Thursday, May 15, 2014

If you've ever been a lady to begin with

Let me preface this by saying the following complaint belongs squarely in the "things I really shouldn't give a damn about but instead I find myself immensely annoyed by" category. Probably if you were to write a book about this particular irritation of mine, you would title the book "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff."  And yet, it annoys me nonetheless. 

As a person who was had the pleasure of being involved with two separate productions of Guys and Dolls, I find myself really, ridiculously irritated when people misuse the phrase, "luck be a lady tonight."  No, seriously. And it happens more often than you'd think, too!

Over the years, on numerous occasions I've heard men use that phrase in a context that implies they hope to meet a woman and hook up. But really, if people would just listen to the damn song lyrics they would understand that it has nothing to do with taking some chick home at the end of the night. What "luck be a lady" really means is that luck has been on your side lately and you want it to be ladylike and stick with you, loyally and faithfully.  Maybe the song should have been called, "luck be a golden retriever" or, "luck don't run out on me now," except those phrases don't have quite the same ring to them. 

In conclusion, based on what I know about the meaning of the phrase, I can only assume these people prefer their luck cold, creamy and delicious:

Monday, May 05, 2014

But shoe shopping is supposed to be fun!

One of the most frustrating things about getting older is that fashion keeps changing and I don't. I feel like I am increasingly asked to embrace hideous, tacky and ridiculous clothing as acceptable wardrobe choices. Skinny jeans. High waisted, pleated short shorts. Leggings as pants. Short, wide shirts. Gladiator sandals. Pastel anything. No. I used to have more patience when I was younger but now shopping is just an exercise in pure frustration. Everything's ugly, nothing fits and I can't afford any of it anyway. 

But shoe shopping....that's another story. Shoes don't care if you gained 5 pounds. I can reliably pick out two shoe sizes and one of them will fit. But guys, what is going on with shoes?!?  I just spent over an hour in DSW, and my experience went roughly like this: "Too ugly. Too flat. Ick. Who would wear that?  Way too tall. So cheaply made. Looks like something an old lady would wear. Looks like something I had as a kid. OH MY GOD SO CUTE. Oh, Michael Kors...can't afford them." And so on, up and down every damn aisle of that store. 

Two common themes I noticed: 1) huarache sandals. I had a bunch of those in the 80s. Is it wrong that I don't want to dress like a seven-year-old version of me anymore?  2) Sandals that look like mini personal jail cells for your feet. I just want a cute pair of sandals, dammit!  

I did find these, though I didn't buy them because they didn't fit my parameters (they were neither multipurpose nor sandals). But, come on, black and white pretty much goes with anything, right?

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Song Burst

Does anybody remember that game SongBurst from back in the 1900's?  Where you got some lyrics and had to finish singing the song? I think I owned it in junior high or high school and of course it was right up my alley because I have so many song lyrics stored in my brain that I'm pretty sure they're taking up space that could be used for legitimate memories or knowledge. Bursting into song spontaneously is a regular occurrence for me. Sometimes without realizing I'm doing it. Oftentimes in response to a statement or question that reminds me of a song. I'm sure it's not annoying at all and that it has never caused my husband to want to wring my neck. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was sitting at Starbucks this afternoon, sipping my iced coffee, when the baristas spontaneously burst into a round of Montell Jordan's This Is How We Do It. After a few moments of that, one barista chimed in, "No guys, this is how we BREW it."  It was super cute, of course (well, to me, at least).  But, more than that, it made me miss having fun at work. 

Now, don't get me wrong--enjoying the occasional laugh with my current set of coworkers is basically all that keeps me sane. But are there people who manage to make their work consistently fun?  Even if the nature of their work is inherently unfun?  I'm sure, in part, it's just a mindset, like happiness. How do I reintroduce fun into my work, and into my life generally?  And where the hell did it go for so long?  I swear I used to be a fun person!  I have song lyric knowledge to prove it!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


In the spirit of self-improvement, I'm trying out something new. I always say I enjoy writing but I've just become too busy to write. And while that's mostly true, I do find time to do other things that are monumental wastes of my time (I'm looking at you, The Internet). Certainly I could find a few minutes to jot down a few words here and there if I made even half an ounce of effort.

So...I'm challenging myself to write just a little bit. That's all. Just start writing with no pressure for a long or funny story. This is really hard for me because I'm kind of a perfectionist. Even just shooting off a three sentence email to a good friend involves several rounds of edits and careful consideration (obsession) of whether the tone could be misconstrued, etc. Anyway, see?  I did it. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Now Therefore Be It Resolved

Wow, Friends!  At a rate of three posts per year, I'd say I've really got this writing thing by reins!  And also, Hey there, 2013, how's it going?  I have to be honest with you, 2013, I basically put all my eggs in The Great Rapture of 2012 basket, so I am utterly unprepared for your arrival.  Please don't look in the corners or open that door over there.  But, welcome nonetheless. 
So, obviously, THIS is the year I will become better, richer, thinner, prettier, funnier and more well-rounded.  No pressure.  I've got a bunch of stuff in the works, though--most of it life changing, and all of it easily enacted and likely to finally stick this time, so, you know...fingers crossed.  If not, you like me the way I am, right?  (If not, get off my damn blog.  I'm probably only getting worse from here on out.)
I am looking forward to the new year, though.  I wouldn't say I necessarily make firm resolutions each year, but when I change the wall calendar, it seems like as good a time as any to do a life-in-review.  You know, make sure I'm on the right track.  Assess where I've been too lazy and determine the need for a swift kick in the pants.  Everybody needs a swift kick in the pants now and again.  I offer a service, if you need. I haven't had a chance to do my annual sit-at-Starbucks-and-contemplate-my-life event yet, so I'm not yet able to delineate my areas of focus for 2013.  Instead, here's a meme--and my lazy attempt at a retrospective on 2012.  2012 was an OK year.  It was definitely better than 2011, though that's not saying much.  I did some shit I was proud of in 2012, though, so all in all I can't complain.
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
I did 3 things in 2012 that I had put off far too long and that I'm especially proud of.  I made myself vulnerable to rejection, but instead I was accepted.  I faced my fear of failure, but instead I succeeded.  And last but not least, I did something that terrified the bajeezus out of me, and it was not nearly as bad as I imagined it would be.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
As I mentioned above, I don't make resolutions, per se, but I do identify areas I'd like to work on.  I made my health and exercise a priority in 2012 and I stuck with it for the better part of the year, until things got really busy the last couple of months.  I will continue that and intend to determine what I need to focus on this year, but haven't done so yet.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
 Not this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes.  My grandma died in 2012.

5. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
The ability to stop my incessant worrying.

6. What countries did you visit?
I stayed in the US but visited MI, IN, IA, WI and FL.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:
No specific dates stand out. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I applied for, and received, a promotion at work.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I now do far more work for nearly the same pay.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No major illness or injuries, but I'm currently on day 14 of a back-to-back-to-back cold-flu-sinus thing.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I really tried to rein in excessive spending and buying last year, so the best thing was everything I didn't buy.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Honestly?  Mine.  I was very disciplined for the better part of the year. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Living expenses. Paying off bills. Buying things for my whiny kids.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I took a writing class at Second City that I was really excited about.  In the end, I didn't really love scene writing, though.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Some Nights by Fun.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?  A little happier.
ii. thinner or fatter?  A little thinner.
iii. richer or poorer?  A little richer?  Not really sure.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Enjoy my children's childhood.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas Eve with my parents, brother and Grandma.  On Christmas day we went to my husband's Aunt's house.  Same as we always have.

21. There was no #21. I don’t know why there was no 21.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Nope.  Already in love.

23. How many one-night stands?
??  Zero.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmmm.  I watched a lot of HGTV.  I also enjoyed New Girl and Girls.  And I discovered the Big Bang Theory last year (I know--where have I been?!?).

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope.  I'm not a hating kind of person.

26. What was the best book you read?
I think I only actually finished reading a couple of books this year--The Hunger Games and Mindy Kaling's book Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)?

 27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

28. What did you want and get?
I wanted a Kindle Fire and got one for my birthday, so that was pretty cool.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't see a lot of films.  I think I saw Crazy Stupid Love last year and, you know, Ryan Gosling.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 33 and my husband and kids made me dinner and dessert. 

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A new home.  It's on the list for 2013.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Business casual--as in, I have my work wardrobe and that's about it.

34. What kept you sane?
Coffee. Exercising. Friends.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
 See #30.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
 The election.

37. Who did you miss?
My grandma.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
We became friends with some parents from Eric's baseball team.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
 Don't be afraid to do what you need to do to get where you want to go. Nobody else is going to do it for you.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Ten Years Ago

I got to thinking recently (I don't think often, so when I do, it's noteworthy) about how much my life has changed in the past 10 years.  My life has changed so much, in fact, that if you had described to me ten years ago where I'd be today, I would've been all, "Pfft.  You must have the wrong person."  And you'd have been like, "I'm totally serious, Kristi.  Here's a thousand bucks.  Run for the border and change your name and you might be able to escape your fate.  Do not pass go; do not look back.  Just run."

And I'm joking of course; my life is not bad at all.  In fact, there are some things I rather enjoy about it.  It's just that I would've never imagined it would have unfolded in this way.  There are certainly elements of my life that I would've predicted 10 years ago, but the way in which they happened would've been beyond my wildest imagination.  But that's life, right?  The only thing you can really expect from life is to be surprised.

For the sake of reminiscing, ten years ago: I had zero husbands and zero children.  I lived at home with my parents.  I did not even know my husband and was in the midst of dating a series of Mr. Wrongs.  I remember that time period, dating-wise, was particularly infuriating for me.  I did not like to date around.  I just wanted to find one awesome guy and be done with with.  Surely that's not too much to ask, right?  In retrospect, I probably should have been more patient in that arena.  With age comes wisdom. 

Back then, I wanted to do event planning for a career but, coming off the heels of 9/11, that felt like it was going slowly for me.  Generally speaking, though, it has been my experience that the things you're waiting for in life come even more slowly than you expect or want, whereas the possibilities you never considered end up blindsiding you.  Sometimes, you're just going along, minding your own business and suddenly you have a whirlwind shit storm on your hands.  

In the summer of 2002, however, there was no such whirlwind shit storm.  I had just started working at a golf course, in their catering sales department, and I was just about to quit my job waiting tables at Chili's.  All in all, things were looking up for me.  I remember that being a fun summer--I liked the people I worked with, most of my friends were done with college and we were all generally looking to have a good time.  I was 22 and totally self-absorbed.  I was completely incapable of fathoming the series of life-changing events that would unfold over the course of the next two years. 

At the end of the summer of 2002, as a birthday gift to me, my parents paid for me to take an improv class at Second City.  I remember being so excited about that.  Having been long regarded as funny and assured by friends and acquaintances alike that they would see me on Saturday Night Live someday, I was certain that enrolling in classes at Second City would put me on the fast track to comedy brilliance.  Alas, my time at Second City was cut short and my rise to fame was not to be.  I had a fantastic time there, though.  To this day, I can think of few things that get me as excited as enrolling in new improv classes and imagining the possibilities that could unfold therefrom.  I still consider my time at Second City to be unfinished, but whether or not I take more classes there, or somewhere else, or just continue to improvise with friends, improv is the one thing I'm still doing ten years later (after a few year hiatus).  I imagine it will continue to be a part of my life for the foreseeable future.

So there you have it.  Thank you for enduring the trail of tears with me.  Given the the curve ball the last ten years threw me, I've decided not to guess what will happen in the next ten years.  I'll just try to sit back and enjoy the show.  It's weird to think that ten years ago, I had no children and ten years from now, I'll have an 18 and 15-year-old.  Entire childhoods are passing before my very eyes; I should probably slow down and enjoy them!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why I Y

Over the past couple of years, I have managed to remain fairly dedicated to my physical fitness.  Sure, I've fallen off the wagon for a week or two here, six months there, but overall, I would say that for the first extended period of time in my life, exercising has claimed a proper spot on my to-do list.  I feel pretty good about the fact that, although I relapsed last fall and returned to the state of lazy asshole for a while, I've been fairly diligent for all of 2012. 

This is the part where I'd love to tell you about all the weight I've lost and how toned I am now.  And, really, you should see me.  You'd be so unimpressed.  I keep telling people (because I truly believe it) that all the muscle I'm building--and I'm definitely building muscle--is only serving to push the fat out further.  True story; you heard it here first.  And while I'm proud of myself for remaining committed to my fitness, it is a little disappointing to realize that, for instance, I've developed some kick-ass obliques but nobody except me can tell.  I still look like someone who has 35 flabby pregnancy pounds to lose.  [Author's note: my youngest "baby" is 5 now.  Ahem.]

But anyway, this is not a post about my fitness tips (just force yourself to do it) or totally ripped obliques (I swear they're real); it's about my underlying motivation for working out: the people watching at the YMCA is second-to-none. 

To set the scene, I use the fitness center at a residential Y, which means it's only a step or two removed from a place where you'd find a transient crackhead in a bathrobe jerking off in the corner.  Some of the folks who work out at the Y are (much like myself) ridiculously unfit.  In fact, oftentimes, I feel like one of the healthiest people in there, which is a badge of honor I wear proudly; as they say: in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. 

Now, to be certain, I commend anybody for taking steps to improve their overall health and I realize that we all start somewhere.  My time at the gym is not spent (exclusively) feeling worthier than others who are in worse shape than me.  On the contrary, I largely spend my time attempting to decipher the motivation behind some of the workout get-ups with which these people adorn themselves.  "You there in the long-sleved denim pantsuit; isn't it getting a bit warm in there?" or "Oh no!  One of your crocs fell off while you were running on the treadmill!" and sometimes "Ohheylook!  I have a really similar blouse that I wear to work." or maybe "Where on earth did you find workout gear with shoulder pads!?!"  or "Wow, I would've never thought a t-shirt with that many holes in it would remain in tact for such an aggressive workout!" 

Basically, it's snarky thought after snarky thought (don't worry; the snarky thoughts I think about myself are the meanest of all) and then look!  my workout is over and, also, where did the time go?!?  Every once in a while, a truly attractive, fit person will work out at my Y and I will spend equal amounts of time gawking at and loathing them. But then I get over it because seriously, who truly minds watching the guy with the nice legs running on the treadmill?

In a nutshell, I love the YMCA because there's just enough WTF going on all around me to keep me completely distracted from the fact that my sorry ass has been dragged to the gym for months on end with very little to show for all the effort.  And I'm pretty sure that any day now, the Red Sea of flab is going to part to make way for my six pack abs to shine through.  But don't worry, I'll be sure to keep you updated in the event that actually happens.