For Those of You Playing the Home Game

Some things that annoy or irritate my dad to the point that he scolds me and uses my full name:

  • Giving Bubba Justin Bieber hair
  • Taking pictures of Bubba with the Bieber Hair
  • Talking and singing like Cartman
  • Wearing makeup
  • Basically, if I’m awake and have the power of speech, there’s a good chance I’m going to do something that will get him worked up

Things I do that barely make his radar:

  • Take 4 shots of tequila at a family birthday party


Pick your battles, people.


Not as Badass as a License to Kill, But Thrilling All the Same

So, we faced up to one of my biggest fears – venturing into the town of Oroville – to get this:

I took a photo of a blank one so our address wouldn't be broadcast. But you get the idea. Compelling stuff, yes?

And yes, the lady behind the counter DID look at me with a mix of amusement and confusion as to why I was photographing a blank piece of paper.  The best part?  Ed couldn’t act like he didn’t know me since he was signing a piece of paper basically stating his intent to hang out with me forever.  Although, he had better desensitize himself to moments like this because a lifetime with me is bound to bring some public humiliation now and then.

The whole process took less time than it did to drive to the County Clerk-Recorder’s office and back home.  But hey!  We have a license and 90 days to use it.  See?

Ed wore his "terrified" and "exhausted" face today, while I am hopped up on coffee and had no problem asking a total stranger to take our picture.

While we were waiting for the Nice County Clerk Office Lady to process our application, I asked Ed if we could go across the street to the courthouse so I could yell, “YOU’RE ALL OUT OF ORDER!” or “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” but he wasn’t having it.  Felt like a waste of a trip to Oroville, but whatever.

Another couple came in to apply for a license and I exchanged smiles with the other bride-to-be.  Who looked about 12.  No joke.  I mean, I’m sure she’s 25 or something, and just looks young but goddamn.  Are we the oldest first-time bride and groom in Butte County history?  Probably.  I think we should get a prize.  Surely Oroville can spare some meth?


So, I haven’t done an awesome job of hiding my impatience and exasperation with the whole wedding planning process* and the la-dee-dah that goes with it all.  The expense.  The pressure.  The chiffon and lace and how everyone’s voices can go from excited to shrill in nothing flat.  If it were up to me we would have had a simple civil ceremony at the courthouse with our immediate families, gone out to dinner and called it good.  However, life isn’t just the Christen Show so we’re having a Wedding (and I’ve made my peace with that).  But you know what I am excessively thrilled about?  Marrying Ed.  Mock me if you want for taking pictures (hell, I wouldn’t blame you) but after what we both went through to find each other, I think a little excitement is in order.

* Funny** story: the other night I told Ed that our license would cost $83.  “You mean that’s all it costs to get married?  Hell, we should have gotten married at the courthouse and been done with it.”  And then to keep my head from exploding I poured myself a glass of wine and seethed quietly.  The End.

**Maybe it’s not really “funny haha” as much as “we’re gonna have a murder-suicide up in here.”

I’d Make a Joke About The Heat But I’m Too Damn Crabby

Summer is here, bitches.  Like, HERE WITH A FUCKING VENGEANCE.  I feel like Spring flew past us so fast.  What happened to that time where having dinner or drinks on the patio is enjoyable?  Hell…possible?  I guess we missed those couple of days.  Anyway, here’s what’s up as we say goodbye to this week.

  • I bought my shoes and underthings (of the decidedly unsexy, but highly functional, variety) so I will be neither barefoot nor commando at my own wedding.  I cannot tell you what a huge relief it is to have my outfit all figured out.  I tried my dress on again and it still fits, which is a huge relief.  I swear on a case of Summerfest I’ll up the water intake and maybe switch to lite beer.
  • I also bought some new tank tops, a skirt (on clearance, HOLLA) and sundress so that when my dead, dehydrated body is found I’ll look cute.  Yay me?
  • We’re headed out of town again and I followed my usual shove-everything-in-the-suitcase method since it worked so well last time.  I have gieven up on trying to be efficient or pack light and am embracing my natural state of spazzosity and bringing more than I need unless I just randomly decide to do midday costume changes.
  • I’m also packing a shit-ton of make-up and products since we’re visiting Ed’s sister and nieces to celebrate the baby’s 13th birthday.  She is now allowed to wear make-up so Aunt Christen is coming through with the goods.  The plan is to drink margaritas (just the adults, I mean) and teach her how to apply eyeshadow.  I might be doing these things simultaneously.  Seems like a bulletproof plan to me.
  • Finally saw Toy Story 3 and loved it.  At first the 3-D stuff was a little distracting and freaky for easily-startled CKD but then I got into it and THEN I almost lost my shit in a panic that THE TOYS WERE GOING TO DIE and then I was so relieved that the toys didn’t die (sorry if I ruined that for you) that I wasn’t all weepy like every other person on the planet said I would be.  I might be a robot.  But seriously you guys, the toys were in serious peril and I had barely come down from that and then Pixar throws another heartbreaking scene at you…  Jesus Christ, I think I need a Xanax just reliving it.

Have a lovely weekend, Interweb.  Stay cool like Fonzie.

Say My Name

So, I’m getting married in 80 days.  And before you accuse me of being a crazy neurotic who meticulously keeps track of such things, let me explain that I know this because is kind enough to send me emails (sometimes daily, sometimes several times a day) with a countdown in addition to helpful planning ideas or reasons why my friends hate me.  Convenient!

Anyway, we kicked major planning ass at first, had a nice lull where we just got to kick back and relax (well, as much as I could relax when my mom would randomly inform me of her “concerns about the centerpieces” during a family dinner, which, OH SWEET JESUS, what the hell do I even say to that?), and now we are in a patch of finalizing plans and writing checks to vendors and shit is getting real up in here

Case in point: The Marriage License.  Like I said: getting real.  You know this because the government is getting involved.

This morning I did some research on our marriage license and let me tell you: if California had required blood tests you can be damn sure we would have had a destination wedding.  But alas, all we need is our ID’s, our application and and ourselves.  BLAMMO!  The license will be issued immediately and valid for 90 days. 

The application itself isn’t terribly complex.  It asks for stuff like your name, address, birthday and state where you were born.  I think my form for a Target credit card required more, to tell you the truth.  The one slight question mark was one regarding our respective parents.  Specifically, my mom’s birth name.  Before you accuse me of being an idiot or oblivious or unaware of my surroundings, let me clarify that a.) my mom has two middle names, but it was unclear if both were legal and b.) one of the names is a Hawaiian one and I wanted to verify spelling.

Side note: Yes, it’s likely the state will issue a license without actually verifying if my mom’s second middle name has an extra “m” in it.  BUT WHAT IF THEY DON’T?  Or what if the license is rendered invalid and we aren’t legally married?  RIDDLE ME THAT, INTERWEB.  Also, this form will be submitted to the government so if things are wrong I think we go to jail or something.  I don’t know.  It’s official shit, is what I’m saying.

So, I send my mom an email asking for her full birth name since I’m filling out the license application, but either she misread or my wording was off, because she thought I was asking her what MY birth name is.  As in, my mom didn’t think I know my own name.  Now, I know I’m spazzy and easily distracted at times, but holy hell, that’s something I mastered at a very young age.  So nice to know my mom thinks so highly of me!

In other insane my-mom-is-going-nuts-over-this-wedding news, we are getting the string quartet.  After informing her that we were going with the trio, she cornered me during a 1.5 hour long car ride to Sacramento and played the, “But it would mean so much to me” card and I folded because I am just worn out at this point.  So yeah.  If you are at my wedding, please tell me that the viola really made the whole experience extra-super-magical for you.  Thanks.

Life List

It’s no secret that I love a good list.  Oh, the organization of it all!  It appeals to the OCD side of me and keeps the ADD side of me in check.

There’s a movement in the blogging community to create (Mighty) Life Lists, publish them and, well, get to work on the items.  And, in the spirit of inspiring, share the experiences with others.  The items need not be big, huge life-changing things, but it’s kind of cool to push yourself to do things that for whatever reason intimidate or simply fall by the wayside. 

Most people are publishing 100 items and mine is a work in progress.  Here’s my start for now:

1.) Take drum lessons

2.) Master a signature/go-to dish that is suitable for entertaining

3.) Run a 10k

4.) Throw an anniversary party for my parents

5.) Visit France and actually put that French minor to use by having a conversation with a native

6.) Plant and maintain a small herb garden

7.) Publish my writing in a professional capacity

8.) Host a major holiday for our families

9.) Start a local Cheesewhizzes club

10.) See a show on Broadway

11.) Un-plug (no TV, Internet, phone) one day a month

12.) Institute weekly Happy Hours with friends

13.) Surprise Ed with a picnic lunch on a weekday

14.) Dine by candlelight using the “good” china and crystal for no reason at all

15.) Make it a tradition to volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen during the holidays

16.) Establish a scholarship in my (Carreira) grandparents’ names

17.) Take tap-dancing lessons

18.) Buy those leather pants already

19.) Take a family portrait with each set of parents and siblings

20.) Send out actual birthday cards instead of emails or Facebook posts (or in addition to – can’t really wish someone a Happy Birthday too much, can you?)

21.) Have a baby

22.) Treat a group of girlfriends to a weekend getaway or retreat

23.) Attend BlogHer

24.) Attend Mighty Summit

25.) Take Evan on his college tour and help him with his applications

26.) Mentor a child

So, yeah, not everything on here is some selfless do-gooding act that will change humanity.  Some are easy enough to achieve or incorporate into my life.  Some are for my own amusement.  Some won’t happen for awhile (ahem, 21 and 25) and that’s fine, too.  And I know that as I cross things off and live my life new items will find their way on to the list.

I will inform you when I cross something off the list, or get started on the on-going ones.  Deal?  Feel free to join in on the fun and share if you’re so inclined!


You know you’ve reached new levels of Old Person Lame when the neighbors lament that their lawn isn’t as green as yours and you think to yourself, “That’s right, people.  Envy me.”

If You Try to Defend These I Will Judge You

So, this isn’t an SNL commerical after all.  I totally thought it was.  I mean, it seems like the perfect companion to Bad Idea Jeans, Baby Gap Thong Diapers and, of course, Oops! I Crapped My Pants.

I really don’t get what life choices lead one to wearing diapers on her wedding day.  “This dress is so heavy!  And the layers of tulle are a bitch!  Plus, I’m going to be SO busy greeting guests.”  Yes, you will be chatting up your new husband’s fraternity brother while you piss yourself.  How charming. 

Among the thoughts that have raced around my brain as I try to wrap it around this concept:

  • Why would you even buy and wear a dress that is so insanely cumbersome that a bathroom trip requires a team of assistants?  OR DIAPERS.
  • OK, so you’re going the Princess Dress Route.  Fine.  Your perogative and all that.  But what part of peeing while standing in a room full of people screams classy to you?  I haven’t read anything that directly contradicts this, but I have a hunch that Princess Diana didn’t crap herself in front of her guests.
  • Remember when that crazy astronaut lady drove from, like, Texas to Florida while wearing a diaper so she could kidnap her boyfriend’s other girlfriend?  Yeah.  This is only slightly less insane.
  • Isn’t it going to feel horrific?
  • Isn’t it going to smell horrific?

That said, I’m seriously thinking about buying some and casually leaving them out where my mom can see them just to be all, “What?  What’s the problem?”  That’ll teach her to add two more couples to the guest list.