Thursday, December 27, 2012


Dear 29,
I'm a few days late, but Merry Holidays. It certainly was a special one.
(And yes, that is a jello shot Christmas tree.)

Friday, December 21, 2012


Dear 29,
I haven't written about snow. I had to search "snow" in the blog search option and the only references to snow aren't actually about snow. (That sentence made no sense) But you might remember me talking about 2012 in terms of snow days...this one was for real. Complete with over a foot of snow. (That hasn't happened here in Des Moines in a year or more.)
Wednesday night the storm predictions started pouring in, so I stocked up on cinnamon rolls, my new wine crush, chips, dips and curled up in this patriotic blanket to hunker down and wait out the storm. Have you heard of thundersnow? (That's a real thing) Basically it's a thunderstorm with snow rather than the rain, but you probably figured that out already.
There was a whole lotta this. (See above) Trees down over still blanketed streets. My sweet little Honda was trapped in a parking lot and patches of ice that even four wheel drive didn't like. According to Instagram, the whole city was celebrating snow days with booze or fancy photos of icicles. I wrote Christmas postcards at the Star Bar, crosslegged in a booth, while sipping bloody marys with a weird ponytail, a sweatshirt and wellies. (There were only 5 other people there. So no one really noticed my strange drawing in a booth behavior, or the ponytail)
OH and then there was snow day #2. But I did manage to snap this lovely shot of Sherman Hill. This neighborhood looks mighty fine in the show. 
Cheers to an actual snowday. And near Christmas. And a safe trip to muskietown.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Memory loss.

Dear 29,
I should have learned my lesson from the first scare. Back in the 4404, I curled up in the entryway to use some internet that wasn't mine and catch an episode of something-or-other (I'm guessing it was Grey's Anatomy and the spill was the universe telling me this show had jumped the shark and I should give up on McDreamy already.) on the hulu and there went the smart water, spilling it's liquid contents all over the macbook. I don't blame Mr. Harmon anymore, but I really should have learned from this tear-inducing incident that left me exasperated at the Banana Republic. Ultimately all the photos, music, files and others such important bits of life were returned to me, on that trusty macbook.
And then, then there was a the clicky, clock noise on Friday night while watching How I Met Your Mother, sipping the herbal tea prescribed by the acupuncture man, and curling my hair for a holiday party (too much detail? oh well.). The clock clicky noise didn't stop and then it all shut down. Poof. Just like that the "you should remember to back up everything on this macbook, Laura" lecture from the Apple genius guy came flooding back, as did the dread.
I pushed the thought of the computer never turning back on far from my mind and went back to focusing on holiday preparedness. This weekend I saw Santa and Lincoln and a baby. I was busy enough to not fret about the clock clicky computer noise and impending memory doom.
As you have probably gathered from my skilled use of foreshadowing, the hard drive unexpectedly, and without any screw up on my part, quit working. The End. I sat stunned in the Cheesecake Factory (judge away) trying to nurse my aching heart with that delicious brown bread they have. I poured over the last year of my life, trying to determine what might have been stuck in the not-so-trusty macbook. There's always facebook photos, and instagram, and this blog, and so many friends who captured bits of the past twelve months or so. This might be the first time I'm grateful for a permanent FB record of my life.
There were a lot of files lost, sure. Lots. Like lots and lots. But maybe this time I'll learn from the defunct hardware. With 2013 just a few days away, rather than focus on just how much of a bummer this whole thing is, I'm going to try to look at the bright side. So much of the past three years have been documented in (what might be annoying to the rest of the people out there that aren't me) vivid detail.
Happy Birthday Mom! We look super cool in this photo taken in an NYC elevator.
And whoa, the past three years have been terrific. In these last two weeks I've gotten more notes, emails and hugs than I have in awhile- thanks for all the thoughts, praise and high fives you've given me. Thanks for reminding me how much fun I'm having and how lucky I am. I'm pretty proud of where I've pushed myself to be in life and damn proud of the city and people that helped me get there. So yes, lots of physical evidence of fun was lost, but so much lies ahead in 2013, and in year 30. This time I'll just be sure to back it up.
Thanks for the condolences. You're nice.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A quick recap.

Dear 29,
Back in year 27, I set out on what felt like a pretty serious quest. Some might dispute the fact that "Seeing 27 new places" in the city I'd lived in for over 4 years wasn't exactly a challenge, but since then I've seen at least 27 more. With year 30 staring me in the face (from about 5.5 months away), I've been spending some time assessing lists of years past while waiting for the calendar to turn to 2013. Most of the normal world starts thinking about resolutions around this time, I start thinking about what I'm going to wear on December 31st, and remind myself that only a few months remain before this list expires and the new one begins. So let's talk. What's left? (Because whoa baby there's a lot.)
New Year's Eve, 2010. The year of the side pony tail and nearly setting the dumpster on fire.
1. Do a pull-up
Turns out that when you google "do a pull up for the first time" there's a lot of information out there, but frankly, it sounds really hard. There's a whole bunch of muscles needed to pull yourself up. Nerd Fitness (that's seriously what it's called) tells me to make my back exercises a priority. Caeli would tell me to get my butt to the gym. I think I will trust them both. Maybe 2013 will bring upper body strength or a free trainer or a pull up bar in the laundry room oooooor lots of physical fitness motivation.
4. Camp
This list item is so seasonal. I hope Iowa winter quits early. Or I hope it doesn't. I haven't decided. It's not that I've never been camping before, it's that I am not sure I like it. This year I've learned I am not completely opposed to fishing. (Don't tell anyone.) I even considered joining Trout Unlimited for a day. I'm just not completely convinced I am into sleeping outside, but I love the stars, marshmallows, boat shoes and random guitars around a toasty campfire. So if dresses are allowed in and around tents I should be good to go once springtime hits. 
14. Take an improv class
So I know a guy who taught improv classes in LA (and now writes a movie review blog you'd like reading). He says I'd like the improv. So did a few students of the Anything Improv class here in Des Moines. After watching their performance a few weeks ago, I think this one needs to be high on my list to complete before 30. I mean, I'm hilarious and really great at embarrassing myself in public. (That's a joke there. See what I mean?)
22. Take 29 photobooth strips (so far: 5)
People of the blog, I need you. Where can I find photobooths in Des Moines? Help.
Clearly I have my work cut out for me. Lots of vegetarian meals to cook. A city in Iowa to visit. So much to accomplish in 5.5 months. I have to get back to plotting my NYE look, but now that you're feeling charged up to make your own set of resolutions, sign up for the 2012 Mixtape Exchange. It'll kick your new year off with a hot mix of this year's greatest hits.

ps- If you're new to reading this love letter to 29, thanks for checking it out. Photobooth locations welcome. And so are you. xo-LP

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Waaarm December.

Dear 29,
It's been so mild this December. I mean yesterday I was in a short sleeved dress in my autumnal jacket and feeling a little toasty. It's made me sing this song. But with modified lyrics. Like the blog post title.
Even on Kate's 23rd birthday it was warm. Go Kate! Final Papers! YAY grad school!
Scotchmas night was warm enough that we had the stoop door flung open for most of the evening. Jura Superstition had a weird, good-fortune-granting-ritual-drinking that, while the scotch wasn't the tastiest, did force the scotch drinkers to finish the bottle within the day it was opened. (Seriously. It says that right on the box. The Isle of Jura must be a secluded partyzone of Scotland full of fortunate scotch drinkers.)

I made scotch eggs. Not because they are a delicate and delicious food to pair with scotch, but because "scotch" is in the name of them. Clever, I know.
There've been so many custom holiday card orders rolling in that I feel like a legit illustrator some days. Thanks for that friends and Market Day goers. You could say the postcard biz is heating up just like the weather (hilarious.)
Finally, be sure to check out my friend Jen's world tour page and read about how she's setting off (very soon) to change the world in 11 months. You'll want to support her mission, I know I do.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back by Scotchclub Demand: Mixtape Exchange 2012

Dear 29,
It's back. And in pink. The mixtape exchange. This year I vow to find a speedy matching system and to remind each participant, at least twice, to actually mail your mixtape buddy that coveted CD of 2012's greatest hits.

Here are the rules (AGAIN):
1- Email me at your name + mailing address by January 4th if you'd like to participate.

2- You will receive an email with the name + mailing address of your mixtape buddy by January 11th.

3- Pull together your favorite tracks of 2012 and make your playlist.
    3a- One song per artist please (Bat for Lashes had a couple good tracks this year, but stick to only putting Laura on your disc. Or just one song per artist.)
    3b- Try to compile a list that's about 60 minutes long. Bonus discs are nice too, but at least one hour of rocking will delight your mixtape buddy.
    3c- All songs should be from 2012. (Try to stick to this. It's a great challenge.)

4- Burn your mixtape on a CD. (Not a cassette Andy) 

5- Send out your carefully packaged 2012 mixtape to your buddy by January 31st. 

(Seriously. Send it out. That's what makes this fun.)

Check out these sites if you need some inspiring lists of 2012's best:

NPR, Paste, Rolling Stone, Pretty Much Amazing, Indie Music Filter and Greg will surely post one soon...

Now get mixin.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A giant Yesvember wrap up

Dear 29,
I did such a great job keeping track of Yesvember successes, but a terrible job of sharing them with you, loyal readers.
1. Yoga (Off a good start in the "less stress" mission)
2. Play a board game
3. Celebrate Black Friday Market Day success
Seriously. It was an incredible day. Thanks DSM.
4. Cook a turkey for my first (sad) Palmer family-less Thankgiving
I actually cooked that gleaming bird.
5. Start training for that pull-up (ish)
6. Perfect a mulled wine recipe
7. Send 9 letters written in cursive
8. Bake a pie
That's me screenprinting a onesie. Very focused. Thanks Sara.

9. Yoga (worth adding twice)
10. Vote
11. Renew my passport
12. Find another use for dried shrimp
13. Shoot a gun
14. Host the second annual XO-LP Holiday open house

15. Read a book  (I read TWO. Gasp)
16. Craft a holiday decoration
17. Watch an episode of Twin Peaks
18. Try this Zumba thing
19. Watch the sun rise and set. Both in one day.
20. Walking taco night part two (Served Walking Tacos to two great people who had NEVER heard of walking tacos.)

21. Fish (I can't believe this is on the list either)
22. Research new postcard retail locations
23. Yoga (hey. why not. relaxing list items are tough to come up with)
24. Find a reason to wear the gown again
25. Photobooth

26. Meditate again, oh, and write about it
27. See the Moberg Gallery
28. Eat at Chucks, finally (the amaretto cookies. oh man)

29. Cross the Center Street Bridge.

Still didn't cross that bridge. Maybe it's just not meant to be.
Onto December.