Category: how to write (page 1 of 2)

Writing 10,000 words per day: is it possible?!

As we came to the end of National Novel Writing Month, one of the writers in my region posted this article by Rachel Aaron about how to go from writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000.

At that rate, you could write a novel (50,000 words) in five freaking days!

Is it possible?!

After toiling away on my novel for three years, the idea of upping my game appeals to me. I want to finish!!!

I completed NaNoWriMo for the first time this year (YAHOO!) but that was hard! And that was just 1,667 words per day. How the heck can I keep this up, so I get this stinkin’ book done, finally? (And in your lovely hands?!)

I see this article as the way, as my “challenge accepted.” What’s involved?

 

My office in the Tetons.

My office in the Tetons.

The Game Plan

First of all: I love the name of her blog.

Secondly, Rachel Aaron/Bach has three main suggestions. These are also in a helpful graphic in her post. Go check it out!

1. Know what you’re writing before you sit down to write.

She suggests writing it out on a pad of paper before you write.

2. Keep track of your writing time in a spreadsheet.

Statistics help! We’ve seen this with FitBit and Nano, so it makes sense. She recommends two months of tracking.

3. Get excited about what you’re writing today.

She realized that the most word count came when she wrote the scenes she’d been thinking of since conception of the novel. That makes sense, and I like how she put it!

Writing Results So Far

Lo! I’ve done pretty well. So far in December, I’ve written 15,042 words – just on my novel, not on all the blogs/texts/emails/books about Kanye I also write each day. I’ve averaged 3,000 words a day this month. I’ve also averaged 1832 words per hour, in the seven writing sessions I’ve had so far.  Rachel said her wph was 500-1500, which I just reread, so wow, I guess that’s pretty amazing!

LP Tracker

All of that comes from my handy dandy tracker. I’ve been using it for about a week now, and I really like opening it at the beginning of each session as a bit of a ritual, without going right into the novel.

My columns are: Date | Time | Location | Words Written | Hourly Rate | Pages | Music | Food | Kind of Sit/Distractions | Notes.

When I log in for the day, no matter how I’m feeling, and I see the previous day’s word count, I’m like, “oh yeah …” And get a little bit more energizy. After I insert my stats for the day, I see my progress. I also parse out the statistics (most productive time of day, best playlist, etc.) If I really want to nerd out, there’s the potential for GRAPHS and such in the future! Woot woot! (Nerd Alert!)

Hand Writing Ideas Helps

Part of the insane word count I get is that I type crazy fast. Like, fast enough that people comment on it when they see me typing on my phone. Still, I very much like her suggestion to start the beginning of each session with a quick, handwritten list of what that day’s scene(s) will be about. There’s something about the magic of handwriting, especially for writers, that is undeniable. This has really helped me focus and then dive in for the day. Thumbs up to this suggestion, too!

Get Pumped!

So, not going to lie … this one has been the hardest of the three. I think that comes from these ideas fermenting, and me writing or thinking some version of them, for like, 3 years. Overdone, much?

That’s not entirely true. I like that I’ve been able to get to about 3,000 words and stop, no matter where I am in the scene. I can see what’s coming next, which makes writing about it first in a notepad at the top of tomorrow’s writing sesh super easy. So it becomes this sweet self-perpetuating cycle!

I can get pumped about finishing this freaking book. And upping my word count as freaking awesomely as I have – and committing to a daily practice – is giving me the energy I need to get ‘er done.

Final Thoughts

One of the hardest things about writing a novel is that it seems Sisyphean. There’s so MUCH to write, and even 3,000 words is just 3% of a novel. Just sitting down that day will not mean I’ve “finished my novel” by the end of the work session. In journalism and PR, we have short, tight projects with measurable and attainable goals.  It can be overwhelming and hard to start. It’s probably why most people don’t write that book they’ve “been meaning to” or “always wanted to.”

Then, many of the things I have read about professional authors, and even Rachel in her blog, say that they sit down “at least four hours a day and write.” My eyes bug out at that. For multiple reasons.

One: I’m traveling around the country, so that’s a huge chunk of daylight that I could devote to sightseeing.

Two: that’s a huge chunk of time to get over my overwhelm, and be poring out my heart and soul.

It seems silly, having come from 8+ hours professionally at a computer, not to mention glued to my cell phone.

But fiction writing is different. It’s a totally different habit and set of issues to face. Frankly, I’m proud of building up to about an hour and a half solid writing (which, to hit 3,000 words can sometimes end up being 2 or 2.5 if I’m particularly ungrounded.) And I know the trials of trying to write on top of a full-time job, or trying to wake up early to write before that full-time job, etc.

So I’ll take this success and keep it up. Who knows? Maybe one day I can build up to four hours. Ole!

Shame: The Monster in All Our Heads

 Ask Polly is one of my favorite columns right now. Sometimes I’ll flip through and read old ones, just for inspiration to keep going. I appreciate her grounded real talk.
Here’s a recent excerpt that struck me so hard I had to put it down for later: 
First, though, let’s clear away some of the noise in your head. You ask, “But if I really wanted to become my true self and live my life, wouldn’t I be doing it? Wouldn’t I be doing the work that needs to happen?” The answer is no. It takes a lot of time and work to become your true self. It’s not a small thing. Believing that you’re supposed to be experiencing desire in some different, overpowering, inescapable way — the wanting-to-want problem — is a totally paralyzing delusion. You can’t assume that other people want things more than you do, therefore they have no choice but to go out and pursue them. Those other people are just making choices and committing, just like you have to do.

[…]

That’s how I know it’s important: When I’m embarrassed, that’s a sign that I’m getting nearer to the center of things.

Lately, I can’t write. I know work will save me from the state I’m in, save me from this mood of despair that comes and goes, save me from how ashamed of myself I am sometimes, just for growing older and being largely powerless and for not being heroic enough. I have deadlines that seem unimportant, so they come and go and I do nothing. I am supposed to be reading one book and starting to write another one. But the world outside seems off-balance and sick to me, and when I take that in, I have trouble not blaming myself for all of it. The news is bad, and it’s getting worse, therefore I must be bad, therefore I must do better. But how?
I know I could exercise more, and that would help. I could try to spend more time with my kids. I could talk to my husband or my friends about how I feel. But these things don’t always bring a real breakthrough, and sometimes no one is available to talk. To work my way through this feeling, I have to slow down time.
I have to close my eyes and admit that I feel broken and that I blame myself for that broken feeling. I have to admit that I always suspect that things will fall apart at some point in the future and that it will be my fault when that happens. People will say, “See, I was right about her. She’s a fucking joke.” And other people will nod along. My future misfortunes always include a jeering Greek chorus.

How to Become a Better Writer

The secret on How to become a better writer is revealed, in that link, by Scott Adams (Dilbert). He references business and humor writing, and I can confirm this is what I learned getting a bachelor’s in journalism:

  • Keep things simple. “A good argument in five sentences will sway more people than a brilliant argument in a hundred sentences.”
  • Cut the fat (get rid of extra words.)
  • Word choice counts: “Don’t say ‘drink’ when you can say ‘swill.'”
  • “Your first sentence needs to grab the reader.”
  • “Write short sentences.”

I printed this out for my desk, and will happily send to the next person that asks me how they can be a better writer.
 
h/t: Tim Ferriss

New developments make for good stories and happy people

Cloudy day = 89 degrees instead of 90 = No heatwave. Eat that bastard weathermen.

Nice editor + healthy fear = her giving me her air conditioner for my room. <3!
She even let me take a half hour break on top of my lunch break to go to her apartment with her to “get it”, which turned into us walking her dog around her neighborhood and discussing journalism philosophy in a privileged heart to heart.

Also, comments the exact opposite of what I anticipated when I got in this a.m. = ROCK.

This adventure has turned out to be a very, very good one as of 7:19 p.m. Friday, June 10, 2005.

Let’s hope the rest of it follows!

Out with Jeff tonight, Hartford w/ the cool interns tmrw and then party @ Dave’s.

Rizzock.

All of my food is turning into leftovers

Giving my roommates a chance to watch something else on t.v. They were kind enough to put up with my muttering and cheers while watching Game 1 of the Finals.
If you ask, our friendship will be evaluated.
#
Speaking of friends, I <3 and miss you guys. ;-( The essay I published yesterday was my way of venting an experience that for once I didn’t feel comfortable coming back to the newsroom and sharing. I don’t know that anyone outside a newsroom could appreciate a similar experience, and I don’t want my colleagues here to think I can’t hack it. I know they wouldn’t, but I don’t know them well enough to think they would read it as anything but.
The strange thing is, I can hack it.
And mostly, it’s because of my great friends.

I have people who I know can turn any bad experience into a positive one, or who can cancel out a bad day with a day (or night) full of fun and laughs.
I don’t have any great friends yet here in Connecticut. I have acquaintances that are slowly moulding into friends, but we’re not there yet.
I can’t wait to come home and reunite with everyone. That’s the best thing about going away – coming home.
Don’t get me wrong. I love it here. I’ve learned more about ledes, legislation, and Connecticut way o’ life than one gal should in three weeks. That’s what I’m here for, so it’s only right that’s what happening. One day, I hope to return here, when the time is right and I’m more emotionally prepared to sever daily ties with the people I love.
But for now, I’m feeling slightly homesick for some good ol’ hugs and love.
So, this post is a shout-out to you.
You who cares enough to read this.
You who keeps me sane.
Most of all: you, who I love.
😉

‘Night guys!!! And please, don’t comment – this is for you, and I’m fiiine! I love it here, I’m going to a day of events in Hartford with a bunch of interns this weekend and for Cryin’ out Loud the Pistons are in the Finals. In fact, the only thing wrong is that my parents somehow found out I blew some of my “living expenses” on Polo. Oooops… hehe.

###

W. Rice

A man died today.

It was ironic enough that when I asked my male editor if he had anything for me to do before a night meeting, the scanner went off before he could open his mouth.
That it was a reported car fire was intriguing, considering the 90+ heat the upper right region of the U.S. has been enduring.
But even after exposure to 200+ car accidents in my short time, nothing prepared me for the scene of my first breaking news story at the Courant.
Police still are unable to name the silver compact car the man was driving. It was that smashed up.
All by a woman who was driving a Ford Explorer Sport Utility Vehicle, approximately twice the size (I’d venture three times) of his car.
He was 64.
She was 35.
He was driving on the correct side of the road.
She was not.
The accident occurred at 5:30. P.M.
She was lifted by helicopter to the nearest hospital.
He was taken in a body bag to the nearest morgue.
Who knows if he has a wife, a family, a dependent?
Who knows if she will ever face convictions on manslaughter charges?
Who was this woman, that she had this fate?
Who was this man, that he died that way?

I saw his body.

That was an accident. I didn’t know why the officers were holding up the yellow sheets, and as I walked too close to the scene, I was able to see into the spaces between them.

Those are the details that rightly never get into any story.

I found out later it took them 20 minutes and the jaws of life just to get his body out of the car and onto that road, waiting for his resting place in a body bag.
#

I will never speed again without guilt. I will never drink and drive, I will always say a prayer as I get into my car and I might consider leaving five minutes early. Always.
###

Cools even the reddest lobsters

Or so promised the ad for Vaseline… which was flown over my head by one of those crop-duster planes that trails the banners behind them.
This is my sixth or seventh encounter with a beach in my time on the East Coast, and my sixth or seventh encounter with one of those plane-driven advertisements.
I am torn on my feelings about them.
First, I’m annoyed.
Damnit, I’m at the beach, I want to relax and the only plane I want to see above me is a sight-seeing plane with the same intent, passengers who want to relax and take in the view.
Second, I’m jealous.
What a sweet job. Flying a plane all along the coastline. Just be sure our $7,500 banner doesn’t get ruined. Easy enough. Imagine the views.
But the scenery gets monotonous and the job’s just a job after awhile, right M. Pilot?
That leaves you with a noisy motor disturbing my latest Jack Lazare novel in between Harper’s Bazaars and Gatorade, slightly interrupting my tan as you cast a shadow over my beach blanket.
::Leans back in chair::
Ouuuch! Damnit! Where’s that Vaseline!? I knew I should have put more sunscreen on today.
###
On that note, this weekend, I went to the following beaches:
(saturday) Rocky Neck State Park
Ocean Beach Park
Bluff Point State Park
Harkness Memorial State Park
(sunday) Hammoneset State Park
these can be found here: http://dep.state.ct.us/stateparks/maps.htm
-You’re supposed to pay an admission charge at each one, but I skirted that by parking outside the gate and walking to each beach. (I discovered they actually call it “collegiate parking” because it’s a lot of poor college kids like me that park in these areas.) My frugality ended up being mini-hikes and it was soooo nice, because each beach is preceded by unique land, and being out in nature is what summer is all about and is precisely the anti-work. Yes weekends! Saturday’s beach-hopping was sight-seeing driven. Sunday’s beach-bumming was tan-driven and the fact that it was 91 degrees at 11 a.m. was reason enough to go. It ended up being 85… in the shade.
However.
New England, New England.
Shoreline that rivals Florida in the summer, right? Florida, where the water never gets cooler than 65 degrees.
New England, New England.
YOUR WATER IS FREEZING!!!!
Even in 90+ degree heat, I couldn’t bear to immerse more than my legs in the water, it was that cold. It was real refreshing and all, but chilly polar bears, it was frigid. I looked down the 2+ mile beach, and you didn’t see anyone further than ankle-deep in. Hehehe. Of course. Damn you, New England. Gorgeous beaches. Can we turn on the water heater now?

+bonus+ Here’s a tip for all you land-based folk not used to beach culture: Take Gatorade to the beach. That hot sun sucks you dry and you can get nauseatingly sick. (IE me on Saturday, who came home way and passed out for 14 hours because she was so hot/dehydrated.) So! take Gatorade, it does wonders for your hours at the beach. Along with Real Suntan lotion – 15+ SPF. 🙂 Lessons learned the hard ways, my friends.

+another bonus+. Thanks to bored Facebook snooping, I’ve discovered a good band: Westrin/ Mowry. Thanks, John Paul!

So after my beaching on Saturday and Sunday, I decided a hot dog was in order. The adventures of grilling and Match-Ready briquets resulted in the following conclusion: They’re a BAD IDEA. First of all, there’s a published risk of Carbon Monoxide- says so right on the bag! Then, the flame started by the briquet, which is marinated in lighter fluid, takes a friucking long time to go down – like 20 mintues. Yeah it’s bad. Screw that. Plus, it smells bad. But damnit if I eventually got my grilled hot dogs. And made the backyard smell good.

So after frying myself in more than one way, I decided to finally hit one of the five local coffeeshops (not including the Dunkin’ Donuts NE has on EVERY corner (no joke. There’s even one in the grocery store.)) with the intent to make some new friends.
Made a new friend, Dennis, who’s like 25, employed half the year, just entering community college next semester, but very, very nice. (more on him in a seperate entry where I discuss the whole “why do I attract nice people who have never heard of Lagerfeld, culture, or couture, and scare away people who have?” complex I seem to live. When I’m not exhausted and have time to delve into this.) I found a new scene at Keokola, a hep coffeeshop with local art and local kids, very Espresso Royale, very Espresso Milano, more worldly than both.
Now that I’m here and experiencing it, I’m beginning to realize it’s nice to live in a town where the majority of white people is less than 75%. It more borders 50% white, and might not be that high, except Middletown is an exact transplant of Sicily. But even the Italians speak their native language and preserve most of their original culture, so it’s a new dimension. The opportunity for different perspectives is refreshing and pushes my predominantly-white-born and bred comfort zones. It’s not that I’m racist or anything near that, it’s just that I’ve never lived where there is an abundance of skin colors and backgrounds. I think it’s great, because it offers more experiences than just the Anglo-Saxon ones I’m used to.
(Thank God.)

All right, this lobsta is hitting the sand.

Ciao and have a fab week! :O)

*Hugs and all my misses*

Deep Throat Anticlimatic

Yeah that’s meant to be sick.
—————————–

So, Deep Throat Revealed!
I really do mean it when I say, this latest event is SO anticlimatic.

I grew up on Woodward and Bernstein. All The President’s Men in Intro to Journalism in HS changed my life.
There I am, an awkward, barely-teenager, and it is then: through the images of a story of shadowy parking garages and a president left with his head hanging in his own crookedness, I instantly know what I want to do with my life.
“I want to do that,” I thought to myself over and over, eyes wide open, watching the work, the technique, that Robby Redford and Co. portrayed, taking in every detail, all while my classmates slept.
It was in that two-hour story I found myself and my life’s work.
The ultimate in truth and justice was not found in the fucked up systems of government.
It was found in the pages and columns that monitored them.
It was found by the people who filled those pages and columns.
+Bonus+ Little did I know that their job would leave them teetering on the edge of insanity, but, hey, it’s a big world and g’damn if somebody’s thanking you yet today.
But yeah, those shadowy figures in the parking garage, the mystery, intrigue and promise of his revelation-upon-death…

Instead, the faithful disciples of this dream that DT helped fuel received as their dominant photo on the front page ends up being an elated old frog who looks like he just won publisher’s clearinghouse, instead of a poised, strong, 1973 mug -with those huge defensive glasses, of course!- that smugly says, “Yeah. I’m a motherfucking badass. I took down the president, whatever. I represented the truth.” Noooo. That’s too much to ask. Now, we get decrepid remanents of the glorious figure of old. And then there’s his daughter behind him going, “sweet, you better croak soon buddy.”
Why?
Mark W. Felt, I am calling you asap. Because I want to know why you burst the bubble. Maybe it was your own bubble of pressure and curiosity you burst. Who knows.
You were always a tattletale.

Yeah I said it. Sure, what he did was noble and hats off to him for his bravery. But after reading about all of the coverage of this event, {gracias to Romenesko http://poynter.org/column.asp?id=45}, I have to confess that I’m more than perturbed by this latest revelation-sans-explanation that one of the most notorious figures in political history has imparted on the world.
Why?

Money? Hell, I’m a journalist and let me tell you, the pay ain’t that great.

I can only hope he was dying (literally) to know what everyone thought of him and couldn’t take the possibility of never finding out.
I can empathize with that.

But if that Jane Fonda-esque daughter or sleazemonkey defense lawyer had a damn ounce of manipulation in this, so help me god, I will walk out to California and beat them both senseless.

A great secret has been spilled. It hasn’t changed a nation. It won’t shape the future. It had no powerful release. It was dumped, off one man’s shoulders, splashed on the cover of a fairly uninfluential media, on an innocuous day in June.

There needs to be more answers.
The one lesson M. Felt has imparted on the skin of this young journalist is that there is a difference between media and journalism.
Media- pop culture magazines. Broadcast journalism. CNN. (nancy grace remains below this category. she should burn in hell.) Fox News. Court TV. The list goes on.
Journalism- Newspapers. Newsmagazines such as Time and Newsweek. Some online sites, like Poynter.org, BBC.com.

Deep Throat is one of the most notorious events in journalism; we as journalists are supposed to answer the important questions, and we haven’t even asked IT: Why?

Truncated

Ho-ly crap.
It’s been a long, long week.
Sorry about not updating, my internet is weird and I’m figuring out how to work this bojankity mess. Heh.
It works like this: Imagine wiring a 1918 farmhouse with internet. And having 8 kids manage it for 5 years. There are some loops you need to work with. Literally, as in looped wires…. and blah.
So I promise I will eventually update the lower entry since I left many of you hanging, and will fill this entry in more, but here’s this week:
Monday: Work on three stories
Tuesday: One published, two held, update those two and work on another
Wednesday: Interview Police Capt. who moonlights as an actor/stars in musicals. Work on story about “brown alert” – there are bears in CT (gasp) and when this one school district spots one near a school, they call a brown alert for safety measures. Score.
Thursday: MY FIRST ALL-EDITIONS STORY RUNS!!!!! That means instead of running in just one zone, it runs all over the state of CT. YESSSS. 🙂 It’s the bear one! I ALMOST made section front was bumped by the last minute. By a story by my mentor, so I couldn’t feel too sour, haha. Two interviews today. One lasts 2 hours with the mayor of the town I’m covering. Rock. He motorcycle-tripped through Michigan in the 50s and crashed in Saginaw with a couple who worked at GM. My grandpa lived in Sags and worked at GM in the 50s. Whoa weird. Way to start out source relations tho! Find a story that turns out to be “big” and my editor said he was proud of me. Cover graduation at 8 p.m., story due at 10, turn in at 10:00:00 (maybe 00:00:01).
Tmrw: 10 a.m. murder trial sentencing (invite from C&C reporter who immediately picked up on my obsession. Hehe.) 11 a.m. interview with Town Clerk. Begin “big” story. Finish profile. 2:30 p.m. press conference (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Sidenote/Future FYI: Press Conferences scare the hell out of me. More than capitol. Actually, I see them in the same nightmares, usually on Capitol steps or lobbies. Eeeep. All of those videocameras and competition, there to see as you ask a dumbass question or f* up or show you don’t know an issue or sweat. I don’t know. Way more pressure than any other aspect of this job, even deadline. They are so unfulfilling!) Now that I read back on that, this press conference is about legislation. But it’s led by companies and chamber of Commerce ppl, not legislators. (thank god.)
So busy busy, which is GOOD. Hopefully not overwhelmed so I fuck up. Had a few flashbacks in my car as I’m driving home this week: “OH GOD, DID I SPELL THAT RIGHT?!”
###

***More info***
Jeff, my other roommate, moved in.
He’s in finance at UConn and has an internship with a mortgage company in Middletown.
Oh, and he’s hot.
🙂 Let the fantasies begin.
He has those lines on his hips. “The arrow.” Dark hair and eyes, “pools” if you will, taller than me, tan white boy skin. Seems really nice. Pretty sharp, was interrogating me about Journalism. Fortunately I can hold my own somewhat. Yay for TSN mentors and THC (omg, hahahaha) co-workers who discuss the world of J. Jrn. Whatever.

Beautiful

I was craving a song with the word “Beautiful” in it.
I suppose I do have some quirks.
Nothing as cheesy as Christina’s Beautiful. Right along the lines of Kelly Clarkson’s “Beautiful Disaster”- a gorgeous song by a girl with a gorgeous voice, a melodramatic song that is beautiful and meaningful at once.
Today was a great day. Slept in ’til my roommates smoking pot on the porch woke me up. I’m not going to lie- I love the smell and if they made a pot-scented incense, I would burn it constantly.
Didn’t smoke it tho, no worries my friends. I was tempted, but the fact that the Courant gave me a drug test before I even got hired there was a screaming-red ‘no.’
So after waking up and showering, I FINALLY CLEANED the apt. after those very messy socialites ciao-ed out. It was sooooo relieving. My landlady (who I discovered not only looks nutty but also talks to herself) came over as I was prepping to go to dinner at my editor’s and she kind of helped me clean, which was nice considering she was supposed to hire a cleaning lady and apparently, isn’t? She should pay me, that’d be nice. /dock some rent. Whatever.
So dinner with the editor was -surprise- amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He was really, really nice to me, once again proving my theory you can either work well together or be great friends outside of work, but not both. At least that has been true with all of my male coworkers. Don’t ask where you lie, I’m not playing that game.
So I made Ghiradelli brownies, at the last minute, and tried to cut them before they were cooled, making a mess out of the presentation. YES! Jk. It was embarassing. But my ed and his wife Hilarie, who also writes for the Courant (they met there! awww) were nice about it.
Wow, I just got really tired. I’m going to finish this tmrw when I can comprehend what I’m writing. Sorry guys. Good night tho.
Y’all have one too.
<3 LP Finally updated! :)
So my ed and his wife are really nice. I ended up staying at their house ’til 10 – Six hours!- after being all nervous about going.
More importantly, my ed and his wife’s friends, are friekin’ sweet.
The more they got drunk on red wine, the funnier they were. And they were very good about including me in the convo. To describe the women, think of Sex and the City. With kids. Very chic and worldly. Rock.
This one woman is friends with the publisher at the __ ___ _____ News, and she said that was my “next step” in internships. Holy hell woman, I love you.
It was a very ego-friendly night.
It was also very nice to be in a home, family setting again. Even the abundance of children made me think of all my family gatherings. Being able to sit at the adult table, while strange, is still WAY cooler than the kiddie table.
🙂

The Life

I walked in the Atlantic Ocean today.
It was all I could do not to immerse myself in that vast sparkling expanse. It was the water itself that eventually would deter me – at a brisk 45 degrees, I held back.
But I walked in it. Skipped a little, just a little, in joy.
I took a two-hour roadtrip today to Rhode Island, out to Newport to be specific. It’s an Island of sorts, where the Vanderbilts, Rockefellars and others had their SUMMER “cottages.” These are the world’s largest homes by today’s standards- I can’t imagine their regular homes.
www.newportmansions.org
I took close to two rolls of pictures but don’t have them developed, and when I do, I don’t know how to work the Blogger.com photo linkup. So just go to the website. 🙂
First, I went to Brenton Point state park, a rocky expanse of shore that looks out over the Atlantic Ocean and is very natural, miles untouched by man. The “beach” is made of cliffs of rock, so you can’t go on it, but it is really pretty to look at.
A kite seller was there, and had about 50 kites displayed. Coming off the shore the wind is strong, so all 50 twinkled like individual rainbows, high above the beach.
I drove up to the mansions, which are now historically preserved. As I drove there, I passed by real mansions where people actually live now. Four stories, sometimes, covering an acre with the house alone, and all beachfront. In Rhode Island! Who’da thougt.
I walked all the historic mansions – the Breakers, Rosecliff, the Elms- and then did half of the seven-mile “Cliff Walk:” first started by the socialites of the late 1800s, it really is a walk along the ocean cliffs. It’s very very scenic, looking out on an outlet of land covered in a town full of New England cottages (the wood ones most people think of) and ending in a lighthouse. The walk looks back on the huge lawns and mansions. It leads down to a sand beach – the shore – where there is swimming and surfing.
As I said, it was a bit too cold for swimming just yet, but it was an Absolutely. Gorgeous. day – 75, sun for miles. I walked along the Grey Sand beach, down to this boardwalk, where when I sat down for a drink, a plane trailing a Capt. Morgan’s banner flew by and I thought of Laura and Lesley and all that drunken and non-alcoholic happiness. :* I thought of Innes too just a little bit and wondered how he’s doing in Thailand and if I will ever see him again like I want to.
I walked back, up “The 40 steps,” drove down Bellevue Ave. one more time, then walked all over Newport.
It is exactly how any town should be. On the water, with miles of marinas dotted with sailboats and yachts bigger than P. Diddy’s. It’s crowded with hundreds of shops, people are everywhere, saltwater scents the air, there’s blue sky forever.
It was a good way to start a summer tan.
I ate at this place right on the water, I think it was called the Landing. It was very nice, they had a second-level covered deck where I ate my first New England Clam Chowder (you people in Michigan call that powdered glue chowder?!) and had a Lobster Roll, which is just that, Lobster on a Roll. All overlooking the Newport marina with its sailboats reaching out to the Atlantic Ocean which glittered in the distance.
It was then, as I was sipping my ice water, I knew it was going to be a very good summer, and thinking on to next school year- it will be very good. 🙂
I still miss everyone back home and wish you all were there to lay out on the beach with me.

Soon enough, soon enough.

+bonus+ Tonight, I’m going to this coffeeshop with James hopefully to meet more people. Tomorrow I’m going to Andover, CT, for a soiree in the countryside with my male editor (who I thought hated me), his family and the features editor and her fam. I don’t know what to wear. Hopefully the weather’s as great as it was today!!!

HUGS!!! and misses and much love,
-LP

It’s Friday night and you’re blogging?

Well, yes.
I worked until almost eight and have this headache like what
Proly brought on by this Thunderstorm.
This thing broke around 7:15 p.m. and is the hardest-hitting bastard of a TStorm I’ve ever seen. A storm on the plains is bad, but this thing is picking up moisture from the ocean like it’s dying of dehydration.
Damn. Is this a NE’r? I must find out.
Today was an interesting day at work. It (really) was gorgeous outside so I didn’t really want to work, but I got to go in at 11 so I couldn’t complain.
I got to do a story for Greg, my slightly flamboyant/awesome co-worker who is in fact married. So He cAn claiM. That’s mean, his wife’s gotta be cool if he’s that chic.
The story kind of sucked but Greg rewrote my lead which spawned my editor to send it on without a problem. Surprisingly, they’ve had me do a lot of legislature-related stories…. even tho I suck/blow/hate Capitol. That’s been good experience although I still suck at it.
Confirmed the guy I double-bylined my first story with won a Pulitzer.
Met Jessie Hamilton, 30, very cool guy, very nice, told me there’s buzz around the office that I’m doing well which means I now want to marry him, and finally he wants to include Ben and I in Courant activities. Rock. Necessary.
Since we’re on him, Ben once again asked me to come to Yale this weekend and I tried to skirt around the subject… until he brought up his girlfriend was coming home this weekend. Ahhh. Thank god. (Poor girl.) He still weasled my phone number out of me, in front of an older co-worker. Let the office rumors begin, god save me.
As I was leaving work, got caught up in convo with a few people left about what I was doing this weekend and got a local’s guide to cool places within NE driving distance, including Mystic/Mystic River/Mystic Pizza, Rhode Island beaches, Boston/NewYork, Walden Pond, etc.
My male editor who’s been mean invited me over to his house with his fam this weekend, which was surprising. I think I’m going to try to get out of it because it would be a little awkward. For sure.
Going to Newport Beach this weekend. hahahahaha – suckas. (NB=OC for those pop culturally challenged out there) There are real mansions there, Vanderbilt and Rockefellar mansions, and I’m going to meet the owner and marry them. yes…. yes….
Scratched the earlier Cape Cod idea after discovering its a 4 hour drive one way. Boo.
Off to crash on the porch and relieve this headache.
Stay in touch.
Much love and misses,
L.P.

Second LEDE: Editors, see previous post for all details outside of work

May 23
First day
Report to Hartford. First one there. Chill in HR for too long, anxiously anticipating that first break into the real newsroom. Finally, up, up, up, fourth floor and an expanse more gorgeous than the nation’s corn belt: computers and papers and people, for as far as the eye could see, in the name of the HC and all that is glorious journalism. Tour, talk, orientate, and then off to our assignments: me, back to Middletown, for the largest bureau that will later reveal itself to include the Shore (“The ocean” in NE-er, my favorite piece of geography.)
Walk in at 10:30 a.m. My editor 1, the male bureau cheif, walks in at 11:15 a.m. Instantly know I’m going to like this job. Whilst waiting, bonded with receptionist Sylvia, 63, orig from NYC, who has a daughter named Laureen (two e’s) and is now my surrogate grandmother. 😀 <3. Bureau chief/editor 2 comes, the woman, and instantly I have two new parents. Strangely turn out like my parents: the guy will reveal himself, while a gentleman, to be very strict about all things journalism, while the woman, while enthused all the time, is very nice all around.
Get a double-byline with a willing mentor who is also a very good reporter and possible Pulitzer, I heard a whisper of that, as this bureau was honored with a 1999 Pulitzer but the authors remain anonymous after even a Google search.
The first story? Two Conn. kids, one former, were killed when their idling Sea-Doo was run over by a speeding catamaran. Driven by a powerful businessman. In a no-wake zone.
Called the Fla.-based family. It was interesting. I hate obits. I hate calling dead people’s parents and relations. I would never want that intrusion and I privately publicly apologize for our craft. I try to look at the part about honoring the dead by getting who they were into the paper. At least 15″, that is the best we can try to do for you, Mrs. X.
Found out the editorial cartoonist works in my office. Well, not really “found out,” a few of his cartoons are blown up around his desk and there’s a drawing studio along one wall of the bureau. More like saw. Met him. Very cool. Very Nate Allen in 37 years. Which is very funny.
Got assigned my own TOWN. Think the news beats on TSN rolled into one. It’s cool and keeps me kind of busy, but out here the towns are tiny, 5 minutes will take you across one. In Michigan, that’s your neighbor’s house. 😀
Go home happy

May 24
First real day
Report to THC at 10:30. Talk with “Ben” until 11:30. Ben is the other intern. He’s from Yale. He’s cute, a lanky Prince William. Emphasis on the Lanky with this one, ladies. Think body of Prince (their dad… George? Why am I blanking on this? The one married to Diana? Me = Dumb.)
Moving on.
Ben’s from L.A., goes to Yale after transferring from Princeton, is a skinny Prince William. He’s also: an anthropology major, not sure why he’s in journalism, and has not done much. Begin sharpening knives, please.
Make calls til 11:45/when the guy b.c.hief comes in.
Meet with police chief, eat at an italian joint with cheap lunches, hear some strange babble behind the counter that makes me think I’ve lost it, turn around a brief, it’s all gravy. Get to know my town a little better. Find out the area is like 75% Italian. And not like, “Italian.” Like, straight up gen.1/2 immigrants from Italy. Still speak the language. oh, and btw, they’re not from Milano. They’re from Sicily. Yep. That babble? Straight up gangstazza, yo.
Downturn of the day: Still don’t have an intern-y computer. Upturn: When I get a computer I will have my own laptop and docking station. Rock on that. Go home happy.
+ Bonus + Bond with roommates over too many Hoegaardens after work. Find out a “Nor’Easter” is coming to town, ask roommates, get laughed at too much, still not sure if anyone knows what a “NE’r” is. 😕

May 25
What goes up must come down
What no reporter wants to hear: “Well, copy just called, and it seems your story is totally wrong.”
What I heard at 9:30 p.m. after working for 4 hours to turn in a story at 6 p.m.: “Well, copy just called, and it seems your story is totally wrong.”
WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!!?!!?
After crapping my pants non-stop for 10 minutes and scrambling with my limited no-internet in my PJs condition, we discover, NO, I’m not going to be instataneously fired. There was a mix-up in copy and they didn’t realize this was a folo to a breaking story about how the bill was being reevaluated and not voided.
Je-sus. THE BEST PART is that the other editor, who actually read it at 6, (this is not the one who has been rock hard and called me at 9:30), had pulled me off another fluff story for this breaking news folo, I turned it around in about 4 hours, and when she read it, she said “Yeah, it was great, i just had to make minor tweaks. I’m not worried about you anymore.”
Cha-ching.
Despite earlier words, after the call, this night really sucked even with apparent resolution to the problem. Molly and I just drank, commiserating in our isolation, while going between AI and Ashton and it all sort of helped in the end. If I’m ever in NYC I know where the Hoegaarden is.

May 26
Just kidding about that…
Today was a good day at work, despite all my fretting from the previous night. Finally got my computer. Wrote two stories, one ended up in the town briefs but shit if it ain’t in the paper and technically on Page Two, even though that’s where all the briefs go so no glory there. But I slowly inch my way forward… I think for the most part the rough parts have been bumped over and now I have to dust that off and hit it full gear. I get to look forward to next week beginning Intern Sessions in Hartford with some of the Pulitzer editors, etc. Going down to the Old Saybrook (SHORE!) satellite office next week, and shortly helping Greg, an amazing reporter who wore a blue and orange swirly-patterned Versace Sport shirt to work with his newsboy cap (how chic/appropriate) and Paris Hilton sunglasses. Slowly falling in love, which of course would happen because he’s most likely ___. And
+Bonus+ Three day weekend of sleep on my own bed and an overnight trip to anywhere with large expanses of sand and “The Worlds Best Lobster” draws near.

Ciao darling. Too much Haveli’s at too much Bl$ng makes the eyes heavy. Best damn Indian I’ve had in a while though.

On that I leave you with anything Damien Rice.

Hugs and Misses Tons,
-LP

And so it is

Hello, friends.
Come, gather ’round this roaring fire as I weave a shadow of a tale, a tale of flatlands and 15 hours and headlines that would land one Midwestern’r all the way out in a little state they call Connecticut.
It began about 5:30 a.m. last Friday, a week ago to be exact by the time you read this.
Said girl and father jumped into semi-loaded down GMC Jimmy and began a long haul out east, with a stop at the Canada side of Niagra Falls. This little lady ordered herself a beer for lunch, and it just wasn’t as cool ordering your first legal beer with ya dad there. But he was proud, so that was cool.
A long time later, landed in my charming New England house, with housemates Aaron, Emily, Molly and Jessie. For the sake of anonymity, I won’t specify, but all are Wesleyan students, and one’s from CT, one’s from Boston, one’s dad is an editor at the New Yorker and one is Richard Dreyfuss’ daughter.
Ergh, yah. Hello East Coast.
They are all really nice and fun, except they are all inhabiting rooms so I in my air mattress crash in the living room… For the next five days.
Molly and Jessie slowly shuffled out, some mix-up in landlady crazyness put us in said five days descrepancies. And the landlady, she really is batty, with looks like Mary Poppins but shorter and with modern drab clothes. Carpet bag and tea at two, no joke.
Drove all over Hartford and southern CT, down along the Shore. Gorgeous. Long Island Sound, white sand beaches and homes that no human should singly inhabit. Stopped to take some pictures in a private neighborhood lined with purple flowers and beaches and within four minutes had a cop trailing me. Stopped at “Ashley’s” for some lemonade despite the brisk 63 degrees and met Justin, an unbelievable Abercrombie model who worked at the Old Saybrook marina instead and is unfortunately also going to be a junior… in HS. Cha-…blah.
Then Sunday it was walk all over Middletown, my hometown, and Wesleyan, as the brilliants including Peter Jennings Jr. graduated in their red and black. Jealously watched them gather and say goodbye and missed home for the first time.
Rollerbladed along the CT River for exercise and drove 91 again for practice, making it to the HC in exactly 25 minutes and getting flicked off probably only once.
Grocery shopped too much and discovered “Stop and Shop” is different than “Stop and Go” and not related though they have the same logo and that “Shop” is Meijer’s, 24 hours and all, but smaller quainter and all around NewEngland. NE=NewEngland/Northeast/it’s all interchangable.
My house is three stories, white, with two levels of the same: up the steps to a common room, through to a kitchen, down a hall to a bathroom with cool tile floors, and bedrooms connecting to the kitchen and common room and wood floors to cover the whole of it. And an attic hovering above it all. The basement and attic are straight out of the Baroque period.
My room is the smallest, purposely chosen from them all for that because the lack of furniture in a small room makes it less lonely somehow than the biggest room which would be awesome furnished with two couches, a bed and shelving for a library.
My room is the coolest, though, it’s four shades of pink and purple, one for each wall, the quietest and has a window that goes to the porch.
The porch.
Where I will spend many a sunny day painting, reading and chilling.
Where we can fit a hammock.
Where it faces the south.
Where candles can line the 25′ of window sills, on one side, and the 8′ on the other, in the darkest of nights.
I can’t wait for summer. It’s like 50 today. Bordering 34 this evening. Balmy, to say the least.
I packed all summer clothes.
Thank god for grey Stop and Shop Hanes sweatshirts.
I have a three-day weekend coming up. I have an invitation from Ben to spend it at Yale with him.
He’s a dizwick.
I have Cape Cod. I have Boston. I have New York.
I have a porch.

Chi-town, the other CT

I just got back from Chicago today after spending the weekend there with best friend premiere, Matt(y.)
He goes to Columbia College there (in case you wanted to stalk him) and is amazing in general. We used to hang out every day of our lives until I went to stupid college. And now I see even less of him because he is a world away (if you’re taking Amtrak) in Chicago.
So I decided I MUST go before CT, or I might die.
After some drama with ticket prices and budget and such things, the prices fell from $90 to $50(the normal price) suddenly as I checked at about midnight Tuesday. Phew.
So after a luxurious train ride in, I went over to the restaurant where Matty works, Osteria Via Stato, this hott hott place. I in my jeans and polo stroll in, luggage in tow, and almost knock over 50 women in Gucci, Dior, etc. etc. YES. But it’s an awesome place, and the card-sized cheese thing I got at the bar was good. I think I’m hyponatremic from all the water I drank so Matt could keep refilling it.
Then once he got off work we went to the Hard Rock Cafe bar, which was hot except for Matt’s stalker. We didn’t get carded and drank a Long Island, two vodka and cranberries and a Lemon Drop each. And then we met Jessica Simpson’s backup dancer, Jerry. Who was hott and now has my number and Matt’s e-mail (? that’s what he wanted…) in his Blackberry. What Can I say? If he doesn’t know any Q’s or R’s last names, my name could be floating next to Jessica’s in Cyberspace. Cha-ching. Whatever.
Then Matt hopped up on stage with the DJ, his stalker, and pretended to play. I was like, EEP, cuz this is in front of the entire crowd. And next thing I know, I’m up there. Good pics from that experience! hahahaha.
Then we ditched the bar (minus paying for the drinks, that’s what stalkers are for) and hopped over to SLC, the best burger joint in the city perhaps (think Bell’s but burgers but high-class, my EL friends) and got like deliciously loaded burgers and chicken sandwiches. And crashed.
Saturday was rock. Saw Matty’s apt. avec his future roommate and all-around coolcat Lisa. She’s really fun and sweet. The apt. is amazing, like nothing I’ve seen in EL, Living room, dining room, kitchen with eating space, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, windows covering three walls and all for the price of not much more than EL. It’s sick. All in downtown Chicago. 😛
Then we went to WICKER PARK, brilliant. It’s so chic and funky and fun. We went to Bluefin, apparently rated best sushi in Chicago in 2005 by AOL, but what do they know, right? It was good. Great little restaurant and good atmosphere. Proly really fun at night but fab during the day as well. Walked around up there, then back to the APT for a break then I walked up to the Mich/Mag Mile and restrained myself from blowing my CT account in Armani, aka didn’t buy anything :(. Went in all the good stores on the Mile and back agian, bought two shirts for $11 total at H&M, like GOD I love that place, and that’s about it. Came back, went to ROCK BOTTOM and had the best meal of my LIFE – Chicken Provencal. Can’t describe it, chicken, this BREAD, veggies all in a tomato sauce, but like real tomato sauce like squeezed fresh out of the tomato. It was so f*ing good. Go, if you go to Chicago. There, VTK for Thai, and Giordano’s for REAL, ORIGINAL, Chicago deep dish, and the best damn stuff too. Then go to Osteria Via Stato for there Chocolate Cake, aka Heaven in a piece of pastry. Brilliant.
So after dinner, Matt and I hung in the dorm, we were SOOO tired it was ridic, we watched what not to wear, hahahahahahaha, then we watched 3,000 commercials about a guy who got stuck under a boulder and cut his OWN arm off GAGGGG. Each commercial said, “Could you do what he did?” with a real dramatic shot of him and in our true fashion Matt and I yelled, “NO!!!”
Then we dressed up in like half of matt’s wardrobe, aka Incognito, and raided the 7-11 downstairs AND MET ELIJAH WOOD s cousin/lookalike. That was hot. We were very Paris/Nicole dans The Simple Life at this point, it was sexy. Then we stumbled back upstairs and collapsed in bed. Brilliant.
Sunday, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and stumbled into a cab. It was all and a pair of orange “knickers.” An amazing trip and so glad I got to see my Matty before I leave forever.

Four days. 5:30 a.m. Friday. Sa-weet. We’re even driving through Skin-neck-titty. (actually said like that!) All of my summer clothes lie in two boxes, it’s so pathetic. My empty closet, I mean. Work clothes in another. Brilliant.

Time for bed, more later. Hope all is well

<3, LP

Summer contact info
May 20-August 1
Lauren J. P.
113 South Main Street
Middletown, CT, 06457

* I love letters! E-mail/IM/Blogs are fun but letters are HOT! I’ll write back too*


Since I probably won’t be back on here until I’m in CT, thought this would be a good way to leave. Have a great one! -LoJp

I <333333333333

LIFE

Scenario:

Me, upstairs, deconstructing my closet practically hobbling into the retirement home/insane asylum as I begin seriously packing for CT.
My dad, comes upstairs.
Dad: “Hey, what are you doing?”
Me: “What does it look like?” (as moody Alanis plays in background)
D: “It looks like you’re intense”
M: “You got the tense part right… What do you want?”
D: “Oh, not much.”
M: (thinking: My dad just said “Oh.” Now what?) “All right.”
D: “So this is where all the hangers went?” pointing to huge pile on floor.
M: “No,” pointing to huge pile of clothes to be hung up sitting on bed.
D: “Oh.” Starts flipping through my closet as I continue to hang stuff up/stuff stuff in boxes.
Dad pulls out my “I <3 NY" shirt. "This looks old. About time to get a new one."
M: (laughing) “There is NO WAY I’m throwing that out until I have another one.”
D: “Okay, promise to pitch it in August?”
M: “What?”
D: “Your mom and I just talked about it. We’re going to all go to New York the week after your internship.”
ME: HEAD EXPLODES WITH PURE JOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

ME.
NEW YORK.
AUGUST 1-7.

SEE YA SUCKASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, send ya a postcard.

Life is beautiful 😀

Swing swing swing

Three bags.
It took three garbage bags, but I have cleaned out my closet.
Three bags to the Salvation Army. Rock. (Matt, if I see you wearing one of my old shirts as arm warmers I’ll laugh for life.)
My mom and I went shopping today for my internship wardrobe and brought back about three bags worth of things, so that’s all right. And I’ll swear on Freud that shopping is therapy.
***
Talked to Renee, my CT landlord, and it’s official: May 20. Call her when I cross that delicious state’s border and I’m in. My choice of bedrooms, and oh, btw, your other roommate besides Aaron? James.
James. I’ve always wanted to meet an engineering student named James. New Englander=major bonus.
Watch he’s from Arkansas.
🙂
***
I’m watching SNTC and she fell in Dior. I want to fall in Dior.
The ‘stons are getting killed. Great. Oops, they just died. 🙁
Pop culture babble, I’m leaving.
***
Four more days in this house. One, then three in Chicago then three more and I’m gone.
It’s been an up and down day, grades family shopping plans cleaning.
Going off to get some good sleep.
***

And a P.S.:
For the record, I think all this babble is me trying to channel my uber-anxiety about CT. Yup. Sorry 🙁 I’ll be there soon enough and then this will be substantial entries.
OMG this episode of SNTC is about when she first gets to Paris. Going to watch so I can pick up some lessons about leaving.

BREAKING NEWS

http://www.cmt.com/news/articles/1501552/20050510/chesney_kenny.jhtml?headlines=true

TEARS!
holy cow, okay. I was all ready to go to bed sentimentally and now someone else goes and breaks my heart.
KENNY CHESNEY IS MARRRRRRRIED!?
To NONE OTHER THAN:
Renee Zellweger!!!
As of MONDAY!
Holy hell.
1. I did NOT know they were dating. Last I knew she was moving to D-troit to be closer to Jack White.
2. KENNY, NO!!!!!! Damnit. My mom and I would always drool over you! Now what do we have left in common!?!?!?
3. Read the article. There are way too many connections to moi to count.
Dissected as follows: (SPOILER ALERT!!!! {sarcasm})
-They got married in the Virgin Isles. ‘Nuff said.
-Barefoot ceremony on an island. DEATH I want that.
-CAROLINE HERRARA DRESS!!! U know I’d kill for that.
-Met at the “Concert of Hope.” I WATCHED THAT!
-Not much honeymoon. What are they, nuts?
-Look at the pictures, gag, she looks so skinny. Has she not eaten in this whirlwind romance???
Anyways. Broken heart #333333333333339

Kidding, of course. He looks like a shaved pitbull. Hot voice/lifestyle though. Boats and beaches are hot!
that was my random news and me at breaking pop culture news time.
With that, I bid you adieu. ;*

Above all things, I wish you love

Today was an absolutely beautiful day, the kind that makes me wish I could wax poetic and scribble words across this page that would convey the perfect summer day. Maybe another time.
I leave you with these more mundane updates:
1. I’m going to Chicago this weekend, for sure, ticket’s bought and all, y’all. This got me a large way out of a funky mood that’s almost gone now! :0)
2. Catching up with old friends rocks. By old friends I mean those you grew up across the street from until you were 14 and hung out every day of those summers with, and those you just got to know in psychology, and those you knew but weren’t friends with til you graduated high school but still feel like you grew up with, and those who you grew together with this past year. Pretty awesome.
3. And of course, I cannot go a whole summer without a little dish about love in these (what promises to be) 1000s of words. Yippee… since love stinks or something like that. Excuse the emotiveness as follows.
My post about love will rest on this: a song by Alanis Morissette, whom my best friend (Chicago) Matt and I are obsessed with. He sent me this song tonight and my heart broke upon the reception of the first phrases and chords,… enough that it is the only thing that has made me openly admit a broken heart.
Enjoy, it’s a beautiful song and its meaning cuts through to the soul.

“Simple Together”
Alanis Morissette
You’ve been my golden best friend
Now with post-demise at hand
Can’t go to you for consolation
Cause we’re off limits during this transition
This grief overwhelms me
It burns in my stomach
And I can’t stop bumping into things
I thought we’d be simple together
I thought we’d be happy together
Thought we’d be limitless together
I thought we’d be precious together
But I was sadly mistaken
You’ve been my soulmate and mentor
I remembered you the moment I met you
With you I knew God’s face was handsome
With you I suffered an expansion
This loss is numbing me
It pierces my chest
And I can’t stop dropping everything
I thought we’d be sexy together
Thought we’d be evolving together
I thought we’d have children together
I thought we’d be family together
But I was sadly mistaken
If I had a bill for all the philosophies I shared
If I had a penny for all the possibilities I presented
If I had a dime for every hand thrown up in the air
My wealth would render this no less severe
I thought we’d be genius together
I thought we’d be healing together
I thought we’d be growing together
Thought we’d be adventurous together
But I was sadly mistaken
Thought we’d be exploring together
Thought we’d be inspired together
I thought we’d be flying together
Thought we’d be on fire together
But I was sadly mistaken

Everything will come your way now!

SURPRISE!!!!

Had you for a second.
What’s up? Having a good day, I hope.
I am, I think. Went to the best Chinese place in Saginaw – Forbidden City – for Mother’s Day. Ate way too much, duh, b/c the food is soooo good and they give you like 12 appetizers before your mounds of food. Delish.
It was an all right fam time. First time my fam has been together for extended periods since I’ve been home. My 17-year-old high school junior sister Paige who is the exact opposite of me down to what we wear just talked the whole time…. interesting. At least i know more about her. Not used to that whole family “conversation” thing where it’s like rhetoric and we’re the quiet table. Please, it’s me. You’d think I’d come from a family of Artic Sailors (which would be friekin’ sweet.) But I don’t. PR Dad who travels the globe, Martha Stewart mom, sis who is pseudo punk yet wants to be a cop. Love ’em to death, for sure. 🙂
My cheeks are still glowing red from the sun burn I received when I was laying out waiting for the ‘rents to get home. That rocked (really) because it means SUMMER IS HERE! That makes me really happy. Hopefully the club opens the pool soon, that’s my summer love!
Before the human cooked ham act, I cleaned a bit, went for (another!) a run, this time on the eliptical. Not sure if those things are “better” on you than running. I like being outside, but couldn’t hack a whole run in 80 degrees today for the second day in a row, that’s a little too much to start on.
So the run in the cool basement revealed:
-I have been connecting with my iPod. I needed a new electronic replacement after I had to break up with my boyfriend the scanner, so spending lots of time listening to the iPod has been good. (that was sarcasm, btw. I’m not crazy. That much, at least ;}) Plus now I love Indian rock, Foreigner and M.I.A. I <3 music and forgot how much it can do for you.
-While listening to my iPod, I was watching CNN on mute w/closed caption. It was soooo annoying and is a facade of all that is beautiful journalism. On the plus side, it’s really cool to see that I know some basic journalism down pat and it was interesting to observe some differences in broadcast, such as the use of images. Holy hell, the things they show on there. Like, I could never describe in such an impactful way the image of a car bomb or submarine accident. But at the same time, I would never use the image of a blood-soaked chair in my lead about a plane crash. Maybe something about how the plane’s parts were spread all over the densely brush landscape, making the search for evidence difficult. But a bloody chair? Sensationalism much? And they’re wrong, a lot. And T.V. never corrects themselves, like there is no corrections box the next day, no owning up to the fact that they are mortal beings that make mistakes that can mislead an entire population. Maybe they should do that on their Web sites, a list of the previous day’s errors. It would give them a little more credibility with the public and stop fucking us real journalists over.
I woke up about 11:30 a.m.(this is my day in reverse order, if you haven’t figured that out yet.), a surprise after getting home at about 5 a.m. from an amazing night out with Chris. It was so fun and proves that people make the place. And that all cool people get the heck out of Midland as soon as they can jet.
We started out at the CS, a blast from the past, and fortunately avoided talking to anyone we didn’t like from HS. Gotta a latte, very unuse for me, use it’s a capp or mocha or frapp. I saw an old fling, too, that was ergh, fun? We’ve grown up and gone ^ /, guess which each of us went. Hahah, that’s mean… He’s still hot, if that is all he’s got going.
Then we went to Bennigan’s so Chris could drink, I mean eat, and then to BC for some fun at Chris’ GVSU friend Matt’s with Matt Matt Matt Brad Shamu some 21-year-old who looked 14 (noooot even kidding) and some trashyesque creature from Saginaw. The last 3 were not with us. hehe. The “us” drank and played bball in the dark and monitored the use of the hot tub by the pseudoadolescents and saw shit in Matt’s mom’s bedroom that no one should ever see in a parent’s room. Yes, what you’re thinking, it’s true. I’ll spare your eyes.
It was a fun night overall for sure. Chris is really funny, so was this Matt kid and his friends.
After departing the BC abode, Chris and I drove around and almost hit something that looked like a too-tall cat with a short tail walking on 4 legs. Chris screamed, I laughed, it was fun. The creature is a vicious rabcat, we discovered later, and has horns and fangs to boot. SO, BEWARE THE RABCAT. They will kill you as you try to swerve around them. hehehe. I also discovered possums can total Chris’ Ford Escort. After that drama, we sat and talked and went to Meijer’s for a card for his moms and then 5 a.m. it was. Best fun I’ve had in Midland all year. That was the SURPRISE, btw.
Tonight, I’m supposed to go back out to Bay City to see the love-a-ly Margaret and chill out. So pumped for that, I love her and her bf and chilling with school friends in the TCs is fun (tri-cities).
Before that I’ll proly walk around the lake a little ways to walk off the fab meal.
Hope you all are well.
Hugs and Misses,
– LP

Yes dad I’m cleaning

I am sitting on my bed, in the midst of (wait let me count) like 15 piles of things + a closet that needs to be gone through. Plus my stuff in the garage. Yet somehow I find myself unable to resist the urge to begin Part 1 of my blog about being home.
It’s painful.
It hurt to leave my friends and my lifestyle down at MSU and have to come back under my parents’ roof and rules, including “clean up after yourself immediately.”
It’s a little weird to go through all of my stuff, too. Is this what I am made up of??? Piles of newspapers and homework and some movies and a ton of books and art and clothes and too many shoes to count. Holy crap, there’s a hamster too. ;0)

It’s also giving me a lot of downtime to think about this whole growing up thing, accepting who I’ve become and where I’m going and what I want out of it all.

I went for a run this morning (okay, afternoon) when I woke up, through the neighborhood, which is a good way to reacclimate to Midland.
I ran by houses I used to deliver papers to by 8 a.m. every weekend. God, how I ever did that… It was nice to run by these houses 5 hours late, minus the 20 pounds of paper.
The houses are pretty, with their landscapes blooming and the brilliant sun shining, reflecting off clean windows and the plush green grass.
There were no people around, though. People are prettier than even the nicest-cut brick.
It’s better at the moment, I can hear a few people out cutting grass.
But for a neighborhood with an under-12 majority population, you’d think there’d be more kids out, screaming, running around, riding their bikes, playing with sidewalk chalk, a basketball, bubbles, anything.
Where are they?
Here, I could guess and not be too far off: at the sterile soccer complex, practicing with their soccer team, or a similiar place: baseball practice, dance practice, gymnastics. Inside, playing their violins or trumpets or videogames or e-mailing.
Under 12 population, gather ’round, I need to tell you one thing.
STOP.
Resist your parents’ push for perfection. PLEASE go roll in the mud. Go out in the woods and find the bike trail with the huge hill that I was scared of tumbling down at 18. And a half. I’ve been riding those trails since I was 10. And falling since then too. But who cares?
One day, you’ll be grown-up. One day, your parents will be telling you to go out and get a checking account and yelling at you if you bring in a speeding ticket. Hug them if they tell you to go out and play and laugh (to yourself) when they yell about sitting on the furniture after they put suntan lotion on you.
Now, even I’m running through the neighborhoods, looking for that perfectly healthy physique instead of that imaginary pirate ship.
It was a bittersweet run, realizing I’ve grown up and that the generations are changing, evolving, everyone’s growing up.
I wish more people would realize that sunshine smells so much better than air conditioning.
Surprise, I loathe the fact that I’m inside cleaning instead of outside playing. Maybe I should just f* CT and get a job babysitting or at a daycamp.

Hahahahaa………. Not on my life. Sunshine’s great. But it’s my time to open the door to that great grown-up world and embrace the smell of a higher purpose. It really is what I want. One day I will realize this with less reluctance.
For now, I can just tell everyone else: Don’t worry about getting there too fast.
And those moments where you can get outside, do it. Stop and smell the roses and all that cliche crap.
I’m going to go clean so I don’t have to spend the next two weeks inside. Maybe I’ll even help my parents landscape. Or organize a neighborhood-wide game of kickball.

Part 2 soon.

One day I’ll stop and you’ll yell at me

Googling Middletown I have discovered the following glorious things await:
Ultimate frisbee club, hindu sunday school, astronomy, hot spots, SCANNER FREQUENCIES (omg I’m a dork…), that I live by a river (not in a van -fortunately), there are beaches, noiseless typewriters (what’s the point!?), an Athenian Diner (theios goes east coast what!?), a Tap Room (why am i not 21!?), two golf ranges (score!), One for Turner: “Men bodyworkers, Gay male massage” (ergh…), lawn furniture, world headquarters of a plastics company (I will never escape it, will i?), Jukonski Truck Sales (t-shirts, anyone?), OMG A THAIPHOON RESTAURANT!?! SAWEEEEEET!, Ballroom dancing lessons (This keeps getting better!), Wadsworth Mansion (rrrreally? ;-D Hi, Aaron, baby, I’m Lauren…), belly dance classes, a local ice cream parlour (score2), THE BUSINESS 200 ADDRESS NUMBERS DOWN WAS OWNED BY A MAN SENTENCED IN MARCH TO FIVE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISION FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORN!? (dude this is getting bettttter for the j-r-n in me!), Judith Boos lives in the same town, they really, really like their wireless…, OKAY score I think I found what I was looking for: The Buttonwood Tree. “The small bookstore quickly grew into a hub of artistic activity with exhibitions, poetry readings and concerts … an arena for cultural activity of various disciplines and traditions.” Cha-Ching! 500 address numbers down from meeeee.

Wow, my eyes hurt now.

I have a lot of time on my hands tonight. Duh.

No tests here. Just life.

I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
I recommend walking around naked in your living room
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free
Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you’re gonna have to eventually anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn

Emotionally unable to pack right now.
Going to miss my Fabulous Fenton Freshman Fancypants Friends ;(
Glad they’ll be close while I am.

That’s hot. No, really.

“Nipple? Where’s Nipple? I swear you just said Nipple!” -Nicole, my roommate
“Quack, quack, qwah, qwah, qwah, quack.”-Me

…and thus began a crazy night. Of studying. No, really. We studied. I finished a 14-pg study guide and she wasted 14 pages per problem.
“It started out with a Jones energy – how did it end up like this? It was only a Jones? It was only a Jones!,” one might say. Yes, you’re right.
It actually started when we decided we were hungry after not eating all night, so we go to order some Asian food.
No.
All places closed. Booo.
Then, I was like, let’s get JJ. Yes! I call and order, easy enough. Then I find the page about Hijras. And Nicole asks how you pee if you’re castrated.
That’s when it went downhill.
I start reading my study guide outloud- getting to the country NEPAL – but somehow in my accented vocals she thinks I’m saying “nipple.”
Me? Nipples? Puh-leez! I barely know what those are!
…ergh….
Anyway, so I’m like, “Where’s our Jimmy John’s!?” after 2 minutes of boredly studying, and she goes, IDK, maybe it got stolen. Like a duck.
That prompted me to quack. Like a duck. I even was singing for a while, a la Looney Toons. YES!
So dude from JJ calls w/food at door and I’m all, “Quack? Hello?” “JJJJJJJ” “Quack! What’s the total?”
So I slip into my sexy new multi-colored high-heeled strappy sandals, which would have been fine if I wasn’t wearing a workout t-shirt, flannel turtle rainbowy capris and a cracked out face…
I get in the elevator, still quacking for my roommate’s enjoyment, holding our moola. In a Goldfish bag. We had to use our leftover laundry money, = change, =loose change and I in my garb obviously have no pockets. Simple solution, natch?
Anywhoo, elevator opens.
AHHHLELLUIA, it’s delivery all right and I’m not talking the food.
There is Mr. September himself, straight out of Cosmo. As I’m gazing into his soul via his eyes, I catch a glimpse of myself.
Holy Hell.
—“duck,”(hahah, shut up.) head, give money, mumble, apologize for crumbs, turn on not-so-sexy-anymore heels and (have I shaved my legs recently? thank jesus) run back to elevator, frantically press “close door button.” Come back, get laughed at profusely by roommate, eat JJ in silence and decide to study/(post this.)

Thus wraps up one very embarrassing experience… perhaps THE most this semester….

…note to self: it’s not over. YES! ;P

Back to IAH 211 The Beloved’s Quest Love and Desire in Southeast Asia. aka my porno class.

PS- We still don’t know about that peeing thing, but we’d like to be enlightened!

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