The truth is, you can’t.

Trust me. I’ve tried. I’ve spent the better part of my morning ignoring children so I could think of the best, most awesome post to end the STOG with. And the thing is, I can’t really put it into words. I mean, is there anything better than a CARTOON post? (Especially when CARTOON brandy is rocking the worlds greatest rack?!) Or a post about loving Lauren Graham? (Which I completely disagree with, I think she’s overrated but now is NOT the time to discuss my views on her, let’s end the STOG on a high note), but I loved the post nonetheless.

The thing about STOGS is like we said at the beginning of the week- they are a brief snapshot. A time capsule of what was in the heads of two Canadians who like writing and are in love with Josh Lyman (okay, I might be the only one admitting to being in love, but I know Peter has a soft spot for Mr. Lyman). I definitely am thankful Peter asked me to do this, even if it meant putting up with his verbal abuse and tirades for five straight days.

Just kidding Peter. You know I think you are ridiculous. In the best sense of the word.

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I’m sure that we’ve all wondered, at one time or another, what a cartoon strip starring Brandy and I might look like.

Thanks to the explosively talented Kevin LeBlanc, who turned my half-assed words into pretty pictures, you don’t have to wonder any longer!

strip500x500

(Notice that I am sitting at the end of the couch, while Brandy seems to be trying to sit as close to me as possible.  Just sayin’.)

Because I’m kind of a dork, instead of writing one script for Kevin to draw, I wrote five.

Here are the ones we didn’t choose:

Strip option #1

Panel 1
Peter: People have asked me why we aren’t dating.
Brandy: Sober people?

Panel 2
Peter: I am not sure how to answer them.
Brandy: How about with: Because you’re smug, conceited, sarcastic…

Panel 3
Brandy: …a pain in the ass, a know it all, AND you’re painfully self-absorbed.

Panel 4
Peter: Think vertical stripes would me me look too lanky?

Strip Option #2

Panel 1
Brandy: My day was a massive ball of sucking.
Peter: Hmm. I dated her in college. Linda… maybe?

Panel 2
Brandy: You went to college?
Peter: Sporadically.

Panel 3
Brandy: Aren’t you going to ask why my day sucked?
Peter: Why did your day suck?

Panel 4
Brandy: I don’t want to talk about it.
Peter: I wonder if Linda is on Facebook.

Strip option #3

Panel 1
Brandy: Do these sandals make my toes look chubby?
Peter: Yes.

Panel 2
Brandy: At any point did that seem like a smart reply to you?
Peter: No.

Panel 3
Brandy: And yet that’s what you said?
Peter: Yes

Panel 4
Brandy: Do you ever wonder why you are single?
Peter: Well someti– Noooo.

Strip option #4

Panel 1
Brandy: The date tonight.. I don’t think he liked me
Peter: I don’t believe it

Panel 2
Brandy: It’s true
Peter: Madness!

Panel 3
Brandy: He seemed… disinterested.
Peter: He’s a fool. A fool!

Panel 4
Brandy: Thank you for being so sweet.
Peter: Bad time to admit I was talking about the old judge on Dancing With The Stars?

**********

Thanks so much for checking out our STOG posts this week.  Make sure to read Brandy’s post this afternoon.  And come see us on our own blogs!

I once went through a break up that was so bad I really did wish for death. Now that might sound overly dramatic (or at the least bit suicidal) and it’s not like I wanted to die in the way that we think of one dying, I just felt like living was too much work. I had cried until I had no tears left, until my body felt like someone had wrung it of every happy thought, until my voice was hoarse from asking “Why?” and my ears were sore from the deafening silence that came as my reply. I just needed a break from my life. A temporary time out to collect my thoughts, re-organize my soul, find a way to forget about the way he kissed me and what love tasted like.

My mom listened to me rant and rave and question and cry for six days. And on the seventh day she told me to have a shower. (Because yes, I take heartache to a whole new level. The level that insists on wearing only flannel, eating only cheese strings and most importantly- refusing to shower.) And when I told her I couldn’t shower because showering was an act done by people who cared- cared about their appearance and life and the smell they emitted, she told me I had 10 minutes and then she was dragging me to the shower fully clothed. I’ve never been a big fan of showering while clothed, so I sighed the sigh you can only pull of when you are drowning in Stage 5 heartbreak and made myself shower. And afterwards, I made myself put on something that wasn’t flannel. And after that I made myself eat food that wasn’t designed to be pulled apart. And after that I forced myself to take off the love goggles I had been wearing and thought objectively of the boy who I had claimed ruined me (hi, I minored in theatre, could you tell?) and realized he was a bit of a tool.

But of course such realizations never come easy or without a cost. I had six days of tears and cheese strings for dinner before I even begun to think that maybe this fellow with his careless words and thoughtless acts might be a tiny bit responsible for the way things ended. And now I have a friend going through a break up that reminds me of the worst one I experienced. She’s more a fan of sweatpants and chocolate than flannel and cheese strings but the signs are all there.

So I will listen as she asks questions I can’t answer, I will repeat every cliche I’ve ever heard and rack my brain searching for the one sentence that will cut through her heartache and make her smile. And on the seventh day, I will do what my mom did for me- I will tell her to shower. And she will.

“You ever feel like, if your life was a movie, you’d be at that point where you were spending all your time unshaven, on your couch, wearing mismatched socks, ignoring phone messages, realizing the only thing in your fridge is six year old baking soda, watching Saved By The Bell:The College Years, and finally starting to understand country music lyrics, until a friend comes over and forces you to shower and go to a bar?”

“I guess…” she replied, looking at his socks.

“Can I tell you a story?” he asked.

“I’m kind of in a rush and–”

“It won’t take long.”  He assured.

“Uhm. OK…”

“I was a big shot advertising guy. I was at the top of my game. And I had been for a while. I know that I look young. I’m in my mid thir– early… late twenties. This was like any other pitch meeting…

I stared the client in the eyes. I smiled. I was confident.

My boss, standing in the corner, smiled too. He had seen that look in my eye before. He knew that a home run was coming.

“So, how are we going to sell more hamburgers?” The client asked the room.

“I can answer that with one word… complete customization.” I smiled broadly.

“Complete customization?”

“With so many fast food–”

“Good food prepared quickly,” the client interrupted.

“With so many options for good food prepared quickly,” I continued, “we need a way to differentiate you from the competition. And what we’ve come up with is… let people put their own toppings on. Anything they want. And the slogan is… Are you ready for this?”

“I think so,” the client replied.

“Put whatever you want between our buns.”

I waited for the applause. The “you did it again!”s. But…

*crickets*

“Could I see you in my office for a moment?” my boss asked, taking me by the arm and half-dragging me out of the room.

As soon as he closed the door to his office behind us, “Ignoring the obvious questions: Is that even hygienic? Isn’t that from a Seinfeld episode? PUT WHATEVER YOU WANT BETWEEN OUR BUNS?”

“Yes…”

“Were you kidding” he asked.

I wasn’t.

“I wasn’t.”

“Yeah, I’m going to have to let you go.”

“Home for the afternoon to watch ESPN Classic?” I asked.

“Pack up your stuff and leave”

“They are showing the Doug Flutie throw from college!”

But he was already gone back to the meeting.

So I went to clear out my desk. It didn’t take long. A framed picture of my gorgeous girlfriend got placed in a small cardboard box, along with a half eaten Crunchie bar, a semi-ironic red Swingline stapler, a copy of The New Yorker, and a squeezable stress ball.

I didn’t have to wait long in front of the building for my bus to come along. I got on it. Nothing interesting happened there, so I don’t know why I’m telling you this part.

When I arrived home, my girlfriend was standing in the kitchen with her hands on her hips. That is never a good sign.

“Hi.” I offered.

“I’m pretty. I’m smart, right?” she asked.

“Absolutely,” I said, still holding my box in front of me.

“I’m a good cook. I’m sweet. I’m a catch…”

“… and release,” I mumbled.

It was at that point that I fully gathered just how serious she was and how unimpressed she was with my obvious wit.

I hadn’t seen her look that mad since our first date. That was when I told her that, “Your voice is lovely. If you did books on tape, I’d listen to every single one… and masturbate.”

That… didn’t go over well.

I tried to explain that I was kidding. And that I make jokes like that when nervous.

Somehow she agreed to a second date.

Back to her raging and me holding a box.

“You’ve never been the best boyfriend. I’ve accepted that. You have horrible fashion sense.  You unspool the toilet paper over the top. You threw a dart through my college diploma. Was the diploma close to your dart board?”

“Not really.”

“Where was the dartboard?” she asked.

“In another room.”

“And?”

“In our neighbour’s apartment…”

“Yes. So for those things, and so many more, I think we should break up.”

I searched for words.

“At least,” she continued. “I hope you learned something from dating me.”

“Yeah… you’ve been cautionary tail” were the words I found.

But didn’t say.

I didn’t figure the tale/tail thing would work so well if I had to spell it out.

T-A-I-L?

Nevermind.

“I’ll be back for my stuff tomorrow while you are at work.” She grabbed her bag and walked towards the door.

I stood, staring and still holding my box.

She looked back over her shoulder. “And you were bad in bed.” The door closed behind her.

I barely blinked. Then the bottom fell out of my box. The items landed on the floor. My stress ball hit my toe and rolled across the room…

He shook his head. A little wore out from telling the story.

“She said I was bad in bed! Can you imagine? Because… ha… I know which side the biscuit is buttered on, you know?”

“Uhm… sir. I just wanted to sell you some girl scout cookies.” said the eight year old, with a terrified look in her eyes.

“Oh yeah. Two boxes of thin mints, please.”

He passed her some cash and took his cookies.

The little girl beat a hasty retreat down the hall. At the stairway, she met a little red headed girl in the same uniform.

“I sold fifteen boxes! How did you do?” the red head asked.

“Two.”

“You only sold two? What happened?”

“Adults are fucked.”

“I hear that.” the red head replied as they started walking down the steps.

Dear Every single man who has ever wondered what he needed to do to get a girl to fall madly in *L word with him,

There are three simple things you should do if you wish to woo a girl:

1. Be charming.

2. Tell the truth.

3. Get flowers for the girl.

It’s really that simple.

sincerely,
brandy

(p.s. Let’s not get crazy and assume the L word means LOVE. Sometimes it’ means LUST. Or LIKE. Or even LIKE aLot.)

Dear Lauren Graham,

Hi.

I hope this letter finds you well.  Because, you know, I assume you’re reading this STOG.

Oh.  You don’t know me, but I’ve been a fan since the “Caroline in the City” days.  And I’m still not speaking to ABC for canceling “Townies.”

We also have a six degrees thing going.  An ex-girlfriend’s fiancee is good friends with good friends of yours.  (Or something.)  And my ex uses this info to torture me.  She’s an evil, evil, evil, cute, evil woman.  (She also says you have broad shoulders, so be mean to her if you ever meet!)

I wrote a screenplay with you in mind once.  I convinced your agent to read it.  She even called me when she was finished with it.  She said all kinds of lovely and complimentary (and truthful) things about it and then mentioned, “When you come up with the funding, let me know and I’ll pass it along to Lauren.”

So I checked between the cushions of my couch, but only found $1.07.  Canadian.  And a Bazooka Joe comic.  It was the one with the very dated pun.  Do you remember it?

I should also mention that, when your agent called, I had the flu and a super high fever.  For the first half of the conversation I thought she was a girl I dated in college.  I’m glad I didn’t mention “that time, in the hotel room, with the jumper cables and ventriloquist’s dummy.”

Kidding.

I’m kidding.

It was a sock puppet.

Now I don’t typically give career advice to people.  Mostly because I’m staggeringly self-absorbed.  However I have the perfect idea for you.  Well, more like ideas…

– A TV drama.  It’s set inside a big Chicago ad agency being run by a recently divorced couple.  It’s written by Aaron Sorkin and stars you and Matthew Perry.

– A TV drama.  It’s set inside the world of international espionage and features a pair of siblings — one an agent, one an analyst.  It’s written by Aaron Sorkin and stars you and Matthew Perry.

– A TV drama.  It’s set inside the world of an uber successful political family in New England and features a newly divorced daughter who is going through a sexual re-awakening.  It’s written by Aaron Sorkin and stars you and… me.

In conclusion (almost), I think that we should get together for a coffee, or to play Facebook Scrabble.

I’m delightful.  Ask around.  Just don’t ask ex-girlfriends… or family members… or neighbors… or professors or teachers I’ve had…  or the government…

Seriously.  Ask around.

I’m a nice guy.  I recycle.  I give back rubs that I don’t expect to lead someplace.  (Conversely, if I have to open a jar for you, expect to be required to put out like a fiend.)

Lauren Graham, in this crazy, fast-moving world, aren’t we all just looking for a connection?  A co-pilot for our adventures.  A Lewis for our Clark.  A Bert for our Ernie.  A Zach Morris for our Kelly Kapowski.  Lauren Graham, we can’t be afraid to take a chance on love, because, in life, there is no greater reward.

However if things don’t work out between us, could you introduce me to Anne Hathaway?

With warm regards and occasional wandering hands,
Peter

-ps Sorry your sitcom didn’t get picked up for the fall.  😦

– pps Your shoulders are slim and lovely.

You know, when Peter talked to me about the idea of STOGGING, I said yes before I even really thought about who I would be writing with. Peter. Peter the published author. Peter who has swarms of fans who live and breathe for his posts. Peter who is creative and funny and makes blogging not boring with his writing talents. Peter the published author. Have I mentioned Peter is a published author?

I was thinking of how to best address the differences between Peter and I (I’m referring to writing style, not the obvious differences of him being a boy and me a girl and the fact that I’m a hobbit and he’s a giant), when I realized that I had the perfect opportunity with todays topic. The idea of “creativity”.  See, Peter can go drink a *fresca and come to his computer and whip up some thought provoking, sigh inducing piece of writing and I’m going to show you what I passed off in university as “art”. Be prepared:

art

I’m serious.

And not only did I pass it off as “art”, I had to present it to my university class with a straight face. The assignment was “find art in nature”. The problem was I spent the night before drinking $1 draft beers and flaked on the assignment. By the time I remembered it was due, I was in serious panic mode. I channeled Kate Gosselin and had my boyfriend at the time outside in his boxer shorts rolling snow while he suffered through the tequila sweats. I had no idea what I was doing but I remember my presentation focused on climate change, “art in motion” (a phrase I picked up from the other presenters) and I might have tried to connect the photo to Darfur. I got an A on the assignment but spent an awkward 30 minutes after class listening to my professor lecture  me on taking university more seriously and explaining to me that one day “your words won’t be able to save you”.

Thankfully I take the STOG more seriously than university.

*I have no idea if Peter drinks fresca. I just assume he does. I always assume really creative people drink fresca. It’s like the drink of high minded individuals who bleed creative genius.

like you mean it

May 26, 2009

sometimes
i wonder if you’re
hearing the words
the way that i am
hearing the words
the way they were meant
it’s not the kudos
it’s really not
though it’s lovely
and appreciated
but it would take more than that
more than praise is needed
to convince one
to spend so long
toiling
over words
over meanings
over cadence
and over again
and
it’s not just the cadence…
it’s not just the cadence
alone
that resonates with me
it’s the words
saying so much more
about me than them
or us
it’s not what we don’t know
but what we do
what we always have
that trips us up
me
words pulled forth
by a smile
a flash of creation
would be disappointing
if they felt like enough
yet I need to
you know…
i want to write something
i want to write something that
makes people feel
like they are reading something
special
i want to force
involuntary smiling nods
i want to write
something
that is more than just
a combination of words
i want to find a greater truth
i want to write
something
that makes people say
“yes.  yes!”
i want to lift up
and up
i want to make goosebumps form
i want to write
something
that by any measure
is good
really, really good.
and

I want you to read it.

When Peter approached me with the idea of a STOG, I was immediately on board. See, those of you who know Peter know that’s he’s a charmer. He could have approached me with the idea of fire eating or getting a tattoo of a Burt Reynolds on my ass and I would have been on board.  With pictures.

And then he explained what a STOG was and immediately thought I was in love. A STOG is like a one night stand without the walk of shame. You get all the fun out of writing, without any of  the long term obligations.  And if there’s one thing that I love- it’s being free of long term obligations (this is probably why I’m single. And why I refuse to buy a nice car- the idea of having a car payment is too permanent for me. This is an awesome idea until I realize that having a car that doesn’t have a car payment attached to it also means having a car that does not have air conditioning).

The whole idea of having a STOG reminds me of the craziest one night stand ever. I hesitate to even call it a one night stand- it was more like, a one night sleepover with Willy Wonka. His name was Owen and he painted houses and he loved candy. Sour candy, chocolate chews, gumballs, licorice, rockets- he loved it all. His room would have been Willy Wonka’s wetdream. Our night consisted of us laying in his bed talking and then him mid-sentence jumping out of bed remembering where he had put another stash. He hid his candy because his roommate would always come in and eat it.

Hindsight suggests that maybe a guy who was more interested in eating a snickers bar he had crammed into the pages of “No Logo” than sexing up a hot girl in his bed is grounds for a redflag, but at the time I sort of thought he was charming. And his love of candy was one that I shared- (though I’m more of a sour candy girl than a chocolate girl) so I stayed the night and woke up at 5 am with sticky Nerd candies stuck to my arm. I walked home covered not only in the shame one does when one is walking home at 5 am in her bar clothes, with smudged mascara and bedhead but with the sweet aroma of chocolate and licorice clinging to me.

Whoa. I just realized that I went from talking about STOGS to my walk of shame. See? This is why STOGS are fun. I may cringe sharing my one night stand story but in a week? This STOG will be over and the only thing that will remain of it is my memory of a one night stand with a guy who’s idea of foreplay involved licorice, chocolate sauce and Ani Difranco.

Maybe the Ani Difranco should have been the redflag.

Hi.  I’m Peter.

“Hi, Peter!”

Hi.

I can’t remember who it was that first called me “a blog visionary.”

But it was probably me.

I know you have questions, tweedle bugs.  I’m bringing the answers.

Patience is more than just a name you give your child who eventually grows up to be a super talented pole dancer with warm eyes that make a man believe that her feelings are genuine and that even though she takes money to spend time with him she actually really enjoys it and–

OK.

Many of us have moonlighted on group blogs. I created (and eventually abandoned) Burt Reynolds’ Mustache. Brandy is one of the posters at Ummm… Now What?

The problem with group blogs, typically, is that the posters are usually blogging at two places at once.  It can be taxing.  Soon your hygiene goes to hell.  You are skipping your weekly orgy to write blog posts.  It’s… not fun.

But Brandy and I knew that we wanted to do a project together. We owed it to the world.

We wanted something different. We tossed around some ideas. Maybe I would post in french.  Maybe Brandy would type only with her nipples. Which, frankly, might be problematic as her left nip is a tad dyslexic.

I wanted to create something called, “Peter brings sexy back… while Brandy comes along for the ride.”

She…  didn’t much like the idea.

Eventually we settled on a short term blog. Or a…

Wait for it…

Wait…

Sorry. My phone is ringing.

One sec.

I’m on hold now.

Fuck it.

We settled on a short term blog. Or a…

STOG.

On a scale of 1 to “Miley is Hannah Montana?!?!” how blown is your mind right now?

It was decided that we would run this STOG for a week.  That’s it.  No longer.

When the week is over, we’ll just let the STOG sit there.  Brandy likened it to “a time capsule.”  It will mark but a moment in time in the bogging era.

A genius moment, because it is us, but a moment nonetheless.

I’ll be posting each morning this week. (Monday – Friday.)  And Brandy will handle the afternoons.  Each day will have a theme (of sorts) but we won’t tell you what they are.  We’re creating art here, people!

I don’t want to oversell this, but Brandy and I together on the same blog is the greatest combination since…

Chocolate syrup and milk. Or Lennon and McCartney. Or my motor boatin’ face and your booobs.

Still unsure what a STOG is?

It is magic sliding down a rainbow into a pot of awesome.

Oh. The title?

Well, we’re not a couple.

Duh.

Plus, why should only couples be allowed to do a couples blog? (Or STOG.)

We hope that you enjoy our STOG (and check in at least twice a day.)

And we hope that you’ll try your own.

But not until we are done with ours.

Thunder-stealing bastardos.

(The “o” shows you that I mean businessx.)

(The “x” shows you that I have big Canadian fingers.)