Wednesday, November 4, 2009

a succulent brain roast

After a few days of coughing and sneezing, I woke up last Friday morning with a sore throat. I suffered through work that night and chose to ignore the signs of impending illness and celebrated Halloween Eve out in Salem with friends, drinking margaritas and dancing.

I paid for it. Paid for it like you might pay for maxing out a $500 limit credit card which you then forgot about for six months.

Saturday afternoon found me at the doctor's office, Jason at my side (he did all the talking for me because I could barely speak), a disposable face mask strapped over my nose and mouth, gasping for breath. The Nurse Practitioner saw me and did the following things:

- took note of my symptoms.

- established that I had a fever.

- jabbed a loooong cotton swab so far up my right nostril that I involuntarily kicked my feet in pain and wondered briefly if I was being subjected to the brain-removal step of mummification.

- looked befuddled when I told her I had received a flu shot

- hilariously screwed up my name while talking to someone else in the hallway outside ("Um, I think her name is... Lola... Van Cutter?").

My chest was x-rayed and I was given a note excusing me from the next three days of work, along with prescriptions for an inhaler and cough syrup with codeine. The diagnosis?

A "flu-like virus".

This brought me right back to the time when I missed weeks of classes my junior year of high school after being diagnosed with a "mononucleosis-like virus". It seems like I only catch imitator, generic versions of illnesses and never the prestigious brand name ones.

I spent the next few days between my couch and bed, my brain being slowly stewed beneath fever and a thick glaze of medicated cough syrup, dreaming crazy, bizarre dreams and occasionally choking on my own mucus.

Oh boy.

I missed Jeff and Kolleen's much anticipated costume-mandatory Halloween wedding, the Edgewater Cafe's huge closing goodbye party and three shifts of work.

What didn't I miss? Excessive, indulgent levels of self-pity. I gorged myself on it.

It's Wednesday night now, and I estimate that my systems are back up around 75%. In between naps today I had enough energy to wash a few dishes, do two loads of laundry, score a few achievement points for Civilization Revolution on the 360 and finally visit the new-ish Sonic on Route 1!

I'm setting my goals even higher for tomorrow. Perhaps I'll wash all the dirty dishes? Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Per request...

From the comments section of my last blog:

Blogger "Miss Kolleen said...
amazing. put me on a brontasaurus!"


I know, I know... technically, it's a brachiosaurus...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Remember Dino Riders?

MS Paint always cheers me up.

I'm not sure how I appear to you, but this is what I see when I look in the mirror...

Friday, October 16, 2009


I am self-diagnosing. Either that, or I am unknowingly a solar-powered android.

In an effort to boost my withering spirit, I am making an incomplete list of things that make me happy:

- This is Spinal Tap
- tofu green curry, no basil
- Jason's new tattoo
- Ryan Edward Fitzgerald's possibly red hair
- "The Drama Bug" by David Sedaris
- the clumsy/sad/adorable way that Mina falls off of 50% of the things she attempts to jump onto
- Boggle
- "Still Alive" from Portal
- Emergen-C mixed into very little water
- this picture of Bonnie and me taken after a cakefight:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Auntie Lola!

Little Ryan Fitzgerald was born on September 7th, 2009 at 7:31 in the evening. His parents are Scott Fitzgerald and my older sister, Julie Fitzgerald. His measurements are: 13.5 inches, 2 lbs .04 oz.

Originally, we had all planned on a December arrival, but Ryan was apparently very attached to the idea of being a Virgo.

Jason and I are going to see him tonight :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I had a very nice date with my mom today; we took the ferry from Plymouth the Provincetown.

How would you spell the shortened, hip version of "Provincetown"?

I would spell it like this: P-Town.

Our ferry tickets, however, boldly proclaimed that they were for passage between "Plymouth and P'Town". I found this hilarious because, to me, "P'Town" sounds more like the sound effect one might make if they wanted to mimic either spitting or shooting something.


Do spelling and grammar quirks ever make you giggle? Please share if you have any good ones.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Busy! Tired! Cranky!

Don't be misled into thinking that this blog entry is going to be an inspired one; this is a forced venture - blogging for the sake of blogging. I am writing so that I may dissuade my personal guilt that I haven't been journaling often enough.

Wugh. Blaaaargh. It's 6:15 in the morning, and ideas are flowing through my mind as fluidly as chilled toothpaste through a pinhole.

I have been working at a day camp in Essex weekdays, as well as working at the restaurant weekday nights and weekends. I've been enjoying myself immensely, but my energy level is usually down around my ankles by the time I get home at night.

Luckily, Jason has been very sweet and supportive. Yesterday he finished booking hotel reservations for our upcoming road trip; I don't know all the details yet, but I'm looking forward to finding out tonight during my first night off since last week.

At the moment, I am preparing to finish writing the script for the short play my Drama Camp kids will be performing on Friday. They were in charge of choosing the characters, major plot points and one line each, and I am in charge of the rest of the dialogue and creating a semblance of cohesion. The story goes something like this:

Beautiful Pegasus and her cousin, Uni the Unicorn are playing in a magical forest. They meet a mermaid named Princess Pearl. Pearl is distraught because her parents, the king and queen of the mermaids, have been kidnapped by a terrible star creature named Mr. Freak. Aside from missing her parents, Pearl is overwhelmed by the pressure to become the new queen and has run away. Uni uses her magical horn to give Pearl legs, and Pegasus invites the princess to come live with them.

A little later, the starship of Mr. Freak crashes in the forest. Pegasus, Uni and Pearl subsequently trick Mr. Freak into giving up his toilet plunger (which is the source of all his power). In exchange for the plunger, the friends demand that Mr. Freak return Pearl's parents. Mr. Freak complies. Uni then uses her horn once more to make it so that Pearl will have legs during the day, and a tail and scales at night so that she may move back and forth between the world of her family and the world of her friends.

Everyone is happy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tequila Mockingbird!

From the Wikipedia page on the Northern Mockingbird*:

"Although many species of bird imitate other birds, the Northern Mockingbird is the best known in North America for doing so. It imitates not only birds but also other animals and mechanical sounds such as car alarms."

"The Northern Mockingbird, in addition to being a good mimic, is also one of the loudest and most constantly vocal of birds. It often sings through the night, especially unmated males, or when the moon is full. It sings year-round except sometimes for the late-summer molting season. Individual males have repertoires of 50 to 200 songs; females sing as well, but more quietly and less often than males."

Guess what type of interesting new neighbor recently moved in near our house?

*Bold and italics added by me. For emphasis.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I just re-read my to-do list from earlier this month. Here's a partial status update:

- Read a bunch of books.

I am attacking this goal with enthusiasm and thrift! I recently discovered the Used Book Superstore in Danvers and it has changed my life.

- Commit to a yoga habit! My goal is stepping it up from once a week at the YMCA to twice!

So far, so good. I've been making it to more morning classes and have been subsequently feeling fantastic.

- Find out that I passed the MTEL Communications and Literacy Skills test and then prepare to take down the English subject test.

Done, and doing! I did well on my first MTEL exams, passing both of the Communications and Literacy Skills subtests. I have since been working on a massive, homemade study sheet for the English subject exam, which I plan to take either in September or November.

- Eat ramen with plenty of Tabasco stirred in.

Not an original goal from my previous entry, true, but a noble aspiration nonetheless. I plan to attend to this matter almost immediately. Wish me luck.

Delicious, spicy luck.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I got a lot of livin' to do!

A sampling of things I want to do this summer:

- Read a bunch of books.

- Commit to a yoga habit! My goal is stepping it up from once a week at the YMCA to twice!

- Find out that I passed the MTEL Communications and Literacy Skills test and then prepare to take down the English subject test.

- Learn a little shooting.

- Take another session of Bellydance classes.

- Go to Provincetown with my mom.

- Watch as many episodes of Tales from the Crypt as I can get my hands on. Why does this series not get more recognition for being one of the greatest television shows ever? Huh? Why?

- Write more!

- Go on a glorious road trip! Jason and I have been saving up for a southbound adventure this August.

- Daydream about my sister's unborn child. Does that sound creepy? Maybe it is. Regardless, I am so excited for this baby!

- Be a better friend.

- Have fun!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Animals in the News!

Intrigued by a short news caption I saw online about 300 stray dogs turning to cannibalism off of some unnamed fishing island, I decided to investigate. So I did the following search on Google:

"stray dog fishing island"

Google responded by asking, "Did you mean to search for: stray dog fashion island?"

No, Google, I did not. I do, however, now have an incredible idea for a new reality TV show.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Once again, looking through old photo files...

I found this series of pictures that I drew to illustrate an entry on my old blog. This set of images was meant to portray my experience with LASIK. While I no longer remember the text that accompanied them, I still find the images relevant. I post them here, narration-less. Let your imagination run free:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia."!

I found some photos that I had taken and edited while living in my old crap-trap, death-den of a studio apartment on Boston Street when I was 20.

Oh man, I was so skinny and vegan back then...

If you look closely at the tongue above, you will see a big ol' barbell-type piercing sticking through it. I "enjoyed" that piercing for about a month before giving in to the fact that the horrendous lisp it gave me wasn't going to get better with time.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Me! Singing! Listen!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Name Game!

To date, I have appeared in various documents at my place of work under a variety of different names. Legally, and for all intents and purposes, my name is:

- Lola Cutter Hensel

Got it? Well, when I first brought in my paperwork to the seafood restaurant I work at in September, I brought with me an old but not-quite-expired passport in lieu of my social security card (which I lost). What I didn't realize at the time was that my passport still had my old name - the name my parents gave me and my family still calls me - from before I had it legally changed. So, for my first few months there, my name appeared in the computer system as:

- Laura Hensel

After some pestering, I got my General Manager to make the correction. Well, to attempt to make the correction at least. According to the computer systems, my name is now:

- Lola Hansel

Yet another manager is in charge of scheduling and apparently, in her opinion, my name is:

- Lola Jensen

That's what appears on the schedule she posts on the wall in the break room every week anyway.

A new General Manager recently came on at the restaurant and, as is to be expected, he has his own ideas of how things should be. Thus, he refers to me during meetings as:

- Lola Henschel

Every other week, however, I receive a paycheck and that check is made out to:

- Lola Hensel

I breathe a little sigh of relief every time I see this paycheck, and I take a moment to cherish the delightfully correct spelling of my name. So great is my gratitude that I am usually not saddened by the fact that said check is most often for zero dollars (this is normal for servers).


Here ends the entry. I'm off to watch Lost!


Lola/Laura Cutter Hensel/Hansel/Jensen/Henschel

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I sat for about seven hours yesterday, with a couple of short breaks. The last hour was the hardest. There is now glorious color on my arm!

Right now I am killing time, waiting for the Comcast guy to come by and do something or other with our cable box. My lengthy "to do" list is comprised largely of tasks that involve leaving the house, but I'm stuck here as Mr. Comcast takes his sweet time.

Sweet, sweet time.

By the way, I love the phrase "killing time". Of all the ways we could get rid of time ("spending" time, letting time "slip away"), we often choose to kill it. Humans are a violent species.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Wish me luck on my day of grand excitement...

In a few minutes I will slip into my walkin' shoes and begin heading downtown. I will grab breakfast along the way. I will spend whatever expanse of time exists between my downtown arrival and 1pm at the Peabody Essex Museum; it's one of my favorite places and, as a Salem resident, I get in for free.


Then, at 1:00, I will be meeting up with the lovely Molly McKinnon at Witch City Ink to get some more work done on my arm.

Since you are probably now wiping a tear from your eye because you are jealous of the awesomeness that lays before me, here is a picture to make you smile:

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I know that many girls have experimented with mangling/deconstructing their dolls. I certainly tried my hand at a few times over the years; when I was young, as an expression of morbid curiosity, and when I was older, as a statement of repressed anger.

Margaux Lange, however, has taken the art to another level.

Check this stuff out:

Items like these make me fantasize about how interesting my jewelery collection would be if I had an extravagant amount of money to spend on accessories (these Margaux Lange pieces are, by my standards, on the moderately to overly pricey side).

In turn, fantasies like that make me wonder about the bizarre way that price values are attached to anything that might go into the category of "art". When the "art" label is in place, and practical value is no longer relevant, it all seems to be a matter of charge-whatever-the-heck-you-can-get-away-with.

For example: Damien Hirst's The Golden Calf, a painted bull carcass floating in formaldehyde, which sold for $23,000,000 at auction last September.

Happy Day After Valentine's Day!

Working in a restaurant on Valentine's Day can be an intense experience. By the time I got home last night I was so dazed and scatterbrained that I lost the ability to count.

Jason and I are celebrating a day late. We are going into Boston for lunch in the North End, fun at the Museum of Science and dinner in Chinatown. The museum is housing a temporary exhibit called Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stop being so sensitive!

Around 2AM this morning I crawled out of bed, popped three Aleve and spent two hours on the living room couch whimpering, shaking my fist at the sky and generally feeling bad for myself. Why? Because, my friends, I am perhaps the only person I know who sometimes hurts themselves while sleeping. Two weeks ago I slept in kind of a funny position on my side (I guess?) and when I woke up, my right hip felt like it belonged to a 90 year old who fell while rollerblading down a mountain.

A mountain made of punches.

Anyway, some days I'm fine and some days I limp around like a wobbly pirate wannabe. Stairs are my new enemy. I have also endured a couple of sleepless night because, even while laying still on my back, my hip throbs. This injury is not especially surprising; I have similarly injured my shoulder from sleeping on my side on two or three occasions.

A couple of months ago I went to the hospital for x-rays after developing a horribly painful knee injury. That's right, developing. I hurt it by... walking around? I bruise like a banana, too, and can never figure out how it happened.

What a wimpy jerk body I have!Yup. That's me. Both in name and in love of hamburgers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

First Sitting

Tattoo and photo by Molly McKinnon

Friday, February 6, 2009


Today I'm going to see Molly at Witch City Ink to get work started on the sleeve I have planned for my right arm! The theme for the sleeve is "images from books and movies I loved as a kid". Today we're starting with images from The Last Unicorn and The Secret of NIMH.

In anticipation of my big day, I was browsing the Last Unicorn page at IMDb. I didn't realize until now what a totally amazing cast that movie had!


Jeff Bridges ... Prince Lir
Alan Arkin ... Schmendrick
Mia Farrow ... Unicorn/Amalthea
Angela Lansbury ... Mommy Fortuna
Christopher Lee ... King Haggard
Rene Auberjonois ... The Skull

That's right. My favorite movie as a child featured the voice talents of the Dude, the Dead Granpa, the Rosemary's Baby's Mother, the Murder She Wrote, the Saruman the White and the Odo. I love it.

Inspired, I decided to check out the page for Secret of NIMH. While there were a couple of fun surprises (like the kid who played Gordie Lachance in Stand By Me!), I was disturbed to find out that little Teresa was voiced by a nine-year-old Shannen Doherty.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

a longer entry, since i live and die by my sister's approval...

This is a great story... from flight attendant to Prime Minister? Well done, Ms. Sigurdardottir!

I would now like to announce a monumental change in the way I live my life.



Inspired by this blog entry, I have elected to get with the times. From now on, I will be using only one space after a period instead of two.

To be honest, I hadn't even been aware that there was any kind of controversy over this issue. At some point in my childhood, when I was learning to type, someone told me, "Period, space, space," and that was that.

Now I have to un-train my thumb from doing that automatic double-pulse after every period. It won't be easy. It won't be fun.

But with the support of my loved ones, I think I can do it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's been a while...


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oh, The Places I Want To Go...

Sarah Winchester was a woman with very deep pockets who was very deeply saddened by the death of her young daughter and, later, her husband. Seeking solace from her grief, Sarah consulted with a medium who informed her that her ill luck was the result of the thousands of vengeful spirits who had been killed by her family's great moneymaker: the Winchester Rifle.

The medium went on to inform Sarah that she must move out west and build a house for herself and the spirits. The medium also mentioned that the moment Sarah stopped construction on that house, she would die.

And so, in San Jose, California, we have the Winchester Mystery House. Here is a photo of the house when it was seven stories tall:

As the caption at the bottom of the photo ominously suggests, the building no longer looks as it did "Before the Earthquake" and is now merely four stories tall.

The Winchester Mystery House was under construction continuously, night and day, for 38 years until Mrs. Winchester's death in 1922. The result? A 160-room, 40-bedroom monster.

From Wikipedia:

"Due to the lack of a master plan and constant construction, the house became very large and quite complex; many of the serving staff needed a map to navigate the house. The house also features doors that open into walls, staircases that lead nowhere, the recurring number thirteen, and windows that look into other walls."

I am making a written list of places I want to travel, specifically so I can put this house on the list.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Recycling old creativity

Some collage pages I created for The Moleskine Projekt a couple of months ago: