Monday, January 29, 2007


I have no idea what is happening to me.

As days go by, I seem to become more and more exhausted. Every day, I have trouble waking up, getting out of bed, getting dressed, you name it. Now, those of you who have read the shiny pamphlets in your doctor's office will tell me, those are symptoms of depression. But here's the thing--I'm not sad!

I'm happy. In fact, I'm ready to do stuff, like go to the mall, study, learn, see a movie, visit with friends, anything. I want to knit!

I have been to the doctor, he has nothing to offer me. I've had umpteen blood tests, nothing. I'm beginning to wonder if this thing isn't psychosomatic, but then I would have other symptoms besides the physical, right?

When I was younger, feeling this way would have been evidence to me that I was about to shoot up another four to five inches in height. I don't think that's going to happen for me. At least not in this lifetime.

Here are the illnesses Web MD has told me to look into:

That's right. Apparently, unless I am about to off myself or others in a violent way, or near death due to a critical illness, I am doing great.

So Laura, working together with a search engine and several living medical professionals, has determined that, whatever her illness might be, no one can say.

This is immensly, immensely frustrating. I cannot tell you how annoying it is to have a to-do list and not feel up to doing anything on or around it. I am sick of waking up and not getting out of bed for HOURS afterward, not feeling up to go out or to take Darcy for a run.

I spent all last semester struggling with this. I had hoped that the break I took during this month would have allowed for some manner of recovery. That was too much to wish for. Now all I can do is push myself, day by day, until this goes away or until I suddenly fall dead and the doctors finally figure out what was the matter with me.Until then, I will watch House Tuesday, then go to class the next, all the while pretending that I want to be doing all the things I do, and am not just killing time until I can fall asleep again. Sigh.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Darcy the Pup


My baby. She is adorable here, in the first months of her puppyhood, helping me drive to Griffith. Don't lecture me, this happened for a total of three minutes, just intended to take the picture.

Okay, I understand. My love affair with my Darcy is none of your concern and you do not really care about seeing pictures of her. So if you don't want to see pictures of her, here is your solution:

Don't come to this blog anymore.



I swear. Every five minutes. Like it was on a timer or something!

It is. But still!

For the life of me, this cell phone is beyond my comprehension. I got this thing barely a month ago, and still, I cannot figure the thing out. I can answer a call. I can hang up. Most of the time, I can text message, although at times, it will not send for some reason.

Supposedly, I can send pictures.

This is impossible. Paul and I have tried everything. We have activated something called Bluetooth, which Andy says helps my phone make new friends with other things (or at least that is how I understood it) and teaches it to share. My phone does not work and play well with others. It also must be some kind of Existentialist, because it refuses to acknowledge the existence of anything beyond itself.

And then there is the beeping.

On my old phone, which the company gave out for free (so it was cheap and crappy) I could tell I had missed a call because the little rubber handheld-things on the sides would gently flash with colored light. I would smile, undo the keylock, and check who had called or texted me.
On my new phone, the blasted thing begins to call out to me in the most annoying way possible, atonal beeps, spaced evenly apart in a manner which convinces me that the beeping is over just before it begins again.

Here is what I have tried to make the beeping stop:

1. I have gone into settings and placed Reminders on Silent. This silenced the entire phone.

2. I have silenced everything EXCEPT the ringer. This made everything silent, except for the beeps.

3. I have silenced the phone. This resulted in my inability to find said phone, because it is super-skinny and lightweight, so I cannot find it and calling it results in...more silence. The phone has been lost in my car, purse, room, couch cushions, office, and (somehow) yarn stash.

4. I read ALL the instructions (not just the ones I thought mattered for my problem) in hope that the issue I needed help with was hidden away in Changing the Language of Your Phone or Color Schemes or even Taking Pictures. It wasn't.

5. I prayed.

This last one I am sure will work. If it is the will of God. Maybe. I don't know.
The steps I have not taken:

1. Called Centennial Wireless. Reason: They will just attempt to sell me add-ons or to try to convince me that I need to pay the fees and replace my shiny new phone. Or they will just do what they did when I bought the phone, throw it at me and tell me I'm all set and then escort me out so they can take care of the next customer.

2. Asked Andy to learn my phone and explain it to me. This would be shameful for me, I could not bring myself to so admit defeat. Besides, he has enought technical things to learn without my phone being among them. And then, how would I know how to do it myself? Maybe someday I will want the beeping. Will I be able to bring it back?

I have begun to turn off my phone. For no reason. Also I have begun to leave it in the car, or my purse, or just at home in order to avoid our little disagreement. I don't want an argument. I mean, it is just doing its job. Who am I to judge?

But I just want a little peace. The other night, it wouldn't stop no matter what button I pressed and I had to sleep with it all the way across the house and I STILL could hear it. Then in the morning I realized that I could have just turned the thing off. I was sleepy.

Plus, there is the ringtone thing. I would love to change the ringtone, by downloading something fun and putting it on the phone. But I can't figure out how to make that happen. I can't even find ringtones without them being on sites with porno people on them. This is wrong.

And to make matters worse, people from Dad's work--church--have figured out that I answer my phone way more than him (maybe because part of me hopes that the ringing means I have friends. So I have now become his answering/secretarial service WITHOUT EVEN GETTING PAID FOR IT! In the past week, two people (one of them crazy--I am totally serious--have called me and left messages for him).

As of this moment, I am announcing to the world:

I am not my father!

Nor will I take messages for him not transmitted via the home phone. You know the number.
I do not know, or care, where he is right now. If he comes home, good. But otherwise, it saves time and energy just to assume that he ceases to exist when he leaves our house. Then I don't have to remember whether tonight is prayer meeting or Hands of Hope. Besides, in this family, caring = worry and I have enough to obsess about. So I choose something that will lead to less acidic stomach acid.

I do not want to have to spend twenty minutes assureing you that I am not angry at you for making this mistake. If you want to see me angry, call me from your Sprint phone or landline and suck my minutes dry. Then ask me if I am angry.

I will no longer pick up the phone if it does not tell me who you are on caller id. I paid for that for a reason.

I used to get paid to be a secretary, but I don't anymore. If you would like to employ me to answer your calls and connect you to the appropriate pastor, let me know. We can work something out.

And, finally, Centennial: do not text me with elaborate sales pitches. If I want more minutes or a companion plan, I will come to you. I know where you live. And if you want to keep those blue shirts of yours nice and clean, don't tell me to relax. I'm not angry. But I will be...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Yummy Yarn

I found the most delicious yarn the other day.

Dearest Aimee took me to Erica's in South Bend, which I admit I underestimated.

The commercials do not do that place justice. It was like my mother's craft closet had been expanded, shelf after shelf of crafty things, all layered on top of each other. As I walked in, I thought the store seemed cluttered, was sure it was similar to the Indian yarn shop in Kokomo, which is filled with LOTS of stuff, just no good stuff. I was wrong.
Walking up to each shelf, I saw a well-organized collection of good and amazing GREAT yarn. The cluttered appearence only existed due to a desire to have as many projects as possible by utilizing all the space the building has to offer.
I found beautiful raspberry silk yarn from Nepal. I wanted it.

I found gorgeous Andean wool, hung in hanks, in every color of the rainbow. I found finger-sized twists of laceweight yarn made for charity.

And I found cotton. Hand painted. Peach and raspberry, lilac and grape, every shade of green... I brought home a pet skien:

This is Patagonia, a glorious cotton made by Araucania Yarns. This is a Chilean company I had never heard of until walking up to a pile of colors.

I couldn't keep it like this forever and still have it on my person at all times, so I rolled it into a ball which lived in my purse for some time.But finally I decided I needed a project to make it into, something I could carry with me and show people without them thinking I was insane (I have some people up north who are VERY concerned about me...).

Here is the project in progress.

The needles are from Lantern Moon and made of Rosewood. Very posh.

Incidentally, up north I also finished another project, the socks of Mountain Colors yarn Paul bought me for Christmas.

It was a close call...there was only this much left at the end...

Yeah. That's an egg. Plus a quarter. And the tiny ball of yarn.

The pattern is from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road collection. It is called "Whitby" after a town in northern England.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Movies

Last night, in need for something to see at the movies, I went with some friends to see Night at the Museum for the second time. We really wanted to see a movie, and since one of us had not seen it, we went.

Apparently, knitting in the dark is shocking to some people. And the fact that I kept it up through the entire movie was suprising to my friends. Especially Andrew, who was unaccustomed to the knitting in general.

I am working on my Whitby socks, inspired by a pattern worked into sweaters in the north of England. Nancy Bush, thank you. At any rate, these have a few cables and a knit-purl pattern. Apparently, it is suprising that I can keep this up in total darkness.

If the blind, in the days before Walmart, could knit, sew, make lace, and embroider, I think the least I can do is knit in the dark once and a while. I mean, look at Little House on the Prairie, Mary could sew better than Laura even when she had gone blind. I bet Mary could sew better than me too (you know, seeing as how I am a different Laura...yeah. I didn't laugh either).

Today, I looked over my progress. I noticed something alarming.

"What?" you ask, "Did Laura screw up the pattern so badly that she has to undo all she worked for?! Seven dollars of work? Not counting the alarming price of refreshments!"

I knit FASTER in the dark. If I were BLIND, I would get done with my socks in HALF THE TIME! I am amazed. This is shocking.

Now the whole thing does not seem to work when I just take of my glasses. Apparently, seeing an Impressionist painting of the sock I am working on still counts as "seeing" and does not help.
However, due to the fact that my eyesight is rapidly decreasing, alarmingly, even, I take comfort in the fact that I will still be able to knit when the eyesight goes completely.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

And Now...

Just when you thought I could do nothing worse, when you thought the trauma in my life was all over, or at least that there would be repeat after repeat of the same damages...

I just dropped my tiny embroidery scissors, stabbing myself in the foot. Yes, they stabbed me. Officially. Broke the skin.

How? I picked up my knitting case, and the scissors fell out, stabbing me.


An Open Letter to the Dethmeister, in Gratitude

Note: as I switch all of these over to the new site, the comments that inspired this post have to be left behind. If interested, you may link back to the old site to see the comments.

You, dear sir or madam, have made my afternoon.

Not only is this tangible proof that other human beings read my blog, it proves a distinct point which all my dear friends know.

Bless you.

I hope NBC continues to play Deal or No Deal for you. I will not be watching the shiny bald pate of Howie Mandell as he talks to an imaginary banker hidden in darkness in the wings, but I am glad you enjoy him.

I have never been a fan of gameshows, or the lottery, or combinations therein, so perhaps I am foolish.

In my mind, television should fufil the same entertainment parameters as novels, with a distinct and well-written plot, beautifully described, three-dimensional characters, and believeable conflict. I, however, am an English major. We have different tastes than the rest of the masses. I concede openly that others may not appreciate the glory of the obsessive-compulsive detective that is Adrian Monk, or the symbolic wonder that is Gregory House.

Forgive me for treating your beloved show harshly; I was overwhelmed with the horror of car-trouble and an empty home.



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Grr. Arg. Boo. Hiss. Anger in the Family Room.

I'm having trouble with my "car" again, and instead of going outside and attempting "repair" I think I will write a little blog for your amusement.

Yesterday, my mom took me to Kroger. "You need food you like to eat, Laura," she said to me, guiding me down aisle after aisle of canned soups and vegetables. "I'm going to give you some money too, so you can go out to eat if you want to this week."

My, I thought, my mother sure is nice to me. Most Mom's would expect you to pay for your own extra-curricular eating practices and mine wants to pay my way.

I asked her what she wanted to eat for the week, but she seemed non-reponsive. She didn't care, I should choose, and so on.

In the doggie aisle, she loaded the cart with Darcy's food. "I wish I could find something she likes," Mom said. "You know, besides the cat's food. But I don't want to try her with anything new since I won't be here to take care of her mess if it upsets her stomach."


Apparently, either I did not hear or was not told that my mom was leaving town for a few days, going up north to stay with Grandpa.

She had brought me to the grocery store to help me out with food while she was gone. So I could feed myself.

Wow did I feel dumb.

So now that my cupboards are well-stocked, I look forward to the prospect of...


Hold on for just a minute.

I should be looking forward to this?!

Let's examine what the rest of my week is about to look like:

Dad will be at work, visiting, preaching, and doing his Irish-whistley thing all over the county.

But not at home.

Paul will be perpetually on campus. But not at home, since he doesn't have a car (and I can't come get him, as evident from the first paragraph and the next) to come home with.

I will be at home. Why? Because my car keeps overheating for no reason and I don't want to be stuck in Fort Wayne or Kokomo with no way to return, waiting for Dad, who would be very angry at this point, to come and pick me up before prayer meeting starts. Also, I am too poor for an unrestricted shopping spree. So Fort Wayne is out. And so is any other town with a bookstore or shoes or yarn (yum). Blast.

I think I will have to resign myself to warming the cushions of my couch with my ever-increasing bulk this week.

I should be used to this. I mean, what kind of world would it be where I have entertainment that I do not create for myself? Still, I would far rather be surrounded human being than alone for the ENTIRE DAY! Because not only will I be alone all night, but during the day as well! I will have only Darcy and Myst to talk to, and though dogs and cats are nice, they aren't very talkative. They let you carry the conversation. You pick the subject, you answer your own questions.

Therefore, Laura is in the computer lab, typing away and looking at lacy scarf patterns, simply to avoid the monotony of Fox 28's evening lineup of old reruns of varied comedies.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


My life is so boring now, I cannot even begin to explain.

Right now, I am avoiding the tone-deaf yowls of American Idol contestants by attempting to write you all a blog. However, the misery of daily life has overwhelmed the usual hilarity of my existence.

In the morning, I turn off my alarm clock.

In the afternoon, I wake up and get out of bed. Dress. Go to work, then come home.

After that, I get out my knitting and sit in front of the television set, watching until sleep comes, at which point I go back to my bedroom to sleep.

All this laziness has given me time to think about what one needs to achieve supreme laziness, true sloth.

One must have one's knitting. Without it, life cannot be complete. I suggest something with a simple pattern, easily memorized. I use the classic, hand-knitted sock pattern I have created which fits my foot exactly.

Food is also important. Let's assume you have a well-stocked pantry. Make blueberry muffins, some kind of stir fry, or soup. With those choices, you can continue to go back for more without having to do any more cooking. Instead, the steps needed will span only between the couch, the fridge, and the microwave. I like to eat three wimpy little dinners, allowing me to skip lunch altogether and skimp on breakfast. But you pick your on meal plan. I sometimes eat three large meals and then my two additional dinners. "Elevensies" and "Pre-dawn" are their names...

Clothing choices are vital.

You cannot, say, lay around in a turtleneck sweater. These are highly painful after a while, they create the illusion of strangulation. I cannot wear one above three hours without trauma. Still, I look good-ish in them, and wear them often. Thus Laura takes another blow for good-looks.

I like the Victoria's Secret pyjama selections. They are best. No one else makes them long enough for my freakish, spider-like legs and still skinny enough for my emaciated corpse of a physique. Plus they come in happy colors and not the sad pastels of the elderly.

Pause... My father will not stop harrassing me in his usual vengeful manner. I must state that in order for Ideal Relaxation to ensue, one must rid themself of the negative influence known as my dad. He believes I should "do something productive." When I threatened him with a blog-based outing of his cruelty, he laughed and told me I should get better material so I could be "a better blogster." Proving himself ignorant of lingo and insensitive at the same time, his speciality. What a punk. Dad, when you read this, know that I know what you're getting at. I'm not moving out. You will never get control of the remote again. Take a deep breath and start packing for that third-rate Home I saw on Sixty Minutes...

Now we get to the most important part of an evening of sloth. Television...


I forgot!

Apparently, network television has decided to throw all its worthwhile programing out the back door and invest it such marvelous shows as...

One versus One Hundred!

Regis and Kelly!

CSI all day, every day

If one Law and Order is good, twenty a week will be better!

Can you say..."You're FIRED!" ?

American Idol, otherwise known do we create another one-hit wonder?

Reality TV, which does all it can to make life seem terrible, except model a show off my life, which would possibly have to be banned due to viewer suicide...

And the worst of the worst, the most terrible show ever made, the most shameful excuse of television choices...


It seems I will have to invest either all of my savings in boxed sets of television from my youth and early adolescence, which was actually good, or throw money at cable, satillite companies, you name it, just to entertain myself for an hour every night. Because, usually, that is all the time I have to place toward my own amusement.

My question is: why bother?

Just charge everyone for TV. We're Americans; we'll pay it! I SWEAR we will.Anything is better than DEAL OR NO DEAL. I mean, if I wanted to stare at a shiny bald head and a bad suit, I'd go over to the retirement home to volunteer more often. It has progressed into a kind of NBC lifeline, the only part of their network which brings in viewers. I wonder if they know that investing all the money they plan to throw at the individuals too stupid even to play the lottery in quality programming, or just spending the cash they burn outfitting those showgirls that stand there for no reason on better writers, might just save the network and put it back on top?

I would crawl, over jagged rocks, barefoot, for miles, in extreme heat or cold, just to see Monk. Tony Shaloub is amazing. Or Lost! Still my beating heart! Fish biscuits for Sawyer! Fish biscuits for EVERYONE! And to top off the glory, perhaps, maybe, an episode of The 4400! Glory be!

I could spend what meager change I can pull together on an IPOD to get these episodes quicker. But think, Laura has only dial-up. That is all she can have in the dark corner of the world where she lives. So I would spend hours, days, years to download Mr. Monk. All I can do is sit here in my chair, dreaming of the better life I could have had if I had been born into a non-literary family who accepts the inevitable pull of the cable bill.

My life is cold without Monk. I miss him the most. That sweet little man, with his perfect suits and everything put just right. His organization makes me feel the most supreme joy. That is what my room is like, my house will be like. I vaccum just as carefully, in a grid pattern. Sigh. Monk.

But I have no choice. I will take out my cold steel knitting needles and my channel changer and sit on my hard floor, watching reruns of poor television shows as I sit, making yet another sock. Tomorrow, I will do the same thing.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Car

Here we go, complaint time.

"What is the matter with your car, Laura?"

Oh, thanks for asking, why don't I just share?

First, the windshield is leaking again. Pouring down to the seat, where guess who sits? Me! Yes, everytime it rains, which is every day here, I get to use my towel, or better yet, appear as if I have wet myself each time I sit down to drive.

Second, for some reason, I have a problem with the car overheating and becoming unusable. This results in the constant entrapment of Laura in various places, such as Pizza Hut.

Third, somehow, the driver's side door wants to keep itself open at all times. Like when I am driving down the road. So it must remain locked. Always. Or I get pulled out of the suicide belts and crunched into a Laura-pulp on the highway. The headline would read: Local girl well blended by traffic on way to knit shop, corpse placed in matchbox awaiting burial.

When will my Pepsi cash arrive? When will I have new wheels? When will I no longer fear for my life and those of my adored passengers?


Yeah, I stopped sleeping again. At least at night, I seem to be doing an adequate job of sleeping during the daytime.

Here are the reasons behind this:

1. Knitting is fun.

2. I can't fall asleep unless I have watched an X-Files episode.

3. Paul makes a lot of noise during the weekend, keeping me awake until at least two or three, which forces me to continue to watch X-Files and knit until he retires, then continue to do so in my "winding down" phase.

4. Dad wakes up at 4:30 a.m. every day.

5. I have friends who need less sleep than I do.

As a result of all these factors, combined with stress and, I think, the devil, have created in me the urge to stay up all night long and sleep when the house is quietest, ironically, during the day. So I am pretty darn tired. All the time. No matter what.

Is there a solution for this?
I think so.

1. Moving to a far away place, where night is day.

2. Surrendering to my agrophobia and staying inside the house forever.

3. Drugging Paul.

4. Drugging Dad.

5. Drugging myself.

I think the last one is the most feasable. Although I could do the stress thing, or schedule an exorcism for me or my home.

Let me know what you think...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Riverhouse Spa

Laura visited the spa today, the one located in her bathroom. She withdrew armloads of beauty products gathered near and far throughout the state of Indiana, Chicago, Spain, France, Italy, and England.

She arranged these products, selected the day's torments, and began the procedure.
You see, Allure often tells readers that the following steps ought to be taken to make one's skin beautiful, lusterous, radiant, and youthful.

1. Be between infancy and the age of eight. If the former is not applicable, follow the remainder.

2. Exfoliate: This is when the beauty industry gives women the permission to use anything from sandpaper to industrial grade acid to remove the first few layers to the whole epidermis of one's flesh. For this purpose there are cleansing pads, scrubs, dermabrasion, chemical peels, and the steel wool you keep underneath the sink for stubborn stuck-on food caught on skillets.

3. Soothe: Women then apply a liberal amount of mud to their faces, cooling their third degree burns or those incurred from ionizing radiation and attempting to clean one's skin by purposefully making it filthy. Then one waits for the mud, clay, etc. to dry, firming to the point that the facial muscles are rendered immovable. The purpose of this treatment varies with the product's advertized talents. Some inspire skin to be soft, smooth, and bright. Others claim the oil wells contained in the pores can be erased, something I believe impossible without a full-scale Exxon Mobil engineering team and several oil rigs with hundred-men working teams pulling all night shifts for months on end until the strain of being seperated from family and the real world causes them to lose what fragile grasp on sanity such workers must have to volunteer for such duty, finally using their eating utensils to consume their comrades, if attempted on my skin. Still others intend to remove every blemish ever existing as well as those planning to emerge in the near future.

4. Cleanse: this means more scrubbing. Preferably with an oil-free and non-drying non-soap cleanser which will keep the delicate layers remaining from shattering in an explosion of dermis.

5. Toner: removing all other grossness which held on with all power imaginable.

6. Moisturize: Yeah. This "fixes" all the damage you just did. Kind of.

So there Laura stood. Products everywhere. Interesting packaging, bright colors, light fragrances. You know how it goes. She preformed the steps above. She applied her make-up. She went to work. She came home.

And now she writes this blog.

So here are the conclusions...

No matter what I do, what I try, what anyone manages to devise in laboratories around the world, there is nothing anyone can do to make my skin perfect. Perfection being the only result I will settle for in all aspects of life, this makes me rather angry. I can only wonder about people whose skin is more difficult to deal with than mine. I must have spent so much money on this stuff, all proven to be worthless to me. How do other people pay their bills?

I could quit. I have tried to do so before. I have told myself--why care? Your skin is your skin. But invariably, the next week, I am there in front of the mirror preforming the same procedures. It would take a divine intervention to make my skin stand on its own without this kind of terror. And that probably won't happen.

What strikes me as even more traumatic is the level of effort most people put into other parts of their beings. Me, I pretty much have given up on any body part covered by my clothing, but there are some people who work every day to have not an ounce of fat on their whole bodies. Me, I just buy the control-top panty-hose and pretend I exercised. Then I lie to myself and say no one but me knows the difference. Then I go to Olive Garden and work on my personal goal of consuming my body-weight in fried cutlets and soup.

There are people in the world who take this even more seriously, who become obsessed and have surgeries and diet and are still miserable. If I had less to obsess over in my life, I bet that would be me.

I would rail about how sad all this is, how cruel the world is to women, but we have all heard it before. And, in truth, it would be hypocritical for me to tell you this should stop. I buy the beauty magazines, the same as all the other girls my age. I look in the mirror too.

All I'll say is: this kind of living is pretty darn hard to deal with.

Monday, January 8, 2007

V Day

Jennifer, her long blonde hair inspiring envy in all female shoppers around her, waltzed up the seasonal aisle in Walmart, perusing the shelves bedecked with lurid red, pink, and white objects, surely designed as optical tourture devices.

"You're going to have a Valentine's Day this year," she asserted.

To me it sounded like she had said: "You're going to have a heart attack, you're going to file for chapter eleven bankruptcy, you're going to catch the plague from walking in a Canterbury train station, you're going to get cancer from eating those Fruity Pebbles." As if the greeting card holiday was a kind of traumatic event falling down upon humanity once a year.

She then pulled down a carton of chocolate golf balls which proclaimed, "Wanna play around?" on their cellophane surfaces, causing me to blanche and cling to the nearest hot-pink stuffed monstrosity for support.

What's a girl to do?

I have often proclaimed that I have the emotional maturity of a small child, with the kind of committment phobia that only years of having a father like mine can give to a girl. I have insisted that I am the mean one, the half of the relationship which will most certainly be the cause of every fight, argument, or hurled inanimate object. I consistantly prove myself to be so.
Just look back in time. I have argued with people regarding the following meaningless things, just so I can argue:

1. How much some beads cost. Like, three beads.

2. Who took which pictures on a roll of film.

3. Soda, or pop?

4. Who sucked more as a writer, Hemingway or Fitzgerald (they both are essentially the same style).

5. How to properly make a bed (military or hospital).

6. Why no one should touch my pillows, why I have to wash clothing if I spill water on them when they are already clean, why I must bag my own groceries, why I must arrange things by size and shape, why this is not abnormal at all, but a smart thing to do.

Yeah. So how is a jerk like me to, overnight, become sensitive and understanding, then channel all that into "romance" which I am not all that sure really exists outside of those cheesy novels I find in the grocery store. Three for a dollar at the library. Or you can just bring in some old ones and trade. I know these things.

See, all that I know boils down to useless information, nothing helpful like how to change a tire or figure out a 15% tip. I know how to snort cocaine so as not to lose any of the powder--this will never come in handy. I know that babies are not born with kneecaps. I know how to buy octopus and shellfish. I don't eat either.

So now that this Idiot Girl has found a guy other than Man Behind the Video Store Counter Who Smiled at Me Once and Guy From Kroger Who Does Not Flinch and Avert His Eyes in My Presence, I am left without what most humans agree should come with a person: an instruction manual. I get not handing them out when you meet someone, but could I not have been born with one for myself? Just for reference?I could use one.

Plus one to show me how to work my phone. This is getting pathetic.

Friday, January 5, 2007

For Jennifer

Nurse Laura placed her dissertation down on the end table and wrinkled her nose. The air had not smelled quite the same in her favorite sitting room since she had rid herself of the dead rat left by her phantom of a visitor. She had sent her Andrew to investigate the intruder, using the carefully placed GPS locator chip she had slipped onto his--or her--person during her feigned swoon. She hoped the intruder, almost certainly, she deduced, a music major with nothing better to do with her--his--time, had not the presence of mind to remove it before Laura's beau traced the location of the hiding place to whence the criminal had skulked.

"Breaking into the mansion," muttered Laura, lifting her finely-crafted hand knitted sock from her work basket and beginning to cast on for its companion. "Really, how 19th century.

As she uttered her complaints, Lady Hannerstien, Jennifer to her friends, flounced into her room, cheeks aglow with youthful passion and energy, bouncing blonde curls trailing behind her.

"Have you any news?" Laura asked. Her friend had insisted upon allowing her time to rest, but Laura's natural curiosity had grown to such levels that she was no longer able to abide in her sitting room, leaving the investigations to the "stronger sex" and the trained professionals. She could not stomach simply waiting about for her companions to dole out handfuls of information as they pleased.

"I don't really want to talk about that right now," Jennifer replied.

What better time, thought Laura, was there to talk about such things? The sunlight played across the keys of the pianoforte. Laura, upon seeing the state of the long-forgotten instrument, had insisted that it be removed from the dank quarters it had inhabited and had instructed the finest craftsment to tune and clean it. Unable to play herself, she had asked good friends from Manchester's Conservatory for the Arts to enter her home to entertain her during the evenings as she knitted. Lady Rogers, away on an expedition to the south, had promised to play for the party upon her return.

Kindly, Laura allowed the subject to drop, as Jennifer regaled her with tales of romantic events occurring throughout the land, the stories of her family home, and the trauma of the bitter land Gre'valu.

But as her friend, blue eyes glittering with hidden light, left as suddenly as she had come, Laura resolved to do something about her assailant. She drafted several letters, smiling to herself as she thought of what would ensue.

The best way to catch the fiend, she thought, would be to play at his own game. Laura used the glory of Bluetooth, a magic taught to her long ago, to contact Andrew. He would need to help her draw the villain into the trap she was to set.

As darkness fell over the mansion, Laura descended using a passage of which only she knew into the heart of the building. She brushed cobwebs from her eyes, unafraid. Deep within the mansion, she opened an abandoned trunk she had placed there long ago, when she had left her former life for the one she now lived. Opening it, she pulled out a cloak, woolen breeches, a linen shirt. Laura carefully dressed herself, then took the sharp dagger from beneath the clothing. She cut her long, luxurious maple hair, keeping the strands together. Alone in the candle light, she began to sew.

By the time the black-dressed intruder returned, Laura would be ready for anything.