Saturday, May 12, 2012

Boarding Schools Exist For a Reason: A Lesson in Parenting

Spending a rainy Saturday watching the Lifetime Movie Network, one thing has been made clear to me: teenage girls are terrifying and they all belong in boarding schools with the nuns and the responsibles. If you choose to raise your children in some nice suburb or you're not Phylicia Rashad, you're an idiot because your kids are all evil, super slutty, internet whores.* 

That being said, I love Lifetime movies, but they often leave me with a lot of questions about the teenagers of today, which include:

  • Why is sweet, little Emma from Degrassi, wearing a mid-drift, baby t-shirt to school on a Tuesday? 
  • Do all parents of popular kids work a lot? 
  • Do most kids really lose their virginity on a dare? 
  • Where do all these girls find so much fishnet? 
  • Why isn't Marcia Gay Harden my mom?
While LMN (that's probably what the popular kids call the Lifetime Movie Network) has left me with a lot of questions, it has equally left me with a lot of knowledge.

  • If girls fight, it's definitely going on YouTube with a catchy name like, "Best Girl Fight Ever." 
  • When teenagers social network, they always spell "amazing" like "AMAZZZZNG" and "girl" like "GRRRL."
  • If a guy says that you look like "Angelina Jolie, but prettier," he's probably lying and just trying to get in your pants.
  • Everyone has syphilis and a Canadian accent, so be careful.
So, if you're a mom, Happy Mother's Day! The internet has a lot of information on boarding schools. If you're not a mom, protect your ovaries.

*I don't have children. All my parenting knowledge comes from LMN, School Ties, Twilight and babysitting my kid sisters. I am not an expert.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Story

Yesterday I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner ever and, had it not been for Trader Joe's huge selection of precooked food, it would have been a complete disaster. Also, the gravy that comes with the Tofurkey looks like a sponge.

One of the highlights of the day was having a story competition with my sister Kate. The rules were simple, the theme was "thankful" and we each had 60 minutes to write the story followed by 15-minutes to review.

When sister Kate read her story, it was a terribly sad play about a couple getting divorced. I on the other hand, ended up with the story below. Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve never taken the Amtrak before and I’m excited for this new adventure. I’ve told all my friends in Chicago that I have big plans to make “train friends,” or at least that is what I’m calling them in hopes that it’s not all Mexican women nursing like it was last year on the Megabus. As the train attendant escorts me to my car, I’m pleased when he opens the door and I find three other passengers, a middle-aged Indian guy that is wearing an old Rams sweatshirt and sneakers and two white guys that are around my age and look similar enough to be brothers. In my mind I think, “THESE ARE THEM! THESE ARE MY TRAIN FRIENDS!” I’m very excited.

I quickly go over the subjects I will allow myself to discuss with them. No on reality shows, yes on baseball, no on the Hunger Games or any vampire fiction, yes on bars I go to, no on my strong affinity towards Mark Zuckerberg, yes on my strong affinity towards Bollywood. I tell myself I must not talk too much. I must try to keep my stories short. They must love me.

“Hey, I’m Margaret.”

Margaret is the name I stole from my grandma Maggie and I use sometimes when I meet new people I know I will never see again. I’ve never been too inventive when it comes to my alternate personas. When I was a little girl and would play school or house or something, I used to tell people my name was Laura instead of using my given name of Lauren. Laura just had something special about it in the early-90’s – like Jessica, Christina or Punky.

The three men introduce themselves. The Indian guy goes by Umar and the two brothers are Jeff and Jason.

The train pulls out of the station and my car is silent except for the creeks and other sounds trains make as they rock back and forth on the tracks. I try to get the conversation started – I want to talk to my new train friends. I’ve already had a fantasy of us telling stories and laughing so hard that the other passengers on the train are jealous thinking, “who are those super fun people in that party car?! I want in. That Margaret Laura sounds like such a hoot! She must be the most popular girl in the world! I bet she has a cool boyfriend like Tom Hanks or Jason Segel!” But for now, all I’m met with is silence. So I decide to start:

“So, are you guys all going to Kansas City?” I say this knowing that they guy in the Rams shirt must be getting off at St. Louis, but it’s an icebreaker.

“No.” says Umar. Predictable.

“Yes,” Jeff and Jason say in unison.

“Oh great,” I say in a very welcoming tone. I need to loosen these boys up. And when the car attendant comes, I think I will order us all some whiskey.

Silence hits again. But I will win. These are my train friends and it will only be a matter of time before Jason is telling me about his new job that he just hates – because it’s probably at the accounting firm – and Jeff is telling me about his recent breakup, I’ll call that girl a slutty whore because, I mean, she probably is if she broke up with my best friend Jeff – and Umar will tell me, well, I don’t know. He probably just read one of the Palin books and because I’m a white girl from the Midwest he’ll think I identify. But I won’t. AND, I will be able to wow him with facts straight from the campaign trail where a friend of mine worked. Yes, I can’t wait.

“So, are you guys from Chicago?” I try again.

“No,” says Umar.

“No,” again in unison, says Jeff and Jason

Silence again. Now I’m getting mad. Why don’t these guys want to talk to me!? I’m so fun and I’m wearing my cute new Jessica Simpson boots, who, even though is a total hot mess, makes extremely cute and surprisingly comfortable footwear which I look totally hot in. There is a knock on the door and I am so relieved.

The car attendant asks us if we’ll have anything to drinks and, in an attempt to lighten the mood, I say, ‘ohh my goodness, yes! I’ll definitely have a drink – OR FIVE – I’ll start with a whiskey and water and go from there.”

This makes me (A) sound totally cool because I’m a girl and drink whiskey and (B) sound like I’m totally fun and like to party.

Umar, Jeff and Jason order nothing.

This year, I’m thankful for the bar car. Maybe my train friends are in there.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Somtimes you should just listen to yourself, girl.


I'm a liar! I didn't write all summer and now fall is almost over! What have I been doing? Nothing important, so let's get to it.

I have a terrible, awful, no good case of the Novembers. I'm feelin' all cold and single and my contacts are so dry. And like any good independent who is down, instead of talking about my troubles, I've decided to go out a lot. Those dark and carpeted bars have pacified the problem, but not solved it. I needed a little jolt.

Earlier today my friend Mandy, who knows not of my Novembers, serendipitously text me a picture of an old email I wrote her when she was in a similar funk. She has since kept it hanging in every office she has worked in, and now, in the middle of another work move, is packing it up again and decided to send it to me.

I read it and laughed. It was the jolt I needed. It changed my outlook. Oh how wise I was as a younger version of myself.



First, always speak your mind. Just remember that life is too good to last, so every person and every moment you spend with every person should be Lennon/McCartney amazing; or at least rival that of a really good episode of "That '70s Show."

Also remember that when you have to do something scary, calories don't count. So you have to do something grossly unfun - well, there is a really big piece of chocolate cake waiting for you at 7-Eleven. And if you feel like getting super crazy, there is always that 40oz fountain soda with the good ice - but that is only to be used in extreme emergency situations.

And if that still doesn't work, imagine (insert name of sweet, but desperately goopy guy)* in a leotard, ribbon dancing to Josh Groban. That always gets me. Or think of Gloria Steinem and Eminem at Ellen's Sunday brunch table - that always really makes me laugh, too.

Lastly, remember that you are awesome and have really good hair.

I think that about covers it.

Kindest Regards,
Lauren XXX
Treasonist Detective**
So there you have it. Life is short, people. So do what you love and be with the one you love and love hard and long and speak your mind and laugh - and make fun of fat kids (I guess?).

Play us out, Groban.

*Name redacted to protect the sweet and goopy
**I used to say I was a treansonist detective, which would make Mandy and I laugh every time. It's not even a real thing. (Or is it?)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

That time Tom Selleck was shown a picture of my face next to a picture of his face on a sheet cake

A few months ago while sitting in a trendy, L.A. hot spot, Tom Selleck was approached by a man, a fan, a hero. We call him Nelson and he is my friend. The exchange between the two men went something like this:

“Hi, Mr. Selleck. I’m a huge fan of both you and the Tigers.”

“Well, thank you.”

“My friends are also huge fans. In fact, this is my friend on her birthday.”

Action: Nelson shows Selleck a picture on his phone


Let me start from the beginning.

I like mustaches. Always have, always will. You will never meet a boring man (or woman) that wears a facial frock and on top of that, I was born in the 80’s, a time when everyone from Aaron Neville to Theo Huxtable was sporting, or trying to sport, a stache. Plus, my Dad has always had one. It goes along quite nicely with his cowboy, football star, cop persona.

I also like parties, a lot. I like to go to them and plan them and talk about them and think about future parties to plan while current parties are still going on. (ZOMG, I’m a control freak). So for my 25th birthday, I decided to throw a “Sparkly Glasses and Fancy Mustaches: Lauren Christine is 25!” party. It was held in the back of an old Irish pub. Above the nose, Sparkly glasses adorned many, while mustache glue was in high demand below for the traditional Caterpillar, Fu Man, and French. A few even grew their own while others painted their fingers for a fashionable Cocktail Stache. It worked.

The following year after a casual conversation with a hair stylist about Halloween costumes, I was inspired to make my 26th birthday party Tom Selleck themed, “Nothing says 26 like Tom Selleck: Lauren Christine is 26!” The idea was that everyone could come as their favorite version of him. Do you want to be Magnum P.I.? Maybe you know two other men and a baby. Are you dating Monica from Friends? However, due to my Pisces, my birthday usually falls on or very close to St. Paddy’s Day weekend, which usually themes my birthday for me. The party didn’t happen as I had proposed, but to make up for it, I was honored with a cake that honored the mustached man himself.

Fast forward about six months when Nelson was sent to L.A. for work. He was just sitting at a restaurant entertaining clients and guess who walks in. Yep. He did it. Tom Selleck saw my face next to his face on a cake. It was magic.

Epic Tom Selleck Trailer - watch more funny videos

Now, all of that being said, I'm really more of a Tom Skerritt fan.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If I was a Lesbian

So here I am, one year of grad school complete, two(ish) more to go. Relief. I have so many things I want to do this summer like hangout with my friends too much, read, date the terrible and non-terrible, not think about school, get awesome lady muscles with an awesome lady tan and write. I do have a specific writing project in mind, but for now and publicly, my goal will be to update this blog at least once a week until school starts back up. ... So again, here I am.

A few nights ago while a little woozy on allergy meds, I watched an old episode of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy." I haven't seen this show since my first year in Chicago, which was when I lived in a beautiful, sunny 4-bedroom on Roscoe & Broadway. It was in the heart of Boystown and I had three roommates, two other Laurens and a Rachel. (I know).

The episode I watched was about a lesbian wedding between Callie and a blond doctor. It was really dramatic in that way which has suburban pastors preaching against lesbian weddings the following Sunday and using the show as an example of the devil's work. Anyways, it got me thinking, what if I was lesbian?

I'm pretty sure I would be really good at it. I mean, I would clearly be a power lesbian in the six-figure club, adopting non-white babies and wearing really cool white suits. But every time I picture myself as a lesbian, I just see two me's, standing in a kitchen, lots of plaid happening, while putting pasta into one of those plastic reusable containers that ensures freshness. Does that mean I consider myself the perfect person or that I'm too self-involved?

I'm not sure either.

There was a time when I thought everyone, all girls and even guys, were lesbians. It was back when I lived in that sunny, 4-bedroom with the Laurens and Rachel. I was put on pain killers for a medical issue and had spent a few days bedridden, sipping Crystal Light and watching Seasons 1-4 of "The L Word" on Showtime. At one point I remember leaving my room, shaky and stoned, to find my three lady roommates smoking on the back deck.

"You guys, I have something to tell you."

"Yes," one of the Laurens answered.

"I think you guys are lesbians."

My point wasn't very well taken, mostly because I hadn't showered in a week and my greasy hair was sticking to the side of my face. But at that point, under my cloud of numbness, I was a Showtime lesbian expert and almost positive I was right.

I wasn't. My roommates weren't lesbians. And neither are most men.

I'm not really sure how to end this post. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I'm not a lesbian, I still hope to find a companion exactly like me one day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Before my Behavior is Organized

I have a 15-page final paper due in my Organizational Behavior class tomorrow, and I have yet to even open Word. So, to get myself psyched to write about businessy topics, these are the things I like to do:

  1. Eat pasta
  2. Sit on my couch and try to convince myself I can write it in full tomorrow (before work) if I wake at 4am
  3. Read my friend's blog
  4. Comment on my friend's blog
  5. Go into the bathroom, turn on the light and give myself a mirror pep-talk, which usually ends with me doing my smoky old lady laugh and saying things like "you're alright, kid."
  6. Find the perfect Pandora Station, but then find a new one because Lionel Richie is not good study music
  7. Play my harmonica
  8. Look at the things floating in the bottom of my water glass (is that pasta?)
  9. Clear all of the mail and unpaid bills off my desk
  10. Find my book
  11. Write my own blog post
  12. Open Word
I know I haven't written since December or January, but school tends to get in the way of all fun, not just blog writing. So Rachel, my only dedicated reader, I'm sorry I've given you nothing to distract yourself with during class this entire semester, but now you're, like, 3rd in your law school class, so what I'm saying is, you're welcome.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nothing says Christmas like a little Ray Kroc

I’ve been told my Thanksgiving post made people sad. I disagree with them because I thought it was funny, but, like the weather, I’ve learned I can no longer control people’s feelings. (dern broken magic!)

For whatever it’s worth, every time I’m in Kansas City and turn on the CNBC Biography channel, I catch “Ray Kroc: The Story Behind the Golden Arches” at least once. And it may be that he is from Chicago or his Czech heritage or maybe my expanding, McDonald’s-esque waistline, but his sassy success and complete domination of America’s appetite reminds me of both my family and Christ’s birth. But before there was Ray Kroc and the McDonald’s brothers, there was the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And so, last Saturday, it was Christmas.

On the 24th I decided to take the MegaBus from Chicago to Kansas City, a mind’s seed that was planted to piss my Father off who thought it was a terrible idea. By proving him wrong, I proved him right and arrived in Kansas City 45-minutes late, on 2-hours of sleep and with a lovely case of the dossays due to a stale roadside breakfast sandwich.

With the help of a hot shower and a little holiday magic (wink), I headed down to the Kansas City Plaza with a couple of family member for a few Christmas Eve cocktails. Funnily enough, Christmas Eve cocktails mixed with Christmas Eve cold medicine leads to Christmas Eve shots of Jameson at the dinner table and ends with a blacked out me at Christmas Eve midnight mass.


So the next morning (Christmas!) I awoke a little sluggish and opened stockings. After we prepared for the rest of the clan to arrive for dinner, drinks and holiday cheer. As a child, Christmas represented a time for carriage rides, gifts and familial goodwill. I am the lucky owner of two amazing grandparents and a special aunt who always went out of their way to make our family Christmases (Christmasi?) the most memorable, the most special and the most magical time of the year. What I am left with are warm, wonderful memories that feel like my very own personal Christmas carol...or coke commercial.

But just like America’s eating habits changed over the years (cue Kroc), so do the holidays as families evolve. Instead of days filled with ice-skating and sugar castle building, things are more quiet and reflective. My Grandparents are aging and with that brings stories of their youth - lessons learned, victories gained, goals achieved and dreams recognized.

Earlier this afternoon I was showing my Grandpa Facebook. We wrote, “Hi Aunt Annie, I’m showing Grandpa Facebook,” on my Aunt’s wall, we commented on the status of a cousin/Grandson and chatted with one of my sisters. “It is a miracle this all happened,” my Grandfather said to me after going through page after page of his family’s online profiles. Before I answered with some praise of Zuckerberg, he finished by saying, “You guys are my miracles. I just can’t believe this all happened to me. I’m so lucky.” And like Jesus unto the world, we are my Grandfather’s miracles, his passion, his joy, his proof that he was here and he did good.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season…and the chance to be someone’s miracle. Merry Christmas.