My Dad

February 8, 2013

Received the following e-mail from my dad this morning:

Dear Family,

I went to get bagels this morning and it started started to snow.
When I drove the car up to the top of the driveway and down to the middle of the driveway for mom to use later, I discovered a curious pattern being formed at the top of the the driveway by the car’s tires in the snow. It looks like two intersecting heart’s (in math, a Venn diagram).
I inserted our names in the hearts and took some pictures with my iPhone.
I thought you all might like to see my crazy pictures.
The pictures combine the beginning of the blizzard of 2013 and Valentines’s Day next week.
I was trying to think of a name for them like Valenblizz or Blizzlentine.
Oh well!!! Creativity can only go so far!
Have a safe and blessed weekend!
Love to all of yous!!!

My parents will be married 35 years this St. Patrick’s Day and my father continues to write love letters to her in all manner of forms.

I’d like to insert a sarcastic hilarious something but I can’t.

He is just the absolute best.

Apartment Tour

January 28, 2013

Tom wanted a tour of my new apartment. I picked all my favorite things to show him.

DSCN0080 from The Spectrum on Vimeo.

The Bar Next Door

January 17, 2013

When apartment hunting back in the fall, my fiancé and I fell in love with the neighborhood we currently live in. It’s convenient, it’s quiet, it’s lovely. Most of the apartments were well out of our price range so on a sunny October Saturday, when we stumbled across a newly renovated apartment on the 2nd floor of an adorable walk up at a price we could afford, we were all, YES PLEASE NOW?

We hesitated a little bit because the building shares a wall with a quaint looking old bar that advertises live music.

“How loud is the sound?” we asked the landlord.

“It can float in through the windows in the summer on the weekends,” he admitted. “It’s a little annoying.”

“Hmmmmm,” we thought.

We weighed our options.

Cons: the bar in the summer

Pros: large (by NYC standards) apartment, washer/dryer downstairs (I have never had laundry in my building, ever), newly renovated kitchen, central heat/AC, affordable rent, neighborhood we love…

WE WENT FOR IT, OBVIOUSLY.

And here is where we can all laugh and laugh at how adorable we were to TRUST A NEW YORK CITY LANDLORD! OH! SO CUTE! Also, we were born yesterday!

I have yet to write about it but we moved (or were set to move) in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. Due to the storm, the basement of our new building flooded which fried the boiler which left us without hot water for a bit. This is important to my very thrilling story I am telling you because the bar also flooded and was in a worse state than our building, so they were closed down for nearly a month.

In that time, we unpacked our lives and attempted to settle into our new home.

Then towards the end of November, after pictures were hung on the walls and all the boxes had been emptied, after we had become accustomed to our new little sweet home, the bar opened for business and we heard it: loud, thumping bass coming from next door.

“Is that…?” asked my fiancé.

“IS THIS HAPPENING?” I screamed at no one.

We called 311 to file a noise complaint.

We walked next door to see if the bar could turn down the music because, let me also say it was a Monday night at 11:30.

The bartender blinked and responded “Uh, it’s live music. Also, this is a bar.”

THANK YOU, SIR!

You can rinse and repeat this scenario for most Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings from November-present moment.

A few times, I was met with warm reception from a female bartender who immediately adjusted the volume level and allowed me to get some sleep.

Usually though, we were met with the male bartender who repeated his mantra, “It’s a bar.”

And blamed us for living next door.

Om, shanti, my friend! xoxoxo~*~*~*~*~*laura~*~*~*~*xoxoxo

Bar patrons also loved when me or my fiancé showed up in our pajamas begging them to turn down the music. (Which, admittedly, if I were drunk, I would also probably find hilarious.) More than once, a random drunk dude would offer their opinion.

“WHO MOVES NEXTTOABAR ANAWAH?” they would slur.

This is probably one of the worst ways to respond to a person in crisis, in case you were wondering. What you want to do when someone stays up all night listening to a Brazilian jazz flutest next door and then has to drag their ass to work the next day, is to shame them for moving there in the first place, making sure they feel maximum stupidity for trusting the landlord.

Kisses, drunk dude! ENJOY YOUR COORS LIGHT! ~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~XOXO LAURA HERE IS A CLOWN FACE FOR YOU *<:o) So, you can see we have been living in...less than optimal conditions. My fiancé suffers from insomnia to begin with so this has really helped with that, AND BY HELPED I MEAN NOT AT ALL IN THE SLIGHTEST. The bar has been unhelpful, the cops sent by 311 have been useless, most likely because the bar IS a very old awesome dive bar and when the cops show up they just order a beer and hang out and ignore the fact that we asked them to PLEASE HELP US TURN THE MUSIC DOWN. We have measured (and recorded) the volume levels in our home when the music is playing. It has reached 90 decibels at its worst. (Legal limit in a residence is 40 so, thank you for breaking the law! We love it!) The highlight of this experience was one evening when a familiar voice was strumming on a guitar playing songs I knew the words to. Me: Um. Pretty sure my ex-boyfriend is playing in the bar tonight. My fiancé: ????????????? Me: Yeah. That's. Wait. Let me check the schedule on their website. Yes. My ex-boyfriend is playing music in the bar tonight. OMG I LOVE THIS SONG! My fiancé: The weirdest thing that ever happened is happening right now. Two weeks ago, after we were kept up on a Saturday night to the thumping beats of a 90's R&B cover band named "No Biggity" (who were, admittedly, REALLY good), we looked at each other and decided we could no longer stay in our apartment and lead healthy lives. We had reached rock bottom that night, our very lowest point, laying wide awake in bed attempting to suppress our rage when the familiar strains of Lisa Loeb wafted into our bedroom. "You say," I began to sing along. "I only hear what I--" "STOP," snapped my fiancé. "DON'T BE A TRAITOR." It was true. We were past the point of singing along. It was time to move. To my credit, I only cried one time after we decided the next day to break our lease. The idea of packing and moving and unpacking in a 2 month span is enough to break anyone down. Not to mention, I was already pretty raw living almost daily on interrupted sleep and felt heartbroken considering the fact that my fiancé proposed to me in our apartment and I was already quite attached. The landlords have not taken kindly to us asking to leave, despite the fact that we have significant proof that the apartment is uninhabitable. So it's been fun to simultaneously be threatened AND get accused of lying! As luck would have it, a friend of mine is renting out his place a few blocks away and though it's smaller and more expensive, we've decided to take it. The movers come tomorrow and just like that, life shifts yet again. It's been...a little traumatic, to say the least. I've been pretty stressed with my new job and my anxiety has increased like crazy over the past few months due to a lot of life adjustments. Add to that the uncertainty of WHERE ON EARTH IS MY HOME??? and things have been a little rough. But one of the reasons I am marrying the guy I am marrying is because when tough things come up - hurricanes, anxiety, cover bands playing R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" - he steps up and he holds my hand and we instantly become a somewhat seamless team. So every night this week, we've been packing boxes and running them over to the new place in my car. We get take out and we sit among the mess of our soon-to-be old apartment and we tell each other that in a few days, we'll have some peace and quiet and we'll create a new home and everything will be fine. And it will. And so, as No Biggity advised a few weeks ago, as our walls shook with every thump of the bass, we are doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well. Amen.

Watching Les Misérables With My Parents

January 7, 2013

* My fiancé is a member of the Producer’s Guild, which sends him screeners of movies often still in theaters, much like SAG. Just a note to say that’s why we were watching this on DVD at home, not in a movie theater, which would’ve silenced this entire conversation and woulda been a darn shame. *

LAURA: Okay, guys! Let’s watch Les Miz!

DAD: I LOVE THIS SHOW.

MOM: Who is that?

LAURA: Hugh Jackman.

DAD: Who?

LAURA: Hugh Jackman.

DAD: WHO?

LAURA: He’s Wolverine. And he’s like 30 pounds lighter, oh my God, he looks skeletal. Still hot though. But skeletal.

DAD: WHO IS THAT?

LAURA: Russell Crowe is better than I thought!

MOM: I THINK HE SOUNDS NICE.

DAD: WHO IS THAT?

MOM & LAURA: *IGNORING*

*TIME PASSES*

ANNE HATHAWAY: I dreamed a dream in time gone byyyyyyy…

LAURA: *SOBBING*

MOM: *TEARING UP*

DAD: WHO IS THAT?

*TIME PASSES*

MOM: How does Jean Valjean make a living? Honestly.

LAURA: He was the mayor! He made some good investments?

MOM: But now he’s escaping and he doesn’t work. How does he have money? HE DOESN’T WORK.

LAURA: I hope Javert commits suicide earlier than usual because he can’t sing.

DAD: MASTER OF THE HOUSE! LA DEE DA DEE DA! OH MAN, THOSE TWO ARE CHARACTERS!

*TIME PASSES*

MOM: Who wrote the music for this again? Andrew Lloyd Webber???

LAURA: *punches Mom in the face, throws her out the window* BLASPHEMYYYYYY!

*TIME PASSES*

DAD: WHO IS THAT?

LAURA/MOM: Cosette.

LAURA: She is worse than Russell Crowe. I can’t stand her voice.

MOM: Me neither.

DAD: Who is that?

MOM/LAURA: COSETTE.

LAURA: The little girl!? He saved her and now he’s her father.

DAD: THAT BLONDE LADY IS THE LITTLE GIRL CLAUDETTE?

LAURA: Dude, you have seen the musical at least 3 times.

DAD: I NEVER KNEW IT WAS HER.

MOM: Why on earth would he just be living with a young blonde woman? THIS IS A STORY ABOUT GOD.

*TIME PASSES*

LAURA: *CRYING ALL THE TIME*

DAD: (twenty minutes after the sewer scene) WAIT. HE SAVED MARIUS IN THE SEWER?

MOM/LAURA: …

MOM: Who did you think he was carrying in the sewer?

DAD: SOME GUY.

LAURA: Dad, you are missing major elements of the story.

DAD: WELL I GET IT NOW.

MOM: You see why I get upset with him!? He has no idea what’s going on.

DAD: I KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. HE SAVED THE GUY FOR CLAUDETTE.

LAURA: No one in this movie is named Claudette.

DAD: ANYWAY NOW I KNOW HE SAVED HIM.

*TIME PASSES*

LAURA: *SOBBING SO HARD SHE CAN’T BREATHE*

DAD: Man, everyone died.

LAURA: (wailing) I KNOWWWWWWWWWW.

DAD: EVEN THAT LITTLE GIRL! THEY SHOT THAT LITTLE GIRL.

MOM/LAURA: What?

DAD: THE LITTLE GIRL ON THE BARRICADE!

MOM/LAURA: That was a boy.

DAD: HE HAD LONG HAIR!

LAURA: You need to work on your assumptions about traditional gender roles.

MOM: HE IS A BOY.

LAURA: His name is Gavroche.

DAD: Garbage? (pronounced ‘Gar-bahge’)

LAURA: Yes. Fine. His name is Garbage. The little boy on the barricade.

MOM: SEE WHY I GET UPSET WITH HIM? HE DOESN’T GET HIS HEARING AID UNTIL MARCH. HOW CAN I LIVE UNTIL THEN?

DAD: I CAN’T BELIEVE GARBAGE DIED.

LAURA: *CRIES FOR THE REST OF THE EVENING*

Fin.

Goodbye?

January 3, 2013

YOU GUYS.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about this space and how I write so much less than I used to and it makes me sad. I’m trying to figure out what would compel me to write more, share more and what kind of space/time I would need to do that.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, I also have been thinking about the fact that I created ‘The Spectrum’ when I was 14. FOURTEEN!!! I am so much older now! GOOD GOD. I AM ALMOST 30.

ANYWAY, when I was 14,  ‘The Spectrum’ didn’t really mean anything or it just meant everything and I thought it was kind of fun, spanning all topics, blar dee blar blagh.

Obviously now, in 2012, almost 2013, things are different. The phrase ‘the spectrum’ is usually used when discussing autism and special needs diagnoses in children.

I would REALLY REALLY hate for anyone to think that I am using this blog to poke fun at that.

And I REALLY REALLY hate coming up in Google searches when poor parents are trying to find information about their kids and then they click here and I’m like HA HA DUMPLINGS AND MY DAD! LOL!

Oof.

So, I’m thinking of shutting The Spectrum down out of respect for the term and freeing up this domain and putting my thoughts elsewhere on the internet.

Anyone have any ideas for new blog names? Do people even have blogs anymore? I should start a tumblr instead but I’m just not into it.

Let me know! I am going to attempt to move some archives and items over to a new space shortly into the new year, which will help get rid of all those old posts I am VERY EMBARRASSED ABOUT while keeping some old favorites.

Your thoughts always welcome!

What’s new with me: I got new glasses and did that weird trendy ombre thing to my hair though you can barely tell. I went to North Carolina to spend some time with my delicious fiancé and his close friends which meant just lots of this + wine:

Ombre + weird face!

Hope you guys are doing awesome! I made so many resolutions but most of them are really boring! AND YOU?

And a happy NEW YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!

xoxo

LD

Tom Is In Town

December 20, 2012

OVER LUNCH, THAI FOOD

Tom: I’m reading this book about food and how this anthropologist/dentist did research in the 1900’s studying indigenous people and their diets.

Laura: How can you be an anthropologist/dentist?

Tom: He found that people in certain parts of the world had PERFECTLY STRAIGHT TEETH and NO cavities.

Laura: Like, that is the craziest double major.

Tom: ANYWAY. You probably had cavities and crooked teeth because you ate white sugar and flour growing up.

Laura: I definitely did that.

Tom: Well, people that never ate those things had PERFECT TEETH and they lived to be like 130 years old.

Laura: What did they eat? Vegetables?

Tom: Yes! A little meat but if they did, they ate it rarely and they’d eat the ENTIRE ANIMAL.

Laura: Ick.

Tom: Also, fish is good for you.

Laura: For my cavities?

Tom: Right. Well. That’s more to do with sugar.

Laura: But sugar is so delicious.

Tom: But if you don’t eat it you’ll live to be 130.

Laura: I’m never eating it again because I feel myself rapidly decaying as we speak.

Tom: RIGHT???

TWENTY MINUTES LATER, WALKING

Tom: I really feel like a cupcake.

Laura: As do I.

TEN MINUTES LATER, IN THE BAKERY

Laura: MINI CUPCAKES! I’ll have three.

Tom: ME TOO!

*pause*

Tom: Um. No. I’ll have six.

Hi, Blog.

December 3, 2012

Well, hello!

I few months ago, I wrote some stupid blog post about how I had lost momentum in my life and needed to just go out and MAKE STUFF HAPPEN because I lost my way a little bit. The problem was, in typical Laura fashion, once I got started with a little energy, I became a whirling tornado of DO ALL THE STUFF!!!! and I…um. I got in a little bit over my head.

This is a pretty strong pattern in my life, a tendency to go full throttle and take on as much as possible. (Not sure exactly what that’s about though I have some ideas.) I do have a lot of natural energy so bouncing around at high speeds is my ‘NORMAL’ setting and it is very, very hard for me to be still and just have a quiet night at home because WHAT ELSE COULD I BE DOING? I KNOW! I’LL COLOR COORDINATE THE BOOKSHELF AND TAKE AN ONLINE PERSONALITY QUIZ AND WHAT IS HAPPENING ACROSS THE STREET? SHOULD I GO SEE???

The challenge of living this way is that I will go go go until I physically can’t anymore and then I crash and burn and wonder whyyyy I can’t have a cookie and go to bed early because I’m so tiiiiiiiiired.

I’m sure we’ve all hit this place a few times, probably in college. Or at really stressful times in our lives when there is just simply too much going on.

I just kind of…operate this way all the time?

And it is so so fun until it is ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE.

It’s not the greatest pattern and I think my big New Year’s resolution will be to gently and determinedly work on uprooting it at its core which I already know will not be fun for me at first. AT ALL.

It’s not really awesome to be running all over the place like a crazy face, especially when you’re engaged to a human being who you want to spend time with and who wants to spend time with you. This partnership is teaching me lots of things, in an obvious way that my life is no longer just about Myself. (SURPRISE.) That’s a difficult adjustment for me to make because all these years of dating and not dating in NYC have taught me how to be really self-sufficient and a little self-involved in that I don’t always pause and stop to think about the way others might be affected by my choices.

Or even me, for that matter! I’m not taking care of myself and therefore, I’m definitely not taking care of anyone else.

This is all to say that HI! I moved into an apartment and started a new job and I’m halfway done with my 200 hour vinyasa teacher certification and I’m doing a workshop of a new musical improv form a few nights in December and my fiancé is the studliest man alive and we’re trying to lock down a time and place for our wedding which is exciting but also impossible because weddings are expensive and HOW ARE YOU GUYS DOING? I HAVE BEEN A BIT BUSY.

Oh, I was so cute when I thought I would like, blog my way through my yoga training.

HA HA I’VE BEEN DOING IT FOR SEVEN WEEKS.

(I love it so hard.)

Also, I went to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving but my 2nd day there, my lips ballooned up like Meg Ryan’s due to an allergic reaction and hives broke out on my chin and my wrist and I ended up in an urgent care clinic where a nurse practitioner named Big Daddy gave me two shots of steroids and his carrot cake recipe.

In short, slow down, everyone.

And…I’ll just leave it at that.

The end.

Hurricane Sandy

November 4, 2012

So.

A hurricane hit my dear city (and me).

As you might have heard, it hit us hard.

(Famous last words from my boss on Friday before the storm “Everyone is freaking out for nothing. This will be NOTHING.”)

NOT QUITE.

The city is recovering because it is the freaking best city in the world.

I am recovering too but it’s going to take some time. My body and my mind were put under some seriously stressful circumstances.

I was staying in the East Village at my fiancé’s apartment when Sandy came to town. We were planning on moving him to our new apartment in Long Island City, Queens on November 1st so his apartment was more than half-packed up already. The move was postponed to Thursday due to the damage. We were a few blocks from the ConEd transformer explosion on 14th St. and FDR. We heard the explosion on Monday night. Then the power went out and stayed out until we moved on Thursday in the dark, using headlamps, wrapped in a few layers of sweaters and snuggies due to the rapidly falling temperatures.

We arrived safely in LIC Thursday night to find that we did have power in our new building but no hot water due to the basement flooding and the boiler frying in the salt water.

As of yesterday, we can finally take a hot shower and our subway line has been restored so we can travel as needed.

We know other people (including my parents) are not as lucky. They are out on Long Island without power, heat, cell reception still.

But my family and friends are all safe and all have their houses/apartments and belongings intact.

I am lucky to be alive. Lucky that our apartment didn’t flood. Lucky that we had food and water and each other, even in the dark.

I’m going to try to document in detail what we went through later (the generosity of strangers, my sweet little 1998 Ford Escort driving us through the darkened streets of Manhattan up to where there was light and heat and power, the mouse that kept us up all night in the old apartment trying to eat our food after we went to bed, sitting in the freezing cold waiting for the movers who showed up two hours late).

For now, we are safe. We are getting back to a routine. I am back to work tomorrow. Never thought I’d be so happy.

Hope all of you are okay out there, this was a rough one.

xoxo

What I Know About Planning A Wedding (Hint: Zero.)

October 30, 2012

After the shock of being engaged wore off (as well as the shock of moving into a new apartment, beginning yoga teacher training and starting a new full time job, NO BIG DEAL GUYS), I realized that eventually I would have to take steps to plan our wedding. I’ve always considered it kind of neat that I’m a down-to-earth gal who has definitely dreamed of being married but never really dreamed of what her wedding would look like. Now I consider that line of thinking COMPLETELY NONSENSICAL AND AWFUL.

(23 YEAR OLD LAURA! QUICK! START READING SOME BRIDAL THINGS! MAKE A LIST! NOWWWW!)

This is because girls who know how they want their BIG DAY (can we stop using this phrase? THANK YOU) to go probably shift easily into wedding planner mode. I am having some trouble making this transition. I’ve just been sitting around thinking that I should probably wear a dress of some sort and we should make a list of people we want to show up. Then I eat a bowl of cereal and consider my work for the day done.

Apparently, this is not how weddings are planned.

WHO KNEW???

Luckily, my fiancé (WHAT! I HAVE A FIANCE!) has been to about 35 million weddings and is a wonderful resource to use. I get stressed out when I think of the wedding as a huge gigantic blob of ?????????? What’s helpful is to think of one step at a time. First, we make a list of people we would like to invite so we can see how many guests there might be. Then we can move onto venues that can accommodate that number. EASY PEASY, RIGHT? (No, because then I think about the time of year I want it to be and if I want it near the beach or near a lake or in a barn strung with twine that my great-great grandfather made years ago on his farm in Poland.)

(This twine does not exist but you just try taking these Do It Yourself wedding websites seriously because I cannot. All I’ve learned is that I should use mason jars for something. ANYONE???)

The thing is, you guys, I am terrible with decision making. I second-guess myself constantly and it turns out that when you plan a wedding, you need to DECIDE things. Which is so great! You get to CHOOSE! My issue is that I love everything! I want a beach wedding AND a barn wedding AND my parents backyard AND let’s all fly to Costa Rica! WOOOOOOOO!

The TV show about planning my wedding would not be called SAY YES TO THE DRESS, it would be called SAY YES TO ALL OF IT YEAHHHHHHHH YOU GUYS PARTY TIME! (c).

Uh.

Hm.

Help.

Lucky for me, I know what I DO NOT want my wedding to involve so I made a list and hope this will get me closer what I *DO* want.

Here is the list of things that I’d like to avoid:

1. Dry/bland wedding cake

2. Anything involving a garter belt and other people watching

3. Anything involving the word ‘registry’.

4. Twine

The End.

So looks like I’m doing pretty well, right? I basically just need to stay fully clothed and make sure we have delicious desserts.

Is this thing planned yet?

There Is A Lot Happening Here.

October 25, 2012

In a span of about two weeks:

I started my 200 hour yoga teacher training program.

I moved into a new apartment.

I got engaged.

I got a job offer for a full time super awesome interesting position at my company with benefits and paid vacation and sick days AKA Something I Have Never Had Before In My Adult Life.

Oh, also I bought a new spice rack.

I realize this is all…

A lot.

I realize that life usually doesn’t work out this way but sometimes it does and I need to ride this peak with all my might so that one day when things aren’t going so hot, I can clink Amstel Lights with the stranger next to me on my barstool and drunkenly slur, “REMEMBER OCTOBER 2012? Shit, that was awesome.

IT IS SO AWESOME!!!

It’s so awesome I don’t even know where to start so I’ve just been walking around smiling a lot. I celebrate every day. Today, for example, I ate both a small brownie AND a huge cupcake. I wasn’t even sorry about it. Why should I be?

A new job, a super studly fiancé, a new apartment in a great new neighborhood, a place to hold my basil and thyme!? COME ON! Get excited. Also you can hit me if you want because I feel like this is getting to be obnoxious. But really, you can think of this as a make up post for all the sad dramatic blog entries that you’ve read over the years. Blogs that began “So I lost my job” or “I got in a fight with someone” or “Blah blah and I broke up”.

HA HA SUCKERS!

Those days are over.

Now I can do what I really want which is furiously type up an immense collection of boring blog entries titled things like “That Time Everything Went My Way”, “Having It All: My Life Every Day”, and “My Spice Rack, My Love”.

Get excited, you guys!

Woo!