I saw this nearly perfect Geo Tracker. I see a lot of these here in town, but this one looks like it’s new. Enjoy!
A weblog by Laura Moncur
I moved to St. George a little over a year ago. I didn’t tell a ton of people about it and I didn’t announce it here. Mostly, we wanted to be closer to Mike’s parents, who moved down here. My mom and Reed also spend a lot of time down here, so we get to see them often.
St. George is to Salt Lake City as Florida is to New York. All true Utahns end up retiring and moving down here to warmer climates, no snow shoveling and we still get to be Utahns. We just came down here twenty years too early.
After a year here, it’s not that different than living Up North. We don’t have a Noodles and Company or a Forever 21, but then again, it only takes five minutes to drive anywhere. I used to plan 30-45 minutes to drive anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley. Now, I only plan for trips to take 15 minutes. It used to take me that long to drive from Daybreak to the freeway (on a good day).
The primary difference between St. George and Salt Lake City is this: In St. George, every day’s a car show. Not a day goes by when I don’t see some gorgeous and rare old car. LITERALLY. The only way I can avoid seeing cool old cars is by staying in my house. Even if I walk around my neighborhood, I will see a cool old car because we have SEVERAL enthusiasts right near our home.
This is what we saw casually parked at the sports bar last week.
For over a year, Mike and I have been pondering the phenomenon for a year now and the best we can come up with is water. Because we have little snow on the roads and water in the air, the cars don’t rust out as quickly here. Plus, when it only takes five minutes to drive all the way across town, you don’t rack up a lot of miles on your baby.
In the end, I really miss my friends and family who stayed Up North, but I’m staying down here. 110 degree heat is nothing compared to six inches of snow overnight. Lack of noodles and fashionable clothes is nothing compared to crowded roads and the crush of too many people. We love it down here and we are staying. Plus, who can say no to a daily car show?
Mike and I have moved many times in our lives. We’ve lived in a total of six places in the Salt Lake Valley in our twenty-five years of marriage. Every once and a while, I get the urge to drive past those old homes where we used to live. Sometimes I look at old pictures I’ve taken when we lived there. We sit in the car and notice the differences in the exterior or yard and I think,
I used to live here.
The same is true for the Internet. I have lived in many places on the Internet, even as far back as the old BBSs. But unlike the old houses, so many of those places I can’t visit anymore. My favorite BBS was the one Mike and I ran back in the early 90s and I can’t go there to talk anymore. Sure, we have all the old data from the BBS on a floppy disk, rotting in the garage. Even if we could fire up that old Atari ST, I doubt we could bring that beast of a BBS back to life. And that makes me sad because I can’t go back there and say,
I used to live here.
There was a DDR forum that I used to visit every single day. When I was at work, wishing I could play DDR, I would log on and talk about the game there. It was called DDR Freak and it’s still there, just like my old apartment on 600 East, it sits there, alone. The last post I’ve seen logged was in 2011. It has been almost four years since anyone said a word there, but
I used to live here.
Even this blog has been slowly abandoned. I’m spending more time on Facebook than I do writing here. It’s not that I really write on Facebook. I just scan the feed, liking things and commenting here and there. It was kind of like what I did on the DDR forum, except about a wide variety of subjects instead of just one video game. But this blog is like a home I own, but don’t live in anymore. A summer vacation spot with no vacations taken. A rental home that no one rents. Sometimes I show up, clean the comment spam out of the corners and shine the entries where old formatting no longer works. But, mostly I go there to say,
I used to live here.
Atari Telenet image via: ATARI BBS GATEWAY
I was talking to a friend last month about hair, about how I don’t dye my grays and how I cut it myself. She was telling me about her hair and why she dyes it regularly and the cut she chose. While we talked, I realized something. Both of us were talking about the same thing. We were both sharing our personal methods for the hair of least resistance. Both my friend and I were telling each other about the easiest way to make our own hair look good.
I didn’t always search for the hair of least resistance, in fact, most of my teens and twenties was spent trying to make my hair something it wasn’t. I spent so much time in salons, changing the nature of my hair with color, perms and straighteners during those two decades that I really feel like I’ve done my time. I never again have to sit in a chair for five hours, hoping they don’t accidentally burn it all off my head.
I talked about The Tragic Black Hair Incident on this blog before. It was the event that convinced me to never again play with color in my hair, but even after that, I spent so much time trying to make my hair straighter or curlier than it was.
Until I found The Hair of Least Resistance.
It took me 45 years to find it, but here it is. All I have to do is wash and condition it and let it air dry. No styling. No curling irons. No straighteners. No blow dryers. I can throw it into a bun or ponytail to get it out of the way. I can pin it up with barrettes to vary the appearance. It is easy to do every day and easy to maintain.
I have a special gratitude for the woman who made this video because it’s the way I cut my hair.
I first tried this haircut about a year ago and I have been so grateful for learning this ability. Going to get a haircut was such a stressful activity for me because I could never find a hairdresser who could just easily cut my hair. I wish there were hairdressers who are like barbers, who just bring you in, cut your hair in five minutes and send you out the door. I don’t want to be pampered when it comes to my hair. I just need the split ends cut off. Learning to cut my own hair is such a blessing and has given me a HUGE peace of mind.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t get tempted. I see pictures like this and the inner New Waver in me WANTS it. She wants single clumps of blue hair nestled in with the brown. She wants to dye it all white so she can then choose a different color of hair every week or two. She wants to cut it a strange and unique style that is striking and difficult to maintain.
And then The Hair of Least Resistance wins out.
Because after forty-six years, I have learned one important thing:
I AM NOT MY HAIR.
So much of my identity was tied up in my hair in my teens and twenties that it literally took fifteen years to learn that simple fact. I am not my hair. I am not my clothes. I am not my job. I am not my group of friends. I am not my family. Standing alone, homeless and jobless on this world, stripped naked and shaved bald, I would still be me.
If I am not my hair, then The Hair of Least Resistance is the only logical choice. My only shame is that it took me so long to learn it.
Last week, we had Allie visit for a day or so and I caught her and Elvis playing. I thought the Internet might enjoy it as well.
I love to have Allie visit because it teaches our animals to get along with other animals. Or in Elvis’ case, it teaches him to just walk away…
Back in 2010, an antique store in Salt Lake City was going out of business. I saw a painting there that was the epitome of what it feels like to grow up in the Eighties.
It was $450 and way too expensive for me to buy, so I snapped a picture and forgot all about it until a few weeks ago, when I was looking through old photos.
The artist’s signature isn’t clear enough in the picture for me to see the name, but I remember that it was a woman’s name and it reminded me that sometimes the gender of the artist IS important because only a woman who had experienced this would be able to paint this.
I played with my camera phone photo in Photoshop and was able to make one that’s easier to see.
From the Walkman and headphones to the big bow in the pouty girl’s hair, THIS is what it felt like to grow up in the Eighties as a girl.
- John Lubbock, The Use of Life, 1894
I absolutely adore these two photos of Stacey and me. We are both wearing the same pair of pants.
I used to look at these photos and pretend that Stacey and I were twins. I am a full five years older than her, but every once and a while someone asks us if we’re twins. I always want to say yes. Yes, and here’s my proof.
- Merriton: Twelve Hours from San Francisco – Kindle Edition
- Merriton: Twelve Hours from San Francisco – Paperback Edition
I actually wrote this BEFORE The Secret Heart of Charlotte Lucas, but it is WAY bigger, so the editing was harder. Oh, and I have already found typos in the print version, so no matter how long I work on something, I just cannot see my errors until they are in print. Most of this story was posted on the Merriton website, but the print and kindle editions both have 25 new chapters that were never published there. I’m so excited!!
I have a much adored gray stripey cat right now named Lucy. We adopted her a few years ago:
When we adopted her, we had just lost Maggie, my previously adored stripey gray cat. I had no idea how to name her, so I literally let a stranger name her. When we were at the Farmer’s Market, I was holding her while Mike filled out the paperwork for adopting her. An old lady came up to me and fussed over the kitty and we talked.
Nice lady: Oh she’s so adorable are you adopting her?
Me: I am. We just lost our gray cat. She died…
Nice lady: My gray cat just died, too. I’m so sad. She was such a good cat.
Me: What was her name?
Nice lady: Lucy.
Me: Then that’s what we’ll name her. Lucy is a really good name.
I just realized that I have loved gray stripy cats my ENTIRE life. It started when I was just a baby. My mom even provided proof. Here is my father introducing me to the kitten.
This is 1969 in Norfolk, Virginia at Mrs. Cannon’s House. I have no memory of this event, but it’s obvious I was really interested in this kitty. As a kid, I would look at this picture as proof that the kitty liked me too, because she reached out her paw toward me.
I eventually cornered the kitty. I have no idea how this encounter ended, but I like to think that we were both happy.
Sometimes, when I’m half asleep and think weird thoughts, I like to tell myself that Maggie was ALWAYS there for me. She just kept coming back to me in the form of a gray stripy cat.
I love this quote:
- Mahatma Gandhi
I have encountered some dirty drops in my day, so I need to remember that people are basically good.
I love this quote from A Civil Campaign.
- Lois McMaster Bujold
Still working on that last part…
Here is my Halloween Manicure for this year.
I usually do several manicures throughout October in honor of Halloween, but not this year. This is my only nod to the holiday. I did the black French manicure line freehand, so it doesn’t look amazing, but it’s this year’s entry into the collection.
I saw this great photo of a dog painted to look like a skeleton here:
My Halloween posting has been light this year, but I just had to share this!
We had an INCREDIBLE time this year for Halloween! It was so great! The theme this year was The Twenties in honor of our TWENTIETH year of doing this! Here are some photos:
The Winners from left to right:
Beast of Show: Derek as the Headless Horseman
Sexiest Costume: Jackie as a Grecian Goddess
Funniest Costume: Jen as Charlie Chaplin
Scariest Costume: Mal as The Big Bad Wolf
Best Potluck Dish: Penny’s Pretzel Monsters and Aliens
I still haven’t taken him out of my contacts list. He died in July of 2007, but I still can’t bear to take him out of my list. So, my phone happily reminded me this morning that it was his birthday.
So, Happy Birthday, Grandpa. I miss you terribly. I still think of you almost every day and I wish that I could have been the granddaughter that you wanted me to be.
It’s alright. I turned out to be a good granddaughter anyway…
I love this quote so much that I made a motivational poster for it: Arnold Lobel: Books to the ceiling,/… – The Quotations Page
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.
- Arnold Lobel
When I moved back in March, we were going to a smaller house. I talked with NakedJen and told her that I was thinking of selling or giving away my books. So many of them I could find in digital form and they were really heavy mementos. I’ll never forget what she told me:
Don’t get rid of your books. Of all the things that I’ve gotten rid of and given away, I miss my books the most.
So I kept them and they divide the living room from the front door, like a barrier to the outer world. There was room for them. They may have been heavy, but they were worth it, like a snapshot of my life before Kindle took over. So glad I kept them.
The Ryde Divine posted this photo with the simple phrase:
My friends are amazing
I don’t know who is in the photo or for what occasion they dressed up and went to Disneyland, but he’s right. His friends ARE amazing!
And now for your ghostly enjoyment, a dance:
Sometimes I forget that cartoons have been creating ghosts for one hundred years.
This isn’t a scary video, but it’s an interesting Sci Show video about whether the idea of being scared to death is real or not.
The scary truth is, YES, yes, you could be scared to death.
Be careful this Halloween…
This costume that I found on IKEA Hackers is brilliant!
- 1 Regolit Shade Lamp from IKEA
- Make the top hole bigger, so your head fits in it, but don’t cut near the metalic ‘loopies’; you still need them to keep the metal structure in place and stretch the lamp open.
- Reinforce with some tape.
- Cut a little spyhole.
- Paint a pupil & iris around it.
- Put the sphere on your head, then stretch it open by introducing the metal structure.
- And remember to bring a straw if you want to drink at the party!
What would be really cool is if you do this with a group of friends, so you all show up at the party with giant eyeball heads.
Welcome to Halloween 2014! Here is some nightmare fodder for you:
Did I ever tell you about the time I was 19th in the nation for trivia? It was last Thursday night.
Thanks, Buzztime, for making me feel smarter than I really deserve to feel!
I laughed so hard at this!
Since I couldn’t go to Salt Lake Comic Con this weekend, I console myself with this!
I was looking at Tumblr and Feel Good Inc. posted a bunch of these animated gifs from an episode of Roseanne from 1989.
It’s from this episode:
Fast forward to the 17:19 mark to see the conversation. I am so grateful to Roseanne Barr for this episode.
I’m approaching menopause. Every once and a while, I get the night sweats and have hot flashes for seemingly no reason. I have had a lovely life with my monthly menstruation. Truly magical, just like Roseanne told me I would.
“Now you get to be part of the whole cycle of things. You know, the moon and the water and the seasons. It’s almost magical… You should be really proud today, ’cause this is the beginning of a lot of really wonderful things in your life.”
Even though I was already an adult when I saw this episode, it helped me. It helped me love being a woman in a way that I have enjoyed every month. I recently talked to my mom about menopause and she said that she was happy to have it come because then she didn’t have a monthly curse. I told her that I never thought of it as a curse. It made me feel connected to the earth and the cycle of life on this planet. She said, “You never got that from me.”
I realized she was right. I didn’t get that from my mother. I got it from Roseanne Barr. Thank you! Thank you for that episode so many years ago that touched me so profoundly. Now that I have moved to the phase beyond this one, I will learn to accept it with just as much grace and gratitude as my mother did.
It makes me so sad that some people imagine that THIS is what being a woman is about. Via: WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR — via /r/trollxchromosomes
Seriously, though your period is like coming home one day and finding that your spouse has constructed this entire new baby bedroom inside your house and you have to tell them “Sweetie we don’t have a baby” and then your spouse FLIPS THE FUCK OUT like “The FUCK do you mean we don’t have a baby I DID ALL THIS WORK” and then they spend the next week tearing the whole room apart and throwing it out into the street and screaming at you and then finally when the room is completely gutted they calm down and say “It’s okay hon we’ll have a baby next month” and then they start building the room again AND THIS SHIT KEEPS GOING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE UNTIL YOU HIT LIKE 50 AND THEN YOUR SPOUSE LEAVES YOU BUT NOT BEFORE SETTING THE WHOLE HOUSE ON FIRE SO IT’S NEVER THE SAME AGAIN
Someone didn’t get the same maturation lesson that I did and THANK GOD for Roseanne, because I never once felt like this about my own body during menstruation and I have her to thank for it. I am literally saddened to the point of tears for whomever wrote this. We are so much more than that vision of our bodies.
I saw these images from A New Leaf in Everfree, and I thought I’d make them into an animated GIF.
It’s also for reading in the mountains, on the porch and in the camper. I love reading outside. I don’t know what makes it better than reading indoors, but somehow it is better.
This video reminds me of dancing at the Ritz and The Palladium so much. I’m shocked that I didn’t know even one person in the video, though.
In 1986, I pretty much only went to The Palladium when The Ritz was closed, so that would have been Sundays and Mondays, I think. Dawni and I had a schedule where we could go dancing EVERY night of the week but I don’t think there was a week in which we actually did that.
What surprises me so much is that all of that seemed so very fun and normal to me. Looking at it almost 25 years later, it doesn’t look normal at all. The weirdest of all is that I don’t really want to go back. It was fun back then, but life is WAY better now.
Happy Independence Day!
If you would like to visit my Animal Crossing town, my Dream Address is 4000-2185-7855.
It’s my birthday today.
If you would like to visit my Animal Crossing town, my Dream Address is 4000-2185-7855.
This movie looks freakin’ AWESOME!
It’s a superhero movie with an interesting twist. Looks like a fun roller coaster!
I have finally published my first book. It’s called The Secret Heart of Charlotte Lucas and I’m SO EXCITED!
You can buy it on Amazon here:
It’s a backstory for Charlotte Lucas, from Pride and Prejudice. I always thought Jane Austen dealt with her unfairly, so here is her redemption.
I’ve just subscribed to this YouTube channel because I love to listen to talking birds.
When I was a kid, my grandma had parakeets. The smartest one we had was Blue and she could say, “Pretty boy.” That was it. This bird just loves to talk his cute little head off. I just love him!
I read this interaction on Feel Good Inc. Tumblr and I didn’t believe it.
why do people say “don’t be a pussy” when talking about weakness more like “don’t be a man’s ego” because you know there isn’t nothing more fragile than that
because “pussy” is the shortened form of the word “pusillanimous”, which means “timid, cowardly” and not the slang word for the female genital region?
literally no one else knows this. nobody.
- Pusillanimous on Dictionary.com – lacking courage or resolution; cowardly; faint-hearted; timid.
Firstly, I’m not buying it. If they really meant a shortened version of pusillanimous, the phrase would have been, “Don’t be pussy,” since pusillanimous is an adjective.
This might have been the origin of the phrase, “Don’t be a pussy,” but it certainly isn’t what it means NOW. Now, everyone assumes that it is referring to the female genital region, somehow calling girls weaker than boys. It’s synonymous with, “Don’t be a girl.” It might have had a less vulgar origin, but it certainly has a vulgar connotation now.
I’m not going to go around saying, “Don’t be a pussy,” but I just might pull “pusillanimous” out of the twenty-five-cent-word bag when I’m trying to be pretentious. Thanks, Tumblr, for increasing my vocabulary!
I am posting this here just so I will be able to refer back to it whenever I want. I am SO tempted to cut my hair right now. I have been growing out my bangs for over a year now and I want to just even everything up to where my bangs are.
This faux bob is a really good substitute for actually cutting off all my hair.
Here is another video showing the technique.
Sometimes I think I cut my hair because I get bored with the same three hairstyles that I do all the time. If I find new, cute ways to do my hair, then maybe I won’t be tempted to cut.
A few weeks ago, we saw the Lego Movie. If you haven’t been bludgeoned over the head with the hype, then here is a trailer for you.
The movie is great on so many levels that I can’t tell you about, but I CAN tell you that it has drastically altered our Lego household.
My boy has always been good with Legos. He built this Millennium Falcon in just a couple of days.
He loved to build with Legos, meticulously following the directions. No matter how many times we told him that he could build ANYTHING with Legos, not just what the instructions say, he would only build what the directions told him to.
And the Millennium Falcon sat, pristine and untouched on his bookshelf.
And then we saw the Lego Movie…
I can’t tell you everything about the movie, but the idea of just making what’s on the instructions is NOT held in high esteem.
The next day, the Millennium Falcon was dismantled, and he built this.
I nearly cried with joy. I don’t know why he had to hear from the movie that it was alright to make whatever he wanted, but I’m so glad that he finally understood that message.
Now, my boy is a master builder. I’m so proud!
This morning, Nina was basking in the morning sunbeam, completely oblivious to the camera.
As soon as the sunbeam inched its way across the floor, Nina got up and went back to her bed. It’s funny how I forget to enjoy a good sunbeam when it comes along and I need my dog to tell me what’s REALLY important.
Nina’s doggie bed was a shredded and fraying mess. The grocery store had dog beds on sale for ten bucks, so we bought her one and she LOVES it.
Unfortunately, Elvis loves the bed as well. After days of Nina just letting him sleep in her bed, she finally just gave up and joined him in it.
Elvis has been snuggling up to dogs his whole life. Here is a very similar picture of Elvis and Sid.
The patience of a dog is unparalleled. The next time I am irritated by something, I’m going to remember Nina and Sid, patiently and kindly sharing their beds with Elvis.
I was lying on the couch, relaxing and Lucy came to sleep on my stomach. Within a minute or two, Nina walked up to Lucy and the lovefest began. You can see it here:
It lasted for a full three minutes before Nina pulled away and slept next to me.
I can’t believe the harmony we have in the house. I’ve never had three animals get along as well as Lucy, Elvis and Nina do. The only points of contention are when Lucy wants to cuddle too much with Elvis and when Elvis is hogging the doggie bed. I’m just so happy with my peaceful house.
I have loved living in Daybreak for the last few years and I felt a little silly for never filming any walking videos here, so I filmed one today. It was so sunny and beautiful that I thought it was a perfect day for a walk.
Sometimes the winter blahs get me down, but today was so beautiful that I’m glad I recorded it. I’ll be able to watch it the next time I’m trapped in the house by a storm.
Powered by WordPress
(c) 2003-2007 Laura Moncur