Archive for the ‘Carrie’ Tag

all you need is your girl friends   3 comments

Let me first say that I spent my lunch break beginning a post highlighting my thoughts on this Moan-day.  To put it best, today was not my day.  But I’ve had many days like this to learn that you really do have to experience bad days like this one in order to appreciate the good that life brings our way…and it really does.  This evening is one perfect example, and it’s all centered around the beauty that comes in the form of girl friends. 

Stef and Rory, two of my saints here in Chicago, saved me from having an emotional breakdown this evening by providing me with quality girl time.  Mix in some “Chicagoans are crazy” talk, a Mystic Tan, and some Starbucks, and I seriously felt 1000x better.  Thank you so much, ladies!!  To make it even better, I had another great conversation with Stef back at my apartment that had me feeling that I’m okay here.  I really am. 

After Stef left, I immediately received a text from my friend, Carrie, who I called back to discuss her & her husband’s upcoming trip to Chi next weekend.  (Cubs’ game, here we come!)  Afterwards I called Kristin, who answered the phone, “What are you doing calling?  The Bachelorette is on.”  I couldn’t stop laughing.  And then, she told me that her husband, Jim, was watching it.  I lost it completely. 

Add in a love Facebook posting from Adriana saying exactly what I needed to hear: A reminder: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  And then a “meet my new friend who moved to Chicago” message from Jen.  Topping of the evening, I just got another message from Alisha reminding me that she is my sister and therefore, always there for me. 

Now I sit here, smiling- which I didn’t think was possible a few hours ago- as I think about the other fantastic girl friends that I have in my life.  Darlene for her constant love and support.  Ruth & Sarah for teaching me that your girl friends always have your back.  Libby, Julie & Jen, who remind me that time and distance never changes the bond between best friends.  That you have the opportunity to know someone will be your friend forever in just a few seconds, like I knew with Laura. 

For me, life has never been about having a boyfriend.  Sure, it would be nice but it’s never been a priority.  I’ve learned to live life without a boyfriend, to the point where I’m not sure if I know how to live with one.  However, a life without girl friends is a life not worth living.  My friends are the reason that I am who I am today.  No matter how bad my day is, I still find myself remembering how blessed I am to have these girls in my life

I’ve always had difficulty opening up to others and letting them be there for me.  I have a naturally tendency to what to be the one giving and never the one receiving.  But I simply need to be the recipient sometimes.  I need to rely on others to help me through my rough days.  I’ve come a long way to realize this, but now that I have there’s really no turning back.  I can only go forward, and as I do so I know that my friendships will only grow stronger.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.  ~Anäis Nin

june series: if you think you’re geting away, i will prove you wrong. i’ll take you all the way. stay another song   Leave a comment

As mentioned in last Tuesday’s post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point.  This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School.

One morning in June 2005 I sat in the Convo and watched these girls say goodbye to their college days in their caps and gowns.  While I watched these girls, who had become sisters to me, I was overcome with a surplus of emotions- one being pride.  I was so happy to share this moment with my friends.

Another thought crossed my mind as I sat in peanut-heaven taking in the graduation scenario: This was going to be me down there, in my cap and gown, in exactly one year.

These four girls, Kristin, Ruth, Sarah, and Carrie, came into my life during my junior year at OU- shortly after my 21st birthday.  They are also known as the “Lancaster Girls” and my Sex and the City ladies too.  I also hold them responsible for corrupting me- all in good fun of course.  And speaking of fun, we sure had a lot of good times! during our many, many nights with up on Court Street. 

June 2005 marked the end of another great year at OU, and was the beginning of many changes for me.  These four ladies were not returning to Athens with me the following year, so I as proud as I was of them, I was certainly distraught wondering who I would be spending my time with.  Sure, I had my other friends- including Brandon, Libby, Mike, Jackie, etc.- but I literally spent most of my time with these four ladies.  Like I said, they were sisters to me.  Those four girls, and Jackie too, taught me to be strong; to be confident; to believe in myself; to be who I am.  They showed me that you always look out for your girl friends, no matter what, and that your girl friends are your real soulmates.  They helped me see that I was beautiful just the way I am, flaws and all.

Even before the girls graduate, I began thinking, what am I going to do (next year) without them?  I couldn’t imagine my life without them.  My spring quarter literally revolved around them, as I’d wake up (usually hungover), go to class until noon (perfect college schedule), Sarah would pick me up and we’d go lay out, then get ready to head out for another night on Court Street.  I was living the College Dream…or so I thought.

One night, before heading back to Pittsburgh, Sarah and I began the night pre-gaming in my house before meeting the others up on Court Street.  (Honestly, I cannot even remember who we met since most people had already gone home for the summer.)  I have one thing to say about that night, and a whole lot of regrets: Bacardi 151.  The rest of the night is very blurry, but one thing I kinda-sorta remember is being at The Junction believing that I was talking to my new roommate Jay (and a girl ‘he’ was with).  It wasn’t until the next morning, after waking up next to Sarah on our front porch, that I thought, Jay doesn’t have a short ponytail so that couldn’t have been him.  That night changed it all.  For the rest of the summer, I swore off drinking to cut out all the BS and distractions that accompany alcohol.  I finally recognized that I had gotten too caught up in the OU party scene and all I really had to remember it by was the hot mess that had become my life. 

For many reasons, including the one I just mentioned, my anxiety levels were skyrocketing during the summer of 2004.  After being home in Pittsburgh for the remainder of June and beginning of July, working for Kraft (my dad’s employer), I began summer session in Athens…while still working for Kraft.  Let me simplify that.  On Sunday night, I drove to Athens, OH to play student for the week and then as soon as class ended on Thursday afternoon, I drove back to Pittsburgh, PA to play Kraft summer employee.  I’m not going to complain, but yes, it was exhausting. 

Despite the back-and-forth, I had an A.MAY.ZING. summer- when I was in Athens.  It was during that summer that I truly fell in love with my college town.  I felt so content and at peace during this time, like the campus was mine.  It was a great change from the usual chaos that consumed Athens during the school year. 

I did a lot of thinking that summer, some prompted by the two English courses I was enrolled in and the fabulous professor that is Jeremy Webster.  Other thoughts were provoked from spending time with the Rebecca, Karrie, and Dusty.  It was so nice to spend more time with them, without any other distractions getting in the way.  

My time in Athens that summer also allotted me time with the always-fabulous and entertaining Joe Zummo.  After he’d talk to his girlfriend, Renee, on the phone, Joe would head over (sometimes with a 6-pack) and we’d sit on the 10 Hocking porch and talk about everything and nothing at all.  Some days he’d just tell me one popsicle joke after another, and other days he’d open up about how his hopes for the coming school- one being to become better friends with the beloved Casey.  To be honest, I wanted that for him too. 

Part of me didn’t want that summer to end, for a few reasons.  While I was anxious for my friends to arrive and enjoy my new Athens with me, I also recognized that it meant I would be one day closer to the end of my OU days as graduation became more real to me. 

No matter what, Senior Year was another A.MAY.ZING. time at OU for me.  New roommates (Jay, Mike, and Amanda) brought about many new friends (Ashley, Jenni “BaFaFa”, Jenny- just to name a few), and of course I was lucky to still have some of my favorites like Libby, Brandon, Mike, and Phill still there with me.

This is another time in my life that I wish I could get back.  Re-do senior year at OU…YES, PLEASE!  I wish I knew then what I know now-thoughts constantly play in my mind.  I know I’d do things differently based on what I’ve learned since then, and who I am today.  For one I would have let that boy know exactly how I felt about him, once and for all.  And second, I would have switched over to that Child Life Specialist position.  These are just two of the things I know that I would have done, but what’s done is done.  I also wish I was strong back then; that I believed in myself more; and that I lived more freely without having any regrets.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

Even having to live with these regrets now, I am grateful for what I learned that summer.  For it is because of my experiences, my mistakes, and my woulda-coulda-shouldas, that I can look back today remembering how much I’ve grown since then, and how I’ll continue to seek to better myself each and every day.

You know people say how important a college education is, and I will not disagree.  However, a college education isn’t just what you learn from textbooks, research papers, and all-night cram sessions, but rather it’s what you learn about yourself that makes the experience worthwhile. 

___________________________________________________________________________

Notes: The title of this blog is lyrics from the song Murder on the Dance Floor, which is a favorite of these lovely Lancaster girl friends of mine.  Not only was it on The Pub Mix, but it was also dedicated to the OU girls at Kristin’s wedding. 

And the portait of Court Street above is wonderful and available for purchase.  Check out Ellen Pettey Photography at http://ellenpettey.com/ to order your own!  Look through her galleries for others that may interest you as well.

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 4)   1 comment

Hangover.  That’s what the five girls in the hotel room in downtown Columbus were experience on the morning of Saturday, April 10th.  For some reason, we woke up around 7:30 – 8:00 am and the madness began a little bit after.  Okay, maybe some of us/them were still drunk because it was it was a complete shit-show for the next few minutes.  There’s never a dull moment with these girls.  And out of respect, I won’t go into details- even though I doubt they’d even care. 

We showered, got dressed, and cleaned up the hotel room before heading out to grab some breakfast up at Easton.  Sarah, being Sarah, was craving McDonald’s so she headed that way why Jackie dropped me off at Starbucks (of course) before we drove up to one of our favorite places.  Apparently the girls wanted burgers at 11 am so we headed over to Red Robin with Kristin and Ruth.  (Sarah already ate so she went shopping instead.)  After ordering our meals, the quote of the morning belonged to Jackie- much to our surprise.  “Can I order a beer?” (Barf.)  Prompting Ruth to ask, “Can I get one too?”  (Barf again.)  I had to take a photo of this, which Kristin in the background making the expression that I was feeling. 

Breakfast was good, but being a breakfast food kinda girl I would have preferred Bob Evans over the grease.  Ruth had to get back to Lancaster for family photos and Kristin was ready for a nap, so Jackie, Sarah, and I headed up for some shopping at Polaris (a mall in Westerville- near Julie’s parents’ house).  We spent awhile in Forever XXI before being shopped out and decided to head to L-Town ourselves. 

Sarah had to get to her bridesmaid dress fitting (for Kristin’s wedding), leaving Jackie and I to fend for ourselves.  So what did we do for our date?  Manis and Pedis at the ever-so-lovely Lancaster Mall.  While waiting for our walk-in appointment, I dragged Jackie over to Spencers.  Jackpot!  I found so much stuff for Julie’s upcoming Bachelorette Party that I was hosting in a week (at the time…now it’s in 3 days!).  I should say that Julie is definitely a girl-next-door, Christian girl so this Bachelorette Party is definitely Rated G- maybe a bit PG since alcohol could/most likely will end up playing a role.

After our extremely relaxing mani (for me) and pedi (for Jackie), we ran to Meijer (I heart Meijer) to pick up some chips and guacamole (I heart guac) for the cookout at Ruth’s house that her parents were hosting for us and their family.  Instead of indulging you in all of the details, I’ll just say this: Ruth’s older brothers (who both have kids) were trashed.  Apparently they finished a bottle of Grey Goose in two hours.  At first they were very entertaining, but then it got to be too much.  I enjoyed my time with her family, especially being able to spend some time with her nephews and extremely adorable niece.  Baby fever continued.

We ate and hung out for a bit, but then Carrie drove me back to her house to shower and get ready for  the night out at Cricket’s.  I really want to tell you all about Cricket’s and our infamous nights there, but I could go on all night.  Instead I’ll give a brief description by saying that it is (was) the bar to be at in L-Town and the location of many late nights (including one ending at 5 am with the sun coming out…not kidding…it was classic.)  If those walls could talk…

Unlike many other nights, this Saturday was an extremely low-key night Cricket’s, which was just what we needed.  We were all so tired from the previous night and tomorrow was the Bridal Shower so we had a busy day.  But we still stayed at Cricket’s for awhile, but really just enjoyed some great conversation and girl time (with Ben, Carrie’s husband).  Cricket’s was empty, so Matt (manager & Kristin’s long-lost crush) made his way over to our table frequently.  In my opinion, he’s a good guy, but I know Ruth has her own opinion.  After talking to Matt about the infamous Brave Bull shots that we first had two years ago, he made them for us- all of us.  In fact, he sent them over on a paddle with our server.

Now I honestly don’t know the whole story, nor am I sure I want to, but apparently L-Towners/loyal Cricketers enjoy using the paddle and/or spatula in that bar (?).  I’ve witnessed it on a few occasions, but I absolutely have no idea how it got started.  Oh well.  We stayed until about 1:30 am or so before Jackie, Ruth and I got dropped off at Ruth’s parents’ house.  We had every intention on going in the hot tub when Sarah got there, but after putting our pjs on…yeah, it was bed time instead.  Before going to bed though I had a great conversation with Ruth…one that I’d be looking forward to.  See, Ruth had lived in Chicago during grad school and moved (from Chi-town) for a position with the Air Force shortly before I relocated.  (Bummer.) 

I’ve communicated with Ruth since moving here and been open about how difficult the adjustment has been and my anxieties about living here.  It was comforting to hear Ruth say that she experienced many of the same issues when she came here, and that it took her about a year (or more) to really feel okay being in Chicago.  I wish she still lived here.  Like many of my other friends, gives me unconditional love and support.  Her strength makes me strive to be stronger.  In fact, so every time Ruth would come back to Lancaster/Columbus while she lived in Chicago, I’d always tell her how I admired her for moving to a new, big city by herself.  I’d say, “I wish I could do that.”  Well, it’s because of her that I did do it and I’m here, in Chicago, now.  So truly, thank you, Ruth. 

I woke up Sunday morning on Ruth’s parents’ couch.  Jackie was showering so I joined the Sharp ladies in a conversation.  While Ruth got ready, I had an wonderful conversation with her mom.  We talked a lot of things in general, but got into this great conversation about mothers/daughters and how much she misses Ruth- being that she lives in San Fran right now.  Her mom even teared up.  The whole time I thought about my mom, and how much I miss living near her.

Sarah eventually came to pick me up to run errands before Kristin’s shower.  We ran to Walmart, picking up TP for a shower game.  By the time we got to Kristin’s parents house, her family was already there setting up…and to my surprise, Jim was there too!  I hadn’t seen him since I moved.  Let me rewind.  While living in Columbus, I spent a lot of weekend nights out with Kristin and Jim, and about 1-2 per month Kristin and I would go visit Jim at his restaurant, Tria.  I’ll stop from going on a trip down memory lane for now.

Jim and the men headed out for beer…I mean golf…leaving us ladies to have some fun of our own.  The Young’s basement was transformed into an elegant party fit for the princess herself.  She even had a throne!!  It looked gorgeous and added a lot of decadence to the shower.  Kristin was in her glory, as was her mom.  There were about 30 women there- family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors.  I’ll spare you from hearing the details of the shower, but let me share some memorable moments.

So this is what the TP was for.  Me and some of the younger attendees (Jim’s niece and family friends) were the victims in the dress the bride game.  It was actually a lot of fun, although my dress didn’t win- but A for effort to Carrie and Christie.  And what about Kristin’s Dolly Parton dress?  (Yes, this was the product of Sarah and Ruth having too much fun with TP.)

Following the game, we headed back inside to allow Kristin to open her gifts.  Now I’m sure you don’t want to read all about that, so I’ll just share a few special ones (that I happen to have photos of). 

So Kristin’s cousin, Anna, who is one of her best friends (and a sophomore at OU), drew a picture of Kristin’s baby, George (her dog).  Kristin immediately teared up, and I think Anna and Mrs. Young may have too.  It was very sweet.

And perhaps the most touching moment, for me, was when Kristin opened this gift from her mother.  It’s a heart-shaped white wicker picnic basket.  There’s a story behind it.  When Kristin and her mom were shopping at the mall one day when Kristin was in middle/high school, she saw this at Things Remembered and fell in love with it.  So Cindy went back and purchased it, waiting until this special occasion to give it to her daughter.  Tear.  I mean how sweet is that?  That is something that I would do…and probably my mom too. 

The party ended shortly after.  Sarah was having dinner with my family, so I headed home with Carrie to spend time with her and Ben before my late night trip on Megabus back to Chi-Town.  I have to say that Carrie and Ben are such a lovely couple.  So gracious, warm, and easy-going people.  I felt like such an inconvenience making them deal with me, but now I know that’s just what friends do.  Sarah arrived back a few hours later and we headed downtown to catch the bus.

Much to our surprise, the bus was there when I arrived.  The weekend was so exhausting, but since I was able to get wi-fi I decided to stay up for awhile and check/respond to email.  However, I finally got my eyes closing and decided it was time for good night.  But the always-adventurous Megabus had different plans for me.  No joke.  At 2 am-ish, we were forced to unboard the bus at a gas station and mosing around like Zombies for at least 30 minutes while they filled the bus up with gas.  Seriously?  We finally got back on, after I downed a whole bag of trail mix.  (I showed the evidence in a previous post, just so I knew it wasn’t a dream.)

The bus arrived in downtown Chi-town on schedule around 6:30 am.  I was exhausted.  And I had to work in 90 minutes.  Knowing that and the fact that my luggage was broken, I hopped in a cab.  And shortly arriving back at my apartment after an A.MAY.ZING. weekend in Columbus, I hit up my favorite Starbucks and chatted with my barista friends…letting them know that I’d be back later for more caffeine.

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 3)   Leave a comment

When we last left our Bachelorettes, they were doing far too many shots- especially the beautiful bride-to-be.  Were our ladies too drunk and ready to call it a night?  Heck no!!  They were ready to dance on the stage!

By this time (perhaps 11-11:30 pm), the Piano Bar was pretty crowded with other Bachelorette parties and Friday night partiers.  Several parties had made their way on stage after requesting girlie songs and announcing their VIP members’ special occasion (future wedding or birthday).  Now it was our turn.  Ruth, being the dedicated Maid-of-Honor that she is, talked to one of the bouncers about how to best get the piano players to play her request:  Money, of course.  The best incentive of them all.  So Ruth took up a collection, which was easy since we were already all drunk and wanted to see Kristin enjoy her night. 

Finally the time came when Kristin was brought on stage for her rendition of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.  (FYI: I’m the photographer, but I did evidentially make my way up on stage to join the girls.)  What an A.MAY.ZING. group of girls!!  So lucky to call them my friends.  And yes, they know how to have a good time, but they’re also like sisters to me- always there for me since we met years ago.  They’re also very protective of their ‘Minnie’, as I am of them.  Boys Beware.

After the dancing on stage, I made my way to the bar to get Kristin another drink.  (Did she really need one…probably not.)  As I was standing at the bar, I overheard a guy say to his friend, “I guess that’s the price you have to pay (for drinks) here in the big city.”  Okay, I really felt the urge to say something right away, but I decided to mind my own business instead.  But then he said something about ‘the big city’ again and I absolutely couldn’t resist.  “You think this is the ‘big city’?  Where are you from?”  His response, “Dayton.”  Dayton: the only city worse than Cleveland.  Now it made sense, and I very well may have said that out loud.  (Probably.) 

So of course my response prompted the good old Dayton boys to ask me where I was from, and as everyone in Ohio seems to agree, “Chicago is awesome!  I love Chicago!”  So we talked about my ‘love’ for Chicago for awhile- while the Dayton boys fell head-over-heels for me.  I told you, I’m not joking.  Ohio boys love me.  I’m their drug of choice.  However, I have to say that these Ohio boys are not always the most eligible Bachelors- unfortunately.  (Sidenote: I’m totally hearing Leighton Meester’s ‘Your Love is a Drug’ in the back of my head, and now you may as well hear it too.)

So Sarah being the wonderful friend that she is, saw me talking to these guys and came over to make sure I was okay.  That’s one thing I love about my girls.  We’re always watching out for one another- especially when we’re out drinking.  So I reassured Sarah that I was fine and brought her into the conversation.  I’m pretty sure we started talking about Chicago’s infamous hot dogs- which is one of Sarah’s favorite topics (not kidding).

After talking more about everyone’s love for Chicago and my realistic resident view of it (tourists just don’t see it the same as we do), we found out that Dayton boys went to the hockey game (Blue Jackets) and they received a team poster…which somehow, after a little convincing, perhaps…ended up in my possession to give to the loyal Blue Jackets’ fan and bride-to-be.  Making my way back to the table, after being gone for twenty minutes or so (missing the tequila shot…Amen to that), I presented the poster to our lovely bride.  Here she is kissing her longtime lover, Rick Nash.  I still remember the night she met him at Lodge Bar.  Seriously that girl was starstuck, for good reason. 

It had to have been around midnight by then…just in time for my third-cousin-whom-I’d-never-met, Ryan, to join us.  Let me rewind.  So when I was living in Columbus two years ago, my grandma just happened to talk to one of her second cousins, Kitty, only to discover that they both had grandchildren living there.  So they set us up.  Ryan and I began emailing, with him coming out to me in the second one.  More reason why I fell in love with him.  Gay Ohio men may love me just as much as the straight ones.  Anyways, Ryan and I almost met once at Pride Fest, but there was too much commotion and alcohol preventing that from happening.  Shortly after that, I moved to Chicago.  However we kept in touch over emails and Facebook.  He’s such a cutie.  So yeah, a few weeks ago I mentioned Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and I was so happy that he was able to meet up with me!  He’s even more adorable in person.  Just a great guy.

Around 1 o’clock, we decided to head over to Lodge Bar mainly because Kristin was hoping that her beloved Rick Nash would be there after the game.  (He wasn’t.)  Sarah took Ruth back to the hotel because she literally fell asleep at the bar.  (I guess that happens to her now?)  We got to Lodge Bar, which isn’t really a favorite of mine (too many college kids), but I was drunk enough and surrounded by good people to enjoy it.  To be honest, I don’t remember much about Lodge  Bar.  Yes, I was drunk.  I know that because I ended up spending at least 15-20 minutes at the bar talking to a couple about their relationship.  I always do this.  Drunk Kristen/ Minnie likes to hear what it’s like to be part of a (happy) couple.  I give you all permission to psychoanalyze me.  They were social like me so it was a fun conversation; however I knew that it was time to rejoin my friends. 

We didn’t last much longer at Lodge Bar and everyone was ready for their Street Meat.  (Gross.)  We stood at the gyro cart for a good 10-15 minutes, with Jackie stealing some guy’s cigarette from behind his ear.  (She doesn’t know why either.)  Jen and Carrie both decided to forgo staying with us in the hotel since they felt okay to drive, so I walked with them to their cars.  And course Jen and I couldn’t remember exactly where she parked.  Apparently I videotaped this at first, but I just sound really drunk on the audio so….delete. 

Jen dropped me off at the hotel and I headed upstairs.  Kristin was apparently waiting for me because she called me 2-3 times.  Guess who I got to spoon with that night?  Lol.  By the time I got to the hotel room, Ruth and Jackie were passed out.  Sarah was trying to Skype with her boyfriend, Ian, back in Bermuda, and Kristin may have been talking/texting her fiancée, Jim.  After changing I realized that my contact was lost somewhere in my eye, so Nurse Sarah performed hardcore surgery to get it out.  (She’s the best!) 

Sarah, Kristin, and I crammed into the bed- surprisingly comfortable- and we all passed out, putting an end to Friday night.  Three posts all to share the details of this night…WOW.  There’s so much more to highlight about this weekend.  Next post will be all about good times in Lancaster (L-Town)…

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 2)   Leave a comment

…okay, where was I?  Oh yes, Grappa is crappa.  Seriously, just don’t even both trying it.  I mean I really am in this whole hippie- live in the moment era of my life, but there are some things that you just need not experience…Grappa being one of them.  Why it is chased by espresso makes me question my love affair with coffee…well for a second, no more.  By the way, in case the menu is hard to read in the photo, here’s what is in the Ammazza Caffe: Death of Coffee- A shot of fresh espresso served with a shot of  Grappa (in the wine glass on the right).  Apparently it’s an Italian tradition, so at least I made my ancestors proud.  Wow.  I just had a bad idea of having my dad try this during his next Chi-town trip in May.  Hmmmm….maybe I’ll have him try a Brave Bull instead.  (See more on that later.)

We left Marcella’s with a bit of a buzz, to say the least.  Jen had parked her car in the lot next to my old apartment building and I said that I go with her to move it to the parking garage near the Arena, therefore it was closer to the Piano Bar (destination #2).  As we walked down High Street, me with my buzz, I was high on life being back in my old neighborhood.  In comparison to my East Lakeview/ Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, the Short North in Columbus is nothing…but my love for Ohio is indescribable and it will always feel a bit like home to me. 

I found myself reminiscent as I headed closer to 9 Buttles…thinking about the morning that Sarah, Waples, Tony, Charlie, and I headed to a late breakfast – accompanied by a hangover- and we seriously witnessed the coolest thing ever.  It’s so hard to explain and definitely a ‘you had to be there’ kind of moment.  To make a long, hilarious story short, some guy got out of his car in the middle of High Street (think Clark street for all of you Chicagoans or Court Street if you’re an OUer) and started dancing in the middle of the road to some other guy’s blasting car radio.  Now, I cannot remember if someone else got out of their car and started dancing too, but for entertainment-sake let’s say it happened. 

Anyways Jen and I eventually made it to the parking lot next to my building, and as always there was a (homeless man) ‘parking attendant’ there.  And here it is folks, my former home and first ‘adult’ apartment- post college that is.  Our apartment was right there on the first floor, and my window was right on the corner.  As Jen drove south on High Street towards the parking garage, I found myself staring out the window with serenity and content.  (And yes, I was still buzzing too.)  Oh, Columbus.  I miss you!  So many good memories…and more to come.  The night was still young.

Having finally found  a parking spot in the garage, we made our way to Big Bang Piano Bar to join the girls.  I won’t lie, the details of the night really are a little blurry.  It was such an A.MAY.ZING. night!  I’m using the pictures to piece it all together.  I remember starting with a glass of wine and finding the girls…and then the ridiculous of Kristin’s Bachelorette Party began.  Honestly, for this group of girls (especially back in Athens and/or Lancaster) this night was fairly tame.  However, there were a lot of shots…and I still have no idea what they were nor how many there ended up being.  Apparently I snuck out just in time to miss the tequila shot.  FYI: Straight tequila and me do not get along, not since I was 18 years old and literally throwing up shots in Scott Israel’s basement the next morning. 

So like I said, the night is a blur.  I wasn’t totally wasted or anything, but definitely far from sober.  Here are some of the photos of the night to share the details of our adventures at Big Bang Piano Bar.  Jen and I finally arrive at the bar, and this picture is great because it’s the most sober we were that night…or at least it appears that’s the case. And here’s Jackie and Ruth enjoying their highly anticipated reunion with the first of many shots.  These girls used to finish an entire case before going out for the night.  That in itself certainly deserves an “OH COLLEGE.  WE MISS YOU.”  Shortly afterwards there was another round of group shots, and from my recollection there was a round or two of $1 jello shots (that were surprisingly strong) too. 

Now let me say, how cool is it that Mrs. Young was at Kristin’s Bachelorette Party?  And not only that, but she was enjoying the festivities as much as her daughter!  I love this photo.  I’m going to have to get it framed for them.  I wonder if my mom would come to my Bachelorette Party?  Hmmm…first that means I’d have to have one, which also means that I’d have to trick some guy into proposing to me.  I bet my mom would go and be happy drunk off her ass because I was finally (appearing to) settle down in (gasp) a relationship. 

Back to reality.  Two more shots for the bride.  Jen decided to order Red-Headed Sluts for the three of us.  And then here’s a classic photo of the lovely bride being the champ that she is my doing a handless BJ shot.  So proud of her!

And then I had to add this photo on the right to show what happens when you let an already-drunk Bachelorette do two shots in a row.  Neither Kristin nor I remember when this photo was taken, but we believe that I’m holding her up here.  (In the photo, left to right: Carrie, Jen, Kristin, me, Jackie, Sarah.  Ruth took the photo.)

Maybe this is a good place to end for now…plus I’m find it difficult to keep my eyes open.  To be continued…

about last weekend: girls just wanna have fun (part 1)   Leave a comment

Finally!  I have finally found some time to rehash the details on my weekend in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower.  This is the beautiful bride-to-be at our dinner at Marcella’s in the Short North in downtown Columbus- a few blocks away from my old apartment.  Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me start over….

After arriving in town via the ever-so-lovely Megabus, I dragged my luggage a few blocks to the Starbucks near Nationwide Arena to wait for Sarah to pick me up a few hours later.  Now I don’t have to state my love of Starbucks, but I’ll share that I was consciously observing the other customers- noticing how happy people were (even at 8 am).  I told Ruth, who used to live in Chicago, I sat in Starbucks waiting for something crazy to happen…like it always does in Chicago.  But nothing.  No insanely odd people nor rude behavior.  Everyone was generally polite and respectful, not to mention a lot of good looking guys.  Starbucks and cute boys are the perfect welcome home present.  God, I love Ohio!

Sarah swung by around 10 am to pick up me, my luggage, and our two coffees that I was juggling.  It was so great to see her!  We hadn’t seen one another since our dinner in Chicagao (18 months+) and with her now living in Bermuda, we rarely get to talk other than a few Facebook messages/emails/letters every so often.  Seeing her pull up in her SUV immediately brought about many flashbacks…especially those morning drivebys when Sarah would swing by my apartment at 9 Buttles after her night shift (as a nurse at Grant Hospital) and pick up/ drop off random things (clothes, shoes, movies, food, etc.)

Within minutes of our ride to the beauty that is Easton, it was as though no time had passed since our last adventure…with the exception that neither of us could navigate around Columbus as easily.  Oh, something I should point out is that this group of girls refers to me as MinnieIt began in college when (for some reason) my screename was KristenieMinnie.  Still I’m not sure how ‘Minnie’ caught on, but it may have something to do that all of the girls are at least a few inches taller than me.  Anyways, so we headed up to Easton to do some shopping.  With Sarah, the term ‘shopping’ can be deceiving, but instead of indulging you in pointless details I’ll just leave it to your imagine.  One thing I’ll point out- which Sarah would be disappointed if I didn’t mention it- is that she found an adorable whale ring at Aldo, of all places.   Again, I need to explain that Sarah & Minnie have this bond over whales.  It started with a cute pair of pajama pants with whales on them, and now the back-and-forth whale gifts has continued.  In Sarah’s mind this is the ultimate of all whale-purchases, and I have to agree (for now).  How did she find this?  Or better yet, who the heck made this?

After a few more stops and purchases for Kristin’s wedding festivities, Sarah and I headed over to The Cheesecake Factory.  (FYI: I used to be a ho-stess at the CCF in Pittsburgh after graduation.)  With our luck, we were entertained throughout the meal by our server, Jeffro…only to find out when getting the check that his name was something else.  Now whether ‘fro was being faux-friendly or not, he bought a ticket on the Ohio Men Love Kristen (Minnie) Express.  When Sarah went to the bathroom, he informed me that I was ‘a doll’, leaving me to make a joke out of that (of course) only to have him insist that I was ‘seriously downright adorable’. 

Thank you, sir.   I already tipped you- a fairly well.  Before heading out, we were surprised to run into a  friend of Sarah’s from Lancaster, who just so happens to be the sister of a someone’s latest crush.  Small world, isn’t it.

Being very short on time, Sarah and I headed out of the beloved Easton to downtown C-bus to decorate the hotel before Kristin and Ruth’s arrival.  About halfway into our decorating, the girls came a’knocking.  I love my friends so much!!  Again, it was as though it hadn’t been 18 months+ since this group was together.  As we were getting ready for dinner, one of my favorite people in the entire world, Ms. Jackie Lugalia, joined our party.  The gang was back together!!  This was the first time the five of us Court Street troublemakers had been together since Summer 2005 when Jackie and I ventured to Lancaster to visit our girlies…or so Jackie claims we did, to which I vaguely remember. Did I make out with a boy that weekend too?  Again, I love these girls and the (bad) influence they have on me.

Okay, back to the dirt.  To my dismay, the non-Chicagoans decided to hop in the Arena District Shuttle instead of walking. Seriously!  The restaurant was only 4-5 blocks away.  It took more time to get there than it would have walking.  I almost walked there myself, but I didn’t want a red ‘bitch’ flag hanging over my head.  We arrived at Marcella’s fashionably late, to soon be joined by Jen (Kristin & my former roommate) and Carrie (Lancaster & OU friend)- who totally looked like a rockstar when she walked into the restaurant.  More people began to arrive, including the lovely Mrs. Cindy Young (aka Kristin’s mom).  I love, love, love her!!  Unfortunately I hadn’t seen her since before my move to Chicago.  And to catch you up, when I moved, Kristin & I (who were roommates with Jen at the time in a new townhouse) were not on good terms.  (Long story.)  Anyways, dinner was great, and as always the alcohol was flowing.  I had some great conversations with Carrie, Jackie, Jen, and Laura and her mom (friends of Kristin & Jim, the groom), but the highlight of dinner for me was chatting with Mrs. Young- who continuously told me how happy she was that I came.  She also made sure that I understood how much it mean to Kristin- which meant a lot to me especially because I almost didn’t go.  FYI: Since I was in Cinci the weekend before, I thought that this was too much- which it really was.  However, I followed my gut instinct and knew I had to be there- for Kristin, my friends, and myself.

Here’s a picture of Mrs. Young and her niece, Anna, who is an OU student and pretty kick-ass if I may say so myself.  She looks so much like Kristin! 

After our entrees, we received the dessert menu…which was a big mistake but a memory in itself.  So, apparently, in reading the menu, Sarah prompted us to all be hard-core (like we used to be back at OU) and try the Death of Coffee drink, which contained Grappa– “the Moonshine of liquors”. 

I wasn’t joking when I said that these girls were a bad influence on me.  IT WAS SO AWFUL (!!!), but we all finished it…

…and the rest of the night is a bit blurry; however, the photos help put some of the pieces together.  Here’s a teaser for you, which is clearly also evidence why you should stay away from Grappa.  More tomorrow.  Good night. 

friday night fun…?   1 comment

My dear Darlene said it best this morning, “It’s Fri-YAY!”  How cute is she?  I love that.  So yes, today is Friday.  TGIF.  Using that acronym takes me back to the good old days.  Do you remember TGIF with shows such as Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Step by Step.  Does that age me?  What else was on that night?  So that was my middle school days because I remember talking to Katie Allen on the phone about our crush, Andrew Keegan, who appeared on one of those shows.  In high school, Friday nights were usually spent at football games (Fall), basketball games (winter), and the mall, Eat N Park, and/or driving around good old Hampton (spring & summer).  In college, Friday nights were spent at the bars or house parties…each and every Friday.  The same went for my Fridays in Columbus, although there was a periodical evening in at Sarah’s or Kristin’s up in L-Town from time to time. 

Now my Fridays are much more…well, some may same boring or lame…but I’ll say tamed down.  Since my weekend officially began a few hours ago, I’ve spent my Friday evening doing laundry (which was more like losing money on machines that don’t work properly), working out to my Biggest Loser DVD, grocery shopping, cleaning, catching up on two weeks of Tivo, and beginning to think about decorating this lovely apartment of mine for Julie’s Bachelorette party next weekend.  (More on that in upcoming posts.)  But last Friday…now that’s a different story. 

I promise to tell the tales of my weekend in Columbus for Kristin’s Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower either tomorrow or Sunday.  I’ll need a break from my cleaning and decorating party anyways.  Okay, back to my Tivo shows. 

Oh by the way, I canceled my cable today.  I’ve considered it for awhile- especially realizing that 1) most of my Tivoed shows are on basic channels; and 2) everything is online anyways.  So here’s to saving $50 a month, which prompted me to start a much-needed savings account today.  Here’s to growing up and spending Friday nights in.  Maybe I should have a glass of wine just to make this evening a little bit more eventful.  Cheers!  ♥K