Thursday, February 26, 2009

the spoils of 10 years with paul...

he knows me so-so-so well. i love the new addition to my chuck taylor family.

(not quite as much as i love my paul, though!)

p.s. paul and i both had a recollection of maria dying in WSS. we were wrong. poor tony. 

did i mention that we went and saw WSS on broadway last night? it's running previews before the big opening day in march. we enjoyed it, but i was a bit stymied by the costumes. how perfect, though, that it opened on broadway 10 years to the week after we saw it at hhs? so special.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

from not-so-normal girl ... to thursday.

so tomorrow is a H U G E day for us. tomorrow marks 10 years of "us" as us. that seems pretty huge to me. maybe it's b/c i feel too young to have a 10 year anniversary. maybe it's b/c these days, most ppl last less than 5. maybe it's b/c i've seen my fair share of divorce. maybe it's b/c in my youth, i was somewhat boy-crazy. whatever the case, it seems pretty radi-cool to me.

do you know our story? it's a pretty good one. it's one that i'm pretty sure you've heard. if so, this may seem repetitive. if not, read on and bask in our undeniable cuteness that is high school sweetheart-dom. 

when i was 16, i had a long-term boyfriend named ryan. he was a nice kid but as anti-social as the day is long. we dated for quite a while (over a year), but i knew that things just weren't right. i allowed his anti-social behavior to dampen my once sunny demeanor. that is not to say that i was miss sunshine all the time when i was a teenager b/c trust me, i was awkward beyond awkward... quite possibly the most awkward kid ever. 

anyway, when i returned home from my summer visit to my dad's house, i got my driver's license.* i was pumped, but ryan was not so pumped. he feared that i would dump him when i got a car... he knew me too well. having a car provided me freedom that had been previously unknown to me. one stipulation to my car owning was that i had to get a job... i had to pay for gas and insurance.

that's when i started working at bahama buck's with my dearest older sister. on my first day of orientation, i saw the cutest boy from my school sitting across the room from me... paul, of course. at the end of the training day, i (apparently) snarled at him, "weren't you in the band married for money?" he said yes, and the rest is history... except not.

it didn't take long before i had broken up with ryan and had made besties with paul. the break-up made for great bonding fodder. when we worked together, we would call our parents after the store closed and tell them that closing was taking longer than expected... when in reality, we were sitting on the back freezers having our ever-famous** "freezer talks." 

by christmas-time, there was no going back. everyone asked if we were dating (all-the-flipping-time), and we always said no. we held hands and hugged. we hung out 24-7, and when we weren't together, we were on the phone. when paul was working at bb, i was there just hanging out and vice versa. we took our runaway trips during this best friend phase, and we saw a gajillion shows (aka concerts - just in case you're not hip to the lingo) together...

everything was 'paul and steph.' paul existed no longer. steph was long gone... but we were NOT boyfriend and girlfriend. 


that is until february 25, 1999. but really, to get there, i must go back to february 24, 1999. on this night, we were on the phone chatting about whatever it is teenage kids chat about. i don't know what changed the tone of the conversation, but something did, and paul told me he thought of me as a 'normal girl.' i contested b/c obviously i wasn't a 'normal girl' to him b/c in my mind (not vocalized, obviously), i knew that if i were normal to him, then we wouldn't just be besties... we debated the topic fervently, but it was a dead end. the conversation ended with paul asking, "what do i have to do to prove that you're a normal girl?" my seventeen year-old mind was thinking "kiss me, duh!," but of course i would never say such things.

the next day was thursday. we had planned to attend the high school production of west side story w/ our buds mikey & chelse. they knew us far too well... i had butterflies in my stomach the entire length of the show b/c paul held my hand - gasp! within minutes, my hand was sweatier than sweaty, but i did not under any circumstances plan on moving my hand. my face turned pink, and i know that i was grinning ear-to-ear when maria was shot.

after the play, i'm sure that we were acting stupid and different, and that our bffs knew something was up, but if so, they never said anything. paul chauffeured the three of us to the play, so he had to take us home... the easiest route to take was probably to drop me first, then mikey and then chelse. or even chelse first, then me, then mikey... but we all know what boys-crushing-on-girls do, they take the girl home last, of course.

so once we dropped the other two off, we arrived at my house, and paul parked his car. i don't remember what we were talking about, but we exited the car and decided to sit on the sidewalk to continue our oh-so-important conversation. we were both sitting indian-style, and we were face to face, so our knees were touching. we were oh-so-close, and yet paul did not kiss me.

so instead i kissed him.

and then we freaked out. paul likes to say that it was just me, but i know that we were both freaked out. we were besties, and no matter what, i wanted him as my bff... which is why we decided to keep our bf/gf status a secret for a while until we knew that we were solid.*** as kids go, though, we had to tell someone... so one by one, our friends were let in on our secret. eventually everyone else knew, but i'm pretty sure that our families were last to know. but by mid-april, we had to tell everyone something b/c we decided to go to prom together... and if that wasn't letting the cat out of the bag, then i don't know what is.

that's how february 25th became known as 'thursday' forever... tomorrow marks our tenth thursday, and that's gnarly in the best possible way.

*third time's a charm.
**famous to us, anyway.
***just reading this reminds me of just how high-school-romance-slash-drama we were!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

lookin' out my window...

just a couple nights ago. amazing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

and how was your day?

so yesterday was president's day, which meant that i had the day off (hooray). and if you remember, miss ginny came to visit hubbs and i this past weekend. while she is hubby's sister, he had to work yesterday (boo to that), so ginny and i had to party all day without him...

first, we went for delicious bagels in park slope. the walk to park slope is just about one mile, and it's quite lovely... in the spring, summer and fall. sadly, during the winter all things look depressing and somewhat ghetto even though the streets are lined with $500k - $2mill (or so) houses. after the bagels, i wanted take ginny on a park slope boutique tour - mainly to show her my fave store ever - flirt. unfortunately, park slope boutiques enjoy sleeping-in b/c nothing opens before noon. party foul #1.

no time for dwelling, though, the party bus had to keep moving. ginny's flight left at 7pm, which left us just a short afternoon of sightseeing. i couldn't remember which train line would take us to the brooklyn bridge stop, so i googled it on my blackberry. we hopped on the train, and my pride swelled knowing that i was able to take someone sightseeing all on my own - the geographically incompetent me. then i heard those fateful words from the train conductor, "next stop - bowling green." so i jumped up and checked the map knowing that i had made a mistake b/c bowling green is the first stop in manhattan. "ugh. we're already in manhattan. i should've remembered that the brooklyn bridge/city hall stop is in manhattan." party foul #2.

ginny is the most easy-going person you'll ever meet, so she offered, "we'll just walk 1/2 way across the brooklyn bridge and then back." fortunately for me (and ginny, i guess), i bounce back from slights to the ego quickly, and i realized that if we got off the train at fulton (stop 2 in manhattan), we'd be able to switch to the 2/3 train, which would take us to the brooklyn bridge. we hopped off the train, my pride swelled yet again just to deflate immediately... the train doors closed, and i realized aloud (as if on cue), "blurgh, we need the c train, not the 2/3." party foul #3.

as i'm kicking myself for messing this up so badly, i look up and see a sign... sure enough, we can hop on the c at fulton too! huzzah. we hop on the train and head to the brooklyn bridge. i have a suggestion - when you visit (and you will visit), let us take you on a walk over the brooklyn bridge. i love it.

ginny seemed to enjoy it as well, but it was freezing on the bridge... with the wind, it had to have been -475 degrees or so.* 

after the bridge, hubbs had suggested that i walk ginny through soho. soho holds many gems including cb2 - c&b's cool little sister, pearl river market - an awesome random asian-stuffs store and muji - a japanese chain full of modern & neutral-colored randoms (office supplies, clothing, bathroom essentials, etc...).  

i didn't know whether or not ginny would like muji, but i explained to her that hubbs loves the store b/c you can make your own pens (aka - choose the casing and the refill color). for me, the store is cool, but not show-everyone-who-visits cool. i had ginny at 'make your own pens.'

so we went in. ginny picked up a few things and went to stand in line. the line situation is slightly confusing at muji b/c the registers aren't in one line. there are 4 back to back (so 2 on each side) and then one on the back wall... well, ginny thought she should stand at the back wall register, but i had faith that the "line begins here" sign was where we should be... so i stayed even though i didn't have anything in my hands. well, in the two seconds it took ginny to decide to try the back line and for me to decide to stay put, two groups of two cut in front of me. ginny and i sighed, but i refrained from saying, "no buts, no cuts, no coconuts" for fear of seeming immature.

so as i waited (unnecessarily, mind you - as only ginny is making a purchase), i started examining the man in front of me. i thought, "hmmm. he's a dead ringer for tom hanks. he looks a little older than tom hanks, though... but i haven't seen tom hanks in anything new for a while... HOLY COW - THAT IS TOM FREAKING HANKS!" 

as soon as that realization hits me, i turned back and sternly scream, "ginny!" and gave her a death stare that screamed 'come stand by me.' well, as soon as she walked over, mr. hanks turnedto me and exclaims, "excuse me, did we cut in front of you? oh my gosh, i think we cut in front of you. i'm so sorry." to which i said, "ohnoproblem. you'remorethanwelcometocutinfrontofme. er, uhm, er." the two promptly walked themselves to the end of the line while i remained frozen with the grin of an idiot and a rosy red face to match. 

it took all of me to not ask for a photo... all of me, i tell you. but while standing there, i blabbered on to ginny about just how ecstatic i was b/c ilovetomhanks,andijustwatchedforrestgumptheotherday.andhowhe'salegendbeyondlegends..., i kept looking back, and it took me a while, but i realized that colin hanks was right there with tom. they're having a little father-son day and man, had they loaded up on purchases at muji.

after ginny and i left muji, i continued to blab on and on about how we just met tom hanks. i kept looking over my shoulder to see if he had left the store b/c i really wanted to ask for a photo but knew that even if i saw him, i wouldn't ask him... so instead, i just blabbed on and on like an idiot all day long. now, in a normal situation, this would've been party foul #4 of the day, but considering i made an a-list celebrity sighting happen, i think this one should be overlooked.

there are two morals to this story: 
  1. tom hanks is a super nice guy... and considerate too.
  2. when encountering an a-list celebrity with me, i will act like a total idiot, but you won't be able to call me on it b/c i say so.**

*i may or may not be super-over-exaggerating.
**so there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

so i know that you deserve more than what you are about to receive, but i'm sure to be busy today... i just knew i had to get something out into the web-o-sphere asap. 

my legion of fans (hi mom!) cannot go so long sans steffa updates!

here's what's up:

a) i just returned from charlotte, nc where i attended a team meeting. charlotte is so cute and quaint, and it reminded me A LOT of tucson. our team took over a b&b, and my room had a porch and on that porch was a porch swing. the swing took me back to my youth when my sister, cousin and i would spend the days at our g-parents' house playing on their porch swing. 

my flight to charlotte was a little nerve-wracking for one reason. the same flight was forced to land in the hudson just one short month ago. two people sitting behind me were on the actual flight 1549. fortunately, no birds disrupted our journey.

b) i'm soOoo glad to be home... while i love travel, i love it far more when hubbs is with me. going solo is hard on me b/c though i would pretty much be up for going anywhere at any time (with few exceptions), i would mainly like to do so with hubbs-a-lot.

c) tomorrow, my fave sis-in-law* is coming to visit for a short 3 days! 

d) while i was in nc, ny hit a whopping 65ish degrees! sorry, miss ginny, nyc will hover around the 40ish mark all weekend long... which is way better than 20ish!

e) the flight home was a long one... one where i actually searched for the dreaded barf bag. no, really. i actually thought that planes no longer provided these, but have no fear, us airways continues to carry them. no worries though, i did not follow-through with using the bag, but i was glad to know it was there.

f) omgomgomgomgomg... really, how do things like this happen?**

okay, i'm off to do something important... there may (or may not) be a longer update later.

*if you would like to be my fave sis-in-law, all you have to do is visit. sorry, ginny... i am that fickle.

p.s. thanks to hubbs for the awesome photo.

**definitely a hypothetical question... i understand the birds & the bees.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

why i'm a bad person...

traveling for work really takes it out of me. i don't know what it is, but by the time i'm en route to mi casita, i'm so tuckered out and a little cranky. (personally, i think that it's all the time spent sans awesome hubbs.)

yesterday, my coworker and i headed home from boston (the town i absolutely love - more on that later... maybe). the car ride home seemed longer than usual, and even though it's a super beautiful drive, i was over it. when we got to CW's house, i didn't even stop in for a potty break (shocker for me), as i just wanted to get the last 1 - 2 hours over with and get home.

so i was on my way. the trip was surprisingly shorter than expected, so i was pumped to turn down my street. a limo was in front of me, which is definitely out of place in our 'hood. then i noticed that the south side of the street was double parked for more than 3/4 of the block... this left only one narrow path for cars to get through. 

the limo was moving like 2 mph and hesitating as if looking for parking... which there wasn't any - duh! i was patient for 45 seconds or so, but cars were lining up behind me. there is this unspoken rule in nyc that if someone is doing something wrong on the road, he/she will continue to do it unless you call it to his/her attention by honking. so after my patience ran out, i started honking... i was getting all claustrophobic sitting in a fire hazard beyond fire hazard... there was NOWHERE for me to go... NOWHERE, i say.

so i honked. i honked a couple times... then i honked a long, annoyed honk. no one was honking behind me, but i figured they were agreeing in spirit. i mean, they probably thought that i was honking enough for everyone combined.

the only thing i could think was that there was some event at the baptist church across from my building... and that this limo held some baptist "celebrity" who felt entitled to making the road unsafe and stalled for everyone else... so i was annoyed. (remember how badly i wanted to get home?)

well, then the driver opened the front door... and someone opened the back door... and i wanted to scream, "YOU CANNOT PARK HERE, YOU FOOL!" until the passenger walked up to my car screaming, "listen WHITE LADY, you're not in a hurry. you got nowhere to be. what's your problem? there's a funeral." 

i thought for a second that he might beat me up, but then my thoughts turned to, "i'm such a jerkface! there's a funeral, and i'm the most impatient person on the face of the earth."

then the driver told the passenger to calm down and back off, and he walked up to me politely and said that there was supposed to be parking for him but somehow there was not. obviously, i sheepishly and sincerely apologized while also letting him know that there was no way for me to know of the funeral (no procession, no cop cars, no visible hearse) and that he was backing up traffic severely. he apologized too, and we went on our not-so-merry ways.

seriously, if that passenger wasn't having a bad enough day (what with the funeral of a family member), i just had to push him over the edge and make it that much worse. that poor guy... though, he didn't have to call me 'white lady' all demeaning-like. i mean, i am a white lady, and i'm not offended or embarrassed to be one, but it's like rolling your eyes every time you call me 'stephanie' as if my name is scummy and lowly... or maybe he equates 'white lady' with 'self-entitled individual.' and if that's true, then i can't blame him b/c that's what i thought when i saw a limo stalling traffic - oh, the stereotypes.

the guilt. it torments me. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

say what?!

somehow, hubbs and i OWE money on our taxes this year. you read that right; we OWE money. as in - we will not receive a tax refund. as in - we will send 2 checks (one large, one small) to the government this year.

say what?!

so this stinks. apparently nyc has city taxes in addition to state taxes. seriously, i don't mind taxes, and i don't mind that i have to pay extra to live in nyc. what i do mind is that my company (not to be named) failed to automatically deduct my city taxes all year. they deducted state. they deducted federal.

i checked my tax paperwork from when i first started, and sure enough, i checked the box that read "i live in new york city." and yet somehow, they didn't deduct it... and when i asked about it, they told me that typically employees have to ask them to deduct it. well, i say this - why didn't someone mention this in orientation? we have an hr department. within that department, we have a payroll department. what does that department do if not ensure that taxes are paid? an hr representative presented in my orientation. why didn't she mention that city taxes must be requested?

to prove my point further - hubbs works for a chicago-based company. he is the only ny-resident employee they have... as in - everyone else who works with him either a) works for their partner company or b) moved to nyc for a limited time from chicago. hubbs did not check a box. hubbs did not request city tax deduction, and yet he did not have this problem.

p.s. i am in boston right now, and it is snowing buckets... buckets, i say. needless to say, i am really missing beach weather right now.