Archives for November 2012

How I Sprained My Knee 3 Times in One Semester AKA The Fucking Strawberry

Confession Friday: I sprained my knee…slipping on a strawberry.

“A what?!” You may be asking yourself…and yes, I said a strawberry.

If you aren’t caught up on the fact that this is part 3 of a series of blog posts, you can read the first two, about my skiing injury and then my epic battle with an icy alley.

Now that you can see what you’re dealing with here (you know, the biggest klutz in the history of ever…), let’s move on, shall we?

So I was finally out of physical therapy for the second time…thank God for Bradley and their fancy pants PT department because we had no insurance…and I was walking a little bit better. My physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major was making me do regular exercises to regain mobility (Sit on the ground with your legs straight out. See how they both look normal? Now pop one knee up about 4-5 inches… And imagine that you have a hyper-extended other knee…because I have hyper-extended joints… That’s what my knee looked like. It would not straighten out completely. And it still hurts a little bit to this day Oh, hey! We’re still inside a parenthetical statement. Sorry about that…)

So I was doing everything she told me. Even though it was essentially healing really well, I still iced it…and used elevators…and was late to math class (okay, I was late to all classes, but math was the best. Math 101: the only math class I took at Bradley. Math 101: in which I hobbled in late on crutches every day. Math 101: in which I walked over to the far side of the room after class started, pulled out the left-handed desk, and pulled up a chair to rest my knee on… Math 101: where I was the biggest asshole in the history of ever.)

I may have mentioned that I’m a stubborn ass Polak…and I like to do things for myself. I don’t like to rely on other people, and I certainly like to push my limits. So I always wanted to keep moving and get my mobility back. But I did what my physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major said. I even used the elevator when I wanted to take the stairs (Yes, there was a time when I wanted to take the stairs! (I don’t particularly care for elevators. After you’ve been in a few too many over-stuffed elevators that have ever gotten stuck or gasp dropped a few floors, you wouldn’t either!)

So I was feeling a little pain after a long day of walking to class…and I thought to myself, Self, you should ice your knee. So I got up from watching bad college TV (at one point we had a lava lamp channel!) and started to head toward the stairs. I thought twice and decided…No, Chrissy…it’s already been a long day. Suck it up and take the elevator. So I walked to the elevator. Rode up to the second floor. Made my way to the laundry room, which had two doors on either side of the floor (girls on one side, guys on the other). I walked into the laundry room with the sound of dudes’ laughter on the other side. But the second step, I slipped comic-style with one foot in the air and my ass going toward the ground. My knee was shot. Again. I screamed the way that I scream when I injure myself or see a spider or accidentally forget to take cookies out of the oven and burn them. And the boys on the other side of the door looked at me like I was crazy.

And I panicked.

Again.

And when I saw the apparatus of my demise…I was like, why the fuck is there a rotten strawberry on the floor of the Willy 2 laundry room? And then I remembered that one of my dear friends had also banged some dude in that same tiny laundry room and decided that it was better not to ask questions like that.

I crawled back downstairs and handled myself…and called my physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major…she came over and told me I was an idiot and had sprained myself again. I whined, “But I took the elevator and was getting ice and everything!!! It was that fucking strawberry!!”

A fucking strawberry.
Not a banana; that would be too cliche.

A fucking strawberry.

9 years ago.

And yet, just this year, Katie, my favorite little bookworm, Katie decided to tell me that she saw the strawberry…a few days before my little slip. And didn’t like…tell maintenance or anything. So, you know…if you don’t visit her blog today in solidarity with me and the strawberry incident… And she’s been begging me to tell this story. (I’m not going to lie, it was my favorite to tell on first dates. It gave me an idea of whether a dude could handle my shit or not.)

A fucking strawberry. In a laundry room.

Are you kidding me?

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Falling on black ice in a back alley isn’t exactly my idea of a great night

If you aren’t caught up, go ahead and read about the original knee sprain when I made the mistake of going skiing without health insurance. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Great. Let’s continue.

So I went home for the rest of winter break, and hobbled my uninsured ass around for 2 weeks. Upon my return to the great state of Bradley, I was forced by my physical therapist one of my besties who was a physical therapy major to go to the health center. This is where I received “free” medical care and crutches. They set me up with a physical therapist (a legit one, who taught at the Bradley PT school) and I was on my way to a not-so-speedy recovery.

Let me reiterate this to you with a few key points

  • College Campus
  • College Student
  • LOTS of alcohol
  • Crutches
  • Winter
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Death Snow
  • Death Ice
  • Stubborn ass Polak

Is the picture becoming a little bit clearer?

So I was finally off the crutches, some time in early March. I was healing. I was walking without assistance. I still had some pain, but the sprain, per say, was healed.

One of my roommates was singing in a choir thing, so we went to go support her. I had to leave early in order to attend an Alpha Phi Omega meeting (I was a vice-president at the time, and needed to make my presence known to all the little pledgies. I was might still feel very self-important.)

The music hall was off campus, and a few blocks away. It was dark, and icy…

You can see where this may be going.

I was crossing an alley covered in black ice…and lost control. I slipped. I tried to re-balance myself, but I overcompensated and pulled my knee out of line. At which point, I, not only re-sprained the knee, I fell on my ass. And to make matters worse, there was a car coming.

The car didn’t see me, so I had to quickly scoot my ass off the alley before it hit me. I made it JUST in time.

My roommates were in a concert. They didn’t answer their phones. To be honest, it was lucky I had just gotten my first Sprint phone a few months earlier…otherwise I would have been stranded on the street! So I called Robert. He and his Audi picked me up. He told me I should just go back to my dorm and rest it, but I was a stubborn ass Polak, and needed to go to the pledge meeting. When my physical therapist one of my besties who was a physical therapy major saw me hobbling, she was pissed. She told me to sit down and let it rest. She made me get the crutches. Again. And so I was back in PT for the second time that semester…

Oh yes…there’s more.

To be continued….

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Wordless Wednesday: Baby Chrissy

Baby Chrissy Swimming

 


Life as we know it by Paula

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This is Why I Don’t Ski Anymore

When I was in 7th grade, my church had a ski trip for all of the junior high kids. So I packed up some of my best buddies, and Mom drove us to our first ski trip (about 20 minutes away on a little hill of a mountain.)

It was amazing. We had so much fun that we did it again the following year.

Of course, the year after that, I was in high school and too cool to do that sort of thing. Also, I was very busy being a cheerleader…and I may have just sprained my ankle for the first time…

So I happily went many years without so much as a thought about skiing. Several years and hundreds of injuries later, I was a sophomore in college. The boys were planning a ski trip over winter break, and I just HAD to go. Mark and Robert were two of my best buddies, and I wanted to play with the big boys.

My mom, of course, was against the whole thing. “You’ll hurt yourself!” Our insurance company had gone bankrupt or something, so we were in between medical insurance policies at the time and Mom knew my history with injuries. At that point, I had sprained both ankles numerous times. I was a walking disaster. They tell me I can’t chew gum and walk up the stairs at the same time…(I can’t chew gum at all anymore because of my TMJ disorder, but that’s beside the point.)

So, being the stubborn 19-year-old college student that I was… I went skiing.

I was happily skiing down the “bunny hill” and going at my own pace. The boys, though, were not pleased with my la-dee-da thought process. They both came packing with their own ski equipment, and wanted to try the “black mountains.” Of course, with their “younger sister” type in tow, they didn’t feel comfortable leaving me all the way on the other side of the resort.

So I agreed to step it up a notch.

I moved to one of the next harder hills, and I was doing just fine. There was a dip in the hill where it was flat, so I could slow down and pace myself. It worked out quite well. Until it didn’t.

Mark was ready to head towards the bar and I was considering taking a break/calling it quits, but I was sort of crushing on Robert at the time, and I thought…if he’s going down once more, I can too. So I told Mark I’d meet him at the bar and I thought Robert was right behind me.

I started going a little too fast…and the break, where I was supposed to slow down? I missed it. I went straight through it.

I started panicking. I lost control.

There was a guy in front of me, going way slower. I screeched, “Get out of the way!!!!”

I thought, and I panicked. The boys had said, “if you need to slow down, turn,” and, “If you feel like you are going to fall, let yourself fall.”

So I did both.

Everything happened so fast. I heard a crack. My left ski popped off. My right ski did not. But my right leg was positioned unusually awkward. My body was in pain. I was cold. I was screaming. I was crying. I couldn’t move my right leg.

The guy I passed turned out to be ski patrol. He came over quickly and called for backup. He took the ski from my right foot. He helped me get myself situated. When the ski patrol jet ski guy came, he helped me onto it.

I rode it up to the medical attention center, where they elevated my knee and iced it. “It was probably a sprain,” they told me. I was in shock. They asked for my friends’ names. I told them. All I could think, though, was she’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.

When Mark and Robert arrived with their heads shaking, my thoughts were now verbalized, “She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.” I probably looked certifiable. I was rocking back and forth repeating the same thing over and over and over again.

And so, we had a strained ride home in a tiny little beater Audi from the 80’s with 2 dudes, 2 sets of skis, and a Chrissy with a bad knee. For like 4 hours. Then I had to drive my ass home the next day with my driving leg not so much working. I learned how to drive with cruise control and my left leg that day.

Mom was not pleased. And I was determined never to ski again. God did not intend me to fly down a mountain on a couple of sticks. But of course, that wasn’t the end of this saga.

To Be Continued….

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Sunday Evening News: In Which I was in the Newspaper

That’s right. I’m legit famous now. I was in the Chicago Tribune yesterday for my Black Friday shenanigans. You remember how I was boycotting “Black Thanksgiving?” It totally made the paper. Well, that and the fact that Mom, my sister, Mary, and I were all dolled up for “Bling on Black Friday,” in which we won all sorts of free gift cards.

Our local mall, Yorktown Center, hosts an annual Black Friday shindig. The first year was all about hats. The second year was ugly sweaters. This year was all about bling. Mom did princess bling with a tiara, a mink shawl (that was given to my great aunt and was once owned by the founder of World’s Finest Chocolate’s wife), and a fancy antique brooch. I did Christmas bling, with a necklace of bows and garland wrapped around me. Mary did glamazon bling with glitter everywhere. Mary even got a $50 gift card for painting her jeans in glitter.

Bling on Black Friday

You can read the newspaper article on the Chicago Tribune website. We’re about 3/4 of the way down.

They interviewed us for a pretty long time…I was a bit worried that I would sound totally unintelligent. I think I did alright. What do you think?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Brian Shares Saturday: Christmas Cards and a Sleepy Kitty

First, and most importantly! If you would like to receive a Christmas card from Brian and I (and it’s going to be an excellent card, full of funny), just send your info to quirkychrissy@gmail.com. I’m so excited about my idea, that I can’t wait to send it out…and I really want to tell you, but it has to be a surprise. I’ve got lots of cards to send and would love to add some more! Christmas is my happy place.

Back to your regularly scheduled shares.

As it was a short week, and I kept him pretty busy, Brian If we were ever to get a normal pet, and not our future sloth, Ebenezer, Brian is most agreeable to cats, which is great because I also enjoy cats. He doesn’t want a puppy or a dog, which makes me sad…but  I think that one day, he will come around. When we have a house. And a yard. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t want a yard… hmmm…

Anyways, so he sent me this gif this week:

sleepy kitty cat

Cute, right?

Due to the fact that it was Thanksgiving week, and I kept Brian pretty darn busy… that was all he sent me. So, I’m sure that next week will be chock full of options! I hope that you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend. I’m off to finish cooking for Second Thanksgiving.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: In Which I Talk About Black Wednesday

Confession Friday: I went out on Black Wednesday. In sweat pants. And drank water. At a bar.

I’ll bet you thought I was going to talk about Black Friday, didn’t you? Admit it.

So, every year since turning 21, I’ve joined in on the “everyone’s home for the holiday, no one has to work tomorrow, let’s go out and get shmammered like we’re still in college” holiday. The busiest bar night of the year, I spent many a Thanksgivings praying over my grandmother’s toilet, unable to consume so much as a piece of cheese throughout the day. (To be fair, this had also happened on Christmas and Easter…I was a bit of a lush back in my younger days.)

Some years, (back in the owning-of-the-bar years), I would be working–though I often turned down the shift in order to participate in the debauchery of drinking with my peers, my brother, and my dad.

Last year, Brian and I went out to a fancy-pants dinner with some friends, where we ate, drank, and were merry…instead of doing the bar scene. But there was that air of “we don’t have to work tomorrow” excitement.

This year, one of my best girlfriends is leaving me. Lily is packing up all her stuff tomorrow and moving to freakin’ Iowa. (I know what you’re thinking…who the hell moves from Chicago to Iowa?) I’ve been thinking that since the day she told me. But she’s moving.

And since her going-away-party was not really a chance to actually hang out with her…because she has a lot of friends and I couldn’t really get some legit Lily time out of it, I made her go out last night for karaoke at our local tavern of choice. Where we both drank water. And sang some karaoke. And I argued with some young early 20-something dude about almost everything.

Singing Karaoke

This was not Wednesday night. But I like this picture. Because I was skinnier then. And I was singing karaoke at Sal’s. Which is what I was doing on Wednesday night.

So I had fun doing the things we used to do before we got old. Except for drinking. Because we were both tired. And I don’t like to drive on amateur nights with any alcohol in my system. Because people are stupid. And my insurance is high enough.

Enjoy the long weekend, kids!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Just Say NO! to Black Thanksgiving

I was going to write a post about the worst Thanksgiving ever, in which my family dragged me to a casino in the middle of nowhere Iowa with a buffet Thanksgiving dinner. But that can wait. This is more important.

Now, I’m not going to preach to you about how much better I am for not shopping on Black Friday (because I do) or about being thankful for what we have and blah blah blah. I’m not going to preach at all. I’m just calling it like I see it.

We’ve all been bombarded with Christmas (which I love) and Black Friday (which I love) since November 1 before Halloween. I’ll admit that I get just as excited…and yes… 2 of my trees (yes trees) are already up. But not until Halloween is over.

And I’ve been patient. And tried really hard not to throw Christmas all over the place…yet.

But I’ve discovered a really annoying little problem. While the whole country has been busy giving thanks, telling the world what they’re grateful for, whether it’s their new fancy phone or cheese, the retail world has been preparing to steal your national holiday. And you’re okay with this. You revel in it. You’ll leave your family at 2 PM to get in line at Toys ‘R Us which opens at 8 PM. ON THANKSGIVING. And they aren’t alone.

Walmart. Sears. Both 8 PM.

New York & Company. ALL FREAKIN’ DAY.

Target. 9 PM.

Best Buy. Kohls. Victoria’s Secret. Carson Pirie Scott. LOFT. Sports Authority. Gap. The Limited. American Eagle. Midnight.

The list goes on.

So I won’t be shopping at any of those stores this Black Thanksgiving. I will make a stand to stop the madness. They won’t even get my Black Friday dollars. In fact, I think that Mom and I will just go get our usual freebies from Yorktown Mall, JC Penney, and World Market. Then we’ll eat breakfast. And go home. And sleep. Because Black Friday isn’t Black Friday anymore.

Black Thanksgiving

Will you stop the Black Thanksgiving madness?

 

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Wordless Wednesday: I’m Thankful For…

I'm Thankful for Cheese

Thankful for Cheese

Tim & Tom's Cheese

Cheese Sign

cheese porn

gratuitous cheese photos

cheese porn

cheese porn

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Where Chrissy Gets to Be a Kid

What a whirlwind weekend!

So bright and early on Saturday morning, Brian and I trekked into the city and headed for Navy Pier to attend the Chicago Toy & Game Fair Blogger Preview. Now, I woke Brian up earlier than he normally wakes up for work. And I dragged him to an event in which there were a lot of people in close quarters. And then he had to stay the whole day, while I was competing in a tournament for like 5 hours.

Smaller than GenCon by a lot, ChiTAG was still pretty darn awesome for a girl like me. With a party-game spirit, and a nephew that I’ve promised to play lots and lots of games with, this event was the perfect way to find and try new games!

So I’ll be starting a new segment next week, in which I review and relay the experience of these awesome games from some really great game inventors (because they gave them to me to play-test!) Of course, you can count on the Chrissy-style while I review–aiming to make you laugh at the ridiculousness that ensues. And there will be ridiculousness. With me, there always is. Even if my family refuses to let me publish the pictures or videos that I produce

That being said, let’s get on with this thing. So ChiTAG. It started with a lovely continental breakfast of snacks and coffee (Yes, if you’re going to see my smiling face before 9 AM, you’re going to need to provide coffee). At the breakfast we listened to some really great speakers, including Kevin Harrington, of Shark Tank fame and Greyson MacLean, kid inventor of BrickStix (a cool Lego accessory).

We made our way to the fair, and were given an hour of open viewing before the public arrived. It was at this point that I got arrested by Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper, for trying to race to the giant Settlers of Catan carpet board…

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Luckily for me, R2D2 was just around the corner, and he sped up and distracted them just long enough for Brian to help me escape. We made it to the giant Settlers of Catan just in time for me to steal the robber.

Giant Settlers of Catan

Of course, I later found R2 and thanked him properly.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

And I realized. Oh. My. God! I’m hanging out with R2D2! I used to have an R2D2 underwear and sleep tank when I was a wee one! So cool!

Quirky Chrissy meets R2D2!

After leaving R2 to go find C3PO (who I used to lovingly refer to as 3PPO, because one time it made my older sister, Deven, laugh…I didn’t realize that the joke only works once, yet), Brian and I perused the fair floor. I was on a Scavenger Hunt to tweet a bunch of cool stuff.

I ran, not walked, into the Bananagrams booth for fun with giant bananagrams!

Giant Bananagrams

Thanks to the fine people at Bananagrams, I’ll also have the joy of reviewing Pairs in Pears and Zip It! Little A and I are going to rock out those games like rockstars. My goal in life is to turn my godson (Little A) into a genius gamer kid. So far, it’s working.

We played some games. We met some cool game inventors. We saw some really awesome booths.

Pirate Family Treasure Quest app and board game

This Pirate Family Treasure Quest had a really neat concept: Incorporate the app onto the game board. Compatible with little i only. Next time, I want to see Android compatibility. 🙂

Amazing Bubble Show

Giant Bubble Show. The camera could not do it justice.

Giant Word Winder

The Giant Sized Word Winder.

Dabble Game

This was probably my favorite game at the fair (Settlers aside). I’m a word nerd, you know…err excuse me, I’m a word ninja! Oh and they gave me free candy.

Then I competed in a Settlers of Catan tournament. 2nd place, 2nd place, 4th place in the rounds respectively. Not bad considering it was the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time I had ever played the game in my entire life.

Settlers of Catan

game 1: Gettin’ the hang of it

Settlers of Catan Tournament

Game 2: Sneaky Sneaky

serious gamer

Game 3: Serious Settler

I didn’t advance in the tournament, but I had a great time.

I left with all sorts of games and toys to test out with the kiddos, and I can’t wait! I’m looking forward to trying out all of my new games and reviewing them for you, fair readers! Get excited!

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Gift Bag

The contents of the gift bag and other games I was given to try out and write about!*

*I was not paid to write any of the nice things posted in this blog. I was given free admission to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair for myself and my boyfriend. I was given a gift bag with free samples, games, and promotional materials. Individual game booths also provided me with free samples of their games to play test them and write about the experience.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!