Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Found: Rainn Wilson

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 8:25 am

This morning, NakedJen and I went on a walk with her dogs. Since she moved in across the street, I have been lucky enough to go with her on her morning walks. It has really helped me stop being so crazy. This morning I found this card on the ground:

Rainn Wilson

It’s a 20% off coupon for The Gap. I don’t really care about that. I just like the photo of Rainn Wilson on the other side. Rainn Wilson plays Dwight on The Office. By NO stretch could he ever be called cute, but this photo of him all bundled up on sweaters and gloves makes him look really cute.

Not sexy, mind you, CUTE. Cute like kittens and puppies, not cute like Brad Pitt.

I first saw this photo on a full page ad on the back of Entertainment Weekly. I pulled it out and I have been thinking about it ever since. What makes him cute? Is it the mitten/glove conversion? Is it the varied styles of knitwear? Is it the two day stubble on his face? What?

It can’t be any of those things because this photo of him with Selma Blair isn’t nearly as cute.

Selma Blair and Rainn Wilson

It’s all there: the knitwear, the scarf, the stubble. He doesn’t look quite as cute in this photo as he does in the previous one. Is it the hat? The glasses? I’m really at a loss on this one.

I can’t figure it out.

Holy cow, the video is cute, too!


Tilt Shift Kuaii

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

I just learned how to edit photographs to make them look like models using Tilt Shift Photography. There are ways to do it with a really cool camera, but if you have taken an aerial photo with a normal camera, you can use Photoshop techniques to make it look like a Tilt Shift photo. There is a tutorial here:

The basic steps are:

  • Choose Quick Mask mode.
  • Using the Gradient Tool in Reflection mode, draw a vertical line from the center of the in-focus area to the point where the transition from in-focus to out-of-focus is completed.
  • Return to Standard Mode
  • Choose the Open Lens Blur Filter option.
  • Deselect
  • Open Hue/Saturation in the Adjustments menu and increase Saturation (+40).
  • Open Curves in the Adjustments menue and create an S shaped curve.

This is my first try. It looks better if you click on it to look at it full size:

Tilt Shift Kuaii 02-10-02 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The original is here:

Kuaii, Hawaii 02-10-02 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Here is another one I did:

Tilt Shift Kuaii 02-10-02 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It has been a while since I’ve found anything fun to do with my photos like this. It makes me want to hike the Wasatch Mountains so I can tilt shift my town.

Twitter Log: 2008-12-02

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-04

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-05

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-06

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-07

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Andy Warhol Watches

Filed under: My Life in Swatches — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Click to see full size: Andy Warhol Watch: Be A Somebody With A BodyBefore Andy Warhol was a famous Pop Artist, he was just an ordinary graphic artist. It looks like the Andy Warhol Foundation is milking his early work for all they can get by releasing those sketches on watches.

It’s really a shame that Andy Warhol was too greedy to do a few watches for Swatch. Their watches are of such great quality that they’ll last far longer than these cheap Swatch knock-offs.

Twitter Log: 2008-12-08

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Faux Velvet Underground

Filed under: My Life in Swatches — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Click to see full size Velvet UndergroundIn the early days of Swatch, they created these watches for a special event that never took place. Instead, they gave these rare watches to Swatch employees. There were only 500 in existence, so collectors are willing to pay upwards of $3500 for one.

Swatch eventually came out with a consolation prize for those of us who didn’t get one of these rare watches. It was also called Velvet Underground. I have one here:

Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from FlickrStill, I can’t help but want that exotic original piece of history, but there is NO WAY I’m paying nearly four thousand bucks for a twenty year old watch, so I decided to create my own.

Firstly, I started with Big Eclipse. Instead of its typical black band, I put on a white band. The face isn’t neon pink, but I’m not trying to defraud anyone. I’m just trying to make a Swatch that’s cool and that I love. A black face with white hands is good enough for me.

The parts I needed was some lace, needle, thread and some quilt pins.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Next, I removed the buckle and strap holder. This is easier for some brands of bands than others. I used the Swatch tool to pop the middle pin out.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

I cut the lace to be slightly longer than the watch. Honestly, I should have given it a tad more length than this, so if you do this, make sure you cut a little more than I did.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The original Velvet Underground had a seam along the back, so I did the same with mine. I pinned the lace together along the back with quilt pins.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Once it was pinned securely, I trimmed the excess lace, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance on the back.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

With a needle and thread, I sewed up the lace along the back of the watch. I kept the pins in until I was sewing right next to them. Don’t take them all out before you start sewing. It will make your job harder.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The completed seam looks like this. I didn’t have quite enough to go over the buckle area of the watch like I wanted. There is just barely enough to get there. That’s why you should cut more lace when you do it. Notice that there isn’t a hole for the battery case. I installed a fresh battery, so in five years, when this one runs out, I’ll have to carefully cut a hole in the lace, just like the current collectors have done to theirs.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from FlickrThe final step is to reattach the buckle and strap holder. The strap holder needs to go OVER the lace and then the buckle is attached. It’s nice finishing touch, I think.

You can see the final product here:

It looks great on my wrist, which is something I would NEVER do if this were a REAL Velvet Underground.

Faux Velvet Underground by LauraMoncur from Flickr

This project took me less time than it took me to wait in line at Joann’s to have the lace cut and sold (about thirty minutes). Have FUN!!


Doctor Martin’s Boots

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

This is a clip from the BBC show called The Young Ones. MTV used to play episodes of The Young Ones and I used to watch them religiously. This clip is called Doctor Martin’s Boots. It was the first time I had ever heard of Doc Martins. I scoured the shoe stores of Salt Lake City fruitlessly looking for the elusive Doctor Martin’s Boots.

In 1987, I finally found them in one of Mike Pinkston’s skateboard magazines. I could mail order them for $75. I had never mail ordered footwear before and I was not about to pay seventy-five bucks for shoes, no matter how cool they were. Instead, I just bought myself a pair of steel-toed work boots on clearance at K-Mart and pretended that they were Doc Martins.

When they finally showed up in Salt Lake City, they were STILL too expensive for me to afford on my college budget, plus my old boots had always been good enough to fool the dorks in Salt Lake City. Weren’t REAL steel-toed boots more punk than Doc Martins, anyway?

Click to see full size Doc Martin BootsIt wasn’t until years later when I was married to Mike that I found my first pair of REAL Doc Martins at a price I could afford. TJ Maxx had them on sale for $45. It was a lot of money at the time, but I was willing to pay it to finally have a pair of “Doctor Martin’s Boots.” Of course, by then I was nearly graduated from college, married two years and well on my way to losing all the punk that was in me. All that’s left now is these boots, dusty from disuse.

It finally snowed here. Maybe I’ll wear my Doc Martin’s to shovel the walk…

Book Of Spells Necklace

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 4:17 pm

Remember this when it comes time to create my Steampunk Costume next year…

Book of Spells

Twitter Log: 2008-12-10

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The Comic Strip Presents… The Slags

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

After The Young Ones, MTV showed The Comic Strip Presents… It was a silly little show with many of the same actors as The Young Ones. It’s still not available on DVD, but you can see almost all the episodes on YouTube.

Stacey’s favorite episode was The Slags. I felt like a hero the other day when I found it on YouTube:

I love how Adrian Edmondson plays a cool Rutger Hauer in this episode. The whole thing reminds me of a cheap rip-off of Bladerunner. This episode was just as bad as I remember it, but I it makes me happy to watch it.

Is this Emma Thompson?By the way, is that Emma Thompson having her baby stolen (Part 1 at 7:12) and then finally exploded with a grenade in her shopping cart (Part 2 at 8:18)? I’ve watched that scene about ten times now and I can’t tell if it’s her or not?!

Should have just checked IMDB in the first place:

She’s there, playing the part of “Young Woman.” That’s freaking AWESOME!

Twitter Log: 2008-12-11

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 11:59 pm
  • Most adorable melted snowman cupcakes: http://tinyurl.com/5tzbb5 #
  • @nakedjen Missing you too. Apparently I have no motivation to exercise on my own. I’ve been forcing myself. #

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Maggie Purring

Filed under: Maggie,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 11:12 am

Maggie PurringEvery night when I go to bed, Maggie will climb on my shoulder and lie there, purring. It’s the BEST way to go to sleep and I have become so accustomed to it that I really miss her when we go out of town. Sometimes, it’s really difficult to go to sleep without her there.

The other night, I recorded her purring with Mike’s Edirol. I pulled it into GarageBand and made an mp3 that works pretty well. It’s only 2:43 minutes, but I put it in a playlist and have the playlist repeat.

Here is the MP3 if you would like to fall asleep to the sound of my precious Maggie purring. It’s a quiet file, so make sure you turn up the volume so you can hear it.

Download MP3 here: Maggie Purring Right click and choose Save As…

I have gotten so much solace from this cat. When we lost Linda last year, both Maggie and I were so heartbroken that we bonded together. She was with me all the time. Since we’ve gotten Elvis, however, she spends a lot of time playing, growling at and sleeping with him, so she needs me less. I’m happy that she’s more content, but I feel like I’ve lost her a little.


Twitter Log: 2008-12-13

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-17

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I Am Legend: A Belated Review

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 1:58 pm

I Am Legend at Amazon.comI don’t do bad reviews. There is SO MUCH cool stuff in the world to talk about that I think it’s a waste of time to complain about the stupid stuff.

That’s why when I Am Legend came out and I saw it, I never mentioned it here. I LOVED most of the movie, but the ending was so insipidly stupid that I hated the entire movie.


The horrible messiah thing at the end and his “sacrifice” to save the serum, the world and the beautiful girl was just the kind of ending that makes me throw things. Luckily, the only thing around for me to throw was the remote control and the DVD box.

Come to find out, that wasn’t the original ending. That was the ending that the studio forced. The real alternate ending is here:

That five second scene where Will Smith says, “I’m sorry,” the bad guy screams at him and in the background you can see the Polaroids of all the subjects that he had been experimenting on this whole time is just heart breaking. THAT is the ending to this film. Will Smith became a monster just as much as the others. After seeing the humanity in the victims of the plague, suddenly Will’s methodical experimenting makes him seem more like a monster than the monsters. AND HE KNOWS IT.

What the HECK were the studio heads thinking changing that ending?!!

Where can I get a version of I Am Legend on DVD with THAT ending? It looks like the second disc of this set has the movie with the alternate ending. Good… I need that.

Via: Movie Detritus: 10 Worst Science Fiction Remakes

Twitter Log: 2008-12-18

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Elvis & Maggie Under The Covers

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

Before Elvis came to our house, Maggie used to like to sleep under my afghan. She doesn’t do it anymore and this is why:

If you listen closely, you can hear Maggie growling from underneath the blanket. She wasn’t very amused by this game.

Twitter Log: 2008-12-19

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  • Snow in Vegas: http://tinyurl.com/3moopt #
  • Kudos to @TheBloggess for her best way to give to charity in the name of others: http://tinyurl.com/4k826n #
  • @ErnieAtLYD Christmas magnifies everything that’s broken in ALL families. That’s what so good/bad about it. Just hold on. SXSW is soon… #

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Elvis And The Box

Filed under: Elvis,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I don’t know why Mike spends money on kitten toys. Elvis just loses them under the couch and he’s perfectly happy playing with a box.

I swear, that kitten needs to go to boxhab.


Elvis Playing With His Tail

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

Here are a couple of quick videos of Elvis playing with his tail.

It’s funny how quickly kittens grow up. Elvis hardly ever plays with his tail anymore. I’m glad I got this video when I did.

Twitter Log: 2008-12-21

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Elvis And The Blue Feather Toy

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

I’m kind of embarrassed by this video because the Halloween boxes are stacked in our living room for the whole world to see, but it made me laugh so much that I couldn’t help posting it.

I love how at the end, Maggie tries to help him get the toy by jumping up on the boxes. It’s almost like she’s saying, “Umm, it’s stuck right here, dumbo.”

Twitter Log: 2008-12-22

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Sid Is A Saint

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

This video is proof positive that Sid is a saint. If you notice, Maggie is watching, far from the fray. Even Mike won’t let Elvis chew on his feet. Only Sid is calm enough to handle this kitten. Twice during the filming Sid looks at us (first to Mike and then to me) as if to say, “Can you do something about him?”

I love how at the end when Sid barks, everyone scatters, even him. Maggie runs from her observation point, Sid stands up to get away from the sharp kitten teeth and Elvis flees from his bark.

Twitter Log: 2008-12-23

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Maggie Cleaning Elvis

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

Maggie is very shy about cleaning other cats. I only got video of her cleaning Linda once. I’ve caught her cleaning Elvis about three times, but this is the only one I was able to get on film. I had to turn on the lights and grab the camera to capture this and by then she was almost finished.

It’s so comforting to know that Maggie has someone to play with that will keep her company when we’re not in the house. When Linda died, she was so lonely that she was with me constantly. I needed her comfort during that time as well, so it worked out for both of us. I’m just glad that she has Elvis to keep her happy as well.

Twitter Log: 2008-12-24

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Merry Christmas: Toys From My Childhood

Filed under: Barbies and other favorite toys,Christmas,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

I’m wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

One of my favorite toys when I was a kid was Tuesday Taylor. I really thought it would be cool to change her hair from brown to blonde, but she pretty much looked like Cruella DeVille the whole I time we played with her.

Both Stacey and I loved our Starr dolls:

Starr Doll by LauraMoncur from Flickr

She was so poseable and came with so many accessories, she really wiped Barbie off the map for a good year. Plus, her hair was PERMED, just like all the cool kids.

I also liked my Beauty Secrets Barbie.

Beauty Secrets Barbie by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Her hair was so long that it was easy to do lots of different hairdos with her.

Of course, there’s always the love for the Little People:

Little People MiniBus by LauraMoncur from Flickr

This set has the elusive “naughty” little boy. The one in the orange hat has a frownie face. I always thought he was a naughty boy just because he had a frown on his face.

Then there was the beloved Star Traveler:

I played with that thing until it was worn OUT. I owned it until just a few years ago when I gave it to The DI. Some little girl had a VERY happy day that day at the thrift store. Whenever I miss it, I look at these photos.

Barbie Star Traveler by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Then there’s Tuggy Tooter.

Tuggy Tooter by LauraMoncur from Flickr

He wasn’t really MY toy. He was a toy at my grandma’s house. Here he is in action:

I also loved my Fisher Price Record Player.

The cool thing about this is that it was completely child-powered. No batteries needed. The design was ingenious, actually. On the player head, there was a simple music box. The notes were plucked by the lumps on the record. Whomever designed that little record player deserved a huge reward for saving the world from batteries!

You can see all the photos I’ve found here:


Pall Mall Santa

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

Now that Christmas is over, Santa has a moment to cool down with a cool cigarette.

Pall Mall Santa

My grandmother always smoked Pall Mall cigarettes. When I was a kid, they used to make candy cigarettes that looked similar to real brands.

Candy Cigarettes

I used to get the Pall Mall kind because that’s what my grandma smoked.

I’m not a smoker, but I DO have food issues. Can I blame the tobacco industry for my binge eating?

Advert Via: Found in Mom’s Basement: Vintage cigarette ads: Who knew Santa smoked so much?

Twitter Log: 2008-12-26

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  • Our flight was supposed to go out at 8:55pm. Trapped on the plane and still haven’t left the gate. #

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-29

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-30

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  • Holy shape-shifting owls, Batman! Ignore the Japanese and wait until at least the 2 min mark. http://tinyurl.com/6d4gqv #
  • @missbhavens Just in case you didn’t know this, you ARE one of the young skinny pretty people. You’ll fit right in, babe! #

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Twitter Log: 2008-12-31

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  • @kittygutz Be careful taking all that 2 Buck Chuck home. It’s illegal to bring alcohol across the Utah border. #
  • Cockatoo pets a cat with his claw: http://tinyurl.com/8t5rn4 #

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