Monthly Archives: May 2010

Happy Birthday (For Realz)

Earlier this week, an e-mail caught my attention.

Happy Birthday, Stephanie! [Department] thanks Stephanie for all she does at [Company.]

There are bagels in the kitchen to celebrate.

Oh my gosh, so sweet!!! And I do love bagels.

Only it wasn’t my birthday.

Not even close.

My birthday is in September.

I stared at the e-mail for an entire awkward minute, not quite sure what to do.

Soon, a few individual e-mails popped in, “oh, I didn’t know it was your birthday! Happy day!”

It turns out it was another girl’s birthday and her name starts with an “S” too. As word spread about the bagels, somehow our names got mixed up and before you could say “pass the cream cheese” I had single handedly stolen S’s birthday.

Later, the e-mail was corrected and we all had a good laugh about it.

Mix ups happen. You start with one thing and a few tiny turns later, it evolves into something quite different.

Take this blog, for example. It started out as a running blog about training for my first marathon. Personally, I think it was just confused and was Queen of Quirky all along, but anywho, it later evolved into….this.

Did you catch that date on the original post?

Five years ago today.

Five years, one marathon, two confused hardly writing years, one divorce, many fire & wine nights and a wedding later, here we are.

I double dog dare you to read the entire thing. Or, skip that and have a glass of wine in honor of Queen of Quirky today.

Cheers to another quirkiful five years to come!


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Sex & the City Guide for the non-fan

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE DD Girl? Like Love. She is my own Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha rolled into one fabulous friend. If I’ve lost you there, then you’ve come to the right blog. 

Image courtesy of


See, DD Girl took me last night to see the movie. Which isn’t a huge gesture until you realize she is not a fan of the show. She has never seen a single episode or the first movie. 

So, I, being the good friend that I am, put together a cheat sheet, if you will, of  these strange, fashion-obsessed women that she would be spending two hours with on the Big Screen.  I figured there are a lot of non-fans who would be dragged into this movie for various reasons, so I’m sharing my synopsis with you. (You are welcome.) 

I want you to know in doing this, I do not support the second movie as a good film. In fact, I did not care for it much. But, even knowing it was probably going to be an embarrassment to my intelligence, I still had to go see it. Because I’m a fan. And that’s what fans do. We also drag non-fans into our stupidity. It makes us feel better about the thing. 

So, here you go…. 

Carrie Bradshaw is the main character. She writes a column about dating and relationships. She loves shoes. Her BFF’s are Charlotte –a conservative, but sweet loyal friend with very traditional values. Miranda- an uptight lawyer who is always the first Carrie turns to in a crisis  and Samantha – a wild somewhat slutty woman who knows what she wants and has no inhibitions. 

 TV Show: 

The show started when the women were in their 30’s. They all saw different relationships. Carrie dated a lot, but no matter who she dated, she could never shake her attraction to Mr. Big, an older somewhat unavailable man with lots of money. 

 Charlotte tried to get married throughout the show, failed at marriage once but later found the love of her life, Harry, who adored her. She had to become Jewish to marry him, but she did it for love. 

 Miranda had an on and off fling with a guy named Steve –a man who was far less professional and educated than she was. (It bugs her.) She became pregnant, broke up with Steve but kept the baby. She gave a good go at being a single mom. She later realized Steve was the love of her life and married him. 

 I probably can’t write a lot about Samantha on this PG-rated blog, but just know she has fun and hardly commits. At the tail end of the show, she met a younger model named Smith and fell madly in love with him. He supported her through her bought with breast cancer (which she survived.) 

 The TV Show ends with all the women in their early 40’s. Carrie is dating an eccentric Russian artist who wants her to move to Paris with him. Charlotte is suffering from infertility and desperately wants a baby. She has already adopted a little girl from Asia, but then she gets pregnant! It’s a big deal.  Samantha is treating her cancer. Miranda and Steve are married and have decided to move to Brooklyn with their young child. Carrie decides to sell her NY apartment (which she LOVES) and move to Paris for this guy. 

All the girls are sad. But wait. Carrie moves to Paris. And guess who comes chasing after her? Mr. Big! In one giant romantic gesture, Mr. Big shows up in Paris and sweeps Carrie away from crazy Russian artist and we think they are going to live happily ever after with lots of shoes. 

 And then came the first movie: 

 Carrie and Big are looking for a new condo and Mr. Big proposes to Carrie with a pair of expensive shoes. He promises to make her a great big closet for all of her shoes. (Just get that shoes are almost a character in this series.) Mr. Big never thought he’d get married again (Carrie would be his 3rd wife.) So they are planning their wedding which is great, big and ridiculous. 

 But Miranda finds out that Steve had an affair and she’s really bitter. She’s moved out and deciding whether or not to divorce him. At the rehearsal dinner for the wedding, Miranda makes a comment about marriage that puts doubts in Big’s head. 

So there is Carrie in her bigger than life wedding fashion, ready to marry the man of her dreams and….Mr. Big stands her up. There is a dramatic scene where she screams at him in the streets of NY. It involves feathers. It is ugly. I may have cried. 

Then, the girls whisk Carrie away on her honeymoon to Mexico to get her out of the city and help heal her. Charlotte is paranoid that eating or drinking ANYTHING in Mexico will give her the runs, so she sticks with her pudding snacks she brought with her, even though they are at a 5 star resort. 

 But Carrie sleeps for days and the girls are worried. Finally, Carrie comes out from her room. Which is good timing because soon, Charlotte has a poo in her pants because she accidentally drank some of the shower water. This comedic moment breaks the ice and now Carrie is back with the living.  Also, Miranda really needed to shave or wax and Samantha calls her out on it – very funny. 

 They go back to NY. Carrie hires an assistant (Jennifer Hudson) who helps her put her life back together. Miranda is working on her relationship with Steve and is hiding the secret that she never told Carrie – she is the one that put doubts in Mr. Big’s head. 

 Mr. Big keeps sending Carrie e-mails, but she has asked her assistant to delete anything ever from Big, so she never reads them.  Miranda confesses to Carrie. Carrie hates Miranda for a while, but they make up. She and Steve continue to see a marriage counselor who says she needs to make a decision about divorce. So they set a time and date. If they both show up on the Brooklyn Bridge, they are going to give their marriage a second chance. And yes, they both show up. 

 Samantha decides that she needs to break up with Smith and return to her old ways of being Samantha. Charlotte is raising her baby and the Asian little girl she adopted, Lily. (She’s adorable and calls all the other girls her aunts.) 

 On the day Carrie and Big are supposed to close on selling the condo they had already bought, Carrie decides to go to the condo for one last look at it. She walks into her big closet that Big built her and sees the shoes he proposed with. She picks them up and turns around and there he is! She takes him back. They get married at the courthouse and we think NOW they will live happily ever after. 

 But wait…there’s a second movie. And now you are stuck going to it. Good luck with that. 


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Fake Food Fire & Wine Night

I’m not proud of this.

Last night instead of a new culinary creation, I  microwaved frozen cauliflower in cheese sauce and wedges of processed skinny cow cheese and called it a sauce over whole wheat pasta.

For shame.

Even Mr. Quirky who will “try anything once” opted for a frozen pizza.

And after I had all but licked my bowl clean, I wondered, how did I get here?

Have you heard of the site Hungry Girl? I have mixed feelings about it. First off, I applaud Lisa for finding lighter alternatives to fat and calorie laden foods and exposing scary nutritional values of popular chain restaurants. I think when eating, we should all be aware of what we are actually consuming. That’s just obvious.

But so many of her recipes rely on fat-free filler ingredients and Splenda. (Ick!) I just don’t find that appetizing in my cooking. Give me olive oil and cream and I’ll use it in moderation(ish.)(Ok, so hence why I’m trying to shed a few pounds).

But there is something intriguing about her site, especially if you love to eat.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to eat more of a good thing for less? So a  few years ago, I tried to make her famous onion rings using crushed up Fiber One.  But good grief! Those things sat in my stomach like a rock for days. Blech.

I vowed never again to try her recipes. A good call to make lest I start pretending tofu noodles are pasta.

But this week, in an act of hungry (girl) desperation, I found myself strangely drawn to a recipe for Mac & Cheese. What can I say? I was craving pasta. And with this recipe, I could fix my craving and still have enough Weight Watchers points for wine! (Priorities.)

DD Girl (my WW buddy) was on board with this plan. But we both decided the recipe needed some, um, tweaking. So I came up with adding shiitake mushrooms, garlic and four tablespoons of 2% cheddar cheese.

I already told you I devoured it. But I don’t feel good about it.

Why should dieting resort to processed cheese over frozen cauliflower?

There has to be a better solution out there. Luckily, earlier in the week I found a fantastic  food blog called Skinny Taste. Gina uses real ingredients to create real food that’s real good and really low in WW points. (Really.)

Also, I’m committed not to deprive myself of things I really love. I just don’t think you have to. I work out. I eat in moderation. I should be able to enjoy pasta, sushi and (non-processed)cheese, as long as I make smart decisions about how much and which items I eat.

So, next week for Fire & Wine, I’m vowing to create something that doesn’t embarrass this blog. There are good foods out there. And I’m going to find them. Feel free to offer suggestions.


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A letter…

I sent this letter to a few of my former colleagues and editors at The Rocky Mount Telegram. While my career may continue to grow and impact my life, I cannot forsee a job more impactful on who I am as an individual as the one I took, merely steps out of college…

Rocky Mount Telegram friends,

 Hello from Kansas City! Saturday, May 15 will come and go this year with (thankfully) very few remarkable changes in my life. But 10 years ago, on May 15, I was a young woman about to embark on the biggest adventure of her young 22 year-existence. I was about to move to Rocky Mount, North Carolina and be a real life reporter. It was huge.

 To this day, I will never forget the two years of my life I spent in that newsroom, trying to convince everyone I spoke to that I did not work for The Evening Telegram, I worked for the Rocky Mount Telegram. (I hope the memo has now been received regarding the name change.) The relationships I formed during those years have been among the deepest and closest friendships of my life. The stories of the residents of Eastern North Carolina I was privileged to tell still stick with me to this day — A kidney donator, a little girl with degenerative eye disease, countless hurricane Floyd survivors, a former inmate trying to do right by his child and even a few tennis players whose games were interrupted by a klutzy reporter on a first-person story….

Certainly some of the work was rather unremarkable – lawn ornament trends, heavy metal band festivals and trends for Prom 2001. But even in the everyday coverage of Life in Rocky Mount, my job was far from ordinary.

 While I never fulfilled my 22-year old dreams to become an editor at a sassy fashion magazine in New York, I continue to feel blessed that my young career took me to Rocky Mount. I am extremely proud of the decade of accomplishments (and even failures) that followed my time at The Telegram.

 So thank you for seeing some talent in the young writer from Kansas. And thank you for overlooking countless editorial copy errors,  tear fests, too many smoking breaks (including the one where I set my hair on fire!) and a myriad of other juvenile first job mistakes and allowing the girl with a passion for telling stories a place to get her feet wet.

 Because while I was telling other people’s stories, I was writing the beginning of mine.


 Stephanie A. Carey


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Wife Fail Part II

In one of my more genious moments of 2010, I decided that BioFreeze would help Mr. Quirky’s aching back.

I dug some out of my medicine cabinet. He was still sleeping, so I woke him up to let him know I had in my hand, the cure for his pain. I told him to roll over and applied the gel.

Within seconds he was screaming, “It burns! It’s on Fire!”

Thinking maybe he was being a tad overdramatic about the icy hot sensation, I gave it a minute.

Then he began rolling around in true agony screaming for me to grab a towel and wipe it off.

It was too late.

I left for work as he was still writhing around on the bed moaning that it was on fire.



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The Quirkys: Weighing In

It’s no secret that weight gain is common during the first year of marriage.

So I wasn’t surprised when my clothes started fitting a little more snug, and even my mom jeans were hard to pull on.

Mr. Quirky has been on me about the laundry because it turns out, he only has two pairs of jeans that fit him. (Also because I am a horrible slacker when it comes to laundry in general, but that’s another post.)

But when I learned Gertie has gained six pounds, I declared something had to give.



Notoriously Ms. Slim and Trim has put on an entire six pounds since we got hitched. I know this because right before the wedding we took her to the vet and she weight 150 lbs. Saturday, she weighed 156. I made them weigh her again just because I couldn’t believe it.

This is the dog that never puts on weight.

It was time for something drastic.

Weight Watchers.

No, not for her. For me. For the 10 pounds I’ve gained from being newly married and NOT working out due to the broken tail bone. The way I figured, it would be a trickle down method of weight loss for us all. But it has to start somewhere, right?

It’s so hard to be the Queen sometimes.

For example, every Saturday & Sunday morning, I scramble two eggs. I eat approximately 3/4 of the eggs and put the plate down and let Gertie finish it. It’s something we’ve been doing for two years now.

But on Sunday, I only scrambled up one egg. Sure enough, as soon as she heard the sounds of my egg, she came running. But instead of my usual portion sharing, I proceeded to eat it without sharing. Gertie looked horrified. Finally, I gave in and gave her the last little morsel of egg. You see how this is going to work? Default doggy diet.

And Mr. Quirky is also going to diet default style when I begin omitting butter, cream and cheese from our dinners and adding in more veggies to keep things within my point allowance.

While this is all good and well, and sure to get results, I just want to share one thing: Her highness is hungry.

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New wife fail

This is the face of disgust. Two months in.

Except I keep telling people it’s been three.

All that wedding planning, you’d think I’d get the post-wedding time frame down. But no.

Fact: Mr. Quirky is better at remembering how long we’ve been married.

Additional fact: I forgot his birthday.

Well, truth be told, it wasn’t anywhere near his birthday. I was just talking about his birthday and got the date wrong. (In front of his sister.)

I will never live it down.

Trust me. He won’t let me forget.

Kind of like he won’t let me forget that I have the most wretched dish washer loading skills on the planet.

From Mr. Quirky’s standpoint: 40% of these items do not belong in the dishwasher at all.

20% certainly not on the bottom rack.

And, 10% are just poorly placed.

And then there’s the laundry. Or rather, the dog bed.

This shot may have been staged, but Mr. Quirky found Gertie sleeping here last night.

Because I wouldn’t let her in the bed because she smelled like a camp fire.

And despite threats, I was too lazy to bathe her.

So, she found the next best thing.

I really can’t blame her. Just like I can’t blame Mr. Quirky for being slightly annoyed when he has to wear his boxers inside out because there were no clean undies. I’m just lucky I have an ample supply of granny panties I mean underwear to get me by for a few weeks.

Marriage = awesome!

Editor’s note: No husbands or dogs were completely neglected in the making of this post.


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Camping: It’s for the dogs

[Editor’s note: Gertie wanted to blog about her first camping trip. Who was I to stop her?]

I knew something was up when the stuff started piling at the bottom of the stairs. Some of the stuff smelled like my friend, Penny, so I was pretty excited. Anything that involves Penny is pretty fun.

Then my mom got my leash out, and I’ll admit, I went a little nuts. It wasn’t the running leash. It was the other leash. The leash that means…


Daddy rolled down the windows so I could stick my head out. Sometimes it was scary, so I came back in.

We drove for a while. Daddy and Mommy kept looking at these papers. I wondered what they were up to.

We got out of the car and I saw a lot of stuff in the air. It smelled funny. Kind of like sausages. But then I saw there were some people I knew there. Auntie Erika [Roomie] and Christi [DD Girl] were there. I love those girls.

Daddy and Mommy got out chairs and joined them.

They were all talking and drinking the stuff that makes them laugh a lot.

There were so many smells.

I decided to check out the joint. You know, inspect it to make sure it was ok. First I had to poop. I like to poop when I get somewhere new.

Then I discovered there was some tall grass.

I had never played in grass like this before.

I loved it. It seemed like the perfect place to chill out and keep an eye on the people.

Daddy even got a new toy out. It was kind of like a ball, but flat. It was kind of hard to figure out how to pick it up and bring it back, but I got the hang of it quickly.

Then, Mommy and Auntie Erika took me on a walk. There was lots of goose poop on this trail. I was very interested in it.

When we got back, Christi got out this weird thing. At first I thought it was scary, but then I realized what it was. It was a crate for people. They even put small beds in the crates.

I was down with that.

I remember when I had to stay in my crate a lot. It made me feel better about being in a new place. That must be why the people had them there.

I wondered when they would get in their crates. Usually the people told me when to get in my crate. Who would tell them to get in their crates? Maybe that was my job?

I decided to worry about that after dinner.

There was a lot of food to check out.

The food made all the people happy.

I got a few bites here and there.

It was kind of like when my mommy and daddy have people at the house.

Only we were all outside.

And then even my food got put in a bowl. I was kind of surprised to see it there. And I wasn’t all together sure about eating it.

Don’t tell anyone, but after I had fun playing, I started to get a little nervous.

The people were getting louder and loud people scare me.

To make matters worse, mommy put me on a long leash attached to the ground.

She said it was because it was going to get dark and she didn’t want me wandering off.

I thought it was mean.

But she was right. It did get dark.

I really didn’t like the dark part.

The people seemed to have a good time and the warm smelly thing they sat around got big and red.

I stayed away from most of it.

Some of the people looked like they needed to be put in their crates, if you ask me.

Finally, my mommy decided to get in her crate, and guess what?! She invited me in too. I got to sleep right up by her head. She never lets me sleep there. She said I was keeping her warm.

Then daddy got in the crate too. But he made the tent get really stinky and then tried to blame it on me. Mommy didn’t let him. She knew it was him and not me. I love my mommy.

In the morning, I decided I really wanted to stay in the crate, even after mommy and daddy got out.

But then I discovered that Auntie Erika was still in her crate.

If I haven’t told you,  Auntie Erika is one of my favorite people.

She used to live with mommy, and sometimes when mommy wasn’t home, Auntie Erika gave me food and cuddled with me.

It was time to see about getting in Auntie Erika’s crate.

Mission accomplished.

You know, camping was fun and all, but mostly I was just glad to get home.

Until I heard mommy and daddy saying I stink like campfire and I might get a bath.

Maybe next time, I’ll leave the camping to the people.


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