Archives for May 2015

Leprechaun, My Budding Acting Career, the Playground, and Netflix

Now, I know we’ve already established how very uncool I was in grade school. But let’s focus instead on the ridiculous weirdness that made me special among the outcasts who didn’t play kickball every lunch hour on the playground.

My acting career

Now, as a young child under the age of 10, I wasn’t really ALLOWED to watch things like MTV and R-rated horror movies per say…but let’s be honest here and say that just because it wasn’t allowed when Mom was around didn’t mean it didn’t happen. Sisters and babysitters and aunts and elderly next-door neighbors were all over that shizz like white on rice.

So it happened that Leprechaun (check it out on Netflix, kids) made its way into the barrows of my mind. It quickly became one of my favorite movies, what with Jennifer Aniston’s adorableness and Willow Warwick Davis playing a wickedly greedy leprechaun. Fun facts: Warwick Davis has been in SEVERAL of my favorite movies and TV shows, including Star Wars, Willow, Labyrinth, Harry Potter, The 10th Kingdom, Doctor Who, and Leprechaun.

With my near-eidetic memory, I could very easily recall the whole of the movie, including key dialogue and the most interesting of scenes. Which was INCREDIBLY lucky for the kids on the playground. For the better part of a week, I gathered a small group of my most easily entertained peers near the far swing set for the dramatic performance of a lifetime. From start to finish, I acted out the entire movie in a one-man show of sorts with dialogue, live action and yes, voices. I was brilliant for a 10-year-old.

A couple months ago, I was practicing yoga on the very playground where I acted out The Leprechaun

A couple months ago, I was practicing yoga on the very playground where I acted out The Leprechaun – those swings were my audience’s seating.

My classmates were amused, engaged, and excited to have access to such a timeless classic movie, and I was entirely convinced this was the start to my acting career. As evident by my listing on IMDB (yes, that is, in fact, me…I should probably try to get a picture up there so directors can see my Oscar-worthy mug, right?), I’m definitely going places, y’all.

Don’t believe me? Look for my cameo in this highly viewed spoof on YouTube. Thanks, Craig!

After the curtain closed on The Leprechaun, I attempted to reenact a few other movies that my childhood friends hadn’t gotten their grubby little paws on, but nothing had the engagement power like The Leprechaun. Not even Leprechaun 2, which you can also find on Netflix.

Leprechaun on NetflixSo why don’t you make a day of it tomorrow, in honor of my birthday, and watch the entire Leprechaun franchise on Netflix? I hear Leprechaun in the Hood makes for a great drinking game.

Blog Friends, what did YOU do on the playground? What are you watching on Netflix? Have you seen Leprechaun?

Netflix Stream TeamWhile this is not a sponsored post, Netflix hooked me up with a year’s subscription and a device on which to watch movies I used to reenact as a child. 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!

Tonight and the Rest of My Life

As our date was coming to a close, I walked a little closer to The Grown Up, briefly grazing his hand with mine. We made our way from the pub to the car, and I knew I was a little tipsy, but far from drunk. I was giggly. Honestly, I was probably fucking adorable. He HAD to be falling in love with me. How could he not?

Tonight and the rest of my life

The car ride home was the complete opposite of the car ride to the restaurant. We chatted the entire time. I’m pretty sure I did most of the talking, but it seemed so easy…and he appeared to appreciate my ridiculous quirks. He laughed at my bad jokes and cracked a few of his own that I’m sure most people would cringe at. It was the most natural thing in the entire world.

When he pulled into my parents’ driveway around 11:30 pm, I wasn’t ready to get out of the car. I wasn’t ready for this night to end. So I kept talking. And talking. And talking some more.

The Grown Up reached up to my neck and started gently running his fingers through my hair. I lost all control of my heart rate and started thinking, is he going to kiss me?

We kept talking. I moved a bit closer to make kissing me easier. He’s not going to kiss me, is he? Why isn’t he kissing me?

And then he blurted out something that seems so peculiar, and yet completely fitting.

“I’m not good with people,” he confessed. He’s definitely not going to kiss me. What the fuck? He keeps touching me as if he likes me…you know what? Balls out, Chrissy. Balls out.

I was thrown back for just a second before I responded, “That’s okay. Just be good with me.” And then I kissed him. And it was magical. We kept kissing forever. Was it five minutes? An hour? I couldn’t tell you. But do you remember those days? The dating and kissing, and JUST kissing for hours? I loved that. I needed that.

Kissed Him

At some point, we resumed talking, with interspersed kissing. The Grown Up realized how late it was, and asked if I wanted to come home with him. Nevermind we had driven from a bar nearish his house back to my house which was in the opposite direction. Nevermind it was our first date. Nevermind he had to work the next morning. Nevermind every last bit of reason. Because wherever he was going, I was going too.

I confirmed that I would go, but I would NOT be banging him that night. It was just to sleep. And he agreed. I’d like to tell you it’s because I wasn’t that kind of girl. But really, it’s because I didn’t want to be that kind of girl. Not with him. There was something about him. I liked him. A lot. More than one should in the midst of a first date. But that didn’t matter because he liked me too. Well…at least he liked me at 1 o’clock in the morning when I was kissing him with fervent adoration…One could only hope that the feeling would continue through to morning, but only time would tell.

I ran into my house, grabbed a toothbrush and a few other essentials, and returned to the car with eager anticipation. I was going to see where this Grown Up lived. I was going to spend the night snuggled next to him. I was going to kiss him until I fell asleep. And I did all of those things. It was quite lovely. His room was small and just a little messy. But he didn’t share his room with anyone like a previous boyfriend. And he didn’t live with his grandparents like another guy I had dated. He was…a motherfucking grown up. We kissed some more and eventually fell asleep. I don’t entirely know how much sleep I got, but I slept in his arms the whole night…and for once, didn’t hate it. Who WAS this guy?

Someone pinch me, I think I fell in love that night. Of course, with my track record, I couldn’t help but think…how long would it last?

Think back to the last best first date you’ve had…how did it end? Did you scandalously spend the night or chastely make your way home? What are your thoughts on copious amounts of kissing? What’s the most magical kissing experience you’ve had in your adult life?

Read the next episode of The Handsome Grown Up, How to Lose a Guy is 6 Steps

When the guy you've been dating for a week or so seems too good to be true, you start busting out the big guns to see how far he'll let you go. Sometimes relationships are really weird.

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!

Dreamers Need to Stick Together

Disney has been knocking them out of the park with magic lately. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to see a pre-screening of Disney’s Tomorrowland, which hits theaters today. It was worth every second. The premise of Tomorrowland begins with a parallel universe of dreamers that welcomes young inventor, Frank Walker (George Clooney), after he sneaks through the front door. The movie jumps back and forth from Walker’s childhood and the story of Casey Newtown (Britt Robertson), who stumbles upon a glimpse of Tomorrowland through a magic pin and looks to Walker to help her get back in.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

After Casey discovers the existence of Tomorrowland, Athena guides her to Frank, an unwilling participant in the return to the future. Much of the movie is spent escaping killer robots on earth as Frank, Casey, and Athena eventually  work together to return to Tthe titular universe.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Tomorrowland is a place where anything is possible if you just dream it. Very innovative Disney. You’ll note a few odes to classic Disney, and I have to admit I cried a little bit when they showed a scene featuring the “It’s a Small World” ride. I can’t help it. Disney World makes me cry nostalgic tears.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

I honestly didn’t know what to expect; I just knew I wanted to see this flick. You know how I feel about Disney. The action sequences are fun, and the humanistic robots are pretty entertaining to watch (look for some SERIOUSLY entertaining cheesy grins). There are some incredibly inspirational lines that made my heart burst.

-Dreamers need to stick together-

Clooney is a convincing pessimist who’s lost all hope while Roberston shows us that optimism is full of hope. Raffey Cassidy is bright and full of life as the mysterious little girl, Athena. Hugh Laurie (omg House!) plays a phenomenal bad guy who gives you just enough of an impression that he’s doing it for the greater good but…is he? You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

Photo used with permission of Walt Disney Studios

The story is all about believing, dreaming, and never giving up. All my favorite themes of whimsy. As a writer and a dreamer, I sometimes need reminders not to give up. This was a good one. Fun for the whole family, this movie is full of fun, action, friendship, and innovation. Because jetpacks were designed to inspire people, right?

Are you looking forward to seeing Tomorrowland? Are you a Disneyphile like me? What types of movies energize 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!

The Best First Date Ever

After I got into what I thought to be the ugliest car, ever

I resumed nervous first date girlitude. I’d only once been alone in a car with a guy on the first date. I didn’t even know what to do or say. So I just sat there with my hands clutching my tiny purse, wishing I had taken a shot of vodka before jetting out the door.

The Grown Up (<—start the story here) was quite curious about my impression of his car, and I just laughed a little and told him I never thought I’d sit in a Mini Cooper. See? I could be tactful. We made polite conversation (small talk, really) during the twenty-five minutes it took to get to the restaurant.

TGU: Have you ever had Indian food?

Me: No. Well, sort of? Does chicken tikka masala from a fast food joint in London count?

Honestly, even with my near-idydic memory, I think I blocked out most of the car ride because I was so nervous. But I know conversation was relatively easy. We shared the floor, switching back and forth with questions and answers that were simple, but not entirely trite.

THE BEST DATE EVER

When we arrived at the restaurant, I stepped out of the car into the winter chill without a coat on, and The Grown Up commented on my insanity. I proudly professed my hatred of coats, and that I was a Chicago girl through and through. I strutted to the restaurant quickly in my heels, showing off my graceful stride and praying to all the things that I didn’t trip and fall. We stepped inside, hit with the aroma of curry and other spices.

I had previously browsed the menu for a good 45 minutes to get an idea of what I would order, and there was a spicy prawns in sauce dish with my name on it. I couldn’t let him see what a terrible decision maker I was on the first date!

We were seated at the farthest booth, directly next to the kitchen, which can sometimes be detrimental to conversation. Fortunately, this was not the case. The booths were secluded, closed off with ornately decorated, gold dividers. The seats were round benches that wrapped entirely around three sides of the table. Very romantic.

Basically, it was really fancy for a first date. Thoughtful. Classic. Elegant. Exciting. Everything that the boys I previously went out with were not. Things were looking up for the Mini-Cooper-driving Grown Up.

We slid into our respective sides of the booth, both sitting near the corners of the table, unsure whether to sit across from each other or next to each other. The hostess handed The Grown Up a wine menu and placed two dinner menus in front of us.

I was all set to take drink cues from The Grown Up, and he suggested wine. I was down. I told him I was a red girl, and he was a white guy (ba dum bum bump), so we opted for glasses of wine instead of a bottle. I chose a Pinot Noir and he opted for a Riesling. When the bartender arrived with our drinks, he stereotypically handed me the white wine and The Grown Up the red. We had a good laugh and switched glasses.

We ordered a giant platter of deep-fried…stuff…mystery vegetables and meats that were absolutely delicious. As we noshed on appetizers, we chatted about very-non-first-date topics. We talked about people and perception and personalities. The Grown Up got REALLY excited about these things, and spent more than a few minutes explaining one of his theories on how we perceive people.

The Grown Up’s theory: When we look at a person, we think “You’re like me, only different,” and so each person’s perception of another stems from their similarities to themselves…even if that’s not really the case. So someone like me, who is an introverted extrovert, sees people as equal parts social and shy and evaluates the differences from there.

His theories resonated with me. They were provocative, but real. I was fascinated and energized by his ideas and the stimulating conversation. This was so much more than a boring date in which we discuss favorites and musical tastes and our jobs. As his previous chat messages had suggested…he was INTERESTING.

Hearts

We each had another glass of wine, and the conversation, like the vino, flowed so easily. I hate to be so cliche, but it was as if I had known him forever. He actually apologized for his rant. (Wait? Rant? Apparently that’s what he called his long-winded discussion about people and psychology or sociology…one of the ologies. I thought it was wonderful.) I spoke of the horrors of student teaching, and we even talked about dating. There was plenty of laughter and with each giggle, we scooted closer to each other in the booth.

By the end of the dinner, we were practically touching. I didn’t want the date to end.

Apparently, neither did The Grown Up. He had previously determined a second location should the evening be going well, so we made our way to a nearby Irish pub for another round of drinks. It was here that he asked my most-despised question.

“Why are you single?”

Why, oh why, do people ask this? It’s like a fucking interrogation. Luckily I had prepared myself for this inquiry because I was sick to death of it. Dating is a lot like interviewing. So I was ready with answers to commonly asked questions. I pulled from my beloved Bridget Jones.

“Well, aside from the fact that underneath my clothes, my body is covered in scales…”

“Wait, really?”

“Ugh. No.”

“I just really hate that question. But mostly it’s because I’m super fucking picky. I’m not going to jump in a relationship just to be in a relationship. That’s stupid. I just haven’t found the right guy yet. Why are YOU single?”

“Uhhh…same.”

Whoops. I think I made shit awkward. Whatever. He’ll get over it. Or not.

From there, the conversation slowly returned to the gentle flow that we had for most of the night. The Grown Up was a genuine good guy. I was crushing HARD. I think he was too. It just seemed so…easy. The night was winding down, and he had to work the next morning, so we paid the bill and left the bar around 11. I still didn’t want the night to end…but did he?

You’ll have to wait until next week to find out!

What’s the best first date that you’ve ever been on? Or the worst first date? I’m easy and obviously love a good story.

The story continues below…

Tonight and the rest of my life

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!

Compliment Sandwich, Bitch.

In which we talk about the jerks who don’t know how to give constructive criticism.

The compliment sandwich

I really love the way you offer suggestions for improvement, but…

When you’re dealing with people, I don’t give a damn whether you’ve got an MBA or a GED. You know what matters to me?

How you TREAT people. Yes, how you treat me is a significant factor, but I also look at how you treat others. How you talk about others. What you write in e-mail. Everything you say to or about people shows me the kind of person that you are. And if you’re being a douche nozzle, you should probably take this to heart.

I didn’t attend a fancy business school, but I did learn that the best way to deliver criticism is with a spoonful of sugar.

Mary Poppins is my homie.

If you’re going to tell a writer that their work could use a little cleaning up, I recommend the compliment sandwich.

How to dish out a compliment sandwich

What you’ll need:

  • Examples of excellent work, planning, organization, strategy or anything else that could warrant a proverbial pat on the back
  • The problem, issue, criticism that needs to be discussed
  • Proof and/or examples of the problem
  • A solution to the problem (if there is one)
  • The right words to eloquently phrase the problem, the solution, and the pat on the back so that you don’t come off as a dick
  • Someone to check your grammar and spelling (this is optional but highly recommended if you’re sending criticism via e-mail).

Step 1: Whether you’re writing an e-mail or confronting the offender in person, it’s best to ensure that you know exactly what you’re going to say. Words are powerful. If you’re not sure of your phrasing, consult with other people. This is essential.

Step 2: Deliver compliment #1. This is one of the easiest parts. “You’re doing a great job here (Elaborate. Get them on Team You).” or “I really appreciated how you handled project A, B, or C.” or my favorite, “I know you’re working really hard on this…”

Step 3: Transition into the constructive criticism. This should be seamless from compliment to “here’s something I’ve/we’ve noticed.”

Step 4: Deliver criticism. Make sure that you use NICE language. The words, “suck,” “shit,” “crap,” “awful,” “terrible,” “worst,” and any other derivative of these offensive words should be avoided at all costs. Stick with words like: “improve,” “adjust,” “modify,” “change,” and “expectations.”

Step 5: Offer that solution. If you genuinely don’t have a solution, give them TIME to come up with a solution. If you couldn’t think of one in the time it took you to plan this, they certainly aren’t going to have a solution on the spot, especially if they’re feeling attacked.

Step 6: Bring it right back to another compliment. Positive reinforcement works wonders. The whip? Not so much. “Thank you.” “I know you can do this.” “You’ve got a lot of great ideas, let’s implement them.” If you can’t think of 2 compliments, you’ve got a whole different problem on your hands, and I can’t help you. But if you can, then be nice to your people. Duh?

You have so much potential, so I know that you CAN make this compliment sandwich thing work.

See what I did there?

someecards.com - Your grammatically incorrect e-mail was much appreciated. For reference, though,

Have you experienced a peer or someone in your place of employment who didn’t have a nice thing to say, ever? How did you handle it? Do you believe in the compliment sandwich? How do you deliver constructive criticism?

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!

Riding in Cars with Boys

I FINALLY. Had. A date. With. The Grown Up.

On Thursday, we scheduled our date for Tuesday, as The Grown Up’s weekend was already booked, and let’s be honest here…I had a date that Saturday night already anyways. But I couldn’t help but swoon about The Grown Up. I went into work the next afternoon, bragging to my bartender girlfriend. “I have a date with The Grown Up!”

Riding in Cars with Boys

“Which one was that?”

“Tall, handsome guy I met when I used to do trivia?”

“The ginger?”

“No, not that one. The really smart guy who I e-mailed back and forth with.”

“The muscle-y, weird guy?”

“No. That was McDreamy.”

“Maybe. Was he here with Jack?”

“No, that was the ginger.”

“Oh. Okay, I have no idea, then.”

This was a common exchange between my friends and I, which is why the nickname system was relatively important if I were going on a date with someone.

I went through a complete rundown of interactions with The Grown Up, from the day we met to the personality test pick up line that got me a date. (There was a lot of stalking and waiting and  desperate chatting in the three months from start to go time. You can catch up by starting with the day we met and work your way back here. I’m nothing if not linear [and I’m totally lying…except for the part where you can read the whole story. That part is true.]).

We didn’t set a plan until the following Monday, when The Grown Up messaged me asking if I preferred Italian or Indian food. Wow! He was picking a nice restaurant! I’ve never been a huge fan of restaurant Italian food, and I’d never had Indian food so either way, it could be the best/worst night. I told him I was adventurous and let’s try something new so he made reservations at an Indian restaurant.

Then he asked if I wanted to meet him there or if he could pick me up in his “pimpin’ ride.”

I almost died right there.

I had dated a car guy in the past, and I was torn. In addition to my stellar dating advice, I had all these dating rules for myself. Not unlike my bar rules.

Chrissy’s Rules of Dating

1. First dates should always be short – coffee, drinks, mini-golf…they should have an easy-out end time.
2. Always ride in your own vehicle so you can escape quickly if you need to. A getaway car is necessary.
3. Let’s not even get into the no date unless he’s actually called me first rule, because we TOTALLY botched this one up. As evident by 3 months of whatever the fuck that was.
4. Don’t date boys who love their car more than you.

And then my curiosity won, as it usually does, and I decided let him pick me up for our first date.

Over the 4 days, I managed to brag to anyone who would listen that I had a date with a grown up. My older cousin told me it sounded like I was going out with my first man.

My dear friend CC swooned with me, when I told her he was picking me up in his pimpin’ ride.

Katie mostly grazed over another date with another boy (she had been dealing with my bullshit for years. It was allowed).

Jonathan commented on how boys just fell into my lap and it just wasn’t that easy for dudes.

But mostly people were excited for me. Worst case scenario was that I would have an awesome story to tell. And since I’m telling you this story…you know SOMETHING happened.

So on the night of our date, I chose the perfect, casual-but-cute outfit. Jeans, a dressy top, and high heels. This was as strategic as it was aesthetic. I was young and thought I’d wear high heels forever. I needed to know he was taller than me in pumps. And let’s be honest, they made me look skinnier. I was ready to go around 6 pm, shortly before he was scheduled to pick me up. I was terribly nervous, and half tempted to pour myself a couple of shots to make it easier.

I refrained from boozing up early for fear of scaring off The Grown Up, so I paced back and forth in my bedroom. When he pulled up, I saw him right away (my bedroom was in the front of the house). Holy shit.

His pimpin’ ride was a tiny. Green. Mini Cooper. A car I absolutely hated. And made fun of. All. The. Time.

My judging game was strong.

I almost didn’t walk outside. But I had given him my real address. And my mom was home. And the LAST thing I wanted was for him to come to the door. And so I stepped outside. And laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. And realized it was probably a good thing it wasn’t a muscle car. At least I wouldn’t need to compete with a large hunk of metal on wheels. As I made my way to the car, he opened the door for me and our date began.

What dating rules have you broken for someone? What’s your least favorite car? What are your dating deal-breakers?

Find out about the date in the next post…

THE BEST DATE EVER

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

Just Call Me Stephanie. #DearStephanie

I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Mandi Castle’s debut novel, Dear Stephanie, and let me tell you, it REALLY spoke to me, y’all.

Dear Stephanie Cover

This book. Oh. My. God. This book. Mandi Castle’s writing is like a warm brownie. Gooey and decadent with all the sugary sweetness that you crave, but wicked and naughty all at once. To say Paige Preston is depressed would be the understatement of the year. Though her outer appearance oozes with perfection, she’s damaged to the core. She suffers deeply as she takes you on the biggest roller coaster ride of highs and lows.

Paige is the poster child for excessive perfection. While flawlessly beautiful, ridiculously wealthy, and fucking brilliant, she struggles with her own self as much as any of us. Sure, I’m not ridiculously wealthy. I’m far from the embodiment of perfection. I’ve never been depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts or tendencies. But as a woman who has felt pain, who has felt less than I am, who has had bouts of extreme crazy, who has suffered silently in her own right…I get it.

The novel is a series of journal entries from one Paige Preston to “Stephanie” who is a fabricated personification of Paige’s diary. Castle writes these entries with such realistic, natural, and eloquent language that I truly believe in Paige. I laughed with her, I cried with her, I felt as if she were writing to me, and I was Stephanie. I LOVED that she regularly referenced Stephanie inside the entries, often referring to her as “Steph,” which gives her a casual and even more realistic personality.

The entries are brutal, with strong sexual content that leaves you breathless, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching experiences that make you want to scream and cry, drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal depression, and brilliant acts of love and heroism. Mandi’s writing dances on the pages without glorifying the ugly truths, merely telling Paige’s tale and pleading with you to recognize depression, abuse and other unspeakable acts. By the end of the novel, you’ll find yourself begging for more, cheering for Paige’s triumphs and crying over her stumbles.

Basically, you guys, this book is fucking fantastic. I will place a mini disclaimer here and say that there are a lot of triggers in the book, so if there are things that you have difficulty with – suicide, rape, depression, alcohol and drug abuse – this novel may be extremely difficult. But if you’re okay reading about some really tough stuff, pick this one up.

Mandi Castle

Photo courtesy of Lizzi Rogers

Mandi Castle is a baller, a blogger, and a word magician. Her blog is full of awesome, and I’ve even caught her sneaking around here once or twice – which I’m not going to lie, kind of makes me feel ridiculously special.

Dear Stephanie hits Amazon today. So why don’t you pop over there and grab a digital or paper copy of this phenomenal novel?

What books have you read recently? What types of books do you love to read? What aspects of writing really turn you on and grab your soul?

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 Boyfriend Thinks He’s a Leper

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Psoriasin. All opinions are 100% mine.

For all intents and purposes, Brian supplied much of the information below. 

When I first started dating Brian, he told me a very serious “secret.” His red face and shy smile told me he was super nervous about the information he planned to explain, as if knowing the contents of the secret would send me screaming at the first sign of leprosy.

Of course, he was wrong.

I didn't know what it was and thought it could be something horrible and contagious like leprosy.

Not that leprosy is horrible or anything. I read on the Internet that it’s totally treatable.

Brian first discovered his psoriasis in college (as if the stress of college wasn’t enough!) and was genuinely concerned that he had some sort of contagious disease. Turns out it wasn’t. He discovered that he had psoriasis, which according to him, “can be ugly, damn itchy and uncomfortable sometimes.” It’s something pretty common, not contagious and treatable. For the record, I don’t think there’s any part of Brian that I would call ugly. Ever. At all.

 

When he realized he was dating the most amazing woman on the planet (obvi), he feared that his psoriasis would be a turnoff to me. Sure, he no longer thought himself a leper, but that insecurity fed his trepidation when informing me that his skin was not without flaws.

Fortunately for Brian, my biggest concern was whether or not it was painful for him. He assured me that it wasn’t. Although, based on the frequency with which I find him scratching spots of skin covered in psoriasis patches, I know that it’s at least a little bothersome.

A few weeks ago, he was sent some Psoriasin® skin care products to help with his psoriasis. Since he’s not always on top of treating it, the patches on his elbows and knees were getting a little out of control. But after a couple of weeks with Psoriasin®, the patches are clearing up.

Psoriasis

Somehow I managed to convince Brian to take a bathroom selfie of his skin patches Left: Brian’s elbow, which is healing quite nicely; Right: Brian’s knee, which is getting better

He’s been using three different types of Psoriasin, and finds them all useful in their own right.

Psoriasin2

As you do with everything in your medicine cabinet, please make sure to read and follow all label instructions before using this product.

The Psoriasin® Multi-Symptom Psoriasis Relief Ointment heals and moisturizes the psoriasis (though he says it smells like medication).

The Psoriasin® Multi-Symptom Psoriasis Relief Gel dries rapidly so it was ideal before bedtime or for parts of the skin that brush against or rest on objects, but he recommends not using it on cracking/cut skin, as the alcohol in the product can sting.

The Psoriasin® Advance Treatment Cream is doubly beneficial because it moisturizes better than the ointment as well as medicates the skin.

He’s a fan of the different treatments, as they help to control the patches on his skin.

I mean. COME ON. That is one handsome boyfriend! Psoriasis be damned.

I mean. COME ON. That is one handsome boyfriend! Psoriasis be damned.

Psoriasin Giveaway

While Brian doesn’t concern himself with covering up his psoriasis (it gets too hot in the summer to wear long sleeves and pants every day), there are probably some clever tips out there for hiding the flaky spots. By leaving a comment below with your own ideas for covering areas of your body affected by psoriasis, you can win a Psoriasin prize package.

Do you or someone you know have psoriasis? How do you or they manage it? What ailments do you suffer that you’re embarrassed of? What tips do you have for covering psoriasis patches or other dry skin patches?

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Hey Baby, What’s Your Myers-Briggs Type?

For the last few weeks, I’ve taken you on a little journey that started with two guys in a bar (this is the beginning of the story, so if you’re new around here, start with this post), and has led to a very serious flirting problem that included a lot more waiting than I would have preferred. Well, not that this should surprise you, based on what you know about my dating experience, but it took another month before I messaged The Grown Up again.

I had been seeing another gentleman caller, who was attractive, kind and okay to be around…I nicknamed him McDreamy during our brief time together, but he wasn’t entirely deserving of the name. He was what you might refer to as pretty, but dumb. He was about as intellectually stimulating as a carrot.

So I was looking for something a little more. Something with substance. SomeONE with substance…someone with half a brain.

And so I messaged The Grown Up.

photo credit: L1010203_v1 via photopin (license)

photo credit: L1010203_v1 via photopin (license)

This was our longest conversation to date. I think we chatted for a few hours that fateful evening.

I sent him a tongue-sticking-out emoji, because I wasn’t terribly clever when it came to starting chatversations. It was shortly after St Patrick’s Day, and I worked at an Irish bar, so it seemed logical for him to ask me about it. And for once, I was actually kind of letting him in.

TGU: How was St Patricks day? Nightmare crowd?
Me: I didn’t work.
They hate me.
TGU: ?
Me: They didn’t schedule me.
So I went out drinking all day 😀
TGU: Do you seriously think they hate you?
Me: Yes.
But, it was okay because I went to my local watering hole dive pub that was filled with people I knew and liked.
I had a happy little corner and people came to me.

Bars on St. Patrick's Day get pretty crowded...

Bars on St. Patrick’s Day get pretty crowded…

TGU: nice!

I was going to impress him with my barfly popularity. That always worked. Why I felt the need to tell him my job essentially sucked, I’ll never know. But he took it to a whole new level.

TGU: So are you Norm, or Cliff Clavin, or Sam Malone?
Me: Well, my brother is Norm.
For sure.
He walks into the bar and everyone is all “WOJ!”
TGU: Frasier? Woody?

I considered explaining to him that I was a lady and didn’t want to be a boy character…

Me: I’m more Diane
TGU: Really?
Diane was…kinda…

Dude, I chose Diane because she was the pretty nice one.

Me: Hmmm maybe Kirstie Alley’s character?

Not really, but what other ladies were on that damn show?

TGU: Umm

I know. You’re right. But I can’t even…wait! I know!

Me: nah…
Carla

TGU: She was definitely better than Diane
hahaha
Carla was awesome
Me: I’m a sassy pants.
I’m the hilarious one.
TGU: hahaha… always awesome when people think they’re the funny one… hahaha
Although I don’t remember you laughing at your own jokes, so you’re probably OK.
Me: lol
I just get told that I’m funny all the time.
I don’t always think I’m that funny…I just talk a lot
TGU: hahaha

Oooh he thinks I’m funny!

TGU: So, did you have a good time last night?

Finally! My chance to shine again. Stupid pre-dating questions.

Me: Indeed
TGU: you don’t even remember do you?
Me: I do too!
TGU: All some kind of greenish blur.
Me: I maintained a pleasant buzz throughout the evening.

Irish PrincessOkay fine, you guys, I drank all damn day…went to 4 different bars…got stupid drunk. He didn’t need to know that.

TGU: Nice.
That’s the best way to do it.
Me: Exactly.
Functional but fun.

It was at this point, I believe, The Grown Up decided he might actually be interested in me. I didn’t realize it for…well…a while. I’m not very observant…

TGU: <nerd talk>hey, did you ever take a Myers-Briggs test? </end nerd talk>
Me: LOL yes.

He was adorably nerdy. He used freakin’ code speak. I loved him. And, for the record, I generally hate personality tests. HATE. THEM. A lot. But I just went la-de-da a boy might like me la-de-da sure I’ll take your stupid test…

TGU: did I already ask you this?

Is this really a thing you do?

Me: No, I just really liked the nerd talk interjection.

True story. Loved <nerd talk>.

TGU: Hey, some people can’t handle the nerd-nitude.
Me: I <3 nerds
TGU: yay! nerd love!
There’s not enough love for the nerds out there.
Do you remember what types you were?
(MyersBriggs came up recently with friends, and so I’ve been thinking about it lately.)
Nice play, there, Grown Up. I now (as in real time NOW) see what you were doing here.
TGU: You’re probably an…EN something…because you’re very social and yet like nerds.
Me: LOL I don’t remember for sure.
I’m, like, all over the place, though.
TGU: Understandable…kinda outta nowhere…
 If you ever feel like it…
Me: Will do.
I’m not going to lie, here, guys…I went and took the damn test immediately. I was just all la-de-da…this could be interesting…la-de-da this boy is super nerdy. I should make him love me with my winning personality…
TGU: What I realized was that N’s are less common then S people.
And T’s are less common then F’s in women…
 me: What does each stand for?
TGU: so NT women are the most rare type
Me: I don’t know where I fall, but I’ve been told I’m a rare breed of girl. lol

The Grown Up went on a long discussion of personality types, but I’ll spare you the details. You’re welcome.

Me: I think I’m ENFP…but not 100% sure
Me: Oh yeah
That’s me
Hardcore!
Winning Personality
Please love me, Grown Up. I promise I’ll be really nice and stop being a serial dater.
TGU: Yay! That’s gonna be my new line… instead of “What’s your sign, baby?” I’ll say “What’s your MyersBriggs type, baby?”
For the love of GOD; we’re FINALLY getting somewhere.
Me:That’ll get you all the ladies!
You’ve got me, dude. Just ask me the fuck out.
TGU: Totally! world, look out!
Me: Okay, maybe only the intellectually nerdy ones…
TGU: Eh, they’re the only ones I want anyway
Me: Good point. pretty but dumb gets old pretty fast

And then The Grown Up started talking about a girl he dated who fell into that category (although not dumb, just an “S” versus and “N”). I refrained from talking about my “McDreamy” because I didn’t think talking about one’s current prospects with another of one’s current prospects was in good taste. I merely mentioned that I didn’t feel guilty about categorizing the “pretty but dumb.”

TGU: (the world is about 65% S people… it’s one of the few types that doesn’t have a 50/50 split in the general population)
Me: Strange.
TGU: I like to think that reality TV is their fault.
Me: LOL  probably.
God, I fucking hate reality TV. Unless I can get famous by being on reality TV. I’m not completely opposed…
TGU: So what have you been doing for fun lately?
Me: That is my least favorite question ever. I do everything fun.
TGU: Must be nice!
Me: Indeed. Just doing my Chrissy thing
TGU: heh. Threesomes with Jack Tripper?
Me: UGH!  swat
TGU: ouch!
Me: Watch it, buddy! No Threes Company references…
TGU: What Chrissy then?
 Me:  just me!
TGU: I thought your name was actually <insert personal e-mail address here>
Me: that’s a tough one for people to get on the first try, so we shortened it to Chrissy.
We continued to banter about my name for a few more minutes before he dropped the bomb.

TGU: We should hang out some night, so I can see you in person when you’re not working. What does your schedule look like next week?

Now THAT’S a sure thing. Asking about schedules means a date will finally fucking happen.

Me: I think that’s a stellar idea. At this point it’s pretty open.
TGU: How about something like Tuesday?
Me: I can do Tuesday.
TGU: Sweet.

And just like that, I had a date with The Grown Up. Honestly, it only took three fucking months. Whatever. It was game. On. We exchanged phone numbers and he promised to plan a whole date. I was impressed and excited. I was usually the one who had to come up with an itinerary. All I had to do was pick out a killer outfit and make him fall in love with me. Easy peasy, my friends.

Are you as excited for this date as I was? What’s the longest you’ve waited for someone to ask you out? Would you have even waited as long as I did? What are your thoughts on personality tests? Or better yet, what are your thoughts on personality tests before a first date?

Riding in Cars with Boys

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!

Why Shonda Rhimes is Dead to Me

BIG. FAT. SPOILER ALERT. If you’re not up to date on Grey’s, walk away now. From the show. Or this post. Or both. One of those.

Grey's

I’m not ashamed. I’m in mourning. For eleven years, I’ve been in a tumultuous relationship with Grey’s Anatomy. We had our ups and downs. We jumped through quite a few crazy hoops. We let a lot of really atrocious shit slide. We loved and lost, but this loss is too much. This broke me. This destroyed us.

Shonda, you’re an asshole. A spiteful, malicious bitch. Grey’s Anatomy MADE you. The fans MADE you. You betrayed our trust. You don’t give enough fucks about Grey’s, even though it’s the one that put you on the map. This was something you needed to do better. It needed to BE better. Meredith deserved better. WE deserve better. And quite frankly, Prince Fucking Charming shouldn’t have died. Sure, it’s a drama. But you turned a drama into a tragedy. And not even a good one. Killing off eleven years of emotional investment with a stupid, fleeting, single-episode plot is just wrong.

You didn’t even make Derek’s death a remotely decent or reliable plot twist. First, you skirted around a dozen different ways McDreamy could have left the show.  He could have stayed in DC. He could have cheated (thank GOD you didn’t do that) on Mer. He could have been killed in another plane crash (insert eye roll here). He could have died in the car crash at the beginning of the episode. And so on and so forth. Then, you let him die alone. ‘Da fuck?

For someone who’s praised as such a gifted TV writer, your inexcusable story arc sure did leave us with a lot of questions. Why didn’t Bailey tell Meredith that she had been on a call with Derek earlier that day? Or that the call had dropped? If he was in a dead zone, why did his phone buzz? Why would he stop in the middle of the street to answer it? Where was his phone and ID in that mess to identify him? Did he need to be a John Doe? If they airlift people from the middle of nowhere to Grey Sloan ALL THE DAMN TIME, why didn’t they do it this time? Don’t write him off dying alone in some podunk fucking hospital.  Don’t make Meredith make the decision to pull the plug alone. Seriously?

I’m fucking done. And I’m not the only one. We’re pissed, Shonda. And not oh-my-god-I-can’t-wait-to-watch-the-next-episode pissed. 102,000 fans and counting are signing petitions and shit to bring back the character you eliminated in the most horrific way.

You think we want to watch any more of your shitty cry fests after you destroyed any chance of Bright and Shiny Meredith ever, at all? After you killed off a character in the most senseless, asinine way? No. That shit will not taint my television. But just in case you were wondering, here are a few ways you could have left the fans with a little less bitter, we-quit-you rage.

You Could Have Allowed His Death to Have Meaning

Okay. You want to kill him. You’re a vindictive writer like that. If he had to die that day, let him die saving one of those teenagers. Or the little girl. Or her mom. Don’t let his death be completely void of any rhyme or reason. If it were such a beautiful day to save lives (every life but his own), he should have died to prevent someone else from dying. You could have created a believable heroic story on one of the ferry boats he loved so much. Or he could have died pushing someone away from the explosion that happened in the beginning of the episode. Derek did not have to die for naught.

You Could Have Let Him Stay in DC

Everyone was okay when he was in DC. Sure, he was Skyping his family more than seeing them. But if you had let him live, Mer could take the kids on weekend trips and he could come home a little more often. You wouldn’t need to show any of that. You would just need to mention it every now and then. The point is that they’re still together and in love. He’s still Prince Charming and Mer’s still happy and rocking as a surgeon.

You Could Have Faded Him to Black

You know that place you were headed with the happy non-brilliant-surgeon, soccer-coach-dad thing? That. Do that. Dr. Shepherd would have flitted off into the sunset and lived happily ever after as a devoted husband and dad. He could be mentioned in passing as doing something perfectly lovely as a stay at home dad while all hell breaks loose in the hospital and his baby sister would save the day. He would never need to appear on the show, but we’d be happy…knowing he was dedicated to Mer and their family.

But you didn’t do any of these things, Shonda. Instead, you followed your tired surprise-but-not-really plot twist formula. Grey’s Anatomy is just like Game of Thrones. Except the characters are much more likable, and when you kill them off, abruptly, without thought or even a solid story arc, you’re an asshole.

I’d say that I’m waiting for Meredith to be executed the way of Eddard Stark, but I won’t be around to see it. Because I’m so over it (but not really, because I’m in fucking pain). And Shonda Rhimes is dead to me.

 

Am I alone in this nonsense? Are you a Grey’s fan gone rogue? What shows are you emotionally invested in? What are TV deal breakers for 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!