Archives for March 2015

Six Degrees of Separation: A Sad Song

It’s such a small world in so many ways.

My girlfriend’s sister lived on the same street as my aunt. Now her kids go to the same school as my godson. One of my godson’s best friends is my other girlfriend’s son.

I sang karaoke with a dude who went to high school with my friend…and was married to a girl who’s best friend married another one of my friends.

I run into people I haven’t seen since high school or college on the train or at a restaurant.

We’re only as far away from one another as we are distanced by Facebook friends. Which often isn’t very far.

We find out where someone went to school, grew up, lives, works. Our first question is often, “Do you know ________?”

We seek out these connections. And we’re all surrounded by them. Six degrees of separation. Who needs Kevin Bacon when our world is this small?
image

And then there’s you. Impossible. Unreachable. You.

With the hundreds of connections I have on Facebook. The social media sites I’m active on, galore. The fact that you live no more than 20 miles from me (and that’s generous). But you’re invisible.

I realize I’m of another generation. But not by much. Most people of your world must have flocked to Facebook.

I say that, assuming you have people. Do you? Have people, I mean? Of course, I know you’re married. And I know you have a child (I think two). The internet is a beautiful thing. But do you have people? Friends? Family? Co-workers? People who beg you to be more active on Facebook?

Are you happy?

Have you made a life that makes up for what’s missing? For what you left behind?

Did you forget about us? Me? Your little sister who went and grew up without you. Who never forgot you. Who thinks about you more that she probably should. Who remembers every joke. Every story. Every song. With every fiber of my being.

Does it matter?

Blog friends, are you thinking about someone in your life that you haven’t seen in years? Do you have weird family stuff? Do you have an “six degrees of separation” stories? Tell me your story.

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!

I Was Working as a Waitress in a Cocktail Bar…That Much is True

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a girl who waited tables at an Irish bar where people were mostly dicks. She also spent a few weeks running pub trivia, which is where our story begins.

(Oh hey, that girl is me, and I’m about to switch to the first person).
image
I may not have loved waiting tables, but I really enjoyed running trivia. I was able to create questions and make really bad jokes in front of a crowded bar. They gave me a microphone. For several uninterrupted hours. Weekly. It was a beautiful thing. And I’m pretty sure I drank for free.

One night, mid-December, while emceeing trivia, a pair of dudes I had never seen before jumped into the trivia game. I didn’t take much notice of them until trivia was finished when the shorter of the two came up to me and said, “Hey! What are you doing, now? Come have a drink with us!” He was bright and shiny and happy…and offered to buy me a drink. Obviously, I joined them. I walked over to their table, and some of my regular trivia guys came over with me. Bright and Shiny was super chatty and hilarious. I loved him immediately. He ordered a round of drinks while his friend was in the bathroom.

When the taller, quiet guy returned to a fresh round of drinks, the trivia girl, and her posse, he seemed…perturbed, to say the least. But he was handsome. So very handsome. He mentioned something about it being late and having to work in the morning, and I just smiled at him and probably teased him, just a little. I didn’t have to work in the morning thanks to my server job, and so it was fun for me to play around with those who had dreaded corporate jobs (I was setting myself up for a karma ass kicking).

Bright and Shiny started telling me why they were at the bar. The two of them were planning a trip to Ireland the following spring and thought an Irish pub to be the perfect setting to do so. I mentioned that I was going to go to Ireland one day and the  bright and shiny guy said, “Hey! Why don’t you come with us?”

I laughed. “I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off.”

“No, seriously, I have a bunch of miles and stuff…if I helped with your flight, would you be able to pay for other stuff?” He looked so sincere and smiley. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking.

Honestly, to this DAY I’m still not sure I heard that right.

“Uhhhh…”

Every fiber of my being was screaming, “BE WILD! DO SOMETHING CRAZIER THAN YOU’VE EVER DONE!”

I looked at Handsome and Bright and Shiny. They looked nice enough. They seemed really cool. And they sure did have me laughing all night.

“Dude, that sounds crazy. And amazing.”

I considered for another minute.

“I’ll think about it.”

Would you have gone? What’s the craziest thing you’ve done after meeting new friends for the first time?

Did I go on the adventure of a lifetime with these two random dudes? Click the pic below to continue the story and find out what happened next:

When I like like someone, I internet stalk them

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!

Stop with the Jamberry Groups, Already

Dear Jamberry sales reps. (And Younique Eyelash peddlers. And essential oil people. And rando jewelry consultants),

I get, I really do. I’m obsessed with my nails too. I paint them a couple times a week. I have a bit of a Julep problem. And sure, I’ll share my findings with you on occasion…but I’m not force feeding it down your throat. I don’t think, anyways…

Gratuitous nail photo: The spring nails that brought the Chicago spring snow

Gratuitous nail photo: The spring nails that brought the Chicago spring snow

When you find something you like, you want to share it with the world. I totally understand. And while in-home selling parties are so passe (don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to throw annual Pampered Chef parties, y’all), Facebook parties are the it thing.

Cool.

The thing about a PARTY, though, is that people who are invited to parties know they’re invited and can…wait for it…decline before they’re spam tagged with a million posts about how great Jamberry, Younique, and whatever else you’re shilling is. This isn’t just about Jamberry. This about any consultant sales company that is training consultants to use Facebook groups instead of event invitations to sell their shit. Talk about taking high-pressure sales to the max.

I very deliberately join groups that are interesting and beneficial to me. I’m involved in some amazing groups of bloggers, women, and local discussions. Groups in which I chose to be a part of. I didn’t choose to join your press-on nail or mascara group, because I’m not interested.

Now, if you were to invite me to an event, I may browse and discover the product is not for me, and then easily decline the invitation. I may also realize that I love the product which I’ve done with those fabulous Thirty-One bags, KELLY (okay secretly, thank you…they’re like…the best bags for games and Sam’s Club shopping ever). You could invite me to a real party where I get to see or try the product (and you feed me…and you booze me up) and discover that I love them or I’ve had enough wine to think that $50-$100 is an acceptable shopping budget. Because I may buy a few things and help you earn free stuff with my purchase. I’m happy to do so, when I’ve been properly invited (digitally totally counts, y’all) and not automatically added to a group of every. Single. Person. You know.

The fastest way to get me to ignore your stuff, my friends? Is to add me to a group so your consultant can swoon and tell me how much I’m going to help you get free stuff. Every. Flippin’. Hour.

I know I’m not the only one, either. I’ve heard and seen a lot of complaints from friends and peers. This is not a good sales technique, kids.

Gratuitous nail photo: That's right. I painted Animal on my nail to match the BandAid on the other thumb.

Gratuitous nail photo: That’s right. I painted Animal on my nail to match the BandAid on the other thumb.

I get it, though. You love your jams and you want everyone else to love them, as well. And you know what? Your nails look totally adorable. But those things aren’t for me. I LIKE spending the time it takes to paint my nails. It’s therapeutic. I like that even with my quasi-expensive nail polish, I’m still spending way less money than it would cost to change my nails as often as I do if I were using Jamberry. I like that I can flex my creative muscles with color combos and designs. It’s a thing, okay?

Gratuitous nail photo

Gratuitous nail photo

When I host product parties (I used to be a consultant for Tastefully Simple and love me some Pampered Chef), there are snacks. There’s liquor and wine and beer. There’s laughter. If it’s a digital party, there’s an easy opt-out button that allows you to say, “thanks but no thanks” and then notifications stop without feeling like you have to explain why you are leaving a group.

So do everyone you love and respect a favor. If you’re a consultant for one of these companies, stick with events and not groups. If you’re hosting one of these parties and you want me to buy stuff? Invite me to an event. Whether it’s a digital party or you’re hosting something at your place (and there are snacks and wine? even better!), I’m more likely to consider buying something.

Jamberry Groups

Come on, guys, fess up. What really irks you about these parties? Do you hate being added  to groups as much as I do? Do you love these parties? Are you addicted to the Jams? Or the crazy eyelashes? Or the scented oils? Now, let’s end on a positive note – What home parties can’t you get enough of?

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!

“She Can’t be an Adult,” “She’s Disgusting,” and Other Words I Can’t Forget

“I have never met this person, and I already hate her on a deeply personal level.”

“We dont want to see how much her ugly face doesnt care in yet another blog post. Youll give me nightmares”

” She is an awful person.”

“the financial and aesthetic disadvantages she faces that don’t impede others.”

“Uggg she’s disgusting.”

“she is just a run of the mill average jane nobody dumbfuck”

“She is the very definition of delusional.”

“Is she an adult? She can’t be.”

“I don’t know that woman, but reading one single page of her blog makes me hate her.”

“holy fuck she looks like a mess”

It’s almost been a year since my 5 minutes of “infamy” on Reddit. Someone decided that my blog wasn’t worthy of a copyright notice, and decided to plaster my blog on Reddit Delusional Artists. And a few other places (those just didn’t get the traction he was looking for). I responded the best way I knew how, with a big fat fuck you. And they came back in droves to find new ways to hurt me. Regardless of what those people thought was fun and games, what they were doing was bullying.

CYBER BULLYING ON REDDIT

And yes, I tried to make light of it. Because that’s what I do. I had fun responding. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry for the better part of a week. That doesn’t mean their words aren’t still haunting me. That doesn’t mean Brian didn’t want to hunt them down and destroy them for making me cry. I was bullied when I was a little girl. It sucks. I escaped relatively unscathed, albeit completely socially awkward (probably one of the reasons I didn’t want to talk about my period, MOM). And as an adult, they say we’re supposed to be able to push through it, but that’s a dirty rotten lie people who’ve never been bullied tell you.

Because bullying hurts.

It stings. It burns to the core of your inner confidence, taking away everything you think and feel and replacing it with vitriol. Throwing gas into that inner flame of self-doubt.

And that sucks.

I’m lucky to have the real life and digital support that I do, as I was able to get through the bullying relatively unscathed. But that isn’t always the case.

Cyber bullies can destroy people. And they do it behind screen names and anonymous posts. Words hurt, people. Bruises heal. Words haunt you forever. I know those insults above are long forgotten by the people that wrote them, but they’re ingrained in my memory forever.

9 months after my Reddit bubble, I’m still getting the occasional hit ftom the Delusional Artists thread. A thread that exists to bully people (despite its context to only comment on people who are “delusional artists”). Each time I see a referral from Reddit, I’m reminded of the things they said. Just in case, for even a moment, I has forgotten.

One of the bright spots of the whole mess was reading responses from the few people who stood up for me. Maybe not the ones who laced it with an insult, but the ones who genuinely said, “hey, this is wrong.”

Nice people on reddit 2

Nice people on Reddit

So the next time you see someone talking shit online about someone else? Leave a comment or send them a message offering your support. You’d be surprised how much you can help.

Have you ever been cyber bullied? Bullied in real life? Have you ever been a bully? Or stopped one?

1000Voices

I’m writing today for #1000Speak with the mission to build from bullying. This is my story. What’s yours?

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!

You Pray And You Pray And You Don’t Realize Your Prayer Was Already Answered…

This post was recognized at BlogU as Term Paper of the Year in Women’s Studies. My BlogU roommate was kind enough to capture the video of my reading. Enjoy.

When you’re nine years old, the Grade School Powers That Be separate the girls and boys into different classrooms and begin an annual ritual of education that continues for several years. Girls learn all about getting their first periods, weird hair growth, and unusual body odor. Boys, I can only assume based on my experience, learn about making fun of girls, making fun of each other, and how to change a tire. I think.

After watching an embarrassingly long video about a girl who played Little Orphan Annie on Broadway and her first period, we were given all sorts of pamphlets to bring home to our mothers, including an order form for a giant box o’ lady things…you know, like a period sampler pack. Obviously, I shoved these papers into the depths of my cluttered locker, never to be seen again (until locker clean out day).

Of course, the mom-network message arrived via telephone a few days later, when my mother called me down to lecture me and cry about how I didn’t talk to her about this very important day at school. “You never tell me anything,” she complained.

In my head, all I could think of was my dad’s favorite line, Telephone, telegraph, tell-a-Nudd. Nudd being the collective whole of my mother, her sisters and her mother. As soon as one of them knew something, the world knew. Mass communication that ran faster than I could possibly imagine—probably faster than the internet. I knew that the minute I told my mom anything, the world would know. And this whole period nonsense? Totally embarrassing. I wanted nothing to do with it…until I was in middle school.


For months, I prayed to get my first period. I begged God to let me be like the other girls. This is the crazy thing that happened when he answered my prayer.

When I was eleven, I was already among the very unpopular, invisible kids in middle school, but my best friend in the whole world was a cool kid. And I wanted to be just like her. I distinctly remember when all of my childhood friends started to get their periods. They talked about it like it was a special club that only girls who had been visited by Aunt Flo could be a part of.

And so I prayed. Like the good little Catholic girl that I was, I said my prayers every night. And I prayed to God, begging and pleading with everything I had to bargain, to get my period and be just like the other girls. Every night a relatively similar prayer would follow the common prayers I learned as a toddler. God, I know you’re a pretty busy guy and all, but if you could please let me get my period, I would really, really be thankful. Also send my love to Grandma and Grandpa…Thanks. Of course, this is reminiscent of a strikingly similar prayer that I would eventually repeat several times throughout the course of college and some time afterward…but that’s another story for another day.

I had, in fact shat myself overnight

Even though we ran in different social circles at school, my friend and I still spent lots of summers together hanging out. Of course, on the nights when I slept at my friend’s house unexpectedly, I found myself sleeping in an old t-shirt, without an extra pair of clothes for the next day. On one particular morning, I woke up and went to the bathroom to discover that I had, in fact, shat myself overnight. I had felt stomach pains the night before, but still I was painfully ashamed of my little mishap. I checked the fold out bed and was thankful that nothing had stained that. What baffled me, of course was how my poop managed to make it to the front of my underwear and hardly touched the ass-end of my panties…I worried for the cleanliness of my lady bits, so I wet some toilet paper and wiped them clean.

Embarrassed and afraid to say anything to my friend or anyone in her family, I wiped my underwear with toilet paper, rinsed them as best as I could, dried them with more toilet paper, and put them on backwards. My thought process? The poop needs to stay on the poop side.

I put the rest of my clothes on and feigned illness to get my mom to pick me up and take me home. For the next few days, I continued to discover that somehow I was crapping my pants with some frequency, without even realizing it. Being the quiet and shy, embarrassed little girl that I was, I did everything I could to hide the evidence. I threw at least 3 pairs of underwear away, spent a lot of time in the bathroom wiping myself and wondering what the fuck was going on with my body.

Eventually, the problem resolved itself, and I went back to life as a pre-teen. We weren’t called tweens back then. I continued to pray to God that I would get my period like the other girls and wonder what it would be like when I finally did get my first period.

A few weeks later, though…it happened again. I crapped my pants. Again. And somehow it kept sliding to the front of my underwear. I couldn’t understand it. Was I sleeping on my stomach? This has got to be really bad for me, right? Of course, a normal kid may have gone to their parents for help…but me? I just kept throwing away underwear and spending a ridiculous amount of time in the bathroom.

The third time it happened, the brown spots were less brown…and more red. And all of a sudden, I knew what the problem was. Apparently, God had already answered my prayers three months prior, and I was cursed with Aunt Flo for all eternity. It was awful.

First, I had to tell my mom. I dreaded this. I dreaded this more than anything in the world. Not because my mom isn’t wonderful…but more so because I was incredibly embarrassed. And ashamed to talk about anything personal. Everything embarrassed me. I didn’t want to talk about things, I didn’t want to know about things…I just wanted to exist, hidden.

When I finally got out of the bathroom to tell my mom that I think I got my period…I failed to mention the last two months of pant-crapping horror. Seriously. She didn’t even know until she read this story.

I mean…No one TELLS you that it might come out brown the first few times. They just say you’re going to bleed from your lady bits. And that’s that. I saw the movie, Carrie. I knew what I was supposed to expect. This was not that.

You Pray

So of course, when I whispered to her, “I think I got my period…” she practically jumped for joy. Of course, for someone who was anxiously awaiting my period the way some moms await their daughter’s first dance recital…you’d think she would have been prepared. I mean sure, I didn’t ask her to order the period sampler pack when I was nine, but maybe a box of pads under the sink just in case? Yes. Pads. I know. Gross. Don’t even get me started on that. But whatever. I was eleven, and quite frankly, the thought of shoving something up my lady bits frightened the crap out of me. Just not the period crap. That was different.

My mom hadn’t had a period in years, so she didn’t have to deal with pads or tampons or bleeding like a stuck pig sixty fucking days of the year. So she had to run out to the store to get the things I would need. Before she left, I begged her not to tell anyone. I begged her especially not to tell my dad. Within hours, the entire family network knew that I had become a woman. Including my father.

Eventually, I came to accept the horrors of this monthly curse that I had prayed so hard for. I wanted to be a part of the club, but I realized that the other girls just wanted everyone else to be as miserable as they were once a month. These days, I’m not praying to get my period. Instead, I find myself asking, how long until menopause?

Was your first period even remotely as embarrassing as mine? On a scale of one to awkward, where does this fall? Tell me something painfully embarrassing about your childhood, my friends.

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!

6 Ways to Keep Yourself Entertained on a Plane (That DON’T Involve Tapping Your Boyfriend on the Shoulder Asking “Are We There Yet?”)

I fucking love flying. Air travel makes me ridiculously happy. There’s some mix of “I’m going somewhere exciting or new or just somewhere ELSE” that makes it magical. And at the end of the trip it’s all: “I’m going to sleep in my own bed tonight!”

You can get almost anywhere in less than a day. At least anywhere I’ve been. Which is awesome. I’ve only flown on my own a few times, but Brian and I have been trying to travel somewhere twice a year for the last few years. Florida in the dead of winter and some place else in the summer or fall. It’s a good system. When we fly, I try to make it as easy to get on the plane as humanly possible. I used to try to bring an emergency set of everything in my carry on – toiletries, clean underwear, an outfit, etc. But now? I’m VERY selective as to what I bring on board. Of course, we almost always fly Southwest – where bags (two per person) fly free, so it’s pretty easy to check everything (including that empty suitcase to fill with seashells, wine, Christmas ornaments or other souvenir crap on the way back).

But even packing super light (did I ever tell you how much the TSA hates me? They MANHANDLED my cheese. Probably because of my letter to TSA.), I need to make sure that I have enough valid ways to entertain myself without bothering Brian TOO much. Because he does not love flying as much as I do. Something about people and lines and crowds or something.

Here are just a few ways that you can occupy your time on the flight.

6 Ways

How to entertain yourself on a plane full of people without being a jerk…mostly

Read

I mean…this one’s a given. But when you’re packing light, I highly recommend an e-reader. I was always against them until Brian insisted on buying me one. And I haven’t looked back. I can take FIFTY books on a plane with me…and my bag weighs less than it would with a single regular book. It’s fucking magical. Just be cautious, because the funnier the book, the more you’re likely to become a jerk and irritate all the people on the plane.

Watch a movie

In addition to the possibility of an in-flight movie…If you have some sort of tool that allows you to copy your DVDs to memory cards or tablets (I think that iTunes sells your favorite movies and TV shows too, but since I’m not really an Apple girl, I’ll have to assume maybe?), you can plan in advance and bring about a movie or two that you want to watch (I’ve watched Bridget Jones even though Helen Fielding is dead to me and some other beloved favorites). Just for the love of all things – WEAR EARBUDS.

Watch TV

Along the same lines as watching a movie, you can catch the newest released season on DVD of your favorite show (This last trip, Brian and I used an ear bud splitter to watch Person of Interest because we were binge watching to catch up to the current season). If you have Wi-Fi on the plane, you can Netflix Kimmy Schmidt or Grey’s Anatomy or Hulu Plus your current shows. Some flights even offer free (or paid) in-flight TV. Again, headphones are a necessity.

Play games

Whether you bring one of those fancy handheld gaming consoles (I haven’t had one since I got my Sega Game Gear in 1991), you carry on your travel version of Scrabble in order to whip your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife’s ass, or you pay for the Wi-Fi to play some games on your phone (Hello Simpson’s Tapped Out, I’m looking at you…), you can keep yourself entertained and occupied while enjoying that competitive thing you’ve got going for you. Of course, if you have the sound on while you’re playing these games, someone is going jump across the seat and wring your neck or throw your device. I’m just saying. I’ve thought about it. Several times. Turn the notification sounds off. No one wants to hear you rocking out to the Candy Crush greatest hits.

Snack

I don’t know about you, but I love a good snack pack. Brian and I have an excellent flying/packing system. I carry…well…almost nothing in my purse (a few bandaids, necessary drugs like Midol, Dramamine, Gas-X, Zantac, Pepto, and Sudafed to help us survive the airport time and 2-5 hour plane ride, and my travel pillow). And Brian carries the power cords, backup batteries and snacks in his backpack. It’s a really good system. I recommend trying it. So snacking is a great way to kill time. If you travel during dinner time and bring a meal on board, that’s a good 10-20 minutes of snacking depending on how fast you eat and what you grabbed at the airport. You could also play with your food – you know get like some animal crackers and play with them Ben Affleck style. Just remember if you’re sitting next to strangers that you don’t need to share. Especially when it comes to your crumbs. Be kind, my friends. Be kind.

Social Media/Blog/Internet Time Suck

You can live blog about the crazy lady on the plane or the kid that keeps kicking you…or continuously share on Facebook pictures of your kid’s first flight or humblebrag on Instagram how you can’t wait to be somewhere warm. People eat that shit up. You’ll have fun and so will I. Get lost down the internet rabbit hole and you’ll be at your destination in no time. Just you know…don’t BE the crazy lady or the mom that doesn’t tell her kid to stop kicking (you totally get full points for trying. I won’t judge. I was kicked on a plane once. They mom tried to keep the little guy at bay, but he fell asleep and apparently kicks in his sleep. She apologized several times and kept trying to move him. The effort was acknowledged and I was fine…albeit a little bruised.)

Okay blog friends, your turn. What do YOU do to occupy yourself when you travel? Even if you don’t fly – how do you keep yourself entertained on the train or in the car?

 

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!

I Believe in Magic. And Kindness. And Courage.

Happy movie Friday!  Today, Cinderella, in all its live action Disney glory, comes out in theaters, and I can’t even begin to tell you how perfectly lovely it was.

image

Brian and I had the opportunity to see it a few weeks ago and I couldn’t wait for it to come to the theater so, at the very least, I could see it again. This delightful movie takes a beloved classic and adds a depth to each of the characters that will allow itself to withstand the test of time. The theme throughout the movie is “have courage and be kind.” And Cinderella does that with grace and elegance.

image

Lily James sparkles with the perfect combination of strength and whimsy. Her performance warmed my soul. They couldn’t have cast a more lovely, vibrant Cinderella. Richard Madden (hello King Rob Stark, drool) is a heart-stealing Prince Charming who matches Lily’s Cinderella with a romantic and witty chemistry.

image

Helena Bonham Carter has so much fun with her role that you can’t help but adore Cinderella’s fairy godmother. She’s bright and flighty in one big pouf.

image

Cate Blanchett plays a chilling evil stepmother, with a background story that makes you hate her just a little less (though not much, because she’s so freaking wicked).

image

I loved this movie with all my Disney heart. Fans of the cartoon will find carefully placed hat tips to the original while still making it their own.

Yes. There are mice. And yes, I swear they talk! Brian asked me after if I could understand what they were saying, because he was SURE they were speaking throughout the movie. I couldn’t make it out. And for lovers of the mice, Gus Gus is featured (& often partnered with cheese).

image

The costumes were amazing. From the ugly sepsisters’ clashing ensembles to the magical fairytale gowns, the clothing was unbelievable.

Look for a fast cameo that I’m 95% sure is an uncredited Brandy Norwood as a nod to Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Brian couldn’t understand why I was dancing in my chair or tapping his arm, so he definitely can’t confirm the cameo.

Stay until the end of the credits for a few soundtrack wins, including Cinderella animated favorites sung by Lily James and Helena Bonham Carter. As we left the theater, I kept thinking about how magical and wonderful it truly was and how much it made me believe that magic does exist.

And of course, if you venture out to catch Cinderella, you’ll also get a viewing of the new Frozen short, Frozen Fever, in which Elsa and the gang celebrate Anna’s birthday with an original song.

image

Are you looking forward to seeing Cinderella? What’s your favorite Disney animated feature? Would you love to see it live action?

I did see this movie at an advanced screening as part of the media. I was not compensated for this post, though there may be affiliate links used. As always, all opinions are expressly mine. All images are used with the permission of Walt Disney Studios.

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!

Let Freedome Ring…And Also…David Hasselhoff On A Serious Quest

My ambassadorship with F-Secure is coming to a close, but I thought it was important to address something I noticed in all your lovely comments on my last post about Freedome.

In your comments, a lot of you mentioned using antivirus software, which is awesome, but you’re only protecting yourself from malware and viruses, and not protecting your privacy. If you’re on an open network (one of the billions of public Wi-Fi connections), you never know who could be tracking your information. I’m not a big conspiracy theorist (my opinion of the moon landing & obsession with the show, Person of Interest, notwithstanding), but I like having the comfort of being protected on both counts.

A VPN (virtual private network), such as F-Secure Freedome, can help ensure your privacy by encrypting your information and showing your location as elsewhere in the world.

This little ole app scans my new apps, protects me from tracking attempts, secures my browsing, and protects my connection.

image

I think it’s doing a pretty great job. You know who’s also a fan?

David Hasselhoff.

So there’s that.

You can check out F-Secure Freedome for yourself with a 90-day free trial of Freedome VIP with a special code for my readers: qsf257.

Have you used a VPN to protect your digital integrity? What measures do you take to keep your information safe?

This post was sponsored by F-Secure. I received compensation and a free trial for Freedome to tell you about my experience. As always, I only work with brands and products that I wholeheartedly support.

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!

Dear Cary Elwes, I’m REALLY Sorry.

Cary ElwesDear Cary,

Can I call you Cary? I hope so. I’m going to assume that you’ve probably forgotten all about me. And Brian. I’m really hoping you forgot about Brian.

So, I’ll start with this. I’m a big fan. Huge, actually. I remember seeing The Princess Bride when I was a little girl, and it premiered on television for the first time. We recorded it on our VCR. You were the perfect knight in non-shining black non-armor. And then there was Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I can’t even count how many times I watched that one. And Kiss the Girls. Loved it.  And of course, the original Saw. The most terrifying movie I had ever seen to that point…My girlfriend and I opened every door and turned on every light that night when we went home. So you’re pretty awesome in my book. Even if I’m barely a blip in yours…and well…let’s just hope our meeting didn’t put me on your non-blip, non-awesome list.

Let me give you a refresher so you understand where I’m coming from. It’s Valentine’s Day. In Naperville, Illinois. You’ve just finished a beautiful Q & A with someone who appears to be one of your biggest fans. You made us laugh. You told stories. You hugged some ladies, and I knew you were going to be perfectly wonderful when I met you.

Cary Elwes in Naperville

As I stood in line with my book (I was FIFTH in line, my friend. FIFTH), I watched as you helped people move the signing table across the hall so that everyone could get nice pictures instead of being drowned by the sun streaming through the windows in the background. You were so sweet. You shook hands with people. You made light small talk. You looked like the nicest guy ever.

Excited to meet Cary Elwes

See how excited I was?

I couldn’t wait to meet you.

And then it happened.

I had asked Brian (my adorably wonderful boyfriend – he really is. You just got the wrong impression of him. He didn’t mean it. I promise) to take pictures with my camera, and was planning on letting the camera girl from the bookstore use my phone. But Brian REALLY wanted to ask you a question.

I questioned what he wanted to ask, but I’ll be honest with you…it sounded kind of like Charlie Brown’s teacher. He just looked so INTERESTED…and it was Valentine’s Day. And I had dragged him to a book signing…so of course, I said sure.

IMG_1592

You shook my hand, and Brian apparently tried to take pictures…but he really wanted to ask a question…and so he came forward. I introduced you to him, and then he asked you what your thoughts were on the Dread Pirates in the news. I believe his actual question was, “How do you feel about the Dread Pirate Roberts being prosecuted for an online drug ring?”

Cary Elwes

You looked…

Well…

Very confused.

That one time Brian confused Cary Elwes

That one time Brian confused Cary Elwes

I’m SO sorry. It must have been embarrassing for one of the first people in line to catch you off guard like that. You see, there’s this whole Internet drug ring going on…and the guy in charge is calling himself the Dread Pirate Roberts…and the site got shut down. The guy was in court…And another one popped up. A Dread Pirate Wesley so to speak…

Brian thought it would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on the whole situation and your character being used for Internet misbehavin’.

Wow. I guess that sounds really bad.

And of course, the girl who interviewed you looked…SO ANGRY…I think she knew exactly what the Dread Pirate Roberts thing was. If looks could kill, she would have decapitated my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day.

That one time Brian really pissed off some random girl

That one time Brian really pissed off some random girl

Well, Cary…I walked away; it seems we were almost ushered away more quickly than I could even imagine…

The girl with my phone apologized. She tried to take pictures. She just couldn’t seem to get a good shot. She got the ones I showed above.

And I just kept thinking to myself…

What the fuck just happened?

It was awkward. It was weird. And I’m so sorry if it was embarrassing. I’m really good at making an ass of myself in front of famous people. Especially at book signings. Like that one time I met Jenny Lawson.

I walked away and fought back the tears. Everything I had been hoping for was shot down. I was going to try to make some adorably witty banter or ask you a question about your stay in the Chicagoland area. Were you going to see Mandy while you were here? Instead I found myself smiling like an idiot, confused, bewildered and done.

I wanted to go home, but we had planned to stay for the movie. We had dinner plans afterward and it would have been silly to leave.

Watching The Princess Bride made it a little better. It’s hard not to swoon and smile and laugh.

But nearly a month later, I’m still sorry. And I do hope that you’ll forgive us. We’re just a little awkward. We didn’t really mean it.

Sincerely,

Chrissy

PS: You’re still as handsome as ever.

Hey Blog Friends, have you ever embarrassed someone famous completely accidentally? No? Just me? How about something you did that embarrassed someone else or yourself?

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!

You Can Handle ANYTHING for Just Ten Seconds

Hear me out.

Or don’t. But if you don’t…it’s your loss.

Recently, I had the opportunity to binge watch the most adorable new sitcom on Netflix. Last weekend, I floated through the first six episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. After watching this preview, I knew I had to check it out (go ahead and watch. I’ll wait.)

Seriously, Tina Fey, could you have created a more lovable character? And the show is just as delightfully entertaining with the fish out of water story as the preview. The awkward 90’s references kept me laughing and the unwavering optimism kept me begging for more.

Kimmy Scmidt 3

And really…when she proclaims she’s having candy for dinner? She’s basically me when Brian isn’t around to tell me to eat a real dinner.

Kimmy is surrounded by a top-notch cast of misfits who perfectly wrap around her pretty pink bubble. With Titus and Jacqueline, who both found their way to New York by reinventing themselves, Kimmy’s not alone in her adventures, and Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, and Carol Kane add just as much magic as the delightful Ellie Kemper.

Kimmy Schmidt 2

But the thing that resonated with me the most? Kimmy’s belief that you can get through just about anything for ten seconds. And as soon as the first ten seconds has ended? You start again. Because everything is better in ten-second intervals.

Kimmy Scmidt

I took the opportunity this week to test the theory out…because sometimes it happens that I find myself in situations that I’d rather avoid completely. Like the other day, when I got on the bus.

I was about to sit down when a lady requested to sit beside me. Having weird preferences to sit on the outside pretty much all the time, I got up so she could sit down. But bus seats are NOT roomy. So when I realized there wasn’t a whole lot of space for me to sit, I offered my outside seat up to someone else. But the lady I let sit down was insistent that I sit next to her. Not wanting to make a scene, I obliged.

Bus seat

Just try to tell me you can fit two normalish sized booties on those seats. Seriously.

With the edge of the bus seat riding up my tail bone and my right butt cheek hanging off the edge of the seat, comfort was a dream far far away. And so I counted to ten in my head. One…two…three…

And then it was over. And I started again.

One…two…three…

…ten.

And so it went on for several rounds of ten counts.

Until I was near my stop and could get up and move to the back of the bus where the exit was. Which I did. But the counting? Totally helped.

Kimmy Schmidt was right. I think I’ll keep her. As I ten-second my way through my days, this weekend, I’m going to be sharing my stories on Facebook with the hashtag, #JustTenSeconds so you can follow along. Please feel free to jump in with your own tales of ten-second survival tactics and use the hashtag so everyone can see it.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

What has happened in your life recently that would warrant a good ten-second count? Ever been stuck in an uncomfortable seat on a bus, train or plane?

You can start streaming Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix today (whether or not you’ve gotten through Season 3 of House of Cards yet).

While I wasn’t paid to write this post, I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and was given a year’s subscription to Netflix and a device on which to watch shows like Kimmy Schmidt and other Netflix favorites.

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!