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October 31, 2006

The Real Scary

Today is Halloween. I guess you got the memo.

However, the kind folks at Macy's do not seem to be aware of this, it being October 31 and all. I know this because in my quest to bring sexy back, and also shopping as therapy, and also, listen, I have anxiety in my life right now, ok? So I know shopping isn't the best way to deal with it, perhaps, like I should maybe be off sponsoring a child in some corner of the world where Angelina and Madonna have yet to roam, but instead I wandered around Macy's trying to find a cardigan that doesn't do that gaping-button-thing on my boobs. Perhaps my priorities are askew, but SO NOT THE POINT.

The point in scary fact is that there are CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ALL OVER THE MACY'S. I am frightened of all the looming holidayness.

oct31-macys.jpg


Also, the other point of horror. I was wandering around and in the Macy "Woman" section (please do NOT get me started) there were plenty of these:

oct31-formal-shorts.jpg

Formal shorts. OH YEAH GOOD IDEA.

I believe I speak on behalf of all women-sized women when I say: Dear designers, we do not want formal shorts this winter. Take your formal shorts and shove them up your size double-zero backside.

How about a nice, simple cardigan in clean lines? Or, God forbid, how about one blouse JUST ONE, OKAY? that is well-cut, nicely fitted, in a quality fabric and doesn't have sparkles, glitter or some ass-o-riffic shiny applique on it? I know you think women-sized-women love freaking appliques and beads and printed fabric that looks like Carmen Miranda had a hallucinogenic episode and thew up on it.

But we do not. It's a fact. And you can put that in your formal shorts and smoke it.

Posted by laurie at 1:04 PM

October 30, 2006

Grammar and traffic, you know it's a Monday. Whoops.

Saw this the other day on cnn.com and it made me laugh:

bush-innernets.gif


Because there is some age, I do not know precisely when it happens as it appears to take place on a cellular level, wherein IF you are from the South and IF you have the ability to speak, you one day begin to place the word "the" before the proper names of things you perhaps maybe do not quite understand. For example, the MySpace. I call it the Myspace even though I am not seventy-two and I actually work with computers all day long, and really. I blame it on the demon alcohol, or also just general DNA-type persnickityness.

But if the President of the United States of America can use the Google, I can wax crotchety about the Myspace.

Also, and completely unrelated, if you live in the city of Los Angeles OH MY GOD THE TRAFFIC. I mean, not right now. Right now traffic is probably normal and what have you. But come 5 p.m. this city will grind to a halt, people will be stuck sitting in absolutely impossible unmoving traffic, horns will honk, tempers will flare and all of this is because HOLY CRAP IT WILL BE DARK AT RUSH HOUR.

Somewhere in the few months of Daylight Savings Time we lose the ability to drive in the dark and have to re-learn it. Then of course tomorrow is Halloween, the worst traffic day of the year in Los Angeles. Maybe on Wednesday it will rain and we'll have the trifecta of traffic jams.

I should go check the weather and see what the forecast is. On the weather.com, of course.

Posted by laurie at 9:51 AM

October 27, 2006

I tried a Freudian slip but it was a size six and would not fit over my behind.

Dear Inner Fat Child,

Hi! How's it going and everything? And also, as soon as I decide to lose five pounds with ardent maniacal fervor, why the HELL did you make me watch that one episode of Anthony Bourdain where he goes to Mexico and the Texas border, and I was all like, "Look! It's my people! Love ya'll!" and I was so excited and happy and then WITH THE CHICKEN THAT HAS CHEESE STUFFED INSIDE AND IS WRAPPED IN BACON AND GRILLED.

I hate you, Inner Fat Child.

Because every single night this week I have had some form of the cheese-chicken-bacon rollup, as if I have made the new sushi and it has a lovely bacon exterior instead of that icky-tasting seaweed stuff.

But I digress. Why mention something as grossifying as seaweed when there is chicken wrapped in bacon to rhapsodize? Oh, what's that? You want the recipe, Inner Fat Child? YEAH. YOU WOULD.

It's so easy, even for a cooking-challenged firestarter like myself. Because really it's just like making crafts, like those fimo clay beads I was nuts about a few years ago, or the Play-Doh creations of my (your) youth. And you get to use bacon to glue everything together! Bacon tastes WAY better than Play-Doh and I know that you, Inner Fat Child, fully understand why it is I can speak on that matter with some authority, ahem.

There isn't really a whole recipe or anything. First you make the chicken breasts really thin by beating them into submission with a special meat-pounder mallet thing I purchased specially for this very dish. Yeah, I made a trip to Target at 8 p.m. on a school night to buy the special meat hammer. (Ha ha!! Meat hammer!!)

Then you make the flattened chicken wonderlicious by putting cheese on it, and other stuff to taste, and rolling it into a little yule log of meat-cheese-stuff. Then you wrap BACON yes I said BACON around the whole thing, secure with toothpicks and put on the grill over low heat until your are drooling with anticipation. If it doesn't cook the chicken all the way through (like for me on the first night when I didn't hammer the chicken thin enough) (ha!ha! hammer the chicken!!) you just put it in the oven on 350 degrees for a few minutes to cook through.

This has been my week. No, really. THANKS A LOT, INNER FAT CHILD:

The Filling, Night One: Neufchatel cheese with fresh minced jalepeno pepper and garlic. Spicy! Yummy!

The Filling, Night Two: Leftover filling from night one, plus a tiny bit of cumin and a dallop of salsa.

The Filling, Night Three: Goat cheese with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh garlic.

The Filling, Night Four: Cave-aged gruyere and thinly sliced cherry tomatoes a piece of ham lunch meat, YES I AM PUTTING MEAT INSIDE MEAT. And wrapping it in what? Guess! Really, guess! MORE MEAT.

Boy, the losing five pounds is going awesome!

Actually, though, it is going awesome, NO HELP FROM YOU AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. In a fit of cholesterol-saturated horror, I looked at my diet for the past few days (read: bacon chicken yule logs and green salad, as if a green salad could balance this out? really?) and I dicovered I was eating THE PERFECT ATKINS DIET.

Ergo, I am now totally fully on the Atkins Diet! Doesn't that rock! Like I planned it all along!! HAH HAH TAKE THAT INNER FAT CHILD. Sure, my version is more the "Chicken Yule Log Atkins diet" but whatevs. You say Play-doh, I say Play-Mah-Doh.

Sincerely,
The one who has a meat hammer


 


frankie-bacon.jpg

Posted by laurie at 8:38 AM

October 26, 2006

About last night.

Last night I made dinner for someone, we sat on the patio and we were eating and he reached for the newspaper sitting on the table (my Sunday newspaper tends to sit and age on the patio table like a fine wine) and I cringed, pulled up into myself because Mr. X used to do that, used to read at dinner or watch TV because speaking to his wife was too much trouble, or maybe he just didn't have anything to say.

I knew this was different, but still. Little things like that surprise me still, the way you carry around these sense memories of things that became symbolic of festering wrong in a relationship, so strong that even now two years (!) from the day he walked out, you vow to put the Sunday paper in the recycling bin as soon as you've read it. Remove the temptation, even if it is an entirely different man.

Later, I sat out on my patio and Jennifer and I were on the phone, talking about some personal matters as ya'll know we are prone to do. We tend to talk things out because sometimes there are flashes of brilliance (who needs therapy?) There wasn't even wine involved.

"Women are crazy," she said. "I mean, men are crazy, too. In their own ways. But women are crazy."

"Indeed, we are," I said.

We both sat in silence for a while (we tend to do that also, cogitating on our curent interpersonal hypothesis.)

Then:

"You know what?" I said. "I am THRILLED about this fact. Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his new wife is just as crazy as I am. Maybe in different ways, but still."

"That's right," said Jen. "Maybe she hides it better, some women do, but it all comes out eventually. We are all nuts."

I think it finally dawned on me that when there are real problems, changing wives as easy as changing your socks won't solve a damn thing. Because women aren't so different from each other in many ways, we all want love don't we? Want someone to acknowledge us instead of studiously ignoring us at dinner. I wasn't the sole source of all his unhappiness. And she won't be the sole source of his happiness. People just don't work that way, and I wouldn't want that job if you paid me. Never, ever again.

This is strangely comforting to me. And liberating. And dinner was nice and not at all like it used to be back then, back when. But of course I threw the paper in the bin as soon as he left.

Just in case.

Posted by laurie at 9:47 AM

October 25, 2006

The softer side of Sobakowa

other-side-soba.jpg

Posted by laurie at 10:05 AM

October 24, 2006

Happy October 24th.

Yesterday, there was a big accident on the Metro Orange Line in the valley. In my line of work (read: being crazy) I figured today would be the perfect time to ride the Orange Line to work since it was pre-disastered just twelve hours ago.

I drove to the station parking lot at the armpit of a.m. and midway there, my Jeep started to act up and pout and shiver and then it overheated with a dramatic flair usually seen in older-model Ford Pintos. I pulled into a parking space and stood there watching steam come out of the hood and I thought, "I have to go to work. If I am late for work I will be fired." And then I thought, "Oh well, maybe if I am lucky someone will steal it again while I'm gone."

So it's sitting there right now, my little Jeep, probably consorting with the other cars in the parking lot and coming up with a variety of illnesses and ailments and figuring out ways to get more attention from bad mommy who hasn't bothered to wash its little red behind in five and a half months.

Leave it to me to find a hypochondriac vehicle with abandonment issues. I mean REALLY.

And if ya'll have been reading this here website for any amount of time, you know my normal reaction to car trouble is to cry, immediately, but this morning I just sighed profoundly and kicked the tire for good measure and thought, "Why don't they serve alcohol at Starbucks?" I hate having car trouble even on a semi-calm day, but it just amps up the anxiety on an already crazy morning in a stress-filled month, creating a weird combination of antsy, pissed off and worried.

Nice combo, there. Throw in some cramps, a bad haircut and a hangnail and you've got the perfect setting for Hell. ("Hi, Satan. Nice to meet you. I see we're in the sixth circle of self-pity. How YOU doin'?")

I tried to do some retail therapy before lunch, but I found Macy's Plaza utterly unsatisfying. I checked my forehead because I thought maybe I was coming down with something. How could I lose the will to shop? Perhaps Macy's Plaza wasn't big enough to overcome this much personal-family-work-related anxiety. Or, perhaps I am chemically imbalanced and my retail therapy will have to be adjusted? Or, perhaps I am hungry?

After assessing the lunch options, it came to me in a flash of brilliance, or low blood sugar, or over-caffeination. I decided the only way I can achieve perfection and any sense of control over my life is by losing five pounds. I have set myself upon this goal with the exuberance of the completely depraved. I have no idea what I'll do when I lose these five pounds and my life is still the exact same as it was before.

And it's weird, always weird that October 25th is tomorrow and that is A) the day I got married and B) the day my Jeep got stolen and honestly, neither one are really worth remembering in the Anniversary department, but there you have it. And although October 25th has not been a traditionally lucky day for me, I am choosing to have a positive and hopeful attitude about the whole thing (Take that, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale!) Maybe by tomorrow my mall stamina will have returned and all will be right in the world. October 25th could become the anniversary of the day I resumed the will to shop. It could be the anniversary of the day I finally renounce the Cheeto as a vegetable. It could be the day something magnificent happens, perhaps at DSW shoes in the winter boot aisle!

I am hopeful, and caffeinated. Tomorrow is another day -- perhaps even a good day. After all, just like the Metro, October 25th has definitely been pre-disastered.


roy-still-loves-me.jpg
Roy still loves me.

Posted by laurie at 11:25 AM

October 23, 2006

Funky fresh dressed to impress ready to party.

Hey ya'll! That title has absolutely nothing at all to do with anything, but I am listening to Power 106, because that IS HOW I ROLL, and now I can't decide if I am going to go out later and shake my moneymaker or if, instead, I might start walking up to random folks in the office and saying, "Go shorty! It's your birthday, it's your birthday!"

City of Encino, keeps me rockin, knows how to party.

So, my mom is safely back in Florida and I am safely back at my desk and no split ends were harmed at all this morning at my house, seeing as I somehow managed to COMPLETELY FRY AND BREAK not only my hair dryer (second one this year!) but also I scorched the electrical outlet in my bathroom so it no longer works and ... listen. Listen, folks.

I have magical powers, people, magic. In which seriously I can break almost anything. If, in fact, you are tired of some appliance or other electronic gadget in your posession and you want to get rid of it so you can go forth and purchase a newer, better model without the guilt of having a perfectly serviceable model already at hand, just give me a holla (holla! or... you know. If you're from the country like me, you may want to give me a holler.) And I will come over and lay hands upon your appliance and it will die.

It is a gift, really.

Pictures from the kickin' convalescent 'hood ... in which they do not let me touch mechanical things because they know I got The Power. Holla!

[ click each small picture for a larger view ]

       
Left to right. 1: Henry and the cat have a face-off in the hallway. Cat wins. 2: Grandma gets wings from a certain demented grandchild. Pimp her wheelchair! Yo! Yo! 3: Cat.

       
Left to right. 1: The kitty snuggled up on grandma's bed. 2 and 3: My mom, a woman of many masks.


       
Left to right. 1: Listen, you have fun the best way you know how! Like... dressing in funny costumes for the amusement of your child. 2: My mom and Derek. 3: Spooky! Grandma in a mask!


       
Left to right. 1: Chillin in the 'hood. 2: Ok, yes, perhaps I also went forth and pimped Mr. Hakim's ride a little bit, too. 3: Kitty prowling the hallway.


   
Left to right. 1: Raydine gets her wings, too! Ya'll, I was channeling Ludacris, fo reals. 2: Ryan and Mercy, who is the cutest little devil.


me-mom

kitty ruler.jpg

Have a good Monday! And just let me know what your electronic or mechanical breakage needs are, because ya'll know I am there for you, ready to use my magic. Word.

Posted by laurie at 11:50 AM

October 18, 2006

Ya'll think I make this stuff up, but I have the photos to prove it.

There's a lot happening here right now, so I won't be writing regularly this week. I thought this might be a good time for a story, seeing as it's long (as my stories do tend to be) and ya'll can have time to get some coffee, pull up a chair, wade through it in three or eleven days.

I got to thinking about this story the other night as I was making a proclamation to my mom that the next time I meet a man who I like, even remotely, I hereby do declare I will not ever enter his phone number into the Laurie Historical Record, a.k.a., my cellular phone address book.

Because I am superstitious.

You see, every date-type man I have added to my cellphone has either disappeared, turned into a scary stalker or confessed his secret kid/prison record/porn addiction/etc. So, I figure a man will only remain stable and kind so long as his telephone number is not saved inside my pink portable telephone.

Don't judge. I come by it honestly. Southern people are notoriously superstitious, it's right in there in the water alongside the fluoride (of which, by the way, my great-grandmother was VERY superstitious.) Each family has its own aversions and "particulars." I think this is because we're very tuned-in to the more colorful and also, crazy, world. For example, there is not one single Southern citizen who does not:

A) have a story about a house they once lived in that was haunted, or
B) know someone who had a haunted house, or
C) have a friend/relation/paramour who can tell a story about this acquaintance of theirs who had a haunted house

Superstition is merely the harbinger of colorful. I went to college in the Deep South and I don't know if things have changed much, I assume they have what with me being old and wine-drenched reminiscent and so forth, but back in the day Southern college life was just odd, from another era, where you went to school and joined a social organization and had lavish formal events that made no sense in the context of general student-level poverty.

But anyway, that is how I met Dandy Don G.

Don was just FUNNY. He wasn't traditionally goodlooking but he had so much charisma it was like an electric field all around him that just made you wonder what he'd do next. He was president of the student body association and pledge chairman of Kappa Alpha fraternity. Everyone would gather outside the KA house for drankin' and carrying on while some sodden upperclassman went on and on about how General Robert E. Lee had founded KA, then the whole brotherhood set off cannons in a drunken frenzy each pledge week.

But long before the cannons went off, all anyone could talk about was Old South Week. It was an Event.

Securing a date to Old South Week was a social coup for all freshman girls, me included. If you could snag a KA and prance around in a hoopskirt and so on and so forth, you would then be ushered into some fictional world wherein ... what? college guys didn't barf after beer bongs? Lord, we were conflicted. Steeped in tradition and muddled by pop culture.

Anyhow, Old South Week came and my date was one larger-than-life Don G. I had no hoopskirted dress and no money to buy one, so I borrowed my sorority sister's Spring Belle dress from two seasons prior. Unfortunately, her family ran to pink-skinned brunettes, and I am a blonde with an olive underone. Peach is not my color. I looked like an oddly pale self-tanner victim in a monstrosity of taffeta proportions.

oldsouth1.jpg


Then again, no one noticed the sallow jaundice nature of my skin because of these:

oldsouth-closeup.jpg


Yes, those are my ginormous eyebrows. Thank the good Lord and the Shriner's that I discovered tweezing by junior year. Amen.

We weren't dating, me and Dandy Don, but we formed a friendship based largely on the fact that I thought he was a hoot 'n a holler, and I myself could be a handful on occassion, and he didn't seem to notice my rather large, hairy eyebrows.

Once we were suitably attired -- him in a Civil War uniform and me in the borrowed hoopskirted peach monstrosity -- we drank hunch punch and posed for formal pictures with a horse and a cannon and God tell me again why I went to college? You'd think we were stuck in 1865 Savannah for all the sense we had. Posing with a cannon in a FREAKING HOOPSKIRT. In 90% humidity and with a blood alcohol level of 85% hunch punch. (In retrospect, that last bit maybe explains it.)

It was a week of revelry and carrying on unknown to me before or since. There were parties every night in which young men wore either togas or battle dress from Appomatix. The week ended with a huge shindig in Chattanooga, where Dandy Don introduced me to a cocktail known as the RedHot (cinnamon schnapps with three dashes of Tabasco) (HELP ME JEEZUS) and then he proceeded to jump into the swimming pool from the third-floor balcony of our hotel room. No necks were broken and a good time was had by all.

Midway on our driving trip back from Chatanooga, however, I insisted that me and my Southern Gentleman Date and our carload of friends stop off in Columbus, Mississippi to visit my folks. I mean, ya'll! It was on the way. And my daddy is the best cook in three states. And we all had powerful acidic hangovers and Julie had to get out and upchuck every three miles anyway. What's a detour of an hour or two?

So that is how my folks met Dandy Don, and he was all polite and southern charm and genteel manners. Julie puked in the guest bathroom ("I do apologize sir for the inconvenience," Don said to my father. "We believe Jules may have the stomach flu. It's been going around." Then: "Thank you, sir, this brisket is amazing!")

We left and drove back to school and the excitement of Old South week was over for another year. My folks were real happy to have met my college friends. They did not even mention Julie's mystery flu.

A short while later, my parents opened their mailbox to find a framed picture of me and Dandy Don posed by a Civil War cannon in our Old South Best along with this newspaper article:

oldsouth-newspaper.jpg


Yes, my Old South date had gone and robbed the First Farmers & Planters Bank, Jesse James style. The FBI said he was a real gentleman when they arrested him. A southern gentleman.

And ya'll wonder why I am superstitious about my dates. You wonder why I have, over a lifetime of oddities that some may assume are embellished for storytelling but are indeed true, developed proclamations and declarations and peculiar little superstitions to ward off impending doom.

It is because doom is always trying to impend. It may be funny doom, and make a great story, but it will not now or in the future be saved in my little cellular phone book directory.

I mean, really.

Posted by laurie at 1:23 PM

October 15, 2006

Four things

Good morning! Why is it that I get up bright and early on weekend mornings, but come Monday I am loathe to leave the comfort of my bed? Maybe because on the weekends I can lounge around in my pajamas and drink coffee while a cat sits on my lap. Cruel trick of relaxing is you have to be awake to enjoy it, I suppose.

So, this is one of those email/internet/website chain letter things that people always send you. I think we should start saying you have to fill this out and show it to at least ten people or else the little boy collecting business cards for a cancer cure will die, you will owe Bill Gates one million dollars, and you'll end up with a pile of mismatched dishtowels.

I remember this one time I got a chain letter (in the actual postal mail) and ya'll, I am so bad about even opening my mail in a timely fashion that I waited until after the expiration (read: The DOOM that should have befallen me for not sending out the hateful evil chain mail) and ergo, was free of both the chain mail curse and the obligation of doing anything to dislodge the curse.

Being tardy has its benefits.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Four jobs I’ve had:

* Wife (who says it isn't a job?)
* Art director
* Photo retoucher
* Drive-thru cashier at Burger King ("Ya'll want fries with that?")

Four movies I can watch over and over:

* Office Space
* The Bourne Identity & Bourne Supremacy
* The Princess Bride
* For whatever reason, whenever I turn on the TV, some part of one of the "Back to the Future" movies is ALWAYS playing on some channel, and if I happen to flip past it, I will stop, and waste approximately many minutes watching. So they go on the list... even though. You know. I admit things to ya'll I should keep inside, where the dorkiness lives.

Four places I have lived:

* Comfort, Texas
* Columbus, Mississippi
* Murfreesboro, Tennessee
* Studio City, California

Four television shows I love to watch:

* The Closer
* CSI (all of them, but especially CSI Miami because I love the ubercheesy David Caruso, and I want to be the Calleigh Duquesne character. Ya'll she is so smart! And pretty! And can kick your ass rightnow!)
* Gilmore Girls
* The Daily Show

Four places I have been on vacation:

* Middle Of Nowhere, Iceland
* Paris, France
* The Wigwam Hotel in Cave City, Kentucky (with one Lark H. Watts who refused to go into Mammoth Cave with me for reasons unknown, yet would happily sleep in a roadside attraction. Men.)
* Wroclaw, Poland

Four of my favorite dishes:

* Tacos -- the real kind, with soft corn tortillas and carne asada and knock-you-senseless hot salsa
* My dad's cornbread dressing with anything
* In-n-Out burger and fries and a large iced tea
* Artichoke spinach dip from Cheesecake Factory

Four websites I visit daily:

* Yahoo.com (I like the "Most Popular" feature for ranking their news stories)
* weather.com because I am a bonafide nerd
* sundayundies.com -- This is my best friend Jennifer's website. I like to go in and check on her and read her comments even when she hasn't posted in a week, then I get so excited when I see a new post. Even though I speak to her EVERY FREAKING DAY on the phone, I am maybe a stalker.
* pinkisthenewblog.com -- Duh. It's Goss Greatness.

Four places I would rather be right now:

* Hanging out with my parents having a cocktail OR, seeing as it is only 7 a.m., perhaps more coffee. Perhaps.
* In a cafe in Paris eating a pastry, drinking a coffee and watching the world walk by.
* On my patio with my girlfriends, catching up and drinking wine and wondering what that burned smell is.. oh! It's the dinner I was making ya'll. Whoops!
* Snuggling.

Four bloggers I am tagging:

* You.
* And you.
* And you, too!
* All ya'll are so tagged it is not even funny. But hey, it's better than that one chain mail where you have to send a dollar to five people on the list.

I have to go, now. Back To The Future 3 might be playing on cable somewhere...

Posted by laurie at 7:20 AM

October 14, 2006

Saturday night stuff.

Weekend posts, ya'll know.

My mom is coming back to town to visit with Grandma, I'm so excited to see her. When I talk to her on the phone I miss her, miss my dad, and sometimes it's a physical need just to be near my family. Plus, I'm happy about spending time with Grandma. I know everyone thinks I'm doing something (finally) useful and bringing Mary McSunshine to a convalescent hospital, but I will let you on in a little secret: I actually love going there. I think I get more out of it than anyone else, I probably leave them exhausted from all the talking and ready for a much-needed nap. But it makes me feel happy down to my toes to spend time there and I love to be around every person I've met so far, love seeing my Grandma and feeling even slightly useful.

I suppose some people do things out of the goodness of their hearts, but I guess mine is a selfish and shrivelly heart (and also likely encased in cholesterol.) I adore hugging on people and making dumb jokes and generally being a gadabout.

Maybe if things change somehow, one day, I can get a job doing that ... maybe as an activities director or something? I thought at first I'd be sad to see folks in wheelchairs and with no family visiting. All that has been replaced by the dorky excitement I have at arriving there in a few days with bags of Halloween junk from the 99 cent store and the stack of gossip magazines I have awaiting Grandma. I'm not entirely sure this is an excellent part of my character, just seems like maybe I don't have the altruism gene and instead I'm mainly happy to go sit and chitchat and carryon. But then again, I am a Southern woman. We do love our carrying on.

Yesterday it rained, and it was cold (for Los Angeles) and I sat on my patio with someone and just enjoyed the evening and then I got up this morning and realized what it is about being lonely for so many nights that's good. It makes you really appreciate an evening of warm company. Maybe that's why I enjoy visiting Grandma (and friends) so much, it gives me more love for the life I have. It's so simple a thing, but I wished I would have learned it sooner. That a night alone is not necessarily a problem and that a night together is not a solution, either. You live somewhere in the middle.

Spending a lovely evening with someone isn't a promise, and spending eleventy-two alone isn't a jail sentence. They balance each other out, I hope. Maybe I wouldn't be so excited to see my mom if she lived right next door, I can't know for sure. I do know I'm so happy to see her, and tell her my stories. We all have our stories, don't we? Just need someone to tell them to, and chitchat and carry on with.

Posted by laurie at 7:17 PM

October 13, 2006

Sure, it fits.

compact-hummer.jpg

Posted by laurie at 10:04 AM

October 12, 2006

Crazy Aunt Knitting Spot

Whoops! I almost forgot to post my own little corner of stockinette in the round. Which, by the way, is what I do because I am so incapable of watching teevee while knitting something hard like cables or any item requiring counting. Also, I know this will come as a surprise, but sometimes there is wine involved which further decreases my knitting IQ (while, conversely, increasing my delusions of knitting grandeur. Also known as "I don't need no stinking pattern! I'll just make one on my own!")

Hee.

Notice all the knitting helpers I have! They are my backup fiber, in case I run out of cat-hair-covered yarn, I can just go straight for the cat hair. Kind of like fun fur, only cheaper.


myknitspot-main.jpg


myknitspot-corner.jpg

- - - - -

A few Knitting Spot updates, too, that I left out of the gallery:

Ruth sent me links to her pictures on flickr which try as I might I could not figure out how to save (read: steal) for this here website but they're very cool and they have fancy roll-over notes:
Ruth's knitting Spot and Ruth's other knitting spot

And Samantha wrote to me a few weeks ago and said, "I didn't even know that my favorite cafe had a MySpace page until I Googled it to find images for you. Scroll down and you'll see the beautiful garden area (that's in the back) and the cool, artsy area inside with the leather couches and rotating art displays. The best drink on the menu? The venti soy (hot or iced!) Mexican Mocha -- mmm, cinnamon. Hugs to you & the Insane Cat Posse."

Well, Samantha, I wasn't able to post the pictures because one of the cats, I will not say WHICH ONE, was maybe hogging the MySpace and so I couldn't borrow (read: steal) the pics like I wanted. Cats these days. What can you do?

And I do thank you folks who have been sending in notes here and there with knitting spots... I will put together a new gallery in a few months, once my brain has recovered from the first one and I conveniently forget about the evil internet coding and so on and think, "Oh, that was so much fun! Let's do pictures again!"

Luckily, my brain is small that way, and forgets things once enough time has passed. For example, I have no idea what I had for dinner last night. I might have had something really healthy and good for me and full of...uh. Nutrients? Or maybe it was a bag of microwave popcorn, half a chocolate bar and seven-eighths of a bottle of pinot.

Your guess is as good as mine!


Posted by laurie at 10:56 AM

October 11, 2006

Bringing the crazy to a whole new audience...

me-grandma-fivehead.jpg
I could make money off that forehead.


So, I did go see Grandma but didn't get around to posting these pictures until today. It's busy at Chez Hairball, what can I say? (Actually, I did clean my house on Columbus Day AND do laundry and I would like to inform you I have things... underthings... I had forgotten I owned. Now that is saying something for the Panty Purchasing Power. Ya'll know of what I speak.)

That is SO not related to convalescent hospital talk! Yet, still. Quite true.

Grandma is feeling better and she has some color in her cheeks and she's as chipper and funny as ever. I took her a stack of Really Very Good reading material (i.e. tabloids) and a fresh copy of Rage of Angels because I know that if I were laid up after a stroke, I too would want to amuse and berate myself for finding Michael Moretti the better man (Adam Warner, you are no Ashley Wilkes!) (for those of you who are like, "Michael who?" you must cease enriching your brain immediately and go read Rage of Angels, awesome awesome drivel.)

Also, there is a new resident at the hospital!

home-kittycat.jpg
This is new resident Kit E. Cat.

There are a few residents I've gotten to know who I really look forward to seeing when I go visit Grandma. Raydine is fascinating lady, and she is definitely the kitten's favorite person:

raydine-kitty.jpg


More pictures, this is Lester:
mr-lester.jpg


Mr. Hakim, who always has a smile:
home-mr-hakim.jpg


One of the great things about Halloween is that it leeches the goober right out of us all (eeeww! leeches! spooky halloweeny!) and believe me, under the carefully controlled exterior of every man, woman and nursing attendant is a big old goober.


home-masks1.jpg
Is it a trained, qualified professional caregiver or a SPOOKY VILLAIN???


home-masks2.jpg
Derek or Baboon Boy? Mysterious! Spooky!


home-masks3.jpg
Aunt Pam, Nursing Administrator or Aunt Pam, cast member of CATS?


So, there was much carrying on with general tomfoolery and a good time was had by all. Thank you again to Kristy for organizing the Grandma Purl blanket-a-long, and I hope ya'll know how much everyone in my family thanks ya'll and how much I do appreciate it, even when I am out corrupting convalescent hospitals and pimping out Sidney Sheldon books and generally leeching out the goobers within.

Oh, and showing off my forehead. Of course!

Posted by laurie at 10:23 AM

October 10, 2006

The wheels on the bus go round and round.

Ya'll, don't you sort of wonder what the people on the bus think of me when I whip out my camera and start taking moving pictures of... the sidewalk? Do ya'll think that living in this city with all the crazies and nutjobs and Paris Hiltons and scabies just makes one dorky little camera lady look ... not so scary? Perhaps?

Because that is my Basic Operating Theory, that if I stay below the crazy radar maybe I can continue about my happy way with my camera and my fixation on monkeys and gnomes and even if I do have a fine layer of cat hair on my trousers from knee to ankle, I still pale in comparison to the wackos in my midst. Right?

Just nod and smile. It's okay.

Hey, so not like there is any purpose AT ALL to this, but here is a video of my bus ride through Chinatown... we were going remarkably fast for afternoon drive. I think it was Yom Kippur, no traffic.

Smile! You're on dorko camera!

Posted by laurie at 11:28 AM

October 6, 2006

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for breaking news of uncontrollable cuteness

roy-is-perfect.jpg
"Do you have to leave for work?"

"Yes, Roy, I do. I have to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan..."

"Oh. Okay. But remember how cute I look while you're gone."

"I will."

"And don't forget the bacon, you hear?"

Posted by laurie at 1:58 PM

October 5, 2006

Seeing Spots! Knitting Spots, that is.

Thanks ya'll for sharing your knitting spots with me, I had a good ol' time checking out everyone's sofas and decor, I love it!

This took me FOREVER AND THREE DAYS to create this gallery, and I think I finally finished some time in the wee small hours between cabernet and tumpover, so please be kind to me if there are a bunch of mistakes. I hope you enjoy -- I'll post my spot tomorrow(ish) and also try to correct some of the 657.5 omissions and mistakes I probably made. Also, you will notice that my comments became very cheesy and lame midway through. I'm sorry, I was losing IQ points with the horrible internet code stuff. Also, please be patient as there are eleventeen hundred thumbnails and no matter how small I made them, they just load slow. Whoops! That's why I'm just blathering away right here in the text part. Blather, blather. So ya'll will be occupied during the excruciating waiting period. Hi! What are ya'll making for dinner? I'm having microwave popcorn... again. Yup. Chitchat.

So, click on any thumbnail to start the gallery. There is some script in there that made my browser freak out but it's not a virus, I promise, it's just the code that makes the forward and next buttons work on the pictures. Magic! Gnomey!

Thanks for showing me your knitting spots ... this is a Nosy McButtinsky's dream come true!

- - - - - - - - -


Ally-knitting-spot   Amanda-knitting-spot   Bridget-KnittingSpot   Cursingmama-knitting-spot   


Emilie-knittingspot1   Emilie-knittingspot2   Emilie-knittingspot3   Jeanette-knittingspot   


Marti-knitting-spot   abbenormal-knitting-spot   alpacaaddict-knitspot1   alpacaaddict-knitspot2   


amandag-knitting-spot   annep-knittingspot   baxterknits-knit-spot   baxterwatch-knitspot   


bea-knitting-spot   bethc-knitting-spot   bigballofyarn-knit-spot   black-dog-knits-spot   


blathermagather-knitspot   blueswine-puppy   blueswine-spot   brandilion1   


brandilion2   camilla-cat-snuggle   camilla-cats   camilla-sofa   


camilla-sofa-closeup   camilla-sofa-orchid   carrie-knittin-chair   catmum-knitting-spot   


catmum-knitting-view   christine-knitting-spot   countess-shell-fireplace   countess-shell-hidey_hole   


countess-shell-loveseat   countess-shell-sofa   craftpirate-knitting-spot   ddrbroderick-knit-view   


ddrbroderick-knitspot   documaven-knitspot-luke   documaven-knitspotview   dorothee-knittingspot_details   


dorothee_knitting_spot   duckknits-knitting-spot1   duckknits-knitting-spot2   dusa-knitspot   


ebinla-knit-spot   ebinla-knit-wip   elabeth-knitting-spot   ellen-knitspot1   


ellen-knitspot2   ellenbloom-living-room   ellenbloom-snb   ellenbloom-yarn-stash   


fireflyknit-knitting-spot   floofle-knitspot   fuzzarelly-knitting-spot   greatbasin-knitspot   


haphazardknitter-inspot   haphazardknitter-outspot   imarried-knitspot   janna-knitting-spot   


jeninnyspot   juneadelle-knitting-spot   kate-bracelet   kate-kitty-like-roy   


kate-knitting-spot   kimct-knitting-spot   kirbanita-chair-with-sam   kirbanita-knitting-chair   


kis4krista-knitting-spot   kitknits-knittingspot   knit-at-night-spot   knitorious-knittingspot   


knits-and-pieces-knittingspot   knitsandgrits-knitspot   knitstory-knitting-spot   knitten-kittens-knitting-spot   


knittincoop-knitting-pond   knittingdogsandparrot-knitspot   knittinghere-knitting-spot   knittingwannabe-spot1   


knittingwannabe-tv   knittingwannabe-view   lani-Jasmine-and-Onyx   lani-KittyTV   


lani-Knitting-Spot
   littletribespot   lizr-knitspot1   lizr-knitspot2   


lynne-yarngeek
   magniferous-knitting-spot   maplecorners-simba-rex   marysvirginwool-knitspot   


meangirl-knittingspot
   mivox-knitting-spot   mlqknits-knitting-spot   monicapdx-knitspot   


mozemen-knitting-spot
   mymerinomantra-knitting-spot   nan-knittingspot   nannyshanny-knitspot   


needlesnhooks-knitspot1
   needlesnhooks-knitspot2   ontheneedles-knittinspot   paknitwit-spot   


pearls-mother-knitspot
   peeve-knitspot   phoenix4-KnittingSpot1   phoenix4-KnittingSpot2   


psychomom-knitspot1
   psychomom-knitspot2   quellesurprise-knit-spot   rancidraves-knitting-spot   


rebar-spot
   reddirtknit-kitty   reddirtknit-kitty2   renalcelllive-knitspot   


rhonda-spot
   robinv-knitspot   robyn-knitting-spot   roggey-knitting-spot   


rohanknitter-knit-spot
   roseredshoes-Sunday-spot   roseredshoes-knittingspot1   runswithknittingspot   


runswithview
   shannon-knit-spot   showmeyourknits-knit-spot   shrinkingknitter-spot   


southparkrepub-knitspot
   stashaholic-clancy-helping   stashaholic-design-studio   stashaholic-design-studio2   


stashaholic-magic-cupboard
   stashaholic-stash-pile   stitchnsue-knitting-spot1   stitchnsue-knitting-spot2   


stumblingoverchaos-kitty
   stumblingoverchaos-knitspot   tellen-knitting-spot   theknitfarm-knit-spot2   


theknitfarm-knitting-yard
   tiaknits-spot   tikimama-knitting-spot   tikimama-knitting-view   


trixie-chair1
   trixie-chair2   trixie-view1   wendyknits-knitting-spot   


whenshewasknitting-spot
   wordsmythe1   wordsmythe2   zipper-knitspot1   


zipper-knitspot2
   zipper-knitspot3   zipper-knitspot4   

Posted by laurie at 3:24 PM

October 2, 2006

October Spooky-scopes

No, I did not forget about the very important stars and moons and planets and Pluto happening in October! But it's soon to be Halloween, and no time like the present for detailing all the ways in which we, as astrological profiles, kind of bite. We're all vampires in our own ways, sucking the life right out of life and there's no excuse for it. UNLESS you want to blame it all on being born under an unlucky star, or Pluto, which I wholly 100% endorse.

Happy scary Rocktober!

------------------------------------------


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)
Have ya'll heard about this Congressman guy who sent all kinds of salacious emails to underage boys? Mmmm. I love scandals. They're so... scandalous. I half wondered if ole Representative Foley wasn't an Aquarius, because man ya'll can be impulsive. Left alone in a room with a computer and an innernet connection, ya'll will be up to no good in about three seconds flat. Now, this isn't a comment on your goodness, deep down ya'll are good as gold and have a kindness streak a mile wide. But Lord you do some boneheaded things (no pun intended). Most of the zodiac needs a five-second rule: give yourself five seconds before you act on that impulse. Aquarians need a seventeen day rule. And even then sometimes ya'll surprise the pants off me (whoops, with the puns again!)

PISCES (Feb. 19 - March 20)
I know a cute Pisces guy who is so darn adorable you want to just hug him until he needs chiropractic help to disentangle. Problem is, he's a Pisces, so it's real real hard to get close enough to hug, and if hugging were to occur he'd break away before medical intervention were necessary. Not that ya'll aren't warm and affectionate. It's just that once you've been hurt -- and come on, by now if your old enough to be sitting upright and reading words in a sentence, you have been hurt -- you're about as excited to let someone else into your heart as you are to jump headfirst into an empty swimming pool. Unlike us Cancers who just keep volunteering for more heartache and sorrow on our World Quest For Love and Attention, you Pisces folks want the same thing but are most reluctant volunteers. Explain to me how you're going to get the Recommended Daily Allowance Of Lovin' if you're too scared to re-enlist for hugging?

ARIES (March 21- April 19)
Listen, I know we've had a rough year. First, there was all the months I held back on you because my Mr. X was a big ol' Aries. Then there was the whole Jupiter issue which I may or may not have forgotten to mention because people! I do not control the planets! I know you need self-indulgence and attention, and I was all about Me, Me, Me. Fortunately for us we can't get divorced because I'm not even your Legally Wed Astrologer! I'm just the person who needlessly reminds you that you are someone who needs self-indulgence. Which is not an entirely bad quality, I have it myself, but if you could see past that little flaw of mine, you'll see that I'm trying to tell you something valuable here. Aries, you have been maligned, misunderstood, and un-indulged. Oh, haven't we all. Your acting ability is second to none, so you haven't shown how misunderstood you truly are. You've been playing a role, it had nothing at all to do with Jupiter or Planet Mr. X, and now you want to know when we'll get down to the real business of unearthing the Aries Truth. Maybe when you get down to the business of showing your true colors on a more regular basis. People only misunderstand because they don't see the real you. How can they indulge an act?


TAURUS (April 20 - May 20)

According to Love Astrology, Taurus would be an excellent match for me. I've yet to date a Taurus (surprisingly) but I do think I would enjoy your also tenacious character, the way you secretly like to save things, your conflicted relationship with money. I do wonder if we'd be able to move around our house, though, cluttered as it would be with my memories and your stuff. Whoops! I just crossed a Taurus line, calling all that stuff you've been saving "stuff" instead of Treasured Valuable Items. I like the way you rationalize holding on to the weirdest junk, the same way I do. I'm betting that you have a little spreadsheet in your mind of the justification, purpose, and history of each thing/person/piece of paper in your collection. Oh my little Taurus, where are you? You might be the only person in the world who I could help by throwing things away. Your things, of course. Gosh... we're not getting rid of mine!

GEMINI (May 21 - June 21)
My most favorite Gemini recently turned 62, cashed out all his stock in a Big High-Tech Company, and bought himself a brand new Corvette. HE IS SUCH A GEMINI. Hi wife, a darling Cancer, probably had a near heart attack. Geminis are always being characterized as impulsive and selfish. But I'm going to teach ya'll a great Southernism you must embrace: ya'll are just particular. It's not that you fly by the seat of your pants, always running afoul of the boring signs with your hedonism and impracticality. Ya'll are just particular, see? You have needs, and while they may not mesh with anyone else's vision of reality, ya'll just keep on down the path to crazybones because you know, you KNOW, that when you find happiness you better damn well be driving a fun car. Amen.



CANCER (June 22 - July 22)

If you've spent even five minutes ever reading the astrological profile of Cancer, you know what they like to say abut us. If you believe all that crap, we're just a bunch of loveable oafs who want to mother the world and we tentatively watch from the sidelines for stray cats to take in, in between violent mood swings. What they don't tell you is that we are really deep down inside just in search of one thing, pure and simple: adoration. We don't want it the way Leos do (read: obedience) or the way Taurus does (smoochy acquiescence), no, we want -- nay, demand! -- full adoration and we need it ya'll. We NEED it. Which is why we're so damn hard to get to know, really know, Lord can we keep secrets. What we love to do most is think about how sad and maudlin we're going to be around the holidays, since there's no adoration in sight and here it is October and the Halloween candy is in the aisles and we know. We know what's coming. YOU CANNOT FOOL A CANCER. I say, let's make everyone else miserable, too. Let's start telling all the Jolly Hi Ho people of other zodiacal dimensions that, oh yeah, Christmas is just X days away. It will freak them out and make you so, so pleased.




LEO (July 23 - August 22)

Well, Leo, in the words of your arch-nemesis Dr. Phil, let me ask the question of the month: How's THAT workin' for you? You know what I mean. You're very exact these days, very precise, very Leo (which is why the last man I dated for a while was a Leo, I did enjoy his confidence) (until he forgot he needed the audience, needed my attention, and just went out catting off as Leos are prone to do.) It's all fine and good to be the Big Cheese, but no one can eat an entire wheel of cheese. One must break it down into bite size pieces, savory tidbits, sometimes inexactly sliced and yummy. Cheese is always more palatable when mixed in with a nice salty cracker or a glass of wine, mix! Enjoy the other hors d 'oeuvres! You must relax, or the cheese metaphors will continue and you will be constipated, alone in your greatness, alone with no one to admire you, alone with no cracker to complement your cheesy goodness. And how would THAT work for you?

VIRGO (August 23 - Sept. 22)
Virgo is one of my favorite signs on the wheel because, like Cancer, people think they have you pigeonholed into an exact Type, they think you're stuck in this prurient rut of cleanliness and sanctity. OH IF THEY ONLY KNEW. If they only knew you the way I do! I love your icky spots best. How you can be secretly very judgmental of the oddest things. You'll forgive a lot, but with you there are absolute, hidden dealbreakers and I love the way you keep them totally unarticulated so the rest of the world is always running afoul of your little internal barometer. Don't you dare change. Or, if you do change, don't tell anyone. Best to always keep people wondering where they've gone awry.



LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 23)

The scales of justice thing? Total crock of youknowwhat. All that "fair and balanced" stuff applies to you as much as to the network that trademarked it. You're a thinker, that's for sure, but you also get annoyed easily and in fact I am annoying you right this very minute. Hi! Maybe now I'll talk too much, and tell you about this really boring long involved dream I had (you = not a fan) and then by the end of this paragraph you won't even bother to tell me what an idiot I am, you'll just look at me in that Libra way -- ya'll have THE most expressive expressions -- and I Will Know. You're very discerning that way. Weeding out the flotsam. Problem is, we all have our flotsam (what the hell IS flotsam, anyway? Is it green? Like that stuff sitting on top of the swamp in Bayou Lafayette?) and even you, Oh Wise Libra, have flotsam. YES YOU DO. Flotsam. Don't look at me like that! This is your horror-scope, not your fair and balancedscope!



SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 21)

If only I could hold a grudge the way you do. Problem with Cancers is that while we DO hold our grudges, we're just not hard as nails on the follow through. I mean, sure, we can harbor resentment and hurt, but you Scorpios really know how to zing it to 'em. Interestingly enough, fewer Scorpios have road rage than other signs, because ya'll get your issues out in your day-to-day just fine, thankyouverymuch. It's those one or two nagging doubts you have, about the time you got so mad and just gave a big F-you to so-and-so, or said what was REALLY on your mind to you-know-who -- that keep you from being really happy with yourself. Which is good! Trust me, Guilt Cancer, on this one. The guilt of how you behaved that one time keeps you from being the total jerk you aspire to be when jerkiness is called for. I know you may not believe me, but that guilt can keep you happy. In a really roundabout and messed-up way.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
The best way to get rid of a Sag is to start telling them exactly what to do. So I won't do that today, seeing as I have already alienated for sure the Libras and Aries and Aquarius folks. Hi ya'll! Don't change a thing! Except... wow, ya'll. Don't you ever WANT to plan obsessively like the Cappies and Cancers and Virgos do? I mean, you don't have to get all Excel spreadsheet on us or anything. But you could try to make a list, maybe, pros and cons of your latest greatest good idea? Actually -- wait -- I have an idea. Just embrace your inner Unplanner, and hook your wagon to one of the more neurotic signs in the zodiac family. We'll do all your planning for you. The downside is that we will nag. A lot. And tell you what to do. So, you must invest in a really good Selective Hearing Aid. Oh hell, there I go again, telling you what to do. Whoops.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)
So, the very last date I went on was with a guy who is a Capricorn through and through. I thought we'd be great together, after all, my dad is a Cap and my best friend is a Cappy, and why did this not work out? Oh, I could blame myself (hey, I am a Cancer, that's what we do) (Until we start blaming you) and then I realized he was TOO Capricorn. You see, I love jokes. I adore goofyass ridiculous jokes, and I often make fun of myself, because in my Cancer mind I'm able to joke about the things that I am most okay with, like, say, calling myself a big nerd or a goobernut. As an ubercapricorn, however, my date was unnerved by my dorkiness, wondering when the spotlight would shine on him and reveal his Inner Flaws. I know ya'll say you don't mind your little quirks, but boy are ya'll sensitive to even implied future criticism. Are you sure you aren't just a bunch of Cancers in disguise? Look, the bottom line is that we are not making fun of you, and even if we are we do it because we're callous dorks who love you. Embrace the love. Embrace the dork inside.

Posted by laurie at 6:47 PM