High Times at Barnes and Noble

I’ve been sitting on this story for well over a year now…I’ve told a small number of people the abridged version, but I think it’s time for me to come out with it in its entirety. Much like the time I wore a vest with an embroidered owl on it and called it “fashion,” or the time I ate an entire family-size bag of chex mix in one sitting, it’s a day in my life that I am not proud of, but it happened. I hope – if anything – this story serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of over indulging in marijuana-laced brownies.

It was an unusually cold Sunday in November…the forecast predicted a chance of flurries and a 100% chance that I would be tripping balls by afternoon. I made plans with a few friends, let’s call them Ron, Harry, Hermoine and Ginny. Together, we decided to do what I suspect most 15-18 year-old boys do every Sunday: get baked and see a sci-fi movie. Harry and Ron, who are well-versed in baking of the herbal kind, brought over a batch of fresh brownies for us to eat before the movie. We each took a portion of a brownie. I finished mine in .3 seconds out of habit. Then I ate another small portion 20 minutes later.

The walk to the theater was a cold one, but everyone was in high spirits (pun intended). The movie we were going to see, Interstellar, was sold out, so we bought tickets for the next showing. With some time to kill, we wandered into the Barnes and Noble next door, and as we roamed through the stacks of books I started to feel really really stoned. I began to have dark, abstract thoughts: “Why am I here?” “What is carpet made of?” “How did all these books get here?” I sat down at a table with Hermoine and Ron and tried to act nonchalant, although I probably looked something like this:

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I looked down at my phone and told myself that everything was going to be okay. I was without a doubt the highest person at the Barnes and Noble Cafe and maybe even the highest person in the entire Barnes and Noble.

I decided I needed to leave immediately before I had a full on panic attack. “I have to make a call,” I announced to the table, slowly rising out of my chair. I charged my way toward and started walking back to my apartment. About two blocks into my walk I decided that now would be a good time to call my dad. I told him I’d eaten a pot brownie and that I felt weird. He responded by telling me that I was extremely high and advised me to go home, pour myself a glass of wine and put on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon. I was not amused. About three blocks from my apartment I began to feel queasy and decided to rest on a street curb. I distinctly remember examining my hands and thinking they weren’t mine. I saw the blurred image of a girl across the street and decided to call out to her and ask if I could sit on her couch. “I’m just really high and need to sit down,” I yelled to her from the other side of the road. She said she didn’t live here. I told her to enjoy her visit. I picked myself up off the ground and with newfound determination, walked to my apartment.

I was home, but I was alone and in a very fragile state. I called Ginny and asked if she and Hermoine would come back and comfort me. I also told them not to bring Ron and Harry. I didn’t want them to see me like this. Ginny and Hermoine took turns holding me and scratching my back. I swayed back and forth like a crazy person before I finally fell asleep. Meanwhile my phone was on silent and my parents were trying to reach me.

At around 9:30 we heard a knock on my door. My apartment was pitch black except for the glow of the TV. It was a waitress from the restaurant downstairs, we’ll call it Three Broomsticks. She explained that she was instructed to do a wellness check at the request of my parents. I looked at my phone and saw that I had 12 missed and one text from my brother asking for the Netflix password. I called and told them I was okay, that I was watching Silver Linings Playbook and had fallen asleep. Needless to say, I haven’t touched a weed brownie since…regular brownies, yes.

 

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My friend Barbs

My dear friend Barbs stopped by and showed me what she’s learned on the piano! Also covered in this episode: summer fashion trends, the sound of both of us biting into rice cakes, and Barbie reveals her first crush! So much drama! And you definitely don’t want to miss Barbie’s display of how terrible she is at song lyrics…it’s seriously mind-blowing how bad she is.

 

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Xtina Mistakes – The Podcast

I finally got around to doing a podcast. This is the first episode and while it’s nowhere near perfect, it was still fun. You can tell because there is a lot of laughter! I even have a microphone and it’s my favorite thing I own at the moment. Originally, this first episode was 40 minutes, but I cut out all of my “ums” and “alrights,” and that alone shaved off about 10 minutes. UM ALRIGHT.

 

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Beauty is Pain

Today, my family and I drove past a salon on our way home from Easter brunch. In the window was a neon sign that said “Threading.” Of course my dad was like “What is threading?”

Threading is a method of hair removal first practiced in the depths of Hell…that’s a joke, but seriously, it’s borderline torture. In a very rare deleted scene from Game of Thrones, Ramsey Bolton threads Theon’s eyebrows. Theon cries out in crippling pain as Ramsey meticulously threads each eyebrow until they are perfectly symmetrical or “on fleek.”

The practice of threading to remove hair actually originated in Asia, and while it allows for more defined and precise shape, it can be incredibly painful, especially for someone with sensitive hair follicles like myself…

One of many repressed memories of my adolescence is the time I got my eyebrows threaded. I was only in 8th grade – I hadn’t even had a proper makeout sesh yet…but my eyebrows were starting to look like a muppet’s, so my mom made me an appointment at our local salon. My mom dropped me off and said something like “have fun!”

I didn’t have any fun. That day I learned what “Beauty is Pain” means. My face tightened as this lady pulled out my eyebrow hairs. The pain fell somewhere between seeing a cute boy in cargo shorts and doing a belly flop with a sunburn. I could literally feel every hair being plucked out one by one by one by one. The lady didn’t seem to care that I was on the verge of tears, and continued threading for several minutes. Finally, it ended. I thanked her as I fought back tears, then ran out of there as quickly as I could. My mom could tell by my face that I was in distress. Through loud sobs I explained to her what had happened. “It was horrible, mom! Horrible! How can that be legal?” Later on, when I was pretty much done crying, I admired my new eyebrows in the mirror. Dammit, they did look good.

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Twenty-five

The reason I titled this “Twenty-five” is because I turned 25 yesterday and I’m extremely lazy when it comes to giving titles to posts. Everyone was like, “Welcome to the Quarter Century Club,” and I was like, “Does the Quarter Century Club serve alcohol or have a fondue fountain?” Joking aside, turning 25 is a big deal. I’m feeling queasy at the thought of it. Twenty-five marks the end of adolescence and the beginning of “adulthood.” So everything I do from here on will be part two of my memoir, or when everyone stops reading because I’ve become a responsible functioning adult. I don’t feel any different, the only thing different is the age range on my dating apps. I am now seeking men in the 25-42 year age range. Some thoughts I’m having on the heels of this milestone birthday:

  • In the past few years I’ve realized just how valuable time is. To quote poet Henry Threll, “When as a child I laughed and wept, Time crept. When as a youth I waxed more bold, Time strolled. When I became a full grown (wo)man, Time RAN.” It’s a shame that I’ve wasted so much of my time playing on my phone. I often think about how different life would be without them. We’d be more present and less distracted, that’s for sure. But more than that, we’d probably all be better at relationships. You can have a million friends on Facebook, but still feel lonely AF. And that’s why I’ve decided to delete all social media accounts.*

*I’m totally kidding …I think I could go like a week tops. How else am I supposed to keep tabs on my favorite mom and fashion bloggers? Mom Blogs are Life. Fashion is life.

  • My parents kick major b***. They are the epitome of #marriagegoals. My mom, Kelly, is my cheerleader in life: she favorites all my tweets – even the bad ones – and thinks my blog is hilarious. She’s also the most selfless and thoughtful person I know. All around my apartment are gifts she’s given to me and little reminders of her supreme awesomeness. My dad, Rob, is a real gem. A crossfit/golf/history enthusiast (what a winning combination!), he inspires me to live life to the fullest and stay busy. In addition to unconditional love and support, my parents gave me the greatest gift of all – freedom to be my goofy and imperfect self.

Cheers to 25!

 

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Study Abroad

Some of my most treasured college memories are getting to hang out with frat stars, writing the police beat for the student newspaper (so entertaining), and studying abroad in Seville, Spain. My time abroad was brief but still turned out to be one of the most fulfilling and enlightening experiences of my life. I came back to finish my Junior year of college with a new outlook on life, a much wider Spanish vocabulary, and a shitload of new clothes from Zara.

While the majority of those who study abroad choose to chronicle their experiences on a blog, I decided to be romantic and write in a journal. This isn’t that weird for me though. I actually kept a diary/journal for most of my early-late adolescence and have filled at least three journals, the first of which I called “Lila” and only wrote in cursive. I call my current diary Beyonce. My grandma gave me a Lily Pulitzer journal before I left for Spain and I promised her I would fill it with spectacular stories from my travels. In the beginning I was really good about writing every day…but then every day turned into every week. By the end of the three months I had managed to fill about 20 pages. Here are some of my favorite snippets.

9/22/11

“Whatsup! Yo soy Christina. Y este es mi diario de mis tiempos en Espana. Tonight is my first night in the residencia. It’s pretty chill.”

Wow, Abroad Xtina, you know how to write in Spanish! You are SO SMART!

“…Today was also pretty chill. We went to Toledo AKA The Imperial City. Toledo was beautiful. We saw a really old cathedral and we also saw the Count Orgaz painting by Goya. I love looking at artwork. Paintings are so cool in real life/up close.”

“…I saw a few paintings that I studied at school in my art history class with that fatass teacher Mr. Smith.”

“…Last night we went barhopping. At one point I jumped up onto the bar and danced. Things got wild. I’m pretty sure I stole a six pack of beer and I’m 100% sure I made out with a Spanish guy wearing a backpack and a necklace. Score!”

*Slow clap* Let’s see what other “cool” things I write about.

9/24/2011

“I’m going to make this relatively brief. Today we went to the coastal town of Cadiz. It was picturesque. Unfortunately, I did not evenly apply sunscreen on my back so now I have a burn. Sucks to suck.”

I love this next one because I remember the night so well and it still stands as one of the best nights of my life.

9/25/15

“Last night was possibly the funniest/craziest night of my young adult life. First we went to Calle Batiz where we chatted with some Americans who construct blimp landing sights for a living.”

“…At 3:30 we decided to go somewhere else. This is where the night gets krazeey. It was this huge outdoor club called Casino. There were tons of people and like 6 different bars. The music was a great mix of American pop and Spanish music. I danced with a really hot guy. He has my number but I doubt I’ll see him again. We stayed out until 5 am. That’s the latest I’ve ever stayed out. I slept until 2 today….”

10/2/11

“This past weekend I went to Lagos, Portugal. It was great. Pristine waters, sunny weather, and good company. Lagos is a Coastal City and draws a lot of vacationers. Lagos used to have a slave trading market.”

11/4/11 (This is all from my trip to Amsterdam. I spent 4 days there.)

“Amsterdam was quite the experience. Sure, I smoked a lot of weed, but I also did a lot of fun stuff and met some interesting people.”

“…I met two Americans at the connecting flight gate. We talked about drugs and music, and the two of them bonded over maintaining long distance relationships and how hard it was for them. I just listened.”

“…After resting for a bit I called Morgan. Catherine and I met up with her and her pretentious friend, Michelle, at a lounge called Bump. Michelle basically told us her life story…and it seemed like she was lying about  a lot. She told us she was allergic to her mom’s breast milk. Like girl, I just met you…maybe don’t come straight out the gates with that.”

“…After walking for a while we went to a bar and drank Heineken (Holland’s signature beer). The bar was right next to a Prostitute Store (I don’t know what to call it).”

“We closed the night with  chocolate waffles (obviously). I’m on a really strict diet of only carbs and sugar. It’s going really well.”

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There’s the “Freshman 15” and then there’s the “Abroad 20”

“We walked through town, both of us were high as a kite. I probably spent 30 minutes deciding which postcards to buy.”

“That night we decided to do a pub crawl in Leidseplein. I French kissed a French guy…a real French kiss!”

“That night we decided to see an improv show at Boom Chicago. Before the show I ate a rather large space cake. I giggled through the entire show.”

“We finished our Amsterdam trip with a visit to the Sex Museum. Eh. I was not a fan.”

Not into the history of dildos. Just being honest.

So that’s about all that is worth sharing. The rest is a mess of poorly written anecdotes sprinkled with random observations like “The cheese was soo good” or “The town was soo cute.” I had a lot of fun looking back through this journal because it made me nostalgic for Europe.

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Poor camel…

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