Pillow Fights & Boxing Tuesday

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Ray and I have been working feverishly on putting together some kick ass comedy events at Small's in Hamtramck. I would LOVE to see you at one of them. If you were at our Suck It Suicide benefit show, you already know we put on a great show. And we already have plenty of ideas that should make THESE shows even better. The best part is just how many funny people we've met in the relatively short time we've been doing this. So each show we do will have comics we totally think are hilarious and worth your time. 

Read on to choose which Small's September comedy adventure is right for you! 

Adventure 1

Ray and Laura's Comedy Showcase
Thursday Sept. 4 at 9pm
Small's Hamtramck $5

This is the first in what will be a series of comedy showcases Ray and I are curating at Small's! We have four set up and want them to be successful beyond reason so we can just make it a monthly thing. The very first time Ray and I talked comedy, we both talked about how ultimately we wanted to grow our local comedy scene and put on shows with our favorite local comics and get more people on board as fans of comedy in general! We have a lot of grand plans, but all of those depend on an audience! 
Check www.rayandlauracomedy.com for more info. This redirects to the FB event for now, but goddamn it we have our own web site! So watch that space.

Adventure 2

Totally Feral Comedy: A Devoted Barn Fundraiser
Friday Sept 26 at 9pm
Small's Hamtramck $5

We had such great success with our Suck It Suicide show that we wanted to do it all over again for another worthy cause. The Devoted Barn is an animal rescue and rehabilitation facility in Newport, Michigan. Though they help all kinds of animals, one of their programs involves working with feral dogs that most other rescue organizations don’t have the time, resources or know how to rehabilitate and give a safe space. So we wanna tell some jokes to get an extra pot of money just for our feral pup friends! This event will also have a raffle and Devoted Barn merch. It will also be awesome.
FB event info here: http://on.fb.me/1pVPhQW
Devoted Barn info: http://www.devotedbarn.org

So please spread the word! Bring friends! Let's do this! (And thanks for giving a shit and even reading this far.) Can't make it to either of these and feel FREAKED OUT? Well, mark Thursday Oct 2 off as "busy" in PERMANENT MARKER on your iPhone so you remember to come out to THAT showcase. YOU CAN DO THIS. AND I THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS. You're awesome.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to make sure your dog is popular and well-liked this summer

Now that the weather is finally getting nicer, you might be looking forward to getting your dog together with the dogs of your friends for walks, play dates, drinking games, hot air baloon rides... whatever, I don't know your life.

What I DO know is this video shows you the best way to introduce new dogs to each other. Please note that it isn't "friendly" to just let your dog run into another dog's personal space. It's rude and the quickest way to screw up a what could've been a good canine friendship.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Growing Up Gomez: Season Finale

Gomez with his teacher Sarah at Fido Personal Dog Training
At the beginning of January I started writing a column for the web site Your Pit Bull and You called 'Growing Up Gomez.' It just wrapped up with the last "episode" of the season, and you can find all of them here. Essentially, it's a column that highlights the stress that comes with adopting an adult dog — a subject that, from what I could tell after frantic Google searches and book references, seems to get glossed over in the whole, "adopt and save a life!" cheerleading of rescue and shelter proponents. I am a staunch supporter of adoption, but new adopters (most being people with far less dog experience than I have) need more support and encouragement through the initial year of adoption, especially during the first few months. These can be trying times, but what you find once you get over those bumps is priceless: a great, long-lasting relationship with your new dog.

I'm still kind of amazed I was offered the opportunity to write for the site. I stumbled onto YPBY's Facebook page one day and was immediately a fan. Excellent writing, force-free training advocacy and pit bulls? Yes, please! I wrote to them after coming up empty handed in the "light at the end of the tunnel" department and asked if they'd ever considered doing a column that dealt with "rags to riches" training stories. I did my best to word my initial email in a a way that didn't sound like, "Help! I just adopted my second dog and I think I might've ruined my life!" And I suppose I succeeded since the site's main lady, Lori Nanan, sent me the following response: 

Hey Laura!
I LOVE this idea....and I'm gonna toss it back to you. ;-)

Would you be interested in documenting your journey in a bit more detail- the highs, the lows, the ah-ha moments, the "I'm toast" moments?

Doesn't have to be exhaustive, but we could put together a post with your story. I have NO doubt, that like you say, it will encourage others to step forward and admit to their "been there, done that" moments.

Include some pics of him and your lovely family and I think it could be pretty awesome. People love pictures, which you no doubt have noticed!

Let me know your thoughts and Thanks so much! - Lori

My first thought was, "Did this lady, who doesn't know me at all, just offer me a chance to write for her website in response to a cold email? Who does that?" After all, how does this woman know I'm not crazy? A terrible writer? A jerk and a moron? My second thought was, "I immediately like this person because she used the expression 'I'm toast.'" I'm so thankful Lori took a chance on me. She's an incredible trainer, advocate and person and I'm fortunate to know her. 

I enjoyed writing these posts tremendously, not only because I forced myself out of my comfort zone as a writer, but because of the truly positive, thoughtful and just goddamn nice feedback people have given me. Not to mention the fact that the force free training community is full of amazing, intelligent people who are training dogs without pinch collars, "corrections," intimidation, choke chains, outdated pack theory bullshit or pain. For more about force-free training and how you don't need a "heavy hand" to train, check out this article that Lori wrote. Seriously. Read it.

So thank you to everybody who read the column, and if you know somebody who's recently adopted their own 70lb friendly caveman, please send them the way of Your Pit Bull and You! Not just to read 'Growing Up Gomez,' but because it's a tremendous resource no matter what type of dog you have. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Listen to this over and over again

The weather is starting to get tolerable-bordering-on-nice which means a reprieve from Seasonal Affective Disorder is on its way! You can expedite the process by listening to Karen Kilgariff's Live at the Bootleg over and over again.

Live at the Bootleg is funny and touching and warm and everything that this winter has not been in any way. Her in between song banter and jokes will make you want to be her best friend for life because she's so much more charming than any of your the dumb people you hang around with. And to top it off, she closes with a Daniel Johnston cover. So good. Listen to it on Spotify until your copy on orange vinyl comes in the mail. Orange vinyl? It's like she's reading my comedy dream diary.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Straight folks: Use your voice to combat anti-gay bullshit

This is a family. If you think otherwise, go fuck yourself.

The MI marriage case, attempts to legalize discrimination in Arizona and Kansas, the horrible anti-gay bill that just passed in Uganda... It is 2014, yet the attempts to marginalize and demonize LGBT people rages on all over the world. I've recently had some straight folks ask me, "What can I do?" I've given it some thought and here's my answer.

Speak up, speak out and stand up for us. Stop being silent when some willfully ignorant asshole starts saying horrible, inaccurate or ignorant shit about gay people. It doesn't matter if they're your best friend, your mom or your spouse. Stop shying away from confrontation. You don't have to make it an argument. But your silence is met as tacit agreement and gives bigots the illusion that they're part of a robust coalition of like-minded people. We need you to burst their little hate bubble.

During the long struggle for LGBT equality, way too much "equal time" has been given to "both sides" of this fight. It is rarely acknowledged that those fighting for equal rights have a way stronger case. In fact we have the only case. WE have the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Bar Association, American Medical Association and virtually EVERY SINGLE REPUTABLE, PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION IN EXISTENCE on our side. They have a Bible from which they cherry pick, fear of change and basically nothing else. 

Sure, they occasionally present “studies.” But these studies rarely hold up to peer review or a modicum of intellectual scrutiny. Sure, they bring forth “experts” but these "experts" represent a far-right fringe element of their various fields of expertise. These people are easily discredited as every major court case decided in favor of LGBT equality over the last few years has proven.

You have truth on your side. So use it to be a voice for change. Challenge those who try to justify inequality with hand-wringing and vague notions of “family values.” At best these people are ignorant and ill-informed. At worst they are hateful and full of shit. Stand up to them. Let them know you don’t share their views. Let them know you have heard enough. Let them know that you have gay and lesbian people in your life that you care about. Let them know they do not speak for you. Stop letting the hateful, ignorant things people say go unchallenged. 

That’s what you can do. Start today.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nobody has to be alone on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is tomorrow which means some people will inevitably feel sad or alone or both. But honestly? Nobody has to feel that way on Valentine's Day. How do you quell the heartache? Adopt a dog. Seriously. You've been talking about it for years now, right? And you keep finding reasons to put it off. But if you're really looking for unconditional love and a strong bond, there's really nothing better than adopting a dog. Have you always wanted to be somebody's "one and only?" Go to any shelter and you'll find countless dogs who are running out of time. You are, quite literally, their only hope. "But dogs are a lot of work," you say. Yup. What good relationship isn't? In this case, the hard work is a bonus because you'll be so busy acclimating your new dog, that you won't piss away the day feebly scrolling through Tumblr posts and feeling useless. Your new dog needs you! You've got shit to do. And to clean up! A lot of rescue groups and shelters have specials and adoption events this weekend. Home Furever is just one of them. Look how cute:

Now stop feeling sad and lonely and go save a life! You'll automatically be the hero in a love story.

Oh. And if you're a dog person who is looking for something to read to occupy yet another goddamn snow day, my column on the site Your Pit Bull and You will totally do the trick. 'Growing Up Gomez' is about my experiences adopting an energetic pit bull. I am so thrilled that the folks at the site let me share my embarrassing experiences and occasional successes. The feedback I've been getting from my dog nerd fan base has been resoundingly positive. I'd love to hear what you think as well. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Morrissey's 'Autobiography' play lists

AutobiographyAutobiography by Morrissey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I've always loved about Morrissey is his intense love of music. So while reading 'Autobiography,' I made two Spotify playlists. One features individual songs he mentions in the book, the other whole albums he points to as important to him. There are a few missing as not everything was available on Spotify, but a lot of really great stuff to explore. Enjoy.

Spotify playllist of songs mentioned by Morrissey in his Autobiography

Spotify playllist of whole albums mentioned by Morrissey in his Autobiography