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A Cautionary Tale

22 Jun

Once upon a time there was a 31-year old woman who lived alone in Baltimore City. She didn’t mind living alone because of all the “pants optional” opportunities, but sure, sometimes it did get lonely. And at times? It could even be dangerous.

You shouldn’t fret, though, dear readers, the woman lives to tell her story (and at this very moment she is sans pants and buzzing about in a chocolate chip cookie-induced furor).

One bitter December evening following a late night out with friends, the woman made a risky decision. She should have gone straight to bed because as we all know (or have heard, dad, in case you’re reading this even though I told you not to read my blog) that nothing good ever happens after 2 am.

Which of the many poor possible decisions was made amidst our heroine’s drunken whirlwind laden with the indecent vigor of aggressively good spirits? Did she sprawl out on the floor, call an ex-boyfriend and cry? Negative. That wasn’t really ever her thing, anyway. Did she devour snacks? No. Okay, well maybe some snacks were involved, but that’s not what I’m referring to here, so no–it wasn’t the snacks.

She fought for years not to go down this path, but ultimately the woman surrendered, the way every drunk person someday must, to one of the highest internet gods imaginable: Amazon.

We all know Amazon is a dangerous place at any time of day, but after dark, it becomes especially treacherous terrain. Trouble was not far off, and soon it would be pricking at her and causing mild bloodshed on at least 4 separate occasions because the woman of whom I speak is often rather impatient.

On the next morning, she discovered a confirmation for her forgotten purchase:

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and two days later, she received this “awesome collection of 20 unique cactus and succulents” and indeed, no two were alike.

One cactus was chubby and furry and quite deceptive. The woman liked that one the most. She named him Barry. He and all 19 of his little friends are doing well. They don’t all have names because I just don’t have that kind of time. The woman, I mean. The woman doesn’t have that kind of time.

Anyway, the result of this perilous expedition could have been way worse with much greater consequences, but I share this story with you to serve as a cautionary tale–your reminder to go the frick to sleep instead of online shopping.

A Few Fairly Obvious Dating Rules

16 May

oHere are some obvious rules about dating and first dates that most people likely agree with and I shouldn’t have to share them with you because you should know better, but here we are, so let’s get on with it already:

1. No crying on a first date. Why would you be sad? This is your first date! That kind of behavior is frowned upon (ha) and it does not reflect well on your stability.

2. Don’t ask me for help with your taxes (unless you want to pay me, but it seems like what you really need is a tax guy and not a girlfriend).

3. No show spoilers, you heathen!

4. Don’t tell me to dress as a sexy 1900s steel conglomerate tycoon UNLESS you plan to provide a monocle. No monocle, no sexy steel conglomerate tycoon. Simple.

5. No tickling on a first date. You will get a punch in the head.

6. Don’t get naked unless it’s obvious that you’re supposed to be naked. No surprise nakedness.

7. Don’t pick me up for a date in a truck that has “truck nutz.” Jesus.

8. No getting extremely angry if I am not interested in a second date. Yeesh.

9. No asking me on a first date to go fly kites. We aren’t 6 years old.

10. Don’t use pictures from 80 years ago for your online dating profile and show up looking rough and dehydrated/like you just got divorced this week/like you just returned home from being a prisoner in a foreign land and while you were there you saw some things, pretty dark things, and they will haunt you for eternity and you’ll never come back from it.

You know what I think? If you are that guy, like if that’s who you really are, show yourself and just own it. Whatever you look like–own it. Got moobs? Flaunt ’em. Bald? I want to be blinded by that big, beautiful chrome dome. Beer gut and overdosing on dad attire? Werk.

From what I hear, this misrepresentation goes for the gals, too. Don’t lie to people via photograph, you guys. They’re going to find out.

That’s all I have for now. Hopefully, these fairly self-explanatory rules that I shouldn’t have needed to mention in the first place will aid you on your quest for love. Have a lovely day.

Dear Seagulls

9 Mar

Dear Seagulls,

First of all, welcome to the neighborhood. I’m not sure what brought you here considering the ocean is about 2 and a half hours away and the harbor is 15 minutes south. We have the Chesapeake Bay nearby, too, which seems like it would be your jam. Everyone needs a change, though, I guess, and perhaps you’ve discovered Baltimore City dumpsters (fine cuisine, I agree).

In my opinion, it seems like living closer to the water would be a far better choice for seagulls. Don’t get me wrong, guys, I don’t mind if you live here, but there are laws about noise and public defecating by which all people must adhere, and you aren’t above these rules. I’m aware you are birds and perhaps Title 5 Nuisance Control doesn’t apply…but still–you should follow the rules too so we can make the neighborhood a great place for everyone.

My biggest issue is with your shrill, rich repertoire of gull calls that resound throughout the neighborhood specifically during sleeping hours. What could you possibly be discussing so loudly that early in the morning? Is this a personal thing? Are you trying to disturb my slumber on purpose? If so, that isn’t very nice. I didn’t do anything to you guys. Please don’t do that.

The other significant concern here is all that delectable dumpster food is giving you the runny poops, and I see you’ve been using my car as a toilet. There aren’t any power lines or trees located directly above the area where I park, so basically, you are putting in work to poop directly on my vehicle. You know what? I think you seagulls are dicks. Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Seagulls are disrespectful, dick birds.

Look at this wise guy

Given the fierce community opposition (yes, there are others who agree), I’m asking you to reconsider your bold move into the city. My house and car are not a beach, picnic grounds, or parking lot. My house is not a marshy hummocks dream home for your colony. It’s not even my dream home, and I get to live inside it.

Honestly, if I were a seagull, I’d want nothing more than to be my raucous and competitive self a little closer to a beach. I cannot force you to move out, but think of all the stray boardwalk french fries you will miss this summer. So many french fries! And think of the never-ending marine invertebrate feasts! Imagine all the squabbling you could do at sunset on the docks of the bay! Guys, come on, this is a no-brainer.

Think it over and let me know your decision. I’m positive this matter can be solved amicably and no further action will need to be taken. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Lauren Ann

I Spent A Week Without A Phone And Here’s What Happened

7 Mar

I didn’t have a smartphone for a whole week, and here’s what happened.

First, I spoke aloud to other humans. Did you know there are humans on this planet that want to interact with you? They will look you dead in the eye and read your body language and talk with their voices. Then, they expect you to talk back at them with your voice. Honestly, I don’t recommend diving into this right away if you aren’t ready because the intensity of the situation could be uncomfortable. Plus, you have to wear pants. I often prefer my interactions with others to be on a mobile device when I’m alone in my home and sans pants. I’m sure you understand what I mean.

Next, I discovered there was plenty of time to focus on the things I had wanted to do, such as exercise outside, write, read, meditate and cook new meals. It was fun, but when those ran out I focused on tasks I needed to do because there was enough time for those, too. Plenty of it. Too much time, quite frankly, and if you experience that dreaded day when your phone passes into the technology spirit world, you too will face the parts of your life you avoid. Yes, avoid, although you may not notice it because your smartphone is currently lurking in the deepest, darkest chasms of your own ass.

To continue avoiding things, I suppose you could binge-watch Fuller House on Netflix and eat yourself into a cheese coma. There’s always that. Or you could watch porn on your laptop, I guess, if that’s how you waste your time instead of getting it on in real life. I, however, chose to face the things I avoid, and you know what? Ugh. I remembered why I avoided those things in the first place.

During this period I also had more time to learn stuff. At one point, I learned way too much information about how to seduce a ghost and then I spent way too much time trying to decide if I even wanted to have sexual relations with a ghost–it could get freaky real quick, after all (freaky in either the sexy way or the scary way, or possibly even both, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to find out).

In the end, I decided against it because I knew I’d somehow summon the ghost of an awkward teenage boy or a dark energy of sorts that would feed on my fear and I just wasn’t in the mood for either of those experiences.

So anyway, yeah, it was a fruitful week of knowledge, fun, too much freedom, a few daunting tasks and a weird couple of hours where I almost did it with a ghost.

I admit that when my replacement phone finally was delivered, I did a little dance with the UPS man, because yes, I missed having a smartphone. I missed it a lot.

Your homework is to imagine what you would do without your phone for a week, and then maybe use your phone to comment below. It’s useful like that, and it loves you as much as you love it. Don’t you ever lose that thing.

Thoughts From a Drunk Girl…Ok, Woman…Pt. 3

2 Mar

I’m kinda tired, but here are some thoughts I’m thinking! And I’m drinking! Yay!

  • LOL. SAME:

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  • Alfonso Ribiero is, like, my Captain Planet power thing. Imagine we all put in our rings and it’s like, “Earth! Fire! Wind! Alfonso Ribiero!” and Captain Planet shows up and does the Carlton dance. Ha. I’d like that.

  • My friend Stacey and I were talking and she sent a pic of herself to be like “hi, friend.” I went to send a reply pic and realized I am an exhausted, unshowered woman in big earphones and a giant pink sports bra. This is kind of a regular thing. How men have ever governed their boners around me remains a legitimate question.

  • “Sorry I got angry and farted on your cat” is not something I want to ever have to say to another human. Again. I never want to have to say it again.

  • I went to Mardi Gras and saw some things I want to see again and saw some things I will never unsee. Weird boobs, for example. Below is a poem I just wrote about it.

While you stroll in New Orleans
you ought to go see the Mardi Gras
cause you’ll see some weird boobs–
go there to see some if you want.
Go eat po’ boys
and drink giant daiquiris,
which are just subs
and slushies with alcohol.
I ended up getting many ice headaches,
but hey, it was fun,
because I saw some weird boobs
and a guy showed me his Zulu King
(that’s code for wiener).

  • Life–is it not so strange? So sublime? Have you ever had one of those abracadabra awestruck moments when everything seems to fit together and you fill up with pure, loving emotion? Me too. We’re all connected.

I’m sorry, I have no idea where this one came from. Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

  • Recently I saw a puppy bark at a gust of wind and it was adorable. This is my new hobby, and I would like for this new hobby, to which I am unwaveringly devoted, to blossom into a rewarding career. “What do you do for a living?” they’ll ask. “Oh, me? I observe the shit out of cute puppies. I’m so grateful and so blessed, you know. Puppy observation is a competitive field and I worked hard to get to my position as the Director-General of Observing Puppies.”

  • I’m sorry I haven’t been writing…and thank you to everyone who annoys me about it until I finally write again. I had a recent burst of creativity and more will come soon, and some of it wasn’t even written under the influence! GOODNIGHT GUYS!

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way Back From The Funeral Home

10 Jan

I dropped my phone and broke it, had a few drinks at the bar, drunkenly took a book about “hope in a time of despair” from one of those little free library book things and immediately spilled wine on it and then my internet was down and then I locked myself out of the house and I fell and then I cried with my friend and then I talked and I talked and I talked about life and love and then my other friend threw up and really, I could keep going but I’ll stop because you likely get the gist​ by now, but if you don’t, let me just say that​ life is a comedy and a love song and a gorgeous catastrophe from which we cannot escape because no one’s getting out alive.

Death, am I right? So weird. Around here we avoid the topic, but it forces its way into our lives one way or another. In these moments I am fully aware of just how much I love the people in my life. Like, I am in love with these people. They are funny and they bring me joy and laughter and they accept me despite the things I do when I’m just trying to avoid death. They listen to me when I talk myself in circles and cause my own fit of anxiety. They comfort me in the right ways when I’m cold and blank inside.

They know when I’m feigning toughness because I’m actually wearing my giant, hopeful heart on my sleeve 24-7 and there’s nothing I can do about it. They teach me all the time and I’m a better woman for it.

I’m weird. They’re weird. And they’ve taught me just how much it’s okay to be wholly and unapologetically me.

So anyway, all of this popped into my brain last night when we were on the way back from the funeral home and while I was 100% in the midst of my own tornado of me and I had to laugh at it all because, like, this is life and it’s absurd and fun and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.

The Eve of the Eve of New Year’s Eve

29 Dec

On this, the eve of the eve of New Year’s Eve, I just want to take a moment to thank 2015 for being wonderful. Granted–there were many personal lessons. And we all saw plenty of bad news happening around the world.

Sure, there were a million and a half moments when I was like, “what the hell?” and lots of times when I thought of running away and hiding in a cave like that one renegade sheep in New Zealand did because he didn’t like getting his hair cut. Remember that guy? Six years later I would emerge from the cave, probably looking a disillusioned wooly fool like he did:
 
shrek the sheep

 

And then I’d have to face my spring shearing anyway, wouldn’t I? Yes, I would, and I’d be cursing under my breath the entire time for not facing it all a little sooner.

So thank you, 2015, for showing me how to be in my power and harness the strength needed to face my spring shearings head on. Because of these experiences, I’d even say I feel like a different me. A better version of me. I mean, I’m still me, but it’s me with a bunch of cool upgrades–La La 2.0, if you will (fully equipped with a lifetime guarantee, and definitely not in need of Adobe updates).

Also, I should note that I wasn’t actually afraid of getting a haircut. I’m good to go in that area.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful New Year, and thank you to the readers who have been hunting me down to ask where I’ve been. I love you guys and appreciate that more than you know.

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts

28 Oct

Last year was my first visit to the Baltimore Book Festival and it was also a chance to meet Kourtney Heintz, an award-winning author and blogger/internet friend turned real-life friend. We met up again for this year’s book festival.

Since her last visit, Kourtney completed and published another novel–here is the cover and review from Publishers Weekly:

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“By centering her supernatural world on the concept of belief, adult author Tansley (The Six Train to Wisconsin, writing as Kourtney Heintz) gives her story a complex and unusual framework, and having the formerly possessed Kat become a possessor herself, as she inhabits another woman’s body while in the past, puts a neat spin on conventional ghost story motifs.” — Publishers Weekly

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is a YA murder mystery at its finest, folks. This is a great time of year to read it, too. Then again, what time of year isn’t great for murder and mystery?

So Kourtney visited again this year and our adventure included more drinks and another exchange of fun ideas, talk of sweating, and of course, my two hours of questions for the author. I so admire Kourtney for having the imagination, discipline and passion it takes to be a successful author. She genuinely breathes this stuff!

I also learned she goes to Hooters with her mom, which is awesome. I don’t want to say I do nothing entertaining with my mom, but I’ve definitely never been to Hooters with her (step up your game, mom!!!).

Anyway. She had a successful visit and I hope she publishes books every year so we can hang out and I can annoy her with my questions about writing. Love you, buddy! Congrats!

Thoughts From a Drunk Girl…Ok, Woman…Pt. 2

21 Oct

Have there really only been two of these? Probably not, but who am I to question my drunk titles? I have some things to say because these are the things I’m thinking:

  1. When did I become a woman? God, that’s weird.
  2. There’s a mouse in my kitchen right now. I don’t want to have to go back in because I don’t want to make eye contact with him because then I’ll have to keep him and name him something lame because that’s what I do. Oh god, I’m out of wine….Stilwell! His name shall be Stilwell.
  3. I don’t write as much anymore because my entire life has changed and I barely identify with and have time for that side of me. Weird, right? I miss this part of me the most. It will be back. I swear to god. Oh wait, here it is.
  4. I still like farts even though I’m 31, but I will say they are most appreciated when comedically timed and not happening in front of a fan.
  5. Everyone has said I would want kids someday. They weren’t wrong. Thanks, aging and maternal instincts or body clock, or whatever. We’re all getting older and we all are going to die someday. Deal with it. Sorry about that.
  6. I actually enjoy giving candy to kids on Halloween now. I used to be so cynical about that before. I even like dressing as a Disney princess to make them happy. WHAT!?
  7. Getting older also means being an adult about other things–like facing the past. Fuck you past, you don’t know me. I mean, thanks for making me the me I am now, or whatever, but otherwise? Go away.
  8. Wait, back to being a mom. I think I would do the weirdest stuff. I would google, like, “how to mom.” Many years from now, my son will find this blog and be like “WHAT THE HELL, MOM?” and I’ll shrug and be like:
  9. 1017152306b_HDR

 

  1.  Also, what should his name be? Stilwell? Also, yaaaa I don’t know why the list just restarted. Just ignore it. Like I said, I’m drunk.
  2. Stilwell. God, that’s such a terrible name. All I can think of is that dick kid from “A League of Their Own.” Remember that? If anyone wants to drink wine with me and cry themselves into a wine coma with me while watching that movie, I’m available on most nights. I prefer a Friday night though because my face gets all puffy when I cry now though because I’m 90.
  3. His name….his name….something classic.
  4. What am I talking about?
  5. You know what I love? Candy. Fucking candy is so good.
  6. Not actually fucking the candy though, that’s weird. I guess properly it would be, “Candy is so fucking good.”  Anyway.
  7. Guys? I’m drunk. Drunk skunk. Lol that sounds like Russian Rocky and Bullwinkle lady. “Drunk like skunk.”
  8. I DONT KNOW WHY THIS NUMBERED LIST RESTARTED IN NUMBERS. I WASN’T DONE.

Book Design/Logo Progress

28 Mar

Waiting for someone to complete a design that will represent your published work is extremely exciting and nerve-racking, especially when it feels like it’s taking forrrevvveeerrrrr.

Throughout this entire process, I’ve learned that patience is key. One of the top issues that critics have with books that are “self-published,” is a lack of professional quality. That quality will only come from taking the time to research publishing and design and from hiring a designer if you aren’t one yourself. I have two designers, one is creating my logo and the other, my boyfriend, is designing the book. Without them, I would end up with a random picture with the title on it…..something like this:

ohmy

Regardless of whether that’s a great read, I found the cover on lousybookcovers.com and lord knows none of us want to end up there.

So, if you choose the path of self-publishing, try to be patient. Every aspect of the book deserves special attention if you want to end up with excellent quality. Also, if your designer is cool enough, he might share the progress with you so you don’t go super insane while waiting “forrevvvveeerrr” for the final (which is coming soon!):

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You can check out Jeremy Friend’s work and process on instagram @jeremyfriend and at www.jeremyfriend.com.


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