Friday, July 30, 2010

Lust List 2: The Perfect Bag

Everywhere I look I see amazing clutches, briefcases, travel bags and purses. I don't need them, I wish I did, I want them. I wish I could justify owning every single one of these. But I can't, so instead I post them here. Maybe you can justify it? I'll cheer you on. And then when it arrives at your front door can I hold it? Just once? Please?

That man just became 10x sexier holding that deliciously leather briefcase. It also comes in green and I want it from Jenny N. out of Austin, TX. Hot.

I wish I was this cool. Bright, happy, patterned day clutch cool. It would also be helpful to have those legs. I'm just sayin. This designer is aptly named Proud Mary and this clutch is only $60.00! Hooray!

Holy jeebus this is my favorite find - from Trakatan. In my imaginary life, this is the quintessential travel bag. Big enough to fit a jacket, an umbrella, maps, money, passport, and still have room to fit any shopping finds while away from the hostel. And! it's so deep - how the hell are you going to get pick-pocketed? Dude would have to shove his whole forearm in their just to sift around. Amazingly fabulous.

And last, but not least, one of the greatest everyday bags I've ever seen, another total score by Trakatan. You've got to go look at the pictures on the site for this because it can be worn in so many different ways. Plus I love the little flap closure. Grocery shopping, walking through the park, or snatched off the table on your way to dinner, it works. It can be a city style backpack or an over the shoulder bag. And the clean lines, industrial edge, and fine leather make it perfect for any situation. Lustlustlustlust.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This week, Kamel and I have Alejandro (his cousin) visiting from Mexico. This week we are also sleeping in the new apartment amidst boxes and boxes and bubble wrap and luggage filled with hastily packed clothing. I am, to say the least, a little stressed out. But Alejandro is awesome. He is kind and polite and well-mannered. And if, when I asked him about girls, he didn't respond with "oh, I like all girls!" and then gave me a dashingly devilsh grin, I would try to convince some of my single ladies to pounce on him. That, and his location being in Mexico.

Every day for the last two weeks my days have gone like this: Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast in my car, drive to work, work, come home, make dinner/do laundry, eat dinner standing in the kitchen with kamel, pack/clean/move things to the new apartment, sleep at 10. I want to punch myself in the face/hide from the world for a very long time. And now, because we have guests in town the moving and the packing is being supplemented with outings and entertaining. All while the boxes stay boxes and the dressers stay empty. Did I mention I was a little stressed? And then guess what? Work looks a little something like this:

I know. I am in packing hell. But then on Monday, because Alejandro wanted to check out some apple products at the mall, and there just so happens to be a Brookstone in that mall, and we just so happened to wander into that Brookstone, I now have two pet water frogs.

Here is how that decision went:

Kamel: No. No way in hell.
Me: Oh pleaassse?? They will sit on my desk and I'll feed them and they only take two little pellets a week and they only need to be cleaned 4 times a year and it's only $35.00 dollars and I want frogs!!
Kamel: Ew. No Lauren! they are slimy and gross and ew! They'll be swimming around and I cannot have them in the house!
Me: *Big big big smile* Please?
Kamel: .....fine.... BUT I'M NOT CLEANING THEM! And if they get out it is ALL YOUR FAULT.

Tuesday morning rolled around, the frogs were still swimming around in their tank, being all froggy, and I left for work. 1/2 way through the day I get this text message from Kamel: "BTW the frogs were kinda cute this morning."


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thank Yous

Today I am grateful for:

-Pillow top mattresses
-Celebratory glasses of champagne
-Clean laundry
-Pet frogs that live in a fish tank on my desk
-New jeans that fit
-Managable hair
-Sloowwllyy crossing things off my life list
-Having good stories to write down
-Having things to look forward to

What about you? What makes you happy today?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

He Probably Is

Thanks for the headsup, bathroom stall at Lucky 13.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Earthquake Friday

A fairly shaky, but remarkably short-lived earthquake shook the work trailer on Friday. At the HINT of a wiggle waggle in the earth, I, running on pure reflex, dove 1/2 way to the ground. With my butt still in the seat and both hands planted firmly on the ground, I realized the earthquake was over. So I hopped up, looked around asked my co worker, Scott, "was that an earthquake?" his response: "did you just fall to the ground?" No. No I didn't fall to the ground... I dove. Like the earthquake drill practiced Seattlelite I am. Plus I have a healthy respect for the Big Shaky and would much rather be safe under a large round table, than out in the open where the drop ceiling can tumble down upon me. I did, though, sustain a earthquake-fleeing injury. My coworkers, needless to say, did not.

When the big one hits you'll know where to find me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lauren Life List: Atwood

How much do I love Margaret Atwood? I love her!! I love her so much that last week I had a dream that she not only designed my wedding dress, but also sold it to me. In my dream I got to hang out with her in her wedding dress shop that had a lot of different types of compost buckets, because if you know anything about Margaret Atwood, you know she is both Canadian AND a huge environmentalist.

Anyways... one of my big goals on the life list is to read the ENTIRE WORKS of Margaret Atwood. And I am chugging away at it. This weekend, thanks to my real life friend Margaret, and her book swapping ways, I finished "Year Of The Flood", the 2nd out of a 3 set post apoclyptic book series. This book could easily stand alone. The characters are rich, and the plot is fresh and engaging without falling into the post apocolyptic cliche realm. Her books remind me again and again what one of my grad school professors used to to us: focus on character and the story will unfold. Atwood's characters are so tangible and unique, even her most bizarre plot twists seem feezable.

For my next reading adventure I need to take a little break from the Atwood, lest I overdose. I'm starting in on (finally) the 2009 Best American Short Stories. I've heard mixed reviews, but it's good to read short pieces when writing short things. It reminds you it's still doable.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh My

Well I had high hopes for filling last week with interesting blogs and book reviews (thrilling!) but then my life just spiraled into oblivion and soon I was on a plane to Seattle, napping on Kamel's shoulder.

Saturday involved meeting with the reception event coordinator and the chapel cooridnator from 10-1, becoming remarkably overwhelmed by just how much everything was going to cost and just how much we all needed to do to really prep for this circus wedding. I began to imagine the Big Day as being stacked with a to do list a mile long, all before 230.

After the morning of wide eyes and deep breathing (while kamel bounced around the reception venue saying "I'm excited! I'm excited!"), we - meaning my father - prepped for an extended family BBQ so that my mother's side could finally meet Kamel. Basically, the day was 5 days all crammed into one. Thankfully there was wine and beer at every turn, and we all coped nicely.

Sunday involved packing up my seattle bedroom to ready it for the pod, which arrived Monday morning. And thank god for Kamel, my father, and Claire who waited around for a bajillion hours for the pod man to arrive and then lugged (were currently lugging while I wrote most of this post) all of my furniture and boxes of books down three flights of stairs and into a shipping box. And now we wait until next monday. Ugh!! this whole month of moving thing has been a trial unto itself. My advice to anyone moving - as much as it sucks - do it in a week or less. The slow death of an apartment in favor of another leaves you furniture-less and with no place to sit or eat meals. It makes being home awfully lonely. But next week Kamel and I will really be home! Sitting on our couch! Cooking in our kitchen! And finally sleeping in my amazing pillow top queen sized bed. Oh the naps to be had!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Month 3

Today marks the completion of my third month being 25. The goal of writing every day has now become more like "let's see what we can do this month", because writing everyday - although awesome the first month, didn't really happen the second or third. But you know what I have done? Finished a short story called "Benz" and submitted it to (3) places. Woo hoo! I haven't submitted anything to anyone anywhere in 2 years! But now I have. And so begins the cycle of rejection. Sigh.

This weekend I bundled up my polka dotted computer and headed out to the land of CoffeeShop with Margaret for a writing date. And that is how productivity happens. I'm going to start doing that more - at least once a weekend. It will be easier once I get my desk back (yeah!! shipping all seattle stuff this weekend!), but even then, I think it's important to escape the house and the television and the internet to get some writing done.

You know what other ideas I've come up with? Maybe, possibly, starting in again on my novel. Oh that's right - maybe even getting it ready to submit to agents (she said with enthusiasm).

With running - it ebbs and flows. I've decided (with some encouraging from kamel) to begin running twice a day on days I have time to do so. I'm hoping it happens at least 2-3 times a week. It will help me look great for my wedding and also push me to improve on distance at an accelerated pace. And being outside makes me happy. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Crazy Bitches

First I'm going to direct you to a bullet point from a very old "Dear Sugar" Column you can find on the Rumpus website. Go there, read things, feel as if you are within the inner circle. But before you do that, continue reading. You're already here anyway, so why not? Now for the Bullet Point letter C.

c) How can it be that so many people’s ex-girlfriends are crazy? What happens to these women? Do they eventually go on to birth babies and care for their elderly parents and scramble up gigantic pans of eggs on Sunday mornings for oodles of lounge-abouts who later have the nerve to inquire about what’s for dinner or is there some corporate Rest Home for Crazy Bitches chain in cities across the land that I am unaware of that houses all these women who used to love men who later claim they were actually crazy bitches?

The thing is, internet and Sugar (although let's not even kid that she'll be reading this post), everyone, when it comes to relationships, has the potential to be crazy. Everyone. There is not one person in the world who is immune to falling into bat-shit-crazy-love.
Love makes people kill one another, first of all. Remember that astronaut story from a few years ago? Yeah that lady wore a DIAPER so that she didn't have to stop to pee and therefore she could get to killing the potential stealer of her man faster. One could argue that she was already crazy before this point, but the love triangle is arguably the thing that set off her crazy time bomb.
Love also makes us become potentially convict-able stalkers. You drive past their house and WHO'S CAR IS THAT PARKED OUTSIDE? You call them 500 times if they aren't answering and they should be. You check their facebook wall, you then click on whoever is leaving a comment or a message and research THEIR facebook wall.You call, hangup, call, hangup, call, hangup. And who are you really tormenting? Yourself.
The curious thing is - if you asked anyone of these people doing any one of these things, even during the time their doing the crazy dance of obsessive love, "I have a friend who is calling their girlfriend 500 times or driving past their ex boyfriends house just to torment themselves", they would adamantly say "wow she is CRAZY!" without having the slightest awareness of their own bat-shit behaviors.

So where are all these crazy bitches? They're in all of us. Men included. Until you find someone that doesn't make you crazy, that sets life to a nice even pitch, who both celebrates and mourns life with you. If it's a roller coaster ride, get off. It's just not worth it. Besides - it gives you so much more license to judge other people when you aren't tearing your hair out over your own ridiculous relationship.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Weekend! And Then We Went On a Boat

I think I crammed more things into this 4th of July long weekend then I generally cram into an entire month. I'm thinking this speaks to how busy I was and not to how inactive I usually am. On Friday I went out to drinks with Margaret and then to a late dinner at the only worthy deep dish place in San Francisco, Little Star, with Kamel in tow. I love going out on Fridays because 1) It's a great way to start the weekend and 2) when you get home it feels like Friday = TWO DAYS. The work day, and the play day. So when Saturday rolls around and feels like sunday, you can remind yourself it's not and it becomes a bonus day! Just like that. Instant faux-three-day-weekend.

On saturday I was off to the ranch to sweat it out with the lucas folk from 11-4. But the fun didn't stop there. After we left, Kamel and I went furniture shopping! The most exhausting activity in the entire world! (second only to car shopping...oh the drudgery!!) Especially when you go to pick out a couch and end up shopping for pillows and a rug at IKEA afterward. IKEA! I don't think I even need to expound on that. We finally got home grumpy and dirty and not at all hungry (two hotdogs you say? I don't mind if I do!). I immediately jumped into a bath and scrubbed the dirt that had accumulated around my ankles from all that IKEA! shopping, dirty IKEA. (No it was from the ranch and all of that kicking of dust I did, but Ikea couldn't have helped.)

The next day I shot out of bed at 640 because I am a crazy person and needed to go back to the furniture store where we picked out a couch to actually purchase it. Convinced, was I, that stores on the 4th of July (even though it was a sunday) opened at 9:00am and we needed to HURRY! PUT YOUR SHOES ON! LET'S GET THIS DAY GOING! Kamel fed me waffles and then looked up the store hours which were actually 11:00. I lose. (I wonder who I could have inherited this need to be at stores BEFORE THEY OPEN...... MOM) So I stewed in my own anticipation for a few hours until we could finally leave! and go spend hundereds of dollars! After that - instead of going to IKEA again where we had picked out a lovely cream rug and some pillows, we decided to check out Target. Because Kamel and I needed more choices, more chances to ram our heads against a wall and bicker over the exact measurments of things. Yay!! We ended up settling on an awesome rug for less than what we were going to spend at IKEA and some pretty comfy pillows to match. This is my domestic life.

But that was just the beginning of my day. Because we had a date with destiny! This sunday Kamel and I got to cross something off of our "to do before the end of 2010" list!

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

Ah yes. You too can charter the Bay Lady from Spinnaker Sailing via their website at I started off making reservations for the 4th and feeling like a fucking rockstar. I was checking something off the list - and more than that, I was going to be on a boat this 4th of July. Hell yes.

Kamel and I got to the Embarcadero a little early, so we decided to sit and watch the marina people come and go from their fancy boats. As we were sitting there, enjoying the evening sun, I began to notice the wind pick up. A gust here, a gust there, and soon I was beginning to feel the tickling of sheer panic. Suddenly I did not want to get on that boat. The wind was starting, big exhales of it, and with every ruffle of my hair, my fingers gripped the inside of my sweatshirt tighter and tighter. It wasn't like we were headed out on a yacht, this was a sail boat, the kind that needs wind to fuel it, the kind of boat that is, in my mind, manhandled by the wind! Kamel was incredibly excited, and I was incredibly afraid.

I spent most of my time being very unsure, never letting go of the hand rail when I wasn't locked down in my seat, and trying my best to stay warm. Let me tell you internet - staying warm on a sail boat in San Francisco during the month of July is impossible. By the end (and because kamel is super human) I was wearing: tshirt, sweatshirt, puffy vest, jeans, shoes and socks, kamel's coat, and my circle scarf. Sailboating at night in San Francisco is not for the skimpily clad.

Once we were out on the water for a while, I lived through some large wakes that sent my fingers of steal into kamel's arm, had a beer, witnessed the 1st mate rockstar of a woman raise the sails, had her try to convince me we weren't all going to die, then cried a little (shh! no one saw!), I began to slowly relax. And the water really was beautiful, the views of the city breathtaking, and the fireworks show went off as if performed especially for us. Plus they had snacks.

Kamel while surveying the other yachts and party boats zooming past us: "Our boat is totally the best boat!! It's the BEST boat out here!"
Me in response: "Our boat is like camping."

Would I do this again? No. Was it an amazing, romantic, (thankfully) once in a lifetime adventure? For me, Yes.

Emphasis on ONCE in a lifetime.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On The Ranch

Who would ever have thought I would be spending a holiday weekend at Skywalker Ranch, home of myth and legend? Oh but I did. There were animals, large amounts of barbecue, free drinks, relay races, and hay bales.

Kamel and I were literally the first guests into the coral, and we bee-lined it towards the animal pens because I have a soft spot for well maintained farm life.

There were chickens and goats and this little guy who i think is a ram, but he was living with the chickens, so maybe he was confused. There were also horses and shetlen ponies - which totally freak me out because all i can envision when i see them is THIS.... and ew.

It was about 85 degrees and beautiful. I spent a lot of time sweating.  The ranch was so cliche americana, with kids running around, a swimming pool, a lake, hay bale rides, and potluck salads, it was surreal. The weekend is off to a great start, thanks Mr. Lucas.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I know it seems strange, but there are a few things that one shouldn't do in public. I'm not talking, like, wedgy picking. We all have those shake-the-leg-and-try-not-to-be-obvious moments, it happens. We all know what's going on there, we all sympathize. I'm talking the really unfortunate things, the things that make an entire room feel awkward and have complete strangers sharing eye-locking moments of "can you fucking believe what is going on right now?". And the thing is - there are some people who don't know about the things they shouldn't be doing in public. They are lost souls, making it weird for the rest of us, and I'm here to help.

Here is a clue: Don't schedule a doctor's appointment in an enclosed space that has to do with anything other than a check up.

I have a job that deals with the public. I have a lot of one on one time with strangers. And often these strangers bring their children, their coughing, snot-nosed, children. And for the most part I kind of love it as long as they aren't touching me and oh god it coughed on my pen!! But in general I'm pleased to be dealing with parents and their babies. But then a few days ago, I was going about my business in my work trailor, and some applicants or clients or whatever the proper word for them is, were waiting for one of my co workers. And the woman, obviously misunderstanding this workspace for one of her very own, started in on her cell phone. She's about 5 feet away from me so I can't help but over hear.

I had a certain invested interest already since, when her child walked into the office he clutched at his mother, staring directly at me and said, "she's not a nice lady, mama, she's not a nice lady!!" and then began to whine in a panicked voice, "No no no! Don't sit down! Why mommy, why are you doing that?!". Because I am incapable of not listening to lady on cell phone with obnoxious child, I quickly become aware that she is calling to make a doctor's appointment. For her squirly, panic-ridden son.

"Yes, as soon as possible," I hear her say.
"So he's had this rash for a few days now and it hasn't gone away. Mmhm... well it's all over his midsection and goes down onto his legs, and now it's around his mouth."

This is the part where I glance over my shoulder to see squirly little boy, licking furiously at the red ring around his lips. This is also where I begin to hold my breath in short bursts, hoping the measles or whatever the fuck this strange kid - who now i'm convinced is from one of those family's who don't vaccinate - has been infected with doesn't go airborn.

"Well, I do have cortizone and benadryl and nothing seems to be working."

This is where I stopped listening, or I may have pushed the memory so far into the dark parts of my brain, a hypnotist would be hard pressed to find it. Because ya know what? I don't want to know! I don't want to know what strange thing your kid is allergic to, or brushed up against, or has caught by some unfortunate contact with the other germy children at daycare. And that's my point - keep it to yourself. You or someone you live with maybe peeing blood or be sprouting purple bumps all over their face - it doesn't change the fact that you are sitting next to me sharing pens and shaking my hand, so if you can't stay away from me, at least spare me the panic. I'll Purel either way.