Monday, December 12, 2011

Testing, testing... is this thing on?

I've neglected "According to e" for 4.5 months. What do I have to say for myself?

A lot, actually.

So as to not "bury the lede"—a practice we writer-types tend to frown upon—let me start by sharing my biggest bit of news: I'm pregnant, and this kid is a-comin' next month. Assuming he (yep, it's a boy) decides to stay on schedule, that is.

Didn't my pregnancy go really fast for all of you? Aren't you glad I spared you a bunch of "oh my aching ____ " complaints and posts on stuff that only pregnant chicks care about? You're welcome!

Part of the reason I held off on mentioning this news is that my journey to bring a teeny Lord of the Rings fan into the world has taken four years. Four. Freaking. Years. As you might imagine, that period of time involved many ups and downs, and since the whole experience could very well be the subject of my next book, I'll keep it to myself for now. All that really matters is that my husband and I finally joined the ranks of parents-to-be this spring... and then I felt sick for the majority of the summer. I emerged from the depths of nausea in the fall, and then stupidly proceeded to take on a ton of clients (in addition to my full-time film critic/movie-blogging gig for Redbox) in order to try and make some extra cash before the arrival of "Baba Ghanoush," aka "Baba G," aka The Nickname We Chose Based on a Random Line from Wedding Crashers.

Unfortunately my plan backfired, as I failed to anticipate how incredibly tired I'd be—or that my Feeling Normal Again phase wouldn't last forever. All of this led to me barely being able to keep my head above water. I had no choice but to focus solely on getting my client work done each day, which in turn caused the majority of my family members and friends to assume I'd fallen off the face of the earth for the past few months.

So that's Big Piece of News #1. On to Big Piece of News #2.

As my January due date continued to creep closer and closer, I was forewarned by an increasingly large number of people that my husband and I had no idea what "exhausted" meant... but that we'd be finding out as soon as Baba G makes his debut. We were told this exhaustion would last at least two months, and that I was fooling myself if I assumed that during that time I'd still be able to maintain the level of work (writing an average of two posts a day, in addition to social media responsibilities and attending multiple film screenings per week) I'd been doing for Redbox. Believe it or not, in my 3.5 years of writing for them, I'd only taken off a total of 2 weeks. Not 2 weeks off per year... but 2 weeks off IN TOTAL across 3.5 years. I'd always found way to write during (or in advance of) vacations, on weekends, et cetera, and it just kind of became The Way It Was. I somehow made it work. But I was beginning to doubt that I'd be able to keep up this same pace come early 2012.

As it turns out, a decision on this front was made for me. A week ago my co-blogger Locke and I were informed that the site we'd been writing for (Redblog) was soon going to be managed in-house, and that while we might be asked to help with some one-off projects here and there, our time with Redbox had essentially come to an end. As the company has experienced phenomenal growth and success since we'd been brought on back in 2008, this news wasn't exactly a surprise to either of us, but I'd be lying if I said (speaking only for myself, of course) that the finality of it wasn't a bit of a shock. Even when you suspect something like this is going to happen, you're never really prepared for it to happen, you know, RIGHT NOW.

So I'm currently wading through the Stages of Grief, but I'm also reminding myself that the reason I landed the awesome Redbox gig in the first place is because of the movie reviews I'd been writing on this very site back in the day. The fine folks at Redbox had first been fans of my Long Live Locke blog, and then had noticed that in addition to loving LOST I was also quite a sucker for movies. So they reached out to me after I left the Chicago Board of Trade, and the rest is history. Had I not had the income from my work with Redbox, I probably wouldn't have been able to ride out my three-year quest to become a published author, nor would I have some of the other clients I've been fortunate enough to work with. Nor would I be a proud member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and currently be in the process of watching every last movie made this year in order to fulfill my annual awards-voting obligations (it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it, as the saying goes).

My point is that while I'm incredibly sad that the weekly movie-screening-and-blogging-centric routine I've enjoyed since I left Corporate America is now drawing to a close, I'm thankful I got to experience it in the first place, and know that my life is about to change in even bigger and better ways. I figure the timing of all this change is probably as perfect as it could ever be, right? And yes, I do intend to once again write about movies on this site, so prepare yourself for a slew of year-end film reviews, Best Of lists, and all that good stuff.

I dare say this post has grown long enough, wouldn't you agree? And to think that I still have to tell you about how I'm finally going to get a home office after four years of writing from my kitchen table. And about our trip to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. And about my new MacBook Pro. And about the LOST book I'm contributing to. And about all of the new Pet Peeves I've discovered!

So, um, yeah... there's still much that I need to catch you all up on. Stay tuned for lots and lots of posts in the near future. And thanks for sticking with me. I appreciate it.

- e


Uncle Grambo said...

Wow, congrats Erika! HUGE NEWS!

Lisa said...

Congratulations Erika!!!! I am so happy for you! Wishing you and your husband all the best. Please keep us posted (if you're not too tired) as January approaches!!!!

Aunt J-ha said...

Congratulations! Glad to hear from you again!

Cindy said...


Kelly, UK said...

Wonderful news! Really happy for you :D

Hawaii Hackathons said...

Yay! Congratulations on the impending keiki arrival!

Alisha Rene' said...

WOO HOO! Congrats e! Looking forward to the plentiful reviews and to see you surviving the world.

Andy Z said...

Congrats, E! Yes, you will be tired but yes, it will be great too! Enjoy...

Sherylm said...

Just this weekend I was looking at this blog wondering when you would be posting something new but this is even better than I expected! Félicitations!!

Outbck844 said...

Congratulations, welcome to the club!

Arjun said...

Congratulations Erika and may you keep writing forever!!!


eee said...

E. Congrats on your bundle of joy. My wife and I are also new parents-to-be (due in April). I am looking forward to reading your experience, as we too had a 4 year ordeal until we were blessed. Best of luck!

Andrea said...

Congrats on your news! How wonderful! That's certainly excuse enough to not keep up on the "online" world and I wish you all the best!

Alex Yates said...

Congrats! That is great news. My wife and I are expecting our first baby in 14 weeks after trying since 2009. We tried to conceive in Italy during carnivale on our "2009 Immaculate Conception" tour, but me thinks the vino overwhelmed my swimmers. But then we think we finally conceived a winner on our "2011 Digging Up Our Ancestors" tour of Ireland and Scotland. So lil boy Haggis (name tbd) is due just after St. Patty's. Find me on twitter during 2am feedings. @SmartAlexander

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your husband on the impending new little one. You both must be over the moon (and hysterical at the same time)!

And while I can't speak for everyone, when you didn't post for a while, I figured you had some major things going on in addition to work. I think we're all just glad that you're healthy and happy.

And enjoy your time off! I own a B&B and have v. little time off. You don't realize what a drain a constant work schedule is until you literally can sit down, catch your breath, and RELAX.

So I hope you can do some of that in the next couple of months, as you anticipate the birth of your son. And best of holiday wishes to you - Julie

WOW Music Studios said...

Hey e--

That is awesome news about the baby! Congrats!!

I remember you asking me several years ago about the balancing act of being a freelance writer and a mom. I think my answer was something like: You'll find a way to do it, but be patient in the beginning as you get used to your new role in the world. :)

I look forward to reading your blog again. I miss the days of Long Live Locke.

Take Care,

another e (Emily from S.F. Bay Area)

Martha said...

I am SOOOO happy for you! Congrats! I was afraid you had skipped town! Glad to have you back.