Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


April Fool’s Day for Utah Brides

Filed under: Living in SLC, UT — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I’m reluctant to post anything serious on this day because I’m worried that people won’t take it seriously and will think that I’m just joking.

I HATE practical jokes. I don’t really care for April Fool’s Day either.

I did notice that they are having a bridal show at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake today. I wonder if that’s an April Fool’s Day joke…

Grand America Hotel: Bridal Extravaganza

The sad thing is we have so many bridal shows in the Salt Lake Valley (and Utah Valley) that it was inevitable that one would fall on April Fool’s Day.


Maggie Cleaning Linda

Filed under: Linda,Maggie,Our Pets,Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Click Here to See the Video

I was sitting on my chair in the bedroom when I noticed that Maggie was cleaning Linda. Usually these sessions end up with a cat fight, so I ran to get my camera. Three minutes later, Maggie casually jumped down from the bed and it was all over: no cat fight, just a quiet moment in my life captured on film.

It’s no wonder that Maggie pukes up huge white hairballs on a regular basis…


Bike Testing

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

We live down the street from Guthrie Bicycle. That won’t be the case for long because this fall they are moving to a new building on 800 East, but for now, we still live down the street from a bike store. The weather is getting nice. I can tell because people are testing bikes.

They ride up and down my street and I watch them from my window. The tags announcing the prices and features of the bike flutter in the air as they speed past me. Sometimes one person will test several bikes, but usually it’s a one ride affair. I see them ride north, turn around and ride south and disappear to the front of the building.

I never see them again and I never know if they bought the bike or not…


Self Portrait Tuesday: VideoBlog

Filed under: Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Click Here to See the Video

Talking to a camera is so much more difficult than typing on my keyboard. Sometimes I feel like the ideas come out of my fingers instead of my mouth.



Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

This was my first year at SXSW. Mike and I took a walk at lunch and at one point, he stopped.

“This is where the kickball game usually is.”

He sighed and looked at the empty field.

Anil Dash is the guy who usually sets up the kickball game and this is why there wasn’t one this year.

Honestly, the kickball game is where a lot of people find out who’s there and who’s not. Because Anil Dash wasn’t there, a wrench was thrown into the whole works. Sure hope he’s able to attend next year. I never got to experience the joy that is kickball.


Today’s Episode Was Brought To You By The Letter O

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The Letter O - Austin, TX - by Laura Moncur 03-14-06

The Letter O - Sugarhouse, UT - by Laura Moncur 03-27-06

Mighty Optical Illusions

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 11:01 am

I found a new weblog that specializes in optical illusions. I have been enjoying it greatly.

Thought you’d might like to take a look.


Angry Commercial Blogging

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I’m angry right now, which is something I should never do. Angry blogging. Drunk blogging. Sick blogging. They’re all things that everyone should avoid. But, I’m still angry and I want to vent.

There is SO much talk about advertising, commercialization and monetization of websites. Not only do Jason Kottke’s fans think that they have a say whether he puts ads on his weblog (kottke.org), the important people in the videoblogging world have their say about things:

They insist that the money changes the content and act as if advertising were a BAD thing. I just want to go on the record saying that advertising is a GOOD thing. If it weren’t for the advertising dollars that we make, I wouldn’t be able to be a full time writer. I would be trying to cram my writing into my free time after I got home from eight hours at work. I would be producing a lot LESS art if it wasn’t for advertising.

I just want to go on the record as saying that advertising is important.

To quote James Hetfield, of Metallica,

“Did we sellout? Hell Yeah! We sellout every concert we perform!”

Just in case you thought I was creating ART and this isn’t a commercial site, I’m here to tell you that this IS a commercial website and I AM creating art. They aren’t mutually exclusive. Insisting that they are just limits them both.



Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

On Thursday, big snow flakes fell and covered my car and the lawn and everything inbetween. I’ve been running the humidifier to stave off a sinus headache. The drugs didn’t work, the bed buddy didn’t work, only the humidifier has been able to keep my headache away. It covers the cold window with condensation.

Condensation by Laura Moncur 04-06-06


STILL Lonely After SXSW

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I just finished reading a bunch of weblogs from people that I met at SXSW. They have been going for so many years that the conference is just a footnote in their lives now. They don’t seem to be dealing with the stomach crushing loneliness.

Maybe it’s because they live in San Francisco, where Web 2.0 is growing in hype a lot more than substance.

Maybe it’s because they have gone for so many years that they are jaded.

Maybe it’s because they aren’t Drama Queens.


I just am feeling lonely here in Salt Lake. I felt a little better when I made a list of the smartest and most engaging friends that we know here in the city. I feel a little better each time we go to dinner or lunch with people on my list. The only times this really hits me is when I realize how few people I saw while I was in SXSW. There were so many great people I could have met that I missed in the hallways.

Maybe it isn’t loneliness. Maybe it’s regret.

I regret going to bed early. I regret not talking to more people in the hallways. I regret not going out to lunch with more people. I regret not going to any of the parties.

I was bright and chipper for the panels, but I didn’t meet and get to know nearly as many people as I wanted to.

Well, next year, they’ll be no sleep. I’ll just keep meeting people all day and all night. They’ll be no stopping me because this regret sucks.


Make Your Own Sandals

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Tire Sandals from MAKEThese two articles show you how to make your own sandals from junk. I really liked the old tire sandals because they used to be a fad when I was in high school. Kids would come back from their trip to California and wear the tire sandals that they got from Tijuana. I remember them turning your feet black for the first few months that you wore them.

I just don’t have any old tires to make sandals out of. Do you have a set of old tires lying around your house? I never have. Grocery bags, however. I’ve got tons of them.

Grocery Bag Sandals from Craftster

I am really excited about these grocery bag sandals and they are the next crafty project on my list. I’m gathering the bags in anticipation.


Self Portrait Tuesday: Headphones

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Self Portrait Tuesday: Headphones

Mike is sleeping while I work, so I wear headphones. That way, I won’t wake him up. They are huge muthas that cover my entire ear. I feel like I stepped out of 1976 with these headphones.


Happy Birthday To Me!

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Aries (Hoover Dam 05-27-05)


The Cult of Bob Ross

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Bob RossI have long been a fan of Bob Ross. When he died over ten years ago, a little piece of him stayed alive with me. I am continually trying to find ways to make acrylics act like oil paints so I can keep doing the Bob Ross thing without burning down my house.

It seems that a lot of other people have been equally inspired to keep Bob Ross alive.

When you have the time to truly enjoy these videos, take a few moments and enjoy the Bob Ross Cult.


Time To Cut The Grass

Filed under: Video — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

We had some nice weather, so I did my video in the backyard, which brought to mind all my duties. Time to cut the grass…

Click Here To See The Video

The strangest things come out of my mouth when I video tape myself. I don’t even remember talking about this.

“That’s always the funnest part of Spring: finding what the snow was hiding.”


My First Portrait

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Happy Birthday, Bellas by Braidwood 04-12-06

My friend Braidwood posted this lovely picture of me that she created herself for my birthday. It just made me SO happy to see it!

I think this is the first time anyone has drawn a picture of me except those few times Stacey included me in her drawings during childhood and that one time I caught Chris Hamblin drawing a picture of my legs.


Enough Easter Candy

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Mike's Easter Stash by Laura Moncur 04-12-06I remember the last Easter that we celebrated before we became Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was so excited, I woke up early and looked around the house. I opened the curtains to look outside and found a little colorful toy on the windowsill. I realized that I shouldn’t do Easter without my parents, so I left it alone on the windowsill and lay back in bed, waiting for my parents to wake up.

In my mind, I waited a long time, but it was probably only a couple of minutes. I woke them up and they sat on the couch while I looked for “what the Easter Bunny left me.” I headed straight for the front room window and moved away the curtains. My mother said, “It’s like she knew it was there.” I did, Mom. Sorry I never told you.

After the divorce, Mom always gave us Easter baskets. They were beautiful creations with plastic Easter grass. I always had enough candy to last me for weeks, saving the best parts for last. The chocolate Easter bunnies that we sold in junior high to earn money for choir became the focus of the baskets. I always ate the solid chocolate from the ears down. They suffer less when you eat the head first.

Now, as I walk down the Easter aisle with Mike in the grocery store, I am untempted. He stocks up on Robin Eggs and Cadbury Eggs and even eyes the Peeps, but I’m unphased. I had enough Easter candy as a child that I never feel deprived. I let Mike fill the cart with his treats and none of them tempt me because I am full.

Apparently, some folks think feet first are better.



The Golden Plates

Filed under: Living in SLC, UT — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The Sword of Laban and The Tree of Life (The Golden Plates, Volume One)Dooce snapped a picture of the totally awesome book about Armageddon from the LDS church.

She totally missed out on The Golden Plates, which is an LDS comic book documenting the trials and tribulations of the Book of Mormon. I find the steroid-Nephites a little more scary.

Even more scary, these things are in the book section at my grocery store. I stare at them while I wait for the pharmacist to fill my perscriptions and I am amazed that there are enough LDS people to make it profitable for them to sell these books in a grocery store. It makes me feel alone here in Zion.

And even scarier, you can buy that comic book at Amazon, not just Deseret Book and Smith’s Food King.


Self Portrait Tuesday: Eating Healthy on Vacation

Filed under: Art and Photography — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Eating Healthy on Vacation by Laura Moncur 04-15-06

I am accessing the web using my Treo. Nevada Landing is a great hotel, but they don’t have Wi-Fi. They want me to go downstairs and gamble instead of eating clementines in my hotel room.


Hamster Wheel

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I found this video on MySpace the other day. It reminded me of the dwarf hamster Mike and I used to have when we lived at Stonehedge Apartments. She was the best hamster anyone ever had. We used to open up the little door and she would hop into our hand. She would take the food and put it into her cheeks and then happily hop right back into her cage.

She used to run on her wheel just like this and she would get so excited that she would end up flipping around just like this little guy. Seeing this video makes me happy with memories.

I’ll never forget the night that Mike woke me up,

“Laura, if you want to say goodbye to the hamster, you better wake up. I don’t think she’s going to live through the night.”

After three years of happy life, it wasn’t surprising that she might die. That night she was having seizures. I said my goodbyes. I was so grateful that Mike woke me up so I could.

I can’t remember her name…


Maggie Silhouette

Filed under: Art and Photography,Maggie,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Maggie Silhouette by Laura Moncur 04-05-06


Crocheted Bath Mat

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Crocheted Bath Mat

My current craft project right now is this bath mat. It’s about half-way done right now and I’ll probably be finished with it in a couple of days depending on how much writing I do and how much avoiding writing I do.

This is a pattern of my own making where I’m really just working in rounds, but I got the stitch from a book called Crochet Your Way. It’s a book full of UGLY patterns, but there are so many different stitches, it’s a great reference book. Think of it as a stitch bible with a bunch of ugly patterns distracting you.

This is the Twisted Loop Stitch:

Twisted Loop Stitch

I work the row twice. First I go around the round doing a double crochet in each loop. After that, I go back over the double crocheted stitches with these loops (chain 7, single crochet around the post of the double crochet).

You end up with a thick and bouncy mat that is perfect for stepping out of the shower onto.

Muppet Jacket from Crochet Your WayBy the way, I wasn’t kidding about the insanely ugly patterns in Crochet Your Way. Here’s an example. I feel so sorry for the model in this picture. Fortunately, no Muppets were murdered to create this jacket. It’s made from Faux Muppet Pelt using your mad crocheting skillz. As much as I’ve hated the patterns from this book, I have used the stitches in my own creations many times over. I have such a love-hate relationship with this book that I feel funny even writing about it. I don’t want to seem like I’m recommending it, but I AM recommending it.



I Love Egg (?!)

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Umm… Click on this link.

Could someone explain this to me?

Is the Egg a mighty morphin’ superhero or is it really just a tribute to eggs?

The website links are all in Korean, so I can’t figure out what’s going on. I’m strangely uncomfortable with an egg superhero…


Yarn Entertainment

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Diesel SweetiesI have been crocheting since I was a kid, trapped in Billings, Montana with nothing to do all summer long. I can also knit and sew, but crochet beats all for me (no dropped stitches and the most portable). Knitting seems to be a really popular hobby right now and crochet is riding its coattails. I don’t care whether my hobby is popular or not, but it’s nice to see cool patterns and ideas more often.

Diesel Sweeties is right. Yarn is VERY expensive. It’s always cheaper to buy a sweater at Wal-Mart than to buy yarn and knit the sweater. It didn’t used to be like that, but now, I have to look at my hobby as just a hobby. I get a lot more entertainment per dollar out of yarn than anything else.

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