Hide and Go Netflix

At one of my old jobs, many years ago, I had a lot of down time. Once I was pretty confident I could knock out my work in a certain amount of time,  I’d take a little break. And catch up on Netflix. I wasn’t the only one. My entire row of coworkers was watching one movie or tv show at any given time. Where do you think I got the idea?

It started small, with secret windows open just emough for me to watch a few minutes here and there while I worked…eventually, though, it was entire episodes. Full movies. I was a rebel, and I loved it.

And that was before smart phones were as fancy as they are now. These days, I’ve got way too much work going on to play on the clock, but now that I can Netflix on my fancy phone (where I’m granfathered in an unlimited data plan), I can avoid people and places everywhere else by staring at my phone. I’m not an introvert, but I’m an introverted extrovert, and when I’m uncomfortable somewhere, it’s nice to have an escape.

Need to avoid the loud old ladies on the train screaming chaw-co-lot-ay at little girls? Escape in a magical world with Charmed.

Irritated by the gossipy soccer moms behind you? Watch Mean Girls (starting tomorrow!).

Ladies talking too much on the train.

If you follow me on Snapchat, you get to see things like this.

Bored with family drama? Turn on your favorite episode of Gilmore Girls.
Tired of day to day office nonsense? Catch an episode of 30 Rock. 

Where do you  Netflix?

I don’t have kids (yet), but Netflix posed the question, “Where do you sneak in a few minutes of your favorite show?” This post is part of my Netflix StreamTeam partnership. I received a year of Netflix and a device on which to watch all my favorite shows.

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 Just Want to be Perfect

Yesterday was my birthday. All my life, birthdays have been filled with anxiety and a little bit of disappointment. Partially because of my Clark Griswoldian dreams. I have hope. I believe in magic. I think anything is truly possible. And I imagine the most perfect of days for any special event, holiday, or vacation. I’m basically Riley from Girl Meets World.

Riley has Rileytown, a place where all her weirdness and happiness comes from. I have Chrissy’s World, where skies are pink and I am cool (with all my weirdness and happiness).

Riley has Maya, a best friend who stands up for her and loves her for who she is. I have Katie, who threatens to hit people over the head with a Corona bottle if they don’t stop teasing me or hurting my feelings.

It’s a good life. And it’s all mine. And for some reason, unbeknownst to me, a birthday never goes by in which I don’t cry at least once. I’m not saying this so you’ll feel sorry for me. I’m just explaining my weird little world for context.

So, yesterday, Brian took me out for breakfast and we planned our birthday adventure. We went home for a bit to digest and watch Game of Thrones. He took a nap (because I woke him up early to eat breakfast), and I called my mom for my annual cry.

It was at this point that Mama Bear offered to help. We were talking about Delilah, our beloved pool, who went to the pool graveyard in the sky a couple years ago, and how I could have been swimming while Brian napped. She asked if I wanted to go to one of the public pools in the area. My response was a mix of fuck no and lazy.

And be around all those people? I would have to shave my legs!

Mom knew I was right, and so she offered to left me come run through her sprinkler in her fancy, new, plush backyard grass(they sodded last year). I started laughing.

Come on! I’ll even do it with you!

At that point, I couldn’t stop laughing. It was uncontrollable and perfect. Everything I needed. I just kept picturing two grown women running through a sprinkler. I’m still laughing.

Brian woke up, and we took off for our adventure. A canoe rental in a beautiful hidden glacier-formed lake in the middle of suburbia. It was awesome!
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After our canoe trip, we walked around the lake, chasing geese. Brian kept telling me to leave them alone, but it was his idea to find them when we were on the canoe!

Once they left the lake, they wandered the grounds, just like we did. And they were so cute! I loved them.

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Afterwards, we met my parents for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Greek Islands. We drank wine, ate snacks, and they sang Happy Birthday to me before presenting me with a non-cake dessert and a birthday candle. All a girl wants on her birthday is to make a wish. Which I did. I’ll let you know when it comes true. We passed around the dessert, which was unbelievable coconuty custardy goodness, and my dad got the last piece.

As we nommed on our split dessert, Dad realized something was amiss, and he spit out the pink birthday candle. Apparently, he didn’t realize it wasn’t edible until it was too late. My parents and my boyfriend are pretty much the best. They know just what to do or say to make me laugh and give me the best birthday a Clark Griswold girl could have. A few tears turned into a magical day. Riley would be proud.

In the spirit of imperfection, I also wanted to tell you about a book that debuted this weekend. A book written, in small part, by yours truly. 37 co-authors produced the 4th book in the New York Times best-selling Pee Alone series, I Just Want to be Perfect. When Jen Mann invited me to contribute, I died a little bit with joy. It was the perfect title for me to be a part of and I hope you’ll all join me in reading this magical book of horrifying, hilarious, and true stories of women who try and fail at perfection.

I Just Want to be Perfect

You can find I Just Want to be Perfect in print and digital forms on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Netflix Stream Team

This post was created as part of my work with Netflix (shameless plug excluded) as a member of the Stream Team. I received a device on which to shamelessly watch Netflix and an annual membership to stream all the streams I can stream. I binge watched Girl Meets World this month, and boy was I glad I did. Riley and I have a lot in common…you know, since I’m perpetually a 12-year-old girl. I had a Netflix account before the Stream Team, and no one pays me to say nice things about them. If you have Netflix, you understand. Even Mama Bear is obsessed with 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!

My Mom and Dad are Moving Into the 21st Century

My parents have never really been ones to jump on the technology bandwagon. We didn’t get a home computer until my senior year of high school (and dad referred to it as “The Devil’s Tool”). My parents only have cell phones because I wanted to be able to get in touch with them – so I signed ’em both up on my plan and got them phones. Mom still loves her VHS tapes, and dad swears by his flip phone. Until a few weeks ago, they were perfectly content with their ancient tube TV living inside the entertainment center my dad and I built together when I was about eleven. It was time for a change.

They upgraded to some fancy pants smart TV, not unlike the amazing 43″ Sharp Roku TV that Netflix so very generously provided to me for all the hard work (and by hard work, I mean TV watching) I do for them as part of the Stream Team.

my parents got a new TV, so I thought I'd teach them about Netflix

If you’re not following quirkychrissy on Snapchat, you’re missing out on doodles, people watching and more.

My brother and I convinced our parents to stop paying for premium cable and instead sign up for Netflix where they can watch movies and TV (including some Netflix originals that you can’t watch anywhere else such as House of Cards, which Mama Bear is dying to watch).

So I though I’d share with you the shows and movies I think my parents are really going to enjoy, separately and together.

My parents just got a smart TV. I thought I'd give them a headstart in the wonderful world of Netflix.Netflix for Mom

She loves reality TV, a good drama without too much violence, solid sitcoms, and nostalgic movies.

  • She’s excited to watch House of Cards, though I think she might be surprised by some of the violence (although I guess not after reading this). Even so, that first season is wicked smart. And Robin Wright’s and Kevin Spacey’s performances are killer.
  • Chef’s Table is likely to be a hit with Mom, as she loves watching cooking shows and chefs at work.
  • Friends was always one of Mom’s favorite shows. So I think she’ll enjoy a commercial-free binge watch.

Netflix for Dad

He loves war movies, sci-fi, strong dramas, John Wayne, and musicals.

  • Men in Black II hits the sci-fi nerve that Dad loves. Plus he’s probably seen it so many times, he can have a cat nap while watching.
  • Coyote Ugly is chock full of romance and country music, which Dad loves and Mom despises (the music not the romance). I recommend he watch this when she’s at poker night.
  • The Walking Dead is likely to be entertaining for dad, for at least the forst couple of seasons. I suspect like Brian and I, he’ll get bored with the plot midway through the series and stop watching.

Netflix for my Parents

They share a love of romantic and laugh-out-loud comedies, adventure and disaster movies and TV, and animated classics.

  • Adams Family Values is one of their absolute favorites. My bestie, Lily and I just watched the original Adams Family movie last month and it was just as fantastic as it was when I was a kid, but this one is pure gold for Mom and Dad.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is my favorite Netflix original to date. (Fuller House hasn’t started yet, but I’ve got some seriously high expectations for it). I think both my parents will love the cast and the story, particularly Titus Andromedon.
  • The Walt Disney short films collection is sure to be a hit. Mom will appreciate the brevity, and they’ll both love some of these amazing shorts. When watching Feast, there won’t be a dry eye in the room, but it’ll be worth every second.

Well, Mom and Dad, Welcome to the 21st century. I hope you love Netflix as much as we do! Cheers to a winter full of binge TV! Might I suggest a bottle of wine and a big ‘ole tub of cheese balls?

When your parents get their first smart TV, these shows may just make them addicted to Netflix. Click To Tweet

What Netflix shows do you recommend? We’re always looking for more recommendations, especially with hibernation season right around the corner.

Netflix Stream Team

This is a sponsored post for Netflix. I received a year’s subscription and a device on which to binge watch TV shows and movies in return for these monthly 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!

6 Things to Watch on Netflix to Brighten a Rainy Day

I swear it hasn’t stopped raining in Chicago in weeks. Except when the sun decided to laugh at me the morning after my car was discovered under 4 feet of water a mere two weeks ago. Then, it stopped raining. For a day. To mock my pain. More on that later. Right now, we’re talking about rain. And what to do on rainy days.

Sure, it may be summer. It may even be beautiful where you live, but here? It’s been nonstop rain. So I thought I’d give you a playlist of things to watch on Netflix when you’re stuck in the house. Because snuggling on the couch with Netflix and some snacks sounds utterly delightful right now. Especially when you opt for something so bright and shiny, the rain will just…wash away.

When it's raining outside, spend quality time snuggling on the couch watching these classic movies and TV shows full of bright and shiny characters on NetflixSo we’ll start our Netflixathon with none other than Elle Woods and work our way through the brightest and shiniest of TV and movie characters.

Legally Blonde

Hopefully, you’ve seen this movie and now how unbelievably charming it is. If you haven’t, sit your butt on the couch and prepare for serious amounts of adorable. Because how can you now smile when Reese Witherspoon is showing off the Bend and Snap?

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

If you remember me raving about Kimmy and her Just Ten Seconds theory a few months ago, you’ll know why I chose this bright ball of sunshine in a Tina Fey TV show. 1 season. Positivity to the max. Short episodes. Smile, and enjoy.

New Girl

While Zooey Deschanel and the gang have been together for several seasons, you can get started on this adorably quirky comedy and enjoy a few episodes of the ever-ridiculous roommates. Even when Jess is crying, New Girl will have you laughing in no time.

Clueless

“I want to help.” Cher is always looking to do something for the greater good, even when she doesn’t quite understand the difference between needs and wants. With a hilarious ensemble of friends, Alicia Silverstone is a joy to watch as she dances through her perfectly coiffed world.

Hook

It may take Peter Panning a while to rediscover his true self and become the positive Peter Pan he once was, but once he does, the doors are open for the greatest adventure possible: life. This movie always warms my heart, and is never far from my brain.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

How could anyone blame such a lovable goofball for anything even resembling murder? Roger’s a doll, and determined to save Toon Town. Watch his wacky adventures and forget that the rain is unending.

What are your favorite movies and shows to watch on rainy days? What brightens your day? Who are your favorite movie or TV characters?

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 and TV shows that make my day brighter. 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!

Why Shonda Rhimes is Dead to Me

BIG. FAT. SPOILER ALERT. If you’re not up to date on Grey’s, walk away now. From the show. Or this post. Or both. One of those.

Grey's

I’m not ashamed. I’m in mourning. For eleven years, I’ve been in a tumultuous relationship with Grey’s Anatomy. We had our ups and downs. We jumped through quite a few crazy hoops. We let a lot of really atrocious shit slide. We loved and lost, but this loss is too much. This broke me. This destroyed us.

Shonda, you’re an asshole. A spiteful, malicious bitch. Grey’s Anatomy MADE you. The fans MADE you. You betrayed our trust. You don’t give enough fucks about Grey’s, even though it’s the one that put you on the map. This was something you needed to do better. It needed to BE better. Meredith deserved better. WE deserve better. And quite frankly, Prince Fucking Charming shouldn’t have died. Sure, it’s a drama. But you turned a drama into a tragedy. And not even a good one. Killing off eleven years of emotional investment with a stupid, fleeting, single-episode plot is just wrong.

You didn’t even make Derek’s death a remotely decent or reliable plot twist. First, you skirted around a dozen different ways McDreamy could have left the show.  He could have stayed in DC. He could have cheated (thank GOD you didn’t do that) on Mer. He could have been killed in another plane crash (insert eye roll here). He could have died in the car crash at the beginning of the episode. And so on and so forth. Then, you let him die alone. ‘Da fuck?

For someone who’s praised as such a gifted TV writer, your inexcusable story arc sure did leave us with a lot of questions. Why didn’t Bailey tell Meredith that she had been on a call with Derek earlier that day? Or that the call had dropped? If he was in a dead zone, why did his phone buzz? Why would he stop in the middle of the street to answer it? Where was his phone and ID in that mess to identify him? Did he need to be a John Doe? If they airlift people from the middle of nowhere to Grey Sloan ALL THE DAMN TIME, why didn’t they do it this time? Don’t write him off dying alone in some podunk fucking hospital.  Don’t make Meredith make the decision to pull the plug alone. Seriously?

I’m fucking done. And I’m not the only one. We’re pissed, Shonda. And not oh-my-god-I-can’t-wait-to-watch-the-next-episode pissed. 102,000 fans and counting are signing petitions and shit to bring back the character you eliminated in the most horrific way.

You think we want to watch any more of your shitty cry fests after you destroyed any chance of Bright and Shiny Meredith ever, at all? After you killed off a character in the most senseless, asinine way? No. That shit will not taint my television. But just in case you were wondering, here are a few ways you could have left the fans with a little less bitter, we-quit-you rage.

You Could Have Allowed His Death to Have Meaning

Okay. You want to kill him. You’re a vindictive writer like that. If he had to die that day, let him die saving one of those teenagers. Or the little girl. Or her mom. Don’t let his death be completely void of any rhyme or reason. If it were such a beautiful day to save lives (every life but his own), he should have died to prevent someone else from dying. You could have created a believable heroic story on one of the ferry boats he loved so much. Or he could have died pushing someone away from the explosion that happened in the beginning of the episode. Derek did not have to die for naught.

You Could Have Let Him Stay in DC

Everyone was okay when he was in DC. Sure, he was Skyping his family more than seeing them. But if you had let him live, Mer could take the kids on weekend trips and he could come home a little more often. You wouldn’t need to show any of that. You would just need to mention it every now and then. The point is that they’re still together and in love. He’s still Prince Charming and Mer’s still happy and rocking as a surgeon.

You Could Have Faded Him to Black

You know that place you were headed with the happy non-brilliant-surgeon, soccer-coach-dad thing? That. Do that. Dr. Shepherd would have flitted off into the sunset and lived happily ever after as a devoted husband and dad. He could be mentioned in passing as doing something perfectly lovely as a stay at home dad while all hell breaks loose in the hospital and his baby sister would save the day. He would never need to appear on the show, but we’d be happy…knowing he was dedicated to Mer and their family.

But you didn’t do any of these things, Shonda. Instead, you followed your tired surprise-but-not-really plot twist formula. Grey’s Anatomy is just like Game of Thrones. Except the characters are much more likable, and when you kill them off, abruptly, without thought or even a solid story arc, you’re an asshole.

I’d say that I’m waiting for Meredith to be executed the way of Eddard Stark, but I won’t be around to see it. Because I’m so over it (but not really, because I’m in fucking pain). And Shonda Rhimes is dead to me.

 

Am I alone in this nonsense? Are you a Grey’s fan gone rogue? What shows are you emotionally invested in? What are TV deal breakers for you?

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!

You Can Handle ANYTHING for Just Ten Seconds

Hear me out.

Or don’t. But if you don’t…it’s your loss.

Recently, I had the opportunity to binge watch the most adorable new sitcom on Netflix. Last weekend, I floated through the first six episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. After watching this preview, I knew I had to check it out (go ahead and watch. I’ll wait.)

Seriously, Tina Fey, could you have created a more lovable character? And the show is just as delightfully entertaining with the fish out of water story as the preview. The awkward 90’s references kept me laughing and the unwavering optimism kept me begging for more.

Kimmy Scmidt 3

And really…when she proclaims she’s having candy for dinner? She’s basically me when Brian isn’t around to tell me to eat a real dinner.

Kimmy is surrounded by a top-notch cast of misfits who perfectly wrap around her pretty pink bubble. With Titus and Jacqueline, who both found their way to New York by reinventing themselves, Kimmy’s not alone in her adventures, and Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, and Carol Kane add just as much magic as the delightful Ellie Kemper.

Kimmy Schmidt 2

But the thing that resonated with me the most? Kimmy’s belief that you can get through just about anything for ten seconds. And as soon as the first ten seconds has ended? You start again. Because everything is better in ten-second intervals.

Kimmy Scmidt

I took the opportunity this week to test the theory out…because sometimes it happens that I find myself in situations that I’d rather avoid completely. Like the other day, when I got on the bus.

I was about to sit down when a lady requested to sit beside me. Having weird preferences to sit on the outside pretty much all the time, I got up so she could sit down. But bus seats are NOT roomy. So when I realized there wasn’t a whole lot of space for me to sit, I offered my outside seat up to someone else. But the lady I let sit down was insistent that I sit next to her. Not wanting to make a scene, I obliged.

Bus seat

Just try to tell me you can fit two normalish sized booties on those seats. Seriously.

With the edge of the bus seat riding up my tail bone and my right butt cheek hanging off the edge of the seat, comfort was a dream far far away. And so I counted to ten in my head. One…two…three…

And then it was over. And I started again.

One…two…three…

…ten.

And so it went on for several rounds of ten counts.

Until I was near my stop and could get up and move to the back of the bus where the exit was. Which I did. But the counting? Totally helped.

Kimmy Schmidt was right. I think I’ll keep her. As I ten-second my way through my days, this weekend, I’m going to be sharing my stories on Facebook with the hashtag, #JustTenSeconds so you can follow along. Please feel free to jump in with your own tales of ten-second survival tactics and use the hashtag so everyone can see it.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

What has happened in your life recently that would warrant a good ten-second count? Ever been stuck in an uncomfortable seat on a bus, train or plane?

You can start streaming Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix today (whether or not you’ve gotten through Season 3 of House of Cards yet).

While I wasn’t paid to write this post, I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and was given a year’s subscription to Netflix and a device on which to watch shows like Kimmy Schmidt and other Netflix favorites.

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!

“Friendsgiving” is Stupid. We’ve Been Calling it Second Thanksgiving For Almost a Decade. And We Were There First. #StreamTeam

Thanksgiving is for giving thanks. Not giving friends.

Sheesh.

So I’ve mentioned Second Thanksgiving in the past when I told you about the hematoma on my butt. But I’ve been hearing the term, “friendsgiving,” a lot lately in regards to people throwing these “festive affairs” with cheap wine and instant mashed potatoes. Even the Netflix Stream Team is celebrating a discussion of “friendsgiving.” And people have started calling our 9-year tradition “friendsgiving.”

And I hate that.

friendsgiving is stupid

I hate it because that’s not what it is. It isn’t some hipster tradition that we just started doing in 2012 because we saw our favorite characters on TV celebrate Thanksgiving together as friends for years, but decided it needed a new name because Thanksgiving wasn’t good enough. The only place you can even find a definition of “friendsgiving” is on Urban Dictionary, which basically describes it as a subpar event where friends gather together the day before or the day after Thanksgiving to enjoy either leftovers or boxed wine and cheap dishes.

Did Jess and Schmidt re-name their Thanksgivings “friendsgiving?” No. (Okay, Schmidt may have decided on “bangsgiving” this year, but he’s dirty and ridiculous and it’s not REALLY a thing.)

Did Rory and Loralei head to “friendsgiving” with their people? No.

Did Ted and Marshall call it “friendsgiving?” Nope. (Fine, they had “slapsgiving.” Which was wicked and funny and not trying to MAKE A THING happen).

Go ahead! Celebrate the big Turkey Day with friends. Enjoy it. Watch a few Thanksgiving episodes of your favorite shows. Watch football.

I’ve heard people hosting and attending these “friendsgiving” dinners as early as the beginning of November. I’m sorry, what? That’s called a dinner party. If you’re going to host a Thanksgiving to celebrate with the family that you chose, instead of the family that you’re born into (or stuck with), do it the week of Thanksgiving. Or ON Thanksgiving. Last year, I attended 5 Thankgiving feasts. Five. And not one of them was called, “friendsgiving.” Because it’s stupid. We had work Thanksgiving, Pre-Thanksgiving, two family Thanksgivings and Second Thanksgiving. At all of these events, there was turkey. Ham. Homemade potatoes. Real vegetable dishes. Pie. Nothing was re-purposed leftovers. We made fresh, delicious food for each other. And celebrated a thankful day.

Second Thanksgiving may be a way to enjoy a turkey dinner with the family that you choose, but it’s not a cheap substitute for the real deal. It’s an equal. It’s powerful. No one’s fighting over what time to bring the turkey out. Dirty Uncle Jack isn’t flirting with your girlfriend. Crazy Cousin Maria isn’t drunk and picking fights. Grandma isn’t yelling at the little ones to sit down. It’s just friends. Drinking good wine, expensive beer, liquor-filled jello shots, and eating the best food that each attendee can prepare. We typically host it on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so we can even watch football as per Thanksgiving tradition.

My college friends and I started Second Thanksgiving after a discussion of our crazy (albeit lovable) families on the holidays. Nine years ago at my best friend’s apartment (the same best friend who’s car I stole a few years ago), back when I used to throw parties at other people’s homes. The first year was a potluck of epic proportions, but the second year became a full turkey dinner because I wasn’t going to have a real Thanksgiving with my family (one day, I’ll tell you about that). And I wanted a real Thanksgiving.

This is a picture of everyone who attended the second annual Second Thanksgiving in my best friend's one-bedroom apartment. While he was in Australia.

This is a picture of everyone who attended the second annual Second Thanksgiving in my best friend’s one-bedroom apartment. While he was in Australia.

For nine years, I’ve hoped to one day host out of my kitchen. This year is the first year that I can host Second Thanksgiving in my own home. All my Clark Griswold dreams are coming true.

So tell me, Blog Friends, do you have a Thanksgiving with your friends? Do you call it “friendsgiving?” If you don’t, what do you call it? Would you have a Thanksgiving with friends?

This post is brought to you by the fine people at Netflix. As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I was given a free year of Netflix along with some other sweet perks. Prior to joining the Stream Team, I had a Netflix subscription of my own accord. Because Netflix is awesome. And no one paid me to say 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!