Thursday, October 28


Have you ever had a little moment of clarity that was just so exciting you don't know how to express it? Well, far be it from me not to try. I mean, I'm the chick whose motto is pretty much:

"Oooh, I've had an emotion. Let me tell you about it!"

Really. I know how not cute that attribute can be. But, as indicated, this is my little arena for self-expression. So, to quote my Portuguese brother Emeril, "Get yourself one of those frozen things and get back here."

Once upon a time, I was a stunningly gorgeous and very young woman. One who had NO idea whatever that I was pretty or even smart. Technically, I knew I was smart – I’d seen my aptitude test results and knew my IQ – but I completely missed the joy of it, certainly. And I absolutely had no idea I was physically attractive. This is the most amazing phenomenon; I’m not alone in this situation, either. Over the last four years (in particular,) I’ve met a rack of fabulous, funny, brilliant, beautiful women who lived with the exact same self-perception that I did. [At this point, I’d like to recommend reading Reviving Ophelia, as it explains how all that odd self-perception is likely to have happened.]

But my point, and I really do have one, is that most of us have thankfully moved beyond the point where we see ourselves as “fat and/or ugly” and have stared seeing ourselves as valuable, sparkling, lovely, intelligent people. Some of us even think we’re mucho caliente! We are. But back to my clarity thing: I recently had the neatest flash of inspiration about how I knew I’d moved successfully into a different self-perception when I re-read some journals I’d written as a teenager and some poetry and an essay that I’d written in college.

The journals are from mission trips I participated in when I was 18 and 19 years old. Both the trips and the journals are some of my greatest treasures – the journals fall under the category of things I’d rescue from my burning house – and I’ve read them often over the last 16 years. Each time I’ve turned their pages, one of the strongest things that comes through to me is how insecure I was when I wrote it. And, until the most recent time, that insecurity has made me feel deeply, deeply sad for the girl who wrote them. She was lonely and so sure she would make a fool of herself that she wouldn’t even let loose in writing that was completely private.

This most recent time I read the journals, however, I just loved that girl! I felt almost like her mommy. I was proud of her for going on adventures to foreign countries and for being as brave as she could be. I remembered the love she showed to others, even while entirely unsure of herself. She was funny, even though she didn’t know it. She was smart, even though she wasn’t convinced of it. I loved her constant endeavor to communicate in a language in which she wasn’t fluent. I loved her for climbing up the side of a muddy mountain in Honduras to build things.

That girl was preparing for a life she knew nothing about, and she did it with abandon, even when she was too scared to write it down. I wanted to hug her and tell her how much she had to look forward to! And how strong she was going to be. And to put all of it down on the page so she could remember it even better when she was older.

Her words on the page were still insecure, and even lonely sometimes. But for some reason, that’s not what came through the most strongly, anymore. I know it’s because I’ve changed… the words are certainly the same ones that have been there for 16 or 17 years. I still saw myself as the same girl on some level, and while I grew up as her for a while, I’m not. She helped me become who I am now, and that’s why I love her so much. And why it’s wonderful to read her words now, and not sad at all.

Maybe this entry is just for me. I don’t know. But the clarity with which I’ve seen myself as a different person is so crystalline, I had to try to explain it. Same mom and dad. Same brother. More friends. More fat. More experience. And far, far more confidence. It was just a moment to let me know that I’d traveled. Covered some important ground: From fear to love. From insecure to at peace. From young to not-quite-as-young. From sadness to joy.

Vacillations will occur. But I’m pleased to say I’ve traveled.

Thank you for reading.

Additionally, if you’ve made it this far, you deserve a prize. I offer you the PandaCam from the San Diego Zoo. If pandas don’t make you smile just a little bit, at least, I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends. Hee-hee.

Tuesday, October 26

MMMMMMMmm, coffee.

Is there truly anything more delicious than coffee? Not right now, there isn't. I'd seriously consider swimming in good coffee, with about 3/4 shot of almond syrup and way too much half-and-half. Which is what I'm drinking right this minute. With a vanilla sandwich cookie. Since I'm not on a cruise in the Caribbean, this is definitely the second-best way to spend a Tuesday morning.

Now, really, REALLY good coffee should just be consumed naked. You know, flavor-shot- and cream-free. For example, last year during the holiday season, my sweet friend Christel (the CoffeeGoddess) sent me some coffee that she, herownself, had roasted. It arrived at my door as whole beans, in the same coffee bag as some delightful roasted sliced almonds, and, aside from pretty much salivating in a puddle, there was little other appropriate reaction for me to have. Each time I made a pot of that almondy-goodness, I toasted Christel, and drank it naked (the coffee!) Only very good coffee can be savored without the add-ins. And Christel-mas Coffee needed nothing. It smelled, and tasted, like heaven.

Which brings me to my point.

What is your favorite smell?

Obviously, the top of my list is coffee. But there's a few reasons why: it reminds me of Christel, it reminds me of Allie, it reminds me of sitting at the table with Dad and Mom on Saturday mornings while Dad did the crossword puzzle and he or Mom made pancakes, it reminds me of a sweet moment with my friend R, who picked up my after-dinner coffee and smelled it and smiled, it reminds me of my friend F, who is a great coffee-drink maker.

Next after that is probably garlic. Ohmydamn. For those of you playing at home, I have mentioned that I have an unnatural love of garlic bread. I wanna rub it on myself. Well, almost. I'd much rather eat it. A LOT of it. Which is why I don't make it at home -- I'd eat the whole thing. And even I know that's not a real healthy idea. And on pizza? Don't get me started. Mmmmm, meatball pizza!

Somewhere after that is a good smelling man. I've recently spent some time with a man who smells so delicious, I'd follow him down a hallway at work just so I could keep smelling him. He has a variety of colognes, too, so I can only assume he understands that smelling yummy is a good way to get gorgeous women to follow you down a hallway. Public or otherwise.

Since it's fall, I'm pretty much bound to mention that I love-love-love the smells of a hayride. In college I went to the best church, EVER, and we had a hayride every fall that included, well, hay. And a big campfire, and guitar playing, and singing, and hot cider, and donuts, and getting lost on county roads in West Lafayette, Indiana. It also involved the occasional smooch of someone else's fiance. Hey, it was just the once. I get homesick for college every single fall.

Now, I'm sure the second I post this I'll think of six more things I love the smell of, but for now, let's hear yours!

Sunday, October 24

More plagiarizing, kinda.

How to Make Stacey Happy

by Stacey

  • Send me awesome goodies at work! (Thank you, Cindy!)
  • Read.
  • Be able to talk about what you read.
  • Know at least one important woman in American history.
  • Dance with me.
  • In public, even! (Thank you, Paul!)
  • Know how to have a good time.
  • Even if everything isn't perfect.
  • Know how to kiss real well.
  • Use this phrase randomly: "SON OF A MOTHERLESS GOAT." (Thank you, Allie!)
  • Smell like clean laundry.
  • Know how to argue.
  • Argue with me.
  • Make up with me.
  • Tell me about something that reminds you of me. (Thank you, Matt!)
  • Be brave.
  • Be self-aware.
  • Be others-aware.
  • Know your family.
  • Even if you don't like them.
  • Be thoughtful.
  • Be loyal.
  • Be comfortable with the present.

Thursday, October 21

The End of the End (You thought I'd never finish this story!)

So, I got happy. YAY ME! I joined a book club, I got more active in my sorority-thing (PEO), I became a queen (Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love), and I got happy. I started to really believe that Grimace was as much mess as I was when he showed up on my doorstep, and that, to quote His Dadness, "This has nothing to do with how lovable, how wifely, or how wonderful you are." All I can tell you is that when you begin to truly see what chunk of stuff is actually yours, and what chunk of stuff is NOT yours at all, life gets infinitely easier. This is not to say that I knew what to do with all of this newly-acquired information, but it was definitely easier not to continue thinking it was all me. 'Cause it wasn't.

Back to the part that was mine, though. I met and married Grimace during the time I was broken. So, he got, as his part of the happy bargain, a broken partner. I don't mean that I'm entirely fixed now, either, as broken-ness is part of humanity, but I was broken in the sense that I needed love and comfort, and I needed it not in an egalitarian way. I needed a lot of comfort. And for a while, Grimace comforted me. He was present, attentive, and generous. Then, just for a while, I needed some more comfort, but he decided (consciously or unconsciously) not to give it anymore. And that hurt a whole bunch. As I said, he got a broken girl, and I wasn't OK just yet. It was sobbing, puking, heart-stabbing pain. But I'd quit a marriage once, and I wasn't going to do it again. And then, once I got happy, I didn't need so much comforting. (Not to say I didn't WANT it, I just didn't neeeeeeed it so much.)

So, I started doing fun stuff like road trips and concerts and camping and reading new things and playing with the dogs and vacations and meeting friends for drinks after work. To which, Grimace was invited. And chose not to join.

It began to feel like I was dragging a huge man through my life, whilst simultaneously doing his laundry and cleaning the toilets! FUN FUN FUN! (There's really no way to say that without sounding bitter, so I didn't bother to try.) I was, in fact, trying to drag someone through life. And unwilling participant. Pretty much everyone who reads this knows me, and I ask you, fellow goofballs, is it easy to ignore me? Um, not so much. Yet, Grimace managed to exist as though he were the only one living. I was married alone. And gosh it was lovely.

You know what I just realized? (Yeah, just now.) There's really no way to tell the whole story, because I was IN the thing. And so was Grimace, and he didn't exactly tell me what was going on the whole time.

The bottom line is this:

When he told me he liked me better before I was happy, I knew it was over.

You can't fix that.

I'm not gonna get un-happied.

God made me so I could be fun, and bright, and loving, and so that I could be happy if I chose to. I choose to.

Monday, October 18

Why We Do It

Uhm, no, not why we do "it," my fellow perverts, but why we get divorced.

Rather, why I got divorced. Oddly, this entry wasn't brought on by some need for catharsis, which does happen on occasion, but rather an entry in another online diary thingy, by a male-type person, who is breaking up with his long-time live-together girlfriend. Judging from reading many of his entries, he's deeply and consciously emotionally involved in his own life (NB: this is both a refreshing and highly attractive quality.) Here's the quote that sparked this entry, "It just means there’s a pile of shit to sort through that used to be our life together."

It hit me hard. With a "thud" sound effect, even. By the time I told my former spouse that I wanted a divorce, I barely remembered a time when we had a life together. We did have a life together at one point; we were "married" by our hearts before we were married legally. The former spouse, hereinafter referred to as "Grimace" was attentive, kind, and fun. He was never brilliant, but that wasn't the point. He was my present, attentive, loyal friend, and that was what I longed for: that's the part of the story that's cute and precious, also sad. To tell that part, I gotta tell another part of my own story.

Once upon a time, I was married (briefly, yet tragically) to a young man we'll call Mark. Mark and I married on New Year's Eve in 1994. It was the most meaningful wedding and most fabulous reception (sorry, Dadness) in the history of weddings. We had dated for two years, and had been engaged for an additional year, and I wanted to make my life with him. People regularly said things about us like, "You two are so much yourselves when you're together," and "You're such good friends," and "You're life will be so adventurous!" I wasn't the only person who thought that Mark and I would make a great family. There were lots of us -- we had a gabillion friends, many of them common as we met in a huge church family -- who truly believed that we would make a wonderful team for many years.

Part of our marriage ceremony was reading letters to one another that we had written for the occasion. My 'letter' described a New Year's Eve 100 years in the future, when Mark and I were long dead, but our family was gathered together and were chatting about their parents/ grandparents/ great-grandparents Stacey and Mark. Our picture was in a silver frame on top of the mantle of a big fireplace, and we were real old in the photo -- and we looked like we were tired and contentt, having run ourselves ragged and happy doing wonderful things while we were alive. We drove to Alaska just for the hell of it, took teenaged kids on mission trips to little-known areas of the world, and had generally stayed positive and offbeat our whole lives. Nothing thrilled me more than to be setting off on this journey with Mark. Six days into our marriage, (yes, kids, six days) Mark mentally and emotionally checked out of the friendship we had built, and never returned. I realize that this sounds like some major drama I invented in my mind, trust me, I know. But it's not. It was a constant struggle for three solid years just to find his ass. Eventually I bought a pager, had it hardwired to his pecker, and I still couldn't find him on most days. It was if he didn't even realize he had gotten married. I was purely an afterthought, if I even appeared on his list anywhere. Later, my brother asked him, "Did you even want to be married?" His answer? "No." Thanks so much for trying to kill me physically using emotional pain. I really appreciate that.

Here's where I began to make the mistakes that would become my second marriage.

While married to Mark, and for about three years afterward, I mourned deeply for the loss of the life I had thought would be. Mark was a youth ministry student, and we had planned to have a life full of service to others and fun, fun, fun. Including some kids of our own. And maybe a house thrown in there somewhere. Anyway, for a multitude of reasons, (the mental dissapearing act, his lack of desire to hold a job, his inability to retain consciousness for more than 4 hours at a stretch, and the way I allowed myself to be sucked into the whole sad pattern,) none of that was going to happen. I divorced Mark after three years of begging, sobbing, praying, and counseling, all to no avail. That divorce just made legal what was already true. (Read that sentence again, OK? It's important. And true.)

So about a year after I threw Mark out, I met Grimace. And it was great. He was so PRESENT. I never had to fight for his attention -- I just had it, all the time. He called, he gave, he made me laugh. He bought flowers. What else did I need? Right? Well, as it turns out, I needed about another two and a half years to digest everything that happened with Mark, and to let him go from my heart, and to get happy with myself. Unfortunately, I had married Grimace during this time, and it wasn't a good decision. Know that I truly thought it was the thing to do at the time. Not once did I think, "This won't end pretty." I believed I was marrying my best friend! I was so fucking wrong I can scarcely explain it.

Having met, dated, and married Grimace while I was still nursing my near-fatal injuries from my broken previous life, I wasn't all that happy a soul. But because I was so much better than I had been during my marriage, I didn't even know how sad I still was. That would take another couple of years to really understand. When things began to go south with Grimace (starting with his randomly quitting a high-paying job without discussing it with me) I began to realize how unhappy my soul was. Thankfully, I had some people in my life who love me and who want what's best for me. The best advice I ever got was as follows: Get a life. And then I did.

Getting a life made me happy. Real freekin' happy. And that was the beginning of the end of my second marriage.

EDITOR'S NOTE: At this point, if I don't give you a break, even if you got THIS far, you'll never read the end. So, I will post the rest later, or tomorrow.


How do you not LOVE Otis Redding? I just purchased a collection of Otis Redding love songs. GOOD stuff.

  1. These Arms of Mine
  2. That's What My Heart Needs
  3. Pain in My Heart
  4. That's How Strong My Love Is
  5. For Your Precious Love
  6. Nothing Can Change This Love
  7. I've Been Loving You Too Long
  8. My Girl
  9. Just One More Day
  10. My Lover's Prayer
  11. Try a Little Tenderness
  12. Lovey Dovey
  13. I Love You More Than Words Can Say
  14. Love Man
  15. Your Love has Lifted Me Higher and Higher

I'll let you know when it's safe to come over and sop me up with a biscuit 'cause I'm all melted after having listened to the whole thing twice.

Wednesday, October 13

Still Learning the Balance of Work

I know for a fact that at least one of you who will read this entry has been in a job where MOST of your job is an interruption. As in, you wouldn't have a job if it weren't for the interruptions -- those pretty much ARE the job. I've had one of those, and I really did enjoy it -- I kind of like being the Answer Man.

However, I don't have a job like that right now. Currently, I have a job that requires actual concentration and relative quiet. I have to synthesize technical information and make it come back out into a highly structured document that any fool could understand AND have it be translatable into, say, Korean or Dutch. Now, concentration is a skill I have shockingly little of, even though I don't have ADD. No, really I don't. Oh, look, a chicken! Um, anyway, right now, it's truly not my responsibility to do any of the following:

  • answer everyone's questions regarding things they should have learned had they listened while attending the same meeting I did. (I saw you there, bub. I did. And I managed to learn this stuff even while blood was spurting out of my ears as a direct result of sheer boredom.)
  • create tools for everyone to use to do his or her job better.
  • listen to people conduct 7 hours of personal business on the phone (no shit.)
  • answer every walk-up query regarding grammar, punctuation, and fashion.
  • answer every walk-up query TWICE.

All I'm saying here, people, is that I KNOW I'm social. And usually I'm up for some chit-chat, joke telling, and showing off of the new tattoos. But if I have my headphones on, and LOUD music playing in there, and every time you walk up, I have a hard time concealing the fact that my eyes are rolling back in my head, MAYBE YOU SHOULD LEAVE ME ALONE. Maybe you should listen in those mind-numbing meetings so we can both get our jobs done.

Or, maybe I should go out in search of the Optimum Margarita on a government grant. I bet I could get one.


Tuesday, October 12

Crack me up.

rizzo jpeg
You are Rizzo the Rat.
You have few friends, but are loyal to those you do
have. Maybe if you didn't smell like sewage
you would have more.

Rodentia Digesta Lotta Grub
Brooklyn, USA

"Rat On A Hot Tin Roof"

"The Pest Is Yet To Come"

You got it, I'll eat it.

See "Favorite Food".

"When do we eat?"

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 7

Victoria's Secret

Have you seen the latest Vicky's TV commercial? It's for a gorgeous, satiny bra that any girly-girl-type woman would love to wear. It's for something called "Body by Victoria Shaping Demi" and the tagline is "All You See Are Curves." Curves, hey cool! We like those! So in the commercial there's a very lovely woman, vogueing about in her midnight blue demi bra with matching panty. Very sleek, very sexy, very attractive. Whew, the girl is rippin' hot! Loooong legs, and obviously quite tall (lil' nod to HRT.)

If you've seen this commercial, you know what our problem with this is, right? I mean, any idiot can see that if they wanted to be the tee-tiniest bit honest they'd say "All You See Are Angles." GOOD NIGHT NURSE, but that model is skinny. (Not, as mentioned, that there's anything *wrong* with that.) I can't help but guess by "curves" they mean something other than the curve we see of her friggin' RIBS when she rolls over seductively. OW. Her clavicles, her elbows, her knees, her ankles. We're talking about a 89.8% chance of ocular injury if we stand too close to the television!

We have only a couple of problems with Vicky's, and they can both be remedied. I offer the following solutions:

  • First, Victoria's Secret isn't really a secret: She's a slut. Just be honest, we don't mind that she is! We rather love the exciting underwear.
  • Second, make the model eat a sandwich. With mayonnaise. And bacon. Sheesh.

Wednesday, October 6

Oh, how I love publishing my self-indulgence.

I know I just did the 101ish things, but now my girls have done a "odd stuff about me" list, and I'm joining in, 'cause I like talking about myself, anyway. Here they are.

NB: Some of these will seem strange if you don't know me real well, but if you're, say, Allie or Christel or Lauren, most of them will be normal.

  • I wear a tiara in public pretty frequently.
  • I like lilac nail polish on my toes. It's cute, contrary to my mom's opinion.
  • I call my father "Dadness."
  • I am only white on the outside.
  • I'm gonna make out with Allie, take a picture of it, frame it, and put it in my living room.
  • I'm straight, but I somehow think this will be a good thing.
  • I also know all the lines to the Princess Bride.
  • And the Holy Grail.
  • And the Life of Brian.
  • When I got my doggie (who I now *adore*) she was NOTHING I wanted. I wanted a baby sausage dog puppy, and I got a grown pit bull terrier, as a gift, from my former albatross.
  • She cost me 100 smacks to adopt, 300 for pet deposit, and 120 for her first vet visit, which was an emergency. And, yes, I mean that I paid for all of it, (because he rarely earned much.)
  • Since I figured I could've gotten a nice ruby ring for $520, I named my puppygirl Ruby. In lieu of a ruby, I got Ruby Lou. (Incidentally, Ruby Lou turned out to be a LOT better than a ruby ring.)
  • One of my best friends is in love with my brother although she’s never met him.
  • When I was younger I HATED HATED feet, and would screech if anyone put their foot near me, even if it was clean and in a clean sock.
  • I got over it.
  • I was married to a Mc Donald Land character.
  • Grimace.
  • I just tried Vegan food for the first time on purpose. (I mean, I've eaten some great pasta salads and stuff my whole life that were Vegan.)
  • I have met boys in person who I originally met on the internet.
  • Four out of five of them have been very nice experiences.
  • I tell people (whose business it isn't) that I met them in Starbucks.
  • For those who I choose to tell my business to, here's how I tell them. Go ahead, you try it, it's much more explanatory that way: say, "S t a r b u c k s" slowly and deliberately with the corny quote mark hands.
  • I have in my possession a very-old-lady-gramma car, AND a mid life man car.
  • I've sent girls (and boys) that I love chocolate and money just because.
  • I spent the 4th of July last year on a boat in Washington State.

More as warranted.

Monday, October 4

Reasonable Appreciation for my Complete and Undeniable Fabulosity

While I did steal, outright, the title for this post from one of my favorite girls, I think it explains the goodness that was my weekend so perfectly, that I had to go with it. All weekend, I felt very appreciated!!! (Thank you, Dande, for the words.)

Anyway, I drove to Chicago Friday night and met R, my boy-type-friend. And a smashing-good kisser, I must say. We hung out, laughed a whole bunch, ate pizza at Leona's (the Vegan kind -- quite good, actually), then we watched the best episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 that I've ever seen. The movie that the "guys" commented on was The Starfighters, starring none other than Bob Dornan, yes, that Bob Dornan, and it was stupefyingly bad. F-minus bad. Hideous bad. Cannot-even-explain-it bad, but that made for a superb episode of MST3K. Laughing is always good. Laughing, lying on the couch, and having your feet in someone's lap is even better. Nice movie-watching times.

Saturday was a trip to the dog beach at Lake Michigan. Have you been there? Because if you haven't, lemme know and we'll plan a trip. Doggies at the beach chasing tennis balls into the surf are so freakin' happy that if you leave there pissed off, there's something wrong with you, my friend. There were a couple of Boxer puppies I wanted to cart off in my pocket and a beautiful golden named Keaton that I when I started petting his head he just parked his doggie butt down beside me. Aw, pretty boy! [Said in my dog voice.] I have a soft spot for all pit bulls, and there were a couple very pretty ones. Jezebel was a fun dog to watch, too. She kept chasing other dogs and kind of squeak-barking every time she bounced. Made me laugh aloud. Oh, and a chocolate lab stalking baby seagulls was one of the best things I've ever seen!

Saturday evening was my voyage to the north, Glenview, to retrieve my 'mate, Matt, and his friend L. I'm always shocked to realize just how much I miss Matt whenever I get to hug his neck. Of course, I burst into tears, because that's what I do. He said, "I love how emotional you are, Stacey." To which I responded, "I'm so glad, because there are no other choices available."

We met E at a bar called the Duke of Perth for Scottish beers and a lovely grilled lamb appetizer. From there we went to dinner, veggie Indian food at a very new place called Essence of India -- it was delicious! I obviously need more Indian food in my life. Nan, spinach, cheese, garlic, curry, chickpeas. How can you go wrong? Especially with nan, which, as previously revealed, is my favorite food group. We then went to another very new place called The Grafton for more beers, Irish this time. Actually, I was too full to drink beer, so I went for a girly martini. Anyway, when you're at a bar called The Grafton, and all attending parties have been to Grafton Street in Dublin, then you get to tell endless Ireland stories! Big fun. I met Matt there in 1988 for a week over Thanksgiving, and we never got over it. We like it that way.

Over an hour was spent dropping Matt and L back off in the great North, and making my way back to the north end of Lake Shore drive in the city, finding a damn parking place, and walking back to R's. More outstanding kisses followed, and then I got hugged -- with the occasional kiss on my shoulder -- while sleeping. You know that's comfy stuff, right there.

Sunday morning, I got up, poured my very tired ass back into the SS Erickson, and drove back home, where I promptly got into bed and slept... for 5 hours. A.) Don't tell my mom, and B.) That's what you get to do when you don't have any babies! Got up for a few hours, ate english muffins and eggs for dinner, watched Law & Order, and went back to sleep. Yeah, that's a good weekend.

Saturday, October 2

Friday Friday Friday!

Is there any better amphetimine for the working person than the word "Friday"? (By working person, here, I mean: working person, unmarried, no children, under 40.) No, I don't think there is. I get positively giddy when it's Friday, and pretty much out of control when I'm going to drive somewhere cool that afternoon!

This week, I'm headed to Chicago to see my friend R, then my 'mate Matt and his friend L fly into O'Hare, and we all go to meet E for cocktails and dinner.


Short entry. Fun times.

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