Monday, December 31, 2018

"Don't do anything stupid"


I keep looking back on 2018 and I can't decide how I feel about this year. The 3 things that I write about below have been the biggest lessons in my entire life and have filled me immense happiness. At the same time, I have suffered so much this year. I lost someone so dear to me that it still, somehow, doesn't feel like she's really gone. It feels as if I'm just waiting for her to come back from Hawaii so we can celebrate New Years. I had to make a really hard decision to put down my best friend of 12 years. I think, in the end, I know I've had some incredibly high highs that accompanied incredibly low lows. I am so beyond thankful for the people who have been here for me, through all of the insanity that is 2018. You are loved.

Instead of an end of year wrap up, I wanted to talk about some things I learned this year. I originally thought 10 was a good amount of lessons. Then it went down to 5. Then, I kept looking at the list and only 3 popped out to me. So here are the 3 lessons I learned this year. I hope that you can learn from them too.

People can change, but you can't change someone
Listen. I'm a girl. We, somehow, are born with this thing in our brains that wants to change guys. The lucky ones end up figuring out that this is a very bad idea. The unlucky ones spend a lot of time on broken guys we can't fix (I am looking DIRECTLY at you Ariana). Everyone says, "Find a guy who doesn't need to be fixed" and you can just suck a duck, okay? Everyone can use some fixing up. That's why we're humans. We are not without major issues. We change and evolve all the time. I am, undoubtedly, not the same person I was 5 years ago. So, why does anyone expect a guy to be the same person he was 5 years ago? Being able to see one man grow, evolve, and become a different person has been such an amazing experience. Throughout most of the year, I spent so much time going, "Well, he USED to be like this" and "the OLD him would do this thing"... Until I started really realizing that he isn't the same person he was before. Maybe I had something to do with that. Maybe I didn't. But I can tell you that I never, once, told him to change. I left, not caring what happened (okay... I cared a lot about what happened but not publicly). I didn't care who he was as a person anymore. All that change. All that growth. That came separately from me. I had been so brainwashed into thinking that people remain one way, for all of their lives. Only the people who want to remain one way for all of their lives will. Once you notice something you don't like about yourself. You do something about it. And he did. But, it wasn't about me. It shouldn't be about someone else. It should only be about how you feel about yourself. 

This year has been a rollercoaster of growth for myself as well. I am stronger, more confident, and happier than I've ever been. I have found a group of human beings who make me feel like the badass I am. They push me to do crazy things (backpacking for the first time, solo international trips). They encourage me to live my best life. In the end, though, I have learned that other peoples' opinions about me, what I do with my life, and who I have in my life doesn't really matter anymore. I got this.

Backpacking!
Nature can recharge you in a way nothing else can
I spent more time in nature in 2018 than any other year. For goodness sakes, I flew to Germany and hiked in their INCREDIBLY INSANELY beautiful forests (I did not run into any talking animals, evil Queens, or dashing princes though so I'm majorly disappointed). Since there was a bit of a language barrier and we were tracking wolves, most of the hikes were fairly silent. I was able to think about everything and sometimes, just get lost in my own head. The forest enveloped me with healing vibes. It was exactly what I needed. 

Right after I had to put Harley down, I had a 2 person back-packing trip planned with a friend of mine. She told me that it would be no problem to back out of the plans, after what just happened. I wanted to go anyway. I needed to get out of my house and away from it all. Neither of us had ever been backpacking in our lives. It was a huge challenge for us and I would never trade that experience for the world. I got to heal from my two incredibly huge losses this year in the best way I knew how. Outside. When you don't know what to do, go outside. Sit in nature. Ask yourself questions. Just get everything out there. Nature will let you know what's up.

Hiking in Germany!
Exercise is not a punishment
I have viewed exercise in a negative way for my entire adult life. I was always "burning off" that extra helping of mac and cheese. When I ate something I "shouldn't" have, I would punish myself the next day by getting on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes to burn off approximately 500 calories. That was the routine. Eat bad. Get on elliptical. Burn off bad stuff. Eat bad. Get on elliptical. Burn off bad stuff. Continue until you hate yourself. 

This year has been my biggest food struggling year yet. I was finally fed up (pun intended) with watching what I was eating and counting my calories and how many calories I burned off and watching the scale fluctuate and seriously guilting myself for eating a slice of pizza and blah blah blah blah I'm over it. This year, I finally said "fuck it". I'm not going to be super model thin. I will never be that thin. Figuring this out unlocked the secret. Exercise is not a punishment. Exercise is a reward! Food is fuel for my crazy fun workouts. I stopped analyzing everything I watched this year and I think I've eaten the healthiest. It's funny how, when you stop really watching something, the magic happens. I recognized what helps my workouts and what hurts my workouts (I'm never giving up Taco Bell I don't give a fluff). Every time I add a higher weight to the machine, I get overly excited. My butt is getting bigger and I'm actually happy about it! I have a healthy body that I get to drag to the gym or to some studio to workout. I am so incredibly fortunate and how dare I ever think that being able to workout is a punishment, when so many people can't workout. If you currently view your workouts as "burning off" last nights pizza, come see me. I would love the opportunity to change your mind and your body.
*I will leave you with this one piece of advice from my best friend. "Don't age like an open can of soda."*

- so I can sigh eternally -


 lauren. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Three. Zero.


See ya later, 20s. It's been real. And by "real", I mean holy crap I don't know how anyone survives their 20s. That was a rollercoaster of 10 years. From falling in love, to getting my heart broken (several times). From losing myself in the confusion of wanting to fit in, to finally finding myself apart from the crowd. In the past year, I've learned the type of people I want in my life and I am slowly learning how to say goodbye to the stagnant people who exude negativity. Simply, I'm too old for that shit.

I don't want to get deep this year. You can have that later. Or you can look at 28 and 29. But for 30, let me just entertain you.

This list represents all the movies I believe you should watch before you turn 30. If you want a list of classics, this isn't it. No one cares that you watched Shawshank Redemption or Breakfast at Tiffanys (only one of those movies is genuinely good). These are some of my favorites and these are my stories about them. I'll fight you on the quality of each and every one of these.

(Side note: Blogger keeps deleting random trailers I've posted. If it's not here, I'm sorry. I tried. A new one disappears every time I save this thing.)

30. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)


Fun fact: Henry Cavill was Stephanie Meyer's top choice to play Edward Cullen but he was too old by the time the movie was being made. That's the only reason I rented this movie so there's that embarrassing fact. This movie was so good, they even named a sandwich after it (send help I'm turning into my father).

Napoleon: In life, we are kings or pawns.

29. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Shakespeare. They took the words of Shakespeare and put it into 1990s SoCal and it's the coolest most perfect thing ever. I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio during this time too. Leo and I share a birthday, which was a very important thing to me at the age of about 10.

Mercutio: If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking and you beat love down.

28. The Hangover (2009)

I feel like you were not expecting this movie to be on any of my top lists but I like to surprise people. I can quote this movie easier than most other movies and that's probably because when I went to Europe in 2010 with Nami and Thea, Nami and I annoyed Thea by constantly quoting The Hangover. We even managed to quote it AT Caesars Palace which confused our tour guide and probably reiterated the whole "Americans are dumb" thing but that's okay because we didn't need anymore wolves in our wolf pack.

Stu: She's got my grandmother's Holocaust ring!
Alan: I didn't know they gave out rings at the Holocaust.

27. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

I can't tell you why I love this movie so much or how I even found this movie but I found it this year and I freaking love it. It's ridiculous in only the way that 80s movies can be ridiculous. Patricia Arquette is a boring house wife with a cheating husband and she gets amnesia and thinks she's Madonna's character. Hijinks ensue. Trust me on this one.

Gary: What are you wearing?
Roberta: A jacket. It used to belong to Jimi Hendrix.
Gary: You bought a used jacket? What are we, poor?

26. The Addams Family (1991)
Do I actually have to justify this one?

Wednesday: I'm a homicidal maniac, they look just like everyone else.

25. Remember the Titans (2000)

This is the best sports movie and I will gladly fight you on this (I'm looking at you, Jacob). I wore out my VHS of this movie. CCR is in the soundtrack of this movie! My volleyball team recreated the dance/cheer from this movie during Nationals one year (where we took 2nd place). This was before I realized I was far too short to play volleyball.

Coach Boone: I don't scratch my head unless it itches and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That's just the way it is. 

24. Heathers (1988)

Heathers is Mean Girls before Mean Girls was even a thought inside Tina Fey's head. Which just goes to show that high school girls are the literal worst creatures on planet earth. You should really just watch it for the fashion alone. Oh and Christian Slater. What. A. Babe.

Heather Chandler: Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Teresa?

23. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

I'm hoping this isn't a surprise to you, but I'm Greek. And when you're a little Greek, you're a lot Greek. I love being Greek. It's a fantastic group of people who like to eat really good food, party, and be incredibly welcoming. Also, family is above all. Honestly, I feel like so many different cultures have been able to watch this movie and relate. It's funny, honest, and heartwarming. Watch it with your mom.

Toula: [narrating] My dad believed in two things: That Greeks should educate non Greeks about being Greek and every ailment from psoriasis to poison ivy can be cured with Windex.

22. Hocus Pocus (1993)
 

Come on guys.

Dani: It doesn't matter how young or old you are, you sold your soul! You're the ugliest thing that ever lived, and you know it!

21. Willow (1988)

I was shocked to find out that everyone in the United States hadn't watched this movie growing up. Seriously, who raised you people? First and foremost, Val Kilmer is in it and he has glorious hair and you see his chest most of the time due to a v. low cut shirt. This is a classic fairy tale type of story. Evil Queen, baby who can take over the world, unlikely hero, hot dude, hot chick, magic, more hijinks (so many hijinks during the 80s). Did I mention that Val Kilmer is in this? If you don't like him, too bad cause he's further down on this list and I don't like you.

High Aldwin: Magic is the bloodstream of the universe. Forget all you know, or think you know. All that you require is your intuition.

20. Practical Magic (1998)

Sandra Bullock is pure hair goals in this movie. I feel like far too many people call this a chick flick, which is very sad for those of you who have avoided this movie simply because ew gross there's romance bleh barf. Grow up. This movie isn't about a stupid boy. It's about family. It's about trusting yourself. It's about growing the strength inside of you. And it's about how I really wish I was a witch. Also, holy crap that house.

Aunt Frances: My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!

19. Dogma (1999)

Kevin Smith was a movie genius in the 90s and early 2000s. Jay and Silent Bob were the best duo since Batman and Robin. This cast is just bananas. I love the tongue in cheek jokes about the Catholic Church and how religion is viewed at this time. Can Buddy Christ actually become a thing? If so, I'll gladly go back to church.

Ariana Grande was right. God is a woman.

Serendipity: Leave it to the Catholics to destroy existence. 

28. Clueless (1995)

Clueless is the movie that your boyfriend claims he doesn't like cause it's a chick flick but secretly loves. Paul Rudd is like, 12 in this movie. Alicia Silverstone's hair is just perfectly perfect and all I wanted in the 90s. I still dream about her closet software. Granted, the whole Step-Brother romance thing is kinda gross but you should blame Jane Austen for that (Yes, it's based on a book). It's so 90s.

Tai: Why should I listen to you, anyway? You're a virgin who can't drive.

17. Girl, Interrupted (1999)

My mom wouldn't let me watch this movie in theaters. I remember my sister going. This was one of two movies (both on this list) that she wouldn't let me go see. And I was furious. Therefore, as soon as this bad boy hit Blockbuster, I waited for a week when mom was on a business trip and dad rented this for me. This movie is one of those that changed my life. I related to a lot of the moments in this movie during my late teens/early 20s. It takes the story of a very lost girl and shows how she was able to find her own way.

Angelia Jolie too, guys. Babe.

Susanna: I didn't try to kill myself.
Dr. Potts: What were you trying to do?
Susanna: I was trying to make the shit stop.

16. Mallrats (1995)

There was this older boy I had a crush on in 8th grade who said this was his favorite movie. So I watched it. Did I really understand all the Volkswagon jokes? Nope. Did I become obsessed with autostereograms after that? You betcha (and I always saw the sail boats, bitches). I'm a sucker for movies that take place in one day. I will never eat chocolate covered pretzels due to this movie. Also, Ben Afflecks suit. Lol.

Brodie: You're going to listen to me? To something that I said? Hell, most of the time I'm just talking out of my ass... or sticking my hand in it. 

15. Cruel Intentions (1999)

I watched this movie cause Buffy is in it and she plays this character so freaking well. Why are so many books obsessed with Step-Brother and Step-Sister romances? SMG and Selma Blair won the MTV Movie Award for best kiss cause it was the 90s and "OMG TWO GIRLS KISSING" was still a ~thing~ that people freaked out over. Sebastian also launched my obsession with journaling. I had tried to start a few years earlier but didn't really get solidly into it until about 7th grade. Also, this soundtrack is phenomenal.

Kathryn (Buffy) is problematic af, don't get me wrong. She sucks. But I really feel for her, which is why I chose the quote I chose to go below this. She had "masculine" traits that women just aren't allowed to have. They are things I've been accused of most of my adult life. A man does it and it's fine and dandy. A woman does it, and she's an aggressive bitch. Blow me.

Kathryn: Eat me, Sebastian. It's okay for guys like you and Court to fuck everyone. But when I do it, I get dumped for innocent little twits like Cecile. God forbid I exude confidence and enjoy sex. Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine 24/7 so I can be considered a lady? I'm the Marcia fucking Brady of the Upper East Side, and sometimes I want to kill myself. So there's your psychoanalysis, Dr. Freud. Now tell me, are you in... or are you out?

14. Fight Club (1999)

This was the other movie my mom refused to let me go see in theaters. To be honest, I wish I was older when I first watched it so that I could fully grasp the twist and everything that went on. I probably had to watch this movie at least 5 times before I completely understood it and loved it. I dreamt of owning that house that Edward Norton and Brad Pitt lived in and renovating it into something epic simply because I loved the kitchen. Meatloaf is in this movie.

Tyler Durden: Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everyone else.

13. The Lost Boys (1987)

14 Year Old Lauren in Blockbuster:
The Lost Boys? This looks cool. Dad, have you seen this one? Will I like it?
Dad: You haven't seen this yet? Who the hell raised you?

See where I get it? If you knew 14 year old Lauren, you'd know I was obsessed with vampire movies. Anything dark and goth and edgy, that was my jam (tbh, it's still my jam, I just have lots of jams). This movie had everything I loved. Vampires. Cute boys. Motorcycles. Glitter. A hot chick with the coolest skirts in the entire world. All the glamor of 80s outfits. 80s music. Plus, the Coreys!

Grandpa: Well, now, let me put it this way. If all the corpses buried around here were to stand up all at once, we'd have one hell of a population problem.

12. The Craft (1996)

I cannot, for the life of me, remember when I first watched this movie. It's like this movie was birthed out with me or something. I do remember having already watched it by the time I hit high school and when my classmates finally caught up, I do remember having multiple people ask me if I think I'm one of the girls in the cast (making fun of me). If they had watched the movie, they probably wouldn't have asked me this cause I would have put a hex on them, obviously. Listen. Teenaged Lauren was very emo and anything to do with "dark stuff" was so cool. Whatever made people think that I could put a spell on them made me happy.

Tbh. It still does. Be nice to me.

Nancy: You know, in the old days, if a witch betrayed her coven, they would kill her.

11. Empire Records (1995)

Quick fun fact: Robin Tunney wrapped filming for this movie directly before shooting for The Craft, which is why she wears a wig in The Craft.

I didn't watch this movie until college. I remember my best friend, Jessica, had watched it and said to me, "I'm sure you've already seen Empire Records" and I was like "nope, what's that?" We immediately went to a computer to watch this movie. It was love at first site. Kick ass soundtrack. 90s movie. Takes place in one day. Is set in a record store. Everything about this movie is perfect.

Lucas: Damn the man, save the empire!

10. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Lol. See what I did there? This is number 10 on the list. And it has 10 in the title. It's funny. (Sorry, apparently my dad learned how to blog)

We had a small video store by my house that my parents finally let me walk to (by myself!) in 6th grade. My first non-parent related rental was this movie. It was because Andrew Keegan was in it. When I picked up the case though, Heath Ledger caught my eye, so I had to rent it. This is another Shakespeare movie on the list (it's based on The Taming of the Shrew). Kat was my idol. Badass, no nonsense, punk girl who was intelligent af and she was a feminist before it was cool.

Kat Stratford: I guess in this society, being male and an asshole makes you worthy of our time.

9. Lady Bird (2017)

This movie was very lightly on my radar. It was a, "Eh, someday I'll watch it" movie. Shout out to Gabby for making me watch cause this movie is so freaking good holy crap. If you want to know what it was like going to a Catholic High School in California in the early 2000s as a chick, this movie is it. It felt like I was watching my life on screen. The mother/daughter relationship is the most accurate one I've ever seen on film.

Lady Bird: The only thing exciting about 2002 is that it's a palindrome.

8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Add this to a list of movies that my dad thought an 8 year old could watch.

I love horror movies. I always have. It's something my dad and I bonded over when I was a kid. He was able to show me all these super cool horror movies (and Tales from the Crypt). Silence of the Lambs is the creme de la creme of horror movies. It is refined, sophisticated, and intelligent. This movie is what got me "into" serial killers.

Hannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming?

7. Se7en (1995)

When I was 18, I had Jessica over at my house and we were just hanging out. I don't remember what happened, but the movie Se7en came up. We immediately turned to my wise, movie watching dad for a review of this movie. My dad stares at the two of us as if we'd each grown an extra head and hands me a twenty. He tells me that I need to go to Rasputins and buy it right now. Here's something you need to know about my dad. He is not a fan of re-watching movies. In fact, the only ones he willingly watches multiple times are: Tombstone, A River Runs Through It, and Oh Brother Where Art Thou. If you haven't seen those movies, do it now. But start with Se7en cause it's on Netflix.

Never ask what's in the box.

Somerset: Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

6. Labyrinth (1986)

If you know me, you know my love for Labyrinth. It's the first movie I remember watching. I didn't know English but I could recite all the dialogue. David Bowie was my first crush and I am still not over his death. This movie is ridiculous and if you're an adult and watch it for the first time, you probably will not like it cause it's puppets and overly 80s and the visuals are cringy. But it's fantastic. I even have a Labyrinth tattoo. In 6th grade, I had a sleepover for my birthday and I tried to get everyone to watch this movie. About 10 minutes in every deemed this movie "weird" and made me stop it so we could watch Mr Deeds (since one girl literally carried that movie around with her??... But I was the weird one).

Sarah: I can bear it no longer! Goblin King! Goblin King! Wherever you may be, take this child of mine far away from me!

5. The Saint (1997)

Back when Neftlix was a wee baby, I saw this movie and thought "This looks cool." Approximately 30 minutes into this movie, I realized I'd seen it. Like, 10 million times. So I called my dad and asked him. He informed me that when it first came out on VHS, I insisted on renting it all the time from Blockbuster. I was 9. Going through this list has really shown me that 9 year old Lauren had bomb movie taste. Val Kilmer gets to have like, 10 accents. He is also this really cool spy type person but also helps people. And he's cute. So. There's that.

Emma: Who are you?
Simon: Nobody has a clue. Least of all me.

4. The Crow (1994)
 

I discovered The Crow by watching that MTV show, Raid My Room. One of the contestants on the show had this poster in his room. It was dark and emo and edgy so I immediately wanted to watch it. We watched it as a family. My mom and sister immediately said, "That was a weird movie" while I said, "I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH". I bought it on VHS and watched it literally everyday for 2 months. I was even able to convince my drama teacher, a few years later, to have us watch it during drama class. Only one other person actually enjoyed it and 2 people made fun of me, to my face, for liking this movie. Man, I hated high school.

Sarah: People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right. 

3. SLC Punk (1998)

This is another movie I'm shocked to find out people haven't seen. I regard SLC Punk as being one of the most important movies of our times! It's another movie I can't recall seeing "for the first time" which makes me assume that it was birthed out with me. Heroin Bob's girlfriend was my faaaavorite. She was this edgy, beautiful, human being who was so punk rock it hurt. It also set a very real tone that showed how many people tried too hard to fit into a subculture they didn't really want to be in. A subculture that was created for the misfits but also had the gate keepers of the misfits denying entry to misfits. It was a topsy turvy world.

Stevo: Posers were people who looked like punks but they did it for fashion. And they were fools, they'd say "anarchy in the UK". What the fuck's that? Anarchy in the UK. What good is that to those of us in Utah, America? It was a Sex Pistols thing. They were British, they were allowed to go on about Anarchy in the UK. You don't live your life by lyrics.

2. Blindspotting (2018)

If you have seen me this year, I have talked to you about this movie. I have nothing to say other than this is the best movie I have seen this year. Easily. Hands down. No contest. The ONLY reason it's not number 1 on this list is because the number 1 on this list is my baby. It's like my first born. I'm sorry. But Blindspotting is phenomenal and there is nothing that I dislike about this movie. It is beyond relevant. It hits so close to home. It will open your eyes. Go watch this movie right now.

Also, shout out to my girl Corryn for doing the boom operating for this magical movie.

Collin: You monsters got me feeling like a monster in my own town!

1. Scream (1996)
This is another movie that dad thought an 8 year old could watch. I love my dad.

I spent a LONG TIME not including Scream on my top lists because I cared too much about what people think of me. Most people probably watched Scream once and disregarded it as a B Horror Movie (I'm looking at you, Reece Witherspoon). It is so much more than that. Seriously, give this movie another go. Scream changed the horror movie genre and flipped it on its head. It took all the "rules" of the horror movies and challenged them. Drew Barrymore was supposed to be Sidney but talked Wes Craven into letting her be Casey because no one would believe that they killed a Hollywood star in the first 5 minutes. There are no rules. (Also... Spoiler Alert? Sorrynotsorry)

I don't care anymore. Scream is my all-time absolute favorite movie and if you think that's stupid, you can bite me.

Randy: There's always some stupid bullshit reason to kill your girlfriend. That's the beauty of it all! Simplicity! Besides, if it gets too complicated, you lose your target audience.

Happy 30th Birthday to me.

- so I can sigh eternally -


 lauren. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dear Food: It's not you, it's me.

I have been absolutely obsessed with my weight since I was 11 years old. I was definitely not a fat kid. I was athletic, danced hula, and my parents were very active people. Before the age of 11, life was great! I was totally adorable. Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by puberty. I woke up with my period and worse, boobs. There are two types of girls who get big boobs at a young age. There's the ones who immediately buy push-up bras and tight shirts. Then there's the ones who wear two pairs of sports bras to squish everything down as much as humanly possible. I was in the second camp and I remember my mom forcing me to wear a real bra and hating her for it (sorry mom!). Soon after my period and boobs came acne ALL OVER MY FACE (side note: I don't know who it was but someone out there lied to me about acne being a teenage thing cause I am 29 years old and fuck you). Then I grew to be 5'6 and literally have not grown an inch since. Then, after I got used to all of the above and towering over all the boys, I was suddenly fat. How did that happen?

Here's the thing though, I wasn't actually fat. I just thought I was.

I was a chubby kid, sure, but fat? No, not really. I was still within a healthy weight for my age and my height. But around 7th grade, I distinctly remember understanding the fact that I was, in fact, not skinny. And that was not okay. All the boys liked skinny girls. Skinny girls were the popular ones. Why couldn't I just be skinny? How does one become skinny?

At that age, I didn't really understand dieting. I know that my mom and aunt sometimes drank Slim Fast and would workout to Sweatin to the Oldies but I figured that's just what adult women do. You hit 18 and you begin drinking Slim Fast while watching Richard Simon in way too short of shorts. It wasn't a diet or a workout thing. It just was. In high school, I really realized that I was fat. I continued to play volleyball (which I was getting much too short for). I didn't care about what I ate and I ate everything. Then I stopped playing volleyball and continued to eat everything. I still didn't correlate dieting to losing weight. I wasn't a perfect size 2 but, in high school, the largest size I ever got to was a size 12 (for a comparison, plus size model Ashley Graham is listed as a size 14 to 16). All I knew was that I hated my size and I directly blamed my weight for every issue I had in my life:

"If I wasn't fat, my teacher would cast me in the school play."
"If I wasn't fat, that boy would like me."
"If I wasn't fat, I'd have more friends."
"If I wasn't fat, I'd get better grades and my teachers would like me more."
"If I wasn't fat, I could do all the cool things with all the cool people."

I literally let my fat be the thing that ruled my world. Since high school, I've had a handful of people call me fat (mostly on the internet). The largest pant size I ever reached was a size 16. That's it. When I got to that size and weight, it didn't take me too long to decide that I wanted to lose weight. I think that it finally kicked in because I was finally ready to do it for myself, no one else. I'm a muscular girl and I always will be. I kept telling myself that I will weigh more because muscle weighs more than fat, WHICH, it totally does but that truth can only take you so far. Once I tipped the scales slightly over 200lbs, it was time for a change and something that I did for myself.

I never, in a million years, thought that simply wanting to lose weight would have thrown me into an obsessive spiral that would take me over 5 years to crawl myself out of.

I lost 60lbs in a little over a year (and did so in a very healthy and positive way). I started with just calorie counting. I slowly added in cardio and weight lifting. And then I started my job at Poshmark and that all went to shit so let's add the Posh 15 onto that 60. Despite losing all that weight... I still constantly think that I'm fat. Constantly. Since I started losing weight in 2012, I have deprived myself from eating things I actually want to eat. Since 2012, I have had MyFitnessPal downloaded on my phone to intermittently calculate everything that I eat and drink. I have made myself throw up food many times because I felt guilty after eating too much or too poorly. I have starved myself for dinner many nights because I was already over my calorie limit for the day. I have put myself through the Cabbage Soup Diet three times in five years. I consistently weighed myself multiple times a week for five years. When I didn't lose weight, I hated myself. Hated. There were so many times I cried on the bathroom floor because I gained a few pounds. There were times where I refused to buy new clothing because I just wanted to lose 10lbs before I bought a new pair of jeans. I have left stores in tears, teetering on the edge of a mental breakdown, because I deemed myself too fat to wear anything cute. If I was going out to eat with friends, I would look at the restaurant menu beforehand so that I could calculate what I could and could not eat. And the days that I didn't eat right, I literally hated myself. Any problem in my life, I correlated with my weight. If a boy didn't like me, it was because I was fat. That was the biggest one for me. Boys didn't like me because of my weight.

I cannot believe I allowed myself to act like this.

I would develop these patterns. I would eat super healthy and good and be great and awesome and oh man, someone brought in donuts to work, I'll just have half of one. Dammit. I ate half a donut. I want to throw up. Why did I do that to myself? I'll just only have salad for lunch, it'll be fine. Shoot, now I'm hungry and I have a workout to go do but there's only chips. Ugh. Fine, I'll eat the chips. I already had half a donut so I guess I'm just going to be fat for the rest of my life, might as well eat the fucking chips.

But guys. Those chips? They tasted awful. Because every time that I took a bite, I hated myself for taking a bite. Every. Single. Time. Jesus, I couldn't even enjoy shitty food because I was too busy hating myself for actually eating said shitty food.

I have spent so much time obsessing over food. Five years of non-stop obsession. Five years of thinking that I'm not good enough because my BMI says I'm (still) fat.

And I am so incredibly exhausted guys...

I'm done.

I'm just so done with caring so much about my weight. How in the world am I going to let three little (or big) numbers rule my existence? I am so sick of going to restaurants and not eating what I want to eat because I'm scared of gaining weight. I'm sick of cutting out carbs or sugar or alcohol. I am so sick and tired of being obsessed with weighing myself. I am so tired of counting my calories and depriving myself of eating what I want to eat. I'm just so fucking tired.

Earlier this year, my best friend (HI JESS) told me she was deleting MyFitnessPal off her phone. Jessica and I have spent years mutually obsessing over our food and our weight, so for her to do this and tell me about it was HUGE. Later that day, I mentioned this to my friend Scarlett. I told her that I was thinking about deleting my app too because I was just so tired. Scarlett thought it was a fantastic idea. That got me thinking... How many other people in the world are ready to do this? How many of us are out there? How many of us just need a damn cookie?

Here's my challenge to you if you see yourself in everything I just posted. Delete the app. Eat a burger. Go for a walk. I still eat healthy, for the most part. I actually enjoy healthy foods and usually crave those. But I'm writing this post while eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's non-dairy desserts. Because motherfucking balance. I love love LOVE working out. No not at a gym cause lol I'm not that disciplined but you can catch me in a studio class at least 5 times a week and using my new favorite app, Tone It Up, any other day. I will squat you into oblivion but please, for the love of God, don't make me run. In a zombie apocalypse, I'm staying and fighting cause even the slowest zombie will be able to catch me right away.

It's almost March. That means it's been 2 months of me eating what I please and you know what? I couldn't be happier. I have no idea what I weigh and my jeans still fit. I know that I will never be a size 2. I'm learning to be comfortable at the size that I am. My middle is a little pudgy and probably always will be. That inner thigh fat ain't goin nowhere. And I am cool with that. I'll admit, I've had a few days of touch and goes, but earlier this year, I was able to wear a bathing suit without having a full on panic attack. I call that a win.

No, I'm not going to spiral into a fast food daily binge while frying all my oreos and drinking a liter of soda with a family size of chips because that sounds absolutely disgusting. I still love eating healthy and clean but I won't beat myself up for eating Taco Bell every once in a while and next time one of my coworkers brings donuts, I'm eating the whole goddamn thing.

So please, get out there, find what physical activity makes you happy and eat a slice of pizza. You can thank me later.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Art of Ghosting and Why You're an Asshole


Ghosting. If you're not familiar with this new term, you're a very lucky individual. You've either been granted the rare and beautiful thing called a "mature" relationship or you're very very old and in that case, why are you on my blog?

Ghosting is when someone you're seeing romantically dies. No really, they're dead. This is why it's called ghosting. Because that person died and can no longer contact you since you're not Haley Joel Osment (lol I'm hilarious). That is the only respectable reason why someone would just, never talk to you again. For absolutely no reason. They're fucking dead. So move on.

BECAUSE BRUCE WILLIS IS A DEAD GUY

Fine. They're not dead. It's actually worse.

These people, they fall off the face of the planet into this special part of the universe where truly pathetic human beings belong. They're people who literally just stop talking to the people they've been dating... For no reason. They just stop responding to any message (but hilariously enough, still watch your Instagram Stories. Man, the 21st Century is bonkers). I've had friends who have ghosted romantic partners. It's something I can only deter with harsh judgement and glaring, not that that actually works. But I'm very much against it and I haven't actually ghosted anyone I dated... Which leads me to the next part. I just want to clarify what I mean when I say "ghosting". Someone you've been talking to on Tinder who suddenly stopped talking to you isn't "ghosting" you (I am suuuuuuper sorry about that guys). Someone you met once who stopped responding to your Facebook messages? Also not ghosting. Additionally, in both these circumstances, if the other person has made it abundantly clear (via words and actions) that they're not even interested in a first date... "Ghosting" may be the only option. I've been there. Go for it, people.

The act of ghosting only really counts when you've had at least one date with this person or have some sort of a history with them. It's also a very cuddly, nice word to use for a really terrible thing to do to another human being. For no reason.

I've certainly had my fair share of ghosting. There was my very first dabble into the dating world with the infamous Togos boy that ended in my first super fun ghosting experience that set the cornerstone of the baggage I now carry. No one will ever forget the human equivalent of a frisbee who attempted to ghost me after being involved for two and a half years (lol yeah, two and a half years). There's the family friend who I'm pretty sure is probably reading this (hey, what's up?) and thinking about how awkward he's made future run ins cause we're definitely going to have to see one another again. And of course, my most recent one that everyone was super sure was a "good guy". But I'm here to tell you that even "good guys" can be dicks. Which is why those words are in quotes. Cause, I'm sorry buddy, but actual good guys don't ghost people.

So I'm going to help you out, ladies and gentlemen. Are you contemplating ghosting the person you just went on a few dates with despite the fact that that person did nothing wrong? Is that other person super awesome and you're just a complete asshole so you really really believe that the only thing to do is ghost them? Do I have news for you!

... I don't have news for you but I do have 4 things you could do instead of ghosting them:

  1. Purchase a messenger pigeon. Messenger pigeons have been used since like 1150 and Genghis Khan used them (there's a song about him and I am crying at how many people don't actually know who he is). All you have to do is buy the pigeon already trained, write down the message, tie it onto their little tiny leg, and send them on their way. That way, you don't have to deal with the tears that you are very clearly too terrified to deal with. Who are you? Elphaba?                                                                                                                                                                                           
  2. Write your message down. Translate it into a cryptogram. Leave it for the person you want to ghost. Optional: Give them a key to help solve it. If you want to one up this, you can buy an actual cryptex (pictured above - I have one but the human equivalent of frisbee kept it along with my xbox and I don't know which I'm more upset about). This way, the person has to play this really cool game in order to find out that you're ditching them and they developed a new skill.                                                   
    I should do this for the people who have ghosted me. 

    I feel this on a very deep level.
  3. Convince Ryan Reynolds or Chrissy Teigen to tweet them. I cannot think of how this would possibly be a bad thing. They're Twitter gods. Everyone wins here.                                     
    I have one. Should I take it out? Is that how you reached out to me?
  4. Tell an actual ghost and have that ghost tell them via a Ouija board. It's like Ghostception.
I do have a final bonus option though. Perhaps, for one second, remember that the person you're about to ghost is an actual, living, breathing, human being who has actual human being feelings. Remember that at some point, this is someone you actually cared for. Remember that no one actually deserves to be ghosted for any reason, no matter what you think. And lastly, please remember this one as it will help you in the future... Karma is a bitch (and she's probably a Scorpio ha-ha-ha yes, so funny, I've heard all your lame Scorpio jokes. You'd think y'all would stop making fun of us at some point since you think we're all Satan reborn).

Or you can remain a pathetic piece of shit. Honestly, the choice is yours. 

Boy, Mario games have really changed since my day.

My final, and most important message, goes out to the people who have been ghosted and I'm going to get really serious here. You did nothing wrong. This was not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you. After so many years of being treated like I don't even deserve to be spoken to by so many different guys... It's really hard not to believe that there is something very wrong with me. That there is something that I am doing to deserve to constantly be treated like this. I have gone over every scene in my head to figure things out, cried to Jessica, and done some really terrible things to harm myself because I really thought that there was something wrong with me. And when this is the most common experience I've had with guys, can you blame me for feeling this way? I can't say that these feelings have left me but I can say that I'm working really hard to push them away. So let me say it again. I did nothing wrong. This was not my fault. There is nothing wrong with me. Ghosting is always, 100% on the pathetic human who decided to take a cowards way out instead of show some basic human decency. They are the people who made a selfish decision that affected your life. It's unfair that they are the ones who don't have to wonder, "Ummm, did they actually die? Are they dead? Perhaps they were mauled by a bear??" They don't have to make excuses to friends until they figure out they've been ghosted. They just get to live life, carefree. And that's the pits, I know. You just have to remember that you're a good person who hasn't ghosted anyone and you're not a pathetic human being. 

And that's a really great feeling.  

- so I can sigh eternally -

 lauren. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

29. I'm just waiting for 65 so I can start getting that senior discount.

I had that hip pop from day one.
Hey there. I bet you forgot I existed. 2017 has more than gotten away from me. I blinked my eyes in January and it was already July. I blinked again and it was Halloween. I feel like I missed October as it blended into November when suddenly, everyone asked me what I was going to do for my birthday. Twenty-Nine. Holy hell. I'm entering my final year of my 20s. What does that even mean?

Ask anyone my age or younger and they'll practically have a panic attack thinking about turning 30. I experienced a (former) loved one turning 30 a few years ago. It was a painful experience... For me. You'd think he was told that he was literally going to be murdered on his 30th birthday. No jokes could be made and no mentions of his upcoming age change were allowed to be spoken out loud. It was ridiculous. Turning another year older is this huge fear that people in their 20s seem to have. For me, I quickly panic when I remember that my mother had a house, 2 kids, and a husband by the time she had hit 29. She also was incredibly successful in her job and had her own side business doing hula shows with her best friend (you guys know my mom is a BAMF, right?). Guys. I can barely remember to take my vitamins or take my laundry out of the dryer, how the hell did all these other people get their shit together by 29? Did I miss that part in life? DID I PASS GO?! (Who wants to play monopoly? Does anyone have that cool Harry Potter or Zelda monopoly cause I would 100% be down. Someone please play board games with me.)

Ask anyone older than me and they will tell you how amazing their 30s have been. "30s are the new 20s" or something equally as cliche. I haven't had one person over the age of 30 tell me they wished they were in their 20s again. And let me tell you... I believe them.

I don't even know what to comment on first here. My dad's outfit, my dress, my mullet, those cubby baby arm rolls, the fact that I barely know how to walk but I'm drinking beer?
When you're a teenager, you have this weird knowledge. You're very well aware that you're not an adult yet but you're really pissed off about that fact so you act like you know literally everything about everything. All the time. Therefore, you're the coolest person evvvvvvvver. Except that you're really not and deep down you know that so you over compensate by being a dick (Note: I'd like to take this moment to deeply apologize to any adult who knew teenaged Lauren. I am so sorry you had to deal with the poorly done makeup, bad fashion choices, general emo attitude, and literally my entire existence. Now that I have gotten the opportunity to know teenagers... I am so sorry) Your 20s? That's an entirely different ballpark. Except it's not a different ballpark at all. You just think it is. In fact, it's basically like the Oakland coliseum. Your teenaged years are baseball season at the coliseum and your 20s are football season. It's literally the exact same place, you just made it look different. When you turn 20, you're no longer a ~teenager~. You're a grown up who can make grown up choices. I would rather go back to being a teenager than ever go back to my early 20s. The years of 100% knowing everything because I'm an adult so I know everything you can't treat me like a teenager anymore cause I'm not (Note Take Two: Again, super sorry to anyone who knew early 20s Lauren. My makeup may have been better - fashion still wasn't - but man. So sorry again. I have no idea how any of you are still around). But once you get over the "I know everything and I'll just sit here and roll my eyes at you" phase of your life, you finally start figuring shit out.

I have grown more between the ages of 25 and 29 than I ever have in my entire life. And here's the thing. No one ever tells you about that. No one ever talks about the things you learn during this time of your life. These past 4 years of my life have been the biggest, most insane roller coaster I have ever been on. I fell in love, lost a lot of friends, found a career I really enjoy, had many friends get married, had many friends have babies, grew apart from some people while growing closer to others, had my heart shattered to pieces, grew incredibly cynical and hateful but worked myself out of it, and so much more. My mind boggles when thinking about how much I've changed. If you know me, you know I don't like cliche sayings. "Everything is always changing" blah blah blah bite me. But... I guess cliches are cliches for a reason. You are truly always changing and always becoming a (hopefully) better version of yourself. That's what I've learned you should strive for in your life.

So this is my lifetime movie message to you on my 29th birthday. Don't be afraid of the future. Welcome it. Because you have two choices for tomorrow. You can get older and make the best of your life. Or you can, ya know, be dead. Make your choice.
#tbt #takemeback
"Carpe Diem. Cause tomorrow, you might be dead!" - Buffy Summers (guys, I'm still Lauren)

**For a slightly different change of pace, check out my blog from my 28th birthday where I go over the 28 things I learned in 28 years. They still hold true (still hate Birks).**

Monday, March 20, 2017

Woman 2 Woman

Shout out to the wonderful female influencers in my life :)

This post is for other women. This post is meant to speak to the woman on the other side of this screen. Men can sympathize with all the words that I am about to type, but they will never understand what life is like when you're a woman. And they'll never understand the power that women have over other women. And how often women abuse this power.

As most of you already know, my mom was my driving force as a kid to be an individual. She even said she wanted to be the crazy witchy lady on the block. She never seemed to care about what other people thought about her. I don't know where she got her confidence and self-love from but I'm very happy she passed it onto me. My mom was never the type to make fun of other women (or people in general) when we were out and about. She would often tell me that I shouldn't judge others by what I see in their outward appearance. She would also remind me that I wouldn't want to be judged by my outward appearance all the time. Sometimes you go outside in a fantastic outfit with perfect hair... And sometimes you wear your Uggs, slightly see-thru yoga pants, and you forget what a hair brush is. We're not all perfect.

As a woman, ask yourself how often a day you look at other women and think something like the following:
  • What the hell is she wearing?
  • Oh wow, she does not know how to blend her makeup.
  • Did she even look at her eyebrows before leaving the house?
  • She shouldn't be eating that cupcake.
  • She should be eating a cupcake.
If you respond by saying that you've never, once in your life, thought these things when looking at another woman, you are a liar. I have been working very hard to try and not think these things and, for the most part, it has worked. I still have bad days where I will look at a woman and think something like what's written above and I immediately chide myself. Looking deeper, I know that the times I think these things is when I'm having a bad self confidence day. It's taken me a lot of time and work to become comfortable in my own skin (and I'm not fully there yet). When I think these things, I just feel worse about myself. Not only do I feel fat today, but I'm going to try and make fun of another woman for what she's eating/wearing? Not cool. It's cliche to say, "They only say those things because they're jealous" but the older I've gotten, the more I realize that cliches are cliches for a reason... Because they're true. The women whom I know to consistently (and vocally) express the things above are the same women who don't truly love themselves. You can't force someone to love themselves. Self-love really, truly, comes from within. The first step is to just recognize that you need to work on yourself and go from there. Because if you don't work on yourself, you can't help make this world a better place.

More importantly... How many times have you said this aloud? With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and all the many other forms of social media, we've seen the bashing of women rise to insane measures. You can't go to the gym without the possibility of someone taking a photo of you, just to make fun of you. You can't purchase something without women around you (or on the internet) forcing their opinions on you. Why do we do this to ourselves? We're 1,000 times more destructive to ourselves then any man can possibly be... Because we know how to hit another woman where it counts. 

This brings me to an even bigger issue at hand: How we react to how women in the spotlight dress. Sure, the media is largely to blame. They provide the click-bait and the disgusting articles. They're the ones who criticize and seek these things out. The media does this because they know that's how they get views. An article that's entitled "Amal Clooney speaks to the U.N." wouldn't get Times Magazine as many clicks as "Amal Clooney shows off baby bump" (to read more about how royally Times Magazine fucked that one up, click here). As if the most important thing that Amal did that day was dress to the nines while pregnant.    

Let me give you some examples:


If you're an American (and even if you're not), you probably remember the day pictured above. That was the day the President Trump was sworn in. I don't want to get political or speak about my views of Trump. What I want to talk about is how many people bashed the hell out of Melania Trump for what she wore. I am still unsure why; I think she looks fantastic. Twitter was awash with people who claimed to be "open-minded" and "accepting" stating that Melania looked stupid. The constant comparisons to Michelle Obama (which, in itself is a huge issue - let's stop comparing one woman to another) and how Michelle looked better when President Obama was sworn in. I saw memes, reaction gifs, and pretty awful words written about her outfit choices. And, Melania, this is just the beginning. Welcome to the next 4 years of your life. No outfit you wear will ever be good enough and god forbid you exit the house in the next 4 years without perfect hair and makeup.


Like many other people in this world, I am obsessed with True Crime. I was incredibly young when O.J. Simpson murdered Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman (no doubt, if you disagree, message me so we can talk about it). I don't remember Simpson being a football star, only a murderer who got away with it. When the T.V. Show "The People vs. O.J. Simpson" came out, I devoured it. My dad watched most of the episodes with me. He remembered this case vividly. He had followed it, like most people, when it was happening. While watching this show, he asked me, "As a woman, can you tell me why the media was so obsessed with Marcia Clark? That's the one big thing I remember from this case, how Marcia Clark was dragged through the fire for what she wore and how she looked." The answer I gave him is that I didn't know why. I read through a lot of articles that had come out during the case and he wasn't wrong. Marcia Clark was ridiculed, non-stop, for her appearance. I'm not even talking about how "cold" she looked to people. I'm talking about the media attention surrounding her hair, her clothes, her makeup... There was a man who murdered two human beings and the entire world was obsessed with what Marcia Clark wore to court that day? Pathetic. I never found anything regarding how the men in the courtroom dressed or Robert Shaperio's eyebrows (come.on.). It was all about the strong female who took this case on, but not because of how she was a strong single mother, but about how she wasn't hot enough. But we want men to treat us better?

And lastly, a slightly bigger issue I wanted to speak about...


I'm sure that at this point, you have seen this photo and heard about everything that has happened surrounding that photo. That's the ever beautiful Emma Watson in Vanity Fair. Here's my favorite tweet in response to this photo:

When I read that tweet, I'm pretty sure I simultaneously snort-laughed and wanted to throw a drink in the face of this woman. Let me please engrave this into your brain: You cannot call yourself a feminist while actively trying to pull other women down. You are here to help other women and to empower other women. There is nothing sexier than women empowering other women to empower other women. It's the circle of a beautiful life that I wish was more expected than hoped for. That being said, I will let Emma Watson's words speak for me: 

"Feminism is about giving women choice, feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom, it’s about liberation, it’s about equality. I really don't know what my tits have to do with it."

And on that note... Please, if you are a woman reading this post, please make an active effort to empower other women around you. If you don't like what another woman is wearing, it does not matter. She's happy, let her wear what she wants. Just because you don't want that cupcake doesn't mean you should rip apart another woman who does want that cupcake. Eyebrows are important but some people are cool with whatever genetics gave them. Please allow women to have choices in their own lives and support them in those choices. Please create a world that little girls can thrive in. Please help be the change in this world. 

Please believe me when I say that actively working on not putting other women down has been the best and happiest decision of my life. It has made me so much more confident and empowered.

If you ever need someone to talk to about self-love, I am always here for all of you.

- so I can sigh eternally -

 lauren. 




Monday, February 6, 2017

Photo Stories: That Time Michelle & I Didn't Listen.


In another life, I was a "photographer". I love(d) black & white photography and took my camera everywhere I went. Unfortunately, it sometimes feels as if iPhones have taken away the true art of photography. It's been many years since I have ventured around with my camera (that is now broken anyway). In college, I took a film photography class and learned how to develop and print photos in a dark room. When I'm a grown up and I have my own house, I really hope that I still make that dark room I want and develop my own photos. Photography isn't as exciting on an iPhone.

Back in my photography days, I went on many adventures to find the best places to photograph at. There was the cemetery, the old mental hospital (or just a dentist office, no one ever knew), the Alameda Base (before everyone tried to make it cool), and the run down mansion that almost killed Michelle and me.

The beach is always a better option.
The year is 2010. I just discovered that there is this run down mansion in Capitola, California. If you have never been to Capitola, it's a pretty adorable beach type town by Santa Cruz. In early 2007, I dated a guy for a few months who lived down there. The fact that he never told me about this run down mansion (that ended up being in the park area right behind his grandmothers' house) really shows you how well he knew me. As soon as I discovered this beauty, I called up one of my go-to girls, Michelle. Michelle is the person who was always down for my dark, goth themed photoshoots. She tramped around a cemetery in San Lorenzo with me and wore my (Hot Topic) clothes just to walk around on my street. On a cloudy and grey day, we drove on down to Capitola. I had heard online that this mansion might be haunted and that it was "fenced in". From what I could find online, there was always some magical way to get in. Michelle and I were totally fine with breaking a few laws if we got some great photos. Plus, it's not like this was my first time breaking in somewhere to take photos...... :)


Once we got down to Capitola and parked my car, we walked around what we could of the perimeter of this mansion. The mansion was backed up to this river. At that time, California was not in a draught and it was that wet time between Winter and Spring. That river was a-rushin'. We walked around the other three sides of this fenced in mansion, trying to find a hole or a way in. Looking back, our first sign of "Maybe we should just bail" was about to happen. The boots that I was wearing were black military style boots. These boots were not fancy or heeled in any way. They were just flat, literal military issued boots. While walking down the flat and straight sideway, I went down. When I say that I went down, I mean that I tripped on the air in front of me and twisted the living hell out of my ankle. Now, I am not the most graceful butterfly in the world. This means that Michelle and I brushed it off as, "Lauren, can you not constantly hurt yourself?" because I'm really good at that. Michelle and I continued on until we see that there was a park bench underneath a hole in the fence. Until that point, it has not rained. It just threatened to. We looked at one another and debated if we really were going to jump through or not. Besides, once we got to that side, there was another fence we'd have to try and hop over. There was only a small section to land on before a very steep hill started. At the end of this hill was that river I mentioned earlier. That very fast moving river. As soon as Michelle and I said, out loud, "Alright, let's just do it", the rain started. And it wasn't a little tickle. It poured. The rain started coming down in buckets. We didn't let this stop us. Michelle threw her phone in my backpack (which also contained 1 Canon Rebel Camera, 1 film camera, and 2 Cell Phones) and hopped through the hole. She landed gracefully. Now it was my turn. Remember that time I said that I was not a graceful butterfly? Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh. When I hopped through, I completely lost my balance. 100% lost it. I slammed down (onto my back and on that backpack with many breakable things in it) and quickly started sliding down the hill. Very. Very. Quickly. Then things got a little worse. On this slide down, there is a bit of a drop that you can't see from where Michelle was standing. The drop was probably only about two feet and wouldn't have hurt too much. The thing that concerned me the most was the very slim and rusty pipe that was sticking out of the ground at a diagonal angle... It was pointed straight at me. At this point, I started spinning to my side (not on purpose). In other words, from the angle that I was going, this pipe was going to go through me. All I could think was that Michelle was going to have to call the police and the ambulance and I felt really bad that I was going to make her do that. My second thought was, "OKAY MY BAD. I shouldn't be here. If you let me live, I swear we will leave." Next thing I knew, the pipe slipped between my back and my backpack. As I fell off the drop, I was thrown forward, but I couldn't move... Because the pipe was caught in my backpack straps. Michelle slid her way down (in a controlled, non-accidental way) and was able to help me get out. She looked at my back and saw a nice big scratch from the pipe (which hurt for days but didn't need medical attention). We also quickly checked all things in my backpack... And not a thing was broken or damaged in anyway. We made our way up the hill and back through the hole, vowing never to try and break into that mansion again.


- so I can sigh eternally -

 lauren. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January: Abridged.

Why January 2017 Didn't Suck



Oh January, how I have waited for you. I spent most of 2016 wishing for you to show your hope filled, lovely face. I yearned for your arrival for months. I counted down the days and agonized over all the things I was definitely going to do to better myself once you came because you can't welcome something like the month of January without promises of renewal. And here you are. I welcomed you while dying from a cold, but it's whatever. You're finally here. And as with most things that are highly anticipated, you kind of did suck.

I'm not here for the suckage. There's hundreds of articles across the internet that will tell you why January 2017 has been awful. If you're here, reading this, it's because you need a break from that awfulness. In the end, you have to make sure that you take care of yourself and take a break so that you can fight the good fight. Please remember that. 

In January, I went on an 8 mile hike with Jessica because we got a little lost and our shoes got really muddy and we definitely finagled our way over more than one fallen tree (Kila still doesn't understand why we didn't just go under like her 10lb self did). I dove, head first, into going back to the gym, just like everyone else and I'm taking my first aerial silks class tonight. Kaitlin and I saw an awful horror movie (our favorite kind!) that I inaccurately called "The Buh Bye Man", which, looking back, it really does sound a lot better than "The Bye Bye Man" and what kind of evil spirit even calls itself that anyway? I started a brand new journal, read 3 books, baked one dessert, and only had to clean up one instance of Harley puke. January has felt so long and yet so incredibly short.
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Favorite Movie Watched: Vanilla Sky
During my younger years, I had an intense Tom Cruise phase. I had watched all of his movies at an incredibly young age (I still need to re-watch Eyes Wide Shut because I have a feeling that 11 year old Lauren missed a lot). Vanilla Sky is something I vaguely remember watching in theaters, back in the days where Athena and I saw every single movie that came out. I vaguely remembered the plot of the movie (and I somewhat remembered the twist, which it turned out I was wrong about). I re-watched it this month. And all I have to say, is fuck everyone, this movie was great. It had me on the edge of my seat. Admittedly, the end of the film was disappointing, however, the rest of the film more than made up for it, in my opinion.

Vanilla Sky is about a man named David (Tom Cruise) who apparently is super awesome and everyone loves him. His BFF Brian (Jason Lee) brings over a hot girl (Penelope Cruz) he met at a bookstore (why can't I meet a great guy at a bookstore?) to David's birthday party. David, being the dick he is, steals away Sophia (hot girl), even though he has his very own stalker girl (Cameron Diaz) who would do anything for him. David wants Sophia. The next morning, he gets in a car with Julia (stalker girl) and there's a horrible car accident that disfigured him. Then... it gets real foggy. You know what, just watch the trailer below and then watch the movie. If you hate it SO MUCH and you can't forgive me, I'll buy you dinner.

Actually, I'll just ignore you because you clearly have awful taste in movies.

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Favorite Book: The Girl in the Spider's Web
Have you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the subsequent books? If the answer is no, go out and read them right now. They're fantastic. I ate up the first 3 books like it was Taco Time. The writing, the characters, the plot line, the character development, the mystery... Everything was just so perfectly woven together in some of the best writing I've ever experienced in my life.

Then comes, The Girl in the Spiders Web. Unfortunately, Stieg Larsson passed away before the 4th book was written. David Lagercrantz was slotted to take the wheel for this one. While it was very clearly written by another person, this book just sucked me back into the Dragon Tattoo having world.

This book follows one story line: A computer scientist is murdered in his own home. The only witness is his autistic son (who, coincidentally, is a savant). Blomkvist is going through a mid-life crisis (one that I assume all print media people are going through at this very moment) and he is the one person that Balder (aforementioned scientist) wanted to speak to before his death. Balder had been working on something and apparently the wrong sorts of people wanted this information. Of course, when Blomkvist is roped in, the Queen of Badass, Lisbeth Salendar is roped in as well. Blah blah blah go read this fucking series. Seriously, what else are you doing? Reading 50 Shades of Grey?

Pros:
  • If you're a huge fan of the series, everyone makes a re-appearance and you get to learn more about Lisbeth's past (which is my favorite part).
  • The plot line is still well done and well thought out. It's all incredibly believable with that necessary hint of action and drama that (probably) doesn't happen in the real world. 
  • No one changes (in a bad way). All characters are still very close to the versions that Larsson had originally written. Characters do things that are in character for them.
  • The characters that are new, are still incredibly complex and realistic. I think one of the best things about this series is how realistic the characters are and how they act within their character.
  • THERE'S GOING TO BE MORE
Cons:
  • My only real con is that there are so many point of views. I had trouble keeping up with who was speaking and who's point of view I was seeing from. I also had trouble remembering whose eyes I was seeing out of in that specific chapter. I couldn't remember the characters because they kept shifting around so much.
  • More questions than answers. Balls.
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Favorite Show: The Good Place and Sherlock
I couldn't choose, I'm sorry. I didn't discover either show in this month but I did binge watch both of them to catch up this month.


The Good Place. 
This is a new comedy from NBC starring Kristen Bell. I had no idea what the show was about but Bell is the perfect woman and can do no wrong. While The Good Place isn't an Emmy winning show that is going to blow your mind, it's a great comedy with a great story line and it has incredibly well written (and acted) characters. The whole idea is that after you die, you go to 1 of 2 places. You can go to The Good Place, where life is all puppies and rainbows (or whatever you're into) for eternity. Or you go to The Bad Place, which is eternity of torture and horribleness. Bell's character, Elenor, was mistakenly sent to The Good Place when she clearly should have gone to The Bad Place. Hilarity ensues as she attempts to first, hide the fact of who she is, and second, tries to become a good person in order to earn her spot in The Good Place. My swaying opinion on this was due to the fact that all people who listen to (and like) the Red Hot Chili Peppers automatically go to the bad place. It makes sense.

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Sherlock.
I don't even know why I'm writing about this show because you should already be watching it. Sherlock is, hands down, one of the best shows in the entire world. They have taken Sherlock Holmes and thrown him into the 21st century, equipped with a cell phone and a blog. Sherlock has taken on a much sassier 'tude with old school cases. Watching an hour and a half of Sherlock is always mentally draining for me. I try to infiltrate Sherlock's brain and figure everything out along with him. I don't think I've ever failed so hard in my life (unless we're talking about my love life -insert audience laughter here-). This season is very different from all the previous seasons, which has made fans choose a side. There's the original Sherlock with little action and more brain power or there's the new Sherlock with a lot of action and still a lot of brain power. The last episode has been my absolute favorite episode of Sherlock ever.

Besides, I'm always a sucker for a good villain.

(No spoilers... I just threw in a season 1 trailer to intrigue all of you)

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This month was insane for me. I am currently made up of at least 90% stress and 10% sass. I've spent the month trying to learn more about myself through writing, reading, tarot, and long baths. I've learned that self care is incredibly important but, dammit, I don't have time for any of this right now. With work being as hectic as it is and the daylight ending at 5:30pm each day, it feels like a storm has run through my life, attempting to upend my sanity. Sure, the first 31 days have had me spinning, but I'm going to figure this whole "adult" thing out and I thank you for joining me on this. 

Do you have any great ideas to de-stress on a busy schedule? Also, why do you hate Vanilla Sky? 

- so I can sigh eternally -

 lauren.