If I’m Not Running Into Poles, I Trip Over Invisible Wires

The thing about working in the city and doing the whole commuter thing, is that when we want to go out after work, we become slaves to the train schedule. On the 40s of every hour, a train leaves the station. Miss it, and you’re stuck twiddling your thumbs for 59 minutes.

One night, shortly after walking headfirst into a no-parking sign, Brian and I stayed late to have dinner with his brother. In our mad dash to the train, I decided I would take a shortcut.

There’s a small patio in front of Union Station, that is often cut-throughable. I was running about 5 feet in front of Brian, and saw a gap between tables that were trying to block the way. I turned and aimed for the gap, preparing to zig zag through the Corner Bakery tables. Except…

There was also a GIANT cable locked around these tables. Huge. And most important, INVISIBLE.
And so obviously…I jumped right over it…well, I did in my mind, anyways.

There’s a very unique feeling when it comes to falling down for me. It’s almost always unexpected. And shocking. But it never hurts as bad as it looks. Except when it does. This was one of those scathing falls that knocks you on your ass seven ways from Sunday. And we still needed to get to the train. So I got up and ran some more, jumping over the next cable on my way out of the “shortcut.” We made the train with seconds to spare, and I was able to assess the damage and feel the pain.

Aside from the burn on my ankle where the cable caught me, the invisible bruise on my palm from the landing, the scrape on the inside of my right knee from…well…something, the gash on my left knee, and the throbbing pain in the same knee, it wasn’t so bad. I just kept telling myself it could be worse. Right?

Someone please tell me an injury story so I don’t feel quite so ridiculous.

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How I Almost Died During My Daily Commute. Or How I Was Attacked By Another Inanimate Object.

So yesterday, I was racing to the train (speed walking, not running, mind you) and as per my usual, I was preoccupied with something other than putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, I read (but I had just finished The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor), and sometimes, I check my e-mail, g-chat, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc etc. Yesterday was no different.

I checked my e-mail to discover that YES! I had gotten a reservation to tour the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Factory…in September…of 2016.

That’s right, kids. A THREE YEAR WAITING LIST.

I obviously had to Skype my co-workers to bask in the glory of this accomplishment. Because…I mean…right?

So, as we’re messaging about this joyful thing, and I’m telling them that I may do a giveaway in 3 years (long term planning, y’all!) for 1-2 of the available spots in my tour group, when out of absolutely NOWHERE, this gigantic pole jumps up and slams into me.

My glasses went flying. The fact that I was just attacked registers. And 3 of the 500 people walking past me ask if I’m okay.

My response?

“Yep. I was just WAITING for that to happen.”

I mean… WHO SAYS THAT?

Of course, I immediately thought back to my interview with Dr. Stork, in which he told me that most people really can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

Touche, Doctor. Touche.

I made it to the train with 3 minutes to spare. The people in the seats next to us were eating Chinese food and it smelled SO. Bad. I was nauseated. And tired. And probably had a mild concussion.

Brian was really nice to me (not that he isn’t usually, but he was even NICER. I know this because he bought me a GIGANTIC pack of Disney Halloween stickers that are going to get put on all outbound communication until October 31. Who wants a Halloween card?! I’m sending them out to the first 10 people who request one. Ready. Set. Go.)

OK, so seriously, though…I think Brian was worried. Because I barely talked all night. And I didn’t eat dinner. Which is weird for me. And probably really unhealthy, considering the only thing I ate all day yesterday was a lot of taco dip, some cake and trail mix. But I’m feeling better. And the giant bump on my head? It’s gone down some over night.

I walked into a pole

Ow.

 

 

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Monday Memories: Because Polish Girls Have Some Crazy Arm Hair…

Today, thanks to Lily from It’s a Dome Life, our Monday Memory is all about Beauty Gone Painful. I’ve already told you about that one time I accidentally cut a giant bald spot in my hair (Seriously, go read that) And there was the time that I was visiting my aunt and we took some SERIOUS glamour shots…This one is all about unpleasant hair.

I’m Polish. (And Irish. And English. And German. And Jewish-ish. And probably a little bit Scottish.)

So regardless of the blond hair as a child, the brownish hair speckled with gray hiding under the red dye, I have some black as black can be arm hair. Or I would if I didn’t shave it all off weekly.

Yep. I shave my arm hair. But long before I thought to just…you know…shave it all off…my little sister and I invested in NADS Australian no-heat wax. With money from my grandfather.

We thought that it would be an excellent way to get rid of that pesky arm hair. And so we lathered ourselves up, and let that shit dry. The we let-er-rip. Holy fucking crap, did that shit hurt. It was like trying to get gum out of your hair and pulling your hair and stabbing your skin and burning your skin (no-heat wax or not) all at once. And it didn’t even do a good job. So what did we do? We tried our legs. And that didn’t work at all because apparently your hair has to be ridiculously long for it to work.

The lesson? Even if it leaves the occasional need for Mickey Mouse Band-Aids…Bust out the razor.

Band-Aids

Check out my Monday Memory partners in crime, as they tell you all about their beauty mishaps!

Monday Memories
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Monday Memories: I Injure Myself More Than Anyone I Know

Obviously. If you’ve been here more than once, you’ve probably read one of my tales in which I’ve fallen down. Maybe it was that one time I went skiing, or the motherfucking strawberry, or the time I climbed a mountain, or when I wanted to be JUST. LIKE. Kerri Strug, or the hematoma death stairs, or how many times I hurt myself on vacation a few weeks ago, or even a collection of my favorite injury stories…you get the idea. I’m kind of a walking disaster.

That being said, today is the wonderful day in which we talk about memories! Monday Memories to Make You Laugh. I’ve teamed up with the ladies of It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad to bring you some of our favorite memories. Today’s topic is INJURIES.

My First Big Injury AKA Why I’m Afraid of Monkey Bars

I was about 7 or 8 years old, and one of the biggest pains in the ass in the history of ever. One of mom’s friends was babysitting us, while she worked a relatively short shift at the bar (4 hours or so). We went to a park nearby, and 4 of us kids were having a great time. I was fearless. Crossing the monkey bars, like a boss.

Until I fell.

Like a boss.

APPARENTLY, even though those wood chip playgrounds LOOK safe enough, underneath a half inch of wood chips was fucking concrete. My arm went down rather unnaturally, and I screamed bloody murder. I could have sworn it was broken.

Of course, being 7 or 8, and having always wanted crutches or a cast (I know, the irony right?), I was hoping for a hot pink cast that all of my friends could sign. It would have been…cool. So we went back to the house and waited for mom. She picked my brother and I up, and we went straight to the doctor.

My pediatrician was seriously fucking old. She was old when she was MY MOM’S pediatrician…so those were some cold freakin’ hands. I thought she was lying when she said it wasn’t broken. I could feel the hot searing pain under those freezing hands. I knew what was going on.

Nope, just a sprain. We were told to get a sling, and I would have to wear that while my arm healed.

And Now the Part in Which I Was an Asshole

I know, I bragged last week about how my parents worked extra hard so that we weren’t little assholes. But hey, nobody’s perfect and that includes me. I had my moments. This was one of them.

After accepting the fact that I would not be sporting an awesome hot pink cast on my arm, I accepted (sort of) the fact that I would be wearing a sling. I envisioned a blue one, like everyone else who hurt their arms had. It wasn’t a cast, but it was the next best thing.

But Kmart only had GRAY slings. Ugly. Boring. Medical grade. GRAY. Being the fashion genius that I was, I refused to wear it.

90's fashion victim

Yep, stretch pants and my mom’s sweater. I was SO cool. NOT.

Mom used her mad artist skills to paint flowers on it, to make it pretty. And still, I wanted nothing to do with it. I was setting myself up for a world of disappointment when it came to injuries. While I would OFTEN find myself becoming a pro at crutches (remembering with disdain, the days we would play with the other kids crutches and wish for them ourselves), I never did get a sweet cast that my friends could sign. And I’m pretty sure that because I was a little asshole and didn’t rest my shit when it was hurt, I now have arthritis and carpal tunnel in my wrist.

injury prone

And BTW, this shit hurts like a bitch today.

Go visit my memory writing friends today!

Monday Memories

If you want to participate in Monday Memories to Make You Laugh, send an e-mail to QuirkyChrissy@gmail.com. Next week’s topic is going to be love.

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Monday Memories: Vacation? Or Hell? But James Van Der Beek was there!

Everyone’s got at least one “vacation” that wasn’t a vacation at all. I, of course, have several. My mom probably thinks that I’m going to write about the worst vacation ever, which is also known by me as the worst Thanksgiving ever…but I’ll save that gem for another time. (Love you mom!)

This is one that we all look back on and think. Wow. Just freakin’ wow.

I was 15. A sophomore in high school. It was Spring Break, and we were going on vacation! We had gone to Florida the previous Spring Break (my 3rd visit of now 8 trips to the Sunshine State). That was the magical trip in which we named our dog, Buck, where we ventured through Disney World, traveled to the west coast and spent half our vacation beach side. My sophomore year, though, no Disney  World or beachy ocean view for us. There’d be lots of sand…but no beach.

I heard they called it The Desert.

We were off to Arizona, land of the sun. No rain. No snow. No oceany watery goodness. Just sand. Lots and lots of sand. Mom’s best friend had moved out there with her family, so we were going to visit them. Even at the airport, Brian (my brother), Dad and I stared longingly at the Florida departure gates.

Mom had heard about the beauty of Arizona, and was the only one who was really excited about the trip.

Here are the highlights:

  • I had given up pizza for lent. On the Friday night we were there, my family decided that it was a brilliant idea to order pizza for dinner at the hotel. I walked to the Cracker Barrel next door so I could pick up food that I could eat.  The smell of pizza made me wish I wasn’t Catholic.
  • When Mom and I went to breakfast one morning, James Van Der Beek, or his damn well doppelganger was sitting a few tables away from us…I kept staring, and he even smiled at me. (This was at the very beginning of Dawson’s Creek, when all of my peers were obsessed with the teen heartthrob).
  • That same day, some of my parents’ friends from Chicago were also on vacation in Arizona, and came to our hotel to spend the afternoon poolside with us. Imagine my surprise when James Van Der Beek was someone’s son! I was this awkward 15 year old, talking to this beautiful older boy. I’m almost sure I made an ass of myself.
  • After getting a raging sunburn during the aforementioned super hot poolside afternoon, it rained. And then it snowed. IN FUCKING ARIZONA. Where it never rains. Let alone snows. Especially when one is sunburned.
  • I climbed a mountain. Yes. Me. Klutzy. Crazy. Falls down like a boss. Me. I got all the way to the top of Camelback Mountain. I was a proud Chrissy. I rocked. Even though I only had sandals…and had to wear socks with them. And looked ridiculously stupid. I climbed a flippin’ mountain. And then I got all the way down the mountain. And there were stairs for the last leg of the journey. And at the very bottom stair…I sprained my fucking ankle. Like a boss.
arizona camelback mountain

Note the sandals with socks. I brought an entire suitcase full of shoes and not one pair of gym shoes…

What about you, Bloggie Friends? Any vacay memories that you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear them!

Join in the fun! Blog your memories and grab the button!

This week’s participants are

Monday Memories

 

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Monday Memories: Embarrassing Moments

I’ve decided to start making the Monday Memories topical, so that anyone who participates with me has some direction for their posts. The goal, remember, is to make people laugh. So let’s err on the side of caution and leave out sad memories for these posts.

Embarrassing Moments

I’m certainly no stranger to embarrassing moments…I mean you’ve read about my bald spot…and the most embarrassing glamour shots ever…and then there was the incident with the strawberry…and my poop story…so when I tell you that I’ve got more, you really shouldn’t be surprised…

Now, I happen to have another poop story, but I’ll save that for another day. Hair mishaps? Thousands. But not today…And as far as fabulously embarrassing pictures go? Here’s one just for fun.

Embarrassing Photos

Note the dirty socks, the bad hair, the huge forehead, and the old school phone.

That being said, I’m going to tell you the tale of one of my many embarrassing moments…

That One Time (Of Many) That I Fell Down

So last summer, after a painstakingly long stint of unemployment, I was able to revisit a summer job I had teaching reading comprehension to students with learning disabilities, autism, and others who had difficulty with reading, spelling, and comprehension (a truly rewarding position…)

I was training in downtown Oak Park, which is a cute almost-city suburb just west of the city. I had previously taken the train down, but as I was no longer living near that line, it was easier for me to drive in. I had worn my brand new dress pants (which were SUPER cute AND comfortable, which is almost unheard of with fancy pants) and flats. Yes. Flat shoes. Because that’s what perpetual klutzes wear. Flats. So they don’t injure themselves.

Of course, I made it through my second first day with flying colors. It was a short day, so I thought I’d wander the downtown Oak Park area (Read: go to cute fancy cheese shop and buy cheese). I was heading back toward my car, struttin’ along, thinking that I was on top of the world, when all of a sudden, I was falling. And then I was on the ground. And people around me (and there were a lot of them) were staring. And staring. And asked if I was okay. And asked to help me up. And I just sat there. And sat there. And told them that I was fine. And I would be okay. I just needed a minute. Or a protective bubble. Or somewhere to hide.  One of those. Or all of those.

There was a searing pain in my knee, to go along with the throbbing pain in my ankle. I had rolled it. Into one of those sidewalk tree squares.

Sidewalk trees

Image borrowed from Streetsblog.org

I looked down at my knee…Not only was there a nasty cut covered in dirt and blood…I could SEE said nasty cut…through the hole in my brand new pants.

People walked by, stared at me, but moved on… After what seemed like hours, I finally got up. With a new batch of onlookers, I stumbled to my feet and tried to put pressure on the ankle. Nope. Bad idea. So I limped my way to my car slowly, while people watched me with bemused glances. Both the knee and the ankle were screaming at me for the pain I was inflicting on them. It looked like I had another high heel free summer ahead of me. (I know what you’re thinking. This girl has NO business wearing high heels. Ever. But I like cute shoes just as much as the next girl.)

What about you, Blog Friends? Any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?

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Wordless Wednesday: Not That You’ll Be Surprised…

injury prone accident prone wrist accident prone wrist

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!

Hematoma, My Ass

I had intended to tell you about Second Thanksgiving, you know…on Thanksgiving…but then I got really mad at the stores that were opening up too flippin’ early, and I wrote about Black Thanksgiving instead, which turned out to be awesome, because then it made perfect sense when I ended up in the Chicago Tribune sounding all smart and boycott-y.

But Second Thanksgiving has a place near and dear to my heart, so I have to at least mention it. My college friends and I consider ourselves a family. We were mostly brothers in a fraternity (Alpha Phi Omega). Yes, I said brothers. Yes, I said fraternity. Co-ed service fraternity, in which we were do-gooders who became leaders and drank a lot together.

Second Thanksgiving

The first turkey I ever cooked. And for the record…I don’t even like turkey!

A year after we graduated from college, I decided (much like in college) that I was going to throw a party at Mark’s apartment. He had recently moved to my hometown and I lived with my parents. So I said that we were going to have “Second Thanksgiving” and history began that day.

My friend, Kevin told me, “We should do this every year. It’s better than real Thanksgiving. There’s no bitching families or whining or anything.”

I told him it was because we were the family that we chose…not the family we were born into. And it worked. 6 years later, we’re still going strong. Everyone brings a piece of the feast, so it’s a really fun tradition. (Although we’re sounding more like a real family now…Oh man HE’S here again? Uncle Albert always grabs my ass!etc etc…)

Two years ago, though, something happened at Second Thanksgiving. Something that I think you will find…amusing.

My physical therapist friend (who is now a physical therapist and not just a PT major), Barb, had just bought a house in the city, so we trekked in and had Second Thanksgiving there. It was a cute ranch house in one of those city neighborhoods with hardwood floors and a full basement. Perfect size for our Second Thanksgiving group.

Food was served upstairs, but the TV and football were downstairs. Obviously, you know where this is going…

So I had a full plate of food in one hand, a beer in the other, and socks on. If you didn’t know where this was going before, I’ll bet you do now…

I make it down the first step before my foot slips and bam! I’m on my ass covered in Thanksgiving dinner with a beer in my hand, crying.

A flurry of activity ensued.

“Are you okay?!”

“How’s your knee?”

“How’re your ankles?”

“Did you sprain something again?”

“Did you break something?”

“Of course, she spills food everywhere, but the beer is still in her hand…”

“It’s my ass!!!” Through painful sobs, I explained that I had landed on my right butt cheek and it hurt a whole lot. Like throbbing, burning, horrible pain. But the rest of me was fine.

Someone brought me a new plate of food. My beer was still in tact. And Barb brought me an ice pack and made me sit on it. It was fricking-freezing-Mr.-Bigglesworth cold. But I sat on it.

When I got home that night, I dropped trou and checked out my ass. Shades of purple, blue, green, yellow, grey, red, and pink painted my left cheek. The whole. Damn. Thing. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the art on my ass.

For weeks, this colorful array of sunshine on my behind graced me with pain whenever I sat down. Slowly, it faded. Slowly, the pale white Irish/Polish skin tone returned to my cheek. But for some reason the pain stayed. For a year. At the last Second Thanksgiving, my butt was still hurting. The hematoma was still there. I haven’t felt it in a while, so it has finally dissipated. But damn that shit hurt.

I really feel like the beer saved my ass. Literally. If I hadn’t been holding and protecting the beer, I may have fallen smack on my tailbone, instead of on my one cheek. The main area of pain was just centimeters away from my tailbone.

So thank you, Beer. Thank you kindly.

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How I Sprained My Knee 3 Times in One Semester AKA The Fucking Strawberry

Confession Friday: I sprained my knee…slipping on a strawberry.

“A what?!” You may be asking yourself…and yes, I said a strawberry.

If you aren’t caught up on the fact that this is part 3 of a series of blog posts, you can read the first two, about my skiing injury and then my epic battle with an icy alley.

Now that you can see what you’re dealing with here (you know, the biggest klutz in the history of ever…), let’s move on, shall we?

So I was finally out of physical therapy for the second time…thank God for Bradley and their fancy pants PT department because we had no insurance…and I was walking a little bit better. My physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major was making me do regular exercises to regain mobility (Sit on the ground with your legs straight out. See how they both look normal? Now pop one knee up about 4-5 inches… And imagine that you have a hyper-extended other knee…because I have hyper-extended joints… That’s what my knee looked like. It would not straighten out completely. And it still hurts a little bit to this day Oh, hey! We’re still inside a parenthetical statement. Sorry about that…)

So I was doing everything she told me. Even though it was essentially healing really well, I still iced it…and used elevators…and was late to math class (okay, I was late to all classes, but math was the best. Math 101: the only math class I took at Bradley. Math 101: in which I hobbled in late on crutches every day. Math 101: in which I walked over to the far side of the room after class started, pulled out the left-handed desk, and pulled up a chair to rest my knee on… Math 101: where I was the biggest asshole in the history of ever.)

I may have mentioned that I’m a stubborn ass Polak…and I like to do things for myself. I don’t like to rely on other people, and I certainly like to push my limits. So I always wanted to keep moving and get my mobility back. But I did what my physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major said. I even used the elevator when I wanted to take the stairs (Yes, there was a time when I wanted to take the stairs! (I don’t particularly care for elevators. After you’ve been in a few too many over-stuffed elevators that have ever gotten stuck or gasp dropped a few floors, you wouldn’t either!)

So I was feeling a little pain after a long day of walking to class…and I thought to myself, Self, you should ice your knee. So I got up from watching bad college TV (at one point we had a lava lamp channel!) and started to head toward the stairs. I thought twice and decided…No, Chrissy…it’s already been a long day. Suck it up and take the elevator. So I walked to the elevator. Rode up to the second floor. Made my way to the laundry room, which had two doors on either side of the floor (girls on one side, guys on the other). I walked into the laundry room with the sound of dudes’ laughter on the other side. But the second step, I slipped comic-style with one foot in the air and my ass going toward the ground. My knee was shot. Again. I screamed the way that I scream when I injure myself or see a spider or accidentally forget to take cookies out of the oven and burn them. And the boys on the other side of the door looked at me like I was crazy.

And I panicked.

Again.

And when I saw the apparatus of my demise…I was like, why the fuck is there a rotten strawberry on the floor of the Willy 2 laundry room? And then I remembered that one of my dear friends had also banged some dude in that same tiny laundry room and decided that it was better not to ask questions like that.

I crawled back downstairs and handled myself…and called my physical therapist friend who was a physical therapy major…she came over and told me I was an idiot and had sprained myself again. I whined, “But I took the elevator and was getting ice and everything!!! It was that fucking strawberry!!”

A fucking strawberry.
Not a banana; that would be too cliche.

A fucking strawberry.

9 years ago.

And yet, just this year, Katie, my favorite little bookworm, Katie decided to tell me that she saw the strawberry…a few days before my little slip. And didn’t like…tell maintenance or anything. So, you know…if you don’t visit her blog today in solidarity with me and the strawberry incident… And she’s been begging me to tell this story. (I’m not going to lie, it was my favorite to tell on first dates. It gave me an idea of whether a dude could handle my shit or not.)

A fucking strawberry. In a laundry room.

Are you kidding me?

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Falling on black ice in a back alley isn’t exactly my idea of a great night

If you aren’t caught up, go ahead and read about the original knee sprain when I made the mistake of going skiing without health insurance. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Great. Let’s continue.

So I went home for the rest of winter break, and hobbled my uninsured ass around for 2 weeks. Upon my return to the great state of Bradley, I was forced by my physical therapist one of my besties who was a physical therapy major to go to the health center. This is where I received “free” medical care and crutches. They set me up with a physical therapist (a legit one, who taught at the Bradley PT school) and I was on my way to a not-so-speedy recovery.

Let me reiterate this to you with a few key points

  • College Campus
  • College Student
  • LOTS of alcohol
  • Crutches
  • Winter
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Death Snow
  • Death Ice
  • Stubborn ass Polak

Is the picture becoming a little bit clearer?

So I was finally off the crutches, some time in early March. I was healing. I was walking without assistance. I still had some pain, but the sprain, per say, was healed.

One of my roommates was singing in a choir thing, so we went to go support her. I had to leave early in order to attend an Alpha Phi Omega meeting (I was a vice-president at the time, and needed to make my presence known to all the little pledgies. I was might still feel very self-important.)

The music hall was off campus, and a few blocks away. It was dark, and icy…

You can see where this may be going.

I was crossing an alley covered in black ice…and lost control. I slipped. I tried to re-balance myself, but I overcompensated and pulled my knee out of line. At which point, I, not only re-sprained the knee, I fell on my ass. And to make matters worse, there was a car coming.

The car didn’t see me, so I had to quickly scoot my ass off the alley before it hit me. I made it JUST in time.

My roommates were in a concert. They didn’t answer their phones. To be honest, it was lucky I had just gotten my first Sprint phone a few months earlier…otherwise I would have been stranded on the street! So I called Robert. He and his Audi picked me up. He told me I should just go back to my dorm and rest it, but I was a stubborn ass Polak, and needed to go to the pledge meeting. When my physical therapist one of my besties who was a physical therapy major saw me hobbling, she was pissed. She told me to sit down and let it rest. She made me get the crutches. Again. And so I was back in PT for the second time that semester…

Oh yes…there’s more.

To be continued….

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!