Llama Do the Thing…

So this  popped up in my FB newsfeed, shared by a friend.

My question is, can I rent llamas (or alpacas?) just, you know, because? Without the pesky nuptials? I’d say I was asking for a friend, but we ALL know that I want to take them to a Magic tournament or  the Farmers Market or Sonic or something.


One Girl’s Opinion

I got a phone call from my parents after the last round of cleaning:
Mom: Did you label a box in the garage “Stupid crap they wouldn’t let me throw away”?
Me: ….that doesn’t sound like something I’d do.
Mom: Laura.
Me: What? You guys labeled a box containing a flip phone with a pull-up antenna, a something MEGABYTE SD card, a coily extension cord for a wall phone, a comb(?!), a camera that requires flash cubes, a modem, a portable cassette player, and mouse with a BALL “Useful Electronics.” I feel like I have the moral high ground here.

Serial Killers or Hoarders?

I feel like that should be a reality show.

You go through a family’s house and see what you find – you just show the audience and let them vote on whether they think they’re serial killers or hoarders. Because sometimes those are the only two logical options.

I was helping my parents clean up again – more basement / garage stuff.

First, I found a lock of hair tied with a faded ribbon in the bottom of an otherwise empty oldey-timey briefcase.

Next, I found a box labeled “doll parts” sitting next to a machete. A FOR-REALSIES machete!

I looked at my dad, holding the blade aloft, saying “For the vast jungles of Independence?”

Dad laughed and said “No. I just needed it.”

…that was not comforting.

“Needed it?”


“….NO. What does that MEAN? Dude, I’m about two seconds from calling – is that guy still doing unsolved mysteries? Imma call him.”

My dad said “Lauraliz, it was for a costume.”

“…I don’t think you’d lure anyone into your van wearing this.  You need a better costume. And chloroform. Where is THAT box?”


Master Debater

So I was in high school debate for four years. And I cannot tell ONE MALE PERSON that without getting the question “were you a master debater?”  Not one. Not ever.

And for the record, yes. I was really good. I earned a Triple Ruby at the time, though I had enough points that when they did the big conversion to a new system I’d actually have been a Quad Ruby.  So……you can, you know, be impressed. Or something.


Occasionally I go back and judge tournaments. Because I can and because they need good judges and because it’s kinda fun.

But. BUT. It also means hanging out with other former debaters. And let’s be clear – WE ARE TERRIBLE.  I mean, just really really insufferable.  We were the WORST when we were self-congratulatory, too-clever-by-half teen assholes quoting Kant and Maslow and Nitezsche. Imagine that, but all grown up – and in many cases, NOT having become an attorney or whatever. In my case – well, I’m not bad. I’m successful (by a certain value of success – good job, own my home, uhm…I have a dog….you know) and relatively well-adjusted. Not everyone gets there.

So I was sitting in the Hospitality Suite, and I recorded some of the nonsense spouted by my fellow ex-debaters.

“I’m a writer at the moment. I was living in Turkey. You know how it is. Now I’m trying to join the military, but there are some impediments to that…”

“I was going to go to law school, but you HAVE to take the LSATs…”

“It’s hard to get a career started when you keep getting fired, you know?!”

Sigh. I kind of hate us.

Origin Story

Dunno if I’ve mentioned it before, but my dad collects rare books. And coins. And stamps. And gaming materials. And…..just stuff.  Mom collects yarn and needlecraft supplies and – look their basement is full of boxes of junk.

So they had a plumbing problem a month or so ago.  That led to another plumbing problem created by the plumbers who went out to fix the first problem. Yet a third plumbing problem – which was now a disaster – resulted from that attempt at a fix.

They finally called me almost a week after all the plumbing stuff.

First, I forbade them to ever use that plumber again – and no, I didn’t care that the company was owned by some kid my mom taught once when she worked at the school.  Next I drove out there to assess the damage.

The water had seeped up through the carpet into boxes that held some of Dad’s books, which had caused those to fall over, sending more books into the water – you get the idea. It was a mess. But I vowed to help them clean stuff up and re-box everything and set it up so that it would be less likely to happen again.  I’ve been going out there once a week on Saturdays for just that.

I’m going to catalog some of the things I find. Because……you’ll see. Basically, I think that the experience will help shed light on the dark carnival that spawned the person I am today.

For example:

Dad: Do we want this box of vhs tapes and cassettes?
Me: No.
Dad: they’re store-bought.
Me: No.
Dad: Bobbie, are you going to fight us on this?
Me: No, she’s not. *covers mom’s mouth* ‘throw them away, Chuck.’
Mom: I want to give them to a woman at work!
Me: unless she has a time machine or just got here from 1987, she doesn’t want them!
Mom: Its for in her car.
Me: …. She better drive a DeLorean.

A Balrog’s Bargain

I stopped in at a bakery the other day to get a couple of desserty things. As I was paying, the girl asked me if I wanted to try the Southern Pecan bar samples – and OF COURSE I said “YES!” I had just popped it in my mouth when she pointed at my shirt and said “Oh! Is that Lord of the Rings?” I nodded and made an affirmative sort of noise.

Holy cow was this pecan bar good!

Then she says “Yeah, I thought so. It’s that elf guy, right?”

I again nodded and smiled and made a noise – both because she was right and because the caramelly, nutty yumminess was amazing. Then she said “Yeah! Thorin…din? Legolas’ brother.”

I stopped chewing, my mouth suddenly full of ashy sadness. I now had to either keep eating this delightful confection and let her wrongess stand, or… I took the only real action open to me. I swallowed. “Thranduil. Elvenking. Ruler of Greenwood the Great. Legolas’ dad. Uhm….thanks.” I took another sample.

Here’s the shirt, if you’re curious: http://www.teefury.com/king-in-the-woodland-realm




Some Things Never Change

I just found a game on Steam where the review tagline from Kotaku is “It’s like Game of thrones, but with animals.” I don’t…what…is that an endorsement?

One of the characters is a busty bunny – and even in a grim, but cute Disney-esque fantasy world, the girl-type people don’t get to wear pants.

It’s called Armello.

HOLY SHIT – you guys need to go watch the trailer videos! It’s the weirdest cute-but-terrible thing EVER since Watership Down! An obviously evil, yet still COOT AS A WIDDLE BUTTON weasel with an eyepatch just full-on murder-faces a toad in front of his rabbit friend!

Because: Boys

I stopped by this local boozery called simply The Beer Cave to buy, well, beer. Which – for those of you who are puzzled by this, I drink SOME beers (Boulevard’s Bourbon Barrel Quad and Lindeman’s Raspberry Lambic, and Dragon’s Milk, for example).

ANYWAY – so at the checkout counter, the two cashier dudes are talking about how two female workers have both left early, in tears, over the last two days. One explanation was “Bethany, because: boys.” I cocked my head and raised a single quizzical brow and decided to join the convo, with appropriate matter-of-fact sass, “Well, if you dudes would just stop with being ALL the confusing-nonsense-stupid, then we’d be FINE, you know?” And the dudes start trying to EXPLAINIFY dudeness!

The dudes looked at me for a moment, shrugged, and nodded. But then they started trying to EXPLAINIFY dudeness! Bless their hearts.

Dude One: See, my girlfriend hates me. But she knows that I’m there for here when the chips are donw. So it’s cool. You know? I mean, I may suck, but I suck LESS than other dudes, and I will totally take care of her.

Dude Two: Yeah, I feel ya, but my girl does NOT hate me. She digs me. And she knows I’m there for her. *suddenly worried look* I think….

Me: Yeah. See? Even you don’t know for sure. *does ‘mind blown’ gesture*


I Broke Him…

I had to console a teen grocery clerk over my divorce. Sorta. Lemme ‘splain:

So I was checking out and the kid was way excited about everything.

The woman in front of me with the cart full of groceries and kids had amassed 160 grocery points and smugly looked at me and said “I guess I’ll be back to get free stuff!” He said “Yeah! Winning!”

Next he picked up my jug of iced tea and sang the “unsweetened iced tea” song. Then he made it dance on the counter and asked if I’d be drinking it with sugar cookies. I laughed and said no, it would have to find the tools to survive solo. He rang up my total and said “You’ve got…. Oh. 15 points.” He made a sad face.

I said “Yeah, I don’t shop that much.” He said “Oh – no shame, no shame.” I was still looking at the receipt and without thinking said “well, when you don’t have a family…”

Silence. I look up and the kid has TEARS in his eyes. On his face. “I’M SO SORRY,” he says.

“No. It’s okay. I’m divorced.”

“Oh. That’s TERRIBLE!”

“What? No – it’s fine. I promise. I just meant that it’s not like I lost my family. We never had kids.”

“No kids?! But it’s Christmas… ”

At this point I feel Iike I broke him.

“Yeah… I have a super cute dog though. I swear. Massive ears. It’s okay. Really. Uhm… Have a great night.” I ran.

I posted this story on Facebook, and some of my friends – well, their responses were fantastic.

You should have just kept going and destroyed him…..SWEEP THE LEG!!!

We do not train to be merciful here – mercy is for the weak!


I love my terrible, awesome, idiot friends.