What Can You Do With an English Degree?

Whilst shopping at Carson Pirie Scott, I observed (eavesdropped) a couple of ladies who had run into each other randomly. I listened as they played catch up and maintained a somewhat blah degree of small talk. I drew a little bit closer as they began discussing one of their children who, to her mother’s dismay, was getting a degree in English.

Her friend/acquaintance asked, “Well, is she going to teach?”

The mother of this English major expressed her disappointment and incredulity that her daughter was, in fact, not going to be a teacher and what in the world could she do with such an inferior degree.

If you major in English, there are a LOT of career paths you can take. These are just a few ideas.

It was, at this point, the time I felt it necessary to interject. Yes, I did jump from being a fly on a wall to joining their conversation. Because OMG people need to understand the relevance and brilliance of English majors everywhere.

I marched right up to those women and interrupted the fuck out of their conversation. “There’s actually a lot you can do with an English major.”

They looked at me only a little funny, because in the Chicagoland area, and probably by extension the Midwest, it is entirely normal for people to just jump into your conversations. We’re a pretty friendly people. Even if we do eavesdrop and take joy in overhearing people quitting their jobs out of the blue.

“I have a Bachelor of Arts in English.”

“Do you teach?”

“No, actually I don’t. I’m certified to teach English, but I have no desire to do so. On the contrary, there are many things that a degree in English can prepare college grads for that other degrees don’t.”

“Really?”

Well, duh, lady.

“I’ve actually had a couple of thriving careers with my English degree, and the beauty is that I’m not tied down to just one. I was a catering manager for a couple of years, and now I’m a senior copywriter for a Fortune 100 company.” (And now I’m an editor. Maybe one day I’ll own a restaurant or something. It’s the circle of life, bitches).

The ladies were impressed and maybe a little less judgeysaurus rexy about the whole English major thing. As I walked away, I was transported back to my senior year of college in which one of my favorite professors, Dr. Prescott, led our senior project class. The project? Write a research thesis discussing one career path you  can take with your English major.

Of course, not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, as I had JUST dropped my education minor (to teach English) the previous semester, I looked to what I knew. Dad was in wine sales for years before he took on ownership of the bar. Liquor sales seemed like a brilliant idea. Plus I could source dad and some of his cronies for my first-person sources. It was ingenious. I got an  A.

English majors, and really anyone with a degree in the liberal arts, often get a bad rap for being lazy and stupid (LAS – Liberal Arts and Sciences). None of which is actually true. Lazy? Fuck no. We’re intuitive. We’re clever. We believe in working smarter not harder. If we can write a paper in 3 hours when we’re given 3 weeks, why in the world would we waste time writing it early? If we work better at 2 am than at noon, we’re going to write the shit out of a final paper in the middle of the night. Because we can. We understand our strengths and weaknesses. We know where and how to thrive.

-Literature is unbelievably helpful, because no matter what business you are in, you are dealing with interpersonal relationships,It gives you an appreciation of what makes people tick.-

As an English major, I learned more life skills than most of my friends in other more direct degree programs. Sure, a business major is going to learn how to land a deal or make a sale, but I learned how to talk to and more importantly, write to people. To engage my audience in a way that makes a sale feel natural and authentic. I learned how to negotiate a big fancy contract without ever discussing contract negotiations in a class, because I know people. I know words. I know the intrinsic value of human interaction in every aspect of business. Someone who went straight from their B.S. to an MBA program without working a day in their life doesn’t necessarily have that luxury (this also doesn’t mean that that don’t).

So what can you do with an English major?

Whatever the fuck you want.

Did you go to college? What did you major in? Did your major lead you down an expected career path? 

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 Got So Drunk, I Swallowed Live Goldfish

When you’re in college, you’ll do anything to be one of the bad asses who can drink like a fish. I think I got that confused with swallowing live fish. They sound really similar, right?

When you're in college, you'll do anything to be one of the bad asses who can drink like a fish. I think I got that confused with swallowing fish.

My first semester of Sophomore year at Bradley University was my most alcoholic semester. It was also my highest GPA semester. Go figure.

Bradley frat parties always trumped ISU frat parties. Where ISU frat parties were selective with their entry, Bradley frat parties welcomed anyone and everyone. Where ISU frat parties were mostly frat guys and select chicks, Bradley frat parties had lots of dudes (not all frat guys) and lots of chicks. Where ISU frat parties were BYOB, Bradley frat parties provided libations to those of age (with wristband proof). And if you knew a guy in the frat, wristbands weren’t hard to come by.

I suppose that’s why Peoria police started cracking down on frat parties at BU pretty hard core as of my Junior year. Lucky for me, I had a fake ID (well, a “real” ID that had someone else’s name on it) by then and was drinking at bars, not parties.

But this was Sophomore year…and Bradley parties were in their prime.

Our little group of friends planned to head over to the SAE party known as Rubber Ducky. Now, SAE at Bradley had a pretty bad rep, but they were loads of fun. I always had a great time when Katie and I would trek over there. Gin and Tonic night is the precise reason why I don’t drink tonic. Ever. Gin and I are still friends, but mix that bitch with tonic and memories of weekday morning hangovers are plentiful. Plus tonic tastes like shit.

So Rubber Ducky. A party in which the frat boys celebrated safety. And ridiculous amusement. A giant bowl of colorfully packaged condoms adorned the front table like a bowl of candy on Halloween. A brother in a duck suit wandered around greeting guests. And a huge baby pool filled with water and goldfish dominated the back yard.

The thing about those goldfish–people swallowed them. Live.

So before we went out, I made Katie, Sheila, and Mark promise promise promise that they would not let me eat a goldfish. They promised. Several lemon drops later, we were on our way to the party.

As soon as we arrived, I ran into Porno Steve, a man who was the single biggest reason for my lush-like freshman year of dare drinking.

Porno Steve yelled to me, “Hey! I’m at a frat party!”  He didn’t do frat parties. Ever. He was the pre-game captain, but never made it to the main event.

“Awesome! What’s goin’ on?”

“You should eat a goldfish!”

“Yes! I should!” I responded immediately. Where was Mark? Where was Katie? Where was Sheila? I didn’t even think. We walked over to the kiddie pool where I squatted down, cupped my hands, reached in, and caught a tiny little fishie. I brought the squirmy fish to my mouth and I downed my first goldfish in one full swoop.

Yes, I said first.

I looked at Porno Steve with drunken, glazed over eyes, searching for admiration, but all he said was, “I didn’t see it! Do it again.”

So I did.

Again, searching for his approval, I looked at him and said, “I did it!”

“I didn’t see it! Do it again!” I was about to reach down into the kiddie pool again, when Mark pulled me up.

“Hey Chrissy, you’ve already done two. He’s full of shit and messing with you. I think you’ve had enough.” Mark reminded me that I didn’t want to do one in the first place. But it was so easy…and I was so drunk.

Then while I was sitting on a bench, Jack, one of the frat brothers that I knew came over, dangling a little goldfish above my face. He held it by its tail fins and I didn’t think. I looked up, opened my mouth, and swallowed the squirmy fish that fell into my throat.

That was the last thing I remember about Rubber Ducky.

The next morning, I was so hung over that I couldn’t even eat potato triangles. And I loved potato triangles.

All I could say to Cletus and Robbie the entire day was, “Poor little fishies.”

What is the craziest thing you’ve done while under the influence? Have you ever swallowed live fish?

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!

Innocence is in the Eye of the Beholder…Especially in New Orleans

Welcome to this week’s edition of Monday Memories to Make You Laugh! Today, we’re using a quote prompt instead of an idea.

“I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Innocence. When did I lose my innocence? I bet you’re thinking about virginity right now…but I’m not.

  • I’m thinking about the time I went to the dance club, even though I wasn’t supposed to and had to sneak into the house.
  • Or the time I went away to college and started drinking heavily.
  • But maybe the real downward spiral of my innocence truly was my first trip to The Big Easy.

What Happens in N’awlins…

I was 19. At a conference in New Orleans. Pre-Katrina. With more than 2,000 college kids. My fraternity brothers. (Co-ed service fraternity, thank you very much.) The week between Christmas and New Years Day. Unsupervised vacation for the first time in my life. It was glorious. Here are my top three less than innocent moments from that trip.

New Orleans Bourbon Street

5. Experiencing Bourbon Street in all it’s boozy glory. Now I was in my sophomore year of college, so I was no stranger to liquor…But I definitely indulged in all sorts of deliciously potent concoctions. That I got at bars. And not from older friends. Yes, blog friends, I snuck my 19 year old self into several bars, and ordered booze without being carded at others.

4.  Acquiring beads. Hear me out. This was a little unorthodox…but it happened. Instead of the traditional way of earning beads (which I may or may not have done…), my girlfriend and I set up a team effort to help our favorite shy guy out. Now, this was a guy who stayed in a room full of 4 very open ladies who believed You’re a brother…you don’t count…as we walked around in our underwear. And he would run to the window and stare out politely, waiting for us to cover our lady bits. So Mel ran the camera while I yelled down to the lady that our dear gentlemanly friend chose. “Hey! You! You down there with the green shirt! Show us your titties!” And then Mel would pop out from behind our pal and snap a shot with his camera. And then he gave us beads.

1. My first viewing of man bits. And then my second viewing of man bits. Yep. There were dudes just as willing to show their junk as ladies showing their tatas. And one of my newfound lady friends was ALL over that shit. And yes. I was a sophomore in college who had never seen man bits. And so, innocent little Chrissy fell down a little rabbit hole of crazy.

New Orleans Karaoke

For more Monday Memories, or just because they are awesome, check out It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad.

 Tell me about a loss of innocence memory that YOU have (and no, I REALLY don’t want to hear about how you, you know…lost IT…unless it’s hilarious. Then you can share with the class.)

 

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: Melba Toast and Me

I know. I know. I KNOW. You’re sitting there thinking, Melba Toast? Really, Chrissy? But there’s a lot going on in this post…so bear with me.

The Bloggess and Me

FIRST, this week is a very exciting week for me. In honor of the excitement of my meeting Jenny Lawson (AKA The Bloggess) on Thursday and creepily stalking her err…. making her my new best friend getting her to autograph a book at a bookstore 10 minutes from my apartment…I am dedicating this whole week to just a few of the bloggers I love (If you don’t make it into a post, this doesn’t mean I love you any less…I had to go with the bloggers that fit into my posts, yo. Promise.)

Get to the Fucking Point, Chrissy.

SECOND, today is Monday Memories and April from First Time Mom and Dad has created today’s topic: My First Car and Joyrides. So visit April and Lily from It’s a Dome Life (do not fret, Lily–your dedication is coming) for more memories of joy (rides)!

Monday Memories

 My First Car

When I was 16, I opened up a very lightweight box on Christmas morning from my parents and my grandfather. Inside was a slip of paper that said, “BAM! You’re getting a car!” OK, it may not have said BAM. But it was awesome. I had dreams of a cute little Jeep Wrangler…but those dreams would not come to fruition. Even better, of course, was stumbling upon this white 1994 Ford Explorer (in 1999) and even though it had a funny smell, I fell in love with it. I felt taller, stronger, and more awesome in this giant beast of a vehicle.

Obviously, I had to have it. And it, I did have. Throughout the rest of high school, this beast was recognized as different variations of “the Pink Mobile” thanks to the ever-changing, but always hot pink license plate frames, pink fuzzy dice, and furry pink steering wheel cover.

This car was the greatest thing for a high school kid, but it was also the worst thing. Back in those days, we 16-year-olds didn’t have a graduated license program. We just got the license and drove. Wherever. Whenever. With however many kids could fit in the vehicle. (MOM, stop reading here. No seriously…you don’t want to read this part.) For the record, in a Ford Explorer, that’s a lot.

(Mom. I’m not joking.) I’ll never forget my parents driving my car to an away football game (I was a cheerleader) so that my pals and I could go out afterward. They asked who else was driving, and I listed off a couple of names, as a huge crowd of my brother’s and my friends followed us to the parking lot. As my parents got into their own car, several of our friends hid behind the explorer, waiting for the P’s to drive away. At the very least, there were 8 of us. The five in the picture below, plus 3 more that I know for sure, and 2-3 maybes. It may have been 11 people in my vehicle that night.

my first car fit a lot of kids in it

This was that night. Don’t mind my terrible bangs.

On the plus side MOM (if you’re still reading…), I yelled at them all to shut the fuck up so that I could drive safely to the bowling alley. And they listened. Mostly.

It was a lovely car.

My first car

The Explorer is on the right, next to her replacement, Dawn, the Sunfire. My dad drove the Explorer after I was done with her.

Always Name Your Own Car Right Away

Where does Melba Toast come in? OH. RIGHT. In college, I met Katie. And Katie had this weird thing about naming…EVERYTHING. She named her plants. She named her car. She talked to her cereal in the morning. She was basically awesome with a side of awesome.

One Fourth of July, while sitting in my house, eating taco dip and potato salad, Katie decided to name my future child Melba Toast. (She had already named our BFF Deb’s future child “Stumpy.”) I told her that was a horrible name for a child. So, then, she opted to name my car Melba Toast instead. Just like she named Deb’s car, Julio. And somehow it stuck. I tried to fight it, but Deb and Katie kept calling her Melba Toast. And giggling uncontrollably. And until her death (sentence to the junkyard in 2009), she was lovingly referred to as Melba Toast. And I learned the all important lesson that you should always name your car right away…or anyone else has the right to.

Today’s Post is Dedicated to…(Drum Roll Please…)

Katie from Words for Worms

Katie is my butter-churning best friend from a past life. My best friend in real life (yes, REAL Freakin LIFE), Katie writes a brilliant book blog and sometimes sidetracks with quirky stories of her quirky husband…and she has a penguin problem obsession. But she’s awesome…and this post is a little about her…so dedicating it to her was easy! Also, she is nominated right along next to me (AND THE FREAKIN BLOGGESS) for Best Writing of a Weblog as a Bloggies Finalist.

AND

April from First Time Mom and Dad

One of my BBBs (Blogging Best Buddies) who is also nominated for a Bloggie (Best New Weblog!), April came up with today’s topic. She writes a blog about being a mom for the first time, and her hilarious husband who Photoshops their baby onto the funniest pictures. Product reviews, giveaways, and laugh out loud stories…you’ll love her honesty and humor.

 

Bloggies Finalist
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: Because That Holiday is TOTALLY Stupid Anyway

So this is the only peep you’re going to hear from me on the subject of that Hallmark holiday couples everywhere waste money on and singletons everywhere cry into their beer. As the theme for this morning’s Monday Memories is LOOOOOOOOVE, I thought I’d tell you about the one time before Brian that I had a “Valentine.”

I was in college and dating the Ethiopian. (We had already broken up and gotten back together once, as I spent 2 weeks in London and he missed me and blah blah blah). So we had been back together for a couple of weeks when the VD rolled into town. Neither of us had really ever done anything for it…so I planned some stupid shmoopy crap and cooked dinner. I won’t tell you about the shmoopy crap (because I’m totally embarrassed for myself that it involved a scavenger hunt…), but I will tell you that dinner involved a bottle of champagne. That I drank. By myself. The Ethiopian enjoyed a bottle of PBR, and I enjoyed a bottle of Korbel.

After dinner, his single buddy called to say he was at the bar. I told the Ethiopian to head over there, I wanted to clean the kitchen first, and I would meet him there.

He left, and I immediately went down to the bedroom for a “nap.” An hour later, I saw that he was calling my cell, but I was groggy (read: drunk on champagne and passed the fuck out) and opted not to answer. I fell back asleep and woke up at 4 AM to discover that he had called me like 5 times, leaving messages as to which bar to find him at each time. And that he was home. Whoops! Guess I slept through the evening’s festivities. And I didn’t really feel all that bad. And neither did he. So I guess when we broke up (again) a few weeks later, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise.

Join me and my pals as we write memories to make you laugh. If you’d like to get involved, next week’s theme is FOOD!

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!

Because YOU Asked For It: The Fan Pants

I was having a  little bit of writer’s block this morning…so I posed the question to my pals in the social media world…what the hell should I write about today? And what I got back was brilliance. Today’s post is brought to you by the wonderful world of Facebook, Twitter, and my fucking awesome fashion choices in life. Among other things.

Katie says, “Write about the fan pants!”

Unfortunately, when Katie made that suggestion, she opened a can of worms that will likely take up the majority of the blog post. I can’t help it. We were fashion victims and didn’t even know it. Gather round Blog Friends, and listen to the tale of Bradley. You can backtrack to when I first met Katie (who I very briefly referred to on this blog as Penny…but then she outed herself in her first guest post about Cinderblocks) at Bradley…or you can just join in the fun here.

Katie and I were VERY different people. She was an angry bookworm who wore grunge tee-shirts and wide leg jeans…I was a peppy social butterfly who wore flared jeans with “party shirts.” I listened to pop music; she listened to 90’s and classic rock. She was a Mac. I was a PC. But somehow, we shared a brain. It was like she knew me before she knew me. She understood me. And even when she was secretly (or openly) judging me, she still loved me.

Katie is family. Katie is my butter-churning sister from a past life. Katie and I have had an on-going battle royale fight discussion about our differences in opinion when it came to fashion…She wore Jar Jar Binks boxer shorts with these hideous doggie socks (all. the. time.) I wore fan pants.

Secretly Judging Your WardrobeJar Jar Binks Boxer Shorts

Annnnnyways, what are fan pants? You ask…

Fan pants were a flared pair of denim jeans (my favorite for quite some time) that had pleats in the flares. I’ve always had a thing for jeans that are a little bit different than other jeans. When I was five, I stopped wearing jeans (FOR SEVEN YEARS) because I outgrew my favorite pair of jeans (that were splashed with bright colored paint) and couldn’t find an adequate replacement.

Sweet pants

Me and the sweet ass pants. Making things happen (and looking exceptionally skinny!)

So after plotting out the post about these pants, I came up with a plan. First, I decided that I would try to find them on the internet because the internet knows EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, the place catalog that I ordered the fan pants from more than a decade ago (Shut it. Shut the fuck up now. Stop judging me for being old.) is now out of business and their website is gone. But I did come across an AMAZING blog post about that company…Girlfriends LA anyone? There, I found the following catalog images…

Girlfriends LA Catalog  Bathing Suit

I had like…everything on this page.

Girlfriends LA Bag

See, there’s the bag hiding in this picture of me after graduating from high school…in Florida…

Girlfriends LA bathing suit 2

There’s the bathing suit…in Florida…BEFORE graduating from high school. I was a lucky girl to go twice in one year!

Girlfriends LA Bathing suit

There’s that bathing suit in Florida again. Check out the HUGE headphones.

Girlfriends LA Catalog Sweater

I had the long black sweater

At which point, I decided that it was time to dig through my photo box. And by box I mean giant tub ‘o pictures…

Memory box

This is as far as I got before I gave up and decided that you’re getting enough awesome for one day.

This is the best I could do with the fan pants. There was a better picture of the pants, but I didn’t think you would want to see Shawn til Dawn’s thonged-ass over them…

The fan pants

It’s an angle thing. I wasn’t ACTUALLY that disproportionate…

Alpha Phi Omega Burke Family

Same picture…WAY more proportionate.

And this is also where I found all sorts of glorious pictures of Katie and I. But I’ll only show you this one. And it’s really to make up for the less than flattering picture that I captioned above. But you know, that’s what happens when you secretly judge me.

College girls in party shirts

This was the same year. After we took Katie shopping for “party shirts”

OK, there were definitely more ideas, but I think that this post is quite long enough. Tomorrow I will be posting responses/answers to the rest of your suggestions and questions.

So what else do you want to know about me? Ask me anything and I’ll respond tomorrow!

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!

Confession Friday: Things I Did in College…

Ahh… not just things I did in college; but things I did in college that I STILL do today. Don’t judge me. In fact, I bet you do some of these things too. Be honest.

6 Things I Did in College That I Still Do Today

1. Use Febreeze as a substitute for washing clothes. Sometimes, I just don’t have time to wash my favorite pair of jeans…and I’ve already worn them 4 or 5 times. They could use a little freshening up. Especially when I pull them out of the hamper. From the bottom. Febreeze still works like a charm. (I don’t do it often and it’s never acceptable for socks or underwear…but I know it’s sometimes okay…until I find a pasta sauce/chocolate/soup stain on the shirt in question…several hours later…from the week before. Oops.)

Things I did in college that I still do today

I swear there’s a hamper under that pile… Also…this was a week ago. And I just did the laundry yesterday.

2. Waiting as long as possible to do laundry. I know that in college it was either take the laundry home for the weekend or break…or trek down several flights of stairs to the over-used laundry rooms, where dangerous or naughty things happen often and unexpectedly. (Seriously, go click that link. It’s one of the best stories I’ve written.) And I know that now it is a mere 4 feet from hamper to washer. But for some reason laundry just doesn’t happen as often as it should. (Of course, because Brian has significantly less clothing in general, I do have to do it more often than I did in college…but back then I would just go commando if I ran out of clean underwear…)

3. The 48 hour shower rule. Yes, I tend to shower every other day. I’m okay with this. If I’ve worked out, or have some strange odors coming from my body, I’ll shower sooner…But I mean, I wear deodorant. I brush my teeth. I wear clean underwear every day. I’m not totally gross. But when you’ve got hair the color of my hair and you want to keep it that color (especially considering how much it costs to get it that color)…you gotta be cautious with the hair washing/wetting.)

MAN, you guys probably think I’m the dirtiest creature ever. I promise that I’m not. I have excellent hygiene…I’m just a non-germaphobe who doesn’t like to do laundry and sometimes considers showering a chore. I don’t smell. I swear.

4. Go out of my way for a free meal. I know that I’m a grown up. I have some money. I am well-fed. But something about getting a free meal is exciting. And necessary. because I’m Polish and I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to. So, I find free meals. And then I drive x amount of time to go and eat them.

5. I will fall asleep anywhere. Just last month…the night before Christmas Eve…I was exhausted. It was 3 AM. And yes…I passed out with my purse as a pillow on the floor of an ER curtained room. My mom freaked out on me for fear of the germies…but really it was the floor or a plastic chair. At least on the floor, I could stretch out.

6. I drink vodka. OK, so I don’t drink vodka in the mass quantities that I consumed in college, but I’m pretty impressed that I can still hold down my college poison without feeling like I’m still in college…Alright, so I can’t drink flavored Smirnoff anymore…but whatever. Bring on the Stoli.

There you have it kids…College me meets grown up me. Do you still do any of these things?

 

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!

5 Things I Learned From Yelp

In honor of my third year as Yelp Elite, I’d like to take a few moments to recognize Yelp for its utter awesomeness…And share with you a little poem I wrote.

After a conversation with Heather from The B(itch)log, I felt the need to share with you some really bad poetry. And by bad, I mean truly and most inspiredly awesome. (Yes, I made up inspiredly. Just think of me like the next Shakespeare. Trust me…it will make sense in about 5 paragraphs or so–depending on how long I ramble this morning.)

Heather believes that there is no such thing as bad poetry. I informed her that I once wrote a sonnet about Chicklets (yes, the gum) and asked if she wanted to take her comment back. She said no, which made me hunt for my sonnet about Chicklets…and I couldn’t find it in my vault of bad writing. One day…I promise. One day. But I did write another sonnet in my life. One to the people of Yelp. But first…

5 Things I Learned from Rockin’ with Yelp Across the Country

  1. You see, Yelp is not just a website. It’s a way of life. Whenever we’re looking for somewhere to eat, something to do, somewhere to go…we ask Yelp. We make friends around the country and they help us by writing honest reviews. Yelp is a community of good folks working together to make the positives and negatives known. Yelp is what you make of it.
  2. Not all reviews are created equally. You need to learn to read what’s not being said. That very very very sickly positive review? Might just have been written by the owner or an employee. That very very very angry review? Give everyone a break and read other reviews of that business as well as other reviews from the person writing. You’ll get a feel for whether you trust their judgement or not. I know that I never trust someone who wrote a positive review about the local dive club where everyone shares STDs and drugs. Ew.
  3. You can make new friends just about anywhere. When Brian and I arrived in Orlando for our trip to Disney World, I received a “Welcome to Orlando” compliment from one of the wonderful Yelpers in Orlando. How freakin’ cool is that?!
  4. Business owners who don’t like your review can be ass hats or rock stars. After I reviewed a certain cheese “mecca” poorly, I got a NASTY message from the manager. It was spiteful. And mean. And written with really bad grammar. And then I did some research, and discovered that he had written his very own review of his business. And I called him on it. And was nice. Because that’s how I roll. I’ve had other owners contact me and invite me back for a second chance. I almost always go. Because that’s how Yelpers roll.
  5. It’s OKAY to act like a kid. When Yelp gave me a giant bouncy ball with the Yelp symbol, I knew that I had found my place in this world. S’mores bars and dance floors and so much more…Yelp is fun!
S'mores bar

S’mores Bar-and you thought I was joking.

Things I learned from Yelp drinks

This was a “Jack Frost Martini,” but it was deadly and tasted like college (fruity with the taste of potent alcohol).

A Sonnet to the Big Wigs at Yelp

In order to maintain my elite status for the year 2013, I was asked to write to the big guys with an application and a good reason why I should be elite. I figured the best way to secure my status would be to write a poem. But not just any poem. I wanted it to be a motherfuckin’ Shakespearean poem. And so…I wrote a sonnet.

Quirky Chrissy: Sonnet 2

And now, a sonnet:

To the dear higher ups at the great Yelp,
The holidays and time to choose are here
My Yelp status is floating like a kelp
To be elite Twenty-Thirteen, it’s clear

My application for this honor, bright
with Yelp reviews, comments and stats so fair
includes a poem for your heart’s delight
to show you just how much I really care

And if I am worthy of this status
You can count on me to keep reviewing
Unless I get a sweet pet platypus
Because then I would be busy playing

Do not fret, dear Yelp elite deciders
I love Yelp, please keep me with insiders

Yelp Photo Shoots (Photos Taken by Andres D. and Swiped from Facebook)

Yelp Elite Event

Gettin’ my locks conditioned at the Yelp Fab Femme Fete

Excellent organic conditioning courtesy of Eko Salon and Spa in Orland Park, IL

Excellent organic conditioning courtesy of Eko Salon and Spa in Orland Park, IL

Yelp SWAG panties

Yelp SWAG! Panties anyone? Too bad they were a size small. Too tiny for my bootie!

Yelp Hair Salon Pictures

Just a funny picture of my faux ginger flying high

Yelp events

A Yelp Event at the Wilder Mansion with my pal, Cletus (remind me to tell you the story of this event sometime)

Yelp events with elite yelpers

The Rick Moranis look with the Yelp Crew at Glen Prairie

Thing I Learned from Yelp Elite Events

Making new friends at the Ylep Elite Events

Yelp Egg Nog Rumchata Martini

Sipping on a Rumchata Egg Nog Martini at the Glen Prairie

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!

And the knee sprain story continues…

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!

This is Why I Don’t Ski Anymore

When I was in 7th grade, my church had a ski trip for all of the junior high kids. So I packed up some of my best buddies, and Mom drove us to our first ski trip (about 20 minutes away on a little hill of a mountain.)

It was amazing. We had so much fun that we did it again the following year.

Of course, the year after that, I was in high school and too cool to do that sort of thing. Also, I was very busy being a cheerleader…and I may have just sprained my ankle for the first time…

So I happily went many years without so much as a thought about skiing. Several years and hundreds of injuries later, I was a sophomore in college. The boys were planning a ski trip over winter break, and I just HAD to go. Mark and Robert were two of my best buddies, and I wanted to play with the big boys.

My mom, of course, was against the whole thing. “You’ll hurt yourself!” Our insurance company had gone bankrupt or something, so we were in between medical insurance policies at the time and Mom knew my history with injuries. At that point I had sprained both ankles numerous times. I was a walking disaster. They tell me I can’t chew gum and walk up the stairs at the same time…(I can’t chew gum at all anymore because of my TMJ disorder, but that’s beside the point.)

So, being the stubborn 19 year old college student that I was… I went skiing.

I was happily skiing down the “bunny hill” and going at my own pace. The boys, though, were not pleased with my la-dee-da thought process. They both came packing with their own ski equipment, and wanted to try the “black mountains.” Of course, with their “younger sister” type in tow, they didn’t feel comfortable leaving me all the way on the other side of the resort.

So I agreed to step it up a notch.

I moved to one of the next harder hills, and I was doing just fine. There was a dip in the hill where it was flat, so I could slow down and pace myself. It worked out quite well. Until it didn’t.

Mark was ready to head towards the bar and I was considering taking a break/calling it quits, but I was sort of crushing on Robert at the time, and I thought…if he’s going down once more, I can too. So I told Mark I’d meet him at the bar and I thought Robert was right behind me.

I started going a little too fast…and the break, where I was supposed to slow down? I missed it. I went straight through it.

I started panicking. I lost control.

There was a guy in front of me, going way slower. I screeched, “Get out of the way!!!!”

I thought, and I panicked.The boys said “if you need to slow down, turn, and if you feel like you are going to fall, let yourself fall.”

So I did both.

Everything happened so fast. I heard a crack. My left ski popped off. My right ski did not. But my right leg was positioned unusually awkward. My body was in pain. I was cold. I was screaming. I was crying. I couldn’t move my right leg.

The guy I passed turned out to be ski patrol. He came over quickly and called for backup. He took the ski off my right foot. He helped me get myself situated. When the ski patrol jet ski guy came, he helped me onto it.

I rode it up to the medical attention center, where they elevated my knee and iced it. “It was probably a sprain,” they told me. I was in shock. They asked for my friends’ names. I told them. All I could think, though, was she’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.

When Mark and Robert arrived with their heads shaking, my thoughts were now verbalized, “She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me. She’s going to kill me.” I probably looked certifiable. I was rocking back and forth repeating the same thing over and over and over again.

And so, we had a strained ride home in a tiny little beater Audi from the 80’s with 2 dudes, 2 sets of skis, and a Chrissy with a bad knee. For like 4 hours. Then I had to drive my ass home the next day with my driving leg not so much working. I learned how to drive with cruise control and my left leg that day.

Mom was not pleased.

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!