My birthday weekend was pretty great. I finished two huge projects on Friday (and either totally kicked their asses or assisted some amazing art directors in kicking ass), got the call that my cervix is coo and I am cancer-free on both ends, ate too much, drank too much, got awesome cobalt glass stuff from my mom, a Hannah Montana card with STICKERS from my grandma, and some sweet bubble bath bombs from Justin. I mostly stayed in, just being fat and lazy, but Friday night I hung out with Vee and she introduced me to kale–yum!
Today I start P90X. I’m doing the workout after work. I’m attempting to start the diet today, but my coworkers have already threatened to bring in an insane amount of goodies, and with my luck the gyro truck will show up today, too. I’m waiting til after work to do the ‘before’ weight and measurements, but if these pants are telling me anything, it’s not going to be pretty.
Like 10 minutes after I found that picture, I went to the Washington Ave. Post and found this wine, with a fat hippo on it. And then I drank it. And then I ate the hippo.
Okay, I got the dress in the mail. And while it’s surprisingly roomy in the ass, I can’t zip it up. No surprises there, but the fact is … this may be a ribcage issue rather than a fat issue? Because the zipper stops where my ribs start. Who knows, I may shock myself. But if the problem is my bone structure, then I won’t be hurt.
Also, awesome Ben loaned me his Iron Gym so that I can do chin-ups during p90x. And by chin-ups, I mean approximately 1/16th of a chin-up and lots of whining.
Here is the image that will be my fuel on Monday:
Me, in my half-zipped short poofy wedding dress (and a cardigan), dangling helplessly from a chin-up bar in my bathroom doorway. Never forget. I know my neighbors won’t.
Two more wedding things and then I will shut up about it for a while:
1. Today my Grandma emailed me with an idea that all the moms, grandmas and sisters could wear a “hair ornament (HO)” for a uniform look. Then she proceeded to ramble about all the ways this HO could be decorated, the possible color of the HO, a big HO vs. small HO, how much she loves HOs, etc.
2. I need to start a running tally of all the ways my mom mispronounces Mad Art Gallery. So far: Mad Hat, Mad Hatter and today’s classic, Mat Hat.
As to this dress, it’s really cute and I love the top. However, I think a person needs to have really gorgeous legs and knees for it to look right. The bride in the top picture looked like she was bow legged. It definitely did not look good on her. My eyes were drawn to her legs and not to the dress. The 2nd girl with the darker hair had gorgeous legs, but the dress looked even shorter. Think in terms also of what your pictures will look like.
This is what my mom considers bow legged and “definitely not good”:
You guys, according to this standard, I am hella bow legged. Maybe I could just pay for the photographer myself?
Jane and I are meeting up at Dewey’s tonight so she can loan me her P90X. (Hey, if we’re talking about fitness, I count it as a workout.)
However, I just looked over all the manuals and things she emailed me last week (JANE ROCKS!) that go along with it, and holy crap. If I really want to do this right (I ignored the Insanity Diet completely, which was probably my downfall), then it’s going to take a lot of discipline and a lot of planning. I may need a week to get my shit together before I can actually start this. (Which is probably good anyway, considering how much food people throw at me during my birthday week.)
Do I really need to do this? Well, I think I found my wedding dress. (!!) It’s a BCBGMAXAZRIA from last year, but I found it new online for crazy cheap. And by cheap, I mean cheap enough that I went ahead and bought it with my own money, and if it doesn’t work out I can just resell it on eBay.
The downside? They only had it in a size 4. Eek! I can get myself into a size 6 with no problem–I’ve done it many times–but I’ve never tried to aim for 4 before. To give you an idea of what I’m working with, I’m currently (re: barely) a size 8. But like I said, if I can’t get into it by THIS May, then I can just resell it with plenty of time to buy a different dress.
Either way, I’ve discovered that the secret for cost-conscious, casual girls is to search for a wedding reception dress rather than an actual wedding dress. I mean, can you see me in some big foofy get-up? Me either.
Heather demanded at gunpoint requested that I write about last weekend.
One of my best friends, Ty, had a party last weekend to celebrate his divorce. It was pretty great, the entire old group from high school was there, minus Warren. (Tony, Peter, Adam, Ty, Heather, and me–plus a bonus Jake who is impressively recovering from his motorcycle wreck.) Adam and Heather saw each other for the first time in 10 years and their hug was the greatest thing I’ve seen in a while.
I wish I had taken a picture of the cake; Peter and Tony had Schnucks write “FREEDOM” on the top. This is one of our favorite jokes, because when Ty was grounded for a month during our senior year of high school, we would scream, “FREEDOM!” out the window every time we drove by his house. Sometimes we would take an extra trip around the block to scream it twice.
“Remember that, Cathy?” we asked his mom gleefully at the party, and she just rolled her eyes and laughed. Ty’s mom is awesome.
I did warn Justin in advance: “She will hug you. A lot. And maybe scream. And she’ll tell you that she knew we would get married from our first picture.”
So when Heather and her husband walked in and she spotted him, she paused and said, “I have to be weird. Okay?” Then she opened her arms and waved him over. “Come here.” After the longest hug, she held his shoulders and looked him in the eyes. “So, I knew from the first picture …”
I also met Heather’s husband for the first time; he is perfect.
“Stephanie knows me so well,” she told him. “I mean, what do I always want when I’ve had a bad day?” she said.
“My penis,” he answered with no hesitation. Then: “I’m sorry. My enormous penis.”
Later, after Tony proclaimed that his fiance has a “donk”, Heather made us all look at her ass. This happened just before she left, too, in the presence of Ty’s mom and her boyfriend. “LOOK AT IT. IT’S AMAZING. YOU WILL NEVER SEE A BETTER ASS THAN THIS. LOOK AT IT. LOOK.”
Point of story: I fucking love Heather. I’ve known her since 4th grade. She’s a good egg.
Other point of story: Justin survived my friends. He’s a keeper. (Though, he has yet to meet the Scandalous Rach(a)els.)
We just signed the contracts and booked the venue, which means we’ve officially set the date! Although, after all of the paperwork and handing over a $1,500 deposit, we kind of feel like we got married already.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some celebration alligator sausage cheesecake to eat before I become a fitness and calorie-obsessed crazy lady.
I met with my trainer Patrick last night. I think I threw him for a loop because I either rocked moves (free weights, weird crunches) or couldn’t do them at all (one-legged squat, chin ups). I’m going to start meeting with him at the beginning of next month, and hopefully Steve is burning my P90X as we speak.
He thinks he’ll be able to get me to do a chin up in 10 weeks, which is adorable. I took Weight Lifting during my entire senior year of high school and centered my entire curriculum around doing a chin up, and after 9 months–where I lost 45 pounds and could bench 75% of my weight–I STILL couldn’t do one. I’m going to attempt one every time I visit the Y, so maybe that will help? Doubtful.
I’ve also created a little morning/lunch workout to do in my office which includes the one-legged squat. Seriously, all those meathead dudes watch me run 5-10 miles at a time every week and I felt like we were at a level playing field–now I can’t even do 10 reps of some bullshit move? It was mortifying. Ugh. Anyway, I can’t really walk today but I feel super buff. I would rather be drinking. 😦
I know I was going to work on Faith later in the year, but on a whim I decided to attend church this Sunday.
It’s called The Gathering, which sounds a little creepy and culty, but that’s sort of the trend with any younger, larger church these days. Also, I grew up in a church where people speak in Tongues and fall over and read Left Behind, so nothing can really faze me these days, outside of blatant bigotry and political stuff that makes me nauseous.
This is me, at least once a weekend, ever since always. (Minus the jerking off with warpaint or whatever that paragraph is about.) Justin has lived alone so long that when we first started dating, he didn’t understand my wish for alone time at all. As Sartre says, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” When I am home alone, it is the world’s greatest PJ party. Always.
(I know I had that Stephen Fry letter posted in this entry a minute ago, but I reread it and I was like, “You know what? That’s a pretty letter but that’s total bullshit. Unless you have a chemical imbalance, you can trick your brain and nourish your body and feel any way you decide to feel. And even with the imbalance, you have pills and can at least try. So whatever. One philosophy: Only YOU can treat yo self. I can live with that.)
Well, the attic cave isn’t going to work out (it’s too small, not to mention named after a dick), which stinks but now I can show you how cool it looks. (We have another venue we like more, anyway.) Look how pretty!
Bottom: The latest YMCA Incentive T-shirt. I had to do the bullshit elliptical for this. It’s Justin’s first one!
Top: The Squids’ new Fish Fry Team shirt. (Hell, we have shirts for everything else, so why not? We win at Fish Frys.) The front is a Squid eating a Christian fish. I still kind of look like Mary Jo Buttafuoco when I smile.
Speaking of Squids:
Since he played a big part in us meeting, King Squid RØB will be performing the ceremony. Don’t tell my mom how weird he is.
Work is hell, but somehow we’re managing to squeeze 7 venue tours into a week and a half. Hopefully we’ll nail down a place (and a date) (and Ben) by the end of next week. Contestants include a glass-blowing factory, a former police station with jail cells, a carousel, an art gallery, a nightclub with fiber-opticy drapes, and a giant attic that looks a little like a wooden cave. I’m really hoping the cave attic works out, but your food might be kind of lame; just warning you.
We had to push the date to 2013 because of scheduling stuff that’s out of our hands. It made me sad at first, but at least this way we can have our pick of venues and I know I’ll appreciate the extra time more and more each day.
Just so I don’t let this thing drop off before I’ve started, January’s goal is to hire a personal trainer at my Y and/0r get Steve to finally burn me the P90X dvds he promised me. I’m pretty good at getting in shape on my own, but I have the feeling I could be using different machines and free weights. I’m sort of in a rut with those. I want to be semi-ripped by April.
I had my surgery this morning. Ooooh anesthesia. Ooooh gurl. Oooooh OOH. Now I understand what everyone was talking about! I mostly maintained my composure; the girl next to me collapsed into a clearly-never-high-before fit of giggles. (Not that I’ve ever been high before. Internet.)
So far the swelling and pain aren’t too bad (unless you are talking about how much my wallet hurts). The real ugly starts tomorrow, apparently.Justin is an amazingly great caretaker and even had a stuffed monkey waiting for me in the car when they walked me out.
I didn’t really have a panic attack before my surgery like I thought I would. Turns out the drugs are in the IV; I fell asleep waiting for the mask everyone told me about. I’m pretty grateful for that. I did get kinda emotional on the way there because this is my very first surgery, and everything about it reminded me about my Dad.
I haven’t really found the time to get into this on the blog, but I was recently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s from the last few years with my dad. I’ll go into it more some other time, but I’m still crying about him at least once a day. It’s usually less than a minute, but it’s not about grief or missing him. It’s flashbacks, anger, and just thinking about everything he went through. I can’t stop putting myself in his shoes and it’s painful, but I’m aware that what I witnessed was pretty traumatizing and this is a common reaction. I’ve gone back to awesome Dave and have some good books and techniques to work on, but going through my first surgery hit a little too close to home in that area.
And well, there was a little grief today. If anyone could have calmed me down and walked me through this, it would have been him. But I tried to imagine what he would have said, and that helped a lot. Getting to say, “My fiance” like 10 times when the nurses asked me about my driver helped, too.
Blah Blah Wedding Cakes:
My favorite photographer (Ben of the Beth Grant video awesomeness) is free on the date that I want! Biggest priority is booking a venue in the next few weeks. This is not a section about cakes; we already know we’re copying off my cousin for that because it was fucking delicious. (If you don’t know what “Blah Blah Cakes” is about, then you must be younger than me, at least where the Internet is concerned.)
So, remember when I said I had no responsibilities for the New Year, so I could focus on all this stuff and get my life under control?
Well, approximately 5 hours later, this happened:
Sorry, this is the only picture I have of me with my ring. I’m engaged!
Yup! It happened on New Year’s Eve. I had just gotten back from saying goodbye to my niece, so I was sniffly and exhausted. I laid down for a rare nap, and Justin said he had something to show me. It was a video set to “Alley Cats” by Hot Chip with tons of pictures and videos of us, including a bunch from when we were kids.
Every now and then there would be random scenes from old Nintendo games. First it was scenes of the main characters running, then there was a montage of big fights (Mike Tyson’s Punchout was the best), and finally at the end, a montage of scenes where the guy rescues the princess. (Erin was right to cry, “Nerds!” when I told her this part, but with the song and his editing, somehow it worked and was insanely sweet.)
The whole time I was watching it, I was like, “Is he going to propose?” But the video ended, and there was a long pause. I waited a few beats just in case, then finally told him that I loved it.
But before I could finish my sentence, I heard 8-bit music blaring out of the speakers, and a perfect Zelda takeoff appeared:
And then all of a sudden he was on his knee with a ring. It’s adorable and totally me; it looks like a peapod. You can kinda see it if you click & enlarge that picture. He got it from this tiny jewelry store by my parent’s house because a long time ago, my dad bought my mom a pair of emerald earrings from there. Every time we walked by that place, I would tell Justin about how I drove my dad there to pick up the earrings and he was so excited when he saw them, like a little kid. “Stephie! They’re perfect!” my Dad yelled as he ran back to the car. I get emotional every time I picture how happy he was; it’s hard for me to tell that story without crying. So it means the world to me that Justin bought the ring there.
Oh yeah, in addition to asking my Dad for permission a year and a half ago when he was on hospice, Justin asked my mom and brother this weekend, too. And he said that he decided to propose to me on that day exactly a year ago.
He rented a chauffeured Town Car for the night, so we could drink and celebrate while we party-hopped. The first stop was Ari’s, a Greek restaurant where we had our first dinner date for our one month anniversary. The staff and people sitting around us were so excited for us.
After that we went to Brent’s friends house–a mansion in Webster Groves with an actual speakeasy in the basement! All the fixtures, furniture and everything is from the twenties, fully restored. There was a foxhunting mural on the walls, antler tap handles, and red leather couches and stools. They even made a batch of moonshine served in mason jars!
After that, our driver George took us to Nick and Jessica’s house so I could tell all my friends in person, which was so great. To get from one party to the other, we drove through Webster, so we passed our college (where we had a class together freshman year) and the bar where he first asked me out. All in all, a perfect night!
Yesterday, Justin and I spent the entire day in our PJs, playing with our Christmas presents (Apple TV and Kindle Fire), then Erin invited a bunch of us over for Hoppin’ John, a traditional stew that ensures good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. Erin made it so obviously it was amazing.
Today (I have literally been waiting 25 years to say this:) I saw The Muppets with my fiance. (I spotted Cloud during the first dance number! Haha!) Then we planned the shit out of our wedding. We’ve already roughly picked the date, the wedding party, officiant, photographer, guest list, invitations and save the dates. I haven’t even gotten my ring sized yet! I have a hair-tie looped onto the back!
So yeah, some of those Fs (finances, anyone?) may be going out the window. But now I have some sort of dress I have to fit into and some pictures I have to look hot for, so it’s time to get my ass into gear. This month, the main goals are hiring a trainer and picking a venue. Oh, and finally blogging about The Spot.
Wedding Stuff You May or May Not Care About:
I refuse to turn my blog into a wedding blog or an eventual baby blog. So aside from rare long entries about it, in the future I’ll be throwing all the details I feel compelled to share at the bottom of entries for you to ignore. You’re welcome!