In Which I Launch My Lauren Gallagher For President 2020 Campaign

Happy Friday Blogstalkers!

Yesterday I got an email from an old Junior High friend.  Among other things, it said "Lauren, I love your blog and everything you stand for and I think you should run for president.  You had my vote in 1995 and you'd have it now."

Because, yeah, I totally ran for President of my 6th grade class.  I like to think it was a brave thing to do because 6th grade was a scary year in my school district.  It was the year all four of the elementary schools came together as one big class at a new school.  So when I ran for office, I knew only 1/4 of the student body.  Also, there were 17 people running.  And running meant giving a speech in front of the whole 400 student class in the auditorium.

This was my speech.  Seriously.

Teachers, Friends and Enemies,

I stand before you today to ask for your vote for the office of President.  Why do I deserve your vote you ask?  Because I have a great many big plans for this year.  Most of those plans I currently have to keep secret either for legal reasons or because I have not yet thought them up.  But I am happy, today, to share with you my greatest idea - that the cafeteria start offering more milkshake flavors.

Here are some of my flavor suggestions.

COCOA MOCHA MACARONI
TAPIOCA SMOKED BALONEY
CHECKERBERRY CHEDDAR CHEW
CHICKEN CHERRY HONEYDEW
TUTTI-FRUTTI STEWED TOMATO
TUNA TACO BAKED POTATO
LOBSTER LITCHI LIMA BEAN
MOZZARELLA MANGOSTEEN
ALMOND HAM MERINGUE SALAMI
YAM ANCHOVY PRUNE PASTRAMI
SASSAFRAS SOUVLAKI HASH
SUKIYAKI SUCCOTASH
BUTTER BRICKLE PEPPER PICKLE
POMEGRANATE PUMPERNICKEL
PEACH PIMENTO PIZZA PLUM
PEANUT PUMPKIN BUBBLEGUM
BROCCOLI BANANA BLUSTER
CHOCOLATE CHOP SUEY CLUSTER
AVOCADO BRUSSELS SPROUT
PERIWINKLE SAUERKRAUT
COTTON CANDY CARROT CUSTARD
CAULIFLOWER COLA MUSTARD
ONION DUMPLING DOUBLE DIP
TURNIP TRUFFLE TRIPLE FLIP
GARLIC GUMBO GRAVY GUAVA
LENTIL LEMON LIVER LAVA
ORANGE OLIVE BAGEL BEET
WATERMELON WAFFLE WHEAT

Thank You. 

After the narrowest winning margin in PJHS history (probably), I came in 2nd.  I can't imagine why.

What do you think Blogstalkers?  Do I get your vote?

The flavor section of my speech was taken from the poem "Bleezer's Ice Cream" by Jack Prelutsky.

From Miami to LA and the Chi

I'm going to try to keep this one short and sweet Blogstalkers.  (A big thanks to Katie at Words For Worms for reminding me of this conversation.)

Sort of recently Ryan and I were at one of my work parties and he was meeting most of the people I worked with for the first time.  We were standing near the bar with the small group of people at my job that actually knew about my blog.  And this conversation happened.  While I was standing right there.

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty, ahem, innocent.  Except for you John, the world needs to see you for who you really are.*

John: So, in real life is Lauren as crazy as she portrays herself to be on her blog?

Ryan: You work with her, you tell me.

Jane: But at work she's usually pretty serious, with just, like glimpses of crazy.

John: Haha yeah, remember the one time she got caught in the copy room with her laptop trying to teach herself that dance routine?

Jane: OHMYGODYES.  And then she tried to hide her laptop so no one could see what song it was!  And it turned out to be something by the Cheetah Girls!

John: *does stupid and not accurate dance more* Fuego Fuego!

Ryan: So yeah, that's pretty much what it's like at home like seventy to seventy-five percent of the time.  Like the other day she was watching Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix for the one thousandth time and I was in the other room and heard her mutter something to herself about how "you'd think a big movie studio could afford leg-lengthening surgery."  So I walked in and asked her what on earth she was talking about and it turns out she thinks Daniel Radcliffe needs to be made taller.

Lauren: *can't handle this conversation any longer* *blurts out* Harry Potter is TALL in the books!  And has green eyes, not blue, but that is an entirely different story.  *And then huffs off to the bar to replenish her gin and tonic, hold the lime, olives on the side.*

Sidenote: I think Daniel Radcliffe is a brilliant and perfect Harry Potter.  I just wish he were a bit taller.  I mean, come on Warner Brothers, at least have him stand on blocks or something.

Oh and in case you were wondering.  Yeah.  Not one of my prouder moments.



I'll Take The Penis Mightier for $500

Good Afternoon Blogstalkers!

Note to self: Lauren, please begin to get these posts up before one in the afternoon.  The early bird gets the worm and all that.  Also, I hardly think it was more important for you to research dog Halloween costumes this morning than it was for you to write this post.  Although, I do agree with your decision to order the following:


Just the headpiece, not the dog.  Ryan says I can't have any more dogs.
Costume ordered from here.

ANYWAY.

For years and years I have been addicted to the show Jeopardy.  I used to literally run home from high school so that I could have my butt on the couch by 3:30, Yoohoo in hand, ready to get my trivia on.  Unfortunately my route home from school was along a very busy highway (Kedzie for Chicago people) and I've always looked like an injured gazelle when I run so I got a lot of ridiculing shouts and honks.  Interestingly enough, many of those honks were made by my father whose office was only a few blocks away and who used to take his lunch break late to come home and watch Jeopardy with me.  Thanks for that DAD.

At 14 and 15 my dad consistently slaughtered me on the daily.  Then came Thursday, March 9th, 2000.  The first day I ever beat my dad at Jeopardy.  And I didn't just beat him, I like killed him.  Though in hindsight some of the categories that day (The Spice Girls, Jane Austen, Fucking Delicious Cheeses) may have been somewhat to my advantage.  Whatever.  I still make a point to call my dad on that day every year to commemorate my win.  It serves him right for the honking and for also how he used to sometimes come into the hardware store where I worked and whistle for me, like a dog.

I still play Jeopardy with my dad when I happen to be home at 3:30 on a weekday, which is admittedly not often.

I more regularly now DVR Jeopardy and watch it with Ryan.  It started out as a casual sort of thing where I would jump up and down and shout things at the tv and my boyfriend would sit on the couch and "rethink life decisions."  Gradually though, my enthusiasm for the show was catching and Ryan became an active participant in my daily tradition.  It turns out, we are pretty evenly matched.  I'm excellent at categories involving "Literature" and "Geography" and "Words That Start With F" and he runs the board when "Economics" and "Politics" and "Physics" come into play.

Which is fine with me, because Economics?  Gag me with a spoon right?

The bottom left corner is damaged from an incident involving water guns and whiskey and witlessness on graduation night, two days before I reported to my first full-time position in the Investment Bank at JPMorgan.
Like everything else fun in my life, Ryan has, over the years, tried to ruin Jeopardy with rules.

I present those rules to you now.  (And yes, if you're wondering, we do have an actual physical copy of the rules.  It sits in front of us on the table while we match wits.)

My Namby Pamby Rules For Playing The Game Of Jeopardy
written by Ryan Gallagher, except for the title, Lauren came up with that.  No she didn't, I did.

1. All players must remain clothed during all portions of the game.  No removing one's top because one "is suffering heatstroke from your closeness and your hotness" or because one "is not trying to distract you, I thought there was a spider in my bra."  

2. All bathroom breaks must be completed before the game begins or between Single and Double Jeopardy rounds.  Waiting to see the categories and then retreating to the commode with one's smartphone is strictly verboten.

3. "Phone My Dad" is not a thing.

4. "Ask The Audience" while Lauren's dad is on Skype is not a thing.

5. Insults should be kept at bay.  For example, it was totally out of line last year for a certain player to call another certain player a "Rapscallion" and tell them they were going to "Go fetch my blunderbuss and teach you a lesson."

6. There is no contesting the validity of a match because one forgot to wear their spectacles during the match and thus "isn't certain I was reading all of the words correctly, which is almost definitely why I lost."

7. The broom must always stay in the pantry.  As much as one player insists, each group of seven games is not in fact a "World Series of Jeopardy" and thus the "Balcony Sweep Dance" is not a thing and also it is rude (not to mention confusing to one's neighbors) to shout things like "I have won the World Series more times than the White Sox who are horrible."

8. In keeping with the idea that Jeopardy does not in any way resemble baseball, it is not necessary to sing the National Anthem each day before beginning.  Especially not with the "adapted lyrics" of a certain player.

9. Now that a certain player is home during the day, it is illegal and immoral for that certain player to watch Jeopardy when it actually airs and then again with the other player later that night, strategically getting enough answers incorrect so they are not suspected of cheating.

10. No claiming to one's friends that one's wife only beats one regularly at Jeopardy because she "plays fancy."

11. Now that both players reside in the same abode, the "House Rule" of "attaching a chip clip to the visiting player's body every time he guesses something deemed ridiculous by the home team" no longer stands.

And finally, the rule that my dad and I came up with when I was 14 and could only win with a Hail Mary type maneuver.

12.  One automatically wins the game of Jeopardy, no matter what the score, if one correctly guesses the answer to Final Jeopardy after the category is revealed but before the clue is given.

What would you add Blogstalkers?

Sidenote: With all of these rules in one place, it completely sounds like I am the worst cheater of a player ever but it should be noted that all of these things have literally only happened like one time over a period of almost ten years on days I was feeling particularly feisty.  Also, rule number two was written after Ryan got an astonishing number of Civil War Generals correct after a bathroom break one evening.

The Innocence Of Youth. I Am So Profound Today.

Blogstalkers.

When I cracked my eyes open this last Saturday in Chicago and saw the slate grey sky and heard the pattering of raindrops on the windows, I had a feeling that it was not going to be a good day.  My premonition would prove to be correct.  Over the course of the day I burned the bacon I was making for breakfast, accidentally wore the pants that have an inappropriate hole in the back to the grocery store and fell down the stairs while holding an open can of diet coke.  Oh and before I even got out of bed, one of my dogs ran into the bedroom, jumped on top of me and vomited on my head.

And then Ryan said, "At least now you have to shower today."  

Which was just downright mean-spirited because I had showered the day before and a cautious sniff of my underarm areas revealed nothing amiss.

So I said, "Ryan that is just a downright mean-spirited thing to say to one's wife after they have been puked upon.  I take offense to you even suggesting that I smell, you know my skin has a natural aroma of petunias and vanilla."

To which he responded "Oh God not this story again."

And so I huffed off to the shower and did not tell him that story again.  Because I am nothing if not a good wife and a gifted dancer.

But now I will tell you all the story.  You are welcome in advance.  

The year is 1999 and I am a 15 year old sophomore in high school.  I have an eyebrow ring and am a dedicated member of my school's Science Olympiad team.  Nights and weekends, when I am not writing spirited letters to the editor of the Chicago Tribune, I pass my time working at the local hardware store and losing seafood eating contests at Red Lobster.

I would do anything for extra credit points.
And I have excellent fashion sense.
 I have not yet started hanging out with this kid.

What.  A.  Dreamboat.
I am taking a photography class.  One day in said photography class the boy behind me leans in and tells me that my skin smells of petunias and vanilla which I should think is weird because of how it means that he had been sniffing me but instead I find charming because of how he has an Australian accent.

"He is appreciating you in the way one does a fine wine," I tell myself.  "Plus he is from another country where this sort of thing might be commonplace."

So then instead of being like "Stop smelling me perv," I am like "You shall be my secret boyfriend now and we will go to the mall and hold hands."

And then we did just that.  And then another boy who was in our class and was 19 and what we called a "Super Senior" because of how he was so good at being a senior in high school that he did it twice came up behind us and was like "Hello Lovers."

And then we had to break up because of all of the photography class ridicule.  And then he moved back to Australia and I never saw him again.

Though he did one time, years later, send me an email in which he told me he had been thinking about my "chocolate eyes."


I should mention that as he left class the day before his return to his native land, he said "I have something for you."  He handed me an envelope.  I remember being disappointed because it was getting less and less likely that the "something" he had for me was candy.  Inside the envelope were three pictures of me.  Taken during photography class using a zoom lens from across the room then developed outside of class hours after school.  

"I took these the first day of class," he told me, "I've been meaning to give them to you ever since."

I should have been off put that this boy had taken secret pictures of me.  And I should have been concerned that after he had taken the secret pictures of me, he had kept them for a year, for who knows what purpose.  But again because of the Australian accent, I was charmed.

"Thank You," I breathed and then watched my possibly-creepy-sweet-Australian-never-even-kissed-me-once-boyfriend walk off down the hall and out of my life forever.

And that is the story of how I know that my skin smells like petunias and vanilla.


In case anyone is wondering, I finally got through all two hundred-ish (seriously) emails regarding my four contributors' spots.  I was blown away by how very hysterically funny you all are.  My decision was not in any way an easy one.  I spent much of the weekend torn and vacillating but in the end extended offers that were accepted to two more people, which brings my total number of contributors up to four.  I am working on responding individually to each and every email I received.  You all are ridiculous and wonderful and I will be naming my first child after you, which will be unfortunate for the child - to have a name with so many hyphens.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday - Animals Behaving Badly

Hey Blogstalkers!  Remember when, as part of The Bloggess' Pony Advertising campaign, I acquired my own mini version of her Pony Danza and named him Tiny Danza? 

Well this morning, I caught sweet lovable, only bit a chunk out of Ryan's thigh while he was sleeping ONE TIME, Tiny Danza doing something reprehensible.

BAD Tiny Danza!!!

This was probably a response to the fact that Ryan no longer lets Tiny Danza repose in the master suite with us in the evenings.
Another view.  Yes these pictures were taken on my couch.  I can explain.


I tried to get them on the rug, but then this happened.


I should explain at this point, that I was using dog food as a stand-in for miniature horse droppings.  I tried using mini chocolate chips but then couldn't get a picture before I ate them all.  My dogs and I really need to work on both our willpower and our propensity to chase the UPS dude - me because the realistic elf ears I ordered have still not come in the mail and them because he is driving down their street.


Later, as a reward for all three of my pets being so helpful in creating today's Mostly Wordless Wednesday, I spread a thick layer of peanut butter on Ryan's slipper and let them lick it off.  I would have used toast instead of a slipper but they don't like toast and they do all enjoy a good gnaw on Ryan's slipper from time to time.

Have a good Wednesday Blogstalkers!

P.S. Has anyone else gotten about thirty annoying texts so far today from their significant other that just say things like "Survivor starts tonight!" and "Can you make chili to eat while we watch Survivor tonight?"  Just me then?

P.P.S I'm still wading through the 110ish emails I received about a monthly Guest Contributor's spot here that I've received in the last week or so.  Since they're still rolling in at a good pace, I'm going to give everyone until Friday at 5pm CST and then make my decisions over the weekend and announce on Monday.  Forgive me if I haven't emailed you back, I will soon.

I Am Never Taking All Of My Clothes Off Ever Again. I Will Shower In Pants. I Will Be A Never-Nude.

Welcome to another week Blogstalkers.

I had a different post planned for today but then something ridiculous and horrifying happened so now I will write about that instead.

This morning I had an appointment to get an ultrasound done of my gallbladder.  Don't worry, nothing is seriously amiss, I've just been having some pain under my ribcage on my right side and my doctor ordered the test as a precaution.  And because of how I am a hypochondriac, I am all about having tests done.

In fact, after I found out that I get an ultrasound of my gallbladder just because I said my side was hurting I was like "If I were to tell you everything hurts would you order me a full body scan?" And my doctor was like "Why don't you try that and see what happens."  So I was all "Everything hurts."  And then I did not get an order for a full body scan.  Instead I got a pamphlet on hypochondria and a lecture on why it is important to never lie to one's doctor.

But moving on, this morning I got up early and drove to the hospital, which was in itself an ordeal because apparently every single road in Chicago is under construction right now and also parking garages and I do not get along.

Then I spent half an hour registering for the procedure even though I had spent half an hour yesterday on the phone pre-registering only to get to the ultrasound floor and have them hand me seven forms to sign, which I did blindly.  They were probably some sort of privacy policy acknowledgement or something but for all I know they were "Accidental Double Register Unregistration"forms.

Then I waited another half an hour to be called and was ushered to the ultrasound room and given a hospital robe to don.  The technician left the room for me to change and I realized that because I had not been listening to her instructions, I didn't know how much of my clothing I needed to remove and I was going to open the door and ask but then I was like "Meh, I'll just take it all off."

Sidenote: Ryan I will now concede that you are totally right about how I need to work on how often I zone out.  Much embarrassment could have been prevented.

So the tech comes back and says "Oh you could have left your pants and shoes on." (I assume this means I could also have left my underwear on, but I'm not positive about that because she didn't specifically mention them, so you should probably take those off just in case if you are ever having an ultrasound done of your gallbladder.)  She offered to leave the room again so I could semi-reclothe myself if I was uncomfortable but since I had been actually wearing a dress and not pants there wouldn't have been much to put back on and she assured me the ultrasound would be quick so I demurred.

Then she had me climb a miniature set of rolling stairs to get on the table and gave me some towels to cover my lady bits and lifted the gown to do the ultrasound.  Then ensued lots of deep breathing and craning my head to try to see the screen that was displaying my innards.  And everything was going just dandy until the tech told me to roll onto my side.

Which I did exuberantly.

Much much too exuberantly.

And so I was unable to stop the roll at the right moment and instead just kept on rolling right off the table.  I don't really know what exactly occurred in the next few seconds, I heard a loud smash which I assume was the rolling stairs flying into the wall, what I do know is that when everything had settled I was positioned facedown, sort of on my hands and knees, on the floor of the ultrasound room wishing I had not removed all of my clothes before I clad myself with the open-backed hospital gown.

"Well this is an unfortunate turn of events," I muttered to the tile.  And then the technician was all concern and "Oh dear oh dear, are you alright?"  And I had to just laugh it off and retrieve the stairs and climb back up on the table and continue the ultrasound even though the thing I wanted to do more than anything was just run away as fast as my bare feet could carry me.  Although in hindsight that probably would have just made the situation worse.

I was so happy when I was able to put my clothes back on and flee the hospital.

Oh and don't worry blogstalkers, the only thing injured in my bare-assed fall off the hospital table was my ego.  The ultrasound technician assured me that my ribs and organs appeared unscathed.

So that was my very Em-Bare-Assing morning.  Good job LAUREN.

Five Things Friday - Interactions With My Husband

Hey Blogstalkers!

Here is my attempt to resurrect Five Things Friday.  Five interactions with my husband.

1) Not that long ago, a blissfully slumbering me, was awoken in the middle of the night by my husband shouting.  At first I was alarmed, thinking someone was breaking into our house.  And then I was momentarily nervous that if that was the case, the tiramisu I had been saving in the fridge for breakfast was probably in danger of being stolen.  But then I came to my senses and realized that Ryan was just shouting in his sleep and also that I had hidden the tiramisu really well so that neither Ryan nor burglars could find it.  And so I turned over and tried to ignore the incoherent but disturbingly loud mumblings coming from the other side of the bed.  But then Ryan was all "MATH!"  And I was like, "Yuck, remind me never to trade dreams with Ryan."

2) The morning after Ryan had his dream about cosines and tangents or whatever we had an argument because he said "For someone that claims they have no shame you certainly blush a lot."  And I was like, "I don't blush.  Never have.  I'm highly evolved."  To which Ryan was all "Huh?" and I was like "Ryan, you seriously need to read more books about vampires.  Blushing in front of a vampire makes them remember about how you are just filled with blood.  And then they can't help but eat you."  And then I won that argument, obviously.  Until later in the day when Ryan presented the following as evidence.

**When I say books about vampires, I am not talking Twilight.  I just read A Discovery of Witches and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.**

He was red from volleyball-related-exertion.  I was red from Ryan's mom mentioning prom
3) This is probably cheating since I already used it on Facebook, but if you haven't seen it already this was my status on Wednesday: Unpacking groceries today Ryan was all "Here will you put this in the fruit bowl?" and then tossed me a peach. Because I was lost in my own little world, I did not catch said peach and instead it just hit me in the throat. 

And then Ryan was all "Lauren, I'm sorry but seriously what are you always thinking?"

So since I'm me, in reply I sang, "That the only boy who could ever peach me, is a shirt-hating wiener fan."

And then Ryan gave me the weirdest look in the entire world and I realized how wrong that sounded and I was like "OH! NO! Not like that! You're just literally holding a package of hot dogs right now!"
So that was my afternoon.

4) Ryan decided this week that since I'm at home all day, it is now my job to plan our dates.  So then I planned a date for tonight and emailed it to him.  And then he re-tookover the role of date planner because of how he didn't want to "Sneak spiked Slurpees into Finding Nemo 3D."

5) Ryan is a White Sox fan, blech.  I am a Cubs fan.  Two of our good friends Julie and Caleb (remember them from this post?) grew up in Michigan and are Tigers fans.  The four of us went to the Sox/Tigers game on Wednesday.  This conversation ensued.

Julie: So who are you rooting for today?

Lauren: Probably the Tigers.  I don't think my heart or my face could stand another White Sox World Series win. 

Caleb: Wait..your face?

Lauren: Yeah, the last time the White Sox won the series, Ryan hit me in the face with a broom.

Ryan: It was an accident LAUREN.  I obviously didn't mean to hit you in the face with a broom.

Lauren: Yes but after the brooming you weren't apologetic even a little bit.  You just kept giggling maniacally and yelling "Sweep!"  And then some guy at another table at the bar was like "Did you just see that girl take a broom to the face?"

Ryan: You weren't hurt and the White Sox had just won the World Series.

Lauren: So yeah, that's why both my heart and my face can't take another one of those.

Here is Ryan still being excited that the Sox won the World Series like three years after it actually happened.

Lastly, a bit of business.  My FB friends have already seen this, but I'm looking to hire (without pay, mind you) a couple of contributors for the blog.  Four contributors to be exact.  Each to write a post for every fourth Tuesday.  I've already locked down two, but I'm still deciding on the others.  If you're interested please send me your idea/an example post to LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com.  I'm definitely looking for funny, original material, but also need these posts to follow a specific theme.  One of the bloggers already committed, for example, will be doing a monthly book club sort of thing.  In return for writing a monthly-ish column you will be featured on a "Contributors" tab that I will create as well as get a byline at the beginning of every post you write.  Also, because of the trouble I have keeping my mouth shut, I do not promise to not add my own commentary into your posts wherever I like.  Sorry about that in advance.


Mostly Wordless Wednesday - Now With Less Words

I'll keep this short and sweet Blogstalkers.

First, please check out yesterday's post as there's been the most awesome of updates at the bottom.

Second, I've gotten a bunch of queries over the last year as to whether my wedding photos were available for viewing as a whole somewhere online.  And the answer was always no, until today.  I'm in the process of very slowly uploading all 1200 pictures to Flickr.

If you're interested, you can check them out here.

That's all for today, but I have big things planned for tomorrow and next week.  I'm doing some redesigning and rearranging and blah blah blah.

Here is a picture that makes me laugh.



Pull Over There's A Reason Why My Soul's Unsound.

Morning Blogstalkers!

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this on the blog before, but Ryan is like the slowest eater of all time.  He would argue with that sentence.  But it is true.  I offer the following as unobstructable proof.

A couple of weeks ago we were eating at FlatTop, which is, for all of you non-midwesterners, a make-your-own-stir-fry place.  Basically you grab a bowl, fill it with noodles or rice and an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, top it with your sauce of choice and choose a protein to be included.  Then you give your bowl to the dude running the teppanyaki style grill and go sit down and wait for them to bring it to you.

This is how our most recent visit to FlatTop went down.

Ryan and I head to the buffet to prepare their bowls.  Ryan is ahead of me and already taking an interminably long time to do anything.

Lauren: (In British accent) Excuse me good sir, may I play through?

Ryan: What are the chances you can just be normal today?

Lauren: Stop trying to put me in a box RYAN.  You can not cage my enthusiasm for life.

Then Ryan muttered something about boxes and cages that I chose not to hear and I finished preparing my bowl and went back to our table.  Like ten minutes later I looked up from the Archie comic book I had brought along in my purse and was like "Where the eff is Ryan?"  To make sure he hadn't like, slipped in an errant ladle of sauce and broken his collar bone, I headed back to the buffet area.

There, I spied Ryan, bones intact, sprinkle the top of his stir-fry with peanut halves, then step back and look at his bowl quizzically before adding like three more peanut halves with a gesture that can only be described as a flourish.  Then he nodded his head emphatically and finally relinquished his meal to the guy at the grill who, like me, had been watching this performance with incredulity and eye-rolling.

Back at the table we had this conversation.

Ryan: You know, you don't have to be like, attached to my hip at all times.  I can handle making a stir-fry without you checking up on me.

Lauren: I would be more than happy to not check up on you but you were taking so long that I was almost positive that you had been kidnapped by land pirates.

Ryan: Land Pirates?  That is not a thing.

Lauren: It was the only logical explanation for why you were gone for so long.  And also, if a genie appeared right now and granted me three wishes my first one would be for the phrase "That is not a thing," to be stricken from your vocabulary.  That is how tired I am of hearing it.

Ryan: Lauren! No! You always wish for more wishes.

Lauren: I learned from Aladdin that you are not allowed to do that.  You're also not allowed to wish for true love, which right this second, I am finding very unfortunate.

We were interrupted by the arrival of our food.  I should mention at this point that before you hand over your bowl to be cooked, you write your name on a little wooden stick and place it in the bowl so that the server knows to whom each stir-fry belongs.

Server: Ryan?

Lauren: *shouts* Yep! That's me! (and takes bowl before Ryan has a chance to respond.)

Server: Great.  (Looking at Ryan) then you sir must be (looks at stick) Trueheart Gobsmack?

Ryan: ::sigh:: Of course.  Why wouldn't I be...

The server leaves and Ryan and I switch bowls while he glares at me and I smile sweetly.

For a while we concentrate on eating and there isn't much conversation besides "How's your food?" and "Please pass the Sriracha."  Soon (but not too soon) I am finished eating and am ready to ask for a box so I can take home the rest of my food.  Ryan though, has not made a dent in his bowl.

Lauren: Have you even started eating yet?

Ryan: Oh sorry I don't just inhale my food like you.

Lauren: A piece of broccoli just fell out of your mouth as you said that.  You are eating so slowly that you're actually starting to go backwards.

Ryan: Next time we're here I can ask the server if they have any shovels you can use to eat if that would be easier for you.

Lauren: Believe me when I say that I've got something for your punk ass.

Ryan: If a genie appeared right now and granted me three wishes my first wish would be for more wishes and my second wish would be that you would stop trying to argue with me using Sublime lyrics.

Lauren: But alas you do not got a genie.  Do you know what you do got?

Ryan: I swear to everything holy if you say "Lovin, is what I got," I'm going to drown you in my iced tea.

Lauren: Easy Ryan, don't start a riot.

Ryan: I think we can leave now, I've suddenly lost my appetite.

And then the server came over to the table to give us our check and the best thing of all time ever happened.

Server: All finished Mr. Gobsmack? *winks at me*

And then all of the breath left my body and I fell sideways out of my chair in a happiness faint.  And then I came to and left the server a one million dollar tip, which Ryan crossed out and grudgingly replaced with 25% of the bill, because even he had to admit that he'd been gobsmacked.

The End.

UPDATED: Heather from Like A Cup Of Tea sent me this today.  It is being made into a tee shirt STAT.



What would you wish for if a genie appeared to you right now Blogstalkers?


“I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir,' said Alice, 'Because I'm not myself you see.”

Hello Blogstalkers, if you've read yesterday's post you know I'm having a bit of a rough go for the last little while.  I don't want to give in to the depression completely because I've done that before and then it's a lot harder to struggle my way back to the top in the end.  So I'm still going to write and post.  I'm sorry if these posts seem weird and sad.  I'm weird and sad right now.

But anyway,

When Ryan came home from work yesterday, I was wrapped up on the couch in my favorite blanket, wearing earmuffs and fingerless gloves, because even though it was in the 80s outside, my bouts of depression always make me ice cold.

I spent today watching Coal Miner's Daughter starring Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn and Tommy Lee Jones as Doolittle Lynn and I have had a revelation, I said to Ryan.

It also looks like you spent today eating all of the candy that you 'purchased early for Halloween so that the stores didn't run out of candy for the trick or treaters', answered Ryan.

Candy doesn't preserve well Ryan and if you agree to this plan then we will be packing up immediately and moving to Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to begin our simple new lives.

We're moving to Butcher Hollow, Kentucky?

Yes because that is where all of the miners are, which is a key element of my plan.

Which is?

First we move to Kentucky where we, thanks to my mastery of a Southern accent, slide seamlessly into society.  You of course will have to be mute because your grating Chicago accent will almost certainly scare the gentle Southern folk away.

Lauren, you have a way way worse Chicago accent than I do and your day-to-day Southern accent leaves much to the imagination.  In fact, the only time I actually found your Southern accent even a little convincing was when I was with your sister and Jake and you in Nashville and you and your sister were both drunk and decided to try the "Inferno Pepper Chili" at which point Jake and I moved across the room so we could get away from your ridiculousness.

As I recall, you couldn't resist our charms for very long and were back at our side in almost no time.

That's because you yelled at us "Hey y'all you have got to come try this chili!  It's hotter than a goat's butt in pepper patch!"

We were blending in!  The boy at the table next to us told us it was a saying!  But whatever, the fact that I need to be drunk for people to buy my Southernness only works to my advantage with this plan.

Which is?

As I've said, move to Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, home of many coal miners.  Then open a bar and make a big sign that says "We Serve Miners."  Then hang the sign in the window.  Because of this, my most brilliant marketing scheme of all time probably, the bar will pretty much just run itself.  And then I can be drunk and Southern and you can be mute and ornery and help with the heavy lifting.  And everything will be easy.

I......just...

And then one day I will be drunkenly lilting about, murmuring a sweet tune under my breath and everyone in the town will get together and vote and decide that I need to be on the radio and famous and then I will marry Tommy Lee Jones even though he is old.

That's it then?  Your entire plan?  To open a bar and make a sign?

Yeah...::sigh:: It seemed stronger earlier, while the movie was on, poetic even.

And then I started crying because of how I would never get to marry Tommy Lee Jones or something, I don't even know.  Once again all of my dreams had been dashed.

But then Ryan surprised me with an awesome keyboard since music tends to make me feel better during the times my brain has gone all Weird-Ass-Through-The-Looking-Glass on me.  So now I can hopefully get back into playing a bit.  (I played the piano for 15 years growing-up and took concert pianist classes in college.)

Also, now I can take videos of myself playing and singing and we will all know for sure if I should be on the radio and famous or not.  I'm guessing yes.  I'm probably the next Karmin but no one knows it yet.

This is what depression looks like on me Blogstalkers.  Hope I've not brought you all down.

Now if you'll excuse me,  I have to go escape reality again and watch the entire Little House On The Prarie TV series and probably concoct  complicated plans in which we move to the prarie and I become a teacher and Ryan changes his name to Alryanzo and we go on buggy rides for fun.

Thanks for all of your support times one million.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday - Again With Words

Hey Blogstalkers.  Sorry for my internet silence the last couple of days.  I've been trying to decide how to post this update without coming across as a petulant spoiled little brat of a blogger.

I have a wonderful life.  Great friends, great family and I'm married to the man who will always be there to wake me up from bad dreams. I get to stay at home and write and read and blog while others may be trudging through tedium at a desk in a cubicle.  I'm lucky, I know that.  I'm also grateful to everyone who has helped make this tiny little dream of mine a reality.  Seriously, thank you.

I'm also depressed.  Again?  Always?  I don't know.

What I do know is that lately I'm sleeping too much.  When I'm not in bed, I'm plotting ways to be able to go back to bed.  I tell myself that if I clean the kitchen or sweep the stairs that I've earned a nap.  I convince myself to take showers (which have become entirely too irregular as of late) by telling myself I can nap in the shower and no one will know.

My husband knows I'm napping in the shower.  And he knows that when it takes me forty minutes to go get green onions and I come home with a tear-streaked face that I've probably been crying in the parking lot of Jewel.  He also knows that when I borrow his inhaler because my chest hurts and I "think  I'm getting sick" that I'm probably not getting sick.  That I'm probably just at the edge of having a panic attack.  He sees that my emergency "Break The Glass" drugs are back out on the bathroom counter.  Because my anxiety runs hand in hand with my depression.

I know I have so much to look forward to in this life.  I know I have an entire year ahead of me in which I was given the opportunity to do pretty much exactly what I want.  I want to start being excited about those things again and not stuck in this miserable no man's land.  So today I've made an appointment with the doctor who has the privilege of working with my fucked up brain and I'm sure I'll get my medications adjusted again and start seeing a therapist again and be back to my normal lunacy in no time.

Bear with me until then?  I have grand intentions on continuing to post regularly regardless of my mood, but what I post may not be the most masterful of masterpieces.

To show you not everything is tears and tantrums in my world right now, here are some pictures from our Labor Day weekend at the lake with friends.  Yes I probably do have some pictures in which people are not totally wiping out, but those pictures are boring.  Sorry some of these are so blurry, a photographer I am not.






Now if you'll excuse me, I think writing and posting this has earned me a nap.

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