Thursday, November 24, 2011

Guess What?

Today was Thanksgiving! I have stories, I really do. But until then, why don't you join me in playing Hipster Dress Up, because that's how far I've regressed after the trauma of post-Thanksgiving-dinner conversation.


I made a little Laura! She is wearing clothes I have, although in different colors. Does that make me an accidental hipster? Hipster Laura knitted her own scarf and her cardigan. She needs those glasses to see, so she's not being pretentious. She's wearing her skinny corduroy work pants, and those shoes she saw on Zappos and loved but couldn't afford! Isn't she adorable?

And here she is modeling the dress she couldn't afford from Modcloth! Notice how the dress actually fits her!

And here is casual Hipster Laura, ready for a night out with her friend, Hipster Jennifer! Notice Hipster Jennifer, wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt JUST LIKE NORMAL JENNIFER DOES IN REAL LIFE.

Hipster Jennifer is frowning, because she disapproves of being called a hipster and because she's been made into a paperless paper doll. I thought it would be more realistic this way, because Real Jennifer is probably making that face at Real Laura right now.

And you play this game all while listening to happy music a la Juno. Don't you want to play?

Go on.

Today I am thankful for computer games, frozen pizza, and the early Thanksgiving Jennifer and I had on Tuesday. Best Thanksgiving ever, Jen. I am also thankful for my wonderful friends, my family, and my dog and cat. And for Twitter, Pinterest, and this blog, which means I am thankful for YOU. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This Is What Gun Control Legislation Is For

When guys think of hunting, they think of this:

Image courtesy

When I think of hunters, I see this:

When hunters think of deer, they see this:

Image courtesy

When I think of deer, I see this:

These mental images were unchanged today, after the visit we enjoyed.

I was showing Mom some adorable dresses I was attempting to con her into sewing for me when someone knocked on our door. Our FRONT door.

No one uses the front door. It shouldn't even be there, it is like an afterthought. The door sucks, it hardly opens, and every year a swarm of ladybugs squeezes through the crack in the seal around the door, dies, and we cart out the vacuum, suck up the bugs, and wish the people who designed our house had just left out the front door altogether. No one even has a key to this lock, by the way. If that were the only door into our house, we would never get inside.

So we knew whoever was knocking was a stranger. The last batch of knocking strangers we had were selling meat out of a truck door to door. Who sells meat out of a truck? And not a good truck, like one with refrigeration and a covered back with a door you open. No, this was a random pickup with a cooler. For all we knew, the guy was selling chunks of his latest victims, hacked up after his latest spree killing.

My response to him had been, "No, thank you. We're vegetarians."

We aren't vegetarians.

I am a liar, and probably going to Hell, but I didn't want truck meat, and neither would you.

THIS time, Mom went over to answer the door, because she had brushed her hair after her nap and I hadn't. That is the way we make decisions in our house.

I overheard bits and pieces while I sat on the floor, keeping Darcy from running over and barking at Random Stranger. Random Stranger was taking an awfully long time talking with Mom.

I wondered if the Random Stranger was one of a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses. In that case, I thought, I would get out my eyeliner and draw an eye on my forehead, then grab some of the sage from the kitchen, light it on fire, and start dancing around in the front room where they could see me through the picture window, just to discourage them. They would, I thought, believe our house was a total lost cause, since a heathen girl with unbrushed hair was dancing around waving sage to ward off evil spirits like the pagans do.

Random Stranger was not a Jehovah's Witness. He was a hunter. And he was, charitably, about 12 years old. Okay. Maybe he was 14. I know this because when he was leaving, I caught a pretty good look at him as he got back on his bicycle and rode away down the road.

"He asked if he could hunt on our land," Mom informed me as I caught the last glimpse of Random Hunting Stranger Boy as he pedaled out of the driveway. "I told him no."

"Of course you did," I said.

"Our house is on like two acres," Mom said. "And there are no deer here. And also we walk around, and he would shoot us through the windows."

"He would," I nodded.

"And then," she said. "He asked if there were any other places he could hunt around here, like in the field between us and the neighbors, or across the street or something. I told him there were no deer there, and also that I walk there every day with the dog."

"You do," I agree.

"And then he told me why he was looking for a new place to hunt," Mom continued. "Which pretty much would have convinced me never to have let him hunt anywhere near our property, even if I had been inclined to say yes, which I wouldn't ever do."

I looked up from petting Darcy, curious.

"He was in this tree stand he'd put up on someone's property," she began. "He'd gotten permission from this man to hunt on his land. And he was watching some deer that came nearthe stand, until a cat came and scared the deer away. Then, he shot the cat because it scared the deer."

I stared.

"But the cat turned out to be the land owner's pet, and the man said he couldn't hunt there anymore."

"What a complete [ANGRY WORD]," I fumed. "What kind of a flipping [BLANKITY-BLANK] would shoot a cat because it scared deer away? And why would he ever think telling you that was a good idea? He is such a total [NAUGHTY WORD]. If he ever tried that here, I would take his gun away and shoot him with it, because he is such a [HORRIBLE AND BAD] idiot-slack-jawed [TOOTHPICK BRAIN] who deserves to be [HURT IN A NAUGHTY PLACE]."

"I KNOW!" Mom exclaimed.

"And what kind of world do we live in if a kid can have a gun and shoot random household pets from a tree stand before he is legally allowed to drive a car or vote?" I proclaimed. "If you are still young and stupid enough to think shooting a small furry creature will bring the skittish big furry creatures back toward the sound of the loud banging, then you are too dumb to be allowed to swing a gun around in the first place!"

"YES!!" Mom said.

"And what would he do if he actually got a deer?" I asked. "Would he strap the poor deer to the side of his bicycle and ride home, dragging it along with him like the Old Man from The Old Man and the Sea

"This is upsetting me now," Mom said.

Then we both hugged Darcy. Then we found the cat and tried to hug her, but she wasn't interested in hugging, so we waved politely and gave her some space.

And that was Sunday afternoon at my house.

*Images not attributed were pictures I found everywhere and all over. I did not take the picture of the adorable deer or the scary picture of Charlie Manson, and I'm very glad I was never in the position to photograph him so closely.*

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mom and Laura Have a Night Out

Mom and I went to Bloomington this weekend, partly to look around at the pretty and partly to see if I felt like Bloomington was a livable place. We had tons of fun, as we usually do together.

But whenever Mom and I go to a new city to visit, there is this thing that happens.

We first noticed it when she emerged from a Union Station bookstore in D.C., a victorious look on her face, a plastic bag clutched in her hands.

"Look!" She proclaimed, "It's a walking guide of the city!"

So Mom led Paul and I on an hours-long walk. It was like the walks that end at a mass grave site, only this time there was no open chasm awaiting us, just crippling leg pain and a lost child at the Vietnam Memorial. See, the book was great, it just didn't account for the huge amount of construction going on at the various memorials when we took our trip. They had totally blocked off something like half of the mall, so you had to walk around the blocked portion, waving at Mr. Lincoln from far away, then skirting some kind of arts fair, a giant hole in the ground, and the site of that weekend's fireworks.

We walked most of the day and were still unable to complete 3/4 of the "walking tour." I think that walking tour book was for backpackers, or Everest-climbers, or HEALTHY people, and I am a dedicated lounger, not a hiker.

There were even tears on this walk. TEARS. Not mine. Mom's, what with the Vietnam Memorial, and the lost kid cried, but STILL. TEARS. Tears and the kind of agony that makes you fall when you try to get out of bed the next morning.

But D.C. was nothing to London.

Mom looked out of our hostel and saw the Tower in the distance. We, I should mention, were staying in a former dormitory for a boys' choir near St. Paul's Cathedral. We walked and walked, but the Tower never got any closer. We were along the Thames, and there were these little docks, and bridges, and still, no Tower. As night fell, we turned around and trudged back.

I later found out that tons of hideous, gristly murders have taken place right along the river walk. Isn't that lovely? Really, watch some BBC! You will be as horrified as I was. This is where my mother takes me, to go get murdered on the river walk!

This seems to happen to us every time we go on a trip. We try not to let it happen, but there we are, walking ten miles because the good pastries are on THAT street and we want GOOD pastries.

On our Bloomington trip, it started either with the lady at the crosswalk saying, "Five or six blocks...?" Or with me saying, "Nah, let's just walk it. We don't need to get the car."

We were looking for a pharmacy, because Mom had a headache and wanted some Ibuprofen PM. So we walked. And five blocks became ten. And ten blocks became fifteen. And still nothing.

Lesser women might have given up. But no, not my mother and I. We kept going. Because we knew after 15 blocks, we would never sleep without some kind of pain reliever for the new agonies we discovered on our walk.

Meanwhile, I had a different dilemma. I was wearing adorable shoes. You know what that means. So while my shoes were being adorable, they were also not being very functional as shoes. I had to arch my foot to keep them on, and I STILL kept falling out of them and into holes. There are a lot of holes in Bloomington.

We stopped at a Waffle House, where Mom and Dad had enjoyed meals back when they were in school at I.U. But seriously, the Waffle House looked abandoned, like there was a natural disaster we didn't know about. It was a Ghost Town Waffle House. I think I saw a tumbleweed in the parking lot.

Armed with more directions, we went on. Still, after several blocks, nothing.

Now: Where was the flippin' pharmacy? College students need pain relief, right? I mean, I know I had headaches back in college, and stomach aches, and other aches, and I went to the pharmacy to get treatments for my various maladies. But nooooo. I.U. kids don't get sick. They're too busy being awesome.

We followed still more directions, passing under a bridge. I fell in some more holes. Then Mom leaned over to me.

"I think it smelled like urine down there," she whispered.

"We walked UNDER A BRIDGE," I replied. "What did you expect?"

We laughed so hard, we could not breathe. Then we found the CVS, got medicine, walked back, and collapsed in the hotel room, an hour and a half after we'd set out. My calves still feel like they're about to explode.

The moral of this story? Always pack your medications before you leave home. Or at least spring for a map.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


You know all those things I've been ignoring? Like not checking my personal e-mail, not blogging, not spending the weekends running around doing fun things I can blog about later? After the week of November 14th, I will go back to doing them.

If you've been waiting for my attentions, I apologize. My life is insane. Just a few more weeks. That is my new mantra. I say it all the time.

Thanks for your patience.