Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A few weeks ago, I told Future Husband a funny story from my childhood about an incident with an Albino during a school play. He said it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard. I immediately pictured what I would draw in MS Paint to accompany the story.

This is not that story.

It is, however, a funny (if not sad) story about my first day of Fourth Grade at a new school. My education has been a source of much frustration, as well as humor. I attended public school for three years; Kindergarten, First and Third. I skipped Second. During the spring of Third Grade I started working on my Fourth grade coursework while the kids that were a year older than me continued on their due course. My teacher (an amazing woman and educator named Mrs. Adams, whom I stayed in touch with for years) approached my parents, and recommended looking into private or charter schooling for me. We couldn't afford tuition on our own, so we went looking for scholarships and advanced charter schools. My Godmother got wind of my giant brain and offered to pay the tuition to send me to a private school, and that is how I ended up at Queen of Peace Catholic School for Fourth grade.

Now, to understand the social suicide I was about to commit, you have to go back a few months. Maybe a little further. Both of my parents are theater geeks. My mom was an actress, and later a director, and my dad is the gayest straight guy I know. Seriously, he loves musical theater. So as I child I was in plays and musical reviews quite frequently. Sometime before I became obsessed with Grease, but after my Peter Pan phase, I went through an Annie period. As a child, I had ridiculously straight, lifeless hair (oh, if I only knew then what puberty would bring) and hated it. After months of obsessively washing my hair with a 'Curly Formula' shampoo and seeing no results, I convinced my parents to let me get a perm. That was during the winter. By August, it had grown out. A lot.

Lori, circa 1994

The unfortunate result being my severe resemblance to an overfed poodle. Did I mention that I had started to gain that pre-puberty chub that girls get, right before boobs show up? Also, I'm Italian, so I've always been well fed. Having been somewhat popular at my old school, or at least, never picked on and never short of playmates, I was worried about the kids at my new school liking me, especially since you advanced every year with the same kids. So I would be with this same group of kids up until Eighth(!) grade. That also meant there were going to be kids in my class that had known each other since, *gasp* Kindergarten. That's like, half their lives. (Or so my brain told me.)

So after dinner Sunday night, my parents made me lay out my new school uniform, check my back pack against the list of required school supplies, and hop in the shower. Standing in the bathroom, staring in the mirror, I became highly concerned with what my new classmates would think of one particular feature.

The eight year old mind is a mystery.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided that the problem with my appearance was my unibrow. So I decided I would just borrow my dad's razor, and trim it down a little. Not in front of the mirror, mind you... but in the shower. Just using my fingertips to feel if they were even.

After my shower I dried off, changed into my pajamas and came back out into the living room to watch TV with my parents. For some reason, I didn't think to check my impromptu eyebrow grooming in the mirror. I sat down next to my dad, who promptly said, "Lori... what happened to your eyebrows?"

Afraid I would get in trouble for using a razor without permission (trying to shave my legs for Easter had resulted in a weekend's worth of grounding), I froze. I replied the only thing my academically super-powered but sense deprived brain could come up with. "What eyebrows?"

"Exactly," my dad said.

I caved a few moments later, and confessed that I had tried to 'trim' my unibrow in the shower, since I was starting a new school and was worried that someone might make fun of my big, Deigo eyebrow.

The next morning my mom woke me a few minutes early, so she could pencil on the rest of my eyebrows. Make up was against the school's uniform code, so to hide the drawn on brow, mom made me wear my glasses. The ones I had outgrown in Kindergarten.

Did I mention they were hot pink?

And that's how I started at my new school; 6 inches taller and one year younger than everyone, with missing eyebrows, glasses too small for my face, and a grown out perm.

Needless to say, Junior High was miserable.

Don't worry, I'll tell you the Albino story later.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Okay, the time has come, few followers of mine. (Can I call you minions yet? Please?)

I'm sure I've mentioned it too much, but I've been working on a book about Future Husband and I, and our crazy, teenage, young-and-stupid stumble towards wedded bliss. I didn't know it was leading to wedding bells, mind you, when I started working on the book. But ta da! It is.

I titled that book quite a while ago, and since I am still young enough at heart to not-so-secretly crave Rock Star status authorhood once I'm published, I've also titled the two subsequent books in the trilogy. Thanks, Jane Austen, for always writing your books in three acts. Now I do it, to.

Only a few months after we got together, I decided that I wanted to write a fourth book. Maybe not part of the 'trilogy' per se, but a book that could stand alone or be read in sequence. The title, which was amazing, ifIdosaysomyself, came to me almost instantly. So I've been sitting on it for about a year and a half, much longer than I've had this blog.

Honestly, I probably should have given the blog that title from the get go, but I didn't want anyone to come along and steal it before I can use it.

But the other day, as I was talking to Future Husband about it (because I'd mentioned it to my cousin Jinxie and she loved it) I said, "I'd love to rename my blog, but I want to use it for a book, later on down the road."

He asked (he's always so good at helping me see the things I overlook), "Why can't it be both?"

And I paused for a moment, but couldn't think of a good reason. So voila! Some time in the next few days I'll be changing the name of my blog. The address will stay the same, so no need to worry. Just keep an eye out in your 'Blogs I Follow' section.

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Hey guys, doing a little more layout changing.... which I'm pretty sure is why my title disappeared. Oh well!

Hang tight, I'll get it all set, I promise.
Firstly, let me say that Future Husband hates the expression 'Tour Widow.' Probably because he takes it literally. Which is probably because I keep warning him to drive safe, not be too tired, or drunk, or let either G or D be incapacitated. Not to make me a widow before I can actually be one.

But, I mean, c'mon. How much would it suck to have your fiance die right before the wedding? You're losing your husband, but there are no legal benefits or responsibilities. So you're powerless in a time of personal crisis. Then add on to it the fact that there's some sort of social stigma. Like, "Oh, your boyfriend died 3 months ago? Why aren't you dating again?" compared to, "Oh, your husband died 3 months ago? I'm so sorry. How are you feeling?"

Still, though. I like the phrase 'Tour Widow' and I've seen other bloggers in my situation use it.

And my situation is this; there wasn't room for me in the van for their short Seattle to Austin migration. (Seriously, the Seattle music scene is a ghost town right now. Everyone's flying south by southwest for the Spring.) They're sharing a van and equipment with another band. It's a smart choice, both economically and for their career. This band is a little bit bigger and well connected, and was able to get them into some good SXSW shows.

So when the tour started last weekend, I followed them down to Oregon in my little Hyundai, named Francine. Future Husband and I stayed in cheap motels and did our best to enjoy the last few days of each others company. Unfortunately, with the work situation, the driving and the two shows, we got maybe 10 hours sleep between Wednesday and Sunday, total.

We parted ways in Central Oregon on Sunday morning. I did my best not to cry, and he kissed me tenderly, and called me 'Wife' with a wicked little smile. He climbed into the bigger van and started towards Lake Tahoe, and I got back into Francine and started back to Seattle.

When I finally arrived back at our house, I crashed for nearly 14 hours. It was lovely. Except that it made me wake up 5 hours before the start of my first job. So I decided that I should use this abundant energy to my advantage, before my brain realized just how far away Future Husband was.

I cleaned our room, picking up bits of trash that had accumulated over the last two weeks. Sorted the laundry, and got all of the dirties picked up off the floor. I even managed to decorate a little bit, putting up one of the good pictures from our Engagement Photo session in January. I drank half a pot of coffee, and wore real clothes and listened to music while I cleaned, like a normal person. (My usual cleaning routine is pajama pants and a Jane Austen movie on in the background.) After cleaning I ran to the bank, the thrift store and grabbed a quick lunch out before going to work. I was a whirlwind of productivity.

Day 1: The rare but productive Lorinado.

But after nannying, getting ready for my night time job, and a long, frustrating night, I was exhausted. Add to it the fact that this new night time job I have is for the same company that Future Husband works for, and that he trained me, and it's a strange emotional roller coaster. Whenever I had a question about what I should do, I couldn't just go to him and ask. I sat alone at lunch. And while I got to talk to him briefly during the break, it just wasn't quite the same. So when I got out of work at 8am, feeling tired and lonely, getting lost was the last thing I needed. I turned the wrong direction out of the parking lot in the fog, and ended up two miles away before I realized my mistake. I was able to eventually turn around and find my way back and get on the right track home, but it was insanely frustrating. And it delayed me enough that I was stuck in horrific morning rush hour traffic. What should have been a 35-40 minute drive, turned into a 90 minute one. A few minutes in, right after I had gotten on the right freeway, some silly, mopey, lovesick song started blaring out of my iPod, and it started the waterworks.

So there I sat, stuck in foggy, bumper-to-bumper traffic, thinking of the cute way Future Husband walks with his hands in his pockets and the quirky, non-sequitur things he'll say to make me laugh. Even though it wasn't the longest we had gone without seeing each other since we've lived together (which was 3.5 days in July, when I flew down to AZ for a wedding), I knew that it was going to be a lot longer. So I felt the full brunt of missing him, because I was too tired to think rationally and stave it off.

Day 2: Sad, in so many ways.

The rest of the week has alternately flown by or dragged on. Every moment he's away feels supernaturally elongated, but sitting here on Saturday, looking back at it, it's like it was over in a flash. I've had similar ups and downs emotionally, but have done my best to let my brain hold the reigns over my heart.

We'll see how the next two weeks feel.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
My cousin Sara reposted this blog, and I felt I had to repost it as well. I'm pretty sure every girl that reads my blog will identify with this, especially those that have ever felt romantically ignored. And I know quite a few of you will identify (probably a little too well) with the last sentence.


"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."
Rosemarie Urquico (via kblitz)

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Seattle, United States
During this course of study, you will come to learn much about the strange eating, sleeping and mating habits of the Instrospective Lori under stress. We will observe as she moves halfway across the country to start a life with her own Captain Wentworth, takes a year off of work to pursue a writing career, and incessantly references Jane Austen.
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