Leprechaun, My Budding Acting Career, the Playground, and Netflix

Now, I know we’ve already established how very uncool I was in grade school. But let’s focus instead on the ridiculous weirdness that made me special among the outcasts who didn’t play kickball every lunch hour on the playground.

My acting career

Now, as a young child under the age of 10, I wasn’t really ALLOWED to watch things like MTV and R-rated horror movies persay…but let’s be honest here and say that just because it wasn’t allowed when Mom was around didn’t mean it didn’t happen. Sisters and babysitters and aunts and elderly next-door neighbors were all over that shizz like white on rice.

So it happened that Leprechaun (check it out on Netflix, kids) made its way into the barrows of my mind. It quickly became one of my favorite movies, what with Jennifer Aniston’s adorableness and Willow Warwick Davis playing a wickedly greedy leprechaun. Fun facts: Warwick Davis has been in SEVERAL of my favorite movies and TV shows, including Star Wars, Willow, Labyrinth, Harry Potter, The 10th Kingdom, Doctor Who, and Leprechaun.

With my near-eidetic memory, I could very easily recall the whole of the movie, including key dialogue and the most interesting of scenes. Which was INCREDIBLY lucky for the kids on the playground. For the better part of a week, I gathered a small group of my most easily entertained peers near the far swing set for the dramatic performance of a lifetime. From start to finish, I acted out the entire movie in a one-man show of sorts with dialogue, live action and yes, voices. I was brilliant for a 10 year old.

A couple months ago, I was practicing yoga on the very playground where I acted out The Leprechaun

A couple months ago, I was practicing yoga on the very playground where I acted out The Leprechaun – those swings were my audience’s seating.

My classmates were amused, engaged, and excited to have access to such a timeless classic movie, and I was entirely convinced this was the start to my acting career. As evident by my listing on IMDB (yes, that is, in fact, me…I should probably try to get a picture up there so directors can see my Oscar-worthy mug, right?), I’m definitely going places, y’all.

Don’t believe me? Look for my cameo in this highly viewed spoof on YouTube. Thanks, Craig!

After the curtain closed on The Leprechaun, I attempted to reenact a few other movies that my childhood friends hadn’t gotten their grubby little paws on, but nothing had the engagement power like The Leprechaun. Not even Leprechaun 2, which you can also find on Netflix.

Leprechaun on NetflixSo why don’t you make a day of it tomorrow, in honor of my birthday, and watch the entire Leprechaun franchise on Netflix? I hear Leprechaun in the Hood makes for a great drinking game.

Blog Friends, what did YOU do on the playground? What are you watching on Netflix? Have you seen Leprechaun?

Netflix Stream TeamWhile this is not a sponsored post, Netflix hooked me up with a year’s subscription and a device on which to watch movies I used to reenact as a child. But I was a Netflix subscriber long before joining the Stream Team. So there’s that. 

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

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

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

Flaherty's Bar

You have a baby! In a bar!

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

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

1. Bottle caps were a thing

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

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

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

3. St. Patrick’s Day was like Christmas

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

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

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

5. Quarters were king. And they came for free

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

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

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

7. I learned to hustle grown ups at pool

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. I mastered the jukebox like a boss

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

10. I learned not to become an alcoholic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

image

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

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

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

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

Straight Up by Paula Abdul

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

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

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix a Lot

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

image

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

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

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

Pocketful of Quirky Grace DietBet Team

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

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

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

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

Bookish Memories

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

Monday Memories

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best Reading Chair

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

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

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

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

Monday Memories: Hoarder? Who, me?

Today’s Memories are all about childhood collections. I have a feeling that my soul sister in New Mexico (Lily from It’s a Dome Life) is going to have a similar tale to tell, so go check her out!

So I may or may not have mentioned my childhood bedroom. I collected everything. EV-RE-THING. It looked like a tornado had come through, tossing Barbies, Barbie clothes, books, dress up clothes, Cabbage Patch Dolls Little People, She-Ra, My Little Pony, trolls, cassette tapes, key chains, buttons, pins, patches, birthday cards, photographs, and a crap ton of LEGOs around like a boss. The piles of single socks, clothes, and toys that adorned the floor of my bedroom was astounding. In a not-cool sort of way. For some reason if everything was “organized” in a pile, it was okay…for me anyways.

These days, I still have piles of clean laundry (in a laundry basket, though). But my crazy collections have finally ceased. Sort of.

The Nook helps with the book hoarding. It really does. I saved only the cards that have personal notes in them. or the ones that were from my grandparents. or the really funny ones. But I got rid of the dumb ones. The Barbies and their accessories are boxed up on my parents garage shelves…collecting dust, but who cares. They’re freakin’ Barbies! With pretty dresses! The trolls, little people, she-ra, and the ponies disappeared, though I’m not sure where. Mom gave away all of my children’s books. I suppose that’s what happened to everything else. I mean, I’ve still got the important stuff. The original CPKs.The BARBIES. The Disney VHS tapes…You know…the important stuff.

Now I just collect…clothes. And shoes. And purses. That I don’t wear or use. And seashells. That are sitting in shoe boxes on my closet shelf.

OK. So maybe I’m still a hoarder. Just a little bit. But I mean…two closets and three dressers full of clothes. Plus several Rubbermaid crates…Hmmm…Maybe I should get rid of things I don’t wear.

Well if that wasn’t the rambliest post ever, I don’t know what is. Next Monday, we’ll be writing about BOOK MEMORIES! Write about your favorite memories with Lily and I. Just let us know that you’re in so we can link to you!

Did you collect strange things when you were a kid? Did you collect anything?

 

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: How I Was Almost “Poisoned” by Cat Food

When I told you last week that the topic would be food for this week’s trip down memory lane…a lot of thoughts raced through my brain…Do I tell you a cheese story? Should I tell you about Orange Pop Night? All the things I’ve shot out my nose from laughter? Pool cheese? Yes, those are all stories in the making…but not today my good friends. Not today.

Today I’m going to tell you how I almost died (well…you know…sort of not really at all). I was maybe 7 years old, at best. I was wandering around the kitchen looking for a snack. Mom was on the phone and I saw some pieces of cereal lying on the counter. They looked kind of like Count Chocula (without the marshmallows), which was one of my favorite cereals. So I reached out for them.

I swear, they were begging to be eaten, those chocolatey pieces of goodness. I scooped up the few pieces that were there on the counter next to the stove top and popped them into my mouth. I chewed. I swallowed. I gagged. Those were DEFINITELY not Chocolatey cereal happiness. I looked around and I saw what I had previously missed…the spilled box of cat food. Right in front of my eyes.

I immediately envisioned my pending death. I’m only 7! I’m too young to die! Will it burn a hole in my stomach? Will I throw up? Is it going to grow a tree of mini cats in my tummy like gum does with gum trees? OHMIGODIMGOINGTODIE!

So I went over to my mom and panicked. She looked at me with that Mom-look, like “Hey, kid. I’m on the phone. Give me a break. You’re not dying.”

So I started crying. “I’m going to die!” As if it should surprise you, I’ve always had a flare for the dramatic. My mother put her pal on hold, and asked me what was wrong.

“I think I’m going to die because I ate cat food.”

And then my mom laughed at me. And she told me that I wasn’t going to die. Of course, at 7, I didn’t really think about the fact that the cat survived on cat food, shrimp cocktail, and cantaloupe-why couldn’t I? But my mom tried to explain this to me. And I just smiled and nodded, and planned my impending funeral. I had poisoned myself with cat food, and had succumbed to the fact that there was no way I could survive it.

And my mom laughed a little more. And told me to drink some water. To help the cat tree grow?

As it turns out, I did not actually die. And I survived the cat food incident with flying colors. As I got older (and my brother and cousin found themselves snacking on dog food and dog biscuits for fun), I realized that yes, in fact, cat food was safe to eat.

Do you have a crazy food story to share? Join up with us for Monday Memories!

 

Monday Memories

You can read more by visiting:

 

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: You Are Exactly the Same As You Used to Be

The only difference
That I see
Is you are exactly the same
As you used to be
 

17 years ago this coming summer, my mom took me, and my three best friends, to see the Wallflowers and the Counting Crows at The Midwest Bank Amphitheater Tweeter Center New World Music Theater concert venue in Tinley Park, IL that has changed its name so many times in 17 years, that I don’t even remember what it was called back then. We were 13. Yes, 13. Our very first concert. My 8th grade graduation present. Because my mom had taken my then-sister, now-estranged-sister Deven to Bon Jovi when she was 13. I used that as leverage. And besides, my mom was rockin’ out to Jakob Dylan with the rest of us.

Remember how I told you that Katie used to wear band tee shirts? The Wallflowers and Bon Jovi were the only two band tee-shirts that I had. And I wore them with pride. (Side note: If I can dig up the shirt, I’ll snap a picture of it later today when I stop by my parents house.)

So when Brian came home two weeks ago (during a pretty rough week) and said, “Guess who’s going to be at the Tivoli (small OLD amazing theater in downtown Downers Grove)?” and I couldn’t guess right anyways…he told me, “The Wallflowers.”

And I was all, “That was my first concert.”

And he was like, “I know, that’s why you should be excited! Because we’re totally going. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.”

The Wallflowers

So last night, we had an evening with the Wallflowers. It was like a jam session. It was fucking awesome. Jakob Dylan sings better in a studio, but they rocked out the instruments like motherfucking rockstars.

The only other bands/musicians that I’ve seen more than once  were Bon Jovi and The Backstreet Boys (stop it. Stop judging me. You know you loved boy bands a good decade ago…)But last night was different. Because I started noticing things. And they weren’t good things. While Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers were “exactly the same as they used to be,” the crowd…the crowd was not.

The Difference 17 Years Makes

The Wallflowers

Not the world’s greatest picture, but I was busy watching a concert. Just saying…

Sure, there were still people who had gotten super stoned…There was still that woman who did a little coke before entering the theater and obnoxiously jumped up and down while everyone else was sitting…And I was still the youngest person at the venue…But the crowd (myself included) had aged significantly. WHY DOESN’T JACOB DYLAN LOOK OLD?!

No one threw their bras at Jakob Dylan…

I remember being 13, and watching bras flying on stage, thinking to myself, I would TOTALLY do that…you know, if it wasn’t a 13-year-old’s bra. That’d be a little awkward.

Most people were sitting down…

I mean it was a nice theater. The seats were comfy. It was more of a jam session that a crazy pumpin’ concert. And I got old. And kinda liked it.

No one had lighters anymore…

Back in the day, you may not remember this, but people used to hold up lighters when a great song was playing. No one carries lighters around anymore…It’s a lost tradition that our children and their children will probably never know. I remember a few years later, people would hold up their cell phones with the lights glowing…but now that doesn’t even happen. Because the cell phones are now cameras…which leads us to my most important point…

Half of the crowd was NOT watching the show…

Because they were too busy trying to capture it on film. You’ll note that I have one picture from inside the theater. ONE. No videos. No crazy awesome snapshots. Because I enjoyed the concert. I swayed to the music. I danced to my favorite songs. I took everything in. Including the fact that HALF of the people in the audience were too busy videotaping the show with their phones to actually appreciate the concert. It was worse when songs like One Headlight were playing or super awesome instrumental solos were happening.

What The Fuck?

Calendar After Tuesday WTF

What the fuck, people? When did we worry more about capturing things in life than actually living live? Stop for a minute. And just let life happen. My friend over at the B(itch)log wrote a post about a self-imposed technology strike and how people are all about capturing everything on film and it really resonated with me. (If you don’t read her, you fucking should. She’s awesome.)

I watched as all of these people were watching the LIVE concert through their tiny cell phones and tiny cameras, blocking the views of the people behind them, so worried about getting the right angle for the shot, that they must have forgotten where they were.

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of snapping shots of my food. I want to show the world the delicious things I eat. Because, really, you need to understand why I’m a chubby kid, right? But I try really hard to live my life, and only capture on film what I need to. We take hundreds of pictures on vacation, but the really candid stuff? The things that happen that you just WISH you had taken a picture of? Those are truly the best moments. Because we remember them in our hearts and in our minds.

Another friend of mine is taking a social media break. FOR LENT. 6 weeks without Facebook. Or Twitter. Or cat memes. She’s blogging about her experience without social media, so you should ALSO check out her blog, Grass Oil. Instead of living life through Facebook and Twitter, she’s just living life.

So go out there, friends, and LIVE LIFE. Stop trying to capture it all on tape. Unless it’s some momentous occasion, like when I dreamed (two nights ago) that I was in Paris with Vince Vaughn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Nero, Matt Damon, and David Tennant…and you know what? I still didn’t manage to get my picture taken with any of them!

What was your first concert? What’s changed since then?

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: 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.

Oh! And if you like me, you should click the fence to vote for me!

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!

Shit I’m Really Glad My Mom DIDN’T Do

There are some things that I see and I think, Seriously?  I look back on my own childhood and thank the world that I had my mom doing things the way she did things.

Sometimes (not always, of course) I feel like my mom’s a little too hard on herself. Even though there are definitely times that my mom drives me or drove me up the wall…I think she did a fucking bad ass job of raising a couple of relatively normal human beings. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for the shit she didn’t do. Because I am a better person for it.

Things My Mom Didn’t Do

Call alcoholic beverages “mommy juice”

Please. Please. Please for the love of God. Stop. Your children will eventually find out that you’re a lush. Calling it “mommy juice” doesn’t make it any better. It makes you sound silly. And drunk.

Now, I grew up surrounded by alcohol, without having alcoholic parents. My parents owned a bar. I knew alcoholics. I knew I didn’t want to be one. So I knew what booze was. I even knew when my parents were drinking it. Big fucking deal. Get over yourself. You aren’t the first parent to need a glass bottle of wine after a rough day. Call it what it is. Wine. Vodka. Beer. Whiskey. Name your poison…It’s okay, I promise. Your kid will thank you one day. Besides, I think I turned out okay.

Make alcohol seem taboo

I was allowed to taste everything, including, but not limited to wine and beer. I hated alcohol. It tasted gross. Children’s taste buds don’t actually LIKE booze (unless you’re drinking the super fruity stuff that tastes like candy. Don’t share that with the kids.) It’s the idea that it’s forbidden that makes so many kids experiment.

Sure I made jokes about drinking when I was a kid… When told I should drink MGD when I grew up, I told my older sister, Deven, that I would “drink Bud Light like my Daddy.” When she later told me that she would take me to a college party (at the age of 9) and get me a beer, I responded with, “I prefer cocktails.” In kindergarten, I drew a picture of a bar for what I wanted to be when I grew up. Instead of playing house or grocery store, we played bartender. But I’m almost 30 years old and I drink MAYBE once a week. So I think I’m alright on that front as well.

Give me a time out

Nope, I was never given a “time out” and asked about my feelings. Instead my parents would slap me on the ass and tell me that what I did was wrong. Seriously. Just like Pavolv’s pup, I knew when I did something bad and when I did something good. I was praised for good behavior, and taught not to be an asshole. I grew up with a healthy fear of punishment. Which is part of the reason I was such a Stepford child.

When I was an education major (twice), all of the books for child development were saying that you need to ask children about their feelings and why they did bad things. This pissed me off to no end. I even wrote a paper for Argumentative Writing in favor of corporal punishment for kids (when combined with a lot of affection.)  Mostly this pissed me off because I know kids who had that kind of parent…and I know kids like me who had parents who actually punished their kids, and you know what? We were the teenagers who didn’t end up drunk off our asses and naked in the middle of a public street…(Yes, this actually happened to someone).

Let Me Run Wild

Whether in a restaurant, the grocery store, or even a kid-friendly locale, my mother had us on strict orders to behave. We weren’t allowed to run around like assholes, we had to ask to leave the table at a restaurant (even to go see the lobster tank at Red Lobster), and we had to stay close to her in stores. In other words, we were well-behaved little assholes. Most of the time.

I remember being pulled out of a restaurant and getting spanked in the parking lot, after which we returned to the table, and I was a silently crying, but sitting and not yelling, little girl. Another time, I remember playing in someone’s basement for 20 minutes, and mom thought we were outside. When she couldn’t find us, we were no longer allowed to go to the pool with our babysitter that day.

Consequences. There were consequences to running wild. I see too many kids who dominate their parents, and the parents look frazzled and unsure of what to do…At which my point my mother would look at us and say, “I am the parent. You are the child. When you’re the parent, you can do what you want. Until then sit down and shut up.”

For the record, my dad’s pretty fucking awesome, too.

My first legal shot with my parents. (Isn't my mom short and adorable?)

My first legal shot with my parents. (Isn’t my mom short and adorable?)

What about you, Blog Friends? What are you glad your mom did or didn’t do? Will you do the same for your kids?

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: Wild Animals…AKA I Got Bit by a Duck

When I was growing up, we did a lot of “camping.” Of course, our version of camping was a little bit more civilized than the camping that I learned about when I went to college and planned my first “real” camp out. We had a motor home. A motor home that happened to be Dad’s daily driver.

We always had a fully stocked fridge, running water, a shower, a toilet, a functional kitchen, and beds. We stayed in resort campgrounds, mostly Yogi Bear/Jellystone Parks where we swam in heated pools with water slides instead of lakes or rivers. We played video games in the arcade, and the parents cocktailed by the pool. We watched cartoons in an outdoor theater, participated in exciting kid programming like water balloon fights, scavenger hunts, and snipe hunts.

Our favorite campground was in Calendonia, Wisconsin. Occasionally, we would take “nature walks” around Boo Boo Pond. This would always seem like an adventure, but we never really saw anything terribly exciting…Except for that one time we saw a duck. It was a white duck that was just sitting there…hanging out.

Usually, the ducks were in the pond, but not this little guy. Or girl. She was sitting a foot off the path. Just sitting there.

We often brought bread to feed the fishies, so I thought that it would be cool to feed the duck.

Big mistake.

Huge.

I reached out to hand the ducky a little piece of bread. The damn thing reached it’s beak out and bit the crap out of my little hand. I screamed. My mom laughed. My brother laughed. I started crying. I had a big red bite mark covering my entire hand. It was surprising how much it hurt. Stupid duck beak.

Apparently, the duck was sitting on a nest. It was definitely a she-duck. A mommy-to-be-duck. A biting-vicious-beast-duck.

I remember whining about how I got bit by a duck. The whole weekend. I’ll bet my family loved that. Then again, whenever something ridiculous happens to me, I whine for days…

Check out more wild animals at It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad!

What about you, friends? Any strange encounters with wild animals?

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!