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9 posts from November 2010


I have a lot of routines set up for myself, some conscious and some unconscious. For example, at some point last year I got in the habit of eating specific lunches on specific days. On Tuesdays, for example, I go to Cosi and get a TBM. It sounds kind of crazy and OCD, which, to be fair, it maybe is, but it's not something I observe like a religion. It's just that I've found, at least for me, that settling into a few general rhythms helps offset some of the difficulties that come with being extremely absent-minded and oblivious.

I also tend to rotate through the same outfits at work on a fairly regular basis. This is more or less because I only see a small number of people in a given day and because it saves time in the morning to already kind of know a specific combination of clothes to go for. Anyway, at some point, I things kind of evolved into me wearing the same things on certain days of the week. I didn't put this all together, though, until I had a conversation with my Cosi cashier one Tuesday as she rang my sandwich up.

"You work at the salon next door, right?" she asked.

"What? No," I answered, wondering why she would think that. (I hypothesized that maybe my hair was looking particularly excellent that day.)

"Oh," she said, kind of confused. "Sorry--I just assumed, because, well--" she looked at my black shirt and grey skirt. "You come here often, and you have the same uniform as them. So I just assumed."

At this point, I came to the dreadful realization that I had probably come to this Cosi every Tuesday for the past several weeks wearing the exact same outfit. I had never made the connection before and I reeeallly didn't want to tell the cashier, "Oh no, I'm just a crazy person, and this is my Tuesday outfit, you see!" But I had to save the situation somehow, or else future trips to this shop would be too awkward and I'd need a new Tuesday lunch option.

"Oh! That is so funny," I said. "Yeah, I guess my job has sort of the same uniform." This seemed like a solid enough save. I handed her my check card.

"So where do you work?" she asked. Damn. This was like playing chess, and I was not planning my moves far enough in advance.

"Uh . . . nearby." Please let this transaction end. Please let this transaction end.

"OK, cool! Here's your number. See you next time!" Whew.

I decided that things hadn't gone too badly, and I could still come back to that Cosi in the future. But as I walked out the door, I realized that I would have to make sure I would be wearing that exact same outfit every time. I am now charged with the responsibility of keeping the uniform myth alive.

This Is Why It Is Important to Save Every Piece of Paper You Have Ever Touched

We had a fun suprise at our Thanksgiving table yesterday; my mom had reached into some magical vault and found placecards we'd all made for Thanksgiving many years ago. We estimated them to be from about 1991-1992.

Here's mine, featuring a turkey, a pilgrim, and what appears to be a flaming witch's cauldron. I apparently had some confusion going on about holiday imagery.

My older sister Kelly's was indeed very minimalist and Kelly-like. I am assuming there was a corresponding piece of green pasta glued to the bottom-left corner that has since fallen off.

Kate's features a turkey enjoying a lovely stroll under some clouds. We were arguing yesterday about whose turkey was better--mine or hers. Feel free to comment and confirm that mine is.

And then there's my brother's, which has no artistic value whatsoever. Just like my brother. (Zinggg.)

There were also placecards for my parents, although we couldn't remember which kid made which.

My forensic analysis upon closer examination is that the handrwriting on Mom's matches Kelly's and the legs on Dad's turkey very closely resemble those on Kate's, so those are the likely artistes.

I'm guessing Real Simple magazine will not be suggesting holiday placecards made by eight-year-olds in the '90s as a decorating idea anytime soon, but these really made our day. Good job, Mom!

This Is How the Favorite Things Episode Would Go If I Were Oprah

(Sorry to disappear. It's been an insane two weeks. But I am back now, I swear.)

So, every year Oprah does this favorite things episode where she gives the audience all the things she likes to wear and eat and stuff, like cashmere sweaters and $300 shoes and things that smell like vanilla and wealth. Then everyone gets a car and pretty much dies of happiness. Today I was thinking about how The Lauren's Favorite Things episode would go . . . a little differently. Here is how I picture it.

"Get ready, everyone, because today we are doing LAUREN'S FAVORITE THINNNNNGS!"




"Awesome! The first thing I want to share with you is totally awesome--just great. I think you know what I'm talking about. You're all getting TRISCUITS!"

"That's right, you're all getting a box of America's favorite cracker that's not Wheat Thins or Ritz. But that's not all! You didn't think I would just give you crackers, did you? No way! We're going bigger--WAY BIGGER. ARE YOU READY?"


"What? I didn't hear that. Anyway, I know this seems to good to be true, but I'm gonna sweeten the deal. Get ready--maybe sit down. YOU'RE. ALL. GETTING. DIET. COKE!

[End of episode]

This Week in Internet: Ullage, Porpoises, and Water Balloons

Another busy week,; as I write this I still have 1000+ unread items in my Google Reader, so who knows what goodness I am missing. But here are the links I scrounged up before the RSS hit the fan.

Word of the day of the week: ullage
The 20 longest pages on Wikipedia. I'm pretty sure we don't need to know so much about a few of these topics.
OK, so I know this makes me a moron, but I NEVER KNEW THESE WERE THE SAME THING. Just watch.
42 Beautiful Cat Sweaters. This makes me want to have a cat sweater party.
Raymond is Wheel of Fortune's Best Contestant Ever. This video is great. I know 8+ minutes is an internet eternity, but I watched the whole thing and had to keep pausing it to stop laughing. Be sure to follow along with the list of highlights provided below the clip.
Speaking of Wheel (yes, I call it Wheel, like the regulars, thank you very much), this woman is no Raymond, but she had a pretty sweet moment on the show this week.

"Canadian visual artist Kim Rugg specializes in cutting letters out of newspapers and gluing them back in alphabetical order." Watch the video to understand how truly insane this is.

Awesome pictures of water balloons breaking. These are super cool. (You can trust my opinion on coolness, because I am the person who just linked you to two videos of people playing Wheel of Fortune.)
I swear this is a real headline: Porpoises rescue Dick Van Dyke.
Have a super weekend, preferably one with cat sweaters.

Or, "What Lion Poop Has in Common with Edward from Twilight"

From an article in Washingtonian about lions, and what it takes for lion cubs to be born:

"The keepers collect fecal samples from the lion yard every day. To tell whose poop is whose, they add green peas to Naba’s food, black-eyed peas to Shera’s, and rice to Luke’s. Other zoos use edible glitter or cake dye."

I don't know about you, but my day has been officially made by the fact that somewhere out there, lions are literally shitting glitter.

Sometimes the world isn't so bad.

This Week in Internet: Cheese and War, but Not a Cheese War

OK, Cheese People cracks me up.

It's not too early for dogs dressed as turkeys, is it?

Popcorn popping at 6,200 frames per second. (Spoiler alert: POP.)

New NYT blog Disunion "revisits and reconsiders America's most perilous period -- using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded."

Letterman interviewing rescued Chilean miner Edison Peña is a must-watch. His translator is kind of hilar, too.

How smartphone users see each other.

Joel McHale on the notorious fourth hour of the Today Show (Kathie Lee and Hoda) is exactly equal parts awkward and hilarious. I looooooooooved this.

Mad Men links of the week: Don Draper says "what," Michael Gladis is a customer. (thx, Em)

First off, "animals with casts" is a great and sadorable topic for a Tumblr. Second of all, I WANT THIS DOG. She looks like a blonde version of Pancake!

Sam Waterson's hot modeling pics are awesome. (thx, kel)

Your Flu Shot Is in Another Castle

My company gives us free flu shots, but I had to drive to a different (bigger) office to get mine. I went over there at lunch today and asked the security guard if she could tell me where the flu shots were being done. "Sure," she said. "They're doing them in the Medicine Room. Take a right at that second hallway and go to the end." I was kind of impressed that this particular office had a Medicine Room. (I'm pretty sure that the kitchen in my own office building used to be a bathroom. It has a shower drain.)

Anyway, I followed her instructions, turned right, and went to the end of a very long hallway; unfortunately, there was no Medicine Room at the end of it--just some conference room. I backtracked and returned to the beginning of the hallway, sure that I had turned down the wrong one--but no, there was, in fact, a "Flu Vaccinations this way" sign posted there, pointing me right back in the direction I had come from. I walked down the hall again, paying very careful attention, looking for signs of nearby a Medicine Room. (A red cross, maybe. Or Sandra Bullock in a nurse's uniform.) Alas, I dead-ended yet again in front of that same conference room--the Madson Room, according to its sign.

I turned back around. I thought maybe I should just forget it. I started back down the hall, and was almost back to the lobby when the revelation hit me. "'Madson' sounds like 'medicine,'" I mumbled to myself. Then, louder, like a hero in a movie who has just cracked the code in a ransom note and figured out how to save the president's son: "'MADSON' SOUNDS LIKE 'MEDICINE!'" I had misheard the security guard!!

I turned right back around and skip-walked the length of that hallway for the fifth time that day, and then burst elatedly into the Madson Room. A nurse sat there, clicking her pen and looking bored. I, on the other hand, was BEAMING. She looked at me like I was crazy, presumably because most people don't approach being stabbed in the arm by grinning like they just beat a video game. But, man--that is exactly how I felt.

Halloween 2010

This year I decided to go as a 1990s laser portrait of myself.

I had originally toyed with the idea of wearing a vest and carrying a bag of combs and my camera and saying I was a school portrait photographer for Halloween, but then it occurred to me to flip the idea and be the portrait instead. The internet being what it is, someone had of course already had this idea at some point, because I was able to very easily find a perfect high-res laser background to suit my needs.

I strongly endorse this costume, should any of you wish to try it at some point. You get to wear a great '90s outfit and look super cheesy in every picture. As a bonus, people will point at you all night and say things like, "OH MAN! MY MOM WOULD NEVER PAY THE EXTRA $10 FOR THAT DAMN BACKGROUND!" And then you can hand them your posterboard and make up for the portrait they were never allowed to get as a kid.

Everyone wins!