Monthly Archives: November 2007

Awesome Teen Poetry – Vol. 2

This barely qualifies because I wrote this when I was nineteen, but I think it really captures the yikes of my young adulthood. Come to think of it, I can still relate to this poem to an embarrassing degree. Dating someone four years older seemed so glamorous at the time, but in hindsight I don’t think I was ready for the wisdom and maturity of men in their early twenties.

This poem is a sestina. Sestinas are hard to explain so I’ll let Wikipedia do it. But basically, you choose six words, and every line in the poem ends with one of those words in a specific pattern. Six stanzas and a triplet. I still write sestinas all of the time along with pantoums; they’re a great exercise.

I wrote this for my sophomore poetry workshop, which I believe is where I first met Kevin’s FIANCE. She wrote a poem about crushing on the garbage man which included the line, “’You have nice trash,’ he said.” Delightful! Workshops were awesome like that. Here we go:

Sestina (Untitled)

I know you still want to be my friend
But sometimes, when I’m at your home
Playing pool, we drink too much beer
And you start calling me Baby
And you hug me, and hold me, and kiss
Me, and it makes me feel like shit.

Because, you know, it really is a bunch of bullshit.
You don’t just want me to be your friend
You want me to come over and kiss
Your ass. But when I go home
I curl up and cry like a baby
And the only thing that makes me feel better is beer

Which sucks, because you’re always drinking beer
And beer reminds me of you now, and that’s shitty.
Sometimes you drink so much you act like a baby,
And it’s really hard to be your friend
When I have to pick you up and drive you home
From the bar and you lean in to kiss

Me goodbye, and all I want is to kiss
You forever. You don’t want forever. You want another beer.
You know what I want? I want to stay home
Just so I don’t have to put up with your shit
And if you really want to be my friend
Then you can’t fucking call me Baby

Because I love it when you call me Baby
And I love it when you hold me, and kiss
Me, and talk to me like I’m still your girlfriend.
And I love that when I’m sad, you bring over a case of beer
And we drive to a park and talk about all the shit
That’s going on with us, and then you take me home.

But when you hug me goodbye, your arms feel like home
And I stand there holding you, crying like a baby
Because I know it’s a bunch of bullshit.
You only kiss me because you need someone to kiss
When you’ve had lots of beer,
Not because you miss being my boyfriend.

So I’m just going to go home, so you can’t kiss
Me, or call me baby, or feed me beer
Or feed me your bullshit. It hurts to be your friend.

I justify any crying from all of the aforementioned beer. Ahhhh college. We got back together like three weeks later, and then I dumped him a year and a half after that. I have nothing but fond memories of that time in my life and I probably wouldn’t remember the bad stuff if it wasn’t for this poem (again: beer).

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However!

I may be a jaded old maid, but I never get tired of hearing about the nice things that people say to my friends. Particularly things like, “Will you marry me?” and “Yes.” That seemed to happen a lot this past weekend, and I’m very happy for all eight (!) (I know!) of you.

Especially Kevin and Monica! I heard about how he did it and it was pretty astounding. Steve put it best when he said, “Way to set the bar super high, Kevin”.

Monica is a fantastic writer and an old Pearson House pal, so she obviously rocks. Kevin’s face always lights up when he talks about her in a way that is so nice to see. Again, I am really thrilled for them. They’re a couple of cute kids, those two.

Also, I’m sending big big big hugs out to Ray. I am beyond grateful that you are (theoretically – you know what I mean) okay. I love you, Ray.

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Don’t Mind Me

The thing about losing 40 pounds is…

… I AM FREEZING.

I’ve been waddling around my apartment in a Sleeping Bag Kimono for the past week. It’s not working, but at least I have some extra padding on my bones again for when I bump into things (which is always, because I am a klutz).

Another thing I hate is the fact that boys are nicer to me now. This should be a good thing, but I’ve lost weight before and I am well aware of the Honesty to Fat Ratio. The less attractive you are, the less time boys will waste on impressing you when they are not that interested. It’s true. I don’t miss the squish but I miss the sincerity.

(I have yet to find a way to write about this stuff without sounding obese. It was never that bad; I’m just incredibly short).

I’ve had to learn a lot of hard lessons over the past few years, but one of the best was to not keep a journal. I mean, I suppose this is a journal in a sense, but I am conscious of the fact that people read this, so I’m better at keeping the personal private moments to myself.

Here is the thing about writing stuff down: not only do you remember it longer, but it automatically seems more important and significant. It’s a good idea to write down important events, but it’s a terrible idea to write down the compliments and promises.

I’m much more comfortable when they float around in my memories with everything else. It makes it easier to move on.

Maybe someday, those sweet nothings will mean as little to me as they do to the boys who say them.

Seriously, why do you do that? It’s mean and more importantly, it’s unnecessary.

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Pilgrims vs. Indians

This was and always will be the best Thanksgiving ever.

2001. London, England. The 75th Annual Thanksgiving Ultimate Frisbee Extravaganza.

Nelson was captain of The Indians and tried to pick all of the girls for his team. We threw the frisbee over the bushes, and then we threw Nelson over the bushes to get it.

After we washed off all of the mud, we had British cafeteria food. Here is a completely candid and not at all planned picture of Frank:

And here is the beautiful Macie, Kevin, Michelle, and me with long hair!

At some point Kevin took a nap. Check out my roommate Kacy’s Musical Theater Bingo:

I love that I talk to at least one person in this picture every day. Out of everything I’m thankful for, I’m especially thankful that I met them. These are people who completely changed my life for the better. They are friends for life and I’ll love them forever.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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Thrilling And/Or Appalling Confession #4

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a double uvula. Excuse me, a “bifid” uvula. It’s my favorite thing about myself.

Only 1% of Caucasians have a double uvula, but it’s a very common trait in Native Americans, especially Cherokee. (Adopted kids have an annoying habit of claiming to be whatever ethnicity they want, but I’ll spare you from that.)

If I lived in parts of the world that use gutteral sounds, I would probably have a speech impediment because it’s a mild form of cleft palette. This explains why I sucked so much at French.

I used to love showing off my double uvula. However, I hate my tonsils and I don’t want anyone to see them, so I haven’t shown off my uvula in a while.

TA/OA Confession #4: I tried to take a picture of my uvula without my tonsils, and guess what I think it looks like:

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I Kicked Work’s Ass Today!

Now I’m home and I’m still in the mood, so yooooou get a big-ass blog entry from me.

Being a writer can be hard because the ability to work effectively comes in waves. I can stare at a blank screen for hours or days and nothing will come to me, and then other times I can knock out three or four articles in less than a shift and still come home with tons of energy and things to say.

Being a writer can also be hard because the really talented ones (not me) don’t often get the credit they deserve. This is especially true in Hollywood, because we’re so captivated by the stories and characters onscreen that we don’t (and aren’t supposed to) think about the fact that all of those ideas came from some hard-working scribe sitting at the computer and chugging coffee.

I am bummed about the WGA strike for many reasons – mainly it sucks that it has to happen and that Big 6 is so unsupportive and unreasonable. TV has been so much fun to watch recently and I’m really getting into my stories. But also, it’s sad to think that so many people will be out of work around the holidays, and it’s really branching out to affect everyone involved with those projects – not just the writers.

My Sludgie boss Francis is one of those great writers. So are his friends Pamie and Stee. In addition to writing for TV, Pamie and Stee have been entertaining me for years with their awesome sites, Pamie.com and Plaintive Wail.

They’ve been posting a lot recently about their experiences with the Strike – explaining why it’s happening, how you can help, what it’s like to be out there and more. Even though it’s a stressful, weird time out there, they still manage to make it funny and relatable. Seriously go check them out; they’re two of my favorite sites in the whole Internet.

~~~*~~~

Two of my other favorite sites, Found Magazine and Post Secret, are currently on tour together! Here’s the link with the upcoming shows – you should seriously check them out. Davy and Frank share some of their favorite finds and secrets, Peter from The Poem Adept plays some amazing songs, and – because it’s the Found Vs. Post Secret tour – they have a fun referee who makes cool music, too.

They came to St. Louis last week and the show was unbelievable. I got to go early and help them set up, and they really are the nicest group of guys you’ll ever meet.

They had a special reception at the beginning for some lucky folks, and Davy asked me if I could entertain them while he and Frank got ready. That was one of my favorite parts of the night because I’m a such a ham (like you didn’t know).

I sat in the “Stag Row”, which was packed full of chatty kids like me. I don’t know how to explain fans of Found and Post Secret, exactly – they’re just a big community of folks who love to share stories and be social. So needless to say, the Stag Row rocked and now we’re all pals.

The show was sold out and in addition to all of the chairs (which I put away with Ashby, thankyouverymuch), people were sitting and standing all over the place. The bartender made Green Monkey drinks, so he was the man. Davy and Frank were funny and touching, as always.

I got to talk to Frank after the show for a second, and I asked him a bunch of questions about the Post Office. He said that he gets two big stacks of secrets every day wrapped in rubberbands, and then he gave me one of the rubberbands. I geeked out. Then I discovered that Davy was wearing a green rubberband like me. I have never geeked out about rubber bands so much in my life*.

After the show was the afterparty with the Found guys, and after the afterparty they came and crashed at my place. They were beyond exhausted. They work their asses off and they really love what they do. You should love what they do, too. Go see them. Clap for them. Buy their fun stuff; it’s all great.

*When I got my Grandpa’s roll top desk a couple of years ago, I went to Office Max to buy tons of office supplies that I didn’t need. Naturally I bought a cute rubber band ball.

On the ride home, I thought, “What the hell am I going to do with a rubber band ball?” I wear them every day, that’s what.

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Beer and Loving in St. Louis

I tried to think of a smartypants Hunter S. Thompson-themed title, but I’m tired. So there you go. Beer and Loving. It’s true. I love Sarah and Warren.

So here are my Top 5 Memories of Warren and Sarah’s Wedding

5. The Rehearsal Dinner

I am friends with Warren and Sarah’s entire wedding party and 90% of their significant others. So I was really delighted when Tony asked me to be his date to the rehearsal dinner. I sat with a lot of old friends that I’ve missed a lot, like Ty, Adam and Peter. The waiter came out to show us the menu and all of the food was so perfect that it looked fake. The shrimp was the size of my arm. Jason and I sampled each other’s food like an old married couple. Tony gave the drunkest speech in the history of mankind.* In it, he remarked that Warren had “valor”, and Warren yelled out, “You mean like a knight?” We talked about getting old. Ty showed us his gut and we all screamed.

Then Warren’s dad stood up and gave one of the sweetest speeches I’ve ever heard. He addressed not only the bride and groom, but everyone who used to hang out on his back porch every day during high school, which was practically everyone in the room. It brought back so many memories of wiffleball and band practice** and shenanigans in general. I got teary-eyed. On the ride home I teased Tony about his speech and introduced him to Gogol Bordello. There’s also another story that I can’t tell here, but ask me later because it’s awesomely funny.

4. Afterparties

After the rehearsal dinner a bunch of us went to Warren’s apartment to play poker (or make flowers out of poker chips – guess which one I did?). Ryan and Warren led us in a big sing-along. Mike showed me his mad scientist computer. Ryan changed the lyrics of every Takedown song to include “weiner” or “butt” or both. I remembered how much fun I had living next door to Warren and Mike, and realized how much I miss it.

The morning after the wedding, ten of us went out to breakfast. This is something we used to do on the last day of college breaks before everyone hit the road. It was really nice to sit and catch up with everyone and reflect on all of the excitement. I had a veggie omelet. Ty’s wife pointed out how much Dave looks and sounds like Brody Jenner, and Martha and I shrieked with laugher because it’s true.

3. Ted

I’ll tell you what – if you want to make a grand entrance, make sure your date is somebody that has been AWOL for like six years. Ted was the first of our friends to move away and grow up, and he has always stayed close with me and Warren, so I brought him as my celebrity cameo date. Ted is one of those friends that teaches you how to be a better person just by watching him. One of the first things he did was compliment me on my toenails, which… well, that’s adorable. Ted is delightfully thoughtful, always. We ended up sitting at the same table as Travis and Dave and it warmed my heart to see all those kids back together. I think Dave and Ted danced more than any other couple at the wedding.

2. Sarah’s House

If you’ve never seen Sarah’s backyard then I’m not sure I can do it justice. It’s basically the prettiest place on earth. It’s locally famous. Her sister got married in that yard, and so did her mother and her aunt. They have a waterfall, a koi pond, a bandstand and more. The wedding was beautiful. During the “in sickness or in health” line, Sarah got the giggles (and when you think about it, that’s the best place to get them, right?) Then all these butterflies came out of nowhere, which no one planned. Perfect.

The next morning, Jason and I stopped by the house to get Jason’s vest – he swore that he never took it off, but apparently he flung it into the yard with reckless abandon while dancing. Funny! Her family was lounging around (with Nick, the 90lb. Doberman that’s afraid of bubbles). They showed us some of the pictures and talked about how fun my friends are. “You guys are so cool,” Sarah’s mom remarked.

1. Dancing

I never used to dance – I’ve always felt awkward and silly and out of the groove when it comes to that stuff. However, I had just started taking Thriller classes so I was getting a little more comfortable with getting down. And right when I started dancing, somebody (I think Jason or Ted or both) was like, “You’re a good dancer!” That built up my confidence and then it was on.

Warren’s cousin (whom I had never met) approached me later and said, “May I have this dance?” YEEEEEAH! I’ve never had a stranger say that to me before and let me tell you gals, it rocks.

I requested “Dancing in the Moonlight”, which is my quintessential wedding song. Jason pulled me onto the empty dance floor and we danced in front of everybody. We kept complimenting each other. Every 30 seconds, one of us would crack a joke and we would break apart to hold our sides and laugh laugh laugh. Then without skipping a beat, we would start dancing again. I haven’t been that happy and fearless and delighted in a long time. It was lovely.

Bonus Favorite Memory

Three phone numbers. What what.

*He said he was asked to give the speech but no one will cop to it. Who requested this speech? I am offering a $5 reward for this information.

**The band was called Belgium’s Moon/Zero/Influence and basically everyone I know was in it for at least a week. I consider The Takedown the final line up, which only took 12 years to nail down.

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Found! Post Secret! This Tuesday!

Seriously, pals. This Tuesday at Mad Art Gallery, 7pm.

Proceeds will go towards the Hopeline Network. So not only do you get to help people, but you get to see these guys:

Davy and Peter from Found Magazine (WARNING: serious F-bombs):

And Frank from Post Secret:

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Thrilling And/Or Appalling Confession #3

This one will take a bit of effort to explain, but bear with me.

I’m sure that there are things in the future that will change my life and that I will enjoy immensely. I doubt I will go the marriage and kids route, but I know interesting things will happen.

However, no matter what happens and no matter how happy I am, there will still be responsibilities. I will still have a job and I will always owe someone money. I will have chores. I will miss people. I will worry about my family. Hell, even if I move and make a whole new life, eventually it will become boring and mundane again.

There was a time when none of this was the case. I had no job. No bills. I had classes, but they were a breeze. Everyone around me was new and nice and hilarious and nearby. I had cleaning ladies. I had cooks. I was falling in love and believed it was possible. I wrote all the time and it wasn’t work. I could say, “I want to go to France,” and be in Paris by the weekend. Hell, even a walk down the street to get a newspaper was an adventure because everything was different and wonderful.

I will never live like that again. Ever. And therefore…

I know for a fact that I have already lived the best day of my life. I’m not sure which one it was, but out of 115 days, I was only sad for 5 of them. You can’t beat that ratio.

There was a time (as you may know) when this depressed the hell out of me. I didn’t see the point in life at all.

But now I’m happy it happened at 20… it showed me the person I can be when you strip away the crap, and now I have a million years to remember and appreciate those days.

TA/OA Confession #3: I love having nothing to live for, because it frees me up for virtually everything.

NOTE: I felt the exact same way about living in Guatemala, so I’ll admit that I could be wrong. We’ll see.

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Trick Or Treating Question!

I have always assumed that St. Louis celebrates Halloween the same way as every other US city, but it’s come to my attention that we might be unique in a very fun way. I was wondering if you guys could clear this up.

In St. Louis, when kids go Trick or Treating, they go the door and ask folks, “Trick or treat?”

The grown up says “Trick.” Then the kid has to tell them a joke in order to get a piece of candy.

It’s fun when you’re a kid because you get to feel clever and get rewarded in the process. It’s even more fun when you’re a grown-up because you get treated to gems such as:

How do you mend a broken Jack-o-Lantern?
With a pumpkin patch

Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?
Because it didn’t have the guts!

Why was the mummy so tense?
Because he was wound up!

During a meeting yesterday, someone remarked that they didn’t tell jokes when they were younger – that this is just a St. Louis thing.

“Then what does the ‘Trick or Treat’ mean?” we asked.

“It’s like, ‘Give me candy or I’ll egg your house,’” he said.

“Oh. So it’s like a threat?”

“Basically.”

I suppose that, grammar wise, it makes more sense your way. But I loved preparing my “set” of jokes when I was younger. And it makes the grown-up side fun, too – I love hearing kids tell me stupid jokes. It never gets old.

So my very long-winded question is:

What is the tradition in your town? Do you guys tell jokes? If you are from STL, find someone who isn’t and ask them for me, please.

Also, what was everybody for Halloween???

Here are some more Halloween jokes!

What do you call someone who poisons breakfast?
A cereal killer!

What do birds give away on Halloween?
Tweets!

What kind of mistakes do ghosts make?
Boo-boos.

Why do witches wear nametags?
So they can tell which witch is which.

And here’s one for Ron, who gave me an Algebra 2 test last week that I failed miserably:

What is the ratio of a pumpkin’s circumference to its diameter?
Pumpkin Pi.

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My Heart Is A Vestigial Structure

David Meiklejohn and Found’s Davy Rothbart made this film about love called My Heart Is An Idiot. It’s in post-production right now, but David has been entertaining people by posting video chunks online. He just posted an actual trailer and it’s kickass, so I’m passing it along to you:

I know that I talk a lot of crap about love, but I’m happy for people who find it and it’s always nice to see their journeys – especially through the eyes of great storytellers. Davy is coming to the Mad Art Gallery on November 13 along with his brother Peter and Frank from Post Secret. It’s guaranteed to be a great time and I will probably be pimping the hell out of this in the next 2 weeks.

I think everybody can relate to Davy’s journey. I certainly can, but I wouldn’t say that my heart is an idiot. It used to be too gullible and optimistic, for sure. Then it broke. It will probably stay like that forever, which is just as well because I don’t plan on using it anymore.

Nowadays, my heart isn’t anything. It’s like wisdom teeth or a tailbone – something I used to need in order to survive, but eventually deemed itself unnecessary. I’ve evolved to the point where my heart only gets in the way.

It’s not like I’m against love in general; it’s just not for me. I try to explain this to people in relationships*, and they like to treat me as if they know something I don’t. It pisses me off. I’ve been in love with a boy or two. I remember that trust and comfort and wonder. I may question their motives now, but at the time I believed in them with my whole heart. That’s why it hurt so badly when it broke, and that’s why I don’t use it anymore.

I vividly remember everything about being in love and I understand the concept as well as anyone else. You aren’t smarter or wiser for being in love. You just got lucky, is all. Don’t ever forget that, and try to get over yourself before they get over you.

Go see My Heart Is An Idiot when it comes out, especially if you are a couple. Aren’t movies like the only thing you people do anymore? Also, read the next entry, it’s urrrrbviously funnier than this romp.

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