Study Swag

This past weekend  I started studying for the GRE, and I must say, I’m off to a horrible start.

It comes with a CD! But it has test questions, not music 😦

I should have known things would not go well when I tried to text Emily, my study buddy (and regular buddy), that I was excited for our “study sesh.” My phone thought that maybe I was excited for the study “shhhh,” or maybe the study “seahorse,” or perhaps the study “swag.” I gave up after three texts, figuring she knew what I meant.

On Sunday afternoon, we sat on my living room floor, sipping coffee, muching cookies, and “studying.” Emily read through some tips, and I’m going to be real with you. I wasn’t listening. What do I need tips for? I’ve taken tests. I went to college. I clearly know what’s up.

Finally, we got to the meat. The actual questions. We each looked off of her book, as mine had still not arrived in the mail (or “male” as I posted on her Facebook wall…another omen). We wrote our answers on separate sheets of paper. I didn’t know what most of the words meant, so I just skipped about half of the problems. When we went through the answers, I got about 30% correct. Turns out, I’m really impatient, and didn’t read all the way through the questions I deemed worthy to answer. I just glanced at them and picked the first thing that seemed semi-appropriate. Funnily enough, one of the aforementioned “tips” was to read through each question completely. Who knew? 

When we came to the math section, I just left my sheet blank and ate some cookies.

“This is so dumb,” I said, like an obnoxious teenager on an ABC Family show. “Why would I ever need to know this?” Sigh.  I griped some more, and got everything wrong. Then Emily and I went on Facebook for two hours and played pranks on people. Overall, it was a pretty successful study sesh.

If I decide I actually want to go through with this thing and, you know, take the test, I fear I will only be prolonging the epic fail. I imagine I’ll go in after a nice hearty breakfast, sit down at my little computer, and just stare at my screen for a while. I’ll get out my two sharpened number 2 pencils, which will be of no use to me as this thing is on a computer now, because we live in the future. I might go through, half read some questions, and eeny-meeny miny-moe it. Maybe I’ll bring my iPod (which they probably don’t allow) to help me zone out. The next thing I know, everyone will be staring at me, as I sing and snap along to “I Get So Lonely,” only to realize that I didn’t plug my headphones all the way in, and now everyone in the testing center has to listen to Janet tell it like it is.

By that time, three hours will be up, and I will have earned a big fat goose egg. But maybe things will be fine. After all, I did get my book in the male yesterday (his name was Kevin), and I’m really going to try to get my study swag on.


“The Spy Who Loved Me”

I recently purchased a two pack Revlon nail polish set at Lotless (things there are in fact a lot less!) for $1.99. It was a Limited Edition set, so I couldn’t pass it up. The colors were “Velvet Rose” and “The Spy Who Loved Me.” That’s right. “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

As my tall, Floridian friend Laura said, “What a loaded name.” I don’t know who at Revlon was entangled in an affair involving espionage, but there’s definitely something going on there. My best guess is that something uber-scandalous went down, and the whole thing ended lies, deceit, or even…murder.

This nail polish (fuschia-ish with subtle sparkles, perfect for cocktails with Vivica A. Fox) got me pretty excited, and I’m thinking about starting my own line of confusingly titled nail polishes. I know nothing about “nails” or “colors,” but I’ll let my laborers worry about the details. Right now, I’m just concerned with the conceptual aspect, and I’ve got some great names including, but not limited to:

The Other Twin


Lesbian Dance Off

Genoa Salami

You Did NOT Make Out With Him!


Do You Think That’s a Taco, or…Yeah, That’s a Taco

Derelict Stew

I’m Going to Poision You


Barbershop Mix Up

I’m feeling pretty confident about this. If it doesn’t work out as a solo project, I may just approach Revlon or some more low brow company, to see if they’re looking for a creative consultant. I’m pretty sure they will be, so that should work out. I mean, who wants to wear “Red” anymore? That’s so 20th century. It’s the future, and I think our nail polish names need to reflect that.

Sidenote: I just read “polish” as “Polish” and got so confused. I’m not talking about people from Poland (or the motherland, as I call it), if that’s what you were thinking.

Fun with Billy Shakes

Last Friday, I joined my chum Emily on a very special outing. After a dinner of bread and Chickadees (Target brand Goldfish), the little lady and I hopped the J to the LES (Lower East Side–although I do imagine I’ll have a friend one day who goes by “The Les”). We were going to see Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. I had not considered the fact that I might actually be going to see a full length Shakespeare play (why would THAT  be the case?), but oh, was I in for a treat.

That's me, in the green.

The parking lot was filled with chairs surrounding a raised platform aka the stage. Emily, our pal Elly, Emily’s study abroad broad Clare, and Clare’s brother Tedward, and I all sat in the parking lot for about 50 minutes. Chatting, but also being generally confused about the situation. About 8 minutes before the show, I remembered that I had a small bladder and was also very tired. To Starbuck’s! Emily and I scampered off, as we knew there was no time to lose.

When we got inside, she stood in line for the bathroom while I waited in line for a coffee. The apple bran muffin looked good, so I got that too (here’s a tip: never get a coffee and apple bran muffin before a two hour show with no intermission…). I didn’t get a chance to go to the bathroom, but assumed there would be a break in the play within 45 minutes, so it didn’t really matter.

By the time we got back, the play had started. It was Julius Caesar, and I think we all know, if you miss the first two minutes of Julius Caesar, you might was well call it a night. In all honesty, the actors were quite good, but I was not mentally prepared for a Shakespeare drama (I generally need at least a week) and so I was not on my best audience behavior.

I probably paid attention to about 20% of the play. In the beginning, I was singing rap songs in my head. “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris was a popular one. When I tried to focus again, I couldn’t help but notice how dramatic everything was. Everyone shouting, and swords, and lies, and whatnot. I kind of got into, and it took a lot for me to stay in my seat. I wanted to stand up and shot “My ducats!” but I restrained myself.

In addition to the fact that I was actively trying to think about other things, one of the reasons I was confused was that women were playing the parts of men, so I couldn’t tell who was supposed to be Macduff, or Portia, or Prospero, or whoever.

Once, someone said “Lusty Romans.” That one caught my attention. I said it over and over in my head, laughing to myself. Those Romans ARE lusty.

At one point, someone walked onto the parking lot with a fresh pizza. That was distracting. Then I got a whiff of a breakfast sandwich. I looked around, trying to see who it was, but couldn’t find the perp. I think it was maybe on a toasted croissant, with egg and a sausage patty. That’s what I hope.

As the show was, in fact, in a parking lot, cars were coming in and out. I imagined one driver loosing his mind and driving directly through the crowd and into the makeshift stage. This was the most vivid daydream of the show, and it really got me going. I began to laugh audibly, wondering where I’d gone wrong.

After two hours and ten minutes, with no intermission (meaning that I had to take my own bathroom break, obviously), the play ended. I tried to clap, but was weak with exhaustion. I couldn’t carry on a conversation after the show, or even look anyone in the eye. I was in a helpless daze, like I’d just seen someone steal a dog. Not my dog, just some random dog, you know? I went home, and after some light Facebooking, went to sleep. It was an intense night with Billy Shakes, but now I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch Shakespeare not in a parking lot.

Ad it Up

One of the highlights of my trip home to St. Louis was the presence of some ultra-hip TV ads for Mormons.

“Why doesn’t MY religion have television commercials?” you may be asking yourself.  That’s a really good question, and the truth is I don’t know. But what I do know is that Mormons are the coolest.

One of the commercials started with a hot dad type, hanging out with his kids. He was all, “I’m the cool dad,” then a clip to him playing with the tikes, then, “I’m a music producer.” And as I was watching, I was like, “How can I be cool like Cool Dad?” Then he continued to talk about how cool everyone thought he was. And just when you think he’s going to reveal a drug addiction or something, he drops the bomb: “My name is Dave, and I’m a Mormon.”

WHAT?!  Wait, are you telling me that you are not only semi-attractive, but work in one of the coolest industries, cutting sick tracks and whatnot, and you’re a MORMON? Get out of here, Dave! Get out.

Then there is one with this fellow on a motorcycle, just flying through the mountains of Utah. You know what’s cooler than a motorcycle? Nothing. So anyway, he’s on his bike, just talking about how much he loves it, how fast it goes, then he let’s us have it: “My name is Randy, and I’m a Mormon.”

STOP IT! You are not a Mormon, Randy. Look at your leather jacket and strategically ripped jeans. There’s just no way.

By this point (about 2/3 of the way through King of Queens), I realized two very important things: 1. I need to become a Mormon if I ever want to be cool. 2. There should be more advertisements to defy stereotypes..

I know what you’re thinking, in terms of point number one. Lauren, don’t become a Mormon. Shut up. I’m going to do what I want, and I don’t care that the commercials only depict middle class white men, and don’t really explain anything about the religion. Mormonism is cool, and thus it is for me.

As for my second observation, I’m thinking of marketing things that have no market at all, just for kicks. One day you’ll turn on your TV to see an attractive Korean woman reading to seniors at a nursing home. They’ll be laughing and having a great time, enjoying their last days of life, while Korean flips the pages of “Hop on Pop,” then she’ll let us know who’s boss: “My name is Michelle, and I drink protein shakes.”

Or maybe there will be an enormous black man, pumping iron, or doing hoodrat things with his friends. The camera will cut to a shot of him hanging out of an Escalade: “My name is Dereon, and I’m a vegan.”

Mormons, you’re on to something. I’m not going to take the time to find out what it is, but I’ll go ahead and join you on your noble mission.

And TV ads, your a little too convincing. I’ll do whatever you say. Combined with religious messages, you shall bring this nation to the next frontier.

My New BFs

Last week, while working The National concert at Celebrate Brooklyn, I locked eyes with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

I took this picture of him myself, with my iPhone.

 That’s right, JGL, of Inception, 500 Days of Summer, and of course 3rd Rock from the Sun. Or perhaps you know him better as “Oh, THAT guy.” When he looked at me, we both smiled, and I looked down shyly. It was quite adorable, and it got me thinking: Why don’t I date more celebrities?

Right now, I’d say the only thing holding me back is that I don’t really “go places” or “do things” that cost “money.” But I think if I put myself in the right situations, I could really do some damage. Here are some requests I may put out to celebrities that I think I have a shot with. Let’s start high. You know, shoot for the stars (wink), so that if you fall you land on some really pathetic D-listers:

DRAKE. Oh, hey, Drake. Listen, I think we could, you know, be a thing. Think about it. You’re a rapper, I once listened to a rap song. You’re kind of black, I’m kind of black. You used to be on a Canadian TV show, I used to have a Canadian TV. Let’s just make this happen, Boo.

SHIA LABEOUF. Shia, I loved you back in the day when you were just Louis Stevens. Now you’re in all of these huge blockbusters, making out with Meghan Fox and whatnot, but let’s be honest. What you need is someone who loves you for you (and who desperately wants to have her last name mean “The Beef” one day).

JC CHASEZ. JC, everyone knows you had the best voice out of everyone in *NSYNC! Why else would you be on that hot track with that all black girl group, whose name I can’t remember? Would I rather date Justin Timberlake? Obviously. I would donate my first born to charity to date J.T. Do you guys still hang out? Like, do you think we could all hang out one day?

KEVIN FEDERLINE. You can’t do any better.

MICHAEL VICK. Ok, Vick, it’s obvious I’m getting desperate. But no one is more desperate than you are. You need to rebuild your reputation with a nice girl like me. I mean, I was the vice president of Key Club. I used to volunteer at a center for kids with disabilities. You used to make dogs fight, remember? Let me upgrade you. Wait, do you not have money anymore? (sigh)

I’ll probably date a member of Dru Hill, and maybe someone a sports announcer, just for kicks. Maybe a politician, if I’m feeling sophisticated, so probably not a politician. I’m giving myself one month to make it to the cover of OK! Magazine, and if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.  But don’t be too surprised if, in a few months, you’re Facebook chatting with Lauren Federline.