OMG what is she wearing? She’s just asking for it.

When I was 17, I was privately and publicly shamed by an administrator in my school. A woman I respected and admired told me that I couldn’t dress like the other girls. Because I had a more voluptuous body, a body I was already ashamed of because it was bigger than most teen girls, a body that I’d kill to have back, but one that I didn’t understand apparently held power against horny teenage boys. (I’ll tell you a secret, though: it didn’t. My body was not what teenage boys were looking for. It was something adult men found attractive, though. And I suppose THAT’S why I was told that my outfit was unacceptable.)

Rape culture and dress codes

What was I wearing you ask?

In the peak of the new Millennium, I could have been wearing a tiny crop top and tight flared jeans. Short shorts and a skimpy tank. A two-piece prom dress that left nothing to the imagination.

But I was stylish in my short overalls with thick straps and a fully covered abdomen. The problem was in the strapless tube top that covered my breasts and stomach. It gasp showed my shoulders. But not any more than one of the very popular camisoles of the time. Not any more revealing than anything any of my cheerleading peers, who were much thinner than me, were wearing on that warm May afternoon.

And I was called out. By a female administrator whose name I still remember with crystal clarity. Who tried to mark me as her equal in womanhood.

“Women like us have to be conscientious of how we dress. We can’t wear the same clothes as the other girls.”

She was nothing like me. Tall, thin, in her mid to late 40’s. She didn’t understand me. She didn’t know me. And she certainly wasn’t like me.

But she did have the power to make me wear an old hoodie from the bottom of my locker over my overalls the rest of the day. The rest of that hot, spring day in an un-air-conditioned high school.

And I did. Because I was terrified of getting in trouble (save all those tardy detentions). Because I believed in authority. Because, at 17, I was already ashamed enough of my body.

This is what rape culture looks like. Rape culture shames a woman or a young girl into thinking she can’t dress a certain way, because boys and men can’t control themselves.

Rape culture lets men like Brock Turner out of jail after 3 short months, even though he ruined a woman’s life. He violated her body, and because of his “bright” future, he got off easy.

Brock Turner is out of jail. Do you remember him? You should. And you should probably stay away from him. Because he can’t control himself around women. And instead of the government keeping him away from and protecting us, we must do our best to stay away from him. We’re told to dress less provocatively and not to drink alcohol, instead of men like Brock being told not to fucking rape.

Well, I’m sick of this bullshit. For 16 years, I’ve held that memory of the school administrator telling me that “women like us need to be careful what we wear” for far too long. And school dress codes that favor boys, limit girls and promote rape culture need to disappear.

Let’s teach the right way to behave and stop worrying how people dress.

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!

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 persay…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!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

I had, in fact shat myself overnight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You Pray

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

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

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

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

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

10 Things That Made My Childhood Different Because My Parents Owned a Bar

I’m pretty sure childhood in the late 80’s was vastly different than it is today. There are so many things that were okay in school, social circles of parents, and overall society that just aren’t the same. I also have this very unique view on alcohol and bars and children. Not because my parents were alcoholics, because they weren’t. Instead, it was because they owned a bar. My childhood memories often involve the deep-fried, kiddie-cocktail, quarters-for-pinball experiences that are often reserved for comedy movies with a quick jab about kids in country bars.

Flaherty's Bar

You have a baby! In a bar!

Except that I was a baby in a bar. And it wasn’t a bad thing. It gave me some insight into the world that most kids don’t get.

10 things my 80’s childhood wouldn’t have been complete without

1. Bottle caps were a thing

On Day 100, all the kids in the younger grades were charged with bringing in 100…somethings. some kids brought buttons or toothpicks or pennies. I brought in beer bottle caps. (I mean they were washed and shit! No biggie.) This was in the late 80’s, and no one seemed to mind as much back then.

2. My parents knew my teachers…and what they liked to drink

This started in kindergarten and didn’t end until my teachers were professors in Peoria at Bradley. I’ll never forget St. Patrick’s Day my junior year of high school. I was bussing tables and washing dishes to earn my keep, when I looked up and saw my chemistry teacher, his Bud Light and a caramel-colored liquid in a shot glass.  across the bar, a mere two feet from my face. We made eye contact and it was all awkward from there. “Hi Mr. Johnson.” Long pause “Hi Chrissy.” The following day at school was no less weird. It’s not like he didn’t know my parents owned the bar…he just wasn’t expecting to see me behind it.

3. St. Patrick’s Day was like Christmas

We woke up on St. Patrick’s Day morning, and there were often little green presents on the dining room table for us. Little trinkets and fun beer-logoed freebies from the bar so we could blink, sparkle and shine at work. Back then, no one cared in there was a beer advertised on my blinking buttons. By the time I was in high school, everyone and their mother cared. Times, they did a change.

4. We played Bartender instead of House and dreamed of the day we could be waitresses

My best friends and I used to play bartender at the home bar we had in our living room. And we’d practice our mad skills with trays full of drinks while on roller skates for the day we would become Flaherty’s waitresses and roller skates would become a thing. We were mini marketing geniuses. Tell me you wouldn’t want to hang out in a bar with roller skating waitresses. Just try.

5. Quarters were king. And they came for free

There’s something about an adorable gaggle of kids trouncing around a bar that makes grown ups want to give them money. We cashed in on this as much as we could. Sometimes, it was our parents. Sometimes, it was one of the many “aunts” or “uncles.”  And other times, it was a random stranger with a few quarters to spare. They’d play a game of pinball as we watched with awe and admiration…and then they’d leave the remaining credits in the machine, telling us to each take a turn.

6. Few things in life were more exciting than a stolen shopping cart

When you’re a kid at a bar, you can convince patrons to do almost anything your little mind could dream up. We managed to get shopping carts from the grocery store across the street on a somewhat regular basis. We’d race each other around the back alley or the empty part of the parking lot with a freedom that a lot of kids don’t get these days.

7. I learned to hustle grown ups at pool

When I was about 9, my brother and I received our very own pool cues. We’d bet quarters and dollars with some of the local patrons and then pull out our special cues. We’d surprise the hell out of them and kick their butts. I’m pretty sure my pool skills peaked at age 11.

8. I created my own drink and named it. After myself. Obviously.

By the time I was tall enough to reach the pop gun, I was behind the bar mixing my own kiddie cocktails. My favorite concotion was the Chrissy Cocktail:

  • 1 part grenadine
  • 1 part Squirt
  • 2 parts 7up
  • 2parts pineapple juice
    *Add ice and 5 straws; then stir

(Yes, that was a lot of grenadine. I was a kid in control of the cherry juice. Duh.)

(Yes, in college I added 6 parts vodka and the original drink became the Virgin Chrissy Cocktail.)

9. I mastered the jukebox like a boss

Not only was I a pinball wizard and a pool hustler…I was a jukebox hero. We were often given dollars for the jukebox too. We rocked out to Bon Jovi, Guns n’ Roses, Aerosmith, Ugly Kid Joe, Nirvana and more. There were patrons we need would get up and be foolish during certain songs and we owned the shit out of it. We were mini DJs on the dance floor.

10. I learned not to become an alcoholic.

This is the serious part of the list, but I feel it’s important to be said. Because I was able to witness so many different people over the years, I learned the difference between social drinking and alcoholism. I’ve been to more wakes/funerals and known more people who died from alcohol-related diseases than many typical 29(okay fine…31) year olds. My old boss (the one with no filter) once told me “you sure go to a lot of funerals” after a particularly depressing few months of deaths.

I enjoy cocktailing, but I try to avoid drinking to excess.

Now don’t get me wrong. I was never in the bar past 10pm (and that was ONLY on non-school nights after one of my dad’s softball games). My parents didn’t get drunk and drive us home. Usually, Mom was working behind the bar or waiting tables and Dad was holding court (this is what bar owners and their children do when they hang out in their bar. It’s a thing) or vice versa. When things started getting rowdy, we were hustled out of the bar and didn’t witness anything too inappropriate for our young eyes. Nothing your parents and their friends wouldn’t have done at home with a few cocktails, really.

What was your childhood like? Do you think parents were more lax in the 80’s and 90’s than they are now?

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!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Healthy Eating Habits Should Start Early

Quick intro/disclaimer of awesome: I’m working with the NRA (That’s National RESTAURANT Association) and Triberr to talk about healthy eating, especially with kiddos, through the Kids LiveWell Program. Everything I say, I do believe, but for the record, the NRA has sponsored this campaign post. 

Okay, so I’ve been Dietbetting with Joules and Kari and a whole lot of YOU this last week and a half. In addition to the Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet, I’m also participating in the Transformer DietBet-a six month commitment to lose 10% of Chrissy. And my real goal? More than 10%. Because I used to be healthier. And I want to be healthier again.

So far, I’ve lost 4.5 lbs. I’m weighing in weekly, instead of daily or multiple times a week. This is best for my weight loss, so that I don’t see the regular ups and downs of a typical week. If my weigh-in shows that I gained a pound this week, I’m still down by 3.5 and if I lose more…well YAY! I’ll be keeping you posted on Wednesdays from now on.

These days, I have some pretty healthy habits. I love vegetables. I love lean proteins. (Okay and cheese). I don’t eat a lot of pasta or breads…but I have a tendency to overdo it on the snacks. And the sweets. Those are my kryptonite.

But I didn’t always have healthy habits.

One of the things I forever think about is my chubby childhood. I was never the tiniest girl in school, not by a long shot. I ate a lot of McDonald’s. In fact, I could eat more McDonald’s as a kid than I could eat right now. I can remember my grandfather taking us to Mickey D’s and ordering a value meal because a Happy Meal just wasn’t filling enough. And you bet your bottom I super sized it. And ate every bite.

Sure, I wasn't fat...but I was one of the biggest kids in my class. That's tough on a little kid.

Sure, I wasn’t fat…but I was one of the biggest kids in my class. That’s tough on a little kid.

From the age of 8, I was always on the go, whether we were heading to or from cheer practice to this event to that party, I had a pretty busy life. So fast food was definitely a thing for us. But it wasn’t just fast food chains…my family ate out…a lot. Not because my parents couldn’t cook or didn’t want to (they were/are excellent cooks), but because going out was a family thing that we did. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That’s where my brother and I gained our passion for fine dining. Our love of delicious food. Our tact and class when it comes to behaving in a restaurant.

What I would have changed-would have LOVED to change-would be the choices that were available for me. At 9-years-old I was a connoisseur of chicken fingers and honey mustard sauce.  I ordered chicken fingers every. where. we went. And the honey mustard sauce was a big deal. I’d eat it by the bowlful. Because that was what the restaurants had. Chicken fingers. Cheeseburgers. Mac and cheese. French fries.

kids_livewell

With the Kids LiveWell Program, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, restaurants across the country are offering healthy and delicious options for kids (and adults too!) You remember my amazing breakfast sandwich from Denny’s right? They’re working to make healthy choices for kiddies so that they can start building those healthy eating habits right from the start.

This Saturday, at the NRA Show in Chicago, bloggers will be meeting the restaurateurs and chefs behind the new and exciting healthy kids meals. Will you follow along with me on social media with the #KidsLiveWell?

Follow Kids LiveWell on social media (Twitter and Facebook) for updated news, information and more! You can also find out if your favorite restaurant is a participating Kids LiveWell restaurant and start making healthy choices for you AND your family!

Do you wish they had healthier choices when you were a kid? Do you have kids and try to make healthy choices for them when dining out? What do you think of KidsLiveWell?

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!

Straight Up Now-Baby Got Back…and Wants to Lose it, Lose it.

image

My baby brother and cousin rockin’ out in the sandbox.

I just started playing the throwback  game in the social media world. So I thought it was pretty perfect when Twindaddy planned to start his 25 songs in 25 days challenge on a Thursday with the first song being “A song from your childhood.”

I have two songs for you. Because I’m a terrible decision maker. And I’m doing something else this month for funsies.

The first song is one my cousin (the adorbs blonde above on the left) and I used to dance around my mother’s living room listening to…on CASSETTE TAPE.

Straight Up by Paula Abdul

Most of the music I listened to as a kid was from my parents’ fave radio stations, but we loooved the Paula Abdul.

The second song is from my high school cheerleading days. Not quite childhood, but pretty darn close.

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix a Lot

Yes. That. Our senior year, this song was part of our competition routine. And yours truly was the girl who stood up valley-girl-style to say, “OH. MY. GOD.” It was awesome.

image

In this picture, I was doing a single extension with the support of a spotter. It was my proudest cheercomplishment.

As I checked out this pic, I thought about how I used to think I was fat, because I was bigger than the other girls…and what I wouldn’t give to have those legs again! Which leads me to the The Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet.

I’m joing up with two of my bloggy friends, Joules of Pockful of Joules and and Kari of A Graceful Life, to lose a few pounds.

Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet Team

And you can join us too! I’ve done the Weight Watchers thing since, well, high school…and it has worked and it has not worked…So I’m doing this with my own diet and exercise and financial accountability, but you can use whatever method works for you. The goal is to lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks. With DietBet, everyone can win. Join our DietBet now!

  • The DietBet’s official start date is Tuesday, May 6, 2014.
  • All participants will need to weigh-in on May 4th or May 5th.
  • The cost to participate is $20.
  • The Bet is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks.
  • The official end date is June 2, 2014.
  • You can make your weight private so that only YOU see it.
  • Your pictures can also be private (your full body shot and scale shot).
  • We can all support each other on the DietBet site to stay motivated.
  • At the end of the bet, the total amount of money in the pot is split between the winners (after they take their fee out).
  • If we ALL win, DietBet will not take their fee and we will all get our $20 back.

So wish me luck. And get excited for the next 24 days of musically themed posts!

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!

Um Girl Scout Cookie Flavored Creamer? WHAT?!

Last week, Brian and I bought several boxes of candy from our Girl Scout connection. I got to thinking about Girl Scouts and my own experiences…

I was a girl scout. And a boy scout (but that’s a tale for another time). And pretty much…I was awesome, apparently. I remember being in first grade, and joining up with Brownie Troop 182. I also remember when my mom became a troop leader, and got us into all sorts of crafts and fun things. So in honor of the new Girl Scout flavored creamers from Coffee Mate and their adorable new representative, Abby from River Falls, Wisconsin (the best cheese state on the planet,) I’m going to go ahead and tell you all of the great things I learned from being a Girl Scout.

  • Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner. I’m not even joking you guys, I never would have remembered this if it weren’t for some flag ceremony we did in 1st grade in which I remember my one line of, “It was written by Francis Scott Key.”
  • How to make a pizza. My mom knew the manager of Domino’s Pizza, so we got to go over there and make our own pizzas! It was super fun.
  • Life long friendships? Totally possible. I know this because I’m still friends with my very best friend from grade school/the old neighborhood/ballet/Brownies/cheerleading. Even when you add new people to your world, you can always have the friends you started with.
  • How to identify animal tracks in the snow. We went out into some wildlife preserves and followed tracks. Mom’s kinda nature-lady…
  • How to sell like a boss. I’m not in sales, but let me tell you. If I was…LOOK OUT, world. I could sell sand in a dessert. Or Girl Scout flavored Coffee-Mate Creamer on a blog…not that I’m trying or anything. *wink wink* Seriously, though…unlike a lot of kids today, my parents didn’t sell the cookies for me. Even though they owned a bar, I had to march in there by myself and walk up to every. Single. Person. And ask them if they wanted to buy some girl scout cookies. I was persistent. And always sold a ton.

So about those creamers…

Girl Scout Coffee Mate Creamer

Omigod. SO good. We’ve got some SERIOUS coffee fiends in my office (Thank God for free coffee.) On my team, we drink a lot of coffee. And we were definitely tired of powdered creamer…so when these delightful add-ins arrived..thrilled doesn’t begin to cover it. We have Caramel Delight (caramel coconut) and Thin Mint in the office right now, and my entire team is consuming it super-fast (because I’m nice, and when I receive delicious free products in the mail delivered to my office from Coffee-Mate…I share them.) They’re definitely a hit with everyone! My one co-worker wants to pour the creamer over ice cream. I’m not going to lie…That’s in my plan of things to try in the near future.

When I was a kid, I would use my allowance to buy my own boxes of Caramel Delights. And then hide them so my boy babysitter didn’t eat them all in one sitting (like he did that one time…) This creamer brings me RIGHT BACK to that joy. That delicious cookie joy.

By the way, did you catch the commercial for Thin Mint Coffee-Mate? Because it’s HILARIOUS. Ambitious Girl Scout, Abby, rocked with her snarky ‘tude directed at corporate office guy. You can see the video on the Coffee-Mate website. Trust me. TOTALLY worth it. I like to think I was that sassy when I was 10.

For the record? Just because Coffee-Mate hooked me up with some tasties, doesn’t mean that these opinions weren’t all me.

Blog Friends, were you Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire Boys/Girls, Indian Princesses or the like? What did you learn?

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!

Musical Chairs Featuring Chris Infusino

Today, I’ve rustled up something REALLY special for you guys. I am surrounded by beautiful musical people. I grew up around them and with them. Music has always been something important to me, even if I can’t tell you the name of the song or the band who played it. You bet your ass I’m still singing along to it.

In high school, I met an incredibly talented drummer. The drum line was way more fun than the football players…and usually more interesting.  Really, though…I met several incredibly talented musicians. So, hopefully (if you enjoy this), I’ll be able to continue this spot once a month for several months.

Chris Infusino The Vim Dicta

My Music Theory AP class senior year of HS. So much raw talent. So many amazing musicians. And then there was me.

Somewhere in the crowd of teenagers, you’ll find my friend, Chris. Who I invited to Turnabout my senior year. With my mom’s rules about me needing a date for any school dance paired with the previous Homecoming date FLOP, I knew I needed to go with someone who would be ridiculous amounts of fun. A friend that would rock out on the dance floor and not need babysitting. That friend was Chris. I was nervous about asking him (I remember internally panicking and then just…doing it) but he was all like, yep! Which, looking back makes me wonder if someone had already pre-asked him on my behalf in typical high school fashion…

By far the best date I ever had to a school dance, Chris was (still is) awesome. We were both social butterflies, so tearing up the dance floor with all of our different people wasn’t a problem. I recall (and this could be a foggy-it-was-more-than-10-years-ago memory/nostalgia) that we had a pretty fabulous time.

Chris Infusino

We were both smiley and adorbs for 17-year-olds. right?

I recently re-connected with Chris to discover that yet another of my amazing classmates was living their musical dream. And I needed to share that will you.

I do hope that you’ll welcome him into our little tribe here. Without further ado, I give you Chris Infusino (as answering questions that I asked of him).

I’m Chris Infusino, and I live life exactly how I wish to live it. I’m a professional drummer, currently in the band The Vim Dicta, living in Los Angeles, CA. Also worked as a session drummer in Chicago, Nashville, and most recently, New York City. I’m also a classic car nut, machinist, carpenter, engine builder, and professional ice cream tester.

Chris InfusinoI play pretty much anything one can hit…so versatile percussionist? I mostly play big ass rock & roll drums though, and is how I make my living. I do sing…and not just in the shower. I’ve been playing for 18 years. I’ve literally played all over the states, and also did a USO tour in the Middle East back in ’09.

So many stories to tell… I’d say playing Carnegie Hall was pretty sweet, doing a record with my current band, The Vim Dicta at Capitol Records Studios was off the hook!! Recording on Dr. John’s record in New York City. Playing festivals in front of 50,000 people….it’s all pretty amazing. I love my job! I JUST started writing with my band, The Vim Dicta.

The Vim Dicta 3Top 5 Musical Moments: Hmmmm……….

  1. Recording at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, CA w/ The Vim Dicta
  2. Carnegie Hall in New York City, w/ World Civic Orch. playing drums with a 175 piece orchestra.
  3. Recording w/ Dr. John on his latest record, with a good chunk of Bob Dylan’s and Saturday Night Live’s bands also on the record.
  4. Playing with Buddy Guy in Chicago back when I first went “full time”.
  5. Playing in my parents basement for years and to about 1000 records. Very thankful for this one…

Routines or rituals: I don’t “practice” drums too much anymore…I’m always playing with my band, The Vim Dicta or with friends!

Chris InfusinoI practice chocolate consumption, beer testing, drummer faces that don’t make me look like a dumb ass (if that’s possible) and letting life carry me where it will without any expectation of the future….OH, and I practice never EVER, EVER, EVER having to wear a suit…unless it’s a funky sexy one for the Grammy’s or something…

The Vim Dicta 2Musical Influences: My parents (Mom is a singer, Dad a drummer) Fave musicians, anyone, man or woman, that can move me and make me smile and dance.

Other influences: The world around me.

Success in the musical world or in general: Finding true friends, and getting to spend time or make music with them. I happy dance EVERYWHERE!! It spreads good juju to the masses!!

The moment: I was 16. Started getting asked to play in bands, also I was practicing like 8 hours a day, and saying “F*ck You” to homework…pretty much knew then I had to do this.

On a side note, thank you to my parents, guidance counselor, and the few teachers who believed in me enough to get my ass in gear so I could move on, and live my life.

What do I hope to communicate through music? Good juju and the want for women to do sexy interpretive dances…

Ultimate Plan: To never have a plan. I’m exactly where I need to be.

Want to connect with Chris and hear more music from The Vim Dicta?

The Vim DictaPretty cool cat, am I right?

 

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!

Monday Memories: Dress Code Discrimination?

I read about this controversial dress code from Delightfully Ludicrous and I just knew that a rant had to happen.

So I thought I could make it more fun by offering you my very own dress code story and incorporating it into Monday Memories.

Monday Memories

So today, friends, Monday Memories is all about dress codes.

First and foremost, I want to state for the record that it’s a sad sad state of things when the dress code of a child in kindergarten is considered compromised. The fact that it needs to exist at all? Baffling.

I got in trouble in grade school for wearing a tee-shirt featuring Spuds McKenzie, because it represented beer.

But never in a million years would my mother have let me out of the house in a freaking push up bra at 7. Or a thong. A freakin’ thong. I see younger and younger girls at Victoria’s Secret every time I stop in. (Which is a lot, because I have an obsession. And it’s not with their underwear. Yoga pants. Yoga crops. Yoga leggings. Yoga shorts.) But these little girls are buying thongs.

I STILL don’t like thongs.

So back to dress codes. After watching the news clip of the little girl who got in trouble for wearing a hello kitty outfit with a skort and tights (for the skort being “too short”), I was appalled. And annoyed. Because school administrators are very picky about who has to turn their shirts inside out, who has to wear their gym clothes, who has to be sent home. I feel like they may have discriminated against this girl. Not necessarily because of her race, but for anything. Maybe the school didn’t like the way her mother dressed. Maybe the school admins didn’t like the mother. I don’t know, but I don’t like it.

It happened to me once in high school. Because I was the chubby girl. Now in high school, I wasn’t fat. But I was bigger than a lot of the other girls. One of my favorite go-to warm-weather clothing items (when I wasn’t wearing pajamas to school-which I did a lot) was a tube top and overall shorts. I know. Classy. But I liked it. I thought I looked nice. My mom thought I looked nice. The overalls had straps that fit the school’s dress code criteria and lots of girls dressed that way. It wasn’t revealing. At all.

But one day I got pulled to the side by an administrator who politely informed me that it was gym shirt or get sent home. I had a sweatshirt in my locker that I was able to throw over my outfit (though I was sweltering) and I made it through the day. She was discriminating against me, because I was the chubby girl with boobs. She basically told me it was because girls with chests shouldn’t wear clothing like I was wearing. There wasn’t even cleavage showing (well, not any more than the skinny girls showed, anyways).

dress code discrimination

This was not the set in question. This was actually MORE revealing than the one that got me in trouble. I wore this on the last week of school as a “Fuck You” to the administrator who called me out the first time. Guess what? No one said a word. So they pick and choose their battles.

I was pissed, but I survived. And fortunately so will the little girl in her Hello Kitty cuteness. Let’s just hope she doesn’t start shopping and A&F or Victoria’s Secret for bras and thongs next year when she’s 7.

Go visit Lily at It’s a Dome Life for more dress code memories!

So what about you guys? Ever felt like someone in charge was calling you out because you were different?

 

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!

Bookish Memories

This week’s Monday Memories is all about books! My story is a short, but sweet one…and by sweet, I mean I had a teacher who didn’t know who she was dealing with…and by that, clearly I mean my mom.

Monday Memories

(Note to Mom: If I get this wrong according to the story in your head…just you know…keep it to yourself 😉 )

In 3rd grade, back when I didn’t have a large collection of chapter books for kids, I would read children’s books. Rapidly. I mean, I also chewed through Ramona Quimby, Fudge, Roald Dahl, The Babysitters Club, and other kid-themed books faster than a lot of kids…But sometimes, I would read several books in one night. Especially if they were my Little Golden Books.

There was all that Book-It stuff in which you got free Pizza Hut personal pan pizzas for reading books. And we got extra credit for the more books we read. I’ve always been a fan of extra credit. Always. Of course, upon reporting these to my 3rd grade teacher, she thought I was making shit up.

When my parents went in for parent teacher conferences? She told them I was a liar and had a problem. So my mom asked, what does she lie about. She says she reads all of these books and it’s impossible to read that much. (Bad teachers don’t do research on the names of the books that kids are reading. Bad teachers assume that the kids are telling the truth that the book titles they list exist, unless of course, there are too many books on the list. THEN, those kids are liars. Bad teachers tell parents that they’re doing a piss poor job of raising a kid who stays up late at night to read books instead of sleep.)

I’m pretty sure my mom went off on her. She was already holding a grudge that I wasn’t in the “gifted” program at school. I just made my own gifted program. By reading more than anyone else. Whatevs. I was reading flipping picture books and writing that shit down. Documentation, my friends. Documentation.

Speaking of which, I wish I still had that shit.

The Best Reading Chair

I’ve been reading in this chair since I was old enough to read. It lived in my Gram’s house for years…she gave it to me when I grew up, because she knew I loved it so much.

Want more bookish memories? Go visit Lily over at It’s a Dome Life. I swear she and I are kindred spirits. If you like me, you’ll love her!

Tell me your favorite bookish memory? What was your favorite book when you were a kid?

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!