Our Disney adventure in ride photos

I’ve taken the liberty of downloading those bad boys from my last trip (with the indomitable Cletus, who also joined us for the Disney Wojcation in 2017) and placing them here for you to laugh at (or ridicule — either way, I’m going to assume you’re laughing with us…whether or not you are).

You can tell a lot about a person by the photos they take when they’re on a ride. Luckily, because I’m a Walt Disney World annual passholder, I get to keep and cherish all of the ride photos I’ve been on in the last year with Memory Maker.

Cletuses requested approval of any images that went into the video, and he agrees that these are some amazing photos (which is great, because I really didn’t want to have to edit each one with a Mickey Mouse emoji over his face). I have no contractual obligation to the other people in the pictures, so please, also enjoy the ones that made me laugh without their prior written approval. (If you are one of the people in these photos 1. I’m sorry and 2. I’m sorry).

When I was little, I used to count how many rides we got to go on in a day like it was a gigantic feat. Now with the Fast Pass system, Cletus and I are able to double the amount of rides we can get on in a day. And it made for some fun photo ops.

Chrissy and Cletus doing a pose on Expedition Everest
Yes, we rode all the big rides several times on a 5-day trip. We are masters of the Fast Pass+ system. One day, we’ll share our secrets. One day.

Without further ado, I present to you…

How to look awesome (or terrible) in Disney World ride photos

What do you like to do for ride photos (whether they’re at Disney, Six Flags, or another theme park with this option?)

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!

A playful year of fun and magic

If you’ve been here for a while, you already know I’m not a fan of traditional New Year’s resolutions. A few years ago, I even came up with a monthly list of ways to dominate next year without a typical resolution, which I continually utilize as a guide for success.

Now a lot of people who don’t do traditional resolutions like to choose a grounding word that they use to guide them through the year. I’m not that type of girl. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-skirt gal, myself. Instead, I choose to label my year as it begins to play out or even at the end of the year. And this year was so perfect, you guys. I mean, not everything goes according to plan and things change and resolutions are hard to follow, but wrapping up your year with a bit of positive energy never hurt anyone.

And so I thought I’d tell you how I categorize my years.

In previous years, I’ve had The Experimental Year, a year of trying different stuff in the world of dating and boys, which was also the year that ended in a chance meeting with a handsome Irishman at a bar. I’ve had the Storytelling Year, in which I asked myself, “Will this make a good story in the morning?” and if the answer was yes, I did it, regardless of whether it was a “good” or “bad” idea. I’ve had good years and weird years and even bad years (like the Year I Didn’t Feel Good Enough; though I also came away smarter and more ready to tackle the world than ever before). And I always try to find the positive spin to the end of the year instead of wishing it away like just another fucking zit. (Side note: I hesitated in linking the aforementioned piece because there was a surprising amount of backlash to it. And that backlash made me want to stop writing, but I won’t self-censor any longer because that post wasn’t specifically about 2016. It was about every year.)

I take the biggest changes, most exciting adventures, and my highlight reel and try to find an underlying theme. This year started shaping itself before I even realized it was shaping. And it all started with a fake resolution.

I play games

At the beginning of this year, I thought I’d be cheeky and come up with a ridiculous New Year’s resolution. I made three. Two of which I’ll actually hit. 

  1. Play 365 games
  2. Play 100 DIFFERENT games (so that some of those 365 could be repeats)
  3. Play at least 25 different games that we own and have never played

Number one…that one is probably not going to happen. Unless we can play like 200 games in the next 3 days. Doubtful. But that’s okay. I had fun.

Number two…I have six more games to play. MUCH more doable.

Number three…DONE. Well, at least we made it through several of our untouched boxes (of course, we also bought a few new games…)

Silly resolution aside, gaming was a good start to a truly magical year.

I played in a Dominion Tournament at GenCon. I lost, but I had lots of fun!

I played in a Dominion Tournament at GenCon. I lost, but I had lots of fun!

I play with video

I’ve been dabbling with some different video styles on YouTube. I started a few things that could absolutely become the first of their own series (C-Rex Adventures, 60 Seconds of Chrissy), but we’ll have to see where 2019 takes us! It’s all in good fun which, for me, is super important. I can’t take myself too seriously, guys.

T-rex costume reaches for a ball at the bowling alley

I play dress up

In March, I took on something called The Disneybound Challenge. Every march, an Instagrammer/Blogger runs an Instagram photo challenge for people who DIsneybound (for those of you not in the know, this means dressing like Disney characters, something I apparently have a knack for. I nailed it for 31/31 days and continued to play dress up throughout the year (today, I’m wearing an outfit inspired by Moana’s Hei Hei).

This is a Disneybound of Olaf. The "buttons" are actually Olaf disney trading pins.

This is a Disneybound of Olaf. The “buttons” are actually Olaf disney trading pins.

I play pretend

In April, I began training at The Second City Training Center. In March, I’ll finish a year of improvisation and “graduate” from the A-E improv program at SCTC. Since August, I’ve performed in eleven shows (all student shows, but performances on Second City small stages nonetheless), with at least seven more shows before March comes to an end. When you’re improvising, you’re basically doing what small children do in free play — you make up stories. Sometimes you’re the mom. Sometimes you’re the baby. Sometimes you’re an accountant named Stan. But always, you should be having fun playing with your castmates and classmates.

Level D show photo from Second City Training Center Chicago

These crazy kids (a few of my SCTC loves are missing from this photo) give me life, you guys. This is one of the best things I’ve done for myself. And I’ve been saying that a lot lately.

I play house

Sometimes, I even pretend to be a grown up with my Grown Up. We have a really neat house that I have spent a lot of time in this year (thanks to the job quitting and the new puppy). I may make a terrible housewife, and I’m a horrible housekeeper, but I am good at playing house. You know. Pretending to be good at those things. On social media. And when we host parties. But definitely not in real life. There are rooms in my house where the clutter goes to die. I’m trying to fix that, but it’s a lot harder to get rid of clutter than I thought.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

I play with my hair

After years of planning and scheming, Kaitlyn and I finally took the plunge and dyed my hair hot pink. (Kaitlyn is my incredible stylist. She’s pure magic). We started with a super sweet gentle pink, and now it’s this hot pink, bold AF shade that I cannot get enough of. I’m never* looking back.

This poor man. I fangirled John Grogan so hard I cried. He is, though, one of the writers that made me want to be a writer, so I think a little obnoxious fangirling was to be expected.

This poor man. I fangirled John Grogan so hard I cried. He is, though, one of the writers that made me want to be a writer, so I think a little obnoxious fangirling was to be expected.

I play with puppysaurus rex

Adopting a puppy was one of the craziest things we did this year. Not only did this furball full of love and ENERGY enter our world, she dominated it. There is something magical about a creature that wakes up with the sun and says, “It’s time to play!” She naps when she’s tired and wants to play the other 77% of the day. This is a lifestyle I can get behind. Now if only her version of play was the same as mine. Unfortunately, two black lips and a few deep scratches later, we’ve learned the importance of training our sweet girl (but we always train with games and play and toys and treats instead of negative consequences. And boy does she love toys and treats! (I think I may have spent more on Nia’s Christmas than Brian’s…don’t tell Brian).

A sleeping puppy on your tummy is probably one of the greatest things ever.

A sleeping puppy on your tummy is probably one of the greatest things ever.

I play Disney (and that other park with Harry Potter [ and that OTHER park with Bugs Bunny])

After immersing myself so heavily in Disney Instagram, I became obsessed with needing to get back to the parks. I wanted to knock Dapper Day off my bucket list and asked my pal Laura if she wanted to go. When she said yes, I booked a hotel for November and started planning. When my cousin invited Brian and me to visit Universal Studios with him and his wife in October, it sealed a deal I made in my head. I was going to get an annual pass to Walt Disney World. (If you go more than once, the price of the pass is worth it (especially with added discounts and perks and such). I was lucky and able to use credit card points to reimburse my Disney pass purchase, so it was essentially “free” in my head, which makes it all the more logical. To me. And so I visited the happiest place on earth twice in a matter of two months, catching both the Halloween and Christmas seasons. And then…just for fun…because it’s close to home and the season pass was so cheap…we got season passes for Six Flags (Great America, but we can go to any of them with the pass). I guess I’m kind of a theme park addict…

Magic Kingdom Disney Photopass hub grass Cinderella Castle

Playing on the hub grass in front of Cinderella Castle seemed like a great idea.

And so with that, I give you Chrissy’s Year of Play. In which I truly embraced my inner child and let her help me find the joy I need to live this life and take the next steps on my journey. Being a creative is hard. Being an empath is FUCKING hard. Learning how to free yourself to determine your path? So hard. But so worth it. I honestly believe that my role in this world is to bring joy and laughter and share that light with you. And so when you see me behaving like a kid in a candy store with a light-up skirt and hot pink hair, remember that we all have a part to play. This is mine.

*I reserve the right to change my mind on the “never” at any time. 

If you could put a theme to your year, what would it be? What are your highlights from 2018?

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!

Dog training is dangerous work

So my dog is becoming incredibly skilled at indoor parkour. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. I’ll wait.

Insane, right?

Well, Nia is a master. When she gets the zoomies, she jets around our house, side-swiping and jumping on everything with a flat surface.

 She can also clear 4-5 feet with a standing jump. Hopping on our couch, over the back? Child’s play. Jumping a gate to get to the top of our stairs? Piece of cake. Bouncing from one ottoman to the other like fucking Tigger? Done.

Clearly, all of these feats of strength means she’s an agility star in the making.

So the other night, after some serious playtime and even more serious zoomies, I decided that instead of trying to train the crazy out of her, I would help hone her skills.

dog with a toy in the middle of a living room

I’m a fool.

So I pulled out the small ottoman and started running to jump over it in the hopes that Nia would follow suit and chase me. She did, but she ran beside the ottoman instead of over it. Several times.

So I figured I’d try again.

I figured wrong.

As my right leg cleared the ottoman, my left foot caught on the back, making my landing less than a 10. I didn’t fall (for, like, the first time ever), but I did manage to feel a pop-pop-pop of bad. And also a searing pain in my left Flinstoe (Flinstone toe. It’s a thing) that turned out to be a broken nail.

I knew immediately something had gone awry and I stumbled to the couch, much to Brian’s confusion. He has never seen me actually injure myself, despite seven-plus years of experience with my injuries. I took a few ibuprofen, iced my knee, and made a bunch of Instagram stories about my foolishness, hoping there would be no pain when I finally peeled myself off the couch.

Much to my dismay (and with little surprise, if we’re being honest), I discovered that yes, Virginia, Chrissy hurt herself again. After 30+ years of injuring myself, I knew how to recognize the signs of a sprain:

  • Can move the joint in question
  • Difficulty with range of motion (which is strange for me because I have overextending joints, so my range of motion is a little crazy already)
  • Slight swelling (I don’t often swell)
  • Slight bruising (sprains don’t bruise much for me, even though I get rando bruises all the time)
  • Pain in certain positions (or many positions or when putting pressure on said joint)

And so I went to sleep with plans to visit the doctor the next day. I’m pretty confident they love me over there. This was the first time my doc saw my hair, and she was all open-mouth WOAH, but not actually surprised, since she’s been seeing me for years (basically since I got a job with health insurance). After I told her about trying to train my dog to jump over an ottoman by showing instead of telling (I mean, COME ON. How do you tell a dog to jump over an ottoman?), she laughed and told me, “At least you have a good story.”

“Doc, that’s pretty much my life. You should hear about the last time I sprained my knee…”

She laughed, and I made a few more jokes before she told me to chill out, rest my shit, and try not to reinjure myself like a fool (which is of course going to be tricky with several hours of improv classes and a show tonight (SHAMELESS PLUG: GO SEE MY ENSEMBLE, HAMMOCK FIRE, at the Chicago Second City Training Center Thursday nights through September 20!)

And so, I’m back on the injury train. Which is kind of funny, since I had finally stopped telling people that injuring myself is a key theme in my storytelling style.

Such is 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!

1979. Or melancholy and infinite sadness

Quick before you read any further! I want to know your first thought when you saw the title of this song. Got it? Great.

Last night, I was checking out after a quick trip to Trader Joe’s. A woman who I figured was close in proximity to me in age was running the register.

“Your total is 19.79.”
“Great song!”
She made a face and started humming to the music playing in the store.
“I can’t hear what it is.”
“1979? The Smashing Pumpkins?”
“What? Oh. Your total”
“Yep. Loved them.”
“Oh I don’t really know them much. I think anyone younger than me wouldn’t have known that at all.”
I bowed my head in sadness and dismay while facepalming.
“But I know Billy Cor…gan, right?”
“Yes. Billy Corgan.” Visions of magazine articles and album covers filled my head instead of photos on Facebook. Song lyrics on the inside of CD covers instead of lyrics.com. Surreal videos on MTV instead of YouTube. I picked up my bag and started to leave, my chin buried in my chest.
“I should get points for knowing that, right?”
“Have a good night, young lady!”
And I walked out of the store wondering where to get a walker and a bottle of prune juice.
I’m okay accepting my age, but MAN was I not ready to be worlds apart from someone no more than 5 years younger than me. I remember my friend Jane and I planning our escape to the MTV Beach House, where we hoped to stay in Room 1979. It was a thing. I swear.
And now I’m just melancholy. With infinite sadness.
You see what I did there? Fine. Go Google it.
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!

Gonna take some time to do the things we never have

Last August, I discovered I was losing something. No. I had lost something. I didn’t realize the extent to which it was missing, but I knew I needed to make a change. My ever-present smile was dimmer than it had been in a long time. I was suffering from depression. I should have noticed months prior. When surrounded by writers and creators, I hid in my room instead of reveling in the joy of being around like-minded people. I knew that I needed a change in my life, and I struggled to figure out what it was that I needed.

As it turns out, I needed to follow my dreams. I needed to take some time off from the corporate desk monkey life and see if I could do this writer thing for real. So I’m writing. A novel, actually. I’ll tell you more about that soon. Of course, in the time I’ve had, I’ve also managed to use it wisely and do some really important things.

The first of these tasks was to finally memorize the lyric’s to Toto’s Africa. Because everyone else knows them, and I’m tired of “mumble mumble BLESS THE RAINS DOWN IN AFRICA mumble mumble.” It turned out to be the exact right thing to do, because it spoke to me about taking time to do the things I never have. And so I continued on my journey.

I saw Hamilton. And proceeded to memorize the lyrics to Act One and most of Act Two of the show. Give me time, and Act Two will be finished as well.

But I haven’t just been working on lyric memorization.

I crafted homemade apple butter, applesauce, and pear butter.

I made homemade beer cheese spread.

I started cooking real meals again, the way I used to when Brian and I were still in the budding stages of our relationship.

I also eat a lot of food.

I cleaned my kitchen. Like once. I’m not a miracle worker, you guys.

I may have done laundry a couple times too.

Brian knew going into this marriage that I was not an organized cleaner or anything like that. Phew

I helped my bestie plan her wedding.

I planned two wedding showers.

I hosted another kick-ass Halloween Party.

I really like throwing parties.

I created a Disney-focused Instagram account.

I decided to start Disneybounding (dressing like Disney characters) in my regular life, and it was the BEST decision.

I spent a lot of quality time with my niece, indoctrinating her into the world of Disney by watching a different Disney movie when she would come over. 

Disney is life, you guys.

I did stand-up for the first time.

I began training at The Second City.

I submitted work to (and was subsequently rejected by) McSweeney’s and other fancy publications that I plan to keep submitting to.

A sense of humor. It’s important.

I dyed my hair pink.

I finally made all those Shutterfly photo albums I’ve been meaning to make for the last several years.

I set up a desk in my front room where the light shines in an open space that makes me so much happier to write in than a cramped office.

We adopted a puppy.

I let this blog fall to the wayside while I found myself, rediscovered my voice, and figured out what I wanted to do with it. But I finally have a plan, you guys. And I hope you’ll stick with me as I move forward!

I am living my best life, and I am so incredibly proud of the things that I’m accomplishing and the person that I am. This journey is making me see how incredible the world truly is, and I can’t wait to make my mark.

What are you doing to live your best life? Or what’s a change you can make to start moving in that direction?

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!

Damsel in distress…in the bathroom

The other day, after my class at The Second City, I decided to head straight home instead of sticking around for bonus Second City joy like I had originally planned. We had just gotten a new water heater that afternoon, and I was pretty excited to head home for a warm shower. Also, Brian had just been destroyed by our puppy, and probably needed a bit of a reprieve. Mostly, I had a tasty Blue Apron meal with shrimp and peppers waiting for me to cook up and devour.

Leaving the class, I knew I probably should hit the bathroom before rolling out, but I had parked in a 3-hour spot and was drawing desperately close to overtime. I don’t like getting tickets so I raced my ass to my car. It was only a 45-minute drive; I could make it.  (If you can’t already tell, this story is about poop, so fair warning as you continue on).

As I was nearing my home suburb, I happened upon a sign for the second time in a week that reminded me. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc was on sale super cheap at one of the local-ish liquor stores. I knew I’d never make it back there to buy some if I didn’t stop immediately. So I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed a cart. It’s important to always have a backup supply of wine.

As I filled my cart with liquid gold, the urge to poop began to increase. I’m not the kind of girl who can hold it, and I know that when I gotta go…I GOTTA go. I asked the lady at the checkout counter if they had a bathroom (they didn’t), and so I quickly planned my escape. Step one: Pay for wine. Step two: Decide on emergency bathroom protocol.

My options were limitless, but time was of the essence. Could I make it home? Maybe, but there was a risk in that. Could I make it to my parents’ house halfway between the liquor store and home? Tempting, but I decided to see what other choices I had.

There was a small pizza place by the liquor store. But I didn’t want to walk there and chance no public restroom. I got into the car and thought about McDonald’s/Burger King/Wendy’s locations near me, and I knew there weren’t any super close. And then like clouds parting to let the sun shine down on none other than White Castle.

Now, I have a small neurosis about using public restrooms. And it has nothing to do with pooping in public and everything to do with using a restroom while not patronizing the business. And so I always have to buy something when I use a bathroom. Brian has tried without fail to get me to sneak in, poop, and sneak out without anyone being the wiser for as long as I can remember. I almost always leave with a drink…sometimes a full meal.

I decided as I raced into the bathroom immediately next to the entrance door, that this would be the day I do it. This would be the day I opted out of a guilt purchase. Because I’m doing Weight Watchers. And White Castle just didn’t seem worth it.

I hung my purse on the door and sat down on the toilet. Relief was swift, but it only lasted a moment. Until I reached for the toilet paper. Where toilet paper should have been, an empty roll hung in its place. I assessed the situation. No place for a backup roll in this single-use bathroom. No stalls to hobble to with my pants around my ankles. And I was in White Castle. In the early evening. No one was going to be knock knock knocking on this door for hours. I wished I still carried that travel roll of Charmin I bought for my trip to Europe.

As I prepared to bunker down in the White Castle ladies’ room, I realized that I had a golden ticket! I had a freaking phone. I stood up, waddled over to my purse, and pulled out my phone. I waddled back, sat down, and googled White Castle for the phone number.

In seconds, I would be relieved from my public cell. I just knew it. riiiiiiiiiing riiiiiiiiiing

“Thank you for calling White Castle. No one is available to take your call right now. Please leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I pondered leaving a message, “Hey. In the ladies room. No TP for days. Send help.”

Instead, I hung up and called back. The damn store was open, someone had to be here.

“Thanks for calling White Castle. This is _______, how can I help you?”

“Hi. This is awkward, but I’m in the ladies bathroom, and there’s no toilet paper. Help!”

“Oh. Sure. Be right there.”

Commercial toilet paper roll in the White Castle Bathroom

Thanks, lady.

Two minutes later, a knock at the door had me waddling, penguin-style, again. I hid behind the door as I opened it just enough to allow a massive roll of toilet paper past the threshold. I thanked her, and quickly closed the door.

Bathroom selfie in a skinny mirror

I love me a good skinny mirror!

I cleaned up, took a baño selfie in the skinny mirror, and realized I definitely needed to make a purchase now. There was no escaping the employee who rescued this damsel in distress. I made my way to the front counter, and the employee was washing dishes in the back. I could escape. But I took a look at the menu and realized there were a lot of things I needed to try. You know. For research.

I ahemed a few times until I finally said, “Uhh hi!” Two full minutes after she looked at me and said hi, she set the dishes down and walked up to me, giving me a knowing glance. I should have just left. Why was I so embarrassed? Everybody poops. Right? I ordered and ran the hell out of there so fast.

I survived. And had tots hashbrowns with cheese sauce to assuage my anxieties on the 7-minute drive home.

 

 

 

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 may have been a stand-up comedian in a past life

Guys. GUYS.

I recently returned from the beautiful Dayton Riviera, where I embraced the joys of life and love and humor with my writing tribe at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. I have A LOT to say about this conference and the magic that happens there, but first, I thought it would be fun to share my performance in the Saturday night stand-up show, in which I discussed our wedding, my light-up skirt (which I wore on the first night of the conference), and a few tidbits about my relationship with Brian. I was just as nervous as that one time I read the story of my first period at a different writing conference, and it was just as exciting.

Well, without further ado, here’s the video!

 

  Of course, I left my notes on stage. Of course I did. But I didn’t need to look at them once!

Have you ever done stand-up comedy or performed? Tell me about it in the comments.

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!

Monkeying Around

Well hey there, blog friends! Long time no see. I took a bit of a breather for the holidays, started making some plans, and started implementing some plans. And now I’m back. With something a little different.

I’ve been wanting to dabble in video for a while now. I’ve got this weirdly popular video on YouTube about finding sand dollars on the beach in March Island, but other than that I’ve just uploaded silly stuff, like the time I met Steve the Sloth and gave him three pets instead of two or when we went to the New Orleans bug museum and saw two turtles gettin’ it on.

The point is that I want to dabble in something a little more specific. A little more me, even. So I figured I’d pull an idea my bestie Cletus came up with back in our college days. He called it 60 Seconds of Chrissy. And I shall too.

60 Seconds of Chrissy will be a little snippet of my adventures clipped to a mere 60 seconds. Brevity is not my strong suit, so this will be a learning experience for everyone. But I’ll also come back here to the blog and give you a little more story behind the video if there is one.

For the first video, I’ve gone ahead and put together a little montage of that one time we went to a high ropes course with ziplining, right here in the western suburbs of Chicago called GoApe. They have a number of courses around the country, so there may even be one in your backyard too.

I was excited and nervous, and we spent a glorious 4+ hours sweating our brains out and adventuring high in the trees. Most of the adventure was pretty run of the mill, and I surprised myself by walking some of the course without holding on to the ropes. In many cases, you had the option of taking the “hard” path or the “easy” path, and 90% of the time, I took the easy path.

The one exception was the Tarzan swing near the end of the course, which you’ll see in the video below. What you won’t see in the video is the number of times I counted out 3-2-1 go…and didn’t go. Or the aftermath.

Well, here’s the video first. Then we can talk about the aftermath.

 

“Fuck me.”

Yep. That’s exactly how I felt. Because as it turns out, I had gone and fucked myself. With my lack of upper body strength (y’all I have leg strength like nobody’s business, but my arms and core need some serious help), I was unable to attach myself to that spiderweb of rope to climb up to the tower where Brian was standing. To add insult to injury, the harness I was wearing was uncomfortably digging into my body, so I was also in pain.

And that’s when the screaming began.

30 feet above the ground, hanging from some cables, and sitting in a harness, I had a panic attack. I felt like I was stranded and there was no way out. I needed help, but I didn’t know if help would ever come. I was helpless and afraid and screaming to get me out of there. What felt like an eternity later, a woman showed up to assist me. Apparently, I wasn’t the first to get myself stuck on the Tarzan swing. The woman hooked up a third harness dealie, and pulleyed it up to me. I connected to it, and she was able to help move me over to the tower and up just enough that I could crawl onto the platform.

I was ashamed, embarrassed, and feeling pretty low. Would I even finish the course?

And then I remembered that I’m resilient as fuck, and I finished the last two paths across the trees and the final zip line. And that zip line reminded me that I could jump again, even when the last jump failed me. And after watching that 60-second video? I feel like a bad ass mother who won’t take no crap off of nobody.

So, YouTube is doing this thing where small content creators aren’t going to be able to make money off their piddly little videos anymore unless they have over 1,000 followers of their channel. Would you do me a solid and subscribe?

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 sexiest man alive

I’ve spent the morning reading about what a bullshit thing it was for People to put Blake Shelton on the cover of People Magazine for Sexiest Man Alive and that people are up in arms about it. Personally, I stopped giving a fuck what People Magazine thought about men when — nope. I’m not even playing. I’ve never cared about the Sexiest Man Alive. If Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum aren’t on that list, it clearly hasn’t adequately captured the heart of sexy. Ever.

On a Facebook post, I saw someone write, “Are there any good ones left?” And I was like, Duh. My husband.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

So I decided I’d start my own Sexiest Man Alive award. And the inaugural recipient is, obviously. Brian. But don’t just let me tell you he’s the sexiest man alive. Here are just a few of the things that make him so dang irresistible.

He’s got a soft spot for watching TV with me

And he’ll even watch some things that many husbands/boyfriends/partners would typically opt out of. Not only is he watching The Handmaid’s Tale with me, but he also watched Gilmore Girls. I’m not saying he binged the entire thing in 3 weeks like I did, but he would sit down and watch an episode here and there. I’m also pretty confident he was Team Logan too.

He feeds me

This is why ladies are not supposed to get sick. The boyfriend was left to his own devices. #GetOuttaMyKitchen

A post shared by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

Even if he doesn’t know the correct pan to use for boiling hot dogs.

We all know that I’m the cook in this relationship. He sends me gifs of things like ice cream sandwich cakes and Cheetos mozzarella sticks, and then I make them. But sometimes, he’ll throw together one of the things he knows how to prepare and he’ll hand deliver it to me like the sexy AF gentleman that he is.

He’s got a keen fashion sense

And he was ready to go toe to toe with anyone who fought me on my wedding shoes.

He cleans

Brian’s putting our mop and bucket to good use before holiday party time. #BestBoyfriendEver

A post shared by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

He meets me halfway, even when I’m halfway across the country

I’m pretty sure the only people who lost that contest were the ones in the rooms on either side of mine. Did I mention I was on the executive floor?

He’s a poet and he doesn’t even know it

He takes care of me when I’m sick

He’s smart, funny, and he keeps me on my toes. He’s got science guy and gentleman wrapped up with a bow. You know, now that I think about it…Brian is pretty much an amalgamation of Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum. He really is the sexiest man on earth. [I really tried to squeeze in a joke about Earth girls being easy, but I just umm…couldn’t…well find a way.]

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Really, though, with all of the big-name men being called out for assault, harassment, and more, maybe we should stop putting the people we see in movies and on TV on pedestals. Maybe we should think about how to make the world a better, safer place. And I think a lot of that starts at home. So can we all stop worrying about the guy a bunch of editors at a weekly publication determined was the sexiest man alive and focus on the ones we know in the real world?

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!

DIY Beauty and the Beast costumes

I use affiliate links for some items in this post to help support my writing habit. Any purchases you make through my links might contribute to my monthly cheese budget. 

Well, there’s only a few days left to get your costume situated, you guys! Might I recommend trying out a classic?

A couple years ago, I conned Brian into Beauty and the Beast costumes. He has costume restrictions:

  • No glitter
  • Lots of accessories (as evident by Captain Mal — guns! — and Jack Skellington — Zero!)
  • The opportunity to get creative with his look (When he was Ra’s Al Ghul)
  • No masks that cover his mouth (This was the biggest problem with Jack Skellington)

And a Beast costume didn’t necessarily break any of his restrictions, so I got to be a Disney princess!

Beauty and the Beast Halloween costumes

Beast costume pieces and tips

We weren’t going for full-on Disney style, but a mash-up of the different versions of this tale as old as time. So we went looking for ways to create a regal beast.

He started with finding the right headpiece. He ended up with this goat head quasi-mask from Amazon (one-day shipping anyone?), and it actually was perfect for what he needed.

Then, he picked up wolf feet from Amazon and wolf arms from Walmart (you can pick-up in store to avoid a shipping delay). We created his chest with a thrift-store jacket, lined with faux brown fur ($7). He cut the sleeves and bottom of the coat off, turned it inside out and backward, and essentially wore it as a dickey.

beast costume head and upper body From there, he needed the right ensemble. For his outfit, we found a thrift-store tuxedo shirt ($3) to make him look fancy. He used the cape he bought for his Ra’s Al Ghul and a pair of dress pants and a belt.

For his makeup, he just grew his beard a little scruffy and used brown make-up to give a furrier appearance than his light red-gray beard.

Ta-Da! A magnificent Beast to complement my Belle.

Belle costume pieces and tips

My costume was a million times cheaper and easier than Brian’s. And I like accessories too. I was just able to pull a lot of them from my closet.

First I needed a dress. I searched on Amazon for the perfect dress, and when that didn’t work, I bought a cute 1950’s style polka dot number that will totally also work if I ever want to be Alice for Halloween, am I right? I had to safety pin the halter straps to the back of the dress to make them regular straps because I’m not so much a fan of halters most of the time. Of course, if they had this pretty blue dress then, I totally would have gone for it instead.

I got the white top to wear underneath the dress at a thrift store, but you may even have one in your closet! The apron came from my closet. Sure, it may say Betty Crocker on the front, but all I had to do was turn it around and kablam! Plain white apron. I finished the look by adding a plus-size white petticoat under the dress for a little poof.

I accessorized with the Chip cup I’ve had since I was a child at Beauty and the Beast on Ice (you can find a similar Chip cup on Amazon) and the biggest, coolest book I could find (my Norton Anthology of English Literature).

For my hair, I did a simple topsytail (Put your hair in a ponytail. Split the top section in half and loop the tail through the hole) and tied it off with a Christmas ribbon. Don’t you judge me. It was available and it worked. And no one else noticed the snowflakes.

topsytail for Belle's hair Beauty and the Beast costume

So there you have it. A relatively easy to put together Beauty and the Beast costume for your next cosplay, whether it’s Halloween or just for funsies.

Beauty and the Beast halloween costumes

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!