The Wicked Witch of the Park

Afternoon Blogstalkers.  Today I am going to spin you a yarn about my youth.  So grab a Snapple and a handful of Triscuits, sit back and relax.

Welcome to the south suburbs of Chicago.  A quiet neighborhood.  The scents of sidewalk chalk and hot asphalt mingle in the air and from somewhere comes the faint sound of a jump rope slapping against the sidewalk.  Recently a brand new park has gone in at the end of the street and it is the joy of mothers and babysitters all around the block.  On a sunny day everyone flocks with their charges to this suburban idyll and releases them to the happiness of a tire swing and the sweet mystery of secrets whispered in a plastic tunnel.

In shady gazebo a bit away from the action sits a dark figure, a young girl of about nine.  Her top sports a dragon.  It is the most menacing shirt she owns.  She changed her clothes after lunch before escaping to the park for the second time that day.  Her mother was annoyed by the wardrobe switch, muttering something about five children and laundry but it was entirely necessary.  No one would have truly believed our girl was a witch in a shirt covered with daisies.

A witch you ask?  Yes.  A witch.  Well...ok not really, but that's what she had told the kids at the park this morning.  Admittedly her ruse would be more believable if her mom hadn't caught her sneaking out of the master bathroom with the expensive green face mask or if her dad would finally let her get her ears pierced, because the Mr. Potato Head hoops she's been forced to don today were, she knew it, ridiculous.  But witches wore hoop earrings, everyone knew that, so they'd have to do.

She rubbed her crystal ball, a vestige of her father's elaborate Halloween decorations from last year, and gazed at the ragtag group of freckled playground denizens.  Choosing her victims with care and then concentrating all of her energy on overhearing their names.  For this was her ploy you see, she was going to prove she was a witch and had magic running through her veins by inviting them into her grotto and then plucking their names out of thin air.

Matthew
Andy
Nina
JJ
Hilary
Madeline
Frogger....that one might be a nickname, she thought.

The children have not noticed her return yet but she is patient and she sits quietly, inviting their interest by exuding an aura of pure witch-ness.  Eventually she hears it, "Hey that weird girl that says she's a witch is back!"

Yes, come to me my pretties she breathes.

Suddenly their koolaide stained mouths and their skinned knees are in front of her.  Prove it, prove you're a witch.

Get in line she says in a gravely tone and I will do just that.  They do, gangly elbows akimbo.  Hey! Move! No cuts no butts no coconuts!

Enough! She exclaims and they quiet.  The first child steps up to the bench, a tow-head.  He looks sticky.  She closes her eyes and hums "Mmmmmm turpentine and India ink...." then rouses herself with a start and a sharp intake of breath.  Andy, she intones.  Your name is Andy.

The boy gasps.  She IS a witch.  This proves it.  Irrefutably.  "Do him next," he says and nudges his excited friend forward.  And so she does and the next child and the next child too.  Their awe of her grows greater by the second.

Then an annoying little high-pitched voice cuts in, "Hey, mom says you have to let me play with you, what are you doing?"

"Go away JORDAN, I'm being a witch."

But instead of going away the little girl, with her curly blond hair shining in the sun like a halo turns to everyone assembled and announces that as a sister to a witch, she is a witch too.

Prove it, prove you're a witch comes the all too familiar challenge.

So our girl sighs and seeing no way out of this one leans in and whispers to her sun-kissed sibling, "Just tell her her name is Hilary."  An easy enough task.  So the tiny creature takes the crystal ball and taps at its surface like it is a bongo drum and not an instrument of tremendous power.  She hums a tune eerily similar to Mary Had A Little Lamb.

Your name, she finally announces to the older girl standing in front of her, is....CELERY.

The day is ruined.  The children collapse into a pile of giggles and grape jelly.  The run off back to the playground still laughing, looking for their next adventure.

Our once-witch is left again alone.

Tomorrow, she thinks, I will be a princess.  I wonder if my costume still fits.  Then she collects her sister and they run home to play Curb-Ball, a game they invented.

So that is all for today lovely Blogstalkers!

P.S. The winner of the Inappropriate Candy Heart contest, with 24% of the vote is Summer of George with "I Guess You'll Do."  (With "I Like To Think I Have Ruined You For Other Women" by Laurie coming in a very close second.)  If Summer of George is you, then email me at LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com to collect your prize!

I Am So Angry At Past-Lauren Right Now. Who Did That Girl Think She Was?

Hello my lovely Blogstalkers!

This afternoon I got an interesting call from my Dad, who was very confused about something that had come in the mail.  It was addressed to me but as that happens randomly from time to time and it is usually junk mail, as per usual he had opened it so he could let me know if it was anything important.  Let me first give you some background...

When I was in eighth grade one of my teachers had us do something that I think many of you have also probably done, write a letter to our future selves.  This teacher in particular had been doing this for years and years and she actually had us all write the letters as homework and then seal them in an envelopes, write our addresses on them and stamp them.  Then hand them in to her to be sent to us in fifteen years.

Every one of my fool classmates actually did just that.  But as I could do math and realized that at the age of 29 I hopefully would not still be living at my parents' home and thus would not be there to get the letter and that my mom or dad might open it to let me know what it was and then read my letter, I did something a little different.

I absolutely did write myself a letter, both because the idea of not completing a homework assignment horrified me and because I actually thought it was a pretty cool concept.  But instead of handing that letter in, I sealed it in an envelope and put it in my "Memory Box" at home with the instructions "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL 2013" printed on the front.  The letter I turned in, which my dad received today, apparently read like this:

Dear Future Lauren's Parents,

You probably thought you were going to open this and find a juicy letter detailing all of your once-14-year-old-daughter's romances.  Well too bad for you.  I have tricked you again.  How does it feel to be tricked by a fourteen year old when you are as old as the hills?

I will answer that question for you: not good.  Ha ha ha!  (My dad says the "Ha ha ha!" was huge and took up half a page.)

Love,

Lauren "smarter than a fox and with nicer hair than a fox" Marthaler

My dad read me that letter over the phone and was like, "What on earth does that all mean Lauren?"  And so I told him the story I have just told you.  Which was a giant mistake because his response was, "By Memory Box do you mean that old Adidas shoebox that is almost certainly somewhere in our basement as we speak?"

I tried to say "No, not that box at all, a totally different box," but my voice was shaking and so my dad was all, "Alright well I have to go right now, my lunch hour is over and I have to be getting back to work."  Which I wish I could believe but knowing my dad I knew instantly that he was going to head down to the basement and search furiously for the real letter and then call me and read it in an adolescent girl's voice over the phone while laughing hysterically and saying things like, "Now who's tricked whom LAUREN?" and "You thought you were SO smart.  Smarter than a fox even.  And with nicer hair."

So I tried my last ditch attempt and shouted, "That box is FULL of my old teeth and the skeletons of my two crayfish!" (Because skeletons and teeth are things my dad does not like.) But to no avail.  My dad just laughed and hung up.  And so now I sit here on my couch and wait for the inevitable.  I considered jumping in the car and driving the forty minutes to my parents' house to try to find the letter first but then realized there is no way I could have kept it out of my dad's sticky hands anyhow since he is much bigger and stronger than me. (Not with nicer hair though.)

The joke is still totally on him though.  Because that box IS full of my old teeth and the skeletons of my two crayfish (Kristy and Jumpy) (What can I say, I was an odd child.) (Also, and this is disgusting, I am pretty sure there is an old big toenail in that box too that I saved and named Long Bear and used to torture my sister Jordan with whom I shared a room.)  Still though, CRAP.

YOU ARE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE RIGHT NOW PAST-LAUREN!



Tell me something embarrassing about you so I don't feel so dumb?

Rock The Vote!

Hey Blogstalkers! I'll be back at you in a bit with a real post for today but for now, take a second to vote for your favorite inappropriate candy heart slogan?









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I've Eaten Seven Clementines Today Already. This Has Nothing To Do With The Post, I Just Thought It Was Impressive And Needed To Be Mentioned.

Happy Belated Valentine's Day Blogstalkers!

I was planning to do this post last week but then I had to go to Disney World and so it fell by the wayside.  So since I am always willing to extend a holiday (no my Christmas stuff is not still up) I thought I would just do it today.

I'm officially holding a contest to see who can create the very best candy heart.  This idea originally started as a post where I would make a bunch of my own candy hearts for laughs but it turns out I am terrible at candy hearts.  I'm not great at keeping my words to a minimum, which is probably why I'm also terrible at Twitter.

Like seriously this was my best effort:

Photo Credit to Slam Greetings (Follow this link to generate your own hearts and send them to your friends electronically.)

Awful right?  And after that, things just went terribly downhill when I started to riff off of Taylor Swift songs and be all "I could see your stubble when you walked in, shave it off right now.  Seriously, it hurts my face."  And it got even worse when I started to get all vile and dirty and change Downton Abbey into a heart involving the words 'Downtown' and 'flabby'.  I seriously started to get horrified at the places my brain was taking me.

So I thought I'd turn it over to the funniest people I know, all of you.

This is how it works.  Leave your suggestions in the comments and come Monday I will let you all vote on all of the suggestions for the winner (don't worry there will be a real post Monday as well.)

What does the winner get you ask?  Well first I will have your delightful candy heart slogan placed on a notepad of your choice from Paper Source.  And I'll also throw in a $25 Amazon gift card.  

So have at it!

Fire Away, Fire Away. (And feel free to enter one million times if you like!)

P.S. Can't wait for Monday to vote for something and want to exercise your right to vote immediately?  Then feel free to head over to The Skinny Scoop where I've somehow been nominated as a Top 25 Humor Blog and vote for me!  Last time I checked I'm currently tied for 3rd.  It would be really cool to win because it would be like irrefutable proof that I can sometimes be funny and I could be all, SEE Ryan?! You can not deny it any longer! I am a comedienne!

Win A Date With OJ

Holler At You Blogstalkers.

I spent this morning trying to think of a post idea and eventually was about to just give up and post lots of pictures of OJ since you all seem to love him so much when it hit me.  I definitely needed to do a dating profile for OJ since I really want him to find Mrs. OJ soon so that I can have a BFF #2 (with Vanessa still firmly ensconced in the BFF #1 role.)

So without further ado. (You are welcome for this OJ.)

 Name: OJ

Age: 28

Location: Dallas, TX

Interested in: Women

Occupation: Purveyor of delicious baked goods.  Or, alternatively, provides the world with hot buns.

Favorite drink: Over-the-phone-shots of whiskey with his best friend Ryan.

He loves cuddling, country music and tearing up the dance floor.  He has a beautiful singing voice and only one time in college kicked a traffic cone that turned out to be covering a fire hydrant and broke his foot.







He can not tie a bow tie, though this does not stop him from wearing them.


He has an impeccable sense of style.

Someone else must have tied his bow tie for him in this picture.

He has a black belt in karate and is very tough and serious.

See?

But he's not afraid to let loose when the mood strikes.


I hope the ability to climb up walls is not important to you, because he can not do that.


He likes fruit.


He also likes meat.  

Clip-On Bow Tie - Because as previously stated, he can not tie bow ties.
 He is working on his table manners.

He is an excellent skier though he is terrible at wakeboarding.  Can't do it at all.  Not even a little.


He enjoys visiting museums and practicing yoga.  Sometimes simultaneously.


He is six foot something and his head fits nicely into a pumpkin.


He has a sensitive side.


Sometimes he likes to just stand on a pier and think.


Or sit near the coast and contemplate life.


Or be alone with his thoughts in a meadow.



Or gaze out the porthole of a ship while dwelling on important notions.


He has a funny side too.  And a love-hate relationship with traffic cones apparently.


He's a very good best friend.


 And he's fantastic at hugs.  Plus this picture suggests that he might be into cougars.


He can cut a rug like no other.


Even if he's the only one on the dance floor.


I don't know for sure but it doesn't look like he's good at bowling.


The boy can sing.


The boy can seriously sing.  And again, might be into cougars. 


He's a triathlete.



And looks a lot like an Indian David Boreanaz.



One time he grew a mustache but he's promised not to do that again, so that's good.


 He is a veritable television star as he once was on an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.


He can jump really really high.


I guess there's not much else to say, so I'll just post one last picture.


 So that is that.  Anyone interested in being his other half and then also being second best friends with me?  It's like a two-for-one!


Put You To Bed When You've Had Too Much To Drink, I Could Be The Man Who Grows Old With You.

Hey Blogstalkers!

If you've read my most recent post then you know that Ryan whisked me away to Disney World last week as a surprise that fell unintentionally on Valentine's Day.  We spent part of the week and the entire weekend traipsing around the parks and now I'm back to tell you all about it.

Sadly, and really this is a very sad thing, we have arrived home somehow sans our little point-and-shoot camera that we used on the trip.  I've called the hotel and hopefully it turns up, until then, I have like zero real pictures of our trip.  But I do have thousands of head pictures, or memories as Ryan calls them.  And so today I'm going to share one of them with you.

Our journey to The Happiest Place On Earth started at Chicago O'Hare Airport.  Airport code ORD for some reason.  Once on the plane Ryan of course grabbed the window seat leaving me in the middle next to some random girl reading a large textbook which I took to mean she would probably be quiet.  I was fully prepared for an uneventful flight.

Then a guy wearing a Blackhawks Jersey walked up to the girl and said, "I don't want to be a douche, but I think you're in my seat."  Which, as it turns out, she was.  She apologized and switched to the seat across the aisle and sports-shirt-clad gentleman took his place beside me.

The guy was chatty-looking and thus I was worried he was going to try to talk to me about hockey and the only thing I know about hockey is that Duncan Keith* has no teeth (and I only remember that because it rhymes) so I turned to Ryan and whispered, "Switch seats with me."  And he was all, "No, why?"  "Because you have so much more in common with him than I do," I responded.  To which Ryan was like, "It's a plane ride Lauren, not a dating show."

In the end, Ryan was wrong again.

*Duncan Keith is a player on the Chicago Blackhawks and he seriously has NO TEETH.  Google Image that shit if you're not creeped out by gummy toothless mouths.

So I sighed and made a mental list of all of the hockey terms I know so that if worse came to worst I could at least say, "What are your feelings on face masks?"  I also tried to put together a little pun in my head using the phrase 'hockey stop' in which I would politely ask Mr. Hossa (I assume that was his last name as it was what was printed on the back of his jersey) to stop talking about hockey.

But my worries would go unfulfilled as thankfully it was not to me he turned.  But rather to the girl across the aisle.

Boy: Sorry to make you move seats like that.

Girl: Oh it's no problem, I was the one at fault.

Boy: What're you heading to Orlando for?

Girl: Just to visit an old friend for a couple of days.  It's an impromptu trip really, I just felt like a change of weather.  I'm Jasmine by the way.  **reaches her hand out to shake his**

Lauren's Inner Dialogue: OH MY GOD they are going to fall in love and her name is JASMINE and we are on a flight to Disney World.  Oh PLEASE let his name be Aladdin, please please please.  I'd even take Al as I realize Aladdin is a little far-fetched.  Am not crazy person.  OH think of the love story they could tell their grandkids....."  

I tried to communicate all of this to Ryan by elbowing him and raising my eyebrows and doing little head tilts toward Jasmine and probably-Aladdin but he just gave me this look.




Boy: I'm (name that was not Aladdin that I do not remember, Harriet or something) it's nice to meet you.

Girl: It's really nice to meet you too.

They then proceeded to have a nice little 2.5 hour conversation where he found out that she has to special order her shoes because her feet are two different sizes and she found out that he likes hockey.  Halfway through they turned it into a real date by ordering drinks at 10AM because as they philosophized, it was five'o'clock somewhere.

Because of the drinking they each got up several times to use the washroom.  I studiously gauged overlap times and was relieved to find that it was impossible that they had joined The Mile High Club.  Because THAT is not a good love story.

Near the end of the flight he pretended to look at his phone (which was clearly off because, PLANE) and made some remark about not being able to check into his hotel until four and needing to kill some time before then.  Jasmine bit though and pretended her friend had music class for the whole afternoon anyway while secretly making plans in her head to call said friend and be like, "Hey Ariel it's me, Jazzy Lee, you know, your friend with the two different sized feet?  Anyway I'm going to be a bit late getting to your place today I met the CUTEST guy on the plane.   He likcs hockey.  And me, he also likes me.  What? No I haven't been drinking."

So they decided to kill some time together after the plane landed.  And I was practically bouncing in my seat and whispering things to Ryan like "best plane movie EVER."

After disembarking from the aircraft I saw them walking slowly away together down the terminal.  She was swaying a little either from the fact that the song So This Is Love was playing in her head or from the three Jose Cuervo plane margaritas and he was smiling.

And then I realized that I didn't know how their movie ended.  Was it to be Enchanted, something truly special for her to write about in her Princess Diary or would one of them turn out to be a Dumbo, a real Frankenweenie who ruined the whole Tangled affair? Alas, since Ryan said it would be rude for me to chase after them and give them my phone number and ask them to text me relationship updates, I shall never know.

Sometimes at night now though I picture elderly Mr. and Mrs. Hossa sitting on the couch telling their grandchildren the story of how they met.  "She was sitting in my seat," he starts with the practiced air of one telling a story for the thousandth time.  She takes her cue and sighs, "So he turned to me and our eyes locked and he spoke the first words he ever said to me...I don't want to be a douche."

Now THAT is a good love story.

Any good plane stories to tell me Blogstalkers?  Or how about a good love story?

P.S. I fully realize that Hossa is not actually his last name.

P.P.S Ryan started his own Twitter account this last week to share with the world all of the ridiculous one-off things I do that don't make the blog.  He's @RGFilingJointly if you're a Twitter person.  But prepare to be sorely disappointed.  He's terrible at Twitter.

Too Excited To Think Up Title

Hey Blogstalkers!

I do not normally post too often on Tuesdays but something just happened about which I must tell you right this minute before I become too overcome with shrieks and flails and fainting fits to be coherent.

Ryan recently got home from work and came up to my office and was all "Pack your bags Lauren!" And I was like, "You can't get rid of me that easily!" and "No way, you pack YOUR bags!"  And then he just sighed and walked away for a while and I thought, "Well I just won THAT conversation."

But then about ten minutes later I heard his feet on the stairs again.

Ryan: You know how you've been wanting to go on a trip, just the two of us?

Lauren: I do.

Ryan: Ok so you're actually going to have to go and pack your bags now because I've booked us a surprise vacation.  We're leaving early Thursday morning.

Lauren: You booked us a Valentine's Day trip!?

Ryan: Huh, well actually I forgot that it was Valentine's Day...that explains why the hotel kept asking things like, "Do you want us to leave rose petals in your room?" and "Would you like us to send up some champagne?"

Lauren: What did you tell them?

Ryan: I said No, I'm coming with my wife so none of that will be necessary.

Lauren: Oh you're just hilarious.

Ryan: The guy on the phone laughed.

Lauren: Ok so where are we going and for how long?

Ryan: Nope, not telling, it's a complete surprise.

Lauren: You have to tell me!  How will I know what type of clothes to bring?  Are we leaving on a jet plane?

Ryan: Just pack for somewhere warm.

So then I hopped up and ran excitedly downstairs and started trying to figure out how on earth to go about putting a bag together.  But I'm actually really terrible with surprises because I like to be prepared for all eventualities so it was really difficult.  I just kept shouting up the stairs, "I'm terrified I'm not going to bring the appropriate hats!" and "Should I pack a ball gown just in case?" and "If you won't even tell me how long we'll be gone how on earth am I to know how many books to bring?"

Until an exasperated Ryan finally came into the bedroom and saw the worry and excitement mixed on my face and was just like, "I forgot how bad you are with surprises.  We're going to Disney World.  Coming back Sunday."

I have the best husband ever. (In my own slightly-biased opinion.)



If you'll excuse me now I have to be off to finish laundry and packing and making a Disney playlist for the plane.

(Also, thank goodness he broke down and told me where we are going.  I never would have thought to break out the costume box otherwise.  And I definitely would have forgotten my Mickey shoes.)



Um, so anyway, all of this is just to say that I have a million things to do tomorrow that I thought I had all weekend to do, so I won't have time to post.  But hopefully I'll get a third post up this week from Orlando!  Probably wearing a Hogwarts robe.

Has anyone ever surprise-vacationed you before Blogstalkers?

(If I'm being honest, this is actually my second surprise trip since my BFF Vanessa and my sister Jordan also flew me to Orlando last minute for a pre-Bachelorette party.)



I seriously can not wait to get Ryan drunk on German Epcot Beer and make him pose like a moose.  Then I will have moose pictures of all of my favorite people.  And who else can say that?

Try Saying "Shower Massage" or "Unique New York" Five Times Fast

Today Blogstalkers, I shall tell you of the lovely thing that happened this weekend at Quizno's.

Truth be told, it is probably the only lovely thing that has ever happened at a Quizno's.  Because, you know, it's Quizno's and well...gross.

So anyway, Ryan and I were grabbing lunch really quickly in between other obligations.  We parked and hurried into the sandwich shop.  Since I am not good at hurrying, I totally tripped over the threshold of the door and stumbled like a drunken monkey about eight steps into the restaurant.  And Ryan was like, "Seriously?  I can't take you anywhere."

I like to think what happened next is karma.

We walked up to the counter to order and since I am a lady and ladies go first I placed my order before Ryan.  And I did it with grace and aplomb, which is a difficult thing to accomplish when one is ordering an item with the words "holy" "moly" and "guacamole" in it.

Then Ryan stepped up to the plate, ready to order the same thing he always orders at Quizno's, a Turkey Bacon Club.

"Hi, Yes, I will have the Turken Bakey...."

At this point I started giggling uncontrollably and Ryan shot me a dirty look like, "Lauren.  Please.  You are being absurd," then turned back to the counter.

And he said the exact same thing.  Except this time, halfway through he figured out what was happening but he couldn't stop himself and he couldn't figure out how to correct it so he just started speaking more slowly and for some reason in a really high-pitched voice.  And he ended it like it was a question.

Like.."Sorry I mean I will have the Turkennnnn Baaaaaaakeeeeeeeey?" 

I started laughing so hard that I wasn't even making noises any longer and tears were rolling down my face and the guy behind the counter was cracking up and the couple behind us in booth were cracking up and Ryan just stood there opening and closing his mouth like a fish.

Eventually..."I'm sorry sir, I didn't quite catch that, what will you be having?" Asked the sandwich employee.

Ryan just turned to me, confusion written across his face, in obvious need of assistance.  So I stepped back up to the counter and said, "Yes, he shall be having the Turken Bakey, of course."

"Oh, of course," said Noel (for that was his name) and winked at me.

It was a happy happy day.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go.  I need to text Ryan at work and ask him to please pick up some Bakey on his way home.  Because everything is better with Bakey.

Ever let words get the best of you Blogstalkers?  Been bafflingly befuddled by the English language?

Tell me about it.  For example, when Ryan's brother Danny was like 17 he once accidentally called the t.v. show Pushing Daisies, Daising Pussies right in front of his mother. 

I'm The Smart Pig, The One That Built Its House Out Of Bricks

Hey Blogstalkers!

Today I woke up and had a flash of inspiration.  So after some serious thought and planning, I sent Ryan this email.

Hello Ryan Darling,

I hope your day is going swimmingly.  This morning I had a sudden flash of brilliance and I want now to share it with you to see what you think.  You have asked me to keep my phone calls to you at work to a minimum so I thought today I would use electronic mail.  I am sending this with a "Read-Receipt" so I will know when you have opened it so you can not lie again and say that "it must have gotten spammed."

So you know how whenever we go out in the Winter (and sometimes the Spring and Fall) I complain about how very cold my nose is?  And we can never come up with a solution because you will not let me wear a ski mask any more?**  I've finally figured it out!

A NOSE MUFF.

I'm sure right now you're horrified that you did not think up this fabulous idea yourself, but no worries, we are married now and what is mine is yours.  (And also what is yours is mine, which is why your razor might be slightly dull and why there might not be any pistachios left in the bag of mixed nuts you purchased at the store recently.)

As your first response to all of my inventions thus far has been, "That will never work," I set out to ascertain that this idea would indeed work before I presented it to you.  How you ask?  Well, remember Halloween 2010?


So yes, I dug out our costume box and retrieved a pig nose.  I then donned the pig nose took a stroll around the neighborhood.  And guess what?  My nose stayed as snug as a bug in a rug, as toasty as a pig in a blanket.  Which means that any comments you make about the "viability of this mess of a plan" will now be firmly ignored.

So that I may settle any future investors' qualms about the thoroughness of my testing, I made a couple of necessary purchases this morning.  But don't worry Ryan, right now we own 100% of the equity in this company which means we get 100% of the returns and will have our money back in the flashiest of flashes.

Come Tuesday morning, upon the arrival of Frank, our UPS carrier, I will be the proud owner of:


A small mouse nose.  With fashion whiskers.

Because I know you so well, I know now you've got your head in your hands and are sighing about me just repurposing someone else's creation and not employing my own prototype so I want to assure you that this will not always be the case.  Because, let's face it, a nose muff on its own does look a bit ridiculous.  

So I've saved the best part of this idea for very last...

Combination nose and ear muffs.

I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.  OMGOMGOMGOMG I KNOW RIGHT!?

It'll be something sort of like the below, but obviously with more ear coverage and more fashion whiskers (for the style-istas.)



I know you always say that my email proposals are entirely too long and jumbled so I'm going to stop here to adhere to your "The succinter the better," policy about our correspondence.

Please do let me know what you think.

Love,

Lauren Rae Gallagher, Founder and CEO of Pig in a Blanket Industries

**I'm not allowed to wear ski masks any longer because one day I was complaining that my nose was really cold so Ryan found an old ski mask of his and jokingly suggested I wear it.  So I did.  And I felt like so much of a cat burglar in it that at some point I went to a bathroom and drew whiskers and a nose on my face under the mask.  And then we went to Target and I took it off and Ryan was all, "Are you kidding me!?" And I was all, "Meow."

What do you think of my Nose Muffs Blogstalkers?  Ingenious right?

UPDATE:  Just before posting this, I got a text from Ryan that said, "Looks like you've built another house of straw."  I'm ignoring it.  Texts are not the appropriate way to respond to serious business proposals.  All serious business people (of which I am one) know that.  RYAN.

Remember Birthdays (Like A Boss), Prank An Intern (Like A Boss)

Good closer-to-Morning-than-usual Blogstalkers!

So lately I've been having some trouble coming up with blog post ideas.  And when this happens I have a couple of things I do to help me brainstorm.  I either write something entirely different, like for one of my other two sites (which are now linked at the top of the blog) or I take a walk.  Because I live in the middle of a big busy city, taking a walk will almost always either result in me thinking of something to write about or will result in something ridiculous happening that I can recount.

Today I took a walk and a combination of those two things happened.

I didn't sleep especially well last night because of night terrors so this morning after driving Ryan to work at eight (trading started late today) I decided to amble over to Starbucks, hoping that I would be able to think of a post along the way.

Nothing much happened before getting to Starbucks except that I stepped in a deceptively deep pothole and got my foot all wet, but while I was standing in line I heard someone behind me say, "Lauren?"  I turned around to see a face I had not seen in quite a while, my old intern Matt.

Let me explain a little bit.  Before I kicked accounting to the curb in favor of blogging/writing, I worked for three different companies.  At two of these companies I actually had interns that worked for me.  (Well not technically for me, for my boss, but I was the one that taught them things and ordered them about.)  Matt was one of these interns.  We had a weird relationship.

Back to Starbucks.

Lauren: Hello Matt, you seem to have aged.

Matt: I have.  Three years in fact.  I'm a grown-up person now, engaged and everything.  What are you doing here?  Call in sick to work today?

Lauren: What! No.  I work for myself now.  I am a writer of high quality writings.  Congratulations by the way, that's awesome.

Matt: That explains the pants.  That's seriously cool though, what do you write?

Lauren: A couple of different things but mainly a blog, sort of a humor-based thing about my life.  What about you?  Where are you now?

Matt: Still accounting.  For a tiny little company down the street from here.  I really like it actually.  Though I can't say I don't look back on my tortuous interning days fondly.

Lauren: What do you mean tortuous?  I was the best pseudo-boss ever.  I made you brownies on your half birthday.

Matt:  You were the worst!  You called me Grasshopper and made me eat a Cheeto you found under your desk.

Lauren: I paid you to eat that Cheeto.  you weren't getting paid to be an intern and you were in college and I was trying to help.  And Grasshopper was endearing.

Matt: And when you weren't calling me Grasshopper you were calling me "My Intern Matty" on the phone so that whenever I met someone new the first thing they would say was, "Oh I thought you were a girl."

Lauren: I only did that because you convinced me to watch the movie Watchmen even though I was certain I wouldn't like it but you said it was your favorite movie and that you would burn me a copy of it and then you replaced the last five minutes with a video of you singing The National Anthem.  Badly, I might add.

Matt: I only did that because you made me play Dance Chicken with you in front of the bathroom doors.

(Dance Chicken was where Matt and I would wait until one of our coworkers went to the bathroom and then both go dance ridiculously in the hall around the corner from the bathrooms until one of us got too nervous that our boss or someone was about the round the corner and quit first.)

Lauren: Oh come on Matty, Dance Chicken was awesome, everyone got into it eventually.

Matt: Ok yeah Dance Chicken was awesome, I've actually thought about starting it at my new office, trying to get the feel of the place first...  But what about the week you brought a bag of all of your sweaters into the office and then every day after I got into work you would change into the same color I was wearing and everyone would be like, "You two are always matching."

Lauren: That was not even a little tortuous.  That was hilarious.  And anyway that was in response to you sending me an email saying "Hey, just wanted to let you know since you were out today, that we're doing a company spirit thing tomorrow and are supposed to try to wear as much red as possible."  And then I wore all of the red things I owned and got a bright red wig and looked so stupid.

Matt: Ok that was bad, but seriously you can't even argue with me that you were the one that did the very worst thing.

Lauren: And what is the very worst thing?

Matt: The Pleasant Circle property thing?

(At all three of the jobs I've worked, we've had properties/facilities/deals that we've worked with.  One of them at one job was named Pleasant Circle.)

Lauren: Matt, seriously I have no idea what you're talking about.

Matt: You were always getting off the phone with the rep for Pleasant Circle and being like, "That guy is such a jerk!"

Lauren: Yeah? So? He was a jerk.  He called me things like Sweetcheeks and Muffin and suggested at least twice a phone call that I run along and get a man for him to speak to instead.

Matt:  Ohhhhh.  Well nevermind then.

Lauren: No, you have to tell me now!

Matt: Ok so maybe one time I accidentally used the phrase "That Pleasant Circle Jerk" in front of *our boss* and it was awful.  I convinced myself that you were somehow behind it I guess...

Lauren: Haaaaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahah  Oh My God, I'm dying.  That's the best thing EVER!  How did I not know about this!?

Matt: I didn't want to give you the satisfaction of knowing your evil plan worked.

Lauren: Sorry Matt, there was no evil plan.  That was all you.  Even I'm not that awful.

Matt: Wow. Ok. Wow.  I've got to get back to work.  Here's my card though, email me your site will you?

Lauren: Absolutely!  You're definitely going to want to read today's post.

Matt: Oh.  Crap.

Poor poor Matty.**

**My intern's name isn't actually Matt (though it was another name one could turn into a girls' name by adding a 'y' sound.**

So I sound like a terrible pseudo-boss huh Blogstalkers?  I swear we both had tons of fun with it all.  We were by far the two youngest people in our department and it was what we did to make work fun.

Ever played a prank on anyone?  Ever been pranked?  April Fools' Day Maybe?  Tell me, I'm dying to know.

Also, anyone want to be my blogging intern now?

And Now I Must Skedaddle Lickety-Split to the Gym with my Furphy and Practice Pandiculation Until I am Wabbit. (I Apologize For Being Such A Pettifogger.)

Hey Blogstalkers!

If you've read my last post (or follow my extremely-complainy-butt on Facebook) then you know that we've been having a lot of heating problems lately.  For a time we were making-do with space heaters and blankets while coils and whozits and whatzits were ordered and the heating people had important conversations with Ryan about motors and sludge.  But eventually, when the heat stopped working AGAIN and it was about to be the third night of me having to endure Ryan using the phrase "tid bit nippily," we called it quits.

So Sunday afternoon we checked ourselves into the fabulous InterContinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue.  It's my favorite hotel for a couple of reasons, the biggest being that things like the below occurred there.


 Also, they allow dogs, have a Starbucks and are directly across the street from Nordstrom.  Plus it's the site of the Michael Jordan Steakhouse and their rooms have huge televisions in them, which in Ryan's opinion, would make for a pretty OK Super Bowl Sunday.

Here are some things that happened during our stay.

*Someone knocks on door*

Lauren: OH GOOD, they're finally here to take away all of our glorious down pillows and blankets and leave bedding made of styrofoam and dead leaves in their place.

Ryan: I can't help it that I'm allergic to down Lauren. *goes to open door*

Lauren: You know there's something psychologically confounding about the fact that you're allergic to feathers, are deathly afraid of birds and yet would choose Flight as your super power.

Ryan: Those things have absolutely nothing to do with each other, oh CRAP, the dog!

When Ryan opened the door to let the hotel employee with a cart full of bedding in, one of our small dogs (Zooey) darted down the hallway.  Ryan was only wearing athletic shorts and no shirt (obviously) so it was up to me to go after her.

Cut to a curious hotel neighbor opening their door to see me running down the hall wearing black leggings, an oversized white sweatshirt that says "We're All Mad Here!" and fuzzy zebra print knee socks shouting "Zoomer! Zoomer!" with outstretched arms.

Don't worry, I caught my errant dog.

Sidenote: This post makes it seem like I would be a really terribly annoying person to stay near in a hotel, but I promise 99% of the time, we are quiet as tiny mouses and I would absolutely never have shouted anything in the hallway if we had not been staying in a tiny hallway with only two doors one of which was ours and the other of which was a very nice man's who we talked to a bunch of times and who jokingly tried to bet Ryan that "Coach Harbaugh would win the Super Bowl." 

A little later Ryan and I went to a late lunch at the steakhouse downstairs.  Ryan got a huge burger and french fries and I was going to order the Caesar Salad with grilled chicken, dressing on the side, since I've been eating a lot healthier lately but then I remembered my self-imposed rule about how one is allowed to eat whatever they like on birthdays, federal holidays, and while staying at a hotel so instead I decided to forgo lunch in general and skip right to dessert and get this:



22 layers of delicious, mouth-watering, eye-watering (yes I cried a little) chocolate cake.  Even Ryan was impressed and was all, "That looks great, can I have a bite?"  Of course the answer was no though because of how Ryan doesn't like cake and it would have been a waste of cake.

While we were at lunch we had this conversation:

Lauren: You know, Nordstrom is directly across the street and I've been needing some new gym shoes.

Ryan: Nope.

Lauren: But this time I promise to use them for going to the gym.

Ryan: That would be a first.

Lauren: Untrue, I totally wore my old gym shoes to the gym the time I went in to cancel my gym membership.  OH! And the time you forgot your heart rate monitor and I brought it to you at the gym!

Ryan: No, that time I very clearly remember you wearing cowboy boots because I asked you why on earth you were wearing cowboy boots to the gym and you said "Instead of what? Roller Skates? It's not a roller disco RYAN."

Lauren: Oh yeah! You're totally right, because I remember looking for you that day and one of the trainers asked me if I needed anything and I said was trying to find the Country Line-Dancing Class.

Lauren: Ok so I can see why you're not sold on the gym shoe idea, but what about a trench coat?  I've been thinking about getting a trench coat lately.

Ryan: You don't work in an office any longer, you almost never wear pants that aren't fuzzy on the inside, why on earth would you need a trench coat?

Lauren: Detective work.  I need to do more detective work.  I've been craving it, which makes sense actually since it runs in my blood.

Ryan: Detective work runs in your blood?

Lauren: My grandmother's maiden name was Watson.

Ryan: You have cake all over your face.

And then lunch was over and we went to Nordstrom and I did not buy a trench coat but I did in fact get some awesome new shoes.



They are purple because I love purple and neon green because it is a proven fact that neon colors make you run faster.  Which also explains my new puffy vest.

Sidenote: The shoes and the vest are for early Valentine's Day.  I swear I don't often decide to just go to Nordstrom and buy myself things for no reason.



Ryan wasn't entirely sold on the idea of neon colors making one run faster so when we got back to the hotel I put on my new shoes and my new puffy vest and ran down the hallway at the speed of light singing "I am the fastest man alive!" because that is what The Flash says and I was being The Flash.

And then the same neighbor was standing in his doorway laughing at me and Ryan was standing in our doorway laughing at me and so I ran (really really astonishingly quickly) back to my bed and my dogs who always understand me and never say things like, "THAT was embarassing for you," to me.

I spent the rest of the evening staying firmly behind closed doors.  Talking on Twitter to the people that truly understand me, all of you.


So that was my Super Bowl Sunday Blogstalkers.  How did you spend yours?

PostScript: I shared this on FB and Twitter, but if you don't follow me on one of those: I've been hired recently to write for Mom.Me and my first post is up!

PostPostScript: Since I'm now writing for three different blogs (and also on the side for a non-blog project) I just wanted to let you all in on my new schedule.  I'm planning to update this site Monday/Wednesday/Thursday; the cooking blog on Tuesday and/or Thursday and the Mom.Me site once a week, posted at their editor's discretion.

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