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Kit Kats

1 Aug

It’s break time people.  I’m sorry to say it but “gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”  No really, I enjoy a good Kit Kat.  🙂

As sad as it is, I need to take a hiatus from “Drama Happens.”  Cue the sad music and/or everyone chanting in unison, “Haven’t you basically already left us?!?”  I’m truly sorry for being so MIA recently.  Blogging is a fast-paced, unique style of writing and I don’t feel that I can do justice to this blog by only posting once in a while.  I want to come back to it when I can commit more of my time and energy to my ridiculous stories and examination of relationships.  Even though I’ve been busy, I still think about all of my awesome readers fondly and I’m so thankful for those of you faithful followers.  My stats tell me new awesome people find this blog daily, because as it turns out I’m not alone in my daily fear of looking so fat in pictures.

Meanwhile I’m still going to be blogging, but I’ll also be learning!  I can’t wait to revamp and jazz up “Drama Happens” when the time comes to start again.  I hope to delve deeper into some of life’s most important relationship questions.

I’m humbled and excited by the open doors in my life and I’m attempting to count my blessings daily.

Thank you all for your “likes,” your support, your comments, and your words of wisdom!  Cheers to your path, wherever it may lead you!

And as always, I leave you with a,

Quote: “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers.  The mind can never break off from the journey.”  -Pat Conroy

Please pass the patience

22 May

My back has been hurting lately.  If you don’t know why this is particularly frustrating for me, I suggest you read THIS, and everything will become clear.

I’m just feeling a little low right now. There are so many wonderful things in my life, but sometimes I get stuck when one or two aspects are bad. I have been working out a lot recently, like, a lot a lot.  Because you know, I’m getting married.  And all this working out is making me feel good!   Despite the good reports it gets, I’ve never been a fan of burning the ol’ calories, but I’m shocked to repot I am happy after I workout now and I’m even starting to looking forward to it.  GASP!  If you’ll remember, this all started because I said I was going to workout more so I could eat more what I wanted when I wanted.  Well, since I’ve been working out more frequently, my back has been bothering me.  And frankly, that just sucks.  I wish there was a more eloquent way to put it, but sadly, there’s not.

It’s really bad in the mornings.  Like I have trouble moving and showering and getting out of bed.  Just like last year. I think it has something to do with stillness and my back getting all tight and sore while I sleep, but who really knows? The Scottish has suggested I cut down on the working out, to which I responded, “Do you want me to be a fat bride?” My mother has suggested I see a doctor, to which I responded, “Not until I’m married with better insurance! You know I can’t afford to go see someone right now!”

Of course they’re right.  Of course I’m just mad. I’ve decided to give it a week and then I might make an appointment to see my old pal long-haired-witty-surgeon-friend. The thing is, the pain is NOT entirely like it was last year, it’s manageable for one, and two, it’s not killing my nerve causing me to lose feeling in my left leg. It’s more like a sharp pinching discomfort located where (I’m speculating) my herniated disk is… I know that someday I might need to get my disks fused together, and that I’m sort of destined to have back issues my whole life.  But the one thing I was supposed to work was strengthening my core and that’s what I was doing by working out!!  Insert catch 22 HERE.

I guess the only other option is to move south, buy a house with a swimming pool and do water aerobics for the rest of my life. (Swimming is ideal for my situation).  Sigh, or I need to be patient and listen to my body (and the smart people in my life).

Switching topics, that’s not the only low spot in my life. I don’t really like to talk about what I’m about to talk about. Truth is, I feel ashamed. I feel like a phony. But I know you are all real people too. You have good and you have bad. So I’m going to share some of my bad with you. I call myself actor, I am trained as an actor, but I haven’t been on stage since Feb. 2010. Ouch.

I was supposed to be on stage in 2011 but due to back surgery I was forced to quit the show I was working on, and I haven’t been cast in something since.   When I started this blog, I talked about finding my new creative outlet (writing!), and luckily I have been able to find new ways of fulfilling myself as an artist since quitting that show last year.

I have filmed a short movie directed and written by a friend of mine that was submitted and shown at the Oak Park Film Festival (among other festivals), I had an unpaid job doing transcription work for the wonderful Chicago-based theatre company ATC, and I’ve started (and still maintain) TWO separate blogs. Oh and I just started planning a wedding– which is definitely artistic in its own way! Not.too.shabby.

Good news is I have a few auditions on the horizon and that feels good.  The thing is, I just don’t find many shows that I can audition for because I’m traveling so much this year.  And the ones I do find are looking for men, or Latinas, or something totally and completely random!

Example of a fake audition notice:  We are looking for someone who can juggle and ride a unicycle while singing and playing piano, who speaks German with an Italian accent, who looks 20 but can play 40, who can dance 3 different types of salsa, and is trained in movement and stage combat.  WHAAA???

My fake response: “Umm I sing… a little bit,  and I’m trained in stage combat, I’ve worked on many different movement-based shows, but yea, I guess I’ll have to get back to you once I learn German and graduate from CLOWN SCHOOL.”  It’s brutal out there.  I know I’m exaggerating a bit, but I truly WISH I was kidding.  Everyone is looking for something so specific.  Sometimes I don’t feel like there’s a place for me in this new world of theatre.  Perhaps I’m too ordinary.

I could write a whole blog about being an artist and all the cons that come along with it, but truth is I wouldn’t change my life for a second. I knew I was going to be an actor since I was in 5th grade, and a few years away from the stage means nothing in lifetime of art.  But I’m lacking the patience to wait. I’m losing inspiration and hope, and just feeling lousy about the whole thing. But this is common.  This is common for artists and others. You can’t be in the right place at the right time constantly or else there’d be no journey! Plus, you can’t possibly appreciate it if you don’t know life without it.

So for now, I’m going to work on toning my arms, because thankfully they’re just flabby fine. And I’m going to keep searching for auditions that fit into my crazy-busy schedule. And I’m going to smile and count my blessings because the beauty of life is that it keeps moving. And change will come and opportunities will present themselves.

A “journey”

Here’s hoping you have not only the drive but also the patience to achieve all of your dreams!!

Quote: “Success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”  Conrad Hilton

I’m a weirdo, what can I say?

16 May

Doesn’t everyone have their odd habit or two?  Isn’t that what makes us unique… or is that just what I tell myself!  HA.  I think we should all embrace the super bizarre things we do, laugh at them, and then continue doing them. I know I will.

In no particular order:

I have been known, on more than one occasion, to eat chocolate candies WHILST working out.  Immediate rewards for burning calories or just plain stupid?  You decide.

I prefer to eat all dairy products with a plastic spoon, this includes but is not limited to yogurt and ice cream.  In fact, I’ll go a step weirder and say I prefer plasticware to silverware.  Although I will be registering for latter, I secretly wish the former was more acceptable.  Sidenote: The biggest pet peeve of the Scottish is when my teeth clink on the silverware while I’m eating.  The sound doesn’t bother me, but since I prefer plastic anyway we are thinking we might start keeping two sets of cutlery in the house.

My least favorite thing about a big city is the traffic and lack of parking!  Parking is really brutal in some parts of Chicago and one of my friends likes to laugh at me because if I am driving to a party, or some type social event and I can’t find anywhere to park, I’ll just drive home.  I’ll get all the way there, circle for about 15-20 minutes, and then give up and drive all the way back home.  A true Chicagoan always finds parking, and I’m getting better at it these days, but there was a time when I was new to the city and would miss out on things because I couldn’t find a place to leave my car!

Sometimes I daydream so long in the shower that I’m completely behind schedule and find myself racing around the house to finish getting ready.  I love a scalding hot shower and it’s one of my favorite places to daydream and imagine.

My obsessive compulsive tendencies make it so I have trouble skimming or skipping parts when reading ANYTHING.  I have to read every blog entry in my reader.  If I start a magazine, I must look at every article.  If there’s a forward, preview, prologue, appendix, epilogue, etc to a book, i will always read them.  Sometimes I wish I could skip things, but my brain won’t let me!!

I’d rather clean a toilet than cook a 5 course meal any day of the week!

I hate bugs, sleeping outside, dirt, and eating at a picnic table but I LOVE camping with my family every summer!  My Dad grew up camping and my parents have taken us camping every year since I was young, it was definitely the most cost-effective way to vacation in a family of five and a great way to explore the United States.  This self-proclaimed girly-girl has on more than one occasion walked almost a mile to the bathroom, gone hiking through rough terrain and has spent days without doing her hair or make-up.  Going camping is one of my favorite times of the year, believe it or not.

My tent.  Just kidding, I don’t sleep in tents!  We have a pop-up tent camper that allows me to sleep off the ground, a princess is a princess after all.

This is more like it!

I tend to sob-cry when watching TV.  It doesn’t matter which show, it could be Friends or Undercover Boss, but something will spark my emotional side and suddenly I’m in tears.  The best time EVER was when I saw the movie UP (for the second time I might add) at home with the Scottish.  I started sob-crying during the opening scene with Mr. Fredricksen and his wife.  At first, the Scottish thought I was in pain or hurt, he was worried that I was convulsing in such a way that was not normal, but nope, that’s just how I sob-cry.  After he realized I was OK, he starts laughing hysterically at the absurdity of the situation.  Then I start laughing and soon I’m sob-crying-laughing and there is just snot everywhere.  That’s love.

Quote: “Is it weird in here or is it just me?”  Stephen Wright

Sorry for the lack of frequency on Drama Happens but managing two blogs is quite time-consuming (I think I need an intern!) and the wedding blog is getting much more of my time right now!  But don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll be more weird stories to come!  🙂  Til then!

Why Do I Look so Fat in Pictures Part 2

2 May

As you may or may not know, when you are looking for a certain type of advice or information on the internet the easiest way to find it is to enter your inquiry into the search tab and click enter. If you are searching for a particular blog about a specific topic, the same situation applies. At WordPress.com they track the phrases people type in that brings them to your blog. I kid you not, the most searched for phrase that directs people to my blog is,

WHY DO I LOOK SO FAT IN PICTURES?

… (waiting for the laugher to subside) Color me surprised! My most commonly searched phrase has nothing to do with relationships or weddings or family or religion or even Kim Kardashian.

I can’t say that I’m shocked, since my previous post with that exact title was my way of sharing with you all that I had joined Weight Watchers. Well since then I have fallen off the WW wagon, but fortunately I am still down the 13 pounds I lost when I first started. The points system just became too dreary and stupid, plus after going to Scotland and ignoring my diet, I got lazy and indifferent.

Despite all that, I’m feeling pretty darn good about my body these days. I’m still watching what I eat and some days I enter my points (most days I don’t) and I’m still working out when I can. But the issue that haunted me back then is haunting me still, and I can’t help but ask, WHY DO I LOOK SO FAT IN PICTURES? Remember my friend who recently got married, and remember how I was the Maid of Honor? Well she sent us a link to some of the pictures that her photographers posted online. And I was literally taken aback, practically falling off my stool in fright! The first picture I’m in is one where I’m helping the bride put on her veil. My upper body looks like I’ve gained about 20 pounds, no joke. My arms are huge and floppy, my one boob is bulging out and I’m looking wider than ever. WHHHHYYYYY!!!!!

Talk about disappointing. I was feeling good and I thought I looked good. So I sent the link to the Scottish, my mother, and best friend, asking their unbiased honest opinions. They said maybe the cut of that dress wasn’t the best on you, and they thought that specific picture was a bit off but I looked great in the rest of them. Ahh, suspicions confirmed! Clearly I look like a curvy, gorgeous, model in REAL life but in pictures I’m the extra-large version of myself! Or is the camera adding ten pounds and a dose of reality?

In related news, I’ve come to the conclusion that I LOVE food more than I HATE working out. I’ve discovered that both an aversion to working out and an obsession with sweets is a deadly combination. Therefore, I’m going to amp up the calorie burning so I can maintain the joy I feel from eating. Mmmm food. Food.is.so.good.

Did I mention the one thing I’m splurging on for the wedding is photography? By splurging I don’t mean spending copious amounts of money, rather I won’t be penny-pinching my photographer or going with the cheapest option. I won’t be having my guests DIY the photos with disposable cameras, or limiting our photographers to a certain number of hours. I want the whole day captured and I want our story told.

Yes, I’m so cliché it hurts, right? I want to lose weight for my wedding like every other bride-to-be on the planet! BUT NO, that is not how I see it.

I love my curves and my shape, but I need to tone up. I want to get those prints back from my photographer and not utter a single complaint (which is hard because we are all our own biggest critics when it comes to our bodies). Instead of screaming, WHY DO I LOOK SO FAT IN PICTURES? I want to scream, WOW, I LOOK SO GOOD IN THESE PICTURES!!

Can I do it? Any tips out there??

Quote: “I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.” Marsha Doble

I’m a church-crier and other embarrassing confessions from this weekend

29 Apr

I took out a five-year-old. At work on Friday, I was taking little Becca to a Spanish camp placement visit in Oak Park (a suburb very close to the city). I printed out directions (despite having lived in Oak Park for a full year) and followed them, which was my first mistake, because they took me through downtown which was miserable with traffic. I should have taken the freeway, but soon it was too late to switch routes and we were running LATE. I called the place and said we’d be there soon but I really, really hate being late, so I wanted to get there as soon as possible. After we’d parked and paid the meter, Becca and I crossed the street and I suggested we run. We rarely run, because running is stupid and Becca prefers to run at recess, not when being asked. But she knew we were late so she agreed. We started running and the stupid uneven sidewalk paired with my inherent klutzy-ness caused me to trip and fall to the ground taking poor Becca down with me! We were holding hands and there was no escaping our double-fall. She started to cry, and we examined our wounds while the homeless guy down at the corner shouted to us, “Are you OK?” I replied that yes, we were fine while attempting to soothe a teary-eyed Becca, getting her laugh it off and suggested that Nini had learned her lesson, no running in Oak Park!! We brushed ourselves off and got back to it, this time, walking briskly but not running. We passed the homeless guy who started to say, “Ma’am, would you—,” I cut him off saying “Sorry, we’re in a hurry Mister.” He says, “Yea you in hurry, that’s why you tripped.” Well played homeless man, well played.

lovely (older) photo of Becca and I

I pissed off my neighbor. In my condo building lives this sweet older woman across the hall. Her name is Fran. When she first saw me moving in back in 2009 she assumed I was another renter because the condo was getting renovated at the time. Nope, that was all me! I bought it! Fran was happy to learn this because she did not like having renters moving in and out year after year (the previous owner had used my junior one bedroom as a rental property.) Over the last three years, Fran and I have exchanged Christmas cookies and causal conversation. I’m kind of an excellent tenant, if I do say so myself. My idea of hosting a party is having girls over for wine and girl talk. The last few months I’ve barely been home because I’ve been nesting with the Scottish in our apartment on the other side of the city. Well, as the Scottish and I were clearing out my place yesterday we ran into Fran, still in her dressing gown at 2 PM I might add, and we started chatting with her. She asked what we were doing and I said I’m moving in with the Scottish because we got engaged! Yay! She was excited and happy for us! Then she asks, “So are you going to sell the place?” I say, “Nope, we’re going to get a renter in here sometime in August.” Cut to the most crestfallen woman I’ve ever seen. It was like she’d be told her dog died. A RENTER!?!??! HOW AWFUL!!! She recovered with, “Well, much happiness to you both, and then promptly shut the door. Awkward city. So I’m currently seeking really nice, super quiet and perhaps even boring, squeaky clean person who is hardly ever home to rent my condo and keep elderly neighbor happy at the same time… sigh.

AFTER

I cried in church. I’m a church-crier, it’s true. I feel like I’ve shared this little nugget on “Drama Happens” once before but I’ll share it again. I realize I’m quite the obnoxious over-sharer and but this specific confession really brings everyone’s judgy-eyes out. “You cry in church? But… why?!!?!?” It is weird. I tend to cry at about 90% of the sermons I hear and I don’t even know why! I guess it’s triggered by a sweet personal story, or a quote or phrase that makes me think, or when something reminds me of one the relationships in my life. Whatever the reason, if I feel intense emotion (good or bad) my eyes start to fill up. I’ve gotten quite good at blinking the tears away or letting them pool until I can get a good swipe of my hand up to my face to wipe them away all at once. Still, it gets tricky. And it’s just a very public place in a very quiet room and suddenly I feel like all eyes are on me and public display of emotion. If anything, it gives the Scottish more comedic material. Aren’t I the nicest?

Does anyone else do something really embarrassing that is kind of odd?

Quote: “But I learned that there’s a certain character that can be built from embarrassing yourself endlessly. If you can sit happy with embarrassment, there’s not much else that can really get to ya.” Christian Bale

I flew across the pond all by myself!

14 Apr

Beautiful Edinburgh.

Having just traveled to Scotland and back, ALONE, I can confidently say that I am still one of the worst travelers ever. Remember when I shared my travel anxiety with you all? I fear it is time to work on said anxiety and improve myself in preparation for years to come of traveling abroad. While some of you out there are saying, “Man, she is sooo lucky!” I say, “Maybe that guy from the Big Bang Theory will be smart enough to figure out teleportation before my next flight.”

Despite my lack of desire to become a better traveler, I think out of necessity, I am going to do my best and transform into the easy breezy beautiful jet-setter that I know I can be.

Let’s assess my most recent trip and using a random point system, determine my success.
We’ll call them Travel VIP Points and once I get to a certain amount I can start flying first class!! HA. NOT.
Let’s say:
10 points or below = Travel Newbie
10-20 points = Travel Ace
20-30 points = Travel Veteran
30-40 points = Travel Superstar

Incident One: Packed a small bag of *refreshers aka deodorant, make-up, and toothbrush, to avoid traveling ugly. The Scottish was quite pleased with my appearance upon arrival and therefore, success. +5 points
*made up word by author of this post

Incident Two: Threw a minor fit (to myself) over lack of a good seat. -2 points

Incident Three: While in the airplane I only went to the bathroom when the person next to me went to the bathroom. This took real concentration and mental calming as one of my biggest fears is not having access to a toilet at all times. +8 points

Incident Four: During the flight I asked the guy next to me for the current time on his watch thus engaging someone I don’t already know in conversation. +3 points

Incident Five: Denied further conversation after same guy attempted to ask questions about where I was flying to and where I was from by not returning the same questions. -6 points

Incident Six: Finding my way from one large terminal to another large terminal in Heathrow airport… twice! +10 points

Incident Seven: Prematurely using my Kate Spade passport cover that says “MRS” on it and confusing someone at security when she thought I was already married. Oops. I couldn’t help it, it’s so beautiful and it’s not like I need my passport to go to MN, I just had to use it!! Still, sigh. -5 points

Incident Eight: Moving to a different seat for a group of three that wanted to sit together. +4 points

Incident Nine: Through this move of generosity I secured an aisle seat. +3 points

Incident Ten: Inadvertently glaring at all those who dared to sneeze nearby whilst we were all stuck breathing the same air for over 8 hours. -6 points

SIDENOTE: I dislike hearing/seeing others sneeze. I find it alarming and quite frankly, gross. The worst offenders I know are Sister and The Scottish. Sister sneezes every time the sun comes up, which (for those of you who are still half-asleep) is DAILY! And the Scottish makes the weirdest noise I’ve ever heard that boarders somewhere between a sneeze and a cough, and I call them “cough-sneezes” of course. They come four at a time and in rapid succession and usually interrupt what I’m saying thus forcing me to wait and wonder, “is that a sneeze or a cough? I can’t tell! It’s a cough-sneeze!!” (For the record I personally enjoy sneezing. Yep, I’m terrible).

Alrighty, let me do the math… with a calculator… and we have a grand total of 14 Travel VIP points!!
Wow. At least I’m a Travel Ace (whatever that means). I see there is plenty of room for improvement. And I swear I didn’t plan this low score, I just put down the first number that came to head after I wrote each incident. Bizarre.

Quote: “Living on earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.” Unknown

Male? Yes please.

25 Mar

Am I the only female who PREFERS male doctors to female doctors? Because if so, the rest of you ladies are missing out, in my humble opinion. You see, going to a dude is way better. This applies to not only your gynecologist, but also your dentist, and even stretches to encompass your massage therapist. While I’m a HUGE fan of women in so many other professions (CEO’s, Pastors, grocery store clerks, lawyers, nail salon technicians) and while I prefer them as friends (sorry boys, some of you don’t get me!), I will always choose a male doctor over a female and I’ll tell ya why.

DISCLAIMER: Before anyone tells me how WONDERFUL their female doctor is please let me say this: Below you will find a humorous blog post. This is funny, (you can laugh,) and you don’t have to be offended because while I make a large sweeping generalization here, I too know great female doctors! I also know great female massage therapists, physical therapists, etc. So if you feel something different, no sweat off my blog’s brow.

photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

1. Male doctors are considerably more gentle and kind. I feel like women go harder on other women because heck, they GET IT, they are probably dealing with similar issues, and they don’t take pity on you but instead tell you to buck up. When your stomach is covered in unexplained hives (last year was bad for me), all you want is a little compassion! A guy, he just nods, listens, and at least outwardly appears to care.

2. Guys know how to make me laugh. Maybe it’s their voice or their jokes, but when I giggle I feel more at ease, and I just find a man’s relaxing and jovial presence just what I need while sitting on a cold sterile table surrounded in bad lighting. Case in point, the female doctor I have right now has YET to make me laugh or even crack a real smile- it’s been over 2 years.

3. If a male is doing your pesky one-time-a-year-ladies-exam, they are usually required to have another women in the room. This woman will hold your hand and distract you with friendly banter. This is especially great when it’s your FIRST TIME. (True story: Stephanie getting her first women parts exam circa 2002, male doctor, he still works with her family today, great guy)

4. As the patient, you get to do most of the talking. Do I even need to explain this? Women talk…. a lot. Guys are used to this. Long time ago, I had this physical therapist lady who kept cutting me off to explain stupid nonrelevant things and rushed me to get to the point, “Umm, everything I’m saying is leading up to my point, and aren’t I paying you to listen?”

5. Women are great at nagging aren’t they? I feel like every time I get a massage by a woman, (and I usually only get 2-3 a year and most of those come in the form of gifts mind you) but every time I see a woman she gives me a huge guilt trip about not coming often enough, explains how tense I am, and makes me feel bad that I’m not paying for the hour-long massages because that’s what my tense and broken body needs. (WELL, for one thing lady, my massage might be a bit more relaxing without all the nagging!!) But just last week I had a male massage therapist who was awesome, and there was no nagging, no guilt trip, and a fair amount of giggling. I might have a slight crush now. It’s ok, the Scottish doesn’t mind. 🙂

Quote: “Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of happy fat women.” Attributed to both Marion Smith and Nicole Hollander

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