- each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, with the fresh yes of an adventurer -

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Weekend Must List

I am a list-maker.

I know, I know, but I can't help it. I physically must write things down so that I a) don't forget to do whatever it is on my list and b) feel like I have some kind of plan to get it done. I know it might sound nuts, but I am the Queen of Procrastination, so lists are life savers. And I really can't help it.

After a few crazy-busy (read: borderline insane) work weeks, this weekend my to-do list was filled with things that really had to get done. Out of necessity and out of the need to regain a bit of control in my life. Either I knock some things off this list, or I just won't be able to go on another day! Dramatic? Never.

I must put these (late) graduation cards in the mail.
Seriously, does that fact that I have to make myself drop a few cards in the mail give any indication of how busy life has been lately?

I must get to the gym. It misses me. And because exercise releases endorphins. And endorphins make you happy. (And I'm a workout-aholic so I need the gym like smokers need cigarettes)

I must get a pedicure. My feet are a disaster. And it's sandal season. So neglecting my feet has become unacceptable. (Ehh, let's throw in a manicure too while I'm there)

I must update my music. There are so many great new summer tunes out and my "Lately" playlist is getting just a bit outdated.

I must get my hair cut and highlighted. I cannot stand this curly frizzy messy disaster with 3-inch roots for one more day. Simon to the rescue! (Sorry Steph, you know how I hate to cheat on you! But I have no idea when I'll be back in Dallas...)

I must run errands. I'm out of the essentials. You know, deodorant, toothpaste, hair spray, shower gel....little things, but little things that I simply cannot live without.

I must spend some quality time with my DVR. I'm sure that the So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 are fantastic! Can't wait!

I must eat BBQ! (alright, maybe this one isn't so much of a 'must'...) The Big Apple BBQ block party in Madison Square Park is one of my favorite weekends of the summer. Y'all, we're talking real southern BBQ right here in NYC. The smell alone is enough to make any southerner feel transported back to their hometown. Saturday was a bit rainy, but rain won't keep us away! The park was packed with fellow BBQ-loving New Yorkers. Good thing I made it there both days this year.
Dear Salt Lick, please bring more brisket next year so that you do not run out in 2 hours on the 1st day. Or perhaps it was just a scheme to lure me back to the park for round 2 on Sunday. Well played Salt Lick, well played.
And I'm happy to report that I can start the work week on Monday with a renewed sense of control in my life. Based on the Top 20's first performances, it's going to be a fab season of SYTYCD. I had my fill (x2) of tasty BBQ and root beer floats. AND I'm freshly blonde. With super-bouncy straight hair.

So now it MUST be a good week! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Did that happen?

Wednesday night I received the most bizarre phone call from my Mom. It was late. I was still at work. She responded with her normal surprise - Mom, I don't know when you're going to stop with the surprise after 4 straight weeks these hours I'm pulling. Then she launched into the reason for her late call...

Apparently it was a rough night in Coppell, Texas. A summer storm with lightning, thunder, torrential rain, 80 mph winds. And these winds were allegedly strong enough to blow the chimney right off my parent's house. Yep, gone. Leaving quite the hole in the roof. In the middle of said torrential downpour. I'm picturing, gaping hole in roof, tons of rain, water dripping into my parent's closet. Yikes.

As if this scenario weren't bad enough, and semi-unbelievable, it gets better. While investigating the water damage situation from the attic mid-storm, Dad manages to slip and fall straight through the attic floor. GASP! Mom then explains that it didn't literally FALL through the ceiling onto the floor, just fell through the ceiling with his entire leg. WHAT?!?!!? Yes, this is my father who just had back surgery. Falling. Through. The. Ceiling.

So not only is there a chimney and roof to repair and water-soaked ceiling sheet rock to replace, there is now this damage to Leslee's (and my) bathroom --

Photography courtesy of Les with emails titled "Bathroom" and "And Again." While these events may not have been funny at the time, I'm sitting at my desk laughing uncontrollably with Mom. Not because it's 'funny haha' but, well, out of sheer disbelief. How does this happen?! My Dad slipped and fell through the attic floor. In the middle of a thunderstorm. After the chimney had already blown straight off the roof.

Yep. You just can't make this stuff up. So if you live in the Dallas area and know a good roof / ceiling / sheet rock repairman, I know a house that could use his assistance!

*Luckily no one was harmed in this eventful evening. With the exception of the ceiling of course.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bloggy Makeover? Yes Please!


The designer behind Jamie's new and improved www.lulledbythetrain.com blog is giving away a free blog design to kick off the summer. And her own newly redesigned site, Redbud Designs. And I want to win it! Because I am certain that the talented Sharon would come up with an incredibly fun look for La La La Lauren!

Just in case you've never visited Jamie's blog (which is highly unlikely with as much as I link to her posts), please take a moment to do so. Isn't the design super cute? Doesn't it make you love her blog that much more?
Confession: I've wanted my own blog design since before I even had a blog. And I sometimes browse Sharon's site just to see what she's done recently. And I secretly really want to make one of those mood boards like Jamie did with designs she liked for inspiration.
Yeah, so I'm a nerd. It's ok. I know this. But I might win! And then La La La Lauren will be cuter than ever. Fingers crossed!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What a Beautiful Day

Day 1:
One way ticket to LGA. Two suitcases, a couch to sleep on, a big girl job, a whole new life ahead. 21-years-old and scared out of my mind.

Day 25:
Week 5 Panic Attack. What do I really think am I doing here?!

Day 41:
Lease signed on first NYC apartment! Thank the Lord!
And Texas roomies join me for good. Finally, things are looking up!

Day 70:
This city is rejecting me. Undiagnosable ankle infection. Mom to the rescue!

Day 92:
The Subway - friend or foe?

Day 126:
So this is what Fall is supposed to be like. Wow. I'm officially in love.

Day 152:
Christmastime in New York. Lights, trees, outdoor ice skating, decorations, snow. Nothing Better.

Day 214:
My Small Group + Gallery Church. Sometime over the past few months, these girls have become some of my very best friends and this church has made me feel so very at home.

Day 301:
Ice Storm '07. Really? It's March. This is not pretty or fun. This is miserable. Lesson #1 in surviving New York winters: The necessity of the Puffy Coat.

Day 352:
Have I really lived here almost a year? Somewhere in the past 300 days New York started to feel like home instead of an extended vacation.

Day 373:
We discovered lovely beaches that are only 1 hour and 15 min train ride away. Who knew?!

Day 422:
Times Square is so not fun anymore. Please stop making me take visitors there.

Day(s) 582 - 672:
Winter of the Karaoke Queens. We rocked. Weekly.

Day 710:
Second NYC apartment! Only 6 blocks from our first one. Bigger, better and about 70 stairs up...
(Stanford, Caroline's cat, is much happier here too.)

Day 736:
Feeling incredibly helpless that I'm so far away from my family when I desperately need to be with them.

Day 857:
Broken umbrella in the pouring down rain, no cabs to be found when needed, constantly running late, hating the stairs to my 4th floor walk-up apartment, hating public transportation, sick of the cold, leaky rain boots, stupid job. Ugh, 2.5 years and so very over this place.

Day 901:
Aerial view of the City on the flight home from spending a 10-day Christmas vacay in Texas. It's beautiful. I missed it. Just kidding, I'm not over it. I love this place and I love my life here.

Day 1,015:
Finally, a new job! Success! And another year in NYC...

Day 1,095:
Bring on the 4th summer in a row without central ac and the noise from 2nd avenue. Really, I'm ready for it.

My New York adventure began as "I've always wanted to live there!" and "I can do anything for a year!" Now here I am, 3 years later, much braver, exponentially more independent and feeling more sure of myself than ever before. 3 years later, loving this crazy NYC life of mine and though it's tough sometimes, I'm not quite sure I'm ready to give up on it.

Besides, Texas will always be there to welcome me back when I'm ready. And don't worry Texas, I'll be ready to come home to you one day. But for now, breaking up with the City I love is one thing I can't bring myself to do just yet.

Day 1,095. What a beautiful day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bringing Preppy Back

I don't care who you are. That. Is. Funny.

Don't lie, you know you looked forward to watching the gang from Bayside High every Saturday morning. And you can sing the theme song by heart. (sidenote: whatever happened to catchy theme songs?!)

So as shared by everyone else I know today, please enjoy Zacky's interview with Jimmy Fallon last night. I dare you to watch without laughing. And here's to hoping Jimmy's reunion show features Hot Sunday.

Ten points if you can name Hot Sunday's hit single that they filmed a video for. Bonus points if you know what they were doing in the video.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Oh, ya know

Just your average lunch break. :)

Rolling Stone / Us Weekly Lunches. One of the most fantastic perks of my job. 2 weeks ago I visited the Rolling Stone office twice in one week. (probably against my better professional judgment, since they require being out of the office for about 2 hours)

In the past, I've been to these lunch interviews with Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Terrence Howard, Wolfe Blitzer & the CNN Crew. Rough life I have, I know.

So first up, lunch with Kris Allen and Adam Lambert! Yeah, it's true. I was in the same room as them. And 50 other people. Whatever, we still 'met.' Totally counts.

It was the Tuesday after the AI Finale, the afternoon after they performed on the Today Show. These guys were on cloud 9. They'd hardly slept since the big announcement. They were still in disbelief that AI was over and this crazy media whirl-wind was now life. They were hilarious. And well-spoken. Kris really is that humble and Adam really is that funny. And they both seem to be very nice guys and good friends. Which made for quite the entertaining lil lunch.

Check out the Rolling Stone interview when it comes out next month and because I heart these boys, here are a few highlights for your amusement --

Rolling Stone Question -- Favorite song the other sang?
Kris: Oh wow. I mean, Adam is so amazing...Most would say "Mad World", but I think I liked the Cher song he sang during Hollywood Week. I thought, 'no way is that guy going out there and singing that song.'
Adam: Hah, you thought, 'no way is that guy gay!'

the whole room erupts into laughter

KA: Man, you totally nailed it. It was awesome.
AL: I remember hearing Kris put together his arrangement for "Aint no Sunshine" I heard him from another room and thought, 'wow, what IS that?' It was amazing. Oh, and his version of "Falling Slowly." Yeah I wanted to cry after that performance.

the whole room agrees

So do I get the feeling you guys didn't really get along with Danny that well?
Gasps around the room and uncomfortable laughter from our boys.
AL: Hmmm, no that's not it. Danny's really great. He's got his own sound. And I liked Danny just fine. Maybe he didn't like me...I dunno...
KA: No no, we were fine with Danny. Were we sad to see him leave the show? Hah, not really...I mean, it's a competition!
AL: Yeah, we were totally fine with him leaving. Then we knew one of us would be the winner. Haha

The 1st single, "No Boundaries"...really, we have to talk about it.
KA: Ok, ok, No Boundaries...the recording is actually really great.
AL: It is. It's really a powerful song. I just felt like I didn't have enough time to prepare. There were a lot of words and I knew I wasn't singing it well.
KA: And it was really high. It was difficult. But Kara is very talented and I respect her.

So where do you see yourself in 10 years?
KA: Well hopefully right here man. Sitting here with you guys. Talking music. And new albums. Living the dream, you know?
AL: Hmmmm, well you know I don't want to sound too presumptuous...but ok, really? Really I want the whole deal. I want a World Tour, new albums, sold out concerts, movies, multimedia...all of it!

Awesome. That's the only word for these 2 hours of life.

And up second at the end of the week, lunch with Ms. Taylor Swift! Jamie, Bethany and I sneaked away from the office on a busy Friday afternoon because we just couldn't miss seeing her.

Taylor walked into a roomful of people and proceeded to personally say hello to everyone there. The two of us had an entire chat about the messiness of curly hair in humidity and how ours just sort of does it's own thing. C'est la vie! She was ohsocute in her new Top Shop purple pumps (I know this from her Twitter of course) and incredibly friendly.

In her interview she talked about how she dreamed up her awards show performances during class, all her new ideas for her tour and how it seems like everyone claims to be her best friend. You know, Kelly Pickler, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato...all besties of course. She was charming and funny and contagiously bubbly. Of course I knew I would love her, but leaving the lunch, I felt like we were friends!

Now I just need my new 'friend' to hook me up with tickets to her sold-out show at The Garden... :)

L.O.V.E. her.

And because I tend to keep a running score of New York vs Texas, in this round --
New York: 100, Texas: 0


Friday, June 5, 2009

Just Because

Because sometimes I just need to take a step back from the craziness that is my life. Take a deep breath. Not get too caught up in the crazy. Because I have to remind myself that it might be a lil tough on me right now and I might be worn out, but it's temporary.

Because really, everything is going to be just fine.

And thanks to JMart for introducing us to these super-cutie & girly prints from Etsy designer DazeyChic! Don't they make you smile?