Scene: Leaving work downtown San Francisco, walking across the street in the cross walk, minding my own damn biznass.
Man (who is about two steps ahead of me): Do you work at Gap?
Me (startled): Umm... no.
Me (thinking to myself): I'm not even wearing khakis... and we aren't in the shopping district .....and there is no gap within a mile of where I am walking. (These thoughts flash through my mind as I try and keep my face as calm and unperturbed as possible.)
Man: Oh, you don't? Well what do you do?
Me (continually startled by this line of questioning and beginning to feel as though I may soon be robbed.... of my not from the Gap items): uhhh... I ... uhh... (currently fiddling with my phone trying to decide what to say) I work for a non profit. (Phone rings! I AM SAVED)
I then hang back and let strange Gap man wander away. Later, in the car with Kamel, as I am retelling this story, and we are driving about a block from my office, and after I have repeatedly been all "wtf? there is no Gap here! What a weird thing to pull out of your ass!" we drive by a window with a huge Gap logo in the display. I press my hand against the car window and whisper, "Gap.... corporate...."
Kamel accused me of having writer's block this weekend and I was totally offended. No I do not have writers block thankyouverymuch!! It's called LAZYNESS, ok? Jeez. It's just so difficult to start, is all. During the week I am busy, although I know I could make the time, and I have made the time in the past, and then the weekends roll around and is it so hard to just want to lay about, watching movies? It is. It is frustrating and lazy, and leaves me with the feeling that I will never ever be anything other than a person who makes money doing things that she doesn't actually give a shit about. Sigh.
Writing is hard. Writing is time consuming and it means you have to sit at home or in a coffee shop, inside, thinking and writing and deleting and writing again. And sometimes it fucking sucks. But then when I say I'm a writer and people ask "oh, where can I see your work?" and I have a few responses, non of which are actually findable, I feel a little stab in my throat. A stab that says, "what are you doing here talking to these people? You should be at home, writing!" And so here I am. Stumbling through two short stories, writing on this blog, reading books by Joan Didion. It only took running up several flights of stairs over and over again this morning, moaning about what I need to do yet being incapable of leaving the couch, roasting garbanzo beans and then taking a shower to get me here, seated, in front of two giant open windows overlooking the beautiful sunshiny San Francisco afternoon, computer open and fingers on the keyboard.
I need to work harder, be less pre-occupied, be more self driven and keep reminding myself that their really is a deadline looming, their really is something to write for, to work for, to reach for. A year after finishing grad school and this whole process is still a bitch.
I've been away from the internet for too long. First it was because Maris! the Lawyer! came to visit from chicago. We window shopped, bar hopped, wine tasted, ate amazing food, and .... played WOW. Yes, that's right, World of Warcraft is now on my computer and you can find me running around in Misha realm. Oh god. I'm being soaked in nerd. And it's not even from Kamel, it's from the secret nerd life of maris (maris, I'm publicly outing you! Embrace!).
I'm also switching up offices at work and right now we have a TV, but no computers. I'm behind in my blog writing, in my blog reading, in my emails, it's awful.
So to keep you entertained while I get my internet shit together, here is a video of maris and I at the Giant's game:
Read 50 books in a year
Do 1,000 random acts of kindness
Attempt to never buy another bottle of water again (Beginning 8/7/2010)
Live, for a measurable amount of time, in a foreign country
Have a family vacation spot that we go to every year
Go with my father to Italy
Decorate a home to my complete satisfaction
Build a library
See the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, Niagara Falls, Yellow Stone, Arches National Park, Death Valley, Grand Teton, Red Wood Forest, and Zion National Park.
A lot of things on my life list have to do with travel. Most of it involves traveling abroad, but there are so many things to see within the US. My freshmen year of college I took "Geology of Nat'l Monuments" which was a thinly veiled way of getting the non science people to take a seemingly interesting rocks for jocks course. The best part was the lecture portion where we took notes while slides of the awesome national parks flashed in front of us. I was not born in the roadtrip generation. We didn't go from national park to national park and we certainly didn't camp (ok, once, but we left a day early). These places are bizarre and breathtaking and I want to experience them.
I saw the bottled water goal on someone else's life list and I thought, "wow... what a challenge." Bottled water is incredibly convenient, but also incredibly wasteful. I have a a few water bottles, one Sigg, but I manage to forget them in various places all of the time. This live goal is about being mindful. There could be situations where I have to buy some water in a plastic bottle, but I want to reduce that need, and instead of it being my first thought, turn it into my last resort.
A lot of my life list goals are long term or things that may only happen when I'm much, much older. I have to keep reminding myself that these goals do not need to be completed in the next month or the next year or the next 5 years. I'm always looking for an opportunity to have an adventure, to cross a goal off my list, but I don't want them to become chores or unmanageable and I don't have someone sponsoring my life list like Mightygirl does so I need to learn patience - maybe that's another life goal as well. Patience. I am excited, though, about what will be and it's fabulous to have things to look forward to.
I do not like butterflies. I do not find them graceful or beautiful. I do not appreciate them as tattoo art or as fashion or as aspects of interior design. My first formal dance I went to, my freshman year of high school, was held in the Pacific Science Center, in the exhibits surrounding the Butterfly Room. Where there are a lot of butterflies, flying around, landing on you, swooping through the air, big ones, little ones, in a humid room dripping with flowers. I walked through the butterfly room because it was novelty, and because everyone was doing it and because I was 14. I pretty much spent the entire time in there crouched to the ground or letting out only-audible-to-dogs-type-screams. I was trying to play it cool, but if you know me, then you know - that hardly ever works out.
The point of this story is: I don't really like anything that flies. Birds are ok because they generally stay away from me, but when they seem like they're going to dive bomb and/or begin swooping anywhere near my head, I run screaming like a little girl, flapping my arms about like an orangutan. And this is the explanation for this video (warning, obnoxious laugh ahead):
On Monday I drove home from work convinced Kamel didn't love me anymore. Why you ask? Because I was on my period. And no matter what anyone says - hormones have much to do with life, and can make normally sane people, crazy. So when I got home that day I crawled into bed and played Super Mario Brothers on the DS, still fully clothed, and waited for Kamel to come home.
When Kamel walked in the door he called out, "Lauren! Lauren?" and I mumbled, "In here," with the comforter up around my mouth and my eyes fixed to the screen.
"Lauren? What are you doing?" he said at the door.
"Nothing.... you don't love me anymore."
"What?" and he laughed, and crawled into bed next to me and kissed the back of my neck while I was still cocooned like a crazy in my comforter. "Of course I love you," he said, "I love you more than anything ever in the whole world and I'm never ever going to stop no matter what. Unless you cheat on me. And then I'll still love you, but I'll leave, so don't do that ok?"
"No, but, but..." and then I listed off the million wedding stresses that I had and the million things I needed to get done and how he wasn't help me at all! Not at all! Not even a little bit. And then he explained to me how he was doing lots of things, but just behind the scenes and without telling me, because he didn't think he had to. Oh him. One day he'll learn.
"And guess what?! I ordered you a surprise! From Amazon! And it came today! Do you wanna see it?"
And I shook my head, yes. Because now I'm 5 years old and my future husband is taking care of me. He jumped off the bed and ran into the other room and before he entered he commanded me to close my eyes. So I did. And when I held out my hand, a package was placed upon it. and in that package were....
So I saw some shoes in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog. Not just any shoes, but the coolest shoes I had seen in forever, and I even had the guts to want to buy them. The problem? These shoes required a certain kind of pant due to their amazing ankle cuff. The type of pant they required?
Or Skinny Pants. Or any leg covering - not tights - that had the word skinny some how associated with them. The type of pants I have runrunrun away from ever since I saw a glimpse of them on some skinny girls amazing body. Because in my world, I have a butt and some thighs to match. And I just thought.... pants with tight ankles are doing me NO favors. But the shoes people! The shoes! And they were on sale! So I just had to try. I went to twitter first. Where I always go for fashion advice.
And then guess who replied! None other than mightygirl herself. She suggested Express or the Limited. And when I went to Express.com and guess what? They TOO were having a sale! Just on jeans! 30% off! And so I did. I bought two and had them rushed so I could do a little try on and return if they didn't work. Meanwhile the amazing! shoes! were on their way! from nordstrom! And suddenly I think I've gone over my quota for exclammation points today. Hm.
So here I am. an actual owner of the skinny jean.
Here is the lowdown on the skinny. If you aren't skinny, go with something that has stretch. Something that borders on tights but isn't actually the jean tights I look upon with skepticism and fear. This pair is actually amazingly comfortable and, unlike the second pair I purchased, I can actually pull them up past mid-thigh. They don't cut in, meaning there is no muffin top to be found, and they don't actually make my butt look any bigger than it is. Plus they were about 1/3 of the price I usually spend on jeans. They do scrunch up a bit at my ankle, which is fine for a casual look, but doesn't completely function with the amazing-cuffed-shoe situation. Right now I roll them to get them to sit flush, but I'm still working on it. Pictures and discussion of said cuffed shoe will have to go into another daring shoe post, I'm still working on how to rock the look. But in the meantime lets just marvel at the fact that I actually bought a pair of these:
I know I've written my engagement story. And it was a private moment, surprising and sweet and beautiful. And it was important, but not as important as what happened after. I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, well more like thinking about these ideas for a while, but couldn't write them down just yet because I needed a little more distance. And now it's been a full two months since I said yes.
The thing is, I got engaged on a Thursday ("got engaged" that sounds so gauche), and if I had any advice for anyone it would be that no matter how anxious you are, do not pop the question on a weekday, when you both have to trudge off to work the day after.
When I was dating Kamel, we did the majority of our relationship in different cities, in different states, and though the distance sucked, it wasn't horrible. I like my independence. In fact, when Kamel filled out a survey about me and compared it to my own filled out survey about me, we both put that my #1 priority in life was independence. His was feeling safe. I like to do my own thing. I like to sit alone and write or read or go out with my own friends. And I like when he does his own thing, when he goes to movies with his people or does nerdy boy things without me. But the morning after he asked me to marry him, I went to work reluctantly. This really isn't earth shattering, I often go to work reluctantly. We could say the majority of the time I am dragging myself out of bed to go to work in a reluctant manner. But it wasn't work I was reluctant for, it was being away from him. The entire day, after our engagement my thoughts were solely on Kamel, and when I could see him again, be with him, and have no one else around. Being engaged, for me, flipped a switch. It wasn't just about me anymore, it was about us and I felt an incredible desire to protect it, to nurture it.
I'm still independent me. I still run off to Chicago and leave Kamel at home, I still plan winter time snowboarding adventures with college folk and without Kamel. I still like to lay in bed and read and go for walks by myself. But I also hate coming home to an empty house. I hate when we're both so busy during the week that I only see him when he's crawling into bed next to me, waking me up. I want us to come home, I want us to make dinner, eat together, watch movies together, sit side by side on our computers together. And I want us to not be in the world all the time, around people. I have an immense craving to hide up in our new apartment, away from everyone and just be us.
Being engaged, surprisingly, is not just about a fab ring and planning a kick ass wedding. Being engaged is not about the build up to the wedding, it's about the build up to the marriage. And that's what I've been thinking about, that's what I've been wanting to share because no one tells you that when you're a kid and you're running around with a sheet on your head playing bride. Engagement is so much more meaningful than I ever thought it would be.
I love trees, but more like the idea, not so much the touching. I live inside my head most of the time and fumble through life the rest of the time. I am an avid self portrait taker. Just because there is no one else around doesn't mean things shouldn't be documented. I am romantic about most things. I am a writer. It is my job, but not currently what I get paid to do. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.