Monthly Archives: August 2008

Achey Breaky August

NOTHING sums up the past month like the following 4 second conversation:

I have been in 3 of these recently (2 of which I will never divulge), and so have a few friends. It should be noted that the people on Han Solo’s side always skip the carbonite and get really, really super wasted instead.

Hopefully, someday I will get to a place where I say it or they say it and there is no hesitation to say it back and no one involved will have to make that awful heartbreaking noise that Chewy makes.

Basically, everybody can be a Leia, and we can all be Leias together and never have to worry about those Han Solos ever again.

(I’m not so much implying that we can all be lesbians, but more that all those guys can take their bros before hoes mentality and go f*ck themselves, seriously.)

AND IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT I AM NOT SAD AT ALL. Aside from my hangover, I am feeling incredible today for reasons all my own and I am rolling with it, big time.

UP NEXT: Superbabe September. S’gonna be sexy!

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One For The Road

“This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.”
– Walter, The Big Lebowski (censored cable version)

So life took this really Kafkaesque turn the other day, and I’ve been debating about writing about it. I mean, people go through worse things than this every day, and they don’t spend all their time blubbering on the phone and Internet, right? What is my problem? I’ve written like 10 entries trying to communicate what happened and how it went down and it was truly too sad for you. Here’s the one I almost posted yesterday:

NEWS FLASH

I AM NOT OKAY.

I’m feeling better today, but it was short, sweet and a great summary of where I’ve been this week so I thought I would share.

~~~*~~~

Good things HAVE happened and I’m trying to focus on that stuff instead of the bad.

I saw Lynda Barry on Monday! I love her so, so much. I’ve already heard her discuss her new book on Talk of the Nation, but she is always such an inspiration.

Lynda Barry is the only adult I have ever met who has tapped into that magic part of a child’s brain without being creepy or Michael Jackson cuckoo bananas. She knows how to play and pretend like a 5 year-old with the wisdom and humor of an adult. No one has ever been able to capture childhood the way she has – it’s a total trip back in time without the usual cheese and sugar.

She wrote this one comic strip (or should I say, Marlys wrote a comic strip) called, “How To Groove on Life” that completely changed my life and the way I write. The first time I met her, she signed it for me. This time around, I thanked her again and told her that it made me want to put exclamation points behind everything that I do. She beamed at me! I beamed back!

I had never been to the St. Louis Central Library before and neither had she. It is seriously gorgeous! She said that if she dies (note the “if” – I love her), she wants to be a ghost in that library forever. I do too, if only to hang out with her all the time.

On the way home, my friend Ted called to say he was in town. I stopped by to visit with him and his son. His mom asked me if I wanted to teach creative writing at her community college. Back in grad school, my media literacy professor told me that my presentations were great and I should consider teaching that, too. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot.

In the meantime I’ve been trying to do more creative writing of my own. For the first time in forever, there is an actual plot floating around in my head and the gears have been actively shifting to try and piece it together. I almost forgot what that feels like. It’s wonderful.

~~~*~~~

I didn’t sleep 8 hours every night this week but I’m getting there, which all things considered is amazing.

My dad is going back to the hospital on Tuesday – this time for another toe amputation. It’s hard enough to deal with that stuff, but it’s even harder when I used to have that person I could always call and that place I could always go to get away from the stress. When that gets taken away, it’s like the floor dropping out from underneath you.

HOWEVER: last night I called him and told him what was going on with my dad and he said, “Gross.”

Say it with me now: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That put things into perspective. Big time. I loved him a lot for inexplicable reasons, but he truly is the King of Sad Pathetic Suckville and I need to get over it, stat.

Don’t let me cry about him anymore. It’s time to get rid of these puffy eyes:

~~~*~~~

This week was full of unforeseen nightmarish waves of loneliness, where I really needed friends and needed to escape and I had no one to talk to and nowhere to go and nothing to distract me. Last night I was about to get hit with another one and it was unbearable.

And then… out of nowhere… Jen called me and said, “Would you like to come over and watch some Buffy?”

And I actually teared up as I answered, “That would be perfect.”

I know I write this at least once a month, but I have never had a friend as amazing as Jen. She doesn’t even have to try. She just is. I am eternally grateful that I have her in my life. This week especially, she has been the gentle kick in the ass that I needed to get back on my feet.

~~~*~~~

I am determined to have an awesome fun weekend and I hope you guys have one, too. Let’s be safe out there, kids.

Current Mood:

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BANG BANG I Am The Warrior

EDITED WITH NEW PICS BELOW! WHY AM I YELLING??

Today I am “shootin’ at the walls of heartache” – and for once, it has nothing to do with actual heartache or being sad about boys. I partied with Warren and Ryan over the weekend. They have been obsessed with “The Warrior” by Scandal for a while now and every time I hang out with them it’s stuck in my head for days. Have you guys ever heard this song? Look it up; it’s so sweet. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR ROCKING YOUR DAY.

So yeah, Saturday night was pretty amazing. The Takedown played at The Pageant, which for you out-of-town folks is one of the best venues in St. Louis. I’ve seen some of my favorite bands there and it was such a delight to see some of my oldest friends on that stage.

Tons of people from that family of friends were there, including Ty and Adam and their wives. All the friends and parents sat in the same section and we lost our voices from cheering. Tony, Ty and I kept punching each other on the arm and exclaiming, “Look at the stage! Look at who is on that stage!!!”

My sweet, adorable ex-neighbor Mike came to the show and we found out he proposed to his fun girlfriend. Congrats to Mike and Diana! Tony and I lamented that we are the last two standing. Then we renewed our marriage pact but extended it a few years. 30 is approaching way too fast.

The drummer had a big after party in Dogtown and I saw a lot of people from high school that I haven’t seen in almost a decade. Once of them pulled me aside and said, “You know, I still tell people that my first beer was a Natty Light at your house.” Haha.

We were there til about 3 in the morning, so there was really no point in me going to sleep. So yesterday was a sleepless zombie day and it actually worked out perfectly considering some of my all-time favorite movies were on TV: The Brady Bunch Movie AND the original Hairspray. NOTHING cures the blues for me faster than Edna Turnblad doing “The Bug”:

I am still a little puffy-eyed monster today, but whatever.

~~~*~~~

So I’ve been waiting to write about partying with The Squids, but I don’t think anyone has a picture of Courtney hula-hooping with all the kids. But Janternet did post this:

Look at what a rock star Courtney is! I love her. She brought a bunch of hula hoops to RØB’s barbeque and they were a huge hit. It is quite addictive; I even hula hooped during The Lord of The Yum Yum’s show. But the cutest part was when all of these tiny little kids from the neighborhood appeared out of nowhere and we hula hooped with them. Such a fun day – again RØB, you are fantastic.

EDITED TO ADD: Some pics I yoinked from Bill’s Flickr. Me and Russ, THE SQUIDBONG and one of the hoopin’ neighbors.

I have been wanting to post this video for a long time because this song is so great, but I had never met Bill so I thought it would be weird? Well, I met Bill at the barbeque and he was really awesome, so now I can post it. This is a good song all around but you STL city kids will especially love it:

Do you hear all of that laughter? I need to surround myself with more belly laughs like that. Man, The Squids are so great.

This week I am focusing on sleeping 8 hours every night. I am determined to do this. I think I’ll be able to write (other stuff) more once I’m well rested. I’m also considering a haircut. It’s definitely getting dyed darker. I have to wait a month for Thriller (but I am up for The Madison any time, TPC gals!). I’m half-ass considering quitting smoking this week but I don’t know if I’m there yet. Smiling is still a couple of weeks away but laughing is always an immediate option.

BANG BANG.

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Time Will Tell

I haven’t written on here all week because lately this blog has been sad. And the truth is, I’m still sad and I feel like anything I write will be sad.

But then last night, someone left me a nice comment a couple of entries down and I went to his blog and found an entry about me. How sweet is that? Thank you Daniel! Happy birthday and I like your stuff too! He must have stumbled across the archives cuz lord knows the main page has been a bummer. So just for him, I’ll try to kick this entry off with some happy stuff:

Thursday KEVIN appeared out of nowhere and it was an instant pick-me-up. He’s been in South Korea for a year (again) and I have missed that guy terribly. He’s about to start a whole new life once again and I couldn’t be happier for him. We hung out, ate gyros, and went on a covert mission to cheer up someone else. That was a good day.

Tuesday was also cool; I went over to Rachel’s for the first time in forever and hung out with her adorable daughter and her giant spazzy dogs. I used to go over to Rachel’s every day after school and it’s still such a comfortable familiar feeling, even with the new three year-old riding her big wheel over my toes.

I canceled my date with that paramedic… I just don’t feel like getting disappointed right now. But I reconnected with another old friend who happens to be a paramedic, and he also happens to have a puppy (!!!!). I’m looking forward to hanging out with him; it’s been like 10 years since we talked last but I remember him making me laugh a lot.

Tonight The Takedown is headlining at The Pageant!!! I am so proud of those boys and I’m looking forward to a great show. Ty and his wife are in town and it will be great to hang out with them and that whole group of friends.

My favorite author ever Lynda Barry is coming to town in a couple of days and I’m going to go see her. I’ve met her before (we dished about origami and monkeys) but it’s still incredibly exciting.

Finally, I slept 12 hours last night. It was awesome.

So here’s the rest of it and the worst of it – I talked to him on Sunday and I’m not mad at him anymore. As I’ve said before, I use anger to balance out sadness. But now I’m just plain sad, and that just plain sucks because there’s nothing I can do except ride this out and miss him and be all “boo hoo hoo…”

He wouldn’t give me a real reason. And maybe there really isn’t one, but that’s what happened to me the last time around and that’s the part that hurts the most. When people change the way they feel about you and you don’t know why, it makes you go looking for a reason and that makes you doubt every single tiny little thing about yourself.

So… that’s where I’m at right now. I’m trying to distract myself with great friends and fun stuff, and I’m trying to change the things that I don’t like about me, since I can’t figure out what he didn’t like about me. But I’m not going to lie; I’m hurting a lot and I don’t know how to make that feeling go away. My grandma always says “Fake it til you make it,” but I’m still in that “sit in your PJ’s and watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and sigh a lot” phase. Ugh. Kill me.

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Bigfootless

Mikey and Dave just reposted my favorite Manker sketch:

Oh LOL I just turned on Reno 911 and it’s the one where Trudy starts dating the serial killer.

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My Only Reason For Living

You guys you guys you guys.

They found Bigfoot??

I am unbelievably excited about this press conference tomorrow. I am trying to plan my lunch break around it. You don’t understand; Bigfoot is King of my world and this news is super awesome, real or not.

Oh! And someone found a chupacabra. Best news day evaaaaaaarrrrr!

But yeah, that press conference tomorrow is basically my only reason for living. I am so, so, so depressed and sad and lonely today you guys. Not just about boy stuff but lots of stuff. It sucks ass. And I am sick of bumming people out and making them feel awkward, so I’m trying to hibernate until I snap out of it. It’s not working.

Truly, today I pretty much want to die. But I need to be around at least until tomorrow to see Bigfoot. Bigfoot fixes everything. I love you, Bigfoot.

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The Reverse Thomas J

In My Girl, there’s this part where Vada Sultenfuss is coping with Thomas J.’s death and she stops eating all the food he was allergic to. I don’t remember if it was in the movie or just in the book version, which I owned for some reason.* But she picks tomatoes off of a sandwich and declares, “I’m allergic to tomatoes.” Thomas J. was allergic to tomatoes.

When someone breaks your heart, you cope by doing the opposite. Everything that he or she loves, you have to hate. When you see something they like, it’s sad because you want to share it with them, buy it for them or even pretend you like it out of habit (because that’s what you’re actually doing, right?). So you avoid all of those bands, movies, TV shows, etc. That’s how you cope. It’s the Reverse Thomas J.

Right now I have to avoid a lot of things that I genuinely like. I have to hate The Clash. I have to hate eggs. I have to hate trivia and I LOVE trivia. I especially have to hate tea. This is kind of annoying but I can’t help it. The Reverse Thomas J.

Luckily, the majority of things I have to avoid are things I wasn’t a fan of to begin with: baseball, poker, whiskey, Wondershozen, being a total D-Bag, etc.

I had completely forgotten about this part of it, but The Reverse Thomas J. happens to me every time. Over the course of my life I have been forced to avoid so many weird things:

  • Connecticut
  • X-Men
  • High School Hockey
  • White Fish on Egg Bagels (which no one talks about in Missouri except around me)
  • Maps
  • Canada
  • The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Global Foods
  • The left side of Des Peres movie theater
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Big Red chewing gum
  • Anything that is tie-dyed
  • Grape Gatorade
  • The WWE
  • Springfield, MO
  • Springfield where the Simpsons live
  • Historical artifacts
  • Life Cereal
  • All things French
  • Beer
  • The Yankees
  • Flash Gordon
  • Barbeques
  • That album Michael Jackson made with E.T.
  • Chef Gordon Ramsey
  • Frozen candy bars
  • The good parts of Illinois
  • Quik Trip
  • The Superbowl
  • Gargoyles

And so on…

The absolute WORST was that month when Tim and I were broken up:

I had to avoid THE BEATLES.

This was in 2000 at the exact moment they released “Beatles 1” with all their greatest hits. There were TV specials and Beatles anthologies EVERYWHERE. I mean, give me a break. It was impossible.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you experienced the Reverse Thomas J.? What weird stuff have you found yourselves avoiding?

*I would watch the movie and check for myself, except not. My Girl is more painful than that movie where the baby dinosaur from The Land Before Time stepped on Fivel the mouse and Bambi’s mom right before it ate Ponyboy from The Outsiders and shot Old Yeller.

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On The Heart Beat

I am feeling sort of better. You would think that by age 27, I would recognize when I am hormonal and over-emotional, but nope. It’s always in hindsight. At least I am shrinking again.

When I worked at the Scholarshop, my manager Karen was missing for a week and came back looking super tiny. We asked her what happened.

“I got the flu,” she bragged.

All the girls said, “You’re SOOOO LUCKY!!!”

It was wrong and silly but that is kind of how I feel right now. I am hoping to be sad for… oh, ten more pounds. Then I will get over it. Really, if I can lose 20 pounds from being sad then I will be forced to call that loser “The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”

~~~*~~~

This weekend was great. Janet has already posted some fun pictures of the Pancake Productions Party* but before I write about it, does anyone have a picture of Courtney hula-hooping with all those kids? That was one of the cutest things I have ever witnessed.

I also watched the Opening Ceremonies and I’m sure you did, too. Unbelievable. I know I’m politically supposed to hate China or whatever, but I have wanted to be Chinese ever since I saw “Big Bird Visits China” when I was three. HERE IS HOW LAME THAT GUY WAS: I asked him what he thought of the opening ceremonies and he said, “Eh.” Why does he hate everything that is awesome, like me? Pssh.

~~~*~~~

My friends are amazing and I am lucky to have every single one of them. I have always had more guy friends than girlfriends, but as I get older I’m realizing how valuable the girlfriends truly are, even the brand new ones. I am in awe of how quickly their words dry up my tears and repair the damage he did.

Don’t get me wrong, the dude friends are all amazing too, in that tough and tactful dude friend way. I hope to be as good of a friend as everyone is to me… though I never want my friends to be sad. You know what I mean.

I had a revelation the other day about treating someone like crap and it really upset me. Since I don’t have to focus on anyone else right now, I feel like I should put more energy towards being a better person. Listening more. Advanced consideration. Not smoking. Barely drinking. Running daily. Eating better once I start eating again. Making presents. Hula hooping. Stuff like that.

I’m still in that phase where there’s so much I want to tell him because I’m used to talking to him every day. The fact that I can still tell (almost) everything to you makes this much easier. Thank you for that.

*PEE PEE PARTY lol lol lol

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The Ooky Guy Chronicles

This morning I got up at 5:00 to run. Towards the beginning of my run as I was waiting to cross the street, this van slowed down to let me cross.

And then the van sat there. I could see the guy looking at me and kind of waving for my attention, but I didn’t look back. And then he kept sitting there until I turned the corner onto a side street.

I looped all around the horseshoe-shaped neighborhood and started running back to where I came from, and I saw the van again, coming towards me. I’m pretty sure it was a paper guy; I am used to seeing them on the road at ungodly hours.

So just as I reach the van, he stopped. Again. And I could see him out of the corner of my eye, but I pretended I was really into my iPod.

And then he just sat there until I reached the end of the street. Again. I mean, maybe the guy needed directions? Or maybe he knew me? I was in a tie-dyed shirt, so maybe it was a hippy giving props? But what the hell?

Let’s be real, dude:
It is dark outside. I am a female jogger. You are in a windowless van. Idon’tseeyouIdon’tseeyouIdon’tseeyou.

So you guys if I disappear this weekend, I’m either in Africa with TSGoC or tied up in a big pile of newspapers. Look for me.

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The Happy Parts of Heartache

I am sad as hell today. Also heartbroken and pissed off. But I’ve learned a lot in the last few years, so I know good things can come from BS like this. Here are a few that I am enjoying today:

1. The “divorce diet.” 8 pounds in like 2 days. This shouldn’t make me happy but I’m always fascinated by how quickly heartache defines my abs.

2. I’ll probably take a long hiatus from crushes, which means there is zero chance of me turning into someone like Rachael.*

3. I can FINALLY go see Batman with a boy. Jesus.

4. I can re-adopt some of my favorite survival tactics like never trusting people, dating without feelings and believing love is for sucks.

5. I was reminded once again that Ron & Jen are King & Queen of Planet Besties.

6. I can quit smoking again (though this is how I always meet cute boys so it will probably be temporary).

7. I can humor my mom and her friends by letting them set me up with What’s His Face (which they have been begging to do since the circus). I am already anticipating disaster. This is going to be hilarious.

8. No more getting ditched on holidays!! Yaaaay.

9. Free time to join as many clubs as RØB can throw at me. Bring it, Squidmaster.

10. I can post all the Cloud videos that I want:

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My First Machete: Belize

I’ve written about my trip to Belize before, but I was dad-sitting today so I had time to scan some pictures.

I wish I had a picture of the airport. They didn’t have terminals, so we had to walk down a staircase straight from the plane and ride a van to the airport. The building had a big balcony and there were tons of people up there, just hanging out and watching the planes land. When we walked off the plane, everyone cheered and waved at us. Very Beatlemania-ish-like.

We had to get like 10 shots and take malaria pills the whole time. However, I couldn’t swallow pills back then. Every morning I had to chew one up and chase it with orange soda. So gnarley. I still have nightmares about this.

We stayed at a boy’s boarding school (YES). The men all stayed in the dorms and the women slept in the teachers’ houses. My mom and I were on a huge screened-in porch with a bunch of other ladies. Don’t tell her I posted this one:

There were actual toucans and monkeys outside: amazing. This was right around the time that the rainforest became trendy and cool, so I was loving this view:

This next picture is more for me – I haven’t seen these grown-ups in almost 2 decades so it kind of makes my brain explode. They were all very funny people and I loved them:

This is the same river that was behind the school, just further down the road. The ferry blew my mind every time we had to cross it.

The current was so strong that one day, we all wore lifejackets and jumped off the ferry. Then we floated downstream for over a mile to this mini zoo by the school, where these people had actual leopards and other crazy animals in their yard. Plus – a monkey IN THE HOUSE. Sooooo kickass. This is also the river I jumped in with the rope swing. Also amazingly kickass.

The grown-ups came to Belize to bring medicine, clothes, and build/paint things. My job was basically to entertain kids while their grown-ups were busy with my grown-ups. Below are the girls who played “Sugar in the Plum” with me. I busted out the classic “Paper Plate and Bean Tamborines”. They loved it. I am in the back row:

My friends and I also decided that the best cure for boredom would be dressing up like clowns and learning magic tricks. You can’t tell from this picture but Roderick had the sweetest Arsinio Hall haircut. I loved him. David has his face painted like William Wallace, which is eerie because his brother would later develop an unhealthy obsession with Braveheart. I am do-si-do-ing.

SIDENOTE: If you ever need someone to stick a giant needle all the way through a balloon without popping it, I’m your gal. I do parties.

One day, we went to Guatemala to shop. This is where I bought my first machete; the leather case says “Belize” on it.

When we crossed the border, we saw actual guerrillas with machine guns and those bullet-suspender thingies. Terrifying. We were told that if we took pictures of them, they would shoot our cameras. I don’t know what was scarier – getting stared down by guerrillas or the gigantic “AIDS KILLS” billboard that hovered over us. This was 1991, after all.

Actually, now that I think about it – “Hey Mom, what’s AIDS?” is probably the most hilarious thing you can yell on a bus full of missionaries. Yes I did.

Our other fun trip was to the island of San Pedro. We snorkled in the Caribbean. To give you an idea of how clear the water was, look for the small black dot in the picture below, on the right:

That is a Manta Ray in the ocean. We took this picture from the plane.

Most of the day was spent on a glass-bottomed boat, way out by the world’s second-largest barrier reef. It was pretty beautiful, except our tour guides forgot to mention three things:

1. There were NURSE SHARKS in the water, just a few yards away from us.

2. Nurse sharks look like normal sharks except they can’t hurt you.

3. Spazzing out while wearing a snorkle is the least productive way to get to safety.

Jessica and I had full-blown panic attacks before the adults got to us. SO not cool. Below: my brother and I in safer waters.

Here are the two astonishingly awful titles I almost used for this entry:

1. “Easy, Breezy, Belize-y”

2. “Don’t Stop Belize-in'”

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Maybe You Bite Me?

Man, I have been so down lately.

It’s too hot to run, I’m too broke to go out, and 99% of my friends are paired up and it’s just too depressing to be around.

My dad was back in the hospital last week. His heart started beating all crazy so my mom had to call 911 for an ambulance. He was there for a few days because they had to run a bunch of tests. During one test, they ran this tube all the way through him and shocked him repeatedly so his heart would beat normally again.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with this person who’s really down on life – not in a depressed way; I think it’s just a macho survivalist attitude.

It’s pretty hard to spend all day with someone who works and fights so incredibly hard to stay alive, and then go meet up with someone who treats life like it’s some kind of curse.

All my life, I’ve had to watch my Mom take care of my Dad. And in recent years, I’ve had to watch my brother and his wife go through the same thing. I think that’s why I’m so terrified of relationships. I don’t want to be the person that someone has to take care of, and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to have someone depend on me.

Back in college, my friend Andy Hobin wrote a heart-wrenching play about a paralyzed woman and her fiance. At one point, she looks at him and says, “I wish it had been you.” Meaning, she hated watching him work so hard to take care of her. She knew that in a way, his life had become harder than hers. I completely lost it when I read that.

I feel guilty and worried about my family all of the time. It’s one reason why I’m always awake. I’m incredibly conscious of what they go through and the fact that I can’t fix it. I hate seeing people so sick. And I hate watching my Mom and brother experience so much stress and heartache… the type of pain that comes from being selfless.

Maybe that’s why I always end up with selfish people.

Maybe that’s why I always end up back here.

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