Making an Impression on the Garbage Man

Being at home this week has been…interesting. I’ve been working hard on finishing stuff up for school and run a couple of obligatory errands, but mostly I’m home alone. I’ve forced myself to shower, but other than that, grooming and regular maintenance have been…lacking. I even skipped out of cap and gown pictures with a fancy college backdrop because I hadn’t washed my hair or put on makeup.

This morning, as I returned home from driving Brian to the train like a good little housewife, I realized that I needed to collect the 27 thousand cardboard boxes that the wind was whisking down the street. Brian had placed the garbage can on top of said boxes to “secure” them, but the can just fell over. Luckily, it was packed with styrofoam from our new TV and not much fell out. So I meandered down the driveway wearing my boyfriend’s long sleeve grey t-shirt, a bright purple pencil skirt and black faux patent leather flats. I was not wearing pants to cover my wooly mammoth calves, nor was I wearing a bra. I was pretty much the epitome of the Polish war bride look, as my dad would say.

My original plans (and the reason for my ridiculous ensemble) were to roll out of bed, get in the car inside the garage, drive Brian to the train, get out of the car inside the garage and go back to bed. But life never works out the way you plan. Even quick morning jaunts to the train station.

As I walked down the driveway, I took stock of my outfit as several cars drove past, and I mentally flipped them off for judging me. I don’t normally dress like this! And then I thought for a minute…oh…wait…STOP JUDGING ME. 

Sometimes I make a strong impression on people like the garbage man...it's not always a good impression though

So there I was, running up and down the block bending over to pick up cardboard boxes with a wonky back, a crazy outfit, and quite possibly rocking the commando thing, worrying about what my neighbors would think of me if any of them happened to look out their windows…when the garbage truck pulled up.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, it was garbage day. He greeted me with a smile (or a smirk) and I started walking back toward the house. He called to me, and said, “You may want to bring these cans in now [so they don’t blow away].” And so there I was, dressed for success, making polite conversation about the weather with the garbage man as he dumped two weeks worth of trash into the bin. Bloody spider webs, stinky food, lady things…you get the picture. It was awkward. I watched him pull the garbage stickers and throw them in the bins before dumping each bin. I thought about asking for his name; I thought about leaving him a tip at Christmas like my parents do. I thought about a lot of random things as this very pleasant man with the radio blaring from the inside of the truck trashed my trash. Instead, I thanked him each time he handed me a can, and I made my way back up the driveway. Thankful that if I wasn’t wearing pants, at least I had a fur lining.

Do you randomly throw on clothes from your clothes pile in the morning? What’s the strangest outfit you’ve left the house in? How do you handle awkward conversations?

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 Was Working as a Waitress in a Cocktail Bar…That Much is True

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a girl who waited tables at an Irish bar where people were mostly dicks. She also spent a few weeks running pub trivia, which is where our story begins.

(Oh hey, that girl is me, and I’m about to switch to the first person).
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I may not have loved waiting tables, but I really enjoyed running trivia. I was able to create questions and make really bad jokes in front of a crowded bar. They gave me a microphone. For several uninterrupted hours. Weekly. It was a beautiful thing. And I’m pretty sure I drank for free.

One night, mid-December, while emceeing trivia, a pair of dudes I had never seen before jumped into the trivia game. I didn’t take much notice of them until trivia was finished when the shorter of the two came up to me and said, “Hey! What are you doing, now? Come have a drink with us!” He was bright and shiny and happy…and offered to buy me a drink. Obviously, I joined them. I walked over to their table, and some of my regular trivia guys came over with me. Bright and Shiny was super chatty and hilarious. I loved him immediately. He ordered a round of drinks while his friend was in the bathroom.

When the taller, quiet guy returned to a fresh round of drinks, the trivia girl, and her posse, he seemed…perturbed, to say the least. But he was handsome. So very handsome. He mentioned something about it being late and having to work in the morning, and I just smiled at him and probably teased him, just a little. I didn’t have to work in the morning thanks to my server job, and so it was fun for me to play around with those who had dreaded corporate jobs (I was setting myself up for a karma ass kicking).

Bright and Shiny started telling me why they were at the bar. The two of them were planning a trip to Ireland the following spring and thought an Irish pub to be the perfect setting to do so. I mentioned that I was going to go to Ireland one day and the  bright and shiny guy said, “Hey! Why don’t you come with us?”

I laughed. “I don’t think I’d be able to pull it off.”

“No, seriously, I have a bunch of miles and stuff…if I helped with your flight, would you be able to pay for other stuff?” He looked so sincere and smiley. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking.

Honestly, to this DAY I’m still not sure I heard that right.

“Uhhhh…”

Every fiber of my being was screaming, “BE WILD! DO SOMETHING CRAZIER THAN YOU’VE EVER DONE!”

I looked at Handsome and Bright and Shiny. They looked nice enough. They seemed really cool. And they sure did have me laughing all night.

“Dude, that sounds crazy. And amazing.”

I considered for another minute.

“I’ll think about it.”

Would you have gone? What’s the craziest thing you’ve done after meeting new friends for the first time?

Did I go on the adventure of a lifetime with these two random dudes? Click the pic below to continue the story and find out what happened next:

When I like like someone, I internet stalk 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!

Random Food Staples Always in our Kitchen

Normal people have a regular supply of certain foods always in stock. You know, things like mustard, ketchup, chicken breasts, American or cheddar cheese, pickles, Ritz crackers, olive oil…Sure we have some of these things in our fridge and pantry from time to time. Some of these normal foods even remain as staples in our home. But more often than not, my “must-have” food items are a little surprise quirky. I mean, you know we always have 5-10 different types of cheese hanging around in the cheese drawer. And for Brian, we ALWAYS have to have a back-up to the back-up of pico de gallo and tortilla chips. And the twelve different types of hot sauce…You can never have too much hot sauce. But these are some of my other favorite foodie treats.

Cheese drawer

This is the cheese drawer. Yes. I use cheese paper. It’s the best thing ever.

 

Arugula

Boring plain old lettuce is for chumps. Spinach? Chumps. I use arugula as a substitute for lettuce AND spinach. It’s flavorful. Green. Chock full of healthy. It’s amazing. I buy the Rocket Salad from Trader Joe’s, at $1.99 a bag, but you can find arugula in most grocery stores. TIP: If it starts to get wilty, cook it up in some  pasta or soup. You don’t need the perfect fresh arugula, and then you’re not wasting delicious $1.99/bag lettuce. At 0 Points Plus, it’s a great hearty side to any meal.

Pine nuts (Pignolias)

The nutty answer to almost everything. They’re a little lower in fat content that some other nuts, and you still get that nutty flavor that you’re looking for. Plus, a little goes a long way. Again, I buy mine from TJ’s.

Truffle Oil

I’ve used several different brands of truffle oil, and I like some of the more inexpensive oils better than the pricier options. I recommend taste testing some of the cheaper ones to start, just to see whether you’re a fan of the truffle aroma, or not…this one’s an acquired taste, a lot like me. So you’ll either love it or hate it.

Now go mix all three of the previously mentioned items together for an amazing salad of JOY. If you’re doing Weight Watchers, this little salad is 3 Points Plus for 2 cups of arugula, 1/2 oz pine nuts and 1 tsp truffle oil. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and you’re ready to go… Just saying. And if you’re not on weight watchers, add parmesan cheese. Oh hell, even if you are…it’s worth the extra points.

Tarragon

Tarragon

I have a friend who gets me spices for Christmas every year. She’s got a sweet hookup and we’re Polish…so we like deals. I think this conversation pretty much speaks for itself. She actually gave me saffron one year and dared me to make something with it. I threw it in one of my “throw shit in a pan and hope it works out” recipes. It worked.

Speaking of which…that leads me to…

Smoked paprika

Forget regular paprika. This smoky sister to the standard spice brings out ALL the FLAVORS. So much delicious in EVERYTHING. Yumm-o. I use it on meat a lot (chicken, pork, lamb, beef – makes no difference to me). And in my chili. And sometimes on  veggies.

There are definitely more random food items, but I figured I’d start you off small. If you haven’t tried these beautiful creations, go forth and get the fuck on it. Because they’ll make you happy.

Hot sauce

This is a portion of our hot sauce/hot peppers. We also have a variety of salsas and pico de gallo. We don’t fuck around with spicy.

What are some of the strange things you always have in your fridge/cabinets? Are any of my choices on your list? What’s your favorite herb or spice?

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!

Insert Doctor Evil Voice Here: I Could Be Worth One MILLION Dollars

About a month ago, I received an e-mail from some dude asking if I would ever consider selling my website. I thought to myself, Self, why on God’s green earth would anyone want to buy the brand that’s built around…well…me? I mean…would someone else try to be Quirky Chrissy in my stead?

Selling site 1

The only thing I could think to do was ignore it. I’m usually pretty good about responding to e-mails (even if it takes a few days/weeks depending on how busy I am), but I couldn’t think of an adequate response.

Well, apparently this Ryan gentleman just couldn’t let me go. He really wants to find a buyer for my thriving little blog over here. I mean, I don’t blame him. I’m a little on the irresistible side. And he hasn’t even heard my adorable, everyone-loves-me-even-though-I-did-something-completely-stupid giggle yet.

And this time, I had to respond. It wouldn’t have been polite not to.

Selling site 2

Selling site 3

So apparently, it’s possible that this here site is worth one MILLION dollars. I mean…he didn’t shoot me down completely, right? I guess it’s hard to drop a site that includes pictures like these:

The next step, though, is how to respond. This is where you come in. This very serious Google form will help me to solve my dilemma. All I need is for you to answer a few very simple questions and press the submit button. And then I can respond to Ryan properly.

See? We’re getting interactive up in this community. So help a sister out.

Have you ever responded to a ridiculous e-mail with ridiculousness? What’s the best offer you’ve gotten by e-mail or mail or in person? Any really amazing propositions?

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 Think I Know Those Clowns…Not the Rodeo Clowns Though…

Last night, Brian and I joined a couple of our friends for an evening of Haunted Housing. Our friend who organized the trip usually prefers the regular passes as opposed to the VIP passes because the wait in line is usually a lot of fun and adds to the ambiance of the house. You know, gearing up the fear and shit.

So we get to the location of the haunted house, where we shelled out 28 bucks a pop for the tickets. Only to be told that we’d also be paying $5 for parking. We went to this house last year and didn’t have to pay for parking, so this was a strange and unpleasant new development.

I saw a crowd on the side of the venue, and wondered if that was a VIP entrance. As we drew closer, I realized they were all smoking, and they looked like they were in costume. Cowboy hats, plaid shirts, tight jeans…Must be a hillbilly room or something. As I got even closer, I noticed that some of them were dressed normally and there was a “smoking section” sign. They must just be regular employees, not actors. I looked inside the oprn door behind them and realized that they were not related to the haunted house at all. There was a concert of some sort going on with bright lights and loud mariachi music.

Mariachi band by the haunted houseWell that explained the $5 parking fee. Jerks.

So, we got in the first line at the haunted house (the first of FIVE different lines). This line was outside, and we were there before the house opened. I noticed a girl wearing a short skirt and rubber boots prepping for something with electricity. Just before we walked into the venue, she jumped on top of a beat up car, and started running some electric thing on a metal grindy thing near her lady bits while dancing like she was in a cage at the club. I wondered whether I was heading into a haunted house or a brothel.

We walked into the brightly lit first lobby, and stood in another line. The mariachi band was going hard core just a few feet away and the concert lights made it look like it was still daylight. I looked over, away from the band and saw a pair of uniquely costumed muderous clowns. I grinned at Brian and said, “I think I know those clowns.”

His response? “That’s a weird thing to say.”

When we moved upstairs to the next lobby (this time the actual “haunted house lobby”), one of the clowns was staring me down. I eyed him for a second and asked, “Do I know you?”

Yep, I definitely recognized him.

Yep, I definitely recognized him.

He nodded and I walked closer to him, when he gave me his hand all gentlemanly. We chatted for a moment (he really is my friend!) and then I had to go catch up with my people.

We got in the third line of the night about 15 minutes after the haunted house was supposed to be open. But the bright lights and loud VERY UNSCARY music coming from the open room beside and below us was really killing the mood. It wasn’t just a mariachi band; it was a full-on fucking rodeo.

The foggy image is because of the fog machines.

The foggy image is because of the fog machines.

There’s a bull back there. A motherfucking bull.

They haunted house refused to open until these people finished playing. These people just refused to finish. An hour and twenty minutes after the house was scheduled to open, they finally started letting people in. The mood was not set with scary music or dark lobbies. It was set with a fucking tuba and the running of the bulls. Or a bullfight. Or something. Come to think of it, I bet hooha electricity girl out front would have had one hell of a time trying to ride the bull…

Luckily, our friends are pretty fun, and the clowns kept stopping by.

Scary clown with a knife

The house itself was meh. The first part was a pair of too-long dark mazes. The second part was a neon 3-D porn cartoon. The last part was the kind of haunted house that you picture – murderous creepers, a shrine to John Wayne Gacy, people eating people…screamers, psychos…

image

Overall, not terrible, but the venue is going to get a nasty letter from me. Because they made Brian mad with this mariachi bullshit. And nobody messes with my boyfriend.

Have you been to a haunted house this year? What’s your favorite part of a haunted house?

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!

Knock Knock Jokes, Domestic Abuse, and Cheese Porn: How You Found Me

Well, kids…it looks like it’s about time for another rousing episode of “What Ridiculous Search Terms Brought Your Crazy Asses Here.”

Knock Knock Jokes (1)

As an SEO in the real world (you know…that day-to-day gig that pays the bills so I can spend time hanging out on the internet with you people), I find it fascinating to backtrack and find out not only what page you landed on when you searched one of these ridiculous phrases, but how far you dug to find it. What I’ve discovered, you crazy loons, is that some people will dig into more than 8 pages of Google search results to find the random drivel I’ve produced relative to your search term. If you missed the first edition of random search terms, feel free to go read that post. I’ll wait.

And some of you are some seriously sick fucks.

The ones that appreciate my wit and wisdom

Postuniversity Slackerdom: You’re looking for advice on how to be a slacker after college, aren’t you? Well, you’re in luck. All you need is a DVD of Office Space, and you’ll be on your way to the sweet life. Just, you know, keep an eye on your stapler…and the guy who never gets cake. If you’re still in college and want to avoid reading all those books? Don’t visit my post about graduating as an English major without reading books for class that also links to an amazing book blogger (my best friend) who reviews all those pesky books you’re supposed to be reading. Because you should be ashamed of yourself. Go read a book.

Knock knock jokes with Chrissy: Well, you obviously love a little classic humor with a classic humorist. I applaud your choice in knock knock jokers. Because Brian and I have the BEST knock knock joke offs.

How to sprain my knee: I’m not quite sure you understand what you’re asking here. But if you really want step by step instructions, I suppose you can see the many ways that I’ve sprained my own knee…but I still don’t recommend it. If you’re jonesing to get out of gym class or something, cramps sometimes work…and headaches…migraines maybe? I don’t recommend actually going to the lengths of REALLY injuring yourself…weirdo.

 

It’s like you totally get me!

That awkward moment when someone is staring at you and you pretend not to notice: OMG I hate that moment too! I mean…not that I’ve ever creepily stared at anyone…low whistle

Professional contest winner: I love that you people search for this. I especially love that this is one of the top searched topics for this blog. Just the other day I won a free dinner for Brian and I from Whole Foods. I love winning shit. Hopefully my year as a professional contest winner can help you achieve your dreams.

Scattergories fights: This was searched quite a few times, as well. It makes me feel a little better about myself that I’m not the only one who can’t play Scattergories without fighting…

I don’t know if you’re going to find what you’re looking for here…

Fuck my corduroy jeans: I’m not sure whether you’re looking to do something naughty with a pair of pants or if you’re really angry with them…either way WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? I Googled that shit to find out why you might search for that…and there are some very dirty Yahoo message boards.

I can wipe my own ass: And we’re all very proud of you.

Girl chug vodka: Okay, fine. You might find what you’re looking for here.

Vodka Chug

I really liked cheap vodka when I was 18.

Now, I really like good vodka.

Now, I really like good vodka.

You sick and twisted humans.

Cheese porn: Don’t worry. I already Googled it so you don’t have to. This is actually a thing. Not my thing, but it’s a thing.

Fucked up scary bathrooms for Halloween: Fret not, dear fucked-up friends, I can help you with my Halloween bathroom decor.

My bare ass: Are you looking for MY bare ass or your own? I’m confused. Please explain.

Stop Googling this shit and go get help. PLEASE.

Someone tried to suffocate me: Call the police. Tell someone. I searched for this and the first page results are for domestic abuse and, well, me. So if your husband, boyfriend, friend is trying to suffocate you  (with or without a pillow), get help.

Can my boyfriend suffocate me with a pillow?: No. Why? Did he try? Were you laughing and joking about it or is this a serious query resulting in the aforementioned search term? If so, get help. If you’re laughing, well…I can’t blame you. Brian and I laughed about it too. (*I have to add that I, in no way, condone domestic violence. I only condone weird and random conversations with your chosen partner in life.)

What’s the weirdest thing that you’ve Googled? If you own a website, what’s the weirdest search term you’ve come across that led to your site?

 

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 Didn’t Even Go to Lollapalooza, but Still got to Encounter the Crazies

If you follow me on the media that is very social, you probably know that last weekend, some of our friends decided we should lock ourselves in a room with a zombie. You know…to practice for the inevitable. More on that later.

Of course, when you gather a group with 12 of your closest friends, scheduling becomes…slightly difficult. So we found one weekend this summer (that’s right, one) that worked for us. And we obviously needed to do this as immediately as possible. We opted for August 2. Gearing up with excitement, we quickly realized…Oh fuck. It’s the same weekend as Lollapalooza. And Bears Family Day. But mostly it was Lollapalooza. And did I mention that Trapped in a Room with a Zombie is RIGHT across the street from Lolla?

So it was.

Lollapalooza Crazies

Traintertainment

Four of us commuted into the city together via train because we’re commuters and that’s how we roll. (Fuck driving through swarms of teens in crop tops and high-waisted short shorts.) When we jumped on the train, it appeared that we were going to get some free entertainment from the guy in our train car with a guitar and a singing voice. And so we did.

In which I engaged in conversation with one of the crazies

After we got off the train, I was in need of a little something to cure my stomach ache, so we stopped at the nearest 7 Eleven (convenience store). Everyone waited outside for me, so I was on my own in this little establishment.

As I’m deciding what to get this chipper fellow in his mid to late twenties, clearly high as a kite, bounces into the 7 Eleven, grabs a couple cans of beer and heads to the register, where I got in line behind him. While I waited in line, I overheard him talking to the cashier.

“So…like…do you know anything about Lollapalooza?”

The cashier just kind of shakes his head and rings up his tall boys and smokes.

“Cuz like, I’m thinking about sneaking in.”

Here’s where I chime in with my goody two shoes. “I’ve heard that’s a bad idea.”

And then he started addressing me.

“Yeah, but like do you know if  there will be more cops than last year?”

“I have no idea.” “Because I heard it was pretty easy last year. I’m thinking I’ll just wait until it gets dark and hop the fence where no one’s looking. I don’t think the security can arrest you.”

“I wouldn’t be too sure of that.”

“Well this guy that I smoked with last year told me it was really easy to do and he did it.”

“Okay then…”

At that point, his purchase was rung up and the cashier was ringing me up. Then one of the two teenagers (a girl and a guy buying Arizona iced tea) behind me chimed in.

“Are you talking about Lollapalooza?”

The guy responds, “Yeah! I’m just going to sneak in.”

“Oh cool! That’s what WE’RE going to do too!”

Oh my fucking God. 

“You guys wanna come with me? I’ve got some beers.”

Oh my fucking God.

“Yeah! That sounds awesome.”

“Okay, so if we’re going to do this, we have to  do it right. I’m from Hinsdale (a rich suburb of Chicago) and my dad knows a lot of cops. So like, we should be able to get out of trouble and stuff. I’ve been in jail once, so we  have to do this right. Just follow my lead.”

At which point I walked outside, burst out laughing and walked half a block down before I could relay the conversation back to my peers.

Sometimes I’m a little crazy or clumsy. One of those.

We made our way to one of our (my) favorite loop eateries, Elephant and Castle (I don’t like to drink here, though because booze is expeeeeeeensive), where I became one of the crazies…when I broke the motherfucking toilet paper dispenser in the family bathroom. Broke the bathroom Broke the bathroom

Cool shoes, bro

After an hour locked in a room with a zombie, we realized that Lolla was ending and ending fast. We knew we needed to hightail it outta there before the crazies made it to the train… As we were walking back to the train, this random guy starts talking to no one in particular, but maybe me. I don’t actually know. “I’m so glad I didn’t wear sandals or boots, man. Like, these shoes are awesome.” At which point Brian walks up closer.  “Dude, these shoes are the BEST. It’s like walking on yoga mats, man. They were only $9.95! You should get a pair!” Walking on yoga mats, indeed. We hightailed it across the street in a jaywalking fashion that would have been weird if 3 of the 4 of us weren’t commuters who did it everyday. Although, maybe not weird, considering the number of unobservant Lolla kids who were drunk/stoned/high/didn’t give a shit. Probably that. Lolla had screwed up the train schedule, so our train was an hour later than we planned for and by the time we left the station, it was standing room only. I was pretty thrilled we had secured a seat, but less impressed with the drunk, half-naked teenagers standing next to us.

Do you go to big festival concerts? Have you been to Lollapalooza? What crazies have you encountered lately?

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!