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August 4, 2006

It's Q&A, much like T&A but with 100% fewer boobs.

Well, ya'll were not kidding around with the questions and I love it! I hope I got them all. Also, holla (you know it's bad when I bust out the ghetto slang), today it is FRIDAY and the wine and happiness which is WEEKEND will be here in mere hours. Hours! My entire weekend plans are the following: clean my house to a somewhat respectable level so that my company next weekend doesn't make snarky comments about trying to crochet me a Mr. Clean of my own. Ya'll know.

Let the Q&A begin!

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Q: From Cookie, "How is it August already? Where did the summer go?"

A: Ha! I got a better one for you! Christmas? The one at the end of the year that it feels like I just lived through with a glass of wine or four? It will be here in 142 DAYS.

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Q: From Bertha, "Do you find knitting in LA impractical? I live in New England (Boston-adjacent) so there is a never a lack of knitted things for me to produce. If I lived somewhere it rarely got below 70 degrees, I can't imagine I'd be inspired to knit thick hats and scarves and such...what do you do with all the knitted stuff? Send it to friends in colder regions? Or do you just knit for the process, rather than the product?" (Sabeine asked this, too, later.)

A: Excellent question!
I give away almost every thing I knit. I love to knit scarves, but how many scarves can one person own? Mostly, I love the process, and only sometimes do I develop a crazy love affair with an actual object off my needles. I make gifts and hats and weird stuff for my cats, but I do think the lack of any real winter has seriously dampened my desires to ever make a sweater. Maybe one day I'll move to Boston or Iceland, and I'll be gripped with sweater-knitting fever!

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Q How do you come up with the Hor-o-scopes? asks reader Hunny.
A: Ancient redneck secret!


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Q: "Can you recommend a good red wine? Not too dry!" asks psychomom.

A: Ooooh!
Under $10: Guenoc Petite Sirah Lake County '02
From $10 - $20: Beaulieu Cabernet Rutherford '03

I'm not a wine snob by any stretch of the imagination. I think you start out at a place like Trader Joe's, picking wines in your price range and sampling them to see what you like. Or ask for a glass of wine next time you're at dinner, and let the waiter pick what goes best with your meal. Or hell, just start with the Cabernets and work your way down the aisle!


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Q: By Drew Smartypants, "How/when did The Soba achieve levitation? And will she be publishing her antigravitational discovery?"

A: When Drew was last here on vacation, he was "visited in the night" by an eerie spectre, the Levitating Sobakowa. Because she is rather short in stature, and the fluffy comforter is rather, uh, fluffy, The Great Sobakowa appears to somehow hover across the bed. It's fascinating really. She also growls when you try to move. And she can control the weather.

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Reader CutePinkGal wants to know:
"Is it ever okay for a guy to tell you that he can't date you because 'you remind him too much of his ex-wife' and then to offer no additional explanation as to why that is? and then for any or all of your friends to wonder why you've been obsessing over this statement for damn near a week? seriously - who says these things?"

My Answer, which I would like to preface with WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU TAKE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE FROM ME, because I AM A CAUTIONARY TALE:
I have no idea what he meant by that statement. He could be saying, "I met someone else," or "I don't want a relationship," or "I'm gay," or "I'm thinking of moving to Vegas and becoming a professional poker player." I have no idea what he means deep-down inside.

All we know is that he is saying "I do not want to date you." And that sucks and yes, of course you'll obsess over it, why on earth do you think I started going to get my nails done like a crazyperson, obsessing over nail polish and stuff? I needed a bait and switch. And it worked! Now I can barely remember Frog #3's name. Well, at least not while I'm getting my manicure on!


[EDITED to add: Aria, who is much better at giving relationship advice than I am, has a great answer! She says, "It could simply mean you've lucked out - that the guy is really not someone whom you would have wanted, and his ex-wife might be a completely normal wonderful person, and thats why you remind him of her..." and I agree! -- laurie]

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Q: From Beth, who did not leave an email address or webpage because she must have thought I would staple her for asking, "I've got a question - thus far have you succeeded in quitting smoking or have you gone back to smoking cigarettes?"

A: Quitting smoking is the hardest thing on earth for me. I have had great success followed by even greater failure. Right now, my main goal is to not smoke daily, or weekly, or even monthly, but to give myself a break when I'm on vacation to ... say ... Paris, so that when I'm there I don't over-smoke in compensation which leads to months and months of being right back where I started. Yup.

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Q: From Roggey, "Alright... you've given us fried green tomatoes and fried okra ...now, what about fried chicken? Recipe? Tips? Fried chicken porn?"

A: AHA!!!! I got your fried chicken right here, my friend, from a Q&A column on July 12 of last year, proving that I was just as insane last summer as I am this summer. I need to apply for a sugar daddy, stat! Or maybe just make some fried chicken. Mmmmmmmmm. Fried chicken.

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Q: Colleen wants to know,
"I've got a question for ya, Laurie! I believe you're a graphic designer? I am too, and my question is, do you draw or paint?"

A: I used to paint a lot, but like you I find that doing design all day makes me loathe to run home and be creative. But I do miss painting. I wasn't a good painter, but I was... uh, colorful.


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Q: Kate (K8) has a two-parter.
1) What are you doing at work that is requiring all the extra hours? and 2) And why would you live in LA and buy a car with NO AIR CONDITIONING??

A: 1) We're redesigning all kinds of stuff. Also, in the summer you work hard to complete all your projects before the end of the year which is good because when the holidays come we're less stressed out. It's all fine. Just super busy! Where is my stapler? and 2) Good Lord, I must have been asleep when I made that decision. I have no idea. Probably because I was desperate when I bought that Jeep and it was the best I could do, and now it's paid off so I'm making it last as long as possible. See what The Budget has done to me! I'm like... frugal and stuff! (My parents are wondering right now who I am and where their real, albeit irresponsible, daughter has gone.)

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Q: From SomokyJoe, "What kind of software are you using in your artistic endeavors?"

A: I use Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. But mainly I'm a photoshop girl.


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Q: Hey Laurie, have you heard of/tasted/fried breaded pickles? -- from Helen

A: I fairly LIVED on fried pickes in college, and the best ones on the planet are served at Toot's in Murfreesboro, TN. I can eat the hell outta some fried pickles! I found them out here at B.B. King's Blues Club, and they aren't like back home but they're not too bad.


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Q: Stephanie wants to know if I am secretly having an affair with Francisco.

A: No.

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Q: Risha's kidlet and Drew both want to know where babies come from.

A: They come from Babies 'R Us. Duh. Why do ya'll think I refuse to shop there!



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Q: My question is: When will the travel site be up? From reader Stacey.

A: Tricky one. On the one hand, I loved posting travel pics like nobody's business. On the other hand, I can't really look at a bunch of pics of me and Mr. X without going to the Patsy Cline place where I am eating cheetos off my chest.

But! Maybe after I go on another vacation (Please dear Lord hear my beggin' for vacation, and also world peace, and an end to spam) then I will have enough new pics (and memories) so I don't feel sad about that website. You know?

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Q: What's your favorite food?
Asked by Finance Girl, whose recent post on "walk me through it" was a must-read.

A: My dad's homemade cornbread dressing. TO. DIE. FOR.


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Q: My question is: what do you love to write about? from Miss Brianne.

A: Oh gosh. I'll write about any old mundane thing if there's a story-telling opportunity in it. Poop? check! Grocery shopping? check! Traffic? check check check!

But there is one sort of writing I do, 99.9999% of which will never get read by anyone, it's not meant to be read, really. I have notebooks full of it, pages and pages on my laptop, it's on post-its and the backs of menus and receipts and when I get desperate it's scrawled on napkins or whatever is handy. I call it "landscape painting." Just a bunch of emotional muck all sketched out in words.

It's like I get all twisted up inside over a thing, anything, and I have to write it down, fully describe the feel of it and once it's pinned down in so many words I feel calm like nothing else. Clean and untangled inside. My daddy says I have been like that since I was six years old, toting around a little notebook for my "thoughts." I was strange kid. I am maybe crazy.


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Q: I have a question...what happened to your p.o. box? I've had this f'n Christmas ornament for you for eight months now! Snakes on a plane, girl! One day I'd like to get it out of my possession! from Kim

A: Argh. I only check my mail once in a REAL blue moon, seeing as it might as well be on a different planet for as convenient as it is (when I lived in Studio City, it was on my way home. Now? Pluto is closer.) But I do go there from time to time. I am horrible at getting my act together and one day soon someone will receive a CD from me and go, "Crazy Aunt Who?" because it's been so long since they sent me something that getting a thank-you CD sixteen months later is a little weird. I am sorry in advance. This is my one real serious fatal flaw. I'm polite in real life and suck at correspondence. But after all that if you still want my addy, it's 12400 Ventura Blvd., #206, Studio City CA 91604. P.S. Dear Stalker Guy, that is not my home address.

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Q: I know you have the knitting recipes up, but since the okra post (lurve fried okra), I've been wondering if you'd make a sidebar space for food patterns? from M

A: Yes! That is an excellent idea.


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Q: You're an artist, why don't you show any of your art? asks Guy Real.

A: Maybe one day when I move to a house with more space, I'll paint more and have enough for a show. When that day comes, you are all invited. Bring wine! And cheese! And a sense of humor! Because ya'll really, I paint just like I talk.


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Q: Denny Mcmillan asks, "How are your new neighbours?"

A: No one has bought that empty house yet. Surprisingly!


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Q: Maryse, who has one of my favorite websites on the innernets, asks, "What's it like to get thousands of comments a day? and how do you keep up?"

A: Honestly, sometimes the comments here are way funnier than anything I could think up myself! I read them all, and I wonder when ya'll will please move to Los Angeles, although sometimes I think about moving to Boston to stalk you, Maryse, quietly in your mini Cooper. heh.

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Q: Does Mr. X know about Crazy Aunt Purl? If he doesn't - do you ever worry he'll find out? from Kelly B.

A: I don't know if he knows. I doubt very much he'd even be interested. I do wonder if maybe his new wife will take up knitting one day though ;)


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Q: What's the meaning of 42? (Risha Moonshadow) What is the meaning of life? (Jeannie) Are we there yet? (K8, again) Why is the sky blue? (Sue F.)

A: Sobakowa!

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Q: Neil, who is currently in Freudian therapy online, asks: I wanted to send you a photo of myself, but I wanted to first use Photoshop to airbrush some blemishes. As a graphic designer, would you be able to notice the changes?

A: Send it to me and I'll let you know. Ok, that will be $150 for this session!

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Q: (more of a demand, really) Give us more kitty pics!
A: Oh, ask and you shall receive. Here are some baby Bob & Frankie pics, and this weekend when the light is good and the cats are calm, I'll 'neak up on them and go all paparazzi on their furry butts.

baby-bob.jpg
Bob attacks Bubbles.


baby-frankie.jpg
Remote control to show scale of The Frankie.


baby-bob-frankie.jpg
Notice the hot boys of 98degrees in the back there. I am about as uncool as they come.

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That was fun, thanks ya'll! Have a good weekend ... I'll be doing exciting glamorous things like "cleaning the toilet" and "eliminating fur tumbleweeds" and "watching Tivo." Bye!

Posted by laurie at August 4, 2006 10:04 AM