12.22.1990

My birthday is 43 days away but who’s counting? My mom, most likely. And Facebook of course. I’m not counting, but I just did the math and 43 is the number of days until my birthday. The thing is, I actually don’t see it as “days until” I see it as “days left,” meaning I have 43 days left in my 27th year or as some people who like to pretend to like science say, it will be my 28th “trip around the sun.” 43 days left being 27 also means 43 days left to match with as many 26-year-old men on dating apps because on December 22nd when I turn 28, I will adjust my age range from 26-32 to 27-33. It’s going to be really sad, but rules are rules, so if you’re a 26-year-old male living in the metro Chicago area, surrounding suburbs and pockets of Wisconsin, you have 43 days to match with me. May the odds be ever in your favor. On the bright side, I’m looking forward to seeing less pictures of guys in frat tee’s. Oh, that never stops? Cool.

My mom was very pregnant with me when she was my age. She had been married two years, but I was not planned. I was an accident or a “surprise” as my mom has repeatedly asked me to call it. I know this because I read her diary…it was in plain sight, what was I supposed to do, NOT read it?  There were a few entries about traveling to Europe and then an entry about being pregnant and then no more talk of Europe. That’s how I deduced I was an accident, er surprise.

I’m not pregnant like my mom was at my age, but sometimes I imagine myself 9 months pregnant using my belly as a table for eating and I chuckle. And then I take a giant gulp of wine from the bottle and chase that with a hit from a bong named Susan. I don’t really have a bong, but if I did I’d call it Susan. So I won’t be with child on my 28th birthday; instead I’ll be “with hangover” from a birthday celebration that will likely continue into the late evening hours. Maybe even past midnight. You’re all invited.

The reason I started writing this post is because I wanted to share a video my mom sent of me opening a boom box on my eighth birthday. But then I started going into being an accident child. Tangents are my specialty. Tangents and spelling. Anyway, my eighth birthday was the happiest day of life because I received the most beautiful boombox. My mom captured it all on tape and I’m glad she did because now whenever I’m sad I can watch it and remember that one day 20 years ago I was just a kid in pigtails on her birthday opening a boombox and loving every minute. Eventually that same boom box, the one that brought me so much joy, ended up selling for 20 dollars at a garage sale. The saddest part about losing that beauty first generation AIWA Boombox Stereo? I left my Ashlee Simpson CD inside it. Sad, I know.

 

 

 

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Halloweeeeeen!

I’m not a good blogger, but I can still do “the worm”, so who cares? This will be my second post in two weeks, and although I’m publishing a Halloween themed post a day after Halloween, it still counts. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took many days, in fact I think it took several weeks. Anyway, the bottom line is I’m trying. Read on for some chilling insights on Halloween from your favorite witch.

“Halloween is a fun holiday.” This is one of very few statements that the right and left agree on. A couple others are “Reading is good” and “It was weird when Joey and Rachel dated on Friends.” Halloween isn’t tied to any religion, it’s just good old fashioned fun, like a wheel barrow race or a Shawn Mendes concert. Some fun things about the holiday include:

  1. Tricks
  2. Treats
  3. Costumes (I.E. Witch, Ghost, Guy Fieri)
  4. Pet costumes
  5. Scary movies
  6. Pumpkins!

The week of Halloween is great because you can eat six candy bars in one day and no one will say anything, because you’re participating in the holiday through mass candy consumption. So hell yea, give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar x 6. This year I indulged in at least one piece of the following candies: snickers, twix, peppermint patty, kit kat, almond joy (this is basically a super food cause it contains almonds and coconut), reeses, and M&M’s. All other candy is trash. You’ll notice butterfingers were not on that list. There’s a reason for that. One year – it’s irrelevant how recent – I ate like five butterfingers in the span of 20 minutes. Now I can’t look at them without getting nauseous. You’ll also notice three musketeers was missing from my list, and that’s because three musketeers are trash. We have a bowl of candy at the office and we replenish it every day and without fail, by the end of the day it’s just a big pile of three musketeers. A big pile of trash.

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Halloween gives normal people a reason to dress their dogs (and cats) in ridiculous costumes. Weird people dress their pets up all the damn time. Stop that. Some of my favorite dog costumes from this year include a hot dog, a sushi roll, and any costume that makes it appear as though the dog is standing upright on it’s two front legs. Trump can threaten us all he wants, and he can Tweet like a dumbass all day long, but he cannot take away our freedom to dress our pets up.

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I was so excited for Halloween that I decided to celebrate four days before it, on Saturday. I was Miss Lippy from Billy Madison and wore a long denim dress and my hair in pig tails. I got hit on zero times. My friends and I went out to do karaoke to celebrate Halloween and our friend Abby’s birthday. Abby had the best costume by far. Her mom made it, so it’s one of a kind. She was a rotisserie chicken. That’s her below…I mean…come on. She actually entered a costume contest later that night and took home first place and 250 dollars. That’s a lot of rotisserie chickens.

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If I had a billion dollars

Did you hear the news? The Mega Millions jackpot is up to a staggering 1.6 billion. That’s “Billion” with a “B.” That’s a lot of money, or as I like to call it “the stuff I need more of, fast!” or just “cheddar.” The lucky winner will come into a wealth that equates to almost a full Taylor Swift (1.6B after taxes is 87% of what Swift is worth) but it’s about a million times what I’m worth and roughly three thousand two hundred times what Pete Davidson is worth, which makes me feel not much better about my situation, but a little better. But still not much.

Americans don’t run on Dunkin’, Americans – even the 1% –  run on the hope that tomorrow will bring good fortune and be better than today. And when tomorrow holds the possibility of winning a b***load of cash, then that feeling is increased tenfold. It’s like an orgasm of the mind. It doesn’t matter your age, race, class, political beliefs, or whether you heard Yanny or Laurel, humans get off on fantasizing about shit like this. That’s why I bought $20 worth of tickets. Yeah, I came to play.

I spent most of the workday gazing out the window imagining my life without credit card debt. Then my boss told me I should sit at my desk because I was starting to weird everyone out standing by the window. Statistically, there’s a higher chance of getting struck by lightening and bit by a shark simultaneously than there is winning the lottery. No one in the history of time has been bit by a shark AND struck by lightening. I think I have a higher chance of marrying Ryan Reynolds AND Chris Hemsworth simultaneously with Jimmy Fallon as the officiator. This goes back to the fantasy thing. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of a billion dollars. I won a $25 Amazon gift card at a work event last week and almost cried of happiness – can you imagine my reaction if I won the 1.6 billion? Engage dream sequence….

The first of five balls cascades into place. 70. I check my ticket, hands shaking. Please be 70. Holy cow, it’s 70! I can win this! It’s my destiny! The second ball falls in line next to 70. It’s 32. There’s no way. The first two numbers are 70 and 32 and so are the ones on my ticket. My heart is beating faster than when I accidentally double tap a photo of someone I’m insta stalking. I am moments from blacking out from the shock, but then I remember there are still three more numbers. These go faster than the first two. 24, 34, 46 – wow what a coincidence, the measurements in the classic Petey Pablo song Freek-a-leek and THE LAST THREE NUMBERS ON MY TICKET. My mind goes completely blank as I collapse  to the floor with the perfect amount of drama to match the circumstances. I lay there in silence trying to convince myself this has all been in my imagination, but it can’t be because I peed myself a little.

UPDATE: I didn’t win. But that’s okay! As long as a Trump supporter doesn’t win it I’m good.

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m back – did you miss me?

Happy Friday and Happy 4/20!

It just occurred to me the other day that I purchased the domain name “xtinamistakes” so I should probably post on it more than once every six months. It’s just plain lazy, really. Not a single post in six months? Who am I, the laziest person who ever lived?

Let’s see…well a lot has happened since September. Nothing life-altering; however, I did contract a nasty skin rash over most of of my body after using a cheap body wash. It was Dial, if you were curious. Some other things worth mentioning: I successfully completed Whole30 (yes, you read that right), and I started doing stand up around the city. I also started meditating. Wait, no I didn’t. I don’t meditate, but I’ve heard it’s great for you. Maybe I’ll give it a try!

But, back to stand up. I can’t believe it took me this long to try it, because I’ve been wanting to try since the first time I made someone laugh. But as the saying goes, better late than never. This blog used to be the one creative outlet where I attempted to make you laugh, and now I get to flaunt my amazing sense of humor all over the city in front of strangers, and for me, there are few things more satisfying than making complete strangers laugh out loud and laugh out loud hard. I feel like we need comedy more than ever right now, because let’s be honest, this time in history won’t be remembered as a time where the human race shined bright like a diamond. My goal each time I get on a stage is to make the audience forget their troubles and the fact that the world is going to shit, even if it’s just for four minutes. If I can keep doing that, then I’ve just made the world a little less shitty.

If you’re dying to listen to my stand up I have a few videos on  this neat site called YouTube. Remember, the camera adds ten pounds. The videos have less than 10 views, which will look pathetic when I submit them to bookers, so if you could just play them on a loop that’d be great.

 

 

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Fantasy Football

South Africa has cricket, Mexico has soccer, China has ping-pong, and the US has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Excuse me, I meant football. Just like that sick f*** who broke the world record for most hot dogs consumed (70 if you were curious), America’s love of football is downright unhealthy. We’re Fast Food Nation and we’re Football Nation and not the other way around.

I recently bought a baseball hat that simply says “SPORTS” because I’m constantly looking for inventive ways to get attention. I actually really like sports. Whether it’s playing, watching or actually talking about them, I’m pretty much the epitome of a “sports nut.” Despite being a natural-born athlete, I’m not good at all sports. I was the first ever female to be cut from a rec league volleyball team. Okay, so I wasn’t actually cut, per se – I just stopped going to games. I did suck though. Just ask any of my former teammates.

I like watching sports almost as much as I like playing them. I will gladly set aside 4+ hours to watch a football game because I can engage in four of my favorite activities: eating, drinking, sitting, and yelling at a TV. A statistic from 2011 says that among adults who watch football, six in ten say they spend between 3 to 5 hours a week watching it. I imagine this has changed since ’11 and the statistic people should probably do another study. Either way, I plan on watching upwards of five hours a week this season because unlike last year, this year I’ve got skin in the game. That’s right, I’m talking about Fantasy Football.

People all over the world have been playing fantasy sports for over 50 years, with approximately 40 million people participating in one or more fantasy sports every year. Many do not know where Fantasy Football even came from. I think it’s important that we sports watchers know the origins of this beloved tradition. Fantasy Football was conceived by three men at a Manhattan hotel in October of 1962. Wilfred “Bill” Winkenbach AKA Wink was the brains behind it, and is given most of the credit. The official name of the first Fantasy Football league was the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League (try saying that three times fast. LOL). Mr. Winkenbach is also the brains behind similar games for golf and baseball. Little-known fact: Winkenbach’s life was the inspiration behind the phrase “Ball is Life” because sports consumed every waking moment of his life. Don’t be Wilfred Winkenbach.

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Now everyone can play! You don’t even have to know what football is or like sports!

So far my team is off to a rough start. I have one player that is suspended after getting a DWI, two are “questionable,” and one is IR, which stands for injured reserve, but might as well stand for “Immediate Regret.” The Patriot’s loss cost me my first match up against “Cry Me a Rivers.” I guess that’s what I get for choosing players based on level of attractiveness over skill. Basically unless I pull off some smart trades, I’m SOL. But who doesn’t love a good comeback? I know you’re all dying to know my team name. It’s “Tina’s Team.” Now that I know all about the history of fantasy, I think I might change it to The Winkenbetches as an homage to the game’s roots.

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I don’t deserve a car.

I didn’t think my life could get any more glamorous until I found out that my new role at Conagra came with a set of wheels (that’s cool guy talk for a car). Did I really need a car? Probably not, but I’m a “yes person,” so on May 5th, 2017, I became the proud owner of a 2015 Ford Fusion and, subsequently, the most eligible female on the 1500 block of Western Avenue.

When commoners buy a new car they go to a dealership, test drive a few, listen to a sales pitch about why the car they like is perfect for them, and finally, drive off the lot in a pre-owned Kia Sorento straight to the nearest Wendy’s. My car was specially delivered to me at my home. Now that’s what I call employee appreciation. My car was delivered by a larger man – somewhere between Rob Kardashian and Ruben Studdard.  He then proceeded to “thoroughly inspect” the car, and I put that in quotes because he literally kicked the tires as if kicking a rock down the sidewalk, and opened and closed all the doors. So I now knew that they brought me a car with working doors and wheels that hold up after being kicked. Rob Studdard dropped the key in my hand and told me to be safe. I told him I would.

I climbed into my new whip and put the key in the ignition. The engine roared to life, much like I do when I hear the word tacos. I made sure my mirrors were in the right position for maximum #safety, then turned on my favorite radio station for maximum #fun. What could possibly go wrong?

I don’t know if this is some kind of record, but I managed to fuck up the car within three days. I’d probably driven 20 miles total. I got into a crash with a telephone outside my apartment. The last time I felt this stupid was freshman year physics class. I built a bottle rocket for a class project, but I built it completely upside down. This was 1,000 times worse. Basically, I was trying to park in the super cramped spot behind our apartment and failed. There wasn’t enough room, and I hit the telephone pole. And then I hit it again. And just to make sure, once more. The damage was pretty significant. I’m not longer the most eligible female on my block.

About a month later I got into an actual accident with another car. This wasn’t my fault. I repeat, THIS WAS NOT MY FAULT. I know this blog is about making mistakes, but this was not one of them. This was an XTINAACCIDENT. Here’s a play-by-play of what went down: I was pulling out of a spot on North Avenue with my blinker on like a responsible motorist. I pull out and out of nowhere comes a speeding mini-van and it clipped the side of my car. “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?” That’s what I said after the car hit mine. My heart was racing as I got out to assess the damage. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it would still require a mechanic to fix. The driver and I exchanged a few words, but in the end I let it go because he was Mexican and barely spoke English. I did tell him to be more cuidado (that’s spanish for careful) and he promised he would. Now I have this piece of shit car that is a constant reminder of my failures as a car owner. I wish I could leave it in an abandoned lot and set it on fire…I won’t do that, but I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind.

How does one go about returning a company car? “Hey, Conagra, what’s the return policy on cars? Can we just pretend this whole thing never happened and I can go back to taking ubers everywhere?” Oh and I forgot to mention the two parking violations I got. If this experience has taught me anything it’s that I do not deserve a car.

 

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The Five People You Meet at Trade Shows

I’ve been working at Frontera Foods for nearly three years, making it the longest, most profitable relationship I’ve had in my life thus far. Every year we exhibit at three major trade shows: a winter show in San Francisco, a spring show in Anaheim, and a summer show in NYC. Each show is special in its own right and I say ‘special’ the same way my 6th grade art teacher used to describe most of my artwork. Expo West, for instance, is known as the “party show.” Hotel bartenders love when this show rolls into town because we drink a lot and we tip generously. But if there’s one thing that each show guarantees, it’s unlimited kombucha and countless characters from all walks of life. I’ve discovered that each show draws all of the following types: the hungry exhibitor, the shopper, the Rick Bayless fan girl/guy, the salesman, and the ingredient snob. These characters, combined with all the amazing “fashion,” make these shows a lot more fun than one would think.

A brief note on the fashion: The clothing/overall look of some people at these shows is truly remarkable…I’m all for self-expression through fashion, but there is no reason a grown man in the year 2017 should be able to walk freely in an Ed Hardy shirt.

The Hungry Exhibitor

It takes one to know one. At my first trade show I consumed over 3,000 calories in 7 hours…probably. I wasn’t counting because math, but it was definitely an obscene number.

Because we serve actual food rather than slivers of bird food disguised as protein bars, people flock to our booth (unintentional bird pun). While I am more than happy to feed my hardworking peers, there are always a handful of exhibitors who treat the show like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Hungry exhibitors want to try anything and everything, including shit they don’t even like. The hungriest exhibitors visit our booth multiple times, but act like it’s their first time, every time. Like, I just saw you 5 minutes ago, Roy from Popchips, I’m sorry you have to eat Popchips all the time, but you’re getting annoying and you have bad breath.

The Shopper/Free-Loader

These people are the worst. They come to these shows with one objective: to fill their bags with as much free product as possible. Some people bring coolers. It doesn’t matter what it is – dog food, an actual dog, cured meats, they just want to walk out of there with a ton of free shit. Some of these scavengers have the decency to ask for a sample, but most just grab it off the table and walk away casually like they didn’t just steal something. News flash: it’s a trade show, not tryouts for “Looter #1” in an apocalyptic movie. Ass.

The Rick Bayless Fan

photo-944171793Bayless poses for a photo with a fan.

Rick Bayless is the brand’s celebrity chef. He’s helped promote the consumption, appreciation and preparation of Mexican food in the US through his TV show, cookbooks, and restaurants. He has over 200,000 Instagram followers, so yeah, he’s kind of a grande deal. One time we talked in the elevator at work. It was sweet.

Bayless has a lot of admirers and many are at these shows. The second most frequently asked question after “Can I take you out after the show?” is “Is Rick Bayless here?” “No, he couldn’t make it” I say. “But he wishes he could be here.” This is a blatant lie. Of course he’s not here, and in fact, he had no intention of being here…I’ve been to one show where he made an appearance, and it was kind of important for him to be there because he was accepting a lifetime achievement award.

So unless they create an award for chef with the best mustache or most flexible chef, the chances of him attending another show are very slim. And we all know Guy Fieri would win best mustache. If you really want to meet Rick, I suggest you go to one of the many cooking demos he does all over the country, or pay me $100 and I’ll personally introduce you to him. Now eat your taco and scram. But don’t forget to take a coupon and have a nice day, too. Ugh.

The Salesman

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At least 1 in 3 people at a show are in sales and are there to gather new business leads. I’m pretty much the lowest level employee at Frontera…like one notch above the copy machine, and I really have no power when it comes to making company purchasing decision. These sales guys don’t know this, so they just come up to me and start talking about whatever product/software/service they’re selling. I’m a genuine person with a heart of gold, but I’m also a master bullshitter. I’ve been subjected to countless sales pitches, and they all follow the same script…

Sales guy: Hi Christina! Who do I talk to about marketing/exporting/packaging…?

At this point I’ll either pass him off to a coworker or ride it out.

Sales guy: Great. So let me tell you a little about what we do….

He then begins to go into his sales pitch and I nod and smile, acting all engaged and shit. Sometimes I throw in random comments or ask a question to show I’m listening. Sometimes I actually listen.

After a few minutes of chatting, sales guy wraps up his pitch and suggests we schedule a follow up call. If I find him annoying I pull the old “I ran out of cards, but here’s my colleagues card” trick. But in the unlikely event that he is somewhat attractive, I give him my card and a room key.

Last but not least,

The Ingredient Snob

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Remember when there were just people with peanut allergies? Those were the days. And while I respect people who don’t eat meat, or dairy or gluten, I will never be able to relate to them on an emotional or physical level. I am a passionate meat-eater and need to be with someone who is always down to go halfsies on a rack of ribs and a filet. A decent amount of consumers come to these shows in search of products that meet their specific dietary standards. They might be looking to lower their cholesterol or sugar intake, or they might be looking for organic baby food to feed their babies who can’t tell the difference. (When I was a baby I ate an alarming amount of sand from a dirty sandbox and I turned out just fine). It’s easy to identify an ingredient snob because they pick up product off the table without saying hello and study the label silently. After reading the ingredients they either smile and say “Wow, this actually looks really good,” or they quietly set the product back down upon realizing the product does not meet their standards, and disappear into the crowd.

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