Monthly Archives: August 2009

We Be Farmin’

Man, compared to last weekend (moving, dad’s amputation and a horrible accident), this weekend felt like heaven. Sometimes that’s what it looked like, too:

Friday night I scrubbed the hell out of the kitchen in my old apartment. I was relieved when Jason volunteered to clean the bathroom, but then I realized our oven has never been cleaned – even after Jason was supposed to like a year ago.

I have never cursed more than when I scrubbed that thing. I thought I could bitch and moan freely at the top of my lungs, but then I realized someone had opened the windows and didn’t tell me? So the whole complex probably heard my entire unpublishable vocabulary. How awesome is it that I never have to go back? Haha.

I was too worn out after that so I stayed in – but then around 10, Justin IMed me to say that he’d just finished making me a present and was excited to give it to me. It was another mixtape! Hooray! (I refuse to call them Mix CDs. He puts tons of thought and work into them, so it feels cheap to call them anything less. Like, he listens to it all the way through. It’s not a click and burn thing.)

He brought me other presents, too, and we sat on the back stoop and shared a bag of gummi worms and talked about our day.

Saturday I finally ran 2 laps on a nice track just down the street from me. It’s under video surveillance and that makes me feel safe about running during dark winter mornings. After that, I explored Willmore Park and I love it! A pretty path, big picnic trees, a lake with a CRANE that catches fish, and more. I listened to Justin’s mix and wandered around for like an hour; so fun.

That night we went out to Ron and Dustin’s family farm to celebrate Dustin’s birthday. Lots of friends were there. I’ve never been to the farm before; it’s so cute! Their mom lives out there and it seems like such an ideal life – gardens and cows and a GOAT NAMED ZSA ZSA:

I have yet to meet Pancakes the Cow, but don’t worry Jersey Boys, it’ll happen.

The menfolk had spent the entire day fixing a tractor and clearing tons of brush from a fence. After it got dark, we rode in a pickup truck out to a big field and set all the brush piles on fire. We had FIVE huge bonfires, plus all the stars in the country sky. So beautiful!

Oh also, Ron’s mom has a hula hoop that LIGHTS UP AND CHANGES COLORS YEEESSSS!

All in all, super fun. It was nice going on long drives through the country with Justin. We didn’t stay the night because we both sort of hate camping (although we both think sleeping in a tent in the living room is THE FUNNEST), but we realized that camping with each other might actually be lovely and we can’t wait til The Spot next month.

On Sunday – after a yummy cinnamon roll breakfast – I finally unpacked and organized all my art and little knick knacks. It feels nice to be settled. I love that I have windowsills for all my cobalt glass:

The best part about all the nooks is I can now dedicate my bookshelves to just books – I whittled everything down from three bookcases to ONE – THIS IS HUGE PEOPLE.

And why yes, those are flowers from my boyfriend eeee:

He surprised me with those when I met him at his work (he told his co-workers, “This is Stephanie” and they all went “OOOOOOOH!!”). We went to my parent’s house to measure the doorway for the ramp we’re building. (Tonight we’re getting wood, giggity.)

Then it was total super date night! 500 Days of Summer (cute, but more predictable than I thought it would be) and Courtesy Diner (a first for both of us).

Oh! Did I mention it was COLD and I got to wear hoodies all weekend in August? PERFECT.

One great thing about Justin (who needs a nickname btw; he has a good one for me) is that he refuses to read this blog based on principle – he wants to hear all my stories naturally, straight from me. So while most things will stay private, I can tell you the super-cute stuff without making him blush!


Filed under Adventures

TV Prom 2009!

This week’s TV Time was all about school dances, so Justin went all out. Instead of the roof, we met in the Artloft Community Room. Justin decked the place out with decorations, a spiked punch bowl, Boyz II Men between shows, etc. (SOOOO much vodka in that punch bowl.)

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We watched the best dance episodes from The Wonder Years, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Saved By The Bell, Freaks & Geeks, King of the Hill, Sister Sister and more.

His flier was of me watching Pete and Pete on a Saved By The Bell Background. Justin is sort of a sentimental pack rat like me, so I made him a paper rose boutonierre that he could save. Justin and Ron busted out some old embarrassing dance pictures for the occasion. RØB came as the guy who gets baked behind the gym and shows up wearing sunglasses.

You guys… will we still be friends when we all go to college????


Filed under Adventures, Picture Pages

Home Sweet Home

Well, it took a long time, but I think I’m finally settled. In my room, at least. Our kitchen is still half-painted and completely jacked up.

It’s sort of been hell the past week, dealing with both my dad and a SCARY CAR ACCIDENT and not exactly having a place to call home. I’ve been sleeping at Justin’s for most of it – not bad, but still not my room.

The most awesome part about my room is the closet – it’s the staircase to the attic!

When the weather gets colder and I care about shoes again, I’m gonna arrange them all cute around the edges. But the best part? I’m small enough to squeeze around my clothes and climb up there with no problem. So every morning I can perch on the staircase…

… and flip through clothes at arm level, singing, “What do I want to wear, la la la la.”

When Justin and I painted my room, we left hand prints by the light switch. That’s my other favorite part of the closet. I don’t know why they look the same size… in real life my index finger is smaller than his pinkie. Anyways, this is from the night we became bf/gf, so if we ever break up I can ceremoniously paint over this and feel better:

Up next: TV PROM!!!!


Filed under Picture Pages

You’re Right! I Really Like You

It’s weird to be so heartbroken about some things and so lovestruck and happy about other stuff.

And moving.
Holy shit, I am exhausted.

My dad is doing awesome. My boyfriend is the cutest. My dad is moving to rehabilitation on Sunday. My boyfriend is building him a wheelchair ramp for the garage.

Last night he told me that he bought a board game at a flea market. “I have no idea what this is, but I thought it would make you laugh.” It was Dreamphone! HELL YES!! I shrieked when I saw it. I don’t think he expected me to love it so much unironically. I used to beg my parents for this game:

Tomorrow I move all my stuff for the official first night as South City Folk. Then I’m smuggling a hot dog into the hospital for Daddio. Then my boyfriend is making me BLTs. I will probably fall asleep in the treehouse, so my first night will probably really be Sunday.

I miss my friends but I like focusing all my attention on my two main dudes. And my mom.

And your mom.


Filed under Uncategorized

Catch Me A Cannonball, Now Take Me On Down The Line

My dad had his leg amputated above the knee on Tuesday.

If you’ve been reading this blog for at least a year, you know that it almost happened last September. In fact, they saved it at the very last second. So we’ve had a year to adjust to this.

And again, if you’ve been reading, you know that my dad has been in the hospital at least 7 times in the past 14 months. In some cases, for weeks at a time. This is mostly because of that leg. So, we’re all kind of over it, including my dad. It was time for that leg to go.

Still, it’s a major change for my parents. It’s not like he can just pop on a prosthetic after he heals. Like everything with my dad, it’s a little more complicated. This is a major life change for my parents, especially my mom. And they had to postpone their trip to meet their granddaughter for the first time. That breaks my heart.

But I have to tell you – I wasn”t expecting the day to go as well as it did. After talking to the surgeon, we realized that this really is the best thing for my dad and it will improve his health so much in the long run.

The surgery took less than two hours. I left for a little bit after it was over, and when I came back, my dad was awake and alert and smiling.

“You look amazing!” I remarked. “Have you lost weight?”

Everyone cracked up, including my dad and his pals. We talked. We fed him jello. I let him squeeze my hand when he was in pain. He teased my mom about buying a replica of an 1800’s musket when he got home. I promised to smuggle another hot dog into the hospital. He wondered if he would hallucinate about bears again, from the morphine. (He did.)

This is my family. We are a funny people. We get by.

It’s a terrible situation to be in and an awful way to spend a day, but I couldn’t have asked for a better way for it to happen, or a most positive outcome and outlook. I didn’t expect to leave the hospital with a smile (or not cry AT ALL that day, go me) but that’s what happened.

And that’s when it was okay to spread the news.

This time around, I didn’t really tell anyone what was going on beforehand, except Jen and some Facebook friends who could pray for him (and thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for that).

No blogs, no fretting status reports, no twitter, no nothing. Not until I had a silver lining to report. Last year there were so many surgeries that almost happened but didn’t and I freaked out about everything. All it did was get me worked up and stress my friends out, too.

Last March, when both my parents were in the hospital and the grown-up part of my brain kicked in, I learned a lot about how to handle these situations. Most of all, I learned that I CAN handle them. And like I told my brother, we survived and adjusted when Dad lost his eye. We survived and adjusted when he started losing toes. And we’ll survive and adjust to this.

Justin was out of town the whole time this was going down, and I didn’t tell him about it until after it was over. I know he’d be there for me if I needed him. But this is all still so new and so perfect and so happy. That’s why I wrote about him last week, instead of everything else. He’s the bright spot in my day, and I want to be the bright spot in his day, too.

While I know Justin will be there when I absolutely need him – and the same is true for all my friends, especially Jen – I want to carry as much as I can on my own. I’m comforted by the fact that I can, and I’m discovering that things aren’t as heavy as they seemed – or maybe I’m just stronger than I thought.

Aside from God (if you believe it like me), nothing will get you through life’s rough spots like confidence in your own strength and a hell of a sense of humor. I’m trying to create a mindset that is as tough and positive as possible.

I don’t know if I will ever be as strong as my mother and father. I’m also not sure if I will ever be able to smile and laugh through situations like the ones they have faced. But for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m finally getting there.

After all, I’m learning from the best.

PS: I am 4 months smoke free today!!


Filed under Sam I Am

And Suddenly, It Was All Worth It

Yup. He’s the cutest ever!

He’s just as magical as that picture would lead you to believe, if not more so.

I mean, he makes movies with puppets. He sleeps in a loft that he built; it looks like a treehouse and there’s a ramp for his cat Chauncey. I told him I sleep better when I’m cold and he built a shelf for a fan. He has a TV club where we watch treasures like The Boy Who Could Fly on his roof. He writes me cute emails that start with “Hey special buddy!”

He asked me on a date the night that we broke into Webster’s film studies theater to watch our mutual favorite movie, The Room. He made me a mix tape with awesomeness like Yo La Tengo’s “Don’t Have To Be So Sad”, Donovan’s “Hi It’s Been A Long Time”, and Daniel Johnston’s “I Live For Love”. He has the best taste in music of anyone I know.

One night at the Botanical Gardens, I was whining about the lack of cheese and – miles away – he texted me with, “Wanna come over tomorrow? I’ll make nachos!” He cooks kickass breakfasts for me. I told him that I love fried alligator and you guys he gave me a giant chocolate alligator:

He volunteered to help me paint my room and I didn’t even ask. After we finished the first coat, we went outside to the backyard to eat Elicia’s pizza and watch the meteor shower. We were laying in zoysia surrounded by a packed alleyway of South City backyards and garages, drinking cheap beer and watching airplanes like old city folks. And then: shooting stars. Goo goo eyes. The talk. The works.

This is a good one. And so far, honestly I mean it, the best one. Normally I don’t write about stuff like this (I mean, how often do I have good things to say about boys??) and I try to never spill private beans. But this isn’t even half of it. This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Every day he does something new and amazing and I honestly can’t believe it. He acts equally amazed and fascinated by me. And whether this is real or some sort of daydream or a cruel joke that fate is playing on me, I want to remember it forever.


Filed under Favorite Stories

Kevin and Monica’s Reception

So a bajillion years ago when a dumb boy broke my heart, Kevin was an All Star buddy. He let me call him crying 24/7, randomly stopped by with my favorite Happy Meal, and basically made sure I lived through the whole ordeal.

He told me his own heartbreak stories. But he also said that in spite of everything, he knew there was someone out there for him, and he knew there was someone out there for me. I didn’t believe the last part, but more than anything I wanted the first part to be true, because Kevin is so amazing.*

And when he pointed out Monica to me one day, and I saw the cool awesome girl from my college poetry class (that line, “You have nice trash”still cracks me up) I knew he was right. And I was so happy because I had such high standards for Kevin, and I liked her already.

Through the years I’ve watched them (mostly through pictures, as they’ve been in Korea) spoil each other rotten, make each other laugh, and bring out the best in each other. I mean, when it comes to relationships… this is a good one, gang. This is the tops.


Okay, so this is how much I love Kevin and Monica. The reception was outside and about 200 degrees. I have zero tolerance for heat but I lived through it with a smile, instead of running to the bathroom to melt and faint and cry or whatever. If it was anyone else, I would have at least frowned through the whole thing.

And man, all the smiles and laughter were contagious. Also, the food was outside and was soooooooo good. And also, Monica was rocking it outside in her wedding dress. While looking AMAZING. A hero for gals everywhere, ‘specially big babies like me.

And all right, I’ll cop to it: during the first dance, I teared up a little.


Maybe a lot. I mean, what on earth? Is it even legal to be that cute?

So here is something new that I’ve never experienced at a wedding reception: a big band!! How awesome! Monica’s dad and brother play in it. So cool.

And here’s one for Courtney: hula hooping! YES! I hooped for about 30 seconds before I got too hot again. WORTH IT.

RumarWillisFace alert! I thought I told you guys to not let me do this again??

After about an hour or so, it cooled down and I was able to enjoy Monica’s parents’ backyard. Bunnies. grapevines, amazing Missouri scenery… so pretty!

This is Theresa, who made the unbelievably cool cake:

There was some total drama…

Kidding, I think they were talking about karaoke. Or maybe not. You know Jen and Kevin…

The ride home was beyond gorgeous; we were driving through the country and there was a thunderstorm miles away, so lightning was flashing nonstop in the distance. It was really peaceful and beautiful.


So okay, my BBFF (boy best friend forever) is getting married… what’s a crafty gal like me going to do in this situation? Well, I thought about the best present Kevin has ever given me – The Tetris Pot:

Yup, it’s covered in tiny little etched tetris pieces. Kevin and I bonded over Tetris in London and he’s been my main (and let’s face it, only) competition ever since. Regardless of the fact that it looks like a penis, the Tetris Pot is one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten because he made it and it came from the heart.**

The only thing Kevin loves more than Tetris (besides Monica) is Scrabble. And hell, I’ve worked with sewing machines for 5 years, it’s time that I make something. So ladies and gentlemen (or, the three of you who aren’t my Facebook friends), I present The Scrabble Pillow:

WOOO! I sewed that sucker! And embroidered it! And made piping!

Debbie taught me how to do it. Thank you Debbie!

And oh yes, that IS Project Runway Season One winner Jay McCarroll telling me to rock on.

So yeah, Kevin and Monica: a great reception for a great marriage. Love it love it love it.

Cutie Pie Attack!

*It’s taken 5 or 6 years, but I think I finally believe that last part of Kevin’s advice. More on that later.

** I’m pretty sure that if I have kids and they make me a macaroni necklace, I will be the type of mom who keeps it and wears it to their college graduation.

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Filed under Weddings

Jason’s Approval

At least twice a week, my roommate Jason and I will arrive home at the same time and share a drunk giggly recap of the night before we go to bed, or a croaky conversation about it the next morning.

He has a lot of trouble keeping track of my friends’ names, especially if he’s never met them. And I’ve only truly dated 2 boys since I’ve lived with him, but there have been several crushes, pursuitors, or one-date-wonders. And whether I am happy, angry, sad, or in love, he never has any idea who I am talking about. Unless, of course, he gives them a nickname.

You are not officially a man in my life until Jason figures out what to call you. Here are some of my favorite nicknames that Jason has thrown out over the years:

* Harvey Danger

* Revenge of the Nerd

* WrappedAroundYourFinger

* Found Guy

* Oh Yeah, Mike! – The one he set me up with and actually knows

* The Mexican – clearly not Mexican; I have no idea where this came from and neither does Jason

* “LET’S HANG” – named for an actual text the dude sent me at 3 in the morning

* Mr. Opportunity – what he’s called my ex since he got fired from Imo’s

* The, uh… [points to eyebrows]

* Straight Doogie

* Fat Paul Rudd

I love Jason. And yes, he has a nickname for Justin. No, I will not tell you which one.

To reiterate, I have NOT dated or even liked all these dudes, no matter what Frank and Ray tell you.


Filed under Lists

All Sorts of Swoony

I’m sure he’ll come up at some point… and you will all swoon with me yet want to barf at the sweetness. Turns out the crush had a crush on me too, and I have been floating on cloud 9 for weeks. But until I have something…. blogable (as opposed to gushable and bragable, which you already know if you’ve talked to me), just know that right now, life feels like this:

And as usually, this:


Filed under Totally Crushin, Videos