Friday, January 30, 2009


Last night a latin boy called me at 10:45 (no, it was not a booty call) and said "let's go salsa dancing!" What?? It's nearly 11pm! I'm in my jammies. I already washed off my make-up. I have to go to work tomorrow. Clearly I did the only thing a girl could do in that situation, I got ready in 15 minutes and went dancing in the middle of the night.

I knew I must be looking good when I arrived at the club and the bouncer waved me in without making me pay the cover. Score 1 for Laurie.

I met up with my friend and we danced and goofed off and generally had fun. At one point I was walking past the dance floor and some random guy grabbed me and said "Are yoo leefing?!" Um, no. I'm not leaving. "Ooh good. Yoo cannot leef! I won't let yoo! Yoo must stay!" Then he gave me a big bear hug. I'm still not sure if he thought he knew me or if he was just trying to flirt with me...or maybe both.

A little while later another guy walked up to me and said "wood joo like to danssse?" Sure, I'll dance with you. You don't seem too scary and haven't tried to hug me yet. We danced for a while, but then my friend cut in and took me away. I think he was jealous.

I came away learning an important truth. Latin men like me. I think I've found my niche.
Ay Caramba!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

From Our Moscow Bureau

"S Novym Godom!" is Russian for Happy New Year. It's pronounced "Snowman's Scrotum" (at least that is what I thought people were saying when they greeted me on January 1st 2009).
New Years Eve festivities were a bit different for me this year. I had been invited to a costume party not far from my house and I thought it would be a great time to show off my Santa Claus costume that my British friends had bought me as a Christmas present. When I showed up to the party the joke was on me. I was one of three people who came dressed up. What made it worse was that there were several young children at the party who were still believers. I say "were" believers because by the time their parents had shuttled them home they had given up on believing Santa was real (or at least they had given up on the idea that Santa was the bearer of gifts).

First off, let me tell you the background on the Russian Santa Claus. They call him "Ded Moroz" which means Father Frost. He usually shows up at New Years parties to pass out presents to all of the children. He is typically accompanied by a snow maiden named Snegurochka (his hot granddaughter). Why New Years? Remember that under communist rule, Christmas wasn't really celebrated as it was/is a religious holiday. To be honest, it's still not celebrated today in Russia. December 25th is just another day. Most, if not all, families choose instead to celebrate New Years by having a family dinner and giving gifts to one another.

So when I showed up to the party dressed as Santa you can imagine the reaction. The kids were excited at first but when they realized that I was just a fake they became pretty aggravated with me, their parents, and the whole lie that they had grown up believing. Leave it to me to ruin Christmas…or New Years.

Once the children left the party the older folks decided to have a contest to find me a Snegurochka (Snow Maiden). I won't go into details but let's just say that it involved me being blind folded and the contestants trying to win my approval by any means necessary. Another reason why some of the children at the party will never be able to look at Santa the same way…

Around 2am I decided to head back to the North Pole (aka my flat). Just like any other night I set out on foot walking down a major street towards my apartment. Except this night I was dressed as Ded Moroz. Which is the equivalent of being the king of mardi gras in New Orleans. People were driving down the street honking at me and hanging their heads out their windows chanting my name. Teenagers were stopping me on the street to take pictures with me. I think they were all a bit confused as I waved to everyone I met and wished them all a big heartfelt "Snowman's Scrotum!"

-Ded Moroz aka The Moscow Correspondent

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Status Report

In our newsroom we have an assignment board that lists what stories or projects each reporter is working on. For example it might say "Bill: Dog Fighting Ring. Pat: Indigent Defense Fund" etc...

We also sometimes are assigned to come up with stories to air in the upcoming week -- a sort of evergreen or undated piece that can run at any time.

We recently upgraded our assignment board to an electronic display. One of my co-workers from the music department ambled in this week and noticed the new display. He studied the assignments and then said (in his very British accent) "I'm so glad the assignment board gives us all an update on Laurie's relationship status."

I looked up to see what he was talking about and realized he was right. There on the assignment board it said "Laurie: Undated."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hello, Clarice

This morning as I was getting ready for work, someone knocked on the front door. I opened the door to find an attractive young man wearing a tool belt standing on my doorstep. I quickly dismissed the thought that perhaps someone had sent me an early Valentine's Day present and asked him what he needed.

He proceeded to explain that he was replacing some siding on our townhouses and needed to make two quick cuts in the siding. The problem was he didn't have access to an electrical outlet and was wondering if he could use one of my outlets to connect his extension cord. I immediately had a vision of Silence of the Lambs. In the span of five seconds I imagined this man handing me an extension cord and then while my back was turned, shoving his way into my house, kidnapping me and stowing me away in his basement where I'd become his reversed version of a veal.

I plugged the extension cord into the wall and then nervously hovered near the front door as he cut up his siding. He chatted with me the whole time, telling me about how his boss left to run an errand and that's when he realized he didn't have a power supply. Then he asked me if I had caught the awful cold that's been going around and made sure I had been taking antibiotics and mucinex. Within five minutes he was done and I handed the cord back to him.
Clearly I lived to blog about it.

It was an innocent encounter. But it bothered me. I can't decide if the influences of our culture --fearfulness, suspicion, distrust -- affected me, or if it was the influence of the Holy Spirit prompting me to be cautious with this man and protect myself. Either way, I'm glad I'm not stuck in a basement rubbing lotion on myself.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Letters Dept.

Dear Creepy Guy,

I don't know how to tell you this in person: You make my skin crawl. I know you think you're flirting...and it probably works on some girls. But bar-style pick-up lines don't do it for me...especially when there's no alcohol to dull the senses and make your not-so-subtle comments seem more amusing and clever. Oh, and I can see you checking out that other girl across the table. I find it hard to take your come-ons seriously when you seem to be using a shotgun approach instead of the infinitely preferable sniper attack. We're not stupid, you know. We can tell when you're just on the prowl for a date -- ANY date. It really doesn't come across as flattering when you seem that desperate.

I'm glad we had this little chat. Thanks for listening.


Friday, January 23, 2009


How exactly am I supposed to respond when men make inappropriate or suggestive remarks to me?

Exhibit A:

Guy: "What kind of chapstick is that?"
Me: "It's called Kiss My Face."
Guy: "You'd better be careful about saying that, I might take you seriously."

Um...I just met you. That's creepy.

Exhibit B:

Guy: "I bet girls get angry when guys stare at their boobs."
Me: "Ummm....sometimes. Depends on how obvious you're being."
Guy: "The whole time I'm talking to you I have to tell myself not to stare. But really I'd rather stare at your legs than your boobs anyway."

Um...I thought we were just friends. I don't know what to do with that.

Ok perhaps that's a bit much to put out there on the blog. But those are two actual conversations I had this week. And I am still puzzling over what the right response is in those situations. I'm just sayin'....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Noticing You Noticing Me

How Girls Think:

I've just finished a good cardio work-out with a friend. We're walking out.
I look ahead and think "Oh no! Cute guy from church is here! I look AWFUL! Maybe he won't notice me. But that would be disappointing, I want him to notice me. I just don't want him to notice that I'm wearing a baggy t-shirt and am all sweaty with messy hair. Maybe he won't notice. What am I thinking...of course he'll notice! I look ridiculous. Oh no...he sees me. He's smiling and waving...that's good...I should wave back...but keep walking...don't stop and say hello...walking...walking...aggghhh! He's stepping away from his friends! He's coming over here. Yay...he wants to talk to me! OMG he's so cute. He just touched my arm! Oh no, I sound like a dork...I don't know what to talk about. AWKward! He's still talking...all his friends are waiting for him...I'm loving his coat! Ok I can do this...just smile and be vivacious...I'm great at vivacious! Just don't say anything stupid...ok wrapping up the conversation...walking away...ok...whew."

All of this in the span of five minutes while carrying on a conversation. Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Unexpected Endings

Over the weekend I found myself seriously contemplating spending the night with a guy.
This isn't something that I frequently have to consider.
I rode to dinner with some friends. Afterward, one of the guys drove me home. When we arrived at my house, I realized my housekeys were in my roommate's car...and my roommate was not at home. It was after midnight.

We looked at each other. He said "My roommates are out of town. You can crash at my place, there's an extra bed. But if you do, we will have to live down the jokes for the rest of our lives."

We made our decision and never looked back.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Check it.


I've written three or four different blog entries and scrapped them all! One was too personal. One was self-serving. One was boring. And one was incriminating.

I'll try to do better next time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Title Necessary

Sick...and Happy

I'm sick. Sick enough that my boss actually looked at me yesterday and said "don't come in to work tomorrow."

So I'm here at home. Tried to get an appointment with my doctor, but they don't have any openings until tomorrow afternoon.

So here I sit, in bed in my jammies, spending way too much time on Facebook.

All of a sudden, my doorbell rings. Who in the world could that be? Awww man, I look like death warmed over right now.

I clump downstairs, open the door and see Jeanine smiling on my doorstep, holding out a steaming container of homemade chicken soup.

"I heard you were sick," she said, beaming at me.

Then she got in her car, waved a little wave and drove away...leaving a delicious elixir of physical and emotional sunshine behind.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Reality Check

Recently I was at an event where media professionals were mingling with top-tier commercial real estate professionals.

I was sitting somewhat in the middle of the group and could overhear two nearly identical, yet strikingly different conversations.

On my left, two journalists were catching up and talking about the holidays.
"What did you do for the holidays?" one asked.
"Went home to visit family in Michigan," the other replied.
"That's great. I spent my holiday here. Saw family, worked a bit. The usual."

On my right, two commercial real estate managers were catching up and talking about the holidays.
"What did you do for the holidays?" one asked.
"Went to Cabo. Played some golf. It was glorious," the other replied.
"Oh, I LOVE Cabo...did you do any deep-sea fishing while you were there?"
"No, we did that last time we were there. Mostly just relaxed this time around."

Two worlds.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Cuban Coincidence

Last night I was shopping at Target and noticed this guy that looked REALLY familiar. I tried to place where I might know him from and finally concluded it must just be my imagination. I continued my shopping and didn't think about it again.

A little while later, I was in a different part of the store and the guy walked by again. He turned and looked at me, walked over and handed me a postcard. He said "I'm an artist and I'm having a show. I'd like to invite you to come to the reception."

I looked at the post card and saw that it was an invitation to his exhibit titled "Cuban Chronicles."

"Are you Cuban?" I asked.

"Yes, I'm actually from there," he replied.

So I said, "Oh! I've been to Cuba! It's a beautiful country. I love it."

We started talking about Cuba and he asked me how I had been able to visit his country and that's when it dawned on me. "I know you! We met in Cuba! Near Santa Clara!"

He looked surprised and then recognition dawned on his face. "Yes!" he said, "We talked about the war!"

It's true...we had a really long, intense conversation about the Cuban perspective on the war versus the US perspective.

Unbelievable. I just reconnected with a guy in Target on San Felipe, who I first met in Cuba nearly three years ago. But you know me...there always has to be something funny in every story.

It just so happened that I had been shopping for undergarments and was holding two bras the entire time we were talking. Seriously.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Answers to Life's Persistent Questions

I've had a lot of questions, lately. Usually when I have questions, I feel like Job: looking toward the sky, wondering why and how God does the things He does...and never receiving any answers other than "I AM GOD. The End."

But lately He's been answering questions left and right...bam! pow! pop! zing!

God, what does this mean? Oh, thanks for getting back to me so quickly on that.
God, why did you allow this to happen? Oh. I see. Yes, I get it now.
God, what am I supposed to learn from this? Ouch. That hurt a little bit. But I never knew that about myself before...or if I did know that, I never really learned anything from it before.

It's funny how usually I want answers from the Lord and feel like I get nothin'...but when I DO get answers, I end up kinda not wanting them.

However, I am praising Him for answers! He is good and kind and sweet. He doesn't owe me anything...yet He takes the time to be personal and obvious and provide clarity. Just because the answer wasn't exactly what I wanted does not mean it's the best and most perfect thing for me.

So thank you, Lord, for answers! And maybe one day the answer could be the one I'm hoping for. But even if it isn't, thank you for always providing the best for me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Timing is Everything

Recently I was catching up with a girlfriend and our conversation turned to the subject of men. She was very frustrated. She met a guy who demonstrated interest in her and asked for her number. Then he never called. It had been several days and when they talked they had even discussed the possibility of getting together the following week...but she hadn't heard from him. I could hear the frustration, confusion and questioning in her voice. And I could sympathize with her disappointment. Women everywhere know this feeling and men everywhere misunderstand it.

Just as we were on the verge of hating this guy forever, she glanced at her phone and saw that she had a missed call from earlier in the day. As she listened to her voicemail she started cracking up laughing and said "I'm an idiot."

He had called.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Communication: It's What I Do

Apparently even those of us in the professional communication industry are still confused in the area of male/female interactions.

Case in point: I recently met a very nice public relations professional at an event. After the event, as we were walking out, he turned to me and said "You're great. I like you. Are you ever available for lunch?"

This leaves me in a bit of a quandary. I could assume his intentions are purely professional. It's not uncommon for PR people to take media people out for lunch or coffee in an effort to pitch story ideas or seek input on media coverage. It's not the first time a PR person has asked me to lunch.

But then again, there's the "you're great, I like you" part. Now that's just not something I hear every day from PR folks. Usually the invitations are couched in more business-like tones such as "I'd love to bounce some ideas off you and see if we could develop any stories together."

So what say you, faithful reader? Was he asking for a date, or a business lunch? And will I really be sure until I get there?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Call the Police!

My co-worker came in the office today and informed us that his wife went shopping at the mall on Friday and came out to discover her car had been stolen. She called her husband (my co-worker) and then called the police. An officer came out and filed a report and said they'd be in touch if they had any leads.

Early the next morning, my co-worker woke up well before dawn. The stolen car was preying on his mind. He decided on a whim to drive over to the mall and check the parking lot.

Sure enough, there was his wife's car on the other side of the mall. She had simply forgotten where she parked.

Friday, January 02, 2009

I think about a lot of 'What Ifs'

What if I moved to another country?
What if I never have children?
What if all my hair fell out?
What if He says "depart from me, I never knew you"?
What if I were more spontaneous?
What if I decided to laugh at my fears?
What if I marry someone who isn't as smart as I am?
What if nothing goes the way I hope it will?
What if everything goes the way I hope it will?
What if I stop blogging?
What if I never looked in a mirror again?
What if I lived as though none of these things mattered?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Accomplishing Goals

Well, I did it. No, not that. Don't worry. I'm still a very chaste, Baptist girl who knows better. But I kept the second part of my resolution: Go on a date in '08.

As regular readers of the QQ know, I choose not to blog about details of real dates (only fake ones). So don't expect any details about this to be published here. Suffice it to say it was a date, it was real, it was fun and that's all you're gonna get.

Which leads me to my goal for 2009: Wined and Dined in '09.

Happy New Year.