, that’s not the kind of facial I signed up for pre-wedding, and I don’t regret anything!

I made three skin treatment appointments with Anne Morrison at Physician Skin Services. She vacuumed my pores (great visual, right?), applied two mild peels (this was the part that scared me the most, but it was really more of an exfoliation . . . no dry, flaky skin whatsoever!), and did some light therapy to help kill and ward off bacteria. Aside from my years as an actual baby, my skin has never looked so good! 

4. Dance Lessons (#228)

Sneak peek at our wedding. The last dance of the evening (Don't Stop Believing). Just the two of us and a blue Solo cup. 

Sneak peek at our wedding. The last dance of the evening (Don't Stop Believing). Just the two of us and a blue Solo cup. 

My dad really wanted to do a fancy dance number for the wedding. Initially, it was just one more item to stress over. However, if this was the one thing my dad really cared about, I was not going to complain. Plus, he said Josh could come with to practice our dance, too.

We took a lesson from Rob, a family friend who’s a choreographer/director at Ashland Productions. I was a bit skeptical at first—dancing in front of an audience of three (Rob brought a dance partner with him) is so awkward! Rob showed my dad and I a few ways to make it look like we know what we’re doing, but aren’t trying too hard.

Next, Josh and I danced. Josh isn't exactly the dancing type, a fact that didn't exactly elude Rob. Then Rob gave us what might be the BEST dance tip for men, ever:

Stand up straight, shoulders back!

Josh swapped out his slouching shoulders for a more confident stance. With that one minor tweak, the entire vibe changed. The dance now felt polished and put together. 100 percent worth the awkwardness! 

5. Attend Three Bridal Showers Thrown in My Honor. (#229)

Me with the moms. We all kinda look alike!

Me with the moms. We all kinda look alike!

I am not complaining in any way about the three lovely showers that were thrown for me. Great food, drinks, decor and gifts! What I did have anxiety about was opening gifts (that I had picked out myself!) in front of people.

It turned out to not be that weird at all. And since I'd picked everything myself, I didn't even have to fake-like anything. Easy!

6. Wedding Dress Alterations. (#230)

Raise your hand if you've seen too many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress and thought your alterations would happen at the store where you purchased it. [I am raising my hand right now]. 

That's not true. Or at least not in my case. 

When I discovered this fatal error, I immediately started Googling. This is a dress that roughly costs about the same as my mortgage, so I wasn't going to leave it to any Auntie Sew & Sew. I called six different seamstresses and they were ALL BOOKED. Cue the panic attack. And then my pal Liz introduced me to the ladies at A Stitch Above the Rest.  The moment I met them, my terror disappeared faster than a box of Pixie Sticks in a kindergarden class. They did an excellent job making my dress fit like a glove. 

7. Let Josh Plan the Honeymoon (#231)

... but everyone else thinks you're a jerk! (just kidding, probably)

... but everyone else thinks you're a jerk! (just kidding, probably)

Have I ever mentioned I can be a bit of a vacation-planning control freak (Exhibit B)? 

I was really stressed about the wedding. Josh? Not as much. Hence, he offered to plan a mini-moon immediately after the wedding. We just needed somewhere along the north shore (aka Lake Superior) that allowed dogs. 

So three months before the wedding, he had yet to book anything. Same at the two month mark... and the one. I tried not to get too passive aggressive about the situation, but c'mon! Three weeks before our wedding, I put the pressure on. I even sent the Josh some links to hotels that fit our criteria. Aside from that, I didn't meddle too much, and when he eventually booked the Inn on the Gitchee Gumee, I was relieved. Quaint and cozy (with one God Love You pancake breakfast included), it was perfect. 

* * *

Of course, there were many other scary things I had to do pre-wedding (I am still suffering from a mild form of guest list PTSD... and a post about legally changing my name is on its way!), but finally marrying the beyonce was worth it! 

#224. 7 Things that Might Surprise You About Nuns.

The Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis!

The Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis!

But first, let's do some word association.

I say Disney World. What's the first thing that comes to mind? Mickey Mouse, over-priced crappy ice cream, Pirates of the Caribbean, maybe waiting in lines. If I say Minnesota, you probably think winter, Paul Bunyon or Fargo (which, btw, is actually in North Dakota). 

What do you picture when I say nuns?

A black and white habit. A stern old lady slapping your hand with a ruler. Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. I used to picture these things too, until I met the Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis

The sisters came into my life (really, my entire family's life) via my uncle Brian, who moved down the street from them about a decade ago. They live North Minneapolis' Old Highland neighborhood-- a place most Minnesotans only know from bad stories on the news. What you probably don't know is that it's a very tight-knit, community filled with smart, interesting and dedicated people (and beautiful houses!). Anyhow, they've become a second family to Brian, and by proxy, the rest of our family. 

Dinner is served (after we said grace, obviously). 

Dinner is served (after we said grace, obviously). 

Since the early 80s, the Mogrens have shared Thursday night dinners, where everyone gets together for a massive meal. My dad has 11 brothers (no sisters. My poor Grandma!), so when we get together, it's 25 people at minimum. Two winters ago, we invited the Visitation Sisters to join us for dinner (and it was, as we say in Minnesota, a hoot). 

This summer, they invited all of us to have Thursday dinner at their monastery. 

My husbeyonce Josh, me, my dad and Sister Karen.

My husbeyonce Josh, me, my dad and Sister Karen.

Visiting a monastery (#224) was definitely a new experience for me. Although my dad's family is Catholic, we were raised Lutheran-ish. However, I've always been fascinated by the Catholic church. The rituals, the old-school nature of it all, and of course, the priests and nuns. I am so curious about the men and women who forgo marriage, children, romance, money and independent living because of a calling to serve God. I can only assume that a person's desire to be a priest or a nun is not much different than my desire to be a wife, mother and/or writer. 

When I say monastery, you probably picture something out of the Sound of Music or the Davinci Code. The Visitation Sisters' monastery is a 100+ year old Victorian home. Before the sisters bought it, it was to be demolished. Just keep that in mind as you drool over the original woodwork showcased in these pics. It's amazing what elbow grease (plus good connections with a contractor) can do.

My cousin Josh and I in the monastery's entryway... how awesome are those stairs?!  (Note: the George Costanza-esque stairlift!)

My cousin Josh and I in the monastery's entryway... how awesome are those stairs?!  (Note: the George Costanza-esque stairlift!)

In an attempt to make this post interesting to those that were not there, here are some of the things that happened at dinner that might surprise you.

1. There was beer & wine!

Hey, just because you're a nun doesn't mean you don't enjoy a nice glass of vino. Josh and I even brought over some of the wines we were considering serving at our wedding for the sisters to critique. Heck, Jesus turned water into wine, which I personally think it the party trick to end all party tricks.

Dinner on the deck.

Dinner on the deck.

2. The conversation wasn't all religious.

Not even close. We talked about work, family, movies, relationships, food and all sorts of other regular stuff. Sure, religion came up...but mostly because a good chunk of the people in attendance chose it as their vocation. 

Check out those floors (and that built-in!). 

Check out those floors (and that built-in!). 

3. Roommate drama is always a thing.

Just because these ladies have committed their lives to serving God doesn't mean they aren't human. We talked about the dynamics in the monastery, and yes, even when you are a nun and in your 60s and beyond, you're still ticked when your roommate never washes her dishes or cleans the bathroom.

However, they still get to experience the best part of having a roommate, which is always having someone there to share your highs, lows and whatevers with. They're a family. 

4. I heard a swear word!

And it wasn't from my family... it was from one of the sisters. It was a swear you can say on TV, so not too bad. Regardless, I really enjoyed hearing it!

5. Sr. Mary Frances' dad was a major league ball player.

Sr. Mary Frances and Uncle Whitey.... these two are pretty tight.

Sr. Mary Frances and Uncle Whitey.... these two are pretty tight.

His name was Bobby Reis and he played for Boston back in the day. My baseball-loving family ate up her stories about him! 

Dinner at the Visitation Monastery

6. I felt uncomfortable, but only briefly. 

When Josh and I decided to tie the knot, appointing our officiant was pretty easy. Neither of us are particularly religious. We settled upon our good family friend Judge Mary Hannon to do the deed. We knew she'd be awesome-- the perfect mix of funny, smart, personal and serious-- and we were pleased with our decision. 

That being said, both Josh and I found ourselves answering the question, "Who is blessing the ceremony?" (or something to that effect) a few times that evening. It didn't feel judgmental, but we both answered very vaguely: "Oh, our friend's mom," or "A friend of the family." Even though Josh and I had no qualms about being married by a judge, neither wanted to admit it to a nun! 

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little thankful when they said they'd add us to their daily prayers (and give us some extra prayer oomph on our wedding day). 

7. Nuns shop at Costco. 

Whether you're running a family of four or living in a monastery, buying in bulk just makes sense. 

You see, readers, here's the thing:

Nuns, they're just like us!

* * *

A huge thanks to the Sisters for inviting our clan to dinner. I talked to a few of them about doing an Everyday Eleanor interview with me later this year, so if you have any questions you've always wanted to know about being a nun (but were too afraid to ask), let me know!

P.S. Remember the time I went to a Buddhist temple and it looked like this? So weird and so great!

#218 - 223. 6 Tips for an Amazing Bachelorette Party (+ 1 Very Unexpectedly Scary Thing).

Not a penis straw in sight!

Not a penis straw in sight!

I have a love-hate thing with bachelorette parties. Love partying with my best girls, but I’d literally rather get married in this swimsuit than stumble around in a veil and a suck-for-a-buck shirt. No offense. It’s just not my bedazzled chalice of wine.

My group of girl friends had been tossing around the idea of going on a vacation already, so I said I’d love a destination party. Preferably warm, with good food and culture. I mentioned that I’d always wanted to go to Palm Springs. Mid-century architecture, desert glam, and Frank Sinatra used to live there. Bam! Enthusiasm galore.

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It was literally one of the most fun trips ever! Aside from the fact that I have incredibly fun friends, here’s why it worked:

1. Give up control. (#218)

When it comes to planning trips, I can get obsessive. I challenged myself to completely hand over the reigns (tough!) to someone I trust, which is just one reason that I picked my college bestie Maggie as my maid of honor. She legitimately cares about how I wanted things to go and orchestrated everything. This was perfect because I was already planning this other party called my wedding. What a relief!

2. Be clear on what’s important! (#219)

I figured there were two ways my bachelorette party could’ve gone: A big night out in Minneapolis with lots of friends and relatives, or a smaller destination trip. I have so many amazing people in my life that I would’ve loved to include in the weekend. However, when I really thought about it, all I wanted was a low-key weekend with people I didn’t need to be “on” for. I don’t really like going out. I like hanging out with a small group of people, drinking wine and talking. That’s when I’m at my best and when I feel my best, so that’s what I opted for. Knowing some people might feel left out gave me some anxiety, but sticking to this allowed me the relaxing escape I needed. 

3. Get a spray tan. (#220)

I've always been afraid, yet intrigued, by the elusive spray tan. What if I looked Snookalicious? I decided to give it a whirl for my bach weekend... recommended! Glow Mobile came to my house (!), set up a small tent, and sprayed me down. It only took 20 minutes and I felt one million times better in my swimsuit all weekend. Plus, it made me feel like I didn’t need to get a tan, so I slathered on the sunscreen. No burn, just a healthy glow that faded naturally. And the best part: I came home with zero tan lines.

4. Do what you want to do, not what you think you should do. (#220)

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Like I said before, I am a bit of a people pleaser. I'm also a bit of a homebody. This means I sometimes feel pulled between the perceived need for my friends to go out, while I'd rather stay in. On our first night in Palm Springs, we went out for an amazing dinner at Workshop, then decided to go out for a post-dinner cocktail at a nearby bar. Within minutes, our energy was zapped. We didn’t really want to talk to other people, the drinks were better at the amazing house we’d rented (seriously, look at this place. It was even better in person!) and we couldn’t hear each other.

The next day, we went hiking, then hung out by the pool. Dinner was at the house, followed by cocktails and wine on the patio. We never ended up going out, which in my opinion was the highlight of the trip. I think some of us stayed up until 3:30 a.m. PACIFIC TIME (I was very impressed with myself). It was perfect! No need to go out when I already have many of my favorite people all in one place. 

5. Bring Muumuus.

Thank you for bein' a friend!

Thank you for bein' a friend!

Because they are really, really funny. And comfortable. I'm giving myself #221 here because my muumuu came from Goodwill and smelled like armpit and I STILL put it on. 

6. Let other people do stuff. (#222)

This is a big one for me. I’m kind of the entertaining queen in my group, always throwing dinner parties, barbecues, etc. Initially, it was a challenge to sit back when I saw a few people working away in the kitchen or heading to the grocery store. This is when I needed to remind myself how much I enjoy doing nice, thoughtful things for the people I love. It’s really important to let others do the same for you. I stopped feeling guilty and just enjoyed a stress-free weekend. It was perfect.

And last but not least, the scariest part of the whole weekend:

Bonus: When in Palm Springs, Ride the Tram. 

I think I can see Brazil from here!

I think I can see Brazil from here!

Palm Springs is the mullet of destinations, summer on the bottom (desert) and winter up top (mountains). When we visited a few weeks ago, it wasn't exactly winter-y in the mountains, but there was about a 35 degree difference between our pool (110 degrees) and the hills (75-ish). Because hiking is a normal bachelorette activity (no it isn't), we wanted to venture to the top of the mountains for the views, change of weather and general adventure. There are two ways to get there-- hike (takes many hours) or aerial tram. Not just any aerial tram, but the world's largest aerial tramway

bachelorette party palm springs

I'm not afraid of heights and don't get motion sickness. Some of my friends were in a different boat, but we all agreed the adventure would be worth the dizziness (and potentially barf). And it was worth it... but I'd be lying if I say I wasn't on the verge of a panic attack the entire way up! The ride takes about 10 minutes, and you're swinging/spinning/hopping from one cable to another... and then another... and another. Plus, you're flying at 20 mph or something, which sounds slow, but feels real fast!

Photo by Matthew Field 

Photo by Matthew Field 

The 2.5-mile ride starts at an elevation of 2,643 feet and ends at an elevation of 8,516 feet. My hands sweat the entire way up, but this view made for no regrets:

View from the top!

View from the top!

This was one of the best trips of my life. In part,  because I was the guest of honor and had most of my favorite people all in one place. But the biggest thing is that I didn't let myself stand in the way of having a good time. 

Where's your favorite unexpected girls or guys weekend destination? And speaking of heights, remember the time I jumped out of a plane?

#217. How to Break up a Dog Fight.

My dog: Either bouncing off the walls or in a coma. There is no in between. 

My dog: Either bouncing off the walls or in a coma. There is no in between. 

After a week and a half hiatus from ye olde blog (got married, NBD), I am feeling well-rested and a bit less motivated. In the wedding chaos, I lost some momentum, but am hoping to gain it back with all the free time I'm finding sans wedding planning. I thought there was no better way to get at it than to write about one of the scariest things I've done so far.

Most of the scary things I do are premeditated. However, because I am a human being, I am occasionally faced with a less-than-awesome, terrifying situation that I simply cannot avoid. Case in point: getting caught in the middle of a dog fight between the neighbors' two pit bulls and my own dog.

This is not an ANTI-pit bull post!

I'm a dog lover and completely understand that pitties have sadly gained a bad reputation. It's unfair in many cases, but that doesn't mean they don't freak me out a little. I've met the neighbors' pit bulls. They are super nice and belong to genuinely great people who take good care of them. However, the dogs are 65-pounds of pure muscle and can get a little rowdy. They completely feed off each other's energy, as many siblings do.

The majestic Patsy Cline. 

The majestic Patsy Cline. 

Anyhow, I was recently picking up dog crap in our fenced in backyard when I heard the pitties begin shoutin' at me and my 35-pound Mexican street pup, Patsy. I'm [probably unhealthily] attached to my dog (you can read about that here). She's my bestie. The two of us were hanging in the yard when all of a sudden, one of the neighbor dogs jumped their five foot fence (!), ran through my next door neighbor's yard and then jumped our fence. Within 30 seconds, the second pittie followed suit. 

It was me, Patsy and two muscular dogs I don't know that well. I immediately broke into my high pitched "hiiiiiieeeeeeeeeah! Howwweeee arrreeeee youaaaah, goooooodah girlsah!" You know, to keep the energy light! Pretty soon, Patsy and the two pups were frolicking around with glee.

Yay! Fun times!

Then things changed. Bared teeth, snarls and growls from all parties... except me, who was paralyzed with fear. I tried to de-escalate the fight, keeping the energy light while wrestling Patsy away from the other two. I used my best fairy princess voice (a tone I can't stand!) to calm things down.

That didn't work.  

Next, I attempted to pull Patsy out of the rumble and isolate her on the deck. Meanwhile, I am still trying to fairy princess talk to these hounds. No dice. And then, I had my A-HA! moment. 

I screamed. 

Within moments, the beyonce (who's now my husband! What do I call him?) rushed from our upstairs apartment in his socks and pulled Patsy out by the scruff of her neck. He threw her in the house, then I quickly followed, slamming the door behind me and leaving the love of my life in the yard with two angry pit bulls.  

A pensive Patsy, probably thinking about the time her life flashed before her eyes. 

A pensive Patsy, probably thinking about the time her life flashed before her eyes. 

Patsy cowered in the corner, licking a bleeding puncture wound on her hind quarter. I brought her upstairs and cleaned her up, fighting back my own tears. Josh managed to get both dogs under control (of course as soon as Patsy was gone, they began playing nicely again), and walked them back to the neighbors. Apparently, Patsy bit off a chunk of one of the other dog's ears, so there were damages all around. 

I felt awful about everything.

Awful about not being able to stop the fight myself. Awful about the bite on my dog's butt. Even worse, the wound in my neighbors' dog's ear (which wouldn't stop bleeding). Seeing my own doggie completely freaked out (her against two 65-pound pit bulls? Not fair, even if she was actively participating!) And the fact that my man rescued me and Patsy and then we left him in the backyard (!)... well, it sure didn't make me feel good.

I was also scared that there would be some sort of rift between us and the neighbors, whom we really like. Luckily, they were really cool about it and even said that one of their dogs very sweet with people, but does have a bit of a crazy streak (like the time she ate a whole lasagne... and half of the pan). They made their fence a foot taller. Though the dogs have gotten into a yard since, we're all a lot more aware of the situation. Even Patsy is being more mindful. She looks out the window every time we go to the backyard to see if she needs to be on alert. It's both cute and heartbreaking. 

Patsy, the woman who screamed and their man in shining armor.

Patsy, the woman who screamed and their man in shining armor.

In this instance, you break up a dog fight by screaming bloody murder. However, that's probably not a "best practice." I may find myself in this situation again-- whether at my house or the dog park. It's the nature of being a dog person. Any advice on how to better handle this next time?

And what in the heck should I be calling the beyonce now that we're married?!

Everyday Eleanor: How This Guy Got Over 2 Billion+ Views on YouTube

You're a long way from North Dakota, Dane!

You're a long way from North Dakota, Dane!

You know when someone tells you they have a million dollar idea... and you're all like, "That sounds amazing!" but you're really rolling your eyes and thinking, "Good luck, buddy!" Those ideas aren't even half as weird as the one Dane Boedigheimer came up with in 2009. And yet, this North Dakota raised, LA-based actor/writer/filmmaker is the mind behind one of the most successful channels on YouTube. Since launching the first Annoying Orange video, Daneboe has scored a TV series, video game, a line of toys, t-shirts, costumes and over two billion (!) views on YouTube. So how did he have the guts to dedicate his life to creating an irritating, talking orange? He explains.  

Dane. An anthropomorphic orange that says annoying things. How did you come up with this idea? Do you do a lot of drugs?

Haha, no. No drugs. Just a weird imagination. I’ve always loved bringing inanimate objects to life and toying with how these things would react in a human world. Food is a perfect example of that because there’s always the constant threat of being sliced, chopped, stabbed, ground up, and eaten. Right from the get-go you’ve got an external conflict that characters have to worry about and deal with. 

I heard through the grapevine (puns!) that you quit a perfectly fine job to pursue your dream to make your own videos. What was taking that leap of faith like? I think I would’ve thrown up at least once.

I did quit a perfectly fine job to pursue my dream to make my own videos! I was working for a newspaper (The Bakersfield Californian) as a videographer, making videos for their website. It was a lot of fun and the people I worked with were awesome. It was one of those jobs I look back at very fondly. But, at the same time, I was doing content that didn’t fulfill me completely. I wanted to take that leap and try doing things on my own. Yeah, it was extremely scary never knowing where and when the next paycheck was going to come. I was constantly scrounging the internet for new ways to make money doing videos, whether it be video contests, contract work for promo videos, online video sites that paid for content, etc. I just dedicated myself to always looking for new ways to make it work. 

hahahahahahaaaaahahahahahaha!

hahahahahahaaaaahahahahahaha!

How’d creating that first Annoying Orange video go? Do you ever revisit the first episode just to be like, “Wow! I’ve come a long way!”?

Yup! Absolutely. It’s surreal to look at that first video and how it laid the groundwork for everything after it. A simple minute and a half video of an orange annoying an apple became the foundation for a huge brand. Still blows my mind. Creating it was just like creating any of my other videos. I came up with the idea, wrote it, filmed it, and posted it all in a few days. I never expected anything to come of it...it was just another video. People loved the character though and wanted more, and pretty soon it took on a life of it’s own. 

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When did you realize you’d created something.... big?

The 4th episode. At that point, I uploaded the video and it had a million views by the next day. Back in 2009 that was HUGE. It was at that point I decided to go full YouTube. I quit all my contract work, and concentrated on just making the Annoying Orange series. 

Your videos are only a few minutes long, but I suspect they take quite some time to make. What’s the process like & how long does it take? Who’s helping you?

It started off with just me and my writing partner and best bud, Spencer Grove. He’s been helping write the series since episode three. The process used to take about a week. He would write the episode in a couple days, I would then film and animate for about three days, and then edit and post the video. It was an insane, intense process, but it was extremely rewarding. We worked so hard to make sure there was a new Annoying Orange video every week. Slowly after that, I had more and more people helping me create the content, and now I’ve got a whole team of really talented, fun people helping to make the series. But even though I’ve got a whole team of about 10 people helping, it’s still an insane, intense process!

For a lot of people, landing a television show or movie is the big time. However, many of your minutes-long videos get more views than Hollywood blockbusters. How has the definition of “success” in the film industry changed in the last five years? 

It’s funny. It goes both ways for me now. Before Orange, I thought success could only come from being a big time director, or a well-known actor. It wasn’t until Orange took off that I realized that you could even be successful doing web video. I was learning that first hand. At the same time, I learned that my initial idea of success was flawed. Just because you have a TV show, that doesn’t make you successful. Success is in the eye of beholder. It sounds extremely cliché to say, but it took me a long time to realize that as long as you enjoy what you do, you’re successful. It has nothing to do with money, fame, etc. At the end of the day if you can say to yourself that you enjoy what you do, then you’re successful. 

I'm not an orange, I just play one on YouTube.

I'm not an orange, I just play one on YouTube.

What’s the weirdest thing about being Internet famous? Best?

The weirdest is probably just having people randomly recognize me in public. It doesn’t happen a ton, but when it does, it still surprises me. The best thing is probably just getting to know all of the people I’ve gotten to know. Via the web show and TV show I’ve been able to meet some amazing people, and I’ll definitely treasure those moments for the rest of my life. 

I personally find bananas to be the most annoying food (they bruise so easily!), followed by chicken wings (so gross to eat in public, yet so delicious!). What do you think is the most annoying food in real life?

Freaking shrimp sushi. I have never, not once had shrimp sushi that is good. I love sushi. I could eat it every day. I also love shrimp. But for the love of everything that is holy, can we stop trying to put shrimp on sushi? Every single time I’ve had it, it’s rubbery and gross. I’ve been to some amazing sushi places, and every time the shrimp sushi is disgusting. I may be alone here, but I’d love it if this was not a thing anymore. 

I completely agree. Shrimp and sushi do not mix. So, I have maybe six subscribers to my YouTube channel. What’s the key to making impactful videos on the Internet? 

Ummm...play video games? Scream and yell while playing Minecraft. Guaranteed views right there. Haha. I kid, but not really. YouTube goes through a lot of trends. What worked a few years ago won’t necessarily work right now, so you kind of have to ride the wave and make sure to keep with the trends. Right now gaming on YouTube is huge. So, to stay relevant, it’s a good idea to remember that. Maybe start a cooking show where you make a meal while playing video games. Bam! You can have that idea for free. But seriously...make videos that make you happy first. If you try to chase trends and just try to get popular that way, it’s going to be a much harder road. Keep trends in mind, but don’t let them dictate you. 

Any advice for the person who’s terrified of leaving their current job in order to pursue their passion? (PS we know you’re out there and are secretly reading this at your boring desk!) 

Don’t be terrified. Start making moves right now. Do it while you’re young. When you’re younger, you can afford to jump in and experiment. You can try new things. The older you get, the harder it becomes. Think about the worst possible thing that could happen if you decided to quit your job to pursue your passion. For most, that would be failing and having to return to what they’re doing now. To me, that’s not that horrible. Trying and failing is much better than not trying at all. Sure, you’re going to hit a lot of speed bumps, but the journey is a learning experience in of itself. I feel like I’ve learned more about life in the last three years than I did in my entire life previous. For that it was worth the journey alone.

* * * 

Follow Daneboe & the Annoying Orange on YouTube. Of course, you can subscribe to my YouTube page, too (and to save you time, this is probably the best video there). Only 999,970 more followers to go until I reach one million!

I want to hear your Everyday Eleanor story. Email me at heyeleanorproject [at] gmail.com.

#216. An 80s Throwback Worth Revisiting: Press-on Nails!

All I'm missing is a long stemmed rose!

All I'm missing is a long stemmed rose!

I love a good shellac manicure... until I need to remove it. For those of you not familiar, shellac manicures are amazing because they dry almost instantly, last two weeks or longer without chipping (regular manicures usually last about two minutes without chipping). The  problem is that you need to use acetone to remove the polish, and even then, it's best to go to a salon and do it. I've tried to remove my own and my dry, brittle, scuffed up nails were not happy about it. 

I recently saw something on the internet about imPress Manicures. My initial thought: No way, Jose. Remember Lee Press-on nails? So cheap and cheesy! 

From what I could tell in the photos, imPress looked really nice, lasted at least a week, were easy to remove and required zero dry time. Plus, they were available at my neighborhood Walgreens for less than eight bucks. The worst that could happen? I might have one fly off while I was having lunch with someone. Gross, for sure. Funny, probably. Ah, what the hell!

I selected a slutty red option.

Applying them was a cinch. They give you 20-ish nails in various sizes. Just figure out which size press-on nail corresponds best size-wise with your actual nails, remove the press-on's backing to reveal it's adhesive, apply a little pressure for 10-15 seconds and boom! I actually applied them while laying in bed after drinking three glasses of wine. Try doing that with regular polish, my friend.

Me, holding a mason jar with butter lettuce I'm regrowing. How hipster is that?!

Me, holding a mason jar with butter lettuce I'm regrowing. How hipster is that?!

I woke up the next morning and they'd all weathered the night (and then my shower) just fine. I wasn't in the office ten minutes before I received my first compliment. And then got literally five more, "Wow, your nails look amazing!" by noon. They did feel a little weird on my hands at first, but I got used to them. If you were to look at my finger tips dead-on, you'd notice a slight gap between my actual nail and the press-on, but that doesn't happen regularly. 

Downside: when I ran my fingers through my hair, a few strands would end up getting flossed between the bottom of the press-on and my actual fingernail, which was annoying. On the bright side, I realized how often I was doing that and tried to curb the habit (makes your hair oilier, and I don't need any help in that department). 

I kept the imPress nails on for about a week. They looked amazing the entire time. The nails came off as easily as they went on. Just dab regular nail polish remover along the sides, let sit for a minute or two, then peel off, revealing a nice lookin' natural nail.

Verdict: Great in a pinch-- like when you run out of time to do your nails before a wedding. Or when you want a shellac break. Or when you want to relive the 80s.

What other throwback beauty tricks are you kind of into?

P.S. Remember No Makeup Monday?