Monday, December 21, 2009

I am Lauren, bacon enthusiast

There's nothing like waking up to the smell of simmering bacon. MMMmmmmMMMmmm!! That's when I know I'm home. Home, sweet, home. For as much as I love bacon, I never actually cook it for myself. It's always something to look forward to, a real treat. You see, my mom absolutely adores bacon... and she doesn't just cook it for special occasions (like when her lovely daughter comes home), she cooks it on a regular basis. That lady loves her bacon! She's been known to eat a whole pack ALL on her own (yet you'd never ever know it from looking at her)!

We've always gotten SUCH a kick out of this commercial! Whenever expressing my love for bacon I often find myself impersonating this dog, ha. Befuddled looks and awkward smiles are typically all I get in return... okay, I know it's weird, but I mean, really, have you people never seen this?!?!

(yesterday morning, after enjoying our crispy bacon, my step-dad accidentally took a swig of what he thought was coffee... but it was bacon grease... HAHAHA, talk about schadenfreude!!! i was hysterical!)

You must imagine how thrilled I was when I came across this very special candy bar. Two years ago a bought a handful of these to give as stocking stuffers for my family... but I must admit I was slightly disappointed. They weren't as heavenly as I had expected. Not nearly as gourmet as advertised. Tasted like chocolate covered bacon bits (as in FAKE bacon, ah!!) or what I would imagine dog food might possibly taste like... beggin' strips, anyone?

Oh well... I simply can't wait to have some handsome fellas of my own to dress up like this!!

My friend Sarah just recently did a post on Mike Geno's bacon art. Believe it or not, he is definitely not alone in his bacon art making endeavors. It appears as though this bacon enthusiasm is a widespread phenomenon. But I mean, really, does it surprise you? Not me!

Just a few more days until Christmas... click HERE for some last minute shopping!

I debated whether or not this post should be devoted solely to bacon, or to pork in general. My enthusiasm for pork could move mountains. I love everything about it. Such enthusiasm merits a post of its own... but until then, I'll leave you with this...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I am Lauren, child blogger enthusiast

It all started with Jane. Her blog, Sea of Shoes, has received lots of attention these past few months, landing the 17 year old features in various top editorials, including but not limited to both Vogue and Elle. Upon visiting her blog for the first time, I was promptly seduced by her ever-increasing collection of breath-taking (designer) footwear and awed by her kooky sophistication in styling. Her blog, for the most part, is composed of photos.... of her.... in her clothes.... looking cool.

These ALL belong to her!!!!

I have to admit... I kind of freaked out the other day when I saw these shoes at Neiman's Last Call. I was like, "AH! Jane has these!!!" Too bad they were still $700...

Not long after thoroughly stalking Jane, I stumbled upon her wanna-be's blog, Style Bird. I must confess, I find this girl to be way cooler... she not only has great style (especially for a middle-schooler!!) but she's incredibly innovative and resourceful. She's always mimicking looks seen on Sea of Shoes, other blogs, and on the runway.

Her thrifty finds and DIY designer items are simply the coolest. Pairings that have me, along with her other 332 followers, I'm sure, asking "why in the world was I not this cool when I was in 6th grade?" This girl is proof that you don't have to have the chaching to have to the goods... and don't we all need to hear THAT every now and then? Again, however, a blog primarily made up of photos... of her... in her clothes... looking cool.

Now... the most stylish, most witty, most adorably irresistible child blogger in cyber space these days is, without a doubt, Tavi of Style Rookie. I absolutely cannot get enough of this cutie. She's so effortlessly cool.... so... fresh. Her styling is fresh. Her comments are fresh. Her face is fresh. Tavi, will you be my best friend, pleeeeeeaaaaase?! Her blog, filled with hilarious ramblings on daily life, insightful fashion analysis, kooky videos, runway photos, and the occasional (and wildly anticipated) photo of herself, is cooler than cool. According to her "About Me" section, this "tiny 13 year old dork that sits inside all day wearing awkward jackets and pretty hats" is "rather cynical and cute as a drained rat. In a sewer. Farting. And spitting out guts." Haha, whaaaat? Sounds like my kind of girl!

And as if I wasn't insanely jealous enough already........
MARC JACOBS?!?! This girl has got it going on! Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks she's hot stuff... ever since starting her blog, Tavi has been making the rounds. She was an honored guest at several shows this year at NY Fashion Week and has been showered with fabulous designer garb among the likes of Comme des Garcons and Proenza Schouler.

CLICK HERE to see a video that, according to Tavi, makes her look "um, really smart... and sophisticated"

It's so neat... the fashion blog phenomenon. Only a few years ago, before the blog boom, these girls would've been considered wacky weirdos for the bizarre things they don. Real life isn't always the most understanding of such flaunting fashionistas. In most cases, people just don't get it... but the internet gives these girls an outlet... a way to be noticed... by people who care... people who matter.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am Lauren, schadenfreude enthusiast

Uncontrollable laughter is something I have always struggled with. I often find myself unsuccessfully concealing my giggles and trying to excuse and explain myself for laughing at the most inappropriate of times. Hold my breath, close my eyes, count to ten, whatever... a good giggle is one of the hardest things to shake.

So what gets me so tickled, you ask? A good fall, an awkward fart... Oh, an abundance of specific examples come to my mind. I remember so many of them so, so vividly, as though they have been defining moments in my life. But I'll spare you all the details, for they all boil down to one common theme... me impulsively and uncontrollably laughing at somebody's misfortune (my own included).

As you must imagine, America's Funniest Home Videos is a favorite of mine. I've been caught countless times alone, on the couch, in tears, because this show has gotten me so cracked up.
Watching people fall never, ever gets old...

Not until last year in my Honors Western Civilization discussion class did I learn that there is actually a name for this... schadenfreude. I don't even remember what text we were studying, but I was thrilled to learn that, apparently, I am not alone in my twisted sense of humor... the bulk of the sterotypical German population shares in this enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others. That's it, I must be German. I've always had a thing for leiderhosen.

Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a performance of the Tony Award-winning musical, Avenue Q. Among the many hilariously candid numbers, each performed predominently by puppets and referencing varoius cultural taboos (racism, homosexuality, just to name a few), I found the song, Schadenfreude, to be particularly pertinent...
*please excuse some of the vocabulary*

Oh, Schadenfreude, huh?
What's that, some kinda Nazi word?

Yup! It's German for "happiness at the misfortune of others!"

"Happiness at the misfortune of others." That is German!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I am Lauren, honky tonk enthusiast

I've always had a thing for country music. My early childhood years were spent rocking out to Kicks 101.5, the local country radio. At just 3 years old, I was known for my mean renderings of Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee" and, of course, Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart." I mean really, who doesn't love those songs? One day in Sunday School we were asked what we wanted our teacher (because we didn't know how to write yet, duh) to write on these big button pins that we had decorated. I think they were expecting to write nice things like "Jesus Loves Me" or "God is Great," but I wasn't going to sport a big button like that without advertising my very favorite song. So of course mine read "Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee" Unfortunately, "it gets hotter than the hoochie koochie" didn't fit... or at least that's what my sunday school teacher said.

Boy did I have a crush on Alan Jackson and that yummy blond mustache.
Country music is something I always seem to come back to. Once every couple of years I'll switch my car radio from NPR to the country station, just to get my fix. It's almost like in the interim I forget how much I love it, how good it makes me feel. It something about that twang... the twang of the "geetar," the twang in the voice. It just really gets me. You know, this just occurred to me, but it probably doesn't hurt that I can actually understand what they're saying. In so many other songs, mainstream or what have you, I have the hardest time making out the words. Country music, I can follow. Its the music of the people. (wait... of what people? my people? I don't even know... lets not go there)

Hm. Now I'm afraid I must go there... particularly since I'm not just any country music enthusiast, but a honky tonk enthusiast, to be precise. Honky tonk. I like the sound of that. Kind of reminds me of hoochie koochie. Nevermind. The word tonk comes from an old brand of piano. And the word honky, if you didn't already know, is just a cool name for us white folk. The term honky tonk was originally used to describe a type of bar in which music was/is played. Now it also refers to the subgenre of country music known for its upbeat tempo and lyrics that focus on working-class life, with frequently tragic themes of lost love, adultery, loneliness, alcoholism, and self-pity.

I can't talk about country music and not mention another all-time favorite... David Ball. Slightly lesser-known than Mr. Jackson, David Ball has got honky tonk down, no doubt. His 1994 album, "Thinkin' Problem" is contagious, each song catchier than the last. I sang his tunes ALL the way to school today. Unfortunately, YouTube has a severe shortage of David Ball videos, so I'll leave you with this all too familiar tune... where the enthusiasm was born...

honky tonk badonkadonk, honky tonk badonkadonk, honky tonk badonkadonk...
try saying that 10 times fast! great phrase... terrible terrible song

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I am Lauren, Bob Fosse enthusiast

My first encounter with Fosse's choreography was one of utter excitement and awe. Mesmerized, I recall watching Miss Kathy's massive fake ponytail, whipping around and around and around like a sideways ceiling fan. At just 9 years old I knew I was a Fosse fan.The quirky moves were like nothing I had ever seen before. I'd practice what I had seen at rehearsals in my mirror at home. I wanted to move like that. I needed to move like that. Here's a clip of the dance they did, from the 1969 film, Sweet Charity.

Luckily, just 2 years later, my dear friend Sarah and I enrolled in the Atlanta Workshop Players summer camp, and though, at 11, we were technically too young for the dance division, we made it through auditions and into rehearsals for the Fosse themed performance that was to take place at the end of the 2 weeks. We were thrilled! I was finally going to legitimately get to show off my Fosse moves!

So who is this Fosse guy anyway? I didn't realize what a big deal he was until just recently. He's won countless awards for his choreography and direction... Academy Awards, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards... in fact, in 1973, he won all three! He once said of musical thatre...
“The time to sing is when your emotional level is too high to just speak anymore, and the time to dance is when your emotions are just too strong to only sing about how you feel."

His moves have been mimicked by many and admired by all. In fact, it's been alleged that the legendary MJ himself stole from Fosse, which may be evident after watching the below video from the fabulous film, "The Little Prince," starring Bob Fosse as the ssssssnake! Too, too cool.

I hate to overload this post with videos, but I think this, too, is worth your time. Versions of this have been floating around the internet... I'm sure you've seen at least one of them. This Fosse clip has been put to Beyonce's "Single Ladies," which was admittedly highly influenced by Fosse's work, but I prefer this one, in which these ladies from the 60's "walk it out" to Unk's hit tune.

Can't wait to bust some Fosse in the club!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I am Lauren, Henrique Oliveira enthusiast

Despite how much I love to make art, I rarely spend much time looking up and reading about those who like to do the same. I'm much more likely to stalk home design blogs than those pertaining to contemporary art. Why is this? I'm not entirely sure. Perhaps I'm not easily impressed. Or sometimes I think it might have something to do with a fear of the discovery that no idea or thought is truly original. For example, months after completing my first large concrete "thumbkin", I found images of Cesar Baldaccini's enormous "pouce" that was erected over 50 years ago in Paris...

As you can imagine... I was a little wigged out, slightly discouraged, kind of excited, and somewhat inspired all at once.

I'm finding, the best way to learn of artists is through word of mouth. My friend Michelle has a brain full of artists. She's the best for references and recommendations. When she sent me the link to Henrique Oliveira's website I just about had a heart attack. Not only was I so incredibly stimulated visually, I was overwhelmed with inspiration.

This guy is doing things that excite me to no end. His technique is one that I can only hope to mimic... I've been dying to create these types of planes, built away from the walls, but haven't had the skills or the know-how to actually make it happen. If only I could go to Brazil and study with Henrique!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I am Lauren, bare butt enthusiast

I'm not sure exactly when my enthusiasm for butts began, but it goes back as far as I can remember. As a young dancer, I was often referred to as "duck-butt" and "shelf-butt" by our resident costume lady/annoying stage mom. I think she was just jealous because her daughter didn't have one. Rather than be embarrassed, I chose to embrace my bum, and in doing so I developed a habit of embracing the bums of others as well. My elementary school years were spent butt-bumping, butt-smacking and even at times butt-squeezing. Why, you ask? Shock value... humor... it's funny, no? Well, funny it may be, but I've learned it's not always the most appropriate behavior. I've since taught myself to control the impulse to smack, and now choose to channel my posterior enthusiasm in a much less tangible... much more visual way.

I don't know what it is. There's just something about a bare behind that really gives me the giggles. After all, every rear end does have a wise crack! (sorry, sometimes I can't help myself) No, but really... butts are truly amusing, don't you think? Everything about them... the smooth and squishy "cheeks," the strategically placed "crack." This must say a lot about my sense of humor... is there a name for this?
This little boy is simply too cool for words...
You must imagine my absolute excitement when I found, in the children's isle at Barnes & Nobles, a book entitled The Day My Butt Went Psycho!. Like any 8 year old boy, I (not quite 20 at the time) nearly wet my pants with excitement. The title alone had me drooling with anticipation. How brilliant! After flipping through and reading several passages aloud to my mother, I skipped to the check-out counter to buy the coolest book of all time.
"An epic tale of one brave boy and his crazy, runaway butt. Can Zack save the earth from butts gone berserk? Can he defeat the biggest, ugliest, meanest butt the world has ever seen? More important- will Zack and his butt ever find true happiness?"
It's really so entertaining. The first page warns, "If you are a parent or a teacher or even if you're just over 18, put this book down now! You won't like it. You won't understand it. You will be totally grossed out by it." Hmmm... I wonder what this says about me? I encourage you to and go and play the "Move Your Butt" game on the publisher's website!

Did I mention I've been thinking about getting a tattoo?!?!

And a photo from one of my favorite artists... Spencer Tunick... famous for gathering thousands upon thousands of bare butts in one place at one time and capturing it all on film!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I am Lauren, Bop It enthusiast

Earlier this week, while browsing through a very mediocre wanna-be antique store, I came across one of the most entertaining (perhaps more so transfixing) toys of my childhood/adolescence, the Bop It. My mom insisted that mine was somewhere in the garage, but at $2 I couldn't bear to leave it on the shelf. I of course had to give it a practice run, just to make sure all the parts were in working order, and found myself immediately hooked. I fondly recall my Bop It days, during which "Just one more round!!!" was a phrase that frequented my vocabulary.
Needless to say, I've decided to start boppin' it again. I'm a few years out of practice, but I'm confident I can train my way back to the skills I had during my Bop It glory days. The thing about this game is that it becomes terribly annoying to anyone within listening proximity, who isn't invited to play. So one either must play when he/she is entirely alone OR convince some friends to join in the fun. Luckily, it has several playing options, one of which is the group "pass it" setting. Even when I play on my own, I like to use this setting because that "pass it" beat is just so darn catchy! If you haven't already got it stuck in your head...

You might be surprised at how many people have posted videos of themselves doing this... or not... I was...

I've been thinking about inviting some friends over next weekend just to catch up after a long summer of jobs, vacations, adventures, etc.... and now I know I MUST. Board games are great, but I'm pretty confident my new Bop It will be a real hit! Until then, I figure I ought to practice every spare moment I get... like this girl...?

Friday, August 14, 2009

I am Lauren, Awkward Family Photos enthusiast

Just this morning I came across this magnificent blog/site, Awkward Family Photos. I can't get enough of these images! Professional family photos, in general, have always seemed pretty ridiculous to me, most likely because only few of my family exist. Actually, probably only one that I can think of, and it was taken nearly 20 years ago for a church directory. Perhaps this shortage of family photos in my life has something to do with the fact that my parents were/are divorced... but I prefer to think that it's more a matter of taste. They had sense enough to know that this genre of professional photography is beyond cheesy, and at times darn creepy. And here's proof... no commentary necessary...

What?!? I think this might be the most frightening of them all, ha!! As for the others, I think they speak for themselves... I'm starting to think photos like these are the reason I fear being photographed...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I am Lauren, Space Jam enthusiast

I recently read a NY Times article entitled "Generation Y- They're 20-Something and Already Nostalgic." It's SO true, yet I never realized that our generation, in this, was any different than others.....

"Let the boomers have their 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Let Generation X commemorate the 15 years since Kurt Cobain shot himself. For Generation Y — those born roughly between 1980 and 2003 — it’s the pop culture of the late ’90s and early 2000s that makes them wistful.... Even though nostalgia hits every generation, it seems awfully early for 28-year-olds to be looking back. One possible explanation, say authors who focus on generational identity, is the impact of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The political and economic climate of the late ’90s had been as soothing as a Backstreet Boys ballad: no wars, unemployment as low as 4 percent, a $120 billion federal surplus. "

Maybe so... or perhaps it's just that the pop culture of our childhood years was just so darn cool! We can't help but long for the mere memories of such sheer goodness! Blame it on politics, if you must, but I still can't get enough of that loony film Space Jam. The theme song, sung by the Quad City DJs, was practically the anthem of my 2nd grade year (before MmmBop took it's place in 3rd)! You know the song I'm talking about.... "Everybody get up, it's time to slam now.... we got a real jam goin down..." I could keep going, for of course I know every single word... but then again, so do you.

How anyone can hear that song and sit still is frighteningly puzzling to me. It is the ultimate dance tune... just singing it in my head gets my heart pumping! So, this summer, when I caught my cousins (10, 13, and 15) sitting in front of the TV, just SITTING on the couch, while the opening theme song blared through the speakers, "Work that body, work that body, make sure you don't hurt nobody!", you must imagine what pain I felt. How could they hear this and not jump on the furniture in a dance frenzy?!? I sure couldn't!! While the kids sat, motionless, in front of the screen, my mom (a loyal Space Jam fan as well) and I gave ourselves quite a workout shaking our tails to the song!

The best thing, by far, about Space Jam is the music. I have absolutely no idea what's so cool about Michael Jordan talking to basketball playing looney tunes and alien monsters... not much if you ask me... but when paired with such an incredible soundtrack... it's really something special.

For some reason I couldn't find a working version of the theme song music video... or the song... LAME

And in case you aren't up with children's pop-culture of the mid-90's...

Friday, July 17, 2009

I am Lauren, bowl cut enthusiast

As a child, I always seemed to have a thing for boys with bowl cuts... seriously. The hairstyle, while it was rather popular in the 80's, was definitely on it's way out during my elementary school days of the mid-90's... but a bowl cut always managed to find its way into the classroom. Not until I was much older did I realize why this hairstyle was called by such a name... I always called it a "bold" cut.

These days, years after the perceived extinction of the bowl cut, such a hairstyle would most certainly be considered "bold." My first 21st century bowl cut sighting was last summer, I believe, at a Tilly and the Wall concert. Guitarist, Derek Pressnall, sported the child-like do, and really pulled it off, if I must say so myself. He looked like a big 6 year old jumping around up there on stage... simply couldn't resist it.
this is the only image I can find of Derek sporting the bowl...

But now, a year later, I'm finding that bowl cuts are no longer only for childish dudes, but also for enviously fashionable females, particularly those hailing from Denmark. As I was scanning the archives of the Danish street style blog, GadeMode, I quickly discovered what a trend this hair style has become among these gloriously chic and stylish Scandinavians.

If I were one to mess with my hair, I'd definitely give this cut a go... but I'm not... so I'll keep on admiring. And perhaps I'll have a bold buddy who'll let me mess around with his/her hair! I've mastered the mullet (arguably so), but now I'm thinking it's high time I add this to my repertoire.... anyone feeling BOLD?!?!