New year, who dis

I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of New Year’s Eve. Sure, my friends and I have had some awesome parties for it and there was that one time on Bardstown Road, but really, it’s just another day/night for me.

I do try to think of a resolution of some sort – usually involving some sort of cleanse after the massive amounts of eating done during the holidays. And by resolution I mean like 25 things I’m going to start doing, stop doing, or do more of in the year ahead. Because #overachiever.

Then we get to like, day 4 of the new year and I haven’t done any of the things I said I would (or I have even though I swore I’d stop) and the anxiety kicks in. Welp, the year’s a waste. You fucked up. Set the bar too high, try again next year. Because I am nothing if not really easy on myself…

It is fun to go around the room before the countdown begins on Dec. 31 and hear what everyone’s best moment of the year was or what they want to do looking ahead. But for someone like me, who is a ball of anxiety at all times, it can also be a little bit stressful.

Now before you remind me that NOBODY is making it stressful for me but me let ME remind YOU that DUH. That’s what anxiety is. Hi. Welcome.

And it’s not like, the soul-crushing anxiety I get from other things like choosing a good Halloween costume or baking something (more on that here on the blog soon). But it’s me wanting myself to do better. To be better.

Don’t get me wrong, life is steadily improving for me year after year.

Aside: As more and more people I know are joining me in the over-30 club, I am telling them (and meaning it) that my 30s have been so much better and more fun and awesome than my 20s ever were. So, you’ve got that to look forward to, youngins.

But even though life is getting better – I’m getting better – there are still things that gnaw at me. Things I want to start doing: learning how to cook better, taking compliments without deflecting them somehow, giving money to the offering at church. And things I want to stop: being so hard on myself for basically everything, taking other peoples’ bullshit personally, wasting nice days indoors doing nothing.

And I don’t know if it’s the anxiety or the mild OCD or what, but for some reason I seem to get in my head that these things can ONLY be started/stopped at the beginning of a year or else they don’t matter as much. Because I AM THE WEIRDEST.

Here’s the thing though. Couldn’t tell you what my 2017 resolution was if I tried. Maybe I wrote it down somewhere? But I have no idea what my plan was for last year and if I accomplished it. Let’s say I did, just for fun.

I tweeted Dec. 31 that one of my goals for the year was to write every day. I wrote Jan. 1 and 2 but on the 3rd I didn’t make time for it. FAILURE. REDO. START THE YEAR OVER, RESOLUTION IS BROKEN. And that’s when I realized I was going about all of it the wrong way.

All kidding aside – my goal/resolution/what have you, for the past few years has been to take care of me. To get me better – mentally, physically, everything. And that’s been an uphill battle sometimes but I 100 percent believe that the person you see before you today is far and away more healthy than she was a few years ago. I’ll have a story for you soon re: dating that will show you just how much, actually.

I talked resolutions with my cousins and sisters at our family Christmas and everyone mentioned what they were going to try and do or not do this year. One of my cousins said her plan for the year was the same as it was every year – to kick ass.

That’s all. To KICK ASS. Not: “Make sure to eat vegetables with every meal.” or “Go to the gym 4 times a week.” or “Volunteer 40 hours a month.” It was simple. Kick. Ass.

That’s all any of us should strive for, right?

At church recently, the message was about purpose. And getting up every day and saying “Alright, what are we going to do today to live out our purpose?” And he wasn’t talking about your job, or your volunteering or anything like that. He was talking about “What are you going to do today to live out being YOU.” Because that’s our purpose.

And to do that, you have to first be OK with yourself. Be nice to yourself, accept that maybe you can’t do it all. But you can do some. And you can continuously try and get better every day. And that’s a resolution that doesn’t have to start or stop when the date changes.

So, I’m stealing my cousin’s resolution. And continuing down the path I started a couple years back. I’m going to kick ass this year. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.

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Photo(s) of the Week, special edition

You guys – I got some new photography toys.

tripods

Thanks to the magic of Amazon and it’s amazing deals, I got all of these goodies for an awesome price. Why, you ask? To do more of this kind of thing:

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The goal is to eventually have enough to buy another camera so besides my regular photo shoot stuff, I can now add photo booth to my resume. Kinda.

We tested it out on New Year’s Eve – well, Jenn and Matt’s tripod, which inspired this purchase.

But yeah, the ability to take beauties like these had me convinced.

Money well spent

New Year’s Eve Mystery: The Case

Like I said in the last post, when I thought about wanting to do a Murder Mystery Party at some point, I knew who I was asking first – the Game Night group. I knew they’d take little to no convincing, as we tend to like dressing up to play games because that’s pretty much the only way to get us to play a full game anymore – unless it involves alcohol.

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This time, the only alcohol was a shot before the game (for the adults) and the rest was saved until the case was solved. And thank God, too, because there was a lot to keep straight. I was giggly without alcohol. I just kept looking around the room saying “My dream has come true.”

It’s really better to show you how the night went, rather than tell you. But the gist of it is, everyone has a part to play and everyone has a motive. The murderer didn’t know they were the murderer until after they’d committed the crime (which basically was us turning off the light for a second and then back on and looking at Oreo – our pretend victim – and screaming).

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(Note: No animals were harmed in the making of this post. Nor were they hurt at the event. Nor have they stopped being called Steve sometimes.)

The rest of the night we spent questioning and blaming and talking about each other – because that’s what our assignments we received said to do. However, not a single one of us guessed who the murderer was when that time came at the end. Wasn’t the alcohol’s fault – or our acting, everyone put on a good show. We just didn’t look at the provided “evidence” close enough and therefore none of us should be detectives in real life. Except maybe Brendan. He was close at one point.

Some highlights of the evening:
– Caitlin fainting after the murder
– Jennifer’s voice getting progressively deeper the further she got into character
– Jennifer helping Rachel with stretches (as seen here)

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– No one talking about it beforehand but all deciding to treat Liz the same way (as someone you don’t want to be talking to for longer than about 10 seconds). I was the only exception, because I was her lawyer.

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– Shane somehow convincing everyone to give him money.
– The dance-off

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– Rachel dancing along w/Janet Jackson on TV, but on a delay
– Sami and Austin’s in-character drama
– Shane going full guido in the middle of the game and also sounding a lot like Fonzie from Happy Days
– Shane checking envelopes and drinks for Chuckie before he handed them to him
– Brendan’s accusing of so many people
– Matt just giggling and smiling a lot
– Watching my best friends have so much fun with this party and saying how much they wanted to do it again once it was over.

So here is (part of) our night in photos. I love these kids.

New Year’s Eve Mystery: Cast of Characters

Once upon a time, I got an email from Groupon (as I do every day, sometimes annoyingly) with their daily deals. Leading the email? A $30 deal for a Murder Mystery package. Half the price it usually sells for, to get a 150+ page PDF of just about everything you’d need to host your own event.

You guys, I’ve wanted to host or attend a Murder Mystery party for a long time. Like, ever since the Clue-ish episode of Saved By The Bell. And then again when Hef and the girls did one at the Playboy Mansion on an episode of Girls Next Door (I miss that show…the original one, not the second group).

So naturally, I bought the deal. And I knew just who would go for participating and helping make my dream come true. (I aim high, y’all.) I pitched it to the Game Night Bitchezzz and they were sold immediately.

We held a sort of vote, narrowing it down from the 40 or so possible scenarios to three. The one we ultimately went with was a High School Reunion. As we enjoy having themed events (see: a future Field Day post since I forgot to post about it after it happened last summer and the summer before, whoops)

The story and craziness from that night are too much for one post, so for now I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version as well as your cast of characters and a few other tidbits about them.

The Scene: Murder High (like, really? Couldn’t come up with a better name for it for $30?) Class of 1983 30-Year Reunion
Fun Fact: Only one person in attendance had been born in 1983. The rest of us were after.
Other fun fact: None of us could do the math right and swore this reunion was happening in 2003, therefore looked up fashion and music styles from both 1983 and 2003. #geniuses
The crime: AV Geek Steve Spielson (or Spielman, I don’t remember) who ended up a big Hollywood producer/hotshot or something gets killed at the reunion. But who did it? ‘Cause we all had motives.
THE CAST:

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Terry “T.J.” Johnson
– Former hall monitor, current crossing guard and host of this reunion
Played by: Jennifer
Snazzy accessories: Homemade hall monitor belt and police hat
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: Butch lesbian with a girlfriend named DJ, deep voice, carries around handcuffs though she has no reason to use them. Or does she?
Quote of the night: “DJ and I lumberjack on the weekends.”

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Randy Reporter – Former newspaper editor, now works at the Wall Street Journal
Played by: Brendan
Snazzy accessories: Fedora and reporters’ notebook and pen
Fun facts: Fearless in accusing anyone and everyone, only one who had any idea who the actual murderer ended up being (wasn’t him).
Quote of the night: After he saw in his bio where he had supposedly worked previous to the WSJ, “What’s Playboy?”

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Byron P. Keaton –
Math team captain turned accountant
Played by: Matt
Snazzy accessories: Pens in his pocket, TI-83 calculator, bowtie
Fun facts: May have turned T.J. straight at the reunion, at least for a minute.
Quote of the night: We are still not sure because nobody recalls hearing him talk. Thus, the suspicion.
Side story: Byron had evidence in his possession, despite the fact that T.J. asked him several times if he had any and he didn’t know/didn’t turn it over. Again, thus, suspicion.

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Molly Ringworm – High school drama queen turned famous actress
Played by: Caitlin
Snazzy accessories: “Emmy” and “People’s Choice Award” which may or may not have actually been from elementary school sporting events, sunglasses, pearls and leather jacket (two of which were left at the party)
Fun facts: Caitlin was appreciative of this character because she said since she has had ringworm it only made sense that was her last name.
Quote(s) of the night: “I’VE MISPLACED MY ENVELOPE!” “Where is my envelope???”

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Cindy Crawfish – class flirt who now runs an online dating website
Played by: Anna
Snazzy accessories: Hotness.
Fun facts: Kept going into the other room talking to Chuckie (Class President) with whom she SOOOOOOO was having an affair! Also, at least two of us offered to keep her secrets if she gave us a free account on her dating website.
Quote of the night: “YOU SLEPT WITH STEVE????” (to Sami)

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Nick Nixon – class president who is now running for POTUS
Played by: Chuckie
Snazzy accessories: A full suit, brought home from Boston for the sole purpose of this party, and buttons that said things like, “Vote Nick.”
Fun facts: Chuckie was class president for almost all of high school so it was only right that he played this part.
Quote(s) of the night: To Anna, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

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B.A. Barricade – BA, of course, stands for Badass, which he was in high school. Now he does security for Nick.
Played by: Shane
Snazzy accessories: Earpiece like a Secret Service guy, sunglasses, neck tattoo that says “Make Good Decisions.”
Characteristics added by the actor portraying him: Ability to change accent at the drop of a hat. May or may not be related to Fonzie.
Fun facts: Ended the night with pretty much everyone’s money.
Quote of the night: “Does anybody else have more than $2,000?”
Side story Liz told me about: “Shane asked Brendan to look out for suspicious people. Later, almost at the end of the night, he approached B and asked ‘So you see any suspicious people around here?’ Brendan looked around the room, looked back at Shane and said ‘Nope.'”

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Joe Nebraska – The most popular guy at our high school and now, a high school gym teacher.
Played by: Austin
Snazzy accessories: Letterman’s jacket, swag.
Characteristics added by the actor portraying him: Animal magnetism. Two ladies had a dance-off over him.
Fun facts: This was Austin’s third-ever event as one of the Game Night Bitchezzz and you’d have thought the man had been there from the beginning.
Quote of the night: “Have fun on Christian Mingle!”

Natalie Nebraska – Head cheerleader who now works as a manager at a discount store, Joe’s wifey.
Played by: Sami
Snazzy accessories: Super-high ponytail, matching letterman jackets with Joe.
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: Hair-twirling, cheerleader-ish moves in every day life, sassy attitude.
Fun facts: Participated in a dance-off against Pamela for Joe’s affections to the classic love song, “Bootylicious.”
Quote of the night: To Anna, “It was just once! In community college!!”

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Pamela Abdul – Head of the dance team, now a choreographer, in a feud with Natalie.
Played by: Rachel
Snazzy accessories: Legwarmers, obviously.
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: General peppiness, sassy attitude, killer dance moves, choreographed for Janet (Jackson, duh).
Fun facts: Participated in a dance-off against Natalie for Joe’s affections to the classic love song, “Bootylicious.” Janet Jackson dance on New Year’s Eve choreographed by her, as evidenced by her doing the dance moves right along with Janet…with a 2 second delay.
Quote of the night: After every time she took a bite of food, “My trainer’s gonna kill me.”

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Dani Drums – Band nerd, still a musician but now more on the professional side
Played by: Liz
Snazzy accessories: Marching band wind suit and band clinic T-shirt, clarinet on which she kept only playing Hot Cross Buns.
Characteristics added by the actress portraying her: General nerdiness, super-pissed off at Steve, ability to make everyone at the reunion leave a conversation immediately.
Fun facts: At least two conversations with Dani started with the person saying “Oh hey, how are you?” and turning around and leaving as soon as she started to talk.
Quote of the night: “I’m gr…”

Bobbie Bright – Valedictorian, Most Likely To Succeed and now, obviously, a lawyer with her own practice
Played by: Me
Why there’s no photo of me right here: Because photographer.
Snazzy accessories: Graduation gown and a button that says “The Greatest.” Also, business cards and Harvard T-shirt.
Characteristics I added: Just kept telling everyone how I went to Harvard Law and was valedictorian. And how I do all kinds of law, so if anyone needed legal representation.
Fun fact: Totally didn’t go to Harvard. Also laughed most of the night so I didn’t really have any good lines.

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Steve Spielson – AV geek turned Hollywood producer or whatever he was.
Supposed to be played by: Cory
Was actually played by: Oreo

Oh, P.S.: Mugshots.

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