Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday: Introduction

My name is Sarah Ashley Stone

But my full name is Sarah Ashley Stone Fauver Salted Peanut Sassafras

But soon I will be Sarah Wunder

My friends call me Stoner

Or Stoney

Or Stonehenge

Or Stonezee

Sometimes my family calls me Sarafina

But usually they call me SAS

Or Sassy

Or Sassafras

Aunt Jackie calls me Goofy Kid

Aunt Jill and Uncle Rich call me Kool Breeze

Aunt Mary calls me Salted Peanut

Jack will call me Aunt Sarah

Jack's grandma calls me Sarah-bellum

Chase calls me Snotty Pizza Tush

Or Grandpa

Or mise-en-scene

My editor used to call me Lois

Christopher calls me Sarahpher

But sometimes he calls me crazy

Or Smelly Pirate Hooker

Soon he will call me wife

Someday, I will be called mom

But for now, you can just call me Sarah.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lunch today

Me: Thanks for meeting me for lunch today, honey. I never get to see you in the middle of the day.

Chris: No problem… So let’s get down to business.

Me: Huh?

Chris: For Miguel Tejada….

Me: You’ve got to be kidding me...

Chris: … I want Pedro Martinez.

Me: So the whole reason you met me for lunch today was to make a fantasy baseball trade?

Chris: (Silence)

Me: (Silence)


There’s no way I’m giving up Pedro for Tejada. For one of the best pitchers in the league, I want Thome.

Chris: OK, but then I also want Rafael Furcal. I need more stolen bases. How many has he stolen this season?

Me: He’s in the double digits. But he’s my only base stealer.

Chris: Yeah, but having someone like Thome who will get you a better batting average and more RBIs will make up for that.

Me: True. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.

Chris: What is there to think about? I’m offering you the guy with the second-most home runs in baseball, and he already has, like, 40 RBIs.

Me: Yeah, but Pedro gets me so many strike outs and wins. I’ve got Zambrano, and he gets me a lot of strike outs, too, but he hardly gets me any wins because the Cubs always blow it once the reliever comes in.

Chris:Well, if I pick up Pedro, I’ll have to drop a pitcher, so I’ll give you one of my closers. That should help.

Me: Yeah, I’ll think about it.


Me: Thanks again for meeting me for lunch today.

Chris: No problem.

Back outside

After a few unseasonably chilly weeks this month, I finally got to run outside again a few days ago.

When I run outside, as opposed to on a treadmill, I have trouble accurately gauging how long I've been out running, how far I've gone and how fast I'm going. But there are some definite advantages to running outside.

For one, instead of having to watch close-captioned "Everyone Loves Raymond" at the gym, I get to look at the lakefront and the skyline.

Also, I run outside after I get home from work and walk Roise. So, unlike the gym, I don't have to cut my runs short to get home and relieve the dog.

And most importantly, unlike the gym, if I should happen to toot while running outside, I can quickly leave the scene of the crime.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: Welcome to My Wallet

For this week's SPC Introduction, I thought I’d take you all on a little tour through my wallet. You won’t find much money in there, but here are a few things I carry around (or at least I used to).

1. My license: I think of all my license photos, this one is my favorite. It's much better than my New York license. The photo was OK, but I made a clothing error and wore a tan v-neck. Tan shirt+super bright DMV flash=Sarah looking nekkid.

2. My old student ID: I still carry this around to score student discounts from time to time. That’s not the only thing I still carry with me from Mizzou. Let’s see, I’ve got my journalism degree, a few good friends, some toeless feet and a very worn hoodie. Oh yeah, and that fiancĂ© guy.

3. Another student ID: This was the ID I carried around in London for the school I sort of went to. (Basically, we used their classrooms, but all the students and instructors were from the U.S.). This university had pubs on campus. I think Mizzou could learn a thing or two from them.

4. My old press pass: Ah, my first job. There were so many places I almost didn’t get into because this press pass looked totally homemade. But I like to think of it as a beginner’s press pass because I was just as beginner as well. I miss that job. I wish I could have taken it with me to Chicago.

5. Chicago Card: Speaking of Chicago, this is how to get around these days. In fact, I’m going to sell my truck in the very near future because it’s just living at my parents' house. So sad.

6. My business card: This is where I take the bus to everyday. I really like the location, and there’s a gym in my building, which has made….

7. My Bally Total Fitness card pretty much useless.

8. My passport: This little booklet has taken me to 10 different countries. And in about four months, it’s going to take me to Germany and Spain. Hooray!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yeah, he was reading it

Now I sort of feel like a brat for whining about footwear. But at the same time....YAY!! NEW SHOES!

Friday, May 19, 2006

It all comes down to the shoes

Remember how I said I can’t stand people who shop too much? Remember how I always act like I’m above all that? Remember how I’m a huge hypocrite? Oh good.

I made the mistake of eating lunch at Nordstrom’s today. And now, my heart is full of longing. I want new shoes. And not just one pair. I want a whole new army of colorful spongy-soled soldiers. But I swear, there’s a good reason for it.

Here’s the deal: Because of my foot problems, I can’t wear heels or sandals. In fact, unless I’m wearing sneakers, my little stubs are in pain. Unfortunately, I have this job where I’m supposed to look somewhat professional. And doubly unfortunate, I work on Michigan Avenue, a hub of high fashion.

I would love to wear super-chic professional-women’s clothing to work every day. But the problem is clothing retailers assume that 1) all women are at least 5’10, and 2) all women wear heels with dress pants. I am 5’3, and I like to wear Nikes everyday. Yes, I can buy petite clothing, but even those designs are usually somewhat flared at the bottom, and flared pants and size-5 flats just look bad together.

So, because comfy shoes look awful with dress pants, and because flats look yucky with skirts, and because my office has a relaxed dress code, I wear sneakers with either jeans or khakis to work everyday. And I look like a total slob.

I own lots of nice business clothing, stuff that would help me sort of blend in with all the beautiful people on Michigan Avenue. But it all comes down to the shoes. I don’t own any comfortable shoes that also look good with business clothing, so my pretty business clothes live in my closet and never get to come out and play.

However, I could own somewhat-professional-looking-yet-comfy shoes. Flats are in right now. Just look at the cuteness I found at Nordstrom’s today:

There were tons more, too. Did you see how cute?! I want them all … now! I totally can’t afford them, but I’m scared that if I wait until I can afford new shoes (like, in four years), flats won’t be in style anymore and when I finally go to the store to buy new shoes, all that will be available will be stiletto heels and flip flops.

Chris, honey, if you’re reading this: Look, I know we’re broke, and I know we have a wedding and honeymoon to pay for, and I know we like to think we’re above all those other materialistic people out there, but dammit! I want to blow a couple hundred bucks on new shoes! You don’t understand. New shoes will make my life better.

Seriously, new shoes will affect what clothing I can wear, which will affect my outward appearance as well as my self esteem. And then, before you know it, those new shoes will get me a promotion. Those new shoes will help me bring in a fatter paycheck, which I will use to buy more new magical shoes. Really, we should look at shoe purchases as an investment in our future, not as a frivolous expense.

Let’s make a deal. I get to buy new shoes, and you can buy non-generic tequila. No more Osco-brand for you! I’m talking Cuervo, or maybe even 1800, but let’s not go too crazy here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Oh man. I finally got around to making our appointment with our baker for our wedding cake. The cake is included in our reception package. However, they actually outsource the cake to a shop called House of Fine Chocolates, which, lucky for us, is only a couple blocks away from our apartment. We've sampled their creations before, and let me tell you, it's good.

Today, I took a little stroll through their Web site, and...Oh.My.God....you'll just have to see for yourself:

Obviously, you can see I've decided to go with chocolate topped with more chocolate. None of that innocence and wholesomeness white buttercream. Hell no. I want sinfully delicious, insanely rich, should-be-illegal dark chocolate.

And that last cake...that's a skyline. Amazing. (I thought it was the Chicago skyline at first, but now I'm thinking it's not.)


See more cake designs here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: 10-Second Introduction

I like wine.

See more self portraits here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

No time to bloggy!

Ugh, I've been very busy at work lately, and I've had no time to blog. Even when I get home from work, guess what I do? More work! Argh. (By the way Dave, I promise to send you that review sheet as soon as possible. I know. I suck.)

Anyway, here are a couple random thoughts/experiences to tide me over until things die down a bit around the office and I can blog again.

Thanks to Chase's blog, I had a dream about eye surgery the other night. And unlike the television where you might accidentally turn on the eye-surgery channel and then quickly flip to another station, in a dream you're stuck watching it.

In other dream news, I dreamt about Wayne's World Sunday night, and when I woke up the next morning the first thing I thought was, "What's the name of Garth's car?" Seriously, what is it? Don't they have a funny name for his car? I can't remember. If you know, leave me a comment because this is really bugging me.

Dijon mustard is my new favorite food. I used to hate mustard and always opted for ketchup or mayo. However, now that I'm trying to lose weight, I've started replacing mayo with mustard. Greatest switch ever. Now at least once a week, I go to Jimmy John's and order the Number 4 with mustard instead of mayo. So tasty!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Isn't my nephew Jack adorable? I think so, too. However, Chris and I have taken such a liking to Jack that some people have started speculating when we're going to want one of our very own.

Recently my mom, grandma, sister and brother-in-law took bets on the month I'll have a baby. Eric said May 2008. My mom went with March 2008. And Laura, deciding that they were playing by "Price Is Right" closest-without-going-over rules, took the $1 route and said October 2006.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: Introduction

This is how I look when I’m blogging. It’s also how I look when I’m working, watching TV, hanging out or just thinking about stuff. Always the same pose. Always one arm flung over my head.

I didn’t realize I did this until I was in college. In some of my more laid-back classes, we’d be sitting around a table, discussing stuff, and without thinking about it, over my head my arm would go. Apparently that’s how I think best. Unfortunately, flinging your arm over your head also looks a lot like raising your hand. Hence, I got called on a lot in class.

I know where I got this arm-flinging tendency. My dad always sits like this. I remember when I was little, he would sit like this when he was watching TV, and it gave the perfect spot to curl up next to him. His arm would go up, and I’d rest my head on his side. Sometimes as a joke, he’d quickly lower his arm again and trap me, basically with my head stuck in his armpit.

Somewhere growing up, I started sitting like this, too. So did my sister. You should see the three of us watching TV together. All three of us in a row on the couch, all three with our arms flung over our heads.

I’m not sure why we do this. It serves no purpose. But for me, at least, it’s extremely comfortable. It helps me relax and clear my mind. I guess sometimes I sleep like this, too. According to Chris, it looks really goofy. Whatever. As long as I’m comfy and sleeping, I don’t care how I look.

Anyway, I thought this might work as an introduction. So when you read my blog, you know what I look like when I’m reading yours.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I am old

I’m not sure how this happened, but somehow I became old.

I start getting drowsy at 9:30 p.m., but I try to stay up until 10:30 p.m. to see the news and the weather. And on the weekends, I can’t sleep past 7:30 a.m.

I enjoy reading the real estate section of the newspaper.

I like broccoli.

I can’t pinpoint when this getting-old-thing happened. Over the past year or so, I’ve caught myself having particularly old-person moments. For example, daydreaming about station wagons and looking forward to dinner parties.

I was feeling old again Friday night. Chris and I went to see the Violent Femmes at the Cubby Bear. Overall, it was a great show, especially because the Cubby Bear is a rather small venue for such a well-known band. Unfortunately, though, the combination of a band such as the Violent Femmes and a venue such as the Cubby Bear, which sits in the heart of Wrigleyville, meant one thing: lots of idiot kids at the show.

I do not like most 18-to-25-year olds. In fact, I don’t like most people under 18 either, and there are a whole lot of idiots over 25 I could do without as well. These people annoy me because they are loud and say stupid things loudly in public places. They drink too much and go shopping too often. They love classic rock and they think listening to Radiohead and John Mayer makes them alternative. They are perpetual college students, and they are everything I can’t stand about America. Why? Because I am a crotchety old lady.

Damn kids.

Anyway, these idiots flocked en masse to this Violent Femmes concert. I knew they would, but I couldn’t pass up seeing the Femmes for only $15. Chris and I got to the show early so we could stake out a good place to stand because it was a general admission show. We found a nice spot with a good view of the stage and next to a column with a ledge where we could set our drinks. Unfortunately, the harmless-looking girl in front of us later had about 10 girls join her. The two girls directly to my side decided to bring enormous shoulder bags with them to the show.

Why is this necessary? Why do girls feel the need to bring giant bags with them wherever they go? How much stuff could they possibly need when hanging out at a bar? Ugh.

Anyway, when the shoulder-bag twins and their 10 friends weren’t posing for a billion pictures together (“Oh my god, girls’ night out! We are so Sex and the City!”), they were talking to each other incessantly throughout the show. And occasionally they would talk to another friend who was directly in front of me. This left me constantly trying to look around three idiots just so I could see the band I paid to see. Because that’s what you do when you pay admission to a show. You watch the band. You don’t talk the entire time and take pictures with the camera phone that you also keep using to text message people while a band is on stage.

If these annoyances weren’t enough, one of the shoulder-bag twins decided to make use of the drink ledge next to me. However, she had to reach past my chest to leave her drink on the ledge. But, she didn’t just set down her drink. She continued holding onto it while resting it on the ledge. This meant that during the show I had a shoulder bag in my face and an arm extended across my chest. This was just too much.

Chris and I took a two-sided approach. After each song Chris would loudly clap in the girl’s ear, and during each song I would dance so wildly that I shoved my boob into her armpit on more than one occasion, and I bashed into her arm enough times she nearly spilled. She got the hint and eventually stepped aside.

Afterward, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have found this so annoying in my younger days. Probably. I’ve never liked college students, even when I was a college student. I guess I’ve been a crotchety old lady for a long time. Now all I need is a cane, which I will use to hit those idiot kids when they walk on my lawn. And then I’ll shake my fist and swear at them, because old people who drop the F-bomb are hilarious.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Happiness is...

I've sort of had a craptastic week. Basically, I've just been super busy at work, which means I haven't been able to work out at all, which makes me cranky.

However, these are the things that have made me somewhat sane this week:

Because she is really unpleasant.

Because poop is hilarious.

Because profit margins are also hilarious.

Because this is where I'll be 135 days.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge: Introduction

The theme for this month’s Self-Portrait Challenge is “Introduce Yourself.” (By the way, Self-Portrait Tuesday is now called Self-Portrait Challenge. So I'm not late, I swear.) Anyway, I thought I’d start with the basics, for example, my job.

I am a copy editor for a group for trade publications. My job is to fix grammatical errors, check for libelous or untrue statements and basically make your writing sound pretty.

So, what happens is you turn in your carefully crafted prose to me, and I do this to it:

Then you read it in the magazine later, and you don’t realize I changed a thing. Why? Because generally I don’t change what you say. I just change how you say it.

For example, you say: “The performance management initiatives are managed by the leadership development team.”

And I say, “Your passive voice hurts my eyeballs. And how many times can you use some form of ‘manage’ in one sentence?" And I change it to: “The leadership-development team handles the performance-management initiatives.”

Then you say: “To properly manage talent, executives must …”

And I say, “Split infinitives? Hell no.” And I change it to, “To manage talent properly...” Or sometimes I delete your adverbs all together because most of the time they’re useless anyway.

So yeah, that’s what I do, ALL DAY. I also write a little bit and post some magazine content on our Web sites. But pretty much, I copyedit and proofread.

Unfortunately, copyediting full time has turned me into one of those people that corrects other people’s grammar. I hate those people. You know, the ones that say, “No, you tell the dog to go lie down, not lay down.” Yeah, that’s me.

I also yell at the television a lot. When the idiot newscaster says, “There are over 100,000 immigrants literally filling the streets right now,” I yell back, “Over 100,000? What, are they somehow suspended over the streets? Learn about prepositions, moron. There are more than 100,000 immigrants in the streets. And you don’t need to say literally filling the streets. We know they’re actually there. We can see them on the television thanks to Chopper Live. It’s not like we thought they were just pretending to fill streets. Oh, and by the way, that fuchsia pantsuit you think is so cute makes you look fat.”

Yep, that’s my introduction. And that word you’re looking for right now? I believe it’s “nerd.”

I’m sure at this point many of you are scouring my blog looking for grammatical errors. You’ll probably find a ton. I don’t copyedit my blog because you’re never supposed to copyedit your own writing. That, and I’m a huge hypocrite.

Monday, May 01, 2006

It started here

Every time I hear the song “Healthy Body Sick Mind” by Operation Ivy, I think of my sister. Same with “Castles Made of Sand” by Jimmy Hendrix. They’re both on a mix tape Laura made me for my 14th birthday. (I can't believe that was 12 years ago.) I still have it, although it doesn't play so well these days.

Like many younger siblings, I always tried to be like my older sister. I remember going into her room when she wasn’t home and listening to her music. That’s how I was introduced to Green Day’s “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour,” Teenage Fanclub’s “Bandwagonesque,” and Sugar’s “Copper Blue.” She used to hang CD long boxes on her wall. I copied her, but I must admit her Sugar Cubes, Peter Gabriel and Screeching Weasel were far superior to my Jesus Christ Superstar and Guns N’ Roses.

Laura was a master tape compilation maker. Her tapes never had too much from one genre. There’d always be something on there you wouldn’t expect. (For example, sandwiching Cypress Hill between the Grateful Dead and Jane’s Addiction.) Once again, I tried to copy her. I made her a mix tape when I was in junior high. I don’t remember all the songs, but I distinctly remember putting both a song from the Aladdin soundtrack on there as well as Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” Yeah, I needed some help. That’s when Laura taught me one of the cardinal rules of tape making: Never include radio hits.

On the front of the 14th-birthday tape, Laura pasted this picture:

Laura was 20 at the time. It was sort of her way of taking me under her wing, introducing me to the counter-culture and explaining why listening to Top 40 is not cool.

I’ve gotten lots of mix tapes and CDs from other people since then. Lots of mixes from friends, exes, roommates. Many are still in my regular rotation. Many had themes, like some of the ones I got from Dave such as the “AlphaVinyl” tape and the tape that has 127 songs on it. But Laura’s was one of the first. It was the tape by which all others were judged. Looking back it might seem a little dated now, but to my 14-year-old ears, it was a whole new world.

Sister - Lenny Kravitz
Castles Made of Sand - Jimmy Hendrix
One Way - Levellers
Jack of All Trades - Soul Asylum
Beach Party Vietnam - The Dead Milkmen
Science Fiction/Double Feature - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Skankin' To The Beat - Fishbone
Alsatia's Lullaby - Toys Soundtrack
When love Comes to Town - U2
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
Cerulean - The Ocean Blue
Watermelon Song - Poi Dog Pondering
Blues Before Sunrise - John Lee Hooker
Happy Birthday to Me - Cracker
Change - Blind Melon
The Sniper Song - Naked Raygun
Summertime - Janis Joplin
I Was There - Green Day
Land of Competition - Bad Religion
You Win Again - Grateful Dead
Hand on the Glock - Cypress Hill
Down In It - Nine Inch Nails
I Would For You - Jane's Addiction
American Music - Violent Femmes
I Will Not Take These Things For Granted - Toad The Wet Sprocket
Thrift Store Girl - Screeching Weasel
Healthy Body Sick Mind - Operation Ivy
All That You Have Is Your Soul - Tracy Chapman