Archives for April 2015

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Last week, I offered you some wise dating advice. I left The Grown Up hanging while I meandered off to a late breakfast. I just KNOW he was waiting with baited breath for my imminent return. And as any good obsessive dater does, I couldn’t wait to get back and chat with him some more. Our conversation was…well, okay, fine. It wasn’t quite riveting. I was imagining him to be this amazing, wonderful, adorable, brilliant creature of a man who would one day love me, marry me and make babies with me. I pictured our life together, and I believed in my heart that he would lead me down a magical path to happily ever after. Don’t you do that with every guy you talk to? No? Just me?

Timeline

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can start from the beginning with the story of the boys that invited me to Ireland and work your way back here.

Sheepishly continues the story

I returned from my breakfast date several hours later and professed my adorably undying love for breakfast. The Grown Up responded soon after with this gem:

TGU: There’s no way you just had breakfast at 2:30pm…unless…gasp…you had a double breakfast! One standard breakfast and then breakfast for lunch. That’s madness!!!
Me: Man, I wish.
But I was at breakfast for like 3 hours.
Although now that I think about it…breakfast for lunch would rock

Yeah, Chrissy. Like you’d never had breakfast for lunch before. FAKER.

TGU: only on Sundays. It’s ILLEGAL to even attempt that on any other day
Me: WHAT!?!
Now that’s just crazy talk
TGU: ILLEGAL! In most municipalities and jurisdictions…if they catch you…I…I don’t even know what they might do.
Just be careful.
There are various underground restaurants that flout this law.
I’ve heard that some of those restaurants are actually narcs…and just put those items on the menu to entrap potential law-breakers.
(BTW, a 3 hour breakfast? seriously?)
Me: well…we were talking!
I was meeting with someone in my organization
so partially business stuff…
but he’s also a friend, and going through some shit.

We chatted for a while about some pretty deep shit, relating to marriage and relationships (Is it weird to talk about marriage with a potential partner?). He continued to throw in his snarky commentary, regardless of the gravity of the topic. He was able to find humor in almost anything. And he made me laugh.

The conversation took a turn for the worst when The Grown Up had a problem with his iPhone…it stopped working, and he cursed the little i for breaking on him, swearing that he wasn’t really an Apple guy anyways, and this was one of the reasons why. I couldn’t have agreed more, but apparently he was so distraught and irritated that he had to abruptly end our chat. Again.

As he disappeared from my chat list, I should have been thinking about how he kept flaking as soon as the conversation got interesting. But I lived in my little la la land, and imagined my future relationship with The Grown Up. I found his words intoxicating, I was consistently entertained by his sense of humor, and excited at the prospect of dating someone who wasn’t a scrub. I went in with a plan. The next time I talked to him, I was GOING to ask him out. I just was.

I often gave advice to my friends, telling them that they should ask a guy out, for a specific day, thus actually asking him on a real date. Of course, I was painfully shy as soon as I actually liked someone, and at that point I wished I had someone on the inside to make it happen for me. Basically, I was a chicken shit. He still had not given me his phone number, and I hadn’t either. It was weird to only communicate with someone via chat that I had actually met in real life and not through an online dating site. But I was crushing hard, and not thinking logically. I still couldn’t stalk him to find anything about him on Facebook or MySpace or Google.

So I would have to wait. Again.

But next week? The story gets really good.

If you could go back in time and knock some fucking sense into the me of the past, what would you tell her? I’m driving myself crazy remembering how nutso and immature I was back then. I almost feel sorry for The Grown Up – do you? Any lingering courtships that took forever to get away from the gate?

Click the pic below to find out what happens next!

The story continues. This is it. Make or break time. photo credit: L1010203_v1 via photopin (license)

The story continues. This is it. Make or break time. photo credit: L1010203_v1 via photopin (license)

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!

3 Ways to Maintain Hardwood Floors Without Wasting an Entire Day

When we moved into our house, we both really wanted hardwood floors. The entire house is mostly covered in carpet, which is an allergic-to-everything couple’s nightmare. I made Brian promise we would replace the carpet with wood IMMEDIATELY (I mean, we had blue carpet with yellow walls in our front room. It was a 90’s disaster that had never been fixed). But after painting ALL THE ROOMS, the blue carpet? Not so bad. We’d still love hardwood (and so would our allergen-filled sinuses), but the cost of hardwood makes me cry a little bit inside…so we’ll wait it out.

But we do have one lovely room with beautiful hardwood floors. And I like to keep it clean. Well, I like Brian to keep it clean, but I digress. This is our dining room. Game room. Wine room. All the things room. It’s the brightest, happiest room in the house.

3 Ways to Clean and Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

Sweep that shit regularly

The internet recommends a soft-bristled broom, but let’s be honest for a minute here and admit that we’re using the same cheap-ish, plastic-bristled broom for everything, amiright? If you spend 5-10 minutes sweeping a room on a regularish basis (anywhere from daily to weekly, and you’re golden), your floors will stay relatively clean. If you have your boyfriend spend 5-10 minutes sweeping a room on a regularish basis, your floors will stay relatively clean AND you won’t have lifted a finger. BOOM.

Clean your hardwood floors

This may be my favorite room in the house. Seriously.

Get a fancy mop with a solution and ergonomic design specifically made for hardwood

When I picked up the Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop from my P.O. Box (Thanks Bona people!), Brian asked, what’s in the box? Is it for me? And I excitedly announced, “YES!” because we all know cleaning isn’t my forte in this relationship.

Happy birthday, Brian!

Happy birthday, Brian! (Of course, I would take a picture featuring the Spanish side of the box. Not changing it. You’re welcome.)

But, for the sake of that same relationship, I took it upon myself to put the mop together. Okay, so it may have taken me 20+ minutes to assemble said mop. And it may have been really easy to do, according to the video that I had to watch four times to get it right. And I may have then had trouble getting it to spray (because I still hadn’t put it together properly)…but once I had it all set up, it was a piece of freakin’ cake.

Bona Mop

I only had a few minor snafus in trying to get the green part into the blue part. I didn’t consider sending it back because I thought it was broken or anything…

So, since it was assembled and all, I figured, what the hell? and started mopping our dining room floor. Holy shit, you guys. I have no problem mopping the floor if it’s always going to be this easy. The removable, washable pad dealie is attached with Velcro to the bottom of the mop, and the spray solution is activated at the handle, so there’s no bucket, no super wet floors, no bending down, no wet icky mop to store upside down…It’s fucking magical.  After I was done mopping (like 5 minutes later, tops), I removed the pad, and hung it over the back of a chair to dry (because the back of the pad wasn’t wet AT ALL).

Polish the floors with a reliable wood polish

You want a spit shine on your dining room floor? Cool. Find a polish that is going to enhance the wood and not destroy it. Then find someone to do it for you. Like your loving boyfriend who wants to keep the floor looking amazing. Even when you’re probably going to spill queso and wine on it a few hours later. I’m just saying. Not that I’ve done that or anything…

Why yes, that is the bottle of wine I spilled...

Why yes, that is the bottle of wine I spilled…

In case you weren’t already aware, my cleaning style is really one harbored out of necessity rather than enjoyment. We tend to rush around and clean before people come over. So when I took the Bona cleaning personality quiz, it nailed me completely. Social butterfly who stays busy and focuses on life before cleaning. Spot on, Bona. Spot on.

If you go take the personality quiz, you’ll get the chance to win a vacay away from your clean or messy home. You could win a trip to Hawaii and free house cleaning for a year. (Hey Bona, PICK ME!).

What’s your cleaning personality? What tips do you have for hardwood floor cleaning? How lazy are you when it comes to cleaning? What problems have you found when putting things together?

I was not paid to say nice things about Bona, but I was given a free mop to facilitate this post. As always, my opinions are my own and completely honest. There’s no sense in lying to you guys. Oh, also, any Amazon links are affiliate links that may help me earn a few pennies to keep this site operating. Thanks for being awesome.

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’m Loving the Selection of Bad Horror Movies on Netflix

Last week, I was at a party, scarfing queso like it was my last meal on earth, when the conversation turned to B horror movies and Netflix. Something I never even considered. I mean…sure I use Netflix to binge watch TV shows and enjoy my favorite chick flicks. But I didn’t even think about watching some of the weird-ish stuff they’ve got going on. And what was I thinking waiting this long to do so!?

The girl who brought up the topic suggested I watch Big Ass Spider, and by suggested, I mean HIGHLY RECOMMENDED this comedic, horrific piece of cinematic glory. I knew I was going to watch it. It was all a matter of when.

Big Ass  Spider

So on Friday night, I got home from C2E2 (more on that later) after a very long, emotional day (post-Grey’s Anatomy disaster). I stumbled into the house covered in exhaustion. My feet were swollen and blistered from all the walking. I felt the sweat and grease and other acky shit coating my body. And really needed a deliciously hot bath. So  I grabbed my tablet, some fancy bath stuff and a towel and readied myself for a little bathtime Netflix.

Oh yeah, I don’t mess around, y’all. Tablets are like mini TVs, perfect for watching stuff Brian definitely wouldn’t. He’s got a thing about spiders, so I knew this movie wouldn’t be for him.

The opening sequence shows a GIGANTIC spider taking over the top of a skyscraper and Greg Grunberg (Heroes!) getting up from the ground amidst chaos. And at that point, I knew it was going to be fantastic. The movie didn’t disappoint, with a science experiment weapon/arachnid gone awry, an unlikely hero, his even more unlikely sidekick and a hot chick with bad lines for the hero to swoon for.

It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I laughed my ass off, and ignored the pop-out-and-scare you moments (because no one wants to dream of giant spiders jumping out at them.). If you’re not a fan of DISGUSTINGLY gory scenes, and you enjoy a little ridiculous sci-fi-esque B horror flicks, might I recommend Big Ass Spider? I’m planning on checking out a few more of these movies for my own amusement. I’ll keep you posted if I find anything noteworthy.

What are you watching on Netflix? What’s on your “that looks weird and interesting” list? What’s your favorite B movie?

Netflix Stream Team

 

While this is not a sponsored post, Netflix hooked me up with a year’s subscription and a device on which to watch really awful, but hilarious B-movies. But I was a Netflix subscriber long before joining the Stream Team. So there’s that. 

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!

Dating Advice: How to Flirt Your Way to a Maybe Definitely

I may not be married (coughyetcoughBRIAN*), but I like to think that I was really good sometimes, sort of okay at dating. Which makes me an excellent advice giver. Honestly, though, I’m much better at giving advice than taking it.

Wise

See? Even Katie thinks I’m very wise. Sage-like even.

 

I’d been dating a few different guys for a couple of months. One would flake, and I’d start dating another. I was seeing two to three at a time, always talking to someone new so I didn’t totally obsess about any one guy at any one time (this plan, by the way, worked in theory only. I was still bat-shit crazy). Online dating was my escape from the not-what-I-planned life I was leading.

I was a server in a bar with damn near a master’s degree, not really sure which direction I wanted to go in. But boys were always there to occupy my mind so I didn’t have to think, let alone worry, about my future. It was freeing and constricting all at once. I was just having fun, until I wasn’t and then I’d move on to someone new (okay fine, they’d move on to someone new, so I would have to as well). And then sometimes, I would go on the WORST dates with awkward guys who had nothing interesting to say or that I had no chemistry with. And quite honestly, when you get an unrequested, uncalled for, unnecessary dick pic (not to be confused with a Nic pic) from someone you’re already not interested in? Gah. I don’t miss that.

During this time, a couple of guys asked me to go to Europe with them. And then I  digitally stalked one of them. And got a little bit crazy. But somehow managed to see them again at the bar.

I didn’t hear from either of them after they failed to meet me at my preferred local watering hole. I was a little more than disappointed.

But with all my experience, I  had discovered the online secrets to making boys want to date me (at least go on a first date with me…or send me photos of their prize possessions).  With these brilliant pointers, you’ll be on the road to love in no time.

How to Awkwardly Flirt Your Way to a Maybe

Dating Advice

Leave adorable messages with near strangers

So when The Grown Up showed up in my Gchat feed a few weeks later, after one of those aforementioned really awful dates…I messaged him.

9:15 AM…
Me: So, I haven’t seen you guys around the (insert abbrev for the bar I worked at before abbrevs were cool) lately…Hope things are fabulous 😀

Be patient

44 minutes later…
TGU: Everything’s been going great! Bright and Shiny started his tax season rush, so he’s pretty much under house arrest until April. How’ve you been? You’re probably settled in at the bar by now.

Demonstrate positivity, ambition, and confidence

Me: I’ve been pretty great.
Settled, yeah…but I’m ready to get a teaching gig, so now its all about the hunt 😀
TGU: well…traditionally…you want to either isolate the young or the old and infirm from the rest of the pack. You can do this through several feints designed to see who lags behind.

Laugh at his jokes

Me: lmao
Good plan
TGU: or you can set a trap.
Traps are kinda more fun because they have an arts and crafts thing going on.
You can do a snare, a pit trap with spikes, a bear trap, a tripwire with claymores, a landmine…
Endless fun!
Most teachers will never see it coming
Me: hahahahahaha
I’ll keep those in mind…

Leave him wanting more

Me: Well, I wish I could chat more, but I have to run…breakfast calls me…

Ask him out without asking him out

Me: we should hang out or something sometime :-p
TGU: Definitely. but I’ll know to look for traps now.
I’ll check my schedule and shoot you an email.

Feign indifference

(but feel free to dance around like a maniac because you’re in your bedroom chatting and not next to him)

Me: Awesome. Sounds good
Later 🙂

Let him have the last word

TGU: Have a good breakfast

Obviously, I charmed him with my amusement and very serious flirting skills. He said “DEFINITELY.” That was good, right? I was ready to make this a thing. It had been 3 months since my first interaction with this very handsome man, who appeared to be mildly interested in me. I found myself screaming in my head, WHY WASN’T ANYTHING HAPPENING YET!?

How do/did you flirt with someone new? Were you an advocate of the digital dating or did you prefer old-fashioned, classic dating?

Did I go on a date with The Grown Up or was he all talk and little action? Maybe. Definitely. Click the image below to read the next part of the story!

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

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!

And This is How Many Times I Injured Myself This Weekend…

This is how many times I injured myself this weeknd

On Saturday morning, I attempted to finish clearing the dead crap from my heavily landscaped yard, a task I had begun upon arriving home the night before (while wearing a damn dress, no less). Dirt, mud and pollen threatened to swallow my hands whole. The purple paint on my freshly manicured, middle fingernail chipped. A light scratch here, a plant-burn there. Is plant burn a thing? Because it should be. Similar to rug burn, only from pulling dead grasses, plants and other things from your garden/lawn. I had zero desire to rip up the rest of my hands.

Illinois prairie grass is a bitch. And look how cute that shit starts out.

Illinois prairie grass is a bitch. And look how cute that shit starts out.

At the hardware store, after eating a bag of free popcorn and grabbing a pair of gloves to protect my accident-prone hands, I found a single package with three cutting tools nestled under a plastic cover, attached to a cardboard back with staples. What a convenient little set for cutting. I have plans to cut more things today. THIS. Is what I need.

I stood patiently, waiting for my turn at the register, and as I dug through my purse hunting for my debit card (yeah, I’m the annoying bitch with the purse full of receipts and other shit I don’t need, while my debit card lies somewhere near the bottom…), I remembered throwing that fucker in my shopping bag at the farmer’s market earlier that morning. Panic set in as the cashier began ringing my stuff up. Balls! I don’t have any money to pay for this shit.

Like an asshole, I mumbled apologies, asking the cashier to PLEASE hold my purchase for 20 minutes as I went home to find my card. I retraced my steps, and tried to remember what I had done with my card, and if it was, in fact, still in my grocery bag. Once inside my car, I realized that the card was actually in the pocket of my sweatshirt, and returned to the store less than a minute later, with red cheeks and a sheepish grin. I feared they thought I was lying.

When I left the store, my arms were full of items I needed and didn’t need all at the same time. I stacked them in the car, and continued on my original mission. I walked with purpose to the backyard of my parents’ house, where a pair of green Adirondacks and matching footstools awaited my rescue. They were battered from several cold winters and bright summers spent outdoors, and so I wiped them down before trying to maneuver them into my car.

After they were cleaned (and I use the term “cleaned” loosely as the abandoned spider egg sacs were removed and the thick coat of dirt and leaves became a thin layer of dusty grime that was going to take more than a quick wipe down to eradicate), I awkwardly carried the first chair to my car. The uneven weight distributed uncomfortably in my arms as I knocked into each bush and tree branch along the path.

My first attempt was to slide the chair into the backseat of my Yaris, but the width of the chair in any direction was too much for my tiny back door. After unsuccessfully trying to push the Adirondack into the trunk, I only had one other option. I opened the passenger door and began bargaining with the car and the chair, promising car washes and a new home respectively.

After a few minutes, I was able to ease the chair into the front, with the back of the seat leaning as far down as possible and the Adirondack appeared massive in my subcompact sedan. And then it was time to repeat the process. I pushed and tugged and arranged the two chairs so that I could just barely make my way home in the car. Each time I shifted gears, I had to lift the chairs to move the handle. I was forced to sit on the left side of my own seat with the chairs digging into my right arm, as I held the seatbelt across my body with my right hand. Thank God my parents only live a few minutes from my house. I prayed every second of those several minutes that a cop didn’t pull me over.

bushes in the front of our house

As I pulled into the driveway, I admired the blooming bushes and flowers that spotted our front yard and made me wish I had inherited my mother’s green thumb instead of a clumsy, fall-over-everything, try-desperately-to-keep-plants-alive disposition. I removed the chairs with little effort, carting them to the backyard, one at a time.

Don't they look adorable on our deck?

Don’t they look adorable on our deck? Even with the dusty grime…

I prepared to resume my original mission to clean up last season’s dried stems and grasses to make way for the budding greenery in our yard. As I pulled out the gloves, I noticed they were attached to their packaging with a staple. I tried, unsuccessfully to remove it with my thumbnail, puncturing a small corner of the once-perfectly polished digit.

In an effort to preserve the rest of my fingers, I looked around for something to remove the fucking staple. The package of clippers and sheers seemed the logical (and laziest) way to solve my problem. As I attempted to delicately – wait for it – pry the staples off the plastic and cardboard packaging, I felt the sharp sting of my finger receiving yet another gash from a single staple. That motherfucker bit me.

Fuck that shit. I ripped the packaging to shreds with Hulk force, feeling the quick whip of a rogue staple whiz past my left ear on its way to the other side of the garage. At that point, all I could think was Welp. That could have been worse.

Once unlocked from the 27 staples, the small clippers acted as a pair of pliers to remove the remaining fucking staples that were causing so much agony. Who the fuck thought it would be fun and/or intelligent to staple plastic gloves together?

Once the seemingly harmless task of unpackaging my new garden toys was finished, I made my way to the bathroom in search of Disney BandAids and Neosporin. I dressed my wound, and gloved my hand so I could finally work on the beautification of our yard.

Several hours after clipping and shearing and pulling and tugging, I was just about finished. I heard the rustle of someone behind me, and I knew that Brian was actually awake.

“I was going to help.”

“I know.”


 

I wish I could end there with a few finger scratches and chipped nails…

Later that night, I felt intense bolts of pain shooting from my wrist when I rotated or pressed on it in certain ways. The pulling and tugging and throwing of the fucking dead grasses and shit was apparently a little rough on my arthritic wrists (which have actually built up a lot of strength thanks to yoga – alas, I’m not invincible). So I couldn’t hold my phone to fuck around on Facebook during the hour drive home from the North Side.

So by Sunday, my fingers were cut up, my nails were broken, my wrist was strained or something…and I’m not done yet.

WARNING: PAINFUL IMAGE DEPICTED BELOW.

A friend stopped by to donate a futon to our guest bedroom, and I went outside to help carry the pieces in. As we walked, three of us carrying the large mattress not unlike my awkward carting of Adirondack chairs the day before…when I tripped over my own bare toe. Why I thought carrying shit barefoot was a good idea ever at all…I’ll never know. But the image of the dirt-covered, bleeding, very large gash of lifted skin from the top of my toe with a giant flap where my toenail met the toe was nothing compared to the searing pain I’ve been in since it happened. My nail is pretty much digging into the raw cut, and I’m terrified of going near it with clippers, as the entire fucking toe is throbbing with pain. I figure I’ll be walking with a limp until June. So much for that spring pedi I was planning on getting myself.

Toe jam

This is my Flinstoe. Wrapped up in a lot of gauze and tape.

 

Blog Friends, what gardening/landscaping woes have you encountered this spring? Any recent injuries or mishaps? Got any tips for me so I don’t kill everything in our yard before we’ve been in our house a year? Am I the only one who finds staples to be among the most dangerous of packing materials?

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!

When it Sometimes Sucks to be a Waitress

After I was invited to Ireland by a couple of strangers, and went all internet-stalker boy crazy, I may have fucked everything up with the handsome Grown Up. I was dating…a couple of guys. Although I should probably mention that I use the term, “dating” loosely. Based on your knowledge of my bad-ass stalking skills, and my penchant for crushing fast and hard, you can probably guess how well that was going for me. If not, let me make it abundantly clear: I was something bordering on pathetic.

a long day at the bar

One Saturday afternoon in mid-January, while working at the bar, my manager asked me to stay on and work a double. He promised that I’d be the first cut at around 9 pm. I didn’t typically work Saturday nights, so I wasn’t sure what to expect (but I did know there was a lot of money to be had). There was a band playing that started around 9 pm, and the bar didn’t get any less busy as the evening went on. It seemed as though several of my tables were there for the band. Fuckballs. I had planned to meet up with my friends at our favorite local karaoke dive for booze and tunes as soon as I left work. Apparently that “as soon as” was going to become “if.”

Around 7 pm, I was delivering food to a one of the other server’s tables when I looked up and the two people sitting there recognized me. And said hi. And I COMPLETELY blanked.

Ughhblughhderrr…

I smiled and looked back and forth between the two of them…and realized it was Bright & Shiny and The Grown Up. Whose real names had completely escaped me.

And then I got excited.

Because I was on the prowl for some new man blood in my life, considering the two guys I was quasi dating were quasi sucking…(probably because I was bat-shit crazy)…and I remembered The Grown Up had a way with words that was really fucking sexy.

I was feeling especially good about myself that night. I was skinnier then, and my work uniform was a fitted black tee shirt, a plaid pleated kilt, and black knee high socks. My hair was probably a disaster having worked all day, and there were probably 15 or so mysterious stains on my shirt, but I like to think I still looked fucking adorable.

Throughout the rest of the evening, I made my way over to their table, convincing them to order dessert so I could bring it out to them. I flirted terribly, smiling and stalking their table, even though it wasn’t in my section.

As the band started playing a little after 9, the bar got dark and loud. The boys were ready to roll out. Bright and Shiny asked when I was getting off work. I told him I was supposed to leave around 9, so it shouldn’t be too long. He then asked what I was doing after work and if I wanted to join them at another bar they were heading to.

I explained my karaoke bar, and Bright & Shiny looked optimistic. He yelled over the music that it sounded like fun and maybe they would join me. I told them where the bar was and how to get there…I really wanted them to join me. I pretty much told them as much in that clingy, crazy style I seem to be so very good at.

I imagined my night ending with kisses from The Grown Up outside my regular watering hole…even though I had long-ago established rules against that sort of shenanigans.

I would sing some sultry song and he would be so impressed by my skill and style that he would become instantly smitten with me and never want me to go away. We would snuggle in a booth at the bar, with Bright & Shiny telling us how cute we were together. He would be my advocate in this potential relationship. The Grown Up would walk me to my car and kiss me good night, planning a real date sometime soon. He’d give me his phone number instead of just e-mailing me. I’d make him love me.

There I was…planning my future wedding again.

They stayed for at least an hour longer (as I occasionally stopped by their table to smile and offer my assistance), but I was still running around the bar like a chicken with no head. Slinging drinks, running food, and diving through crowds of people begging me to take their order. Madhouse didn’t begin to describe it.

Around midnight, 14 hours after I started my shift, the lead server finally let me go home. Frazzled, I walked over to the table where the boys had been sitting. But they were gone.

I made my way out of the bar, and stopped at my karaoke spot on the way home. A few of my friends were there, but there was no sign of the two boys that I was dying to run into again.

When has your job hindered the possibility of something magical and wonderful (even if you just imagined it in your head)? What lengths would you go to in order to see a someone you had only met twice and chatted with for a few days on Gchat? How would you respond next?

What crazy shit did I do next? Did I find another way to pester The Grown Up? Did he come into the bar again? Are Bright & Shiny and The Grown Up gone for good?

Dating Advice

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!

Please. Don’t Walk and Smoke at the Same Time

I grew up in the house of smoke. The fact that I came out of it without smoking is actually kind of bizarre. When I lived at home, I didn’t even realize how everything I owned smelled like smoke. It wasn’t until I went to college that I ever understood the stale smell of lingering cigarette smoke. My mom figured it out eventually too, and started making all the smokers smoke outside. Which totally makes sense.

I don’t have a vendetta against smokers. I was against the smoking ban in bars. I smoked my fair share of angry, drunk cigarettes after that ban was implemented (it’s hard when all your friends go out to smoke and you’re stuck inside watching purses. Fuck that). My best friend Lily loves to tell my chain-smoking story of that one time I had a lit cigarette in each hand and two unlit cigarettes behind my ears. To be fair, I was drunk, pissed, and Bill Clintoning that shit (I didn’t like the burning from inhaling).

Now, I walk almost a mile to and from work each day. I pass by more than 642 people every day (I tried to count once, but lost track after a couple blocks and several hundred people).
image
Every east-west street near the train stations in The Loop looks like this during rush hour. A sea of people – hundreds people – just racing to their offices. Of those hundred of people, there are usually a few unobservant smokers blowing smoke backwards, not even considering what jerky behavior they’re exhibiting.
image
Listen. I get it. You want your smoky treat before work. After work. At lunch. When you’re a tourist on vacation. I don’t blame you. As a general rule, work sucks and vacation can be stressful. But when you walk and smoke at the same time in that giant crowd of people…you’re blowing smoke in the faces of every person in a ten-foot ring behind you. I know you don’t want to be a jerk…and I’ve got some pointers to offer you so that you aren’t being a complete douchebag.
image

  • Pull over. Step to the side of the sidewalk and enjoy your cigarette. Preferably on the street side of the sidewalk so you’re not blowing smoke in everyone’s faces. You may miss the earlier train, but you won’t be considered an asshole by everyone who catches your smoke in their lungs. And honestly, won’t you enjoy your cigarette just a little more without rushing from point A to point B? Help me help you.
  • When someone LITERALLY runs in front of you, don’t continually try to pass her so your smoke keeps blowing in her face. She ran to get away from you.

(Yeah, I do this. And it happened. Also, the third time the guy sped up to pass me, I looked at him and yelled, “DUDE. SERIOUSLY.” This was me exhibiting douchebag behavior. That guy didn’t know what he was doing to piss me off. I felt a little bad. And he probably thought I was crazy. But seriously don’t smoke and walk.)

That’s it. Two simple steps to making the world a better place. Your efforts are appreciated.

What pet peeves do you have on your daily commute? What are your thoughts on walking smokers?

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!

3 Backstabbing Games You Need to Play

Today is a glorious day my friends!

It’s International Tabletop Day! Brian and I shall celebrate by gathering with some of our board gaming buddies and playing copious amounts of games while snacking and boozing. Life is good today. In honor of this beautiful nerdy-as-fuck holiday started by one of our favorites, Wil Wheaton, and crew (Geek & Sundry, y’all), I thought I would share with you some games that you may not know exist. But should. Because holy hell are they fucking awesome. Also, these games are not for the weak at heart. These games are specifically chosen because they involve a lot of yelling. Screaming. Fuck-your-mother-ing. But I’ve played all these games with my mother. So there’s that.

Basically?

You’re welcome.

We're having a super sale in this shop!

Trailer Park Wars

When introducing non-gamers into the world of serious gaming, I used to use The Settlers of Catan as a gateway game. I like to think of it as Monopoly meets serious gamer. But then I discovered Trailer Park Wars. And oh shit you guys. This game is fucking hilarious. And ridiculous. And SUPER easy. The concept is simple, build a trailer park with trailer cards, amenities, and residents. Each amenity and resident offers benefits and (most importantly victory points). While you’re building your own park, your opponents are doing the same…but you’re also trying to destroy one another’s parks. With cards that send tornadoes through your neighboring park’s trailers, infestations and romances, you can kill, steal or move trailers, people and amenities. Flamingos flank your playing area as the victory points. Hillbilly accents and names are highly recommended. (One day, I’ll introduce you to my alter-ego Gina May). My PARENTS think it’s hysterical. My friends love playing. If you’re into horror flicks, you can also add the expansion, Trailer Park Wars: Terror in the Trailer which gives you more cards and more ways to screw your neighbor.

Trailer Park Wars

This was after I spilled that poor bottle of wine…

 

 One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Did you ever play MAFIA or WEREWOLF at Denny’s on school nights? No? Just me? Okay,  well, this is the ultimate lying and deduction game. There’s a werewolf (or a few werewolves) in the town, and the villagers are ready to hunt this shit down. Except that no one knows who’s a villager and who’s a werewolf. Each person receives a card revealing their identity, but no one knows what anyone else’s card says. The first phase of the game allows some people (werewolves and villagers) to do things in secret while everyone’s eyes are closed (there’s an app that tells you when you can do your thing!). Some people can look at other cards. Some people can look at each other. Some people can even move cards around. Then you open your eyes and the clock starts. You have to decide who the werewolf is and kill them. If you’re a werewolf, you want people to kill a villager by mistake. There’s a lot of yelling. And lying. And “YOU’RE THE WEREWOLF!!!!!” It’s pretty much amazing. This one’s a favorite in our gaming group, but I also got my parents and aunt & uncle to play on Saint Patrick’s Day. My mom was laughing so hard it hurt (probably because she’s a TERRIBLE liar). She’s still on the fence on this one. Oh yeah, this one ALSO has an expansion, which they Kickstarted last year: Daybreak. The expansion adds MORE characters. Additional features. Overall more stuff. Perfect for completionists like me (at least that’s what Brian says, anyways).

Ca$h N Guns

This one is equally as fantastic. You’re a band of thieves. You work together to rob a bank, but now what? Oh, right. You take out the competition. Each person has 3 bullets (Bang! cards) and 5 blanks (Click cards). You choose your weapon card, and on three, everyone points their foam gun (did I mention there are foam guns?) at someone else. At this point, depending on how many guns are pointed at you, you can choose to go forward for the loot (BONZAI!) or chicken out (put your gun down, homie). Those who chickened out and those who are shot, are out of the running for the loot. Everyone else divides the pot between themselves. At the end of 8 turns, the most money wins the game. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend playing with people you don’t mind stabbing in the back. I felt REALLY bad for my friend Beth’s boyfriend (and Brian), because of five of us, they were the two that I felt comfortable destroying. I made the mistake of going for Cletus once, and he wrecked me right back. So the other two guys it was.

What are some of your favorite board games? How will you celebrate International Tabletop Day? What’s the best lying, cheating, backstabbing, screw your neighbor game you’ve ever played?

No one paid me to talk about these games, but links in this post will direct you to Amazon. If you make a purchase, I may receive a teeny tiny commission. Which is awesome. So thank you.

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!

Desperately Seeking Something: How to Fuck Everything Up

After I met two cool guys at the bar at which I was working, and stalked the shit out of the handsome one, I went into work that next afternoon, swooning. The mysterious Grown Up (formerly known as Handsome) was completely occupying my mind. I was always game for a challenge, and someone who couldn’t be found on social media was definitely a challenge in my book. My bartender friend and I spent the very slow work day planning my future wedding to my newest crush.

Desperately Seeking Something

I didn’t have to wait long for the first real email. Some time around noon that afternoon, The Grown Up responded to my adorable comment with just enough sass to make me laugh and just enough weirdness to make me smile. I knew responding to him was going to be fun.

He told me that I obviously had beer goggles on, as he was definitely not “adorable,” though I was welcome to call him dashing, debonair, distinguished, or even elegant. He made some ridiculous nonsensical commentary on my email signature, which referenced a leadership role in an organization and my consultant status for Tastefully Simple. It was teasing, light, and absolutely adorable. His sense of humor really nailed it for me. It was just random enough to make me think more and carefully craft a response that played off his playful tone.

I told him that he was definitely all of those things, but he was also adorable with the definitive argument that it was my word and so it would be that he were adorable.

I added a little light banter about his obvious modesty, and sent the response later that evening. As I waited for another email, I analyzed every word in his first email. I used any personal details to continue my Google search. I still couldn’t find him on social media. Maybe he didn’t have a Facebook account. Maybe he wasn’t that techy or internetty. I even sent him a chat request that went unanswered.

But he e-mailed me the next day using that same, adorable and teasing tone.

Modesty

Words turn me on.

I was seriously hooked. His word choices. His sense of humor.  He was smart. And a smart ass. I loved him. I sent another chat request before responding to his e-mail.

Actually, I sent him several chat requests that soon went unanswered. Shit. Was I fucking this up already?

If you didn’t already know, I was/am a master of fucking things up. I push buttons…A LOT. I kinda like testing my limits. It’s a thing.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent to the poor Grown Up...who was probably doing grown-up things.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent three days in a row to the poor Grown Up…who was probably doing grown-up things. I’m really bad at flirting.

My third IM (which was on the third day – and actually in the morning, and not at night) was met with an awkward response that made perfect sense. He worked at a computer all day. If he looked like he was online at night, he probably wasn’t ACTUALLY online.

Oh.

So we briefly conversed about our jobs and career paths, and I told him I wanted to be a teacher. Our conversation concluded with this little blurb of utter genius…something that I had forgotten completely until finding old conversations to use for this tale.

Grown Up: Being around young people is a good way to stay young. The company I work at now is practically geriatric. I'd say that the corporate culture is stilted... but, honestly, I think most people are kind of stilted generally and almost all corporate cultures have a chilling effect on individuality. me: yeah. The closest I came to working for a corporate company was when I was a catering manager, which hardly constitutes the corporate world Grown Up: Count your lucky stars! me: Every day!

Wise words from The Grown Up… If only I remembered this conversation before I jumped into Corporate America. It almost makes me a little sad for Corporate Chrissy…

After a three day Gmail love affair, though…life took its typical turn in relationship Chrissyland…and the handsome Grown Up didn’t respond again. Christmas was a few days away, and my last e-mail went unanswered. I failed to send another desperate IM during the busy that was Christmas.

Two days before Christmas, I met someone else…and two days after Christmas, someone from my past came back into my life, and the Grown Up that wasn’t pursuing me got pushed to the backseat by the boys that were. I suppose the saying is true…when it rains, it pours. And for me, it was raining men.

Hallelujah.

Was this the end? Would I ever see the Handsome Grown Up or Bright and Shiny again? Friends, tell it to me straight – have you ever pushed a little too hard when you were interested in someone? Do you not push enough? Tell me your tales of woo and woe!

Find out what happens next by clicking the picture below!

a long day at the bar

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!

Jerry the Mouse

A few years ago, my best friend, Mark (you know, the one whose car I stole?), was forced to spend a great deal of time in China and Australia for work. My friend, the world traveler. So the first time he left for China, I would pick up his mail, pay a few bills (with the checks that he had left), and I also made it my business to clean his apartment–including the bathroom (which was guy-living-alone-in-apartment-gross).

One hot summer day, I went over there to drop the mail and survey the apt…I noticed a great deal of strange little black specks that weren’t there before…specs that, I could only hope were something or other from the maintenance guy who came out during the week. Upon further inspection, I realized that it was rodent poop.

JERRY the mouse invasion

So, being the good friend that I was, I cleaned the counters, the stove, the floor, and the sink. I did a thorough inspection of the apartment, and found more mouse poop on top of the fridge, inside drawers and cabinets, and in the laundry room. I made sure that there was no open food anywhere for the little punk to procure. The mouse, whom I affectionately named Jerry, had not yet ventured beyond the realm of the small galley kitchen, so this didn’t take more than an hour. For the time being, it was handled.

I realized that this situation may have been worse than the family of mice who decided that taking up residence in my car’s engine was a good idea. (Oh yes, one morning after the discovery of a dead battery, I opened the hood of my car to discover a charred mouse atop my engine.)

The next time Mark went away, I moved in. After the first poop sighting, I thought taking up residence each time Mark was away was the smart thing to do. I knew to clean up any mess that was made and to keep all food out of sight. This was great for many reasons, the biggest of which was that I lived with my parents and Mark did not. So it was almost like I had my own apartment for a few weeks at a time. It just happened to be an apartment with an unwanted roommate.

I considered bringing my cat over to Mark’s apartment…

Gratuitous cat photo

Gratuitous cat photo

After a few more months of my arch enemy, who was in fact little bigger than my nose, setting up shop in my faux apartment while Mark gallivanted around the globe, I was getting used to the idea of having a tiny roommate in this small space.

Of course, I still despised the thought of sharing space with an icky rodent that could be carrying god only knows what diseases. I didn’t want to deal with creepy crawlies, and definitely didn’t want to deal with mice.

But it was funny… him turned out to be kinda cute when I eventually met him…My heart was racing from the obnoxious screaming that ensued the day I met Jerry, the damn mouse. The little bastard was in the living room. It was strange…I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I first thought it was something in the air, like a fly…and I thought to myself, Da fuck? But when it happened again, I realized that it was the evil mouse.

Jerry.

We stared at each other briefly before I screamed, and he ran back to the living room. I jumped on the dining room chair. I stood there, scanning my surroundings in a militaryesque stance, looking for Jerry, wherever he might have been hiding… And then I saw him…cowering like a little mouse under the couch…and I thought to myself…Awww you’re cute. I still want to kill you (but not really kill you because that’s horrible)…but you’re cute.

He reminded me of Axl Rose, our first gerbil. And so I thought, I can’t kill this cute little thing…so I let him quickly scamper back to the kitchen…while I was safely on my chair…I watched him from my chair for a few minutes, as he tried to peek out at me from under the dishwasher. I yelled, “Don’t even think about it,” and Jerry listened. He shuffled back underneath, and I never saw him again.

What experiences have you had with rodent intruders in your home? Any terrifying tales of other taunting creatures?

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!