let me ask my lawyer friend

Congratulations to my friend Lauren who found out today that she passed the bar exam. You’re totally awesome Laura!
No, I did not just mistake my best friend’s name. Laura is Lauren’s nickname. People have called her by the wrong name all her life. She’s been called Laura, Laurie and many other variations of her actual name. While we were in Italy, Lauren became particularly irritated when people called her by the wrong name, because there were only 40 of us, and we spent a lot of time together. The main culprit, though, was the director of the program, who liked to pray for everyone and list all of our names. I don’t think he was good with names to begin with, and he messed up several other people’s names before getting to Lauren, but he just gave up on her and skipped right over her. Didn’t even try. He called her Laura a couple other times, and her faithful friends found this terribly amusing. We began loudly calling her Laura while he was around to really cement his belief that her name was Laura. I really think that he would have figured out her real name eventually, but comedians like me couldn’t have that.
Last weekend for Mom and Dad’s birthday, Gerry, the kids and Nathan were here. Gerry and Cynda bought the game Cranium for Dad and the boys and I played it. Anytime Gerry had to draw something, he would add a lot of dots, which earned him the nickname Monet. Nathan and Dad also got a kick out of referring to him as Simple Jack (have you seen Tropic Thunder?). At one point, Nathan was drawing a movie and this was Gerry’s guess: "Top Gun! … No…TOP GUN!" It was hilarious.
This weekend the West clan is going to converge in Boonville to celebrate Lane’s 6th birthday. I bought Lane a little acoustic guitar, but it’s not here yet. I’m hoping it gets here so he can actually unwrap it at his party. I’m looking forward to seeing my brilliant nephew and my funny niece, who recently threatened to suck my brain out through my armpit.

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