Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Review: Perhaps I've Said Too Much

A few weeks ago, Rodney (better known around the internets as Moooooog35) put out a call for folks who would like to review his newest book, Perhaps I've Said Too Much.  I said, "Well, if you'd like the opinion of a random girl in Montana, I'd love to put in my two cents."  Shockingly, that worked.  

I've read Rodney's blog Mental Poo for quite a few years now, and I've always really enjoyed his writing style.  His stories are endlessly entertaining, and told with such fervor that you can't help but get sucked in.  I can't even count how many times I went to read "just the new post" and then wound up down a rabbit hole, hours later, just laughing to myself in the corner.  

For anyone with a good sense of humor, I would highly, highly, recommend Perhaps I've Said Too Much.  It's a collection of stories about ridiculous situations he's gotten into (or created) by lying.  As you're reading, you can't help wonder if he's just twisted or if he is, in fact, some genius mastermind.  You'll also wish that you were as on-the-spot the clever as the 8-year-old Rodney, playing off his new "bionic finger" for his classmates.  Or how he threw a party in college and managed to escape the repercussions for almost a month by spinning tales of clumsiness doing household chores.  That in and of itself is super impressive.  Not to mention any number of clever, crazy, or amazingly off-the-wall things he's pulled off at work!

Oh and let us not forget the pictures.  I know, I know.  It sounds silly to compliment a book for it's pictures, but they are a great supporting cast to what are already outstanding stories.  They exist for comedic value and attempted clarification (read: often exaggeration...such hilarious exaggeration), and fully succeed with their purpose.  I love them and the Brain Nuggets, because much like the author, I tend to get distracted easily, and they're fun little addendums that keep things interesting.  

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Perhaps I've Said Too Much, and couldn't put it down.  From the very first page you just wonder what outrageous adventures you're going to be led on, and Rodney does not disappoint.  I laughed out loud almost every page, and absolutely could not get enough of the crazy antics.  It officially releases today, and I would strongly urge all of you to go check it out!  The links below will take you to purchase pages and his Facebook fan page.  Also, if you do decide to enrich your life with Perhaps I've Said Too Much (a wise choice), be a dear and leave a review on the Amazon page!

Official Synopsis and Links for your viewing and buying pleasure:

"It's not a lie if you believe it."

Bionic fingers. Self-combusting Tiffany lamps. Rubber spiders and ventriloquist dolls. Vindictive mothers throwing women down stairs.
Rodney Lacroix has lived his life trying to fool people. Some of this is on purpose. Some of this just comes naturally. But no matter what the story he spins, there is always retribution - and it is very rarely a happy ending.
Join Rodney as he walks you through hysterical stories told through the eyes of a perpetual liar. Wince at his untruths, told in the same unconventional style that won him two awards for his 2012 release, "Things Go Wrong for Me." Feel his pain. Shake your head. Learn some lessons.
As usual, all of the stories contained herein are true.

Or are they?

And go 'like' his fan page here:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Adventures in Singledom: How to Meet People

The hardest part of being an adult is making friends.  While I've never been in a super popular crowd, I've always been lucky enough to have a good collective of friends to call on and cause mayhem with.  Turns out though, once you're not in school, you have to actually seek out other humans to interact with on your own time.  Sure you'll probably meet a couple folks through whatever job you do (unless you work from home...lucky), but I think most of us can agree that we don't really want to see a majority of our coworkers once the day is done.  So what do you do?  Where do you go?  If you're here looking for a guide to help you, I will tell you now that's not what you'll find.  I'm only speaking through my experiences and trying to learn as go, so if you have suggestions, please do tell.

Seems to me, and I could be grossly misinterpreting my demographic, that a lot of people my age meet people in bars.  Which is totally cool, I'm not judging you if you do or did.  For me though, it's really uncomfortable.  As I've mentioned, I'm not terribly articulate, especially when talking with guys I don't know.  And in the rare event that one of them says something nice to me I pull one of these:

I feel like bars are for people who thrive on being in large crowds and like small talk.  Again, cool if you do, more power to you.  I also feel like especially people my age who are in bars are looking more for hook-ups and not really a relationship, which is totally not my scene.  So when debating on how to go about broadening my social circle, I didn't even consider this an option.

What I did consider, were the cooking classes.  At least that was part of my hope.  And while I have yet to meet any nice, single men my age (with the exception of the really nice guy who taught us to make pizza...I should look into that) it's always a win because I wind up with a delicious meal and tons of recipes.  I've been to three so far: pizza, curry, and pie.  PIE.  I had a whole dinner made up of different pies that night...I am not at all sad that it was full of middle-aged and up women.  Plus the teacher was amazing and really helpful.  But alas, no lasting friends or subsequent dates came from any of them.

What I did NOT consider (but maybe should have!) was just going places alone.  People are more apt to talk to you if you are by yourself and not actively involved in conversation with someone you already know.  I had this particular realization when I took myself to go see Man of Steel.  Being the nerd that I am I had decided to go to a late show on opening day, and I also showed up an hour and a half early.  Getting in line and having a good seat and all that.  So I poked my head around the corner and saw a tiny group of people sitting on the floor waiting and I asked, "Is this the line for Man of Steel?"  They all nodded reassuringly and I went and took a seat next to the guy who was at the end.  He asked if I was a big Superman fan, and I looked a little sheepish and admitted that no, I wasn't really, but the movie trailer looked so good I thought I'd give it shot.  He perked right up and said, "Really?!  I'm the same way!  Superman is usually totally overrated, but this one looked really good!"  And so started our friendship.  As it turned out, he was also there by himself, but some friends of his called and said they might come closer to the movie time (which they did, and they were all awesome).  We talked about jobs and how we wound up there, what we actually went to school for, other places we'd lived and how we got there, and which super heroes we really did think were the best.  It was a great time.  

*Side note: This is one glowing example of why I love the geek community.  I have yet to go somewhere where there is a large population of geeks and not feel welcome.  Even when I go to the comic book store, I wind up having a brief conversation with some nice boy playing Warhammer in the back.  It is a kind, welcoming culture, and one that I'm very happy to have embraced and that has embraced me.

Roughly an hour into our conversation, one of his other friends shows up.  She joins us, he introduces me, and then we all just carry on like we've been BFFs forever.  At one point I said, "I feel a little weird cause I literally just met you guys, but do you mind if I add you on Facebook?"  They were both very emphatic and replied, "Of course!  And it's not weird, this is how you meet people now.  It's cool."  Friends.  I made friends!  Right before they let us in to sit, his last friend showed up and it was the same round of introduction, same awesome good to have you, and we all went in and sat together for the show, and discussed it on the way out through the parking lot and just generally had a really good time.

I cannot tell you how happy I was going home that day.  Not because I had actually met a single boy my age that was really nice and I could talk to (bonus!), but that I had actually made new friends.  I honestly really like going to movies by myself, and do most of the time when I decide to go see a movie, but that's the first time since I graduated in 2008 that I've met people outside of a work setting totally on my own.  It emboldened me a little, and I have to say, good things come to those that take adventures.  Even if the adventures are small.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Monday Miiiingle!

It's back!  And so am I!  I really love vlogging and I was just thinking that I should start doing stuff like that again, so I was super excited when I saw Speedy post that MM would be live tomorrow.  Ya'll should go check it out over at Eighty MPH Mom.  And with that, here's my triumphant return to vlogging.  I like to talk so I ramble a lot...sorry in advance.  Password for the video is: misadventure


Monday Mingle! 4.8.13 from Lauren on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Adventures in Singledom: The Epihany

I am at the age where I'm "supposed" to be an adult.  Right.  Tell that to my Cat in the Hat footie pajamas, of which I am wearing right now.  They even have pockets.  I know, you're jealous.  Anyway, I digress.  I'm also at the age where a very large majority of my friends are in long term relationships, married, are pregnant/having kids, or some combination of the three.  I am just about the only single person left among my group of friends, which gets really old after a while.  
Me: "Want to come hang out?" 
"Oh no thanks, we can't get a sitter." 
"Oh it's date night." 
"Oh sorry, we're having couples trivia night." 
Fine.  I wanted to sit here and watch the new season of My Little Pony on Netflix while I drink beer and crochet anyway.  Because I'm a bizarre combination of tiny child, old lady, and 20-something.  Truthfully, I'm really ok with this most days, but every so often it nags at me.  I'm running out of single friends to do things with, and the energy to even leave the house to want to do something.

I got a random text from one of my married-with-children friends last week that said, "Hey, hubs has a thing tonight, would you want to hang out?"  I of course accepted with great enthusiasm, because my social life is about as exciting as a snail race through molasses.  At some point during the evening, my friend said, "You know I'm really glad you could come over, I assumed you'd be busy."  I laughed.  Me?  Busy?  Right.  I told her, "Nah, I rarely doing anything besides work and go home."  (Sad but true)  She said, "I just always assume that single people are out doing exciting, fun things all the time."  And then the epiphany came.  Why wasn't I out doing fun, exciting, single-y things?  Besides the fact that I'm totally introverted, painfully awkward at making conversation with people I don't know, and broke as hell?  No idea.  Regardless, I mentally made the decision that I should probably start acting like the young single person I am instead of the old lady I keep (only half) jokingly telling people (and myself) that I am.  Or at the very least try to not become a crazy cat lady before I'm 30.

If nothing else, it should make for some good stories.

In true stereotypical fashion, the first thing I decided to do was sign up for a cooking class.  I'm actually super excited about it, I've been wanting to do a cooking class for forever and just never have.  The class is in three weeks, but they fill up so fast you almost have to book your spot a month in advance if you want to make it in.  This one is going to be taught by the owner of one of our local pizzerias  so I'll learn how to make dough, toss it, make sauce, etc.  I mean come on, who doesn't like pizza?  This could very well be the undoing of my 30 pound weight loss...or the start of an epic pizza diet.  Only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Anti-Social Media

In recent years for Lent I've tried to become more creative with what I abstain from.  One year I gave up ice cream (which is huge for me...I practically live on ice cream).  One year I gave up swearing.  Last year I paid a quarter for every negative comment.  This year...I gave up Facebook and Twitter.  I had made this decision toward the beginning of the year and had actually kind of thought that it was cheating a little.  JUST giving up social media?  Is that really going to matter?  I mean, I rarely posted to either in recent months, and there were days that I'd go without checking them anyway, so it shouldn't be that hard.  Right?


Oh, so wrong.

The VERY FIRST thing I did on Ash Wednesday was poke the Facebook app on my phone out of habit.  To which I went, "Ah crap!  No no no!"  And as the day progressed I had to keep stifling urges to check my phone.  As it turns out, while I didn't post excessively, I DID check both compulsively.  It was like when you check the time but you don't actually see what time it is.  I was just doing it out of habit.  I also realized that had no idea where else to go on the internet.  I was finding links to other things from my social media sources.  Even with just those two site restrictions on myself, I've found that my internet use, and also my phone use, has sigificantly decreased.

Overall, it hasn't been too bad, but you don't (or I didn't) realize how much people rely on Facebook to get information out until you're not using it.  I can't even tell you how many times I've heard, "Well didn't you see it on Facebook?  I posed it today."  Or "So and so is pregnant/married/engaged/graduating!  They posted it this morning!"  Or "This super fun thing is happening today, didn't you get the invite?"  NO.  I.  DIDN'T.  Can't you just text me or call me like a normal person?  Is this really how far we've come?

Lent is 6 weeks long, and I've now got a week and a half left.  I'm not going to lie, I really miss it and am very much looking forward to catching up after Easter.  I have a handful of friends who are posting things in excess because they know I still get notifications...and they're trying to drive me slowly insane.  I just keep thinking though that I'll have SO MUCH to look forward to when I'm back.  I will say too, that although it's been a bit of a rough detox, it's made me appreciate things a little more.  I've certainly become more mindful of my time, and that is never a bad thing.  It also made me realize that I miss actually communicating with my friends.  Not just over some user interface, but on the phone, sending a card, having coffee.  My hope is that I'll become better at making "real life time" for my friends now, as well as seeing what they're up to in my news feed.

But some days, you just need a funny cat picture, you know?

Monday, March 18, 2013

And this is why I'm not allowed to watch House

As usual, I'm getting over being sick.  I've been sick with alarming frequency and with the weirdest things ever since I got this job.  My track record so far includes:

A cold roughly every three months
Chicken pox
Numbness of feet
Overall poor circulation
Carpel tunnel

That's all in a year and a half.  Stupid, isn't it?

The dumbest part is that when I worked retail I was rarely, if ever, sick.  Maybe once a year.  And I was in constant contact with different people, children, dust, money...I mean it was a germ playground.  What gives?

I have gotten especially fed up today because I felt pretty good this morning when I left the house.  I could breathe out my nose, my cough was dry and faint, I seemed to be on the mend nicely.  I got to work and within 10 minutes of being here it was like someone had turned on a faucet in my face.


Clearly, I'm allergic to work.  I have to be.  I'm not allergic to anything else.  Nothing.  Not a plant, food, or animal causes me any sort of reaction.  Pollen season?  No sweat.  House full of 7 long haired cats?  Bring it on.  Shrimp pad thai with peanut sauce?  Yum.  You get my point.

So, being me, I have come up with outrageous explaination for this ridiculousness.  *puts on House lab coat and grabs stethoscope*

You see, there are these giant water spots above my cubicle that have gone without attention:

The way I figure, those water spots have started growing mold on the side between the tiles and the roof where the ductwork is.  And not your garden-variety green mold, oh no.  Black mold.

Then, when the fans come on periodically throughout the day to circulate air* (*read: move around disease-ridden stale office air), the mold spores get blown out through this vent above my desk, roughly 10 feet from all those water spots:

So perodically throughout the day, I breathe in tiny little mold spores.  This goes on over the course of months.  The mold starts attacking my resperatory system, making me more susepable to the cold virus.  Then it spreads and starts working on my nervous system.  This causes my circulation to slow and my nerves to spasm, causing random, unrelated numbness in my legs and periodic tingling in my fingers.


This is why I stopped watching House.  And also why I was originally in theatre.  Over-dramatazation was my job, and as you can see, I'm pretty good at it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Whoo.  What a day.

6:45am: Phone alarm goes off as usual.  I reach to turn it off...nothing happens.  I push all the buttons...nothing happens.  I open one eye to look at my phone.  I set it to update last night while I sleeping, and what I didn't realize is it takes "finalizing" by me before it functions as a phone again.  I hold my phone up, still squinting through one eye, trying to read and do whatever my phone wants me to do and agree to whatever it wants me to agree to, drop it on my face, then get through the stupid process and make it happy.

6:50am: Alarm is finally silent.  Glasses go on, waddle to the bathroom.  Put contacts in eyeballs, blink excessively.  Turn on the shower, flush toilet, get in shower, realize toilet has not stopped running, get out of shower, jiggle the hell out of the toilet handle, get back in shower.

7:15am: Get dressed and ready to leave for work.  Go to take lunch out of freezer, combat (successfully!) an avalanche of frozen chicken and mini quiche.  

7:50am: Sit down at work computer, look at the screen.  Everything is blurry.  Blink several hundred more times to no avail, shrug, and start working.

10:15am: After a morning of not seeing and also getting a headache, give up and decide to go get contact solution at grocery store across the street.

10:30am: Go into work bathroom, pull out right contact, rinse, put back in eye.  Pull out left contact, promptly drop on floor, get on hands and knees to look for lost lens.  Retrieve from under sink, rinse VERY thoroughly, put back in eye.

10:45am: Still can't see.  On a whim, switch lenses.  See perfectly.  *headdesk*

12:30pm: Work on home budget durning lunch.  Break math and the space-time continuum.  I somehow manage to make less than I spend but have extra in the bank...?

3:40pm: After working on company reconciliations, brain is broken.  Math is still broken.  There are mysterious dates for things and nothing makes sense.  Coworkers and I have a moment of insanity and ponder the meaning of the Universe.

4:59pm: Get into car to go home, sit down, and am pretty sure I somehow broke my thumb GETTING INTO MY CAR.  Stabby pains coming from my hand the whole drive home.

5:07pm: Get home, immediately fling off clothes and change into pajamas.  Trip on too-long pant legs and almost break my face.  Go to kitchen to get dinner in the oven...which will take about an hour.

5:45pm: Internal dialogue:
"I'm going to starve to death"
"Eat some protein"
"Peanut butter has protein!"
"Yes, but-"
"I have a giant jar of peanut butter!"
"I know but you should-"
*grabs spoon*
"Oh mix it at least for goodness sakes!  You're an animal."

And that's how I wound up ending my day by standing at the counter eating half-mixed peanut butter out of a 5lb jar with a spoon.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New Lessons

Well, another year has come and gone.  I did some things I wasn't expecting, did some things I had planned for, and have a few things I wish I had gotten around to.  So overall, basically the same old same old.  One thing I have been doing however, is getting back to being me.  Or shall I say, finding out who the new me is.  It's a slow process, but I'm making headway.

She is someone that, while having noble goals and making the best of efforts, cannot keep up with grad school and a full time job at the same time.  Today, I emailed my professors and told them that after much thought and deliberation, I have decided not to continue with school.  I thought that by putting my life "back the way I found it" it would help me find a place of stasis, make things better, be comfortable.  Silly girl.  I should know better by now than to think I'm the same person I was 5 years ago.  Turns out even though I'm not that old, I am too old to live the way I did in college.  I can't keep up the same lifestyle, nor should I really.  I also never had a job during college (yeah, I was lucky) so trying to work and go to school just about made my brain explode. 

This decision was actually a big step for me.  I realized a couple things: that there is no one that I have to impress, nor do I have to constantly be "doing" something.  I can just be.  Truth is, I like just being.  Sure I go to work everyday to a boring 8-5 job.  Most days I go home, cook dinner, watch tv or a movie, read and go to bed.  Its not a life of excitement, I'll give you that, but its nice.  And while I long for adventure and excitement, I realized that you have to have moments of quiet to make the exciting times that much more worth while.  Whenever someone asks the question, "So what are you up to?" I like to be able to answer with what I deem fun and exciting things, which I think is where I got the pressure to always pursue something different.  I always felt like I was constantly planning or waiting for something, there was never any down time.

So this year, the only thing I'm planning for is happiness.  Sure I'll try out something like a yoga or dance class, and like most of America I'm constantly chasing the dream of ideal fitness and health.  But really all I want is to be comfortable with who I am in this moment and be the best me I can be.  No pressure.  No promises.  No commitments. 

I'm really excited to see what's in store and where the Universe might steer me.  So here's to a great new time of being present and living in the moment.