My Medical Marijuana Card!

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When I was in high school and college, I smoked my fair amount of pot. Today I believe they call it weed. It made me antisocial and paranoid. I would get a horrible case of the munchies and eat things like a six-pack of twinkies dipping them into a quart of sour cream. No really. My first year at UC Santa Barbara, I lived across the hall from a woman named Julie who was a “wake and baker.” She drove a Camaro and her license plate said HVYMTLR.

This pretty much summed us up Freshman year:

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She convinced me that my mind would be more open to studying if I got stoned beforehand. Soon after practicing this new way of studying, I got my first grades and was placed on academic probation for the rest of the year. Turned out I mostly stared at the library ceiling instead of my books while stoned.

Post-college I’d get stoned occasionally, always with the same reactions of anti-social and exotic eating behaviors. I grew to hate pot and focused mainly on my alcohol consumption.

Last May, my convicted murderer Dad got his parole and release date of June 28, 2017. I didn’t really think he’d get paroled first time around and I had horrible anxiety attacks. I couldn’t sleep unless I popped a valium from Thailand with a few glasses of wine. After a couple months of doing this I realized I needed a change. I was out with my friend Kory discussing my current situation.

“Woods, you should try weed, it’s the best, it totally mellows you out.”
“No way man, I did that stuff in the 80’s and I never liked it.”
“Yeah but it’s changed a lot since then, they have so many different strains. I just come home and vape and don’t even drink anymore. My stomach went in so much.”
“Really? What do they ask you? How does it work?”
“The doc shows you a laminated sheet with 8 symptoms and asks you which 2 best describe you. Literally the appointment is like 2 minutes, the doc doesn’t even look you in the eye and just hands you your paperwork.”

I had nothing to lose, so Kory gave me his doctor’s info at the Nirvana Clinic in Hollywood and I made an appointment. I showed up on time, a little nervous and not knowing what to expect. I looked so out of place in the waiting room. Everyone was covered in tattoos with wildly dyed hair. I looked more like I was preparing for a spelling bee or picking up my fake kid from soccer.

The doctor called me in and I followed him to his office. Kory was right, he didn’t look me in the eye at first. “What do you use marijuana for?” he asked while taking notes. “I don’t, that’s why I’m here.” He looked up at me perplexed, “You DON’T smoke?” “No,”I repeated, “I was referred to you by a friend for treating anxiety and insomnia, that’s why I’m here,” He got all serious on me. “Have you ever used weed? Do you even know what it looks like?” “Yes, but not in like 20 years or so.” “How does it work now?” I was so curious with all these strains and all the edibles. When I smoked pot before you just got one bag of pot and that was it. None of this varietal hybrid bullshit.

I told him I actually didn’t like smoking pot, weed, indica, sativa, whatever it’s called now. He had already written out my paperwork to get a medical marijuana card for a year and changed it to one month. He took my case seriously. “I’m going to give you a temporary card for 30 days to see if you like it, and I need you to come back in for a check-up.” Huh, ok, I had never heard of someone getting a card for only 30 days and when I told my friends they all laughed at me. “What did you tell him??”

The doctor gave me his recommendations for what to buy, Indica. He said they call it “In-da-couch” because that’s all you want to do. He also warned me about taking edibles, saying people typically overdose on them because it takes a while to hit and when it does it hits hard. I couldn’t believe I was having a conversation with a medical professional about ingesting dope, pot, weed, whatevs.

I left the clinic, feeling less dirty than I did when I went in there. I googled which dispensary was closest to me and took a stroll. After checking my I.D. and card I was buzzed into the back where it felt like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Counters full of beautifully packaged candies, gummies, lollipops and a fridge full of sodas, brownies, all containing cannabis.

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Choices overwhelmed me and the woman behind the counter helped me out. She took things very seriously, just like the people in the sex toy stores. Did you know they’re called budtenders? Get it? She explained in great detail each strand, what they did, how I could take it. She also gave me the same warning about edibles, saying the first time she ate one she was high for three days. Yikes. I didn’t really know what to buy so I just got a smorgasbord of stuff – brownies, swedish fish, espresso beans. It was all so cheap! She even threw in some freebies for me since I was a new customer. I still felt like I was in high school and I was about to get in trouble.

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I walked back home with my brown bag of goodies hoping I wasn’t going to get jumped by someone following me back. I poured all of my stash onto the kitchen counter and prepared for my night of “In-da-couch.” I ate ¼ of a brownie and waited for it to hit. It took a while to get used to that feeling again but it felt great to relax, watch a movie, and I got the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months with no hangover or munchies. Man Kory was right on. I told some of my friends I got my medical marijuana card. They wanted to try it with me too. I went over to my friend’s house and we all got high. We were like teenagers again and giggled all night.

So now thanks to Kory I’m hooked. He was so right! And now weed is going to be legalized in California. It’s still so weird for me when I go into the dispensaries and can just buy whatever I want. So now I’ll need to load up on my stash before it gets taxed, is that wrong???

Practicing Sober October

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So as some of you “may” know, I love to drink! Yay! It’s fun, it tastes so good! I feel great! But sometimes I feel like I overindulge so I decided to practice Sober October this year. Also as I’ve gotten older I notice my body doesn’t recuperate as easily and the added calories don’t disappear as quickly.  Oh and my trainer was getting really frustrated with my lack of weight loss.

This is me practicing Sober October in NYC and at the end of the month I was able to wear a slinky Slave Leia costume:

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I Got A Book Deal!

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I’m super excited to announce that I will be writing a non-fiction book of inappropriate short stories for Lit Riot Press! I’ll be focusing on the following:

  • Dad/strip clubs/murder/prison
  • Star Wars and allegedly stalking Carrie Fisher
  • Work/men/random hookups
  • Pets and my dead best friend

May the force be with us all!

Here is my author bio:

Laurel Woods: Lit Riot Press Author

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Pops and Parole – What Does It All Mean??

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mugshotI woke up on a Thursday morning remembering that Dad’s parole hearing was taking place at that moment. We’d all been preparing for the last couple of years – hiring Dad’s parole attorneys (he was now on his fifth), gathering countless boxes of legal paperwork, organizing letters of support for his release, coaching him on the IRR’s (insight, responsibility and remorse.) Based on what I’d heard about parole hearings, I didn’t expect Dad to be released first time around, just like in Shawshank Redemption when the inmates keep getting denied. Man I loved that movie.

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From Dollars To Rupees To Smiles On The Streets of Bombay

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The vada pao, Indian burgers

As beautiful as the world is, there is always a part of me that is saddened by the impoverished, less fortunate people and animals I encounter when traveling. It’s not unusual for me to return home carrying various amounts of guilt.

I donate to a slew of organizations including the ASPCA, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Best Friends Society, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Heifer International. I carry cat and dog food, and am always buying animals food on the go. Continue reading

I Dated A Married Dude And All I Got Was a Vibrating Necklace

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The night we hooked up.

So I dated a married dude. There, I said it. If I had a girlfriend that was having an affair with a married man, I’d have told her what a fool she was. Until it happened to me. I met Henry at a tech conference in Boston in 2007. I stared at the back of his neck for three days and thought, “That guy is so cute and so gay.” Henry was a Brit – why do all the European men wear their clothes so tight? I met up with him and his boss for cocktails and we all exchanged info. Turned out Henry was married with a little girl, and was the head of development for a video games company in London.

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The Star Wars Convention Keeps Pulling Me Back In!

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I have been a galactic Star Wars fan since my dad dragged me to see the original film in Ventura a (somewhat) long long time ago. I remember going into that theatre being very scared and coming out being changed forever. I worked at Lucasfilm for seven years and was even a visual effects artist for a bit. Most of my friends think I’m crazy to still be such a die-hard fan but going to the Star Wars Convention continues to awaken the Force within me. Get teary-eyed I do when I hear the Star Wars theme song. I couldn’t wait to be among my people; it’s the only place I feel safe talking about my Star Wars bed sheets as a grown woman with no kids. So let’s grab some Wookie cookies and do this! Continue reading

My Dead Best Friend’s Deodorant

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My best friend Anne died suddenly from a brain aneurysm almost two years ago. It was devastating and still is. To lose that one person that really gets you. We used to say we were each others’ life partners. She had a husband but if we were both gay, we would totally be together. I was never close with her husband until after she died. At the hospital when she was on life support, he was nothing but kind and gracious with me. I was her last roommate before she moved in with him, so in a sense I felt like the other woman at the hospital with his family.

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The Year In Woods – 2013

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Happy New Year good friends near and far! Reflecting on this past year has been quite difficult, actually I’d say the second hardest year of my life next to Dad’s murder arrest. I have shed more tears and felt such loss, but as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So here I am to prove it. But I have to ask, who the fuck are these THEY people?

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January I hit the ground running as Mom’s breast cancer was a bit more serious than originally expected. At first her treatment post-surgery was radiation. I like to call this “cancer-lite.” But then her doctor prescribed 4 rounds of chemo and that’s when it got real. City of Hope is the best hospital ever and she got rockstar treatment. Now cancer-free 6 months, cheers to that! Continue reading