Danica Patrick Has Nothing On Me...Except for Maybe She Looks Better Wearing Leather. But That Is For Sure All.

It's a rainy dreary day in Chicago today Blogstalkers.  So I thought I would write about something exciting to lighten the mood: the perks of being a wallflower owning a grocery store.

Has everyone stopped their maniacal arm flapping and anticipatory shrieking?  Good, then I shall move on.

Sidenote: I want to state for the record right now that as far as I was concerned there were absolutely no perks to being a wallflower.  I used to tell myself that the fact that boys didn't notice me just gave me more time to read and that I was happy.  But in reality I was a desperate piece of work that spent two hours learning how to tie a Windsor Knot and then volunteered to tie all of the debate boys' ties before tournaments.  Yes, THAT desperate.

Ok, so yes you're probably thinking "As much as Lauren claims to read the dictionary, she certainly does not know the definition of the word exciting."  But there's something you do not know about owning a grocery store...it almost always involves extremely tiny Race Cars, or more specifically, Go Karts.

True dat, Blogstalkers.

So I know I've mentioned briefly at some point that during the early part of my childhood my dad owned and ran a grocery store.  It was actually one of multiple stores in the Chicagoland area.  The others were owned and run by his brothers and before that his dad, my grandpa.

What I have not mentioned is that when you own a grocery store, vendors sometimes present you with awesome themed gifts around the holidays.  And when the vendors find out that you have five small children at home, the gifts get even better....or worse I guess, depending on who you are.  In this case, I was one of the children...so it all worked out in my favor.

For example:

Who needs a Barbie limo when you have this to transport Bride Barbie and Groom Ken (or in my case, Bride Barbie and Shaved-Head-Pretending-To-Be-A-Boy Groom Barbie) to and from the church on their wedding day.

With this gift Kraft earned itself a lifetime customer.
Sidenote: Here is yet another reason Ryan is a party pooper:  He adamantly refused to let me hire a cheese truck for our wedding day.  Which was reprehensible because the cheese truck was actually cheaper than a limo and probably filled with cheese.  (We actually did not rent a limo that day either, but rather took a cab from the venue to the hotel, because we are classy like that.)

Brilliant Idea: Next time I have a party I am probably going to hire a cheese truck, a cracker truck and a beer truck and just have them open the doors and back up to the park across the street.  Best party ever.  You are all invited.

Moving on.

My sisters and I also had this lovely contraption, emblazoned with the words TIDE! and DOWNY!

We almost never used this to pretend-wash clothes.  It did serve other useful purposes though.  The dryer was where we hid secret snacks, like Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies and the washer (since it actually had a removable blue basin) was excellent for filling with ice and secret bottles of Nestle Quick Chocolate Milk that we swiped from the place my dad hid them in the fridge.

And then my dad would be like "GIRLS! Where is my Nestle Quick Chocolate Milk!?"  And we would be like:

Jordan: Huh...now THAT is a stumper.
Lauren: Yeah, where on earth would one put something that needs to be kept cold?
Jordan: Maybe check the dog's crate?
Lauren: Or the washing machine maybe?

At which point my dad would just be like "I am raising the most sarcastic little girls on the planet," and retreat to the computer to play Risk.  And we would giggle and run downstairs to our playroom and drink stolen chocolate milk out of the washing machine.

The very best thing that we ever got as a result of my dad owning the store though was a Go Kart.  From Nestle because my dad's store had sold over a certain level in Nestle products (probably because of all the replacement chocolate milks my dad bought over the years.)

It was magnificent.  It looked exactly like this:

Obviously this wasn't actually something that could be operated by a small girl child.  Even though I had operated much more dangerous machinery at a much younger age. (Remember The Machine Gun?) 

So my dad was all, "YES!!! Finally a man-present.  Something that can not be ruined by mischevious little girls!" (My dad was probably only like 32 when we got the Go Kart.)

But we begged and begged for a ride and finally he gave in "JUST THIS ONCE GIRLS, OK?"

So my dad drove the tiny car around the block countless times with one of us sitting between his knees wearing a tiny helmet and screaming "FASTER DADDY!"

 Eventually the neighborhood children got wise to the fact that we owned a Go Kart (probably because my sisters and I were always like "Hey, did you know we have a Go Kart?") and when my dad would pull it out on Sunday afternoons in the summer a line of children would form literally all the way down street.  Scads of seven year olds vying for their chance to get a ride in the car that copious amounts of chocolate milk had bought.

Parents were consulted and to my dad's disappointment I'm pretty sure not one of them said no (this was the early 90's after all.)  So my dad would then spend his day chauffeuring sticky chalk-covered children around the block and back to their individual homes.

And a wonderful time was had by all.  And for some reason vendors never again bestowed upon us any more adult gifts.

And that, dear Blogstalkers, is the story of the only summer in my life when I was popular.

Any fond childhood memories to share?

Now With Realistic Crying Sounds

I can't believe it's been an whole week since I last posted.  Have you missed me Blogstalkers?

I apologize for my absence but as I said before I had the flu.  And it was BAD.  So bad that at one point I was beyond exhausted and became downright delusional.  I was sleeping on the rug in the bathroom and Ryan was in bed.  He woke up to me saying something and checked the bathroom to make sure I was ok.

He says I was curled up on the rug singing "Silly Willy Nilly Old Bear" liltingly over and over.   (These are part of the Winnie-The-Pooh lyrics.)  And he asked me "Do you need anything?  Are you alright?" And I said "I used to be Piglet."  Which I should mention is technically true since I did play Piglet in a community play as a child but to Ryan it was very confusing.

Also at some point I vaguely remember reorganizing all of the drawers and cabinets in the bathroom which is nice because now I have extremely organized drawers and also sort of funny since in my feverish stupor I thought it would be hilarious to hide all of my lipsticks/glosses in random spots in Ryan's cabinets and now he keeps going to like...grab a kleenex and finds a lipstick instead.  Although I got sick of not having any of my lip stuff so yesterday I went back through all of his things and collected it all.  Or thought I did at least.  This morning Ryan found a Cinderella chapstick in one of his prescription bottles so.....

But enough about all of that.

Early last week before I was really sick I was trying to think of something to post while drinking my morning juice.  And as it is a widely known fact that I can not in fact multi-task without injuring myself I was not surprised when I (once again) smashed the glass into my two front teeth.

Lauren: RYAN!!

Ryan: *looks over at me* Oh God, have you chipped your teeth again?  You just got new ones.

Lauren: No.  I have not chipped my teeth.  I. Have. Chipped. The. Glass.

Ryan: Lovely.

Lauren: You don't understand, this is the best thing ever.  EVER.

Ryan: I'm not going to ask why this time.  I'm not going to bite.

Lauren: I'll tell you anyway Sir! *whispers* (P.S. I loved your pun.)

Lauren: So you know how my normal bones are brittle and prone to chipping and cracking and sometimes just snapping right in half?

Ryan: Yes I'm well aware of all of that.  I'm the one that drives you to the emergency room.

Lauren: Yes and asking the front desk nurse if they had Frequent Customer Punch Cards last time was rude by the way.

Ryan: What if she had said yes?  You would probably qualify for a free Appendectomy or something by now.

Lauren: Still rude dude.  But anyway, as it turns out, veneers are very strong.  I have my last dentist appointment tomorrow and I am going to present my dentist with what I believe is probably a million dollar idea.

Ryan: *has no words, just looks at me...let's just say...quizzically*

Lauren: Other Bone Veneers.  Think of the possibilities.  "Foot Veneers - Legos Be Damned"  "Hand Veneers - Flail Wildly without Consequence" "Butt Bone Veneers - Go Ahead Accidentally Miss The Chair All You Like."

Ryan: That is the worst idea I have ever heard.  It doesn't even make sense.

Lauren:  Yeah the taglines need work.  How about "Do you want an ass that could shatter glass?  Then carefully sit down on your currently delicate derriere and let me tell you about butt bone veneers."

Ryan: That's better actually, but still, this makes no sense.  This sounds like a major, completely ridiculous surgery.

Lauren: No Surgery Required!  Our one-of-a-kind veneers are fitted to your body parts individually and slide over your skin to make you virtually indestructible!

Ryan: So basically you want to start a line of porcelain suits?  Like Iron Man but worse.  Porcelain Doll Man. That's terrible.

Lauren: I'm still working out the kinks...

So in the end maybe not my greatest idea.  Ever invented something?  Had any grand ideas lately?  Tell me about them?

You totally missed me, I know it.

In The Words Of Elizabeth Lemon - BLERG

Hey Blogstalkers. Forgive my absence yesterday and today. I neglected to get a flu shot this year and thus am now suffering from what I can only assume is Turtle Flu from the way it is making me want to tuck my limbs and head under the covers and cower there.

Hopefully I'm feeling better tomorrow.

Oh You're So Cute! Like A Chipmunk! Yeah, Like an Evil Biting Chipmunk Old Lady, Remove Your Hands From My Face And Back Away.

Good Afternoon Blogstalkers!

First I want to mention that late on Friday I actually added a video update to the last post.  A video of me rapping, so check that out if you want.  It's quite good.

Today I am going to tell you a bedtime story.  So grab your blankies and your warm milk (rum optional.)  This is actually the story that my dad told me most nights of my young life to make me go to sleep and stop asking so many questions.  He didn't KNOW why Sleepy didn't just take more naps and YES he was positive that Alf was not going to come over in the middle of the night and eat my cats.

The only thing you need to know going in to this story is that toddler Lauren had extremely chubby cheeks.  Strangers were always commenting on them and then squeezing them all rudely and sometimes it made young Lauren cry and made her wish she didn't have delightfully chubby cheeks.

So my dad crafted this gem to make me feel better about old ladies pinching my face.  He also made up another story about how it is rude to pinch adults in the face no matter how many times they pinch you in the face, but that is a story for a different day.

As I was approximately three years old hearing this story, I obviously could not recall all of the specific details so I asked my dad to transcribe it for me.  I assumed that this meant he would type it into an email and send it to me but I was mistaken.  I actually had to drive to the suburbs to pick up pages that looked like this: (don't try to read this, I'll type it out below.)

Which actually turned out fine because then I got to go through a bunch of my childhood photos and grab some to show you all.  These photos will prove what I've been telling you all along, I've ALWAYS been weird and ridiculous.

First here are a couple of pictures of me around the time my dad made up this story.

My sister was born and I was all MY BABY.
Me and My Dad

And away we go.

A long time ago.  In fact a very, very long time ago there lived a kindly old king who ruled his kingdom with smiles and love.  All of the king's subjects were very happy and hoped that the king would live forever.  But alas, the king was very old and since he did not have any children of his own he decided to find a princess to rule his kingdom when he was gone.

The word went out to find the perfect princess; but how would the king decide on the best girl for the job?  Well, that was easy, for in this kingdom the true measure of kindness and fairness and beauty was determined based on the chubbiness of one's cheeks.

Many many girls, all lovely in their own ways, flocked to the castle in hopes of being the new princess and ruling the land with smiles and love.  But most of the young ladies, while being very pretty were just too skinny.  Their cheekbones stuck out farther than their cheeks.  Their knees were knobby and their noses were pointy.  Their cheeks were not chubby enough at all.

And then there were possible princesses who had wonderfully chubby cheeks.  But everything else on them was also chubby.  Their fingernails and eyelashes were chubby.  Even their hair was chubby.  Though beautiful, these girls simply would not do either.

The king was in despair.  Could it be that the perfect princess did not exist?  Just as he was about to give up and send all of the young ladies home, there was a great commotion from the back of the hall.  Slowly the crowd parted to reveal a single young girl with long brown hair, beautiful big brown eyes, a sweet entrancing smile, and, something even more wonderful.  As the young girl approached the king he saw she had the most perfect, the most round and squishy chubby cheeks he had ever seen.  The kindly old king, who ruled with smiles and love, reached out and with the back of his hand touched the most chubbiest and most beautiful cheeks he had ever seen.  They were JUST RIGHT and the king knew he had found his perfect princess.

The kingdom was overjoyed.  And sure enough when the old king was gone, the new princess ruled with smiles and love and kindness and fairness.  And everyone lived happily ever after.


I loved this story.  It was the perfect mix of Cinderella and Goldilocks.  It made me feel like a princess.  Which probably explains these pictures.  And also probably explains my affinity for crowns.

I don't know what explains THESE pictures though.

I looked at this picture forever and was like "There is something really familiar about that girl,"  and Ryan was like 'Yes, that is because it is you."  And I was like, "NO....that's not it...OH it's the little boy from Love Actually!"

I'm blaming my parents for the next two.  I can't imagine I was able to dress myself like this.

And here is a random assortment of other pictures from my younger days.


After I dyed my hair red to play Annie.

After I got SMASHED IN THE FACE WITH A SOFTBALL. And had to wear an eye patch for like six weeks.

I've mentioned that my dad is a Civil War nut and thus I've been to like every major battleground.  And dressed up like a solider, obviously.

OMG Lauren!  You know responsible scientists wear PANTS!

This is sort of a picture of me since I am the one handing out candy.  But I just wanted to show you all my dad's tombstones.  He's been on top of the Zombie Apocalypse thing since before it was cool apparently.

So that's all for today Blogstalkers.  Tell me something random about your childhood?

Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster

Hey Blogstalkers!  Remember back in October when I buried a dead bird in our front yard?  And I promised you all I would share the rap eulogy I wrote in honor of the small bird?  And then I never did?  Well I'm doing it today.  I am nothing if not timely.  

Also, I should mention that I am going to a concert tonight and totally *might* if you ask nicely enough record me actually doing this rap and post it here later, since I already have to get dressed and put on makeup for said concert.

So without further ado. (To the tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air)

You shot from the sky like a tiny arrow,
A daring little bird I named Jack The Sparrow.
I didn't know you well but I still shed a tear,
when I stepped onto my drive and I saw you lying there.

I'll attempt to be polite, so these words may be rephrased,
I shouted "Darn My Luck, GOD?!"and to the sky I gazed.
Then I grabbed the crown I earned by graduating business school*,
Ryan's stupid shorts and my finest digging tool.

I chose a shady spot and scanned my quiet 'hood
For nosy peeping neighbors again up to no good.
The coast for once was clear so a grave was prepared
Then I gave a heartfelt speech about the times that we'd shared.

Remember just this morning when you took me unawares?
By being on the ground instead of flying through the air.
Or how about seconds later when you made me scream in fear?
You always were a prankster Jack, I see now that's quite clear.

After I'd said my peace and mourned your tragic fate,
I made a tiny tombstone and engraved it with the date.
Be careful where you step, it said, for Jack reposes here,
Lying on the ground instead of flying through the air.

Peace.  *drops microphone*

*Yes I purchased myself a tiny crown for graduating college.  Obviously.

Me Doing Gang Signs Probably.

UPDATE: Because of how I have no shame I recorded my first rap video today.  It's quite ill.  Ill means terrible in gangster right?  Enjoy, or don't, whatever, this bitch don't care.


Have a wonderful live-bird-filled weekend Blogstalkers!  

I Promise I'm Not Biting Off More Than I Can Chew!

Hey Blogstalkers!

This isn't a real post but rather just a silly little announcement.  My newest blogging project, my cooking blog is up and running as of today.  I'm trying to incorporate some of my ridiculous humor into the all of the posts so even if you're not a big cooking/baking person, check it out?

CookBooksy - My New Cooking Blog

And fear not gentle Blogstalkers, I'll still be updating this here blog 3-4 times a week with probably 2 posts on the other site weekly.  I'm excited about it so be excited for me?

Maybe Now I've Conquered All My Adolescent Fears And I'll Do It Better In My Next 15 Years

Yo Blogstalkers.  I've been having a bit of the writer's block lately both on this blog and other places so today I thought I would let things I've written in the past do the talking for me.

Have I ever told you all that I'm an extensive chronicler?  As in I write in a journal every day of my life pretty much.  Even if it's only two or three sentences.  I've been doing this since I was like 13 so I have a giant box of journals in my closet.  I pulled them out today and I now give you excerpts from this month-ish in Lauren's life for the past 15 years.

I started the journals after I first read Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl so I followed her lead of writing in my journal as if I was writing to an old friend.  And yep, chose the name Anne.  I still write to Anne.   Also, I am paraphrasing entries here, so some of this stuff will sound like a younger version of me and some will sound like normal me.  Haha, normal me.  That's not a thing.*

*(OHMYGOD I am turning into Ryan.)

1997 - 13 Year Old Lauren 

Dear Anne,

I went to Kathi's house for her baby shower today.  I didn't want to go because I got yelled at yesterday in the pool when she told me that swimming made you feel weightless while pregnant and I said "Huh, I'd think it would be the opposite."  But then my mom said I could wear a pair of her low pumps so I went.

1998 - 14 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

My germ crazy father went on a cleaning spree again this morning.  He decided microwaving the kitchen sponge would rid it of disease but really what happened is that the sponge exploded and now the entire house smells like sour fish and my dad is freaking out about the microwave being covered in salmonella.  I'm so glad it's a school day.  If I come home and he's put my toothbrush in the dishwasher again I am going to be so pissed.

Note: My dad is not totally insane about germs but he does create his own bleach-based cleaning products and he goes on a bit of a rampage whenever my mom is using raw chicken for dinner.  And yes he did regularly wash our toothbrushes in the dishwasher.

1999 - 15 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I have a feeling that being a member of Science Olympiad, Scholastic Bowl and the Debate team is not going to get me any boyfriends any time soon.  Which is FINE WITH ME.

Note: It was most assuredly not fine.  All I wanted was for someone to hold my hand at the movie theater.  Which is weird because although Ryan was not the first boy I kissed, he was the first one to hold my hand at the movies.  And he still does.  He's so sweet.  Except one time he told me that he loves going to movies because it's the only time he can be sure I'll be quiet for two hours all at once.

2000 - 16 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Today I got kicked off the Debate team for being "sexually inappropriate" on a tournament trip.

Note: OK yes this happened but it was a large misunderstanding.  Basically I was rooming with my friend Girl* and we were hanging out in our room reading when my other friend Guy* and one of his roommates knocked on the door.  It turns out their other roommate had accidentally locked them out and then fallen asleep.  So yeah they spent the night in our room.  But there were two beds and absolutely nothing untoward occurred.  Try explaining that to people in high school though.  My reputation was slightly marred. 

*Names changed to protect the, and I stress this, INNOCENT.

2001 - 17 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I read 122 books last year!  In unrelated news, I still do not have a boyfriend.

2002 - 18 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan Gallagher!  This feels like a weird dream but I know that it's not because in my dreams I've graduated out of training bras and I know that the correct way to get into a train on a date to the city is not by tripping on the door and falling in wearing a dress.  Sometimes I hate my life.  Right now I love it.

2003 - 19 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

(to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy)

I'm a Kappa Beta Gamma,
Kappa Beta til I die!
And if I couldn't be a KBG,
I'd want to sit down and cry.
I came all the way to college,
Just to have a social world.
Kappa Beta came to college just to have a party,
I am a Kappa Beta Girl!

Are you as disgusted as I am?  Yeah.  Now if you'll excuse me I have to go choreograph a dance to Baby Got Back by the distinguished Sir Mixalot so that I can then perform said dance in front of large numbers of disgusting frat boys.

Note: Yes some of the sorority stuff I endured was kind of ridiculous and degrading and honestly I dropped out junior year because I was too busy but I did come out of it with some of my current best friends including Vanessa and Oma (on the left in the picture below.)  Also, I still know all the words to Baby Got Back and remember the dance so there's that.

Oma, Me, Taylor

2004 - 20 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I ate 17 Chicken McNuggets for dinner yesterday.  New personal best.  OJ was horrified.  Ryan was unfazed.  

2005 - 21 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

As of midnight two nights ago I'm finally 21.  Sorry for not writing you about this momentous occasion sooner, I was still recovering from having one too many birthday shots and then making Ryan and OJ carry me (feet on OJ's shoulders, chest on Ryan's) home from the bar because apparently "Every girl should fly through the streets like an angel once in her life."  WTF LAURENRAE?

2006 - 22 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan and I are graduating from college this year.  I wonder if he will propose soon?

2007 - 23 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan recently decided he wanted to run a marathon and then I remembered about how Disney hosts a marathon each year in February.  So now I'm totally going to do it too.  Anything to get me back into Aladdin's arms.

Notes: We did both start training for the marathon that spring but that summer I fractured my left leg (while running) and so alas the Disney marathon was a no-go.  Ryan finished his training though and as I've mentioned before, ran the Chicago marathon in October 2007.

2008 - 24 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Ryan took me skiing for our sixth year anniversary.  I took lessons yesterday.  Then today my instructor deemed me ready for the slopes.  Actually he said, "There's not much more I can do here, be careful with her," to Ryan, but I feel that is much the same thing.  Wish me luck today!

Later: Turns out I am not expert ski person.  I swear I tried but I fell about thirty times in the first five minutes and my ski kept falling off and my goggles were stuck to my face from all the crying so eventually I just gave Ryan my skis and sticks and he skied them down the hill while I scooted down on my butt.  Then Ryan and I got into a fight about how he had taken me on way too difficult of a hill and that was why I failed.  He swears it was some sort of green or blue hill, whatever that means, but I can't imagine that's true.  I mean, there was a tree.  Sounds like a dangerous professional hill to me.

Note: Sticks=poles I'm sure.  I've not gone skiing since.  Unless you count Wii skiing.  Which I do. 

2009 - 25 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

I just turned 25, that's old enough to get married right?

2010 - 26 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

While eating breakfast this morning I found an unnaturally large fruit loop.  So, obviously I put it on my ring finger and pretended I was engaged for the rest of the morning.  People at work don't even blink any longer.  Then I saved the fruit loop and took it home and gave it to Ryan and told him it was my exact ring size and that he could take it to the jewelry shops with him.  He told me he would propose right that second if he could do it with the fruit loop.

Note: I know this story seems a little out there but it's actually true.  Vanessa will probably remember me telling her this story a couple of years ago.  My ring finger is tiny (my rings are a size 4) so it's not super rare that an applejack or something fits on it.  Ryan proposed approximately two months later.  He did not bring the fruit loop with him to the jewelry store.

2011 - 27 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

Sorry I've neglected you so badly these last weeks.  I'm a married lady now with hardly any time for friends that NEVER WRITE ME BACK.

2012 - 28 Year Old Lauren

Dear Anne,

In an odd mishap, while eating snowcaps and cleaning out my wallet, I swallowed a dime today.  My doctor says I should be fine.

So ummm that's all for today, sorry this entry was dumb.  Seriously seriously have writer's block.  Now I'm off to make Lemon Zucchini Muffins, Salmon Burgers and Roasted Pineapple Milkshakes!

Do any of you keep a journal?  Or have you read your old journals and found something hilarious?  (Once my sister and I found her journal from when she was like nine and gave boys code names and the boy she had a crush on was named The Lion King.)

The Things I've Done For A Dollar....

Hey Blogstalkers!

Sorry for not posting Friday.  I actually ended up at the dentist again in the morning since I figured as long as I have to get the crowns on my two front teeth replaced I might as well get all of my teeth whitened as well so I can match the new permanent crowns to a hue that is more white than yellow.  Unfortunately I have really sensitive teeth so the end of the whitening itself was pretty painful and then for the rest of the day I had little zappy pains radiating all over my mouth so I didn't do anything but lay on the couch and count the hours until I could take more Ibuprofen.  Yes I am a HUGE baby when it comes to pain.

Today I'm going to finish up the 29 Things About Me list but first the winner of the Birthday Giveaway is: Sierra Rios.  So if you're Sierra, just shoot me an email to LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com and I'll tell you how to claim your prize!  Thanks so much to everyone who entered/shared/tweeted I was blown away by the number of comments I got.  Seriously blown away.  You people are awesome.

Ok.  Moving on.  Continuing with #16.

16.  I feel sick 30 minutes after almost every single meal.  I know I'm sensitive to dairy and shouldn't be eating it, but that is probably not going to happen.  I'm afraid to get more extensive food allergy testing done because OMG what if I am allergic to pasta and dill pickles and pez?  Pez has gotten me through many a tough moment.  Mostly because the last time I was having a mental breakdown, I put my drugs in an Animal (the muppet) pez dispenser and carried it around with me at all times.

Here is a picture of my desk right now:

17.  Yes that is a tiny T-Rex on my desk.  If I were ever to be a dinosaur I think I would definitely pick the T-Rex.  And you might say "But Lauren!  You couldn't possibly be a T-Rex, your arms are much too long!"  And to that I will respond, that is exactly why I would be the baddest ass T-Rex in the era.  Because I would lure my prey to me by being all "Woe is me with my tiny stump arms!" and then when they got close enough I would be like JUST KIDDING and shoot out my unnaturally long arms and snatch delicious snacks into my mouth.  Then since I would have to spend much less time hunting than other T-Rexes I could spend my time doing more important things, like admiring my tail and seeing how big of a tree I could knock down with my tail.  I've also thought about what kind of dinosaur Ryan would be and have decided probably a Pachycephalosaurus.  For a couple of reasons.  One, the name translates to thick-headed lizard" and that seems fitting and two, there is a striking resemblance.

18. If I ever won the lottery I would want to buy home with a LOT of land and then fill that land with scads of children and hordes of rescue dogs.  And my life would be nothing but bedtime stories and runny noses and slobber and stepping on legos and googling "my bulldog swallowed a diaper," and I would be insanely happy.  And covered in applesauce probably.

19.  I struggle a lot with self-confidence.  I have really thin skin.  For example, I lost one follower last week and it made me really sad and I read and reread my last entry to try to figure out what could have offended someone.  I realize this is not an attractive attribute.  I'm working on it.

20. This never fails to make me laugh: If Mary Tyler Moore married and divorced Steven Tyler then married and divorced Michael Moore then had a weird lesbian threesome thing going with Demi Moore and Mandy Moore, would her name be Mary Tyler Moore Tyler Moore Moore Moore?  (From Happy Endings)

21. In first grade during indoor recess (if it was raining or cold) checkers was really popular and there was always a "I play the winner" line.  No one played chess because no one knew how.  One day I decided I did know how and made up elaborate rules for the game and taught them to a group of classmates.  We then played "chess" at every indoor recess for the rest of the year and in the years following.  At some point I forgot that the rules I was using were not the real rules.  Ryan played chess sometimes with one of his friends in high school.  When we started dating he asked me if I knew how to play and I was like "Oh yeah, I'm hard to beat," so he challenged me to a game.  He laughed at me for a week when for my second move I hit one of his pawns with mine and said "Turtle."  I remembered pretty quickly after that that I did not in fact know how to play chess.  I've since learned.  I'm terrible at it.  I miss my rules.

22. I'm ALWAYS cold.  I think this is why I really like doing laundry.  Every time I take hot clothes out of the dryer I throw them on my bed and then lay on them until they're cold.  It's one of the only times I feel entirely warm all the way through.  

23. I can't chew gum really.  I think it's because I get lost in my own head quite a lot and then forget I'm supposed to be chewing and then choke.  Every single time I try to chew gum.  

24. Last night I was brushing my teeth (with a toothbrush I've had for about 1.5 months) and all of a sudden it started vibrating and I screamed and threw it out of the bathroom because my first thought was that it was about to explode.  I realize this makes no sense.  I also now realize that my toothbrush has a button on the handle that makes it vibrate for a better clean.  Ryan and I are in a small fight because of how when I threw the "exploding toothbrush" out of the bathroom it landed on the bed right next to him.  It seems my "husband-preservation" instincts are terrible.

25. I can not walk a straight line.  I veer to the left.  Ryan always makes sure that (if the street is on the left) he places himself between me and the street.  People think this is because he is a gentleman.  But really he just got tired of grabbing my arm and yanking me back onto the sidewalk when I would be caught up in talking and not concentrating on walking and end up in the street.  Now I just bump into Ryan a lot.

26. If there was some sort of apocalypse and I survived (even though Ryan insists I would never) the very first thing I would do is run to the nearest library/bookstore that was not destroyed and collect as many books as I could.  I would brave zombies/ghosts/rabid rabbits to do this.  I'm terrified of having nothing new to read.

27. If I'm using the idea of "Name of Your First Pet" and "First Street You Lived On" to come up with my porn name then it is Shady Olive.  I like it.  UPDATE: My mom just reminded me that I was also born to a household that had two cats named Meshach and Trapper.  So I guess it could also be Meshach Olive or Trapper Olive.  UPDATE 2: Ryan says I have to use the street I grew up on and not the first street I lived on so that would change my list to Shady Fresno, Meshach Fresno or Trapper Fresno.  I really can't go wrong.  I should go into porn.  In other news Ryan's porn name according to his rules is Velvet Carpenter and that is cracking me up right now.  (Velvet was his sister's fish.)

28. There is a chocolate factory in Chicago that, if you live downwind of it, means that the air literally smells of chocolate.  I live downwind of this factory.  I wake up many mornings to the smell of chocolate chip cookies.  It's especially strong on wet/humid days.  It's a blessing and a curse.

29. When I was younger my mom would offer to pay me a dollar to do random things: finding her glasses, walking to the store for milk, getting the crutches out of the front closet and doing a stupid dance with them, eating a cicada (see picture), letting her pinch a clothespin on my earlobe to see if it hurt, you know normal things.  I always said yes.  By the time I was 10 I had 80 singles stored in a dominoes box in my closet.  Sometimes I ironed them to get the wrinkles out.  I also kept track of every dollar I earned in a blank checkbook register my mom gave me.  I included descriptions like "did ridiculous curtsy after playing at piano recital."  Everyone thought I was a exceptionally weird kid but really I was just money hungry.  Also, it sort of makes sense to me now that I became an accountant.

In her defense, they were selling them fried at our local fair.

That's certainly enough about me! Tell me something about you? Ever eaten anything weird?  What kind of dinosaur would you be? What never fails to make you laugh?

Life Would Be Much Better Once You're Gone

First things first Blogstalkers.  If you have not yet entered my GIVEAWAY go do that right now!

Second things second, you may have heard by now that Justin Timberlake has just announced that he will be releasing a new album in 2013.  As you might imagine, my initial feelings about this announcement were intense.  So I obviously called Ryan at work.

Ryan: Yes?

Lauren: Justin Timberlake is coming out with a new album and I'm having some misgivings.

Ryan: That's weird.  I'd think you'd be happy as a clam right now.  Downright over the moon.

Lauren: I know but like, I don't know if I can handle love ballads about certain people.

Ryan: Oh you mean Jessica Biel?

Lauren: Is that her name?  I wouldn't know.

Ryan: Haha actually it's not, I just remembered reading somewhere that she took his last name.

Lauren: Goddammit Ryan.  You're not being any help.

Lauren: I just find the timing of this record suspect.  Like, he just got married, I can't imagine he's bursting with songs about mistakes and breakups.  Well actually I can imagine it but my fantasies don't often come true.  I mean, Prince William never once asked for my hand in marriage and Prince Harry hasn't yet either.

Lauren: OHMYGOD.  I just thought of something.  What if the title of his last LP was foreshadowing for this one?

Ryan: Huh?

Lauren: You know... Future Sex Love Sounds?  I don't want to hear that JUSTIN.

Ryan: I'm sure that's not at all the kind of album he's recording.

Lauren: How do you know!?

Ryan: Because you think everything is foreshadowing and it almost never is.  Remember that time in college when we were grocery shopping and you tripped on an orange and fell down and I asked if you were alright and you said "Never better, Disney World Here We Come!"

Lauren: Oranges equal Florida.  Florida equals Disney.  Plus if I remember correctly we did go to Disney World that year.

Ryan: Ok whatever Lauren.  Can I go now?  I have things to do.

Lauren: Are you saying I don't have things to do? Because I do. I have to go make a list of songs that I would be okay with Justin putting on his album and then tweet it to him.

Ryan: *weird groan sighing noise*

Lauren: *singing loudly* I Just Haven't Met You Yet!

Ryan: Goodbye Lauren.

So yeah I really WANT to be excited and I'm sure I'll get there soon.  I guess I'll just go eat pickles and think until I'm tickled pink.

A Brief List of Songs That Would Be OK For Justin To Include On His Upcoming Album.

Someday My Princess Will Come

You're Jess - Somebody That I Used To Know

Beauty and the Biel

Tears in 7th Heaven

Bonus Track:

Cry Me A River

Help me out with more titles Blogstalkers?

Things You Never Knew You Never Knew

Sorry I've been missing the last few days Blogstalkers. I've been a very busy girl.

Thank you for all of the Birthday tweets and/or Facebook messages and such.  You all seriously made my day on Monday.  Even Ryan had to concede that for the first time in our lives I am more popular than him.

I promise this is the very last time I'll mention my birthday on this blog, but in honor of me now being 29, I thought I'd use today to tell you 29 things about me. (I'm actually going to do half today and half on Friday when I announce the giveaway winner.  Tomorrow I've got something else planned.)

1. When I am home alone I only eat foods that it would be impossible to choke on.  Things like soup and cottage cheese and large bowls of whipped cream.

2. There is a homeless man that hangs out on a corner that I often walk past.  Sometimes when he sees me walking up he sings "Here She Comes Miss America" and then I give him a dollar if I have one.  He told me once that his name is Michael Tito Jackson.

3. On Friday night just before dinner I went to pick up my glass at the same time that I sneezed and also tried to cover my mouth and nose.  Resulting in smashing the glass into my face and knocking out my two front teeth.  And then I was all "Ahhhh my gin and tonic just punched me in the mouth and not like with a explosion of limey flavor!"  And so I had to go to the dentist the next morning where I endured two root canals.  It wasn't too bad since the dentist totally gassed me up.  When I came out of it the hygienist told me that I asked the Dr. to first file what was left of my teeth into tiny fangs and take a picture and also said something that she couldn't quite decipher about Goonies and Chunk and Off-Broadway musicals.

4. Speaking of musicals, when I was younger I did a lot of community theater shows.  I was the Mayor of the Munchkin City in The Wizard of Oz, Piglet in Winnie The Pooh and finally Annie in Annie.  Yes I sang a lot.  Maybe not well, but enthusiastically.  I also totally dyed my hair bright red.  I was 15. This is why Ryan was always more popular than I was until recently.

5. I saw the movie The Notebook for the first time this year and I didn't cry.  This was very surprising to me as the following movies have all made me cry in the last year: Beauty and the Beast, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Babe, Liar Liar.

6. I just realized that I have terrible taste in movies.

7. Sometimes when I'm feeling yucky about myself I tell Ryan to "Say something nice," and he always says "You're pretty."  This year on my birthday he sent me flowers and the only thing the card said was "You're pretty."

8. I have verbal fights with my sister Jordan's boyfriend Jake about which one of us is the "Third Musketeer." I totally win that fight.  I would never win a physical fight with Jake since he is a MMA fighter.  Sometimes OJ and Jake have verbal fights about who, between the two of them would win in a physical fight since OJ has a black belt.

Two of the three musketeers and Jake.
 9. I have a ridiculous sense of smell.  Once in college I complained to my roommates that something in our apartment seriously smelled for like two weeks.  They couldn't smell anything.  Finally I put my nose to work and sniffed everywhere until I found one potato rotting in the back of the cabinet above the fridge.

10. I almost never ever drink wine because I'm really sensitive to it and even if I only have half a glass I wake up the next morning with an awful headache.  Going back to my last fact though, I can actually smell other peoples' glasses of wine and say things like "hints of lilac" and "vaguely reminiscent of sweaty saddle."

11.  This is me in 50 years. (Thanks Elisa!)

12. Speaking of ummm...delicates...I recently went to Nordstrom and had my bra size measured for the first time in like five years.  I walked in wearing a 34B (which I knew was too small) and walked out with a bag full of 34DDDs.  I'm both astounded and horrified.  In good news my sister Nicky tells me that having this large of a chest means I can name my boobs.  I'm thinking maybe Betty Boob and Veronica.  This is not a final decision.

13. I got my tonsils out when I was 22 after I got strep throat for the thousandth time.  The doctor that did it was like...gorgeous...  After the surgery the nurses were having a tough time getting me to come out of the anesthesia so they called the doctor in.  It seems I smiled and then reached up and touched his face.  I was so embarrassed when I woke up fully.  I'm still embarrassed about this.

14. I'm really bad at taking the tags off of things.  I don't do it on purpose but Ryan is constantly pointing out things in our house that I've left the price tag on.  From where I am sitting right now I can see a lamp and a small dinosaur figurine that are both still sporting some form of a tag.

15. Two of my sisters and my brother and I all have brown hair and brown eyes.  Both of my parents have brown hair and brown eyes.  My sister Jordan has blonde hair and blue eyes.  My dad used to tell her this was because one day he was mowing the lawn and saw something falling from the sky and caught it and it was her.  She had fallen out of an airplane.
Nicky and Jordan
Clarke (and her boyfriend Mike) 
So that's all for today Blogstalkers!  Tell me something I don't know about you?

Happy Birthday To You. You Belong In A Zoo. You Look Like A Monkey And You Smell Like One Too. (The song my dad sings me on my birthday each year.)

Three posts in three days?  I know, I can't believe it either Blogstalkers.

Though this isn't a real post per se.  Which is why it's coming to you after five (at least here) on a Friday night.

As you all know, by me mentioning it a lot, Monday is my birthday.  And I will be turning 29.  If you've been around these parts for a time then you know that on my birthday I like to do a big giveaway, a box of all of my favorite things.  (It's exactly like Oprah's Favorite Things yearly giveaway except I'm not going to buy you a car and I'm not going to buy you a car and I'm not going to buy you a car.)

Here is a link to what was included in last year's box.

So last year was pretty ridiculous and this year I promise to include lots of ridiculous items but I promise that there will be some nice things in there too.  I'm not going to give too many clues here because I want this year to be a big very big surprise but I will definitely be including a $100 gift card to:

And there may or may not be a teensy weensy little trifle from this establishment as well.

So if you're interested all you have to do to enter is leave a comment below!  Extra entries will also be awarded to anyone who shares my status about this giveaway on FB or to anyone who retweets me about this as well.  Just let me know in your comment if you've done either of those things!

And now I am off to dinner with my dashing husband!  Have a lovely weekend Blogstalkers!

UPDATE: I should probably mention that I will pick a winner a week from today.  

UPDATE 2: I promise you all that your comments are getting published!  I'm getting a lot of double comments which I'm guessing means you're not seeing your first comment pop up at the bottom.  Only the first 200 display unless you click "Load More" near the bottom of the page.

Sometimes You All Think I Am A Sane Person. And Then I Tell You Things Like This.

See Blogstalkers?  I told you I was going to start taking this blogging a whole heck of a lot more seriously.

So along with having just entered the new year, my 29th birthday is this coming Monday (the 7th).  This year will really represent the very last year of my 20s.  I think I'm ok with that.  I have freaking out moments but for the most part, 30 is not as terrifying as it used to be.  I do want to make the most of this year and do as many things as I can before I have miniature ladies and fellows to care for, so as well as my ridiculous resolutions, I'm working on creating a 30 before 30 list.  I'm sure I'll show it to you when it's finished.  Let me know if you have any grand ideas.

In the meantime, let's talk about something that only one person in this world - my husband - knows about me.  I don't DO baths.  And it's really hard to explain why not.   And that is why I never tell people.  UNFORTUNATELY there was a giant lovely deep bathtub in our room on our honeymoon and our "Butler" Jonathan was constantly running lovely aromatic baths for me and I was constantly draining them after he left and saying things like "This is not a Victorian novella Jonathan!  Do I strike you as the Duchess of Bath?"  The last night though he outdid himself and the tub smelled delightful and was full of bubbles and flowers and tiny floating lights and I knew Ryan wouldn't let me ignore it without some sort of explanation.  So I sighed and gave in.

Lauren: I'm going to drain the bath you know.

Ryan: I know.  I assume you might tell me now why you're so terrified of bathing?

Lauren:  Ok first, that was poorly said.  I shower all the time.

Ryan: Fine, why are you so terrified of bath-ing?

Lauren: I'm embarrassed, this is so weird.

Ryan: I was positive it would be.

Lauren: I'm really not scared of baths per say, it's just that I have this weird reoccurring vision that uh...thebathtubisgoingtofallthroughthefloorwithmeinit.

Ryan: I did not quite catch that.

Lauren: If I'm in a bath, I just can not for some reason, stop thinking about what would happen if the tub just like, fell through the floor with me in it.

Ryan: You don't take baths because you think that might die from a tragic bathtub accident?

Lauren: NO.  That's not it at all.  Because I don't die.  I don't even get hurt.  But like all of a sudden I'm in the resort room below this and I have NO WAY to explain myself. and I have no towel and the nice French couple staying below us is flustered and shouting SACRE BLEU! And I am shouting I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!  And then I'm trying to climb up the dresser and back into the hole in the ceiling and then resort security runs in and and sees that the French couple is not "Probably high on Island Mushrooms" like they thought and there is indeed a crouching nude girl on the top of the bureau.  And things go downhill from there.

Ryan: That is nuts, you know that right?

Lauren: Oh yeah, totally.  There's no way I wouldn't get hurt if I fell through the floor in a ceramic bathtub.

Ryan: Something like that.  Is this why you have never used our tub at home?

Lauren: Yes sir.

Ryan:  And you're fine bathing things like dogs and babies in a tub just not getting in yourself?

Lauren: Correct.

Ryan: Ok I can deal with that.  Let's go to dinner.

And then we never talked about it again until two days ago when I made my resolutions list and added "Take a Bath" because in our new place we have the deepest longest most wonderful whirlpool tub and it's sad that it doesn't get used.

And then last night.  I totally took a bath.  No bubbles because I'm still working through a separate If-I Can't-See Through-The-Water-Then-It-Probably-Has-An-Eel-In-It fear but I totally took a bath.  And I didn't even one time think about what would happen if the tub fell through the floor.  (It would land in our empty garage where there are loads of bags of clothes just waiting to donated so I could easily get dressed and let myself back in the house without anyone noticing.)

I did though, make sure the big garage door was closed twice while the water was running.  You can never be too safe Blogstalkers.

So this is crazy and I'm embarrassed that I just told you all this.  Tell me one of your irrational worries in response?  Or give me a suggestion for my 30 before 30 list?

Ryan Is Always Taking Pins To My Balloons

Happy 2013 Blogstalkers!

I do so love the beginning of a new year.  Just the idea of a fresh start always gets me excited.  I used to feel the same way about the beginning of a new semester in college.  I'd buy new notebooks and pens and make elaborate library schedules and wear fancy button/zipper closure pants and go to class and pay attention and do all of the suggested problem sets.  For one week.  And then I would be like "Watching this Saved By The Bell - The College Years marathon is the same thing as going to class."

I usually do pretty much the same exact thing with New Year's Resolutions.  But not this year!  Maybe!

I spent a couple of hours yesterday making a list of resolutions, both light-hearted and serious because I think both are important and now I will share a portion of my resolutions (and Ryan's reaction to some of them after I made him read my list.)

 - You know that new diet book The Virgin Diet?  Do that, but with modifications.  Like cheese is OK after midnight or whenever naked.  Call it The Promiscuous Diet or The Slutface Diet so as not to confuse people or invite lawsuits from the creator of the original diet when you blog about how "it totally does not work."

No cheese in the shower.  No big deal RYAN.  You know I almost always accidentally get into the shower while still wearing my underwear anyway. 

 - Remember to close the curtains more.  The neighbors are Nosy Noras.

I think one of them just got a telescope for Christmas too.  What!?  Relax Lauren, I'm sure it's just to look at the stars.  We live in a big city Ryan, there ARE no stars here!  Where are my sign-making supplies?  Please no signs..... 

- Hang sign in window that says "Point it elsewhere perv."

- Finally convince Ryan that his joke about how the Orlando WNBA answer to The Magic should be renamed The Tricks is not hysterical and is in fact, sexist.

You totally cracked up when I said that the first time.  That was awkward nervous laughter from being so offended!  You said it was the best thing you'd heard all year.  We were two minutes into 2013!  It was either that or "Time to take down the Christmas tree!"

 - Get that tattoo we considered.

What tattoo?  And who is we?  Oh ummm...well "we" sort of just means all of the Laurens.  Like Past Lauren who wrote the list and Present Lauren who is reading the list and Future Lauren who will actually go get the tattoo.  I'm really never the same Lauren twice.  Oh and THIS tattoo.  On my toe.
Get it?  Because then it will be my... Oh Good God Lauren.  Seriously?  Yes! My MISSILE-TOE!!  We are going to get into so much mischief, all the Laurens, my toe and I!

- Learn choreography as done by Selena Gomez and her dancer friends to the Taylor Swift song Trouble.

You know, you say I don't say enough nice things to you but I will say this, your taste in dance routines has increased dramatically since you were 16 and had that ridiculous routine to that one Lee Ann Womack song.  Oh yes...Why They Call It Falling...wait how do you even know about this!?  I only did that routine when no one was home.  I was in unrequited love and it was dramatic and angsty and... Your sister told me about it.  She saw you performing it one time.  On top of the coffee table.  You thought she was at cheerleading practice.  She said you were wearing something really weird too.  A petticoat from my old Laura Ingalls Wilder Halloween costume and a sports bra.  Shut up, stop laughing! You know what, give me back my list.  You can't read it anymore.  Don't act like you didn't do stupid things when you were younger too.  You chose your confirmation name (Sebastian) because in the movie Cruel Intentions Sebastian got to hook-up with Reese Witherspoon who you loved with a fiery passion.  That's not even true.  I chose Sebastian because he is the patron saint of athletes.  Oh because you're such a sparkling athlete.  Yeah.  Thanks to me choosing Sebastian as my patron saint.  I'm done with this conversation.  Seacrest Out.

So those are some of my resolutions.  But my very most important one right now is "If you're going to do this then do it."  And by it I mean Blogging.  I need to get better at it, post more often, answer more comments/emails in a timely manner.  I'm seriously going to try in 2013.

What are some of your resolutions Blogstalkers?

OH, P.S. I am dumb and I found a box of unsent Christmas cards in the trunk of my car today when I went to the grocery store.  So yep.  Some of you are going to be getting those in about three days.  Just think of them as very early Christmas 2013 cards.  I am so on top of things this year already.

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