Sometimes British guys ask you to pretend to be their girlfriend in church so they can ward off creeps.
I can empathize: last year I had a Home Teacher creep. Nay, a Home Teacher stalker.
The worst variety out there, I'd say.

Sometimes you run into old friends in small, empty public restrooms. 

Scratch that. 

At least twice weekly you may run into old friends in small, empty public restrooms. 
This is problematic. 
If they're on their way in and you're on your way out, you don't want to hold them up; 
who knows what lavatoric issues they might need to deal with? So how do you part? 
If you're me, it's with a, "Well, I'll let you go do your thing. Good to see you!" 

Upon exiting, please place forehead promptly on brick wall. Repeat.

And let's not get into when it's just the 2 of you and she's not done at the mirror . . . 
and you need to go real bad. 
"Well, see you on the flip side, I guess!"

Sometimes you decide to try out a vegan diet with your roommates for a couple weeks.
We have no good reason, except that we're in college and we can.
We must be reckless youths.
I'll let you know how this goes . . . on the flip side. As I wolf down a steak.


Dad: "You just pwn'd us all at Scrabble. This must be because you're the English Language expert."

Laura: "Actually, the only reason I'm in the ELang major is because I'm obsessed with puns. Like, unhealthily obsessed. I love them so much. Whenever somebody makes a pun, even if it's horridly groanworthy or accidental, I go off into some frightening cackle rage. The neighbors are scared of me and the library workers wince when I walk in. I'm embarrassed for myself."

Dad: "Maybe we should call you Ra-PUN-zel!"

I wept openly.
Punday Monday

It’s nigh on the bewitching hour: that time just after I should be going to bed and just before the Holy Ghost will be going to bed. The Mexican boy down the way, in consistency with the rest of the world, waits to erupt without warning into the living room until I have removed any trace of makeup and traded out the clothes I would be comfortable seen in public with for baggy, stained sweatpants and a delicious Snuggy. My hair is in a messy bun that makes Lady Gaga look like she is having a great hair day and my slippers exude Eau de Hobo Steve.

Taking my blank stare as a warm invitation to share his hush-hush secrets, he looks slowly around the room as if to scan out any government spies or evangelical leaders. Far from the low tones I expect, he grins and bears his mission statement with enthusiasm:

“I am a here to invite you to play the Pocker in my apartment,” he beams. “Do not worry, we only play for candy. Texas Hold, I think. You should all come.”

Taking my blank stare as one of excitement and agreement, he gave me the thumbs up and promptly spun out of our front room, no doubt in search of other eager female gamblers.

I thought of my new motto stenciled above the closet:

“You are a strong, independent woman, and you only need your boots to complete you.”

One challenging look from my ultra-conservative apartmentmates later, I traded out my slippers for my boots, nodded a “good evening,” and marched, chin-up, down to the hideaway.

A quick survey of the dimly lit kitchen afforded me approving nods and candy-hungry scans from the Relief Society President, her probably high up on the Elders’ Quorum foodchain boyfriend, and several guys who I knew lived there but had never seen before in church. “Slept in,” "Lost my Sunday Shoes,” and "Mormon Hangover" were their names. The latter gave me a glazed grin over the top of his 2-Liter of Dr. Pepper. 

The winnings were borderline substantial. Hershey's new Air Delight line is a joke, but not as much as the "Fun Sized" movement.

Our Poker Faces won Dottie and me further invites the following Sunday, but the line must be drawn somewhere. Sorry, no gambling on the Sabbath.

postscript: I had a Thanksgiving post ready, but after eating my way through my fourth chocolate pie it kind of fell through the cracks. Nonetheless, I'd like to say I'm grateful for a mother who shoots vaccine up my arm for freeeee. Flu free for five years and counting o'er here. Food baby for four days and counting o'er here.
Pocker Night

Home at last. I'll go back to college in 6 days.

Last time it was 6 days before college, you may recall I was fed leftovers every night as a subtle hint that it was time for me to start packing my bags.

This time I was home for a full six-and-a-half minutes before my mom told me to "hey look over there!" and then shot a syringe up my arm.

Good to know we're bagging the subtlety gimmick.
Ouuuch my bicep

I called home yesterday to give my mom the good news:
The count of unread email messages in my inbox has reached the triple digits.

In a miraculous leap of Cyber Monday online shopping ads, the tally bumped up to 1000 from 887 virtually overnight.

I knew she'd want in on 30% off Amazon's collection of plush Pillow Pals, so I punched her digits into my beat up blue cell.

"Hello?" Came the home-from-school-suspiciously-early voice of my youngest brother, Tim. 

"Hey! Is mom around?" I asked.

"Um . . . nooooo. I don't think so," he responded, but in his voice I heard what was really to be understood:
"Actually, she's downstairs but I'm busy altering family pictures so I can be misunderstood like Jordan, and I'm too lazy to go get her."

"Right, okay. Can you just leave a message for me then? Tell her it's Cyber Monday."

"Yes Master."

The line went dead and I trudged up to work where I had awkward conversations with married men and broke an $80 vase. Life happens. It was pleasant to see my mother's name on my caller ID as beat-up-blue buzzed on my way back to the security of my wood-paneled abode.

"How was work, Laura? I got your message. Tim told me himself, and he even wrote it down this time! I was really excited to hear that today is Fiber Monday!"

Coincidentally, Raisan Bran is in fact my favorite way to start the week.

Misunderstood Monday

Speed Dating is a skill that becomes especially tricky when there are barriers between you and your so-called-date. Instead of being able to see their face, you have to press your cheek up against the thin barrier to hear what they are saying, knowing that your faces are likely an inch and a half apart. 


start off each date in an embarrassingly witty manner. Numbers were used in place of names as we filled out rating sheets.

Voice from beyond: "Alright, let's get started! What's your number?"
Simpleton: "G6. Fly like a G6. And could I get your digits?"
Skeptical Voice from Beyond: "Uh . . . B3."
Simpleton: "Miss! I like this game. It's just like Battleship."
Frightened Voice from Beyond: "Yeah, maybe."

make up a fake identity, for entertainment purposes. Perhaps you are Barbara from Maryland and you enjoy shopping, petting little doggies, and Bella Swan from the Twilight series.

Fake identities are especially fun when you accidentally use them while talking to the one person there who you will be seeing again regularly and is not completely weird. You nailed that one, G6.

rig the results of this speed-date experiment by grading each date on a faulty numbering system. On a scale from 1 to 7, "negative four" is an acceptable rating for "Compatibility" and "maybe" probably translates into a usable response when answering, "How interested would you be in speaking to this person again?"


Do Not

accuse the first guy you speak to of lying about his nationality. That thick Hispanic accent? Ya, it's not fake.

Bad Move: "Ok 'Mister Guatemala', and how's your poor family you haven't seen in years?"

assume you know the second guy you speak to and tell him all about his hometown and family. You will not only be wrong, you will also elevate your speed-dating status to "Advanced Creep."

tell funny jokes about a major until you find out what they are studying. The only thing worse than quivering under an icy-cold 3-minute-long glare is praying silently behind an unstable barrier that could be kicked into your face at any given moment. I've never loved the sweet music exuding from a shrill metal whistle (more commonly the bringer of an orchestra of pain) more in all my life.
Speed Dating 101

Favorites from Roommate Photoshoot in the Canyon
We smile real big.
We laugh together.
We hold hands.
We dance together.
I apply lipstick...?

Favorites from Family Photoshoot in the Canyon

awkward and awesome on so many levels...
Laura's Facebook Profile:

and the grand finale...
Jordan's Facebook Profile:

Good thang roommates are just for pranking and looking good 
Famlees R 4-EV-R

Often when you go to college, prefer healthy foods to delicious chips 'n' cheese, and live under a persisting fear that your produce will produce mold if you don't eat it today (cooking for only one is a learned skill), it becomes necessary to exercise a little creativity.

Unfortunately, my creative juices are limited to arranging flowers in ceramic bowls and putting together killer outfit combinations on a thrift-store budget.

The other day as my eggs scrambled slowly over the low heat of the electric stovetop, I pondered which vegetables I might add to enhance this invigorating breakfast experience.
(Spices are the most invigorating part of the savory breakfast experience, but even Fiesta Lime Mrs. Dash can only take you so far in the way of nutrient density.)

Sniffing at my extensive duo of vegetables, it was finally determined that the browning mushrooms were on a steeper decline than the half-mutilated zucchini. Yes, it would be a fungal morning once again.

I sauteed what I judged to be a proportional amount of mushrooms for the ideal veggie-to-egg ratio. Then I realized that given another day, the remainder of the mushrooms may not be able to pass the slime test, so I added them in as well.

"How bad could this be?" I reasoned with myself, "Extra 'shrooms equals extra exciting, so say the Munchkins of Oz."

Mid-bite, I became aware of a nearby roommate. Jaw agape, eyes half-closed, and hair balled into an intricate rat's nest, her look of appall might easily have been mistaken for a look of the Living Dead.

"Ya, ya, like you can even talk," I snarled through forkfuls of the slippery feast.

She was eating cheerios;
the eccentricity of some people makes my stomach feel like rubber.
An entire mushroom carton's worth of rubber.

. . . . .

Ok, so I should've stuck with the Gummi Bear breakfast, à la early morning New Testament class.

Jump start your day

I suppose I did leave you hanging as to the outcome of my Pre-No-Shave-November eyebrow removal fantasy.

Yes, I still have my eyebrows.
Yes, our living room still has wood paneling.

I'm rather glad I kept the brows, and not just because they're so attractive.
We wound up striking a deal with the competing apartment. 
After threatening to give all our pumpkins to our next-door-neighbors just to make the guys lose, they offered us a collaborative win: combination of pumpkins and shared glory.

We even shook on it. 

Then they went all Benedict Arnold on us. 
They took the pumpkins, the glory, the J-Dawg prize, and proceeded to give a lovely speech about appreciating the opportunity to destroy everyone, and also the opportunity to make new friends for the sole purpose of stabbing said new friends in the back.

I don't think shaving eyebrows or head could have prevented this backstabbage.
It was a tragedy.
Remember that one time when I had eyebrows?

Hi guys.

Crazy psycho midterms week over here. My apologies.

Tomorrow is the flower shop's grand opening. Check it out, or else tell your mother to.

Cute scarves and jams galore. If it were pay day you know I'd be snatching 'em up before you all get to them. I'll be there from 1:00 on, in my fancy apron, probably hiding in the back and massacring foliage or shoving Gerbs in bottles. I have the best job ever. For real. I love it every day, even when I come home with nasty nails and soggy leaves stuck to the bottom of my boots. Glam.

Enough with the propaganda. I would now like to introduce you to The Weasel:

This is a picture from our roommate photo shoot a few weeks back (more on that later--I'm so behind).

Dottie once told us of her irrational fear of being Weaseled.
Imagine this:
You are walking alone and unsuspecting down the street. Happy and worry-free, you go into panic mode when a nearby stranger of the male variety walks casually by as if to pass, then suddenly grabs your hand, shoves it in his pocket, and balls his hand into a fist so that yours cannot escape. 

Here, Elizabeth done been Weaseled.

I will never walk alone, unsuspecting, happy, and worry-free around campus again.
It's my half birthday. Celebrate with pie.


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