Monthly Archives: October 2010

Bear Hands

If you guys have a chance, you should check out Bear Hands’ new album. It’s streaming now at Spin.com.

Two of these guys are old high school friends of my ex-boyfriend; I met them when I visited him on the East Coast. Given the circumstances of the break-up, they would probably run away from me if they saw me now (and barf if they read this), but at the time they were very sweet and nice to me. The bass player made us breakfast one morning after a kegger; he added all the spices in the spice cabinet to a batch of potatoes and it turned out heavenly.

I think I came across this band originally when I was making fun of my ex’s band, but this music is so fantastic that I quickly forgot about their connection to him or anything. I think these guys are so great and I’ve been enjoying their EP for a few years. It’s time you liked them too.

Oh, something else before you notice they’re from Brooklyn and let it rip – can we as an Internet retire the word “hipster” and incessant mocking of hipsters? It’s tired and annoying and besides, trendy consumerism is probably the only thing keeping the economy afloat at the moment. Who gives a shit?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Bible Halloween is Sexist

Halloween at the height of my parents’ evangelism. My brother was David from David & Goliath. I was the Virgin Mary. HE got an awesome slingshot. I got a baby Jesus.

This was when I started realizing that girls get screwed over sometimes. I wanted a slingshot, not some dumb-ass doll that I had to treat like the Son of God. LOOK HOW PISSED I AM.

Leave a comment

Filed under Favorite Stories, Picture Pages

Champs and … Well, Champs

I’ve been moving some of my past entries over* and it made me a little nostalgic for my Champs and Chumps lists.

I don’t have any Chumps right now that I can think of (or any that I should write about, at least), so let’s keep this positive and go ALL CHAMPS. Ready?

CHAMPS

Cabin in the Woods: Joss Whedon has a movie coming out? Co-written and directed by Drew Goddard? With tons of Buffyverse actors, including my favorite, Tom Lenk?** How did I miss this news? Needless to say, I’m pumped, especially since I just finished the latest (smut-filled)(hilarious) Buffy comic book.



Insanity Workouts: I’m on Month 2, Day 9, which is the longest I’ve gone without life interrupting. I feel great and I love that I’m on a good roll. I still need to take a lot of 5-second rests, but it amazes me that I’m able to do this.



This Bag: I sent my Style Guru Ginger on a mission for a cute computer bag, and while the adorable one she found was too expensive, it inspired me to “go yellow” and I found this:

TV Time: Justin has relaunched his rooftop TV club, this time at The Moolah! (Well, the Mini-Moolah in the lobby to be exact.) It’s always fun and the themes are hilarious. Please come – Tuesday nights at 8!

$$$: Justin and I are now planning on making the move official after Christmas. This way I don’t have to leave my mom alone during the Christmas season. This ALSO means 2 more months of extra $$, which is great because HUGE expenses seem to be hitting all at once (like this morning, when my car didn’t start – CHUMP CARD)

Halloween: TONS of HUGE parties to look forward to. I’m recycling last year’s costume because I love it, and y’all will freak over Justin’s. It’s going to be a good weekend.

Freedom: The Internet has talked enough about this book, but I wanted to throw it out there that I’m enjoying it a lot. And since the only time I can read is before bed and I fall asleep after 20 pages, I’m dragging out this pleasure for as long as possible. Thanks, Franzen.

Road Trip: I’m going to Indiana with Justin for Thanksgiving. I’m so excited to see where he grew up and meet his extended family! We’re visiting both parents, which means I get to see the whole state (and maybe drop by Michigan to hug an old friend or two). Because of my dad’s surgeries and my work’s VERY limited vacation policy, I haven’t had time to leave town since 2007. That’s right, aside from Illinois, I have not left the state in 3 years. Isn’t that horrifying? Never again.

This Guy: Wait about 30 seconds, and then this guy launches into my exact philosophy for life. I cannot emphasize enough how much my life changed when this outlook suddenly clicked in me:

*Yes, I know there will be a WordPress export file someday. However:

a. I don’t trust Blog-City.
b. I’m impatient and anxious; I just feel better doing it now.
c. I have plenty of spelling errors and inappropriate content that needs to be fixed or deleted.
d. Some (many) entries are stupid and don’t need to be moved.
e. I like having control over these things. Much like I’m doing with my childhood basement right now, if this place is going down then I’m gutting it myself.
f. I’m sure I would have to go back through all the entries to fix some sort of error anyway. (See point a.)

Maybe by the time I’m sick of this, a tested and awesome export file will be available and I can move the rest with one click. But until then, I’m having fun reliving 05 – 06!

**I am pretty sure, via Facebook, that my friend Conor knows Tom Lenk. However, he always has people asking, “You know so-and-so? I LOVE so-and-so!!” I’m trying to avoid being that person. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Leave a comment

Filed under Champs and Chumps, Lists

Why I Hate Women

It gets better:

It reminds me of some of this amazing Teen Girl Talk book I found in my basement:

(Though I will admit, accepting beers from one dude and then giving them to a hotter dude is kind of brilliant. Idiot savant?)

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

My Hammy Vice

I was looking over this blog these other day and I realized that hella entries mention wine. I actually only drink that little glass that you’re supposed to drink with dinner, unless it’s the weekend and I rock a those teeny Riesling bottles. Wine is too gnarly to drink daily or binge on (unless you’re Lana from Intervention).

It’s just that I’ve been a beer person for so long (having long-term relationships with 3 raging alcoholics and living with frat boys for 4 years will do that to you) and these days I can barely finish a tallboy. I’m turning into a wine person – not as a snooty obsession, but a preference – and I love that.

After smoking for 14 years, taking sleeping pills for 5 years and being generally dumb about my health in my youth, I’m extremely proud that my one vice right now is – for the most part – a healthy one. Honestly, that month where I drank lemon-lime ice water instead of alcohol changed my life – that’s still what I prefer if I want to relax.

Plus, I just love the idea of wine, if that makes sense. Wine can be pretentious but it can also be hilarious. Things seem less sad and more comical when you replace beer or whiskey with wine. So if I mention wine more than I actually drink it, that’s why.

So yeah … no one has expressed concern, but every now and then I like to read over what I’ve been writing to see if there’s something I should be concerned with, and I realized wine is more of a theme here than it is in my life. So no, I am not a wino these days … just a silly goose. A classy silly goose.

Leave a comment

Filed under Botheration, Uncategorized

Spirit Animal

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Year Without – Update #11

CAT Scan was cancer free; yippee!

Since my October Goal was such an epic fail, I’m trying it again in November along with TWO new November goals. I’m still living at home with my moms and not paying rent, so I would be a dick if I didn’t challenge myself somehow.

I’ve already kicked off the November goals to adjust. So here we go, friends:

1. Food Log!

Not a log made out of food (which would surprise no one, sadly) – writing down everything I eat. It’s the holidays and therefore it’s time to shame myself into behaving. I won’t post it here, don’t worry. In addition to food, I’m logging the time, place and reason that I’m eating. This way I can identify and better attack the problematic habits.

2. No Computer After 9:30!

Y’all, I have a problem! Catching up on my Dexters, chillin with the Teen Moms, checking my favorite blogs constantly even though I have a Google Reader … it’s addictive and so, so sad. I love my computer (still thinking of a name) but my sleep schedule and free time are suffering so much. Time for some control.

3. Insanity Month 2! I Will Kill You!

I started it AGAIN this week and can hopefully keep up the momentum. I’ve decided that if I do this until the end of the year (consecutively this time), I get to buy myself a treadmill. The exceptions are my Thanksgiving trip to Indiana (3 days off) and my Christmas trip to Branson (3 days off). Insanity is not something you can do in a shared space.

So those are my goals …think I can do it? Goal #2 will certainly help with Goal #3, so I think it’s possible.

And yeah, due to insane expenses (CAT Scan, mouthguard, room remodeling, car insurance, etc) and the fact that Justin and I are taking our sweet-ass time finishing this bedroom, I will be living at home for at least one more month. My mom is happy about it (the holidays are a terrible time to suddenly live alone) and as I’ve said before, free rent is one hell of a drug.

2 Comments

Filed under The Year Without

See Spot Rock

This year, camping at The Spot was mostly (and I mean this in a relaxing way, not a boring way) uneventful. (Update: I left before they fired flowers out of a cannon. No fairs!) I mean, there isn’t much activity you can pack in when you’re only there for one night and miss the day trip (hiking through gorgeous pink granite shut-ins – so sad I missed this), but it was a good time.

Three things that stood out:

1. Death by Cat Hair

When Justin and I went to bed, we zipped up the tent and my throat promptly began to close. I have never wheezed like that in my life. I coughed so hard that people heard me down by the fire, and Justin checked to make sure I wasn’t coughing up blood. He made me go sit in the car, got an inhaler from Niki, and finally we realized that the sheet was at fault.

A few weeks ago when Chauncey was sick, Justin kept him locked in the bedroom. He spent most of the time hiding behind the air mattress propped against the wall. So the sheet was probably coated in cat hair. While I can handle cats in a loft with 15-ft ceilings, a tiny tent is another story, especially when the sheet was zipped in there with no ventilation for 6 hours.

I still wheezed a little and we both slept like crap (plus we decided to sleep with the door and window open, so now we have colds) but I lived.

2. James

About halfway through Ron’s amazing fireworks, a mysterious car pulled into the property. At first, we thought it was a cop or the Forestry people. (These were huge fireworks.) It turned out to be some random dude named James. He had been camping in the area alone, was driving around bored, saw the fireworks and decided to check it out.

Everyone had mixed feelings about James. His story seemed legit – a seemingly privileged guy (expensive car) from Northern California (crunchy clothes) studying geology in Michigan (“It’s too flat for me”) here for Missouri rocks (vast knowledge of the area). He looked a lot like my ex, Tim.

However, a strange dude appearing in the woods at night? Some folks in the group were not having it, and eyed him warily the whole time. Others were enjoying being hospitable and friendly. I was suspicious until I noticed his shoes: no self-respecting serial killer wears Gurkee’s Rope Sandals.

Given my epic romantic history at The Spot, I probably would have hit on him if I was single (and obviously in that scenario he would have been a murderer).

3. Guns!

This weekend marks only the second time I’ve fired a gun. The first was with Bonus in the Stockade using a musket. This time around, it was with Bonus by the dam using a pistol. Last time I shot (or um, “aimed” at) a coffee can. This time it was a zombie clown named Uncle Huggz.

I got him directly in the heart, though clearly he needs to be shot in the brain. Also, the heart shot was a fluke. I couldn’t really tell where I was hitting, so it was hard to aim and it just seemed so dangerous. I’d love to go to a firing range someday, but guns out in the open kind of scare me. Still, it was a fun way to kick off the week.

I can’t believe I almost got murdered by my tent, and not by the amateur gunfire or the transient who randomly appeared in the dark.

~~~*~~~

The only other thing I need to mention are Dustin’s Badass Breakfast Burritos – it’s the best part of The Spot every year, without fail. I dream of that skillet all year. We had farm fresh eggs that were so bright and yellow. Oh, and there was a baby this time (with us, not in the skillet). He’s about 4 months old and he whined much less about camping than I usually do.

Ron works so hard to put together a great weekend for us every year; he and Jen devote a lot of time and money to it and we’re always so appreciative. I used to hate camping but these years at The Spot have made me love it.

If I had to write myself a Progress Report on my camping skills, I would say, “Stephie’s s’more cooking techniques, while still unconventional and arguably gross, have improved greatly over the last year, thanks to a new found patience while melting marshmallows. It’s probably due to this year’s classy drink selection of juice-boxed Pinot Grigio.”

1 Comment

Filed under Adventures

I Am The Decider

I updated my About page. Because really, has a gif ever described me as well as this?

“But I already have a drink. Do you think he’d buy me mozzarella sticks?”

Although, it’s not totally true. I worked out today! (Sober!) And I’m going camping! And I only ate half of the mac ‘n cheese I bought at Happy Hour last night! Woo!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Between Sleep And Awake

So here’s something totally personal and the perfect mixture of sweet and creepy:

I knew that my dad died before my mom told me. I knew that he died because I saw him leave.

My alarm clock is on the other side of my room, at least 20 feet away, so by the time I reach the snooze button I’m a little more conscious than I’d prefer. A few laps back and forth will perfectly place me in that state between awake and asleep, where I can hear birds chirping outside while still cognizant of the surroundings in my dreams.

I was there, in that place, when I saw him. But when it happened, I was acutely aware that it wasn’t a dream or my imagination – it was a completely different place that I had never seen or felt before. It was very real – but it wasn’t here.

It was dark, with a fuzzy green light. He was peaking around something like a corner, but it wasn’t quite him anymore. Not exactly an outline of him, but a fuzzy, faded version of him. While it was hard to make out his face, he looked happy but also kind of stern, which I attribute to the fact that my boyfriend was laying next to me. He looked back around the corner, towards where he was going, then back at me one last time, excited but rushed. And then he was gone.

While it might seem like the first instint would be to run upstairs and check on my dad, that’s not what I did. I mean, I saw him leave. He wasn’t upstairs anymore. I understood that there wasn’t any urgency.

Instead, I kissed Justin on the forehead to wake him up. As we laid there, I tried very hard to soak up the warmth, comfort and safety of the moment, because I knew that the second I walked upstairs and saw him, my life would change forever and I wouldn’t feel that peaceful again for a long, long time.

After 5 minutes or so, I got out of bed with a purpose. And just then, my mom came to the top of the stairs and called for me.

“He’s gone,” she said.

“I know,” I answered.

~~~*~~~

I wasn’t sure if I should tell that story on here. But if I don’t share it, I might forget – not that it happened, but the way it felt and looked. I remember those details better when I write them down. And I figure, right now the 50-or-so people who regularly come to this blog are people who actually know and care about me, so now would be the best time to write something so personal.

The real motivation, though, was coming across this scene on a random tumblr today. When I saw it, I immediately burst into tears:

That’s probably a sign. And as I’m beginning to learn, my dad likes sending those to me.

2 Comments

Filed under Sam I Am, Uncategorized

My Super Sweet CAT Scan



Have you guys ever been injected with iodine? Because it’s kind of



“You’ll start to feel warm,” he told me as he injected saline into my IV.

“Oh okay, good to know,” I said, averting my eyes to the ceiling.

“Like a hot flash.”

“Oh.”

“But before that? Like, right away? You’ll have this awful taste in your mouth.”

“Huh.”

“And then sometimes? People say it feels like they’re peeing their pants.”

“Oka-what?”

And guess what, dudes. IT TOTALLY FEELS LIKE YOU’RE PEEING YOUR PANTS.

The craziest part is it all happens in a few seconds. I mean, I’ve watched movies where people inject heroin and get shivery right away, but I’ve never thought about how bloodstreams work like that in real life. For some reason I thought I would have to sit and read a magazine for 10 minutes; the speed was completely unexpected. Well, this isn’t too bad. Hey, something tastes funny. I guess that’s the [WHOOSH] OH MY GOD I PEED MY PANTS.

And then he said, “Now, don’t move.”

3 Comments

Filed under Adventures, Conversations

An Update with Cheese

I lived through the night! However, I have to wear this nightguard for six months. And I have a CAT Scan this afternoon for unrelated nonsense. So my life remains in peril. Maybe Erin can make me some more Mac ‘n Cheese?

I’ve decided that for our housewarming, Justin and I are going to have a GRILLED CHEESE PARTY. Last night we finished Buffy season 4, and Justin met this dude:

Also, I am totally failing at this month’s Year Without goal. I’m going to keep attempting to do the Insanity Month 2 workouts and if I get a good run going, I’ll continue it til next month. But we’re doing so much loft stuff after work and I’ve been falling asleep later (I blame the computer and this nightguard) so it’s hard to wake up an hour early. And if I have to choose between exercise and sleeping 7-8 hours, these days I choose sleep. Melatonin makes it impossible to sleep any less, and NPR agrees with me that sleep is pretty important.

I’m determined to keep attempting it though (these last two weeks especially), and someday the habit will stick. I didn’t realize what a bad month this was to try. 😦

Tonight after my CAT scan, I get to eat beef from Moon Dance Farms! We might paint, depending on how I feel. Tomorrow I get to hang out with one of my oldest friends, Jane. (Her mom was my first grade teacher!) Saturday, we camp at The Spot. The leaves are insanely beautiful right now and hopefully I can take some pictures today – Missouri in the fall is the best. Big fun things are on the way!

2 Comments

Filed under The Year Without

I Pray Thee Lord, Please Don’t Take Me In This Save Ferris T-Shirt


This is a teeny tiny little mouthguard that I have to wear at night. Because of the “incident”, a few of my top teeth have the potential to get loose, so they want me to keep things steady for a while. It goes on my bottom teeth.

I am so terrified that it’s gonna pop out and I’m gonna choke on this thing.

(I have primer all over my hands and it won’t come off, if you’re wondering what that white stuff is.)

I used to have this ongoing fear that I would die in my sleep … I used to get panic attacks because I didn’t know when or if I would fall asleep. I had no idea that I had Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and back then I had no idea that the crazy feeling in my chest was anxiety. So I would just lay there, convinced I was going to die.

A long time ago I reasoned that if I kept a notebook next to my bed and wrote things to the people I loved, then at least they would know how I feel about them when I die. It helped, unless I was on Ambien and it veered off into beat poetry or whatever. I haven’t written in this notebook in at least a year, but Justin knows where it is.

Anyway I guess what I’m saying is I really hope I don’t die in my sleep tonight because I got drunk in Ireland and some dude dropped me on my face, but if I do there might be a heartfelt letter in it for you.

Also my autographed Save Ferris XXL t-shirt from the 1998 Warped Tour (the one I went to while jacked up on 4 No-Doz, because I hadn’t slept for 72 hours handtoGod) is my most very favorite nightshirt.

Leave a comment

Filed under Botheration

Jane Espenson, Superstar

Last night, I was explaining Twitter to Justin. I started telling him about retweets and @ replies, and I hit my @’s to show him. And unexpectedly, at the top of the list, there were a bunch of @ mentions – to me – from Jane Espenson.

Who is Jane Espenson? Only one of the most beloved TV writers ever. Even Justin knows who she is because during our Buffy/Wire Club, I’ll always say, “Oh, yay! This is one of Jane’s episodes!” In fact, we had just finished one of her episodes from Season 4 right before this happened.


Jane has written/produced/supervised most of my favorite shows, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Dollhouse and Angel. She was also an executive producer for Gilmore Girls, which isn’t one of my faves (Connecticut hate, you know) but people worship that show. She wrote my top two favorite Buffy episodes: “Pangs” and “Storyteller”. Her episodes are usually known for being brilliant comedic stand-alone stories, like the Jonathan-themed episode, “Superstar”. But she writes serious episodes, too – “Earshot” was actually pulled off of the air because of Columbine. She’s sort of a guru for anyone who wants to get into screenwriting.

When you listen to her commentaries (because on Buffy, the writers are just as important as the actors, if not more) she sounds like such a sweet, funny person. And I mean, look how cute!  I adore Jane Espenson.

So anyway, she had mentioned that she used to name products for a living. So I sent her this:

It’s a very small part of my job, but it’s my very favorite part. So anyway, she wrote this back:

I’ve been retweeted by a lot of people I admire (and shockingly, I haven’t mentioned most of them before). And while it’s such as stupid thing to get excited about, it’s fun to make a hero of mine laugh or catch their attention, even for a second. And out of all of those people, Jane is (okay, maybe Dave Holmes, too) a true paradigm of what I’d like to be. While Jane complimenting my fan name is such a teeny tiny insignificant compliment, it’s like an aspiring musician having Elvis Costello say to them, “I like what you’re humming,” or “That’s my favorite chord, too.” (I could probably give you a better analogy if my repertoire extended past “Hot Cross Buns”.)

Do you know what I mean? It’s so little, so this isn’t a braggy post at all (YOU GUYS I GOT RETWEETED I’M TOTALLY FAMOUS NOW RIGHT?); it’s more to let you know how awesome Jane is. But like Mark Twain said, I can live for two months on a good compliment. Hell, it’s more feedback than I usually get at work, anyway. Remind me to pay this forward.

1 Comment

Filed under Almost Famous

Elf Ears

You know what I did all weekend? Sat on my ass with this damn computer, catchin’ up on my True Bloods. Ring ring, hooker, ring ring.

I managed to rip myself away from my MacBook for my boyfriend, my best friend, a visiting Janternet and a table full of Squids. Feel honored, gang. It hurts to leave it. I feel like I should get some sort of honeymoon or maternity leave. Hmph.

I finally understand the appeal of Photobooth. It never stops being funny!

I made a very, very wise decision to wait until I finished the yard before I bought this. I am totally useless now. What was I saying about getting back to living? Pssh. I have Netflix!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHH

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve also finally reached the point of my Insanity Month 2 workouts where my endorphins are exploding. Combined with the computer, the pretty weather, TGIF-ness and a Halloween Candy sugar high,  I am ridiculously upbeat today. As I told Debbie earlier, “You’re lucky I didn’t hug you just now.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Back To Life

Now that I’m done with the yard, I can get back to living. And once life is more interesting for me to live, it will probably be more interesting for you to read about.

Right now, though, I’m still putting all the puzzle pieces into place. Justin and I have started decorating the bedroom. I picked Chocolate Truffle paint for the walls. I know the brown walls at the South City house were kind of a bust, but I picked a shade that tends to look orange-ish and much like other home improvement projects, Jason told me to get the wrong finish (semi-gloss) so it looked shiny. If the lights weren’t dimmed, it looked totally butt. But Chocolate Truffle is what I was going for all along – paint that looks yummy – and it’s from Martha, so I trust her.

We’re also leaning towards this cool shag rug that has lots of brown and blue mixed in, which will go great with all my navy and light blue stuff. First we paint, then pick the carpet, then Justin is building me a closet. I told him that he should make it like the closet in Overboard, but it’s Justin so of course he’s never seen Overboard. So now I’m demanding a secret passage to the bathroom.

We’re considering a Pebble Rug for the living room:

It seems silly out of context, but you have to remember that the focal point of the room is a TV attached to a tree house with screen doors and a cat ramp, for pete’s sake. And if you’ve known me since high school, you know that I’ve always lived in places with a Pee Wee’s Playhouse vibe.

Speaking of high school, I found a duffle bag full of notes from high school and the ones from Liz are hysterical.

My MacBook left China at 2am and now it’s on its way to me! EEEE! I wish Speck (or anyone) sold cases that looked like wood paneling. I’m very into wood paneling right now, the side effect of living in a 1979 basement. Also, this rug:

I’m still on a weight lost mission and that usually makes me anti-social, but this weekend I plan on meeting up with Janternet somewhere and hopefully seeing Jen and the rest of my main pals, too. Next weekend I’m hanging out with Jane and Kendra, then heading to The Spot, so that’ll be fun too.The Year Without workouts have been going okay, though I haven’t adjusted enough to make it all the way through the workouts and really feel the burn yet.

I haven’t taken sleeping pills in two months! And I can’t even remember the last time I had a beer; I’ve been on a wine kick lately if I drink at all, and my belly and blood pressure are appreciative.

Katie is doing Thriller classes at the Y again if anyone is interested! I chickened out last year (and you know, Dad stuff), but I think I might try again. I’ve been put on the spot at a couple weddings and I could barely remember any moves; THRILLER FAIL.

I’ve been given a bunch of new assignments at work, which is awesome because (a) job security, (b) the days go by so fast and (c) it’s nice to feel needed. Sometimes it’s lonely being the only writer there – like, I don’t think they understand my role at all – and I’ve been pretty depressed about that lately. Hopefully this is a step in a more positive direction.

When I look back at this blog, it seems like I’m usually on a mission – finding love, making friends, helping my folks – and now I’m sort of missionless, aside from my month-long mini-goals. The next steps are kind of boring, like losing weight and paying off my debt (still kicking ass at that, by the way). I’m not sure what’s headed my way, or which direction I’m trying to head, but when I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know.

And because this might be in your head now:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What I Did This Summer, Part Two

Here are the rest of the before and after pictures of my mom’s yard. Oh, and some stats:

  • Yard Bags filled: 143
  • Cases of Poison Ivy: 1
  • Golf Balls found: 17
  • Beer cans/bottles found: 6
  • Days my mom helped: 2
  • Days Justin helped: 1
  • Brown recluse spiders spotted: 28
  • Other spiders spotted: 14
  • Circumference of web I almost walked into: 4 ft.
  • Trips to Ace Hardware: 9
  • Compliments from dogwalkers: 24
  • Thumbs up from Mexican landscapers: 1

Okay, you ready?

This is the part that took me a month and a half to complete. It was. A bitch. The worst part wasn’t all the weeds below, but that patch of tall grass. It grew on vines and I had to dig all of it out, strand by strand.

To dig it out, first I had to clip all the grass as close to the ground as possible. Then I had to use a small cultivator (Garden Weasel) to break up the soil and pull up all the roots. Because I had to claw, bend, and pull repeatedly, this process took over a week.

I ended up with 15 grocery bags full of just roots, as well as amazing gluts:

Finally, I spread 10 bags of new soil and planted some ivy from different parts of the yard. Those stepping stones were already there, buried somewhere under the weeds:

Actually, I got the ivy from here:

STAIRS! You can’t tell because it’s wet in that picture, but I power washed the patio, too.

Here’s a 3 part panorama of the whole yard. I wish I had done this in the beginning. It will look better once the grass grows back and I murder that mole:

To reward myself for all my hard work (and the fact that I spent all my usual rent/bill money on repaying debt like an adult) I bought myself a Macbook! It’s coming in 3 days and it will be my very first computer ever!  I fought nature for 3.5 months so I deserve some technology, right?

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures, Picture Pages

What I Did This Summer, Part One

For those of you who don’t know, I moved back home this summer to help take care of my dying dad and to clean up the basement and backyard so my mom can sell the house. I highly recommend doing something like this if you’re feeling powerless about a loved one’s terminal illness or coping with a death. Chopping and pulling and digging and sweating is amazing therapy.

Before you ask, the reason the yard grew so out of control was the fact that my mom couldn’t leave my dad unless someone was watching him, even for a couple of hours in the backyard. Also, they’ve had that house for 35 years, and by the time you reach your mid 60’s, an ambitious yard grows faster than you can handle. This is why people move to condos. Anyway, my mom is much more responsible than these before pictures imply.

Below are some before and after pictures of the yard. You’ve already seen most of this collection if you’re my Facebook friend.

Corner 1, before and after:

Fitzer 1, before and after:

Fitzer 2 (front), before and after:

Fitzer 2 (back), before and after:

Tree growing in Fitzer, before and after:

Privets, before and after feat. Justin:

Back of garage, before and after:

Corner 2, before and after:

Back Ivy, after – that bare spot is all the ivy/weeds I had to rip out of the ground:

Stay tuned for Part 2 – this includes the spot that took me a month and a half!

1 Comment

Filed under Adventures, Picture Pages

Year Without – Update #10

I lost 8 pounds! Not the 10 I was aiming for, but pretty good considering all the legendary sugar cookies that Kendra fed me yesterday. I’m at a weight I haven’t been in almost a year, so I’m happy.

For October, I’m going to do Month 2 of Insanity. I’ve gotten through Month 1 three times so far, but life (or, you know, death) keeps interfering with Month 2. I’m almost done with the yard – seriously, 1.5 gardens and some “recon” and that’s IT – so I feel like I can get insane without overworking myself now. Month 2 is extremely challenging. Month 1 – the one everyone tries and bitches about – is only there to prepare you for Month 2. Month 1 is nothing. Month 2 is terrifying.

When I move into the loft I’m getting a treadmill. Justin thinks I’m stupid because we live very close to a Y but first of all, the Y is across the street from a hardcore rehab where people OD all the time and a few doors down from the religious public access channel where homeless people hang out and like to holler at me. The Loft District is getting cute, but there are still mad break-ins and muggings every day. I don’t want to walk alone at dusk with an iPod and I refuse to drive 50 ft. to go running.

Besides, he always gets crabby when I ditch him to workout, and this will cut at least 30 minutes out of my daily routine. And I hate monthly bills. The last time I had a treadmill, I used it enough to justify the purchase. Expect running  to be a Year Without goal at some point.

For the next 4 months (because I plan on keeping up these month-long resolutions next year; life is more fun when you try to surprise yourself) the month-long goals will probably revolve around fitness or weight loss. I’m trying very hard to get to the recommended weight for someone my height and age and since I’m extremely short, I have a long way to go. I’m determined to do this and people like my buddy Jane have inspired me to keep it up. Also, moving in with a boyfriend who likes to cook can be dangerous, you know?

I think it will be pretty amazing to ring in my Thirties at a weight I haven’t been since middle school (or possibly since Europe; I never weighed myself over there). But more importantly, as I grow (*inhale*) older (*exhale*), my relationship with food and alcohol and my body has changed a lot, and so has my metabolism. It’s time to establish some new routines and habits so that I don’t have to think about this stuff anymore. I have to start worrying about old people shit like blood pressure and credit scores, you know?

That being said, I really hope Kendra has some of those sugar cookies left.

2 Comments

Filed under The Year Without