Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Year Without – Update #4

At home, where he writes, he no longer has internet access. A four-month stint with wi-fi proved “deadly” for his productivity and having no access at all ensures that he is not tempted to “look at Kajagoogoo videos and old ads for Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum” on YouTube. “Writing is a deep-sea dive. You need hours just to get into it: down, down, down. If you’re called back to the surface every couple of minutes by an email, you can’t ever get back down. I have a great friend who became a Twitterer and he says he hasn’t written anything for a year.”

– Olivia Laing on Dave Eggers, The Observer

I think that I’m going to change my Year Without challenge for April. I originally decided that during April, I would try to not use credit cards. However, I’ve been trying to eliminate my debt this year (so far I’ve paid off my car, a student loan and two credit cards) and as a result, I don’t use my card at all anymore, except for gas. And let’s face it, going inside to pay for gas is pretty miserable and not at all worth the lesson.

My intent with The Year Without is to attack things I truly have a problem with, and I’m proud to say that I’ve learned that knocking out my debt is much more rewarding than making a debt in the first place. So, during April I’m going to focus on my biggest problem as of late: The Internet.

I don’t know if it’s a side-effect of not drinking or what, but lately I have been spending too much time on there. Sometimes habitually. Sometimes subconsciously. Sometimes even when I am trying hard not to. It’s gotten terrible and scary and everything is suffering: my attention span, my creativity, my free time, etc. It’s a problem that everyone seems to be facing these days, but I am choosing to attack it.*

My ultimate goal is to spend less than 30 minutes on here a day (unless I am researching for work or freelance stuff). I refuse to tell you how far away I am from that goal now. I don’t know how many times I will update you on this. (And in case you’re wondering, I’ll be typing things in a word doc before I post them here, so teeeeechnically it is less Internet, and more creative writing. Oh, and I can tweet from my phone. Yay, loopholes!)

I’ll be keeping a log of every single time I am online, and… again, I don’t know if or how I will update you on this one. I’m guessing I will just have actual things to write about, as opposed to “What I Saw Online Today.”

(The irony of everything I’ve written above is that I’ve been saving a portion of my new debt-less income for… a Macbook.)

Also, since I will have so much extra free time, I’ve also decided to work on my posture! I might even walk around with a book on my head!

March Update: At least two friends have offered to get me drunk this weekend – or even Thursday – to celebrate the end of this month. And to be honest, I don’t want to do that. The thought of beer has actually become a little unappetizing. I’m really loving this! So please don’t buy me booze! Thanks!

*I’ve been thinking about this for a couple weeks and of course, on the day I decide to declare it, D. Mike decides to do the healthy noble thing and abandon social networking completely, which I admire. This wasn’t based on his decision, but I will certainly use it as inspiration.

Also, I know a couple of my friends have been working on cutting back as well; I’d love to hear your tips and suggestions in the comment section!


Filed under The Year Without


Rachael, Rachel and I used to be obsessed with this movie. I’m really curious to see how I’d feel about it today.

I will probably still think it’s crazy! Everybody is in this thing:

Leave a comment

Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

My Name Is Stephie, And I Am A Sortaholic.

If I’m learning anything from this alcohol-free month, it’s this: I may not be an alcoholic, but drinking can still be a problem. I think that on April 1st, when I am allowed to start drinking again, I will drink much less. Much, much less.

I’ve realized this month that I had to re-learn a lot of things the same way I did when I quit smoking. How to socialize. How to party. How to kick back. How to cope. Even how to handle friendships and my relationship. I didn’t always drink to do these things and they weren’t exactly married to alcohol in my mind, but they were certainly connected. And while I’ve avoided hard alcohol for almost a decade and usually avoid getting drunk, drinking a beer or two on a few days a week has actually impacted my behavior and my body more than I thought it would.

It hasn’t been a challenge, so I assume it isn’t an addiction per se… it’s just been strange. A readjustment. I think that because alcohol is so intertwined with socializing – for most people, especially in a beer-centric city like ours – I’m feeling the same way anyone would feel if they stopped drinking. Even my non-drinking friends have something else to lean on, like cigarettes, pot, extreme religion or AA. I don’t do any of those. I just have lemons in my water.

I’ve talked to a few friends in AA about this and done some research googling, and the consensus is that while alcoholism can be genetic, it can also be a learned behavior. Did you know there are different types of alcoholics, and only one type needs AA? I have no idea if alcoholism runs in my genes. Either way, I don’t think I am one.

I lived at home throughout college, so I never was never a crazy binge-drinking kid . I was always very nervous and afraid when I would visit my friends who lived on a campus; I wouldn’t even attempt to keep up. (The term “pre-game” comes to mind – like, they get drunk before they go to a bar!) But in terms of frequency, it’s definitely a behavior that has been learned.

Three of my longest relationships have been with actual alcoholics who have never sought help. And for the past four years, I have lived with (for lack of a better word) frat boys. So for me, for the last decade, alcohol has been this very normal and almost expected part of life. Going to someone’s house? Take a six pack. Special occasion or romance? Wine. Kicking back? A beer. Rough day? A tall boy, maybe two. A cold or cough? Whiskey. Trouble sleeping? Nightcap. Going out? Even something low key? Bar. Always a bar. Or at the very least, make sure the place has a bar.

Deep down I always knew I didn’t need the stuff, but I was always taught that it was more fun to chose the option of having the stuff. But when you have a dying dad, every day becomes a rough day. When you have a sleep disorder, you’ll have trouble sleeping every night. When you break out of your shell and become an extrovert, you’ll want to socialize every week. These are not temporary things. And what may seem like an innocent beer or two can quickly add up.

While I don’t know much about my genes, I do know that all four of my biological grandparents had or have hypertension. (I don’t trust the “medical history” of my biological parents because at the time, they were teenagers. What history?) And while my dad’s problems have been diabetes related… I’ve seen what circulation problems can do. What happens when your veins and arteries shrink and clog and block. I don’t want that. None of you want that.

For the past 3 and a half weeks, I’ve been taking my blood pressure at the store every day. (I know those machines aren’t 100% correct, but a daily reading can give you a good idea.) When I took my blood pressure on March 1st, I was well into the hypertension range. And for the past few weeks, it has steadily been decreasing. As of yesterday, I’m slightly in the pre-hypertension category. My hope is that by next Thursday, I’ll be back to normal.

Erik and Olivia (and Stanley) told me that red wine is totally awesome for blood pressure problems. That a glass a night can instantly improve your blood flow. Red wine gives me headaches, stains my (real) teeth and makes me barfy. So I could never have more than a couple glasses at a time, anyway.

So ironically (and sadly), red wine seems like the perfect solution to my drinking problem. A small glass every other night would curb those coping/sleeping/kicking back issues that made me want a beer in the first place, as well as keep my blood pressure under control.

I feel like I’ve learned how control the rest. I don’t need beer to go out and have fun. I like that my teeny beer pooch is starting to vanish. I just feel lighter, and cleaner. I will still rock the often-mocked Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus on weekends, but that’s about as far as it will go. Not drinking is actually kind of awesome, and I like the idea of only drinking in a way that’s healthy for me.

Exception: I will still need an occasional Bloody Mary with my boyfriend, and a monthly Drunken Intervention Fan Club with Erin, where I think it’s funny to drink the Teeny Tiny Wine Bottles of Shame:

(The mind-boggling bourbon, grape soda and pineapple soda concoction is not mine, but my roommates’ – further cementing my belief that if anyone has a real problem, it’s not me.)

Edited to add: I love how right after I posted this, Vee tagged a bunch of pictures of me blowing into the Alcohawk on Facebook.


Filed under The Year Without

Whip It Bad

I realize that lately, it seems like I’m just watching a lot of TV and nothing deep is going on. But it’s still business as usual, just full of stuff that you wouldn’t/shouldn’t read. Here’s a quick rundown so you believe me:

Dad is still up and down (literally – he’s actually been in a wheelchair recently), I’ve been doing lots of ellipticising, reading long-awaited books like Flowers in the Attic, etc. I’m in the process of exploring a new religion, converting to red wine April 1st (“for the antioxidants”, says me and Stanley), cutting out sodium, and going to cool events thrown by my cooler friends.

Justin and I finally got into our first real fight and we are 100 times better afterwards, if that was possible. We’ve been spending a lot of time at the park by my house to hang out with people from all over the world, watch sunsets, play catch with velcro mitts, and make ourselves barfy on the swing set.

There you go. Nothing I’m ready to (or maybe never will) write about, but it’s all there. I do have a life and better yet, a brain. Anyway, back to what’s important: what I’ve been watching!

Whip It (w/spoilers)

I’ve been looking forward to Whip It for a while and was surprised to discover that I didn’t like it at all. With a cast full of so many people I love and such a feminist message, I was disappointed with the results. In fact, I liked the trailer 100 times more than the film, and it covers 90% of the plot, so there you go.



I found Alia “Maëbe Fünke” Shawkat’s character to be pretty annoying and never funny. Juliette Lewis was a little too “Carolyn from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”, especially when she finds out Bliss’ age. I had assumed Drew Barrymore could play a hippie better than she actually did, especially when she was directing herself. That pool scene was beautifully shot, but Ellen Page just looked like she was dying. Overall, it was sort of boring? Not enough Ari Graynor!


Andrew Wilson. Kristin Wiig playing an actual human being. The fact that Bliss dumped the (ugly) musician guy when she was supposed to, and didn’t need to find a new guy by the end. “Fooood fiiiight!” Everything with the dad. The part with the dress. Ari Graynor!

Two things I Noticed:

When Bliss is fighting with her mom, she made this face and I tee-heed about it so much that I had to show you:

And if Justin and I stay together for a couple of decades, this is exactly what we will look like when our teenager yells at us:

Leave a comment

Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

I Feel Better

Speaking of weird floating heads, I’m in the middle of watching that sexist piece of sad bullcrap Twilight: New Moon. Jason and I keep tee-heeing about how Edward’s head keeps floating around and yelling at Bella, like Jambi:

Jambi always reminds me of Lorne from Angel, RIP!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hey Teens! Let’s Talk TV!

Lost, Schmost. My favorite thing on TV right now is Annie’s drug dealer ex-boyfriend Jasper on 90210. EEEEEE! He is so creepy! I love it! If Oliver from The O.C. had been as creepy as Jasper (and they killed Mischa Barton’s character anyway), that show would probably still be on the air. But I’m glad it’s not! Because now I have creepy Jasper! Yay!

I have been on board with the new 90210 since the beginning (Rob Estes is pretty great, and I was psyched to see Lucille Bluth), but I seriously hated happy-go-lucky Annie (and subsequently, the actress who plays her). However, thanks to Jasper (and my newfound Degrassi loyalties) I have loved depressed-downward-spiral Annie.

(Okay I was exaggerating, Lost is of course the shit. I got a sweet word puzzle clue about what the Island is and yesterday I think I guessed it; I wrote down my guess and – DAMMIT I just realized we’re not having Lost Club next week so if they say it, I won’t be able to prove it to everybody and gloat. UUGGHHH whatisthepointofliving.)

I’m also obsessed with Vampire Diaries, Life Unexpected and Gossip Girl. Plus I still DVR Smallville and Supernatural for the hotness.

I don’t care what anyone says, the CW/WB/UPN has produced some of the best shows on TV (beyond the duh-awesome Buffy and Veronica Mars). I hula-hoop or ellipticise while watching all of these, so don’t assume I am a couch potato. And I mean, I watch TV to escape and be entertained, not to impress people with my intelligence or coolness. I think it’s cooler and smarter to simply appreciate things for what they are and embrace anything you like, and this includes my iPod full of Top 40 Booty Jams. Also I am on 4 hours of sleep! Fuck you guys! High five!


Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

The Year Without – Update #3

I can’t believe how much I like not drinking. Especially on a day like today.

I’m feeling about as rich as I did two weeks into quitting smoking. My blood pressure (which I tested on March 1) has dropped by about 10 points. I’m sleeping… weird. Not better, just weird. I’m not eating extra to make up for it, which is nice. Justin might be able to give you an observation or two, but I ain’t asking. I’ve never been a fan of getting drunk (or at least, not since college), so I’m not going though enough of a withdrawal to notice any other differences. Just… less trips to the store.

One bitchin habit I picked up at Courtney’s party is adding lemons or limes (or if I’m feeling really crazy, both) to water. Lemon-lime ice water is the kingshit!

Leave a comment

Filed under The Year Without

I’m, Like, Preoccupied

I do want to write about The Room, but not today (I know, I know, you treat me like a princess and then I stab you in the back…). I’ve been watching My So-Called Life in three-hour intervals for the last 18 hours and I’m thisclose to the amazing conclusion terrible cliffhanger.

I’m typing this during the boo-hoo dead angel Ricky episode. Pssh, there is no crying on vacation.

One thing I realized this time around: I always notice Tino, the dude who is never there…. but what about that other dude who always is there? Remember that dude? Jordan’s douchey friend? Shane? Ugh.

He is always showing up to tell Jordan they have to go or just popping in to embarrass him… either way, he will not stop cock-blocking Angela. At the dance, at Tino’s party, in the boiler room… it happened at least 5 times. What the hell Shane? And did you know Shane is played by Jared Leto’s brother?

(Don’t worry, this will all be over in 3 hours.)


Filed under Uncategorized

Do You Understand Life?

The St. Louis screening of The Room was amazing. Justin and I were the very first people there! At the very first screening! If your kids go to screenings of this someday, you can brag about me. However, I’m doing it again tonight (last night was with Graham and Erin, tonight it’s Erik and Olivia) and I’m sooo sleepy already, so I’ll do a full round up on Sunday. (I plan on staying up all night on Sunday since my sleep is going to be completely jacked up.)

Shoot, by 3am tonight, I will be like this kid (edited w/Tommy – brilliant):

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures, Pop Goes The Culture

I’m Tearing Me Apart

I used to spend a lot of time with someone who was explosively passive aggressive and it damaged me a lot.

Every now and then, something will happen that triggers those emotions, and I don’t know how to combat those feelings. I’ll spend the whole day hurt, afraid, annoyed and angry (which 90% of the time, is just the aftershock of feeling like you’ve been treated unfairly), and nothing I do can shake it.

This week, that’s what I’ve been deaing with.

I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve learned to combat most of my issues by identifying the Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking. It’s changed my life and has given me the confidence to attack any issue or problem that I feel like I’m struggling with. I mean, I’ve quit smoking. I’ve dealt with my dad’s amputations. I quit cheese for a month. I don’t worry about the things I can’t change. Unless I have raging PMS or am very sleepy, I can approach any problem calmly and rationally.

I’ve come to this realization that the majority of the time that someone is hurting you or even annoying you, they don’t realize that what they’re doing bothers you. A simple “Hey, that hurt my feelings,” or “Would you mind not doing that?” can immediately nip a problem in the bud before it festers into resentment. You are in charge of your own happiness, not them. Remember that.

The people who are REALLY worth cutting off are the people who don’t care when you express your feelings. The people who will continue their behavior with the knowledge that it hurts you. That’s one reason I ended my 22-year best-friendship with Rachael. I’ve been much happier ever since.

But then there are people who will simply explode when you express your hurt. People who have mastered the art of deflecting those feelings back onto you. Passive aggressive people work so hard to avoid vocalizing their displeasure because they automatically connect that behavior with confrontation. So when you express your hurt, they see it as picking a fight. They get defensive. They explode. They deflect, and if that doesn’t do the trick, they project.

I felt very trapped in that situation, like I was walking on eggshells 24/7. I truly felt like a battered housewife, where I would put extra effort into winning that person’s approval and it would backfire all of the time. I was never perfect with this person, but I could never identify the things that bothered them about me, because they would never tell me. It made me question everything I did. I grew very depressed. And fat. Even fatter than I am now.

I realize that now I’m free of that situation. That outside of that time frame, this person is awesome and I love them. And that, when these emotions are triggered, it’s no longer someone else’s fault. This is something I need to combat and learn how to fix. And today, right now, I can’t. It really bothers me.

Running helps. But I didn’t have time to run today. I should probably ask my shrink for advice, but that would take a week. Bleh.

I’m having a super fat week and I can’t figure out why. Maybe that is the trigger.

Part of me hopes that I’m simply cranky because I’m tired, but the other part of me hopes not because I’ll be up til at least 2am tonight watching my favorite movie.


Filed under Botheration

A Paws For Celebration

Justin and I try to make even the most boring nights exciting, like camping in a tent in the living room, popping champagne the day I pay off my car, Oscar ballots (thank you, Hurt Locker, for that last 2 point sweep that gave me the win!), etc.

We were already planning to watch the HBO version of Grey Gardens. But then, Justin realized it was the 5 year anniversary of the day he brought Chauncey home from the Humane Society. So he decided to make it an awesome creepy cat event.

He made cat-shaped fish-in-a-blanket (catfish?):

… and cat snowballs:

Chauncey “Sassy Paws” Tolliver partied hard and freaked out on catnip:

… after he totally rejected a plate of tuna:

We watched Grey Gardens, a movie about real-life fabulous cat ladies.

… and an episode of Chauncey’s favorite show NewsRadio, where Matthew lies to James Caan about how many cats he has (“Three. Hahaha, I wish three! Two.”):

Justin also restored and hooked up this gorgeous 1962 rotary phone and we took turns calling each other. I used to have a giant yellow rotary phone in my room, and a beige one in the kitchen. This phone makes me feel like a little kid again.

It was a pretty great night. But then again, any day that starts off with a photo shoot, and this:

… is bound to go where no day has gone before.

Grey Gardens screencaps via FourFour


Filed under Picture Pages

Cloud At The Oscars

Justin was in the middle of whining that we should fast-forward the break-dancing number during the Oscars (I guess my “They’re break dance fighting” joke is only funny the first 30 times) when I suddenly jumped 5 feet off the bed and shrieked, “CLOUD!”

I then had to explain my Cloud crush to Justin.

How sad is it that on the big, “The time has come” night – a major stepping stone for females – I was the most excited about the unexpected appearance of my crush? During the break dance interpretation of the musical score from “Up”?

Though, James Cameron’s face during Katheryn Bigelow’s two wins will surely go down as a great image in the history of feminism. Pouty-Face James Cameron is the new Rosie the Riveter, or at least the new Billie Jean King.

SIDENOTE: did Oprah just tell us to skip school?

I know everyone is popping a boner over D-Listed’s coverage (which was awesome, John Hughes stuff espesh). I’m personally more excited to check out what TWoP alum Joe R. live-blogged on But for me, this was the highlight of the online coverage:

No one will ever snark as well as the original TWoP gangsters. Except maybe Dave Holmes.

Edited to Add: And Rich! Duh!

Edited to Also Add: Jen said that, thanks to my blog, Ron turned to her during the Oscars and asked, “Isn’t that Cloud?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Totally Crushin, Uncategorized

The Hazards of Hipster Boyfriends

At first, when Justin started putting Magnetic Fields songs on mixes for me, I loved the Magnetic Fields.

Then we went to their show last night, and you were not allowed to go to the bar or bathroom through the whole show. Justin was like “He’s kind of picky.”

The onstage banter was sort of like the D&D table in a high school cafeteria. Stephin sounded like a less funny version of Joss Whedon. (Though he did make a lot of vampire jokes that were hilarious… coincidence?) The audience was a very eye-rolly, “let’s use big words because we’re college sophomores and smarter than you” bunch. I wanted to give wedgies and swirlies to the group that was sitting behind me.

One girl near us got tanked and committed the ultimate Magnetic Fields sin: yelling “WOOOO” repeatedly through the show – and I was sort of loving how much she annoyed everyone else. (Though at one point she burped super loud and the whole place cracked up, including the band – it was truly a great moment to be alive.)

People would yell out requests and Claudia would sigh, “We have them all pre-planned on this list, my dear.” At times, the way they treated the audience make me feel guilty, like, “Wow, I’m so sorry I inconvenienced you by coming to watch you perform.”

That night, Justin was like, “You either love Magnetic Fields or you hate Magnetic Fields.” I fell asleep hating Magnetic Fields.

Then I found out today that the set-up is because Stephin has a hyper-sensitive ear condition. But that he is still widely considered a dick? Also I forgot that he was that guy who did a lot of music for Pete & Pete?

So now I have no idea how I feel about Magnetic Fields. I’m just kind of cranky about the whole thing.

The same thing happened with Yo La Tengo: I adore all the songs Justin that gives me, but at the show they would just jam and make all this noise. I didn’t get it at all but everyone around me was crying like they were at church. I just felt sort of stupid. Plus the air conditioner was so cold and I had to cuddle with Justin, wrapped in my coat, and despite the insanely loud music I ended up sleeping through half of it.

And then cut to the ride home, where I’m explaining who Rihanna and Chris Brown are and why they broke up and why he needs to care. And trying to communicate the beauty of “She Bangs” by William Hung. And like, introducing him to Lady GaGa.

It’s such a weird dynamic sometimes. I still don’t know how to feel about Magnetic Fields.


Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

Fish Fry, Saturn Star-Gazing, and Grey Gardens

“This is the best thing to wear for today, you understand. Because I don’t like women in skirts and the best thing is to wear pantyhose or some pants under a short skirt, I think. Then you have the pants under the skirt and then you can pull the stockings up over the pants underneath the skirt. And you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape. So I think this is the best costume for today.”

– Edie Beale, Grey Gardens

Last night the Fish Fry Club met at the church by my house, and while we were in the massive line, I experienced the unexpected.

“Would you like a beer while you wait?” I heard a woman softly ask, and I turned to see a bucket full of various AB cans.

“YES!” I shrieked, then more politely: “How much is it?”


“Mm’scuse me? What?”

My friends reached in to grab their cans, and as I cheerfully fished out a Bud Light, Justin kindly said, “Do you want me to drink that for you?”

I cradled my beer, confused. “What? No! Why?”

He reached out to rub my shoulder and I protectively turned to shield my precious. “Because it’s… March? Steph? You know?”

After a beat, I gasped in horror. “No. NO! Oh crap! What the hell! Why did I do that?”

Someone in the back of the group chuckled, “Is this your first Friday?”

“If you really want to drink it, you can… I was just trying to-”

“Ah! Oh God! Take it away from me! But don’t! But you have to! This is hurting my feelings!”


Aside from the realization that March will be harder than I thought, Fish Fry Club was fun. Karen’s favorite part of the experience is the kids who pick up your trays for you. “Trash Kids,” she would say knowingly every time they walked by.

The guy who gave us our fish was taaanked. The mac ‘n cheese was to die for. The church by my parents’ house has the best cod on the face of the earth, but this Fish Fry happens once a month, passes out free beer, and is across the street from where I live now. Fish Fry FTW! I will see you in April, free beer and Trash Kids.

After dinner, Justin and I hoped up Hampton to the archery fields next to the Planetarium, where the St. Louis Astronomical Society set up their telescopes. We saw Mars, Orion Nebula with all the gasses, and two views of Saturn and it’s rings. SOOO cool. If they’re ever doing this on a clear, warmish night, I highly recommend it. These guys will tell you everything you want to know (best view for Mars will be in 2014, and Jupiter will be back on the scene in a couple months). It’s worth the trip just to watch all the little kids wander around, totally awestruck.

Finally, we went back to his place to eat ice cream and watch Grey Gardens for the first time. If you don’t know what Grey Gardens is, then I can’t help you. But I’ve been watching clips ever since Bust published an Edie fashion spread a few years ago and the full documentary is beyond amazing.


Filed under Pop Goes The Culture, The Year Without

Clewell Intentions

Hell yeah! My Advanced Poetry Professor David Clewell has been named Missouri’s Poet Laureate!

David is one of the reasons I decided to go to Webster. When I first realized I wanted a degree in Creative Writing, the Pearson House was a place I had always imagined studying, and David was exactly the type of professor I hoped to have.

While Paulette’s intro class let me craft my personal favorite, David’s workshop was where I produced poems that others have claimed are my best, despite how I feel about them.

David’s office is coated with kitsch, most of it alien related. He is a master of conspiracy theories and party tricks. One day in the Pearson House courtyard, as he was opening a new pack of cigarettes, I pointed out that new packs smell exactly like a box of raisins. He was delighted, and I was delighted for delighting him.

He assigned each student in our small, exclusive class three books to read, with the intention of writing a poem inspired by each book. These books were wonderfully weird. I remember one guy had to read about the history of paint-by-number paintings. God, I wish I still had that full list. Here were mine:

  • Was This Man a Genius? Talks with Andy Kaufman by Julie Hecht. This book included tons of interviews and revealing interactions between Kaufman and Hecht. Her concensus? It’s impossible to determine what the hell Andy was thinking, ever.
  • Forgive me for forgetting the title, but in this one, a woman claims the CIA kidnapped her as a child and used mind control to develop assassin multiple personalities (book complete with drawings and documents). This book terrified me.
  • And Banvard’s Folly by Paul S. Collins – one of my all-time favorite reads. I gift this to people all the time. It includes 13 essays about people who were once famous but have since been forgotten. Like, the guy who invented the concord grape (inventions with seeds are surprisingly hard to keep exclusive), a man who painted a panorama painting of the entire Mississippi River, and a guy who tried to invent a universal language based on music. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

At the end of the semester, he gave us each a book of poetry. Each book was different, and chosen especially for us by David. My book was Ripe by Roy Jacobstein. The title poem still inspires me to this day:

Somewhere my father must be
eating the mooshy parts of a peach
as a favor for a child,
the way he once did for me.
May it be sunny there, and a lei
of light illumine his brow.
The years it’s taken to learn sweetness
resides in the bruises.


David Clewel is amazing. Even if he wasn’t an immensely talented writer, he would deserve some sort of nationally-recognized award for being so damn cool.

I mean, look at that guy. Don’t you just want to hug that guy? Don’t you want him to think you are cool, or at least tell you “Nice work”? He’s fantastic. Congratulations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Two Thumbs Up

I believe that if at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances – we must try.

I didn’t always know this, and I am happy that I have lived long enough to find it out.

– Roger Ebert

What an awesome dude, with an awesome wife. If you haven’t seen his Oprah episode yet, you should look it up, and then you should read this.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

How To Win Dave Holmes’ Heart

How? He’s been fascinated/mystified by “Tik Tok” for weeks, so you send him this:

He thanked me, posted it on my favorite blog and totally made my day. St. Lunatics 4 Life!

When I was searching for his @ reply, I saw that one of my OTHER favorite bloggers, Princess Melissa, replied to me last week. She had tweeted that she was on a “Party in the USA” kick so I sent her that video I posted on Thursday, and she sent this back:

Hooray! Also, today Spencer Pratt requested to follow my buddy @Jaimeville. I don’t know why former MTV stars (and in 2 out of 3 cases, talented, hilarious and gorgeous people) love us on Twitter today, but I’ll take it!

1 Comment

Filed under Almost Famous, Pop Goes The Culture


I’d like to say I learned valuable lessons by not eating cheese or anything cheese-flavored for one month. That I feel different. That I don’t need it.

But that’s bullcrap. Here’s why cheese is important: it makes healthy eating tolerable and enjoyable.

A salad? Throw some cheese on that bitch! Low-fat turkey sub? Throw some (throw some) cheese on it! Broccoli? TSCOTB! Egg whites? Rich Boy sellin’ crack!

Shoot, even a sprinkle of parm will turn any tummy frown upside down. A spoonful, even by itself? Heaven.

This whole month, I suffered from The Hunger and it forced me to eat worse than I’ve eaten in years… probably since I worked for McDonald’s. Guacamole (healthy, but fatty), no-cheese gyros, McNuggets… I craved creamy and or meaty/savory/salty things all month. A 24/7 PMS, ediblely speaking. I gained back all the weight I lost in January from working out every day.

I am soooo looking forward to low-calorie foods that taste like the fattest of Fat Kid Maneuvers. Salads with a half serving of Kraft Crumbles. A single cheeseburger with an apple on the side. A bomb-ass breakfast for dinner with soy sausage, egg whites and a dash of cheddar. Lean Cuisine’s 5-Cheese Rotini (which I could honestly eat daily and be happy).

Tomorrow I will begin healthy eating, continue my daily elliptical/pushups/crunches combo, drink an assload of water and probably go through some sort of alcohol withdrawal.

But today… I feast. V and I are hitting up our favorite work lunch spot, Russell’s, for some of his glorious baked mac ‘n cheese. Not sure what I’m doing for dinner, but I know it involves a block of Collier’s Welsh Cheddar and some privacy.


Filed under The Year Without