Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


The Outside of a Horse

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 7:27 pm

There is nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. John Lubbock from The Quotations Page

There is nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.

  • John Lubbock, The Use of Life, 1894


Laura and Stacey and the Yellow Plaid Pants

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

I absolutely adore these two photos of Stacey and me. We are both wearing the same pair of pants.

Laura and Stacey The Yellow Plaid 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.


My Second Book! Yay!

Filed under: Fiction — Laura Moncur @ 4:11 pm

Merriton Twelve Hours from San Francisco by Laura Moncur on AmazonMy second book, Merriton: Twelve Hours from San Francisco, is now available on Amazon.com. You can buy it here:

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!!

Laura and Gray Stripey Cats

Filed under: Lucy,Maggie,Our Pets,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 11:34 am

I have a much adored gray stripey cat right now named Lucy. We adopted her a few years ago:

Laura and Lucy 2015

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.

Laura and Gray Stripey Cats 1

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.

Laura and Gray Stripey Cats 2

I eventually cornered the kitty. I have no idea how this encounter ended, but I like to think that we were both happy.

Laura and Gray Stripey Cats 3

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.


Do Not Lose Faith in Humanity

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 12:22 pm

I love this quote:

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. Mahatma Gandhi from The Quotations Page

It reads:

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

  • Mahatma Gandhi

I have encountered some dirty drops in my day, so I need to remember that people are basically good.


Outlive The Bastards

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:18 am

I love this quote from A Civil Campaign.

Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards. Lois McMaster Bujold from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.

  • Lois McMaster Bujold

Still working on that last part…


Halloween Manicure 2014

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 9:11 am

Here is my Halloween Manicure for this year.

Laura Moncur Halloween Manicure 2014

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.


Skeleton Dog

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

I saw this great photo of a dog painted to look like a skeleton here:

Skeleton Dog for Halloween from Pick Me

My Halloween posting has been light this year, but I just had to share this!

Via: Feel Good Inc. — undeceased: German Shepherd Dog painted in time…


The 2014 Halloween Party Was Epic!

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 9:32 am

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:

Halloween Contest Winners 2014

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

(Continue Reading…)


Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 9:08 am

My favorite picture of my grandpaI 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…


Books To The Ceiling

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 1:34 pm

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 from The Quotations Page

It reads:

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.


Grim Grinning Ghosts and the Attic Bride at Disneyland

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

The Ryde Divine posted this photo with the simple phrase:

My friends are amazing

Grim Grinning Ghosts at Disneyland

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!

Via: WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR — therydedivine: My friends are amazing


And Now For Your Ghostly Enjoyment, A Dance

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

And now for your ghostly enjoyment, a dance:

Dancing Ghost from Pick Me!

Sometimes I forget that cartoons have been creating ghosts for one hundred years.



Can You Be Scared To Death?

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

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…


Cool Giant Eyeball Costume Using IKEA Parts

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

This costume that I found on IKEA Hackers is brilliant!

Giant Eyeball Costume from Pick Me


  • 1 Regolit Shade Lamp from IKEA
  • tape
  • paint


  • 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.


What Nightmares Are Made Of

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

Welcome to Halloween 2014! Here is some nightmare fodder for you:

What Nightmares Are Made Of

Via: WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR, kadrey: Where nightmares come from. …


Thanks, Buzztime!

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 8:52 pm

Did I ever tell you about the time I was 19th in the nation for trivia? It was last Thursday night.

Thanks, Buzztime! from Laura Moncur

Thanks, Buzztime, for making me feel smarter than I really deserve to feel!


So, Batman, Superman and Elastic Girl Walk Into A Cafe

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 12:44 pm

I laughed so hard at this!

Since I couldn’t go to Salt Lake Comic Con this weekend, I console myself with this!


Thank You, Roseanne Barr

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 2:33 pm

I was looking at Tumblr and Feel Good Inc. posted a bunch of these animated gifs from an episode of Roseanne from 1989.

These Are Girls Things As Long As A Girl Uses Them

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.

Update 09-11-14

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

This is NOT what being a woman is about

It reads:

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.


Summer Is For Reading On The Beach

Filed under: Musings on Being a Writer — Laura Moncur @ 8:52 pm

I saw these images from A New Leaf in Everfree, and I thought I’d make them into an animated GIF.

Summer Is For Reading On The Beach

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.


Palladium Dance Party 1986

Filed under: Personal History,Puttin' On The Ritz — Laura Moncur @ 7:16 am

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

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

Happy Independence Day!

Animal Crossing Happy Independence Day

If you would like to visit my Animal Crossing town, my Dream Address is 4000-2185-7855.


Happy Birthday To Me

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

It’s my birthday today.

Happy Birthday To Me

If you would like to visit my Animal Crossing town, my Dream Address is 4000-2185-7855.


Lucy: What If You Could Use 100% of Your Brain Capacity?

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 11:15 am

This movie looks freakin’ AWESOME!

It’s a superhero movie with an interesting twist. Looks like a fun roller coaster!


My First Book! Yeah!

Filed under: Fiction — Laura Moncur @ 2:55 pm

I have finally published my first book. It’s called The Secret Heart of Charlotte Lucas and I’m SO EXCITED!

The Secret Heart of Charlotte Lucas by Laura Moncur

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.

Disco the Talking Parakeet

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:17 am

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!


Don’t Be A Pussy

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:34 am

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 - The origin of "Don't Be A Pussy"NOBODY, not even me! In fact, I didn’t BELIEVE it. I had to look it up in the dictionary, but there it is!

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!


Faux Bob Hairstyle

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:27 am

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.


Thank You, Lego Movie

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

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.

Lego Millennium Falcon

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.

Thank You Lego Movie

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!


Nina Basking In The Morning Sun

Filed under: Nina,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 11:57 am

This morning, Nina was basking in the morning sunbeam, completely oblivious to the camera.

Nina Basking In The Sun from Pick Me

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 and Elvis Love The New Dog Bed

Filed under: Elvis,Nina,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 12:10 pm

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.

Nina and Elvis love the new dog bed from Pick Me!

Elvis has been snuggling up to dogs his whole life. Here is a very similar picture of Elvis and Sid.

Elvis in Sid's Bed by Laura Moncur

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.


Lucy Loves Nina

Filed under: Lucy,Nina,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 6:20 pm

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.


Daybreak in Winter 2014

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 4:01 pm

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.


Merry Christmas from Santa and Me

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

When I was scanning all my grandmother’s old photographs, I found this picture of me with Santa.

Laura Lund Moncur and Santa Claus

I had never seen it, so if my parents had a copy, my dad must have gotten rid of it when he went all Jehovah Witness. He joined that religion right before my fourth birthday, so I must have been three years old in this photo. Either that, or it was an illicit Santa visit AFTER my dad joined the religion. I look a little older than three, so maybe it was.

There have been times when I have lamented not knowing many things about my dad’s or mom’s childhood, but here I am looking at a mystery of my own.

Well, Merry Christmas from Santa and me! I had no idea we had been friends…


We Are All Topological Donuts

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 11:44 am

We are all topological donutsI was reading Hank Green’s Tumblr today and he brought up a really interesting point:

In an interesting way, your digestive system is kinda not “inside” you. It is very much a tube of outside that runs through our insides. It’s a long and complicated tube, and our body has a lot of control over it, but we’re all kinda just long doughnuts with a mouth on the top and an anus on the bottom.

To the right is an illustration of the idea that we are topologically the same as a donut (and a coffee cup) from PeteSmif.

Even though I took an entire semester of Topology to get my math degree, I never once realized that I am just a topological donut with a mouth at one end and an anus at the other. Every bit of food that I eat is not “in” me. It is merely passing through my donut hole.

Something about this thought has changed me. In my Topology class, we talked about how a coffee cup and a donut are the same topologically, as illustrated in this picture from Arizona University:

Topology Coffee Cups and Donuts

I remember feeling strangely at peace with the idea that a coffee cup and a donut were topologically the same. I wonder why it was never brought up in class that humans share the same topology. I am humbled by this idea. I am a coffee cup. I am a donut. We are all one…


Lucy and Elvis Love Each Other

Filed under: Elvis,Lucy,Nina,Our Pets — Laura Moncur @ 3:27 pm

Every day, I happen upon a scene like this, but by the time I get my camera, they’ve stopped. Or sometimes, I can get my camera, but they suddenly become shy. Today, however, they just kept on cuddling for THREE whole minutes. I trimmed the cutest bits to show you.

Lucy is the cuddliest cat I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She would cuddle with me all day long if I let her. She snuggles with Elvis and even Nina, the dog. Caitlin, our baby sitter, caught them in the act the other day.

Nina and Lucy

Nina doesn’t appear to like the snuggle nearly as much as Elvis does.

Elvis and Lucy Love Each Other

I’m so glad we have animals who not only get along, but actually LOVE each other. It brings me joy every single day.

Update 8:51 pm

I can’t believe I got two videos in one day. I have been trying to film these guys for MONTHS!


About Time: A Promising Time Travel Movie

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 9:00 am

I never wrote about how horribly disappointing and wretched The Future was.

It was a movie about relationships and time travel and had all the disturbing issues that Miranda July regularly displays. I’ve written about her before here:

It appears that the movie industry has an apology for me for that traumatic experience. It’s called About Time.

I can’t wait to see it and I hope it’s better than the last time travel relationship movie I saw. I’m still a little shell-shocked…


The Moncur Halloween Party 2013

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

We had such a good Halloween Party this year that it took me until JANUARY to get these photos edited. LOL! This year’s theme was food and people thought of the most inventive ideas! Enjoy!

Laura and Michael Moncur as Peanut Butter and Jelly

Laura and Michael Moncur as Peanut Butter and Jelly

You can see everything after the break: (Continue Reading…)


Batman and Robin Are Haunted

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm

I love this little animated GIF I found on nothing is linear.

Batman Ghost

Via: WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR, “Wooooooooo Baatttmmmaaannnnn I am your…

A Halloween Party from 1973

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

I love this video of a Halloween party in 1973. All the kids are dressed up in the kind of costumes that used to be around when I was a kid. Vinyl and ill-fitting jumpsuits and plastic masks.

Since my family was Jehovah Witness when I was that age, I never got to wear a Halloween costume like that. Even now, I look at them and wish that I could somehow wear one of those costumes. Not only do they not exist now, but if they did, they would be too small for my adult frame. I’m forever trapped in the state of desire with no hope for release.

Via: Plaid Stallions : Rambling and Reflections on ’70s pop culture: Halloween: 1973.

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