You gotta start somewhere

When I got sick this summer and found myself with loads of unoccupied time in which I could do very little physical activity, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to rededicate myself to writing. I’ve been struggling with it for years for a number of reasons, and one of the biggest reasons was time. Now I had time. So much time. There was no work for me to bury myself in and there were no more excuses. I started with morning pages, and took to them immediately. They helped me get through the days and weeks that stretched into months while I waited for surgery and then recovered from surgery. I discovered things about my writing and myself, revelations I had never had before, and now that I’m back at work, morning pages have suffered. I hate it and want to get back to it. Weekend morning pages aren’t sufficient. My problem is that I’m a slow writer, so to get the three handwritten pages in, I need about 30 minutes of time. That means I’d have to wake up half an hour early every morning and right now, that’s a challenge. Because I wake up at 5:30am already and waking up early is NOT something that comes easily to me. I love my early shift and everything but getting out of bed is like, my least favorite activity in the world.

But this blog post isn’t about my morning pages, it’s about what I’m writing now, and what I’m writing now, aside from this fantastic post, is fanfic. My favorite kind of fanfic. (I will not tell you what kind that is because omg, I do have some dignity left.) Sometimes, as I’m sitting at my laptop plunking away at the story, word by word, I feel guilty. I’m writing fanfic. I’m not writing something REAL and DEEP and MEANT TO CHANGE LIVES. But then I remember that all writing is practice. I’m practicing right now. Riding the bicycle around on the driveway before venturing out onto the sidewalk. I want to make sure I trust myself without training wheels. It doesn’t matter if my practice is disjointed and bizarre and dude, fanfic. It matters that my fingers are moving and my brain is working. The words are sliding into place alongside one another, little clusters of letters on the ark of my creativity. /flowery

It’s early when he wakes up, the room is dim and gray and cold. He feels Brandy’s absence before he confirms it but there’s a note on her pillow, brief but friendly – Double shift, home at 7. Stay, don’t stay. Takeout menus by the fridge. He drops the note back onto the pillow and rolls onto his back. He listens to the city wake up around him, the car horns and shouted conversations, buses pulling away from curbs, children shrieking on school playgrounds. Life is normal outside, on the sidewalks below Brandy’s apartment.

Six daily rituals (illustrated).


Breaking my blog silence to repost this gem by Monica. I love her and everything she writes is holy aaaahhhh

Originally posted on monica byrne:

Warning: this post is pure process porn.

The last time I talked with my editor, I told him I wanted a school bell app for my iPhone. That way, I could set up all my daily activities in discrete time intervals, like in grade school. It was so easy then! When the bell went off, it didn’t matter what I was doing, I had to put down the math worksheet, put away the coloring, go on to the next class, sit down, and re-set my brain.

He made a noise that roughly translated to why in God’s name would you do that to yourself. 

Maybe because I’m a discipline freak?

This is drafting time. I’m pouring the foundation of the house. It takes a lot of discipline. At present, I have six daily rituals. If I do four out of the six—two of which have to be (1) and (2)—I count it a successful day. See? You thought I was cruel…

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Life Unexpected

On Friday, we celebrated Franny’s 4th birthday and our first year together. It was a happy day, and we showered her with love and cuddles and a long walk. The next day, we knew we were going to BFF’s mom’s for dinner and that Franny would get to run around with other dogs in a backyard, so we didn’t feel too bad about leaving her home while we ran to the Apple Store and then to the gym for a run. She’d get plenty of time to run around and play, or at least her version of playing which is really just her telling the other two dogs to stay away from her moms, dammit.

I didn’t feel bad when we volunteered to run to the store for a few ingredients that we needed for dinner. Franny would get to run around! She would miss us like mad but then we’d be home and she could relax! I didn’t feel bad about any of these things. And I still don’t, not really. Because what happened on Saturday afternoon was so very unexpected but in so many ways so very good.

See, as we were leaving the parking lot of the grocery store, we saw this scraggly slip of a dog trotting down the sidewalk. It was clear she was starving and it was clear she had been nursing puppies recently, or at the very least had given birth. It was also clear that she was desperate, as she darted into a busy street to gobble up the crushed, dirty remains of someone’s discarded snack. We didn’t think. She was darting into the street. What else can you do but stop the car and GRAB HER?

Except she was also terrified and confused and weak, so she took off down the sidewalk with BFF following behind, trying to coax her out of the street, away from danger and the bit of food just in the gutter. I parked the car, grabbed a discarded milk bone from the floor of the car, and took off after them. BFF was a bit down the sidewalk, coming toward me. She didn’t look defeated or frantic that she hadn’t been able to grab the dog. Nope. That sad little dog was curled up in her arms, her big brown eyes so weary and dejected. She was tiny, like a bird, the hair all down her neck worn almost completely off. Her upper body was covered in thin, baby fine hair that looks more like a balding man’s head than a dog. Her lower half, covered in coarse, thinning hair. She had dandruff (or to us, some unknown skin condition) and was still bleeding a little from whelping. Her hip bones were prominent, as were each of her little ribs. Her skin, loose from dehydration and malnutrition, sagged over her pointy elbows and around her neck, and her toenails were an inch long.

We took her to the car, fed her the milk bone, and started making calls. BFF’s mom set up one of her crates in the garage and had food and water ready when we arrived. The dog gobbled up the food, sucked down the water, and we gave her a little more while calling for a vet in the area so we could scan her for a chip. It was almost five-thirty, so there was a sense of urgency as we piled back in the car and took off, Franny barking her head off back at the house.

The vet tech scanned the dog for a chip and found nothing. She estimated the dog was a year old, maybe a year and a half. Just a baby herself and already a mom. The collar she wore bore no tags, only the frayed remains of a leash, which looked to be cut, said the vet, and not chewed. We took the dog outside and on the short walk to the car, decided to drive to the SPCA to turn her in. Or at least file a report. Whatever it is that you do with a starving dog who needs attention immediately.

They scanned her again at the SPCA while we filed a found dog report. The woman who helped us gave us a lot of information about what to do with her for the next 30 days while we look for her owners. I was suddenly terrified: we were responsible for this dog for the foreseeable future. Was she sick? Was she going to get Franny sick? How much was Franny going to hate us? What in the hell are we thinking? Where are her puppies?


After the SPCA

Somehow, we named her Emerson on the ride back to BFF’s mom’s house. We tucked her into the crate while we ate dinner, and then we loaded everything – and everyone – into the car. Franny was strapped into the backseat as usual and BFF held Emerson (Em, Emmy). At home, Emmy got a bath, some more food and water, warm blankets and lots of encouragement. She was cautious and timid, but sweet and never really tried to get away. Franny was curious but not a bully. She stayed on the floor next to the crate when Emmy cried after we put her to bed.

photo 4


Since Saturday night, Emmy has been scanned a third time and briefly examined by a vet. She’s been fed and watered and walked and loved. She has a little sweater now to keep her warm because she has no meat on her bones. We turned on the heat today for her, a real sacrifice for us. We like the cold here, the three of us. Yesterday, and today especially, Emmy has begun showing signs of the puppy she truly is. She chases your hand, crawls after your hand as you move it over the floor, bats at your fingers when you dangle them in front of her face. She loves to have her belly rubbed and she prefers to cuddle on her schedule. She loves going on walks and she loves anything Franny does. When she yawns, she makes the most adorable little noise I’ve ever heard.

Clothes are a necessity

Clothes are a necessity

We’ll be her family for the month of November, something of a trial for all of us. Franny has begun showing her displeasure with the situation, grumbling when Emmy gets a cuddle or flopping herself dejectedly onto another part of the couch because we invited Emmy up to join the rest of us. Regardless of what happens this month, I’m going to enjoy this time with Emmy. If this were Franny, if someone had rescued her off the streets, I would hope they’d do the same for her while we looked for each other. I would want them to love her, to give her all the things she’d been missing.

Say hello to Emerson.

Resting after a trip to the vet

Resting after a trip to the vet

Tiniest elbows

Tiniest elbows

She prefers the bed to a lap

She prefers the bed to a lap

Say Hey Tuesday: That Time Matt Cain Pretended He Was Affeldt

Part two of our introductory post for Say Hey Tuesday! If you can’t remember part one, you can find it here. This will be a pretty short post, as it’s just Matt Cain pretending to be hilarious and Affeldty to Posey after a game. Cainer’s adorable, awkward play jabs seem to amuse him a great deal, and really, how can you not love Posey’s stomach “punch”.




*gif by triplesalley

That Time Buster Posey Punched Jeremy Affeldt

For the past few days, I’ve had a tab open in Chrome to my Tumblr account and I’ve been clicking through it at random times, chuckling at things I had forgotten about and rediscovering little internet gems. After finding one particularly hilarious post, I decided to start Say Hey Tuesdays, where I’ll revisit a random Giants moment that maybe we’ve forgotten about and deserves to NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

The inaugural moment is actually in two parts. Hey, it’s not every day you decide to launch a new blog feature! This is a special occasion. Plus, it gives me two posts at once so I feel SUPER good about this project. Besides, this is a REALLY great moment and the individual parts of it are huge and amazing on their own.

Today’s moment took place after the Giants clenched the NL West. The boys were understandably excited. Limbs were flailing, bodies were bouncing, and people were hitting the ground one after another. Jeremy Affeldt, either overwhelmed with happiness or a deep, deep desire to get Buster before Buster got him, decided that the celebratory bounce huddle was the perfect opportunity to jackhammer a few jabs into Posey’s ribs.


What makes this moment great is that Posey immediately whips around, yells some choice words at Affeldt, and then flings an ineffectual jab in his direction before going back to the celebration. But Posey wasn’t done yet. Ineffectual punches are definitely NOT his thing. He ain’t havin’ it. As evidenced below.


Seriously. Judging by Affedlt’s reaction, Posey didn’t hold back on that punch.  I’ve heard that you’d better think twice about messing with Posey. He knows where your nuts are and how to punch them. Hard.

That’s it for the very first Say Hey Tuesdays post! Let’s see if we can make this a regular thing.

*Gifs from this mccoveychron post

Life’s about the little things

A lot has been going on at Chez LaughterInBetween. Between illness, injury, and LIFE IN GENERAL, I’ve been pretty busy lately. I started a garden on our balcony! It has things we can eat like green bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, and things we can use for multiple purposes like sage, and then things that I bought because they were pretty (blue salvia and Mexican heather). The garden almost wasn’t when our apartment complex hired a contractor to clean the gutters on all the buildings, and the contractor SUCKED AT HIS JOB.  They blew a bunch of crap out of the gutters and onto everyone’s balcony/patio, including into MY BABY GARDEN. Well, I didn’t really clear out the tomato plant bucket and then it almost died from rot and over-watering. My poor baby tomato plant. But now it has about 6 tomatoes and my pepper plant, which seems to be suffering from a small aphid infestation, has a few lovely growing bell peppers poking out. The pepper is also home to an adorable spider named Burt, who is fat and sassy on his diet of aphids. And! We have a female hummingbird who loooves the blue salvia.


Have you guys met Franny yet? I can’t remember if I’ve ever really posted about her before. This is Franny!



We got Franny on November 1, 2013. Yes, the day after the Giants World Series parade. It wasn’t even planned that way! At all. We decided we wanted to start looking for a dog, and one came up that met our hypoallergenic requirement. He was even free! But lots of people wanted him, and so I set out to find a dog. Our dog. I spent one weekend going through hundreds of pages from online adoption and rescue sites, and eventually found this precious poodle mix about 45 minutes away. Her name was Angel Eyes. She had a sweet little face and we were in love. We made arrangements to meet her and then had to reschedule for another night. I don’t remember why. When we got to the foster’s house and were introduced to Angel Eyes, I was a little disappointed. She was bigger than they described and a little more aggressive. There were other dogs there, in the same big open-top pen as Angel Eyes. Then there was another dog, by herself, in a carrier. She was in there, the woman said, because she was a jumper. They’d just gotten her from the main rescue center that day and didn’t really know her. Angel Eyes was shy around us, and we sat down on the ground to get to know her. The foster let the jumper dog – a poodle mix – out of the carrier to see if it would loosen up Angel Eyes. It kind of did, if loosening up meant she decided this jumper dog was unacceptable and must be barked at and nipped. Ugh. Aggressive dog. We didn’t want an aggressive dog.

But then an amazing thing happened. This little jumper dog, a little white mop of a dog, walked over to BFF, crawled into her lap, and curled up. She stayed there while I tried to make a connection with Angel Eyes. She stayed there when we asked the woman if we could see this jumper dog’s file. She stayed there while I petted her. She stayed there when we decided she would come home with us. In fact, she stayed in BFF’s arms until we got home. We named her Francesca Wilson Lincepoodle, Franny for short. Except now Franny has become Frances, Fran, Fran-Fran, Frantastic, Frannydoodle, Franballs, I can’t remember what we did with our time before there was a Fran in our house.

She came up to see me while I was typing this post. Blurry!Fran

She came up to see me while I was typing this post.

Today has been a bit of an adventure. First of all, I’m a little hungover from the norco I took yesterday for my migraine. Everything’s kind of foggy (which explains this blog post). This morning while we were walking Franny, we saw one of our neighbors loading stuff into his van. Then we realized that he was taking stuff – good stuff! – that wouldn’t fit in the van and leaving it by the dumpsters. We scored a nice 6 drawer dresser, an office chair, an ironing board, and three lamps. For FREE. All in great shape. No shame, we just replaced/furnished stuff we’ve not been able to afford! Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning.

The worst thing that happened today was while we looked over the furniture. We heard a woman screaming at someone in an apartment as we walked by, and a few minutes later, she came outside and screamed something about you don’t hit a woman and if being upset makes me a bitch, then fuck you! She was sobbing as she walked past and we wanted to offer our help but..for some reason the moment passed. I felt horrible because should we call the cops? Is she okay? Does she need help or somewhere to stay? Fortunately, a few minutes later as we were walking back out to the dumpster, we saw her walking by and we checked on her. My heart is breaking for her. I hope she knows that our offer of a quiet space was sincere.