I should probably start seeing a therapist for this…

I'm getting rid of my scale

I removed the scale from my bedroom this week. There’s nothing helpful or healing to weighing myself every day, sometimes multiple times a day. It creates an obsession with arbitrary numbers instead of an understanding of how I feel, emotionally and physically. I have struggled with disordered eating for more of my life than even I realized. I knew I was not well during the phase of my life when I was binging and purging, but it took me a long time to realize that there were more parts to disordered eating than just those years.

In sixth grade, when I weighed myself every day and ate sparingly at school. Sure I hated that I was sitting at a lunch table by myself and I claimed I was hoarding my lunch money for other uses, but there was more to it than that. I was obsessed with not gaining even a pound to add to my round belly. Encouraged by the adults in my life who were always dieting, I learned that it was okay to be hyperfocused on my size and always trying to shrink, despite the fact that I was still a growing child who hadn’t even hit puberty yet.

This is the body I have. I only get one. I don’t always love it. And that’s okay. My body does a lot of wonderful things. It also does a lot of dickish things (especially for not actually having a dick. Rude). And I can spend my time trying to change my body, mold it to unrealistic beauty standards set forth by the corporations trying to make money off the images they deem worth — or I can spend my time honoring that body.

I know that I function better on days that I walk more. But I also know that sometimes, I don’t have the physical or emotional ability to walk 10,000 steps in a day. And that’s okay. I’m allowed to have both types of days, and I know that I’m doing what I can when I can with the body that I have. And I don’t have to qualify my abilities or inabilities to anyone.

I know that I function better when I eat a lot of protein and whole grains and fresh produce. But I also know that sometimes, I want the physical and emotional comfort of a Cheryl’s cookie (which, yes, are always in my freezer). And that’s okay. Allergies, triggers, and intolerances aside, food is not something that should be allowed or acceptable. Food is fuel. Even the carbiest cookies and fastest food.

And so I take baby steps to remove decades of hurtful behaviors and mindsets. I am eliminating and minimizing diet culture language in my vocabulary (healthy vs unhealthy, good vs bad, etc). I quit Weight Watchers for good. I decided I would never enter another DietBet or Biggest Loser competition among friends. I removed the scale. 

If you dig into the archives of this blog, you’re sure to find iterations of all these things. I won’t remove them, but I may eventually update them with thoughts and reflections in my present to acknowledge and honor my past, while also healing myself moving forward. 

Chrissy with neon rainbow and pink hair, wearing a neon rainbow crop top and turquoise underwear

This is me. This is my body. It is only a fraction of the person that I am. I celebrate and honor my body with boudoir photography. Photo by Sarah Jane Boudoir

If I lose weight, that’s okay. If I gain weight, that’s okay too. And if I stay the same, that’s just as okay as either of the other two. (It’s a lot easier to type these words than to feel or believe them in my bones, but I’m trying. Remember that behind every Instagram photo, every confident blog post, every story is a real live person with insecurities and fears that likely mirror your own).

I am not any more or less worthy of love when I am a different size than I am right now. And my appearance? Is the least interesting thing about me.

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

It takes a special kind of a$$hole to create ransomware

Gorilla hands typing on a computer with a banana snack
Photo courtesy of Gratisography

My dad has Covid. This in and of itself sucks. He’s vaccinated and has done all the right things. But he still managed to get Covid. The doctors did not immediately suspect Covid, and so weeks (and several doctor appointments) went by without so much as a test to check it. The Delta variant is sneaky, and many of us (the ones who cared in the first place, anyways) have let our guards down. It took an urgent care visit, ambulance ride, and hospital stay for the Covid diagnosis (paired with pneumonia) to rear its ugly head.

While none of the rest of our vaccinated family has been symptomatic, we all felt it was the right and responsible call to get ourselves tested, and here’s where my adventure begins.

I knew from my Tuesday physical therapy appointment (in which my PT had to handwrite her notes and pull from memory the exercises and therapies I was supposed to do) that all systems were down across my entire medical organization. It’s the largest medical provider in the state of Illinois, spanning several suburban counties outside of Chicago. And I’m pretty sure they’ve been hacked and are being held ransom by some douchebag (or collection of douchebags) with a knack for out-teching the tech protectors. Because it is now Friday, and the systems are STILL down. They haven’t done more than apologize for the inconvenience and blah blah blah.

So on Wednesday, when we found out Papa Bear had Covid, Brian, Mom, and I tried to call our doctors to get test orders…to no avail. All systems, including the phone and scheduling systems, were down. Mom asked me if she should just go over to the testing site and yell at them until they give her a test. Having attempted it last December (yes, I did yell at medical practitioners in the midst of a pandemic and I already feel guilty as hell about it so you can withhold your judgment please and thank you), I was able to gently inform her that that particular tactic would not work, and it would expend significantly more energy than necessary without yielding any results.

So she did the only thing she could think to do. She drove over to her doctor’s office to get some answers. She talked to the nurses at check-in, patiently (I think) reminding them that we were in this situation for their failure to provide a single covid test a few weeks earlier, and she wasn’t leaving without orders for a test. They sent her back to her car and said they’d call when they were ready. A few minutes later, she had a paper order for a covid test, went upstairs to the lab, and got it done.

That was when she called me. “Great!” I said, “I’m on my way over to do the same.”

Brian and I climbed into the car, drove the 15 minutes or so to Mom’s doctor’s office (ours is a bit further, actually, and this office was familiar with the situation, and as they’re all a part of the same organization, it’s all kind of the same anyway). I went in, explained who we were, and the nurses at reception were like, “great, got it. We’ll call you when we’re ready for you.”

So I went back to the car and waited with Brian. When they called us, they handed out paper orders and sent us upstairs to the lab. We waited again. When the lab called us back, they were like, “Oh hey, we’re out of tests. You have to go to this other location. It’s only like 10 minutes away.”

Frustrated, we clambered back into the car, and drove to the other lab — where they proceeded to ask, “uh what doctor ordered this? Because we don’t know, and we need to know.”

I shrugged and made one of those sounds that sort of implies I don’t know while also physically admitting total and utter ignorance.

“Did you see a doctor at Lombard?”

“No.”

“So how did you get the order?”

*Repeat full story for the eleventy-billionth time*

“Okay, well, I have the manager of Lombard on the phone and they have no idea what’s happening.”

“Well, that clearly can’t be true.”

“Who did you talk to at the front desk?”

“All four people sitting there.”

“Okay well…uh…be right back.”

A few minutes later, someone else comes to stick cotton swabs up our noses.

“Did you get it figured out?”

“Yeah.”

“Who was the doctor.”

“[Insert the name of Mom and Dad’s doctor, who I actually adore, and kind of should have suspected and named all along].”

“Oh. Duh. That makes sense.”

Three days later, we still can’t call or follow up, Mom still hasn’t gotten her results back, my brother, niece, Brian, and I are all negative, and Dad is finally home from the hospital.

And I can’t stop thinking about the “all systems down” portion of this story. The fact that we can’t contact our doctors or make appointments or get prescription refills or anything without physically walking into the doctor’s office like it’s the dark ages or the 80s and 90s or something is baffling. Our doctors can’t access our medical histories or charts. And it’s all because of money-grubbing hackers. Ransomware is terrifying because it’s not like negotiating with terrorists. These motherfuckers get their money. And move on to the next system they can get their grubby hands on. Earlier this month, it looks like a lot of the hospitals in the area fell into the same situation. I want to have faith in people and believe in the good and all that, but this whole concept is some fucking bullshit. And to mess with people’s medical information and needs is just the worst.

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 will not book out my entire summer before summer begins

Sunset on Marco Island

The first day of summer has only just passed, and this year, I’ve made a promise to myself. In the Before Times, everything in my life was booked out weeks, if not months in advance. That left very little time for spontaneity, relaxation, or self-assessment.

Kristen Bell said in a recent speaking engagement with BlogHer, “The only thing you can’t purchase or get back is time.” As we weave our way toward the After Times, I vow to cherish the time that I am given and treat it like the precious piece of my world that it is. 

June 20 marked the first official day of summer, and in May, I made the decision that I would refuse to have every weekend of the entire season booked out before it began. That’s only 13 weekends. 26 full weekend days (plus Labor Day and the Fourth of July).

Between weddings and showers and birthdays and anniversaries and graduations, our weekends get eaten up quickly like Cheetos at a slumber party. But not this year. And for those of you who invite me to your parties and events and whatnot: I hope I can make it. I do. I love seeing you and celebrating with you. And if I can’t make it to your party, I hope we can go out for dinner or lunch or play games and actually catch up after this wild (yeah, wild. Let’s run with that, for now, but make sure we recognize that awful doesn’t even begin to describe it for the majority of people) year.

I love my friends and family. But I need to start setting boundaries for the sake of myself and Brian. So henceforth, unless it is something that requires a firm RSVP (like a wedding) or advanced planning (major travel), I am only opening my calendar up two weeks out. I even developed some language to use as I start engaging with friends about making plans.

“Would it be okay if we touch base in a couple of weeks to confirm?”

Okay, fine, I’ll probably add a few apologies and “hi I’m a giant weirdo,” but I feel really good about this decision and my language. And I’ll work on being less apologetic about it later. I suppose that comes with time. 

I have a lot of things I need to prioritize, and seeing a full calendar of social engagements and obligations will only stress me out about not having time to focus or take a break or just spend time with my extremely introverted husband.

Does this mean there might be times when I don’t have plans and my extroverted self really wants to do something? Yes. But that leaves room for spur-of-the-moment date nights, or summer evenings with my neighbors and a few bottles of wine. It leaves us open to possibilities of something new and different. Or sitting at home with a board game or movie just the two of us. And there’s no one I’d rather be just the two of us with than Brian. 

Have you changed the way you manage your time as you start to emerge from pandemic life? What are you doing to improve your stress levels and resume a new normal instead of going back to The Before Times? Tell me everything!

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!

Things I learned hiding out in a HomeGoods apartment

HomeGoods Hideout Chicago Bedroom

I will love HomeGoods forever and not just because they supported a majority of my addictions (cheese, shopping, eating fancy food, hot bubble baths, and people watching, among others) for 5 days last week.

DIY Macrame Kit

I fell in love with HomeGoods in 2014, shortly after buying our house. I had always had an affinity for home shopping (and been a huge Marshalls fan since I was a teenager), but I hadn’t really explored all there was to offer in that HGTV world until I had an entire house to furnish and decorate. Seven years later, I still have no idea what I’m doing, but HomeGoods has absolutely made our house a home.

In May, I found out that I won the Homegoods Hideout, a 4-night stay in a fancy Chicago apartment, completely furnished by Homegoods with decor, stocked with snacks (And OMG do I love me the Homegoods snack aisle, my dudes), fun activities, and a Magic Buddy available 19 hours a day via a Magic Phone with a Magic Budget for all my additional needs. At the end of the stay? A Magic Takeout Box the size of my trunk arrived via Magic Buddy for me to fill with souvenirs of my home away from home.

Last week, I moved into the swankest apartment I’ve ever been in for a long weekend. I spent the first hour just taking it all in. Noticing the details and opening every cabinet and drawer just to see all the things. I spent the next four days unwinding myself from myself (an old friend used to say I was wound tighter than an 8-day clock), reading, writing, and plotting. It was magnificent. 

Relax with a book and a bath

Here are some of the things I learned this past weekend:

  • Enter the contest. Someone has to win, and one day it could be you (or several days. We all know I’m a professional contest winner at heart).
  • Take more baths. They feel good, and they are good for your body.
  • Use the candles. It was kind of amazing reading in a bedroom with a lit candle. The aroma of relaxation is magical.
  • Notice the details. Take your time. Slow down. Breathe it all in. 
  • Run the dishwasher every night.
  • Make your bed every morning.
  • Decorate with plants.
  • Clear the clutter. You don’t need it all. Seriously.
  • Read more joy. Books are a way to learn, to escape, to fall in love, to try something new. But also, joyful books are just good for your soul. ESPECIALLY if you’re an empath.
  • Social media less. When your mind isn’t constantly “on,” you can do so much more.
  • Try something new. I learned how to macrame (hello, new hobby) and tried some new delicious smoothies. I also learned that making sugar and salt scrubs is an art form that is not for me. But I’m glad I tried. 
  • There’s no place like home (even if home is a clusterfuck of clutter and distraction).
  • And finally, you can fit A LOT of home goods from HomeGoods in a 2-ft cubed moving box.

HomeGoods Hideout Takeout Box

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!

Venus fly traps aren’t all that dangerous

So there I was, minding my own business, trying to remain polite and calm on the phone with customer service. I had ordered a pair of plants online that I couldn’t find in the store and needed for my vegetable garden (I’ll be looking in another store later today thank you very much). I read the reviews, did my due diligence. Recent reviews said things along the lines of, “I was shocked at how fast they arrived and in such great condition” so I assumed that would remain the case for my order.

I was wrong.

My plants arrived 3 days after being shipped (and bounced around UPS). They were dry, wilting, and in overall bad condition. I had paid double the in-store price for them, and I would not have paid the in-store price for the wilting mess that arrived.

No worries. I thought. I’ll call and get my money back.

So I called. And got my new favorite customer service representative. At first, I was annoyed. He kept saying I had two names and then using my first and last name. And I’m like, “yeah. That’s my name. That’s exactly what I said my name was.” It was super bizarre.

But this guy wasn’t done yet.

While processing my return, he decided to keep the conversation alive and thriving.

“Ma’am?”

“Yes?”

“You ever seen a venus fly trap in real life?”

I almost choked on my La Croix. Was this guy serious?

“Uhh…yes.” I had. I’ve seen them at the store. I’ve almost bought one for Brian. And I vaguely remember one of the people at one of my old jobs had one (though I’m not entirely sure I remember who or which work *shrug*).

“Are they real big?”

“No, they’re actually pretty small.”

“So not like the movies, huh?”

“Nope.”

“Guess they aren’t really dangerous then.”

“They’re only dangerous to flies.”

“Oh yeah, that makes sense. Well, I’ve gone ahead and processed your return. You’ll get an email with the details.”

Someone give this guy a raise.

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 get my nerdiness from my dad’s side

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My mom has always been a cool girl. She’s bright and vivacious and everyone adores her for her un and friendly nature.  

My dad was quieter (just as lovable once you know him, obvi, but quieter), happy to let Mom have the spotlight while he would throw the occasion (okay, fine, frequent) dad joke in for laughs. 
 
From Mom, I inherited the lucky horseshoe in my ass (I win a surprising number of giveaways), my keen fashion sense (even if mine is wildly different than hers), and really great hair.
 
From Dad, I inherited my sense of humor, my ability to hold my liquor, and my love of really nerdy things.
 
I mean, there’s a lot more I get from both of them, but this is a blog post, not an autobiography. 
 
So Dad is the reason I celebrate Star Wars Day like a champ and knew that R2D2 and C3PO (or 3PPO, as I called him in my toddler days) were my favorite characters ever before I was old enough to read. He’s also my musical theater buddy, a fellow Hallmark romance fan, and occasionally gets the memo to twin with me. 

Chrissy and Dad wearing matchy outfits
Unintentional twinning a couple Father's Days ago.

I have also introduced Dad to a fair share of nerdoms to thank him for my love of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and crossword puzzles. He didn’t even know what he was missing until I introduced him to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe by making him watch all 22 (we didn’t watch Hulk. Don’t hate) movies last spring. We even made a thing of it for Avengers Endgame with Brian and my brother joining us for the epic finale to the Infinity Saga.
 
It was kind of the best thing about the combination of lockdown and Dad’s broken ankle. He couldn’t go anywhere, so he was stuck with me when I put on each movie. (I’m joking, friends. He totally agreed to watch them with me…even if he didn’t know what he was signing up for when he said okay). 
 
And what better way to thank dad for exploring the weird and wonderful world of nerd culture than some fandom wearables from my friends at TV Store Online?
 
If you know anything about me, it’s that I LOVE a good deal. And right now, TVSO has THE BEST score for nerdwear I’ve pretty much seen. Through Father’s Day on June 20 (or while supplies last), you can get nerd tees and even some hoodies in a Buy 1 tee get 2 free deal. Run, don’t walk, to this Father’s Day tee-shirt promo, friends.  Whether you’re shopping for your dad, another dad in your life, or…you know…yourself. This deal is a winner all around. Just use the code Buy1Get2 on the checkout page. The gallery below has just a few of the sweet shirts you can snag from the sale (get while the getting is good, my friends, because they will sell out and fast).

And I mean, with buy 1, get 2 free, you can get one or two for yourself and STILL get a gift for someone else. It’s a winning situation. 

That being said, keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram account for a chance to win $50 in credit to TV Store Online later this week.

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 digress: germ-killing robots and my BFF, Jenny Lawson

I locked myself out of my blog. I want to say it was for weeks, which is why I am so bad at posting things at regular intervals like I used to do when I was young and carefree and involuntarily unemployed.

But it was actually just for a day. 16 hours or so, honestly. I made the major mistake of logging out to see if maybe, turning my blog off and then turning it back on again might fix some issues I’ve been having. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t — and as I wrote this sentence the “Updating failed. The response is not a valid JSON response.” error message popped up in a big red pop-up that likes to annoy me regularly — no idea what it means. I tried Googling and it felt like I was reading another language, and my blog still works, albeit badly at times, so I just kinda go with it).

I digress (I don’t actually know what that means, but I like to say it because it sounds fancy. This often results in me saying stupid stuff that doesn’t make sense. Like I really want to use the word swarthy to describe myself because in my head it means awkward [because that’s how Tula referred to herself as a child in My Big Fat Greek Wedding], but in reality, it means dark complexion or weathered by the sun. And I am none of those things).

So I logged out of my blog to fix a thing I didn’t fix, and then couldn’t remember the password to get back in. Never fear, I thought: I’ll just order a fresh password like I always do (and let me tell you, if you do this enough, you can eventually come back to the first password you forgot forever ago and never forget your bank password again). So I said, “hey WordPress, email me a link to a temporary password or something” — I just clicked a button, so most of that was implied. And the email never came.

And then I came across a different email and fell down a random rabbit hole of I don’t remember what, and then my laptop was running out of battery, so I had to go plug it back in. And my phone was running out of battery, and I had to go plug that in. And then my back was running out of battery, so I had to go lay down on it and recharge. And while I did that, I went back to read a few more chapters of Jenny Lawson’s latest book about being broken, and while I am not the same kind of broken, it really resonated because I am also broken in the best possible way and I feel a kinship to her (and also, we’re best friends, and she said I could say this on Twitter, so I will say it whenever I darn well feel) even though I am a devout extrovert and she is a fully practicing introvert and we are of two completely different minds in the religion of socialization. But I collect introverts, as you may already know, and we’re best friends on the internet, which [I think] is Jenny’s favorite type of best friend. And so I was laughing so hard that Brian came in later, looked at what I was reading, and was all, “Oh. Got it. That’s why you were laughing like a damn hyena.” He remembers the time I read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (and he does not pretend it never happened, by the way).

My brain is running faster than I can type this morning, so bear (bare?) with me here.

[20 minutes of a Google rabbit hole later] Oh hey! The logging out DID fix one of my issues. I can use Elementor again (I realize that means very little to a majority of you. It means very little to me except that it allows me to put those cute little recommended post links at the bottom of this post and makes it easier to edit my blog posts and see what I’m doing and how terribly I’m rambling today). So, you know, there’s something to be said for that. 

I swear I have a point, but at this point, I’m not sure it’s even worth getting to, because it was all about the journey, and this morning’s [afternoon’s] rambles have been a motherfucking journey if I don’t say so myself. But I did, so you don’t have to worry about saying so yourself.  

Basically, I never received the email from WordPress to reset my password. I remember thinking to look in my spam folder, but then I promptly forgot about it and never wrote the blog post that was in my head yesterday. Maybe I can punch that one out next. 

So I requested another password reset email and this time, I was on the ball and went straight to my spam. But of course, I couldn’t just snag the email and go. I had to linger in the spam folder and peruse what Google thinks is garbage. And I found gold. 

I received an email from Mike with the subject: “germ killing robots” and obviously, I was intrigued and like, well that can’t be spam, because germ-killing robots sound awesome. 

Good Day,chrissy @ quirkychrissy . com (I added spaces, but I did not remove spaces or change capitalizations here. Do with that knowledge as you will).

germ killing robots
cleaning robot
UV Robots
Intelligent Sterilization Robot
ultraviolet machine
Disinfection robot

Please reply us email.
we will send you more information

Best and regards!
Mike

I have replied to Mike and am awaiting more information. Well played, Mike. Well played.

I also (clearly) was able to reset my password — even though WordPress was all, “Hey dummy, that is too easy of a password, click here to confirm that you know it’s an easy password.” And I clicked there because  a not-easy password was what got us here in the first place. 

TL;DR I think I should probably talk to a medical professional about my undiagnosed ADHD. Also, how can I get my hands on some germ-killing robots? Asking for a friend.

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!

Justice League, the Snyder Cut: A 4-hour epic

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie ramble around here, and I MISS going to the theater. So you get this home theater movie “review” until I head back to the theaters (SOON — Black Widow I’m coming for you)! 

Listen, I’m not one to judge lengthy storytelling. You’re talking to the girl who spent hundreds, if not thousands of words talking about her epic and embarrassing first period. And let’s be honest here, longer movies CAN tell better stories. An interconnected series of 20+ movies can tell the most incredible stories.

As a die-hard MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe, for the uninitiated) fan, I don’t always catch the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) flicks on arrival. Sometimes I miss them entirely. Sometimes, I’m not even sure if they’re officially connected. So when Justice League hit the scene in 2017, it swept right past my radar. 

So I had the rare opportunity to be among superhero movie lovers who had not seen the less-than-beloved Whedon version of Justice League when Brian and I sat down and watched the Snyder Cut on HBO last week. 

I even dressed for the occasion! (When I took my Dad to see the live action Aladdin movie, I think I was Disneybounding as the Genie, and he looked at me and said, “Christine, you have an outfit for everything don’t you?” Yeah Dad, I sure do.)

Chrissy posing in a Superman hoodie

I’m always excited to add to my DC clothes, because Six Flags is a DC comics park…and uh…I’m a passholder there too.

My friends at TV Store Online sent me this Superman hoodie to celebrate the new release of Justice League and I was so stoked to play comfy dress-up with it (I even made a silly TikTok reminding people that I am still a Marvel girl always), as post surgery has been all about the comfort. As usual, TVSO was there for me with the exact right thing I needed when I needed it. We had a cozy movie night in and this hoodie brought extra joy  — and warmth because it is still brrrr in Chicago at night. 

When we got home from taking doggo for a walko, we opened a bag of cheesy popcorn and settled in for a lengthy flick. Considering we easily binge watch that many TV shows in a single night, the movie never felt daunting. So why then is it a big deal to have a 4-hour movie that tries to build character development and relationships?

Overall, I liked it Justice League. I’ve always loved Batman and have very much enjoyed Ben Affleck’s Old Man Bat performance. You know I love me some Wonder Woman, and I think Gal Gadot is royalty. I would have liked to see more Aquaman action and certainly look forward to exploring the relationship between the Atlantians and Amazons (is that a DC thing? It should be). 

I thought the storytelling was fab, the characters were fun, and some of the emotional depth (particularly Ray Fisher’s Cyborg and Amy Adams’ Lois Lane) was really beautiful. I only know what Brian told me about the original, but every scene I loved, Brian responded “think so” when I asked, “Was this one cut?”

I may never watch the Whedon version of Justice League because I like the way this one played out and I can’t imagine cutting it by more than half and then re-editing it. Not to mention the behind the scenes drama with Whedon that just keeps expanding. It sounds like hell. 

While the DCEU will likely never reach the MCU level of the playing field (primarily due to trying to play catch up and rush the big collab movie instead of slowly building their universe hero by hero the way Marvel did), there is hope for Justice here, and I hope they continue to keep pushing forward. And hey, maybe I’m wrong and they will surge ahead in the comic race. I’ve been wrong before*.

Let’s normalize the longer movie. Let’s normalize long-term storytelling. There is so much room for strong character building and emotional performances when we as the audiences truly know and understand and empathize with the characters. A comic book movie doesn’t need quippy one-liners and bright colors (I know it’s weird coming from me) to bring it to life. The key is in good storytelling, and I think that Snyder did a really wonderful job with what he had to work with from the start. 

Have you seen Justice League? Both versions or just one of them? Let me know your thoughts. I’m dying to talk about this with people. 

*once. I’ve been wrong once. And only once. And it’s that one time that I said I was wrong. And that’s it. 

O for Onward!

On Monday night, we went on a quest. Tom, Laura, Brian and I adventured to our favor AMC in Chicago to catch an early screening

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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!

Held together with glue and fishing line

Science is weird.

I snort as I type this because science is amazing. And incredible. And lifesaving. But it is also weird as fuck.

I have so many half-written blog posts from the past month. I really hope that I can finish and share them because I enjoyed writing them. I just never finished. I suppose that’s another post entirely. I digress. March was almost as weird as science. I suppose March will always be this weird universal anniversary for us humans. We’ll reflect on a lot of things and try to remember what’s important and hopefully learn from our mistakes. I suspect in a few years, we’ll have an international holiday in March to commemorate the lives lost in 2020 and 2021 (and however long until the pandemic is truly over — because, reminder, it’s not over yet).

As we progress slowly but surely toward a worldwide reopening, and the apocalyptic fears draped with toilet paper move to the subset of our minds, I hope that we can make a new normal that factors in so much more of the things we took for granted in the Before Times. I hope.

But back to science.

Science. The people that brought you pasteurization and genetic sequencing and cloned sheep. The people that made your watermelon seedless and gave you 3,000 varieties of tomatoes to choose from. The people that make vaccines so we can live longer, healthier lives in bigger, global communities. Science is fucking wild, man.

We are all living, breathing examples of how science does wonderful, amazing, incredible things. From teeth that don’t fall out to treatments that can give us 3, 5, 20, 50, 80 more years of life. Beverly Cleary died last month at the age of 104. We should all be so lucky. As an aside, someone I know said to me, “Ugh who wants to live to be that old?” My immediate response without question or thought was me. I have a lot to do, and I’m not usually quick about any of it — I like to take my time and savor the moments…or I have undiagnosed ADHD and spend a lot of moments trying to remember what it was I started out doing in the first place…like this blog post about the wonders of science that took me three weeks to finish or the aforementioned unfinished blog posts, for example. I swear I have a point.

I had back surgery one month ago today. I’ll spare you the photos I’ve been taking of the progression (but I’m happy to share them with anyone who wants to see — so all you Curious Georges can feel free to message or email me and I’ll send you a picture of what I’ve been calling my second butt crack), but I will tell you about my incision.

*TW: BACK SURGERY, SCARS, AND STITCHES*

The surgeon cut into my back, moved my muscles and nerves out of the way and sliced off the herniated disc that has been causing me so much trouble for the past 6 years. The way I explained it to my niece and nephew makes the most sense to me: Imagine you have a bunch of little jelly donuts between your vertebrae. And one of your donuts popped and jelly was coming out the side. They went in, cleaned off the rogue jelly, and sewed the donut back up. They put my muscles and nerves back in place and then sewed up all the layers of my skin with something that can only be described as fishing line (these are allegedly dissolving stitches, but that has yet to be determined by my body — I’m just kidding guys. I trust science, and believe the doctors when they say these stitches will disappear in the void of my body), which was tied in two knots at the top and bottom of my scar. And just for good measure, they lathered the top of my skin in glue (I guess this is common practice), stuck an oversized bandaid on my back, and woke me up.

Large bandage on back after surgery
it really was a giant Bandaid

The entire procedure was less than 45 minutes. The waking me up part took a couple of hours. I think they were over-cautious with the anesthesia because of my past experience with surgery and anesthesia (I’m not mad about it). I woke up after some crazy-ass dreams I was having and I only wish I could remember the dreams.

*END SCAR AND STITCHES TALK TEMPORARILY*

I went into this procedure expecting to come out of it feeling an 11 on my stupid pain scale (the pain scale allegedly goes to 10, and is the stupidest thing ever. That’s another post, maybe). Since having surgery, I’m pretty sure the pain in my back and the radiating pain in my leg has been, at most, a 3 or 4, maybe and mostly, it’s at like a 1-2, again maybe. Again, the pain scale is bullshit. Suffice it to say, I’m in very little pain. I’ve been incredibly cautious for the last 4 weeks, sticking firmly to the rules of no bending, lifting, twisting, pushing, pulling, carrying anything more than a gallon of milk, etc. For the first two weeks, Brian even helped me get dressed every day. It’s been an adventure, for sure. /

*RESUME SCAR TALK (In case the squeamish are still here)*

At day 3, we were told to remove the bandage. I couldn’t wait. I had Brian take photos immediately. I impatiently motioned for my phone so I could see what it looked like. It was badass in all the ways scars are supposed to be, albeit a little fresher than I would have expected. There was a deep divot in the small of my back that I can only describe as a second ass crack, there were two bows of fishing line tied in knots coming out of each end of the line, and it was all covered in a glossy sheen of glue. It was awesome.

It also gave me the worst panic attack I think I’ve ever had. I didn’t realize it at first as a wave of crippling nausea washed over my entire body. Heat flooded every inch of my suddenly cold, clammy skin, sweat poured out of places I didn’t know could sweat. The room spun and I started hyperventilating. I also started crying, “oh god oh god, I’m going to throw up or die or both” in the most panicked sound, which sent Brian into panic mode trying to help me. This was his second experience that week with my intense waves of nausea (and come to think of it, maybe the first one was also a panic attack. Holy shit. Writing really is full of discovery. Will investigate these feelings and experiences further and report back at a later date). Anyways, eventually the panic attack subsided and I was able to look on my scar with awe and wonder, and am still baffled as to how that triggered such an intense reaction from someone who loves gross shit.

At my two week follow-up appointment, most of the glue had finally peeled off, and the nurse practitioner I saw cut the fishing line knots and bows down to below the nubs. The result of this can only be described in this way: Imagine, if you will, the plastic hang tag from a new shirt (or a thrifted shirt from Goodwill). You know how sometimes you clip it, but don’t get both sides, and there’s a little piece sticking into your back or neck or shoulder going poke poke poke? Yeah. That. Except the poke poke poke is happening inside the house. Or inside your body on the other side of your skin to be exact. It’s the weirdest damn thing. And it the past two weeks, the poke poke poke has definitely gotten less pokey, so I can only assume the fishing line stitches are finally dissipating.

Goodwill Price Tag $4.99

I’ll have to ask the surgeon how long before they’re fully gone at my next appointment.

Science, man. What a wild ride.

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!

Dog perspective: I’m afraid we killed the easter bunnies

Easter Bunny Out of Work

Hi there! This is Nia! Mom said I could tell you the epawic story of my run-in with the Easter bunnies this week. Mom says the story is sad, so if you’re not into that sort of thing, you might not want to read this. If you don’t mind a little sad, I had quite the pupventure right in my own backyard, and I’d love to tell you apawt it.

It all began on Thursday night. Mom and Dad were doing their regular nighttime things — looking at the little lights they hold in their hands all the time while the big moving picture window kept moving and moving and moving. I tried to get the things in the window, but my snoot kept hitting the glass. Mom says they were chess pieces. I don’t know what that means but I wanted it anyways.

So then I woofed some — you know to let them know I was bored with the little lights and the moving window. I wanted to play. So they let me go play outside. They even left the door open so I could come and go as I pawleased.

I went outside and found a whole bunch of furiends playing hide and seek, just waiting fur me to find them! They were super tiny, just like my sharks that I play hide and seek with in the ship. They were hiding real good, but I got them all out. Don’t worry, though. I was real gentle with them. I didn’t want to hurt them!

They looked real cold, so I brought the first one inside and pawt him right in front of the fireplace. That’s where it gets real warm sometimes, so I thought it might be a good pawlace fur him. Once I was inside, Mom closed the door, so I couldn’t go get the rest of my new furiends.

I was very sad, so I kept trying to tell them I wanted to go get my furiends. I don’t think they understood me, so I finally just laid down next to dad and fell asleep.

When I woke up, all the lights were out in the house. I think Mom and Dad went to bed and furgot to wake me up so I could snuggle them. It was okay because I remembered my new furiend. I went to check on him and he was still asleep by the fireplace. I decided that Mom and Dad would be okay fur a night without me, and I curled up on the couch near my furiend so he wouldn’t be lonely.

Sometime when it was still dark, I woke up again and, having furgotten about my furiend, I made my way upstairs to my cozy dog bed. Befur the morning sound went off, I heard my Uncle Thomases on Mom’s phone. She started moving around and I knew I was gonna get to go outside fur my morning security detail, so I started woofing a whole lot. Mom let me outside and I checked the pawrimeter.

I heard Mom scream inside, but who knows what THAT was about. Then Dad came outside to play! I saw him walk over by my furiends’ hiding spot, but he quickly realized that I already found them all and he didn’t have to worry about it. I always find them all!

Then Mom came out and started looking all over. I think she wanted to pawt my furiends back so I could find them again. That’s what she does with the sharks. She cried every time she saw one and then Dad came back and picked them all up. He didn’t pawt them back in the right place though. He took them away. I guess they didn’t want to play with me anymore.

I then remembered my inside furiend, but when I went back in, he was gone too. I hope my furiends come back. I miss them already.

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!