Puffins!!

Let’s play a game. It’s called what the eff is lauren eating? Go!

Generally Speaking

Usually I can find a million things to write about it here. Most of the time I’m having adventures without even realizing I am until I get home and go “woah! can you believe what happened today?!” all in lower case too – shocking. Anyways, what I’m trying to say is – although I am incredibly happy with my life at the moment (seattle, boyfriend, friends, family, lifestyle, you name it), there is one little thing that is really driving me nuts – I never DO anything INTERESTING.

Things I could write about (things I’ve actually CONSIDERED writing about):

– How my portable closet kept collapsing and spilling my clothes everywhere and so I finally bought a new one from target and it’s currently sitting in the hallway still in the box waiting for me to put it together.
– My freelance editing life.
– Being tired.
– Old People and how sometimes when they come into work and they are really sick or just really old and feeble i have a hard time (literally) not bursting into tears right there at the counter while they order their danish because what I’m looking at? Is death. Right in the face. And it really gets me.

I like a good routine. I like knowing when I’m going to work and when I can have my days off and when I can schedule doing laundry and going running. But what happened to the fun stuff? Everyone just sits in their routines and the best they can come up with is TV night on Wednesdays and the occasional happy hour. I thought moving back to seattle would give me a little social diversity since I know so many people and they all can’t be busy and boring at the same time, right? Except they kind of are, or they just don’t want to play with me. And I’m right there with them. Because what can I write about? Old People. Right.

Anyways. So generally speaking, I can usually turn any situation into something interesting to talk about. But right now, I can’t. So instead I’m going to try to drum up some adventure. Somewhere. Hello? Are you out there? So that all my readers don’t fall off the face of the earth and at the same time I don’t bore anyone to death. New goal: Don’t bore people.

Insomnia

Sometimes I just can’t sleep. And I know this happens to LOTS of you. Thank god for facebook and blogs right? For reals. Anyways… I made a list of possible little to unknown factoids about this state of being.

1.) It takes way too long to realize wow, I can’t sleep. There is the tossing and then there is the turning and I dunno about you – but I am stubborn, convinced that at any point now, blam! sleep will come. It won’t. But no matter, I’m still going to lie here with my eyes closed while my mind races in tens of thousands of different directions that I will trick myself into thinking are “dreams”. No good.

2.) Getting up to pee sometimes helps. Not today, but I’m saying, there are times.

3.) Insomnia makes you hungry.

4.) It’s also lonely. Unless you can find the random stray who is also online and then you have the whole “what are you doing awake?” “well what are YOU doing awake?” conversation.

5.) Just because you’re awake doesn’t mean you’re not tired.

6.) The memory of those nights where you are asleep the minute you hit the pillow taunts you. Especially when there is no possible position of comfort.

7.) It’s these times where I’m kicking myself about possibly going to sleep later. Sometimes being too tired and going to bed too early bites you right in the ass.

I’m trying to make these like “oh, you’re right, I’ve never thought of that” and slightly funny. But I think they’re just coming out lame. I can’t tell because I’m in that in between zone of not really knowing if I’m going to think this is entertaining in the morning. I wish I was one of those people who became incredibly productive at 2 in the morning. I’d make millions. Instead I’m just lying here refreshing twitter. Fun.

Sunrise

The last few weeks – dare I say a month? – I have become well acquainted with the sunrise. I’ve been waking up at 6am and out the door for a run by 620. At that time it’s dark. Really really nighttime holyfuckwhyamIawake dark. And the trees cast weird shadows in the streetlights and everything is spooky. I do a lot of flinching for no reason. But then the sky starts to turn this light blue and I can see the cracks in the cement better and I, along with the rest of the world, start to feel a little more human.

The best thing about getting a work out in really early is that at least 1/3 of time spent running, I have no recollection of. It’s like when you are driving and you space out for a bit and then all of a sudden you’re almost there. It’s a little spooky but it’s kind of nice too. With running – it’s fantastic. And then I’m at work hours and hours later and I suddenly remember – hey! I worked out today. And it’s like another pat on the back.

So anyways – I’m running and the sky is this bright light blue. Like someone is shining a flashlight through a piece of colored tissue paper. And by the time I get home there are birds and people getting their kids ready for school, and other people walking dogs. But the best part is when I make it back up to the apartment and I roll out claire’s yoga mat that she is letting me use and I face my east-sided window and while I stretch the sky turns pink! and orange! and look there is a plane and it’s exhaust is a streak of highlighter. And yes, I know that’s because of the pollution in the air, blahblahblah but it’s beautiful! And I’m sweating and trying to loosen my hamstrings so I can go and stand for 9 hours at work and the tree tops are back lit and I wish I could take a picture but I know it’s no use because there is something about replicating this that never ever ever comes out quite right.

Lately I’ve been feeling rather intimate about sunrises.

Things, October

I had a physical on Tuesday. This seems normal enough. It took a long time because my doctor is rather thorough. I like to believe she is just incredibly interested in my life but I’m pretty sure she is giving me a wellness psych eval. Either way – she’s chatty and enthusiastic. My type of healthcare professional. Anyways – so a physical. Right. Other than having to try NOT TO GIGGLE during my pap (yeah, we’re talking smeeaaarrr here) the whole thing went super smooth. But at the end, when nothing happened, no lumps or bumps or nasty moles were found – something about the situation seemed rather odd. I know you’re supposed to have nothing wrong with you, but it just seems stupid for me to even go in the first place. I could have told you nothing was wrong, but to verify I had a busy lady who touches a lot of regular sick people poking and prodding and inserting and poking some more just to be like “yup, you’re healthy!” I know physicals are preventative. And I’m all for that. But I also think our society is obsessed with healthcare and tests and cures. It is our survival after all. But I’m 24 and I have no complaints so what am i really doing?

I’ve been wearing tights leggings a lot lately. I got snipped at by an H&M salesperson for calling them tights so… I’m trying to amend my ways. I remember then I first say someone wearing them without a skirt. I was in Illinois and it was the middle of winter and my first thought was WOAH she looks TOTALLY NAKED. I mean – it was Illinois – where I would routinely have to walk to class in below zero weather. And here’s this girl prancing around in very thin, stretchy sweat pants (basically). So I was shocked. I’ve gotten over this but it’s taken me about three years? This was my first outing:


It was like wearing PAJAMAS! In PUBLIC! I was hooked! I’ve been wearing them to work. So warm and cozy. Plus I’m out of jeans. But that’s my most recent fashion stretch… haha… get it? Ok nevermind…

I’m silently (well not anymore) fascinated about how fast or slow toilet paper runs out. I know this is weird. But I AM! Ok so I bought a big pack when I first moved to seattle and it JUST RAN OUT over two months later. Seriously – it just happened – this morning!! I know this has to do with how much claire and I go to the bathroom and how often we are home and blahblah but I choose to ignore most of that science and focus on the magic of not knowing how long we can go without having to buy a new pack. And apparently? In this apartment? It’s over TWO MONTHS. Fan-fucking-tastic. 🙂

Echo Echo Echo

Wow. It’s been a while. Sorry about that. Things have been… exhausting. I’ve been running around like a crazy at work and then getting home and crawling into a fetal position in bed while my feet throb. But there is something satisfying about a crazy busy day in the service industry. It’s a type of physical exhaustion that lets me know i actually did something today.

Also – I totally scrapped the story I was working on and started it all over again. This time I like it much better. So that’s where I am with writing. The starting point was nagging at me, and I just kept thinking it was all wrong until I finally listened to myself and started writing it again. I felt relief.

I have a physical today (joy) and some emails to write to people (john!) but I promise there won’t be such a long lag in posts anymore. Right when I was getting a nice comfy reader base I go and disappear. What a dummy. A sleepy, feet throbbing, busy bee dummy. Sigh.

Sail Away

So I went on a boat today. A sail boat. A sail boat my friend Bill, an avid reader of this blog, lives on. I found out living on a boat = a lot like camping = i prefer yachts I think. But anyways, being on a boat? Awesome. I only took one picture because I was too busy enjoying the amazing amazing (for the third time) amazing beauty of the greater Seattle water, mountains, trees, porpoise (which came SO CLOSE i could hear them BREATHE), schools of little fish, jelly fish, other really cool boats, oh and catching up with my “livin the dream” friend Bill. So here is proof that I was on a boat:
Check out that steering wheel will you? Hellz yeah. SAIL BOAT.

Another great thing about being on a boat? My boat outfit:


I know right? Oh the things I enjoy most. 🙂 Thanks Bill for an amazing time out on the “seas”. I really am going to drag you out in the rain just to enjoy the romance of it all. Sigh.

Boyfriends Make You Fat

About a year ago while I was driving to work in the morning, listening to my morning radio shows, I heard a segment about dating and how people gain weight while in a relationship and lose weight while single. And let me tell you – no truer words were ever spoken. Below is a picture of Kamel and I at the fair.


We ate scones, corn dogs, fries, and chocolate chip cookies. That was just during the 5 hours we were there. We did do a lot of walking at the fair itself, but generally we just sort of hung out, watched movies, ate food, etc. Then Kamel went back to San Francisco for a few days and I went back to running and eating right, fighting the urge to eat everything in the display case at work. But then three days later he came back and we were back to eating out for every meal, telling eachother it was ok because “hey! this is vacation!!” but when does the vacation end? We had planned two fairly intense walks, but those never happened – instead we had dessert at almost every meal and made muffins, then ate too many and collapsed in bed propped up on pillows because the weight of lemon poppyseed cake was sitting in our throats – no room left in the tummy.

Having a boyfriend makes you fat. You eat out more, you go to movies, buy candy, go out to dinner, split the sundae. You have a buddy to get drinks with, to share the bottle of champagne with, and someone to enable your bad behavior and to tell you “you’re beautiful just the way you are” so what’s one more cookie/piece of cake/basket of fries? Until a month goes by and you can’t fit into your pants anymore. The muffin top isn’t that attractive when it’s pouring out of your jeans and not spilling deliciously out of the muffin tin, all warm and tempting.

So now instead of encouraging each other to have another slice, we’re waking up early to workout before starting our days, abolishing all desserts, and eating smaller portions. It’s not as indulgent but it’s turning out to be just as fun. When he tells me he’s done 30 pushups it makes me want to do 10 more. When he wakes up early to go for an hour walk, it propels me out of bed to go running. Part of it’s my competitive nature. I generally want to win at everything. But it’s also having a buddy to do things with, regardless of the activity. Besides, being the hot couple is so much more fun than being the cinnamon roll couple with frosting on our faces.

Well actually that does sound kind of delicious….

Fashion: Rain Boots

In a way I have always envied/scoffed at the rain boot. Sometimes they look stupid but then other times they look really cute and beyond that they keep your flats and your jeans DRY when it’s pouring down rain. Last time I lived in Seattle I had to greatly limit the shoes I wore to work or out and about because my feet always got wet and my jeans always got wet and then they were wet the WHOLE DAY and I hate hate hated it. So this time around, the first thing on my to-do list was buy boots.

But then I forgot.

So a few weekends ago when it was down pouring for two days I was cursing myself for not having my boots. It really sounded more like this, “Uggghhh!! CLAIIIRREEE!! I should have bought booooooooooots!!” In the whiniest voice possible. Attractive. So on that sunday Claire and I trekked out to target where I had done my online research and found out they had BILLIONS of boots in different styles and shapes all for around $24.99. So of course I was like Uber Excited right? I’m pretty sure there was an “I’m going to Tar-get to get me some Boo-oots” dance, but it cannot be confirmed. Anyhoos – we get to target and I beeline to the shoes section and there are – get this – NO BOOTS TO BE FOUND. When I ask a sales person to point me in the right direction she says “oh we already have our next season stuff in, and we aren’t carrying them anymore.”

So let me get this straight… Target believes that in seattle the season for rain boots is….. SUMMER?! Am I in the twilight zone? Has the world turned upside down? Topsy Turvey? I am both incredibly annoyed and disappointed. What the eff, Target. Way to let a girl down. So we drove home bootless and I jumped right back on my computer to order them online, aggravated that I couldn’t have immediate gratification AND that I have to now pay for shipping. But I wasn’t kidding about the selection. Check out THESE BEAUTIES at Target.com. I know right? So I ordered a pair that Claire pronounced had a design that was “Freakin poetry on a boot.” Basically – just emo enough. And the next time it even DRIZZLED outside I was racing to my closet just to put them on and go run outside for 5 minutes.


They work marvelously.

On Writing

I’ve been struggling with getting a nice routine down for writing. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before… but it’s true. I’ll give you all a minute to recover from the shock.

Ok back to topic – I thought that I would graduate and move and then feel this overwhelming compulsion to write and I would schedule my life AROUND writing. And that compulsion is there. But so is the compulsion to go running, do laundry, go drinking with friends, lay on my bed and stare at the ceiling, etc. And to be honest, last week was just not a good week for me as a writer. I felt really really defeated. Knowing me, as I often do (know me, that is), I knew that this was just part of my writer-cycle (As opposed to the lady parts version) and there are whole sections of days where I feel like I know exactly what I’m doing and the genius is flowing and then there are whole sections of days where I am unsure and then a whole OTHER set that says YOU KNOW NOTHING YOU ARE DOING NOTHING WORTHWHILE YOU ARE WASTING YOUR LIFE WITH NO AMBITION AND NO TALENT.

Notice how that last bit was all in caps? Yeah, it’s really hard to ignore. So when that happens I generally cry, get really frustrated, complain to friends about how i don’t know what I’m doing, how I hate this, hate this, hate this, and there is nothing to be done, just NOTHING i tell you. Emphasis on the insistence on complete inactivity to fix anything whatsoever. Fantastic.

Well anyways, the point is – that was last week. And the other part of this whole woe-is-me situation is that I wrote this book? And I haven’t let anyone read it? Because I don’t feel like I’m finished with it? But it’s pretty much my entire grad school experience? And because no one has read it outside of the program (And even then, only one person has seen the entirety) I feel like it kind of doesn’t even exist. And even though I was very very adamant about letting the book sit for a while and then returning to it with fresh eyes to get it where I need it, I have this thing where I start doubting my initial decisions as I begin to feel the pressure to perform or produce by well meaning, much loving friends and family. I also have this annoying habit of comparing my artistic life to other people’s artistic life as a measurement of where and when I should be. Which really doesn’t make any sense at all.

This brings you all up to date for what I wanted to tell you about today. So I’m riding the bus to work and it’s all warm and sunshiny out. And I start thinking about my novel. And it just hits me – a major plot change that will affect a lot of the book but will improve it ten-fold just lands in my lap. And it’s so shocking that I start grinning like a fool but also wondering WOW why hadn’t I thought of this before? And it’s so interesting because I feel like young writers get stuck in a rut with plot devices and comfort levels. Certain situations are just comfortable to write about because we know they work, we’ve seen them work. I was reading a round table article in Newsweek with Toni Collette (United States of Tara), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Sarah Silverman, Jon Cryer (Two & A Half Men), and Amy Poehler about the Emmy’s and being comedians and an aspect of what they talked about was writing and performing. And They talked about the completely outdated plot device of an answering machine and hearing a voicemail while doing something related in a funny way (sleeping with another woman while you’re girlfriend calls, etc) and how it just doesn’t work anymore. Who has an answering machine like that anymore? But yet, even in current movies or shows this device keeps popping up.

And this is relevant to my own work. A character in my book is dying and he is spending the majority of the novel in hospice. But why? Well, because that’s where people go to die. But why? Why is that interesting? It feels to me like it makes my life as a writer more difficult because now I have to overcome a boring scenario in an otherwise not all that boring novel, just because “that’s what happens.” But it’s my job to break those molds and not settle for the obvious, and that’s the rewarding, incredibly difficult part of being a writer.

So guess what? I was totally right about letting my novel sit and not letting everyone read it right off the bat, because now I have some really fantastic ideas that will break the story open and will have the reader going “oh… interesting…” vs “yeahyeahyeah, so what?”. So I’m officially back on the upswing of my cycle. Of course, I’m still not touching my novel until at least november, but I’m gonna jot down these ideas for safe keeping while I keep procrastinating on the short story staring at me on my desktop. I’ll keep you posted.