Friday, June 17, 2011


Guess what?

I got sick of my hair, so I had Beth lop it all off. I could have EASILY been talked into a pixie cut. But I think Beth was afraid that seeing my hair that short would make me cry. It doesn't. I've had it that short before. It just makes me HAPPY because then I don't have to brush it or use a hair dryer anymore.

I'm kind of lazy. is a TRULY AWFUL PICTURE in which I have this new haircut. I took it with my cell phone camera, which is terrible. I tried to position it so you could see the back of my hair and the front at the same time, which succeeded. Sort of.

Terrible picture for @baileykelsey. on Twitpic

There you go. Goodbye, hair of Laura. Hello 15 more minutes of sleep every day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dear Netflix, Again.


I just discovered that you yielded to my earlier demands and restored Sports Night to your watch-instantly collection. Clearly, this was due to my well-reasoned arguments. Or pity.

It was probably the pity.


I think that about sums it up.



Monday, June 13, 2011

Waiting Is Hard: Near Witch Countdown Craft Tutorial

In case you haven't noticed, I'm very excited about The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. So excited that I have the NW countdown widget over in the doobly-doo . See it?

Now, The widget is great and all, but I have this issue with remembering numbers. The issue is that I can't remember numbers. I have to give each number a letter to correspond with it, so I can remember what it is. Then I memorize strings of letters instead of dates or phone numbers.

What? You're surprised I do something bizarre? Have you met me?

The widget, as I said, is great. I love the widget. And when I'm at home, I can just bring up my blog on my laptop and I can watch the widget count down. I'm not going to lie to you, folks. I do that quite often. Especially since Netflix took my Sports Night away from me.

But, driving to work this morning, it occurred to me that I might forget that there are only 49 days until The Near Witch is released.

Forgetting is bad.

So, when I had a free moment, I decided to make a Craft. And now I will teach you to make it, too.

Near Witch Countdown Calendar

You will need:
  • Paper and access to a printer
  • A computer with the word processing or photo editing program of your choice
  • Scissors
  • A ruler or straight edge of some sort
  • Heavy-duty scrapbook paper in an appealing pattern and color
  • A stapler of dangerous proportions
  • The ability to count

1. Go here, and download the picture.

2. Open your photo editor or word processor, I used Microsoft Publisher, and put your newly-downloaded book cover in it.

3. Admire the cover of The Near Witch. Daydream about reading it.

4. Pick a font that goes with the cover font and a color that works with the cover's color scheme.

5. Make a text box, and put it somewhere on the cover. In the text box, put the number 49.

6. Copy your picture and text box.

7. Paste your picture and text box many, many times.

8. Start counting down from 49, changing the numbers in all the text boxes except the first one. The first new box should have the number 48, then 47, then get the idea. Count down to one.

9. Paste your cover one last time. Make another text box with a happy saying announcing The Near Witch's release. Mine says, "It's HERE!"

10. Print, in color.

11. Cut out each cover neatly.

12. Arrange the pages of your calendar with the highest number on the top and the smallest number on the bottom. The numbers should be in order.

13. Put the happy announcement cover at the very bottom.

14. Cut out a piece of pretty but heavy-duty scrapbook paper (card stock) so it is the same size as the other pages of the calendar.

15. Place the scrapbook paper underneath all the other pages.

16. Use the heavy-duty, dangerous-looking stapler to staple your calendar together.

18. Admire your finished Craft Project.

19. Each day, tear off a page of your calendar, to signify the passage of time.

While you use your fantastic new calendar, make sure you go over to Victoria Schwab's blog and enter her giveaway! You could win a signed first edition of Hourglass by Myra McEntire, a signed Hourglass poster, a $10 iTunes gift card with an Hourglass playlist, and Near Witch swag pack* (signed bookmark, bookplate, set of buttons, playing cards). Trust me, you want all of these things.

*I can tell you from personal experience, the bookmarks and buttons are lovely. I read my set of buttons when I need a NW fix. I have them memorized.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear Netflix,

I was so happy this week, when I went hunting for something new to watch instantly. You see, I'd just watched through Numb3rs from start to finish, mostly because I find Charlie's nose to be very attractive, but also because I like to listen to lectures, even if they are about math, because they make me feel like I'm getting smarter. I was happy because you had made Sports Night available to watch instantly, finally. I have been waiting to watch Sports Night for a very long time. You know how long, because it was after I finished watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip using your watch instantly feature, because that was when I discovered that Aaron Sorkin had created another show before he made The West Wing.

I really love Aaron Sorkin. He's an amazing writer, the kind of writer I would love to be at some point in my future. He is on my list of Fantastic Writers Who Can Do No Wrong. You don't get on that list unless you're Very Special. Patricia McKillip, John Green, Melina Marchetta, and Victoria Schwab are the only other living writers on that list. You'll have to trust me about Victoria Schwab, because her first novel, The Near Witch, isn't released yet. You will discover how amazing she is when you read her book, and you should go preorder it. Right now. Go do it.

As I was saying, Aaron Sorkin is really great, and Sports Night was a huge treat for me. I was totally hooked, and I'd just started season two when, much to my surprise, it went away. I searched for it, only to discover that I couldn't watch it instantly anymore. You took it away from me.

In short, Netflix, you ruined my life.

"Sure," you say, "We totally ruined your life, Laura. Yeah, we stole your Unfrosted Strawberry Pop Tarts, broke your car, and infested your wool with moths."

And now you're laughing at me. I swear I can hear you laughing.

Netflix, I live in the middle of a corn field. Gas is $3.88 a gallon, and my car needs new rotors, or maybe just a new wheel bearing. It takes me an hour to get to the nearest major city, and this is Indiana, so how major can that city be? When I get there, I can choose between eating and shopping, both of which require money I spent buying the gas it took to get there. I could turn on my television, but I can't really watch anything, because we don't have cable or a dish or anything, and we live in a cornfield, so there really isn't any signal since TV went digital. And it's summer, so there are no new episodes of anything, anyway.

What I'm saying, Netflix, is that any entertainment in my life comes from YOU.

I was so happy to have Sports Night. I was already rewatching my favorite episodes again and again. I was quoting Sports Night. I was trying to have walk and talks at work, except no one knew what a walk and talk was, because no one there is as obsessed with Aaron Sorkin as I am, so it didn't so much work, but I TRIED. And I was happy, Netflix. I was really happy.

But you did me wrong. You took my Sports Night away from me.

I tried to be patient, Netflix, but it's been a WHOLE DAY, and Sports Night hasn't come back yet. This tells me that maybe, just maybe, this isn't site maintenance. Maybe Sports Night isn't coming back. I want you to know that taking Sports Night away from me is pretty much the same as killing me. There is a giant spear sticking out of my chest right now, Netflix, and you put it there. It was all you.

I was mad at first, but now I am just sad. So very sad. It's like a country song over here, a country song without the twang-y-ness and the cowboy hat. You hurt my heart, Netflix.

I wanted you to know all that, so that you will understand how important it is that you give me an honest answer to my question: When is Sports Night coming back?

I really do need an answer, so I know if I should just order the two seasons on DVD right now. They're sort of expensive, so it would mean not eating for a while, but it would be worth it to have Aaron Sorkin's writing. That's better than food.