Archives for December 2012

The Best New Year’s Eve. Ever.

I debated internally whether to have a politically charged Fiscal Cliff Bullshit post directed at the United States government or to have a fun New  Year’s Eve post to make my readers laugh. Lucky for you, I chose the latter.

Of course, when I say the best New Year’s Eve, I’ll bet you’re thinking some hoity toity event. Or a gathering of my closest friends. Or even hanging out with family. But it’s not.

New Year’s Eve has always been pretty high expectation, low outcome in my book. When I was a kid, the parents owned a bar…so we ALWAYS had babysitters. First it was Vicky. Then her younger brother Mark. Vicky was cool. Mark was a douche canoe.

Mark would throw parties and smoke weed in our house. Mark and his friends would eat all of my hard earned caramel delight cookies in one sitting. Mark sent my cousins and brother and I to bed at 11 on New Year’s Eve.

Sometimes, it would be my Gram that watched us. Sometimes we would go to my best friend, Kelly’s house and her mom would watch us. Always, though, Mom and Dad would try to make it as fun as possible for us without being there. They’d buy the sparkling grape juice and plastic champagne glasses to send with us. They’d give us noise makers and headgear. They’d make platters of shrimp cocktail and cheese with crackers. They’d try really really hard to make it awesome. And for us kids, it totally was.

But as I got older, expectations got higher…and the outcomes dwindled. In middle school, my brother and his best friend watched a South Park marathon, while I whined that I wanted to watch something that wasn’t ridiculously stupid. In high school my brother and I co-hosted a party…OK that was pretty awesome. A bunch of straight-laced high school kids on New Year’s Eve not even attempting to drink alcohol? I know you’re probably thinking what planet did this girl grow up on? But it’s true. We were Stepford Children.

After that, it was mostly downhill.My freshman year of college, I spent New Year’s Eve weekend trapped in a cabin in the middle of nowhere Indiana as the only single non-pot smoking girl with a large group of stoner couples with no phone reception, no television, no books, a lot of booze, and the only DVD they brought was the worst movie ever made: Dumb and Dumber (an apt title.)

I spent New Year’s Eve in New Orleans one year. It was like a 16 block square mosh pot. And I needed to pee. And I hate crowds. We watched the ball drop, then went back to our hotel and played MASH with our new-found friends/fraternity brothers (Alpha Phi Omega) until 4 in the morning…after I peed in the hotel lobby men’s room.

I spent New Year’s Eve in Denver one year, again for an APO national convention. It was okay. I kissed a boy from Texas at midnight. Despite his awesome accent…he wasn’t a great kisser. Let’s just say things aren’t always bigger/better in Texas.

Parties with friends seemed un-fun. I stopped getting excited about the “holiday” and started calling it amateur night. I had boyfriends during several New Year’s Eves…and guess what? None of them ever wanted to be there to kiss me at midnight. It was depressing, to say the least. The Ethiopian. The Bartender. Both were boyfriends who had nothing better to do, but refused to spend time with me on a holiday almost as much designed for making non-couples or girls in bad relationships feel bad as Valentine’s Day.

So in 2010, after a VERY exhausting year, I managed to have the greatest New Year’s Eve in the history of ever. The year that I accidentally fell into the presidency of my local Jaycees chapter. The year that I student taught. The year that I had no job, but worked harder than I ever had in my entire life.

The night before, I had pulled an all-nighter with some really amazing friends. We had drunkenly discussed re-playing the same evening over the next night, as none of us had New Year’s plans. My bestie, Lily, and some of our near and dear ones planned to do it all over again. But the next day, New Year’s Eve, we were all exhausted. And hungover.

I went home. Lily went home. We slept all day. When I woke up, I called Lily. She was still sleeping, so Mom and I went out to dinner. Dad was driving a limo at the time, so he was out of commission most of the night. Mom and I had a wonderful dinner. We came back to the house, and Buck, the bad dog, had consumed a pound of chocolate truffles. Oh great. Our dog is going to die. My mom started crying, and I started Googling.

“He’ll be fine mom. Seriously. He’s a big dog. He’ll probably just get sick.”

I called Lily again. She had just woken up. Going over to our friends’ was now out of the question. We were so over drinking. Here’s how the conversation went:

Lily: *moan* What’s up, Pookie?

Me: We going over to Jenna’s?

Lily: I don’t think so. I called her a bit ago and she feels like shit.

Me: Yeah. Me too. Wanna come over and watch movies?

Lily: Nah…you could come over here.

Me: Nah. I don’t want to leave the house.

Lily: Me neither.

Me: We had our party night. Maybe I’ll just go to bed early.

Lily: Shit, that’s my plan.

Me: OK. Happy New Year, Pookie.

Lily: You too, Pookie.

A while later, my girlfriend Hilary called and asked me whether I wanted to go to her party. I opted out, because I was playing Mario Kart on the Wii and had no intentions of doing anything else. And for 4 straight hours…I played Mario Kart. Like it was a regular old night. And it felt good. No one was calling me to ask questions or because some drama had happened in the Jaycees that I had to deal with. I wasn’t grading papers. Or working. Or surrounded by people I didn’t want to be surrounded by. I was just relaxing.

And then it was almost midnight. I turned off Mario Kart to watch the ball drop. Yelled up to my mom to see if she wanted to come down. She didn’t. My dad stopped home for a few minutes (they were always together at midnight). At exactly 12:00, several things happened all at once.

1. The ball dropped.

2. The dog vomited an exorbitant amount of liquid chocolate right. In front. Of my face. Seriously, he was 3 feet in front of me. I almost threw up watching it.  My dad, the amazing dad that he is, managed to clear the nasty puddle from the living room, while Buck looked at us, sad and confused.

3. I received the best text ever from Hilary, who was also a local Jaycees president: “Congratulations on surviving your year as president. We are so done!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Relief washed over me as I was no longer in charge. I was no longer responsible. I was free.

4. I resumed playing Mario Kart while a flurry of texts and phone calls made their way to my phone.

No drama. No drinking. No driving. No bullshit. The lowest maintenance New Year’s Eve I’ve ever had. It was fantastic.

I suppose I can’t end this post without saying that last year was the first time I had someone that I really wanted to kiss at midnight…and he wanted to kiss me right back. And this year, I’ll again be spending the evening with him. And our friends. Relaxing and playing board games. As it should be.

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Confession Friday: I Lost at LIFE

OK. Here goes. The following conversation happened last night:

Me: So, do you want to try out our new game? (Our previous roommate bought us this sweet game, Dominion, for Christmas…and the next day, I had popped it, organized it, and read all of the rules. I proceeded to ask Brian to play every day thereafter.)

Brian: I kinda just want to relax and snuggle and watch TV. (The same answer he’s had every night since we got the game).

Me: You don’t ever want to play games with just me. It’s just like when I was a kid. I wish we had a dog.

Brian: You can’t play games with a dog.

Me: Yes, you can.

Brian: But you’ll always win.

Me: That’s not true!

Brian: I know…(and then he hugs me sympathetically).

We finally got to play Dominion last night. He felt so sorry for me…and, wait for it…he enjoyed himself.

The following conversation happened on Christmas.

Little A: Auntie Chrissy, did you bring LIFE?

Me: No, A…sorry.

Little A: That’s OK. Can we open presents?

Me: Sure. Ask Auntie Patti, though. She’s the boss.

Little A: yells Auntie Patti! Can we open presents??

Mom: Sure! (She was never that easy going when WE were kids!)

Present opening ensues.

Little A: opens games Oh sweet! Can we play!?

Me: Definitely!

So we start setting up Catan Jr. which is awesome.

Dad: Sure beats playing with the dog, right? he chuckles at me

Me: Dad, did you read that blog post?

Dad: Huh?

Me: The one I wrote about Bismark?

Dad: No, I just remember it. You always played LIFE with Bismark. I remember you lost a lot, too.

Classic Game of LIFE

 

Woj (My Little Brother, whose name is also Brian, which gets confusing): You lost to the DOG? Hahahahahahahaha! (Literally that many ha’s)

Me: Sometimes…

Woj: How many times did Bismark go to college?

Me: A lot.

Woj: Hahahahahahahahahaha!

So there you have it, Blog Friends. My dirty little gamer secret. And you know what? Right now, I totally wish I had a dog.

 

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!

My Year as a Professional Contest Winner

The end of 2012 is near, and it’s time to reflect on the year. Each year is dubbed with a theme. 2010 was the experimental year… 2011 was the year I found Mr. Wonderful AND the career of my dreams.

2012 was my year as a professional contest winner. With the loss of my job in  January, I spent the majority of the year searching. And searching. And searching. I worked a summer position teaching reading comprehension (SO COOL!) I worked some freelance jobs and short term gigs, but still haven’t found my home in the copywriting world.

While I was waiting. And writing. And searching. I found myself winning contest after contest. $50 gift cards here. $50 gift cards there. A furniture set that was later yoinked from under me (I don’t really dig the Mix. Their communication wasn’t exactly stellar. I faxed them their paperwork…and yet they never managed to “receive” it. PSHA I say. They gave the set to the runner up. Whatever. It wasn’t the greatest set anyways. Our couch is WAY better.)

sweet couch

This is me testing out our sweet couch before we bought it.

In total I won the following this year:

  • Free food and stuff from McDonald’s
  • $50 Gift Card to Ultra Foods
  • $100 Gift Card to Victoria’s Secret
  • A Hair Flat Iron
  • $50 Carson’s Gift Card
  • 2-$10 Von Maur Gift Cards
  • 4-$20 Yorktown Mall Gift Cards
  • $80 in Certificates for JC Penney from their amazing Merry Christmas promotion

I think I did alright. I mean…Really…who wins that much shit in a year? It’s like I won the lottery…but instead of wasting money on lottery tickets, I ate a lot of Egg McMuffins on a biscuit instead of a muffin.

The Many Faces of a Professional Winner

this is what a winner looks like

this is what a winner looks like this is what a winner looks like

 

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!

Wordless Wednesday: Not That You’ll Be Surprised…

injury prone accident prone wrist accident prone wrist

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!

Merry Christmas!

Now get off the internet and go spend time with your family and/or friends.

What? You don’t celebrate Christmas? That’s totally cool. Go to the movies and out for Chinese food like everyone else.

What? You don’t have any family or friends? I’m sorry…GO MAKE SOME.

What? Your family is driving you crazy and you want to escape to the internet? Think about the people who don’t have family or friends and need to go make some.

What? You think I’m being a bitch? Put your big girl panties on and learn to take a joke.

Merry Christmas for real, blog friends. Merry Christmas. (I’m serious. Get off the internet. Take a break. It’ll be right here when you get back.)

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!

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

I’m not going to lie. Yesterday, I started getting a little weepy. What if the world DOES end tomorrow? Brian’s not going to be home. If the world is going to end, I want to spend my last night with him. So I went over to his mom’s to hang out.

But I started thinking about the possibilities for the end of the world and my chances of survival. Here goes:

A Great Flood

Survival odds: 7/10

As I am a lover of all things water, and think that I was a fish/dolphin in another life (though I don’t think that I would start growing fins), I think I would do well in a floody apocalypse. Of course, this would largely depend on the availability of Meclizine. For those of you who don’t know, I suffer from acute vertigo (which is a doctor’s fancy way of saying, “We have no idea why you get dizzy for weeks/months on end…here have some drugs.”) It’s fine on most days that don’t include heavy motion of non-joy. Rollercoasters=fine. Motion simulators=bad. Boats=50/50.

Nuclear Warfare

Survival odds: 0/10

I live 30 minutes west of Chicago. If nuclear war goes global, I’m out, yo. Or I’ll have 5 arms and 7 eyes and 3 boobs. You know, either way, I don’t consider that survival. That’s mutation.

Infectious Disease Epidemic

Survival odds: 5/10

I like to think that my immunity to a lot of normal illnesses would keep me safe, but it is really a tough call. I’ll give it my best shot and hope that I’m standing in Colorado with Gary Sinise Brian and that I don’t have to go out West to fight the really bad guys (see: odd of survival with nuclear warfare.) BTW, Have I mentioned that I have a secret crush on Gary Sinise?

Alien Apocalypse

Survival odds: 3/10

This depends greatly on whether or not the aliens in question are more locked tight in machines or evil intelligent beings. And whether or not I’ve got the help of any of the following eye candy: Noah Wyle, Will Smith, Bill Pullman (Quiet, you! I like the goofy actors! And seriously…Have you not seen While You Were Sleeping?)

Crazy Winter Storm with Wolves

Survival odds: 4/10

Well, I live in Chicago, where the weather changes drastically every 30 minutes, so I’m not concerned with a little cold weather or snow (not that I’m a fan or anything). I’ve hung out a Bears games with -10 temps and survived. But ice and I…we go way back… Remember my skiing incidents? So, we’ll see. I’m definitely not hoping for this one.

Meteors Becoming Crashed Into Us

Survival odds: 5/10

I suppose that if there’s no super sweet drilling machine to save us all, this one could catastrophic…maybe. If the meteor does crash in, like, the ocean causing a huge tidal wave, I’d try to be on some serious high ground. Though we’ve already mentioned that I may be okay in the event of a great flood, if the meteor crashes right into my space, I’m out. So 50/50.

Electricity-Free Apocalypse

Survival odds: 9/10

If the worst thing to happen to the world were for the power to go out…I think I’d be alright. Sure I’d miss blogging, but I would still write. Ever heard of a book? I’d miss my people around the world, but I would be okay. I mean…I’d leave Chicago for some place warm, so as not to worry about winter without heat, but I think I’d do alright. Maybe I’d become a great leader (and not be a douche who kills my best friend’s brother)…Considering my digital footprint that started some time around college would disappear…I think it’s a good plan.

Zombie Apocalypse

Survival odds: 4/10

If we still lived in the old house, maybe my chances would be greater. There were a lot more weapons there than there are here. I do have enough food to last 2 of us several weeks, though. (Bonus!) And an escape route (Yep a front and back door to our apartment). And we’re on the second floor, so it would be harder for zombies to come get me. But once it was time to get on the move and team up with other humans…that would not be cool. Other humans are stupid. They have cage matches with zombies. They go on mall shopping sprees because there are not people around. They get themselves trapped in malls. They forget to use protection and get pregnant mid-zombie apocalypse.

If you can name all of the movie/TV references that I’ve subtly and not so subtly entered into this post, you’ll be entered into a random drawing for a sweet secret prize. There are a lot of references in here folks. To be fair, I will not approve any comments on this post until Sunday (when the guessing ends at midnight, you know…assuming the world doesn’t end).

 

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!

In Light of the Tragedy in Connecticut

I realize that I have yet to comment on the shooting in Connecticut. I realize that I was, until this post, a minority in the blogging world for having held off until now. But what I have to say needed a few days to breath. And I still cannot seem to find the eloquence that I long to find. And I’m sure haters are going to hate. But this is my blog with my opinions and feelings. Without further ado…

Our strongest weapon is hope. Hope for a brighter future. Hope for a more peaceful world. Hope for our children and their children.

Our biggest enemy is fear. Fear of moving forward. Fear of violence and terror. Fear for our children and their children.

We need to gather strength from our mourning hearts and courage from our fears to move forward. To continue on. To hope that the world isn’t all terrible. And to remember. When innocent children are killed for selfish and thoughtless crimes, the world weeps. For one brief moment, they are everyone’s children. But after the news had aired, the children are returned to the earth, and the world resumes in blissful ignorance.

Until it happens again.

What, then, can we do to prevent such a tragedy?

6 months ago, 70 people were injured or killed in a movie theater.

5 years ago, 50 people were injured or killed at a Virginia university.

13 years ago, more than 30 people were injured or killed in a Colorado high school.

Can such tragedies be prevented? What can we do to help our children and their children? Instead of placing blame, we need to take responsibility. We need to hold ourselves accountable. We need to hope. We need to have faith…in something.

someecard tragedy Sandy Hook Elementary

I’ve been mostly appalled with the judgmental hostility floating around the internet. When an even like that at Sandy Hook Elementary occurs, we shouldn’t start pointing fingers at the people who manage to make it through the day laughing and playing with their families or friends. The world doesn’t stop when anyone passes away. The world doesn’t stop when human beings are cold. Or hungry. Or abused. Or mentally distressed. The world weeps, but it does not stop; not for a second. You can choose to dwell on the tragic events that the news chose to publicize (because yes, a lot of other tragic events happen that you don’t even know about), or you can choose to do something about it. Live your life to the fullest. Contact a politician. Do something nice for others. Be a decent human being that makes other peoples’ lives worth living.

The following blog posts have been inspirational in my journey to find the right words:

Still Life Miniatures-So Much Going On

First Time Mom and Dad-An Open Letter to Media Hounds

It’s a Dome Life-I Don’t Have Any Words

The B(itch)log-What is Wrong With You People?

To them, I say, thank you.

What do you think? Am I wrong?

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!

Sweet Giveaway Event: $100 Walmart Gift Card

Get excited blog lovers! I’m participating in a giveaway event that entitles you an entry or lots of entries for a Walmart Gift Card. What’s that, you say? Chrissy’s selling out? You really shouldn’t be too surprised. I’m a joiner. I want to play with the big kids in the cool sandbox. I figured that this was a nice little hop into giveaways. Really? Who doesn’t want a Walmart gift card?  
walmart gift card giveaway

 That being said, here are the details for this amazing gift card giveaway:

 

Walmart Gift Card Giveaway

 Sponsored by TipHero, this sweet giveaway will run for 2 weeks, until January 2 at 11:59 US Eastern Time, at which point one lucky winner (18 and older, please) from the US or Canada will win a $100 shopping spree gift card for Walmart.

 Entering is easy-just fill out the PromoSimple form below. Good luck!

 


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!

The Oplatki Tradition and Holiday Wishes

Every year since before I was born, my family has had a Polish Christmas Eve tradition. We wash our hands with a silver dollar before dinner, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest members of the family. It’s like…the sweetest tradition ever. This is to bring a year of financial goodness for everyone (I’m still waiting for mine to kick in…since 1997…)

My family celebrates Christmas Eve with oplatki and other Polish traditions, granting each other wishes for the coming year.

Then we feast on the Polish delicacies: pierogi (stuffed dumplings), gwumpki (cabbage rolls), kapusta (saurkraut), kielbasa (sausage–even though traditional Polaks don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve), and kolacky (cookies).

After the feast, we bust out one of my favorite parts of the evening: the oplatki (communion-like wafer of goodness). With the oplatki, everyone walks around to the members of the family, and shares with them three wishes and three pieces of their oplatki. When I was a kid, we all hated it. We would try to give Grandpa the biggest pieces, and ask for just the tiniest little bites for ourselves. As we got older, my sister and I would fight over the leftovers.

The thing was, three wishes to each family member can seem…tedious. I wish you happiness. Oplatki I wish you health. Oplatki I wish you lots of money. Oplatki Repeat for each person. From the time I turned 12, my aunt would always wish that I found love. Oplatki And so it would go until everyone had shared wishes with everyone else in a big happy family love sharing wish sharing circle. Oh and they hand fed the oplatki into your mouth, just like communion. (Click that if you’ve never read about my First Communion. Seriously. Go. I’ll wait.)

Anyways, back to wishes… I’ve already told you about my super awesome Christmas List… April, the sassy-pants behind First Time Mom & Dad granted me some wishes. Five of them for the holidays. Here they are in all their beautiful glory.

  1. I wish for the perfect job. One in which I am appreciated as a member of a team. One in which I can ask questions and offer answers/suggestions. One in which I make a decent salary, so that I can take my amazing boyfriend out to a fancy dinner once in a while. One in which I don’t feel worked to the bone, but I want to work hard for. One that makes me feel needed. You hear that, potential employers? I’m looking for the perfect job. Are you it?

  2. I wish for cancer to go away. Someone near and dear to our hearts is battling and I wish for her. To fight it. To beat it.*

  3. I wish for sponsorship from a cheese company. (Come on, we’ve got to lighten things up after the last one!)

  4. I wish for world peace world travel.

  5. I wish for cookies.

Cookie Monster Meme

 What are your 5 wishes?

*Brian’s mom passed away in March of 2013. We still miss her.

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!

Sunday Morning News: Monkeys in Coats

Monkeys in Little Monkey Jackets

Oh yes, Blog Lovers, you heard me. There was a monkey running around in Toronto…with a cute little monkey coat on! It was seriously the greatest news article I’ve read in a while. Brian actually shared it with me, but I wanted to save it for news day! Go read the article about the runaway monkey, then come back. I’ll wait. (Man, I wait on you guys to catch up a lot.)

Monkey in a Jacket outside IKEA

Several things. 1. As soon as I saw this, I tweeted it to my blog pal That Ash Girl. We have a shared love of adorable animals. 2. The monkey was in front of an IKEA. For those of you who don’t know, I despise IKEA for it’s cheap unattractive appeal. I’m a furniture snob. I get it. But I mean…you should see our couch. It’s friggin’ awesome. Brian always tells me how lucky he is…to have a couch as nice as ours.  3. The monkey was likely running away from IKEA, because like his fashion sense (the coat looked SO cute on him) his furniture sense of style is rock solid. Run Little Monkey! Be Free!

 

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!