Monthly Archives: September 2009

Live, Laugh, Love and Be Happy

This hung in my parents’ kitchen for as long as I can remember. For the past 4 and a half years, it has hung in my kitchen wherever I’ve lived.

We have these crazy concrete walls now, and Jason and I are too chicken to drill into them. So sadly, it can’t live in the kitchen yet. Fortunately someone left a little nail in my room, right above the light switch. Now I’m home.

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J for Just Dandy

Actually, it’s for Jeopardy! RØB is currently taping episodes (!) so many Squids randomly stopped by to sign a big J and some other stuff before he left. Someone made a giant Trebek head. The Squids do not disapoint. Also: Janterenet!

I don’t mean to get braggy, but I can’t believe how hot my boyfriend is or how adorable my friends are. It blows my mind sometimes.

I will brag about the delicious burger I had at the pictured-above Newstead Tower Public House. I had never been; it was nicer than I imagined. Last night I went to the Hideaway for the first time – just as dive-y than I imagined. The wood paneling and porny paintings were a nice touch.

There are rumors a dead body was found in a bar in South City but I won’t say where in case you’re not supposed to say that. As you can tell, I’m still earning all my city badges.

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It’s A Beautiful Day

SO amazing outside. Justin and I are heading up to Laumeier Sculpture Park later to take pictures with a vintage stereo viewer camera. You have to cut out the 3-dimentional slides by yourself, but Justin is obsessed and I think the results will be amazing.

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People I Am Proud Of

Mort Burke – He’s working with David Cross on his current tour!!! I’ve been linking to Mort’s stuff for years because when you meet or watch Mort, it’s immediately obvious that he should be famous. Plus, he’s such a nice guy. I’m psyched that he’s getting the recognition he deserves. Here are a few of my favorite Mort Moments:

Liz – She just told me that a while ago, she was at a pool party and her friend was drowning, and after they pulled him out of the water, she gave him CPR and talked his wife through the breathing stuff til the ambulance came. What. A. Rock Star.

Frank – This sassy fella is strutting his hot stuff in Time Out New York’s “Straight Men Blowout” edition. If you are a pretty single lady in NYC, then you’d best do your best to write him a letter and lock that down. Frank is about as hot, funny and sweet as it gets.

Justin – He is one year smoke free today! If you’ve never been a smoker, you have no idea how hard this is. It’s a biggie. Way to go! (Also, in case he reads this, he’s slightly hotter, funnier and sweeter than Frank.)

My Parents – For absolutely everything, but especially this last month. My dad is currently in OxycontinVille but hanging in there, and my mom is kicking astonishing amounts of ass, as always. Thank you to everyone who sent prayers and well wishes, as well as the folks who ask about him. I’m kicking around the idea of throwing a fundraiser with some bands; how does that sound?

Kevin’s Brother Dan – Engaged!! WOO!! I don’t know if Dan reads this, but Kevin has been a key feature on Shortcake since day one, so there you go. Dan and Monica are so nice and everyone is so happy for them (as far as I can tell – most people are congratulating Dan in French).

RØB – STL King RØB is going to be on Jeopardy! WHAAAT. It’s a lifelong dream for him; how awesome is that? If you’ve ever witnessed the Squids dominate a Trivia Night, then you know those other contestants are in for a world of pain. I’ll keep you posted on the air-dates.

Sara, Courtney, Ginger and Christina
– These four crafty ladies will be at Strange Folk this weekend selling all their cool art. If you stop by (and you should) keep your eyes peeled for Pretty Fun, Green Doom Industries, Serendipity and Charisma Designs. Purses, stuffed animals, quilts, invitations, jewelry and photography – my pals have got it all covered. Please give them all of your money, or at least a big fat compliment.

FUN FACT: Mort AND RØB (plus my baby-daddy Josh, with music by my favorite, Kevin Buckley) once shared the screen in the fantastic film Diary of a Coworker. Check out the trailer, if only to see the butt-ugly vest/bow-tie combo that I was forced to wear for two years.

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All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away

“Not to get too deep here, but the most valuable thing I can think of is to be grateful for suffering. That is a sublime feeling, and completely inexplicable and illogical, but no one doesn’t suffer. So the degree to which you can be aware of your own humanity is the degree to which you can accept, with open eyes, your own suffering. To be grateful for your suffering is to be grateful for your humanity, because what are you going to do, – say, ‘No, thanks’? It’s there. ‘Smile and accept,’ said Mother Teresa. And she was talking to people who had it rough.”

– Stephen Colbert on the childhood trauma of losing his father and two brothers in a plane crash, Rolling Stone

“Have you ever been to Rib City?” my grandma asked as we sat in the waiting room, patiently waiting for my dad to become a legally blind double amputee. It was her birthday.

My mom sighed and flipped the page of her Home Journal, quickly tiring of a day spent with her chit-chatty, non-sequitur mother-in-law.

“No,” I said, reaching out to grab the Sprite Zero bottle that my Grandma was struggling with. She didn’t notice. “I have not been to Rib City.”

“OH, Stephie.” She admonished. “You need to go to Rib City. It is. To die for.” She closed her eyes and sighed for emphasis.

Then, paying no attention to my dropped jaw, she fished through her purse, pulled out a pair of pliers, and used them to crack open her soda.

And in that moment, I knew I could handle anything that life wanted to throw at me.


Filed under Sam I Am

Not All Sad, I Swear

Sorry I haven’t written in a while; there’s tons of stuff going on but it falls into the usual two categories:

1. Hanging with Justin. He gets more and more amazing every time I see him; it shouldn’t be possible but it is.

2. My dad is back in the hospital. He’s getting his other leg amputated tomorrow. Apparently when someone loses a leg, there’s a 50% chance that they’ll lose the other one within a year. Like most things in life, my family fell on the unlucky side.

So, one is incredible and so happy and worth sharing but I shouldn’t, and the other is sad and scary and awful and… I shouldn’t. Just know that the two are balancing me out – I couldn’t have had a more perfect person come into my life exactly when I needed him.

I’m far too busy to do anything else, and therefore I don’t have much to write about. I have ideas floating around, but I am mentally drained and emotionally preoccupied. But people be buggin’ me to write, and that thrills/humbles me to no end, so here I am updating with nothing to talk about except the two things I shouldn’t.


My dad’s disease (and let’s be clear – I always separate my dad from his disease because these things are absolutely not his fault) has touched every aspect of my life. Birthdays, graduations, sleep, meals, my jobs, my friendships, my car, the schools I attended, etc… these things are affected and occasionally ruined by that disease. It has complicated relationships. Certainly scared a few boys away.

So the second I learned about the first amputation – let alone the second one – I started hunting down a permanent therapist where I could vent and cry and worry out loud, as opposed to calling Justin and crying to him 24/7.My new shrink is cool, though I loved the temporary one a lot – I would see her when I was happy, just because I like hanging out with her.

This new one told me I have the highest emotional IQ of anyone she’s ever met. I told her it’s probably because I blog about my feelings all the time. Anyway, that was cool to hear. I’ve been so proud of how far I’ve come in terms of handling anxiety and this whole situation, I didn’t doubt her at all. It only took 28 years, but I’ve finally gotten the hang of me.

I AM completely shocked that I haven’t smoked through all this, though. It will be 5 months on Sunday. Justin’s one year quitting anniversary is the next day. I feel like if the sight of my dad with no legs makes me want to smoke, he’ll be great support, if only for that. He tells me that I can lean on him as much as I want, but I enjoy learning that I can handle so much stuff by myself.

I’ve been stress-eating like hell and have no time to run, so I’m borderline gross right now. Barely hanging in the cute territory. Clawing my way back. I’ll get there. City life is adorable but you get bombarded by food (both good and crap) and lose all the safe places to walk. It’s rough.

In the meantime, I’ve been climbing those all-too-familiar 6 flights of hospital stairs to see my pops. I also climb 4 long flights of loft stairs when I see Justin (and sometime sprint up the other 6 to the roof before I leave in the morning).

Oh also – I’m trying to plan a party, but I’m still debating if I want one group of friends (fun, but limiting) or a potpourri of different circles (super fun, but challenging). It’s hard inviting some friends and excluding the nice folks who usually come with them. I’m trying to achieve a nice mix without looking or feeling like a dick. I think I might start by just inviting people who have invited me to their parties. That seems fair, right? I’m so popular, wah wah wah…

Here are fun things that happened before life got crazy:

* We watched Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Rad in Amanda’s backyard. Justin revealed that his uncle was an extra in Rad; hilarious. I fell asleep in the grass.

* Before that, we stopped by Courtney’s party, which was literally across the back alley. Like a secret passage! So fun! (Though Nick swears we just went back there to make out – “Ghe-tto!”) Courtney had big rolls of paper on the walls and art supplies set up so you could draw. She is a lovely hostess.

* Justin got his hands on a studio viewer – possibly the coolest old technology I’ve ever seen. A mix between a slide projector and a View Master, the studio viewer allows you to view two slides at once, taken with a special camera, so that when you look through the viewfinder, you experience an incredible 3D effect. We spent the night looking at old family photos and I truly felt like I was at the beach or in the woods with these people from the 60’s. I can’t describe how eerily realistic it is, but i couldn’t put it down.

* Saw Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo for the first time. It was pretty great, though Midge’s fit halfway through convinced me that she was the killer. I went with Justin and Erik. We saw it at Crestwood Mall (Hitchcock movies every Tuesday!) and it was the first time those boys saw their favorite movie on the big screen. They geeked out and it was the cutest. Afterwards we hung out on Erik and Olivia’s porch. I adore Erik and Olivia.

* Justin and I went to Ari’s for our one month anniversary. Greek food! So yummy! Also, the most fun dinner date I’ve ever had in my life. I can’t gush about this dude enough, can I? It’s mostly because I can’t believe it myself.

* During dinner, Justin and I compared college notes because we were in the same class and have so many mutual friends… it’s pretty mind-boggling that we never met. Like, he used to live with Erik and Olivia, and Kevin, Ian and Kyle used to take me to parties with those two all the time. Somewhere in the midst of all this, we realized we were in the same Psychology class freshman year of college. That’s crazy!

Anyway, sorry for the break. I’ll try to write more (and run more, and live more, and laugh more…) and hopefully I won’t have to bum you out with surgery stories any more.


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Totally Crushin: Nick Littlemore

So I’m still hanging out with Justin 24/7 but I don’t want to write about it 24/7. (Okay BLATANT LIE; I do – but I won’t.) So what else is there? Well, I have a new celebrity crush. I’m still allowed to have those, right? Howsabout we compromise and I’ll pick one who lives on the other side of the world. Cool?

So, in the spirit of Cloud’s shirtlessness and Eugene’s tallness, I am now currently obsessing over sassy Australian singer/songwriter/producer Nick Littlemore:

He is totally adorbs in the band Teenager:

Super hot in Pnau (he takes his shirt off at 2:00! Hooray!):

And absolute sex in Empire of the Sun:

‘Specially when he does the Celine Dion Chest Punch:

And, in the spirit of Cloud’s tiny vest and Eugene’s gold grill, I will confess that I might even like him when he’s rolling around with a missing front tooth (I chipped mine too, after all):

He hugs unicorns! What’s not to love?

So yeah, Nick Littlemore, Official Crush. It took 2 years for me to see Gogol Bordello, so I can probably make this crush last a long time before he actually makes it to the midwest and it becomes less of a fantasy thing.

Oh, and I know Empire of the Sun has been out for a year and is therefore totally old, and that the following video doesn’t even have Nick in it, but I’ve been obsessed with this eclipse broadcast ever since it happened. Luke Steele is so badass and I wish we were b-fries. I heard he’s singing on the opening track of Jay-Z’s new album. Omigod, that’s almost out, isn’t it?! Anyway:


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That Time We Almost Got Murdered

So on Sunday, Justin and I were in Des Peres and we stopped by the Walgreens. As we pulled in, we noticed a woman leaning against the back corner. She had bleached frizzy hair with dark roots, a too-short tank top with some muffin top poking out, and jeans that, while I didn’t look too closely, seemed tacky and outdated.

Later, when I saw her up close (just so I can keep all the description stuff together), I noticed she was Latina and probably in her mid-fourties? A little weathered, with some partying in her day for sure.

When we first saw her, I was trying to be polite and not stare because my first initial reaction (and I live in the city and see real ones now, so I can say this) was, “When did we get hookers at Des Peres Walgreens?”* I mean, she was just standing there.

I ran inside to grab a bunch of girly stuff like mascara, while Justin stayed in the car. When I came back out, the lady was rummaging through the passenger side of a large, old, box-y dark green van (though Justin thought it was blue). It was parked a few spaces away from me.

“Excuse me,” she said, approaching me just as I was getting back in my car, “I lost the keys to my van and I need to get home. I live just over in Kirkwood. I’ll give you twenty dollars.” She waved a bill at me.

“… Where in Kirkwood?” I asked, slightly suspicious but also stupidly optimistic because (a) it’s freaking Des Peres, (b) I like being a good Samaritan and (c) woo twenty dollars!

“Ann and Meyer.” She said, which is a street I used to run through. And I definitely had to run around creepy vans parked on that street. “I mean, it’s right down the road.” (Not really.) “I’ll give you twenty dollars.”

“Umm…” I said, glancing at Justin. He flashed me a worried look, then his eyes narrowed and he turned back to her curiously.

“How could you lose the keys to your van?” he asked. “How did you even get here? They have to be here. Did you check inside? Has anyone helped you look in the van?”

“I’ll give you twenty dollars! It’s just down the road. Twenty dollars!”

“Mmmm… no. I don’t think so. Sorry.” He said. I flashed her an apologetic look.

“Twenty dollars!” She shrieked one more time desperately, throwing her hands in the air.

“That was a little too good to be true.” Justin said as she made her way back to the van. “Something wasn’t right.”

So then the lady opens up the passenger side of the van.

And as she’s getting inside…

A man we’ve never seen (and that she never mentioned) opens up the driver side door and climbs inside…

Turns on the van…

And they drive away.

In hindsight I am kicking myself for not following them, grabbing my cameraphone, scribbling down the license plate number, or even taking a better note of the van.

But honestly, we were in shock. And REALLY confused. Because there was no logical explanation for what happened.

The best case scenario was that the lady wanted to get away from that guy. Because she didn’t mention him at all. She kept saying, “My van.” But she seemed more annoyed than scared.

Worst case? He would have followed us, and they would have robbed us or hurt us or lord knows what.

If it was just me, I would say that for sure I almost got mugged and raped and everything. But I mean, Justin was in the car, too! Did she have a knife or gun? Or did she really just want a ride?

Either way, something was absolutely not right. Her story made no sense, she never mentioned that guy, and she never had keys to lose in the first place. It was so strange, and in hindsight, terrifying.

Ever since then, whenever I’m in the county, I drive down that street in the hopes that I’ll see the creepy van. I actually went to the police the next day and told them about it.

“Huh,” said the officer. “That’s… weird. Really weird.”

He said he would keep an eye out and notify the manager. But I wanted you guys to know too. Watch out for a hooker with a old green van, okay pals?

I still can’t figure out what the scam was. Do you have any idea?

And seriously, how sad would it be if this picture was splashed all over CNN?

We are too cute to die!

*For non-STL readers, Des Peres is a mid-class to wealthy upscale suburb. Well maintained. Little crime. Kind of boring. And the Walgreens is at a major intersection with tons of traffic. Not a place where trashy people hang out, and certainly not the prime location for any shady behavior. The whole thing was just SO off.


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