Originally posted on findingLA.wordpress.com
When I turned 11, my sister gave me a journal. It had Tigger on it, and blue paper. She liked to journal, and thought that I might enjoy it too.
Fast forward 27 years and 40 some odd blank books later, and I’ve discovered that I love to write.
Writing is something that’s just stuck with me. Journals, stories, one completed slightly true to life story of my freshman year of college, letters, blogs, poetry, anything that involves writing words down involves me.
So, you can imagine the annoying feeling of incompletion that I face anytime I have writer’s block. I’ll be staring down at a blank page, trying to think of something – anything– to write that isn’t trivial. And I’ll have nothing. Thanks for the Blank Space, T.Swift, but I’ve got nothing more than a name to fill you.
I’ve tried a few tricks over the years. I’ve used the scrapbooking technique, I’ve tried writers’ prompts, I’ve even attempted to type when I’m feeling incredibly blocked. But that comes with the dreaded delete button, where you might be able to take away everything you think is wrong but at the same time, you could be deleting something that could be really
Again, with the puns.
Yesterday, I was in the middle of a coloring day with the Boo. He had a doodle book, I had an adult coloring book – all the rage right now. And in the midst of this coloring, I felt a strange calmness come over me. Coloring within these lines was practically therapeutic. All you had to worry about was filling in the blanks and that was all she wrote. Er, drew.
So with that, I busted out my old school Gelly Rolls. Back in the day, I had a few dozen of these in every color and texture. Um, lightning ink? SIGN ME THE EFF UP.
Something about the color on the page made me feel better instantly. It wasn’t just this terrible white page I had to fill, and it seemed suddenly more do-able. I doodled on a few pages, not filling the whole page, but giving myself blanks to fill, and things to remember, and goals to reach.
It made me feel more like I wanted to write, and less like I would cramp up within 30 seconds of cursive (Left handers, for the win). I even started busting out my collection of stamps and washi tape, to make things more interesting. And then, when I was done with that, I sat. And I wrote.
What are your cures for writer’s block? Let me know in the comments!
The joy of being half white and half Filipino is in the combination of cultures. For example, we own a Mah Jong set, but play without the gambling tiles, which we call “flower tiles” and don’t even know how to use. Seriously, I don’t even know if that’s their name. But it’s a tile with a flower on it, so there we go.
This basically means that we may or may not be playing the game correctly. But it’s how Dad taught us when he read the directions, so that’s what we go with.
Now, Mah Jong (as far as I know) is similar to playing Gin or Gin Rummy. It’s similar to a deck of cards in that it also has suits – but instead of Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds, it has what in my family we call Balls, Sticks, and Cars (short for characters, apparently).
We taught the Boo to play Mah Jong, since along with a card game called Tent, it’s what our family game night consists of. The other night at dinner, when I had a few friends over (Meghan (FunSized) and Rob (the bf)), Boo declared that it was a Mah Jong night.
Boo’s really getting the hang of the game the older he gets (he’ll be 7 in September), to the point where he doesn’t need help playing, won the first game, and charmed us with this lovely anecdote.
Boo discards a tile. It’s a 1 Ball tile. Rob’s turn is next. He draws a tile, and discards it. It’s the same tile – the 1 Ball.
“Hey Rob,” declares the Boo. “Look! We both got balls!”
Cue Laugh Track.
This is how scheduling goes on Friday evenings.
me: i can schedule you for tuesday and thursday next week.
her: how about monday?
me: i can do monday and wednesday.
her: i don’t really like monday though.
me:…how about tuesday and wednesday then?
her: is that all there is? that doesn’t really work.
me: wednesday and thursday?
her: i don’t really like that either.
me: okay…so you said monday doesn’t work?
her: but how about tuesday and thursday?
her: tuesday and thursday would be PERFECT.
Sometimes, it’s just so hard to explain things to a little kid. Like the time that Mommy got presents every month, even when it wasn’t her birthday.
That one ended up with SpiderMan having new “Gentle Glide with the Best Leak Protection” pewers, if you can imagine that. If you can’t, here is an image I drew of it.
So, the Boo and I were hanging out with LEGO MIXELs, which is his latest craze, the book I’m reading, and Pitch Perfect. We have the soundtrack for Pitch Perfect, so Boo was basically singing along to everything. It’s awesome. I keep telling him that when he gets older, we’re totally going to bombard my choir director with THREE GENERATIONS OF HOYER in the same choir.
So, Anna Kendrick goes to sing the cup song…
…and Boo looks up at me with this inquisitive stare and is all:
Hey Mommy, why do girls wear shirts with that line?
And I look at Anna Kendrick, and I look at her gray shirt with no lines and I look at Boo, and I’m like…what line?
So he walks up to the TV and he points.
Right. To the cleavage.
Boo: Girls wear shirts like right there.
Boo: See, the line? Girls’ shirts are right there, and they have boobs and there’s like a line.
Boo: Boys don’t have it. Cuz I sing Agony, and I don’t have a line.
And then he started singing Agony, and got totally distracted, and I texted furiously to people that Boo had just questioned cleavage, and how do you explain cleavage to a six year old?!
Fast Forward to the next day.
We’re at the dinner table, and enjoying a nice dinner, and Boo looks at me, super serious.
Hey Mommy, you’re wearing a Pitch Perfect shirt today!
And I look down, because I i’m pretty sure I don’t OWN a Pitch Perfect shirt.
But yeah. He was totally right.
It’s a whole new year, ladies and gentlemen. This means resolutions, trying new things, being better people, etc, etc. I ended 2014 in great fashion.
Now, when I say great fashion, I do mean great fashion.
But the biggest fashion statement I made was not worn most of the evening. This was a hooded furry bear which once upon my person was somehow called: a coat.
Faux fur is very in right now, which means that there is a very specific list of people wearing fur: people that brought about the faux fur rage, people that always wore faux fur, or people that are jumping on the faux fur train.
I personally bought my fur coat from Forever 21 for 12.90 on clearance, because I planned on using it for a halloween costume that never came to fruition. Which means that I really don’t fall in any of those categories. Thus, I present to you:
The Stages of L.A. on New Year’s in her faux fur coat
1. The self conscious L.A.
I put the fur coat on after staring at all my coats, deciding I couldn’t wear a North Face out on NYE, and remembering we had plans to walk to our destination. Then GoldDust sent me the following:
So, knowing that I wouldn’t be the only one in fur, I put the furry on, hoping I could pull it off.
2. The grateful L.A.
The walk in the cold and windy and snowy weather suddenly made me thrilled that I had put on the fur. Michigan is really cold, guys. Like freezing.
3. The fashionable L.A.
The point at which I felt confident, tipsy, and like I could rule the world in my fur coat. You guys. I looked good.
4. The Nesting L.A.
In which all I know is how soft the furry is and how warm the furry is and YOU GUYS, feel my arm.
And finally, stage 5.
Guys, I’m a polar bear.
I have two confessions to make.
One. This post contains spoilers circa 1993.
Two. I am terrible with horror movies. This isn’t normal level oh God I’m so freaked out and I might jump a little while watching scared. This is I didn’t sleep for two days after I saw The Ring and was positive that bitch was hanging out outside my window waiting for me to let my guard down scared.
Even previews for horror movies freak me out. I’ve forced myself to watch movies after seeing the preview because I needed to know that these fictional characters that I’ve encountered for 1 minute and 12 seconds survived.
The best part about all of this intense fear of a genre is why I have said intense fear of a genre. And to understand that, we must travel back in time – to a simpler time, when Sarah Jessica Parker hadn’t had sex in a city yet, when Bette Middler was the wind beneath my wings, and when I had a crush on one Omri Katz.
Now, to put this into perspective, I was six when I first saw this movie. Actually, I was six when I saw most of this movie. And let’s be honest: Winifred Sanderson is pretty effing scary when you’re six years old. For whatever reason, I was watching Hocus Pocus, for the first time, by myself, at age six. My parents weren’t home. My older sister was not watching with me. And I don’t know if you know the premise of Hocus Pocus, but these crazy fucking witches come back from the dead and suck the life out of little children – which is exactly what I was at age six.
Suck. The Life. Out of Children.
So, I’m watching this terrible movie where these witches are coming after these kids to suck their life out, and completely missing great moments like the bus driver because I was too young to understand…
…and I am bat shit terrified. Like watching the movie with one eye terrified, because apparently that made it less scary, to only allow fifty percent of my vision to see the movie.
Well, I’m struggle-bussing my way through this movie, just about positive that the witches were going to lose, because it was a Disney movie, and everyone knew that Disney movies have to have a happy ending except for Bambi’s Mom because what a terrible movie.
And then this amazing moment happened where the kids forced the witches into a giant oven and fried them to death. Take that, Bette Middler. Everything is fine! The kids are dancing in the yard because they win, and the world is safe from life sucking creatures and –
YEAH. Omri just cooked the witches and they did not die.
Well, being the brave six year old that I was, that was about as much as I could handle. The witches did not die after being cooked, and therefore were not going to die, which meant that the good guys lost, and the bad guys won, and I was sleeping in my sister’s bed that night.
Except my sister wouldn’t let me in her bed. I huddled in my parents bed until they came home, absolutely terrified that the Sanderson sisters were going to come after me since I had watched half of Hocus Pocus. When my dad moved me back to my bed, I was sure that the shadows behind my Little Tykes kitchen were Winifred, waiting for me to fall asleep. I was the next Emily Binx, and was bound to be until 1999.
Six years later, when my family upgraded to cable from bunny ears antennas, I finally saw the end of Hocus Pocus when it aired on the Disney Channel.
Hot damn, I realized. The witches lose after all.
And that, my friends, is why Laura doesn’t do horror.
So, I live in this city called Grand Rapids, MI. It’s a nice city.
There comes a time in Grand Rapids, MI where we are a little more widely known. People come from all over to see the great display of Art Prize.
Art Prize is a giant explosion of stuff in downtown Grand Rapids. The whole downtown area is like a giant canvas for artists. People cram into downtown like sardines and get to vote on what their favorite piece is. Yay, public opinion!
There is an excellent part about Artprize – the constant debate on what defines art. As far as I know, anyone can enter Art Prize. Last year, a tapestry won. Another year, Jesus won. The variety of art spans from musical performances to musicals, to sculptures and paintings, and to this furry box located in front of the hockey arena with eggs inside. There was a year when a giant pig was art. And another year that a penny made of pennies was art.
And this year, Boo decided to define art as only a six year old can.
Boo: Mom, look! It’s more art!
Me: Boo, that’s not art.
Boo: It’s in artprize!
Me: Boo, it’s a garbage chute.
Boo: Oh, I thought it was art because it was so tall.
Me: Nope, just garbage.
Boo: Now why would anyone put garbage into artprize??!
Vote on, Grand Rapids.
These are days, guys.
If you read Buzzfeed, or are on Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, or any social media with other like minded people (re: TwentySomethings), then you know that now is the time to be running, or working out, or eating healthy, or staying healthy, or something like that.
Everyone and their mother is working out and running 5ks and 10ks and 26.2ks and Blerg-Ks and eating all this kale and does anyone really even like kale?!
Seriously. You hit your twenties and it’s just the thing to be doing. Or maybe the time to start telling people about the thing you were already doing. (I wasn’t doing it before, really.)
It involved running and getting hit by things, then rinsing and repeating. Somewhere in the part where we were not getting hit by things, FunSized and I started talking about her latest piece of bling.
FunSized: It’s a Fitbit. It tracks how far you walk everyday. Like my goal is 10,000 steps and it’ll freak out when I hit it.
Me: 10,000 steps, huh?
FunSized: Yeah. I’ll definitely hit it today since we’re doing this, but it just motivates you to move around more. Like I know that you should park far away from Target, but now I actually park far away from Target.
Me: You’re kidding.
FunSized: During winter, I would walk to the store and just walk around until I hit my goal.
Me: …Sometimes when I go to the store, I’m tired and try to get Boo to push me in the cart instead.
So, I decided to join this revolution. I mean, I have a very big office. That has got to be a lot of steps I take everyday. At the very least, maybe FunSized would be right, and it would motivate me to move around more. Thus, the next time I was at Target, I parked as close as possible for the last time ever, and bought myself a Fitbit.
I got approximately 3,573 steps.
“I’ve only owned it a day.” I told myself. “And it was only part of the day. So it really doesn’t count.”
I had 8,105 steps.
“What are you doing?” my mother asks me.
“Walking around the kitchen table,” I tell her.
“FunSized told me this thing would freak out when I reached my goal.” I tell her.
“Hm.” my mother tells me.
I’m in shock that I don’t take 10,000 steps per day. It doesn’t seem right. MY OFFICE IS LARGE, people. But then this happened.
Total steps? 11,373. I’ve never been so happy to see a piece of technology freak out on me.
Obviously I am more than capable of taking 10,000 steps in a day, because I did it the day before. I’m a pro now. So when it gets to midnight, and I only have 8,746 steps, I’m pissed. Like legitimately upset and realizing that THIS IS WHY I AM NO LONGER SKINNY, because obviously I never took the time to park far away or count my steps and I knew I should have been jogging in place while watching The Fault in Our Stars last night.