Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Time Flies, When You're Having TASG Fun

This is me handing out awards, by the way. In my first effort, I looked a lot more insane - I thought this was more in keeping with the friendly nature of the TASG.

Tom's whole body creaks as he pushes himself up from his rocking chair. He hobbles over to the front door, and is greeted by an infant with a decidedly odd accent.

"Oh, you've grown so much, little TASG!" says Tom, "I remember when you were but knee-high to a grasshopper!"

This scene would perhaps be more suited to a later edition of The Best of TASG, but you know what I'm getting at. We've come a long way, baby - we've shared a lot; in fact I think I've shared a bit too much at times, and it's been fun. Looking back over our stellar first three months, I'd like to highlight to following as my Best Bits:

Best Overall Post:

From Allison, our resident Canuck, my favourite post has been Fears, Beers and Cheers. This, in my most humble opinion is what the TASG is all about, and I have no shame in admitting that the paragraph beginning with 'Do you blame me...' tugged at my heartstrings. It's like you were strumming my pain with your fingers Allison, singing my life with your words.

And from Lauren, our American chum, Being Realistic Is Never My Thing. Lauren, I love your oddity - and I mean that in a good way. You're a little bit mad, and I admire that. It would only be better if you were from Mars and therefore a Space Oddity, but I shall make do. Anyway, this post did not disappoint - only you could say you wanted to grow up to be Librarian Hippie Elvis and pull it off. I was pleased to read you've always been as weird and wonderful as you are now. Long may it continue.

Funniest Post:

Allison: An Open Letter to my Resumé. The frustration is evident, but it's also bloody funny. 'Don't get me started on your friend Cover Letter'.

And Lauren, the relationship application form in Maybe I Should Just Be a Nun is, I think, your funniest effort to date. Huzzah. I think both of the above would have been easy to write in a way that vented frustration and little else, but you both made really funny reads from quite difficult topics.

Best Title:

Allison: F%#k it, I'm Just Going to Get a Bunch of Cats. I promise I don't only find this funny because it contains a cunningly disguised naughty word - this post was a strong contender for for Allison's funniest post, too.

And Lauren, Attack of the Yank. A short, succinct and very apt title for her first TASG post which was a bloody good read. (A favourite line being 'I was born at a very young age, though I did not feel the need to talk or grow hair until I was approximately four years old. People not only thought I was retarded, but they thought I was a boy.')

Best Embarrassing Photo:

I like this award in particular, because the embarrassing photo wasn't even something we discussed before posting. It just happened, and I like that it did. So, without further ado, my votes for the Best Embarrassing Photos, 2010, go to:

Allison the Canuck for tips on disguises to avoid those awkward moments in I'll Leave You Alone Forever Now.

The second award in this category goes to Lauren the Yank for the New Wave Teddy Bear photo from Attack of the Yank. It had to be, really.

And so I draw this here post, and TASG 2010 to a close. I shall see you all on the first Wednesday of 2011, by which time I will hopefully have recovered from what's sure to be a significant hangover.
Best wishes for 2011 to Allison, Lauren and everybody who reads (now this is starting to sound like an acceptance speech - I must remember to thank my agent), let's hope it's a good one all round!
Over to you, New Year Teddy Bear.

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Best of the Last Three Months of 2010!

I know this blog has only been around for three months, BUT because it's New Year's week on The TASG blog I've decided to do a "Best of" type post! I'm a sucker for year-end "Best of" lists, as evidenced by my embarrassing photo for this week:

[Editor's Note: Tom's awesome post inspired me to add commentary to my choices]

Best Overall Post

Brit - A Carnival of Horrors - Tom, I really feel like you went out on a limb with this one. You were open, honest and witty about your relationship. I admire this post a lot. Good job!
Yank - Attack of the Yank - Lauren, you rocked your first post. It's funny and honest and oh so Lauren. I feel you gave our future readers a good overview of yourself.

Funniest Post

Brit - Ground, Swallow Me Up, ASAP! - This marks the first time genitalia is mentioned in a TASG post, recieving a xxx rating by the author himself. I love that you shared that oh so awkward tale with us Tom! Love you!
Yank - Maybe I Should Just Become a Nun - I believe I actually LOL'd when reading this post!

Best Title

Yank - Party Don’t Start Till I Walk In (Tonight Anyways - Most Nights it Doesn’t Start at All) - I just think it's funny...and honest. We can't all be drunk bitches like Kei$ha partying 24/7. I'd go see Original Sound Trash before her any day!

Best Embarrassing Photo

Brit - Frog - This was hard - but I had to go with this sad frog. It's not easy being green, eh, Tom?

Yank - New Wave Teddy Bear - She grew hair and isn't she so cute? Baby Lauren for the win!

Hope you enjoyed that blast from the not-so-distant past! Happy New Year from The Canuck! When I post (here) next it will be 2011! Woo!

See ya Wednesday Tom!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Things About Christmas...

I have such a love/hate relationship with Christmas.

Things I don't love?

The materialism.  The push towards consumerism.  The obligation to buy people presents and not having a clue what to buy.  The crowded malls.  The over-played Christmas music.  Realizing that the only things I want for Christmas are fairly impractical things that money can't really buy (a record deal, a man that's not a total train wreck, consistent hot water in my apartment...).  Leaving my Christmas shopping until the very last minute and then getting everyone significantly lame presents.  Becoming melodramatically nostalgic and remembering every Christmas I've ever lived through, a mental activity that often leads to hours of drinking tea and thumbing through photographs of people I no longer communicate with.

But the things I love?

The traditions.  The festivity.  Walking around downtown and looking at the lights with friends I haven't seen all year.  Going home and seeing my brother's life-sized Yoda wearing his Santa hat and beard.  Listening to Alan Sherman's "Twelve Days Of Christmas" and singing along every time he says the words "a Japanese transistor radio!"  Watching abysmal Christmas specials with people I love (i.e: "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians" with my best friends from high school and "The Pee Wee Herman Christmas Special" with my family).  Getting Christmas cards in the mail (I'm looking at you, Allison - seriously, your card made my day).  Making paper snowflakes with my hippy family while drinking glogg, a warm Scandinavian drink that has to be lit on fire before being served.  Making enough snow flakes to completely bury one of my neighbors.  Eating Chinese food at Nanny's house on Christmas Eve.  Waking up early on Christmas morning to snoop around the tree with my brother.  Realizing that I am very lucky to have so many people in my life that I can celebrate the holidays with.  I've got my family that has done nothing but support me and all of my wacky ideas for 23 years.  I've got my friends from high school and college who have remained loyal despite the fact they don't always understand the rock and roll lifestyle I am pursuing.  I've got a commune full of my newfound hippy family - a group of people that tell me I'm a rock star on a daily basis and cheer me up by bringing me coffee and inviting me to plant trees.  And last but certainly not least, I've got all you fabulous blogger friends that I've met in ye olde blogosphere this year.  Naturally, this includes the members and readers of The Transatlantic Support Group.  This blog is grand and I am thankful for it's existence.  Tom and Allison are also quite grand, and I am thankful that they put up with my quirkiness, my reoccurring lack of timeliness, and my occasional drunken emails.

Anyway, there is a lot to love about Christmas, and I hope all of you have a really freaking merry one.  

And now it's time for the picture montage of sorts that goes along with that monster paragraph of things I love about Christmas:


That's all I've got.  This is The Yank, signing out and wishing you all a... *drumroll, puh-leeze...*


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive

It all started of so well. It was October and I was already buying Christmas presents, determined not to leave it until Christmas Eve as I usually do. I could feel myself growing more and more festive with each falling leaf, warm drink and passing day. At the beginning of December, I had become so Christmassy it was almost unbearable.

Then The Universe (who is a longstanding friend of Lauren's, actually) decided to thwart my festive cheer. I witnessed a group of students try to set a Christmas Tree on fire. I was stuck at work while my family decorated the house. My work party ended with me fighting back vomit on the District Line. In the office the next day, with a killer hangover, three separate deals went catastrophically wrong. I even got a cold, which did nothing for my mood. Hello Darkness, my old friend. Where did my sparkly, warm holiday go? Where was the optimism and joy that had been so abundant just a few days before?

I was ready to file this Christmas in a file marked 'FAIL'; but then it snowed. Snow makes everything look so clean and peaceful - and so incredibly Christmassy. Something stirred, a resistance to the bad mood I'd immersed myself in. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I watched Home Alone, followed by Love Actually, and cracked open a box of chocolates. Then Allison emailed me with a picture of a card she'd made me, and I received another card from another blogger (can I just say, you Canadians put me to shame - you're the best around Christmas! And if that's not a prime example of the TASG doing its job, I don't know what is!). The next day, one of the designers at work brought in a CD of festive classics, which we've been playing non-stop in the office. Gradually, all the nice and pretty things I love about this time of year are pushing the gloom away. The present buying, the lights, the decorations, the drink - everything is fun and friendly and it would be a crime most heinous if I let a few poxy work issues get in the way.

No, I will let nothing me dismay, for I'm determined to have a good one this year. And I'll heed your warning Allison, and make sure there are no further wardrobe malfunctions! I ho-ho-hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, wherever you are.

Monday, 20 December 2010

It's a Wonderful (20-Something) Life

This week we pretty much left the theme fairly open and just agreed to write holiday themed posts. I dubbed it A Very Merry Transatlantic Christmas!

For my post I’m going to write little messages to each of my co-TASGers:

Dear Tom (The Brit),

Happy Christmas! I hope Santa (or Father Christmas or whatever you Brits call him...Saint Nick?) is good to you. My Christmas wish for you this year is that if you overindulge in some spiked eggnog that you check yourself before you wreck yourself in front of your cousin...aka...don’t flash her.

But seriously, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with friends and family. Glad we’re in this crazy Captain Planet-like team (squad?) together. I look forward to Wednesdays!

Dear Lauren (The Yank),

Are you simply having a wonderful Christmas time? I hope so. Rock out some carols on the keytar and spike your coffee with Bailey’s and all will be well in the world.

My Christmas wish for you is that you continue to explore your creative side and meet new wonderful people in the commune. Sounds like they’ve become a second family to you and that’s awesome. I’m glad it’s exceeding your expectations.

Enjoy every minute of it there, and I hope you have a lovely holiday with your family. Can’t wait to see where this little project goes in 2011!

I hope you don’t take it personally when I tease you when your posts are late - I actually think it’s funny. Just don’t die for real, okay?

Also, to our readers! You are a small but dedicated bunch! Thank you for reading and commenting and supporting this project in general. What started as a joke between us blossomed into a real project that I’m proud to be part of. You guys are excellent support group members. Happy Holidays to you - whatever you celebrate.

So now I’m going to put on my Snuggie and watch a few Christmas movies on DVD...perhaps Christmas Vacation or A Christmas Story, maybe even some Rudolph or Frosty! Maybe make some hot chocolate or tea. I’m finished all my shopping, so now I just to just relax and wait for the fat man to bring me some presents (kidding, the holidays are about giving, not receiving!)

Anyways love you guys!

Major Tom - it’s your time to shine! See ya Wednesday!

Friday, 17 December 2010

I Grow Old, I Grow Old, I Shall Wear The Bottoms Of My Trousers Rolled...

I still feel like I'm 14.

I don't care if the world says I'm 23. I don't care if people around me are getting married and having children and selling their souls to corporate entities in the name of comfort and convention. I still feel like a young, awkward teenager most of the time.

I've talked to various people about this feeling. Most people just laugh it off. Some people were born 35 and therefore have no idea what I'm talking about. But the "old" people in my commune get it. They tell me that they feel the same way - like they've stayed the same age for years while the world around them grew up. They tell me that the feeling of being 14 will never go away. I don't know if that's good or bad.

I do know this: Growing up terrifies me.

When I was in high school, I thought it would be terribly romantic to become really famous in my mid-twenties and then die a tragic death when I'm 27. It worked for Kurt Cobain and a whole bunch of other people. And when you're 15 or 16, 27 seems like a long ways off. But now I'm 23 and that concept is no longer appealing.

Actually, I decided I want to live to be 90something after watching this movie:

And if I actually live to be 90something, I hope I'll still be laughing at dumb jokes and playing loud rock music.

Anyway, that's all I've got for this week. Happy Friday, amigos.

This is the yank, signing off.

Me when I actually was about 14.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

So here it is. The big 2-6. Not the most monumental of ages I grant you, but another year has passed, as much as I'd be tempted to deny it. For a start, I'm no longer in my early 20s. I think I can still claim MID-20s though, right?

Maybe late-20s would be more accurate. Either way, my first week as a member of whatever this age group is has coincided with an influx of new, bright young things at my place of work. For two years I have reigned supreme, justifying my mistakes and tantrums by appealing to my inferior age. This is no longer possible. I am yesterday's news. I am on the shelf, gathering dust.

But I don't feel like I'm ready to get old, to mature. I don't feel ready to surrender my inner child. While it's true that my mum was not only married, with a mortgage, but had had me before she was 26, I refuse to believe that my record means I'm immature.

The world changes, doesn't it? Society changes. Furthermore, society changes not only itself, but our expectations of ourselves. I can't live by the standards my parents set themselves, and neither should they expect me too. I admit that I am behind many of my age group, but I won't feel bad. I won't. Each generation struggles with its own identity, its own issues and its own time. The template that was applied to the generation born 5 years before me is already out of date - am I wrong? Am I clutching a straws?

I'm currently on the train. I'm listening to a multitude of conversations between various drunk people that have never met before. A 21 year-old girl is currently telling a 34 year-old man, after a little 'guess-my-age' game that he won't ever be a good dad because he 'looks selfish'. Hearing that, I'm not sure I even want to be young anymore. But then I remind myself that age is but a number. It's the experiences that shape you, not the time that passes.

And, more importantly, I remind myself that I will be old and grey long before I grow up.

PS: I apologise for any glaring spelling or grammatical errors in this here post, I'm pissed as a fart (as below picture should prove).

PPS: I apologise for my absence from the blogosphere of late. I've been ill; the lamest of lame excuses I know - especially when I celebrate the first day of wellness with an almightly piss-up - but it's true nonetheless. I could hardly let my birthday pass without raising a glass. I will comment the crap out of you all as soon as I am a) well, b) not at work and c) SOBER.

I love you all.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Fears, Beers, and Cheers!

In honour of Tom’s Birthday this week he has suggested the topic of “Growing Older.” This is a really common issue with 20-somethings, as we finally start thinking about how we won’t always be in our 20s...and that REAL adulthood is creeping up on us fast.

You know that scene in the movie The Wedding Crashers? The one where Owen Wilson’s character John is talking to Rachel McAdams’s character Claire...I think they’re on a beach...anyways, and he says something about how he’s still young and he has time, blah, blah, blah, and Claire blasts him with reality and says, “Yeah, but you’re not that young.”

That is my life.

I realize he was probably playing a character in his 30s, approaching his 40s, but I think the sentiment is bang on. You can pretend you’re young all you want, but eventually it’s just going to seem silly.

Tom will be joining me the mid-to-late twenties club. But, as the current elder of this collab blog, I have to say...I’m scared, man. I’m scared of turning 30 in a few years. I’m scared of being alone and poor and unsatisfied with life. I’m scared of being perceived as someone trying too hard to be hip and trendy.

In Ontario, Canada, there are several milestone birthdays:

16 - You can legally learn to drive a car.
18 - You can vote, buy lottery tickets, purchase pornography, and buy cigarettes.
19 - You can legally drink and purchase alcohol, and gamble.
25 - You are officially a Quarter-of-a-Century Old

After this, aside from the big birthdays (30, 40, 50 and so on), ages just become signals - signals that you’re getting older.

Now, I’m not really one to get depressed over age - but I do freak out over society’s expectations of certain ages. By 30 you should have a career and a steady income and a white picket fence. By 40 you should own lake front property and a boat. By 50 you should play a lot of golf and attend many banquets. When you die you should leave a large fortune to your offspring. Ahhh!

Do you blame me for pretending it’s all not happening? Do you blame me for hanging out with people who are younger than me? Do you blame me for not wanting a conventional life? If I avoid the expectations attached to my age people will be shocked and surprised when they find out that I’m 26, going on 27.

So, I raise my virtual glass to you Tom! Welcome to the club! May you drown your fears in beers! Cheers! (I’m a champion of rhyming).

I hope you’re not too drunk to post on Wednesday buddy - this is your week to shine my British friend!

Happy Birthday!

*Picture from my 24th birthday, but let's pretend those are Tom and Lauren's hands, okay?

Friday, 10 December 2010

Party Don't Start Till I Walk In (Tonight Anyway - Most Nights It Doesn't Start At All)

Tonight, I feel like I'm still in college.

It's Friday night and I'm eating and sandwich while staring at the clothes in my closet and wondering what I should wear. In approximately 34 minutes, a dance party is going to break out in my kitchen. There's going to be a disco ball and people dancing on tables and booze galore.

I'm the DJ. I have enough dance music on my laptop to keep everyone dancing for hours. And all my friends will be there.

Well, all of my new friends. Meaning my lovably dysfunctional hippy family that I live in a commune with.

It's weird how fast I've gotten to know them. If someone told me a year ago that after college my social circle would expand to include people of all ages and personality types, I might not have believed it. In college, I was always good at finding people who were a lot like me in some way or another. Which is not necessarily a bad thing - some of the best friendships I have were formed in college.

But so much changed after college. People got married. People moved away. People fell into the corporate world. There are a handful of people from college that I will always consider to be close friends, but it will never be what it was like in college.

Which leads to a great phenomenon that I'm too familiar with - being alone on a Friday or Saturday night even though you have a great stock pile of friends.

I don't have that problem tonight, but maybe I will next week. Maybe I'll even have it tomorrow night. Who knows.

At least in the commune, there's always the back-up plan of drinking tea with baby boomers.

I live in a sitcom world, I swear.

Anyway, I've got a dance party to attend to. And since I'm the DJ, the party don't start until I walk in.

Dammit. I just quoted Kesha (I refuse to put dollar signs in her name). Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

That's all. Embarrassing photo will be added later. I can't find the one I'm thinking of right now.

Update: Okay - here's the embarrassing photo. It's me DJing a party in college!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Yesterday, all my troubles weren't so far away, I was just too drunk to notice them.

My opinion of my own social life varies wildly, depending on my mood.

If I've woken up on the wrong side of the bed, I'll view it through a decidedly pessimistic lens. Have you ever seen Jumanji? Sometimes I feel like the little fat rhino that can't quite keep up with the rest of the stampede. I wonder why the majority of the people I grew up with aren't around anymore, why my weekends aren't always non-stop binges and why a night in front of the TV sounds so very enticing. I look back longingly to the times I'd be out so late the bus service will have stopped and started again by the time I want to go home. I miss the thrill of new experiences; like the dread that fills your being as you try to buy alcohol even though you're clearly not old enough and don't have any ID. Or the euphoria as a whole club shouts in excitement as the song that's been on everybody's car radio, CD player and iPod starts to play. The feeling that tomorrow doesn't matter, and that work with a hangover is better than a life with no friends.

That's how I spent my early twenties - as do a lot of us, I suppose. Surrounded by friends, friends of friends, vague acquaintances, 'I-know-your-face-but-not-your-name-but-let's-get-drunk-togethers'. When I am in a mood, I'll dig up hazy memories of drinking games and disgusting excess and long for a return to those carefree days, those carefree friends. I won't recall the disgusting hangovers, the huge embarrassments, the falls down stairs, the regret.

Needless to say, my social life has changed considerably as my life has moved on. Where we could once fill half a pub, there will now be three of us sitting in the corner, nursing pints rather than knocking back shots. [That sort of thing is only respectable at weekends now; never on a school night.] The people who were part of that group have either moved, or drifted, away. My friends from university are dotted all over the country, and my friends from Italy are dotted all over the world. I often listen with envy when I hear colleagues discussing nights out with a close-knit group they have been part of since they were young, because I don't have that.

I do have a lot of weird and wonderful people that I'm lucky enough to call friends, but there is rarely any link between them. One I worked with in Southend, two I worked with in London. One I met in Italy, another at school and so on. They've never met and probably never will. [Without sounding ungrateful, I have to say that this is a considerable drain on my bank account. In order to give them the time they deserve, I need to dedicate separate nights out to each one on a regular basis. What I'd give to be able to kill several birds with one stone.]

When I'm hit with that occasional good mood though, I'm grateful for this situation. I feel like the sun in the middle of my own little solar system, at the centre of a complex web of friendship that spans the globe and, more importantly, has been years in the making and stood the test of time. I may no longer be a reckless, all-singing, all-dancing, all-drinking party animal surrounded by a pack of like-minded teenage drinking machines, but the fact that I can now go for a drink with someone with whom I share a history is something I should appreciate more. My social life is not a quiet one - it's no less rich than it was, but it's a lot more meaningful now. I'm pleased that I survived the hectic social life I once led, and I'm pleased that it's left me with some fantastic memories, and some fantastic friends.

Is it any wonder my friends moved away?

Monday, 6 December 2010

I Miss My Old Life (Sometimes)

It’s Monday! That means a new week and a new theme for the TASG. This week we’re all writing about friendships and current social lives.

I had this list planned, with categories and possibly a chart, but I've decided to just know, from the heart and stuff.

On Monday nights I sit in a cozy English pub with friends and acquaintances and play trivia. This is something I did a bit of in the my early 20s, but life changes and new social opportunities replaced this ritual for awhile, but now I’m back at it.

I sit with people I used to consider close friends, but I walked away - I hid in different bars and pubs, met new people, tried new things. But sometimes sitting with these people just feels right.

I miss my old life sometimes.

I am good at being friends with boys. I was one of the guys, or at least that’s what I started out as. And I’ve since realized that being one of the guys was my favourite social role. No sexual implications, just friendship of the plutonic sort! I messed with this delicate system that worked so well for so long, and I had to back off. But, now I’ve been replaced by other girls - other girls who are one of the guys. And while I try to reminisce about old times, I can’t help but feel like I’m using a visitors pass for a club I used to be a member of. I miss that certainty. The certainty that I would have something fun to do most days of the week.

Now, all my friends are scattered. Some are in serious, long-term relationships that take precedent over friends (especially single friends). Some have moved for work. Some have a new group of friends as well. Some are still in school and busy with that. Some work all the time. And some are willing to let me play trivia with them on Monday nights at the pub.

I have my friends I met through work - and I’m grateful for them. Without that in my life I’d surely go mad from boredom. However, I do sometimes feel old when hanging out with that group. I’m the oldest (at least of the girls) and sometimes I feel like I’m just re-doing my early 20s because I spent mine being stressed over school. I never partied really - so I feel like I’m making up for that. But somedays it feels like I’m trying too hard to fit in with them kids!

God, I miss my old life sometimes.

So when I’m at the pub, on Monday nights, I feel better because I’m with my peers. I’m with people I went to high school with. I’m with people my age. I’m with people who don’t think I’m old. But it can’t be like how it was years ago. We've all grown up. We've all changed.

My social life is a mixed bag of things. I chat with my out-of-town friends online and through Facebook and texts. I try to plan and organize gatherings and events. I invite people to movies, concerts, shows, nights out on the town. Sometimes they come, sometimes they don’t. Sometime I put my pajamas on at 9 P.M. on a Saturday night and watch TV on DVD till my eyes cross.

So, while I have a few life-long friends, it doesn’t mean my calendar is full all the time. And you know what? That's fine with me.

Tune in Wednesday for my internet friend Tom’s take on friends and social gatherings!

And come back Friday (or Saturday...or Sunday) to read Lauren's!

We've actually got the whole month of December planned for this blog - which is rare for us, as we usually plan our themes last minute. Also, if there are any topics you'd like to suggest, please leave them in the comments!

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Ugh. I seem to have awkwardness down to a science.

I'm not kidding. Sometimes I think I'm just a walking awkward situation. Don't believe me? Here is a list of everything awkward that I have encountered THIS WEEKEND ALONE:

- I had a show and the guy that opened for me was on tons of drugs and kept giving me hugs while repeatedly telling me I looked lovely.

- My family came to the show and got to meet said opening act. He rambled incoherently and acted like he knows me well even though we've had approximately three conversations.

- The show started 45 minutes after it was supposed to because the opening act had to change the tubes in his amp before his set.

- My bandmate was late to the show, but his new girlfriend who I hadn't met yet came really early and awkwardly approached me.

- I wasn't really in the mood to deal with meeting my bandmate's new girlfriend, so I tactlessly ditched her with a couple of my old hippy friends (I live in a commune, remember?). They grilled her relentlessly about her relationship with my bandmate. She looked really uncomfortable but I found it hilarious.

- When the opening act finally started playing, he played for way too long and all of his songs sounded like drug-induced durges.

- There weren't many people in the audience, and at one point he came into the audience with his guitar, stood right in front of me, and serenaded me with a song about flowers. Note: my entire family is in the audience as well as some old friends from college. I kept accidentally looking over at people next to me and seeing them smirking. I felt extremely uncomfortable and it took every bit of self-control not to laugh.

- I did a set of solo songs before my band played. It would have been a lot better if I wasn't so nervous...and if my dress didn't start falling off in the middle of a song. I tried to play it off as a bad ass rock star thing, but both shoulders of the dress just kept slipping and it was reaching into dangerous territory. I ended up stopping the song, fixing my dress, then starting the song again, changing the lyrics to how I almost lost my dress. Fail.

- Afterwards, a couple of awkward boys told me the onstage wardrobe malfunction was the best part of the show. Double fail.

- I took a chance on playing a song I had written two days ago and promptly forgot some of the words.

- I had the following conversation with a random guy after my set:
Guy: "I really liked your show!"
Me: "Thanks!"
Guy: "It seemed like you were laughing at your own awkwardness the whole time and it was great! I almost love watching shows like that more than really cool shows!"
Me: "Thanks! Wait...was that a compliment?"
Guy: "Yes...I think so?"

- The restaurant owner came over to congratulate my bandmate and I after the show...but he really only talked to my bandmate. He only made eye contact with him and directed all of his "you rock" and "that was awesome" to him alone. It made us both feel a bit uncomfortable.

- I was going to go dancing with some friends from my commune last night, but somehow that turned into going to the dive bar down the street with a really random group of people: A 21-year-old dance instructor, a couple of late-twenty/early-thirty somethings, and an old hippy poet dude. One girl drank a little too much and told us a little too much information about her sex life.

- We attempted to play pool and it became obvious to everyone that I have only played pool about three times in my life.

- There was a girl in the corner wearing a dress that was four sizes too small for her. She was playing video poker with some dude in the corner and I'm not sure what was more awkward - the fact that she dressed like that to go to that nasty pub or the fact that we were all staring at her and making fun of her within ear shot.

- Eventually, we left the bar and walked back home. It was late but we were all still wide awake. The girl who had told us about her sex life went to go smoke a joint with this guy from Syracuse (he invited all of us but she was the only one that wanted to). Mr. Syracuse's girlfriend lives next door to me and is out of town for the week. Old Hippy Poet and I drank tea in the kitchen, waiting for the girl to stumble in and provide us with more entertainment (we figured that Mr. Syracuse would kick her out after a few minutes). But after a half an hour of talking about the meaning of life, there was still no sign of Mr. Syracuse and the girl.

- So we decided to go check on them. After awkwardly lurking by the door for a couple of minutes, we knocked and went in. They were just sitting there listening to The Black Keys. And when we entered the room, it went dead silent.

- Old Hippy Poet made a graceful exit but I missed my cue and was still in the room. I talked to them for a minute, then awkwardly announced that I was "really going to bed this time, guys" and left.

- My Internet went down for a little bit and then I discovered that The Transatlantic Support Group had proclaimed me missing. Ack. Sorry guys. I'm alive! Alive and perpetually awkward. FML.

Okay, that's all I have for now. It doesn't really beat Tom and Allison's epic awkward stories, but hopefully it was semi-amusing...

Here is a picture of me blogging in a coffee shop so the whole world can see I'm blogging!

That's all.

*scuttles away*

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ground, Swallow Me Up. ASAP.

I'm no stranger to an awkward situation, which is largely my fault. I have an uncanny knack of making even the most simple conversations problematic - a problem which is exemplified if I have to queue before said social interaction takes place.

Take a recent trip to the cinema, for example. When asked if I'd prefer cheese or salsa with my nachos, I replied;

"Erm...God. Erm...well cheese. No salsa. Erm wow. Decision. Salsa. Go with salsa. NO, CHEESE!"

I had salsa, in the end, and I could sense the girl behind the counter thought I was a complete twonk. Little did she know, there was more to come! Yes, the idiot only went and asked me if I wanted a receipt. You'd think, judging by my less than skilful handling of the above conversation, that she'd avoid any more questions that required a decision being made. But she didn't - she went there anyway - and so we were both stuck in an infuriating loop while I to'd and fro'd between having a receipt or leaving without one. I took the receipt, and threw it in the bin outside.

Suffice it to say, I now go to a different cinema; although this hasn't solved my problem. Wherever I may go, whatever decision I may be expected to make, I can make it awkward and unecessarily difficult. As I was leaving a music festival two years ago with N and my brother, a steward asked if we were on our way home.

N said yes. Ever honest and polite.
My brother said no. Deceit is his problem, I think.
I stopped dead in my tracks, like a rabbit caught in headlights and stared back like she'd asked me to solve a complex riddle.

But anyway, this post should be about awkward situations I've found myself in - of which there are many. There's one I've blogged about before. I'd had too much to drink, and fallen over on the dance floor of a club. A bouncer came over and asked me to step outside (in other words: call a cab, you're going home). On the way off the dance floor, however, I grabbed his hand, and held it tight while we weaved through the crowd. I didn't realise I was doing this, until he turned around and told me I didn't really have to hold his hand. I longed for the ground to swallow me up. It didn't. He did, however, say, "Well there's obviously no harm in you - have a good night" and let me stay. So it's not all bad.

For my finale, I'll stick to my most awkward and embarrassing one. Please don't read in the presence of children or before 9pm.

Last Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) I stayed at my aunt's house and slept on my cousin's floor. The next morning, with a head heavy with hangover, I woke to the sound of my cousin complaining about the aftermath of her drinking adventures the night before. All of a sudden, my stomach lurched. I was going to be sick. I knew it. I could feel it. I was hot and uncomfortable and on the verge of vomiting all over her bedroom, so I jumped up and went to run for the door. If only I'd been in less of a rush. You see, I'd taken my jeans off and well...erm...the fly of my boxers was open and I basically flashed my cousin. We're not that close for something like this to happen and not be mentioned. I was humiliated, but nonetheless ran to the toilet to be sick anyway.

This is the most awkward moment I can recall at the moment. I mean how do you have breakfast with your cousin and extended family after accidentally baring all? I will not hear the end of this. Not for the rest of my life.
I'm not a pervert, honest (and if that sign-off isn't awkard, I don't know what is). Lauren, take the limelight away from me - I'm ashamed.

Monday, 29 November 2010

I'll Leave You Alone Forever Now you guys, you know...loyal followers...want to, I dunno...have coffee with me sometime? Um, don't have to. I understand if you don't. Urgh, you know what, forget that I asked. I'm so dumb. You wouldn't want to...

Okay, I'll leave you alone forever now.


We've all had these moments, and unfortunately mine have mostly come from awkward encounters with boys and men. When it comes to liking someone who you aren't 100% sure about it can be hard to break the ice and ask them out. I've been on both sides of the awkward fence.

I'll give you two examples. One where I was awkwardly asked out, and one where I awkwardly tried to ask someone out. Both were, um, really embarrassingly pathetic. 

EXAMPLE A: Nerdy mall security guard is nice enough to talk to, but 18-year-old jewellery kiosk employee really wants the guy who works at the record store.

One evening kiosk employee forgets something in the mall, and has to return at close. Nerdy is there, and is quite awkward when he approaches her to tell her he thinks she's really great, and interesting, and nice to talk to...blah blah blah...and asks her to go out with him sometime.

Kiosk girl wants to say no, but doesn't want feelings to be hurt, since she knows she'll see Nerdy often. So she says, "I'll think about it, okay?" and leaves.

Next shift where they're both working, Nerdy approaches,"So, have you thought about it?" Kiosk girl feels awful, but has to let him down easy.

Now, that is awkward!

EXAMPLE B: Kiosk girl is now a Barista at a cafe and her favourite customer (at the time) is a animator who sits in her store and draws for hours with his medium coffee, in a mug.

[Sidenote: You may remember him as Cartoon Boy from the relationships post.]

Cartoon Boy is older, but is back in school to study animation. His dream is to work for Disney! He is very chatty and very friendly, and was extremely sympathetic to the Barista when she was laid off from her "real job" as an editorial assistant. 

During his reading week (a week off for college/university students) he comes in, and the Barista's hands get shaky. She tries to use his week off as an excuse to hangout with him outside of work.

"Um, so yeah, if you're free this week....let me know...if you want to get coffee or something."

This awkward statement is misunderstood as an invitation to come back to the cafe for coffee.

He leaves and nothing comes of it. He then moves away to Sudbury, Ontario.

Damn, that's awkward.

Anyways, it's also extremely uncomfortable to run into people from high school. It happens to me a lot because I live in the city where I went to high school. At the mall, at work, at the bar, at social gatherings, you name it - they will find you and remind you that you're a failure! Sometimes you just don't want to deal with it, so here are three ways to avoid talking to these people:

1. Pretend you're on the phone.
2. Hide behind a book or magazine.
3. Fashion a clever disguise.

I hope this post didn't make you feel too awkward.

Hey, Tom? Do you want to maybe, I dunno, write a post know, awkward moments? It's okay if you don't want to, I totally understand.

But if you do, would you be able to post it on Wednesday? I totally get it if you're busy and don't want to or think this is dumb. God, I'm such an idiot...

Anyways, I'll see you Wednesday Tom! 

Great post last week Lauren, I want some nachos now!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Food food food! (for lack of a witty title...)

Oops. It's technically Saturday. Let's use our imaginations and pretend it's still Friday, shall we?

Like most people, I like to eat. But I don't always like to cook. I generally surround myself with people who like to cook so I don't have to.

For those nights when I am faced with the challenge of cooking on my own, there is a magical place called The Canton Grill.

Pure magic, I say

Seriously. It's my standard go-to place for decent Chinese food. I've been eating there since the dawn of time and I think I've ordered a Number 3 since I was twelve.

Long live #3!

Very few meals can top the comfort of a chow mien recipe that has literally been the same for years and years. And the fried shrimp is the best in town, if not the best in the world (I'll just stick with saying it's the best in town - claiming that an American Chinese food restaurant makes the best Chinese food in the world seems slightly ignorant/insensitive...).

But there are nights when one of the following is true:

a) I'm feeling cheap.
b) I don't feel like leaving the house.
c) I'm not in the mood for Chinese food.
(I just remembered that I'm ALWAYS in the mood for Chinese food.)

On one of these nights, I may attempt to cook something spectacular.

Like scrambled eggs:

Dammit. These were supposed to be eggs...

Maybe I'll search for leftover food in my fridge but become offended by notes from my past self instead of finding anything good to eat:

Living with myself is so difficult sometimes

On a night such as this, I may break down and cook one of the few things I can confidentally say "Why yes, I've got a pretty bad ass recipe for that up my sleeve." It's the ultimate comfort food and I can eat way too much if I'm not careful.

What am I talking about, boys and girls? Nachos. I am talking about nachos.

I did not make the nachos in this picture. But that doesn't stop them from lookin mighty fine! If those nachos were a man, I would...oh nevermind...

I can't let Allison be the only one with a recipe, so here's my bad ass recipe for nachos.

Lauren's Bad Ass Nacho Recipe:

Things you need:
- A bag of tortilla chips (I recommend those ones that come in the red bag)
- A jar of salsa (I'm into salsa verde these days. Don't let the fact that it's green scare you - it's delish)
- A can of black beans
- Chicken (Because I'm lazy, I always buy the little bag of pre-cooked chicken next to the lunch meat in the deli, but you're totally welcome to grill up some chicken and season it however you want)
- A can of olives (pre-sliced, unless you want to slice them yo self, foo)
- Cheese
- A pan that looks like this:
If this tray could talk, it would be saying "Make nachos on top of meeee!"

- Disco music (It will enhance the nacho-making experience. Trust me.)

This is what you do:

1. Before you do anything involving food, make sure the disco music is playing at a respectable volume. And by respectable, I mean loud enough that Tom can hear it in London (unless you live in London - then aim for Allison in Canada).
2. Lay the chips out on the tray.
3. Put beans on top of the chips. You don't need to use the whole can, but you are welcome to if you are feeling really enthusiastic about beans.
4. Allow the chicken to colonize on top of the chips and beans. Break the chicken up into bite-sized pieces and evenly distribute it all over.
5. Dump salsa all over the chips, beans, and colonies of chicken. Use a spoon to avoid a giant mess.
6. Grate cheese and throw it on top of the whole affair. Don't be stingy - cheese is the best part of nachos!
7. Sprinkle olives on top!
8. If you're feeling extra hungry/feeding multiple people, you may want to add another layer to the nachos. If this is the case, pile more stuff on. If this is not the case, it's time to put the nachos in the freaking oven.
9. I should have told you to preheat the freaking oven. I forgot. Turn it on to 350 degrees Farhenheit (or any other degrees, as long as it's Farhenheit).
10. Dance to the disco music while you're waiting for the oven to heat up.
11. Put the nachos in the oven. Set a timer for 6 minutes and keep a loose eye on them. Cook them until the cheese is melted and the chips look all crispy and excellant.
12. Pull it out of the oven and EAT NACHOS!

Nachos get two thumbs up from The Yank

There you have it - Lauren's Bad Ass Nacho Recipe.

Okay, so posting a recipe for something as obvious as nachos is mildly retarded now that I think about it. But that is my comfort food of choice! Well, besides combo numba 3 from Canton...

Hi, I'm slightly pathetic. :D

Aaaaand that concludes this week's episode.

This is The Yank, signing off!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Prick With a Fork

Food. Glorious food. It's odd how your mood can be improved by eating a certain food, or how - in the case of a bad meal you're expected to pay through the nose for - it can bring it straight back down. I had promised my fellow TASGers that I'd include a recipe on this post, but I'm rubbish. I'm hoping that perhaps there won't even be a need for one - my comfort food of choice, for when I'm feeling down and in need of cheering up (and haven't already decided to drink my troubles away) is really quite simple. It's the incredible, mouthwatering perfectly-partnered sausage and mash.

My love for this meal started at university, the first time I'd ever lived away from home. I was incredibly homesick for the first week, and the amount of time I spent on my own, in my room and feeling thoroughly depressed earned me the nickname 'Hermit'.

One of my housemates came to my rescue. I think i may have been a project of hers - I would be dragged kicking an screaming from my self-imposed exile whether I liked it or not. While I'm eternally grateful to her for this, I do also hold her solely responsible for yours truly being fined the princely sum of £25 for 'anti-social behaviour' some weeks later. Anyway, every Thursday night before Eastenders, we'd pick up enough sausages, spuds, onions and gravy to feed the five thousand. Except it would usually feed only three. It was, in part, bangers and mash that brought me out of my shell - ridiculous as that sounds.

Whenever I have it now I think of those drink-fuelled, fun-filled first terms of higher education and no matter what mood I'm in, I take comfort in the fact that the fun I had then can be repeated. That no matter how lost or lonely I feel, there are people out there who can chase away the dark clouds. It never fails to warm me up, restore my faith in humanity and turn my frown upside down. And then, more often that not, leave me full of regret at not preparing a normal-sized portion.

I leave you, this week, with a topical joke I noticed on somebody's Twitter that I know I saw but now can't find:

"I bought some pork sausages today from Sainsburys, they had a picture of Jamie Oliver on the packet. On the back it said 'prick with a fork'. You can't argue with that."

PS You may have notice the lack of embarrassing photo. It's on its way, I promise. I left it on my work computer - but trust me, it's bad enough to make the wait worthwhile.
Edit 25.11.10 - Please see hideous photo of me, avec saucisson, below.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Ms Potato Head's Kitchen

Let's just get the embarrassing photo out of the way.

This week the TASG is talking about our favourite comfort foods, and for me, the timing is perfect for this topic because:

A) I eat when I’m stressed.

B) It’s getting cold up here in Canada!

I can’t speak for Tom and Lauren, as they will share their own stories Wednesday and Friday, but I can tell you that I actually really like cooking.


Yeah, I love to cook.


Okay, so I don’t really like just making dinner or whatever, but I do, on occasion, like to make a nice meal - and I’m pretty good at it (I think). I get a lot of my favourite recipes from magazines and such. One of my favourites is a potato and leek soup recipe - perfect for a cold evening.

I freakin’ love potatoes! Seriously...I will eat potato anything. Baked potatoes, mashed, fried, scalloped, potato salad, boiled, hash browns...I could go on, and on. I am very Irish when it comes to the potato! (I’m only like 1/4 Irish...I think...maybe more...but it certainly counts on St. Paddy’s Day). Potatoes just bring me joy - and that is why this soup is one of my favourite comfort foods.

Allison, what do I need to make this at home?
Leeks next to some delicious bacon

Easy, here are the ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped bacon (mmm...bacon)
1 cup chopped leeks - white + light green part only
3 cups of peeled, diced potatoes (mmm)
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
1 cup of dry white wine (mmm)
3 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of chopped chives

How do I make this delicious comfort food Allison?:

• Cook bacon in large, heavy sauce pan on medium-high - stir often untl crispy (approx. 6 mins)
• Remove using slotted spoon and save it as a garnish and drain all but a tbsp of fat from the pan.
• Add leeks and cook until soft.
• Add potatoes, salt & pepper (stir)
• Add wine and cook until reduced by half.
• Pour in chicken broth and reduce heat to simmer until the potatoes are very tender (15 mins).
• Blend using a hand mixer.
• Stir in sour cream
• Serve w/ bacon and chives on top (I’ve also used grated chedder).
Simmer down now!

Also, I’ve made this recipe for a vegetarian friend before. I just removed the bacon, used olive oil instead of bacon fat to cook the leeks, and vegetable broth instead of chicken. It pretty much didn’t change the flavour.

Finished product!
Oh, and totally drink the rest of the wine.

Other comfort foods and drinks for me are:

• Hot chocolate
• Tea
• That cheesy salsa dip by Tostitos - microwave that’s delicious with tortilla chips.
• Guacamole!
• Peanut butter (toast, bread, on a spoon from the jar).
• Chocolate
• Cookies
• Cake
• Wine
• Gin
• Sweet potato fries
• Butter tarts (I just learned that these are a Canadian invention).
• Wow...this is starting to sound like my guilty pleasures post.

Anyways, I made this for dinner on Sunday and it was amazing.

After dinner I played some darts in my basement by myself.

Blurry cellphone picture of me practicing darts for Quiz Night.

Okay Tom - comfort food(s)...Go!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Lauren's Embarrassing List Of Guilty Pleasures

Okay, here we go.  THIS should be a fun post.  I think half of the things I like could probably considered guilty pleasures.  There are even some things that I should be ashamed of that I have loved for so long I no longer feel any guilt (i.e: Lady Gaga, reruns of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," 90's eurodance, etc.). 

But anyway, I'm going to attempt to boil this down into a cute little list.

I'll call this list "Lauren's Embarrassing List Of Guilty Pleasures."  The list will begin at this time:

*drum roll*

(in no particular order)

- Reality Television.  It's trashy, predictable, and an overall train wreck - but I can't look away. 

- The "Twilight" Movies.  These are possibly the worst films ever made, but something about them draws me in.  I make fun of them the whole time I'm watching them, of course, but the whole time I am secretly fascinated by the whole werewolf-vampire-human love triangle.  CONFESSION:  Somehow, I ended up with tickets to an exclusive pre-show of "New Moon."  A friend and I told everyone we were going to a rock show and snuck off to go watch "Twilight" in a room full of pre-teen girls and their mothers.  ANOTHER CONFESSION:  I have been to Forks, Washington.  I was on my way to Canada, but there were other routes I could have taken.  I went to Forks on purpose.

- t.A.T.u.  Remember those Russian lesbians that did that song "All The Things She Said" when we were all in middle school?  I never did take them off of my iPod... 

- The Black Eyed Peas.  With lyrics as simplistic and stupid as "let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, let's dooooo it," I'm a little ashamed to say that The B.E.P.'s are one of my favorite things to jam out to in my car.  CONFESSION:  I secretly wish I was Fergie. ANOTHER CONFESSION:  I know all of the words to "Imma Be."

- Trashy late night advice talk shows on the radio.  My favorite radio station recently changed it's programming schedule and "Loveline with Doctor Drew" is no longer on weeknights at 11.  Discovering this shouldn't have made me as sad as it did. 

- The Food Network.  I don't cook, but I love watching other people cook. 

- Eating peanut butter with a spoon.  Out of the jar, naturally.  It's disgusting and I know it, but it's something that occasionally happens anyway (usually late at night).

- B-rated horror movies.  Actually, I've loved these kinds of movies for so long that I no longer really feel shame, but I thought it was worth mentioning.  CONFESSION:  My shelf of DVDs has two layers to it.  The outer layer is all the Wes Anderson films and things I feel as though I am allowed to like as a sophisticated film geek and a pseudo-hipster.  The inner layer is mostly b movie crap.  "Bela Lagose Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla," anyone?  Don't tell my hipster friends.

I feel as though I could make this list go on for a very long time but I am going to stop.  I think I have embarrassed myself enough for one week...

*scuttles away* 

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I only play computer games sometimes. Honest.

The fact that this post is going to be so easy for me to write says something very important about the ways in which I choose to pass the time. Thinking about it, it would be a lot harder for me to think of something I like to do that's actually respectable, hip and down with the kids if you will, rather than a guilty pleasure (of which I have hundreds, it seems). Like Allison mentioned on Monday; now that I've left the mind-boggling gauntlet of judgement and prejudice that is school, I really couldn't care less about how my hobbies rate on the Scale of Cool. Dare I say that I've embraced geekdom? Yes, I've given in.

For the purpose of keeping this post a reasonable length, I'll choose my most embarrassing obsession; The Sims.

Yes - there's nothing I like more than guiding my virtual flock through the trials and tribulations of their simulated lives. I take good care of them, I do. They have fantastic clothes, great names, a dream house and never fail to succeed at whatever they choose to do [read: whatever I instruct them to do]. And therein, I think, lies the fascination for me. In their world I am all-powerful. A kind and just ruler of the universe they inhabit.

I could go further; not only do I revel in building a dynasty of stunningly successful, superbly named computerfolk, I also grow slightly envious of the carefree lives they lead.

Who wouldn't want a job that guarantees promotion if you work hard and keep people happy? Where boss' relatives and friends of friends don't start their careers with a built-in advantage. Who wouldn't kill for a real-life cheat that pops fifty grand into your bank account everytime you find yourself running low on funds? Or a button to press that will convince that faraway friend you never quite get round to calling that you honestly do still like them. This is how life show be, except, of course, that life should also be real.

I don't think I'm in any real danger of falling out of love with reality and finding myself unable to leave the glorious existence I've created for my sims. Real life is too much fun - at least it can be. But every now and then I wonder what it would be like never to have to make a decision, never to worry, never to fear the consequences of one's actions. And then I begin to wonder if I am, in fact, a tiny pawn in an incredibly complex version of the same game. And then I realise I've been up far too long and need to go to bed.

Or has my creator just right-clicked 'Sleep Until Fully Rested'?

Stop it Tom, seriously. And hang your head in your guilty pleasure shame.

Here I am with a selection of my guilty pleasures. Risha - please note fake Burberry scarf from my less sophisticated days. Everyone - please don't judge me too harshly.

Monday, 15 November 2010

I'm Not Guilty!

This week The TASG is writing about our guilty pleasures.

The thing about guilty pleasures is that they aren’t things we necessarily feel guilt over, but more shame and embarrassment. So really, these are our shameful pleasures - but that sounds naughty, so we’ll stick with guilty.

Usually guilty pleasures are associated with pop culture and hobbies that are generally regarded as uncool. I’m pretty much okay with being uncool for the most part - it’s part of my charm. High School’s over! I can embrace my strangeness!

Since I like making lists, I’m going to make some TOP 5 lists:


1. All Out of Love by Air Supply - I downloaded this because of a scene in this short-lived Canadian television series called JPod. The scene involves drunken karaoke and viral video.

2. Rasputin by Boney M - I remember a girl in high school used this song in history class for a project on Rasputin. Nothing beats campy dance music.

3. I Need You Now by Lady Antebellum - I like this overplayed, country-ish, pop song.

4. Pokerface by Lady GaGa - Lady GaGa frightens me, mostly because she reminds me of a cartoon villian. She just doesn’t seem real. But damn, this song is catchy.
Listening to GaGa...shhh.

5. My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors by Moxy Fruvous - Cheesy early 90s Canadian pop! This song is a about me, I swear.


1. A Walk to Remember - Mandy Moore, Shane West, a dying girl, a bad boy. This is one of those movies you pretend to hate in mixed company, but you secretly love.

2. Just Like Heaven - Reece Witherspoon is a ghost in limbo (sorta) and Mark Ruffalo is a drunk widow. So natural they fall in love. Don’t judge me!

3. 13 Going on 30 - Another Mark Ruffalo, only this time he’s paired with Jennifer Garner. A 13 year old girl wishes she was 30, and it happens.

Hugh Grant is so delightful.
4. Notting Hill - Hugh Grant! Julia Roberts! Yes please. A famous American actress meets a bumbling awkward Brit and they fall in love. Also, his roomate Spike kills me with his “Fancy a Fuck?” t-shirt.

5. Peter Pan - One of my favourite Disney movies. I have this one on VHS and DVD. "Think of a wonderful thought! Any happy little thought!..."


1. YouTube Vlogs - My life is boring, this is why I need people on YouTube to tell me about theirs.

2. Online Shopping - I feel like my mail carrier is judging me each time he sticks an box between my doors. Or an envelope from an Etsy seller.

3. Chocolate - I may have eaten a hand full of chocolate chips straight from the bag more than once.

4. The Blogosphere - I talked about this in my Real Life vs. Blog Life post, but I don’t really talk about my blog much in real life. But I have a morning routine. I wake up, take a shower, make a cup of tea, sit with my laptop and check my email, facebook, and sometimes YouTube, then I check my blogroll. I go through all the newly posted blogs, and even go back to some I skimmed or skipped before.

5. Gossiping - It’s not nice to be talked about - but let’s face it, it happens. It’s harmless if they don’t know about it. I think a good rant and rave is perfectly healthy, just as long as you’re not directly hurting someone, right? I’m not talking about celebrity gossip (I’ve freed my mind of that stuff). So it’s bad to admit, but I enjoy gossiping. There I said it.

Okay, so let the mocking begin!

And, also, do me a favour and check out Lauren’s post from Friday - it’s really funny.

See you Wednesday Tom!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Being Realistic Has Never Been My Thing...

So when I was a little kid, my perception of reality was even worse than it is now.

In other words, I wanted to be Darkwing Duck when I grew up.  Actually, I didn't want to wait to grow up to be Darkwing Duck.  I wanted the transformation of identity to take place as soon as possible and I went around insisting that everyone addressed me as "Darkwing" instead of "Lauren."  I was four so I got away with it.  However, I still cringe whenever I revisit this vague memory I have of correcting a Sunday School teacher when they dared to call me by my non-cartoon-superhero name. 

After my fascination with Darkwing Duck, there was a brief period where I wanted to be Teddy Ruxpin.  I saw a commercial for him one time when I was experiencing my daily of dose of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and wanted to adopt his personality.  So I began insisting that people called me "Teddy."  For the record, I never actually owned a Teddy Ruxpin doll.  They are pretty frightening things.  I think my parents realized this and got me Creepy Crawlers instead. 

Once I emerged from my "I-wish-I-was-a-creepy-animatronic-bear" phase, I grasped onto an idea that was a little more realistic:  I wanted to be a "librarian hippy Elvis."  Now, I'm not really sure what that means, but I imagine it involves acting like a rock star while living in a commune and reading the occasional book.  If that's the case, I think I am what I wanted to be when I grow up.

Of course, as I got older, the dream got more specific.  I started taking piano lessons when I was eight and it wasn't long before I wanted to be Horowitz.  This ambition was fueled by a moment in a piano shop when I was in about the fourth grade.  My family was shopping for a new piano because the one we had was an octave short of a full keyboard and I was already unexpectedly outgrowing it.  So we went to this one particular piano shop where Horowitz's piano was on display and the shop owner was nice enough to let me play it.  I don't even remember what I played, but I do remember that ten-year-old Lauren was very, very happy.

My desire to be a crazy concert pianist when I grew up didn't really fade until late high school.  There was even a point in time where I would get up a couple of hours before school to practice my scales and arpegios, sneak into the band uniform room to play Chopin on a gross piano during lunch at school, then come home and spend a good portion of the afternoon/evening learning torturously difficult classical pieces.  I even got up the nerve to compete in a couple of piano competitions and always lost to crazy Asian kids.

Julliard had been on my mind as my number one college choice since I was a little kid that wanted to be Horowitz.  But when it came time to actually apply, I realized I'm not really concert pianist material.  I like to have a life outside of practicing the piano six to eight hours a day.  I like to play with other people.  I like music that has a recognizable beat.  I like to dance.  I like to rock.  I think I've always been a "librarian hippy Elvis" at heart (though I still don't really know what that means).

And with that, I shall wish you all a happy Friday and sign off for the week.  Happy Friday, amigos!  Stay tuned next week to hear about the guilty pleasures of the TASG.  I'm sure it will be a delightfully embarrassing week for all of us. 

Anyway, live long and prosper, homies. 

Lauren out.

Yes, I am the whitest kid I know.  And no, I did NOT steal my hat from Jay and Silent Bob...