Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


A Speeding Ticket in West Yellowstone

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

The color of the flashing lights seems more red and blue because the blinding snow has made the landscape a ghostly white. Mike is rummaging through the glove box for the registration. I wiggle my wallet out of my back pocket.

“You KNEW there was a bored cop.”

“I know.”

“You’re not allowed to hold a grudge against Yellowstone.”

“I know.”

I open the window and thousands of tiny bits of white ice rush at my eyes and cheeks. I wonder at the ability of the snow to work it’s way around the officer and blind me.

“The speed limit is 25 mph.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

I hand him our registration for the car and my driver’s license. He looks at it quickly.

“I also need your insurance.”

Mike pops open the glove box again and produces our insurance card, still attached to the original paperwork. I hope it’s the most recent card as I pass it, unchecked, to the policeman. As he walks back to his squad car, I notice that his hat makes him look like a park ranger.

“I’m serious. You’re not allowed to hold a grudge against Yellowstone. We’re coming back here next year.”

“I know.”

The cop is back at my side and I dread opening the car window to the wind and ice. I don’t want to face him because of the weather, but I force myself to look at him so that I won’t look suspicious. The bits of hard and frozen snowflakes pummel my eyes.

“I caught you doing 40 in a 25 mph zone, but that’s a 155 dollar ticket, so I wrote you up for 35, so it’ll only be 55 bucks.”

I take the papers.

“Thank you.”

I look for a pen, expecting to have to sign something.

“I don’t have to sign?”

“No. You don’t have to pay right now. You can send it in or appear at court.”

He walks back to his well-marked police car and I roll up the window. The car blissfully protects me from the elements. I hand the papers to Mike and he puts them in the glove box. I inch back onto the two lane road and leave town.

This year’s Yellowstone trip was disappointingly lacking any animals. They were all scared off by the construction. The speeding ticket was just icing on the cake.

I don’t care what Mike says. Next year, we’re going to Yosemite.


Twitter Log: 2010-05-08

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 1:42 am
  • I'm going twice a week now because I need the extra motivation. (@ Weight Watchers Draper) http://4sq.com/bnf1Hy #

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What’s With The Laundry Basket Freakshow?

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

What's With The Laundry Basket Freakshow

Early every Saturday morning a big diesel truck pulls up to one of the vacant stores in Daybreak. A ton of produce is unloaded and then a few minutes later, a gaggle of people show up with laundry baskets, boxes and rubbermaid storage containers. They wait in line and come out with their baskets full of fruit and veggies.

This was going on even in the cold months of March and April, so there’s no way this is some local farm collective thing. This stuff is being shipped to Utah in big semi-trucks.

By the time I throw on my clothes and run out there to ask someone about it, they’re gone. I really need to wake up earlier on Saturday mornings because I’d love to know what’s up with the laundry basket freakshow.


When A Writer Doesn’t Write

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 7:00 am

Writing has been a struggle for me. I have been so incredibly lazy for MONTHS now. I’d like to say that I’ve been doing something productive like learning a new programming language or painting or doing ANY type of creative activity. Unfortunately, I’ve been spending my time playing Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies.

This isn’t the first time this has happened.

I had a stint a couple of years ago with an Animal Crossing obsession. Even when I first started this blog, I had this trouble.

It feels like the words leave me. Because I have dealt with this before, I feel like I should be calm and rational about it. I should be able to just use my logic, knowing that the words came back before means that they’ll come back this time.

But I am not a logical creature, no matter how much I wish to be.

Whenever I feel this empty, there is an accompanying panic that I will ALWAYS be this empty. There is a fear that my words will never return.

What does it mean when a writer doesn’t write? Am I still a writer?

My instinct is to quit writing completely. Let all the blogs go dark and say that I’m not coming back in the foreseeable future. I could get a job being a secretary or scanning merchandise at Walmart. At least with a receptionist job, I would get health insurance for less than $750 a month. Maybe I NEED to be bored out of my skull with a job that doesn’t task my mind in order to get my words back.

All I know is that I am sick of being unproductive and I want to feel the flow of letters out of my fingers again. What do I need to do?


Syd Brak Forget Me Not

Filed under: Personal History,Puttin' On The Ritz — Laura Moncur @ 1:16 pm

I finally framed my other two Syd Brak posters. Here is Forget Me Not.

Syd Brak Forget Me Not

As far as I can tell, it’s not available anywhere else on the Internet. I just can’t let this one fall into obscurity.

Here’s my Long Distance Kiss poster.

Syd Brak Long Distance Kiss

I talked about Syd Brak before here:


Daybreak Outdoor Safety

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:22 am

I received an email the other day from Daybreak telling me how important outdoor safety is. Here is what they sent me:

The outdoor season is rapidly approaching. Here are a couple reminders for safety:

  • Teach your children proper outdoor safety practices
  • Use your common sense when participating in outdoor activities
  • Always be prepared for the unexpected
  • Do not take unnecessary chances
  • Do not be careless
  • Think before you act

Reading it made me roll my eyes in disgust. “Really?!” I thought to myself. They just reworded the phrase, “be safe,” six times. What we need are some REAL safety tips for living in Daybreak. Here are the few that Mike and I were able to ramble off the top of our head.

It Doesn’t Take A Village, Moron

It might take a village to raise a child, but expecting the village to keep your child safe is moronic. WATCH your children when they are playing. Our backyards are too small to hold kids, so they are playing in the front yards together. Honestly, this is a GOOD thing as long as there is a parent nearby reminding them to stay out of the street, watch for cars and stay in the yard. Too many kids are allowed free reign of the streets.

Stay Out Of The Lake

It might be a man-made lake, but you could drown in it just as easily as any bed of water. Don’t swim in the lake. After last year’s ringworm incident, we aren’t even allowed to wade in the water. It’s against the rules because it could kill you or make you sick.

Avoid The Traffic Circles

I know legally you can walk or ride your bike along the traffic circles in Daybreak, but it’s idiotic to do so. We have so many visitors to the neighborhood who are unfamiliar with traffic circles. I have seen too many near accidents because of confused visitors on traffic circles to ever feel safe riding my bike through them. I do everything I can to avoid them by crossing at other areas or taking the trail that leads under the 11400 South traffic circle.

Stay on the Trails

It’s really easy to be lulled into complacency in Daybreak. There is hardly any traffic, so I catch myself ambling my bike down the roads instead of following the sidewalks or trails that were made for my bike. We have cars and city buses that come through our neighborhood, yet I see children sprawling our streets with their bikes every day without a parent in sight. Keep your feet and your bikes on the trails where they belong.

Leave The Animals Alone

EVERY time I take a walk around the lake, I see a child throwing a rock at a duck or goose. Anyone who has ever been bitten by a goose knows that it’s not wise to agitate them, especially if they are nesting. Not to mention the fact that geese, cliff swallows and many of the other animals in this area are protected by FEDERAL law. Teaching children to leave the animals alone not only protects them from avenging animals bent on protecting their young, but keeps you safe from the hefty fines attached to injuring protected species.

Drive With Your Eyes Peeled

There are so many children living in Daybreak that it has a “Lord of the Flies” feel at times. Flocks of children run into the street without a moment’s warning, so whenever you get in your car, keep your eyes on the road and surrounding areas. Additionally, we live so close to the wilds of the Oquirrh Mountains that our neighborhood is rife with wildlife. A deer through your windshield can kill you, so stay alert when you’re driving, especially if you take the back road to Bacchus Highway.

Water Makes Things Slippery

We all know that water makes things slippery, but every time a child falls at the splash park, it’s like we have to learn all over again. Whether you’re wet from the rain, sprinklers on the lawn or an intentional splash through the water feature at SoDa Row, if you are wet, it’s easier to slip and fall. Walk carefully when you’re wet and be mindful of how slippery it can get.

Put Your Toys Away

After living in Sugarhouse for years, I’m shocked at how lax people are with their toys. Adults and children are guilty of leaving expensive toys out in the open and sometimes even in the STREET. We have FAR less crime here than I dealt with downtown, but there is ALWAYS a risk that someone might walk away with your bike, skateboard or barbecue grill. Put your toys away and you won’t have to be the indignant one when a thief hits our neighborhood.

Have A Safe Summer in Daybreak

I have been living in Daybreak for almost a year now and I can honestly say that it’s a utopia compared to Sugarhouse. Even in utopia, however, there are dangers. I’m sure that we would love to have a summer without a single injury at Daybreak, but it won’t happen unless we are vigilant of our own actions.

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