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I Wear Orange Because…

25 Nov

November 25th (until December 10th, Human Rights Day) is recognized by the UN as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

We are called to wear orange today to bring awareness to this cause. I saw people on Twitter posting “I wear orange because…” and offering their own messages, as seen here:

 

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Get it, fellas!

Personally, I wear orange because I believe in confronting sexual violence instead of remaining silent. I wear orange because I refuse to accept one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

 

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I could reflect on my own story or look up a bunch of scary or sad facts for you and post them here, but instead I invite you to the UN Women website, where you can see the way men and women around the world are motivating communities, providing education and working creatively to end violence against women.

You may be surprised by the hope you find in the articles they’ve shared.

Of course there is always more to do, but it’s okay to appreciate worldwide progress, especially during times when it seems like all we hear is bad news.

Also, check out United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, he pretty much rocks:

 

Lorie the Lesbian

11 Jun

Once upon a time there lived six lesbian artists in the pink townhouse down the street from me.

I was invited over for a birthday party, which also happened to be a clothing swap and a potluck of foods made only with beets because they were all on a beet diet.

It was a hot, humid day and their air conditioning and shower were both broken, so upon entering the house one was immediately slapped in the face by a putrid scent that I can only describe as “men’s locker room.” I wasn’t there to judge anyone for being stinky, though. I was there to celebrate a birthday and sweat while eating a beet cake.

The birthday girl, Lorie, wore a superman shirt, bike shorts and red sparkly pumps that matched the color of her hair.

For her birthday, she received a tandem bike, a hat and a painting of her own vagina. The painting was given to her by a roommate who had a mustache and wore thick glasses, yellow pants and rainbow suspenders. Now knowing what Lorie looked like under those bike shorts, I wished I had purchased her a gift certificate for a wax. Then again, all the ladies there were quite hairy in general and I, the hairless Sphynx of the room, was the outcast.

The only reason I was invited to the party was because she and my boyfriend at the time were great friends. There was a portrait of her that hung above our bed that she drew of herself, which I found quite odd. When we first moved in together I asked him to take it down, but he said I was being silly. “It’s just art,” he said.

About a month later, I found hidden, recent photos of her in lingerie. Apparently those were “just art,” too. Whatever they were, I ended up burning them at a beach bonfire and told him it was for “artistic purposes.” He didn’t find that very funny.

We broke up a couple of months later, I guess due to artistic differences, and soon I bought my own house.

Two years later, I was sitting on my front porch when the pair rode by my house on the tandem bike she got for her birthday. When they saw me they waved in unison and she dinged the little bike bell with wild abandon. I waved back sarcastically and spent the rest of the day with the below song in my head. I often wonder where she hung that painting of her own vagina.

 

The First Time

9 May

When I got home from work, my puppy Porter was in the window wagging his big fluffy tail. Dane was sitting on the couch, watching a documentary on the History Channel. I changed my clothes and we went to Zen West Roadside Cantina to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with sangria.

He had fish tacos for dinner and I had a quesadilla. We talked about little things of no importance and recalled the loud, old Jewish couple sitting in front of us at the Mary Poppins production we saw the night before. He was good at imitating them and it made me laugh so hard. I remember where we were sitting in the restaurant and the little kid running in circles who repeatedly played the same, really annoying song on the jukebox while his mom and dad completely ignored him. I don’t recollect what song it was now, but it was spinning in my tipsy head as I tried to fall asleep later that night.

Back at my house, we drank wine and watched a show that was saved on the DVR. Porter chased his tail and we laughed. Dane suggested that he was just like that kid at the restaurant, really, except fluffy. He adored Porter. He was mad when I first rescued him because he didn’t want a dog, but as you can see, he fell in love with him pretty quickly:

 

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When it was time for bed, Dane cuddled with me for a bit before heading to his room. He said he was happy things were going well with us (we had fought in the months prior) and we made plans to see each other when I was back home from house sitting on May 9th.

The next morning, he came in early and kissed my forehead before he left. I glanced at him through squinting, sleepy eyes as the sun poured through the sneaky cracks in the blinds, directly on my pillow.

That was the last time I saw him.

We emailed a bit that week and he called on the 8th to say he wasn’t feeling well. He had heartburn. I told him to get some TUMS.

“Thanks, good idea,” he replied, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

That was the last time we spoke.

I miss him, and I’ll never forget a single moment.

The memories we had together and his passing are a constant reminder of the beauty and fragility of breath and life. One year ago, this propelled me out of my routine stillness. It was like an awakening from the numbness of the patient etherized upon a table in T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

Grateful and inspired, the months that followed sparked the first time I truly began to live.

On Blogging

29 Apr

Blogging has been an unexpected journey for me. It started as an extension to the journals I began at age 12 that lasted until about 23, filling five books:

 

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The quote on the cover that says, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale” is ironic, really, because from page one the reader can sense the true awkwardness of a chubby, shy, hopeful romantic (even at age 12) who experiences the absolute opposite of anything resembling a fairytale.

The topics within the second half of that top journal alone talk about my friends and I at 15-years-old facing being dumped, eating disorders, rape, my dream date for a dance who broke me into pieces by choosing to go with a girl he said was prettier, drinking, a stomach being pumped, a stabbing, depression and death.

My romantic awkwardness and my tendency to over-think everything continues throughout the five journals and despite every moment that would make most readers cringe as I embarrass myself on the regular, the entire thing is woven together with a sense of “gratefulness, hope and humor” that I had and continue to carry with me as I go.

I stopped writing things down for a few years and when I picked it up again, I chose to blog and decided that no matter what depressing thing happened in the world or in my personal experience, I was going to write for myself and shed a humorous light on life. I was tired of reading and watching awful things, you know? I didn’t expect, or necessarily even want others to read it. I’m grateful that people do read and comment, but I still don’t expect it. I simply wanted to creatively journal for myself and had no idea there was going to be a community aspect.

My stats, number of followers and being Freshly Pressed meant and still mean very little to me.

With that said, I was delighted to meet people, be real and learn that I can make others laugh. I think the community has introduced us all to others who inspire us and/or have somehow changed our lives. Writers can easily connect with each other here–we all know about an artist’s deeper layers that exist within each one of us. It gives us an immediate connection and for some, a way to throw around ideas. Through this I’ve also met some friends I’d like to keep for a lifetime, had conversations with people from all over the world and even had a very odd fan fiction story written about me. I wonder whatever happened to that guy.

Perhaps the real bonus for this little lady has been the dick pictures from past commenters, even though I continually announced that I would laugh at every penis entering my inbox (and I did… that pun was not intended, by the way).

Little did those dudes know about the coffee table book I’ll publish someday called, “Is This Your Dick?” that will highlight all the ding dongs.

So, that’s what makes my blogging experience go ’round.

Why do you blog?

Katie Couric: Part 1

22 Apr

Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I went to NYC because yours truly was a guest on Katie Couric’s daytime TV show on ABC. Basically, one of my posts here (I will repost it before the show airs, I am not yet sure of the date) caught the attention of a producer and they invited me to be on the show. Crazy, I know.

I was nervous. I mean, I barely know how to walk in a straight line, my laugh is kind of ridiculous and I often stumble over my words. The other day when I sneezed in the parking lot at work, my shoe flew off and a guy laughed at me. A few weeks ago I fell while running and my shorts got pulled down and guess who wasn’t wearing panties?

What I am trying to say is that things can get weird around here, but I accept this. I was worried, however, that it would be difficult to control this general clumsiness/awkwardness and I didn’t really want to have to tell you a story about how I embarrassed myself in front of Katie Couric, an audience and cameras.

What was a girl to do? I was told that getting a lot of sleep would help, but instead my nervousness led us to margaritas:

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and then this happened…

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…but too many margaritas and that creepy old bikini guy didn’t do the trick, you guys, so the next morning I was up at 5 am thinking of all the ways I was going to screw things up. I thought of how to get out of it and even pretended to have a stomach ache, which my boyfriend saw straight through and resulted in him physically taking my hand and pulling me through New York City to the studio. Bless him.

When we got there, I changed in the green room and went to hair and makeup. The women who fixed me up did a beautiful job, but I felt a bit weird because I don’t usually wear much makeup and I could tell it made my boyfriend uncomfortable, too:

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Him: You’re so….sparkly.

Me: I knew it! I look like a sparkly whore!

Him: Well, don’t worry, it’s just makeup for TV and I bet up close Katie Couric will look like a sparkly whore, too!

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The idea of me hanging out with Katie Couric while we both looked like sparkly whores made me feel a lot better.

We watched the first segment in the green room before someone came to get another woman and I for our segment. Everything after that felt like a whirlwind because suddenly, whilst in a cloud of hairspray, a guy was clipping a microphone to my bra, a woman was using a lint roller on me and the makeup artist was retouching my lipstick.

I don’t remember much that happened after that. The conversation with Katie Couric was short, and funny, but I have no recollection of what was said. She was nice and very laid back and mentioned afterward that she liked my slippers (more on that later) and that I was funny. I secretly celebrated with imaginary high fives all around to everyone nearby.

My boyfriend says I did well, but maybe he’s just being nice. Who knows. I didn’t fall, so that’s a plus. He did mention that he heard me guffaw at Katie’s sex joke while on camera, so I hope they edit that out because yikes.

Anyway, that sums up the time I was on Katie Couric’s daytime show….one of the most random things I’ll ever do. I’ll be able to tell you more about the subject later and will let you know when it airs if you want to DVR it or something.

Boyfriend Farts

1 Apr

Last night at 3am I woke up startled by a champion fart, but for once it wasn’t my own brand. My eyes flew open and my boyfriend was lying there mischievously smiling.

 

Me (laughing uncontrollably): Ummmm!!!

Boyfriend: Haha, that sounded like a dolphin. Girl, I bet I got you dreaming you’re at Sea World.

 

Then I farted. I said it was in retaliation, but I think I was just laughing so hard that it came out.

 

Boyfriend: Your fart just smells and didn’t sound like a funny animal or anything. Gross, Lauren. You’re gross.

Me: That’s not fair! Boys smell all the time.

 

I fell back asleep a few minutes later and dreamt that it was a beautiful day so my friend Stacey and I went to Sea World. I was excited to see the sea lions, but Stacey first wanted to go to the dolphin show. We sat down and when the dolphins swam out, the sounds they made were all fart sounds and Stacey and I were laughing so hard in the audience that we were crying. My boyfriend was the dolphin trainer.

I woke up laughing and downloaded a fart soundboard on my phone and this morning, instead of working on my first day back from vacation, I listened to farts. My favorite one is called “C-Flat.”

You don’t need to tell me I’m the classiest girl in America, you guys. I already know that I exude sophistication.

My Boobs

22 Mar

When I was a teenager, I was so embarrassed by my large chest that my mom and I used to strap them into two very tight bras to hide their bounty. We were successful to a certain degree, but as an athletic girl playing lacrosse, soccer, basketball and field hockey, someone was bound to notice them bounding about and finally one day a bitchy girl on my lacrosse team called me “thunder tits.” At that time I was a 14-year-old girl with a DD cup.

When I was 23 years old, I was 5’3 and a FFF cup. That size is hard to imagine now that I am a large D cup, but I am telling you those things were so huge that I couldn’t see over them. They were so giant that I was able to use them as a pillow on airplanes or long car rides. Once, I found a pretzel lodged between them and I hadn’t eaten pretzels for over six hours.

And people, oh my god, don’t even get me started on boob sweat.

When my shoulders were noticeably suffering and sleeping became a chore, finally I decided to get a breast reduction. I was looking forward to the health benefits, sure, but I mostly wanted not to look like a porn star when I put on a dress or bathing suit.

The surgeon removed eleven pounds of boobage from my body. He said it was possible that I would never regain feeling in my breasts, but I didn’t care. Having surgery was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, especially because I can fit into normal clothes and sometimes guys even talk to my face. It took a long time to get used to my body after the experience, but I am much more confident now than I ever was in the past.

I still couldn’t feel much and my nipples remained almost completely unresponsive until last week when there was a new development. My friend Kara noticed my nipples got hard almost immediately when I saw that my boyfriend had surprised me with flowers. Two days later, I ate some really good cheese and they got hard again (I guess I really love flowers and cheese).

Tonight, if you go out, I’d like for you to have a drink or quiet thought in honor of boobs. If you’re up for it, why not stare at some boobs and make a stranger, your friend, wife, girlfriend or mom really uncomfortable? If you have permission, I think you should probably touch some boobs, too. It will be fun!

Boobs are a sexy, important part of life and for me they were a total pain in the ass, but I’m excited they are finally getting back into the groove of things.

Yay boobs!

Sunday Night Sublimity

18 Mar

I love when life provides a beautiful “moment” when everything blends perfectly and I am keenly aware that my soul, heart and brain are exactly where we all need to be. Do you know what I mean?

For me, this usually happens when I see something inspiring or have a life changing experience. For example, one time I was standing on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, taking in the beauty of the sea and rolling hills and it was overwhelmingly wonderful.

It happened last night, but in a different sense. My boyfriend and I were sitting in my car, seat warmers getting our buns nice and toasty, and he was telling me an awkward boner story. We were both draped in St. Patrick’s Day lighted necklaces…

 

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…and for some reason Michael Bolton was playing…

 

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“Here I am,” I thought to myself, “having a tingly ‘moment’ while listening to this story about an awkward boner experience and we have on these lighted necklaces and for some reason Michael Bolton is singing ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’ and he sounds kind of angry about it and when Sean and I get inside we are going to eat the f-bomb out of some delicious cupcakes and I wonder if he would still kiss me if I was wearing my stick-on orange mustache that my boss bought me for St. Patrick’s Day and hey, you know what? I’m happy.”

And then we went inside and ate those cupcakes and he said he would kiss me if I was wearing that orange mustache, but I didn’t make him. Not yet, at least. I’m gonna whip that thing out one day in like the middle of summer so I get mustache sweat or something and then he’ll have to kiss me because he said he would.

When’s the last time you had a “moment?”

Helen, A Prostitute

8 Mar

Of all the corners in Baltimore City, Helen chose my Hampden corner for turning tricks. She was tall, wore a sports bra and rocked a fancy, champagne blonde 80′s-esque hairstyle.

She yelled at inanimate objects and one time was behind me in line at Rite Aid when I dropped my wallet. She picked it up for me, introduced herself and said she had my back.

Thanks, girl.

Once, I saw her checking car doors while singing “Rush, Rush” by Paula Abdul. Two days later, I forgot to lock my car and the next morning I was greeted by a douche in my cup holder and cigarette ashes all over my front seat (which, by the way, was set down and back and likely used for sexual activity. My car was cleaned vigorously for a couple of weeks after that).

When I saw the douche, I had a flashback to the early 90s and for at least one solid minute, thought it was a Berry B. Wild SqueezIt.

 

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I hadn’t seen Helen for long time and thought maybe she finally got help and gave up drugs and prostitution, but I went out with a guy the other night who told me that she died. He also said there’s a new prostitute. He described her as “in her 50′s and a bit momish.” Mom-prostitute stands on his corner just a few blocks away, so my corner finally gets a break.

This may sound weird, but I am going to miss Helen. I mean, I didn’t know her, but she was quite a character. She was a part of life, you know? And now she’s not. I’ll never find out what her favorite color was, if she was happy at some point, or if she was ever in love.

Rest in peace, Helen. I forgive you for leaving your douche in my cup holder and probably having sex in my car.

I pray you are in a better place now, on that great corner in the sky.
 

Happy Birthday, Dad!

20 Feb

People often ask me where I get my sense of humor. Well…here he is!

 

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“What ever happened to good old 50 Cent?” — Dennis, My Dad

 

My mom says that before I was born, my dad was a very serious person. Then, like magic, the earth was blessed with the miserable baby miracle of me and my dad’s number one goal from then on was to make me laugh.

My dad is my very best friend and I am so grateful to have him in my life! I love you!

Thank you for being so supportive, for teaching me about sports, showing me love, sneaking me candies before bedtime when I was growing up and, of course, thank you so much for always making me giggle. You’re the best!

I made a video montage so everyone could celebrate and watch him in action.

Enjoy!

 

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