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May 31, 2007

Can a purse be TOO BIG?

I had to go see my doctor for some chemical help with my airplane-flying problems. I am not going to even try lying to you, I am a scared mess on airplanes. That and I also needed some valium to deal with my NEWLY BALD HEAD, since Aharon cut all my hair off and I about died and in fact cried. Heavily. Ya'll my hair has not been this short since I was fourteen freaking years old. So, if you see me tomorrow or Saturday and say hey, please do not mention my hair, or rather lack thereof. Please pretend I look normal. I am already having a drink in my mind just thinking about it all.

So anyway, I needed to see Dr. Curt because I believe in better living through chemistry and also, I needed him to check out my left arm because I have a tumor.

"Hey Dr. Curt, also can you look at my arm tumor?"

He pretends I am such a pain in the butt but I know he loves me. I am always and forever showing up with inneresting stuff. Such as the time I had dry skin and thought it was scabies. Or the time I was sure I had a melanoma and it turned out to be a pimple. I am often told to stop looking up weird shit on Web MD but I can't help it. The internet is just so useful for diagnosing things!

"You have an arm tumor?" he asked. "You just spent twenty minutes talking about germs on airplanes but an arm tumor is just a 'hey by the way' issue?"

"Well, germs are just gross, horrible things, all that germiness! I can't think of it! But if I have a tumor, you see, I figure that it's not all that bad because I get to start smoking again," I said. "That is my Power of Positive Thinking in action!" hee.

Who says I have not grown and evolved as a human?

"Ok, let me see the alleged tumor," he said. I pulled up my left shirtsleeve so he could see the odd lumpy upper arm.

"Is it fatal?" I asked.

"It's not fatal," he sighed. "It's called a muscle."

"But I don't have any muscles," I assured him. "There must be some mistake."

"When you lose weight the thick layer of fat covering your muscles diminishes and so you start to see the definition of the muscle tissue beneath," he explained.

"Um, did you just say thick layer of fat? Because eeeeeew."

"You aren't dying," he told me. "Once again."

"But why would I have a muscle only on one arm?" I asked. "The other arm is just as flabby and disgusting as ever."

"Well," he said. "Are you left-handed?"

"Nope."

"Do you carry anything heavy on that arm?"

"Nope."

He looked around the small room and his eyes came to rest on the chair in the corner, where my giant handbag was oozing.

"How much does your purse weigh?" he asked. And before long, I kid you not, we were measuring my handbag and getting it on the scale and weighing the beast and ya'll I am not one to be sizist or to advocate dieting at all but let me assure you my handbag needs Weight Watchers ASAP.

"It weighs fourteen point two pounds," said Dr. Curt.

"That is just sad," I said. Sighed.

"Well, now we know where your mysterious bodybuilding is coming from," he said. I do believe he snickered a little.

It hasn't always been this way. When I was younger I used my pockets for my lipstick and change. Later, in college, I had one of those ID things where you keep money too, and then I still put my lipstick in my pocket. You know why? MY FACE WAS PERKIER BACK THEN. OK? I did not need the concealer, pressed powder, mascara and lip-plumping gloss of today.

When I started working at real jobs, I got a real pocketbook. Lipstick, compact, car keys, wallet, gum.

When I moved to L.A. it stayed the same until my germ issues intensified. All the above + handy wipes and Kleenex. No woman should be without Kleenex.

Then cellphones came along, and you had a cellular telephone the size of a shoe inside your pocketbook. Plus a charger and car charger and OH MY GOD, I AM SO COOL I HAVE A SHOE PHONE. I remember calling my friend Stefanie back home in Murfreesboro and saying, "Stef! I am talking to you from my CAR! Can you believe it! Can you hear me?"

Yes, I did that. Moving on.

Then I guess I graduated to real purses. I got a husband and funny how it worked out that I was always carrying his stuff around, too. Sunglasses, wallet, cellphone. Hi! Luggage for two!

Then I got divorced and I was in sweatpants on backwards and do not remember how I got to the liquor store and back, but I can only assume I carried my money in a ziploc baggie. (True, sadly.)

Then I had a moment of "I SHOULD BUY THAT EXPENSIVE THING I CANNOT AFFORD BECAUSE I AM SPURNED." I bought it, and it was a very lovely handbag. I bought a wallet for it, and a sunglasses case and an emery board.

Now, after all this time, I carry this MONSTER:

monsterhandbag.jpg


It is huge and I have officially turned into my mom. Hi. I have your handbag. And 49 emery boards, two travel-size packages of Kleenex, eleventy-seven pieces of paper, a notebook, eighty-two business cards, four packs of gum, and probably the grave of Al Capone.

Only other giant handbag girls will understand this, this need I have to carry around a mini-life in a handbag. It is like I am naked and unprepared for life without all this junk. For those of you who still carry your chapstick and (one) key in a jeans pocket, I heart you. But this is not for you today. No, this is for all the other women who are hobbling hunchbacked through the streets shouldering 25 pounds of greatness. And I'm curious... did you also feel like you had turned into your mother when you succumbed to the big handbag? And do you also secretly get a huge feeling of smug pleasure each time someone asks you, "Do you have a so-and-so...." and you dig around in your handbag of hugeness and sure enough, YOU HAVE IT IN YOUR BAG? I always feel just like I have made cold fusion or something anytime that happens.

Will I be hunched over and shorter on the left side by two inches because of my eight-hundred-pound handbag? Perhaps.

BUT I HAVE A KLEENEX DAMMIT. And an emery board. And a half-knitted hat. And the five-volume biography of Henry James. And anti-bacterial wipes, spray and gel AND THE KITCHEN SINK.

Oh, and let us not forget my new chemical enhancement for getting through an airplane ride, enduring a scary haircut and also perhaps it will numb the pain in my left arm, where apparently I am building something called a "muscle" as we speak.

Posted by laurie at 4:36 AM

May 30, 2007

Perils of mass transportation revealed!!!

Since I went out on a limb and recommended the online shoe store Zappos.com to all ya'll, I thought that the most honest and morally upstanding thing I could do would be to place an order and MAKE SURE that this establishment was the quality, service-oriented place I said they were. Just in case, you know, they had maybe stopped being a good shopping experience since my last Zappos.com purchase of two-point-five weeks ago.

So I did what all extremely dedicated journalists do and I posed as an Average Jane Consumer and went undercover and searched through pages and pages of boots and sandals and wedge-heeled pumps and made some purchases. As a quality control experiment, of course.

Because I am a giver, you know. I got your back. And your shoes.

So, in the name of "journalism" and also "poor fiscal management this whole month long" I got a GIANT box delivered to my office, full of shoes and love and goodness and I was so! freaking! excited! because even though I totally do not have the money for these shoes, I am going to try writing them off as a business expense since ... since everyone knows you need shoes for... like... if you don't have kids or something it counts, right? when you buy shoes instead of children? anyone? Bueller?

And I tried on my shoes in the office and made my boss tell me if he thought my sandals were too Zena Warrior Princess for the office, to which he replied, "Are we really going to have a conversation about your shoes and also where is that logo I asked for ten minutes ago?" And I said something about "but you have a WIFE, you should understand the IMPORTANCE of shoes." And then I got back to work because getting fired is so not good for the zappos, and then I forgot all about my Giant Box until it was time to go catch the bus.

Um, oh yeah. I take the bus ya'll.

I like taking the bus. It is the biggest bullet point on my "I Will Marry Al Gore One Day" resume. So taking the bus has its merits (Hi Al, call me!) and I usually have no big issues with my bus because I am not, say, carrying the box the size of a Toyota Prius. I only ordered three (gasp) pairs of shoes, but one pair came in a bootbox and three is an odd number so they shipped everything together in one HUGE-O box and I tried to find some other method of transport for my footwear other than the GIANT Zappos box but there was nothing close by and I was about to miss the bus so I just decided to pretend it was the most normal thing ever to hoist an enormous cardboard box of shoes on the bus.

me-and-zappos.jpg
It doesn't look that big here, but trust me. Big.

Yes. Well. All was fine and dandy until the people at the bus stop saw me and started laughing. And pointing. And making jokes. Everyone's a comedian, I tell you what. "Hey, if you go broke and homeless from all the shoe-shopping at least you can live in the box!" and "How many feet do you have at home?" har har. Ya'll are just SO DAMN FUNNY.

One of the guys was totally perplexed.

"WHY would you buy so many shoes? At one time?"

"Because they were on sale and cute and I love them and they make me happy."

"But you only have two feet." Clearly this guy did not have a wife or he would know this was a futile conversation. I humored him.

"Yes," I said. "I only have two feet, but I use them all day and must clothe them 365 days a year or else I'll end up like Britney walking barefoot in a gas station. I'm Southern for goshsakes! You know how hard it is to get folks to take me seriously as it is? So I have to stay vigilant on the footwear front at all times or I'm five minutes from pulling a Britney. Do you want that? I mean really? Is that what you want?"

And he just stopped that line of questioning real quicklike. Hee.

So then I got on the bus and the bus driver, Comedian #47, said, "Oh! Maybe I will have to charge you extra, a whole seat for your SHOES young lady!" and we all laughed, har har, except I was sort of wishing I had driven that day, Al Gore and all.

Finally I got to the bus stop and got in my Jeep, and my box was on its way home, where it belonged, where the cats got to appreciate its enormity and I got to try on all my shoes and once and for all again bury the notion that a redneck is contractually obligated to be barefoot or pregnant. We are often sans kidlets and quite well-shoed, thankyouverymuch!

jeep-zappos.jpg
It was dark by the time me and all my shoes got home.

Posted by laurie at 7:05 AM

May 29, 2007

O Canada!

I love Canadians.

I was reminded of this yesterday when so many of my friendly neighbors to the North mentioned they, too, would not carry a competitor's bag into the store because... ya'll know. The grocery store might see it. And that would be rude.

About ten years ago I decided I wanted to become Canadian. I visited Canada and fell totally in love with it. I even picked out a place to live -- Whale's Cove in Nova Scotia. Idyllic, oceany and small. (I had previously said Nova Scotia was an island, but then some nice commenters gently reminded me I am brain dead. We DROVE onto it! duh!) (Still, love you Nova Scotia!)

One of the reasons I love Canadians is because they are Southerners but from the North and with cute accents. I feel at home around Canadians even though sometimes they do not know what tump over means. I found that my friends north of the border could drink and carry on with the same vigor of my Southern brethren, plus they like lobster. (I was in the Maritimes.)

But the most exciting thing was discovering how many of the World's Largest Things are in Canada! Such as the world's largest blueberry, and the world's largest salmon. My favorite was of course, the World's Largest Lobster:

big-ass-lobster.jpg
That's me, in the mouth of danger!!!


big-ass-lobstersign.jpg
This was taken prior to me learning how to take decent pictures.


I figured I just needed to find the world's Largest Butter Pat and a bib and I would be set. Alas, finding that much drawn butter was more of a challenge and I had to return home eventually to my job so I could afford that vacation. That was back when I was still married and Lord we loved using those credit cards. But Canada was well worth it and it wasn't nearly as expensive as other destinations, and they have AWESOME public radio. I learned more listening to public radio and driving around Canada in one week then I learned in a month back home. How do you think I learned about the World's Largest Salmon, anyway?

big-ass-salmon.jpg
That was before I learned to take all my vacation pictures with my head in them. It was a talent that took time to develop, you see.

One day I would love to just travel around taking pictures of the World's Biggest Stuff. It is something I enjoy perhaps more than is natural and I will go out of my way when traveling to see Something Abnormally Big. This must be another of my Southern quirks, brought on from living in towns where your life's ambition is to grow the World's Largest Tomato, or zucchinni, or pumpkin. There were entire aisles at the county fair in every small town of my youth dedicated to nothing but monstrously large vegetables. A forty-pound carrot was a sight to BEHOLD, I tell you what.

So far I've only been to a few areas of Canada -- New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. But I have a whole list of places I want to go: Moosejaw and Winnipeg and Edmonton and Toronto and Vancouver and the list just goes on and on. Canada is so big! Maybe next year when I get a break I can just rent a car (Jeep) and drive around. If I were really lucky, maybe I would stumble on the World's Largest Ball of Yarn.

Or find that pat of butter after all. I do love me some lobster.

big-ass-lobsterface.jpg

Posted by laurie at 8:52 AM

May 28, 2007

It's kind of a Southern thing

My friend Faith and I are on the phone, talking. She had just been in a fender-bender in her Honda, a car which is the same age as my Jeep.

"It's ok," she said. "I'm getting a new car soon anyway."

"Ooooh," I said. "Really? What kind?"

I live vicariously through other folks' new car experiences. I am so happy for other people getting new cars because it is not an experience I want to go through. A new car is too much responsibility, keeping it so clean and perfect, and anything that expensive makes me nervous. I like my big, metal, clunky Jeep with all it's pre-disasteredness. That vehicle has been through thefts (plural), a high-speed chase, two fender-benders without a scratch, one hailstorm and a tussle with a concrete divider and so it's now been pre-disastered, making it one of the safest cars on the road. (Do you see how my mind works?)

About six months ago my Jeep had some ailment or other and had to be taken in for another many dollars worth of repairs. I called Jennifer from the repair shop to chitchat while I waited. I told her I might get a new car, maybe one of those Toyota cruiser things. One day.

"Laurie, you might as well give up the act. You know that if -- IF -- you ever let go of that old Jeep you'll just get another Jeep. Probably a red one. The only difference will be that it will have air conditioning this time."

"What makes you say that?" I was kind of offended, am I so predictable?

"Well," said Jennifer, "you hug your car before getting into it."

"Lots of people hug their cars, right?"

"Nope."

"I see."

The truth is that I am in love with my old, battered Jeep and perhaps it is not healthy or sane ... but love is not always sensible, ok?

So anyway, back to Faith and her fenderbendering. She was telling me how she wasn't too concerned about the recent run of bad car luck with her old Honda since she was getting a new car eventually anyway.

"What kind of car?" I asked.

"A Prius, a hybrid," she said.

"Ooooh, that is so awesome! One of the main impediments to me marrying Al Gore is the fact that I won't give up my Jeep unless someone can convert it to run on cat poop or something," I was very excited. "Plus, you do most of the driving whenever we hang out so that's almost like I have a hybrid."

"Uh, okay," she said. "That Jeep impediment ... and you know, he's already married."

(One night at Stitch 'n Bitch I said something about marrying Al Gore and someone pointed out that he is already married. And I said, "Yeah but Tipper can't live FOREVER." and Sara said, "Oh, reeeeeeaaaaally, Laurie, do you care to tell us how she meets her end? And when exactly?" and everyone thought this was SO funny but me. I just hoped no one told the CIA because that would be bad for the Marry Al resume. You know?)

"I'm already recycling," I said, ticking off the ways I can earn points with Al. "And the lighbulb thing. Oh, and I got one of those re-usable bags at Trader Joe's."

"I keep meaning to buy one of those," said Faith.

"Well," I confessed, "I've only used it once so far, the day I bought it. I just keep forgetting it because I only go to TJ's on the way home from work and I never seem to have the bag with me, and on the weekends when I'm in closer proximity to the re-usable bag I always shop at Whole Foods so I can't use it there."

"Why not?" she asked. Perplexed.

"Uh, duh! Because it says 'Trader Joe's' on it!" I might have sounded exasperated. I mean really now.

"So?" asked Faith. "Why can't you use a Trader Joe's bag at Whole Foods? What's the problem?"

"That would be rude!" I said. "I just couldn't!"

"So let me get this straight," said Faith. "You're afraid of hurting the feelings of the grocery store?"

I paused. Of course when a person says it like that it seems crazy. But.... ya'll know. There are some lines I just cannot cross in my mind. It still seemed rude.

Finally I realized what the problem was.

"This must be a cultural issue," I told her. "It is a perfectly normal reaction, in my eyes. So the problem must be that you are not Southern. If you were Southern you'd understand. Bless your heart."


traderjoebag.JPG
"Recycled" image, kind of stolen from the internet.

Posted by laurie at 7:08 AM

May 25, 2007

Fat Girl

Part I
A few months ago I went on a date with a guy and we were talking at dinner and somehow I stumbled on the topic of awkward co-worker dreams. And he said he didn't know what an awkward co-worker dream was.

"Oh you know the one," I said. "Right? I mean you've had one, haven't you? Like where you have an inappropriate, uh, graphic dream about a coworker, probably someone you never even considered EVER in that way, and you wake up feeling gross and somewhat scandalized and then you can't look at your coworker for four whole days?"

"Um," he paused. "No...?"

And I felt even weirder, then, because the conversation was straying into Not First Date Territory and I needed to get a lid on it real quicklike and then he must have seen my awkwardness because he tried to put me at ease by saying the following:

"I did have a huge crush on the two girls who worked in the office at my last job." He kept on talking, rather enthusiastically, actually. "They were both about eighteen years old and a size zero. They were so tiny and cute! And sexy. They were REALLY HOT."

And I was quiet for just a beat and from somewhere inside me, some place of self-confidence I did not know I even had (or perhaps it was self-preservation, or Wine With Dinner nerves) I said, "Well what the heck are you doing asking me out? I'm not fitting the fantasy, darlin'. I'm way way over 18 years old and let me disavow you of the notion I'll ever be a size that even contains a zero in it." And I laughed a little, to take the sting out.

He sat there for a minute. Quiet. I think he realized too late he'd just said out loud he was really attracted to women who were:
A) 28 years younger than him and
B) Many, many pounds smaller than me.

I think he was mentally debating which had been the zinger -- that I was old or that I was not skinny or that I did not fit the picture of his desires. And I felt kind of bad for him, actually. He knew he'd said the wrong first-date thing as soon as he saw my reaction. But when I get nervous like that I can't shut up, chattering on in my Southern mask-the-horror ways.

"And furthermore," I continued, running the whole awkward sentence together, "I'm strong and sturdy and fine just the way I am. And I still can't look this one coworker in the eye because I did indeed have a wildly inappropriate dream about him once. Darn subconscious... oh, where is the ladies' room? Be right back!" And after a trip to the ladies' room and a pause, things sort of re-righted themselves into normal first-date-awkwardness and neither of us brought it up again. I think we both got anxious for that date to end rather more quickly than expected.

Later when I was home alone putting on my pajamas and about to get into bed, I felt a little embarrassed, wishing I'd handled it better. Then I started laughing. It was kind of funny. Men are weird. Women are weird. I'm weird. But mostly what surprised me was that I had apparently somewhere along the way defined myself as "strong" and "sturdy" and "happy" without my even knowing it. And I remember on that night, several months ago, proclaiming to myself, I plan to live up to those adjectives.

Part II
I started Atkins in 2003, on January 2nd, of course. (Got to get that resolution started... just as soon as the champagne hangover wears off and I get my last giant make-me-sick-I-ate-so-much at McDonald's meal.) January 2nd was The Day I Started A New Diet EVERY frickin' year. Amen.

Atkins was different from my other diets. For one thing, I could eat butter and cheese and STEAK. All the roasted, broiled, seared, barbecued STEAK I wanted. I ate steak every day for weeks. I hadn't eaten a steak without low-fat dieting guilt in years! Steak! WITH butter!

It was like someone had given me permission to eat all the prohibited foods and I went insane, never believing I could eat steak with a giant pat of butter on top and lose weight. After all, I was the girl who gained weight on Weight Watchers. But Atkins not only worked, it worked like spooky magic. I lost seven pounds the first week, four the next. I was hooked.

I stayed on Atkins for 18 long months. In the first six months I got down to my almost-high-school weight, which is just crazy. I was so thin! I also carried around a 1-cup measuring cup in my handbag (sealed in a ziploc baggie) so I could measure out lettuce. I took to Atkins at a time my whole marriage was cracking and I knew I was losing control. That diet was the ultimate excercise in control, and I was an evangelist. I LOVED Atkins. I BREATHED Atkins.

For a while.

That way of eating gave me discipline, and carb-counting, and let us not forget the steak. It also gave me pervasive and horrible rashes, insomnia and plumbing problems. And I was depressed and angry, both of which I blamed on my marriage, and scared all the time that I would inhale an extra carb without realizing it. My hair began to fall out. But whatever, dude! I am in control! I am CONTROLLED! Not hungry! Steak! Size eight -- no, size six! -- jeans OH MY GOD.

I lost weight more effectively on that diet than any other before or since, it was amazing. I was so diligent. I counted every olive, every ounce of cheese, every 1/2 cup of radishes. I was completely obsessed with it. But there were small problems, like the aforementioned rashes. And I started dreaming about food. Not metaphorically or anything, no -- every night I had vivid dreams in which I would eat ice cream, or cupcakes (foods I had never before craved) and of course I dreamed of potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, tortillas, oh cool ranch doritos! Potatoes, hash browns, anything with gravy, and Oh God, bread. I dreamed of bread every night. Sometimes I would wake up in a sweat with sheets twisted over my legs, Mr. X snoring soundly beside me, jolted out of sleep by a dream so real I was just sure I had eaten a whole loaf of bread and I would rush down the stairs to the kitchen to double-check that everything was in its place, that I was still good, that I was still in control.

But there is no control. Control is just an illusion, like phantom ice cream dreams.

We went on vacation that last summer and by the time we got on the plane our marriage was barely holding together, but I took a million pictures, safe in the knowledge I was so thin. I was also with a man who was not in love with me and I knew it, and so we drank a lot. Carbs. I tried so hard to plan for the food, but the tension and the anxiety and the travel got to me, and before long the carefully packed tuna packets and individual servings of nuts I had brought languished with the Atkins bars at the bottom of my bag while I ate the toppings off a pizza, or had half a croissaint. I almost cried biting into it, so warm and perfect and croissainty. When we came back I couldn't stop, I felt like I couldn't give up bread again, I re-considered Weight Watchers, I felt it all falling apart, I watched him shut the door, silent, I watched myself cry alone in the guest room, the more I reached for control the more I failed.

I gained 14 pounds in two weeks.

Because the truth was yes, I lost weight better and more efficiently on Atkins than any diet before or since. I also gained weight more efficiently and faster when I stopped than I have ever gained before. That coupled with my divorce was disastrous, and before long I was a carb-fueled pile of rubble and despair. Covered in gravy. Side of mashed potatoes, please.

Fast forward 70 pounds, many months and one divorce later and you have me, sitting alone on the back patio, crying, knowing how far off the map I had gone and knowing I could never ever again go on a diet. I was so tired. I was done. I was fat, and 34 years old at the time, and it was that January 2nd -- January 2nd, 2006 -- when I decided I would once and for all figure out why I have such a time with my weight, why I hate my body so much, why I never feel thin enough, small enough to be good. I didn't care how long it might take me to accept my body, but I swore to myself I would one day get to a place where my self-esteem wasn't wholly, entirely dependant on my jeans size. That night I smoked another cigarette. I prayed to God, please help me. Please help me figure this shit out. I am tired. I need to learn how to just be okay with what you gave me.

It's been about 18 months since that night. I would like to say I am all the way there, but I'm not. I'm close, though. Much closer than ever before. I did quit smoking, that in itself was something. I would also like to say I stopped praying to God with swear words but you know ... work in progress.

This week I got a lot of email about my pictures from Dodger's Stadium, how my not-a-diet was working so well. And I guess it is. It's working for me in the way that I wanted -- I eat normal, sane healthy food. I do not measure lettuce, or dream of Doritos. I have all my hair and my skin is rash-free and I'm sleeping better. Sometimes I have a meal that is not healthy but because I'm not on a diet I don't spend the next sixteen weeks at McDonalds, vowing to get back on track one day, tomorrow, always tomorrow ... there is no track to get back on. Tomorrow is just like today, no diet. No do-overs. No magical Atkins. It is just food and breathing and sometimes you order the small fries and just eat them much slower, and enjoy them. They are not evil, they are fries. Life will not end. You will not die over one small order of fries. (It is the 22 months of fries that gets you, especially when they come with a side of Big Mac and Marlboro.) You look for choices you can live with for your whole life, you enjoy little things like how you can walk up stairs without needing oxygen now, you try to take a little walk every day. You take a multivitamin. You make your health your priority and your ass size a secondary issue.

It hasn't been exhilirating like Atkins. I lost zero pounds the first week. After that I stopped weighing myself, just stepping on the scale once a month and writing it down no matter what the number. This has not been about weight loss, it's been about stopping the insanity that was my entire life since age seven, always on a diet.

But I have lost weight. It has averaged out over all this time as about 1/2 a pound per week. That is a whopping TWO POUNDS per month. Not very exciting. Not dramatic at all to people who see me every day. Like me, for example. I can't tell any difference at all ... I can't see myself.

Last week Faith and I went shopping at the Eileen Fisher store in Century City. I never in a million years expected I would fit into anything off the rack, it just didn't cross my mind. But I went with her anyway because she was excited about going and trying on stuff for our trip and I thought I could look at the accessories (ah, the fat girl's corner of the store, accessories! Well, that and shoes.) There weren't many accessories at Eileen Fisher. I searched through a pile of stretch crepe pants for the biggest size, a little sigh of relief that they had an extra large.

I went into the dressing room and tried them on. I stared at myself in the mirror. Who is that? I walked out in the mirror area between dressing rooms, maybe that had been a trick mirror. I almost started crying when the clerk handed me a large because the XL I was trying on was just too big.

I can't see myself. I can't see what I really look like. I have to keep reminding myself that fat is not an actual emotion. One cannot feel "fat." One can feel scared, terrified of flying, shy, awkward, and tired. But one cannot technically feel "fat" as an emotional state.

The pants were too expensive so I put them back. But I must have walked a little taller back to the car. "Faith," I whispered as we left the store. "Can you believe I fit into anything in here?"

"Yes, " she said. "Yes I do!"


Part III
I woke up three days this week staring at the clock, remembering what day it was, remembering what's coming at the end of the month. The very first automatic thought in my head no, oh God, I can't go, I'm too fat. Before I went on that trip to Paris last year with all my girlfriends, I cried shamefully for a week, terrified I would have to ask for a seatbelt extender. I had never been so big and I wasn't sure I would fit in the seat. I did fit, just barely. It was horrible, squenching in to make myself as invisible as possible, all my friends were tiny little size zero waifs and I was the fat girl. I remember hating myself for not having the willpower to do Atkins before the trip. But even then I knew it had nothing at all to do with willpower. Atkins had already taught me that lesson.

I can't do this, people will be disappointed by me, I want to stay home, I can't do this. I'm too fat. I'll fail.

Being overweight is an awesome thing to pin fear of failure on, because you can always retain the illusion that if you were just a little bit skinnier (or a lot of bit) you'd be better at whatever it is you're scared to do.

Even though I know I have used my weight as an excuse to avoid taking chances in life, and even though I'm trying much harder not to do that anymore, it still surprised me how deep the fear runs. I know I've got to stop blaming every single mess-up and fear on being fat. If "fat" is what I blame my life's missed opportunities on, then I will forever stay "fat" because I am shy and sometimes want to stay home instead of meet new people. If I were skinny, I would still feel scared of saying dumb stuff and making a poor impression.

"Can you believe I fit into anything in here?"
"Yes, yes I do!"

So, I will just concentrate on small successes, the sturdier things, breathe deep. Hope for the best. Remember that one time I fit into something at a fancypants upscale store. Remember that even if I weighed half of what I weigh today I would still be terrified, scared of change, afraid of screwing up. I hope I can remember all that. We'll have a good trip. I know I will fit better in the seat this time. Hopefully I won't have any awkward co-worker dreams about people I meet at the convention.

But at least I know I won't wake up scared half to death I ate a piece of bread. Because that is just crazy. Way crazier than a naked co-worker dream.

Posted by laurie at 7:59 AM

May 24, 2007

Thursday Knitting or "Yes I am making another hat." Plus other items of equally great interest.

Hat #349,843:

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It's my current obsession Patons SWS in "Natural Earth" and I'm making a ribbed-brim hat. I cast on 72 stitches on a size 10 Addi and started with knit four, purl four all the way around for the ribbing. For the body I switched to size 10.5 bamboo needles (I don't think I have a 10.5 addi ... or if I do it is hiding...) and started the stockinette body. I only got one row of that done, but not bad progress for bus knitting.

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Such pretty yarn! This is the roll-brim version in progress.

And this is a finished roll-brim hat made from the same yarn:
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Hello bathroom mirror. In this picture it is 5:30 a.m. and yet still someone almost walked in on me photographing myself in the ladies room at work while wearing normal boring work clothes + one wool hat, in MAY. There are many things about all of that which are wrong to Very Conservative Workplace, Inc., and would make people wonder if I were drinking something a bit stronger than coffee.

Alas, I am not.

I pretended to be looking for something in my purse. Then I washed my hands. I felt suspiciously like a ladies room interloper ... maybe it was the hat.

Oh, also I am not going to Stitch 'n Bitch tonight, sadly. I got in to work and realized that I have Monday off for Memorial Day. Yay me! Then I realized the project that is due for Monday is now due... tomorrow. Boo hiss. So I will be working late and trying to catch up. The good news is that the late bus is always in the worst of the worst traffic so I will probably finish my ribby-brim hat on the way home. That is good news, right?

No, wait, don't answer that.


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Why is that guy so happy about $3.59 a gallon?

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So over the weekend I was riding in the passenger seat of Faith's car and saw this guy driving and I rolled down my window and I tried so hard to tell him he had something stuck to his window:

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"Hey, guy! You have something stuck on your car!" I was even waving my arms and gesturing but he never saw me. I just thought this was the FUNNIEST THING EVER. I cracked myself right up. I am sometimes about ten years old. Oh! I also love to drive by any place that has a funny statue -- you know, like western wear stores that have a big horse statue on top of their sign -- and I like to roll down the window and yell, "Don't jump! Don't jump!"

My ex-husband never thought this was funny.

I believe that is a VERY telling sign. In the future, I think I need to take all my dates past the BBQ place on Ventura in the West Valley, the one that has a big cow on top of the sign, and holler at it not to jump. If the date thinks this is funny, he gets another chance.

What...? It sounded like a good idea....

Posted by laurie at 7:46 AM

May 23, 2007

Stitch 'n Pitch

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Knitters are the most unique people on earth ... who else could invent something as nutty-fun as "Stitch 'n Pitch" combining baseball, knitting and Dodger Dogs? Oh! And do not forget the ten-dollar beer! Do not spill even a drop... a single ounce of that small plastic cup cost you a buck and a half!

I almost backed out of going last night to the Los Angeles Stitch 'n Pitch event because I wanted to go home and go directly to bed. I'm a weenie, and not just of the Dodger Dog variety (by the way, two days in a row using the word weenie! hee!) but I'd already bought the ticket and I have to admit my curiosity got the best of me. I'm so glad I went! I started fading on about the fourth inning, but it was well worth it. Check out the crowd:

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Oh yeah. There is this one other teetiny thing I may have forgot to mention, which is that I am rather deathly afraid of heights. Just a little bit. So when I saw where we were going in the stadium I tried to call in sick again, but Faith was having none of it. It is good to have friends who don't let you back out of stuff. Except when you are in peril of dying from altitude sickness.

You see, Dodger Stadium is climbed in three steps. First there is base camp at the foot of the mountain, Mt. Dodgerest. And that is where in the past I always lived, at Base Camp, also known as "I will pay extra for seats where gravity is still an active force on my body."

If you are a more adventurous climber, you make the trek halfway up the mountain, a route first made by Edmund Hillary during the Great Dodger Dog Exploration of 19somethingorother. There is mustard and relish awaiting you. This area allows for proper altitude acclimatization in order to prevent altitude sickness. You can also get ten dollar beer here.

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Faith poses for crazy camera crew during exploration of Dodger Dog Camp at Mt. Dodgerest. I am merely acclimating her to vacationing with me wherein I will take 3,000 pictures per day.

Finally, if you are brave and have a sherpa, or are a KNITTER, apparently, you make the final ascent to the summit. Heavy climbing equipment is recommended, but alas they do not sell hard liquor at Mt. Dodgerest. You have to rely on the ten dollar beer to keep you from hurling as you attempt to scale the treacherous stairs and avoid spillage. Once at the top people will take your picture to remind you that you survived the arduous journey:

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I really tried hard to say hey and be sociable and I drank many (4) cups of coffee beforehand so I would be alert and not schlumpysniffly, but I have to tell you I was not prepared for the perilous altitude. I do not know if you are afraid of heights. If you are not, then I salute you and your badassery. I myself am a complete land-loving mudfoot. I plan to lobby the Stitch 'n Pitch folks next year to get us closer to the earth's crust, where I hear they even have a thing called "oxygen."

Aside from my constant fear that I would at any moment tumble off into space, I had a remarkable fine time and met new friends:
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Laura, left, and Debbie and Jerry say hey!

Face-hugged old friends:
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Me and Gwen drank beer(s), plural.


Captured the parents-to-be, Sara and Richard:
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This was the first time I'd been to a Dodgers game in YEARS, it was really fun. I love to go to baseball games (I can't stand to watch it on TV, or any sport for that matter... except soccer, which always makes me think of being in some pub somewhere and seeing folks go ape over a goal) but baseball games just have such a good feeling about them, maybe it's the beer or maybe it's the hotdogs, maybe it's the cute guys in tight pants. Who knows! But it was made all the more entertaining by hundreds of folks knitting in the stands.

I love knitters. Ya'll are buckwild crazy.

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Posted by laurie at 9:53 AM

May 22, 2007

Mystery solved!

I loathe calling in sick, but most particularly I loathe calling in sick when I am actually sick. It's no fun at all to waste an entire day. I didn't even do laundry yesterday or complete a single item of my 48-page To Do List (single-spaced, alas).

The only thing I accomplished at all was discovering how Bob copes with such terrifying things as "sunlight" and "air" and "sound." Bob is the most scaredy of cats until night falls, then he emerges from some secret daytime lair fully rested and ready to attack bed mice ("feet") under the covers, beat up his sister Frankie and generally make life unbearable for Sobakowa, who hates cats and really despises Bob. She needs plenty of beauty sleep and he's always jumping on things at night, disturbing her kitty fung shui. It's very dramatic at my house, someone please alert the media.

Anyway! During the daylight Bob is a complete weenie, scared of all things real and imagined. I discovered his hiding spot when I left the bed to lay smellily and forlornly on the sofa, which while not as comfortable as the bed is much closer to the TV, and ya'll that is all I accomplished yesterday. TELEVISION WATCHING. I did not even do it well, mind you, falling asleep during my stories... by which I mean Storm Stories. But then I went back to bed and discovered his underground lair. I wonder if he spends all day every day there. He is so weird. I can't believe I live in this house with so much weirdness.

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That is my messy rumpled bed.

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It is more rumpled in one particular spot.

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Cute, peculiar small animal lives under here.


Today I'm feeling better today and am even dressed in something other than a shroud made of sweatshirt material. I am planning to milk everyone at the office for sympathy. I am sure they will find this trait just adorable. They might staple me to something later if I'm really annoying.

And happy Tuesday to you, wherever your hidey hole may be. sniff.

Posted by laurie at 9:26 AM

May 18, 2007

P.S. Retail therapy best accomplished at places with excellent return policies!

Last night I got home and I was standing in my kitchen waiting for magical cooking gnomes to rise up from the cupboard and make me dinner (alas, it did not occur and I had yet another in a long line of microwave popcorn dinners) (this is what happens when you work late and the bus is late and someone runs into a guard rail and/or wild animals frolic on the 101 at Lankershim and you get home and have approximately 18 minutes of free time before you should go to bed, fun!) and as I was standing there it dawned on me that I had just recommended a lipstick to the entire innernet and they might hate it and by extension blame me for their perma-colored lips of doom, and so I thought it would be an awesome time to remind you that all the best retail therapy happens at places with awesome return policies!

Both CVS drug store and Rite-Aid have a no-questions-asked cosmetic guarantee, and I have used both policies many times before (I tend to get my therapy on in the Wet 'n Wild aisle a bit too often) and if you don't like the Revlon Colorstay stuff, you can get your money back or exchange it with no problem.

Sephora also has an awesome return policy -- good for me, because all ya'll raving fans of Bare Escentuals "Bare Minerals" makeup have swayed me and I'm going to check out the selection this weekend at Sephora. I'm a Southern gal so I'm only used to foundation in liquid or cream form (hello Merle Norman, I spent all my allowance at your doorstep from ages 14-17 when I used to wear seven inches of makeup! love you!) Interestingly enough, when I was 17 and wearing an inch of base a day, I had nary a zit. Now that I am in my THIRTIES for chrissakes I seem to have developed skin that breaks out at the very mention of foundation. So maybe this mineral stuff will be magic and gnomey and not cause Mt. Zitmore atop my cheek.

Anyway, just hang on to your receipts and if you hate that lipstick you can safely get your money back and I won't feel ike a troll for cursing you with tinty lips for a lifetime (it washes off in a day... or so... mostly...)

Oh! And last night while I was waiting for the bus, I was on the phone with my mom, and she said, "Can you believe how many people out there watch Deadliest Catch? I just assumed people would think you were a weirdo. I mean, your dad and I watch it, but we're related to you."

Then she paused.

"Anyway, nice to see we aren't alone!"

Hee.

Patient model, impatient paparazzi

Posted by laurie at 9:22 AM

May 17, 2007

Who says you can't BUY love? Or get it from the TV? Or computer?

One day I was in the car with Faith and I turned to her and said, "You know what? I'm really glad we met and became friends and I think you add a lot to my life, and hopefully I'm a good friend also and all that stuff ... but out of our whole, entire friendship you know what is the best, the absolute best part?"

"Um, no?" she said. "What?"

"You introduced me to Revlon ColorStay lipstick!" I said. "I can't thank you enough! I will never be the same."

When I first got out on my own, the products I used (laundry detergent, dryer sheets, all of it) were either products my mom used or they were items recommended to me by friends. And if I stumble upon something that works, I immediately want to share it with my friends and family ("Dad!! Go buy some Cascadian Farms organic green beans! You will love them and never in a million years buy other frozen beans again! Get the french-cut ones with almonds, they rock!") I get very happy when I find something awesome, even if it is a silly package of frozen beans.

Once I wrote a column way back when that was praising some product or another (probably cat litter, knowing me) and I got some bizarro email from a reader shaming me for "offering free advertising." I just don't understand that at all. I love sharing stuff I find and like, and also I love sharing horror stories about products gone wrong ("Sun In") and because I am often finding happiness in the smallest things, I thought I would share some of my current favorite stuff. You may not agree, because of different folks different strokes and all that, but maybe you will find a previously unknown-to-you gem of happiness, too. Or maybe you will just be looking for the cat picture at the end, who's to say!

Best Stuff that I can think of this early in the morning with only half a cup of coffee inside me ...

Best Lip Color, even though it is sometimes too dry:
Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor -- I use the "sheer" line because I have fair skin and the non-sheer colors look weird on me. My favorite is "Sheer Mocha," it's awesome! Now this stuff takes some getting used to because it does not feel the same way normal lipstick feels. It can get a bit dry and icky if you don't re-apply the gloss regularly. But I do not even care, because I can actually go all day with real lipcolor now and it doesn't leave me even when I have lunch, or end up all over my coffee mug, and you can go on a date and still have pretty lips at the end of dinner and it doesn't get all over the place when kissing and I love it. LOVE IT. Not that I have been kissing a lot lately but you know. I am prepared for kissing when kissing occurs.
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Best Tacos:
Rincon Taurino in Panorama City. Carne asada with the red sauce OH MY GOD. So so good. Now I am hungry.

Best thing to do while drinking coffee and not ready to work yet:
Yahoo's Most Popular feature. I love this area of Yahoo ... you get a glance at the news making news in the world. On the yahoo.com homepage, click on the word "Popular" at the bottom of the newslinks. You get at-a-glance headlines, pictures and links to the most emailed and most clicked-on stories for the day. It's a fascinating slice of pop culture, too, seeing what folks find amusing or worthy enough to email to friends, and it keeps you up on the water-cooler chat about what's going on in the world. Then you can click away to your online news of choice or just go get more coffee.
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Best shoe shopping in your pajamas:
www.zappos.com ... I was suspicious of buying shoes online since I have weird-to-fit feet. But you can purchase and return no-hassle, it's awesome. Plus, shoes delivered to your house. COME ON. And if you order before 1 p.m. Pacific time, you get your shoes overnight delivery. Zappos is magical!

Best luxury item that I will actually give up other things (such as smoking) so I can afford to buy it:
L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil. The best, most luxurious shower experience on earth, it turns into a creamy body wash when mixed with water. I started giving this to friends as holiday and birthday gifts and now have many people equally addicted to my truly splurge-y splurge item. When I got my bonus at work, I sent every dime this year to my debt... except for the teetiny little shopping spree I had at the L'Occitane store in Sherman Oaks. That was when I also discovered their Supple Skin Oil, which doesn't leave you oily at all and gives your skin a pretty sheen and smells so good! I want to roll naked in it! And I do, thankyouverymuch.
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Best invention for getting it together money-wise:
Free Online Banking. If you haven't signed up for online banking yet, stop reading this and go sign up. Go! Most banks offer it free of charge with your checking or savings account. I check my online banking daily and it gives me a feeling of being in control of the ship instead of the ship sinking as I shop for shoes online. On payday, I was awake freakishly early so I logged online, paid all my bills, set up payments for other stuff, checked all my balances and this made my geeky, formerly money-ignorant self so happy. I like being able to have an immediate accountability to myself, always knowing what the charges are and how many of them I'm making. Plus, I pay my bills on time and never have that pesky "mailing" step. You get the added benefit of feeling like a watchdog, making sure there is no financial hankypanky happening. Love you, online banking!

Best Harmonious Pooping Surface:
Expensive? Check.
Hard to find in stores? Check!
The one thing my cats love most? Check check!
Pooping is a big part of the feline schedule at Chez Crazy. They like to poop more than anything else, and frankly they scare me with their rigorous pooping schedule and attention to detail in this area. If you have been reading this here website for any time you know that we have experienced highs and lows in the litter department, but since finding Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract cat litter, even La Soba manages to poop IN THE DESIGNATED AREA most of the time, and all is well. Forget about inner peace and healing the child within and becoming your higher self -- happiness is often just finding the right cat litter. Or maybe that's me, who knows.

Best Thing To Happen To My House:
Mr. Clean and his Magic Eraser. I have switched to mostly green cleaning products (I use the Shaklee line, if you're interested) because ya'll know I want to marry Al Gore one day, I love you Al, call me! and anyway it's supposed to be better for the world and stuff. But I will never give up my magic erasers. I love getting my OCD on with a bad dance CD and a magic eraser in hand ... scrubbing out spots both real and imagined. Al Gore will just have to learn to love or at least tolerate my other guy, Mr. Clean.


Best TV Show EVER Of All Time, as if they were reading my mind and made it just from my nerdy weirdo wishes:
Ok, so one thing you may or may not know about me is that I am OBSESSED with fishing towns, fishing people, boats, and the Bering Sea. The Perfect Storm is one of my favorite books (and movies) of all time. I am also weirdly obsessed with the ocean in general, but specifically cold tempestuous wind-churned oceans are fascinating to me. And weather. And hot manly guys. And big fishing boats, even though I myself am terrified to get on one and will not do it.

I think this started when I was about eight years old and my parents brought us kids out to California on a vacation to visit my grandparents in Orange County. My grandparents had a little motorhome and we drove that summer all up the coast of California (that vacation is also when I fell madly and deeply in love with Los Angeles, but that's another story for another day.) My folks and us kids were staying in hotel rooms when we stopped for the night, the grandparents slept in the motorhome, and during the day we all drove together.

One of the towns we stopped in along the roadtrip was Fort Bragg, California. I remember waking up that morning in the hotel in Fort Bragg and tiptoeing to the balcony to watch the boats come in down at the pier. Our room looked right out over the water and I must have sat there for hours, mesmerized by the fog and the water and the giant boats, unlike anything I had ever seen. Even the air smelled foreign and new to me, and I remember watching fisherman unload a huge, steel boat and then later in the day one man sat on a stool and removed his wool cap while a woman wrapped a towel on his shoulders and started giving him a haircut right there... to this day I can remember the way that town smelled and looked and tasted and I think I was changed forever.

Most of my favorite vacations as an adult have been to far-flung places with small shipping towns (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Nova Scotia) and I can't get enough of it. In fact, in my fantasies I am in a Perfect Storm Mark Wahlberg-George Clooney sandwich and a nor'easter is brewing and we have to hope they don't go to the grand banks but in the meantime we drink at a local bar and eat fried clams. And other stuff. And there is much need for hand-knit items. And the ocean smells so good!

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Me in Iceland, I made Mr. X stop at every quaint fishing village on the island, which is ... MANY stops. Looking for this picture made me a little sad. I think I need to go to Iceland again, re-claiming that vacation spot from my memories, which are all jumbled up with the past and not in a good way. Moving on.

So of course I have watched "The Deadly Seas of Iceland" and "World's Most Dangerous Job: King Crab" and all that a million times. (By the way, these are awesome shows for sofa-knitting, because ... cold fisherman, cold sea, cold! let us knit hats while we watch TV!) But did you know there is a whole reality-ish show on The Discovery Channel that combines every favorite thing of mine? Hot men in manly jobs! Big scary ships! Icy storm-tossed seas! Drama!! Bon Jovi song in the title credits! Deep-sea fishing! Life in peril because of weather!

It is called "The Deadliest Catch" and I love this show more than it is legal to love a thing that cannot love you back.

People, I am not right.

- - -

So that is what I can think of this early in the day that gets my happy motor running and makes life a better place. Sometimes it is the small things that make the difference between sitting in a corner eating your own arm and basic happiness. I'm pretty sure there were times when I Magic Erasered as therapy during my divorce insomnia. I hope if you have some great stuff that makes you happy, you'll share, too, because I am always looking to have more goodness!

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Posted by laurie at 9:20 AM

May 16, 2007

Sturdy little introspection.

A few months ago I went on a date with a guy and we were just having conversation at dinner and somehow I stumbled on the topic of ... awkward co-worker dreams.

"Oh you know the one," I said. "Right? I mean you've had one, haven't you? Like where you have an inappropriate uh, well, graphic dream about a coworker, probably someone you never even considered EVER in that way, and you wake up feeling gross and somewhat scandalized and then you can't look at your coworker for four whole days?"

"Um," he paused. "No...?"

And I felt even weirder, then, because the conversation was straying into Not First Date Territory and I needed to get a lid on it real quicklike and then he must have seen my awkwardness because he tried to put me at ease by saying the following:

"I did have a really really huge crush on the two girls who worked in the office at my last job. They were both about eighteen years old and a size zero. They were really cute."

And I was quiet for just a beat and from somewhere inside me, some place of self-confidence I did not know I even had (or perhaps it was self-preservation) I said, "Well what the heck are you doing asking me out? I'm way way over 18 and let me disavow you of the notion I'll ever be a size that even contains a zero in it. I'm more your strong and sturdy type and happy with it thankyouverymuch."

I realized too late that my face was turning red.

He realized too late he'd just said the following:

A) He is a 48-year-old man who is attracted to girls who are seniors in high school and also
B) Who are many, many years younger than I am and also
C) Much skinnier than I am and also
D) He is now on a first date with someone (me) who is not 18, not a size zero, and who is now really uncomfortable and also
E) Light is beginning to dawn that these are not good things for a first date.

And after a trip to the ladies' room and a pause, things sort of re-righted themselves into normal first-date-awkwardness and neither of us brought it up again. No, we never went out again. I am over 21. Much too old.

Later after the date when I was home putting on my pajamas and about to get into bed, I re-ran the scene in my head and started laughing out loud. It was so funny. Men are weird. Women are weird. I'm weird. But mostly what surprised me was that I had apparently somewhere along the way defined myself as "strong" and "sturdy" and "happy" without even knowing it. And I remember on that night, several months ago, proclaiming to myself, I plan to live up to those adjectives.

Which is why this morning came as a shock to me.

I woke up this morning -- months after my proclamation -- and looked over at the clock, and thought about what day this is, and remembered everything that's going on and the very first thought that popped into my head was, "Holy crap, I can't do this, I want to stay home. I'm fat."

Weight is an awesome thing to pin fear of failure on, because you can always retain the illusion that if you were just a little bit skinnier (or a lot of bit) you'd be better at whatever it is you're scared to do.

Even though I know I have used my not-skinniness as an excuse to avoid taking chances in life, and even though I'm trying much harder not to do that anymore, it still surprised me how deep the fear runs. I've been actively trying hard not to be a jerk to myself, trying to forgive myself for not being that size zero girl, trying to be thankful that I have all my legs and toes and arms and parts instead of focusing on the imperfections. I know that I have been taking better care of myself than maybe ever before, with a few blips of wine here and there. I haven't smoked a cigarette in MONTHS, I eat vegetables that aren't fried, I walk a lot, I've made some great progress.

But there it was: I am fat and scared to fail and I want to stay home.

I have to keep reminding myself that fat is not an actual emotion. One cannot feel "fat." One can feel scared, terrified of flying, shy, awkward, and tired. But one cannot technically feel "fat" as an emotional state. If I were bone skinny, I would still feel scared of saying dumb stuff and making a poor impression. I would still be introverted and want to stay home and paint my toes instead of go to New York City and meet scary strangers and publishing industry hoitytoits and people who can sell ice to Eskimos.

So, I will just concentrate on small success, the sturdier things. I'll have a good trip. Probably I will get very nervous and later I'll have too much to drink and make dumb jokes and tell my parents how Spanx can save the whole world from the scourge of visible panty lines and my dad will pretend he didn't hear that last comment and my mom will ask why do I always have to say the word "panties" at dinner?

And then someone will tell the story about the time I almost failed volleyball and how much I have improved in the grace department, and do we think Jack Canfield required stitches when I knocked the booth on him accidentally? And we will laugh. And hope Mr. Chicken Soup has great insurance.

And also hope I do not have an awkward co-worker dream about Mr. Canfield. Because that would just be inappropriate.


Posted by laurie at 2:05 PM

Tragedy narrowly averted (unless you count the hairball on my new sandals as tragedy, which I do, a little.)

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Posted by laurie at 12:06 PM

May 15, 2007

Look in the dictionary under "really incredibly pissed off" and you will see this little face

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We ran out of Meow Mix.
Now the cat is plotting my death.
I am sure of it.
Help me.

Posted by laurie at 9:23 AM

May 14, 2007

Really exciting things to get excited about ... now on audio!

I have been anxiously awaiting May 15th since May 1st. The first of the month is the Payday That Might As Well Not Bother, since basically my entire check goes to rent and bills. Booooring.

Middle-of-the-month payday ROCKS THE HOUSE YO YO DAWG (Hi, American Idol called and they would like their slang back please) and even more pathetic than a slightly chubby woman of thirty-five years old invoking Randy Jackson, the reason I am excited for this particular payday is:

I can finally pay off my library fines and get more audio books!

(Hi, the lazy-ass loser geek academy called and they'd like their pocket protector back please.)

But seriously, I have become ADDICTED to audio books. For those of us who commute forty-eleven billion hours a year they are a lifesaver. And you can get audio books right there in the library for FREE* and if you are a very bad and morally reprehensible woman you might rip them onto your iPod and forget about the actual CDs forever** while you go about your merry way listening to concepts and paragraphs inside your head (deep, man) and knitting on the bus.

[* Yes, the audiobooks are FREE when you remember to return them on time.]

[** Some people have small, forgetty brains that do not intersect the neurons where the "rememory" gene is. In layman's terms, that means as soon as I place something to the side of my desk it immediately becomes invisible and I forget it ever existed or has a due date. Whoopsy.]

If there is a God of Traffic, I do believe she was responsible for the awesomeness of the AudioBook CD invention. It has made the bus a much more entertaining and also calm place. Because some Loud Talker can be sitting on the bus in the seat right behind me yammering away on their cellphone about what does little Becky or Sally want for dinner (I always want to turn and say something like, "Pardon me, I heard little Becky or Sally really HATES your cooking!" but I never do) and instead of breaking ghetto on my bus-riding neighbors, I just put my headphones on and woowee! Wordy bliss!

Recently, my friend Christine G. told me I should check out some James Patterson audiobooks, because apparently they have sound effects and I thought this would be hilarious. As soon as I pay of my fine (tomorrow! tomorrow! love you tomorrow, dawg!) I'm going to see if I can find an audiobook with sound effects. I usually stick to the more issue-laden topics... eh. Who am I kidding, ya'll know I love to get my crazy on in the self-help aisle. And that shiite comes on audio, too! I am all full-up on the ipod with wordy words of wordful wisdom on how to be happy and think positive not die of aging (hah) and also something about moving cheese from place to place.

I have had to wait for my enlightenment this month, though, because I was Bad and More Bad and Even Badder and amassed a Large Fine. The Los Angeles Public Library is thisclose to sending the po-po out to get me for ransom, and even though I promise myself each January 1st that this will be the year (this will be THE YEAR!) I finally return library materials ON TIME, it apparently isn't this year. Maybe it is next year. It appears I might have miscalculated how much of a grown-up I could be all at one time. I figure that just getting over the whole "I cry unpredictably in public because I fear dying alone in a storage shed and eaten by a cat" thing is enough personal growth for one year. Hee.

My library fines cut into my budget but they are worth it because I feel that in my warped and twisted way I am giving back to the Public Library System, contributing if you will to its greatness and supporting it through my generous gifts of lateness each month.

Who says there is nothing to the Power of Postive Thinking? See how I can turn a thing around? See how I changed "I am a lazy beast who completely spaced out and forgot she had a stack of overdue stuff" into "I am supporting literacy" with just a simple turn of phrase? It's a gift really.

Actually, it is a gift from the Public Library, purveyor of audio books, including a well-stocked self-help aisle, delivering crazy people to the power of positivity in just three easy CDs for your listening pleasure.

But remember to get 'em back to the church on time. Dawg.


may1107-gasprice.jpg

Posted by laurie at 9:32 AM

May 11, 2007

And they never invited her back to New York City again, the end.

So this whole upcoming trip to New York is fine and exciting and great except for a few tiny things:

The normal stuff I worry about:
1) I don't like to leave my house.
2) I'm terrified of flying.
3) I have germ issues.
4) I worry about my cats. I know. I know. Please judge silently to yourself.
5) I'm fat, blah blah blah.

The new worry:
6) There will be people there, lots of people, and I sometimes cannot speak to strangers and need to hide, alone, in my house with a bottle of wine and that good microwave popcorn that I found from Whole Foods that you can eat the whole bag for like 200 calories and it's organic and no one tries to talk to you and wonders why you're suddenly either A: not able to speak or B: Not able to nervously shut up. And also why is your face sweating.

You know, minor stuff.

Oh, and there's that thing where I'm feeling like MY ENTIRE FUTURE is on the line here. No biggie!

I've known this thing was coming for months, so with a little help from Dr. Norman Vincent on the ipod, heavy rotation, I've managed to get myself pretty excited to do the booth events and the main autographing thing (my schedule is here) and I'm excited about this part because for the first time ever I will have the chance to meet real readers from other parts of the country and that's an opportunity I can't fear away. I want to enjoy it, I'm really excited to meet folks who show up and explain to them in detail that the galley is not a finished final product, there are no pictures and the good patterns are still being worked on by real, actual good knitters and also there are typos ... but hey, hope you like the novel! (It's really a novel, anyway, not a knitting book.) I'm excited to take pictures and later start stalking Judy Blume. She will be there, somewhere, and I will find her. Alert the po-po!

So all is fine and well except HOLY CRAP I HAVE TO SPEAK IN PUBLIC AT THIS ONE THING AND I NEED WINE, NOW.

I've been very very worried about the speaking event. Because I do not know if ya'll have heard the story of the last, the very last, time I was asked to speak in public. It was at work and I was supposed to go over three little powerpoint slides and somehow I ended up comparing the privacy needs of one of our online services at Very Upstanding & Conservative Job, Inc., to ONLINE PORNOGRAPHY. The porny kind. The kind we at Very Upstanding & Conservative Job, Inc. pretend does not exist.

I made this horrifying faux pas in front of the EVP, two SVPs, twenty-eleven VPs and a partridge in a pear tree. After the words left my mouth, you could actually feel the shock and horror in the room -- it was palpable. I was a train wreck and they were the Looky-Lous. My boss has never asked me to speak anywhere again, including staff meetings. I barely speak on the phone at work anymore ... it's for the best, really.

Just knowing that a public speaking thing is looming in the horizon brings back an entire lifetime of really icky embarrassments.

• Like the time I forgot my lines in "Hansel & Gretel" and AD LIBBED one of the best known children's stories AS IF NO ONE WOULD NOTICE.

• Or the time I accidentally did a herkie into Angela Boudreaux's left forehead during a pep rally in front of the whole school and all the cute boys and she had to be carried out on a stretcher and gee, did I feel like a klutzified dumbass or what.

• Or the time I misunderstood the assignment and wrote a speech for class that contained Edie Brickell song lyrics. I was passionate back then ... about something or other.

Nowdays I get so nervous when talking to any group larger than four cats that not only does my voice shake, my whole body starts to tremble. Or I sweat profusely. Or you know, I say porn to a roomful of executives. I am a public speaking disaster area. I come with my own set of orange cones. And yet the advice people keep giving me is this:

"Just be yourself."

Ah. Yes. Just be myself! Here is what "myself" being "myself" looks like:
I am home alone, writing instead of talking out loud, drinking wine while wearing mismatched pajamas, and there is a cat sitting awkwardly on my ankle. I actually cry like a big doofus while watching Tivo'd Oprah show episodes. I knit, quietly, until the swearing stitch appears. And sometimes I sing made-up songs TO MY CATS. If I go someplace other than "home" and "work" and "knitting group" it is the grocery store, where I try to talk to the Trader Joe's guy when I'm paying for my groceries but sometimes I still stare studiously at my thumbnail and can't speak. Or I blurt out such gems as, "Wow you have a lot of paper bags."

Do you see where I am coming from here?

So I decided to do the business professional thing and email my publicist to see if I could weasel out. Or at least try to figure out what the requirements were so I could better humiliate myself in context, and also, DOES THE JAVITS CENTER HAVE A BAR?

I had assumed there would be a reading and we'd just need to figure out what chapter to read and then I could make my Dad ask a question for the "Q&A" part, then we could all go get drunk. I get this email reply:

Subject: Don't flip - it'll be ok!! From: "My Publicist" Date: Fri, May 4, 2007 2:02 pm To: laurie@crazytourist.com

Laurie,
Here's the scoop on your BEA presentation. Not to worry, I've contacted our media trainer and he will have you feeling perfectly comfortable at your event, and so will I! Have a great weekend.


And below that was the note she attached, explaining my role in my own demise:


>> This event is an entertainment venue. We expect her to speak for
>> about a 30 minute time slot. This can involve any kind of speaking she
>> feels comfortable doing. getting into character, doing a little
>> monologue and then reading from her book. Some q&a at the end.
>>


HELLO. Did you see the part about GETTING INTO CHARACTER? Doing a monologue? (By the way, if you know me in person you are right now laughing in your Cheerios because you know that anything is possible except A) pigs flying from buttocks and B) me getting into character and doing a freaking MONOLOGUE. I am the person still trying to grow balls enough to say "hello" to the Trader Joe's checkout guy.)


-----Original Message-----
From: Laurie Perry
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 4:08 PM
To: "My Publicist"
Subject: Re: Don't flip - it'll be ok!!

I'm sorry did I hallucinate?
"Getting into character" and "doing a monologue"(???) I'm guessing they don't know that I am a socially awkward cat lady? I work at a bank. I knit. I write instead of talking to humans. OH MY GOD. Unless by "getting into character" she means "getting very very drunk."
xo, laurie


So, now my publicist is frantically trying to arrange media training and I am trying frantically to arrange a flask that goes directly into my bloodsteam via some sort of aquaduct which will hide beneath my Spanx.

Lord help me.

21 days and counting.

Posted by laurie at 2:01 PM

Now I know there will be at least ONE good lawyer in the world.

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Jennifer is my best friend, my stend, the person who came to my house when I was 37% divorced, 98% drunk and 143% disheveled and she hugged me even though I smelled bad and she made me laugh and she cried with me when crying was called for. During the many months when I refused to leave my house, Jennifer came over and sat with me so I did not grow cobwebs of grief. She listened to me play the same song 385 times, over and over. She picked me up when my Jeep broke, and in return I made her a dinner of frozen tater tots and burned green bean casserole. She smiled and said it was great, and do you have any ketchup?

Now that is a very good friend.

While my marriage was unraveling, Jen was making a hugely critical decision: to quit her corporate job and go back to school, change careers, change her whole life. She started law school at the exact same time my ex-husband announced he was moving out, and we somehow stuck it out, all of it, remaining friends through the crazy gargantuan despair of '05, and we hung in there during the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Bewildering Oh Six. We went to Paris together, we went to Target together, we cried in Poquito Mas, made up in the parking lot, and went shopping. And laughed again. About every six months we get into an argument about whose freakishly large forehead is largest. We are both convinced we've won this contest.

She is funny, and kind, and beautiful and I am so happy I know her. She makes life better.

Now it's three years later and ya'll know how it turned out for me. And Jen, my stend, the smartest woman I know, is graduating from law school today! She has done extraordinarily well, and has good grades and a big-time lawyer job lined up for fall and she met a great boyfriend and through it all retained her sense of fabulous footwear. I am so proud of you, Jennifer, for accomplishing what you set out to accomplish, for doing it and doing it well, and for enduring months of my very bad lawyer jokes. (Sorry about that!)

Congratulations! You deserve every great thing that comes your way. I love you and you are the best stend a girl could have, res ipsa loquitor, my forehead is larger!

Posted by laurie at 10:30 AM

May 10, 2007

Thursdays are for very tightly held knitting...

I finished up the knitting portion of both the easy felted bracelet bags I'm making: a red one (two strands of Patons Classic Wool in red plus one strand of some shiny Patons) and one bag out of Patons Soy Wool Stripes (yarn pics here).

I intended to photograph both bags before stitching up the sides and felting them, so I said to the cats:

"Ok, get off the bed now, I'm going to take pictures of some knitting and I don't need you cats up here helping. Oh, man, I better do some lint rolling before I sit the knitting on this bed!"

What the cats heard:

"Ok, blah blah bed now, I'm going to take pictures of blah blah knitting and blah blahcats. Oh, cats, blah blah roll blah blah sit blah on the knitting blah!"

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So, anyway, I'll take pictures some other day when the feline assistants are off shedding on the sofa or thowing up on something expensive in the other room.

While I was finishing up the knitting portion of these two bags, I was reminded once again what a psychotically insanely pathologically TIGHT knitter I am. Faith was gracious enough to do most of the knitting on the bracelet bag made of Patons SWS, and as I began to do the finishing (knitting the final decreases and tab) I immediately noticed her gauge was far more airy and light than mine ever is. I struggled to hold the yarn super lightly in my hands, with lots of looseness, and still I ended up with one stitch to every two of hers.

And since I was knitting on the bus, each time we hit a bump my "loosely held" stitches jumped off the needles, so I had many swearing events, once even prompting the entire five rows of passengers ahead of me to turn and stare at me ("Hi! Just knitting here! Got to the infamous shit stitch, you know that one, right? Right? Don't mind me!") So not only is my tension wonky on this bag but there are also some precariously knitted areas. Hopefully it won't matter after it's felted.

When we were at brunch a few weeks back one of the girls made a joke that she'd work up a pattern for me -- all on Size Giant needles so folks would know it's a Laurie-approved-pattern. I know I get teased for using larger needles but the truth is my gauge is always two needle sizes away from the recommended gauge (at least). What other knitters get on a size 8 needle, I get on a size 10.5 or 11. I think this is one of the reasons sometimes folks find my roll-brim hat pattern still a bit too large, and I need to update it to talk about my clearly Freudian usage of yarn in dealing with my personal challenges. Hello, crazy, we would like our gauge back now please!

Even though I was having knitting issues, I still loved that stripey soft lopi-esque Patons SWS, so I dug around in my stash and found that one ball of SWS I had purchased back in December when I was pre-shopping for my upcoming three-month shopping moratorium. (The secret to success is to always, always pre-shop.) This ball of yarn is in a colorway called "Natural Geranium" and it is SO BEAUTIFUL. I clipped my 40% off coupon for Michael's so that on Saturday I can stock up on more, I love it. Right now I'm making the aforementioned simple roll-brim hat:

swshat.jpg


swshat-closeup.jpg
Yes, Doctor, we have seen her cramped little stitches! Give her wine, STAT!

That is 72 stitches cast on using a size 10.5 needle and featuring one knitter with a clearly snug grip on those baby bamboos. After the hat is done, I'd like to make a matching scarf in this same yarn but can't decide between a magic scarf, or maybe a simple 3x3 rib, or something new. I like modified seed stitch (using two knits and two purls instead of 1x1) but I haven't decided yet. I do think I want to trim the scarf, whatever it ends up being, with three or four small pompoms. This yarn is lofty enough to make even the most exacting pompom enthusiast very, very happy.

And that is why I knit really. For the happy and for the pompoms.


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Posted by laurie at 9:56 AM

May 9, 2007

The smoke gets in your eyes.

Yesterday on the bus ride home I got a few pictures of the backside of the Griffith Park fire:

griffith-fire1.jpg

griffith-fire2.jpg

griffith-fire3.jpg

As of this morning, the news was reporting that the fire might have been started by a fellow on the golf course who threw out a lit cigarette. After he threw it out, apparently he saw that a fire was starting so he tried to put it out and in doing so was burned severly and is now at the burn center in Sherman Oaks.

I'm not sure if this news report is accurate, but let's assume for a minute that it is.

Yes, of course it's a dumbass move to throw a cigarette out in nature here in Los Angeles when it is A) parched from the driest rainy season on record and B) close to 100 degrees outside and C) less than 7% humidity and D) very windy. But all dumbassery aside, don't you know that guy is in his hospital room watching this coverage of the giant blaze roaring toward the Griffith Observatory and encroaching upon the Los Angeles Zoo and threatening to incinerate homes in Los Feliz, and he's thinking, HOLY CRAP. I SHOULD HAVE QUIT AT NEW YEAR'S LIKE I PROMISED.

Also on the news last night they had a small interview with Mayor Villaraigosa, who had just returned from seeing the front lines of the fire. In this interview the Mayor was gesturing with his hands and I saw this:

mayon-on-tv.jpg

Doesn't it look like our mayor is wearing one of those purple Complaint Free World bracelets?

Now ya'll know I am all about positivity and trying to use my mind to convince myself that I will not forever keep screwing up and end up in a corner trying to eat my own head. But complaining is my major cardio, I have always said it burns calories, and while I do not complain to excess in my daily life I don't know how one manages to get through traffic without doing so, vigorously.

Drew and I both saw the Oprah show that featured this Complaint Free bracelet thing, and he called me to see if I was going to get one.

Drew: So, are you going to order one of those bracelets?

Me: Well, as soon as I saw them I immediately thought of ten people who I should buy them for, but I myself wasn't on that list.

Drew: Why?

Me: Um. Well. I was already complaining about the color, and I thought perhaps that was a sign I was too far gone a case. I might need something stronger than a bracelet.

Drew: Indeed.

But anyway, it looks like our Mayor is doing his part to rid City Hall of whiners. I like that initiative, and I support anyone who is trying to make positive change. Besides he is already very thin and fit and probably doesn't need the metabolic boost I am sure, just completely sure, we get from complaining.

Indeed!

Posted by laurie at 8:53 AM

May 8, 2007

Has Al Gore been alerted to the Great Sleeve Disappearance?

When I was getting ready to go visit Grandma over the weekend, I realized that I have no summer tops. I sort of suspected this about two weeks ago when I scoured my house to find old T-shirts for the rag rug I wanted to knit, inspired by the one I'd seen Jessica making at Stitch 'n Bitch. I looked in every drawer and all throughout the closet and as it turns out I have not been messing around with the paring down and "living smaller" thing. I found one, yes ONE T-shirt. Not enough for a rug, certainly, and barely enough for a knitted pot-holder. I am not sure where my short-sleeved T-shirts went over the mists of time, but alas, it was hot in this California and time to buy a couple of new short-sleeved T-shirts for summer.

EXCEPT SLEEVES HAVE BECOME EXTINCT.

When did this happen? When did "short-sleeves" become "cap sleeves" and normal short sleeves became "impossible to find"??? When? And more importantly, WHY?

Listen Fashion World, I know we've already had one come-to-Jesus this year and you're tired of my bitching and moaning about fat girl clothes. But this is a new scourge and it is apparent in all girl clothes. When did you get rid of real sleeves? And why? Am I the only human female in the United States with armchub? Am I the last remaining woman on the planet who doesn't want to show her underarms to the world every day of summer?

And look. Yes, I know you will say I can go on the internet to L.L. Bean or Land's End online and special order and pay for shipping and so on. But I do not want to have to order my T-shirts online just so I can have two or three extra inches of fabric on my arm-top. I do not want to pay $25 for this pleasure. I want to go to a normal place like Target and get a SHIRT WITH SLEEVES.

This is not a real sleeve:
target-no-sleeves.jpg

Let me inform ya'll. As a woman with a real body, I am 100% qualified to tell you with full authority that the 1.5" of material in the shoulder region of that T-shirt is a cap sleeve, not a short sleeve.

Do you have any idea what a cap sleeve looks like on my body type? It's kind of like I'm wearing a cross between football shoulder pads and a toddler's T-shirt, with boobs smooshed in the middle. NOT PRETTY.

I would like to know where women who do not want to harm folks with batflaps go for plain, affordable T-shirts? And how come men get sleeves but we don't? I ended up buying a men's "sport fit" t-shirt in medium and then I realized too late that all men's shirts have high rounded necklines which make my boobs look like they're at my belly button. Hot! After I left Target I went to the Mervyn's (it was in the same shopping center) and the Avenue (a plus-size store, also same shopping center) and the cap sleeve had overtaken all retailers and I left wishing for winter and the icy tundra of my fantasies. And/or REAL SLEEVES.

Look, I just want to cover the fattest part of my arm. It is not brain surgery. It is a noble goal, and better for all those around me, I assure you. I merely want a plain, simple, cheap V-neck or deep scoopneck T-shirt with SLEEVES. WHY IS THIS SO HARD? WHY?

[If this book stuff doesn't work out and it only sells 12 copies and we end up making jokes about it, I now have a Plan B: I am going to design a real woman's T-shirt. No cuddly teddy bear pictures on it, no cap sleeves, no tank tops, no appliques, no bad fake lace and rhinestones adorning the V-neck (thanks, Mervyn's) and no glitter. Just a simple cotton T-shirt in a rainbow of normal colors that has a V-neck and REAL SLEEVES DAMMIT.]

I spent 20 full minutes in the clothing area of Target lamenting the death of the sleeve. Then I walked around (in a grid pattern of course, so as not to miss any Target goodness) and later I was in the deodorant aisle, because that is where I do my best photography apparently, and came upon this:

vanilla-chai-underarms.jpg

Vanilla Chai scented deodorant. I am not really sure I want my underarm region smelling like a fancy Starbucks drink. What's next? Chocolate-covered raspberry Coke underarms? Limeade with Vodka, for those hot summer nights? Brandy Bourbon Irish Coffee for winters by the fire?

I blame this fully, entirely on the extinction of the sleeve. Since everyone's underarms are on display, I can only imagine what's coming next... armpit makeup? Side-cleavage sparkles? Shoulder lifts and botox?

PLEASE MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY.

Except for sleeves, you can bring those back, thanks.

Posted by laurie at 9:25 AM

May 7, 2007

Hello Monday, I would like the weekend back please.

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Hi Grandma! You are hugging my face now!


The second beautiful blanket of squares arrived and it is so pretty! Thank you again to Kristy for doing this and to Cathy who sewed this blanket together and to every single person who participated.
[click photo to see a much bigger pic]

Grandma and Aunt Pam and I gave it to Raydine, a Parkview resident who I just love to death ... she just got a brand new electric wheelchair and I was teasing her that she just needs a coat of glitter flake paint and a Virgin Mary airbrushed on the back and some hydraulics then she can be in the next Low Rider Magazine show. But little did I know she actually HAS hydraulics on that thing. It is fancier than my Jeep, I am not lying. Mostly what I needed to urgently know was if Raydine got drunk on her new motorized wheelchair, could she get a DUI?

Also, did I get pictures of any of this? No. Because I was too busy running my mouth. But the blanket is now with a woman who loves it and thanks ya'll and promises not to wheel and drink.

Also, have you met my best guy-friend, Drew? He is very cute:
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In this picture, we had possibly been drankin' and carrying on.

Whenever Drew comes to visit I make him drink a lot of wine and eat In-n-Out Burgers and buy yarn. Everytime he leaves L.A. he has to detox for like a week. That is how good of a friend I am. Anyway one time Drew came out to visit me and I made him go clothes shopping and then I picked out REALLY GREAT clothes for him:
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Drew is a good sport.

And even in spite of such overwhelming fashion help from moi, Drew has gone out and got himself a book deal for a whole book of crochet designs! Hopefully one of which will contain "I heart Hot Moms" but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Congratulations, Drew! You're the best guy-friend a girl could have, and I adore you, and I am going to learn how to crochet, I promise. As soon as you wear some of the T-shirts I picked out for you.


Posted by laurie at 10:13 AM

May 4, 2007

SnB, yarn, Fridays, hair washing secrets of the stars and... Got Gas?

Oh the things you learn at Stitch 'n Bitch. Last night there was a heated discussion over whether or not John Cusak was a nice guy in person (people decided the rumors must be wrong, because he MUST BE NICE, yes? yes?) and who else in Hollywood has a poor reputation for niceness. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me about living in this nutty city is how many people have celebrity experiences. Until I moved out here the closest I ever got was once seeing Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in the Nashville airport and about having a heart attack. June! Carter! Cash!

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West Hollywood Farmer's Market ... stitchers unite.

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Me & Ellen Bloom. See how a picture taken at a certain angle makes you look like you weigh all of ten pounds soaking wet? Love you, angle technology!

Since I take mass transportation, Faith has to come get me in downtown and haul me around if I want to go to SnB, and I was a little hesitant to go anyway, I am learning to be better at taking congratulations but sometimes I am still awkward (apologies, Bridget and Molly for my weird, stiff thankyous, I'll get there. With wine, I suspect.) I think I kept it all a secret for so long I don't know how much is ok to talk about without sounding like a big fat blabberer, so conversely I sometimes clam up. AREN'T I A THERAPIST'S DREAM? Steady income for years for some PhD! But of course I can't possibly go to therapy what with my rigorous knitting and poop-scooping schedule, instead I turn to astrology (which clearly we aren't getting to this month, or next month either, but perhaps one day on a Tuesday in mid-July you'll get the Haiki Hor-O-Scopes. Perhaps.) Where was I? OH YEAH. Faith came to get me at work and she had no needles or yarn to use at SnB (which never happens, she's always prepared) and I (who am NEVER prepared) had two sets of needles and two yarn selections for bracelet bags. Thanks again for all the feltable yarn suggestions, I love me some felting.

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One ball of Patons classic wool in red and one ball of Patons something-or-other in shiny red. I spent all of Stitch 'n Bitch winding one skein of Classic Wool into two center-pull balls so I could knit it double-stranded. Yes, I am a weirdo and too cheap and/or broke to buy two full skeins just to knit from them both at the same time. Moving on.


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Patons Soy Wool Stripes ... the MOST GORGEOUS yarn I have ever purchased at a big-box craft store. I got it at Michael's for less than six dollars and it is undeniably luxe, rich, with muted colors and a lofty softness to it. People kept asking what it was (again, me with the center-pull ball... look, I'm not an awesome knitter, but I ROCK THE CENTER PULL BALL.) And folks were saying how it's so Noro-ish, except without all the twigs and leaves. I love this yarn, love it. I see many roll-brim hats as holiday gifts this year in all the colors of Patons SWS. Faith knitted this up.

Also, on the SnB Learning Channel, I discovered that many ladies do not wash their hair every day or even every other day or every third day, which I cannot do for fear the Chevron folks would start drilling on my noggin. I think having straight, fine hair puts me at a disadvantage here. If you only wash every third day, how do you keep it all from going Valdez on you?

Just the things you learn and wonder on a Thursday Knittin' Group night.


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Near the 101 onramp at Burbank and White Oak.
Is that for real?

Posted by laurie at 10:33 AM

May 2, 2007

Ye Olde Crazyhead

This week has been an insane marathon of hurry-up-and-be-late. Is anyone else having this week? Is it just me? Are you there God, it's me Margaret ... and/or Laurie?

1) Happy Birthday!
Yesterday was my mom's birthday. Happy birthday! You rock! And I don't mean that just because I sent you chicken socks even though you hate chickens and I am kind of trying to assuage my guilt for yet another gag gift. hee. Love you! See you in exactly four weeks and one day!

2) Mo' Mojo
If I can pull fauxrriscopes out of my nether regions this evening I will, in the meantime definitely read Astrologer Phyllis' May forecasts and trends. In her forecast for Cancer this month she says we have mojo attractiveness after the 9th and it lasts all month long. I called Jennifer to read her both her Astrologerphyllisscope and mine, and when I told her about my impending attractiveness, she said, "Oh yeah... you'll be at Trader Joe's on the 9th, the 10th, the 11th..." and we laughed. Then I changed the subject real quicklike. But surely TJ's checkout guy cannot withstand astological hotness? Right? Even it said hotness is maybe a full decade older than he is?

Moving on.


3) CAT CUTENESS

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Roy loves his fluffy bunny toy.


4) Personal Growthy Does Not Affect Just Internet Weirdos;
Dry Cleaning Industry Also Growthy, Film Footage At Eleven

dry-cleaner-philosophy.jpg


5) Update
Lots of folks emailed me to know if there are any updates on Allison's son, Evan. He was very adorable on Sunday and managed to put up with a whole room of women drooling over him, but he is having seizures regularly and Allison and Jeff are actively searching for ways to finance the surgery. You can get all updates at Allison's blog-page, right here. Thank you for the inquiries, I know she appreciates the lurve!
allison-evan-cutie.jpg
Cuteness is genetic, apparently.


6) And finally...
I know only like four of ya'll care about American Idol but if Blake Lewis read the phone book I'd buy that CD tomorrow. Also, can anyone recommend a bulky but feltable wool...um, other than Paton's Up Country? Especially something they carry at a lot of places, like Michael's or JoAnn's would be good. Any ideas?

Posted by laurie at 1:18 PM