The Rumpelstiltskin Problem: What Problem?

Woah!

(If you, too heard Joey Lawrence in your head and thought, you know…Matthew Lawrence was always the more attractive brother, then we should be friends.)

Anyways, I’ve got another book review for the wonderful Project Fairy Tale hosted by The Cheap Reader. And it was flippin’ awesome. Finally a fairy tale rewrite I can get behind. And in front of. And all over, because I thought it was that fun.

 

Project Fairy Tale

So Katie at Words for Worms recently reviewed Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde and after reading her positive review I was stoked, because I was waiting for my paper copy (yes, a real live book) of The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, also by Vivian Vande Velde, to arrive in the mail. Of course, I’m not used to waiting this long for a freakin’ book…so I was a little antsy.

I got the book on a really great day for me and the US Postal Service. I received 2 packages, a letter (OK invitation to a baby shower), and I got my very own PO box, so that I have an address that isn’t my home in my contact information! Not only all of this exciting stuff, but also our mail carrier, who is patient and wonderful even though I stalk her asking about packages (because they won’t leave them outside our door…and then I have to wait until 8am the next day, and it’s very annoying) had already brought the packages inside with the help of our neighbors. It was very nice of everyone involved. </ramble>

ANYWAYS! Opening the package to find this adorable little hard cover that I paid like $2 for was incredibly exciting for me. (The other package was 4 boxes of K-cups for my Keurig of JOY) A little over 100 pages of pure joy, this book was an absolute delight.

Sure, it was most definitely written for a younger audience, but hey…SO WAS TOY STORY! And we laughed. We cried.  We loved it. And there were jokes that we totally got.  Same goes for The Rumpelstiltskin Problem. Funny. Smart. CLEVER. This book was a great quick distraction this weekend, when I had 5-10 minutes to spare. Each of the short Rumpelstiltskin takes in this book were short, sweet, and awesome. A female Rumpel? Yep. A vodka drinking Miller? Yep. A fat little gnome who reminds me of a happier house elf? Yep.

Triple V aims to answer all of the questions that the original Rumpelstiltskin leaves out. Why is the king such a douche? Why does Rumpel want a baby? Why is the Miller such a bad father? What else is going on behind the music? This lady has the answers and she’s good at it.

In total, this one took me about an hour, maybe less to read. But it was worth every minute. If I thought she had a paper copy, I’d ask Katie to borrow Cloaked in Red…because I just know it’s got to be good.

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 Oscars,The Bloggies, and Me

What? Posting non-news on a Sunday (when I haven’t even posted news in months)? Yep. Because I’m something of a attention whore, I’ve decided to get all dolled up for you. Well, you and I’m getting ready for my acceptance speech to the little people.

Tonight is the night of the Academy Awards and I can’t think of a better reason to put on my Sunday’s best and head to Sears….erm…get super dressed up. Except that yes, I can think of a better reason. I’ve been nominated and <holy shitballs>, I’m a finalist in the 2013 Bloggies for Best Writing of a Weblog. Now, I’m competing with my best friend AND The Bloggess…so I mean…it’s not going to be easy…I may only have a Snowball’s shot in Hell…but I thought I should be prepared. So today…today is red carpet day.

2013 Bloggies!

Chrissy and one of her best pals at a pre-party

2013 bloggies!

Rockin’ the red carpet at pre-parties with some more friends

Bloggies pre-party

Chrissy gets on the elevator of her hotel, on her way to another Bloggie pre-party

Bloggies

Chrissy and her “plus one” at the Bloggies

Red carpet photos

Chrissy of Quirky Chrissy and Katie of Words for Worms (rivals in this month’s competition) pose with some of their girlfriends at yet another pre-party. (Just because this pre-party happened 9 years ago, long before Quirky Chrissy was a thought in her head means NOTHING. Or everything. One of those.

So go take a little time and vote for me (AND MY FRIENDS) in the 2013 Weblog Awards. Because SOMEONE needs to give The Bloggess a run for her money!

 

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!

WTF Wednesday: The Search Terms That Broke the Camel’s Back

(Side bar: When you’ve finished reading today’s post, go read my guest post on Thoughts From Paris, and please comment, because I want him to think I’m cool!)

I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment (or, you know…the last 9 months or so…) The one in which I get a seriously fucked up hit from the weirdest search terms in the history of the world.

Now, I’ve BEEN to Google Chicago Headquarters. I know that they have a monitor that constantly displays current search terms like a sweet sweet screen saver…

Weird Google Search Terms

Petting an Alligator at Google’s holiday party… (My old company was in charge of food service at Google, and I was helping out with a catering event)

I’ve gotten some pretty interesting search terms. I’ve learned a lot about the things that I post on the internet…and a lot about what people search for on the internet. I get a lot of hits for cute sloths, sloths at school, sloths at desks, and sloths in general. Because sloths are fucking awesome.

Here you go, have another sloth picture.

Cute baby sloth in a glass

That Ash Girl left this baby sloth on my Facebook page.

The BEST search term ever was this:

“Chrissy, you are so cool!”

I’m going to assume someone did that on purpose, and for that I love them. Thank you.

Here are the innocent search terms that either baffle the shit out of me or amuse me:

Top 5 Innocent Search Terms on Quirky Chrissy

what are the lowest poo points you can have weight watches

What is a poo point? I don’t know, but it sounds pretty nasty to me. I’m going to steer clear of this weight watches…

Mousercise DVD

Seven. SEVEN hits for a Mousercise DVD. For the record, this DVD doesn’t exist. But it should. Because that show was awesome. Even if I did just wake up in the morning, get dressed to “work out,” and sit on my couch to watch and not participate.

1 in 4 wins McDonald’s Monopoly my ass

Yes! I loved this one. It was only one hit, but it was the best. I got a lot of hits for McDonald’s Monopoly in September/October/November because I have a little obsession.

butt hematoma

Glad to know that I’m not the only one who has Googled this. And all because I fell down the stairs and bruised the shit out of my ass.

Brussels sprouts humour

WHAT? Two hits for this? Seriously? Brussels sprouts? Sure. Humour? Sure. Together? Let’s see shall we?

This shirt makes me sad. But it came up when I searched "Brussels sprouts humour."

This shirt makes me sad. But it came up when I searched “Brussels sprouts humour.”

And now…the moment you’ve been waiting for. This is where it gets inappropriate, so if you’re easily offended (why are you reading my blog again?), you may want to leave it at Brussels sprouts.

The Top 10 Most Screwed Up Search Terms That Lead to Quirky Chrissy

I get a lot of disappointed people clicking through my blog looking for porn or something absurd…Here are 10 of the worst search terms ever to find my blog.

Spring Break Chrissy

At first glance, this one doesn’t seem so bad…but apparently there is a Spring Break legend, whose name is Chrissy. And she flashes her boobs a lot. Sorry to disappoint you guys…no flashing here.

Chrissy public nude

Sorry to disappoint you yet again, no nudity here. Unless you’re looking for fluffy animals without clothes. Because I couldn’t find any pictures with sloths wearing pants.

“wife’s bitch”

Because I nicknamed my ex boyfriend’s best friend, “man-wife“…Oh well. I’ve gotten like 10 hits for this one…

girls kiss pics lesbian

My very first porn search. This one will always be near and dear to my heart. Not.

nude older woj

A ban on public nudity news clip from CNN led people back to me again…but what were you people looking for?

nude twinkies

Seriously? TWO of these searches. All because I wrote a Sunday Morning News segment that included stories about Twinkies and Naked Yoga… What exactly is a “naked twinkie?”

Sunday morn slut

Is she different than the Tuesday evening slut? TWO hits for this one too…

my butt cheek

*My* butt cheek or your butt cheek? What about your butt cheek?

I’m f*cking my mom

Which is disgusting and horrible. And came the same day as the next search terms. It’s likely that these searches are terribly disappointed in what they find. The question is…WHY DO THEY CLICK THROUGH?!?!

www.f*ck my a$$ with dirty socks

Embarrassing Photos

This is the picture you were looking for? Sicko. (Don’t judge me, I walked around outside without shoes a lot.)

Verbatim. You know…with the real words. All because of my dirty sock picture…and the fact that I say words like “fuck” and “ass” a lot, just not usually in the same sentence. These were terms that broke this camel’s back.

What the fuck?

Calendar After Tuesday WTF

What the fuck, people? dirty socks? In your poop shoot? GROSS. I have no words. And I always have words. But today, I have no words.

Oh and for the record, whoever searched for “by banning books things will better” is an ass hat.

What’s the best search term that ever found you? Please share with me in the comments, because I would love to hear 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!

I Wouldn’t Change a Thing

Greetings Blog Friends! Today I’ve got some amazing Friday fun for your! First, I’ve got Fiction Friday with the Fearless Fiction Femmes. If you’re looking for that post, my I direct you over to my newest fiction piece, The Rock. If you’re not particularly looking for it, I recommend it anyways, because fiction is FUN!

Next, you’ll note that I’m participating in a Secret Subject Swap, in which 15 bloggers around the globe submitted and answered random questions on their blogs. Thanks to Karen from Baking in a Tornado for putting this sweet gig together. Without further ado, here goes!

If you were allowed one do-over in life, what would it be?

submitted by: http://www.somethingclever2point0.com/

I pride myself on the fact that I don’t believe in regret. If I were going to do anything again, I like to think that I would do it all exactly the same. I truly believe in the butterfly effect, and that if I changed one hair on my head, one crumb on the floor, one butterfly in the garden, or one kiss on the cheek, my whole world would be completely and utterly changed.

And I like my world. Sure, I struggle with a little bit of depression. Sure, life has thrown me quite a few curve balls. But I have Brian. I have my family. I have my friends. And I have you.

Brian and Quirky Chrissy

This guy kinda makes my world go round.

Everything that I have done, everything that I will do, guides me as a creator and as a writer. I look back on the countless “mistakes” I made…and they all led me in the right direction. I am the person that I was always supposed to become. And I will never hope to be anything different. My life has shaped the person that I am. I eat fear for breakfast. With cheese. I write about my life. I write fiction. I create visions for myself and for my future. I have a plan. And I can only move forward from here.

So, if I were allowed one do over in life, I wouldn’t take it. Not for the world. Not for fame. Not for fortune. Not for anything. Not even for cheese. Because I can shape the rest of my life to get what I want…and this way, I’ll get to keep my people.

I leave you with this, Blog Friends– Instead of looking to the past, look to the future. What motivates you? What visions do you have? What will you do to make your life your own?

Hey! I’m not the only one with a secret subject! Go find the subject I created! I’ve listed the links to other Secret Subject Swappers below:

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!

Fiction Friday: The Letters

I’m really having a lot of fun writing fiction, but I’m also super insecure about it, because it is quite new to me. Other than some creative writing classes almost a decade ago (in which I mostly wrote non-fiction stories from my life or silly sonnets about Chiclets and poems about my hatred for Snood and such), my experience in fiction is minimal. So if you read this…and like this…PLEASE tell me! 🙂 If you don’t like this…you can tell me that too. Just, you know…be nice about it. No one likes a Debbie Downer.

 The Letters

She waited patiently at the airport gate. Home. I’m going home. She hadn’t been home in years. She worked so hard to get here. The person she was as a teenager was long gone. The girl she was before Sam…Who? I don’t even remember her. He will. He’ll want me to be her. He’s married. Admitting them for the first time, even in her head, the words hit her like a ton of bricks.

She heard over the loud speakers, Boarding flight 1-9-2-5. Last call for boarding flight 1-9-2-5. Mel stood and walked toward the gate. Home.

She had written two letters last week. Two carefully penned letters. Two very different
letters to Jack.

Jack,

It’s been so long, I hardly know where to begin. I know that I left abruptly. I’m so sorry. I fucked up. I got into some trouble and I didn’t want you to know. I spent a year in a juvenile detention center for the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

I graduated with honors, though, and went on to a community college. I worked so
hard, Jack. Just like you. Just like you always thought I would. You would have been so proud of me, I know it. After I got my associate’s degree, I found a really great job. I was working for a generous and patient guy, who taught me everything there is to know about restaurant management.

And then I fucked up again, Jack. My boss, Michael, was something of a player. He only hit on me once, and I told him that a better use of his time was to teach me the how to run a restaurant or seven. I thought of how proud you would be. He admired my aspirations and drive, so he never tried anything again. But he had a little brother…who learned from the master of players.

When Michael lost the manager of one of his restaurants, he gave me the position. I
trained officially with his brother, Ben. I think I fell in love, Jack. But Ben was bad news. I just…I didn’t know it then.

I’m sorry; I’ve gotten away with my thoughts. I’m coming home. I really want to see you, Jack. I miss you.

Mel

There was so much more that she could say. Jack, I’m trying so hard to make you proud of me. I didn’t want to come home until I was worthy of your pedestal. I’m pregnant with an asshole’s child. A lying, cheating asshole who wanted to pay me off to “get rid of it?” The same guy who got me fired from the only job I was ever really good at? I have nothing and no one, so now I need you? Help me. Jack, I want to be amazing, but the only thing I’m great at is fucking up?

But she did not. She could not. She would never even send the first letter. Let alone add more to it. How do I tell my best friend that I’m not even close to the girl that he thinks I am? I always wanted to be that girl. But I couldn’t. I’m not. That’s why I left. Maybe I shouldn’t go home. There’s nothing there but an empty house and a broken heart. NO. I have to go. I WANT to go. Maybe he’ll still be there. For me. I need a friend. Desperately. 

So she wrote a shorter letter. She wrote the words that she needed to write. She told him. That’s all she needed to say.

For now.

Jack,

There is so much that I want to tell you. I know that I’ve been gone for a long time, but I’m coming home.

I really want to see you, Jack. I miss you.

Mel

************************************************************************
The second is the letter that found its way to Jack. Three sentences. Three dangerous
sentences. Three.

She is coming home. Home. Jack paused for a minute before he could breathe again. Why now? He tried so hard to keep her out of his thoughts. But sometimes, he just couldn’t. She was there. And she would be home soon.

************************************************************************

The story continues with The Rock.

I hope you’re enjoying the story so far. Now, go visit my fiction writing friends, The Fearless Fiction Femmes:

The Fiction Writing Prompt

Invent a / your character (who) has two personality traits that are completely incompatible, that don’t fit together at all. For example: this character is incredibly messy and is also a total perfectionist. Or: this character is a pacifist and also has a really explosive temper. Or: this character believes in strict, traditional family values but is promiscuous by nature. You decide. Then think of a situation in which these two sides of your character would be in direct conflict with each other. Write the story.
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: 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

 

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!

Fiction Friday: The Failure

My second attempt at fiction. If you’d like to catch up first, you can read last week’s Fiction Friday: Broken. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

The Failure

Her parents had done a fantastic job of covering up the details. Her name wasn’t published in any newspapers.  The actual event wasn’t really even noticed. Everything happened so quickly, that she didn’t even know what was happening until it was all over.

Juvenile Detention Center.

She didn’t understand. So many other girls her age did much worse, and they barely got a slap on the wrist. But their parents aren’t like mine.

It was stupid. It was just a dare. When her parents first found out, they were furious. They had been called down to the police station at noon on a Tuesday afternoon. She had ditched school, but that wasn’t why she was stuck sitting at a desk across from Officer O’Connell.

She just wanted to impress Sam. He was a senior. He was gorgeous. Tall, with dark hair and eyes to match. She would have followed him anywhere. He dared her. She couldn’t say no. She walked up to him and wrapped her arms around him. As she kissed him on the cheek, she reached into his jeans and pulled out his pocket knife.
Before she could second guess her actions, she walked toward the ATM machine, where a young man was withdrawing money. He was small, in his early twenties. She knew that she could take him down if he put up a fight.
She stood behind him and reached for his free arm. “Don’t say a word,” She whispered. From far away, it looked as if she was hugging an old friend, but the man felt a searing pain through his arm, and the sharp tip of a weapon in his back. “You’re going to withdraw $50 from your account. Then you’re going to hand it to me. Not once are you going to turn around. When I’ve got the money, you’ll count to 50 and then you can go on doing whatever it is that you’re doing. Got it?”

$50 dollars. Fifty. Fucking. Dollars.

But it’s armed robbery. Because of the knife.

That stupid little piece of shit knife. I could blame Sam. But it wasn’t his idea to use a knife. He just dared me to go get $50 from that guy.

When she got back to the guys that afternoon, Sam was staring at her in awe. At first, she couldn’t tell if he was impressed or scared. They all ran to a nearby forest preserve, where they usually hung out on ditch days.
She handed Sam the knife, and he leaned down to kiss her. Not just a peck on the cheek, a real kiss.

Her first. She always thought Jack would be her first kiss. He was crazy about her. She knew it. She loved him, but she didn’t want to kiss him the way she wanted to kiss Sam. The way Sam kissed her that day by the ATM.

I won’t be kissing anyone for a while. Not Sam. Not Jack. Jack. Crap! How am I going to tell him? Whenever I ditched school, he brought me chicken soup. He thought I was sick. He’ll never understand. What will he think? No. He won’t know. I can’t tell him.

So she sat there, waiting for her parents. When they came, they were mortified.

“Melanie. Jane. McDaniels. What in God’s name were you fucking thinking? Are you crazy? ARMED FUCKING ROBBERY?!” Her mother had arrived.

“I…I don’t…I don’t know.” She started crying. Get your shit together, Mel. You need to be stronger than this. She stopped. “I’m sorry.”

“What the fuck, Melanie? What are we supposed to do? You know we can’t get you out of this. We can’t help you with this. You’re on your own.” Her mom didn’t mean it completely. She did everything she could to keep the press out of it. And she was good. But she didn’t try to push for community service like the other kids got. She sent me away. She let me go.

*************************************************************************************

Jack showed up at her house right before she left for River County.

“How did you know I’d be here?”

“Your mother called me. She told me that you were leaving. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I couldn’t tell you, Jack. Look, I’ve got to go.” As she pushed past him, she could tell that he was about to cry. She didn’t want to see him cry. She might break down and tell him the truth. She used to tell him everything. But then they grew up. She found Sam and the guys.

“Where are you going? Tell me something, please. I’m so worried. First, you’re sick all the time. Then you stop hanging out with me. Now, you’re just leaving. Are you parents going? What’s going on, Mel?”

“I’m going to stay with a family friend. I need to get away from here for a while.”

“What about school? What about our plans? College? Mel, please don’t go. Was it me? Did I do something wrong?” Her heart was breaking for him. I don’t love you the way you love me. She wanted to tell him. But she didn’t want to hurt him.

“I…have…to…I have to go, Jack. I’m sorry. I’m really really sorry.”

*************************************************************************************

God, I was so stupid.

The memories flooded her brain as she began to write the letter. This is harder than I thought it would be. What do I even say?

*************************************************************************************

Find out what Mel was writing in the next piece, The Letters.

Now that you’ve read my fiction piece, you can find some truly amazing writers by checking out the rest of the Fearless Fiction Femmes:

The Fiction Writing Prompt

“Your character commits a crime. (What is the motive?) Your character’s husband/wife/SO, discovers your character changing, dealing with the evidence, and wants to know what’s going on. Write the conversation. What happens next?”
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!

It’s Not a Resolution Because I Said So.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.

But I do make plans.

I have BIG fucking plans this year, kids. Big ones. Huge. Rock-my-world-massive freakin’ plans.

It’s going to take some time. And a whole lot of work. But in the end, I’m going to be more awesome and super proud of it.

10 Awesome Things I’m Going to do THIS Year.

Putting on the granny panties and the British accent(catch the reference and I’ll give you a cookie):

Number 1: Obviously will lose 20 lbs.

2018 update: Hey, I may have actually done this. I may have also gained 20 pounds so the net is a little off…but I mean I lost 20 lbs somewhere…

Number 2: Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket. Finish master’s degree. Sure, it’s a useless degree when it comes down to my future career not being teaching…but it’s still a master’s degree. And I’d like it to be completed. (I mean really…it’s one silly little thesis. How hard can it be? I write for a living.)

2018 update: It only took a couple more years, but in 2015, I graduated with a Master’s degree. And Brian framed that MOTHAFUCKA. 

Number 3: Will be published.

2018 update: Again, only took a few years, but in 2016, I was published in Jen Mann’s anthology, I Just Want to be Perfect. And I can die happy (actually, not yet, bitches. We’ve still got work to do).

Number 4: Will publish a book. Will write a book.

2018 update: Okay, I’m still working on this. BUT I’m much farther along than I’ve ever been. More than 10K farther along. It’s coming you guys, and I’m so excited about it. 

Number 5: Will self-publish the aforementioned book.

2018 update: I mean, unless I can sell it to a publisher…

Number 6: Will get an amazing job. (I feel as though I should put this one a little higher on the list…but I mean…at least it’s on the list, right?)

2018 update: Been there done that. Quit that shit to chase all the fucking dreams. 

Number 7: Crap! I still need 4 more things… Will take at least 3 internet vacations. Yes. That’s a good one. I like my internet vacations. Going off the grid. Maybe at least one will involve a beach. There’s no internet on the beach.

2018 update: Who even knows if I did this. 

Number 8: Crap! I still need 3 more… this is not as easy as I thought it would be… OH! I know! Will attend awesome blogger event…Blogher 2013. And meet bloggers. And give hugs to strangers. Done and done.

2018 update: I did that. Four times at Blogher, twice at BlogU, and twice at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop that blew my MFing mind. 

Number 9: Will make money on blog. I don’t care if it’s $5 or $5,000…I will make dollars.

2018 update: Dudes and dudettes, I dominated this for a while. I mean, not full income dominated, but I was pretty good at the hustle…

Number 10: Will win a million dollars from McDonald’s Monopoly. 13 is my lucky number. This is the year of my golden birthday. 2013 is it, guys. I can feel it. I’m going to be a big winner this year.

2018 update: Now it’s all about the Jewel Monopoly, but a girl can dream right?

What are your big plans?

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 Oplatki Tradition and Holiday Wishes

Every year since before I was born, my family has had a Polish Christmas Eve tradition. We wash our hands with a silver dollar before dinner, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest members of the family. It’s like…the sweetest tradition ever. This is to bring a year of financial goodness for everyone (I’m still waiting for mine to kick in…since 1997…)

My family celebrates Christmas Eve with oplatki and other Polish traditions, granting each other wishes for the coming year.

Then we feast on the Polish delicacies: pierogi (stuffed dumplings), gwumpki (cabbage rolls), kapusta (saurkraut), kielbasa (sausage–even though traditional Polaks don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve), and kolacky (cookies).

After the feast, we bust out one of my favorite parts of the evening: the oplatki (communion-like wafer of goodness). With the oplatki, everyone walks around to the members of the family, and shares with them three wishes and three pieces of their oplatki. When I was a kid, we all hated it. We would try to give Grandpa the biggest pieces, and ask for just the tiniest little bites for ourselves. As we got older, my sister and I would fight over the leftovers.

The thing was, three wishes to each family member can seem…tedious. I wish you happiness. Oplatki I wish you health. Oplatki I wish you lots of money. Oplatki Repeat for each person. From the time I turned 12, my aunt would always wish that I found love. Oplatki And so it would go until everyone had shared wishes with everyone else in a big happy family love sharing wish sharing circle. Oh and they hand fed the oplatki into your mouth, just like communion. (Click that if you’ve never read about my First Communion. Seriously. Go. I’ll wait.)

Anyways, back to wishes… I’ve already told you about my super awesome Christmas List… April, the sassy-pants behind First Time Mom & Dad granted me some wishes. Five of them for the holidays. Here they are in all their beautiful glory.

  1. I wish for the perfect job. One in which I am appreciated as a member of a team. One in which I can ask questions and offer answers/suggestions. One in which I make a decent salary, so that I can take my amazing boyfriend out to a fancy dinner once in a while. One in which I don’t feel worked to the bone, but I want to work hard for. One that makes me feel needed. You hear that, potential employers? I’m looking for the perfect job. Are you it?

  2. I wish for cancer to go away. Someone near and dear to our hearts is battling and I wish for her. To fight it. To beat it.*

  3. I wish for sponsorship from a cheese company. (Come on, we’ve got to lighten things up after the last one!)

  4. I wish for world peace world travel.

  5. I wish for cookies.

Cookie Monster Meme

 What are your 5 wishes?

*Brian’s mom passed away in March of 2013. We still miss her.

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!

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Where Chrissy Gets to Be a Kid

What a whirlwind weekend!

So bright and early on Saturday morning, Brian and I trekked into the city and headed for Navy Pier to attend the Chicago Toy & Game Fair Blogger Preview. Now, I woke Brian up earlier than he normally wakes up for work. And I dragged him to an event in which there were a lot of people in close quarters. And then he had to stay the whole day, while I was competing in a tournament for like 5 hours.

Smaller than GenCon by a lot, ChiTAG was still pretty darn awesome for a girl like me. With a party-game spirit, and a nephew that I’ve promised to play lots and lots of games with, this event was the perfect way to find and try new games!

So I’ll be starting a new segment next week, in which I review and relay the experience of these awesome games from some really great game inventors (because they gave them to me to play-test!) Of course, you can count on the Chrissy-style while I review–aiming to make you laugh at the ridiculousness that ensues. And there will be ridiculousness. With me, there always is. Even if my family refuses to let me publish the pictures or videos that I produce

That being said, let’s get on with this thing. So ChiTAG. It started with a lovely continental breakfast of snacks and coffee (Yes, if you’re going to see my smiling face before 9 AM, you’re going to need to provide coffee). At the breakfast we listened to some really great speakers, including Kevin Harrington, of Shark Tank fame and Greyson MacLean, kid inventor of BrickStix (a cool Lego accessory).

We made our way to the fair, and were given an hour of open viewing before the public arrived. It was at this point that I got arrested by Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper, for trying to race to the giant Settlers of Catan carpet board…

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Luckily for me, R2D2 was just around the corner, and he sped up and distracted them just long enough for Brian to help me escape. We made it to the giant Settlers of Catan just in time for me to steal the robber.

Giant Settlers of Catan

Of course, I later found R2 and thanked him properly.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair

And I realized. Oh. My. God! I’m hanging out with R2D2! I used to have an R2D2 underwear and sleep tank when I was a wee one! So cool!

Quirky Chrissy meets R2D2!

After leaving R2 to go find C3PO (who I used to lovingly refer to as 3PPO, because one time it made my older sister, Deven, laugh…I didn’t realize that the joke only works once, yet), Brian and I perused the fair floor. I was on a Scavenger Hunt to tweet a bunch of cool stuff.

I ran, not walked, into the Bananagrams booth for fun with giant bananagrams!

Giant Bananagrams

Thanks to the fine people at Bananagrams, I’ll also have the joy of reviewing Pairs in Pears and Zip It! Little A and I are going to rock out those games like rockstars. My goal in life is to turn my godson (Little A) into a genius gamer kid. So far, it’s working.

We played some games. We met some cool game inventors. We saw some really awesome booths.

Pirate Family Treasure Quest app and board game

This Pirate Family Treasure Quest had a really neat concept: Incorporate the app onto the game board. Compatible with little i only. Next time, I want to see Android compatibility. 🙂

Amazing Bubble Show

Giant Bubble Show. The camera could not do it justice.

Giant Word Winder

The Giant Sized Word Winder.

Dabble Game

This was probably my favorite game at the fair (Settlers aside). I’m a word nerd, you know…err excuse me, I’m a word ninja! Oh and they gave me free candy.

Then I competed in a Settlers of Catan tournament. 2nd place, 2nd place, 4th place in the rounds respectively. Not bad considering it was the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time I had ever played the game in my entire life.

Settlers of Catan

game 1: Gettin’ the hang of it

Settlers of Catan Tournament

Game 2: Sneaky Sneaky

serious gamer

Game 3: Serious Settler

I didn’t advance in the tournament, but I had a great time.

I left with all sorts of games and toys to test out with the kiddos, and I can’t wait! I’m looking forward to trying out all of my new games and reviewing them for you, fair readers! Get excited!

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Gift Bag

The contents of the gift bag and other games I was given to try out and write about!*

*I was not paid to write any of the nice things posted in this blog. I was given free admission to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair for myself and my boyfriend. I was given a gift bag with free samples, games, and promotional materials. Individual game booths also provided me with free samples of their games to play test them and write about the experience.

 

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!