Monthly Archives: August 2010

“Well Done.”

My dad’s memorial was about as fun as a funeral can be. My brother gave a speech that made me so proud, his friends John and Mark spoke and it was touching, and his cousins Danny and Bill told childhood stories that had the whole place cracking up. I saw so many people I haven’t seen in years, maybe even decades. People from our old church, my old private school, most of our neighborhood, my brother’s in-laws, etc. I met my Grandma’s stepbrother for the first time!

Lots of my friends came, including some who had never even met my dad, and that was beyond touching. My kindergarten BFF Jane managed to venture outdoors with an awful cold/flu/bug and it meant so much to me and my mom. (Hope you’re feeling better, Jane!) Graham had a fu manchu that would’ve made my dad proud. Peter brought pictures of his baby to cheer me up (and it worked!).

I really wanted to work his favorite song, “Gimme Shelter”, into the ceremony, but … well, it was at a church and they probably wouldn’t have appreciated the lyrics on page 4.

I used to always joke that my dad would be late to his own funeral, and my mom and brother were running pretty late so I guess I was right. My mom had put together this great slideshow of pictures and we didn’t even get to see it because they played it while everyone was sitting down. I’ll try to make a Facebook album of it or something.

We cried a little during the ceremony, especially during the hymns (I lost it during “Amazing Grace”; how cliché) but mostly we laughed. I got to walk my teeny tiny grandma down the aisle and I was happy to do it. Afterwards lots of people stayed for cake and it was so great to see everyone. I wish it was appropriate to take pictures during something like that, you know?

My niece had her first non-family babysitter ever and did awesome. I was really proud of her and glad my brother could show her off. I know I’m a little biased but she’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. I’m willing to bet even my future kids won’t be that cute. (But don’t tell them I said that.)

Today we’re going to spread some ashes at the family cabin in Cuba. During everyone’s speeches, they talked so much about Cuba and Arizona and it made me so happy that I insisted on spreading them. I don’t know when I’ll make it to Arizona, but it was my dad’s dream to make it there and I’m going to get him there if it kills me.

My family is in town for one more week (and Justin’s family is coming to town this weekend, too) so eventually I’ll get back out into the world to see all my friends. I miss you guys.

During the long talk that my dad had with Justin, he said that he didn’t know what love really was until the last two years of his life. After last night, I kind of feel the same way. I hope my funeral is that hilarious.

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You Came Jumpin’ Out After Me

I know I’m about a year late for this, but I am wildly in love with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Compared to other people I know, especially a certain hoosier I like to kiss, I am not a music person. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, I just don’t actively seek out new stuff. I don’t go to shows, I don’t have a computer to click around and find stuff, I rarely investigate when a band gets hyped on the Internet, etc.

I think Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mates of State, Lykke Li, Polyphonic Spree, LCD Soundsystem and Gogol Bordello are the only bands that I’ve really latched onto in the past decade. But I’m pretty sure Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros will be in that category soon, too.

I’ve heard that their shows are like big tent revivals, which is the right thing to say to someone who had a childhood like mine.

For me, finding a band I love has to feel like fate. I can’t force myself into it. I hear so much about bands like The Black Keys and Arcade Fire and I’m sure I would love them, but that isn’t enough to get me to explore them. I have to stumble across it accidentally, and it has to match my environment and my life and my moods exactly. Like Gogol Bordello and Mates of State – their sounds are adventurous and magical, and that was my 2007 in a nutshell.

A couple weeks ago, I tearfully told Justin about how much I would miss my mom’s house when she sold it. I lived there for 25 years. Aside from five years of apartments and a semester abroad, it’s the only home I’ve ever had. I can survive without living there, but the idea of it not being ours anymore is horrifying to me.

When I told him this, we were laying on my boxspring in the room he emptied out, the room where we’ll live in two months. And we realized out loud that from now on, home is wherever he is and wherever I am. That made the situation feel like less of a loss, and more of a gain.

So imagine stumbling across this song a week after that conversation. It also includes my favorite instrument, which is happy shouting by 10+ band members. So it hits the right notes in every respect. THAT, my friends, is how you become my new favorite band.

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Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

#1 Fan, You Guys

I forgot to post this a few weeks ago but dear God, I love Janet:

Janet once told me that, “You and Justin are like my fantasy couple if couples were like fantasy football.” I think every couple (except crazy-disaster ones) should have a #1 Fan. I nominate myself for Jen and Ron!

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Every Band In Brooklyn Is Jealous

Somewhere under that mop is my niece. She owns me for the next two weeks:

P.S. Not to brag but she stands up and reaches for me now! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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Half a Million!


500,000 hits over the course of 6 years and some change? It isn’t monumental or impressive in the Grand Scheme of the Internet, but it’s feels pretty damn rewarding for a little spaz like me. I used to get 5 hits a day, and now I average about 500. What on earth?

This feels like it deserves some sort of nerdy speech, but (a) I do that every day and (b) I wrote the mother of all entries when I celebrated the 5 Year Anniversary last summer.

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Filed under Almost Famous

The Plague

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of cicadas outside (and finding molted bodies stuck to yard bags). This confuses me a little because I thought the 13-year cicadas weren’t due for another year. Are these a different brand? Or do they live for a couple years? Have I just been living too far away from the woods to remember these things?

I know for a fact that the 13-year cicadas aren’t due until 2011 because in 1998, St. Louis had a Biblical plague of the 13-year AND 17-year cicadas – an occurrence more rare than Haley’s Comet.

Do you guys remember that summer? Cicadas would fly into your hair every day. If you left your car window open, there would be at least 3 dead ones on your dashboard in the morning, guaranteed. Sunbathers would have to suffer through multiple kamikaze attacks.

Pranks began to emerge involving the piles (yes, piles) of dead bugs. Every outdoor surface had a crispy cicada shell attached to it, usually removed with a flick. There was an extra crunch in everyone’s step. Did you know 1.5 million cicadas can live in a single acre of a forest?

I lived where I live now, surrounded by woods, and I could hear the deafening buzz (apparently the loudest of all insects) from inside my house. While I began the summer with terrified shrieks at every sighting, I eventually responded to them with a nonchalant brush-off.

Looking back, I can’t believe how gross it was or how normal it seemed. I’m glad I won’t have to live through that again. Still, not really appreciating the reminder. I feel haunted. What is going on?


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And They’re All Made Out of Ticky-Tacky

Justin emptied out the prop room with all of his puppet-movie props. It was this big grand gesture for me (and seemingly impossible to anyone who has seen that room) because eventually that will be “our” room.

Well, most of the props, anyway.

The spaceship was especially hard:

I have better pictures of everything, I just don’t have my camera cord here. I’d say 1/3 of the room made it to the dumpster and 1/3 to the building’s (always amazing) “free pile”. Currently, he’s obsessing over making a town with a mountain view above our kitchen cabinets. I love him.


Filed under Favorite Stories, Picture Pages

Frakkin’ GTL

I’m up to Season 2.5 of Battlestar Galactica (yes, they have point fives), and I STILL can’t get over how much Aaron “Chief” Douglass looks like Ronnie from Jersey Shore:

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Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

Shrink Wrap-Up

I went back to the place where my original therapist used to work (and the home of Shoe Lady) last night. At first, they hesitated about letting me see someone else (this is not St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, who put up such a big rude stink, I gave up), but I made the point that I shouldn’t be considered an official patient of Shoe Lady since I only saw her once.

The awesome receptionist told me, “There’s another woman here, but can I be totally honest? Off the record? I think you’d click better with Dave.” I’m more of a dude person anyway, so I instantly agreed.

The first thing Dave said to me was, “Oh, you used to meet with Therese? Well, Therese and I both practice the School of Cognitive Blahblahblah and we studied it around the same time, practically together. So you’ll probably hear a lot of the same terms coming from me.”

And you guys! He is Therese in a man’s body! He hit the ground running with me, knew exactly what techniques I had covered and what I still needed to explore, and most importantly, didn’t instantly attribute everything to Daddy Issues and bad shoes. “You talk, I’ll listen,” he said. “I like you,” I thought.

It was one of those moments that works out so perfectly, you can’t believe it. So I’ll probably be a little happier from now on. Win! Total win!

Also last night I only took melatonin to sleep as opposed to sleeping pills or ativan, and if you know me, that’s a huge deal. I probably fell asleep around 11:30, which isn’t much worse than the other pills I take. I’m not ready to make it a Year Without goal, but possibly in October? Again, this is massive for me.

AND Justin is going to be out of town next week and the weather is supposed to be incredible, so I can probably knock out those other 20 yard bags in a few days. I’m at the point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with this yard, which is exciting and a little shocking.

Stay Positive, or as a wise little redhead once said, “hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may.”


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Today is our official One Year Anniversary. Wow! I could tell you all about how much he means to me and how amazing he is but (a) you already know and (b) I haven’t written his card yet so I should really save the good stuff.


That’s Justin and Chauncey playing in the sunshine. In 82 days, I get to live with these boys. Hey look, there’s my desk! And you can kinda see my bright green wall! It’s like I’m already there!

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Pass The Test, Win At Life

A few months ago, my hairdresser Barbara was cutting my hair while I rambled on and on, as usual. I was talking about my Year Without Goals, moving back home, and other stuff that you know about. I get a kick out of wowing Barb.

I don’t remember what I was talking about when this happened, but at one point she stopped cutting, looked me right in the eye and said, “You can do anything you want to do, you know that?”

Without hesitation, I said, “Yes.” And I meant it.

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Filed under Conversations

Can You Hear Me Now?

A friend of mine got dumped last week and I had a really bad feeling about it, for reasons I shouldn’t get into. I called her cell phone multiple times that day and kept telling Justin I was worried.

I found out today that she’s been in the hospital for a week because she tried to kill herself that day. She had lost her phone the day before, so she didn’t see my calls. I had almost called the house but I didn’t want to risk talking to the creepy dude who dumped her. I’m not kicking myself that I didn’t call the house, because how would I know she lost her phone? But I certainly would have blamed myself forever if she hadn’t made it.

“There were lots of things going on,” she said, listing a few. “And then [ex] said I was being a bad mom.” So to prove him wrong, you try to kill yourself?

During this month of Staying Positive, I’ve tried to remember that there are some people who actually can’t, and it has nothing to do with willpower or positive thinking or self help techniques.

But also: as someone who just lost a parent, part of me wants to say, “Just go hug your fucking kid.” I mean, I usually don’t write about my friends’ issues on Shortcake, especially something this personal and serious, but thinking about this is pissing me off.

I suppose the moral of the story is: if you’re feeling suicidal, don’t lose your phone? And also: just go hug your kid.

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Filed under Botheration

And Then We Won Couples Farkle

Nothing sums up my week more:

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The F Word

Okay, ugh, fine. I’ve started watching Battlestar Galactica.

Justin really wanted to watch it with me, but we’re already watching Buffy and The Wire together, and then once that’s over, we want to watch Breaking Bad. And man, I don’t have cable in my basement and I don’t want to have cable… and I’ve seen 99% of the other shows in Blockbuster’s TV department. It was a bummer week. I needed a distraction.

I like it so far… but it took me a while to tell all the young dudes apart. I’m two discs in and I still think of them as Dollhouse Guy, Creepy Smallville, Ronnie from Jersey Shore, Frank from Real World Las Vegas, etc.

So … yeah. I just wanted to warn you guys that I might turn into one of those people who say “Frak.” I’ll try to fight it and I know how it looks, but apparently it just happens?

Also, I’ve decided that I’m not allowed to buy a Macbook until I’m done with the yard. By then I’ll have enough money saved to buy three of them, probably. But I think it’s a smart way to keep me motivated – I’m attacking the back corner which hasn’t been touched in about two decades – a.k.a. Brown Recluse Town. There are some weeds that have basically evolved into new species and spawned several generations. I filled up seven yard bags in two hours and didn’t even make a dent! Honestly, I don’t know if I can do this on my own, but I’m curious to see how far I can go. I’m determined, but terrified.

P.S. Did you know that I have NEVER OWNED MY VERY OWN COMPUTER?

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Filed under Pop Goes The Culture

Mustache Dreams

To dream that you have a mustache when you don’t really have one, signifies that you are hiding an aspect of yourself. You are putting on a disguise or showing a different aspect of your personality.

To dream that you shave off your mustache, denotes that you are revealing your true self. You no longer have to hide under some disguise or some shield. Alternatively, the dream means that you are trying to reestablish your reputation, by renouncing your previous activities.

If you are a woman and dream that you have a mustache, then it indicates that you are expressing your power through your words and your verbal expression.

In addition to the heavy, long-winded blogging I’ve been doing lately, I’ve also been speaking to a lot of customer service people, filling out suggestion/complaint forms, and requesting a new non-free therapist (which apparently I’m not allowed to do without serious drama, St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute? Ugh). In other words, I’ve been much more formidable than usual. Today, it’s starting to pay off.

Last night I dreamt I had this huge, thick, orange mustache and I kept trying to shave it – like The Peanut Butter Solution, except on a freakishly-large upper lip. I would probably call a Dream Dictionary “lame” except this is eerily correct and you know what? Dream Dictionaries usually are.

My dad used to have a lot of dreams, because he slept a lot I guess, and I would look up his stuff all the time to see how I could help him. For example, he dreamt about being kidnapped, which means that he felt trapped. Everything was pretty consistent with someone who had been bedridden for a year, so I trust the Dictionary these days.

Also, anybody remember the Crawling Spider? (God, I used to be a spaz.)


Filed under Dream On, Sleep Disorderly Conduct

Riding the Righteous Bummer*

I’ve been seriously depressed this week, and I’m trying very hard to keep track of the parts that feel like mourning, like stress, like sleeplessness, etc. There are some waves that are overwhelming and they aren’t specifically about him. To me, that means depression, and that means I need more sunshine, sleep, exercise and Vitamin B.

It is so important to understand your bad moods and negative emotions. Once you know what’s wrong, you’re halfway back to happy even if you don’t know how to fix it. It’s also important for the sake of your loved ones. I try to be aware of when I’m tired or upset at someone else so I don’t take it out on my mom. I ALWAYS warn Justin when I’m PMSing, though I think he found an iPhone app that sends him an alert.

10-15 years ago, when my “insomnia” was uncontrollable, I was terrible to be around. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I was full of anxiety. Road rage to the max. Everyone annoyed me. When something small but stressful happened, like losing my car keys, I would explode. It truly felt like my world was ending.

I didn’t realize at the time that I was simply sleep deprived – to a point that was life threatening. I knew that I lacked sleep but I didn’t realize the magnitude of how important it was. I mistook being tired for so many other emotions, and I was totally lost in anxiety and anger that, in a way, didn’t exist.

Last year, I went through this phase were I was really angry with people from my past like Rachael and Brian – the people who were closest to me at that time. I was mad because I’ve made so many strides emotionally, but they still tend to talk to me like I’m fragile, like I’m going to explode or collapse into tears at any second. I used to think this was condescending, that they underestimated me.

But you know what? That’s exactly who I was back them. I’ve started to understand that it’s my fault that they treat me that way. And since we’re not really friends anymore, it’s okay. The people I’m still friends with from then, like Liz and Ty, they know. Liz and I tell each other, “I’m so proud of you,” all the time. I love that.

Justin said that when he and my dad had a long talk last month, my dad said that I changed so much in the last 10 years and he was so proud of me. That made me cry a lot. But it was okay, because I knew why I was crying.

But this? This heavy, constant Eeyore cloud that’s been following me all week? That’s depression, sister, and not the chemical kind that I can’t control. It’s simply my body telling me I need TLC. Sunshine, exercise, Vitamin B and sleep.

You are in charge of your own happiness. Once you realize that, it’s always within reach. Never, ever forget that. (And, stay positive.)

*via my hero-since-always, Lynda Barry


Filed under Botheration, Sleep Disorderly Conduct

What The FFFFF

So Blog-City is closing in 2012. I’ve already set up a new home at However, I don’t want to fully move until I’ve exported/imorted everything over there. Fun parts: my blog-city export file (which they don’t usually give until I’m totally shut down) is not in a format supported by wordpress, So I would need to convert everything to a different format and then add it to WordPress. Plus, I’m sort of familiar with wordpress, but not comfortable enough by any means to jump right into this. It’s empty, ugly, and doesn’t feel like home yet.

My August year without goal was SUPPOSED to be STAY POSITIVE but now I’m already pissed off. Give me a fucking break.

So… sometime in September when my life starts to slow down, I may be calling on some of my favorite web-savvy folks – Charles? Janet? to help me with this. I will pay, absolutely. Is that cool? Otherwise I may just try to transfer everything over manually. I only have 919 entries. *Sigh*

And maaaannn I am thisclose to half a million blog-hits! Not fair!

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Filed under Botheration