UPDATED X2 Wanted: BFF. Second F Subject To Limitations, As Vanessa Has Just Discovered.

Good Afternoon Blogstalkers!

I was going to say Happy Monday, but then I remembered that Mondays are terrible and not, in fact, even a little bit happy (as evidenced by the fact that I stubbed my toe on the way to work today and for some reason shouted "Ships passing in the night!" when I did it.)  I have never said that before.  I have never even thought that before.  Just more proof that my brain works completely independently of the rest of my body.

And then some lady totally laughed at me like right in my face and I thought "Well if this day wasn't ruined when I smacked myself in the face with the shampoo bottle this morning, it's definitely ruined now," and thought about just turning around and going home and curling up in my bed with my dogs and a bowl of cheese soup (which Ryan insists is really cheese dip, but I'm not buying it.)  But then I remembered that I have Sexual Harassment Training at work today, so I continued on to the office.

I want to mention at this point that I have Sexual Harassment Training today because I was hired in the last year and all new hires have to complete it, not because I sexually harassed someone.  I would never do that.  At least not on purpose.  Because let's be honest, if I told you I had to go to the training because I had tripped last week and accidentally grabbed someone's breasts to prevent myself from falling, you would all just nod your heads and say "That does sound like something you would do Lauren."

But enough nonsense, let's move on to the actual point of this post.

I am looking for a new best friend.

::Disclaimer:: This post is a joke, Vanessa will remain my BFF for all eternity because she does awful things like help me move and wonderful things like listen to me cry A LOT.::

I have found out recently that Vanessa has never read the Harry Potter books and has only been able to keep up with my conversations about Hogwarts because she saw the movies after they came out on DVD.

And yes, I was able to forgive her for punching me in the face but this, is just... you know...unforgiveable.

It's heart-wrenching, that's what it is.

So she has been demoted to second-best friend until she reads all seven of the Harry Potter books and successfully completes the exam I have constructed.  I have made sure that many of the multiple choice questions cover things not featured in the movies and one of the essay questions is "Develop this thesis in length: Compared to the books, the Harry Potter movies are utter bungholes."

Sidenote: I totally LOVE the Harry Potter movies, just LOVE the books more.

So all of that is going to take Vanessa quite a bit of time and as I can not go BFF-less for that long (because who other than a best friend would listen to me prove that I can indeed perform the entire rap in the song Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls complete with gangster hand gestures while wearing a blindfold?) I have also constructed a Be Lauren's Temporary Best Friend No Zombies Allowed application. 

You hear that zombies? No applying.

So please take the time to fill out this application if you have any interest in being my new best friend and receiving text pictures of my stubbed toe with the caption "Does this look infected?"

Poor Vanessa, she's going to be so miserable without me.

Serious Applicants Only.  Vanessa Need Not Apply.

1. Please take an ordinary word and think of an awesome new way to say it.  For example, I call toilet paper tail-napkins and actual napkins face-paper.

2. Prove that you have read the Harry Potter books.  Possibly by sending me a picture of you sitting next to your well-worn copies of the books.  Or just by saying you have read the books.  I am very trusting, that is how Vanessa managed to hoodwink me for so long.

3.  Do you like cheese?  (This is a sort of a giveaway question as the answer can be both yes and no.  Because if you do like cheese then we can have lengthy conversations in which we laud the merits of different kinds of cheese and if you don't like cheese then I get to eat all of your cheese when we go out to eat.)

4. Would you play a game with me that I like to call "Quack Quack" which consists of you duck-walking across the room quacking whilst I shoot rubber bands at you to improve my aim?

5. Do you like to iron other people's clothes?

6. Have you ever agreed with Mr. "No I Will Not Bring You A Shower Milkshake" (aka Ryan) while reading this blog?  If so, when?  (Sometimes he is right.)

7. That is all.

So submit your applications posthaste as I have a feeling people are just going to clamoring to be my new best friend.

Because who wouldn't want to be friends with this girl?

This was taken on our honeymoon.  Ryan is one lucky ducky.

Lots of Love Blogstalkers!

Oh and I'm sorry for not posting Friday, I'm still working on figuring out how to have OJ interview Ryan and I on Skype or something, we totally ran out of time this weekend.  It'll happen at some point.

UPDATE: Natalie, who writes The Barnes Daily Circus blog has just about got the much-vied-for title of BFF in her grasp with this picture sent to me via email. (LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com)

She says:

This is a picture of me (on the right) and MY bff Carolyn on the left.  I just got off work from Chili's and we went to the book release party and midnight for the 7th book.  We walked in and everyone was dressed up and we felt lame for not dressing up.  So we went back to our cars (after getting our numbers, of course, duh) and put on stuff that was in our cars.  College graduation robes, eye liner as lightening bolts on our foreheads, wands (sticks we broke off a tree), and Carolyn had foresight to bring brooms from her Mom's kitchen, just in case.  Well, good thinking points to her.

UPDATE X2: Jen, who writes the blog Bible Belt To Boulder sent me this picture of she and her daughter at a Harry Potter movie premier.

She says:
That'd be me as Professor Trelawney on the left and the Divine Miss M as Hermione on the right, complete with beaded bag and The Tales of Beedle the Bard inside.
Yes, we're nerds.  She'll probably be mortified by this picture later.  Perhaps I'll bring it out before any first date.  Or maybe just don the costume.  ; )

Natalie and Jen had better watch out though because Lesley who pens the lovely Fairy Tales Blog apparently has access to large amounts of cheese.  And I have always wanted to eat a wheel of cheese bigger than my head.

And Megan dressed up like Dobby for a Masquerade Day at her camp.  Which is totally awesome.

Competition is stiff Blogstalkers.  There's no telling who'll soon get to be my Temporary Best Friend and console me when Love In The Wild gets canceled.

It's Thursday Thursday, Gotta Get Down On Thursday, Because I Took Friday Off And Now My Boss Has To Approve Expense Reports This Month, Which Is The Worst Task Of All Time.

Hey Blogstalkers!  I'm currently suffering from the most horrible case of blogger's block so I have absolutely no idea what to write about today.  Luckily OJ, my husband's best friend and best man at our wedding is in town this weekend and has generously offered to blog for me today.  He has also promised to not mention the time in college when I accidentally fell into a duck pond.

My life is like a backwards version of Big Love I swear to god.
My husband didn't even lick my face once on my wedding day, OJ did twice.
He's also proposed to me the exact same number of times as Ryan.  Too little too late OJ, too little too late.

Just hijacked Lauren's computer because she didn't think she was going to make a post today for all of us Blogstalkers, but come on Lauren- this is Blogiversary week. Posts every day as promised!

Ryan and Lauren just had furniture delivered today to fill their beautiful new home. We, after several drinks, decided that we are going to name the guest room "OJ's Room". I now have an open invitation to stay here whenever I want :)  I think I'm just going to move in actually. Happiness for the rest of my life? Yes please!

Actually just found out that Lauren was going to call it The Nursery, but now it's OJ's Room. Just joked that they will have to name their first son after me and everyone can get what they want!

I'm not nearly as witty and funny as Lauren, I apologize, but hopefully the pictures above make up for this weak narrative.

One more quick thing: I love Ryan and Lauren. They are a beautifully perfect couple that compliment each other wonderfully!  

Blogstalker fo' Life!

PS: Lauren, you're definitely going to need to increase the Whiskey intake to get a performance of "The Sign"  haha :)

Your wish is my command OJ.

Their shirts say "Hot Buns" they are the promotional tee shirts for OJ's company in Dallas, Signature Baking Company.
Thanks for posting for me OJ! 

OJ and I circa 2003.

Lots of love Blogstalkers!

Blogiversary: Year One. Maybe By Year Two I'll Have A Baby.

Today is officially my One Year Blogiversary!

I could not be more excited.

Over the past year you all, my Blogstalkers, have provided me with so much humor and support and I want to thank you for it.  I very much think I could not have gotten through the first part of 2012 without your raging awesomeness.

Tomorrow I'll be back with a funny post (very excited about it) and Friday I'll have Ryan's and my video FAQs, with Ryan's best friend OJ as moderator.  But today I wanted to do something a little bit different.  Something to thank you.  I wish I could send each and every one of you one million dollars for making this last year easier for me to navigate, but I am not a billionaire (yet..probably soon.)  I am likely not even a thousandaire, but am not sure as I avoid my bank statements so that I am not reminded about how I accidentally spent $37.89 at the candy store last Tuesday.

So today (and for the next week) I'm hosting a linky party.  Please link up below with one of your favorite posts.  Maybe one that made you spit on your keyboard and maybe lose control of your bladder a little bit.  Or maybe the one that brought tears to your eyes at its truthfulness.  Or maybe just a post you're proud of writing.  It can be one of your own or one written by another blogger.  Heck, link up as many as you like.  Link up every single post you've ever written if you want.

I promise to read every single one and comment on every single one and mention a couple of my favorites in an upcoming post.

So much love Blogstalkers.

Never lose your Muchness.

Blogiversary Day Two Post DONE. Now Off To Watch The Glee Project And Love In The Wild. I Have Very Bad Taste In Television.

It's day two of Blogiversary Week, which means another post!  Yes I realize it is like seven pm and almost day three as I am writing this but I couldn't do it any earlier as I had to attend a work conference on the subject of New Tax Laws all day.

Was terrible.


And to make things worse one of the men running this conference was the guy that turned a five hour meeting into a nine hour meeting in January.  When I walked in and saw him it took every fiber of my being not to turn around and walk out and then call my boss and tell him I couldn't attend the conference because I had broken my spleen or something.

Two hours into the conference, while I was listening to someone wax poetic about straight-line depreciation, I realized that my boss had sent me to this conference in his place and that he probably did it because he knew who was speaking.  So I sent him a text.

In exchange for the horrible thing you have done to me this day, I am now allowed to use the word monkey all the days of the week again and wear my flippie floppies in the office.

(Remember when he told me I could only use the word monkey on Fridays?)

His response contained only one word.


So yeah he totally did it on purpose.  I forgave him though because lunch was really good.  I ate twelve to fourteen small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese and a rice krispie treat that was the size of a brick and my have been two rice kris pie treats stuck together in retrospect.
So yeah, that's why I couldn't post until now.

Today I am going to tell you a story about this girl.

Thanks Mom for telling me my eyebrows looked "about the same size" after you plucked them for me the night before pictures in seventh grade.  They were not the same size AT ALL.

Lauren: The Pirate Year

Growing up, I played softball.  I played A LOT of softball.  I was always on a community team as well as a traveling All-Stars team.  I loved it.  Until seventh grade.

It was a beautiful really sunny spring day and I had all-star practice.  The practice was being held at the local high school which is really close to my parents' house, so I strapped on my roller blades, grabbed my bat bag and portable cd player and hit the road, the soothing tones of Green Day in my ears.

This practice started out like any normal practice.  We were rotating positions and letting each girl have batting practice.  I got to short stop just as the very best player on the team stepped up to the base. Did I mention it was a really sunny day?  I heard the crack of the bat then someone yell "Catch It!" and then I was on the ground surrounded by my coach and all of my teammates.

I had gotten hit in the face with the ball.  I had gotten knocked out.  My coach took one look at my face, swore, then scooped me up and ran me to his car.

He drove me home.  My dad opened the front door and took one look at my face and swore.

He made me lay on the couch and for some reason put a brown bag full of sliced potatoes on my face.  This still confuses me.  Why not ice Dad?

He called the hair salon where my mom was with my sister and told her to come home immediately.

She did.

She took one look at my face and swore.

We rushed off to Urgent Care where it turned out I had luckily not broken any face bones or exploded any eyeballs.  I did have, however, the worst black eye that the doctor had ever seen.  He was astounded that nothing had cracked in half.

When we got home I looked in a mirror for the first time.  I had one massively black eye and cheek and nose.  That eye was completely swollen shut and as it turns out, would stay like that for almost four weeks.  The other eye was also massively black, but was still doing the seeing thing ok.

Seventh grade had not yet ended so early the next week I was off to school.  Wearing a black eyepatch.  For one day everyone was all concerned and nice to me.  Then the pirate jokes started.

My favorite may have been:

What do pimps and pirates have in common?

They both say "Yo Ho" and walk with a limp.


What is a pirate's worst fear?

A sunken chest with no booty.

I also just got a lot of

Aaarrrrggh Mateys and Shiver Me Timbers

The pirate jokes were fine though, I played along.

The worst was when I finally got to take the eyepatch off because my eye had healed enough for me to be able to open it except.....I couldn't.

Well I could.  If I thought about it.  But I had just spent four weeks with one of my eyes permanently closed and my brain had decided that closed was that eye's default position.

And I usually didn't even notice it.

My mom was constantly like "You are walking around this grocery store with one eye closed again Lauren."

And one of my best friends started calling me 'Ol One Eye.

It took a LONG time before I learned to keep both my eyes open when I was not sleeping.

It was a very awkward summer.  Which was not even a little bit fair, because I was plenty awkward to begin with already.

Like seriously?  This girl does not need an eyepatch.  Give it to one of the pretty popular girls. 
Like this one maybe?

My sister and I were not great friends growing up.  I wonder why.
Here's a picture of 'Ol One Eye (before the accident) and the friend she had to thank for that adorable moniker.

Yep we are the same age.  Lauren didn't like makeup, she liked books.  Which also explains the pasty skin.

That's all for today (sorry it wasn't that funny!) but I'll hit you up again tomorrow!  Tomorrow is very exciting too because....

OJ is coming to town!!!
My husband is entirely too excited.

Ryan Says A Romantic Blogiversary Dinner Is Not A Thing. He Is Always Raining On My Parades.

Wednesday marks exactly one year since I started this here blog.

So welcome to Blogiversary Week Blogstalkers!!

I've been wracking my brains for something special and awesome to do this week and have just decided that I am going to post EVERY SINGLE DAY from today until Friday.  If this actually occurs I figure it will be the most unbelievable way to celebrate the anniversary.

Now away we go!

My lovely friend Julie  finally got back from her honeymoon last week and she and her new husband Caleb had all of their friends over for dinner Friday to celebrate them not having to loll about the beaches of French Polynesia drinking pina coladas any longer.

Over BBQ ribs and cornbread, potato salad and apple pie, we all got to discussing an article that was given to the happy couple in jest (I hope) in one of their wedding cards.

I now present to you tips on how to be a good wife from Housekeeping Monthly May, 1955.

Ryan darling, as you are the one currently staying home whilst I labor away at a job where I have to hear stories about how my boss found a band-aid in his egg roll this weekend, please take the following tips into serious consideration.

Have dinner ready.  Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return.  This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.  Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the the warm welcome needed.

So I actually do the making dinner thing nightly.  Because I like to cook.  And because Ryan doesn't appreciate the beauty of having a can of mushrooms, two slices of cheese and four pickle halves for dinner.  I know, I can't believe I married him either.

Prepare yourself.  Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives.  Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.  He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Ryan please up the limit on our credit card as I need to purchase some ribbons.  Ribbons are very expensive.  They cost the exact same amount as a pair of pink Marc Jacobs sunglasses that totally match my purse.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him.  His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Actually I think Ryan really enjoys his boring days.  And I'm sure he thinks I'm quite interesting enough thank you very much.  He would probably rather I be less interesting so he wouldn't have to spend so much time staring at me with his mouth open in unabashed amazement.  Then he would have more time to play his new favorite game.  He calls it Bowling For Puppies.  It involves him taking a ball (a squishy one I promise) and rolling it at our dogs and then laughing hysterically when they jump out of the way.

I suppose I could be a little more gay though.  Note to self: Set a date for Vanessa to come over and make out with me a bit.

Clear away the clutter.  Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

This sounds very dangerous.  The main part of my house has four flights of stairs.  In the two months we've been at this house I have fallen down said stairs four times (literally...ask Vanessa to show you the picture I sent her of the bruise on my butt...OMG just realized that counts toward being a little gay!!)

Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dustcloth over the tables.

First, I do not have any children, please refrain in future from rubbing that in Housekeeping Monthly.  Second, what is a dustcloth?

Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by.  Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too.  After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Unfortunately my friends and I are no longer allowed by Ryan to touch fire since the time at the bar when my friend Oma's hair accidentally got lit on fire by a candle and Vanessa and I started screaming and smacking Oma in the head repeatedly and other patrons at the bar thought it was a cat fight.

Prepare the children.  Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes.  They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.  Minimise all noise.  At the time of his arrival eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum.  Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

I said REFRAIN from rubbing in the I HAVE NO CHILDREN thing.  Also, as Ryan has no set schedule and I never know when he will be getting home, I will henceforth refrain from doing laundry or vacuuming at all times.  You know, because of the noise.

Be happy to see him.

I always am.  I think Ryan needs to work on this one actually.  Because something I will be like "Darling!" and throw myself into his arms and then he will be all "you just got peanut butter on my neck."

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

See above.

Listen to him.  You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.  Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

I hardly see how him talking about his terrible plan to get a snorkel camera for me so I can "get some sweet pictures of him with a shark" the next time we go on vacation is more important than me reminding him that we need to pay the rent.

Make the evening his.  Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you.  Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

I believe "other places of entertainment" is 50's jargon for "titty bars."  Sounds very straining.  I can just imagine Ryan coming home from such an establishment and being all "Oh thank God you're wearing a top, I really need to relax right now.  I was under so much pressure to look at boobies today."

Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

It's pretty impossible to make a home peaceful and tranquil without any candles.  I should totally be allowed to play with carefully use fire again RYAN.

Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

Does shouting "Oh thank god you're home, bring me toilet paper," count as a complaint or problem?

Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.  Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

Late for dinner = fine.  Staying out all night = no, unless for very legitimate reasons.  Like being first in line to get the newest Apple product.

Make him comfortable.  Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom.  Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

"Here lovey boo, I have made you a cool drink.  I am totally being a good wife right now."  

"This is coffee Lauren, it is supposed to be warm."

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes.  Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

I don't offer to take off his shoes but I did try to train my dog to bring him one of his slippers.  (My dog is very small and unable to bring both.  One is better than none though right?)

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity.  Remember, he is master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness.  You have no right to question him.

Honestly I think it's just fine for me to question his judgment when comes out of the bedroom wearing red shorts and an orange and blue striped top and tells me "This matches because red is a neutral color this year."

A good wife always knows her place.

I do.  Tiffany's.

That's all for today lovely Blogstalkers.  Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow.

Oh and I have a new sponsor, check them out!  They sell things like these sunglasses that I totally want.

Leave me a comment pretty please?


No post today Blogstalkers, just a little note to inform you that one of my posts is being featured today over at All Fooked Up as part of the Go Ahead, Amuse Me series.  So check it out!

Wait....Are You Going To Post These Pictures On Your Blog?

I know what you're thinking Blogstalkers, two posts in one day? Has Lauren suddenly become good at blogging?  The answer is pssshh, please.  I've just decided that in an effort to make myself take more pictures that I'd start a series of Mostly Wordless Wednesday posts.

So without further ado, everyone meet my sister Clarke and her friends Arianna and Lia.  They came over to see my new house this weekend and before they knew it I had gotten them tipsy (yes they are old enough, I know they look like babies) and convinced them to do one of my favorite things - a ridiculous photo shoot.

(Oh and for all of you that are OJ-obsessed, I've included a ridiculous picture of him at the bottom of this post.)

Blogstalkers Meet Clarke
And Arianna.

And Lia.

Now pretend like you have tentacles for tongues.  No I don't have any more tentacles, you're going to have to use the ones that were just on Clarke's toes.  Anyone spy a photo bombing dog?

Lia are you drooling in this picture?

And since I've gotten like twenty emails asking for more pictures of OJ...here you go.

Apparently he is "manning the cannons" in this picture.

Almost 800 Facebook Friends Doesn't Make You Popular In Real Life RYAN

Happy Lauren-Should-Not-Be-Allowed-To-Chew-Gum-Anymore-As-She-Has-Choked-On-It-Twice-Already-Today Day Blogstalkers!

So recently I was reading an interview with some celebrity or other and they mentioned that they have zero regrets in their life.  The interviewer then made some comment about how it takes a strong person to move past regrets and not dwell on them.  To which the celebrity responded by saying something like, oh no, it's not that I don't dwell on my regrets, it's that I really just don't have any to begin with.  Which is charming and lovely and fantastic and all... but it is also bullshit.

In theory, I like the theory that one should live without regrets but it is my opinion that it would be a pretty impossible thing to do.  Who hasn't said or done something that they felt bad about later?  Something that in retrospect may have not been the greatest idea in the world?  Or who hasn't done something that they wish they had? Missed a chance at anything?

Oh you haven't?  Congratulations.  May I please borrow your unicorn next Friday evening, I am attending a Cheese and Monkey Gala with Justin Timberlake and my flying carpet is in the shop.

(Jokes aside though.  If you really don't have any regrets or are one of those people that are able to move past regrets instead of dwelling on them then I am like...super jealous.)

All of this is really just a long way to say...I have regrets.  Like, I totally regret forgetting to put my phone on mute today during a call-in meeting at work and then accidentally singing the word "Sandwich" in a high-pitched voice when I took out my lunch.  There were like forty people in the meeting and they all heard and everyone knew it was me because my boss was all like "Don't quit your day job Lauren."  And now people keep walking past my desk singing foods.  So far I've gotten "Artichoke" "Mayonnaise" and "Sandwich." (That last one was highly unoriginal.)  I am seriously so close to quitting my day job.

I also regret the time I completely by accident inferred that someone was fat to their face.  I felt absolutely awful about it then and I feel absolutely awful about it now.  It was not purposeful but it was hurtful and I regret that it happened.

So with that introduction, I am changing direction entirely and am going to talk about things that I don't really regret, but probably should.

--The time I got sent home from my job at the hardware store in high school because I had said "inappropriate things" over the intercom.  In my defense, I was really just going about my usual cashier way and didn't realize how bad it would sound to say "I need a price check on Dickson nuts at register three."

--The time I got sent home from my job at the hardware store in high school because my boss asked me to make a Sale sign for garden hoses and I made a sign that said "Cheap Hose, Inquire Inside" and hung it in the window.  That one was totally on purpose.

--The time I posted a video of myself singing online for the whole world to see.  Because seriously Lauren, No.  That doesn't sound even a little bit good.  It's time to finally let go of your dreams of being a contestant on The Voice and wooing Adam Levine with your melodic ululations.  I don't regret this though because it introduced you all to OJ and then I got like a thousand emails and comments about how he made all of your "eyes all smiley."  OJ is in Chicago next weekend and we have plans to make an Ace of Base "The Sign" video which I will then post to fill all of your OJ quotas for the month.

--The time I was giving a speech in speech class in college and tried to say "I put on my socks" but sort of instead said "I put on my sex" and then got really flustered and tried to say calmly "I meant socks" but instead somehow shouted "I MEN SEX."  It was a disaster.  But I totally don't regret it because it turned into the most awesome joke of all time with people in my class.  We'd see each other at the library (bar) and be like:

"Hey what are you up to tonight?"

"Oh you know, I men sex."

And then laugh hysterically while whomever we were with, was like "Ummm what?"

That's all I can think of right now, but I'll be posting again tonight,  with something that my sister Clarke and her friends Lia and Arianna probably regret.  A tentacle filled photo shoot that I was able to talk them into after getting them slightly tipsy at my home recently.  (Don't worry, they're all older than 21.)

So check back around sevenish CST!

And tell me, what do you regret Blogstalkers?  Or what should you regret that you totally don't, not even a little bit?  Ever accidentally said something inappropriate or ridiculous in a public place?

Also, totally friend me on facebook (link on sidebar) and join the "Lauren Is More Popular Than Ryan On Facebook" crusade.  Currently he still has like a LOT more friends than me.  Stupid charming Ryan.

Also, I have a new sponsor that I'm really excited about!  I have really very sensitive skin so I use these products in real life and love them.  My aunt got me hooked when she gave me some the day of my wedding.  The volcanic ash mud mask and the foot cream are probably my favorites.
Click Here To Visit Store

A Blogstalker's Interview With Lauren, Queen And Also Princess Of The Land Of Awkward.

Morning Blogstalkers!

Recently, in an attempt to merge my online personality with my In-Real-Life persona I asked for a volunteer on Facebook to do an interview/guest post.  Kait, who writes the extremely well-written blog The Fox Confesses was up for the challenge.  I just feel like sometimes I come across as a ridiculous specimen of a girl on this blog and I wanted you all to at least catch a glimpse of the real Lauren.  So below, I present to you Kait's write-up of our completely ridiculous (sorry Kait) Skype interview. 

But first I want to say that she compliments me entirely too much in this post, so here are a few disgusting things about me to balance it out: 

I wore a dress to work last week without realizing that I hadn't shaved my legs in approximately 10 days.

In junior high a classmate told me she didn't feel like she could be friends with me any longer because I "sneezed too much." 

I still really like the Ace Of Base album The Sign and I may or may not listen to the Ace of Base station on Pandora at work.

On my 20th birthday I had to go home and change after dinner out with my friends because a homeless man threw leftover birthday cake at me when I tried to give him leftover birthday cake.

In high school I learned the entire dance routine to the song "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera thanks to my sister Nicky and her friend Carly.  I still remember parts of it and listen to that song and do the routine on a semi-regular basis when Ryan is not at home.

Ok...I think that's enough.  A girl's got to have some secrets.  So without further ado, I give you Kait.
When the Interwebs are overrun with enough nonsense to choke a brontosaurus, it's refreshing to stumble upon something that is truly funny without trying too hard, something with plenty of heart and without pretense. So I'm pretty darn happy to have practically stubbed my toe on Filing Jointly...Finally.

Lauren's writing cuts through the white noise found on so many blogs and achieves what many do not: honesty, humor, and humility with a healthy portion of snide sarcasm. (Self-deprecation in a blog is rarely both sincere and endearing; while there's no scientific measurement of what is genuine and what is contrived, there is no denying the authenticity of both her voice and the loyal affection she has inspired in her blogstalkers.) A real person breathes (and sings and eats cheese) behind the words we are so lucky to have shared with us, and she readily invites us into her life, embarrassing bruises and all. And yet, while Lauren's storytelling displays her wonderful ability to be both smart and silly, it is her command of content and language that is unique amid the thousands of other blogs and pages upon pages of cat photos clamoring for our attention. She has a fantastic style of stream-of-consciousness that is extremely readable - and she does it so well particularly because she knows how to end it (Believe me, rambling is a blogging beast that is hard to tame). 

Cheek and charm aside, I didn't quite know what to expect when I volunteered to interview Lauren. I'm incredibly awkward and I feel like a creeper knowing so much about someone I've never actually met. I make a terrible Katie Couric - who am I to ask a virtual stranger questions like it's actually my business? Hell, sometimes I even feel nosy just asking acquaintances if they enjoyed their weekend. And I am decidedly not eloquent when I'm nervous (Did I mention I'm incredibly awkward?). But we both did our best, so without further ado…

Nine Things I Learned from My Interview with Lauren

1. Lauren's voice is deeper than I expected. Not like a man's or anything, like maybe Lauren delegated to Ryan the task of talking to a nosy person with too-loud nervous laughter; she has a perfectly lovely voice. I just inexplicably heard a higher voice in my head while falling in love with her blog, the same way you might imagine a character from a book to look a certain way. Now I just get to read with much greater vocal accuracy while knowing I sound like an idiot on Skype.  (Yep, my voice is decidedly not high and girly.  It's not crazy deep or anything, but I was a tenor in choir.  I like to think it makes me more commanding.  Ryan for some reason still adopts a high-pitched tone when imitating me.)

2. Lauren totally cheated her way through college.  Kait! You promised you wouldn't say that!

3. Just kidding! Ryan would guide Lauren through her math/gross-number-related homework, and Lauren would help Ryan write his English papers while accepting tutoring compensation in the proper form of dinner and shoes.(This is a very nice way of putting it.  I think during the interview I accidentally called myself a "Shoe Hooker") She, of course, took her own tests and has an Economics (and Accounting, because I'm SO good at math) degree, after all -obviously not cheating, but she wanted so badly to be clear about it that she sent me a follow-up email just to make sure I didn't think she and Ryan were cheaters. Basically all it means is that Lauren and Ryan were destined to play to each others' strengths from academia to holiday-celebrating/ruining, and which will surely come in handy for baby-having.

4. Lauren doesn't think she's funny in person (unless it is unintentional), and Ryan says she can only be funny when she writes.

5. Lauren and Ryan are wrong about Number 4.  (I still don't believe this.  I'm really really awkward and sort of quiet in person,)

6. If Lauren was to choose a favorite dinosaur, it would be probably be a pterodactyl - the ability to fly counts for a lot. (If you've read my last post then you know I'm not a big fan of the idea of flying in general.  But I'm terrified of Tyrannosaurus Rexes (they haunt my night terrors) so any dinosaur that can hover out of reach of a T-Rex's teeth is a winner in my book.)

7. Lauren has never met a cheese she didn't like, but if you want to score points, get the girl some goat cheese. (Yes, get me some goat cheese.)

8. You wouldn't think it given their very un-Jane Austen-like Western genre and often scary plot lines, but The Lonesome Dove books are some of Lauren's favorites. This now means she's found a best friend in my dad. (After reading the Loneseome Dove series when I was 15 I started having really bad dreams about torturing Indians and slept on my parents' bedroom floor every night for about three weeks.  I have since reread the series approximately five times.  Ryan is the lucky boy that gets to endure the Indian-Dreams-Month with me now.  Seriously, in the books there is this one Indian that ties a man to a stake in the full sun and cuts off his eyelids.  Best books ever.)

9. While she would love to see Filing Jointly grow as a blog, Lauren doesn't think she'll ever extend herself to writing a book or anything on that scale. She says she has too short of an attention span and that it would be The Worst Book Ever, but I think it's safe to say she'd have some guaranteed readers. Book tour a la The Bloggess, anyone?  (This is very sweet, but I really don't know if a book is in the picture for me.  It's a daunting prospect.  I mean, I have a hard time even updating this blog more than once a week.  And I never really wrote much before this blog, unless you count my terrible wedding blog and the month in high school when two of my Letters To The Editor were published in the Chicago Tribune.)

This is no overture, although I realize it sure might read that way. This is just an earnest Thank You (No, Thank YOU Kait.) to someone whose struggles with anxiety and depression make mine easier to bear, whose often-twisted humor encourages my own, and who is brave enough to be her snarky, imperfect, hilarious self for all us blogstalkers to read. And in her case, to read Lauren is to love her.

Thanks Again Kait!

Oh and this is really random, but one of the blogs I stumbled across somehow a couple of years ago is Kayla Aimee - Only Slightly Neurotic.  I seriously LOVE her blog.  She's a very nice Christian girl so her blog isn't nearly as inappropriate as mine but she has the best sense of humor and the cutest little girl of all time.  Anyway, yesterday was her birthday and she posted a list of freebies one can get on their birthday that I thought I'd share with you all.  I am all about getting things for free.  Seriously check out her blog though.  She makes me laugh out loud like all the time.

As Soon As Ryan Sends Me The Pictures I Requested, I Will Add Them To This Post. Right Now He's Probably Too Busy Sitting Topless On The Balcony Drinking Lemonade.

People think I'm kidding about how often he doesn't wear a shirt.  But I'm not.  He even ordered
 this tee shirt the other day in homage of the fact that he is usually bare-chested.

Like, he so often doesn't have a shirt on that he needs to explicitly point on the times he does.
But anyway....

Hey Blogstalkers!  Sorry no second post last week.  I was too busy writing a song for the old size zero dress I found with my clothes while unpacking.  It was to the tune of CeeLo Green's classic anthem "F*ck You." And sort of went like 
I see you glaring at me there with your size zero tag, And I'm like F*ck You.
Looking at your frailness is making me gag, And I'm F*ck You.
I would be thinner if I ate less for dinner.
Then maybe you would fit.
And so on and so forth.  Moving on.
Last weekend, after my friends' Julie & Caleb's gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony, we had some time before we needed to head to the reception.
So Ryan and I, as well as my sister Jordan and her boyfriend Jake, my cousin Carly and her husband Alex and my BFF Vanessa and her boyfriend Ted went to a bar.
This was our conversation.
Lauren: I can not believe I just ripped the slit on the back of my dress like four inches. 
Ryan: Maybe in the future you will remember this incident and not climb out of cabs in such an unappealing manner.  
Lauren: I was trying to exit in such a way that no one would be able to see up my dress.  Because I am a lady.  What is incredibly unfortunate is that now, given the new length of my dress slit, everyone at the wedding is going to think I am a tramp.
Ryan: You are definitely not a tramp.
Lauren: I feel like somehow that is not a compliment.  
Vanessa: We are ordering an appetizer, chicken satay, does anyone else want anything?
Lauren: Slap some edamame on that order.
Jordan: Nothing you say is normal.  Jake wants chili.
Carly: Lauren I was just explaining your theory that super-speed trumps all  super hero powers to Alex.  He says it doesn't trump mind control
Lauren: You couldn't control my mind if you couldn't catch me ALEX.
Alex: I don't have to catch you to control your mind.
 Lauren: Well I assume you'd have to at least find me?  And I wouldn't let you  I'd just zoom around in random circles so fast that you'd have absolutely no idea where I was.  So you would not be able to exercise your lame mind control.  Also, In this situation I sort of have a feeling that Carly would actually be the one with the mind control and she would just be mind controlling you into thinking you had it.
Carly: Oh my gosh that would be amazing!  Like I'd know that he was trying to mind control me into getting him a sandwich and instead I'd bring him a bucket of snails.
Lauren: Haha yes and he'd be like "Huh my mind control is slightly off today"
Alex: A bucket of snails?  Where would you even get that?
Lauren: She keeps a bucket of snails in your linen closet.  You did not know?
Carly: Haha yeah.  Right next to my crate of empty nail polish bottles.
Alex: This conversation has gotten entirely too insane for me.  I'm out.
Lauren: Well then I win the argument twice.  Once because of forfeiture and once because I totally won it anyway.  But honestly, it doesn't matter.  I've recently changed my super power.
Vanessa: To what?
Ryan: (in high pitched voice) I want to be able to sneeze diamonds.
Lauren: Was that supposed to be me?  Because it was not a wholly accurate portrayal.  And no Ryan, that is ridiculous.  **Thinking, "Although, that would be awesome."** **Secretly changes super power to the sneezing diamonds thing.**
Ryan: What then?
Lauren: Mind control.  I've realized it would give me the power to make you agree to babies.
Ted: The appetizers are here.  Enjoy your beans suckers, (brandishes satay) I've got meat on a stick!
 Jake: Dinner and a show.  What a lovely afternoon.
Lauren: Ted, is your real name Theodore? 
Ted: Yep, why?
Lauren: I'm just thinking that if people at this wedding are standing there all judgy thinking I am a total slutface because of my torn dress, I can just shout "Theodore, be a dear, bring me an iced beverage," in a posh British accent.  And then they'll know that really I am quite proper and write the dress off as being a European thing.
Ryan: That might work if everyone at the ceremony did not just hear you read that ridiculous poem in a grating Chicago accent.
Lauren: Crap.  Back to the drawing board.  Does anyone have a stapler?
Jordan:  Lauren, let me see it.  It's honestly not even that bad.  You can just see a little more of your very pale legs.  And your incredibly huge bruise...what the heck happened?
Lauren: Unicycle accident.
Ryan: She fell down the stairs last night because she thought she saw a "giant tick" on the wall and it scared her.
Lauren: There seriously was something.  It probably had wings and flew away before you could see it.
Ryan: That's what my super hero power would be.  Flying.
Lauren: Are you serious!?  That sounds terrible.  I'm changing my super hero power again to having the ability to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground at all times.
Ted: That's like the worst super hero power I've ever heard.
Ryan: She's terrified of heights.  She has dreams where she's a bird and they make her cry.
Lauren: I have serious height-induced vertigo.  I won't go out on our balcony.  I don't even like it when other people are on balconies.  
Ryan: She freaks out if I let the dogs out on the balcony.  It's crazy.  It's not like they're going to just take a flying leap over the top one day.
Lauren: I'm just of the better safe than sorry camp.  Like what if a particularly delicious looking bug flew by?
 Ryan: **makes crazy circles around his head**
Lauren: Whatever, just don't let them out there anymore.  And change your super hero power to super speed.  Running really really fast is just as good as flying.
And then we probably talked about normal things.  I don't remember.
What would your superhero power be Blogstalkers?
 Oh and check out This Hatemail Blog today.  Some mean comments I got on an old post recently are being featured.

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