Saturday, July 31, 2010

one of THOSE posts...

It's 3AM.
The time of night where silly pop songs on the radio can make me cry.
I think I think too much, always.
I should go to bed, but why sleep when you can stay up and be existential?
Maybe The Universe will come have coffee with me again. Remember the time it did that?
I wonder what The Universe and I will talk about tonight (that is, considering it drops in for it's nightly caffeine fix).
Maybe we'll talk about love this time. We'll talk about how strange it is and how everyone in the world has different ideas and expectations of it. Then when we're done discussing that topic, we'll move on to discussing what the proper role of religion should be in our modern society. After that, we will continue our ongoing chat regarding the meaning of life and all of that lovely loveliness. Then I will ask the ultimate question: JACOB OR EDWARD? And then I can know once and for all if I am supposed to love pale emo vampire boys or sexy/dorky wolf boys that look like alpacas.

I believe that was irrelevant.

I'm going to bed. Goodnight amigos.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Drinking Beer With Dinosaurs

This is going to be a very strange, geeky, sitcom-esque post (complete high school memoirs and pictures of dinosaur bones). Consider yourself warned.

Last night, Steve took me OMSI After Dark. OMSI is a big science museum in Portland. There are a lot of really cool hands-on exhibits but it's generally flooded with obnoxious children. I haven't really thought to go there since I was about 14.

OMSI usually closes around 7pm. But every once in awhile, they stay open till 11 for the over 21 crowd. They open up a few bars and even get a dance floor going in the courtyard. Steve and I are little kids at heart and were pretty stoked when we found out about the event. After all, I magically like science again now that I am no longer in school.

So we drove to OMSI. Steve was most excited about seeing the old submarine they keep in the river behind the museum. He's a bit of a history buff who's watched "The Hunt For Red October" a few thousand times. This particular submarine was used in a couple of scenes for that movie, so Steve was descending into Sean Connery fanboy mode as we pulled into the parking lot. The Cold War really is interesting to me, but I saw something in the parking lot that completely took my mind away from Soviet Russia.

"Holy crap..." I exclaim as three vaguely familiar faces get out of a nearby car. "I went to high school with those people."

"What?" Steve says, still in Sean Connery land.

"That's my clarinet section from freshman year," I whisper, horrified.

I know I put up a scary picture of my old clarinet section a couple of months ago, but here it is again in case you missed it. If you're looking for me, I'm the dorky one. Oh wait, that's everyone in this picture. Okay, I'm the really dorky one. The girl with the bad perm who parts her hair down the middle and was probably wearing her favorite Paul Frank monkey t-shirt under her Star Trek-style uniform. The girl who could barely play the clarinet, let alone march at the same time. The girl who had ridiculous crushes on all the senior section leaders and could turn bright red at the slightest encounter with any of them. The girl that managed to break her arm at band camp. The girl who marched her first field competition with her uniform on backwards. The girl who made an art out of losing her instrument and forgetting her band locker combination.

That was me. I was the dorkiest freshman imaginable. I've spent years trying to make up for those days of being downright socially unbearable. And I've done okay. Three people in the last week have accused me of being a hipster, so I guess I've made progress.

But I digress. My old clarinet section leader and two first chair clarinets were there in the parking lot of OMSI. They are all nice people, but I haven't seen them (or wanted to see them) since the year 2002. I don't think I'm even Facebook friends with them.

Steve went to a small town high school and was BFFs with everybody, so he couldn't really understand my desire to avoid running into these people. I thought that maybe if I walked slowly on the way to the museum's entrance they would already be lost in the exhibits by the time I made it inside. But sure enough, they were still right there buying tickets when Steve and I got there.

I tried to stall by reading the program and asking an OMSI employee about events that were going on. Unfortunately, Steve did not pick up on what I was doing and jumped in the ticket line. I followed him and tried my best to be nonchalant. After all, I look much different than I did back in the dark ages. They probably wouldn't recognize me.

They recognized me.

The boy did, anyway. There were two girls and a boy. Boys that willingly play the clarinet are strange and this boy was no exception. We were never really friends but once I saved his ass at our final competition freshman year. It was the coldest night of the year and the upper register on his clarinet froze over (or something like that). Since I was notorious for faking it during competitions (I never really figured out how to play and march), he begged me to switch clarinet parts with him. He bribed me with money and promised me a lot of silly things like foot massages. I couldn't hit most of the notes in the upper register without squeaking anyway, so I let him use it for the night. He thanked me and vowed to love me forever and ever.

Of course, band season was over the next day and we never spoke again. Not to mention I never got my $20. Or my foot massage.

But he recognized me in line at OMSI. "Hey! How's it goin?" he said awkwardly. We shared a brief uncomfortable moment of painful small-talk and then I went on to buy my ticket.

Steve and I proceeded to have a blast. We geeked out over an Einstein exhibit. We marveled at at holograms and played with water rockets. There were free beer samples as well as multiple bars throughout the museum. Last night just might have been the most fun Steve and I have had together in awhile.

We went inside the infamous submarine. Steve got to launch a torpedo. His incredible sexiness almost rivals that of Sean Connery.


When we were done snooping around on the sub, we ventured into the museum's Earth Science room. Right when you enter this room, there is a green screen that you can stand in front of and give a weather report. Naturally, Steve jumped in front of the green screen, beer in hand, and delivered a Ron Burgundy-esque weather report. It was greatly amusing, but I was quickly sidetracked by an epic display of dinosaur bones.

Laugh at me if you want, but it's not everyday you get to see something that large and prehistoric. I became caught up in studying a nearby display of fossilized dinosaur teeth. I was about to go find Steve again when I heard laughter coming from the green screen area.

I looked over and saw the three clarinets delivering a silly weather report of sorts. But there was a fourth person with them, drinking beer and acting like Ron Burgundy.

It was Steve.

Horrified, I did the only thing that made sense: I acted like I didn't know any of them. I stayed in my dinosaur corner and casually drank beer.

Moments like that make me realize why so many people move to entirely different towns/states/countries when they grow up.

Steve and I proceeded to cruise the exhibits. There was a whole room filled with vacuum cleaner tubes that you could build into things that used air to shoot little balls. It was fun in a dorky way, and we managed to get balls flying everywhere. One hit a girl standing a few feet away from us. She laughed and turned around.

I recognized her immediately. She used to play the flute in marching band.

I kinda wanted to just leave at that point. But instead I made Steve go out to the courtyard with me and we spent the rest of the night dancing with drunk hipsters. It was the best.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Brief Romantic Scene



Lauren and Steve sit close together on a bench.

Lauren: "Man, sometimes I just want to run away. Will you run away with me?"
Steve: "What? I can't do that..."
Lauren: "Pretend you can for 30 seconds. Let's run away. Where should we go?"
Steve: "England? We could go to Stonehenge."
Lauren: "Stonehenge? Those old rocks? Really?"
Steve: "Or we could go to this place I've always thought would be cool to visit..."
Lauren: "Where's that?"
Steve: "Well, there's this town near the site of Chernobyl that was completely evacuated right after the nuclear accident and now it's a ghost town!"
Lauren: "So if you could go anywhere with me, you'd pick a radioactive wasteland in Russia???"
Steve: "It's not technically radioactive. And it's in Siberia, to be specific."
Lauren: "You'd pick a wasteland in Siberia???"
There is a brief silence.
Steve: "I meant to say Fiji."


Some Cool OST Sketches

I saw my friend Abbey the other day and she handed me some sketches she drew at the last Original Sound Trash show.

I was impressed. Most people just take bad cell phone pictures at rock shows. I still don't know how she managed to draw so many details in the dark.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Lauren is Happy!

I heard back from the artist's community this morning! I overslept and when I finally woke up there was an email waiting in my inbox from the creative director.

"Hi Lauren,"
the email said. "We are excited to have you become a part of our community."

I felt a little bit like this cat:

Okay, so the cat is probably smiling because somebody told him he can has a cheezburger, but it's an accurate depiction of how I felt this morning.

I'm going to an open house at this place in a couple of weeks. Signing the lease in August, moving in on the first day of September. I'm incredibly stoked.

The rent for this place is really affordable but it still means I'm going to have to get a job. A job I can count on, not just an arbitrary gig here and there. But I will come up with something. I've got a month.

The future is slowly becoming less unknown. I think that's probably a good thing.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and P. Diddy

"You're waiting for a train. A train that will take you far away. You know where you hope the train will take you, but you can't be sure. But it doesn't matter!"

"Tell me why! Tell me why it doesn't matter!"


If that doesn't make sense, go see the movie "Inception." If you've already seen it, go see it anyway. Like many Christopher Nolan films, it deserves at least two viewings.

I saw it for the second time tonight. There are very few films that I'll sit through twice in theaters, but this one was even better on round two (probably because it made more sense - the first viewing is a little disorienting). I left the theater in a state of awe, totally unsure of what was and wasn't reality in the film.

It's a film I can't stop thinking about. And I like that. I think that's what a good film is supposed to do - stick in your brain for days.

Of course, bad films can stick in your brain too. Just last night I watched what is possibly the best worst movie I've ever seen. It was made in the 80's and it's called "Computer Beach Party."

I think think everything I could say about "Computer Beach Party" can be summed up with this one minute clip:

I think it's probably sacrilegious to talk about "Computer Beach Party" and "Inception" in the same post. But hey, both films entertained me. They just entertained me in two very different ways.

Anyway, enough film geek babble. I should not be awake. I'm gonna head to bed and see what clever illusions my subconscious creates tonight. Steve says that the sequel to "Inception" should involve people being dropped into my dreams. My dreams are notoriously bizarre. Like the dream I had where I was enrolled in a math class and P. Diddy was the teacher. But we won't go into that.

And for the record, even though I had a dream about P. Diddy one time, I still have never woke up in the morning and felt like him. I'm not really sure how people do that. Somebody please tell me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Don't Stop Me Nowwww, I'm Havin Such A Good Tiiiime, I'm Havin A Ball

Look! I'm updating my blog! I am not dead! I am aliiiiiiive!

A lot has been going on since my last post. I went on a road trip by myself to Seattle and points beyond. Met up with various friends along the way. It was quite lovely, actually. I love traveling alone. Made it all the way to Idaho. Woo.

Drove home and promptly landed a gig helping out on the set of a music video for the band Kaiser Cartel. Spent a day running around Mississippi Studios with a shot list and a bag of lenses. Earned several hipster points.

Original Sound Trash recordings are slowly coming together. There have been a lot of technical difficulties but I think we're past most of that. I think. Ryan's the techie guy. I just press the buttons and sing when it's my turn to sing.

I've also recently joined a team of comedy sketch writers in creating a show for the local public access channel. The first meeting was last night and was quite hilarious. It was a fairly large group of people and everyone thought they were really funny. Not everyone was. I spent most of the meeting afraid to say anything for fear I would strike out harder than the old guy with the ten minute Lewis and Clark sketch. I connected with a couple of people though and we're going to create a sketch about the nation's first school for hipsters opening in north Portland. It will probably air on good old channel 11 in about October.

In other news, I applied for a spot in an artist's community in the city. I would have my own studio apartment with a bathroom and share a kitchen with a bunch of artsy hippies. It's a living situation that was created specifically for musicians, writers, filmmakers, painters, etc. I haven't heard back from them yet, but I think it would be really cool to live there.

Anyway, I feel like lately I've been traveling at the speed of light (that's why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit...and yes, I will make a supersonic man out of you). And then when I sit down to blog about everything I'm either too tired or don't know where to start.

But there's really no wrong place to start as long as I start somewhere. So there you have it. That's the Spark Notes version of what has been going on in the life of Lauren lately. I am not dead. I am aliiiiiiiiive!

(Photo from a band field trip to the beach. Possibly the greatest picture Ryan and I have ever taken together.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Life According To The Lovely

Sometimes when I can't sleep, I stumble into Omegle chat rooms and ask really deep, existential questions to random strangers.

It's never pretty.

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
Stranger: hi
You: what is the meaning of life?
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: what is the meaning of life?
Stranger: 2 die
You: way to be uplifting
You have disconnected.

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: what is the meaning of life?
Stranger: goldfish
You: profound
Stranger: indeed
You have disconnected.

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
Stranger: hey
You: what is the meaning of life?
Stranger: possiblities
Stranger: and having lots of crazy sex
You: awesome
You have disconnected.

Well, that answered all of my questions. Thanks Omegle!

For the record, I started out with an even heavier question: "Edward or Jacob?" I have never seen people disconnect so fast.

I may or may not have gone to see the new "Twilight" movie tonight. It was so bad it was good. Expect a post ripping it apart sometime in the near future. :D

But now, I shall go to bed! Meeting up with Ryan tomorrow for some recording action. Huzzah!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Don't Know Where I'll Be In Ten Years, But I Plan On Still Being Too Sexy For The Carwash

So the last few days have been interesting.

I celebrated the independence of my country by watching large explosions erupt in the sky (the irony involved in The Fourth of July never ceases to amuse me).

I finally updated The Musical Advice Column.

I discovered the worst film ever made. It's so bad I don't even want to mention it by name. I'll just link to the Wikipedia page about it and you can click at your own risk.

Ryan called me from the Canadian border yesterday. It looks like Original Sound Trash will get some recording done this month after all. More on that later.

I went to Narnia (see picture).

I also received another blog award! This one is from fabulous LaceyRee over at This Freckled Lemonade. Check out her blog if you haven't yet, it's full of charming little doodles and general hilarity.

Anyway, according to this award, apparently I'm going places. I like the sound of that! Sometimes I feel like I'm going nowhere.

The only real rule of this award is that I have to talk about where I think I'll be in ten years. I have a hard time knowing where I'm going to be in ten days sometimes, so this is going to be fun. :)

In ten years, I will be 32. What a frightening thought.

When I was a teenager I thought that being older than about 25 would be awful. I think I probably wanted to join The 27 Club, but that is no longer appealing now that being 27 is only 5 years away. Plus, I'm not nearly famous enough or reckless enough to join that club.
(Coincedentally, Allison put up a playlist today featuring several members of The 27 Club. Long live Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin)

But I digress. Honestly, I have no idea what being 32 will be like. Actually, I think I have a better idea of what I won't be doing in the year 2020.

I won't have children. I won't be living in my parents' basement. I won't be living under a bridge either. I won't be working at a middle school, a fast food restaurant, a gas station, or a strip club.

Maybe I'll have a semi-successful music career. Maybe I'll finally finish a screenplay. Maybe I'll live in Portland still, just because I like it here. Or maybe I'll be living in a hut somewhere, pretending I'm Jane Goodall and making a documentary about indigenous tribal life as an excuse to avoid modern-day society. Who knows.

I get so overwhelmed when I think about the future and all the things I want to do. So I am going to stop thinking about it right now and focus on the days that I'm currently living in. Theoretically that will get me somewhere, right?

Anyway, enough about me. Now's the part of the show where I toss this award over to a few other bloggers who are going places. Aaaaand the winners are:


TBR over at tbr-tangential. He's a wonderful writer and understands my obscure movie references.

Jane over at Happiness Adventure Beauty Love. She takes lovely photographs and drinks wine at biker rallies.

Ambiguous Geek over at Geeky Ambiguous Me. She understands the dangers of dancing the Futterwacken at work and is therefore on the road to success! Also, today is Tuesday, so if you hop over to her blog you'll probably see some good pictures of sexy nerds. It's her weekly thing. Surprisingly, I haven't seen a picture of myself up there yet.

I know, I know, I'm too sexy for the car wash. Calm down everyone, I've got a boyfriend.

Hi, I get off-topic really easily. I think it's time for this post to be over.

"Terminate blog post, Captain!"
"Aye aye! Terminating blog post!"

The end.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

An Open Letter to T

Dear T,

I don't know you and you don't know me. I don't know if T stands for Tyler, Timothy, Tina, or Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania. All I know is that I have your mix CD.

I was feeling nostalgic yesterday so I listened to your mix in my car while driving to Steve's place. I hooked my old Walkman up to my cassette deck and jammed out to the most eccentric batch of songs I've ever encountered. Boyz II Men followed by Nine Inch Nails. The Black Eyed Peas on the same disc as The Ben Folds Five. The Presidents of The United States of America back to back with Supertramp.

I first experienced this wonderful combination of randomized mediocre music in the year of 2002. I was in middle school.

My great aunt found a whole pile of CDs laying on her lawn one day and gave them to me in a plastic zip-lock bag. It was always a mystery where they came from. I've always thought that maybe some gangstas stole a car and chucked all the CDs in the car out the window while driving past my aunt's house. But maybe it was just the magical music fairy making her nightly rounds. Who knows.

I was really excited about all the new CDs. The excitement wore off fast though once I discovered they were all awful things like Peter Gabriel and P Diddy back when he still went by Sean "Puffy" Combs. I was about to pass the whole collection over to my little brother when I noticed a homemade mix CD hiding behind The Greatest Hits of The Charlie Daniels Band.

"T's Mix" was written on the front in black Sharpie ink. There were some Roman numerals scribbled on the front as well to indicate it was part of a series.

I was completely intruiged by your mystery mix. I skimmed through the tracks with my little brother when no one else was home. I was too young to appreciate most of them. I scoffed at the Nine Inch Nails track, agreeing with my brother that the Weird Al version was way better. I didn't quite know what to make of The Black Eyed Peas and I think Ben Folds probably offended me.

But there was a punk rock cover of "Turning Japanese" that I thought was awesome for whatever stupid reason. I wouldn't understand all the innuendos involved in that song (and the 1980s in general) until college.

There were almost 20 tracks on the CD, each track a little weirder than the last. The mix finishes off with Stephen Lynch singing about the Special Olympics. I still remember listening to that song for the first time with my brother in the back of the house, laughing hysterically and then feeling like horrible people.

Right after the Lynch track, the theme from "Three's Company" plays and then the whole CD is over. My brother and I decided that the mix was mostly a dud and I put it on some dust-ridden shelf in a corner.

But as I got older, I found myself revisiting that awkward mix. There were all sorts of angry, anti-corporate rock songs towards the middle of it that fit in well with my pathetic teenage angst. Since I lived in suburbia and had no real problems, I had to get mad at really vague entities, like society as a whole. I was even an incredibly misinformed vegetarian for approximately five minutes (blame that one on reading "The Jungle" in history class).

And when I got my first car (a 1993 silver Chevy Lumina with tinted windows and two authentic bullet holes in the back), it only made since to load your mix into my car stereo and blast track number four - "Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta." You know, the song they play in "Office Space" when all the white guys are beating the crap out of the fax machine. The song went on for a whole five minutes and contained more profanity than the smoker's bathroom at my high school. But it was the closest thing to gangsta rap I had (other than Gorillaz...yeah, I'm super white) and therefore became the national anthem of my infamous Gangsta Car.

I loaded your mix onto my iPod before I left for college. Well, my iPod only held 500 songs, so I loaded the ones I really liked and left out Lil' Kim and Boyz II Men. Ben Folds ceased to offend me and became living proof that geeky white kids who play piano can rock out. I began to secretly fall in love with The Black Eyed Peas. And since I was just coming out of my intense They Might Be Giants phase, I thought The Presidents of The United States of America were brilliant.

Every once in awhile someone would look at my iPod and ask about the playlist labeled "T's Mix."

"I don't really know who T is," I would answer stupidly. "My great aunt found this mix laying on her lawn and gave it to me."

It was silly, but I always wondered who you are. What kind of person puts punk rock, 80s music, hip hop, Nine Inch Nails, and Steve Martin singing "King Tut" all on the same CD?

Surely you must be someone totally interesting. I always thought you were probably a boy. Maybe one that was a little older than me and wore beat up Converse tennis shoes. I thought we would probably be friends. Your musical taste never did match up perfectly with mine, but it was extremely diverse and eccentric. I like that.

The reality is that you're probably a 35 year old stoner who lives in your mother's basement. Maybe you made the mix when you were high and decided to play CD frisbee on my great aunt's lawn one night in the summer of 2002.

Or maybe you're some crazy alternative chick who was on a mission to spread music awareness throughout the land and purposefully left those CDs on that lawn. Like when I lived in the dorms and got all the ditzy girls on my floor addicted to 90s eurodance by anonymously leaving my mixes everywhere. But that was mostly just an experiment to see if I could get everyone to stop listening to country western crap nonstop.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble. The point is, T, I don't know who you are. And I'll probably never know. But I'd like to thank you for the mix CD that fell into my hands eight years ago.

So, T, thanks for the tunes. You probably just thought that your CD disappeared into an open sewer grate or something, but it went to a good home. Sometimes I wish I could make you a mix in return. But your identity remains a mystery, so that would be impossible.

Peace/Love/Rock and Roll,


Friday, July 2, 2010

Blame Canada!

My little brother busted out a Bob Dylan song on his guitar this morning and we had an impromptu sing-along, mumbling half the lyrics and shouting "THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN" at the end of each chorus to make up for not knowing all the words.

And it's true. The time, they are a-changin. I don't know if I necessarily like it, but change doesn't require you to approve of it. Change only requires you to accept it and to adjust accordingly.

The Original Sound Trash album is not happening this month. Just take a look at my bandmate's latest blog entry and you'll see that he's running off to Canada for the month of July.

It's a long story but it's not that interesting. I don't need to go into it. All you need to know is that the story ends with half of the band impulsively trudging through Canada and the other half of the band singing Bob Dylan in attempts to cope with it.

I think it's time to reinvent myself. Get over this incredible songwriter's block I've been stuck in for a month and do some composing. Maybe do some shows on my own. Travel places alone. Visit friends I haven't seen in awhile. Focus less on what I want to do with my life and more on what I'm going to do today.

The times, they are a-changin.