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Happy Birthday Ben

It is my boyfriend’s birthday today and since he really didn’t want anything other than to go camping on Sunday and to have a small get together with our friends, this blog is my gift to him.

Dear Ben-

Happy Birthday!

I just wanted you to know that I love you, and fully appreciate you.  Things  haven’t ever been easy for us and you take everything with such grace and patience that I am in awe of you. Almost nothing upsets you. Your logical android/Vulcan mind just takes over and you just handle things. It’s amazing to me since I’m usually in a panic or yelling with my hot headed temper I’m pretty sure I got from my mom’s Greek family. But you, you just look at everything and either step in and fix or at least find a way to get through whatever is going on. That’s one of your best traits.

Ben and I in Bidwell park

But you aren’t just this  logical creature, you are a lot more. You are kind of a kid at heart and it’s always so funny to see you wanting to dress up a cat or watch children’s shows with me or sometimes teasing me just to get the “cute voice” out of  me. You like gadgets just like a teenage boy and you are hilarious when you play video games about twice a year.  You like to play. You like to do silly things. A lot of people don’t know that, but you have this wonderful silly side that makes me smile so big.

And my smile. You fixed it. You got me to do something I was afraid of doing so badly that I hadn’t done it in 16 years. But you got me to go to the dentist. You got them to take care of me. You got my smile back and I am really grateful for that. (Even though I gripped and cried the whole time.)

One night in the back of the Bear

 

Also you love a good food adventure and I’m a sucker for that. It could be time to get Jamaican food or sushi or you wanting me to invent food and you will eat anything I make, even if it doesn’t turn out like the pictures on the internet. You always eat what I make and ask for seconds and swear to me it was good. It’s okay to lie then so I smile because you want me to be happy.

And that’s a really endearing quality about you too: You want me to be as happy as you are. If it means buying me socks (You seemed so horrified that I didn’t own socks after living in flipflop central for 8  years and really only needing like 3 pairs of socks max!) You want me to feel good about myself and to succeed and I am so grateful to you for that. You are a everything any girl could hope for and so much more.

Plus you ain’t bad lookin and I’d say an above average kisser 😉 And you don’t snore even though you do sleep sideways and always take my pillow. The not snoring trumps all.

This one time at Duffys

Ben, I love you very much and I’m very lucky to have you in my life. I hope this is a wonderful birthday for you and the next of many I get to spend with you.

Love,

Stephanie

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four

Dear Christopher-

So this morning a link and story about the Afghan Whigs rolled by on my facebook feed and you of course came to my mind. And I looked at the calendar and said “oh #@$k this month again.”  So here we are.

Four years ago you decided to leave us. You decided to go away. You decided that this life is too hard or confusing or whatever and decided to leave us all here, wondering, wishing, missing you.

So! Anyway, this morning I’m scrolling through vile Facebook and what do I see but the Afghan Whigs have gotten back together and may tour. Can you believe it? They played the Jimmy Fallon show recently and I can’t remember if Jimmy Fallon was on the air when you were here but you probably would remember him from SNL or whatever. (Surprise! Someone from SNL has a talk show,  I think my brain just melted thinking about that to be honest.) But back to the Whigs…

You’ll miss seeing them.  I’ll try my hardest to go see them for you, even though for once it was me introducing you to something when you found the Whigs, I’m sure you’d never tell anyone that though. My lovely teacher of cool,  the guy who never gave up on me, who dyed my hair sometimes after we’d broken up because I couldn’t reach the back. The guy who I could still call for pie or for seriously anything, I always could.

I’d be calling you to go meet up in San Francisco or maybe,  just maybe we’d meet  in Vegas to see the Afghan Whigs. One band I’ve never been able to see. Greg Dulli being my future ex-husband and all, there’s that restraining order. In my version of this trip it would be Vegas and the club would be a dive. You and I and our dates, we’d order ridiculous drinks, like Singapore Sling drinks at some dive bar that may or may not have been on Bourdain’s show. We’d act as though we were in a speak easy and we’d talk about Elephant Thespian (not a real band) and Cornbread the cat and I’d remember the weird piece of writing that you did about me once talking about a time I walked to your house in high school and I’d probably pretend to be mad for a minute, but I really wouldn’t be mad.

After all this nonsense we would go to see the Afghan Whigs and Greg Dulli and I would fall in love with Greg again for the 900th time and we’d smile a bunch and when it was done go to the silliest place that was open for all you could eat crab legs or pancakes or whatever we deemed most VEGAS about the experience and maybe we’d talk about the bands you were in or the stupid shit we both picked out for me to wear when we’d go shopping. Or maybe we’d talk about our jobs or our families or whatever. You would make sure we stayed out until the sun came up and then we with our respective dates would wander back to whatever shitty (on purpose) hotel we had decided to stay at and bid each other aideu until our next time together.

This is what I, at 32 years old with the knowledge that you are always and forever going to never even get to be 30 with  me, wish was in the future.

But it’s not. You’re gone.  You’re a ghost in photos I find, in things in my treasure chest, you’re a ghost on the wall in my apartment and I wish like hell that wasn’t the truth.

I try, to live my life in a sort of homage to you. You taught me a lot about music (all of  it is good, you just gotta try it) food (all of it’s good you just have to try it, seriously just eat this) and working hard, as you always did. Also always being kind to people in need and even some times people who didn’t deserve it, that for me was you.

When we first started to date you had a concussion.  I sometimes think that’s the only reason you dated me, but I know that’s not true. But there you were, this force of life that I knew and played attack basketball with on a regular basis and you were there in a hospital because you’d been hit so hard with a baseball that you had a concussion. I couldn’t visit you but you remember that Alicia and Tina did. And Alicia told you I liked you.  After that the rest was history.

Punk in drublic. Chaos Coffee. Java Jazz. The Masons building fire escape. Mars/Bam Bams. Wrapping presents for your mom’s work fund raiser or something in the mall (!) (See there now I’ve told a secret about us).  Journalism (seriously fuck that class), Toys R Us, 7-11. Lyons coffee, going to shows at Jerry’s. Watching you play. Running into you at Padre and the Mint and all the gay bars because that’s just where we liked to go. Watching you write so many wonderful things in the paper.  Being jealous of your writing, having to REDO an entire edition of the Saga because you left your editorial smarts at home that day…. I didn’t mind.

I’ll never in a million years know why you did what you did. I wouldn’t understand even if you came back and told me, because you were a star. If people didn’t love you, they hated you and that’s just a sign of jealousy. You were the party, all we had to do was come to you.

I miss you every single day. I know today isn’t the THE DAY but eff it, I’ve never been good at rules and neither were you.  I’ll light my Yahrzeit candle for you on Saturday and listen to some songs that are your songs. But if I waited until Saturday to write this it’d be way sappier.

Just know that even though I don’t understand what happened, I accept it. It happened. You chose to end your journey. I will never forget you but maybe some day I’ll forgive you. All I know is I will always miss you. I love you my friend and someday we’re doing the Vegas thing in Heaven and you can explain EVERYTHING.

All my love, always-

Stephanie

a very very long time ago

 

goofiest prom photos ever


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Girl… You’ll be a woman soon.

I went over to Jeremy’s house yesterday to hang out, pet Cooper and of course see the lovely Baby Audrey. And I held her! I haven’t held a baby in a long time. I actually try not to, to be honest. I’m not a kid person. I mean I like other people’s kids fine but the idea of my own just makes me too nervous, annoyed, broke and frightened to think. I’d probably put my kid in the car carrier, set it on the roof and drive off on accident. I’m just not mom material. Ben says I have a maternal instinct but I don’t. I just take care of my friends. And pets. But a baby, man that’s pressure and I’d be bad at it. I’m aware and so I’m totally happy to be Auntie to my friends ever growing brood of kids.

That being said can I just take a second and introduce you to the most beautiful baby in the world?

Can you believe this is a tiny person?

She’s going to be 3 weeks old tomorrow and she’s heavier than she looks but she is still TINY. And so sweet. She hardly cries or does much but eat and sleep.  And her feet! Oh my god, they’re mini mini. So crazy that we all used to be this small (actually I was bigger than this when I came out I guess, see how much that matters. ha ha)

Anyway my turn to cook dinner for the family is Thursday and I’m trying my new secret pesto mac on them.

This by the way is Cooper, the coolest dog ever:

Cooper!

Cooper is Jeremy’s first baby. 🙂 We brought him a package of bacon and lots of belly rubs. Such a good boy. He and the cat bonded with me a little because I was feeding them while Audrey was getting born. So funny.

 


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I’m gonna tell you a secret

This was not our first date, date. But it was the first time we went out in a group with some friends.

Goofing off at my house before a Seahawks game.

Goofing off at my house before I left for a remote.

Goofing off at Duffy’s when the Giants won the World Series.

At Noriega’s for my mom’s birthday.

Secret time? I love this man. Bigger secret? He loves me too.


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Happy Birthday Mama D

This is my Mama D. AKA Denise, AKA my second mom. Today is her birthday.

I haven’t always had a Mama D. She came to our family after I moved to San Luis Obispo and I can honestly say it helped me relax about moving away. I didn’t worry so much about my dad being lonely after I left and took our kitty with me for awhile.
I am so excited to be going home tomorrow to see Mom and my Dad. I haven’t really been able to spend as much time with them this past year as I would’ve liked to. I’m glad I get to go home for a few days and see the family and celebrate Denise’s birthday too.
Happy Birthday Denise! I love you!!!