The Perils of Working in the Original Skyscraper Jungle

I work in the city. THE city. As in Chicago. Home of the original skyscraper. Did you know that? After the Chicago Fire, they commissioned an architect to do whatever he wanted…and he wanted to change the world, apparently. Thus skyscrapers were born.

So I work downtown, inside The Loop, Chicago. Each day I walk a mile from the train, rain or shine, sweltering or bitterly freezing. And then I work. And then I walk another mile from work to the train. I used to occasionally take a cab (VERY occasionally), but mostly I’d brave the elements because a one-way $8-10 cab ride just doesn’t do it for me. I’ve recently discovered that I’m not as afraid of the bus, but for an extra $2.25 per trip, it’s only worth it when it’s REALLY fucking cold out. Like negative temperatures cold. Like WAY negative temperatures cold. Because that $2.25 would quickly become $22.50 PER WEEK. And that’s a lot on my already-expensive commute.

So I brave the dangers of walking in the city. When it’s freezing out, and especially when the freezing starts to warm up just a smidge, signs start popping up all over The Loop. On my walk to and from the train, I pass no less than 8 caution signs each way. Caution signs that warn passersby of potential falling ice. FROM THE FUCKING SKYSCRAPERS.

Caution Falling Ice

  1. How the fuck am I supposed to see the falling ice ball from the sky by looking at a sign 2 feet off the ground?

  2. How the fuck would I even protect myself if a giant, painful ball of ice were to come tumbling down on my head?

  3. What is the fucking purpose of the signs? Do they think they’re preventing legal repercussions of a chunk of ice decapitating some unlucky soul?

Because if a giant fuckball of ice falls on my head and doesn’t actually kill me, I’m going to sue something. Or someone. Okay, probably not. But I would most certainly be pissed. And in a lot of pain.

Then…THEN…I get safely inside the confines of my building? Only to discover that because of the wet, melting ice on my feet, I could fall to my death inside the fucking skyscraper. Because those floors are fucking SLICK. I should know…I slip on them on a regular basis.

Caution Wet FloorThese days, I’m not opposed to a nice, cozy suburban job…with a 5-15 minute drive. We’ll see.

Blog Friends, what dangers await you on your morning commute? Or do you have a dangerous job? Or do you avoid danger like the plague?

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Frozen Parody – Thanks for Making me Laugh Until I Cried WGN Chicago!

You guys!

I HAD to share this with you.

You know how much I swooned when I reviewed Frozen?

And you know how much I bitched when the Polar Vortex came to town?

And of course, how much I bragged when  I ran into Lake Michigan in winter (It was too cold this year, kids…I just. Couldn’t. Do. It.)?

And that one time I built a snow beach in my front yard?

Snow Beach

After the last Snomageddon in January 2011, I made myself a snow beach in subzero weather in order to win a trip to Mexico. I didn’t win. But this picture will live on forever.

Well, this video from a Chicago news guy pretty much says it all. Really, I am so jealous I didn’t come up with it, I can’t see straight!

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!

Welcome to the Tundra…AKA Balls, It’s Cold Out There

It’s cold as fuck outside right now, Blog Friends…if you’re anywhere in the United States (except for you warm assholes on the west coast and parts of Florida and Texas-and I mean that with love. And jealousy. Mass amounts of jealousy.) or Canada.


In fact, the Midwest is pretty much as cold as an icy tundra way the fuck up north.

Hey Santa, I think you forgot your subzero temperatures when you dropped off our Christmas stockings last month…

These are the HIGHS for today...BEFORE the windchill, which is supposed to bring everything down into the super negative.  Source: The Weather Channel

These are the HIGHS for today…BEFORE the windchill, which is supposed to bring everything down into the super negative.
Source: The Weather Channel

Luckily for me, I have a boss who took my threats seriously (Dear boss, either we get to work from home on Monday or I’m calling in sick.) Looks like I’m working from home this morning.

I’m also lucky that I have hilarious friends. One of my very dear friends, who spends much of her snowbird winter on tropical vacations, is in the Chi for this bitterly cold front…She shared the following on Facebook:

Welcome to Chi-Beria

During this arctic tundra weather, I’m reminded of SnO-M-G, when we had the horrendous blizzard of all blizzards and then the temperatures dropped. And I did something really really stupid.

Snow Beach

After the last Snomageddon in January 2011, I made myself a snow beach in subzero weather in order to win a trip to Mexico. I didn’t win. But this picture will live on forever.

Aw hell, I’ll even throw in the ridiculous video of me thinking warm thoughts all the way to my snow throne.

I will not be leaving the warmth of my apartment today for ANY reason.

The positive of this whole, it’s-fucking-freezing-Mr.-Bigglesworth weather? We bought our ticket out of here for the end of the month. These baby snowbirds (snowchicks?) in training are headed to sunny Marco Island for a week of 70-80 degree bliss.

What are your arctic tundra meets ‘Merica plans? If you’re one of the jerks enjoying the heat of anything above freezing, don’t even bother rubbing it in. We’ll hunt you down.

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!

Wordless Wednesday: Polar Plunge

Chicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar PlungeChicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar Plunge Chicago Polar Plunge

Chicago Polar Plunge Donation for Special Olympics Chicago

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

Monday Memories: Snow Day

I live in the Midwest. We get snow. Sometimes, we get a lot of snow. Like a couple of years ago during the giant Chicago Blizzard of 2011, also known as SnO-M-G, Snomageddon, or The Snopocalypse, when the world as we (Chicagoans) know it was put on hold for a whole week(which actually felt like a lifetime.)

When I was a senior in high school, I had a car that I will one day write a whole post about (it was that awesome). And in our neighborhood, the bus was nasty, overcrowded, and smelled really really really really really bad. So even before I had a car, Mom drove our bus-hating asses to school every morning. And picked our bus-hating asses up every evening (My brother and I were also 2.5 season athletes, so we often needed the late night pick-up, anyways.)

So when my senior year came, and I was granted the coveted spot at one of the parents’ friends’ parents’ house across the street from our high school for the year, I was the happiest teenager ever. It was about 10 feet closer than the 50-spot lottery student lot. It was a mile closer than where non-lottery winners parked. It was awesome. And several of the kids in the neighborhood benefited from this spot. I drove my brother, myself, and at least 3 other kids to and from school on a daily basis. My Ford Explorer could fit several more (shhhh, don’t tell my mom), so sometimes we did.

One winter day in the early months of 2001, a blizzard was set to hit the Chi and surround ‘burbs. It was a normal weekday, and we had all made our way to school like it was no big thing. At about 9:30 in the morning, though, my brother and I were paged to the Dean’s office. Unexpected, but not unusual, I made my way to the office, where I sometimes spent a little free time, partially because I kind of liked the deans…and mostly because I was a total suck-up.

Mom had apparently called and told them to send her children home, because the blizzard was about to get bad she was not having and of this 17-year-old daughter driving home in a blizzard crap. Brian and I high-fived (does it confuse you that my brother and my boyfriend have the same name? My family hates it…There’s also a girl Bry in our fam too…and a boy Chris…it’s funny…err anyways…) So we looked at each other, plotting with the wonder twin powers (we’re Irish twins)…and I looked at the Dean and said, “What about the other kids we drive?”

The Dean looked a little confused and I went on…”There are 4 other kids who depend on us for a ride home every day. What about them? They need to leave with us, too.”

The Dean stared at me. Not surprised, he shook his head at me. “Write down their names.” A few minutes later, one by one, my friends from the neighborhood started piling into the office. The Dean greeted them as I grinned my Cheshire grin, “Call your parents. If they give you permission to leave school early, you can go home with Chrissy and Brian.”

30 minutes later, 6 of us were headed back to my house, where everyone was to stay until their parents got home. Mom made homemade chicken soup for everyone, while we played in the snow. We got the next day off of school with everyone else, but no one else got a day and a half, like we did. And it was a magical day.

High school Snow day snow day 3 Snow Day

Do you have any snow day memories, Blog Friends? Tell me yours!

Also, if you are interested in doing Monday Memories with me, I think that each week I’m going to have a topic, so let me know and I will give you the topic and link to you!

While you’re here, please click on this button to vote for me on Picket Fences. Just a click and that’s all! Thanks!

Oh and if you’re feeling EXTRA generous…you can go nominate me, Words for Worms, and any other bloggers that are AWESOME (I’m looking at you, B(itch)log, First Time Mom & Dad, It’s a Dome Life, Pocketful of Joules, Megcentric, That Ash Girl, Baking in a Tornado, and the list totally goes on, but I’d like to get this post published today and not next week…so if I read you regularly, odds are I nominated you, too–I think I nominated like 25-30 different freakin’ blogs!) for the 2013 Bloggies.

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Car Trouble

Car Trouble

My Pontiac Sunfire

My first car was a 1994 Ford Explorer called Melba Toast.  My second car was a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire.

Sometimes, I would forget that I drove a tiny two door Pontiac that was closer to the ground than my ankle. Sometimes I still thought that I drove a beast like Melba Toast, the explorer, or Lurch, the affectionately named GM catering van, that I frequently carted food around while on the clock during my stint as a catering manager… But then I would remember I drove Dawn, the incredible lean mean teal driving machine.

One Thirsty Thursday night in February of 2008, I forgot that my tiny little car probably couldn’t just plow through a little bitty pile of snow in the middle of Main Street. I barely took the time to think about what I was doing. I automatically assumed that I could handle the mini mountain of soft white puff. A minute after my decision was made, I had to call Jeff. Here’s how that went:

Ring Ring. Answer:

“Yes, we’re here! Get here already!”

“Oh I know…I’m almost there. You should come outside.”

“Just come in.”

“No really…Come outside and laugh at me.”

**Jeff walked outside**

Still on the phone with me, he asks incredulously, “Are you serious? I guess you need help.”

I confirm with a pleading, “Help!”

“Be right back, I’m going to need backup.”

I sat waiting patiently…It’s not like I could have gone anywhere. Jeff returned momentarily with my best pal Mark, and one of the bar’s regulars, Mikey. Who knew that I really could stop traffic? The passing cars all stopped and stared as Jeff, Mark, and Mikey tried pushing my car out of the snow. When this still did not work, a very nice plow guy came and helped until I was safely in the bar parking lot.

Of course, that was just one of many Winter: 1; Chrissy: 0 scenarios.

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!

SnO-M-G: The Blizzard to End All Blizzards

It started around 2 o’clock Everyone said this would be the worst blizzard we’ve had in years…and I was at work. I was trying to get my shit done fast, so I could get out of there. I was on my way home by 2:35 PM… From work to home, it’s approximately an 18 minute drive. An hour later, I was still…on my way home from work. I had one bar left of gas, and was getting a little worried, considering I was still blocks away from the nearest gas station…and it was taking about 15 minutes to go one block!

I made it just barely to the Speedway, filled up, and thought to myself…I should get some snacks. I was going to run to Jewel, but the blizzard was getting worse and worse…so I bought a couple of breakfast sammiches, some 20ozers of pop, and cookies. 🙂 Of course. I heart cookies. To the homefront was another 20 minutes…for a grand total of 1 hour and 45 minutes to get home!

I got home and realized…I’m stuck in my house…with my parents…for the next several days. F.M.L. I love my parents. They’re great people. But they go to bed early. This was not my style when I was wired and didn’t have to work the next day. So… at least I would have movies. and Facebook. and my cell phone. I considered leaving several times…but got yelled at each time. I was told the conditions were a little too dangerous for klutzy bad luck Chrissy. So it was me, every other bored human being on FB, and my TV.

Things were going smashingly, and I was even putting a dent in cleaning my hoarders-style bedroom…when the power flicked. Once. An hour later…Twice. A half hour later…Blackness. I flipped. No sound to block the thundersnow, which is a little…umm terrifying for me… no light to block the lighteningsnow as it lit up my room. So much for movies. And Facebook. And my cell phone, at that point, was on a timer until it ran out of battery… So I grabbed a flashlight and continued my phone conversation with the newest best bud. Thank GOD for Hillary! She kept me company for HOURS until my phone finally died…

So during this time on the phone with Hil, her mom mentions that I should try to use my laptop to go to ComEd’s website…but I figured, ummm no power equals no internet. WAIT! We have Cable AND DSL in our house…so I tried to hook DSL up…no luck. At that point, I was pissed and about to call ATT to bitch about it, when I plugged in the landline (we never used it) and realized the phones were down too. I felt like I was in a horror movie…I was just waiting for a creeper to start peering in the windows!

The storm got a little better, and I thought…F this, I’m going to shovel my way to my brother’s hotel room…where there is heat and technology. So I prepare to shovel myself out of the house. I was planning on shoveling my way to the Crowne Plaza…It was only about 5 blocks away…barely… I could do that…

I couldn’t go anywhere in my car, even if the roads were cleared…

While shoveling, I felt like Wii Mario in the desert level…You know when the wind blows and Mario has to stop and hide behind bricks to avoid being swept away? Yeah, every few minutes a big wind would come, and I would have to stop and brace myself.

After 45 minutes of attempting to shovel my way out…I was only at my driveway. OK…3 hours to get to the warm hotel…probably not so good. Iwent back into the house, soaked to the bone in snowy frozen-ness…I called Hillary back, bundled up under 15 blankets and comforters, and we chatted until the phone died.

Underneath that pile, I swear, there is a pool.

At 6am, our power went back on and life resumed in my house. Loud yelling parents and barking dog…Fuck that. I went back to bed. When I woke up, I thanked myself for the breakfast sandwiches and consumed one happily. I started some crock-pot chicken and decided that Blizzard Day Part 2 was a day for C: crock-pot chicken, cupcakes, cookies, and Chrissy!

Armed and ready to take on the snow.

It got a little toasty working so hard under all those layers

After spending several hours shoveling, I came in to the smell of deliciously warm chicken in my crock-pot, and started making white chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting. My brother came home and we had a nice family day (free of fighting/arguing/yelling/craziness). By the end of the day, of course…the snowy remnants of the blizzard were still not quite depleted from our driveway, and it was getting harder and harder to keep going. The breaks got significantly longer than the shovel time, and there was still a ton left to do. So we made sure to clear enough to get out and go to work the following day.

Something sweet for my sweet tooth

When I got home from an uneventful day at work, there was still snow left to shovel. We were all exhausted, but about to persevere. Brian and I were getting ready to go out and help mom with the shoveling when she ran inside, and called out to us. “Each of you! Give me 20 bucks now! I found someone to plow the rest of the driveway!”

OK! That’s what I’m talking about! $20 seemed like a bargain to be done with shoveling. Mom had played the hero when she chased a plow down the street and told the guy she’d give him $50 to plow the remainder of our driveway. He was unimpressed until they realized that she knew his dad, and we knew him!

Our hero!

Mom for the win on this one.


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!