Monday, August 31, 2009

Star Struck

This weekend I was at an event where I ended up being in the same room with members of a particular band. I am familiar with the band, but don't actually know any of the people. I saw one of the bandmembers mingling and chatting with someone I know. At one point I overheard my name in their conversation and was mildly curious why they were talking about me.

A few minutes later, the bandmember walked up to me and said "so is it true? Are you really Laurie Johnson??"

I started laughing and said yes.

He got a giddy look and said "Oh my gosh! I listen to you ALL THE TIME!"

Of course, I told him I listen to him all the time.

I'm not sure which of us was more excited: him, that he was meeting me; or me, that he knows who I am... :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Isaiah 51

Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
you who seek the LORD...

For the LORD comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Letters Dept.

Dear Single Guy,

What are you waiting for?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

From Our Moscow Bureau

This past year my Russian language instructor has taught me lots of useless Russian words that I am quite confident that I will never use again in this lifetime. It started with simple words like “еж” which means hedgehog. I’m not saying that hedgehogs aren’t important, cute, delicious, or whatever. I just never have figured out why she was so hell-bent on teaching me how to say hedgehog and not how to count to 10 or ask where the toilet is. Regardless, I’ve been here for going on two years and I still hold my fingers up like a three year old when I need to use a number and I still do the “pee-pee” dance and shrug my shoulders every time I have to ask someone where the toilet is (ok, maybe the latter is an exaggeration).

So for the past couple of months I’ve really hunkered down and started to study Russian with vigor. In doing so I have learned several phrases that Russians use that make no sense but I love to use them as it always results in a smile from the person I’m talking too. Most of the time I don’t think it’s the phrase so much as my attitude and mispronunciation that gets them to grinning. One phrase that is common to tell someone when you think they are telling you a fib is вешать лапшу на уши which means hang the noodles from your ears. I can’t even begin to figure out why they say this as it makes no sense whatsoever. But if someone is telling you a lie and you mutter these words they are sure to start laughing with you. It reminds me of us telling someone they are pulling our leg. I’m sure the Russians would laugh if they ever heard us asking each other if we were pulling each other’s legs.

This past weekend I learned that when someone doesn’t have an ear for music, Russian’s say медведь наступил на ухо which means a bear stepped on your ear. Me being the smooth operator that I am I decided on Saturday night that I would try this phrase out on a girl in hopes that it would make her smile, laugh, and generally melt with my charming advance. After saying this phrase she looked at me in disgust and horror before trying to slap me. All of our friends burst out laughing. I had, as often is the case, said the wrong words and asked her if a bear had stepped on her FACE? It’s no wonder she was upset.

It’s also no wonder why I’m still single…

~The Moscow Correspondent

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tales from the Fitting Room

This weekend I was shopping with a friend. We were chatting back and forth in the fitting room while we tried on clothes. At one point the woman in the room next to mine said "Whoever you are in the next fitting room, I want to see you. You have the most beautiful voice."

Friday, August 21, 2009

ee cummings

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dating Consultant

Last night I was talking with a male acquaintance who mentioned to me that he has a date with someone tonight. It's a first date and he was nervously excited about it. I asked him what he had planned for the occasion.

"Well, I was thinking we'd go to a nice dinner and then go play some arcade games," he replied. "Doesn't that sound like a pretty good first date?"

"Hmmm, well it depends on whether the girl likes arcade games," I politely responded.

He got this startled look on his face, as though that possibility had never crossed his mind (which it clearly hadn't). He almost looked panicked. I quickly jumped in.

"Here's an idea," I said. "Why don't you come up with TWO different activities for tomorrow night. Arcade games and something else. Then after dinner, you can tell her what the options are and let her decide which one she prefers."

"That's a great idea!" he exclaimed, with a happy grin on his face.

Someday, when they are happily married, he'll have me to thank.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I am not sorry for my soul
That it must go unsatisfied,
For it can live a thousand times,
Eternity is deep and wide.

I am not sorry for my soul,
But oh, my body that must go
Back to a little drift of dust
Without the joy it longed to know.

~Sara Teasdale

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Accept

I work with a roomful of men. Earlier today I was interviewing someone in one of the recording studios. When I walked back into the newsroom, the guys all looked at me and chuckled. Then one of my coworkers told me they had been discussing issues in Congress, specifically the role of the Majority and Minority Whips. They discussed exactly what the Whip does and why the person is called by that moniker. As a result, "We nominated you the Newsroom Whip," he said.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I was at the grocery store picking up a few things this weekend. While checking out, the cashier asked me for my ID to ascertain that I was in fact old enough to purchase the adult beverage in my cart. I silently blessed him for carding me...until he looked at my ID then looked at me and asked "you want some cigarettes too?".

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another Dinner Tale

In another amusing consideration of the difference between men and women...I was recently invited over to a guy friend's house to hang out and play games. When I arrived, the two guys who had invited me had excited looks on their faces. "We cooked dinner for you!" they exclaimed. They were clearly very proud of this accomplishment and of course I was quite grateful to be the beneficiary of a home-cooked meal that I had not prepared myself.

They proceeded to serve the meal...frozen lasagna, frozen peas and a loaf of bread. It was the most bachelor-y meal I've had the honor to be served. It was adorable and of course I exhibited deep gratitude and acted duly impressed that they had reheated food for me. :)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cooking Dinner

I recently invited two of my guy friends over for a home-cooked meal. I called them up and said I'd love to cook a meal for them, all they had to do was show up.

I made my own version of chicken cacciatore, along with rice and fresh sauteed spinach and blueberry coffee cake for dessert.

Not long before dinner one of the guys texted me and said he made other plans and wouldn't be able to make it for dinner. Then he asked if he could come over later that night after his other event. I was surprised and a bit miffed, but agreed.

He showed up at about 9:30 and immediately asked if there was any food left from the earlier dinner. Around half an hour later there was a knock at the front door. Turns out he had invited another friend to drop by as well.

Lesson learned: if you extend hospitality to socially clueless single guys, prepare for your hospitality muscles to be stretched.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Tummy Tickling

Sometimes I wonder what it is about me that attracts odd stories. I think I must be one of "those people" that strange things happen to.

Last night I was talking with a friend before church. In the middle of our conversation, a much older man with some disabilities walked over and sat directly between me and my friend. He started talking to me, asking my name and making chit chat. I politely responded and conversed with him.

After a minute or two, I turned to the other side to greet a friend of mine across the room. While my head was turned, I felt someone graze their fingers across my tummy! I whipped my head back around, totally startled and realized the older man had reached over and grabbed the long necklace I was wearing, brushing my stomach in the process!

He was examining the necklace and commenting on how pretty it was. I quietly reached over and pulled the necklace out of his hand.

Just then, a friend of mine walked up and the man exclaimed to her "Oh wow! You have beautiful hair! Woof!"

To say the remainder of Bible study was awkward would be putting it mildly.