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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MonstroLoss

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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Decade

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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