Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sit in Peace

I suspect a trip to NYC is on my horizon. It will be during the 8th anniversary of 9/11 at that. Intersting time to be in the city I have to suppose.

While looking up all the things to do there and building my list, I keep coming across St. Patrick's Cathedral and I had a really vivid flashback of the amazing churchs I saw in Europe a few years ago. Those and the train stations impressed me immensley. I remember sitting in wooden pews just listening to the sounds of chiors practicing and the old benches sqeaking. Every country we stopped in, we found a church to visit. In the whirlwind of a 9-country trip in 21-days adventure, I cherished those quiet moments in those old buildings. It was nice to just be still and quite and observe those moments in time.

So, even just on the other side of this rock that I live on, I think I will have to make time to go and sit in a moment of peace in St. Patrick's and ponder where I am, in the moment, in the day, and in life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Madonna moment

I'm restless. I hate sounding like a 10 year old with no imaginiation, but I'm bored. I can't pinpoint it, but there's something else in life that I was meant to do...or be. Maybe the problem is that my imaginiation is always running wild. I have more to say, but not right now. I'm gonna make this my living post. I'll just keep coming back and adding more as it comes to me.

I keep getting this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I just want to run away. I don't even know where I want to go. I just want to go out >there<. As vague as >there< might be.

Maybe, just maybe, its this introspective graveyard shift that I've been on for far too long that is making me think too much. Can you ever reallly think too much? I guess so.

I'm gonna call this a "Madonna" moment. I feel the need to reinvent myself. *sigh*

Monday, July 27, 2009

To bee or not to bee?

I'm just going to throw it out there. I might as well be masturbating farm animals. My zuchinni is not long, lush, and green. It's tiny, shriveled, and yellowish brown on the end. It's gross when, by now, it should be fruitbearing and in my pasta primavera.

Lack of calcium is the supposed reason that these things won't grow. Ok, I can buy that. Literally, I can go out and buy something to stick in the soil and hope against all hopes that they grow strong squash things and produce fruit.

No, what seems to be my problem is lack of male pollination. Yes, go ahead, read into it. Story of my freaking life. Either too much or not enough. Can we just find a happy medium with the entire species of male pollinators?

Well, today in about 2 1/2 hours when I get home, I'm going to trapse around the backyard looking for male blossoms, so I can pull their heads off, peel back the petals, and stick the dusty, yellow pistol into the female stigma and hope in less time that it takes to have a human baby, there might be something to stick in my pasta soon.

Hi, my name is Lauren and I help my summer squash have sex in the morning.


It's funny.

Where's a damn swarm of bees when you need some zuchinni spawned?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Grow, baby, grow!

I'm a gardner. Well...a gardner of sorts. I have sucessfully managed to grow and harvest basil and my first tomato turned red just this week! My two sunflowers (one blood red and the other classic yellow) are 10 feet tall and seem to be in competition to reach the top of the gazebo with the one stalk of corn that I planted that hangs high above my head and does a little shimmy in the breeze every time I step out onto the deck.

Even in the dry, baking oven heat of Summertime California, I have managed to kill very few things. Ok, so the cilantro bolted (yes, a gardner term - as in, got too hot and flowered because it thought it was dying and had to produce it's next of kin so it's herby life would continue for genrations to come), the zuchinni has BER (another term - blossom end rot, which I think comes from calcium deficiency, or so I've been told), but other than those casualties and some petunia infested pests, my glorious garden grows!!!

Never in my 20-something years, minus my mother's green thumb years when I was a child, have I have never really attempted to grow a garden with any seriousness. Now every morning after work, I'm out there watering, trimming off old blossoms, and checking for growth. Literally, I've sat and watched things grow. Most mornings, I can be found talking to the plants and the occasional bug that finds shelter under a leaf or two. You know they say that talking to the plants makes them grow. Just ask the sunflowers. They'll tell's true. They used to be like 8 inches tall and now they're gargantuan!!!

Occsionally during the daily leafside chats, the other major living thing that rules the backyard gets caught up in the excitement and next thing you know 85 pounds of half German Shepard and half Sharpei lightening bolts by with her windmill of a tail whipping at all g-forces of dog happiness and takes with her a wayward branch. "Don't trample my plants you crazy dog!" could very well have woken up a neighbor or two in the last few weeks. Upon leaving on a jet plane or other weekend adventure, I leave militaristic orders scribbled on the fridge with contingency plans and scenarios to keep my babies alive. Operation Keep it Green.

So, my plants are like my children. I go out there every day to make sure they're not completly out of watery resources and they have enough room to grow. I clean them up when they are crusty looking and ward off their attackers. I give them vitamins and nutrients. I have turned into a gardner and I kinda like it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I did that.

Yet another dusted-off blog post that I found in the draft file that I must (MUST!) have as part of this online anthology of my random life even if I'm posting it 19 months after I started writing it.

There are some things in life that I distinctly remember. There are a lot of things that are pretty hazy. And then there are the things that my friends jog my memory with now and then.

This one time, I got propositioned in a men's bathroom in Mexico by a Canadian. I made him drop his pants and then I told him I'd have to drink more and turned around and walked out. Yeah...that was kind of bitchy. It was an adult resort. I won't be back there again. Ever.

I wanted to be a combat nurse when I was 20. I can't remember if that was before or after 9/11. I went to the recruiter and everything and for whatever reason, I dropped it. Good thing, I probably would have been send to the desert and been a casualty.

I held a baby alligator on airboat in a Louisianna swamp once. That was pretty cool. I didn't have a camera. camera. What?!

"Life Your Life" by Rihanna reminds me Miami nights at 4am in the convertible. I stayed up all night that night then flew home and watched the sun rise on the East and set on the West.

I accidentally started a fight at a White Trash Party last New Year's Eve. Right? Yeah, go figure it would go with the theme. I spent the first few minutes of 2009 wondering how I got covered in champagne and how I didn't kick someone in the balls when they pulled my hair. Nice.

I never went to a 4-year college, lived in a dorm, or went to a wild college party. Sometimes I regret that I didn't do things like that. My best friend during my early 20's was 15 years older than me. That was good and maybe a little bit bad.

A few years back I went to Portland and sat across from this blind homeless guy on the LightRail. I don't know where my head was going or why I thought of it, but I sat there looking at him wondering if he had ever been in love. I can still picture his shaggy hair and his dirty clothes. He just sat there holding his white tipped cane listening for his stop. I told myself to remember that. Everyone deserves love. Everyone.

I was a guest makeup artist at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That was pretty fucking cool!

Last week, I went with a group of 29 Chinese foreign exhange students ages 12-14 to go see Harry Potter. I will never do that again. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Create something

I used to scrapbook.


Before I had a mortgage payment, brand new car, and $30,000 in bad debt, I used to spend all my paychecks on scrapbook supplies. In fact, I have spent so much at one local Bay Area store, I get 20% off my purchases for the remainder of my scrapbooking lifetime. I was that kind of buyer.

Well...I haven't laid glue to paper or paper to glue in a long, long time which is blatantly evident by the amount of dust that has gathered on the $15,000 worth of supplies that sit in the back bedroom.

Last night I went to bed at 6pm after 28 hours of being awake with the last 10 spent in the 100+* heat and booze fest of Lake Day. I wokeup at 10am and spent the rest of the day lying there convinced I needed to get out of bed and be productive but my body would not go along with the plan. To think...I could have organized that room today. That's another thing that's been top on the to-do list, but I just can't manage to get it together when I'm home.

My psyche could definitely use some good artistic juices flowing through it right about now. Despite the eons of travel and adventure that lie before me for the rest of the year, nothing beats a good chill evening with some great tunes and a lot of creative outlet.

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. ~ Alan Alda

Monday, July 13, 2009

Made from the best stuff on earth (R)

"Self," I said "you probably shouldn't be carrying all this stuff."

"Naw...I got it." I mean come on, I can multitask with the best of them. It ain't no thang to carry the keys, my giant zebra purse, yogurt, diet snapple, canon rebel xt, mail, and and apple.

Splat. Hiroshima blast of light and fit dannon peach yogurt hits the 99* driveway as traffic zooms by. I stood there roasting in my LAPD blues with sweat rolling down my back noting that the yogurt explosion of 2009 looked slightly like the firework patterns that I watched last weekend.

*Sigh* "Great, hope that didn't get on my uniform pants. I'm already pushing it with the mud on my unshined boots."

Heave-ho into the back seat with the giant dead zebra, camera, and arm-full of night's supplies. "Haha! Not so fast, my pretty!" thought the Diet Snapple bottle that flipped its top as a river of brown liquid cascaded down the leather seats, overflowing onto a pile of paperwork and books, before soaking into the yet-to-be-christened-4-year-old carpet. "Shit!" I screamed as the Best Stuff on Earth (R) cried tears of brewed artifical sweetness that rolled towards the $700 camera just settling into a comfy spot on the scorched leather bench seats in my boyfriend of a SUV.


"Self, you were right. I am not destined to juggle with Barnum or Bailey."

"Tahoe, my love, I'm sorry I leaked on you. I will condition your leather before the week is up to make it all up to you."

"Day, don't make this a pattern. You still have a 12-hour shift to go."

At least my boyfriend smells lemon fresh now.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Snap out of it!

Bad mood. No reason at all, just bad mood. My knees ache, my lower back hurts, I'm hungry, and I don't want to talk to anymore a-holes. Oh yeah, and it's my Monday. I guess those are reasons enough, but then I think I'm sitting here getting paid a LOT of money comparatively to the unemployed, I have easy access to whatever I would like to eat (bad idea), and I'm simultaneously planning my next few months worth of travel (sweet!).

I went and saw the American Idols LIVE last night with my aunt, uncle, and sister. It was better than I expected and it covered a catalog of music...really, a LOT of music. Now that's my kind of show. Kind of cool to sit there with my aunt who would every once in a while lean over and say things like "This is nothing compared to the Beatles mania," "I saw Janis Joplin live and she was fabulous." On the other side sat my baby sister (ok, 21's not a baby, but still, she's the baby) who was less openly enthusiastic but still had a good time. Next to her were 2 gay couples who seemed most entralled when Lil' Rounds ripped a version of Single Ladies, restrained stadium seating hand movements and all. I won't lie, I did them too. Hey girl, heeey! Below them, a row of white haired seniors who clapped and sang along, and next to them a row of pre-teen girls who scremed a bloody murder every time a picture of the uber-tanned Adam Lambert came across the jumbotron. There was really no rhyme or reason to the crowd, but is that not the exact greatness of music - to divide and conquer all those social lines we get wrapped up in?

The show highlight - Danny Gokey. Really, that guy is a bit of a rockstar in his form fitted extra medium teeshirt, slightly Daughtry-ish, but still, that boy can sing! The's from the heart and you can tell. Great show overall, Allison is a gift from the Rock Gods..damn what a voice! As far as the headliners, the highlight of Adam Lambert's set was throwing the black back into the crowd (he came out ladies!) mid song. It really is a mad world and he is the Mayor of Falcetto and Cabaret - I love him! Kris Allen, you may be the sweetest guitar singing celebrity ever and I can totally dig that too. Really with the range of talent in the top let's say 5, it's hard to pin just one as the winner. They are all different and all phenomenal in their own way. I was really pleasantly surprised with this concert.

As far as Go-key, I cannot imagine what a rollercoaster his life has been during his 28th year. Losing his wife and high school sweetheart and ending in the top 3 on one of America's greatest talent, I'm 28. Could I handle anything like that now? I smiled when he gave his heartfelt thanks for the support and the votes and the love from all over and I believed him when he said that this last song was truly his wish for all his fans and everyone that helped him heal in the last year of his ride in the fast lane.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

So when I'm sitting here moaning and groaning, pissy for the sake of being pissy, I think I will reflect on the happier moments in life. The concert-goings on, the days off, the trips to states far and wide, and the lyrics that I hear in my head all the time.

Sidenote: Before I finished this blog "MR KIDDER FROM WESTWOOD COURT" called. He "HEARD A LOUD BOOM IN THE AREA A FEW MINUTES AGO!" and would like me to "SEND SOMEONE KINDLY, THANK YOU."

Thanks, spunkly old guy. You just made my night! I love those old folks. Hilarity ensues!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I gotta do me

Sometime last night in the midst of another mid-shift sleep deprived haze, I watched an old episode of an Oprah show. She kept saying "put yourself back on your to-do list". Ok...I hear ya. The universe, through Oprah, is trying to send me a message.

I am my own worst enemy. I know this.

I burn myself into the ground, eat garbage that is adding to my mounting cholesterol, don't sleep enough, suck down sodium despite the 10 years of blood pressure medications that I've been on, don't use enough sunscreen, workout in spurts, and then sit for days at a time without as much as a stretch, I don't bother using the mouth guard that cost me $300 to keep me from grinding away the enamel on my teeth in the middle of the night, and drink until my liver hurts.

I have $1000 worth of unused personal training sessions at the gym, a $250 box of vitamins sitting unopened by the front door, and $80 worth of organic fruits and vegatables wilting away in the garage refigerator. I have had monthly if not weekly visitst with the dentists, eye doctor, physical therapist, occupational health dr, primary care dr, chiropractor, massage therapist, and the newly added natropath. Chinese herbs and vitamins litter my house in pre-packaged pouches like a GNC pinata explosion.

Today, I've eaten a chicken sandwich, fries, tacos, and a cherry coke. Yeah, way to do the food pyramid proud, kid.

My current to-do list includes wrapping an overdue present, buying a wide angle lens, mopping the floor, and picking up the dry cleaning. No where on my list is a spot that says anything about walking the dog, spending 30 minutes on the treadmill, cooking the organic quinoa that's been sitting on the kitchen shelf, or joining that yoga class I have decided would be great for the repetative motion injury.

Why do I do these things? I can't answer that with any believeble excuse. I dole out advice on health and soak up information on nutrition on a daily basis, but as soon as I'm confronted with a Reeses peanut butter cup or a slice of pizza, I cave like a deck of cards. My inner diva has been suffocating for a long time now and every time she speaks up to loudly, I bitch slap her with a heavily frosted cupcake.

I'm not completley self-loathing right now, I'm just really disappointed in myself and I have no one to blame but me. I gotta put myself at the top of my to-do list for the first time in a long time and I gotta keep me there.

Cuz I'm a hazard to myself
don't let me
I'm my own worst enemy
it's bad when you dont know yourself
so irratiting
don't want to be my friend no more
I wanna be somebody else

~ Pink

Monday, July 6, 2009

Heal the World

Sitting here catching up on the news, it is nothing but impossible to avoid the Michael Jackson memorial updates and images. This one made me take a second glance.

No one will ever truly know what happens in the life and psyche of a child that takes him from this image to the one that left this earth a few days ago. Just barely on the fringest of recognition are the same eyes but in both his childhood and adult pictures, they seem to portray some kind of sadness.

I'm the first one to be a cynic and believe the rumors, but what if it wasn't true? What if he never glanced at a child sideways during all these years? You have to admit that eccentricies aside, he seemed like someone who wanted to use his celebrity to make a difference in the world. Given the money, fame, and worship he received from generations after generations and contries across the world, he seemed to maintain a truly generous spirit that wanted to Heal the World but couldn't seem to find the means to heal himself in any small way. What an existence.

I have to wonder how anyone is ever allowed to grow up when they live in the constant spotlight and it shines on what they were years ago, where they started, how they sounded, how they looked... If there was constant footage and pictures of me as a child growing up performing, I may never put that behind me and become an adult. Is that what happens when you get old? You just forget what it's like to be a child and have fun? Seems like it. Seems like the people who we say are "big kids" still remember what it is to be just that...a kid, but those are also the "adults" that piss off all the other adults.

Death is strange. Yeah, it happens all the time but some people are just assumed to always be there. The mess of life that he lived aside, the world, and by world, I mean the entire world, lost a great talent.

***edit - after my 12 hour shift and my morning plant watering, I crawled into bed and got stuck on you tube videos of Michael Jackson. I didn't realize how much his music brings me back to what I heard during my entire childhood and in that how he was such a strong musical memory in my mother's childhood too. How many people had that influence across generations? My mother wans't very forward about a lot of things when I was a kid, but I remember thinking it was kind of cool that I liked to listen to someone that my mom listened to when she was my age too. It was a big deal in my house seeing that I grew up with the strong desire to be surrounded by music but able to indulge in that because of my parent's overzelous Chrisitan outlook on "secular" music. The few and far between included oldies and of the likes groups like the Jackson 5. Maybe because it came from my mom's era, maybe because it was a kid's group, but that was one of the exceptions. I'm sitting here listening to Man in the Mirror just shaking my head and remembering being able to recognize those images of Michael Jackson's ever changing face from when I was still in the single digit age group and all through my high school years. He was an icon that appealed to every one, every age, every race, and his sound was unmistakable. Somethings are just engrained in your memory, instantly recognizable like the first few beats of Billy Jean or Thriller. It is just baffling to think that after 40+ years of influence, someone, something could be gone. No one is invicible. Really, you just don't get out of this alive no matter who you are.

Seems far too soon, what a shame...

Saturday, July 4, 2009


"...we live in the land of the free because of the brave." Brad Arnold, 3 Doors Down

Yesterday while I was driving around picking up, dropping off, and making last minute trips to the grocery store for Independence Day BBQ supplies, I found myself noticing the American flags proudly waving in the breeze all across front porches in town. It made me smile and look for more. I am just as opinionated about the politics that this country's leaders have chosen to be invovled in and although I claim ignorance when it comes to keeping abreast of world affairs on a regular basis, I don't turn a blind eye to the watered down chaos that rolls across the evening news weekly. I tend to find myself buried in pointless arguments on religion, abortion, same-sex marriage, and the like and inevitably I always arrive at the same conclusion in the everlasting debate: no matter what your opinion or the need to protest and label anyone who has an opposing opinion, I am nothing but proud to be an American. I am insanely proud of my rights to speak freely and act upon the freedoms that this nation's people have fought, lived, and died for. I am thankful as a woman in this world that I was born where I was in the time that I was born. As part of my dash, I pray that I always get to keep those freedoms and I am trying to be more in tune with how those are paid for.

Happens to be that this time last year I was in Hawaii to see 3 Doors Down perform at a military fundraiser on Kanaohe Marine Corp Base on Oahu. In my quest to seek out as much live music in as many locals as possible, I landed in this crowd of service man and women sloshing beer and shouting like all rock fans do, but this crowd was just different. This crowd swelled with pride everytime Brad Arnold thanked them for their service and serenaded them with his sweet Southern voice on a humid Hawaiian summer night. It was something to be in that audience with my 20 year old sister on 4th of July weekend and hearing those lyrics "On that day, when you need your brothers and sisters to care, I'll be right here" and looking around at the faces next to me and see that these are the men, women, and families who make it so.

On my way home from Southern California about a week ago, I came across a long convoy of military vehicles, no doubt, enroute to one of the local military bases coming from God knows where. As the scenery faded from 18-wheeleers to camoflauged canvas toped humvees, I wondered if those same tires that rolled down I-5 had carried soldiers to and from their posts in a desert far, far away. Just as I was making that observation, it dawned on me that just about every single driver was young. Real young. Definitley younger than I am, and very easily younger than my brother or my sister. While I passed each vehicle, I snuck a glance at the driver next to me, and it also became very apparent to me that there is an entire generation of young adults who have grown up in this country during a state of war. I remember the first Gulf War and seeing the images but not quite understanding them. I was 10 then and I could not imagine by any stretch what it could have been looking at those images face to face as a new high school graduate. 10 years past my high school graduation and well into a career I look at the war we have waged for many, many years now and I give heartfelt thanks to the hudreds of thousands of soldiers who have sworn to lay down their lives for the life that I love and live every day.

God Bless our freedom.

God Bless our soliders.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hello July

Today on the first day of your 2009, I celebrate you. I celebrate you with grilled veggies and slightly burnt chicken breasts. I celebrate you with a basket full of petunias that I just planted to hang off the back deck. I celebrate you with a cold glass of coke and rum while the breeze blows on me while I sit in my rocking patio chair in the backyard. Oh coke and rum, sometimes I celebrate you too much and then I can't find my pants. Oh pants, I'm over you, this summer, I vow to live in summer dresses because they're in and so Boho chic.

Oh July, you certianly are worth the fireworks you get from us all in the first week of your existence every year. Welcome, welcome...