Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lust List: 1

We all do it. The online wishing, the bored at work dreaming. The online window shopping. If I had random extra money I would buy myself lots of random, beautiful, interesting, fashionable things. Instead of just dreaming about these items and then silently crying that I can't buy them for myself, I'm going to share them here. And then maybe you can buy them for me. ha! kidding! you can buy them for yourself and then I will envy you and stare at your new items, found here, with such longing that it will become awkward and we will no longer be friends... ahem... On to the list.

How amazing would this be after a crabby day at work? Or when you're sick? Screw the kids, I want one. Thanks Crywolf!


Because everyone needs more creepy in the kitchen and KRASZNAI Ceramics knows exactly how to do it. And as Maris pointed out: "if only it made little cakey arms and legs too!" We'll just have to settle on ceramic ones.


Oh man. I love my hair things, and how sweet would one or two of these by Sleepictures be pinning back my unruly mane? I like to keep adorableness (ness?) both hip and chic - these clips are just the thing.

Go check out these great designers! Buy gifts for people or for yourself! Everyone loves presents - including me. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

An Affliction

I have an affliction. The symptoms are distraction and irritability and the sensation I have ants in my pants (that could be the restless leg syndrome, who knows). I am in dire need of an adventure, of travel, of sights unseen, of a vacation. The kind where you go somewhere and do the thing that you want to be doing, maybe it involves some quiet reading time on a balcony somewhere, or perhaps hiking to magnificent vistas - vistas not available at home, maybe some museums, some monuments, sunshine, good wine, that sort of thing.

Vacations are expensive. But what if I can be paid to travel? Paid to explore new places and see new things? All while doing something relevant to my career goals? That would most definitely be... the boss. Last week Kamel and I were tossing around the idea of living elsewhere, having adventures, seeing new things. His 9th year in San Francisco is fast approaching and neither one of us really want to be here for his 10th. I say this now, but in two weeks i'll get an amazing job and want to stay here forever, but at this moment I'm antsy and frustrated and longing for something new.

We did just sign a year lease on a great apartment - an apartment that is currently empty but sometimes we go there anyway to just stand around, take pictures of the same empty rooms we've taken pictures of for two weeks now, and look out the window towards the ocean. We've already decided to keep fresh flowers on the dining room table from the farmer's market and get a fish. These new adventures won't happen for at least a year, after the wedding, etc. But in order to soothe my affliction Kamel and I have generated a list of Must-Dos before 2010 is over.

1.) Charter a boat
2.) Take Kamel somewhere he has never been (he's always doing this for me, it's time for me to show off a little)
3.) Go to Mexico
4.) Go to at least 1 concert
5.) Host a party in our new place

I guess now that I've written them down we'll have to do them for sure. I'm already formulating several plans in order to distract myself from the constant itch to go somewhere new. So many lists and so many goals this year. It's a wonder I have any time to be bored at all.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Room With A View

Yes, that's right, I made a literary reference to a book written in 1908. BEHOLD MY LITERARY GENIUS. But really, let's talk about me more, and not oppressed women in Edwardian England. Boor-ing.

Guess what I did this weekend? In a whirlwind of apartment viewing, decision making, and money spending, kamel and I have signed a lease for our very own apartment! I feel like one of those people who need to take photos of herself holding her keys. But I won't. Instead let me show you the amazing view from EVERY WINDOW IN THE PLACE.


Oh yes. I live right by the beach, on a hill, overlooking the beachy parts of San Francisco. You want to come over, and drink wine, and watch the sunset in my happy apartment now, don't you? I will make you nachos and we'll have a grand time.


That funny little kitchen window thingy will be where I serve you food. And where I eat my cereal and gaze out onto the ocean as the fog lifts and the sun peeks out, starting its day too. It's so cute, you could spit right? Just not on the hardwoods.


This is the dining zone, where my childhood dinner table will reside. It's round and seats four. My grandmother has been storing it for me since I was 19 and now it will finally have a resting place. Huzzah! Behind where I am taking this photo is the living zone where kamel will store his TV and his couch (which I think has an ugly cover on it - hopefully soon to be rectified) and his DVD collection and his original star wars, epsidoe idon'tcare movie poster that's signed by the artist. Somewhere in the apartment will be a lightsaber, and a clone trooper helmet, side by side with my art purchased in france. Isn't combining lives fun?

More pictures will come in a few weeks once we are packed and then unpacked and set up.

So many highfives were exchanged about this apartment. We totally win.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day!


Thanks for being my dad. I get a full 50% of my awesomeness from you. (Shh, don't tell mom)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lawyers Are High Acheivers

My best friend, Maris, graduated last saturday from the University of Chicago, School of Law. She received her doctorate and as a reward got to wear a funny hat:


and because she likes Kathleen and I, considers us fun and worthy people, we too got to dress up for the occasion.


During graduation I spent my time making fun of the lady reading butchering the graduate's names and by playing games on my phone. But when it got close to Maris's name, I readied myself to record history.

Kathleen was adament that we Woo-Hoo. I was less certain, but when the feeling strikes, it's best to just go with it.

video

Later that evening we went to a meet and greet at Maris's law school friend's apartment, right on the lake near Navy Pier. I played rock band, drank free wine, ate free italian food and then watched the law students smash open a pinata. Wait. Let me rephrase: Watched as maris came running back into the party room, carrying smirnoff bottles that she blasted out of a pinata. Well done, my friend.

Later we went out to the FUNNEST bar I have ever been to. The dance floor was PACKED, everyone was singing along, and beer was cheap.



The day, the night - all were a great success.

Congratulations Maris!! I am honored I was able to experience it all. And now I'll have backup when I threaten to sue people. Score!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thanks, You.

Today I am thankful for...

- Hard candy that looks like little fruit
- Large sunglasses
- Pink pants
- Boyfriends who call
- Nerdy, excitable friends
- Carpool buddies
- Peanut butter
- Wine juice boxes in the fridge
- Tennis shoes
- My currently managable hair
- Finding the perfect Father's Day card
- Having a Dad to buy a Father's Day card for
- Good teeth
- Remembering the key
And
- Pens that work

It's almost Friday. What's on your good list?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lauren Life List: Baseball

A few weeks ago my co-worker and fellow writer/blogger Margaret had her friend Vanessa in town from Minnesota. They had plans for a baseball game in Oakland and a tour of the AT&T Park in SF - by far one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country. Vanessa is an avid... AVID... Twins fan - she brought THREE Twins shirts with her for a long weekend, just in case Margaret needed one or she needed a spare. Thankfully she is far from obnoxious about her fanhood. This made her lovable. During our chatting on the car ride to happy hour, she mentioned their are only 30 major league stadiums in the country... and here i had high hopes of visiting 50 in my lifetime. Oops. 50 just seemed like a nice number. I have, in fact, been to several minor league stadiums, but I'm not interested in making this goal any harder than it is. So 30 it shall become.

Last wednesday I landed in chicago on day 2 of the flu. Not the best of scenarios. My college friend, Lauren Mig, and her husband to be met me at the gate. At home a Whitesox tshirt was waiting for me, along with tickets to that evening's game against Detroit.


Looking pretty good for a 330am wake up call, a fever, and two flights. Although I have been to Chicago countless times I have sadly never been to a baseball game - until now. I'm going to have to admit I'm more of a sox fan than a cubs fan. I've been influenced. But I am really pretty lukewarm about the whole thing, not being from the city orginially. I just love baseball. I'm counting on Maris to get me into Wrigley one of these days. Or Amy or Katie or any of my college friends now living in the city.


It was the perfect evening for baseball. Mid 70s, a little breeze, the stadium could have had more butts in the seats, but it was a wednesday night. And then the Sox ended up beating Detroit 15-3. Beautiful.

After the game they showed the last minute of the Blackhawks game that sent them into overtime. On the drive home they won the Stanley Cup. People started honking and cheering on the streets. It was such a great night. There's nothing like Chicago sports.

Add one to the life list.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Month 2

Today marks the end of my second month being 25 and the beginning of my third. This month has been insane, life altering, exhausting, and also a lot of the same ol same ol thrown in. Right now I am sitting in Maris's living room in Chicago struggling to stay coherent. I don't think I have ever been more exhausted during a period of time where I am not at work, do not have school, and most people would call this a vacation. I think if there was a tired meter I may break it. But back to the whole month 2 thing.

Life has taken me, chewed, and swallowed. My personal goals have been hard to find under all that mess. My accomplishments for this month are a finished chapter one of the new novel. Finished is a funny word when you apply it to writing, because, really that word means nothing. When I say finished I mean there is a story there. It has tension. I am pleased with this and hopefully other people will be too. And I'll be working on it later. I've also started chapter two, but started really means I had one session of writing it and now I'm stuck. The issue is this part starts the bulk of the story - which happens to be set in Maine. My trouble is, I've never been to Maine before, and I'm feeling sheepish about writing about this place I know about only through books. I have a nagging itch in the back of my mind constantly telling me "go to Maine. go for a weekend. get on a plane and go" but then the other part of me is like "yeah, and plan a wedding, and pay your bills, and keep your job" and those things are currently winning. I didn't keep track of how many days I didn't write this month. There were too many and that's shitty of me and I feel guilty. But life was happening, good life things, and stressful life things, and then the normal life things that keep me on my toes, and that's ok. I'm never going to be a writer who stops living in order to inspire others to live, or to create worlds where other people live for me. And maybe that means I'll never be really Great with a capital "G", but maybe I'll be happy. Next month though, meaning this month, I'm back on track. I want to succeed at this art of mine, I want to do what I'm good at, and I need to work harder at it. Fresh start and all that. Reset the counter.

With running I'm doing pretty well. Kamel and I have added wall pushups and sit ups to our mornings and before he headed to mexico and I went to chicago, we were doing a really good job of keeping each other on track and running most mornings. In order to get into wedding shape I also need to stop eating like crap. This begins once I get back to SF tomorrow. But that's more about my constant battle with the 5-10 lbs that seem to creep up on me, and less about my training for an easy six miles. The easy six miles is currently at a moderate three with much less walking between my running spurts and I'm on my way to an uneasy 4 miles.

This next month will bring apartment hunting, prepping for a trip to Seattle, and lord knows what else. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

20 Yr Old Me

While browsing the internet on Monday I ran across this blog right here she is doing a project where people write letters to their 20 year old selves. I have always done this thing, in really horrific, stressful, terrifyingly sad moments, where I imagine a future me coming and cuddling me, stroking my hair, holding me tight and telling me it really will be ok. I'm not so much a look back person, as a look forward person. But that is possibly because I'm 25 and what kind of past have I had? Highschool doesn't count, nothing momentus or tragic happened there. College? Ok there was that, but really? I'm still moving, growing, discovering. But maybe that also never stops.

What I'm saying is, I don't have enough input for a whole letter, but maybe some bullet points from 25 yr old me to 20 yr old me could have been helpful.

1. Your adorable black pumps don't make you a grown up, even though you think you are on your 20th birthday as you teeter along in the parking garage in the bottom of your boyfriend's apartment on the way to his car.
2. By the way - all he will do is drag you down so brace your self for it and don't cry so much when he breaks up with you. It will make you so strong, you can't even imagine.
3. Don't stop running. It makes you happy no matter how frustrated you get with it and how hard it is. When you take breaks it's just that much harder getting back into it.
4. Know that you are a writer before you are an editor. Don't give anyone your good ideas no matter how much you think they love you. No matter how much you love them, love yourself first.
5. You have great hair - let the bigness flow.
6. Pay attention to where you apply for grad school. You will get in, so apply carefully.
7. Stop worrying so much. There just becomes more to worry about so why not take a break now and then?
8. Your arms do not look fat. You're still telling yourself this at 25, so maybe if you start trying to believe it at 20 it might be easier.
9. Thank you for not being stupid. Keep it up.
10. I'm hard on you because I love you. Don't forget to take vacations. It's ok to sleep in.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fashion: Embellished Wedges

I have a graduation to attend this weekend! My best friend, Maris Jean Jager is graduating from law school and I am more than honored to attend. I'll be writing about that day once it happens, but for now let's talk about what I'm going to wear.

Last year for my graduation from grad school I bought two dresses. There were a lot of events and I figured, who needs less dresses? Not me. I'm always on the search for wearable dresses that don't need an occasion to be taken off the hanger. But so far, I seem to only have the guts to wear things on very special occasions. Hopefully, one day, I can write a post about my amazing everyday dress find, but for now this post is about the clothes I have now.

So I bought two dresses last year and only wore one. The other one sat in my closet because it lacked some very important things. 1) a short enough shrug to make it "church" appropriate. Short enough because the waist on this dress is a little high. Kathleen - another bestie - got me a black one for my birthday, and instructed me on where to find other colors. So I ran to Nordstrom, a holy holy place, and got a cream one. I also needed 2) a pair of shoes. Ones that looked enough like sandals to match the bright and airy nature of the dress, but that were high enough to change the way my legs looked. The way the dress is cut, my legs end up looking fat and squat. Oh the glory of lift! (In so many areas)


Thank god for the Nordstrom women's and children sale. Also for gift cards. A pair of amazing brown wedges by Franco Sarto, originally about $80.00 are now mine for about $50.00 and just in time.


I am generally afraid of big embellishments on most clothes. I'm a weeny about accessories and I like solid prints (not actually a print at all), understated elegance, yatta yatta - the truth is I feel lost with loud clothes (unless it has to do with my hair and then BIGGER BRIGHTER MORE FLOWERS!). But I feel like these shoes do it right. The wedge gives me lift without killing my feet, the stones and bedazzlement make me feel like a grown up, like I'm not running around in shoes bought at the teenage section of any department store.


By god, I think I may just be a lady after all. (After you ignore my just out of bed hair and the remnant of long forgotten toe nail polish, that is. Oh my, there's still work to be done.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Yosemite!

Two days after Kamel proposed we headed out to Yosemite. This is a special place because 1) it's beautiful. Amazingly, jaw droppingly beautiful 2) I realized I loved Kamel in this magical place and 3) Yosemite is always changing, something that never occurred to me before this visit.

The first time we went, we just went. We drove the four hours and scampered up rocks, walked through rivers and snapped vacation pictures and then drove the four hours back, exhausted and happy. This time we booked a room on the edge of the park and set out to take better pictures, to really see the park, whereas the first time it was too big to see clearly. I had shipped my old film camera from high school from my parent's house to San Francisco so I could learn how to actually use it.

We got there and were shocked to see snow.


Kamel had never been in snow before. Seen it from car windows and bits and pieces in parking lots from the drive down from Seattle, but he had never stomped around in it, never picked it up or made a snow ball. While driving into the park it actually started snowing. Kamel, at first, thought it was bugs. Snow in Yosemite, the beginning of spring, was startling.


By 5:00pm i was asleep on my feet so we drove back to out little motel - the cleanest hotel I have ever stayed in. I could have eaten off the bathroom floors. But instead of that, we ate in this grandma-esque diner where everything came with gravy and mashed potatoes. I had a chicken burger.

The next day the alarm went off at 6 and I promptly threw a fit about how we always have to wake up early, and how i need to sleep, and i'm tired of go go going and kamel said "that's fine, we'll just stay in bed" but then I felt guilty because I knew we were trying to catch the morning light. So after he soothed me for about 30 minutes I dragged myself out of bed, kamel made bagels we had bought the day before, and in less than an hour I had taken this picture:



Driving deeper into the park we suddenly saw a line of orange cones to the right by the shoulder. I looked over the little edge and right there, munching on some sort of grass or cabbage, was a brown bear. All sleepy and focused on filling his belly.


Right after we got out of the car and quietly sneaked over to the side of the road, a van pulled over and out lumbered about 5-6 middle aged tourists all yelling "hey, look-y over here, there's a BEAR!" I watched the bear stop nibbling and turn toward the noise. I took about two steps back, my first instinct was to run back to the car, because HELLO! A fucking BEAR! But then I realized I could most definitely out run every single one of them, and once the bear had one of them on the ground, i figured the rest of us would be safe. So I let them try to call the bear over .... let me repeat that - yes they tried to CALL the bear over! And I just kept my safe distance from THOSE ass holes and continued snapping my quiet pictures before Kamel and I tiptoed back to the car and continued on our way.

Later that day a wolf traipsed in front of our car like we weren't even there. Those pictures didn't turn out that well - but you'd have been surprised at the width of its tail.

That afternoon we went to a location where a forest fire had eaten at the woods and while Kamel shot the magnificent rock formations I went searching for re-growth.


There were little fern spores popping out of the ground, but the light was weird and those didn't turn out so well. And there were wild flowers growing out of a felled, burnt log, but it was more impressive in real life than on film.

We hiked to the reflection lake thingy - which was an amazing walk through giant boulders that could only have been dropped by giant, ancient glaciers. The walk was quiet and beautiful and when we got to the lake their were so many tourists wandering around, being loud, yelling at their kids (one little girl actually puked into the lake) that we didn't stay long. Yosemite as a shuttle that goes to all the major stops so that old or disabled or people with small children can still see the major sites. This causes for a lot of annoying people, but it's a pretty cool thing for California Parks to set up.

And then we went home. Tired and smelly and sick of driving. We went home and took showers, and dropped off film at costco to be developed and then slept. And again I love my life. :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

June

All week I've been trying to do these things:

- research Maine
- edit photos taken in Yosemite
- write a Yosemite blog (I saw a BEAR! I bet you want to hear about that, don't you!?)
- write some more on the new novel
- write some other blogs about other interesting things (other interesting things not quite discovered but I bet you if I thought about it I could come up with something)

Things I actually accomplished:

-8 or 9 different levels of frustration (be impressed my head hasn't exploded yet... it's taken sheer will of force to keep it intact)
-I learned to kick ASS on this game called Black And White that Kamel has got me hooked on (he's such a video game, mind suck DEALER, that one!) where you play a divine being and you have to get villagers to do what you want them to do. You can either be a good god or you can be a bad god and demand worship through FEAR. It's so awesome. (NERD! RUN AWAY IT'S A NERD!)
-Had an amazing dinner and long chat with Traci who is always there when I need sufficient girly time.
-downloaded Yosemite pictures off the CD i had them developed on

I'll try and be more productive this weekend. Ever since THIS LIST came out I feel more and more like I need to get my shit together and start busting out some pages. But isn't this the same old tune? Write everyday! Except when you have nothing to say or something better to do... not a good excuse, Lauren. I know, I know. But that's an entirely different blog.

This weekend you will be BOMBARDED with posts. Well... let's just hope I get one out that entertains you enough to leave a witty comment. And then maybe I can write another that will be post dated for next week. And then guess what? Next week I fly off to Chicago (oh Chicago, it's been too long hasn't it?) and I'm sure stories will erupt from there. The drought has an end, my friends. The "when will Lauren be interesting again" drought. I see the light and it involves some peace and quiet and then some travel.