Friday, August 26, 2011

This One Comes With Ugly Drawings And Diagrams!

I'm a complete wimp when it comes to hot weather. It works out because I live in a place that's overcast and rainy most of the time, but lately it's been obnoxiously hot. It's the kind of heat that makes me want to do nothing but sit on my stoop in my shorts and daydream about icy places while drinking a variety of cold beverages. I'm not the only one who has this reaction. In fact, the porches around the building have become so populated that I sketched a lame diagram of it all. Click to enlarge.

The days here are miserable, but some of my favorite nights of the summer have happened on the stoop within the past week or so. Word is slowly getting around that my stoop is one of the more interesting places to be (after all, it is the outdoor home of the elusive Mad Scientist, who likes to smoke cigarettes out there while practicing material for his new rap career) and more people seem to be venturing over to it. Sometimes, we have little pizza parties out there. Watch the cars go by, lose track of time, try to avoid being eaten by mosquitoes, tell jokes, give each other misguided relationship advice, discuss the meaning of life. You know, things you do on a stoop.

I think they probably had a stoop in "RENT" but never used it in the play/movie because most of the plot takes place in winter.

That's all for now. The heat is frying my brain cells and I must return to do-nothing mode. If it doesn't cool down tomorrow, I just might have to spend the entire day at the movies or something. :P

Over and out, amigos.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Worse Than Calenders

My current to-do list:

- Make my room look less like a hipster frat house
- Drink more water, especially when it's so hot
- Stop worrying so much about the future
- Give my 30 days notice
- Start stretching before practicing The Melbourne Shuffle in my room so as to avoid embarrassing one-person-dance-party related muscle soreness
- Become more organized
- Finally finish that crazy CD and do something with it
- Beat somebody at pool
- Learn how to make money off of things I do already
- Eat more vegetables
- Remember that where ever I go, I will end up somewhere
- Actually go somewhere cool instead of just talking about it
- Block everyone on Facebook that uses words like "hubby," "house-cleaning," and "having a baby" in their status updates
- Write something people want to read
- Buy a ticket for the Amanda Palmer show in November
- Just conquer the world already

This is why I never make to-do lists...

They are even worse than calenders.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Am Exactly The Person That I Want To Be

This is my theme song right now. I listen to it at least once every day, usually in the morning when I'm still waking up. It's very honest, empowering, and never fails to make me grin.

Don't tell anyone this, but I cried a little bit the first time I heard it. I'm not really a person that cries when listening to music,* but this song gets me. So I thought I'd share it with the big bad blogiverse. :)

Aaaand I think that's all I've got tonight. More interesting updates and stories to come, I promise. Also, I'm participating in a blog swap tomorrow, so expect an awesome guest post!

Peace out, amigos.

*Except for when I listen to David Bowie's "A Space Oddity" when I'm really sleep-deprived. Sometimes, thinking about Major Tom being lost in outer space is too much for me to handle.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Late Night Love/Hate Lists

I love it when...

- A friend introduces you to someone you've never seen before but that person pretends to have a history with you. It's best if you play along. Example: Friend: "Lauren, meet my friend André." André: "Oh, I know Lauren - we traveled across the country together back in 2001." Me: "Oh yeah, that was crazy! Especially when the car broke down. Nice to see you again, André."

- My friends and I have picnics on the stoop over-looking 82nd Avenue and pretend it's somewhere scenic.

- The coffee finally kicks in and I write about twelve pages of a theoretical sitcom episode over the course of a couple of hours.

- I realize that I am absolutely surrounded by people that believe in me and my various creative projects.

I hate it when...

- I realize that probably at least half of the people I hang out with only invite me places because I'm the one with the car.

- The smell of the dead fridge wafts down the hallway.

- The noise from 82nd Avenue keeps me awake when I sleep with my window open.

- It becomes clear that I need to move on from this Bohemian mad house and do something slightly more responsible with my life (don't ask me what that would be - I don't know yet...).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Deady McDead Dead

The fridge in the kitchen finally bit the dust last weekend.

It was already on it's last leg when we bought if off of The Fonz's mysterious ex last fall. And it's not like anyone really takes good care of it.

Actually, I never put anything in it for the following reasons:

a) It's always stuffed full.

b) An annoying theater troop moved in down the hall and they think it's okay to eat everybody's food.

c) I have a mini-fridge in my room (flashback to dorm life, anyone?).

d) No one ever cleans out the fridge and as a result, there is a whole colony of moldy food growing in the back of it.

You get the picture. It's a big stinky mess even when it's working properly. Which is to be expected, I guess. After all, it's used by about twenty people, most of which eat a lot of weird vegan-friendly food and forget to throw it out when it goes bad. I have nothing against vegans (except that I love to make fun of them...sorry, vegans), but sometimes they feel the need to make kombucha and forget about it in the community fridge for all of eternity.

Anyway, our "FRIDERATOR OF LOVE" died about a week ago (yes, it really says "FRIDERATOR OF LOVE" on it in permanent marker...I blame The Chef). It's not only merely dead - it's really most sincerely dead. I think it's leaking freon. It needs to go away. This is an ex-fridge.

Of course, no one wants to take responsibility for this rotting corpse of a refrigerator. I probably shouldn't complain about it because I don't want to touch it either. But I never used it when it was working. I have an excuse.

And now that it officially smells like death on a stick, no one will open it. So it's still full of strange, rotting, unrecognizable food-type things. Gross gross gross!

However, people have been very proactive in the sign-making department. As you can see in the picture, there are five very ominous notes regarding the death of the fridge. And those are only the ones on the front. There are a bunch on the sides, too. The Chef even wrote a eulogy for it on one side in bright pink Sharpie.

And then there was the funeral and requiem.

Yes, despite the fact that no one will touch the damn thing, there was already an event held in it's honor last Friday evening.

Okay, maybe it was just an excuse for people to get together and drink. But still, it was a time to say "goodbye" to something that's actually still with us because no one knows what to do with it.

The memorial service was held in the courtyard outside my window during our monthly art open house. Everyone was instructed to bring either a bag full of corn or a cheap pack of beer. The plan was to cook a bunch of corn on the community grill and enjoy the warm August night as a community of kooky artists. The Chef hung up some art on nearby trees to create a festive atmosphere. All systems were go for a wonderful night in remembrance of our darling dead "friderator of love."

Except that the minute The Chef put a piece of corn on the grill, The Management went berserk. Apparently, barbecuing corn during a gallery opening is some sort of heinous crime against humanity. It wasn't long before our crazed hipster asshole of a landlord was throwing a hissy fit.

Stupid Landlord: "You guys can't do this! You just can't!"
The Chef: "Um...well, we are."
Stupid Landlord: "Well...well...I'm going to call my boss and you'll have to deal with him."
Mr. Syracuse: "Fine, call him."
Stupid Landlord: "Why are you guys doing this???"
Pretty Much Everyone: "Um...we live here."

And that's the story behind the incident we now refer to as Corntroversy 2011.

We ended up having to relocate, which was so ridiculous. People got really riled up. Even the infamously grumpy fat lady with the rat-faced dog was on our side. Usually, she sides with The Management, but on this night, she was the one raising an ear of corn into the air and yelling "FREEEEEDOM!"

In the end, we still got to eat our corn and drink our beer.

And we still had a big, stinky, bio-hazard of a fridge sitting in our kitchen.

The Poet suggested that we move it to our landlord's parking spot in the middle of the night. Preferably face down and still full of food.

I doubt anyone will have the nerve to actually do that (I know I certainly don't), but it's a completely fabulous idea.

In the meantime, Mr. Friderator Of Love is happily rotting away. And I no longer go into the kitchen because it totally reeks. I've started just making sandwiches in my room when I get hungry.

Hooray for sandwiches.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hip To Be Square?

I got new glasses a few days ago. Big, over-sized, Woody Allen glasses. They are my new favorite things. Except when I wear them around, I can't decide if I'm the hottest thing ever or if I'm absolute hipster scum.

I asked one of my neighbors for her opinion on the new glasses. "They make you look really smart," she replied. "After all, you're not one of those lazy kids that drinks nothing but Pabst Blue Ribbon."

Shortly after that, I walked into the pub with some friends and the bartender popped open a can of Pabst the minute he saw me walk in. "The usual, I assume?" he asked, sliding the beer towards me.

"By the way, nice glasses," he added as I fished around in my purse for two dollars.

I mumbled a "thank you," paid for my crappy beer, and proceeded to run into Mr. Syracuse. He was drinking alone at the end of the bar and immediately noticed my new glasses.

"Are those prescription?" he asked, smirking just a little bit.

"Yes," I said, wondering how many people would dare to ask me that question. "Yes, I actually need glasses to see things."

Over the past few days, several people have felt the need to ask me whether or not my new glasses have prescription lenses in them.

I doubt Woody Allen ever had to put up with that.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Human Doings

I hate the question "What do you do?"

The worst part is that I never quite know how to answer it. I'm always tempted to say something like this:

"Well, I do a lot of things. Usually I wake up late and make a pot of coffee. Sometimes I eat a bowl of instant oatmeal but usually I just wait for lunchtime to roll around and then I eat a sandwich. I write a lot of things. Songs, blogs, stories. Sometimes, I read books. Other times, I go out with my friends. Play pool at the pub down the street. I used to not know how to hold the cue but I'm getting so I can sink balls like some sort of amateur pool shark. Whenever I hear Pitbull on the radio in my car, I turn it up and sing along despite the fact that I pretend to not like hip hop. Once every two and a half years, I eat pop tarts on a whim and usually end up tearing off the edges because they are too crusty. I try hard to incorporate the word 'lanyard' into my everyday vocabulary. I partake in Solstice celebrations. I wear leopard-print pants when I need to feel like some sort of trashy rock and roll diva. I strive to live life as fully and as honestly as I can. meant what do I do to make money..."

Of course, I've never actually said all that to anyone. I usually just smile and say "I'm a musician." And then the conversation eventually ends and I leave the room feeling at least somewhat powerful.

Because, as my artsy neighbors often remind me, that is what I do. I just don't always make very much money from it.

That hasn't always been my standard answer, though. I used to awkwardly pause and mumble something about being unemployed or self-employed (which is almost the same thing sometimes). Then I would proceed to feel extremely self-concious and slightly dysfunctional, especially if I was talking to someone with an established career.

When I moved into the artist's community last fall, I immediately noticed that none of my neighbors indentified themselves by the place they work (or, in many cases, don't work). And the question was no longer "What do you do?" The question became "What sort of things do you make?"

Now that's a question I can deal with answering.