Rock Obama Won! And a Gamer Giveaway!

Good morning readers! I have some very exciting giveaway news! But first, a short election story:

Election Joy

4 years ago today, my then-3-year-old godson ran up to me with excitement in his eyes, “Auntie Chrissy Auntie Chrissy! Rock Obama won! Rock Obama won!” My cousin, Rachel, had tried and succeeded in explaining to Little A that this was a big deal. It was historic. Our first black president. A dem president after 8 years of you-know-who. A young president. And a Chicago man to boot. This year proved to be another historic election: Marriage equality on the ballot in 4 states, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin will become the first openly gay senator, Hawaiian Representative Mazie Hirono will become the first Asian-American woman in the Senate, and in my own home district, Tammy Duckworth will become the first disabled woman in the House. Mad props to our country for fighting for the rights of the vag. I hope someone explained to Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock that rape is bad and you just can’t spin that any other way.

Gamer Joy

As many of you may know, I’m kind of a gamer nerd. I fell into the world of gaming officially upon meeting Brian and learning about all of the SWEET games out there…and going to Gen Con…and sometimes kicking ass at games (and sometimes losing horribly because my boyfriend refuses to help me in games and sometimes aims to destroy me… ) While I don’t particularly enjoy Scattergories, I’m a Scrabble evil genius, and even as a  kid, I always wanted to play Life. So games: Kinda my thing…

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

I’ll be attending the Chicago Toy & Game Fair on November 17 & 18 and I want you to join me! Okay, I mean maybe we’ll get to meet and shake hands and kiss babies, and if you’re really lucky, we might hang out for a few minutes… (Hey, I’m getting ping-back spam now–I’m almost famous!)

The 10th anniversary of this huge gamer paradise is bound to be an event you don’t want to miss. With events and toys for kids of all ages, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair is the largest toy and game show in the country. Located inside Navy Pier’s exhibit hall A, you’ll get to play with giant sized Perplexus and Bananagrams (SO fun), participate in free game tournaments, meet & greet with top game inventors, and so much more.

Luckily for you, I’ve been given a couple of family passes to giveaway so that YOU can attend this fabulous event full of games, toys, games, and more games! Fun for the whole family! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below. Tell me a funny game story or why you want to go to ChiTAG. I’ll be giving away one family pass on Friday, November 9 and one family pass on Wednesday, November 14. So keep the comments coming.

If you’re a teacher, librarian, member of the military, a scout in uniform, or under 3, you get in free. On Sunday, November 18, any grandparents also get in free (with their grandchildren in tow–don’t try to go without the kiddos! That’s just mean.) Of course, if you don’t want to win free tickets, you can buy them at the door. Click here for ticket info and a $2 off coupon.

So get excited! I know I am. Maybe I’ll see you there.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below with a funny game story or telling me why you want to go to the Toy & Game Fair. It’s that simple.

NOTE: I am attending the Chicago Toy & Game Fair at the invitation of the ChiTAG people as part of the media/blogger preview. The powers that be from the Chicago Toy & Game Fair have given me the free passes to giveaway on this blog. The opinions expressed in this post are all my own, and I have not been paid to speak them. 

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

Rock the Vote; Don’t Waste It

I came in and edited this morning. All edits have been typed in pink.

We still have no internet. And our fridge doesn’t work right (I had to *gasp* throw away cheese. Though I considered eating it anyways…I thought better of it when I realized that I did not want my favorite thing ever to become my demise. Food poisoning scares me. A lot. I have an unnatural fear of botulism. Un. natural. fear. I won’t eat reheated grilled onions. ever. A can or jar that seems ‘splodey? No thank you.) And there are still many boxes to deal with. And we have no couch.

But we have a bed and a clean bedroom. And in-unit laundry. And beer. And cupcakes from our un-freakin-believably-adorbs new neighbors (3 and 5 year old girls). Sunday night they waited outside their door to give us cuppy cakes. Happiest girl ever! Funfetti!

Cupcakes from new neighbors

Too cute right?

So we brought them upstairs and went back to carrying stuff in from the car. I raced upstairs with a small shelfy thing as Brian was pulling out the heavy stuff and I snagged a bite of the delish treat and ran back down. Immediately upon returning to the apartment, Brian noticed the missing piece and he told me that the rest of the cupcakes were his…I threatened to bite his nose off…so I got both of my cupcakes. One for dinner and one for breakfast.

And I fixed our fridge. Sort of. I figured out the problem (the light wouldn’t turn off…so it heated my cheese. And ruined it.) But we rigged it up so that it will turn off. And not destroy anything else.

Oh. Right. It’s election day. I got off track. Because obviously, I’m not writing this on election day. Due to the fact that we have no freakin’ internet. And I’m freezing at my parents’ house as I’m writing this. Yesterday. (My tenses are confusing me.) Moving right along…

So I believe that it is important, even though many of my close friends will not participate, to vote. Do some research, because uneducated voting is pretty shitty. If you’ve only been paying attention to the presidential election race, and don’t know…or don’t understand something else on the ballot, ask the election judge…or skip it. Don’t just fill in bubbles like you would on a standardized test.

I woke up this morning, and it felt like Christmas. I showered. Got dressed in my sweet Rock the Vote tee shirt. Reheated some leftover pumpkin cheesecake pancakes and drank some Oberweis milk (I support the dairy products, not the politics. Dropped Brian off at the train. Visited Mom at work (where I got a lecture as to how I should be unpacking…UM HELLO!? Election day, Ma. Relax, I got it covered. Let’s just call it my union break. If in a week, we’re still not unpacked…I’ve got a secret weapon: The Easy Button-Anything still in boxes is getting thrown away.) Edited blog (now) and will soon be on my way to participate in my legal privilege to vote for the leader of the free world.

Just a quick photo shoot: I bought this shirt on clearance right after the ’08 election. I’ve worn it it on every voting day since, but I’ve been waiting patiently for four years to wear it on the big election day.

Rock the vote, don't waste it

Rock the vote

It’s especially nice that I now only live 15 minutes from my polling place instead of 30. By the next election, I’ll be settled into another home…and this time I’ll be registered to vote there. And it will be wonderful. Life is good. All the pink print I just typed cheered me up. I feel better already. It’s amazing what writing can do for your soul.

What are you waiting for? Go vote!

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 Born Fanatic

Thank God my mother raised me right.

(Preface: If you’re not into Jesus or politics, keep reading–I promise I have a point)
 

I was *NOT* born to be a religious fanatic

My parents instilled a strong belief in God, but more importantly they allowed me to believe (as I did and do) that good people who lead strong, genuine, and caring lives will be rewarded, regardless of their faith. While I believe that there is a God (and a forgiving, loving God, at that), it is not my place to push Him on others. It is not my place to HATE others for believing in something different than what I believe.

As a child, I had heard in various adult conversations that only Catholics shall go to Heaven. But as many children, I questioned in honor of my pals. But what about my friends who aren’t Catholic? I thought to myself, that if they are good people, they will be okay. You know why? BECAUSE GOD LOVES US. /end Jesus talk.

Don’t get upset, Mom, it’s a real bible verse!

I was *NOT* born to be a political fanatic

I have tendencies for both sides of the main court. I suppose that makes me an independent. I was educated by my parents to watch, listen, and learn, but also to see what was going on behind the scenes. Politics is heavily swayed by the media, so it is my duty as a voting citizen to do my own research.

Whether or not someone says one thing, they may very well do another. To be the most informed voter that I can be, and remain as unbiased as I can be, is the only way that I know to do my part. I truly believe that in our current society that I am more often than not voting for the lesser of two evils, and not for the better leader.

 

Anyone? Anyone? *Crickets*

I was, on the other hand, born to be a sports fanatic

When I was a baby, Mom would whisper in my ear, “You love the White Sox. You hate the Cubs.” and the all-important, “You love the Bears. You hate the Packers.”

This picture is the sole reason that I believe it is perfectly acceptable for little girls under the age of 2 to wear sports gear in pink as opposed to in team colors. I asked if this was my brother. Mom told me “no.” Until I pulled the picture out of an album and looked at the back that said, “Christine 1984,” I didn’t quite believe her.

You think I’m making this shit up, but I’m not. At all. I come from a family of sports-crazed chicks. My grandmother (Dad’s mom, one of my namesakes, who I never had the joy of meeting) Regina (Jean) jumped on the White Sox bus with a ball and made every player on the bus sign the ball before she got off. What a spitfire!

My mom, a die-hard, White Sox loving, Bears loving lady, has a list a mile long of her exploits in the sports world. From kissing baseball players to stalking football players, my mom’s done it.

In fact, when I asked her for her wild sports stories, she e-mailed me this (I literally cut and pasted for entertainment value–OK with a few modifications…my mom has little regard for typing quotations and doesn’t quite get the difference between all caps and normal type–sorry Mom! I love you! Really folks, Mom’s got impeccable grammar–she’s defo one of the reasons I’m such a grammar Nazi… it’s just the typing thing):

#54 Tom Hicks Bears…1980…I was working at the phone company, and answered the phone,
“This is Miss Nudd, how can I help you?”
The man on the phone says to me, “Hi Patti, this is Tom Hicks”
I almost died and had to put him on hold and said, “Tom Hicks knows my first name!” He had gone to the same high school as me, and knew my sister; I knew his little brother.
Scott Fletcher White Sox Winning ugly playoff team 1983…Working at phone company again…
“This is Mrs. Woj, how can I help you?”
“I’d like to install a new phone.”
“Ok..what is you name”
“Scott Flectcher”
“Uhmmm Scott, you play baseball?”
“Yea..you a fan?”
“Oh boy! Am I?!…I stayed out all night pregnant* for playoff tickets.”
I then proceeded to install his phone.
 

*For the record, friends, she was preggo with yours truly.

White Sox 1988?…White Sox playing Yankees. Dad and I were waiting after game near the Sox player parking lot…I saw George Steinbrenner (Owner of the Yankees.) About 15 people were standing with us…I yelled
“Mr. Steinbrenner!”
He walked over and talked baseball and signed autographs for 10 minutes..great guy..bad reputation.
 
Derek Jeter: Another Yankee…Great rep…bad guy
Dad and I were on the field after winning a contest with Old Kent Bank. It was Derek Jeter’s birthday.
He walks by I say” Hey Jeter…Happy Birthday”…he gave a me a nasty glare and without a word, walked away.
many more will continue in an hour or so.

Mom never finished, but I figure that’s plenty of tales, considering the list goes on and on and on… so you can see why I feel it is absolutely necessary to continue the tradition of training die-hard sports fans… I give you exhibits A and B: my niece, Princess B, and my godson, Little A.

Baby sports fan in the making. My niece at 2. For all intents and purposes, we’ll call her, Princess B. Note the pink Chucks on her feet.

My only claims to fame (other than the childhood encounters that my parents got us into because they owned a bar-and I have pictures of me with a bunch of White Sox greats whilst wearing a New Kids on the Block tee-shirt) are a couple of slightly embarrassing encounters and one awesome wave. Getting hammered with my pal Marissa behind home base (in Scout Seating), I yelled over to Ozzie Guillen, “Hey Ozzie!” waving frantically in order to grab his attention. Drunk Chrissy was convinced that mom would have done the same thing. Of course, we were losing at the time, and he looked at me, annoyed, and gave a little half wave back.

“Hey Ozzie!!!!!”

Then there was my first Bear. To this date, I have only met one Bear. The newish punter, Adam Podlesh, was at the Chicago Auto Show in February, and I was determined to meet him. Cletus and I had planned a lovely afternoon downtown to check out the zoom zooms and more. Podlesh was at the Toyota display taking pictures and signing autographs. I walked up there with my picture to sign and Cletus with the camera ready…and the only language my brain could muster was a dulled, awkward, starry-eyed “hiiiii.” He looked at me a little funny and asked if I wanted to take a picture first or sign an autograph first. “um…surrrre” I said. Wow, quite the verbal mastermind, I was that day…So we took the picture. It was awesome. Then he asked if he should sign the autograph to someone, I said, “Um to um Chrissy. *awkward pause* Um. That’s me. *awkward smile*” He smiled at me like I was a little goofy, but hopefully endearing… “Thanks, uh duh *grin*” I told him. Then I asked if I could hug him. And he said it was okay. So I hugged a football player. I like to think that I made his day by being a crazed and dazed fan…

But the best time was when I was at training camp in Bourbonnais, and Robbie Gould waved at me. No, seriously, he waved at me. I yelled out, “Hey Robbie!” and I was planning to snap a picture. When I clicked the snap button, I quickly realized that WHAM! I was video taping it!

 

That’s right. Famous.

 

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!

Olympic Games & the Presidential Election

As the Olympic Games draw nearer and the 2012 United States Elections a short distance behind them, I am reminded of a time that I thought I was the most clever writer. So much so, that my pal Debbie and I believed we could become famous with a pseudonym-ed blog. We called ourselves Quinn Sanders, and we were brilliant. Well, we thought we were anyways.

The idea was Debbie’s brainchild, and she brought me into the mix a month after Quinn’s inception. We shamelessly plugged the shit out of Quinn, telling all of our friends that it was our new favorite blog. Of course, we were writing every word of it…so clearly it was pure genius in our minds.

Quinn gave advice to readers, rocked out her MySpace page, and she may have even had a Facebook for a brief time. She often conversed with her fans through MySpace, and gained a small following among anyone that would add “us” as friends on MySpace.

She was more than just a pseudonym. Quinn was a character that we created. She had a job (she was a freelance journalist). She had favorites. She was something of a nationalist. She loved to travel. She loved to write and speak at workshops & seminars. Quinn was not us. Quinn was what Debbie and I wished we were at 23 and 25 respectively.

To this day, I am still quite proud of several pieces that I wrote for Quinn’s blog, and I’ve taken the liberty of cutting (and mildly editing) my Olympics Election Connection post, as I believe this is the perfect time to bring back my comparison to these oh-so-important events in our country. Let Freedom Ring and all that jazz.

Olympic Games Followed by the Presidential Election: Coincidence or By Design?

~Quinn Sanders

Every four years, in August, our country unites. We stand together and cheer for the United States, land of the free, home of the brave, etc. We glue ourselves to NBC and obsess about the athletes from our home country as the compete against China, Romania, and Russia, among hundreds of other countries.

We put a lot of stock into our young athletes to prove we’re better than any other country out there. We spend billions of dollars to view, endorse, and sometimes even exploit these people, some of whom are still just children. But together, we find joy in supporting Team USA.

Then, a few weeks after this united front, we divide, quickly and bitterly, just like clockwork. Because the Summer Olympics occur just a few short months before our big presidential election. We fight, argue, and debate(yes, I believe those are 3 different things entirely). We take every possible controversy and turn it against our opposing political side, whichever side we choose–if we even choose.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are millions of people who could care less about the Olympics, and there’s millions of people who don’t “rock the vote.” But I personally love the Olympics and rock the vote. Maybe it’s the journalist in me that feels the need to be informed and know EVERYTHING of any importance, but I dig it.

But it seems as though we don’t play well with others–world athletic competitions, wars, economics, you name it. And when there are no others around…we don’t play well with ourselves–athletic competitions, politics, economics, religion (yes, freedom of religion doesn’t mean we’re not going to fight about it) even wars… And it all comes out during election time. “He never fought in a war!” “She doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose.” “He has no experience.” “He won’t end the war.”

When does it end? Why does it have to be all about witty jabs and verbal punches? A few weeks ago we were raving about how great our country is, and now we’re tearing each other apart.

Well, my dear readers, I hope you do your research, stay informed and please…. ROCK THE VOTE! No matter who you choose, keep in mind that our country isn’t too bad. We are able to decide who runs our country every four years. No dynasties, no dictators, Take that, China!

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!