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June 29, 2006

Shoes don't stretch and men don't change

The insomnia returned about a week ago.

Nights alone, and it's so hot outside that the day doesn't lose its tension until about 10 p.m., when you can sit outside on a patio chair, legs crossed at the ankles, stretched out and languid like a cat. Except you can't relax, and you listen to crickets and drink another glass of wine and hear the signs of life from your neighbors. Sometimes a phone rings at a house nearby or a clothes dryer buzzes, and you remember people live there inside those houses with families and lives and you sit quietly knowing you're a thousand miles from sleep. You watch a spider build a web and you think, "The gardener comes tomorrow, I'll ask him to get rid of it." Because you can't, or won't and anyway it's a man's job.

And though I stay busy at work (the summer is always our busiest time), I find myself alone, at a single quiet moment, and at first I remember to get cat litter or to call the DWP about the recycling bin that mysteriously lost one rolling wheel, and then it dawns on me that he is married, that he was married for three months already before I even went out on a date with a man, that he planned a wedding while he was still technically married to me and they registered for gifts and towels and sheets and I can't tell anyone how much this offends me.

Because I am supposed to be over it.

And I know in my heart you can be over a person, you can be moving forward with your life however small and fine, and you can still feel lied to and disillusioned and untethered. You can have a moment, a weak moment, where you lament that the one you said 'forever and a day' to has walked down that long aisle with another. Bought an engagement ring for another, registered for gifts. You can know in your rational mind that he's merely re-enlisted for more heartache and sorrow and resentment. But your illogical mind says, "What is it about me that draws in lonely?" What is it about me?

Which is, of course, the very difference between you and the one who left. No one tells you as you plan your marriage, a life together, to hold back. They expect -- no, demand -- that you take the vows seriously and enter into a couple with a true heart and spirit of willingness. Yet we're expected to forget, to move on, to forget about all that the minute it fails and he shuts the door behind him, or you leave, however it fell apart.

Take the vows seriously, but not the dissolution?

No such thing. It makes the difference between me and him. But it isn't an easy understanding. I sit with these things so I can see how to better move forward, not because I am stuck in the past. But it's a fine line, and a hard one to explain. So I don't sleep, for now.

Posted by laurie at 8:49 PM

June 27, 2006

Increasing: Knit into the front and back of a stitch

Since posting the felted bracelet bag pattern, I've gotten a few questions about increasing stitches. (Decreasing is pretty easy ... in that pattern, you simply knit two stitches together as one each time there is a decrease.)

Obviously, learning to increase and decrease the amount of stitches on your needles is an excellent skill to have in your knitting bag o' tricks. The ability to increase (or decrease) stitches gets you out of the square/rectangle world and into the... sloping square/rectangle world. Also known as "the triangle."

Increasing is just what it sounds like -- making more stitches on the needle. Let's say you have four stitches and you want to eventually have eight. You'll need to "increase" your knitting by adding four new stitches.

There are lots of ways to increase. To make new stitches on the felted bracelet bag, I used the technique of knitting into the front and back of a stitch to increase.

It is exactly what it sounds like... you knit into the front leg of a stitch just like normal, except you don't drop the stitch off the left needle when you're done. Nope. You work the stitch again, this time knitting into the back leg of the stitch, then finally drop it off the left needle. Voila! You have two stitches where before ... there was only one. If only making a boyfriend were this easy. Love by osmosis.

I tried to take pictures of this increasing business. But do ya'll have any idea how hard it is to use both hands while knitting and simultaneously taking pictures of yourself? It is hard. It is, in fact, impossible.

So I coerced Faith into letting me film her... except we maybe kept giggling and messing up.

This first clip is the one that was easiest to follow:

Then, of course, there is the outtake:

Posted by laurie at 9:45 AM

June 26, 2006

Those crazy people in wigs who knit ...

That's the Sobakowa, exercising her powers of Eminent Domain in the box which contained one perfect pink birthday present from Drew.

Imagine the shock, surprise, and probable horror that came over the few poor souls who braved their very first night of Stitch 'n Bitch on Thursday, when the entire WeHo S'nB group was decked out in crazy wigs and drinking from strategically placed bottles of wine. One new girl fled the scene of the wigfest as soon as possible, but a few brave ladies managed to sit through most of the event without medication, so maybe they'll come back on a normal evening. Sorry there are no captions, I was off work for a few days and I have eleventeen hundred emails and tasks and so on to get through and sort of want to put on a wig of invisibility and slink home to watch Tivo but alas. Also! Did you know that egregarious is not a word? Don't ask me how I found this out, except that it involved two bottles of champagne, six drunk friends and one laptop computer. Oh, the vocabularian slurring.

Click on thumbnails for bigger pics!

The rest of the weekend was as crazy and colorful as wig night, but with a lot less picture-taking. I needed to come back to work to recover from all the frivolity and happiness, as these old bones were not built for long-term partying anymore. It was a good time had by all, and I can't tell you how happy and thankful I am to have friends and fellow knitters who love to carry on and eat cake and laugh as much as I do. I am truly blessed!

Faith made me Oma's Chocolate Cake for my birthday and I think I ate the entire thing.

Posted by laurie at 11:57 AM

June 22, 2006

Happy Ikealovin!

Hello, age thirty-five. Nice to see you.

Let us dwell on the fact that it is early in the morning and I am having myself a cup of coffee and writing this from home because I have taken the day off work to ... dah dah DUM!! Drumroll please!

... go to IKEA!

IKEA loves me. IKEA knows the kind of lovin' I need, and that said lovin' should be packaged with mysterious instructions featuring strangely-drawn Swedish cartoon characters who are androgynous and build things with small wooden pegs holding it all together. If, for whatever reason, I arrive at IKEA and decide I want my lovin' already assembled and half-off the marked price, I can roam the "As Is" department. IKEA is flexible that way. If my particular need for lovin' must be under $20 and in funky colors (yes, love can be cheap!), there's the aisle after aisle of plastic containers and boxes and stuff... probably called Plastikstuuf. Or Stufinplastik. I do not know. (Me = Notknowinswedish.)

Later, after my shopinbuyinunder$20 excursion, I'm going to stitch, and bitch, and also drink some wine. And I'm very excited, because I am bringing presents to S'nB, since I really do suck at all forms of mail (also: for the record. Some horrible spam-type person has been sending out emails from this domain, I don't know how they do it or why but I will never send you spam, I promise, and I am sorry if you got one. I hope this spammer knows I plan to hunt down his mama and tell her what a REAL WINNER he is, and I will go into detail. GRAPHIC detail. In the meantime, my email is fubared with 37,000 returned spam emails and I just give up. I cried on the phone to tech support, AGAIN, and now I'm considering just getting a plain old carrier pigeon and giving up entirely on this whole email thing.) Oh. Where was I?

Yes! I am bringing little tiny presents to stitch 'n bitch that you will NOT like, not unless you know that I KNOW THAT THERE IS PAIN, JUST HOLD ON FOR ONE MORE DAY. hahahahah!!! (I have amused myself. It is only 9 a.m. people. And I am not even drinking.) Also, my gift to you is apparently getting a crap Wilson Phillips song stuck in your head. Blame Jennifer! Last week at Target she stopped me in the middle of the aisle:

Jen: Do you know what song I hate? I MEAN I HATE THIS SONG SO MUCH.

Me: No, what song?

Jen: Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?

Me: AAARRRGGGH. I hate that song too!

(a minute passes in silence)


Jen: ...? why?

Me: Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?

Had that damn song stuck in my head for an hour. So, you see, I know that there is pain but if you hold on for one more day you can break free of the chains!


Thank you for not making fun of my shoes that time I talked about my Ugg-love.

Thank you for being sweet to me even when I was really kind of annoying and you wanted to smack me upside the head, but instead sighed and promised it would get better one day.

Thank you for understanding that I am a terrible hermit, and painfully shy sometimes. And sometimes I do not shut up. Fun! You never know what you might get that day!

Thank you for being concerned about my animals, including one who is trying to take over the world with her manifesto, one who has no teeth but managed to eat an entire bouquet (he's fine! knocked over a lamp this morning, feeling great!), one who stares at his own paw a lot, and one who is pretty.

Thank you for the donations, you have no idea how much that helped me at a time when I'm pretty sure I was I was thisclose to moving into the Jeep. The cats are healthy, the vet bill has been paid, and we're only medicating one cat a day here at Feline Guantanamo. You'll never know how much that helped me, thank you.

Oh! And thanks for helping me come up with a new way to discuss my large forehead: it's a fivehead!

And thank you for coming here, and for adding to the story, thank you for the lovely birthday wishes, this has been the happiest part of my life, connecting with people and us all figuring it out together. Ya'll are so much better than therapy! I can drink during this! Most therapists would frown on that.

See, some day somebody's gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye, until then baby are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry? Don't you know things can change? Things'll go your way if you hold on for one more day!

Heh. Sorry. I couldn't resist!

Posted by laurie at 9:02 AM

June 21, 2006


It's late and I'm sitting on the porch, out back, in a faded wicker chair whose cushion has seen better days. It's still warm out, I can hear the crickets talking to each other.

I have on pajama pants, faded and soft, there's a hole in the left leg where I got caught on the bushes once on my way to the garage before Francisco cut the shrubs down to a stump. My long-sleeved T-shirt doesn't match, but it's soft, too, spent a lot of nights with me. Everything is quiet, except the crickets and occassionally a plane overhead to remind me I'm in Los Angeles, I'm in a city of millions and being alone is a luxury, or chance, or just the way it is right now.

It's not like last year. I don't feel so deliberately unloved, so unknown to myself. Tomorrow will be my thirty-fifth birthday, again I'll spend the night alone and wake up with a cat on my pillow, another day to look in the mirror and see myself, lonely eats breakfast with you and brushes your teeth alongide you and cleans the catbox. But it doesn't define you, any more than being divorced defines you, and people say, "Get over it," and you are 'over it' in that sense. You are now just a woman, a lady with a life however small and messy, and you wonder if it's such a bad quality that you sift through things and sit with them, know them, smell them, write them down in too many words and drink cava while an airplane overhead takes travellers to New York, or maybe Zurich, or maybe Cleveland.

God, it's something to have such freedom! The luxury to think about a thing. The luxury to sit on your back porch and and listen to crickets, stay all in one piece. Just yesterday I found out that my husband, ex-husband, had remarried. One month after our divorce. He and his betrothed registered for gifts (including one "fiesta red chip and dip platter" thank you) and had a wedding in January and he walked down the aisle, said "I love you 'til death do us part" to another, his wife Number Two, before I had even begun dating again. Before I had even fully regrouped, he was remarried, had re-enlisted, needed someone to wash his socks? Doesn't matter now. I spent a few hours feeling forgettable, wondering how it was that I became interchangeable. Then I walked outside in mismatched pajamas and heard the crickets, and I am nobody's wife, nobody's responsibility but my own.

And I can handle that.

I will get a pedicure tomorrow, and drink coffee in bed, and clean the catbox, and lonely is temporary, and I am the sort of person who sits with things, feels them writes them knows them, and washes my own socks. And you get over things your own way, and God, thank you for the empty patio. Thank you for letting me turn thirty five. Parts of me are like this very cushion and have seen better days, but parts of me know there are so many better days to come. Even if there will likely be a cat sitting on top of them.

Posted by laurie at 9:57 PM

As if I'm here but I'm gone

Yesterday morning I was driving in to work and as I turned down Hope Street, a tour bus was letting out passengers. A group of tourists crowded around the street corner facing the Disney Center, all with cameras in hand, taking pictures from every angle, some so excited they stepped out into the street and got honked at by morning commuters. I thought, "God I love this city, I live in a place that people come to for vacation and make it their destination, take pictures of our beautiful landmarks to show off to relatives back home."

Later that night, I left downtown and drove home with the windows out on my Jeep. The air was still warm and as I drove under the four-level my car was filled with the pervasive sweet smell of honeysuckle. It was so unexpected. I inhaled, thankful traffic was at a standstill so I could enjoy it a moment longer, and I wanted to be back home where summer is soft and warm each night with humidity and the fireflies light up the backyard. They don't have fireflies here. I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen one and I was so homesick I could feel it in my bones.

I'm such a weirdo.


Posted by laurie at 10:17 AM

June 20, 2006

Shoes don't stretch and men don't change

I guess I had a delayed reaction. At first I was so surprised, it just took a while to sink in, really penetrate the barrier of disbelief. I told a few people about Mr. X and his new wife, how they had married one month after the divorce, and folks all said more or less the same things, which are more or less all true:

"Oh my God. No way!"

"You're so much better off without him."

"What an ass!"

"Well, good luck to her." (This one was followed very quickly by me saying: "Good luck? You sleep with another woman's husband and he moves out, divorces wife number one, and ya'll plan your wedding and register for gifts and you want good luck? You got everything you deserved.") (Met by: silence.)

And, finally, the one that is hardest for me: "Well, you just need to move on and leave it in the past."

And I try, I try not to talk about him anymore, or the divorce, or even this final piece of shocking news (because that's the end, really. Everything from here on out is just gossip or information, this was the final nail, the one piece of information he'd kept from me, the one missing link in the dissolution of our life together. Reader, this was why he left me. And I deserved to know... just not this way.) and so I try not to talk about it because I know what people think of me. I know they think I've taken this whole divorce rather hard, and that I should buck up and chin up and whatever else up. That it's time to move on! Move forward! Get on with your life!

And I'm very confused by this.

Why is it that an emotional response means you aren't moved on? Can't you be mostly, relatively, almost-very-much moved on and still feel shock, sadness, disappointment, anger?

The day you marry your beloved, no one tells you, "Well, congratulations on your marriage... but don't take the vows too seriously. After all, one day you'll probably need to move on." or ... "On your wedding day, be sure to say, 'Til death do us part or until I just don't like you anymore,' because really, you might be better off without him!"

No. We expect that marriage vows will be taken to heart, will be serious and honest and introspective. We want folks to take their commitment seriously, and only enter into marriage once they've thought it through, since marriage is a covenant, a treasured thing. Yet when he decided to leave, and divorced me, and has now married another woman, I am supposed to ... not care? Just move on? Ignore the news? Act disinterested?

Is that moving on?

As if moving on from anything were so easy, anyway. When was the last time you moved on from: your favorite sweatshirt, your old toaster, the pillowcases you know you should replace but they remind you of...? It's not easy to let go of photos, books, a chipped teacup, and yet we expect so much from ourselves, that we can emotionally divorce one who leaves us as easily as we want or hope. It's not that easy. It never is. (Or, maybe it is that easy. For some. He's remarried, after all. In fact, that man has been married to his new wife for SIX MONTHS.)

Last weekend I had a tiny dinner party at my house, with just my girlfriends and too many bottles of wine and it was lovely, and I managed to keep my mouth shut about it until around midnight when somehow the conversation got turned there, and I started talking about it, about him, the new marriage, all of it. The anger. The shock. The complete disbelief.

Mostly, the fact that the had the unmitigated gall to register for gifts.

Why this one thing bothers me so much is a mystery. THEY REGISTERED FOR GIFTS. A man leaves his wife for a new woman, and they throw a party to celebrate their new marriage, one month after the divorce to the old used-up wife is final, and to put the icing on the proverbial cake you register for new sheets and towels and cookware. There is something about this that is beyond tacky to me, beyond showy, beyond all of it. As if anything born of lies and deceit and pain can be made fresh and new with some 450-thread-count sheets and a fiesta red chip and dip platter.

One month after our divorce was final, I was just emerging from my little post-holiday shell, surveying my new life, wondering what sort of path to start down, wondering what shoes I might purchase, trying to decide between the charcoal grey Up Country or the camel (I purchased both, in case you wondered.) Meanwhile, he was registering for a blender and some stainless steel cookware and preparing to walk down the aisle yet again with another, declare his true love for her, call her his one and only.

I'll never really know who it was that left me that day, who he had become, never know the true extent of all his secrets (she was among them). When I found out about his new marriage I didn't go entirely to the sadness at the core of me, partially because I was simply shocked to my toes that he would re-enlist so soon, and partly because there's not a lot of sadness left for him, for us, for my marriage that failed. Lately I feel as if I were set free, free of the dream I had for myself, free to imagine something better. Isn't that moving on? Isn't that what everyone expects?

But I won't lie to you, you who tells me to move on and forget all about it. I prefer to know myself, even the messy parts. So I won't lie to you. I had a moment. I wondered why it was so easy for one person to move on, why I'm alone in a tiny house with four cats and no one to hold on to at night. Where had I managed to go wrong that I could love someone who could so easily replace me? Am I so inconsequential? Was it wrong for me to take those vows seriously, and feel sad when he left, and feel absolutely horrified that he and the new Mrs. X registered for wedding gifts while we were still legally married?

There aren't a lot of easy answers in love and leaving. Truth is, people do unexpected and inappropriate and hurtful things all the time, and it almost always is about them. Almost always comes from their own dissatisfaction, or desire, or need. You can't be everything to someone (or anything to some people) all you can do is be the best version of you possible. You keep believing that life holds some love for you somewhere, even if you don't feel it at the time, even if you feel like love is a million miles away and the price may be more than you're willing to pay again.

But damn. Don't register for gifts while you're still married. That is just tacky.

Posted by laurie at 12:42 PM

June 19, 2006

Operation Gratitude

On Sunday, Father's Day, I drove over to the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys to see for myself how one lady with a goal and a little determination can make a whole lot of good come about in this world. And of course, the very fact that she's from the Valley -- Encino! -- didn't hurt any.

Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude (and Valley Girl!!)

Carolyn Blashek is a fiftysomething mother of two from Encino (unlike me, one can assume she is not merely Encino-adjacent) and she created the nonprofit, all-volunteer movement called "Operation Gratitude." This past Sunday I saw with my very own eyes how one tiny woman with a personal mission could move mountains ... mountains of boxes!

Folks from all over come together to donate their time and money to build individual care packages for soldiers serving overseas. No matter what your politics are, the beauty of Operation Gratitude is that this is the sort of cause everyone can support. Those kids out in the desert are from my hometown and yours, and every morning they get up and wear some totally unflattering shade of camo and do a job a million miles away from home. A box with some girl scout cookies and a beanie baby and some snacks, magazines and DVDs could make someone's day, month, year. It's the very best of us, this desire to give to a complete stranger, the need to let someone know they aren't all alone in a desert while we go on about our day-to-day lives in relative safety and calm. This is the thing I love about people, the generosity of spirit that sometimes just needs an outlet. Carolyn created an outlet for giving right in her own living room, and now it's grown to take over the Armory!

Volunteers build a mountain of boxes waiting to be filled for soldiers overseas.

I got to meet Carolyn and ask her about the organization and her inspiration for Operation Gratitude. "Right after 9-11 happened," she said, "I wanted to join the military. I tried, but I was too old. So I started volunteering, and before long I met a soldier who was heading back into the war zone. His mother had just passed away, his wife had left him and his only child had died. He told me, 'I'm going back over there, I probably won't make it back. But it doesn't matter, because I don't have anyone anyway. There's no one.' "

And that was it. That was the moment she decided to make a difference, to let a soldier know that there are folks back home who care, and Operation Gratitude was born. That was over three years ago, and this past weekend, the group sealed up the 150,000th box! I was completely overwhelmed by what I saw, folks in every age range filling and stuffing and sealing and packing boxes.

[click for bigger images]

For the winter drive that starts in a few months, we'll have to figure out what we can collectively knit for the care packages. I know the power of knitters, ya'll ... we could have more handknit goods in Iraq than anywhere on earth if we put our minds (and Addis) to it. In the meantime, if you'd like to help, visit their website for a list of ways individuals can contribute.

Posted by laurie at 11:01 AM

June 16, 2006

Thanks, and can we talk about knitting now? Or poop? Or ANYTHING.

Hi there! Thank you for the WELL OVER 50 EMAILS I have received telling me my cat is going to die this very minute for chewing on a flower. I understand your intentions are only the best, but please know I got the memo, and I sufficiently freaked out and cried and called the animal hospital and all that stuff.

He is fine. He's already on enough medication daily to lift an aircraft carrier. I am watching him closely for signs of death, but alas so far all he has managed to do is poop twice and eat part of the Pennysaver. I really do appreciate everyone's concern, and now it would be excellent if we could talk about another subject, any subject, because whether I like it or not, I do have to go to my place of employment and be productive all day so I can pay for these trips to the vet, and although I would much prefer to be home keeping up the 24-hour-cat surveillance, alas. Someone has to bring in a paycheck around here.

Until Soba publishes her manifesto. Then we're on the fancy feast gravy train.

(look how tiny the sobakowa used to be!)



Posted by laurie at 8:05 AM

June 15, 2006

Four cats: priceless. No, really. They're FREE. Come get 'em.

Sometimes I wake up with a Roy on my pillow next to me, staring intently at my head, willing me to wake up with his kitty mind and feed him the fancy feast of his kitty dreams.

Sometimes he'll resort to grooming my left eyebrow which, while not the most pleasant way to wake up, it is still arguably better than being pulled out of a good dream by the sound of one Roy hocking up one very large hairball.

Like this morning.


So I got up at quarter 'til butt-crack of dawn to fetch paper towels and do a groggy spot clean. And as I was in the bathroom washing my hands and staring at the wrinkled, bags-under-eyes scary woman in the mirror, one Roy T. Cat came into the bathroom purring and all "I have no idea why you are awake so early but Hi! I am cute! Fancy Feast!"

Which was when I noticed that my puking cat had mysteriously TURNED YELLOW IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. In spots. Specifically, he had giant YELLOW ORANGE areas on both sides of his mouth.





Me: Jaundice? Of the... fur? Hepatitis? Catatitis? Yellow fever? Is this why you got sick? Are you hot? Do you have a fever? I might have a fever. Because this looks expensive. Come here. Let me inspect you.


Me: GREAT. The vet is going to ban me from the facility. I have a yellowing cat. It's probably ebola. TYPHOID ROY. They are going to laugh at me behind my back, or possibly to my face, just like the time I had to call them because Bob thought he was a dog and started eating rawhide bones. Why why why was I not a dog person? Or a fish person? Or a picture-of-a-fish person?

Roy: ....?

So I went into the kitchen to make coffee, since it was already past 5 a.m. and ergo "can't drink wine yet because that is something bad, like on a checklist somewhere, that you require twelve steps to retreat from" and the vet's office doesn't open until 8 a.m. anyway.

Which is when I saw this:

He was YELLOW because he was covered in POLLEN from the two lilies, assorted greenery and daisies (to taste) that he had eaten for a midnight snack.

Damn cat.

Posted by laurie at 9:06 AM

June 14, 2006

Power of self-reflection postscript

I liked reading all the comments to this post. I forget sometimes that this online writing thing is iterative, it changes when you aren't just doing a monologue but actively inviting folks to contribute. Sometimes I am surprised by how much the comments mean to me (and yes, I do read every one, and click click on your links if you leave one, and peer into your lives, too.)

Another surprise was how different we all are in terms of need, want, desire. I'm more of a hermit than anything else, I do love my personal space, my time alone (contemplate that bellybutton!) and yet it's only since I got divorced that I realized I'm not bad company, that my time alone is time well spent.

Because in all this time alone during the past almost two (!) years, I have never felt as lonely as I did during parts of my marriage.

There were dreadfully unhappy times when I was married and wanted out, wanted it all to be fixed, or to never have happened, desperate for happiness and terrified of leaving. I truly thought being alone was worse than staying married. How would I do it? How would I move, who would I be if I were not his wife, if this wasn't my role, what was there? I knew it would be something, but it frankly scared the shit out of me. The logistics alone, disentangling, telling people, it felt like panic.

So I worked harder to make our marriage work. I tried everything I could to change it. We moved to a new place, I lost weight, tried counseling, stopped drinking, started drinking, made our home as nice as possible, tried to be a better listener, tried what I could to fix it. Then he left anyway.

And here's the thing. I know there is at least one woman out there right now who is just as scared as I was, who knows what it's like to come home at night and lie in a bed next to her husband or significant other, and she feels completely alone. There's only so many ways you can write lonely, and I have tried them all. Nothing feels worse. You can't sleep, it's 3 a.m., you look over at him asleep on the pillow and wonder why he is so far away, an unreachable distance.

And I can also tell you that you do make it through the other end of a thing, and if your life changes and it doesn't go according to plan, you make a new life for yourself and it can be a really good life. It can be a happy life. Every night I go home to my little tiny house and my herd of cats and the night is mine, mine to do with it what I will. Mine to invite someone into if I choose, sit on the patio with a friend, mine to figure out who I am now. The scary parts are still there, but you just wade through them. And sometimes you cry, or drink nine-tenths of a bottle of cabernet, or look at old photos. And sometimes you paint your toenails or read a good book or call an old friend, or a new one, and sometimes you go to dinner with someone who looks at you like you're pretty, and it doesn't mean you lose yourself. You're just finally showing up for things, truly present the best way you know how, and it can be really, really nice ... even if it's just one moment, one small glance. You enjoy the choice. The opportunity to be yourself, whoever that is, and feel a hand around your waist, a kiss on the collarbone, not because you can't be without it but because it's so warm and inviting, because it's lovely to spend time with others when you're in your new life, the one you were never sure you'd have.

(Apparently, someone saw me at the restaurant, and thought my date was a hottie.)

Posted by laurie at 11:25 AM

June 13, 2006

Preparation is the key to success.

(last night)

Me: Hi! So, how's the weather?

My Mom: Yeah. REAL NICE.

Me: So, have you been doing tons of crazy hurricane prep?

My Mom: Well, I stocked up on scotch.

Me: Excellent!

My Mom: They're saying we could get up to ten, twelve inches of rain.

Me: That's a lot of rain.

My Mom: The tide is coming in at two in the morning, so me and Mr. Chivas, or is it Mr. Regal? Well. We will be up at 2 a.m., watching the tide come in to see if it rises over the sea wall.

Me: Don't let the hurricane spill your drink.

My Mom: It's a concern. (deep sigh)

If this is any indication of what hurricane season will be like this year, it's a good thing we have humor in our family (and Mr. Regal).

Posted by laurie at 7:32 AM

June 12, 2006

The power of self-reflection


People always tell me that I need to love myself first, and then life falls into place, insert platitude here, and once you finally love yourself and think you're GREAT and you are HAPPY with yourself and LOVE yourself, I guess you marry Prince Charming and finally buy a house and a riding mower and nobody farts. I really don't know! Because I do not tell people this. To me it seems kind of logical that yes, of course you need to be okay with yourself and all that, and bring the emotional baggage down from a matched 32-piece Louis Vuitton set to a more manageable backpack or emotional carry-on. Plus a purse, ya'll know. And maybe a little drama wallet. But for the most part I just sort of assumed folks all knew this ... work hard, try to be a decent human being, change what you can, accept what you can't, that sort of thing.

So I guess I do feel secretly guilty or less love-myself-ish that from time to time, I'll admit it, I am someone who needs to see myself reflected in another person's eyes. Can you feel (beautiful, sexy, funny, smart, successful, kind, worthy, anything) completely on your own?

If there is no one to watch you put on lipstick, brush your hair, touch your face, watch you across the table ... you don't wither and die. You're fine. But oh! God. That amazing, lovely feeling of having someone look at you that way, it makes you feel sexy to the bottoms of your toes, you walk taller, something changes, people sense it in you, you feel desired. It's not quite the same to look in the mirror at yourself and say, "Not too shabby!" or whatever your internal pep-talk sounds like. There's just nothing I can tell myself in a mirror that comes close to that moment, sitting at the table and you look up from the salad plate, or reach for a glass of wine and his eyes are on you and you smile, and you feel lovely all over.

It's a delicious thing. I guess maybe I never want to reach a place where I don't need it, even if that makes me a simpering old romantic fool.

Dinner was lovely. The garlic ice cream, on the other hand, was HIDEOUS.

Posted by laurie at 11:02 AM

June 9, 2006


Tonight I'll be taking my bracelet bag out for a spin (OK, this is something I did not tell ya'll, but this bracelet bag? The one I specifically made to take on vacation and ya'll MADE FUN OF? And told me my little bag needed a bikini wax? Well, the day I was leaving for Paris I was freaking out because my suitcase was of course packed to within an inch of its life, and I knew I needed to re-pack and maybe remove some things, because yes perhaps I was taking five -- count them, FIVE -- pairs of shoes for a trip that was not even one whole week long, but whatever. So I unzipped the behemoth bag and took everything out and re-folded and re-packed and the only item that did not travel to Paris with me? The bracelet bag. Although, if you think about it in retrospect, where better to bust out a haute-hairy handbag than Paris, France?) (It's a joke, son. Do not send me hate mail.)

I'll need my handy-dandy-hairy bag tonight, though, because I'm actually going to a salsa dancing place with Jen and Amber and Gloria if she is so inclined, and all of this was MY suggestion, which is sort of crazy. Because really. Used to be I would go to work and count the hours 'til I could go home, alone, always alone, and be silent and insulate myself from all of it, the only place I wanted to be was home.

Now, truth is I will always be a homebody, it's my nature, but something changed and I don't know when it happened. Maybe the night of Amber's birthday party? I really was terrified to go out to a club, it seemed like an activity I used to do so long ago, when I felt pretty and not used up and had a different life. But I went. And as it turns out, no one is used up at all unless they decide to be. Maybe we all have nine lives, or maybe twenty, and we're going out tonight because I wanted to be with my girlfriends and laugh and people-watch and dance. And wear the damn bracelet bag which DOES NOT NEED A BIKINI WAX THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

But the hermitlessness does not stop there! Tomorrow I'm going to a late dinner at this place called the Stinking Rose, which has everything in the world garlic. They even have garlic ice cream, which I will try and report back on, because garlic ice cream? Really?

I have enjoyed, nay, LOVED, ice cream my whole life and I do not believe I have ever had bad ice cream. Is there such a thing? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? But I do not know how one can combine frozen creamy goodness with garlic. It sounds very wrong, so I must investigate. If you happen to be at the Stinking Rose late on Saturday night and see someone dissolving into a puddle of horror, it's probably me and my garlic ice cream. On the upside, I figure I can go out later and breathe on people in the general population and see who dies, and is ergo a vampire. And I may even carry my bracelet bag, which in case you were wondering, DOES NOT NEED A BIKINI WAX.


Posted by laurie at 9:31 AM

June 7, 2006

Hot town, summer in the city ...

This candle is an apt representation of how I felt all weekend, melting and finally falling over into a puddle on the patio.


I never cease to get a little thrill every time I see this sign. It's close to the four-level in downtown, where all the giant freeways converge and there is much merging and weaving in and out of lanes and carrying on.

In the summer, Los Angeles is filled with tourists, and since Jennifer lives in Hollywood very near some of the key tourist spots, I'll see tourists crossing Hollywood Boulevard every time I drive to her house. They carry their cameras and wear shorts and look at the people in the cars (Hollywood and Highland is a traffic nightmare, you can easily spend a day and a half at a red light as the world walks by at a faster pace than the cars.) Occassionally they get to see a real bonafide Hollyweird freak with a case of full-blown crazy, and you know the teenagers get a thrill and the parents think, "California!"

I imagine what they're thinking as they look into the cars at the stop lights, because I used to be a tourist here, too, and I fell in love with this city the first time I came here. I looked at the folks in cars and imagined myself right there, one of them, pictured myself living in this place. Tried it on for size in my mind, wondered if I could ever be one of those impossibly busy and rushed city folks who honk at green lights and talk on a cellphone. The whole city seemed so huge and fast and choked and impossibly glamorous.

And now I live here, and I'm still a tourist deep down inside (Jen and I were at Target in Sherman Oaks on Sunday and we saw Jenny Garth and her husband both wearing sunglasses indoors, I never quite get over the fact that I can be shopping for cat food and paper towels at Target and bump into KELLY FREAKING TAYLOR, especially because remember when she totally made out with Dylan while Brenda was in France, and we were like... How could she?? But sort of like... FINALLY! Because Brenda? SO not good enough for Dylan. But also weird that she ended up with Brandon, as that is one step removed from eeewwww, having totally DONE IT with Dylan after Brenda did. Oh, Kelly!)

The thrill of living in this town just sneaks up on you, even when it's a million degrees outside and traffic sucks and the city smells like an outdoor catbox and I'm greeted at the top of the subway entrance by a woman naked from the waist down (have you ever noticed that people who show up partially naked in public are almost always the people who should be wearing a lot of clothing?) And even though it's true that sometimes living in Los Angeles makes you want to curl up in the fetal position and cry, it's still the only place in the world where you can run into Kelly Taylor at Target, then go home and watch your patio candles melt while your neighbors have a pool party and play the soundtrack to Evita and then bust open a pinata.

I heart you, Los Angeles.

Posted by laurie at 10:12 AM

June 6, 2006

They will eat you alive. But, cute!

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Posted by laurie at 10:12 AM

June 5, 2006

Attack of the summer freckles!

Hi! It was eleventeen thousand degrees in the Valley this weekend and all growing things are dead, except the ants, because the valley is really just the depression in the mound of Southern California's ant farm underpinnings. Forget tectonic plates, we ride on the backs of a bazillion little black ants. Earthquakes probably come from territory disputes in the ant colony.

You can also tell it’s summer because now showing on cheekbones near you, it’s THE ATTACK OF THE SUMMER FRECKLES! starring yours truly. The evil villian Skin J. Cancer stalks her every summer, and every year our heroine breaks out the SPF 35 only to be foiled once again by the diminishing ozone layer and the reflective properties of smog.

Many summers ago back when I could still utter the words "bathing suit" without breaking out into hives, I let a girlfriend talk me into buying one of those Tan-Thru swimsuits that are supposedly engineered so that solar rays can pass through and tan your whitest, pastiest parts without you having to run buck naked down Zuma beach. The swimsuit was a one-piece multicolored monstrosity that had an odd lace texture to it. It was also obscenely transparent when wet, so I simply avoided the water on my first Tan-Thru day at the beach. I got what might be the worst sunburn of my life in that swimsuit. The fabric was indeed Tan-Thru -- I had the lacy pattern etched in sunburn on my behind for weeks.

Times have changed, though, I'm now a thoroughly glow-in-the-dark sunless mole. I do sometimes get basted like a Thanksgiving Turkey at those spray-tan places, and I walk out feeling like a golden goddess for about a day and a half, then it starts rubbing off. Sexy! Epecially when it's hot like this, there is the sweat factor. And ya'll, MY FACE SWEATS. Seriously. It's gross, and also terribly unladylike and it's best if I just do not continue talking about it.

And what do you knit when it's this hot? Really? I have not been knitting long enough to know how it goes, this switch from cozy winter knitting by the light of a gentle cabernet to I CAN'T TOUCH FABRIC I AM SWEATING.

Please. Tell me how you do it.

And now that it's summer, people are all out and about and feeling sporty and healthy and so on, and while I am seriously pondering what to knit in a darkened air-conditioned room while bonding with TV, there are folks out there who need to experience nature and actually go out in it. Personally, I get plenty of nature in my back yard plus it's close enough to the fridge so that when the beer gets tepid I can refresh accordingly. Also, let us not forget that nature does not so much love me and is maybe trying to kill me.

Yet! Even though I am the epitome of sloth, I have a friend who is threatening to take me hiking. OUTDOORS. There are many issues here:
A: I have no shoes suitable for hiking.
B: My idea of taking a hike is the walk from the parking lot to the Beverly Center.
C: I like the idea of sportiness, but I’m rather vague on the details. For example, I hate to sweat. Perspire. Ya'll, why we can put a man on the moon but we cannot eliminate perspiration? Sweating is fine in the gym and in other certain indoor activities, but aside from that I’m wholly against it.
D: Don't forget who we're talking about here. My only fitness goal is that my ass stays smaller than my chair. I'm no one's role model.

I must find a way to get out of this whole hiking business. Please, help me. Tell me what to knit in the summertime. Everyone knows you can't knit and hike at the same time, and since knitting came first, it takes precedence over walking uphill both ways on some dirt path with a bunch of flies and worrying about my freckle/face sweat problem. Really people! I do have my priorities!

Mondays. And also, Tuesday-Sunday. Love L.A.!


The backyard dried to a crisp, and then Francisco finally came to fix the sprinklers, but he took everything apart, and kind of... had more parts left over when he was done fixing it. Perhaps he is building a rocket ship. I do not know.

Posted by laurie at 12:28 PM

June 2, 2006

Does Prada do a cement overcoat? What about just a cement Juicy Couture tracksuit?

I love the San Fernando Valley. Even though right now as you read this, the potted tomato plant that I forgot to water this morning is being baked and scorched into a small pile of expensive hay, I do still love my Valley. It's been so hot that fire season will probably start this afternoon at 2 p.m., but I have a moat in my backyard so I'm cool. Also, don't ya'll think it is rather crazy and also DRAMA QUEENY to live in a place where there is a "fire season"? There's also "mudslide season" and "earthquake weather" (I have no idea, either) and "Oh my God, what is that weird wet stuff on my car? Did I park in front of sprinklers? I just got my car washed! Oh, holy crap, I think it's rain!"

But if it weren't enough that the valley is overrun by thousand-degree temperatures and spontaneous wildfires and cholos and bad drivers and soccer moms, we now apparently have a "MOB BASE IN THE VALLEY." So says some article I read on the bus this morning.

But ... the mob? Luca Brasi Swims With The Fishes? Kiss my ring, don't insult me on the day my daughter is married, pass the spaghetti? Welcome to the Valley?

Why is it that my beloved valley has to be the seat of all that is seedy and unholy in this world? Not only are we the porn capital and the carjacking capital and the bank robbery capital of the world, but hey, add to the list "Carpooling mafia crime ringleaders from Sherman Oaks" capital of the world. I'd prefer, perhaps, an influx of hot Portuguese soccer stars. Or maybe we could be known as The Valley of Southern Expatriates. Remember when it was cool in the '80s to go to Prague and be all freedom-y and Euro? Can't we make the Valley like that? We do not so much love our role as Los Angeles' redheaded stepchild.

And why select the Valley to set up a mafia base? Didn't they, like, see Nicholas Cage and Deborah Foreman in "Valley Girl" and, like, gag me with a spoon, we're all the complete opposite of ya know, dark and intense and heavy sauces and all? I mean, we don't even eat pasta in the Valley, it just has way too many carbs. Totally.

Bu I figure our new mafia neighbors should be easy enough to spot. For one thing, they won't have a tan. And real-life gangsters never look like Ray Liotta did in "Goodfellas." I have yet to see a Jimmy The Fish or a Mikey The Bird who even vaguely resemble the supremely hunkalicious Liotta. If they're going to succeed on L.A.'s Valley turf, especially in the porn capital of the world, these people will have to cut down on the cannoli.

The made-for-TV-movie version of mob life in Los Angeles practically writes itself. Most of the main scenes will be filmed on the freeway, because the real impediment to knocking off your enemies is, of course, traffic. Those sig alerts are murder. There will be a whole murky subplot about the lack of parking at Trader Joe's. The final operatic crescendo of mob warfare will take place at The Galleria and the ringleader of the whole organization will be a bikini waxer at Pink Cheeks on the boulevard. It could be called "Godfather Gets Liposuction." Or maybe "Godfather Goes Shopping" (I could be the technical advisor on that one). And after the premiere, the party will be held at Sportsmen's Lodge. Catering provided by Art's Deli, or maybe Jerry's Deli.

Ya'll really. I do amuse myself. It's hot and it's summer and I'm working on about three hours of sleep here, and I know this made no sense whatsoever, but I am still cracking myself up thinking about some gangsters working on their Valley tans and having to skip the cannoli. Forgeddabouddit. For sure!


Posted by laurie at 9:31 AM

June 1, 2006

June 2006 Hor-O-Scopes

Ok ya'll. I know I wishful-horoscoped May (especially for Cancers) and I'll tell you what happened in May. BIG PILES OF CRAP. So, I have decided -- nay, I have DETERMINED, through introspection and also wine -- that June of 2006 will hereby by a glorious month full of happiness and tomfoolery and so on. And just as I set my mind to this, I discovered that this here very website was mentioned in an article on blogging, featured in the Wall Street Journal's "Personal Journal" section. On the one hand, I had to snake this section off my boss's desk out of his morning copy of the WSJ on the off chance he may take up an interest in so-called knitting blogs. On the other hand, Wall Street Journal! Maybe we can get Mars out of our Uranus after all.

Also. Here is the thing. June and July are Cancer birthday months (and Gemini, hi! yes, I know!) but I'm a Cancer and ya'll know how I can be. So. Around birthday time crabs become … melancholy? dour? moaning piles of self-loathing and pity? woe is me nobody loves me here let me eat this whole pie? I'm addressing that this month in the crab forecast. Just so you know, we're now the largest street gang in America. Hi!

Oh! I kind of went buckwild crazy with cliches this month in all the prognostications. Whoops.

- - - - - -

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
There’s no business like show business! Ya'll may think this cliché could never apply to you, but haven’t you heard the old saying “Never say never”? Your performance anxiety will vanish in June, and you’ll be the life of the party if you choose to be. That’s the catch, the old “break a leg” superstition: you will have to put yourself on display instead of sinking into the globby little pit of your inner life. Rich and exciting as that mental habitat of yours is, the only way others can appreciate it is through your risk. So -- in June, risk failure. Risk rejection. I have not seen a finer forecast in a long while, because the risks will pay off. Even if you find it uncomfortable to share your views with others, the stars say you’ll look good doing it.

PISCES (Feb. 19 - March 20)
By fits and starts. This should aptly sum up not only June but all of the past spring, too. Two steps forward and one step back. That little snag you hit sometime in March sent you into a rather unwelcome Sisyphus-at-the-bottom-of-the-mountain phase (hah! the first time I typed that, you were syphillis at the bottom of the mountain. Which is like the WORST spring I can imagine. Except maybe Herpes at the bottom of the mountain. Or adult-onset acne. Boy I am such a good astrologer right now, aren't I? Should we discuss movies? Whether or not I should get bangs? Ok. Moving on!) Where were we, syphillus? (Ha!! never gets dull!!!) Ok. Every time you rolled the rock up to the pinnacle and felt you’d made progress, you looked back and saw the boulder on it’s slow slide down the hill again (towards Hercules/Herpes!!) Don’t despair, as long as you put one foot in front of the other you’ll soon find yourself actually making real progress mid-month, which is when this whole cycle of getting nowhere fast will end as unexpectedly as it began. Sorry about all the parentheticals. Mars in Uranus!

ARIES (March 21- April 19)
“Money, money changes everything...” But you already know that by now, don’t you? Anxiety over money, or the lack thereof, makes Aries cranky. Right now, I’m sure you’d gladly volunteer to evaluate the old cliché about money being the root of all evil, in hopes that someone would give you a big pile of dinero and let you exercise your shopping muscles. It would be like a scientific experiment, really, in which you set out to prove that money CAN IN FACT BUY HAPPINESS. I think you could start with a gold tooth, maybe some bling on your Honda Accord, a big-screen TV in the bathroom. You could go on MTV's Cribs (do they still have that show? Or is this just another way I am showing my tragically unhip self to the world?) and show us your collection of gold-plated basketballs or something. However! I advise you to back away slowly from the fantasy, and steer clear of propositions that aim to line your pocket at the expense of your soul. For you, I offer up a new Purl cliché: What good is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow if it’s all covered in poop? Even if that poop is being dispensed as you watch a giant high-def flatscreen in your poop domicile?

TAURUS (April 20 - May 20)
Forewarned is forearmed. (Fore-armed! Four armed?) Or, better yet, in the great words of Lil’ Kim, “I’m one step ahead of all y’all haters.” June heightens the uncanny radar of the Taurus intuition. While most of your acquaintances will be stuck with the cliches of such fine rapper prognosticators as Vanilla Ice and the Lite Funky Ones, you’ll have insight and spooky psychic tremors in 2Pac proportions. (I'm listening to Power 106 right now as I write this. Sorry, it's harshing my astrological shui.) This is the month to make that little inner voice your closest confidante. Listen to your fears, because they hold a kernel of truth. Use your power of observation to stay focused, and you’ll find that recognition you both deserve and need. Of course if your little inner voice sounds like it’s coming from Elvis, seek help immediately. Otherwise, trust your gut and you won’t misstep once all month. If 2pac speaks to you, tell him I said hello and to please stop being so damn prolific from the grave. It's freaky. Makes me feel all lazy and stuff, seeing as I am alive and have no best-selling anything to my name. Yet. TAKE THAT 2PAC!!!!

GEMINI (May 21 - June 21)
This month you are naked as a jaybird. Also, that is a metaphor. Unless you live in the Valley like moi and need to be buck nekkid to survive the infernal heat, hi! Almost a hundred degrees today! Your naked Gemini-truth is spread out for the world to see right now. You just survived a spring of pure indecision and uncertainty, and this summer -- June in particular -- is the time to declare yourself once and for all. That’s not to say you can’t change your mind next month, of course. What is a Gemini without constant change? But flux and indecision are two very different things -- you’ve finally reached some conclusions, and it’s time to become the person you hope to be someday. Your nagging doubt (“Am I doing the right thing?”) will never go away, it’s a fact of life. Take it from me, Cautionary Tale Girl. But I trust that you’ve reached this point through some serious soul-searching, and you -- of all people -- should know you’re right. And when you do decide to change your mind, you’ll do it emphatically. But that won’t happen until September, so forget I mentioned it.

CANCER (June 22 - July 22)
This month, you may have the feeling that you need to ask others what’s been going on in your own personal life since they’re all up in your bidness. (See me with the cool slang? That is how I roll, people. Don't hate.) Cancer folks have a knack for appearing too soft for this world, but people are always surprised (and maybe you are, too) to find that when the going gets tough, crabs get tougher. Do not mess with us, world! We will bust a claw up in yo nether regions!! I’ve always thought that the last (wo)man standing will probably be a Cancer. When it comes to clichés, we are truly born with the knowledge that success is its own greatest revenge. Learn it, live it, love it ... for this June is our month! Listen, I have a PLAN here, OK? The stars have been fucking with us for MONTHS, and I for one am sick of it. So tell me what you think: There are a WHOLE LOT OF CANCERS in this world. We're very stubborn. We can be the most tenacious and committed people you will ever meet. Right? So if we band together and put our collective weight behind this whole DO NOT MESS WITH CANCERS thing, surely June can end up being the month of me, and you, too? We'll be like ... a gang. The Cancercrips. Or something. We can have a gang sign, we can have a tattoo (or maybe just a logo? a logo would be good), we'll be rep'ing the hood down in the 12th house of KICKING ASS. What do you think? Are you in?

LEO (July 23 - August 22)
The next real holiday on the American horizon is July 4th. I never really liked July 4th as far as holidays went … it was already in the middle of summer vacation, so we didn’t get the day off school. Plus, the whole weekend was spent with minor relatives and badly charred hotdogs accompanied by mosquito bites and cool-whip topped mystery cake. But then I discovered Independence Day, an entirely different way of celebrating the 4th in which you declare your independence as a person and generally piss off those who seek to control you. It’s great fun. Take some time out in the next 34 days to think about what you’ll be declaring come stars and stripes day. Begin with swearing off cool whip when relatives are involved. Heh.

VIRGO (August 23 - Sept. 22)
When push comes to shove, Virgo will choose to stand still and yell “I don’t want to push or shove!” Be that as it may, you will find yourself in the midst of a June self-exploration that will rival the first climb of Mt. Everest. You are an explorer, discovering new ways of thinking and living, and all this enlightenment may put a wrench in your finely oiled machine. (Cliche alert!!) The surprise: you secretly like it. The cliched plot twist: you make contact with that wild alter-ego you’ve been denying. The outcome: you’ll actually evolve as a result. Everything that happens to you this month is part of a collective growth spurt. My advice: Write it down, you’ll need your notes to see how far you’ve come. Then maybe you can hook up with a Taurus, who will turn it into a rap tune and ya'll can finally outsell that crafty 2Pak.

LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 23)
I like those little clichés that help you look for silver linings. On days when you’re feeling particularly strong and confident, you should write yourself a cliché-filled note for future reference. Start with something tried and true like “Everyone has the right to be stupid but some people abuse that right.” Once you’re on a roll you may find these clichés are so well-known for a reason ... I have a close friend whose father truly believes nothing can sum up life better than a one-line platitude. And fathers are generally right about such things (my own father's truest advice, which fits all situations? "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye." Indeed!) Your June (and the first half of July) can be summed up as follows: “Man bites dog.” (weird stuff happens.) “Live and let live.” (at least that weird stuff isn’t happening to me.) “That’s the way the cookie crumbles.” (I’m sorry weird stuff happened to you, but I gotta get on with my life.) Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 21)
I heard it through the Pissed-Off-At-Astrology Grapevine that Scorpios were really unhappy with the way most of last month went. How do I know this? Did you not hear all the Cancers also complaining that Astrology had FAILED us, and we were giving up stars altogether, and also, hand me that bottle of Cabernet right now before I smack you upside the head with this here mean and ugly stick? So, June is here, and I know you're still kind of mad about May, but you simply cannot get revenge on a whole month, so you must let it go. The problem is of course Saturn (Damn you, fat planet of hardship!) and take it from someone who just spent seven long years wandering in the desert of Saturn, it does get better. The best thing about you and June is your real willingness to try new things to revitalize your life. It's rare that ya'll don't dissect through the consequences or results of all your actions, and this month you will feel liberated and (mostly) care-free, willing to travel to a new place, meet new people, all of it with a who-knows-what-could-happen attitude. This, Scorpio, is a very positive development. Walk lightly, and leave the mean and ugly stick for someone else. Maybe the Virgos could use it.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
You know that long, uncomfortable sensation you have during a particularly engrossing movie that’s got you on the edge of your seat... not because of plot points, but because you really have to pee? Think of June as your edge-of-the-seat month. Discomfort, followed by relief, followed by some shifting from one foot to the other, followed by relaxation and so on. Perhaps that’s the “lump it” portion of the cosmos. Nothing life-altering, just the awkward stops and starts of summer's most ungainly month. There’s nothing you can do to avoid the transitional weirdness of June, but if you choose to spend more time enjoying the ride and less time bitching about the potty breaks, you’ll come out at the other end of summer with at least one great story to tell. In which case, please take your camera with you because all my Sag friends seems to find themselves in all kinds of foolishness and "this will be a great story to tell someday when I am sober and no longer have this bruise on my behind" kind of events, and I would like to see some photo documentation!

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
Peacemaker isn’t your favorite roll, I know you too well. It’s always easier to sit on the sidelines and watch others beat each other over the head with their proverbial big sticks. (What is it with the mean and ugly stick this month?) But right now your job, unwelcome as it may be, is to step in and be the lone voice of reason. You’re the only one firmly planted in reality right now, and by the way, this job does not pay well! Take it from a middle child! But Head Honcho Of Dispute Resolution has great benefits and growth potential. Plus, Cappies like to feel that everything has been settled and changed and happily re-charted with their expert eye, you know it's true. Luckily, you do have an expert eye when it comes to deciphering people and your heart is in the right place, so I predict that by the new moon at month's end you'll have managed to completely smooth over whatever prickly, uncomfortable issue it is that's got you in knots. Also, according to this thing called a "chart" which I am supposed to carefully read before making this wide-flung predictions, the first few weeks of June will be excellent for hanky panky, if hanky panky is present. Just so you know.

Posted by laurie at 10:57 AM