Monthly Archives: January 2006

Honky Tonk Badonk-a-donk

Out of the 25 birthday experiences I’ve had in my lifetime, I guess you could say that a lesbian country wedding makes the top five, at least. I mean, there isn’t much out of the ordinary to comment on… the ceremony was as touching and sweet as every other ceremony, and the parties were as crazy as every other Guilfoy family function. But it made for an interesting and happy 25th, that’s for sure.

Beautiful ceremony, fun reception, lots of Motown, insane hotel party, sweet IHOP breakfast the next morning… I love Tony’s family. I spent the majority of the night with Tim – he was the DJ at the reception, one of my three hotel roommates, and my chauffeur for the weekend. He’s a cool guy, and I’m psyched that he’s going to be my roommate-in-law. And our hotel was the best because in addition to drunk party animals, there were also a few college hockey teams and the contestants of a local dog show. We met the world’s cutest bulldogs! Hee!

The next morning, I received a bunch of birthday calls. I was busy running around the hotel looking for cute boys and puppies, so I called everyone back later in the day. Yesterday was beautiful, about 65 degrees and sunny, so I spent a few hours wandering around Kirkwood and talking to people I love. There were tons of other people walking/running/biking/skating outside too, and in typical Midwestern-nice-town-awesomeness, people would hear me mentioning birthday stuff on the phone, and they’d stop me on the sidewalk to wish me a happy birthday. Then I hung out with my favorite married people, which was a pleasure as always.

So 25 is nice so far… and it was a good birthday, I suppose. Lots of friends, lots of parties, lots of calls, and plenty of sunshine.

It wasn’t as great as my 23rd, where Karl and Ra introduced me to Jello (shots), there was a huge group birthday party ( for Pat, Dan, Lisa and me), Karl serenaded me with “Stephanie Knows Who”, Niki brought cupcakes to our grad school field trip, and Kevin and Milo surprised me with the most raunchy/hilarious gift I’ve ever received. Kevin can elaborate in the comments section if he’d like.

But it was way better than my 24th , at least, because last year Ex lied to me for 48 hours straight, and everyone made me go out to dinner. I HATE it when people make me go out to dinner, and no one ever understands this. And I REALLY hate people who lie to me.

Also, according to the cosmos, the new moon for Aquarians officially began on my birthday! Yay new moon!

So… not the best birthday of the 25 I’ve had, but somewhere in the middle, leaning towards the better. Which is a good spot to be when you’re OLD. *grumble*


Filed under Weddings

Throw Out Your Old Rules… and Throw Me Some Glade Plug-Ins

Road trip pics and stories, as promised:

First of all, check out our RV! We spent a lot of time giving Warren shit for not getting one before, and all the boys swore up and down that they would never take a road trip in a car ever again.

Our RV was roomy, yet cozy. Does that make sense? Usually on road trips, the people in the back are kind of cut off from the people in the front, so it was nice that we could all hang out.

We didn’t make it to Ty’s house until about 4 in the morning the next day. His futon automatically went to the parents-to-be, so the only options for the rest of us were to sleep on the floor or next to drunk Ty. So even though we were parked in the middle of the suburbs, Tony, Warren, Sarah and I camped out in the RV. Apparently the barking spiders camped with us, because Tony and Sarah farted us to sleep, and Warren woke me up with a special gassy alarm clock. Next time around, I’m eating Whiteys and giving the entire RV a dutch oven for revenge. That was not cool, you guys. NOT cool.

The next day, Ty gave us a top secret tour of the distribution center that he just finished building (or rather, told other people to build, since he’s the boss). This place was MASSIVE, about a million square feet (and that’s not a hyperbole, it’s literally a million square feet). There are fourteen rooms for bananas, and an area bigger than my parents’ house just for ice cream. We got to ride around in a golf cart, climb up on the roof, watch Ty boss people around, and best of all, wear hard hats for serious.

So even though I hate that company more than the mall, the building was unbelievably impressive and I’m so proud of Ty. And it’ll bring like 700 jobs to that town, which I really can’t complain about.

Other highlights of the weekend:

~ Hanging out on the top bunk.

~ The world’s best breakfast at Friendship House.

~ Watching people fall in the RV:

~ Thowing snowballs at the RV and yelling, “Go home, hippies!”

~ Cooking a family dinner complete with 20 lbs. of PCP-laced crab legs:

~ Ty crying laughing for a solid hour, because it’s the most emotional that any of us have ever seen him, ever.

~ 8-months-pregnant Melissa voluntarily fetching a case of beer for Adam, cementing her status as the Ultimate Frat Boy Wife.

~ Tony telling Melissa that he “has a thing for pregnant women”.

~ Frat brotherly love:

~ “I was in college longer than most rapists were in prison.” – Tony, putting his 6 ½ years of college into perspective.

~ Ty’s gay pirate ship:

~ Ty calling Adam on his cell phone from the bathroom. “Can you bring me a beer? I’m in it for the long haul.”

~ Hugs from Tony. I mean, just look at him:

~ Ty informing Tony and Adam that they’ll have to share Best Man duties, “because, well, YOU’RE unreliable… and YOU’RE religious…” (of course, no one is a better Best Man than Ty, who decided that instead of tying cups and cans to Adam’s bumper, he would just TIE AN ENTIRE KEG TO THE CAR. And it worked).

~ Ra calling to tell me that SHE’S GETTING MARRIED IN 2 MONTHS!!!!! YAAAAY!!!!

~ So I’m never the bride, but at least I’m always MAID OF HONOR! Two for Two! WOO!!!

~ And finally, although Warren is really intelligent and usually doesn’t succumb to drunken stupidity like the rest of the boys, this weekend was special because it marked the first retarded thing to ever come out of Warren’s mouth, ever:

“Hey… did you guys know that the state motto of New Hampshire is ‘Farm’?”

All in all, it was a great weekend, and it was nice to have (most of) the gang back together for a little while. I can only imagine what the trip to Wyoming will be like.

This weekend is my birthday!!! I TURN 25. Yay/boo. I’m also going to Tony’s Aunts’ wedding!! (Yes, I know where I put the apostrophe. Yes, I am allowed to wear pants). I will miss the group birthday party that I used to have with Pat and Heebs, but at least there will be lots of love – and an open bar!! Woo!

Also, here’s my horoscope for the day: “Do what you can to ward off stress and have some fun – go to an arcade today and meet someone new.” The arcade? What the fuck?


Filed under Uncategorized

Highway 61 (unintentionally) revisited

So, the crawling spider is still at work. Or karma. Or The Big Guy. Same difference.

I’ll probably write an entry about how fun and silly this weekend was later this week, but today I’m opting for another entry about luck, good fortune, and how bad events will sometimes lead you towards something good…

So, when Tony came over on Thursday night, we ended up not going for a scary walk. We just kind of hung out and talked, and Warren came over after a while to hang out, too. As we were discussing our plans for the weekend, someone suggested going to visit Ty before he has to move to Wyoming. Warren mentioned that he could get an RV, which pretty much sealed the deal. So the next night, Tony, Warren, Adam, Sarah, Melissa, and I packed up in an RV and set out on an adventure.

Although Ty currently lives about 4 ½ hours away in Sterling, IL, the trip there ended up talking us about eight hours. Ty had given us the wrong directions, so a few hours into the trip we had to backtrack a half hour, fill up on gas, and ask for directions.

Ty had decided to get a head start drinking as he waited for us, so by the time we needed his help, he was having trouble speaking in complete sentences (let alone English). We were all kind of pissed off at Ty and the time we had lost, as well as nervous because we were driving straight into a blizzard.

I fell asleep at one point, and I woke up when Warren pulled over, assuming that we had arrived… instead, a man was leaning into Warren’s window, frantically asking if any of us had a knife.

Just before we arrived on that stretch of highway, a car had slid off the road, rolled over, and landed sideways in a ditch in almost two feet of snow. The roof was pretty much torn off of the car, and all of the windows were broken. A family of five was inside.

The middle child, a fourteen-year-old-boy, climbed up through the door and jumped out to wave down cars, even though it was still snowing like crazy and he wasn’t wearing a coat or shoes. The mom and daughter were stuck in their seat belts, so the dad and my friends had to use the knife to cut them out. The youngest kid (who looked like Bobby from “King of the Hill” and who was just the most precious, sweetest kid ever) wasn’t even wearing a seatbelt. However, aside from one broken toe, everyone in that car walked away without any injuries, which you wouldn’t believe if you saw that car.

So, we camped out on the side of the highway, put on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” for the kids, and let the family sit in the warm RV while they waited for the town’s volunteer rescue squad to arrive and do their thing. All in all, it took about two hours. They were really scared, shocked, and cold, so my friends and I were all really glad we could help.

After they had been checked for injuries and their friend came to pick them up, we were on our way… we spent the rest of the ride marveling over the good luck:

– If Ty had given us the right directions (or if he had been sober enough to help us out when we were lost), we wouldn’t have been there to help that family.

– We also probably wouldn’t have gotten gas, which (given the speed we were driving in the storm) meant we probably would have run out and been just as stranded.

– The awesomeness of having an RV, especially given the fact that at one point we had 13 ½ people in there (6 friends, 5 family members, 2 rescue workers, and Adam and Melissa’s bun-in-the-oven).

– When Warren was loading up the RV, he saw the knife on his floor… he said he remembered staring at it and grabbing it, thinking the whole time that it was silly because, wtf would we need a knife for?

Other evidence of the crawling spider at work…

3 ½ hours into our trip home, Warren pulled out his guitar and he, Adam and I were singing various road trip songs at the top of our lungs (including a hysterically sad attempt at “Rudie Can’t Fail”). I was lying on one of the fold-out beds just thinking, “Man, I wish this trip didn’t have to be over so soon…”

About five minutes later, the boys realized we were about ten miles outside of Iowa, and 40 minutes or so away from where we came from. We had driven north and east our entire way to Ty’s house, so common sense made us assume that we would need to drive west or south to get home… apparently the geniuses who designed the Illinois highways would beg to differ.

By the time we made it home (another 4 hours later) I was more than happy to be off of the RV. So there you go. Thank you, crawling spider.

Not to be outdone, the barking spiders appeared numerous times over the weekend, cementing their status as the dominant species of the RV. More about that later…


Filed under Adventures, Favorite Stories

Beatific Bananas, Sprightly Sprouts, and Barking Spiders

When I lived with my parents, I took over the grocery shopping duties as soon as I got a car. So I learned a long time ago to never go to the grocery store hungry. Unfortunately, the last time I went to the store it couldn’t be avoided, and my stomach was practically howling.

Luckily, I always hit the produce section first, and by the time I made it out of there, my cart was basically full of fruits and veggies. I debated putting some things back, but instead just grabbed the usual refills of milk, OJ, and eggs and checked out. Fruits and veggies are expensive, and while I don’t care if I have to throw out some lettuce every now and then, I refuse to throw out $60 worth of this shit. So, aside from the occasional barbeques that I’ve attended in this freakishly beautiful weather, that’s pretty much all I’ve been eating, not necessarily by choice but by circumstance. And that, combined with steady doses of Baby-Me-Now, has kind of turned my body and consequentially my entire worldview upside-down. Once again, hooray for nutritional overkill!

I started out yesterday with a nightmare about spiders. I was standing in my room watching a big gross hairy spider climb up the wall, and as I was summoning up the courage to kill it, I heard a hiss and a growl, and I turned around to find an even bigger, hairier, more poisonously colorful spider staring at me. And I woke up totally spazzing out, which seems to happen to me a lot (and according to Steev is really funny). Also: I dreamt about barking spiders?!?! HA HA AWESOME! If you don’t know what a barking spider is, I’ll invite Tony and his ass over someday to demonstrate.

I usually try to avoid Dream Journal Entries, because I might as well add flash animation of unicorns and include the phrase BFF in each entry (which reminds me: CONGRATULATIONS RA!!!!!!). But my nightmare about spiders is somewhat applicable because while a dream about spider webs implies that you’re caught up in a situation or conflict, a spider climbing up the wall foresees that things will start to go your way, and previous conflicts and concerns will begin to resolve themselves. And also, soon after waking up I read the latest Salami Tsunami, which made me laugh out loud.

So many bizarre things happened yesterday that should have bothered me or worried me or made me angry. Pretty much every hour, I’d either receive a phone call with ominous news or sit through an intense meeting, and I’d walk away or hang up the phone with a weird feeling – kind of a mix of Kafkaesque-ness and deja-vu, candy-coated with serenity and energy. Like, “Did that really just happen? Should I be worried? Shouldn’t I be crying? Don’t I usually get upset about this stuff? Why the hell do I feel so damn good?”

And just like that, all of the negativity would disappear. I’d catch myself every now and then thinking, “Oh yeah… wasn’t I supposed to be pissed off or something?”

The only downside of my day that actually affected me, albeit ridiculously, was my walk to Jen and Ron’s house. I grew up (and still live) in a world where a girl can walk alone in the middle of the night without any fear or concerns. However, the two-mile “shortcut” to their home requires a trip under a scary bridge, over the highway and through the eerily quiet industrial park.

I suppose wandering around in the dark wearing a pink hoodie, pigtails, and my PJ pants should have made me feel vulnerable, but that’s kind of an everyday activity for me. The thing is, I was on my way over there to watch Lost, where characters continuously disappear into the woods, and are only seen again in creepy backwards talking Twin Peaks-esque hallucinations. Or ghosts. Or something. We don’t know. That show is fucked up.

So while I was walking under the old railroad bridge next to the woods, with a nice spooky opening into the creek and lord knows what else, I wasn’t afraid of a rapist or a mugger or being kidnapped for my family fortune or whatever… I kept thinking about creepy island pirates and weird whispers and Lostzilla (tm TWoP) and vanishing without a trace.

Which is really nice, when you think about it… to only be afraid of what you know for a fact doesn’t exist, and to feel protected from all of the rest.

After the superscary episode of Lost, however, I was legitly concerned about ooky bodysnatchers, so I squelched that by calling Steev in New Jersey and making him keep me company all the way home.

We joked a lot about the Action Slacks (tm Jen and Ron) that I was wearing, because while he was visiting he INSISTED that they were pleated, and we would lie in bed in the morning cracking jokes about Morgan Fairchild and Ashanti busting out of my closet to sing an Old Navy Pleated-Boot-Cut-Performance-Fleece-Action-Slacks jingle. “PLEA-ted, BA-by! WhoaoaAAAWOOOAAA-Action-SLA-AA-uhh-AAAACKS-CHA!!!” (tm Stephie and Steev, jazz hands required).

So the walk home was silly instead of scary, and I fell asleep smiling. And as of this morning, all of those problems from yesterday (which really were heavy and urgent and potentially life changing) magically disappeared, and the weather felt like Spring and everyone was laughing more than usual.

And. AND! My mom found my Wicket!!!! Wheee!

He’s a little worn for the wear, but still the cutest baby Ewok ever. And yes J, there’s the lamp. And the Baby-Me-Now. I used to carry Wicket around for good luck and I’ve been looking for him for years. And when I went down to the basement, sitting right next to the light switch was my little Wicket, smiling and waving.

So I will gladly welcome the climbing spider again, should he decide to visit me… but more more than likely, I’ll just be hanging with the barking ones because Tony is coming over soon and we are going on another pretend-scary walk.

So I guess the lessons for today are:

1. Scary teevee is fun!
2. Climbing spiders = good. Barking spiders = bad.
3. Go for long walks and let your imagination run wild.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and take a break from the big stuff, too.
5. Baby-Me-Now, Greatness Of
6. Wicket’s change of address: Stephie’s purse.
7. And most importantly, eat your fruits and veggies, kiddos.


Filed under Uncategorized

It’s All About The Vitamins, Baby

I genuinely dig being single. I think this is the longest I’ve been on my own since I started dating (which was a million years ago, because in two weeks I will turn twenty five, which is almost halfway to my AARP membership and therefore officially OLD).

It’s always a really weird feeling when someone likes you and you don’t like them back. I mean, the majority of my friends are boys, so it’s bound to happen every now and then, either from their side or mine. And I hate having to give the “friends” speech, because no matter how much you care about the someone, the gist of it is pretty harsh: “I love you and I love hanging out with you, I just don’t want to sleep with you is all.” I really try to avoid putting myself in this position, because I kind of know how that feels. Except when a guy says something like that to a girl, it’s usually flipped around: “I want to sleep with you and I like hanging out…”

And although I doubt I’ll have this effect on anyone, ever, I went through a really bad break-up last year – the kind where it hurts to do anything, even chew. I’ve written a few times on here about the benefits of the “divorce diet”. And yes, I did get skinny. But when you’re too heartbroken to eat, much like any other time you don’t eat, it puts your body through hell. And among the many medical mishaps that resulted from that break-up, I developed a bunch of nutritional deficiencies (Iron, protein, B-6, etc.) that haven’t quite sorted themselves out yet.

I’m not trying to bum you guys out, because my doctor found a solution: Pre-natal Vitamins. And I’ve decided to kill two birds with one stone: get all my nutrients AND ward off any unwanted advances/awkward conversations. How, you ask?

That’s right, y’all. Baby-Me-Now.

Out of all the men who may presently like me, and even the few who claim to love me, I highly doubt any of their devotions run THAT deep. So when guys come over to hang out, the Baby-Me-Now is displayed prominently on my nightstand. And when they ask me about it, I keep mum – literally – and just kind of smile and shrug. That should do it, right?

So, while all of you know the truth about the vitamins, for all intents and purposes I want someone to baby me. Now.

Jen and I discussed taking it up a notch or two:

JEFFrey! LOVE me! Hee.

It doesn’t have anything to do with attraction. I just don’t want a boyfriend right now, period, and sometimes people don’t understand that. But thanks to Baby-Me-Now, I can avoid hurting any feelings and rest easy – especially now, considering pre-natal vitamins contain 1,500% of my daily requirement for Vitamin B.

Also, I’m still on the pill, so my uterus is probably all like, “The fuck?”

The only guy who I might still have to worry about is Tony, because he and his family have made it perfectly clear that they want me to produce a Guilfoy grandbaby. This may or may not be an issue when we move in together, because if I get pregnant then he loses a drinking buddy. Knowing Tony, it could go either way.


Filed under Botheration

Taste The Reading Rainbow

I hate reading.

Well, that’s not true at all, I adore reading. What I really hate are goodbyes.

I’m a character person. I love characters. In order for a character to work, you really have to care about them, and in order to care about them, you usually have to learn quite a bit about them. And because the basic rule of writing is “show, don’t tell”, you’re not reading about random facts and character traits. You’re basically just spending a lot of time with them. I get very attached to characters, and whenever I finish a book or a play, I get a little sad, because in a way, I have to say goodbye.

I’m a trained speed reader. I’ve always read faster than most people. In school, when we had to share a book or read out loud, I’d always get in trouble because I’d finish the page right away and then my mind would wander. Before my SATs, my parents signed me up for a prep course. Turns out, the class was basically a course on speed reading: skipping over tiny words like “the” and “and”, expanding peripheral vision, timed reading “drills”, etc. I can read a page in 10 seconds with 95% comprehension, which I suppose is pretty good.

It sucks in the business world, because when I’m not researching or writing, I’m staring at PowerPoint presentations, going over Excel task lists, or getting a proof back from marketing. They have to point out every little detail, and while I know that everyone probably gets the gist of it immediately and hates that shit as much as I do, it’s such a familiar frustrating feeling. I’ll be like “I got it. Got it. Got. It.” But they just keep talking and talking and pointing out every single bullet that I read a half hour ago, and my mind wanders and I doodle in my notebook and stare out the window. Sooner or later everyone’s going to assume that I never pay attention.

I love books, but I hate reading them because a decent book will take me two or three days, tops. When I was little I used to love books that were part of a series, like “The Babysitter’s Club” or “Sweet Valley High”. I would look forward so much to the Scholastic Book Club and those little fliers that you’d get at school; I’d order all those books, and then wait on the edge of my seat for them to come in the mail.

And when the books came, I’d open them up and say hello to my favorite characters… and then an hour would go by… and then I’d be done. And I was kind of like “Well, fuck. What am I supposed to do now?”

I suppose that’s why I like TV so much, aside from the background noise it provides when I’m doing other things. Shows like Veronica Mars and Lost work so well because they’re full of characters that I genuinely love and care about, and while I only get to see them for an hour, I know they’ll be back next week. And that’s why people were so passionately pissed off when shows like My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks got canceled, because they were full of characters that we had just gotten to know and love, and then they were taken away before we got to a resolution.

So, for the past few months, I’ve been reading The Canterbury Tales in its original Middle English. It took me a while because Middle English, upon first glance, looks like dialogue written by Mark Twain – practically everything is spelled phonetically. It’s the perfect thing for someone like me to read, because I had to force myself to slow down and sound out every syllable, as well as look up at least one word per tale because I was truly stumped. Middle English is a pretty bizarre language. It’s worth the effort, though, because if you’ve ever gotten through The Canterbury Tales, then you know how funny, witty, and bawdy the tales can get.

Now that I’ve gotten through 400 pages of “this anthem verily in my deyinge”, I think that Shakespeare will read like “See Spot Run”. I have the most beautiful Complete Shakespeare Anthology that I spent a billion dollars on in college, and it’s just been collecting dust, which kind of breaks my heart. I’ve already read all of the sonnets and the majority of the plays. I could just read the five plays I’ve never read and claim to be done, but I think it would be more rewarding to start from the beginning. So my 2006 New Years Resolution is to read/reread (with full comprehension and insight, and without Cliffs Notes) the complete works of William Shakespeare*.

After that, I might as well attack my Norton Anthology. All the English majors out there might be feeling me on this one, because it’s such a beautiful book full of so many classics, so you can’t throw it away. But people rarely pick it up after graduation. There are some pretty decent gems in there as I recall – including “The Vine”, which is the filthiest, perviest, dirtiest poem I’ve ever read, and this thing was written in the 1600’s. This poem is so nasty that when a guy in my Lit Class had to read it out loud, it gave him a boner.

After that, I’ll probably hit up all of my contemporary anthologies, which should be a lot of fun.

I’ve been thinking a lot about going back to school, which I’ll probably write a lot more about later. But so far, my favorite option is getting a second Master’s Degree, this time in English. It’d be kind of nice to absorb all of the greats before I start any classes, as opposed to speed reading through them an hour before class starts.

*Except, of course, for “Coriolanus”. Once was enough. Woof.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Don’t Stop Me Now

When Jen and Ron got married a couple of years ago, the Jersey boys (plus Darren, minus Ray) came to town. After they left, Kevin wrote this great list of his favorite memories of the weekend. If I was as funny and concise as Kevin, I’d make a list of 83 memories, too. But I’m not, so I’ll just write about a few.

Unfortunately, the second that the boys pulled into St. Louis, their van broke down. They had been joking during their whole trip about the van being haunted, so maybe the ghost realized he was in the city where “The Exorcist” went down and bailed. Or the transmission blew. Whatevs. They happened to break down in the Hellmouth of the city where every single major road and interstate comes together, so it took a while to figure out where they were. All I have to say is, I hate Lee’s Fried Chicken:

Frank: We’re at I-44 and Gravois, in front of a Lee’s Fried Chicken.

Me: But those both run east and west. You can’t be. What else are you by?

Um… Chippewa? I-70? There’s a Citco, a 7-11, and a Lee’s Fried Chicken.

Me: The hell? What road are you actually ON?

Frank: Um… Lee’s Fried Chicken?


Frank: Hello?

Me: (sighing) Can I just talk to someone who works there?

(Pause. Shuffling.)

Steve: Okay. Steph. We’re at Jefferson and I-55, right by a Lee’s Fried Chi-

Yeah, I’ve heard ALL ABOUT Lee’s fucking Fried Chicken, okay? Got it.

A few days later, we were crossing the street at the Loop and I caught Steve staring forlornly at the Church’s Chicken on the corner. “I miss Lee’s.” He pouted.


For some weird reason, people from the East Coast are obsessed with the Midwest and our farms. On the ride to St. Louis, the boys apparently got into a big fight about the art of cow tipping. Since St. Louis is one of the biggest cities in the country and considered actual civilization, we couldn’t help them test out their theories. The closest thing I could give them was a plastic cow at The Science Center:

That was the touristy day (a.k.a. Big Friday). We also went to Pin-Up Bowl at the Loop, ate awesome sandwiches in The Hill, explored Forest Park, etc. Hopefully Ron, Katie, Joe and I proved that we’re from an actual city full of awesome things to do – and no cows.


I live a couple of blocks away from Global Foods, which is this fantastic international grocery store that sells all of my favourite candy. Before the guys came to town, I went there to buy Frank a bunch of green Aero Bars for his birthday. I figured I’d get something for Steve and Ray, too. So, I gave them Giant Pocky, which I think gave Steve a boner:

Later on, they went with me back to Global for some Walker’s and McVitties. While we were there, we spotted the Yorkie Bar. IT’S NOT FOR GIRLS! Apparently this is a pretty popular campaign in the U.K., but we’d never heard about it, so when we spotted it on the shelves, we cracked up.

The back of the bar also insists that IT’S NOT FOR HANDBAGS. Needless to say, we bought one for Jen because she is hardcore.


Speaking of hardcore, we played Cranium one night, and even though Frank and Steve were one question away from winning, Jen and I swept through with a vengeance – proving once again that Team Papoose ain’t nothin to fuck with. Eat It!

The day of New Year’s Eve (which is always a weird thing to say, but that’s what it is), we relived the 75th Annual Thanksgiving Ultimate Frisbee Extravaganza. However, instead of Pilgrims vs. Indians, it was Pirates vs. Ninjas. Despite my love for ninjas, I was wearing my “Go Pirates!” hoodie, so I kind of had to be on the Pirates’ team. Unfortunately, we lost 2-1, but that just kind of proves my theory that ninjas are superior. That, and a 5’2 girl should never be forced to play against Frank and Ray.

Frank was the MVP, and he also won (lost?) for the injury of the year when Steve kicked him in the chest mid-air. Check out how effing hardcore Frank is:

We also stopped by my parents’ house for a brief history lesson. Steve is wearing my Dad’s Christmas present, I am wearing the greatest hat in the history of all time, and Frank and Ray are making Peter jealous because they have permission to play with the swords.


After dinner at Blueberry Hill, Jen had the awesome idea to go get gelato at a new place in Rock Hill.

When Jen, Steve, Frank, Ray and I went to Italy, we discovered the manna that is gelato. We ended up spending so much money on it that we were in danger of blowing our food budget. We unanimously decided to eat PBJs for the rest of the trip as to not interfere with gelato time.

I don’t have a pic of that night, but it looked kind of like this:

Afterwards, Niki had a great idea to check out Laughs on the Landing, an improv bar where my friend Mikey works, along with The Danger League. I’d never seen Mikey in action before – he was absolutely hysterical. He coined the catchphrase of the week: “Kittens are real and they’re everywhere!”


Finally, Jen and Ron had an amazing New Year’s party once again. The DJs were spinning downstairs, a big fire was burning outside, and I was surrounded by the majority of my favorite people in the world.

Ray’s goal was to get Frank drunk enough to make out with the Christmas tree by 11:45. Alas, Frank’s casual observance of drunks over the years has made him smarter than us. Maybe next year. The boys had a big toast for the East Coast New Year… but hopefully, we showed them that the Central Standard Time Zone rocks just as hard. It was great to ring in the New Year with them.

And check out this fucking insane picture of me and Conor! Agh!


All in all, the past two weeks have been the best that I’ve had in a long time. I plan on keeping this vibe going for the rest of the year.

And Ra, thank you so much for everything you said last night. That was awesome. I miss you a lot, and it was perfect having you in town for a while.

Also: Don’t blink, Ra. Ready? Don’t blink. Okay, one… two… don’tblink…


Filed under Adventures, London, Picture Pages

Kittens Are Real and They’re Everywhere!

Usually I get holiday depression, but I think this year I might have a case of post-holiday blues. But considering the alternative, I’m glad to have them. It means I had a hell of a good time.

I said goodbye to Mark yesterday, Liz a few days ago, and I’m hanging out with Ra and Greg tonight. But the saddest goodbye by far was the Jersey boys.

Steve, Frank, and Ray (and also Darren, but he couldn’t come) are the funniest guys in the world, and I laughed nonstop for four days straight. There are a million funny stories to tell, as well as hysterical pictures to post, but I’ll do that some other day… today is the mushy sugar-coated entry, so get the tissues ready.

The memories that I have of Steve, Frank, and Ray are irreplaceable and hard to describe. They’ve been there for the best moments of my entire life: standing on top of the Eiffel Tower, mass at Notre Dame, wandering around the Louvre, climbing St. Peter’s Basilica, sneaking pictures of Michelangelo’s David, riding a gondola in Venice, hanging out in Amsterdam, staring at Stonehenge, sipping beer in London pubs, crossing Abbey Road, curling up in a blanket for Guy Fawkes Day fireworks, and so on and so on.

They’re also part of the select few who saw me right after Ex accidentally knocked my tooth out and I looked like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber. And when 9/11 happened and I was away from my family, those guys became my family, and they hugged me and made me feel like everything was going to be okay. When I think about the most profound and life changing experiences of my life, I remember looking to my side and seeing Jen, Steve, Frank, and Ray.

So when they came to visit, it was the happiest I’ve been since the last time I saw them, and I’m not exaggerating at all. If Kevin and Darren had been here, then it would’ve been perfect because everyone I love from London would be here. But I’ll take practically perfect, for sure. And Kevin actually called us from Korea (!!!) out of the blue, and that was an awesome surprise.

Also, a round of applause is due for Jen and Ron… they had an amazing New Year’s party, tons of fun field trips and gatherings, and Ron totally stepped up to help with the van situation and I know the guys were extremely grateful.

My place was really hectic and crowded (and the bathroom was drenched, thanks to the Great Frank Tsunami of 2005), but I loved every second of it, and now my place just seems too clean and too empty and too quiet and too boring. I loved the mayhem and the chaos and the disorder and the squished car rides and the laughter and everything else, and I hope they come back someday soon and bring Darren with them.

All weekend, they kept buying me beers or paying for my dinner, insisting that I had done more than enough (they also bought me video Sudoku!). They kept thanking me over and over, but I don’t think they understand that they did more for me by just being here than I could ever do for them. Honestly, the only inconvenience of the weekend (besides Uncle Jay’s Dead Van) was the fact that I cried after they left.

I hope they know how much I love them, and that they mean the world to me. In the meantime, I guess it’s my turn. Jersey, here I come!!!


Filed under Adventures, London