Monthly Archives: July 2006

Bittersweet Symphony

Sorry I haven’t written lately.

Or hung out with you. Or called you back. Or left my apartment.

I’ve been working more of those twelve hour days. Who knew that sitting and typing all day could be so exhausting?

On the one hand it’s kind of nice, because I have friends and co-workers who do this thing of all the time and I’ve always felt guilty that I’ve never had to suffer through it, too. Even though I always get in at least 45 hours a week, I finally feel like I’m earning my keep.

And it’s kind of fun, like Finals Week in college. There’s a type of chaotic freedom that arises when everyone is so stressed and tired. People are wandering around in their PJS, ordering pizza and Chinese food, bitching out each other and being instantly forgiven, and moaning about how much they need a beer to no one in particular. And since my biggest jobs are basically research papers with art direction, I’m used to it. I revert back to Midterms Mode, and I’m suddenly I’m a pro.

On the other hand, it’s still a 12 hour day at work. And I haven’t had time to run, which always makes me feel like crap.

Plus, I’m just kind of depressed in general and I have no idea why. I usually snap out of it eventually, but until then I don’t want to pretend that I’m on. I’m not fooling anybody and I know it.

To be honest, I do know one reason why I‘m bummed, but it’s so stupid and lame that I don’t want to bother anyone by talking about it. And I know one reason why I’m frustrated, but it would be really mean to put it out there. So it sucks because that’s how I deal with stuff – by talking about it. I forgot what it’s like to let things weigh on my mind and my heart, but I don’t know what else to do about it.

I guess I’ve hit what I like to call the “Stephanie Crescendo”. When things are going well, I just start talking more and writing more and calling more and doing more… then I get to this point where I’m just talking and moving and thinking and reading and making stuff and laughing and making people laugh. It gets really loud and intense. I forget to shut up and listen and relax.

Then I crash. Then it’s dead silent. Then I start over.

It’s not as bipolar as it sounds… more like a story arc that builds, climaxes and resolves. Sometimes life plays out too fast and I have to stop to let myself catch up. Right now is one of those times. But I do miss you, and I’ll be sure to call as soon as I get there.


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High Times

So… I started wearing high heels.

Go ahead. Laugh. It’s fine.

I have to wear high heels in Liz’s wedding, so I have to spend about ten hours walking around in grass or dancing on linoleum in these 800-inch sky-high monstrosities. This has terrified me to the point where I’ve caved in and bought 3 pairs of heels, and I plan on wearing them as much as possible.

It’s not that I’ve ever had anything against high heels… they’ve just never seemed practical to me. They hurt to walk in and they’re seriously dangerous. You can easily topple over and sprain an ankle, they’ll eff up your feet if you wear them too much, and if the ground has any form of texture or slickness, you’re dead. Why would I put myself through that everyday*?

I’m a firm believer that if you are comfortable and confident and laid back, it’s a million times more attractive than spending your day tugging and teetering and sucking in and touching up various parts of your body. Who wants to watch that, and more importantly, who wants to live like that?

Plus, I’m a shortie. I’m 5’2. I haven’t been the tallest girl in the room since kindergarten, and I accepted this lifestyle years ago. I look up at people. I stand on chairs. I’m three inches away from the steering wheel in my car. Sometimes at concerts, boys pick me up so I can see. I sit Indian-style in chairs because my feet never touch the floor. I’ve mastered the art of using hangers, forks, and pencils as extended arms. I stand on my tippy-toes at least three times a day, so my calves are fabulous.

Ex used to do this hilarious impersonation of me trying to kiss him… he’d get down on his knees, fling up his arms, and hop up and down like a little kid, squealing “Kiss meeee!” like he was shrinking. My friends Stouty and Barker are both – and I am not making this up – 6 feet 10 inches tall, and every time they see me, they call me things like “Tiny” and “Little-Bit”**.

TSGoC is 6’6, so when we walked around together, we looked ridiculous. But I liked that. It made me feel cute and dainty and itty-bitty no matter what. When I went out to lunch with him and his dad, they demonstrated the “friendly giant syndrome”, where they’d lean towards me and hunch down, trying to get to my eye-level. Apparently, this is something that most tall people do… I had always just assumed that they were really interested in what I was saying. I tend to date tall boys, so this explains why I talk so much.

I’m not afraid of heights, per se… I don’t mind tall buildings or cliffs or whatever… but I am very uncomfortable when I’m this far away from the ground. It’s like the first time I had to drive a truck after years of driving compact cars. There’s this weird extra space there, and I feel like I’ve lost some control over the situation.

And I really hate drawing attention to myself. When you’re clickity-clacking around, people automatically look up and stare. It’s a lot easier to sneak by when you’re flip-flopping or pitter-pattering.

But I’m getting the hang of it. The day I bought them, I wore heels for everything: cleaning the apartment, going out to a movie, drinking with the neighbors… hell, by the end of the day I was so acclimated that I hopped on the elliptical trainer to do that “Mariah Carey on Cribs” bit for my friend. He laughed and I didn’t die… so I consider this new venture a success***.

And there are benefits, I guess. Today’s the first day I’ve worn them to work. I thought that everyone would give me shit, like they did when I started wearing a skirt everyday.

But instead, people just keep commenting that there’s something different about me. They ask me if I’ve lost weight, and they keep calling me Skinny. I am starting to understand. People seem to respect me a bit more. Plus, my feet actually touch the floor when I sit, so for the very first time I’m able to sit like a grown-up at my desk.

I haven’t fallen on my bum yet, but I imagine it will happen in front of the cute boys in the warehouse. Don’t worry, I’ll reenact this for you later in slow-motion with sound effects.

*And did you know that the amount of force a stiletto heel exerts on the ground is the exact same amount of force as an elephant’s foot? Now that’s attractive.

** FYI: if you call a girl this, she will automatically fall in love with you…unless you’re referring to her boobs (so I’ve heard).

***I also stood on a chair to hang my new graffiti-covered Abbey Road sign on the wall… wearing heels. I didn’t fall, but apparently you’re not supposed to do this ever. So don’t tell my mom.

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Good New/Bad News

Good News: After a week of 100+ degree weather, it finally cooled down and rained.

Bad News: Well, it didn’t rain, exactly. A storm passed through St. Louis, and even though it only lasted an hour, it caused more damage per minute than I’ve ever seen before.

Good News: I live in Greentree City, USA, which is super pretty…

Bad News: …except after storms. This morning, it looked like a wood-chipper barfed all over everyone’s front yard.

Good News: I could sit outside on the phone without sweating and bitching for like five minutes.

Bad News: Then the wind grew so loud that I couldn’t hear anything, and it almost knocked me over. Scary.

Good News: The electricity only went out for about a minute, and my family didn’t lose power at all.

Bad News: Half a million people in the area did. There was somebody from the power company on the radio today, and she said that it was the most damage the company had ever faced, ever.

Bad News: My company was NOT one of the buildings that lost power, even though all of the surrounding businesses and stoplights are out. So I am at work, which is incredibly assy.

Good News: It’s always nice to get back to your roots and remember that people survived without electricity for thousands of years.

Bad news: Today is NOT the day to try it, because the heat index is going to be 115 degrees.

More Bad News: My brother told me that it’s hotter here than in Afghanistan.

More Bad News: This is not an expression like, “colder than a witch’s tit.” It is literally hotter than Afghanistan, and it sucks that he knows this because he’s there.

Good News: I can tell my brother “It’s so frickin hot here” and I don’t feel like a douche. For once I have it worse than him, weather wise. I try to never complain about my job or the weather to him, because that would make me such an asshole.

Good News: My brother and I can e-mail each other like every day, which we could never do when he was in Iraq.

Bad News: He gets to tell me about all of the rocket attacks that miss his bunker by like 20 ft., so I’m forced to worry about my brother and how the Taliban is trying to blow him up.

Good News: I called my Grandma last night to make sure she had power (Grandma: “Stephie, I have the power to do anything! It’s a woman’s world… ”), and she told me that my brother called her yesterday. She was really excited about it and it was cute.

Good News: She said that he wasn’t getting attacked by rockets anymore.

Bad News: My brother lied to Grandma.

Good News: He’d BETTER lie to Grandma, if he knows what’s good for him.

Bad News: I can just picture my brother telling my Grandma that he’s safe and okay and not scared at all, when he spent all night huddled in a bomb shelter with a helmet on instead of sleeping, and he was probably calling her Just In Case.

Good News: That just shows you how incredible my brother is, in more ways than one.

Bad News: It breaks my heart to think about it.

Good News: My brother trusts me enough to tell me about this stuff, when he hasn’t even told his wife or our family. He doesn’t want them to worry. My whole family is like that, which is both good and bad. Plus, he doesn’t really open up to people much, and I like when he does because he can’t bottle that crap up inside.

Better News: After this last attack, he’s finally admitted that yes, he would like a new President ASAP, please.

Bad News: I can’t tell anybody about this stuff (except for, you know, you guys). I have to listen to my family talk about how safe he is, and I have to smile and nod and pretend it’s okay.

Good News: I guess this means my brother thinks I’m strong enough to handle it, which is nice. Not a lot of people do. He told me that I’m brave, and for a brief moment he made me feel like I really am.

So last night, even though the wind was so strong that that it hurt my face and I could hear sirens and glass breaking and all that shit… I stood outside in that damn storm and finished my damn cigarette. I felt like I had to be brave for him, somehow. So I was.

Bad News: If anything fucking happens to my big brother, I will go over there and kill the Taliban dead all by myself. You DO NOT want to deal with the Wrath of Shortcake. Just ask my ex-boyfriend.

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I’m Tired. You Write It.

I worked my very first twelve hour day yesterday.

Here’s how wacky I was by the end of it: I almost bought a hot dog. From a vending machine.

Last night kids were lighting off fireworks at two in the morning. I went outside in my robe and yelled at them to shut up. I’m officially a grown-up, you guys.

Needless to say, I’m exhausted. I have about 20 entries swimming around in my head, but I need to save my typing fingers for Day Two of Hell Week.

So here’s where you come in: I’m putting you to work. I found this on a friend’s page a long time ago, and I’m passing it along to you. Ready?

“If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don’t speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want – good or bad – BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you’re finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON’T ACTUALLY remember about you.”

Naturally, I reserve the right to censor these memories (TONY), but give it a shot. I know most of you and you’re funnier than me. I write happies all the time, but I really need some happies from you today. And a nap. And possibly a hot dog in ten hours.

EDITED TO SAY: Dude! If you get a Happy Meal right now, you get an INFLATABLE PIRATE SWORD. FYI. I am the coolest girl at the office right now.


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Stephie Gets Tagged

Dammit dammit dammit – Mike tagged me. This is more of a Myspace thing, but a lot of my friends aren’t on that, so I’ll post it here, too.

I am proud to say that this is the first lame survey about myself that I have ever filled out. However, I am ashamed to admit that I got pretty into it.

5 Things I Love:

1. Cults. Books about cults. Movies about cults. The Polyphonic Spree, because they look and sound like a cult.
2. Stories. Both hearing them and telling them. Stories automatically become better if they’re told around a campfire or over a beer (and especially both), but I’ll settle for a decent blog entry.
3. Candy. I like separating candy into colors, and eating them in this order: yellow, green, orange, blue, red, and purple. Unless I am eating M&Ms, in which case green is last (obviously).
4. Laughter. People who have great laughs and people who make me laugh. Lately I have become a comedy groupie, and it’s so much more fun than hanging out with musicians (no offense).
5. Chuck Klosterman. I know you’re all peeing yourselves over David Sedaris, but I’d rather read Klosterman any day.

5 Things I Hate:

1. Politics. Both sides. My political beliefs can best be summed up in three words: “Mommy, Daddy, No!”
2. People who lie to avoid conflict. Maybe the best way to avoid conflict would be to NOT lie to me and piss me off? Ever think of that? And FYI, “Well, you weren’t supposed to find out,” is pretty much the worst defense ever, so drop the ‘tude.
3. Can I say dumb-ass surveys? Is that hypocritical? This one is okay, but who writes those questions and why can’t they spell? You know what my favorrite ice creem flayvor is? I HATE YOU.
4. When people talk to me like I’m stupid. I’m that a-hole at work who’s always snotting, “I KNO-OW. And?”
5. When people are mad at me and don’t tell me. How the hell am I supposed to stop it if you don’t say anything? I’ll just keep pissing you off and wonder why you’re being such a dick.

5 Items (things) I Can’t Live Without

1. Cell phone/MySpace. I would say “friends”, but it’s a list about things and this is how I keep in touch with you guys.
2. Mechanical pencils
4. Blue Benadryl, or anything non-addictive that helps me fall asleep. Beer sometimes falls in this category, too.
5. Television. I’m sorry. I’M SORRY. I know I should say books, but let’s be honest. I can multitask with TV, and it’s improved a lot in the past few years.

5 TV Characters I Would Want To Be For A Day

1. Rayanne Graff (My So-Called Life)
2. Maeby Fünke (Arrested Development)
3. Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
4. Lindsey Weir (Freaks & Geeks)
5. Calamity Jane (Deadwood)

5 Favorite Clothing Items

1. My Amazing Technicolor Dreamscarf
2. Monkey underpants
3. Flip Flops, especially ones that make me look taller.
4. Skirts. I’m not sure when I became too cool for pants, but I am.
5. Hoodies. Asking me to choose between them is like asking me to choose between my children.

5 Things In My Bag/Purse

1. Sweet Pea lotion
2. Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers
3. Old-school Wicket action figure (Ewoks are good luck)
4. Immigration card (thanks, Ra!)
5. Señor Wad (that’s Spanish for a big stack of cash)

5 Things That Make Me Laugh*

1. When people trip and fall, especially me.
2. When Celine Dion sincerely “rocks out” and plays air guitar.
3. That song in Clue – “I. AM! Your singing telegram -” “BAM!”
4. Anything that Jen and Tim laugh at, because they have the most contagious laughs in the world.
5. Here Comes Dr. Tran!

5 Nicknames I’ve Had In The Past

1. Precious Moments (I look like one, according to Macie)
2. Snuffy/Weffy (both from Peter)
3. Miss Sneffany (if you’re three years-old, this is how you address me)
4. Scout (I got Steve and Jen lost inside a gigantic castle)
5. Pascal (my French class name – the bartender at Ice& Fuel still calls me this)

So Who To Tag Now?

1. Sarah
2. Tony
3. Liz
4. Niki
5. You (hey, you clicked on this – what did you expect?)

*Yeah, I changed the category – the old one was stupid. Consider this Official Tagbacks, MIKE.

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Mosaic 2.0

First of all (and pretend I wrote this tomorrow, okay?) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONY!!! I love you!!

So here’s Mosaic 2.0. I consider it the exact opposite of a Monet…from far away it’s kind of butt, but up close it’s really pretty.

When I asked TSGoC what he wanted, he said “something with fire”, but he’s really into Egyptian stuff so I opted for the Eye of Horus instead. That eye, in case you’re wondering, is Kate Beckensdale’s. I tried to make an eye myself but they kept turning out really lame… luckily I had People Magazine’s Most Beautiful issue, so I had a wide variety of good eyes to choose from. A close second? Tom Selleck!

This one included a piece from when I got my tattoo, a page number (2,653, or something), and the one where I foolishly referred to my 2nd trip to London as the “best trip ever”. I also included a few pieces with his name, as well as some with “Jen”, “Ron” and “Kevin”. I looked for a “Josh” but I couldn’t find one. The yellow piece that says “present” is from that gross birthday present that Kevin and Milo gave me.

The one that says “conversation” right above the eye is from our first date at Blueberry Hill. I remember writing about it… it’s when I realized he was the most interesting person I had ever met, and I decided that I liked him very much. It’s pretty cool that I can randomly reach into a pile of paper and pick up the memories that mean the most.

The most important thing I learned during the making of 2.0 is that I really write the word “really” a lot. I pulled out pieces with “really” over and over again… I think that there are five or six “really”s on this one alone. I can spot three of them on that picture. I started throwing the “really” pieces away because they pissed me off. I glanced though the Shortcake archives and holy hell, there are a lot of them. It’s really really annoying. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?

Also (and I realize I also write “also” a lot, but that’s my tribute to Vonnegut): Does anyone know where I can buy a cheap gigantic world map? The kind that’s in every classroom in North America? I tried Borders, but their map was lame. I don’t want to look online, because I might have to go through two or three of them.

My big plan (which is what prompted me to try paper mosaics in the first place) is to make a giant world map for my room made out of pieces of my journal. This shouldn’t be too hard if I find the right map… it’s just a matter of tracing and intricate cutting and remembering where to put things. Luckily, I have a cutting board, a light table, and a box of X-Acto knives in my office. But I still have to make a baby turtle mosaic, so I have plenty of time.


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A Fifth for the Fifth

So I wrote about how I was okay with sacrificing fireworks for the safety of my car, but then I wrote all that stuff about loving fireworks and I started to get sad. It all worked out, though, because Kirkwood had the fireworks last night!

I walked up to the park with Jen & Ron and that whole crew. The weather was absolutely beautiful and cool, so for once the walk was easy (even with my 900 lb. chair that I didn’t use). We found the perfect spot in the cemetery next to Mr. Felix Daly, and eventually there were about fourteen of us.

The fireworks were awesome, except for the creepy screaming ones that went on for 10 minutes… they looked like little angry ghosts or scary missiles (TOO SOON, K-wood. Too soon). For the most part, they were big and bright and loud, and the running Bonus Commentary made it even more entertaining.

Afterwards we walked back to Jen’s parents for more fireworks, brought to us by Ron and Jen’s dad. We woke up the entire neighborhood and got kicked out, but it was a good show, and for once I wasn’t afraid of anyone blowing up. They picked a good batch of fireworks this year – nice job, guys.

I took off so that I could go the bed and be a responsible girl for once. So naturally, Ty called and demanded that I meet them up at Duffy’s for a goodbye beer. I was PLANNING on only having one, but naturally, it was KARAOKE NIGHT and all of the cool kids were out.

Jake rocked the house once again, this time with “Black” by Pearl Jam. Myspace Mike made my day with “Anything for Love”. We were skeptical about Sarah’s friend singing “What’s Going On”, but she absolutely blew us away.

I was going to sing “Brass in Pocket”, but (a) we couldn’t remember the name of the song, (b) I know for a fact that if I sang “I’m special”, Ty would sing it back in retarded voice at the top of his lungs, and (c) the last thing I needed to do was “get some attention” from Oldham.

The highlight of the night was when Warren sang “Sympathy for the Devil” because he has a really great voice, and also because we got to sing back-up through the whole song: “Woooo woooo!”

Note to everyone at Duffy’s: that chick who sang “My Heart Will Go On”? Not with us.

I think I was there til one in the morning. Note to Ty: it’s always great to see you and Sarah, and I feel as though I celebrated the Fourth as much as possible thanks to you. But you are a bad influence and you got me in trouble like eight times last night. Go back to Wyoming.


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20 A-Holes In One

Bar Golf is basically a pub crawl, but this is AMERICA, buddy. We had to turn it into some sort of competition. We aimed for nine holes (bars) but due to time and safety issues, we only went to six. Luckily, Warren, Mike, and I live about 2 blocks away from a nice little hub of bars, so we only had to drive to Growlers and back.

Mike rode in my car, and as we were cruising Lindbergh, he mooned Tony. My life is just like Porky’s, you guys.

The rules were established during a pre-game dinner at the first hole (Imo’s). Each drink is a point. If I slapped Tony or Jimmy, we would both lose a point. If you hit on an Uggo, that’s a sand trap. If Mike or Jimmy scored a phone number, they would automatically win the game.

By the time we hit Duffy’s, there were almost 20 people in our group. I really love the bars in Kirkwood because we always meet up with old friends. This time around, we saw Dave! Yay! In high school, Dave was “the guy on the couch.” Then practically overnight, he morphed into Ben Affleck from “Armageddon”. This has always kind of freaked me out. When he left, he told me that I “look good. I mean it. Really good.” This makes me giggle until next week.

Jimmy got a point for giving the hostess his phone number, and Val got a point for hooking it up. Mike glared at Jimmy and Val for like an hour. I slapped Tony for kissing me: minus one point each. Jimmy invented a new pick-up line and used it on me like four times: “You’re just as beautiful as when I was sober.” I told Ty (the ref) that I really like his fiancée, so she gets my seal of approval. Secret extra point for me.

Ty won first place in Bar Golf. Congratulations, Ty – here’s a nice hangover for you. Second place goes to Val’s boobs.

However, I’d say the real winner of Bar Golf was Mike, because for some reason the girls thought it’d be fun to steal his phone and replace his wallpaper with cleavage shots (see: second place winner). I think Mike will be spending a little more time on his phone, and a little less time playing World of Warcraft.

The next day was really fun… I count that as the official Fourth of July party, even though it was Sunday. Tony’s parents threw a huge barbeque, full of family and friends. Tony’s aunts came and it was great to see them. I finally got to party with his cousins, who are all really cool. We saw Drew for the first time in forever and met his boyfriend, who I am secretly in love with.

I had my first beer brat of the summer (yumyum), and we played wiffleball for the first time in forever. Wiffleball used to be a weekly thing with our group, so whenever we play, it just feels good… like a reunion or something. Warm fuzzies. I was too hung-over to run, so I was the catcher for the whole game. The boys taught Kim and Andrea’s daughter how to play, which was adorable.

Drew’s boyfriend went through Mike’s phone and gave our breasts personalities. Sarah’s cleavage is “fun and flirty”. Mine is “classic Hollywood glamour”. Val’s is “drunk and just… just not right.”

We were all pooped from last night… there was a lot of talk about how old we are getting. Nevertheless, there was still time to go back to Warren’s apartment and party with the cousins. Mike picked up a chick and took her for a motorcycle ride. Mike wins the barbeque. Congratulations, Mike.


I guess I’ll end this with one of my favorite pictures in the world… this was from Ra’s Fourth of July party a few years back. She used to live in Kirkwood Park, so her yard was the perfect spot to watch the fireworks. During the grand finale, the frat boys felt compelled to make a pile-up. I don’t know how it started, but out of nowhere, everyone started jumping and yelling and laughing.

Then it happened – that magic moment during fireworks when time practically stops. The fireworks were so loud but it still seemed quiet, and even though the colors were flashing so fast, the world seemed still. We all sat there for a second to catch out breath and watch the sky, and to enjoy this big weird group hug that we had just created. Some drunk at the bottom whispered, “I love you guys,” and we all giggled. I’ll never forget that, ever.

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