That one time I performed as Britney Spears

In February of 2010, my best friend Lisa and I went on a cruise.  I needed to escape the Chicago winter, she needed to escape the New Hampshire winter, and a cruise was the most affordable option by far.

So, off we went to the eastern Caribbean, via Carnival.

The cruise was Saturday-Saturday with stops in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Turks & Caicos.

Because we were both broke, and the cruise price did not include liquor, we decided to institute a strict “no day drinking” rule.  This is day one:

Ahhh look at the pretty color of the water.  Writing this blog is making me want to go back, stat!

Each morning, a schedule of events was slipped under our cabin door.  On Sunday, we decided that after hitting the beach in the Bahamas for a while, we’d go to sports trivia, where surely they would ask about the 1985 Final Four, the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, and Wide Right 17, or whatever, and I would stun dozens of hot men with my sports knowledge.

It didn’t EXACTLY go as planned.  I don’t remember what they asked, but I do know after most of the questions I would look at Lisa and shrug, “I dunno.”

After trivia ended, a random dude and his family asked if they could sit in our booth with us.  It turned out the dude (henceforth know as Stage 5 Clinger) was single and around our age, so after chatting for awhile, we told him our plan was to hit up karaoke that evening, and if he wanted to meet us, he was more than welcome to.

Well, show up he did, and by the end of the night, it was quite clear that he was going to be a total cling-on.  He was already draping his arm around me, rubbing my back, etc, and I was really not feelin’ it at all, you feel me?

During karaoke, the man running it kept reminding us that on the last night of the cruise, the guests would perform in a musical legends show and auditions for each legend were going on through Wednesday.

Sunday night, when we were there, they found an Elton John, Aretha Franklin and maybe Garth Brooks.  But no one wanted to audition to be Britney Spears.  Mr. Man was literally begging someone to audition.

Stage 5 starts rubbing my back and whispering, “I think you should do it, you should do it, you would be great at it, etc”  (you know because I look so much like her and have an amazing voi…oh, wait) to the point where I jumped up and screamed, “I will do it” just to get him to stop touching me.  Since no one else wanted to audition, I “won” by default, to perform as Britney the last night of the cruise.

By Monday night, I was done with Stage 5.  Monday was an at sea day so we were stranded on the boat and I found him wandering around looking for me.  He was a perfectly nice person, just way too into me after less than 24 hours, and the chemistry just definitely was not there.  And I had to be Britney Spears as a result.

Lisa was kind enough to take a video of it – the link is below.  It’s on Facebook and I haven’t figured out how to embed it.

Hitting it one more time

If you were unable to view that gem, I will leave you with this picture (Lisa & I w/the couple we met who also lived in Chicago, Myra and Archie.  They were totally awesome):

 

I guess the lesson learned here is that two minutes of humiliation created a hilarious story to talk about.

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Why I Hate the Bachelor

Today I saw on People.com that ABC announced their newest Jerky McJerkface for season 17 of The Bachelor.  Seventeen seasons of this mess?  Really?  The whole concept of reality TV often baffles me – because we’ve gotten to the point where it’s anything BUT real and just a race to see who can suck money out of the tabloid well the longest once the dust from the final rose ceremony (brought to you by 1-800-Flowers.com! has settled).

When did this madness even begin?  Do you remember around early 2000 when the geniuses at Fox decided to air Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire and had 50 skanks parade around on stage and then the winner was basically picked because of her looks and had to marry the dude on the spot and literally dry heaved into the camera when he tried to eat her face on live television and got the marriage annulled ASAP and then posed for Playboy?  So after THAT the geniuses at ABC were all – “hey this looks like an amazing concept and the OBVIOUS basis for true love”?????

It is fake dipped in silicone slathered in whatever Joan Rivers’s plastic surgeon uses to keep her face from cracking off.

Okay, so I MAY have sent my picture in to be a contestant in 2005 but in my defense:  I was 24 (I think that is their cutoff age), had just moved across the country for a $12/hr job and had $10 to last me every two weeks after I paid all my bills.  So the prospect of being whisked away to Los Angeles (followed by an island!  Isn’t that how they do it now?) to have the producers of the show get me drunk and have me make out with some dude in a hot tub until he decided the next girl was better than me seemed like a step up from trying to ration a box of pasta and butter over the course of a week.

And that’s another thing – all these people do is make out in various bodies of water on tropical islands:  hot tubs, pools, under a waterfall, in the shower, etc.  I’d fall in love too if ABC let me go on tropical excursions in the Caribbean for six weeks with a hot dude…that is until I was eliminated for not being the cattiest or whatever because every season doesn’t it come down to some deranged lunatic and a virgin who is from like south east west central Kansas and still uses dial-up internet and when the dude goes home with her he has to milk a cow to impress her parents?

It baffles me that people are still interested in watching 25 anorexic girls named Sarah Jessica Tiffany Amber Vienna get into cat fights over some snake who will inevitably dump ALL of them until he picks the cross-eyed girl his entire family can’t stand who was like, in jail two years ago in Florida, and has a tramp stamp that you have to stare at while he’s making out with her under a waterfall during the “On the Wings of Love” video montage and all you have to look forward to in the morning is possibly getting groped by some homeless man on the train, which would be the most action you’ve seen in months.

So yes, here I am – 31, single, and refusing to watch a scripted show being passed off as a reality show that is anything but while the people involved always end up being recycled on The Bachelor Pad where the 7th runner up from season 6 of The Bachelor winds up marrying the 4th runner up from two The Bachelorettes ago and now I just have a headache.

 

Here we go again

Last night, I posted this picture on Facebook and proceeded to get a world of shit for it.  More often than not, I get a ton of crap for rooting for too many teams.  First of all, allow me to ask why all these people I’m friends with who did NOT go to Notre Dame were posting “Go Irish,” but I’m not allowed to root for Michigan when my mom went there?

Second of all, if you have a problem with teams I root for, well, nothing is going to change so I suggest you invest in lots of hard alcohol to deal with it.

I root for Miami because I went there, Villanova because I worked there, the Boston pro-teams because I’m from there.  But yes, I adopted Chicago teams because I’ve lived here for five years and love this city more than I can tell you.

Do I root for too many teams?  Maybe.  Is there a point to this post?  I’m not sure.  I love sports, and I try to not be a bandwagon fan, but it’s FUN when your teams are winning, and when they’re sucking the life out of you by not being able to score and the starting pitchers unable to find the strike zone with Google Maps, it’s okay to take a break and focus on something else.

I now leave you with a Will & Grace montage.

Chicago Marathon Dropout

Back in February, Katie and I registered for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  It would be her second full and my first.  Last year I took up running in a more serious manner, completing two half marathons, two 10Ks, and a handful of 5Ks.  I felt great.  Then, winter came, and I decided to hibernate.  I figured with the marathon looming as an eventual goal, I’d have to start running again at some point, but allowed myself to rest for a bit.  I planned on starting to run again in April.

The problem?  I just. didn’t. want. to.

Part of the issue was the heat – it was about 100-degrees all summer with a heat index of 902.  With my options being wake up at 4am on a Saturday to run or sleep in and lie in a dark room with ice on my forehead, well, the latter just seemed more appealing.  I kept pushing back my training to “next week.”

“Next Monday I’ll start.  I’ll still have enough time.”

Katie and I intended to do our long training runs together – but summer schedules got in the way.  Without her as my partner-in-crime, I wanted to run even less.  She was and is diligent about her runs, never skipping a single one.  I, on the other hand, went from 10 miles to 16 with nothing in-between and it was awful.

That lovely picture you see here is me running the Santa Hustle in December of 2010 (and since we had the proper winter gear, it ROCKED).  Spring of 2011 was freezing, so Katie and I mostly trained for our May half marathon in the perfect running weather (40s-50s).  That’s what my body likes and is used to.  This 900-degree summer was not my cup of tea, if you will.  I started stressing – how could I complete the marathon now?  I was dreading it – did I actually WANT to run 26.2 miles?  It seemed like a good idea when I registered, but I no longer felt the same way.

Was I allowed to change my mind?

After the South Shore Half Marathon on September 9th, I decided that I was.  I finished in 2:39:11 – more than 20 minutes slower than my PR, because I hadn’t trained (that being said, I hate myself slightly less for coming in under 2:45 which was my “I haven’t trained and will hate myself  less if I finish in under x time” time).

Some had suggested to me that I TRY to run the race and just drop out if needed.  But, I don’t want to do that either.  If I start a race, I am finishing it, and the full is not something I am ready to start or finish.

It ultimately was a harder decision to make than it sounds.  I didn’t want to let down Katie or my other friends and family who’d been so supportive.  In the end, they’ve so far been supportive of this decision, too, because it’s what I am most comfortable with.

Will I try again next year?  Probably not.  I might just stick to half marathons, which to me are both fun and manageable.

That being said, does anyone want to buy my bib??

Bitch, Shut Up!

This week has really produced some gems from certain celebrities that I hate and want banished to a deserted island for all of eternity.

First, we have Kim Kardashian basically saying going through a divorce is like surviving cancer.

Here is what she word vomited at us (via Complex):

“… [W]e decided to film for the wedding,” she says. “And that was a decision that [Kris Humphries] and I made together. But I think that, with any decisions in life [brace yourselves], like, I spoke to a girl today who had cancer and we were talking about how this is such a hard thing for her, but it taught her a big lesson on who her friends are and so much about life. She’s 18. And I was like, that’s how I feel.”

Really?  Do you have ANY idea what it’s like living with cancer?  This should ESPECIALLY not come out of her pie hole because her dad died of cancer and she should know better.  Yes, divorce is painful and awful and I’m sure DOES teach you who your friends are.  But don’t play the cancer card when 1) your fake marriage lasted for less than three months and 2) it’s not actually life threatening.

She should know better.  Who is her publicist?  Someone needs to give that girl a lesson in what not to say, stat.

Then we have everyone’s favorite Train Wreck, Lindsay Lohan, equating “owning” a Birkin bag and Mac as “fighting to live your dreams. No, really.  Check it out:

I use the word “owning” loosely because she probably stole both of them.  Since she can’t even be bothered to show up on time to film her one scene for Scary Movie 5, how the hell can she afford a $30,000 purse (which, by the way, looks like it was dipped in a bucket of Pepto Bismol and glitter)?

I know that writing about the idiocy of these people won’t make them go away, but I wish they would.  Kim is a no-talent ass clown and Lindsay is a delusional, coked-out whore in desperate need of a solid year or longer of intense rehab and therapy.

I wish they would both just SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.

Why I’m a “Bandwagon” Fan

I have to thank Katie for inspiring this blog post with the following text:

“Chipper Jones has been playing baseball for 18 years and only has one World Series ring.”

First thought:  Who the f is Chipper Jones?

But I figured she was going somewhere with this, so I just wrote back “holy crap.”

And then I figured I should ask, “Who does he play for now?” (AKA who is he because I follow baseball but not THAT CLOSELY?)

She responds, “Braves still…and only.  He’s retiring after this season,” and then went on to express her irritation with Braves fans for being bandwagon fans — loving the team only when they make the playoffs and not giving a shit any other time before, during, or after said season.  But the team’s one World Series title over Chipper Jones’ time there speaks to the fact that the Braves are not, say, the Yankees (Okay so they WENT to the World Series five times in the 1990s, but they only WON it once, in 1995).

The city has the largest baseball stadium in the Southeast and uses that as the excuse to why it is never sold out (despite the fact that you can buy tickets for like, a dollar).

If you put that stadium in Wrigleyville, St. Louis, or NYC, it would be sold out.  Atlanta fans love Atlanta teams ONLY when they’re winning– and if not, they’re latching on to another team.  Cubs sell out games even when they have the second worst record in all of baseball.  Before you send me hate mail, please know this is coming from multiple people who were born and raised in Atlanta.

There are several definitions of what a bandwagon fan actually is.  And it’s something I’ve been accused of being MANY a time.  Let’s explore, shall we?

According to Urban Dictionary there are three possible definitions:

1)  Anyone who claims they are a “fan” of a particular sports team, even though they had no prior support for/interest in the team until that team started winning. These types of fans only show playoff interest, have probably never watched a regular season game, don’t own any type of team merchandise, nor would they buy any.

2)  Switches support to whatever team/game/allegiance/belief happens to be successful at the time.

And my FAVORITE definition:

3)  Anyone who became a Miami Heat fan in 2010-2011 (or Notre Dame, if they didn’t go there.  Seriously, I don’t understand Notre Dame fans that did not go there and then throw a party when the fencing team wins a national title)

If you assess definitions 1 & 2, then yes, I am a bandwagon fan, but I feel can justify these decisions.

1)     Villanova – I didn’t go there, but I interned there, so the school is a part of me.  For nine months I spent seven days a week (at least it felt like it) in the athletic department.  I got to know the coaches, athletes, and staff.  That year, the basketball team made it to the Sweet 16.  The atmosphere was electric.  It all sunk in and stayed with me.  I cried, LITERALLY CRIED, when we made the Final Four in 2009.  I cried, LITERALLY CRIED, when we were eliminated in the second round the year after, because I wanted to see Scottie Reynolds cue up another deep run, but oh well.  The team is not going to be good this year.  They’re just not.  So, while I am not going to masochistically follow each and every game, I am not going to adopt a new team to root for just because Villanova is bad this year.  Rest assured, I will continue to hate Duke, UNC, and Ohio State.

2)     Chicago White Sox – Technically, I am part of the White Sox family.  I worked out of the stadium for a year.  Sure, last season I didn’t follow the team as closely as I am this year because they were really bad, but I have FINALLY picked my Chicago baseball team, because you can’t be both.  Plus, now we have Youk, which is awesome.  Before this year, I always rooted for the Sox of a different color, but that team is in the gutter right now.  So yeah, fine, bandwagon, I get it.  But baseball is a soul-crushing, 162-game season.  Might as well have a team to root for that’s fun to watch with a manager who’s not a complete psycho.

3)     Chicago Bulls – I’ve never cared about the NBA before, but Ed Pinckney, who was an assistant coach at ‘Nova while I was there is now an assistant for the Bulls – so not only does the team also fall under Jerry Reinsdorf’s ownership, but Ed and I go way back to 2004.  Good dude.

4)     Miami Hurricanes – This is probably where I am the most bandwagon-y – when the team is losing, I shift my attention elsewhere (Michigan, Illinois, anyone who plays OSU, etc).  So I have focused my attention elsewhere since 2005, minus September of 2010 when I spent over $1,000 to go to fucking COLUMBUS, OHIO to see us get our asses kicked by the team I hate the most in the world, so that was awful, because Columbus sucks and OSU fans are wretched people (with the exception of like, two) and the only coach I hate more than Jim Tressel is PROBABLY Urban Meyer, so that’s awesome that he’s at OSU now and Miami blows and is going to be put on major probation soon and WHY WHY WHY?

 At least when I’m not rooting for my core teams, I pick a team to root for that I have SOME connection to (I went to Illinois, my mom went to Michigan, etc).  The people that drive me crazy are the ones who choose to root for Duke just because, even though they could not find Durham on a map, or the people who choose to root for Notre Dame because it’s an elite school that usually has good teams, for the most part, even though it’s mostly Olympic sports, but they somehow manage to have a rabid fan base, which drives me crazy, so no, I don’t root for Notre Dame, but thanks for asking.

And then there’s the people who root for Tim Tebow – contrary to popular belief, he is NOT, in fact, God’s gift to Florida, women, or football.  I’m sure he’s a nice guy, I don’t buy the virginity act, and rooting for him does not make you holier than thou, so unless he’s playing for your actual team, cut the shit.

So, when you think about it, I could be WAY worse of a fan than I am.  Watching sports and rooting for teams is supposed to be fun, not stressful.