Wednesday, September 23, 2009

its all the rave

I have a best friend. She has a brother. He is a DJ and a promoter of all things...well, rave. This is a few weeks overdue, but let's say that I've just been busy.

Prior to a few weekends ago, I had never been to a rave, but I was prepared for just about anything. The pictures made it look more posh than reality would turn out. Lack of fancy phone since my iphone-chocola-palooza, I drafted some texts about the sights and sounds and saved the ones that made my friends LOL and LMAO and LMFAO. I don't know that I really need to elaborate much about my 3-day rave in LA. These texts speak for themselves. Enjoy.

"This beat is so hard it's like sitting in one of those massage chairs at the nail place. Lots of pelvic thrusting going on. And Asians. There's lots of Asians pelvic thrusting."

"There's this guy named Robbie who keeps introducing himself to us over and over like a record. He's the one who brought the midget over to ask me to dance. Go figure a midget would find me in a Hollywood club."

"Shit, I almost just got kicked by a schoolgirl."


"There's some drunk DJ saying "dont be a white pigeon be a dove" What the fuck does that even mean? I think I have to be on E to get this shit."

1-minute later: "There's another guy next to him smoking a cigarette in a Jason mask.. There's smoke coming out of the eye holes. How much does that guy smell and why does the screen keep flashing CUNT in big red letters? Where the fuck am I?"

"Back in the barrio and I've discovered that I can spot shirts with wings on them from a mile away. Winged shirts are for assholes."

"Are they linedancing? Do they linedance at raves?"

"There's a lot of skinny jeans and supportive shoes here. I thought there would be more glowsticks."



"Fuck Robbie and his purple sweat headband and his midget. Why are there always midgets everywhere I go?"

"I imagine that ninjas and faries probably go to a lot of raves. That's how they get so spry and light on their feet."

"OMG. Zena the Warrior Princess just walked in. She's standing next to a girl in short shorts that looked like they were painted by Monet. There's a guy next to Monet wearing all black with with a black bowtie. Point Dexter is standing next to Zena. This just keeps getting better." <<< response: "Tell me you have a camera. I have to see this."


"I'm on the rooftop of the Standard in downtown LA now...there's a pool up here. On the roof. This roof could never be on fire."

"Some guy in a Superman cape just rubbed his head in my boobs. I just got motorboated by Superman. On a roof. In downtown LA."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quite a few of my girlfriends are into internet dating. I was. Once. I was occasionally successful, but I was mostly unsuccessful. That was about 10 years ago. 10 years later, not much has changed. Maybe it's because nothing impresses me. Maybe it's because I'm just getting too weak and I lack the willpower to internet date anymore. Maybe it's because of this:

I realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are plenty of fish in the sea, to each his/her own......but I also strongly believe that you only get one chance to make a first impression. So far, I've found that most of you guys suck at selling yourselves and some of you just suck. With that, men of the internet dating community, ponder these things:

- There is nothing like the stench of desperation. I throw up a little in my mouth when the first thing I see on your profile is : "I want you to want me" "I dont have an 80’s van with primer LOL" "Willing to lie about how we met" "Look no further I have arrived" .......*gag*
- User name, screen names, handles, whatever they're called...choose a good one. They're important. This is going to be the first nickname that your potential mate knows you by and refers to you by with all of her girlfriends. Assman, MrFister, I love children, MrKiller, DiaperDaddy…spare yourself the embarrassment now.
- ALL CAPS IS ANNOYING, punctuation is phenomenal. I can feel your A.D.D. coming through your incessant run on sentences. That's all I will ever feel from you.
- Using the word "cum" instead of come, "dew" instead of do, "Baby I want you to no", "looking for the rite girl" any other misspelled and overtly sexual words in the "about me" paragraph makes me want to set your profile on fire.
- “No need to look any further” “I'm the one” “What are you waiting for?” "to acquire me you must inspire me" “If you want to be loved, be lovable” Thanks. There’s nothing like a profile header to give you an ultimatum right from the start. I can't wait to get into a relationship that will be wrought with control issues that will spring forward like water from a geyser.

- If every single outfit you own looks like your entire wardrobe was purchased at ComicCon, you should re-evaluate your life's purpose.
- Wear a shirt in your main profile picture. Nothing like meeting your man nipples right away. This aloso applies to self portraits of you leaning up against a porch banister, a tree, or the frame of an empty doorway to a room filled with clutter.
- Since we’re talking about self portraits: for the love of RayJay, learn how to take a self portrait that doesn’t require being bare-chested in your grandmother's daisy print wallpaper bathroom with the camera phone half blocking your face and the flash bouncing off the mirror.
- When you have 17 pictures posted in your profile and 13 are of your sports car, 3 are of your pittbull, and the 1 picture of you has a blonde girls hair on your shoulder, her arm draped over your neck, her check touching your cheek, but there's a black bar inconspicuously placed over her entire face, you should consider getting more friends before looking for a life partner.
- When your favorite profile picture is the one where you are wearing your extra tiny Gold's Gym man tank it makes you look like you're wearing a bra from chest up. Don't do it. Just don't post it. This also goes for extra medium muscle shirts, exposed mid-drifts, and half shirts.
- Do you all own the same Affliction shirt with the angel wings on the back?
- Trim your nose hairs
- Make a note for yourself: webcam pictures make you look like a serial killer.

And finally: Please. Please? If I wanted to be with someone who didn't smile, I would seek out my emotionally disabled, mentally stunted a-hole of an ex.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day trip to the edge of the Earth

Today was a great day.

I like that sentence.

I am trying to live up to my vow to explore the immediate world around me. I am making the effort to seek adventure in my own backyard. I am keeping my camera closer by my side. I am stopping for that picture instead of ignoring it and continuing on the way.

Today was an adventure.

I like that sentence, too.

This weekend, I set out to have one of those adventure. I had a general direction, but not a route, and not a final destination...which is how things in life should be. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. I knew my day would be long, so I slept the extra hour and arrived at just about noon to pick up my navigator and friend Carrie. We barely made it out of the city limits without being t-boned by a old pickup with probably an even older driver rolling through the intersection, and then, again, almost came to our big-rig induced demise along I-80. Needless to say we took a moment to pray. I prayed to all the gods just in case. I think I prayed to Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise too.

After the adrenaline from near death experiences settled, we set off to see a light house and go to the coast, maybe the city. Maybe all of the above. I love California. No...really, I love California. Born and raised, I still am in awe of the vast landscape that is within hours if not minutes from my house.

The Pacific Coast is dotted with lighthouses, with nearly a dozen just in the Bay Area. As we turned from the highway to the back roads through Olema and Inverness, we could feel the temperature drop from the near 90's to a more reasonable mid 70's.

Winding through back country roads over grafitti-art covered bridges with lunch on the brain, our first stop was Point Reyes Station, pop. 370. We parked and set off down 4th St towards the renowned Cowgirl Creamery. Out with the traditional sandwiches and cafe sit-downs, we opted for locally made, organic cheeses, fresh bread, and fruit.

Had I have known what was in store, my guilt at consuming so many carbs wouldn't have been a second thought. Our next pinpoint on the day's map was the Point Reyes Light Station, which is in fact, 21 miles away from the small town of Point Reyes Station. 21 miless of twists and turns through bramble bush dotted hillsides occupied by dairy cows and wild deer. As you appraoch the coast from the inlands, you can see the fog wafting down over the tree tops and over the water of the still clear inlets. Watching the climate change before our eyes was the first clue that adventure was in store. The drive was beautiful and tretcherous all at once. Driving along the coast on the edge of the world is harrowing enough on a clear day when you can see the demise you may be in for, but when there is limited sight in the blanket of fog, it is downright scary. I drove slow. We were in no rush.

Upon arrival, the fog seemed to get a little thicker and there was no hope that we would see much of the water. The cypress tree lined .4 mile hike through the fog and the cold to the lighthouse seemed much longer than .4 miles, but the steady stream of tourists of all ages wearing I Love SF tshirts and Golden Gate Bridge parkas told us we could handle it just fine.

Finally with the last set of stairs to go, covered in sea-mist, damp in humid layers, the firs sight of the lighthouse could be seen about 100 steps down. Water or no water, looking at this building that's stood since the late 1800's, it is an awesome sight to imagine that someone, some living, breathing, daily stair climbing person used to light this thing day in and day out to keep sailors and vessels safe and out of shallow water.

As I trudged back up the 308 steps, huffing and puffing, wishing my lungs not to explode, and my knees to stop shaking, I thought of the fact that 8 years ago exactly, there were thousands of men and women running down flights of stairs to safety, and hundreds of men and women running UP flights of stairs to save others. It made me greatful that I had a day like today to take a daytrip to the edge of the Earth.

8 years later

Watching the documentary footage play tonight, I can still feel tears rolling down my cheeks. Listening to family members talk about how they watched the front door for weeks waiting for their loved one to come home and wives speak about how they slept in bed with their husbands clothes so they could still breath in their scent breaks my heart.

The vulnerability of how that day felt for me is still tangible. I remember what I felt like, I remember being glued to the television in a state of shock and disbelief. I remember the phone call to my firefighter ex-boyfriend's mother in New Jersey, knowing that he was already in New York if not on his way. I remember finally talked to him that night and hearing him cry at the thought of pulling bodies of fellow firemen out of ashes and rubble. I remember feeling helpless but still trying to be the strong one on the other end of the phone, 3,000 miles away, reassuring him that there were still people to help. But there weren't. There were no bodies, there was no need for the stadium parking lot full of ambulances to rush in and save anyone. I remember going to work that day and the next, driving to and from the desolate and barricaded county courthouse, with no one on the freeway. No one. No one in 8 lanes in either direction. It was a post-apocalyptic scene and one that I hope I never have to see again.

Today 10 of the firemen that I work with climbed 110 flights of stairs to symbolize the number of floors in each of the twin towers. On the back of their turnout coats, they wore the name of a firefighter whose life was lost on that fateful day eight years ago. I am very proud to work with these men and women. In a society that delivers shock and awe in every headline, every day, I am still proud to be an American and remember the sacrafices that afford me the life that I have.

They say that you're never really gone until you're forgotten. I remember. I will always remember. Don't ever forget.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Respect thine elders

I find it ridiculous and appuling that parents are in an uproar over the scheduled speech that the President is planned to deliver to the millions of students that live in our country. I guess we'll have to call it fear of the unknown since the uproar seems to be quelling just the slightest since the context of the speech has been released by the White House.

Day in and day out, the economy of law enforcment and criminal justice is fueled by eons of children in their youth now and adults who have long since left their "youth" still acting like children disrepecting themselves and everyone around them. Parents call asking what they are supposed to do with their 8 and 9 year olds who slam doors and kick and scream. Spank the little brat and remind him who brought him into this world! Grandparents who are living in mixed households with multiple generations plead for help wanting to know how they, in their old age, are supposed to deal with selfish teenagers who drink and curse and smoke without the single regard for what will come of their behavior. Tell them to get the hell out of your house with their bratty children in tow!

Yet somehow, parents all over this nation are demanding that entire school districts prevent the message that the elected authority and President of our free country is about to say to the youth of this great nation.

I was watching a roundtable discussion on this same topic early this morning when I got home from work and it really struck me as sad, but true that there is clearly no respect for the office of the President anymore. I can't claim that I didn't find hilarity in the stumbling reponses from the former W. Bush or find it embarassing that he faltered so many times on the national stage. But I do know one thing that was taught to me by my parents - respect your authority. Not necessarily the man or his personal beliefs, but the office and the position.

I can't speak as a parent, but I can speak as a child and I would hope that more children will be taught to have respect for their country, their community, their President, their family, and theirselves.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lotus blossoms, deodorant, and karma in the am...

Write about karma, write about karma, write about karma...

In the last hour of my last official graveyard shift of the year, I had an "ah-ha" moment. Weird little signals the universe is sending me. I have found recently that although I am itching for some new ink in a bad way, I am both:
a) slightly committment phobic about what I want permanently stamped on my body and,
b) slightly stricken with ADD when it comes to making a decision if it love "it" or not.

Somewhere buried in the memory of the years-old desktop, I have pictures of some lotus blossoms I saw at the Japanese Gardens in Portland, OR a few years ago. I've had an admiration for the flowers for quite sometime now, but recently I really have invested in a sincere apprecation for their symbolism. Starting at the bottom of a mug bog, growing through the muck and mire, eventually a mature, beautiful blossom appears. Of all the images that have struck my fancy, the emblem for the Secret deodorant website really caught my attention. Secret Global Secret Women’s Deodorant & Antiperspirant Yes, deodorant is my inspiration. You don't want to know where the idea for my last tattoo came from... :)

Back to my karmatic I printed out the Secret image last week to take to my tattoo guy in the near future and showed my graveyard comrade who declared "that is soo you!" My sister gave me the nod of approval when I pranced in and asked her to draw it on my back so I could get an idea of how it would look. The image has been sitting on the trunk at the end of my bed for a week, looking up at me occasionally as I come and go from my bedroom. I pushed it to the back burner pretty easily.

But you see...karma has a way of bringing things back to the surface. Eeking out the will to make it through the 5-6am hour, I was relishing in photography blogs to keep me awake when I stumbled across this wedding image from Amy Cloud Photography and let out a gasp!

There it is! My tattoo...THE one that has had my attention for so long. What are the chances?! Melissa, the comrade, wandered over and shook her head and smiled at the coincidence of finding THIS picture of THIS girl with THIS tattoo, and just said "I think it's karma, Lauren" before wandering down the hallway and out of the room.

Not to be dissuaded that someone else has found the image to be so inspirational, I take it as a sign from the tattoo universe that it is indeed beautiful and meant to be permanently a part of me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Life lesson #? - Conditioner

I have dreads. By accident. Combination of sweat, hairspray, and a beer shower being moshed around in the pit at the Nickelback concert for 5 hours. I sang, I jumped, I headbanged my fake F* Me hair, and I rocked to the music with such verasity that sheared off both oversized zebra print earrings and nearly loosened a breast or two from the double push up support they were so eagerly trying to inch out of since I strapped them in at 2pm. Although not as permanent as the time I broke my toe at the Filmore in San Francisco while climbing the stairs to see 3 Doors Down, I did my best to honor the Rock Gods the right way tonight! Rock and fucking Roll my friends! I was even told I made it on the jumbotron. Check that one of the list!

Oh yeah, and I bit some guy's nipple. My girls, as in friends, were stuck talking to him as I came up double fisted with not 1 but, count em, 2 large Coors Lights, when they shouted "touch his nipple!" that was ever so glaringly staring at me through his shirt fabric (pause for dry heave - ew, hard man nippoles). So, I did what any other double fisted beer holding, already drunk, altered state of sober mind person would do and bit his nipple through his blue under armor shirt. Twice and yelled "I just took one for the team!" before wandering back to front and center. It was Nickelback. In the pit. I just had not other choice.

You see there's something nearly spiritual about being that close to music. Close enough that the beat of the drums makes your aortas jump in your chest and the heat from the pyrotechnics warms up your face skin. Nickelback has escaped us for a few years now for one reason or the other, but tonight we made up for it. Oh we made up for it.

The party bus of co-workers and friends was 19 deep and the drinking began as soon as the wheels started going round from our meeting point. Seems like I am always either the driver or the self-proclamed safety person, so finding a place and a group to let loose with is the exception. I let go...figuratively of course, cause I was hanging on to the handrails on the party bus grinding on weary passengers like a monkey searching for a banana. Take it out of context, go ahead, I'll afford you this one.

Sometimes I'm more country than rock and roll, but tonight, I was all at the mercy of the rock gods. I hung with the group for the opening acts before the pit filled up for the headliner but when the rock hit the roll, I grabbed the baby sis and made a b-line for the closest spot to center stage. I spend the approximate small budget of a small nation on summer concerts and this one was THE concert ticket to get this year. I can't say I've ever been in the pit with the baby sis. I can't say that I've done a whole lot with the baby sis, but I plan on making up for it in the next few years. I went as far as to tell one of the girls in our group "if this place catches on fire, I'm getting Briana, and that's it. The sis comes with me out the door and you all can fend for yourselves."

At some halfway point in the headliner's set, I grabbed said younger sibling of about 7 years and sang every word to Far Away..."I love you, I loved you all along..." I had this thought that I could not imagine my world without my sister. It just wouldn't make any damned sense. I have a lot of revalations and conversations with myself mid-concert experience. Most are good, a few are zany. Tonight they were all good...shortly after Far Away, in the mid-summer air of Northern California under the dark, slightly starry sky of Marysville, I offered up a prayer as Chad Kroger sang them:

Cause nobody wants to be the last one there
Cause everyone wants to feel like someone cares
Someone to love with my life in their hands
There's gotta be somebody for me like that
Cause nobody wants to go it on their own
And everyone wants to know they're not alone
There's somebody else that feels the same somewhere
There's gotta be somebody for me out there

And them I moshed some more.

Thank you concert for being awesome.

***post edit, while I was in the shower today before work washing out last night's adventure, the summation of another Lauren Life Lesson came to me:

You know how good the night before was by the amount of conditioner you have to use the next morning.