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.


Why I Hate the Bachelor

Today I saw on 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! 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??