Suburban Living + Losing My GD TGIF Mind

This weekend Kamel and I decided to explore more of the peninsula and the little cities that are all around the new apartment. Our first stop was Cupertino, the world of Steve Jobs and Apple. I was expecting something hip and fresh. Ya know, edgy with smooth lines, a place that’s just a touch more into the future than the rest of the world, technologically advanced.

Let me debunk any myths for you. That is not an accurate image of Cupertino by any stretch of the imagination. We headed to a mall where there was a movie theater (to see the new Twilight movie, yes we did). We thought we’d go check out the theater and then scope out a lunch spot around the area. First, because I have a love of mall food courts, we walked around the mall to see what delicious eateries they had to offer. You guys, there is nothing like a half empty mall that really screams of the total destruction of America’s hopes and dreams. It was extra depressing. The entire first floor was pretty much dark with empty shops. And the once bustling food court (mmmm!) was now 50% boarded up. A Subway, Burger King, Burrito place, and generic asian food stop were all that was left.

So! As my hunger kept pace with my growing desperation, we hoped to find a restaurant within walking distance. And guess where we ended up? A TGIFridays. And this is how that moment happened:


Kamel: Really?

Me: Yes! Mmmm Can you smell the fried food? Can you SMELL IT?

Kamel: You’re on a suburban high, aren’t you?

Me: Ahhhhh!!!! (Lauren’s head explodes into confetti)

And then, just as my suburban excitement has begun to wain, my mind started to clear, the fog of godknowswhat began to lift.

Me: [while flipping through the menu] Why did I think I liked this place?

Kamel: I have no idea.

Me: [while realizing how dark and old and used up this particular TGIF was] I don’t even know what to eat here. Why was I so excited??

Kamel: I was just riding the wave, Lauren.

This is all to tell you that the first reason I married Kamel was because he felt like home. And the second reason is because he makes me laugh like a crazy person, and makes weird or disappointing situations hilarious. I haven’t laughed as hard as I did on Saturday in a long loooong time. Like when we are walking back to the movie theater and Kamel is walking directly behind me saying, “You know what I’m doing, Lauren? You know what I’m doing?? I’m being a Lauren! Where you look, I look, where you walk, I walk. It’s QUITE educational.”

What?! Who is this man? I have no idea, but I love it.

And thank god. In a world of frustration, and disappointing suburban meccas, at least I have this one following me around like a crazy person. Aw, love.

Real Life Conversations: Thursdays

Yes, today is Friday but it hasn’t happened yet. Thursday! Thursday is the name of the game (And this post).

Me: I think I hate Thursdays

Kamel: haha me too.


Kamel: Go to and type in the seach “do a barrel roll”. Enjoy.

Instant day maker. Go ahead… you’re turn.

Happy Friday!

The Video Tour of Gooberville

If the pictures weren’t awesome enough for you today, check out the video Kamel and I shot. If this isn’t the perfect example of our relationship I don’t know what is. Welcome home.

Home Sweet Home

We’ve been packing and packing every day this week. I love packing for the cleansing of it all. Old things we’ve just been holding onto for … whatever reason… most of the time it’s “Why do we even HAVE this?” are now thrown out, gotten rid of, recycled, given away. I love being able to start over, being able to say, “ok, in the new place – we’re not going to pile mail on the kitchen table until it’s 3 feet high. Never again!” And there’s hope that we’ll actually stick to it.

The part I hate about packing, is the feeling that there is never not going to be STUFF. There is stuff under the bed, up inside the closet, and when we’ve finally cleared out book shelves and the tops of tables, counter tops, etc., we realize there is still a bunch of random crap inside drawers, cupboards, the medicine cabinet. So much stuff.

So much stuff makes me feel panicky. It means a quick escape is impossible because we’re dragging so much stuff behind us. I’m the one who is quick to throw things away. “We haven’t even looked at this or remembered we have it in a year! Just throw it away, don’t even show me what it is, just get rid of it, quick!” I don’t want to let nostalgia creep in. Nostalgia is a pretend feeling – our memories are intact, I don’t need an old t-shirt to remind me of that one time in high school or that fantastic trip down the coast Maris and I took. I don’t need it, I have stories.

Living room!

Kamel is not so quick to let go of things. But I’ve moved about 3x as much as he has. I’ve learned that there are some things that just aren’t worth it. But he’s getting there. It’s not worth it to agonize over a tiny thing that fits in your palm when you have a whole house to relocate. It’s not worth it, to drag bags and bags of clothes from place to place only to have them sit in your closet and still never be worn.

Dining nook! Kitchen door!

Bag it, toss it, give it away. Make room for space to breath.

Snow Angel

We’ve hired movers. We have boxes filling our entry way. We have naked walls. We’ll be here, filling this space with our stuff on Saturday evening. Saturday. This morning Kamel was laughing and telling me how we totally disregarded our timeline. We just threw it out the window and up and moved. Can you believe it?

We hit a wall, I said. We hit a wall and we just left. Sunday afternoon we heard scratching and rustling somewhere in our kitchen. We sat in the living room, unmoving, listening as hard as we could. Was it the neighbor? Was it inside our house or outside? Little nails scratched on something metal, something wooden, something metal again. Was it the sound of mice? I know that sound very well. Or was it the sound of foil blowing in the breeze?

“It doesn’t matter,” Kamel said, still unmoving on the couch next to me, “We’re leaving in less than a week. It doesn’t matter. Thank God.”

A real hallway. Facing the front door from our bedroom door.

We still wonder if we made the right choice. Did we pick the right apartment? Did we jump in too fast? Should we have looked harder? Found a better deal? Should we have gone with the other place we were looking at.

A real, normal sized closet in the bedroom!

My answer to these questions is always that it doesn’t matter. We signed a lease. Even if we did totally mess up, we signed a lease, the end.

Testing out where we're putting the bed.

But really, I think no way. This is an adventure. This is a happy place. Even if, right now, we’re scraping by because of moving costs, and pro-rated September rent on top of our full September rent of the SF apartment, even if we’re crunching numbers in bed every night. Even if all of that, I’m excited. And I’m so, so grateful to be doing this with my buddy.

And I freaking love these windows.

Real Life Conversations: Watermelons

Me: I am having the worst PMS of the entire …. year. Seriously. Physical symptoms, they are killing me. I’m bloated. My boobs feel like they are swollen to the size of watermelons, it’s awful.

Kamel: ….can I see?…

Me: ….

Kamel: I mean for … medical reasons… obviously.

[pulls his shirt open like a porn star]

Kamel: Like this.

Me: Hold on! I have to document this on the internets right now!

Kamel: What?! No! You know whatever you say I’m going to blame on the wine! IS NOTHING SACRED?

Me: Shh… I’m typing. And I need content.

Actual Conversation: He Washes the Dishes

Me: I wonder why men’s shirts have those buttons on the arms at all? Like maybe if you have really, really large forearms or something?

Kamel: Like Popeye!

Me: Ha. Oh yeah, I guess.

Kamel: {sings} Popeye the sailor man! Doo deet doo deet doo doo, he washes the dishes and … slaps all his bitches, it’s Popeye the sailor man!

Me: Wait. WHAT?! haha.

Kamel: I don’t know… I was just singing words.

Me: Wait… {laughing} he slaps all his BITCHES? Seriously?

Kamel: I don’t know!