Inhuman Swill : Laura

Laura and Bill cut the cake, Las Vegas, 30 June 2001
Fifteen years ago today, I somehow had the remarkable good fortune of marrying the smartest, most adventurous, funniest, most beautiful woman in the world. (Television could not have designed a better wedding. Literally. The wedding was on television.)

Today, I have the remarkable good fortune of still feeling that way. Thank you, Laura, for fifteen-plus years of adventure, challenge, joy, surprise, growth, puppy snorgles, forgetting important dates, and never being bored.

I love you, Laura.

(I think this is the part where Laura would want me to tell the NPR listening audience, "She could be a real bitch sometimes." Oh, wait, I was supposed to save that for your eulogy? My bad.)

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14 Februarys: A Sonnet

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Our first Fourteenth we went to Brooklyn's best
New restaurant. It seemed we walked for miles
Through freezing cold, but I knew by your smiles
I'd chosen well and you were well impressed.

Our third Fourteenth was filled with wedding plans.
I'm still not sure who popped the question first.
By Fourteenth number nine we were immersed
In thoughts of westward roads and moving vans.

Our tenth Fourteenth blew prudence to the sky
With fourteen courses served by silent staff.
Such frills on this Fourteenth? It is to laugh.
We're happy to stay home and order Thai.

My Valentine you've been, the count now stands,
Two times for every finger on your hands.

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When it suppurates, it gushes

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[Spoiler warning: Mildly squicky medical details within. The squeamish may not wish their appetites spoiled.]

It had been quite some time since Laura or I had visited a doctor, probably too long. Now we're all too familiar with the decor at our physician's new office.

Do I need to tell you how it started? Okay, it burned a little when I peed. (Don't worry—Laura's story and mine are not related.) This went on for a couple of days and I didn't pay much attention to it, but then on Saturday morning it didn't just burn. It felt like a red-hot poker was being jabbed up there when I peed.

Our doctor doesn't have office hours on weekends, so I took myself to a clinic. The doctor there didn't take much of a medical history from me, but he put me on an antibiotic in case it was a urinary tract infection, told me to drink lots of water, and sent me home.

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What my wife does for a living

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Friends of ours often ask me to remind them what it is that Laura does for a living. It's a little hard to explain, but this article from yesterday's New York Times does a pretty good job of spelling it out:

(Go ahead and read it now. I'll wait.)

A Push to Promote Familiar Brands Online

(Done? Okay, cool.)

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The best thing I ever did

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Walking down the aisle
Exactly ten years ago today, I did the best thing I ever did. That's the day I married the warm, witty, wonderful Laura Chavoen. There are plenty of things I would do over in my life if I could, but if not doing them meant switching over to some alternate timestream never reaching that best moment ever, well, I'd do every one of those stupid things again, just so I could get to that one smartest, best thing.

I've written elsewhere about how Laura and I met and started dating. I'm not sure I've written about how our wedding came to be aired on the Travel Channel, but that's a story I'll tell another day. All I really want to say today is that I could not be more fortunate than to be charging headlong into the future with the smart, funny, beautiful partner that I have. She keeps treating each new year as an adventure, and she keeps pushing me to do the same. And I'll tell you what else—there's no one I'd rather be stranded without a visa at the Egyptian border with.

Often when we're listening to the news in the morning and they're running an obituary and people are talking about what a wonderful, selfless person the deceased was, Laura will say, "If I die, don't sugarcoat anything. Tell the radio, 'She could be a real bitch sometimes.'" Well, I look forward to another umpteen decades of hearing Laura say that while we're listening to an obituary on the radio. And me saying back, "You know, you're not that big a bitch."

She says she likes it when I'm sassy. Which is only one of the reasons I love her.

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Hey, Laura and I are in a book! A whole bunch of our friends too, not to mention Buzz Aldrin. Not our writings but our smiling mugs:

What a fun project that was to be a part of.

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Laura running Boston

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So Laura is right now running the Boston Marathon. She passed the 10K mark (almost a quarter of the way) a few minutes ago, and is running a 9-minute pace. If she maintains that, she'll come in under four hours. I'm incredibly proud of her!

You can track Laura's progress here. Her bib number is 18649. Three more hours!

I'm about to take the T out to Boston College to try to spot her there.

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For the online component of a Sunday story about unique office spaces, the Chicago Tribune used several photographs of the offices where Laura works. Check out numbers 1 through 5, from the Imagination offices.

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Laura Chavoen, media star

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So, the company my wife works for has been redoing their web site—transparently, exposing the whole process. Every week they post updates about the project, and this week's offering is...

Engaging Imagination, with Laura Chavoen, Senior Vice President, Digital Media

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Laura Chavoen
The following press release excerpt comes from PR Newswire:

CHICAGO, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Laura Chavoen has joined Imagination Publishing as senior vice president of digital media. She reports to James E. Meyers, president. Chavoen oversees online publishing, all aspects of digital media strategy development and day-to-day operations of Imagination's digital media department. She also is intimately involved in business development activities for new and existing clients.

"Laura comes to Imagination with more than 15 years of big-time digital media and custom publishing experience," Meyers said. "Her experience at companies such as Scholastic, Yamaha, SkyMall, Razorfish and Harper Collins is an exciting addition to the online publishing and digital media capabilities of Imagination Publishing."

Chavoen's arrival coincides with a significant increase in the staffing and resources of Imagination Publishing due to rapid growth in clients' digital media needs....  [full press release]

She's been there nearly two months now. I don't see enough of her, but I'm so proud of her.

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