Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I was walking back into my workplace on my lunch break last week, contemplating that it's been a few weeks since I've cried over my sister. A dull ache remains, but the constant worrying and heartache over her suffering has been lifted. I knew damned well that I'm not done, and thought to myself, "I wonder what it will be that will set me off." I imagine running into someone that does not yet know, coming across something she gave me, or being unable to talk to her about Mom. It will be something, I know.

1o minutes or so left on my break, I decided to sit down and see what my friend Becky had been up to, via her blog.

Becky and I became fierce friends when we worked together years ago. God, how she makes me laugh. It's been 10 years (or so) since she up and moved back to Tucson, but time and the distance hasn't changed the friendship one iota. I love her, I love her husband, her son, her parents, her sister and her sister's family. I love her aunt and her Grandma (Hi, Goldie!). Anytime we connect, it's real. If months or years go by, its as if it was yesterday that we last spoke.

You know the friend. That friend. Becky is that friend.

Ok, so you're all caught up, right? I'm thinking "what will undo me next?" followed by "I think I'll check Becky's blog." Last I checked in, she was planning on cutting all of this glorious hair off. Maybe I'd see a new do! Whoo hoo!

It was then that I discovered what would next undo me.



It's been a week, and I still cannot catch my breath when I look at this.




Monday, October 26, 2009


As usual, I have a ton of stories to tell, but little time to sit down and edit all of the photos. In the interim, this should be considered a "side-blog," of sorts.

I hit on the fact that I dropped my camera at Oktoberfest in St. Louis a few weeks ago, and I killed it. It probably had nothing to do with liter-sized mugs of beer. If I could remember what I was doing in the photo below, I could probably remember how I came to drop my camera.

Thus, when MyFamousFriendMarkRoberts came into town last week, I had $1 to win, so I went out and spent a couple hundred on a new camera, to digitally capture this moment:

As you can see here, one of us won the bet. That's another blog entirely.

This blog really has to do with that new camera.

Sort of.

Clint and I went out and bought the new camera 1 hour before Roberts' show. As I am but 4 years old, I opened the box the minute we got back in the car. It's the same instinct that makes me want to wear new shoes out of the store. Shut it. I want what I want when I want it, and I wanted to see the new camera.

When we arrived back to the house, we discovered that the memory card and adapter (that was SOLD TO US SEPARATELY) did NOT fit this camera. 90 minutes before the show: no shower, no makeup, and a new camera with no memory! Gah!

HERE is the kicker:

While tearing the box apart in the car, I had pulled out a tiny, bright yellow adapter for the memory card for this camera. It was in a teeny, tiny envelope, and it made a bit of an impact on me. Yellow. It was YELLOW!

  • When we got into the house, no yellow adapter.
  • Nothing on the box about including an adapter.
  • Clint hadn't seen the adapter.
  • We called Best Buy, and they told us that an adapter was NOT included with this camera.
I, now, frenzied and panicked to get ready, find a memory card, and get to the show, then stated, and believed, whole-heartedly,
There must not have been an adapter.
I swear to God, I said these words to Clint: "I must have imagined it."

In the meantime, we managed to get the card we needed (at WallyWorld, of all places), and make it to the show with plenty of time to spare.

FastForward to 2 days ago, Clint came waltzing into the house after his shift, and said "Guess what I found!"

He, of course, handed over the tiny envelope with the tiny yellow memory adapter that I'd dropped in the car a week ago.

So I hadn't made it up.

The thing is, what in the hell is wrong with me that I was willing to believe that I hadn't held an object in my hand, when I knew I had? Why on earth would I believe that I'd imagined this bright yellow object in a special tiny envelope:

I made that up? Of course I didn't! Am I losing my freaking mind? Do I even have a spine?!

So now I sit around and analyze my common sense and self-confidence, and wonder if I'm so brain-washable that I might someday confess to crimes that I did not commit.

Can you see it?

They'd insist, "No, Lori! The knife was in your hand!" And I'd be running around trying to iron my blouse and waiting for my eyeliner to dry before I put my eyeshadow on, and I'd respond, "it was? Oh, crap, it was! I did it, oh God, what was I thinking, how could I? I hate blood!"

What am I, stressed? Grieving? Exhausted? An idiot?

Show me a little love, people.

Share with me a moment that you've been convinced you saw or acted when you did not.

It can't just be me.



Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Gross, Unrefined Post, In Incredibly Bad Taste

Disclaimer: I clearly warned you; if you're offended, it's your own fault.

Post Begins Here:

About a month ago (how I know it was about a month ago will become clear soon enough), we gathered together here, at the Country Casa, for dinner. My Aunt was still here from San Diego, friend Di was here, Tim and the kids joined us, along with Craig and his friends. After dinner, while the weather was still holding and everyone was present, we gathered around a bonfire of sorts.

I say "of sorts," as GeniusInventorClint cut a lawn roller in half horizontally, which makes for an excellent country fire pit. Toss in lots of firewood, pull up the chairs, and you have yourselves a party!

We wrapped ourselves in blankets to keep our backs warm, and kept our feet close enough to the fire to smoke our soles, and proceeded to laugh our booties off all night long.

Nigh about midnight, when everyone began declaring that they should be heading home, Clint decided that he'd let the wood-fire die down, and throw in our paper bag of paper waste [we are country folk now, and can burn our paper waste].

Whoosh! In went the junk mail, ads from bill statements, paper plates...you get the picture.

We continued to talk and laugh, and were still going strong when the weekly flyers were gone. To my complete mortification, I watched Clint throw in a second bag of our burnable garbage.

The bag from the bathroom.

Now would be a good time to explain that waaaaay out here in the country, we have a septic tank, which means a girl cannot flush her....ummm...personal hygiene products...under any circumstances. Citified girls, this means, as far as I understand it, that things would become clogged, and the UncloggerMan will have to come out, and stuff that you flushed will inevitably end up out in the yard for Deer and God and The Whole World to witness, and the Man of Your House will be beary-beary perturbed.

That's as I understand it, you see. I haven't risked the man of my house becoming perturbed (on this particular issue).

Let's just cut to the freakin' chase, shall we?

So, Clint threw the bathroom garbage into the fire barrel while I simultaneously realized what had just happened, and thought, Oh.





The outer bag burned off in milliseconds, leaving the contents on complete display for everyone sitting in the circle. I held my breath, thinking "keep talking, everyone please just keep talking," when my niece, Brandi, began to giggle. Finally she said "Well. THAT was a first."

Thank you very much, dearie. The men in the circle hadn't yet noticed the fiasco, and Tim asked her, "Whuh?"

You know it, she said "I JUST WATCHED A TAMPON GO UP IN FLAMES!!"

Suddenly, all eyes were on the fire, and everyone was aware that the barrell was full of a week's worth of "someone's" used tampons, panty liners, and sanitary pads.

They don't burn as fast as you'd think.

Uncomfortable giggling beget when Brandi, actually trying to make things better, piped up, "Well, at least it doesn't smell."

She really thought that would help, but the boys in the crowd screamed with laughter.

To counteract that, she panick-ed-ly tried to gain control of the situation: "No! No, Aunt Lori, I wasn't insinuating that you're dirty!"

To which the men in the party completely fell out of their chairs, and her father, my brother-in-law Tim, screamed, "Just Stop! You're making it worse! You're making it worse!!!" Then he consolingly laid on the ground and laughed for about 10 minutes.



Everyone went home. Clint threw another bag of burn-able waste into the barrel, and I went to bed, having had one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

Let's just keep this between ourselves, ok?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Famous Friend ( & Come to Fat City on Saturday Night)

I'm trying to write a post that requires 100 paragraphs of pre-blog explanation, but I know that no-one reads windy blogs. What is boils down to is this:

This is me and Mark Roberts. He is a writer and producer of the hit TV show "Two and A Half Men," and I'm just bragging on him to get you to stand up and pay attention. (We couldn't reveal our friendship before, as all of those Hollywood types he hangs out with would pester him so much to meet Gnightgirl; I couldn't put him through that nightmare,)

At any rate, I used to PAY to watch this guy perform stand up comedy in this berg a lot of years ago, and he is returning this weekend for The Alley Cat Reunion at Fat City.

I wish I had more time to wax about Roberts. Truth is that I have money riding on the attendance of this weekend's show...

(Roberts on the left, me on the right)

...and if the house isn't packed, I'm going to be out one dollar.

Dudes. I just dropped and broke my camera, and I can NOT afford to lose a dollar. You HAVE to come to Fat City on Saturday night. $10 cover charge for hours of comedy and music after. (In LA, you're lucky to get a club soda for that!)

Please! Come out! Comedy! Beverages! Music!

If you're really nice, I'll lipstick & autograph your napkin. No charge.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Knitting (Ahem) Progress Report

As busy as I am these days, I still find myself, at the Country Casa with spare time on my hands. There are those of you that would tell me to just relax, and I DO relax, but when the house is clean, laundry & dishes done by, say, 8:30 p.m., a girl that doesn't like staring at the television gets a little bored. My "extracurricular" belongings still reside at the Casa Ciudad, so grabbing a book or setting up the easel isn't always feasible.

I announced to Clint that I'd like to learn to knit. It's creative, compact, and requires no deadlines. Perfect!

That very day we wandered by a garage sale, and there, for $1, was an entire set of knitting needles. Clearly, the Knitting Gods were shining down on me.

I immediately set about whining and lamenting: needles, no knowledge. Wah! Luckily, friend & coworker Diana stepped up and agreed to get me started. We met at a coffee shop last Saturday, and I casted off my first stitch:

(There's Diana, in the yellow shoes.)

From there, I was advised that my metal needles were crap (admittedly, the tips were bent on the set I started with), and that most knitters prefer wooden needles. So I went straight to the knit shop for yarn and wooden needles.

At the knit shop, I was advised that most people prefer circular wooden needles, so I bought the circular needles.

After some practice that created a sizable wad of knit-nothing, I decided to start on a simple project, and also that I really did prefer straight needles. Back out I went, for size 10 needles, and some shiny new red yarn.

I'd set out to make knitted dish rags, which I love. Here's a photo of what I was trying to make:

Halfway through my project, everything was perfect. Then another knitting friend informed me that the dish rags are supposed to be made of cotton yarn. Uh...like the pattern indicated, and I ignored.

Also, a size 7 needle is preferable to get a tighter weave, so that the towel doesn't get all baggy when it's wet.

And then I tried to teach myself how to decrease the stitches, and I YO K1 instead of YO K2, and where the towel should have been getting smaller, it got bigger, but I kept on going until I figured out what I was doing wrong, and I by-God finished my dishrag!

Yayyyyyyyyyyyy! Isn't it beautiful? I'm well on my way to becoming a famous textile artist, I just know it! That it's a little crookedy, was knit with the wrong needles, and won't absorb a drop of water because it's made from acrylic yarn...

...doesn't bother the cat one bit.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Here We Go Again...

My baby boy is on his way to Iraq this very minute.

He'll be gone 12 months.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Ok, so we weren't falling apart yesterday, but there was a general pall over our moods, missing Teri, acknowledging her birthday. We would be doing something today. We should be doing something today.

Tim called me on his lunch hour, and we updated one another. He was doing ok also, he said, though there had been a few tough moments. And then, he said, "Want to go out to dinner tonight and celebrate anyway?"

God. Yes. I do, I so do want to go out.

I called Mom after work, and told her today was Teri's birthday, and that instead of being sad, we were going to have a party and celebrate her life. Mom said "oh, that's wonderful, I love that."

The kids picked the restaurant, a Chinese/seafood buffet. We met up around 7:30, and proceeded to have a blast, trying to get one another to try foreign stuff. No takers on beef tripe, but Brandi and I manned up for chicken feet:

One foot for her, one foot for me.

Here we go:

Blech! No like!! The first time I've ever spit food right back out on the plate. The look on Brandi's face cracks me up here:

(Confidential to LA Lori): Chicken Feet, No!

Dane came back to the table with this play-doh looking blop. It was just some sort of rainbow sherbet, chockful of artificial coloring.

It tasted like bubblegum, which prompted a story of Mom, back in her daycare days, buying bubblegum-flavored pudding. The kids all hated it, and one of them ended up, at the end of the day, riding his bike into a tree and being transported to the hospital in an ambulance. When asked what happened, he reported that he was in a "Bubble-Gum Pudding Haze."

Our bill for the evening:

Quite a coincidence, as Teri was born in the year 64 dollars. I mean, 1964. After paying and receiving fortune cookies, Tim read his, and said "Oh, wow." Expecting some spiritual, ethereal message from Teri in his fortune, we made him show it:

Blurry shot, but that says "There is no such thing as an ordinary cat."

Hm. "Wow" was right, and if it was a message from Teri, we remain perplexed. We also hoped it had nothing to do with anything we ate from the buffet table.

Mom's fortune was a good one too:

"If we are all worms, try to be a glow worm."

I'd go back there just for the cookies.

We celebrated, laughed, and raised our crab-legs to Teri last night. We all felt great, I know, because the evening would have been right with her. We could imagine her saying "yeah. That's right," and rejoicing in our celebrating her day.

It was, it was just right.

I'll sign off now, and go try be a glow worm.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


October 6.
My sister would have been 45 years old today. It's a tough day.

October 7.
My son deploys to Iraq.

I think I'm going to throw up.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

25 Things...Volume Deux

I am copying myself, and repeating my own homemade meme, as I know not when I'll be able to sit down and elaborate on some things again.

1. My laptop fixed itself. After feeling like a nut and trying to reboot it 3 days in a row, as if "this might be the day it works," I gave up. I took it into a repair shop, and it booted right up. Spiteful thing.

2. I'm playing "Biggest Loser" with my family. We suck at it. We meet at Atlanta Bread Company, order sausage-egg-cheddar croissants, and discuss all of the restaurants we have to try.

3. Mom and I sat in the living room today while Clint worked outside, hammering on something. His hammering jarred a screw lose in a outlet plate, which triggered something else that sent fireworks across the living room and blew out the power. That was exciting.

4. My family calls Clint "Clem" after Mom's brain misfired, and she referred to him as that, once.

5. On a similar note, they've all nicknamed his son Craig "Craigory." If you need a new nickname, hit us up. We'll re-dub you.

6. Brian deploys on Wednesday. Though it landed on the #6 spot here, make no mistakes that this isn't #1 on the list of Things on My Mind.

7. One of my favorite "Clint's working tonight" dinners is smoked baby clams on triscuits. Clams found next to canned tuna, in your supermarket, for you takers.

8. I got Craig to eat sushi! He didn't hate it, but I doubt he'll ask me to make it again.

9. Mom wants a flu shot, which she keeps referring to as a "flea-flot." I can usually decipher her misfirings, but this one stumped me for quite awhile.

10. I had a friend teach me how to knit yesterday. Several people had told me that I would struggle with it, and tear a lot out at first. Being a usual quick-study, I severely doubted it, but I got knocked off of my high horse fast.

11. I told Clint I'd like to eventually learn to knit socks, and he laughed. "People DO that?" he said. "And you can actually WEAR them?" Ha. People's individual awareness-es always fascinate me.

12. Padano's Pizza in St. Joseph, IL rocks. It reminds me old-timey pizza that I had when I was a kid. I don't think I could order from anywhere else, ever again.

13. I've had a great weekend, filled with ME-stuff.

14. This is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I've been there, and if I have a minute, I hope to add a voice to this issue, here, before the month is out.

15. Even though we never let her out, my cat likes living at the country casa more than at the casa ciudad. She's calmer and cuddlier, though she'll still nip at company to get some lovin, not understanding that this behavior makes people hate her kitty guts.

16. Clint and I are still loving putting this house together step-by-simple-step. Today we brought over one dresser, some winter clothes, some canned goods, the baking stone, and pizza peel, from my house.

17. I called my sister every day when I got off work, for the last 2-3 years. If I was late, she'd call ME, and say "where's my phone call?" 4:00 p.m., now, is hard.

18. I think I bought the last reputable 5 lbs. of homegrown tomato in this town, and roasted them today in onion, cumin, chili powder, for this winter's chili.

19. There are showers that consist of soap, shampoo and conditioner.

20. And THEN, there are those that consist of foaming bath gel, shaving gel, vibrating razors with 8 blades, sloughing gloves, sugar scrubs, volumizing shampoos, deep conditioners, body creams with shea butter, and facial moisturizers with Q10. (And some other stuff, that I'm too-too polite to blog about here.)

21. High-maintenance pays off: There is definitely a different result between Shower #1 and Shower #2.

22. Still, Shower #2 requires some scheduling, and is more of a rarity than Shower #1. Wear long pants and no one will ever know.

23. Re: #22: You DO know that's the punchline to the KFC crank call, whereupon you ask them if they have chicken legs, don't you? Almost as funny as the 10-pound balls question at the bowling alley.

24. My car is 3000 miles over the 3000 mile oil change.

25. I'm up to #25 now, and wondering where I lost you. Go ahead and post your number in the comments.