Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So Today Is My One Year Blogiversary...

A year ago today, I created this blog and wrote in it for the very first time.

I had a lot to say on that inaugural day. So much that I posted twice, actually. After my melodramatic introduction, I launched into a bunch of idealistic babble about why I needed to travel the country.

Looking back on that first set of posts is quite strange. It's hard to believe a year has already gone by since I was freaking out about graduating from college and planning the Jack Kerouac-style adventure that never happened. Wasn't that just last month or something?

At the same time, it seems like an entire lifetime ago. I lived in a different town back then. I was still in school. I had completely different friends. I had vague goals for after college, but none of them involved breaking up with my boyfriend, moving into a commune, and starting my solo music career.

I guess you can say I've changed a lot in the past year. It feels like I have, anyway. But then I look at some of the words I wrote last year at this time, and I realize I am exactly the same.

The following excerpt is from Tuesday, March 30, 2010...

I live in America, where all functional members of society are expected to go to school until they obtain a degree that will land them their job of choice. This job will then pay for all the expenses of life but drain the life out of a person in the process.

I'm not ready for that. I don't know if I'll ever be.

The truth is, I've spent my whole life just wanting to make music. That is what really makes me happy. But I've also spent my whole life hearing people laugh when I say that all I really want to be in life is a rock star. People think it's a joke. People think it's impractical. People don't understand why I can't just be "normal" and go after a job that will make good money and suck out my soul in the process.

I'm done listening to those people.


A year later, I'm still sitting here thinking I want to make music for a living. But I'm also beginning to feel skeptical. My friends from my "old life" are quickly becoming balloons in the orbit of society and I'm wondering if I missed the memo. Even the guy that was going to travel the country with me in the name of trash rock now wears collared shirts and uses words like "investment."

But I'm too stubborn to give up on the crazy dreams I have. If I turn out to be the next best failure, at least my stories will be more interesting than most.

Anyway, I'm beginning to get all introspective. The Universe is probably going to show up and demand a cup of coffee if I don't knock it off.

I know I've said this before, but it never ceases to amaze me that people actually read and follow this funny little blog. A year ago, my audience consisted of my bandmate and my mother. Now I have nearly 80 followers. This blows my mind. I was even blogger of the month over at 20 something bloggers. The amount of encouragement you guys have given me is unreal and I am thankful for all of you guys. I didn't expect this to happen a year ago, but I definitely think of some of you as friends (The Transatlantic Support Group is totally proof that you can make friends over the Internet!).

So, thank you for making my first year of blogging a good experience. And thank you for putting up with rambling, self-reflective, link-loaded entries such as this one.

Here's to another year of "lauren vs. reality."

I'm off to acquire some more coffee. Over and out.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dripping With Ambition

Lately, there has been an epidemic of people sitting around the kitchen complaining that they never get anything done.  

Somehow, that lead to this lovely piece of butcher paper hanging above the community couch:


I love knowing that I'm not the only person who has ever considered doing laundry and eating chocolate to be acceptable daily goals.  

I also love that one guy's goal for tomorrow night is to "GO TO BLOW PONY AND GET WAAAAASTED."

And it should be noted that most of the names on there are not our real names.  Remember last week when I mentioned we all have hippy commune names now?  You're looking at them.

There is also a list of long-term community goals in the top right-hand corner:

These goals include a glam rock sing-a-long, a sushi night with lots of alcohol, a road trip to the von Trapp Family Ski Resort in Vermont, and a club devoted to eating salad.

Ladies and gentlemen, the dream of the 90's is alive in Portland. 

That is all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fonzie: Paranormal Edition

It's 2:30 in the morning. I'm contemplating putting on my pajamas when there is a knock on my door.

Nobody ever knocks on my door past midnight, so I yell "Who is it?" It's The Fonz. I open the door. He's holding an iPod and looking slightly distressed.

The Fonz: This iPod was laying in the kitchen, is it yours?
Me: No, it might be So-And-So's.
The Fonz: Okay. Sorry to bother you. I just didn't want to leave something like this in the kitchen tonight because I saw some guy walking down the hallway just now and I think he is the ghost of Fonzie.
Me: What?
The Fonz: Yeah, he looked like Fonzie. I think he was a ghost. He had a black t-shirt, hair that went like this... *makes hand motions*
Me: Are you just saying this because we had an hour long conversation about ghosts tonight?
The Fonz: No, no, The Poet saw him too. He thinks it might be a real person but I think it's the ghost of Fonzie.
Me: Did you talk to him?
The Fonz: No, I just saw him. And he looked like Fonzie. Anyway, sorry to bother you. Goodnight, Sweater.
Me: Goodnight, Fonz.

I close the door and wonder how fictional television characters can become ghosts.

I triple-check that the door is locked and go to bed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here's A Little Something From The Vault...

I was digging through my old notebooks today and I found something so laughably horrific that I felt the need to share it with you guys.

It was a screenplay idea that I came up with in college and apparently it was very short-lived because I don't remember much about it.  Somehow, the concept got an entire notebook devoted to it (but only three pages have writing on them).

I've had a lot of good ideas in my life, but this is not one of them.  Without further ado, I present...

Yes, you read that right.  This zombie apocalypse comes with a beat!  I enjoy the fact that even though the word "musical" is crossed out, the whole shabang is still "eurodance-themed."  I also enjoy the multiple misspellings.  Looks like Lauren The 20-Year-Old College Kid needed some sleep!

But wait!  There's more!

If you don't want to take the time to read that mess, all you need to know is this:  Apparently the zombie apocalypse begins because some moron flushes the wrong chemicals down the toilet.  Also, the main character is a hot DJ with pink hair and the story takes place in either the future or 1997 (I couldn't decide).

The next page has a vague plot outline and a lot of arrows.  The only part worth sharing is this:

Suddenly, it's a social commentary as well as a eurodance-themed musical/romance/thriller/comedy.

And then, there are the characters...

I think I thought I was clever because Max Tekramkcots is an accountant and his last name is "stock market" backwards.  And apparently, the main character falls in love with a cute British zombie who is also a scientist who sometimes wears a fez.  

There are pictures (complete with obscure song recommendations!):

Yes, apparently the zombies go to Costco at some point and get down to Ice MC.  And I guess the British zombie guy's name is Romero?  What a subtle homage to George Romero.  Again, I probably I thought I was being clever.  

Also, when has the word "friggin" EVER been in my vocabulary?

It's not surprising that this idea only lasted three pages.  

Anyway, that's all I've got.  I'm going to scuttle off to the kitchen to brew up some tea before I can further embarrass myself in the blogiverse.  

Peace out, amigos.  Be careful about flushing suspicious chemicals down the toilet and, as always, beware of zombies that like techno music.  <3

Monday, March 21, 2011

Surrounded In Light

I'm downing a cup of kashmiri chai at Townshend's Tea House. It's right in the middle of the Alberta district (which is infamous for being the gentrified, hipster-centric part of town), but it's got the best laid-back atmosphere around. Not to mention the best tea. And it's in a neighborhood other than my own, so it's the perfect place to sequester myself away in a corner and work on things without running into anybody.

I've got to go back to the commune at some point - it's cult movie night. We're going to set up The Fonz's TV in a central location and cram a bunch of people on the couch for the director's cut of "Donnie Darko." It's like my college experience all over again.

I'm not going to be able to afford this glamorous starving artist lifestyle forever. Which is why I applied to work at the restaurant that's opening up on the ground floor of my building. I'm not terribly enthusiastic about the job, but I have to work somewhere. Last night, there was a meeting for everyone that's going to work there. It was the strangest assortment of characters, including:

- The Fonz.
- The Fallen Nun, sporting her new vegan anarchist hairstyle.
- The woman who started the weird rumor about me. The minute I walked in the room, she apologized for the texts. Apparently she was drunk. Awkward sauce.
- Tweaked Out Elvis Costello, writing the hours he wants to work in crayon on a paper towel. He has a hard time making eye contact with me after the stove top incident.
- The cute boy I thought was probably gay. Apparently he's not and he has a new girlfriend now. Boo. Ah well, I'm over it.

These are all people I live with and now we are all going to work together. Forget "RENT." This is the part of the show where my life becomes "Cheers."

The restaurant opens in a couple of weeks. I predict that my life will reach a whole new level of hilarity when it does.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get my act together and record a little demo CD (if not a whole album). It will be a solo endeavor and I'm a little overwhelmed by the prospect of being in complete control of my music. I know I've vaguely alluded to this, but I should just come out and say it - Original Sound Trash is falling apart. It's been upsetting, but I'm moving forward. I've got a new "band" called "The Want Ads." The word band is in quotes because I'm the only real member. I'm hiring some guys to play bass, guitar, and drums for me on the recording. Still figuring out how all of that will work.

My neighbor's have been incredibly encouraging throughout this period of musical transition and uncertainty. The Fonz has offered to jam with me on various occasions and The Poet has even gone as far as to introduce me to various musicians he meets on the smoking corner. Last night, I had the privilege of jamming with the guy from New Jersey who lives in the smelly stairwell. It was all very impromptu. The Fonz and I were massacring David Bowie songs when this guy came over to see what was going on. He picked up a guitar and next thing I knew, the two of us were engaged in an hour-long musical conversation. His girlfriend did yoga on my floor and The Fonz read my library books. The world felt right.

It's been awhile since I've had a jam session that left me feeling that energized. We agreed to do it again soon.

"We all want you to feel surrounded by light here," The Poet said to me once. "We want to protect you and take care of you."

And in this moment, this hour, this day, this week - yes, I feel surrounded by light. Maybe it's just the chai tea talking, but I think I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

Anyway, that concludes today's installment of Mundane Updates From Lauren's Life. Tune in next time, amigos! I'm off to go watch "Donnie Darko" with my favorite batch of nutty artists.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Full Moon Madness

There's a full moon out tonight. I can tell. The world is weird. It has been for a couple of days. Today, an episode of "The Real World" broke out in the kitchen. In other words, The Chef and The Fonz yelled obscenities at each other. It was so bad that I left the room.

The whole atmosphere was way too tense, so The Fonz and I evacuated and spent the evening drinking coffee at the hipster Goodwill down on Hawthorne. I tried on the world's ugliest dress. Fonzie almost bought a ratty, tweed smoking jacket. Then we drove home, making up completely offensive raps in the car the whole way back. We made a giant tray of nachos and shared them with The Poet.

Of course, a performance of our new Top 40 hip-hop hit, "Teenage Love In The Winco Beer Cooler," was inevitable. The Poet almost fell out of his chair as we proceeded to be as white as humanly possible.

Then we put on 80's music and made guacamole. The Chef came in to make peace with The Fonz. The two of them hugged and became friends again. A few more people came in and we all ate nachos while singing along with "Total Eclipse Of The Heart."

Me: And I need you mooooore tonight!
The Fonz: I need you moooore than ever!
The Poet: Lauren...why is this coming out of your iPod? Why do you both know all the words?

I blame everything on the full moon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Life Is Normally Pretty Bizarre, But This Week Is Ridiculous...

These past two days have been really, really strange. Strange in the surreal, my-life-is-a-sitcom sort of way. Allow me to deliver some of the highlights:

- The Fonz decided that everybody here should have a new name. A commune name. Some people have cool Biblical names while others are named after state capitols. Some people are stones or flowers. My neighbors on either side of me are now Sparkle and VuVu. I am Sweater. Yes, like the article of clothing you wear when it is cold out. The Fonz came up with it.

- The guy I met the other day is a regular in that coffee shop and I saw him again. I had another great conversation with him, but was turned off by the fact that he kept checking his email while I was talking. It also came up that there's a significant age difference between us. There was an awkward moment where he said something along the lines of, "You know...I was coaching track when you were in middle school...I could have been your track coach." There was a pause, followed by a mutual "that's weird." Oh well. At least I have a cool new coffee shop friend.

- I went on a grocery shopping mission with The Fonz. This involved pretending we were a married couple and calling each other by our fake commune names throughout the store.

- I got the world's weirdest text message tonight. I don't need to go into what it actually said, but it's proof that grown adults are still completely capable of acting like they are in middle school. Let's just say that somebody in the commune who is my mother's age started a downright absurd rumor about me. And then she had the nerve to text me about it to ask if it was true.

- I discovered that there are mice running around in the commune. I haven't seen any in my room, but I saw one in the kitchen tonight and I screamed like a melodramatic little girl. Now I'm all paranoid.

- I swallowed my pride today and contacted the guy who owns the restaurant downstairs. He's finally hiring people. I'm not really that enthusiastic about working there, but I really need a job. Looks like it's time to be a waitress...*insert profanity here*

- I keep thinking that it's time to travel. I'm still trying to figure out where. I need to invent an excuse to go somewhere cool and have new experiences. I love Portland and I adore the commune (for the most part), but it's all getting a little too small and slightly weird. Okay, people in the hallway here say "Hi, Sweater!" when I walk by. That probably counts as more than slightly weird...

That's all I've got. I'm sure I'm probably leaving something out, but those are the highlights.

Peace out, amigos.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Is The Part Of The Show Where Lauren Exhibits Cringe-Worthy Behavior...

They say that Portland is one of the most passive aggressive places on the planet.  I don't think about it very often because I've lived here forever and I'm used to it, but it's totally true.  As a city, we have mastered the art of being indirect to the point where Lorne Michaels made a TV show about it.

I hear a lot of my girlfriends complaining about how wimpy the men are here.  It's true - the average Portland boy will not approach a girl he doesn't already know.  Instead, he'll just adjust his thick, black, plastic-framed glasses and attempt to make eye-contact with her from across the room.  Then he'll spend the next two months reading the "I Saw U" ads in the Portland Mercury or cruising the "Missed Connections" page on Craigslist in hopes that she posted a vague description of him. 

I might be exaggerating a little bit, but you get the idea.  If you are of the female persuasion and you want to actively date in this town, you have to be the one to make things happen.  Of course, since I am also from Portland, I am extremely awkward and non-confrontational.  Plus, dating isn't a huge priority for me right now.  That being said, the closest thing to a date I've experienced recently was the night in October when Tweaked Out Elvis Costello bought me French fries and told me all about the time he tried to start his own religion. 

But I digress.  Something happened to me today that completely threw off my groove. 

Not my finest fashion moment
I was hiding in my favorite coffee shop, as I often do.  I was sitting at the table in the back, staring at various things on my laptop and drinking the world's strongest cup of coffee.  I wasn't necessarily dressed to impress - I was wearing the hat that The Chef gave me, my worn-out black Jackpot Records t-shirt, and zero make-up.  So it was a little unexpected when a guy at a nearby table complimented the bag I had laying next to me.

My bag has a map of Vancouver B.C. on the front and this guy thought that was really cool.  Turns out he loves Canada.  So we had a weird conversation about Canada, which somehow turned into a conversation about film.  I learn that he's from L.A. and does videography work for a living.  I tell him that I'm a writer, musician, film geek, etc.  He's intrigued, especially when it comes out that I have a scriptwriting background.  He tells me about his projects, I tell him about mine.  We discover that we have a mutual friend in common.  We share a good laugh about a town where every one in five people is a midget.  At one point, he moved over to my table.  It was all very natural, yet strange because I'm not used to strangers being that interesting and conversational.

It got to the point where he motioned to the bar across the street and offered to buy me a drink.  I should have probably gone with it and said "yes," but I was so thrown off by the whole interaction that I told him I had to be somewhere and made a less-than-graceful exit.  I spent the drive home yelling at myself. 

Stupid automatic defense mechanisms.  Portland girls aren't socially equipped to handle boys from Los Angeles.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slightly More Hopeful Than My Previous Post...

It's been quite the week.

Rain storms.  Rejections.  Car problems.  Never-ending headaches.  The end of a project that I loved dearly.  The growing fear that something in my very own room is constantly making me sick.  The reality that being an unemployed hipster brat is not as fun as it looks on "Portlandia."  Unattractive moments of self-doubt.  Loads of uncertainty.

Encouraging words from my wonderful neighbors.  Never-ending support from my family.  Love from you guys out there in the great big blogiverse.  Late-night emails from the commune's unofficial concierge urging me not to give up on The Rock Star Dream. 

New goals scribbled down on the tattered pages of my journal.  Comprehensive step-by-step plans of action, some more practical than others.  A bucket full of cleaning supplies and a brain full of ideas.

This is my time, my golden age.  This is the part of the show where I decide not to let myself mope around and get stuck in the mundane mud.  This is when I figure out how to completely go after everything I want to be and totally own it. 

Easier said than done.  But it's all worth a shot. 

In other news, I've been having these kinds of verbal exchanges with the people I meet lately:

Me:  I live in an artist's community...
Random Person:  Oh, I think I've heard of where you live...isn't it a retirement home for hipsters?

Me:  I live in an artist's community...
Another Random Person:  Oh cool!  What's that like?  Is everybody, like, sleeping with each other and painting pictures about it?

I should just start telling people I'm a freelance hippy.  I actually thought about putting that down on my taxes but somehow I don't think the IRS shares my sense of humor...

That's all I've got tonight.  Peace. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blah Blah Blah...

Meeting Mike Mills (less blurry)
NOTE: I've been trying to write this post for several days now. Maybe the words will finally fall together the way I want them to this time. Read at your own risk.

R.E.M.'s new album came out yesterday. Kudos to Allison for reminding me to buy it. I downloaded it on Amazon last night and have probably listened to it five times since then. "Collapse Into Now" is the R.E.M. I fell in love with when I was a socially awkward 15-year-old raiding my dad's stereo cabinet. It also helps that I had the experience of going to a listening party with Mike Mills himself.

Still waiting for him to email me, by the way. Haha. My homemade demo CD is probably sitting in a pile somewhere on his desk. Or maybe he sat on it and broke it while it was in his back pocket. It remains a mystery. I'm not really expecting THE Mike Mills to contact me regarding my amateur demo, but it is cool to think that he has that option.

Oh man, was it only two weeks ago that I was in San Diego? I was so ready to conquer the world when I came back. What happened? Today I've been stuck in a bit of an emotional slump (with R.E.M. as the soundtrack, of's like 10th grade revisited...). I know that I sometimes come off as the girl that can put on a sparkly mini-dress and power through life, but this crazy post-college adventure isn't without moments of intense self-doubt.

I found a note from The Poet under my door this morning, reminding me yet again that I'm not crazy. It found it's way under my door just when I was thinking of going back to bed. Last night I confessed to him that I felt stuck and I hadn't played the piano in four days. This alarmed him, as it probably should have. Making music is usually a daily thing for me.

I guess my groove got thrown off last week when I got weirdly sick while driving to my parents' house. I had been feeling sick like that throughout the week but this time it was really bad. I felt dizzy, my head ached, there was a weird tingling feeling down my spine, and half of my body felt like it was about to go numb. After taking a mental inventory of all the baked goods I consumed in the past 24 hours, I ended up going to urgent care and taking a series of evaluations that felt like sobriety tests. The doctor was really nice and did a good job at convincing me that I was not dying but rather just experiencing a really bizarre migraine headache. Then again, I could be suffering from intense anxiety or chronic carbon monoxide poisoning. The building I live in is ancient and full of fumes, so that last one seemed probable.

When I was calmed down and about to leave, the doctor told me I might have HIV. He followed that up with the following sentence: "And syphilis is making a comeback. You don't want to rule that out."

I nearly laughed. Did he know that my neighbor just had a melodramatic syphilis scare because of a weird rash on her foot?

Also, I feel like I would know if I had syphilis. I think there is some sort of gross rash involved, but I don't think it starts on your foot...

Anyway, I don't think any urgent care doctor should ever be allowed to mutter the words "You might have HIV" unless they plan to do some serious blood work or have decent evidence to back it up. Even if the patient casually mentions having set foot on the continent of Africa at one point in time (yes, my trip to Egypt came up somehow).

I think Jack White wrote the song "Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine" with me in mind. But I digress. After spending some quality time with WebMD and Wikipedia, I convinced myself that I do not have HIV. Instead, I became convinced that something in the building I live in (the pipes, the radiators, the chemicals the construction workers are using downstairs, etc.) was slowly eating away at me. For the first time, moving out of the commune seemed like a possibility.

I went to see a neurologist and he couldn't really pinpoint the cause. He suggested changing things about my lifestyle and environment. Not a bad idea. So I'm on a mission to eat healthier, get on a regular sleep schedule, and exercise more.

Though I can't help but be a little paranoid about my apartment. I plugged a carbon monoxide detector into the wall and it hasn't beeped at me yet. But what about the water that goes through those crusty old pipes? What about the fumes from construction? Antique mold hiding in corners and crevices?

I hope I'm just being neurotic. But a couple of my friends here have experienced milder versions of my symptoms. Maybe I'm the canary in the coal mine and we're all destined to go down in history as those hippies that all died from lead poisoning/syphilis.

It's all been a bit of a wake-up call. Right now, I'm really not feeling that well physically or mentally and I'm realizing that my days in the commune come with an expiration date. I'm calculating my next move. Or trying to, at least.

I've noticed that other people are beginning to talk about what they are going to do when they move out of the commune. One of my friends (TMBG Girl) already moved out. For most people, it's not the toxic fumes. It's a whole number of things - the ever-changing group dynamics, the petty politics, issues with The Management, the lack of consistent hot water and laundry facilities, etc.

A guy that lives on the second floor had a frightening nervous break-down a couple of days ago. It was Magic Butter Guy. Not someone I really hung out with but not someone I expected to snap and trash the kitchen. He is best known for playing the pan flute and reading poetry from a scroll. The sudden burst of violence freaked everybody out a little bit. I didn't witness it and it wasn't even my kitchen that it happened in, but it's still weird. I guess when you put a bunch of artists in a building together, it makes sense statistically that somebody is going to have a scary melt down. It's still unsettling though. And it's changed the vibe around here.

In other news, I'm trying to let go of something that's been an important part of my life and my identity for nearly half a decade. I think that's a big part of why I've been in the mood to mope around and listen to R.E.M. instead of making my own music. But I'll get over it.

On one of my first nights in the commune, The Chef invited himself into my room and ended up crying on my couch while eating shrimp-flavored cheese puffs. It was rather moving but also fairly awkward (there was a strange old man crying on my couch...). I will never forget what he said: "The only thing we ever really have is the ability to love and the ability to create. We may think we have more, but that's really all we have." I think there's a lot of truth to that statement.

So I'm not going to let this slump get the best of me. The thing about having a day where you stare at the blank pages of your journal and play the same album on repeat is that when it's over, you can consider that part done and move on (theoretically). That being said, I've already got the next insane plan in my head and tomorrow I'm coming back with full force (theoretically).

Sorry this post hasn't been the funniest. I usually try to avoid these kinds of entries and I'm debating whether or not I should click "PUBLISH." I think I'm just going to click it and if I'm unhappy with that decision in the morning I can delete it.

Stay tuned to hear about my adventures at a vegan potluck. I promise you that will be actually entertaining, not just a jumble of whiney, self-reflexive ramblings.

Gold stars to anyone who made it this far. Love you, bloggy friends.

Oh! I almost forgot!

The Fonz left this at my door shortly after our gay club adventure...

Peeps singing a Fat Boy Slim song...

That's all I've got. Over and out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Do You Believe In Life After Love? (OR: YOU! I Wanna Take You To A Gay Bar!)

It's been a weird week.  I guess it all began last Saturday.

There was a conversation that needed to happen but left me in a state of sadness.  So I was busy being melancholy in my cave when there was a knock on the door.  It was The Fonz.  He was wearing a satiny black tiger-striped blouse and toting a bottle of vodka.  Purple Hair and The Fallen Nun were with him, laughing and wearing equally ridiculous outfits.  Purple Hair had on a sparkly gold cape and The Fallen Nun had a brightly-colored Western motif going on. 

"Yo baby gurrrl, you goin dancin with us?"  asks The Fonz.  Earlier, a bunch of us had talked about going out to a club down in the Industrial District.  I wasn't really in the mood anymore, but I couldn't say "no" to Fonzie and his epic guido attire.  I went straight to my closet to put an outfit together. 

I should probably mention that this was a club I hadn't been to before.  It was not my usual 80's night or Bollywood-themed discotheque.  It wasn't a seedy dubstep dive or a Top 40 bump-and-grind fest. 

This was a gay club. 

When I go dancing, it's usually just about dancing for me.  Therefore, it doesn't really matter to me if it's a gay club or not.  Plus, it's no secret that the homosexual community has better dance music.  Anyway, my friends weren't going to let me just wear my standard black dress this time around.  Purple Hair went to go dig through her closet and came back with a sparkly red cape.  I skeptically put it on with a black skirt, my power boots, and a big chunky silver cuff bracelet I hadn't really worn since high school.  My friends cheered.  I was Little Red Riding Hood meets Wonder Woman, and I was on my way to a club called Blow Pony.

Play this song for dramatic effect: 

We borrowed Mr. Syracuse's SUV and headed towards downtown.  The club itself was a little bit hard to find.  When we finally arrived, there was a line stretched all the way down the block.  To our disappointment, the line was full of gay suburban hipsters.  We were the most flamboyant people there.  I felt a little stupid, as I should have.  Feel free to laugh at me, queer readers. 

In my defense, things were a lot more flamboyant inside the club.  I did not feel completely out of place in the sparkly red cape.  But I did feel like alcohol was necessary if I really was going to wear that all evening.  The Fonz had similar feelings about his guido shirt (which, by the way, belonged to Purple Hair).  We went and got some PBR while the DJ spun Lady Gaga remixes and some guy in a speedo danced the stage. 

The club was really crowded and the four of us had a hard time keeping track of each other.  It wasn't long until we lost The Fonz.  I figured he just went to the bathroom or something and kept dancing.  The music was great and I was having I blast. 

A Cher song came on and everyone in the whole place knew all of the words.  Generally, I hate Cher, but at that moment the only thing I could do was turn to The Fallen Nun and belt out the following words:

"Do youuuu beliiiiiiieve in liiiife after love?"

That's more than slightly embarrassing.  But it was a "when in Rome..." situation.

Anyway, The Fonz remained missing for most of the night.  We found him when we were about to leave.  He was drunk and making new friends.  When we left the club, it wasn't long until he was peeing on the sidewalk.  "Lauren, we need to have an awkward moment tonight.  I'm going to pee in front of the car!" he announced. 

Then we all went home and made tacos.  It was a successful evening.  Honestly, I think I had more fun at that club than I normally do at straight clubs.  I think it's because of the music. 

Seriously.  There must be a miniature gay man trapped inside my brain and managing my musical preferences.  If you take a look at my iPod, you'll quickly discover that the Lady Gaga/80s synthpop/eurodance to rock music ratio is disturbingly unbalanced. 

But I digress.  The day after the gay club adventure brought it's own surprises (Urgent Care, anyone?) but I'll save that for another post.  I'm trying to get better at splitting things up into digestable episodes instead of just dumping a million paragraphs of dribble upon you guys. 

So that's all for now.  There will be more to come. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And Now I'm Back (From Outer Space)

Ack.  I've been really out of touch with the blogosphere for over a week now.  Please forgive me.  A lot has been going on and it might take a couple of posts to get everyone up to speed.

I realize I left everything off while I was still in San Diego.  I was only there for three days, but it was best weekend I've had in awhile.  Not to mention it gave me an inside look at the music industry.  Naturally, it was all a little intimidating.  But it was also really inspiring.  I did nothing but watch live music for three days.  At the end of those three days, I knew more than ever that I was meant to be a musician. 

On the last night, I pretended to be more outgoing than I actually am and I gave my demo CD to a couple of producers.  I don't know if anything will come from it, but it felt good to go out on a limb and do it.  I also trespassed backstage and ran into Vanessa Carlton eating a piece of cake.  One of the more bad ass moments of my life, for sure. 

I think it's time for a few blurry pictures from my adventures at The Sunset Sessions:

Augustana!  (I was right in the front)

Black Dub - my new favorite

Meeting Mike Mills

Blurry photographic evidence of my Mike Mills moment

I've never really listened to k.d. lang, but her set was one of the best all weekend.  I feel slightly embarrassed about saying that, but it's true.
k.d. lang owning it on stage.  Her cover of "Hallelujah" was awesome. 
The strange yet super talented Sia (wearing the poncho from hell).

Iron and Wine's first words on stage:  "Are you guys ready to get really f@#$ing mellow?"  He must know that I listen to his music when I need help falling asleep...
Vanessa Carlton!  Weirdly enough, she was the one person there that I was too star struck around to talk to.  I think I was just thrown off by how short she is in real life. 

This field was next to the resort we stayed at.  Yes, those are plastic horses.  California is really, really weird. 
The weekend was all very exciting and quite surreal.  We left California on a Sunday.  It's a two hour flight from San Diego to Portland and we were supposed to be back in the morning, but my mom and I let the airline bump us as many times as possible in exchange for flight vouchers.  We spent the day sitting around various airports and it was well worth it.  The only problem was that we had both gotten about three hours of sleep the night before and accidentally had our new complimentary wine bottle openers in our carry-ons.  That made for some fun times in security...

TSA Officer:  Excuse me ladies, you're going to need to step over here...let me look in those bags...
My Mom:  Please don't squish those R.E.M. posters on top!
Me:  Yeah, be careful!
TSA Officer:  (rifling through the bag)  What?
My Mom:  Those posters!  They are signed by Mike Mills!
Me:  Don't squish them!
TSA Officer:  R.E.M. was in town???

I think the most disturbing part of that whole security transaction was the fact that they only caught the bottle opener in my mom's bag and let me go through with mine.  They also missed out on two bottles of water.  By the way, the bottle opener was totally made of metal and had a little pop-out knife on the side.  Potentially, we could have gotten on the plane with two hydrogen bombs and a very sharp object.

That didn't really do anything to improve my opinion of flying.  But now I'm set to fly anywhere Southwest flies.  I haven't decided where I want to go yet but I have a few ideas. 

Anyway, I think that concludes this installment of "lauren vs. reality."  Tune in next time to potentially read about the following things:

-  A new music project
-  The possibility of getting a new cat
-  Adventures with The Fonz (trashy gay night club edition!)
-  Things that Urgent Care doctors shouldn't be allowed to say to their patients
-  Why my apartment now has a carbon monoxide detector plugged into the wall
-  The ongoing argument about the exact location of Funkytown.