Monthly Archives: September 2011

To The Left, To The Left

A few more wedding pictures:

The aforementioned bus with a stripper pole. I am to the left, probably texting Justin with, “This bus has a stripper pole!”

Tower Grove. I’m all the way to the left. My cousin paired me with the tallest groomsman. She knows me so well.

The infamous trip to Tin Can. Uh, see that guy sitting to the left of me? Doesn’t he look exactly like Chaz Bono?

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Since I live next door to the City Museum, I was extra sad to hear that Bob Cassilly died yesterday. When I open the garage door in the morning, MonstroCity is hovering over me, giving me an extra dose of inspiration as I head to the office to be creative for 8 hours. Every day, I drive through that huge concrete snake fence and appreciate its coolness (though, it is a bitch to see around, and wedding parties like to pose in front of it and block my car). I get to see the crowd that it draws to the city, which helped fuel the downtown revival that has made my street so amazing. Where else could I wave at people on a Ferris wheel from my roof? On beautiful days when I can open the windows, my loft is full of the sound of kids laughing and and playing.  And when there’s live music outside at the City Museum? There’s free live music in my room!

All of that, along with so many beautiful touches all over the city, is because of Bob. He had such an amazing mind and amazing talent–please read this if you don’t know who he is. St. Louis has lost one of our greatest. RIP.

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Parenthetically Speaking

Nothing important to say, really. The problem with living and working downtown–living on the best street and working at the best (but busiest) place– is that I never leave anymore. The weeks all bleed together and I only hang with my coworkers (who are amazing, but I miss my friends). I’ve also really been slacking in terms of working out and what I eat. Before, I was searching for monotony. Now that the wedding and all my other obligations are over, I’ve found it, but it’s nothing worth writing about.

I took a couple months off of The Year Plus (at least once a year, I have a complete nervous breakdown, you know how it is), and that was a huge mistake. So, to make up for it: I’m running 100 miles in 3 weeks! It’s been 5 days and I’ve knocked out 28 so far. Next month, I plan on hanging out with at least one non-work friend a week and doing crunches every day.

Media wise, here’s the disgusting amount of things I’ve read/watched/heard lately and loved:

  • The Hunger Games trilogy
  • The Help (the book–so good, as soon as I finished it, I started reading it again)
  • Willpower (which Erin F. will be happy to know kicks off with an Amanda Palmer story)
  • Doctor Who (up to season 6 and OBSESSED)
  • All my CW stories
  • Parks and Rec
  • Revenge (I’m sorry. I’m sorry! I love it already.)
  • Modern Family (my awesome bosses have converted me)
  • Fringe (this makes me the happiest of all)
  • Six Feet Under (the latest show Justin and I are watching together)
  • Mountaintops by Mates of State (yes Captain, I love it)

After a summer of only watching 2 shows at a time, I feel a little grossed out by the amount of TV I wanted to watch this week. So, I might just keep up my current pace, and just catch up on one show a week. And whatever I do: no cable!

So … see? This is why I haven’t written in a while; I’m caught up in my own world with my own goals and I love it, but it’s not worth reading. And while I used to just use all my brainpower to blog all day at an easy job that I hated, now I come home with most of my energy depleted. However, I’ve had a couple people bug me to write, so I here you go (and I’m sure they’re regretting it now).

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I’ll write soon. Things are nuts.


Speaking of (bloody) nuts, my partner Kim treated a bunch of us to The Room of horror movies, Pieces. So funny!

NSFW–and apologies for the end. We were just as horrified:

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Dog Days

Here’s a link to the video Kim and I helped make. You can see us in the Making Of video! We’re almost to 40,000 hits as of today, which is cool.

Full disclaimer: I did not name this video.


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Okay, Fine

The wedding was pretty fun. The hairdresser basically gave me a beehive, and while the back looked amazing, the front was so ridiculous that I couldn’t take myself seriously for the rest of the day. I will say, it complemented the retro dress that I picked out.

In addition to the massive wedding party, my cousin had a videographer, doves, a party bus with a stripper pole, a photobooth, and more. My cousin’s friends are pretty funny, in a fratty Illinois kind of way, and they can really put back a drink or 600. The bridesmaids were drinking champagne and beer and white wine and Wild Turkey, all while serenading the happy couple with every Usher song imaginable. I spent most of the ride talking to my cousin Bryan and people watching behind my sunglasses.

The worst was when they decided to stop for drinks at the Tin Can on Morganford. Can you imagine a bus with flashing lights and a pole, blaring Jason Derulo, pulling up in front of Hipster/Cool Kid City? And then about 30 drunk Illinois kids dressed in hot pink pouring into the bar? The bartenders and patrons were hysterically horrified. I think this is the first time in my life where I prayed that I wouldn’t bump into anyone I know. (Although, I kind of wish I had because: hilarious.)

Also, I love my family, and any time I can party with my Grandma is worth a pink dress and a can of hairspray.

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Today everyone is posting about where they were and how they found out. I’m not sure why, like one person’s story is more important than another person’s story, but whatever. I’ll bite.

I was in London, sitting in one of the Queen’s many parks. Class was out for the day and I had the whole afternoon free. The school pub was planning on having a “Latin Fever” party in the school pub that night and we were all psyched for cheap tequila.

In hindsight, I saw the signs before I knew. A crying girl ran by me in the hallway, which I attributed to homesickness. I saw a group of rich EBS (European Business School) kids crowded around a TV in the library, and I shook my head in disgust because EBS kids were always talking on their cell phones and yelling and acting like assholes in the library.

While the rest of the world was watching everything unfold on live TV, I was–I shit you not–sitting under a willow tree, writing in my journal and feeding ducks. To my left? A Japanese garden. To my right? A waterfall. I swear to God, every 10 minutes a swan would glide by as I wrote about how much I was loving my new life in London.

This is why I won’t be posting where I was on Facebook.

When I got back, Yolanda frantically ran up to me, asking if I knew how to find the American Cafe where they play CNN. “Why? What’s wrong?” I asked. She waved her hand in front of my face. “Where have you been?” She asked, before adding, “We got bombed.”

The two TVs I had access to were on the other side of the campus, and I was standing next to a very remote payphone in the stairwell to my dorm room. From the look on Yolanda’s face, I knew every phone would be tied up soon. Jen ran by me in tears, which told me it was worse than I thought. So I called my dad.

My dad had a very unique way of sharing news. Small things were urgent, upsetting. “We’re out of Diet Coke! Oh no! What do we do?” Big things were delivered matter-of-factly, with a shrug. “Well, Grandpa died.”

My dad stayed at home all day listening to TV and the radio, so he was command central. “Well, there was this plane … and then this other plane … and they don’t know where this other plane is … could you hold on? My bacon is done.”

I called my boyfriend Tim, who had a stutter, and he was so upset that he couldn’t get any words out and had to hand the phone to his roommate.

I called my mom, and to this day I tear up when I remember the tearful, tired way she said, “Stephie?”

And I called my Grandma, who is from the Greatest Generation and said nothing would stop her from getting on a plane to Florida later that month.

THEN I went to the TV room, which was completely packed. We had one 15 minute BBC news reel that played over and over. Jen and I huddled together on the couch and we must have looked terrified, because the Dean of the school sat between us, put his arms around us, and told us it would be okay.

2-week-old friendships that were just starting to form immediately leapt into lifelong bonds. Darren, Steve, Frank, Ray, Kevin and of course Jen became some of my best friends that day.

I went outside to chain smoke with Ian and Gina, and we watched the planes circle overhead on their way back to Heathrow, because no one was allowed to be in the air anymore. Douchebag Max walked by with a half-finished bottle of tequila, muttering, “Let’s get drunk,” something my friends and I still quote til this day.

And of course, the roof, something that both I appreciate and makes me roll my eyes 10 years later.

There are like 10,000 other little images and moments, and a million observations about being in Europe at the time that I could make, but I didn’t have access to television the first time around. I’m soaking in all this archived footage and released tapes and memorial coverage and finally starting to understand what all of you went through the first time around. Clearly, your story is more important than mine.

I read this one every year on 9/11, and I suggest you do the same.

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Here Comes The Tears

There’s another reason why I’ve been so anxious about my cousin’s wedding. I mean, besides the fact that I look ridiculous in fuchsia. Besides the fact that strapless bras aren’t built for girls like me. Besides the fact that my hair is so sad (yes, in England that is an actual term on the packaging–“flat and sad“) that hairdressers remark about it as loud as possible in a room full of girls who consider hair their best asset, and then they all stare at me and whisper and wonder if they could possibly live with hair like mine. Yes, this happens. Yes, I hear you. Yes, life is possible and you develop other assets, like brains.

The biggest reason I’m anxious about my cousin’s second wedding is because of what happened at the first one.

I’ve always known that my dad would never make it to my wedding. The walk down the aisle, the toast, the first dance–since I was a little girl, I’ve always known that those would be moments we would never share. And it hurts. Even when he was still alive, even after years of accepting this fact, even after realizing that I hate weddings anyway for all the reasons listed above, I would see these moments at other weddings and it hurt.

My brother and his wife basically eloped, so when my dad and I were both present at my cousin’s first wedding, I knew it was probably the last wedding we would ever attend together. At the time, he was still relatively healthy, but I knew. I always knew.

I spent her whole reception waiting for a slow song–one that wasn’t too romantic, one that felt right, one that of course I can’t remember the name of today, though my mom has it on video somewhere–and I asked my dad to dance.

And the whole time we were dancing, I tried as hard as I could to remember that moment. I asked him about when he married my mom. He laughed and told me stories. Then I closed my eyes, put my head on his shoulder (which was hard because we were the same height), and pretended the moment was ours.

No one else knew it, not even him, but that dance was our Father-Daughter Dance at my wedding. Morbid much? Yeah. But in hindsight, I’m glad I did.

So tomorrow, I’m going to be thinking about that a lot. And I’m pretty hormonal this week as it is, which always makes me cry about him more than usual. So it’s going to be hard as hell to hold it all in, especially when my uncle is walking my cousin down the aisle–for the second time, so unfair–and I’m standing in front of everyone with no discreet way to blow my nose.

I want to end this on a happier note, so I’ll tell you something that I told everyone about in person but never wrote about: when I told Justin that my dad was on hospice, the first thing he said was, “I need to talk to your dad.”

And he came over, sat next to my dad’s bed, and asked my dad if he could marry me … someday. They talked for a long time and most of it is a secret between them. Isn’t that the cutest?

So my dad and I missed a lot of our moments, but thanks to Justin, at least we have one. Oh! And did you know my parents got married at St. Justin’s? Hahaha.

Seriously, though: tomorrow. Does anyone have a valium I can borrow?

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City Mouse, Country Mouse

I’ve been listening to the Dead Man soundtrack when I write lately, and I can’t get enough of it.

This weekend is my cousin’s wedding–finally–and after this, my only real goal til the end of the year is saving up $2000 for my surgery. Man, I miss the days when I could ask my mom and grandma for help with things like this, or even the days when my ex  offered to pay for this stuff because it was at least half his fault. (I turned him down at the time because my mom automatically paid for it, even though she couldn’t afford it, and because … I loved him? Because I’m an idiot? I don’t know.)

This week is the first week that feels like fall, and I am absolutely in love with living downtown right now. I walk everywhere–to work, the grocery store, the general store, shops, CityGarden, the Y, etc. With the giant buildings, sounds of the buses, tables on the sidewalk surrounded by pigeons, and a crazy mix of rich folks, scrubby artists and homeless people, this is the closest I’ve felt to living in London since I was actually there–ten whole years ago!

Speaking of, the Jersey boys are coming back for a reunion! I can’t wait. I wish we could spend a little more time in my neighborhood–I’m so proud of my city, especially my street and how crazy it gets on the weekends–but we’ll be spending most of our time at the farm for The Spot, and that’ll be prettier, more peaceful, and cheaper (see above) at least. And they’ll get to finally meet Pancakes the Cow, who they helped name during our last group trip to IHOP.

I’m also nervous about The Spot because Justin can only go for one night, and I depend on him a lot when it comes to sleep these days. We spent the first 2/3 of our relationship sleeping on a twin bed in the treehouse, so these days I still fall asleep the fastest with my head on his shoulder, totally wrapped up in his arms–something that always seemed ridiculously uncomfortable until I met him. I’m hoping all the running around the farm will wear me out so I can crash right away.

It sucks that Justin barely gets to meet my friends, but with so many people at the farm, I suppose he wouldn’t get to talk to them much anyway. (And when we London folks get together, it’s hard to translate our 2,000 inside jokes anyway.) But his mom lives close to Steve and he’s always wanted to go to New York, so we can always plan more trips to hang out with them and have even more stuff to look forward to.

After a long talk with Justin, we decided it was time for me to take sleeping pills again. But NOT Ambien. For the past two nights, I’ve been taking Ativan, which is meant to help with anxiety but I’ve always taken it because it makes me tired. Its been working well, but I only plan on taking it for a week or so to get my circadian rhythm back on track (or as close as I can get it to on track, anyway).

It feels so good to sleep, it feels incredible to walk downtown in the fall, it’ll be awesome to see some of my oldest, closest friends, and it will be nice to relax outdoors for a weekend. Now if I can just survive 16 hours in a fuschia dress and clown make-up, I’ll be good to go.

UNRELATED: A friend of mine was in a really awful motorcycle wreck a couple days ago. No brain or spinal damage, but he broke his leg, arm, hip, pelvis and punctured a lung, among other things. He should be okay eventually, but he’s still not breathing on his own and it will be a long road to recovery. So if you pray, please pray for him. And if you don’t pray, please avoid being a dick about me asking people to pray thaaaanks.

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The Sleepy Games

My sleep disorder decided to erupt in the past week–this is the worst it’s been in years. So, I decided to take it easy this weekend. Aside from a couples “Stock the Bar” shower and hanging with an old friend, I’ve mostly been running, reading, sleeping or doing some writing that I was too tired to do during the week.

Justin has finally met the Sleep-Deprived Stephie that I’ve warned him about since we first met, and I have to say, he handled it like a champ. Even though sleep deprivation makes me irritable, irrational, anxious, and basically mentally deficient, I’m trying very hard to warn him about my mood swings as they come and to educate him (and basically remind myself) about what is actually happening to me.

Chronic Sleep Deprivation is an invisible disability–meaning, people don’t understand it because they can’t see it, so they just think you’re being a crybaby or an asshole or an idiot in general. There are plenty of people from my past who were affected by it who, to this day, don’t realize that sleep deprivation is why I acted that way. My mom still rolls her eyes when I say that I’m tired. Rachael still jokes about the anxiety attacks I used to have, and doesn’t understand how offensive it is. I can’t even imagine the things my ex-boyfriend says about me.

I’m trying very hard to approach it with awareness this time around, so that Justin doesn’t become one of those people. I’m also apologizing for it every 10 seconds, which I realize is totally annoying, but there are people I never got to explain and apologize to, like my dad, and I never want to do that again.

One good thing about this weekend is that I’ve read almost the entire Hunger Games trilogy, and it’s AWESOME! I just finished running 5 miles, so I plan on doing nothing but reading the last book for the rest of the evening.




Filed under Sleep Disorderly Conduct, Uncategorized

License to Snooze

Still working 12 hour days and sleeping 4 hour nights, which leads to a boring life and incoherent writing. SOOO not much to tell you, except that Questlove walked by me at the Chase Park Plaza. HOWEVER! Justin finally got a car. And I got insanely jealous, because it’s a 2012 Honda Fit!

He hasn’t formally announced the new addition to our family on Facebook yet, so don’t tell him I told you. But look how cute:

It wasn’t intentional (the tsunami means Fits are hard to come by, so you take whatever color you can find) but now we both have silver Hondas. We also found out yesterday that we have the same oral surgeon. We’re starting to annoy ourselves.

Someday I’ll have a life again and can write about things besides my boyfriend. And someday I will get my own dream car–the Grand Wagoner that I pass every day on my way to the general store. I am obsessed with this thing.

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