« October 2006 | Main | December 2006 »

November 30, 2006

Knit or Go Home

As promised, screencaps of the shirt Lorelai was wearing on Gilmore Girls this week, and also hey can I ask ya'll a question? At what point do you go from just regular old crazybones to real bonafide weirdo? Is it when you take pictures of your TV and tell people? or when you start living your life based upon what a fictional TV person might do? Or when you think, Lord, I cannot believe it is gale force winds outside and I have to drive in to work and it is COLD at 4:30 a.m., and why WHY don't I live in Stars Hollow?

Just curious.

knitshirt1.jpg


knitshirt2.jpg


knitshirt3.jpg


Found some search results for this T-shirt on cafepress here. Also, for the eleventy two people who have asked me will I please shut up and knit something already ... or have I just kicked knitting aside like a redheaded stepchild? Well! Yes I am working on some knitting. I am knitting ... stuff. It's a single project, really, sort of an ordeal if you ask me. Much like the Mystery Knitted Cat Thing, which will be revealed just any day now. If you believe that, also, I have a cat I'd like to sell you ... real rare. Has all its original claws!

If I don't die of a heart attack from all the stress of the past few weeks (I woke up three days in the past two weeks thinking I was having a heart attack, turned out I had a cat on my chest BUT STILL) then, anyway, I will show you my knitting and stuff and I'm sure you will be... ah. Whelmed. Appropriately whelmed. I am maybe not the best knitter on the planet but I am certainly... unique. heh.

Knit or go home!!!

Posted by laurie at 9:48 AM

November 29, 2006

Hey, it's perfectly normal to take pictures of your own television set

Ya'll suppose I just aged myself, what with calling it the "television set" and all?

Anyway, hi! Stars Hollow had a knitathon last night on Gilmore Girls! It is my secret deep-dark fantasy that someone there at the Gilmore Girls Snappy Dialogue Shop reads this here online diary and understands my bizarro WWLGD fixation, and simply added knitting into the show for the sheer enjoyment of the fans and, also, GLORIFICATION of the knitting.

I am maybe delusional, but whatever.

So, Stars Hollow had a knitathon, and here is Lorelai preparing by doing some intensive training at her house:

starshollow-lorelei.jpg


Here is the town square on the day of the knitathon:
starshollow1.jpg

Taylor looks like a mound of Lion Brand boucle threw up on him, in a good way:
starshollow-taylor.jpg

All the town regulars plus Christopher gathered around for the event:
starshollow-knitcircle.jpg

Last picture below, of Lorelai and Suki knitting. And because I really am THAT big of a dork, I used the Tivo 5-second rewind feature about eleventeen times to see that they were indeed doing the knit stitch, so they are either amazing method actors or actually knit in real life. That Tivo 5-second rewind thing has spoiled me rotton by the way. I find myself trying to do it with all sorts of things, like the car radio, my CD player, my ipod and occassionally my own mouth. Never works.

starshollow-lor-suki.jpg


So now when I have a dilemma and I am asking myself, What Would Lorelai Gilmore Do? I know the answer. She's probably knit something, then have a slice of pizza. No wonder I love that show.

Posted by laurie at 10:22 AM

November 28, 2006

Deck the halls and the doors and the cats, if they stand still.

I'm actually decorating for Christmas this year. Wreaths! A tree! Lights on the eaves! Christmas shall arrive at Chez Cat Hair with much sparkling and twinkling and probably a fair amount of "Bob, dammit, GET OUT OF THE TREE."

Decorating for the holidays is usually not the sort of news that warrants a memo and proclamation, especially not if you're a woman who used to place a tiny miniature tree in each room of the house, string the staircase banisters with holly, have your husband haul in a 9-foot Douglas Fir each year the day after Thanksgiving. I would wake up every morning and check on the tree just to inhale the smell of Christmas.

But when that all ended, the holiday season became something untenably frightening, a vast dark pit that could swallow me up. Anxiety that was barely manageable during the daytime would intensify at night and I paced the house, walking room to room until finally I would escape the boxes and memories and the sight of my single, messy, empty life and sit on my patio until dawn. It rained so much that first year, I'd watch the water slink up to the edge of the porch and think of nothing but driving away, anywhere, how to go back in time and make him love me.

There's an opt-out clause on the holidays if you need it (I felt guilty about it back then, but now I see it was just the right thing to do at the time.) I did opt out, two years in a row, puddled into shame and sadness and a lot of rum sans the eggnog. Back then I wouldn't have been able to picture myself wandering the crowded and chaotic aisles of Michael's craft store with Jennifer and buying a red chinaberry wreath and some ribbon for the front door of my little house. But that's exactly what we did a few weeks ago, and I thought of all the new ornaments I get to buy (I let go of all my "married" Christmas stuff, sold it at a yard sale last autumn), wondered out loud what my decorating style will be now with no husband to placate and no one to please but myself.

Later, when we got back to my place, she held up the red wreath to my front door so I could see how it would look and I grinned ear to ear in spite of myself. For all my complaining about Christmas decorations popping up in stores in July (October), I'm secretly excited to make my house look like Santa himself threw up on it. And Drew is coming to visit soon, someone who understands why holidays are so hard for me and why being alone is troublesome at best, and he's cheerfully agreed to be roped into decorating my house, adding his impeccable taste and designer vision to all he touches (which better be the lights hanging from the roof, I'm just saying is all.)

I can't believe this is me. That this is my life. That I will decorate my house for Christmas, and yes, I might feel a little maudlin and wine-drunk that I don't have a non-feline someone to snuggle with under the tree, or who knows, maybe I will have someone, and either way it doesn't make me feel so anxious.

Last year, I said I was going to mail off this box of Mr. X's old Christmas Ornaments, the few things I didn't sell at the Great Purge since they were his before he met me, and it seemed like the right thing to do. I didn't send them last year, I couldn't. I couldn't address that box, write his name, let go of those tiny things that once decorated our Christmas tree. I let go of so much, everything, but when it came time I just put the box in the garage and shut the door.

I mailed it to him yesterday, to his new address where he lives with his new wife. Then I had a glass of wine and made a bow for my new wreath. White, to match the trim on my house.

It's lovely.

Posted by laurie at 8:56 AM

November 24, 2006

I do not speak your language.

After work, I came home and knew immediately that Francisco had been at the house. For one thing, the backyard tree which had fought back all summer from last year's disastrous pruning had once again been pruned to within a shaggy inch of its life.

francisco1.jpg


The weeds, however, carefully cultivated and thriving all throughout the yard were as big and strong as ever.

The general operating philosophy of the gardener is that no weed shall be harmed, no blade of grass or actual planned shrub shall be left standing. It's an interesting take on backyard management. We learn as we go.

However, the most startling discovery was ... well, I have no explanation for it. You see, I have several hanging potted plants around the back patio. They're all reposing in various shades of deadness, because I haven't had a lot of time for garden maintenance these days. But the pots hang there anyway in their little macrame swings and sway sweetly in the breeze, rustling their dead little leaves.

All except... one. Which I discovered sitting out on the middle of the concrete patio floor, surrounded by nothing, not broken, no apparent reason whatsoever for it to be there. It wasn't there before Francisco came. It was hanging and happy when I left it. What was the significance of this? Was it a sign? A secret language, a symbol meant to be decoded? Like a crop circle for urban backyards? What on earth could be the meaning behind this single solitary hanging plant now artfully arranged in code on my patio floor?


francisco2.jpg

Posted by laurie at 12:57 PM

Apparently Frankie did not get the memo re: Basket Rights

sobabasket1.jpg


sobabasket2.jpg


sobabasket3.jpg


sobabasket4.jpg

Posted by laurie at 9:25 AM

November 23, 2006

An exerpt

November 19, 2005

There are thirty-seven days until Christmas.

“Maybe you should put up a tree this year, decorate the house a little,” said my dad. We were on the long distance. It is a long distance.

“Maybe,” I said.

“It would be good for you,” he said. “The holidays are coming, you can’t just ignore it.”

I shopped for my husband every Christmas, carefully tucking away the little hints all year, the things he would enjoy, the things he would love. I wanted him to open each gift, and laugh and smile at me, and say, “You remembered.”

My house now is too small for a tree. I gave away the Christmas tree stand to a neighbor. I didn’t need it anymore. We had so many boxes of holiday decorations, each a piece of a day an hour a minute spent with him, I gave it all away, I sold it to strangers at a tag sale, I said, “Take this, be happy,” but I knew I was selling myself. Each memory. Goddamn him and his fucking freedom.

------

November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving comes first. People who don’t know, who are not alone, say it is the herald of the holiday season (those of us alone, empty and used up like so many bottles of wine, know that it starts with Halloween) and anyway, Thanksgiving is just a minor-league heartbreak, minor-league holiday. But it tells you what’s coming, about people at work … cautiously at first, then more nosy, asking what your plans are, cooking a big dinner?

You can lie of course.
You can lie, but it still makes you feel sick to the pit of your stomach, like sharp acid pooling at the bottom of you, knowing other people feel pity for you, you alone, all alone, while they…. While they eat dry turkey and soggy green beans with family members they speak to four times a year.

When you were married no one took pity on you.

-----

November 23, 2005


I hate Thanksgiving, it is even worse than Christmas for the lonely divorced alone not perfect. Thanksgiving just makes you pathetic eating frozen pizza and drinking wine with your cat. At Christmas, the very same behavior is maudlin and vaguely Henry Miller. If you throw in some pained longing, you’re practically a revered artist, because everyone else wishes they could be you, their family is on their last nerve and the day drags on, nothing to do nowhere to go. You with your wine and cat and ...

Or so you tell yourself.

Goddamn Christmas, that you used to love and look forward to and decorate the whole house with garlands and lighted wreaths and powdered silver ornaments, velvet stockings, clove-stuffed apples.

“So, what are your plans for Thanksgiving,” my coworker asks.

“Oh,” I say. I was getting coffee in the breakroom. This was not expected, please make it go away, please.

It does not go away.

“I am… just… cooking for a few friends.” This is a lie.

My coworker knows it’s a lie.

I finish pouring coffee, smile. But I am lying.
There’s no reason not to.


Always, always hold onto the diary you kept during the bad year. Years. Months. One day you look back on it, want to reach backward in time and love youself, tell yourself it gets better. (It does get better, evidenced by the fact you no longer write diary entries WITH DIALOGUE. Freak.) You don't lie anymore because the truth isn't that shameful, after a while.

And cats love your frozen pizza Thanksgiving. And you finally know compassion after you thought you'd gone plum crazy. Keep that diary, trust me. Even if it contained, uh, dialogue.

Posted by laurie at 6:50 PM

Thanks!

I just want to say thank you. Thank you dearly, for each comment and email and for letting me know you'd been there, too. For telling me your story.

Thank you for not judging, for giving me advice, and for witholding advice when you knew I was too stubborn or tumped over to take it. Thank you for your help financially with my four sick cats. Thank you for the yarn. Thank you for lying to me and telling me my forehead wasn't that big. Thank you for the absolutely MOST FUNNY COMMENTS on the entire internets. Ya'll are a hoot and a holler! Now even my MOM reads the comments, and up until last year she thought I was probably running a porno site out of my garage.

Thanks for keeping me from feeling alone on nights when I was pretty sure I was about four and a half minutes from crazy. I am embarrassed to tell you the truth, that sometimes I will write a thing and I refresh the webpage to see if anyone out there is reading, see if anyone is out there somewhere, anywhere, another human being that I connect with even just for a moment.

And you're there. For the first time maybe ever I really don't feel alone, because of you. Thank you. I cannot thank you enough.


soba-thanksgiving.jpg

Posted by laurie at 10:22 AM

November 22, 2006

My Hairstory: The Final Chapter

When we last left off, our hairoine (HAHAHA!!! HAIRoine!! Yeah I may have been drinking when I came up with that gem) was sporting one somewhat poufy flat-top haircut, a move that may not seem particularly daring in this day and age when young people do things like "hard drugs" and also "try to be Paris Hilton and make a sex tape with kids from their 9th grade Spanish class," but trust me. When I was 13 and living way out on the bayou, it was a big deal.

My parents saw the demonic gleam in my eye of pure, unadulterated rebellion. They sighed. Then they said, "Well, she has always been a little different..." "Unusual!" "A real original, that is for sure." My father said, "Let the girl do what she wants to her hair. It's her hair...." My brothers said, "You're a dumbass!" and sometimes, "Oh my God, sis, what the (bleep) did you do to your HAIR?"

And the thing about a poufy flat-top? It grows out. Really fast. Especially if you have freakishly fast-growing hair anyway. But at first it wasn't too bad:

hairstory3-1.jpg

In fact, my fashion was worse than my hair. I kind of thought I had a Nick Rhodes thing going and since I was secretly planning to marry Nick Rhodes when he finally came to Middle Of Nowhere, Louisiana looking for me, BECAUSE I LOVED HIM THAT MUCH, anyway ... I was okay with my no-longer-flat-top.


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


But then... ya'll know.
My hair got as bad as my fashion REALQUICKLIKE.
hairstory3-2.jpg

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

Now, I'm posting this next picture just because it may be the funniest get-up I (or anyone on the planet) has ever deemed "fashionable" and also "worthy to wear in public while thinking I AM SO HOT." Hee hee. I saved allowance for WEEKS for this outfit! That is an ESPRIT bag, people, genuine cloth ESPRIT! Notice I am also rocking the partial side-ponytail:

hairstory3-3.jpg

As you can see, I was all about the fashion.


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

But I was at a crossroads from a hair perspective. What could I do with my basically normal, wavy bob? I mean, sure, I had the side ponytail with colored scrunchie to jazz things up. I had my pegged jeans and colored Converse and thirty-two pairs of socks on over my pants legs, but what could I possibly do to make myself even MORE FETCHING?


PERHAPS A WHITE GIRL 'FRO?

hairstory3-fro.jpg
Yeah. That is the only existing picture of this hairstyle, taken on the day I got the actual perm. Three days later, I washed my hair and I lost all my beautiful curls. I cried. I moussed to no avail. I cried some more. How could I ever make my hair truly incredibly glorious?


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


And the answer, darling innernets, was clear:

hairstory3-mohawk1.jpg


The side-part mohawk. My greatest accomplishment in Freaking Out The Parents. God, I was so cool. I was so awesome. I was ... so grounded.

After I managed to get un-grounded, I found my way back to the very person who had helped me with the side-mohawk bob, and we remastered it for Version Two: The asymmetrical side-part mohawk bob.

hairstory3-mohawk2.jpg

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


Of course, as time went by, my hair began to grow out, my summer dragged on, and suddenly I woke up and realized that as much as I loved my crazyhair, it would not ever win me the affections of one Martin Daniel, who I was Now In Love With and Must Marry.

So, all summer I let my hair grow and ditched my SO SO COOL neon pastel clothes in an effort to become Pretty, and also, Mrs. Martin Daniel. At this time in the South, it was very important to have big hair (or at least a big wall of bangs) to be considered Pretty. I practiced in my bathroom with a curling iron and a can of Aquanet until flies were literally stuck in mid-air. My family coughed dramatically each time they passed the bathroom door, but deep down inside you know they were happy because perhaps we had at least reached the end of the WHAT THE HELL HAS SHE DONE TO HER HAIR?? years.

Achieving greatness in the bangs department was really hard for my small, flat, pathetically straight hair. I began with the side-wall bangs:

hairstory3-highschool3.jpg
Check out the acid washed skirt! Hot!


Eventually moved on to the Basic Front Curl:
hairstory3-highschool4.jpg
(You know my parents were like, "She wants another watch for her birthday? Fine. It'll be dead in an hour. Serves her right. Throwing away money. Kids these days..." etc. etc.)


Got some leverage on the Updraft:
hairstory3-highschool5.jpg

AQUA NET, how I loved thee. Sorry, Ozone layer.

Discovered hot rollers for the sides:
hairstory3-highschool6.jpg
Hi, blue eyeshadow!

And finally, after years of hard work, I made it in the Wall O'Bangs world:

hairstory3-nirvana.jpg


And so concludes my Hairstory. That inpenetrable mountain of hair fabulosity was to this day the hardest and also most rewarding thing about high school. On a good day I was closer to heaven... on a bad day (read: rain) I would literally cry in anguish. I carried a butane curling iron with me everywhere I went. I had travel-size cans of hairspray in every strength lining the shelves of my locker, my vanity at home and the glove compartment of my car. I carried a pick, a teasing comb and a brush. I was perhaps more committed to that hair than any other thing either before or since.

Since reaching the dizzying heights of greatness in my bangs, it's all been downhill in the hair department. Boring, basic, straight, blunt-cut hair. It takes approximately 1/1000th of the time to style my hair these days, and for that I should be thankful. But you know deep-down inside I kind of miss my big bangs. Just a teensy little bit.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll! Hug the family, eat some turkey and stay away from the AquaNet! And if you just can't keep away from the spray, be sure to at least take some really embarrassing pictures... for posterity's sake.

Posted by laurie at 11:06 AM

November 21, 2006

My Hairstory: The Ugly Years (Part 1)

Ah, the awkward teenage years. Mine were so awkward that they in fact started at age twelve!

As you may recall, at age twelve I was permed and certainly fond of the frosty blue eyeshadow, but aside from the occasional trampy overstep in the makeup category, I was still not horribly embarrassing:

hairstory2-1.jpg
That's me and my little brother who was my constant companion from the gitgo. He was unbearably adorable, except for the part where he cried 23.5 hours a day. But that's how God works ... He makes the really bad kids so incredibly cute! And you love them even though what you really want to do is put a muzzle on them or tell them to please go play with matches near the freeway. And people wonder why I never had kids, hmmmmm.

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


hairstory2-2.jpg
Notice how my older brother, Guy, is really getting hotter by the minute while my cuteness is being completely eclipsed by perming, makeupping, and braceface. Still... it was the 80s. I was well within the normal range for an awkward teenager.

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


hairstory2-3.jpg
THEN OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO ME?

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

hairstory2-4.jpg
Hello world! Big eyebrows? Check! Braces? Check! She-mullet? Check check!

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

hairstory2-5.jpg

hairstory2-6.jpg

Honestly. Is there anything that can be said?
Do not these pictures speak for themselves?
Except... hello baby! You are so sexy ... IN YOUR PURPLE NIKES!!!!!!!
WITH YOUR JEANS THAT HAVE A 24-INCH ZIPPER OH MY GOD.

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

hairstory2-7.jpg
Then... the side-wave happened. The side-wave bang was a precursor to the Wall O'Bangs, which wouldn't be fully realized in all its superglued glory until much, much later in my female development.


hairstory2-9.jpg
By the way, I am including this picture because notice how I was rockin' the pink plastic star earrings? Do you have any idea how long I searched for those earrings so I could be the pink version of Madonna in the Lucky Star video, from which by the way I memorized the entire dance routine and would practice it every night in the living room? Also, the classic round-neck pink mohair sweater? STUPID PARENTS WHO WOULD NOT LET ME WEAR FISHNET AND TORN T-SHIRTS LIKE MADONNA. HATE YOU. HATE. Heh. I was sooooo mad at the folks for that one, BUT I WORE MY STAR EARRING TAKE THAT STUPID PARENTS MEAN MEAN HATE.

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

hairstory2-10.jpg

Then... the Sun-In Incident happened.

I am including this close-up, rather grainy but still somehow I believe you can hear the hairs on my head actually crying out in pain from the combination of Sun-In and perming solution:

hairstory2-10b.jpg
Nice eyebrows! Awesome metal mouth!


The Sun-In Incident sizzled every last hair on my head. Which may or may not be why I decided one day to go to the mall, carrying a picture of GRACE FREAKING JONES, a large Amazonian-type goddessy woman with a flat-top haircut, and I paid the horrified lady at Regis Hair Care to give me this:

hairstory2-8.jpg

... one very poufy flat-top haircut that gave my parents a near heart attack, better preparing them for the trauma to come in the 9th grade, when things went horribly more awry-er in the hair department. Also, see my dress? My striped monstrosity of a dress? And my poufy flattop hair? And see my 1980s Teen God of a brother, so cool that objects literally froze when they got too near him?

Even his coolness could not save me from myself.

Tomorrow: The Final Chapter of Hairstory in which I show the world the neato-est haircut ever, the side-parted mohawk bob.

OH YES I DID.

Posted by laurie at 10:16 AM

November 20, 2006

My Hairstory: The Early Years

Obviously, the early years of my personal hairstory are the best years, because kids are kind of cute even when they're ugly, and because I can blame all early hair transgressions on my parents. Blame is a powerful and liberating thing. Let's get started!


hairstory1-1.jpg

As a child, you can see I was unusual not only for my fabulousness in the highchair department, but also because my eyes were far too big for my head, and my head was far too big for my body. And for a baby, I have to say I was a little on the serious side. In this picture it looks like I'm about to launch forth on a lecture about the unfairness of subjecting children to strained peas, or perhaps my perspective on the energy crisis. I was weird from Day One. But my hair: cute!

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

hairstory1-2.jpg

The Pigtail Years began in earnest once my hair was actually long enough to enclose in rubber bands. My family LOVED PIGTAILS. They must have thought that the whimsy and cuteness would offset my still very droll, serious expressions. My head hasn't gotten any smaller, either. Also: My brother Guy appears to be channeling Timothy Leary in his Haight-Ashbury height of popularity. Could we be any more different?


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

hairstory1-3.jpg

I tried to break free of the pigtail as often as possible.


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

hairstory1-4.jpg
Yet my family was determined that I should be bepigtailed at all times. I love this picture of me and my brother ... at this stage in our lives, I was cuter and I plan to berate him with this for the rest of our days. It doesn't make up for the fact that he was Studly Mc HotOne in high school while I had braces and a bad perm, but whatever.


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

hairstory1-5.jpg
Then... there was an incident. A really sad, tragic incident involving me and bubble gum and the wind, more photographic evidence of which can be found here. In this photo I am not only as country as you can get, I also look like a boy who's just gone fishin' for supper. But if you think that's bad... just imagine how I must have smelled. Kids!


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

hairstory1-6.jpg
Then when my hair grew out, the goddamn pigtails returned. Also, note to my parents who I love and adore ... I would like to say NICE JOB ON THE HAIR BARETTES THERE. My therapy bill will be in the mail this week. Love ya'll!


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

As the awkward pre-teen years approached, I managed to somehow be basically normal-looking for a period of several years, rocking some variation of this look:

hairstory1-7.jpg

As you can see, my brother has improved in cuteness. If only I had known then what I know now, that he would become a chick magnet and I would become ... well, terrified of magnets, what with the 37 tons of metal in my mouth. Whatever. Anyway, I would braid my hair at night when it was wet to give it a little body. Notice the super-cool side ponytail braids... my signature touch!

hairstory1-8.jpg
Then my mom discovered the "body wave." I still preferred collecting rocks and crawfish to getting my hair did. I was kind of a tomboy. The eighties hadn't reached all the way out to the bayou yet....


hairstory1-9.jpg
... AND THEN THE LONG ARM OF THE CURLY PERM CAME TO TOWN. Also, so did glitter blue eyeshadow. I don't know what I'm doing in this picture, but probably I am contemplating what would be the last semi-decent hairstyle I would have for about ten years.

And thus concludes today's hairstory. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Hairstory which includes dramatic brace-face, sun-in gone horribly wrong and the she-mullet! I'll be bringing Paxil for those of you with 80s Hair Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. My brother won't need it, of course. Stupid butterfly-emerging-from cocoon brother. THANKS A LOT.

Posted by laurie at 12:03 PM

November 17, 2006

I Declare Next Week "Hairstory Week"

Over at Citizen Of The Month, Neil is always making proclamations and getting people to send him sex and money and perform tricks. (Ok, maybe he just has a way with getting people to photograph their laptop computers or videotape themselves singing songs and stuff. But, I'm sure he wishes it were sex. His wife Sophia, is maybe not so much wishing this same thing.)

I like Neil and he has invited me to come to lunch and meet him and Sophia but I haven't yet because I am a hermit, and I do things like "stay home" and "watch Tivo" and "drink wine." Perhaps that is what makes dating so hard ... you have to leave your house. And ya'll may suspect it already, but allow me to confirm that I can take reclusive to new levels. I'm like Emily Dickenson without the talent, or Howard Hughes without the money... or the fingernails. Because, eeew. That is just nast!

I have always, always been shy and reclusive. People laugh when I say I'm "shy." Sometimes they laugh so hard they fall over, and almost pee themselves. But by "shy" I mean: I am painfully, horribly terrified of saying stupid/awkward/ridiculous/offensive things, so in my effort to NOT DO THAT, I in fact do a whole lot of it and talk too fast and sometimes perspire. Nice.

You wonder why I do not want to leave my cave.

As a young person, one who was not perhaps all the time firmly grounded in reality and the notion that "photos are for a lifetime..." one of the ways I branched out with the awkwardness was to take rather daring and adventurous risks with my hair. This drove my parents almost literally insane. In retrospect, I can see their point. Why would a serviceably coiffed young lady decide to cut off all her hair only in one spot, creating a side-part mohawk? Why?

My answer: BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE NEATO.

So, while the Wall O' Bangs was fun, and certainly funny in its death-defying grip on gravity, it was not even CLOSE to being the worst of the worst of the funny of my Hairstory. And my parents, who perhaps suspected I would one day grow up and try to deny all things such as "mullet" and "sun-in incident" and "perm of death" took plenty of photographs and love to make fun of me to this day about my "adventurous spirit" or, as my brothers put it, "fool ass haircuts."

So, in a Neil-esque "I Declare!" manner, I hereby declare next week, which is a short week because of Thanksgiving and because of my wine-drinking that will take place as soon as this project ends, The Week Of Hairstory.

And I will post my pictures which shall shock and guffaw you. And I encourage you to do the same! I may not be able to leave my house sometimes, but thanks to the innernets my awkwardness and fool-ass haircuts will be able to warm hearts everywhere, mostly because you can be thrilled your parents never allowed you to get a SIDE-PART MOHAWK. It was really... uh. Neato.

Posted by laurie at 9:19 AM

November 16, 2006

That's how I roll. Period.

As you may have read earlier this week, or perhaps it was last week, I don't know as all the days have run together and this morning I woke up and got into the shower with both socks on because that is how coherent and brainy my brain is these days, but! as you may know, my frontal and backal lobes are hurting with "work" and "Please dear Lord make this thing I am creating not suck, too much" and also, once when I was sort of desperate and only kind of meant it, "WHERE ARE THE REALLY GOOD EARTHQUAKES WHEN YOU NEED THEM?"

I know someone out there will blame me if we have an earthquake now, but I was deranged with lack of sleep. Also, I have had Visible Panty Lines all week because I haven't done laundry (SHOCKER!!!! ALERT THE MEDIA!!!!!) and the only butt-floss undies I have left are the lacy ones and ...heh. You know my Dad is somewhere in Florida reading this right now and saying, "For the love of GOD make the child STOP talking about her underwear to strangers!"

Suffice it to say the lacy ones are not so much comfy. So I'm rocking the Hanes Her Way or more accurately, Hanes, Her Way 15 Pounds Ago When These Fit Without Riding Up. Whatever.

I said all of that so I could convey with the utmost confidence and believability that I have an actual reason for this column to be both boring and ridiculous and also, Make Not Of Any Sense Much. And, in a twist of even crueler and boringer fate, there are vocabulary words needed for this episode. Today's Vocabulary:

pelon (peh-LON) - Spanglish for baldie, or someone with a shaved head; "He who owns the dome."

peloncito (peh-LON-see-toe) - Cutesy for pelon (see above.) While it can rhyme with the word CHEETO, has nothing to do with snack foods.

dork (dOrk) - Me. For picture, see "any photograph featuring me."


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

Here is the scene. It is Tuesday. I am in my office, on the phone. El Peloncito is off work, so he is home illegally (NO, YOUR HONOR, THAT WAS A TYPO. I MEANT TO SAY 'LEGALLY') downloading a whole bunch of songs. We are having one of those conversations wherein I say "uh-huh" a lot, as I am at work trying to pull a brilliant Flash product demo out of my nether regions. I am simultaneously discovering that my butt does not, in fact, contain brilliance of the online animation variety. And I am sad.


Pelon: I'm getting that new 2pac, it's bad, (sings) "Get it on, mutha*** get it on!"

Me: Ooooh, will you download the new Beyonce for me?

Pelon: (sigh of exasperation as if I have just harshed his cool gangsta buzz with my girly song request) (then pause) (then he sings the first part of the aforementioned girly Beyonce song) "To the left, to the left..."

Me: Hee.

Pelon: And I'm downloading PitBull, he's bad. You'll see. I'm burning it for you, too. Gonna get you gangsta so you can roll.

Me: Hrmph. You say that as if I do not already roll. I roll perfectly fine as is thankyouverymuch.

Pelon: Mujer, please.


Later Tuesday night I get the CDs from el peloncito, and the next morning I listen to them during the three-million-hour car ride to my job, where still (surprise!) no brilliant Flash demos have sprung forth from my rump. There is a 9 a.m. staff meeting in which I am tempted to stand up and announce, "I like big butts and I cannot lie! You other brothers can't deny! But there's no Flash demo inside!"

Yet, surprisingly, I stay silent.

In the afternoon, I am in my office with the door mostly shut, listening to these CDs on random shuffle and frantically trying to get a button on my project to actually WORK when I realize I am thisclose to maybe runnin' up on you with a forty. Most interestingly of all, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT PHRASE EVEN MEANS. Yet it is what pops into my head, and also out of my mouth, when Coworker asks me how I am.


Coworker: How are you? You want a midday coffee run?
Me: I am thisclose to runnin up on some homey with a forty.
Coworker:
Coworker: They have peppermint flavored mocha now at Coffee Bean.
Me: I'm down for that.
Coworker: OK ... weirdo.


Then it dawns on me that through el peloncito and the power of music, I have turned fully gangsta.

I text him to let him know. Out of courtesy, you see.

Me:
Dear Peloncito,
Thank you so much for the CDs. I am now gangsta. Word up.
Yours, Laurie

Pelon: Yeah... you so gangsta that you punctuate.

Me: I roll with punctuation and grammar. We shall bust a comma up in your ass.

Pelon:

Pelon:

Pelon: You mean up in my semiCOLON?


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


And that is all I have for you today, another day in which I work, mis-use slang from about ten years ago, wear unflattering underwear and manage to slip in a little reference to both traffic and Cheetos. I am unfailingly predictable. The only thing that could save face, aside from a fully-formed flash demo springing forth from my visble panty lines, would be a cat throwing gang signs.


bob-gangsta.jpg

Posted by laurie at 9:57 AM

November 15, 2006

One nice thing.

A few months ago I had a very small dinner party at my house, burgers on the grill and chips and cold beer for a hot day.

As the party got later and drunker, as parties at my house tend to do, we were seated in a small circle on the patio passing around a bottle of sparkling wine and that's when Penny asked me about Mr. X, and how on earth I had married him, what it was that made me say 'yes' to that man.

You should know that Penny is Jennifer's younger sister, twenty-one years old and with the most beautiful skin you have ever seen, she radiates youth and promise and future. I looked at her, slouched comfortably in a faded wooden patio chair, and I went all dramatic and Blanche Dubois as I tend to do from time to time, with a drawl and a freshly topped cocktail glass.

"I am a cautionary tale," I twanged at her.

But the story of how we met isn't particularly Streetcar Named Desire, and it is only a cautionary tale (as I am) because you never know what life holds, or what secrets a person is hiding, and frankly I didn't have very high standards. We as women demand so little sometimes. Or anyway, I demanded so little. The common denominator in all my failures is me, after all, and I want to learn from such missteps and not repeat my past.

That's when I told Penny the story of Mr. X., and how I came to marry him, and how our whole life together began.

It was almost a decade ago and I was working at the Los Angeles Daily News with an editor whose wife worked at one of the Hollywood movie studios. In her office was an eligible bachelor, Mr. X of course, and he was my first-ever blind date. We met at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and I remember exactly what I wore (brown miniskirt, sweater) and what I ordered (mashed potatoes and crabcakes). At the time, I was dating a golf pro named Rob, a guy who was clearly the inspiration for the book "He's Just Not That Into You." It wasn't going well. I wanted to be married and content and adult and settled. Rob wanted to get naked in golf carts. (By the way, MY HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED. Hello young man! May I see your golf cart, please?)

I was at that very place you find yourself one morning while brushing your teeth when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that You Are Ready. So I went on that blind date.

Mr. X sat across the table from me, and recited his credentials, nervous, and I was much younger anyway. We had zero chemistry, but he was very nice and honestly, I didn't think he'd like me. I was from a poor, small backwater town and he had traveled all over the globe, lived in China, he talked about screenwriter friends and big Hollywood stuff. I didn't know 99.999% of the names he dropped. I felt kind of young and stupid.

But he called a few days later. I didn't return his calls. I didn't think we had much in common, I'm more of feet-on-the-ground kind of girl and all that Hollywood talk made me nervous. Rob took a golf instructor job at a private course in San Diego, and stood me up for New Year's Eve. My friend Alicia spent that night with me in my tiny apartment I had rented in Sherman Oaks, $850 a month for a bedroom and a miniature kitchen, a bathroom so small you could barely shut the door and a balcony view right onto the 405 freeway. It was a really bad way to start the new year.

Mr. X called again, in early January, and we went out for drinks at a local dive bar called Pineapple Hill (my pick) (could he stomach a dive bar?), where drinking was required and smoking indoors was still legal. We ordered a round of drinks and a basket of fries, and he looked at me.

"I rented those movies you told me about," he said.

"What movies...?" I said.

"When we were at dinner, and I asked you what your favorite movies were? Remember?"

He'd done that on our first date, asked me my three favorite movies so I bluffed (okay ya'll, who says "Oh my God, I have seen 'Stripes' three thousand times and I think 'The Princess Bride' is maybe the best movie ever created, next to 'Purple Rain' of course!") (Well, I would say that now, but back then I was still working on having An Image and trying to Look Smart.)

And so I had mentioned three artsy-fartsy films and he had gone out and rented them, and watched them.

I was floored. After all, no one, no man, had ever heard me before. No man had ever listened to me, filed away my words, stored them for reference and paid such attention to me. I looked at him with new eyes.

"You rented those movies?" I asked. The word "incredulous" comes to mind.

He had, indeed.

And so we started going out on dates, to dinner and movies and spending time together on the weekends. It was nice. He was nice. He was nice to me.

One day we were at Solley's Diner having breakfast, him reading the paper, me pushing around the food on my plate. We walked back to my tiny apartment in Sherman Oaks, and he reached for my hand as we crossed the parking lot. I looked at him then, an evaluation. I saw a man who was nice to me, if somewhat detached, and I thought that I liked him even though I knew things weren't perfect with him. We didn't talk a lot, and there wasn't really any crazy passionate you-know-what.

"But attraction fades," I told myself. "He's a nice man, stable, smart, funny, and besides. Eventually in marriage you move past pure physical attraction and see only your friend, the person you live with, the kitchen-reality of your life together forever. We're already there. We're comfortable."

And I really did love him.
And I married him.

I often think I did the right thing, marrying a man who I was comfortable with, who I loved (even if I didn't always desire him). It doesn't matter anyway, the decision got made, it's up to me to make good from all of it.

But after a few years together, I began to wonder (and fear) if all relationships are only ten minutes from devolving into companionship. Are all of us, even those with crazy passion at the outset, a mere ten minutes from becoming simply roommates, or siblings, or strangers?

I know that no matter what my future holds I'll pick a guy who excites me. One who isn't detached, isn't always comfortable. I want a man who I'm so happy to be with that I never want to cross that ten-minute line, never want to reach comfort with him to the place where I think, "Attraction fades, anyway, so we just moved past that phase early..."

After every single thing that has happened in the past two years (!), I still love the story of how we ended up together, those damn movies he rented. It's a sweet story, maybe the only sweetness left to our whole long relationship.

Sometimes things don't work out, the end wasn't pretty, or kind, or even amicable. But in the beginning I thought he was a good guy. Perhaps my standards changed, or maybe he changed, we both did. Either way it's like it happened to someone else, a whole lifetime ago when I was 25 and he liked me and I liked him and we never imagined all the hateful things that would transpire, the women whose names I never knew for sure, all the hurtful words and slammed doors and all of it.

It's almost a relief to remember something nice. Something kind, like how he rented those movies. It feels like letting go, I don't know why. But it feels good to let go, a little. Just one nice thing.

Posted by laurie at 9:57 AM

November 14, 2006

The Wall O' Bangs: Explained

myhair-1989.jpg

Posted by laurie at 9:04 AM

November 13, 2006

A Tale Of Two Gardeners

I had a dream, I had an awesome dream. That one day I would see square watermelons sitting side-by-side with round ones, that actual vegetables would spring forth from my garden, that visible panty lines could be abolished forever which has nothing to do with gardening but is, alas, still a dream.

And then you know, I kind of woke up and I was like, "Holy crap! It's hot outside and there are ants!" So I had a cocktail and sat indoors and watched Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, which frankly is about as close as I got to gardening all year. Whoops.

Somewhere between the great flood and the great drought and the great pruning, and oh, more pruning, and a tree falling on my yard, well. I guess the square watermelon dream of '06 died. Nice knowing you, seedlings! Sorry about the 118-degree summer! Blame it on all the hole in the ozone, probably from the hairspray I used in my formative teenage years, much-needed to achieve the inpenetrable Wall O' Bangs.

So, the backyard had been looking kind of sad. And so did the front yard, because Francisco had maybe stopped coming so frequently. I saw him in August and he said, "Ah, no really need to cut the back today, it's all dead anyway." That sentiment grew into his over-arching philosophy, I suppose. Prune and hack and remove, ergo making the job of gardener almost totally work-free! Fabuloso!

Francisco thought he had the situation ar Chez Brown Yard pretty well tied up. Nice loco white lady with her organic dirt (Ha! Ha! organic dirt!) and her crazytalk of watermelon with squares. Who knows! Beer! Things were good for Francisco.

But then things changed. An interloper tried to steal the crazylady away, and Franceeeesco get very mad.

It all happened innocently enough. I was coming home from visiting Grandma in Orange County one Sunday afternoon, piling out of my Jeep and generally trying to sherpa my way to the house with all my bags when from out of nowhere, literally, where did he come from? A very cute guy offered to help me carry things up to my porch.

Normal people would say "No!" This is Los Angeles, after all. We have crazy psychoticness roaming the streets at all times. But I handed him three more bags of stuff and he helped me lug it all to the patio. He did not, it turns out, mystically appear out of nowhere. He and his father have a landscaping service and tree-trimming business and would I be looking for the services of a very good gardener?

"Because your yard, it is not so much pretty."

"Thank you," I said. "My gardener has a strategy, I think. He's really into conserving water, maybe?"

"Ah," said the serious young man with the very nice dimple. He was quiet for a minute. He looked at my garden, then looked at me. "Todo esta muerto."

"Si," I said. "Todo esta muerto." Cue the sad music, and pass the tequila.

Somehow, somewhere, the United Gardener Interpersonal Communication system must have been triggered. Just the mere presence of another gardener -- a rival, at that -- standing on my front lawn and chitchatting about crabgrass sparked a psychic flurry of competition, or something, because Francisco WHO I HAD NOT SEEN IN THREE WEEKS instantly showed up in his truck with his leafblower at the ready.

He eyed the interloper.

"Quien es this guy?" said Francisco.

"Oh, I didn't get his name," I said. Then I turned to Mystery Landscape Guy. "So, what is your name?"

"I am Abel." (Confession time. Ok, ya'll, I admit it took me a minute. I was like, "You're able? Able to do what?" because... LISTEN. I am not so fast sometimes. You know?)

So there was a pause. And then it sunk in, his name was Abel, and he was... able!!! HAHAHAHA. This is how I think, and it amused me. So I giggled, which didn't do much to break the tension at Chez Muerto Yard.

Francisco eyed Abel. Abel eyed me.

I eyed my cuticles with great interest. Then I looked at Francisco, and he looked so sad. Like that time in fifth grade when I broke up with Kevin Anderson for not holding my hand on the bus. So I turned to Abel and said, "Well, nice to meet you! This is Francisco, my gardener. I gotta go!" Francisco smiled with what was either relief or indigestion, and ... coward that I am, I fled the scene of the showdown. Locked myself inside with a nice adult beverage and four cats and nothing that even vaguely resembled the great outdoors.

But since then, Francisco has been coming every week and my yard is only a little bit muerto. I guess some healthy competition is good for all men. Even those who really, really prefer to cut and run.


bobarms.jpg
This picture has nothing to do with the story.

Posted by laurie at 10:15 AM

November 10, 2006

Passion for Potholes

Zach at LAist understands me. He knows I am crazy, and that I have a herd of felines, and that sometimes I develop obsessive tics, like for example the way I spout off about traffic every two and a half minutes.

I do not know Zach, in the sense of "we have met and seen each other and are not just innernet weirdoes." I merely know that he is Perfect, because he does not Judge. He has a website, too. Stalk stalk.

Since it was election week, a lot of folks asked me how I felt about the outcome (The Governator: The Sequel) and the changes in Washington and so on. And I said pretty much the same thing, over and over again:

"I have potholes on my street that could swallow a school bus."

If asked in more detail what I thought about Democrats or Republicans or Congress, I said:

"And also, I hate the Orange Line. And why for the love of fat Elvis can't they time the FREAKING TRAFFIC LIGHTS ON WHITE OAK? WHY?"

People soon stopped asking me election-day questions.

I used to be very passionate about politics, I even worked on a Presidential campaign once in college as a volunteer. I'll admit that I had a madly inappropriate crush on Al Gore. He was a Tennessean, you know. And he looked really good in red plaid flannel shirts.

Maybe I lost my passionate fervor with politics around the same time people started getting really weird about the subject, like they would CUT YOU if you didn't like their candidate. You looked the wrong way at someone's White Guy In A Tie, and they would bust a fact up in yo ass! Yo yo!

Then I got divorced and I was like, "Politics? Are you kidding me? I AM CRYING HERE DO NOT BOTHER ME WITH YOUR SILLY VOTING." After I re-emerged from the fog of dissolution, it became very clear to me that there was one pressing political question, and that was: WHY CAN'T THIS CITY FIX THE DAMN POTHOLES AND TIME THE LIGHTS?

For the most part I like our Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. He seems like a nice guy and he's from the 'hood and all that. Except... he's not from the Valley Hood. In the mayoral primary, I voted for Bob Hertzberg because he was a nice Jewish boy from the Valley and I figured he might care deeply about the potholes plaguing the finest place on earth. He lost, but I held out hope for Antonio. I thought maybe he could help us all ... rich and poor, young and old, black, brown, white, botoxed beyond recognition. I thought he might actually pave something.

I have wishes, people. I have dreams. They may not be the passionate dreams of someone taking over the Senate, but they are my dreams all the same.

For example, I might out of sheer happiness molest the first road crew I see filling up the potholes on my street.

And I really do wish that Mayor Antonio would come to Encino and try to get on the 101 on-ramp at White Oak each morning during rush hour for one whole week. I think he would be interested in the half-hour he loses merely trying to turn left ... with the help of a left-turn arrow, even! He might wonder why the lights are so badly timed. He might honk, because that is what we do every morning. It's very exciting in the Valley, you could die of old age trying to merge on the freeway.

And I would like every person on the City Council and the Board of the MTA to ride the Orange Line each day during rush hour for one whole week. They might wonder at first why people are literally shoving them out of the way, trampling them to get on the bus. Shhhh! It's a secret! There just aren't enough buses! So people shove, kick and push you to get on the one overcrowded bus available and stand squeezed in like toothpicks for thirty minutes. And by the way, PEOPLE OFTEN SMELL BAD. Soap is not optional, folks.

I would like the Mayor to force his wife or daughter to ride the Red Line subway each night from downtown to North Hollywood at 7:45 p.m. each evening, just as I do when I work late. I think they would feel so safe, what with the complete absence of security. Then his daughter or wife would have to walk alone to her car through a parking lot that has three working bulbs. Try it! So much fun!

And then of course, they would drive home, through the Valley on darkened streets that are full of potholes and they would hit every single red light along the way.

I care, people. I care deeply. My passion is potholes. And traffic. And wine. And with those qualifications I should probably run for office ... except for the molesting of road crews part. Those darn sex scandals get you every time.

Posted by laurie at 9:25 AM

November 9, 2006

In my defense, your honor, I am crazy, too.

I can't believe I'm going to tell ya'll this story.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. I wanted desperately to be an ace reporter, but instead I was pulling down a cool $7.15 an hour (part-time!) writing press releases in the PR department. Oh, the largesse.

(I did eventually migrate to the newsroom and I even got a front-page Travel section story once. But prior to that, I was a Public Relations hack.)

I was REALLY BAD at Public Relations. Not because I don't like the public or their relations, but because I was young and inexperienced and THERE ARE A LOT OF CRAZY PEOPLE IN LOS ANGELES. And one thing about the newspaper industry is that it is a fertile breeding ground for nuts. Every two-bit fruitcake with access to any form of correspondence will eventually contact the local newspaper. And you know who gets the craziest ones? The low girl on the totem pole.

And that was me.

About three months after I had started working at the newspaper I started receiving calls from a man we'll call Mr. Smith. I do not know how Mr. Smith got my direct line, but I can only assume it was one of the charming front desk folks who loved the new kid in PR.

Mr. Smith called me every day to complain that the newspaper carrier in his neighborhood was beaming alien death rays into his home via the dispatch radio.

Mr Smith: He drives into the neighborhood in a truck with a large antenna...

Me: Yes?

Mr Smith: And that's when it starts.

Me: What starts? The newspaper delivery route starts?

Mr Smith: No. Well, yes. But most disturbingly ... that is when the alien beams start coming into my house.

Me: I see. That is disturbing.

Mr Smith: WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO ABOUT THIS?

This went on for months, because I think Mr. Smith was lonely and really just wanted someone to talk to and ya'll know. I was getting paid $7.15 an hour. I was kind of on the fast track to crazy myself, and he was the most amusing of all the regulars. There was the lady who called to complain about how the ink on her morning paper made her sneeze, the guy who threatened to sue us if we didn't start printing the daily comics in color again, and the woman who refused to get out of bed unless she could call the horroscope line, which we had discontinued. So guess who she called every morning promptly at 8:45 a.m. to read her that morning's newspaper horoscope? Three guesses!

And by now ya'll should know me well enough to know that not only am I a magnet for crazy, I myself am also interested in people and what makes them tick and so on, and also I am terribly Southern so I am polite and indulge people even when perhaps I should move on and change the locks. The crazies just became part of the job, and I felt like I was doing a public service in a way. Even if I kind of sucked at the job I was at least making thirty-seven certifiably insane Los Angelenos happy.

And hey, they were subscribers after all.

After a few months, Mr. Smith and I were on a friendly basis. He really was quite tormented by the alien rays, and I couldn't exactly tell the Daily News to stop delivering newspapers in the eight-mile radius of his Canoga Park residence as he requested. That is when I told him about the Southern Alien Death Ray Miracle Cure. It involved tin foil and duct tape.

I didn't hear from as regularly, so I thought my Alien Death Ray Miracle Cure had worked. Then one day I got a call.

Mr Smith: Laurie, I tell you, it was fine for a while but now the rays are getting worse and I can't sleep at night.

Me: Well, Mr. Smith, did you put the tin foil on top of the TV like I told you to?

Mr Smith: Yes, and it worked! But now I think the alien rays are back, and they're ... stronger!

Me: I see. Are you using the heavy duty freezer tin foil?

Mr Smith: Why do you call it 'tin foil'?

Me: Mr. Smith, I think what we have here are the, uh, the porous rays that can travel through, uh, ions. And so you're saying the tin foil worked when you put it on top of the TV set right?

Mr Smith: Yes, but then it...

Me: You need to take pieces of tin foil, the HEAVY DUTY kind, and tape it over all the unused electrical outlets. Don't stick your finger in a socket or anything, just tape in over them externally. That will do it.

Mr Smith: WHY didn't I think of that MYSELF! That's it! I knew it! I have to go!

And I never heard from him again.

Sometimes I wonder what happened to him, and if he's living in a house in Canoga Park covered from floor to ceiling in tin foil and if it's somehow my fault, or if I brought him peace from the alien death rays. I hope he didn't electrocute himself. He seemed like a really nice guy, aside from the psychosis.

So, as you can see, I never made it as an ace reporter. But damn I was good with the crazies.

And hey... they were subscribers, after all!

Posted by laurie at 9:47 AM

November 8, 2006

Hello from OH MY GOD IT IS SO HOT.

Ya'll it was ONE HUNDRED AND ONE degrees yesterday in Woodland Hills, and also, driving in to work in your long-sleeved office wear is really REALLY fun if you're inside a Jeep with plastic bucket seats and no air conditioning. If by fun you mean "why did I bother showering at all."

Hi!

Guess what I am making? I am making a very large and complicated and fancy online demo for one of the cool products my company offers. I feel very Art Director. And I love this product, it's a most excellent online financial blah blah blah. So that is exciting! Except, with the part that my brain is leaking out the sides of my head and everything because it's due... on November 20. I might cry.

Top Ten Reasons I Will Not Cry:

1) Bringing CoffeeBack
I finally bought a coffeemaker. Which is, I realize, somewhat of a DUH moment for most people, seeing as I love and need and really MUST HAVE my coffee, but Mr. X got the coffeemaker in the abandonment, so I had been sans Mr. Coffee all this time. Finally, my mom (who is nothing if not brilliant) suggested I should probably go and buy one at Target. And I did, and it has a TIMER and each morning I wake up and go look at my coffeemaker to see if the water starts to drip right at 5 a.m. and ... yeah. It does. I might be a weirdo.

2) The Winter Of My Summer
Ok, so I am not really thrilled with the scorching summer temperatures BUT it has extended flip-flop season, and I love my flip-flops, and hey. Look. We need things to be happy about, ok?

3) K-FedEx
Really, is there anything left to say except: Dunzo! Which, by the way was my text message to Jennifer yesterday. I was in the middle of a project meeting when my boss emailed me the breaking news off CNN that Britney and K-Fed had split. Have I mentioned I love my boss? And so I sent a text message to Jen. Because we are twelve.

4) Speaking of being twelve years old
Apparently, I have infected Drew with the texting bug. I myself never sent or received text messages until I got my pink phone, and then I went on a date with a cute guy who liked to send me text messages. Which I thought was So! Fun! And suddenly I had to learn how to get my rather fat, uncooperative fingers to text with enough speed that the other person didn't fall asleep during the exchange (not sure I've accomplished that, actually.) But anyway, now I occassionally send random text messages to people, meaning Jen and now Drew.

Me, txt, to Drew: City of Encino keeps me rockin knows how 2 party

Drew (calls me): I really want to text you back but I don't know how!
Me: Oh, you have to find a teenager to show you, that's what I did!

[days pass]
[I am in a meeting]

Phone vibrates.
Drew, txt, to me: Hey look Im sending text message!
Me: Cool!
Drew: Now Im yarn shopping!
Me: ooooh
Drew:8 skeins artyarns merino! Clapotis?
Me: Clapotis? Penicillin!

And so on.

5) DSW Shoe Warehouse
Need I say more? Except, this is me, so I will say more. Rather than write and research fauxrriscopes for this month, I solved my anxiety over this task by driving to DSW Shoes and spending money on open-toee slingbacks that are SO CUTE. Because when I have anxiety, I shoe shop. This is my way, people. This is MY WAY.

6) I feel like a glazed ham, but pretty!
I bought this lotion called "Olay Touch Of Sun" and it's a daily face moisturizer that has a teetiny bit of self-tanner in it and it gives you, meaning me, the slightest little glow. It actually works! After a few days of daily use, it kind of takes the edge of my blinding glow-in-the-dark-ness.

7) Ham.
Since we're on the subject.

8) Cats Who Love To Redecorate
I know many people say that animals don't have emotions and so on, and I invite these people to come to my house. I have not been home much lately, thanks to long hours and commuting and bringing home the bacon, et al. Sometimes I come home in the wee hours of darkness and leave the next morning in the wee hours of darkness. Like, perhaps, every single day. The cats have taken to new and unusual ways of getting my attention. For example, knocking over every lamp. Also, somehow managing to get inside the linen closet and push out all the clean, folded sheets and towels so to better nestle in the back on something soft. Nice. I thoroughly enjoyed coming home last night and finding the water glass knocked over and all the placemats removed from the table and spread on the floor, where one Sobakowa was perching amiably.

They may kill me in my sleep.

That's all, I can't really come up with ten full reasons to keep sane! If my head pops off, though, you'll know first... I'll send you a text message before I go.

roy-mistreated.jpg

Posted by laurie at 9:57 AM

November 2, 2006

Yeah, I know.

Hi! Sorry I kind of haven't got the astrological mojo right now! I'm working on a project right now and my brain is hurty.

BUT.

Tell me if this isn't the funniest thing you have ever heard. Ya'll, seriously. I have already called three people today just to say "Hi! I can't talk right now!"

The Office Game
Spice up your office with The Office Game -- pick two or three colleagues and agree to play The Office Game which awards points as follows:

* ONE POINT

Run one lap around the office at top speed. Walk sideways to the photocopier.

Find the vacuum and start vacuuming around your desk.

When they're not looking, pour most of someone's fresh cup of coffee into your mug leaving them with an inch of brew.

Ignore the first five people who say 'good morning' to you.

Phone someone in the office you barely know, leave your name and say "Just called to say I can't talk right now. Bye."

To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.

While riding an elevator, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.


*** THREE-POINTS

Babble incoherently at a fellow employee then ask "Did you get all that, I don't want to have to repeat it." - Double points if you do this to a manager.

Kneel in front of the water cooler and drink directly from the nozzle.

Shout random numbers while someone is counting.

***** FIVE POINTS

At the end of a meeting, suggest that, for once, it would be nice to conclude with the singing of the national anthem (extra points if you actually launch into it yourself).

Walk into a very busy person's office and while they watch you with growing irritation, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.

For an hour, refer to everyone you speak to as 'Bob'.

Announce to everyone in a meeting that you "really have to go do number two".

After every sentence, say 'mon' in a really bad Jamaican accent. As in, "the report's on your desk, mon". Keep this up for one hour.

While an office mate is out, move their chair into the elevator.

In a meeting or crowded situation, slap your forehead repeatedly and mutter, "Shut up, all of you just shut up!"

In a colleague's diary, write in 10 am: "See how I look in tights".

Carry your laptop over to your colleague and ask "You wanna trade?"

Repeat the following conversation 10 times to the same person: "Do you hear that?" "What?" "Never mind, it's gone now"

Come to work in army fatigues and when asked why, say, "I can't talk about it"

Speak with an accent (French, German, Porky Pig, etc.) during a very important conference call.

Tuck one pant leg into your sock and when queried, answer, "not now" and walk away.


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

Ok, Bob. I have to go. We'll meet at 10 a.m. tomorrow to see how I look in tights! Love you!

Posted by laurie at 3:33 PM