Thursday, September 30, 2010


Today I was ecstatic because I only had creative writing today + it was beautiful outside + I got the first three seasons of Boy Meets World in the mail (thanks Mom and Dad for birthday money!) =

I was certainly not ecstatic waiting for a bus to the parking lot for 30 minutes + realizing that in lieu of my second class today that I was to fend for myself finding a ridiculous Spanish film to watch and answer questions about by Tuesday=

(Un-thrilled face)

Mom's making no-bake cookies so life could definitely be worse. Off to do French homework and brooding. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I Love About Fall

Today I paid homage to fall. I sported the hand-knit scarf my best friend Kelsey made me 4 years ago. Isn't it gorgeous?  Kelsey, I miss you and think of how wonderfully talented you are every time I wear this scarf.

The scenery while driving was dare I say, picturesque? I rolled the windows down because some music just needs air. 

I shared Brach's Autumn Mix with two friends after class while pointing out the irony of the world around us. 

I'm very excited for tonight's episode of SVU, as it guest stars Jennifer Love Hewitt. Now we all know how I feel about JLH. Ever since Ghost Whisperer went off the air, I've been having withdrawals. 

I'm running on two hours of sleep today due to going to breakfast after work this morning. I decided to go because I got a "promotion" of sorts, which basically means I will move to an earlier crew at work. So the gathering was a sort of farewell to my "old" crew. It sort of dragged on for two hours too long and long story short, I am sleep deprived yet again. But happy. 

Off to catch up on creative writing homework. But first...

Love is a Shakespeare assignment turned personal. 

"I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you're always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you're not around, and the fact that you didn't call. But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Substitute People

Today I wrote a poem on a leaf. It was for my creative writing class. I must admit that when our professor says, "We're going to do an activity," it's never dull, always fascinating, and I feel like I grow as a writer.

Here's my epistolary leaf poem to my great-grandmother:

Dear You, 
I miss your water bed. The one we used to count the pieces of candy I'd collected from the parade. I miss your swing that faced the sun in the evening. I miss the smell of your house. I miss the Norman Rockwell calendar you kept in your kitchen. I miss Thanksgiving when everyone would come and no one could move around the place. I miss your love for Elvis, your family, and dirty jokes I didn't quite understand yet. I miss you calling me by my first and middle names and your fridge with all those magnets with the googly eyes. I cried the day you died and when I saw you one last time you made me realize that love exists in all of us even though you're gone. I miss your house that they tore down to make way for a parking lot. You always said you'd die before they put you in a nursing home. Touche, grandma. I never thought I'd cry like I did that day. The sun shone and my shoes sunk into the cemetery grass. I couldn't imagine ever getting over it. I'm older now. It's been almost seven years and one day I will have a house like yours. Filled with too many people and love.

Lauren Jean

And in other news, I went for another walk with my dog today but this time I took pictures! 

That last one is definitely my favorite. Sometimes it's hard to fathom that any of this is real. Do you all ever have those thoughts? Like, am I real? I'll hold my hands out in front of me and turn them from side to side just to determine that I am alive. And I realize that I had no control over being put here on this Earth. I am a ball of clay, shaped partially by God's hand, and the rest is up to me. Beauty is just, at times, overwhelming. 

On my walk today, there were smells of hot dogs and hamburgers, water and fertilizer. It's summer's last-ditch effort to hold it's ground.

 Julie and I awaiting the rest of the gang to arrive at my belated birthday gathering! We're forming the number "21" with our fingers. Clever? Insane? 
 Julie and (the other) Lauren

And to catch up on other recent events...

 Julie and I at the movie theatre, awaiting Easy A to start, last Friday.
"My creation, is it real?!" (Weird Science-Oingo Boingo) Why do everyone's eyes glaze over when I enthusiastically show them that I spent my Friday night decorating a gourd with the face of a jack-o-lantern? 

So, for tonight, I have plans to devour a chicken pot pie, curse my unwanted exodus from Facebook (I haven't been able to log on for like, a week), finish French homework, watch Boy Meets World and Glee!

And one more for the road... in the "what love should be" series...

I want Drew Baylor saying, "You shouldn't be the substitute for anybody," and then kissing me.

"Maybe so..."

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Sometimes weekends can be seemingly uneventful and that's what makes them so spectacular.


My beautiful friend Julie and I frequent McAlister's at least twice a week so a third time didn't seem ridiculous... The movie Easy A is easily a new favorite. It was so clever and adorable. I love Emma Stone. And Penn Badgley is hot! 


I'll admit, the scenery wasn't quite so beautiful on my fall jog with my dog, but you catch the drift. 


While reading Mrs. Dalloway, watching Please Don't Eat the Daisies, and cleaning my bedroom and bathroom, I've been filled with various thoughts, or might I say bombarded with them. I love the faces of black and white movies. So serious. Those old days when Hollywood was innocent, or at least presented a facade of being thus. I love ringlets and elbow-length gloves. 

I can't wait for Taylor Swift's album to release on October 26. 

And the final season of Ghost Whisperer on DVD + Sex and the City 2. 

There was a scene in Easy A that made my heart twinge in that special way that makes you recognize that some other person (or people) in the world understand something important to you. The main character Olive, goes through a list of 80's movies to describe how she wants love to be. 

She wants John Cusack to hold a boom box on his shoulders outside her window. (Say Anything).

She wants Jake to wait outside the church, leaned up against his red car for her. (Sixteen Candles).

She wants Judd Nelson pumping his fist in the air because he finally got someone. (Breakfast Club).

"But John Hughes didn't write my life," she says.

These movies have all but defined my life and every time I watch them, I think about my parents being the same age as the characters in them. And how they were young once and just newly falling in love. And I wonder how I would've been if I'd been a teenager in the 80's. If I would've had better luck because the guys just seemed better than they are now. They were rough around the edges maybe, but they actually got the girls they were into.

I want all of these moments and more. I want someone to want to know the weird things about me that make me tick. How I value cleanliness and have a bizarre sense of irony. That yes, damn it, I may live my life like it's a movie because I find truth from them, just like I find truth from books, and music, and God.

And I want someone who will play "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel and "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds to make me smile.

Life to me, is about the little moments. I don't expect grand gestures. I just want something little that says, "I get you." And that to me, will always be enough.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Good Day

I feel like today will be a good day. With a belly full of breakfast and a cool morning to fall asleep, I will be thusly satisfied. Even though I was 8 minutes late to work and given an occurance and have realized the dirty laundry of others has been airing itself in my own front yard. On my own clothes line. Soiling my whites and sending me into despair. But have no fear, all is not lost. I have yet to cry over silted silk. 

I love you. An obstacle often faced after a long period of dating. I find it curious that someone would want to kiss somebody and then turn around and say these words to another as if they are the most natural things to come from a human being, like pupils dilating or breathing. A response to stimuli. A sign we are alive. Honesty and time tell tales on one another when they don't match up. 

A house with colors your old lover picked out, still lived in 2 years later. Every day are you reminded?

Today will be a good day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One Love

I celebrated my birthday with the family last Thursday. We went to a buffet created by a Southern lady with a huge personality (and waistline, but let's not go there). The food was divine, we encountered some disgruntled elderly folk, and increased our own waistlines. I think I literally felt my dress getting smaller and it was harder to breathe in.

Afterwards we visited ... the casino. After a disappointing 15-or-so-minute run at the slot machines we left with lighter pockets and a questioning glances from strangers with booze in plastic cups with the little rings around the center. The windowless area was filled with cigarette and cigar smoke, which I can barely stand for too long and all I could think about was the effect of consumerism and how interesting it would be to write a thesis based around the logic of going to a casino. People had little plastic cards hanging out of these machines adorned with cherries and gold dollar signs and $200 credits. But why? Wouldn't you rather spend money and get something? Wouldn't you rather spend your time with real people instead of something that flashes and lights up when you put money into it?

We went home and laughed about my icecream cake topped with frozen strawberry sauce, running down the sides. It looked like a crime scene. My cake would have fared well with yellow caution tape around it, indicating hazardous conditions.

It was however, delicious. And the laughter that insued, priceless.

Aren't these carp ridiculously cute with their suction-cup mouths?
I love catfish, and this guy felt it from across the plate glass.
Fall thus far has been a feast for my senses. Albeit already facing the stresses of lack-of-sleep syndrome, I've taken time to slow down and capture nature in its pristine state, or something like it. I had a lovely belated birthday dinner with my friends Julie, Lauren, and Brad last Sunday at a local world cafe. Now it's back to the grind. 

Today, running on two hours of sleep and a 5-Hour-Energy I am awaiting my classes to start, as I have just completed a mock interview that is required to sign the contract that gets my tuition paid for. Yes, it's about 94 degrees out today and I am in a black blazer and skirt. Oh, and the heels! They're about three-inches too tall and makes my stride about a third of what it would be normally. But I look fly. 

So, Glee season 2 premieres tonight and I have to study for a French exam. But whatever, Glee is getting watched. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good Times Roll

Tomorrow is my twenty-first birthday. People keep asking me what my plans are and I can scarcely find the time or state-of-mind to answer. Yesterday I was awake for 23 hours straight and only slept for 3 and a half hours before waking up for today. 

After class, I discovered my front left tire flat in the parking lot. After frantically calling my dad to no avail I did the next best thing: called a guy friend. 

"Brad, you'll never guess what happened!"
"I came out to my car and the tire is totally flat and I tried calling my dad but I can't get ahold of him and I really just wanted to go home and do my homework and sleep but..."
"Do you want me to come?"
"No... you don't have to..."
"I'll be there in a few minutes."

After 45 minutes of trying to remove the world's most stubborn lugnuts, we threw in the towel and went to McDonald's. Since the beginning of the semester we had been talking about hanging out after school but had never gotten around to it. Albeit under unexpected and less than ideal circumstances, I feel like the cosmos were working to bring us together. I find that any car problem can be solved by taking yourself to eat. 

Brad and I got to catch up, he worried about my front tire that had a huge air bubble protruding, and I prepared myself for the 35-MPH drive home, complete with hazard lights and the persistent sound of a flat tire thumping around on the pavement. 

It turns out my front left tire contained a huge air bubble that cannot really be explained by natural science and the back left had a nail in it. Our neighborhood is under construction and apparently leaving nails in the streets is all the rage because this is the fourth tire on my car I have had to replace. Luckily my dad and I got to the automotive department 15 minutes before closing time to get them replaced before work tonight. 

So after having been up for nearly two days without rest, I don't much worry about what I'm doing for my birthday yet. I know I'm celebrating with my family this Thursday, possibly catching up with an old friend Saturday, and meeting for dinner with my best friends Sunday. Hopefully I'll get sleep, not fall too far behind in homework, and let the good times roll. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Loose Ends

Does anyone know about those guys that become obsessed with a new girl every two months? Alas, I have fallen victim to this malady. The whole situation reminds of the scene in Elizabethtown when Ellen breaks up with Drew in an emotionless drone: "It was real. And it was great. And it was really great." Except it really wasn't all that great. Or real, ha. 

I had my first summer fling, a rite of passage; and it was exactly as I expected it to be. I liked him just enough to understand that he had so many qualities I didn't like and couldn't ever put up with in a real relationship. So it was light, fun, and no one had to ever think too hard about anything or do any apologizing. Nothing was expected except for the fact that when school rolled around, it would be over. Once the end of August approached, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had felt bombarded. He called and texted me to the point where the mystery and thrill of it all was just gone. But I did like spending time with him, he made me smile, and there was chemistry between us. 

No official towels had been thrown in until the big fight. The fight that ended with me saying I hoped he died in a fiery car crash. I immediately regretted it afterwards because...who actually says something like that? But the damage was done. Me and my stupid mouth again. I had justifications thrown at me like, "He knows you're under a lot of stress yet he continually bothers you..." which made me feel better but at the same time I knew things would never be right until I apologized. 

Luckily, all loose ends are tied up now but things are officially over. I was initially bothered because I realized I went through this whole thing liking him moderately; there was no passion from me but I was certainly interested. I would call it 4 or 5 in terms of how I felt. From hearing what other people have said and by my own experience it seems like he went from a 10 to a 0. He was obsessed with his new attraction and would keep going with it until something happened to make him stop. Although I don't condone the actual words I used, I'm glad I spoke up. This is what I really wanted. I guess I just wanted it on my terms a little bit more. I don't want to be in a limbo with a person that I can barely find time to think about or that I make excuses about my plans so I don't have to hang out because I'm so burnt out. In the past I've always said I need to be on my own for awhile but I never believed it. I was constantly on the look-out and within a matter of weeks was right back in the game again. 

I don't know what it is about me. But I know for sure that I'd much rather have my freedom of speech and offend someone than blindly submit to someone who is only mediocre. That doesn't mean it doesn't bother me that he's already with another girl and calling her beautiful. In fact, it makes me feel degraded. I look at it from two viewpoints: I was either disposable and lied to or I was treated just like everyone else in a long list of others. No one wants either of those things. But when I think about some of my harsh viewpoints and attitude towards whatever it was that we had, I realize that we were both doing the same thing; waiting for something better to come along. So why worry?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


On our way to pick my mother up from work last night, my dad hit the curb and blew the front right tire of his car. He was so frustrated trying to place the jack under the car and even more frustrated when the car lurched forward, bending the jack nearly in half. 

A fellow in a light blue Hawaiin-style shirt with his wife drove past us and rolled down his window, "Do you need some help?" 

After reading the car's manual and discovering the instruction "DO NOT USE THE JACK PROVIDED WITH THE VEHICLE" my dad was just happy to have some help. It turns out this couple lives 30-40 miles away and come into visit my mom at work every Saturday night after their church services. It's a small world and a one I'm proud to live in when citizens reach out to strangers like this.

In lieu of our tire tumult, my dad and I had an exceptional early fall day. We crossed the river and visited the ultimate in outdoor stores. We saw catfish (my favorite), shopped for warm weather wear, and just took our time taking in the sights. We had naked burriots for lunch and took the perfect pictures of our town succumbing to fall, leaves slightly turning brittle and changing to amber, orange, and red. 

I am lucky to be alive.

Friday, September 10, 2010


There's something wordlessly comforting about an overcast day, McAlister's iced tea, listening to French rap from Diam's and MC Solaar, finding the world's most comfortable sweatpants for $5, and talking to my dad about vaccinations. 

"You have to keep up with those if you want to travel the world." And I do.

Most of my life has been lived in and out of cardboard boxes. I found it hard to imagine that I would ever truly feel at home. Lately it seems like each place I frequent is filled with memories, tiny gems, little movies that play in a "Ghost-of-Christmas-past" fashion, and I am present simply to watch. Certain tables suddenly become lit up with conversation, smiling faces, and obnoxiously loud laughter. Certain hallways and corners look vaguely welcoming in recompense for the relationships that didn't work out. As a friend once told me, if a place holds adverse memories, you just have to go back and make new ones.

I just find myself intrigued with what this city can bring for me: in terms of education, career, travel opportunity, a place of my own, a place to find someone I don't mind being companions with... It's been good to me so far. I am in the best place possible; home, the perfect place to find myself.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Boy Meets World, a favorite show of mine, comes on ABC Family at 7-8AM Eastern time. Between working and school, I don't get to watch it so my DVR is ceaselessly filled with new episodes for me to watch in my spare time. 

I always love how the life lessons taught aren't gag-worthy or sugar-coated in any sense. One episode that keeps sticking in my mind is where Shawn is forced to choose between sticking up for his half-brother and his best friend, Cory. In the end, he says something to the effect of, "Blood means you're related. It doesn't mean you're family." 

I know sometimes I have a tendency to rant and be antagonistic towards the world. But there are people in my life who I will never forget; people I call family. They listen to my daily reports of awkward run-ins with exes, they send letters, cards, mixtapes, and chocolate in the mail, they make me smarter, more hard-working, more loving and optimistic. They make me laugh, they make me smile, they make this whole living thing worthwhile. 

In creative writing class, I have learned that the reason one writes is because he or she has an urgency to say something. I'm feeling it right now. We have learned that the way to keep a reader enthralled is by providing images, dialogue, and by creating insight that the reader ultimately comes to without directly saying, "This is my message." It's funny because I feel like most of the writing I do is anything but creative. I'm constantly speaking in riddles and concluding everything by saying exactly what my intentions are. 

I find reflection somehow urgent.

And I keep hearing these songs that remind me of the past and people I have encountered in my life. At the time, I remember thinking, "I will never remember what song was playing (because I didn't know what it was called or who was singing) but I know in this moment, it's right." And magically, one of those songs reappeared. It's called "Amber" by 311. It's been bittersweet to hear the chorus over and over say, "Amber is the color of your energy..." because I remember the moment so vividly and hold it dear to me. At the same time, knowing that this person has made a seemingly-abrupt exit from my life has left a pit in my stomach. I was filled with a sense of relief before but now I am just ready to confront my feelings and the let the chips fall where they may. 

Here I go being cryptic again. I just want to make my peace. Again. Isn't that what we're always doing in the first place? It's like the world's little equilibrium. We have to keep struggling to overcome oppression but when we do the rewards are overwhelming. And it's nice to know there's one more person out there that thinks of you in a positive way. They may not be family, but they're pretty darn close. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Evolution of People

It's interesting to watch how people evolve. One day they say your eyes sparkle when you look at them. The next day they won't even look you in the face. Someone can go from calling you baby to inwardly thinking of you as other words that start with a B. Some days I feel like my perceptions of people are skewed because I am covered in a prejudiced film that predisposes them to judgment. It's like those Claritin commericials in which people are unable to truly see the world until the film has been lifted. Some people go from greeting the world with a smile to walking around beneath a perpetual rain cloud infused with big, fat droplets of cynicism. Others can be wide-eyed optimists turned cold and hard because of lies people tell to better their image. Can you guess which one I am?

I can be wrong but when I know I'm right I'll fight to the death to defend myself. I may say some things I don't mean in an intense frustration but I am always apologetic for them. Some people just aren't very nice. I may not always be very nice but the difference in me is that I want to be. 

I'm not entirely convinced Darwin was correct in his theories. Members of a species are supposed to adapt, you know, survival of the fittest and all that. But it seems like in our society we cater to idiots, figuratively speaking. Women repeatedly enter into emotionally unsatisfying relationships because they are catering to the idea that being with any man is better than being alone. When a guy tells a lie to get somewhere dishonorable with a girl, it becomes more and more difficult to discern who is sincere and who is not. 

Perhaps I am strident; perhaps that's what pushes people away. But maybe, this is my own way of eliminating the weak, a selective process that pushes people away that need to be thusly expelled. It's been slim pickings lately finding any male who can handle a female that has the audacity to have an opinion. But alas, I have a fool-proof plan that allows me to have the best of both worlds: a marriage to academia. A bachelor's degree will never use me for physical gratification. A Ph.D won't leave me running to a pint of Ben & Jerry's for comfort. A career will not have me complaining about how terrible life is although the decision to remain stagnant was a personal choice. 

Instead of wandering aimlessly down a dark, dreary path I "naturally select" a higher road. And I hope that one day I will be commended rather than criticized.