Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Typical Lauren Friday Night...

Tonight's progression:

1. Wear new shoes. Look hawt. Feel good about self.

2. Forget to make plans with anyone.

3. Go into the kitchen to cook something.

4. Make dinner with The Theater Lover.

5. Meet an intriguing young man while baking pumpkin spice bread.

6. Eat yellow squash enchiladas with a bunch of my neighbors.

7. Drink a toast to ourselves and find comfort in the fact that we are a bunch of misunderstood artists who can really understand each other.

8. Talk about ridiculous commune drama that is neither funny nor interesting enough to write down.

9. Talk about The Proletariat vs. The Bourgeoisie, The Sharks vs. The Jets, Artists vs. The World.

10. Feel inspired.

11. Do the dishes.

12. Realize that everyone else is really tired and is going to bed at 10.

13. Lurk around the kitchen in hopes that someone interesting will come around.

14. Go back to my room and contemplate calling Tweaked Out Elvis Costello.

15. Mentally replay that last few interactions I've had with Tweaked Out Elvis Costello and decide that I'm not in the mood to deal with him tonight.

16. Call the bandmate to figure out band practice.

17. Listen to the phone ring for a long time.

18. Hang up.

19. Change into sweatpants.

20. Think about watching a movie.

21. Decide not to watch a movie.

22. Notice that the trash is disgusting.

23. Think about taking out the trash.

24. Look out the window, see that it's a little rainy, and vow to take out the trash first thing in the morning.

25. Play my keyboard.

26. Become aware of the fact that the terrible music from next door/outside/where-ever has started again.

27. Write the world's most pathetic blog post containing all the mundane details of the evening.

28. Go to bed???

Here's to strange Friday nights in the commune.

Goodnight, amigos.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Having A Hard Time Coming Up With A Coherent Title For This One...

There's a moment in 30 Rock when Liz Lemon mentions she went to see an obscure art film on the weekend.  It then cuts to a shot of her buying her ticket at the movie theater, lowering her voice and saying "One for 'Hot Tub Time Machine,' please." 

I totally felt like Liz Lemon last night.  I was in a bit of a slump for several stupid reasons, including (but not limited to) the following:

The water in the building was turned off for repairs yet again.  I think there was a memo about that somewhere but I missed out on it.  I discovered this issue when I unsuccessfully attempted to take a shower.

The reality of being twenty-three.  Cliche?  Yes, completely.  But birthdays always bring along this realization of how quickly time passes and how unknown the future is.  Allow me to stop before I become too depressing.

My ongoing failure to write a decent song from start to finish.  Just call me Roger from "RENT."  Sometimes, I'm really prolific when it comes to writing songs.  But right now, I'm stuck in the mud.  I want my one song glory and I want it now! 

Frustration with the general male population.  Between awkward guys from high school resurfacing five years later to suggest we "grab lunch or coffee sometime," hipster boys disappearing into the night after promising they'll return when they've smoked a cigarette, and Facebook constantly reminding me that my ex-boyfriend is having a jolly good time on his own planet, I think I'm ready to become a nun for a little bit.  Except I'm not Catholic.  At all.  So there goes that plan. 

Anyway, those are all fairly silly things, but they can be the cause of a slump when thrown together as a combo pack and left to simmer in my brain for awhile.  Fortunately, I live only a few blocks away from the fabulous Academy Theater.  And last night, they were playing the movie that both of my husbands are in.

Naturally, I am referring to "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World."  I got married to Michael Cera AND Jason Schwartzman when nobody was looking.  Don't feel bad if you didn't know.  I don't bring it up a lot because Michael likes his privacy and is a little embarrassed about being involved in a polygamous marriage. 

Hi, this post is taking a turn for the weird.  Let's return to real life, shall we?

I'm not going to geek out about "Scott Pilgrim" today (mostly because I've already done that).  Instead, I'd like to note that going to the movies alone can sometimes be a very satisfying experience.  Some people might think it's kind of sad, but I think it's the ultimate independent woman thing to do. 

I even treated myself to pizza and root beer from the snack bar.  I was about to order PBR (to go with my new-found hipster persona, of course), but then I remembered that I was by myself and therefore could shamelessly indulge in root beer.  Root beer > PBR (that's a "greater than" sign, for those of you who failed seventh grade alegebra).  Don't tell the hipster police I said that. 

Having a cheap theater within walking distance of me is probably a bad idea.  I could see myself turning into a character from a Woody Allen film and spending too much time at the movies during the day. 

Heh, now that I think about it, I'm probably already a character in a Woody Allen film.  I've got red hair.  I own a typewriter.  I can play the clarinet.  I'm awkward, anxious, and neurotic.  I think rabbi-related humor is funny and always appropriate.  The list could go on and on. 

Crap.  I am a character in a Woody Allen film.  Does that mean Woody Allen is God of the world I live in?  If so, I'm doomed.  But at least that would explain why I often have the uncontrollable urge to be obnoxiously witty. 

This post is weirder than most.  Congrats if you made it this far.  You are a blog-reading warrior.  Gold star for you. 

That's all I've got.  Peace out, amigos. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Today I am twenty-three. Twenty-freaking-three! Wasn't I just twenty-two? Wasn't I just twenty-one? Wasn't I just twenty?

My birthday always sneaks up on me. This year was no exception. I didn't really make any exciting plans. I thought about awesome things I've done for my birthday in years past. Many of those things involve my friend Cyndi, who now lives eight hours away. When we were in college she used to show up on my doorstep at midnight with Captain Crunch or kidnap me and take me to the movies. Those were some of the greatest birthdays.

Cyndi unexpectedly came into town this weekend. On Friday she texted me and asked if she could crash here on Saturday night. She showed up when I was eating French fries in the kitchen with Tweaked Out Elvis Costello. I hadn't seen her since July. It was fantastic.

At midnight she presented me with a mix CD and a well-loved Tom Robbins book. We made some popcorn and watched this film:

I had seen this movie before, but it was several years ago and I could relate to it on a whole different level this time around. The film is hilarious and thoughtful and probably THE film that best sums up my life right now.

"That movie is so twenty-three," I said to Cyndi when it was over. She agrees.

Cyndi took off early this afternoon (but not without meeting my hippy neighbors first). I finished my cup of tea and made myself some lunch. I blasted Marina And The Diamonds danced around my studio. Later I will go downstairs to the restaurant and continue having a conversation about employment with the owner. Later I will meet my family for dinner. Later still, I'll probably have the standard issue existential crisis that comes along with birthdays.

But right now, I'm feeling really content. I'm happy to be alive, to be twenty-three. I think the next year of my life is going to be a good one. I'm not gonna let it be anything other than that. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hey, I'm Still Alive!

First off, I would like to clarify that I am not dead.  It has been several days since my last post and people have been starting to ask if I've been abducted by hippies.  I appreciate your concern, but I assure you that no such abduction has taken place.  I've just been busy adjusting to my new surroundings and as a result I have neglected the blogosphere a little bit.  I know, I know, lamest and most cliche excuse ever.  Please know that if your blog has been lacking comments from me lately, it's not because I don't love you.  It's because I'm a lazy hipster.  I will fix that soon, don't you worry.

Anyway, on to my next order of business:  This is post #100. 

This blog has come a long way since it's first post on Tuesday, March 30th.  Originally created as a place to document a cross-country rock tour that was over before it began, this blog evolved into something I never imagined it would be.  And people other than my mother and my bandmate read it and leave me comments, which never ceases to blow my mind.  So thank you, my darling readers and blog friends, for helping to make this blog what it is.  This blog wouldn't be very much fun if nobody read it.

I was considering pulling a Strong Bad and videotaping myself saying the word "blog" 100 times in honor of my 100th post, but that's so 2004 and probably not very funny to anyone anymore.  Instead, I will do something that I would have done regardless of whether or not this was the 100th post - I will give you a photo tour of my new life!  Several people have asked about what my commune looks like, so I will shed some light on that at this time.

This is the building from the outside.

It used to be a retirement home and has a lot of character. 

The hallways feel rather institutional.  

But the kitchen feels like home.  

The view of the courtyard from the kitchen window is my favorite.

Sometimes, my room turns into indie rock central.  The only complaint I've ever gotten from my neighbors if that I'm not loud enough.  I think the exact words of the old hippy down the hall were "Hey, if you and your friend are gonna have a little rock show in your room, you better share it!"  That made me incredibly happy. 

Aaaand this is my bathroom.  I generally don't keep a stove top on the back of the toilet, that was just for a special occasion.  Probably best not to ask.  

There you have it - the artist's commune.  It's quite the place.  I've been gathering stories faster than I can tell them.  Maybe that's the real reason I haven't blogged in several days - I'm overloaded with material and don't know where to start, if that makes any sense.  

But I'm getting over that.  I've started with a picture of pasta cooking on the back of my toilet.  And you better stay tuned, because you can only believe it's going to get more interesting.  

That's all for now, folks.  Over and out. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting Sick. Getting Older. Getting...A Job???

Bleck. I've caught the crud that's going around. Last night I even skipped out on going 80's dancing with friends to stay home and blow my nose repeatedly. You know I really don't feel well when I pass on 80's night.

I miss the days when being sick was kind of glamorous. Not that being sick is ever fun. But when I was a little kid, coming down with the flu meant that I got to move Mom's TV into my room. It meant staying home from school to watch hours of "The Price Is Right" while Mom made sure there was always a full glass of 7-up in front of me.

Getting sick is just annoying when you're an adult though. Oh how times change.

It's still weird to think of myself as an adult. I just realized that I'm going to turn 23 in about two weeks. TWENTY THREE. How on earth did I get to be 23 already? What am I doing with my life???

(Note: Those are rhetorical questions. Do not answer them.)

I think all I really want for my birthday is the job that I just spent all day trying to get stuff in place for. I'm being vague on purpose because I don't want to hype up something that might not even happen. If I got this job, my life would change radically for a bit, but I'm totally up for it. I think I have a good chance of getting hired. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but the company seems interested in me. We'll see what happens. Till then, I'm sitting here crossing my fingers.

I really should go to bed. I want to be better by tomorrow night so that I can go to a little dinner party in the community kitchen. I think a whole bunch of people are going to be listening to music, cooking spaghetti, and drinking wine. I still have only met a handful of people in the building, so it would probably be a good idea to show up with some organic vegetables and mingle with people I haven't met yet.

But before I go to bed, I should mention something exciting that's happening in the blogosphere. I've joined forces with two great blogger friends, Tom and Allison. The three of us discovered that we were all going through the same 20something angst, so we created a little something called The Transatlantic Support Group. Check it out! It's still pretty new, but it's been turning out pretty cool so far. You might enjoy it (and possibly be able to relate to it). :)

Anyway, that's all I've got. That bottle of Nyquill by the bathroom sink is calling my name. More interesting/coherent post next time, I promise. :)

Over and out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tattooed Tony

So it's officially my first night here in the commune.  It's so big and feels a bit institutional, but it's slowly becoming more populated and less intimidating. 

I made Ryan come over for band practice (after all, it's Tuesday - the traditional day of trash rock time).  He hadn't seen my place yet and was pretty entertained by it.  He was even prancing around the halls playing mariachi music on his guitar at one point.  I gave him the grand tour and then we played through some songs in my room, leaving the door open a little bit in case anyone wanted to hear us. 

Towards the end of practice, an old guy popped his head in the doorway.  I was expecting him to tell us to shut up, but instead he enthusiastically told us to keep playing.  He introduced himself and offered us some salmon bisque he had just made. 

There were a few people in the kitchen, so I took my tea kettle in there and made some tea while working up the courage to sample the sketchy looking bisque.  Met a couple of my neighbors and made some small talk.  They were cool people:  a college kid studying photography, a woman who really liked the color orange, and the old guy that cooked the bisque.  Turns out the old guy used to be a professional chef in Canada.  Photography Guy was eating the bisque and looked like he was enjoying it, so I decided to give it a taste. 

"I know, it looks like bloody awful slop," said the old guy in a fake British accent.  He was right - it was ugly and gray.  It smelled good though, so I tried a little.  It was really good as long as I didn't look at it.  Ryan didn't want any.  He was missing out. 

We sat around drinking tea with our new friends for a little bit.  Then Ryan took off and I went back to my room to put my keyboard away.  I went back into the kitchen to wash a teacup.  A tough-looking man with a tattoo was chopping up zucchini and singing Beatles songs in a deep voice.  He introduced himself to me as Tony.  I talked to him for a little bit and found out that he was just there visiting a girl that lives down the hall from me.  Apparently he's from New York but bounces back and between here and Arizona.  "Depends on what the weather does," he says, chopping another zucchini.

I left the kitchen and went back to my room to check my email and make a phone call.  I went back to the kitchen a little later to recycle an empty juice bottle and discovered that Tony was putting the final touches on a beautiful plate of grilled tomatoes, zucchini, and pita bread. 

"Wow, you're quite the gourmet chef," I say.

He laughs.  "I'm hanging out with a girl!  We're gonna watch a movie...have a few beers...I always like to make sure I make good food when I'm hanging out with a girl!"

I look at the professionally plated display of vegetables and pita, then at the grin on Tony's face.  "It's healthy, too!" he adds enthusiastically. 

I can't help but smile.  "It looks great!" I say.  "She's going to be impressed." 

I think Tattooed Tony just restored my faith in men a little bit. 

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.  Stay tuned for more stories from the commune! 

And with that, I say goodnight, amigos.  :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? TIME TO LIVE IN A COMMUNE!

So today was the infamous moving day. I now live in an "artist's community" that was formerly a creepy old folks' home.

As you probably suspected, I'm a little exhausted. But I thought I would share with you a short list of quotes from today that really sum everything up.

This list will begin now ("Beginning list, Captain!"):

White dude with sideways baseball cap and baggy pants: "So, the security sweeps...will those be like every night? Will I have to let them in my room?"
Landlord: "Oh no, they won't be going in your room. Someone will just be going through the halls and making sure there aren't any prositutes hanging around or anything."
Old hippy man: "So you won't know if I have grow lamps running?"

Man in tight pants that looks like Frodo Baggins: "So, um, can we like earn credit towards buying miniature refrigerators?"
Landlord: "Um...what?"
Man in tight pants that looks like Frodo Baggins: "Can we get points towards mini fridges?"
Landlord: "Uhh...there's a Standard TV and Appliance down the road..."

My mom: "Lauren, there's a hole in your bathroom wall."
Me: "Holy crap..."

My mom: "I have to go to the bathroom and I'm not going to use yours while the Mexican construction workers are in there fixing your wall...I'm gonna go try those public restrooms down the hall."
Me: "Okay, I have to go to, I'll join you."
(We look inside the ladies' restroom)
Me: "I don't have to go anymore."
My mom: "Yeah...I can hold it."

Old guy who is excited about banjos: "Hey, you're a musician dude, right? Did you see my banjo? I just moved it in?"
Me: "Yeah, I saw somebody going up the stairs with a banjo..."
Old guy who is excited about banjos: "Which one was it? Was it silver made of wood?
Me: "I don't know, I just noticed that it was a banjo..."
Old guy who is excited about banjos: "By the way, I'm going to have bluegrass jams at my place!"

(while wondering around the deserted hallways)
My friends Chad, David, and Megan: "This place reminds me of 'Twelve Monkeys.'"

(Chad and I are carrying stuff up to my room)
Gorgeous Man Lurking Around The Kitchen: "Hey, how's it goin?"
(Chad and I continue up the stairs after some breif introductions and small talk)
Chad: "That guy is so gay. Totally eyeing me."
Me: "He's not gay! He's just pretty."
Chad: "Straight guys don't dress that well. He's at least bisexual."

All of us: "Oh man, somebody's really smokin a joint right now..."

Sign on the wall: "ATTENTION RESIDENTS - Hot water in the building will not be working until Tuesday."

The place was deserted tonight, with the exception of the gorgeous man lurking around the kitchen and some short-haired blonde chick who was hot boxin it up in her room. I enjoy having the ability to take showers, so I took the liberty of going back to my parent's house for the night. I'll go back tomorrow to move a few more things in and organize my new room.

Everyone keeps telling me I'm so brave for trying this commune thing. I'm really not that brave. In fact, I think I've spent the last 24 hours going "OMG, I'm moving into a commune full of strangers! What am I thinking?" Nah, I'm not brave. I'm just curious and ready for a change.

And you know what? I am so excited. Really. :D

That is, despite the fact I probably won't fully move in until Tuesday now because of the hot water issue. The place is still under a bit of construction. It should be really cool when it all comes together. It already is pretty cool, but hopefully it will soon become the pee-in-the-hallway-bathrooms-without-the-fear-of-getting-a-disease kind of cool.

Oh man. I live for new adventures. I feel strangely optimistic tonight. It's a good feeling.

I promise I'll write a more coherent post on all of this sometime in the near future. But for now - this is Lauren The Starving Artist, signing off!