Beware the pink slip

Friday, April 30, 2010

I know some of you can relate to the incredible stress of not knowing if you'll lose your job tomorrow. Or maybe you're one of the unfortunate ones who already has.

I feel like I've been tiptoeing through landmines, never certain when one might go off. Needless to day, we had a rough first quarter but I'm happy to say that I've survived the first round of cuts.

Sorry, the first round of "reductions in force". That's the politically correct way to say, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

I can finally lean back with a sigh of relief and schedule a few vacation days without worrying about there being someone else sitting at my desk when I come back.

I'm going to stop mixing alcohol with my happy pills and passing out on the couch after work to avoid the realities of life. I'm really looking forward to catching up with all of your blogs again.

I missed you guys! xoxo

Can you find me?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Most of us in the blogging community use some sort of counter to see how many people are visiting our blogs. The one that I use also gives you a breakdown of recent phrases that are used in Google searches.

Because of my blog title, people navigate to me through some interesting channels. I had so much fun with this before, I thought I would list some more.

1) As a stripper, will I have to finish guys off? Only if you want a good tip, sweetie.

2) I think my neighbor is a stripper? Yes, Jim did this search on me.

3) Is Cheez Whiz constipating? Duh...

4) Male frontal nudity blogs. I'm waiting...

5) Was Meryl Streep ever a stripper? So help me God, if I see this one more time. Why, people, WHY??

6) Stripper with an "A" cup. Yes...??

7) Mike Rowe gay? I don't know. I don't want to know. In my fantasies, he's not and that's all that matters.

8) Anorgasmia pamphlet. You can have mine. Turns out, I didn't need it.

9) Jughead is gay. Duh...

And my new favorite:

All God's children are lost but few can play the piano. WTF??

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, September 18, 2009

Being the "first" to do something usually lands you a spot in the history books. People for generations to come will pay homage to your brilliance and everyone will remember your name. Saying the following names evokes a sense of awe and reverance for the accomplishments of these people.

Amelia Earhart ~ 1st woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean

Neil Armstrong ~ 1st man to walk on the moon

Wilbur & Orville Wright ~ 1st to build and fly an airplane

Jesus ~ 1st to turn water into wine

Okay, Jesus probably shouldn't be on this list since he's technically the only one to turn water into wine but I think you see where I'm going with this.

Every time I hear mention of these individuals or others like them, I'm saddened by those who are blatantly missing from the lists and whose brilliance seems to have been forgotten.

One man in particular always comes to mind. A man who dreamed a little bigger than the rest of us and made us look at each other in a whole new light. That's right.

I'm talking about none other than Chuck Barris and his beloved Gong Show.

Without Chuck, there would be no American Idol or America's Got Talent. So You Think You Can Dance would be played out in alleyways and behind bleachers.

This is where the three person panel originated. Simon, Paula and Randy weren't the first judging trio. It was Jaye P. Morgan, Phyllis Diller and Arte Johnson.

For those of you too young to remember this gem, it was a talent contest where performers had to perform a minimum of 20 seconds before a judge could "gong" them and kick them off the stage. If they were allowed to finish their act, they were judged on a scale of 1 - 10. The highest score won the grand prize of $516.32.

And did I mention that when the winner was announced, a little person (famous former Munchkin, Jerry Maren) would run on stage and throw confetti? It just doesn't get any better than that.

Oh, wait, yes it does. The best part of the show was a recurrent player by the name of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. He would hear those first notes and his feet just couldn't stop.

So a big THANK YOU, Chuck. Thanks for being the "first" to allow us to showcase our talents, the "first" to have a tuxedo wearing dwarf throw confetti at winners' feet and the "first" to introduce the Gang Gong.

You definitely have a place in MY history book.

I knew it!

Friday, April 23, 2010

So you know how I've been lamenting over the fact that I've gained 30+ pounds in the last year, right?

And how my sister insists that it's perimenopause?

And how I'm sure that I'm NOT perimenopausal but that there must be something beyond my control physiologically that's causing this?

Well, I was finally able to get into an endocrinologist this week to see what might be going on. She asked me a series of questions:

1. Are you fatigued often? Yep.

2. Do you have trouble sleeping? Nope. Just waking up.

3. Any excess body hair? Well, I'm Armenian so this must be a trick question.

She ordered bloodwork to test my hormones, pituitary gland and thyroid. Thanks to McAfee, our computers have been down for 24 hours but I was able to get a copy of my test results to look over.

Now, keep in mind, I work in administration at a hospital. I'm not a doctor and I don't pretend to be one. However, I do have access to Google so I'm able to self diagnose virtually every disease I've ever had.

Here are some examples:

Symptoms - July, 2008

Pressure like chest pain radiating to my left arm

Clammy sweating

Rapid heartbeat and palpitations

Inability to catch my breath.

Self diagnosis: HEART ATTACK

Actual diagnosis by Emergency room physician: PANIC ATTACK

Symptoms - January, 2009




Muscle aches

Pain when urinating

Self-diagnosis: HIV

Actual diagnosis: BLADDER INFECTION

Symptoms - September, 2009

New growth on neck, dark and asymmetrical in shape

Raised texture to the touch

Found after spending a great deal of time outdoors in the summer

Self diagnosis: SKIN CANCER


Okay, so maybe I haven't been 100% accurate, but this time I'm feeling pretty confident.

I've evaluated my hormone levels. I've also looked at the normal versus overactive percentile ranges for pituitary activity and come to a conclusion.

Self diagnosis: I'M PREGNANT.

Behold and rejoice the Second Coming!

Or...maybe I just have gas. I'll let you know what the doc says today.

Plan D

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I could always get a job like this.

And then I can work on my tan, too!

Plan C

I already have the blonde wig and wedding dress.

Stripper Chick Wisdom

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chrissy's real truth about life that no one will tell you.

"The only one who deserves your unconditional love is your dog.


If I meant cat, too, I would have said it."

Plan B

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I just found out that the reorganization of the hospital system that I work for has trickled down to my level and they are evaluating whether they will keep my position across the organization and if so, in what capacity.

I thought I had dodged the political favoritism bullet and now this.

I spent most of the weekend lying under the covers in a fetal position.

Then I decided I should snap out of it and work on a financial contingency plan. Here I am waiting in line behind Marge to meet with my financial advisor, Louie.

Lunches with Lisa

Monday, April 19, 2010

Since I've been traveling to satellite locations more often, Lisa usually sends me an email me to check if I'm going to be at the hospital for lunch.

She emailed Thursday.

Are you here? Can you do lunch?

Yep. Here all day.

Wait till you hear this one!

I walked up to the lunch table and Lisa was shaking her head and smiling.

"You've never heard anything like this before."

I was intrigued because Lisa has some great stories so if she thinks it's unique, it must be.

A woman (we'll call her Mrs. Smith) came into Lisa's office for a surgery consultation and after Lisa took her medical history, Mrs. Smith mentioned that since her mother passed away, she keeps something of her mother's with her at all times.

Lisa raised her eyebrows and tilted her head at me.

"What? You wear grandma's wedding band." I pointed out to Lisa. "That's not so unusual. People do that all the time."

Lisa held her hand up,"Can I finish? Just wait.."

She proceeded to tell me that Mrs. Smith explained to her that she and her mother had never been particularly close and that she had asked the funeral home to give this to her without her siblings knowledge. She said that initially she felt a little guilty, but 15 years later, she was glad that she had part of her mother with her.

"I feel like she's with me every day. We've traveled to California and last year, we went to Niagara Falls. It's like she gets to see all these places that she never got the chance to go to."

"That's really nice," Lisa replied, "I'm glad that you can take comfort in that."

"Would you like to see it?" Mrs. Smith asked.

"Certainly. That would be lovely."

Lisa expected Mrs. Smith to bring out a ring or some other type of family heirloom and she leaned in a little closer to her as she lifted a small box out her purse.

"Here, let me open it for you." Mrs. Smith whispered.

Lisa's eyes grew a little wider as she stared at it. "Oh my. It's so blue."

I swear, I cannot make this stuff up.

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, July 2, 2009

A 42-year-old Solon man dressed in lingerie was arrested Tuesday for exposing himself to motorists, police said.
Jeffrey Hirsch was pulling up his pants and wiping off his lipstick and gloss when Parma police officers approached him, Detective Marty Compton said. Hirsch was cited for public indecency.

A woman called police about 1:30 p.m. and said a man had just exposed himself to her while driving south on Pearl Road near Brookpark Road. She followed the man, who was driving a gold 2007 GMC Yukon, and described the vehicle to police dispatchers.
The Yukon's license plate is ET 77 JA.

Everytime I see a headline like this, I hold my breath for a second until I see the person's name.

I dated and subsequently fell madly in love with a man in 1997. He was tall, handsome and had a great body. He was also probably the biggest homophobe I had ever met in my life. I lived in Lakewood, OH, which in the original Trivial Pursuit game was tagged as the city with the largest per capita gay population in the country. Well, that just annoyed him more. I teased him that the people who hate the most are usually the ones most afraid of their attraction to what they revile. He wasn't amused.

After a while, I started to suspect that he might be cheating on me so I started to "snoop" around his apartment. I found women's makeup and perfume that I attributed to a former girlfriend. Then there were women's shoes and clothing, both in larger sizes. I didn't say anything right away until I found lingerie. It was right before Valentine's Day and I just assumed he had bought it for me. When Valentine's Day came and went and I didn't receive that lingerie as a gift, I knew something wasn't right.

He had lots of excuses that eventually led to our final breakup. Our on again, off again three year relationship has always been rather tumultuous and I always made excuses for his abusive behavior. This time, he revealed that he was gay but married a woman less than a year later telling me that he had lied to me about being gay.

A few years went by and he started coming around again. Getting out of that relationship had allowed me to look at the issues in my life that had made me decide to stay with an abusive man. I had forgiven him, my mother and myself and foolishly thought that we could be friends.

He had started a family but had this secret life on the side. He opened my eyes to a whole underground secret sex world that existed in quiet suburban Cleveland. PTA moms became swingers at night, married men took male lovers and estates on the lake became makeshift brothels. I think my curiosity got the best of me but I never participated in anything.

As the years went by, he drifted in and out of my life and his propensity for these behaviors increased and became more dangerous. He remained married and continued to grow his family, all the while having relationships with men on the side. I don't really know if his wife knew because his story kept changing when I asked him.

He said he could never truly live a gay life because he had too much to lose. Part of me always held onto what I thought we could have had as I tried to come to terms with the man he had become or I suppose, always was.

I last saw him in the fall when he called to tell me he was getting a divorce. He asked if I would help him find an apartment. I agreed and when he showed up, was wearing a dress, high heels, makeup and a wig. I had seen him like this before and I really wanted to be supportive of him but I was sad.

Sad for myself and what might have been if circumstances were different, sad for his wife who may or may not know who he really is, but mostly sad for him because he was too afraid to be true to himself.

He never did get that divorce but I had to divorce myself from him because there were just too many emotions attached to him after 11 years. I went through a grieving process as if he had died, which, I guess, he sort of did.

C Cleveland

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm a big fan of art museums. I like to wander for hours amidst different time periods and mediums, stopping to linger in front of pieces that move me and scratching my head at others.

I know some people feel intimidated by the formality of the galleries and that, unfortunately, makes them avoid them altogether.

That's why I love public art. You can't hide from it's "in your face" existence. Sometimes, it's temporary, appearing in response to a conflict that's occuring in a region while other times, it's commissioned by the government or a land owner.

There's generally no placard telling you what the artist was feeling when they created the piece. It usually has a name and an artist's name and the interpretation is up to the beholder.

One of my favorite displays of public art in Cleveland is the FREE sculpture.

The dimensions of the "world's largest rubber stamp" are 28 ft 10 in (8.79 m) by 26 ft (7.9 m) by 49 ft (15 m) and it sits in Willard Park. I think it's fair to say that "FREE" is pretty easily interpreted.

It represents liberty and independence and was commissioned by Cleveland's Standard Oil Corporation (SOHIO) in the 1980's. It was to be proudly displayed outside their headquarters on Public Square in downtown Cleveland. Sounds simple enough, right?

Um, wrong.

As designers Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen began construction of the sculpture, SOHIO changed hands and became British Petroleum (BP). BP wasn't very keen on having a pop-art sculpture right outside their front door so they gave the artists the opportunity to relocate it somewhere else downtown.

Well, Oldenburg and Van Bruggen were not pleased about that and so, halted production and placed already completed pieces of the sculpture in storage. Years later, BP management questioned why a large amount of money was being spent to store this huge stamp and interest in it resurfaced once again.

The designers were brought to Cleveland to choose a new space and agreed that Willard Park, outside City Hall, spoke to their artistic message. Just when it seemed like a solution had been found, then City Council President George Forbes opposed the installation. This time, the designers threw their hands up and threatened to destroy it completely.

Luckily, Council President Forbes' reign of power ended and the new Mayor and City Council President negotiated with BP to donate the sculpture to the city and house it at Willard Park.

The original sculpture was to represent an upright self-inking stamp, but the turmoil of the years reinspired Oldenburg and Van Bruggen to lay the stamp on its side, representing how it was "tossed" from its original home on Public Square and "landed" in Willard Park.

Aerial view

Random acts of kindness

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This morning when I let Bernie out, I saw this poor little animal that had been run over in the street at the end of my driveway. I couldn't tell if it was a cat or a rabbit but I knew it would be pretty traumatic for the little girls that wait for the school bus across the street from my house.

I decided to walk across the street and give them a lesson in life and death. I explained to them that it was the animal's fault for being too slow crossing the street and as a result was killed by a passing vehicle.

I told them that if they didn't want to end up like that animal, that they should pick up the pace and not dilly dally.

Here they are running for their bus a few minutes later.

It feels really good to make a difference in a child's life.

Stripper Chick Wisdom

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chrissy's real truth about life that no one will tell you.

"It's perfectly acceptable to give unsolicited advice to someone who obviously needs it."

Open Sesame

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

As I backed my car out of my detached garage last Saturday to attend a toddler's birthday party, I hit the button on my garage door opener and waited for it to close. I've made the mistake of pulling the car out of the driveway before the door was down only to come home and find it open because of an errant leaf that had blown in front of the sensor as it was closing.

Once I was sure it was securely closed, I pulled out and drove to the party. Three and a half hours later, I returned.

Hey, they're Italian. You didn't think I would be home in a hour, did you?

Bloated from pizza, meatballs, cake and ice cream, I was anxious to get inside, take Bernie for a walk and spend the rest of the evening watching a movie and holding my sore belly. I pressed the opener that's clipped to my visor and waited for the garage to open.


I pressed it again.




Damn it to hell! The battery must be dead.

I got out of the car and stomped into the kitchen to open the garage with that opener.


I shook it and slammed it against my palm, thinking that might help.


I went outside, opener in hand and leaned my ear close to the door while I pressed the button. I didn't hear the motor running at all so I locked my car door and went inside, leaving the garage door dilemma to be addressed tomorrow.

When I got up in the morning, I was hoping that by some miracle of fate, the garage door has repaired itself overnight.

I pressed the button.


Did I mention that the prior owner had put aluminum siding over the side door AND window in the garage? So there was really no other way to get in but through the large, steel double door which wasn't budging an inch from my pathetic attempt to lift it.

Or was there?

That's right, a door for midgets.


I mean, little people.

I'm hoping that Steve and Katie, The Little Chocolatiers, from TLC will stop by and leave a surprise on my car seat. Psst...milk chocolate only, please.

My neighbor, Jim, offered to expand the frame to big people size and install a new door. I know what you're thinking.

Chrissy, why are you encouraging him to spend any more time with you than necessary?

Because. He's engaged!

What's that? You didn't hear my screams of joy?

The ink is barely dry on his divorce papers but he found a new love on EHarmony and has popped the question already.

Normally, I would dissuade someone from jumping into things so soon but what kind of person would I be to come between a man and his happiness??

Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today is my sister, Lisa's, 46th birthday.

She takes great pride in the fact that most people think she's the younger sister. I let her get away with it because she's always been my biggest fan.

I'm the one on the left with the big head and too small hat.

Happy Birthday, Lisa!

It's also the birthday of my good friend and fellow blogger, Kathryn. Stop by her hilarious blog, The Internal Makeover, and say hello!

Happy Birthday, Kathryn!

Sorry, ladies, these strippers were all I could afford on my budget.

Spring Break!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Time for a little rest and relaxation.

Okay, I'll still be in Cleveland and I have to work every day but I'll be wearing my bikini around the house.

No, Jim, I won't leave my blinds open for you.

See you next Monday!

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Easter Beagle is beat from delivering all those eggs to good girls and boys.

We hope you and your families have a Blessed Easter!

Chrissy & Bernie

C Cleveland

Saturday, April 3, 2010

For the last 53 years, Ron and Betty Manolio of Lyndhurst, the suburb of Cleveland that I grew up in, have created an Easter wonderland of painted eggs in their front yard. In 1957, the first display was a simple cross fashioned out of 750 eggs.

Cleveland weather can be unpredictable in April, but yesterday was the perfect day to head down the street to check out this year's display which numbers 32,740 eggs.

Click on photos for greater detail

The preparation for each year's display begins in January when Betty creates the design and then transfers it to grid paper. Ron then calculates how many eggs will be needed and what the colors will be.

For the next several weeks, they collect eggs. Yes, real eggs! Ron cleans the shells and then hand paints each one. Most restaurants don't use fresh eggs anymore but there's one in town that donates the shells to the Manolio's every year to help them continue the tradition.

Their children and grandchildren pound the stakes that will hold the eggs and then volunteers and friends place the eggs according to Ron's master plan.

This labor of love was documented in the film, Eggshelland, The Movie. It not only documents their annual tradition, but showcases this large, close knit family and their dedication to each other and the community they love.

The most fun thing was seeing the Manolio's 1950 DeSoto parked in their driveway. They had their first date in it and then used it as their honeymoon car.

Stripper Chick Wisdom

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chrissy's real truth about life that no one will tell you.

"The Easter Bunny isn't real. He's just a mythical character.

Like that soulmate you've been waiting for."

Say it isn't so!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I’m officially a member of "The Swish Club."

The what?

You know, "The Swish Club". Let me explain.

My friend Debbie and I worked together at Casual Corner (a now defunct women’s clothing store) in 1985. She was 23, I was 19. We went out partying at least 3 nights a week and our meals consisted of Burger King or gyros bought from a street vendor at 2AM. I remember feeling really huge compared to Debbie because she was a petite size 4 and I was a mammoth size 6.

Our store manager, Lori, was a 28 year old Slovenian brick house. She donned a large head of super teased hair sprayed hair, Lee press on nails and raccoon eyeliner. She wore size 8 dresses over her size 12 booty and when she walked, her thighs went swish, swish, swish, swish.

That summer, we went to go see Whitney Houston at an outdoor concert in July. Summers in Cleveland are notoriously hot and muggy but Lori wore pantyhose under her shorts. All we heard on the way up the hill to our seats was swish, swish, swish, swish.

Debbie and I were both horrified to think that one day our thin legs might actually touch when we walked and we would then become members of "The Swish Club" .

I honestly thought I had dodged that bullet all these years until a few days ago. I wore pants most of the winter to fend off the cold but a warm spring day this week brought one of my favorite skirts out of hiding.

I was walking down a quiet corridor of the hospital when I heard it.

Swish, swish, swish, swish

I smiled to myself, remembering Lori and wondering who the poor soul was behind me with the thunder thighs. I paused to fake adjust my shoe and when I looked back, there was no one there. I assumed they had veered off down a hallway and I continued on my way.

Swish, swish, swish, swish

This time, I didn't even pretend to adjust my shoe. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around.

There was no one there.

I started to walk.

Swish, swish

I stopped. The swishing stopped.

I started to walk again.

Swish, swish, swish

Holy Mother! That sound is MY thighs! No, no, it can't be!






I tried walking so that my thighs wouldn't touch but it was no use. That just made me look like I had a load in my pants.

Well, I guess if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I've applied for "The Swish Club" membership card. I hear they have some great discounts on cocoa butter for the inner thigh rash.

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